NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
AUGUST 2011

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    News from August 31, 2011

  • UPDATEs - Driver who have clinched spots in the Chase and clinch scenarios: Two races remain before the complete 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set, seedings and all. Six drivers have clinched a Chase spot in some fashion. #18-Kyle Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #17-Matt Kenseth and #99-Carl Edwards have locked up top-10 spots. #29-Kevin Harvick (three wins) and #24-Jeff Gordon (two wins) both have clinched, at the least, Wild Card spots; both will likely cement top-10 berths in Sunday night's AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    After race No. 26 at Richmond International Raceway, the top-10 drivers in points will fill out the first portion of the 12-driver Chase. Spots 11 and 12 go to drivers outside the top 10 with the most victories, provided they are in the top 20. The Wild Card tiebreaker is points position.
    Regarding bonus points for victories: Only the top 10 will get them. Once the Chase field is set, all 12 drivers will have their points reset to 2,000. Then, for those in the top 10, three additional bonus points will be tacked on for each win during the 26-race "regular season."
    Sunday's race in Atlanta will likely further shore things up. The "magic number" for Atlanta is 49. Leaving Atlanta, any driver with a 49-point lead over 11th place clinches a top-10 Chase spot (Note: If the driver in question owns the tiebreaker over 11th of best-finish, that magic number shrinks to 48.). Here are the clinch scenarios going into the weekend…
    Harvick and Gordon: Both 93 points ahead of 11th, Harvick and Gordon can guarantee a top-10 spot with at least a finish of 40th; or 41st and at least one lap led; or 42nd and the most laps led.
    #39-Ryan Newman: Currently 73 points ahead of 11th, Newman can guarantee a top-10 spot with at least a finish of 20th; or 21st and at least one lap led; or 22nd and the most laps led.
    #22-Kurt Busch: Currently 60 points ahead of 11th, Busch can guarantee a top-10 spot with at least a finish of seventh; or eighth and at least one lap led; or ninth and the most laps led.
    Both #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (39 points ahead of 11th) and #14-Tony Stewart (21 points ahead) can both mathematically reach that 49-point threshold but would need help. No specific finish guarantees a spot. There are Wild Card clinching possibilities for this weekend, but all depend on finishes from various competitors on Sunday.(NASCAR)(8-31-2011)

  • Tire Testing at Phoenix UPDATE: Goodyear is conducting a tire test Monday and Tuesday (August 29-30) on Phoenix International Raceway's new surface, with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #48-Jimmie Johnson, #14-Tony Stewart, #99-Carl Edwards, #22-Kurt Busch and #18-Kyle Busch participating. The testing sessions will be closed to the general public.(PR)(8-29-2011)
    UPDATE Goodyear concludes tire test Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers – Johnson, Edwards, Stewart, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch – completed a two-day Goodyear tire test at Phoenix International Raceway on August 29-30. The tests ran from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day and provided NASCAR's official tire manufacturer with data and feedback on PIR's new racing surface following the August 12 completion of the track's first major paving project since 1990. The research gathered from the tests will assist Goodyear in selecting a tire for the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at PIR on November 13. In February, Phoenix International Raceway announced details related to the 47-year old NASCAR facility's first major track pavement project since 1990. Construction began in March with the removal of the facility's former racing surface and the subsequent installation of a new race track. Monday and Tuesday's tests offered all five drivers their first runs on a new surface that included a series of changes implemented to promote side-by-side racing. One such change, the alteration of PIR's signature back-stretch dog-leg to include banking and elevation variances, improved what Kurt Busch referred to as the "fun factor" at PIR. Tickets for the Kobalt Tools 500 are available now and start at just $25. For Phoenix International Raceway tickets and information, call 866-408-RACE (7223) or visit PhoenixRaceway.com.
    Race fans eager to see the stars of NASCAR take on Phoenix International Raceway's newly repaved and reconfigured 1-mile oval will have their first opportunity to do so during a Sprint Cup Series testing session at PIR on Tuesday, October 4. More info at PhoenixRaceway.com.(PIR)(8-30-2011)
    UPDATE2: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has completed a two-day tire test at the freshly repaved and reconfigured Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. Goodyear held its test this past Monday and Tuesday, in preparation for PIR's Kobalt Tools 500 race weekend scheduled for November 10-13. Five teams participated in the test, including the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy with Tony Stewart, #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Kyle Busch, #22 Penske Racing Dodge with Kurt Busch, #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy with Jimmie Johnson and #99 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford with Carl Edwards. "First of all, thanks to all five teams and drivers for their commitment to the Phoenix test," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of racing. "Being on track at 6:30 each morning and working though 110-plus-degree temperatures was not easy. Since we were the first cars on the new surface, getting a handle on the grip level of the asphalt and the configuration of the track was a struggle for awhile, but we accumulated a large number of laps and test data over the two days. We met with all five drivers and crew chiefs together to get their collective feedback. We've still got a lot of information to digest and discuss, but we feel confident we can determine a good combination for the pre-race testing in October, and the race in November." NASCAR has scheduled an open test for all Sprint Cup Series teams at PIR on October 4.
    Next up on Goodyear's test schedule is the concrete half-mile of Bristol Motor Speedway on September 27-28. Teams and drivers scheduled to participate in that test are the #1 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevy with Jamie McMurray, #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford with Marcos Ambrose, #13 Germain Racing Toyota with Casey Mears and #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy with Regan Smith.(Goodyear)(8-31-2011)

  • Lally the only rookie left: #71-Andy Lally, unless something unforeseen occurs, will be the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year. Lally, a three-time GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series champion, is the only freshman left competing for the award since #92-Brian Keselowski and #50-T.J. Bell failed to meet the minimum competition requirements. Lally, a native of Northport, N.Y. on Long Island, has been able to expand his expertise in oval track racing without the additional pressure of a multiple driver rookie competition. He finished 25th in Saturday's IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway, his fifth consecutive run in the top 30. More importantly, the 36-year-old Lally has been able to finish 20 of his 21 starts to keep Kevin Buckler's TRG Motorsports organization among the top 35 in the owners championship standings, and currently guarantee the team a starting position.(NASCAR)(8-31-2011)

  • Kurt Busch visiting children's hospital: #22-Kurt Busch is scheduled to visit kids at MultiCare Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma on Wednesday, Aug. 31. Busch will visit pediatric patients who are staying at Mary Bridge and hand out autographs. The kids, some who face long stays, appreciate special visitors who can distract them from their time in the hospital. Aftwards, Busch plans to head to Seattle for an appearance at the Mariners-Angels baseball game.(Tom Roberts PR)(8-31-2011)

  • Yeley / Kvapil swap rides at Atlanta: Front Row Motorsports' #38 Ford will have a different look at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, hitting the track with a new sponsor and a different driver. Front Row driver J.J. Yeley will take the wheel of the #38 Vampt Ford for Sunday's AdvoCare 500, introducing the NASCAR audience to Vampt malt beverages. Vampt Beverage Corp.'s initial product offering includes two agave-infused, ready-to-drink malt beverages - Vampt Smooth Talker and Vampt Midnight Warrior - available in select markets, including Atlanta this fall. The one-race deal has Yeley swapping rides with teammate Travis Kvapil, who will drive the #55 Front Row Motorsports Ford for the weekend.(FrontRowMotorsports / Breaking Limits) , see images of the car on the #38 Team Schemes page. (8-31-2011)

  • NAPA and Truex good at MWR thru 2012: Martin Truex Jr. has had an underwhelming tenure in his nearly two years at Michael Waltrip Racing. While the #56 NAPA Toyota has run well off an on since Truex Jr. joined the team before the 2010 season, bad luck has ruined many of those runs. With crew chief Pat Tryson replaced with Chad Johnston, the team has turned its season around and now has one more top 5 (two) and one more top 10 (eight) than he had all of last year. But just as the team turned the bend, rumors surfaced about longtime Waltrip sponsor NAPA possible defecting to Joe Gibbs Racing, if Carl Edwards were to leave Roush Fenway Racing for that team. Nothing happened, though, and Truex Jr., in his 6th full Sprint Cup season, says he never worried about being swept away in the Silly Season. "No. To be honest with you I never really got involved in that. NAPA has been behind us and stood behind MWR," he said in an interview with News/Talk WSB Monday. "We obviously have a deal through next year, so it was never really a worry of mine. To be honest, it was really a non-issue for all of us."(News/Talk WSB)(8-31-2011)

  • A&W Restaurants on #34 Ford at Atlanta: This Labor Day weekend gives us a chance to celebrate our heritage, so it's the perfect weekend for the #34 Ford driven by David Gilliland to carry an all-American paint scheme - the brown-and-orange colors of A&W. Of course, NASCAR is full of its own heritage and traditions, but so are the many organizations and businesses that support the industry. Gilliland and the #34 team will honor one by carrying the iconic brand of A&W All American Food restaurants on the car during Sunday's AdvoCare 500. A&W was the country's first drive-in restaurant, with the first store opening in Gilliland's home state of California in 1919. Today, A&W still provides the ultimate drive-in experience.(FrontRowMotorsports / Breaking Limits)(8-31-2011)

  • Biffle, Stewart In Small Business Showdown: This weekend, #16-Greg Biffle will face off against #14-Tony Stewart at Atlanta Motor Speedway to determine the 2011 "Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot" and possibly deliver a $1 million payday to the one of two small business finalists. Biffle will carry the logo of Downers Grove, Ill.-based Bales Mold Service, Inc., on his #16 3M Ford, while Stewart will feature the logo of Daytona Beach, Fla.-based HuckleBerry Pets on his #14 Office Depot Chevy. The small business featured on the highest-finishing driver's car will be named the 2011 "Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot," and if Biffle or Stewart wins the race, the small business on the winning car will walk away with $1 million. Both finalists receive a $10,000 small business makeover from Office Depot and a VIP experience this weekend at Atlanta.(RFR/Office Depot Racing)(8-31-2011)

  • AdvoCare 500 Weekend Traffic Plan: During this week's AdvoCare 500 race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the south side of Atlanta will experience increased traffic flow throughout the weekend. With more than 100,000 fans expected for the AdvoCare 500, please help us advise fans of the best routes for entering and exiting the speedway. Friday's events include the Coca-Cola Fan Stage, Labor Day Legends Invitational and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 200 mile race. Saturday evening will play host to the Great Clips 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The weekend will culminate with Sunday's AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Fans are encouraged to arrive early on Sunday due to increased traffic flow expected between 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm. For its fans, Atlanta Motor Speedway provides a free shuttle and tram service from all parking lots to each gate.
    Basic Traffic Plan for the AdvoCare 500 weekend (Sept. 2-4):
    Fans have a choice of which major route to take, either Hwy. 19/41 or Hwy. 20 from I-75 southbound. I-75 northbound race fans can exit at Exit 212 Hampton-Locust Grove Road or Exit 218, GA Hwy 20. Please choose which route to take based on where you would like to park on property; fans will be directed to a certain lot based on the direction from which they enter the speedway. Trams, shuttle buses and sidewalks will allow fans to get to their seats easily regardless of where they park on property. Be advised that the direction from which fans enter speedway property is the same direction to which they will exit out.
    ENTERING THE SPEEDWAY:
    From Hwy. 19/41:
    FROM THE NORTH: Those traveling from the North (traveling southbound on Hwy. 19/41) will be directed to parking lots on the north side of the property and should utilize Speedway Blvd. Those traveling south on Hwy. 19/41 will turn right at Speedway Boulevard and park in the yellow, red or green parking lots off of Speedway Blvd. Buses and those with vehicle credentials need to stay in the left lane, use the counter-flow lane as they approach the speedway and enter just south of the main entrance at entrance E.
    FROM THE SOUTH: Those traveling from the South (traveling northbound on Hwy. 19/41 from Griffin) will turn at the main speedway entrance and will be directed to the blue parking lot.
    From Hwy. 20: Those traveling on Hwy. 20 will be directed to the orange parking lot on the south side of the property.
    EXITING THE SPEEDWAY:
    Fans will be routed out the same way they came in. If they entered from the North, they will be directed northbound. Those who enter from the South will be directed southbound.
    For more information about the race weekend traffic plan, please contact Marcy Scott of Atlanta Motor Speedway at (770) 946-3951. For up-to-the-minute traffic updates during race weekend, please contact the traffic command center directly at (770) 707-5015.
    Georgia DOT urges travelers to call 511 for updated information about road/lane closures or construction projects. Georgia 511 is a free phone service that provides real-time traffic and travel information statewide, such as traffic conditions, incidents, lane closures, construction, and delays due to bad weather. Callers can also reach live operators to request assistance or report incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at www.511ga.org. Traffic information will also be provided by WSB 750 AM and 95.5 FM. Tune in throughout the weekend for the latest traffic news.(AMS)(8-31-2011)


    News from August 30, 2011

  • TV Ratings for Bristol: The live telecast of Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway was an anomaly for determining viewership and ratings due to effects of Hurricane Irene and other factors that split the telecast onto ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. The race aired in much of the country on ABC, but due to Hurricane Irene, many local stations on the East Coast pre-empted the race telecast for news about the storm. The race also aired on ESPN in eastern states from South Carolina to Maine as a backup for viewers in areas where hurricane news could possibly pre-empt the race, and on ESPN2 in eight markets where NFL pre-season games were airing. Only the ABC portion of the audience can be measured by the Nielsen Company and the race earned a 3.0 household U.S. rating, averaging 5.067,000 viewers. Last year's race, which aired on ABC around the country in normal fashion, earned a 4.4 rating. ESPN's live telecast of Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, averaging 1,439,000 viewers. Last year's Bristol race, which also aired on ESPN, earned a 1.6 rating.(ESPN), for past races, comparison chart, see the 2011 TV Ratings page.(8-30-2011)

  • Tire Testing at Phoenix UPDATE: Goodyear is conducting a tire test Monday and Tuesday (August 29-30) on Phoenix International Raceway's new surface, with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #48-Jimmie Johnson, #14-Tony Stewart, #99-Carl Edwards, #22-Kurt Busch and #18-Kyle Busch participating. The testing sessions will be closed to the general public.(PR)(8-29-2011)
    UPDATE Goodyear concludes tire test Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers – Johnson, Edwards, Stewart, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch – completed a two-day Goodyear tire test at Phoenix International Raceway on August 29-30. The tests ran from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day and provided NASCAR's official tire manufacturer with data and feedback on PIR's new racing surface following the August 12 completion of the track's first major paving project since 1990. The research gathered from the tests will assist Goodyear in selecting a tire for the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at PIR on November 13. In February, Phoenix International Raceway announced details related to the 47-year old NASCAR facility's first major track pavement project since 1990. Construction began in March with the removal of the facility's former racing surface and the subsequent installation of a new race track. Monday and Tuesday's tests offered all five drivers their first runs on a new surface that included a series of changes implemented to promote side-by-side racing. One such change, the alteration of PIR's signature back-stretch dog-leg to include banking and elevation variances, improved what Kurt Busch referred to as the "fun factor" at PIR. Tickets for the Kobalt Tools 500 are available now and start at just $25. For Phoenix International Raceway tickets and information, call 866-408-RACE (7223) or visit PhoenixRaceway.com.
    Race fans eager to see the stars of NASCAR take on Phoenix International Raceway's newly repaved and reconfigured 1-mile oval will have their first opportunity to do so during a Sprint Cup Series testing session at PIR on Tuesday, October 4. More info at PhoenixRaceway.com.(PIR)(8-30-2011)

  • Aflac and Edwards to run Childhood Cancer Awareness scheme: Aflac, the number one provider of supplemental insurance in the United States, and Carl Edwards, NASCAR driver of the #99 Aflac Ford, are teaming up to support National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2011. Edwards is scheduled to visit with children and families at the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta on Friday, and unveil the specially painted car he will drive during Sunday's race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway as part of the company's Friends of a Feather campaign. In addition to the visit to the Aflac Cancer Center by Carl Edwards, Aflac will officially unveil its new Childhood Cancer Awareness plush Aflac Duck, which will go on sale soon at www.aflac.com/friends. All of the proceeds from this special new duck will go to the Aflac Cancer Center along with a $20 donation from Aflac for every duck sold.
    The car unveiled for Sunday's race is designed with duck feathers painted from front to back inscribed with the names of some of the unsung heroes who have gone the extra mile for 12 year old Aflac Cancer Center patient Hannah Layfield. Hannah, like so many children facing cancer, has an army of people that have stood by her and her family during her multiple bouts with Leukemia. During Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Aflac wants to recognize the many people who come together to support children and families battling cancer as part of the Friends of Feather campaign. "Driving for Aflac is always special, but racing for kids like Hannah and the many people at the Aflac Cancer Center who support her takes it to another level," Carl Edwards said. "When I visit the Aflac Cancer Center it reminds me that courage isn't about driving a racecar, it's about brave young kids staring down cancer, determined to win. I'd love to win in their honor on Sunday night."(Aflac PR), see an image of the car on the #99 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2011)

  • Goodyear to have tire test at Bristol: Goodyear officials will return to Bristol Motor Speedway next month to continue development of a race tire suitable for the 0.533-mile concrete track, but the move is not in response to concerns following Saturday night's Irwin Tools Night Race, according to Goodyear officials. The test, scheduled for Sept. 27-28, had been planned well in advance of the race, officials said. Teams expected to participate are Earnhardt Ganassi Racing (#1-Jamie McMurray), Richard Petty Motorsports (#9-Marcos Ambrose), Germain Racing (#13-Casey Mears) and Furniture Row Racing (#78-Regan Smith). The tire used in this year's night race was the same combination for left- and right-side tires that was used in the 2010 night race. In addition, the right-side tire code was run previously this season at Auto Club Speedway and Kansas in Cup events, as well as Nashville for Nationwide and truck series races. Goodyear brought a different tire to BMS for the track's spring races this year, but was forced to change during the race weekend due to wear issues and a lack of rubber build-up on the racing surface.(Scene Daily)(8-30-2011)

  • Atlanta Chase clinch scenarios: Two races remain before the complete 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set, seedings and all. Here's what we know: Five drivers have clinched a Chase spot in some fashion. #18-Kyle Busch, five-time defending champion #48-Jimmie Johnson, #17-Matt Kenseth and #99-Carl Edwards have locked up a top-10 spot. #29-Kevin Harvick, on the strength of three 2011 victories, has clinched at least a Wild Card spot - and will likely cement a top-10 berth in this Sunday night's AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sunday's race in Atlanta will likely further shore things up. The "magic number" for Atlanta is 49. Leaving Atlanta, any driver who has a 49-point lead over 11th-place clinches a top-10 Chase spot (Note: If the driver in question owns the tiebreaker over 11th of best-finish, that magic number shrinks to 48.). Here are the clinch scenarios going into the weekend…
    #29-Kevin Harvick and #24-Jeff Gordon: Both 93 points ahead of 11th, Harvick and Gordon can guarantee a top-10 spot with at least a finish of 40th; or 41st and at least one lap led; or 42nd and the most laps led.
    #39-Ryan Newman: Currently 73 points ahead of 11th, Newman can guarantee a top-10 spot with at least a finish of 20th; or 21st and at least one lap led; or 22nd and the most laps led.
    #22-Kurt Busch: Currently 60 points ahead of 11th, Busch can guarantee a top-10 spot with at least a finish of seventh; or eighth and at least one lap led; or ninth and the most laps led.
    Both #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (39 points ahead of 11th) and #14-Tony Stewart (21 points ahead) can both mathematically reach that 49-point threshold but would need to help. No specific finish guarantees a spot.(NASCAR)(8-30-2011)

  • NASCAR Launches College Brand Ambassador Program: Students at select colleges and universities will return to campuses this fall to find NASCAR brand ambassadors hosting events including viewing parties and trips to their local tracks to witness firsthand the thrill and excitement of NASCAR racing. NASCAR U CREW, launched by NASCAR and managed with assistance and support from University Directories On Campus (UDOC), the leading campus media and marketing company in the United States, is designed to engage college students by establishing unique NASCAR events on campus and at the track. With the assistance of two brand ambassadors per school, NASCAR will be integrated into the college lifestyle of 12 colleges and universities in the 10 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup markets this fall. The 12 schools participating in the pilot program of NASCAR U CREW are: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; University of New Hampshire; University of Delaware; University of Kansas; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Auburn University; Virginia Tech; University of North Texas; Arizona State University; Florida International University; and University of Miami.(NASCAR)(8-30-2011)

  • At Atlanta Motor Speedway, stats & facts:
    • Originally called Atlanta International Raceway, the track was then a 1.5-mile paved speedway.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta was on July 31, 1960, won by Fireball Roberts from the pole.
    • The track was re-measured to 1.522 miles in the spring of 1970.
    • It was renamed Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1990.
    • The track layout was reversed and the track was re-configured to 1.54 miles between the two races in 1997.
    • There have been 103 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta Speedway, two races per year except 1961, which had three. This year marks the first season with only one.
    • Fireball Roberts won the pole and race for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race in 1960.
    • 45 drivers have won a pole, led by Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman, each with seven.
    • Six of Newman's seven poles came in consecutive races between March 2003 and October 2005.
    • 42 drivers have won a race; 22 have won more than once.
    • Dale Earnhardt scored nine victories, more than any other driver. Cale Yarborough is second, with seven.
    • Bobby Labonte heads the list of active drivers with six victories. Labonte is tied with Richard Petty for third on the all-time win list at Atlanta.
    • The Wood Brothers have 12 victories, more than any organization. They last won there in 1993, with Morgan Shepherd.
    • 14 races have been won from the pole. The last to do so was Kasey Kahne in 2006. Both races last season were won from the second starting position.
    • 59 races at Atlanta have been won from the first five starting positions.
    • Bobby Labonte won the 2001 fall race from the 39th starting position, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Atlanta.
    • There have been seven season sweeps, most recently by Jimmie Johnson in 2007.(NASCAR)(8-30-2011)

  • Kentucky Speedway buying land for more parking UPDATE: The rows of tobacco and corn growing on land across from Kentucky Speedway will be replaced next year by rows of cars. This week the speedway bought a large tract near Ky. 35 in Gallatin County from Jo Wischer. The 84-year-old Florence resident wouldn't talk Thursday about how much the speedway paid - which according to a deed filed with the Gallatin County Clerk's office was $1.5 million - for the "couple hundred acres," but said she knows how it intends to use the property. "The speedway will be taking care of parking with it," Wischer said. A fleet of earth-moving equipment was staged next to the weather-beaten tobacco barn on the 219-acre property formerly owned by Wischer. The tract includes 144 acres north of Interstate 71. Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger declined comment Thursday except to say that details would be forthcoming next week.(Cincinnati Enquirer)(8-27-2011)
    UPDATE: Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (SMI) announced the acquisition of a 143-acre parcel of land that will be used to greatly expand Kentucky Speedway parking and the hiring of professional parking and engineering services to best manage automotive and pedestrian traffic flows during venue event days. Because of the actions taken by the Speedway, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) pledged to improve surrounding highways to allow faster access to expanded parking areas. "We learned meaningful lessons during our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend and we committed that the traffic congestion that occurred on race day would not happen again. It was important for us to act quickly and I am thrilled to report this solution, which was formed in only seven short weeks. I compliment and thank SMI Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and KYTC Sec. Mike Hancock for working collaboratively on this plan," Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger said. The expansive parcel located east of the 107,000 capacity facility and state Highway 35 is expected to increase available event parking by 35 percent. The speedway will further improve its parking operation by reinforcing all areas with gravel and painting guidelines to help maximize available space. Veteran's Security and Patrol Co., which has extensive experience managing parking during events at prominent motorsports venues such as Daytona International Speedway, Pocono Raceway and Watkins Glen International, will begin servicing the speedway in October. Kentucky Speedway will additionally retain the services of a traffic engineering company that will employ sophisticated modeling techniques to assimilate the new improvements with existing infrastructure to create the best possible traffic management plan. SMI will invest an estimated $7.5 million in its service and parking improvements. The company has already begun engineering the newly-acquired land.
    "Kentucky Speedway is a premier destination for the country's best racing, and it's clear that tens of thousands of people want to be right here to experience those events. The NASCAR race weekend this July was a huge success, but it did experience traffic problems, caused largely by inadequate parking," said Gov. Beshear. "To assure visitors have an even better experience next year, we've worked hand in hand with SMI to plan improvements that will benefit fans on race day and Gallatin County residents year-round." The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) complemented the SMI commitments by approving several enhancements to existing infrastructure that will assist in moving traffic more quickly during future race events.
    Enhancements will:
    · Improve the Interstate 71 Exit 57 southbound ramp shoulder to allow three lanes of traffic to exit to KY 35 and directly access staggered speedway entrances during event days;
    · Improve nearly one mile of KY 35 from the I-71 interchange. Approximately 0.6 of a mile of KY 35 will be widened to five lanes with two full width shoulders to better service two primary speedway access roads and improve daily traffic flow to Warsaw;
    · Construct a tunnel beneath state KY 35 to safely and efficiently route pedestrian traffic to shuttles which transport fans to speedway gates.
    The Cabinet will support the $3.6 million project with its contingency fund, and plans to present the project for bid by the end of 2011 to ensure work will be complete before the summer of 2012.(Kentucky Speedway)(8-30-2011)

  • Tracks spared hurricane damage: Hurricane Irene proved to be more than a hindrance to several NASCAR tracks over the weekend, but officials at Richmond, New Hampshire and Dover expect upcoming race weekends to go off without a hitch. Although Richmond International Raceway suffered no major damage, as of Monday morning the area around the track remained without electricity. Richmond is scheduled to host the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Nationwide Series event on Sept. 9, followed by the Wonderful Pistachios 400 on Sept. 10. Turner said track officials are confident the facility will be ready to host the more than 90,000 fans expected to attend each evening. In three weeks, the series travels to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. According to NHMS director of communications Kristen Costa, the facility had minimal damage. At Dover, senior director of communications Gary Camp said track officials had enough lead time to stow important items. "We had no damage here at the track, fortunately," Camp said.(NASCAR.com)(8-30-2011)


    News from August 29, 2011

  • Harvick locked into chase: Add another Chase qualifier to your list. Although #29-Kevin Harvick’s name wasn’t announced Saturday night at Bristol, NASCAR’s subsequent review of the points standings showed that Harvick should have been included among those who will compete for the Sprint Cup championship in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Harvick has three victories and 782 points, tied with Jeff Gordon for fifth in the Cup standings. Harvick is 110 points ahead of one-time winner Denny Hamlin, who currently occupies the second wild-card position behind three-time winner Brad Keselowski. Even if Harvick finishes last in the next two races (scoring two points) and Hamlin wins both and leads the most laps (scoring 96 points), Harvick will get the wild card because of his higher finish in the standings.(Sporting News)(8-29-2011)

  • The Entry List for the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon (37/24)
    #30-David Stremme (44/12)
    #35-Geoffrey Bodine (51/4)
    #37-TBA (39/24)
    #38-J.J. Yeley (36/24)
    #46-Scott Speed (40/24)
    #55-Travis Kvapil (52/6)
    #50-T.J. Bell (49/10)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/24)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/24)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/24)
    #95-David Starr (45/4)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 38,7,37,46,66,87,60,30
    missing the race would be [3]: #'s 50,55,95,35
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Atlanta Entry List.(8-29-2011)

  • Earnhardt Jr. expects contact extension in "next few days": #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he expects to have the extension of his NASCAR Sprint Cup contract with Hendrick Motorsports completed in the next few days. "I feel pretty good where I am at and really happy who I am working with," Earnhardt said. "You have to be comfortable in your work environment, and I feel good with the people that I'm around. I trust (team owner) Rick (Hendrick). My sister (Kelley Earnhardt), who's a bit of my business manager, she gets along with everybody working there. They're working through a new contract, and all that stuff should be done in the next few days." The new contract is expected to be for five years, which would carry Earnhardt through the 2017 season. The driver affectionately known as Junior would be 43 at the end of that term.(Fox Sports)(8-29-2011)

  • Tire Testing at Phoenix: Goodyear is conducting a tire test Monday and Tuesday (August 29-30) on Phoenix International Raceway’s new surface, with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #48-Jimmie Johnson, #14-Tony Stewart, #99-Carl Edwards, #22-Kurt Busch and #18-Kyle Busch participating. The testing sessions will be closed to the general public.(PR)(8-29-2011)


    News from August 28, 2011

  • NASCAR plans more scoring loops at Bristol: Bristol Motor Speedway is unique among NASCAR Sprint Cup tracks in that it has two separate pit roads - one along each straightaway. That alignment does not fit well with NASCAR's modern method of pitting, which includes strict pit-road speeds and an attempt to make pit stops and the entrance to and exit from the pits as equal as possible. That was not the case in Saturday night's Irwin Tools Night Race at the track. Race winner Brad Keselowski and others appeared to benefit from the location of their pits, giving them more room to move faster in certain sections of pit road. Other pit spots were not as advantageous. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director John Darby admitted after the race that the situation was not ideal and said NASCAR will address it. "We understand what happened, and we're already looking at it," he said. "We'll probably put in two more scoring loops on each side of pit road." Darby's intent is to add loops on the Bristol surface, thus providing a closer read on speeds. Based primarily on their pit locations, some drivers were positioned to "speed" along portions of pit road, then quickly hit their brakes before being detected. Additional loops should take care of that discrepancy.(SPEED)(8-28-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Irwin Tools Night Race: For NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Saturday’s race. Recording the times began at the Invocation of the race at 7:30 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:34 PM (all times are EST). I did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ABC was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 112
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 53
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 22
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 15 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:34 PM
    Total minutes: 184
    Minutes of race broadcast: 132
    Minutes of commercials: 52
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Number of exciting years of Bristol racing: 50
    Total race brdcst time 132 Total comm. brdcst time 52
    For past races, links to more detailed reports, see my 2011 TV Commercials page.(8-28-2011)

  • Bowyer talking to other teams: Although he hopes to return to Richard Childress Racing in 2012, #33-Clint Bowyer is weighing offers from other teams. The latest is from Richard Petty Motorsports. According to RPM co-owner Andrew Murstein during a Saturday radio interview on SiriusXM Radio, Bowyer has an offer to drive a third car next year. "When we had that media day opportunity at the beginning of the year, I perhaps went a little further than I should and I said I wanted to add a third team pretty quickly, and Danica (Patrick) and Clint Bowyer came to mind," Murstein told SiriusXM at Bristol Motor Speedway. So we've been thinking about the third team for the last six months or so, and we're close to doing something. I don't know if it will be Clint." Bowyer admitted after the driver's meeting that he has talked to numerous teams about his next deal. "Obviously, that's what you've got to go and do right now, you've got to go out and get every offer possible, you know?" Bowyer said. "Go home and when it's time to make a decision, weigh them all out and make the best decision for your life, your performance and other things. Sources told ESPN.com that the big hang up has been Bowyer not wanting to take a pay cut, which many drivers have taken over the last year. Childress said he still expects things to work out with Bowyer. Bowyer, speculated to have a deal with 5-hour Energy to sponsor a portion of his races at RCR, said he "hopes" to return to RCR.(ESPN)(8-28-2011)

  • Robby Gordon planning to start and park without more sponsorship: #7-Robby Gordon plans to start and park in all but three of the remaining Cup races unless he can get additional sponsorship, he said at Bristol Motor Speedway. Gordon said he planned to run the entire race at Chicago, Texas and Phoenix because he has enough sponsorship for those races. If he gets more sponsorship, he'll run more races. Gordon also continues to build the energy drink company he created to help fund his racing programs. So, wouldn't it be better if Gordon skipped some races and be better prepared for the ones he ran instead of starting and parking most of the time? "If you don't come to the race track, you don't learn,'' Gordon said. "If you don't come to the race track, I can't help it that we can't find a sponsor to pay for right now. I can't help that. I've tried. Trevor Bayne doesn't have any sponsors on his car and he won the Daytona 500. That's the reality of it. We've tried hard, and this is what I love to do, so I'm going to continue to fight the fight.(Virginian-Pilot)(8-28-20100)

  • Sprint Summer Showdown field is set: With up to five spots available for the Sprint Summer Showdown, Brad Keselowski's win at Bristol on Saturday night locks in four drivers that could win a total of $3,000,000 if any of the four can take the checkered flag at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the Sept. 4 AdvoCare 500. Keselowski, the hottest driver on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit over the last month, won his second race during the Sprint Summer Showdown qualifying races and his third of the season at the Tennessee half-mile. Since breaking his left ankle in a testing crash at Road Atlanta, the Michigan native has four top-three finishes, including those two wins. Winning his second race during the Sprint Summer Showdown qualifying-races ensures four drivers will be eligible for the money bonus at AMS. Paul Menard, Brad Keselowski, Marcos Ambrose and Kyle Busch are the drivers that are eligible for the $1,000,000 payday if any of these four can take the checkered flag at the AdvoCare 500 at AMS over Labor Day weekend.
    Name, Race, Designated Charity
    #27-Paul Menard, Indianapolis, Habitat for Humanity
    #2-Brad Keselowski, Pocono, Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation
    #9-Marcos Ambrose, Watkins Glen International, Victory Junction
    #18-Kyle Busch, Michigan, Kyle Busch Foundation
    #2-Brad Keselowski, Bristol, Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation
    Atlanta Motor Speedway
    (Sprint Summer Showdown PR), for more info see Jayski's Contest page.(8-28-2011)

  • Wunder Beer Becomes 'Official Craft Beer' of Infineon Raceway: Wunder Beer has become the "Official Craft Beer" of Infineon Raceway. Wunder Beer, a product of Casa Fuego Spirits Company, Inc., will be the exclusive craft beer at all Infineon Raceway major-event weekends in 2012, including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. It will also have exclusive year-round signage at the raceway. The partnership is for three years. The showpiece of the relationship will be the Wunder Wall, which will be located adjacent to the Main Grandstand at Infineon Raceway and feature a variety of beers on tap for the 2012 race season. Other benefits include an internet-based promotional campaign, features in raceway publications and public-address announcements at major events.(Infineon Raceway)(8-28-2011)


