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NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
JUNE 2011

Go to a certain date in this month:
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16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30


    News from June 30, 2011

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Friday, July 1, 2011 at 4:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 4:00pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) thru nascar.com only
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: 11:00pm/et on SPEED

  • Qualifying Order for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted. 45 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 #87-Nemechek, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #9-Ambrose, 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 Daytona Qualifying Page.(6-30-2011)

  • Happy Hour and the only one practice for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after45 scheduled minutes, the top 6, slowest and some notes:
    Cars are hooked up 2-by-2 as they were in the Daytona 500 and at Talladega.
    #9-Ambrose 199.411
    #43-Allmendinger 199.402
    #22-Busch 198.474
    #2-Keselowski 198.470
    #24-Gordon 198.085
    #5-Martin 198.085
    slowest: #87-Nemechek 178.554 & #36-Blaney 179.501
    Notes: #97-Conway spun off the turn 2 apron.
    #4-Kahne and #83-Vickers got high with the #4 scraping the side of the car.
    First practice was cancelled due to rain at the track and Happy Hour shortened to approx 45 minutes.
    Qualifying order (Saturday 4:10pm/et) will be set by this one and only practice.
    For fastest speeds. average speeds, best 10 lap average, laps run see the Daytona Practice Speeds Page.
    For weather links, see the Daytona Racing Info page - weather section.(6-30-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers at Daytona:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 33rd fastest overall
    #21-Trevor Bayne, 34th
    #71-Andy Lally, 35th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 36th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 38th
    #97-Kevin Conway, 39th
    #35-Geoff Bodine, 41st
    #37-Tony Raines, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #66-Michael McDowell, 43rd
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 45th/last

  • Rain delay at Daytona: as of 5:35 pm/et, it rained at Daytona International Speedway most of the afternoon, cancelling the first Nationwide and Sprint Cup practices. Sprint Cup practice was scheduled for 4:00pm/et and Happy Hour Practice is scheduled for 6:35pm/et. Jet dryers are out on the track as rain has stopped, the radar looks decent and the track is reportedly close to dry. Been told that once the track is dry [approx 6:15pm/et], Nationwide Series will practice for 45 minutes, then a 15 minute break, followed by Sprint Cup for 45 minutes [approx 7:15pm/et]. For weather links, see the Daytona Racing Info page - weather section.(6-30-2011)

  • 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

  • Kurt Busch discusses his divorce: #22- Kurt Busch walked in the media center Thursday and wanted to clear the air about his personal life, saying he is going through a divorce and hoping everyone will respect his privacy in a personal matter. "Although we [Busch and his wife, Eva] are no longer together and are legally separated, we appreciate privacy in this situation," Busch said. "All I want to say on this is we are going though the process of terminating our marriage, but we are doing it with respect for each other and we'll always be friends."
    "When you win, people want to bring you down," Busch said. "While drivers sometimes have a beef with certain media members, the vast majority are hard working and responsible individuals trying to do their job the best way they can. I realize I'm an entity, but I'm also a person." Busch was asked if his personal situation has impacted his performance on the track this season. He ranks fourth in the Sprint Cup standings with nine top-10s in 16 races, but he also has shown angry moments on the team radio when he was unhappy with his car. "A lot of things are happening on a personal level," Busch said. "But our performance on the race track is the best way for putting all that aside."(ESPN)(6-30-2011)

  • Stewart not expecting to expand in 2012: #14-Tony Stewart's goal since becoming co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing prior to the 2009 season was to eventually build the NASCAR Sprint Cup team up from two cars to four. But that probably won't happen next season, Stewart said. Asked by SPEED.com if SHR would remain a two-car team next year, Stewart said, "I would think so. We're kind of in that crunch time of the year where if a package was going to happen, it would pretty much be that the wheels would have to be in motion by now." Nevertheless, Stewart said SHR already has the infrastructure in place to expand, if need be. "The good thing is that our shop is set up and capable of doing a three-car team," Stewart said. "It's not like we have to go build a building just to do it. We have that side of it in place and have made provisions to do it, if something were to come about."(SPEED)(6-30-2011)

  • Dale Jr. to carry special scheme at Daytona: Since 2008, the National Guard and the #88 Hendrick Motorsports team of Dale Earnhardt Jr. have run a camouflaged paint scheme for the July race at Daytona International Speedway. The paint scheme honors Independence Day and the men and women who have served in the National Guard. This year's #88 National Guard Heritage/AMP Energy Chevy will continue the tradition by featuring the modern uniform pattern that currently is being issued to Guard Soldiers serving in Afghanistan. The Guard offers many rewards for one's service, like providing excellent educational and financial benefits and paid specialized training in more than 200 career fields (Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on the #88 Team Schemes Page.(6-30-2011)

  • Daytona Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Daytona this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in these two series ran at Daytona in February, as well as at Talladega in April . . . they also ran this right-side tire code at Las Vegas in March . . . this left-side code has been run at Talladega since 2009 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 32-34 laps, based on fuel mileage. See full notes, codes, pressures on the Daytona Race Info page - Goodyear section.(6-30-2011)

  • Race To The Chase: Time To Get Moving: Reality of the NASCAR 26-race regular season sets in, and the fall-back motto of "It's still early" goes away quickly. And right now, it's gone. This portion of the season can be described as the "playoff push." Officially, it's coined "The Race To The Chase." Drivers need to take advantage of the few opportunities left in this regular season. Only 10 races remain between now and the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
    These 10 races – at 10 different tracks – provide a unique blend for competitors and fans. Some of the most unique and historic venues are represented. Some highlights: Daytona, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Watkins Glen, Bristol – the list goes on.
    Wild Card fever will likely sweep the garage – and fans' consciousness – during this critical portion of the schedule.
    After race No. 26 at Richmond, the top 10 drivers in points are locked into the 12-driver Chase field. Spots 11 and 12 go to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, provided they are in the top 20. Each contender is a potential storyline unto himself.
    Tony Stewart: Currently 12th, Stewart owns the top average Driver Rating at the upcoming 10 tracks (102.5). Overall, he has 22 wins at the upcoming 10 tracks, second only to Jeff Gordon's 35 among drivers in the top 20.
    Denny Hamlin: A 37th-place finish dropped him outside the top 10. But the stay shouldn't linger – Hamlin has nine wins and a Driver Rating of 99.4 at the upcoming 10 tracks.
    Greg Biffle: Now 13th, Biffle has five wins and 54 top 10s at the next 10 tracks.
    Juan Pablo Montoya: A couple of wins over the next 10 races isn't out of the question. He won last year's race at Watkins Glen, has a runner-up at Indianapolis and three top 10s at Daytona.
    Jamie McMurray: A two-time winner at Daytona, McMurray has to make up 55 points to get into the top 20.
    A key storyline from outside the top 20 is worth noting…
    Brad Keselowski: With a win, he's an immediate Wild Card contender. Now he needs to land in the top 20 – he's currently 22nd, 12 points out.(NASCAR)(6-30-2011)

  • The Entry List for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Terry Labonte is in the #32, #7-Robby Gordon is back in top-35 of owners pts.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #21-Trevor Bayne (36/10)(2011 race winner)
    #35-Geoffrey Bodine (51/1)
    #37-Tony Raines (39/16)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (38/16)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (40/16)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/16)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/16)
    #71-Andy Lally (37/16)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/169)
    #97-Kevin Conway (52/2)
    withdrew from the event:
    #81-Scott Riggs (47/7)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 21,71,38,37,46,66,87,60
    missing the race would be [2]: #'s 97,35
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Daytona Entry List.(6-27/30-2011)

  • Daytona 500: The Inside Story to premiere Thursday night: NASCAR comes to HD Theater [check listings for channel number] this summer with the heart-pounding special, Daytona 500: The Inside Story. The one-hour documentary, produced by award-winning NASCAR Media Group, will offer viewer's an exclusive look back at the unforgettable 53rd installment of motorsports' most iconic race. This year's running was one of the most emotionally-charged in NASCAR history, as it marked the tenth anniversary of the legendary Dale Earnhardt's death on the track's final turn at the 2001 Daytona 500. While race fans reflected upon this tragic event, the upset victory of an unlikely rookie emerged as the serendipitous backstory to this tale of the track. Daytona 500: The Inside Story on June 30 at 9:00pm/et/pt. With Daytona 500: The Inside Story , NASCAR Media Group captures an unforgettable week of tributes to the late Earnhardt that ended with Trevor Bayne's unthinkable drive into Victory Lane. This one-hour documentary delivers never-before-seen footage, extensive pit-to-car radio communication and exclusive interviews with some of NASCAR's biggest names.(Discovery)(6-30-2011)

  • Stars and Stripes for Harvick: Budweiser and #29-Kevin Harvick will celebrate Fourth of July this weekend at Daytona with a special patriotic paint scheme selected by adult NASCAR fans. The paint scheme - white with red and blue stars and stripes - won the online vote hosted on Budweiser's Facebook page by less than 700 votes after five weeks of voting. Harvick's #29 Chevrolet will also feature Folds of Honor, an organization that provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country, on the TV panel for Saturday night's race at Daytona. In addition to the special paint scheme, Budweiser has featured a limited-edition red, white and blue Patriotic Can from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July and will donate a portion of all sales, May 26 - July 10, to Folds of Honor (RCR), see images of the scheme on the #29 Team Schemes Page.(6-30-2011)

  • SPEED honors Richard Petty with documentary: Independence Day 1984 … The twofold historic significance of that memorable day may have been foreshadowed by the unprecedented command to start engines, delivered via telephone by President Ronald Reagan from aboard Air Force One en route to Daytona International Speedway. Seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Richard Petty won his 200th and final race July 4, 1984, in front of an audience that included the first sitting United States president ever to attend a NASCAR race. In honor of Petty's final win, SPEED and NASCAR Media Group examine one of NASCAR's finest hours in a one-hour documentary special entitled The Day: The 1984 Firecracker 400 premiering Thursday at 8:00pm/et. SPEED reflects on the landmark race from sunrise to sunset, focusing on the events and emotions for everyone involved, and how The King's victory and the president's visit left an indelible, defining and matchless mark on the sport. Petty, who celebrates his 74th birthday Saturday, retired at the conclusion of the 1992 season with 1,184 Cup Series starts (SPEED)(6-30-2011)

  • Special scheme for Kyle Busch at Daytona: Interstate All Battery Center stores promise to have "Every Battery for Every Need" with the expertise to solve any battery-related problem. So it's only appropriate that this weekend's new metallic and reflective green-and-gold scheme on the #18 Interstate All Battery Center Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will be driven by Kyle Busch, a driver who has proven he can win at every type of track. Busch will run the scheme at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Interstate All Battery Center stores promise to have "Every Battery for Every Need" with the expertise to solve any battery-related problem (JGR)(6-30-2011)

  • Burton and Ochocinco featured on TV Shows: Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevy, and NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco will be featured on various national shows over the next few days about their racing experience at Atlanta Motor Speedway. On Thursday, June 30th, Ochocinco will be LIVE on SportsCenter (ESPN) at 10:35 am/et with footage from the ride-a-long with Burton; Ochocinco will be LIVE on First Take (ESPN News) at 10:50 am/et with footage from the ride-a-long with Burton. Both Burton and Ochocinco will be featured on NASCAR Now (ESPN2) which begins at 5:00pm/et. On Saturday, July 2nd, Both Burton and Ochocinco will be featured on SPEEDs RaceDay which begins at 4:30pm/et. Burton will be LIVE on TNT's pre-race show to talk about his 600th Sprint Cup Series start and Thursday's event with Ochocinco (TNT) at 6:30 pm/et.(RCR)(6-30-2011)

  • Luke & Associates Extend Partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced that Florida-based Luke & Associates, Inc. extended the company's partnership to include associate placement on the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet driven by Dave Blaney. Luke & Associates previously announced a partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing fielding the #35 Luke & Associates Chevrolet driven by Geoffrey Bodine for five races. Luke & Associates will make the company's debut on both the #36 and #35 Chevys at Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400 on July 2. Luke will run associate logos on the #36 Chevrolet for the duration of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season. The company will adorn the hood of the No. 35 Luke & Associates Chevy at Daytona, Charlotte, Talladega, Texas and Homestead.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(6-30-2011)

  • Ernie Irvan to race in Canada: three of NASCAR's legendary stock car stars are scheduled to be at Flamboro Speedway near Hamilton on Friday, Canada Day, to take on some of the local regulars. Ernie Irvan, Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Schrader will join some top Ontario talent in Friday's Race of Champions event as part of Flamboro's 50th anniversary celebrations. More info on my Ernie Irvan page.(6-30-2011)

  • Race #100 for Ambrose: #9-Marcos Ambrose will be making his 100th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend at Daytona International Speedway in the Coke Zero 400, driving the #9 DeWalt Ford.(RPM)(6-30-2011)

  • Different look for Edwards at Daytona: The #99 Ford of Carl Edwards will have Subway as the primary sponsor at Daytona for the second of three races this season (Roush Fenway Racing), see images of the scheme on the #99 Team Schemes Page.(6-30-2011)

  • Auto Show at the NASCAR Hall of Fame: The NASCAR Automotive Group invites NASCAR fans and automotive enthusiasts in the Charlotte, N.C. area to get their July 4th weekend in top gear this year by heading out to the NASCAR Performance Auto Show, which will be held on the NASCAR Hall of Fame Ceremonial Plaza on Saturday, July 2, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm/et.
    NASCAR fans will have the opportunity to check out personal cars of some of their favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and personalities like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Ray Evernham and many more. The event will include games and giveaways, enter to win promotion featuring great prizes and experiences, exhibits by NASCAR automotive partners, NASCAR Hall of Fame discount offers, and passes for the Coke Zero 400 viewing party that night in the NASCAR Hall of Fame High Octane Theater.
    Notable personal cars of NASCAR stars set to be featured at the NASCAR Performance Auto Show. The NASCAR Performance Auto Show is the second in a series of car shows to hit the NASCAR Hall of Fame Ceremonial Plaza this year. Admission to the Auto Show is free. Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling 877-231-2010 or at www.NASCARHall.com.(NHOF)(6-30-2011)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord officials reach deal: Ending a long-running dispute over development incentives, the city of Concord said Wednesday it will pay $2.8 million to settle a lawsuit by Speedway Motorsports Inc. The move comes nearly four years after speedway owner Bruton Smith had threatened to move Charlotte Motor Speedway unless Concord dropped its objections to his plans for building an adjacent drag strip. Concord and Cabarrus County leaders went on to forge an $80 million incentives package in late 2007 so Smith would not move the speedway. As part of that deal, he would build the $60 million drag strip and make $200 million worth of improvements around the track. But the two sides later disagreed on whether that package was ever finalized, even as Smith proceeded with engineering and related studies for transportation improvements around the busy corridor. “This (settlement) closes one chapter and should restore the excellent relations we’ve had with Speedway Motorsports for these many years,” Concord Mayor Scott Padgett said. He said the city is receiving tangible items that will benefit its residents, while Smith is being paid for his expenses. As part of the settlement, the city will receive engineering documents as well as a greenway trail easement along the south side of Rocky River and other infrastructure easements. The documents will help the city and state save time and money for further area road improvements once state funding for those projects becomes available, Padgett said. There is no timetable for that work, however.
    The engineering reports that the city is acquiring cover several projects, including widening Bruton Smith Boulevard from I-85 to U.S. 29 and improving U.S. 29 from west of Morehead Road to east of the speedway. The greenway easement on speedway property will allow for future development of the Carolina Thread Trail, a regional network of trails and greenways. The settlement money will come out of Concord’s general fund over three fiscal years. Smith was out of town and not available for comment Wednesday afternoon. Speedway attorney Jared Gardner and speedway spokesman Scott Cooper declined to comment.(Charlotte Observer)(6-30-2011)


    News from June 29, 2011

  • Michael Waltrip running special scheme for Darrell at Kentucky UPDATE: The car Michael Waltrip will bring to Kentucky Speedway for the Cup race will sport a vintage paint scheme in honor his brother's career and induction to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. A three-time Cup champion, Darrell Waltrip won 84 career races. (Cincinnati Enquirer)(6-23-2011)
    UPDATE: Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip has enjoyed many special races in his career, but few will be as meaningful to the Owensboro, Ky. native as the July 9 inaugural NASCAR Sprint race at Kentucky Speedway. With the support of long-time sponsor Aaron's Inc., Michael will celebrate the election of his brother Darrell to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. He'll race an orange and white paint scheme similar to the Terminal Transport car Darrell drove to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at Nashville Speedway in 1975. Michael's Kentucky paint scheme also includes a photo of the Nashville victory lane celebration on each of the car's rear quarter panels and a picture of "DW" on the hood also taken at Nashville. The race at Kentucky marks Waltrip's 766th career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It marks his 1,054th combined start in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. He and Mark Martin are the only drivers to win in those series in four different decades.(MWR), see images of the scheme on the #15 Team Schemes page.(6-29-2011)

  • Truex's spotter to miss some races: Keith Barnwell, spotter for #56-Martin Truex Jr., will step away from the spotters stand for a while to help take care of family matters. The leave of absence starts this week at Daytona. Barnwell's Mom was recently diagnosed with cancer and just yesterday was moved into Hospice care. Barnwell said: "I just feel like I need to stay closer to home until Mom improves and beats this thing. Family comes first and I appreciate Ty Norris and the MWR team allowing me to take the time that I need to help get to where we need to be. When Mom improves enough, maybe I can jump back in and help out at least on race days". Norris will sub as Truex's spotter.(6-29-2011)

  • MWR to field full time Grand Am team in 2012: SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Michael Waltrip Racing will field a Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series entry in 2012. Team owners Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman recently drove a Ferrari 458 Italia in the 24 Hours of Lemans endurance event, and sources say thay are in Daytona Beach, FL, today talking with Grand Am boss Jim France about adding a sports car effort to their two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operation. Executive Vice President for Competition Steve Hallam will reportedly oversee the effort.(6-29-2011)

  • Smoke and Mirrors scheme for Bowyer: This weekend at Daytona in the Coke Zero 400, Wheaties FUEL will put "Bowyer in Black" as the #33 Chevy of driver Clint Bowyer will feature a black-and-orange paint scheme for the Coke Zero 400. The scheme was voted in last month by Bowyer's fans through a special online sweepstakes promotion. The winning Wheaties FUEL car paint scheme was announced on RCR's Facebook page and was the "Smoke & Mirrors" scheme.(RCR), see an image of the scheme on the #33 Team Schemes page.(6-29-2011)

  • UPS honoring Ned Jarrett with special scheme at Brickyard: UPS will pay tribute to Ned Jarrett's recent induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a commemorative design on David Ragan's #6 UPS Ford at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The throwback paint scheme was unveiled at Infineon Raceway and resembles Jarrett's 1965 championship-winning Ford Galaxie. UPS sponsored Jarrett's son and current broadcast analyst Dale Jarrett from 2001 to 2008 and both father and son appeared together in one of UPS's memorable "race the truck" NASCAR commercials. During the Indianapolis race weekend, Ragan's UPS Ford will feature a classic candy apple blue base design while also paying homage to Jarrett's nickname - Gentleman Ned - along the rear quarter panel. The #6 Ford will feature retro white wheels, which will stay on the car until the team's first pit stop, and showcase the UPS logo as it appeared in 1965.(Just Marketing/UPS Racing)(6-25-2011)
    see an image of the scheme on the #6 Team Schemes page.(6-29-2011)

  • Career start #600 for Burton: This weekend's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona will mark #31-Jeff Burton's 600th career start in NASCAR's premier division, ranking him 22nd on the All-Time Sprint Cup Series starts list. Burton is also tied with Bobby Labonte, Benny Parsons and Jack Smith for 29th on the all-time wins list with 21 victories. In 19 years of Sprint Cup Series competition, Burton has compiled six poles, 128 top-five and 237 top-10 finishes. Before heading to the 2.5-mile tri-oval in Daytona Beach, Burton will stop at Atlanta Motor Speedway Thursday morning where he will meet Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. The two will make hot laps before Ochocinco teams up with the #31 Caterpillar pit crew for a work out and pit stop instructional.(RCR)(6-29-2011)

  • Cassill returns to the #51 seat, Bliss to practice: After a one-week hiatus to let Boris Said tackle the Sonoma road course, Landon Cassill will return behind the wheel of the #51 Security Benefit/Thank A Teacher Today Chevy for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). This week's event will mark the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native's first Sprint Cup Series event at the famed 2.5-mile high-banked speedway. He comes in with a lot of confidence after finishing 12th two weeks ago at Michigan. The finish was his best in Sprint Cup competition. Prior to heading to Daytona, Cassill will spend this Thursday at the National Education Association's convention in Chicago, Ill. He will represent Security Benefit's Thank A Teacher Today program, signing autographs and taking pictures with thousands of dedicated educators. Mike Bliss will practice the car for Cassill on Thursday, before Cassill assumes driving duties on Friday. Phoenix Racing will be unloading the same car that they used at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this season. Cassill qualified the machine to a sixth-place starting position, but finished 31st after he was sidelined in an accident.(Phoenix Racing)(6-29-2011)

  • Crown Royal to end sponsorship of the #17 team UPDATE: Official Statement from Crown Royal: In evaluation of our NASCAR programming and after much consideration, we have made the decision to make a strategic shift to focus our resources against our annual Crown Royal "Your Name Here" program which awards race naming rights to an adult fan. The Your Name Here program has provided NASCAR fans with an experience that is unrivaled in sports and in recent years has shed light on some of the remarkable military servicemen and servicewomen who proudly serve our country. We look forward to elevating this program as well as continuing our presence in the sport through an experience that our fans have grown to love. The specific details regarding how we will honor these heroes at next year's entitlement will be announced at a later date.
    In shifting our strategy, we will end our sponsorships with Roush Fenway Racing and NASCAR upon the conclusion of the 2011 season. We have developed strong relationships with the people at both organizations - they have not only been fantastic business partners, but have also become our friends. We thank them for working with us throughout the years to showcase the importance of our social responsibility initiatives. We look forward to a strong finish to the 2011 season and like the many fans we've gained along the way, we'll never stop rooting for the #17 car on its way to Victory Lane.(Crown Royal PR)(6-28-2011)
    UPDATE: Statement from Roush Fenway Racing on Crown Royal: Roush Fenway Racing has been informed that Crown Royal will not return as the primary sponsor of Matt Kenseth and the #17 NASCAR Sprint Cup team for the 2012 season.
    "We are obviously disappointed with the news, but first we would like to thank Diageo and Crown Royal for a terrific partnership that has spanned almost a decade," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "They have been a first-class partner all the way around. We look forward to finishing out the season with them on the No. 17 as Matt and the Crown Royal team continue to contend for another championship. It's unfortunate that they will not be able to continue to be a part of our organization. Fortunately, our race programs are operating at a higher level than ever. The #17 is an attractive, championship-winning program with a storied history and Matt Kenseth an elite driver. We have already opened the door for discussions and are currently in the process of speaking with companies interested in taking over the program for next season and beyond."(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-29-2011)

  • Zippy back with Stewart? DENIED UPDATE 2: hearing that Greg Zipadelli, currently the crew chief for #20-Joe Logano, could be headed to Stewart-Haas Racing in the future. Greg Zipadelli would take over as the crew chief for #14-Tony Stewart, who he won two Sprint Cup titles with [2002, 2005]. Current #14 crew chief, Darian Grubb, would move into Bobby Hutchens old position of director of competition. Hutchens and Stewart-Haas recently parted ways. Hutchins was Stewart-Haas Racing's Director of Competition and Stewart said they are looking for a replacement. Matt Borland was promoted to vice president of competition and is serving as Stewart-Haas Racing's interim director of competition. Stewart said recently that "once that position is filled, the director of competition will report to Matt."(6-21-2011)
    UPDATE: There was a published report this week that Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's long-time crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing, might move to Stewart-Haas and Stewart's crew chief, Darian Grubb, would become the team's director of competition. "I laughed when I saw that," Stewart said. "It's not the first time I've read something that's not true."(Sports Illustrated)(6-22-2011)
    UPDATE 2: A rough start to a season that began with high expectations has Greg Zipadelli admittedly unhappy right now. But the crew chief downplayed speculation that he's so upset with how Joey Logano has been running he's considering reuniting with Tony Stewart. Zipadelli won 33 races and two titles with Stewart, but stayed at Joe Gibbs Racing when the driver left to own a team. Now that Stewart is seeking a director of competition -- he fired Bobby Hutchens earlier this month -- there's been talk that Zipadelli could move to Stewart-Haas Racing in some capacity. But Zipadelli said he's got two years left on his contract with JGR, and no immediate plans to leave the organization. "I love Tony, he's as close to me as my brother," Zipadelli said. "But that doesn't mean anything. I love the organization I work for, they've been very positive and very supportive for over 13 years. I learned a long time ago to never say never in this sport about anything." Stewart, while not speaking specifically about Zipadelli, said SHR isn't close to hiring a new competition director. "We haven't got anywhere yet. We are still looking at our options," he said. "It would be nice to have a person in that position. We definitely want to get that role filled. At the same time, we want to make sure just like we did when we hired Bobby, we want to make sure we're hiring the right person. So we'll take our time on it."(Associated Press)(6-29-2011)

  • Numbers for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona:
    0 – fewest cautions (seven times, most recent 2/18/62)
    1 – fewest laps led by race winner (four times, most recent 7/2/94, Jimmy Spencer)
    1 – fewest on lead lap at finish (eight times, most recent 2/15/76)
    1 – fewest leaders (four times, most recent 2/22/63)
    6 – fewest lead changes (twice, most recent 7/16/02)
    7 – races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    9 – wins by Dodge at DIS (last win in 2008)
    10 – most wins (Richard Petty); most Coke Zero 400 wins (5, David Pearson)
    11 – fewest cars running at finish (7/4/63)
    12 – most poles (Cale Yarborough, eight for the Coke Zero 400)
    16 – most cautions (2/20/11)
    20 – drivers with more than one pole
    22 – most leaders (2/20/11)
    26 – drivers with more than one win
    34 – most cars on lead lap at finish (7/1/06)
    39 – worst starting position for race winner (Matt Kenseth, 2/15/09)
    41 – most cars running at finish (twice, most recent 7/7/07)
    44 – races won from the front row, 25 from the pole
    53 – different pole winners
    55 – different winners in 105 races
    60 – most caution laps (twice, most recent 2/20/11)
    74 – most lead changes (2/20/11)
    151 – most laps led by Coke Zero 400 winner (Tony Stewart, 2005)
    184 – most laps led by race winner (Richard Petty, 2/23/64)
    2011 Caution Update
    3 – number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    4 – fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono)
    16 – most cautions this season (Daytona)
    125 – number of cautions in the first 16 races of 2011; includes 57 for accidents, 29 for debris and 20 for spins
    600 of 4,858 – number of laps under caution in 2011
    815.259 of 6,490.900 – miles under caution in the first 16 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(6-29-2011)

  • Red Bull Racing Team fires crew member for Twitter posting: Red Bull Racing Team fired crew member Jeremy Fuller on Tuesday for a comment he posted on Twitter this past weekend. Fuller posted a picture on his Twitter account of the back of a car that had a homemade, rainbow-colored sign that stated the car was headed to the San Francisco Pride parade, which celebrates the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movement. Under the photo, was the caption: "This is way (sic) I don't live here !'' The photo has since been removed. When asked about Fuller's status with the team (his Twitter bio stated he was a pit crew member at Red Bull and Turner Motorsports), Red Bull Racing issued this statement: "Red Bull Racing Team was made aware of comments posted to a contractor's Twitter account following this weekend's race. After investigating the matter, Red Bull Racing Team terminated the contractor's employment effective immediately. The race team regularly conducts diversity training and strictly enforces our team policies against any form of discrimination. We have zero tolerance for such violations and in no way support any of the comments posted by this individual.'' Fuller's Twitter bio on Tuesday was blank, no longer listing his employment at Red Bull or Turner Motorsports.(Virginian Pilot)(6-29-2011)

  • added the #6 UPS / Ned Jarrett Tribute and #33 Wheaties Fuel Smoke & Mirrors schemes

  • Florida State Head Football Coach Named Grand Marshal For The Coke Zero 400: Jimbo Fisher, head football coach for the Florida State Seminoles, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 2. Fisher will give the starting command, “Gentlemen start your engines,” in Saturday’s 160-lap, 400-mile race. He’ll also be introduced at the driver’s meeting, participate in the driver introductions and ride in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag. Fisher just completed his first season as head coach at Florida State with a 10-4 record. Fisher led the Seminoles to their first 10-win season since 2003, a victory over in-state rival Florida, an appearance in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game and a victory in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in Atlanta. Between 2007-09, Fisher served as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the Seminoles. Prior to joining Florida State, Fisher served as offensive coordinator at Louisiana State between 2000-06 and helped lead the Tigers to the National Championship in 2003. Fisher has also served as an assistant at Samford, Auburn and Cincinnati. The Coke Zero brand selected Coach Fisher for this honor, as Florida State will be one of many prominent schools featured in the brand’s fall program around college football rivalries. “I’m extremely honored and excited,” Fisher said. “I’ve been a huge NASCAR fan my entire life. Being able to go to Daytona, where it all started in racing, is a very special privilege and something I’m really looking forward to. I consider this a great honor and I want to thank Coca-Cola for allowing me to represent Florida State.” To purchase tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-29-2011)

  • Geico signs on to sponsor Chicago Cup race: Geico has signed a three-year deal to title sponsor Chicagoland Speedway's fall Sprint Cup Series race. The deal gives Geico significant exposure in one of the nation's largest media markets and a high-profile position as the naming-rights partner for the first race in the Chase for the NASACAR Sprint Cup. It's the first time the company has done a naming-rights agreement in any sport. Geico sponsors the #13 Toyota of Casey Mears in the Sprint Cup Series. Terms of the deal weren't available, but race title sponsorships typically sell for around $1 million a year. Sources said the Geico deal was backloaded so that the company would pay less this year and more in the final two years of the deal. It includes marketing and promotional commitments. Geico has not made a commitment to buy media for the race. That is sold separately by ESPN, which will televise the race. The deal with Geico closes out one of three open race title sponsorships for ISC. The company is in final negotiations on deals for Richmond and Talladega and expects to finalize deals later this summer.(Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal)(6-29-2011)

  • Fireworks at Daytona: Following Saturday’s Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, Daytona International Speedway will showcase the largest fireworks show in the Southeast. The 15-minute show will be shot from 15 different locations spread across the infield along the Superstretch. Here are some interesting numbers behind the show:
    -- Shell size ranging from 1” to 8”
    -- 10,000+ lbs of explosive powder
    -- 11,000 individual explosions
    The type of shells range from traditional type shells such as Chrysanthemum, Peonies, Dahlias, Willows and Salutes and specialty shells such as, Smiley Faces, Star Patterns, Double Rings, 4 Color Changing, Shell of Shells, Crossettes, Strobing Diadems, Twilight Glitters and vibrant new pastel colors. The finale will last for approximately one minute, 30 seconds and will have over 2,000 individual pieces. The show uses enough control wire to wrap a lap around the 2.5-mile track. To purchase tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-29-2011)

  • Super Ball IX at Watkins Glen in July: For the first time in almost 40 years, legendary Watkins Glen International will host a major music festival that will feature a national recording artist. The rock band PHISH will host their 9th multiday festival, Super Ball IX, at The Soul of American Road Racing this July 1st thru 3rd. The Glen earned a place in United States musical history as the site of the famed Summer Jam that featured headlining artists The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers and The Band. Reportedly attracting over 600,000 people to Schuyler County in 1973, Summer Jam held the Guinness Book world record for the largest outdoor concert ever held in the U.S. Super Ball IX will be the first time that Phish has ever performed at Watkins Glen International or any other motorsports facility promising a unique experience for the band’s dedicated fans. The 3-day event weekend will feature a series of performances by the New England-based band along with numerous activities, attractions and art installations. Tickets start at $200 and include admission for the entire weekend as well as convenient onsite camping. Additional camping and travel packages will also be available. For additional details, visit www.superballix.com.(WGI)(6-29-2011)


    News from June 28, 2011

  • Affliction Clothing expands sponsorship with Kenseth: Affliction Clothing, who debuted as a primary sponsor for 2003 Cup Series Champion Matt Kenseth and his #17 Roush Fenway Racing team earlier this season, added two more races of primary sponsorship to the 2011 Sprint Cup Series schedule. Affliction will serve as the sponsor for Kenseth and the #17 team for the Sprint Cup Series race weekends in July at Daytona International Speedway as well as the July 17th race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "It's always great to bring a new sponsor to our team, but it's even more thrilling to have them add more races to their sponsorship," said Kenseth, driver of the #17 Affliction Clothing Live Fast Ford. "We're proud to have Affliction Clothing as part of our Roush Fenway organization and are looking forward to another pair of great races representing their brand."
    "We enjoyed Matt and the Roush Fenway team's performance at both of our sponsored races and are looking forward to watching Matt race the No.17 Affliction Ford at Daytona" said Tom Atencio, Vice President of Entertainment and Sports Marketing for Affliction Clothing. The Affliction family of brands exists at the intersection between the spirited artistry and hard edged attitude of the fast-living modern generation.(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-28-2011)

  • Crown Royal to end sponsorship of the #17 team: Official Statement from Crown Royal: In evaluation of our NASCAR programming and after much consideration, we have made the decision to make a strategic shift to focus our resources against our annual Crown Royal "Your Name Here" program which awards race naming rights to an adult fan. The Your Name Here program has provided NASCAR fans with an experience that is unrivaled in sports and in recent years has shed light on some of the remarkable military servicemen and servicewomen who proudly serve our country. We look forward to elevating this program as well as continuing our presence in the sport through an experience that our fans have grown to love. The specific details regarding how we will honor these heroes at next year's entitlement will be announced at a later date.
    In shifting our strategy, we will end our sponsorships with Roush Fenway Racing and NASCAR upon the conclusion of the 2011 season. We have developed strong relationships with the people at both organizations - they have not only been fantastic business partners, but have also become our friends. We thank them for working with us throughout the years to showcase the importance of our social responsibility initiatives. We look forward to a strong finish to the 2011 season and like the many fans we've gained along the way, we'll never stop rooting for the #17 car on its way to Victory Lane.(Crown Royal PR)(6-28-2011)

  • 22 cents off fuel at Shell on Wednesday: Kurt Busch and the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge captured a big win on Sunday with a victory in Sonoma at Infineon Raceway. As a result of this win, Shell Saver Card holders win too! Through November 20, 2011 every time Kurt wins a points race Shell Saver Card holders can save 22 cents per gallon as part of a special racing promotion known as "WINsdays." As a result of Kurt's weekend win, current Shell Saver Card holders will see their additional savings reflected on their bank statement when they purchase Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines or Shell Diesel this Wednesday, June 29, 2011.(Pennzoil)(6-28-2011)

  • TNT NASCAR Coverage Averaging Nearly 5.1 Million Viewers: TNT's coverage on Sunday of the Toyota/SaveMart 350 from Sonoma's Infineon Raceway earned a 3.2 U.S. HH rating, an increase of 17% from last year's race. In addition, the race garnered 5,188,000 total viewers (up + 16%) and averaged 3,743,000 households (up + 21%). The TNT NASCAR 2011 Sprint Cup Series is off to a solid start through the network's first three weeks of racing with an average of 5,097,000 viewers, up +7% over the 2010 total season average, and a 3.1 U.S. HH rating (up +3%).(Turner Sports), see race-by-race, 4 season chart on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(6-28-2011)

  • Earnhardt, Jr. contract renewal in final stages: Rick Hendrick said he's down to the final paperwork on signing #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. to an extension of three to five years. The owner of Hendrick Motorsports isn't sure when the announcement will be made, but he said Earnhardt wants to keep it low-key.(ESPN.com)(6-28-2011)

  • Sprint using promotion to reward drivers, fans: 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)

