Affliction Clothing sponsoring Kenseth in 2 races: Roush Fenway Racing announces a new primary sponsorship for 2003 Cup Series Champion, Matt Kenseth and his #17 team from Affliction Clothing. Affliction Clothing will serve as the primary sponsor for Kenseth’s team for the Sprint Cup Series race weekends in June at Kansas Speedway for the STP 400 as well as the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. The Affliction family of brands exists at the intersection between the spirited artistry and hard edged attitude of the fast-living modern generation. Affliction defines and meets the needs of their style savvy customer with an ever-expanding collection of contemporary fashion focused on an innovative combination of style, fit, fabrics, finishes and quality. A true culture phenomenon and a commercial powerhouse; Affliction brands are rooted in and beloved by the hard rock and sports communities.(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-31-2011)
Bayne will return for Chicago Nationwide race: Trevor Bayne will make his ninth start of the season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Chicagoland Speedway in the STP 300. Bayne: “I’m looking forward to concentrating on our Nationwide program this weekend at Chicago. I am thankful to be able to get back into a race car and I am going to savor this moment forever. We as race car drivers are so blessed to be doing this for a living and I think we take that for granted sometimes. I am ready to get back to work and compete at the highest level. Our Nationwide program has been unstoppable as of late and I want to contribute to that success as much as I can. Chris Andrews and the guys give me awesome race cars to drive, so there is no doubt in my mind that we can win this thing on Saturday night.”(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-31-2011)
The Entry List for the STP 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
NOTE: #7-Gordon is 36th in owners points BUT the #21, which is 35th, will not run the race, ao the #7 moves into the top 35 for this race. Carpentier is the driver of the #32 this week. Not in top 35 of owners points:
#30-David Stremme (46/4)
#37-Tony Raines (39/12)
#38-Travis Kvapil (38/12)
#46-J.J. Yeley (40/12)
#50-T.J. Bell (51/2)
#60-Mike Skinner (43/12)
#66-Michael McDowell (41/12)
#71-Andy Lally (37/12)
#81-Scott Riggs (52/3)
#87-Joe Nemechek (42/12) In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
the eight who would make it : #'s 71,38,37,46,66,87,60,30
missing the race would be : #'s 81,50
See the full entry list at my Jayski's Kansas Entry List.(5-31-2011)
Coke 600 Overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR's Coca-Cola
600 from Charlotte Motor Speedway earned a 4.0/8 in the metered markets Sunday night, matching last year's performance. In overnight ratings the Coke 600 fell a tenth of a point shy of the 4.1/11 earned by the Indianapolis 500 earlier in the day on ABC, but that narrow deficit would still seem to put the NASCAR race in position to beat the Indy 500 in the nationals. The Indy 500 typically declines from overnight to national, while the Coke 600 tends to hold steady or increase. Last year, for example, the Coke 600 beat the Indy 500 by one-tenth of a point in the overnights, and four-tenths of a point in the nationals. Heading into the final race of FOX's 2011 NASCAR schedule, NASCAR is averaging a 4.5/10, up +2% over last year's 4.4/9. That comparison, however, doesn't fully capture the good luck FOX has had this year with weather, with zero races thus far being rained out. Last year two races were rained out. Therefore, on a total rating points basis NASCAR is actually up +21% over 2010 (53.7 GRPs vs. 44.3). For 2011 races, comparison charts, see the 2011 TV Ratings page.(5-31-2011)
Carpentier in the #32 at Kansas: Patrick Carpentier will return to NASCAR this weekend in the #32 FAS Lane Racing Ford at Kansas Speedway. The Canadian driver, who now lives in Las Vegas, confirmed that he will compete in his first Sprint Cup Series race of 2011 on Sunday at the 1.5-mile track. "This will mark the first time in my Sprint Cup career that I will be driving a car that is already qualified for the race," said Carpentier, who will be making his 40th Cup Series start. "There will be a lot less pressure when we practice on Friday, because we will be able to work both on qualifying and race setups."(NASCAR.com)(5-31-2011)
Richard Petty Named Grand Marshal of STP 400: NASCAR's most decorated driver will give the command to start engines for the inaugural STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. Known simply as "The King", Petty's association with STP made him a natural selection for the June 5th event. "As our partnership with STP developed we became excited at the many opportunities it presented. STP's return to the sport and longtime relationship with Richard lends an element of our sport's history to Kansas Speedway." said Pat Warren, president of Kansas Speedway. Petty, winner of a record 200 races, seven NASCAR Cup championships and inaugural inductee into NASCAR's Hall of Fame, will have a busy weekend at Kansas Speedway. On Friday morning at 9:00 am, "The King" will be available to the media in the track's infield media center. From 9-9:30 am Saturday, he will conduct a question and answer session in the Sprint Fan Walk located between the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series garages. Fans can participate in Saturday morning's Q & A by purchasing Sprint Fan Walk tickets online at kansasspeedway.com or by calling 866.460.RACE.
Kansas Speedway will host the STP 400, the first of two Sprint Cup races this year on Sunday, June 5th. The series will be joined by the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on June 4th for the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250. The Nationwide Series will be in action on Saturday, October 8th for the running of the Kansas Lottery 300, followed by the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway Cup event on Sunday, October 9th. Tickets for all Kansas Speedway events are on sale now and are available by calling 866.460.RACE or by visiting kansasspeedway.com. As always, parking is free and race fans are welcome to bring a 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler into the grandstands with their favorite food and beverages.(Kansas Speedway)(5-31-2011)
AdvoCare to Sponsor Atlanta Labor Day Weekend Sprint Cup Race: AdvoCare International, LP, an award-winning, premier health and wellness company headquartered in Plano, TX., will be the title sponsor for Atlanta Motor Speedway's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race on Sept. 4, 2011. The multi-year contract between AdvoCare and the Speedway calls for AdvoCare to sponsor the track's Labor Day Weekend NASCAR Sprint Cup Series night race in addition to being the official performance elite products of the Speedway. The partnership also adds to the strong AdvoCare history and relationship to both sports and motorsports. NASCAR figures utilizing AdvoCare products include Mark Martin, Richard Petty and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran driver David Starr. The AdvoCare National Spokesperson is New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees. AdvoCare is also a platinum sponsor of Operation Homefront, an organization dedicated to providing emergency assistance to those serving in the military and their families. Tickets for the AdvoCare 500 are on sale and priced as low as $39 or $19 for students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call (877) 9-AMS-TIX.(AMS)(5-31-2011)
Jimmie Johnson Pocono 500 Ticket Package: Pocono Raceway announced the "Jimmie Johnson Pocono Q&A Package," available for purchase, for the 2011 Pocono 500. Race fans can chose from three Grandstand ticket packages, which include: an exclusive question and answer session with five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson, a Grandstand ticket and a discounted Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Pass. The available packages are priced at $75 for a Concourse-level ticket, $105 for a Terrace-level ticket and $115 for a Terrace Platinum-level ticket. The Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Pass is good at designated times throughout the weekend and has been reduced to cost $30. Additionally, fans purchasing this package will receive access to Johnson's Q&A Session, held inside Victory Lane, on Sunday, June 12th, at 10:15 a.m. prior to the start of the Pocono 500. Fans can purchase this ticket package by mentioning the "Jimmie Johnson Pocono Q&A Package" when calling 1-800-RACEWAY (722-3929) or when ordering online by clicking the Packages link at: www.poconoraceway.com/tickets.(Pocono Raceway)(5-31-2011)
News from May 30, 2011
Hendrick & Penske...in Indycar?: Spotted on the grid of the Centennial Indy 500 were Hendrick Motorsport decals on the wings of two Team Penske Racers. The decals were on the inside rear wingplate on Will Power’s #6 Dallara Honda and #12 Ryan Honda. This leads to speculation of an alliance of Penske and Hendrick in IndyCar especially due to the entry of Chevrolet engines into the open wheel series in 2012. Penske officials are keen to add Simona de Silvestro to their team but are having financial issues with three cars and would not comment on the why HMS decals were on the two cars. An alliance with Hendrick, a big Chevrolet dealer, could help.(see image at Auto123)(5-30-2011)
Motorsports Alumni Chapter Starts: Alumni from The William States Lee College of Engineering and other university programs came together May 17, 2011, to form the UNC Charlotte Motorsports Alumni Chapter. Meeting in the Kulwicki Motorsports Laboratory, the alumni, faculty and staff laid out plans for the new chapter. New Chapter President Ryan Zeck (BSME 1999) said the chapter welcomes all UNC Charlotte alumni interested in motorsports, not just graduates of the motorsports engineering program. The formation of a new alumni chapter requires the commitment of 16 alumni to serve on the chapter board. The new Motorsports group was able to get 21 people to sign up for the board.(more info at uncc.edu.(5-30-2011)
News from May 29, 2011
Harvick wins at Charlotte: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of 2011 and 17th win of his career. #6-Ragan [best career finish] finished second followed by #20-Logano, #22-Busch, #43-Allmendinger, #9-Ambrose, #88-Earnhardt Jr. [who led, ran out of fuel in 4th turn], #78-Smith, #00-Reutimann and #11-Hamlin. #48-Johnson lost an engine with a few laps to go, setting up a green-white-checker finish. #4-Kahne led on the final restart and immediately ran out of fuel. The points leader, #99-Edwards, finished 16th and increased his points lead to 36 points over #29-Harvick who moves into 2nd
There were 38 lead changes among 19 drivers; 14 cautions for 64 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 145,000 up from 140,000 last year. Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, June 1 at 12:00pm/et
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Charlotte Race Results/Awards page.(5-29-2011)
Race Fast Facts - Charlotte:
#29-Kevin Harvick won the 52nd Annual COCA-COLA 600, his 17th victory in 370 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his third victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2011.
This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 21 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
#6-David Ragan (second) posted his third top-10 finish in nine races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2011 (and best career finish).
#20-Joey Logano (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in five races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
#99-Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 36 points over Kevin Harvick.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-29-2011)
2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
[after Charlotte, race 12 of 36]:
rank, car#, driver, points, behind
1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 445
2) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 409, -36
3) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 408, -37
4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 402, -43
5) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 392, -53
6) #22-Kurt Busch, 377, -68
7) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 374, -71
8) #33-Clint Bowyer, 365, -80
9) #14-Tony Stewart, 356, -89
10) #39-Ryan Newman, 353, -92 wild cards
11) #16-Greg Biffle, 343, -102 [11th in points]
12) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 324, -121 [16th in points]
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.(5-29-2011)
Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Kansas:
No changes this week.