    News from August 27, 2011

  • Keselowski wins at Bristol: #2-Brad Keselowski won the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 4th career win and 3rd win of 2011. He has finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 1st in his last 4 races. #56-Truex, Jr. finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson, #1-McMurray, #17-Kenseth, #11-Hamlin, #39-Newman (the pole sitter), #99-Edwards, and #9-Ambrose.
    #18-Busch, #48-Johnson, #17-Kenseth, and #99-Edwards have now clinched spots in the chase.
    Points leader going in to the race, #18-Busch, finished 14th. He is now tied with #48-Johnson with 830 points, but he has the top position because of his 4 wins.
    There were 22 lead changes among 10 drivers and 6 cautions for 42 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 156,000, up from 155,000 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air:
    ESPN2, Sunday, August 28 at 5:00am/et;
    SPEED, Wednesday, August 31 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Bristol Race Results/Awards page.(8-27-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Bristol, race 24 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 830
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 830, -0
    3) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 798, -32
    4) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 795, -35
    5) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 782, -48
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 782, -48
    7) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 762, -68
    8) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 749, -81
    9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 728, -102BR> 10) #14-Tony Stewart, 710, -105
    out of top 10, no wins, less then a race out of 10th
    12) #33-Clint Bowyer, 688, -142
    current wild cards
    WC1) #2-Brad Keselowski [3 wins], 689, -141 [11th in points, 3 wins]
    WC2) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 672, -158 [13th in points, 1 win]
    others in the top 20 with wins, possible for the wild card
    20) #27-Paul Menard [1 win], 631, -199 [18th in points, 1 win]
    Three race winners are not inside the top-20: #6-Ragan is 21st, 3 points out of 20th,m#9-Ambrose is 22nd, 4 points out of 20th; #78-Smith is 25th, 79 pts out of 20th
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as they are in the top-20 in points, then if no wins by drivers points.
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(8-27-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Atlanta:
    #71 increases it's lead to 49 over 36th in owners pts, the #38 team.
    33) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 337, +64
    34) #32-Labonte/FAS Lane, 330, +57
    35) #71-Lally/TRG, 322, 49 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 273, 49 points out of top 35
    37) #7-Gordon/RGM, 269, -53
    38) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 238,-84
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(8-27-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Bristol:
    Brad Keselowski won the 51st Annual IRWIN Tools Night Race, his fourth victory in 77 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in four races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Martin Truex Jr. (second) posted his first top-10 finish in 12 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2011.
    Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 21st top-10 finish in 38 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    The following drivers have clinched a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards. Kyle Busch, who clinched at least a Wild Card spot last week, has now clinched a top-10 spot.
    The drivers eligible for next week's Sprint Summer Showdown Presented by HTC EVO 3D $3 million bonus: Brad Keselowski (Pocono and Bristol), Paul Menard (Indianapolis), Marcos Ambrose (Watkins Glen) and Kyle Busch (Michigan).(NASCAR Statistics)(8-27-2011)

  • Robby Gordon will not give up #7 for Danica: Robby Gordon says he won't give Danica Patrick the #7 when she enters the Sprint Cup series part-time next season. "C'mon!'' Gordon said on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "Why would I?'' Patrick said on Thursday, when officially announcing plans to leave the IndyCar Series to drive a fulltime Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports and part-time Cup schedule for Stewart Haas Racing in 2012, that she'd like to keep the #7 that she's had throughout her motorsports career. Gordon, who has had the number for six years in Cup, isn't willing to bargain. "'I've built my business around the # 7,'' Gordon said. "It's all fun and games, but I think she should be proud to drive the #77.'' The 77 could be available. It hasn't been used for a full Cup schedule since Sam Hornish Jr. lost his ride at Penske Racing after the 2010 season.(ESPN)(8-27-2011)

  • NASCAR tightening up technical rules: A new NASCAR rule, or rather a stricter interpretation of the rules, was just issued to Sprint Cup teams. And reaction is mixed among crew chiefs, who worry the new rule - in part designed as a cost-limiting rule -- might further inhibit technological innovation on the stock car racing trail. The new rule requires teams to submit not only all car parts for pre-race week inspection at the sport's Concord, N.C., R&D center but also to submit all 'tweaks' in designs. The rule is in part a response to:
    • the oil-pan issues the Joe Gibbs teams had in June at Michigan, where all three teams showed up Friday with a new oil pan design which NASCAR officials didn't like.
    • the Clint Bowyer/2010 playoff controversy over the chassis design of his Loudon, N.H. race car.
    • and three, the possibility that a team could slip into the chase with a good run at Richmond (the last race of the regular season) by using a car with unapproved modifications not discovered until well after the race.
    The new rule further tightens the technological 'box' that Cup teams must work within these days. And teams have long complained about how tight that box already is. NASCAR Cup director John Darby says "It's just a better way to do business - before a car owner has to invest a lot of money in a part, we can approve it, because they make the big investment.(MikeMulhern.net)(8-27-2011)

  • Kentucky Speedway buying land for more parking: The rows of tobacco and corn growing on land across from Kentucky Speedway will be replaced next year by rows of cars. This week the speedway bought a large tract near Ky. 35 in Gallatin County from Jo Wischer. The 84-year-old Florence resident wouldn't talk Thursday about how much the speedway paid - which according to a deed filed with the Gallatin County Clerk's office was $1.5 million - for the "couple hundred acres," but said she knows how it intends to use the property. "The speedway will be taking care of parking with it," Wischer said. A fleet of earth-moving equipment was staged next to the weather-beaten tobacco barn on the 219-acre property formerly owned by Wischer. The tract includes 144 acres north of Interstate 71. Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger declined comment Thursday except to say that details would be forthcoming next week.(Cincinnati Enquirer)(8-27-2011)

  • Bristol Driver Introduction Songs: Instead of run-of-the-mill driver introductions, Bristol Motor Speedway lets Sprint Cup drivers stroll out in front of fans to snippets of the songs of their choice. The speedway on Friday afternoon released a song list for several drivers for Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race. Not all drivers released their song choices; Dale Earnhardt Jr. is keeping his pick a secret until he walks down the ramp. Selections we do know:
    • Carl Edwards — "Run This Town" by Jay Z.
    • Jimmie Johnson — "Don't Mess Around With Jim" by Jim Croce
    • Jeff Gordon — "E.I." by Nelly
    • Mark Martin — "La Grange" by ZZ Top
    • Kevin Harvick — "Show Me What You Got" by Jay-Z
    • Clint Bowyer — "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" by Waylon Jennings
    • Jeff Burton — A combination of "Coal Keeps The Lights On" by Dolly Parton and "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns 'n' Roses
    • Paul Menard — "Gypsy Road"
    • Kyle Busch — "Rowdy Busch" by Raytona500
    • Denny Hamlin — "Bad Meets Evil" by Fast Lane
    • Joey Logano — ESPN's SportsCenter theme song
    • Matt Kenseth — "Indestructible" by Disturbed
    • Greg Biffle — The Sanford and Son theme song
    • David Ragan — "I'm From The Country" by Tracy Byrd
    • Tony Stewart — "Throw the Hammer Down" by Derek Miller
    • Ryan Newman — "Big Green Tractor" by Jason Aldean
    • Kasey Kahne — "Made In America" by Toby Keith
    • Kurt Busch — "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix A Lot
    • David Reutimann — "Pretty Fly For A White Guy" by The Offspring
    • J.J. Yeley — "I'm Sexy And I Know It" by LMFAO.(USA Today)(8-27-2011)

  • Texas to host pre-race concert with Trace Adkins: Texas Motor Speedway is bringing top-tier entertainment to its Nov. 6 AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event with the AXE Salute Our Troops Pre-Race Show Featuring Trace Adkins. Adkins, a Grammy-nominated artist, will perform a 45-minute concert showcasing his hit songs on the frontstretch stage beginning at 12:30 p.m. CT. Adkins' concert will be the feature act of the 2˝-hour pre-race show leading up to the 2 p.m. CT green flag of the AAA Texas 500, the eighth race in the 10-event Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. In celebration of Veteran's Day on Nov. 11, AXE Hair and Unilever also are going to play host to approximately 5,000 military members and their families at the AAA Texas 500. The military contingent will be treated to frontstretch seats to the AAA Texas 500 as well as have the opportunity to watch the concert by Adkins and pre-race introductions stage-side.(TMS)(8-27-2011)


    News from August 26, 2011

  • Newman wins Bristol pole: #39-Ryan Newman won the Coors Light pole for the Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway with a speed of 122.811mph. It is his 2nd pole of the season and the 48th of his career. #99-Edwards starts 2nd followed by #17-Kenseth, #24-Gordon, #5-Martin, #1-McMurray. #27-Menard, #2-Keselowski, #20-Logano, and #22-Busch.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #87-Nemechek, #30-Stremme, #66-McDowell, #38-Kvapil, #46-Speed, #95-Starr, #7-Gordon, and #60-Skinner.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #50-Bell, #55-Yeley, and #37-Green.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Bristol Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(8-26-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Bristol:
    Ryan Newman won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 51st Annual IRWIN Tools Night Race with a lap of 15.624 seconds, 122.811 mph.
    This is his 48th pole in 356 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Newman ranks 10th on the all-time pole-winners list.
    This is his second pole and 10th top-10 start in 2011. His first pole this season came at New Hampshire, a race he won.
    This is his third pole in 20 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Carl Edwards (second) posted his 14th top-10 start of 2011 and his eighth in 15 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 10th top-10 start at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his seventh in 24 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-26-2011)

  • added images from Bristol: #00 Aaron's Freedom Ride, #1 Bass Pro Shops / Realtree, #5 Farmers Insurance, #14 Bass Pro Shops / Office Depot / Realtree, #16 3M, #18 DoubleMint Gum, #29 Bad Boy Buggies / Realtree, #30 EchoStor, #33 Hamburger Helper, #39 Bass Pro Shops / Realtree, #46 Green Stuff, #87 AM / FM Energy, #88 AMP/ Bristol Motor Speedway Anniversary and #99 Aflac Dental

  • Farmers 2012 car unveiled: the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy that Kasey Kahne will drive for Hendrick Motorsports in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was unveiled. Kahne designed the paint scheme himself. “I hope you guys like my 2012 Farmers paint scheme,” Kahne said. “It was cool to be a part of the process, and I appreciate Farmers letting me have some input on the car design.”
    “The new design is a winner,” said Paul Patsis, president of Enterprise Marketing for Farmers Insurance. “We are so pleased Kasey took such an active role in the redesign, and we think it represents our partnership well: it’s dynamic, it’s fresh and full of energy.”(HMS), see an image of the scheme on the 2012 #5 Team Schemes page.(8-26-2011)

  • Stewart looking for driver to split ride with Danica: Tony Stewart is searching for a driver and sponsor that will split the 2012 Sprint Cup schedule with Danica Patrick, who announced on Thursday she will drive eight to 10 races next year for Stewart-Haas Racing. The purpose would be to keep Patrick's car ranked in the top 35 in points, guaranteeing her and sponsor GoDaddy.com a spot in the starting lineup each week. "We'd love to,'' Stewart said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "If we can put together a package to run somebody in the rest of the races we'd love to do that. It's in everybody's best interest to do that. It would be good for us as a team to be able to go ahead and run that car full-time if that opportunity presents itself.'' Among the drivers who have surfaced is Mark Martin, who is driving the GoDaddy.com Cup car for Hendrick Motorsports this season. Sources said the key for Martin would be finding a sponsor. GoDaddy.com CEO and founder Bob Parsons was noncommittal when asked if he would sponsor the remainder of the season for the third SHR car. Stewart said he has not set Patrick's Cup schedule yet, although Patrick said the odds of her debut coming in the 2012 Daytona 500 were good.(ESPN)(8-26-2011)

  • Qualifying Order for the Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #32-Labonte, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #99-Edward, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Bristol Qualifying Page.(8-26-2011)

  • Final practice for the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over after 45 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #99-Edwards 120.354
    #30-Stremme 120.331
    #42-Montoya 119.977
    #33-Bowyer 119.925
    #31-Burton 119.895
    slowest: ##32-Labonte 115.884 & #71-Lally 115.105.
    notes: Midway through the session, #16-Biffle spun off turn two but did not hit anything.
    See fastest speeds, best average speeds, most laps run on the Bristol Practice Speeds Page. (8-26-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #30-David Stremme, 2nd
    #95-David Starr, 11th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 13th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 15th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 16th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 17th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 20th
    #55-J.J. Yeley, 24th
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #46-Scott Speed, 26th
    #37-Jeff Green, 28th
    #50-T.J. Bell, 42nd

  • Friday's first practice for the IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over after 120 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #99-Edwards 121.528
    #5-Martin 121.412
    #17-Kenseth 120.885
    #2-Keselowski 120.535
    #4-Kahne 120.505
    slowest: #71-Lally 117.129 & #32-Labonte 115.898.
    See fastest speeds, best average speeds, most laps run on the Bristol Practice Speeds Page.(8-26-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #30-David Stremme, 23rd
    #37-Jeff Green, 25th
    #46-Scott Speed, 27th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 28th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 32nd
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 33rd
    #60-Mike Skinner, 34th
    #50-T.J. Bell 37th
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #55-J.J. Yeley, 41st
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 42nd
    #95-David Starr, 44th

  • Bass Pro on 3 cars at Bristol: NASCAR fans will be seeing triple during the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol on Saturday, August 27th as the world famous Bass Pro Shops logo will be seen not just on the Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray but also on the hood of Stewart-Hass Racing's #14 Chevy driven by Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman's #39 Chevy. The three Sprint Cup Cars are Bass Pro Shops way of celebrating the start of the nation's fall hunting seasons and to kick off a special promotion celebrating Bass Pro Shops three ways to shop and take care of all their customers hunting needs through their award winning destination retail stores, catalogs and online at www.basspro.com.(Bass Pro PR)(8-26-2011)

  • Chase Clinch scenarios for Bristol: Only three races remain in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' 26-race regular season, and little has been decided in terms of championship hopefuls. Here's what we know right now: #18-Kyle Busch is locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. That's it. Busch clinched a spot with his win at Michigan, thereby nabbing at least one of the two Wild Card spots in the 12-driver Chase. It's likely he'll soon clinch a top-10 spot, probably this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. After race No. 26 at Richmond, the top-10 drivers in points set a portion of the 12-driver Chase field. Spots 11 and 12 go to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, provided they are in the top 20. Here's what we might know after Saturday night's annual fan-favorite IRWIN Tools Night Race: Seven more drivers could join Busch in the Chase.
    The "magic number" for a clinching driver after Bristol is 97. Any driver 97 points ahead of 11th place will clinch a spot in the Chase. These drivers can mathematically clinch this weekend: #48-Jimmie Johnson, #29-Kevin Harvick, #99-Carl Edwards, #17-Matt Kenseth,#24- Jeff Gordon, #39-Ryan Newman and #22-Kurt Busch. Only Busch and Johnson "control their own destiny" in terms of clinching a top-10 spot; the others need some help in the way of lower-positioned drivers having a low finish.
    And finally, these drivers will lock up at least a Wild Card spot by winning this weekend: Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards.(NASCAR)(8-26-2011)

  • Gunselman takes over #37 team: As of last week MaxQ motorsports and owner Larry Gunselman has entered into an agreement to take over the #37 Sprint Cup team. Bob Jenkins will be a minority owner for the remainder of 2011. Max Q has been operating the #37 team in parnership under the Front Row banner since Phoenix. NASCAR approved the transfer last week. Max Q Motorsports is looking forward to the remainder of the 2011 season and is activley loooking for marketing partners for 2011 and 2012.(Max Q Motorsports)
    AND: Bebida Beverage Company announced , after a fantastic response from backing Fas Lane Racing and driver Ken Schrader at Michigan International Speedway in last week's NASCAR Sprint Cup event, it will shift gears and NASCAR teams to back Kentucky's own, former Nationwide series Champion Jeff Green. Green will be driving the MAXQ NASCAR Sprint Cup Car #37 in this week's event at Thunder Valley in Bristol, TN in the Irwin Tools Night Race 500. BeBevCo's Relaxation drink KOMA Unwind will once again be the primary sponsor for the Ford entry.(PRN Newswire)(8-26-2011)

  • Conway, Front Row settle lawsuits: Kevin Conway, his marketing company and sponsor Extenze have settled lawsuits with Front Row Motorsports with no money going to either side, Conway attorney Sam McGee said Wednesday. Front Row had sued for $3.6 million, including $2.754 million in sponsorship fees, it alleged was owed by Conway, Conway's company and Extenze for the 2010 season. Conway had also filed complaints against Front Row for about $340,000 in salary, purse money and rookie program money he alleged he was owed. A trial in the controversy was scheduled for this week in North Carolina Superior Court in Charlotte, but after hearings for summary judgment, the sides settled, McGee said Wednesday. "These parties have all now washed their hands of each other and taking full dismissals [of the cases]," McGee said. "The parties have resolved the case in a way that the defendants were not paying money to Front Row. Neither is paying anything."(Scene Daily)(8-26-2011)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing, NASCAR Hall of Fame to Honor Richie Evans at New Hampshire: Tommy Baldwin Racing will team up with the NASCAR Hall of Fame at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to celebrate Richie Evans' upcoming induction as part of the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Golden Corral/HOF/Richie Evans Chevrolet for the SYLVANIA 300 on Sunday, September 25th. TBR Development Driver Bobby Santos will drive a Richie Evans tribute #4 Mystic Missile Dodge for the New Hampshire 100 Whelen Modified Tour race on Saturday, September 24th. Evans, who is recognized as the "king" of modified racing, captured nine NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championships in a 13-year span, which included eight consecutive championships from 1978-85. "The Rapid Roman" collected multiple track championships across the Northeast and hundreds of victories, including a 37-win season during a stretch of 60 modified races in 1979. Evans was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. Golden Corral and TBR will pay tribute to Evans by running an orange and light blue paint scheme modeled after the last modified Evans drove. Santos and the Mystic Missile Team will run a similar-themed modified on Saturday.(TBR)(8-26-2011)

  • Bush's Baked Beans returns to JTG Racing: This weekend Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing hope they have the found the right ingredients to be a strong contender in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway with Bush's Baked Beans front and center of the #47 Toyota fielded by JTG Daugherty Racing. "Bush's Beans is on our Toyota Camry for both Bristol and Atlanta Motor Speedway," Labonte said.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(8-26-2011)

  • DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout Results Week 3: Last weekend's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Raceway marked the third week of the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout competition. Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth secured a seat in the Fastest Four leading into the competition's finale this weekend at Bristol. Each driver earned an additional $25,000 for his charity totaling $39,375 for each of the Fastest Four driver's charity of choice. Drivers will accrue a total of $400,000 for charity in the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout while one fan will win a new truck from the manufacturer of the winning driver.
    Week 3 Fast Facts:
    So far, $240,000 in charitable donations have been earned by the field of 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesTM drivers making up the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout competition.
    Gordon surpassed Edwards due to mechanical difficulties in the #99 Ford. Edwards was forced to the garage at lap 35 and finished the race 26 laps down.
    Allmendinger and Kenseth battled for their DIRECTV Head2Head position until the checkered flag. Kenseth finished just ahead of Allmendinger in 10th position.
    Keselowski's top-five winning streak continued in Michigan. The #2 of Keselowski up-rooted Harvick in the competition.
    See results and quotes on Jayski's NASCAR Charity page. More info at directv.com and see the game at ESPN. Feel free to join the group Jayski "Fan"atics run by Mark Garrow.(8-26-2011)

  • Some tickets in short supply at Atlanta: As the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR night racing weekend quickly approaches, fans are encouraged to act fast to secure the limited number of $39 tickets that remain for the Sunday, Sept. 4 event. Several of the speedway's most-affordable options, including the $39 Elliott Grandstand ticket, are in limited quantity, with several no longer available. Other ticket options are in limited supply, and customers should contact the speedway ticket office today to learn about their best options for watching their favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars battle on the 1.54-mile high-banks. For ticket information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(8-26-2011)

  • Bristol Season Ticket Holders to have Wall of Fame: Bristol Motor Speedway's thousands of loyal fans are being recognized in a rather unique way during its 50th anniversary celebration throughout August race weekend. Thousands of iBelong Season Ticket Holders at NASCAR's most popular track now have their names placed on the inside retaining wall near the exit of Turn 4. BMS is the first track to honor its fans in this manner. "This is simply another way to show our fans just how important they are to us," said Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell. "These folks are absolutely the best and we wanted to do something a little different - and special - to make sure they realized just how appreciative we are of their support.(BMS)(8-26-2011)


    News from August 25, 2011

  • Latest on Danica...to NASCAR in 2012: UPDATES - Official Announcement: Danica Patrick next week will formally announce her intent to move to NASCAR full-time in 2012, multiple sources with knowledge of her contract negotiations told ESPN. Although her contracts are still being finalized, Patrick -- who has raced in both the IndyCar Series and the Nationwide series this season and last season -- will drive the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy for the entire 2012 Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports, sources said. She also plans to enter select Sprint Cup races next season in cars prepared by Stewart-Haas Racing, with the intent to move to Sprint Cup full-time in a multiyear deal with Stewart-Haas in 2013, sources said. Patrick is expected to make the announcement in Phoenix, where GoDaddy.com is headquartered, in a news conference currently being arranged, according to sources. JR Motorsports representatives said Wednesday they have "nothing new to report." It is unknown at this time how this may affect Patrick's ability to compete in the 2012 Indianapolis 500, sources said.(ESPN)(8-17-2011)
    UPDATE: The news conference that tentatively was scheduled for Wednesday to announce the move of IndyCar Series star Danica Patrick to NASCAR full-time in 2012 has been postponed.Multiple sources said GoDaddy.com, which is planning the official announcement in Phoenix, is optimistic the news conference will be rescheduled for Thursday. Sources told ESPN.com it was postponed because of delays in dealing with multiple parties involved in the process. According to sources, Patrick will drive a full-time Nationwide Series schedule in 2012 for JR Motorsports, for whom she drove part-time this season and last. She also will drive a part-time Sprint Cup schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing, with an eye on a full-time Cup ride there in 2013.(ESPN)(8-24-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Danica Patrick will make her debut in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series in the 2012 Daytona 500. While Patrick does not plan to run a full Cup schedule until 2013, she will do eight to 10 Cup races next year with Stewart-Haas Racing, beginning with the Daytona 500, a source familiar with the announcement said Wednesday night. Patrick will run her Nationwide schedule, as she has the past two seasons, with JR Motorsports and all Cup races will be run out of SHR. GoDaddy.com will sponsor all of Patrick’s NASCAR races, sources said.(Charlotte Observer)
    UPDATE 3: Putting the pedal to the media metal, and with Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons at her side … Danica revealed her racing future today. “We can finally put the rumors to rest – I am going full-time NASCAR with Go Daddy next year,” Danica told a crowded Phoenix news conference a few minutes ago. “I am going to race a full Nationwide schedule and limited Sprint Cup schedule in my GoDaddy.com Chevrolet next season.” For the NASCAR Nationwide Series races, she’ll drive with her current stock car team, JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Danica will be with Stewart-Haas Racing, co-owned by two-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. Both series will be financially fueled by Go Daddy, her long-time sponsor who first signed the Go Daddy Girl in 2006.(JR Motorsports)(8-25-2011)
    Statement from NASCAR CEO Brian France: “We are pleased Danica Patrick has chosen to race full time in NASCAR in 2012. She has demonstrated a strong desire to compete and NASCAR provides the best opportunity to race against the top drivers in the world with the largest and most loyal fan base in motorsports on a week-to-week basis. Danica has shown solid improvement in NASCAR and we believe her decision to run full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, with additional races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will be exciting for our fans and a great challenge for her.”(NASCAR)(8-25-2011)
    Statement from Tony Stewart: “We’re very excited to have Danica Patrick and Go Daddy join Stewart-Haas Racing in 2012 for a limited NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule with the intention of us running her full-time in Sprint Cup in 2013. We’re proud of the fact she wants to come and be a part of Stewart-Haas Racing and what we’ve built with Ryan Newman and myself and all of our partners. Having Danica and Go Daddy as a combination at SHR is something we’re really looking forward to. The thing you see in Danica right away is how determined she is to be good at what she does. She’s very dedicated to taking the time and effort to make the transition from Indy cars to stock cars. She has talent, she has the right mindset and she has the proper drive and determination. It doesn’t matter who it is you’re looking for, those are the key attributes that you look for in a driver, and Danica’s got them.”(Stewart Hass Racing)(8-25-2011)
    UPDATE 4: Kelley Earnhardt, co-owner and general manager of JR Motorsports, said in a conference call Thursday afternoon, a couple of hours after Patrick had made her announcement that she'll not only drive full-time for JR Motorsports in Nationwide but also that she'll drive in eight to 10 Sprint Cup races for Stewart-Haas Racing. Earnhardt said there never really was a chance of JR Motorsports fielding a Cup car for Patrick. "We discussed whether or not that would make sense for everyone involved. And quite frankly, JR Motorsports isn't ready to bite that bullet," she said. "We have partners under the JR Motorsports umbrella -- like Stewart-Haas Racing -- that were interested in adding cars to their fold on the Sprint Cup side. So I think it worked out best for everybody." Earnhardt also said she understands Patrick's desire to perhaps race in the Indianapolis 500 next year, but made it clear that she expects Patrick's top priority -- even during the month of May -- to be her Nationwide team.(NASCAR.com)(8-25-2011)

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post these] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on the Bristol Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • 5-Hour Energy to the #33? Home Depot to the #99? Clint Bowyer would like nothing more than to extend his contract with Richard Childress Racing but despite both the driver and owner publicly admitting their desire to remain together, nothing has been announced. The reported hold-up is around finding necessary sponsorship for the RCR #33 entry, which will lose General Mills at the end of this season. Current Steven Wallace Nationwide Series sponsor 5-Hour Energy continues to be in the mix as a potential replacement but right now there is no agreement.
    AND: Aflac is expected back in a limited role but the Michigan garage area was rampant with rumors Home Depot, who reportedly coveted having Edwards as its spokesperson had me made the move to Joe Gibbs Racing, might find its way to the #99 car. The home improvement giant has been a staple of the JGR sponsor stable for years, dating back to its two Sprint Cup championships with Tony Stewart. However since Joey Logano took over the ride from the departed Stewart, the struggling performance level for the young driver has forced Home Depot management to watch arch rival Lowes grab the spotlight for five years running with Jimmie Johnson's title runs.(CBS Sports)(8-25-2011)

  • Sadler settles suit with Richard Petty Motorsports: Elliott Sadler and Richard Petty Motorsports have settled a lawsuit filed by Sadler against his former team. The settlement terms are confidential, said Sadler attorney John Buric. Sadler had filed the suit in May in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C., and claimed in court documents that his former team was withholding a payment to him because it accused him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc. The amount Sadler was seeking was never listed in the complaint.(Scene Daily)(8-25-2011)

  • All-Star Showdown gets canceled: The NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, an annual event at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale that started in 2003 and attracted the top developmental drivers in the country, has been canceled. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Joey Logano and David Gilliland have won the All-Star Showdown before moving up the stock car ladder. X-Games star Travis Pastrana made his NASCAR debut at the All-Star Showdown this past January. Bob DeFazio, the vice president and chief operating officer of Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, said he was not surprised that NASCAR cancelled the All-Star Showdown. "It didn't come out of nowhere," DeFazio said. "Negotiations have been ongoing with NASCAR and Toyota. I'm sure the economy had something to do with this." The Showdown was one of the more popular events at Irwindale, attracting sell-out crowds. It was televised nationally on Speed. The Showdown started as a one-day, two-race event and was eventually expanded to three races over two days. DeFazio added that the contract between Toyota and NASCAR expired at the end of the Showdown in 2011. The two sides were negotiating a deal before the Showdown race in 2011. Ultimately, NASCAR could not work out a deal with Toyota and no other sponsor stepped forward to take its place, DeFazio said.(ESPN)(8-25-2011)

  • RCR Releases pit crew coach UPDATE: Less than one day after #29-Kevin Harvick had trouble on pit road at Michigan International Speedway, Richard Childress Racing released pit-crew coach Matt Clark, SPEED sources confirmed Monday. Clark, who had the title of Director of Human Performance and Leadership Development at RCR, had been with the team since January 2008. In that position, he was charged with assembling and coaching RCR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series over-the-wall pit crews. The 40-year-old Clark previously had worked with Hendrick Motorsports in a variety of capacities from 2001 to 2007. Prior to that, he was with Team Rensi and had worked in the athletic departments of both Albertus Magnus College and South Central College, both institutions in New Haven, Conn. Calls to RCR seeking comment were not immediately returned. (SPEED)(8-22-2011)
    UPDATE: RCR has replaced Clark with Eric Wilson. Wilson is currently the jackman for Harvick’s #29 pit crew and was a jackman and coach for Richard Petty Motorsports last season.(NASCAR Insiders)(8-25-2011)

  • Farmers Insurance returns to the #5: Farmers Insurance returns to the hood of the #5 Chevy driven by Mark Martin this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. This will mark Farmers final race of the 2011 season before coming on board as the primary sponsor on the #5 team in 2012. The 2012 #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet will be unveiled layer-by-layer this week on HendrickMotorsports.com. Each day at 12 p.m. ET, a new layer of the Chevy's paint scheme, designed by 2012 driver Kasey Kahne, will be revealed. The final, complete scheme will go live at noon on Friday.(HMS)(8-25-2011)

  • Special Scheme for Bowyer at Bristol: For the first and only time during the 2011 NSCS season, the red and black Hamburger Helper paint scheme will adorn Bowyer's #33 Chevy this weekend at the half-mile bullring of Bristol Motor Speedway.(RCR)(8-25-2011)

  • Fans to get Bristol trading cards at Irwin Tools Night Race: Fifty years of racing at Bristol Motor Speedway has produced some of the sport's most significant moments and created lasting memories for race fans. In celebration of the track's golden anniversary, every fan through the gates for the Aug. 27 IRWIN Tools Night Race will receive a sheet of trading cards highlighting some of the most memorable events in Bristol's history. Among the 24 trading cards is one featuring the infamous wreck from the 1999 Night Race in which Dale Earnhardt knocked Terry Labonte out of the way en route to his ninth win at BMS, as well as Darrell Waltrip's history-making seventh straight Bristol win in 1984 and Davey Allison's celebration of his photo-finish victory over Mark Martin in 1990. There are four different sheets of the BMS trading cards and each fan will receive one sheet, enabling them to trade with their fellow race fans that evening, prior to the start of the IRWIN Tools Night Race.(BMS)(8-25-2011)

  • "Race Day with Juan" at Homestead: Homestead-Miami Speedway, for the third consecutive year, is partnering with Juan Pablo Montoya to create "Race Day with Juan"-an exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity prior to the Nov. 20 Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The "Race Day with Juan" package benefits the Formula Smiles Foundation and includes: Ticket to Sprint Cup Championship-finale Ford 400 (Turn 1, rows 11-21), Private pre-race meet-and-greet with Montoya in the infield Driver's Meeting Room, Pre-Race Pit Pass access to front-stretch for photos, autographs, Q&A sessions, #42 Target commemorative lanyard and credential holder, $42 donation to the Formula Smiles Foundation headed by Montoya and wife Connie. To purchase "Race Day with Juan" ($142)-or to upgrade to this package if tickets already have been purchased-please visit HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com/Montoya or call (866) 409-RACE.(HMS)(8-25-2011)


    News from August 24, 2011

  • Evernham returning to NASCAR garage: Former championship-winning crew chief and Sprint Cup Series team owner Ray Evernham told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he will return to the NASCAR garage next season in an unofficial capacity with Hendrick Motorsports. Evernham has spent this season away from the NASCAR garage, working as a consultant for the Hendrick Companies overseeing strategic initiatives for Hendrick's auto dealerships and aftermarket retail business, while driving his own Sprint Car in a limited schedule of events, He said his driving career could come to an end in the near future, however, as he transitions back to NASCAR in 2013. "I've got six or seven more Sprint Car races before the end of the year, then I'm probably going to have to make a decision about how much I'm going to race next year," said Evernham. "I'd like to get back to the (NASCAR) race track more in 2012, so I think my Sprint car racing is going to suffer." Evernham said he has no desire to return to the crew chief ranks, saying his role will be unofficial and undefined. "I will have no real official capacity, other than being a part of Hendrick Motorsports," he said.(Sirius-Speedway)(8-24-2011)

  • Latest on Danica...to NASCAR in 2012: UPDATE: Danica Patrick next week will formally announce her intent to move to NASCAR full-time in 2012, multiple sources with knowledge of her contract negotiations told ESPN. Although her contracts are still being finalized, Patrick -- who has raced in both the IndyCar Series and the Nationwide series this season and last season -- will drive the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy for the entire 2012 Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports, sources said. She also plans to enter select Sprint Cup races next season in cars prepared by Stewart-Haas Racing, with the intent to move to Sprint Cup full-time in a multiyear deal with Stewart-Haas in 2013, sources said. Patrick is expected to make the announcement in Phoenix, where GoDaddy.com is headquartered, in a news conference currently being arranged, according to sources. JR Motorsports representatives said Wednesday they have "nothing new to report." It is unknown at this time how this may affect Patrick's ability to compete in the 2012 Indianapolis 500, sources said.(ESPN)(8-17-2011)
    UPDATE: The news conference that tentatively was scheduled for Wednesday to announce the move of IndyCar Series star Danica Patrick to NASCAR full-time in 2012 has been postponed.Multiple sources said GoDaddy.com, which is planning the official announcement in Phoenix, is optimistic the news conference will be rescheduled for Thursday. Sources told ESPN.com it was postponed because of delays in dealing with multiple parties involved in the process. According to sources, Patrick will drive a full-time Nationwide Series schedule in 2012 for JR Motorsports, for whom she drove part-time this season and last. She also will drive a part-time Sprint Cup schedule for Stewart-Haas Racing, with an eye on a full-time Cup ride there in 2013.(ESPN.com)(8-24-2011)

  • Advocare sponsoring Starr for five races: Leavine Family Racing, single-team operation in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, announced a multi-race sponsorship of the #95 Ford with AdvoCare International LP. AdvoCare announced at its national convention that they reached an agreement with LFR to serve as the primary sponsor of the #95 Ford driven by David Starr for five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season: Bristol, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas, and Texas. AdvoCare logos will be featured prominently on the team's race car, perfectly complimenting the vehicle's red and blue paint scheme designed by NASCAR artist Sam Bass. AdvoCare will make its nationwide NASCAR debut Wednesday, Aug. 25, in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The premier health and wellness company headquartered in Plano, Texas, will sponsor Starr in all three of NASCAR's national touring divisions this week at Bristol, including Friday night's Food City 250 and Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race. AdvoCare is also a title sponsor of the Labor Day Weekend NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race, the AdvoCare 500, at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Leavine Family Racing)(8-24-2011)

  • Aaron's Freedom Ride 2011 on the #00 at Bristol: At Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway, David Reutimann's #00 Aaron's Toyota carries a special paint scheme honoring the Aaron's Freedom Ride 2011. About 25 Atlanta firefighters plan to ride bicycles 1,035 miles from Atlanta to New York City and through 13 cities along the way to commemorate the lives of the firefighters and first responders who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 attack. But it's more than just a paint scheme to Jack Weiss. Weiss has been Reutimann's motorhome driver since 2004, but on 9/11 he was driving a tractor trailer at a construction site in Yonkers, N.Y. about 10 miles from Ground Zero across the Hudson River. The 27-year veteran of the Yonkers Police Department watched as the buildings fell and spent countless hours in the months after the tragedy restoring the area.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(8-24-2011)

  • Fans on the hood of the #34 at Bristol: David Gilliland's #34 Ford Fusion has run a different look the last five races: a blank hood to show that Front Row Motorsports continues to look for sponsorship partners. But this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, the team will share that space with dozens of race fans. During Saturday's Irwin Tools Night race, the hood of Gilliland's Ford will sport the names of the fans who participated in a special Front Row Motorsports-themed ticket package offered by the speedway for the track's 50th anniversary. The package included a grandstand ticket, a race-day meet-and-greet with Gilliland and teammate Travis Kvapil, a Front Row/Bristol 50th Anniversary hat and the ticket holder's name on the #34 Ford for one of the most anticipated races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(8-24-2011)

