NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
JULY 2011

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    News from July 31, 2011

  • Menard wins Brickyard 400: #27-Paul Menard won the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Speedway for his 1st career win, becoming the 4th first time Sprint Cup race winner in 2011. Menard is the first driver to get his first career win in the Brickyard 400. The win was the 52nd for a car running the #27 and first since Jimmy Spencer won at Taladega in July 1994.
    #24-Gordon, going for his 5th Brickyard 400 win, finished 2nd, followed by #78-Smith (his 2nd career top five), #1-McMurray (last years Brickyard 400 winner), #17-Kenseth, #14-Stewart, #16-Biffle, #5-Martin, #2-Keselowski and #18-Busch.
    Pole sitter, #6-Ragan finished 23rd and points leader going in to the race, #99-Edwards, finished 14th and maintains a 12 point lead over #29-Harvick.
    There were 22 lead changes among 13 drivers; 5 cautions for 22 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 138,000, down a tad from 140,000 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, August 3 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Indianapolis Race Results/Awards page.(7-31-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Indianapolis:
    #27-Paul Menard won the 18th Annual Brickyard 400 presented by BigMachineRecords.com, his first victory in 167 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    Menard is the first driver to win his first career race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He is the fourth different first-time winner this season, the most since 2007.
    This is his sixth top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his first top-10 finish in five races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    The Menard family has a long history at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but this is the first Indy win in a Menards-sponsored car.
    #24-Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 18 races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2011.
    #78-Regan Smith (third) posted his first top-10 finish in four races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-31-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Indianapolis, race 20 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 682
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 671, -11
    3) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 670, -12
    4) #18-Kyle Busch [3 wins], 666, -16
    5) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 666, -16
    6) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 664, -18
    7) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 630, -52
    8) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 618, -64
    9) #14-Tony Stewart, 609, -73
    10) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 606, -76
    wild cards
    11) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 587, -95 [11th in points, 1 win]

    12) #27-Paul Menard [1 win], 553, -129 [14th in points, 1 win]
    others
    16) #6-David Ragan [1 win], 546, -136 [16th in points, 1 win]
    Two race winners are not inside the top-20: #2-Keselowski is 21st, 16 pts out of 20th; #78-Smith is 26th, 76 pts out of 20th
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as they are in the top-20 in points, then if no wins by drivers points
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(7-31-2011)

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

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Pocono:
    #71 moves into the top-35, and #7 team drops out after finishing last at Indy.
    32) #36-Blaney/TBR, 289, +50
    33) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 285, +46
    34) #13-Mears/Germain, 282, +43
    35) #71-Lally/TRG, 249, 10 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #7-Gordon/Wimmer/RGM, 239, 10 points out of top 35
    37) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 226, -23
    38) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 218,-31
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(7-31-2011)

  • NAPA to JGR? denied: Several sources have mentioned Joey Logano moving to a fourth JGR car sponsored by NAPA, the current sponsor on the #56 Toyota. When asked about NAPA's future relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing, a team principal said the contract runs through 2012 and NAPA is committed to that agreement.(FoxSports)(7-31-2011)

  • Big Red returns to the #36 at Indy: Big Red, the Texas-based beverage company will return to the #36 Big Red Chevy this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 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. Big Red, Inc. subsidiary ALL SPORT Body Quencher was the primary sponsor of the #36 Chevy at Kentucky Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Infineon Raceway and an associate sponsor at Talladega Superspeedway this season. TBR will compete to feed America's families again this weekend. If the #36 Big Red Chevy finishes in the top-10 in the Brickyard 400, kids eat free (with an adult purchase) on Monday, August 1st. Golden Corral will also donate $5,000 to the DAV.(TBR)(7-31-2011)

  • Huggies for Bobby Labonte: Bobby Labonte enters Indianapolis Motor Speedway with JTG Daugherty Racing and the #47 Toyota Camry carrying a new brand - - Huggies Little Movers Slip-On Diapers, which is a slip-on disposable diaper providing for an easy diaper change that will be available in stores beginning in August. "This is a big launch for Huggies Little Movers Slip-On Diapers," Labonte said. "We are looking forward to supporting them at the Brickyard." Labonte has started every Brickyard 400 along with only three others - - Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin. (JTG Daugherty Racing)(7-31-2011)

  • Gibbs courting Edwards? UPDATES Ford steps in to help offer to Edwards: am hearing that Carl Edwards, currently the driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, is being courted by Joe Gibbs Racing to take over the #20 Home Depot Toyota ride. Where would that leave current #20 driver, Joey Logano, to the long rumored 4th Joe Gibbs car, no word on who would be the sponsor, if it happens.(6-17-2011)
    UPDATES see past updates and notes on the Edwards news and rumors on the #99 Team News and Links page.
    Another UPDATE: #99-Carl Edwards is staying focused on winning a championship despite widespread speculation that he is leaving Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing after this season. Edwards would not comment Friday on whether he has made a decision, but he was adamant that it will not hurt his chances of winning the title regardless. "I feel like no matter what happens we have a great thing going," said Edwards, who has a seven-point lead over five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson heading into Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Jack Roush and Ford and Aflac, that is our mission right now -- to win the championship. That is all of our goals. Whatever happens, happens. But I believe that is reasonable to believe that could happen no matter what." Speculation that Edwards was headed for JGR to drive the #20 Home Depot car currently driven by Joey Logano, with Aflac following him to JGR, intensified two weeks ago at New Hampshire. Logano and crew chief Greg Zipadelli told ESPN.com that they have been given no indication that their status for next season will change. Logano said the rumors haven't been a distraction for him and his team. "If anything it is making my team work harder," Logano said. "It's making us come together more as a team. It's good. The last few weeks it's paid off. The last four weeks we have scored more points than anybody. All I've heard is rumors. No one has told me anything." Edwards would not give a timetable for making an announcement, although sources say it has to be soon so plans for next season can get under way. When asked if he had made a decision, Edwards said, "I'd just rather not say. We're working hard on the contract stuff. I've heard a lot of different ideas out there. The story remains the same -- I'm going to make a decision that is the best one I can make. I'm going to do that outside the media. Right now I have a signed contract, and that is the contract I signed in 2008 to race for Jack in '09, '10 and '11. So that is my mission. That's what I'm going to honor."(ESPN). .(7-29-2011)
    More on Edwards - Ford steps in: Ford Racing has gone to what officials call unprecedented measures to help Roush Fenway Racing keep #99-Carl Edwards from going to the Toyota team of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We've helped out with an offer we have never done before for another driver,'' said Kevin Kennedy, the director of Ford Racing communication, before Saturday's qualifying for the Brickyard 400. "It was important enough for us that we were trying to make it unprecedented.'' Kennedy would not give specifics into what Ford has offered other than to say top executives in the organization have been closely involved with RFR in negotiations. "If he's around, it's something that will help him in terms of continuing to promote Ford products,'' Kennedy said of Edwards, who has become the face of Ford Racing. "We've been in racing for 110 years and I don't think we've ever done this before.'' Steve Newmark, the president of RFR, acknowledged that Ford has gone above and beyond to help keep Edwards in the fold. Newmark added that the total package offered to this year's top free agent shows just how important officials believe he is to the future of the organization and manufacturer. "I hope everybody understands Roush Fenway is very intent on signing Carl,'' Newmark said. "We understand he is trying to make a decision that is best for his future.'' Edwards declined on Friday to say whether he has made a decision amidst speculation he is headed for JGR to drive the #20 currently occupied by Joey Logano with Home Depot and Aflac as his sponsors. Newmark and Kennedy said Edwards has told them no decision has been made. Newmark added that no ultimatum or deadline for a decision will be made even though RFR wants it done sooner rather than later to prepare for next year. Sources said Edwards could earn more than $40 million over three years. Newmark said money hasn't been a major factor in RFR's negotiations. Should Edwards leave, Newmark said the replacement likely would come from in house with developmental drivers Trevor Bayne or Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He said no driver outside the organization has been contacted.(ESPN)(7-30-2011)
    DONE DEAL? Edwards says the only contract he's signed was his last one with Jack Roush three years ago. Whether there's a current contract or not, the latest scuttlebutt has Edwards driving the #20 Home Depot Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012 for a staggering amount of money -- $8 million as a base, plus a $10 million signing bonus.(FoxSports)(7-31-2011)


    News from July 30, 2011

  • Race Coverage of the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, July 31, 2011.
    Television (TV): ESPN at 1:00 pm/et; NSCS Countdown pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:19pm/et
    Radio: IMS Radio Network and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, August 3 at 12:00pm/et

  • David Ragan wins Brickyard 400 pole: #6-David Ragan [in the Ned Jarrett special paint scheme] won the Coors Light pole for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a speed of 182.994mph for his 2nd pole of the season and of his career. #4-Kahne starts 2nd followed by #48-Johnson, #22-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #43-Allmendinger, #42-Montoya, #24-Gordon, #17-Kenseth and #99-Edwards.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Bayne,#37-Speed, #66-McDowell, #87-Nemechek, #60-Skinner, #71-Lally, #50-Bell and #23-Terry Labonte [using the past champions provisional].
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (5): #30-Stremme, #38-Kvapil, #46-Darnell, #55-Yeley and #77-Wimmer.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Indy Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(7-30-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Indianapolis:
    #6-David Ragan won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 18th Annual Brickyard 400 presented by BigMachineRecords.com with a lap of 49.182 seconds, 182.994 mph.
    This is his second pole in 166 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. His last pole came at Texas in April of this season.
    This is his second pole and eighth top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his first pole in five races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. His previous best starting position was 16th in 2008.
    #4-Kasey Kahne (second) posted his 11th top-10 start of 2011 and his sixth in eight races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It is his eighth in 20 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-30-2011)

  • Fastest Qualifier by Manufacturer at Indy::
    Chevy: #48-Johnson, 182.800, starts 3rd
    Dodge: #2-Busch, 182.671, starts 4th
    Ford: #6-Ragan, 182.994, starts 1st
    Toyota: #4-Kahne, 182.927, starts 2nd

  • Gibbs courting Edwards? UPDATES Ford steps in to help offer to Edwards: am hearing that Carl Edwards, currently the driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, is being courted by Joe Gibbs Racing to take over the #20 Home Depot Toyota ride. Where would that leave current #20 driver, Joey Logano, to the long rumored 4th Joe Gibbs car, no word on who would be the sponsor, if it happens.(6-17-2011)
    UPDATES see past updates and notes on the Edwards news and rumors on the #99 Team News and Links page.
    Another UPDATE: #99-Carl Edwards is staying focused on winning a championship despite widespread speculation that he is leaving Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing after this season. Edwards would not comment Friday on whether he has made a decision, but he was adamant that it will not hurt his chances of winning the title regardless. "I feel like no matter what happens we have a great thing going," said Edwards, who has a seven-point lead over five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson heading into Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Jack Roush and Ford and Aflac, that is our mission right now -- to win the championship. That is all of our goals. Whatever happens, happens. But I believe that is reasonable to believe that could happen no matter what." Speculation that Edwards was headed for JGR to drive the #20 Home Depot car currently driven by Joey Logano, with Aflac following him to JGR, intensified two weeks ago at New Hampshire. Logano and crew chief Greg Zipadelli told ESPN.com that they have been given no indication that their status for next season will change. Logano said the rumors haven't been a distraction for him and his team. "If anything it is making my team work harder," Logano said. "It's making us come together more as a team. It's good. The last few weeks it's paid off. The last four weeks we have scored more points than anybody. All I've heard is rumors. No one has told me anything." Edwards would not give a timetable for making an announcement, although sources say it has to be soon so plans for next season can get under way. When asked if he had made a decision, Edwards said, "I'd just rather not say. We're working hard on the contract stuff. I've heard a lot of different ideas out there. The story remains the same -- I'm going to make a decision that is the best one I can make. I'm going to do that outside the media. Right now I have a signed contract, and that is the contract I signed in 2008 to race for Jack in '09, '10 and '11. So that is my mission. That's what I'm going to honor."(ESPN). .(7-29-2011)
    More on Edwards - Ford steps in: Ford Racing has gone to what officials call unprecedented measures to help Roush Fenway Racing keep #99-Carl Edwards from going to the Toyota team of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We've helped out with an offer we have never done before for another driver,'' said Kevin Kennedy, the director of Ford Racing communication, before Saturday's qualifying for the Brickyard 400. "It was important enough for us that we were trying to make it unprecedented.'' Kennedy would not give specifics into what Ford has offered other than to say top executives in the organization have been closely involved with RFR in negotiations. "If he's around, it's something that will help him in terms of continuing to promote Ford products,'' Kennedy said of Edwards, who has become the face of Ford Racing. "We've been in racing for 110 years and I don't think we've ever done this before.'' Steve Newmark, the president of RFR, acknowledged that Ford has gone above and beyond to help keep Edwards in the fold. Newmark added that the total package offered to this year's top free agent shows just how important officials believe he is to the future of the organization and manufacturer. "I hope everybody understands Roush Fenway is very intent on signing Carl,'' Newmark said. "We understand he is trying to make a decision that is best for his future.'' Edwards declined on Friday to say whether he has made a decision amidst speculation he is headed for JGR to drive the #20 currently occupied by Joey Logano with Home Depot and Aflac as his sponsors. Newmark and Kennedy said Edwards has told them no decision has been made. Newmark added that no ultimatum or deadline for a decision will be made even though RFR wants it done sooner rather than later to prepare for next year. Sources said Edwards could earn more than $40 million over three years. Newmark said money hasn't been a major factor in RFR's negotiations. Should Edwards leave, Newmark said the replacement likely would come from in house with developmental drivers Trevor Bayne or Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He said no driver outside the organization has been contacted.(ESPN)(7-30-2011)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is being over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest, notes:
    #16-Biffle 182.587
    #4-Kahne 182.441
    #22-Busch 181.829
    #6-Ragan 181.800
    #99-Edwards 181.514
    slowest: #23-TLabonte 173.554 & #36-Blaney 175.200
    no speed: #66-McDowell
    Qualifying Order [2:00pm/et on Saturday, ESPN2] was set by the first practice.
    See fastest speeds, average speeds, best 10 lap average, laps run and more on the Indy Practice Speeds Page.(7-30-2011)

  • Happy Hour Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers at Indy:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #21-Trevor Bayne, 15th fastest overall
    #37-Scott Speed, 25th
    #30-David Stremme, 32nd
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 35th
    #55-J.J. Yeley, 36th
    #71-Andy Lally, 37th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 38th
    #23-Terry Labonte [PC], 47th but makes field thru past champ prov
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #46-Erik Darnell, 40th
    #50-T.J. Bell, 42nd
    #77-Scott Wimmer, 43rd
    #60-Mike Skinner, 45th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 48th, no speed
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Bowyer says he is close to a deal to stay at RCR: #33-Clint Bowyer met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed his contract status. The transcript in part:
    Q) RICHARD SAYS HE HOPES TO HAVE YOUR DEAL DONE HERE IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS, ARE YOU COMMITTED TO HIM AND HE'S COMMITTED TO YOU?
    Bowyer: "I hope we have it done in a couple of days. We're getting close."
    Q) THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING IF CARL EDWARDS LEAVES AND THAT WILL BE AN OPEN SEAT AND YOU ARE LOOKING THERE, ARE YOU LOOKING AROUND NOW?
    Bowyer: "Yeah, that's the biggest thing. There are a lot of pieces of the puzzle that have to be put in place. Like Carl where he decides to go is a big part of that. Like you said the puzzle is not put together yet."
    Q) BUT FOR YOU, ARE YOU LOOKING ANYWHERE ELSE?
    Bowyer: "No, we are getting close to having a deal put together."(Team Chevy)(7-30-2011)

  • Dale Jr. has no idea what Danica's plans will be: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. met with members of the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and discussed the status of Danica Patrick at JR Motorsports and much more. The transcript in part:
    Q) WHERE DO THINGS STAND WITH JR MOTORSPORTS AND DANICA (PATRICK)?
    Earnhardt Jr.: "I don't know. I haven't heard anything. I feel confident that she's content where she is and happy with what we're doing and I think things are looking positive for us to put something together. I would like for her to run full time and I'm sure she is considering that and I think she would enjoy it. She seems to really enjoy driving stock cars and racing in the Nationwide Series. We just have to see but I haven't heard anything about it."
    Q) HOW WOULD YOU RATE HER PROGESS AS FAR AS TRANSFERRING OVER?
    Earnhardt Jr.: "I think she's doing great. She's way ahead of the curve. We've had the opportunity to put several drivers in that car and her performance is right on par with all those drivers. We started out struggling and she had a steep, steep climb to go and she's really come a long, long way. I'm excited about what the potential is with her going forward. I'm really excited about that."(Team Chevy)(7-30-2011)

  • Update on Shane Hmiel: Former NASCAR driver Shane Hmiel doesn't know if he will walk again. He doesn't know exactly how he will be involved in racing again. He doesn't even know why he's alive. There's one thing Shane Hmiel believes, though: He's lucky, despite an Oct. 9 accident in a Silver Crown car that damaged his brain and spinal cord. He might not know for another four or five years how much he will need the wheelchair he currently has to use, but the 31-year-old Hmiel has an incredibly upbeat attitude about his life. See full article at SceneDaily and a video from a NASCAR Race Hub episode at SPEED.(7-30-2011)

  • Congrats: to John and Sara Royer, on the birth of their son, Mason William Royer. Mason was born at 12:22am/et on 7/28/2011 weighing in at 6lbs 12oz and was 19 3/4 inches long. John works at Joe Gibbs Racing changing tires for #20-Joey Logano #20 and Sara is an NASCAR Official.(7-30-2011)

  • U.S. Women's Soccer star Hope Solo to drive Brickyard 400 pace car: United States women's national soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo will drive the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car at the 2011 Brickyard 400, leading the starting field to the green flag Sunday, July 31 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Solo became a worldwide sensation earlier this month as one of the leaders of the U.S. national team that advanced to the Women's World Cup final in Germany, losing to Japan on penalty kicks. She was named the top goalkeeper of the tournament and was named to the 2011 World Cup all-tournament team. "We're thrilled to welcome Hope Solo as the Pace Car driver for the Brickyard 400," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief executive officer. "Hope and her teammates captivated all of America with their fighting spirit during the Women's World Cup, and her presence as Pace Car driver adds to the prestige and excitement of this great event." Solo led the United States to the gold medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing with a stunning performance in a 1-0 victory over Brazil in the gold-medal game. She has made 101 appearances for the U.S. in international play. "I'm honored to have the unique privilege of driving the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car at the Brickyard 400," Solo said. "It's going to be so much fun. The entire world of NASCAR and its people are such a new and exciting experience for me." Solo, a native of Richland, Wash., was a three-time All-American and four-time all-Pac 10 selection while playing for the University of Washington from 1999-2002. She has played professionally in Europe and the United States since 2002 and has been the starting goalkeeper this season for magicJack (South Florida) of Women's Professional Soccer. She was named WPS goalkeeper of the year in 2009 while playing for Saint Louis Athletica.(IMS)(7-30-2011)

  • Brickyard 400 Race Day Traffic: Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials are encouraging fans to plan ahead for their trip to the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com on Sunday, July 31. IMS officials recommend that fans leave early for the track on Race Day. Fans can get all the latest traffic information and updates on Twitter at either @IMS or @Indstatepolice. Fans also are encouraged to leave early and plan routes accordingly during the entire race weekend due to the major construction project on the west corridor of Interstate 465 in Indianapolis. Due to construction on I-465 southbound, the eastbound Crawfordsville Road ramp is closed (northbound is still open). Also due to construction, 38th Street is restricted to two lanes. Motorists are encouraged to use the eastbound 10th Street ramp from I-465 as the main route to the track.
    Infield parking is not accessible through Gate 2 (Main Gate) from 16th Street eastbound, as left turns are not permitted into that entrance on Race Day. Parking for 16th Street motorists in both directions will be available on the south side of 16th Street after public infield parking fills on all three days of the event.
    IMS will route traffic differently into the facility from 30th Street than it has in the past. All westbound traffic will enter Gate 11 and be parked in Lot 7. All eastbound traffic will enter Gate 10 and follow the same procedure as in the past to either be directed to Turn 3 (until full) or into Lot 7. This change will alleviate congestion and will allow for nearly twice the amount of traffic to enter the facility at the same time from 30th Street.
    The Indiana State Police is advising spectators to visit www.in.gov to receive information on the most direct routes to take when arriving and leaving the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A PDF file entitled "Traveling Tips to the Brickyard 400" is available on the front page of the ISP's website, and road conditions and construction updates also can be found at the main ISP site, www.in.gov/isp. On Race Day, public gates open at 6:00am and the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com begins at 1:00 pm. As an alternative to traveling to the race via car, roundtrip Race Day bus shuttle service is available on Race Day at four convenient locations, including three in downtown Indianapolis and one at Indianapolis International Airport. Tickets are $24 per person for one-way or round-trip service. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.brickyard400parking.com or www.freeenterprisesystem.com or from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on the day of the race at each location, with credit card, debit card and cash accepted.(IMS)(7-30-2011)


    News from July 29, 2011

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 2:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): ESPN2, 2:00pm/et
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

  • Qualifying Order for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is posted. 48 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #77-Wimmer, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #17-Kenseth, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Indianapolis Qualifying Page.(7-29-2011)

  • Second Friday practice for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is over, after 81 minutes, the top 5, slowest, notes:
    #16-Biffle 178.310
    #56-Truex Jr. 178.172
    #48-Johnson 177.669
    #13-Mears 177.289
    #29-Harvick 177.249
    slowest: #38-Kvapil 172.058 & #77-Wimmer 172.358
    notes: #11-Hamlin lost an engine late in the session.
    Qualifying Order [2:00pm/et on Saturday, ESPN2] was set by the first practice.
    See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run and more on the Indy Practice Speeds Page.(7-29-2011)

  • 2nd Friday Practice rank at Indy for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #66-Michael McDowell, 12th fastest over
    #37-Scott Speed, 16th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 20th
    #46-Erik Darnell, 33rd
    #50-T.J. Bell, 36th
    #55-J.J. Yeley, 37th
    #23-Terry Labonte [PC], 38th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 40th
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #21-Trevor Bayne, 41st
    #71-Andy Lally, 42nd
    #30-David Stremme, 44th
    #77-Scott Wimmer, 47th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 48th
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • First Friday practice for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is being over, after 75 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest, notes:
    #17-Kenseth 181.203
    #4-Kahne 181.178
    #11-Hamlin 181.050
    #99-Edwards 180.658
    #6-Ragan 180.404
    slowest: #77-Wimmer 169.383 & #23-TLabonte 169.514
    Qualifying Order [2:00pm/et on Saturday, ESPN2] will be set by the first practice.
    See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run and more on the Indy Practice Speeds Page.(7-29-2011)

  • First Friday practice rank for the non top-35 drivers at Indy:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #21-Trevor Bayne, 24th fastest overall
    #66-Michael McDowell, 29th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 31st
    #30-David Stremme, 34th
    #46-Erik Darnell, 35th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 36th
    #55-J.J. Yeley, 37th
    #23-Terry Labonte [PC], 47th, but has past champ prov to use
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 39th
    #50-T.J. Bell, 42nd
    #37-Scott Speed, 43rd
    #71-Andy Lally, 44th
    #77-Scott Wimmer, 48th
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Gibbs courting Edwards? UPDATES Edwards Mum on contract: am hearing that Carl Edwards, currently the driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, is being courted by Joe Gibbs Racing to take over the #20 Home Depot Toyota ride. Where would that leave current #20 driver, Joey Logano, to the long rumored 4th Joe Gibbs car, no word on who would be the sponsor, if it happens.(6-17-2011)
    UPDATES see past updates and notes on the Edwards news and rumors on the #99 Team News and Links page.
    Another UPDATE: #99-Carl Edwards is staying focused on winning a championship despite widespread speculation that he is leaving Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing after this season. Edwards would not comment Friday on whether he has made a decision, but he was adamant that it will not hurt his chances of winning the title regardless. "I feel like no matter what happens we have a great thing going," said Edwards, who has a seven-point lead over five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson heading into Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Jack Roush and Ford and Aflac, that is our mission right now -- to win the championship. That is all of our goals. Whatever happens, happens. But I believe that is reasonable to believe that could happen no matter what." Speculation that Edwards was headed for JGR to drive the #20 Home Depot car currently driven by Joey Logano, with Aflac following him to JGR, intensified two weeks ago at New Hampshire. Logano and crew chief Greg Zipadelli told ESPN.com that they have been given no indication that their status for next season will change. Logano said the rumors haven't been a distraction for him and his team. "If anything it is making my team work harder," Logano said. "It's making us come together more as a team. It's good. The last few weeks it's paid off. The last four weeks we have scored more points than anybody. All I've heard is rumors. No one has told me anything." Edwards would not give a timetable for making an announcement, although sources say it has to be soon so plans for next season can get under way. When asked if he had made a decision, Edwards said, "I'd just rather not say. We're working hard on the contract stuff. I've heard a lot of different ideas out there. The story remains the same -- I'm going to make a decision that is the best one I can make. I'm going to do that outside the media. Right now I have a signed contract, and that is the contract I signed in 2008 to race for Jack in '09, '10 and '11. So that is my mission. That's what I'm going to honor."(ESPN). .(7-29-2011)

  • NASCAR Drivers TV Exposure at midseason: #18-Kyle Busch was mentioned more often and collected the most on-screen time, verbal references and exposure value for his sponsors than any other driver during race telecasts chronicling the first half of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. -- which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 27 seasons -- Busch's sponsors as a group appeared for 12 hours, 31 minutes, seven seconds (12:31:07) during live and replayed telecasts of the season's first 18 races. When also factoring in verbal mentions (142) of Busch's sponsors, the Cup Series points-leader at mid-year amassed nearly $38.4 million of in-broadcast exposure value for his backing brands. Fox and TNT race announcers also mentioned Busch by name on 2,722 occasions during the first half of the season, or about 36% more frequently than the next closest competitor, Carl Edwards. Edwards, who ranked fifth in overall sponsor exposure, did manage to surpass Busch in the number of TV interviews (29 compared to 23) and total interview time (0:30:46 versus 0:29:57). Fan favorite driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., despite receiving nearly half as many announcer mentions as Busch, garnered the second highest cumulative exposure value total for his sponsors with a showing of more than $26.5 million. Rankings are based on the cumulative Recognition Grade exposure value associated with each driver, calculated during live and replay telecasts of the first 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events of 2011.(more and a chart at Joyce Julius & Associates)(7-29-2011)

  • Watching NASCAR race causes accidents? Accidents caused by aggressive driving rise notably, in West Virginia, five days after a NASCAR race is shown on TV. That's the finding of a new study that explored whether the televised spectacle of aggressive, crash-filled racing shaped the day-to-day motoring habits of West Virginians. The state is fertile ground for such a study, the researchers observed, because it has more NASCAR fans, per capita, than any other. And it has no NASCAR tracks, the study said, so TV is how most people take in races. The study looked at all aggressive-driving accidents (a category used by the state's Division of Highways) from 2003 through 2006—nearly 29,000 in all. Poor road conditions and rain predicted such accidents, unsurprisingly. But 156 televised NASCAR races also had a detectable effect. Accidents actually dropped the day of a race, possibly because people were glued to the TV. But days that followed NASCAR events by five days had 23.59 aggressive accidents, on average, compared to 19.40 for other days.(for more see the Wall Street Journal or the study at wiley.com)(7-29-2011)

  • Travis Pastrana to make NASCAR National Series Debut UPDATE injured in Xgames: After back-flipping his way through the ESPN X Games, Travis Pastrana will catch a red-eye flight to Indianapolis to make his first ever start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway. The long awaited arrival of the action sports star is finally here. Pastrana has 16 X Games gold medals in addition to multiple titles in supercross, motocross and rally cars. He'll make his series debut for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing #99 Boost Mobile Toyota. Pastrana got a taste of NASCAR racing, having run a combination of five NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West races this year including his best finish of sixth in his NASCAR debut in January at the Toyota All-Star Showdown. His other NASCAR K&N Pro Series races were Phoenix (25th), Richmond (33rd), Iowa (22nd) and Loudon (22nd).(NASCAR)(7-27-2011)
    UPDATE: Action sports star Travis Pastrana crashed on back-to-back "TP Roll" attempts Thursday night in X Games 17 Moto X Best Trick, ending the Pastranathon during its first event. Pastrana, who was taken off on a stretcher and transported to a hospital for X-rays, broke his right foot and ankle, according to medical officials working with ESPN. He was discharged from the hospital Thursday night. The injury will require surgery at a later date, Pastrana's planned NASCAR debut on Saturday will be put on hold. He is also out of the X Games. "I am sorry this happened and will be back in action as soon as I can. I look forward to Pastranathon 2012 at X Games 18," Pastrana told ESPN following his release from the hospital. Going into the X Games, Pastrana had planned to compete in Best Trick and Freestyle on Thursday and Friday, fly to Indianapolis to make his NASCAR Nationwide debut Saturday, then return to Los Angeles to compete in RallyCross on Sunday. X Games 17 will be the first X event since 2002 that Pastrana has been out of medal contention. Pastrana crashed while attempting the corked 720 that had made him a gold medal favorite in Best Trick. Riders usually get one shot each round at throwing tricks, but Pastrana tried the 720 twice after under-rotating the first time. His second attempt ended in identical fashion and he immediately grabbed his lower leg as medical staff rushed to his side on the landing ramp.(ESPN)(7-29-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Pastrana Waltrip Racing announced Friday it will withdraw the #99 Boost Mobile Toyota from Saturday's race at Lucas Oil Raceway where action sports star Travis Pastrana planned to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut. Pastrana broke his right foot and ankle after back-to-back crashes during the Moto X Best Trick competition at the X Games in Los Angeles Thursday. "Like fans everywhere we were so excited about Travis' debut Saturday night," said team owner Michael Waltrip. "We have a long term vision with Travis which includes lots of NASCAR. We can't wait to get him healed and in our race cars. We talked to our sponsor Boost Mobile and agreed to withdraw from Indy and delay our debut. We've waited a long time for someone like Travis Pastrana. I guess we'll just have to wait a little bit longer." Pastrana had planned to compete in Best Trick and Freestyle on Thursday and Friday, fly to Indianapolis to make his NASCAR Nationwide debut Saturday, then return to Los Angeles to compete in RallyCross on Sunday.(Pastrana Waltrip Racing)(7-29-2011)

  • Indy 500 winner to present Brickyard 400 ring to McMurray: Two-time and reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon will present the 2010 Brickyard 400 winner's ring to #1-Jamie McMurray at 9:40 am/et Friday, July 29 on the Coca-Cola Stage in the Pagoda Plaza at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. McMurray and Wheldon will be available for brief one-on-one interviews after the ceremony, which is open to the public (IMS)(7-29-2011)

  • Chassis selections for Indianapolis: see the list of many teams and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the Indianapolis Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Historic stock cars, muscle cars on display at Indy: Some of the most iconic cars in NASCAR history and a fabulous collection of rods, customs and muscle cars will be on display July 29-31 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com. The Brickyard 400 Vintage and Stock Car Show will give fans the rare opportunity to take pictures and interact with the vehicle owners and restorers of a fabulous collection of Superbirds, Ford Talladegas and other cars from NASCAR's past. One of the NASCAR classic cars that will be on display will be the #7 1970 Plymouth Superbird driven by Ramo Stott to top-10 finishes in the 1970 Daytona 500 and Talladega 500. Stott also won the 1970 ARCA 300 at Daytona and Vulcan 500 at Talladega in this car. Powered by a 426 Hemi engine with everything original on the car except for the exterior paint, this is the only remaining Superbird in original, as-raced configuration. Another special car on display will be the Holman Moody #98 Ford Torino that was owned and driven by the legendary Benny Parsons to 1968 and 1969 ARCA championships. NASCAR pioneer Wendell Scott later drove it in ARCA and NASCAR Grand National East competition. Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, the world's largest rod and custom association, will display more than 100 cars. Goodguys events showcase a variety of American-made rods, customs, classics, trucks, street machines and muscle cars.(IMS)(7-29-2011)

  • Petty rides at Indy: Richard Petty Driving Experience will be on-track Friday, July 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway offering fans high-speed Race Rides before the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers take the track for Sunday's Brickyard 400. Spots are available at 5:00p, 5:30p & 6:00p. Reservations are required - to book your spot visit DrivePetty.com or call 1-800-237-3889.(7-29-2011)

  • Indy Goodyear Tire Notes: While NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams ran this same left-side tire at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year, it is teamed with a new right-side tire . . . this right-side tire code features the same compound that was run at Indianapolis last year, with a slight construction change to bring it into line with what is being run at other tracks. . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear tire test at IMS on May 3-4 . . . teams and drivers that participated in that test were the #21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford with Roush-Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle driving, #22 Penske Racing Dodge with Kurt Busch, #27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with Paul Menard, #42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevy with Juan Pablo Montoya and #56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota with Martin Truex Jr. . . . IMS is the only track at which either of these two tire codes are scheduled to be run . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, Sprint Cup teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Indianapolis . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 28-31 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear), see full notes, tire codes, pressures, number of tires on the Indy Race Info page - Goodyear section.(7-29-2011)

  • Ned Jarrett named Brickyard 400 Grand Marshal: 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Ned Jarrett will serve as the grand marshal of the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com Sunday, July 31. Jarrett won NASCAR Sprint Cup championships in 1961 and 1965 and 50 races during his illustrious career. He was named one of NASCAR's "50 Greatest Drivers" in 1998. In 1965, Jarrett earned 13 victories in 42 top-five finishes in 54 starts. He won the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway by 14 laps, still the largest margin of victory in NASCAR Sprint Cup history. "We're honored to welcome Ned Jarrett as grand marshal for the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com," said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief executive officer. "He's one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history, a great ambassador for the sport and a true gentleman." Besides his Hall of Fame driving talent, Jarrett also helped attract fans to NASCAR through his work as a television and radio broadcaster during three decades of substantial growth for the sport. "It is a true honor to be selected as grand marshal for the Brickyard 400," Jarrett said. "The history of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its significance in auto racing makes this opportunity particularly special." Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.imstix.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.(IMS)(7-29-2011)

