NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
FEBRUARY 2011

Go to a certain date in this month:
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    News from February 28, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Terry Labonte returns to the #32
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #32-Terry Labonte 91996 Champ) (20th in 2011 owners pts/2 attempts)
    #09-Bill Elliott (1988 Champ) [18th/2]
    #13-Casey Mears (35/2)
    #36-Dave Blaney (39/2)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (41/2)
    #60-Landon Cassill (42/2)
    #66-Michael McDowell (45/2)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (43/2)
    #92-Brian Keselowski (46/2)
    In the event that practices and qualifying are ALL rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 32, 09, 13, 36, 46, 60, 87, 66
    missing the race would be [1]: #92
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Las Vegas Entry List.(2-28-2011)

  • Sad News - Hal Houston: Hal Stephens Houston, 78, of Mooresville, NC, passed away Saturday, February 26, 2011. Born on March 14, 1932 in Catawba County, he was the son of the late Clyde Oren Houston and Winnie Lee Sigmon Houston. A veteran of the United States Army, Mr. Houston was a local businessman and avid outdoorsman. He was a member of St. Stephens Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod in Hickory. Mr. Houston is survived by his wife, Betty Turland Houston; daughters, Sherry Clifton and her husband, Chris, and Teresa Earnhardt; son, Mark Houston; grandchildren, Carina Clifton and Taylor Earnhardt; sisters, Clara Petrovich, Nancy Hefner, Ann Decker and Kay Norris; and brothers, Tommy Houston, Ken Houston and Ronald 'Slick' Houston. A Memorial Service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. More info on services, memorial contributions and guest book at the Charlotte Observer.(2-28-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Subway Fresh Fit 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on during these races, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 107
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 71
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 44
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 pm
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:34 pm
    Total minutes: 214
    Minutes of race broadcast: 164
    Minutes of commercials: 50
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1
    For driver focus, past races, links see that 2011 TV Commercials Page.(2-28-2011)

  • Chevy quiet about 2013 model: Mark Kent, manager of GM Racing, said Sunday that a Chevy has a model selected for the new 2013 Sprint Cup entry, but he wouldn't reveal what it is. "We have a car we're working on," Kent said at Phoenix International Raceway. "It's a model that will be in the 2013 production lineup. I can't disclose the exact model today, but we hope it will have tremendous similarity between the street car and the race car." Ford plans to switch from the Fusion to the Mustang for Cup's new car design in 2013. But it appears Chevy is headed in a different direction than the Camaro. "It's up to each manufacturer to decide what's the best fit for them,'' Kent said. "There are a lot of other opportunities for us to market the Camaro."(ESPN.com)
    AND: One choice might be the next-generation Chevy Malibu, which will be redesigned for the 2013 model year, at least in production-car versions. The next-generation Impala won't debut until 2014.(SPEED)(2-28-2011)

  • Robby Gordon has sponsorship until May: #7-Robby Gordon says he has enough funding to race in all the Cup races through April, meaning Darlington would be the first race he would miss if funding isn't found.(Virginian-Pilot)(2-28-2011)

  • Kyle Busch's wedding on Style Network: When news broke about the engagement of Kyle Busch and model Samantha Sarcinella, anticipation quickly arose about their upcoming nuptials. Now, fans will get the inside track on the planning and execution of this loving couple's glamorous wedding. From Samantha's search for the perfect dress, to the hilarious bachelor and bachelorette parties, to the over-the-top New Year's Eve ceremony and the reception attended by America's racing elite, cameras document each dramatic moment leading up to the grand finish in the special, "Fast and Fabulous: A NASCAR Wedding," premiering Saturday, March 5 at 8pm ET/PT on The Style Network.(Style Network)(2-28-2011)

  • Iowa Speedway expands Fan Walk: Thanks to title sponsorship from Casey's General Store, Iowa Speedway's popular Fan Walk is set to become a longer and more exciting journey. The Casey's General Store Fan Walk presented by Mello Yello spans the entire length of Pit Road - and for the first time will extend to the area previously occupied by the infield grandstands. The sights, smells and sounds of top-level racing will merge with interactive displays where fans can enjoy free product samples, opportunities to meet drivers, a casual atmosphere and an up-close-and-personal view of Iowa Speedway's state-of-the-art facility. Even better: Access to the Casey's General Store Fan Walk presented by Mello Yello is free to season ticket holders, Newton Club members, suite ticket holders, and those who purchase one of the hospitality options, including the party deck, luxury suites, and hospitality chalets. Access for other fans is still a bargain. Adult tickets cost just $10 per event and children ages 12-and-under are admitted free with a paying adult.(Iowa Speedway)(2-28-2011)


    News from February 27, 2011

  • Gordon wins at Phoenix: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Subway Fresh Fit 500 (k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway for his first win in 66 races [his last points win was at Texas Motor Speedway in April 2009] and 83rd win of his career [which ties him with Cale Yarborough for 5th in all time in wins]. He led the most laps on the day, passed #18-Kyle Busch with 8 laps to go, and pulled away to win by more than a second. Busch held onto finish 2nd, followed by #48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #39-Newman, #4-Kahne, #14-Stewart, #22-Busch, #43-Allmendinger, and #11-Hamlin. Pole sitter #99-Edwards was involved in accident on lap 59 and finished 28th. There was a big wreck involving 13 cars on lap 67, causing the race to be red flagged for 14 minutes for track cleanup.
    There were 28 lead changes among 12 leaders with 8 cautions for 43 laps.
    See race results, awards and more on the Phoenix Race Results page.
    For points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page and the Owners Points Standings page. (2-27-2011)

  • Gilliland picks up Phoenix sponsor: TMone, headquarted in Iowa City, Iowa, will be highlighted on the quarter panels and the decklid of the #34 Taco Bell/TMone Ford for today's race. TMone is the most nimble Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in America. They provide Customer Relationship Management (CRM) & Customer Service Selling (CSS) for many Fortune 500 companies.(Breaking Limits)(2-27-2011)

  • Blaney to start & park at Phoenix, run full race at Vegas: Following a practice incident, Tommy Baldwin Racing decided to change plans and run the complete race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and start-and-park the race at Phoenix. Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Accell Construction Chevy for the first few laps of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 this weekend and look to race all 400 miles of the Kobalt Tools 400 next weekend. A spin in the second practice at PIR caused severe damage to the frontend of the No. 36 Accell Construction Chevrolet and forced the team to unload the backup car. With two races in the West, the #36 backup car is also the team's primary car for the race at LVMS. Due to the setup, the team decided the #36 Accell Construction Chevy would have a better chance to finish well with this car at LVMS than PIR. After consulting the sponsor, Accell Construction, TBR decided to change plans and run the complete race at LVMS rather than PIR.(TBR)(2-27-2011)

  • Eco-Fuel Saver to sponsor TRG for five races: Andy Lally will drive the #71 TRG Motorsports Chevy clad in the green Eco-Fuel Saver paint scheme at the Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix. Eco-fuel Savers will be on board for the next four races as well. Super Eco-Fuel Saver is a revolutionary new fuel additive that reformulates hydrocarbon molecular chains to burn fuel more efficiently in the combustion chamber resulting in increased mileage and dramatic reductions in emissions.(TRG)(2-27-2011)

  • Stewart to drive F1 car in exhibition: Barring an unforeseen scheduling hiccup, two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton will swap racecars in an exhibition later this year, Stewart-Haas Racing spokesman Mike Arning confirmed Saturday. The seat swap comes at the hands of Mobil 1, a mutual sponsor for the two drivers, and is expected to take place at Watkins Glen International sometime during the summer. The cars involved will not be show cars. They will be legitimate race-prepared machines. Hamilton will man Stewart's road course ready # 14 Chevy, and Stewart will drive Hamilton's 2010-model F1 McClaren. The respective drivers' race teams will travel with them to the event to tune the cars.(ESPN.com)(2-27-2011)

  • Schrader to run some races in the #32: Ralph Sheheen, in Atlanta covering AMA Supercross for SPEED, posted to Twitter, that he had talked to Kenny Scrader at the event and "Schrader tells me he is probably going to run a few Cup races for Frankie Stoddard [#32 Fas Lane Racing team]...like Bristol and Martinsville."(2-27-2011)

  • Bristol Motor Speedway to host rally for Bayne Monday in Knoxville: Trevor Bayne has visited New York and California and several places in between over the last few days but no stop will be sweeter for the 20-year-old than the one he will make Monday when Bristol Motor Speedway, Food City and his hometown honor him in in downtown Knoxville. BMS, the track Bayne has been visiting since he was a small child, Food City and the City of Knoxville will host a rally for the Daytona 500 champion Monday at Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum from 3:15 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Originally planned for Market Square downtown in Bayne's hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., rally organizers with Bristol Motor Speedway, Food City and the City of Knoxville decided Friday afternoon to shift sites to the Mary Costa Plaza location. ESPN's Jerry Punch will be the emcee of the event, while a number of other city and state officials, as well as actor David Keith, a Knoxville native and legendary NASCAR car owners Eddie and Len Wood will participate in the event.(BMS)(2-27-2011)


    News from February 26, 2011

  • Pit Stall Selections - Phoenix: The selections of pit stalls for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 (k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway have been made. Pole sitter #99-Edwards chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #22-Busch took pit stall 21, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
    #22-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 13th pit stall, the first stall with an opening in back of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #27-Menard, who starts 13th.
    To see where the drivers and all the other drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-26-2011)

  • Some numbers for the Subway Fresh Fit 500(k) at Phoenix:
    0 - number of Sprint Cup races won from a starting spot outside the top 30 at Phoenix International Raceway
    1 - fewest lead changes for a race at PIR (1990 - Rusty Wallace led first 50 laps; Dale Earnhardt led final 262)
    2 - fewest number of cautions for a race at PIR (1990)
    3 - fewest cars on the lead lap for a Sprint Cup race at PIR (1994)
    4 -number of races that have been won from the pole in the 29 Cup events at PIR (most recent: Carl Edwards -- 2010)
    5 -number of jet dryers available for track drying at PIR this weekend
    7 -consecutive years PIR will host two Sprint Cup events (2005 - 2011)
    9 -number of cautions for last year's spring event at PIR (nine for 59 laps)
    11- most cautions for a Sprint Cup race at PIR (11/07/04)
    16 -number of cautions in 2011 season opener at Daytona (track record): 11 for accidents, two for oil, one for debris and one for car on track
    20 -number of lead changes at the 2010 spring event at PIR
    23 -most lead changes for all Cup races at PIR (2000)
    120- minutes, the amount of time it takes to dry the 1.0-mile track after a significant rainfall
    265 - total number of cautions in the 36 Sprint Cup races in 2010; 305 in 2009
    (Darnell Communications/Dodge)(2-26-2011)

  • Edwards wins pole at Phoenix: #99-Carl Edwards won the Coors Pole for the Subway Fresh Fit 500(k) at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 137.279mph (a new track record) for his 1st pole of the season and 8th of his career.
    #22-Busch will start 2nd followed by #4-Kahne, #18-Busch, #78-Smith, #20-Logano, #56-Truex, Jr., #1-McMurray, #2-Keselowski, and #16-Biffle.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #13-Mears, #87-Nemechek, #66-McDowell, #32-Skinner, #60-Cassill, #46-Yeley, #21-Elliott, #36-Blaney.
    The go-or-go homer who failed to qualify for the race (1): #92-Keselowski.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Phoenix Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page. (2-26-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Phoenix:
    Carl Edwards won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 7th Annual SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 with a lap of 26.224 seconds, 137.279 mph. He breaks his own record (136.389) set Nov. 14, 2010. The top 15 qualifiers eclipsed the old mark.
    This is his eighth pole in 231 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his third pole in 14 races at Phoenix International Raceway. Edwards won last November's race.
    Kurt Busch (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2011 and his 11th in 17 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Kasey Kahne (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his first in two races this season.
    Andy Lally (41st) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(2-26-2011)

  • NASCAR will look at changes for Talladega: NASCAR officials are looking at changes for Talladega based on last week's Daytona 500 but admit that maybe nothing needs to be done. The two-by-two drafting that dominated Daytona is expected to play a key role at Talladega, the next restrictor-plate race. So, what might NASCAR do before the April 17 race there? "We're still looking at some things," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "I don't think it's something that's broken; that's my personal opinion. We'll have to see. I think we'll just have to sit back and watch a little bit of it and see what happens....We're getting some feedback from teams, but, ultimately, we have to make the decisions on what is good for the garage area. So, we're continuing our internal discussions, knowing that the timeline is very short because teams are preparing for Talladega already."(Virginian Pilot)(2-26-2011)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 (k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 3:40pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 3:30pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 128, last season thru nascar.com only
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Phoenix Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

  • Should drivers communicate with each other during races? Drivers were able to communicate with non-teammates for the first time during the Daytona 500, which added an intriguing element to NASCAR's biggest race. Because there was a need for two-car tandems to work together while the race was going on, many drivers set their radios up so they could speak with their competitors. But some drivers believe the practice should be banned. "I think NASCAR should step in on drivers getting on other teams' radios," #22-Kurt Busch said. "... We shouldn't be able to communicate with radios." #5-Mark Martin had only four drivers among his options for chatting: His three teammates and #43-AJ Allmendinger. But the veteran agreed with Busch, saying he hopes his competitors "clean the radios up." #27-Paul Menard said he had 12 different drivers on his radio during the Daytona 500 - and was just fine with continuing the practice for future restrictor-plate races if NASCAR doesn't pass a rule against it. #99-Carl Edwards backed the open radio communication between drivers based on safety reasons, calling it "necessary."(SB Nation)(2-26-2011)

  • Harvick not concerned about Daytona engine failure: From Kevin Harvick's media availability Friday at Phoenix:
    DID YOU GUYS FIGURE OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ENGINE? "Yes."
    WHAT HAPPENED? "It broke. (laughter)"
    ANY MORE DETAILS? "Yes, not that I'm going to tell you but they have a good idea. They called me Monday morning and told me what had happened and I feel like they have a good direction to fix it."
    WAS IT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT OR SOMETHING? "Both of them."
    ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT GOING FORWARD? "No, I don't think it's something to worry about. I think it's just something we have to make an adjustment on. I think the No. 29 and No. 31 both had the same problem."(Chevy PR)
    AND: Kevin Harvick’s and Jeff Burton’s early Daytona departures were due to scuffed pistons in the engine. The Earnhardt Childress Racing engine department worked overtime this week to recreate the overheating situation that occurred because the current pistons were not designed to the same degree as the block.(Fox Sports)(2-26-2011)

  • Allmendinger interested in IndyCar offer: Former open-wheel driver #43-A.J. Allmendinger says he might be open to racing in IndyCar's season finale in Las Vegas for a chance at $5 million. Allmendinger, who switched to NASCAR in 2008, says while driving in the Oct. 16 race is an unlikely scenario, the prize money would be good incentive to give it a try. IndyCar announced last week that it will allow up to five qualified drivers from outside the series a chance to win $5 million if they're able to win the race. Allmendinger, Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart have been mentioned as drivers who might give it a try because of their backgrounds in open-wheel racing. Montoya said it would be logistically impossible since NASCAR races in Charlotte that same weekend.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(2-26-2011)

  • Germain, Landon Cassill to run full season: UPDATE: Building on their heritage in motorsports, Big Red and ALL SPORT Body Quencher return to Sprint Cup competition in 2011 with a full time entry in the Sprint Cup series. Landon Cassill will drive the #60 car beginning with the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series Race at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend and will race for the full season. Launched in 1937, Big Red, with its distinctive flavor and widespread distribution in 44 states, was one of the nation's fastest growing soft drink brands in 2010. ALL SPORT is one of the nation's leading sports drinks and has an extensive history in motorsports including Tommy Kendall's Championship in the Trans Am series.(Co-Pilott Motorsports Marketing)(2-24-2011)
    UPDATE: Despite the agreement, the team is apparently still in need of additional sponsorship to continue. Landon Cassil tweeted, "Great week, Big Red colors on the #60 car, still [start & park] but hopefully opportunities keep coming. gotta keep working, it's still week to week."(2-26-2011)

  • Charlotte Hotels Reduce Rates and Waive Minimum Stays During May Race Weekends: Charlotte Motor Speedway will partner with regional tourism bureaus and area hotel operators to secure lower room rates for fans attending races during the weekends of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600, May 20 - 29. More than 50 hotels within approximately one hour of the 1.5-mile superspeedway have agreed to reduce their race week room rates by 15 percent and waive the minimum stay requirements. A full list of participating hotels is available at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/hotels or fans can call the speedway's ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) for information. In order to obtain the discounted rate, those interested must call the hotels directly and request the Speedway Special when making reservations. (CMS)(2-26-2011)


    News from February 25, 2011

  • Qualifying Order: for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 (k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted, qualifying order was set by the drivers fastest practice speed in either session [if more then one was held], with the top-35 in owners points going first, with slowest in practice going first and the fastest in practice going last, Then the non-top 35 in owners points go out, slowest in practice first and fastest go out last.
    44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #71-Lally.
    The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #22-Busch [fastest overall in the two practices].
    The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #92-Keselowski with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #13-Mears.
    See the full qualifying order on the Phoenix Qualifying Page.(2-25-2011)

  • Happy Hour Practice: for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 (k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, the top five, slowest and notes
    #18-Busch 136.085
    #6-Ragan 136.034
    #99-Edwards 136.034
    #1-McMurray 135.993
    #16-Biffle 135.716
    slowest: #71-Lally 130.317, #92-Keselowski 128.255
    notes: #36-Blaney spun coming off turn two and slid into the inside retaining wall. He will have to go to a backup.
    See all practice speeds on the Phoenix Practice Speeds page. (2-25-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #13-Casey Mears, 20th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 30th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 31st
    #60-Landon Cassill, 35th
    #09-Bill Elliott [PC], 36th
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 38th
    #32-Mike Skinner, 40th
    #36-Dave Blaney, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #92-Brian Keselowski, 44th
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Bayne still needs sponsors: Daytona 500 winner #21-Trevor Bayne is still working on finding sponsors for his Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars. The 20-year-old driver said he'd like to add both races at Talladega, but doesn't have anything lined up. He also says Friday his car would have a lot of open spaces on it this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway because the Wood Brothers are still trying to line up more sponsors. Bayne is scheduled for 18 Sprint Cup races, but would like a full season. His Nationwide car does not have a sponsor.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(2-25-2011)

  • 1st Friday Practice: for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 (k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, the top five, slowest and notes
    #22-Busch 136.539
    #31-Burton 133.869
    #11-Hamlin 133.754
    #29-Harvick 133.412
    #18-Busch 133.398
    slowest: #92-Keselowski 125.209, #21-Bayne 98.047
    no speed: #60-Cassill, #66-McDowell
    notes: #21-Bayne had brake problems on his first lap and hit the wall coming off turn 3. He will have to go to a backup. #34-Kvapil also scraped the wall early but there was no major damage. #60-Cassill blew an engine on his first lap.
    See all practice speeds on the Phoenix Practice Speeds page.(2-25-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 27th
    #32-Mike Skinner, 29th
    #13-Casey Mears, 31st
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 34th
    #09-Bill Elliott [PC], 36th
    #36-Dave Blaney, 38th
    #92-Brian Keselowski,41st
    one these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #60-Landon Cassill, no speed
    #66-Michael McDowell, no speed
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Bashas' on the #7 at Phoenix: The second race of the Sprint Cup 2011 schedule takes the teams to the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, AZ. Robby Gordon and the #7 SPEED Energy team sit comfortably in the 16th position of the 2011 owner points standings following the Daytona 500. The team will be featuring a new partner, Bashas' Supermarkets, this weekend.(RGM)(2-25-2011)

  • Whitney Motorsports picks up Phoenix sponsor: After fighting the odds just to make the Daytona 500 and succeeding, #46-J.J. Yeley and the Whitney Motorsports team have spent the days following the Great American Race trying to come to grips with the disappointment of being the first car out in the biggest race of the year. Engine failure sidelined Yeley after just eleven laps, bring an end to his Cinderella hopes. But the team's run through the Gatorade Duel and into the field for the Daytona 500 didn't go unnoticed; AAMCO Transmissions joined the team for the 500 and liked what they saw, so much so that they've decided to come back on board for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.(PR)(2-25-2011)

  • MWR drivers meeting with Chicago White Sox players: They affectionately call themselves Redneck Row and they are back for another season in the Chicago White Sox clubhouse. It's a line of lockers that stretches from Mark Buehrle to Matt Thornton, with guys like John Danks and Jake Peavy in between. And while one member of the group has moved on in Scott Linebrink, Adam Dunn has taken his place. Redneck Row is certainly buzzing this week since NASCAR has brought its traveling road show to the Arizona desert. The two groups are scheduled to hook up Saturday for a little action on the baseball field, before ending the day at Phoenix International Raceway. The drivers for Michael Waltrip's racing team will be in White Sox camp Saturday morning to see what they can do once they step outside of a car. Waltrip is scheduled to be on hand along with #00-David Reutimann, #56-Matrin Truex Jr. and Ryan Truex. The four are expected to take some cuts in the batting cage and field ground balls. Later Saturday afternoon, a group of White Sox players that includes Buehrle, Dunn, Gordon Beckham, A.J. Pierzynski, Danks and Peavy will attend the Nationwide Series race, the Bashas' Supermarkets 200.(ESPN.com)(2-25-2011)

  • Jimmy John's on the #29 at Phoenix: The #29 Chevy will adorn the same black and red colors but with a different sponsor this weekend at the Fresh Fit 500. Harvick and Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches will make their first NSCS appearance at PIR. The Champaign, Ill., based company signed a multi-year partnership that includes six races as the primary sponsor of the #29 Chevy and will remain an associate sponsor for the remaining races.(RCR) See an image of the car on my #29 team paint schemes page.(2-25-2011)

  • Phoenix Grandstand seating sold out: Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced that the last remaining grandstand tickets to Sunday's SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 have been sold. Race fans wishing to attend NASCAR's second event of the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season may still purchase general admission tickets to PIR's hillside area or infield passes by calling 866-408-RACE or visiting PhoenixRaceway.com. Phoenix track officials have noted an uptick in ticket sales this week following last weekend's Daytona 500 in which newcomer Trevor Bayne captured victory just one day after his 20th birthday - becoming the youngest winner in the event's 53-race history.(PIR)(2-25-2011)

  • Avondale, AZ to name street after Earnhardt: The City of Avondale will honor one of NASCAR's greatest families by naming a street in the new Avondale City Center Dale Earnhardt Drive. Both NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt and his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr., have won Sprint Cup Series events on PIR's one-mile oval in Avondale. On Sunday, February 27 at the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500, Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers and Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber will present a replica of the street sign to Earnhardt Jr. in honor of his family's racing achievements and contributions to the sport of NASCAR. Sperber said the honor is especially exciting because the honor is the first of its kind in a Phoenix metropolitan area that exceeds 4 million people.(PIR)(2-25-2011)


    News from February 24, 2011

  • Germain, Landon Cassill to run full season: Building on their heritage in motorsports, Big Red and ALL SPORT Body Quencher return to Sprint Cup competition in 2011 with a full time entry in the Sprint Cup series. Landon Cassill will drive the #60 car beginning with the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series Race at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend and will race for the full season. Launched in 1937, Big Red, with its distinctive flavor and widespread distribution in 44 states, was one of the nation's fastest growing soft drink brands in 2010. ALL SPORT is one of the nation's leading sports drinks and has an extensive history in motorsports including Tommy Kendall's Championship in the Trans Am series.( Co-Pilott Motorsports Marketing)(2-24-2011)

  • Brian Keselowski may race at Phoenix...may not: UPDATE 2: Because while #92-Brian Keselowski told the media assembled in his post-Gatorade Duel press conference that the payday his Daytona 500 start would bring meant he could be able to go to Phoenix, he never actually said he would. "I don't even know if we're going to be able to go yet," noted Brian when discussing his plans for his six-figure payday. "I put my entry in, but it was kind of like 'well, if this doesn't work maybe we've got a car that can go to Phoenix.' Now, the car's beat up a fairly good amount. And when you come to the track, you've got to be right. They're going to make sure we're right now [in Daytona], and that's fine. That's the way it goes and it's the same for everyone. But I don't think I can get the car repaired enough to be right for Phoenix. So, it takes another car, and I don't have one yet." Asked point-blank if his remarks meant that he was contemplating a partial schedule, as opposed to running on a shoestring week after week the way his operation did in Nationwide competition the past two seasons, Keselowski answered in the affirmative. If anything, the struggles of his past two years have clearly given this owner/driver perspective that few in the garage today have. "If I can get something that I think is competitive and go to Phoenix, I'll go to Phoenix," he stated of his plans. "If I feel like I can get something competitive to go to Vegas, I'll go to Vegas. [But] I'm not going to go if I don't think I can make the race. I'm not going to go just to say that I went. I don't have enough money to do that. [The payday] gets us back to zero. That's about it. Maybe a little better than that, but not a lot. And that's the best thing that could happen at this point. Now, I can look at all the people in the eye that have been helping me the last two years and say it worked."(Frontstretch)(2-20-2011)
    UPDATE: Terry Blount reported on ESPN's NASCAR Now Tuesday that #92-Brian Keselowski is still trying to get his car ready for Phoenix after it sufffered damage in a wreck a Daytona. The team is hopeful that they can complete the work in time to leave for Phoenix. If they are unable to get ready, the team's next race will likely be Bristol.(2-23-2011)
    UPDATE 2: #92-Brian Keselowski, who became one of the feel-good stories at the Daytona 500 after being pushed into the race by his brother, will attempt to qualify for Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. The older brother of Penske Racing driver #2-Brad Keselowski was skeptical he would be able to get the second car that was purchased from the old Evernham Racing inventory prepared in time to make the trip west. His Daytona car was involved in a 14-car wreck on Lap 29 and "was pretty much junk." After working around the clock, Keselowski said the Phoenix car that Kasey Kahne won with at Charlotte in 2008 is ready and headed to Phoenix on the hauler. Keselowski's is one of 45 cars on the entry list for Phoenix, although there might be only 44. The driver was told the #64 Larry Gunselman car plans to withdraw, which would mean he has to beat only one car in qualifying to make the field.(ESPN.com)(2-24-2011)

  • Cassill tests for Johnson at GMP: Wednesday morning, the weather did not look favorable for the Hendrick Motorsports team as they pulled in the gates at Gresham Motorsports Park. The clouds rolled by and the sun came out as the #48 Chevy of Jimmie Johnson's was being wheeled out of the hauler. Landon Cassill, who finished third in the 2011 Nationwide race at Daytona International Speedway, climbed into the driver's seat and settled in for a long day of testing.(GMP)(2-24-2011)

  • Evernham suing Gillett: Ray Evernham has filed a lawsuit seeking $19.3 millon from the man who purchased the majority interest of Evernham Motorsports from him in 2007. The suit, filed on Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Mecklenburg County, was filed against Booth Creek Management and Gillett GEMS, LLC for money not paid in the sale. Gillett GEMS, LLC is a corporation of four members that includes George Gillett Jr., who purchased Evernham Motorsports, which later became Gillett Evernham Motorsports and then Richard Petty Motorsports. Evernham charges in the suit that Gillett breached an agreement to pay the remaining 20 percent owed for the Sprint Cup organization.(ESPN.com)(2-24-2011)

  • Forbes names most valuable NASCAR teams & highest paid drivers: The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall. Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown? Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by [Forbes] count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which [Forbes] value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. Hendrick earned a NASCAR-high $18 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in 2010. Richard Childress Racing was third on the list, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. Rounding out the top 10: Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Red Bull Racing.
    AND: Despite his lack of success in recent years on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's highest-paid driver, earning $29 million in 2010 thanks to merchandise sales that are the best in the sport and reportedly account for one-third of all NASCAR licensed merchandise sales. Other income streams include a 10-figure annual salary from Hendrick and a 50% share of his $4.9 million in winnings and bonuses in 2010 from Sprint Cup races. Earnhardt also has a bevy of personal endorsements, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and Wrangler. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon follows Earnhardt in the NASCAR money standings with earnings of $25 million last year. It is a clean sweep for Hendrick at the top with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, the third-highest-paid driver at $24 million. The rest of the top 10: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.(Forbes)(2-24-2011)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing gets Phoenix sponsor: Oklahoma-based Accell Construction will partner with Tommy Baldwin Racing for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sunday. Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Accell Construction Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series event at Phoenix. Accell Construction is a full-service site civil contractor for the petroleum terminal and bulk storage industries. The Oklahoma company specializes in tank farm construction, tank foundations and other related site civil construction. The 20-year old company operates civil construction projects in numerous states across the U.S. Although this will be the first NSCS race for Accell Construction, the company partnered with teams in the NASCAR Camping World Series and ARCA Racing Series in the past.(TBR)(2-24-2011)

  • Edward to jump off the Stratosphere: #99-Carl Edwards, winner of Las Vegas Motor Speedway's 2008 Sprint Cup race, will be in Las Vegas on Thursday for appearances in advance of the Kobalt Tools 400. Part of his schedule during the afternoon includes a jump at Sky Jump Las Vegas. The skyjump is best described as a "controlled freefall." Lucky adrenaline junkies and average Joes alike, will have the opportunity to plummet 855 feet at a scream-inducing speed of up to 40 mph - all while enjoying breathtaking views of the world famous Las Vegas Strip. SkyJump Las Vegas will offer a way to experience thrills similar to skydiving and base jumping - with the added benefit of doing it over the Las Vegas Strip - day or night.(Las Vegas Motor Speedway)(2-24-2011)

  • Safety-Kleen Renews Partnership With NASCAR: NASCAR announced that it has reached a multi-year agreement to renew its relationship with Safety-Kleen as an official partner of the sport. Safety-Kleen, a NASCAR official partner since 2004, provides on-site trackside support with its NASCAR performance cleaning products and through its oil recycling and re-refining services to more than 200 NASCAR-sanctioned races a year, ensuring that all cleaning solvents, oil, fluids and lubricants used in NASCAR racing are recaptured and re-used. Safety-Kleen is also an "Official Partner of NASCAR Green," a category of sponsors that contribute in a substantial and measurable way to the sport's goals around environmental conservation and serve as a green demonstration platform while creating jobs.(NASCAR)(2-24-2011)

  • Charlotte Video Board Construction now has webcam: Fans can now watch the world's largest high-definition video board being built with the new construction cam posted at charlottemotorspeedway.com. The third phase of construction began this week on the video board, designed and created by Panasonic, that will debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. Crews have started erecting six 30-foot tall steel columns galvanized by Galvan Industries of Harrisburg, N.C. Each column weighs 18,500 pounds and is being attached to concrete footings. The construction crews are using an 80-ton crane with a 100-foot arm to move the massive support columns into place. The approximately 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen will eventually rise 110 feet above the track on the steel support structure.(CMS)(2-24-2011)


    News from February 23, 2011

  • Trevor Bayne gets Sprint Cup option...but sticks with NNS: Because of a lack of sponsorship, Wood Brothers Racing had planned to field #21-Trevor Bayne in only 17 Sprint Cup races this season. And with a new NASCAR rule forcing drivers to choose one national series in which to earn points, Bayne took himself out of the running for the title anyway. "Whatever they say, I'm good with it," said Bayne, who tied a record by capturing his first win in NASCAR's premier circuit in his second start. "I think we'll have a really good shot in Nationwide, and obviously we've got a good shot (in Cup), so whatever they say I'm fine with it" Despite his win, Bayne has zero points in the standings because he chose to run for the Nationwide title under the new rule (which was intended to end the five-year streak of Cup regulars wining the second-division title).
    But NASCAR said Monday that Bayne would be allowed to change his mind. Though the points he earned from the Daytona 500 still wouldn't count, the victory would in determining his eligibility for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Under a new format this season, the 12-driver Chase will feature the top 10 in points and the two drivers ranked 11th-20th with the most wins. If the rules had been applied last year, a one-win driver would have made the Chase. Still, Wood Brothers would need to run its first full season since 2008 to give Bayne a shot at the top 20 in points before the Chase cutoff in September. The team added a race after his win and hopes to secure funding to continue after the first seven. "This limited schedule enables us to continue racing, but you need to be at all of them and that's our goal," said co-owner Eddie Wood, who said Monday morning he had received text messages from potential sponsors in the 12 hours since the victory. Wood said deciding on whether Bayne would switch his points preference was "a good problem to have."(USA Today)(2-22-2011)
    UPDATE: Even though NASCAR would have allowed Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne to change his eligibility for the championship from the Nationwide Series to the Sprint Cup Series, Bayne announced Tuesday he is sticking with his plans to run for the Nationwide title. As tempting as switching to Sprint Cup would have been—with NASCAR saying he would become eligible to run for rookie of the year and that his win at Daytona would count toward a possible wild-card entry into the Chase—Bayne showed he either is mature beyond his 20 years or has gotten some excellent advice—or both.(Sporting News)(2-23-2011)