31) #09-Caeeill/Phoenix, 193, +37
32) #36-Blaney/TBR, 191, +35
33) #13-Mears/Germain, 190, +34
34) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 183, +27
35) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 173, +17 points ahead of 36th
these teams / drivers would need to qualify by speed:
(however, #21 will not run Kansas, so the #7 moves to 35th)
36) #7-RGordon/RGM, 156, 17 points out of top 35
37) #71-Lally/TRG, 143, -30
38) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 141, -32
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.(5-29-2011)
Danica's sponsor expects her to move to NASCAR; sponsor Kahne? Bob Parsons, CEO and founder of Danica Patrick sponsor GoDaddy.com, said Sunday he expects her to make the move full-time to NASCAR next season. "She hasn't told me she will, but I believe she will and we'll be ready," Parsons said. "Here's the fact: She loves [NASCAR], it's much more exciting than IndyCar, with all due respect, and the TV audience for NASCAR is off the hook." Parsons was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday to watch Patrick compete in the event. Patrick is working on a plan to race full-time in the Nationwide Series is 2012 and move to Sprint Cup in 2013, sources confirmed earlier this week. "She came up to me right after she did her first NASCAR race [the 2010 Nationwide race at Daytona]," Parson said. "She said to me, 'I absolutely loved it. This is what I was born to do.' " Parsons emphasized he is behind her whatever decision she makes. "As long as I can stroke the check," he said. "I tell you what, she doesn't exactly work for minimum wage. I usually don't get into that too much until the decision's been made. But I've told her I would sponsor her if she started ice skating." Along with Patrick's IndyCar ride at Andretti Autosport and her Nationwide car at JR Motorsports, GoDaddy also sponsors Mark Martin's Cup car at Hendrick Motorsports. Martin is leaving after this season and Kasey Kahne is taking over in that car. Will GoDaddy sponsor Kahne in 2012? "We're working on that," Parsons said. "I can tell you Mr. [Rick] Hendrick runs an awfully good team and he's been a great business partner for us."(ESPN.com)(5-29-2011)
McMurray to visit Joplin: #1-Jamie McMurray said not only was the house [in Joplin, MO] he grew up leveled on May 22, the tornado "took the whole neighborhood out." Also destroyed much of the high school McMurray attended. The death toll reached 132 on Friday [readjusted to 129 on Sunday]. "Everyone that I know, or at least friends talking to friends, I haven't known anyone that's lost their life," McMurray said. "I have a lot of friends that have lost their homes." McMurray said crew members and sponsors have offered to assist in the relief efforts. McMurray and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris will fly to Morris' hometown of Springfield, Mo., on Thursday to collect food and supplies from Convoy of Hope. They're then scheduled to go to Joplin and will join the mayor and chief of police on a tour of McMurray's old neighborhood. "I had a friend that lives there and has witnessed everything tell me that Joplin would recover. He just didn't know if it would recover in our lifetimes," McMurray said. "I know there will be a big effort on my part over the next years to come to help with the hospital, the schools and the families."(Joplin Globe)(5-29-2011)
Fallen officer to be honored at Coca-Cola 600: The name of fallen Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer Fred Thornton will be featured on Kurt Busch's #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger in the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Thornton, a longtime SWAT officer, died in February after a flash-bang device detonated at his home. The tribute is the work of the Shell Fuel for Success program, which works with several law enforcement agencies across the U.S. to mentor young people and expose them to careers in the racing industry. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is one of the participating agencies. "We consider each of our fellow officers as 'brothers,'" said Officer Todd Smith, a member of the Colton Police Department in southern California who works with the Shell program. Thornton's widow will come to the speedway to see the tribute. "My husband was a police officer who loved his job for 29 years," Linda Thornton said in a statement. "He was just a regular guy who loved his beer and racing on the weekend, and for Shell and Kurt Bush to honor him like this is very humbling. Everyone has been so kind, and the family is so very appreciative to Shell and Kurt paying tribute to Fred in this very special way."(Charlotte Observer)(5-29-2011)
Raikkonen plans after Charlotte unknown UPDATE: Kimi Raikkonen was vague Thursday about his NASCAR plans, indicating little more than he'd like to do a Sprint Cup race, maybe on the road course on Sonoma. The former Formula One world champion will run the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and revealed nothing more about his schedule. The most telling update came from Kyle Busch, who said he has nothing else planned with Raikkonen after this weekend. That's a change from when their deal was announced: Busch said Raikkonen would run three to five races for Kyle Busch Motorsports. What's changed? Money. "The contract states that we're supposed to receive so much, and we have not. We've only received enough for these two races," Busch said. "It's either up to Kimi or up to the financial people that run Kimi's business side of things and decide that they need to find the sponsorship funds in order to carry the experience for him further." Raikkonen said he heads back to Europe on Saturday after the race. "I have other things to do," he said. "After that, I don't know when I will be back. I have rally in Greece and some other rallies."(Associated Press)(5-27-2011) UPDATE: Kimi Raikkonen says there was a misunderstanding with Kyle Busch on the financial arrangement concerning Raikkonen's venture into NASCAR. Busch said Thursday that Kyle Busch Motorsports was "supposed to receive so much, and we have not" in the deal to run in three to five Truck Series races. Raikkonen said Saturday he has paid in full for driving Busch's truck last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and for driving a Nationwide Series car for Busch and Joe Nemechek Saturday at CMS.
He said further payment will depend on whether he drives another Truck Series race for Busch. "I mean, it's a situation we paid," Raikkonen said after qualifying 22nd for Saturday's race. "Who knows if we want to do more." Todd Hirschfeld, who manages Raikkonen's racing efforts in the United States, said Raikkonen's situation changed when he added the Nationwide race to the schedule. "It was taken out of context. Kimi doesn't know what he wants to do, but everything so far has been paid for."(ESPN) AND Kimi Raikkonen has paid for the races he has run for Kyle Busch Motorsports and does not owe the team money, KBM General Manager Rick Ren said Saturday.(SceneDaily)(5-29-2011)
MWR Family of Teams & Drivers To Host Collections For Joplin Victims: Race fans can join Michael Waltrip Racing's teams and drivers at two locations in the Kansas City area Thursday night collecting donations for the tornado victims of Joplin, Mo. "I want to show the world that NASCAR has the best fans and I want everyone to come out and support our friends and neighbors in Joplin by bringing stuff they really need right now," said team owner Michael Waltrip. "If you bring it, my guys will drive it to Joplin." #00 Aaron's/TUMS Toyota team members and driver David Reutimann along with JTG Daugherty Racing's #47 Clorox Toyota driver Bobby Labonte will host collections at the Aaron's store in Shawnee, Kan. 6-8 p.m. Thursday [June 2nd] while #56 NAPA AUTO PARTS team members and Martin Truex Jr. will do the same 6-8 p.m. at the Bass Pro Shops in Olathe, Kansas. Waltrip will join the No. 00 team at the Aaron's store 6-6:45 p.m. before joining the #56 team 7:15-8 p.m. in Olathe.
Fans can meet, take pictures and collect autographs from the drivers and crewmembers at both sites in return for donations of canned foods, blankets, and toiletry items MWR will transport to Joplin on Friday. The first 200 donations at the Olathe Bass Pro Shops will receive a No. 56 die cast racecar while the first 200 donations at the Aaron's store will receive a nine-inch "Lucky Dog" stuffed animal.
Waltrip said MWR sponsors NAPA, Aaron's, TUMS, Toyota, Best Western, Boost Mobile and Bass Pro Shops created the events as a response to the tragedy in Missouri. MWR employees at the team's Cornelius, N.C. race shop will also collect items for the truck going to Joplin. "Everyone has seen the devastation on television and we wanted to help those people who are suffering right now," said Waltrip. "We're racing in the area this weekend at Kansas Speedway and we just wanted to do something that gives back to this community and the people that mean so much to MWR and NASCAR. I hope everyone in the area will come out to the Aaron's store in Shawnee and the Bass Pro Shops in Olathe. We'll have some fun while we collect items the people in Joplin really need."
Aaron's, 12108 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Shawnee Kansas, is about 12 miles from Kansas Speedway while Bass Pro Shops, 12051 Bass Pro Drive in Olathe Kansas, is about 14 miles south of the track.
Michael Waltrip Racing will give fans outside the Kansas City area a way to help. The team will make Truex and Reutimann car hoods, fire suits worn during Sunday's race along with the racing gloves and shoes available through the NASCAR Unites online auction. During the week following the Kansas race, fans can bid on the MWR items at www.NASCAR.com/unites.
The death toll from the massive tornado that devastated the southwest Missouri city now stands at over 126. More than 900 people were injured in the May 22 tornado, which is now considered the nation's single-deadliest in six decades.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(5-29-2011)
Sad News - Charles Kepley: Charles Don Kepley, 57, of Lexington. NC, died Tuesday, May 24, 2011, at his home.
Mr. Kepley was born on Sept. 26, 1953, in Mecklenburg County to James Donald Kepley and Hidia Amy Goins Kepley. He was a service technician at Energy United, owner of C and C Racing Souvenirs, promoter of the North-South Shootout and also coached several local softball teams. He was preceded in death by his father.(Davidson Funeral Home)(5-29-2011)
News from May 28, 2011
Race Coverage of the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, May 29, 2011. Television (TV): FOX at 6:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 5:30 pm/et; green flag approx 6:15pm/et Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90 Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
SPEED, Wednesday, June 1 at 12:00pm/et
Happy Hour practice: for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
slowest: #46-Yeley 178.577 & #09-Cassill 178.678
no speed listed: #60-Skinner
For fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds, see my Charlotte Practioce Speeds page.(5-28-2011)
Happy Hour practice: for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is being run, after 42 of 60 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
slowest: #46-Yeley 178.577 & #09-Cassill 178.678
no speed listed: #60-Skinner
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been made.
Pole sitter #2-Keselowski chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #99-Edwards took pit stall 15, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
#99-Edwards, who starts 3rd took the 22nd pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 6th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-28-2011)
Tire testing at Kentucky June 1st: #16-Greg Biffle, #29-Kevin Harvick, #2-Brad Keselowski, #38-Travis Kvapil, #20-Joey Logano, #5-Mark Martin and #00-David Reutimann are scheduled to test Goodyear tire compounds in preparation for Kentucky Speedway's July 9 "Quaker State 400" on Wednesday, June 1.
Kentucky Speedway will become the first new venue on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule since 2001 when the inaugural 43-car "Quaker State 400" field takes the green flag at 7:30 p.m., July 9. Fans can reserve tickets, Fan Zone Pit Road passes, Fan Zone Prerace passes for a "Quaker State 400" race day concert with country music artist Clay Walker and Sprint Cup driver introductions in addition to Pit Road Club hospitality tickets online at kentuckyspeedway.com, by phone at 888-652-7223 or by visiting the Kentucky Speedway offices.(5-28-2011)
Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation Announces First Global Initiative: Jeff Gordon, alongside Partners In Health representatives, Dr. Larry Shulman and Dr. Sara Stulac, gathered friends and supporters on Wednesday evening to announce their new partnership to bring accessible cancer treatment to children of Rwanda. The Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation has committed to raise $1.5 million over the course of three years to participate in the development and implementation of proper protocols for pediatric cancer patients in that region. Rwanda remains Africa's most densely populated country, and its estimated population of 10 million is expected to double within the next 10 years. Through the funding of the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, Partners In Health and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute will develop a comprehensive program to address all components of cancer: prevention, diagnosis, chemo and radiation therapies, surgery and survivor follow-up care for children faced with cancer.(Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation)(5-28-2011)
McMurray / Bass Pro Shops to show support for tornado victims: During Sunday's race, the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy will be dedicated to bringing awareness to on-going relief efforts for the tornado-stricken families of Joplin, Missouri. The Convoy of Hope's logo will appear on the car driven by Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray. McMurray, whose hometown is Joplin, will be competing for a win in the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Memorial Day weekend. Springfield, Missouri, hometown of Bass Pro Shops founder, Johnny Morris, and headquarters for Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Marine is just 70 miles from Joplin. "We just wanted to do all we could to help," said Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. "We have seen first-hand what a great job Convoy of Hope is doing in Joplin and we want to encourage more people to help." McMurray, along with The Morris Family and the Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Marine extended family, is working in conjunction with Convoy of Hope to help bring assistance to those families whose lives were deeply affected by the EF-5 tornado that tore through Joplin Sunday, May 22nd.
"My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to everyone who has been affected by this disaster in my hometown of Joplin," said McMurray. "I am thrilled that we have been able to come together and partner with Convoy of Hope and Bass Pro Shops this weekend. Hopefully we can raise some awareness for a great organization that has been on the ground since the first minute to offer assistance in the community. I hope that all NASCAR fans that are able to offer support will consider a donation to Convoy of Hope." Convoy of Hope responded immediately to the crisis and is on site in Joplin offering aid and supplies to those impacted.
Those wishing to make a contribution to the Joplin Tornado Relief efforts can make a secure online contribution at www.convoyofhope.org or text the word CONVOY to 50555. A $10 donation will be added to your cell phone bill. (Standard text and data rates apply.) Convoy of Hope, founded in 1994, is a faith-based organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children's feeding initiatives, community outreaches, disaster response and partner resourcing.(EGR), see images of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(5-28-2011)
Special driver intros for Coke 600: The 43 drivers battling it out at Charlotte Motor Speedway Memorial Day Weekend will get the introduction of a lifetime when U.S. military members serving abroad present the competitors on the world's largest HD video board during the Let Freedom Race pre-race show for the May 29 Coca-Cola 600. The driver introductions were coordinated and taped by the USO and feature active-duty U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine personnel serving around the globe.