  • National Rifle Association / Bass Pro on the #39 at Daytona: Bass Pro Shops has partnered with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to sponsor the #39 Chevy driven by Ryan Newman in the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race at Daytona. The one-race primary sponsorship is an extension of Bass Pro Shops' overall relationship with Stewart-Haas Racing and team co-owner Tony Stewart. Bass Pro Shops has served as an associate sponsor of Stewart-Haas Racing since the team's inception in 2009 and has been a primary sponsor of Stewart's World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series team since 2005. The outdoor retailer has also been a personal sponsor of Stewart since 2002. Headquartered in Springfield, Mo., Bass Pro Shops has a long and natural affiliation with the NRA. The NRA is well-known for its defense of the second amendment, but its conservation initiatives are just as robust, assuring quality hunting opportunities for future generations through the managed use of wildlife and other natural resources.(True Speed Communications), see an image of the car on my #39 team paint schemes page.(6-28-2011)

  • Johnson Earns Two ESPY Nominations; Bayne one: #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)

  • McDowell settles suit over go-kart track: The owners of a more than century-old farm have given up their legal fight against NASCAR driver Michael McDowell's planned go-kart track off Mazeppa Road, after McDowell's DryLake Entertainment LLC agreed to pay them $14,000 to settle the case, court records show. Linda Overcash said she and other landowners who filed the lawsuit against DryLake and the town of Mooresville last year couldn't afford the $20,000 in lawyer fees to continue the case before the N.C. Court of Appeals. Iredell County Superior Court Judge Charles Lamm ruled against the landowners in March, saying the town's decision to grant DryLake a conditional use permit allowing the track to open wasn't "arbitrary or capricious" and contained no errors of law. Lamm also ruled that landowners failed to present evidence that they'll suffer damages because of the town's decision. McDowell is partnering with ARCA driver Justin Marks on their 31.68-acre Mooresville Motorplex project in the town's Mazeppa Road Park. Their company paid the town $821,431 for the property, which is at the far end of the park. McDowell and Marks agreed to certain conditions before the board's 2010 vote, including that they will limit use of the track to between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. weekdays and Saturdays, and 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sundays.(Charlotte Observer)(6-28-2011)

  • At Daytona International Speedway:
    • Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959.
    • Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona.
    • Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under lights ever since.
    • For only the second time in its history, Daytona International Speedway was repaved in 2010. The project began on Monday, July 5, 2010.
    • There have been 128 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 53 have been 500 miles, 48 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifying races that were points races.
    • Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona.
    • Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, the 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500.
    • Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959.
    • Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400.
    • 53 drivers have posted poles; 20 have more than one.
    • Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles.
    • Bill Elliott leads all active drivers with five poles; followed by Jeff Gordon and Ken Schrader, with three.
    • 55 drivers have won a race; 26 have won more than once.
    • Richard Petty leads all drivers in victories, with 10.
    • Jeff Gordon has six victories, more than any other active driver.
    • The Wood Brothers have won 15 races at Daytona, more than any other car owner.
    • 17 full-length races at Daytona have been won from the pole, including last year's Coke Zero 400, won by polesitter Kevin Harvick.
    • A driver has swept both races at Daytona only four times, most recently by Bobby Allison, in 1982.
    • The last 11 Daytona races that finished under green have had a margin of victory under a half second.
    (NASCAR)(6-28-2011)

  • Stock-Car Montréal looking to for grant to retain Montreal Nationwide race: 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)


    News from June 27, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Terry Labonte is in the #32, #7-Robby Gordon is back in top-35 of owners pts.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #21-Trevor Bayne (36/10)(2011 race winner)
    #35-Geoffrey Bodine (51/1)
    #37-Tony Raines (39/16)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (38/16)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (40/16)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/16)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/16)
    #71-Andy Lally (37/16)
    #81-Scott Riggs (47/7)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/169)
    #97-Kevin Conway (52/2)
    In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 21,71,38,37,46,66,87,60
    missing the race would be [1]: #'s 81,97,35
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Daytona Entry List.(6-27-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of Infineon: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Recording began at the Invocation of the race at 3:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:15 PM (all times are EST). TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 110
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 56
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 48
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 7 min. 20 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:15 PM
    Total minutes: 195
    Minutes of race broadcast: 143
    Minutes of commercials: 52
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 143 Total comm. brdcst time 52
    See more details, links and past races on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(6-27-2011)

  • Fox interested in moving some races to SPEED: UPDATE: Fox has held informal discussions with NASCAR about a new TV rights agreement that would allow the network to put some of its Sprint Cup races on Speed. David Hill, Fox Sports chairman, said Fox would like to see some of the 13 regular-season races it televises on Speed. A Fox source said the company could ask for as many as six races for the network. Fox is five years into an eight-year, $1.76 billion contract with NASCAR that mandates Fox televise all of its Sprint Cup races on its broadcast channel except for two non-points, specialty events - the Sprint All-Star Race and the Gatorade Duels from Daytona, which air on Speed. If it wants to move regular-season Cup races to Speed before its contract expires in 2014, it would have to amend its agreement. Fox sources were skeptical such a move would be made before the contract ends. The move would allow Speed to use live NASCAR broadcasts to increase the license fee that cable and satellite operators pay each month, which is currently around 30 cents, according to sources. In addition to talking about putting Sprint Cup races on Speed, Fox has raised the possibility of making NASCAR a stakeholder in Speed and turning it into a joint-venture project. Sources familiar with those conversations said that they have been ongoing for several years. By partnering with NASCAR on Speed, Fox could avoid competing with the property if it decided to launch its own channel.(Sports Business Journal)(6-20-2011)
    UPDATE: Even though Fox confirmed recently it was considering moving some of its races to Speed, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said Sunday at Infineon Raceway that the question is still open. "We're having a lot of discussions right now," France told Sporting News before the Toyota/Save Mart 350. "We're unsure where that's going to go. We're having good discussions, and they're our partner for a long time. We've got to make sure that all of our interests get met. We're not at that place (of moving the races to Speed). There are going to be a lot of discussions. That's just not a direction we're going right now." As to the Cup schedule itself, France says there won't be as many big changes as there have been over the past two seasons. "I'm not anticipating any significant changes," France said. "There are always requests and always tweaks-but nothing like we've done in the last couple of years, when we made some significant changes, so I don't anticipate that."(Sporting News)(6-27-2011)

  • Infineon Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • This is Kurt Busch's 23rd Cup Series victory, moving him into a tie for 26th on the all-time win list with Ricky Rudd.
    • Kurt Busch is the 11th different winner in 16 races this season.
    • This is Kurt Busch's sixth consecutive finish of 14th or better.
    • Kurt Busch is the seventh different race winner in the past seven Infineon races.
    • This is Kurt Busch's first career Cup Series road course victory in 21 starts.
    • This is Penske Racing's 68th Cup Series victory and second in 2011.
    • Jeff Gordon (second) has finished ninth or better in the past six Infineon races -- the longest current streak. Gordon extended a 17-race streak of running at the finish.
    • Carl Edwards (third) matched his career-best road course finish set at Watkins Glen (2009).
    • Clint Bowyer (fourth) matched his career-best road course finish set at Infineon (2007, 2008). Bowyer has finished eighth or better in four of the past five races at Infineon.
    • Marcos Ambrose (fifth) scored his sixth consecutive finish of sixth or better in his past six road course races.
    • Joey Logano (sixth) scored his best finish and first top-10 in three races at Infineon and his first top-10 on a road course.
    • Jimmie Johnson (seventh) has top-10 finishes in his past three Infineon races.
    • Kevin Harvick (ninth) posted his sixth consecutive finish of 14th or better in 2011.
    • Matt Kenseth (14th) scored his fourth consecutive top-15 finish.
    • Tony Stewart (39th) scored his career-worst road course finish in 25 races. His previous worst finish on a road course was 28th (2006 at Infineon).
    (NASCAR.com/Racing Recall)(6-27-2011)

  • Earnhardt, Jr. appearing at Bristol AMP Energy Club: AMP Energy/National Guard driver #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., certainly will amp up the crowd at the World's Fastest Half-Mile Saturday night, Aug. 27 as he vies for the coveted IRWIN Tools Night Race trophy. Prior to him hitting the concrete for the IRWIN Tools Night Race, fans have the opportunity to be in the audience when Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to make an appearance in the hospitality area at the Amp Energy Club that afternoon. The Amp Energy Club features an exclusive member's-only gift pack, a Saturday track tour, door prizes, entertainment, a souvenir program, and NASCAR celebrity appearances. Individual hospitality seating in the Amp Energy Club is available for the Food City 250 on Friday, Aug. 20, the IRWIN Tools Night Race or in a weekend package. A weekend package is $270 per person. Saturday only is $180 and Friday only is $110.(BMS)(6-27-2011)


    News from June 26, 2011

  • Kurt Busch wins at Infineon: #22-Kurt Busch won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway for his 1st win of 2011 and 23rd win of his career. It is also his 1st road course win and he led 75 laps on the day.
    #24-Gordon finished second, followed by #99-Edwards, #33-Bowyer, #9-Ambrose, #20-Logano, #48-Johnson, #56-Truex, Jr., #29-Harvick, and #2-Keselowski. Edwards' second place finish expanded his point lead to 25 over Harvick.
    There were 12 lead changes among 9 drivers; 5 cautions for 17 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 93,000, up from 90,000 last June.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, June 29 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Infineon Race Results/Awards page.(6-26-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Infineon:
    Kurt Busch won the 23rd Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350, his 23rd victory in 380 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He ties Ricky Rudd for 23rd on all-time victory list.
    This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2011.His last win was May 30, 2010 in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He breaks a 38-race winless streak.
    This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 11 races at Infineon Raceway. This is his first road race victory. He was second in 2002 at Infineon Raceway.
    Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 19 races at Infineon Raceway. It is his sixth top-10 finish in 2011.
    Carl Edwards (third) posted his third top-10 finish in seven races at Infineon Raceway.
    Andy Lally (35th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 25 points over Kevin Harvick.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-16-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Infineon, race 16 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 573
    2) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 548, -25
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 540, -33
    4) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 539, -34
    5) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 536, -37
    6) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 521, -52
    7) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 503, -65
    8) #33-Clint Bowyer, 496, -77
    9) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 480, -93
    10) #39-Ryan Newman, 475, -98
    wild cards
    11) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 463, -110
    12) #14-Tony Stewart, 460, -113 [12th in points]
    Two race winners are not inside the top-20: #2-Keselowski is 22nd, 12 pts out of 20th; #78-Smith is 28th, 59 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.(6-26-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Daytona:
    With the #21 team skipping Infineon, they fell out of the top 35. #7-Gordon is now locked in at Daytona and Bayne will have to qualify on time.
    31) #51-Cassill/Phoenix, 272, +86
    32) #36-Blaney/TBR, 244, +71
    33) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 235, +34
    34) #13-Mears/Germain, 229, +28
    35) #7-RGordon/RGM, 204, +3 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 201, 3 points out of top 35
    37) #71-Lally/TRG, 185, -19
    38) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 173, -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.(6-26-2011)

  • Unusual pit selections at Infineon: At an oval track, it's a no-brainer that the top qualifier will choose pit stall No. 1, closest to the exit from pit road. So why did Greg Zipadelli, crew chief for polesitter #20-Joey Logano, choose pit stall No. 11-just short of the start/finish line-for Sunday's race? Quite simply, there are considerations at the 1.99-mile road course that don't apply at an oval track. Here's the explanation:
    Given the likelihood of green-flag pit stops and the danger of running out of fuel, Zipadelli opted for a pit stall that gives the team room to push-start the car in a situation where it's out of gas. There's a small opening in front of pit stall No. 11, which would give the team room to push the car without rolling through another team's pit box.
    AJ Allmendinger's crew chief, Mike Shiplett, chose pit stall No. 1 with the seventh pick. Yes, there's a clear exit from pit road, but there's also a risk. If Allmendinger happens to run out of fuel, his team won't be able to push-start the car, because of the proximity of pit stall No. 1 to the racing surface. That's why the first 10 stalls at Infineon aren't popular picks with most crew chiefs.(Sporting News), see all the picks on my Pit Stall Selection chart. (6-26-2011)

  • Kahne would like to get in the #5...for testing: #4-Kasey Kahne won't deny that he'd like to be in a Hendrick Motorsports car before the end of the 2011 season. But, the Red Bull Racing driver says he'd like to do so for testing purposes only. Speaking at a media luncheon in San Francisco on Thursday, Kahne said he had not spoken to team owner Rick Hendrick, for whom he will drive in 2012, since news of Red Bull's departure as a team owner in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series broke earlier in the week. "I was racing all week, so I didn't talk to Mr. Hendrick about that," Kahne said. "I know I'd like to test their car before the season is over. As far as where I'm at, and being at Red Bull, I really enjoy it and want to finish it. I'd like to get in the 5 car and see what it's like before next season starts; that way I have an idea of how their engines feel and how their cars drive to what I have now. [It would be] something that we can look at through the off season."(Scene Daily)(6-26-2011)

  • Drivers appear in A&E's The Glades TONIGHT: Sprint Cup Series drivers #99-Carl Edwards, #20-Joey Logano, #14-Tony Stewart and #83-Brian Vickers will pull double-duty of sorts, playing themselves in Sunday night's episode of the popular A&E drama The Glades. Set to air on Sunday, June 26 at 10 p.m. ET on A&E, the episode "Moonlighting" will explore the murder investigation of Cole Hunter, the fictitious mechanic for NASCAR driver Trey Lancer. In his search for the truth, Jim Longworth - played by Matt Passmore - centers much of his attention inside the NASCAR garage, where he meets NASCAR stars Edwards, Logano, Stewart and Vickers. Filmed earlier this year, the NASCAR scenes in Sunday's episode of The Glades were shot at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(NASCAR)(6-26-2011)

  • Sad News - Jimmy Summerour: Former drag racer and NASCAR car builder Jimmy Summerour, of Auburn, Georgia, passed away early Friday morning, June 24. He was 77 years of age. Born in 1934 in Atlanta, Georgia, Summerour worked for NASCAR racer Gober Sosebee. In 1960, he built race cars for NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) racer Johnny Allen, along with building cars for T.C. Hunt, Charlie Mincey and Bill Taylor.(Raceweek Illustrated). Survivors include: his wife, Brenda; son, Joe; daughter, Cynthia Morris; and grandson, Justin.
    Info on services and full obit at Barrow County News.(6-25-2011)

  • Save Mart Supermarkets Signs Multi-Year Extension with Infineon Raceway: Save Mart Supermarkets has signed a multi-year agreement to continue as co-title sponsor of the annual Sprint Cup Series event at Infineon Raceway, track officials announced. The partnership continues the raceway's long-standing relationship with Save Mart Supermarkets, a Modesto-based grocery chain. Save Mart has been either title sponsor or co-title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Infineon Raceway since 1992. Save Mart Supermarkets' status as either title or co-title partner of the annual Cup event in Sonoma is one of the longest runs in all of NASCAR Cup racing. It celebrates its 20-year anniversary in 2011 as a sponsor of NASCAR in Sonoma. Save Mart served as title sponsor of the NASCAR Cup event from 1992-1997. It has combined with partners as co-title sponsor of the event since 1998. The last five years, the event has been known as the Toyota/Save Mart 350. The new agreement is for five years, extending through 2016.(Infineon Raceway)(6-26-2011)

  • Infineon installs solar panels: Infineon Raceway, in partnership with Panasonic, has completed a major milestone in energy conservation with the successful installation of 1,652 solar panels at the famed Northern California raceway. The high-efficiency solar panels, manufactured by Panasonic's Sanyo division, will cover 41-percent of the raceway's energy usage. In a further move designed to reduce energy consumption, Panasonic has also provided the raceway with a low-energy LED video board, replacing the current installation on Highway 37. To emphasize the importance of energy conservation, Infineon Raceway had the solar panels installed so that they would be visible to the majority of fans attending events at the facility. Panels have been placed above the Turn 10 Sound Wall, the Main Grandstand, the administration office and the Raceway Café, as well as the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School building.(Infineon Raceway)(6-26-2011)


    News from June 25, 2011

  • Happy hour practice for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway is over, after 75 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #2-Keselowski 91.725
    #1-McMurray 91.623
    #22-Busch 91.591
    #42-Montoya 91.560
    #33-Bowyer 91.361
    slowest: #87-Nemechek 89.229 & #37-Cook 88.643. no speed: #60-Skinner, #13-Mears.
    notes: there was a caution thrown when #6-Ragan ran out of fuel.
    See speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Infineon Practice Speeds Page. (6-26-2011)

  • First Saturday practice for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #1-McMurray 92.295
    #22-Busch 92.073
    #33-Bowyer 91.785
    #18-Busch 91.781
    #43-Allmendinger 91.695
    slowest: #66-Mayhew 88.634 & #37-Cook 88.183.
    See speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Infineon Practice Speeds Page.(6-26-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #20-Logano chose pit stall 11, the first just before the start/finish line.
    Outside pole sitter #1-McMurray took pit stall 22, the next stall with an opening behind it.
    #27-Menard, who starts 3rd took the 23rd pit stall.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #5-Martin, who starts 16th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-24-2011)

  • Rick Ware Racing teams up with #37 team: UPDATE: Rick Ware Racing (RWR) announced that 2009 Trans Am Series Champion, and Rolex Grand Am Series and American Le Mans Series driver, Tomy Drissi has joined their organization. Tomy Drissi's arrival marks the beginning of the newly formed alignment with Sprint Cup Series team, Front Row Motorsports #37 for RWR at the upcoming road course events and possibly some premier oval track dates as well. Drissi will drive the #37 RWR-Rise of the Planet of the Apes Ford at Infineon Raceway this weekend for the organization and then race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Watkins Glen and Montreal later this season as well as the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona road race that strangely he has wanted to race his entire career but never given the opportunity until now. "Having Tomy Drissi in our camp marks exciting times for RWR," stated Rick Ware. "I have watched Tomy race his entire career and to have him race for us and our alignment with Front Row Motorsports will provide another avenue for our marketing partners here at RWR."(Rick Ware Racing), the movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, stars James Franco and is scheduled to be in theaters on August 5th. See an image of the car on my #37 team paint schemes page.(6-21-2011)
    UPDATE: Drissi was reportedly not approved to run the race by NASCAR, so the team hired Chris Cook to drive this weekend.(6-25-2011)

  • Vickers would return to Red Bull but keeping options open: #83-Brian Vickers hasn't ruled out a return to Red Bull Racing if investors can be found to keep the two-car Sprint Cup organization running beyond this season. "I'm going to keep all my options open," Vickers said Friday at Infineon Raceway. "I built a home here for five years. I'm really happy here. There's a lot of great people at Red Bull Racing. I was one of the first employees and I've watched it grow from the beginning and would like to think I contributed to that process. Yeah, there's a huge part of me that wants to stay. There are so many other dominoes that have to fall first," he said. Vickers is optimistic investors can be found, adding he knows "there are a couple of them out there" that general manager Jay Frye and Red Bull executives in Austria are talking to. He would not elaborate on who those investors might be.(ESPN.com)(6-25-2011)

  • Bowyer says he plans to stay at RCR: #33-Clint Bowyer said Friday the only thing standing in the way of a three-year extension at Richard Childress Racing is sponsorship money. "I've said from Day 1 that I want to stay at RCR and we're actively pursuing that," Bowyer said at Infineon Raceway. "As far as I'm concerned, sign us up for three more years." Bowyer is in the final year of his contract with RCR. His name was recently linked as a replacement for Kasey Kahne at Red Bull, but any potential deal fell apart when Red Bull said this week it will leave NASCAR at the end of the season. Bowyer acted surprised Friday by all the Red Bull talk, and blamed the media for creating stories. When news of Red Bull's departure broke, Bowyer said he was golfing and his phone blew up with friends asking him what he'll do next.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(6-25-2011)

  • 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)

  • Montoya close to contract renewal with EGR? UPDATE: Expect an announcement within the next two weeks that #42-Juan Pablo Montoya will re-up with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates for next season. A high-ranking team executive confirmed Sunday that EGR will remain a two-car team in 2012, with most of existing sponsors intact.(Ford Racing)(6-21-2011)
    UPDATE: Elsewhere on the Silly Season front, Juan Pablo Montoya said he expects to return to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates next year. Asked about the status of his new contract, Montoya said, “We’re pretty close. I think we’re pretty close, yeah.” Pressed about a timetable, Montoya added, “We’ll see. When it’s ready you will know.”(SPEED)(6-25-2011)

  • UPS honoring Ned Jarrett with special scheme at Brickyard: UPS will pay tribute to Ned Jarrett's recent induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a commemorative design on David Ragan's #6 UPS Ford at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The throwback paint scheme was unveiled at Infineon Raceway and resembles Jarrett's 1965 championship-winning Ford Galaxie. UPS sponsored Jarrett's son and current broadcast analyst Dale Jarrett from 2001 to 2008 and both father and son appeared together in one of UPS's memorable "race the truck" NASCAR commercials. During the Indianapolis race weekend, Ragan's UPS Ford will feature a classic candy apple blue base design while also paying homage to Jarrett's nickname - Gentleman Ned - along the rear quarter panel. The No. 6 car will feature retro white wheels, which will stay on the car until the team's first pit stop, and showcase the UPS logo as it appeared in 1965.(Just Marketing/UPS)(6-25-2011)

  • MAHLE Clevite to Present Engine Builder Award In Pre-Race: MAHLE Clevite Inc. will show its appreciation to our country's military by having 11 Marines as the company's guests this weekend for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA. The Marines from the 23rd Marine Regiment are based out of nearby San Bruno, CA. They will be treated to a "behind the scenes" tour of the pits and garage area on race day, meet with various NASCAR personalities, and will be in Victory Lane at the race's conclusion for photographs with the winning driver and team.
    Two of the Marines - Major Nathan Fenell from Colorado and Master Sergeant Shawn Stringham from Wyoming - will have a special duty during driver introductions, and will present the $5,000 check for the MAHLE Engine Builder of the Race to #11-Denny Hamlin who will accept on behalf of the Joe Gibbs Racing Engine Shop.
    MAHLE Clevite is a longtime NASCAR Partner and sponsors the MAHLE Clevite Engine Builder of the Year Award, which hands out $100,000 at season's end. As part of the program, a weekly check of $5,000 is given away in pre-race ceremonies at each Sprint Cup Series race. Joining Fenell and Stringham are: Chief Hospital Corpsmen Kevin Avila (California) and Raul Valdez (California); Sergeants Harry Taylay (Missouri), Misael Garcia (California), Victor Perez (California), Timothy Hallisy (California), Jonathan Morris (Oregon), Robert Burke (Delaware); and Corporal Rory Roberts (California). MAHLE Clevite's dedication to the military parallels Infineon Raceway, which has programs "Tickets For Troops" and the "Sonoma Salutes Our Troops," both putting the Armed Forces front-and-center at all of its motorsports events.(MAHLE PR)(6-25-2011)

  • Free Monday Breakfast after Atlanta race: Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announced the three-day NASCAR weekend will be extended, offering activities on Monday morning following the AdvoCare 500. Returning for the second year, Breakfast on Bruton will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the NASCAR Nationwide Series garage area on Monday, Sept. 5. Breakfast on Bruton was created by Atlanta Motor Speedway chairman Bruton Smith as a way to thank fans for attending the Sept. 2-4 racing events at the speedway. Fans will be asked to show their ticket from Sunday night's AdvoCare 500 for admission. Beginning at 8:00 a.m., those in attendance will also be able to drive their own vehicles around the 1.54-mile oval for $30 in the Speedway Children's Charities' "Laps for Charity." For an additional $10, participants can have their picture taken afterward in Victory Lane. All monies collected from both experiences will go to Speedway Children's Charities.(Atlanta PR)(6-25-2011)


    News from June 24, 2011

  • Logano wins Infineon pole: #20-Joey Logano won the Coors Light pole for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at at Infineon Raceway with a speed of 93.884mph. It is his 1st pole of the season and the 2nd of his career. #1-McMurray starts 2nd followed by #27-Menard, #11-Hamlin, #39-Newman, #4-Kahne, #43-Allmendinger, #9-Ambrose, #33-Bowyer, and #83-Vickers.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #87-Nemechek, #77-Jones, #60-Skinner, #66-Mayhew (in for McDowell), #81-Simo, #71-Lally, #37-Cook, and #46-Pilgrim.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #38-Ave.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Infineon Raceway Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page. (6-24-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Infineon:
    Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 23rd Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 with a lap of 76.821 seconds, 93.256 mph.
    This is his second pole in 91 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. His first pole came on 3/21/10 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    This is his first pole and ninth top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his first pole in three races at Infineon Raceway. His previous best start, 12th, came in 2009.
    Jamie McMurray (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2011 and his third in nine races at Infineon Raceway.
    Paul Menard (third) posted his first top-10 start at Infineon Raceway. It is his seventh in 16 races this season.
    Andy Lally (41st) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(6-24-2011)

  • Edwards and McDowell doing double duty: UPDATE: Carl Edwards will leave his #60 Nationwide Mustang to Roush performance Continental Tire Challenge Series driver Billy Johnson on Friday for all its Road America practice, while Edwards practices and qualifies his #99 at Infineon Raceway. Edwards' Cup car will sit silent on Saturday and he's told his team no one else can drive it while he goes to Wisconsin for his qualifying, sponsor appearances and the Bucyrus 200. Michael McDowell will first go to Road America for the opportunity to win the Nationwide race driving JGR's #18 typically wielded by Kyle Busch. While he's there, Cup owner Phil Parsons said K&N Pro Series West driver David Mayhew -- who's had some opportunities with Kevin Harvick Inc., will practice and qualify Parsons' #66, which McDowell will race on Sunday.(NASCAR.com)(6-24-2011)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Billy Johnson, who led the first practice session on Friday at Road America, will drive the #60 Fastenal Mustang in Saturday’s Bucyrus 200 Nationwide Series road course race. Carl Edwards, who was originally slated to drive the car at Road America, will remain in Sonoma, Calif. and concentrate on his Sprint Cup effort.(Roush Fenway)(6-25-2011)

  • Qualifying Order for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway is posted. 44 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 #38-Ave, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #22-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 Infineon Qualifying Page.(6-24-2011)

  • Friday practice for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #22-Busch 93.014
    #11-Hamlin 92.559
    #4-Kahne 92.546
    #29-Harvick 92.361
    #56-Truex, Jr. 92.359
    slowest: #46-Pilgrim 89-597 & #38-Ave 89.170.
    notes: #6-Ragan ran off course early but was able to drive away without hitting anything. #7-Gordon also slid off track but avoided damage.
    This session will set the qualifying order for tonight's qualifying, with slowest out first and fastest out last, all cars, the field is not separated by top-35 in owners points anymore.
    See speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Infineon Practice Speeds Page.(6-24-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #66-Michael McDowell, 33rd
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 36th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 38th
    #71-Andy Lally, 39th
    #37-Chris Cook, 40th
    #77-PJ Jones, 41st
    #81-Brian Simo, 42nd
    #46-Andy Pilgrim, 43rd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #38-Tony Ave, 44th
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • NASCAR increasing road course pace car/pit road speeds: Beginning this weekend at Infineon Raceway, NASCAR officials have increased the caution car speeds by five miles per hour at all four NASCAR-sanctioned road courses – Infineon, Watkins Glen International, Road America and Circuit-Gilles Villeneuve. Pit road speeds also have been increased by 5 miles per hour at Watkins Glen and Infineon. The changes will help alleviate engine strain caused by elevation changes, explained John Darby, NASCAR’s managing director of competition and Sprint Cup Series director. “With cars going uphill and downhill, plus the way teams have developed their cars and gear ratios, the speeds were too slow,” Darby said. “Engines were overheating, especially with extended caution periods.” This weekend’s caution car speed at Infineon and Road America is 45 mph. Pit road speed is 40 mph at Infineon and 35 mph at Road America.(NASCAR)(6-24-2011)

  • Rheem debuting on the #29 at Infineon: For the first time since 2009, Richard Childress Racing and Rheem are teaming up on the race track and the partnership takes center stage this weekend in Sonoma, Calif., for the running of the Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. Rheem Tankless Water Heaters will take over as the primary sponsor for Kevin Harvick and the #29 Chevrolet Team for the first of four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this season. The relationship is an expansion of the existing program between Rheem and Kevin Harvick, Inc., which was established in 2007. Rheem Tankless Water Heaters will be the primary for three additional events in 2011 with the Sept. 4 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway being the next event for the company. The Rheem Tankless Water Heater colors are also scheduled to adorn the #29 Chevy during the Oct. 2 event at Dover International Speedway and the Nov. 6 event at Texas Motor Speedway.(RCR)(6-24-2011)

  • Kahne worried about performance of team rest of year: #4-Kasey Kahne acknowledged Thursday afternoon he's concerned the remainder of his time at Red Bull Racing Team may be troublesome given the organization's uncertain future. "If everybody is unsure about what they have, I don't think they're going to perform like if they knew where they were going to be next year and knew that they were stable," he said after an Infineon Raceway-sponsored lunch in San Francisco. "So as of right now, I'm a bit worried, yeah. I don't see how you can't be." Kahne, who went through a similar situation last year with Richard Petty Motorsports, said that in his experience with teams struggling to find financial support, "It slowly falls apart. It's kind of discouraging to be part of it, but at the same time, it's not even about myself," he said. "It's about those people and those families. And that's why (the performance) gets screwed up, because it's them that's getting hurt by this whole deal."(SB Nation)(6-24-2011)

  • Edwards and McDowell doing double duty: UPDATE: Carl Edwards will leave his #60 Nationwide Mustang to Roush performance Continental Tire Challenge Series driver Billy Johnson on Friday for all its Road America practice, while Edwards practices and qualifies his #99 at Infineon Raceway. Edwards' Cup car will sit silent on Saturday and he's told his team no one else can drive it while he goes to Wisconsin for his qualifying, sponsor appearances and the Bucyrus 200. Michael McDowell will first go to Road America for the opportunity to win the Nationwide race driving JGR's #18 typically wielded by Kyle Busch. While he's there, Cup owner Phil Parsons said K&N Pro Series West driver David Mayhew -- who's had some opportunities with Kevin Harvick Inc., will practice and qualify Parsons' #66, which McDowell will race on Sunday.(NASCAR.com)(6-24-2011)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Billy Johnson, who led the first practice session on Friday at Road America, will drive the #60 Fastenal Mustang in Saturday’s Bucyrus 200 Nationwide Series road course race. Carl Edwards, who was originally slated to drive the car at Road America, will remain in Sonoma, Calif. and concentrate on his Sprint Cup effort.(Roush Fenway)(6-25-2011)

  • The Numbers for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Infineon Raceway:
    2 - fewest laps led by race winner (twice, most recent 1995)
    2 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    2 - wins by Dodge in last four races at Infineon (Juan Pablo Montoya, Kasey Kahne)
    3 - fewest cautions (four times, most recent 2002)
    3 - fewest leaders (1989)
    3 - fewest lead changes (1989)
    4 - drivers with more than one pole
    5 - most wins (Jeff Gordon)
    5 - most poles (Jeff Gordon)
    5 - drivers with more than one win
    7 - fewest caution laps (1992)
    8 - wins from the front row; five from the pole
    9 - most cautions (1990)
    9 - most leaders (twice, most recent 2002)
    12 - most lead changes (2010)
    13 - different pole winners
    14 - different race winners in 22 races
    14 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (twice, most recent 1993)
    26 - most caution laps (1999)
    32 - worst starting position for race winner (Juan Pablo Montoya, 2007)
    33 - fewest cars running at finish (1993)
    36 - most cars on lead lap at finish (2009)
    42 - most cars running at finish (twice, most recent 2005)
    92 - laps led by race winner (Jeff Gordon, 2004)
    2011 Caution Update
    3 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono)
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    120 - number of cautions in the first 15 races of 2011; includes 54 for accidents, 28 for debris and 20 for spins
    583 of 4,748 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    781.429 of 6,272.000 - miles under caution in the first 15 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(6-24-2011)

  • Cottonell on the #42: Kimberly-Clark's Cottonelle brand toilet paper will make their first appearance as the primary sponsor on the #42 Chevy this weekend at Infineon. Kimberly Clark has partnered with Disney/Pixar's Cars 2 for a new campaign where consumers can win Cars 2-themed prizes by collecting codes found on specially marked Kimberly-Clark products.(EGR)(6-24-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of Michigan: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Recording began at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 3:54 PM (all times are EST). TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 125
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 59
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 47
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 45 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 3:54 PM
    Total minutes: 226
    Minutes of race broadcast: 174
    Minutes of commercials: 48
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 126 Total comm. brdcst time 48
    See more details, links and past races on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(6-13-2011)

  • Kentucky Speedway unveils fan inspired trophy: Kentucky Speedway recently unveiled its inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series "Quaker State 400" trophy design inspired by fan William Stohr of Sparta, Ky., through a fan contest. The 33-inch high, 22-inch wide, 30-pound trophy will blend Kentucky's racing traditions by featuring a chrome-plated Thoroughbred bust with a flowing checkered-flag mane. The bust will be mounted on a tulip poplar wood pedestal to represent the official state tree and mounted to a stainless-steel base complete with a split-rail fence that depicts the Commonwealth's signature rolling hills."Thinking about Kentucky and the speedway, I wanted to combine stock car racing with a Thoroughbred horse," the 33-year-old Stohr said. His design was chosen from 120 entries submitted by the enthusiastic Kentucky Speedway fan base since November 2010 and brought to life by designer, Murray, Ky., native and Univ. of Kentucky alumnus Rusty Wright, 44, through an association with Maryland-based Aquarius Sports Management. The trophy will be manufactured through Fast Forward Marketing of Spring, Texas. Stohr will receive "Quaker State 400" tickets and will be present in Victory Lane July 9 when his creation is awarded to the speedway's first Sprint Cup Series race champion. "It's pretty overwhelming to think that something that I created will be on a driver's shelf," Stohr added.
    The "Quaker State 400" will conclude the speedway's historic opening weekend that opens July 7 with a 225-mile NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event and continues July 8 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) "Feed The Children 300." Tickets, campsites along with Fan Zone pit road and infield passes for all 2011 Kentucky Speedway events can be reserved online at kentuckyspeedway.com, by calling 888-652-7223 or by visiting the speedway corporate offices at 1 Speedway Drive in Sparta, Ky., just off Interstate 71, Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-24-2011)

  • Bubba The Love Sponge Named Honorary Pace Coke Zero 400 Car Driver: The renowned nationally syndicated radio personality Bubba The Love Sponge will serve as Honorary Pace Car driver for the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 2 and will participate in a special ticket package built around the Independence Day holiday weekend. As Honorary Pace Car driver, Bubba will be behind the wheel of the Dodge Charger pace car as he leads the 43-car field to the green flag for the 160-lap, 400-mile Independence Day holiday classic under the lights at Daytona. In addition to Bubba's role as Honorary Pace Car driver, a special Bubba Army Tailgate ticket package has been created for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. With packages starting at $104, admission to the outdoor infield tailgate area includes:
    o Grandstand ticket for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 2
    o Designated infield tailgate parking
    o Three drink tickets for beer, wine, soda or water
    o NASCAR celebrity appearances and special giveaways
    o Appearances by Bubba The Love Sponge and Bubba The Love Sponge Show personalities
    o Happy hour specials
    o Live entertainment and games
    Race fans that have already purchased a Coke Zero 400 ticket can upgrade their experience with the tailgating package for $60. An avid motorsports enthusiast and supporter of NASCAR, Bubba hosts the popular Bubba the Love Sponge Show, broadcast nationwide on terrestrial radio. He owns four Radio & Records DJ of the Year awards and six Billboard Rock Air Personality of the Year honors. To purchase tickets for the special Bubba Army Tailgate ticket package for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-24-2011)


    News from June 23, 2011

  • Toyota wants to keep Red Bull: Red Bull Racing was one of Toyota's foundation teams when the Japanese manufacturer moved into Sprint Cup racing in the 2007 season. With this week's news that Red Bull is leaving behind its NASCAR connection, Toyota could lose one of its teams. But Toyota Racing Development chief Lee White said Wednesday that he is interested in working with team general manager Jay Frye as Frye seeks investors and sponsors to keep the team afloat. "I have a huge respect for Jay Frye," White said. "He's a great guy and has a lot of experience in the sport. He's well-connected. I'm very interested to see what he ends up with as far as investors and partners, and certainly we'll have time for him moving forward if he wants to continue the relationship, and we'll also have a lot of time for him even if that doesn't happen and it involves someone else."(SPEED)(6-23-2011)