  • Front Row gets #38 car locked in: Front Row Motorsports likely will have all three of its cars locked in for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway this week as the #77 Rusty Wallace Racing car is not entered for the second Sprint Cup event. The RWR team wasn't expected to enter, and with that team's top-35 owners points (from Penske Racing) not being used, the 35th guaranteed spot will go to the next team in owners points-the #38 Front Row Motorsports car driven by Travis Kvapil.(Sporting News)(2-23-2011)

  • Brian Keselowski may race at Phoenix...may not: UPDATE: Because while #92-Brian Keselowski told the media assembled in his post-Gatorade Duel press conference that the payday his Daytona 500 start would bring meant he could be able to go to Phoenix, he never actually said he would. "I don't even know if we're going to be able to go yet," noted Brian when discussing his plans for his six-figure payday. "I put my entry in, but it was kind of like 'well, if this doesn't work maybe we've got a car that can go to Phoenix.' Now, the car's beat up a fairly good amount. And when you come to the track, you've got to be right. They're going to make sure we're right now [in Daytona], and that's fine. That's the way it goes and it's the same for everyone. But I don't think I can get the car repaired enough to be right for Phoenix. So, it takes another car, and I don't have one yet." Asked point-blank if his remarks meant that he was contemplating a partial schedule, as opposed to running on a shoestring week after week the way his operation did in Nationwide competition the past two seasons, Keselowski answered in the affirmative. If anything, the struggles of his past two years have clearly given this owner/driver perspective that few in the garage today have. "If I can get something that I think is competitive and go to Phoenix, I'll go to Phoenix," he stated of his plans. "If I feel like I can get something competitive to go to Vegas, I'll go to Vegas. [But] I'm not going to go if I don't think I can make the race. I'm not going to go just to say that I went. I don't have enough money to do that. [The payday] gets us back to zero. That's about it. Maybe a little better than that, but not a lot. And that's the best thing that could happen at this point. Now, I can look at all the people in the eye that have been helping me the last two years and say it worked."(Frontstretch)(2-20-2011)
    UPDATE: Terry Blount reported on ESPN's NASCAR Now Tuesday that #92-Brian Keselowski is still trying to get his car ready for Phoenix after it sufffered damage in a wreck a Daytona. The team is hopeful that they can complete the work in time to leave for Phoenix. If they are unable to get ready, the team's next race will likely be Bristol.(2-23-2011)

  • Final Daytona 500 TV Ratings: The 2011 Daytona 500 earned an 8.2/18 in the metered markets, a +17% boost over last year's 7.0/14 when the race was interrupted twice by track repair delays. Fast national ratings have already been issued for the Daytona 500, with the race posting an 8.7/20 (15.6 million viewers) . Sunday's 8.7/20 is a +13% gain over last year's 7.7/16 and the average viewership of 15.6 million is +17% better than last year's 13.3 million . The Daytona 500 fell into a pattern established last weekend by the Bud Shootout and Daytona Qualifying in that it beat 2010's ratings but fell short of 2009 benchmarks. Sunday's 8.7/20 is -5% lower than the 9.2/19 that FOX posted for the rain-shortened 2009 Daytona 500.
    See 2011 TV Ratings and, 4 year chart on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(2-23-2011)

  • $5 million bonus for win in Indy Car finale by outsider: The Izod IndyCar Series confirmed its 2011 season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with an enticing twist: A $5 million reward to any driver from another series who can win the race. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard says a selection committee would be created to select a group of five entrants from outside IndyCar, likely determined by mid-summer. A test session also will be held at Las Vegas, and Bernard singled out the series' top teams -- Penske Racing, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport -- as prime candidates for offering rides to the interlopers. Bernard wouldn't speculate on who might be interested in the proposition, but the race date was designed with NASCAR in mind. IndyCar will make its return to Las Vegas' for the Oct. 16 race, which will be held at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Sprint Cup Series will race the night before at Charlotte, with the Bank of America 500 ending sometime between 11-11:30 p.m. in Concord, N.C. The Charlotte race is the fifth of 10 Chase for the Sprint Cup, which might dissuade many big names in Cup from participating because of focus on the title hunt. The obvious candidates would be former IndyCar drivers Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart, Sam Hornish Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya. But Montoya has indicated no interest in racing Indy cars again, and Stewart has said he doesn't want to do a one-off. Gordon and Hornish, however, might be interested in returning, and other veterans (such as Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne) have admitted intrigue in the prospect.(USA Today)(2-23-2010)

  • Kurt Busch tests at Gresham: Comedian, Ron White, and Sprint Cup driver, Kurt Busch, made a visit to Gresham Motorsports Park today. Both, the weather and the surprise guest made for an entertaining day at GMP. White pulled up in his customized, 1956 Corvette and moved over to the passenger's seat to let close friend, Busch, take the wheel and make laps around the track. Busch wasn't satisfied with just taking the car around the track; he had to test out the front straight away, and White's nerves, by spinning donuts down the front stretch. After winning the Budweiser Shootout, one of the Gatorade Duel qualifying races and finishing 5th in the Daytona 500, Busch returned to GMP to make laps on the half-mile track and make adjustments to his car.(Gresham PR)(2-23-2011)

  • Darlington Truck tickets on sale now: With the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season underway it means that the Too Tough To Tame 200 is just around the corner, and tickets to the event are becoming one of the hottest items in town. The tough trucks of the Camping World Truck Series are set to return to the famed 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval for the Too Tough To Tame 200 on Saturday, March 12 with the green-flag scheduled for 5:00 pm. In addition to the 200-mile race, the trucks will also practice and qualify giving fans a unique opportunity to take in a one-day show at Darlington Raceway. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at http://www.darlingtonraceway.com/tickets/.(Darlington)(2-23-2010)


    News from February 22, 2011

  • Congrats to Matt & Katie Kenseth: Matt Kenseth, driver of the #17 Crown Royal Ford with Roush Fenway Racing, and his wife Katie welcomed a new bundle of joy into their family early Tuesday morning with the birth of the couple’s second daughter. Grace Katherine Kenseth was born February 22 at 3:49 a.m. EST weighing in at seven pounds and eight ounces. Both mother and daughter are doing well as the family welcomes Grace into the family to join their other daughter Kaylin and son Ross. Kenseth will be able to spend a few days with his brand new baby girl before traveling out west for this weekend’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. (Roush Fenway)(2-22-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 Daytona 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on during these races, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 128
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 73
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 56
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:10 pm
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:30 pm
    Total minutes: 260
    Minutes of race broadcast: 195
    Minutes of commercials: 65
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    For drivers focus, past races, links see the 2011 TV Commercials page.(2-22-2011)

  • Trevor Bayne gets Sprint Cup option...but: Because of a lack of sponsorship, Wood Brothers Racing had planned to field #21-Trevor Bayne in only 17 Sprint Cup races this season. And with a new NASCAR rule forcing drivers to choose one national series in which to earn points, Bayne took himself out of the running for the title anyway. "Whatever they say, I'm good with it," said Bayne, who tied a record by capturing his first win in NASCAR's premier circuit in his second start. "I think we'll have a really good shot in Nationwide, and obviously we've got a good shot (in Cup), so whatever they say I'm fine with it" Despite his win, Bayne has zero points in the standings because he chose to run for the Nationwide title under the new rule (which was intended to end the five-year streak of Cup regulars wining the second-division title).
    But NASCAR said Monday that Bayne would be allowed to change his mind. Though the points he earned from the Daytona 500 still wouldn't count, the victory would in determining his eligibility for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Under a new format this season, the 12-driver Chase will feature the top 10 in points and the two drivers ranked 11th-20th with the most wins. If the rules had been applied last year, a one-win driver would have made the Chase. Still, Wood Brothers would need to run its first full season since 2008 to give Bayne a shot at the top 20 in points before the Chase cutoff in September. The team added a race after his win and hopes to secure funding to continue after the first seven. "This limited schedule enables us to continue racing, but you need to be at all of them and that's our goal," said co-owner Eddie Wood, who said Monday morning he had received text messages from potential sponsors in the 12 hours since the victory. Wood said deciding on whether Bayne would switch his points preference was "a good problem to have."(USA Today)(2-22-2011)


    News from February 21, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 (k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    with the #77 team not entered, the #38 team moves into the top 35 for the race and a guaranteed spot.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #09-Bill Elliott (1988 Champ)(12th in 2011 owners pts/1 attempts)
    #13-Casey Mears (1 2011 attempt)
    #32-Mike Skinner (15/1)
    #36-Dave Blaney (26/1)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (43/1)
    #60-Landon Cassill (1 2011 attempt)
    #64-Mike Bliss (1 2011 attempt)
    #66-Michael McDowell (1 2011 attempt)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (39/1)
    #92-Brian Keselowski (41/1)
    In the event that practices and qualifying are ALL rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 09,32,36,87,92,46
    and two of these four team would make it: 13,60,66,64
    the #92 is likely to withdraw; no word how teams with no owners points and a race attempt work...yet
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Phoenix Entry List.(2-21-2011)

  • At Phoenix International Raceway:
    * Construction was completed in January 1964. The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course.
    * Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988.
    * The first spring race was held on April 23, 2005 and also the first night race, which was won by Kurt Busch.
    * There have been 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since.
    * Geoffrey Bodine won the first pole in 1988.
    * There have been 18 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman with four.
    * Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon are the only drivers to win consecutive poles. Newman won three straight (2002-04), while Gordon won the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007.
    * There have been 21 different race winners, led by Jimmie Johnson, with four.
    * The race has been won from the pole four times: Jeff Gordon (spring 2007), Jimmie Johnson (fall 2008), Mark Martin (spring 2009) and Carl Edwards (fall 2010).
    * The race has been won from a top-10 starting position in 15 of 29 events.
    * Denny Hamlin won his first career pole at Phoenix in November 2005. AJ Allmendinger won his first career pole there last April.
    * Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
    * Mark Martin has 12 top-five finishes, more than any other driver. Martin (8.6 average finish) is one of two active drivers who averaged a top-10 finish. Jimmie Johnson (4.9).
    * Two perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 have been recorded at Phoenix. Kurt Busch did it with his win in April of 2005, and Kevin Harvick did it in November of 2006.
    * There have been 34 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Arizona.
    * 30 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Arizona.
    * There have been no race winners from Arizona in NASCAR's three national series.(NASCAR)(2-21-2011)

  • Over 30 million tune-in for Daytona 500: Yesterday’s dramatic 2011 Daytona 500 crowned the event’s youngest champion ever and delivered ratings and audience gains for FOX Sports. A total audience of just over 30 million Americans watched Sunday’s race, according to fast national ratings issued today by Nielsen Media Research, making 2011 Daytona 500 the most-watched NASCAR race since 2008. The 30.1 million total viewers, a measure of the audience that saw at least a portion of the race, is +1% higher than last year's total audience of 29.8 million and +15% better than 2009's 26.2 million. Sunday’s Daytona 500 Race, which featured a record-setting 74 lead changes and 16 caution flags, earned an 8.7/20 rating/share and averaged 15.6 million viewers, marking a +13% ratings gain over last year (7.7/16) and a +17% rise in average viewership, which represents the average audience across the entire race, over last year's (13.3 million).
    Initial tune-in for yesterday’s green flag was up +7% over last year’s start (7.6/19 vs. 7.1/17) and ratings grew throughout. Race ratings peaked at 10.9/23 and 19.8 million viewers from 5:00-5:30 PM ET as the exciting green-white-checkered finish was in progress.
    As 20-year-old Trevor Bayne celebrated his against-all-odds win, yesterday’s ratings improved +46% year-over-year in the Men 18-34 demographic (3.8 vs. 2.6). Male teen viewing posted a 3.1 rating, nearly doubling last year's 1.6 and matching the best Daytona 500 rating in six years among Males 12-17. Other key demographics gains include Men 18-49, up +16% (6.4 vs. 5.5) and Men 25-54 up +14% (8.2 vs. 7.2).
    Nine of the top 10 metered markets saw double-digit increases from last year including Chicago (+61%, 5.8 vs. 3.6), New York (+32%, 4.1 vs. 3.1), Los Angeles (+46%, 4.1 vs. 2.8), Philadelphia (+19%, 7.0 vs. 5.9), Dallas (+18%, 7.2 vs. 6.1), San Francisco (+21%, 4.7 vs. 3.9), and Boston (+20%, 4.8 vs. 4.0). Dayton was the country's No. 1 market for the Daytona 500 at a 20.4/33, up +61% (vs. 12.7), followed by NASCAR hotbed Greensboro, NC (20.1/35). Minneapolis also saw significant year-to-year gains posting a 10.2, up +50% vs. 6.8.(FoxSports)(2-21-2011)

  • Fas Lane Racing teams with Gainey Suites Hotel: Fresh off a solid Top-15 finish in Daytona, FAS Lane Racing is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Gainey Suites Hotel for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. The Scottsdale area hotel will be home for the FAS Lane Racing team while being featured on the #32 Ford driven by veteran driver Mike Skinner in the running of the Subway Fresh Fit 500. “We look forward to this partnership with Gainey Suites Hotel and hosting some of their folks at the track this weekend,” stated FAS Lane Racing team owner Frank Stoddard. “We do a lot of traveling during the course of the race season and stay in a lot of hotels and it is awesome to be able to call Gainey Suites Hotel home this week for our race team. The staff has been great to work with on this program and we appreciate all of their support.” Mike Skinner will make his debut with FAS Lane Racing in Phoenix as he climbs behind the wheel of the #32 Ford. The veteran NASCAR driver has over 500 starts in NASCAR’s top three series and was the 1995 Champion in the inaugural season of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Gainey Suites Hotel is stylishly remodeled and ranked by Tripadvisor.com as the #1 Scottsdale Hotel.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(2-21-2011)

  • Bayne celebrates Daytona 500 win and #21 moved to Gatorade Victory Lane: Even with the whirlwind of events that have surrounded Trevor Bayne since taking the legendary Wood Brothers back to Gatorade Victory Lane in Sunday's 53rd annual Daytona 500, it still did not seem real to him as he met with media and fans during the Champion’s Breakfast car induction at Daytona International Speedway Monday morning. After winning the richest and most prestigious race on the NASCAR circuit, Trevor Bayne celebrated with friends by playing basketball and riding skateboards in the infield. The celebration continued early this morning as they brought the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, covered in confetti, to the “World Center of Racing’s” indoor Gatorade Victory Lane where the car will be on display until it is returned to the team next February. Joining Bayne were team owners Eddie and Len Wood, and crew chief Donnie Wingo. Original co-owner –Eddie and Len’s dad – Glen Wood, also attended the event. “That’s one of the most special parts of it,” Eddie said of having the family in victory lane after the win. “With what our dad and Leonard (Wood, uncle) accomplished in the 70s, 80s, and the 60s, too – we felt like we had dropped the ball. To get back to (victory lane) and have them back in victory lane – and Richard Petty bringing dad in – it feels good to get the family name back going.”
    Even before the Champion’s Breakfast, Bayne’s day was in full swing. He entered the room giving a phone interview, autographing hats and being followed by a television camera. After the event he will start a media tour that will take him to ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Conn., then on to Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and finally Phoenix for this week’s race at Phoenix International Raceway. “Every time I get done with one thing they hand me another phone and I’m talking,” Bayne said. “I like to talk a lot, but after this week you might not hear anything except crickets.” Though he’s young and has only two starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Bayne understands the gravity of the win. “The first realization I got is when I was talking to (the Wood Brothers),” said Bayne. “They said it was as cool as (David) Pearson’s win and that’s when it sinks in because I don’t put myself on that kind of stage with those guys. I don’t think of myself as doing the same thing that David Pearson did or AJ Foyt or Tiny Lund or (Cale Yarborough). When they made that comment, that this was one of their coolest 500 wins, that’s when I thought, ‘Wow, this is real. This is something that a lot of people strive for their whole career. This is one of the biggest races in motorsports and we were the ones in victory lane.” During the celebration, Bayne also joined Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III to unveil the logo for the 2012 Daytona 500, scheduled for February 26, 2012.(Daytona Beach News Journal)
    AND: Bayne left Daytona Monday afternoon to appear on six different ESPN shows in Connecticut. He is scheduled to leave there Monday night and head to Chicago, where he will appear on two television morning shows and then a fan event at Harry Caray’s at Navy Pier and a lunch at Morton’s the Steakhouse. Bayne will then fly to San Francisco, where he will participate in an ice cream social with fans in Ghiradelli Square. He will spend Tuesday in the Los Angeles area, where he will meet with fans at Auto Club Speedway and possibly do interviews with a late night talk show or two.(SceneDaily)(2-21-2011)

  • Bayne heads to San Francisco on Tuesday...for Ice Cream: Race fans are invited to an old-fashioned Ice Cream Social at legendary Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco on Tuesday, Feb. 22, with Trevor Bayne, the winner of the 2011 Daytona 500. For the third consecutive year, the winner of the Great American Race will come to San Francisco to meet with race fans and members of the media, courtesy of Infineon Raceway and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Bayne became the youngest driver in history (20 years, one day) to ever win the Daytona 500. This marked the 53rd running of the Great American Race. It was Bayne’s second career Cup start and the fifth Daytona 500 win for the Wood Brothers, the last coming in 1976. The appearance marks the Official Countdown to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 24-26. The Ghirardelli Square Ice Cream Parlor will create a very special ice cream sundae in honor of Bayne. It will be called the “Trevor Bayne Sundae, Sundae, Sundae.” Race fans are invited to the event, which begins at 5:30 pm/pt at Ghirardelli Square. Bayne, who will arrive via a CHP escort, will first walk the red carpet to the Ghirardelli Square Ice Cream Parlor, where he will create the very first “Trevor Bayne Sundae, Sundae, Sundae,” complete with all the fixins. The item will have a permanent spot on the Ghirardelli Square Ice Cream Parlor menu for fans to enjoy. Bayne will then be escorted to the Ghirardelli Square Courtyard for a formal press conference. Race fans are encouraged to attend and give the winner of the Great American Race a warm Northern California welcome. Fans in attendance will receive a complimentary “Trevor Bayne Sundae, Sundae, Sundae,” courtesy of Ghirardelli Square, while supplies last. The event will also feature ticket giveaways, event posters and a visit from the popular Infineon Raceway Girls. Be sure and get there early as seats to the press conference will be limited. Race tickets to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 will be available at the Ice Cream Social, including special packages like the Save Mart Supermarkets 2-Pack (2 tickets for $99) and the Jimmie Johnson 4-Pack (4 tickets, 4 hot dog, 4 sodas, plus a race-day Q&A with Johnson for $195), among others. Stay tuned to www.infineonraceway.com for additional details on the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 24-26.(Infineon Raceway)(2-21-2011)

  • Bayne unlikely to run for Sprint Cup points: Daytona 500 winner #21-Trevor Bayne said Monday he's probably not going to attempt to run for the Sprint Cup championship this year. The 20-year-old became the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history Sunday with a surprise victory in NASCAR's biggest race. He's scheduled to run only 17 Cup races this season for the Wood Brothers while he competes for the Nationwide Series title for Roush-Fenway Racing. NASCAR rules this season made drivers pick just one series to collect points, and Bayne chose the second-tier Nationwide Series. He can change his mind, but he would not be given retroactive points for the Daytona 500. NASCAR officials said Monday the win would count toward seeding in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, but he would not receive any points for Sunday's race. NASCAR this year changed the format for the 12-driver Chase field. The top 10 in points after the 26th race of the season make the Chase, with the final two spots going to drivers with the most wins who aren't already eligible. The drivers would have to be ranked inside the top 20.(Associated Press), the team has added at least one race to it's 2011 schedule, selecting to run at Martinsville in April, the sixth race of the 2011 season.(2-21-2011)


    News from February 20, 2011

  • Trevor Bayne wins the Daytona 500: in what has to be one of the biggest upsets in NASCAR history, 20-year old #21-Trevor Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on the 2nd green-white-checkered finish. It is Bayne's 1st career NASCAR Sprint Cup win in only his 2nd start [ties a record with Jamie McMurray]. The famed Wood Brothers Racing team won their 5th Daytona 500, 15th overall at Daytona and 98th Sprint Cup race. It is the Wood Brothers first win since Elliott Sadler won for them at Bristol in March of 2001. Bayne is the youngest winner ever of the Daytona 500 at 20 years, 1 day old. The win is Ford's 60th win for the manuafacturer. #99-Edwards finished 2nd followed by #34-Gilliland [the best finish ever for Front Row Motorsports], #47-BLabonte, #22-Busch, #42-Montoya, #78-Smith [best career finish], #18-Busch, #27-Menard and #5-Martin [was 3 laps down at one point]. Pole sitter #88-Earnhardt Jr, wrecked late and finished 24th. 2010 Sprint Cup Champ, #48-Jimmie Johnson was involved in 'the big one' on lap 28 and finished 27th after the team made repairs, finishing 19 laps down.
    There were a record 74 lead changes among 22 record leaders with a record 16 cautions for 60 laps.
    See race results, awards and more on the Daytona Race Results page.
    For points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page and the Owners Points Standings page.(2-20-2011)

  • Unofficial Results for the 2011 Daytona 500:
    pos, car#-driver, manu, out/if, points
    1) #21-Bayne, Ford, ZERO drivers points
    2) #99-Edwards, Ford, 42
    3) #34-Gilliland, Ford, 41
    4) #47-BLabonte, Toyota, 41
    5) #22-Busch, Dodge, 39
    6) #42-Montoya, Chevy, 39
    7) #78-Smith, Chevy, 38
    8) #18-Busch, Toyota, 37
    9) #27-Menard, Chevy, 36
    10) #5-Martin, Chevy, 34
    11) #43-Allmendinger, Ford, 34
    12) #09-Elliott, Chevy, 32
    13) #14-Stewart, Chevy, 31
    14) #6-Ragan, Ford, 31
    15) #32-TLabonte, Ford, 30
    16) #7-Gordon, Dodge, 29
    17) #33-Bowyer, Chevy, 28
    18) #1-McMurray, Chevy, 27
    19) #56-Truex Jr., Chevy, 26
    20) #77-Wallace, Toyota, 0
    21) #11-Hamlin, Toyota, 24
    22) #39-Newman, Chevy, 24 [led most laps]
    23) #20-Logano, Toyota, 21
    24) #88-Eannhardt Jr., Chevy, accident, 21
    25) #4-Kahne, Toyota, 19
    26) #36-Blaney, Toyota, 19
    27) #48-Johnson, Chevy, 17
    28) #24-Gordon, Chevy, 17
    29) #2-Keselowski, Dodge, accident, 16
    30) #00-Reutimann, Toyota, 14
    31) #83-Vickers, Toyota, 13
    32) #38-Kvapil, Ford, accident, 0
    33) #71-Lally, Chevy, 11
    34) #17-Kenseth, Ford, accident, 10
    35) #16-Biffle, Ford, accident, 9
    36) #31-Burton, Chevy, engine, 9
    37) #9-Ambrose, Ford, accident, 7
    38) #37-Richardson Jr., Ford, accident, 0
    39) #87-Nemechek, Toyota, accident, 0
    40) #15-Waltrip, Toyota, accident, 4
    41) #92-Keselowski, Dodge, accident, 3
    42) #29-Harvick. Chevy, engine, 3
    43) #46-Yeley, Chevy, engine, 1 point

  • Record-Setting Day At The Daytona 500: The 53rd running of the Daytona 500, the first on the brand-new racing surface at Daytona International Speedway, featured a track-record 74 lead changes and 22 leaders. The lead-change record was especially noteworthy, considering the previous mark lasted more than three decades. The prior lead change mark was 60, set in the 1974 Daytona 500.
    For the second consecutive year, the record for different leaders fell. In last year's 500, 21 different drivers led. Additionally, there were 16 cautions, a track record. The 60 caution laps tied a record at Daytona. Sunday's Daytona 500 continued a record-breaking Speedweeks trend. Last Saturday night, the Budweiser Shootout featured a record-breaking 28 lead changes.
    Records also were broken in each of Thursday's two Gatorade Duel races. The first Duel race had a record 20 lead changes. That mark was immediately broken in the second Duel event, which had 22 lead changes.
    Trevor Bayne, who became the youngest Daytona 500 winner (20 years, one day), led the final six laps. He gave the Wood Brothers organization its fifth Daytona 500 win. The Woods' last victory came in 1976 with NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee David Pearson beating Richard Petty in a legendary last-lap battle. Bayne became the seventh driver to earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the Daytona 500.(NASCAR)(2-20-2011)

  • Points Note: This was the first race under NASCAR's new points system. Because #21-Trevor Bayne is racing the for the Nationwide Series points championship, he did not earn any Sprint Cup points for the victory. #99-Carl Edwards is now the points leader with 42 points.(Sporting News), the Wood Brothers still get owners points and lead the Owners Points standings.(2-20-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Daytona International Speedway:
    Trevor Bayne won the 53rd Annual Daytona 500, his first victory in only his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Bayne is the youngest Daytona 500 winner in history (20 years, one day).
    This is team owner Wood Brothers' fifth Daytona 500 victory, the last coming in 1976 with David Pearson. It is their 98th series win overall.
    Bayne is the seventh driver to earn his first points win in the Daytona 500 (Tiny Lund, 1963; Mario Andretti, 1967; Pete Hamilton, 1970; Derrike Cope, 1990; Sterling Marlin, 1994; Michael Waltrip, 2001).
    There were track records in lead changes (74), leaders (22) and cautions (16).
    The victory is Ford's 600th win.
    Carl Edwards (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 13 races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2011.
    David Gilliland (third) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Because Bayne has chosen to earn championship points in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Carl Edwards now leads the points standings by one point over David Gilliland.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-20-2011)

  • Daytona Notes-n-Nuggets:
    * Trevor Bayne became the youngest winner of the Daytona 500.
    * Trevor Bayne is the second-youngest driver (20 years, 1 day) to win a Sprint Cup race -- Joey Logano was 19 years, 1 month, 4 days when he won at New Hampshire in June 2009.
    * Trevor Bayne is the second driver to win the Daytona 500 in his first start; Lee Petty won the inaugural event in 1959.
    * Trevor Bayne is the seventh driver to get his first Sprint Cup vcitory in the Daytona 500 -- Tiny Lund (1963), Mario Andretti (1967), Pete Hamilton (1970), Derrike Cope (1990), Sterling Marlin (1994) and Michael Waltrip (2001).
    * The past six 500s have been won by first-time 500 victors; Jeff Gordon in 2005 is the most recent repeat winner.
    * This was the 98th Cup victory for the Wood Brothers; the team's last win came at Bristol in March 2001 with Elliott Sadler.
    * The race set records for leaders (22), lead changes (74), cautions (16) and tied the record for caution laps (60).
    * Carl Edwards (second) earned his best Daytona 500 finish in his seventh start.
    * David Gilliland (third) picked up his third Cup Series top-five finish in his 151st start.
    * Bobby Labonte (fourth) earned his best finish since comign home third at Martinsville in Oct. 2006.
    * Regan Smith (seventh) had his career-best finish in his 96th start.
    * Paul Menard (ninth) earned his ninth top-10 finish in his 148th start.
    * Bill Elliott (12th) had his best finish since also finishing 12th in the 2008 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    * Jimmie Johnson (27th) has finished 27th or worse in the six Daytona 500s since he won in 2006.
    * This was the fifth 500 to end under a green-white-checkered finish and the second consecutive 500 in which the race went 208 laps.(Sporting News Wire Service /nascar.com)(2-20-2011)

  • Rookie Returns Wood Brothers to Victory Lane After Advice from Hall of Famer: Statement from 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee David Pearson;
    2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee David Pearson met Trevor Bayne this morning prior to the start of the Daytona 500. Hours later, Bayne, a 20-year-old rookie, sent the Wood Brothers to Victory Lane in the Great American Race. In 1976, Pearson took the same team to Victory Lane in the Daytona 500. Bayne's famed #21 carried decals honoring David Pearson for his Hall of Fame Induction. Pearson left the track shortly after the race started to drive home to South Carolina
    David Pearson: "Yeah, I was listening to it on the radio in the car. That's good. I'm proud of them. I figured they had a chance after seeing that boy race in the 150s (Gatorade Duel). I talked to him (Bayne) this morning. I told him to keep his head straight and not to do anything crazy. I told him to stay relaxed. That's the thing; stay relaxed. I knew he would because he was relaxed in the qualifier. I'm proud of him. I don't understand what has taken them so long to return to Victory Lane. The car has always been capable."(NASCAR)(2-20-2011)

  • Kurt Busch trying to be the first driver: If #22-Kurt Busch wins the Daytona 500, he would be the first driver to win the Budweiser Shootout [started in 1979], a Gatorade Duel [or Twin] qualifying racew and the Daytona 500 in the same year. Eleven drivers have won a Shootout and Duel, but failed to win the Daytona 500:
    year, driver, Daytona finish, Daytona 500 winner
    2011: Kurt Busch, finished 5th, won by Trevor Bayne
    2008: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 9th, Ryan Newman
    2007: Tony Stewart, 43rd, Kevin Harvick
    2003: Dale Earnhardt Jr., 36th, Michael Waltrip
    1995: Dale Earnhardt, 2nd, Sterling Marlin
    1993: Dale Earnhardt, 2nd, Dale Jarrett
    1991: Dale Earnhardt, 5th, Ernie Irvan
    1989: Ken Schrader, 2nd, Darrell Waltrip
    1986: Dale Earnhardt, 14th, Geoff Bodine
    1983: Neil Bonnett, 22nd, Cale Yarborough
    1981: Darrell Waltrip, 36th, Richard Petty
    1979: Buddy Baker, 40th, Richard Petty
    (2-20-2011)

  • NASCAR Allows Sprint Cup Series Teams To Open Air Inlets: NASCAR is letting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams open up their air inlet openings some for Daytona 500 - going from a 2 1/2 x 20-inch opening to a 3 x 20-inch opening. With continued warm weather forecast for Sunday, this move gives teams more air to cool their engines.(NASCAR)(2-20-2011)

  • Speedweeks race finishes at Daytona: in the five NASCAR races held at Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks, all five races have close margin of victory:
    Bud Shootout: Kurt Busch .058 seconds
    Gatorade Duel 1: Kurt Busch .065 seconds
    Gatorade Duel 2: Jeff Burton .005 seconds
    Trucks: Michael Waltrip .061 seconds
    Nationwide: Tony Stewart .007 seconds
    (SPEED RaceDay graphic)(2-20-2011)

  • #46 team gets sponsors for Daytona 500: Add J.J. Yeley [#46-Whitney Motorsports Chevy] to the list of drivers snaring sponsors for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500. The driver raced his way into the Daytona 500 through his qualifying race as he attempts to help build his organization. Now, he has secured sponsorship from AAMCO Transmissions and Total Car Care Centers for Sunday's season-opening race. Yeley is moving back into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full time. He suffered a career-threatening neck injury after crashing at a dirt track event at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., in 2009, but is back in the Cup ranks this year. "Having a race car that is fully decaled for the Daytona 500 -- our biggest race of the year -- is a huge deal," Yeley said. "We have to take every opportunity we can and maximize it so we can keep racing. This might mean we get to race at Phoenix."(PR)(2-20-2011)