  • The Numbers for the Irwin Tools Night Race Bristol Motor Speedway:
    0 - fewest cautions for a race at Bristol Motor Speedway (7/11/71)
    0 - fewest lead changes for a race (3/25/73)
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (7/26/64 - Fred Lorenzen)
    4 - number of jet dryers available for track drying during race weekend
    7 - number of consecutive wins by Darrell Waltrip at BMS (1981 - 1984)
    16 - most wins by a car owner (Junior Johnson)
    20 - most cautions for a race at BMS (three times, most recent 8/23/03)
    34 - races won from the front row (22 from the pole)
    38 - different winners at BMS in 101 Sprint Cup races
    40 - most lead changes (4/14/91)
    42 - number of cars that started first race at Bristol in 1961
    60 - minutes, the minimum amount of time it takes to dry the .533-mile track after a significant rainfall
    157,574 - number of fans that established the Guinness World Record for the world's largest audience wave at BMS (August 23, 2008)
    2011 Caution Update
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono1)
    6 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    10 - number of cautions in spring race (March 20) at BMS
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    167 - number of cautions in the first 23 races of 2011; includes 77 for accidents, 40 for debris and 24 for spins
    774 of 6,251 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    1,143.611 of 9,166,258 - miles under caution in the first 23 races.(Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(8-24-2011)

  • Texas Motor Speedway announces 2012 schedule: Texas Motor Speedway's 2012 racing schedule will feature the opening Saturday night race of the Sprint Cup Series season, the eighth race in the Chase and the only twin racing format in the IndyCar Series as part of its 10-day, 15-event motorsports season. The Samsung Mobile 500 and AAA Texas 500 will highlight the start and culmination of the Sprint Cup season, respectively, while the Firestone Twin 275s will once again be the most unique event on the IndyCar Series schedule. The Samsung Mobile 500 will mark the first Saturday night race of the Sprint Cup season on April 14 while the AAA Texas 500 returns Sunday, Nov. 4, as the eighth stop in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff format. The Firestone Twin 275s - the first twin races in IndyCar Series history that debuted last year - will follow the Indianapolis 500 and an off week on Saturday, June 9. The 2012 schedule will once again feature two visits by all three major series in NASCAR - Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series - and sandwich the single visit by the IndyCar Series in the summer. Start times for each event will be announced at a later date.(TMS)(8-245-2011)

  • Bristol 50th anniversary poster given away with souvenir program: Bristol Motor Speedway's celebration of its 50th anniversary continues during the upcoming August race weekend with a special poster and souvenir program to commemorate the occasion. The program features a cover by NASCAR artist Sam Bass that gives a nod to the most successful drivers in the track's history: Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch. Inside the program are numerous photos and stories tracing a half century of Bristol racing. With the purchase of the program comes a poster, created by Roger Warrick, which features all 26 drivers who have won the second race of the season at BMS, including all of the drivers on the cover of the program. Among the other drivers on the poster are Hall of Famers Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and Ned Jarrett, as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Alan Kulwicki, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Benny Parsons and Ernie Irvan. The poster will be given away as part of the souvenir program package, which includes the program, a BMS collectible car and a plastic sleeve to protect the program. Cost of the program package is only $10. Fans wishing to purchase the $15 package also will receive a BMS racing t-shirt. The program goes on sale Wednesday, Aug. 24 just in time for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200/UNOH Perfect Storm 150 doubleheader at BMS, and will be sold throughout race weekend.(BMS)(8-24-2011)


    News from August 23, 2011

  • Vampt Beverage Sponsorship for Yeley at Atlanta: Fans of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be introduced to the Vampt Beverage Corp. brand and its "GET VAMPT" call-to-action on Labor Day weekend when J.J. Yeley drives Front Row Motorsports' #38 Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Vampt will be the primary sponsor of Yeley and the #38 Vampt Ford Fusion for the AdvoCare 500 race weekend September 2 through 4, 2011. The deal, which was brokered by Genuine Partners, marks Vampt Beverage Corp.'s first foray into NASCAR sponsorship. Vampt's initial product offering includes two agave-infused, ready-to-drink malt beverages - Vampt Smooth Talker and and Vampt Midnight Warrior - available in select markets, including Atlanta this fall.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(8-25-2011)

  • Kyle Busch's speeding ticket resolved today: UPDATE: The 128-mile-an-hour adventure of NASCAR driver Kyle Busch is expected to come to an end Tuesday afternoon in an Iredell County Courtroom. It began on May 24 in a rural part of Iredell County. Busch, who drives a Toyota on the Sprint Cup Circuit for Joe Gibbs Racing, was driving a high powered, $400,000 Lexus supercar. The bright yellow LFA (Lexus Fuji Apex) was given to Busch to test drive for the manufacturer. Busch and his wife took the car out on narrow, two lane, 45 mile an hour Perth Road in an area near a subdivision, a day care, and a church, and was clocked by an Iredell County deputy going 128 miles an hour. After being stopped, Busch told the deputy that the car was "just a toy." Busch was charged with speeding and careless and reckless driving. Law enforcement authorities and attorneys not involved in the case said that the treatment Busch received was fair that he had not been given any special privileges. In July, Busch was already making plans to make amends for his reckless driving by volunteering in a program that is designed to help teen drivers be safe behind the wheel. The program is called B. R. A. K. E. S., it stands for Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe.(WBTV)(8-23-2011)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch has pleaded guilty after he was cited for speeding more than 128 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone in Iredell County back in May. Busch pleaded guilty to speeding charges and "no contest" to charges of careless and reckless driving on Tuesday afternoon in an Iredell County Courtroom. He was sentenced to 30 days suspended and was given a one-year unsupervised probation. He was fined $1,000 in the case and the court took his driver's license for 45 days. Busch was given a prayer for judgment on the reckless driving charge.(WBTV)(8-23-2011)

  • Michigan TV Ratings up a tad: ESPN’s live telecast of the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, Aug. 21, earned a 3.7 national household coverage rating, averaging 5,028,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was up from a 3.6 for last year’s race that also aired on ESPN.
    ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal on Saturday, Aug. 20, earned a 1.5 national household coverage rating, averaging 1,872,000 viewers. Last year’s race aired on ESPN2 and earned a 1.7 rating (ESPN). See past races, 4-year comparison chart and more on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(8-23-2011)

  • Toyota to announce new Camry: UPDATE: Toyota is scheduled to introduce the completely redesigned 2012 Camry on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 beginning at 1:00 pm/et. This first-of-its-kind webcast reveal for Toyota will include a presentation by Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, live from Hollywood, and a visit to the Camry plant in Georgetown, Ky. to view the first vehicle coming off the assembly line. In addition, a special NASCAR-related announcement will be made as part of the program. Toyota is engaging the public in this unique event by offering consumers the opportunity to view the program live on Toyota.com and, following the webcast, Bob Carter will be hosting a TweetChat via Twitter at 4:00 pm/et.(Toyota)(8-22-2011)
    UPDATE: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and Daytona International Speedway announced the all-new 2012 Toyota Camry will serve as the official pace car for next year’s DAYTONA 500. Toyota will showcase the new Camry -- the best-selling car in America for nine years running -- at Daytona in ‘The Great American Race,’ Feb. 26, 2012.(Toyota PR)(8-23-2011)

  • Germain teams up with Native American Businessman: Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Germain Racing majority owner Bob German will form a new NASCAR National Series team in conjunction with Naples, Fla., resident O.B. Osceola, Jr. The team, to be called Germain-Osceola Racing, hopes to field an entry in 2012 on the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide or Camping World Truck Series in 2012 for a still unnamed driver, with backing projected to come from from a number of Native American tribes. Osceola is President of Pro Investment Group International and CEO of Pro Games, LLC, and has been instrumental in constructing and managing a number of large-scale projects for the Seminole Tribe of Florida, including fundraising and construction for Florida's Immokalee Casino, and overseeing the tribe's ownership of the worldwide Hard Rock and Hollywood Hotel/Casino franchises. Germain said the new team operate as a subsidiary of Germain Racing, with sponsorship flowing – at least for now -- into the existing race team, which fields Sprint Cup Toyota Camrys for #13-Casey Mears, #60-Mike Skinner and #50-TJ Bell, and Camping World Truck Series Tundras for former series champion Todd Bodine, Brendan Gaughan and Max Papis. He said Germain-Osceola Racing will make its NASCAR debut later this season, fielding a Hard Rock Vodka-sponsored Nationwide Series entry in the 2011 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "That will be done as part of a launch for a new, Hard Rock-branded Vodka that's coming out," said Germain. "There are a lot of good things going on there, and I really think we're onto something. It's something new for NASCAR, and I think we're going to see a lot of good things come out of this program."(Sirius Speedway)(8-23-2011)

  • At Bristol Motor Speedway, stats & facts:
    · Groundbreaking for Bristol International Speedway, as Bristol Motor Speedway was originally known, took place in 1960. The track was an exact half-mile.
    · First NASCAR Sprint Cup race was July 30, 1961.
    · In the fall of 1969, the track was reshaped and re-measured to .533-miles.
    · The name changed to Bristol International Raceway in 1978.
    · The first night race was held in the fall of 1978.
    · The surface was changed from asphalt to concrete in 1992.
    · The name changed to Bristol Motor Speedway in May 1996.
    · The track was resurfaced between races in 2007.
    · There have been 101 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since the first race there in 1961, two races each season.
    · All races have been scheduled for 500 laps, except for both races in 1976 and the second in 1977, which were 400 laps.
    · Fred Lorenzen won the first pole.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was won by Jack Smith (with relief from Johnny Allen).
    · There have been 44 different pole winners, led by Cale Yarborough and Mark Martin (nine). Martin swept both poles at Bristol in 2009.
    · 38 different drivers have won, led by Darrell Waltrip (12).
    · Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon each have five wins, most among active drivers.
    · The race winner has started from the pole 22 times, the most productive starting position. The last driver to win from the pole was Carl Edwards, in the night race of 2008.
    · 80 of 101 races have been won from a top-10 starting position, including 52 from the first four spots.
    · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 38th, by Elliott Sadler in 2001.
    · The 2009 night race had a margin of victory of .098 seconds, the second-closest MOV at Bristol since the advent of electronic scoring in May of 1993.
    · The last five Bristol races had a margin of victory under one second.
    · There have been 162 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Tennessee.
    · 101 drivers all-time in NASCAR's three national series have their home state recorded as Tennessee.
    · There have been 13 race winners from Tennessee in NASCAR's three national series.(NASCAR)(8-23-2011)

  • Bristol Dignitaries, National Anthems and Flyovers for Bristol announced: One of the most popular groups ever to sing the national anthem at Bristol Motor Speedway returns to perform prior to IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 27. Motor Racing Outreach again brings the children of NASCAR drivers and crew members together to sing the anthem before the green flag falls on the sport's most popular race. Country music's J.T. Hodges will perform the national anthem prior to the start of Friday night's Food City 250. Sidewalk Prophets, winners of the 2010 GMA Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, will perform the anthem Wednesday evening, prior to the start of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200, while country music's Reagan Boggs, a local favorite from Pound, Va., will perform before the UNOH Perfect Storm 150. Joe Gibbs will give the invocation before the IRWIN Tools Night Race, along with Mike Rife (Vansant Church of Christ, Food City 250), Steve Wingfield (Victory Weekend Ministries, O'Reilly Auto Parts 200) and Don Rivers (Racing with Jesus Ministries, UNOH Perfect Storm 150).
    Saturday night's flyover will feature four T-38 Talon Twin-Jet High-Altitude Trainers from Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas while 2 T-45s from Naval Air Station Meridian (Miss.) will be featured in Friday's flyover.
    The grand marshals for the IRWIN Tools Night Race will be Mike Polk, CEO of Newell Rubbermaid and 250 professional tradesmen. Friday's grand marshal is Sullivan County sheriff's deputy Carolyn Gudger, while USMC Retired Lt. Col. Tom Talty (UNOH Perfect Storm 150) and Lyk-Nu Automotive's Bill Seiber (O'Reilly Auto Parts 200) will drop the green flags Wednesday evening.
    Honorary Starters are Ace Hardware's Ken Goodgame (IRWIN Tools Night Race), country music's Billy Dean (Food City 250), Lock 16 Restaurants' Gene Miller (UNOH Perfect Storm 150) and VJ's Auto's Ricky Brown (O'Reilly Auto Parts 200). The Tennessee Army National Guard will present the colors Saturday evening while Cherokee High School's NJROTC will present Friday and Dobyns-Bennett High School's AFJROTC will present the color prior to both Wednesday races.
    Tickets are available for all four night races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Fans can enjoy both the IRWIN Tools Night Race and the Food City 250 for as little as $99. Should they be in town for the Wednesday night doubleheader, fans can take in all four races under the lights in packages starting at $129. To purchase tickets, fans may contact the BMS ticket office at 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL.(BMS)(8-23-2011)

  • Michigan Repave project begins: Crews were hard at work Monday removing the SAFER barrier that surrounds Michigan International Speedway in preparation of the track's repave. The steel and foam energy reduction wall absorbs impacts from crashes. Some 5,575 feet of SAFER wall will be removed from the outside crash wall. SAFER walls mounted on interior walls on the backstretch, at pit-in and at pit-out will stay in place. And beginning Tuesday, about 646,000-square-feet of asphalt will be removed when milling begins. This will be the fourth time MIS has been repaved. The track was repaved in 1977, 1986 and 1995. The track was built in 1968. "We had some great racing this year; most recently with the 20 lead changes and three- and four-wide racing throughout the Pure Michigan 400," speedway President Roger Curtis said. "Drivers love this racetrack, so it's exciting to start another chapter for MIS – a new racing surface." Michigan International Speedway's repave consists of removing the top three-fourths of an inch of existing asphalt pavement, and placing two lifts of asphalt – each 1 ˝ inches thick – as a leveling course and a final wearing course. Once the track has been milled, 22,000 tons of new asphalt will go in its place. Asphalt will be laid down in September.
    The $7 million project will be done by Ajax Paving Industries in Troy, Mich., who has extensive background in paving high-speed, high-banked ovals including Phoenix International Raceway, the Chrysler Corp. oval in Chelsea, Mich., and the Ford Romeo Test Track for Ford Motor Co., a five-mile, steep-banked oval used by the manufacturer for testing. A laser survey of the existing track surface collects approximately 100 million data points, allowing engineers to replicate the original pavement – yet smooth out all of the dips and bumps that have occurred over time. Those data points have shown the racetrack has variable banking in its 18-degree turns. Variable banking allows cars to carry more speed through the turns, enabling drivers to run multiple lines around the racetrack. Pit Road was repaved following the June NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend.(MIS)(8-23-2011)

  • MIS, NASCAR first-timers award fan trophy: #18-Kyle Busch may have driven 406 miles to win the Pure Michigan 400, but the Smiths drove 1,200 miles to see it. Ron and Paulette Smith, their son Colby, and Annette Legresley, who is Paulette's sister, attended their first-ever NASCAR race on Sunday – and it was at Michigan International Speedway. The family from Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada, was chosen by track President Roger Curtis to award the racetrack's annual Fan Trophy to Busch. "I met them on a tram," Curtis, who frequently rides trams before and after races, sits in grandstands and buys concessions and merchandise on race day so he can see what the fans go through and spend some time with them, said. "We were sitting there, and they told me how far they drove to be here. I had to pick them." Curtis chooses one guest to award the Fan Trophy to the winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the track. A guest was also chosen in June. This is the fourth time a fan has awarded the trophy. Roger always chooses the guest – someone he randomly meets at the racetrack that weekend. The stories are always compelling; the fans are unique. "I've chosen long-time fans, and I've chosen fans with great stories," he said. "But there was something about that family's travel and the wonderful smile Colby had on his face throughout our tram ride. He smiled the entire time; you couldn't wipe the smile off his face." The two-year-old Fan Trophy is part of the track's Fan Appreciation program. The program provides once-in-a-lifetime experiences for MIS account holders via randomly distributed Golden Tickets. These Golden Tickets are redeemed for garage passes, seat upgrades, grab bag gifts, even promotional outings with NASCAR drivers. The winning Sprint Cup race driver receives a trophy. Members of the winning driver's team receive smaller versions. "It's incredible that we were able to do this," Ron Smith said after the race. "I can't believe I'm in Victory Lane at Michigan International Speedway." And Colby? He just couldn't stop smiling.(MIS)(8-23-2011)


    News from August 22, 2011

  • ABC alternative TV coverage of Bristol race - NFL games affects some markets: WKRN, Nashville's News 2, will NOT air the Bristol Sprint Cup race due to Tennessee Titans preseason game against the Chicago Bears. The NASCAR race at Bristol on August 27, 2011 will air on ESPN 2 from 6:30pm to 10:00 pm/et [assuming that is just local Nashville for ESPN2].(wkrn.com)
    MORE: Due to some ABC affiliates carrying telecasts of NFL pre-season football games or other programming on Saturday night, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol will air regionally on ESPN2 in eight markets: Nashville, Tenn.; Duluth and Rochester, Minn.; Phoenix; Casper, Wy.; Sioux Falls and Rapid City, S.D.; and Weslaco, Tex. In Houston, the race will air on the local ABC affiliate's digital tier station.(ESPN)(8-22-2011)

  • Schrader, Craven, Smith on NASCAR Now Roundtable: NASCAR driver Ken Schrader joins ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven and NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith as panelists on NASCAR Now's weekly roundtable discussion program airing Tuesday, Aug. 23, at midnight ET (late Monday night) on ESPN2. Nicole Briscoe will host the edition of ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program.

  • The Entry List for the Irwin Tools Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Terry Labonte is in the #32 Ford.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon (36/23)
    #30-David Stremme (44/11)
    #37-Jeff Green (39/23)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (37/23)
    #46-Scott Speed (40/23)
    #55-J.J. Yeley (52/5)
    #50-T.J. Bell (49/9)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/23)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/23)
    #77-Scott Wimmer (55/3)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/23)
    #95-David Starr (48/3)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 7,38,37,46,66,87,60,30
    missing the race would be [4]: #'s 50,55,95,77
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Bristol Entry List.(8-22-2011)

  • RCR Releases pit crew coach: Less than one day after #29-Kevin Harvick had trouble on pit road at Michigan International Speedway, Richard Childress Racing released pit-crew coach Matt Clark, SPEED sources confirmed Monday. Clark, who had the title of Director of Human Performance and Leadership Development at RCR, had been with the team since January 2008. In that position, he was charged with assembling and coaching RCR's Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series, Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series over-the-wall pit crews. The 40-year-old Clark previously had worked with Hendrick Motorsports in a variety of capacities from 2001 to 2007. Prior to that, he was with Team Rensi and had worked in the athletic departments of both Albertus Magnus College and South Central College, both institutions in New Haven, Conn. Calls to RCR seeking comment were not immediately returned. (SPEED)(8-22-2011)

  • Scott Speed in the #46 for rest of season: Scott Speed has signed on with Whitney Motorsports to run the rest of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races in the #46 Ford Fusion. Speed has recently been driving the #37 Ford and has qualified for all three NSCS races that he has attempted. Speed also just came off of a sixth place finish for Kevin Harvick Inc. this past weekend in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal. The #46 Ford Fusion, with the FR9 Roush Yates engines, owned by Dusty Whitney, plans to run the remainder of the races this season in the NSCS starting at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. "I really like Dusty and his guys," said Speed. "They work really hard with the little amount that they have. There is a lot of passion over here and I love how tight of a group we are, we are the underdogs and I love it."
    "Scott has shown us what a tremendous asset he is," said Dusty Whitney, owner of Whitney Motorsports. "We are extremely excited about having him drive our car. He is a great guy with an amazing talent. We hope to make our mark before the season is over. We have sponsors lined up for Atlanta and Kansas, and are on the prowl for the other races. I feel that Scott and this team have a lot to offer anyone that wants to get into the sport of NASCAR." The #46 Ford Fusion sits outside the top-35 in the NSCS Owners Points, therefore Scott Speed will have to qualify the car at each race.(Scott Speed Facebook)(8-22-2011)

  • Toyota to announce new Camry: Toyota is scheduled to introduce the completely redesigned 2012 Camry on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 beginning at 1:00 pm/et. This first-of-its-kind webcast reveal for Toyota will include a presentation by Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager, live from Hollywood, and a visit to the Camry plant in Georgetown, Ky. to view the first vehicle coming off the assembly line. In addition, a special NASCAR-related announcement will be made as part of the program. Toyota is engaging the public in this unique event by offering consumers the opportunity to view the program live on Toyota.com and, following the webcast, Bob Carter will be hosting a TweetChat via Twitter at 4:00 pm/et.(Toyota)(8-22-2011)

  • Jack Roush ready to resume flying: It was a year ago when Sprint Cup car owner Jack Roush arrived at MIS with facial injuries, making his return to the series after he had crash-landed his plane in Oshkosh, Wis., the previous month. Roush, 69, enjoys flying his planes as much as he loves motor sports, and that is why he's so excited to return to piloting this week at Willow Run Airport for the first time since the crash. "I'm totally recovered," said Roush, of Livonia, wearing his trademark Panama-style hat while signing autographs. "I just got my medical back from the FAA, indicating that I'm medically sound and I'm without restriction. I have one more validation flight for the (injured) eye and I have that Tuesday. Once I get that done I can fly anything I did before. I plan to fly Tuesday." Roush suffered a ruptured left eyeball, broken jaw, damaged left cheekbone and had a compression fracture in his back from the crash. He said at the time "that everything will come back except the sight in my left eye."(Detroit News)(8-22-2011)

  • Special 'dental' scheme for Edwards at Bristol: When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit hits Bristol Motor Speedway in August, two-time Bristol winner #99-Carl Edwards will pilot the bright blue and white #99 Aflac Dental Ford Fusion during the Irwin Tools Night Race. See an image of the scheme on my #99 Team Schemes page.(8-22-2011)

  • Realtree to sponsor four cars at Bristol: Realtree Camouflage Designer and President Bill Jordan announced sponsorship on four different Chevrolet Sprint Cup cars atthe August 27 Bristol Night Race. Look for Realtree's new Antler Logo in the primary sponsor position on Richard Childres. Racing's #29 Realtree/Bad Boy Buggies car, driven by Kevin Harvick; Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's #1 Bass Pro Shops car, driven by Jamie McMurray; and Stewart-Hass Racing's #14 and #39 cars, piloted by Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman, respectively. "All of us at Realtree are excited to have such a big presence at one of NASCAR's most prestigious races of the year," said Jordan. "Of course, this race comes at a time of year when hunters are really getting fired up about the fall. It's amazing how many of our fans are passionate about both racing and hunting. And many of the drivers feel the same way. In fact, three of the guys we're sponsoring at Bristol… Harvick, Stewart and Newman… have hunted with me and the Realtree cameras many times, and McMurray is an avid outdoorsman too. For many years now, Realtree, Chevrolet and NASCAR have been partners in connecting fans to the outdoors, and just recently we all teamed up with Outdoor Channel to bring fans 'Realtree's NASCAR Outdoors'. The show has been a huge success. Fans really enjoy seeing their favorite drivers on hunts, and drivers and others from around the NASCAR garage are strong ambassadors for the outdoors. It really is a fun project for everyone involved, including the fans."(Realtree), see an image of the #29 scheme on my #29 Team Schemes page.(8-22-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Pure Michigan 400: For NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Recording the times began at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:00 PM (all times are EST). I did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 114
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 50
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 25
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 2 min. 50 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:00 PM
    Total minutes: 180
    Minutes of race broadcast: 132
    Minutes of commercials: 48
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 2
    Number of true COMMANDS to start the engines: 1 Given by Desmond Howard
    Number of career laps led as of this race: 22,000 Congratulations, Jeff Gordon!
    Total race brdcst time 132 Total comm. brdcst time 48
    For past races, links to more detailed reports, see my 2011 TV Commercials page.(8-22-2011)

  • Ford proposing NASCAR version of the X-Games?: A NASCAR version of the X-Games? Something like that is what Ford Motor Company is proposing to NASCAR executives, as a way to use NASCAR to promote new small street cars, to the $14,000 MSRP youthful demographic. How much interest other car companies might have in any such NASCAR/X-Games venture is not clear. Chevrolet racing boss Jim Campbell, who is using Sunday's Michigan 400 to promote GM's new small-car Sonic, as pace car, says he is "open" to using motorsports to push Chevrolet's new small car line. While Toyota and Honda made their names as purveyors of small cars, Ford and Chevrolet on the other hand have been more to the muscle-power side of the game, with powerful trucks like the F-150 and sporty cars like the Mustang, Corvette and Camaro. NASCAR once had a four-cylinder national touring series, the Baby Grands, back in the 1970s, which proved highly popular, and then fairly inexpensive. Precisely what Ford is proposing to NASCAR isn't clear.(MikeMulhern.net)(8-22-2011)

  • Transporter Parade in Bristol on Thursday: Some of the most popular drivers in Bristol during August race week never actually compete at the World's Fastest Half-Mile. Fans may not know their names but they certainly recognize the colorful vehicles they pilot as they make their way to Bristol Motor Speedway for the hugely popular Ford/Bristol Motor Speedway Transporter Parade. One of a number of entertaining and fun-filled events that take place at BMS during August race week, the Ford/BMS Transporter Parade, which is Thursday evening, Aug. 25, is definitely a fan favorite. Thousands of fans in the area for the four NASCAR races at BMS that week come out early, staking their claim on their chosen viewing position along the 10-mile route from the Bristol Mall to the World's Fastest Half-Mile. Many of the haulers also will carry a child from either the Make A Wish Foundation or the Children's Miracle Network. The parade is scheduled to start at 9:00 pm/et at the Bristol Mall, following completion of downtown Bristol's Food City Family Race Night. More than 60 haulers will then make their way from the mall down Volunteer Parkway to BMS. A reception for BMS season ticket holders will take place at 4:30 pm while the transporter drivers will be introduced at 7:45 pm. The transporter drivers will be available prior to the start of the parade to sign autographs at the Bristol Mall. Children attending the event will be able to enjoy a "5-In-1 Sport" jump playhouse. Single-event tickets for Saturday's IRWIN Tools Night Race start at $90 while ticket prices for the Food City 250 begin at $45. Wednesday night doubleheader tickets for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 and the UNOH Perfect Storm 150 are $25 in advance of the race and $30 Aug. 24. To purchase tickets, fans may contact the BMS ticket office at 1-855-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL.(BMS)(8-22-2011)

  • Daytona International Speedway Receives FPRA Golden Image Award: The public relations and marketing department of Daytona International Speedway was honored with a prestigious 2011 Golden Image Award from the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) for its 2010 Daytona Repave public relations program. The Golden Image Awards competition, which is conducted annually by the FPRA, recognizes PR professionals from around the state of Florida for programs and projects that represent the very best examples of innovation, planning and design in public relations. Daytona International Speedway earned the Golden Image Award in the Public Relations Programs category for Special Events. Lane Construction used an estimated 50,000 tons of asphalt to repave more than 1.4 million square feet of Daytona International Speedway between June and December of 2010. It was only the second time in the track’s history that it was repaved. Tickets for Speedweeks 2012 and the 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26 are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(8-22-2011)

  • Caveman named Grand Marshal of Chicago race:
    - After months of stuffing ballot boxes at NASCAR Sprint Cup Sseries races across the country, countless pleading phone calls to track officials, failed attempts at face-to-face meetings with various politicians, and more than a few scrapes with security, the Caveman finally got the phone call he's been waiting for his entire life. The Caveman will be honored as the Grand Marshal of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, and by chance the race happens to be the GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 18, where the Caveman will officially start the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. "Is this for real?" a stunned Caveman asked when told of the news. "I mean seriously, did you just say I would be the Grand Marshal of the GEICO 400? There's 38 NASCAR races a year and I get picked for the race that GEICO sponsors? It figures..." As Grand Marshal, the Caveman will utter the most famous words in motorsports when he instructs the drivers, "Gentlemen, start your engines." Track officials are hopeful the special occasion goes off without a hitch, with one representative noting that "it's so easy a caveman can do it." For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ChicagolandSpeedway.com.(Geico PR)(8-22-2011)


    News from August 21, 2011

  • Kyle Busch wins at Michigan: #18-Kyle Busch won the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 23rd career win and 4th win of 2011. The 23 wins ties him with his brother Kurt and Ricky Rudd for 20th all time ranking of all time wins. Kyle Busch clinces a place in the chase, at least via a wild card spot. The race had one green-white-checkered, increasing the race to 203 laps.
    #48-Johnson finished 2nd [his best finish at Michigan] followed by #2-Keselowski [last three races 1-2-3], #5-Martin, #39-Newman, #24-Gordon, #4-Kahne, #33-Bowyer, #14-Stewart and #17-Kenseth. The pole sitter, #16-Biffle finishing 20th.
    Points leader going in to the race, #18-Busch, won the race and increased his points lead to 10 over #48-Johnson.
    There were 20 lead changes among 10 drivers and 5 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 81,000, down from 105,000 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air:
    ESPN2, Monday, August 22 at 12:30 am/et;
    SPEED, Wednesday, August 24 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Michigan Race Results/Awards page.(8-21-2011)

  • Post race inspection, cars to dyno: per NASCAR's Twitter - Post-race inspection is clear, no issues after Pure Michigan 400. Engines taken back to NASCAR's R&D Center to dyno: #18-Busch, #48-Johnson, #22-Busch, #39-Newman, #33-Bowyer, #4-Kahne, #17-Kenseth and #6-Ragan. Cars going back to NASCAR's R&D Center are #18-Busch and #33-Bowyer.(8-21-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Michigan, race 23 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 799
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 789, -10
    3) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 760, -39
    4) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 760, -39
    5) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 759, -40
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 739, -60
    7) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 725, -74
    8) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 722, -77
    9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 700, -99
    10) #14-Tony Stewart, 694, -105
    out of top 10, no wins, less then a race out of 10th
    11) #33-Clint Bowyer, 670, -129
    current wild cards
    WC1) #2-Brad Keselowski [2 wins], 642, -157 [12th in points, 2 wins]
    WC2) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 635, -164 [14th in points, 1 win]
    others in the top 20 with wins, possible for the wild card
    18) #27-Paul Menard [1 win], 617, -182 [18th in points, 1 win]
    20) #6-David Ragan [1 win], 604, -195 [20th in points, 1 win]
    Two race winners are not inside the top-20: #9-Ambrose is 23rd, 11 points out of 20th; #78-Smith is 25th, 78 pts out of 20th
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as they are in the top-20 in points, then if no wins by drivers points.
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(8-21-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Bristol:
    #71 increases it's lead to 19 over 36th in owners pts, the #7 team.
    33) #13-Mears/Germain, 323, +55
    34) #32-Schrader/FAS Lane, 319, +51
    35) #71-Lally/TRG, 303, 35 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #7-Gordon/RGM, 268, 35 points out of top 35
    37) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 265, -38
    38) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 238,-65
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(8-21-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Michigan:
    #18-Kyle Busch won the 42nd Annual Pure Michigan 400 , his 23rd victory in 245 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fourth victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2011.
    With the victory, Busch clinches at least one of the two Wild Card spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 14 races at Michigan International Speedway.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 20 races at Michigan International Speedway. It is his 15th top-10 finish in 2011.
    #2-Brad Keselowski (third) posted his first top-10 finish in five races at Michigan International Speedway.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-21-2011)

  • Kyle Busch Qualifies for Sprint Summer Showdown: With his win in Sunday's Pure Michigan 400, #18-Kyle Busch is qualified to be a finalist for a chance to earn a $3 million payout in the Sprint Summer Showdown. If Busch can also win the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend, he will claim the Sprint Summer Showdown title and win $1 million for himself, $1 million for his designated charity, Kyle Busch Foundation, and $1 million dollars for a lucky race fan. Later this week a fan will be randomly selected from the pool of entrants who correctly picked Busch to win the Pure Michigan 400 at sprint.com/speed. That lucky fan will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway and be there in person to see whether Busch can win at Atlanta. If he claims the Sprint Summer Showdown, the fan will win $1 million.
    Fans should visit sprint.com/speed before the final qualifying race next Saturday evening to choose which driver they think will win at Bristol Motor Speedway. A different fan will be randomly selected after each race and will be in Atlanta for the final event of the six-consecutive-race series to cheer on their driver as he vies for the $3 million payout. Fans can change their picks until the scheduled start time for each event.
    Name, Race, Designated Charity
    #27-Paul Menard, Indianapolis, Habitat for Humanity
    #2-Brad Keselowski, Pocono, Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation
    #9-Marcos Ambrose, Watkins Glen International, Victory Junction
    #18-Kyle Busch, Michigan, Kyle Busch Foundation
    Bristol Motor Speedway
    Atlanta Motor Speedway
    (Sprint Summer Showdown PR), for more info see Jayski's Contest page.(8-21-2011)

  • Michigan Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • Kyle Busch tied his older brother, Kurt, and Ricky Rudd for 26th on the all-time list with his 23rd career Cup victory.
    • This was Kyle Busch's first victory at Michigan in 14 starts.
    • Kyle Busch became the first driver this season to clinch a spot in the Chase with his fourth victory.
    • Kyle Busch led twice for 22 laps, including the final 16.
    • This was the 93rd Cup victory for Joe Gibbs Racing.
    • Jimmie Johnson (second) remained winless at Michigan, one of only five tracks on the circut at which he hasn't visited Victory Lane.
    • This was Jimmie Johnson's best career finish at MIS.
    • Brad Keselowski (third) has finished third or better in the past three races and in the top 10 in the past four.
    • Mark Martin (fourth) earned his first top-five in the past 12 races. He tied Jeff Gordon for the most top-five runs at Michigan with his 18th.
    • Ryan Newman (fifth) earned his fourth top-five finish in the past six races.
    • Tony Stewart (ninth) has finished in the top 10 in his past four Michigan races.
    • Denny Hamlin (35th) ended a five-race streak of top-10 finishes at Michigan, which had been the longest current streak.
    • Carl Edwards (36th) saw his nine-race streak of top-15 finishes at Michigan snapped.
    • Jeff Gordon (sixth) led 50 laps in Sunday's race; he had led just one in the previous seven MIS races.
    (Racing Recall/nascar.com)(8-21-2011)

  • Michigan Gov. announced Motorsports Month: Gov. Rick Snyder proclaimed August Michigan Motorsports Month this morning at Michigan International Speedway before the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pure Michigan 400. "Today's a Pure Michigan day," Snyder said. "If you look at all the fabulous things that are going around our state, not only here but we have a Dream Cruise going in Detroit. It's just a fabulous thing. If you want to see the most beautiful place in the world you can head up to Sleeping Bear Dunes. And it's great and special to be here today because this was the place to be today." Snyder gave a shout out to all the Canadian fans who visited the track. When asked what was being done to help stimulate racing in Michigan in light of the loss of the open wheel Belle Isle Grand Prix event and empty seats at the two NASCAR events held at MIS, Snyder said: "You're seeing some of that today. I think it's a great partnership that we're doing today with the rest, in terms of encouraging it. If you look, I'm serious about this being Motorsports Month. If you look at the opportunity, we have great things going on in our state: the dream cruise, the race, really creating that atmosphere. One of the key things we need to do, to be really open about it, is we just need to create more and better jobs. "It's about getting our economy working in a positive way. And we're on a positive path to see that come back and that's exciting."(Detroit Free Press)(8-21-2011)