  • Youngsters can enjoy all new Family Fun Area at Indy: Entertainment for youngsters of all ages will be featured in the all new Family Fun Area presented by FamilyTime Entertainment at the 2011 Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com Sunday, July 31 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Located adjacent to Turn 2 in the IMS infield, the free Family Fun Area will feature a stage on which five different shows will take place throughout the day. Performers will include face painters, balloon artists, stilt-walking jugglers, a strolling magician and a caricature artist. A Make-A-Puppet activity also will be available to children participating in the Family Fun Area. Children 12 and under will receive free general admission to the Brickyard 400, including the Family Fun Area, when accompanied by an adult general admission ticket holder. Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.imstix.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.(IMS)(7-29-2011)

  • Big Machine Backs Brickyard 400 With Race Day Performances: Big Machine Label Group is bringing some of the top superstars in country music, including Reba and Rascal Flatts, to the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 31 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for live Race Day performances as part of its new presenting sponsorship of the annual NASCAR classic. The Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com starts at 1:00pm.et, with advance-purchased Race Day ticket prices starting at just $30. Big Machine Records is the first recording label to serve as a presenting sponsor of the race in its 18-year history.
    Rascal Flatts will play a pre-race mini concert, partially broadcast on ESPN, before singing the national anthem. The legendary Reba will sing "America The Beautiful." Both performances will take place near the famed Yard of Bricks on the front straightaway. Other stars performing acoustic sets between 9-11:30 a.m. on Race Morning at IMS include platinum sibling trio The Band Perry, Justin Moore, Brantley Gilbert, Thomas Rhett and more. These performances will take place on the infield stage inside Turn 2, near the IMS Hall of Fame Museum. Tickets are on sale for the 2011 Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 31 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fans can buy tickets online at www.imstix.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday.(IMS)(7-29-2011)

  • Concert & Qualifying at Indy on July 30th: Brickyard 400 qualifying and a concert by chart-topping hard rock band Hinder will be the featured attractions Saturday, July 30 at the inaugural Brickfest at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. A new, exciting prelude to the 2011 Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 31 at IMS, Brickfest will feature a similar format to the popular Miller Lite Carb Day held annually before the Indianapolis 500. Brickfest activities will roar to life from 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 30 at IMS with a practice session featuring all of the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including past winners Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. Brickyard 400 qualifying will take place from 2:10-4:30 p.m., followed immediately by the Hinder concert on the main stage in the IMS infield. Track admission for Brickfest, which includes the Hinder concert, is just $15, with kids 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult. Selected lucky fans can meet Hinder during Brickfest. To get a chance to meet the band, use the promo code HINDER when purchasing Brickfest tickets either by calling (800) 822-INDY (4639) or (317) 492-6700, or by visiting www.imstix.com.(IMS)(7-29-2011)


    News from July 28, 2011

  • Stewart Earns First WoO Win: Tony Stewart fought off charging Sammy Swindell Wednesday night to capture the first World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of his career in front of a huge crowd at Ohsweken Speedway south of Hamilton, Ontario. Stewart is no stranger to the World of Outlaws. He's won three championships as a car owner in the series to go with his driving titles in the NASCAR Cup ranks and the Indy Racing League. However, for a native of Indiana who as a kid idolized legendary World of Outlaws racers like Steve Kinser and Doug Wolfgang, winning with the Outlaws fulfills a dream. "Wow, this is big," said Stewart, of Rushville, Ind. "I saw Sammy dive below me once and that was one too many. We had such an awesome car tonight and I still just can't believe we won this thing. I grew up watching a lot of these guys like Kinser and Wolfgang. My career path didn't take me into a lot of winged sprint car racing but it's certainly something I enjoy. This just isn't something that Kasey (Kahne) and I do for the heck of it. We're passionate about putting together great teams and winning races."(WOO site)(7-28-2011)

  • FAS Lane Racing Partners with TMone and CRMone: FAS Lane Racing announced, sponsorship from TMone and CRMone for this weekend's running of the Brickyard 400 at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Mike Bliss will drive the TMone We Drive Sales #32 Ford and two-time champion Terry Labonte will drive the CRMone We Drive #23 Ford for FAS Lane Racing. "We're excited to welcome TMone and CRMone to the FAS Lane Racing family," said team owner Frank Stoddard. "We look forward to the race weekend in Indy and are proud to be representing two great companies on both of our entries for the Brickyard 400. We are happy to have Mike Bliss and Terry Labonte back in the cars again this weekend and we look forward to putting forth a solid performance for the TMone and CRMone guests." TMone (pronounced T-M-one), is a leading U.S. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm and one of Inc. Magazines Fastest Growing Private Companies of 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. Headquartered in Iowa City, IA, TMone's resources are strategically centric to the Midwest. "TMone has been a continued sponsor of NASCAR teams and is proud to be joining FAS Lane Racing this weekend in Indianapolis for the famous Brickyard 400." said Jason Hall, CEO of TMone.(FAS Lane Racing)(7-28-2011)

  • Special scheme for Truex at Indy: Martin Truex Jr.'s #56 NAPA Toyota is going platinum for this weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He'll be behind the wheel of the #56 NAPA Platinum Filter Toyota to launch NAPA's new family of filters — Silver, Gold and Platinum. The quality filters hit the shelves Aug. 1. During the month, fans who pick up one up at their local NAPA AUTO PARTS store can save money on oil change specials. Plus, they can register for a chance to win $50,000 in the NAPA Filters Do It Your Way Sweepstakes (MWR). See an image of the car on the #56 Team Schemes page.(7-28-2011)

  • Red Cross scheme for Biffle at Indy: The #16 Ford of Greg Biffle will have a special American Red Cross Type O "Give Blood" paint scheme this weekend to remind race fans to donate blood throughout the summer months when donations tend to drop. Type O negative blood is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and more than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day (RFR), see images of past Red Cross schemes on the #16 Team Schemes page.(7-28-2011)

  • Special Helmet for Kenseth: #17-Matt Kenseth will race in Sunday's Brickyard 400 with a new piece of equipment in his #17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, a specially designed Crown Royal helmet created by an Indianapolis area adult consumer. Friday night Kenseth will unveil the Crown Royal helmet he'll wear during the race with the help of ESPN 1070 The Fan. In addition to seeing their creation on Kenseth, the creator of the winning helmet design will receive passes to Sunday's Brickyard 400, a behind-the-scenes look at the #17 Crown Royal team and a meet and greet with Kenseth.(RFR)(7-28-2011)

  • Testing at Road Atlanta: hearing a few Sprint Cup drivers tested at the Road Atlanta road course Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week; including #6-David Ragan, #17-Matt Kenseth, #00-David Reutimann and #5-Mark Martin.(7-28-2011)

  • Hendrick cars to run special Chevy schemes: Hendrick Motorsports has been driving Chevrolets to Victory Lane since 1984. As a salute to Chevrolet's 100th Anniversary, our four race teams will run commemorative paint schemes on Oct. 15. In addition to awarding daily prizes for 100 days straight, HMS is also going to be giving away a 2012 Hendrick Motorsports VIP Racing Experience in Charlotte, N.C., to tour the Hendrick Motorsports facilities, meet your favorite Hendrick Motorsports driver and see a race in-style.(Hendrick Motorsports), see images of the cars on the #5 Team Schemes page, #24 Team Schemes page, #48 Team Schemes page and/or #88 Team Schemes page.(7-28-2011)

  • Special decal on the #21 starting at Indy: The #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Wood Brothers Racing Ford driven by Trevor Bayne, will feature a special logo that will adorn the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion beginning this weekend at Indianapolis.


    The decal will honor team founder Glen Wood and his recent selection as a 2012 inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.(Wood Brothers Racing)(7-28-2011)

  • Judge dismisses lawsuit against NASCAR: A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a fuel and oil performance additive company against NASCAR concerning a $6.295 million deal. Advanced Fluids Solutions, which wanted to market its new EXP4 fuel and oil performance additive through the "NASCAR Performance" program, had agreed to pay the amount during a period of seven years, beginning in 2010. According to the complaint, the company never paid its original $500,000 payment due at the execution of the contract in October 2009 but alleged that NASCAR did not give proper written notice before terminating the agreement in December 2009. U.S. District Court Judge Anne Conway ruled that NASCAR was within its right to terminate the contract and dismissed the suit Tuesday. The suit was filed in Florida court before being moved to federal court in January 2011.(full story abd details at SceneDaily)(7-28-2011)

  • DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout Competition: DIRECTV will team up with ESPN and NASCAR to open the throttle for a second consecutive year of DIRECTV's Head2Head Knockout competition – an innovative, bracket-format contest that will showcase existing and new rivalries among 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. The high-stakes competition will take place over the course of four races during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning Aug. 7, 2011 finishing with DIRECTV's NASCAR Head2Head Knockout Championship in Bristol, Tenn. on Aug. 27. DIRECTV, the exclusive provider of the NASCAR HotPass broadcast, will donate a total of $400,000 to driver charities during the four-round event as drivers compete head-to-head each week with the winner moving on to the next bracket. And drivers won't be the only ones competing. A participating fan, who fills out a perfect bracket, can win a $1 million. More info at directv.com.(7-28-2011)

  • Crown Royal to sponsor 2012 Brickyard 400: In a continuing effort to provide race fans with an unrivaled experience and honor all of the nation's heroes, the Crown Royal brand announced it will become entitlement sponsor of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Officially titled, the Crown Royal "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard, the race will serve as an expansion of the annual "Your Name Here" program and not only honor U.S. service men and women, but all of our nation's heroes. The past two years, Crown Royal focused the annual promotion solely on military service members to honor their heroic acts and service to their country. The expanded Crown Royal "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 program will recognize all of the unsung heroes who make a difference in our communities, from firefighters and police officers to local volunteers and military members. The grand prize will go to one special individual who will be provided with the reigns to their very own race and receive the naming rights to the Crown Royal "Your Hero's Name Here" 400. In addition to the grand prize, Crown Royal will honor various heroes throughout the Crown Royal "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard and integrate special characteristics of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to enhance the overall race experience. From showcasing photographs and stories of heroes from across the country, to on-site stations where fans can send messages to service men and women stationed overseas, Crown Royal plans to give heroes the recognition they deserve. The Crown Royal "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard will also serve as yet another platform to advance the "Please Drink Responsibly" message and to share the stories of heroes around the country with Indianapolis locals, NASCAR fans and people everywhere. The Crown Royal "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 will be the marquee event of the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard [on Sunday July 29, 2012], which also will feature a NASCAR Nationwide Series event Saturday, July 28, two GRAND-AM road races Friday, July 27 and Nationwide practice Thursday, July 26.(PR)(7-28-2011)


    News from July 27, 2011

  • Kenny Francis to join Hendrick Motorsports for 2012: Veteran crew chief Kenny Francis will lead the #5 Sprint Cup Series team when driver Kasey Kahne moves to Hendrick Motorsports for the 2012 season. Francis will join the organization after the conclusion of the 2011 NASCAR schedule. The 41-year-old Francis has 11 Sprint Cup victories as a crew chief, with all but one coming with Kahne behind the wheel. Since being teamed for the first time in the final race of the 2005 campaign, the pair has posted 10 wins, 13 pole positions, 34 top-five finishes and 71 top-10s at NASCAR's elite level. "Our people have a lot of respect for Kenny and what he's accomplished," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We know the chemistry is already there with Kasey, and there's no doubt Kenny will communicate very well with our folks. He's a character guy who brings an awful lot to the table as a crew chief. When we look at 'fit factor,' it's a great situation." Francis, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Florida, debuted as a Sprint Cup crew chief in 2003. Throughout his career, the Jacksonville, Fla., native has worked in various capacities with multiple drivers, including NASCAR champions Bill Elliott and Dale Jarrett.
    "Joining Hendrick Motorsports and continuing to work with Kasey next year is an opportunity I'm excited about," Francis said. "He's a championship-caliber driver and good friend, and I'm looking forward to building on our relationship. Mr. Hendrick has built an impressive team and culture, and it's going to be fun to be a part of that when the time comes. I'm very optimistic about the rest of this season and focused on getting to Victory Lane with the #4 team. I want to thank Jay Frye and everyone with the organization for the chance to be part of such a great group of people. We still have goals to achieve there, and those are foremost on my mind right now." Lance McGrew, 43, will complete the 2011 Sprint Cup campaign as crew chief of the #5 Chevy team. After the season, he will remain in a key role with Hendrick Motorsports focusing on research and development and special projects, including work on the new Chevrolet Sprint Cup car scheduled to debut in 2013.(Hendrick Motorsports)(7-27-2011)

  • Kyle Busch to work with B.R.A.K.E.S.: #18-Kyle Busch has a plan to turn negative publicity from being charged with going 128 mph in a 45 mph zone down a rural road in North Carolina into a positive. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver and his foundation have pledged to help 10 schools put more than 300 teens through the B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe) program that NHRA Top Fuel drag racer Doug Herbert began in 2008 after his sons Jon and James were killed in an automobile accident while speeding. Busch also plans to appear in several public service announcements promoting the nonprofit program that teaches teens and their parents safe driving and will incorporate the organization as an associate sponsor on his #18 in the Truck Series. "One of the things I focused on and said back in May was I really wanted to use this situation to generate positives from it and learn from it," Busch told ESPN.com on Wednesday. "Anytime you have situations like this you hope to at least make something positive of it." Busch was charged on May 24 with careless and reckless driving and speeding. He has a hearing set for Aug. 23. If convicted of speeding and reckless driving the 26-year-old driver could have his license automatically suspended for 60 days. He could also be found guilty of a second-class misdemeanor that has a maximum punishment of up to 60 days in jail and suspension of license for up to 12 months.(ESPN)(7-27-2011)

  • Dale Jarrett talks about Dale Jr.: on Tuesday, ESPN held a media conference call to kick off its coverage of the final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, which launches with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 31. Analyst Dale Jarrett was asked about #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    Q - Dale, I want to ask about among the bigger story lines you'll be focusing on is Junior, as well. How troublesome is it in the big picture for the sport that he's fallen off and risking falling out of the Chase field?
    DALE JARRETT: "Well, we'll start with Junior. I thought five weeks ago, six weeks ago that I was really seeing Junior and his race team getting themselves prepared to go to victory lane. I mean, I really felt that they were making strides and gains each week. Exactly what's happened over the last four or five weeks, you get in slumps as a race team just like a hitter in baseball or something, and sometimes it's hard to get out of. You're not exactly sure where to put your finger and to try to turn things around.
    It would be beneficial to our sport to have our most popular driver to be a part of the Chase and get in that mix and challenge for wins. It's not that we're not -- nobody is going to make that happen in any way; it's that race team that has to do it. But it sure would be beneficial. You always want, whether it's the Boston Red Sox and the Yankees playing, that's always a big attraction. Well, we have our biggest star; the people that vote for the most popular driver, that's who they choose is Dale, Jr., so yeah, we would like for him to be a part of that. Hopefully they can get that turned around. This is a difficult racetrack when you're struggling to kind of get things turned around, but they're going to have to right their ship very quickly.(in part from an ESPN Media Conference Call Transcript)(7-27-2011)

  • Wild Card Watch: "Home of Champions" is a slogan attached to many venues. Sometimes it's apt. Most times it's exaggeration. At Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it fits brilliantly. Of the 17 races run at Indy, 14 have been won by past, reigning or future series champions. In eight of those seasons, the Brickyard winner went on to win that season's championship. This season especially, Indy could play an integral role in deciding the 2011 future champion – thanks to the Wild Card position.
    Watch for three names in particular – Tony Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray.
    Stewart, currently 11th in points, seeks his first win of 2011. A two-time Brickyard champion, Stewart looks to become just the second driver-owner to win at Indy; the first was Ricky Rudd in 1997. Montoya, currently 17th in points, finished second in the 2007 Brickyard 400 and might have won in 2009 if not for a late-race pit road speeding penalty while leading. He won the Indianapolis 500 in 2000. McMurray, 29th in points, won last year's Brickyard 400. Winless in 2011, McMurray has scored a Driver Rating over 100.0 in two of the last three IMS races.(NASCAR)(7-27-2011)

  • #29 Pit Crew wins 2nd quarter award: For their outstanding efforts on pit road during the second quarter of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, the #29 Budweiser Chevy over-the-wall team for Kevin Harvick and Richard Childress Racing has earned second-quarter honors in the 2011 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award competition. The team had one win (Charlotte) and four top-10 finishes during that time period. The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, which is determined by a vote of each team's crew chief, is given quarterly to the top-performing pit crew in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award presented during NASCAR Champion's Week in Las Vegas. This year, Harvick, crew chief Gil Martin and the #29 team have posted three wins, six top-fives and 10 top-ten finishes and currently sit fourth in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings. "The pit crew has been a vital part of the success for the 29 team this season," said Martin. "These guys put so much effort in during their training each week and it shows on race day. They have done a tremendous job on pit road and it's nice to see their performance recognized by others in the sport."
    The award is part of the NASCAR Prize Money and Decal Program, also referred to as the contingency program, which provides teams prize money and weekly awards based on performance in several categories. Mechanix Wear, the No. 1 glove in racing, is the Official Glove of NASCAR used by nearly all pit crew members for 20 years in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
    Members of the #29 pit crew include: Kyle Turner (front-tire changer), J.D. Holcomb (front-tire carrier), Zach Price (rear-tire changer), Bob Dowens (rear-tire carrier), Eric Wilson (jackman), Mike Morrison (gasman), Mike Scearce (7th Man/Windshield). The team's pit crew coach is Matt Clark. The #29 pit crew will be presented the second-quarter Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award during pre-race ceremonies before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on August 21.(NASCAR)(7-27-2011)

  • The Numbers for the Brickyard 400:
    1 - fewest cautions (8/5/95)
    2 - races won from the pole; three from the front row in previous 17 events
    3 - most poles (Jeff Gordon)
    3 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    4 - most wins at IMS (Jeff Gordon)
    4 - drivers with more than one win
    4 - fewest caution laps (8/5/95)
    5 - fewest leaders (8/5/00)
    6 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at IMS
    9 - fewest lead changes (three times, most recent 7/26/09)
    10 - different race winner at IMS
    11 - fewest laps led by race winner (Dale Jarrett, 8/3/96)
    13 - most cautions (8/8/04)
    14 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (8/5/00)
    14 - different pole winners at IMS
    26 - most lead changes (7/27/08)
    27 - fewest cars running at finish (8/8/04)
    36 - most cars on lead lap at finish 7/27/08)
    41 - most cars running at finish (7/27/08)
    52 - most caution laps (7/27/08)
    150 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.5-mile track
    124 - most laps led by race winner (Jeff Gordon, 8/8/04)
    2011 Caution Update
    4 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011 (Daytona1, Darlington, Charlotte, Daytona2)
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono)
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona1)
    147 - number of cautions in the first 19 races of 2011; total includes 68 for accidents, 34 for debris and 22 for spins
    697 of 5,596 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    962.311 of 7,634.858 - miles under caution in the first 19 races
    (Provided by Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(7-27-2011)

  • Travis Pastrana to make NASCAR National Series Debut: After back-flipping his way through the ESPN X Games, Travis Pastrana will catch a red-eye flight to Indianapolis to make his first ever start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway. The long awaited arrival of the action sports star is finally here. Pastrana has 16 X Games gold medals in addition to multiple titles in supercross, motocross and rally cars. He'll make his series debut for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing #99 Boost Mobile Toyota. Pastrana got a taste of NASCAR racing, having run a combination of five NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West races this year including his best finish of sixth in his NASCAR debut in January at the Toyota All-Star Showdown. His other NASCAR K&N Pro Series races were Phoenix (25th), Richmond (33rd), Iowa (22nd) and Loudon (22nd).(NASCAR)(7-27-2011)

  • Special salutes to U.S. Military at Brickyard 400: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will continue its long-standing tradition of honoring the United States military during pre-race ceremonies for the 2011 Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 31. Salutes to the military occupy many special moments during the pomp and pageantry of pre-race ceremonies on Race Day, a tradition at IMS events since the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911 and the first Brickyard 400 in 1994.
    • Desert Storm/Desert Shield salute: A 20th anniversary celebration honoring U.S. military veterans who served in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield, during which Coalition forces drove Saddam Hussein's Iraqi troops out of Kuwait in 1991, will take place during pre-race ceremonies July 31. A parade lap will feature 86 Desert Storm veterans riding in 43 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up trucks. Prior to the race, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard - a Desert Storm veteran - will deliver a speech honoring the U.S. military. Representatives of all five branches of the U.S. military will join Ballard on stage.
    Veterans of Desert Storm/Shield from all branches of the U.S. military are encouraged to participate in the salute. Veterans are asked to dress in attire that represents the time of conflict in which they served. Each participant will receive two Brickyard 400 tickets and free round-trip transportation between Stout Field in Indianapolis and IMS. An additional group of more than 180 Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield veterans from 38 U.S. states will participate in other patriotic pre-race ceremonies that pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the American military during this conflict.
    • Iraq War salute from Miller, IMS: As part of its highly popular "Give a Veteran a Piece of The High Life" program, Miller High Life Beer is joining with IMS to honor Iraq War veterans. Following driver introductions on Race Day, each of the 43 drivers in the Brickyard 400 field will climb on the back of a Chevrolet Silverado and be joined by an Iraq War veteran for a ceremonial lap around the famed 2.5-mile IMS oval.
    IMS is proud to participate in the "Give a Veteran a Piece of The High Life" program, which provides the means that pay soldiers' way into sports events, concerts, outdoor adventures and more. For every High Life cap or tab dropped off at participating retailers or mailed in, Miller High Life will donate 10 cents toward High Life Experiences for returning vets. For more information, visit millerhighlife.com/high-life-experiences/.
    • Flyover: The traditional pre-race flyover will feature four U.S. Navy T-45 Goshawks, land-based training jet aircraft. The flyover will recognize the 100th anniversary of U.S. Naval Aviation, as Naval Aviation has grown from a tactical afterthought to a primary instrument of national defense.
    Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.imstix.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.(IMS)(7-27-2011)

  • Second Annual Brickyard Beach Bash: Fans looking to stay cool during the hot action of the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records on Sunday, July 31 can enjoy the fun and excitement of the Second Annual Brickyard Beach Bash in Turn 3 of the IMS infield. Besides watching some of racing's biggest stars compete for one of NASCAR's most important victories, all Brickyard 400 Race Day ticket holders can enjoy the Beach Bash, which is quickly becoming one of the biggest and best parties in Indy. Hosting the festivities at the Beach Bash will be May 2008 Playboy Playmate of the Month AJ Alexander, and headlining the event will be multi-platinum R&B, hip hop and reggae fusion recording artist Iyaz, who will perform his hit singles "Replay" and "Pretty Girls." Recognized as a young up-and-comer on the worldwide music scene, Iyaz's first-ever single, "Replay," climbed to No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list in 2009 and was No. 1 in the United Kingdom and Australia, in addition to hitting the top-10 charts in many other countries.
    Additional highlights of this year's Brickyard Beach Bash will include:
    •A Bikini & Hot Bod Contest hosted by Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee. Each winner will receive $500.
    •A sandy beach with swimming pools
    •A dance party with music provided by popular DJs Indiana Jones & Gabby Love
    •Live Nation ticket giveaways to hottest concerts of the year, including Kings of Leon, Incubus and the Identity Festival
    •Go-go dancers, beer pong and volleyball
    Race Day ticket prices start at just $30. Fans can buy tickets online at www.imstix.com, by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area.(IMS)(7-27-2011)


    News from July 26, 2011

  • ESPN's NASCAR Sprint Cup Coverage Launches at Indianapolis: ESPN begins its coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 31. ESPN's multimedia platforms will surround the race telecast on television, radio, online and on mobile devices and ESPN will be introducing several new television production elements into its NASCAR coverage.
    The race telecast from Indianapolis is presented by Golden Corral and follows the one-hour NASCAR Countdown pre-race show at noon, with the race's green flag at 1:19pm/et. The Indianapolis race is the first of 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup events on ESPN networks to close out the 2011 NASCAR season, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Of the 17 races, 14 will air on ESPN and three on ABC.
    ESPN's coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway also includes telecasts of NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying on Saturday, July 30, at 2:00pm/et and practice earlier that day at 10:00am/et, both on ESPN2. In addition, ESPN will air the NASCAR Nationwide Series race from nearby Lucas Oil Raceway on Saturday night, July 30, along with practice and qualifying sessions earlier in the day.
    Four former Sprint Cup champions will be an integral part of ESPN's NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage team, including analyst Dale Jarrett, who will work with chief Andy Petree and Allen Bestwick in the booth. Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
    NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will feature analysis by Rusty Wallace with host Nicole Briscoe and analyst Brad Daugherty.
    ESPN will introduce several new production advancements in its NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts, including the first-ever use of dual path transmission for onboard cameras. The new technology, developed by ESPN and Broadcast Sports International, will allow ESPN to get high definition video from two onboard cameras in the same car simultaneously, where in the past only one of the three cameras mounted in each car could be used at a time. As an example, when a crash is being replayed, viewers will now be able to see two different onboard points of view of a car involved or near the crash, such as the view of the roof camera, face camera or bumper camera.
    ESPN will use 76 high definition cameras in the Brickyard 400 telecast, including Bat Cam, a camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph. ESPN has worked with Sportvision on the race effects system to expand the use of pointers that help viewers identify cars when they are racing in a tight pack. With the advanced technology, the pointers can now appear on more camera shots, including aerials and trackside robotic cameras. This year, ESPN will have a helicopter camera for all 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup race telecasts for the first time.
    ESPN also will introduce a modernized, progressive graphics package for improved readability, the first major graphics overhaul since ESPN returned to NASCAR coverage in 2007, as well as a new animation package.(ESPN)

  • Change to #48 Crew: #48-Jimmie Johnson was not happy with his team after the New Hampshire race earlier this month. Well, Johnson's crew chief, Chad Knaus was on SPEED Channel's "Race Hub'' on Monday and was asked about what Johnson said. Knaus stated on the show that the team will have a new front tire changer for this weekend's race at Indianapolis.(see quotes and full article at the Virginian Pilot)(7-26-2011)

  • Brian France drops request to seal documents in suit against ex-wife: NASCAR Chairman Brian France has withdrawn his request to have all the documents sealed in a federal lawsuit against his ex-wife accusing her of taping his telephone calls to extort money from him. France did not give a reason in his one-page notice to withdraw his request to keep the documents secret. The notice came about a week after Megan France responded to her ex-husband's request to seal the documents. "Megan P. France does not agree that such a draconian step is necessary to protect the legitimate privacy concerns of her, her children and her ex-husband," Megan France's attorneys said in their response to the motion to seal. Megan France's attorneys, however, said their client agrees that documents referring to the Frances' separation agreement should be placed under seal. That agreement involves the Frances' property settlement as well as the terms of child support, child custody and alimony. "Ms. France reserves the right to move to seal other pleadings in this case, on a pleading-by-pleading basis, if she determines that such a step is necessary to protect her privacy or that of her children," her attorneys wrote. The Charlotte Observer has filed a motion opposed to sealing of the documents in the federal lawsuit.(full story at Charlotte Observer)(7-26-2011)

  • At Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
    • Indianapolis Motor Speedway has existed since 1909, and is the original "Speedway," the first racing facility to incorporate the word in its name.
    • With a permanent seating capacity for more than 250,000-plus people and infield seating that raises capacity to an approximate 400,000, it is the largest and highest-capacity sporting facility in history.
    • There have been 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway since the first race, in 1994.
    • Four drivers have competed in all 17 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.
    • Rick Mast won the first pole, in 1994.
    • Jeff Gordon won the 1994 inaugural race.
    • There have been 14 different pole winners.
    • Jeff Gordon leads all pole winners, with three.
    • 10 drivers have won, led by Jeff Gordon, with four victories.
    • Jimmie Johnson (three), Dale Jarrett and Tony Stewart (two each) are the other multiple winners.
    • Hendrick Motorsports has won seven races, more than any other organization.
    • Nine races have been won from a top-five starting position.
    • The furthest back a race winner has started at Indianapolis was 27th, by Jeff Gordon in 2001.
    • Two drivers have won from the pole: Kevin Harvick in 2003 and Jimmie Johnson in 2008.
    • Dale Jarrett (1996), Jimmie Johnson (2006) and Jamie McMurray (2010) are the only drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and the Brickyard 400 in the same season.
    • Tony Stewart (8.2), Jeff Gordon (9.4) and Kevin Harvick (9.9) are the only active drivers to average a top-10 finish.
    • Three of the last five Indianapolis races ending under green had a margin of victory under one second.
    • 14 of the 17 races have been won by a past, reigning or future NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. The only three that were not: Ricky Rudd in 1997, Kevin Harvick in 2003 and Jamie McMurray in 2010.
    • The winner of the Indianapolis race has won the championship in the same year eight times in the 17 years the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has raced there: 2009: Jimmie Johnson; 2008: Jimmie Johnson; 2006: Jimmie Johnson; 2005: Tony Stewart; 2001: Jeff Gordon; 2000: Bobby Labonte; 1999: Dale Jarrett; 1998: Jeff Gordon. (NASCAR)(7-26-2011)

  • Sad News - Don Naman: Don Naman, the first general manager of Talladega Superspeedway and a founder of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, died Monday after a bout with cancer. He was 76. Naman, a native of New York, was the promoter at Smoky Mountain Raceway in Maryville, Tenn., from 1965 to 1969, winning the NASCAR Promoter of the Year award one year. That award earned him the attention of NASCAR Chairman Bill France Sr. France later tapped him to run the sprawling 2.66-mile superspeedway when it opened in 1970. Naman ran Talladega until 1988 when he took on another project -- the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum, which is adjacent to the track. Naman, who also spent 7½ years in the Air Force, was in charge of the IMHOF for 12 years before retiring to become a consultant. Funeral services are Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Pell City with burial in Lincoln Cemetery. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Alabama Live)(7-26-2011)

  • Bristol Fan Appreciation adds carnival; Junior Johnson: Bristol Motor Speedway's Fan Appreciation Day July 30 will feature rides around the track - and rides of a different kind just outside the World's Fastest Half-Mile. A carnival has been added to the festivities, opening Tuesday, July 26 and running through July 30. The carnival will be free from 1 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on Fan Appreciation Day for anyone with a ticket to Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness that evening at the BMS. Fan Appreciation Day is being held in honor of Bristol Motor Speedway's 50th anniversary. The first NASCAR Grand National race, as the series was called then, took place in Bristol July 30, 1961. Junior Johnson, who finished 22nd that day, while Jack Smith went on to take the checkers, will be on hand to give several lucky fans a ride around the World's Fastest Half-Mile.(BMS)(7-26-2011)

  • Lynyrd Skynyrd to perform at Atlanta: Fans will be treated to a lineup of up and coming bands as well as southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd as part of the Fast Cars and Guitars concert prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 on Sept. 4. Local rock and country performers can enter a "Battle of the Bands" competition through local rock station Project 961 and local country station 94.9 The Bull. Bands will compete in preliminary eliminations and two finalists from each genre will be selected. Finalists will perform on the fan stage on Saturday, Sept. 3, prior to the green flag of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300. Fans will vote on their favorite performer at the event, and the winner will be invited back to perform during the pre-race festivities on Sunday, Sept. 4, which includes the Fast Cars and Guitars concert featuring Lynyrd Skynyrd.(Atlanta Speedway)(7-26-2011)


    News from July 25, 2011

  • Speed to drive 3 races in the #37: Max Q Motorsports has signed Scott Speed to drive the #37 Ford. The team will start running Speed this weekend in Indianapolis, at the 18th annual Brickyard 400. The 28-year-old former Formula One driver Scott Speed, who drove for Red Bull Racing in the Sprint Cup Series the last two years, will make his first start since 2010. Speed has 76 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, with one top-five and three top-10s, eight top-10s in 13 starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, and one win, four top-fives and nine top-10s in 16 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The team will be running Speed in a Ford Fusion with the FR9 Roush Yates engines. The duo plans to run at the next three races - Indy, Pocono and Watkins Glen with hopes of continuing the rest of the 2011 season pending sponsorship.(Speed PR)(7-25-2011)

  • The Entry List for the Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is posted, 48 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #21-Trevor Bayne (38/11)(2011 race winner)
    #23-Terry Labonte (0/0) (1996 champion)
    #30-David Stremme (44/8)
    #37-Scott Speed (39/19)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (37/19)
    #46-Erik Darnell (40/19)
    #55-J.J. Yeley (54/1)
    #50-T.J. Bell (51/5)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/19)
    #66-Michael McDowell (42/19)
    #71-Andy Lally (37/19)
    #77-Scott Wimmer (53/3)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/19)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 23,21,71,38,37,46,87,66
    missing the race would be [5]: #'s 60,30,50,77,55
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Indianapolis Entry List.(7-25-2011)

  • Berrier out as Burton's crew chief? UPDATE: Jeff Burton will have a new crew chief alignment for his Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup team effective immediately, sources have told FOXSports.com. Todd Berrier will be replaced within the team, which will be run by a committee of crew chiefs in the coming races. Burton and Berrier have struggled this season, with Burton 25th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.(Fox Sports)(7-25-2011)
    UPDATE: Luke Lambert has been named interim crew chief for Richard Childress Racing's #31 Caterpillar/Chevy team with driver Jeff Burton in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Lambert replaces veteran crew chief Todd Berrier. "Todd has been an important part of RCR's success for many years," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "He is still employed and under contract and his role with RCR will be determined in the near future." Berrier has been an RCR employee since 1994. This will be Lambert's first stint as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief. The 28-year-old has been with RCR since September 2005. He was named a team engineer for the No. 31 program in 2008. He is a 2005 graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. "Luke will be the interim crew chief until further notice," said Childress.(RCR)(7-25-2011)

  • Cal Wells leaves Michael Waltrip Racing: Michael Waltrip Racing and Calvin Wells have mutually agreed to part ways it was announced by co-owners Rob Kauffman and Michael Waltrip. The separation is effective immediately. "We want to thank Cal for his strong contribution to getting Michael Waltrip Racing to where it is today. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors, " said Kauffman. "We plan to go forward now with the solid management team that is in place, and bring MWR to the next level."(MWR) Wells had been Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for the team. Before joining MWR he was owner of PPI Motorsports' #32 Cup team.(7-25-2011)