  • Brian Keselowski may race at Phoenix...may not: Because while #92-Brian Keselowski told the media assembled in his post-Gatorade Duel press conference that the payday his Daytona 500 start would bring meant he could be able to go to Phoenix, he never actually said he would. "I don't even know if we're going to be able to go yet," noted Brian when discussing his plans for his six-figure payday. "I put my entry in, but it was kind of like 'well, if this doesn't work maybe we've got a car that can go to Phoenix.' Now, the car's beat up a fairly good amount. And when you come to the track, you've got to be right. They're going to make sure we're right now [in Daytona], and that's fine. That's the way it goes and it's the same for everyone. But I don't think I can get the car repaired enough to be right for Phoenix. So, it takes another car, and I don't have one yet." Asked point-blank if his remarks meant that he was contemplating a partial schedule, as opposed to running on a shoestring week after week the way his operation did in Nationwide competition the past two seasons, Keselowski answered in the affirmative. If anything, the struggles of his past two years have clearly given this owner/driver perspective that few in the garage today have. "If I can get something that I think is competitive and go to Phoenix, I'll go to Phoenix," he stated of his plans. "If I feel like I can get something competitive to go to Vegas, I'll go to Vegas. [But] I'm not going to go if I don't think I can make the race. I'm not going to go just to say that I went. I don't have enough money to do that. [The payday] gets us back to zero. That's about it. Maybe a little better than that, but not a lot. And that's the best thing that could happen at this point. Now, I can look at all the people in the eye that have been helping me the last two years and say it worked."(Frontstretch)(2-20-2011)

  • Newman racing for the troops at Daytona: Our service men and women are making remarkable personal sacrifices for our country in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other forward operating bases around the world. That's why #39-Ryan Newman and Coca-Cola have teamed up with the USO to provide a touch of home to our troops wherever they serve -- from free phone cards to care packages full of much needed items, entertainment tours to just a simple hug. To make a tax-deductible donation today to help support our troops, lift their spirits, and honor their service go to uso.org/DonateRyanNewman/.(2-20-2011)

  • NASCAR Pioneer Wendell Scott Featured in Film - tonight: In conjunction with Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group and Max Siegel Inc., ESPN Films will document the story of Wendell Scott, the only black driver to win a NASCAR race, with the first airing of Wendell Scott: A Race Story, on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 9:00pm/et on ESPN. The 60-minute documentary will chronicle Scott's only NASCAR victory, at Jacksonville Speedway in 1963, and his positive impact on the sport.(ESPN)(2-20-2011)

  • Some teams may only change tires...once in the Daytona 500? Goodyear's director of racing Greg Stucker was asked point blank, "Has Goodyear developed the perfect race tire?" He smiled, accepted the compliment then chose his words carefully. "We're very happy," Stucker said. "Let's put it that way." The fact is, Goodyear has worked on the 2011 Speed Weeks/Daytona 500 tire since May 2010, just weeks after the announcement Daytona International Speedway would be repaved. It was worth the effort. Not only do these stock-car tires not generate heat, they don't wear out. Sprint Cup teams have spent virtually no money on tires. Few cars changed tires in the 62- and 60-lap Gatorade Duel At Daytona qualifying races on Thursday. Many of those tires still looked fresh after 150 miles of wear. "Tire wear is basically nonexistent," Stucker said. "Guys could have gone further in the Duel. We know that guys who ran tires in the Duel ran them again in Friday practice to put a few more laps on them." There is talk that some teams may elect to go the distance on one set of tires today. The tandem or love-bug drafting has not created problems for the tire. One of the reasons the Cup cars can run in a two-car draft is because of the their grip. Since there is no sign of tire wear after a 150-mile run, there will be one or two teams that try to push the envelope to gain track position.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-20-2011)

  • Golden Corral and Tommy Baldwin Racing Team Up for Daytona: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) will team up with Golden Corral in the Daytona 500 for their Racing for American Families promotion. TBR driver Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Golden Corral Chevy at the Daytona International Speedway. As part of the Racing for American Families promotion, Golden Corral will offer a one-day "Kids Eat Free" promotion on Monday, February 21st if Blaney and the #36 Golden Corral Chevy finish in the top-10 in the Daytona 500 on February 20th. Details of the offer include:
    * Free kids buffet with an adult buffet purchase at regular price.
    * Limit of 2 free kid's meals per adult buffet purchased.
    * Requires a printed copy of official race results from a newspaper or website.
    * This special promotional offer only redeemable on Monday, February 21, 2011.
    "We are fortunate to have a partner in Tommy Baldwin Racing and Dave Blaney and would enjoy treating America's Kids to a free meal on Monday if Dave has a top-10 finish," said Ed Gleich, Vice President of Marketing for Golden Corral. "Dave Blaney and Tommy Baldwin know their way around Daytona, and we hope American families join Golden Corral in cheering them on to a top-10 finish. Golden Corral will also donate $10,000 to the Disabled American Veterans organization if the No. 36 finishes in the top-10."(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(2-20-2011)

  • Elliott & Phoenix Racing gets sponsor for Daytona 500: Rydex SGI announceed that in partnership with Guggenheim Partners and Security Benefit, the company will be sponsoring #09-Bill Elliott in the Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway. Elliott's car will feature the Rydex logo during the race.(Rydex SGI), see images of the car on my #09 Team Schemes page.(2-20-2011)

  • Bayne's Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford is Good as New: After Trevor Bayne was involved in a last-lap crash in Thursday's Gatorade Duel, Donnie Wingo and the crew of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford turned the garage at Daytona International Speedway into a make-shift auto body shop. While other teams practiced on the track on Friday, members of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew were fabricating body panels, welding them on the car, smoothing the seams with body filler and doing everything they could to make sure the car was as quick as it was before. When Bayne went out for practice Saturday morning, Wingo, the crew chief, and the rest of the team had their answer. The car performed flawlessly. "We're happy with it," Wingo said. "It turned out great. Everybody did a really great job." Wingo said Bayne, who turned 20 on Saturday, didn't try to set any speed records, but spent his time on the track practicing the two-car tandem draft with drivers including fellow Ford driver Greg Biffle and Joey Logano. "We were better as a pusher, but we're good either way," Wingo said. Team co-owner Len Wood said the decision to go with repairing the primary car instead of going to a back-up was a fairly easy one, especially since some of the fabricators from Roush Fenway Racing who helped build the car originally, were on hand and prepared to help make it like new again.(Wood Brothers Racing)(2-20-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 Gatorade Duels: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on during these races, here is the breakdown for Thursday's races. SPEED was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 117
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 57
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 22
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 pm
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:10 pm
    Total minutes: 190
    Minutes of race broadcast: 140
    Minutes of commercials: 50
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    For drivers focus, past races, links see the 2011 TV Commercials page.(2-20-2011)

  • Voting Underway to Determine NASCAR's Most Popular Driver: Voting is officially underway to determine the 2011 NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Wheaties FUEL Most Popular Driver. The 10-week playoff format will return, with the top 10 vote-getters competing for top accolades at the season's end. More info on my Most Popular Driver Awards News & Voting page.(Breaking Limits)(2-20-2011)

  • Daytona 500 Official Program Is Now Available for Mobile Devices: The Official Program for the 2011 Daytona 500 is now available for download to mobile devices. The same 192-page book available to fans trackside can be viewed via the Zinio electronic newsstand service. This is the first time in the history of the event that the race day program will be available for download at zinio.com.(2-20-2011)

  • Daytona 500 pushed back a week in 2012: The 2012 Daytona 500 will be held a week later than normal, eliminating the early off date and shortening the Sprint Cup season. The "Great American Race'' will be held next year on February 26. "We have a very short offseason,'' said Steve O'Donnell, a senior vice president with NASCAR. "This gives us a little more time shortening up the season.'' Beyond moving the date to shorten the season, O'Donnell said NASCAR wanted to get ahead of any potential moves to an 18-game schedule by the NFL that could push the Super Bowl later than normal. There are no plans to condense the length of Speedweeks, although the date of the Budweiser Shootout has not been officially set at the weekend before the 500 (would be Feb 18th].(ESPN.com)
    AND Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced today that the 54th Annual Daytona 500 will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2012. “The decision to kick-off to the NASCAR racing season one week later was made in close partnership with the sanctioning body, our broadcast partners including FOX, community partners and others within the industry,” said Chitwood. “This move shortens the racing season by one week, which is something the teams and competitors will surely enjoy, and it eliminates the off-weekend typically scheduled in March, which many fans and media partners have said created a drop in momentum in the early part of the racing season. We also know some of our great fans like to plan their visit to the ‘World Center of Racing’ well in advance so we are announcing the 2012 date much earlier in the season to minimize any inconveniences in planning their visit.” The dates of Daytona International Speedway’s other racing events that comprise Speedweeks, in addition to the motorcycle events in March, will be determined in the near future.(DIS)(2-20-2011)


    News from February 19, 2011

  • Race Coverage of the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, February 20, 2011.
    Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; 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 128
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    SPEED, Wednesday, February 23 at 12:00pm/et

  • Happy Hour Practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, the fastest, slowest and notes:
    #33-Bowyer 200.316
    #31-Burton 200.316
    #2-Keselowski 199.751
    #7-Gordon 199.743
    #22-Busch 199.459
    #78-Smith 199.442
    slowest: #39-Newman 178.877 and #46-Yeley 189.286
    37 of 43 drivers practiced.
    not practicing: #'s 09,14,24,48,83,92.
    See all practice speeds on the Daytona Practice Speeds page.(2-19-2011)

  • Ford has the cooling edge? Doug Yates, head engine builder for Roush Yates Engines, explained why the cooling systems of Ford’s FR9 engines seem to have an advantage because they can run hotter, enabling Ford teams to push cars longer than their Sprint Cup competitors. “Together with the radiator and the header tank and the engine, we’ve designed it to run hotter and to have less grille opening,” Yates said. “We saw that from the first day we rolled it on the track. We got a lot of criticism because we were the last guys out with our engine, but it seems being the last guys out we combined all the best technology into one.”(Kansas City Star)(2-19-2011)

  • Offers roll in for Brian Keselowski UPDATE sponsor named: With a sustained push from his brother, #92-Brian Keselowski finished fifth in Thursday's second Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying event and raced his way into Sunday's Daytona 500. Since then, his phone hasn't stopped ringing. Ray Evernham called with an offer to pick up Keselowski's tire bill for the weekend—a cool $10,000 or so. Keselowski is driving a 2006 Dodge Charger that Evernham built years ago, and he came to the track this weekend with one set of tires. Penske Racing, which fields Sprint Cup cars for Keselowski's younger brother, Brad Keselowski, offered to supply a stronger engine for the #92 Dodge. Unlike other well-heeled teams, Keselowski doesn't have a fresh engine to put in the car for Sunday's race. A complication is that Keselowski is running an older generation R5 engine. The new R6 power plant available from Penske requires, among other things, completely different motor mounts and an external fuel pump. According to Keselowski's father and crew chief, Bob Keselowski, the team might not be able to install the engine in time for Saturday's practice. Keselowski also is working on a sponsorship deal with Golden Corral, which already had sent him a mockup of the paint scheme for Sunday's race. "Honestly, I couldn't answer all the calls," Brian Keselowski said. "It's just been insane. By the time I got out of the media center and got dressed (after the race), I looked at my phone, and I had 50-something messages and text messages and phone calls. It's been crazy"(Sporting News)(2-19-2011)
    UPDATE: Brian Keselowski has a sponsor for the Daytona 500 receiving funding from Discount Tire [a Penske Racing sponsor] and was applying the logos to his [#92 Dodge] car Saturday. Brian Keselowski came to Daytona with two crew members, his father and his uncle, and was a long shot to make the race. Now he'll pick up a paycheck of at least $250,000 - money he can use to climb out of debt and continue his fledgling career.(Associated Press), during SPEED's Happy Hour practice coverage, it was mentioned that Brian Keselowski will not be putting the Penske engine as the car is not fitted to do so and it would take a few days to convert for the newer engine.(2-19-2011)

  • U.S. Army defends NASCAR sponsorship: The U.S. Army, which represents Ryan Newman and his #39 Chevy, defended its NASCAR sponsorship on Friday after a Minnesota congresswoman recently targeted the Army's motorsports funding as a waste of money. Lieutenant General Benjamin Freakley said the $7.4 million per year the Army is spending to sponsor NASCAR is being put to good use, as he estimates 46,000 leads have come directly from NASCAR and the environment gives recruiters a great way to reach young people. "We know this is having an impact on recruiting and helping our recruiters with their jobs," Freakley said Friday. "The alternative to this is having a recruiter walk up and down a mall and talking to about 150 people just to get one person to engage them." The Marines, Navy and Coast Guard dropped their NASCAR sponsorships in 2006 — but Freakley still sees NASCAR as a crucial recruiting ground. "This is sort of America's sport, and the United States Army is America's team," Freakley said. "I have to invest in awareness. In some venue or another, I have to make some form of investment to make the American people aware of their army. And this is what we think is a good investment."(Orlando Sentinel)(2-19-2011)

  • Career start #400 for Dale Jr.: The Daytona 500 on Feb. 20 will mark Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 400th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start. The 36-year-old driver of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevy began his Cup career in 1999, and since then has amassed 18 wins, 91 top-five finishes, 150 top-10s and nine pole positions in 399 starts. He's gone to Victory Lane twice at Daytona International Speedway. He won the prestigious Daytona 500 in 2004 and took the checkered flag in the July 2001 event. Earnhardt earned the pole position for Sunday's race during qualifying on Feb. 13, but will be reassigned to the rear of the field after being involved in an accident during the Feb. 16 practice session.(HMS)(2-19-2011)

  • Fan to miss first Daytona 500 UPDATE will make it: Jack Hege, believed to be the only person to have attended every Daytona 500, will see his streak end this year because of a broken left arm suffered in April that has not healed properly and required surgery in December. Hege, who lives in Lexington, N.C., first went down to Daytona in 1958, witnessing the final race on the beach course. He enjoyed the experience so much that he returned the following year when the race moved to Daytona International Speedway and the first Daytona 500 was held. Hege, who turns 84 on Feb. 9, just kept going back to Daytona after that, telling me three years ago that "I've never known any other home except Daytona.'' He even delayed knee surgery to attend last year's Daytona 500 to keep his streak alive. Hege still has his ticket to the 1959 Daytona 500 he attended. Two years ago, NASCAR honored Hege by seating him among the celebrities for the drivers meeting before the race and introducing him to the competitors in honor of his Daytona 500 streak. Hege was injured when he fell backward and tried to catch himself in April. He continued to suffer complications from the injury and had surgery in December. His arm is in a sling and still has screws in the bone.(full story at the Virginian Pilot)(2-1-2011)
    UPDATE: Jack Hege, who is believed to be the only person to have attended every Daytona 500 as a spectator, will see his streak continue with the help of a NASCAR Sprint Cup team. Richard Childress Racing will fly Hege to Daytona on Sunday morning so the 84-year-old Lexington, N.C., man can watch the race. Hege first attended a race at Daytona in 1958 -- the final race on the beach course -- and came back the next year for the first race at Daytona International Speedway and has never missed a 500 here since. "It's unbelievable,'' Hege said. "It's unbelievable. I didn't dream I'd ever get to go (this year).'' Hege had said last month because of health concerns that he would not be able to attend this year's 500. Roush Fenway Racing and Joel Edmonds, spotter for Greg Biffle, had inquired earlier about trying to get him to the 500 to keep his streak alive. Hege declined the offers as he recovered from surgery in December for a broken arm. Hege's doctor cleared him on Wednesday to fly to Daytona. Hege told an RCR official, who also invited him, that he would be able to go. When Hege talked to David Hart of Richard Childress Racing about the trip, he admits: "I hated to hang up. I wanted to keep talking and talking and thanking people for what they've done for me. (Hart) said that Richard wanted to do something for me, saying that anybody that had went through what I went through for 53 years, deserves some help. I appreciate it.'' Now, Hege is thinking about how he wants to go to the 2012 Daytona 500. "It's something to look forward to,'' Hege said. "It helps a person keep going. It means a lot to me.''(Virginian Pilot)(2-19-2011)

  • The numbers for the Daytona 500:
    2 – number of times Richard Petty drove a Dodge to victory in the Daytona 500 among his seven wins (1973 and 1974)
    3 – number of Daytona 500s run without a caution (1959, 1961, and 1962)
    3 – number of consecutive Daytona 500s extended beyond the scheduled distance (2005 2007)
    4 – number of Daytona 500s shortened due to rain (1965, 1966, 2003 and 2009)
    7 – fewest lead changes for a Daytona 500 (1964 and 1965)
    11 – number of jet dryers available for the Daytona 500 and Speedweeks 2011
    11 – most cautions for a Daytona 500 (three times – 1968, 2005 and 2006)
    21 – most different leaders for a Daytona 500 (2010)
    32 – most consecutive Daytona 500 starts (Dave Marcis, 1968-1999)
    52 – number of lead changes among 21 drivers at last year's Daytona 500
    60 – most lead changes in the previous 52 Daytona 500s (1974)
    68 – most starters for the Daytona 500 (1960)
    120 – minutes, the minimum amount of time it takes to dry the 2.5-mile track after a significant rainfall
    184 – most laps led by race winner of the "The Great American Race" (Richard Petty, 1964, 200-lap event)
    265 – total number of cautions in the 36 Sprint Cup races in 2010; 305 in 2009
    39 – consecutive Sprint Cup races led by Bobby Allison (9/6/71 – 10/22/72)(Darnell Communications)(2-19-2011)

  • TV Ratings for Shootout, Qualifying and SPEED: The first two events of the 2011 NASCAR on FOX season both posted increases over last year. On Saturday night, the Bud Shootout delivered a 4.5/8 (7.8 million viewers) nationally, a +2% gain over last year's 4.4/8. The next day, Daytona 500 Qualifying earned a 2.0/5 (3.3 mill.) in a return to its traditional Sunday afternoon window. Those figures represent gains of +25% on rating and +40% on viewership compared to last year (1.6/4, 2.4 mill.) when the qualifying was run on Saturday to avoid competing with pre-Super Bowl programming on CBS. Although the Bud Shootout and Daytona Qualifying were both up over last year's performance they also both fell short of 2009 levels.
    SPEED is posting increases for some of its key NASCAR programming. The Bud Shootout edition of Victory Lane was up +23% over last year (0.38 vs. 0.31 on a SPEED coverage area basis). Sprint Cup practice sessions are up +90% on Speed (0.78 vs. 0.41, coverage area). Last week also saw the premiere of The Day: Remembering Dale Earnhardt, a documentary chronicling the day of the 2001 Daytona 500 in which Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap crash. The Friday night premiere of The Day averaged 805,000 viewers and ranks as Speed's highest-rated non-race program in two and a half years. The only major NASCAR programming on Speed that trailed year-ago performance this weekend was the pre-race show Race Day (-15%, 1.59 vs. 1.87, coverage area).(2-19-2011)

  • Penske Racing Drivers Join Team PVA: Penske Racing announced that Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) will be an "Official Charity of Penske Racing" for the 2011 NASCAR Cup Series season. Paralyzed Veterans, through their Mission: ABLE campaign, will be featured on the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, driven by Kurt Busch, and the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, driven by Brad Keselowski. "We are honored to welcome Paralyzed Veterans of America to the Penske Racing family," said team owner Roger Penske. "They do outstanding work for our service men and women. We look forward to helping them increase their visibility within NASCAR." Paralyzed Veterans have launched Mission: ABLE, a campaign to enlist all Americans – citizens, communities and corporations – to help America's paralyzed heroes fully live the lives they deserve and to receive what they need most: care, benefits and jobs. For more information on the Mission: ABLE campaign, please visit www.mission-able.com.(Penske Racing)(2-19-2011)

  • Walmart and NASCAR Team Up: Walmart and NASCAR, announced a new relationship designed to give Walmart customers and race fans new NASCAR branded merchandise and special savings on race tickets available on Walmart.com/NASCAR for select races. The new retail program, branded "Race Time", is the largest retail promotion in NASCAR's history and launches in 1,500 Walmart stores just in time for the start of the season with the 53rd running of the Daytona 500. This new relationship will begin with select NASCAR and NASCAR team licensed merchandise in Walmart stores and grow in the future to include more merchandise and various sponsor products. Participating Walmart stores will offer exciting merchandise such as T-shirts, racing flags, and tailgating food and beverages with even more selection of merchandise on Walmart.com/NASCAR. In addition, Walmart customers and NASCAR fans can save money by purchasing a discount ticket package available exclusively through Walmart.com/NASCAR for select NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Ticket packages include four race tickets, four hot dogs, four beverages and one race program for just $99, a savings of approximately $100.(NASCAR)(2-19-2011)

  • #71 team picks up assoc. sponsor for Daytona 500: TRG Motorsports welcomes TIFCO Industries to the #71 Super Eco-Fuel Saver Chevy team for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Daytona 500 to be run at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 20. TIFCO Industries provides their customers with substantial cost savings in the way they purchase, stock and replenish their maintenance and repair products. TIFCO utilizes a national network of Service Representatives to distribute quality maintenance products and provides services to thousands of customers in a variety of markets.(TRG Motorsports)(2-19-2011)

  • American Hero & Fallen Twin Brother honored with race title at Richmond: Just days before the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, American heroes were honored by Crown Royal and the NASCAR community during a patriotic ceremony where country music star Rodney Atkins unveiled United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant (SSgt.) Matthew Hansen as the grand-prize winner of the annual Crown Royal "Your Name Here" 400 program. Traditionally, the race at Richmond International Raceway has donned the first and last name of the grand-prize winner, but the April 30th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will not just recognize Matthew, but also his identical twin brother and fellow Marine, Daniel, who was killed in action Feb. 14th, 2009. Forty-three of NASCAR's finest drivers will compete for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 trophy.
    Award-winning artist Atkins performed his hit song "These are My People" during an acoustic set in front of hundreds of fans and members of the NASCAR community in the Daytona International Speedway FANZONE. When Atkins came to the end of his song, the Curb Records recording artist added in the Hansen brothers' names to unveil the winner, singing "Matthew and Daniel Hansen." Atkins will also appear at Richmond International Raceway for the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400. Tickets for the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 30, start at $45 and can be purchased on www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(2-19-2011)

  • New NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Ad Campaign to debut: NASCAR stars square off like it's high noon at the OK Corral in the new ad campaign for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 30-second spot, titled "Wild West Throwdown," is scheduled to air nationally for the first time during the 10:00 am/et broadcast of "NASCAR Live" on SPEED this Saturday and features many of the biggest names in NASCAR. The NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, to be held under the lights on Saturday night, May 21, is the ultimate stand-off among the top drivers in NASCAR in a no-holds-barred throwdown for the $1 million prize. The race, now in its 27th year, annually produces some of the best duels and biggest drama in racing. The new campaign, created and directed by Victory Management Group and produced by NASCAR Media Group, plays off of that "throwdown" theme. The first scene of the television spot opens on Main Street in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Whiskey River, a replica of an old western town on his property, complete with church, jail, general store and saloon. Carl Edwards and Kasey Kahne are the good guys challenged to a duel by tough guys Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. Just as they all draw their guns, the sheriff, wearing a black hat and gold badge, steps in to restore law and order. The actor playing the sheriff? None other than NASCAR President Mike Helton.(CMS)(2-19-2011)


    News from February 18, 2011

  • Waltrip wins first truck race: with Michael Waltrip's Camping World Truck Series win at Daytona, Waltrip became the 22nd driver to win at least one race in each of NASCAR's national series, Sprint Cup [4 wins], Nationwide [11] and now Camping World Truck Series [1]. More info about the Truck Series race on Jayski's Camping World Truck Series page and see the list on the Misc stats page.(2-18-2011)

  • added many 2011 images to the: 2011 Nationwide paint schemes page.(2-18-2011)

  • No more changes planned for Daytona 500: Barring a major shift from what was seen in Thursday's two qualifying races, NASCAR doesn't plan any additional changes to the Sprint Cup cars before the Daytona 500, series director John Darby said Friday. "You never want to say no, we're not going to do any changes. If somebody is holding onto something and we get a group in practice on Saturday and it gets really nuts, we'll look at it," Darby said. "Typically, we won't drop ourselves into a box until we drop the green flag on Sunday. But no changes are planned." Since Saturday's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, where cars reached speeds of 206 mph, NASCAR has gone to a smaller restrictor plate hole, reduced the opening in the front grill and mandated a lower radiator pressure to slow the cars.(ESPN.com)(2-18-2011)

  • 2nd Friday Practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, the top five:
    #5-Martin 196.803
    #48-Johnson 196.794
    #4-Kahne 194.704
    #83-Vickers 194.700
    #17-Kenseth 193.857
    #16-Biffle 193.857
    Only 12 drivers practiced.
    See all practice speeds on the Daytona Practice Speeds page.(2-18-2011)

  • Update on cars: #24-Gordon and #21-Bayne teams are working to fix their Daytona 500 cars damaged in the Gatorade Duel on Thursday. Gordon hopes to practice in the 2nd Friday practice, the #21 team doesn't plan to practice on Friday. As reported many times, #88-Earnhardt Jr. will have to go to thew rear of the field on Sunday before the drop of the green flag for the Daytona 500. He wrecked in Wednesday's practice and since he qualified on the pole last Sunday, he must go to the rear of the field. #00-Reutimann, #20-Logano were involved in accidents in Thursday's Gatorade Duel and while Reutimann finished the race, the team found enough damage to go to a backup car for the Daytona 500 as will Logano, so Reutimann, Logano and Earnhardt Jr. will go to the back of the pack. Teams are allowed to change engines after the Gatorade Duel, but before Happy Hour practice on Saturday and none have to lose their starting position.(2-18-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections - Daytona: The selections of pit stalls for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway have been made. Pole sitter #88-Earnhardt Jr. chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #24-Gordon took pit stall 21, the first with an opening in front of it [after the 1st stall of course].
    #22-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 20th pit stall, the first stall with an opening in back of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #15-Waltrip, who starts 8th.
    To see where the drivers and all the other drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-18-2011)

  • Minnesota Congresswoman wants to ban military from NASCAR sponsorships UPDATEs: Rep. Betty McCollum wants to put the brakes on the Defense Department's 10-year sponsorship deal with NASCAR racing teams, saying the multimillion-dollar recruiting effort is a waste of money. The Minnesota Democrat is also dubious that stock car sponsorship has much to do with enlistment numbers or troop readiness. "This is not only putting a sticker on the car. This is paying for a racing team," Ms. McCollum's chief of staff, Bill Harper, told Washington Wire. "That doesn't contribute to military readiness." The amendment is one of more than 400 that lawmakers want attached to Rep. Paul Ryan's spending bill to fund the government through Sept. 30. Ms. McCollum's office estimates the Pentagon has spent more than $100 million on its own NASCAR teams. Col. Derik Crotts, director of the army's sponsorship, told Washington Wire in an email that the Army spends $7 million a year on its racing team, and finds it valuable. "Youth surveys show that motorsports is a passion point for young Americans," wrote Col. Crotts. "It is critical that the Army use these passion points to communicate with prospects and their influencers." He continued, "In a 2009 among nationwide fans, 37% feel more positive about the Army due to its involvement in motorsports."(Wall Street Journal)(2-16-2011)
    UPDATE: Congresswoman Betty McCollum's amendment to ban military sponsorship of NASCAR teams suffered a defeat Friday night but she is pressing forward with the amendment. After a brief period of debate on the amendment, which McCollum introduced Monday, a voice vote was held with the no votes prevailing. McCollum (D-Minn.), however, "demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced,'' according to the website for the Office of the Cleak for the U.S. House of Representatives. So, the matter is not dead. In essence, she wants everyone's vote to be recorded publicly instead of hidden behind a voice vote.(Virginian Pilot)(2-18-2011)
    Death Threat: Democratic U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum received a death threat on Wednesday over her proposal to end Pentagon funding for NASCAR. McCollum said she thinks the army-sponsored car is a waste of taxpayers' money and should be eliminated. The fax received by her office contained vulgar language directed at the congresswoman, telling her to shut her (expletive) "pie hole," and featured a cartoon of President Barack Obama's head being pulled behind a truck in a noose. The letter also called for the deaths of all Marxists, and referred to the president, McCollum and Attorney General Eric Holder as "Marxist thugs." The violent imagery and phrases come just one month after Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot at a campaign rally, despite public campaigns for more reasoned and respectful political discourse.(myfoxtwincities.com)(2-18-2011)
    House rejects congresswoman's effort to stop NASCAR sponsorship: The House has voted to let the Pentagon continue using taxpayer dollars to sponsor NASCAR race teams. By a 281-148 vote, lawmakers rejected an effort by Minnesota Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum that would have ended the practice. McCollum aides said the Army is spending $7 million on a sponsorship this year, and the Air Force and National Guard are spending additional money. Most Democrats backed McCollum's effort, while Republicans voted overwhelmingly against it.(Associated Press)(2-18-2011)

  • Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace to Drive Again at Daytona: NASCAR Sprint Cup champions and ESPN analysts Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace will return to the cockpits of NASCAR race cars at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 18, at 2:00 pm/et. Jarrett and Wallace will make high-speed laps together around the 2.5-mile oval while recording material that will be used in the NASCAR Countdown program that airs prior to ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona the following day. The two champions will be getting a feel for the new Daytona pavement to help them in their analysis for ESPN.
    ESPN's cameras around the track will document the event and each vehicle will be equipped with in-car cameras. In addition, Jarrett and Wallace will be able to speak with each other while on the track via radio communication. NASCAR Countdown airs at noon on Saturday, Feb. 19, followed by the race telecast at 1:15 pm/et.
    Jarrett, a three-time Daytona 500 winner and the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, last raced in May of 2008 and hasn't driven on the Daytona track since finishing 16th in the 2008 Daytona 500. His last time in a race car was in September when he took ESPN reporter/host Erin Andrews for some laps at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Wallace, the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, retired following the 2005 season and has often said that his biggest regret is never winning the Daytona 500. The 55-time race winner's best finish in NASCAR's biggest race was third in 2001. He was last in a race car when he tested the newly-designed NASCAR Nationwide Series car last summer at Colorado's Pikes Peak International Raceway.(ESPN)(2-18-2011)

  • RPM already looking in to expansion: Expansion is already on Richard Petty Motorsport's plate for 2012, Team co-owner Andrew Murstein is looking towards growth to help boost a program whose #43 car hasn't won since Spring 1999 at Martinsville. Here's the catch: in a world full of 2012 free agents, where Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, and Greg Biffle top the list of possibilities, this car owner is looking to break the mold by picking an unproven driver -- but not just any rookie. "If there was one driver that was out there, I would go for something new and different," he says. "I think that's what the sport's lacking. There's no perfect answer for that, but a woman driver would be a terrific accomplishment for us. Whether it's someone like Danica [Patrick], or it's someone like Johanna Long. If there was an up-and-coming African-American driver, that would be my focal point. I want to make a game-changing decision in this sport to try to bring it to another level."(Sports Illustrated)(2-18-2011)

  • Kesekowski brothers help each other: One is a young star with a fast car and beer money. The other has struggled through life and took on more debt than he should have to pursue his dream. Yes, they fought. And yes, there was jealousy. But all was right Thursday in the house of Keselowski after 26-year-old #2-Brad pulled up behind his big brother #92-Brian and pushed him to fifth place in a Gatorade Duel qualifying race. Brian, 29, will start 12th in the Daytona 500 Sunday in a 5-year-old car that he, his dad, Bob, and a couple of buddies finished assembling in the Daytona International Speedway garage. "When Brad got back there, I knew this was our chance," said Brian, who was well behind when Brad spun out on the 40th lap. "If there's anybody that's going to push me, it would be Brad. If there was anybody else, there was no way they were going to come and stay on my rear bumper the way that he did." But push Brad did, using his Roger Penske-owned Miller Lite Dodge to give speed to Brian's unsponsored machine to finish ahead of defending 500 winner Jamie McMurray among others. Starting on Sunday will be worth more than a quarter-million dollars and means Brian will be able to afford to go to Phoenix next week. Brad congratulated Brian as he sat in his car and wept with joy. But the two haven't always gotten on so well. Brian was too busy working on his family's NASCAR truck team to start driving until he was 18, and he was envious when Brad was allowed to race as a kid. Brad's first Nationwide Series ride, with Keith Coleman, was supposed to have gone to Brian. "Yeah, there's always a little bit of jealousy," Brian said. "Then you have to say, 'What if it wouldn't have worked?' We'd both be sitting home.It could go either way. We made our first Daytona 500. I guess it's not all a bad thing."(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(2-18-2011)