  • Michael Waltrip running special scheme for Darrell at Kentucky: The car Michael Waltrip will bring to Kentucky Speedway for the Cup race will sport a vintage paint scheme in honor his brother's career and induction to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. A three-time Cup champion, Darrell Waltrip won 84 career races. (Cincinnati Enquirer)(6-23-2011)

  • Pilgrim Driving for Whitney Motorsports at Infineon: As a "super sub" for regular Sprint Cup Series driver JJ Yeley, road course specialist and former 24 Hours of Daytona winner Andy Pilgrim will drive the #46 Red Line Oil Chevrolet for Whitney Motorsports in Sonoma this weekend. Pilgrim is a factory GM driver in the CTS-V Coupe for Cadillac Racing in the SCCA World Challenge Series, where he is a former series champion. Based in Boca Raton, Fla., Pilgrim has multiple IMSA Championships and nearly 500 race starts including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Pilgrim has a long history with Corvette Racing, where he was teammate to Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.(Kahn Media)(6-23-2011)

  • Ambrose racing to benefit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals: Richard Petty Motorsports driver, Marcos Ambrose, and the #9 Stanley team will be "Racing for a Miracle" at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on Sunday as an extra $1 million will be on the line should Ambrose win the 224-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. Longtime RPM sponsor Stanley will donate $1 million to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals if Ambrose crosses the finish line first in Sonoma as part of the "Racing for a Miracle" program. This multi-faceted program created by Stanley, the Ace Hardware Foundation and Children's Miracle Network Hospitals benefits sick and injured children by raising funds for the hospitals that provide their care. In addition to the possible $1 million donation, Stanley has already pledged $100,000 to the program. On Friday Ambrose with the assistance of four Children's Miracle Network Hospitals current and former hospital patients, will unveil a special paint scheme that will run this weekend on the # 9 Ford. The names of these four very special kids will be featured on the car and they will serve as honorary crew members of the # 9 team throughout the weekend. The special paint scheme on the #9 Stanley Ford will also include the names of one child from each U.S. state and Washington D.C. Each child featured on the car is a current or former Children's Miracle Network Hospitals patient who has overcome medical afflictions of every kind.(RPM), see an image of the car on my #9 team paint schemes page.(6-23-2011)

  • Kurt Busch tests at Milwaukee: Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Team tested at the Milwaukee Mile Monday and Tuesday. "We've had this two-day test on the board for quite some time now," said crew chief Addington. "We'll be using it in an effort to be as strong as we can on the flat tracks coming up, especially in our preparation for Loudon (New Hampshire Motor Speedway). Kurt's had a lot of success on that track (three wins & 10 top-10s in 20 races) and we'll be looking to win when we get up there for the race next month."(Tom Roberts PR)(6-23-2011)

  • TRG/Adobe Road Names Bob Dickinson Chief Operating Officer: The Racers Group has named veteran sports executive Bob Dickinson to its newly created position of Chief Operating Officer for TRG and Adobe Road Winery. As COO, Dickinson will oversee and manage business development, marketing, communications, special events and customer relations for TRG's race teams as well as its successful and burgeoning, Northern California based, Adobe Road Winery. Dickinson comes to TRG from the American Le Mans Series where he was Vice President of Media & Communications. Dickinson's career spans more than 30 years in the sports and entertainment industry. He has held executive positions at Turner Sports, the NFL (Atlanta Falcons), and several college athletics departments.(TRG)(6-23-2011)

  • Chassis selections for Infineon: see the list of many teams and what chassis were selected by the team to run at Infineon Raceway for the Sprint Cup Series Race on the Infineon Race Info page - Chassis selection area.(6-23-2011)

  • Bay Area Jet Team Takes to the Skies in Sonoma: Race fans will be treated to the best air show on the Sprint Cup Series circuit at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on Sunday, June 26. The Patriots Jet Demonstration Team, the nation's only civilian aerobatic jet team, will highlight the festivities for a sixth consecutive year with gloss black Aero L-39 Albatros jets and signature red, white and blue smoke trails. The Patriots, based in Bryon in East Contra Costa County, will utilize four of these jets in the show on Sunday of NASCAR weekend. You can catch their electrifying 25-minute show in the skies above the raceway at 10:50 a.m. (PST). Race fans will witness maneuvers such as the Diamond Loop and Roll, the Opposing Knife Edge Pass and a maneuver usually reserved for propeller aircraft, the Tail Slide.(Infineon Raceway)(6-23-2011)

  • Martina McBride to return to Daytona in July: Fresh off her stirring rendition of the National Anthem for the season-opening 53rd running of the Daytona 500, country music star Martina McBride will return to Daytona International Speedway when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its second visit to the "World Center of Racing" McBride will perform a 60-minute pre-race concert prior to the 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 2. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the Coke Zero 400 in addition to a race ticket will be able to view McBride's Coke Zero 400 Pre-Race Show as well as the driver introductions from the grass tri-oval area. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-23-2011)


    News from June 22, 2011

  • Zippy back with Stewart? DENIED hearing that Greg Zipadelli, currently the crew chief for #20-Joe Logano, could be headed to Stewart-Haas Racing in the future. Greg Zipadelli would take over as the crew chief for #14-Tony Stewart, who he won two Sprint Cup titles with [2002, 2005]. Current #14 crew chief, Darian Grubb, would move into Bobby Hutchens old position of director of competition. Hutchens and Stewart-Haas recently parted ways. Hutchins was Stewart-Haas Racing's Director of Competition and Stewart said they are looking for a replacement. Matt Borland was promoted to vice president of competition and is serving as Stewart-Haas Racing's interim director of competition. Stewart said recently that "once that position is filled, the director of competition will report to Matt."(6-21-2011)
    UPDATE: There was a published report this week that Greg Zipadelli, Stewart's long-time crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing, might move to Stewart-Haas and Stewart's crew chief, Darian Grubb, would become the team's director of competition. "I laughed when I saw that," Stewart said. "It's not the first time I've read something that's not true."(Sports Illustrated)(6-22-2011)

  • Road Course Ringers Add New Faces To Toyota/Save Mart 350: They're called "road course ringers" but for nearly 40 years, they haven't exactly rung the bell. Several NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams – especially those looking to add or solidify points toward a top-35 ranking – annually employ road course specialists for the schedule's two left-and-right-turn events at Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen International. Dan Gurney was the most successful "ringer" winning five times at the old Riverside International Raceway in the 1960s, the final four in a car owned by the Wood Brothers.
    The late Mark Donohue was the last specialist to take a checkered flag, also at Riverside, driving a Roger Penske-owned AMC Matador to a one-lap victory over NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bobby Allison in 1973.
    Jan Magnussen, in 12th, was the highest finisher among "ringers" in last year's Toyota/Save Mart 350. Both Magnussen and Boris Said were lap leaders in the 2010 race.
    Here's a rundown on the specialists in this Sunday's Infineon race:
    • Tony Ave (#38 Ford) – best finish 31st Watkins Glen (2004).
    • Tomy Drissi (#37 Ford) – NASCAR GRAND AM Road Racing veteran making NSCS debut.
    • P.J. Jones (#77 Dodge) – best finish fourth Watkins Glen (2005).
    • Andy Pilgrim (#46 Chevy) – seven-time GRAND-AM winner from Nottingham, England making NSCS debut.
    • Boris Said (#51 Chevy) – best finish third at Watkins Glen (2005). Won NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Infineon in 1998 and the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course last season.
    • Brian Simo (#81 Chevy) – best finish 10th at Infineon (2005).(NASCAR)(6-22-2011)

  • Some stats thru 15 races: Through 15 Sprint Cup Series races this season, there has been the unlikely mix of dominance – especially on the qualifying front – and competitive balance.
    Take Kurt Busch's Coors Light Pole win at Michigan, for example. He has now won three consecutive Coors Light Poles (the first two at Kansas and Pocono). The last driver to win four straight: Ryan Newman in 2004. The record for consecutive poles is five, by Bobby Allison (1972), Cale Yarborough (1980) and Bill Elliott (1985).
    But then add Denny Hamlin's race win at Michigan to the mix. He became the 10th different winner in the 15 races this season, the most since 2003.
    Some other statistical bullets from this season…
    • Average of 13 different leaders per race, the most through 15 races in series history
    • Average 31 lead changes per race, the most through 15 races in series history
    • Average of 3,756 passes this season, the most through 15 races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005
    • 42 different drivers have led at least one lap
    One other key note on the qualifying front – it's a major component of success at Infineon Raceway. At the road course, 17 of the 22 winners have started seventh or better, and 20 of the 22 started 13th or better.(NASCAR)(6-22-2011)

  • JGR teams face penalties for oil pans UPDATE 3 - Penalties announced: The Joe Gibbs Racing teams of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Joey Logano all face possible penalties after an issue was discovered in inspection Friday morning at Michigan before practice began. John Darby, Cup series director, said that all three Gibbs cars had oil pans that had not been submitted for approval before competition. "We had them pull (those) off and put what we're accustomed to, what has been submitted back on their cars,'' Darby said. All three teams face possible penalties for the infraction. "Chances are great (a penalty) wouldn't involve points,'' Darby said.(Hampton Roads)(6-17-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing had unapproved- and unusually heavy - oil pans seized from its three NASCAR Sprint Cup cars Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway. Officially, the issue was that the oil pans had not been submitted for approval by NASCAR, a standard procedure for the thousands of parts and pieces on race cars. But a bigger issue ultimately might be weight. While a standard NASCAR Sprint Cup oil pan weighs about 4 pounds, the three taken off the Gibbs cars weighed an estimated 20-30 pounds apiece. Competitors contacted by SPEED.com and FOXSports.com said the heavy oil pans would allow the teams to remove weight elsewhere in the car and put it low and on the front of the car, which could provide a handling advantage, perhaps a substantial one. Officials did not penalize JGR at the track but said in a statement, "NASCAR will discuss early next week if there will be any additional penalties assessed to these three teams."(SPEED)(6-18-2011)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR announced today that the #11, No. 18 and No. 20 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have been penalized for rules violations discovered during opening day inspection June 17 at Michigan International Speedway. All three of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in an event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-5.5.4A (oil pan, failure to submit component) of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. As a result, the three crew chiefs – Mike Ford (#11 car), Dave Rogers (#18 car) and Greg Zipadelli (#20 car) have been fined $50,000 each and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. In addition, all three car chiefs – Chris Gillin (#11 car), Wesley Sherrill (#18 car) and Jason Shapiro (#20 car) along with Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jimmy Makar have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(6-21-2011)
    UPDATE 3 - Statement from JGR: "We received NASCAR's ruling today with regard to penalties for having oil pans on our cars that had not been submitted for approval prior to going through inspection on Friday. Although the parts were not illegal, we did not follow the proper submission for approval process. We will not appeal NASCAR's ruling."(JGR)(6-22-2011)

  • Rick Ware Racing teams up with #37 team: Rick Ware Racing (RWR) announced that 2009 Trans Am Series Champion, and Rolex Grand Am Series and American Le Mans Series driver, Tomy Drissi has joined their organization. Tomy Drissi's arrival marks the beginning of the newly formed alignment with Sprint Cup Series team, Max Q Motorsports #37 for RWR at the upcoming road course events and possibly some premier oval track dates as well. Drissi will drive the #37 RWR-Rise of the Planet of the Apes Ford at Infineon Raceway this weekend for the organization and then race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Watkins Glen and Montreal later this season as well as the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona road race that strangely he has wanted to race his entire career but never given the opportunity until now. "Having Tomy Drissi in our camp marks exciting times for RWR," stated Rick Ware. "I have watched Tomy race his entire career and to have him race for us and our alignment with Max Q Motorsports will provide another avenue for our marketing partners here at RWR."(Rick Ware Racing), the movie, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, stars James Franco and is scheduled to be in theaters on August 5th.(6-21-2011)

  • 2012 Dover spring race moves back to early June: Dover International Speedway officials announced that the Monster Mile will return to its traditional spring NASCAR race dates at the track, June 1-3, 2012. The fall race weekend will be held on Sept. 28-30, 2012, and will again be part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Also keeping with the tradition of being the best value in motorsports, Dover International Speedway plans to unveil a new pricing strategy in the coming weeks for its 2012 events that will offer race fans a level of value not seen at the Monster Mile in more than a decade. The spring weekend will feature the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, while the fall weekend will carry the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Tickets for the June 1-3, 2012 race weekend will go on sale to the public on July 5, 2011.(Dover Speedway)(6-22-2011)

  • U.S. Coast Guard Provides Ceremonial Delivery of NASCAR Trophy: Infineon Raceway received a special delivery on Tuesday, thanks to the United States Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, "Guardians of the Golden Gate."
    The Coast Guard arranged for safe delivery of the winner's trophy for this weekend's Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. A Coast Guard MH65C Dolphin helicopter, departing from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, landed on the road course on Turn 11 with the trophy safely stored.
    From there, two raceway handlers, dressed in black suits and wearing white gloves, secured the trophy and stored it in a safe place until Sunday's race. The crewmen who hand-carried the trophy from the MH65C Dolphin were Chief Petty Officer Trevin Dabney and Second Class Petty Officer John Fisher. The pilots of the aircraft were Lieutenant Christian Polyak and Lieutenant Ryan Hawn.
    "We often fly rescue missions to inland locations and need to practice landings at unusual places, so learning the approaches and landing here is just another layer of training and good experience for the crew," said LT Hawn. "Showing the public how we operate also supports our recruiting efforts, so we appreciate the opportunity to fly in and safely deliver the trophy to the fans, race crews, and drivers." The Coast Guard will return on Sunday as part of the ceremonial fly-by moments before the green flag is dropped on the Toyota/Save Mart 350.(Infineon Raceway)(6-22-2011)

  • Stock Car Racing named North Carolina's Official State Sport: With the stroke of a pen Tuesday, June 21st at Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue signed Senate Bill 322 into law, making stock car racing the official state sport and adding to the legacy of fabulous firsts at the historic 1.5-mile superspeedway. Perdue was joined by a host of special guests on hand to watch the bill signing ceremony, including Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway; NASCAR Hall of Famers Ned Jarrett and Bobby Allison; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan; and a group of fourth and fifth grade students from Lake Norman Elementary School and Mt. Mourne IB School in Iredell County, who originated the bill. In addition, 12 grassroots Legend Car and Bandolero drivers, industry leaders and dignitaries who are members of the North Carolina Motorsports Advisory Council and Charlotte Motor Speedway fans were in attendance.
    "Sometimes it takes really bright kids to tell all of us grown-ups what we ought to be doing. And that's what these students are about today," said Perdue. "They found something that should have been right under our noses because we all love NASCAR, we love Charlotte Motor Speedway, we get really excited during race season. So it's pretty cool for these students to understand that we needed to do better."
    North Carolina now joins other U.S. states with an official state sport, including Alaska (dog mushing); Colorado (snowboarding and skiing); Massachusetts (basketball); Minnesota (hockey); and South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming (rodeo).(CMS)(6-22-2011)


    News from June 21, 2011

  • Red Bull leaving NASCAR? UPDATES: Multiple people familiar with the decision say Red Bull [#4-Kahne & #83-Vickers] plans to leave NASCAR at the end of this season. Those familiar with the decision also say a team official traveled to Michigan Speedway last weekend to inform industry leaders of Red Bull's decision. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made to team employees. Red Bull is both the owner and sponsor of the two-car NASCAR team. The team has struggled since its 2007 entry into NASCAR. Red Bull also owns a pair of two-car Formula One teams. Current points leader Sebastian Vettel is the reigning world champion and has won five of seven Grand Prix races this season.(Associated Press)(6-20-2011)
    UPDATE: Sources say employees at Red Bull Racing have been told that the NASCAR Sprint Cup operation will close at the end of the year. A surprise visit by race director Thomas Ueberall had crew members scrambling for job openings at Michigan this weekend. Two scenarios mentioned for the existing equipment could be general manager Jay Frye bringing in investors and starting a new operation with Mark Martin and engines from Hendrick Motorsports, a plan that Frye had tried to expedite over the last two years with pushback from Austria. The hot rumor of late has been the return of Ray Evernham in an ownership role similar to Tony Stewart's at SHR, with Red Bull as the sponsor. On Monday Evernham told FOXSports.com he "had zero desire to be an owner again." Evernham said he had no knowledge on a Red Bull deal. Apparently, Red Bull was fairly far down the line in negotiations with Clint Bowyer for the #4 ride next season. It was one of the few companies that could afford Bowyer. Another dilemma with the Red Bull situation is what happens to Cole Whitt, who currently drives for the organization in the Camping World Truck Series. Certainly, if Frye acquires the assets, Whitt must be part of that plan.(Fox Sports)(6-20-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Statement from Red Bull Racing: "Red Bull Racing Team is currently seeking outside investors as we evaluate next steps in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. We are not at liberty to comment on details while negotiations are under way. Red Bull fully supports NASCAR for the remainder of the 2011 season as we fight for victories and a position in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup."(Red Bull Racing)(6-20-2011)
    UPDATE: Jay Frye, vice president and general manager for Red Bull Team Racing, said Tuesday he is optimistic that he can line up investors to keep the organization intact for the 2012 season. "We have talked to some people who have great enthusiasm about what we're doing," Frye said on a conference call. "We believe we can put something together rather quickly in 30 to 45 days. But the process has just started. We had a lot of inquires yesterday. The goal is to keep the Red Bull team continuing on the path it's on." Frye said he couldn't get specific about ongoing negotiations. He said he learned a few weeks ago that Red Bull might pull out of the sport. Frye said it's possible Red Bull could stay involved in the team in some capacity in the future.(ESPN.com)(6-21-2011)

  • JGR teams face penalties for oil pans: UPDATE - Penalties announced: The Joe Gibbs Racing teams of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Joey Logano all face possible penalties after an issue was discovered in inspection Friday morning at Michigan before practice began. John Darby, Cup series director, said that all three Gibbs cars had oil pans that had not been submitted for approval before competition. "We had them pull (those) off and put what we're accustomed to, what has been submitted back on their cars,'' Darby said. All three teams face possible penalties for the infraction. "Chances are great (a penalty) wouldn't involve points,'' Darby said.(Hampton Roads)(6-17-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing had unapproved- and unusually heavy - oil pans seized from its three NASCAR Sprint Cup cars Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway. Officially, the issue was that the oil pans had not been submitted for approval by NASCAR, a standard procedure for the thousands of parts and pieces on race cars. But a bigger issue ultimately might be weight. While a standard NASCAR Sprint Cup oil pan weighs about 4 pounds, the three taken off the Gibbs cars weighed an estimated 20-30 pounds apiece. Competitors contacted by SPEED.com and FOXSports.com said the heavy oil pans would allow the teams to remove weight elsewhere in the car and put it low and on the front of the car, which could provide a handling advantage, perhaps a substantial one. Officials did not penalize JGR at the track but said in a statement, "NASCAR will discuss early next week if there will be any additional penalties assessed to these three teams."(SPEED)(6-18-2011)
    UPDATE: NASCAR announced today that the #11, No. 18 and No. 20 teams that compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have been penalized for rules violations discovered during opening day inspection June 17 at Michigan International Speedway. All three of the Joe Gibbs Racing cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in an event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-5.5.4A (oil pan, failure to submit component) of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book. As a result, the three crew chiefs – Mike Ford (#11 car), Dave Rogers (#18 car) and Greg Zipadelli (#20 car) have been fined $50,000 each and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. In addition, all three car chiefs – Chris Gillin (#11 car), Wesley Sherrill (#18 car) and Jason Shapiro (#20 car) along with Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Jimmy Makar have been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(6-21-2011)

  • Michigan Overnight TV Ratings: not much out there about TNT's NASCAR TV Ratings yet. Pocono looked flat, all that could be found so far was that viewer ship was at 5,175 million down from 5,344 million in 2010. For MIchigan, no viewer ship yet, but the overnight ratings were 2.7 with a 7 share, down just a notch from last years 2.8 cable rating with a 7 share. Last year vierer ship for the Michigan race was 4.3 million, so expect it to be similar this year. The race was held a week later this year. See ratings for 2011 on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(6-21-2011)

  • Said in the #51 for road courses? YES According to Fox Sports' Lee Spencer, "Phoenix Racing is expected to run Boris Said at both Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen".(6-18-2011)
    UPDATE: Boris Said will take the reins of the Security Benefit/Thank A Teacher Today Chevy in this week's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. It will mark the Carlsbad, Cali. road racing ace's first Sprint Cup Series event with Phoenix Racing. Said has 11 Sprint Cup Series starts at the 1.99 mile road course. He boasts of one pole (2003) and five top-10s. He's recorded a best finish of sixth-place on two occasions (2003, 2004). Said has made two Nationwide Series starts in Phoenix Racing entries, which came in 2005. He scored a fifth-place finish at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City driving the James Finch-owned car.(Breaking Limits/Phoenix Racing)(6-21-2011)

  • Ave in the #38 at Sonoma: Defending SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am Series champion Tony Ave will bring his road-racing skills to NASCAR when he pilots the #38 Long John Silver's Ford at Infineon Raceway this weekend. Ave will need to qualify on speed at the Sonoma, Calif., road course in order to make his third career Sprint Cup Series start in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350. The Hurley, Wis., native prepared for his return to NASCAR by testing with Front Row Motorsports' #38 team at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) last week. Ave is the current points leader in the Trans-Am Series season and has won the last three races. His two previous starts in the Sprint Cup Series came at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International in 2004 and 2009. The 2009 start was also for Front Row team owner Bob Jenkins.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(6-21-2011)

  • Zippy back with Stewart? hearing that Greg Zipadelli, currently the crew chief for #20-Joe Logano, could be headed to Stewart-Haas Racing in the future. Greg Zipadelli would take over as the crew chief for #14-Tony Stewart, who he won two Sprint Cup titles with [2002, 2005]. Current #14 crew chief, Darian Grubb, would move into Bobby Hutchens old position of director of competition. Hutchens and Stewart-Haas recently parted ways. Hutchins was Stewart-Haas Racing's Director of Competition and Stewart said they are looking for a replacement. Matt Borland was promoted to vice president of competition and is serving as Stewart-Haas Racing's interim director of competition. Stewart said recently that "once that position is filled, the director of competition will report to Matt."(6-21-2011)

  • Montoya close to contract renewal with EGR? Expect an announcement within the next two weeks that #42-Juan Pablo Montoya will re-up with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates for next season. A high-ranking team executive confirmed Sunday that EGR will remain a two-car team in 2012, with most of existing sponsors intact.(Ford Racing)(6-21-2011)

  • Congresswoman renews effort to end military sponsorship: Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) is readying her next move in a months-long effort to slash Pentagon spending for NASCAR and other sports sponsorships. McCollum questions whether the U.S. military should be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on sponsorship deals for sports including stock car racing, professional fishing and pro wrestling at a time when the nation is running large deficits. Military officials and congressional supporters say the sponsorships help with recruitment. McCollum has failed twice to advance proposals that would have changed the way the military awards contracts and doles out funds for those events, as well as for ultimate-fighting sponsorships. Bill Harper, McCollum’s chief of staff, said the lawmaker would likely offer an amendment on the House floor to the 2012 Pentagon appropriations bill that would limit the funds the military could spend on sporting events. McCollum offered an amendment to the DOD spending bill last week that the House Appropriations Committee shot down in a voice vote. During the House Appropriations Committee markup, McCollum cited a $645,000 contract to sponsor a race in the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR’s top racing tour. She said the Air Guard 400, held last September in Richmond, Va., failed to deliver a single military enlistee. But a Pentagon official, in an email to McCollum’s staff that was obtained by The Hill, described the event as a marketing opportunity that came at a bargain rate.(The Hill)(6-21-2011)

  • Johnson running special scheme at Infineon: Jimmie Johnson will pilot a specially designed #48 Lowe's/Jimmie Johnson Foundation paint scheme when he takes the track at Infineon Raceway on Sunday. The Foundation is currently celebrating its fifth anniversary and has given more than $4 million since its formation.(GMR Marketing), see an image of the car on my #48 team paint schemes page.(6-21-2011)

  • At Infineon Raceway:
    • The track opened as a 2.52-mile road course and drag strip in 1968.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held in 1989.
    • The first nine races were 300 kilometers and switched to a 350k format in 1998.
    • The track was reconfigured to 1.949 miles in 1998 with the installation of an 890-foot chute between the original Turns 4 and 7.
    • The track was reconfigured to 2.0 miles in 2001 and re-measured at 1.99 miles in 2002.
    • There have been 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Infineon Raceway since the first race there in 1989.
    • Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole.
    • Ricky Rudd won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
    • 13 different drivers have won poles; only four have won more than one.
    • Jeff Gordon (five) leads all pole winners. Ricky Rudd has four, including three consecutive (1990-92), Rusty Wallace and Kasey Kahne have two apiece.
    • There have been consecutive pole winners three times: Ricky Rudd (1990-92) and Jeff Gordon (1998-99 and 2004-05).
    • 14 different drivers have won races; five have multiple victories there - led by Jeff Gordon with five. Ernie Irvan, Ricky Rudd, Tony Stewart and Rusty Wallace (all with two) are the other multiple-race winners.
    • Jeff Gordon is also the only driver with consecutive wins, winning in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
    • Five of 22 races have been won by the pole winner, including three times by Jeff Gordon. His victory from the pole in 2004 is the most recent.
    • The lowest starting position by a race winner was 32nd, by Juan Pablo Montoya; it also was his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win.
    • Boris Said posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole.
    • Jeff Gordon is the all-time leader in road-course victories, with nine. Tony Stewart is second, with seven.
    (NASCAR)(6-20-2011)

  • 2012 team chart: With news for next year starting to break....It's crude and rough, but gotta start some place. A few months earlier then normal, check out the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup team chart.(6-21-2011)

  • NASCAR Hauler Parade Rolls Through Sacramento, June 23: When you hear rumbling and roaring in downtown Sacramento on Thursday, June 23, no need to worry, it's the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coming to town. Sacramento has long been a hotbed for NASCAR, and race fans will be rewarded during race week with a parade of more than 50 NASCAR haulers through the streets around the State Capitol under a full police escort.
    That's right, you'll see haulers from Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and every other driver on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. This marks the first ever hauler parade in Northern California and raceway officials are thrilled to bring it to Sacramento, home to some of our most avid race fans. This will serve as the Sacramento kickoff to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend in Sonoma, June 24-26. The parade will begin promptly at 2 p.m. on Thursday as the haulers depart their staging area and cross the Tower Bridge, heading for the State Capitol. For the route, go to infineonraceway.com.(Infineon Raceway)(6-21-2011)

  • DIS To Honor Four Medal of Honor Recipients During Coke Zero 400: As the nation celebrates the Independence Day holiday weekend, Daytona International Speedway and tens of thousands of race fans in attendance for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola will pay tribute to four Medal of Honor recipients. It's the third straight year that Daytona International Speedway will honor Medal of Honor recipients, a program that was first started by Bill France Sr. back in the 1970s.
    The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, to be honored are:
    * Jon Cavaiani, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant
    * Harold Fritz, retired U.S. Army Captain
    * Don Jenkins, retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant
    * Leo Thorsness, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel
    All four Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver's meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 1 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 2. During Saturday's 53rd annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, a special salute will take place for the four Medal of Honor recipients during pre-race ceremonies. In addition, the four Medal of Honor recipients will take part in an autograph session with race fans in the Sprint FANZONE on Saturday prior to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.
    The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It's bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola are available on online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-21-2011)


    News from June 20, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    with the #21 not running at Infineon, the #7 moves in to the Top 35 and a guaranteed starting spot
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #37-Tomy Drissi (39/15)
    #38-Tony Ave (38/15)
    #46-Andy Pilgram (40/15)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/15)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/15)
    #71-Andy Lally (37/15)
    #77-PJ Jones (54/1)
    #81-Brian Simo (50/6)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/15)
    In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 71,38,37,46,66,87,60,81
    missing the race would be [1]: #'s 77
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Infineon Entry List.(6-20-2011)

  • Red Bull leaving NASCAR? UPDATES: Multiple people familiar with the decision say Red Bull [#4-Kahne & #83-Vickers] plans to leave NASCAR at the end of this season. Those familiar with the decision also say a team official traveled to Michigan Speedway last weekend to inform industry leaders of Red Bull's decision. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made to team employees. Red Bull is both the owner and sponsor of the two-car NASCAR team. The team has struggled since its 2007 entry into NASCAR. Red Bull also owns a pair of two-car Formula One teams. Current points leader Sebastian Vettel is the reigning world champion and has won five of seven Grand Prix races this season.(Associated Press)(6-20-2011)
    UPDATE: Sources say employees at Red Bull Racing have been told that the NASCAR Sprint Cup operation will close at the end of the year. A surprise visit by race director Thomas Ueberall had crew members scrambling for job openings at Michigan this weekend. Two scenarios mentioned for the existing equipment could be general manager Jay Frye bringing in investors and starting a new operation with Mark Martin and engines from Hendrick Motorsports, a plan that Frye had tried to expedite over the last two years with pushback from Austria. The hot rumor of late has been the return of Ray Evernham in an ownership role similar to Tony Stewart’s at SHR, with Red Bull as the sponsor. On Monday Evernham told FOXSports.com he “had zero desire to be an owner again.” Evernham said he had no knowledge on a Red Bull deal. Apparently, Red Bull was fairly far down the line in negotiations with Clint Bowyer for the #4 ride next season. It was one of the few companies that could afford Bowyer. Another dilemma with the Red Bull situation is what happens to Cole Whitt, who currently drives for the organization in the Camping World Truck Series. Certainly, if Frye acquires the assets, Whitt must be part of that plan.(Fox Sports)(6-20-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Statement from Red Bull Racing: "Red Bull Racing Team is currently seeking outside investors as we evaluate next steps in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. We are not at liberty to comment on details while negotiations are under way. Red Bull fully supports NASCAR for the remainder of the 2011 season as we fight for victories and a position in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup."(Red Bull Racing)(6-20-2011)

  • Labonte driving 4 more races for FAS Lane: FAS Lane Racing announced an expanded sponsorship program with C&J Energy Services for the team's #32 entry in the Sprint Cup Series. The Corpus Christi, Texas founded company will continue their support of two time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Terry Labonte, born and raised in Corpus Christi, as he will pilot the #32 C&J Energy Services machine for four races in the Sprint Cup Series beginning with this weekend's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. In addition, C&J Energy Services will be a major associate sponsor of the team for the remainder of the season. Labonte is no stranger to FAS Lane Racing having driven for the team in the season opening race in Daytona as well as Talladega. In addition to the race this weekend in Infineon, C&J Energy Services will be primary sponsor for Terry Labonte and the #32 FAS Lane Racing team at Daytona in July, the very popular night race at Bristol in August and at Talladega in October.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(6-20-2011)

  • Fox interested in moving some races to SPEED: Fox has held informal discussions with NASCAR about a new TV rights agreement that would allow the network to put some of its Sprint Cup races on Speed. David Hill, Fox Sports chairman, said Fox would like to see some of the 13 regular-season races it televises on Speed. A Fox source said the company could ask for as many as six races for the network. Fox is five years into an eight-year, $1.76 billion contract with NASCAR that mandates Fox televise all of its Sprint Cup races on its broadcast channel except for two non-points, specialty events - the Sprint All-Star Race and the Gatorade Duels from Daytona, which air on Speed. If it wants to move regular-season Cup races to Speed before its contract expires in 2014, it would have to amend its agreement. Fox sources were skeptical such a move would be made before the contract ends. The move would allow Speed to use live NASCAR broadcasts to increase the license fee that cable and satellite operators pay each month, which is currently around 30 cents, according to sources. In addition to talking about putting Sprint Cup races on Speed, Fox has raised the possibility of making NASCAR a stakeholder in Speed and turning it into a joint-venture project. Sources familiar with those conversations said that they have been ongoing for several years. By partnering with NASCAR on Speed, Fox could avoid competing with the property if it decided to launch its own channel.(Sports Business Journal)(6-20-2011)

  • Childress working with Bowyer, General Mills on contracts: Another free agent out there is #33-Clint Bowyer. Here’s what car owner Richard Childress said about the Bowyer situation: "We’re working really hard right now on sponsorship for him," Childress said. "We’re all wanting to stay together but we’re just looking for sponsorship. We’ve got some really good things going on but we’ve got to get them finalized." So what about the status of General Mills as a sponsor? “I think you’ll see General Mills back next year,’’ he said.(Virginian-Pilot)(6-20-2011)

  • Winners not leading many laps: #11-Denny Hamlin led only eight laps in scoring the victory. This marks the sixth time that a driver has led fewer than 10 laps and won. Here’s a look at how many times a driver led fewer than 10 laps and won in the past five seasons (remember there’s still 21 races left this year).
    2011 --- 6 times
    2010 --- 4 times
    2009 --- 4 times
    2008 --- 2 times
    2007 --- 8 times
    (Virginian-Pilot)(6-20-2011)

  • Michigan Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • Denny Hamlin earns his 17th victory in his 202nd race.
    • Denny Hamlin moved into tie for 44th on NASCAR's all-time win list with Kevin Harvick, Marvin Panch and Curtis Turner.
    • Denny Hamlin becomes the 10th different race winner in 15 races in 2011.
    • Denny Hamlin ears his second victory in 11 races at Michigan; he won this race one year ago.
    • Denny Hamlin finished first or second in the past three Michigan races.
    • Denny Hamlin earns his fifth consecutive top-10 finish at Michigan.
    • The past four Michigan races were won from a top-10 starting position.
    • Two drivers in the top-10 scored their best finishes in 2011:Denny Hamlin (first) and Paul Menard (fourth); for Menard, this marked his second-best finish.
    • Landon Cassill (12th) scored his career-best finish; his previous best was 24th.
    • Matt Kenseth (second) scored his third consecutive top-10 finish, extending a streak that began at Kansas.
    • Kyle Busch (third) scored his first top-10 in his past five Michigan races; he finished third at Pocono one week ago.
    • Paul Menard (fourth) posted his best finish and first top-10 in 10 Michigan races.
    • Carl Edwards (fifth) finished 12th or better in the past nine Michigan races, the longest current streak.
    • Carl Edwards scored 11 top-10 finishes in 15 races in 2011, the most of all drivers.(NASCAR.com/Racing Recall)(6-20-2011)

  • Grand Marshal named of Toyota/Save Mart 350: Actor John Ratzenberger, best known for his work on the legendary sitcom "Cheers," has been named Grand Marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 24-26. Ratzenberger will be honored on Friday, June 24, of race weekend at the Children's Champions Grand Marshal's Banquet at beautiful Cline Cellars in Sonoma. The gala is a fundraiser for the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children's Charities. He will also take part in pre-race activities on Sunday, June 26, and participate in the official command of, "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines."
    The Connecticut native is best known for his role of the know-it-all postal carrier Cliff Clavin on "Cheers," arguably one of the best sitcoms in television history. Ratzenberger is also known for his voice-work on Pixar feature films, including the voice of Mack the truck in Cars and the soon-to-be realeased Cars 2. He also voiced Hammy the Piggy Bank in the Toy Story series, P.T. Flea in A Bug's Life and the Abominable Snowman in Monsters Inc., among others, for Pixar, based in Emeryville in the Bay Area.
    In 2010, Ratzenberger became affiliated with and now represents the Foundation for Fair Civil Justice to further develop his work and increase awareness about the skilled worker shortage facing the United States and the changes needed to positively impact and increase the number of skilled workers. For more info about ticketsm call 800-870-RACE (7223), infineonraceway.com/nascar or ticketmaster.com.(Infineon Raceway)(6-20-2011)