  • Fish Your Bass Off raises over $40k: Professional bass angler Kevin VanDam and #39-Ryan Newman hit the water Thursday for Fish Your Bass Off, a fundraiser for MIS Cares, Michigan International Speedway's charitable arm. The second-annual event at Jerry's Pub on Wampler's Lake raised more than $40,000 for MIS Cares. The event included a bass fishing competition, followed by a fish weigh-in, live and silent auctions and fish dinner. VanDam, from Kalamazoo, Mich., and Newman, in town for this weekend's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway, won Fish Your Bass Off, with a total of five fish weighing 14 pounds, 8 ounces.(MIS)(8-21-2011)

  • Stewart's Smoke Show raises $131k: The Tony Stewart "Smoke Show" fantasy camp, the highest-grossing, single-day event for Speedway Children's Charities-Texas, produced $131,000 for the Texas Motor Speedway charity earlier this week to bring the event's four-year total to $810,000. Hosted by two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart on Tuesday, the "Smoke Show" gave race fans a chance to walk in a NASCAR driver's shoes for a day. Guests participated in pre- and post-race celebrations, received two 10-lap driving sessions in a stock car, and experienced Stewart's own driving style in a three-lap two-seater ride. The fantasy camp was followed by the annual dinner and auction, where campers were presented with a framed certificate highlighting their fastest lap of the day and had the opportunity to bid on unique racing memorabilia and experience packages. The item that drew the highest bid of the evening was a pair of tickets to Stewart's suite at the 2012 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which sold for $8,000.(TMS)(8-21-2011)


    News from August 20, 2011

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from Michigan on ESPN: ESPN continues its coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the Pure Michigan 400 race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., on Sunday, Aug. 21. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show kicks off the day at 12 noon/et with the race's green flag at 1:16 pm/et. Analysts Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree will join lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth to call the action. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Nicole Briscoe with analysis by 1989 champion driver Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.(ESPN)

  • Race Coverage of the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, August 21, 2011.
    Television (TV): ESPN at 1:00 pm/et; NSCS Countdown pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:16pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    ESPN2, Monday, August 22 at 12:30am/et;
    SPEED, Wednesday, August 24 at 12:00pm/et

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #16-Biffle chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #17-Kenseth took pit stall 43, the final pit stall on pit road.
    #39-Newman, who starts 3rd took the 23rd pit stall, the first with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #17-Kenseth, who starts 2nd.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(8-20-2011)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after 110 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #5-Martin 187.642
    #18-Busch 187.417
    #48-Johnson 187.407
    #16-Biffle 187.393
    #24-Gordon 187.246
    slowest: #60-Skinner 179.789 & #87-Nemechek/Yeley 179.820
    J.J. Yeley also practiced the #87 car as Nemechek is in Montreal for the Nationwide race.
    See fastest speeds, best average speeds, most laps run on the Michigan Practice Speeds Page.(8-20-2011)

  • Stewart still mum about Danica: #14-Tony Stewart met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed a few items, and was asked about Danica Patrick, the transcript in part:
    CAN YOU ADDRESS THE DANICA SITUATION?
    Stewart: "It's like I've always said when we have something to tell everybody we'll tell them but there's nothing to tell yet. I know there's a lot of speculation but there is nothing to really talk about yet."
    I'VE HEARD FROM MANY SOURCES
    Stewart: "I don't care about your sources. When we have something to talk about we'll talk about it. I promise we won't leave any of you guys out I promise."
    DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE SOON?
    Stewart: "What will be soon? I don't know. I don't know. If we knew that we'd already be talking about it wouldn't we. When we have something to talk about I promise you I will not let any of you be late for the deal."
    YOU'RE STILL OBVIOUSLY LOOKING TO ADD A THIRD TEAM
    Stewart: "We've said that from day one. We've never wavered from that, never said anything different from that. We're definitely to a third team and want to be a four-car team eventually."(Team Chevy)(8-20-2011)

  • Hamlin talks about TRD engines: #11-Denny Hamlin met with members of the media at Michigan International Speedway and discussed a few items, and was asked about running TRD [Toyota Racing Development instead of JGR engines] engines for the first time:
    What do you think about the decision to use the TRD engine beginning this weekend?
    Hamlin: "We talked about asking TRD (Toyota Racing Development). You have to understand, this is a big favor to ask a manufacturer to provide engines for us for the rest of the year. It's a lot of manpower, a lot of work had to be done, especially within JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing). There's a lot of work that had to be done to get this engine imported into our car. So, we were going to have to ask and pull a lot of favors to do it. We just asked them if they'd be willing to do it and they did. I was behind it 100 percent. I felt like it was the right thing to do. Ultimately what matters is results. Things happen, engines blow -- things happen like that -- but we felt like they've worked out a lot of reliability issues that they had early on. If we were going to make the Chase, we could not afford DNFs because of engine failures and on top of that, we couldn't afford to keep starting in the back every week because of engine failures. I didn't help us out last week, but we started in the back I think four times because of blown engines. That's just too hard to over come, especially with as hard as it is today to win a race."
    How do you think using the TRD engines will help you for the remainder of the season?
    Hamlin: "It's a tough balance because you have some employees that take a lot of pride in their work. When you ultimately switch, some people's feelings get hurt sometimes. We have to do what we have to do to make sure we finish races at this point. Being on the bubble, we cannot afford any DNFs. We're just doing what we have to do. I hate to say it. Toyota is our partner in this whole thing. When we joined them in 2008, they said anything you need, we're going to give it to you. This is a huge request and obviously it's come to this point and hopefully it works out."(Toyota Racing)(8-20-2011)

  • No 2012 plans for Martin yet: Mark Martin is emphatic when talking about his lack of 2012 plans and he isn't looking for a full-time ride anyway. "I have nothing, and it don't matter," Martin said Friday at Michigan International Speedway. "I'll have nothing until I have something. You guys don't even need to ask because there is absolutely goose egg going on. There ain't no hiding [information], no nothing. I think there will be shuffle, but it will be late. There's going to be something for me. I'm not in a running for a full-time Cup ride; I never have even really wanted one." He knows he won't be back at Hendrick Motorpsorts, and he said he has always raced in the moment, not thinking about building for years to come. Obviously one of the possible scenarios is Martin sharing a third Stewart-Haas Racing car with Danica Patrick, who is expected to run at least seven or eight Cup races for the team in 2012. Martin and SHR would need to find sponsorship for him to run the races Patrick doesn't.(SceneDaily)(8-20-2011)

  • Top Presenters Turning Out for 2011 MSHFA Induction Ceremony: The list of racing luminaries scheduled to formally introduce and memorialize the careers of Donnie Allison, Sid Collins, Roger McCluskey, Ed McCulloch, Augie Pabst, Bruce Penhall and Ed Winfield into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, August 24, at the Fillmore Theater in downtown Detroit is as bright and accomplished as the honorees themselves.
    Legendary team owner Roger Penske will be the presenter for Augie Pabst at the 2011 MSHFA Induction Ceremony.Among those on deck to make Hall of Fame introductions are previous inductees Bobby Unser (McCluskey), a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, drag racing legend "Big Daddy" Don Garlits (Winfield), Bobby Allison (Donnie Allison), three-time Daytona 500 winner, 1983 NASCAR Winston Cup champion and ringleader of the famed Alabama Gang, and Roger Penske (Pabst), the most successful owner in the history of the Indianapolis 500 and an accomplished sports car driver in the early days of his career.
    Adding to that lineup are some of the best voices in all of motorsports, including long-time radio and television broadcaster at ABC and ESPN Paul Page (Collins), motorcycle racing's Larry Huffman (Penhall) and top NHRA public address announcer and ESPN host Bob Frey (McCulloch). In addition to the illustrious list of inductees and presenters, future Hall of Famer Kurt Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will serve as the evening's Honorary Chairman while previous inductee David Hobbs, a winning road racing driver and top television broadcaster currently with SPEED, will serve as Master of Ceremonies. More info and tickets at mshf.com.(MSHF)(8-20-2011)

  • About Pure Michigan: Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, is the State of Michigan's official agency for the promotion of tourism. Travel Michigan markets the state's tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services. For Michigan travel news and updates, go to www.michigan.org. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a public-private partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life. For more information on the MEDC's initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.MichiganAdvantage.org.(8-20-2011)

  • MIS will have two Cup races in 2012: Michigan International Speedway is set to host two NASCAR Sprint Cup races again in 2012. Track president Roger Curtis says he has signed sanctioning agreements. The first race is scheduled for June 17 and the second for Aug. 19. MIS has hosted at least two NASCAR races every year since 1969, with the lone exception in 1973. Following Sunday's Pure Michigan 400, the two-mile speedway will be completely resurfaced for the first time since 1995, at a cost of $7 million. Curtis says the track has had $60 million in improvements the last five years.(Detroit Free Press)(8-20-2011)

  • Darlington cancels plans for historic car festival: Darlington Raceway has cancelled plans for its historic fall racing festival. Track spokesman Jake Harris said a lack of entrants led Darlington officials to call off this year's event. The raceway has held the gathering at the track for the past three years with former prominent NASCAR personalities like Harry Gant, Ned Jarrett, David Pearson and Darrell Waltrip taking part. Those attending heard panel discussions from past NASCAR greats and had autograph sessions. Entrants also got to drive parade laps around the track. Harris said the track had generally gotten between 100 and 135 car entries during the first three years, but had only a little more than 40 so far this year. Harris said track leaders plan to regroup and return with the festival in 2012.(The Item)(8-20-2011)

  • LVMS NASCAR Weekend shows dramatic increase in economic impact: The 2011 NASCAR Weekend once again proved to be a huge economic windfall for the Las Vegas economy. This year's event posted the third-highest financial impact on the community in the 14-year history of the event. This year's event, held March 4-6, contributed $194,699,000 to the local economy, according to figures released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. That represents a staggering 17.4-percent increase in economic impact over the 2010 event. The survey showed that race fans attending this year's event spent an average of $252 more per person that fans attending the 2010 event. However, ticket prices remained steady and the average rate for a room dropped by $7 per night. The race weekend included the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Stratosphere Pole Day and two nights of dirt-track racing for USAC and the World of Outlaws. Tickets for the 2012 NASCAR Weekend already are on sale at www.lvms.com or 1-800-644-4444.(LVMS)(8-20-2011)


    News from August 19, 2011

  • Biffle wins Michigan pole: #16-Greg Biffle won the Coors Light pole for the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway with a speed of 190.345mph. It is his 1st pole of the season and the 7th of his career. Biffle has never won a race from the pole. #17-Kenseth starts 2nd followed by #39-Newman, #11-Hamlin, #5-Martin, #2-Keselowski, #6-Ragan, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #24-Gordon, and #1-McMurray. Points leader #18-Busch will start 17th.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Bayne, #38-Kvapil, #55-Yeley, #30-Stremme, #87-Nemechek, #66-TBodine, #37-Raines and #60-Skinner .
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #7-Sauter/Gordon, #46-Darnell and #50-Bell
    Qualifying Re-Air: 8:30pm/et & 1:30am/et on SPEED
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Michigan Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(8-19-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Michigan:
    #16-Greg Biffle won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 42nd Annual Pure Michigan 400 with a lap of 37.826 seconds, 190.345 mph.
    This is his seventh pole in 317 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is Biffle's first pole of 2011. His last pole came at Dover in June of 2008, 117 races ago.
    This is his seventh top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his first pole in 18 races at Michigan International Speedway. His previous best start was second in August of 2007.
    #17-Matt Kenseth (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2011 and his fifth in 25 races at Michigan International Speedway.
    The last time Roush Fenway Racing had two drivers on the front row was at Texas in April of this season.
    #39-Ryan Newman (third) posted his 12th top-10 start at Michigan International Speedway. It is his ninth in 23 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-19-2011)

  • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer::
    Chevy: #39-Newman, 189.573, starts 3rd
    Dodge: #2-Keselowski, 189.006, starts 6th
    Ford: #16-Biffle, 190.345, starts 1st
    Toyota: #11-Hamlin, 189.294, starts 4th

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2011 at 3:40pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 3:30pm/et
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: 8:30pm/et & 1:30am/et

  • Friday practice for the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #17-Kenseth 188.813
    #39-Newman 188.506
    #16-Biffle 188.467
    #5-Martin 188.467
    #6-Ragan 188.260
    slowest: #37-Raines 181.626 & #50-Bell 182.343
    #20-Logano spun between turn 3 & 4 halfway thru practice, flat tires, but no damage.
    #11-Hamlin is running a Toyota Racing Development engine at MIS and will the remainder of 2011 with the exception of Bristol.
    Johnny Sauter will practice and qualify the #7 Dodge for Robby Gordon, but Gordon will return to run the race on Sunday.
    See fastest speeds, best average speeds, most laps run on the Michigan Practice Speeds Page.(8-19-2011)

  • Friday Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers at Michigan:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #21-Trevor Bayne, 19th fastest overall
    #30-David Stremme, 31st
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 33rd
    #55-J.J. Yeley, 35th
    #66-Todd Bodine, 38th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 39th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 41st
    #7-Johnny Sauter, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #46-Erik Darnell, 44th
    #50-T.J. Bell, 45th
    #37-Tony Raines, 46th/last
    (8-19-2011)

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Live from Michigan on ESPN: ESPN continues its coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the Pure Michigan 400 race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich., on Sunday, Aug. 21. The NASCAR Countdown pre-race show kicks off the day at 12 noon/et with the race's green flag at 1:16 pm/et. Analysts Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree will join lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth to call the action. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Nicole Briscoe with analysis by 1989 champion driver Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.(ESPN)(8-19-2011)

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post these] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on the Michigan Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Bowyer talking to other teams: #33-Clint Bowyer is seriously considering offers from one or more Sprint Cup teams to leave Richard Childress Racing -- his home since making his series debut in 2005 -- following the 2011 season. Bowyer talked openly of his desire to remain at RCR earlier this season, but negotiations have dragged and, according to multiple sources, deteriorated. "They are at loggerheads right now," a source said. Discussions between Bowyer and team owner Richard Childress have been complicated by the lack of a primary sponsor for the #33 Chevrolet. For the past three seasons General Mills brands Cheerios and Hamburger Helper have been that sponsor. Childress had expressed confidence that General Mills would return a month ago, but it's now believed the company is looking at other options. With #99-Carl Edwards off the market, Bowyer is the top free agent available. In addition to Childress, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing are said to be interested in hiring Bowyer.
    Petty has been pursuing Bowyer for several months in an attempt to expand to a three-car operation. Chief operating officer Robbie Loomis has been diligently working to put together a package for Bowyer that includes a Ford-backed deal similar to the Wood Brothers. Petty buys chassis from Roush Fenway and leases engines from Roush-Yates and the equipment may be attractive to Bowyer.
    Waltrip also would like to expand to three cars and may have some support from Toyota to acquire Bowyer.
    David Ragan seemed safe at Roush Fenway after his win at Daytona in July. It put him in the Chase, but he's since fallen out. Ragan, 23rd in points, needs a second victory to make the Chase. He's under contract to Roush Fenway for next season, but the team could move him to Petty and sign Bowyer.
    Gibbs president J.D. Gibbs has said that a fourth car for next season was a "long shot." Its earlier attempt to sign Edwards was financially backed by Toyota. The manufacturer would have to spend less money to land Bowyer, but it certainly could outbid the other offers.
    Childress should not be counted out. He has shown the ability to be resourceful in retaining drivers and finding sponsors. Negotiations between Bowyer and Childress are at a critical stage and the atmosphere isn't healthy. The overall situation regarding Bowyer's next contract is said to be "sensitive." Bowyer probably would like to make a decision as soon as possible to remove the uncertainty and distraction that comes with it. He'd much rather focus on making the Chase than worry about whom he'll be driving for next year.(Sports Illustrated)(8-19-2011)

  • Chase Clinch scenarios going into Michigan: Four drivers have a mathematical chance of locking up Chase berths. Traditionally, Michigan is the scene of the first driver Chase clinch. Every Chase year (2004-Present) except 2004 and 2006 has seen a driver clinch a spot at Michigan. Kevin Harvick did it last year, and could do it again in 2011. Leaving this weekend, a clinching driver has to have a 145-point lead over 11th place. Those who can mathematically clinch this weekend: #18-Kyle Busch, #99-Carl Edwards,#48- Jimmie Johnson and #29-Kevin Harvick. Busch and Edwards are currently 118 points ahead of 11th. Johnson is 112 and Harvick is 104. Then there’s a Wild Card clinch possibility: If Kyle Busch or Harvick win this weekend, either driver will have four victories, which will lock them into the Chase as at least one of the Wild Card spots.(NASCAR)(8-19-2011)

  • Irwin Jr. Dare to Dream Camp to close: The New Castle, IN-area The Kenny Irwin Jr. Foundation's Dare to Dream Camp for underprivileged, at-risk, neglected and abused children was supposed to carry on for years to come, just like the racing career of its namesake, Kenny Irwin Jr. But the camp is coming to an end 11 years after the passing of the popular Indianapolis driver killed July 7, 2000, in a NASCAR Cup Series crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The former U.S. Auto Club midget champion and NASCAR Rookie of the Year was 30 years old. The Kenny Irwin Jr. Foundation's Dare to Dream Camp, which hosts a minimum of 300 children a year and about 4,000 over the past eight years, grew from Irwin's love of children. His parents learned after his fatal crash that he had paid hospital bills of children they didn't even know. The camp gave children a week to forget the challenges in their lives, making them feel special, loved and wanted. They were allowed to eat as much as they wanted, with some having ice cream for the first time. They could play basketball, miniature golf and swim while sharing new adventures. "We could take a tragedy in our life and make something good of it," Irwin's father, Kenny Sr., said of the camp. But keeping things going became too much of a physical challenge for the Irwins. Kenny's mother, Reva, has endured a series of heart procedures in the past year-plus, leading to the decision to sell the camp. "We're both 65, and it's beyond our ability to take care of the camp like we did," Kenny Sr. said Thursday afternoon. "I normally took care of all the maintenance, and in fact I'm out here right now mowing all the property. Reva took care of all the bookwork, bringing the kids in, taking care of campers, and she just told me she couldn't do it anymore. And I can't do it without her." It is a 45-mile drive from the Irwins' longtime home in Lawrence to the camp, which has five buildings, cabins, a six-acre lake, pool, sports fields and 100 campsites on 27 acres along I-70. The foundation had many financial donors over the years, including Bob Bahre and his family, former owners of the New Hampshire track. Two potential buyers toured the property this week, including a church group. If it's still unsold, an auction is scheduled Sept. 14. The Irwins won't stop helping children, though. The foundation that Reva and their three grown daughters operate plans to pay to send 150 children per year to three one-week camps around the country.(Indianapolis Star)(8-19-2011)

  • Wild Card picture became cloudier: Just when a hobbled #2-Brad Keselowski improbably won at Pocono for his second win of the season and put a grapple hold on a Wild Card spot, #9-Marcos Ambrose goes out and makes things a little hazier. Ambrose nabbed his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory on Monday at Watkins Glen. His 47-point day moved him to 22nd place, a single-point out of the top 20. Ambrose has yet to score a top-10 finish at Michigan, but finished 15th in each of last year’s races there. He was 23rd in last June’s stop. The current Wild Card holders are Keselowski and #11-Denny Hamlin. Hamlin dipped to 12th in the points standings after his 36th-place finish at Watkins Glen, but still maintains the edge over 15th place #27-Paul Menard (one win, Indianapolis). The Wild Card tie-breaker is points position.(NASCAR)(8-19-2011)

  • MWR's VP of Competition to leave at end of 2011: Steve Hallam has accepted the role of Managing Director of Walkinshaw Racing overseeing both the Toll Holden Racing Team, and the Bundaberg Racing Team. Hallam is currently Executive Vice President of Competition for Michael Waltrip Racing in NASCAR, and prior to that was Head of Race Operations for McLaren Racing. Hallam will start his role at Walkinshaw Racing at the beginning of 2012 once he completes his current commitments with Michael Waltrip Racing (v8supercars.com.au).(8-19-2011)

  • Tire test ends at Martinsville UPDATE: For the second straight day, Martinsville Speedway was turned into a half-mile laboratory. #31-Jeff Burton and four other NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers – #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #6-David Ragan, #2-Brad Keselowski and #47-Bobby Labonte – finished up a two-day tire test at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday. The goal was to help Goodyear come up with a better racing compound for this fall's TUMS Fast Relief 500. "Goodyear is always trying to make tires better and they work hard at building different compounds, different rubbers, different constructions," said Burton who has 21 victories in 18 years of Sprint Cup racing. "They do a lot of lab testing, but really, this is the best place to test, at the race tracks. We've been picking out the tires we like and then we confirm what we like and don't like on long runs. So we've made a lot of 10 and 20-lap runs and a bunch of 75-lap runs to confirm what we like. That is our main objective to being here." With only one or two cars on the track at a time, and no real racing, tire testing seems like a monotonous exercise, but Burton says it is vital. Tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on Sunday, October 30 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(8-18-2011)
    More from Goodyear: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company completed a two-day tire test at Martinsville Speedway this week, in preparation for that track's Tums Fast Relief 500 race weekend scheduled for September 28-30. The dates came on the heels of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International, which was run on Monday. The Tuesday-Wednesday tire test featured five Sprint Cup teams -- #2 Penske Racing Dodge with Brad Keselowski, #6 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford with David Ragan, #31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy with Jeff Burton, #47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Toyota with Bobby Labonte and #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    "We believe we had a very successful test at Martinsville this week. First of all, thanks to all five of the teams involved for coming prepared to log a lot of laps, particularly with the quick turnaround from the rain-delayed Watkins Glen race," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of racing. "Most of the guys ran almost 700 laps each during the test. After our initial short runs on Tuesday, Wednesday was devoted to long runs, and we completed 14 of those among the five drivers. Our goal was to optimize the levels of grip and wear resistance with the right tire combination, and we believe we identified some good candidates to do that. Obviously, we'll have to go through the test data in more detail to finalize our recommendation, but we're confident we'll have a nice new package for the Martinsville race in October."
    Next up on Goodyear's test schedule is the freshly repaved surface of Phoenix International Raceway on August 29-30. Teams and drivers scheduled to participate in that test are the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy with Tony Stewart, #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Kyle Busch, #22 Penske Racing Dodge with Kurt Busch, #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy with Jimmie Johnson and #99 Roush-Fenway Ford with Carl Edwards.(Goodyear)(8-18-2011)

  • Michigan Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in the both NASCAR series in action at Michigan this weekend will run the same Goodyear tire codes, though the Sprint Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup teams ran at Michigan in June . . . in the Cup Series, teams have also run this left-side tire code at Kentucky and this right-side code at Dover earlier this season . . . for the trucks, this is their first time on this left-side code, but also ran this right-side at Dover in May . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Michigan . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window for the Sprint Cup cars is every 36-40 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear), see full notes, pressures, codes on the Michigan Race Info page - Goodyear section.(8-19-2011)


    News from August 18, 2011

  • FAS Lane Racing gets sponsor for Michigan: Bebida Beverage Company a developer, manufacturer and marketer of relaxation and energy drinks announced today another major milestone In the marketing of their flagship product KOMA Unwind Relaxation Drink. An agreement has been reached with [#32 Ford] FAS Lane Racing for KOMA Unwind to be the primary sponsor for Kenny Schrader who will be driving in this week's NASCAR Sprint Cup Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. BeBevCo CEO and KOMA UNWIND developer Brian Weber and FAS Lane owner Frankie Stoddard have known one another since the late 80's when they were both involved in the NASCAR Busch North Series. After some recent negotiations, a deal was made between the two to expand the brand and help build for the future of KOMA Unwind.(PRNewswire)(8-18-2011)

  • Tire test ends at Martinsville: For the second straight day, Martinsville Speedway was turned into a half-mile laboratory. #31-Jeff Burton and four other NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers – #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #6-David Ragan, #2-Brad Keselowski and #47-Bobby Labonte – finished up a two-day tire test at Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday. The goal was to help Goodyear come up with a better racing compound for this fall’s TUMS Fast Relief 500. “Goodyear is always trying to make tires better and they work hard at building different compounds, different rubbers, different constructions,” said Burton who has 21 victories in 18 years of Sprint Cup racing. “They do a lot of lab testing, but really, this is the best place to test, at the race tracks. We’ve been picking out the tires we like and then we confirm what we like and don’t like on long runs. So we’ve made a lot of 10 and 20-lap runs and a bunch of 75-lap runs to confirm what we like. That is our main objective to being here.” With only one or two cars on the track at a time, and no real racing, tire testing seems like a monotonous exercise, but Burton says it is vital. Tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on Sunday, October 30 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(8-18-2011)

  • Support From Farmers and Ranchers, Smith Ready for Michigan Race: When it comes to promoting a sponsor or a cause, NASCAR Sprint Cup winner Regan Smith has the special knack to articulate a message without sounding scripted. The 27-year-old Smith will be wearing two hats this weekend at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), promoting the Furniture Row Racing team as well as the Farm American program, which will be showcased on his #78 Chevy. The Farm American initiative that Smith and the Furniture Row Companies have been backing for more than a year has attained plenty of interest in the agriculture community, including a financial partner in Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers based in St. Johns, Mich. Furniture Row and Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers are teaming to promote the importance of having a stable and robust agriculture industry along with bridging the awareness gap between urban and rural America. Smith's car will also carry the Farm American paint scheme at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sept. 4) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 9).(Furniture Row Racing), see image of scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(8-18-2011)

  • Edwards & RIR Reps spend day at sea: It was a day to remember. Richmond International Raceway representatives and NASCAR driver #99-Carl Edwards set out on a flight like no other. Strapped tightly into a C-2 Greyhound on Tuesday, August 16th, the team took off for the USS Eisenhower, located approximately 200 miles southeast of her home in Norfolk, VA. The one hour flight to the ship ended with a hook landing on the flight deck of the IKE. After departing the plane, Edwards and raceway officials were escorted through the ship to meet with the Commanding Officer, Captain Marcus Hitchcock. Following introductions, the team suited up again and headed back to the flight deck, where they observed F-18s hook landing and catapulting off the carrier. “I feel like a NASCAR fan right now,” explained Edwards. “This is just amazing. I’m fascinated by all of this, by what goes on on the flight deck. They let me stand right next to the F-18s as they were landing and taking off. Being this close and experiencing something like this must be what race fans feel like when they sit so close to the action at Richmond.” Edwards and Richmond International Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier spent most of their time on the IKE visiting with sailors, thanking them for their service. Edwards signed autographs, took photos and got to know many of the sailors aboard the ship. “Our sport has a great attachment to all branches of the military,” commented Bickmeier. “You see it every week - our events are very patriotic and that's why so many people love the attachment that NASCAR has to the military; and in particular, being close to RIR, it means a lot for us to honor these heroes every day for the job they do to keep us protected and safe." The crew even baked Edwards a personalized birthday cake and sang “Happy Birthday” during his visit to the mess hall. “We met an amazing group of sailors,” reflected Edwards. “It's just spectacular what these sailors are out here doing. They're sacrificing and putting themselves in a very high risk environment for our country. I'm just honored they had us here today. It's amazing how many of these folks follow our sport and love NASCAR. We met a bunch of fans who are going to be at Richmond in a few weeks.” As the visit came to a close, Edwards, Bickmeier and team all suited up, boarded the C-2 Greyhound and once again strapped in tightly for the catapult launch off the ship. After an hour flight back to the Norfolk Naval Station Air Terminal, the team departed the plane with sailors and pilots, thanking them for the experience and for their service. Many of the sailors Edwards met on the USS Eisenhower will be attend the September 9-10 NASCAR weekend at Richmond International Raceway. (RIR)(8-18-2011)

  • Said: "We Settled Our Differences": Boris Said told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he and Greg Biffle spoken via telephone Tuesday and cleared the air after their post-race confrontation at Watkins Glen international the previous day.
    "We talked about it today, and I think we settled our differences," said the California native, who threatened to "go see him at his house and (give him)... a freakin' whooping" after Biffle confronted him following the race. "We had a long talk and I think we're okay. Maybe now we'll be lovers, not fighters." Said insisted he was serious about fighting the Roush Fenway driver, saying, "If could have gotten to him (after the race), I'd have beat his ass. It's a good thing I didn't get to him. I had a bunch of people text me his address, and I would probably have been over there today if he hadn't called me."
    "There were two separate things that went on (Monday), and I just want to clarify them," he said. "The (crash) with David Ragan had nothing to do with what happened with Greg Biffle. The thing with Ragan is what I'm most sorry about, and it really was just one of those racing deals. It was a product of double-file restarts and the green-white-checker. The way I see it – after talking with David and Jack (Roush) today – I gave him the inside in Turn One and we were drag racing toward Turn Two. Then his spotter cleared him and he came across my bow. It was a split-second decision and I couldn't get out of the gas. I wasn't even thinking about getting out of the gas, I was thinking about racing to the outside of him in Turn Two. It was unfortunate and I felt really bad about it."
    "The issue with Biffle, I have big problems with," repeated Said. "He was two laps down, and on one of the (earlier) restarts he was trying to wreck me. He told me I was `number one' for an entire lap. He's a good one-handed driver, that's for sure. I wanted to wreck him, but I have a lot of respect for Jack Roush, (who) has helped me a lot over the years. I wasn't going to wreck his car, so after I finally got by him, I told my spotter, `You tell Biffle that I'm going to come to his hauler after the race. I'm going to give him a free shot, then I'm going to whup his ass.' If had gotten to him, I'd have beat his ass," said Said. "It's a good thing I didn't get to him. We talked about it today, and I think we settled our differences. We had a long talk and I think we're okay. Maybe now we'll be lovers, not fighters."
    Said confirmed that he and Biffle had issues a year ago at WGI, after Biffle accused him of racing too hard and forcing a three-wide situation in Turn One. "He said I'm not a (Sprint Cup) regular and I shouldn't be racing him hard," recalled Said. "I could understand that if I was driving my own car, had a single trailer and was showing up to one or two races a year. But James Finch has a full-time team and he's been writing checks to NASCAR for entry fees since long before Greg Biffle ever got there. When James hires me, he expects me to go 100-percent. He doesn't expect me to let people by just because they're in it for points. James is in it for points, too. That's what I have a big disagreement about with Biffle. When Michael Waltrip runs two races a year, he doesn't tell his sponsor, `Oh by the way, I'm going to have to pull over for all those (full-time) guys because I'm not running for points.' I get disappointed and frustrated when I hear comments like that from guys like Biffle. I need to go out there and run as hard as I can, or people aren't going to hire me to drive their cars. That's what a guy like James Finch expects."(Sirius Speedway)(8-18-2011)

  • WIX colors for Newman at Michigan: Ryan Newman will drive the gold-and-black colors of WIX Filters at Michigan International Speedway this weekend on the #39 Chevy. Newman's record in two starts with WIX Filters on the hood of the #39 includes two top-10 finishes – a sixth-place effort at Bristol last August and a third-place finish in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona (SHR), see image of scheme on the #39 Team Schemes page.(8-18-2011)

  • DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout Results Week 2: Week two of the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout competition narrowed the field to eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. Each proceeding driver earned an additional $11,250 for charity totaling $14,375 for each of the eight proceeding driver's charity of choice. Drivers will accrue a total of $400,000 for charity in the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout while one fan will win a new truck from the manufacturer of the winning driver. Two races remain in the battle for the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout title.
    Week 2 Fast Facts:
    A rain-delayed race eliminated several drivers from contention. Drivers who lost their position due to accidents include Kurt Busch who was collected at lap 50, an accident in turn one that eliminated Denny Hamlin, a single-car crash at lap 87 which ended the day for Paul Menard, as well as Tony Stewart who collided with the wall on the final lap.
    Second-place finisher Brad Keselowski eliminated Kyle Busch who led the race for 49 laps and finished just behind Keselowski in third.
    A.J. Allmendinger finished eighth and defeated 10th-place finisher Jimmie Johnson in race two of the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout.
    The Watkins Glen road course created an unforeseeable finish. No perfect brackets remain in the bracket-format competition.
    See results on Jayski's NASCAR Charity page. More info at directv.com and see the game at ESPN. Feel free to join the group Jayski "Fan"atics run by Mark Garrow.(8-18-2011)

  • President of Ford named honorary starter of Pure Michigan 400: Ford Motor Company’s President and CEO Alan Mulally will wave the green flag as honorary starter for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. As racing returns to the Irish Hills in the backyard of the auto industry, Mulally is excited to represent his company and the state of Michigan. “I am looking forward to representing the entire Ford team by waving the green flag at the start of the Pure Michigan 400,' said Mulally. “Michigan is Ford Motor Company's home. So there is always a little more excitement when our NASCAR teams get to race at our home track, Michigan International Speedway. Our employees, dealers, suppliers and all the Ford Motor Company stakeholders, whether in the stands or at home, will be pulling for our teams.” The honorary starter duties include waving the green flag to start the race. Mulally will also receive a pace car ride from NASCAR’s official pace car driver and attend the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers’ meeting. Mulally will be among many other dignitaries at MIS for the Pure Michigan 400, most notably current ESPN Football analyst and former University of Michigan star Desmond Howard, who will serve as the Pure Michigan 400 grand marshal. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 21 are as low as $30 while supplies last. Visit MISpeedway.com or call the MIS ticket hotline at 800-354-1010 today to take advantage of great pricing for 2011 events at MIS. The ticket office is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Friday; and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. As always, parking is free at MIS – and the track allows coolers through the gates.(MIS)(8-18-2011)


    News from August 17, 2011

  • Latest on Danica...to NASCAR in 2012: Danica Patrick next week will formally announce her intent to move to NASCAR full-time in 2012, multiple sources with knowledge of her contract negotiations told ESPN. Although her contracts are still being finalized, Patrick -- who has raced in both the IndyCar Series and the Nationwide series this season and last season -- will drive the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevy for the entire 2012 Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports, sources said. She also plans to enter select Sprint Cup races next season in cars prepared by Stewart-Haas Racing, with the intent to move to Sprint Cup full-time in a multiyear deal with Stewart-Haas in 2013, sources said. Patrick is expected to make the announcement in Phoenix, where GoDaddy.com is headquartered, in a news conference currently being arranged, according to sources. JR Motorsports representatives said Wednesday they have "nothing new to report." It is unknown at this time how this may affect Patrick's ability to compete in the 2012 Indianapolis 500, sources said.(ESPN)(8-17-2011)

  • Ambrose 4th foreign driver to win: After three Nationwide Series wins, a blunder last year at Sonoma and three top-3 finishes at Watkins Glen, #9-Marcos Ambrose finally got himself in Victory Lane in the Cup series by winning at Watkins Glen. In doing so, he became the first Australian-born driver to win a Cup race, and just the fourth foreign-born driver to win in NASCAR's top series. See the ol' accompanying list.
    Driver, Country, Wins
    Juan Pablo Montoya, Colombia, 2 (Sonoma, Watkins Glen)
    Marcos Ambrose, Australia, 1 (Watkins Glen)
    Mario Andretti, Italy, 1 (Daytona 500)
    Earl Ross, Canada, 1 (Martinsville)
    Ambrose now has four wins across the three NASCAR national touring series -- in Cup, Nationwide and Trucks. That's the second most in NASCAR history among foreign-born drivers is Canada's Ron Fellows has six wins (none in Sprint Cup)(ESPN)(8-17-2011)