  • Patrick uncertain about future: Two days before Danica Patrick begins her 2011 racing season, in which she'll race both stock cars and Indy cars, she said she's unsure of her plans for 2012 and beyond. "It depends on what I want to do, it depends on sponsorship, it depends on a lot of things," Patrick said on Thursday after turning in a speed of 193.515 at Nationwide Series practice, the third-fastest run of the day. "Luckily, though, it's only Feb. 17, so I have a lot of time to think about it and figure it out." Her contracts for both NASCAR and IndyCar end after this season, meaning she could likely choose to race stock cars full-time next year. But she doesn't intend on making a decision anytime soon, and she's unsure when that decision will be made. "The season ends when the season ends and it starts next year when it starts," she said. "So, somewhere in that time frame." Patrick will race in 12 Nationwide races again this season, looking to improve her stock after an up-and-down showing last year. She's only a part-time driver in the Nationwide Series, which is 34 races in all.(Orlando Sentinel)(2-18-2011)

  • Fox debuts thermal-cam at Daytona 500: During FOX Sports' exclusive live coverage of the 53rd Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20 from Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida, the network unveils FOX Thermal-Cam, a special camera designed to register variations in the heat signature of objects in its line of site. It's FOX's plan to use the unique feature during the race-cast to demonstrate the extreme temperatures which develop during typical racing conditions. A feature made more important this season as cars running in the rear of a piggy-backed pair lose air flow while drafting and must eventually switch places with the lead car to avoid overheating the engine. It can also reveal the on-track groove cars are using, as well as the difference between tires about to be changed compared to fresh replacements. The camera is supplied to FOX by FLIR, a world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of thermal imaging and stabilized camera systems with US headquarters in Boston.(Fox PR)(2-18-2011)

  • TV Guide produces 2nd Insider's guide to NASCAR: TV Guide Magazine and NASCAR have joined forces for the second annual TV Guide Magazine's NASCAR Ultimate Insider's Guide for 2011, an all-access collector's guide for every NASCAR fan. The 88-page, special interest publication will be sold online and on newsstands for two months that began, February 17, 2011. TV Guide Magazine's NASCAR Ultimate Insider's Guide will feature unique content from award-winning NASCAR journalists, exclusive access, unmatched insight, and the latest up-to-the-minute information and features on the 63rd season of NASCAR. Fans can purchase the issue online at www.tvguidemagazine.com/nascar or at stores nationwide for $6.99.(TV Guide)(2-18-2011)

  • Kansas signs long term sponsor of fall Sprint Cup race: Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren announced that Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway will sponsor the fall NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for 10 years beginning with the Oct. 9, 2011 race. The race will be the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway and is a part of NASCAR's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. In April 2010, construction began on the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway overlooking Turn Two of the speedway. The new facility is expected to open in the first half of 2012. Single race tickets for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, as well as all events on the 2011 Kansas Speedway schedule, are currently on sale. The $300 million Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway is being developed by Kansas Entertainment, a joint venture of Kansas Speedway Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of International Speedway Corporation (ISC), and Penn Hollywood Kansas, Inc., a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming Inc. Kansas Speedway tickets are on sale now for the 2011 season, more info call 866.460.RACE (7223) or by logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com. Parking at Kansas Speedway is always free. Fans can bring into the grandstands a 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and drinks.(Kansas Speedway)(2-18-2011)

  • Transformers stars named Grand Marshals of the Daytona 500: The stars of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"– Josh Duhamel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and director Michael Bay – will serve as the Grand Marshals for 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011. As Grand Marshals, the Transformers cast will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports – "Gentlemen, start your engines." In addition, the modified NASCAR stock cars featured in the movie will make their first public appearance by leading the 43-car field during the pace laps of "The Great American Race," the kick-off event to the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
    The Daytona 500 will not be Bay or Transformers' first introduction to the NASCAR world. In 2009, Bay piloted the official pace car at a NASCAR Sprint Cup race to promote the DVD release of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman also took part, racing with branded images of opposing Autobots and Decepticons on their cars and uniforms. Bay credits his vision to include NASCAR stock cars in the new Transformers film to this experience.
    In the days leading up to the Daytona 500, race fans can view the Transformers NASCAR stock cars at the Chevy Display located in the Midway outside Turn 4. Tickets for Speedweeks 2011 events, including the 53rd annual Daytona 500, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-18-2011)


    News from February 17, 2011

  • Gatorade Duel at Daytona Fast Facts:
    . Kurt Busch won the first Gatorade Duel at Daytona race, his first victory in the Daytona 500 qualifying event. His previous best finish was second (2007).
    . Busch also won the Budweiser Shootout, this past Saturday night. No driver has won the Budweiser Shootout, a 500 qualifying race and the Daytona 500 in the same season.
    . Bill Elliott (15th) and JJ Yeley (17th) earned the two transfer spots in the first Duel race. It will be Elliott’s 29th Daytona 500 start, and Yeley’s fourth.
    . Jeff Burton won the second Duel race, his first victory in the Daytona 500 qualifying event. His previous best finish was second (2005). He has won one other event at Daytona, in July of 2000.
    . There were 22 lead changes in the second Gatorade Duel race, an event record.
    . Michael Waltrip (third) and Brian Keselowski (fifth) earned the two transfer spots in the second Duel race. It will be Waltrip’s 25th consecutive start in the Daytona 500. It will be Keselowski’s first Daytona 500 start.
    . Earning a spot in the Daytona 500 via their qualifying time: Travis Kvapil, Joe Nemechek and Dave Blaney. Terry Labonte will earn a spot via the past champion provisional. He won the championship in 1984 and 1996.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-17-2011)

  • Gatorade Duel 2: #31-Jeff Burton won the Gatorade Duel 2 qualifying race for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. #33-Bowyer finished 2nd. Upset of the races would be #92-Keselowski teaming with his brother #2-Brad and finishing 5th, qualifying for his first ever Daytona 500. #15-Waltrip finished 3rd and raced in. Three drivers made the field by their qualifying speed: #38-Kvapil, #87-Nemechek and #36-Blaney. Missing the Daytona 500 are #13-Mears, #60-Bodine, #64-Cope, #66-McDowell and #97-Conway.
    results:
    1) #31-Burton
    2) #33-Bowyer
    3) #15-Waltrip, RACED IN
    4) #18-Busch
    5) #92-Keselowski, RACED IN
    6) #1-McMurray
    7) #2-Keselowski
    8) #11-Hamlin
    9) #56-Truex Jr.
    10) #99-Edwards
    11) #00-Reutimann
    12) #24-Gordon
    13) #38-Kvapil, SPD
    14) #64-Cope, DNQ
    15) #16-Biffle
    16) #37-Richardson Jr.
    17) #7-Gordon
    18) #32-TLabonte. Past Champ prov
    19) #21-Bayne
    20) #6-Ragan
    21) #60-Bodine, accident, DNQ
    22) #77-Wallace, accident
    23) #20-Logano, accident
    24) #13-Mears, 3 laps, engine DNQ
    RACED IN = made race via transfer spot (2)
    DNQ = did not qualify, will miss race
    SPD = makes race on speed
    See results on the Gatorade Duel 150's Race Results page.(2-17-2011)

  • Gatorade Duel 1: #22-Kurt Busch won the Gatorade Duel 1 qualifying race for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, his 2nd win at Daytona after winning the Budweiser Shootout. #78-Smith fininished 2nd. With #09-Elliott making the race via one of the two transfer spots, #15-Waltrip is guaranteed to make the Daytona 500 no matter where he finishes in the 2nd Duel as he had the 4th fastest speed in qualifying. If either #38-Kvapil or #15-Waltrip race into the race via the transfer spot, #36-Blaney could make the race by speed
    1) #22-Busch, starts 3rd, moves up to the Daytona 500 pole
    2) #78-Smith
    3) #29-Harvick
    4) #17-Kenseth
    5) #4-Kahne
    6) #42-Montoya
    7) #43-Allmendinger
    8) #5-Martin
    9) #27-Menard
    10) #39-Newman
    11) #48-Johnson
    12) #14-Stewart
    13) #88-Earnhardt Jr. will still start at the rear Daytona 500
    14) #83-Vickers
    15) #09-Elliott, RACED IN
    16) #47-Labonte
    17) #46-Yeley, RACED IN
    18) #97-Conway, DNQ
    19) #87-Nemechek, SPD
    20) #36-Blaney, MYB
    21) #9-Ambrose
    22) #71-Lally, -1
    23) #66-McDowell, DNQ
    24) #34-Gilliland, 40 laps
    RACED IN = made race via transfer spot (2)
    DNQ = did not qualify, will miss race
    SPD = makes race on speed
    MYB = can still make race on speed depending on Duel 2 results
    See results on the Gatorade Duel 150's Race Results page.(2-17-2011)

  • Gatorade Duel, who is in, what do others need to do: When the Gatorade Duel At Daytona 150s go green, 46 drivers will be battling for starting positions in the Daytona 500. Thirty-seven of those 46 are in the race. That leaves nine drivers racing for their Daytona 500 lives. Four will get in. Five will pack up and head home.
    TOP 35 IN POINTS
    The top 35 drivers in last year's owners points automatically make the Daytona 500 field. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon locked up their starting spots by finishing 1-2 on pole day. However, after wrecking and being forced into his backup car Wednesday, Earnhardt will have to move to the rear of the field.
    3 IN ON TIME
    Bill Elliott (17th), Travis Kvapil (20th) and Joe Nemecheck (21st) are in the 500 because they had the top-three qualifying times among drivers not in the top 35 in 2010 owner's points.
    1 PAST CHAMPION
    Terry Labonte, 1996 and 1984 Cup champ, is guaranteed a spot as a past series winner.
    4 SPOTS FROM DUELS
    The last four spots will go to the two highest-finishing drivers in each Gatorade Duel at Daytona race who have not yet made the race through points or qualifying.
    WHO NEEDS TO RACE IN
    Michael Waltrip, Dave Blaney, Todd Bodine, Kevin Conway, Casey Mears, Michael McDowell, J.J. Yeley, Derrike Cope and Brian Keselowski.
    WHO CAN FALL IN
    WALTRIP: He was 25th in qualifying. If Elliott, Kvapil, Nemechek or Labonte land in the top two, he would make the race on qualifying time.
    WHO ELSE CAN FALL IN
    DAVE BLANEY: He was 26th-quickest and if any two among Elliott, Kvapil, Nemechek or Labonte land any of the top-two spots among the go-or-go-homers in the Duels, then he makes the race on qualifying time.
    TODD BODINE: He was 35th-quickest and if three among Elliott, Kvapil, Nemechek or Labonte land in the top-two spots among the go-or-go-homers in the Duels, then he makes the race on qualifying time.
    KEVIN CONWAY: He was 36th-quickest and if Elliott, Kvapil, Nemechek or Labonte all land in the top-two spots among the go-or-go-homers in the Duels, then he makes the race on qualifying time.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-17-2011)

  • Lally Files for NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year: Andy Lally, driver of the #71 TRG Motorsports Chevy has filed his application to run for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Rookie of the Year. The quest will begin with this weekend's Daytona 500 to be run at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, February 20. Lally, an accomplished road racer with three Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona wins to his credit, will be attempting to win the NSCS Rookie of the Year for 2011. The Northport, New York born racer is looking forward to the challenge. "It's a really neat opportunity to be able to run for the NASCAR Rookie of Year," Lally said. "To be able to race for such a cool award is going to be great. I am looking forward to the challenge. I am hoping that a few more guys will come out to compete for the award. As a racer I want to compete, having a few more guys running for the prize would add another level of competition to the weekend for me." Lally will be making his ninth NSCS start on Sunday in the Daytona 500. Lally entered into NASCAR racing with team owner Kevin Buckler back in 2007 when Buckler and a group of investors purchased Darrell Waltrip's Camping World Truck Team. Kevin Buckler is ready for Lally to show what he has this season. "Andy and I have been together since 2004," Buckler said. "Andy is one of the most talented and professional drivers I have encountered behind the wheel of a race car. We have won over 30 races, two Rolex 24 Hours and multiple championships together. We are happy to give Andy this opportunity and we are looking forward to what the season will bring."(TRG Motorsports)(2-17-2011)

  • TRG Motorsports gets sponsor for Daytona 500: Super Eco-Fuel Saver has signed-on as the primary partner on the TRG Motorsports #71 Super Eco-Fuel Saver Chevy for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Daytona 500. Super Eco Fuel SaverSuper Eco-Fuel Saver is a revolutionary new fuel additive that reformulates hydrocarbon molecular chains to burn fuel more efficiently in the combustion chamber resulting in increased mileage and dramatic reductions in emissions. Consumers can learn more about Super Eco-Fuel Saver at www.ecofuelsaver.com.
    "We are excited to have Super Eco-Fuel Saver emblazoned on the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS." Rick Stewart, C.E.O, said. "Super Eco-Fuel Saver is the most innovative fuel additive ever developed to dramatically reduce engine emissions. At the same time we improve fuel mileage from 10% to 40% depending on engine make and condition, while also increasing horsepower from 7% to 15%. Being a part of the Daytona 500 will launch this extraordinary product into the global market place. It's an exciting time for our company". Andy Lally, driver of the #71 Super Eco-Fuel Saver Chevy, will be cloaked in green for the week. "It is great to have Super Eco-Fuel Saver on our car for the 500," Lally said. "I will have it in my truck on the way home to Georgia after the race. I am also ready to give them a good run in the Gatorade 150 on Thursday and an even better performance in the Daytona 500 on Sunday."(TRG Motorsports), see an image of the scheem on the #71 Team Schemes page.(2-17-2010)

  • PTI: Dale Jr's Daytona 500 fixed?: Co-host Tony Kornheiser intimated on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption that NASCAR had helped Earnhardt turn the fastest lap in qualifying. Kornheiser said a longtime NASCAR reporter told him there was a 60% chance that Earnhardt's car might not be legal. "There are people in and around the NASCAR world, not just drivers but people who cover the sport, who are winking at this one," Kornheiser said. "Who are wondering if this wasn't a setup because it's the pole position." The reporter was The Washington Post's Liz Clarke, who covered NASCAR for more than a decade for four newspapers and also wrote a book about the sport. Earlier Tuesday, Clarke had appeared on Kornheiser's ESPN 980 radio show in Washington. During a discussion about Earnhardt's pole position, Clarke said, "people who covered racing for a long time, a lot were just laughing when they heard Junior won the pole because of the rich NASCAR tradition of ginning up storylines and outcomes. There's a lot of questions still about Richard Petty's 200th win, which came the day Ronald Reagan was there. Everything Americana happened to fall into place that particular day." Noting that PTI does a segment called "Odds" in which situations are assigned a 1-100 percentage, Kornheisesr asked Clarke, "what are the odds that NASCAR rigged this" so Earnhardt would start first? "I'd say better than 60%," Clarke said. "I'm trying to think, 'Will I regret saying that?' No, it's more likely than not. But he drives for the best, best team with the best cars and smartest mechanics. This is an awesome team. He's had the best equipment." During a Wednesday morning appearance on Sirius NASCAR Radio, Clarke said she regretted assigning a percentage to such a scenario.
    ESPN vice president of motorsports Rich Feinberg said, "that's a show of opinion, and they are entitled to their opinion. And I can tell you for sure that ESPN doesn't agree with his opinion yesterday, but that's the nature of commentary, and not all the time are we going to get a rosy picture when people are offering their opinions."
    After Nationwide practice Wednesday, Earnhardt told reporters Kornheiser's comments didn't bother him because "those two guys that do that show don't know much about racing." Kornheiser was contrite about his NASCAR comments during Wednesday's PTI show. The featured interview was five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who jokingly invited Kornheiser to a NASCAR race "to keep you from saying stupid things." See full story at the USA Today, along others from the Virginian Pilot and SceneDaily.(2-17-2011)

  • Super Bowl Champ Nick Collins to Join Kvapil at Daytona 500: Two weeks after Travis Kvapil cheered his Green Bay Packers to Super Bowl victory in Arlington, Texas, a member of the NFL Championship team will be at the Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Fla., to return the favor. Safety Nick Collins, who made one of the biggest plays of the Super Bowl with an interception he returned for a touchdown, will be Kvapil's guest at "The Great American Race" Sunday. The driver of the #38 Long John Silver's Ford is locked in to the race after qualifying 20th in time trials earlier this week and will learn his starting position during Thursday's Gatorade Duels. Collins is a Florida native and attended Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach. When he wasn't setting records on the football field, he logged some hours at Daytona International Speedway working on a clean-up crew. Kvapil attended Super Bowl XLV with his family and vowed to invite members of the Packers to the season-opening race if Green Bay won the title. Collins' return to Daytona International Speedway will include highlights only fitting for a Super Bowl champion. He'll accompany Kvapil to the drivers' meeting, ride along with him on the pre-race parade lap and sit atop the Long John Silver's pit box for the race.(Front Row Motorsports/Breaking Limits)(2-17-2011)

  • NASCAR Revises Its Garage Access Policy: Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway not only opens up the 2011 NASCAR racing season, it also opens the garage gates to some very important fans. A revision in NASCAR’s garage access policy allows an adult with approved access, either via annual credential (hard card) or a single event license (SEL), to bring his or her children in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garages on race days. The policy is in effect only during the “cold” pre-race period. Each child will be issued a special credential. There is no minimum age requirement. Some “Need to Know” parameters for this new policy:
    * Parents must complete a minor’s release form prior to receiving a minor’s credential.
    * Releases and credentials will be available at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series registration hauler or at the garage location.
    * NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series children credentials will be available at those series’ at-track registration locations.
    Also updated for 2011: The dress code for all NASCAR pit and garage areas. Attire must remain appropriate for both a major sporting event and a family environment, but has been relaxed to include shorts, open-toed shoes, sleeveless blouses and skirts/dresses.(NASCAR)(2-17-2011)

  • Chip Ganassi honored: Ganassi was recognized and honored at the 75th annual Dapper Dan Dinner & Sports Auction Feb 9 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The evening paid tribute to Pittsburgh sports icons, including Fox Chapel resident Ganassi as he received the first ever sports leadership award, a non-annual award which recognizes a Pittsburgh icon and their leadership and success in sports.(EGR)(2-17-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections - Gatorade Duel 150: The selections of pit stalls for the Gatorade Duel 150 Sprint Cup Series Qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway have been made. Pole sitters #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #24-Jeff Gordon each took pit stall 1 in their respective Duel races.
    To see where the drivers and all the other drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-17-2011)


    News from February 16, 2011

  • 2nd Wed Practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, the top five, slowest and notes
    #4-Kahne 200.067
    #20-Logano 200.062
    #24-Gordon 198.746
    #6-Ragan 198.741
    #18-Busch 198.702
    slowest: #37-Richardson 190.392 & #92-Keselowski 181.605. Just 32 drivers practiced.
    #13-Casey Mears blew an engine early in the session. #88-Earnhardt, Jr. sat out the session while the team prepared his backup car.
    See all practice speeds on the Daytona Practice Speeds page.(2-16-2011)

  • 1st Wed Practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, the top five, slowest and notes
    #18-Busch 200.254
    #16-Biffle 200.249
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. (wrecked) 199.526
    #48-Johnson 199.517
    #42-Montoya 199.411
    slowest: #92-Keselowski 179.619 and #97-Conway 185.433
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #56-Truex Jr. wrecked early in the session, not will have to go to backup cars for the Gatroeade Duel, with the #88 having to go to the rear in both the Duel and Daytona 500. The #56 will only have to go to the rear in the Gatorade Duel as he was not locked in to the 500. Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for the Daytona 500 and he was locked in for a starting position.
    The 10:30am//et and 1:30pm/et NASCAR Sprint Cup practices scheduled for Wednesday, Feb 16th were pushed back a few hours by rain at Daytona International Speedway. The cars finally hit the track just before 3:00pm/et.(2-16-2011)

  • Earnhardt Jr. wrecks in practice, goes to backup car: during the rain delayed 1st practice on Wednesday, #48-Johnson and #88-Earnhardt Jr. were drafting in a two car pack, just behind them was another 2 car pack, #56-Truex Jr and #83-Vickers. #48-Johnson lifted as he came up on a slower pack of cars, Earnhardt got into Johnson, who got loose but recovered, Truex had no place to go and got into Earnhardt, sending both the #88 and #56 sliding thru the grass with the #88 hitting the inside SAFER wall, bouncing off and back into Truex. So both are going to backup cars. Since Earnhardt Jr.'s starting spot was locked in, he will have to go to the rear of the field before the start of Gatorade Duel 1 and the Daytona 500. Truex Jr. will start at the rear of the Gatorade Duel but starting where he qualifies with his Gatorade Duel result. Whichever driver starts 3rd in the Daytona 500 [to be determined in the Gatorade Duels] will start first in the Daytona 500.(2-16-2010)

  • Practices at Daytona delayed by rain: the 10:30am//et and 1:30pm/et NASCAR Sprint Cup practices scheduled for Wednesday, Feb 16th were pushed back a few hours by rain at Daytona International Speedway. The cars finally hit the track just before 3:00pm/et.(2-16-2011)

  • Hendrick signs Bill Elliott's son Chase: Hendrick Motorsports has signed Chase Elliott to a multi-year driver agreement. Elliott, the son of 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bill Elliott, will continue to compete for his family-owned team until meeting age requirements for entering NASCAR national series events. Bill Elliott Racing, based in Dawsonville, Ga., will field Chevrolets with support from Hendrick Motorsports. "The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree with Chase," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "I've always admired Bill's ability in a race car and how he handled himself with the fans. I see those same traits in Chase, with his natural driving talent and an awareness of what he needs to do away from the track to be successful. He comes from a great racing family, and it shows. We think it's a terrific situation. Chase already has a strong support system in place (in Dawsonville) that will allow him to focus on his education and grow as a driver, and Hendrick Motorsports will provide whatever kind of assistance the Elliotts need in any area."
    A 15-year-old freshman in high school, Elliott already has competed against some of the best short-track racers in the United States. In 40 late model starts last season, he posted 13 victories, 27 top-five finishes and 37 top-10s. "I've always been taught that teamwork and people are important, and that's something Mr. Hendrick really believes in," Elliott said. "Everyone at Hendrick Motorsports has high standards and takes a lot of pride in what they do. Racing with all of their support, and the support of my family, is going to be incredible. I'm going to work really hard to make them proud and make the most of this opportunity."
    In 2010, Elliott became the youngest driver to win the Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., the Miller Lite Series at Mobile (Ala.) International Speedway and the overall Sunoco Gulf Coast championship. The Dawsonville native also posted victories in the prestigious Winchester 400 and at the re-opening of historic North Wilkesboro (N.C.) Speedway. Elliott already is two-for-two in 2011 after sweeping the Speedfest late-model features last month at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, Ga. This season, he plans to enter a combination of super late model, pro late model and NASCAR regional touring series events.(HMS)(2-16-2011)

  • NASCAR Tweaks rules to limit drafting UPDATE plate smaller: NASCAR officials announced two technical changes Sunday evening aimed at preventing the sustained two-car drafts that dominated Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the body issued a bulletin to race teams with the following specifications:
    • The maximum size for the air inlet for the cooling system will be 2½ inches tall by 20 inches wide.
    • The pressure release valve on the water system will be set at 33 pounds per square inch.
    The intent is to set up the cars so they can't push each other in two-car tandems for extended runs without overheating. Teams try to line up drafting partners at Daytona and Talladega so they can overcome the limitations of the restrictor plates used to keep speeds down at those two tracks. "That will bring down the temperatures so the teams can't run at 290 or 300 degrees [without overheating] on the extended push of 30 or 40 laps," Pemberton said. "This will put [the water temperature in the engines] back in the 250-degree range." Several drivers, crew chiefs and team executives expected NASCAR to control the pressure relief valve. Jamie McMurray, who finished second to Kurt Busch in the Shootout, said many cars had valves that allowed the temperature up to 300 degrees before boiling over. That allowed the second car in the two-car draft to push longer without overheating -- some for more than a dozen laps -- under Saturday's cooler outdoor temperatures. The weather is expected to be warmer for Thursday's qualifying races and the Daytona 500.(see full story at ESPN.com)(2-13-2011)
    UPDATE - NASCAR makes change to restrictor plate: NASCAR announced Wednesday morning that the Sprint Cup teams will now use a 57/64 inch restrictor plate at Daytona for the Gatorade Duel and Daytona 500. The 1/64" plate is smaller then the 29/32nd inch plate that was being used. The change will reduce horsepower 12-13 hp and slow the cars down a bit.(SPEED coverage of rain delayed practice)(2-16-2011)

  • Earnhardt Jr. wins Daytona 500 pole: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with a lap of 186.089 mph for his first Daytona 500 pole and 10th career pole. Earnhardt Jr. is the 36th driver to win the Daytona 500 pole. #24-Gordon will start 2nd, only he and Earnhardt Jr. have secured their exact starting spot. #21-Bayne was 3rd fastest, followed by #27-Menard, #33-Bowyer, #31-Burton, #39-Newman, #5-Martin, #16-Biffle and #14-Stewart. Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon swept the front row for Hendrick Motorsports, the third time HMS has done it. Earnhardt will start from the pole in the first Gatorade Duel and Gordon will start 1st in the 2nd Gatorade Duel. #09-Elliott (17th), #38-Kvapil (20th) and #87-Nemechek (21st) all earned spots in the race as the three fastest drivers among those required to qualify on speed. #32-Terry Labonte will also start the race since he has a past champions provisional to use unless he races his way into one of the two spots available in the Duel he races. With the exception of the front row, the starting lineup will be set by the Gaterade Duel races on Thursday, swcheduled for Thursday, February 17th at 2:00pm/et on SPEED. See the qualifying results on the Daytona 500 Qualifying page and the Gatorade Duel 150 Lineups.(2-13/16-2011)

  • Speed to re-air The Day; Remembering Dale Earnhardt: SPEED will re-air The Day; Remembering Dale Earnhardt on the 10th anniversary of his death, Friday, Feb. 18, at 10:00 pm/et. SPEED's Feb. 11 premiere of the one-hour special scored a .78 (640,000 households) Nielsen Rating, making it the highest non-event rating on the network since July 2008. Response to the one-hour special has been overwhelming in the media and across social media outlets.
    Mike Vega of The Boston Globe wrote, "But none was done better than 'The Day: Remembering Dale Earnhardt' … It's worth watching, especially for the poignant interviews with Richard Childress, Earnhardt's car owner, and Ken Schrader … My stomach churned as I watched the moving retrospective on Earnhardt's death because it sent me reeling back to what had been -- by far -- the hardest day I've ever experienced as a sportswriter." SPEED offers encores of The Day on Feb. 18 at 10:00 pm/et immediately following the network's live broadcast of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener from Daytona (7:30 pm/et) and Feb. 19 at 7:30 pm/et.(SPEED), all I can say is, the special was awesome and brought tears to my eyes.(2-16-2011)

  • Kurt Busch in Nashville: Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driver Kurt Busch has been in Nashville early this week to work with comedian friend Ron White during his fourth annual Celebrity Salute to the Troops, a fundraising project that benefits the Armed Forces Foundation. The activities led up to Tuesday's special show at the Grand Ole Opry House. On the bill with White are megastar country act Rascal Flats, singer-songwriter Margo Rey and comedian Lewis Black. "Ron has become a really great friend over the last several years and it's good to be able to be in Nashville and help his effort out," said Busch. "Just being around Ron is a blast."(Tom Roberts PR)(2-16-2011)

  • Minnesota Congresswoman wants to ban military from NASCAR sponsorships: Rep. Betty McCollum wants to put the brakes on the Defense Department's 10-year sponsorship deal with NASCAR racing teams, saying the multimillion-dollar recruiting effort is a waste of money. The Minnesota Democrat is also dubious that stock car sponsorship has much to do with enlistment numbers or troop readiness. "This is not only putting a sticker on the car. This is paying for a racing team," Ms. McCollum's chief of staff, Bill Harper, told Washington Wire. "That doesn't contribute to military readiness." The amendment is one of more than 400 that lawmakers want attached to Rep. Paul Ryan's spending bill to fund the government through Sept. 30. Ms. McCollum's office estimates the Pentagon has spent more than $100 million on its own NASCAR teams. Col. Derik Crotts, director of the army's sponsorship, told Washington Wire in an email that the Army spends $7 million a year on its racing team, and finds it valuable. "Youth surveys show that motorsports is a passion point for young Americans," wrote Col. Crotts. "It is critical that the Army use these passion points to communicate with prospects and their influencers." He continued, "In a 2009 among nationwide fans, 37% feel more positive about the Army due to its involvement in motorsports."(Wall Street Journal)(2-16-2011)

  • How Goodyear came up with the Daytona 500 tire: Goodyear tire company recently out out a press release about how they came up with the tire for the Daytona 500, see it at PRnewswire.com - Goodyear Answers Challenge of Daytona International Speedway Repave. Also, see Goodyear's video at their YouTube page that tells the story of Goodyear's tire development process.(2-16-2011)

  • Daytona 500 Tidbits:
    * The 2011 edition will be the 53rd running of the Daytona 500.
    * Although the first Daytona 500 was held in 1959, it has been the season-opener only since 1982.
    * 514 drivers have competed in at least one Daytona 500; 304 in more than one.
    * 34 drivers have won a Daytona 500.
    * Eight drivers have won more than one Daytona 500, led by Richard Petty, with seven victories.
    * The eight drivers who have won the Daytona 500 more than once: Richard Petty (seven), Cale Yarborough (four), Bobby Allison (three), Dale Jarrett (three), Jeff Gordon (three), Bill Elliott (two), Sterling Marlin (two) and Michael Waltrip (two).
    * Fred Lorenzen posted a top-10 finish in eight of his nine Daytona 500s, the best percentage of drivers who have competed in more than two Daytona 500s.
    * Dale Earnhardt finished in the top 10 in 16 of his 23 Daytona 500s.
    * Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty each had 16 top 10s in the Daytona 500, more than any other driver.
    * Dale Earnhardt had 12 top fives in the Daytona 500, more than any other driver.
    * Only 12 drivers have an average finish of 10th or better in the Daytona 500, five of those competed in the Daytona 500 only once.
    * Clint Bowyer has an 11.2 average finish in five appearances, the best of the active drivers who have competed in more than one Daytona 500.
    * Other than Lee Petty, who won the inaugural Daytona 500, no driver has ever won in his first appearance.
    * 28 of the 34 drivers who have won, participated in at least two Daytona 500s before visiting Victory Lane.
    * Dale Earnhardt competed 19 times before winning his only Daytona 500 (1998), the longest span of any of the 34 race winners.
    * Six drivers made 10 or more attempts before their first Daytona 500 victory: Dale Earnhardt (19), Buddy Baker (18), Darrell Waltrip (16), Bobby Allison (14), Michael Waltrip (14) and Sterling Marlin 12).
    * The most Daytona 500s all-time without a victory was Dave Marcis (33 races).
    * Mark Martin (26) leads active drivers without a victory.
    * Six drivers posted their career-first victory with a win in the Daytona 500: Tiny Lund (1963), Mario Andretti (1967), Pete Hamilton (1970), Derrike Cope (1990), Sterling Marlin (1994) and Michael Waltrip (2001).
    * Three other drivers posted their career-first victory in (point-paying) qualifying races: Johnny Rutherford (1963), Bobby Isaac (1964) and Earl Balmer (1966).
    * A driver has won back-to-back Daytona 500s three times. Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84) and Sterling Marlin (1994-95).
    * Kevin Harvick’s 0.020-second margin of victory over Mark Martin in the 2007 Daytona 500 is the 10th-closest overall since the advent of electronic timing in 1993, and the closest in a Daytona 500.
    * 26 of the 52 Daytona 500s have been won from a top-five starting position.
    * Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500 from the 39th starting position in 2009, the deepest a race winner has started.
    * Nine have been won from the pole. The last to do so was Dale Jarrett, in 2000.
    * 16 Daytona 500s have been won from the front row.
    * Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd.
    * The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959.
    * Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona.
    * Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under lights ever since.
    * There have been 127 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 52 have been 500 miles, 48 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races.
    * Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona.
    * Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, the 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500.
    * Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959.
    * Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400.
    * 52 drivers have posted poles at Daytona.
    * Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles at Daytona.
    * Bill Elliott leads all active drivers with five poles at Daytona.
    * 54 drivers have won at Daytona.
    * Richard Petty leads all drivers in victories at Daytona with 10.
    * Jeff Gordon has six victories at Daytona, more than any other active driver.
    * The Wood Brothers have won 14 races at Daytona, more than any other car owner.
    * 17 full-length races at Daytona have been won from the pole, the last to do it was Kevin Harvick in last year’s Coke Zero 400.
    * A driver has swept both races at Daytona only four times, most recently by Bobby Allison in 1982.
    * There have been 165 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Florida.
    * 161 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series have their home state recorded as Florida.
    * There have been nine race winners whose hometown is Florida in NASCAR’s three national series.(NASCAR)(2-16-2011)