The pre-race show for NASCAR's legendary 600-mile Sprint Cup Series race will feature a spectacular tribute to the men and women who have served, are currently serving or have made the ultimate sacrifice in the U.S. Armed Forces.
"Our tradition of celebrating fast cars, family fun and freedom continues with the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "This Memorial Day Weekend we'll showcase the country's most spectacular military pre-race show on the world's largest HDTV to honor the men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces who protect our way of life."
The Let Freedom Race Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will start at 3:30 pm/et and will include a military invasion simulation by U.S. Army special forces troops from Fort Bragg, N.C. A video documentary on the Vietnam War from The History Channel will be played on the speedway's Sprint Vision screens and the giant HDTV. Medal of Honor recipients Hector Cafferata (Korea), Gary Littrell (Vietnam) and Walter Marm (Vietnam) will be recognized on the pre-race stage.
Country music singer Darryl Worley is scheduled to perform a 30-minute concert where he will sing his hit single "Have You Forgotten?" about the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Lee Greenwood will also take to the stage to perform his patriotic anthem, "God Bless the U.S.A." Following the one-of-a-kind driver introductions, more than 100 family members of Fort Bragg soldiers will unfurl an 11,250-square-foot American flag on the frontstretch grass. The final fly-over before the start of the race will include a B-2 Stealth Bomber flown by pilots from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
Additional pre-race festivities for the Coca-Cola 600 will include an air show by the U.S. Black Daggers parachute team; performances by the U.S. Army drill team; a 21-gun salute by soldiers from Fort Bragg; a bagpipe performance of "Amazing Grace" by the Charlotte Fire Department; and "Taps" played by a Fort Bragg bugler. Also during the pre-race festivities, Vietnam War veteran and former Post Commander of the American Legion, Dale Punch, will be honored with the Stonewall Jackson Award. Presented by Charlotte Motor Speedway annually since 1992, the award recognizes standards of patriotism through personal support of the military and personal service to sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty. Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HD video board, start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.(CMS)(5-28-2011)
News from May 27, 2011
Tire worker injured at CMS: A tire company employee was injured Tuesday morning at Charlotte Motor Speedway after falling off a pickup truck in the garage area. The Huggins Tire Sales employee, Marvin Near, fell from the back of a slow-moving pickup as it was delivering Goodyear racing tires for this weekend's NASCAR races, according to a statement by Goodyear officials. Near was transported by ambulance to Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast, where he remained Thursday night. The accident occurred about 11:45 a.m. Tuesday and was investigated by Concord Police. No charges have been filed.(Charlotte Observer)(5-27-2011)
Menard hurts foot, plans to drive: from a Team Chevy driver press conference transcript, #27-Paul Menard discussed his injured foot at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
ON HURTING HIS RIGHT FOOT THIS PAST WEEK
"I stepped on a piece of metal on my boat ramp (right foot) and sliced it open."
DO YOU HAVE STITCHES?
"Yeah, there are 20 stitches."
WILL YOU HAVE TO USE ANY SPECIAL PADDING OR ANYTHING FOR SUNDAY'S RACE?
"Yeah, there's a carbon insert in my foot that we kind of cut around. The wound is on the outside of the foot. It's on the bottom but toward the outside behind my pinky toe. They cut out a piece of carbon for the other side to make it stiffer. And it's fine. There's no pain or anything, it's just that the doctors are worried about it ripping open and then if it rips the stitches, then it's a big deal with infection and stuff. Right now, what's throwing me off the most right now is that my shoes are too big. I had to get bigger shoes for my right foot. Well, they both are. It's hitting the gas pedal wrong. So I'm going to have to find some different shoes and I'll be okay."
IT'S THE RIGHT FOOT?
YOU CAN STILL WEAR THE REGULAR LEFT FOOT SHOE
"Yeah, and I look goofy."
DO YOU HAVE TO WATCH HOW MUCH PAIN KILLER MEDICATION YOU'RE TAKING TOO?
"There is no pain. I'm not even taking pain killers. I've just got my antibiotics. They're just worried about infection."
HOW DID YOU DO IT AGAIN?
"I stepped on a piece of metal on my dock."
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
"The dock slopes and there's a walkway so it's on rollers so as it goes up and down it moves with the dock, and I stepped on a steel roller."
DID YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY OR DID YOU THINK IT WASN'T THAT BAD?
"Well, I walked up to the house and got in the shower and it (blood) was gushing out pretty good so we had to go to ER."(Team Chevy)(5-27-2011)
Doctor's still do not know what ails Bayne: Having been out since late April, Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne hopes to return to the track next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. It has been week to week for the driver since his health issues surfaced in April. So far, Bayne still doesn't have a diagnosis for what was wrong with him. When he checked into the Mayo Clinic a month ago, his main symptoms were nausea, fatigue and double vision. He was admitted to a Charlotte hospital the week before.
"I think I finally just had to accept that nobody knows," Bayne said. "I can promise if I was just tired or not feeling great I would've still been in the race car because I'm a racer. But I went to bed Monday feeling great and woke up Tuesday seeing double." He said he's felt fine for about a week, but team officials wanted to stay on the cautious side and hold him out of Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. "Last week I took off as a caution, and this week, they made me take it off as a caution," Bayne said.(Charlotte Observer)(5-27-2011)
Raikkonen plans after Charlotte unknown: Kimi Raikkonen was vague Thursday about his NASCAR plans, indicating little more than he'd like to do a Sprint Cup race, maybe on the road course on Sonoma. The former Formula One world champion will run the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and revealed nothing more about his schedule. The most telling update came from Kyle Busch, who said he has nothing else planned with Raikkonen after this weekend. That's a change from when their deal was announced: Busch said Raikkonen would run three to five races for Kyle Busch Motorsports. What's changed? Money. "The contract states that we're supposed to receive so much, and we have not. We've only received enough for these two races," Busch said. "It's either up to Kimi or up to the financial people that run Kimi's business side of things and decide that they need to find the sponsorship funds in order to carry the experience for him further." Raikkonen said he heads back to Europe on Saturday after the race. "I have other things to do," he said. "After that, I don't know when I will be back. I have rally in Greece and some other rallies."(Associated Press)(5-27-2011)
Some drivers to drive "Honoring Our Heroes" schemes at RIR:Lionel NASCAR Collectables, in partnership with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, unveiled a multi-car, on-track program which pays tribute to the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and helps raise funds to build homes for the only three surviving quadruple amputees of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – United States Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco, United States Marine Corps Corporal Todd Nicely and United States Marine Corps Corporal John Peck.
As part of the "Honoring Our Heroes" program, NASCAR stars Greg Biffle, David Gilliland, Jamie McMurray, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart will drive special patriotic paint schemes which feature the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation logo during the September race weekend at Richmond International Raceway.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation is a charitable organization founded in 2001 by the family of Stephen Siller – an FDNY firefighter. Siller was on his way to play golf with his brothers when he got the call about the attack on the World Trade Center. When he couldn't drive his truck through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Siller donned 75 pounds of firefighting gear and ran through the tunnel to the towers to help rescue his fellow Americans. Siller lost his life as a result of his heroic actions.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each "Honoring Our Heroes" die-cast and associated merchandise will be donated to The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation which has earmarked these funds for the construction of customized "smart" homes for wounded United States servicemen Marrocco, Nicely and Peck.
To bring even more attention to the Foundation's charitable efforts, David Gilliland will run the #34 Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Ford Fusion for Front Row Motorsports on Sept. 10. Front Row Motorsports has donated Gilliland's entire paint scheme to honor the legacy of Stephen Siller and to help increase awareness of the Foundation's efforts to help the heroes of the U.S. military.
Danica Patrick will drive a special version of the #7 Go Daddy Get Your.Net Chevrolet for JR Motorsports during the Sept. 9 Nationwide Series race at Richmond. Patrick's car will feature a star-covered design and a black paint scheme. "Each star on the Go Daddy #7 Chevrolet represents a soul lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attack," said Go Daddy CEO and Founder Bob Parsons. "We will always remember 9/11. I'm glad to see NASCAR supporting this extraordinary tribute!"
During the Sprint Cup Series race on Sept. 10, Greg Biffle will drive the #16 3M Ford Fusion, Jamie McMurray will drive the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet and Tony Stewart will drive the #14 Office Depot Chevrolet – all in patriotic paint schemes.
Following the events at Richmond, Lionel NASCAR Collectables will take part in the 2011 Tunnel to Towers Run on Sept. 25. Tunnel to Towers is an annual run in Manhattan hosted by the Foundation in which thousands of runners and walkers retrace the steps of Stephen Siller, honor his legacy and remember the fallen of Sept. 11, 2001. This year for the first time, Tunnel to Towers Runs will be held in cities nationwide on 9/11 as a way to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.(Lionel NASCAR Collectables), see images of the Cup schemes on the #1 Team Schemes page, #14 Team Schemes page, #16 Team Schemes page and #34 Team Schemes page.(5-27-2011)
Brian Keselowski to Switch Makes? motors?: Brian Keselowski and the #92 K-Automotive team will be skipping the Coca-Cola 600, but hope to run at at Kansas, Pocono, and Michigan in June. That is contingent on Keselowski getting a motor program in place, meaning that for the driver/owner, a change in manufacturer may be coming. "I'm working really hard to get a motor program together before we go to Kansas," Keselowski said. "Problem is, I can't seem to make that work on the Dodge side. There's probably not a single manufacturer out there willing to give me anything, but there might be some manufacturers out there willing to make some better deals, or some deals, because now I have none. I don't want to change by any means, I've been a Dodge guy since I was a kid. But they can't just keep burying me in the dirt either. I need some light. I'm trying to make my race team work. If that's the way to do it, I'll do it."(Frontstretch)(5-27-2011)
Brian France Among First Two Sports Figures To Receive Intrepid Salute Award: Aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City tonight, NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France will accept a 2011 Intrepid Salute Award in recognition of his support of the military, business achievements and important philanthropic activities. France will join George Bodenheimer, president ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports in being the first two sports personalities to be bestowed with the honor since the award was founded in 1992. "It is an honor to accept this award on behalf of NASCAR, our drivers, teams and tracks who have all been ardent supporters of active and retired members of our nation's Armed Forces since our sport's inception," France said. "Accepting the award will be especially humbling knowing that U.S. military servicemen and women from around the world tune in to NASCAR races each week as a respite from their ongoing service to our country. NASCAR has a long history of supporting active troops and veterans and we remain particularly proud to be a lead partner in recruiting young people into the Armed Forces." The award will be presented as part of the museum's annual "Fleet Week" activities, which include a visit from Navy and Coast Guard ships joining the legendary USS Intrepid on the Hudson River.(NASCAR)(5-27-2011)
Inception Motorsports and Stremme's plans: 30 Inception Motorsports team and driver David Stremme will not be contesting any races on road courses or superspeedways [Daytona, Talladega] as the Sprint Cup schedule heads into it's summer swing. "We're concentrating on oval stuff right now, intermediates and short-track stuff" said Stremme. "We've only got 7-8 guys, and we can't kill them all year. We're getting into this slowly and seeing what we can get out of it." The team plans to run the distance in this weekend's Coca-Cola 600 should they make the race on speed.(Frontstretch)(5-27-2011)
Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial on display: The American Veterans Traveling Tribute is bringing the Cost of Freedom Tribute to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 weekend. The centerpiece of this tribute is the Traveling Wall, an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The wall lists the name of every American casualty from the war, just like the original. The tribute will be open to the public from May 26 to May 29. Opening ceremonies will be held at 1:00 p.m. on May 26, featuring a wreath laying as well as the presence of local veterans and active duty military. On May 29, before the Coca-Cola 600, a ceremony to honor Medal of Honor Recipients will be held at 9:00 a.m.(CMS)(5-27-2011)
Speedway-Owned Fire Truck Makes Debut: A new addition to the Charlotte Motor Speedway safety team for 2011 is a Rosenbauer Custom Centurion ST Pumper fire truck. This is the first fire truck that the track has owned and it will be staffed by Charlotte Motor Speedway employees during the May race weeks. The new truck will be responsible for protecting the NASCAR garages and the new Sunoco Mobile Fuel Island. The Charlotte Motor Speedway safety crew has named the fire truck Engine 343, which is number of firefighters lost at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.(CMS)(5-27-2011)
Food Lion Speed Street in Charlotte: Celebrating 17 years of providing family-friendly fun, Food Lion Speed Street will welcome fans to the first evening of music with the sounds of R&B bands Rose Royce and Midnight Star, and country music artist Pat Green. The Coca-Cola stage will feature Rose Royce on May 26 at 9:00pm/et followed by Midnight Star at 9:45 pm/et. Green will take over the Miller Lite stage beginning at 9:45 pm/et. Food Lion Speed Street delivers an unprecedented experience to an estimated 400,000 fans by means of live entertainment, access to NASCAR's brightest stars, and vendor displays from sponsors Food Lion, Coca-Cola, Miller Lite, General Mills, Chevrolet and many more. The event provides multi-day entertainment for fans attending the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Admission to Food Lion Speed Street is free. The festival opens each day at 12:00pm/et. For a schedule of events, visit www.600festival.com.(Food Lion), more info on driver appearances on Jayski's Driver Appearance page.(5-27-2011)
Speedway Flag Flies in Afghanistan: A very special U.S. flag will fly over Charlotte Motor Speedway during May race weeks. The flag is on its way back from Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan, a military base and air field for the U.S. Marine Corps.