  • Special scheme for Burton at Michigan: Cat Financial's associate sponsorship of RCR's #31 Chevy gets ramped up this weekend as driver Jeff Burton and the #31 team transform their track-type tractor #31 Caterpillar Chevy into a primarily yellow, red and black Cat Financial racing machine for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation is the financial arm of Caterpillar Inc., a Fortune 50 company, a technology leader and the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, natural gas and diesel engines, and industrial gas turbines. In addition to its presence on the #31 Chevy's C-post, SKF will also be adorned on the lower quarter panels of the RCR entry for this weekend. SKF is a longtime RCR technical partner who is headquartered in Sweden and is leading global provider of bearing, sealing, power transmission, maintenance, engineering and service solutions to a broad range of industries (RCR), see image of scheme on the #31 Team Schemes page.(8-17-2011)

  • Michael Waltrip on History Channel tonight: Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will be one of the featured guests in a History Channel special "You Don't Know Dixie" tonight at 9:00pm/et. Waltrip joins musician Trace Adkins, comedian Jeff Foxworthy and others on the two-hour-long program filmed at MWR earlier this summer (MWR)(8-17-2011)

  • Special Fan Event Joins NASCAR Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony: NASCAR announced the addition of a new fan-friendly event – the NASCAR Preview 2012, Presented by Sprint – that will follow January's 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. "NASCAR Acceleration Weekend," scheduled for Jan. 20-22 in Charlotte, N.C., gives race fans an unprecedented, festival-like experience with a combination of events and activities featuring the legends of the sport and stars of today. "The NASCAR Acceleration Weekend will be an unforgettable start of a special tradition centered on the NASCAR Hall of Fame," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "Putting the 2012 Induction Ceremony together with the NASCAR Preview 2012 makes this a must-visit event weekend for racing fans across the country."
    Kicking off the inaugural NASCAR Acceleration Weekend on Friday, Jan. 20 is the induction of the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2012 – Richie Evans, Dale Inman, Darrell Waltrip, Glen Wood, and Cale Yarborough – at a dinner and ceremony located in the Charlotte Convention Center, which adjoins the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This revered group, comprised of three drivers, a crew chief and a team owner, marks the third class to be inducted into the Hall. Exhibits of the five-member class will be unveiled inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Sunday, Jan. 22.
    Following the Induction Ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 21 is the NASCAR Preview 2012, Presented by Sprint, a new addition to the annual calendar reminiscent of popular season preview events of the past. The fan-focused, all-day event located inside the Charlotte Convention Center will feature driver and show car appearances, simulators, games, prizes, and a host of other fan-friendly and interactive activities. The highlight of the day for many fans will be autograph and on-stage Q&A sessions with drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, plus four of the five new NASCAR Hall of Fame members inducted the previous night.
    The NASCAR Preview 2012, Presented by Sprint now joins the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest at Daytona International Speedway, held the previous week, as the two premier events for fans to meet their favorite drivers and get revved up for the start of the season at the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 26. "Accessibility to the stars of the sport is what sets NASCAR apart from other professional sports," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "Giving fans an opportunity to honor legends of the sport one day and then meet future Hall of Famers the next day is the kind of fan-focused activities that the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte is uniquely positioned to deliver." Tickets for the 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and the NASCAR Preview 2012, Presented by Sprint go on sale Sept. 20. Fans can enter their e-mail address at www.nascaracceleration2012.com to receive updates and to receive a promo code for pre-sale opportunities.(NHOF)(8-17-2011)

  • Stephen Leicht Joins TBR: Stephen Leicht will join Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Richmond International Raceway September 10th. As an extension of Pepsi Max's promotion with Golden Corral and TBR, Pepsi Max will adorn the hood of the #35 Pepsi Max Chevrolet piloted by Leicht. Leicht made his NASCAR debut in 2005 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS). He made 71 starts in the series while driving for Yates Racing and Richard Childress Racing. The Asheville, N.C., native scored his only win in the 2007 NNS race at Kentucky Speedway while driving for Yates Racing. That same year, he finished seventh in the NNS point standings. In his 71 NNS starts, Leicht collected three top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. The 24-year-old also made a start in the NSCS at Pocono Raceway with Yates Racing. He started 36th and finished 33rd. "I've always watched Stephen's career," explained TBR Owner Tommy Baldwin. "He did really well when we tested a Cup car together, and I was really impressed. The opportunity came up, and we needed to fill the seat. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give Stephen a shot at racing in the Cup series."
    "I'm very excited to be working with Tommy Baldwin Racing," said Leicht. "I've known Tommy since back when I raced with Robert Yates Racing in 2007, and I'm really looking forward to this opportunity to compete in the Cup series." Pepsi Max is partnering with Golden Corral to promote the brand's entrance into Golden Corral restaurants. Golden Corral has served Pepsi's robust portfolio of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages in each of its 485 locations since 2007. "We are excited to expand our presence in the sport by partnering with Tommy Baldwin Racing for this unique Pepsi MAX promotion with Golden Corral," said Rand Eyberg, Vice President National Restaurants, PepsiCo Foodservice. Leicht will get behind the wheel of a TBR Chevrolet Wednesday to test at Gresham Motorsports Park in preparation for his TBR debut at Richmond International Raceway (TBR).(8-17-2011)

  • Biffle tells his side of the story [altercation with Boris Said]: When it was all said and done, #16-Greg Biffle didn't have to hide from #51-Boris Said and Said wasn't forced to find him as he had promised. The two spoke and aired their differences via phone Tuesday, and then Biffle headed to the SPEED Studios to share his side of the story with NASCAR Race Hub. Following is a transcript from host Steve Byrnes' interview with Biffle:
    On his response to Said's post-race comments:
    Biffle: "Several things to come mind. One – he wrecked me there last year. Never called me, never said anything about it. Number two – he ran me off in the carousel. That's what ticked me off. Same place we saw the 24 and 31 in that huge wreck – ran me off the track there and that was why I was mad at Boris Said. Then he goes and hits the 6 car off the track. We just heard him say (on video replay) that he had no choice. Well, I disagree about having no choice of turning a guy the wrong way into the wall. And then after the race, not concerned about the safety of those guys (David Ragan and David Reutimann), he drives to my truck and parks behind my car. I was fine after the race and that just set me off. He pulled up behind my truck like he had a problem. I didn't act properly there. I shouldn't have been as aggravated as I was. He should have went and parked at his truck, took his gear off and talked to me or whatever he wanted to do."
    On whether he was upset with Said that he seemed unconcerned about David Ragan and David Reutimann post-race:
    Biffle: "Yeah. That was kind of what fired me up because I had kind of forgotten about Boris Said running me off in the carousel. Let's face it – I could have turned him anywhere on that race track that I wanted to. I got more respect for our race cars and other competitors on the race track to do that. Did you see the video footage of his car (with damage) when they were putting it on the lift gate? That was the opposite side of the car that he had the scuffle with the 6 on. So, he had been in a lot more incidents in that race than that one. You can't come and race in this series and race guys with no respect at all. Come race hard, do your thing. Boris has a lot of talent, a lot of skill. He's just not showing it."
    On his Tuesday phone conversation with Said:
    Biffle: "He understands and he apologized for running me off in the carousel. He didn't know he did. That was probably the whole thing that led to him coming up to my truck because he didn't understand why I was so mad at him. He ran me off the race track in a very vulnerable spot, similar to what he did to the 6. We talked about it and I told him, 'You can very well be where Marcos Ambrose was yesterday. You need to get in a fast car and show your talent, not be beating and banging and running guys off the race track at spots like that.' We kind of said our peace and that's that."
    (jokingly) On whether Said is going to give him a black eye as promised Monday:
    Biffle: "I don't know (laughing). I felt like it was like fifth grade, right, which means after recess, 3 o'clock on Wednesday, we're going to fight over by the fence."(SPEED)(8-17-2011)

  • Watkins Glen TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International on Monday, Aug. 15, earned a national household coverage rating of 1.6, averaging 1,896,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The race was originally scheduled to be run on Sunday, Aug. 14, but was postponed until 10 a.m. Monday morning because of rain. ESPN televised a similarly rain-delayed race at Watkins Glen in 2009 and that race earned a 1.7 rating when run on a Monday. The last two years that the race has been run and televised as scheduled, 2010 and 2008, it earned a 3.6 rating.(ESPN), see past races and more on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(8-17-2011)

  • Martinsville Speedway Tire Test Just Another Day At The Track: Five drivers – #2-Brad Keselowski, #6-David Ragan, #47-Bobby Labonte, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #31-Jeff Burton – were strapped back in their racers by 10:00am/et Tuesday at Martinsville Speedway, less than 24 hours after finishing up a grueling race at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York. They were in town for a two-day Goodyear tire test, helping Goodyear improve its racing tires, and just as importantly to the drivers, perhaps gaining a little knowledge for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville on October 30. "It's not often you get to do any testing in this sport on tracks that mean anything and obviously Martinsville means a lot to our team," said Keselowski, who is still nursing a broken ankle from a crash a couple weeks ago. "It looks like there's a great potential for our team to be in the Chase, so anything we can bring back here in October is important." Early mornings are nothing new to these guys, even on the day after a long weekend at the track.
    "A day like today is kind of normal for us. I'm up by 7:30 every Monday morning," said Ragan, who was involved in a brutal crash at Watkins Glen in Monday's rain-delayed race. "We have meetings every Monday morning at our race shop. The guys on the team are back at work at 6:30 every Monday morning. It's what we enjoy doing. I'm glad to be at the race track."
    And the extra work this week could pay big dividends in October. "To get an opportunity to come to a race track where you have some data is a huge advantage," said Ragan. "We ran well here in the spring. We finished seventh. This fall is an important race for us and anything we can get out of this test will be big".
    "You're lucky if you can hit on five or 10 percent of what you're trying to hit on and come back with it," said Keselowski. "It's hard to say how much it will help. We may do this whole test and not find a thing, but you got to try. I've had the good fortune to run three races here at the Cup level and feel like if I could grow just a little more could win one of these. Hopefully the extra seat time will help." The Goodyear tire test will continue Wednesday at Martinsville Speedway with the same drivers. The session is open to the public at no charge. Testing will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an hour break at noon. Tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on Sunday, October 30, the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, October 29 and the NASCAR practice day on Friday, October 28 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(8-17-2011)

  • The Numbers for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan Int'l Speedway:
    0 - fewest cautions (three times, most recent 6/13/99)
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (Mark Martin, 6/14/09)
    2 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (five times, most recent 6/15/75)
    5 - fewest leaders (five times, most recent 8/12/84)
    6 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    6 - wins by Dodge at MIS since manufacturer's return to NASCAR in 2001
    7 - fewest lead changes (8/12/84)
    8 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at MIS
    9 - most wins (David Pearson)
    10 - most poles (David Pearson)
    10 - most cautions (8/20/06)
    11 - wins by car owner (Wood Brothers, Jack Roush)
    14 - fewest cars running at finish (6/16/74)
    15 - most leaders (6/20/82)
    18 - drivers with more than one win
    21 - drivers with more than one pole at MIS
    21 - lead changes in June race at MIS
    24 - wins from the front row; 16 from the pole
    32 - worst starting position for race winner (Mark Martin, 2009)
    33 - different race winners
    37 - most cars on lead lap at finish (6/18/06)
    40 - different pole winners
    41 - most cars running at finish (five times, most recent 6/17/07)
    63 - most caution laps (8/24/75)
    65 - most lead changes (8/16/81)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.0-mile track
    162 - laps led by race winner (Rusty Wallace, 8/20/89)
    1967 - year construction began on MIS
    1969 - first Sprint Cup race
    1972 - track purchased by Roger Penske
    1973 - only one Sprint Cup race
    1999 - year MIS purchased by ISC
    2011 Caution Update
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono)
    5 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    5 - number of cautions in June race at MIS
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    162 - number of cautions in the first 22 races of 2011; includes 76 for accidents, 38 for debris and 23 for spins
    753 of 6,048 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    1,101.611 of 8, 760.258 - miles under caution in the first 22 races
    BONUS: In addition to Michigan Int'l Speedway, three other Michigan tracks hosted five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in the 1950s - Grand River Speedrome (Grand Rapids), Michigan State Fairgrounds (Detroit) and Monroe Speedway.(Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(8-17-2011)

  • SAFER walls to be installed at the Rock: The Rockingham Speedway, which hosted NASCAR Sprint Cup races from 1965 to 2004, is taking a huge step toward once again hosting big-league racing as SAFER "soft wall" barriers will be installed next month. The energy-absorbing system will be installed in two phases, in mid-September and late December, covering all four turns of the one-mile oval and the inside of the backstretch wall. The most common estimate of the SAFER barrier cost is $1 million per mile. "Yes, that's expensive," said Robert Ingraham, the track's general manager, "but nothing's more expensive than having someone hurt." NASCAR requires racetracks to have the SAFER barrier in place before they can host one of the sanctioning body's top three national series -- Sprint Cup, Nationwide, or Camping World Trucks. Rockingham, then known as North Carolina Motor Speedway, hosted 78 Sprint Cup events and 42 Nationwide Series races, but it hasn't held a NASCAR event since Matt Kenseth's victory in the Subway 400 on Feb. 22, 2004. The track and the 244 acres it sits on were dormant for nearly four years before it was purchased by veteran racer Andy Hillenburg at auction on Sept. 27, 2007. Rockingham officials have had discussions with NASCAR, albeit informal, about the possibility of a Nationwide or Truck Series event returning to the track more commonly known as The Rock. A source within NASCAR, speaking on condition of anonymity, admits as much. However, the lack of a SAFER barrier had always been an insurmountable issue. Without the promise of a NASCAR race, Hillenburg wasn't confident enough to try and secure funds for SAFER installation. That now appears to have changed. Just last month, Nashville Superspeedway announced it was closing, essentially orphaning four NASCAR events, two each in Nationwide and Trucks. Since that announcement, speculation has run rampant as to where those races might end up in 2012. Next season's NASCAR schedules have not yet been finalized.(ESPN)(8-17-2011)

  • More SAFER at Watkins Glen? NASCAR is talking to officials at Watkins Glen International about adding SAFER barriers and reconfiguring the angle of walls in key areas around the road course following Monday's Sprint Cup race in which there were two violent crashes. The governing body also is discussing the situation with engineers at the University of Nebraska that designed the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers about what can be done to improve safety. The concerns came from two wrecks. The first involved #11-Denny Hamlin crashing head on into a tire barrier early. The one that brought the most concern came on the final lap in Turn 2. #51-Boris Said got into the back of David Ragan's #6 Ford, which bounced off a steel and tire barrier into David Reutimann's car, sending the #00 upside down into another barrier with parts flying everywhere. "We learn something every day on the possibility of what can happen,'' NASCAR president Mike Helton said on Tuesday from the NASCAR Hall of Fame where he announced plans to move the induction ceremony to January 20. "When you see something unusual like that you have to study it and see what's the better circumstance for that not to happen again. There are some areas, the engineers from the University of Nebraska have told us, where the SAFER barriers could be worse. We just have to make sure we do it right.'' Helton said NASCAR and the University of Nebraska are taking a hard look at where SAFER barriers could be beneficial and where re-aligning the angle of the walls will prevent cars from being thrown back onto the track. "There's some areas where a SAFER barrier isn't the best answer, particularly on a road course because of the uniqueness of going left and right,'' Helton said. "So far, at least from what we've been told, there are some areas that may not. That doesn't mean all the areas that need to be covered are covered, but SAFER barriers are not always the perfect answer for a situation.''(ESPN)(8-17-2011)


    News from August 16, 2011

  • Kroger Sponsors Kenseth at Michigan: Kroger announced their sponsorship of Roush Fenway Racing’s Matt Kenseth and his #17 Ford in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. “We are excited to be a part of Michigan racing and to support the Michigan auto industry, in general,” said Dale Hollandsworth, Customer Communications Manager, The Kroger Co. of Michigan. “Just as automobiles are a tradition in Michigan, Kroger supporting its customers and local organizations is a Michigan tradition, too.” Whether it is Fuel Rewards or Kroger Community Rewards, Kroger will support its communities and customers. Kroger helps Michigan drivers save money through its fuel reward program by providing discounts on fill-ups. Kroger offers customers one point for every dollar they spend when they present their Kroger Plus card at any store within Michigan. Customers have the convenience of redeeming these points for fuel discounts up to $1 per gallon at any Kroger fuel center and up to 10 cents per gallon at participating Shell stations. Kroger has long sponsored various organizations in the communities it serves with programs such as Kroger Community Rewards, which contributes $2 million to participating organizations throughout Michigan each year. Kroger Community Rewards is open to groups that are tax exempt under 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, with organizations earning cash rewards every time their members purchase food and other products at Kroger.(Roush Fenway Racing)(8-16-2011)

  • Marcos Ambrose Qualifies for Sprint Summer Showdown: With his win in Monday’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Marcos Ambrose is qualified to be a finalist for a chance to earn a $3 million payout in the Sprint Summer Showdown. If Ambrose can also win the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend, he will claim the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D title and win $1 million for himself, $1 million for his designated charity, Victory Junction, and $1 million dollars for a lucky race fan. Later this week a fan will be randomly selected from the pool of entrants who correctly picked Ambrose to win the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at sprint.com/speed. That lucky fan will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway and be there in person to see whether Ambrose can win at Atlanta. If he claims the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D, the fan will win $1 million. Fans should visit sprint.com/speed before each of the two remaining qualifying races to choose which driver they think will win that week’s event. A different fan will be randomly selected after each race and will be in Atlanta for the final event of the six-consecutive-race series to cheer on their driver as he vies for the $3 million payout. Fans can change their picks until the scheduled start time for each event.
    Name, Race, Designated Charity
    Paul Menard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Habitat for Humanity
    Brad Keselowski, Pocono Raceway, Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation
    Marcos Ambrose, Watkins Glen International, Victory Junction
    Michigan International Speedway
    Bristol Motor Speedway
    Atlanta Motor Speedway
    (Sprint Summer Showdown PR), for more info see Jayski's Contest page.(8-16-2011)

  • Dale Jr. protests finishing spot, but loses appeal: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was adamant that he should have finished 14th instead of 15th in Monday's Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International. NASCAR didn't agree. After protesting the order of finish for nearly 15 minutes, Earnhardt emerged from the NASCAR hauler giving the thumbs down signal to crew chiefs for Ryan Newman, David Ragan and Brian Vickers, who also questioned the results. The biggest issue was whether Richard Childress Racing driver Clint Bowyer improved his position after the caution flag came out on the final lap to secure Marcos Ambrose's first Cup win. NASCAR officials told Earnhardt that Bowyer did not improve his position and awarded him 11th. Earnhardt, who is fighting to stay in the top 10 in points, stayed at 15th. "I thought the 33 (Bowyer) was in the accident and that we should be positioned in front of him,'' Earnhardt said. "Points are points, man. They're real important. But they said he maintained reasonable speed and was positioned to finish in front of me, which I can't argue with them.''(ESPN)(8-16-2011)

  • Pediatric Care Center in NJ to be named after Truex Jr.: The Pediatric Care Center at Southern Ocean Medical Center will carry NASCAR driver and township native Martin Truex Jr.’s name. The Pediatric Care Center improvement is part of a $20 million emergency room expansion at the hospital. An October fundraiser, the Martin Truex Jr. Great Causeway Challenge, will raise money for the center, which includes six patient rooms. The multimillion-dollar expansion will triple the size of the emergency room, double patient capacity and add the new pediatric center. The expansion is expected to be completed at the end of 2013. The hospital treats over 40,000 patients each year. The event features a duathlon, starting with a 30-mile bike ride across the Route 72 Causeway Bridge to Ship Bottom, north to Barnegat Light and back, followed by a 10K run. The 10K race is sponsored by the Southern Ocean Medical Center staff, Bleiman said. There will also be a 5K run, a 5K walk and a children’s 1-mile fun run. More info at martintruexjrfoundation.org.(Atlantic City Press)(8-16-2011)

  • Latest feud - Said vs. Biffle: NASCAR officials will review an incident in which #16-Greg Biffle took a swing at #51-Boris Said in the garage following Monday's Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International. According to witnesses, Biffle approached Said's car after a wild green-white-checkered finish in which Said got into the back of #6-David Ragan, Biffle's Roush Fenway Racing teammate. After the race, Biffle took at least one swing at Said through the window of Said's Phoenix Racing Chevy. Once Said unstrapped himself and climbed out of the car he went after Biffle, who by then was protected by his crew. "He is the most unprofessional little scaredy cat I've ever seen in my life,'' said an angry Said during a TV interview with ESPN The Magazine's Ryan McGee. "He wouldn't even fight me like a man after. So if someone texts me his address, I'll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs." Biffle used his Twitter page to respond to Said's remarks. "Boris,'the roadcourse ringer' caused that wreck," he posted on his page, later adding. "Then Mr. Class pulls in behind my truck after the race today?! Shouldn't you go check on David & David? How unprofessional & disrespectful!" Both drivers left the track before NASCAR officials had a chance to talk to them. "We are evaluating the situation," NASCAR spokesperson Kristi King said. Any potential penalties likely would be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday.(ESPN.com)(8-16-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen: For NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race on Sunday at 12:56 PM, stopped at the rain delay at 1:01 PM; resumed on Monday at 10:02 AM, then stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 12:29 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 81
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 46
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 21
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 2 min. 15 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods (Sunday): 12:56 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods (Sunday): 1:01 PM
    Start time to record race/commercial periods (Monday): 10:02 AM
    End time to record race/commercial periods (Monday): 12:29 PM
    Total minutes: 152
    Minutes of race broadcast: 114
    Minutes of commercials: 38
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Number of sweet shots of a child using his garage pass to catch rain drops, and then lick them off: 1 (Boris Said's boy)
    Total race brdcst time 114 Total comm. brdcst time 38
    See more on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(8-16-2011)

  • At Michigan International Speedway:
    • Michigan International Speedway sits on more than 1,400 acres in the "Irish Hills" of Southeastern Michigan. Ground-breaking took place on Sept. 28, 1967.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan was held June 15, 1969.
    • The track was known as Michigan Speedway during the time Roger Penske was the primary owner (1996-99).
    • There have been 84 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan International Speedway since the first race there in 1969. Other than 1973, which had just one race, there have been two races each season since 1969.
    • The first race was 500 miles in length; the second was scheduled for 600. The track was re-measured to 2.04 miles for the last race in 1970 and both races in 1971 - with the race distance being 402 miles. All other races have been scheduled for 400 miles.
    • Donnie Allison won the first pole.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was won by Cale Yarborough.
    • There have been 40 different pole winners, led by David Pearson with 10. Mark Martin has five poles.
    • 33 different drivers have won races, led by David Pearson (nine); 18 have more than one victory there.
    • The race winner has started from the pole 16 times, the most productive starting position. Brian Vickers (August 2009) was the last driver to win from the pole.
    • 65 of 84 races have been won from a top-10 starting position, including 46 from the first four spots.
    • The deepest in the field a race winner has started was 32nd, by Mark Martin in last season's June race.
    • The Wood Brothers and Roush Fenway Racing both have 11 wins, more than any other car owners.
    • Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin are the only active drivers to average a top-10 finish. Edwards, who has two Michigan wins, has an average finish of 6.2. Coincidentally, Edwards' first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start came at Michigan. Kenseth, who also has two victories, has an average finish of 9.5. Hamlin's average finish is 10.0.(NASCAR)(8-16-2011)

  • Darryl Worley performing pre-race concert at Bristol: Country music star Darryl Worley will take to the stage prior to the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway for a pre-race concert Aug. 27.The Memphis-born singer has released six albums, the latest entitled "Sounds Like Life." Worley has had 18 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including three number one songs, "I Miss My Friend", "Have You Forgotten?", and "Awful, Beautiful Life". Tickets are available for all four night races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Fans can enjoy both the IRWIN Tools Night Race and the Food City 250 for as little as $99. Should they be in town for the Wednesday night doubleheader, fans can take in all four races under the lights in packages starting at $129. To purchase tickets, fans may contact the BMS ticket office at 1-866-415-4158 or 423-BRISTOL.(BMS)(8-16-2011)


    News from August 15, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon (36/22)
    #21-Trevor Bayne (38/12)
    #30-David Stremme (44/10)
    #37-Tony Raines (39/22)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (37/22)
    #46-Erik Darnell (40/22)
    #55-J.J. Yeley (52/4)
    #50-T.J. Bell (48/8)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/22)
    #66-Todd Bodine (41/22)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/22)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 21,7,38,37,46,66,87,60
    missing the race would be [3]: #'s30,50,55
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Michigan Entry List.(8-15-2011)

  • Ambrose wins at Watkins Glen: #9-Marcos Ambrose won the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International on Monday after the race was postponed Sunday because of rain. It is his 1st career win and he becomes the 5th first time winner of 2011 and the 15th different winner for the year.
    #2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #56-Truex, Tr., #20-Logano, #29-Harvick, #42-Montoya, #43-Allmendinger, #31-Burton, and #48-Johnson.
    The race ended under caution after a wreck on the last lap between #6-Ragan and #00-Reutimann that caused Reutimann's car to flip.
    #99-Edwards finished 13th and lost the points lead to #18-Kyle Busch. The two drivers are now tied with 752 points.
    There were 14 lead changes among 9 drivers and 5 cautions for 13 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 85,000, down from 90,000 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air:
    SPEED, Wednesday, August 17 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Watkins Glen Race Results/Awards page.(8-15-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Watkins Glen:
    Marcos Ambrose won the 26th Annual Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen, his first victory in 105 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in four races at Watkins Glen International.
    Brad Keselowski (second) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Watkins Glen International. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2011.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in seven races at Watkins Glen International.
    Andy Lally (21st) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 0 points over Carl Edwards.
    Ambrose became the fifth different first-time winner this season, most since 2002.
    Last time Todd Parrot won was at Talladega on Oct. 2, 2005.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-15-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Watkins Glen, race 22 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #18-Kyle Busch [3 wins], 752
    2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 752, -0
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 746, -6
    4) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 738, -14
    5) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 724, -28
    6) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 712, -40
    7) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 700, -52
    8) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 686, -66
    9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 670, -82
    10) #14-Tony Stewart, 659, -93
    current wild cards
    11) #2-Brad Keselowski [2 wins], 601, -151 [14th in points, 2 wins]
    12) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 626, -126 [12th in points, 1 win]
    others in contension for the wild card
    14) #27-Paul Menard [1 win], 599, -153 [15th in points, 1 win]
    Three race winners are not inside the top-20: #9-Ambrose is 22nd, 1 point out of 20th; #6-David Ragan is 23rd, 5 pts out of 20th; #78-Smith is 25th, 82 pts out of 20th
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as they are in the top-20 in points, then if no wins by drivers points
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(8-15-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Michigan:
    #71 increases it's lead to 19 over 36th in owners pts, the #7 team.
    33) #13-Mears/Germain, 315, +47
    34) #32-Ranger/FAS Lane, 305, +37
    35) #71-Lally/TRG, 287, 19 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #7-Gordon/Wimmer/RGM, 268, 19 points out of top 35
    37) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 249, -38
    38) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 218,-69
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(8-15-2011)

  • Watkins Glen race postponed to Monday: UPDATE: A solid band of rain that moved into Watkins Glen just as the race was scheduled to get underway has forced NASCAR to postpone the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen. Prerace festivities were able to be completed, but the race was unable to get started and NASCAR made the decision to postpone at 4:30pm/et. The race has been rescheduled for 10am/et Monday and will be shown live on ESPN. The weather forecast for Monday is currently for a 60% chance of rain. Gates at Watkins Glen will open for admission beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning. All grandstands will be open for general admission access and fans with general admission tickets are asked to please allow fans with reserved tickets to sit in the seat they purchased. Fans that purchased a Sunday Fan Walk pass for this weekend will be permitted to access the pits from 8:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, NASCAR registration and media center will all open at 7:30 a.m. The Watkins Glen International ticket and credential offices will also open at 8:00 a.m. Fans that have not yet purchased tickets, may still buy tickets for the 90-lap event; tickets begin at just $55. See some weather links on my Watkins Glen Race Page - weather section.(8-14-2011)
    UPDATE: The weather forecast for Monday continues to call for a 60% chance of rain, but the morning looks like the best time to try to get the race in. The hourly forecast calls for just a 30% chance of rain at 10:00am/et, but the chance increasing throughout the day. Unless an isolated cell hits the track, NASCAR should be able to at least get to halfway.(8-15-2011)

  • Berrier to MWR? Todd Berrier -- the star Sprint Cup crew chief for so many years with Richard Childress, first with #29-Kevin Harvick, lately with #31-Jeff Burton -- could be headed to the Toyota camp, according to those familiar with the situation. Perhaps some division of the huge Michael Waltrip empire, which include the Tad Geschickter team, as well as Pastrana-Waltrip.(MikeMulhern.net)(8-15-2011)

  • Additional Activities Available At Atlanta: The AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 4 is the culmination of what once again promises to be the biggest Labor Day party in the USA. But for eager race fans, there is so much more to the weekend's festivities than just the AdvoCare 500. Those already holding tickets to the AdvoCare 500 can add a general admission ticket to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, Sept. 2 and the Great Clips 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Sept. 3 for just $39. An AdvoCare 500 ticket also allows fans to catch the pre-race Fast Cars and Guitars concert with Lynyrd Skynyrd. Music enthusiasts can purchase a stagefront access pass for only $59. This pass grants up front access to the Southern Rock legends, as well as gives on-track viewing for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver introductions, minutes before the drop of the green flag in the AdvoCare 500. On top of that, AdvoCare 500 ticket holders gain free entry to a breakfast on Monday, Sept. 5 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series garage.(AMS)(8-15-2011)


    News from August 14, 2011

  • Watkins Glen race postponed to Monday: A solid band of rain that moved into Watkins Glen just as the race was scheduled to get underway has forced NASCAR to postpone the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen. Prerace festivities were able to be completed, but the race was unable to get started and NASCAR made the decision to postpone at 4:30pm/et. The race has been rescheduled for 10am/et Monday and will be shown live on ESPN. The weather forecast for Monday is currently for a 60% chance of rain. Gates at Watkins Glen will open for admission beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Monday morning. All grandstands will be open for general admission access and fans with general admission tickets are asked to please allow fans with reserved tickets to sit in the seat they purchased. Fans that purchased a Sunday Fan Walk pass for this weekend will be permitted to access the pits from 8:00 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, NASCAR registration and media center will all open at 7:30 a.m. The Watkins Glen International ticket and credential offices will also open at 8:00 a.m. Fans that have not yet purchased tickets, may still buy tickets for the 90-lap event; tickets begin at just $55. See some weather links on my Watkins Glen Race Page - weather section.(8-14-2011)

  • Paint schemes added from Watkins Glen in August:
    #16 Valvoline, #27 Menard's / Pittsburgh Paints, #32 Bullyhill, #36 Golden Corral, #37 Green Stuff, #38 Long John Silver, #46 Fisher Nuts, #47 CapitalDPO, #51 Phoenix Racing, #55 White Ford and #77 GNC / Speed Energy.(8-14-2011)

  • Rain could be an issue for the race: The current forecast for Watkins Glen by the Weather Channel calls for an 80% chance of rain Sunday, with a 70% chance at 1:00pm/et when the race is scheduled to start. That 70% chance continues until 9:00pm/et. Watkins Glen does not have lights. The Monday forecast is not much better, with a 70% chance of rain during the day. See more weather links on my Watkins Glen Race Page - Weather section.(8-14-2011)

  • Hamlin could have TRD engine at Michigan: #11-Denny Hamlin, who has experienced more than his share of engine issues this season, may have a Toyota Racing Development engine in his Sprint Cup car next weekend at Michigan. TRD president Lee White said there remain issues to work out, the biggest fitting the TRD engine into a car for which Joe Gibbs Racing builds engines specifically. Hamlin said he and crew chief Mike Ford requested the change as the team, ranked 11th in points and currently holding the second wild-card spot with a win, tries to solidify its Chase position. "We felt like we were on pace to have an engine failure every four weeks or so,'' Hamlin said after hitting the wall during qualifying for Sunday's race at Watkins Glen International. "We just knew we were going to have another one before the Chase started if the odds worked out, and another couple in the Chase. We asked TRD to help us out and they were more than happy to help us out."(ESPN.com)(8-14-2011)

  • Dover expands junior seating options for race weekend: In an effort to make the sport of NASCAR and Dover International Speedway more accessible to young fans, the Monster Mile has expanded its junior ticketing options for its fall 2011 race weekend. Fans now have more seating areas to choose from when taking advantage of the $8 junior tickets for the Sept. 30 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race and Oct. 1 "OneMain Financial 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series race, and $10 junior tickets for the Oct. 2 "AAA 400" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Junior seating for the Oct. 2 race has been expanded to include Turn 2 and Turn 3 at the Monster Mile, in sections 137-144, rows 1-15, and sections 194-207, rows 1-15. The available seating areas include seven alcohol- and tobacco-free sections. For the Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 races, junior seating is available in all sections of Dover International Speedway. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011 race weekend, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.(Dover Speedway)(8-14-2011)


    News from August 13, 2011

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International have been made.
    Pole sitter #18-Kyle Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #43-Allmendinger took pit stall 37, the first pitstall with an opening behind it..
    #9-Ambrose, who starts 3rd took the 38th pit stall, with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #51-Said, who starts 15th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(8-13-2011)

  • Kyle Busch wins Watkins Glen pole: #18-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light pole for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International with a speed of 126.421mph. It is his 1st pole of the season and the 8th of his career. #43-Allmendinger starts 2nd followed by #9-Ambrose, #48-Johnson, #42-Montoya, #39-Newman, #14-Stewart, #99-Edwards, #56-Truex, Jr., and #78-Smith.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #87-Nemechek, #37-Speed, #55-Yeley, #7-Gordon, #66-McDowell, #50-Bell, #60-Skinner, and #38-Labonte (who used the past champion provisional).
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #35-Blaney, #46-Simo, #77-Jones.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Watkins Glen Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page. (8-12-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Watkins Glen:
    Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 26th Annual Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen with a lap of 69.767 seconds, 126.421 mph, a new track record. Previous record was held by Jeff Gordon with a speed of 124.580 mph (8/10/2003).
    This is his eighth pole in 244 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and eighth top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his first pole in seven races at Watkins Glen International.
    A J Allmendinger (second) posted his ninth top-10 start of 2011 and his second in four races at Watkins Glen International.
    Marcos Ambrose (third) posted his second top-10 start at Watkins Glen International. It is his sixth in 22 races this season.
    Andy Lally (36th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-12-2011)

  • NASCAR changes rule for gasman: The following rule change is effective August 11, 2011 for all three NASCAR national series:
    9-15 Pit Procedures During Race -
    M. The fuel handler must be in control of the fuel can at all times when fuel is being added to the car. The fuel handler will not be permitted to perform any adjustments or other pit stop procedures while the fuel can coupler is engaged with the car-mounted adapter.
    "In an ongoing effort to keep pit road safer, we have made this adjustment to the duties of the fuel handler. If the fueler's only responsibility is to fuel the car, he will do a better job and make fewer mistakes on pit road." - NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby.(NASCAR)(8-13-2011)

  • New HANS device approved: NASCAR officials have approved the Sport II HANS device for competition in all NASCAR series. The new device features a lower rounded collar and is lighter, making for an easier fit for drivers. "No matter what type of car, what kind of track, drag strip or off-road event, a head and neck restraint should be included in any driver's safety equipment," said Gary Milgrom, vice president of HANS Performance Products.(Charlotte Observer)(8-13-2011)