  • MRN visits Speediatrics: Announcers and staff from the Motor Racing Network helped celebrate the fifth anniversary of the NASCAR Foundation with a trip to visit patients at Speediatrics, the inpatient pediatrics unit at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach. MRN not only had the chance to tour the state-of-the-art facility, but more importantly had the opportunity to talk with some of the patients along with distributing NASCAR Foundation Teddy Bears and Valentines Day gift bags. Since 2006, The NASCAR Foundation and its supporters have been the heart of the NASCAR community, encouraging, facilitating and guiding philanthropic efforts. In five years, The NASCAR Foundation has awarded $11.5 million in charitable donations. The effort of The NASCAR Foundation has served more than 600 charities, assisted in providing 20,000 children with medical treatment each year at Speediatrics' hospital units in Daytona Beach and Miami, Fla., given more than 1,000 children the Victory Junction camping experience, and fulfilled 500 NASCAR Dreams by bringing youth to a race track for a once-in-a-lifetime NASCAR race experience. The NASCAR Foundation is dedicated to raising funds and increasing volunteerism to support charities and charitable causes throughout the nation with an emphasis placed on initiatives that help children to live happier, healthier lives.(MRN), more info about NASCAR Day on my Racing Charities page.(2-16-2011)

  • Sad News - Ann E Kotowicz: Ann E. Kotowicz passed away unexpectedly Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. Ann was the mother of Yvonne Pittman an official from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ann was a lover of aviation, travel and NASCAR [and had recently been given the Kobalt Tools 500 trophy by Carl Edwards]. She will be deeply missed by her three children Denise Jirsa, Ken Kotowicz and Yvonne Pittman. In lieu of flowers people donate to Area Agency on Aging, specify the SAIL Program 1366 E. Thomas Road, Suite 108 Phoenix, AZ 85014. services will be in Chicago in the near future.(full obit at the Chicago Tribune)(2-16-2011)

  • IMS's Carnegie's life celebrated: He had a voice larger than life and became as much a part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the famed Yard of Bricks, but Tom Carnegie was one of us, a friendly, caring man of the people. That was the common theme throughout a host of tributes paid Feb. 15 during a celebration of the life of Carnegie, the longtime IMS Public Address announcer who died Feb. 11 at age 91. An overflow crowd packed the IMS Hall of Fame Museum for the ceremony honoring Carnegie, who served as the Public Address announcer at IMS for 61 consecutive years, from 1946-2006. He called 61 Indianapolis 500's, 12 Brickyard 400's and six United States Grands Prix for millions of fans at IMS. Indianapolis television sports anchor Dave Calabro served as host of the ceremony. Calabro worked for many years on the public address at IMS with Carnegie and leads the announcing team today. Members of Carnegie's family, including two of his children, attended the ceremony. Nancy George affectionately shared an anecdote about how she and her brother and sisters would ride their bikes around IMS as children, pretending they were race drivers. But one of the George children always played Carnegie?s role as Public Address announcer.(IMS)(2-16-2011)

  • Martina McBride to sing National Anthem for Daytona 500: Fresh off her rousing opening performance at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, Country music star Martina McBride will sing the National Anthem for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 20, NASCAR biggest and most prestigious race of the season. McBride is a four-time Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, three-time American Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year and a Grammy winning recording artist with more than 18 million in album sales and 24 top-10 singles, including six that reached No. 1. Tickets for all of 2011 Speedweeks events, including the 53rd annual Daytona 500, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-16-2011)

  • New Hampshire installing new State-of-the-Art Video Scoreboard: In what could be one of the best fan enhancements in the 21-year history of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a new $1.2 million, state-of-the-art Panasonic scoreboard and video system will be in place when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to New England's largest sports and entertainment facility on July 17. As part of the track's on-going effort to better the race-day experience for fans, the Panasonic scoreboard boasts a four-sided video display that stands 80-feet tall. That's 20-feet taller than the CITGO sign at Boston's Fenway Park. The new scoreboard has three, 32-foot-by-18-foot TV screens on the top, providing impressive views of race action and instant replays. Below the video boards will be a scrolling leaderboard with color graphics that gives fans running positions and lap times for all 43 drivers, along with interesting race statistics and event information. Crews have worked throughout the winter months to lay the new foundation, with phase two beginning next week. Officials of "The Magic Mile" plan to unveil the dynamic new scoreboard, which will be located in the middle of the infield, in May. The season of speed is fast approaching and tickets for the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 on July, 17, the INDYCAR 225 on Aug. 14 and the SYLVANIA 300 on Sept. 25 are now on sale. They can be purchased by calling the NHMS ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or visiting nhms.com.(2-16-2011)


    News from February 15, 2011

  • NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge set for May 19th: The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman, a fan-friendly, pit-crew competition featuring the top-24 NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesTM pit crews, is scheduled for Thursday, May 19, 2011, at Time Warner Cable Arena.
    The NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman will begin at 7:00pm/et and also will air on SPEED at 9:00pm/et that evening. Entering its seventh year, the competition is the signature lead-in event to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Saturday, May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    As the title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman, Sprint has been an integral part of the growth and the development of the event since its inception in 2005. Presenting sponsor Craftsman has been a long-time sponsor in the sport providing reliable tools for NASCAR, auto mechanics and do-it-yourself car enthusiasts.
    To qualify for the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman, teams must be eligible for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race or be the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Champion. NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race eligibility includes all NASCAR Sprint Cup race winners from 2010 and 2011, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winners from the past 10 years and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions from the past 10 years who are active drivers and have competed in at least one series event during the 2010 or 2011 season. Remaining unfilled positions will become available to the car owners ranked highest in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner point standings as of May 17.
    The following teams are currently eligible: #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota, #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy, #4 Red Bull Racing Toyota, #5 GoDaddy.com Chevy, #11 FedEx Toyota, #14 Office Depot Chevy, #16 3M Ford, #17 Crown Royal Ford, #18 M&M's Toyota, #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge, #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy, #29 Budweiser Chevy, #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevy, #39 US Army Chevy, #42 Target Chevy, #48 Lowe's Chevy, and #99 Aflac Ford. For more information, visit pitcrewchallenge.com.(2-15-2011)

  • TV Ratings for Bud Shootout & Qualifying: The 2011 NASCAR on FOX season got underway this weekend with the Bud Shootout and Daytona Qualifying. The Bud Shootout posted a decline in the overnights (-7%, 3.9/7 vs. 4.2/7) but fast national ratings have already been issued and in those figures the Shootout posted a slight increase over last year. The Bud Shootout earned a 4.5/8 (7.8 million viewers) nationally on Saturday night. That's +2% better than last year's 4.4/8. The Bud Shootout gave FOX an easy win for the night among broadcast networks. FOX's race averaged a 2.4 among Adults 18-49, more than doubling the 0.9 earned by both ABC and CBS. Although the household rating was up, average viewership was down -4% (7.8 mill. vs. 8.2). and ratings were down slightly across the most important demographics, including dips of -7% among Men 18-34 (1.4 vs. 1.5) and -9% among Men 18-49 (2.9 vs. 3.2).
    - Daytona 500 Qualifying averaged a 1.9/5 on FOX yesterday afternoon, a +19% gain over last year's 1.6/4. In what may be an indication of the season to come, both the Bud Shootout national rating and the Daytona Qualifying overnight were better than last year, but not quite as good as 2009. See TV Tatings season comparisons on my 2011 TV Ratings page.(2-15-2010)

  • Doug Yates speaks about changes: On Saturday, the sanctioning body requested teams disconnect air hoses to the radiator and air cooler. On Sunday, Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's Vice President of Competition, said that teams will be required to have an opening maximum size 2.5 inches tall by 20 inches wide on the front grille opening and install a pressure-relief valve on the water system that will be set at 33 psi before they return to Daytona on Wednesday. Doug Yates, head engine builder for Roush Yates Engines, spoke with Ford Racing about the change ramifications for his operation and his lack of surprise if more changes are on the way.
    DOUG YATES, HEAD ENGINE BUILDER, ROUSH YATES ENGINES
    Q) HOW MUCH WORK IS INVOLVED WITH THESE CHANGES TO GET READY FOR THIS WEEK?
    "The Daytona 500 is an historic event, it's our Super Bowl, and with a new track and new noses on the cars, I think everybody did their best to try to set the rules so when we got there we would have a good, competitive race.
    "Obviously, as we ran practice and the Bud Shootout those speeds are too high, which is a big concern. Second, NASCAR doesn't like the way the guys can push other cars for many laps. So, I think the first objective with these rules changes is it looks like NASCAR is trying to break the cars up and they're trying to limit how hot we can run these engines. As a result, they're gonna limit the front-end opening and put a pressure release valve at 33 psi, which is gonna bring down the operating limits of the engine.
    "What we've done this morning, probably like other shops, is we've gone to work on the dynamometer and understanding the system and we're working to optimize what we can, so when we go back we can have a safe, reliable race. The engines are turning more RPM than we had planned and what we feel comfortable with, and they're also gonna run hotter, so with this rule change it's gonna bring down how hot we can run them and it is concerning."
    ROBIN SAID THEY CAN STILL GO TO THE PLATE AND MAKE A CHANGE, IF NECESSARY. SO IS THIS A WEEK WHERE YOU PLAN FOR ALL POSSIBILITIES?
    "Absolutely. I wouldn't be surprised from the speeds that I've seen that we could have a plate change, so we are preparing as if that might come. The guys are working on that right now, and the one thing we can do today is work on the car as far as better jetting and the tune-up because the components are already built and at the track, so we can work on the things around them and try to make the best decisions, or have our notebook full of data so if we need to make a decision based on a plate change, we will."
    See full post on my Engine News page or at Ford Racing.(2-15-2011)

  • Sad News - Eugene T. Myers: Eugene Thomas Myers, 86, of 16 Myers Mountain Road, Leicester, died on Saturday, February 12, 2011. Myers was the father if FOX's Chris Myers, part of the NASCAR broadcast team. Mr. Myers served with the U.S. Navy during WWII. Mr. Myers served in the occupation of North Africa, the invasion of Sicily, the invasion of Italy, D-Day on Omaha Beach in Normandy, in the Pacific Theater, and in the occupation of the Philippines. He later retired as a letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service, and had worked part-time with Harry's Cadillac, Deal Buick, and Enterprise Car Rental. Mr. Myers was also a long-time member of a 12-step recovery group. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to CarePartners Hospice, P.O. 25338, Asheville, NC 28813. The on-line register is available at grocefuneralhome.com. For more and service info, go to the Asheville Citizen Times.(2-15-2011)

  • March Cup race at Bristol named Jeff Byrd 500, Presented by Food City: To honor Jeff Byrd, the dynamic President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway who passed away last October, Food City officials today announced the March 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Bristol Motor Speedway will carry a new name. Known since 1992 as the Food City 500, the spring event at Bristol Motor Speedway for 2011 is billed as the Jeff Byrd 500, presented by Food City. "Jeff Byrd was more than a business partner, he was a true friend to our company, our associates and to me and my family personally," said Food City President and CEO Steven C. Smith. "He spent years putting his guests first and instilling that attitude in his team".
    "We are all convinced that Jeff absolutely would not have wanted us to do this, as his focus was always on keeping the guests and sponsors of Bristol Motor Speedway front and center, but that's one of the reasons that this time, we're putting Jeff out front. It's only natural to honor someone who worked so hard to build this facility, this sport and this region." Bristol Motor Speedway Vice President and General Manager Jerry Caldwell said he was speechless when Smith made the offer to honor Byrd, who guided BMS and its employees for 15 years. "Right after we agreed to the partnership extension, Steve looked me right in the eye and said 'What are we going to do to honor Jeff?'" said Caldwell. "I told him we were talking about some different things and wanted to know what he had in mind. He said 'I want to name the race for him.'"
    "I was blown away. Here was a guy who had just agreed to a three year contract extension -- and that's not free -- and was sitting there offering to give up the race name for a year. I absolutely didn't know what to say. It was Jeff who coached us to exceed expectations and it was his effort to stay in the background that made us all so aware of his presence."
    AND Food City and Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced an agreement to continue their 20-year partnership into a third decade, extending for three more years the second-longest race sponsorship in NASCAR racing. Sponsor of both the Food City 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in March and the Food City 250 Nationwide event in August, 2011 will mark the 20th year the supermarket chain has served as the entitlement sponsor of these events. Only one other track in NASCAR has a longer such partnership. Food City's involvement at Bristol Motor Speedway goes beyond just race sponsorship. Food City Race Night on BMS property in March and on State Street in downtown Bristol in August are huge events that attract tens of thousands of race fans annually.
    Bristol Motor Speedway kicks off its 50th NASCAR season with Ford Fan Friday qualifying March 18, followed by the Scotts EZ Seed 300 March 19 and the Jeff Byrd 500, Presented by Food City March 20. In August, night racing returns with the Aug. 24 O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 and UNOH Perfect Storm 150 doubleheader, followed by the Food City 250 Aug. 26 and the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 27. Tickets are available to all events and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office toll free at 1-866-415-4158, 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or 423-989-6900 or by visiting www.bristoltix.com.(BMS)(2-15-2011)

  • Chevrolet Camaro SS to serve as Official Pace Car for Daytona 500: The Chevrolet Camaro SS will serve as the official pace car for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway – the second time in the past three years that the iconic automobile has paced the field for the "The Great American Race." In addition, behind the wheel of the Chevrolet Camaro as the Honorary Pace Car driver will be Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley, who is also performing the Daytona 500 Pre-Race show. The Chevrolet Camaro has previously paced the field for the Daytona 500 – NASCAR's signature event – three times beginning back in 1968 and 1969 and most recently in 2009. The 2011 Daytona 500 Camaro SS pace cars are adorned in a vibrant "Red Hot" color accented with "Platinum Ice" stripes. GM Accessory 21" wheels and tires are installed along with body colored ground effects, heritage grill, and tall rear spoiler. The cars also have fully integrated safety strobe systems with custom light bars and amber taillights.
    Tickets for Speedweeks 2011 events and the 53rd annual Daytona 500 are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS), see an image of the car on my 2011 Pace Car Page.(2-15-2011)


    News from February 14, 2011

  • Toyota to race a Camry in 2013, but....: Toyota will race a Camry in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013, but it won't be the same Camry you see on the track today, Toyota Racing Development president Lee White told Sporting News on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway. Expect Toyota to unveil a new-look Camry for the 2012 model year, one that will be incorporated into Cup racing for 2013, when all four manufacturers will introduce their new cars. "We're right there, pushing ahead," White said. "There's potentially a new car coming, a new Camry -- it's still going to be a Camry -- but at some point that look will be put into the new vehicle, and certainly for the '13 car. I think it's a '12 model that you'll see in the showrooms this fall, but the new car (for NASCAR) isn't coming 'til '13, so it's really how we deal with that -- if we do it with a decal package on the current car for '12 and then the whole new car which everyone's looking out for '13." All four manufacturers have been working on their designs for the 2013 cars in consultation with NASCAR. As is the case with the other carmakers, White expects the 2013 Camry to display more brand identity as well as a new look. "It's pretty sporty looking, I'll give you that, in my opinion," White said.(Sporting News)(2-14-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 Budweiser Shootout: For those of you 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. Cheryl began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 8:10 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:02 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 34
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 49
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 17
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 8:10 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:02 PM
    Total minutes: 112
    Minutes of race broadcast: 85
    Minutes of commercials: 27
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Number of Digger appearances: 6
    See more info and links on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(2-14-2011)

  • Doublemint back with Kyle Busch in 2011: Doublemint Gum will sponsor #18-Kyle Busch in three races during the 2011 season: Darlington, Bristol in August and Chicago. See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(2-14-2011)


    News from February 13, 2011

  • NASCAR Tweaks rules to limit drafting: NASCAR officials announced two technical changes Sunday evening aimed at preventing the sustained two-car drafts that dominated Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the body issued a bulletin to race teams with the following specifications:
    • The maximum size for the air inlet for the cooling system will be 2½ inches tall by 20 inches wide.
    • The pressure release valve on the water system will be set at 33 pounds per square inch.
    The intent is to set up the cars so they can't push each other in two-car tandems for extended runs without overheating. Teams try to line up drafting partners at Daytona and Talladega so they can overcome the limitations of the restrictor plates used to keep speeds down at those two tracks. "That will bring down the temperatures so the teams can't run at 290 or 300 degrees [without overheating] on the extended push of 30 or 40 laps," Pemberton said. "This will put [the water temperature in the engines] back in the 250-degree range." Several drivers, crew chiefs and team executives expected NASCAR to control the pressure relief valve. Jamie McMurray, who finished second to Kurt Busch in the Shootout, said many cars had valves that allowed the temperature up to 300 degrees before boiling over. That allowed the second car in the two-car draft to push longer without overheating -- some for more than a dozen laps -- under Saturday's cooler outdoor temperatures. The weather is expected to be warmer for Thursday's qualifying races and the Daytona 500.(see full story at ESPN.com)(2-13-2011)

  • Earnhardt Jr. wins Daytona 500 pole: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with a lap of 186.089 mph for his first Daytona 500 pole and 10th career pole. Earnhardt Jr. is the 36th driver to win the Daytona 500 pole. #24-Gordon will start 2nd, only he and Earnhardt Jr. have secured their exact starting spot. #21-Bayne was 3rd fastest, followed by #27-Menard, #33-Bowyer, #31-Burton, #39-Newman, #5-Martin, #16-Biffle and #14-Stewart. Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon swept the front row for Hendrick Motorsports, the third time HMS has done it. Earnhardt will start from the pole in the first Gatorade Duel and Gordon will start 1st in the 2nd Gatorade Duel. #09-Elliott (17th), #38-Kvapil (20th) and #87-Nemechek (21st) all earned spots in the race as the three fastest drivers among those required to qualify on speed. #32-Terry Labonte will also start the race since he has a past champions provisional to use unless he races his way into one of the two spots available in the Duel he races. With the exception of the front row, the starting lineup will be set by the Gaterade Duel races on Thursday, swcheduled for Thursday, February 17th at 2:00pm/et on SPEED. See the qualifying results on the Daytona 500 Qualifying page(2-13-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Daytona 500:
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Daytona 500 with a lap of 48.364 seconds, 186.089 mph.
    This is his 10th pole in 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. His last pole came at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, 2010.
    This is his first pole in 23 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    This is the third time Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start from the front row in the Daytona 500 (2003 and 2010).
    Jeff Gordon will start second in the Daytona 500, his third front row start in the event. He won the pole in 1999 and started second in 2006.
    The last driver to win the Daytona 500 from the pole was Dale Jarrett in 2000.
    The last driver to win the Daytona 500 from the second starting position was Dale Jarrett in 1993.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-13-2011)

  • Daytona plans Dale Earnhardt silent lap: Daytona International Speedway is asking for a moment of silence on the third lap of the Daytona 500 as a tribute to the late Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt was killed in an accident on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500. The speedway considered various ways to mark the 10-year anniversary of Earnhardt's death. "We felt the appropriate way to honor Dale Earnhardt was in the actual racing," said track president Joie Chitwood. "The best way to appreciate the things Dale did -- he was about racing -- and how we respect him should be on the track. That to us was a real racing tribute and more appropriate than anything we could have done in the pre-race show." Chitwood said track officials were working with the broadcast partners to go silent on the third lap of the Feb. 20 race. Fans will also be asked to stand and raise three fingers on that lap. The #3 will also be painted into the grass at Daytona on Saturday night before the season-opening race.(Associated Press)(2-13-2011)

  • Bud Shootout pole sitter, not a winner...again: With pole-sitter #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. failing to win, it marked the 21st consecutive year the driver who drew the pole did not win the Budweiser Shootout.(Virginian Pilot)(2-13-2011)


    News from February 12, 2011

  • Kurt Busch wins the Bud Shootout: #22-Kurt Busch won the 2011 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway for his first ever win at Daytona or in the Bud Shootout and first Bud Shootout for Dodge. A four pack run at the end had #11-Denny Hamlin passing #39-Ryan Newman, but Hamlin passed under the yellow line and was penalized to the end of the lead lap cars, which was 12th. Busch and Hamlin would had been a photo finish, but with the penalty, Busch got the win. #1-McMurray was 2nd, followed by #39-Newman, #48-Johnson, #16-Biffle, #24-Gordon, #31-Burton [led the most laps with 32], #33-Bowyer and #47-Labonte. Pole sitter, #88-Earnhardt Jr. was involved in a six car wreck at the beginning of the 2nd segment and finished 19th. There were 28 lead changes among 9 drivers and 4 cautions for 12 laps. The average speed was 153.142mph. See results, notes, segment 1 results, starting lineup, rules, history, all-time winners on my 2011 Budweiser Shootout page.(2-12-2011)

  • Final results of the 2011 Budweiser Shootout:
    #22-Busch, Dodge, started 17th, led 3 laps
    #1-McMurray, Chevy, started 14th
    #39-Newman, Chevy, started 8th, led 18 laps
    #48-Johnson, Chevy, started 23rd, led 7 laps
    #16-Biffle, Ford, started 11th
    #24-Gordon, Chevy, started 12th, led 1 lap
    #29-Harvick, Chevy, started 18th
    #31-Burton, Chevy, started 15th, led 32 laps
    #33-Bowyer, Chevy, started 7th, led 4 laps
    #47-Labonte, Toyota, started 6th
    #14-Stewart, Chevy, started 2nd, 4 laps led
    #11-Hamlin, Toyota, started 4th
    #17-Kenseth, Ford, started 19th, - 1 lap
    #64-Cope, Toyota, started 9th, -2 laps
    #15-Waltrip, Toyota, started 10th, DNF - accident, -28 laps
    #18-Busch, Toyota, started 21st, led 2 laps, DNF - accident, -34 laps
    #5-Martin, Chevy, started 20th, DNF - accident, -39 laps
    #20-Logano, Toyota, started 22nd, DNF - accident, -48 laps
    #88-Earnhardt Jr., Chevy, started 1st, led 4 laps, DNF - accident, -48 laps
    #42-Montoya, Chevy, started 13th, DNF - accident, -48 laps
    #99-Edwards, Ford, started 3rd, DNF - accident, -48 laps
    #78-Smith, Chevy, started 24th, DNF - accident, -48 laps
    #97-Conway, Toyota, started 16th, DNF - accident, -49 laps
    #4-Kahne, Toyota, started 5th, DNF - engine, -68 laps
    9 leaders with 28 lead changes, 4 cautions for 12 laps
    average speed: 153.142mph
    (2-12-2011)

  • Bud Shootout Post-Race Fast Facts:
    #22-Kurt Busch won the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, his first victory in eight starts in the preseason event.
    There were 28 lead changes, a Budweiser Shootout record.
    This is the first win by a Dodge in the Budweiser Shootout.
    #1-Jamie McMurray (second) matched his best Budweiser Shootout finish (2009).
    #39-Ryan Newman (third) posted his third top-five finish in the Budweiser Shootout.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(2-12-2011)

  • Qualifying Order for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway is posted. 49 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
    The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #2-Keselowski.
    The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #11-Hamlin.
    The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #57-Benning with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #92-Keselwoski.
    See the full qualifying order on the Daytona 500 Qualifying Page.(2-12-2011)

  • Practice 2 for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #5-Martin 185.311
    #48-John 184.991
    #21-Bayne 184.763
    #31-Burton 184.763
    #27-Menard 184.699
    slowest: #92-Keselowski 176.595 & #32-Labonte 180.346
    no speed: #57-Benning, #64-Cope
    SPEED reported that Benning would not be able to take a qualifying lap on Sunday, but if he practices Wed, he can race in the Duel.
    See all practice speeds on the Daytona Practice Speeds page.(2-12-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these four drivers would make the race via speed:
    #09-Elliott [PC2], was 12th fastest
    #36-Blaney 20th
    #15-Waltrip, 23rd
    #32-TLabonte [PC1], 46th fastest but would use the past champ prov
    these drivers would need to race their way into the Daytona 500 via the Gatorade Duel
    ....but could make it by speed if the first four drivers race their way in to the race:

    #38-Kvapil 25th
    #13-Mears, 27th
    #87-Nemechek, 34th
    #60-Bodine, 37th
    these drivers would need to race their way into the Daytona 500 via the Gatorade Duel
    #97-Conway, 38th
    #46-Yeley, 43rd
    #66-McDowell, 44th
    #92-Brian Keselowski, 47th
    #64-Cope, didn't run
    #57-Benning, didn't run
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Practice 1 for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #5-Martin 184.877
    #24-Gordon 184.513
    #27-Menard 184.317
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 184.249
    #31-Burton 184.230
    slowest: #92-Keselowski 176.136 and #64-Cope 177.228
    no speed: #57-Benning
    notes: #1-McMurray slapped the wall late in the practice after losing a right front tire, will go to a backup car. Just after that incident, a jet dryer caught fire and left fuel on the track, so practice was ended as the track workers cleaned up the track.
    See all practice speeds on the Daytona Practice Speeds page.(2-12-2011)

  • added the 2011 Bud Shootout Paint Scheme page with ALL 24 cars posted.(2-12-2011)

  • added a BUNCH of #47 schemes including #47 Bush Baked Beans, #47 Clorox, #47 Kingsford Charcoal, #47 Kleenex, #47 Kroger / USO, #47 Lance Snacks, #47 Little Debbie, #47 Rain Eater, #47 Reese Towpower and #47 Scotts

  • Jay Guy Named Crew Chief for #71 team: TRG Motorsports has tapped veteran NASCAR crew chief Jay Guy to sit atop its #71 pit box for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Guy, who begins his new assignment this weekend in Daytona, will call the race for Andy Lally, who was announced last week as the driver for TRG Motorsports’ 500 Daytona entry. “Jay comes to us highly recommended. We’re very happy to have him on board,” said Kevin Buckler, team owner. “He’s got exactly the kind of experience we’ve been looking for to lead the team and guide Andy through his rookie season. He’ll fit in well at TRG. He’s got the same kind of passion and desire to win that our team has from top to bottom.” Guy, a native of Lancaster, Pa., comes to TRG Motorsports from Penske Racing, where he spent the 2010 season calling the shots for Brad Keselowski’s Sprint Cup team.(TRG Motorsports)(2-12-2011)

  • No drivers points for some drivers: Eights drivers are listed on the Daytona 500 entry list as not running for Sprint Cup Series driver championship points, declaring to get points in wither the Nationwide Series or the Camping World Truck Series:
    #21-Bayne, Nationwide
    #37-Richardson Jr., Nationwide
    #38-Kvapil, Trucks
    #57-Benning, unknown
    #64-Bodine, Trucks
    #77-Steve Wallace, Nationwide
    #87-Nemechek, Nationwide
    #97-Conway, unknown
    Nationwide and Truck Series entry lists are not out yet, so there may be other drivers.(2-12-2011)

  • No restrictor plate change for Bud Shootout BUT air hose change: NASCAR will NOT change the restrictor plate size for tonight’s Budweiser Shootout, Cup Series Director John Darby said Saturday morning but NASCAR is making a change in hopes of slowing the cars. Ten drivers hit 200 mph or more _ led by Joey Logano’s lap of 203.087 _ in Friday night’s practice session at Daytona International Speedway. Drivers were aided by cooler evening temperatures, a resurfaced race track and the ability to run several laps in a row stuck in a two-car track, building momentum and speed around the 2.5-mile speedwday.
    Here’s what NASCAR will do, according to Darby: “There’s a couple of fresh air hoses that a lot of the teams added _ that are OK, it’s not something that they did outside of us knowing about it _ and we’re just taking them back off,’’ Darby said. “If the cars can heat up a little quicker to where we can limit the amount of laps that they push each other for all the reasons we’ll probably have a little better race out of the deal. At tracks other than Daytona and Talladega you would have a brake duct installed and run air hoses to the brakes. Nobody uses brake cooling here, so in the same real estate, we said, all right, go ahead and put a couple of hoses in here to help to get some extra air to your radiator and oil coolers. We don’t believe it’s needed for a normal, functioning race car on the race track, so we’re going to take it off.’’
    Asked about concerns with laps exceeding 200 mph, Darby said: “It’s all relative. The only way they get that fast is to do multiple laps of two-car pushes to where the momentum continues to build. The exact same race cars with no change, no plate change anything else in a conventional drafting pack are currently running about 193 mph. So, that’s what you’ve got to watch and look for.’’(Virginian Pilot)(2-12-2011)
    But another Change Typically when speeds cross the 200-mph barrier at Daytona or Talladega, NASCAR goes to a different restrictor plate that causes less air flow to the engines and slows the cars down. NASCAR officials elected not to in this situation but did make a small change. Air hoses that were added to the cars this week will not be allowed. Teams have reached higher speeds by lining up in two-car breakaways in which the rear car pushes the front car. That move quickly causes the rear car to overheat after a few laps, so teams were allowed to add additional air hoses to help cool the engines. Those hoses will be removed, which NASCAR hopes will cause the rear car to back off after a couple of laps. But no one knows for sure how it will work or whether it will limit the two-car breakaway runs. Restrictor-plate changes or other rule adjustments still could come before the Daytona 500 next weekend, depending on what happens in Saturday night's race and how fast the cars go next week in practice and the qualifying races.(ESPN)(2-12-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections - Bud Shootout: The selections of pit stalls for the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway have been made. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who chose the pole position, chose pit stall 2, the first stall available.
    Outside pole sitter #14-Stewart took pit stall 20, a stall with no cars in front or behind it.
    The final pit stall was taken by #47-Labonte, who starts 6th.
    To see where the three Chase drivers and all the other drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-12-2011)

  • Ford asks NASCAR to approve Mustang for 2013: The Ford Motor Co. has informed NASCAR it would like to race the Mustang in the elite Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2013. "We have declared our interest to NASCAR that we would like to see the Mustang in Cup," Jamie Allison, director of Ford's North American Motorsports program, told The Associated Press on Friday. The approval process to replace the Fusion with the iconic muscle car could take all year, and depends on the Mustang being competitively equal to the sedan models entered by rival manufacturers Dodge, General Motors and Toyota. Ford's motive is to get a car on the track that resembles one that can be purchased off a showroom floor. "We are driving to make sure that the car we race is more consistent and more in context with the cars we sell," Allison said. "They have to look like the cars we sell." Ford, which is seeking its 600th win in the Cup Series in the season-opening Daytona 500, will continue to race the Fusion this season and next.(Associated Press)(2-12-2011)