The flag was flown at the base in honor of the CMS Pit Crew, a group of Charlotte Motor Speedway employees who engage in community outreach projects to "help people get back on track." The CMS Pit Crew is currently supporting 55 members of the U.S. Marines Air Control Squadron 2, Detachment Bravo in Afghanistan by sending items from home, including sunscreen, disposable hand and face wipes and pens and pencils. One member of the detachment, Cpl. Terry McKee, Jr., is the son of Susan McKee, human resources manager at the speedway.(CMS)(5-27-2011)
News from May 26, 2011
Keselowski wins Charlotte pole: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light pole for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a speed of 192.089mph. It is his 1st pole of the season and the 2nd of his career. #43-Allmendinger starts 2nd followed by #99-Edwards, #11-Hamin, #31-Burton, #48-Johnson, #00-Reutimann, #6-Ragan, #21-Stenhouse Jr. (1st career start) and #33-Bowyer.
The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Stenhouse Jr., #38-Kvapil, #95-Starr, #66-McDowell, #46-Yeley, #87-Nemechek, #30-Stremme and #60-Skinner.
The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (5): #71-Lally [spun in 2nd lap], #50-Bell, #77-Wimmer, #37-Raines [rear end problem] and #81-Riggs. Qualifying Re-Air: on SPEED at 10:00pm/et and 1:30am/et
See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Charlotte Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(5-26-2011)
Qualifying Fast Facts - Charlotte:
#2-Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 52nd Annual Coca-Cola 600 with a lap of 28.112 seconds, 192.089 mph.
This is his second pole in 65 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2011.
This is his first pole in four races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
#43-A J Allmendinger (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2011 and his second in nine races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
#99-Carl Edwards (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his seventh in 12 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-26-2011)
Coverage of Qualifying for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 7:00pm/et. Television (TV): SPEED, 7:00pm/et Radio: Performace Racing Network (PRN) via nascar.com only
Jayski.com: Jayski's Charlotte Qualifying Page Qualifying Re-Air: on SPEED at 10:00pm/et and 1:30am/et
Qualifying Order for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is posted. 48 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 #36-Blaney.
The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #31-Burton.
The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #81-Riggs with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #21-Stenhouse Jr..
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 Charlotte Qualifying Page.(5-26-2011)
Thursday practice: for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
#21-Stenhouse Jr. was 12th fastest
slowest: #81-Riggs 180.234 & #37-Raines 181.026
For fastest speeds, laps run, average speeds, see my Charlotte Practice Speeds page.(5-26-2011)
Charlotte Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers: if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
#21-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 12th overall fastest
#38-Travis Kvapil, 32nd
#60-Mike Skinner, 33rd
#95-David Starr, 35th
#66-Michael McDowell, 36th
#71-Andy Lally, 37th
#50-T.J. Bell, 38th.
#30-David Stremme, 39th these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
#77-Scott Wimmer, 40th
#87-Joe Nemechek, 42nd
#46-J.J. Yeley, 43rd
#37-Tony Raines, 47th
#81-Scott Riggs, 48th
Kyle Busch talks to media about speeding ticket: #18-Kyle Busch spoke to the media in the Charlotte Motor Speedway media center, a few tidbits from the Q&A about the recent speeding ticket Busch got for going 128mph: Q) What is your reaction to the speeding ticket? Busch: “I’m certainly sorry for my actions and for my lack of judgment. This is something that I can take and learn from and hopefully move forward and not let happen again.” Q) How do you look back on the speeding incident? Busch: “I’m certainly sorry that it happened and my actions led me to speed. It was a lack of judgment and all I can do is apologize to the public, my friends, my fans, my sponsors and everybody, look at this experience as a learning experience, and to move forward.” Q) Is it difficult to have a learning experience in the public eye? Busch: “It’s certainly challenging sometimes with things you have to think about and of course actions that you may cause yourself. Thankfully, I’ve got some good people around me that can help me through these experiences and help me learn from them. Take the good from it and take the bad from it and just be able to apply that for later on down the road.” Q) Can you make a case for yourself? Busch: “I’m sorry I’m not the jurisdiction to make a case. I leave that to the court systems and everything else like that. This matter will be handled through that as best as we can handle it and as best as the authorities decide to handle it. I have the utmost respect for the authorities across the United States of America that try to keep all of us safe every day. Of course, being Memorial Day weekend with all the men and women serving our country to keep us safe as well too. It’s not in my place to decide what does or does not happen.” Q) Has Joe Gibbs Racing given you any penalties? Busch: “We have certainly discussed some things. We’re working through the process of that now and looking at what might be done later on down the road.” Q) Have you personally spoken with your team owner, your sponsors and your neighbors about the speeding incident? Busch: “I have certainly had discussions with Mr. Coach Gibbs (team owner) as well as Joe Gibbs Racing and my sponsors as well too. It’s just a matter of showing your utmost respect for them and what they do for you. That they believe in you to do what you can in order to represent them well and obviously I had a lack in judgment and just made a mistake. I’m sorry for making that mistake, but as far as any of the people that have made comments or anything like that, I don’t have a relationship with any of those people. Unfortunately, I don’t go door-to-door knocking on the door and commenting to them. All I can do is say my piece here and let it be.” Q) How much have you thought about the potential of what could have happened on Tuesday? Busch: “There’s if, ands or buts to a lot of different things in life. Fortunately, there was no one hurt, but that doesn’t make any kind of excuse for what happened and for my lack in judgment and for what I did. Like I said, there’s a lot of processes to be thought about here. There’s some learning experiences to be taken from this and the best I can do is just try to move along past it for this weekend and take my course of action during the week in what might lie ahead.” Q) What did you mean when you said the Lexus was, ‘just a toy?’ Busch: “Well it was a car that was on loan to me from Lexus and it wasn’t that it was a toy, it’s a high performance vehicle and that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Should be driven with caution. Obviously, I didn’t have caution and I had a lack in judgment and there’s probably a reason why on TV commercials and such they always show at the bottom, professional driver, closed course. Mine was not that. Again, I apologize sincerely to all those affected and that all I can do is try to make sure it doesn’t happen again and that I make sure that lack of judgment doesn’t overcome me.”(Toyota Racing Transcript)(5-26-2011)
#32 team gets sponsor for Charlotte: FAS Lane Racing announced they have acquired sponsorship from blu Cigs for this weekend's running of the Coca-Cola 600. blu Cigs will feature their innovative electronic cigarette brand on the #32 Ford of FAS Lane Racing driven by Mike Bliss for the running of the longest race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday May 29, 2011. "We're proud to welcome blu Cigs to NASCAR and FAS Lane Racing," said team owner Frank Stoddard. "We have worked hard so far this year to build this team and position it as a viable marketing tool for companies such as blu Cigs. Our solid position in the top-35 is something that has been important to us since the beginning of the season and that gives us a valuable tool to offer. We are excited about having Mike Bliss in the car again this weekend and as a team we look forward to putting forth a solid performance for the folks at blu Cigs." blu Cigs is the industry leader in the emerging electronic cigarette market - offering a high tech alternative to smoking by mimicking its behavior without the smell, tar, ash, tobacco or other chemicals associated with traditional cigarettes. Based in Charlotte, NC - at the heart of tobacco road - blu Cigs is the only e-cigarette provider whose ingestible contents are 100% made in the USA.(ISM/FAS Lane Racing)(5-26-2011)
NASCAR Celebrates Memorial Day Weekend: In celebration of Memorial Day Weekend, the NASCAR community has organized a number of key initiatives. Those occurring this week:
• On Thursday, May 26, 2011, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and President of ESPN and ABC Sports' George Bodenheimer will join the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in honoring the men and women who serve our nation in the U.S. Armed Forces. France and Bodenheimer will receive the 2011 Intrepid Salute Award, an award presented to "corporate and community leaders for their support of our nation's military and veterans communities, providing educational opportunities to our nation's young people, and serving as an example of leadership and responsibility" at the Intrepid's 2011 Salute to Freedom dinner. The award will be presented by Jeddah Deloria, a wounded warrior who served with the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and was severely injured in combat while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2007. The NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy and at least one show car are scheduled to be at the dinner.
• In support of First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden's "Joining Forces" initiative announced in April 2011, NASCAR and Walmart have completed a public service announcement to be featured on the in-store networks of 500+ Walmart stores. Produced by NASCAR Media Group, the PSA features drivers Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Parker Kligerman as well as the First Lady calling on fans and customers to recognize the needs of our military families. Viewers will be directed to joiningforces.gov for information. The PSA's will debut on Memorial Day and run throughout the 2011 NASCAR season.
• NASCAR and the Armed Forces Foundation have come together to launch the Troops to the Track initiative, which recognizes and hosts members of the U.S. Armed Forces at NASCAR races throughout the year. Troops to the Track will provide over 100 wounded service members, or service members in jobs that are particularly emotional and physically demanding, an opportunity to get away from the challenges they face each day with an exclusive, VIP-style NASCAR race day experience. This weekend's guest will be from the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, Ft. Bragg.
Jeddah enlisted in the Army in March 2006 from Los Angeles, CA. Jeddah joined 173 Airborne Brigade Chosen Company 2nd of 503 and deployed to Afghanistan May 2007. While at outpost 'Ranch House' alone on the morning of 22 Aug 2007 he was overrun by some 75 Taliban and left for dead. After re-attack by his unit pushing the Taliban back, they got to his outpost and found him still alive. He had been hit by an RPG and shot in the back. His injuries included shrapnel in the brain, impaired vision in right eye, loss of an ear drum, and a bullet in the shoulder. Admitted into Bethesda Naval Hospital initially and later Walter Reed while still recovering from his wounds with pending medical discharge, Jeddah was recruited for the Oracle Wounded Warrior Internship in June 2009. He graduated from the Internship in July 2010 and was hired full time as Oracle Direct Army Sales Representative. Oracle is finishing their 4th Quarter and Jeddah is in the Top 5 Oracle Direct Sales Reps, beginning a software sales career with a most impressive start.(NASCAR)(5-26-2011)
Did Kyle Busch get special treatment? The WBTV web sites and Facebook have been blowing up with angry comments from viewers who say NASCAR driver Kyle Busch got special treatment when he was caught speeding 128 miles an hour in a 45 zone on Perth Road Tuesday afternoon. According to the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, Busch was driving his new 2012 yellow Lexus LFA supercar when he was clocked doing nearly three times the posted speed limit. Busch was issued a citation for careless and reckless driving and speeding, deputies told WBTV. That made many WBTV viewers very angry.
So was Kyle Busch given special treatment? A North Carolina police chief and traffic attorney contacted by WBTV said it appeared to them that Busch was treated properly and that the issuing of the citation was the appropriate action on the part of Iredell County Sgt. Chris Stone. "The attitude of the person...unless they get unruly, question the ancestry of the officer involved, I wouldn't think they would take them to jail, put them under a bond, have the vehicle towed and impounded, all of which could happen, but it's been a long time since I've seen it," said attorney Cecil Whitley.