  • Kyle Busch gets two wins over the weekend: Kyle Busch capped a perfect weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway by stamping an exclamation mark on his stay in Maine by winning the prestigious 38th annual TD Bank 250 on Sunday. The victory came less than 24 hours after a win in 150-lap Pro All Stars Series event at the track. Busch started fifth on the 38-car field by virtue of a win in his qualifying heat ran comfortably in the top five throughout most of the event. The 26 year-old NASCAR superstar Busch escaped a race-deciding restart on lap 234 with a hard-charging performance from Nick Sweet to win New England's biggest short track event. Busch's familiarity with his Super Late Model paid off on Saturday night when he won the PASS 150, but the driver who currently sits fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings was unsure of how his Late Model would handle around the 3/8-mile oval in its maiden voyage. Busch pocketed $25,000 for the victory and a total of $31,800 after lap leader bonuses.(Vermont Motorsports Magazine)(7-25-2011)

  • Congrats: Dustin Necaise, rear tire changer on the #33 Cheerios Chevy was married to his fiance Amanda Newsome on Saturday, July 23 in Savannah, Georgia.(7-25-2011)

  • Bristol offers low-cost tent camping: Bristol Motor Speedway officials announced another low-cost option for fans interested in attending the IRWIN Tools Night Race week Aug. 24-27. As race fans continue to find more economic ways to vacation, Speedway executives have created tent-camping options ranging from $50 to $75 for the week. "One of the things we have heard consistently from our guests who are coming to the races and others who want to come is the desire for more lodging choices," said Jerry Caldwell, BMS Executive Vice President and General Manager. "We have addressed that in different ways. Fans must have tickets to the events at BMS to reserve the spots which may be purchased by calling (423) BRISTOL (274-7865) or (423) 989-6900. Tent camping spots may be reserved by calling (423) 989-6944.(BMS)(7-25-2011)

  • Rev Theory to headline Budweiser Acceleration Concert at Michigan: Race fans will be able to rock the house during the Pure Michigan 400 race weekend at Michigan International Speedway, as the popular rock band Rev Theory is slated to headline the Budweiser Acceleration Concert. Rev Theory and four other bands will perform at the speedway's Budweiser Acceleration Concert following the conclusion of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series VFW 200 on Saturday, August 20. The popular Saturday night concert in Lot 10 has always been a crowd staple and fan favorite at MIS for nearly a decade. Rev Theory follows a long list of spectacular concerts that have been held at MIS including Sugarland, Montgomery Gentry, 3 Doors Down, Saving Abel and Sick Puppies. The post-race concert will begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Camping World Truck Series VFW 200.(Michigan Speedway)(7-25-2011)


    News from July 24, 2011

  • Waltrip to run DW tribute car again: According to a tweet from Scene Daily's Bob Pockrass, "Michael Waltrip says he will run a Cup race in the [Darrell Waltrip] tribute car. Maybe Bristol but more likely Talladega". Waltrip attempted the inagural Kentucky race in the tribute car, but failed to qualify when qualifying was rained out. See an image of the car on my #15 team paint schemes page.(7-24-2011)

  • TRG, Lally compete in Late Model race: While many Sprint Cup teams stayed home to enjoy the final off weekend of the season, the #71-TRG Motorsports team hit the road to Manassas, Virginia. The team partnered with sponsor Interstate Moving Services to help support the Youth For Tomorrow 150 at the historic Old Dominion Speedway on Saturday. The event featured players from the Washington Redskins and a variety of racing personalities. Proceeds from the event benefit Joe Gibbs' Youth for Tomorrow program. TRG Motorsports driver and defending Rolex 24 at Daytona champion Andy Lally was on hand. The team had its hauler on display and supplied two Sprint Cup show cars for the event.(TRG PR) Lally started the race from the pole, but was wrecked early and did not finish.(7-24-2011)

  • Segway Tours now being offered at Dover: For more than two years now, Dover International Speedway has offered fans a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the Monster Mile through its "Explore the Monster" facility tours. Well, that intimate experience is about to be enhanced with the addition of Segways to create the "SegZone Monster Mile Experience." SegZone Tours, a Delaware-based company, will begin operating tours of Dover International Speedway on their eco-friendly, battery operated, and totally wireless two-wheel Personal Transporter, known as a Segway. The guided tour includes stops at the Monster Monument in Victory Plaza, presented by AAA; Sunoco Victory Lane, where fans can get pictures on the same stage that drivers like Jimmie Johnson and most recently Matt Kenseth have accepted their monster trophy; the frontstrech of the track as well as pit road; the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage; the Monster Bridge, overlooking Turn 3 of the track; the Infield Media Center; and more. All tours will be led by a Dover International Speedway tour guide, and each participant will be given an earphone to hear the tour guide while traveling on the Segways. Tours will last approximately two hours and 15 minutes. For pricing and reservations, visit SegZoneTours.com to book online or call 877-318-7747. Cash or credit cards are accepted, and participants must register in advance. Tours are conducted most Wednesdays, as well as some Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting.(Dover PR)(7-24-2011)

  • Michigan announces staff changes: Michigan International Speedway has made various changes to its staff. Michael Catalina has joined the speedway staff as a corporate partnerships executive. Catalina has over 20 years of experience in sales management and advertising mostly working in the clothing industry. He was most recently an account representative for LivingSocial.com, an experiential discount site. Additionally, Chad Whipkey, an MIS regional sales and corporate partnerships executive from 2007-2010, returns to the Irish Hills track after a 14-month absence. He was most recently an account representative for Coca-Cola, but has returned to MIS in his former role as a corporate partnerships executive. Other staff changes at the speedway include the hiring of Jackie Cooper as project manager and Karen Hively serving as a senior executive assistant to president Roger Curtis, moving from her previous role as an administrative assistant for the corporate partnerships department.(Michigan Speedway)(7-24-2011)


    News from July 23, 2011

  • Kahne uninjured after sprint car wreck: Kasey Kahne spent his off weekend racing a sprint car at Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania and flipped out of the track during a heat race. He was uninjured. Kahne, who owns sprint car teams, was racing World of Outlaws driver Craig Dollansky when they made contact during the second heat in the opening night of the Summer Nationals. Kahne's car somersaulted twice before flying over the fence and going down an embankment. A story in the York (Pa.) Daily Record reported that Kahne's car came to rest about 30 feet outside the track. The paper reported that Kahne got out and jogged back to the track to the cheer of the crowd. Kahne later wrote on Twitter: "got wiped out in my heat race tonight. haven't flipped like that in a long time!''(Virginian-Pilot)(7-23-2011)

  • Brickyard ticket sales down? There have been rumors that ticket sales for next week's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway were again off-pace from last season, but an internal NASCAR memo obtained by ThatsRacin.com and The Observer seems to confirm the problem. In the memo, which was distributed by email on Friday, team public relations representatives were thanked ahead of time for their drivers' participation in a Sprint Cup Series autograph session at the track. The memo said, "ticket sales are significantly behind from previous years" at IMS. Since sales have been dramatically down since the 2008 tire problems at the track, another significant decline would appear ominous. The memo goes on to say, the track believed there would be a large walk-up crowd for the July 31 race and hoped the autograph session would be well received by race fans.(Charlotte Observer)(7-23-2011)

  • Bayne was treated for Lyme Disease: Trevor Bayne had to miss five Nationwide races earlier this year after suffering from what his doctors think was Lyme Disease. But he feels fine now. "I'm great. I'm going back in a couple months to find out if that's officially what it was," he said. "I had treatment for that and my symptoms are gone. Hopefully, that's what it was and they knocked it out."(Associated Press)(7-23-2011)

  • Roush Yates Performance Products open house: Roush Yates will be opening the doors to their new 40,000 sqft facility in Mooresville Saturday, July 23. The new building houses thousands of used parts from NASCAR's top teams for re-sale to the public. Show cars from all areas of racing will be on display including Greg Biffle's 3M car, Johnny Bridge's Sprint Car, Drag Racing cars, and ARCA cars. The event will be from 11am - 3pm with free hot dogs, snow cones, and Krispy Kreme donunts for everyone, lots of kids activities, giveaways, and an all-makes car show with over 100 entries. Roush Yates will also be opening up their new state-of-the-art chassis dynos for the public. Visit their website for location and all the details.(Roush Yates)(7-23-2011)

  • Honorary Starter and Grand Marshal Up for Auction for VFW 200 Truck Series Race at Michigan: Michigan International Speedway and the VFW Foundation have announced that the "Honorary Starter" and "Grand Marshal" positions for its August 20, 2011, VFW 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race will be up for auction. Along with the official VFW 200 Honorary Starter and Grand Marshal designations, the highest bidders will each receive two (2) passes to the VFW Pit Road Suite, recognition during the drivers' meeting and driver introductions and a photo with the VFW 200 race winner in Gatorade Victory Lane. Fans can place bids now through July 31 by visiting http://foundation.nascar.com/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=204. Proceeds will go to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, to benefit its "Return the Favor" campaign which is designed to honor military personnel and their families who have often personally sacrificed so much for us all.(Michigan Speedway)(7-23-2011)

  • Jeff Gordon ticket package at Bristol: Race fans can help AARP and five-time Bristol winner Jeff Gordon in the Drive to End Hunger. Teaming with Bristol Motor Speedway, AARP and the AARP Foundation, Gordon is offering a new, enhanced ticket package for the Aug. 27 IRWIN Tools Night Race. It includes a question-and-answer session with Gordon on the day of the race. Due to space limitations in the BMS hospitality area, availability is limited, so fans are encouraged to purchase tickets promptly. A $4 donation from each package sold will benefit Drive to End Hunger. Fans who purchase the tickets also will receive a Drive to End Hunger hat and a BMS 50th anniversary poster featuring Gordon. The Jeff Gordon ticket package is $124 and may be purchased by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL or 1-866-415-4158. Fans should ask for the Jeff Gordon AARP package. Should fans wish to add a Food City 250 ticket to the package, the cost is $169.(BMS)(7-23-2011)


    News from July 22, 2011

  • Crown Royal may become Brickyard 400 title sponsor: UPDATE: An unlikely match could give the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a new title sponsor for the Brickyard 400 and a seven-figure windfall starting next summer. That's the direction things are headed, despite appearances to the contrary. Sources are beginning to bubble that Crown Royal is ready to sign a deal to become the title sponsor of the Brickyard 400. It's rumored to be a multi-year deal starting in 2012. Don't be surprised if Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus along with Crown Royal honchos make an announcement at this year's race. And stunningly, the Crown Royal deal… is financially bigger than any other current NASCAR title sponsorship deal. Yes, that means bigger than the Coca-Cola 600 and Irwin Tools Night Race (Bristol) deals. In a soft economy, when the race's attendance has wavered, Speedway officials are going to get around $1.5 million annually for the title sponsorship of its race, sources are whispering.(Indianapolis Business Journal)(7-13-2011)
    UPDATE: Indianapolis Motor Speedway has apparently firmed up plans with Crown Royal for the whiskey to be the title sponsor of next year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400. A press conference to confirm the news is scheduled for Thursday. The official name of the NASCAR event, which will have Grand-Am and the Nationwide Series on the bill along with the Sprint Cup race, has not been confirmed.(AutoWeek)(7-22-2011)

  • Inductees for 2011 into Georgia Racing Hall of Fame: The five inductees for 2011 into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame have been chosen. The 2011 inductees are George Elliott of Dawsonville, Mike Head of Ellenwood, Harold Kite of College Park, Swayne Pritchett of Baldwin and Ken Ragan of Unadilla. The 2011 Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Induction banquet will be held on Oct. 21, 2011 at 6 pm at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, located inside the Dawsonville Municipal Complex in Dawsonville, GA. A limited number of seats for the banquet are available. Reservations are required to attend. For information on purchasing a ticket or on the banquet, call the Hall of Fame at (706) 216-RACE (7223) or go online to www.georgiaracinghof.com. For a closer look at the five inductees into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame for 2011, see raceweekillustrated.com and about the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame at georgiaracinghof.com.(7-22-2011)

  • IMS Features Largest 2011 Sprint Cup Autograph Session On July 30: The largest driver autograph session of the Sprint Cup Series season is scheduled for Saturday, July 30 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Race Day ticket holders for the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com. Drivers will be split into two groups, signing in pairs from noon-12:45 p.m. and 1-1:45 p.m. at Pavilion 1A and 1B, adjacent to the Pagoda Plaza. Brickyard 400 ticket holders can obtain an autograph session wristband at 9 a.m. Saturday at Pavilion 1A and 1B. Fans can choose from the pairing of drivers they wish to receive autographs, with a maximum of 150 wristbands allotted per driver pairing. Only one wristband will be distributed to each ticket holder, first come, first served.(IMS PR)(7-22-2011)

  • West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame to honor Kevin Harvick: The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame will honor Kevin Harvick for "Outstanding Personal Achievement" on November 10 at the Arizona Biltmore as part of a charitable fundraiser presented by Phoenix International Raceway during the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend in Phoenix. The event, hosted by ESPN pit reporter Jamie Little, will raise funds for the non-profit West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame and other charities. Both Harvick, a Bakersfield, Calif. native, and Little - originally from Las Vegas - have deep ties to racing in the West. Their support of the Phoenix event was a perfect fit as the Hall of Fame looks to grow its presence not only in the West, but throughout NASCAR. Additional NASCAR drivers and personalities with West Coast roots are scheduled to appear at the event alongside Harvick and Little for this very special "Night to Remember." Phoenix International Raceway's first annual "Night to Remember" will be held at the legendary Arizona Biltmore Resort at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10. Tickets for the event are $250 each and will provide attendees with the chance to spend an evening with honored NASCAR guests while enjoying food & beverage, as well as an exclusive charity auction.(Phoenix Raceway)(7-22-2011)


    News from July 21, 2011

  • Ranger in the #32 at Watkins Glen: Andrew Ranger will get a first Sprint Cup start at the Watkins Glen road course, 22nd round of the season, that will be held on Sunday August 14. Fas Lane Racing team owner Frank Stoddard will have the Roxton Pond 23-year old race phenom at the helm of his #32 race car for this road course event. Stoddard became a one-car team owner this year and was fortunate enough to rely on seasoned drivers that have kept his team in the Top 35 owner point standings. Terry Labonte, Mike Skinner, Patrick Carpentier, Ken Schrader and Mike Bliss all took turns behind the #32 car so far this season. "I am truly overwhelmed that Mr. Stoddard is giving me that great opportunity", replied the former two-time Canadian NASCAR champion. "It's been 5 years now that I left single seater racing to undertake a challenging stock-car career. To drive in the Sprint Cup series is a dream come true and a huge step I have been seeking for."(Ranger PR) Ranger has run two Nationwide races this season, at Road America and New Hampshire.(7-21-2011)

  • Moffitt is new CEO of RPM: According to the Richard Petty Motorsports website, Brian Moffitt has been named CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports. Prior to his July 2011 appointment to CEO, Moffitt served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. A long-time Petty associate, Moffitt spent the past 15 years overseeing the acquisition of sponsorship and services for team owner Richard Petty and his entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Before that, he held the position of Sales Representative at UPS. Moffitt has Associate Degrees in both Marketing and Business Administration. He also attended East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.(7-21-2011)

  • Busch's speeding case postponed: The court appearance for NASCAR driver Kyle Busch set for Wednesday will likely be postponed to a later date. Busch was set to be in administrative traffic court after he was caught going 128 miles an hour in a 45 mile an hour zone in rural Iredell County in late May. Busch was driving a high performance Lexus LFA super car given to him by Toyota, whose cars and trucks he drives in NASCAR. If convicted of speeding and reckless driving, Busch would have his license automatically suspended for 60 days by the department of motor vehicles. A judge also could find him guilty of a second-class misdemeanor, which under North Carolina law has a maximum punishment of up to 60 days in jail and a suspension of a driver's license for up to 12 months.(WBTV)(7-19-2011)
    UPDATE: The court appearance for NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was postponed from Wednesday to Aug. 23. Busch’s attorney, Cliff Homesley, requested the continuance, which is standard procedure when a case first comes to court. Busch was scheduled to appear in administrative court Wednesday but the continuance was granted. Homesley indicated Busch would resolve the charges at his Aug. 23 court date.(Stateville Record & Landmark)(7-21-2011)

  • Good Sam sponsoring August race at Pocono: Good Sam, the world's largest RV owners community, and Pocono International Raceway, announced the sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Series races at Pocono Raceway on August 6-7 , 2011. The Sprint Cup Series event will be titled the Good Sam RV Insurance 500 and the Camping World Truck Series event will be titled the Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service 125. The Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service 125 will air live on SPEED at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday. August 6, 2011. The Good Sam RV Insurance 500 will air live on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 7, 2011. For ticket information, visit http://www.poconoraceway.com or call toll free 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929)(Pocono Raceway)(7-21-2011)

  • Sam Bass returns to Nashville with famed trophy guitar art: Since 2002, Sam Bass has been the artist behind the designs that cover one of the most sought after trophies in NASCAR; the Gibson guitar trophy hailing from Nashville Superspeedway. Bass will reveal his latest unique guitar creation to the winners of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series races this weekend. He also illustrated the cover for this weekend's programs - a tradition that has been carried out over a 10-year time span.(Nashville Superspeedway)(7-21-2011)

  • First phase of MIS repave project complete: When the checkered flag dropped at the end of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 on June 19, the green flag was waved for Phase 1 of the Michigan International Speedway Track Repaving Project. After just 30 days, pit road has now been repaved thus completing Phase 1 of the project. The entire pit road and drainage project took just 30 days to complete. It is the first repave the track has received since 1995 and just the fourth time overall. The track was built in 1968. The track was repaved in 1977, 1986 and 1995. A few projects remain before the Pure Michigan 400 race weekend. Crews will be busy striping pit road and grading and grassing apron areas over the next couple of weeks.(Michigan Speedway)(7-21-2011)


    News from July 20, 2011

  • Newman's race winning modified confiscated by NASCAR: UPDATE: The car Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman drove to victory in Saturday's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was confiscated by NASCAR during post-race inspection. NASCAR spokesman Jason Christley said the car was confiscated to allow NASCAR to make further evaluations concerning restrictor plate and airflow issues with the motor on the car. Newman, who won the pole in qualifying for the event on Thursday, beat second place finisher Todd Szegedy to the checkered flag by 1.901 seconds on Saturday. "The action is not necessarily an indication of any impending penalty," Christley said. The car will be taken by NASCAR to their Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. for further inspection.(Hartford Courant)(7-17-2011)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced the #7 team that competes in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour has been penalized as a result of rules violations committed Saturday, July 16 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. The team was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-I (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20D-5.9P (the intake manifold ports did not completely seal to the cylinder head ports. The use of metal shim-type intake manifold gaskets is not permitted) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. The violations were discovered during post-race inspection on July 16. Mike LaRochelle, crew chief of car #7, has been suspended from all NASCAR regional touring series events until Dec. 31, 2011. Kevin Manion, owner of car #7, has been disqualified from the July 16 New Hampshire race, and has been suspended from all NASCAR regional touring series events until Dec. 31, 2011. Ryan Newman, driver of car #7, has been disqualified from the July 16 New Hampshire race.(NASCAR)(7-20-2011)

  • Bestwick, Briscoe to Expand Roles in ESPN's NASCAR Coverage: Allen Bestwick and Nicole Briscoe, two veterans of ESPN's NASCAR coverage team, will have expanded roles as ESPN's telecasts of the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of the season begin next week. Bestwick, who has filled a variety of positions since ESPN returned to live NASCAR event coverage in 2007, will move into the booth as the lap-by-lap announcer for all ESPN NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts, including races, practices and qualifying. He will be joined by analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree when ESPN starts its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 31. Briscoe, who has been a host and reporter for ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now since joining ESPN in 2008, and a fill-in host for the pre-race NASCAR Countdown show since 2010, will become the regular NASCAR Countdown host for all NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series telecasts on ESPN. Briscoe will work with analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty in the ESPN Pit Studio at racetracks. Bestwick has been in the NASCAR Countdown host role since midway through the 2007 season. Marty Reid, who has been primary lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN's coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series since 2009, and for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since 2010, will continue to call NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecasts on ESPN as well as practice and qualifying telecasts. In addition, Reid also will continue as lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN's coverage of five races in the IZOD IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, with the next event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Aug. 14.(ESPN PR)(7-20-2011)

  • Darnell to remain in the #46: According to the Whitney Motorsports Facebook page, "Erik Darnell will be in the #46 for the remainder of the season, except at Watkins Glen. That driver information will come at another time."(7-20-2011)

  • Montoya gets new crew chief: UPDATE: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced they have made a crew chief change on the #42 Target Chevy driven by Juan Pablo Montoya. Effective immediately, Jim Pohlman, who has been with the organization since 2006 in numerous roles, was named interim crew chief of the #42 team. "We are pleased to have someone of Jim's caliber to be able to place into this role on the #42 team. Jim has been with us a number of years and I have confidence in his abilities to move the team forward," said Team Owner Chip Ganassi.(EGR)(7-19-2011)
    UPDATE: Brian Pattie had been Montoya's crew chief since the 12th race of the 2008 season. He guided Montoya to only one win and one appearance in the Chase. "I'm going to help Jim get up to speed because the next three races are all races we can win," said Pattie, who was informed by Ganassi over the phone Tuesday. Pattie, who was in the final year of his contract, said he's not been released.(ESPN.com)(7-20-2011)

  • Only temporary seating available for Nationwide race at Iowa: Iowa Speedway announced that main grandstand tickets for the U.S. Cellular 250 presented by the Enlist Weed Control System Race are sold out. Fans who still want to attend the race should purchase temporary seating tickets for $55 and $60. The U.S. Cellular 250 presented by Enlist Weed Control Systems Race is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6. "This is the first season that Iowa Speedway has earned the right to host two stops on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule," says President of Iowa Speedway Jerry Jauron. "The first race sold out and this one will too. We're pleased that people enjoy watching great racing at our track."(Iowa Speedway)(7-20-2011)

  • Adam Richman named grand marshal of Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen: The Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food Nation" Adam Richman will serve as Grand Marshal of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen on Sunday, August 14, 2011 (1 p.m. EST on ESPN). Serving as the race's Grand Marshal, Richman will give the iconic command, "Gentlemen, start your engines" prior to the 1:00 PM EST green flag. "Man vs. Food Nation" airs on Wednesdays at 9:00 PM on the Travel Channel; and is the evolution of Richman's original series "Man vs. Food". After three years of sampling delicious food across America, Adam's heard the rallying call from the show's "Nation" of fans...they want in on the action. NASCAR fans will have the opportunity to join the "Nation" and take on food challenges onsite throughout the day.(Watkins Glen PR)(7-20-2011)


    News from July 19, 2011

  • Busch's speeding case postponed: The court appearance for NASCAR driver Kyle Busch set for Wednesday will likely be postponed to a later date. Busch was set to be in administrative traffic court after he was caught going 128 miles an hour in a 45 mile an hour zone in rural Iredell County in late May. Busch was driving a high performance Lexus LFA super car given to him by Toyota, whose cars and trucks he drives in NASCAR. If convicted of speeding and reckless driving, Busch would have his license automatically suspended for 60 days by the department of motor vehicles. A judge also could find him guilty of a second-class misdemeanor, which under North Carolina law has a maximum punishment of up to 60 days in jail and a suspension of a driver's license for up to 12 months.(WBTV)(7-19-2011)

  • Montoya gets new crew chief: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced they have made a crew chief change on the #42 Target Chevy driven by Juan Pablo Montoya. Effective immediately, Jim Pohlman, who has been with the organization since 2006 in numerous roles, was named interim crew chief of the #42 team. "We are pleased to have someone of Jim's caliber to be able to place into this role on the #42 team. Jim has been with us a number of years and I have confidence in his abilities to move the team forward," said Team Owner Chip Ganassi.(EGR)(7-19-2011)

  • TNT NASCAR Summer Series Coverage Delivers Growth in Ratings: TNT saw overall growth in total viewers, ratings and households with its just concluded six-race NASCAR Summer Series coverage of the 2011 Sprint Cup Series with 5,125,000 total viewers (up +3%, 4,990,000 in 2010), 3.1 U.S. HH rating (up +3% vs. 3.0 U.S. HH rating in 2010) and 3,615,000 households (up +3%, 3,495,000 in 2010).(Turner Sports), see 4 year comparison chart, past ratings on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(7-19-2011)

  • NASCAR Names Sean Downes Managing Director, Business Development: NASCAR announced that Sean Downes has been named managing director, business development. Downes is based in the New York office, where he will report to Jim O'Connell, NASCAR chief sales officer. From 2005 to 2009, Downes was NASCAR director of partnership marketing and was responsible for managing a number of official partners including Coca-Cola, Mars and P&G among others. Downes rejoins NASCAR after spending two years as vice president, corporate hospitality sales for Madison Square Garden, where he secured $200 million in new business and renewals during his tenure. Prior to joining NASCAR in 2005, Downes was vice president at Strategic Sports Group and was responsible for securing new business for the agency and for managing a portfolio of brands invested in multiple sports properties including NASCAR, NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL.(NASCAR)(7-19-2011)

  • Sad News - Slick Poston: Mr. Howard Richard 'Slick' Poston, age 74 passed away Monday 7/18/2011 at Transitional Health Services. Mr. Poston was born July 17, 1937 in Iredell County, son of the late Troy Richard Poston and Edna Cosby Poston. He was also preceded in death by a son, Gregory Poston and a brother, Vernon Poston. Howard had a career as a gear and transmission specialist with several race teams over the years, the last one being Joe Gibbs Racing for 13 years. He then worked for Jerico Transmission for several years. He thoroughly enjoyed car shows and cruise-ins and older model cars in general.(see full obit and service info at the Wilkinson Funeral Home webiste)(7-19-2011)

  • Latest on proposed Branson area racetrack: Members of the Taney County [Southwest Missouri] Planning Commission on Monday approved controversial plans and a permit to build a $250 million NASCAR-style track on 800 acres south of Hollister. The 4-2 vote in favor of the Branson Sports Entertainment Complex came with hefty conditions, however. In addition to complying with local development codes and state and federal requirements, developer Russell Cook will be required to make any transportation upgrades needed to handle the increased traffic and finish all infrastructure improvements before moving ahead with construction. He also must build four sound measuring stations within a half-mile of the track. He could face a fine of $5,000 if the noise level exceeds 68 decibels (normal conversation with someone a few feet away is about 60 decibels). Representatives for both Cook and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris [sponsor of the #1 Chevy] -- who has publicly opposed the project -- greeted the restrictions with cautious optimism. Commission chair Shawn Pingleton lobbied Monday for penalties on the order of $5,000 per decibel above 68 decibels on the first violation and $10,000 per decibel point on the second, but member Ray Edwards used the lesser penalty in his amended motion to approve.(News Leader)(7-19-2011)

  • Brickyard hauler parade July 28: NASCAR fans can get an up-close view of Sprint Cup Series "haulers" - the large, colorful trucks carrying the stock cars competing July 29-31 in the Brickyard 400 presented by Big Machine Records.com at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway - at the third annual Hauler Parade and Festival on Thursday, July 28 on Speedway's Main Street. The event will take place from 5-10 p.m. Admission is free. Great live music is included, with R&B dance band The Toy Factory and country rock band KJ and the Jester Kings. Meeting and greeting fans will be NASCAR personalities, including legendary NASCAR champion Ned Jarrett and Miss Sprint Cup. Fans also can watch the haulers parade north on Main Street and east on 16th Street at 8 p.m., as they depart the Hauler Parade and Festival single-file and enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grounds for the Brickyard 400.(IMS PR)(7-19-2011)

  • Rock Out Before NASCAR Rolls Out at The Glen: Rock & Roll and NASCAR will roar into Central New York during the first two weeks of August beginning with The Zippo Rock Pit Stop at Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, NY on Friday, August 5. This special event offers fans of both music and motorsports a peek into what happens off track during NASCAR's annual visit to legendary Watkins Glen International. The Zippo Rock Pit Stop will get the night rocking less than one week before the green flag falls on the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen weekend, August 11-14. Not only is this a great opportunity to experience the soundtrack to NASCAR, it is also a great chance to meet some of the staff of The Glen while registering to win NASCAR tickets, driver autographed merchandise, free band merchandise and even a large piece of Daytona International Speedway's past. The Zippo Rock Pit Stop, hosted by Watkins Glen International and sponsored by Zippo Manufacturing, will highlight three different bands with three distinct styles. Doors open at 7:00 PM. Tickets for the Zippo Rock Pit Stop will be available in advance for $10 or at the door for $15, thanks to Water St. Music Hall. Show details and advanced tickets can be found here.(Watkins Glen)(7-19-2011)


    News from July 18, 2011

  • Gibbs courting Edwards? UPDATES: am hearing that Carl Edwards, currently the driver of the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, is being courted by Joe Gibbs Racing to take over the #20 Home Depot Toyota ride. Where would that leave current #20 driver, Joey Logano, to the long rumored 4th Joe Gibbs car, no word on who would be the sponsor, if it happens.(6-17-2011)
    UPDATE: Ford and Roush Fenway Racing are feeling a sense of urgency to re-sign Carl Edwards. For the last month, Edwards has been rumored to be headed to Joe Gibbs Racing. Earlier this season, JGR president J.D. Gibbs acknowledged that the organization would be interested in talking to Edwards if sponsorship could be acquired for a fourth team. Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newman called the Edwards' negotiation "a slow and steady process." Both Roush and Ford have worked diligently to entice Edwards to remain in the blue-oval camp but are starting to feel the pressure from Toyota. "We have constant conversations with Carl," Newmark said. "I still remain cautiously optimistic that we'll get something done, but as we've talked about before, the process that we're going through, we want to make sure that we have everything in order going forward and Carl's main focus is on making sure he's going to a place where he can win championships. Newmark understands that Edwards is shopping the market and "has no issue with him engaging in discussions." Now the challenge for Roush comes in offering the most competitive package for Edwards and his future. At the same time, Newmark has the challenge of locking up Roush sponsors Aflac, UPS and Crown Royal. Newmark locked down both 3M and Greg Biffle for a multi-year deal in April. Newmark is not actively seeking a replacement for Edwards -- yet. With Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse in the pipeline, there's really no need to.(Fox Sports)(6-19-2011)
    UPDATE 2: #99-Carl Edwards on Friday again declined comment on his contract status, as he has throughout the year. Edwards is in the final year of his contract with Roush Fenway Racing, and the team is also negotiating contract extensions with all of its primary sponsors except 3M, which has signed a multi-year deal to remain with the team and Greg Biffle. "As far as my contract status, it is the same as the beginning of the year," Edwards said Friday morning at Infineon Raceway. "We are working hard on it and we do all that stuff behind closed doors. We are making progress and hopefully we will be able to tell you guys what my plan is soon." Asked about the oft-repeated rumors that he would go to Joe Gibbs Racing next year to replace Joey Logano, Edwards added, "I have heard rumors about all different teams for the last two years. The thing I am going to do is keep working on it and working on it privately. I think that is the best way for me."(SPEED)(6-25-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Speculation about #99-Carl Edwards raged through in the NASCAR garage throughout the weekend, with unconfirmed reports that the stock car racing star - now back atop the Sprint Cup standings after Sunday's New Hampshire 301 - could definitely be heading to the Joe Gibbs Toyota operation next season and leaving Jack Roush's Ford operation. No one would say much at all on the record about the Edwards situation. However, it appears something is changing, or has changed. Just what, if anything, isn't clear. And yet still there was little more than more silence Sunday. No one involved was leaping into deny or confirm anything. Part of the speculation involves sponsorship possibilities. Edwards is considered one of the sport's most attractive drivers from a sponsor's viewpoint. And it is believed that part of the driving factor in the Edwards-Gibbs possibility could be Home Depot, the home improvement giant which has 'lost' five straight NASCAR championships to arch-rival Lowe's and #48-Jimmie Johnson.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-18-2011)
    UPDATE 4: Interviewed on ESPN's NASCAR Now on Monday, Edwards said he has not made a decision on where to drive next year and he continues to want to keep contract negotiations private.(7-18-2011)

  • Crew chief change on the #43 team? UPDATE: from SPEED's Bob Dilner's Twitter: Hearing Mike Shiplett out and Greg Erwin in as crew chief for A.J. Allmendinger for the #43 at RPM.(7-18-2011)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports officials announced that Greg Erwin has joined the team and will replace Mike Shiplett as crew chief for the #43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry driven by AJ Allmendinger. Prior to joining Richard Petty Motorsports, Erwin held the crew chief position with the #16 team at Roush Fenway Racing. Erwin joined that team in May 2007 and during his tenure at RFR, led Biffle to five victories, 36 top-five and 66 top-10 finishes. Erwin’s team made the Chase for the Championship three times, finishing as high as third in the year end point standings.(RPM)(7-18-2011)

  • Yeley to Front Row Motorsports: UPDATE: During SPEED's coverage of final practice at New Hampshire, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds reported that J.J. Yeley will be with Front Row Motorsports the remainder of the year. He will drive #55, the team's fourth car starting at Indianapolis.(7-16-2011)
    UPDATE: J.J. Yeley will join Front Row Motorsports for the remainder of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, splitting time between the #55 Ford and the #38 Ford. The seven-year Sprint Cup veteran filled in for Travis Kvapil in the #38 Long John Silver's Ford at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend, finishing 23rd. Yeley had been driving for Whitney Motorsports for the first half of the 2011 season. He joins fellow veteran drivers Kvapil and David Gilliland as teammates at Front Row. Yeley will be in the #55 Ford for the series' next race July 31 at Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(7-18-2011)

  • New Hampshire TV Ratings: Overnight ratings increased by double-digits for the final race of Turner Sports’ six-race NASCAR schedule. Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Lenox Industrial Tools 301 from Loudon, NH, earned a 2.9 overnight rating on TNT, up 12% from last year’s Loudon race, which aired in late June (2.6). The telecast was also up 7% from last week’s Quaker State 400 from Kentucky (2.7).(Turner Sports/Sports Media Watch), see race-by-race, 4year chart and more on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(7-18-2011)