  • Green Flag Drops for NASCAR on FOX's 11th Season: NASCAR on FOX begins 11th season begins at Daytona International Speedway as FOX Sports jump-starts its 11th season of coverage on Saturday, Feb. 12 with the Budweiser Shootout in prime time (8:00 pm/et) and Daytona 500 Qualifying on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 1:00 pm/et. NASCAR on FOX host Chris Myers, along with analysts Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Hammond provide prerace coverage with up-to-the-second reports and live interviews with drivers, crew and officials shaping the day's action. Once the green flag drops, race announcer Mike Joy will be alongside analysts Waltrip and Larry McReynolds to call all the twists and turns on the track while Dick Berggren, Steve Byrnes, Krista Voda and Matt Yocum patrol the pits for reports on teams and pit stops.(FoxSports)(2-12-2011)

  • Daytona unveils new Infield Tailgate Zones for Daytona 500: Daytona International Speedway announced new opportunities for fans to enjoy one of sports' greatest traditions – tailgating – in the infield of the "World Center of Racing" for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20. For $50, Daytona 500 grandstand ticket holders can purchase an infield parking space for their car/light truck in one of two Infield Tailgate Zones located inside the legendary infield of Daytona International Speedway. The Infield Tailgate Zone package provides six tailgate zone admissions and a parking spot for tailgating before and after the Daytona 500. In between tailgating, race fans can enjoy the first "Great American Race" on the newly paved racing surface from their frontstretch grandstand seat. To purchase an Infield Tailgate Zone package, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-12-2011)

  • Lucas Oil to sponsor Truck Series races at Dover and Nashville: Lucas Oil, Dover International Speedway and Nashville Superspeedway have entered into a new partnership agreement that names the manufacturer of problem solving additives and high performance lubricants as title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at both Dover Motorsports, Inc. facilities. The "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, May 13 will kickoff the May 13-15, 2011 NASCAR tripleheader at the Monster Mile in Dover, Del. The "Lucas Deep Clean 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, July 22 will be held under the lights at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn. as part of a NASCAR doubleheader on July 22-23, 2011.
    Tickets are now on sale for NASCAR's return to the Monster Mile on May 13-15, 2011. To purchase tickets, call 1-800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.
    NASCAR returns to Nashville Superspeedway on April 22-23, 2011. To purchase tickets, call 1-866-RACE-TIX or visit NashvilleSuperspeedway.com.(Dover Motorsports PR)(2-12-2011)


    News from February 11, 2011


    Remember Dale Earnhardt

  • RCR and ECR Honor Dale Earnhardt at Daytona: Richard Childress Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines will pay tribute to the life and legacy of the legendary Dale Earnhardt throughout 2011 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Commemorative #3 decals will adorn all eight of RCR's race cars, transporters and pit boxes. ECR employees will wear special ECR/#3 hats at the track throughout Speedweeks while RCR employees will wear special RCR/#3 hats February 18.
    "All of us at RCR and ECR are honored to pay tribute to Dale on this 10th anniversary," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines. "His legacy is still felt every day at RCR, ECR and throughout the world. We hope all of Dale's fans appreciate this salute to their hero and ours."
    The #29 Budweiser Chevy has been adorned with a small #3 decal since Kevin Harvick assumed the driving duties of RCR's former No. 3 Chevrolet in the second race of the 2001 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season after Earnhardt's passing at Daytona on February 18, 2001.(RCR)(2-11-2011)


  • Fuel Injection to NASCAR in 2012: NASCAR is expected to announce Friday that the Sprint Cup Series will shift to fuel injection in time for the 2012 season-opening Daytona 500. It is expected that Britain's McLaren Electronic Systems will provide the controller through a partnership with Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. out of Austin, Texas. Testing and development of the components will continue throughout the year.(FoxSports)(2-11-2011)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced a historic technology partnership with Freescale Semiconductor and McLaren Electronic Systems to develop and integrate fuel injection systems into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, targeted for the 2012 season. Freescale will provide the processors for McLaren’s engine control units (ECUs) that will be used to manage the fuel and ignition systems in the engines for all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, replacing carburetors which have been used in the series since its inception in 1949. NASCAR and its top series teams will test the technology during the 2011 season with the anticipation of the systems being rolled out for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The fuel injection system will bring increased technology and efficiency to the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars while at the same time complementing the car’s high performance. This announcement marks the most significant strategic change to NASCAR’s engine platform in decades. As part of this program, Freescale is designated as the “Official Automotive Semiconductor of NASCAR” and McLaren the “Official Engine Control Unit of NASCAR.”
    For decades, most of the parts and equipment on NASCAR race cars have been highly customized for racing but at the same time relevant in standard automobiles. This move to fuel injection brings back an important synergy between these two vehicle types. ECUs maximize each racing team’s ability to get the most performance and best fuel economy under all race conditions. With this announcement, plans call for every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team to use a control system with Freescale’s advanced 32-bit Power Architecture based engine management processors at its core, beginning in 2012. These same processors power millions of today’s most energy efficient engines.
    The ECUs are tamper-proof, ensuring that only approved software may ever be run during a race weekend. Additionally, NASCAR will have special electronic tools at its disposal during every event to ensure the legality of all ECUs.(NASCAR)
    AND Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, said during the news conference that Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series will not be going to the fuel injection system in 2012 and that NASCAR is working on a new engine package for both series (Nancy/Jayski)(2-11-2011)

  • 'Voice of the Speedway' Tom Carnegie dies: The golden voice of the Indianapolis 500 is now quiet. Tom Carnegie died today at a health care facility in Zionsville. He was 91. Carnegie began working as Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s lead announcer in 1946, a career spanning six decades. His deep, measured voice was iconic even among the icons of auto racing. “He’s one of those personalities where you wish time would stand still so he could be forever with us,” 1969 race winner Mario Andretti once said. A longtime Zionsville resident, he is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, D.J., and their three children, Blair, Charlotte and Robert. Until 2007, when he helped call his final 500, he seldom missed a day in May at the Speedway. For fans and competitors, it wasn’t a day at the track until he said “Good morning, race fans” across the loud speakers.
    Two of Carnegie’s sayings will live forever in the hearts of race fans:
    “Heeee’s on it” in describing the start of an official qualifying attempt; “It’s a newwww track record.” See more at the Indianapolis Star, with a link there to leave thoughts.(2-11-2011)

  • Burton close to re-upping with RCR: #31-Jeff Burton said Thursday he wants to finish his NASCAR Sprint Cup racing career at Richard Childress Racing. A deal is being put in place that will get him closer to that goal. Burton, who’s current contract with RCR is set to expire at the end of the year, is currently working on a three-year extension with RCR. Burton’s current sponsor Caterpillar also has an expiring contract, but it is expected that it will return as primary sponsor, although to a lesser extent than their current involvement, according to sources.(FoxSports)(2-11-2011)

  • Hamlin and Michael Jordon team up: #11-Denny Hamlin announced Thursday he has a deal with Nike's Michael Jordan Brand. Jordan's famous "jumpman" logo will appear on Hamlin's firesuit, gloves and shoes. "It's a big deal for myself and really NASCAR," Hamlin said during the preseason media tour at Daytona International Speedway. "The Jordan Brand has never been in NASCAR before. It is a dream come true for me. To me the Jordan Brand represents excellence in sports." Hamlin and Jordan developed a relationship after the six-time NBA champion and Hall of Famer took over as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats last year. What Hamlin didn't realize until recently was that Jordan is a motorsports fan. "He always talked to me last year about how the race went, because he watched the races," Hamlin said. "I never knew he really kept track of racing that much until I dug a little deeper and found he's had his motorcycle team since 2004. He's always been an avid motorsports fan. He just never knew the right situation to get into NASCAR, and he felt like I was the right representative for him." Said Jordan: "Denny's confidence and passion for racing along with his determination for excellence on the track make him a valuable addition to the Jordan Brand. We look forward to working with Denny as he continues to take his success to the next level."(ESPN.com)(2-11-2011)

  • Martin Not Rushing Decision: Mark Martin is set for the 2011 season back behind the wheel of the Hendrick Motorsports #5 GoDaddy.com Chevy. But beyond that, Martin's not interested in discussing his future plans. The veteran driver is concentrating on his third year with Hendrick and a run at a Sprint Cup Series championship and does not intend to look beyond the coming year at this point. "I'm not talking about 2012 until I have something to talk about," Martin said. "I'm not worried about it. I am embracing 2011. I'm more exciting than I can remember being to get back to the race track where there competitors are, where the fans are. This is the best part. I'm living the best part of my life right now."(Motor Racing Network)(2-11-2011)

  • Jimmie Johnson to appear on Real Sports: With another Sprint Cup championship performance in 2010, Jimmie Johnson continues to make racing history by becoming the first driver to win five consecutive titles. Named 2010 Driver of the Year, Johnson and his #48 car and crew are clearly the sport's best, though they continue to hear criticism from unsatisfied fans and press. First covered on REAL SPORTS in 2008 and then the subject of a "24/7" reality series on the network in 2010, Johnson has raised his national profile while continuing to excel. In this REAL SPORTS/Sports Illustrated collaboration, correspondent Jon Frankel reconnects with Jimmie Johnson as he prepares for the start of the 2011 season at Daytona. The episode premiere's on HBO, Tuesday, February 15 at 10:00pm/et, with many re-airs, see HBO.com for full schedule of shows.(HBO)(2-11-2011)

  • Ambrose to test at Disney World: The #9 Richard Petty Motorsports team are scheduled to spend Tuesday, February 15th testing at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, Florida.(RPM)(2-11-2011)


    News from February 10, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted, 48 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #32-Terry Labonte (1996 Champ)(no 2010 attempts)
    #09-Bill Elliott (1988 Champ)(39th in 2010 owners pts/36 attempts)
    #13-Casey Mears (38/36)
    #15-Michael Waltrip (53/1)
    #36-Dave Blaney (40/36)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (36/36)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (42/36)
    #57-Norm Benning (63/1)
    #60-Todd Bodine (none)
    #64-Derrike Cope (46/24)
    #66-Michael McDowell (44/36)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/36)
    #97-Kevin Conway (56/2)
    In the event seven practices, qualifying AND the Gatorade Duels are all rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 32,09,38,13,36,87,46,66
    missing the race would be [5]: #'s 64,97,15,57,60
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Daytona 500 Entry List.(2-10-2011)

  • Nemechek gets sponsors for Daytona: NEMCO Motorsports announced that AM FM Energy LLC will be the primary sponsor of Joe Nemechek’s NEMCO Motorsports team for the #87 Toyota, running in the Daytona 500 on Sunday February 20, 2011, with an associate sponsorship on the #87 Toyota in the Drive4COPD 300 on Saturday February 19, 2011. “We keep coming back to Joe and Nemco because every time our name is on the car we get a boost in our business,” said Andy Mays, president of AM FM Energy. “We see our partnership as a winning combination for both sides and hope our support will return a great boost for Joe and his teams as well.” AM FM Energy, based in Clifford, Va., is celebrating its sixth year in business as a leader in alternative energy solutions. The company specializes in multi-fuel stoves, wood stoves and pellet stoves. They are a notable distributor of high quality Timber Ridge line of wood and pellet stoves from England Stove Works. NEMCO Motorsports announced D.A.B. Constructors, Inc. as primary sponsor of driver Joe Nemechek’s #87 NASCAR entry for the Drive4COPD 300 Nationwide Series on Saturday, February 19, 2011. In addition, D.A.B Constructors will be an associate sponsor on the #87 Sprint Cup Toyota as part of the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 events at Daytona International Speedway.(NEMCO)(2-12-2011)

  • No rookie of the year in 2011?: NASCAR will not allow a driver to earn rookie-of-the-year honors if the driver has not declared to run for the season championship in that series, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Thursday. That means that rookie #21-Trevor Bayne will not be allowed to run for the Cup rookie award this year. Bayne, who will run at least 17 races for Wood Brothers Racing and was potentially the only rookie in the Sprint Cup series, is competing full time for the championship in the Nationwide Series for Roush Fenway Racing. The current rule states that drivers who compete in more than seven races in one season uses up his rookie eligibility. Tharp said NASCAR is looking at that provision and what should be the limit under the new rules.(SceneDaily)(2-10-2011)

  • Motorsports program offered for veterans with disabilities: Starting in March, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, in partnership with SMP Motorsports, will offer a certificate program in motorsports management technology for military veterans with physical disabilities. RCCC will offer all of the courses in the program at the SMP Motorsports racing facilities in Mooresville. The program is comprised of seven courses, offered over three semesters. Program classes will begin March 16. “In 2010, SMP Motorsports founder Sue Roberson established the ‘Manpower-to-Horsepower’ program for disabled military veterans that included track ride-alongs in a customized, late-model, dirt track race car,” said Richmond Gage, head of the RCCC motorsports management technology program. “Ms. Roberson wanted to expand her program to include hands-on training, and she contacted RCCC to see how we could work together. We are honored and proud to offer this program for veterans with disabilities. This is another example of RCCC working with community partners to meet the varied needs of our students,” Gage said.
    RCCC’s motorsports management certificate program for veterans with disabilities has been approved by the U.S. Veteran’s Administration for vocational rehabilitation. All program courses are approved by the N.C. Community College System and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The program will accept 15 students initially and will evaluate the need for additional enrollment after a first semester review. Anyone who wants to enter the program must complete an RCCC admissions application. An on-line application can be found at rccc.edu/admissions/. For more details about SMP Motorsports and its Manpower-to-Horsepower program, please visit its website at manpowertohorsepower.com.(Salisbury Post)(2-10-2011)

  • NASCAR hall posts largest monthly loss: The NASCAR Hall of Fame lost $327,041 in December, the largest monthly deficit since the hall opened in May. The losses were somewhat expected, as December was originally projected to be a slow month for the $200 million racing museum. In the original budget, the hall was expected to lose $118,171 for the month. Attendance for December was 14,636. For the first six months of the fiscal year, which began July 1, the hall has lost $836,745. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which operates the city-owned hall, has scrapped its original budget. It has slashed expenses and now projects the hall will lose $1.288 million for the fiscal year. The CRVA has said that it will cover the hall’s loss this year from its own reserves. It’s unclear how the CRVA would handle future losses, but it would likely ask the Charlotte City Council to use reserves from hospitality taxes to pay for any shortfall. The city and the CRVA have said that general fund tax dollars won’t be used. From the hall’s opening May 11 through the end of December – a period of just under eight months – total attendance has been 197,737. The first-year projection was for 800,000 people, but it appears the hall will attract between 250,000 and 275,000 people. Hall officials have said they need to attract 350,000 people to break even. In January, the hall held a free open house for one week, for two hours a day in the afternoon. The open house attracted nearly 12,000 visitors but it’s unclear if the hall has been able to make money off the visitors from food or merchandise sales.(Charlotte Observer)(2-10-2011)

  • Greg Biffle, Roush close to new deal: #16-Greg Biffle said Thursday that he and primary sponsor 3M are close to reaching an extension with Roush Fenway Racing. Biffle and teammate Carl Edwards are in the final year of their contracts with Roush Fenway. Biffle said negotiations on his deal are to the point that they could be concluded before the end of the first quarter of the season, or perhaps by the break that occurs after the third Cup race. Biffle would not reveal the length of the deal, but said he expects it to be in the two- to three-year range as most recent contracts are. He added that the value of the deal, because of economic conditions, will be "significantly" less than his last contract signed in 2008. "It'll be a big adjustment for a lot of people," said Biffle, one of eight Sprint Cup drivers who will be a free agent after this season. "Lots of us had some pretty rich deals in the heyday. It's going to get a reset." As an example, Biffle said that if sponsor dollars are down 40%, "that's got to come from somewhere." He added, though, that the 3M portion of the deal will surprise people, a suggestion that the length of the contract could be for more than three years.(ESPN)(2-10-2011)

  • Robby Gordon teams with Dodge in 2011: #7-Robby Gordon will be driving a Dodge Charger during the 2011 season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In response to the partnership with Robby Gordon Motorsports, Dodge President & CEO Ralph Gilles issued the following statement: "We’re excited Robby will be joining the Dodge Motorsports program in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2011. We like the competitive flair and skill he brings to the track. Robby’s driving style mirrors the performance attitude of the rejuvenated Dodge brand, so he’s a welcome addition to our team. We believe you don’t need a certain number of cars to be successful in racing. The key is having the right combination of teams, drivers and technology. We already have a strong foundation with Penske Racing and the Dodge engineering team can easily support another Sprint Cup Series team. Our technical support will be a valuable asset for Robby Gordon Motorsports.”
    Robby Gordon (#7 SPEED Energy Dodge Charger) issued the following statement: "I'm excited to be associated with a manufacturer again. I like the things that Dodge has been doing to build brand awareness. They have an impressive factory and facility, and their product line is top notch. I've really enjoyed putting this deal together with Ralph Gilles and Bryan Viger; they are a fun, youthful, forward-thinking group. I've worked with Dodge in the past and have always had a great relationship with Dodge corporate."(Darnell Communications), see an image of the car on the #7 Team Schemes page.(2-10-2011)

  • Cope to run Bud Shootout UPDATE images: 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope will be running the 2011 Budweiser Shootout in the # 64 Toyota Camry for Larry Gunselman of MaxQ Motorsports. Cope says he hopes to have a sponsor for the race and announce it soon. Cope's plans for the Daytona 500 are still up-in-the air.(Derrike Cope site)(2-7-2011)
    UPDATE: Gold Eagle Company sponsors Derrike Cope and Larry Gunselman Racing for the "Budweiser Shootout" February 12, at Daytona Int'l Speedway. Gold Eagle Company, an innovative marketer and manufacturer of leading automotive related brands will feature "Start Your Engines Fuel System Revitalizer" and the NEW "Sta-Bil Ethanol... Fuel Stabilizer and Performance Improver".(Derrike Cope Facebook), see images of the car on the #64 Team Schemes page.(2-10-2011)

  • RCR and American Ethanol Partner on #33: American Ethanol announced it has entered into a sponsor partnership with Richard Childress Racing and its #33 Chevy for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Bowyer, driver of the #33 Chevy, will serve as an official spokesman for American Ethanol on behalf of America’s green, clean alternative fuel component. American Ethanol will be the primary sponsor of the #33 Chevy at the June 5th Kansas Speedway 400 and an associate sponsor of the car for the rest of the season. “Richard Childress Racing and Clint Bowyer are great additions to the American Ethanol team,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “Clint’s from Kansas, and he knows first-hand the opportunities that American farming and American ethanol offer our country – opportunities to create jobs here, clean our air, and strengthen national security by making our nation more energy independent.” Growth Energy led the effort to create American Ethanol, the coalition that signed a partnership agreement with NASCAR to promote the use of domestically-produced ethanol from both corn and cellulosic biomass. Other American Ethanol partners include the National Corn Growers Association.
    Ethanol is the most commercially-viable alternative that America currently has to offset the economic impact of foreign petroleum. Corn ethanol reduces emissions by 59%, and cellulosic ethanol is at least 86% cleaner. And by strengthening America’s energy independence, ethanol helps create American jobs – studies have shown that for every $1 sent overseas for oil, $1.55 leaves the U.S. economy. Growth Energy, a coalition of American ethanol supporters, filed the petition to the federal government, called the Green Jobs Waiver, to increase the allowable blend of ethanol in fuel from 10% to 15%, or E15. This year, NASCAR embraced the desire for greener, American-job-producing fuels when it announced its decision to move to Sunoco Green E15 for NASCAR’s three national series.(RCR)(2-10-2011)

  • Scotts on Edwards car at the Shootout:#99-Carl Edwards will carry the Scotts EZ Seed colors Saturday for the Budweiser Shootout, the first of six races for Scotts as the primary sponsor. This car finished ninth in the Daytona 500 last year.(RFR), see image of the scheme on the #99 Team Schemes page.(2-10-2011)

  • Kurt Bush tests his dragster: #22-Kurt Busch spent all day Wednesday testing his NHRA Pro Stock dragster on Bradenton (FL) Motorsports Park's quarter-mile dragstrip. Under the watchful eye of Allen Johnson, his savvy veteran Mopar teammate, Busch clocked in with a fast run of 6.580-second elapsed time at 210.940 mph. Johnson had already posted an eye-popping 6.498-second ET at 213.060 mph on Tuesday for an unofficial record run. "That was a run that we can be proud of," said Busch, who will be attempting to make his big-league NHRA debut during the 41st NHRA Gatornationals on March 11-13 at Gainesville Raceway. "That run would be plenty fast enough to get us qualified at Gainesville and we're confident we are ready to go." Busch was so determined to get in a day of drag racing practice prior to Thursday's NASCAR Media Day in Daytona that he flew directly from a sponsor appearance in California on Tuesday night and made it to the drag strip early Wednesday morning. More information and photo links from Wednesday's session can be found at Tom Roberts PR Twitter.(2-10-2011)

  • Roger Penske to be honored: The Road Racing Drivers Club (RRDC) will honor racing icon Roger Penske at its third annual West Coast banquet prior to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, on Thursday, April 14. The RRDC Evening with Roger Penske will be presented by Firestone. The "Captain" has been racing and winning in the United States since 1958 and has scored victories in every series in which he has competed. With 23 national championships, including 12 in IndyCar racing, Penske Racing has been referred to as the "New York Yankees of motorsports."(RRDC)(2-10-2011)

  • Michigan Sen. Marleau welcomes Brad Keselowski to Capitol: Michigan State Sen. Jim Marleau, R-Lake Orion, presented race car driver #2-Brad Keselowski with a copy of Senate Resolution 12 on Tuesday, which was adopted and recognizes the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series champ's on-track excellence, and contributions to his home community and to the state of Michigan. Keselowski, who is from Rochester Hills, will defend his championship when the 2011 race season begins at famed Daytona International Speedway on February 19.(PR)
    Keselowski also made a trip back to his home state of Michigan on Tuesday in support of Michigan International Speedway and the beginning of the 2011 NASCAR race season. Keselowski paid a visit to Troppo Restaurant in Lansing, Mich. during MIS’ second Season Kick Off, which featured a variety of fans, media and partners. The fans ranged from long-time MIS ticket holders to first-time buyers in 2011. MIS, and its president Roger Curtis, discussed many of its initiatives for 2011 including its Fan Appreciation Program, now in its third year, the upcoming Budweiser Shootout Viewing Party at FireKeepers Casino on Feb. 12, qualifying moving to Saturday in June and the Great Lakes Wine Fest, which will take place on May 21 at the speedway. Keselowski also talked about his new Checkered Flag Foundation, which is to support military personnel, veterans, first-responders and others who were wounded in combat or in the line of duty. The program hosted its first event, the Wounded Warrior Day, at MIS in August of 2010 and followed up with similar events later in the season.(MIS)(2-10-2011)

  • Actress Amber Heard Grand Marshal for Budweiser Shootout: actress Amber Heard will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 33rd annual Budweiser Shootout on Saturday night, Feb. 12 – the star-studded non-points NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event that kicks off the stock car portion of Speedweeks 2011 at Daytona International Speedway. Heard will give the starting command "Gentlemen start your engines". The Budweiser Shootout will feature former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions, the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field, a host of former outstanding rookies and a collection of previous winners at Daytona International Speedway. Heard will next be seen in the action thriller "Drive Angry 3D" starring opposite Nicolas Cage, which is set for release on Feb. 25. She will also be seen in "The Rum Diary" starring opposite Johnny Depp and Aaron Eckhart later this year. Tickets for all of 2011 Speedweeks events including Budweiser Shootout are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-10-2011)

  • Laura Bell Bundy to perform National Anthem / Concerts for Bud Shootout: Country music singer/songwriter Laura Bell Bundy will perform at the 33rd annual Budweiser Shootout on Saturday, Feb. 12 at Daytona International Speedway. Bundy will perform a pre- and post-race concert in addition to the National Anthem for the non-points star-studded NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. Bundy will perform three songs prior to the Budweiser Shootout on the Pre-Race Stage as well as the National Anthem, which will be carried live on FOX. After the checkered flag waves on the 75-lap race, Bundy will perform a 60-minute post-race concert from the Sprint FANZONE Entertainment Stage. Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access holders will be able to view the pre-race concert from the tri-oval grass while all ticket holders will have access to the post-race concert, which will start in the Sprint FANZONE approximately 30-minutes after the end of the race. Tickets for all Speedweeks 2011 events, including the Budweiser Shootout, are available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-10-2011)

  • Brad Paisley to perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show: Reigning Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year Brad Paisley will perform the Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show, the pre-race extravaganza leading up to the start of "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 20. Paisley, who has 18 No. 1 hits, three Grammy awards, 14 CMA Awards, 13 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards, will perform three songs prior to the start of the 53rd annual Daytona 500 – the season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the biggest stock car race in the world. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the Daytona 500 will be able to view Paisley's Daytona 500 Pre-Race Show as well as the driver introductions from the grass tri-oval area. For more information on tickets for the 53rd annual Daytona 500 and Sprint FANZONE /Pre-Race access, race fans can go online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-10-2011)


    News from February 9, 2011

  • Tire Kingdom to Sponsor Todd Bodine's Daytona Trifecta Attempt: Tire Kingdom, a leading brand of automotive service centers for the Florida-based TBC Retail Group, announced that it will be the primary sponsor in Todd Bodine's quest to compete in NASCAR's three national racing series for Germain Racing at Daytona International Speedway. A 36-time NASCAR winner, Bodine is entered in the #30 Tire Kingdom Toyota Tundra for the Feb. 18 Camping World Truck Series race, the #15 Tire Kingdom Toyota Camry for the Feb. 19 Nationwide Series event and the #60 Tire Kingdom Toyota Camry for the Feb. 20 Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series opener. Bodine's vehicles for the season-opening races will also carry associate sponsorship from Valvoline and TBC Retail's other automotive service centers -- NTB - National Tire and Battery, Merchant's Tire and Auto Centers and Big O Tires.(Germain Racing), see image of the scheme on the #60 Team Schemes page.(2-9-2011)

  • Mayfield apologizes to step mother....more: Jeremy Mayfield told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he apologized to his former stepmother, Lisa Mayfield, because, "it was the right thing to do." The suspended NASCAR driver issued a public apology to Lisa Mayfield Tuesday, settling a slander suit she filed against him in Iredell County, NC, in 2009 after he accused her of complicity in the death of his father two years earlier; a death that has officially been ruled a suicide. "I have previously made statements to the press in which I accused Lisa Mayfield of either murdering my father, Terry Mayfield, or being involved in a conspiracy to murder him," Mayfield wrote. "Those statements were made in the heat of my emotional state at the time. I now retract those statements and apologize to Lisa for having made them." In an exclusive Sirius Speedway interview, Mayfield said he was anxious to set the record straight and bring an end to the litigation involving his former stepmother. "We've been in a legal battle, (but) we got everything straightened out today," he said. "I felt like it was the right thing to do, to put this behind us and move forward; get all this junk out of our lives, keep moving forward and not look back. We wanted to focus on just the NASCAR stuff… and leave all that other junk behind us. That's what we've done."(see full article at Sirius Speedway) and see the official statement by Mayfield at the Charlotte Observer.(2-9-2011)

  • Hendrick Building Training Facility: Hendrick Motorsports is building an outdoor pit-crew training facility that will include a six-lane, 60-yard track where crew members can work out doing sprints and shuttle runs. The facility will include a 75-yard AstroTurf field and a 40-by-40 foot sand pit for outdoor strength and conditioning training for explosiveness and endurance.(SceneDaily)(2-9-2011)

  • Evernham tests dirt car: On Monday, February 7, Ray Evernham got behind the wheel of the new US Legends Modified dirt car that he designed & developed for US Legend Cars International. The test took place at Evernham's dirt track, East Lincoln Speedway in Stanley, NC. Ray was pleased with the car's performance, and is very excited about the growth of the new series. Also on hand testing the car was his wife and former NASCAR & World of Outlaws driver Erin Crocker. The car is scheduled to debut at East Lincoln Speedway later this year, and is available through US Legend Cars International. Ray Evernham will be a guest speaker at the 38th annual RPM Promoters Workshop in Daytona later this month, where he will talk to race promoters from all over the country about the new car. Test drive dates & additional information about the racecar will be announced soon.(Dirt Track Racing School/US Legend Cars International)(2-9-2011)

  • Dover moves Sprint Cup qualifying to Saturday: With a goal of adding more value to a Saturday race ticket, Dover International Speedway will move NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying to Saturdays for the 2011 season. The new qualifying session will split NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Saturday morning and a 200-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series race in the afternoon during both May 13-15 and Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011 race weekends. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying will be begin at 12:10 pm/et on Saturday, May 14 and at 1:40 pm/et on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011. Fans at the track on Fridays will get to see nearly five hours of practice between the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. A Friday ticket will also include admission to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying and the "Lucas Oil 200" race on May 13, or NASCAR K&N Pro Series East qualifying and the season finale race on Sept. 30.
    New for 2011, Dover has increased the age and reduced the price of junior tickets for those 14 years old and under to just $8 for Friday and Saturday events. The $8 ticket applies to both general admission and reserved seating sections for NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East events. Special youth and family ticket packages are available for Sunday as well. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 1-800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.(DIS)(2-9-2011)

  • Phoenix to repave add a little more banking: The dogleg - Phoenix International Raceway's signature backstretch bend - soon will have a stronger bite. The tighter and more-challenging turn will be the most-visible change in a $10 million repaving and reconfiguration of PIR. Other modifications - all designed to facilitate more entertaining side-by-side racing - will include a wider front straightaway and a slight variable banking in the corners. Track length will remain 1 mile. The six-month project, expected to be officially announced today, will start soon after the Feb. 27 NASCAR Subway Fresh Fit 500. It will be the Avondale oval's first major repaving since 1990 and the most-significant overhaul in the track's almost 50-year history. Speeds, according to computer models, will increase by 2-3 mph. Carl Edwards set the PIR Sprint Cup one-lap qualifying record of 136.389 mph last November. Computer modeling has been successfully used to redesign other speedways. Several hundred man-hours of modeling, plus consultation with drivers and NASCAR officials, resulted in:
    - Width of the front straightaway will increase 10 feet, to 62 feet. Banking will stay at 3 degrees.
    - Pit road will be moved back. Individual pit boxes will be concrete.
    - Turns 1 and 2, now banked at 11 degrees, will have variable banking starting at 10 degrees on the bottom up to 11 degrees at the outside wall. Maximum width will be 80 feet, and the turning radius will be opened up from 370 to 400 feet.
    - Turns 3 and 4, currently banked nine degrees, will be 50 feet wide. Turn 3 will be banked 8 degrees and Turn 4 variable at 8-9.
    Most noticeable, though, will be the dogleg. In recent years, drivers have been able to shortcut the corner, usually running single-file. That section of the track will be pushed out 95 feet from the existing asphalt and be 55 feet wide. The new configuration will have 10- to 11-degree banking at the apex. Significantly, the radius will decrease from 800 to 500 feet. That will affect competition, because drivers will be able to arc more into the corner entry but then must deal with a sharper left turn.(Arizona Republic)(2-9-2011)


    News from February 8, 2011

  • Odyssey Battery Renews Partnership Agreement with RCR: Odyssey battery by EnerSys and Richard Childress Racing have renewed and expanded their multi-year partnership agreement for Odyssey battery to continue as a Technical Partner of Richard Childress Racing. Odyssey will also become an associate sponsor of the #29 Budweiser Chevys driven by Kevin Harvick. The expanded technical partnership continues a relationship that began in 2009. ODYSSEY batteries are manufactured by EnerSys Energy Products, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of EnerSys.(RCR)(2-8-2011)

  • Judge dismisses charges against former ESPN producer: Public indecency and disorderly conduct charges against former ESPN senior motorsports producer Neil Goldberg have been dropped, according to Connecticut criminal online records. The charges stemmed from an arrest in October following a peeping incident outside a neighbor’s window. Goldberg appeared Thursday in Hartford Community Court. All charges were dismissed, Goldberg attorney Richard Brown said Friday. Goldberg, who lost his job at ESPN following the arrest, never admitted guilt and there was no finding of any criminal wrongdoing. Goldberg is considered one of the most accomplished TV producers in racing.(Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service)(2-8-2011)