A police chief told WBTV that officers have discretion in such cases, and that most of the time for speeding an reckless driving, a citation would be issued. The driver would only be arrested if there were other circumstances, such as additional charges for eluding arrest, alcohol, involvement in an accident, or if the officer determined that the driver would be unlikely to show up for court. He said in this case, Kyle Busch would not be considered a flight risk. As far as the penalty is concerned, if Busch were to be convicted on the charges he now faces, he would lose his North Carolina driver's license for one year. That would not impact his ability to drive a race car since NASCAR requires each driver to have a NASCAR license, not a driver's license.(WBTV)(5-26-2011)
Different colors for Kenseth at Charlotte...plus: This weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Matt Kenseth will pilot the #17 Jeremiah Weed Southern Style Ford Fusion in the Coca Cola 600. Also, on Friday, May 27th in Uptown Charlotte, Strongman Rendy DeLaCruz, star of the commercials for the new Jeremiah Weed Premium Malt Beverages, will attempt to pull Kenseth in his #17 Jeremiah Weed Ford 100 feet in 60 seconds or less. For every foot DeLaCruz successfully pulls the 3,500 lb stock car at Speed Street, Jeremiah Weed will distribute $10 pre-paid taxi vouchers to encourage responsible decision making among legal drinking age consumers. The Strongman will also act as honorary pit crew member of the #17 Jeremiah Weed team throughout race weekend.(RFR)(5-26-2011)
Golden Corral and TBR to Run Military Paint Scheme: Tommy Baldwin Racing and Golden Corral will team up to support the military and Disabled American Veterans this weekend in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Dave Blaney will drive the #36 Disabled American Veterans/Golden Corral Chevy in the longest race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season. Golden Corral has a longstanding relationship with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Golden Corral restaurants hold an annual Military Appreciation Monday the Monday following Veterans Day. As part of the appreciation day, Golden Corral offers a free "thank you" meal to anyone who has served in the U.S. Military. In addition, Golden Corral restaurants collect donations for the DAV throughout the month leading up to Military Appreciation Monday. Last year, Golden Corral served more than 375,000 free "thank you" meals and collected more than $1 million for the DAV. Throughout the 10 years of the program, Golden Corral restaurants served over 2.9 million free "thank you" meals to U.S. military and raised over $5 million for the DAV. The 11th annual Military Appreciation Monday will be held on November 14, 2011.(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see images of the car on the #36 Team Schemes page.(5-26-2011)
What would the top 20 in points standings look like if 2010 system used?:
Rank, Driver, 2010 Points, New Points Rank
1) #99-Carl Edwards, 1694, 1st in current points system
2) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 1592, 2nd
3) #18-Kyle Busch, 1579, 3rd
4) #29-Kevin Harvick, 1500, 5th
5) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 1471, 4th
6) #17-Matt Kenseth, 1436, 6th
7) #33-Clint Bowyer, 1409, 8th
8) #39-Ryan Newman, 1406, 7th
9) #2-Kurt Busch, 1376, 9th
10) #14-Tony Stewart, 1360, 10th
11) #5-Mark Martin, 1335, 11th
12) #16-Greg Biffle, 1299, 12th
13) #24-Jeff Gordon, 1288, 14th
14) #11-Denny Hamlin, 1285, 13th
15) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, 1265, 15th
16) #4-Kasey Kahne, 1238, 18th
17) #43-A.J. Allmendinger, 1238, 16th
18) #27-Paul Menard, 1238, 17th
19) #9-Marcos Ambrose, 1215, 20th
20) #56-Martin Truex Jr. 1212, 19th
Lowe's Summer Salute for Johnson: Jimmie Johnson will kick-off the Lowe's Summer Salute program by driving a specially painted patriotic themed #48 Chevy in this weekend's Coca Cola 600. People are encouraged to "salute the troops" by visiting LowesRacing.com/SummerSalute. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to record their "salute" at special Summer Salute kiosks which will be set up around Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday. Hendrick Motorsports and PepsiCo drivers Jimmie Johnson (Gatorade), Jeff Gordon (Pepsi Max) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (AMP Energy/Mountain Dew) will all run special promotions, including Summer Salute paint schemes, throughout the campaign thanking soldiers who put their lives on the line for America (Lowe's Racing), see images of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(5-26-2011)
Reutimann to run same car as All-Star race: #00 Aaron's/Armed Forces Foundation Toyota driver David Reutimann returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 with the same Toyota Camry that he finished third with in Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race. The original plan was to bring a different car from the Michael Waltrip Racing team's fleet, but after the strong run - the best finish of the year - the #00 team decided to call an audible and race the car from last weekend. That move required some extra work at the MWR shop this week but it was well worth the time if it means Reutimann has a better chance to repeat his 2009 victory in the Coca-Cola 600. Text "AFF" to 50555 from any cell phone to make a $5 donation to the Armed Forces Foundation. The Armed Forces Foundation is dedicated to providing comfort and solace to members of the military community through financial support, career counseling, housing assistance and recreational therapy programs to active-duty and retired personnel, National Guard, Reserve components, and their loved ones.(MWR)(5-26-2011)
Charlotte Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Charlotte this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup teams ran in the Sprint Showdown and All-Star races at Charlotte last weekend . . . both Cup and Nationwide teams also ran this right-side tire code at Darlington earlier this month . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear tire test at Charlotte last fall . . . drivers participating in that test were Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya and Martin Truex . . . compared to what was run at Charlotte last season, this tire set-up features softer compounds on both the left and right side, which will give the cars more grip . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window for the Sprint Cup cars is every 48-52 laps, based on fuel mileage. See tire codes, pressures, number of tires and more on the Charlotte Race Info page - Goodyear section.(5-26-2011)
Harvick to run Armed Forces scheme: The #29 Budweiser Armed Forces Chevrolet that Kevin Harvick will race in Sunday's Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway features a "stealth" flat-black paint scheme, complete with flat sponsor and contingency decals. The special scheme is a part of Budweiser's "Here's to the Heroes" campaign that benefits the Folds of Honor Foundation (FHF), which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for families of U.S. military personnel killed or disabled while serving their country. In addition to the #29 Budweiser Armed Forces Chevrolet, Budweiser is donating $100 for every home run hit during the 2011 Major League Baseball season to FHF. Budweiser is also donating a portion of all sales in the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July in an effort to raise as much as $2 million for FHF (RCR), see images of the scheme on the #29 Team Schemes page.(5-26-2011)
Kingsford colors for Labonte at Charlotte: #47-Bobby Labonte's sponsor for the Coca-Cola 600 is Kingsford, which is providing all the charcoal for the Quarter-Mile Cookout during the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk on Friday, May 27 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kingsford is a longstanding partner of JTG Daugherty Racing. "I'm in the Coca-Cola Racing Family and Kingsford is a big supporter of JTG Daugherty Racing and it's great to see two of my favorite brands come together for grilling season for the Quarter-Mile Cookout at Charlotte," Labonte said. "Once the race is over on Sunday, my family and I will be grilling out ourselves on Memorial Day at the house. It's such a special day. It gives each of us time to reflect, remember and pay tribute to our troops." In addition to Kingsford's primary presence at Charlotte Motor Speedway, there will be a Barium Springs Home for Children logo displayed on the rocker panel. Labonte, JTG Daugherty Racing and K&N Pro Series East driver Coleman Pressley are helping bring special recognition to Barium Springs Home for Children as they make a visit to the Statesville, N.C. location on Thursday, June 9th.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(5-26-2011)
The Numbers for the Coca-Cola 600:
1 – fewest cars on the lead lap at finish of Coca-Cola 600 (eight times, most recent 1987)
2 – fewest cautions for the Coca-Cola 600 (twice, most recent 1963)
4 – fewest leaders (1972)
5 – fewest laps led by race winner (David Reutimann, 2009)
5 – most 600 wins (Darrell Waltrip)
6 – number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
6 – most 600 poles (Ryan Newman & David Pearson)
8 – wins from the pole
11 – fewest lead changes (twice, most recent 1967)
21 – most leaders (2005)
22 – most cautions (2005)
26 – most cars on lead lap at finish (2009)
27 – different pole winners
29 – different race winners
31 – most Coca-Cola 600 starts (Buddy Baker & Richard Petty)
54 – most lead changes (1979)
113 – most caution laps (1980)
120 minutes – approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 1.5-mile track after a significant rainfall
335 – most laps led by race winner (Jim Paschal, 1967) 2011 Caution Update
4 – fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
16 – most cautions this season (Daytona)
92 – number of cautions in the first 11 races of 2011; includes 45 for accidents, 16 for debris and 16 for spins
465 of 3,679 – number of laps under caution in 2011
581.429 of 4,368.500 – miles under caution in the first 11 races
(Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(5-26-2011)
TNT marketing initiative in Charlotte: TNT's brand activation will create awareness within the Charlotte EpiCentre and add to Turner Sports' already growing resume of creative and original marketing campaigns. TNT will be the first to market with a sound-activated initiative that helps demonstrate the depth of TNT's overall assets. "This fully integrated campaign allows us to reach NASCAR fans on all touch points through unique, eye-catching, high-impact marketing," said Christina Miller, senior vice president, Turner Sports Strategy/Marketing/Programming. "This is the first time NASCAR has ever done something like this with its partners and we are excited to be able to lead the way with our brand activation."
The campaign involves branding elements, including the full takeover of a four-story elevator shaft in the main courtyard, staircases, and a 26-foot TNT logo on the ground at the base of the elevator shaft. Enhanced audio technology called "directional audio" will complement the EpiCentre campaign with a concentrated beam of audio (imagine a flashlight, but with audio instead of light) directed to a specific location. When an individual walks through the audio beam, they will hear custom tune-in audio messaging – AC/DC's "T.N.T.", engines revving, cars speeding around the racetrack – only heard within the beam. When individuals exit the beam, they won't hear it anymore.
Working with Valvoline, NASCAR on TNT also will equip several service stations in Charlotte with Summer Series signage, banners, as well as outfit each service tech in "NASCAR on TNT" crew shirts. The centerpiece is an event on May 27th featuring Greg Biffle and a live radio remote by Charlotte's #1 country music station – WSOC – to generate additional awareness and exposure for the Summer Series.
The TNT NASCAR Summer Series kicks off on June 12 – as part of its six consecutive races of exclusive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – at the Pocono Raceway for the Pocono 500. Following Pocono, the Series will go to Michigan and the Helluva Good: Sour Cream Dips 400 (June 19), Toyota/Save Mart 350 in Sonoma, Calif. (June 26), Coke Zero 400 from Daytona International Speedway (July 2), Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway (July 9), and end in Loudon, N.H. at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 (July 17).(TNT)(5-26-2011)
Some Chase Notes: #24-Jeff Gordon is mired in 14th place but he's currently in The Chase field because he is the only competitor from 11th to 20th place with a win. Because no one else has a win in that group, 11th place #5-Mark Martin gets the other spot at the moment. Look for this rule to make things interesting down the stretch. #4-Kasey Kahne, for instance, is in 18th but certainly is capable of one or more wins. #31-Jeff Burton, all the way back in 23rd, could throw a hail mary by getting himself in the Top 20 and getting a win, thus leap-frogging many teams to get into The Chase. Again last race at Dover, Carl Edwards was a strong contender for a win until late-race pit strategy put him back in the pack. Still, he managed a seventh and now has almost a two-race cushion on 11th place. He has nine Top 10s in 11 races. See season-to-season comparsion and more on the Chase Stats after Dover page.(5-26-2011)
Students to wave green flag during Coke 600 quyalifying: Today students from Lake Norman Elementary School will be recognized during Windstream Pole Night for their efforts toward having stock car racing established as the "official state sport" of North Carolina. The 13 fifth-and-sixth grade students are responsible for the project from start to finish and saw their hard work rewarded on April 27, when the North Carolina Senate voted overwhelmingly, 46-3, to pass the bill. The students, their parents and several school employees will be the guests of Charlotte Motor Speedway during Windstream Pole Night, which will set the field for the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29. They will then be introduced to the race fans in attendance, giving the students an opportunity to be recognized by the people they set out to represent. In addition to attending Windstream Pole Night, each of the students will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to climb into the starter's stand and wave the green flag for one of the 48 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers as they make their qualifying run.