  • Gibbs to close engine shop? UPDATES: hearing that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will lay off half their engine shop staff and get engines supplied, supposedly for free, from TRD - Toyota Racing Development. Hearing it is a three year deal, not sure if it starts soon or with the 2012 season. Employee's not laid off will be reassigned within the company, as there are reports that JGR will expand to a fourth team and are in the hunt for Carl Edwards to drive for them in 2012. Edwards is a free agent and currently drives for Roush Fenway Racing in the #99 Ford. Just last week, Toyota'a Lee White told FoxSports: "No, they're not shutting down their engine shop and no we will not be building their engines," White said. "Of course, hell can freeze over and pigs can fly, but not in this world." Currently, the JGR engines would not even fit in the other Toyota cars with their configuration.(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he has no plans to shutter the team's engine shop and merge motor-building operations with Toyota Racing Development. "I think a lot of that started when Red Bull Racing announced they were going to cease operation," said Gibbs. "A lot of people started trying to plug things into different spots. There are some things that TRD and Toyota do really well, and there are some things that we do really well. For several years, we've been working on how to bring all those strengths together. (JGR Head Engine Builder) Mark Cronquist has got some real sharp guys… and the question – again – is how do we bring all that together (with Toyota and TRD)? If we can do that, I think there will be some real value. But there is no shutting down our shop, or shutting down theirs. We're going to keep working on combining what they do well with what we do well."
    Gibbs also commented on persistent rumors of negotiations with Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards, saying, "We get the most attention because we have an open spot. If other (teams) had spots, they'd all be in the rumor mill, too. The reality is that Carl is a gifted, talented driver. But you have to have all the parts; driver, crew chief, team and sponsorship. And that sponsorship piece is difficult to put together. From our standpoint, we are far from having any concrete decisions or directions. We have the availability to add a fourth car. We look at it each year and examine the possibilities. But we haven't been able to make it work." Gibbs said Joey Logano's job is secure, whether or not Edwards joins the JGR camp. "People in general just assume things," he said. "If we do a fourth car, it will be a great addition. For Joey, the key is that we finished last year so strong, but just haven't had that same consistency this year. We've had it the last few weeks, so that's encouraging for us and the whole (#20) team. He's young, but we have to perform. We all know that, and what we saw (out of Logano) last year is what we're starting to see again now. That's encouraging."(Sirius Speedway)(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE 2: While there’s talk in the garage that Joe Gibbs Racing might be getting rid of its engine program (and using Toyota’s program, which supplies engines for its teams), here’s what Joe Gibbs told [Dustin Long] after the race: “No truth to that at all,’’ Gibbs said of talk JGR’s engine shop was closing after this year. “We’re not closing our motor shop at all. What we’re doing is moving closer and closer to TRD (Toyota Racing Development) to run one motor. So far we’ve been running two different packages. Now we’ve been getting closer and closer as we go and doing more R&D. Now that we’ll be fuel injection (in 2012), we’ll be closer yet. So that’s all it is. We’re going to be doing the things that we’ve been doing well. Mark (Cronquist, who oversees the engine department at JGR) is going to be in charge of horsepower stuff. We’ll be working together (with TRD) on our motor package.’’(Virginian-Pilot)(7-18-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of New Hampshire: 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 Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:20 PM (all times are EST). TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 126
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 63
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 35
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 15 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:20 PM
    Total minutes: 200
    Minutes of race broadcast: 139
    Minutes of commercials: 61
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 139 Total comm. brdcst time 61
    See race-by-race commercial info, links to full reports and more on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(7-18-2011)

  • 1-2 finish stats: A couple interesting stats from Sunday's race, provided by ESPN's Marty Smith:
    1) Sunday's 1-2 start/finish by #39-Newman/#14-Stewart is the first teammate 1-2 start and finish since the 1989 Daytona 500 (Darrell Waltrip and Ken Schrader for Hendrick Motorsports).
    2) The last time a team started/finished 1-2 with the same drivers in the same order was back on April 7, 1957 at North Wilkesboro with DePaolo Engineering. Fireball Roberts won from the pole, while teammate Paul Goldsmith started second and finished second.
    AND Newman and Stewart qualified and finished 1-2, that's the first time in a Cup race that drivers have qualified and finished 1-2 since Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch qualified and finished 1-2 at Pocono in June 2006.(7-18-2011)

  • Most poles with fewest wins: UPDATE: #39-Ryan Newman won his 47th pole, now 10th all time on the all time pole list. Newman has won a pole in 11 straight seasons, 6th on the all-time list, David Pearson is first with 20 straight seasons with #24-Jeff Gordon at 19 [a current streak]. In the previous 46 pole wins, Newman has only won 3 races from the pole. Newman has gone winless in 34 straight races that he has started from the pole [the all-time record]. His last win from the pole was at Pocono in August 2003. Geoff Bodine, who has 37 poles in his career, lost 27 consecutive races when starting from the pole from his career start in 1982 until he won at Martinsville in 1990. He would end up winning win from the pole three times. Ricky Rudd went 0 for 26 to begin his career and only had one win from the pole position before finishing his career with 29 poles.(7-16-2011)
    UPDATE: Newman's win Sunday at New Hampshire broke his winless from the pole streak at 34.(7-18-2011)

  • Bristol launches social media contest: Bristol Motor Speedway, launched a social media contest in conjunction with its summer-long celebration of NASCAR's most popular track and the venue's 50th Anniversary. The contest -- "50 Days of Giveaways" -- invites Facebook fans to participate in a series of interactive promotions to win exclusive experiential prizes like pit passes, VIP hospitality and ticket packages. In addition to Fan Appreciation Day on July 30 and other special events, 50 Days of Giveaways raises awareness about Bristol's storied past, while paying tribute to its special breed of fans. The first contest, currently under way, invites fans to "Show Us Your Number" via photo uploads of shirts, tattoos or body art like the infamous "Number 3 Guy," who shaved Dale Earnhardt's number into his back hair. The winner gets to wave the green flag during Sharpie Qualifying Friday, August 26 and receives two cold pit passes for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race, slated for August 27.(BMS)(7-18-2011))


    News from July 17, 2011

  • Newman wins at New Hampshire: #39-Ryan Newman won the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 1st win of 2011 and 15th career win. His teammate, #14-Stewart finished second [the first one-two finish for Stewart-Hass Racing] followed by #11-Hamlin, #20-Logano, #48-Johnson, #4-Kahne, #47-Labonte, #56-Truex, Jr., #9-Ambrose, and #22-Busch. The race came down to fuel mileage with several drivers running out of gas during the last few laps.
    The points leader going in to the race, #18-Busch, blew a tire early and hit the wall. He finished 36th and lost the points lead to #99-Edwards, who goes to the points lead by 7 points over #48-Johnson.
    There were 21 lead changes among 14 drivers; 10 cautions for 44 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 95,000, up from 91,000 last June.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, July 20 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Kentucky Race Results/Awards page.(7-17-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - New Hampshire:
    Ryan Newman won the 19th Annual LENOX Industrial Tools 301, his 15th victory in 351 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is the first time Stewart-Haas Racing has finished 1-2.
    Newman becomes the 13th different race winner this season. There were 13 different winners all last season.
    This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his third victory and 13th top-10 finish in 19 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    Tony Stewart (second) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 25 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2011.
    Denny Hamlin (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 11 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-17-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after New Hampshire, race 19 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 652
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 645, -7
    3) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 641, -11
    4) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 637, -15
    5) #18-Kyle Busch [3 wins], 632, -20
    6) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 626, -26
    7) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 587, -65
    8) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 586, -66
    9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 577, -75
    10) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 570, -82
    wild cards
    11) #6-David Ragan [1 win], 524, -128 [13th in points, 1 win]
    12) #14-Tony Stewart, 570, -82 [11th in points]
    Two race winners are not inside the top-20: #2-Keselowski is 23rd, 25 pts out of 20th; #78-Smith is 27th, 90 pts out of 20th
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as they are in the top-20 in points, then if no wins by drivers points
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(7-17-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Indianapolis:
    No changes in the top-35, the #7 lead remains at 7 points over #71.
    32) #36-Blaney/TBR, 275, +44
    33) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 273, +42
    34) #13-Mears/Germain, 267, +36
    35) #7-Wimmer/RGM, 238, 7 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #71-Lally/TRG, 231, 7 points out of top 35
    37) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 226, -12
    38) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 204,-34
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(7-17-2011)

  • Sprint using promotion to reward drivers, fans: UPDATE: Sprint plans to raise the stakes on this summer's NASCAR season by rolling out a six-race, $3 million promotion that will reward winning drivers and fans. The Sprint Summer Showdown, as it is being referred to in communications between executives at Sprint and tracks, will give the winning drivers of ESPN's first five Sprint Cup races the chance to square off for a winner-takes-all prize at the Sept. 4 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. If a driver who wins one of the five races - Indianapolis, Pocono, Watkins Glen, Michigan or Bristol - wins the Atlanta race, Sprint will pay the driver $1 million, the driver's charity of choice $1 million, and a fan $1 million. The promotion is the first of its kind by Sprint and rivals the $1 million it pays the winner of the Sprint All-Star Race. It is reminiscent of promotions run by NASCAR's previous title sponsor, Winston. Between 1985 and 1997, the Winston cigarette brand's parent company, R.J. Reynolds, ran the Winston Million promotion, offering $1 million to any driver who won three of the sport's four biggest races. From 1998 to 2002, it recast the promotion as the Winston No Bull 5 and offered $1 million to qualified drivers who won select races. It also gave $1 million to a fan associated with a driver through a sweepstakes. It's unclear how Sprint will incorporate fans into its promotion. A Sprint spokesperson said the company was planning an "exciting promotion" but declined to comment further. Sprint is expected to announce the promotion at New Hampshire Motor Speedway the weekend of July 17.(Sports Business Journal)(6-28-2011)
    UPDATE: Sprint announced the biggest promotion in its history as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D. The six-consecutive-race series runs from Indianapolis on July 31 to Atlanta on Sept. 4 and puts a $3 million purse on the line for a driver, a driver's charity and one lucky race fan. Any driver who wins one of the five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events between the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway will become a finalist for the $3 million Sprint Summer Showdown payout on Labor Day Weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. If one of those five drivers wins the Advocare 500 at Atlanta, then the driver, the driver's charity and one lucky race fan will each collect $1 million. Fans can enter each week for their chance at the million-dollar prize by picking which driver they believe will win that week's race at sprint.com/speed or by visiting the Sprint Experience display at every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. After each week's race, one race fan will be randomly chosen from those fans who correctly picked that week's winning driver. The lucky fan chosen after each race will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway and be there in person to see whether his or her driver can win at Atlanta. If that driver claims the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D, the fan will win $1 million. Fans can change their picks until the scheduled start time for each event.(Sprint)(7-17-2011)

  • Harvick says he's been warned to not touch Busch: Kevin Harvick says he is racing with handcuffs when competing against rival Kyle Busch, whom he and his owner have feuded with since May. Harvick, who finished second behind Busch in the New England 200 on Saturday, told his Nationwide Series team over his radio that he had to be careful around Busch and then confirmed afterward that NASCAR President Mike Helton had warned him at Michigan in June not to touch Busch on the track. "I was told a few weeks ago that if we touched the 18 car [of Busch], we'd be parked," Harvick said. "I've just got to be really careful. I would have liked to have gotten the track position and slid up and do what I needed to do. But I've just got to be really careful. That's the way NASCAR put it to me." NASCAR spokesman Kristi King said if there was a conversation between Harvick and Helton, it would remain private. Busch said he has received no warning. "It would have been a lot easier to win if you didn't have handcuffs put on you, but that's the way NASCAR said we had to do it," Harvick said.(Scene Daily(7-17-2011)

  • Villeneuve looking for Cup or Nationwide ride: Jacques Villeneuve came to New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday to shop -- for a race team. While the 1997 Formula champ's first choice would be acquiring a full-time ride in either the Sprint Cup or Nationwide Series, Villeneuve realizes providing his own seat my be the best option to join the sport. "There's two things, if I can get a good ride, I probably would not be looking at (buying a team) but the way the budgets are right now you might as well bring it yourself," Villeneuve said. "If I could get a full-time ride, I probably wouldn't bother." Villeneuve said his first preference is Sprint Cup. But he would prefer a solid Nationwide Series team to a struggling Cup operation. Villeneuve said he's "very sad" that nothing has been lined up yet for Watkins Glen, but he would love the opportunity to race there as well.(Fox Sports)(7-17-2011)

  • Newman's race winning modified confiscated by NASCAR: The car Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman drove to victory in Saturday's NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour F.W. Webb 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway was confiscated by NASCAR during post-race inspection. NASCAR spokesman Jason Christley said the car was confiscated to allow NASCAR to make further evaluations concerning restrictor plate and airflow issues with the motor on the car. Newman, who won the pole in qualifying for the event on Thursday, beat second place finisher Todd Szegedy to the checkered flag by 1.901 seconds on Saturday. "The action is not necessarily an indication of any impending penalty," Christley said. The car will be taken by NASCAR to their Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. for further inspection.(Hartford Courant)(7-17-2011)


    News from July 16, 2011

  • Final practice for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, after 60 minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson 129.591
    #42-Montoya 129.292
    #39-Newman 129.278
    #31-Burton 129.169
    #2-Keselowski 129.156
    slowest: #46-Darnell 127.040 & #32-Bliss 127.036.
    fastest 10 lap average
    #48-Johnson 128.755
    #31-Burston 128.669
    #20-Logano 128.463
    See fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds, fastest 10 lap averages on the New Hampshire Practice Speeds Page. (7-16-2011)

  • Yeley to Front Row: During SPEED's coverage of final practice at New Hampshire, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds reported that J.J. Yeley will be with Front Row Motorsports the remainder of the year. He will drive #55, the team's fourth car starting at Indianapolis.(7-16-2011)

  • Saturday's first practice for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over, after 50 minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #14-Stewart 129.169
    #33-Bowyer 129.156
    #2-Keselowski 129.151
    #24-Gordon 128.976
    #56-Truex, Jr. 128.972
    slowest: #7-Wimmer 126.215 & #60-Skinner 125.990.
    fastest 10 lap average
    #33-Bowyer 128.421
    #14-Stewart 128.287
    #31-Burton 128.239
    See fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds, fastest 10 lap averages on the New Hampshire Practice Speeds Page.(7-16-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #39-Newman chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #14-Stewart took pit stall 25, the first pitstall in front of the start finish line.
    #00-Reutimann, who starts 3rd took the 43rd pit stall, the last stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 44th and final pit stall [pit stall 26 is not used] was taken by #27-Menard, who starts 9th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(7-16-2011)

  • Most poles with fewest wins: #39-Ryan Newman won his 47th pole, now 10th all time on the all time pole list. Newman has won a pole in 11 straight seasons, 6th on the all-time list, David Pearson is first with 20 straight seasons with #24-Jeff Gordon at 19 [a current streak]. In the previous 46 pole wins, Newman has only won 3 races from the pole. Newman has gone winless in 34 straight races that he has started from the pole [the all-time record]. His last win from the pole was at Pocono in August 2003. Geoff Bodine, who has 37 poles in his career, lost 27 consecutive races when starting from the pole from his career start in 1982 until he won at Martinsville in 1990. He would end up winning win from the pole three times. Ricky Rudd went 0 for 26 to begin his career and only had one win from the pole position before finishing his career with 29 poles.(7-16-2011)

  • Foxwood Casino sponsoring #30 team: Foxwoods Resort Casino announced it will serve as sponsor of the #30 Foxwoods Chevy driven by Inception Motorsports' David Stremme in the Sprint Series' LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday. Stremme, who currently sits at No. 41 on the Sprint Cup point standings, has three career top 10 Sprint Cup Series finishes, and was the 2003 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year.(Elevate Communications) see an image of the car on my #30 team paint schemes page.(6-16-2011)

  • Michael Waltrip Racing sues former engineer, F1 team: Michael Waltrip Racing is suing a former engineer who recently left the organization for a Formula One team before his contract allegedly ran out. MWR is suing Mike Coughlan and the Williams F1 team in U.S. District Court in Charlotte. It is asking for a unspecified amount in damages for breach of contract and, against Williams, interference with the contract. Coughlan was responsible for overseeing all design, production, engineering and quality control programs at MWR. The suit alleges that his departure impacted the team's performance, resulting in a loss of prize money and potential sponsorship.(Scene Daily)(7-16-2011)

  • McMullen named General Manager at TRG Motorsports: While this past weekend served as the Sprint Cup Series' first visit to Kentucky Speedway, it also marked the first weekend in which the #71 team was under the direction of new General Manager, Harry McMullen. McMullen's had previously spent over thirty years with the organization now known as Roush Fenway Racing. He was serving as General Manager for the team's Sprint Cup operation when he parted ways with the organization. McMullen believes he has found an organization that is the right fit for him. "TRG Motorsports seemed like the right opportunity for me. I wanted the chance to help guide the growth and progress of a race team. This is an organization that has a committed and determined owner in Kevin Buckler, a young and talented driver in Andy Lally and an experienced and winning crew chief in Doug Richert. There is a lot of potential here and I look forward to being a part of this team as we work to reach that potential."(TRG)(7-16-2011)

  • Edens Edge to Perform National Anthem at New Hampshire: Officials at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and WOKQ announced that Big Machine recording group Edens Edge will perform the national anthem at the LENOX Industrial Tools 301. The country music trio features Hannah Blaylock as the lead vocalist, Dean Berner on harmony vocals, guitar, dobro and Cherrill Green on harmony vocals, mandolin, banjo, and guitar. The group composes a unique musical blend deeply rooted in country and bluegrass. The trio has opened for iconic country stars such as Ronnie Milsap and Randy Travis. At the end of March 2010, they proudly became part of the Big Machine Records label family which is also home to Taylor Swift. A select number of seats are still available. To purchase tickets please call the NHMS ticket hotline at (603) 783-4931 or by visiting www.nhms.com.(NHMS)(7-16-2011)

  • Bristol hosting Fan Appreciation Day: In celebration of Bristol Motor Speedway's 50th anniversary, NASCAR's most popular track will mark the anniversary of its inaugural race with a Fan Appreciation Day July 30. The first NASCAR Grand National race, as the series was called then, took place July 30, 1961, with Jack Smith becoming the first driver in the track's storied victory lane. Fifty years later, the World's Fastest Half-Mile, long one of NASCAR's premier tracks, will mark the occasion with a fan celebration. Track laps, always a popular event, will be offered at no charge to any fan with tickets to NASCAR events at BMS. Guests who are not ticket holders also may take their own cars around the concrete oval after making a donation of any amount to Speedway Children's Charities. Food City will provide hot dogs and chips, while Pepsi will supply drinks and BKW will provide wings while supplies last. Several local bands also will be on hand to provide entertainment. A number of Monster Trucks also will be staged in the infield where the Thompson Metal Monster Truck Madness will take place later that evening.(BMS)(7-16-2011)


    News from July 15, 2011

  • NASCAR working on Kentucky traffic issues: UPDATE: NASCAR president Mike Helton says the traffic gridlock at the inaugural Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky is a "very serious issue" that must be corrected. Speaking Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Helton says NASCAR is working with Kentucky Speedway officials to find out why fans were stuck in traffic for hours as they tried to get into Saturday night's race at the track in Sparta, Ky. Helton says NASCAR "won't rest" until it figures out what went wrong and how to correct the problems. Many fans say once they got to the gate, they were turned away by police because the track had run out of parking spaces.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Burton Smith, the head of the company which owns Kentucky Speedway, and NASAR president Mike Helton talked about the traffic problems which boiled over at the track last weekend during separate meetings with the media Friday. Both said the problems will be fixed, but the tones of the two executives were markedly different in tone. Smith was defiant and combatitive with in his press conference. Smith did apologize but said no cash refunds will be made to disgruntled fans by the track would participate in a ticket exchange. "We had a traffic problem," Smith, founder of Speedway Motorsports Inc., said, "we didn't have a seat problem. Other than that, I think everything was fantastic." Smith said the problem rested not solely with Kentucky Speedway. He said Interstate 71, the main highway to the track, was to blame. He also the the company he hired to park cars did "a lousy job".(Racin' Today)(7-15-2011)

  • Newman wins New Hampshire pole: #39-Ryan Newman won the Coors Light pole for the Lexox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a speed of 135.232mph, a new track record. It is his 1st pole of the season and the 47th of his career. #14-Stewart starts 2nd followed by #00-Reutimann, #22-Busch, #31-Burton, #24-Gordon, #42-Montoya, #27-Menard, and #4-Kahne.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #30-Stremme, #66-McDowell, #87-Nemechek, #55-Green, #38-Yeley, #60-Skinner, #46-Darnell and #71-Lally.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #37-Raines, #81-Riggs, #92-Setzer.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my New Hamphire Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(7-15-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - New Hampshire:
    Ryan Newman won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 19th Annual LENOX Industrial Tools 301 with a track qualifying record lap of 28.165 seconds, 135.232 mph.
    The previous record was set by Brad Keselowski last September (28.515 sec./133.572 mph).
    This is his 47th pole in 351 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He now sits alone in 10th on the all-time poles list.
    This is his first pole and seventh top-10 start in 2011. His last pole came at Charlotte in May of last season.
    This is his series-leading fifth pole in 19 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    Tony Stewart (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2011 and his 16th in 25 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    David Reutimann (third) posted his third top-10 start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his fifth in 19 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-15-2011)

  • Qualifying Order for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #92-Setzer, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #33-Bowyer, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the New Hampshire Qualifying Page.(7-15-2011)

  • Friday practice for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over after 90 minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #33-Bowyer 134.212
    #14-Stewart 134.103
    #39-Newman 133.778
    #43-Allmendinger 133.741
    #27-Menard 133.562
    slowest: #81-Riggs 129.156 & #92-Setzer 128.876.
    fastest 10 lap average
    #20-Logano 128.573
    #11-Denny Hamlin 128.188
    #51-Landon Cassill(i) 126.105 See fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds, fastest 10 lap averages on the New Hampshire Practice Speeds Page.(7-15-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #66-Michael McDowell, 32nd
    #30-David Stremme, 33rd
    #55-Jeff Green, 35th
    #38-J.J. Yeley, 36th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 38th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 39th
    #46-Erik Darnell, 40th
    #71-Andy Lally, 41st
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #37-Tony Raines, 43rd
    #81-Scott Riggs, 45th
    #92-Dennis Setzer, 46th

  • Gibbs to close engine shop? UPDATE: hearing that Joe Gibbs Racing [#11, #18, #20] will lay off half their engine shop staff and get engines supplied, supposedly for free, from TRD - Toyota Racing Development. Hearing it is a three year deal, not sure if it starts soon or with the 2012 season. Employee's not laid off will be reassigned within the company, as there are reports that JGR will expand to a fourth team and are in the hunt for Carl Edwards to drive for them in 2012. Edwards is a free agent and currently drives for Roush Fenway Racing in the #99 Ford. Just last week, Toyota'a Lee White told FoxSports: “No, they’re not shutting down their engine shop and no we will not be building their engines,” White said. “Of course, hell can freeze over and pigs can fly, but not in this world.” Currently, the JGR engines would not even fit in the other Toyota cars with their configuration.(7-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing President JD Gibbs told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that he has no plans to shutter the team’s engine shop and merge motor-building operations with Toyota Racing Development. “I think a lot of that started when Red Bull Racing announced they were going to cease operation,” said Gibbs. “A lot of people started trying to plug things into different spots. There are some things that TRD and Toyota do really well, and there are some things that we do really well. For several years, we’ve been working on how to bring all those strengths together. (JGR Head Engine Builder) Mark Cronquist has got some real sharp guys… and the question – again – is how do we bring all that together (with Toyota and TRD)? If we can do that, I think there will be some real value. But there is no shutting down our shop, or shutting down theirs. We’re going to keep working on combining what they do well with what we do well.”
    Gibbs also commented on persistent rumors of negotiations with Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards, saying, “We get the most attention because we have an open spot. If other (teams) had spots, they’d all be in the rumor mill, too. The reality is that Carl is a gifted, talented driver. But you have to have all the parts; driver, crew chief, team and sponsorship. And that sponsorship piece is difficult to put together. From our standpoint, we are far from having any concrete decisions or directions. We have the availability to add a fourth car. We look at it each year and examine the possibilities. But we haven’t been able to make it work.” Gibbs said Joey Logano’s job is secure, whether or not Edwards joins the JGR camp. “People in general just assume things,” he said. “If we do a fourth car, it will be a great addition. For Joey, the key is that we finished last year so strong, but just haven’t had that same consistency this year. We’ve had it the last few weeks, so that’s encouraging for us and the whole (#20) team. He’s young, but we have to perform. We all know that, and what we saw (out of Logano) last year is what we’re starting to see again now. That’s encouraging.”(Sirius Speedway)(7-15-2011)

  • Setzer in for Brian Keselowski at NHMS: Tough times call for tough decision making for Brian Keselowski, as he makes the decision to step out of his #92 Sprint Cup Series race car and allow the very talented Dennis Setzer to sit behind the wheel for this weekend's race in New Hampshire. "It was a tough decision to make, because all I really want to do is race, but I have to put the good of the company before my own, so I can keep things going, and keep trying to get to where we need to be. I can't focus on driving this weekend when there is work to be done on the car and want to keep our sponsor, Melling Engine Parts happy, so I have a lot to take care of on the business side of things right now. I have to keep my family's company and namesake in business and that comes first. Dennis is a great friend and I trust him 100% . We worked together numerous times in the past and I feel that if I can't be in the car, Dennis is the one who I want taking my place" said Keselowski. Melling Engine Parts has agreed to be a major associate sponsor for this weekend's race at New Hampshire and Pocono. Melling Engine Parts has also agreed they will be a major sponsor for the upcoming race in Michigan. Sponsorship from Melling Engine parts for other races will be announced at a later time.(PR)(7-15-2011)

  • The Numbers for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301:
    1 - fewest lead changes (9/17/00)
    1 - fewest leaders (Jeff Burton, 9/17/00)
    2 - fewest cautions (7/13/97)
    2 - fewest laps led by race winner (Jeff Burton, 7/11/99)
    3 - wins by Dodge at NHMS since manufacturer's return to NASCAR in 2001
    4 - most wins at NHMS (Jeff Burton)
    4 - wins from the pole; six from the front row
    4 - most poles (Ryan Newman)
    6 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at NHMS
    7 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (7/11/93)
    7 - drivers with more than one win
    8 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    10 - fewest caution laps (7/13/97)
    17 - most cautions (7/10/94)
    17 - different pole winners
    20 - different race winners
    23 - most lead changes (twice, most recent 7/21/02)
    30 - most cars on lead lap at finish (7/21/02)
    30 - fewest cars running at finish (twice, most recent 9/17/00)
    43 - most cars running at finish (9/16/07)
    79 - most caution laps (7/10/94)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 1.058-mile track
    300 - most laps led by race winner (Jeff Burton led every lap, 9/17/00)
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(7-15-2011)

  • TomTom on the #42 at New Hamphire: This weekend at "The Magic Mile" the #42 Chevy will sport the TomTom logo on both its quarter panels. Founded in 1991, TomTom is the world's leading supplier of location and navigation products and services focused on providing all drivers with the world's best navigation experience. Their products include portable navigation devices, in-dash infotainment systems, fleet management solutions, maps and real-time services, including the award winning HD Traffic.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(7-15-2011)

  • Dierks Bentley in concert at Richmond: The September NASCAR weekend at Richmond International Raceway gets a country kickoff Thursday, September 8, as national country music recording artist Dierks Bentley plays the track's amphitheater for the first "Rockin' the Raceway" to benefit the Cullather Brain Tumor Quality of Life Center at Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital. The concert, which precedes the September 9, Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the September 10, Wonderful Pistachios 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, serves as a festive way to drop the green flag on race weekend in Richmond. Tickets ($55 reserved, $35 general admission) go on sale Friday, July 15, at 9:00 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at www.rir.com, via phone at 866-455-7223 and at Richmond International Raceway's ticket office, located at 600 East Laburnum Ave, Richmond, VA 23222.(RIR)(7-15-2011)


    News from July 14, 2011

  • Cup connections in NH touring races: Several drivers connected to the Sprint Cup Series will be participating in the touring series events this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Entered in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event: Ben Kennedy, son of Lesa France Kennedy (vice chairwoman and executive vice president of NASCAR and CEO of International Speedway Corporation); Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Brandon McReynolds, son of TNT/FOX/SPEED analyst and former crew chief Larry McReynolds; and Chase Elliott, son of 1988 Sprint Cup Champ Bill Elliott will also run in the race…Entered in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race are NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ryan Newman and ESPN NASCAR Analyst Andy Petree.(NASCAR)(7-14-2001)

  • Johnson Earns Two ESPY Nominations; Bayne one: UPDATE: #48-Jimmie Johnson has earned two nominations in The 2011 ESPYs co-presented by Capital One and Castrol EDGE, hosted by Seth Meyers. All nominations have been revealed and voting has begun, and the complete list of The 2011 ESPYs nominees is available for voters at espn.com/espys. Johnson, who won his fifth consecutive NASCAR championship in 2010, has again been nominated in the "Best Male Athlete" category and in the "Best Driver" category. He could become the first auto racer to win "Best Male Athlete" - also nominated are tennis star Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzski of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks and Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Joining Johnson in the "Best Driver" category are 15-time NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion John Force, NHRA Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson and three-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion Dario Franchitti.(ESPN)
    AND: #21- Trevor Bayne is nominated in the "Best Moment" category for his Daytona 500 win.(6-28-2011)
    UPDATE: Jimmie Johnson won the "Best Driver" ESPY. Dirk Nowitzki of the NBA Dallas Mavericks was named best Male Athlete. Philadelphia Phillie's Roy Halladay's no-hitter in the 2010 MLB playoffs won "best moment".(7-14-2011)

  • Sprint Cup Series at the halfway point:
    The first half of 2011 boasted numbers previously unseen in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history. Here are some of the statistics gleaned from the first 18 races:
    • 12 different winners. Last time there were more through 18 races was 2003. Last year, there were seven different first-half winners.
    • 12 different Coors Light Pole winners
    • An average of 14 different leaders per race, most through 18 races in history
    • An average of 31 lead changes per race, most through 18 races in history
    • 44 different drivers have led at least one lap
    • 30 drivers have scored at least one top 10
    • Average Margin of Victory of 1.552 seconds
    • 9 races with an MOV under one second
    • Average of 3,940 passes per race, the most through 18 races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.
    • Average of 39 green flag passes for the lead (all around the track), second-highest total through 18 races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.(NASCAR)(7-14-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame attendance for June: Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame fell nearly 40 percent in June compared with the same month a year ago, a development that could bring more cost-cutting to the city-owned hall. Unofficial numbers released Wednesday showed 17,604 people visited the hall in June, compared with 28,678 people in June 2011. Second-year attendance declines for attractions such as the hall aren't unusual, as initial excitement wears off. But the hall's budget for fiscal year 2012 calls for admissions from ticket revenue to increase by nearly 20 percent. Attendance in May was also down compared with the same month in 2010. Last year, 35,979 people attended the hall during the 21 days it was open. This year 25,034 people came during the entire month of May. If those attendance declines continue the hall could face a multi-million dollar loss for the current budget year.(Charlotte Observer)(7-14-2011)

  • Kurt Busch completing the most laps: At the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season's midpoint, #22-Kurt Busch has an incredible 99.811 percent lap completion average, ranking him No. 1 in that area of the stats. "I've always said that if you aren't winning the races, you better at least be finishing them all and running all the laps," said Busch, who has completed all but 10 of the possible laps this season (5,285 of 5,295). "It's certainly something that we are proud of and hope to keep that pace going for the remainder of the season." Jimmie Johnson, fifth in points, is second with a 99.490 percent average (5,268 laps completed). Ryan Newman, ninth in the standings, is third with a 98.999 percent average (5,242 laps completed). Tony Stewart, 11th in the standings, is fourth with a 98.754 percent average (5,229 laps completed). Dale Earnhardt Jr. (eighth in the standings) rounds out the top-five with a 98.584 percent average (5,220 laps completed).(Tom Roberts PR)(7-14-2011)

  • Bass Pro Shops back on the #1: After a six week absence, Bass Pro Shops returns as the primary sponsor of the #1 Chevy team this weekend at New Hampshire. Bass Pro Shops is an outdoor retail leader in hunting, camping, nature gifts, outdoor cooking, and much more. From a simple beginning, Bass Pro Shops has become one of America's premier outdoor retailers with destination outdoor retail stores across the United States and Canada, serving over 75 million sportsmen a year.(Earnhardt Ganassi Racing)(7-14-2011)

  • New Hampshire Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at New Hampshire this weekend . . . teams are very familiar with this tire set-up, with both series having run this same combination of left- and right-side tires at Phoenix and Richmond earlier this season. . . compared to what was run at New Hampshire last season, this left-side tire features a slight construction change, while this right-side tire features a construction change and a softer compound . . . the changes are designed to give the cars more grip . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at New Hampshire. For tire pressures, codes, number of tires and estimated pit windown, see the New Hampshire Race Info - Goodyear section.(7-14-2011)

  • Chassis selections for New Hampshire: see the list of many teams and what chassis were selected by the team to run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series Race on the New Hampshire Race Info page - Chassis selection area.(7-14-2011)


  • News from July 13, 2011

  • Former Cup owner charged with fraud: Jeffrey Stec, owner of a Sprint Cup team that competed in 2005 and 2006, was charged Monday with commercial loan fraud and a money laundering conspiracy. Stec was owner of Peak Performance Motorsports, which competed in 37 Cup events, mostly with Hermie Sadler and Kevin Lepage as the drivers. The charges were filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Charlotte. The owner of Peak Performance Training and Fitness Management Group, Stec allegedly engaged in a commercial loan fraud scheme to fund the purchase of a $915,000 luxury beach condo. According to the charges filed, Stec got loans of $4.39 million in 2007 and 2008 to buy property and construct three new health clubs by claiming he was owner of Fitness Management Group, which he wasn't at the time. The money was not used to build the health clubs, according to the charges, and Stec did not have sufficient liquid assets at the time to obtain the loans partly because of the "substantial funds" he had spent on the race team.(Scene Daily)(7-13-2011)