  • Area Hotels Offer Discounted Rates with No Minimum Night Stays for Coke Zero 400: Daytona International Speedway recently launched a new promotion with area hotels to provide race fans with the best deals possible when they attend the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola July 1 and 2. During the month of June, fans who book their stays at participating hotels will receive at least a 10% discount off regular rates. Also, these hotels will not require a minimum night stay to participate in the promotion - the discounted rates are good for one night or multiple nights.
    Participating hotels include the Bahama House and Best Western Aku Tiki in Daytona Beach, the Hampton Inn and Clarion Hotel in Deland (approximately 20 miles from the speedway), and the Marriott and Westin hotels in Lake Mary (approximately 35 miles from the speedway). A complete list of participating hotels and special promotional codes can be found on www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/hotels.(DIS)(6-20-2011)


    News from June 19, 2011

  • Win 197 for car #11: #11-Denny Hamlin's win in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway was car #11's 197th win in the Sprint Cup Series. Second all-time in Sprint Cup Series history for a car number. #43, which has 198 wins in 2296 Sprint Cup races is the leader, 3rd is the #3 at 97 wins. See wins by car numbers on my Wins by Car Numbers page.(6-19-2011)

  • Hamlin wins at Michigan: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 1st win of 2011 and 17th win of his career. He took the lead during the final pit stops of the race and held off #17-Matt Kenseth at the checkered flag.
    Kenseth finished second, followed by #18-Busch, #27-Menard, #99-Edwards, #39-Newman, #14-Stewart, #33-Bowyer, #5-Martin, and #83-Vickers. Edwards expanded his point lead to 20. #29-Harvick is now in second after an early spin by #48-Johnson and a 27th place finish.
    There were 21 lead changes among 12 drivers; 5 cautions for 18 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 88,000, down from 95,000 last June.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, June 22 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Michigan Race Results/Awards page.(6-19-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Michigan:
    Denny Hamlin won the 43rd ANNUAL HELUVA GOOD! SOUR CREAM DIPS 400, his 17th victory in 202 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2011. His last victory came at Texas last November, 16 races ago.
    This is his second consecutive spring race victory and seventh top-10 finish in 11 races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Matt Kenseth (second) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 24 races at Michigan International Speedway. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2011.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in 13 races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 20 points over Kevin Harvick.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-19-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Michigan, race 15 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 532
    2) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 512, -20
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 505, -27
    4) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 503, -29
    5) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 503, -29
    6) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 491, -41
    7) #22-Kurt Busch, 491, -41
    8) #39-Ryan Newman, 456, -76
    9) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 455, -77
    10) #33-Clint Bowyer, 455, -77
    wild cards
    11) #14-Tony Stewart, 454, -78 [11th in points]
    12) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 438, -94 [12th in points]
    Two race winners are not inside the top-20: #2-Keselowski is 22nd, 12 pts out of 20th; #78-Smith is 29th, 54 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.(6-19-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Infineon:
    No changes this week, but with the #21 team not attempting Infineon, Gordon will be locked in there.
    31) #34-Gilliland/Front Row, 254, +76
    32) #36-Blaney/TBR, 231, +53
    33) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 223, +45
    34) #13-Mears/Germain, 219, +41
    35) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 201, +23 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #7-RGordon/RGM, 178, 23 points out of top 35
    37) #71-Lally/TRG, 176, -25
    38) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 178, -28
    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.(6-19-2011)

  • Gibbs courting Edwards? UPDATE: 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)

  • Raikkoen not driving for Gordon at Infineon: Robby Gordon won't have open-wheel star Kimi Raikkonen driving one of his cars next week at Infineon Raceway, just another twist in what has been a strange season for his race team. Gordon will race this weekend at Michigan and again next week at Infineon but might not be back behind the wheel of his own Sprint Cup car until the Brickyard 400 in late July. The driver/owner had hoped to field two cars at the road course at Infineon - one for him and another for Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One champion. Raikkonen wrecked Gordon's main road-course car at a test last month. Gordon just finished getting that car repaired and he and Raikkonen couldn't work out a deal for the Finnish driver to make his Cup debut for Robby Gordon Motorsports. Gordon, who has had to start and park his car at times this year due to lack of sponsorship, will attempt to run the entire race at Michigan and Infineon. His next race likely will be Indianapolis in late July. He also has planned to run the Nationwide race at Montreal in August. He said he might run two cars in some weeks for additional testing. Gordon is now buying engines and using his own shop to rebuild and maintain them. He was leasing engines from Penske Motorsports.(Scene Daily)(6-19-2011)

  • Roush supportive of Childress: Jack Roush drew a few laughs after his team's NASCAR Nationwide victory, when he was asked his view of the fine handed down to fellow owner Richard Childress. Childress was fined $150,000 earlier this month for an altercation with Kyle Busch at Kansas Speedway. Childress was upset that Busch bumped into Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap after a race. "It was pretty high," Roush said about the fine. "I guess that pretty much puts the nail in the coffin of, 'Have at it, guys.' Maybe that was a boy and a man. I am not sure. Maybe that is different than the boys having at it. Kyle has been pretty rough on my cars over a period of time and for Richard to stand up for himself was OK," Roush said.(Associated Press)(6-19-2011)

  • August Michigan race becomes Pure Michigan 400: Two of Michigan's best-known brands - Michigan International Speedway and Pure Michigan - are teaming up to host the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at MIS on Sunday, August 21. The one-year partnership joining these two brands, both focused on attracting new visitors to Michigan, is believed to be the first time a state brand is featured as the title of NASCAR's premier stock car series. One of the Pure Michigan campaign's main goals is to attract more visitors and investments to Michigan. The title sponsorship of the Pure Michigan 400 will introduce the Pure Michigan branding message to 75 million NASCAR fans nationwide. This follows the $11.5 million Pure Michigan national cable television advertising buy on the air from March 14, 2011 through early July.(MIS)(6-19-2011)

  • Infineon Raceway Unveils "PG&E Tickets for Troops" Program: For the second consecutive year, Infineon Raceway has partnered with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the USO of Northern California to offer race fans a patriotic way to support the men and women of the Armed Forces with the "PG&E Tickets for Troops" program. For just $20, race fans can say "thank you" to military members in a way they will never forget - by sending them to a very special race this year. The "PG&E Tickets for Troops" program enables anyone - from everyday citizens to corporations - to sponsor Active Duty military, Veterans and Reservists and send them to either the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on June 26, or Military Appreciation Day at the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on August 28. Those who purchase tickets for troops will be included in the "PG&E Tickets for Troops" online listing at infineonraceway.com, listed in the souvenir program and featured on Jumbotron screens on race day. Each race day will feature a patriotic theme with an air show by the Patriots Jet Team, followed by the singing of the National Anthem, military fly-bys and an Army cannon national salute. The "PG&E Tickets for Troops" program is the perfect way for race fans to share their passion with the men and women serving our country. Don't miss your chance to be a part of this very special "PG&E Tickets for Troops." Visit infineonraceway.com/ticketsfortroops or call 800-870-RACE (7223) today for tickets and to show your support.(Infineon Raceway)(6-19-2011)

  • Clay Walker to entertain fans at Kentucky Speedway: Tried-and-true country music artist Clay Walker will entertain more than 106,000 NASCAR fans with his rock-solid repertoire of hits before the race for Kentucky Speedway's inaugural Sprint Cup Series "Quaker State 400" title July 9. The 41-year-old Walker demonstrated his sound's staying power when the title single from his 11th career collection "She Won't Be Lonely Long" reached No. 5 on Billboard Magazine's Country Album Chart and its title single rocketed to No. 4 on the publication's Country Music Singles Chart in 2010. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1996, he started the Band Against MS (BAMS) non-profit foundation to fund research and education about the condition. Learn more by visiting claywalker.com. The "Quaker State 400" will anchor a tripleheader NASCAR weekend at the speedway which opens with a 225-mile Camping World Truck Series battle July 7 followed by the Nationwide Series "Feed The Children 300" on July 8. Tickets, campsites, Fan Zone Pit Road passes along with Fan Zone Prerace concert and driver introduction passes for Kentucky Speedway's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend can be reserved online at kentuckyspeedway.com, by phone at 888-652-7223 or by visiting the venue's Sparta, Ky., corporate offices at 1 Speedway Drive just off Interstate 71 Exit 57 and Ky. Hwy. 35 N.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-19-2001)


    News from June 18, 2011

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #22-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #00-Reutimann took pit stall 43, the final pit stall.
    #17-Kenseth, who starts 3rd took the 38th pit stall, the last stall with an opening in front of it.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-18-2011)

  • Kurt Busch wins Michigan pole: #22-Kurt Busch won the Coors Light pole for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway with a speed of 188.699mph. It is his 3rd pole of the season (and third in a row) and the 15th of his career. It is Penske Racing's 4th pole in a row. #00-Reutimann starts 2nd followed by #17-Kenseth, #83-Vickers, #78-Smith, #14-Stewart, #16-Biffle, #4-Kahne, #27-Menard and #11-Hamlin
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #38-Kvapil, #87-Nemechek, #30-Stremme, #46-Yeley, #71-Lally, #7-Gordon, #66-McDowell, #81-Riggs.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #37-Raines, #92-Keselowski, #60-Skinner.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Michigan Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(6-18-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Michigan:
    Kurt Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 43rd ANNUAL HELUVA GOOD! SOUR CREAM DIPS 400 with a lap of 38.156 seconds, 188.699 mph.
    This is his 15th pole in 379 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third consecutive pole and eighth top-10 start in 2011.
    The last time a driver won three consecutive poles was Brian Vickers in 2009 (Note: Two qualifying sessions were canceled during the streak. The last driver to win three poles in three races was Ryan Newman in 2007.)
    This is Penske Racing's fourth consecutive pole. Brad Keselowski won the pole at Charlotte.
    This is his second pole in 21 races at Michigan International Speedway.
    David Reutimann (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2011 and his fourth in nine races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Matt Kenseth (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Michigan International Speedway. It is his fourth in 15 races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(6-18-2011)

  • JGR teams face penalties for oil pans: UPDATE: The Joe Gibbs Racing teams of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Joey Logano all face possible penalties after an issue was discovered in inspection Friday morning at Michigan before practice began. John Darby, Cup series director, said that all three Gibbs cars had oil pans that had not been submitted for approval before competition. "We had them pull (those) off and put what we're accustomed to, what has been submitted back on their cars,'' Darby said. All three teams face possible penalties for the infraction. "Chances are great (a penalty) wouldn't involve points,'' Darby said.(Hampton Roads)(6-17-2011)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing had unapproved- and unusually heavy - oil pans seized from its three NASCAR Sprint Cup cars Friday morning at Michigan International Speedway. Officially, the issue was that the oil pans had not been submitted for approval by NASCAR, a standard procedure for the thousands of parts and pieces on race cars. But a bigger issue ultimately might be weight. While a standard NASCAR Sprint Cup oil pan weighs about 4 pounds, the three taken off the Gibbs cars weighed an estimated 20-30 pounds apiece. Competitors contacted by SPEED.com and FOXSports.com said the heavy oil pans would allow the teams to remove weight elsewhere in the car and put it low and on the front of the car, which could provide a handling advantage, perhaps a substantial one. Officials did not penalize JGR at the track but said in a statement, "NASCAR will discuss early next week if there will be any additional penalties assessed to these three teams."(SPEED)(6-18-2011)

  • More on Danica to NASCAR: UPDATE: SPEED.com open wheel reporter Robin Miller joined Steve Byrnes on NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED Thursday evening to discuss Danica Patrick and Andretti Autosport among other things. Following is the transcript in part from the interview;
    On whether rumors are true that Danica Patrick is headed to NASCAR fulltime:
    Miller: "We've been saying for six months that she's gone. I don't think anyone in IndyCar thinks that she's going to be around. I think everyone is resigned to the fact that IMG is going to take her to NASCAR. Where she lands in NASCAR, I think that's what is going to be interesting. Tony Stewart lately has been saying, 'I'd really like to see her come here. She's got a lot of potential.' I think that potential might be assigned to that GoDaddy paycheck, which is pretty big."(SPEED)(6-17-2011)
    Danica Patrick is sticking with IMG in the wake of agent Mark Steinberg's split with the sports management giant. And though Patrick hasn't made a decision on the future of her racing career, she says her agents officially are free to listen to offers. Many racing contracts contain clauses that prohibit drivers from negotiating new deals with rival teams until a specific date, but Patrick said she's under no such restrictions. "That's open," Patrick said Friday at the Milwaukee Mile. "My agents are working." She is showing steady improvement in NASCAR's Nationwide Series and is considering a full-time move from IndyCar to NASCAR. But she might be able to pull off a deal that also would allow her to run in the Indianapolis 500 -- a race she still desperately wants to win.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(6-18-2011)

  • Said in the #51 for road courses? According to Fox Sports' Lee Spencer, "Phoenix Racing is expected to run Boris Said at both Infineon Raceway and Watkins Glen".(6-18-2011)

  • Johnson's over the wall crew having tryouts each week: At the start of the season, Chad Knaus held a pit crew combine to select several interchangeable squads for the #48 team. As the program has evolved, driver Jimmie Johnson said it's not about having a first or second string of crewmen, but choosing the best performers through tryouts on a weekly basis. “You earn your position during the week in practices and prove that you're the fastest guy that week and can do the best job that week going over the wall,” Johnson said. “I know every guy on the team; I train with them now and am in there on Tuesdays working out with them so that we can form a tighter bond together. I see a lot of good things happening, and I know that they're working very hard for that coveted position to go over the wall and change or carry or jack the car.”(Fox Sports)(6-18-2011)

  • Schick challenging Gillette in NASCAR: UPDATE: Schick is stepping up to challenge Gillette's reign in the razor category in NASCAR. The Energizer Holdings razor brand has signed a deal with Martin Truex Jr. and will put its decal on Michael Waltrip Racing's #56 car for as many as 10 races, according to sources familiar with the agreement. It also plans to do product sampling in the coming months at a handful of tracks owned by International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. Terms of the agreements were not available. Schick, whose Canadian division signed on to sponsor Canadian-born Nationwide Series driver J.R. Fitzpatrick two years ago, is expected to announce the U.S. sponsorships and promotions at Michigan International Speedway, which hosts a Sprint Cup Series race June 19. The deals move Schick into a territory that has been dominated over the years by Gillette. The Procter & Gamble razor company has been an official partner of NASCAR since 2003 and promoted its sponsorship by signing young NASCAR drivers and developing a "Young Guns" campaign around them. The deal with Truex and Michael Waltrip Racing gives Schick ties to a driver and race team for promotions and marketing. Truex, 30, is 22nd in the Sprint Cup standings. His best finish this year was sixth at Las Vegas. Schick plans to supplement that deal with sampling at the track. It is in conversations with ISC to sample at least two tracks, and SMI to sample at Kentucky Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(SportingNews / SportsBusiness Journal)(6-11-2011)
    UPDATE: The makers of Schick Xtreme3 Refresh announced a partnership with Michael Waltrip Racing and Martin Truex Jr. to support the launch of Schick Xtreme3 FitStyle Refresh, a high performance razor with a handle designed to invigorate men's shaves. Schick Xtreme3 will join Truex's # 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota as an associate sponsor beginning at Michigan International Speedway, where Schick Xtreme3 Refresh kicks off the first of 10 in-field activations that will provide refreshing experiences to NASCAR fans. Truex will participate in "meet and greets" with fans at in-field campground sites, where NASCAR attendees can test drive the razor and get a dose of refreshment. A Schick Xtreme3 Refresh RV will feature free razors, shave stations, a refreshing misting station, prize games including a boat race game and a pop-up lounge to watch the races.(MWR)(6-18-2011)

  • Talladega 500 Race Weekend Tickets on sale July 1: Talladega Superspeedway tickets and camping reservations to the Talladega 500 will go on sale July 1st. Allison Grandstand tickets for Saturday and Sunday's races will be available for only $49, with kids 12 and under admitted free. Kids will also receive free admission to the frontstretch on Friday and Saturday of race weekend. Race fans that purchase their tickets in July have the opportunity to save up to $20 more than those who purchase during race week. After July 31st, prices will increase leading up to the October 21 - 23 weekend. Hotels with race fan friendly pricing and no minimum-night stays are available at www.degarooms.com.(TSS)(6-18-2011)


    News from June 17, 2011

  • Happy Hour practice for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after 80 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #30-Stremme 185.428
    #46-Yeley 185.095
    #38-Kvapil 184.867
    #48-Johnson 184.516
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 184.417
    slowest: #60-Skinner 180.950 & #13-Mears 180.288
    notes: #20-Logano lost an engine during the session. #31-Burton got loose and was hit in the rear by #6-Ragan. Niether car suffered serious damage. Logano practiced #11-Hamlin's car late in the session for some additional practice time while his crew changed the engine in his car.
    See speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Michigan Practice Speeds Page.(6-17-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #30-David Stremme, 1st
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 2nd
    #38-Travis Kvapil 3rd
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 7th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 10th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 11th
    #81-Scott Riggs, 15thth
    #71-Andy Lally, 29thth
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #92-Brian Keselowski, 38thth
    #37-Tony Raines, 41st
    #60-Mike Skinner, 45th
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Qualifying Order for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International 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-Keselowski, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #6-Ragan, 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 Michigan Qualifying Page.(6-17-2011)

  • 1st Friday practice for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after 80 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #6-Ragan 186.601
    #43-Allmendinger 186.591
    #29-Harvick 186.519
    #00-Reutimann 186.461
    #4-Kahne 186.249
    slowest: #32-Bliss 179.614 & #92-Keselowski 178.838.
    This session will set the qualifying order for Saturday's qualifying, with slowest out first and fastest out last, all cars, the field is not separated by top-35 in owners points anymore.
    See speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Michigan Practice Speeds Page.(6-17-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 33rd
    #30-David Stremme, 34th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 35th
    #81-Scott Riggs, 37th
    #71-Andy Lally, 38th
    #38-Travis Kvapil 39th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 40th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 41st
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #37-Tony Raines, 43rd
    #66-Michael McDowell, 44th
    #92-Brian Keselowski, 46th
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • Andretti Autosport going to NASCAR? SPEED.com open wheel reporter Robin Miller joined Steve Byrnes on NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED Thursday evening to discuss Danica Patrick and Andretti Autosport among other things. Following is the transcript in part from the interview;
    On any traction to the rumors of Andretti Autosport going to NASCAR:
    Miller: “John Lopes (CFO of Andretti Autosport), who puts all their sponsorships together, said last week … I said, ‘Hey, is there anything to this rumor that you guys might be going stock car racing?’ He said, ‘We’re exploring. We’re definitely looking into it.’ So, we’ve heard that they might be connected to Roush, that they might be doing something with Ford Motor Company, but that kind of makes me wonder that Michael (Andretti) is probably not going to go with General Motors when the new engines come along next year, but everybody is assuming if Andretti goes to NASCAR, he’ll just keep Danica. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I don’t think that’s going to happen at all. They’re looking at opportunities to replace this GoDaddy money with some NASCAR money and I tell you what – that’s a huge deficit to make up when you lose somebody like GoDaddy because it’s probably the second or third biggest sponsorship in IndyCar racing and that’s going to be tough to replace.”(SPEED)(6-17-2011)

  • More on Danica to NASCAR? SPEED.com open wheel reporter Robin Miller joined Steve Byrnes on NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED Thursday evening to discuss Danica Patrick and Andretti Autosport among other things. Following is the transcript in part from the interview;
    On whether rumors are true that Danica Patrick is headed to NASCAR fulltime:
    Miller: “We’ve been saying for six months that she’s gone. I don’t think anyone in IndyCar thinks that she’s going to be around. I think everyone is resigned to the fact that IMG is going to take her to NASCAR. Where she lands in NASCAR, I think that’s what is going to be interesting. Tony Stewart lately has been saying, ‘I’d really like to see her come here. She’s got a lot of potential.’ I think that potential might be assigned to that GoDaddy paycheck, which is pretty big.”(SPEED)(6-17-2011)

  • Gibbs courting 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)

  • JGR teams face penalties for oil pans: The Joe Gibbs Racing teams of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Joey Logano all face possible penalties after an issue was discovered in inspection Friday morning at Michigan before practice began. John Darby, Cup series director, said that all three Gibbs cars had oil pans that had not been submitted for approval before competition. “We had them pull (those) off and put what we’re accustomed to, what has been submitted back on their cars,’’ Darby said. All three teams face possible penalties for the infraction. “Chances are great (a penalty) wouldn’t involve points,’’ Darby said.(Hampton Roads)(6-17-2011)

  • Ford working on 2013 Mustang: The redesigned NASCAR Cup chassis is still 18 months away from making its on-track debut, but team owner Jack Roush said fans may soon get a sneak peek at the 2013 Ford Mustang. Speaking Wednesday during a manufacturer teleconference, Roush said NASCAR has required each of the four manufacturers to meet a series of "hard points," places where the sanctioning body wants the chassis to be similar across each make, without significant aerodynamic advantages. The key, according to Roush, is to add manufacturer-specific styling touches without affecting the competitive balance currently seen in the sport. That worked well with the new Nationwide Series car that was unveiled last season and NASCAR fully expects the 2013 rollout to go as smoothly. "I don't think it is a big challenge and it should be easily accomplished. The roof is defined. The deck lid is defined. The front fascia profile and silhouette is basically defined." That process has been under way for some time, Roush said, and the first prototypes of Ford's 2013 entry should be rolling out of the body shop soon.(NASCAR.com)(6-17-2011)

  • NASCAR Team Properties Named Top Sports Licensing Program: NASCAR Team Properties was named Best Sports Program of the Year by the International Licensing Industry and Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) on Tuesday night at the annual International Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Nev. Just one year into its formation, NASCAR Team Properties was recognized by its peers in the licensing industry worldwide as having put together a landmark program which continues to transform the business. NASCAR Team Properties manages the intellectual property rights for NASCAR and participating teams in the key licensing categories of apparel, die-cast collectables, toys and trackside retail. Since its launch last year, NASCAR Team Properties has signed on renowned companies such as Lionel Electric Trains, Motorsports Authentics, Spin Master Toys and Walmart with a signature retail program.(NASCAR)(6-17-2011)

  • Blu Cigs puts Afghan war vet on hood of #32: Last week, thousands of fans submitted their personal stories telling blu why their dad was the greatest for the chance to splash their dad's mugshot across the hood of the #32 blu Cigs Ford team car being driven by FAS Lane Racing's Mike Bliss at the Heluva! Sour Cream Dips 400 in Michigan. Kyle Peyton, a soldier from Savannah, Georgia who recently returned from three deployments to the Middle East won the contest for his father Christopher Allison Peyton - a longtime fan of racing who was recently diagnosed with stage three kidney disease. Kyle's touching story stood out from the thousands of submissions, and this past Wednesday, June 15th blu brought both he and his father up from Georgia to North Carolina for a surprise winner announcement and car unveil at the FAS Lane Racing shop in Mooresville, NC.(Integrity Sports Marketing) see an image of the car on my #32 team paint schemes page.(6-17-2011)

  • Milestone starts at Michigan: #00-David Reutimann will be making his 150th series start and #30-David Stremme will attempt to make his 125th series start at Michigan International Speedway.(NASCAR)(6-17-2011)

  • Indiana license plate to aid Stewart's foundation: Indiana motorists will have the opportunity next year to purchase specialty license plates benefiting the charity of NASCAR driver Tony Stewart and soccer programs, among other causes. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles approved 10 new plates Tuesday for 2012, bringing to 99 the number offered by the state. The plates cost $40, with $25 going to the plate's cause. The Indianapolis-based Tony Stewart Foundation's plate will fund grants to Indiana nonprofit groups. Other sports-themed plates are sponsored by Ducks Unlimited for wetland conservation and Indiana Soccer.(Indianapolis Star)(6-17-2011)

  • Michigan to be repaved for 2012: Michigan International Speedway will be repaved for the fourth time in its history, track officials announced. Work to resurface the 43-year-old racetrack will begin immediately following this weekend's Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 with the repave of pit road. Repaving the rest of the track's two-mile oval racing surface will begin immediately following the August 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The track was built in 1968. The track was repaved in 1977, 1986 and 1995.The oval track repaving project consists of removing the top two inches of the existing asphalt pavement, and placing two lifts of asphalt - each 1 ½ inches thick - as a leveling course and a final wearing course. About 646,000-square-feet of asphalt will be removed. And another 22,000 tons of new asphalt will go in its place.(MIS)(6-17-2011)

  • Lloyd Carr to serve as Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 grand marshal: It's only natural a true "Michigan Man" will serve as the Grand Marshal at Michigan International Speedway, a venue widely known for celebrating its state's heritage. Lloyd Carr, the former University of Michigan football coach and recent College Football Hall of Fame inductee, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Father's Day Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday. In his 13 years (1995-2007) as head coach of Michigan football, Carr compiled a 122-40 record leading the Wolverines to five Big Ten championships, won the 1997 National Championship with a perfect 12-0 record, and finished the season in the top 25 in 12-of-13 years. In games against top ten-ranked opponents, Carr was 19-8. Carr will be part of a University of Michigan team attending Sunday's race to promote Wolverines for Life, an effort to encourage life-saving blood, organ and tissue donations.(MIS)(6-17-2011)

  • No General Admission Seats Remain for Sunday at Michigan: Reserved tickets starting at $39, with kids 17 and under half price, are still available for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 on Sunday. In addition, Friday and Saturday tickets are also available with kids 12 and under free.(MIS)(6-17-2011)

  • Memphis Motorsports Park open for testing: The oval track at Memphis International Raceway is open for training. The raceway's new owner, Moroso Investment Partners, said Thursday that the three-quarter-mile paved oval track is ready for stock car racing after months of facility improvements. Moroso says two of the facility's three race tracks have received clearance to host racing events. Crews have scraped and ground the drag racing surface, installed and upgraded a computerized timing system, and improved and painted concession stands and restrooms. Oval track rental prices start at $5,000 per day for one to four race cars and increases to $5,500 per day for five to six cars. Moroso closed the $2 million deal to buy the former Memphis Motorsports Park in January. The last NASCAR event held there was in 2009.(Associated Press)(6-17-2011)

  • 3 Amigos Tequila to partner with MIS: 3 Amigos Tequila will be the "Official Tequila of MIS" beginning with this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 race weekend. 3 Amigos Tequila was founded by Arizona resident Santiago Gonzalez and his family in 2007. The product is made from agave grown at his family's farm in Mexico. The tequila is distilled and bottled in Mexico before being brought to the United States for distribution.(MIS)(6-17-2011)


    News from June 16, 2011

  • Tryson helping JTG at Michigan: From the Bobby Labonte Facebook page, "Pat Tryson is a consistent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase crew chief who is in transition," JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. "While he is looking for his next crew chief opportunity, Pat has agreed - with the blessing of our partners at Michael Waltrip Racing - to help JTG Daugherty Racing and crew chief Frank Kerr try to improve our results."(6-16-2011)

  • RainEater Wiper Blades sponsoring Labonte: For the first time during the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season, RainEater Wiper Blades will sponsor Bobby Labonte and the #47 Toyota in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at Michigan International Speedway. RainEater's involvement in motorsports is quite simple. It is to build and expose their brand to millions of loyal race fans while also generating awareness of their high quality wiper blades and driving traffic to their growing list of retail partners. RainEater Wiper Blades are available at more than 1,500 locations nationwide. RainEater Wiper Blades selected Michigan International Speedway to showcase their brand as they are also the title sponsor of the ARCA Racing Series event (RainEater Wiper Blades 200).(JTG Daugherty)(6-16-2011)

  • CMS re-files lawsuit against governments: Charlotte Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith and his company, Speedway Motorsports, have refiled a lawsuit against the City of Concord and Cabarrus County in the ongoing battle over how much money the city owes Smith, and when it's due. At issue is $80 million in upgrades and incentives promised to Smith in October 2007 to persuade him not to move the track from Concord. Smith had threatened to move CMS when city leaders balked about his development of zMax Dragway. After weeks of tense negotiation, and against a backdrop of threats to leave town by Smith, Concord and Cabarrus County leaders came up with an $80 million incentive plan that involved road improvements and upgrades to services in and near the speedway complex. No formal agreement with a timeline for payment was established. Smith believed most of the money, $60 million, would be paid would be reimbursed within three years and the remaining $20 million within six years, but city and county leaders said that the there was no such timetable and that the money could be paid back over a period of up to forty years. Negotiations continue to take place between Smith and the civic leaders to reach a settlement in the issue.(WBTV)(6-16-2011)

  • The Numbers for Michigan (all Sprint Cup races)
    0 - fewest cautions (three times, most recent 6/13/99)
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (Mark Martin, 6/14/09)
    2 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (five times, most recent 6/15/75)
    5 - fewest leaders (five times, most recent 8/12/84)
    6 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    6 - wins by Dodge at MIS since manufacturer's return to NASCAR in 2001
    7 - fewest lead changes (8/12/84)
    8 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at MIS
    9 - most wins (David Pearson)
    10 - most poles (David Pearson)
    10 - most cautions (8/20/06)
    11 - wins by car owner (Wood Brothers, Jack Roush)
    14 - fewest cars running at finish (6/16/74)
    15 - most leaders (6/20/82)
    18 - drivers with more than one win
    20 - drivers with more than one pole at MIS
    24 - wins from the front row; 16 from the pole
    32 - worst starting position for race winner (Mark Martin, 2009)
    33 - different race winners
    37 - most cars on lead lap at finish (6/18/06)
    40 - different pole winners
    41 - most cars running at finish (five times, most recent 6/17/07)
    63 - most caution laps (8/24/75)
    65 - most lead changes (8/16/81)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.0-mile track
    162 - laps led by race winner (Rusty Wallace, 8/20/89)
    2011 Caution Update
    3 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono)
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    115 - number of cautions in the first 14 races of 2011; includes 51 for accidents, 27 for debris and 19 for spins
    565 of 4,548 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    745.429 of 5,872.000 - miles under caution in the first 14 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(6-16-2011)

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

  • Sad News - Pamela Snow Hinton: Pamela Snow Hinton, wife of ESPN.com senior writer Ed Hinton and a notable figure in the motor racing community in her own right, has died of cancer, according to family members. She was 59. A public memorial service will be scheduled at a later date at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta. Known as "Snow" on both sides of the Atlantic, "she touched the lives of, and was loved by, hundreds of people," said her close friend Alexis Leras, former NASCAR public relations director. A native of Ilion, N.Y., she worked in public relations efforts for drivers such as Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt and Benny Parsons. She later worked in the securities industry and as a human resources specialist until 1988, when she decided to become stay-at-home mom to her only child, Tyler. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War. She is survived by husband Ed ; son Tyler of Birmingham, Ala.; two brothers, Dr. Steven C. White of Rockville, Md., and Jerome S. White of Utica, N.Y.; a stepbrother, Foster "Bud" Simmons of Arvada, Colo., and two uncles, Dr. David White and the Rev. Wiley White, both of Tempe, Ariz.(ESPN.com)(6-16-2011)

  • Sad News - Sharon Francis: Sharon Phyllis Francis, 63, of Jacksonville, passed away on June 14, 2011 at her residence. She was born on October 21, 1947 in Miami, FL to the late Louis Wolfe Kamins and Melda Ellen (Barnett) Kamins. Sharon worked as an Accounting Clerk for Carolina Casualty Insurance Group in Jacksonville. She enjoyed reading, fishing, gardening, the beach, and enjoyed entertaining friends and family with her renowned cooking skills. She is survived by her son, Kenneth [Kenny] Francis [crew chief for #4 Kasey Kahne] and his wife Rebecca; her twin sister, Karen Ruby Murphy; her brother, Frederick Acie Kamins and his wife Terry; her brother, Mark Wolfe Kamins; and her 2 grandchildren, Emma Michelle Francis and Matthew Aaron Francis, along with cousins and nieces. A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, June 17th at 2:00 pm at the Chets Creek Church, 4420 Hodges Blvd, Jacksonville, FL. Memorial donations may be made in memory of Sharon to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adams Way, Randleman, NC 27317. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin, 11801 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32223.(6-16-2011)

  • Indianpolis Motor Speedway considering taking Nationwide race: UPDATE: An Indianapolis Motor Speedway spokesman Tuesday confirmed talks to bring a sports car race to the facility's road course in 2012 during NASCAR's Brickyard 400 weekend, but he said no agreement is in place. The biggest obstacle: converting the facility from a road course configuration, which would be used for a Friday endurance race of Grand-Am's Rolex Series, to an oval for NASCAR on Saturday and Sunday. NASCAR owns Grand-Am, which would bring a title sponsor to cover the sanctioning fee estimated at $200,000. Also being discussed is a move of the weekend's Nationwide Series race, which comes with a guaranteed check of about $700,000 due to the television contract, from Lucas Oil Raceway to IMS. IMS officials have been looking for ways to bolster the Brickyard weekend amid declining attendance.(Indianapolis Star)(6-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Officials at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NASCAR are in serious discussions about adding a Grand-Am Rolex Series race and possibly a Nationwide Series race to the 2012 Sprint Cup weekend at the Brickyard, multiple sources confirmed Wednesday. The Nationwide race currently at O'Reilly Raceway Park would move to IMS on Saturday afternoon. A three-hour Grand-Am endurance race likely would run on Friday afternoon so as not to conflict with the Truck Series race held that night at ORP. Doug Boles, the director of public relations at IMS, could not comment on a potential Nationwide move but acknowledged discussions to bring the Grand-Am event to the weekend for a road course race are taking place. He said the track needs more than one event to give fans more value for their ticket. Officials at ORP said they have not been told that the Nationwide race will move to IMS next year, but added if that happened it would be a big blow. "If that were to happen it would definitely make us re-strategize and refocus,'' ORP general manager Wes Collier said. "This track has been here for 50 years now. It would definitely be an impact, but we'd continue on. Right now we're planning on having two events here next year.''(ESPN.com)(6-16-2011)

  • Petty, Allison, Jarrett Featured at Toyota/Save Mart 350: Race fans will be treated to history at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 24-26, with the Legends in Sonoma program. Three of the biggest names in NASCAR history will be featured throughout the race weekend: Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett and Richard Petty. Race fans can catch Allison and Jarrett at an autograph session/Q&A session on Friday in the Wine Country Winner's Circle at 1 p.m. (PT). The trio will also be featured during a very special Q&A session on race day, Sunday, June 26, during pre-event ceremonies. Allison and Jarrett will also make an appearance at Club 7, the all-new trackside bar and lounge at Infineon Raceway, situated above Turn 7 on the road course. You can catch them at 9:45 a.m. (PT) on Sunday. Upgrades to Club 7 are available for $29-$39 per person.(Infineon PR)(6-16-2011)


    News from June 15, 2011

  • Cars 2 scheme for Montoya at MIS: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya will be sporting the colors of Disney/Pixar’s newest movie Cars 2 this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Cars 2 is about the racecar Lightening McQueen and tow truck Mater as they embark on a journey to Europe, Japan and London to compete in the first World Grand Prix to determine the world's fastest car. Cars 2 will hit movie theaters next Friday, June 24th. Look for exclusive Cars 2 toys in Target this month.(EGR), see images of the scheme on my #42 Team Schemes page.(6-15-2011)

  • Logano helps out folks in Joplin MO: from the JGR Facebook: #20-Joey Logano and the The Home Depot Foundation crew visited Joplin, MO today to help rebuild the house of a family in need after the terrible tornado destroyed much of the city. It was an incredible experience. The attached picture is a semi truck that was wrapped around a tree by the twister. Click "Like" to remind people to keep Joplin in their prayers and consider donations. More pics & story there soon!(6-15-2011)