The students brought the state sport bill to the North Carolina General Assembly in March, 2011. In proposing the legislation, the students pointed to motorsports' $6 billion annual economic impact to North Carolina and noted that Charlotte, N.C., and the surrounding region is home to Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and more than 90 percent of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. More than 200 businesses in Cabarrus County support the motorsports industry, which employs nearly 20,000 people in the region. The measure has moved on to the North Carolina House of Representatives. If passed, North Carolina will join 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).
Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can purchase two frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HD video board, for just $99.(CMS)(5-26-2011)
Marine to give race command for Coca-Cola 600: Even in a long line of American military heroes, Master Sgt. William “Spanky” Gibson stands out. He’s the first service member to return to the front lines after losing a leg above the knee.
Coca-Cola and racing fans around the country will pay tribute to Gibson’s unmatched heroism and the unending service of the entire U.S. military during the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Memorial Day weekend. Gibson is delivering the command for the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 as a guest of Coca-Cola. Joining Gibson in delivering the most famous words in motorsports will be John Falkenbury, president of the North Carolina chapter of the USO, the organization that brings a touch of home to American service members around the globe. Gibson’s military service is a story of strength, determination, and unwavering commitment to country and colleagues. In May 2006, while serving with the Marines in Iraq, Gibson and fellow service members on patrol in Ramadi came under sniper attack. Gibson was struck in the left knee. Despite a devastating injury, he continued to return fire. Back in the United States, Gibson never lost focus of his goal to return to battle. Fitted with a prosthetic leg, he learned to walk, run, ski and swim. After competing in the grueling Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, his commanders offered him a return stint in Iraq – a deployment Gibson eagerly accepted. Gibson, who now works at the Pentagon, will be joined at the track by his family, including his father, William Gibson, Sr., a Vietnam War veteran who will be celebrating his 71st birthday on race day.
In addition to honoring Gibson, Coca-Cola 600 festivities will pay tribute to all veterans and active U.S. military servicemen and women. The spectacular pre-race show will include a military assault demonstration by Special Operations soldiers from Ft. Bragg, N.C., on-stage recognition of Medal of Honor recipients, the unfurling of an 11,250 square-foot American flag by family members of active-duty soldiers, and an inspiring flyover by military aircraft.(Coca Cola)(5-26-2011)
News from May 25, 2011
Danica considering full time NASCAR in 2012? UPDATEs: Danica Patrick and her management team are working on a plan that would bring her full-time to NASCAR in 2012, sources said Tuesday. Patrick hopes to finalize a deal soon that would have her race full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series next season. She would also race a few Sprint Cup events in 2012 before going full-time to Cup in 2013. The plan includes Patrick continuing to compete in the Indianapolis 500 next year. Which team she will race for and how the details will work out are still being finalized, sources said. GoDaddy.com, which sponsors her Indy car and the car she drives in the Nationwide Series, is expected to stay with her if she moves to NASCAR full-time. Her contracts with Andretti Autosport in the IndyCar Series and JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series end after this year. Patrick said last week at Indianapolis that she hasn't made any decisions about her future.(ESPN.com)(5-24-2011) UPDATE: Tony Stewart says he'd be interested in signing Danica Patrick if she moves to NASCAR's top series. Stewart is the owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, and is always looking for opportunties to grow the team from two to four cars. He's given Patrick advice during her trial period in NASCAR, and moving full-time from IndyCar is a possibility when her contract ends later this year.
Stewart said Wednesday he's not had talks with Patrick about driving for SHR. He also said he would not field a Nationwide Series team for Patrick.(Associated Press) AND Danica Patrick on Wednesday said there was "no truth" to an ESPN report that her and her management team were working on plans for a fulltime NASCAR schedule in 2012. SI.com's Bruce Martin, in a previously-scheduled interview with Patrick on Wednesday in Indianapolis, asked her for her reaction to the report. Here was Patrick's complete response: "I'm watching TV and see it scroll across the bottom of the screen. I don't know where it came from but it's all speculation. Anybody can speculate that and write that. I don't know where it came from but there is no truth to it; it's just speculation," she said. "It's no different than it was last month or even last year. There is nothing new in it."(Charlotte Observer)(5-25-2011)
Stenhouse to fill in for Bayne in the #21 at Charlotte: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., will fill in for Trevor Bayne in the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford in this Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The race will mark the Sprint Cup debut for the 2010 Nationwide Series rookie of the year, who won his first Nationwide Series race last weekend at Iowa Speedway. “Obviously its not the circumstances that you want to make your first Sprint Cup start,” said Stenhouse. “But you grow up dreaming about this moment and I am excited and grateful for the opportunity; to not only make my first start, but to be able to drive the #21 Ford of the Wood Brothers in one of the biggest races of the season. Trevor is a very good friend of mine and he’s going to be around this weekend and I know that his help with the transition will be instrumental. Hopefully we can give him an effort that will make him proud before we turn the car back over to him for the rest of the season.”
“We can’t wait to have Trevor back with us, but we can’t think of a better driver to fill in than Ricky,” said Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood. “Ricky has been doing an outstanding job in the Nationwide Series. Like Trevor, he is definitely one of the up and coming drivers in our sport and we are happy that he accepted the offer to step in before Trevor comes back for our next race.” Bayne will make his return to NASCAR next weekend in the Nationwide Series at Chicagoland. He will make his next Sprint Cup start in the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford two weeks later at Michigan.(Wood Brothers Racing)(5-25-2011)
Bayne to skip Charlotte; next Cup race at MIS: Trevor Bayne will make his NASCAR return next week in the Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. As a precautionary measure, Roush Fenway Racing and Wood Brothers Racing have decided to withhold Bayne from NASCAR competition this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but subject to any unforeseen changes, the 20-year old driver is expected to fully resume his regular racing schedule beginning at Chicagoland in the #16 Roush Fenway entry. He will make his next Sprint Cup start in the #21 Wood Brothers Ford two weeks later at Michigan (June 18.) “By all standards Trevor had a great week,” said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. “His symptoms have completely subsided. He tested at Virginia International Raceway on Tuesday, had one of the fastest Nationwide Series cars on the race track and his team was extremely pleased with his progress. As a result, we plan to have him back in competition next week in Chicago, and have consulted with his doctors at the Mayo Clinic and the NASCAR medical staff about that timetable".
“Of course, Trevor is a competitor and he wanted to be back on the race track this weekend,” added Newmark. “However, we feel it is in his best interest for us to exercise an abundance of caution with this matter and withhold him from racing this weekend; especially considering the length of the races and the fact that Trevor is just starting to get back into his daily routine. Although Trevor would have preferred to compete in all 900 miles this weekend, he respects and understands our decision and will shift his considerable focus to his return at Chicagoland next weekend.”(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-25-2011)
Raikkonen tests Cup car at VIR; and wrecks: Kimi Raikkonen spent Tuesday testing a Sprint Cup car for Robby Gordon Motorsports at Virginia International Raceway. "I called Robby because Kimi wanted to test a Cup car," said Todd Hirschfeld, who is managing Raikkonen's racing effort in the United States. "It worked out because Robby had another obligation. So Kimi is taking care of the car today, and Robby will show up tomorrow. And it's up to Kimi whether he stays tomorrow, heads back to Finland or stays to run the Nationwide race Saturday at Charlotte". Raikkonen has reportedly committed to running Saturday's Nationwide event, but Hirschfeld says otherwise. "I've seen the story where he's committed to run the Nationwide race at Charlotte, but he has not told me personally whether he'll do it or not," Hirschfeld said. "There's a car and team ready to go, but Kimi himself has not yet committed. He's taking this whole experience day by day. I was told before I started working with him, but this is the truth -- Kimi does what Kimi wants to do."(ESPN) AND Kimi Raikkonen tested at Virginia International Raceway, the 3.27-mile road course in Danville, on Tuesday. And, according to multiple sources at the track, it took only a half-dozen laps for the former Formula One champ to rip the nose off the front end of the #7 Dodge he was testing for Robby Gordon Motorsports.(FoxSports)(5-25-2011)
Crew Member Suspended UPDATE: Gary Frost, a crew member for the #31 Richard Childress Racing team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. On May 23, Frost was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rule book.(NASCAR)(5-24-2011) STATEMENT: The following is a statement by Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, regarding NASCAR's decision to suspend indefinitely an RCR employee after testing positive on a random drug test: "Richard Childress Racing has zero tolerance when an employee fails a NASCAR drug test due to an illegal substance. As a result, that person's employment is terminated. It is important for our fans and our partners to know illegal drug use at RCR is simply not tolerated."(RCR)(5-25-2011)
Kyle Busch cited for speeding UPDATE: NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was cited for careless and reckless driving after deputies said they clocked him doing nearly three times the posted speed limit Tuesday afternoon. Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chris Stone, a member of the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (ACE) team, stopped a yellow Lexus sports car after he clocked it doing 128 mph in a 45 mph zone on Perth Road near Judas Road, between Troutman and Mooresville, NC. Busch, driver of the #18 M&Ms/Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry, was cited for careless and reckless driving and speeding, said Lt. Troy Miller, who supervises the ACE team for the sheriff’s office.()(5-24-2011) STATEMENT: The following is a statement from Kyle Busch: "Today I received a traffic citation in Iredell County. I was test driving a new sports car and I got carried away. I went beyond the speed I should have been going on a public road. I apologize to the public, my fans, sponsors, and race teams for my lack of judgment. I take responsibility for my actions and I can assure you that something like this will never happen again. I thank the Iredell County Sheriff's Department and all law enforcement for the hard work they do every day to protect the public and to enforce the laws in a fair and equitable manner."(KBM)(5-25-2011)
NASCAR The Game 2011 now on Wii: NASCAR, Eutechnyx and Activision Publishing, Inc. announced the highly anticipated release of NASCAR The Game 2011 for the Wii System from Nintendo. Already available for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation3 computer entertainment system, NASCAR The Game 2011 offers the ultimate adrenaline rush with unsurpassed pack-racing game physics and 43 cars battling it out until the checkered flag drops. NASCAR The Game 2011 is available now on the Wii System from Nintendo for $49.99 MSRP and for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for $59.99 MSRP. It is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB. For more info visit www.NASCARTheGame.com.(PR)(5-25-2011)
Darius Rucker to Perform National Anthem for Coke 600: Grammy Award-winning artist Darius Rucker will perform the national anthem for the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Born in Charleston, S.C., Rucker first gained fame as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the band Hootie & the Blowfish, which he founded in 1986 at the University of South Carolina. Hootie & the Blowfish received the Best New Artist award at the 1996 Grammy Awards. "I am so honored to join the NASCAR Memorial Day Weekend celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Rucker. "Any time we can bring attention to and remember those who have fought and died while serving our nation is a proud moment for me."
Tickets for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Fans can purchase two frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HDTV for just $99.(CMS)(5-25-2011)
News from May 24, 2011
At Charlotte Motor Speedway:
· Construction began on Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1959.
· The track’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 19, 1960.
· The track was repaved midseason in 1994.
· The track name changed from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 1999. It changed back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2010 season.
· The track was re-paved again before the 2006 season.
· There have been 104 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, two races per year since the track opened in 1960. In 1961, there were two 100-mile qualifying points races held the week before the May race. The first six fall races at Charlotte were 400-mile events (1960-65).
· 37 drivers have posted poles, led by David Pearson with 14.
· Fireball Roberts won the pole for the first race, in 1960.
· David Pearson posted 11 straight poles at Charlotte from the fall of 1973 through 1978.
· Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in poles, with nine. Jeff Gordon has eight.
· Jeff Gordon won five straight poles for the spring races between 1994 and 1998.
· 43 drivers have won races, led by Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip and Jimmie Johnson, with six each.
· Joe Lee Johnson won the first race, in 1960.
· There have been 13 back-to-back victories, including three consecutive by Fred Lorenzen (fall 1964 and both 1965) and four straight by Jimmie Johnson (both in 2004 and 2005).