  • Capital Window Fund sponsoring Labonte: The Capital Window Fund I, L.P., a technology and opportunistic growth fund, is sponsoring 2000 champion driver Bobby Labonte and the # 47 Toyota in the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Capital Window Fund I, L.P., is a $100 million technology and opportunistic growth fund seeking high returns through investments in small to mid-size companies in need of growth capital to support products, services, infrastructure development programs, job growth initiatives, and market expansion. The Fund focuses on disruptive technology and services areas which prosper in static and declining economic conditions, including green and clean energy, biotechnology, wireless, media, software-as-a-service, healthcare, electronic software and hardware, gaming and financial services.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(7-13-2011)

  • Raikkonen headed back to F1? UPDATE: Red Bull is planning to pair Sebastian Vettel with his friend Kimi Raikkonen in 2012. That is the sensational claim of the high-circulation German newspaper Bild-Zeitung, less than two days after Mark Webber ignored team orders at the end of the British Grand Prix. Finn Raikkonen, 31, left Formula One at the end of 2009, and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was quoted on Monday as saying, "I believe he has put F1 behind him." Bild said the plan to replace Australian Webber with 2007 World Champion Raikkonen is "top secret" but divulged the information of a source "at the highest level." German Vettel remains friends with Raikkonen, the pair often meeting in Switzerland to play badminton. Asked recently who his ideal teammate is, the reigning World Champion replied: "Kimi." The former Ferrari and McLaren race winner had talks with Red Bull last year and has now "apparently changed his mind" about wanting to stay in rallying and NASCAR.(SPEED)(7-13-2011)
    UPDATE: Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, along with a team representative, is denying that Kimi Raikkonen will return to Formula One in a Red Bull machine replacing Mark Webber next season. Webber’s contract with Red Bull is set to expire at the end of this season. But team owner Dietrich Mateschitz told German media that Webber’s seat is secure. "There is still no doubt about Mark's contract extension,” he said.” He feels comfortable with us and within the team is very popular. He can not get a better car, and we can not get a better driver from the market.” As for the rumor that the incident will mean that Webber will lose his seat to Raikkonen, Horner dismissed it. "I think his head is in a different place than Formula One at the moment,” Horner said of Raikkonen. “So far I've seen no signs that he wants to come back."(F1 Examiner)(7-13-2011)

  • The Entry List for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is posted, 48 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    #30-David Stremme and #92-Dennis Setzer (driving for Brian Keselowski) have been added, Erik Darnell will be in the #46.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #30-David Stremme (44/7)
    #37-Tony Raines (39/18)
    #38-J.J. Yeley (37/18)
    #46-Erik Darnell (40/18)
    #50-T.J. Bell (51/5)
    #55-Jeff Green (0/0)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/18)
    #66-Michael McDowell (42/18)
    #71-Andy Lally (37/18)
    #77-Scott Wimmer (53/3)
    #81-Scott Riggs (47/8)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/18)
    #92-Dennis Setzer (49/7)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 71,38,37,46,87,66,60,81
    missing the race would be [5]: #'s 92,30,50,77,55
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's New Hampshire Entry List.(7-11/13-2011)

  • Crown Royal may become Brickyard 400 title sponsor: An unlikely match could give the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a new title sponsor for the Brickyard 400 and a seven-figure windfall starting next summer. That's the direction things are headed, despite appearances to the contrary. Sources are beginning to bubble that Crown Royal is ready to sign a deal to become the title sponsor of the Brickyard 400. It's rumored to be a multi-year deal starting in 2012. Don't be surprised if Indianapolis Motor Speedway CEO Jeff Belskus along with Crown Royal honchos make an announcement at this year's race. And stunningly, the Crown Royal deal… is financially bigger than any other current NASCAR title sponsorship deal. Yes, that means bigger than the Coca-Cola 600 and Irwin Tools Night Race (Bristol) deals. In a soft economy, when the race's attendance has wavered, Speedway officials are going to get around $1.5 million annually for the title sponsorship of its race, sources are whispering.(Indianapolis Business Journal)(7-13-2011)

  • Darnell in the #46 at New Hampshire: Erik Darnell will replace J.J. Yeley in the #46 Whitney Motorsports Chevy this weekend at New Hampshire. Darnell, 28, drove trucks and cars for Roush Fenway Racing from 2006 to 2010. Darnell won two races in the Camping World Truck Series and posted two top five finishes in the Nationwide Series in 2009. That same season, Darnell competed in seven races for Hall of Fame Racing. Whitney Motorsports team manager Tony Furr says Darnell will have his seat fitted in the car on Wednesday. Loudon marks the last week the team will compete in Chevys with Ernie Elliott engines. Furr plans on fielding Fords starting at Indianapolis with FR9 engines.(Fox Sports)(7-13-2011)

  • Accell Construction adds Michigan to #36 team sponsorship: Accell Construction announced that the Oklahoma-based construction company added the Pure Michigan 400 to the company's five primary and five associate race deal with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR). Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Accell Construction Chevy at Michigan International Speedway Sunday, August 21st for Accell Construction's six primary race of the Sprint Cup Series season. Accell Construction is a full-service site civil contractor for the petroleum terminal and bulk storage industries. The 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.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(7-13-2011)

  • Starrett sponsors the #32 at Loudon: FAS Lane Racing announced that The L.S. Starrett Company (Athol, MA) will sponsor the team's #32 car in the Sprint Cup series race to be held at the New Hampshire. Hardy Hamann, Starrett Vice President of Marketing and Business Development said: "As precision tool manufacturers, we know what it takes to consistently deliver the kind of high performance that the FAS Lane team achieved this year. So, it is our pleasure to partner with them in New England by sponsoring FAS Lane #32 at Loudon."(FAS Lane Racing PR)(7-13-2011)

  • Good Sam Club sponsoring Bowyer: The Good Sam Club joins RCR as primary sponsor on the #33 Chevy this weekend at NMHS. The Good Sam Club is your one-stop resource for all things RV. By joining the world's largest RV owners community, RVers will receive guaranteed savings and discounts, get helpful technical and troubleshooting advice, have access to a database of over 1,500 Good Sam Club Chapters across the country and have the ability to plan your own dream vacation with an array of planning tools and forums. Good Sam Club is the sister company to Camping World, America's largest retailer of RV supplies, accessories, services and new and used RVs.(RCR)(7-13-2011)

  • Sad News - Shawn Watson: Shawn Paul Watson, 45, of Statesville, passed away on Friday, July 8, 2011 at his residence. He was born on May 25, 1966 in Springville, N.Y. to Dale Lloyd and Diane Carol Piker Watson. He loved the outdoors, fishing and hunting and worked as a machinist with stock car engines (such as Roush Yates Engines, Mike Ege Racing Engines, Evernham Motorsports Engines). In addition to his parents he is survived by his wife, Michelle Smith Watson, and a daughter, Taylor Watson, both of the home; a sister, Kelly Watson (Lisa Pruchniewski) of Lincolnton; two brothers, Lance Watson (Yvonne Peterson) of Franklinville, N.Y. and Richard Watson (Stephanie) of Machias, N.Y.; three nephews, Levi, Christopher and Brandon, and a niece, Lacey. Memorials may be made to the college fund for Taylor, care of Michelle Watson, 134 Southview Drive, Statesville, NC 28677.(Statesville Landmark Record)(7-13-2011)

  • Fall Richmond race becomes Wonderful Pistachios 400: Wonderful Pistachios, which has been rallying people to Get Crackin' for three years, will now be revving people to Get Racin' as the entitlement sponsor of Richmond International Raceway's September 10 Sprint Cup Series race. The Wonderful Pistachios 400 showcases one of the most anticipated racing events of the season, as it marks "One Last Race to Make The Chase." The multi-year race entitlement signifies Wonderful Pistachios' entrance into the sport of NASCAR, and it couldn't happen at a better time and place. When NASCAR descends upon America's Premier Short Track, some of the best drivers in the world will battle for the final spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Wonderful Pistachios will be sold at concessions stands during Richmond's race weekend, as well as at most International Speedway Corporation tracks.(RIR)(7-13-2011)

  • Coca-Cola sponsoring Talladega truck race: Coca-Cola is taking the driver's seat as the new title sponsor of the Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, and fred's Super Dollar is joining the ride. For the newly christened Coca-Cola 250 Powered By fred's, racing fans can count on having plenty of ice cold Coca-Cola on hand as they enjoy the action on the track. The October 22 event marks the first time Coca-Cola will be the official sponsor of a race at Talladega. NASCAR action returns to NASCAR's Most Competitive Track with the Coca-Cola 250 Powered By fred's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Race Number Six in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Talladega 500, Oct. 21 - 23.(TSS)(7-13-2011)


    News from July 12, 2011

  • Kentucky TV Ratings: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway earned a 3.0 U.S. rating and 4.968 million viewers on TNT Saturday night, down 17% in ratings and 19% in viewership from the fifth TNT race of last season (Daytona: 3.6, 6.127M), but up 7% and 8%, respectively, from the race on the comparable night last year (Chicago: 2.8, 4.608M). Viewership among adults 18-34 and men 18-34 increased by 24% and 31%, respectively, compared to last year's Chicago race. The Kentucky race ranks as the second-lowest rated and second-least viewed Sprint Cup telecast of the season, ahead of only the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 from Michigan on TNT (2.9, 4.890M).(sportsmediawatch.com)
    AND TNT's NASCAR Summer Series coverage continued strong, with Sunday's race coverage from Kentucky averaging 5 million viewers to rank as basic cable's top sports telecast for the week. The race grew 8% in total viewers over the corresponding race last year, while households were up 11% to 3.5 million and household rating was up 7% to 3.0. The race saw particularly strong growth among adults 18-34 (455,000; +24%) and men 18-34 (293,000; +31%). Through its first five races, TNT's NASCAR Summer Series is averaging a 3.2 U.S. household rating, up 7% over last year's performance.(TV by the numbers), see season ratings, race-by-race, 4-year comparison on the 2011 TV Ratings.(7-12-2011)

  • Yeley driving the #38 in New Hampshire: J.J. Yeley will bring his strong record at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to Front Row Motorsports this weekend when he pilots the #38 Long John Silver's Ford. Travis Kvapil, the car's usual driver, will be racing in the Camping World Truck Series in Iowa. Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 will be Yeley's first time driving for Front Row Motorsports. The #38 Ford moved up one position in owners' points (37th) after Kvapil's 29th-place run at Kentucky Speedway last weekend. The team is still 16 points outside the top 35, so Yeley will need to qualify for the race on speed.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(7-12-2011)

  • Bowyer to Make 200th Start at New Hampshire: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevy, will make his 200th-career start in NASCAR's elite division this weekend when the series returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301. The 32-year-old Bowyer is no stranger to success at the one-mile oval known as "The Magic Mile." In 10 starts at the Loudon, N.H.-based facility, he has led more than 400 laps and visited NMHS Victory Lane twice with his most recent trip coming last September when he kicked off his 2010 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup campaign. Bowyer, a native of Emporia, Kan., has amassed four wins, 30 top-five finishes, 87 top-10 finishes and two poles in six fulltime Sprint Cup Series seasons with Richard Childress Racing. He currently sits 12th in the 2011 NSCS driver championship point standings on the strength of three top-five and eight top-10 finishes.(RCR)(7-12-2011)

  • At New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
    · Groundbreaking for New Hampshire International Speedway, as New Hampshire Motor Speedway was originally named, was Aug. 13, 1989.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was on July 11, 1993.
    · Renamed New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2008.
    · There have been 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; one per year from 1993 through 1996 and two per year since.
    · Four drivers have competed in all 32 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Joe Nemechek.
    · Mark Martin won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole.
    · Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
    · There have been 17 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman (four).
    · 20 different drivers have won, led by Jeff Burton (four).
    · Jimmie Johnson (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004) are the only drivers that have posted season sweeps. Those are also the only back-to-back winners.
    · Hendrick Motorsports has won eight races, more than any other organization.
    · The deepest in the field that a New Hampshire race winner started was 38th, by Jeff Burton in 1999.
    · There have been four winners who started from the pole. The last race winner to win from the pole was Clint Bowyer in 2007. He scored a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 that event.
    · Jeff Burton led all 300 laps raced in the 2000 fall race (the restrictor plate race).
    · Five drivers got their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at New Hampshire: Joe Nemechek (1999), Robby Gordon (2001), Ryan Newman (2002), Clint Bowyer (2007) and Joey Logano (2009).
    · Two drivers got their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole at New Hampshire: Patrick Carpentier (2008) and Brad Keselowski (2010).
    · Eight of the last nine races that finished under green had a margin of victory of less than a second.
    · There have been 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in New Hampshire, all at NHMS.
    · 13 drivers in NASCAR's three national series (all-time) are listed as New Hampshire natives.
    · There has been one race winner from New Hampshire in NASCAR's three national series: Jamie Aube. Aube, from Manchester, won a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Oxford Plains Speedway in 1987.(NASCAR)(7-12-2011)

  • Sad News - Mary Barnwell: Mary Lee Barnwell, age 75, of Vance Avenue, Hudson, died Monday, July 11, 2011 at Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care. Survivors include her husband, Jimmy R. Barnwell of the home; one son, Keith R. Barnwell [spotter for #56-Martin Truex, Jr.] and wife Gayle of Granite Falls; two daughters, Barbara Barnwell Dotson of Hickory and Sherri Barnwell of Lenoir; one sister, Ruth Duke of Columbia, Tennessee; and two grandchildren, Tyler Dotson Chapman and husband Paul and James Robert Barnwell. Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Hudson conducted by Rev. R Mack Jarvis, III and Rev. Paul Chapman. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Gardens of Lenoir. The family will receive friends from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m. prior to the services at the church. Online condolences may be made at greer-mcelveenfuneralhome.com.(7-12-2011)


    News from July 11, 2011

  • NASCAR Now Roundtable: NASCAR driver Johnny Benson Jr., joins ESPN NASCAR analysts Tim Brewer and Ricky Craven as panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Monday, July 11, at 5:00pm/et on ESPN2. Allen Bestwick will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.

  • New crew chief for Biffle: #16-Greg Erwin will be replaced as the crew chief for Greg Biffle for Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The decision was made after Biffle finished 21st in Saturday night's race at Kentucky Speedway to fall to 14th in points, 33 out of the top 10 guaranteed a spot in the Chase. Erwin's replacement is expected to be Matt Puccia, who has been a part of Roush Fenway Racing as a crew chief in the Nationwide and Truck Series. He worked with Paul Menard in the Nationwide Series in 2010. Erwin and Biffle have been together since May of 2007. Biffle is in danger of missing the Chase for the first time since 2007 with only one top five and five top 10s in 18 races.(ESPN)
    UPDATE: Matt Puccia will be the crew chief of the #16 3M Sprint Cup team at Roush Fenway Racing effective immediately. Puccia has been with Roush Fenway Racing since the end of 2004 and was most recently assigned to the research and development program. Prior to this season, Puccia was crew chief of the #98 Paul Menard entry throughout the 2010 Nationwide Series season, leading the team to 19 top-10 finishes and fifth place in the point standings. Puccia’s first role as crew chief at Roush Fenway came in 2006 with the #50 Camping World Truck Series team. He led the #99 Truck Series entry with driver Erik Darnell to a victory at Michigan in 2008 and finished fourth in the final point standings. In 2009 Puccia made the move to the Nationwide Series as crew chief for a partial schedule with Menard before the team raced full time in 2010.
    “Matt Puccia has been a very effective and successful crew chief with the organization in both the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series,” said team owner Jack Roush. “Most recently he has led the research and development efforts for our superspeedway program which helped put David Ragan in victory lane in Daytona. This is a natural progression of our crew chief development and I have every confidence that he will do well in this new role. Greg Erwin has made a significant contribution to our engineering efforts and our program is better because of him.”
    “I am excited for the opportunity to work with Matt Puccia,” added driver Greg Biffle. “Greg Erwin led this team to the Chase the past three years and I look forward to Matt doing the same.” Erwin’s role in the organization will be announced at a later date.(Roush Fenway Racing)(7-11-2011)

  • The Entry List for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Yeley is in the #38 as Kvapil will be in Iowa for the Truck race, no word on #46 driver...yet.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #37-Tony Raines (39/18)
    #38-J.J. Yeley (37/18)
    #46-TBA (40/18)
    #50-T.J. Bell (51/5)
    #55-Jeff Green (0/0)[4th Front Row Motorsports car]
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/18)
    #66-Michael McDowell (42/18)
    #71-Andy Lally (37/18)
    #77-Scott Wimmer (53/3)
    #81-Scott Riggs (47/8)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (41/18)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 71,38,37,46,87,66,60,81
    missing the race would be [1]: #'s 50,77,55
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's New Hampshire Entry List.(7-11-2011)

  • House defends military spending on NASCAR: The House voted last week to defend U.S. military sponsorship of NASCAR and other motorsports against an effort to cut spending by more than half for the programs. Lawmakers voted 167-260 to kill an amendment by Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn. It would have cut spending on motorsports from $63 million to $20 million. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., said spending on NASCAR is a "recruiting tool" that the Army expects will help attract 28,700 prospects and give recruiters access to 182 schools through its sponsorship. "The recruiting for our programs that are successful ought to be continued and should not be denied for whatever the reason that someone objects to using the money for sponsoring race car vehicles," Young said.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(7-11-2011)

  • Kyle Busch wins Late Model Race: Erasing his late race demons from a year ago, Kyle Busch muscled past Dave Feiler following a restart with 26 laps to go and drove to his first victory in the Miller Lite Nationals 200-lap super late model main event Sunday night at the Slinger Super Speedway.(full story at Slinger Super Speedway), quite a weekend for Busch: won the Truck Series race at Kentucky on Thursday, 3rd in the Nationwide race at Kentucky on Friday, won the Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky on Saturday and then won Sunday ay Slinger.(7-11-2011)

  • Racing movie being filmed at Iowa Speedway: Zac Efron and Emmy-nominated actor Dennis Quaid will be at Iowa Speedway in Newton on July 16 taping scenes for an untitled racing movie. Fans are invited to be part of the movie magic. Tickets for the 4:15 p.m. Prairie Meadows 200 ARCA Series race and the 7 p.m. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Coca-Cola 200 race are on sale for $25 online. Fans purchasing tickets at iowaspeedway.com will be entered into a drawing, and 100 winners will have the chance to participate in the prerace festivities — and could appear in the crowd scenes in the movie. The film is an untitled, Iowa-based movie starring Efron as a rural teen aspiring to become a professional race car driver. Quaid plays Efron’s father. Producers will shoot Efron walking across the pre-race stage, Quaid cheering from the stands and racing footage during the Prairie Meadows 200. Film director Ramin Bahrani was called the “director of the decade” in 2010 by film critic Roger Ebert. “I hope fans will take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see A-list celebrities and be part of a movie,” Iowa Speedway president Jerry Jauron said.(Des Moines Register)(7-11-2011)

  • Earnhardt Jr. wants to stay at HMS: Although #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 36, has another year remaining on his deal with Hendrick Motorsports, he didn't want the next contract to become a distraction. That's why he enlisted his sister/confidant/business manager, Kelley, to expedite the process. I'm not in the middle of it," Earnhardt said. "Kelley and Marshall (Carlson, HMS president and Chief Operation Officer) are talking it out. I haven't even been in discussions. I called Rick and I said, 'Let's get this going,' and he said, 'Cool.' I told him, 'I'm going to let Kelley do my end,' and he said, 'I'm going to let Marshall do my end,' and they're handling it. I'm fortunate that I have good people around me that I trust enough to handle those kind of things. I could let Kelley do it from the ground up and not even worry about it, just not even have any questions or doubts. Even when she's finished with everything, I don't go in there and go, 'Man, I would have done this different,' or "I think this number should be different or should be better or worse.' She comes to me and tells me what's going on and I say, 'That sounds great! Keep going,' (laughs). They're obviously one of the best places in the garage — if not THE best team in the garage to be with — and I wouldn't want to be anyplace else. No way." Junior said there's no set timetable to wrap up the contract. He'd just like to have it in place before the end of the season so his concentration remains on competition and not external distractions. He understands firsthand — and from watching other drivers — how disruptive and damaging the uncertainty of a driver's status can be to teams and sponsors. The rumored five year extension would cover Earnhardt until he's 42. "I just want to get it done before we get into the offseason," Earnhardt said. "I have another year to go, but I was sitting there and seeing how Carl (Edwards) and those guys — seeing how much attention it draws to Carl and those guys — and me, when I was in my last contract year. I was like, 'Hey, Rick, let's knock this out and we won't have to worry about it next year. You just tell me what you want to do. If you want to keep me as your driver, I'm happy to stay. I'm really happy where I'm at and if that's the way you feel, let's go ahead and do it. Why wait until next year? 'Cause the press wants to know what's going on and we won't have to worry about that.'" Earnhardt says there is "no pressure" with the current negotiations. Very humbly, he said the decision for him to remain in the Hendrick Motorsports stable was dependent on "Mr. H."(in part from FoxSports and PRN's Garage Pass)(7-11-2011)

  • TRG's Eight Cars in Four Series - Successful! One-Two at Lime Rock: TRG's eight car in four series weekend was a success in three states. Team owner Kevin Buckler and his team managed to get all eight cars in the four different series to the finish line and had a spectacular result with the team producing a one-two finish at Lime Rock Park. The Racers Group (TRG) exciting weekend of racing covered seven Porsches and a Ford Fusion running on tracks that measured one-mile-and-a-half, Lime Rock Park in Connecticut and Kentucky Speedway to the 2.1-mile undulating Mazda Raceway Laguna Sea featuring the famous Cork Screw Turn.
    The highlight of the weekend was the exciting one-two finish by the team at Lime Rock Park. Dion von Moltke and Mike Piera won the two-hour-and-forty-five-minute race in their #68 South African Airways/ PR Newswire/TRG/Porsche in the GTC category. Teammates Duncan Ende and Spencer Pumpelly finished on their tail-pipe in second in their #66 Racer's Roast Fox River Coffee/TRG/Porsche. Von Moltke and Pumpelly crossed the finish line in a made-for-advertising TRG one-two to stand on top of the GTC podium in the American Series presented by Tequila Patron Northeast Grand Prix.
    In the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama series also running at Lime Rock, the TRG trio of drivers had a very strong weekend in their two, forty-five-minute races on Saturday. Dr. Jim Norman finished sixth in the first race and 14th in the second in his #11 Parathyroid.com/TRG/Porsche; Randy Oswald was 11th in the first and came home seventh in the second event driving his #14 Verax/TRG/Porsche, and Carlos Gomez took the checker at 22nd TRG IMSA 75 Lime Rockin the first race and fifth in the second at the wheel of his #75 Capital Managers/Axis of Oversteer/TRG/Porsche.
    Team owner Kevin Buckler and teammate Daniel Graeff in their #4 Children's Tumor Foundation/TRG/Porsche GT3 Cup at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California in the Grand-Am Road Racing Series Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered by Mazda finished 12th on day. The duo's success was further measured when they were able to do some fund raising at a charity party hosted by Adobe Road Winery for the Children's Tumor Foundation on Friday evening high atop the Monterey Marriott.
    Andy Lally driving the TRG Motorsports #71 Cool Works Cup/Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway soldiered through the last lap cautions to bring the blue Ford home in 32nd place.
    Steve Bertheau and Ryan Eversley finished the day at Laguna Seca in 11th in their #67 Sargent & Lundy/TRG Porsche GT3 Cup capping a strong weekend. The company's NASCAR operations are headquartered in Mooresville, NC. The team fields a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry and has the capacity to run ARCA, Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series.(TRG Motorsports)(7-11-2011)

  • Kentucky Speedway Apologizes to Fans, Ticket Exchange: Kentucky Speedway, which is owned and operated by Speedway Motorsports, Inc., today issued the following statement regarding the fan experience at Saturday's “Quaker State 400.”
    "To those fans that were not able to attend the Quaker State 400, we offer our sincerest apologies," said Mark Simendinger, general manager, Kentucky Speedway. "We'd also like to apologize to all of our fans who endured challenging conditions during our event weekend. As we said earlier, we're committed to working with NASCAR, state and local officials and traffic experts to address Saturday's traffic issues to ensure that we never have this type of experience again."
    “I would like to apologize on behalf of Speedway Motorsports to the fans who had tickets, yet due to logistical issues, were not able to attend the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway," said Marcus Smith, president and chief operating officer of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. "For those fans with tickets who were unable to attend Saturday night's event, we will honor their ticket at any remaining 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at a Speedway Motorsports facility or the 2012 Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway.
    "Our company has always been about enhancing the fan experience with first-class amenities and putting fans first. I feel terrible for the fans that had a bad experience at Kentucky Speedway and we are asking that they give us a chance to make it up to them. We are very thankful for the overwhelming fan support we had for this inaugural event. We learned some valuable lessons this past weekend and will do everything in our power to make sure we don't have these issues again."
    The ticket exchange is good for the following events at Speedway Motorsports facilities while supplies last at each respective venue:
    July 17 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway
    Aug. 27 - Bristol Motor Speedway
    Sept. 4 - Atlanta Motor Speedway
    Sept. 25 - New Hampshire Motor Speedway
    Oct. 15 - Charlotte Motor Speedway
    Nov. 6 - Texas Motor Speedway
    2012 - Kentucky Speedway
    In addition to the ticket exchange, Kentucky Speedway will issue these fans an equal quantity of tickets to either its Oct. 1 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 225-mile race or Oct. 2 IZOD IndyCar Series 300-mile event. For information on ticket exchange and redemption, fans should only contact the Kentucky Speedway ticket office at 859-578-2300 or by email at tickets@kentuckyspeedway.com.(Kentucky Speedway)(7-11-2011)

  • Statement from NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France: "While NASCAR was thrilled by the incredible response to our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Kentucky, we also are extremely disappointed by the traffic problems and inconveniences endured by fans who wanted to be part of our races at Kentucky Speedway. NASCAR will be in close communications with Kentucky Speedway and Speedway Motorsports Inc. to see that they work to resolve the issues. This situation cannot happen again."(NASCAR) see a couple more posts on the situation in the Race Tracks section below [with an email] and many articles links posts July 10th & 11th on my Article Links page.(7-11-2011)

  • Statement from Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger regarding traffic for the Quaker State 400: "We've had an overwhelming response to our inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series "Quaker State 400." We know we had challenges related to traffic. We're already planning improvements and looking forward to a much better situation for next year's event.(7-10-2011)
    UPDATE Statement from Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger regarding Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series "Quaker State 400" traffic: "Kentucky Speedway regrets the traffic conditions surrounding the ‘Quaker State 400.’ We’re committed to working with NASCAR, state and local officials and traffic experts to assure that this never happens again. The details of these improvements will be announced over time as they are formulated. We also recognize the traffic problems resulted in some fans not being able to attend the ‘Quaker State 400.’ We are gathering information on this and will announce a policy for these affected fans within seven days. Our ‘Quaker State 400’ ticket holders are invited to share their experiences with us through fans@kentuckyspeedway.com. We thank all our fans for giving the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series such a great welcome to our venue.”(KYS)(7-11-2011)

  • Kentucky Gov. to work with speedway to address traffic: Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear said Sunday he will work with officials at Kentucky Speedway to address the traffic flow and parking problems that plagued Saturday's Quaker State 400. A bottleneck traffic jam at Interstate 71's Exit 57 onto Ky. 35, the road that runs by the track, left thousands stuck in traffic for six hours in many cases and ultimately too late to see the race. Many ticket holders also said they were turned away when they eventually arrived after the race began because there was no more parking left at the track. "There is no question that the entire week at the Kentucky Speedway was a big success, but it's also clear that there are issues, such as traffic flow, which must be addressed before next year's event," Beshear said in a statement. "We will work with track officials to determine what can be done to address these problems, so that next year's NASCAR event will be even bigger and better." Beshear said it was too early to tell whether the state would get involved in a major expansion or renovation of the interstate near the track. That is the hope, though, of Bruton Smith, the chairman of the track's ownership group, who said during the race that the state would need to step up in fixing the interstate.(full article at the Lexington Herald-Leader)(7-11-2011)

  • Tornado Victims named grand marshals at NHMS: Longtime Lenox Industrial Tools employee Tom Joseph, along with his wife and three sons, will serve as Grand Marshals for the 2011 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 17. The Josephs, who lost their home in the tornados that tore through New England last month, will represent the many families whose homes were damaged or destroyed as a result of the June storms. Tom Joseph has been a Lenox employee for more than 25 years. His wife, Karen, and their three sons, Nick (19), Alex (18) and Brian (12), saw their house destroyed after tornadoes ripped through their town of Monson, Mass. The family will give the command "Gentleman, Start Your Engines" to get the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 underway. Alex Joseph, president of the Monson High School senior class, led local high school students in relief efforts in the devastating aftermath of the storms. He and his classmates delivered food and water to the tornado-ravaged neighborhoods. Lenox employees volunteered their time after the tornados to help the most impacted employee families clean up their damaged properties. During pre-race ceremonies on the start-finish line, Lenox will also present a check to the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross to support disaster relief efforts. Employee donations collected during the month of June will be added to a company donation of $25,000. Lenox, the leading manufacturer of premium power tool accessories, hand tools and band saw blades, has been headquartered in East Longmeadow, Mass., since 1915. The Lenox facility was not damaged by the storms, but some employees' homes, like that of the Joseph family, were significantly damaged. Lenox will have an outdoor display set up at the race, where attendees can receive details on how to contribute to the Red Cross via SMS so donations can be added to mobile phone bills. Lenox is also inviting race fans to sign a wall to pledge their support to the American Cross' disaster relief efforts.(NHMS)(7-11-2011)


    News from July 10, 2011

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of Kentucky: 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. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 7:30 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:44 PM (all times are EST). TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 122
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 66
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 42
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 30 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:44 PM
    Total minutes: 194
    Minutes of race broadcast: 132
    Minutes of commercials: 62
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Number of extra microphones places around the racetrack for 'Inside Trax Enhanced': 40
    Total number of commercials consecutively shown during one of the longest commercial breaks CawsnJaws.com has recorded (since starting to do these reports in 2006): 13
    Total race brdcst time 132 Total comm. brdcst time 62
    See race-by-race commercial info, links to full reports and more on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(7-10-2011)

  • NASCAR Sponsors Appearing in New Transformers Movie: A total of 16 brands' logos were monitored on the NASCAR-themed Autobots appearing in Transformers: Dark of the Moon—last weekend's number-one box office film—with Target, sponsor of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing #42, the most visible of the group. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. -- which specializes in measuring the scope of sports sponsorships and product placements, Target's "bot" logos appeared for 15-seconds during the 157-minute film. When comparing the on-screen time to the movie's week-one estimated box office gross of $414 million worldwide*, the retailer amassed an exposure value of $393,940 from the placement.
    In comparison, Target's NASCAR sponsorship has netted an average $468,600 of in-broadcast exposure value per each live telecast of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Joyce Julius calculates television exposure value by comparing the in-broadcast visual and verbal exposure to the estimated cost of a national commercial during the telecast and applying Joyce Julius Recognition Grading—which takes into account such factors as size and placement of the image on screen, as well as brand clutter and integration of the brand into the activity.
    Also appearing during the Transformers fight scene in the streets of Chicago were Autobots carrying the paint schemes of the Hendrick Motorsports #48 Lowe's and #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard. Chevrolet's Impala nameplate was the second-most NASCAR-related sponsor to appear during the Transformers movie, as 10-seconds of screen time led to $262,625.(Joyce Julius)(7-10-2011)


    News from July 9, 2011

  • Kyle Busch wins at Kentucky: #18-Kyle Busch won the inaugrual Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 3rd win of 2011, 22nd career win and taking the points lead. #00-Reutimann finished second followed by #48-Johnson, #39-Newman, #99-Edwards, #17-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski, #6-Ragan, #22-Busch and #24-Gordon.
    The points leader going in to the race, #29-Harvick finished 16th and lost the points lead to #18-Busch, who goes to the points lead by 4 points over Edwards.
    There were 20 lead changes among 12 drivers; 6 cautions for 32 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 107,000 for the first race.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, July 13 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Kentucky Race Results/Awards page.(7-9-2011)

  • Kentucky Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • Kyle Busch's victory in the inaugural Cup race at Kentucky Speedway was his 22nd series victory in his 240th start.
    • Kyle Busch tied Kevin Harvick with his third victory of the season and assumed the Cup points lead by four points over Carl Edwards.
    • Kyle Busch won from the pole, the first driver to do that in a Cup race in 2011.
    • Five of Kyle Busch's 22 career victories (23 percent) have come from the pole.
    • It was the fourth win of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2011, tying Roush Fenway Racing for the most.
    • David Reutimann (second) scored his best finish of 2011 and only his second top-10 in 18 races.
    • Jimmie Johnson (third) finished in the top 10 for the 11th time this season.
    • Ryan Newman (fourth) earned his best finish of 2011.
    • Carl Edwards (fifth) picked up his 13th top-10 finish in 18 races, the most of any driver.
    • Matt Kenseth (sixth) has finished 14th or better in each of the past eight races.
    • Jamie McMurray (36th) blew his engine and has not finished in the top 10 in the past eight races.
    (Racing Recall/nascar.com)
    Kentucky Odds and Ends
    • Of the 20 lead changes in Saturday night's race, eight of them (40 percent) happened under caution.
    • Kyle Busch is tied with Terry Labonte with 22 career Cup wins, putting Kyle in a tie for 27th on the all-time wins list.
    • David Reutimann's 2nd-place finish was his best of the year (previous best was 9th at Coca-Cola 600).
    • Kasey Kahne finished 13th on Saturday. He has one top-10 finish in his last eight races.
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 30th _ marking the fourth consecutive race he's finished worse than 15th.
    • Since finishing 2nd at Dover in May, Mark Martin has one top-10 finish in his last seven starts.
    • David Ragan's eighth-place finish came after his win at Daytona last weekend. It marked the second time this season he's had back-to-back top-10 finishes.(Virginian Pilot)(7-10-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Kentucky:
    #18-Kyle Busch won the Inaugural Quaker State 400 , his 22nd victory in 240 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third victory and 11th top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in one races at Kentucky Speedway.
    #00-David Reutimann (second) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Kentucky Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2011
    . #48-Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Kentucky Speedway.
    #71-Andy Lally (32nd) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #18-Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 4 points over Carl Edwards.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-9-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Kentucky, race 18 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #18-Kyle Busch [3 wins], 624
    2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 620, -4
    3) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 614, -10
    4) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 606, -18
    5) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 605, -19
    6) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 602, -22
    7) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 553, -71
    8) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 548, -76
    9) #39-Ryan Newman, 538, -86
    10) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 529, -95
    wild cards
    11) #6-David Ragan [1 win], 494, -130 [15th in points, win]
    12) #14-Tony Stewart, 527, -97 [11th in points]
    Two race winners are not inside the top-20: #2-Keselowski is 21st, 3 pts out of 20th; #78-Smith is 27th, 70 pts out of 20th
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as they are in the top-20 in points, then if no wins by drivers points
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(7-9-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at New Hampshire:
    No changes in the top-35, the #7 lead decreases it's pts lead over the #71 to 7 pts.
    32) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 261, +47
    33) #13-Mears/Germain, 261, +47
    34) #36-Blaney/TBR, 260, +46
    35) #7-Wimmer/RGM, 221, 7 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #71-Lally/TRG, 214, 7 points out of top 35
    37) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 205, -16
    38) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 204,-17
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(7-9-2011)