  • Hunt Brothers to be associate sponsor on the #29: In a partnership with Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI), Hunt Brothers Pizza will be the primary sponsor for, Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler. Hunt Brothers Pizza will serve as a primary sponsor for the KHI #2 and #4 Nationwide Series entries, with Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler behind the wheel. Hunt Brothers Pizza will also be represented as primary sponsor of the KHI #2 Chevy in the Truck Series, with drivers Harvick and Sadler. Additionally, Hunt Brothers Pizza will join Harvick as an associate sponsor for the full 2011 season on Harvick's #29 Richard Childress Racing (RCR) Sprint Cup Series car. Hunt Brothers Pizza will be represented on Harvick's uniform and have logo placement on the car.(Kevin Harvick Inc)(2-8-2011)

  • Students say stock car racing should be state sport: Mooresville students plan to lobby lawmakers to designate stock car racing as North Carolina’s state sport. And they say State Rep. Grey Mills, R-Iredell, supports their proposal. Tanner Orr says the idea makes sense – dollars and sense – considering the sport contributes more than $6 billion annually to the state’s economy through jobs, fan support and facilities. Tanner is one of the 13 fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-graders from Lake Norman Elementary and Mt. Mourne IB School working on the project. They were inspired by a similar effort in 1995, when elementary school students in Wilson convinced the General Assembly to make sweet potatoes the state vegetable. Students have worked on the project twice a week since May, conducting research, writing, rewriting and attending field trips. After students presented their findings Jan. 20 to the Iredell-Statesville Board of Education, Mooresville representative Anna Bonham made a motion supporting the children’s efforts. It passed unanimously. Already, they’ve talked with Mayor Chris Montgomery and an economics professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, who in turn, invited them to speak to his sports economics class (Mooresville Weekly)(2-8-2011)

  • Reese Towpower, Labonte & JTG Daugherty donate sponsor space on car: As the Daytona 500 excitement builds on who will win arguably the race of the year, six-year-old Jordan Jemsek is looking for someone who will help her win the race of her life. Little Jordan is in the fight for her life against Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia (AML). A bone marrow transplant is Jordan’s only chance to win this fight. In the midst of JTG Daugherty Racing’s Daytona team meeting led by Tad Geschickter, Bobby Labonte and crew chief Frank Kerr, team member Joey McCarthy told everyone in the room Jordan’s story he read in the Charlotte Observer. It touched him because he has a child Jordan’s age.
    For the 33rd annual Shootout on Saturday, February 12th, Reese Towpower has donated the TV panel to place a photo of Jordan’s smiling face on the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota that Bobby Labonte will drive and the website www.GetSwabbed.org to raise awareness on how to get tested in hopes of finding a bone marrow match for Jordan and others. On Saturday, March 5th from 10 a.m. to 3 pm/et, a bone marrow drive will be held in honor of Jordan at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church (3016 Providence Rd., Charlotte, NC 28211 in the Church Ministry Center Building, rooms D & E on the first floor). For more information, visit http://www.dkmsamericas.org/drives/help-save-jordan-and-others. To order a quick and easy cheek-swab home test kit, visit www.marrow.org.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(2-8-2011)

  • Brian Keselowski plans Daytona 500 then...: #92-Brian Keselowski, is hoping to run the full Sprint Cup schedule in 2011. “I planned on running a full schedule, but so far, we haven’t been able to put it all together. We’re planning on doing Daytona, and we’re going to wait and see from there. We might wait until after the first part of the season gets over with,” said Keselowski. “It’s going to depend on our money, and how much sponsorship we might be able to draw.” Keselowski says that with the current rules that the Nationwide Series came out with, his team could not race this upcoming season. “We decided that … it wasn’t much more expensive to run the Sprint Cup Series. If we’re going to spend that kind of money, we might as well go Cup racing. It’s not going to be easy, but we want to race.” With plans on going racing, a second car from K-Automotive Motorsports going to the track could be likely for the team. “I’m not going to make an everyday deal out of that. It’s not going to happen for a while.” For this second car, Dennis Setzer might try at a few races. “Dennis is good at places like Martinsville, and it will be smart to bring someone that knows their way around the place.” With sponsorship looking questionable, K-Automotive and Brian Keselowski will try to keep starting and parking to a minimum. Keselowski says that there are some small things lined up for Speedweeks, and even has a chance with another driver to run the Budweiser Shootout, but there is no primary sponsorship lined up for his car.(TheRacingExperts.com)(2-8-2011)

  • Classic car restorer, owned by MWR owner, opening new Charlotte headquarters: RK Motors Charlotte, a restorer, re-seller and builder of classic, muscle and high-performance cars, is opening a new corporate headquarters in Charlotte. The company has built a 40,000-square-foot showroom, which is open to the public, and broken ground on the second building, which will include a restoration and service area. The headquarters will encompass a total of 76,000 square feet and is at 5527 and 5523 Lakeview Road. The company, which was created last year, has been consolidating operations. The company was created by Joseph Carroll, RK Motors Charlotte president and CEO, and Robert Kauffman, a co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, and expects to open the second part of its headquarters this spring.(Charlotte Observer)(2-8-2011)

  • Las Vegas offers free NASCAR tickets to displaced Super Bowl fans: Where the NFL and the country's largest football stadium failed 400 disappointed football fans, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Stratosphere Hotel, Casino and Tower have come through. The speedway and the country's tallest hotel-tower have partnered to offer tickets to the March 4-6 NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas to those who were displaced from their seats at Sunday's Super Bowl. Some of the fans may also win airfare and three nights of accommodations at the Stratosphere as well. Fans who show proof of their displacement at the Super Bowl and choose to accept LVMS's offer will receive a ticket to NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas. Among those fans, four will have their names drawn and will receive three room nights in new Stratosphere Select accommodations at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. In order to take advantage of this offer, those displaced will need to contact Aubrey Hall at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 1-800-644-4444 ext. 8251 and show proof of their displacement.(LVMS)(2-8-2011)

  • Phoenix continues the Park 'N Ride program: Phoenix International Raceway has announced the operating schedule for its Park 'N Ride program – encouraging race fans to take advantage of the shuttle service when traveling to and from the Subway Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 27. A popular and easy way to avoid race day traffic, the Park 'N Ride program returns to Cricket Pavilion – located just two blocks north of I-10 on 83rd Avenue (Exit 135). All NASCAR fans heading to PIR are advised to enter at the 83rd Avenue entrance and park on Pavilion grounds. From there, a shuttle from First Student Charter of Phoenix will transport patrons to the vicinity of Gate 7 at the track. Cost for parking and shuttle services to PIR will remain $7 per car. Guests with PIR-issued parking passes can park and ride at no charge. Shuttle buses will escort guests to PIR via preferential traffic routes, offering guests an easy and earlier arrival to the facility. For more info at tickets, call 866-408-RACE (7223) or visit PhoenixRaceway.com.(PIR)(2-8-2011)


    News from February 7, 2011

  • Terry Labonte to run at Daytona: Two-time Sprint Cup champion Terry Labonte will race in the Daytona 500 for FAS Lane Racing, a start-up Cup team owned by former crew chief Frank Stoddard. Mike Skinner is expected to drive the remainder of the season in the #32 Ford. U.S. Chrome will be the primary sponsor with the Air National Guard an associate sponsor at Daytona. "We plan to run all the races this year," says Stoddard. "I'm hoping that more funding will come down the pipe and we can ramp up to be competitive."(USA Today), no word if Labonte will run the #32 in the Bud Shootout, for which is is eligible. No word on the #10 Chevy team that ran a few races in 2010 and was supposed to run in 2011.(2-7-2011)

  • Cope to run Bud Shootout: 1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope will be running the 2011 Budweiser Shootout in the # 64 Toyota Camry for Larry Gunselman of MaxQ Motorsports. Cope says he hopes to have a sponsor for the race and announce it soon. Cope's plans for the Daytona 500 are still up-in-the air.(Derrike Cope site)(2-7-2011)

  • NASCAR released its telecast times for the 2011 season, primarily preserving the earlier and consistent start times established in 2010. Regular season points races in the Eastern and Central regions of the country will begin at 1:00 pm/et; West Coast events will begin at 3:00 pm/et; and night races will begin at 7:30 pm/et (Note: NASCAR’s longest race, the Coca-Cola 600, will start at 6:00 pm/et on May 29).
    In addition, NASCAR announced new start times for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with six of the first seven races beginning at 2:00 pm/et and the last three races, including the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, beginning at 3:00 pm/et. The 52nd annual Bank of America 500 from Charlotte Motor Speedway is the only night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and will begin at 7:30 pm/et.
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races will again be seen on either FOX, TNT, ESPN or ABC.
    “The 2011 broadcast schedule strikes the right balance between keeping the start times in familiar slots and highlighting the races down the stretch, building more excitement at the end of the season,” said Paul Brooks, senior vice president of NASCAR and president of NASCAR Media Group. “Continuing to raise the profile of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup was also on the top of our list and we believe these new start times for those 10 races will help do just that.”
    The preseason non-points Budweiser Shootout at Daytona will be on FOX (8:10 pm/et on Feb. 12). In addition, two other non-points events – the Gatorade Duel at Daytona (2:00 pm/et on Feb. 17) and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (7:30 pm/et on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway), will be on SPEED.
    FOX will have the first 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races, beginning with the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 (Feb. 20, 1:00 pm/et) and ending with the June 5 race at Kansas Speedway, the first of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at that track this year.
    TNT will have the next six events, beginning with the Pocono 500 at 1:00 pm/et on June 12 at Pocono Raceway and ending with New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s first of two races on July 17 at 1:00 pm/et. In addition, TNT will have the inaugural Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 9 at 7:30 pm/et.
    ESPN and ABC will carry the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events. ABC will telecast three races, including the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup “cutoff race” – the Richmond 400 on Sept. 10 at 7:30 pm/et.
    ESPN will telecast 14 races, including the first race of the Chase at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 18 at 2:00 pm/et and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20 at 3:00 pm/et.
    ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will telecast 33 of the 34 NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2011. ESPN2 opens the season with the DRIVE4COPD 300 at 1:15 pm/et on Feb. 19 at Daytona International Speedway. ESPN2 will also telecast the season finale Ford 300 on Nov. 19 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (4:30 pm/et).
    SPEED will air one NASCAR Nationwide Series race in 2011 with the 24th running of the Bubba Burger 250 from Richmond International Raceway on April 29 at 7:30 pm/et.
    The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to SPEED for a ninth consecutive season. As was the case last year, SPEED will show the entire 25-race schedule, opening with the NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Feb. 18 at 8:00 pm/et at Daytona.(NASCAR)(2-7-2011)

  • JTG Daugherty Racing announces sponsor lineup for 2011: JTG Daugherty Racing announced their sponsor line-up for the #47 Toyota Camry as 2000 Series champion Bobby Labonte competes for a spot in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase.
    To kick off the season, Labonte leads JTG Daugherty into their first-ever Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. For the 33rd annual event, the team is proud to announce a new partnership with Cequent, a TriMas company, and the Reese Towpower brand. Reese Towpower hitches will sponsor the #47 Toyota for the first time during the Shootout on Saturday February 12. In addition, Reese will sponsor the car in the All-Star event at Charlotte Motor Speedway and return as primary at Pocono Raceway in August.
    For the Daytona 500, The Kroger Co. returns as primary sponsor of the #47 Toyota. In 2011, Kroger is partnering with the USO to celebrate the 70th anniversary as the leading organization that provides morale-boosting programs and services to enhance the quality of life for troops and their families around the world. In honor of our retired and active duty members of the military and their families, Kroger is donating $400,000 to the USO during the pre-race ceremonies at the 2011 Daytona 500. As a special tribute, Kroger and JTG Daugherty Racing have placed a very special logo on the hood of the #47 car for the Daytona 500. The logo includes the names of more than 350 Kroger associates from across the country who are active duty and reservist members of our nation’s military. These men and women have served in our armed forces while employed by the Kroger family of stores.
    Every sponsor is significant to the racing program’s success, but one has been with JTG Daugherty Racing every step of the way. Kingsford Charcoal returns to the team for its 14th year to remind fans that ‘Racing Season is Grilling Season’. Kingsford Charcoal will be primary at Las Vegas, Richmond (April), Dover (May), Charlotte (May), Daytona (July) and Michigan (August).
    Just after Vegas, the familiar face of Little Debbie can be seen on Labonte’s car at Auto Club Speedway.
    Following California, Lance Sandwich Crackers takes over the reins for the April event at Martinsville. Labonte’s machine will also fly the Lance colors at Darlington and Charlotte (October).
    Shifting from snacks to famous baked beans, Bush Brothers & Company returns for their ninth year with the team and Bush’s Baked Beans will be a primary of the #47 Toyota Camry for seven races including Texas (April), Talladega (April), Bristol (August), Atlanta (September), New Hampshire (September), Dover (October) and Kansas (October).
    Another longstanding team partner, Clorox launches their first of six primary races at Phoenix in February. They are also slated to prominently be displayed at Kansas (June), Pocono (June), Infineon Raceway, Texas (October), and Phoenix (November).
    JTG Daugherty Racing announces partnership renewal with Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Kimberly-Clark Corporation will highlight several key brand introductions by taking primary space for the races at Kentucky, Indianapolis, Chicago, and the October event at Talladega.
    JTG Daugherty Racing has signed the RainEater wiper blade brand to have primary billing at Michigan in June. RainEater is the industries newest aftermarket wiper blade brand offering consumers superior all-weather performance with their aerodynamic frameless and full feature traditional wiper blades.
    Associate sponsorships for 2011 include Glad Bags & Wraps, KC Masterpiece, Hidden Valley, Tom’s, Coca-Cola, and Sullivan-Palatek.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(2-7-2011)

  • TRG Motorsports to run Daytona 500 with Lally: TRG Motorsports to run Daytona 500 with Lally: TRG Motorsports will field its #71 Chevrolet in the Daytona 500 with Andy Lally at the controls. "We're going to stand on our own two feet," said TRG owner Kevin Buckler today. "We had a lot of people contact us about doing various Daytona 500 deals, but we decided to say `no" to them all. We're going to put Andy Lally in the car for the Daytona 500 and make use of our own owner points." Lally made seven Sprint Cup starts for TRG last year, with a top finish of 18th at Watkins Glen. He is fresh off a GT class win in the ROlex 24 at Daytona driving for TRG, and will be a guaranteed starter in the 500. Buckler declined to comment on what offers he received for his 35th-place 2010 owner points, laughing, "I'm staying completely out of that."(Sirius Speedway)(2-5-2011)
    AND on Jan. 27, Buckler said his friend and partner, Tom Pumpelly, divested his partnership in TRG Motorsports and took the owners' points with him to become an equity partner at Richard Childress Racing. That guaranteed RCR's Paul Menard a starting position in the Daytona 500 for his #27 Chevy. Buckler, who continues to chase sponsorship for his own fleet of Chevrolets which use Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines for power and who have benefited from a technical alliance with RCR, says he'll race the first five races this season "in their entirety," whether or not any sponsors sign up. But there was still the issue of points as TRG embarks on its third full season in the Cup Series. "TRG Motorsports, needing [owners'] points, has now partnered with Richard Petty and we will operate the #71 with Richard's [2010 owners' points] from the 98," Buckler said. "It's as simple as that. We have ourselves teed-up so right for a sponsor right now with a fleet-footed little group of guys with a lot to offer." Buckler said he anticipated naming a crew chief for Lally's car early next week, when cars will enter Daytona for inspection on Friday.(NASCAR.com)(2-7-2011)

  • Michigan qualifying moves to Saturday for June events: The most recent of Michigan International Speedway’s changes has to be one of the best values in professional sports and entertainment today. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole qualifying for Michigan International Speedway’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 has been moved to Saturday, June 18 from its traditional Friday spot, track officials announced. And at just $20 per ticket, at the current Value Pricing Period which ends February 28, the move gives fans a chance to see a full day of competitive Saturday racing action from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series. Drivers from both series practice that day, followed by pole qualifying sessions from both series and then the 250-mile Nationwide Series race. Kids 12 and under are free that day. So a family of four can see two NASCAR race series on track all day, a race and a free concert after track activity for a reasonable price. Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event in August will remain on Meijer Pole Day on Friday, Aug. 19. Those tickets are $7.50. 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.(MIS)(2-7-2011)


    News from February 6, 2011

  • Les Richter inducted into NFL Hall of Fame: Les Richter, who served as a senior executive for NASCAR following his All-Pro NFL career, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it was announced tonight. Richter, affectionately known as "Coach" throughout the motorsports industry, passed away last June at the age of 79. He came to NASCAR in 1983 after a successful second career as president and general manager of Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway. Richter soon evolved into one of the most important advisors to then-NASCAR Chairman/CEO Bill France Jr. as NASCAR's popularity expanded. Richter was named NASCAR's Executive Vice President of Competition in 1986 and the Senior Vice President of Operations in 1992. Richter, a native of Fresno, Calif., was an All-American linebacker and guard at the University of California Berkeley and played for the Los Angeles Rams from 1954 to 1962 after being acquired from the Dallas Texans for 11 players. The defensive star was picked for the Pro Bowl eight times and was an Associated Press first team All-Pro in 1956. He previously was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. Richter's last job in motorsports was as vice president of special projects for Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., a track he helped come into existence and then become established as a big time sports facility.(NASCAR)(2-6-2011)

  • New show at SPEED: In 2011, SPEED is expanding its motor sports news efforts, rebranding its popular weekly program, adding multiple weekend news updates and increasing use of the SPEED Ticker to keep fans current on everything from the world of racing. The newly named SPEED Center is a series of studio-based motor sports news programs airing live from a purpose-built set at the SPEED Studios in Charlotte, N.C. Programs air at a variety of times during the race weekend, culminating in a one-hour show on Sunday nights at 7:00 pm/et. The first Sunday night show premieres Feb. 13. Adam Alexander, a longtime pit reporter for SPEED's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series coverage and spot host of NASCAR Race Hub and The SPEED Report, takes the role of lead host for SPEED Center, with racer Hermie Sadler filling Alexander's position on pit road. Sadler continues to serve in his primary role as a reporter for NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Live! (SPEED)(2-6-2011)

  • Cheesehead Kvapil Is Super Bowl Bound UPDATE: Next week, Travis Kvapil will be pulling on his racing helmet at Daytona International Speedway, but this weekend he's headed to Texas with his cheesehead hat. The driver of the #34 Long John Silver's Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will attend Sunday's Super Bowl XLV in Arlington to cheer on his home-state team, the Green Bay Packers. "I've been a Packers fan my whole life," said the Janesville, Wisc., native. "Growing up in Wisconsin, you'd go to church on Sunday morning, then go home and watch the Packers game. When I was a kid, the Packers weren't really good, but I still cheered for them every weekend and they were still my favorite team." Kvapil's favorite memory as a Packer fan is going to Lambeau Field, Green Bay's historic football stadium, for the first time. "It's just such a unique place," described Kvapil. "It's not like other big-city football stadiums. It's in almost a residential neighborhood, so it's not what you might expect. When I walked in, I just felt like I was part of something special. I thought back to Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr and guys who won the first championships back in the 60s. To think they were in that same place where I was, it was pretty cool."(Breaking Limits)(2-4-2011)
    UPDATE: Kevin Harvick is scheduled to appear on FOX's pre-game show between 2 and 4 pm/et live. Among the other NASCAR drivers planning to attend today's game are Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch and two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Todd Bodine.(SPEED)(2-6-2011)

  • Fans can purchase tickets, camping now during MIS’ Value Pricing Period: Fans who buy tickets to Michigan International Speedway for the 2011 season will see more value in their purchase than ever before. So now is the time for the best deals possible during the speedway’s Value Pricing Period, now through Feb. 28. MIS offers NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for as low as $25. Kids 12 and under are free in the general admission seating areas, while junior pricing for 17 and under are half price for all reserved seats. The Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 on Father’s Day June 19, and the NSCS 400 on August 21, both NASCAR Sprint Cup events, feature some of the lowest ticket prices in the country. The Value Pricing Period kicks off the speedway’s public ticket sale. Tickets can be purchased online at www.MISpeedway.com or by calling 800-354-1010.(MIS)(2-6-2011)

  • Champion’s Breakfast tickets now on sale at Daytona:The Champion’s Breakfast has always been one of the great traditions surrounding Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race. On the Monday morning, Feb. 21, race fans will once again have the opportunity to celebrate with the winning driver, team and crew chief from the 53rd annual Daytona 500 at the Champion’s Breakfast, which will be held in the velocitorium near the Daytona International Speedway ticket offices.
    Available for $40, the Champion’s Breakfast car induction festivities include:
    · Fan forum with the winning driver, owner and crew chief from the 53rd annual Daytona 500
    · Breakfast
    · Entertainment including watching the NASCAR Victory Lane show on SPEED, Minute to Spin It games and signed giveaway items.
    · Souvenir gift
    The first 100 Champion’s Breakfast tickets purchased will also include a free All-Access Track Tour ticket. To purchase tickets for the Champion’s Breakfast or any of the Speedweeks 2011 events, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(2-6-2011)

  • Kansas making changes to enhance fan experience: Continuing to make Kansas Speedway the best guest experience in motorsports, Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren announced several enhancements to the fan experience at Kansas Speedway, including two projects that will total over $2 million. Kansas Speedway is increasing the width of its seats throughout the grandstands, a project that is scheduled to be completed for the new June event weekend (June 4-5, 2011). The project will increase seat widths of both chair back and bleacher seating. Seats that are currently 18 inches will become 20 inches and seats that are 20 inches will increase to 22 inches, which will improve fan comfort during events. The previous grandstand seats, both aluminum and plastic, will be recycled.
    In addition to widening seats in the grandstand, Kansas Speedway is also increasing the size of coolers fans can bring to the track. Starting with the June events, soft-sided coolers measuring 14”x14”x14” or 2,700 cubic inches will be permitted – which is six times bigger than in years past. Coolers of this size typically have a removable plastic liner and are branded to hold 24 to 36 cans of carbonated beverages. To ensure these items fit underneath grandstand seats and do not block walkways, coolers with telescoping handles and wheels will not be permitted. As part of its standard policy, hard-sided coolers will not be allowed into the grandstand area.
    Safety improvements allow enhanced convenience for fans while continuing to provide a secure environment. To make it more convenient for fans to carry additional items such as cameras, radio scanners and souvenirs, fans can now utilize lightweight backpacks or daypacks similar to those used by school students. Fan comfort and safety remains a top priority so all items carried into the speedway will be subject to a thorough and complete search by security personnel prior to entering the ticket gates. Kansas Speedway is adding to its popular Blue Ox campground with an additional paved lot on the north side of Speedway property adjacent to State Blvd. The campground will add 185 camping spots to the facility.
    When race fans arrive at Kansas Speedway in June, they will also notice the new Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway as the steel portion of the project is expected to be completed by the end of February. Overlooking Turn 2, the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway is slated to open in the first quarter of 2012. Parking at Kansas Speedway is always free. Kansas Speedway tickets are on sale now for the 2011 season and are available by calling 866.460.RACE (7223) or by logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com.(Kansas Speedway)(2-6-2011)


    News from February 5, 2011

  • ESPN2’s NASCAR Now Returns Feb. 7: ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now returns for its fifth season on Monday, Feb. 7, at 5:00pm/et to coincide with the beginning of the 2011 NASCAR season. The program includes highlights, opinion, debate, analysis and the latest news from drivers, crew chiefs and insiders.
    With hosts Allen Bestwick, Nicole Briscoe, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake, NASCAR Now originates from ESPN’s high definition studios in Bristol, Conn., with reporters and analysts checking in from locations around the country wherever NASCAR news is happening. In addition to reports from races, NASCAR Now reporters also visit race shops and special events.
    Monday’s show [Feb 7th] will include interviews with NASCAR president Mike Helton and five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief Chad Knaus as well as thoughts from ESPN NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett.
    NASCAR Now will originate from Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., site of the NASCAR season-opening Daytona 500, with special hour-long programs starting Sunday, Feb. 13 and including a Daytona wrap-up special on Sunday night, Feb. 20. Massaro will host the first week of episodes beginning Feb. 7 with reports from Daytona starting Feb. 10.
    The first two weeks of programs will include new and exclusive interviews surrounding the 10th anniversary of the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, who was killed in a last-lap crash in the 2001 Daytona 500. Among the elements:
    * NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith in a new, exclusive interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    * Dr. Alfred Alson, the first doctor to arrive on the scene of Earnhardt’s fatal crash, speaks on camera for the first time about that day.
    * Jeff Gordon, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and others reflect on what they remember from the day Earnhardt died.
    * Personalities including NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett and Hall of Fame journalist Tom Higgins tell Earnhardt stories.
    * A unique look at Earnhardt through the eyes of the man who regularly cut his hair and trimmed his iconic moustache.
    Other NASCAR Now features leading to Daytona will include a look at the driver/crew chief changes at Hendrick Motorsports, with interviews with the drivers and their new crew chiefs together; defending Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray reviews last year’s race through his eyes; members of Jimmie Johnson’s team put Johnson’s fifth consecutive Sprint Cup championship into perspective; Danica Patrick discusses her first season in NASCAR and expectations for 2011; Brian Vickers talks to Smith about his return to racing this season; and ESPN Sports Science explores the repaving of Daytona and how it will affect the racing.
    The first week of the program also will include segments of a roundtable discussion hosted by ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch with analysts Andy Petree and Ricky Craven and reporter Smith. Among the topics will be discussion of the resurgence of Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress Racing; Brad Keselowski and the changes at Team Penske; the new NASCAR rule requiring drivers to choose one series for points; drivers and teams under the radar; Carl Edwards and Roush Fenway Racing; and Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing.
    In addition to the Monday through Friday program, ESPN2 also airs an hour-long edition of NASCAR Now at on the morning of each NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and a weekend wrap-up edition will begin in September to coincide with the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Monday edition of NASCAR Now expands to an hour and features a roundtable discussion of the latest NASCAR news with ESPN analysts and reporters as well as special guests.
    The NASCAR Now team also includes Terry Blount, motorsports writer for ESPN.com; analyst Tim Brewer, two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion crew chief; D.J. Copp, tire changer in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series; and analyst Brad Daugherty, five-time NBA All-Star and NASCAR team owner.
    Others are Ed Hinton, motorsports writer for ESPN.com; Ryan McGee, motorsports writer for ESPN the Magazine; and David Newton, motorsports writer for ESPN.com. NASCAR Now viewers also will see analysis and reports from other members of the NASCAR on ESPN race coverage team including analyst Rusty Wallace and pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Vince Welch.
    Veteran NASCAR drivers Johnny Benson Jr. and Ken Schrader will be frequent guests on the Monday roundtable edition of NASCAR Now in 2011. The first roundtable, airing on Monday, Feb. 21, the day after the Daytona 500, will be moderated by Bestwick and include Jarrett, Wallace and the Daytona 500 winner.(ESPN PR)(2-5-2011)

  • Jeff Gordon testing at Pike Peak: Jeff Gordon traveled to Colorado on Friday to test his #24 Chervy at Pikes Peak International Raceway through today [Saturday]. Gordon arrived in Colorado early Friday morning before heading to the Pikes Peak track, just south of Colorado Springs in Fountain, CO. Gordon wants to test on a downforce track. Pikes Peak's low banking — the corners rise just 10 degrees — mimics the corners at Phoenix International Raceway. The Phoenix track — which has an 11-degree corner bank and is 1-mile long, like Pikes Peak — will host the Sprint Cup race that follows Daytona, on Feb. 27. Gordon and his team will be at the Pikes Peak raceway all day today. Testing is open to the general public, though admission is $10 (Denver Post)(2-5-2011)

  • TRG Motorsports to run Daytona 500 with Lally: TRG Motorsports will field its #71 Chevrolet in the Daytona 500 with Andy Lally at the controls. "We’re going to stand on our own two feet,” said TRG owner Kevin Buckler today. “We had a lot of people contact us about doing various owner point deals, but we decided to say `no” to them all. We’re going to put Andy Lally in the car for the Daytona 500 and make use of our own owner points.” Lally made seven Sprint Cup starts for TRG last year, with a top finish of 18th at Watkins Glen. He is fresh off a GT class win in the ROlex 24 at Daytona driving for TRG, and will be a guaranteed starter in the 500. Buckler declined to comment on what offers he received for his 35th-place 2010 owner points, laughing, “I’m staying completely out of that.”(Sirius Speedway)(2-5-2011)

  • #27 team gets #71 owners points: #27-Paul Menard will be a guaranteed starter in the 2011 Daytona 500 for Richard Childress Racing. A spokesman for Richard Childress Racing confirmed an "equity partnership" had been formed between Childress, who will once again field four Cup Series teams this season, and Thomas Pumpelly. Pumpelly, who in 2010 was part of the partnership group involved with TRG Motorsports, "divested himself from his partnership with TRG and took with him the #71 car points," the spokesman said. TRG Motorsports used eight drivers to finish 35th in the Cup Series owners' standings in 2010 and had been planning to come to Daytona's Speedweeks with a program in place to contest the full Cup schedule, owner Kevin Buckler said in early January. As a new team, Menard's car was going to be forced to qualify on speed until at least the sixth race of 2011, but with the new deal, will be guaranteed a starting position for the first five races of the season, until 2011 owners' points are used. The RCR spokesman said Pumpelly will be the listed owner of the #27 Chevrolet to start the season (NASCAR.com)(2-5-2011)

  • #21 gets #19; #71 gets #98 owners points: NASCAR has approved a reassignment of owners points, according to sources familiar with the situation. Richard Petty Motorsports and Wood Brothers Racing have partnered to create Wood Brothers II LLC. As a result, Trevor Bayne will be locked into the Daytona 500 behind the wheel of the #21 Motorcraft Ford. Richard Petty Motorsports ended last season with four teams inside the coveted top 35 in owner points, which guarantees them a starting spot in the first five races of the season. However, as the organization shrank from four teams to two, it allowed the opportunity to create the partnership with Wood Brothers. Bayne is expected to run 17 Sprint Cup Series races for the Wood Brothers to gain seat time. A decision on Bayne’s rookie status in the series has yet to be determined. The Wood Brothers could not be reached for comment.
    A similar deal was worked out between RPM and Kevin Buckler, who will receive the #98's owner points for the #71 TRG Chevy. Calls to Buckler and TRG CMO Torrey Galida were not returned. Sources say Buckler will start the season with Andy Lally behind the wheel. TRG remains a customer of Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines (FoxSports)(2-5-2011)

  • 'Herman' to stand-by for Kenseth UPDATE: Kenny Wallace told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he will be standing by to take over Matt Kenseth's #17 Crown Royal Ford, if Kenseth is called away during SpeedWeek 2011. "I got a call last night from (Roush Fenway Racing GM) Robbie Reiser, and he said Katie Kenseth is due to give birth to their second baby in a couple of weeks," said Wallace. "They want me to be on standby in case she goes into labor before the Bud Shootout or Gatorade Duel. He said Matt will run the Daytona 500 no matter what, but they want me there in case they need me earlier in the week. Even though it's probably because I'm the same size as Matt and will fit into the seat easily, it took me about a quarter of a second to agree."(Sirius Speedway)(2-2-2011)
    UPDATE: With the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season set to return to action at Daytona International Speedway next week, Roush Fenway Racing’s Matt Kenseth and his wife Katie are expecting great things for the month of February with the addition of a new baby. The Kenseths expect to welcome the latest addition to the family by the end of the month, and Roush Fenway Racing will look to two drivers to be on-call in case Kenseth needs to travel home to be with his family. Kenny Wallace and Brian Ickler will be ready to jump in to the #17 Crown Royal Ford for any practice and qualifying needs the team may have. Wallace will be ready to assume driving duties throughout Daytona International Speedway’s Speedweeks events, while Ickler will be at the track for both Phoenix and Las Vegas race weekends. Kenseth plans to be behind the wheel of the #17 Ford on race days, but depending on when the newest member of the family arrives, he may need assistance from Wallace and/or Ickler to practice the car for the team.(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-5-2011)