  • Kyle Busch is the Most-Mentioned in Sponsor Exposure: Even before his most recent dustup, #18-Kyle Busch had been the center of attention during this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series broadcasts. Interviewed longer and mentioned more frequently than any other driver on the circuit during the first 12 event telecasts of 2011, Busch parlayed the spotlight into $28.4 million of exposure value for his sponsors-some $6.5 million more than the next most sponsor-potent driver, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. -- which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 27 seasons -- Busch's sponsors, with logos appearing on his car, uniform and pit crew, etc., were monitored for eight hours, 30 minutes, 39 seconds (8:30:39) during live and replayed coverage of NASCAR's Daytona 500 through last month's Coca-Cola 600. Additionally, Busch and the FOX TV crew verbally mentioned his sponsors on 95 occasions.
    Earnhardt Jr.'s cumulative exposure value ranked him second among all drivers with $21.8 million, based on 5.5 hours of on-screen time for his sponsors and 18 brand mentions. The popular driver was third in interview durations (0:13:07), but interestingly, Earnhardt Jr. sat just seventh in total driver mentions (1,140).
    Meanwhile, Trevor Bayne, despite starting only eight of the first 12 points races this year, rode the wave of his Daytona 500 win to earn $12.3 million of exposure value for his sponsors, the seventh-most among the drivers. Bayne placed 20th in terms of cumulative sponsor on-camera time and 22nd in driver mentions. (for charts and more, go to Joyce Julius & Associates)(6-15-2011)

  • #39 celebrates U.S. Army's 236th Birthday & American Hero Bud Moore: It will be both an emotional and celebratory feel for U.S. Army driver Ryan Newman at this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Newman's #39 Chevrolet will pay tribute to the U.S. Army's 236th birthday and will honor Walter "Bud" Moore, recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and decorated World War II veteran. Moore was awarded two Bronze Stars and five Purple Hearts for his heroic fight as a machine gunner during the historic D-Day allied invasion of France's Normandy coast, which commenced on June 6, 1944. A photo of Moore as a teenage U.S. Army Soldier will be featured on the rear-quarter panel of Newman's car. The 86-year-old Moore, who will be at Michigan International Speedway to take part in U.S. Army and track festivities this weekend, was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame last month for his successful 37-year career as a car owner, which included two Cup championships and 63 race wins.
    "You talk about an added incentive, I sure have a few this weekend," said Newman. "To pay tribute to Bud Moore at the race we celebrate the Army's 236th birthday is an immense honor. Throughout the course of American history it's been the Army Strong Soldiers like Bud who have put their lives on the line to protect and preserve freedom. I have personally witnessed our Soldiers' mental, emotional and physical strength and it is truly remarkable."
    Newman added, "From the U.S. Army NASCAR team to all the Soldiers past and present, 'Happy Birthday U.S. Army and thank you for 236 years of Army Strong.' " For the record, the official birth of the U.S. Army was June 14, 1775.
    "I am proud to have served in the Army and to be part of NASCAR's rich history," said Moore, a native of Spartanburg, S.C. "It's quite an honor to be included on Ryan's U.S. Army car, especially during the week of the Army's birthday." Newman has a pair of wins at Michigan (August 2003 & June 2004), but hasn't fared as well in recent years at the two-mile oval.(U.S. Army Racing), see images of the scheme on the #39 Team Schemes page.(6-15-2011)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing teams with Indiana Wholesale Offices: Indiana Wholesale Offices will team up with Tommy Baldwin Racing this weekend at Michigan. The Indiana-based company will be featured on the rear quarter panel of the #36 TBR Chevy, as well as the pit wall. Indiana Wholesale Offices host wholesale car dealers in the state of Indiana. The Merrillville-based company consults individuals on how to receive a wholesale license that will allow that dealer to operate anywhere in the United States.(TBR)(6-15-2011)

  • Hamilton, Stewart swap rides; Stewart wants change to course at The Glen: Lewis Hamilton looked at Tony Stewart, smiled and gave a thumbs-up. "Shake and bake. That's what we're going to do," Hamilton said Tuesday as he climbed behind the wheel of Stewart's # 14 Chevy at Watkins Glen International to prepare for a day like no other in his racing career. And that's exactly what the two star drivers did in an event dubbed the Mobil 1 Car Swap at The Glen, with Hamilton taking the helm of a non-open-wheel race car for the first time and Stewart hopping in an F1 car. Not even a cool, drizzly day that forced them to use rain tires at the storied road course could dampen their spirits. Hamilton wowed the crowd, spinning the tires of Stewart's Chevy as he left pit road and turned six laps. The track was slowly drying after a morning rain, and when he was finished, Hamilton did an impressive burnout as the crowd roared. After a shaky departure from the pits, Stewart got up to speed fast in the McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 despite not having driven an open-wheel car in a decade. Among his four laps, he turned a fast one of 1 minute, 42 seconds in tricky conditions. That was 8 seconds faster than Hamilton's best setup lap, which Hamilton ran on a much wetter surface.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)
    AND: Before Tuesday's ride swap with Lewis Hamilton, there was a section of the Watkins Glen International road course Stewart had never seen, the .95-mile boot-shaped section called-you guessed it-the "boot." After racing on it in both a Sprint Cup and a Formula One car, Stewart would like to see NASCAR incorporate the boot into its August Cup race here. "I enjoyed the long course," Stewart said. "I'd never been around it till today. I told (NASCAR executive and pace car driver) Brett Bodine when we got out of the car after our setup runs that I would like the opportunity to see us having a shot at running the long course. I think it would create more passing opportunities, for sure, and it's just such a historic racetrack, and there are some really cool corners down there that we don't get a shot to run on a Cup weekend." Jimmie Johnson said much the same thing after running a Grand-Am race at the Glen last year. Armed with the endorsements of Stewart and Johnson, WGI president Michael Printup plans to lobby NASCAR president Mike Helton, vice president of competition Robin Pemberton and senior vice president of racing operations Steve O'Donnell about running the full course. The tradeoff would be a reduction in the number of laps on a longer course.(Sporting News)(6-15-2011)

  • Drivers test at Infineon: Sprint Cup Series drivers #00-David Reutimann, #6-David Ragan, #71-Andy Lally and #66-Michael McDowell, as well as West Series driver and Hayward native Jessica Brunelli, completed a one-day test session at Infineon Raceway on Tuesday in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 24-26. Reutimann completed approximately 50 laps around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course. Reutimann will compete in his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Infineon Raceway next weekend. He posted a best finish of 20th in 2010. Reutimann was joined at the test session by Lally, who will race the #71 entry for Petaluma-based TRG Motorsports. Lally, who has competed in Sonoma in the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am Series, will make his first Toyota/Save Mart 350 attempt. All four Sprint Cup Series drivers piloted late-model stock cars provided by a Northern California-based race team.(Infineon Raceway PR)(6-15-2011)

  • UPS On The Move? Now that Kasey Kahne has Farmers Insurance as his primary sponsor for the majority of races next season, it eliminates one of the potential candidates for the UPS sponsorship. UPS is one of the top sponsors in the sport left to make its decision on where it will be in 2012. Its contract ends this year with Roush Fenway Racing and driver #6-David Ragan. Roush Fenway still needs to sign #99-Carl Edwards, and that could result in him wearing the UPS colors next season along with Aflac, depending on how much money each company wants to fork over for the current series points leader. That wouldn't be the preferable scenario for Roush Fenway but might be the only way it can keep Edwards in the organization. Another possibility for UPS would be #33-Clint Bowyer, whose personality would be a good fit with the company. General Mills has yet to re-sign with Richard Childress Racing and Bowyer, whose contract also is up at the end of this year.(Scene Daily)(6-15-2011)

  • NASCAR joins with Spin Master for merchandising program: NASCAR Team Properties and Spin Master Ltd. have joined forces to connect with, and help build, a new generation of fans for the sport. In a strategic effort to build its merchandising program and to further its reach with the youth demographic, NASCAR has chosen Spin Master to inject excitement, innovation, and fun into its toys and merchandise. As the primary toy licensee, Spin Master's line of products will begin hitting store shelves in 2012. The multi-year agreement provides Spin Master with exclusive licensing rights for NASCAR branded toy categories including replica vehicles, play sets, action figures, remote control items and much more. Not only will these Spin Master NASCAR items be sold at mass market retailers, but also at online e-commerce sites and specialty retailers nationwide. Spin Master's Air Hogs, the largest radio-controlled toy brand in the world, is a sponsoring partner with Jr. Motorsports, and will be the primary sponsor of driver Josh Wise and the #7 Chevy car at the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Michigan this Saturday, June 18.(NASCAR)(6-15-2011)

  • Indianpolis Motor Speedway considering taking Nationwide race: An Indianapolis Motor Speedway spokesman Tuesday confirmed talks to bring a sports car race to the facility's road course in 2012 during NASCAR's Brickyard 400 weekend, but he said no agreement is in place. The biggest obstacle: converting the facility from a road course configuration, which would be used for a Friday endurance race of Grand-Am's Rolex Series, to an oval for NASCAR on Saturday and Sunday. NASCAR owns Grand-Am, which would bring a title sponsor to cover the sanctioning fee estimated at $200,000. Also being discussed is a move of the weekend's Nationwide Series race, which comes with a guaranteed check of about $700,000 due to the television contract, from Lucas Oil Raceway to IMS. IMS officials have been looking for ways to bolster the Brickyard weekend amid declining attendance.(Indianapolis Star)(6-15-2011)

  • Buy a ticket to Atlanta; drive the track: Fans who purchase tickets to the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, have the opportunity to not only be in the stands on Labor Day weekend, but also experience driving on the famed 1.54-mile oval. Fans that purchase at least two tickets priced $59 and up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, September 4th gain the opportunity to drive their personal cars on the same high banks that their favorite Sprint Cup stars will tackle on Labor Day Weekend. Purchase must be made before July 1 and drive vouchers can be redeemed during the following times: June 27 and 28 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and July 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.(AMS)(6-15-2011)


    News from June 14, 2011

  • 3rd Hall of Fame class announced:
    NASCAR announced today the 2012 class of inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The five-person class, which will be officially inducted in a ceremony during the weekend of Jan. 20, 2012 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., consists of: Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Inman, Richie Evans and Glen Wood.
    Members of the 55-member NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte, N.C., to vote on the induction class of 2012. The announcement was made by NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s “Great Hall.”
    The class was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, which included a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.COM. The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
    As was the case for the first two classes of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the results of this year’s voting were competitive. Yarborough led with 85 percent of the vote, followed by Waltrip (82%), Inman (78%), Evans (50%) and Wood (44%).
    Also receiving votes were Jerry Cook, Cotton Owens, Raymond Parks and Herb Thomas.
    The fans’ five picks, in alphabetical order, were Richard Childress, Benny Parsons, Fireball Roberts, Waltrip and Yarborough.
    The five inductees came from a group of 25 nominees for induction into the 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame class that included:
    Buck Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Jerry Cook, H. Clay Earles, Richie Evans, Tim Flock, Rick Hendrick, Jack Ingram, Bobby Isaac, Dale Inman, Fred Lorenzen, Cotton Owens, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Les Richter, Fireball Roberts, T. Wayne Robertson, Herb Thomas, Curtis Turner, Darrell Waltrip, Joe Weatherly, Glen Wood, Leonard Wood and Cale Yarborough.
    The NASCAR Hall of Fame opened on May 11, 2010 in Uptown Charlotte, N.C. The 150,000 square foot entertainment complex honors the history and heritage of NASCAR and the many who have contributed to the success of the sport. In its first year of operation, the NASCAR Hall of Fame entertained more than 270,000 customers, making it the second most-visited sports hall of fame in North America.
    More info about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the list of 25 who were finalists for induction on my NASCAR Hall of Fame page or nascarhall.com.(6-14-2011)

    Class of 2012 Inductees:

    Cale Yarborough
    William Caleb Yarborough was the first driver to win three consecutive NASCAR premier series championships, from 1976-78. During his three-year dominance, Yarborough won 28 races – nine in 1976, nine in ’77 and 10 in ’78. His final championship points margin in those three years was never fewer than 195 points and was as much as 474 in 1978. Yarborough totaled 83 victories in his 31-year career, which ranks sixth all-time. His 69 poles rank fourth all-time. He also won the Daytona 500 four times (1968, ’77, ’83-84), a mark that ranks second only to Richard Petty’s seven. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

    Darrell Waltrip
    A three-time NASCAR premier series champion (1981-82, ’85), Waltrip won all three with legendary driver/owner Junior Johnson. Waltrip is tied with Bobby Allison and Jeff Gordon for third all-time in series victories with 84. His 59 poles rank fifth all-time in NASCAR premier series history. He competed from 1972-2000, which included a 1989 Daytona 500 victory in a Rick Hendrick-owned Chevrolet. He currently is a commentator on FOX’s NASCAR broadcasts. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

    Dale Inman
    Dale Inman, NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty’s crew chief at Petty Enterprises for nearly three decades, set records for most wins (193) and championships (eight) by a crew chief. Inman won seven of those championships with Petty (1964, ’67, ’71, ’72, ’74, ’75 and ’79), and a final one in 1984 with Terry Labonte.

    Richie Evans
    The recognized “king” of Modified racing, Evans captured nine NASCAR Modified titles in a 13-year span, including eight in a row from 1978-85. In the first year of the current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour format in 1985, Evans won 12 races, including a sweep of all four events at Thompson, Conn. Evans ranked No. 1 in the 2003 voting of the NASCAR All-Time Modified Top 10 Drivers, and he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

    Glen Wood
    Glen Wood laid the foundation for the famed Wood Brothers racing team as a driver in NASCAR’s premier series. Competing on a semi-regular basis, mostly at tracks close to his southern Virginia home, Wood won four times – all at Bowman-Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. Wood, of course, is best known for his collaboration with brothers Leonard and Delano in Wood Brothers Racing. The Stuart, Va.-based team, which dates to 1950 and remains active, has amassed 98 victories.

  • Fans can plan their day at Stewart-Hamilton car swap TODAY on SPEED: The schedule for the Mobil 1 Car Swap at legendary Watkins Glen International on Tuesday, June 14 has been finalized, allowing fans to make their plans for the historic event. Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart are set to get the day rolling at approximately 11:30 am. Gate 4 opens for fans interested in attending this momentous and free event at 9:00 am. The complete schedule of events is available at www.TheGlen.com. Admission and parking are free to all those in attendance and fans have the opportunity to watch the Mobil 1 Car Swap from a variety of locations. Tickets for the 2011 race season at Watkins Glen International are on sale now! Fans can order their tickets or get more information by calling the WGI ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or visiting the official website TheGlen.com.(WGI)(6-12-2011)
    UPDATE: SPEED takes viewers to Watkins Glen International, where future Hall of Famer and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will swap rides with Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton in Seat Swap: Hamilton vs. Stewart. SPEED offers full coverage of the daylong event in the one-hour special airing at 8:00pm/et. In addition to the one-hour special on the linear network, SPEED.com also will cover the Stewart/Hamilton event with online clips and editorial coverage. Bob Varsha, longtime voice of F1 on SPEED, hosts Seat Swap: Hamilton vs. Stewart with analysis from Larry McReynolds and Steve Matchett and Ralph Sheheen reporting from the pits at the road course. The drivers each will make four laps in the other's machine.(SPEED)(6-14-2011)

  • 3rd NASCAR Hall of Fame Class to be announced TODAY: Voting Day is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14th at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the next Class of Inductees. Five inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be chosen from a list of twenty-five. SPEED will air a live preview show of the announcement of the third class of five inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame at 3:00pm/et, followed by live coverage of the announcement at 4:00pm/et. The 2012 class will be enshrined in January 2012. More info about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the list of 25 who are eligible on my NASCAR Hall of Fame page or nascarhall.com.(6-13/14-2011)

  • Brian Keselowski switches to Chevy; has sponsor for MIS: K-Automotive Motorsports announced that Brian Keselowski will be back on the track in the #92 Chevy, at Michigan International Speedway. Keselowski said in a recent statement: "Making the decision to leave Dodge and go with another manufacturer was a hard decision to make but as an owner I need to think of what is best for the team & the company and it's what I need to do to try and make races to keep racing and pay the bills, so that is why I've made the switch. While I am not happy about parting ways with Dodge, I am looking forward to our new venture with Chevy. Maybe in the future I'll be able to work with Dodge again but for right now, Chevy is the way we've chosen to go & I'm hopeful this will benefit all involved". K-Automotive Motorsports also announced the return of Melling Engine Parts as a sponsor for Keselowski's #92 Chevy at Michigan. Mark Melling CEO of Melling Engine Parts has agreed to a one race sponsorship of the K-Automovtive Chevrolet at MIS. " I am pleased to help out another racing family with Michigan Roots. We once had the Melling name on a K-Automotive Truck in Daytona and this opportunity to help out again was to good to pass up." Keselowski states "I am really excited about bringing the Melling name back into racing and honored to do it in the #92 as they used to. Hopefully this is a good sign in the right direction and I'm hopeful to have them on board with us more in the future." K- Automotive Motorsports is actively seeking additional sponsors.(PR), see image of the scheme on the #92 Team Schemes page.(6-14-2011)

  • Red Cross on the #16 at MIS: #16-Greg Biffle will be sponsored by the American Red Cross for this weekend's race at MIS. MIS hosts the nation's largest blood drive, the Spirit of America Blood Drive, on Sept. 11 each year. The Spirit of America Blood Drive is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2011 as over 7,500 units of blood have been collected in the last decade, potentially being able to save the lives of over 22,000 people.(MIS), see an image of the scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page.(6-14-2011)

  • Johnson shut out at MIS: #48-Jimmie Johnson has yet to win a race at Michigan International Speedway in 18 Cup race appearances. In fact, MIS is just one of four Sprint Cup Series tracks overall that he has not won at, a list which also includes Chicago, Homestead and Watkins Glen. MIS is the only track left on the list that hosts two Sprint Cup race a year. Michigan: 0 for 18 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007
    Watkins Glen: 0 for 9 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007
    Chicago: 0 for 9 with a best finish of 2nd in 7/2004 & 7/2008
    Homestead: 0 for 10 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2004 & 11/2010
    plus Johnson ran five races at Rockingham Speedway and didn't win there.(6-14-2011)

  • blu Cigs Sponsors FAS Lane Racing at MIS: FAS Lane Racing announced that blu Cigs will sponsor the team's #32 Ford at Michigan International Raceway for the running of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400. This marks the second time blu Cigs has joined FAS Lane Racing and they do so in Michigan with the introduction of a special Father's Day promotion that will put the picture of one lucky dad on the hood of the #32 blu Cigs Ford for the Father's Day event. "We're excited to have blu Cigs back with us again next week at Michigan," said team owner Frank Stoddard. "We had a great time with them in Charlotte a few weeks ago and Michigan will be special since it is Father's Day. They have found how sponsoring our team works for their business model and their Father's Day promotion is an example of their creative thoughts with this program. We look forward to them riding along with us once again as well as the promotion winner who will be riding on the hood with us in Michigan. " blu Cigs, the e-cigarette brand delivering superior style and flavor with the freedom to enjoy smoking anywhere, has just launched a week-long Ultimate Father's Day Contest. Now through June 10, visit www.facebook.com/blucigs and tell blu what makes your dad great and deserving of an equally great gift. If your story is chosen, blu and FAS Lane Racing will splash your dad's photo across the entire hood of the #32 blu Cigs Ford. The car will be driven by FAS Lane's Mike Bliss at the Heluva Good 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Michigan, taking place this Father's Day, Sunday, June 19th.(Integrity Sports Marketing(FAS Lane Racing)(6-14-2011)

  • Front Row and Kvapil to Honor Fallen Basketball Star: Travis Kvapil's #38 Ford will go to Michigan International Speedway next week with a special tribute to the memory of Wes Leonard - the Fennville (Mich.) High School basketball player who died of a heart ailment just after scoring a game-winning basket. The #38 Front Row Motorsports Ford, which will be sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, will carry the logo of the Wes Leonard Heart Team on its rear quarter panels. The foundation was set up in the superstar's memory to honor children who have lost their lives to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and to prevent similar tragedies from occurring. Leonard's parents, brother and grandparents and members of the foundation will be special guests of the #38 team at the June 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(6-14-2011)

  • At Michigan International Speedway:
    · Michigan International Speedway sits on more than 1,400 acres in the "Irish Hills" of Southeastern Michigan. Ground-breaking took place on Sept. 28, 1967.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan was held June 15, 1969.
    · The track was known as Michigan Speedway during the time Roger Penske was the primary owner (1996-99).
    · There have been 83 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan International Speedway since the first race there in 1969. Other than 1973, which had just one race, there have been two races each season since 1969.
    · The first race was 500 miles in length; the second was scheduled for 600. The track was re-measured to 2.04 miles for the last race in 1970 and both races in 1971 – with the race distance being 402 miles. All other races have been scheduled for 400 miles.
    · Donnie Allison won the first pole.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was won by Cale Yarborough.
    · There have been 40 different pole winners, led by David Pearson, with 10.
    · 33 different drivers have won races, led by David Pearson (nine); 18 have more than one victory there.
    · The race winner has started from the pole 16 times, the most productive starting position. Brian Vickers was the last driver to win from the pole the fall race of 2009.
    · 65 of 83 races have been won from a top-10 starting position, including 46 from the first four spots.
    · The deepest in the field a race winner has started was 32nd, by Mark Martin in the 2009 June race.
    · The Wood Brothers and Roush Fenway Racing both have 11 wins, more than any other car owners.
    · Among active drivers, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth average a top-10 finish. Edwards, who has two Michigan wins, has an average finish of 6.3. Edwards' first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start came at Michigan. Kenseth, who also has two victories, has an average finish of 9.8.
    · There have been 88 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Michigan.
    · 96 drivers in NASCAR's three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Michigan.
    · There have been eight race winners from Michigan in NASCAR's three national series.(NASCAR)(6-14-2011)

  • Bristol Motor Speedway makes list as one the world's top sports destinations: The unique nature and mystique of Bristol Motor Speedway once again propelled the modern day coliseum to the forefront in a listing of the world's top sports destinations. In a recent Business Insider article, entitled the "100 Best Venues In Sports", Bristol Motor Speedway was the lone NASCAR track among the facilities making the list. Selections accumulated points in three categories: architecture, ambiance and aesthetics -- evidenced by the many recently-constructed facilities in the inventory. Bristol Motor Speedway landed in the No. 77 slot; in front of such notable venues as Busan Asaid Stadium (Busan, South Korea), Beijing National Stadium (Bejing, China), home of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Court Phillippe Chatier – the main court at the French Open (Paris, France) and Yas Marina Circuit (Yas Island, UAE), home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. For more information concerning tickets, please visit www.bristoltix.com or call the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865) or toll free at 1-866-415-4158.(BMS)(6-14-2011)


    News from June 13, 2011

  • NASCAR Now Roundtable: Two reporters who regularly cover the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Jenna Fryer of Associated Press and Nate Ryan of USA Today, will join NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith as panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Tuesday, June 13, at 12 midnight ET (late Monday night) on ESPN2. Mike Massaro will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.

  • The Entry List for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon (36/14)
    #30-David Stremme (44/5)
    #37-Tony Raines (39/14)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (38/14)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (40/14)
    #50-T.J. Bell (49/4)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/14)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/14)
    #71-Andy Lally (37/14)
    #81-Scott Riggs (50/5)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/14)
    #92-Brian Kesekowski (48/6)
    In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 7,71,38,37,46,66,87,60
    missing the race would be [4]: #'s 92,30,81,50
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Michigan Entry List.(6-13-2011)

  • #18 fails inspection UPDATE 3 Penalties announced: The #18 M&M's Toyota of Kyle Busch failed post race inspection at Pocono with a height issue on the left-front end. The car will be taken to NASCAR's R&D center, any penalties normally announced Tuesday.
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch's third place finishing car in Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono raceway failed post race inspection. Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was found to be too low after NASCAR officials inspected it three times following Sunday's race. Busch's left front was too low and NASCAR will take the car back to its R&D Center in Concord, N.C. While he will be allowed to keep his third place finish a fine and points penalty will more than likely be assessed. "it's the last thing I expected - I have as many questions as you," said crew chief Dave Rogers.(CBS Sports)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials said the front left was too low on the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Crew chief Dave Rogers said the car was 1/16th of an inch outside the tolerances already allowed by the governing body. Because the car passed pre-race inspection Rogers speculated the violation was the result of a broken part. Because NASCAR doesn't typically differentiate whether the violation was intentional or unintentional, Busch faces a potential fine, points deduction or both. He currently is fifth in points, 25 behind leader Carl Edwards who lost his big lead after an engine failure left him 37th at the 2.5-mile track. Rogers said it was a "huge surprise'' when NASCAR informed him the car failed and would be taken to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluation. "It's disappointing," Rogers said. "I can't tell you a whole lot right now. We sit on bump stops in these race cars. Your springs often don't damage. We were struggling all weekend and we went back to what we raced last spring when we finished second. We put the same package in -- same front shocks, same front springs. We went through tech just fine last year, but obviously everything has a year on it and everything is mileaged out. I don't have any excuses for you. It's the last thing I expected after the race." Rogers said there was a lot of damage on the left front fender, apparently from bottoming out on the rough Pocono surface. He said Busch also got into the fence on the right side. "There is plenty of body damage, but nothing that I could look at and say,'Hey, NASCAR, here's a problem,'" Rogers said. "I would just be trying to make excuses if I tried to justify it."(ESPN.com)(6-12-2011)
    UPDATE 3 #18 Team penalties announced: NASCAR has penalized the #18 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during post-race inspection Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
    The #18 Toyota was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (body height requirements – car failed to meet the minimum front car heights) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book.
    As a result, crew chief Dave Rogers has been fined $25,000, while owner Joe Gibbs and driver Kyle Busch have been penalized with the loss of six championship owner and six championship driver points, respectively.(NASCAR)
    STATEMENT FROM JGR: "We brought the #18 car back to our race shop and have identified the problem which caused us to measure low during the post-race inspection process in Pocono yesterday afternoon. We have made NASCAR aware of our findings and we accept the penalty they have issued today."(JGR)(6-13-2011)

  • Gordon and crew chiefs: If Jeff Gordon is going to win his fifth Cup championship this year, it will be with a new crew chief, Alan Gustafson. When Gordon won last week at Phoenix, Gustafson, in his second race with Gordon, because the fifth crew chief to be on the pit box for one of Gordon's 83 Cup wins. Ray Evernham leads the way in wins—and championships.
    Crew chief; Wins; Titles
    Ray Evernham; 47; 3
    Robbie Loomis; 23; 1
    Steve Letarte; 10; 0
    Brian Whitesell; 2; 0
    Alan Gustafson; 2; 0
    Total; 84, 4
    (Sporting News)(6-13-2011)

  • 3rd NASCAR Hall of Fame Class to be announced: Voting Day is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14th at the NASCAR Hall of Fame for the next Class of Inductees. Five inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame will be chosen from a list of twenty-five. SPEED will air a live preview show of the announcement of the third class of five inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame at 3:00pm/et, followed by live coverage of the announcement at 4:00pm/et. More info about the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the list of 25 who are eligible on my NASCAR Hall of Fame page or nascarhall.com.(6-13-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown for Pocono: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Recording began at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:46 PM (all times are EST). TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 132
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 63
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 53
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 6 min. 35 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:46 PM
    Total minutes: 226
    Minutes of race broadcast: 164
    Minutes of commercials: 62
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 2
    Number of pop guns to assist in the call to start the engines: 1 Brandished by Jason Lee
    Number of famous country singers to be featured in a video clip about Pocono Raceway: 1 Brad Paisley
    Total race brdcst time 164 Total comm. brdcst time 62
    See more details, links and past races on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(6-13-2011)

  • Some Cup drivers to test at Infineon: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #6-David Ragan, #00-David Reutimann and #66-Michael McDowell will take part in a test session at Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 24-26. The drivers will pilot late model stock cars during the test. The test is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14th.(Infineon Raceway)(6-13-2011)

  • IEG will measure ROO for new Roush sponsors: Roush Fenway Racing [#'s 6,16,17,99] has hired IEG's sponsorship measurement division to provide independent, third-party return-on-objective analysis to new sponsors. The race team and sponsorship analysis company are labeling the new service RoushFenwayOnTrack. IEG has never partnered with a team or property to do similar research in the past. Roush executives hope the service enables sponsors to better evaluate the value of their sponsorships with the race team. Roush will pay for the service from IEG and include it in its sponsorship packages alongside assets such as driver appearances, production days and show car programs. Sponsors will be able to hold independent meetings with IEG to define their objectives and develop measurement tools to track their sponsorship's performance. IEG will share the results with the partner. Four of Roush's major NASCAR Sprint Cup partners were up for renewal this season. 3M [#16 ]is the only one to renew to date, and IEG measurement services weren't included in the deal. The team remains in negotiations with Diageo's Crown Royal [#17], Aflac [#99] and UPS [#6].(Sports Business Journal)(6-13-2011)

  • Harvick vs. Busch resurfaces: #29-Kevin Harvick made it clear Sunday at Pocono Raceway that his feud with #18-Kyle Busch isn't over. The Richard Childress Racing driver forced Busch down the track early in the Sprint Cup race when the two were fighting for position in the last event of their four-race probation, handed down by NASCAR after their pit road incident at Darlington. It was a continuation of the feud between the drivers, as well as the one with Harvick's team owner, Richard Childress, who put Busch in a headlock and punched him in the Truck Series garage after last weekend's truck race at Kansas. The incident came after Busch made contact with RCR driver Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap. "He knows he's got one coming," Harvick said after finishing fifth at Pocono on Sunday, two spots behind Busch. "I just wanted him to think about it." NASCAR warned the two drivers to just race, and the battle seemed to settle down after that. "It seemed like he was trying to make it awfully difficult on me," Busch said. "There were a couple of times I had to back off and wait (before passing)." Busch said what Harvick did simply showed his character. "It's not my fight," Busch said. "He's trying to turn it into one."(ESPN.com)(6-13-2011)


    News from June 12, 2011

  • Gordon wins at Pocono: #24-Jeff Gordon won the 5-Hour Energy 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 2nd win of 2011 and 84th win of his career. The win ties him with Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for 3rd on the all-time win list in the series. The win was Gordon's 5th at Pocono, tying him with Bill Elliott for the most wins at the track.
    Pole sitter #22-Busch finished second followed by #18-Busch, #48-Johnson, #29-Harvick, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #42-Montoya, #17-Kesneth, #39-Newman and #56-Truex Jr. #11-Hamlin led the most laps with 76 but lost a tire late and finsihed 19th. Points leader #99-Edwards had a valve in the engine break and spent a lot of time/laps in the garage, finishing 37th and now only leads #48-Johnson by 6 points.
    There were 18 lead changes among 10 drivers; 4 cautions for 14 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 90,000, down from 105,000 last June.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, June 15 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Pocono Race Results/Awards page.(6-12-2011)

  • #18 fails inspection UPDATE 2: The #18 M&M's Toyota of Kyle Busch failed post race inspection at Pocono with a height issue on the left-front end. The car will be taken to NASCAR's R&D center, any penalties normally announced Tuesday.
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch's third place finishing car in Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 500 at Pocono raceway failed post race inspection. Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was found to be too low after NASCAR officials inspected it three times following Sunday's race. Busch's left front was too low and NASCAR will take the car back to its R&D Center in Concord, N.C. While he will be allowed to keep his third place finish a fine and points penalty will more than likely be assessed. "it's the last thing I expected - I have as many questions as you," said crew chief Dave Rogers.(CBS Sports)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials said the front left was too low on the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Crew chief Dave Rogers said the car was 1/16th of an inch outside the tolerances already allowed by the governing body. Because the car passed pre-race inspection Rogers speculated the violation was the result of a broken part. Because NASCAR doesn't typically differentiate whether the violation was intentional or unintentional, Busch faces a potential fine, points deduction or both. He currently is fifth in points, 25 behind leader Carl Edwards who lost his big lead after an engine failure left him 37th at the 2.5-mile track. Rogers said it was a "huge surprise'' when NASCAR informed him the car failed and would be taken to the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluation. "It's disappointing," Rogers said. "I can't tell you a whole lot right now. We sit on bump stops in these race cars. Your springs often don't damage. We were struggling all weekend and we went back to what we raced last spring when we finished second. We put the same package in -- same front shocks, same front springs. We went through tech just fine last year, but obviously everything has a year on it and everything is mileaged out. I don't have any excuses for you. It's the last thing I expected after the race." Rogers said there was a lot of damage on the left front fender, apparently from bottoming out on the rough Pocono surface. He said Busch also got into the fence on the right side. "There is plenty of body damage, but nothing that I could look at and say,'Hey, NASCAR, here's a problem,'" Rogers said. "I would just be trying to make excuses if I tried to justify it."(ESPN.com)(6-12-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Pocono:
    #24-Jeff Gordon won the 30th Annual 5-hour ENERGY 500 , his 84th victory in 631 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Gordon ties Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for third on the all-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins list.
    This is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his fifth victory and 26th top-10 finish in 37 races at Pocono Raceway. Gordon ties Bill Elliott for the most series wins at Pocono Raceway with five.
    #22-Kurt Busch (second) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 21 races at Pocono Raceway. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2011.
    #18-Kyle Busch (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in 13 races at Pocono Raceway.
    #71-Andy Lally (32nd) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #99-Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 6 points over #48-Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-12-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Pocono, race 14 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 492
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 486, -6
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 482, -10
    4) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 481, -11
    5) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 467, -25
    6) #22-Kurt Busch, 457, -35
    7) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 448, -44
    8) #33-Clint Bowyer, 419, -73
    9) #14-Tony Stewart, 417, -75
    10) #39-Ryan Newman, 417, -75
    wild cards
    11) #24-Jeff Gordon [2 wins], 411, -81 [11th in points]
    12) #11-Denny Hamlin, 408, -84 [12th in points]
    Two race winners are not inside the top-20: #2-Keselowski is 22nd, 13 pts out of 20th; and #78-Smith is 27th, 47 pts out of 20th
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as 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.(6-12-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Michigan:
    No changes this week.
    31) #51-Cassill/Phoenix, 224, +53
    32) #36-Blaney/TBR, 221, +50
    33) #13-Mears/Germain, 212, +41
    34) #32-Carpentier/FAS Lane, 210, +39
    35) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 173, +2 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #7-RGordon/RGM, 171, 2 points out of top 35
    37) #71-Lally/TRG, 168, -5
    38) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 160, -13
    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.(6-12-2011)

  • Penalty Report / Infraction Sheet - Pocono:
    Car#, Lap, Infraction, Flag, Penalty, Lap Assessed
    #27 48 Speed-Exiting pits G Pass Thru 49
    #83 93 Speed-Exiting pits G Pass Thru 95
    #83 95 Speed-Exiting pits G Stop & Go 98
    #13 112 Pitting out of order Y Tail of Field 116
    #13 112 Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area Y Tail of Field 116
    #32 134 Speed-Exiting pits G Pass Thru 136
    (NASCAR Statistics)(6-12-2011)

  • Lucky Dogs - Who got a lap back on each caution at Pocono: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: no driver a lap down
    Caution 2: no driver a lap down on the track
    Caution 3: #43-Allmendinger, 25th
    Caution 4: #5-Martin, 18th
    (6-12-2011)

  • Pit Road Times
    Pocono Raceway
    5-Hour Energy 500
    Provided by NASCAR Statistics
    Sun, June 12, 2011 @ 05:09 PM Eastern