  • Penalty Report / Infraction Sheet - Kentucky:
    Car#, Lap, Infraction, Flag, Penalty, Lap Assessed
    #11 Pre-Race to the rear, W, Tail of Field, Engine
    #36 Pre-Race to the rear, W, Tail of Field, Transmission
    #83, 77, Speed-Entering pits, G, Pass Thru, 79
    #36, 79, Lug nut(s) not installed, G,Must Come In, 81
    #32, 127, Speed-Entering pits, G, Pass Thru, 129
    #88, 254, Pitting before pit road is open, Y, Tail of Field, 259
    #42, 257 Speed-Exiting pits, Y, Tail of Field, 259
    #33, 263 Pitting before pit road is open, Y, Tail of Field, 265
    (NASCAR Statistics)(7-9-2011)

  • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Kentucky: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: #66-McDowell, 41st
    Caution 2: #5-Martin, 22nd
    Caution 3: #47-Labonte, 26th
    Caution 4: #9-Ambrose, 20th
    Caution 5: #42-Montoya, 15th
    Caution 6: #51-Cassill, 23rd
    (7-9-2011)

  • Audio-Enhanced Telecast Highlights TNT's Kentucky coverage: TNT's coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing continues on Saturday, July 9 live from Kentucky Speedway for the track's first-ever Sprint Cup Series race. The network's exclusive prime time coverage of the race will be a special audio-enhanced telecast with 40 additional special effects microphones placed in multiple positions around the track, including pit road, the front and backstretches and the turns, to boost the listening experience for NASCAR viewers. On average, TNT uses approximately 50 microphones for their race coverage on a track this size. The network also will utilize increased audio from in-car communication between the drivers and race crews and will continue to mic-up select crew chiefs and their teams through Inside Trax which will provide fans with inside access to the sounds and strategy of racing. TNT's exclusive coverage of the race gets underway at 7:30pm/et with play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander calling the race alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Wally Dallenbach in the booth. In addition, analyst Larry McReynolds will make frequent contributions from the infield as he breaks down crew strategy and analyzes car adjustments.
    The network's pre-race coverage begins at 6:30 pm/et with Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut with Lindsay Czarniak (host), Petty and McReynolds, as well as reports from pit reporters Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum. #14 Tony Stewart will join the pre-race crew on TNT's infield rig to talk about his season. TNT's acclaimed Pride of NASCAR series will feature a profile of the legendary Terry Labonte who is a two-time NASCAR Cup Champion and was named in 1998 as one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.(TNT)(7-9-2011)

  • Newman to honor fallen officer: The badge number of fallen Lexington police officer Bryan Durman will be riding with #39-Ryan Newman in Saturday's Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway. A decal with 46600 will be just above the window on the driver's side of Newman's # 39 Tornados Chevy. On Friday, Newman said he hoped "to help turn something positive out of a negative situation." The connection between the NASCAR Sprint Cup star and Durman is Lexington police officer John Boyle. Newman is married to Boyle's sister, Krissie. Durman, 27, was killed in a hit-and-run incident April 29, 2010, while investigating a noise complaint. He was the first Lexington police officer killed in the line of duty in about 25 years. He is survived by his wife, Brandy, and a son, Brayden, 6. Boyle, 28, and a Vernon, N.J., native, has been a Lexington police officer since 2005. He says he did not know Durman well, but "I did know him. We worked a couple of cases together. I used to see him at the courthouse. Main thing is, we were wearing the same colors." Boyle says he contacted Newman about doing something to honor Durman that could also be a unique and positive experience for Brandy and Brayden Durman. "Ryan and my sister donated around 35 race tickets," Boyle said. "I don't know that Brandy was a real big NASCAR fan. But I explained to her that it was a pretty big honor to Bryan to have his badge number on a car during a Cup race. I think she's excited about coming to the race with Brayden." Boyle says between 50-55 Lexington police officers will attend Saturday's race. Says Newman: "When my brother-in-law said his friend and co-worker was killed, we saw this as an opportunity to get (Durman's) wife and child out to the racetrack to enjoy a race and to honor (Durman) by putting his decal, his badge number, on our car."(Lexington Herald Leader)(7-9-2011)

  • Inaugural Race Winners....since 1993: When Kentucky Speedway hosts its first Sprint Cup race on Saturday, it will be the ninth track newly added to the Cup schedule since 1993. It also will give drivers a chance to become, at the very least, the answer to a NASCAR trivia question should they be the winner of the first Cup race there. Jeff Gordon has proven adept at winning at venues new to the Sprint Cup Series, having taken the checkered flag at three of the previous eight new tracks. A list of the tracks that have joined the Cup schedule since 1993, and the winners of those events.
    Year; Track; Driver
    2001; Chicagoland; Kevin Harvick
    2001; Kansas; Jeff Gordon
    1999; Homestead; Tony Stewart
    1998; Las Vegas; Mark Martin
    1997: Texas; Jeff Burton (first career win)
    1997: California; Jeff Gordon
    1994: Indianapolis; Jeff Gordon
    1993: New Hampshire; Rusty Wallace
    (Sporting News)(7-9-2011)

  • Kentucky Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Kentucky this weekend . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear tire test held at Kentucky on June 1 . . . Sprint Cup drivers participating in that test were Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Travis Kvapil, Joey Logano, Mark Martin and David Reutimann . . . this is a different combination of left- and right-side tires that Nationwide teams ran at Kentucky last year . . . compared to last year's Kentucky set-up for Nationwide teams, this left-side tire features a mold shape change, while this right-side tire features slight construction and compound changes . . .teams in both of these series ran this left-side tire code at Michigan three weeks ago . . . this is the first time they have run this right-side code . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Kentucky . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. For tire pressures, codes, number of tires and estimated pit windown, see the Kentucky Race Info - Goodyear section.(7-9-2011)

  • Robby Gordon to run 'The Bullrun": For the first time in his diverse racing career, Robby Gordon will be participating in the "by invitation only" Bullrun Live Rally. The Bullrun Live Rally, or commonly known as, "The Bullrun" is the most glamorous and high profile of the new breed of high-end luxury automotive rallies. Limited to 100 entries, the finest high performance cars in the world take on an epic eight day rally-style race across the US. The rally has attracted stars such as Kim Kardashian, Dennis Rodman, and Carl Lewis. With a spectacular launch party in Las Vegas on July 8th, the rally will kick off from Fremont Street on Saturday, July 9th. The "Bullrunners" will start each day not knowing where their route will take them or what exciting challenges lie ahead. Making their way from one checkpoint to the next, the race will finish seven days later in Miami. No stranger to rallies, Gordon has won rallies across Europe, Africa and South America in his off-road vehicles. For the 2011 Bullrun, Gordon is partnering with Jeep and piloting a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8. With Toyo Tires and a HEMI V-8 on board, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 is the ultimate performance SUV.
    "I'm really excited to be participating in the 2011 Bullrun. It's basically a modern day 'Cannonball Run' just set up like the Dakar Rally. It's run on public highways within speed limits, but the guy that gets there first still wins. It's very fitting for SPEED Energy and I'm able to do it with our great partners, Dodge, Jeep and Toyo Tires. It's an awesome opportunity to introduce SPEED to a new audience and have some fun doing it", Gordon says.(RGM)(7-9-2011)

  • Chassis selections for Kentucky: see the list of many teams and what chassis were selected by the team to run at Kentucky Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series Race on the Kentucky Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • NASCAR Officials discuss adding races: from a NASCAR Transcript of a Q&A held at Kentucky Speedway
    Q. With Iowa rumbling about wanting a Cup race, are we still at the point where 36 is a number? If anyone is going to add a race, is it going to come to somewhere else?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: We're pretty thin right now with what's available out there for off time or adding races. I mean, the statement has been made we are at the limit at 36, plus two non-points races. As you've seen Atlanta move a date to here, we've moved things around over the past few years, whether it be Wilkesboro, Rockingham, California Speedway. Everybody knows the routine that those dates need to be moved around or traded amongst the ownership groups that are out there.So we'll see what happens moving forward. But right now I believe the company line is we are, today, happy with the number of weekends that we spend at the tracks.(NASCAR)(7-9-2011)

  • Will two-by-two racing continue at Daytona/Talladega?: from a NASCAR Transcript of a Q&A held at Kentucky Speedway
    Q. Last week was another two-by-two race at a restrictor plate track. Some drivers were critical of that style of racing again. Are you satisfied enough with it to the point where there's still no changes planned or do anything that would break that up, or is that being looked at or considered at all?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: That's a good question and it's a tough question. I think if you look over time, whether it was two-by-two, single-file, pack racing, whatever you want to call it over the last number of years, you will always have critics no matter what you do. But we have had great statistics. We've had a lot of leaders, a lot of lead changes. The competition is great. I think it's too close to the checkered flag from the Coke Zero 400 other than us gathering our thoughts about that, you know. But I'm sure we'll put some folks together and we'll talk about it. But there will always be those that will be critical. I never saw anybody or a driver get out of a car after a wreck and compliment how things were going. I haven't seen it yet.
    So, you know, there's elements of that that are different. It takes a while to digest that. There's quite a few folks that opinions have changed over the course of time. It's only been since we started the repaved racetracks. It's a backhanded compliment to how smooth the surfaces are at Daytona and Talladega that this type of racing has evolved. It's not necessarily anything new on the cars, whether it be the Nationwide or the Cup cars. The Trucks haven't had any change in the last few years, and they're starting to master that drafting technique. It's going to continue to evolve and we'll keep an eye on it and see what comes out of this. But we talk about all types of racing, not just restrictor plate stuff, when events get done.(NASCAR)(7-9-2011)

  • Richard Petty Driving Experience and Racing Electronics Announce Partnership: Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE) has entered in to a marketing and operational partnership with North Carolina-based Racing Electronics. Racing Electronics, the leader in two-way communications for race teams, tracks, fans, and sanctioning bodies worldwide, offers reliable, industry-tested equipment providing their top of the line services to an extensive client base within the NASCAR industry. For RPDE in particular, the use of radio communication between crew members is an essential element in the safe execution of Ride and Drive programs. The partnership with Racing Electronics gives the team at RPDE access to superior technology in in-car radio communication, as well as technical support from the industry leader.
    "Richard Petty is an icon in the sport, and to be involved with RPDE is an honor and invaluable asset to our company," said Bruce Silver, President of Racing Electronics. "Racing Electronics has become the leader in two-way communications by providing fans with the experience of listening to their favorite driver's at the track as well as providing communication equipment to race teams."
    As part of the program, Racing Electronics will become the exclusive provider of all two-way communications equipment for RPDE track crews and RPDE will feature Racing Electronics on a majority of the 120-plus stock cars in their fleet – though both parties will work closely throughout the season to leverage the partnership in other areas, as well. "We are looking forward to a long term partnership that benefits both our companies and the thousands of fans who participate in RPDE," said Silver.(RPDE)(7-9-2011)

  • Kyle Busch going for another Trifecta: As Kyle Busch is set to compete in all three races this weekend at Kentucky, he will look to repeat his record-breaking weekend sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway last August. Busch won the Camping World Truck Series race, along with the Nationwide Series race, before wheeling his #18 Toyota to victory and into the history books in the Sprint Cup race. Busch led four times for a race-high 282 laps in the Sprint Cup race. For the weekend, the Las Vegas native led 514 of a possible 956 circuits. Before finally completing his historic trifecta at Bristol last August, Busch won two out of the three weekend NASCAR races five times in his career (Phoenix fall of 2007 1st in Truck, 1st in Nationwide, 8th in Sprint Cup; Atlanta 2008 spring of 2008, 1st, 24th, 1st; Auto Club Speedway in February 2009, 1st, 1st, 8th; Bristol in August 2009, 1st, 28th, 1st; and Texas in November of 2009, 1st, 28th, 1st). So far in 2011, Busch almost accomplished a weekend sweep once again by winning the Truck Series and Nationwide races in February at Phoenix before coming up just short of winning Sunday's Sprint cup event, when he settled for a solid second-place finish.(JGR/True Speed Commincations)(7-7-2011)
    UPDATE: Busch won the Truck Series race.(7-8-2011)
    Busch came in 3rd in the Nationwide race.(7-9-2011)


    News from July 8, 2011

  • Race Coverage of the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, July 9, 2011.
    Television (TV): TNT at 7:30 pm/et; pre-race show at 6:30 pm/et; green flag approx 7:48pm/et
    Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    SPEED, Wednesday, July 13 at 12:00pm/et

  • Kentucky Qualifying Rained Out: #18-Kyle Busch will start from the pole for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway after rain halted qualifying and NASCAR was unable to get it restarted. The starting lineup was set based on Friday's practice speeds. #42-Montoya will start second followed by #22-Busch, #4-Kahne, #48-Johnson, #2-Keselowski, #99-Edwards, #6-Ragan, #14-Stewart, and #27-Menard.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #87-Nemechek, #60-Skinner, #46-Yeley, #38-Kvapil, #66-McDowell, #71-Lally, #81-Riggs and #37-Raines.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (5): #30-Stremme, #50-Bell, #15-Waltrip, #95-Starr, and #77-Gordon
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Kentucky Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(7-8-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #18-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #42-Montoya took pit stall 14, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
    #22-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 31st pit stall, the last stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #17-Kenseth, who starts 13th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(7-8-2011)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is scheduled for Friday, July 8, 2011 at 5:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 5:00pm/et
    Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90>/A> thru nascar.com only
    Jayski.com:
    Jayski's Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: 12:00am/et on SPEED

  • Qualifying Order for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is posted. 48 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #7-Wimmer, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #18-Busch, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Kentucky Qualifying Page.(7-8-2011)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is over after rain washed out the first practice. After 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #18-Kyle Busch 182.803
    #42-Montoya 182.500
    #22-Busch 182.346
    #4-Kahne 182.291
    #48-Johnson 182.285
    slowest: #7-Wimmer 174.893 and #32-Bliss 174.921
    notes: #11-Hamlin's team changed the engine due to a bent crankshaft. So Hamlin will start from the rear of the field no matter where he qualifies.
    fastest 10 lap average
    #14-Stewart 178.513
    #2-Keselowski 177.409
    #78-Smith 177.321
    See fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds, fastest 10 lap averages on the Kentucky Practice Speeds Page.(7-8-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #30-David Stremme, 30th fastest overall
    #15-Michael Waltrip, 32nd
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 33rd
    #60-Mike Skinner, 35th
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 38th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 39th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 40th
    #50-T.J. Bell, 41st
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #95-David Starr, 42nd
    #71-Andy Lally, 43rd
    #77-Robby Gordon, 44th
    #81-Scott Riggs, 45th
    #37-Tony Raines, 46th

  • First Friday practice for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway was washed out due to a rain shower. Happy Hour practice, which is scheduled for 1:30pm/et will run on time. Qualifying is scheduled for 5:10pm/et on SPEED. For more weather info, see the Kentucky Race Info page - weather links.(7-8-2011)

  • Chassis selections for Kentucky: see the list of many teams and what chassis were selected by the team to run at Kentucky Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series Race on the Kentucky Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Cool Works Cup to sponsor the #71 at Kentucky: Andy Lally will pilot the #71 Cool Works Cup Ford as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its inaugural trip to Kentucky Speedway this weekend. While the race marks the series’ first race at the track, it also marks Cool Works Cup’s debut as a sponsor in the series. Cool Works Cup is an officially licensed NASCAR product and is proudly made in the USA. Cool Works Cup offers fans the chance to make a statement and support their favorite drivers through its first generation of concept coolers. The cooler is not only a practical ice chest, but a unique and collectible souvenir for any race fan. Cool Works Cup currently offers their ice chests in ten quart and one hundred quart sizes. Over 50 different varieties of the Cool Works Cup are currently available.(TRG Motorsports), see images of the car on the #71 Team Schemes page.(7-8-2011)

  • TNT's NASCAR Ratings up: TNT’s NASCAR Summer Series coverage of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola topped the charts as basic cable’s #1 program for the week, with 6.03 million viewers. It was also #1 for the week among adults 25-54 (2.7 million). Through its first four races, TNT’s NASCAR Summer Series is averaging a 3.2 U.S. household rating, with 5.3 million viewers, up 6% over last year’s performance.(TV by the numbers), see chart, race-to-race and more on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(7-8-2011)

  • Edwards named 2nd Quarter Driver of the Year: #99-Carl Edwards was hot while it was still cool in the spring. As a result Edwards was voted the 2d quarter Driver of the Year 2011. Edwards who led the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, in the quarter ending June 26, was victorious in the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and won three races in NASCAR's Nationwide series. In the voting Edwards took eight first-place ballots and totaled 98- points according to the Driver of the Year points system. The panel voted across the broad spectrum of professional racing with the NHRA's Del Worsham taking second place with 88 points and five first place votes. IndyCar's Scotland-born, Dario Franchitti, was third in the voting with 80 points and two first-place votes. Anyone driving on four wheels in US-based series or any American racing, globally on four wheels, is eligible, a total of 21 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting. In its' 45th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 21 leading journalists from across the U.S. determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Edwards will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch later this year.(DOTY)(7-8-2011)

  • NASCAR's Pemberton and Darby discuss fuel injection testing: Transcript: Robin Pemberton And John Darby From Testing Session At Kentucky Speedway.
    KERRY THARP: With this being kind of a special weekend here at Kentucky Speedway, the first time that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been on track, obviously we're having an extensive test session today here, we thought that it would be a good thing to bring in Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, and John Darby, who is the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director.
    Q. Robin, what else has to happen with fuel injection before next season? What about more tests scheduled?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: You know, we'll see what the racetrack has planned. We think they've done a great job here with the facility over the past few years getting things updated, getting enough seats in to hold the capacity crowd here. I understand they're sold out and it will be standing room only. We're all looking forward to that. For the rest of the year, we have a test scheduled at Phoenix that will be a tire confirmation test later in the year. That's about all we have on the schedule for right now. We do have some repaves that are on the books for next year and the year after. So we're still working on the schedules for all of those.
    Q. But you're satisfied the fuel injection process is going, how it's working so far?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: Absolutely. You have to remember, as far as the fuel injection goes, many of the teams have been testing a form of fuel injection over the past two years, two and a half years anyways. A lot of our engine builders out in the field, they do build engines for other forms, other leagues. They do have experience with that. All the input that we're getting, all the feedback is things are seamless right now.
    Q. Robin, with the fuel injection, the drivers, they're really not going to be able to feel a difference, the fans aren't going to be able to see a difference, right? Isn't it really about making the car more relevant to what they're selling on their street models?
    ROBIN PEMBERTON: I will say this: we wouldn't have done it if it would have been worse for us. This will be the same or better. We feel like our competition is the best that it's ever been. We'll put it up against anybody. This is just one more thing that we've tackled in the last year or so moving forward that will be more relevant out there.
    Q. When there's no carburetor, there will be no restrictor plate next year or you'll be able to electronically control what you do now? How will that change plate racing as we know it?
    JOHN DARBY: The easiest and most economical way for us to accurately and across the board in fairness control or restrict the horsepower of the engine is with the amount of air that's introduced into it, okay? So we'll continue to do it that way. Will it be in the form of what we know today's restrictor plate? Maybe, maybe not. We're looking at some other things. We more than likely won't go down the path of trying to restrict the engines through electronics because we have a much higher comfort level doing it in a mechanical way. It's the same for every engine that's on the racetrack type of fashion, which will be through some sort of an air restriction.(NASCAR), see the full and much longer transcript on my Fuel Injection News page.(7-8-2011)

  • Toyota Racing EFI Testing Notes: Mike Skinner tested Electronic Fuel Injection in a Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota at Kentucky on Thursday. Lee White, president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development.
    Some quotes from both:
    Q) How was the first testing session with the Camry outfitted with EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection)?
    Mike Skinner “We started out a little rocky this morning -- we had some skips and a few bumps in the road. They’ve worked really, really hard. They’ve remapped this EFI system several times and they’ve got it running really, really good now. I think it’s going to be competitive. I think the lap times were respectable for what we’re doing and the car we’re doing it with. I think we’re far enough along now to put one of our full-time Sprint Cup drivers in it and get a second opinion and see what they think about it.”
    Q) Could you tell a difference between the EFI car and a non-fuel injected Camry?
    Mike Skinner “I drove both today, as you know, and on the race track at first you could tell a lot of difference, but we didn’t have this thing worked out. Each map change that they’ve made -- they went backwards, they went forwards, they went backwards and they went forward -- the last three runs have all been forward. On the race track now, I’m not so sure you can tell a big difference at all.”
    Q) How do you feel about the move to EFI?
    Lee White “The injection thing, particularly at the level we’re doing it here, is something we have three decades of experience with. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, because we want to do it right. We’ve spent a lot of time working together with McLaren and Freescale, and of course with NASCAR. We’ve had weekly meetings with NASCAR to try and contribute with everything around the ECU that McLaren provides: the looming; the sensors; connectors between the ECU and harness that is in the engine compartment; how you deal with heat; how you deal with crash damage; if you have to change out an ECU what kind of connector can you use; and tried to help them from our experience. We’ve done some track testing that the NASCAR guys have done with us and participated and collected data along with our own guys for our use. It’s been a very cooperative project and I’m sure the other manufacturers have contributed, as well as engine builders that are out there -- with Hendrick, Roush, Yates, Childress, Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing and TRD. It’s a very interesting program and we’re moving forward with it.”(Toyota Racing), see the full transcript on my Fuel Injection News page.(7-8-2011)

  • SHORT Q & A WITH DR. ANDREW L. RANDOLPH, ECR ENGINE TECHNICAL DIRECTOR REGARDING TESTING OF ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION FOR NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY:

    YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW THE TEST FOR THE ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION (EFI) IS GOING FOR THE FIRST TIME ON A NASCAR SANCTIONED TRACK: “It is going very well. We are setting the transient characteristics of the engine. That is how it works when you get into the throttle and out of the throttle because that is where fueling becomes a challenge is when you’re having rapid changes in the throttle position. That is what we are spending most of our time working on is the calibration for when they are letting off the throttle and getting on the throttle.”

    HOW MANY SENSORS ARE THERE GIVING YOU THE READINGS FROM THE TESTING? “There is many sensors on this vehicle. Compared to a carbureted engine, there are in race, there will be an additional eight to 10 sensors, but for testing here, we have more than that. We have double that probably.”

    THE DATA ARE YOU ARE GETTING TODAY, DO YOU USE IT RIGHT AWAY TO CONTINUE THROUGH THE TEST OR TAKE MOST OF IT BACK TO CONTINE TO ANALYZE AND WORK WITH IT? “Both. We record data in such a way that we can go back and replay exactly what the engine saw here on the track. We can replay that on the dynamometer in a laboratory setting. We can replicate everything we are doing here in the lab with better sensors and better repeatability so we can look in depth at exactly what we saw that we think we can improve on.”

    NASCAR’S GOAL IS TO HAVE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD WITH THE EFI, WHAT LATITUDE DO YOU HAVE CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR MORE HORSEPOWER? “We are actually quite happy with the system because it has considerable room for invention; for science. Certainly there is room for people to do it better than other people. We would like to think that whenever we have an opportunity to excel, then that is what we will do.”

    WE HAVE TO STEP OUT OF THE CARBURETOR BOX AT SOME POINT, BUT ARE THE COSTS SOMEWHAT OF A CONCERN WITH THE EFI PROGRAM? “You can look at costs in two ways. You can look at the dollars that it costs to implement the technology. But then you also have to look at the benefits that you derive from it and make a value judgment on whether it is a good thing or a bad thing to do. We are certainly in full support of it being a good thing to. It adds technical relevance to these engines compared to what is production on the street now. Every small block engine that is on the street is fuel injected and these are going to be fuel injected small blocks as well.”

    SO IT PORTED FOR FUEL INJECTED LIKE A CHEVY ON THE STREET? “Yes, just like a Corvette. Port fuel injection is what all small blocks on the road in passenger cars are and that is what this is going to be. So it adds more technical relevance to what we do for the manufacturer. It improves the fuel efficiency of these engines and reduces emissions.”

    DO YOU THINK THIS ADDS MORE MARKETABILITY AND MORE WIDELY APPEALING TO FANS? “It certainly makes it a lot closer to the production. They are called stock cars and it makes them a lot closer to what is stock and the engines that are sold. From that standpoint, there are probably are some people that will relate to it a little more.”

    TALK ABOUT THE NEW EQUIPMENT YOU WILL BE USING FOR EFI: “It’s really interesting. Historically, we always have one engine tuner that goes with each engine with every car to all of the races. And that engine tuner, his talent or his skill, is to take feedback from a driver and convert that into a mechanical change that he might make to the engine to make it better. Now what we are having to do is take feedback from a driver and convert that to a software change on a laptop that then gets put into the engine to address whatever concern or whatever area the driver feels like can be improved. It’s really an upgrading of the skill sets and it is a kind of different approach to each weekend when you are at the track. How to get the most out of what we have.”

    THE DRIVER WILL FEEL A DIFFERENCE? “Oh certainly and that is what we are doing today. It’s not necessarily clear looking at data on a screen what is good and what is bad, so, we have different drivers driving the car giving us their subjective feel of ‘yea, I really like that’ or ‘I don’t’.”

    SO IT WILL BE DIFFERENT FOR EVERY DRIVER BASED ON THEIR STYLE OF DRIVING? “Yes, there will be. In very much the same way as cars are setup differently for different drivers now, it is very possible that calibrations will setup differently for different drivers.”

    HAVE YOU HAD TO HIRE NEW STAFF? “No. We may in the end-up hiring one person But Earnhardt Childress Racing started participating in the Daytona Prototype Series a year ago and that is fuel injected NASCAR Grand-Am Series. One of our main reasons for choosing to participate in that series was to increase our knowledge of fuel injection and calibration and to upgrade the skill set of our engineers. We are taking the people that have been working on Daytona Prototype now and using them in the Cup program. We feel like that gave us a good head-start. So, no, we are not actively pursuing additional people. We are doing it with what we have.”

    HOW MUCH DO YOU EXPECT TO LEARN BEFORE WE ACTUALLY GO TO DAYTONA IN 2012? IS THERE STILL A LOT TO BE DONE? HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO LEARN A LOT IN THE SHOP OR DO YOU NEED MORE OF THIS VALUABLE TEST TIME ON TRACK? “Oh my goodness, yes. We have very sophisticated test facilities in the shop. We try to replace testing to a large extent with facilities that actually allow us to be more repeatable and more accurate in what we do. But, nevertheless, there are things that happen at a track. For instance, G-Forces on the engine and on the car as you go around a corner that you can’t do in a laboratory. The track time is invaluable to us. So, yes, there will a number of additional track sessions between now and Daytona. NASCAR is going to have probably two or three more in conjunction with events that they are sponsoring. But we’ll also be going to non-NASCAR sanction tracks and doing additional testing.”

    WHAT WILL THE FANS IN THE GRANDSTANDS SEE THAT IS DIFFERENT WHEN THEY ARE WATCHING A RACE? WILL THE CARS GO FASTER? “No, NASCAR has selected components to keep the power level very close to the same as it has been. From a driver’s perspective, they should like this much more because it will be smoother so it will idle better, they’ll have more control when they are coming in and out of the corners because it will put more emphasis on their skill as opposed to managing variability of the engine. Things you used to see that maybe had a lot of ‘G-Whiz” value like flames coming out of the tailpipes as cars went around the corner, that is un-burnt fuel that is escaping the combustion process and leaving the exhaust. It is very inefficient but might be kind of fun to look at. That will probably go away. Should go away because now we have much better control over the fuel mixture and we shouldn’t get in situations where we are pumping un-burnt fuel through the engine. From a fan standpoint, they really won’t notice much difference, but there will a lot of difference inside the car. It won’t sound any different.”

    CAN MISTAKES BE MADE IN THE PROGRAMMING THAT LEADS TO ENGINE ISSUES? “Hopefully this actually reduces the number of reduces the number of engine failures because by having improved control over fuel and spark, we should be able to operate the engine in a regime where it is much happier for virtually everything it does. Whereas when you have a carburetor, that is harder to do. For instance right now with the carbureted engine, if you get a piece of paper on the grill and the water temperature goes up, then if the driver isn’t looking or just doesn’t want to come in, then you can have engine failure fairly soon from overheating. What we can do now, because we are measuring water temperature, we can, as the temperature goes up, we can retard the spark or we can do things on the engine side that will reduce the power output of the engine and either make it where the driver wants to come in because the thing is going so slow or will protect the engine from failure.”