  • Montoya gets new tire changer: Pedro Martinez is the new front tire changer for the #42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy and driver Juan Pablo Montoya in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Martinez, 22, replaces Trevor Lysne, who was arrested Tuesday and charged with trafficking marijuana in Huntersville, N.C. Lysne is no longer employed by EGR. "It is something that the team had to deal with it and NASCAR had to deal with it," Montoya said. "We left it at that. Personally, we made some changes in our crew. And that's it. We get on with our business to try to win here and that's it." Martinez, a San Antonio native, previously worked with the development team at EGR.(Fox Sports)(8-13-2011)

  • No plans to change Chase schedule: Don't expect the Chase schedule to change anytime soon. When asked Friday at Watkins Glen about the possibility of a road course being included in the Chase, NASCAR president Mike Helton said that while he wouldn't completely rule out the idea, it's not on NASCAR's radar. "There's nothing on the table today," Helton said. "We wouldn't stack races up in the Chase for the benefit of the Chase. The Chase is the last 10 races of the season. But as the evolution of changes go on, who knows what could end up as the last 10 races." Helton explained that when NASCAR came up with the Chase format, it had no intention of establishing a new 10-race schedule. Rather, NASCAR simply took the schedule as it was and made the last 10 races the Chase schedule. He added that he doesn't anticipate that changing.(Yahoo Sports)(8-13-2011)

  • Faces of Vietnam Veterans on Army NASCAR, NHRA Cars: The U.S. Army, in conjunction with Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Don Schumacher Racing in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, will run special paint schemes honoring the men and women who served in the Vietnam War on the Soldiers' race cars during Veterans Day weekend. In honor of these Veterans' service and sacrifice, who served during the conflict that started 50 years ago, selected photos will be featured on the hood, trunk, side panels and bumpers when Ryan Newman gets behind the wheel of the #39 U.S. Army Chevy at the Nov. 13 Kobalt Tools 500k NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher's U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster will don the custom paint scheme when he straps in at Pomona, Calif., for the Nov. 13 Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. Beginning today, Vietnam Army Veterans, along with their families, friends and loved ones, can go online and submit photos of the men and women who have embraced the call of duty and helped build and protect our country at www.goarmy.com/yourphotohere. All Vietnam Veterans shown in uniform are eligible for inclusion among the photos in the special paint scheme. Images will be collected through Sept. 16.(Army Racing PR)(8-13-2011)

  • Jeff Gordon newest member of Legends of The Glen: Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International, announced that #24-Jeff Gordon has been named the first member of the Class of 2011 for the Legends of The Glen. In front of local, regional, and international media, Printup presented Gordon with a hand-blown glass vase made by Vitrix Glass of Corning, NY, during an induction ceremony held in the historic road course's media center. Mike Helton, president of NASCAR, was also in attendance to acknowledge Gordon's contributions to the sport and join the celebration. "When you talk about Watkins Glen International and NASCAR, one of the first people that have to be mentioned is Jeff Gordon and it is well deserved with the incredible success that he has achieved here," said Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International. "He has represented The Glen as our champion four times and each time has done so with exceptional class and dignity. We are thrilled to welcome Jeff into this elite group of people that have had such a profound impact on our history."(Watkins Glen PR)(8-13-2011)

  • Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Return to Atlanta to Perform National Anthem: Grammy-nominated and award-winning Ernie Haase & Signature Sound will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second consecutive year to perform the National Anthem prior to the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 4. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (EHSS) is a Grammy-nominated and award-winning gospel quartet that combines modern musical concepts with the timeless quality of vocal groups to break the traditional mold of gospel quartets. "We have never received a more positive response from any National Anthem performer in the history of Atlanta Motor Speedway than what we saw last year after Ernie Haase & Signature Sound presented the National Anthem," said AMS President and General Manager Ed Clark. In addition to Sunday's performance by EHSS, the pre-race National Anthem for the Great Clips 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series night race on Saturday, Sept. 4 will be performed by the Song of Atlanta Show Chorus. The Song of Atlanta Show Chorus is a group of more than 100 women of all ages dedicated to celebrating the art of barbershop-style music.The pre-race National Anthem for Friday's Sept. 2 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series night race will be performed by the McDonough Presbyterian Men's Choir.(AMS)(8-13-2011)

  • Jimmie Johnson to visit with MIS Kids Club members: MIS Kids Club members will have the opportunity to take part in an exclusive Q&A Session with the five-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, Aug. 21. The MIS Kids Club event will begin at 10:15 a.m. in the MIS Cares Kids Zone in the New Holland Fan Plaza. Registration tables will be available beginning at 9:30 a.m. to scan MIS Kids Club membership cards, as well as sign up new members. The MIS Kids Club is designed for the speedway's young racing fans. Children 12 years of age or younger can now connect with MIS to stay updated on all the latest news, as well as be able to take part in exclusive race weekend and other special events. The MIS Kids Club membership is free and will provide a child with an official membership card, Kids Club gift, Kids Club member-only race weekend activity, members-only contests with great prizes and a chance to win great race weekend experiences. To sign up prior to Sunday's event, fans can stop by the Fan Appreciation booth in the New Holland Fan Plaza or visit http://www.miskidsclub.com.(MIS)(8-13-2011)


    News from August 12, 2011

  • Final practice for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International is over, after 80 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #9-Ambrose 126.604
    #22-Busch 125.795
    #99-Edwards 125.761
    #2-Keselowski 125.722
    #56-Truex, Jr. 125.636
    slowest: #32-Ranger 121.464 & #60-Skinner 121.371
    notes: #17-Kenseth spun on his first lap in turn 5 while trying to avoid #7-Gordon.
    See speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Watkins Glen Practice Speeds Page. (8-12-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #37-Scott Speed, 14th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 18th
    #55-J.J. Yeley, 22nd
    #66-Michael McDowell, 27th
    #35-Dave Blaney, 35th
    #77-P.J. Jones, 36th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 38th
    #38-Terry Labonte [PC], 44th
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #46-Brian Simo, 42nd
    #50-T.J. Bell, 43rd
    #60-Mike Skinner, 46th
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Qualifying Order for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #60-Skinner, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #18-Busch, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Watkins Glen Qualifying Page.(8-12-2011)

  • 1st Friday practice for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International is over after 110 minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #18-Busch 125.566
    #42-Montoya 125.557
    #43-Allmendinger 125.544
    #39-Newman 125.233
    #2-Keselowski 125.185
    slowest: #37-Speed 119.769 & #6-Skinner 119.428.
    notes: #7-Gordon started smoking early in the session but the team diagnosed it as trouble with the power steering line. #14-Stewart spun a couple times, but didn't hit anything. #13-Mears blew an engine.
    See speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Watkins Glen Practice Speeds Page.(8-12-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 35th
    #46-Brian Simo, 36th
    #55-J.J. Yeley, 37th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 38th
    #38-Terry Labonte [PC], 40th
    #35-Dave Blaney, 41st
    #77-P.J. Jones, 42nd
    #66-Michael McDowell, 43rd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #50-T.J. Bell, 44th
    #37-Scott Speed, 45th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 46th
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Gibbs fourth team "a long shot": Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs said plans for a fourth Sprint Cup team were not necessarily derailed when Carl Edwards opted to remain with Roush Fenway Racing, rather than jump to JGR. "In each of the last three years, we've looked around to see what kind of things pop-up that would allow us to make (a fourth team) work," Gibbs said. "But it all has to come together. You have to have a driver, which is key. You need the right partner to sponsor the team (and) you have to have the right crew. If all that comes together, we're good to go. We can go quickly. But we've also learned that if all that doesn't come together, we're better off waiting, instead of trying to force something to go together. That's where we are right now. We can go quickly if it all lines up, and that's our hope." He admitted that a fourth Sprint Cup Series Toyota in 2012 is "probably a long shot, (since) we're not lined up with the right partners. But I also wouldn't rule it out. We don't have to plan something out six months in advance. We can cut it a little closer and make it work. We're in no hurry. There's no panic and we're not going to force it, but if the opportunity is there, we can take advantage of it quickly."(Sirius Speedway)(8-12-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame posts $1.42 million loss: The NASCAR Hall of Fame, which will induct its third five-member class in January, posted an overall loss of $1.42 million for its first operating fiscal year. Owned and operated by the City of Charlotte through a license from NASCAR, the hall opened in May 2010 and its fiscal year runs from July 1-June 30. The losses are covered from the Charlotte tourism board reserves, but $979,563 of the deficit are royalties owed to NASCAR, which has deferred collecting on those payments until the hall of fame become profitable. The year-end figure was slightly higher than the $1.24 million loss originally forecasted in January as the hall lost $137,895 in June. Attendance for June was 17,604, compared with 28,678 for June 2010, the month after the hall opened.(Scene Daily)(8-12-2011)

  • Green Stuff sponsoring Speed at Watkins Glen: The #37 Max Q Motorsports Ford will serve as the Green Stuff Ford at Watkins Glen this weekend. Green Stuff served as an associate sponsor on the #37 Ford Fusion in Indy a few weeks ago, and they are now stepping up as the primary sponsor for the 2.45-mile road course with Scott Speed behind the wheel. Green Stuff is a fairly new product on the market, however it has taken off rather quickly. The eco-friendly product is the best in the marketplace. With products already being sold to NASA and many within the oil drilling industry, the Green Stuff absorbent is off to a good start and hopes to continue its success.(Scott Speed PR)(8-12-2011)

  • Bully Hill Vineyards sponsoring Ranger, FAS Lane: FAS Lane Racing announced the addition of the finest local vineyard, Bully Hill Vineyards, as the primary sponsor of the #32 Ford this weekend at Watkins Glen International. In addition to the local flavor of Bully Hill Vineyards, up and coming racer Andrew Ranger, from nearby province of Quebec, will pilot the #32. Founded in 1970 as a small estate winery, Bully Hill Vineyards has grown to become New York State's largest family-owned winery. Nestled in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of New York State, Bully Hill Vineyards is one of America's most unique wineries.(FAS Lane PR)(8-12-2011)

  • Valvoline on the #16 at the Glen: This weekend the #16 Ford will have a special Valvoline paint scheme. Valvoline, a division of Ashland Inc., serves more than 100 countries worldwide and is a leading marketer, distributor and producer of quality branded automotive and industrial products and services.(RFR)(8-12-2011)

  • Road Course Ringers Hit The Glen: Every time a road course race pops up on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, a few unfamiliar names appear on the entry list. They’re the “road course ringers,” and oftentimes they threaten to steal a victory. Usually, they fall short in that endeavor. The last time a “road course ringer” won a NASCAR Sprint Cup race was in 1973 when Mark Donohue won at Riverside International Raceway.
    Ringers to watch this weekend: Boris Said, Ron Fellows, P.J. Jones and Andrew Ranger.
    • Boris Said: With wild hair and a notebook-filling personality, Said has notched seven top 10s at road courses, including a third-place run at Watkins Glen in 2005. He finished 28th at Infineon Raceway in June. Said will be driving the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet this weekend.
    • Ron Fellows: If only Fellows’ NASCAR Nationwide Series road-course success could translate to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Fellows has four road-course wins in NASCAR Nationwide competition, including three at Watkins Glen. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, he’s winless with two runner-up finishes at The Glen (1999, 2004). Fellows will run the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet this weekend.
    • P.J. Jones: His boss – Robby Gordon – could teach him a thing or two at Watkins Glen. Gordon won at The Glen in 2003, and has 10 road-course top 10s overall. Jones’ numbers: two road-course top 10s in 18 starts. He’ll run the #77 Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge on Sunday.
    • Andrew Ranger: The two-time NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion (2007, ’09) will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the #32 FAS Lane Racing Ford. He has two road-course top 10s in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, at Road America and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.(NASCAR)(8-12-2011)

  • Logano in Man v. Food Nation Challenge: Giving a whole new meaning to "pulling double duty," Joey Logano will recover from 220.5 grueling miles of road course racing at Watkins Glen International on Sunday by taking a food challenge on Monday in New York for an upcoming episode of Travel Channel's Man v. Food Nation. Logano is looking forward to meeting host Adam Richman and partaking in the food challenge. Richman, who has crisscrossed the country taking on various food challenges the last three years, will serve as the Grand Marshal for Sunday's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen and will be cheering Logano on throughout Monday's shoot. Logano will learn details of the challenge shortly before the shoot on Monday and his fans can see the NASCAR edition of Man v. Food Nation on Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. ET on Travel Channel.(NASCAR PR)(8-12-2011)

  • Mayfield appeal tentatively set for Nov. 8: UPDATE: The U.S. Court of Appeals has set a tentative date of Nov. 8 for Jeremy Mayfield's legal challenge to NASCAR's ruling that he tested positive for methamphetamines in May 2009. Attorneys for Mayfield and NASCAR were notified of the tentative Nov. 8 date Wednesday and have until Monday to ask for a different date. The appeal will be heard by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which is based in Richmond, Va., but will actually conduct the Nov. 8 hearing at the Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh. Typically, a decision comes a few months after the hearing. The three-judge panel will decide whether Mayfield has enough evidence for the case to continue.(Scene Daily)(8-11-2011)
    UPDATE: A day after tentatively setting a Nov. 8 hearing date for Jeremy Mayfield’s appeal in his case against NASCAR, the U.S. Court of Appeals took the case off that session and said it will set the hearing for another day. The court indicated that Mayfield’s appeal was taken off the Nov. 8 session because of “scheduling reasons.” It wasn’t immediately clear whether it was attorneys for NASCAR or Mayfield who asked for the change.(Scene Daily)(8-12-2011)

  • Chassis selections for Watkins Glen: see the list of many teams and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International on the Watkins Glen Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Avondale city council approves Phoenix expansion: The Avondale City Council is paving the way for Phoenix International Raceway to expand by approving a General Plan amendment and by rezoning the property. In return, PIR, which is nearing completion of a $10 million makeover of its 1-mile oval, will continue improving its facility to become more competitive within the racing industry. The city and PIR officials hope development will provide new employment and more commercial and retail uses that expand the economic impact of the property. They hope that by remaining competitive with other nationwide sporting venues, both PIR and Avondale will gain national marketing exposure during televised events, which in turn will lead to more visitors and revenue. The council's decision on Monday allow the raceway to begin planning and designing more improvements to the existing facility, including the possible construction of new grandstands, media facilities and an enhanced midway for race fans. As part of a longer-term development plan, PIR will study the development of new uses on land now used for parking. The uses could include hotels, restaurants, retail or light industrial that would benefit from being near the track.(Tuscon Citizen)(8-12-2011)

  • Martinsville Tire Test Open To Fans At No Charge: Martinsville Speedway's grandstands will be open to fans free-of-charge for an August 16 and 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Goodyear tire test at the historic half-mile oval. Drivers expected to be taking part in the tire test include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, David Ragan, Brad Keselowski and Bobby Labonte. The test session will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with an hour break at noon. During that break each day, Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell will conduct an informal question and answer session in the stands with fans. Restrooms will be open both days, but concession stands will not be operating. Fans may bring refreshments into the grandstands. Gates will open at 8 a.m. each of the two days and will remain open until 5 p.m.(Martinsville Speedway)(DATE)


    News from August 11, 2011

  • Gibbs to close engine shop? UPDATE: hearing that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will lay off half their engine shop staff and get engines supplied, supposedly for free, from TRD - Toyota Racing Development. Hearing it is a three year deal, not sure if it starts soon or with the 2012 season. Employee's not laid off will be reassigned within the company, as there are reports that JGR will expand to a fourth team and are in the hunt for Carl Edwards to drive for them in 2012. Edwards is a free agent and currently drives for Roush Fenway Racing in the #99 Ford. Just last week, Toyota'a Lee White told FoxSports: "No, they're not shutting down their engine shop and no we will not be building their engines," White said. "Of course, hell can freeze over and pigs can fly, but not in this world." Currently, the JGR engines would not even fit in the other Toyota cars with their configuration.(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota Research and Development announced Thursday that they are combining their engine efforts in 2012. Officials said there is a chance that JGR cars could use engines out of TRD headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., before the end of this season, but that the focus is on next year. Economics in part drove the merger. As Lee White, the president of TRG said, "Building for three teams or less is extremely expensive and inefficient." JGR builds all of its engines while the other Toyota teams -- Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull Racing -- receive engines from TRD. With JGR looking to expand its Nationwide presence and add a Trucks program, the merger gives the organization more flexibility. With the future of Red Bull Racing in doubt, the addition of JGR also allows TRG to maintain a full workload if Red Bull's organization folds or is moved to another manufacturer with new investors. Gibbs said JGR will maintain its engine shop in Huntersville, N.C., so that it can make any tweaks to the engines it deems necessary and to work on other projects.(ESPN.com) See earlier updates on the #18 team page.(8-11-2011)

  • Bell looking forward to road course return: LTD Powersport driver T.J. Bell, a veteran of the NASCAR ranks, began his racing career on road courses. His last road course event was the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003. To say he is excited about his first NASCAR road course event would be an understatement. Bell took a preview tour of Watkins Glen with the Skip Barber Racing School, and feels he's learned what he'll need to know for his debut at the New York road course. In addition to representing Miami-based Green Smoke, Bell will race for a special cause. He recently formed an alliance with the Helping Early Responders Organization (H.E.R.O.). H.E.R.O.'s primary mission is to support and assist the non-profit organizations that help the men and women who are firefighters, police officers, E.M.T.s, members of our armed services and their families in their time of greatest need. Bell and Green Smoke will host these heroes as their trackside guests. The Watkins Glen H.E.R.O. will be Captain Dennis H. Knowles and the non-profit organization that H.E.R.O. will feature is Soldiers' Angels.(T.J. Bell PR)(8-11-2011)

  • Realtree & Bad Boy Buggies sponsoring Harvick at Bristol: Realtree, the creator and marketer of the world's most versatile camo patterns, and Bad Boy Buggies, a leader in utility vehicles for hunting and outdoor lifestyles, will partner as co-primary sponsors of Richard Childress Racing's #29 Chevy team with Kevin Harvick for the August 27 Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Realtree, based in Columbus, Ga., has maintained a relationship with RCR since 1997 and with Harvick at RCR since 1999. The pairing of Realtree and Bad Boy Buggies with RCR and Harvick has some interesting twists. Realtree is one of the longest running RCR sponsors, with 14 years of continuous presence on the team's cars, and actually sponsored Harvick's first ARCA race at Talladega in an RCR car. Bad Boy Buggies is currently a sponsor at Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) in the Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series.(RCR)(8-11-2011)

  • The Numbers for Watkins Glen:
    0 - fewest cautions (7/18/65)
    0 - fewest lead changes (8/4/57)
    0 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    1 - fewest leaders (8/4/57)
    2 - fewest on lead lap at finish (twice, most recent 7/18/65)
    3 - most poles (Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt)
    4 - fewest laps led by race winner (Ricky Rudd, 8/14/88)
    4 - drivers with more than one pole
    5 - most wins (Tony Stewart)
    5 - drivers with more than one win at The Glen (Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd, Rusty Wallace)
    6 - wins by car owner (Rick Hendrick)
    8 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at The Glen
    9 - wins from the pole
    10 - most cautions (8/13/06)
    11 - most leaders (twice, most recently 8/13/06)
    11 - fewest cars running at finish (7/18/65)
    14 - most lead changes (twice, most recent 8/13/06)
    16 - different pole winners
    17 - different race winners
    18 - worst starting position for race winner (Steve Park, 8/13/2000)
    34 - most cars on lead lap at finish (8/14/05)
    36 - most caution laps (8/14/88)
    40 - most cars running at finish (twice, most recent 8/10/03)
    83 - laps led by race winner (Tony Stewart, 8/14/05)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.5-mile track
    2011 Caution Update
    4 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana, Pocono)
    5 - number of cautions in last year's race at The Glen
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    157 - number of cautions in the first 21 races of 2011 (includes 72 for accidents, 38 for debris and 23 for spins)
    739 of 5,956 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    1,067.311 of 8,534.858 - miles under caution in the first 21 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(8-11-2011)

  • Milestone starts at Watkins Glen: Terry Labonte will attempt to make his 875th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, Tony Stewart will make his 450th series start and Brad Keselowski will make his 75th series start.(NASCAR)(8-11-2011)

  • Mayfield appeal tentatively set for Nov. 8: The U.S. Court of Appeals has set a tentative date of Nov. 8 for Jeremy Mayfield's legal challenge to NASCAR's ruling that he tested positive for methamphetamines in May 2009. Attorneys for Mayfield and NASCAR were notified of the tentative Nov. 8 date Wednesday and have until Monday to ask for a different date. The appeal will be heard by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which is based in Richmond, Va., but will actually conduct the Nov. 8 hearing at the Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh. Typically, a decision comes a few months after the hearing. The three-judge panel will decide whether Mayfield has enough evidence for the case to continue.(Scene Daily)(8-11-2011)

  • International Motorsports Hall of Fame Announces Top-20 Finalists: The field has been narrowed and only 20 finalists remain for induction into the Class of 2012 International Motorsports Hall of Fame. The final inductees will be elected when the last round of voting begins in August. "Practically every form of racing, from stock cars to open wheel to motorcycles to airplanes are represented. They are drivers, car builders, engine builders, owners, pilots, daredevils, pioneers and innovators," states Executive Director, Grant Lynch. The finalists are: Erwin "Cannonball" Baker , David Hobbs, Kenny Bernstein, Ted Horn, Keith Black, Joe Leonard, Richard Childress, Tommy Milton, Joie Chitwood, Marvin Panch, Rene Dreyfus, Les Richter, Zora Arkus-Duntov, Pedro Rodriquez, Harvey Firestone, Sir Henry Segrave, John Force, Lee Shepherd, Tommy Hinnershitz, and Chuck Yeager. The Class of 2012 will be announced in late fall of this year, with the induction ceremony tentatively set for Thursday, May 3, 2012.(IMHOF PR)(8-11-2011)

  • MIS Cares to host "Fish Your Bass Off" Tournament: What better way to kick off a race weekend in the Irish Hills then by fishing your bass off! Michigan International Speedway's non-profit arm, MIS Cares, will host the second annual "Fish Your Bass Off" tournament at Jerry's Pub & Restaurant on scenic Wampler's Lake just minutes from the Irish Hills speedway. The tournament is 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, August 18. At 5 p.m., 13 teams of four, with two anglers per boat, will take to the waters of Wamplers Lake for three hours of bass fishing. The anglers have been selected from fishing and bass clubs across the state. One spot per four person team will be designated for a NASCAR driver or personality, including NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray. Dinner tickets with cash bar are available to the public for $35 per person and can be either purchased in advance or at the door the day of the event. A limited number of dinner tickets remain so advanced purchases are recommended. Also, until Sunday, August 14, fans have the option to participate in an auction for a spot on a four-person team of anglers, with all proceeds benefiting MIS Cares. The highest bidder will have the opportunity to join a team that will consist of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and avid outdoorsman, Ryan Newman and six-time Bass Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam.(Michigan Speedway)(8-11-2011)


    News from August 10, 2011

  • Montoya crewmen arrested on drug charges: UPDATES: Police in Huntersville, N.C., made a drug bust Tuesday, and one of those arrested is a front tire changer on Juan Pablo Montoya's #42 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Sprint Cup car. Trevor L. Lysne, 40, is charged with trafficking marijuana, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and maintaining a dwelling to distribute marijuana, according to the police report. Jerome D. Frey, 27, also was charged with trafficking marijuana and possession with intent to sell and deliver after the Huntersville Police Department intercepted about 10-1/2 pounds of marijuana that had been shipped out of California.(Sporting News). Frey is a mechanic at Earnhart-Ganassi.(8-10-2011)
    UPDATE: EGR fired both Lysne and Frey, EGR owner Chip Ganassi announced Wednesday. NASCAR indefinitely suspended both men. "I am extremely disappointed with the news that we received about two of our crew members," Ganassi said in a statement. "We have a zero tolerance policy in this organization and effective immediately both individuals' employment has been terminated."(ESPN.com)(8-10-2011)
    AND: NASCAR announced Wednesday that it has indefinitely suspended crew members Jerome Frey and Trevor Lysne, both of whom worked with the #42 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, for violating Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the substance abuse policy) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.(NASCAR)(8-10-2011)

  • Pocono considering 400 mile races: UPDATE: Pocono Raceway President Brandon Igdalski told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that cutting the track's two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 500 miles to 400 next season is "being considered". "We're looking at things, but we haven't made that decision quite yet," said Igdalski. "We're looking at it for the future, whether it's this year, next year, or a couple of years down the road. It's a different sport and a different time than it was years ago, and we're always looking at things." Igdalski took the helm of the historic tri-oval when his grandfather, track founder Dr. Joseph Mattioli, announced his retirement Friday. Igdalski said he was unaware of his grandfather's plans, adding, "We got a call about 30 minutes beforehand saying, `Be in the Media Center in half an hour.' I had no idea he was going to retire. My jaw hit the ground."(Sirius Speedway)(8-10-2011)
    UPDATE: Pocono Raceway's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974, a second Sprint Cup Series race was added to the Pocono schedule in 1982. Sunday's Good Sam RV Insurance 500 was the 68thSprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway. Each race was scheduled for 500 miles and each produced its share of drama and excitement. Starting with the June 10, 2012 Pocono Sprint Cup Series race, the scheduled distance for both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races will be shortened to 400 miles. "The 400 mile distance will make NASCAR racing at Pocono even more exciting," stated Raceway President and CEO , Brandon Igdalsky. "Race strategies will change, fuel mileage calculations will be altered and I firmly believe that our fans will be treated to outstanding racing at the 400 mile distance." "NASCAR supports Pocono Raceway's move to two 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2012," stated Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Racing Operations . "We believe this will be a good transition for the fans and competitors. It will provide the teams with a new type of strategy and should make for even more exciting competition at a unique facility that has a long-standing history in our sport." Eight weeks after the Pocono 400. It will be the August 5, Pennsylvania 400. Both 400 mile races will have the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards as companion races. The August Pennsylvania 400 weekend will also feature a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on August 4.(Pocono Raceway)(8-10-2011)

  • Partial Cup schedules for Bayne, Stenhouse in 2012? Roush Fenway Racing still is sewing up sponsorship on the Sprint Cup Fords of #99-Carl Edwards, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Matt Kenseth and #6-David Ragan. Trevor Bayne said Wood Brothers Racing still is hunting sponsorship, too, and he would like to run full time in 2012 if the money were available. The #21 hasn't run a full schedule since 2008, and Bayne said he is slated for 13 to 15 races next year.(USA Today)
    AND: Ironically, had Edwards not announced last week that he was not leaving Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Trevor Bayne would have been in line for Edwards' Cup ride. Now, Bayne likely will return to a part-ride Cup ride in the #21 Wood Brothers car and run a full or part-time Nationwide schedule at Roush. Stenhouse said he has no definitive plan other than he'd like to run a full Nationwide schedule for Roush and part-time Cup schedule. Stenhouse mentioned that Richard Petty Motorsports, which gets chassis and engines from RFR, might be looking to expand.(ESPN.com)(8-10-2011)

  • Labonte in the #38 at Watkins Glen: Terry Labonte will return to Watkins Glen International for the first time since 2007 - and he'll do it for the first time in the seat of the #38 Long John Silver's Ford. "Texas Terry" has had solid runs in his career at the 2.45-mile road course, earning two poles, three top-5 finishes and six top-10 finishes at the track. The #38 Ford will also carry a special message at the Glen. The car will feature a decal to raise awareness for the Jenni-Lyn Watson Memorial Fund. The 20-year-old college student and aspiring ballerina from Central New York was tragically murdered last November in a case that drew national attention. A website URL printed below the decal will remind Central New York race fans to visit and donate to the memorial fund. The fund will be used to create opportunities for local children and teens that have a passion for the art of dance.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(8-10-2011)

  • Harvick throwing out first pitch: On Wednesday, August 10, #29-Kevin Harvick will throw out the first pitch at Yankees Stadium in Bronx, N.Y., as the New York Yankees face the Los Angeles Angels. A long-time Yankees fan, Harvick has attended a number of their games over the years and even threw out the first pitch at a Yankees game back in 2001. Wednesday's game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN.(RCR PR)(8-10-2011)

  • Earnhardt, Jr. to drive Bristol 50th Anniversary car: Bristol Motor Speedway amps up its year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary with a specially designed paint scheme featured on the car of NASCAR's most popular driver at the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 27. Dale Earnhardt Jr., helps celebrate the iconic track's 50th anniversary by driving a golden Amp Energy/National Guard car that also features Bristol Motor Speedway's anniversary logo. Earnhardt Jr., who grew up watching his father, Dale Earnhardt, race and win nine times at the World's Fastest Half-Mile, and who swept the weekend races in August of 2004, looks forward to helping Bristol celebrate the special occasion.(BMS), see an image of the car on my #88 team paint schemes page.(8-10-2011)

  • Earnhardt, Jr. designs Hot Wheels car: Beware of the Hammerhead - no, not the shark, but the new Hot Wheels dream car designed by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Just in time for back-to-school, Hot Wheels has teamed up with the NASCAR superstar to design his ultimate dream car, along with a corresponding line of licensed apparel. It's the first time the Designed By program has expanded beyond toy to include a line of licensed apparel and accessories for a celebrity-designed lifestyle experience. The "Hammerhead," one of Earnhardt Jr.'s nicknames, features classic '50s hot rod meets '60s muscle car styling - with an edge. The suggested retail price of the vehicle is $1.09 and the clothing line ranges from $7-$12.99, and is available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores nationwide.(Ketchum / Hot Wheels PR)(8-10-2011)

  • Twin Tiers Idol winner to sing National Anthem at Watkins Glen: Twin Tiers Idol winner, Taylor Acorn of Wellsboro, PA, will perform the American national anthem prior to the start of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sunday, August 14. Her rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" will be the climax of pre-race ceremonies leading up to the drop of the green flag on the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at 1:00 p.m. The 17-year old Acorn will not only be performing for the almost 100,000 fans in attendance at Watkins Glen International on Sunday but also a national TV audience on ESPN. This will provide an excellent opportunity for her to prepare for an audition on the 2012 season of the hit TV show American Idol. She received an all-expenses paid trip to the audition in Houston, TX, for winning this year's Twin Tiers Idol competition and will depart on August 26. The Twin Tiers Idol competition started with 40 contestants on June 8 and Acorn survived six rounds over the course of eight weeks before being named the winner on July 27.(WGI)(8-10-2011)

  • Desmond Howard to serve as Pure Michigan 400 Grand Marshal: Desmond Howard, the former Heisman Trophy-winning University of Michigan football star and current ESPN college football analyst, will serve as grand marshal for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 21. While at the University of Michigan, Howard's acrobatic catches made him one of the most electrifying players ever to play the game. He became the first receiver in Big Ten history to lead the conference in scoring as he set or tied five NCAA records and 12 single-season Michigan records. The All-American won the Heisman by the second largest margin of victory in the trophy's history. He was also awarded the Walter Camp Trophy and the Maxwell Award that year before graduating from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications. Howard played 11 seasons in the National Football League for five teams, including two seasons with the Detroit Lions. While playing for the Green Bay Packers, Howard was voted the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XXXI and is the first and only special teams player to win the award. He is one of only four players to win both the Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP. Howard's post-professional football career achievements include being elected in 2010 College Football Hall of Fame and being inducted into the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame, the University of Michigan Hall of Honor, State of Michigan Sports Hall of Fame and Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame. Howard's Collegiate Hall of Fame career will be chronicled in the upcoming book, I Wore 21: The Legend of Desmond Howard. The 190-page book, published by Champions Press, LLC, features unique stories and hundreds of photos never seen before from the Howard Family collection. I Wore 21: The Legend of Desmond Howard is available by pre-order online at MDen.com. Retail price for pre-orders of the book are $21, and it will be sold for $20 in and around Michigan Stadium on Sept. 10. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 21 are as low as $30 while supplies last. Visit MISpeedway.com or call the MIS ticket hotline at 800-354-1010 today to take advantage of great pricing for 2011 events at MIS. As always, parking is free at MIS - and the track allows coolers through the gates.(MIS)(8-10-2011)


    News from August 9, 2011

  • Pocono TV Ratings: ESPN's live coverage of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 7, earned a 3.9 household coverage rating, averaging 5,485,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The 2010 race earned a 4.4 rating and was the highest-rated NASCAR Sprint Cup race to air on ESPN last year (ESPN), see rest of 2011 ratings, the 4-year comparison chart, news and notes on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(8-9-2011)

  • CapitalDPO and Summit Trust sponsoring Labonte: CapitalDPO, Inc., and Summit Trust are sponsoring Bobby Labonte and the #47 Toyota Camry in the Helluva Good! Sour Cream Dips Race at the Glen at Watkins. Capital DPO is an innovative financial services company that utilizes specialized software, consulting services, and design approaches that support private companies through the process of going public by direct public offering (DPO). CapitalDPO is part of the Capital Window Group of companies that include Capital Window Corporation and Capital Window Fund I, L.P. Summit Trust Company is a new and different kind of company serving professional advisors and their high net worth clients. Their unlimited IRA's allow their clients to invest in commodities, closely held businesses, real estate, hedge funds, private equity funds like Capital Window Fund I and many other alternative investments. Summit Trust can create and form charitable foundations, charitable trusts, asset protection trusts and dynasty trusts, which avoid many generations of federal estate taxes.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(8-9-2011)

  • Tuesday testing: hearing that several drivers are testing Tuesday at Carolina Motorsports Park, including David Ragan and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a Grand AM GT car, Alex Tagliani & Jacques Villeneuve in Penske Dodge Nationwide cars and Marcos Amborse in a Nationwide car.(8-9-2011)

  • Johnson & Kurt Busch trade barbs: Perpetual rivals #48-Jimmie Johnson and #22-Kurt Busch carried their on-track feud Sunday at Pocono Raceway to the TV cameras post-race. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions angrily voiced their opinions of each other to SPEED reporter Bob Dillner on NASCAR Victory Lane on SPEED. Following is a transcript from each driver's interview with Dillner:
    Johnson: "We got into each other, or he got into me off of turn two and complained that I was trying to not leave him room or something ridiculous. I spent the entire fuel run running him down. Had a few chances to play dirty and I didn't. And I finally got by him clean, fair and square, and then he drives into my door off of two. Frustration. It's not like I'm going to go wreck race cars. But I'm going to get out of the race car and speak my mind. We've had enough over the years and he's pretty much a smart ass who wants to run his mouth, so I've got to go over there and say something."
    Dillner: What was his response? I heard him say at one point, 'You ran me off the track last year here.'
    Johnson: "Well, last year, I tried to help him down the back straightaway. Without a doubt, I misjudged it and caused a big wreck and almost hurt Elliott Sadler. I get it. That was my bad. I admitted responsibility then and take it now. But that's not today and he's just looking for some smart ass remark to throw at me because the cameras are there and luckily, his guys were there. He was just looking for some smart-aleck remark."
    Busch: "Man, it was good. It was just a great battle. We knew we had a loose race car. I was just fighting an uphill battle to hang on for that spot. He (Johnson) got by us down the front straightaway. We drove into (turn) one even. Coming off of one, the car settled and I felt him swerve over into us and I'm like, 'That's over the line,' so we're coming back at him. That's great racing. Our fans want to see that. They want to see doors with donuts on it coming down to the checkered flag and both of us crossed the line third and fourth. It wasn't like somebody got wrecked. Times when he's bump-drafted me in the past, let's just push that aside. Times when he's wrecked us, let's just push that aside. Times when I've raced him clean, let's talk about that."
    Dillner: He (Johnson) came and he was aggravated and you talked about it. What was he trying to explain to you right there (in post-race discussion)?
    Busch: "I came over and door-dinged him. When you swerve over first, I'm going to swerve over second. It's going to be bigger. Him and I - we've always seen a little different. That's why we have a good rivalry."
    Dillner: Is that the way you're going to keep racing him?
    Busch: "That's the way we have all along, Dillner, we have no matter if we've run into each other or not."(SPEED)(8-9-2011)