· A sweep has occurred eight times, including each season from 2004-2007.
· 14 races have been won from the pole, the last by Jimmie Johnson (October 2009).
· Jimmie Johnson won the 2003 Coca-Cola 600 from the 37th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
· Joey Logano is one of two drivers with more than two Charlotte races to average top-10 finishes (8.5); Jimmie Johnson is the other, with an average finish of 9.8.
· A number of active drivers earned their first win at CMS: Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears and David Reutimann. Inactive drivers David Pearson, Buddy Baker and Charlie Glotzbach also got their first series win at Charlotte.
· There have been 512 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in North Carolina.
· 424 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as North Carolina.
· There have been 43 race winners from North Carolina in NASCAR’s three national series; 28 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(NASCAR)(5-24-2011)
TV Ratings for All-Star race increase: SPEED coverage of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday scored an average household rating of 3.32 according to Nielsen Media Research, up 1% from last year's 3.30. The race peaked at a 4.08 and averaged 3,993,000 viewers. During the race, SPEED was the highest-rated basic cable network in Households, Men 35-54, and M55+; and the No. 2-rated basic cable network among M18-34 and M18-49. The ratings increase, despite on-site technical issues during driver introductions which delayed the start of the race by 30 minutes, was driven in large part by tremendous growth in the coveted Men 18-34 demographic, where coverage area ratings were up 58% (1.26 vs. .80) from 2010 and the highest for the event in three years.(SPEED), see past 2011 races, and 4-year comparsion chart on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(5-24-2011)
Testing at VIR: Open stock car testing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24th at Virginia International Raceway, a road course in Alton, VA. Sprint Cup teams that attend will be preparing for upcoming races at Infineon Raceway in June and Watkins Glen International in August. Fans can attend to watch testing, admission is $10 per person. More info at virnow.com. Their Facebook page mentions the following drivers: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #4-Kasey Kahne, #14-Tony Stewart and #11-Denny Hamlin but also mentioned there is no confirmed list in advance and some drivers / teams just show up. From pre-race PR's, drivers who are supposed to testing include: #9-Ambrose, #43-Allmendinger, #34-Gilliland, #11-Hamlin, #32-FAS Lane, #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #33-Bowyer, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #2-Keselowski, #4-Kahne and Raikkonen is practicing the #7 Dodge for Robby Gordon. Note: supposedly Kahne is testing at Road Atlanta and not at VIR.(5-24-2011)
The 2nd class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, 2011: David Pearson, Lee Petty, Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Bud Moore
Second NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Officially Enshrined: With each win, and each championship, a legend grew. And now, those legends have a permanent home. The second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame – champions all – captured over 350 victories and a dozen championships in NASCAR's premier series. The five inductees – Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett, Bud Moore, David Pearson and Lee Petty – make up the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., which was officially inducted tonight, Monday, May 23. "This is fast becoming a night we all look forward to on the calendar," said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, in his opening remarks during tonight's Induction Ceremony. "To the second class, thank you for the memories and moments you gave this great sport."
The common thread each inductee shares: NASCAR premier series championships.
Allison won his lone premier series title in 1983, but his NASCAR Hall of Fame credentials may lie elsewhere. He won 84 times – tied for third on the all-time list – and three were in NASCAR's most prominent race, the Daytona 500 (1978, '82 and '88). Not to be overshadowed, a proud piece of the Allison legacy: His two NASCAR Modified Series championships, in 1964-65.
"I went through a lot of things," Allison said in his acceptance speech. "I got involved with a lot of people along the way. I won some races. Struggled, got better, did poorly, got better and everything. But the bottom line, it was just an incredible career. And this involved so many people."
Two-careers-in-one landed Jarrett in the Hall. His first, that as a prolific driver, made him a NASCAR legend. His second, as an everyman broadcaster, made him a household name. Jarrett won 50 races, two NASCAR premier series championships (1961 and '65) and two NASCAR Sportsman Division titles (1957-58), and later worked as an analyst for several networks, including MRN, CBS and ESPN.
"When it was announced several years ago there would be a NASCAR Hall of Fame, and when my name was among the original 25 nominees, my prayer from then on was to live long enough to be elected," said Jarrett. "I've had to work hard on my health to be able to be here and enjoy this tremendous honor … I am very humbled by this huge honor, and I don't take it lightly."
Moore's life is a storyteller's dream. A World War II veteran who won five Purple Hearts, Moore went on to become one of the top owners and crew chiefs in NASCAR history. Credited with having a hand in shaping the beginnings of NASCAR, Moore won 63 premier series races as an owner, and three championships – as a crew chief for Buck Baker in 1957 and an owner for Joe Weatherly in 1962-63.
"My daughter-in-law, Carol, recently asked me how I wanted to be remembered," said Moore during his induction speech. "The answer is simple: As one who made many contributions to the building of the sport, one whose handshake was as good as any contract, who always gave a straight answer and would never sugar coat it either. But most of all, to be remembered as a man who loved his family, his country and the sport of racing."
Pearson's 105 NASCAR premier series victories, which ranks second all-time, and three championships place him firmly on the short-list of "best NASCAR drivers ever." Pearson never competed in every race in a season, yet tallied his astonishing wins total and still won multiple championships. In his acceptance speech, Pearson gave a nod to his prime competition in the "greatest ever" argument. "I want to thank Richard Petty, too," Pearson said. "He's probably the one that made me win as many as I did. I run hard because he'd make me run hard. Sometimes he would make a mistake and I'd pass him. Of course, I didn't ever make mistakes. … I've had more fun running with him than anybody I ever run with 'cause I knew if I ever went to a racetrack and he was there, if I could beat him, I'd win the race."
The patriarch of one of the most successful families in the sport's history, Lee Petty joins his son, Richard, in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Petty won 54 NASCAR premier series races, and was the first to win three NASCAR premier series championships. He also founded Petty Enterprise, the juggernaut that amassed 10 driver championships under his watch. Petty, the only deceased member of the second class, was inducted into the Hall by grandsons Kyle, Mark, Ritchie and Tim Petty. Sons Richard and Maurice accepted the induction on Lee's behalf.
"[Lee Petty] lived in his world and he didn't want anybody to tell him how to live in his world," said Richard. "His big deal was to take care of his own. If you got in the way, didn't make a whole lot of difference to him, he got you out of the way. … Hopefully he's up there somewhere saying, 'Okay, I know I'd get there, might have to push somebody out of the way to get there.'"
The inductors for the other four inductees: MRN broadcaster Barney Hall for Bud Moore; children Dale and Glenn Jarrett and Patti Makar for Ned Jarrett; brother Donnie Allison for Bobby Allison; and former public relations director for Darlington Raceway Russell Branham and Wood Brothers co-owner Leonard Wood for David Pearson.
Special congratulatory videos opened each inductee's segment, with a number of high-profiled names starring in each. Those involved: University of Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban for Bobby Allison; former NASCAR broadcaster Ken Squier for Ned Jarrett; broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw for Bud Moore; NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty for David Pearson; and former President of the United States George H.W. Bush for Lee Petty. The five inductee exhibits officially open tomorrow (Tuesday) at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. For info on the NASCAR Hall of Fame, visit nascarhall.com.(NASCAR)(5-24-2011)
Raikkonen to make Nationwide debut; Cup at Infienon? UPDATE 2: Kimi Raikkonen, who makes his NASCAR debut tonight in the Camping World Truck Series, spoke to the media Friday for the first time, indicating that he would like to run in Cup later this year and also hinting that if things go well tonight, he might drive a Nationwide car next weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One champion, is driving for Kyle Busch's team tonight. Raikkonen made it through both practice sessions Friday morning without any major incidents (he did scrape the wall). He ranked 30th quickest among 36 drivers in the first practice session and was 30th among 37 drivers in the final truck practice session. Raikkonen, who is slipping his NASCAR events in between rally races he's scheduled to do, said he wanted to come to NASCAR because "I want to try different things. I was interested to see how it is. I don't have any plans for next year in anything I do. If I completely suck, there's no reason to come back. Hopefully, it goes better than today.'' As for his NASCAR schedule this year, Raikkonen said: "I'm looking at this weekend and hopefully next weekend I'm here. Then after that, there's no real plans yet. Hopefully, I can get to run some Cup races that would be nice. There's not awful lot of planning. I'll try to do the best now and see what happens.''(Virginian Pilot)(5-20-2011) UPDATE: The pieces to the Kimi Raikkonen Nationwide Series puzzle are coming together. FOXSports.com has learned that the car is being assembled by Kyle Busch Motorsports but the owner points will come from Joe Nemechek's #87 entry, registered under NEMCO Motorsports, which is currently 19th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series points standings. The crew will come from NEMCO with additional support from KBM employees. NEMCO will provide transporter, equipment and back up car for the race. Raikkonen finished 15th in his NASCAR Camping World Truck debut. The 2007 Formula One champion was approved to compete in next Saturday's Nationwide Series race prior to Friday night's event.(FoxSports)(5-21-2011) UPDATE 2: Kimi Raikkonen will make his Nationwide Series debut Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a car fielded by Joe Nemechek and Kyle Busch. Raikkonen's name was on the official entry list released Monday in the #87 under the ownership of NEMCO Motorsports run by Nemechek, who formed an alliance with Busch to make the deal work. Nemechek, who also fields Toyotas, agreed to let Raikkonen drive his car that is guaranteed a spot in the field ranked 19th in owner's points. There is also speculation Raikkonen will make his Sprint Cup debut next month at the road course [Infineon Raceway] in Sonoma, CA.(ESPN)(5-24-2011)
Grand Prize winner announced for Toyota Sponsafier: Toyota Racing awarded the grand prize to "Chelsea's Hope" in the third round of its popular Sponsafier contest— where fans could design and enter their own NASCAR Sprint Cup car at www.ToyotaRacing.com from Feb. 14 to March 20, 2011. The design, created by Tim Blankenship of Berkley Springs, W.Va., triumphed over more than 45,000 entries. A #11 Toyota Camry featuring the "Chelsea's Hope" artwork was unveiled Friday in the Toyota PitPass area at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will be on display for the remainder of the All-Star Race weekend. Sponsafier 3 was introduced with the 60 second "Bromance" TV commercial featuring Kyle Busch during this year's Daytona 500 broadcast. Two additional TV commercials included Toyota drivers Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, with appearances by Joe Gibbs, Darrell Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr. After more than 220,000 votes were cast to narrow the field down to the top-10 finalists, a panel of Toyota executives and NASCAR personalities selected "Chelsea's Hope" as the grand prize winner. The car design is named for the Chelsea's Hope Organization which serves to raise awareness, promote education and provide emotional support for individuals and families affected by Lafora Disease. Lafora Disease is an inherited myoclonus epilepsy syndrome typically caused by mutations in one of two known genes: EMP2A and EMP2B. This rare disease affects children and young adults and is characterized by seizures, difficulty walking, cognitive decline and dementia. Currently there is no effective treatment, as therapy—including antiepilectic drugs—is supportive but symptomatic. Blakenship created the "Chelsea's Hope" paint scheme to generate national awareness in honor of Jessica Ambroe, from Pittsburgh, Pa., who was diagnosed with Lafora Disease in Feb. 2009 at the age of 15. There are only 200 known cases of Lafora Disease in the world, 20 of which have been diagnosed in the United States, and research has yet to yield a cure. As the grand prize winner, Blankenship's paint scheme was brought to life and will be showcased both at Toyota PitPass and on SPEED during the All-Star Weekend. He will also receive a prize pack of Toyota Racing gear and enjoy time with Denny Hamlin, his favorite Toyota NASCAR driver.(Toyota Racing), see images of the car on my Toyota News and Links page.(5-24-2011)
NASCAR fans break Guinness World Record: Once the sun set and just before the start of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 21, the raceway's house lights dimmed and fans "flashed their brights," breaking the Guinness World Records achievement for most flashlights lit simultaneously. Energizer outfitted the 65,000 fans with LED headlights as they entered the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mike Janela, a Guinness World Records representative, was in attendance to officially record the feat. "To see the previous record - 1,000 flashlights being lit - broken by such a wide margin was quite impressive," said Janela. "We are always thrilled to see such a large and enthusiastic crowd of people get involved in setting a new record." The Guinness World Record attempt, dubbed "Light Up the Night," kicks off the 16th year Energizer and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing have worked closely together to bring excitement and innovation to the race circuit. The race also featured the #42 Energizer Chevrolet of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with driver Juan Pablo Montoya.