    Car# Pit Stops Driver Laps Time Total Seconds Avg Seconds
    51 7 Landon Cassill(i) 200 04:40.0 280.023 40.003
    42 8 Juan Pablo Montoya 200 04:47.5 287.466 35.933
    22 8 Kurt Busch 200 05:01.0 301.025 37.628
    39 8 Ryan Newman 200 05:01.7 301.665 37.708
    24 8 Jeff Gordon 200 05:01.7 301.741 37.718
    17 8 Matt Kenseth 200 05:02.6 302.627 37.828
    00 8 David Reutimann 200 05:04.6 304.59 38.074
    78 8 Regan Smith 200 05:08.7 308.663 38.583
    20 8 Joey Logano 200 05:11.3 311.327 38.916
    48 8 Jimmie Johnson 200 05:12.8 312.824 39.103
    27 9 Paul Menard 200 05:19.8 319.828 35.536
    56 9 Martin Truex Jr. 200 05:31.7 331.664 36.852
    31 8 Jeff Burton 200 05:32.5 332.526 41.566
    29 9 Kevin Harvick 200 05:38.2 338.195 37.577
    18 9 Kyle Busch 200 05:40.5 340.532 37.837
    88 9 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 200 05:41.0 340.966 37.885
    6 9 David Ragan 200 05:43.1 343.078 38.12
    11 9 Denny Hamlin 200 05:45.0 344.981 38.331
    83 10 Brian Vickers 200 05:45.7 345.689 34.569
    5 9 Mark Martin 200 05:49.5 349.47 38.83
    14 9 Tony Stewart 200 05:56.4 356.449 39.605
    33 8 Clint Bowyer 200 06:26.4 386.36 48.295
    4 9 Kasey Kahne 200 07:01.5 421.55 46.839
    2 11 Brad Keselowski 200 08:56.3 536.301 48.755
    36 7 Dave Blaney 199 04:54.8 294.806 42.115
    34 8 David Gilliland 199 05:26.9 326.89 40.861
    47 9 Bobby Labonte 199 05:44.5 344.493 38.277
    43 9 A J Allmendinger 199 06:20.6 380.599 42.289
    16 11 Greg Biffle 199 07:12.0 431.954 39.269
    13 9 Casey Mears 198 08:53.6 533.609 59.29
    32 9 Mike Bliss(i) 197 05:49.2 349.234 38.804
    71 10 Andy Lally # 194 10:42.6 642.638 64.264
    1 8 Jamie McMurray* 189 19:24.1 1,164.15 145.518
    9 7 Marcos Ambrose* 154 50:18.9 3,018.90 431.271
    38 7 Sam Hornish Jr(i)* 140 02:41.4 3,761.41 537.344
    37 8 Tony Raines* 124 17:08.2 1,028.22 128.527
    99 3 Carl Edwards* 59 26:41.2 8,801.23 2,933.74
    7 1 Scott Wimmer(i)* 51 06:50.2 410.159 410.159
    50 1 T J Bell #* 33 04:04.0 244.046 244.046
    87 1 Joe Nemechek(i) 29 00:45.1 45.136 45.136
    66 2 Michael McDowell* 29 09:54.3 594.267 297.134

    * Includes time spent in the garage
    # Sunoco Rookie of the Year Candidate
    (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

  • MWR Owners Enjoy Le Mans Experience: The #71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 driven by Michael Waltrip, Rob Kauffman and Rui Aguas retired due to transmission failure after racing about 16 hours in the 79th annual running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team placed 13th in the GTE Pro class and 38th overall. Only 28 of the 56-car field finished the endurance race on the historic eight-mile track. Despite the early exit, Waltrip and Kauffman are enthusiastic about a potential return to Le Mans. "We had a blast and we hope to return in the future," said Kauffman. "It was a privilege to participate in the Le Mans 24 Hours."
    Waltrip said the week-long events culminating with the race will be one of the highlights of his career: “I’m a NASCAR guy and will always be a NASCAR guy. But, this was pretty cool. It’s been a wild week. It started with rushing out of the television booth at the Kansas truck race and taking planes, trains and automobiles to get here in time for scrutineering the next day. The events in Le Mans during the week were awesome and you could really start to feel the intensity build as the race drew closer. It was amazing to watch the battle between Peugeot and Audi. This is what those guys live for and they take it seriously. Once the race started the track was awesome. I love the manufacturer involvement, the layout, the fans, the flags. It was just a spectacle. I see why this is one of the world’s great events. We weren’t very fortunate in the race, but our AF Corse team car finished second so that was really cool. We learned a lot with this new car and I really look forward to what the future holds for us in sports car racing. I’m ready to go home and get back to the NASCAR garage at Michigan.”(MWR)(6-12-2011)

  • RPM owner still looking to bring NASCAR to NYC: Andrew Murstein made the roughly two-hour drive from New York City to Pocono Raceway for this Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 500 without complaint. But he is trying to revive interest in having NASCAR build a track so some day he can watch a race live without having to venture far from the heart of America's largest city. Murstein, who along with investor Douglas Bergeron purchased more than a 50% interest in Richard Petty Motorsports last November, said Saturday that he believes he could help such a venture succeed where previously similar efforts have failed. Asked how important Sunday's race that Pocono hosts is to the New York market, Murstein replied: "It's pretty important. Obviously it's the track that's closest to New York City. One of the things I'm talking to people back in New York City about -- in the really early stages -- is putting a track one day in New York City. Therefore, the people follow this to find out how well it does and how the fans turn out. I hope one day there is a track in New York City, because between that and Pocono, it would be great for the sport." Murstein, who is founder, president, board member and largest shareholder of Medallion Financial Corp., said he has opened preliminary discussions about the possibility with NASCAR as well as current and former New York state government officials. "I called NASCAR and said, 'Do you have any interest in looking at something for New York City?' And they said, 'Eventually.' But it's not at the top of their list," Murstein said.(NASCAR.com)(6-12-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of Kansas: 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 last Sunday’s race at Kansas. Recording began at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:14 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 118
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 66
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 60
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 6 min. 15 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:14 PM
    Total minutes: 194
    Minutes of race broadcast: 142
    Minutes of commercials: 52
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1 during a commercial break; debris was referred to but not seen
    Number of cowboy hat-wearin’ famous racers to give the call to start the engines: 1 Richard Petty
    Number of ‘Digger’ appearances: 8
    Number of wry driver requests during the race: 1 Carl Edwards asking for coffee or hot chocolate
    Number of commercials shown split-screen during the broadcast: 4 Thank you, ‘True Grit’ movie, Pizza Hut, ToyotaRacing.com, Sprint, and Fox!
    Total race brdcst time 142 Total comm. brdcst time 52
    See more details, links and past races on the Television Commercial News page.(6-12-2011)

  • General admission ticket a hot, affordable item at MIS: With only one week left until one of the state’s largest sporting events, race fans have spoken and it’s loud and clear: The price of a ticket to a sporting event is more important than ever. MIS officials realized this long ago when implementing a new sales strategy that reset the price of tickets across the board for its events. So tickets have not been this price since 1998. At $30, a general admission ticket to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at MIS is one of the best, most affordable tickets in big-time auto racing. That’s why only a handful of GA tickets remain for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 on June 19. At MIS, kids 12 and under are free in all general admission sections on Sunday; and all reserved seats Friday and Saturday. Kids 13-17 are half price in reserved seats on Saturday and Sunday. The next price level after general admission is $39 for adults with kids 17 and under half price in this reserved section, still cheaper than most major racetracks, in the speedway’s newest seats near Turn 1. As always, parking is free at MIS – and the track allows coolers through the gates. Check the speedway’s website for details. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 on June 19 and NSCS 400 on August 21 are now on sale too and as low as $30. Visit MISpeedway.com or call the MIS ticket hotline at 800-354-1010 today to take advantage of great pricing for 2011 events at MIS.(MIS)(6-12-2011)

  • Fans can plan their day at Stewart-Hamilton car swap: The schedule for the Mobil 1 Car Swap at legendary Watkins Glen International on Tuesday, June 14 has been finalized, allowing fans to make their plans for the historic event. Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart are set to get the day rolling at approximately 11:30 am. Gate 4 opens for fans interested in attending this momentous and free event at 9:00 am. The complete schedule of events is available at www.TheGlen.com. Admission and parking are free to all those in attendance and fans have the opportunity to watch the Mobil 1 Car Swap from a variety of locations. Tickets for the 2011 race season at Watkins Glen International are on sale now! Fans can order their tickets or get more information by calling the WGI ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or visiting the official website TheGlen.com.(WGI)(6-12-2011)


    News from June 11, 2011

  • Race Coverage of the 5-Hour Energy 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, June 12, 2011.
    Television (TV): TNT at 1:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:15pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    SPEED, Wednesday, June 15 at 12:00pm/et

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the 5-Hour Energy 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #22-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #27-Menard took pit stall 31, the 2nd stall with an opening in front of it.
    #24-Gordon, who starts 3rd took the 25th pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #00-Reutimann, who starts 9th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-11-2011)

  • Kurt Busch wins Pocono pole: #22-Kurt Busch won the Coors Light pole for the Pocono 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway with a speed of 171.579mph. It is his 2nd pole of the season and the 14th of his career. Busch has won the pole for two races in a row and Penske Racing has won three straight. #27-Menard starts 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #11-Hamlin, #78-Smith, #99-Edwards, #9-Ambrose, #39-Newman, #00-Reutimann and #5-Martin.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #46-Yeley, #71-Lally, #38-Hornish Jr., #87-Nemechek, #66-McDowell, #37-Raines, #81-Riggs & #50-Bell.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #60-Skinner.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Pocono Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(6-11-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Pocono:
    #22-Kurt Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 30th Annual 5-hour Energy 500 with a lap of 52.454 seconds, 171.579 mph.
    This is his 14th pole in 378 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and seventh top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his first pole in 21 races at Pocono Raceway.
    #27-Paul Menard (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2011 and his first in nine races at Pocono Raceway.
    #24-Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 22nd top-10 start at Pocono Raceway. It is his sixth in 14 races this season.
    #71-Andy Lally (24th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-11-2011)

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

  • Schick challenging Gillette in NASCAR: Schick is stepping up to challenge Gillette's reign in the razor category in NASCAR. The Energizer Holdings razor brand has signed a deal with Martin Truex Jr. and will put its decal on Michael Waltrip Racing's #56 car for as many as 10 races, according to sources familiar with the agreement. It also plans to do product sampling in the coming months at a handful of tracks owned by International Speedway Corp. and Speedway Motorsports Inc. Terms of the agreements were not available. Schick, whose Canadian division signed on to sponsor Canadian-born Nationwide Series driver J.R. Fitzpatrick two years ago, is expected to announce the U.S. sponsorships and promotions at Michigan International Speedway, which hosts a Sprint Cup Series race June 19. The deals move Schick into a territory that has been dominated over the years by Gillette. The Procter & Gamble razor company has been an official partner of NASCAR since 2003 and promoted its sponsorship by signing young NASCAR drivers and developing a "Young Guns" campaign around them. The deal with Truex and Michael Waltrip Racing gives Schick ties to a driver and race team for promotions and marketing. Truex, 30, is 22nd in the Sprint Cup standings. His best finish this year was sixth at Las Vegas. Schick plans to supplement that deal with sampling at the track. It is in conversations with ISC to sample at least two tracks, and SMI to sample at Kentucky Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(SportingNews / SportsBusiness Journal)(6-11-2011)

  • Green Smoke to sponsor Bell at Pocono: Green Smoke, one of the nation's leading electronic cigarette brands, first sponsored TJ Bell in his second attempt to race in the Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and again at Kansas Speedway. Bell and Green Smoke learned together what many teams and accomplished drivers have learned before them – starting a new team in the highest level of competition in NASCAR is not the path of least resistance [Bell failed to qualify for those races]. "Racing in the Sprint Cup Series means racing against champions, veterans, the best racecar drivers in the world who drive for the best racing organizations in the world. LTD Powersports is a new team, and we are anxious to give Green Smoke their first appearance on the Sprint Cup Series stage. The playing field in NASCAR is as level as it has ever been, which means it's tougher than ever to qualify for the 43-car fields that race on Sunday. We've learned so much about our #50 Green Smoke Camry that I think we are the most confident heading into Pocono Raceway that we've been," said Bell, who was impressive in his Sprint Cup Series debut at Darlington Raceway. Green Smoke's sponsorship of Bell is the company's first NASCAR endeavor, as well as the first NASCAR sponsorship by any organization within the electronic cigarette industry.(LTD Powersports) see images of the car on the #50 Team Schemes page.(6-11-2011)

  • Latest on Brian France's divorce: NASCAR Chairman Brian France wants to scrap an agreement with his ex-wife that calls for him to pay the mother of his two children millions of dollars, as well as more than $40,000 a month in alimony and child support. France claims his former wife, Megan France, has breached their separation agreement, and he's fighting in court to get the deal rescinded. "She got a boatload of money," Brian France's attorney, Johnny Stephenson, told a Mecklenburg judge in a hearing that began last week and resumed on Friday. "He got confidentiality, joint decision-making with his children, liberal visitation…The evidence will demonstrate that those provisions were material to him. And she's breached every one of them. Every one of them." Megan France's attorneys told the judge their client had not broken the separation agreement, and they accused Brian France of refusing to pay her the millions he'd promised in the agreement. The Frances' legal wranglings have been unusual from the start.(see full story at the Charlotte Observer)(6-11-2011)

  • Value of a Saturday ticket at MIS just got better: If seeing the NASCAR Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250 and post-race concert featuring Emerson Drive and Jacob Lyda weren’t enough to fill your plate on Saturday, June 18 at Michigan International Speedway, try adding Sprint Cup Series qualifying to the mix. That’s exactly what will take place at MIS on June 18 with qualifying for both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series taking place that day, as well as the Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250 at 3:30 pm, followed by the post-race concert. It will be one of the most exciting Saturday’s the Irish Hills track has ever offered for its race fans. And the first-ever MIS Kids Club membership event will be held on Saturday, when NASCAR driver Jason Leffler takes part in a Q&A session with all the kids. That will take place at 10:15 a.m. in the MIS Cares Kids Zone. The Saturday festivities will wrap up with a free evening concert for the fans. Approximately 30 minutes following the completion of the Alliance Truck Parts 250 NASCAR Nationwide race, fans will be treated to a concert featuring Emerson Drive. Emerging country music singer-songwriter Jacob Lyda will perform the opening act. The concert will be held at the Jagermeister Stage in the New Holland Fan Plaza. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 on June 19 and NSCS 400 on August 21 are now on sale too and as low as $30. Visit MISpeedway.com or call the MIS ticket hotline at 800-354-1010 today to take advantage of great pricing for 2011 events at MIS.(MIS)(6-11-2011)

  • Amyris Becomes Official Partner of Infineon Raceway: Infineon Raceway and Amyris have entered into a multi-year partnership that will make the Emeryville (Calif.)-based company a Leadership Partner in the raceway’s groundbreaking Accelerating Sustainable Performance program. Amyris is an integrated renewable products company focused on providing sustainable alternatives to a broad range of petroleum-sourced products. As part of this new relationship, Amyris will also become the “Official Renewable Fuels Provider of Infineon Raceway,” and a lead partner at the raceway’s green performance summit, to be held in August. The program builds on the facility’s strong operational record as a sustainable business in areas like recycling and water conservation, with new initiatives such as a major solar-electric installation and a series of demonstrations featuring the latest in high-performance green vehicle technologies. On Aug. 25, Amyris will be the lead sponsor of the raceway’s first annual Accelerating Sustainable Performance Summit, a day-long exploration of developments in alternative fuels, electric vehicle and battery technologies and other prospects on the performance transportation horizon. Amyris’ sponsorship will integrate the company’s presence throughout the raceway facility and event calendar, and provide year-round opportunities to interact with other racing organizations and automotive companies.(Infineon Raceway)(6-11-2011)


    News from June 10, 2011

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Pocono 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 11:10am/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 11:30am/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) via nascar.com only
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Pocono Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

  • Qualifying Order for the 5-Hour Energy 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted. 44 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 #99-Edwards, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Pocono Qualifying Page.(6-10-2011)

  • NEW 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying procedures: (as of June 10, 2011)
    1) qualifying order will be determined by the driver's fastest lap in first practice.
    2) times on the speed sheet will be inverted with the slowest cars attempting their qualifying runs first
    3) go-or-go-home cars will now qualify among the 35 teams locked in on owner points and not be separated by the field. 4) the NASCAR Sprint Cup director does reserve the right to change a driver's qualifying order or allow "adjustments or repairs" to cars after the car has taken the green flag at the start/finish line.
    5) all cars must qualify with a full fuel cell.
    6) Qualifying consists of two consecutive timed laps
    7) the fastest lap determines qualifying position
    8) in case of a rain-out of practice, a random drawing will be held for cars set up in the garage area to determine qualifying
    9) if qualifying is rained out, the order of the field will be set according to Section 9-5 of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup rule book. Set by top-35 practice speeds, then go-or-go homers. If all practices and qualifying are cancelled, then set by top 35 owners points, then race attempts

  • Happy Hour practice for the 5-Hour Energy 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #11-Hamlin 166.125
    #83-Vickers 166.067
    #99-Edwards 166.030
    #2-Keselowski 165.926
    #48-Johnson 165.700
    slowest: #7-Wimmer 159.815 & #50-Bell 161.195
    notes: #22-Busch spun in turn 2 and wacked the wall with the rear of the car early in practice, the team brought out the backup car. Busch was able to get a few laps in the backup.
    See speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Pocono Practice Speeds Page.(6-10-2011)

  • Happy Hour Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers at Pocono:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #38-Sam Hornish Jr., 26th fastest overall
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 28th
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 30th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 31st
    #37-Tony Raines, 32nd
    #60-Mike Skinner, 38th
    #71-Andy Lally, 39th
    #81-Scott Riggs, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #50-Bell, 43rd.(6-10-2011)

  • 1st Friday practice for the 5-Hour Energy 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #99-Edwards 167.729
    #27-Menard 167.648
    #48-Johnson 167.454
    #14-Stewart 166.769
    #22-Busch 166.728
    slowest: #7-Wimmer 159.552 & #50-Bell 160.448
    Note: Scott Wimmer is in the #7 Robby Gordon Motorsports Dodge and Bliss is in the #32.
    This session will set the qualifying order for Saturday's qualifying, with slowest out first and fastest out last, all cars, the field is not separated by top-35 in owners points anymore.
    See speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Pocono Practice Speeds Page.(6-10-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #66-Michael McDowell, 27th fastest overall
    #38-Sam Hornish Jr., 31st
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 32nd
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 34th
    #81-Scott Riggs, 38th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 39th
    #71-Andy Lally, 40th
    #37-Tony Raines, 41st
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #50-Bell, 43rd.(6-10-2011)

  • Kyle Busch discusses incident with Childress: Toyota Racing, #18-Kyle Busch, spoke to the media at Pocono, some notes and quotes:
    Do you feel you have a respect issue in the garage and do you need respect in the garage to be successful?
    “Can’t answer the first part for you -- you would have to ask everybody else. As far as needing respect in the garage area -- certainly. It makes your day a little bit easier. Makes your job a little bit easier. I’ve been able to have good conversations and talk to people outside the race car or at driver intros or stuff like that. Whether it’s the case that they’re not being true to my face -- I don’t know, I can’t read that. I’m not in people’s minds. If you’re mad at me, you’ll have to tell me.”
    Do you understand why Richard Childress was mad last week?
    “Me giving a congratulatory bump to Joey Coulter is what tipped him (Richard Childress) over the edge there. I don’t recall anytime -- face-to-face conversation where Richard did tell me that, ‘If you touch another one of my cars I’m going to come find you.’ I don’t know if it was ever said in the media, but it was never relayed to me.”
    Have you received any secret fines in the last seven days?
    “No.”
    How should NASCAR handle penalties if someone is threatening a lawsuit?
    “I don’t know. That’s not to my discretion to be honest with you. It’s further to NASCAR to depose. That’s a great question for the, but for myself, I need an instance of what you’re explaining. Besides all the information you’ve just given me and the question you’ve asked, I can’t really comment further.”
    Did you know how much damage there was on Joey Coulter’s truck at Kansas?
    “No, I didn’t feel like I hit him all that hard. I just thought I rubbed him a little bit. Typically when you rub a guy, you don’t see much damage from it. The trucks are so different too. I forgot about how the left-front fender on a truck -- the nose is so much wider than the tire is so it kind of sticks out a little further so maybe there was more damage than I thought I would have caused. That’s entirely my fault -- I’m the one that instigated it there or initiated it. As far as him having to fly out body hangers and all that stuff -- if it’s something they didn’t feel that they could hammer and dolly out, sorry it came to that.”
    Did the media interpret malicious intent toward Joey Coulter?
    “There can be an easy way to interpret things sometimes and it seems like maybe I might be on the wrong end of interpretation a lot of those times. There was no malicious intent to be involved in hurting or damaging a RCR (Richard Childress Racing) vehicle.”
    Was anything said to you by Richard Childress prior to last week’s incident?
    “No. We were in that NASCAR hauler from Darlington after the race and he (Richard Childress) never said a word in there.”
    How are M&M’s handling the recent situations?
    “M&M’s is handling things the best that they can handle it and going through things day by day. There’s a lot of support there. We just had a NASCAR day at Hackettstown, New Jersey yesterday and people were awesome. They had a lot of great questions about racing, about the sponsorship, about the partnership that we have and how things have really been working well for them over the past few seasons and how we can continue to grow the brand. They’re doing everything they can in their power to make sure that we continue to carry on the presence of M&M’s in NASCAR and with Kyle Busch.”
    (Toyota Racing)(6-10-2011)

  • Newman discusses his 'secret' fine: #39-Ryan Newman, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and discussed fines in NASCAR, a transcript in part:
    DID YOU GET A FINE FROM NASCAR FOR SOMETHING IN THE HAULER WITH JUAN PABLO MONTOYA?
    “I’ve always said that private things happen privately and what happens in the trailer stays in the trailer and there is a reason that we have private meetings and there is a reason that NASCAR does things the way they do.”
    DO YOU THINK THAT IT SHOULD MATTER TO NASCAR WHETHER IT GIVES A FINE PRIVATELY OR PUBLICALLY AS TO WHETHER ANOTHER COMPETITOR HAS THREATENED LEGAL ACTION?
    “I don’t know anything about the legal action part of things. I do know that when we are talking about fines, whether it is private or public, there is nothing really we should elaborate on because it is not something that our sport should be proud of or should elaborate. To me, it is something for you guys to write, but it is not something that is good for our sport so it’s not something we want to keep talking about first of all. In every other sport, to my knowledge, out there has it, whether it’s golf, basketball, football, whatever. I don’t know how they handle it, whether it is publically, privately or both, but, I’ll just say that it is a negative aspect of our sport and we should all be talking about the positive things.”(Team Chevy)(6-10-2011)

  • More Shifting Now Available At Pocono: For practice, qualifying and the race, all competitors must compete with transmission gear ratios as follows: 1st gear optional; 2nd gear 1.70:1 or greater (1.699 or less will not be permitted); 3rd gear 1.14:1 or greater (1.139 or less will not be permitted); 4th gear must remain 1.00:1. Overdrive ratios will not be permitted.
    This is an addendum to the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book which states: Transmission gear ratios between 1.00:1 and 1.28:1 will not be permitted for the remaining forward transmission gears except road course Events. Overdrive gears will not be permitted.
    Said John Darby, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director: “There has been some confusion that shifting was not allowed at Pocono, and that isn’t true. The real reason shifting stopped at Pocono was because gear ratios weren’t compatible for shifting. Over the last few years, teams have done it with limited success but not on a consistent basis. So, what we did was change transmission gear ratios to make it easier on engines and give teams a better opportunity to use third gear and shift. Primarily it’s in an effort to allow the drivers to maximize the RPM on each of the three straightaways. When you look at the race track, you instantly see the issue that they’re faced with. The frontstretch is more than 3,700 feet [3,740], the backstretch or the Long Pond Straight is 3,000 [3,055] feet and the short straightaway between the Tunnel Turn and Turn 3 is only 1,780 feet. So consequently [there will be] a straightaway that you don’t get anywhere near your maximum potential RPM. This is all done in an effort to try to even those three straightaways out in the RPM that the engine will attain.”(NASCAR)(6-10-2011)

  • Childress discusses penalty, incident with Busch: Richard Childress, Owner of Richard Childress Racing, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway. The transcript:
    RICHARD CHILDRESS: “Here is the deal. I am going to make one statement on this deal. I appreciate everyone’s patience during the last week when I couldn’t talk to everyone. The main thing is I take all the responsibility for my actions last week. I am very passionate about this sport. I am passionate about my race teams, our fans and I let my emotions get…come in front of my passion. But that is behind us. I guess the next thing is the fine that was levied against me, I’m going to pay it personal. I agree that NASCAR should have done something with me. I don’t agree that they didn’t handle the situation that happened on the cool-down lap. With that said, we had a lot of fans to send in donations last week toward our fine, I am going to pay it personally. All that money that has been sent in, that is still coming in, we’re going to take and donate to the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. At least in every bad situation, something good will come out of it. Hopefully Kyle (Busch) and myself will both end up learning something from this. Thank you all very much. Talk to you later. That’s it.(Team Chevy)(6-10-2011)

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Notes: Starting this weekend at Pocono Raceway, there will be a slight change in the qualifying procedure for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Qualifying order will still be determined based upon practice speeds – from slowest to fastest – with those times now coming from the first practice session (as opposed to the combined practice sessions). In addition, the qualifying order will no longer be separated between those teams that are locked into the race and those teams that must qualify on speed. … A crew chief’s dream – or nightmare – awaits at Pocono Raceway. There are three different corners and three straightaways of varying lengths, forcing teams to set up for a specific portion of the track. That fact could – and has – led to big passing numbers, as cars set up for one corner pass competitors set up for another – and vice versa. Last year, this race had 2,381 green flag passes, according to NASCAR Loop Data. … Voting Day for the 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame class will take place next Tuesday, June 14 in Charlotte, N.C. Fans have the opportunity to vote for their five Hall of Fame inductees at www.nascar.com/promos/hof. Voting ends Sunday night (Monday morning) at midnight.(NASCAR)(6-10-2011)

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

  • NEW 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying procedures: (as of June 10, 2011)
    1) qualifying order will be determined by the driver's fastest lap in first practice.
    2) times on the speed sheet will be inverted with the slowest cars attempting their qualifying runs first
    3) go-or-go-home cars will now qualify among the 35 teams locked in on owner points and not be separated by the field. 4) the NASCAR Sprint Cup director does reserve the right to change a driver's qualifying order or allow "adjustments or repairs" to cars after the car has taken the green flag at the start/finish line.
    5) all cars must qualify with a full fuel cell.
    6) Qualifying consists of two consecutive timed laps
    7) the fastest lap determines qualifying position
    8) in case of a rain-out of practice, a random drawing will be held for cars set up in the garage area to determine qualifying
    9) if qualifying is rained out, the order of the field will be set according to Section 9-5 of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup rule book. Set by top-35 practice speeds, then go-or-go homers. If all practices and qualifying are cancelled, then set by top 35 owners points, then race attempts

  • The Numbers for Pocono (all Sprint Cup races)
    1 - fewest cautions (7/30/78)
    2 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (twice, most recent 6/6/82)
    3 - fewest caution laps (7/30/78)
    4 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    4 - fewest leaders (twice, most recent 6/9/85)
    4 - fewest laps led by race winner (Bobby Labonte, 7/29/01)
    5 - most wins (Bill Elliott)
    5 - most poles (Bill Elliott, Ken Schrader)
    10 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at Pocono Raceway
    10 - fewest lead changes (7/26/98)
    11 - wins by car owner (Rick Hendrick)
    13 - most cautions (twice, most recent 7/24/05)
    16 - drivers with more than one pole at "The Tricky Triangle"
    16 - most leaders (three times, most recent 6/13/04)
    18 - fewest cars running at finish (7/25/82)
    22 - wins from the front row; 13 from the pole
    29 - worst starting position for race winner (Carl Edwards, 6/12/05)
    29 - different race winners
    36 - different pole winners
    36 - most cars on lead lap at finish (6/10/07)
    42 - most cars running at finish (6/10/07)
    56 - most lead changes (7/30/79)
    57 - most caution laps (6/13/04)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.5-mile track
    175 - laps led by race winner (Kurt Busch, 8/5/07)
    2011 Caution Update
    3 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    111 - number of cautions in the first 13 races of 2011; includes 51 for accidents, 23 for debris and 19 for spins
    551 of 4,348 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    710.429 of 5,372.000 - miles under caution in the first 13 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(6-9-2011)

  • Childress asking fans to donate instead of paying off fine: Team owner Richard Childress said fan support in the wake of this week's $150,000 fine has been "overwhelming," but suggests those interested in helping pay his fine make a charitable donation to the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma instead. Various social media accounts representing Richard Childress Racing drivers carried the statement from Childress, who was fined by NASCAR after an altercation with driver Kyle Busch in the garage area Saturday at Kansas Speedway. "I'm responsible for my actions and for personally paying the fine," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR and chairman of the board for the Childress Institute. "I'm passionate about our fans whose pledges of financial support have been overwhelming. However, I would like to encourage anyone who still wants to make a donation to please direct their hard-earned gifts to the Childress Institute at [its website]."(SceneDaily)(6-10-2011)

  • Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will run the same combination of left- and right-side tires they have run at Pocono for the last two seasons . . . this will be the fifth consecutive Sprint Cup race at this two-and-a-half-mile track that teams will be on this tire set-up . . . both of these two tire codes are scheduled to be run at Pocono only as part of the 2011 Goodyear tire lineup . . . as on all NASCAR tracks that are greater than one mile in length and are not road courses, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Pocono . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 32-34 laps, based on fuel mileage. See full notes, tire codes, trie pressures on the Pocono Race Info page - Goodyear section.(6-10-2011)

  • TNT's Coverage Gets Underway at Pocono: TNT gears up for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing on Sunday, June 12 live from Pocono Raceway. The network will air exclusive coverage of the race beginning at 1:00pm/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 will rev up its pre-race coverage beginning at 12:00pm/et with Countdown to Green delivered by Pizza Hut with Lindsay Czarniak (host), Petty and McReynolds with reports from pit reporters Chris Neville, Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum. #18 Kyle Busch will join TNT's infield rig for an interview prior to the race to discuss his season both on-and-off the track.
    TNT's acclaimed Pride of NASCAR series will feature a profile of the late Harry Hyde who was a legendary crew chief, winning 56 races and 88 pole positions during his career.
    Dallenbach will join Petty and Rutledge Wood on their ongoing live video chat series "30 Minutes You Will Never Get Back" this Friday, June 10.(TNT)(6-10-2011)

  • Waltrip & Kauffman qualifies 15th in class at Le Mans: Michael Waltrip, Robert Kauffman and Rui Aguas on Thursday qualified 15th (44th position overall) in the LM GTE Pro category of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in their #71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia. It is the only car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans shared by three rookies. Waltrip and Kauffman are co-owners of Michael Waltrip Racing . For more information go to www.michaelwaltripracing.com. The Le Mans 24 Hours gets underway Saturday, June 11th at 3 pm local, with live coverage beginning on SPEED at 8:30am/et.(MWR)(6-10-2011)

  • NASCAR Names David Higdon as Managing Director: NASCAR announced that David Higdon has been named managing director within the sanctioning body's newly formed Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) department. Higdon will begin his duties with NASCAR on June 20, 2011. Higdon joins NASCAR from the LPGA Tour where since 2009 he has overseen corporate communications; stakeholder and media relations; player promotion; TV and digital media content; and served on the World Golf Hall of Fame Advisory Board. Prior to his stint at the LPGA Tour, Higdon worked in open-wheel racing, professional tennis and basketball, and served in writing and editing roles for The New York Times, ESPN The Magazine and other media outlets. At NASCAR, Higdon will play a key leadership role in the development of communications strategy and in overseeing and integrating communications initiatives across the company, with particular emphasis on competition. He also will be responsible for crisis communications, public affairs initiatives and providing on-going counsel to executive leadership across NASCAR's various departments.(NASCAR)(6-10-2011)

  • Toyota Racing kicks off Sponsafier 4: Toyota Racing recently announced the fourth round of its popular Sponsafier contest, where fans can design and enter their own Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup car at toyotaracing.com beginning June 5 until Aug. 28, 2011. Similar to Sponsafier 3, the contest provides one lucky fan the chance at a visit from his or her favorite Toyota NASCAR driver.(Toyota)(6-10-2011)


    News from June 9, 2011

  • Fans select white scheme for Harvick at Daytona: Budweiser and Kevin Harvick will celebrate Fourth of July this year with a special patriotic paint scheme selected by adult NASCAR fans. The paint scheme – white with red and blue stars and stripes – will be featured on the #29 Budweiser Chevy during the July 2 race at Daytona International Speedway. From April 30 to June 3, fans 21 years of age or older cast their vote on the Budweiser Facebook page for one of three patriotic paint schemes. After five weeks of voting, the white paint scheme edged out the red-and-white striped paint scheme by less than 700 votes.
    In addition to the special paint scheme, Budweiser is featuring a limited-edition red, white and blue Patriotic Can from Memorial Day through the Fourth of July. Budweiser will donate a portion of all sales May 26 – July 10 to Folds of Honor – an organization that provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country. In total, Budweiser is raising up to $2 million to support Folds of Honor this summer*, which is expected to fund more than 400 scholarships.(RCR), see image of the winning scheme car on the #29 Team Schemes page.(6-9-2011)

  • Martin Truex Jr. Motorsports installs solar panels: Martin Truex Jr. Motorsports announced the construction and implementation of a system of solar panels on their roof in Mooresville, NC. Being green may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about NASCAR, but the sport has begun to buck that trend through green initiatives that extend from an ethanol-blended race fuel to a hybrid pace car. Argand Energy Solutions of Charlotte designed and built the 61 kilowatt (KW) solar electric system consisting of 192 solar modules manufactured by SunPower Corp. Each panel generates 318 watts of clean electricity. The system is large enough to power about seven average U.S. homes for an entire year. While the energy generated will be sent back Duke Power's grid, the system will offset about 75% of the building's electricity use. NASCAR fans can visit MTJ Motorsports to see first-hand how the solar power system works and the energy that it's generating. The company hopes that their involvement in renewable energy generation will influence race fans to consider energy alternatives that are available to them and a more "green" lifestyle. In addition to the energy savings, the system will offset approximately 55 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to planting more than 1,400 trees and growing them for 10 years.(MTJ Motorsports)(6-9-2011)

  • Kyle Busch says Childress' fine is 'end of it': #18-Kyle Busch says that the $150,000 fine NASCAR levied against Richard Childress is the end of the matter for him. Childress was fined on Monday for assaulting Busch after a NASCAR Trucks race at Kansas Speedway, the latest incident between the driver and Childress' race teams. Busch was in Ohio on Wednesday to participate in Tony Stewart's annual charity race. "NASCAR decided to make the decisions that they felt were necessary," Busch said before the race at Eldora Speedway. "It's pretty much the end of it. It's not my fight."(Associated Press)(6-9-2011)

  • Jimmy Spencer says Childress was wrong: from a Jimmy Spencer article on SPEED - But take it from someone who has been there – Childress crossed the line in punching Busch. No one should ever hit or physically confront another individual. Arguing, hurling insults or yelling at someone is okay, but you shouldn’t touch them. I picked the wrong way to handle my problem with another Busch brother, Kurt, years ago, and I still regret it. I think Kurt learned something from me punching him but I learned more, and if I had the chance to do it over again, I wouldn’t have hit him. I’ve been in several brawls in my time and nobody ever wins. Childress got off too easy. NASCAR should have come down on him harder than a $150,000 fine. They should have suspended him for three races – that would get his attention. He took responsibility for what he did but never apologized because he’s really not sorry. I speak from experience when I say that situations like last weekend’s affect the younger generation a lot, especially the kids watching our sport. My biggest problem with what Childress did stems from the fact that he is representing major corporations with thousands of employees. Yet he let his temper get the best of him and he assaulted someone. That gave the sport the biggest black eye it has had in years. Fans and folks inside the sport may think it’s funny, but these companies probably aren’t happy about having a car owner representing them who assaulted someone.
    And believe it or not, I think that Busch’s sponsors can be proud of the way he handled himself. We’re usually criticizing Busch’s behavior, but I admire him for not fighting back and also for staying in the car at Darlington when Kevin Harvick came up to his car on pit road. Busch is the most exciting driver in our sport right now. Yes, he ruffles feathers, but so did the late, great Dale Earnhardt. But Earnhardt didn’t outright attack other drivers. I admire Kyle for respecting Childress enough, although he got punched, to not punch back. It takes a strong person not to retaliate.
    I still don’t really see what Childress was so upset about. Busch wasn’t out of line in bumping Coulter’s truck on the cool-down lap. Rewind a few laps to when they were putting on a hell of a race for fifth place and Coulter slid up in front of Busch. If Busch hadn’t lifted and let him go, both of them would have wrecked. Coulter was the one at fault there, so Busch bumped him after the race to teach him a lesson. That’s just part of racing and how you teach younger drivers who are coming along. Sure, Busch did a little damage to Coulter’s quarter panel, but he also did the same to his own truck.(in part from SPEED)(6-9-2011)