    YOU CAN DO THAT DURING THE RACE? “Yes, that will be part of the calibration. It has a sensor in the water so as the water temperature goes up then some other control function of the engine will retard spark or will do something else to the engine to limit the performance as the temperatures rising to keep the engine from expiring. This happens automatically. This is the nice thing about having computer control of an engine as opposed to mechanical control.”(Team Chevy)(7-8-2011)

  • SHORT Q&A WITH JEFF ANDREWS, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS DIRECTOR OF ENGINE OPERATIONS REGARDING ELECTRONIC FUEL INJECTION TEST FOR NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES AT KENTUCKY SPEEDWAY: IS THIS FIRST TEST ON A NASCAR-SANCTIONED RACETRACK ABOUT WHAT YOU EXPECTED?
    “I think so. I think we have about six outings so far. We’ve been just working with some tuning issues which we would think would be typical for this car and this track and kind of our first experience about throttle tip-in and drivability and some things. We made some changes during the break to try some different packages and go forward. So everything so far has been really smooth.”
    DO YOU ADJUST THE EFI TO WORK WITH EACH DRIVER’S STYLE?
    “We’re working here today with Aric Almirola from the Nationwide Series. We’re using Aric because we’re familiar with his feedback from being involved with him in the engine program on the NNS side with JR Motorsports. Again, we just tried to start with a very basic set-up for him, fuel-wise and drivability-wise, and we made some minor changes and some that were very aggressive. We’re just trying to get a feel of the sensitivity. If it were Jimmie Johnson, would that change significantly? Sure. That’s very possible that he would have a different opinion than Aric would. But really, we’re not really interested at this point in having say four or six individual tune-ups so to speak, per driver. We’re just working with the system, for really the first time in an at-track environment and trying to understand. It’s like we’ve got this new toy, right; and we’ve got 100 knobs here to turn, so which ones are the sensitive ones? And when we come back, I’m sure we’ll do things differently. There’s always got to be a first time and we’re just trying to work through a consistent matrix here of tests.”
    WHAT CAN THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP FANS EXPECT TO SEE WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF FUEL INJECTION?
    “From the fans side, they will not notice anything different. Maybe one of the biggest things that a fan would notice is a lot of times you get a lot of questions like, ‘What’s that big blue flame coming out of the right side of the car when the driver gets off the throttle or goes into the corner at Martinsville?’ That’s just fuel that has spilled out of the carburetor and gone through the engine in an off-throttle condition and is being burned out the exhaust pipe. You won’t see that any more. They’ll be some good efficiency gains that are being made there with this fuel system in terms of fuel economy. But in terms of performance, the power levels between a carbureted and a fuel-injected engine are very close; so you won’t see a dramatic increase in lap times. The car is still going to sound the same. It’s still a Chevrolet R07 fuel-injected racing engine and they’ll be no difference there for the fan.”
    WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN A HOT DOG WRAPPER GETS STUCK ON THE GRILL DURING A RACE?
    “One of the things about this system is that it does have the capability as water temperatures start going up, say for example from a hot dog wrapper on the grill, the system can start to enrich the motor based on that temperature increase and maybe buy you a few more laps of protection. It’s definitely not going to do anything to take the away the situation that might occur, but there are some protective systems in place that might help the engine get through the race.”
    THIS IS A PRETTY BIG CHANGE FOR THE SPORT
    “Oh, yes; we’re all excited. We’re excited about the technology. Our partners at Chevrolet have been a tremendous help to us in guiding us through this and helping us make this first step. So what we hope is that this is a good tool. It brings our level of racing closer to the level of technology that exists within our manufacturer at GM and Chevrolet.”(Team Chevy), see the full transcript on my Fuel Injection News page.(7-8-2011)


    News from July 7, 2011

  • Testing at Kentucky - Session 2: the scheduled two-hour second session of testing/practice is over for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, after 120 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #18-Busch 178.849
    #22-Busch 177.936
    #99-Edwards 177.930
    #27-Menard 177.912
    #39-Newman 177.830
    slowest: #7-Wimmer 170.794 & #32-Bliss 171.789
    no speed listed: #81-Riggs, #34-Gilliland
    fastest 10 lap average
    #31-Burton 174.388
    #27-Menard 173.995
    #24-Gordon 173.992
    Five Cars are testing fuel injection and assigned special numbers:
    #121-Ricky Stenhouse, Ford, 176.171
    #125-Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 175.256
    #124-Mike Skinner, Toyota, 174.537
    #123-Austin Dillon, Chevy, 173.433
    #122-Aric Almirola, Chevy, 170.138
    Note: teams can change engines after Thursday's testing is over with no penalty, cars were not inspected, qualifying order will NOT be set by Thursday's testing speeds.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds on the Kentucky Practice Speeds Page.(7-7-2011)

  • Testing at Kentucky - Session 1: the scheduled four-hour first session of testing/practice is over for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, after 240 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson 175.879 mph
    #27-Menard 175.593
    #38-Kvapil 175.296
    #18-Busch 175.171
    #16-Biffle 175.165
    slowest: #81-Riggs 169.279 & #7-Gordon/Wimmer 170.600
    no speed listed: #77-Gordon, #34-Gilliland
    Robby Gordon is entered in the #77 and Scott Wimmer is in the #7
    Five Cars are testing fuel injection and assigned special numbers:
    #121-Ricky Stenhouse, Ford, 174.340
    #124-Mike Skinner, Toyota, 173.717
    #123-Austin Dillon, Chevy, 173.210
    #125-Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 173.071.
    #122-Aric Almirola, Chevy, 172.227
    Note: teams can change engines after Thursday's testing is over with no penalty, cars were not inspected, qualifying order will NOT be set by Thursday's testing speeds.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds on the Kentucky Practice Speeds Page.(7-7-2011)

  • Gordon fielding two cars at Kentucky: Robby Gordon Motorsports has entered 2 Speed Energy Dodges for the Kentucky NASCAR Sprint Cup race on July 9th, 2011. Gordon will attempt to qualify the #77 Speed Energy Dodge [has to qualify by speed], while Scott Wimmer will pilot the #7 Speed Energy Dodge, which has a guaranteed starting spot in the field.(Speed Energy site)(7-7-2011)

  • Special test session today at Kentucky: In preparation for the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Kentucky Speedway this weekend, there will be two test sessions for teams on Thursday. In addition to team testing for the event weekend, NASCAR is taking advantage of this test to offer the opportunity for teams that are prepared to test fuel injected cars to do so. NASCAR expects five fuel injection cars to participate, all from various organizations, and all four manufacturers should be represented (NASCAR).
    AND NASCAR Sprint Cup engine builders will get a good look at how the new fuel-injection systems work with their engines when teams get to spend Thursday at Kentucky Speedway with cars outfitted with the new units. During the nearly of six hours of open Cup testing at the track, teams can only test one car – but can have a second car outfitted with fuel injection. NASCAR plans to begin using fuel injection with the 2012 Daytona 500. McLaren Electronic Systems and Freescale Semiconductor produce the engine control units, and teams buy the system directly from McLaren. Five engine builders will have cars on the track testing the new system – Hendrick Motorsports (with Aric Almirola driving), Roush Yates Engines/Roush Fenway Racing (Ricky Stenhouse NOT Greg Biffle/Matt Kenseth), Earnhardt Childress Racing/Richard Childress Racing (Austin Dillon), Toyota Racing Development/Michael Waltrip Racing (Mike Skinner) and Penske Racing (Sam Hornish Jr.) will participate. Many teams have tested the systems at other tracks, but this will be the first open test at a track where the teams actually race. NASCAR plans to have more tests throughout the year, and it will have the Cup teams at Daytona next January for further testing.(in part from SceneDaily), no TV coverage is scheduled for the testing.(7-7-2011)
    Cars Testing testing fuel injection are assigned special numbers:
    #121-Ricky Stenhouse, Ford
    #122-Aric Almirola, Chevy
    #123-Austin Dillon, Chevy
    #124-Mike Skinner, Toyota
    #125-Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge.(7-7-2011)

  • Carpentier to retire: Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier says he will retire after the NASCAR Nationwide Series race next month at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. "It's been a few years that I've thought about it," Carpentier told QMI Agency. "I discussed it with my wife. We talked about my situation on several occasions and I came to the conclusion that I must move on. I remember when I was speed skating. When I decided it was over, it was over." For the 39-year-old from Joliette, it is fitting that he'll end his racing career in his native province. "My first big race was at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, my third race in the Atlantic series," he said. "It is important to finish my career in Montreal." Carpentier already figures he will regret his decision when he's driving in the NAPA 200 in Montreal. "Of course I'll say it did not make sense," Carpentier said. "I know I'll be down for two or three days after the race."(Toronto Sun)(7-7-2011)

  • Kyle Busch going for another Trifecta: As Kyle Busch is set to compete in all three races this weekend at Kentucky, he will look to repeat his record-breaking weekend sweep at Bristol Motor Speedway last August. Busch won the Camping World Truck Series race, along with the Nationwide Series race, before wheeling his #18 Toyota to victory and into the history books in the Sprint Cup race. Busch led four times for a race-high 282 laps in the Sprint Cup race. For the weekend, the Las Vegas native led 514 of a possible 956 circuits. Before finally completing his historic trifecta at Bristol last August, Busch won two out of the three weekend NASCAR races five times in his career (Phoenix fall of 2007 1st in Truck, 1st in Nationwide, 8th in Sprint Cup; Atlanta 2008 spring of 2008, 1st, 24th, 1st; Auto Club Speedway in February 2009, 1st, 1st, 8th; Bristol in August 2009, 1st, 28th, 1st; and Texas in November of 2009, 1st, 28th, 1st). So far in 2011, Busch almost accomplished a weekend sweep once again by winning the Truck Series and Nationwide races in February at Phoenix before coming up just short of winning Sunday’s Sprint cup event, when he settled for a solid second-place finish.(JGR/True Speed Commincations)(7-7-2011)

  • The Numbers for the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway:
    6– number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at Kentucky Speedway
    90-120 minutes – approximate time it takes to dry the 1.5-mile track after a significant rainfall
    (First Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway, no event statistics available)
    2011 Caution Update
    4 – number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011; six of the first 17 races in 2010 were extended beyond the scheduled distance
    4 – fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono); four also the fewest cautions in the first 17 races of 2010 (Michigan and New Hampshire)
    16 – most cautions this season (Daytona); Martinsville had 13 cautions, the most in the first 17 races of 2010
    131 – number of cautions in the first 17 races of 2011 compared to 133 in 2010
    63 – cautions for accidents this season compared to 72 for the same number of races in 2010
    621 of 5,028 – number of laps under caution in 2011; 686 of 5,368 in 2010
    867.759 of 6,915.900 – miles under caution in the first 17 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(7-7-2011)

  • Notes on first time winners: After not having a single first-time winner all of last season, we've already had three this season, with #21-Trevor Bayne and #78-Regan Smith joining #6-David Ragan. Ragan took 163 Cup starts to reach Victory Lane. That's the most for a driver before his first win since Johnny Benson won in his 226th in 2002 at Rockingham. Ragan also became the seventh driver to get his first Cup win in the July race at Daytona and the first since his teammate Greg Biffle did so in 2003. Among the previous six, two never won again, and two won only one more race at the Cup level. The others were Biffle, with 16 career wins, and A.J. Foyt, with seven career wins.(more stats at ESPN)(7-7-2011)

  • Race #350 for Newman: The Inaugural Sprint Cup Series Race at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta will mark #39-Ryan Newman’s 350th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. Newman has career totals of 14 wins, 46 poles, 76 top-fives and 142 top-10 finishes in 349 Sprint Cup starts. His most recent Sprint Cup win was his victory at Phoenix 47 races ago to end a winless streak of 77 races dating back to the 50th running of the Daytona 500 in February 2008. With the addition of Kentucky Speedway to the Sprint Cup Series schedule this year, there are now eight racetracks where Newman has not scored a Cup Series pole position. Newman as 46 career Sprint Cup poles, tying him for 10th on the all-time career pole list with NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Junior Johnson. Newman is third among active full-time Sprint Cup drivers behind Jeff Gordon (70) and Mark Martin (50). His last pole came 40 races ago at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(SHR)(7-7-2011)

  • Another new twist to the qualifying format: Starting this weekend at Kentucky Speedway, there will be a rain-out qualifying procedure change for all three NASCAR national series. If first practice is run, but qualifying is unable to take place, the starting lineup will be based on speeds from the car’s fastest lap from the first practice, with top-35 cars in owner points no longer segregated from the non-top 35 cars. Previously, the top 35 cars lined up in front of all other eligible car owners.(NASCAR)(7-7-2011)

  • France asks federal court to seal divorce papers: NASCAR chairman Brian France is again trying to keep secret new details about his messy divorce – this time in federal court where he has accused his former wife of tape recording telephone conversations to extort money from him. France has asked a federal judge to seal documents surrounding those telephone conversations, which involved property distribution, custody of their two children and what’s described in one court document as “sensitive personal and financial matters.” Although virtually all divorce filings and related documents are public record under N.C. law, France argues that disclosure of the information could harm him both personally and professionally. “If this Court were to allow the record to remain unsealed, large portions of those illegally recorded conversations and information would be filed on the record for the entire world to see,” France’s attorneys wrote in a request to seal filings in the case. “This case is a private matter, involving private conversations about private issues….The only interest in allowing the public access to the judicial records and documents in this action is the promotion of a divorce scandal involving a highly regarded public figure.” Attorneys for the Observer and news partner WCNC-TV on Wednesday filed motions and memoranda opposing the sealing of the documents. They urged the federal judge to reject “Mr. France’s overbroad and unconstitutional attempt to prospectively seal virtually the entire court file. Mr. France is entitled to no better treatment – and deserves no worse – than any other litigant,” the attorneys said. “If any legitimately sensitive information arises over the course of this litigation, this Court has the power to place a particular document containing such information under seal or redact it.” The Observer’s attorneys said France “trivializes” the public’s interest in obtaining access to the records in the case. The attorneys for the newspaper and television station said their clients’ “primary interest is ensuring that civil justice is applied fairly and evenly, irrespective of the wealth and power of the parties involved.(full story at the Charlotte Observer)(7-7-2011)

  • Kansas Speedway to repave in 2012: Immediately following the 2012 STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, the track will undergo a massive renovation project that includes repaving of the existing track surface, reconfiguration of the oval, and the addition of a new infield road course. “These are significant projects for Kansas Speedway and our fans,” said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren. “Given the harsh weather conditions in the Midwest, a repave of our existing racing surface was a must. Repaving a track is a huge undertaking so we decided it was the right time to make the other changes to our facility, which we believe will enhance our fans experience at Kansas Speedway.”
    ISC Design and Development, International Speedway Corporation’s in-house design and construction group, will oversee the repave and road course projects. The group will utilize state of the art computer modeling to develop track geometry that features up to 20 degrees of variable banking in the turns; the current banking at Kansas Speedway is 15 degree uniform banking in the turns. To accomplish this reconfiguration, construction crews will remove the existing oval track asphalt pavement and re-grade the underlying soil to create the variable banking. In addition to the turns, the frontstretch, backstretch and pit road will all be reconstructed.
    Kansas Speedway’s new road course will feature a layout that winds through the infield. Portions of the infield will be graded and paved as part of the road course development.
    Kansas Speedway will host the Hollywood Casino 400 (fourth Race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup) on Oct. 9, 2011 and the Kansas Lottery 300 on Oct. 8, 2011. Tickets for all events are on sale now by calling 866.460.RACE (7223) or by logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com. Parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring in one 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and beverages.(Kansas Speedway)(7-7-2011)

  • Stock-Car Montréal looking to for grant to retain Montreal Nationwide race UPDATE: Racers on Circuit Gilles Villeneuve dive into the physical, twin-turn Senna Corner praying that they'll emerge at the exit with the same number of parts on their cars as when they entered. It's with a similar cautious optimism that NASCAR promoters hope to hear an encouraging word from the provincial government this week about a request that will keep the sport in Montreal for another five years. Stock-Car Montréal, a subsidiary of giant U.S. track owner and race promoter International Speedway Corp., wants a $500,000 Quebec grant to keep the NASCAR Nationwide Series running on the island circuit of Jean Drapeau Park. The federal government is said to be willing to pony up an equal sum for 2012, the two bodies then presumably writing an annual cheque of that sum for the balance of a long-term, probably five-year contract. This Thursday marks the closing of Stock-Car Montréal's exclusive negotiation window with Jean Drapeau Park. As of Friday, any race body or promoter could speak with the park about securing the site's second race weekend - Formula One's Canadian Grand Prix is the other.(Montreal Gazette)(6-28-2011)
    UPDATE: Canada's only NASCAR race might be in jeopardy. The Quebec government on Wednesday rejected developer Francois Dumontier's request for $1 million in government assistance, half each from Quebec and Ottawa, to help offset an anticipated $1.6 million deficit. "The developer has not satisfactorily proven to the Department of Tourism that it would be profitable for them to invest in the event," Isabelle Lord, spokeswoman for Tourism Minister Nicole Menard, said. This funding shortfall likely means August's Nationwide Series race will be the end of NASCAR racing at the Gilles Villeneuve track on Montreal's Ile Notre-Dame. The city of Montreal's contract with International Speedway Corporation and its promoter expired June 30. It is the only such event in the country.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-7-2011)


    News from July 6, 2011

  • Greg and Nicole Biffle Welcome Baby Girl: Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, and his wife Nicole welcomed their first child, a baby girl, late this afternoon. Emma Elizabeth weighed in at seven pounds and six ounces and arrived just before 5:00pm/et. Both mother and daughter are doing well.(Roush Fenway Racing)(7-6-2011)

  • Big Red to sponsor 3 different manufacturers at Kentucky: Big Red Inc. will be making history at the Inaugural Kentucky NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this weekend. For the first time ever, Big Red will be the primary sponsor for three cars from three different manufacturers in a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Mike Skinner will pilot the #60 Big Red Toyota for Germain Racing, Mike Bliss will be behind the wheel of the #32 Big Red Ford for FAS Lane Racing, and Dave Blaney will pilot the #36 Big Red Chevy for Tommy Baldwin Racing in the first-ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the Kentucky Speedway. The Kentucky region has been a heartland for Big Red soda for the past 74 years. The company wants to reach fans on a higher level than just consumption; they want them to feel the pride through their greatest passions-Big Red and NASCAR.(Big Red PR)(7-6-2011)

  • FAS Lane Racing gets Big Red Sponsorship for Kentucky: For the second time this season, Big Red, Inc. will sponsor the #32 entry of FAS Lane Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The #32 Big Red Ford will be piloted by Mike Bliss as the series heads to Kentucky Speedway for the first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at the Sparta, Kentucky track. “This is a historic weekend upcoming in Kentucky and we welcome the opportunity to represent the Big Red, Inc. brands once again,” stated team owner Frank Stoddard. “They sponsored us earlier in the year in Texas and we discussed future races and we were presented with the opportunity to work together again this week. This FAS Lane Racing team keeps getting better each week and we look forward to a solid performance this weekend with Bliss in Kentucky.” After having NASCAR Champion Terry Labonte in the No. 32 entry the last few weeks, the FAS Lane Racing team welcomes back Mike Bliss to the driving duties. The Kentucky event will mark his fifth start of the season behind the wheel of the FAS Lane Racing #32 ride for the former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion. “We are excited to be able to sponsor Frank Stoddard and his FAS Lane Racing team once again,” said Gary Smith, CEO of Big Red, Inc. “The team did a great job earlier this year with our sponsorship in Texas and this Kentucky event is another big one for us. We are working with some key retailers for this weekend’s race and we are confident that the FAS Lane Racing team will do a great job in representing Big Red, Inc. and all of our brands.”(Integrity Sports Marketing), Big Red is alos listed as the sponsors for #36-Dave Blaney and #60-Mike Skinner for the Kentucky race.(7-6-2011)

  • CEO leaves RPM: Lisa Brown has left her position as CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports to become senior adviser to Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial Corp. Brown orchestrated the restructuring of the Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup program under its new ownership group and guided the company through that transition. She will now help Murstein build his latest venture, Medallion Sports Media, which was launched in April. Brown introduced the Nautica brand to NASCAR and will roll out several additional new sponsors for RPM through the remainder of the season.(FoxSports)(7-6-2011)

  • Special scheme for Truex Jr. at Kentucky: NAPA Auto Parts kicks off its July Good To Go promotion with a special paint scheme on the #56 Toyota of Martin Truex Jr. Fans can save money through mail-in rebates on NAPA Power 65 ($5 off), Legend 75 ($10 off), Legend Premium 84 ($15 off) and Optima ($20 off) batteries. Good To Go also includes mail-in rebates on select starters and alternators. For complete details, visit: napaonline.com. NAPA Racing will host Honorary Pit Crew Member Keith Tennill. He is the owner of Probilt Automotive, a NAPA AutoCare Center since 1998, Louisville. He will be recognized in NAPA pre-race festivities and have his name decaled on the #56 NAPA Toyota.(MWR)(7-6-2011)

  • Ragan Cautiously Optimistic About 2012: While #6-David Ragan is signed with Roush Fenway racing for a couple of more years, big money sponsor UPS' contract is up at the end of the season, and Ragan and the #6 team's results since pairing with the Atlanta company in 2009 have been less-than-stellar. Previous good finishes and Saturday's win give Ragan tempered optimism. "I'm not worried about the program next year. I certainly think about it some. UPS has been a great partner of ours and will continue to be," Ragan said, before appearing on-stage before a group of fans. "They've got some decisions to make in the next couple of months. I think we're on the right path to bring those guys back; we're happy we got that win for them – that certainly helped. The Fords are the strongest they have been in a long time. Jack [Roush, owner] and I are on the same page and UPS is happy."(WSB Radio)(7-6-2011)

  • Gordon looking to win 4th inaugural race: At Kentucky Speedway, #24-Jeff Gordon will attempt to be first in the first -- for the fourth time. Among Gordon's 84 career victories are three inaugural event wins at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1994, Auto Club Speedway in 1997 and Kansas Speedway in 2001 (four other tracks have been added to schedule since 1994 with no other driver winning multiple inaugural races at Las Vegas, Texas, Chicago, Homestead). Saturday night's Quaker State 400 marks the first visit for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to Kentucky, and it could also mark the fourth trip to Victory Lane in a first-time event for the driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet. "It may be our first race here, but a lot of drivers have logged a lot of miles here," said Gordon, who has climbed from 16th to eighth in the point standings with four top- six finishes in the last five races. "Some of the guys have run Nationwide events here and we used to test here all the time -- this was one of the tracks we could test at before it became a Cup track. "Going back to those old testing notes will give us some information, but (Hendrick Motorsports teammate) Mark Martin participated in the tire test here earlier this year. That's the most current data we have with these cars and setups we're running today. "It's been a while since I've tested here, so it'll be interesting to see what has changed." Gordon will get a re-introduction to the circuit during a test day on Thursday. "It could take two or three laps, or it could take 100 before you get comfortable on the track," said Gordon. "We've got a lot of track time scheduled for Thursday, so that should give us a good opportunity to get close (with the setup). "There are a lot of unknowns like where you can push the limits, where your car is going to handle the best and what characteristics the track will have as the race goes on. Does the track get looser or tighter in certain parts of the corner?"(Performance PR Plus)(7-6-2011)

  • New RIR president named: International Speedway Corporation (“ISC”) announced it has named Dennis Bickmeier President of Richmond International Raceway (“RIR”) effective immediately. Bickmeier accepts the role from his most recent position as Vice President of Consumer Sales and Marketing for Michigan International Speedway (“MIS”). Current RIR President Doug Fritz who has resigned to pursue other career opportunities, will transition out over the next several weeks. Joining MIS in 2007, Bickmeier, 44, was responsible for the oversight of three primary departments -- communications, corporate partnership sales, and ticket sales and operations. His career with ISC initially began in 1999 as the Public Relations Director at Auto Club Speedway, and he was promoted to Senior Director of Communications in 2004, a position he held until 2006. Commenting on the announcement, Dennis Bickmeier stated, “It has been a privilege and personally rewarding to be a part of Michigan International Speedway for the past three and half years. While I will miss all the wonderful people at Michigan, I am excited to be joining Richmond International Raceway. I am appreciative of this exciting opportunity and look forward to a great future with much enthusiasm.”(RIR)(7-6-2011)

  • IMS adds Nationwide race for 2012: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the epicenter of American stock car racing and North American sports car racing July 26-29, 2012, as the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for four exciting races during the inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard. It will be the first time in IMS history that races will take place on the 2.5-mile oval and 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course during the same weekend, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing will make their IMS debuts. The 19th annual Brickyard 400 for the Sprint Cup Series will race on the oval Sunday, July 29, with the Nationwide Series also racing on the oval Saturday, July 28. GRAND-AM will conduct separate races for its Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge on the 13-turn IMS road course Friday, July 27.
    All four days of Super Weekend at the Brickyard will be packed with on-track action, providing great value for fans:
    Schedule:
    Thursday, July 26: NASCAR Nationwide Series practice
    Friday, July 27: GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge practice, qualifying and races
    Saturday, July 28: NASCAR Nationwide Series practice, qualifying and race; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice and qualifying
    Sunday, July 29: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400 race
    Brickfest, a music festival featuring a headlining national act, also will return during the Super Weekend at the Brickyard after its debut during this year’s Brickyard 400. Ticket orders for the 2012 Super Weekend at the Brickyard will be accepted starting Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. Orders can be made at www.imstix.com and through the IMS Ticket Office at (317) 492-6700, or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area, or by visiting the ticket office at the IMS Administration Building at the corner of Georgetown Road and 16th Street between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) Monday-Friday. Details on ticket pricing, race distances for the Nationwide Series and two GRAND-AM events and the complete event schedule will be released at a later date. The best way for fans to secure their reserved seat tickets for the historic inaugural Super Weekend at the Brickyard is to purchase reserved seats for the 2011 Brickyard 400 on Sunday, July 31 and reorder those tickets during the two-week renewal period starting Aug. 1.(IMS)(7-6-2011)

  • Sprint Cup Series Haulers to Visit Cincinnati, Lexington and Louisville: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers will visit Cincinnati, Ohio, Lexington, Ky., and Louisville, Ky., on Wednesday, July 6 before they make their way to Kentucky Speedway's historic tripleheader weekend that features the historic July 9 "Quaker State 400" along with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series "UNOH 225" on July 7 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series "Feed The Children 300" on July 8. For a complete scheduled, go to kentuckyspeedway.com.(7-6-2011)

  • Traffic Plans Set for Kentucky Speedway's "Quaker State 400" Weekend: Kentucky Speedway, Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet have collaborated on a comprehensive traffic and parking plan to accommodate more than 100,000 race fans who will converge at the Speedway July 7-9 for a NASCAR tripleheader weekend that will feature the inaugural "Quaker State 400." Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger said a plan was carefully crafted to ensure maximum ease and efficiency for race fans traveling to and from the Speedway, just off Interstate 71 at Sparta, in Gallatin County. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet suspended highway construction activity on I-71, beginning Thursday, June 30, to allow northbound and southbound lanes to operate at full capacity. Construction is scheduled to resume on Monday, July 10. Kentucky Speedway is able to accommodate approximately 33,000 vehicles in its 10 parking lots. Fans can access free KOI Auto Parts shuttle buses and speedway trams at eight locations on a new access road that encircles the Speedway. Complete information regarding traffic and parking and tips for fans can be found in the maps section of the official Kentucky Speedway Fan Guide at www.kentuckyspeedway.com.(Kentucky Speedway)(7-6-2011)

  • Iowa Speedway sold: An ownership group headed by Featherlite Trailers owner Conrad Clement and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Rusty Wallace has purchased Iowa Speedway from its founders, US Motorsport Entertainment Group. Wallace, who helped design the speedway, told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody, "We've been working on the sale for about a year. The former owners' core business is road construction. It's what they do, and they're ready to get back to that. We've been talking to them about buying the track for the last six months, and I'm real happy that the deal is finally done. Conrad and Stan Clement have worked their butts off to make this happen, and I'm excited to get to work."
    Wallace said the new ownership group "will be in constant pursuit of a (NASCAR Sprint) Cup race. We want one, but also know we can't be too greedy. We started with a K&N Pro Series race a few years ago, and eventually got dates on the Nationwide, Truck and IndyCar Seriesschedules. This track has been so successful, and the fans are wearing us out saying, `When can we get a Cup race?' We want one, for sure, but there are no opportunities out there at the moment to get one. We'll have to have some conversations and shake a few trees to see what's possible? We're not having any conversations at present, and I don't want to mislead people into thinking we are. But things change every day, and we're going to be aggressive about seeing what's possible."
    AND Five years ago, Conrad Clement waved the green flag to start a NASCAR East-West Series race at the newly opened Iowa Speedway. He waved some more green at the track last week. Clement, the former president and CEO of Cresco's Featherlite trailer company, was introduced as the key figure in the new primary ownership group of the speedway at a Tuesday news conference. His brother, Stan, and sons, Tracy and Eric, joined him to buy U.S. Motorsports Corp. — the holding company that owns the speedway — effective June 30. Rusty Wallace, the track's designer, remains as a minority partner.The track had been owned by the Manatt family of Brooklyn, Ia., for its first 58 months, but the plan had always been to find new owners within five years, speedway president Jerry Jauron said. That will allow the Manatts to return their attention to their heavy construction company, Manatts Inc.
    Clement said the speedway's staff will remain intact, and that the fans should see no difference in their raceday experiences. The next event at the speedway is a NASCAR Camping World Trucks race on July 16. Terms of the sale were not released. Built on 226 acres of farmland, the track had an assessed value of $44 million as of June 2009. The original estimate of the track's worth when it was built was $70 million. The speedway was lauded as a needed financial shot in the arm for Newton, a city of about 15,000 then dealing with the loss of manufacturer Maytag.(more at the Des Moines Register)(7-6-2011)

  • KOI Auto Parts Expands Kentucky Speedway Shuttle Service: KOI Auto Parts has expanded Kentucky Speedway's free event fan shuttle service through a unique corporate partnership. Fans visiting the speedway's blockbuster NASCAR tripleheader weekend spotlighting the inaugural Sprint Cup Series "Quaker State 400" on July 9, Nationwide Series "Feed The Children 300" on July 8 and Camping World Truck Series "UNOH 225" July 7 will be riding around the facility in style in a fleet of 17 busses donning the KOI Auto Parts logo. KOI busses will primarily serve the Bourbon Street, Hawk's Landing and Ponderosa campgrounds on a continuous route that will service the speedway entrances, souvenir row, display areas and shower house.
    Headquartered in Cincinnati, KOI has been serving more than 10,000 customers such as professional repair garages, collision centers, General Motors and Ford automotive dealerships and do-it-yourself specialists with world-class customer service for more than 60 years through 75 regional retail locations from a 750,000 square-foot warehouse that's home to an expansive inventory of 350,000 unique parts. Learn more by visiting www.koiautoparts.com.(Kentucky Speedway)(7-6-2011)


    News from July 5, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is posted, 48 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #15-Michael Waltrip (46/2)
    #30-David Stremme (44/6)
    #37-Tony Raines (39/17)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (38/17)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (40/17)
    #50-T.J. Bell (50/4)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/17)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/17)
    #71-Andy Lally (37/17)
    #77-Scott Wimmer (53/2)
    #81-Scott Riggs (47/7)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/17)
    #95-David Starr (48/2)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 71,38,37,46,66,87,60,81
    missing the race would be [5]: #'s 30,50,15,95,77
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Kentucky Entry List.(7-5-2011)

  • NASCAR Reinstates Two Members; Suspends Two Members: NASCAR has reinstated Jack Smith, a driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Gary Frost, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Smith's reinstatement comes following his Sept. 7, 2010 suspension for actions detrimental to stock car racing. Smith remains under NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Frost has successfully completed NASCAR's Road to Recovery Program following his May 24, 2011 suspension for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.
    Troy Hartman and Denise Harmon-Mixon, both crew members in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, have been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy.(NASCAR)(7-5-2011)

  • Ford to stick with the Fusion: Ford Racing will continue to run the Fusion when the new Sprint Cup cars hit the track in 2013. Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing, said the company looked at different models, including the Mustang, for Cup competition. But, after much consideration, Ford believed it was in its best interest to continue promoting its top-selling car in stock car's top racing series. "Initially we submitted a Mustang, even back when we were looking at the Nationwide car," Allison said. "We were really excited about what happened in the Nationwide Series when we put Mustang in. We saw the interest from the fans, the media — and even a whole swatch of consumers that never really followed NASCAR but loved Mustang started to follow Nationwide and NASCAR because Mustang was in. It kind of gave of a view of what could potentially on a grander scale happen if we moved Mustang into Cup." But Ford officials kept coming back to the Fusion. "The Fusion is so important to our company, it's our best-selling car, and when we launched the Fusion, we launched it here in NASCAR," Allison said. "We believe that NASCAR is a platform that can help us compel the fans to the fact that we have an exciting sedan in Fusion, as well as Mustang." Ford will continue to run the Mustang in the Nationwide Series, Allison said.(FoxSports)(7-5-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 Coke Zero 400: 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. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 7:30 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:32 PM (all times are EST). TNT was the broadcast team for this event. This was their annual 'Wide Open Coverage'.
    Total number of 'traditional commercials': 26 Total number of companies or entities advertised: 18 Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 67 Total number of commercials shown during the race broadcast: 20 (companies: Coke Zero; Sprint.com/alltogethernow; Sprint.com/evo; Sprint.com/sprint; 'Horrible Bosses' ; Toyota; Toyotaracing.com (Kyle Busch, Darrell Waltrip, Martin Truex Jr.); Coors Light; Chevy; Viagra; 'Horrible Bosses' ; Falling Skies ; Crazy Stupid Love )
    Total amount of time these brief promos/commercials took during broadcast: app. 17 min. 55 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:32 PM
    Total minutes: 182
    Minutes of race broadcast: 167
    Minutes of commercials: 15
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 167 Total comm. brdcst time 15
    See more, links and past races on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(7-5-2011)

  • UPS happy with win: Well after the [#6-Ragan, UPS driver, won Coke Zero 400] victory, UPS sent a statement to the media, which is highly unusual. "We're very proud to have David Ragan as UPS Racing's brand ambassador and are excited to congratulate him on his first win," said Ron Rogowski, UPS vice president, sponsorships & events. "David has a great future ahead of him and we look forward to many more trips to Victory Lane with him."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-5-2011)

  • Martin: no plans to own a team: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Mark Martin joined Dave Despain Sunday on Wind Tunnel and debunked rumors he is interested in becoming a NASCAR team owner upon his departure from Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season. Following are excerpts from the interview:
    Despain: Do you want to be an owner in NASCAR?
    Martin: "No, Dave, I don't. I am very interested and would love to commit to Jay Frye (Red Bull Racing vice president and general manager) and that organization to help Jay move forward and rebuild that organization in all forms. There's a lot of things I want to do in the sport still, including driving race cars, and outside of driving race cars. But as an equity owner, I can't see it happening anywhere. I'm not interested in doing that."
    Despain: So, what are you interested in doing outside race cars?
    Martin: "I just think that I've got something to offer to a race team. I love racing and I love NASCAR. I've done it ever since I was 15 years old. I thought in 2005 that I wanted to go home and sit on the couch for the rest of my life. That's not the case … it seemed like a good idea at the time and I tried that. But I know what I want to do. I want to be a part of the sport that I love so much and all the people. Driving race cars is cool. My time is somewhat limited in that area and there are other things I can do to help race teams. I can bring something to the table. I'm interested in getting an opportunity to do that. I'm really excited about 2012 and opening a new chapter in my life. I've had the time of my life being part of Hendrick Motorsports. I've won eight or nine poles and five races, all big bonuses to what I'd expected when I was sitting looking at things in 2008. I've had the time of my life but it's time to open the next chapter and I'm really excited about it. I couldn't be more excited about what comes next and I'm not sure what that is. But it's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to it."(SPEED's Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain)(7-5-2011)

  • Fox Sports boss David Hill discusses NASCAR TV coverage: Fox Sports Chairman David Hill was at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, chatting with car owners and meeting with NASCAR officials before the drivers meeting. Dustin Long of the Virginian Pilot / Roanoke Times was able to get with Hill briefly before he went into the NASCAR hauler to meet with NASCAR President Mike Helton and others. Here's what Hill had to say about a few things:
    On what they learned from experimenting with the split-screen format this year and its future for Cup races on the network:
    HILL said: "We're still evaluating. It's something that we've looked at and talked with for years and years and years and we got the OK to do it. There are two key categories that we have to determine that it works. The number 1 by like 99% is the viewers. If they think that it doesn't impact their enjoyment of the race and you've got to weight that up against is that advertiser getting his message through, so there's a whole bunch of things. We're just slowly working our way through the research. I don't know what we're going to come down to. It was great to do the experiment and get some evidence and see how it's going to play out."
    With ESPN doing more of it, how will it help in making your decision on if to do it?
    HILL said: "The more it's done, the more feedback and I'm quite sure that the boys at ESPN are doing exactly the same as we are. We all hate having to break into the race with commercials. That's a given. If we could do it without commercials, we would but it's a business and the rights aren't free. It's walking that fine line between keeping our viewers totally happy and the clients totally happy."
    On if TNT's Wide Open Coverage is the best way to show racing and ads at the same time:
    HILL said: "I just want to take the three, what we're doing, what ESPN is doing and what Turner has done and probably in the dog days of August, just have a look and say, "What do we think works and then research it again.' It's too important to rush into it, but it's too important not to spend a heck of a lot of time just working on it as much as you can about what's right, wrong or indifferent. Maybe there's another way of doing it that none of us have thought of yet and that's one of the reasons that research is so important because you never know what you're going to hear in a marketing session."
    About his idea of moving Cup races from Fox to SPEED Channel (most likely with the next contact, which would begin after 2014),
    HILL said: "Obviously I'd love to put some races on Speed. When we started, we had races on FX. We put races on FX and that was always our plan and that was to help FX, but it didn't destroy the impetus to the sport. I think if there's a right balance between what's on Speed and what's on the network, it's going to help grow. You're still doing exactly the same kind of coverage. You're not changing your coverage. It's just the way the whole day goes when the race is on that network."(see full article at the Virginian Pilot)(7-5-2011)