  • Security Guards Stabbed at Pocono Raceway: Two Philadelphia-area men were in the Monroe County jail over the weekend after police said one stabbed two security guards at Pocono Raceway early Sunday. Daniel Kupper, 20, of Melrose Park, is in Monroe County Correctional Facility on $100,000 bail after Pocono Mountain Regional Police said he stabbed two members of the track's security force during a fight around 3:20 am. Police said Louis Kupper, 23, of Elkins Park, didn't stab either of the two unidentified guards, but is in jail on a parole violation. According to police, the Kuppers were passengers in a van that disobeyed traffic directions given by the event staff at the track's staging area. Both got out of the vehicle and began fighting with security and event staffers. Daniel Kupper then stabbed a 50-year-old security staffer in his neck, shoulder and back, police said. He also stabbed a 55-year-old security staffer in the collarbone and back, police said. Both were taken to local hospitals for treatment. The 55-year-old was listed in stable condition at Lehigh Valley Medical Center, but no condition was available for the 50-year-old victim. Both were employees of the Strike Force Protective Services company. Daniel Kupper is being charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and underage drinking. After a Sunday preliminary hearing, he is in jail on $100,000 bail. Louis Kupper is charged with simple assault, furnishing alcohol to a minor, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. He is being held in the jail on a parole violation and is waiting for an arraignment hearing.(Pocono Record)(8-9-2011)

  • McMurray named quarterly award winner: Members of the National Motorsports Press Association [NMPA] have selected NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray as the second quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. The award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Each year, quarterly winners are selected, and an overall winner is determined by a vote of the National Motorsports Press Association membership. Personally impacted by the tornados that devastated his hometown of Joplin, Mo., the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing driver was selected for his involvement in raising awareness through promotion of Convoy of Hope, then visiting the area and meeting with residents in an effort to raise spirits as well. Also receiving votes were: Wood Brothers Racing's Trevor Bayne, Stewart-Haas Racing's Tony Stewart, Hendrick Motorsports' Jimmie Johnson, Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin and Richard Childress Racing's Kevin Harvick.(EGR)(8-9-2011)

  • At Watkins Glen International facts and notes:
    · After several events were held on the streets of Watkins Glen, a permanent facility was opened in 1956.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was in 1957, won by Buck Baker.
    · After a six-year absence, NASCAR returned to The Glen in 1964 and 1965.
    · After a 21-year absence, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returned to The Glen, and has run one race a year there since 1986. This weekend's race will be the 26th running since its return in 1986.
    · There have been 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Watkins Glen International since the first race there in 1957.
    · Buck Baker won the first pole and race.
    · Tim Richmond won the first pole and race upon the series' return in 1986.
    · There have been 16 different pole winners.
    · The race winner has started first in nine of 28 races. The last race winner to start from the pole was Kyle Busch in 2008.
    · Mark Martin leads all drivers with wins from the pole with three in a row between 1993, 1994 and 1995.
    · 18 of the 28 races at Watkins Glen have been won from a top-five starting position.
    · 20 of the 28 races at Watkins Glen have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · The deepest in the field that a Watkins Glen race winner has started was 18th by Steve Park in 2000. · 17 different drivers have won races, led by Tony Stewart, with five.
    · Jeff Gordon set the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup record for road-course victories with his victory in 2001, his seventh on a road course. He has since won two more (both at Infineon Raceway), for a career total of nine.
    · Three active drivers with more than one start have an average finish in the top 10: Marcos Ambrose (2.6 in three starts), Tony Stewart (5.4 in 12 starts), Carl Edwards (8.1 in six starts), Mark Martin (8.2 in 21 starts) and AJ Allmendinger (9.3 in three starts).(8-9-2011)

  • DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout Results Week 1: After week one, the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout bracket competition showcased existing and new rivalries for 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesTM drivers narrowing the competitive field to 16. Drivers will accrue a total of $400,000 for charity while one fan will win a new truck from the manufacturer of the winning driver. The fan to complete a perfect bracket will win $1 million.
    Week 1 Fast Facts:
    Each driver progressing into Round 2 has earned $3,125 for his charity of choice.
    Following Pocono, 90 fans have a perfect bracket and a chance to win $1 million.
    Joey Logano, race leader going into a one hour and 40 minute rain delay, lost his position in the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout to 11th-place finisher Tony Stewart.
    An early wreck at lap 20 sent David Ragan and the #6 Ford to the garage. Ragan lost his seat in the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout to Mark Martin.
    Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose battled for Round 2 in the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout until the checkered flag. Bowyer finished 18th just fractions ahead of Ambrose in 20th position. See results on Jayski's NASCAR Charity page. More info at directv.com and see the game at ESPN. Feel free to join the group Jayski "Fan"atics run by Mark Garrow.(8-9-2011)

  • Parade of Power at Charlotte Motor Speedway - Tuesday: NASCAR young guns Trevor Bayne, David Ragan, Reed Sorenson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., will join NHRA veterans Doug Foley, Doug Herbert and Matt and Angie Smith, as Charlotte Motor Speedway kicks off its Fall Season of Speed with a Parade of Power at noon on Tuesday, Aug. 9, on Bruton Smith Boulevard. Vehicles representing every form of motorsports that will compete this fall at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte will parade from Concord Mills Mall to the speedway's Avenue of Flags on Bruton Smith Boulevard. Following the parade, drivers and Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will hold a press conference and fan forum to discuss activities surrounding the speedway's Fall Season of Speed. More info at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(8-9-2011)

  • Concert at Watkins Glen: Fans can look forward to once again rocking out to several great bands on the Red Cat Summer Stage during the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen weekend, August 11-14. The concert, featuring Marrakesh Express, The Eric Tessmer Band and Elephant Mountain, takes place on Friday, August 12 and admission is covered by the purchase of a weekend ticket. Fans should plan on being inside the Turn 10 Village, located behind the new Turn 10 Grandstand, by 7:30 pm so they do not miss a minute of the fun. The concert on the Red Cat Summer Stage kicks off with the Indiana-based Crosby, Stills & Nash tribute act Marrakesh Express. Taking the stage next is The Eric Tessmer Band, of Austin, TX. Tessmer has been putting his own stamp on Texas style rock and blues as a three piece original band. Closing out the show is Central New York's own Elephant Mountain, from Syracuse. Elephant Mountain features members of the band Brand New Sin, which preformed at The Glen in 2007. Elephant Mountain has the powerful vocals of Joe Altier performing evocative lyrics and a style all their own.
    Tickets for the final two events at Watkins Glen International are on sale now! Fans can order their tickets or get more information about the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, August 11-14, or U.S. Vintage Grand Prix by calling the WGI ticket office at 866.461.RACE (7223) or visiting the official website www.TheGlen.com.(WGI)(8-9-2011)

  • Indoor races return in February to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City: Indoor midget auto racing will return to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City for the 10th consecutive year next Feb. 3-4., and tickets go on sale Wednesday, August 10th. Ted Christopher, of Plainville, Conn., will return to defend the "Gambler's Classic" title, which he won in January at Boardwalk Hall in the Three-Quarter Midget Division. Three-Quarter Midgets reach speeds of more than 70 mph on the Boardwalk Hall layout. Feature events have a minimum of 24 cars taking the green flag. The Champ Kart and Slingshot divisions also will return to compete. Tickets will go on sale Wednesday [Aug 10th] at Ticketmaster outlets, the Boardwalk Hall box office and at PressofAC.com/tickets.(Atlantic City Press)(8-9-2011)


    News from August 8, 2011

  • Ron Fellows to Run #36 Chevy at The Glen: Road course racing veteran Ron Fellows will get behind the wheel of the #36 Golden Corral Chevy for Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) at Watkins Glen International August 14th. Dave Blaney will pilot the #35 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen. Fellows, a three-time American Le Mans Series GT Drivers Champion, spent most of his career driving for the Corvette Racing team. He made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start in 1995 at Watkins Glen International. Since his NASCAR debut, the Canadian native made 56 starts in NASCAR’s top-three series, including 22 starts in the NSCS, and talliedfour NASCAR Nationwide Series and two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins. Fellows collected two second-place finishes and five top-10 finishes in his 22 NSCS starts. “I am excited to pick up where we left off last year,” commented Fellows. “It is always great to be a part of the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen. We had a decent qualifying run last year at the Glen, but then didn’t finish the race after we were running inside the top-15. Although it is a year later, we are just looking to build on that.”
    “We had pretty good success last year until we were wreced halfway through the race,” explained TBR owner Tommy Baldwin. “We want to finish what we started last year. It’s always good to have a road course ringer, and Ron is the best of them. Dave has done a great job for us this season, so we are excited to field the 35 car for him as well.”(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(8-8-2011)

  • Sad News - Mary Hendrick: Mary Hendrick, mother of Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, passed away Monday afternoon at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Mrs. Hendrick, a native of Palmer Springs, Va., was 88. Fondly referred to as “Miss Mary,” Mrs. Hendrick was the car owner of the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 2005-2007. In 2008, she became the owner of the #5 Chevy. She won seven races as a car owner, with Mark Martin notably recording five of those wins during the 2009 season. That year, Martin drove the #5 Chevy to a runner-up finish in the championship standings, giving Mrs. Hendrick her best season as a car owner. In June 2004, Gov. Mike Easley presented Papa Joe and Mary Hendrick with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine -- the state of North Carolina’s highest honor bestowed on a citizen for dedication and extended length of service to his or her organization. The family requests privacy at this time as arrangements are being finalized.(Hendrick Motorsports)(8-8-2011)

  • The Entry List for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    some driver changes include:
    #32-Andrew Ranger; #36-Ron Fellows; #51- Boris Said
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon (36/21)
    #35-Dave Blaeny (50/3)
    #37-Scott Speed (39/21)
    #38-Terry Labonte (Past Champ 1996)(37/21)
    #46-Andy Pilgrim (40/21)
    #50-T.J. Bell (51/7)
    #55-J.J. Yeley (53/3)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/21)
    #66-Michael McDowell (42/21)
    #77-P.J. Jones (55/4)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/21)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 38,7,37,46,87,66,60,50
    missing the race would be [3]: #'s 77,35,55
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Watkins Glen Entry List.(8-8-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 Good Sam RV Insurance 500: For NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 12:55 PM, stopped at the rain delay at 3:19 PM; then resumed at 5:27 PM (lap 139), and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:31 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 91
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 65
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 28
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 10 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 12:55 PM
    End time due to rain delay: 3:19 PM
    Restart time: 5:27 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:31 PM
    Total minutes: 208
    Minutes of race broadcast: 168
    Minutes of commercials: 40
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Number of laps led by Denny Hamlin, as of Sunday’s race: 5,000 Congratulations, Denny!
    Total race brdcst time 168 Total comm. brdcst time 40
    See past races and links on the 2011 TV Commercial.(8-8-2011)


    News from August 7, 2011

  • Keselowski wins at Pocono: an injured #2-Brad Keselowski won the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 3rd career win and 2nd win of 2011. On Wednesday, Keselowski broke his left ankle in a practice wreck at Road Atlanta. On lap 124 there was a heavy rain shower at 3:35pm/et that brought a 1 hour, 40 minute delay of the race. The track was dried and the race restarted and finished.
    #18-Busch [who spun early in the race] finished 2nd followed by #22-Busch, #48-Johnson, #39-Newman, #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #88-Earnhardt Jr. and last weeks race winner #27-Menard. The pole sitter, #20-Logano, who would had won the race if the rain delay ended the race, had a tire go down late and had to pit, finishing 26th.
    Points leader going in to the race, #99-Edwards, finished 7th and his lead drops to 9 points over #48-Johnson.
    There were 23 lead changes among 10 drivers and 5 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps and a 1:40 red flag for rain. The attendance is listed as 85,000, down from 100,000 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air:
    ESPN2, Monday, August 8 at 12:00 am/et;
    SPEED, Wednesday, August 10 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Pocono Race Results/Awards page.(8-7-2011)

  • Keselowski Qualifies for Sprint Summer Showdown: With his win in Sunday's Good Sam RV Insurance 500, #2-Brad Keselowski is qualified to be a finalist for a chance to earn a $3 million payout in the Sprint Summer Showdown. If Keselowski can also win the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend, he will claim the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D title and win $1 million for himself, $1 million for his designated charity, Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation, and $1 million dollars for a lucky race fan. Later this week a fan will be randomly selected from the pool of entrants who correctly picked Keselowski to win the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at sprint.com/speed. That lucky fan will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway and be there in person to see whether Keselowski can win at Atlanta. If he claims the Sprint Summer Showdown, the fan will win $1 million.(Sprint Summer Showdown PR), for more info see Jayski's Contest page.(8-7-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Pocono:
    #2-Brad Keselowski won the 38th Annual Good Sam RV Insurance 500 , his third victory in 74 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2011. His first victory this season came at Kansas.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in four races at Pocono Raceway. His previous best finish was 20th in August of last season.
    #18-Kyle Busch (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 14 races at Pocono Raceway. It is his 13th top-10 finish in 2011.
    #22-Kurt Busch (third) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 22 races at Pocono Raceway.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-7-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Pocono, race 21 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 720
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 711, -9
    3) #18-Kyle Busch [3 wins], 709, -11
    4) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 706, -15
    5) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 700, -20
    6) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 694, -27
    7) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 668, -52
    8) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 658, -62
    9) #14-Tony Stewart, 642, -78
    10) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 641, -79
    current wild cards
    11) #2-Brad Keselowski [2 wins], 558, -162 [18th in points, 2 wins]
    12) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 618, -102 [11th in points, 1 win]
    others in contension for the wild card
    14) #27-Paul Menard [1 win], 587, -133 [14th in points, 1 win]
    19) #6-David Ragan [1 win], 556, -164 [19th in points, 1 win]
    One race winner is not inside the top-20: #78-Smith is 26th, 74 pts out of 20th
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as they are in the top-20 in points, then if no wins by drivers points
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(8-7-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Watkins Glen:
    #71 increases it's lead to 16 over 36th in owners pts, the #7 team.
    33) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 296, +48
    34) #13-Mears/Germain, 291, +43
    35) #71-Lally/TRG, 264, 16 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #7-Gordon/Wimmer/RGM, 248, 16 points out of top 35
    37) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 239, -25
    38) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 218,-46
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(8-7-2011)

  • Pocono Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • Brad Keselowski picked up his third Sprint Cup Series victory in his 74th start, his second win of 2011.
    • Brad Keselowski climbed from 21st to 18th in the points; last year at this point, he was 25th with no top-10s.
    • Brad Keselowski became the 30th different winner in 68 Pocono Raceway races.
    • Brad Keselowski's previous best finish at Pocono was 20th last August.
    • The past nine Pocono races have been won from top-15 starting positions.
    • Brad Keselowski led twice for 19 laps, including the final 16.
    • This was the ninth Pocono victory for Penske Racing with five different drivers -- Rusty Wallace (4), Jeremy Mayfield (2), Kurt Busch (1), Ryan Newman (1) and Brad Keselowski (1).
    • Kyle Busch (second) tied his best Pocono finish, which he also achieved last June. He has finished in the top five in three of the past four Pocono races.
    • Kurt Busch (third) has finished in the top 10 in six of the past seven Pocono races.
    • Jimmie Johnson (fourth) extended a nine-race streak of top-15 finishes at Pocono.
    • Ryan Newman (fifth) has finished 12th or better in his past four races since finishing 23rd at Daytona.
    • Jeff Gordon (sixth) has finished in the top 10 in six of the past seven Pocono races.
    • Carl Edwards (seventh) made his 250th Cup start. He has finished 15th or better in the past four races.
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (ninth) earned his first top-10 in his past seven races.
    • Denny Hamlin (15th) extended a five-race streak with at least one lap led at Pocono, the longest current streak.
    (Racing Recall/nascar.com)(8-7-2011)

  • Rain delay at Pocono: a heavy rain shower at 3:25pm/et brought a 1:40 delay of the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on lap 124. The race went back to green at 5:20pm/et, after the majority of the teams made pitstops. #2-Keselowski & #22-Busch didn't pit and led the race at the restart.(8-7-2011)

  • Top Ten: in the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway after 125 laps [of 200 scheduled] as the race is red flagged due to a rain:
    #20-Logano
    #48-Johnson
    #11-Hamlin
    #18-Busch
    #88-Earnhardt Jr.
    #24-Gordon
    #33-Bowyer
    #99-Edwards
    #5-Martin
    #39-Newman
    (8-7-2011)

  • Revised Pocono Schedule for Sunday: Due to the postponement of the Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service 125 (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) & Pennsylvania 125 (ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards) races, Pocono Raceway will exchange a Saturday General Admission grandstand ticket for a $25.00 credit towards the purchase of any Sunday Grandstand ticket OR a similar Saturday Grandstand ticket in 2012. Pocono Raceway will also exchange a Saturday Terrace Club ticket for a $75.00 credit towards the purchase of any Sunday ticket valued at $75.00 or more. Fans can exchange their tickets by visiting the Gate # 8 ticket booth behind the Grandstands, beginning at 8:00 am. If the Pre-Race Pits are not open due to competition on the track, Pre-Race Pit /Paddock Pass will be honored for Pre-Race Pit/Paddock admission for either NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway in 2012.
    Here is Sunday’s revised schedule of events is as follows:
    5:00 am – Parking Lots Open
    8:00 am – Grandstand Gates Open
    9:00 am – Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service 125 (Truck Series) race
    TBD – Pennsylvania 125 (ARCA) race to immediately follow conclusion of Truck Series event
    12:00 pm – Salute to the Armed Forces Pre-Race Festivities Begin
    12:30 pm – Sprint Cup Series Driver Introductions
    1:00 pm – Good Sam RV Insurance 500 (Cup Series) race.(Pocono Raceway)
    TV Note: SPEED will offer live coverage of Sunday’s rain-postponed NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Pocono Raceway Sunday at 9:00 am/et. NASCAR RaceDay follows the Truck Series race live at 10:00 am/et. SPEED also will provide same-day delayed coverage of the ARCA Racing Series race from Pocono Sunday at 10:00pm/et following Wind Tunnel.(8-7-2011)

  • There are five current race tracks that the Sprint Cup Series races at that #5-Mark Martin has not won a Sprint Cup race:
    Pocono: 0 for 49 with six finishes of 2nd, last in 8/2004
    Homestead: 0 for 12 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2005
    Daytona: 0 for 53 with a best finish of 2nd in 2/2007
    Indianapolis: 0 for 17 with a best finish of 2nd in 8/1998 and 7/2009
    Kentucky: 0 for 1 with a best finish of 22nd in 7/2011
    (plus Martin ran five races at Nashville and four races at Riverside and didn't win)(8-7-2011)

  • Montoya has agreement with Ganassi: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya has agreed to return to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing next season, with only minor details of his contract still to be settled, the driver said Saturday at Pocono Raceway. "I think it's pretty much done—it's all agreed and everything," Montoya said before Saturday morning's qualifying session at the 2.5-mile track. "Just little bits and pieces. I'd say a couple weeks, max."(Sporting News)(8-7-2011)

  • In Memoriam: On Sunday, August 7th, a Pit Wall Plaque will be dedicated to the memory of John A. Venuti, known to many in the racing world as "The Bear". John was a dear friend of Pocono Raceway and NASCAR.(Pocono Raceway)(8-7-2011)

  • Edwards to broadcast some NNS races in 2012?: Iowa Speedway put together a UStream.com feed so that the post-race from the Saturday night Nationwide Series race would be available to fans via the Internet. It was an exciting finish, so many fans wanted to hear more from Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Carl Edwards than ESPN had provided in a brief post-race show. Alongside of race winner Stenhouse was owner Jack Roush. The few media members there wanted to know more about the building tension between young hot shoe Stenhouse and the veteran Edwards. Roush said this year he would handle it, but then came to the topic of 2012. "I think he's (Carl) made his decision," said Roush. "I think he is going to become a sportscaster for ESPN for the Nationwide Series races. I'm not sure if he is going to just do the companion races or all the races."(more at the Daly Planet)(8-7-2011)

  • Edwards not racing full-time in NNS next season: Carl Edwards will trim his Nationwide Series schedule next year to spend more time with crew chief Bob Osborne and their Sprint Cup effort. The 31-year-old driver has 34 career Nationwide wins and won the 2007 title for Roush Fenway Racing. He's run the full Nationwide and Cup schedules for the past seven years, one of the most taxing schedules in NASCAR history. "I feel there are weekends when I walk away from the Cup car and get in the Nationwide car (and) feel I'm leaving something on the table," Edwards told reporters on Friday at Pocono Raceway, scene of Sunday afternoon's Good Sam Sprint Cup 500. "The racer in me wants to run the Truck Series, the Nationwide Series, and the Cup Series every week. But I think I've got to (cut back). (Five-time Cup champion) Jimmie Johnson doesn't run (many) Nationwide races." Edwards hasn't set his '12 schedule, but it likely will include only Nationwide companion races at Cup venues.(AutoWeek)(8-7-2011)

  • NASCAR's Mike Helton adds his salute to Richter: Significant racing presence at Saturday's Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies in Canton, Ohio: Inductee Les Richter, who died in 2010, was also a former NASCAR operations director. "If you looked at 'Coach,' you knew he was a football player, even in his older days, because of his stature," NASCAR president Mike Helton told The Associated Press. "And while he demanded respect because of his history and experience, he never expected it and never made you feel like he was better than you. He was very humble, personable, the guy you really just liked being with and working with. He was a good guy for NASCAR because a lot of things were going on and Les was a really great liaison because of his fame on the football field." Richter played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1954-62.(Charlotte Observer)(8-7-2011)

  • Gordon going for Pocono sweep: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Hune race at Pocono Raceway and goes for the sweep Sunday. There have been six sweeps at Pocono: Bobby Allison, 1982; Bill Elliott, 1985; Tim Richmond, 1986; Bobby Labonte, 1999; Jimmie Johnson, 2004; Denny Hamlin 2006.(8-7-2011)

  • Pocono Raceway owner resigns and retires MORE: Pocono Raceway owner Joseph Mattioli has resigned and turned over all his duties to his grandchildren. "It has to stay in the family," said Mattioli, in a June interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I put it in trust. They can't touch it. They can't sell it. The (SOBs) are going to run it, or they're going to starve." Track president and grandson Brandon Igdalsky has added the new title of CEO to his list of duties at the track. The 87-year-old Mattioli fought back tears Friday as he talked about his decision to step down. Mattioli was in a wheelchair and held his wife's hand. Mattioli was a former dentist in the Philadelphia area before he moved to the Poconos in the 1960s. He's known around the track as "Doc."(Pocono Record)(8-5-2011)
    MORE see the Doc Mattioli retirement statement at the Pocono Raceway site.(8-7-2011)

  • Pocono Raceway Forms Multi-Year Partnership with FullCircle Ventures: Pocono Raceway has formed a multi-year agreement with FullCircle Ventures, LLC to represent the track in marketing its assets and creating corporate partnerships. Known as the "Tricky Triangle" for its triangular 2.5-mile layout, Pocono Raceway is just 90 miles from New York and Philadelphia. FullCircle will aggressively promote the track's close proximity to the nation's No. 1 and No. 4 television markets, focusing on corporate sponsorship, race entitlement, suite sales and trackside marketing, while also identifying and developing new entertainment opportunities for the track that annually hosts two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and two ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards events. It features the StockCar Racing Experience, offering fan packages that range from a three-lap ride-along program to an 80-lap driving experience. And from its strong social networking presence to the implementation of SAFER Barriers and new catchfencing all around the 2.5-mile triangle, Pocono Raceway has continued to renovate well after building new competitor garages, a media center and infield care center in 1999. In August 2010, Pocono Raceway opened a 25-acre solar farm capable of producing 3-4 million megawatts of electricity per year. The solar farm allows the track to be totally self-sustaining from an energy perspective, while also providing additional electricity to the local grid – a claim no other racing facility in the country can make. In fact, Pocono Raceway is the largest renewable energy project in the state of Pennsylvania.(Pocono Raceway)(8-7-2011)


    News from August 6, 2011

  • Race Coverage of the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, August 7, 2011.
    Television (TV): ESPN at 1:00 pm/et; NSCS Countdown pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:19pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    ESPN2, Monday, August 8 at 12:00am/et; SPEED, Wednesday, August 10 at 12:00pm/et

  • DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout Competition: DIRECTV will team up with ESPN and NASCAR to open the throttle for a second consecutive year of DIRECTV’s Head2Head Knockout competition – an innovative, bracket-format contest that will showcase existing and new rivalries among 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. The high-stakes competition will take place over the course of four races during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning Aug. 7, 2011 finishing with DIRECTV’s NASCAR Head2Head Knockout Championship in Bristol, Tenn. on Aug. 27. DIRECTV, the exclusive provider of the NASCAR HotPass broadcast, will donate a total of $400,000 to driver charities during the four-round event as drivers compete head-to-head each week with the winner moving on to the next bracket. And drivers won’t be the only ones competing. A participating fan, who fills out a perfect bracket, can win a $1 million. More info at directv.com and see the game at ESPN. Feel free to join the group Jayski "Fan"atics run by Mark Garrow.(8-7-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #20-Logano chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #4-Kahne took pit stall 25, the first pit stall with open in back of it.
    #56-Truex Jr. who starts 3rd took the 30th pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 18th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(8-6-2011)

  • Logano wins Pocono pole: #20-Joey Logano won the Coors Light pole for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway with a speed of 172.055mph. It is his 2nd pole of the season and the 3rd of his career. #4-Kahne starts 2nd followed by #56-Truex Jr., #99-Edwards, #22-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #27-Menard, #31-Burton, #16-Biffle and #29-Harvick.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #66-TBodine, #55-Yeley, #46-Darnell, #30-Stremme, #7-Gordon, #38-Kvapli, #37-Speed and #87-Nemechek.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #35-GBodine, #60-Skinner, #50-Bell.
    Qualifying Re-Air: 5:00pm/et on ESPN2
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Pocono Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(8-6-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Pocono:
    #20-Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 38th Annual Good Sam RV Insurance 500 with a lap of 52.309 seconds, 172.055 mph. This is his third pole in 96 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. At age 21 years, two months, 13 days, Logano becomes the youngest pole winner at Pocono.
    This is his second pole and 10th top-10 start in 2011. His first pole this season was at Infineon Raceway.
    This is his first pole in six races at Pocono Raceway. His previous best start was 12th in June of last season.
    #4-Kasey Kahne (second) posted his 12th top-10 start of 2011 and his 10th in 16 races at Pocono Raceway.
    #56-Martin Truex, Jr. (third) posted his second top-10 start at Pocono Raceway. It is his sixth in 21 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(8-6-2011)

  • Pastrana Nationwide debut delayed until 2012: Pastrana Waltrip Racing announced that Travis Pastrana will not make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut until the 2012 season due to injuries suffered during the 17th annual X Games last week. The 11-time X Games gold medalist broke his right ankle and foot while attempting a Rodeo 720 with a back flip during the Best Trick competition in Los Angeles, forcing him to miss his scheduled NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis last Saturday. The injuries required surgery, which was completed by Dr. Tom Dennis at Riva Road Surgical Center in Annapolis, Md., Wednesday evening. Dr. Dennis said the operation was a success and that Pastrana should make a full recovery following a strict healing process which will require Pastrana to be immobilized in traction for at least one month and unable to apply weight on his right leg for another month. “To give my ankle and foot time to heal properly we have decided to wait until 2012 to make my NASCAR debut,” Pastrana said. “I probably could have been ready for the final couple of races in 2011, but it just makes more sense to start fresh in 2012. We are already starting to talk about testing and what I need to do to prepare for next season. My sincere apologies go out to my NASCAR team, fans and sponsors for this delay. Thanks for all of the support. This will be a fun ride … eventually.” Pastrana made his NASCAR debut on January 29 when he finished sixth in the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway. Pastrana was scheduled to run a total of seven Nationwide Series races this season with his debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Ind. on July 30.(Pastrana Waltrip Racing PR)(8-6-2011)

  • Rain coming at Pocono?: the radar doesn't look good to get qualifying completed for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Truck Series qualifying is currently being run at Pocono. Qualifying is scheduled to start at 10:40am/et on ESPN2. If qualifying is rained out the field is set by the rules book. The drivers that make the race would be the 35 drivers/teams in the top-35 of Owners Points, then by race attempts with ties broken by owners points position. The field is then set by first practice speeds. So #39-Newman would start first [not credited with a pole]. Drivers who would miss the race: #35-GBodine, #50-Bell and #55-Yeley. See the proposed Pocono Starting lineup on the Pocono Qualifying / Starting Lineup page. For info on weather, see the Pocono Race Info page - weather section.(8-6-2011)

  • Patrick close to signing deal to run NASCAR in 2012 UPDATE2 Stewart comments: Danica Patrick is in the final stages of putting together her full-time NASCAR plan. Patrick is apparently going to run a full Nationwide schedule with JR Motorsports [in 2012], and run a limited Sprint Cup schedule with Tony Stewart in preparation for an eventual full Cup schedule.(ESPN/Associated Press)(8-2-2011)
    UPDATE: Danica Patrick could still run the Indianapolis 500 even if she makes a full-time move to NASCAR, The Associated Press has learned. Two people familiar with Patrick's 2012 plans said she is in the final stages of a deal to run a full-time Nationwide Series schedule with JR Motorsports and limited Sprint Cup Series races with the team owned by two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The people spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because the deal won't be finished until she has secured a release from Andretti Autosport. The talks also include her continuing to run the Indianapolis 500, one person told AP.(ESPN)(8-2-2011)
    UPDATE2 - Stewart...no comment? #14-Tony Stewart, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and discussed a few items and was asked about Danica Patrick:
    Q) THERE ARE A LOT OF REPORTS ABOUT DANICA (PATRICK)…
    Stewart: "I know, I've heard all kinds of stuff (chuckles)."
    Q) CAN YOU SAY ARE YOU WORKING ON ANYTHING WITH HER?
    Stewart: "Nope, nope."
    Q) YOU CAN'T SAY OR YOU ARE NOT WORKING ON SOMETHING?
    Stewart: "Can't say anything."
    (Team Chevy PR)(8-6-2011)

  • Goodyear schedules tire testing: After a highly successful run through the first half of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company is feeling good as it returns to many of the circuit's tracks for the stretch run and the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Throughout much of the first half of this season, Goodyear rolled in a slight construction change to many of its tires. That change came as a result of an aggressive at-track and computer modeling test program by the Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker, and was made to enhance the already robust durability of its Goodyear Racing radial tires.
    Now that this modification has been integrated into the tire lineup, Goodyear now looks to offer teams a high level of consistency in the tires it brings to the track for a series of return visits. Of the 13 tracks the Sprint Cup Series runs at twice, beginning with the season's first repeat track in Daytona Beach this past month, Goodyear will bring back the same tire set-up to 10 of those tracks – Daytona in July, Pocono this weekend, Michigan, Richmond, New Hampshire, Dover, Kansas, Charlotte, Talladega and Texas.
    The exceptions are Phoenix, which is being repaved; and Bristol and Martinsville, where striking the right balance with the concrete corners requires occasional fine tuning. While the Phoenix and Martinsville tire set-ups are to be determined, the Bristol set-up is the same one that Sprint Cup teams ran at the track in August 2010.
    "It is always our goal to offer consistency to teams, wherever possible. At the same time, we are always looking at how we can improve our product," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's Director of Racing. "Like over the first half of this season, when we rolled in a minor construction change to some set-ups based on some past test results, we felt that it was something that would not affect the drivers' feel or the crew chiefs' ability to set up the car, but would make our tires better across the board. We also have situations where conditions change between the gaps in time we visit a track. These race tracks are not under cover and are subject to some harsh weather conditions that affect the surface characteristics. As a racing group, we keep an eye on all those factors in determining when we need to return to a track to test and when we need to modify a recommendation."
    Phoenix is the highest profile track that will need a new tire recommendation because of the fact that it is currently in the final stages of being completely repaved and reconfigured.
    Goodyear has on-track sessions scheduled at:
    Martinsville: August 16-17
    Phoenix: August 29-30
    Bristol: September 27-28
    Auto Club Speedway: October 18
    Las Vegas: November 7
    "Testing season never really ends for us at Goodyear," said Stucker. "At this time of year we typically have several tests to confirm tire set-ups for the rest of the season, in addition to those that will help us get a jump on next year. For those, we take a lot of that data into the short off-season and continue to do some computer modeling and lab work during the winter months in order to get ready for 2012." Between its testing program and the at-track support it offers NASCAR teams each weekend, Goodyear looks forward to a strong finish to this season and a fast start to the next.(Goodyear PR)(8-6-2011)


    News from August 5, 2011

  • Special scheme for Dale Jr. at Atlanta: #88-Dale Earnhardt is scheduled to race a one-time paint scheme at the September 4 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway to honor the men and women who serve in Military Intelligence, The car features the Military Intelligence logo on the side panels and the “Always Out Front” motto on the hood. See an image of the scheme on the #88 Team Schemes page.(8-5-2011)

  • #78 to Showcase Farm American in three races: In a continuing effort to support the American family farmer and rancher, Furniture Row Racing announced that its #78 Sprint Cup Chevy, driven by Regan Smith, will display the Farm American initiative as a major associate sponsor at three upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup races -- Michigan (Aug. 21), Atlanta (Sept. 4) and Kansas (Oct. 9). Furniture Row Companies and its Farm American financial partner - Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers - are teaming to promote the importance of having a stable and robust agriculture industry along with bridging the awareness gap between urban and rural America. Based in St. Johns, Mich., Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers is a manufacturer and marketer of premium crop nutrition. An industry leader since 1983, Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers joined Furniture Row Racing's Farm American program earlier in the year as a financial and communications partner. Members of the Furniture Row Racing team will take part in Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers public open house -- Wednesday, Aug. 24 in Ashley, Mich. -- to celebrate the company's new manufacturing facility. The #78 Farm American Chevrolet will also appear at the event.(Furniture Row Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(8-5-2011)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 10:40 am/et.
    Television (TV): ESPN2, 10:30 am/et
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: 5:00pm/et on ESPN2

  • Qualifying Order for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #35-Geoff Bodiner, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #39-Newman, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Pocono Qualifying Page.(8-5-2011)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is being over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #9-Kahne 167.520
    #5-Martin 166.834
    #29-Harvick 166.756
    #33-Bowyer 166.667
    #42-Montoya 166.599
    slowest: #32-Jason White 160.436 & #13-Mears 166.305
    notes: #71-Lally spun off turn three midway thru practice.
    Late in practice #2-Keselowski went high in turn 1 as he felt a tire going down and spun and slid, stopping on the track.(8-5-2011)

  • 1st Friday practice for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #39-Newman 170.026
    #22-Busch 168.621
    #43-Allmendinger 168.517
    #99-Edwards 168.360
    #5-Martin 168.300
    slowest: #35-GBodine 158.837 & #32-Jason White 159.821
    Todd Bodine is in the #66 Toyota as Michael McDowell is in Iowa running the Natiuonwide race this weekend.
    #11-Hamlin was only 39th fastest, with qualifying set by this practice session, with slowest going out first and qualifying scheduled for Saturday at 10:40am/et, so going out early is ideal.....unless qualifying gets rained out.
    See speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Pocono Practice Speeds Page,(8-5-2011)

  • Pocono Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers in practice 1:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #55-J.J. Yeley, 29th fastest overall
    #7-Robby Gordon, 32nd
    #66-Todd Bodine, 34th
    #30-David Stremme, 36th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 37th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 38th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 41st
    #50-T.J. Bell, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #37-Scott Speed, 43rd
    #46-Erik Darnell, 44th
    #35-Geoff Bodine, 46th/slowest

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post these] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on the Pocono Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Some details about Edwards new contract: Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush offered details today on Ford Motor Company’s contribution to the contract package agreed to Thursday by #99-Carl Edwards. “Ford stepped forward and offered Carl an incentive program,” said Roush to Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody. “They also offered up a Ford stock program that will come to fruition after the third year of his contract is complete.” Roush admitted that there is “still some work to do” on sponsorship for 2012; both for Edwards and other members of the Roush Fenway Racing stable. “The 3M package for Greg Biffle is done and discussions are ongoing for Matt Kenseth and David Ragan," he said. "We can see our way more than 50% through Carl’s program, right now, but the day is past when you can rely on one sponsor to pay the full ticket for any driver. Sponsors like that are fewer and farther between than they were even a few years ago, but we will continue to work hard to put these various packages together.”(Sirius Speedway)(8-5-2011)

  • Pepsi Max joins TBR as assoc sponsor: Pepsi Max will join Golden Corral for seven races on the #36 Golden Corral Chevy this season. Pepsi Max will have associate placement on the Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) machine starting at Pocono Raceway this weekend and return to the Chevy at Bristol, Richmond, Dover, Charlotte, Martinsville and Homestead. Pepsi has been a part of racing for nearly 15 years on the #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy. Golden Corral has served Pepsi's robust portfolio of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages in each of its 485 locations since 2007. Golden Corral joined TBR for the Daytona 500 this season and returned for 21 primary events and nine associate events. Golden Corral is currently running a season-long promotion “Racing for America’s Families.” If the #36 Golden Corral Chevy finishes in the top-10 in any NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this season, kids get a free buffet the following Monday with a paying adult. The #36 Golden Corral Chevy will hit the track with Pepsi Max logos this weekend for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway (TBR)(8-5-2011).