  • Johnson Featured in Newest ESPN the Magazine: Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson is featured in the newest edition of ESPN The Magazine. The “Photo Issue” is on newsstands now. In a piece by award-winning writer Ryan McGee, Johnson describes a lesson he learned many years ago while racing dirt bikes that has kept him from getting into fights since becoming a NASCAR driver. The best way to introduce an issue devoted to images is to turn it over to photographers right off the bat (or racket). ESPN The Magazine’s “Photo Issue” features “A Day in the Life of Sports,” which captures a single day in the world of sports – Saturday, May 7, 2011 – from Pacquiao-Mosley and Heat-Celtics to the Kentucky Derby and much more.(ESPN)(6-9-2011)

  • Bowyer Wins Seventh Annual Prelude to the Dream: The box score says that Clint Bowyer led all 30 laps in Wednesday night’s Prelude to the Dream all-star dirt Late Model race at Eldora Speedway, but the native of Emporia, Kan., had to fend off strong charges from J.J. Yeley and Aric Almirola to finally capture a victory in the prestigious race that’s a who’s who of racing’s elite. After finishing second in the past two Prelude to the Dream events, Bowyer sealed his first Prelude triumph by .531 of a second over Yeley, a former USAC champion who has logged numerous laps at Eldora.
    “It’s just so much fun to be able to come here and compete,” said Bowyer, whose victory was presented live to the entire nation on HBO Pay-Per-View, with the net proceeds from the telecast supporting four of the nation’s top children’s hospitals. “What an awesome racetrack. I’ve always loved this place and I’m very proud of Tony Stewart and everybody behind him that makes this event awesome. There’s a lot of hard work to put on something like this, and we are very lucky to have him put forth the effort.”
    Stewart, owner of Eldora Speedway and a three-time Prelude victor, finished 20th in the race he created in 2005. “We had another first-time winner tonight. That’s what the fun part is,” said Stewart, a two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. “Watching Marcos Ambrose win his heat race and Jason Leffler win his heat race in their first time being here – that’s the stuff that makes you smile, and it’s fun to watch all these guys have a good time.” The race was a team event. There was still an individual race winner in Bowyer, but there was also a race within the race, with the field broken up into four teams, each representing a children’s hospital. See full results, comments from some of the drivers, links and more on my Racing Charities - Prelude to the Dream page.(6-9-2011)

  • Park and “Ole Blue” Tribute Moved to New Hampshire in September: Originally scheduled for the Coke Zero 400 in July, Steve Park will now drive the Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) #35 “Ole Blue” Tribute Chevy in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 25th. With the announcement of the TBR’s new partner Luke & Associates and the company’s five-race deal, the team needed to shift the tribute car to another date. The team decided it was best for Steve Park to pilot the #35 “Ole Blue” Chevy in the modified country of New England. The team chose the Sylvania 300 at NHMS on Sunday, September 25th in order to give more time to raise funds for the tribute car. With a goal of $100,000, the cost to run the race, the tribute raised a mere $3,000 to this point. For each contribution starting at $20, fans will have the opportunity to add their name to the Len Boehler tribute car that will race in the Sylvania 300. All proceeds exceeding $100,000, the cost to race in the Sylvania 300, will be donated by TBR to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Fans can visit www.tommybaldwinracing.com/team/ole-blue for more information and to make a contribution. “We needed to buy more time to get more fans involved,” explained Baldwin. “We haven’t raised near enough money yet. We picked a New England race to try to get more fans of modified racing involved, which is our goal.”(TBR)(6-9-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame number for May: Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame fell 30% in May 2011 compared with the same month a year earlier – the first year-over-year comparison for the city-owned attraction. Such a decline isn’t a surprise, and similar attractions report attendance declines once the initial excitement wears off. But the hall’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year projects the opposite. Instead of revenue declining from ticket sales, the hall projects a nearly 20% increase. A year ago, the hall attracted 35,090 people for the 21 days it was open in May. In May 2010, the hall attracted 25,014 people, according to estimates released Wednesday. The hall projects admissions revenue will be $4.9 million for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1. It projects admissions revenue to be $4.2 million for the current fiscal year.(in part from the Charlotte Observer)(6-9-2011)

  • Pocono Raceway Festival on Saturday: This Saturday, June 11th at noon, the Sherman Theater will present the third annual Pocono Raceway Festival located on Main Street in downtown Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Taking place the day before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 500 race at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA – just minutes down Interstate 80 – this free, all-day long music and racing celebration will have something for everyone in the family. The festival was created in part to support Sunday's race at the Pocono Raceway and to give the fans that are visiting the region something fun to do on the day prior to the race. Headlining the musical portion of the festival with a rockin’ performance on the 5th street stage will be legendary rock icons Blue Oyster Cult. Although admission to The 2011 Pocono Raceway festival is free, VIP tickets are available at ShermanTheater.com right now for just $8 and include a variety of perks for the fan who is looking for that special experience. In addition to all of this, there will be nearly two hundred different vendors and storefronts with sidewalk sales and specials. Not to mention the over twenty different food vendors and restaurants that will showcase food ranging from Caribbean jerk chicken to pulled pork to deep fried Oreos. For more information on the 2011 Pocono Raceway Festival or any of the Sherman Theater’s upcoming events, visit the Sherman online at shermantheater.com.(Sherman Theater PR)(6-9-2011)

  • “Salute to Military Fathers” to Honor America’s Heroes on Father’s Day at MIS: Across the country, millions of fathers are honored each June with cookouts, cards and family time. Yet there are thousands of families whose patriarch is currently stationed overseas and a growing population of veterans who have sacrificed time with their families in order to serve our country. To celebrate these military fathers and their families, the VFW Foundation and NSK Corporation have joined forces to honor military fathers this Father’s Day at Michigan International Speedway through a unique online contest. Military fathers and their friends and family may visit www.MISpeedway.com/militaryfathers to share their stories of dedication and commitment to our country. Together, the VFW Foundation and NSK Corporation will select 50 grand prize winners who will each receive a Salute to Military Fathers ticket package to the June 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 at MIS. The contest will conclude on June 1, 2011 with winners being announced June 2. All winners will be posted at www.MISpeedway.com/militaryfathers. Winners will include military fathers and their families along with active-duty and retired military personnel and their fathers. The program serves to honor recipients for their service and sacrifice to our country. Along with the 50 grand prize winners and their guest, the VFW Foundation and NSK will host over 300 total guests as part of the Salute to Military Fathers program at MIS. Guests will enjoy complimentary pre-race hospitality, pit tours, celebrity appearances, pre-race ceremonies and grandstand tickets to the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400. To show their appreciation to military families, Miss Sprint Cup, David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion for Roush Fenway Racing, and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee and veteran Bud Moore are all scheduled to visit the Salute to Military Fathers hospitality tent.(MIS)(6-9-2011)


    News from June 8, 2011

  • New look for the #43 at Pocono - image: #43-A.J. Allmendinger will have a different look this weekend at Pocono as Medallion Financial will be the primary partner of the #43 Ford Fusion. Allmendinger and team owner Richard Petty will be going to Nashville, Thursday on behalf of Richard Petty Motorsports partner, Super 8, to participate in media activities taking place around the CMA Music Festival. Medallion Financial is a New York-based company that specializes in taxi medallion lending and commercial lending. The company is run by Alvin and son Andrew Murstein. The Murstein family is the largest shareholder in Medallion, owning approximately 20%.
    AND Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Medallion Financial announced that the legendary #43, made famous by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, will be sponsored by Medallion Financial, which is a co-owner of RPM through its wholly-owned subsidiary Medallion Capital, Inc. Medallion Financial has made billions of dollars in loans to taxi owners, and its wholly-owned subsidiary Medallion Bank has bought and made hundreds of millions of dollars in recreational vehicle and boat loans to many NASCAR fans around the country.
    The #43 will be designed to replicate a New York taxi. The car will have the authentic New York City taxi yellow, a black and white checker bottom, and the iconic logo of hailing a taxi that is seen on every one of the 13,237 New York City yellow taxis. "I have always wanted to see how a New York City cab driver would do against the best drivers in NASCAR, and this is the next best thing," said Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial. "We couldn't be prouder of our relationship with Richard Petty Motorsports. They represent excellence and integrity in sports, which is everything that Medallion strives for in business." The #43 Medallion Financial Ford Fusion is the first of what Murstein hopes will be several more taxi-themed, Medallion-sponsored race cars this season. Medallion Financial's signature company car, a 1978 Checker Cab with over one million miles on it, will be on display Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the track behind grandstand #2.(RPM), see image of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-8-2011)

  • Taking Orders for Seventh Annual Prelude to the Dream: If you can't make the drive to Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, on Wednesday, June 8 to see the seventh annual Prelude to the Dream in person, don't worry. Beginning Monday, June 6, race fans across the nation will have their first opportunity to order the charity all-star race on pay-per-view. The event will feature stars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the IZOD IndyCar Series and the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. All will join two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart in piloting 2,300-pound dirt Late Model stock cars capable of putting out more than 800 horsepower around Eldora's half-mile oval.
    HOW TO ORDER:
    · The live, commercial-free broadcast will begin at 8:00pm/et.
    · All that is necessary to order the event is a digital cable box or satellite service. You do not need HBO to order.
    · The suggested retail price is $24.95. Ordering information and up-to-the minute racing information is available at either www.PreludeToTheDream.org or www.HBO.com.
    · Updates can also be found on Twitter at @PreludetoDream and follow the hashtag #RideWithUs, or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PreludetoDream.
    · If you have Cable, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, DIRECTV or DISH, fans can order the Prelude to the Dream beginning June 6.
    · If any problems are encountered during ordering, contact a customer service representative anytime on Wednesday, June 8, to make sure the order is processed and the race can be viewed. Once it is ordered, sit back and enjoy the ride.(True Speed Communication), more info on Jayski's Prelude to the Dream page.(6-8-2011)

  • RCR and Okuma Showcase Renewed Partnership on #29 at Pocono: Richard Childress Racing and Okuma America Corporation, the U.S.-based affiliate of Okuma Corporation, a world leader in the development of computer numeric controls (CNC) and machining technology, have extended their partnership through 2017. The RCR/Okuma partnership began in 2000. RCR's #29 Chevy with driver Kevin Harvick will carry the Okuma logos in the primary sponsor positions for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. It will mark the first time Okuma has been the primary sponsor of an RCR car in Sprint Cup Series competition.(Richard Childress Racing), see image of the car on the #29 Team Schemes page.(6-8-2011)

  • Hornish in the #38 at Pocono UPDATE: Mike Joy mentioned during SPEED's coverage of final practice at Kansas that Sam Hornish Jr. would be in the Front Row Motorsports #38 next weekend at Pocono. Travis Kvapil will be in Texas for the Camping World Truck Series race.(6-4-2011)
    UPDATE: Sam Hornish Jr. will make his 2011 return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway this weekend, manning the wheel of the #38 Long John Silver's Ford while Travis Kvapil competes in the Camping World Truck Series in Texas. The three-time IndyCar Champion has 108 Cup races under his belt since making the move to stock-car racing, but this weekend's event in Long Pond, Pa., will be his first this year. The 2.5-mile track known as the "Tricky Triangle" is the perfect place for Hornish to make his return. The low-banked, sharp-turning tri-oval suits the former open-wheel racer. He has a top-five, two top-10 and four top-15 finishes in his six Cup career starts there. Hornish is also familiar with #38 crew chief Jay Guy, whom he was a co-worker with at Penske Racing in Sprint Cup. Comments from Long John Silver's driver Sam Hornish on Pocono and driving for Front Row:
    "I'm really excited to get back in a Cup car. And it's not just an opportunity to run a Cup race, but I get to race at Pocono. That's a track that a lot of drivers don't like and it puts them in a bad mood trying to figure it out. And that actually can pay dividends for me because I like racing there and I go there with confidence. I've run well there the past two years with four top-15 finishes. I got a call from Penske asking if I was interested in running the '38' while Travis was racing trucks, and I was on the phone with Front Row about half an hour later working it all out. It came together pretty fast but I was excited to do it. It's going to be a little difficult, obviously, because there's not a lot of time to work together to prepare. Pocono is hot and it's 500 miles, so it can be pretty uncomfortable over the course of the race, so it's important to have a good fit in the car. I was at the Front Row shop last week and again Monday working on getting fitted. And I've been spending some time with Jay Guy, going over the set-up of the car, so we have a good game plan going in. I knew Jay from when he was at Penske, but I didn't work directly with him. But I'm looking forward to working with him this week. As challenging as it's going to be coming in for one race with a team I haven't worked with before, it's refreshing at the same time. I've only raced a stock car with Penske, so it will be good to try something different and get that experience."(Breaking Limits / Front Row Motorsports)(6-8-2011)

  • First Half Highlighted By New Faces, Competitive Balance: Halfway home, only 13 races remain in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' regular season. A perfect setup to the Chase run, the first 13 races featured two first-time winners (#21-Trevor Bayne and #78-Regan Smith), records in lead changes and leaders, and the resurgence of the sport's most popular driver, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    With his second runner-up finish of the season, at Kansas, Earnhardt moved within one point of second-place. The last time Earnhardt was second this late in the season was after the second Pocono race in 2008.
    Here are some of the competitive highlights of the first 13 races:
    • 13.7 leaders per race, most through 13 races in history.
    • 32.4 lead changes per race, most through 13 races in history.
    • 9 different winners in the first 12 races, most since 2003.
    • 10 different Coors Light Pole winners in the first 13 races.
    • Average of 3,807 passes per race, most through 13 races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.
    • Average of 41 passes for the lead per race (all along the track), second-most through 13 races since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.
    • 30 different drivers have scored at least one top 10.(NASCAR)(6-8-2011)

  • At Pocono Raceway:
    · Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974.
    · There have been 66 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway.
    · There was one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since.
    · All NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono have been scheduled for 500 miles.
    · Buddy Baker won the first pole.
    · There have been 36 different pole winners, including David Pearson who won the pole there in June 1984 but did not race; 16 drivers have more than one pole there.
    · The pole has been swept just three times: Bill Elliott (1985), Ken Schrader (1993), Denny Hamlin (2006).
    · Richard Petty won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono.
    · 29 different drivers have won races at Pocono, led by Bill Elliott, with five victories; 20 drivers have won more than once there.
    · There have been six season sweeps at Pocono, the last by Denny Hamlin in 2006.
    · Bobby Allison and Tim Richmond each won three consecutive races at Pocono.
    · 47 of 66 Pocono races have been won from a top-10 start.
    · The June 2005 race was won by Carl Edwards from the 29th starting position, the deepest in the field that a race winner has started.
    · Rick Hendrick leads all car owners with 11 Pocono victories.
    · Mark Martin leads all drivers in top fives (19) and top 10s (33), but has yet to win at Pocono. His best finish was second, six times (most recently in August 2004).
    · Denny Hamlin (8.2) and Jimmie Johnson (9.5) are the only active drivers to average a top-10 finish.
    · There have been 100 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Pennsylvania.
    · 137 drivers in NASCAR's three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Pennsylvania.
    · There are three race winners from Pennsylvania in NASCAR's three national series.(NASCAR)

  • Pocono Raceway Welcomes Back PepsiCo's Dream Machine Recycling Program: As we cruise into the 2011 season, Pocono Raceway continues to fuel our recycling efforts by welcoming back the PepsiCo Dream Machine recycling program. Last year, we became the first raceway to launch the program, and are excited to provide race fans with this convenient and rewarding recycling option again this season!
    When you recycle your plastic bottles and aluminum cans in a Dream Machine, you can:
    * Support post-9/11 U.S. veterans with disabilities;
    * Help make our planet a little greener; and
    * Earn personal reward points, redeemable for local discounts (kiosks only).
    Each time you recycle in a Dream Machine you are taking action to help support a disabled U.S. veteran – the more bottles and cans people recycle in a Dream Machine, the more support PepsiCo will provide to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, a national program offering post-9/11 disabled U.S. veterans free education and experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management.
    You're also helping to make our planet greener; many people are shocked to learn that only one-third of the plastic beverage containers in the United States are recycled – that means that two-thirds often wind up as litter. But, if every household in the U.S. recycled just three more plastic bottles a month, we could divert more than 23 million pounds of plastic from our landfills. When you recycle your plastic bottles or aluminum cans in a Dream Machine kiosk, you can earn points redeemable for local discounts and coupons on entertainment, dining and travel at Greenopolis.com.
    The Dream Machine recycling initiative – created by PepsiCo in collaboration with Waste Management, Keep America Beautiful and Greenopolis – is introducing thousands of recycling kiosks and bins at high-traffic, public locations around the country to help increase the U.S. beverage container recycling rate by giving Americans convenient access to recycling receptacles. For more information on the program, visit Facebook.com/DreamMachine. To find Dream Machine locations across North America, visit www.DreamMachineLocator.com.(Pocono Raceway)(6-8-2011)

  • Destination Pocono offers Transportation Option: Pocono Raceway is partnering once again with Destination Pocono to offer local transportation for residents and tourists to both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway in 2011. Destination Pocono will provide 11 pick-up locations for the June 12, Pocono 500 and the August 7, Pennsylvania 500. This service not only alleviates traffic into the race track but also allows people a service of both convenience and safety while reducing carbon emissions.
    For only $35.00 per person, race fans will be able to meet a bus at the designated location that is most convenient to them. The bus will enter the track quickly via a bus lane as well as exit after the race in the same bus lane to beat the traffic. Your driver will remain with the bus for easy refills of your cooler and to store any memorabilia you wish to bring home with you. The best part is that the bus actually takes a trip around the track that everyone on board is sure to enjoy.
    Destination Pocono is offering the following pick-up locations to choose from: Wilkes-Barre, Montage Mountain, Downtown Scranton, Delaware Water Gap, Mount Pocono, Tannersville, Milford, Greentown/Hawley, White Haven, Hazleton and Easton. Destination Pocono can now book several race ticket packages along with local transportation to consumers.
    It's is incredibly easy for you to book your seat as well as your race tickets and upgrades. Visit www.DestinationPocono.com for more information and pricing or call 888-629-8050.(Pocono Raceway)(6-8-2011)


    News from June 7, 2011

  • Geoff Bodine Team up with Tommy Baldwin Racing: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) will field a second car for five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) races this season. Geoffrey Bodine will pilot the #35 Luke Associates, Inc. Chevy for all five events, starting with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) July 2nd. He will return to the Luke Associates, Inc.-sponsored Chevy at Charlotte (Oct), Talladega (Oct), Texas (Nov) and the season finale at Homestead.
    Luke Associates, Inc. (Luke) is one of the largest providers of healthcare for the U.S. military and is rapidly expanding into national and local healthcare systems. Headquartered on the Space Coast of Florida, Luke formed in 2004 and has grown exponentially in the last six years. The company now has more than 1,300 medical and support personnel worldwide. Luke is responsible for recruiting, qualifying, hiring and retaining healthcare workers for positions that include physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and ancillary personnel in addition to all dental positions. The company's primary focus is the company values, which include integrity, innovation, communication, community and a focus on the employees. Geoffrey Bodine made his NSCS debut in 1979. Over his 26-year NASCAR career, the Chemung, N.Y., native collected 18 wins, 100 top-fives and led over 8,600 laps. At age 62, Bodine ranks 16th all-time with 37 career poles.
    TBR, formed in 2009, began the team's first full season of competition in 2011. Running all the races in 2011, TBR moved into the top-35 in NSCS Owner Points early in the year guaranteeing the team a spot in the race for the first time in the team's history. The #35 Luke & Associates, Inc. Chevy will make its debut with Bodine behind the wheel of the Luke Chevy at DIS for the Coke Zero 400 on Saturday, July 2nd. More details about the #35 TBR Chevy to follow. Tommy Baldwin Racing currently fields the #36 Chevy for Dave Blaney full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(6-7-2011)

  • New crew chief for Truex UPDATE2: popping up all over Twitterland: #56-Martin Truex Jr. has a new crew chief at Michael Waltrip Racing, Chad Johnston takes over for former crew chief Pat Tryson. No word on Tryson's future plans.
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing announced the promotion of Chad Johnston from lead engineer to crew chief of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota driven by Martin Truex Jr. Johnston's new role is effective immediately as the team prepares for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Johnston joined the #56 team midway through last season and was instrumental in setting up the NAPA Toyota for the two-time Nationwide Series champion. The 31-year-old native of Cayuga, Ind., entered NASCAR in 2004 and has worked with drivers Kasey Kahne, Marcos Ambrose, Elliott Sadler, Scott Riggs and Dennis Setzer. Pat Tryson has been redeployed within Michael Waltrip Racing.(MWR)
    UPDATE2: Tryson said he remains under contract with MWR and isn't sure what his new responsibilities will be. "Somebody always has to be that guy," he told ESPN.com. "I wouldn't say I was part of the problem. As a company we aren't running well. It's a strange deal. I really can't say much."(ESPN.com)(6-7-2011)

  • Kansas & 2011 TV Ratings: FOX concluded its portion of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season with a 3.9/10 for the race from Kansas (6.3 million viewers). Because this is FOX's first race from Kansas, there are no comparisons to last year. Greensboro led all markets with a 12.4/24, followed by Charlotte (9.8/20), Greenville (9.2/18), and Nashville (8.7/16), while host city Kansas City was #11 with a 7.4/16. For the complete 2011 Season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX averaged a 4.4/10 in the meters for 13 races, flat with last year's average for 11 races (4.4/9). Last year two races were rained out. Therefore, on a total rating points basis NASCAR is actually up +19% over 2010 (53.5 GRPs vs. 48.3).
    AND NASCAR on FOX's 2011 season roared into victory lane after Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup series race from Kansas. The network's presentation of the first 13 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series hit a three-year high averaging 8.6 million viewers per race, up +9% over last year (7.9 million viewers). That is the largest one-year audience increase in the 11-year history of NASCAR on FOX.
    This year's NASCAR coverage on FOX posted year-to-year increases in Households and across every major male and adult demographic. The complete 2011 NASCAR season on FOX averaged a 5.0/11 household rating/share, with the season's biggest increase coming among Men 18-34. Average ratings in that key male demographic increased +20% over last year (1.8 vs. 1.5). The network boasted increases over 2010 among Households (+4%), Men 18-49 (+6%), Men 25-54 (+5%) and Adults 18-49 (+4%).
    FOX posted more growth on a total rating points basis than on an average rating basis. FOX delivered a total of 64.1 rating points with NASCAR this season, a +13% gain over last year's 56.7 gross rating points, which includes viewing to two Monday make-up dates. Among Men 18-34 gross rating points were up +36% (23.2 vs. 17.1).
    The 2011 NASCAR on FOX season concluded Sunday with a 3.9/10 (6.3 million viewers) for the Kansas 400, according to fast national ratings released by Nielsen Monday. This was the first airing of the Kansas 400 on FOX, however, Sunday's race easily beat last year's Kansas race, which aired on ESPN in October. Compared to NASCAR's last Kansas event Sunday's race was up +63% on Household rating/share (vs. 2.4/5) and up +67% on average audience (vs. 3.8 million viewers).(FOX)
    NOTE: in 2010 on the same weekend in June, the race was held at Pocono and televised by TNT with a 3.3 cable rating and 5.3 million viewers.
    For past races, 4 year comparison chart see the 2011 TV Ratings page.(6-7-2011)

  • Farmers Insurance to sponsor Kahne in 2012: Beginning in 2012, Farmers Insurance will be the majority sponsor of the #5 Chevy fielded by Hendrick Motorsports and driven by 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner Kasey Kahne. Covering the 2012, 2013 and 2014 racing seasons, the agreement secures primary paint schemes for Farmers Insurance in 22 Sprint Cup Series events annually and prominent brand placement in all non-primary races. A new #5 Farmers Insurance Chevy car design will be unveiled at a later date. "Kasey Kahne is a very talented driver and a class act," said Paul Patsis, president of Enterprise Marketing for Farmers Insurance. "He will represent Farmers well, and we are all so proud to have him driving what will be a successful partnership, both on and off the racetrack."
    In April, Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance joined Hendrick Motorsports as a five-race primary sponsor of the #5 Chevys for 2011, debuting with a special paint [#25 car] scheme at the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Farmers Insurance also is an associate-level sponsor of the #5 team this season.
    "It's extremely positive when a company of this caliber sees the value of NASCAR and immediately wants to do more," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "Farmers will have an excellent spokesperson in Kasey, and we're committed to putting him in a position to win races and championships. Our organization is proud to extend this partnership, and we look forward to a very bright future with everyone at Farmers."
    In addition to his 11 race wins, Kahne has earned 21 pole positions, 51 top-five finishes and 92 top-10s in Sprint Cup competition. Currently in the midst of his eighth full-time season at NASCAR's elite level, the Enumclaw, Wash., native will join Hendrick Motorsports following the 2011 campaign. "I've had a chance to meet the Farmers people, and they're doing some exciting new things from a marketing standpoint," said Kahne, 31, who is signed to drive for Hendrick Motorsports through 2015. "I'm looking forward to being a part of their team and helping grow the Farmers brand. To have this kind of support, and to have it come together so early, is such a boost for all of us."
    In addition to the Hendrick Motorsports relationship, the professional sports properties of Farmers Insurance include naming rights to the planned professional football stadium in Los Angeles, the PGA Tour Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and the ATP World Tour Farmers Classic held on the campus of UCLA.(Hendrick Motorsports)(6-7-2011)

  • TNT Returns with multiplatform coverage of Sprint Cup Series: TNT and NASCAR.com are set to wave the green flag on the network's Sprint Cup Series coverage debuting on Sunday at Pocono with enhanced features and more interactivity on television and online to provide fans with the most comprehensive multi-platform NASCAR experience possible. This year, TNT RaceBuddy on NASCAR.com will return with twice as many camera views as last year including two mosaics for fans to choose from. Also, the network will debut Inside Trax, offering fans exclusive audio and video from select crew chiefs and their teams each race. Wide Open Coverage returns for TNT's primetime race in Daytona on Saturday, July 2 and will feature the first-ever Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway in primetime on Saturday, July 9. For the first time this year, TNT NASCAR analyst Kyle Petty and Rutledge Wood's ongoing live video chat series "30 Minutes You Will Never Get Back" will invite TNT announcers to answer questions from the fans. Each Friday, fans can submit questions via Twitter or Facebook to have their questions answered on the show. TNT returns its marquee announce crew with analysts Petty and Wally Dallenbach joining play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander in the booth for each race. Veteran reporters Ralph Sheheen, Marty Snider and Matt Yocum will be joined by Chris Neville, a ten-year veteran motorsports reporter, on pit road. In addition, Lindsay Czarniak will once again host the network's 60-minute pre-race show, Countdown to Green, with Petty and McReynolds joining her on the TNT rig along with special guests each week.(TNT PR)(6-7-2011)

  • Secret fine issued to Newman? NASCAR officials wouldn't say Monday whether #39-Ryan Newman secretly was fined $50,000 for allegedly punching #42-Juan Pablo Montoya during a meeting last month at Darlington. The two drivers were summoned to NASCAR's at-track office on May 6 to discuss their ongoing feud, and NASCAR said afterward that the meeting "did not go as well as we had hoped it would." Commenting on a meeting inside the hauler was unprecedented for NASCAR, which promised a further review of the incident. No fines were ever announced, and NASCAR said the issue was closed. But rumors of the penalty began to leak on Monday in response to NASCAR fining owner Richard Childress $150,000 for attacking Kyle Busch after Saturday's trucks race at Kansas Speedway. Newman, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp also refused to comment on whether Newman was fined. If true, it's the second time NASCAR secretly has fined Newman. He was fined in April 2010 for comments he made about the style of racing at Talladega. It was not made public until the AP learned last July that Denny Hamlin had been secretly fined $50,000 for criticizing NASCAR on Twitter. Newman then admitted he, too, had been fined.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(6-7-2011)

  • Wheaties holding fan vote for Bowyer's Daytona scheme: General Mills Inc. is putting #33-Clint Bowyer back in black. Now through June 15, fans have the opportunity to put "Bowyer in Black" by voting which black Wheaties FUEL paint scheme Richard Childress Racing driver Bowyer will pilot at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 2nd, 2011. By visiting the official "Bowyer in Black" website at bowyerinblack.com, fans can simply log on and vote for their favorite orange-and-black paint scheme. The site boasts four options for the #33 Chevy and features an opportunity for fans to enter-to-win a sweepstakes with a grand prize VIP trip for two to a Sprint Cup Series race.(RCR)(6-7-2011)

  • Tony Stewart Hosts SiriusXM Special Tuesday: Tony Stewart will return to Sirius XM Radio to host a special edition of Tony Stewart Live from Eldora Speedway, Stewart's dirt track in Rossburg, Ohio, June 7 (7:00 - 9:00 pm/et). The broadcast will be available to listeners nationwide on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90 on Sirius and XM Premier (formerly known as "The Best of Sirius"). The show airs the night before Stewart's annual "Prelude to the Dream," the all-star dirt Late Model race that will be run at the half-mile, dirt oval and features some of racing's best drivers including IZOD IndyCar Series driver Tony Kanaan, former Motocross and Supercross star Ricky Carmichael, NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Brian Vickers, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Ray Evernham, Stewart and others. On the program, Stewart and co-host Matt Yocum will offer a preview of the Prelude, take calls from race fans across the country, and discuss the current NASCAR season.(Sirius PR)(6-7-2011)

  • Jason Lee named 5-hour Energy 500 Grand Marshal: Pocono Raceway announced that Jason Lee, star of TNT's Memphis Beat, has been named Grand Marshal for the 5-hour ENERGY 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 12, 2011. Lee, who stars as Memphis police detective Dwight Hendricks, will participate in pre-race activities, which includes giving the command for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to start their engines. Memphis Beat centers on Hendricks, a detective who considers himself the keeper of Memphis. He inherited a passion for music and an instinct for solving crimes from his father, an officer who was killed in the line of duty when Dwight was a young boy. Dwight sees his hometown of Memphis as a rich, magical place. He is an outstanding detective with a laid-back, easygoing style and an incredible, radar-like intuition about what people are thinking or feeling.(Pocono Racway)(6-7-2011)


    News from June 6, 2011

  • Hutchens out at Stewart Haas: Stewart-Haas Racing has promoted Matt Borland to vice president of competition. Matt has been with Stewart-Haas Racing since its inception as technical director, and with his extensive racing background that includes being a crew chief and competition director, he's well-suited for this new role. "Bobby Hutchens, who served as our director of competition since 2009, has been released. Bobby played an integral part in building Stewart-Haas Racing into a team that wins races and contends for championships. We're grateful for all his hard work and dedication, and I am personally appreciative for the responsibilities he took on Friday through Sunday that allowed me to be just a driver. We wish him nothing but the best. In his new role as vice president of competition, Matt Borland will serve as Stewart-Haas Racing's interim director of competition. Once that position is filled, the director of competition will report to Matt."(Stewart Haas Racing)(6-6-2011)

  • The Entry List for the5-Hour Energy 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #37-Tony Raines (39/13)
    #38-Sam Hornish, Jr. (38/13)
    #46-J.J. Yeley (40/13)
    #50-T.J. Bell (52/3)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/13)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/13)
    #71-Andy Lally (37/11)
    #81-Scott Riggs (50/4)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/13)
    In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 71,38,37,46,66,87,60,81
    missing the race would be [1]: #'s 50
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Pocono Entry List.(6-6-2011)

  • Altercation between Childress and Kyle Busch after CWTS Race: UPDATE: fine and probation for Childress: From the SPEED Center Facebook page, "multiple witnesses tell SPEED there was a physical confrontation between Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after today's NASCAR Truck Series race..RCR driver Joey Coulter and Kyle battled for position..Kyle hit Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap..multiple sources say Childress took matters into his own hands".(6-4-2011)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress had an altercation with Kyle Busch in the Camping World Truck Series garage area after the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250, sources confirmed Saturday night. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp confirmed that NASCAR was looking into the rumors of an altercation following the Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. The altercation happened in the garage area about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the race, according to the sources, who indicated that Childress initiated the altercation. Childress likely was upset that late in the race, Richard Childress Racing driver Joey Coulter and Busch had a tight battle for fifth with contact on the final lap. Busch tapped Coulter on the cool-down lap following the race.(Scene Daily)(6-4-2011)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials are investigating a physical altercation involving team owner Richard Childress and driver Kyle Busch in the garage area following Saturday's Truck series race at Kansas Speedway. According to a member of a Truck team who asked not to be identified, Childress took off his jewelry before approaching Busch in the garage area and struck him with his fist. The two were separated; traded insults and then Childress grabbed Busch in a headlock and struck him again before the incident was broken up. The crew member said Childress initiated the incident. Officials with Busch's team and Richard Childress Racing declined to comment on the incident.(Charlotte Observer)(6-5-2011
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR officials met with Richard Childress and Kyle Busch Sunday morning at Kansas Speedway. Later NASCAR president Mike Helton met with the media and said that, in NASCAR's view, Kyle Busch did not do anything during or after race to violate his probation. NASCAR considered ejecting Childress from the track but decided to allow him to stay because his teams needed a race-day leader. However, Childress will have restrcitions on where he can go during the race and it not likely to be allowed on pit road. In addition, further penalties to Childress will be announced by Tuesday. Following is NASCAR's complete statement: "NASCAR has reviewed the incident involving Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. We have met with all parties involved and have determined what happened yesterday is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by NASCAR. Richard Childress's actions were not appropriate and fell far short of the standard we expect of owners in this sport. We have met with Childress this morning and made our position very clear to him. Further, we expect he will make it clear to all in his organization to ensure this situation does not escalate any further. We will announce our actions regarding this incident Monday. Kyle Busch remains on probation with NASCAR and we continue to watch his actions carefully. However, we have determined that Kyle's involvement in this incident does not violate his probation and no further action is required."(6-5-2011)
    UPDATE 4: NASCAR has fined owner Richard Childress $150,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – involved in an altercation in the garage area) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. The violation occurred following the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race June 4 at Kansas Speedway. The probation includes all NASCAR-sanctioned events.
    STATEMENT FROM NASCAR: "The penalty we have announced today for Richard Childress reflects NASCAR’s response to the incident at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. We feel this action is appropriate and are confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately."(NASCAR)
    Statement from Childress: "First of all, I'm responsible for my actions, plain and simple. As you know, I am a very principled person and have a passion for what we do at Richard Childress Racing. I believe passionately in defending my race teams and my sponsor partners. In this instance, I let that passion and my emotions get the best of me. I accept the penalty NASCAR announced today and, as a company, we will now focus on this week's races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway."(RCR)(6-6-2011)

  • Sprint intends to continues title sponsorship: Dan Hesse, chief executive officer of Sprint Nextel, said his company is in talks with NASCAR to extend its title sponsorship of the Sprint Cup series. "Our intention is to continue the sponsorship with NASCAR," Hesse told The Star before Sunday's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Sprint is in the eighth year of a 10-year, $750 million sponsorship that goes through the 2013 season. Besides the title sponsorship of the series, Sprint lends its name to the Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte, N.C., and supports NASCAR in other ways, such as delivering 15 to 20 cell phone towers to each race as well as The Sprint Experience, a mobile, interactive display at each track.(Kansas City Star)(6-6-2011)

  • Tire worker injured at CMS dies: A contract employee of Huggins Tire Sales Inc. has died from injuries sustained when he fell May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Marvin Near fell from the back of a slow-moving pick-up truck driven by a Huggins employee while delivering Goodyear racing tires for the weekend's events at CMS. The accident was investigated by Concord Police and no charges were filed. "We extend our sympathy to Mr. Near's family and our thoughts and prayers are with them," said Stu Grant, general manager of global race tires for Goodyear.(Charlotte Observer)(6-6-2011)