  • West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inducts ten: Ten motorsports figures from historic and modern eras were recognized Friday (July 1) as the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame inducted its eighth class at Azusa Greens Country Club in Azusa, Calif.
    Six inductees from the historic era – whose achievements came prior to 1970 – are Marvin Burke, Pittsburg, Calif.; Louis "Lou" Mangini, Walnut Creek, Calif.; Chuck Parko, Whittier, Calif.; Al Schmidhamer, Portland, Ore.; George Seeger, Whittier and Chuck Stevenson, Sydney, Mont. and Garden Grove, Calif. Burke, Seeger and Stevenson all excelled as drivers; Schmidhamer as a car owner and Parko as car owner, crew chief and mechanic. All but Parko and Schmidhamer are deceased.
    Four inductees from the modern era are Cary Agajanian, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Roger McCluskey, Tucson, Ariz.; Joe Ruttman, Upland, Calif. and Tim Williamson, Seaside, Calif. Agajanian is a longtime promoter, car owner and driver agent whose father, J.C. Agajanian, was inducted with the Hall's inaugural class in 2002. Ruttman's older brother Troy, a winner of the Indianapolis 500, was enshrined in the same class as the elder Agajanian. Ruttman was the 1980 U.S. Auto Club Stock Car champion and won 13 times in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – all past the age of 50. McCluskey, who died in 1993, was the 1969-70 USAC Stock Car champion as well as the 1973 USAC Championship Car champion and an 18-time Indianapolis 500 starter. Williamson, who died in a 1980 accident at Riverside International Raceway, was a standout dirt competitor and a rookie of the year in the K&N Pro Series West. The Hall, founded in 2001, memorializes significant contributors to the sport's development and history – including designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, race track owners, promoters, publicists and members of the motorsports media.(more at the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame site)(7-5-2011)


    News from July 4, 2011

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. not happy: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. was not happy after he finished 18th in Saturday's 400. NASCAR's most popular driver does not like tandem racing, not one bit. "It is weird racing," Earnhardt said. Last week Earnhardt said he didn't like the fact he had to depend on another driver in order to be competitive at Daytona. He would rather have his destiny in his own hands. "What kind of move can you make?" Earnhardt groused. "I mean, man. What kind of move can you make in racing like this? There ain't no move you can make. You just hold it on the mat and try not to wreck into each other. You see how good we are at that." The more questions he was asked about tandem style racing, the more aggravated Earnhardt became. "I don't know what to say," he said. "I don't know. You guys need to get your own opinions and write what you all think about it. I think it is probably pretty damn close to mine. Stop putting my damn mouth with y'all and getting my (butt) in trouble. Y'all write what y'all think, man. Come on, y'all are good. Y'all have an opinion about it. I read y'all's stuff. You put us in the damn crow's nest."(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-4-2011)

  • Avett Brothers concert to be Simulcast Live on HDTV at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Charlotte Motor Speedway will add another fabulous first to its legacy on July 9 when the world's largest HDTV airs a live simulcast concert by American Recordings artists, the Avett Brothers, from the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. The simulcast will give local Avett Brothers fans the opportunity to view the live show on Charlotte Motor Speedway's massive 80-foot-by-200-foot HDTV. The speedway will also supply concert-grade speakers for the event, to turn the infield area in front of the HDTV into a one-of-a-kind concert venue. Tickets for the July 9 simulcast on the world's largest HDTV at Charlotte Motor Speedway are on sale now and can be purchased at the speedway ticket office or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Tickets are only $15 until July 8. Tickets purchased the day of the event, July 9, will cost $20.(CMS)(7-4-2011)


    News from July 3, 2011

  • Trevor Bayne sets Daytona 'record': #21-Trevor Bayne's finish in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, giving him the worst finish in Daytona's July race for that season's Daytona 500 winner. The previous worst finish was 40th for Cale Yarborough, the 1983 Daytona 500 winner. The 1983 Firecracker 400 had a field of 40 cars, and although Yarborough started on the pole and led a lap, his engine failed after five laps. Forty-three cars started Saturday night's race.(Sporting News)(7-3-2011)

  • Slugger factory makes NASCAR bats: NASCAR drivers coming to Kentucky next week will be hit with a Louisville tradition. Friday morning, more than 300 special-edition NASCAR Louisville Slugger bats were rolled out of the Slugger factory. They feature the logo for the inaugural Sprint Cup race at the Kentucky Speedway, which takes place July 9. The bats have the names of the drivers they'll be given to engraved on the side. "The Sprint Cup series is really like the big league of auto racing," said Anne Jewell, executive director of the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. "What better gift for the folks associated with this race than the official bat of the major leagues, and it's such an important event coming to Kentucky as well." Along with drivers, official team members and executives will be given the special bats. They will not be sold to the public.(Fox 41)(7-3-2011)

  • Richard Childress Racing Taps Torrey Galida as New COO: Richard Childress Racing has named Torrey Galida to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer for the 12-time NASCAR championship-winning organization. In other RCR key management moves, long-time RCR executive Ben Schlosser has been named Chief Marketing Officer and Scott Frye has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer. Galida joins RCR following many years of experience in various motorsports industry capacities. He will be responsible for overseeing RCR's day-to-day business operations and will report to Richard Childress, RCR President & CEO. Schlosser has been with RCR since April 2002 and most recently served as Senior Vice President, Business Operations. He will continue to report to Childress. Scott Frye joined RCR as controller in April 2007 and replaces Art McCarter, who will retire later in the year. He will report to Galida, as will Executive Vice President Bill Patterson. Mike Dillon and Richie Gilmore will continue to report to Childress as heads of RCR competition and ECR Engines.
    "I am excited about Torrey becoming a part of the RCR team," said Childress. "He has significant experience and is well respected in the industry. He will be a great asset as we position RCR for the long-term. Ben has played a key role in our success since becoming part of our team and has helped RCR move forward in the overall marketing and business development areas. With the planned retirement of Art McCarter, Scott has demonstrated his ability to move into the CFO position. People are the key to any successful business and we are fortunate to have such a strong management team at RCR."
    Galida comes to RCR from TRG Motorsports, where he served as the Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager for the NASCAR and Rolex Sports Car Series organization. He was a top executive for more than a decade with the Ford Motor Company before assuming key executive positions with Roush Fenway Racing and Millsport Motorsports, a sports marketing and sponsorship agency. "I have an immense amount of respect for Richard Childress and the organization he has built," said Galida. "RCR is one of the premier sports teams in the country. I am delighted to have the opportunity to play a role in the team's continued success."(RCR)(7-3-2011)

  • Kenseth suprised Crown Royal is leaving: from a Ford Racing press conference transcript, #17-Matt Kenseth is asked about sponsor Crown Royal leaving his team after 2011:
    Q) DID THE DECISION BY CROWN ROYAL CATCH YOU BY SURPRISE AND HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOUR FUTURE?
    Kenseth: "I guess it caught me a little bit by surprise because we've been having a great season on-track and I figured they would be cutting back like most people are somewhat, but it caught me a little bit by surprise that they're totally leaving everything, except for that Richmond race. What that does to us, I'm not really sure. I drive the car and I kind of leave that to the marketing people and the sales team to figure that out. I feel like it's a great opportunity for a company to come into the sport. I think right now the on-track performance of the organization has been really good. It seems like everything is on the upswing in the sport as far as the on-track product and the TV ratings, and attendance is coming up a little bit, so I feel like it's a great opportunity. I've been there for a long time at Roush Fenway Racing. I think I've been there about 14 years doing miscellaneous things here or there. We had our sponsor before Crown Royal, we had DeWalt for over a decade, so I think it's a good, stable, competitive program and hopefully they can get something wrapped up there for the future."
    Q) DOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS SPONSOR SITUATION IMPACT THE TEAM? DO YOUR GUYS WORRY ABOUT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?
    Kenseth: "No, I don't think so, especially not now. If we were in the middle of a season where the car hasn't had a sponsor for half-a-season or something like that and you saw big cutbacks throughout the organization and stuff like that, then maybe you would be worried, but, right now, I think it's really early for that. We've been doing everything we can to make the program really competitive and I feel like all the Roush cars have been real competitive and I think we have a lot there to sell, so I don't think that's any concern to the team guys or takes any focus off anything that we're doing. Our goal every week is to go out and try to win races and try to race for a championship and that certainly hasn't changed. I've been fortunate. I haven't been through a lot of that through my Cup career. Like I said, DeWalt was there for over a decade and they've had different associates here or there, but that was it, and then Crown Royal had been there for a couple of years. They've been a great partner, not just to us but to NASCAR as well, doing the [International Race Of Champions] Series and then moving into the Cup Series when they started allowing spirits on the side of the cars. They've been a great partner for us and NASCAR and we sure appreciate all of that. They were on our car in '03 and '04 with the Smirnoff Ice brand before moving up to do a Cup car through Kurt and Jamie and then myself, so we sure appreciate all of that."(Ford Racing)(7-3-2011)


    News from July 2, 2011

  • David Ragan wins at Daytona: #6-David Ragan won the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his 1st career win. With the win, Ragan now moves into 17th in the drivers points and is currently in the 2nd Chase Wild Card spot. The win is the first for a UPS sponsored car since Dale Jarrett won at Talladega in Oct. 2005.
    #17-Kenseth finished second followed by #20-Logano, #4-Kahne, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon, #29-Harvick, #27-Menard, #42-Montoya and #43-Allmendinger.
    Pole Sitter #5-Martin was inovled in the first 'big one' late in the race and finished 33rd. Daytona 500 winner and outside pole sitter, #21-Bayne, wrecked on lap 5 and finished 41st.
    The points leader going in to the race, #99-Edwards, wrecked early in the race and finished 37th and lost the points lead to #29-Kevin Harvick, who leads the points by 5 points.
    There were 57 lead changes among 25 drivers; 6 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 115,000 same as last July.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, July 6 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Daytona Race Results/Awards page.(7-2-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Daytona, race 17 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 586
    2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 581, -5
    3) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 576, -10
    4) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 570, -16
    5) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 564, -22
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 564, -22
    7) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 534, -52
    8) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 519, -67
    9) #33-Clint Bowyer, 505, -81
    10) #39-Ryan Newman, 498, -88
    wild cards
    11) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 495, -91 [11th in points]
    12) #6-David Ragan [1 win], 457, -129 [17th in points]
    Two race winners are not inside the top-20: #2-Keselowski is 23rd, 19 pts out of 20th; #78-Smith is 28th, 69 pts out of 20th
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as they are in the top-20 in points, then if no wins by drivers points
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(7-2-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Kentucky:
    No changes in the top-35, the #7 increases it's pts lead over the #21 to 10 pts.
    32) #32-TLabonte/FAS Lane, 251, +47
    33) #36-Blaney/TBR, 249, +45
    34) #13-Mears/Germain, 242, +38
    35) #7-RGordon/RGM, 214, 10 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 204, 10 points out of top 35
    37) #71-Lally/TRG, 202, -12
    38) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 189, -25
    The teams are NOT locked in past the next race as the owners points change after each race.
    For the owner points standings, see my Owners Points Standings page.(7-2-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Daytona:
    #6-David Ragan won the 53rd Annual COKE ZERO 400 Powered By Coca-Cola , his first victory in 163 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fifth top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his fourth top-10 finish in ten races at Daytona International Speedway.
    There was a track record 25 different leaders. The previous record was 22 set in this season's Daytona 500.
    There was a race record 57 lead changes. The previous record was 49 set in 1974.
    #17-Matt Kenseth (second) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 24 races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2011
    . Joey Logano (third) posted his first top-10 finish in six races at Daytona International Speedway.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-2-2011)

  • Wide Open coverage returns to TNT's Daytona coverage: TNT's innovative Wide Open television format will return for the fifth consecutive year during the network's exclusive coverage of the primetime Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 2. The network's Wide Open coverage debuted during the 2007 Daytona 400 race and has resulted in only nine missed laps of green flag racing in four years, and zero laps in the last two races. The groundbreaking format provides continuous race coverage free of national commercial breaks and features more than 20% unobstructed race action, than that of a standard telecast, by using a letterbox widescreen format, which allows for a continuous scroll of race information. In place of the national ads, the telecast features a variety of animated sponsor messages, unique branded content and distinct on-screen graphic elements.
    The six national sponsors featured in this year's innovative telecast include Coke Zero, Coors Light, Pfizer, Sprint, Toyota, Warner Brothers Films' Horrible Bosses and Crazy, Stupid, Love. This video model has proven successful for advertisers during previous coverage. According to Nielsen IAG Research, advertisements featured during the 2010 TNT NASCAR Wide Open Coverage race delivered a 68% brand recall score, a significantly higher recall score when compared to standard ads featured during sports and NASCAR coverage.
    No stranger to televising NASCAR racing with uninterrupted coverage, Turner was the first network to use side-by-side coverage in 2000 during the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Race on Oct. 8 in Charlotte with TBS' "No Breaks Coverage." The network will rev up its pre-race coverage beginning at 6:30 pm/et with Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut with Lindsay Czarniak (host) and Kyle Petty and Larry McReynolds (analysts). TNT's acclaimed Pride of NASCAR series will feature a profile of the three-time National Motorsports Press Association Driver of the Year Cale Yarborough who won the Daytona 500 four times (1968, 1977, 1983 and 1984). Joining the studio show prior to the race will be #29 Kevin Harvick for an interview to talk about his season. Other pre-race features include McReynolds in a wind tunnel with #14 Tony Stewart's crew chief Darian Grubb to explain how the two-car draft works and why it's important at Daytona International Speedway.
    TNT will air the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona powered by Coca-Cola beginning at 7:30 pm/et with play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander calling the race alongside analysts Petty and Wally Dallenbach in the booth. In addition, McReynolds will make frequent contributions from the infield as he breaks down crew strategy and analyzes car adjustments using the TNT Offtrack Robotic Car (TORC) presented by Toyota. Pit reporters Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum will provide reports throughout the race.(Turner Sports)(7-2-2011)

  • Some 'dancing' partner pairings at Daytona: Like it or not, the two-car draft is a must at Daytona International Speedway and will be a huge storyline in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400. According to Jeff Gordon, he picked his partner long before he arrived in Daytona and suspected most other drivers did, too. Here is the list of drivers who will pair up:
    Teammates:
    • #24-Jeff Gordon and #5-Mark Martin
    • #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #48-Jimmie Johnson
    • #18-Kyle Busch and #20-Joey Logano
    • #83-Brian Vickers and #4-Kasey Kahne
    • #9-Marcos Ambrose and #43-AJ Allmendinger
    • #22-Kurt Busch and #2-Brad Keselowski
    • #1-Jamie McMurray and #42-Juan Pablo Montoya
    • #29-Kevin Harvick and #27-Paul Menard
    • #6-David Ragan and #17-Matt Kenseth
    • #31-Jeff Burton and #33-Clint Bowyer
    • #16-Greg Biffle and #99-Carl Edwards
    • #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #00-David Reutimann
    Non-teammates:
    • #11-Denny Hamlin and #39-Ryan Newman
    • #14-Tony Stewart and #34-David Gilliland
    • #47-Bobby Labonte and #32-Terry Labonte
    (see full story at Yahoo Sports)
    other drivers expected to pair up:
    #13-Casey Mears and #60-Mike Skinner
    #36-Dave Blaney and #35-Geoff Bodine
    #87-Joe Nemechek and #97-Kevin Conway
    drivers not listed with a partner:
    #7-Mike Bliss, #21-Travor Bayne, #38-Travis Kvapil, #51-Landon Cassill, #71-Andy Lally, #78-Regan Smith, , #66-Michael McDowell.(7-2-2011)

  • Speed gets lien against Red Bull: Former Red Bull Racing driver Scott Speed has obtained an order of attachment against the team, placing a lien on its real property in North Carolina until Speed's lawsuit against the team is resolved. The order, covering the Red Bull shop in Mooresville, N.C., and the property on which it sits, was served Tuesday. The property was purchased for approximately $3.3 million. Such orders can be issued only in very limited circumstances in North Carolina. After Red Bull fired Speed, he sued the organization in December, claiming breach of contract and seeking damages of at least $6.5 million. In March, an N.C. judge denied Red Bull’s request to dismiss the suit. A discovery motion in Speed’s case is scheduled to be heard on July 11 in Iredell County Superior Court in Statesville, N.C. William Bray, Speed’s attorney in the case, said his client sought the order because of Red Bull’s recent announcement that it was looking to end its ownership role in NASCAR at the end of the 2011 season. Red Bull can contest the order, but as of Friday had not done so. Through a spokesperson, the team declined to comment.(Charlotte Observer)(7-2-2011)

  • Danica not ready to announce 2012 plans UPDATE: Although the expectation is that Danica Patrick will move to NASCAR full time next year, she's not ready to announce anything. "Obviously I'm racing in NASCAR and not made anyone wonder whether or not I like it,'' she said. "As I've said at the beginning of the year, it's complicated and takes time. Whether I'm coming here or not has yet to be signed, sealed and delivered.''(Ronoke Times)(7-1-2011)
    UPDATE: On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported the GoDaddy Group’s Bob Parsons agreed to sell the company to KKR & Co., Silver Lake Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures for $2.25 billion. Parsons, a huge advocate of Patrick’s, will remain CEO. Patrick is in her second partial season with JR Motorsports. She ran 13 races in 2010 and has six events under her belt in the #7 Chevy this season. Her career-best finish of fourth came in March at Las Vegas and set a record for the highest finishing female in NASCAR’s top three series. JR Motorsports president Kelley Earnhardt says she “was not privy” to the GoDaddy deal but hopes the sponsor will continue to support the team. “I would assume that the buyers are very aware of GoDaddy’s sponsorship of Danica and what it's done for their business,” Earnhardt said. “So I would hope they continue the relationship with JRM and Danica should Danica drive for JRM next year.”(FoxSports)(7-2-2011)

  • Carl Edwards honored by Little Leaguers: #99-Carl Edwards received the Orange City, Fla., Little League All-Star team’s best pitch Friday at Daytona International Speedway. The squad, which is comprised of 11 and 12-year old boys and girls, presented Edwards with a baseball autographed by the entire team and, along with Subway Guy Jared Fogle, posed for photos as part of activities leading up to the evening’s Subway Jalapeno 250, where the All-Star team was serving as race grand marshals. Edwards also showcased his autograph baseball that is part of the “Subway Baseball DeSIGNS tour,” a unique charitable travel exhibit of baseballs designed by kids and autographed by celebrities. Each baseball will be auctioned off at the end of the tour in August with all proceeds benefitting the Little League Baseball Urban Initiative. Fans can see all of the baseball designs at subwaykids.com.(Catalyst)(7-2-2011)

  • Special scheme for Stewart at Kentucky: NASCAR driver Tony Stewart will sport a colorful "Back-To-School" paint scheme on his #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala during the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 race at Kentucky Speedway on July 9th. The paint scheme features a fun variety of school supplies and technology, including a notebook, calculator, laptop, thumb drive, white board, ruler, crayons, pencils, glue and much more. Gateway, Brother, Mead, Sandisk, PaperPro and Elmers are Office Depot partners with products featured on the car. "We always get excited about sporting a new back-to-school paint scheme on our #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy," Stewart said. "As parents begin thinking about the start of a new school year, this paint scheme is a fun way to remind them that Office Depot provides one-stop, back-to-school shopping for their children's school supplies."(MATTER/Edelman PR), see images of the car/scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(7-2-2011)

  • Richmond to Install SAFER barriers on Backstretch: SAFER barriers will be installed in time for the September “One Last Race to Make The Chase” NASCAR weekend at Richmond International Raceway. The new SAFER barriers will cover the entire length of the inside backstretch wall, which is over 900 feet. “The safety of all who attend our events, including the drivers, is important at Richmond International Raceway,” said track president Doug Fritz. “We will always be reviewing our facility and continue to look at ways to improve on the experience of our fans and the drivers.” The walls are currently being fabricated by GT Grandstands, Inc., a Plant City, Florida company. Installation of the SAFER barriers will begin as soon as they arrive in Richmond. Cheaha Construction LLC of Munford, Alabama will oversee the installation process.(RIR)(7-2-2011)

  • Daytona to donate extra foor from Coke Zero 400: On behalf of Drive to End Hunger, AARP and AARP Foundation’s nationwide initiative to end hunger among older Americans, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III today announced that Daytona will donate all extra food items from the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Volusia County. The donation is expected to include breads, produce and other food items and will be delivered on Tuesday, July 5 with help from Americrown, the catering and concessions subsidiary of parent company International Speedway Corporation. Drive to End Hunger is a national effort that also includes an innovative grant program that will provide more resources to address this problem at the local level; mobilization of NASCAR fans, sponsors, their customers, AARP and AARP Foundation volunteers to address the problem of senior hunger through community service and direct donations to food banks; and research on the causes and the consequences of hunger in older Americans.(DIS)(7-2-2011)

  • Kentucky Transportation Cabinet halting contruction for race: When more than 100,000 race fans make their way to and from the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta next month for the track's inaugural Sprint Cup race, they won't have to deal with the construction zones that have plagued Northern Kentucky roads this spring. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is halting most of the half-dozen construction projects underway on area interstates from June 30 to July 12. "All I can to say to that is thank God in high heaven," said Mark Simendinger, Speedway general manager. Lane closures on I-71/75 on the cut-in-the-hill weekends and on I-71 from the split to the Speedway on weekdays have created hours-long back ups that have frustrated travelers and locals alike. Crews have also been working on several stretches of Interstate 275 and I-75 in Boone and Grant counties. The roadwork is part of Revive the Drive-NKY, a $91 million series of road projects that will repair and replace decades-old pavement on Interstates 71, 75, 275 and 471.
    For the two-week window, which includes the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the ubiquitous orange barrels will be moved out of the way, said Nancy Wood, spokeswoman for the Cabinet's District 6 Office. The only construction will be July 5, 6 and 7 on northbound I-75 from the Grant/Boone County line to near the Turfway exit in Florence. That work will only take place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Simendinger said the track has been working with the Transportation Cabinet for more than six months in preparation for the first Sprint Cup race on July 9 at the Gallatin County track. Any traffic going to the Speedway from I-75 north will have to take the Richwood Road exit, go under the interstate and get back on I-75 south to go to I-71 south. The ramp will be closed from July 5 to July 15. While the ramp is closed, the state will make pavement repairs on the ramp, Wood said. Though all travel lanes will be open, it will still be a bumpy ride getting to and from the Speedway on the 18 miles of I-71 from the I-71/75 split to Sparta. Workers are repairing more than 300 base failures - pot holes and ruts - which means overfilling the holes to higher level than the roadway.(Kentucky Enquirer)(7-2-2011)


    News from July 1, 2011

  • Race Coverage of the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, July 2, 2011.
    Television (TV): TNT at 7:30 pm/et; pre-race show at 6:30 pm/et; green flag approx 7:45pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    SPEED, Wednesday, July 6 at 12:00pm/et

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #5-Martin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #21-Bayne took pit stall 21, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
    #33-Bowyer, who starts 3rd took the 20th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #17-Kenseth, who starts 16th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(7-1-2011)

  • Martin wins Daytona pole: #5-Mark Martin won the Coors Light pole for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 182.065mph. It is Martin's 1st pole of the season and the 50th of his career which is 8th all time, Martin has won 7 races from the pole. Martin breaks his own record for the oldest driver to win a pole [set in Feb 2010], now 52 years, 5 months, 23 days old. 2011 Daytona 500 winner, #21-Bayne starts 2nd followed by #33-Bowyer, #24-Gordon, #6-Ragan, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #71-Lally, #48-Johnson, #43-Allmendinger and #27-Menard.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Bayne, #71-Lally, #97-Conway, #38-Kvapil, #60-Skinner, #66-McDowell, #35-GBodine and #87-Nemechek.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2): #37-Raines & #46-Yeley.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Jayski's Daytona Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(7-1-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Daytona:
    #5-Mark Martin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 53rd Annual COKE ZERO 400 Powered By Coca-Cola with a lap of 49.433 seconds, 182.065 mph.
    This is his 50th pole in 811 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and seventh top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his third pole in 53 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    #21-Trevor Bayne (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2011 and his first in two races at Daytona International Speedway.
    #33-Clint Bowyer (third) posted his third top-10 start at Daytona International Speedway. It is his seventh in 17 races this season.
    #71-Andy Lally (seventh) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(7-1-2011)

  • Chassis selections for Daytona: see the list of many teams and what chassis were selected by the team to run at Daytona International Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series Race on the Daytona Race Info page - Chassis selection area

  • TBR hires new crew chief; seven crew members: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) recently hired seven key crewmembers for both the #35 and #36 teams. With the addition of the second-team, owner Tommy Baldwin hired crew chief Philippe Lopez for the #36 Chevy (for driver Dave Blaney). The new hires allowed for shifting to create two solid teams. All teams will work their first races together in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. "We have recently hired seven more people and put them in the areas they need to be to make our program better," explained Baldwin. "Philippe is a well-respected crew chief, and someone I can trust to do a good job for TBR. I'm excited that now this allows me to dedicate more time toward the future of TBR from both the competition and business sides." Lopez previously worked with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) drivers Darrell Waltrip, Ward Burton, Steve Park and Blaney. Lopez and Baldwin also worked together, as they were co-crew chiefs at Bill Davis Racing. Lopez collected four top-fives, 13 top-10s and one pole throughout his 15-year NSCS career.
    "I'm excited to be with TBR," explained Lopez. "I have always worked with underdogs. I really enjoy the challenge. I look forward to helping the team grow to where I see it can. I have a lot of respect for Tommy. We both started programs two years ago. He started TBR, and I started with Nemco. He has weathered the storm and turned a start-and-park program into a full-time team. He's really the only one to do that. Tommy and I work really well together because we are such opposites. Together, we made good co-crew chiefs. I would settle him down, and he would rile me up. We evened each other out. I look forward to continuing that relationship." Lopez will reunite with Dave Blaney for a third time. The pair previously worked together in 2005 at Richard Childress Racing (#07) and 2001 at Bill Davis Racing (#93 Dodge). The twosome made 26 starts and collected two top-10 finishes. "I'm really happy to be back with Philippe," explained Blaney. "We worked together a couple of times, and we have a really good relationship."
    In addition to the personnel changes, TBR is also making changes on the competition side by taking the first steps to developing their own chassis. "I am really excited about the state of TBR right now," explained Baldwin. "We are quickly moving forward with our progress on the competition side. We have completed our first phase of wind tunnel testing with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and now have the direction we need to further along our program in that department. We have also just purchased an RCR car that we will be racing next week in Kentucky. While all this has been going on, we have completed the drawings for our first TBR-designed chassis. We will start building it next week with the goal of debuting in the September New Hampshire race."(TBR)(7-1-2011)

  • The Kyle Busch / Kevin Harvick 'handshake': at separate press conferences, #29-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch were asked their thoughts about Kyle Busch walking up to Kevin Harvick after the race at Infineon Raceway and shaking Harvick's hand.
    Q) KYLE BUSCH CAME UP AND SHOOK YOU HAND LAST WEEK AFTER INFINEON, IS THAT ALL OVER WITH AND YOU GUYS ARE GOOD TO GO?
    Harvick: "I wouldn't call it good to go on that. I mean we raced together for a lap and a half. I was as confused about all that as everybody else."(Team Chevy).
    Q) Why did you shake Kevin Harvick's hand after last weekend's race?
    Busch: "I felt like we had a really good race with each other. So, just wanted to let him know that."
    Q) Did you feel like you gave each other room in last weekend's race?
    Busch: "Yes. We gave each other great room and raced each other hard and clean. And, that's all there is to it. You all are reading way too much into things."(Toyota Racing)(7-1-2011)

  • Numbers Continue To Soar Heading To DIS: Kurt Busch's victory at Infineon Raceway ballooned the number of different winners this season to 11 in the first 16 races, the most since 2003. Races at Daytona, much like the 2011 season, have offered a varied list of victors. There have been seven different winners in the last seven races.
    Competition numbers – both this season and at Daytona – have been likewise robust. Check out some of the notable bullets from this season:
    • Average of 13 leaders per race, most through 16 races in series history
    • Average of 30 leaders per race, most through 16 races in series history
    • 8 races with a margin of victory under one second, including Talladega, which tied for the closest finish (.002 seconds) since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993.
    • 42 different drivers have led at least one lap.
    • 30 different drivers have scored at least one top 10 finish.
    February's Daytona 500 set track records in both leaders (74) and lead changes (22).(NASCR(7-1-2011)

  • NFL's Chad Ochocinco Takes a Ride with Jeff Burton at AMS: After trying his hand at professional soccer and riding a bull, Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Chad Ochocinco came to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday to get a taste of NASCAR racing. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Veteran Jeff Burton and crew were on hand to provide Ochocinco with a high speed tutorial, both on and off the track. After taking a few hot laps in the #31 Caterpillar Chevy, Ochocinco received a lesson on how a pit stop works with the Caterpillar pit crew. He then tried his hand at changing tires and jacking up the car. "This ranks right up there with the bull riding, man," said Ochocinco. "It's not until you actually get in a car with these guys, like today with Jeff Burton, that you realize how dangerous this sport is and the amount of skill it takes to run out there with other drivers. The pit crew was difficult. I tried to do some of the things that they've been doing, as far as changing tires and jack the car up. Other than that, it's difficult. Especially because I'm out of my element, but it was fun, it was a great experience." Ochocinco told track officials, should he not have any NFL obligations, he would love to attend the AdvoCare 500 on Sept. 4 to see it in person. Tickets for the AdvoCare 500 start at $39 and $19 for students. Children 12 and under admitted free for the Great Clips 300 and the Atlanta 200 with an adult ticket. For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(7-1-2011)

  • NASCAR, Cars 2 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Cars and stars from NASCAR return to the big screen this summer with roles in two blockbuster hits with the recent release of "Cars 2" and the recent release of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon provided his voice for the character "Jeff Gorvette" in Disney-Pixar's "Cars 2", which came out in theatres last Friday. "The movie is completely different from the first movie," Gordon said. "Obviously Lightning McQueen and Mater and some of his buddies are in there and I'm one of his new buddies, but it's an international spy thriller this time so they go all over the world and so there's a lot of international flair from the car side of it and the voices that you'll hear as well as some other race car drivers. My role is fairly small, but still was a blast." Gordon's chance to play the yellow Chevrolet Corvette with American flag graphics on the sides came about when he met Pixar's John Lasseter, who is a big race fan, during the Sprint Cup Series annual trip to Infineon Raceway in northern California. Juan Pablo Montoya, who piloted a special paint scheme earlier this month at Michigan International Speedway to promote "Cars 2", also voiced a character for the Latin American version of the movie.
    In "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," Montoya and Gordon's Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have modified versions of their Sprint Cup cars featured in the movie. The Chevrolets of Montoya (Target), Johnson (Lowe's) and Earnhardt Jr. (AMP Energy) portray "Wreckers" in the action movie that see each stock car transform not only into robots, but into heavily armed cars that assist the Autobots (good guys) against the Decepticons (bad guys). Fans that didn't have the chance to view some of the filming of the movie in downtown Chicago first got a preview of the NASCAR Transformers during the pre-race festivities for this year's 53rd running of the Daytona 500. Following Director Michael Bay, Duhamel and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley giving the command to start the engines, the three "Wreckers" paced the 43-car field for the opening race of the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season.(full story at Motor Racing Network)(7-1-2011)

  • Daytona International Speedway To Recognize Space Shuttle Program: In honor of the final flight of the Space Shuttle program – STS-135 Space Shuttle Atlantis scheduled for July 8 – Daytona International Speedway will pay tribute to NASA's Space Shuttle program during the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 2. United States Navy Commander and Astronaut Dominic "Tony" Antonelli, who has served as pilot of both STS-119 Space Shuttle Discovery in 2009 and STS-132 Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2010, will serve as Honorary Starter for the mid-summer classic.
    As Honorary Starter, Antonelli will be introduced at the driver's meeting, participate in the driver introductions and wave the green flag for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Antonelli will also make appearances in the Coke Zero Club and 31 Degrees hospitality venues prior to the start of the race. Antonelli has logged a total of 24 days, 3 hours, 57 minutes and 35 seconds in space. In his first mission as pilot of STS-119 Space Shuttle Discovery in March 2009, he was part of the crew that delivered the S6 Integrated Truss Segment and the final pair of power-generating solar array wings to the International Space Station.
    Aboard STS-132 Space Shuttle Atlantis in 2010, Antonelli was part of the crew that delivered an Integrated Cargo Carrier and a Russian-build Mini Research Module to the Station. In addition to Antonelli's role as Honorary Starter, Daytona International Speedway will show a video tribute to NASA's Space Shuttle program during pre-race ceremonies. To purchase tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(7-1-2011)

  • Inaugural Kentucky Speedway Sprint Cup race sold out: Kentucky Speedway announces it has sold out the 107,000 grandstand tickets available for the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series "Quaker State 400." Fans who wish to witness NASCAR history July 9 can still take advantage of the speedway's Pit Road Club that offers an infield view of the race action from behind pit road wall or $60 standing room only tickets that will provide access to the Turn 1 and Turn 4 concourses. Both can be purchased at kentuckyspeedway.com or by phone at 888-652-7223 and 859-578-2300. "Selling out the inaugural 'Quaker State 400' with more than a week before the event is a great testament to this market and our fans. Our packed stands will combine with overflowing corporate display, hospitality and camping to create an electric atmosphere as we make Kentucky sports history," Kentucky Speedway General Manager Mark Simendinger said. The speedway's sold out exterior and infield campgrounds will open on Tuesday, July 5 at noon. Fans still seeking race week campsites can visit kentuckyspeedway.com and click "Camping" in the top navigation bar for a listing of campgrounds offering good options within walking distance of the speedway and in the surrounding area. Kentucky Speedway's first NASCAR tripleheader weekend opens Thursday, July 7 with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series "UNOH 225" and additionally features the NASCAR Nationwide Series "Feed The Children 300" on Friday, July 8. Tickets for both events can be reserved through the Kentucky Speedway Web site and ticket office phone numbers.(Kentucky Speedway)(7-1-2011)


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