  • Nashville Fairgrounds racetrack won't be razed: The Metro Council dealt a final blow Tuesday to recent efforts to demolish the racetrack at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, calling for a master plan for the site instead. The council ratified what it had decided with a preliminary vote two weeks ago, when racing fans and other fairgrounds supporters poured into the courthouse for a public hearing. Council members decided that night to amend a bill that would have destroyed the track, and they agreed that racing could continue there, though it's unclear if the fair board will allow it. The vote upset area residents who were hoping to end racing and the noise that comes with it. Tuesday's decision came and went with little fanfare and no substantive discussion. After the vote, Councilman Jason Holleman, who wrote the major amendment to the legislation, said he hopes the fair board will listen to the various interest groups during the master planning process.(Tennessean)(2-5-2011)

  • New Sound System For Martinsville Speedway: Fans will have amazing sound to go with the always amazing racing when they return to Martinsville Speedway for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on April 3. A new, state-of-the-art sound system will be in place by the April event, giving fans unparalleled audio during the weekend. Approximately 50 new speakers are being installed around the track and atop the video boards in the infield. In the past the speakers have been on the catch-fence circling the track, but now they will be mounted on poles closer to the grandstand area. Other improvements at Martinsville Speedway for the 2011 season include wider seats, new restrooms and new concession stands and wider concourse under the front-stretch grandstands. Tickets for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 weekend are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(2-5-2011)

  • Phase Two of CMS's World's Largest HD Video Board Construction: The second phase of construction began this week on the world's largest high-definition video board that will debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. Long Foundation Drilling Company from Winston-Salem, N.C., and Mid-Atlantic Construction of Charlotte, N.C., are working with Eastern Sign Tech of Burlington, N.J., on phase two of the HD video board construction this week at the speedway. The construction crews are using an 80-ton crane with a 100-foot arm and a separate caisson drilling rig to dig the massive support column holes that will lift the Panasonic HD video board 110 feet above the track. This phase of site work will include removing 900 cubic yards of dirt by drilling 12 holes, each 54 inches in diameter, more than 50 feet deep to bedrock level. Concrete piers will then be installed in the holes to support the massive 500,000-pound steel frame that will hold the 165,000-pound video board. When completed, the total structure will weigh 332-and-a-half tons or 665,000 pounds.
    Using heavy earth-moving equipment, crews from Granite Contracting, of Concord, N.C., have already removed 18,000 cubic yards of dirt and 3,000 cubic yards of concrete behind the backstretch where the gigantic, nearly 16,000-square-foot screen will be located. The concrete bleachers that were removed were part of the speedway's original construction in 1960.
    Designed and created by Panasonic, the approximately 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen will be centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in 720P high-definition visuals. The screen will be illuminated by more than nine million LED lamps during each NASCAR race event at Charlotte Motor Speedway this spring, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29. Info about tickets for all 2011 events by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(2-5-2011)


    News from February 4, 2011

  • No injuries in explosion at Gibbs Racing: An explosion early Friday rocked the headquarters of Joe Gibbs Racing, causing significant damage to JGR's engine department. There were no injuries reported. According to a team spokesperson, around 9:00am/et, members of the engine department were running a routine test on one of the Gibbs team's two engine dynamometers. Dynamometers are machines used to run an engine through its paces to measure power and performance under the strain of race conditions. A source within Gibbs' team says that it was during this test session that one of the engines exploded, resulting in a fire that significantly damaged the dynamometer on which is was mounted and caused at least some damage to a second dynamometer located in an adjacent room. The JGR spokesperson confirmed that the fire was short-lived and was contained within the two-room area of the engine dyno department, which is part of the team's 235,000-square-foot facility [Huntersville, NC]. The main shop floor and second-floor offices continued business as usual shortly after the initial fire alarm sounded. The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear. Roughly an hour after the explosion, team members received clearance from firefighters to re-enter the shop to assess the damage. The JGR spokesperson described most of the damage as being caused by smoke and water from the brief firefighting effort. The engine that exploded was not in the team's plans for Daytona Speedweeks, which begin next Friday, but the engine mounted on the second damaged dynamometer was. The initial concern for the second engine wasn't fire damage, but rather water damage (ESPN)(2-4-2011)

  • Stoddard starts new Cup team UPDATE: Frank Stoddard, a 14-time Cup winner as a crew chief has formed his own NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team and plans to run the full 36-race schedule with the #32 Ford. No driver has been named and the team is currently seeking sponsorship support. "I'm really eager to get this off the ground," said Stoddard. "It's a great time to enter the sport. We'll just have to wait and see where we can go from here. My hope is to take this team to a competitive level and put together some respectable runs with the limited resources we have in place. One never knows, with our determination and just a little bit of funding we could definitely improve our chances on the track." Stoddard plans to open the season with the Daytona 500.(National Speed Sport News) Stoddard was the crew cheif of the #26 Latitude 43 team that attempted all 36 races in 2011 with various drivers, but has not made its plans for 2011 known and didn't test at Daytona.(2-3-2011)
    UPDATE: Veteran crewchief Frank Stoddard has joined the ranks of team ownership, joining with U.S. Chrome Corporation owner and CEO Bob Reath to form FAS Lane Racing, a new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operation that will run the full 2011 championship schedule. "We've acquired a few cars from Richard Petty Motorsports and a few from Roush-Fenway," said Stoddard. "Doug Yates is going to build us some killer race engines, and we're looking forward to making our debut at the Daytona 500." Stoddard said his goals are realistic for 2011. "We're not going to be out there knocking off Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Roush," he said. "Our goal will be to run between 15th and 30th, and by doing that, to give a smaller sponsor a ton of exposure."
    Stoddard and Reath first joined forces nearly a quarter-century ago -- in 1988 -- when U.S. Chrome backed New Hampshire driver Dana Patten in five races on what is now the Sprint Cup Series. Stoddard served as crewchief and chassis specialist for the team, and more recently teamed with Reath to field cars for Boris Said in a limited schedule of events on the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Last year, he served as crewchief for the #26 Latitude 43 Motorsports team, an operation that is not expected to compete this season.
    "I am energized to be back partnering with U.S. Chrome and Bob Reath… this time as co-owners on NASCAR's grandest stage." Stoddard said. "With U.S. Chrome's sponsorship of the FAS Lane Racing Team, we look forward to hitting the ground running at the Daytona 500." The team will announce its Daytona 500 driver early next week, with Stoddard hinting he may utilize multiple wheelmen over the course of the season.(Sirius Speedway)(2-4-2011)

  • Ragan signed thru 2014: some previous reports had #6-David Ragan of Roush Fenway Racing as a free agent after this season. According to Roush Fenway Racing, the UPS sponsorship is up at the end of 2011, however, Ragan's contract extends throught 2014 (FoxSports)(2-4-2011)

  • National Corn Growers Association Becomes Official Partner Of NASCAR: As the 2011 NASCAR season launches with a new, greener fuel, the nation's corn growers are joining forces with NASCAR to promote the use of corn-based American Ethanol. As an Official Partner of NASCAR, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) will leverage their relationship to authentically spread the message to NASCAR fans around the role American Farmers play in the development of American Ethanol. As the 2011 NASCAR season launches with a new, greener fuel, the nation's corn growers are joining forces with NASCAR to promote the use of corn-based American Ethanol. As an Official Partner of NASCAR, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) will leverage their relationship to authentically spread the message to NASCAR fans around the role American Farmers play in the development of American Ethanol. In December 2010, NASCAR unveiled its landmark partnership with American Ethanol just weeks after announcing a 2011 switch in its three major national series to Sunoco Green E15, a new 15-percent ethanol blend fuel made with corn grown in the United States. Growth Energy, a leading ethanol advocacy organization, created the American Ethanol partnership to push for broad acceptance of a renewable domestic fuel for all American motorists.(NASCAR)(2-4-2011)

  • Hendrick Motorsports rent CMS for pit practice: Hendrick Motorsports held a fully suited dress rehearsal for its pit crews at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday. Apparently the organization rented the track for a closed session for all four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams. The four cars used for the exercises include two #5's (of Mark Martin), the #48 with Jimmie Johnson behind the wheel and the #88 Chevy with Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel. The #24 team of Jeff Gordon was pitting the second #5 car. The drivers were running different sequences and pitting in every other pit with the pit stops being filmed from the flagstand, according to a source who attended the test. The session lasted less than three hours (FoxSports)
    UPDATE: the HMS test was a pit road practice only. At no time did a car leave pit road. CMS has availability next week 2/6-10/11 for any other NASCAR Series team who would like to practice team pit stops. Charlotte Motor Speedway track rentals info at charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(2-4-2011)

  • Nemechek's plans for 2011: NEMCO Motorsports will be back for a third season in the Sprint Cup Series. Planning on sending two cars to Daytona, the team will field Kevin Conway in an ExtenZe sponsored ride for the #97 entry. With just a little under three weeks in preparation, NEMCO and crew are working hard to get ready to head off to Daytona. "I've been doing this a long time, and we have some good stuff going on with both the 87 … and the 97," says owner driver Joe Nemechek. "[Kevin] made a phone call to me, saying he needed help, and I said OK." Right now, the team's two car operation is a one race deal, but future races could be added to Conway's schedule. Sponsorship past Daytona looks uncertain for Joe Nemechek's car. "We have picked up sponsorship for Speedweeks," said Nemechek. "We have HeatRedefined.com back with us for our Cup car, and DAB Constructors is helping us out with our Nationwide car for Daytona, but we're still trying to seek sponsors for Phoenix, and California, and everywhere else after that." In regards to his Nationwide schedule, "We're going to try and run the whole [schedule], but it all depends on sponsorship," said Nemechek. "Unless you have some financial help, it's pretty much impossible to do on your own."(The Racing Experts)(2-4-2011)

  • Cheesehead Kvapil Is Super Bowl Bound: Next week, Travis Kvapil will be pulling on his racing helmet at Daytona International Speedway, but this weekend he's headed to Texas with his cheesehead hat. The driver of the #34 Long John Silver's Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will attend Sunday's Super Bowl XLV in Arlington to cheer on his home-state team, the Green Bay Packers. "I've been a Packers fan my whole life," said the Janesville, Wisc., native. "Growing up in Wisconsin, you'd go to church on Sunday morning, then go home and watch the Packers game. When I was a kid, the Packers weren't really good, but I still cheered for them every weekend and they were still my favorite team." Kvapil's favorite memory as a Packer fan is going to Lambeau Field, Green Bay's historic football stadium, for the first time. "It's just such a unique place," described Kvapil. "It's not like other big-city football stadiums. It's in almost a residential neighborhood, so it's not what you might expect. When I walked in, I just felt like I was part of something special. I thought back to Vince Lombardi and Bart Starr and guys who won the first championships back in the 60s. To think they were in that same place where I was, it was pretty cool."(Breaking Limits)(2-4-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Licensed Tour Allows Guests to Remember the Life of Dale Earnhardt: The NASCAR Hall of Fame and AIM Tours are offering a once in-a-lifetime experience to reflect on the career of Inaugural Inductee Dale Earnhardt. The Dale Tour, a special two-day motorcoach tour limited to 50 people, gives guests the opportunity to tour the NASCAR Hall of Fame, meet Martha Earnhardt, have lunch at the RCR Museum, join a candlelight visual at DEI and visit many other Earnhardt-specific attractions Thursday, Feb. 17 - Friday, Feb. 18. The Dale Tour is a special two-day version of NASCAR Hall of Fame's popular Ultimate Fan Experience tour and gives fans a look into the life of one of NASCAR's most beloved drivers. It recognizes many of Earnhardt's accomplishments on the racetrack as well as a behind-the-scenes look into his life off the track. Tickets are $179 per person and include two days of lunch, transportation and attraction admissions. The Dale Tour is offered through AIM Tours in conjunction with the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Tickets are $179.00 per person. The Dale Tour is limited to 50 guests. To learn more call 704-938-7390 or visit www.NASCARHall.com.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(2-4-2011)

  • Many 2011 schemes added from the media tour and some diecast images, including: #29 Budweiser & Jimmy John's & hauler, #15 NAPA / Earnhardt tribute, #14 Burger King, #39 Haas Automation, #18 M&M's & Interstate Batteries, #24 Drive to End Hunger, #9 DeWalt & Stanley, #16 3M, #27 Menard's, #21 Motorcraft / Quick Lane, #33 Cheerio's, BB&T and hauler, #11 FedEx Express, #41 Target, #1 Widia & McDonald's, #22 AAA & Pennzoil, #2 Miller Lite, #43 Best Buy, #5 GoDaddy.com, #78 Furniture Row, #99 Aflac, #17 Crown Royal, #20 Home Depot, #6 UPS Logistics to the Paint Scheme Gallery.
    Also many added to the 2011 Nationwide Paint Scheme Gallery and the Camping World Truck Paint Scheme Gallery.

  • Sad News - Lawrence Pollock: Lawrence Pollock, 86, of Kansas City, Kansas, passed away Tuesday, February 1, 2011, at home. Pollock was the grandfather of Camping World Truck Series driver, Jennifer Joe Cobb. More info at legacy.com.(2-4-2011)

  • Waltrip marks 25th Daytona 500 start with special ticket offer: For #15-Michael Waltrip, there’s no better way to spend the morning of the Daytona 500 – NASCAR’s biggest and most prestigious race of the year – than interacting with his fans and enjoying cupcakes and Coca-Cola products. As the two-time Daytona 500 champion approaches his 25th start in the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 20, the popular NASCAR driver and owner of Michael Waltrip Racing will partner with Daytona International Speedway for the second straight year on a special ticket package – the Michael Waltrip Daytona 500 Celebration Offer.
    Included in the ticket package, available for $129, is:
    · A Superstretch Daytona 500 ticket
    · Fan forum with Waltrip the morning of the Daytona 500
    · Celebration with Waltrip featuring cupcakes and Coca-Cola products
    · Gift bag that includes items from Michael Waltrip Racing partners
    · Commemorative item signed by Waltrip for each ticket holder
    The Michael Waltrip Daytona 500 Celebration Offer is available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/mwr or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-4-2011)

  • Three promotions at Watkins Glen: Watkins Glen International announced that three members of the marketing team have been recognized for their contributions to the success of the legendary road course over the last few seasons. Brett Powell and Ryan Lake, both Horseheads High School graduates, and Mike Eckert, an Elmira Free Academy graduate, were each promoted with their new responsibilities taking effect immediately. Powell is entering his seventh season at WGI while Lake and Eckert are about to begin their sixth.
    Powell, currently an Ithaca, NY resident, has been promoted from director of fan experience to senior director of marketing and fan experience. In his new role, he will oversee consumer integration, public communications, and the 360 degree fan experience at The Glen.
    Lake, formerly the public relations manager, has been promoted to senior manager of public relations. In his new role, he will manage and supervise all aspects of the public relations department, develop the year-long public relations plan for the track, manage the media center during event weekends, act as the liaison between WGI and the media, and assist Powell in other areas of communications.
    Eckert moves from his former position as corporate sales executive to his new position as the senior account executive.
    Tickets for the 2011 race season at Watkins Glen International are on sale NOW! Fans can order their tickets or get more information about the 2011 race season at Watkins Glen International by calling the ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or logging on to the official website, www.TheGlen.com.(WGI)(2-4-2011)

  • Talladega Announces Fan Hall of Fame Nominations Now Being Accepted: The history and lore surrounding Talladega Superspeedway leads thousands of NASCAR fans to flock to the foothills of Alabama twice a year. Now, two fans will be chosen each year to become a part of the track’s history when they are enshrined to the Talladega Superspeedway Fan Hall of Fame. Fans can nominate themselves or be nominated by others by completing the online entry form and an essay of 100 words or less, explaining why they should be selected as the ultimate fan of Talladega Superspeedway. The selection committee consists of staff from Talladega Superspeedway and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. In recognition of being selected to the Talladega Superspeedway Fan Hall of Fame, inductees will be recognized during pre-race ceremonies of the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and showcased on www.talladegasuperspeedway.com and in a special display at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum. Nominations for the 2011 Fan Hall of Fame will be accepted from February 1 - March 1, 2011. A full set of rules and online nomination form can be found at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/fhof. For more information on tickets to Talladega Superspeedway, please visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.(TSS)(2-4-2011)


    News from February 3, 2011

  • Stoddard starts new Cup team: Frank Stoddard, a 14-time Cup winner as a crew chief has formed his own NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team and plans to run the full 36-race schedule with the #32 Ford. No driver has been named and the team is currently seeking sponsorship support. "I'm really eager to get this off the ground," said Stoddard. "It's a great time to enter the sport. We'll just have to wait and see where we can go from here. My hope is to take this team to a competitive level and put together some respectable runs with the limited resources we have in place. One never knows, with our determination and just a little bit of funding we could definitely improve our chances on the track." Stoddard plans to open the season with the Daytona 500.(National Speed Sport News) Stoodard was the crew cheif of the #26 Latitude 43 team that attempted all 36 races in 2011 with various drivers, but has not made its plans for 2011 known and didn't test at Daytona.(2-3-2011)

  • PPG Returns as Penske Racing Sponsor: Building on one of the longest relationships in motorsports, PPG Industries announced that it has reached a multi-year extension of its partnership with Penske Racing. Beginning its 32nd season working with the team in 2011, PPG returns as an associate sponsor on all of Penske Racing's NASCAR entries this season. This includes the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge driven by Kurt Busch and the #2 Miller Lite Dodge driven by Brad Keselowski in the Sprint Cup Series. In addition, PPG will be an associate sponsor on the defending champion #22 Discount Tire/Ruby Tuesday Dodge piloted by Keselowski and the #12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge with driver Sam Hornish Jr. in the Nationwide Series. In addition to its success on the race track, Penske Racing has also teamed up with PPG to help showcase its ecologically-conscious Envirobase High Performance system that focuses on lower volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in refinish basecoats.(Penske Racing)(2-3-2011)

  • Look for Montoya to re-sign with Gannasi: During the Rolex 24 last weekend, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya's co-owner Felix Sabates said the driver wasn't "going anywhere" and he expects the deal to be completed soon. Montoya's contract is up at the end of 2011.(FoxSports)(2-3-2011)

  • Court rules Brian France's divorce dispute will be public: NASCAR Chairman Brian France's messy divorce and legal dispute with his ex-wife should play out in open court, the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. Brian and Megan France had sought to keep their court proceedings secret, but the appeals court upheld a Charlotte judge's order refusing to close their court hearings. The appeals court ruled Brian France had failed to show that his interest in keeping the litigation secret outweighed the public's right to open court proceedings. The court, however, allowed previously filed documents in the case to remain sealed, leaving it to the Charlotte judge who handles the Frances' trial to decide which, if any, documents should be made public. The judge will also have to decide whether courtroom testimony related to sealed documents should be closed. Among the sealed documents is a confidential agreement between Brian and Megan France concerning their separation, property settlement, child support and custody and alimony. Brian France's lawyer had said the agreement involved "intensely private" matters involving their children and finances. Tuesday's ruling can be appealed to the N.C. Supreme Court. If it isn't, the case will probably go back to Mecklenburg District Court for trial. See full article at the Charlotte Observer)(2-3-2011)

  • Educators Invited to Explore NASCAR Hall of Fame Free Feb. 5: Teachers are invited to explore the NASCAR Hall of Fame free of charge 10 am – 6 pm Saturday, Feb. 5. Educators from K-12 public, private and charter schools can learn more about the valuable programming available that delves into a range of science, math and social studies concepts to engage young minds.
    Teachers can view three new social studies lesson packets and the six science and math lesson packets launched last year. Teachers also can view artifacts and exhibits that directly relate to curriculum standards. Members of the education department will be available to answer questions and share lesson plans. Advance reservations are not required, but educators must bring a photo ID and proof of employment at an accredited K-12 educational institution to the box office to receive free admission.
    Specialized lesson plans act as a starting point for teachers looking to integrate this experience into their own classrooms. Each less plan includes a pre-visit activity, on-site activity at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and a post-visit activity. All lesson plans match state and national learning standards and are available at www.NASCARHall.com. The NASCAR Hall of Fame staff also offers assistance to teachers who prefer individualized curriculum.
    Friends and family who accompany an educator are eligible for discounted admission from the box office on Saturday, Feb. 5. Discounted adult admission is $15.95 for adults, $9.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week. Discounted parking is available in the NASCAR Hall of Fame parking garage on Brevard Street.(NHOF)(2-3-2011)


    News from February 2, 2011

  • Mayfield emerges, planning new business venture: Jeremy Mayfield made an appearance on Speed Channel's "Race Hub'' show Tuesday night. It was the first time Mayfield has spoken publicly in a while. With an appeal against NASCAR in the courts, there wasn't much Mayfield could say about his battle with the sanctioning body over his failed drug test in May 2009. Mayfield did say he's looking to start a metal recycling business and talked about maybe doing some dirt racing in the South. To view what Mayfield said on the show in his interview with Steve Byrnes, who noted afterward that there were more questions that Mayfield could not answer because of pending litigation against NASCAR, see the article at the Virginian Pilot.(2-2-2011)

  • ESPN To Air Film on NASCAR Pioneer Wendell Scott: NASCAR, ESPN and Max Siegel Inc., announced that "Wendell Scott: A Race Story" will air on ESPN in conjunction with Black History Month. The much anticipated film will tell the story of Wendell Scott, the only African-American to win a race in NASCAR's top series. The film airs on ESPN Sunday, Feb. 20, at 9:00pm/et, just hours after the scheduled running of the 53rd annual Daytona 500.
    The docudrama, which was produced by Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group in conjunction with ESPN Films and Max Siegel Inc., will air 50 years after Scott's first race in NASCAR's premier series. Scott, one of the sport's most iconic pioneers who is often referred to as the Jackie Robinson of motorsports, paved the way for minorities and women. Scott's lasting legacy is credited with helping create the Drive for Diversity program. Drive for Diversity is a NASCAR-led initiative aimed at developing and introducing minority and female drivers and crew members to competitive opportunities in the sport.(NASCAR Media Group/ESPN Films)(2-2-2011)

  • Post-It colors for Biffle at Vegas: Greg Biffle is scheduled to drive a Post-It Special scheme on the #16 Ford at Las Vegas in March. See an image of the scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page.(2-2-2011)

  • Hartford not returning to sponsor the #33: from the Hartford Racing site: After 2 exciting and successful seasons, The Hartford has decided not to pursue a 2011 sponsorship with Richard Childress Racing and the #33 car driven by Clint Bowyer. Over the past 2 years, Richard Childress Racing has been a valued partner of The Hartford and we wish the entire Richard Childress Racing team continued success for years to come.(The Hartford)(2-2-2011)

  • Pepsi back with Gordon: Pepsi Max will again sponsor #24-Jeff Gordon, for two races in 2011. At Bristol in March and Daytona in July. See an image of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(2-2-2011)

  • 'Herman' to stand-by for Kenseth: Kenny Wallace told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he will be standing by to take over Matt Kenseth's #17 Crown Royal Ford, if Kenseth is called away during SpeedWeek 2011. "I got a call last night from (Roush Fenway Racing GM) Robbie Reiser, and he said Katie Kenseth is due to give birth to their second baby in a couple of weeks," said Wallace. "They want me to be on standby in case she goes into labor before the Bud Shootout or Gatorade Duel. He said Matt will run the Daytona 500 no matter what, but they want me there in case they need me earlier in the week. Even though it's probably because I'm the same size as Matt and will fit into the seat easily, it took me about a quarter of a second to agree."(Sirius Speedway)(2-2-2011)

  • Special Interstate Batteries scheme for Busch: Interstate Batteries, scheduled to sponsor #18-Kyle Busch for six races in 2011, will run a special scheme at Daytona in the Coke Zero 400 in July. See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(2-2-2011)

  • More testing at Walt Disney Speedway UPDATE: last week more NASCAR teams tested at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando, FL, including #18-Kyle Busch [Cup], Todd Bodine [Trucks] along with David Ragan, Brian Scott and Steve Wallace - unsure what series they were testing for. Supposedly there is more testing scheduled at the track this week.(2-1-2011)
    UPDATE: testing at Walt Disney World Speedway on Tuesday were #31-Burton, #42-Montoya and #27-Menard.(2-2-2011)


    News from February 1, 2011

  • Fan to miss first Daytona 500: Jack Hege, believed to be the only person to have attended every Daytona 500, will see his streak end this year because of a broken left arm suffered in April that has not healed properly and required surgery in December. Hege, who lives in Lexington, N.C., first went down to Daytona in 1958, witnessing the final race on the beach course. He enjoyed the experience so much that he returned the following year when the race moved to Daytona International Speedway and the first Daytona 500 was held. Hege, who turns 84 on Feb. 9, just kept going back to Daytona after that, telling me three years ago that "I've never known any other home except Daytona.'' He even delayed knee surgery to attend last year's Daytona 500 to keep his streak alive. Hege still has his ticket to the 1959 Daytona 500 he attended. Two years ago, NASCAR honored Hege by seating him among the celebrities for the drivers meeting before the race and introducing him to the competitors in honor of his Daytona 500 streak. Hege was injured when he fell backward and tried to catch himself in April. He continued to suffer complications from the injury and had surgery in December. His arm is in a sling and still has screws in the bone.(full story at the Virginian Pilot)(2-1-2011)

  • NASCAR's TRG Wins Grueling Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona [GT Class]: TRG's Steve Bertheau, Brendan Gaughan, Spencer Pumpelly, Wolf Henzler and Andy Lally drove the #67 TRG/Sargent & Lundy/South Point Hotel & Casino/Porsche to the GT class victory in the Grand-Am Rolex Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona.The #67 was not the only story for TRG. The #4 TRG/Children's Tumor Foundation/Porsche came home in eighth; the #66 TRG/Viper Exchange/Cabana Cachaca Rum/NOS Energy Drink/Porsche was classified as 13th; the #54 TRG/Black Swan/GMG/Porsche classified in 16th, and the #53 TRG/Nadeau Motorsports/North American Baseball League/Porsche finished 21st. Ron Yarab, Daniel Graeff, Richard Zahn, Kenny Wallace and Ryan Eversley in the #4 TRG/Children's Tumor Foundation/Luna-C Clothing/Porsche was made up of a group of veteran racers who took a more conservative approach which resulted in a very rewarding eighth place finish.(TRG Motorsports), The team fields a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry, the #71 Chevy, which is expected to run the Daytona 500 with Andy Lally driving.(2-1-2011)

  • Mayfield on Race Hub tonight: Jeremy Mayfield, suspended by NASCAR for failing a drug test that NASCAR says was positive for methamphetamines and involved with a lawsuit over the suspension and drug tests, is scheduled to appear on SPEED's NASCAR Race Hub, Tuesday, Feb. 1st. The show is scheduled to air at 7:00pm/et with a 2:00am/et re-air.(2-1-2011)

  • SPEED presents Mario Andretti Trophy: Fresh off a 10-day goodwill tour of Europe and the Middle East to visit U.S. servicemembers with a contingent of IndyCar drivers, racing legend Mario Andretti traveled to Red Bull Racing’s Formula One headquarters in Milton Keynes, Great Britain to present 2010 FIA Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel with the Mario Andretti Trophy as the 2010 SPEED Performer of the Year. The award, now in its fifth season, is presented annually by SPEED to the racer who puts a premium on winning races, shines on motor sports’ biggest stages and does it all with a measure of sportsmanship and class. In 2010, at 23, Vettel became the youngest driver ever to win the FIA Formula One World Championship, besting Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 effort by six months. The young German racer finished the season with five wins, 10 poles and 10 podiums, claiming the title in the final race of the season -- a finale that marked the first time in the series’ 60-year history that four drivers had a shot at the title.
    The 2010 SPEED Performer of the Year was selected by a panel including racing legends Andretti, Dan Gurney and Sir Stirling Moss, "Wind Tunnel" host Dave Despain, veteran broadcasters Varsha, Ralph Sheheen and Leigh Diffey, SPEED.com writers Robin Miller and Tom Jensen, versatile racers Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder and a select group of SPEED motor sports producers.
    The trophy, a true work of art created by bronze sculptor Elie Hazak, stands 38 inches tall and weighs 95 pounds. It features eight cars, including six of the most important in Mario’s rise to superstardom, as well as an array of artistic symbolism that captures the essence of the trophy’s namesake.
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who won his fifth consecutive title in 2010 and is a three-time Mario Andretti Trophy winner, was this year’s runner-up. The top six vote-getters will be featured in a one-hour SPEED television special on Feb. 10 at 9:00pm/et, along with nine additional “fan chosen” SPEED Performance Awards, including RACER Rookie of the Year.(SPEED)(2-1-2011)

  • Spirit of Ford Award announced: Kevin Kennedy, who has worked with some of the greatest names in Ford Racing history as director of Ford Racing public affairs, was presented the prestigious Spirit of Ford Award in a surprise ceremony today as part of the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour. The Spirit of Ford Award is Ford Motor Company’s highest honor in auto racing, recognizing lifetime achievement and contribution to the industry both on and off the race track. Kennedy becomes the 25th recipient, joining an international list of honorees from all forms of racing and racing media. He was recognized in a surprise presentation by Edsel B. Ford II, great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford and a member of the company’s board of directors. In addition to his duties with Ford Racing, Kennedy is Executive Vice President at PCGCampbell, a marketing communications agency that was founded in 1982 as Campbell & Co. in conjunction with Ford Motor Company’s corporate reentry into professional motorsports. In addition to the Spirit of Ford, Kennedy was also recognized for his excellence in motorsports public relations by the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) with the Jim Chapman Award in 2006.
    Spirit of Ford Awards Winners
    Bill Stroppe, 1988
    Bob Glidden, 1989
    Chris Economaki, 1990
    Richard Petty, 1992
    Bob Bondurant, 1993
    Mario Andretti, 1994
    Jackie Stewart, 1994
    Bud Moore, 1995
    Parnelli Jones, 1996
    Jim Clark, 1997
    Phil Hill, 1998
    Stirling Moss, 1998
    Bill France, Sr., 1998
    Bill France Jr. 1998
    Junie Donlavey, Jr., 1999
    Glen Wood, 1999
    Leonard Wood, 1999
    Dan Gurney, 1999
    Denise McCluggage, 2000
    Bill Elliott, 2000
    Carroll Shelby, 2001
    Wally Parks, 2001
    Ned Jarrett, 2003
    Mose Nowland, 2005
    Jack Roush , 2006
    John Force, 2010
    Kevin Kennedy, 2011
    (Ford Racing)(2-1-2011)

  • Virginia College Savings plan renews partnership with RIR: Richmond International Raceway officials announced the Virginia College Savings Plan has renewed its partnership with America’s Premier Short Track. The Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race kicks off the Fall NASCAR Doubleheader weekend “under the lights” on Friday night September 9. The Virginia College Savings Plan remains the Official College Savings Plan of the track and presenting sponsor of the Family Sections presented by Virginia 529 College Savings Plan. The season-long Family Sections presented by Virginia 529 feature a special price on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for kids 12 and under and alcohol is prohibited in these sections. For NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, tickets for kids 12 and under start at $25 when accompanied by a paying adult. You must call 866-455-RACE (7223) to purchase children’s tickets in the Family Sections presented by Virginia 529 College Savings Plan. NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway for a NASCAR Tripleheader April 28-30, highlighted by the Saturday, April 30 Crown Royal Presents The Your Name Here 400 Sprint Cup Series race. Tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-RACE (7223).(RIR)(2-1-2011)

  • Memphis Motorsports deal closes: Moroso Investment Partners, the ownership group of Palm Beach International Raceway, has closed the transaction on purchasing the Memphis Motorsports Parkfrom Dover Motorsports Inc. for $2 million. Moroso was the high bidder at an auction Dec. 14. The purchase includes all 342 acres, including a quarter-mile drag strip, a three-quarter-mile paved oval and a road course. A news release Monday from Moroso said the new owners hope to have the track open in April. Dover Motorsports closed the park in November 2009. Pam Kendrick has been named vice president and general manger of the facility. She previously was senior director of administration and finance of the facility under Dover Motorsports. Chris Sowell has been named facilities manager. The Memphis facility will reopen sanctioned as an IHRA facility, with Summit Super Series bracket racing and weekly test and tune sessions, the release said.(Memphis Commercial Appeal)(2-1-2011)


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