    News from June 5, 2011

  • Keselowski wins at Kansas: #2-Brad Keselowski won the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway for his 1st win of 2011 and 2nd win of his career. The race came down to fuel mileage with many drivers having to pit with less than 20 laps to go. Keselowski, Earnhart, Jr. and Hamlin all stretched their mileages to make it to the end.
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. finished second followed by #11-Hamlin, #24-Gordon, #99-Edwards, #17-Kenseth, #48-Johnson, #14-Stewart, #22-Busch, and #16-Biffle. #99-Edwards' point lead is now 40 over #48-Johnson.
    There were 17 lead changes among 9 drivers; 5 cautions for 22 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 80,000. Last year the only race at Kansas, held in the fall, drew 100,000.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Wednesday, June 8 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Kansas Race Results/Awards page.(6-5-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Kansas:
    Brad Keselowski won the Inaugural STP 400, his second victory in 66 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He breaks 60 race winless streak since winning at Talladega April 26, 2009, 75 races ago). His crew chief Paul Wolfe wins for first time in NASCAR Sprint Cupl competition.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in three races at Kansas Speedway. This is Penske Racing's first win since Kurt Busch's victory in the 2010 Coca-Cola 600.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 11 races at Kansas Speedway. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2011.
    Denny Hamlin (third) posted his second top-10 finish in seven races at Kansas Speedway.
    Andy Lally (31st) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 40 points over Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-5-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Kansas, race 13 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 485
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 445, -40
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 444, -41
    4) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 442, -43
    5) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 425, -60
    6) #22-Kurt Busch, 414, -71
    7) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 412, -73
    8) #14-Tony Stewart, 393, -92
    9) #33-Clint Bowyer, 391, -94
    10) #39-Ryan Newman, 382, -103
    wild cards
    11) #11-Denny Hamlin, 381, -104 [11th in points]
    13) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 364, -121 [13th in points]
    [#2-Keselowski is 21st in points. With his win, he becomes eligible for the wild card by moving into the top 20 in standings]
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as 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.(6-5-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Pocono:
    No changes this week.
    31) #51-Cassill/Phoenix, 203, +39
    32) #36-Blaney/TBR, 203, +39
    33) #13-Mears/Germain, 198, +34
    34) #32-Carpentier/FAS Lane, 197, +33
    35) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 173, +9 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers would need to qualify by speed:
    (however, #21 will not run Pocono, so the #7 will be locked in)
    36) #7-RGordon/RGM, 164, 9 points out of top 35
    37) #71-Lally/TRG, 156, -17
    38) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 151, -22
    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.(6-5-2011)

  • Altercation between Childress and Kyle Busch after CWTS Race: UPDATES: From the SPEED Center Facebook page, "multiple witnesses tell SPEED there was a physical confrontation between Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after today's NASCAR Truck Series race..RCR driver Joey Coulter and Kyle battled for position..Kyle hit Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap..multiple sources say Childress took matters into his own hands".(6-4-2011)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress had an altercation with Kyle Busch in the Camping World Truck Series garage area after the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250, sources confirmed Saturday night. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp confirmed that NASCAR was looking into the rumors of an altercation following the Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. The altercation happened in the garage area about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the race, according to the sources, who indicated that Childress initiated the altercation. Childress likely was upset that late in the race, Richard Childress Racing driver Joey Coulter and Busch had a tight battle for fifth with contact on the final lap. Busch tapped Coulter on the cool-down lap following the race.(Scene Daily)(6-4-2011)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials are investigating a physical altercation involving team owner Richard Childress and driver Kyle Busch in the garage area following Saturday's Truck series race at Kansas Speedway. According to a member of a Truck team who asked not to be identified, Childress took off his jewelry before approaching Busch in the garage area and struck him with his fist. The two were separated; traded insults and then Childress grabbed Busch in a headlock and struck him again before the incident was broken up. The crew member said Childress initiated the incident. Officials with Busch's team and Richard Childress Racing declined to comment on the incident.(Charlotte Observer)(6-5-2011
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR officials met with Richard Childress and Kyle Busch Sunday morning at Kansas Speedway. Later NASCAR president Mike Helton met with the media and said that, in NASCAR's view, Kyle Busch did not do anything during or after race to violate his probation. NASCAR considered ejecting Childress from the track but decided to allow him to stay because his teams needed a race-day leader. However, Childress will have restrcitions on where he can go during the race and it not likely to be allowed on pit road. In addition, further penalties to Childress will be announced by Tuesday. Following is NASCAR's complete statement: "NASCAR has reviewed the incident involving Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. We have met with all parties involved and have determined what happened yesterday is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by NASCAR. Richard Childress’s actions were not appropriate and fell far short of the standard we expect of owners in this sport. We have met with Childress this morning and made our position very clear to him. Further, we expect he will make it clear to all in his organization to ensure this situation does not escalate any further. We will announce our actions regarding this incident Monday. Kyle Busch remains on probation with NASCAR and we continue to watch his actions carefully. However, we have determined that Kyle’s involvement in this incident does not violate his probation and no further action is required."(6-5-2011)

  • Petty pleased with 2 car effort: Richard Petty believes the decision to cut from four to two Sprint Cup teams is working for Richard Petty Motorsports. Another thing that could make running well easier is that improved performance always helps when seeking sponsorship. The team has STP on Allmendinger's # 43 car as part of a renewed relationship between Petty and the company. STP, which is under new ownership, is looking to revive its rich motorsports heritage and it's obvious it wants to do it with "The King," who drove an iconic STP paint scheme for decades. The easiest way to entice STP to come back for more races is with performance. The organization gets its cars from Roush Fenway Racing and its engines from Roush Yates Engines. The improved performance by both those groups has helped RPM. "[We wanted to] get a real good, strong two-car team before we ever even look at going to three or four cars," Petty said. "Eventually we would like to do that. But we're not going to do that until we get a good base with our two cars."(Scene Daily)(6-5-2011)

  • Dodge considering engine changes: UPDATE: With the Roush Fenway Racing Fords showing greatly increased pace this year, rival manufacturers are starting to make noise about horsepower. Ford's purpose-built FR9 NASCAR Sprint Cup engine was designed with a lower center of gravity and greatly improved cooling, the latter of which allows Ford teams to run more tape on the nose of their cars. The more tape added, the more front downforce, although too much tape can block the radiator and cause overheating. Sources at Dodge confirmed to SPEED.com that the automaker is looking at revisions to its existing - and still relatively new - P6 engine. NASCAR would need to approve any engine mods, and a Dodge official said they automaker "could have something toward end of season." As for now, the source said, "All talk now is premature."(SPEED)(6-4-2011)
    UPDATE: Tony Stewart may believe everyone is "bringing a knife to a gun fight right now" when it comes to competing with Ford engines, but that is not necessarily the view of Chevy officials. "I have seen the (chassis) dyno numbers and we are pleased with them," said Alba Colon, the GM Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup series program manager. "We have seen the numbers. We have discussed the numbers with our teams. I am pleased so far; we just have to keep working on it."(Charlotte Observer)(6-5-2011)

  • Congrats to MRNs Amanda Troutman and Mike Bagley who got engaged on Saturday evening in Kansas.(6-5-2011)
    UPDATE: Per a tweet by Bagley, "Folks, no engagement with @altrautman this was an inside joke that careened out of control. All we wanted was free ice cream!! Lol".(6-6-2011)


    News from June 4, 2011

  • Altercation between Childress and Kyle Busch after CWTS Race: UPDATE: From the SPEED Center Facebook page, "multiple witnesses tell SPEED there was a physical confrontation between Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after today's NASCAR Truck Series race..RCR driver Joey Coulter and Kyle battled for position..Kyle hit Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap..multiple sources say Childress took matters into his own hands".(6-4-2011)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress had an altercation with Kyle Busch in the Camping World Truck Series garage area after the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250, sources confirmed Saturday night. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp confirmed that NASCAR was looking into the rumors of an altercation following the Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. The altercation happened in the garage area about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the race, according to the sources, who indicated that Childress initiated the altercation. Childress likely was upset that late in the race, Richard Childress Racing driver Joey Coulter and Busch had a tight battle for fifth with contact on the final lap. Busch tapped Coulter on the cool-down lap following the race.(Scene Daily)(6-4-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #22-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #42-Montoya took pit stall 8, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
    #18-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 7th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #39-Newman, who starts 12th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-4-2011)

  • Kurt Busch wins Kansas pole: #22-Kurt Busch won the Coors Light pole for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway with a speed of 174.752mph. It is his 1st pole of the season and the 13th of his career. #42-Montoya starts 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #83-Vickers, #20-Logano, #1-McMurray, #99-Edwards, #56-Truex, Jr., #27-Menard, and #29-Harvick.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #30-Stremme, #38-Kvapil, #46-Yeley, #87-Nemechek, #81-Riggs, #66-McDowell, #71-Lally, and #60-Skinner.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2): #37-Raines, #50-Bell.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Kansas Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page. (6-4-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Kansas:
    Kurt Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Inaugural STP 400 with a lap of 30.901 seconds, 174.752 mph.
    This is his 13th pole in 377 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He ties Dick Rathmann for 48th on all-time pole list.
    This is his first pole and sixth top-10 start in 2011. His last pole came nearly a year ago - June 13 at Michigan, 33 races ago.
    This is his first pole in 11 races at Kansas Speedway.
    Juan Pablo Montoya (second) posted his third top-10 start of 2011 and his second in five races at Kansas Speedway.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his second top-10 start at Kansas Speedway. It is his sixth in 13 races this season.
    Andy Lally (39th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-4-2011)

  • Dodge considering engine changes: With the Roush Fenway Racing Fords showing greatly increased pace this year, rival manufacturers are starting to make noise about horsepower. Ford's purpose-built FR9 NASCAR Sprint Cup engine was designed with a lower center of gravity and greatly improved cooling, the latter of which allows Ford teams to run more tape on the nose of their cars. The more tape added, the more front downforce, although too much tape can block the radiator and cause overheating. Sources at Dodge confirmed to SPEED.com that the automaker is looking at revisions to its existing - and still relatively new - P6 engine. NASCAR would need to approve any engine mods, and a Dodge official said they automaker "could have something toward end of season." As for now, the source said, "All talk now is premature."(SPEED)(6-4-2011)

  • Hornish in the #38 at Pocono: Mike Joy mentioned during SPEED's coverage of final practice at Kansas that Sam Hornish Jr. would be in the Front Row Motorsports #38 next weekend at Pocono. Travis Kvapil will be in Texas for the Camping World Truck Series race.(6-4-2011)

  • Split screen commericals will be shown again this weekend: Fox will show a split screen of the race and commercials during the final commercial break of Sunday’s Cup race, a Fox spokesman confirmed. It’s just as the network has done for the final commercial break at Dover and the Coca-Cola 600.(Virginian-Pilot)(6-4-2011)

  • #48 team tests at Gresham: Hendrick Motorsports driver, Landon Cassill returned to Gresham Motorsports Park on Wednesday in a # 48, Jimmie Johnson Chevy. Cassill and Hendrick team worked to make adjustments and improvements to the car's setup. Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 HendrickCars.com Chevy also tested. This is Elliott's first season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and he will return to GMP for the Slack Auto Parts 150. Elliott's father, Bill Elliott, was at GMP to give advice and help prepare Chase for the upcoming race. Cassill was also able to give Chase Elliott some tips and advice about the NASCAR K&N car after making a few laps in Elliott's NASCAR K&N car himself. Elliott wasn't about to let Cassill run his car without getting his chance to test Cassill's car. After Cassill accomplished all that he had set out to accomplish at GMP, he gave Elliott the wheel of the # 48 Chevy. Elliott ran some decent laps around the track before the team called it a night.(GMP)(6-4-2011)

  • Special Operations Warrior Foundation on the #71 at Kansas: UPDATE: The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) will ride on the #71 TRG Motorsports Ford driven by Andy Lally for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 to be run at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, June 5. SOWF provides immediate financial assistance to special operations personnel severely wounded in the global war on terror. Once notified of a special operations soldier, airman, sailor, or Marine hospitalized with a severe injury, SOWF immediately sends funds to the service member (or his/her designated recipient) so the family and loved ones can travel to be at their bedside. To date, the foundation has provided $1.2 million to the families of wounded special operations personnel. The foundation also provides college educations to the sons and daughters of fallen special operations warriors. Funding includes tuition, books, fees, room and board. Last year, the SOWF provided $4.8 million in scholarship grants, counseling and family support to the families of fallen warriors.(TRG)(6-3-2011)
    UPDATE: The Children's Tumor Foundation logo will be carried on the # 71 TRG Motorsports Ford for Sunday's running of the STP 400. The Children's Tumor Foundation is a non-profit medical foundation, dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by neurofibromatosis (NF). Founded in 1978, the Foundation is the driving force behind world-class research to end NF.
    AND TRG Motorsports welcomes MINDDRIVE on the #71 Ford for this weekend's STP 400. The team will be featuring a MINDDRIVE Quick Response (QR) code on its Ford. "QR codes allow users of smartphones to scan a unique image that is similar to bar codes," Steve Rees, CEO of MINDDRIVE said. "QR codes can be used to provide a number of unique experiences including directing users to websites, add contact information to a user's phone, compose a text or email message or connect to a wireless network. When users scan the QR code on Andy Lally's # 71 Ford at Kansas Speedway this weekend, they will be taken to a website to view a video from MINDDRIVE. The video features a group of high school students that built a car that is capable of getting fuel mileage exceeding 440-miles per gallon. Through the QR code and MINDDRIVE video, fans will be able to find the link that will allow them to join the MINDDRIVE effort or make contributions to MINDDRIVE."(TRG)(6-4-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 Coca-Cola 600: 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 races. Recording began at the invocation at 6:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 10:55 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 148
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 71
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 6:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:55 PM
    Total minutes: 295
    Minutes of race broadcast: 223
    Minutes of commercials: 72
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘beverage can on track’ cautions: 1 Spoken of; but not shown
    Total race brdcst time 223 Total comm. brdcst time 72
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 68
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 7 min.
    See more driver focus, links and past races see the 2011 Commercials page.(6-4-2011)

  • 3 Amigos Tequila named official tequila at Chicago: Chicagoland Speedway announced a partnership with 3 Amigos Tequila making it the official tequila of the speedway. 3 Amigos Tequila was founded by Arizona resident Santiago Gonzalez and his family in 2007. The product is made from agave grown at his family's farm in Mexico. The tequila is distilled and bottled in Mexico before being brought to the United States for distribution.(Chicagoland PR)(6-4-2011)


    News from June 3, 2011

  • Qualifying Order for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers will qualify at the end of the session, once the top-35 drivers are done.
    The first of the top-35 drivers scheduled to go out is #7-Sauter.
    The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #20-Logano.
    The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #50-Bell with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #30-Stremme.
    Qualifying order is set by practice speeds, with the top 35 drivers going out from slowest to fastest, then the non-top 35 drivers go out, slowest to fastest from practice.
    See the full qualifying order on the Kansas Qualifying Page.(6-3-2011)

  • Happy Hour practice: for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #20-Logano 170.175
    #24-Gordon 170.122
    #83-Vickers 170.084
    #5-Martin 169.614
    #27-Menard 169.502
    slowest: #32-Carpentier 162.148 & #7-Sauter 160.275.
    notes: #22-Kurt Busch spun off turn 4 and slid into the infield grass. He didn't damage the car.
    For fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds, see my Kansas Practice Speeds page.(6-3-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #30-David Stremme, 9th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 19th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 24th
    #81-Scott Riggs, 25th
    #37-Tony Raines, 27th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 29th
    #71-Andy Lally, 31st
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 33rd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #66-Michael McDowell, 37th
    #50-T.J. Bell, 42nd
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • First Friday practice: for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #16-Biffle 169.189
    #99-Edwards 168.692
    #4-Kahne 168.361
    #14-Stewart 167.989
    #24-Gordon 167.874
    slowest: #7-Sauter 161.662 & #32-Carpentier 161.011.
    For fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds, see my Kansas Practice Speeds page. (6-3-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #30-David Stremme, 11th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 16th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 20th
    #81-Scott Riggs, 21st
    #46-J.J. Yeley, 22nd
    #37-Tony Raines, 27th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 30th
    #50-T.J. Bell, 38th
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #60-Mike Skinner, 41st
    #71-Andy Lally, 43rd
    [PC] = [past champion and order, 1 is more recent champ]

  • NASCAR changing Cup qualifying procedures: NASCAR is changing its NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying rules effective next week at Pocono Raceway .... qualifying order will be determined by the driver’s fastest lap in first practice. The times on the speed sheet will be inverted with the slowest cars attempting their qualifying runs first. The go-or-go-home cars will now qualify among the 35 teams locked in on owner points and not be separated by the field. The NASCAR Sprint Cup director does reserve the right to change a driver’s qualifying order or allow “adjustments or repairs” to cars after the car has taken the green flag at the start/finish line. And all cars must qualify with a full fuel cell. According to the NASCAR bulletin: "Qualifying consists of two consecutive timed laps (EIRI). The fastest lap determines qualifying position. NASCAR reserves the right to have more than one car engage in qualifying runs at the same time. Cars will be released in selected increments until all cars have had an opportunity to attempt qualifying." EIRI stands for "except in rare instances." In case of a rain-out of practice, a random drawing will be held for cars set up in the garage area to determine qualifying. If qualifying is rained out, the order of the field will be set according to Section 9-5 of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup rule book. According to the rule book "all available starting positions will first be assigned to those car owners who have entered in the event prior to the drawing deadline. All available starting positions will be assigned including those starting positions previously designated as provisional starting positions on the Official Entry Blank. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship points for the event will be assigned to those non-qualifier car owners provided they have entered in the event prior to the entry deadline."(Fox Sports)(6-3-2011)

  • Phoenix Racing changing number: UPDATE: According to NASCAR's preliminary entry list, Landon Cassill and Phoenix Racing are now entered in this weekend's race at Kansas in the #51 Chevy [rather than the #09]. Scene Daily's Bob Pockrass tweets that the team will use the number the remainder of the year. #51 was the team's original number.(6-1-2011)
    UPDATE: Phoenix Racing arrives at the Kansas Speedway this weekend with a familiar color scheme, but slightly new look. The team announced today the #51 will replace the #09 on the roof and sides of the team's cars for the remainder of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The colors of Security Benefit and their Thank a Teacher Today program will remain the same, but will now also be visible on the team transporter, driver and crew uniforms as well as pit equipment. The number 51 was last used in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the 2010 Daytona 500 by driver Michael Waltrip. Prior to that, Phoenix Racing used the number in four events in 2001 with driver Jeff Purvis. The number has been used in 336 Sprint Cup events with two wins by Gober Sosebee in 1952 and 1954.(Breaking Limits)(6-3-2011)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame expects increased attendance: Next year's NASCAR Hall of Fame's draft budget predicts revenue from admissions will increase nearly 20 percent, an optimistic projection that runs counter to the experience of many similar attractions. The Georgia Aquarium, for instance, saw attendance decline 25 percent for its second year, and 15 percent more from year two to year three after the initial excitement wore off. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland showed similar declines in its first three years of operation. Attendance at those venues - and many others - then stabilized. The city-owned NASCAR Hall of Fame projected 800,000 visitors for its first year. Instead, attendance was roughly 274,000, including 12,000 free visits during an open house in January. Before the hall opened last year, hall backers expected attendance to decline from the first year to the second year. The draft budget calls for $4.88 million in admission revenue next fiscal year, while this year's admissions revenue is expected to be $4.15 million. A memo from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, which operates the hall, said the admissions projections are based on a "stretch" target.(Charlotte Observer)(6-3-2011)

  • Boywer running American Ethanol Chevy at Kansas: Clint Bowyer has returned near his hometown to drive the American Ethanol-sponsored Richard Childress Chevy Sunday in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, the closest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track to his home. Bowyer's #33 Chevy will have new black, silver and green livery of American Ethanol for the STP 400. American Ethanol, a renewable source of cleaner burning energy from the bounty of America's farmers, helps create new green jobs and a renewed sense of pride for the American worker, while helping to achieve greater energy security for our country.(American Ethanol)See an image of the car on the #33 Team Schemes page.(6-3-2011)

  • Special Operations Warrior Foundation on the #71 at Kansas: The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) will ride on the #71 TRG Motorsports Ford driven by Andy Lally for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 400 to be run at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, June 5. SOWF provides immediate financial assistance to special operations personnel severely wounded in the global war on terror. Once notified of a special operations soldier, airman, sailor, or Marine hospitalized with a severe injury, SOWF immediately sends funds to the service member (or his/her designated recipient) so the family and loved ones can travel to be at their bedside. To date, the foundation has provided $1.2 million to the families of wounded special operations personnel. The foundation also provides college educations to the sons and daughters of fallen special operations warriors. Funding includes tuition, books, fees, room and board. Last year, the SOWF provided $4.8 million in scholarship grants, counseling and family support to the families of fallen warriors.(TRG)(6-3-2011)

  • Leavine Fenton Racing changes name: Leavine Family Racing, currently a single-team operation in the Sprint Cup Series, announced Thursday that the organization Leavine Fenton Racing will now be known as Leavine Family Racing. The former members of Leavine Fenton Racing have completed a transaction that has resulted in the rebranding of the Tyler, Texas-based company, effective immediately. Bob Leavine and the Leavine family acquired all of the assets of the team and took over operation of the organization in April. The racing team, which boasts an entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - the # 95 car with driver David Starr, is now solely owned by the Leavine family and has been rebranded Leavine Family Racing.(Leavine Family Racing PR)(6-3-2011)

  • SPLASH Products join EGR as associate sponsor: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced an associate sponsorship agreement for the remainder of the 2011 season with SPLASH Products Inc. SPLASH a national provider of seasonal safety products based in Eagan, MN,. Will have its logo prominently displayed on several assets for the #1 team including the team's transporter, on the uniform of the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 winner Jamie McMurray and his #1 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevy.(EGR PR)(6-3-2011)

  • NASCAR Foundation Launches Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award: The NASCAR Foundation will recognize the outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of NASCAR fans by awarding the first annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which includes a $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation to the children's charity of the recipient's choice. The award will honor the passionate commitment Betty Jane France has demonstrated with her charitable works and community efforts. The four finalists chosen will receive a $25,000 donation to a children's charity of their choice, a trip to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2011 and be part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas, where the winner will be announced and presented the award from Betty Jane France. The winner receives the $100,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation to their children's charity and a 2012 Ford Explorer. The award winner will be based on nominations where individuals submit a short story about the community work and focus on supporting children's charities done by the nominee. For more information about the process visit NASCAR.COM/Unites.(NASCAR)(6-3-2011)

  • Chicagoland names STP 300 Grand Marshal: Chicago Bears defensive end, Israel Idonije, will be the Grand Marshal for the STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday. Idonije was selected by STP to give the famous command, “drivers start your engines,” for the start of the STP 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series Race. Idonije has been with the Chicago Bears for six consecutive seasons and was named one of three finalists in the NFL this year for the 2011 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. He was also the 2010 Ed Block Courage Award recipient, awarding NFL players based on sportsmanship, courage and role models of inspiration.(Chicagland)(6-3-2011)

  • Richmond tickets on sale Friday: One of the most anticipated weekends on the NASCAR schedule is coming to Richmond International Raceway September 9-10, and tickets for the two-day event go on sale Friday at 9:00 a.m. With a new Chase qualifying format and tempers always flaring at America's Premier Short Track, this is expected to be an intense weekend in Richmond. Tickets for "One Last Race to Make The Chase" start at $45 in advance and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223. Not only will fans enjoy the excitement on the track, but they'll be treated to a Video Scoring Tower that is viewable from every seat, as well as new-for-2011 amenities including wider seats, concourse televisions and even larger cooler sizes allowed, enabling fans to bring in more food and beverages than before.(RIR)(6-3-2011)


    News from June 2, 2011

  • Black Cat Fireworks adds sponsorship of #37 team at Kansas: Black Cat Fireworks announced another race in its sponsorship of NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Tony Raines #37 and the Max Q Motorsports Team. Black Cat will fire up the track again at Kansas Speedway on June 5th.(PR)(6-2-2011)

  • Drivers complete tire test at Kentucky: #16-Greg Biffle, #29-Kevin Harvick, #2-Brad Keselowski, #38-Travis Kvapil, #20-Joey Logano, #5-Mark Martin and #00-David Reutimann became acquainted with the race conditions at Kentucky Speedway Wednesday during a Goodyear tire test held just 36 days before the 107,000-seat venue makes its Sprint Cup Series debut with the July 9 "Quaker State 400." Biffle was pleased with his #16 3M Ford's setup off the hauler and the performance of the Goodyear tire compound. "We brought notes from Chicago, Kansas and basic mile-and-a-half racetracks, then, from what we did here before. We looked at all of that and picked out of a basket as to where to start. We hit it on the nailhead right out of the garage. We haven't made a lot of changes and we're running the same speed as all the guys. The track is taking rubber perfect. It's turning color and you can see the groove coming in. When we're through, you'll be able to stand in the grandstands and see the distinct black line around the racetrack where the cars are running," Biffle said. Joe Gibbs Racing's Logano, the only driver to reel off three consecutive NNS pole awards and 300-mile race victories at the track, also gave the tire compound solid reviews. "Goodyear brought one tire here, basically reassuring themselves that this is the tire they want. They've never had tire issues here before with the Nationwide Series, so I don't see this one being a problem. The tire isn't putting too much rubber down and I feel like it has decent grip."(Kentucky Speedway PR)(6-2-2011)

  • Sauter in the #7 at Kansas: According to a Twitter post by Speed Energy, "Johnny Sauter will be driving the #7 Speed Energy Dodge this weekend at Kansas, while Robby Gordon runs the Baja 500.(6-1-2011)

  • Stats a reason for optimism by Earnhardt, Jr.: There's good reason for optimism for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. His 2011 season is looking much like his 2008 season - the last in which he won a race and made the Chase. Just as encouraging: This season looks nothing like 2009-10 when he finished the season 25th and 21st in points, respectively. Some facts to back up the optimism …
    • Earnhardt's six top 10s this season already surpasses his five from all of 2009. Last season he had eight. His two top fives match that of 2009, and are one short of last year's total.
    • Earnhardt's average finish of 11.0 ranks third in the series behind points leader Carl Edwards (8.0) and five-time defending series champion Jimmie Johnson (10.9).
    • He has completed more laps - 4,073 - than anyone in the series. He has finished off the lead lap twice this season: Daytona (202 of 208 laps) and Richmond (398 of 400).
    • His consistency - as illustrated by his Driver Rating - is up. This season, Earnhardt has scored a Driver Rating over 90.0 in eight of the 12 races. In 2010, he did that in five of the first 12. In 2009, just three of the first 12.
    • His fourth-place points position is his highest after 12 races since 2008, when he was third. Last year after 12 races, Earnhardt was 16th in points. In 2009, he was 19th.(NASCAR)(6-2-2011)

  • "The Glades" scheme for Stewart at Kansas: Tony Stewart is literally bringing the THE GLADES from South Florida to East Kansas in the form of his #14 Chevy. The 800-horsepower stock car fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will carry the design and colors of A&E's original-scripted drama series THE GLADES throughout the Kansas race weekend. Stewart shot a cameo for an upcoming episode of THE GLADES at Homestead-Miami Speedway that's slated to air June 26, and in doing so, befriended lead actor Matt Passmore, who stars as Jim Longworth, an attractive and brilliant Chicago homicide detective with a reputation for being difficult. Season two of THE GLADES debuts Sunday night on A&E just a few hours after the checkered flag drops on the Sprint Cup race at Kansas. Ideally, NASCAR fans and followers of THE GLADES can catch Stewart doing what he typically does at Kansas - running up front and winning - before turning into THE GLADES at 10 p.m. EDT/9 p.m. CDT.(TrueSpeed Communications), see an image of the car on my #14 team paint schemes page.(6-02-2011)

  • Kurt Busch and team testing in June: #22-Kurt Busch and his Steve Addington-led "Double Deuce" team will be testing on several occasions during the month of June. Already on the schedule are test dates at the Virginia International Raceway road course on June 14 and at the Milwaukee Mile on June 20-21. "We're committed to getting back to where we need to be," said crew chief Addington. "If it takes testing every week, Kurt's all in for it and so is everyone on our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Team."(Tom Roberts PR)(6-2-2011)

  • The Numbers for Kansas Speedway:
    1 - number of drivers winning both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway in the same weekend (Joe Nemechek, 2004)
    2 - wins from the pole (Joe Nemechek - 2004, Jimmie Johnson - 2008)
    2 - most wins by driver (Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle & Tony Stewart)
    3 - most poles (Jimmie Johnson)
    5 - fewest cautions for a Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway (10/3/10)
    5 - fewest laps led by race winner (Tony Stewart, 10/1/06)
    6 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at Kansas Speedway
    7 - different race winners
    7 - different pole winners
    7 - most top-five finishes in 10 previous races at Kansas Speedway (Jeff Gordon)
    9 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (9/29/02)
    10 - fewest leaders (three times, most recent 9/28/08)
    13 - fewest lead changes (9/29/02)
    13 - most cautions (9/30/01)
    14 - most leaders (10/4/09)
    23 - fewest caution laps (10/4/09)
    26 - most lead changes (10/4/09)
    27 - most cars on lead lap at finish (9/30/07)
    27 - fewest cars running at finish (9/29/02)
    42 - most running at finish (9/28/08)
    70 - most caution laps (9/30/01)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 1.5-mile track
    139 - most laps led by race winner (Mark Martin, 10/9/05)
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(6-2-2011)

  • Sad News - Geraldine Jeffrey: Geraldine Jeffrey, mother of Bob Jeffrey (#14-Tony Stewart's spotter) passed away Tuesday, May 31st at the age of 77 in Wellmont Hospice House in Bristol, TN. Service info at the farrisfuneralservice.com site.(6-2-2011)

  • Chassis selections for Kansas: see the list of many teams and what chassis were selected by the team to run at Kansas Speedway for the STP 400 Race on the Kansas Race Info page - Chassis selection area.(6-2-2011)

  • Capital improvement projects nearing completion at Michigan: Construction crews around the Michigan International Speedway facility are working tirelessly in an effort to complete nearly $3 million worth of capital improvement projects before the June 17-19 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 race weekend. Despite the unusual Michigan weather this spring, tremendous progress has been made in many areas of the speedway, most notably the redesign of the infield scoreboard and new tram road/stop on the south side of the facility. The expansion of the pedestrian tunnel under the start-finish line, the tearing down of three grandstands in turns 3 and 4 and renovation of the Champions Club presented by CP Federal Credit Union have already been completed in time for the race season. The scoreboard, the first of its kind in motorsports when it was installed in 2008, is receiving a makeover. One of the most noticeable changes is the increase in the overall height of the scoreboard from 108-feet tall to nearly 155-feet tall, a difference of 47 feet.(Michigan PR)(6-2-2011)


    News from June 1, 2011

  • Phoenix Racing changing number: According to NASCAR's preliminary entry list, Landon Cassill and Phoenix Racing are now entered in this weekend's race at Kansas in the #51 Chevy [rather than the #09]. Scene Daily's Bob Pockrass tweets that the team will use the number the remainder of the year. #51 was the team's original number.(6-1-2011)

  • Vickers to skydive into Daytona: UPDATE: #83-Brian Vickers plans to skydive into Daytona International Speedway Wednesday morning - about a year later than originally planned - and he could view that as another step in his journey of recovery from blood clots. But he doesn't get all excited about the symbolic nature of the extreme race-track promotion. Instead, it's just the jump itself that has the Red Bull Racing driver pumped. Originally scheduled to take place a year ago, the jump had to cancelled after Vickers was sidelined in May 2010 by blood clots. He eventually had heart surgery last summer and returned to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in January. The 27-year-old Vickers estimates he has about 75 career jumps during the last four years. But this will be his first jump into a stadium and likely the jump that will challenge his skills the most. He said he hopes to land on the trioval grass during the promotional jump but noted every jump has its risks.(Scene Daily)(6-1-2011)
    UPDATE: Brian Vickers dropped in on Daytona International Speedway Wednesday for a visit -- literally. A skydiving enthusiast since 2007, Vickers became the first driver in series history to parachute into the speedway as a promotional kickoff for the July 2 Coke Zero 400. Vickers, 27, came to a sliding, tumbling stop on the grass in the speedway's tri-oval after his first jump in the rain that started from about 5,000 feet above the track. "It's not the first time someone has barreled rolled through the front stretch at Daytona," he said. "The only problem is sticking the landing when you're sliding through the water, the mud and grass."(Associated Press)(6-1-2011)

  • Sadler suing Petty Motorsports: Elliott Sadler is suing Richard Petty Motorsports for an unspecified amount of money, claiming in court documents that his former team is withholding a payment to him because it is wrongly accusing him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc. Sadler filed the lawsuit Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C. The lawsuit is against the new ownership group of RPM, which was sold by the Gillett family to Richard Petty and two investors last November. Sadler drove for RPM from 2006-2010 and has a separation agreement with the new owners of RPM that require payments to him, according to the lawsuit. That separation agreement had a non-solicitation provision and RPM alleged that Sadler violated it after Hunt Brothers, which sponsored Sadler in 2010, announced it was sponsoring him and driver Kevin Harvick at KHI this year. In the lawsuit, Sadler claims that RPM is accusing him of violating the non-solicitation clause in their separation agreement in order not to pay him. RPM did not make an April 20 payment, Sadler alleges in the lawsuit.(Scene Daily)(6-1-2011)

  • Home Depot team carrying decal for Joplin, MO store: The Home Depot Team will begin carrying a special decal this weekend on the C-Post of the #20 Toyota Camry honoring store #3023 that was not only destroyed by the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., but lost one of its associates. The decal which states, "In Our Hearts Store 3023 Joplin Mo" will be present on the car for the next four race weekends as well as the team's firesuits and hats. The Home Depot has committed to rebuild the store on its current location, has donated over $1 million in disaster relief for the area and its internal charity The Homer Fund is providing grants to associates who were affected by the storm.(Elevation Group PR)(6-1-2011)

  • At Kansas Speedway:
    • There have been 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas since the track opened in 2001.
    • All of the races have been scheduled for 267 laps.
    • 11 drivers have competed in all 10 races at Kansas.
    • Jeff Gordon won the first two NASCAR Sprint Cup races.
    • Jason Leffler won the first pole in September 2001.
    • Seven different drivers have won poles, led by Jimmie Johnson, with three.
    • Seven different drivers have posted victories, led by Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart (each with two).
    • There have been seven different winners.
    • Seven of the 10 races have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    • Two drivers have won from the pole: Joe Nemechek in 2004 and Jimmie Johnson in 2008.
    • The furthest back in the field that race winner started was 21st, by Tony Stewart in 2006. Seven of the 12 races this season have been won from a starting position of 20th or lower.
    • Denny Hamlin made his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup start at Kansas - a 32nd-place finish in 2005.
    • Three active drivers with more than one start have averaged a top-10 finish: Greg Biffle (8.1), Jeff Gordon (8.5) and Jimmie Johnson (9.3).
    • Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in top fives (seven) and top 10s (eight). Gordon's only two non-top 10s were a 39th in 2006 and a 13th in 2004.
    • Seven of the nine races that ended under green had a margin of victory under one second. The 2007 race ended under caution.(NASCAR)(6-1-2011)

  • Kansas recognizing Congressional Medal of Honor Winner: When Kansas Speedway hosts its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event of the year, it will happen six days after Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those who have lost their lives in service for their country. Throughout the years, there have been countless military members who have put their lives on the line to save their friends and on June 5, Kansas Speedway will recognize one of those men - retired Col. Don Ballard, who selflessly put himself in harms way to protect his fellow comrades from enemy fire. In 1968, Ballard was a Navy Corpsman assigned to the Marines during Vietnam. As he attempted to move several injured Marines to a safer location, Ballard's unit was ambushed. He repeatedly exposed himself to hostile fire as he moved and treated the Marines. At one point, the location was engulfed in crossfire and an enemy hand grenade landed amongst the wounded. Ballard picked it up and threw it back. After a few minutes, another grenade was thrown at his position. Not having time to pick it up, he selflessly through his body on the grenade to protect his patients. After a few minutes with no explosion, Ballard reached underneath him and grabbed the grenade and threw it away. According to witnesses, the grenade exploded in midair seconds later out of harms way.(Kansas Speedway)(6-1-2011)


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