  • Martin returns to the Truck Series: For the first time since 2007, Mark Martin will compete in the Camping World Truck Series. Martin will drive the #32 Turner Motorsports Chevy with Hendrick Motorsports horsepower in Saturday’s race at Pocono. In his previous 23 truck starts, Martin has earned seven wins, 16 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. He has a 7.1 average finish in the series.(HMS)(8-5-2011)

  • Good Sam Club colors for Bowyer: The Good Sam Club returns as primary sponsor on the #33 Chevy of Clint Bowyer this weekend at Pocono. The Good Sam Club is your one-stop resource for all things RV (RCR), see an image of the scheme/car on the #33 Team Schemes page.(8-5-2011)

  • Pocono Raceway owner resigns and retires: Pocono Raceway owner Joseph Mattioli has resigned and turned over all his duties to his grandchildren. "It has to stay in the family," said Mattioli, in a June interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I put it in trust. They can't touch it. They can't sell it. The (SOBs) are going to run it, or they're going to starve." Track president and grandson Brandon Igdalsky has added the new title of CEO to his list of duties at the track. The 87-year-old Mattioli fought back tears Friday as he talked about his decision to step down. Mattioli was in a wheelchair and held his wife's hand. Mattioli was a former dentist in the Philadelphia area before he moved to the Poconos in the 1960s. He's known around the track as "Doc."(Pocono Record)(8-5-2011)

  • Kids Allowed in Pits at Atlanta Motor Speedway: For years, family and NASCAR have been synonymous with one another. This year, children can do more than watch the cars from the grandstands, they can get close enough to touch them. Prior to the AdvoCare 500 on September 4, children of all ages have access to the pits via a new rule NASCAR instituted in 2011. With the purchase of a Sunday pre-race pit pass, kids will get to watch crew members prepare their racing machines and pit areas prior to 500 miles of racing on the high banks of the historic 1.54-mile speedway. As always, children ages 14 and up can purchase pit access on Friday and Saturday. Spectators with pre-race pit passes are allowed in the pit area until an hour prior to the start of each race on Labor Day Weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Pit passes are $125 for the weekend of $100 for Sunday only. Another change this year is a relaxed dress code on pit road. Fans that plan to purchase pre-race pit passes can now wear shorts, open-toed shoes, sleeveless shirts, skirts and dresses on pit road all weekend long.
    Atlanta Motor Speedway is offering great value to fans of all ages on Labor Day Weekend. Children 12 and under can gain free admission to Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Atlanta 200 and Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 with an adult ticket. Students can purchase AdvoCare 500 tickets for $19, with a valid student I.D. NASCAR night racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway this Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4. Tickets for the AdvoCare 500 start at $39. For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(8-5-2011)


    News from August 4, 2011

  • Keselowski wrecks in testing at Road Atlanta UPDATEs cleared for Pocono: Statement by Penske Racing: "Brad Keselowski was involved in an accident today at Road Atlanta while testing. He was transported to an Atlanta area hospital for further evaluation. Brad was able to exit the car under his own power, but as a precautionary measure was taken to the hospital. Penske Racing will provide further communication as details become known."(Penske Racing)
    UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski was involved in an accident on Wednesday while testing at Road Atlanta, but the Penske Racing driver expects to be ready for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Keselowski got out of the car under his own power, but was airlifted to an Atlanta-area hospital for further evaluation as a precautionary measure. Keselowski said on Twitter that he was about to be released and X-rays on his swollen right foot were negative. He also received several abrasions, sending pictures of those and the foot on Twitter. Keselowski tweeted that engineers said he hit a wall not equipped with the SAFER barrier head-on at approximately 100 mph after the brakes failed. "Guess I needed a reminder, COT or not, this racing (stuff) is still dangerous,'' Keselowski said on Twitter. "X-rays on feet r good.''(ESPN and see an image of the car at Daly Planet)(8-3-2011)
    UPDATE2: Statement from Penske Racing "Due to Brad Keselowski's accident while testing at Road Atlanta yesterday, he will not participate in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Parker Kligerman will practice the #22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger on Friday, while Sam Hornish Jr. will qualify and race the car on Saturday. Penske Racing will continue to evaluate Brad's condition. Further information will be provided as it becomes known."(Penske Racing)(8-4-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Penske Statement: "Following careful evaluation, Brad Keselowski has been cleared by respected neurologist Dr. Jerry Petty, M.D. for participation in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Brad is excited to get back in the car and ready to compete this weekend. Sam Hornish, Jr. will now be able to practice, qualify and race the #22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger this weekend at Iowa Speedway."(Penske Racing)
    Dr. Jerry Petty Comments on Brad Keselowski: "After meeting with Brad Keselowski today it became clear that, despite an avulsion fracture of the left ankle, he would be able to compete this weekend at Pocono Raceway without any limitations. Mr. Keselowski saw an orthopedic surgeon this afternoon who indicated that he would be able to put weight on the foot as necessary and should not be inhibited in any way."(Penske Racing)
    (8-4-2011)

  • Hauler knocks down Pocono flagstand: a Truck Series [#66] team hauler accidentally knocked down the Pocono Raceway flagstand at the start-finish line. The track will use a temporary stand for the weekend.


    The track chose to make it fun and hold a contest, see it and more images at the Pocono Raceway facebook page.(8-4-2011)

  • Jason White to make Sprint Cup debut at Pocono: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) veteran, Jason White, will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) debut in Sunday's Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway. The Richmond, Virginia native will pilot the #32 GunBroker.com Ford Fusion for FAS Lane Racing. White, a full-time driver for Joe Denette Motorsports in the NCWTS, has one start at the 2.5-mile tri-oval; starting 16th and finishing 10th in the 2010 Inaugural NCWTS event at Pocono Raceway. "After having many quality, veteran drivers this year we are really excited about giving some young guys an opportunity these next couple of weeks," said owner Frank Stoddard. "Jason has consistently run well in the truck series and he is a great spokesperson for his sponsors. I look forward to trying to run Jason in some more races this season."
    "I'm really looking forward to making my first Cup start at Pocono this weekend," said White. "Racing in the Sprint Cup Series has always been a goal of mine and this weekend marks a major mile stone in my career. I would really like to thank Frank (Stoddard) for giving me this opportunity and GunBroker.com for their support."(FAS Lane Racing)(8-4-2011)

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post these] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on the Pocono Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • The Entry List for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon (36/20)
    #30-David Stremme (44/9)
    #35-Geoff Bodine (50/2)
    #37-Scott Speed (39/20)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (37/20)
    #46-Erik Darnell (40/20)
    #55-J.J. Yeley (54/2)
    #50-T.J. Bell (51/6)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/20)
    #66-Michael McDowell (42/20)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/20)
    withdrew from the race:
    #77-Scott Wimmer (55/4)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 7,38,37,46,87,66,60,30
    missing the race would be [3]: #'s 50,35,55
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Pocono Entry List and
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(8-1/4-2011)

  • Edwards re-signs with at Roush Racing: Roush Fenway Racing announced that it has re-signed driver #99-Carl Edwards to a multi-year agreement starting in 2012. "Carl Edwards has achieved a level of success on and off track that would put him at the top of the list for any race team," said Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush. "Carl and the #99 team are having a terrific season again this year, and we're thrilled that our relationship will continue for many more."
    "We saw great potential in Carl a decade ago, and it's been a thrill to watch him grow into one of the sports' premier drivers behind the wheel of the #99," added Roush. "We didn't take our past success for granted when we sat down with Carl to talk about his future. As an organization, we approach each week with an intense focus on being successful in the race to come. Carl's position atop the points is a testament to that diligence."
    "I sincerely appreciate the amazing opportunity that Jack Roush has given me in this sport and am honored to race for him," said Edwards. "As an organization, Roush Fenway provides the resources I need to win, and as a driver, that's the most important thing. We're having a fun season on the race track as we're leading the points and in great position for the Chase. That's the result of a lot of hard work from the men and women at Roush Fenway, Ford Motor Company and Roush Yates Engines. I really enjoy competing with this group and looking forward to continuing that relationship into the future."
    "Carl brings a tremendous amount to the table from both a marketing and competitive standpoint," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "He has one of the largest fan bases in the sport, is able accomplish so much for his sponsors and is second to none on the race track. We're proud to have Carl as part of our roster going forward, a roster that includes some of the most experienced veteran champions on the circuit, and some of the sport's most promising up-and-coming drivers."
    "We are pleased with Carl's vote of confidence in Roush Fenway and Ford," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "This signals he believes he is with the right team and the right automaker to win races and championships. Now we can continue to focus on winning the 2011 championship."(Roush Fenway Racing)(8-4-2011)

  • Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick close to extension deal: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports is expected to be signed within the next 30 days, his team owner, Rick Hendrick, said Wednesday. Hendrick said he and Earnhardt should have an formal contract extension completed within 30 days although he believes it is, for intents and purposes, already done. "It will be a multiyear deal. We haven't been in a hurry because we both have taken it for granted that we're doing it," he said. "It's almost a foregone conclusion. We've been busy and there are a lot of contracts with sponsors. A handshake works with him and he and I have a handshake, and that's all he and I really need."(Charlotte Observer)(8-4-2011)

  • Hendrick to sponsor Charlotte schools: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Wednesday a $250,000 sponsorship deal with Hendrick Automotive Group that will allow the district to offer a full slate of middle school sports for 2011-12. CMS had said it would have to curtail the lineup of middle school sports due to budget cuts, but the Hendrick sponsorship, combined with a gift from an unidentified donor, gives the school system enough to pay for the full slate of 13 sports at all 32 middle schools. The agreement designates HendrickCars.com as an official sponsor of CMS athletics. It gives the company naming rights when statistics are announced during breaks at high school sports events, recognition as a title partner in announcements at the end of high school events, and the right to display its signs at middle and high school events. "This doesn't mean student-athletes' uniforms will look like NASCAR cars," said Hendrick Automotive Group chairman Rick Hendrick, who also owns arguably NASCAR's most prominent racing team. "There won't be decals on those uniforms. It will be more like having a sign at the field -- something like that."(Charlotte Observer)(8-4-2011)

  • At Pocono Raceway:
    · Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974.
    · There have been 67 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway.
    · There was one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since.
    · All NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono have been scheduled for 500 miles.
    · Buddy Baker won the first pole.
    · There have been 37 different pole winners, including David Pearson who won the pole there in June 1984 but did not race; 16 drivers have more than one pole there.
    · The pole has been swept just three times: Bill Elliott (1985), Ken Schrader (1993), Denny Hamlin (2006).
    · Richard Petty won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono.
    · 29 different drivers have won races at Pocono, led by Bill Elliott and Jeff Gordon, each with five victories; 20 drivers have won more than once there.
    · There have been six season sweeps at Pocono, the last by Denny Hamlin in 2006.
    · Bobby Allison (1982, '83) and Tim Richmond (1986, '87) each won three consecutive races at Pocono.
    · 47 of 67 Pocono races have been won from a top-10 start.
    · The June 2005 race was won by Carl Edwards from the 29th starting position, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.
    · 13 of 67 races have been won from the pole, Bill Elliott (1985, 2002) and Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep) are the only drivers to have done it twice. Tony Stewart is the most recent driver to win from the pole in 2009.
    · Rick Hendrick leads all car owners with 12 Pocono victories.
    · Mark Martin leads all drivers in top fives (19) and top 10s (33), but has yet to win at Pocono. His best finish was second, six times (most recently in August 2004).
    · Denny Hamlin (9.1) and Jimmie Johnson (9.2) are the only active drivers to average a top-10 finish.(NASCAR)(8-4-2011)

  • NASCAR Cafe liquidation sale starts Thursday: NASCAR cars & trucks including Dale Earnhardt's #3 car, Carzilla – the largest Pontiac Grand Prix stock car in the world, designed by Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR race wear & uniforms, helmets, flag stands, pictures, prints, photos, gas cans, Cyber Speedway simulators, neon signs, shadow boxes, granite top slot bar w/ back bar, booths, NASCAR pedestal tables & bar stools, light fixtures, paneling, wrought iron hand rails, roll up doors, commercial kitchen equipment, sound & video systems, office furnishings, public restroom items and much more! Buyers can buy NASCAR Cafe items with cash, Visa or Mastercard. The sale runs 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except Sundays, noon-5 p.m. To see pictures of some of the items, go to www.nclsales.com, and click on the "Current Sales-NASCAR Cafe" option under Liquidation Sales at the bottom of the page.(8-4-2011)

  • Pocono Tire Notes: Teams in both NASCAR series in action at Pocono this weekend will run the same tire codes, though the Sprint Cup tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . teams in these two series should be very familiar with this tire set-up . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup teams have run at Pocono since the beginning of 2009, making this their sixth consecutive race on this tire at this track . . . this is also the same tire set-up Camping World Truck teams ran in their inaugural race at Pocono last season . . . as on all NASCAR tracks that are greater than one mile in length and are not road courses, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Pocono . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 32-34 laps, based on fuel mileage for the Sprint Cup cars.
    See tire pressures, codes, number of tires on the Pocono Race Info page - Goodyear Notes.(8-4-2011)


    News from August 3, 2011

  • Keselowski wrecks in testing at Road Atlanta UPDATE: Statement by Penske Racing: “Brad Keselowski was involved in an accident today at Road Atlanta while testing. He was transported to an Atlanta area hospital for further evaluation. Brad was able to exit the car under his own power, but as a precautionary measure was taken to the hospital. Penske Racing will provide further communication as details become known."(Penske Racing)
    UPDATE: #2-Brad Keselowski was involved in an accident on Wednesday while testing at Road Atlanta, but the Penske Racing driver expects to be ready for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Keselowski got out of the car under his own power, but was airlifted to an Atlanta-area hospital for further evaluation as a precautionary measure. Keselowski said on Twitter that he was about to be released and X-rays on his swollen right foot were negative. He also received several abrasions, sending pictures of those and the foot on Twitter. Keselowski tweeted that engineers said he hit a wall not equipped with the SAFER barrier head-on at approximately 100 mph after the brakes failed. "Guess I needed a reminder, COT or not, this racing (stuff) is still dangerous,'' Keselowski said on Twitter. "X-rays on feet r good.''(ESPN and see an image of the car at Daly Planet)(8-3-2011)

  • Danica 3rd highest paid female athlete: Izod IndyCar Series driver and fan favorite Danica Patrick is the world's third-highest-paid female athlete, according to an earnings estimate by Forbes.com. Patrick's annual income is estimated at $12 million, trailing only tennis players Maria Sharapova ($25 million) and Caroline Wozniacki ($12.5 million). Tennis players dominate the list, grabbing seven of the top 10 spots. Forbes's estimates are for the 12 months ending on July 1 and include the athletes' salaries, prize money, appearance fees and endorsements.(AutoWeek)(8-3-2011)

  • Reese Towpower to sponsor #47 at Pocono & Homestead: Cequent Consumer Products brand Reese Towpower, the leading manufacturer for towing products, announced the company added another race as primary sponsor of JTG Daugherty Racing's #47 Toyota with driver Bobby Labonte in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20th. "Reese Towpower sponsored us in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway, which was the first race of the year and now they are sponsoring us in the last race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway," said Bobby Labonte, driver of the #47 Reese Towpower/Highland entry fielded by JTG Daugherty Racing. "We are all charged up about what they were doing as a company and excited about the new products they have coming out. We have a good relationship with Reese Towpower that we hope will last for a very long time." In addition to Reese Towpower kicking off the 2011 season, they also sponsored Labonte's car during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star event weekend in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway and they are primary for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway this weekend.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(8-3-2011)

  • New sponsor for Richard Petty Motorsports: Roger J. Catarino, President and CEO of First Fruits Beverage Company, LLC, and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) officials have announced a partnership centered around the new patented weight loss water beverage TrimFit. The associate sponsorship will showcase the brand on uniforms as well as on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford. TrimFit will have a presence with both of the RPM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams for the remainder of the 2011 season. In addition to a logo on the sleeve of the firesuit of Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford Fusion, the company will be featured on the deck lid of the #43 Ford machine.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(8-3-2011)

  • Johnson to run Nationwide race at Watkins Glen UPDATE: Dr. Jerry Punch reported during the Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway that Jimmie Johnson will drive the #7 for JR Motorsports at the upcoming race in Watkins Glen. Jamie McMurray is also expect to drive the car in August.(7-23-2011)
    UPDATE: If Jimmie Johnson will race anything with an engine, driving one that could carry him to victory in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen International is a no-brainer. JR Motorsports announced that Johnson will pilot the #7 Chevy in the Aug. 13 road-course event at Watkins Glen in promotion of his soon-to-be-launched video game Jimmie Johnson's Anything With An Engine. Published by Autumn Games and developed by Isopod Labs, Jimmie Johnson's Anything With An Engine is scheduled for an October 2011 release on all three major home consoles.(JRM PR), seen an image of the car on my #7 NNS team paint schemes page.(8-3-2011)

  • Biffle to carry 811 logo: This weekend at Pocono Raceway the #16 3M Ford of Greg Biffle will have a special "811" logo in several locations to remind race fans to call 811 before starting any digging project to ensure safety (RFR).(8-3-2011)

  • The Numbers for Pocono Raceway:
    1 - fewest cautions (7/30/78)
    2 - fewest on lead lap at finish (twice, most recent 6/6/82)
    3 - fewest caution laps (7/30/78)
    4 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    4 - fewest leaders (twice, most recent 6/9/85)
    4 - fewest laps led by race winner (Bobby Labonte, 7/29/01)
    5 - most wins (Jeff Gordon, Bill Elliott)
    5 - most poles (Bill Elliott, Ken Schrader)
    10 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at Pocono Raceway
    10 - fewest lead changes (7/26/98)
    12 - wins by car owner (Rick Hendrick)
    13 - most cautions (twice, most recent 7/24/05)
    16 - drivers with more than one pole at "The Tricky Triangle"
    16 - most leaders (three times, most recent 6/13/04)
    18 - fewest cars running at finish (7/25/82)
    22 - wins from the front row; 13 from the pole
    29 - worst starting position for race winner (Carl Edwards, 6/12/05)
    29 - different race winners
    36 - most cars on lead lap at finish (6/10/07)
    37 - different pole winners
    42 - most cars running at finish (6/10/07)
    56 - most lead changes (7/30/79)
    57 - most caution laps (6/13/04)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.5-mile track
    175 - laps led by race winner (Kurt Busch, 8/5/07)
    2011 Caution Update
    4 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana, Pocono)
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    152 - number of cautions in the first 20 races of 2011 (includes 70 for accidents, 37 for debris and 22 for spins)
    718 of 5,756 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    1,014.811 of 8,034.858 - miles under caution in the first 20 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(8-3-2011)

  • Update on Shane Hmiel - Starts team: Former NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel doesn't know if he will walk again. He doesn't know exactly how he will be involved in racing again. He doesn't even know why he's alive. There's one thing Shane Hmiel believes, though: He's lucky, despite an Oct. 9 accident in a Silver Crown car that damaged his brain and spinal cord. He might not know for another four or five years how much he will need the wheelchair he currently has to use, but the 31-year-old Hmiel has an incredibly upbeat attitude about his life. See full article at SceneDaily and a video from a NASCAR Race Hub episode at SPEED.(7-30-2011)
    UPDATE: Shane Hmiel announced RW56, Inc as his newest endeavor in the world of motorsports. The ambitious project comes just months after suffering extensive injuries in a racing accident last October that left him confined to a wheelchair. Hmiel is embracing his new title as team owner, adding to his already extensive and impressive racing resume. With support coming from Steve Pruett, founder of the motorsports television program 3 Wide Life, and USAC team owners Rotondo Weirich of RW Motorsports, Hmiel will use the team and television show to build on the momentum he created before the accident in hopes of finding the next American open wheel star. In preparation for a full 2012 schedule, Hmiel and RW56 Inc, will field the No. 56 / 3 Wide Life dirt midget in the 7 remaining USAC National Dirt Midget races of 2011 beginning in Sun Prairie, Wisc. August 21. Five-time National USAC driver champion Levi Jones has been tapped to drive for those remaining races. See full post at 3widelife.(8-3-2011)

  • Sad News - Larry Moyer: Larry E. Moyer, 60, of Brandon, passed away Aug. 2, 2011. He was an area resident for 30 years coming from Ft. Wayne, IN., and was a self-employed trucker for most of his life, and the 1981 champion of the ARCA Series [and ran one Cup race, the 1988 Pepsi 400 at Daytona, finishing 32nd]. He is survived by his wife, Dawn; sons, Ronald Greene, Allen Moyer, and Cory Moyer; daughter, Deby Wagers (Johnnie); brothers, Arnie Fugate (Jennifer) and Donald Moyer (Jenny); sister, Karna Heck (Joe); two grandchildren. The family will receive friends 6-8 pm, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 at Stowers Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to LifePath Hospice.(St. Petersburg Times)(8-3-2011)

  • Nashville declines to seek any 2012 NASCAR races: Dover Motorsports, Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Nashville Superspeedway, has notified NASCAR that it will not seek any 2012 race sanctions. Vice President and General Manager of Nashville Superspeedway, Cliff Hawks, stated, "Nashville is a tremendous market filled with passionate race fans. We have some extremely dedicated and talented employees who have made this track a great destination, but the reality is, after ten years of effort, we have to face the fact that without a Sprint Cup race and/or a significant change in the operating model for other events, we simply cannot continue." Nashville has a few events left on the schedule for the remainder of 2011 that will not be impacted by the announcement.(Nashville Superspeedway).(8-3-2011)


    News from August 2, 2011

  • Patrick close to signing deal to run NASCAR in 2012 UPDATE: Danica Patrick is in the final stages of putting together her full-time NASCAR plan. Patrick is apparently going to run a full Nationwide schedule with JR Motorsports [in 2012], and run a limited Sprint Cup schedule with Tony Stewart in preparation for an eventual full Cup schedule.(ESPN/Associated Press)(8-2-2011)
    UPDATE: Danica Patrick could still run the Indianapolis 500 even if she makes a full-time move to NASCAR, The Associated Press has learned. Two people familiar with Patrick's 2012 plans said she is in the final stages of a deal to run a full-time Nationwide Series schedule with JR Motorsports and limited Sprint Cup Series races with the team owned by two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. The people spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because the deal won't be finished until she has secured a release from Andretti Autosport. The talks also include her continuing to run the Indianapolis 500, one person told AP.(ESPN)(8-2-2011)

  • TV Ratings for Indy higher then 2010: ESPN’s live telecast of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 31, earned a 4.6 household coverage rating, averaging 6,377,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating rose from a 4.2 for last year’s event. Continuing a trend that has been seen across NASCAR telecasts this season, the Male 18-34 demographic was up 20% from last year’s race. The final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of the 2011 season will air on ESPN networks, with 13 on ESPN and three Saturday night races on ABC.(ESPN), see TV Ratings, race-by-race and 4-year chart on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(8-2-2011)

  • Did Not Finish Streak and stats: #99-Edwards has the longest current streak of finishing races at 48, of drivers who have run all the races.
    Six drivers have ran all the races in 2011 and not had a DNF: #99-Edwards, #22-Busch, #39-Newman, #42-Montoya, #9-Ambrose & #83-Vickers.
    The all-time record for the longest streak of NOT having an DNF is 84 races held by Herman Beam from April 30, 1961 thru March 10, 1963 [Beam didn't run all the races, but did not have a DNF in 84 straight consecutive races that he ran].
    Clint Bowyer holds the modern day (1972-present) at 83, next is Kevin Harvick at 81 [also had a 2nd streak of 58], then Jeff Gordon at 56 and Dale Earnhardt at 53.
    The Most in 2011: #87-Nemechek 19 in 20 races run.(7-31-2011)

  • Kwikset scheme for Ambrose at Atlanta: Kwikset, the authority in smart, simple security solutions, and Richard Petty Motorsports, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, and its driver Marcos Ambrose, have partnered to launch the Race to Smart Security Facebook Sweepstakes. The winner of this exciting program will have the opportunity to see Ambrose race a special Kwikset-branded #9 Ford Fusion at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 4. The sweepstakes program, which will run from Aug. 1 through Aug. 22, will award one lucky fan the ultimate VIP package – tickets, travel and accommodations for two to see Ambrose race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day Weekend, a fan experience with Ambrose and a $1,000 home security makeover with Kwikset locks. Fans can visit Kwikset’s Facebook page and click on the custom sweepstakes tab from Aug. 1 through Aug. 22. Once fans “like” the landing page, they’ll be entered to win a VIP package to the AdvoCare 500 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sept. 4, courtesy of Kwikset.(RPM), see images of the scheme on my #9 Team Schemes page.(8-2-2011)

  • JTG Daugherty Racing jackman injured at Indy, but plans to be at Pocono: #47 JTG Daugherty Racing jackman Mike Klein was taken to the infield care center at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Sunday's race after another car clipped him on pit road. Klein was treated and released from the infield care center and went for further evaluation in the Charlotte area on Monday afternoon [no word on the outcome]. "I went to the doctor this morning," Klein said. "It's a cracked heel, but it is a non-weight bearing spot so it will heal on its own. I'm getting a MRI this afternoon [Monday] just to make sure there is no damage to my Achilles tendon. Both Jimmie Johnson [the driver who hit Klein] and [#47 driver] Bobby Labonte called me this morning to check on me. That shows a lot of character. I'm looking forward to being back at Pocono this weekend."()(8-2-2011)

  • #71 team back in the top 35: TRG Motorsports driver Andy Lally picked up a 26th place finish for the #71 Interstate Moving Services Ford Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Lally finished on the lead lap and got the team back in the Top 35 of the Sprint Cup Owners points and a guaranteed spot in the field at Pocono Raceway this coming weekend.(TRG Motorsports)(8-2-2011)

  • Smith to throw the first pitch on Wednesday: #78-Regan Smith, driver for the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing team on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Wednesday afternoon's (Aug. 3) Major League Baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies [Jayski fave team] at Coors Field. Smith, who is coming off an impressive third-place finish in Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is looking forward to the 60-feet, 6-inch throw. "I've been fortunate to participate in many neat things throughout my career and throwing out the first pitch at a Rockies game is going to rank right up there," said Smith. "I am really excited about this opportunity and hope I can throw a strike."(Furniture Row Racing)(8-2-2011)

  • National Anthem for Pocono: Country recording artist, Lauren Briant, will sing the National Anthem prior to the Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service 125, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway on Saturday August 6. Later that evening (7:00 - 9:30 pm) she will perform a free concert in the Pocono Raceway infield for infield and RV guests. A fireworks display will follow the concert.
    Saturday August 6 will be filled with exciting racing starting with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying at 9:35 am followed by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Weis Markets qualifying at 10:40 am. Pre-race activities for the Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service 125 begin at 12:30 pm with the green flag scheduled for 1:00 pm. The Pennsylvania 125, ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race will immediately follow the truck series race. The Lauren Briant infield concert and a fireworks display will conclude a day of exciting, action packed events. Pre-race activities for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race begin at 11:00 am on Sunday August 7. Driver introduction is set for 12:30 pm leading up to the scheduled 1:00 pm start of the Good Sam RV Insurance 500. Good tickets remain for both days but are going fast. To order tickets call the Pocono Raceway Ticket Office toll free at 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929) or online at www.poconoraceway.com. A print at home option is available for online purchases.(Pocono Raceway)(8-2-2011)

  • Spend Four Days at the Biggest Labor Day Party in the USA for only $78: Atlanta Motor Speedway is once again hosting the largest Labor Day party in the USA, and fans can be a part of all the excitement for only $78. Fans can purchase tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 for $39. This gets you a seat in the Elliott Grandstand, just outside of turn three. For another $39, you can purchase a frontstretch general admission ticket to both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Atlanta 200 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300. An AdvoCare 500 ticket will also grant access to a free Breakfast on Bruton held Monday morning, as a thank you to the fans. Fans that take advantage of the $78 four-day ticket will be a part of the following: To be a part of the biggest Labor Day party in the USA at Atlanta Motor Speedway, contact the speedway’s ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(8-2-2011)


    News from August 1, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon (36/20)
    #30-David Stremme (44/9)
    #35-Geoff Bodine (50/2)
    #37-Scott Speed (39/20)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (37/20)
    #46-Erik Darnell (40/20)
    #55-J.J. Yeley (54/2)
    #50-T.J. Bell (51/6)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/20)
    #66-Michael McDowell (42/20)
    #77-Scott Wimmer (55/4)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/20)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 7,38,37,46,87,66,60,30
    missing the race would be [4]: #'s 50,77,35,55
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Pocono Entry List.(8-1-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 Brickyard 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is CawsnJaws breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:13 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 108
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 74
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 31
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 35 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:13 PM
    Total minutes: 193
    Minutes of race broadcast: 142
    Minutes of commercials: 51
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Number of extremely carefully placed traffic cones during the race: 1
    Number of NASCAR legends respectfully honored on David Ragan's car: 1 Ned 'Gentleman Ned' Jarrett
    Number of beautiful soccer players to drive the pace car: 1 Hope Solo
    Total race brdcst time 142 Total comm. brdcst time 51
    See more on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(8-1-2011)

  • Menard Qualifies for Sprint Summer Showdown: With his win in Sunday's Brickyard 400, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Paul Menard is qualified to be a finalist for a chance to earn a $3 million payout in the Sprint Summer Showdown. If Menard can also win the Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend, he will claim the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D title and win $1 million for himself, $1 million for his designated charity, Habitat for Humanity, and $1 million dollars for a lucky race fan. Later this week, a fan will be randomly selected from the pool of entrants who correctly picked Menard to win the Brickyard 400 at sprint.com/speed. That lucky fan will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway and be there in person to see whether Menard can win at Atlanta. If he claims the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D, the fan will win $1 million. A different fan will be randomly selected after each race and will be in Atlanta for the final event of the six-consecutive-race series to cheer on their driver as he vies for the $3 million payout. Fans can change their picks until the scheduled start time for each event (Sprint), for more info see Jayski's Contest page.(8-1-2011)

  • Indianapolis Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • This is Paul Menard's first Cup Series victory in his 167th race. He is the 181st driver to win a Cup Series race.
    • Paul Menard is the 14th different race winner in 20 races in 2011.
    • Paul Menard is the first driver to score his first career victory at Indy. The win came in his fifth Indy start.
    • One year ago, Paul Menard was ranked 23rd after 20 races, this year he is 14th.
    • Paul Menard is the 11th different driver to win in 18 Cup races at Indy. Menard's previous best Indy finish was 14th (2010).
    • This is Richard Childress Racing's 98th Cup Series victory, tying the Wood Brothers for fifth all time.
    • Richard Childress Racing earned its fourth victory in 2011 and third victory at Indy.
    • Chevrolet scored its ninth win in 2011, the most by any manufacturer this season.
    • Chevrolet has won 13 of the 18 Indy Cup races, including the past nine.
    • Jeff Gordon (second) has scored top-10 finishes in 14 of the 18 races at Indy, the most by any driver.
    • This is Regan Smith's (third) first finish better than 31st at Indy.
    • Jamie McMurray (fourth) posted his best finish in 2011 and first top-five of the season.
    • Matt Kenseth (fifth) earned his fifth top-five finish at Indy.
    • Tony Stewart (sixth) has scored top-10 finishes in seven of the past eight Indy races. Stewart extended a 13-race streak of lead-lap finishes at Indy (longest).
    • Greg Biffle (seventh) has top-10 finishes in his past four Indy races. This is Biffle's first top-10 finish in the past seven races in 2011.
    • Mark Martin (eighth) has finished 11th or better in the past seven Indy races.
    • Carl Edwards (14th) has scored top-15 finishes in his past four Indy races.
    • Jeff Burton (35th) extended an 18-race streak of running at the finish at Indy (longest).
    .(Racing Recall/nascar.com)(8-1-2011)

  • 2012 Super Weekend at the Brickyard Tix on sale: The 2012 Crown Royal "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard will feature a return to 2010 ticket prices in Penthouse and Deck seating areas as the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard makes racing history next July at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tickets go on sale Monday, Aug. 1 for the Super Weekend at the Brickyard, scheduled for July 26-29, 2012, at www.imstix.com or in person at the IMS Ticket Office. The Super Weekend at the Brickyard will feature the NASCAR Nationwide and GRAND-AM Road Racing series for the first time at IMS as they join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for an unforgettable four days of on-track activity featuring four races in three days. For more info or to order tickets. go to www.imstix.com or call the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.(IMS)(8-1-2011)


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