Along with 65,000 Energizer LED headlights, Energizer was represented at Charlotte Motor Speedway by 175 volunteers from its Asheboro, N.C. manufacturing facility who helped to hand them out to fans. And since May 22 kicks off the start of Hurricane Preparedness Week, the company also donated $30,000 worth of flashlights and batteries to the Greater Carolinas Chapter of the American Red Cross.(Energizer)(5-24-2011)
Coca Cola 600 dignataries named: Three top legislative leaders will be on hand for the nation's largest Memorial Day celebration as they serve as race officials for the 2011 Coca-Cola 600. Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell will be Grand Marshal, South Carolina Speaker Bobby Harrell will be the Honorary Starter and North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis will host his colleagues from neighboring states at the 52nd running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 29.
Paying tribute to all veterans and active U.S. military servicemen and women, the spectacular show preceding the Coca-Cola 600
includes a military assault demonstration by Special Operations soldiers from Ft. Bragg, N.C., on-stage recognition of Medal of Honor recipients, the unfurling of a 11,250 square-foot American flag by family members of active-duty soldiers, and an inspiring flyover by military aircraft.
As race officials, the three Speakers will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of 140,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Grand Marshal, Tenn. Speaker Harwell will ride in the official pace car, while S.C. Speaker Harrell will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR's most challenging race. N.C. Speaker Tillis will direct the 'Speaker Summit' as host of the event.
Frontstretch tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 start at just $49 with great views of pit road and the world's largest high-definition
television. To purchase tickets, fans can call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online at
Help Kansas Speedway Provide Disaster Relief to Kansas and Missouri: Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren announced today that Kansas Speedway will provide an opportunity for race fans to assist the disaster relief efforts in the tornado ravaged areas of Reading, Kansas and Joplin, Missouri.
For a $25 donation to the American Red Cross, fans will have the opportunity to drive their personal vehicle around Kansas Speedway on Friday, June 24 from 2 PM – 7 PM. For a donation of $50 to the American Red Cross, fans will have the opportunity to drive their vehicles around Kansas Speedway on Saturday, June 19 from 6:30 PM – 10 PM as part of the first event under the lights at Kansas Speedway.
"In times of crisis, it's important for everyone to come together and help those in need," said Warren. "We have several ticket holders in each of these devastated areas and we wanted to make sure they know that they, along with the rest of their communities, are not forgotten during times like this. I challenge others in our community, both race fans and non-race fans, to join us in our efforts to provide support to these areas."
Cash and check donations will be accepted by the American Red Cross at Kansas Speedway on June 4 - 5. Vouchers will be given to any fan that donates during Kansas Speedway's upcoming race weekend that will be redeemable for the corresponding date.
All vehicles must be street legal and equipped with enough seatbelts for all passengers. RV's, tractor trailers and motorcycles will not be permitted. Fans can text "redcross" to 90999 to contribute a $10 donation. Fans are also encouraged to visit the American Red Cross website, www.redcross.org, for additional ways to assist the relief efforts.(Kansas Speedway)(5-24-2011)
News from May 23, 2011
On Monday, May 23, NASCAR Now's Monday roundtable discussion program will air from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett and and NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith will be panelists with host Allen Bestwick. Special guests will include Bobby Allison, Ned Jarrett and David Pearson, Hall of Fame inductees.
Hall of Fame Induction on SPEED: Mike Joy hosts the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony coverage with backstage hosting assistance from Krista Voda as Lee Petty, Bud Moore, Ned Jarrett, David Pearson and Bobby Allison are enshrined in the second class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame at 8:00pm/et on SPEED. NASCAR Race Hub sets the stage for the Induction Ceremony with live interviews and pre-event ceremonies from the Hall of Fame at 7:00pm/et, and the network wraps up the special night with a 30-minute post-ceremony show. SPEED will air encore one-hour biography specials on the five inductees Monday beginning at 2:00 pm/et with the Petty special, followed by the specials on Moore, Jarrett, Pearson and Allison.(SPEED), see bios and info on my NASCAR Hall of Fame Class #2 page.(5-23-2011)
The Entry List for the Coca Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is posted, 48 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: Not in top 35 of owners points:
#21-Trevor Bayne (37/8)(2011 Race Winner)
#30-David Stremme (46/3)
#37-Tony Raines (39/11)
#38-Travis Kvapil (38/11)
#46-J.J. Yeley (40/11)
#50-T.J. Bell (51/1)
#60-Mike Skinner (43/11)
#66-Michael McDowell (41/11)
#71-Andy Lally (36/11)
#77-Scott Wimmer (0/0)
#81-Scott Riggs (52/2)
#87-Joe Nemechek (42/11)
#95-David Starr (48/1) In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
the eight who would make it : #'s 21,71,38,37,46,66,87,60
missing the race would be : #'s 30,81,95,50,77
See the full entry list at my Jayski's Charlotte Entry List.(5-23-2011)
Tornado in Joplin, MO UPDATE: many readers have asked if any of #1-Jamie McMurray's family was involved in the tornado that hit the city of Joplin, MO on Sunday, killing 116 people. Per tweets from the AP's Jenna Fryer and ESPN's Marty Smith: Jamie McMurray, a native of Joplin, MO. His family is ok. and for those wondering, Jamie McMurray says his family lives in NC now, so everyone safe. Unsure of friends back in Joplin. To help out folks involved in this disaster as well as recent floods and tornados, go to redcross.org. UPDATE - Statement from Jamie McMurray: concerning the recent tornado in Missouri: "My heart goes out to all the people that have been affected by the devastating Missouri tornado on May 22nd, especially in my hometown of Joplin. It is difficult to put into words, the emotions I have when I see the devastation and destruction that was caused by this storm. My thoughts and prayers are extended to all the people who are dealing with so much loss. I would also like to thank all those that have reached out to me to express their concerns for my family. Although I don't personally have any family in Joplin any longer, there are still many people there that need our support and prayers." (EGR)(5-23-2011)
Sad News - Pop Evernham: Raymond Donald Evernham, Sr., "Pop", 80, of Mooresville, NC, passed away on Sunday, May 22, 2011, at his residence. He was born in Rumson, N.J. on March 18, 1931, to the late Raymond John and Madeline Hawkins Evernham. He is also preceded in death by a brother, Alfred Evernham and a sister, Marjorie Davidson. Evernham was a mechanic working with the railroad and with race teams. He served his country in the United States Navy on board the destroyer USS H. J. Ellison DD-864. He was a member of Grace Covenant Church, Cornelius, N.C. He is survived by his wife, MaryLou Bailey Evernham; children, Raymond Evernham, Jr. and wife, Erin, Willie Evernham and wife, Barbara, and LuAnn Evernham; grandchildren, Danelle, Donald, Willy, Ray J., Scotty and Taylor and great grandson, Christopher; sister, Caroline Nicholl and brother, Robert Evernham. Info on services at the Cavin-Cook Funeral Home site.(5-23-2011)
Latest on Edwards contract status: Sprint All-Star Race winner, #99-Carl Edwards, contract expires at the end of the season. After Saturday's victory, both the driver and his boss said little about where talks stand for 2012 and beyond.
"All I'll say about that is we're running really well right now and it's because of Jack Roush and Ford and all these people's hard work, and those talks are going on behind closed doors," said Edwards. "We'll hopefully get something done, but right now we're running well and that is fun and what I'm trying to do is focus on that because we have a championship to win this year. That's the number one goal."
"We're trying to maintain the focus on keeping our season together," said Roush Fenway Racing founder and co-owner Jack Roush. "We want to put ourselves in the best situation we can to make a championship run, to be in the top 10 and then to make a championship run in the closing months of the year. It's going on behind closed doors. With some accuracy I say I really don't do the money and I try to stay out of the money part of it, but I will have to pay attention to this deal as it gets closer, but it's not something we're gonna debate or discuss in the public. It's not a media issue, it's a private business issue that's ongoing."(SPEED)(5-23-2011)
Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 All Star Race: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Saturday's races. Recording began the times for the Showdown at 7:21 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag for the All Star Race at 11:25 PM (all times are EST). SPEED was the broadcast team for this event.
Total number of commercials: 96
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 59
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:21 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:25 PM
Total minutes: 244
Minutes of race broadcast: 193
Minutes of commercials: 51
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
Number of Misses Sprint Cup it took to announce Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the winner of the fan vote: 3
Number of LEDs in the giant TV: 9,000,000
Total race brdcst time 193 Total comm. brdcst time 51
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 39
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 25 sec.
See more driver focus, links and past races see the 2011 Commercials page.(5-23-2011)
Budweiser renews with Daytona: Budweiser will continue to serve as both the exclusive official beer sponsor of Daytona International Speedway and the entitlement sponsor for the Budweiser Shootout following a multi-year partnership renewal. As part of the agreement, Budweiser will also begin a non-exclusive promotional partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2012. Under the terms of the agreement, Budweiser will maintain signage rights for all events at Daytona International Speedway including Speedweeks, the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400, as well as the naming rights of the infield concession area – the Budweiser Bistro – and the Budweiser Party Porch located adjacent to the Superstretch. Budweiser has served as the entitlement sponsor of the Budweiser Shootout, the star-studded non-points race that kicks off the stock car portion of Speedweeks, since 1979 when the event was originally known as the "Busch Clash." Budweiser began serving as the official beer sponsor of Daytona International Speedway in 2006. Budweiser's promotional partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway will include race tickets and hospitality assets with the purpose of activating in-market sweepstakes, facilitating ticket giveaways and capitalizing on a retail point-of-sale presence throughout the Florida region. For tickets to all Daytona International Speedway events, call 1-800-PITSHOP or visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com (DIS)(5-23-2011)
News from May 22, 2011
Earnhardt, Jr. close to contract extension: Hendrick Motorsports is close to finalizing a multiyear extension with Dale Earnhardt Jr., team owner Rick Hendrick said Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hendrick hopes to announce the deal within the next month. He would not give specifics, saying most of the major points are agreed on and the extension would keep NASCAR's most popular driver at HMS for another three to five years after the current five-year deal that expires in 2012. "We know we want to be together and we just want to get this over with," said Hendrick, who told ESPN.com last year he was working on the extension. "It shows I'm committed to him and he's committed to us."(ESPN.com)(5-22-2011)
Former president welcomes Petty to Hall of Fame: President George H.W. Bush is no stranger to successful family dynasties, and the 41st President of the United States will share some of his perspective as he welcomes Petty family patriarch Lee Petty into the NASCAR Hall of Fame via video on May 23. “President Bush welcoming my grandfather into the NASCAR Hall of Fame is huge because when he raced, I don’t think there was a president in the White House who knew what stock car racing was,” said Kyle Petty, Lee Petty’s grandson and SPEED analyst. “It’s kind of like when President Reagan was there for The King’s 200th win. That was a big deal for The King but it also was a big deal for our family and our sport. I don’t think my grandfather would ever have expected anything like this because the president recognizing a NASCAR driver’s accomplishments was so far outside of the realm of what he thought possible back then.”
“The participation by President Bush amplifies the significance of the roles these inductees played as part of the fabric of our country,” said SPEED President Hunter Nickell. “SPEED is honored to be sharing an event of this magnitude with passionate race fans everywhere.”
Tom Brokaw, longtime anchor of NBC Nightly News and the author of The Greatest Generation, the best-selling book about the men and women who lived through the Great Depression and fought in World War II, will welcome Moore into the Hall. Moore, a veteran of WW II and successful NASCAR team owner, was among the soldiers who stormed the beach at Normandy on D-Day.
The University of Alabama’s national championship-winning coach Nick Saban pays tribute to Allison, a founding member of racing’s famed Alabama Gang, which included Allison, his brother Donnie, Red Farmer, Bobby’s son, Davey, Neil and David Bonnett and Hut Stricklin.
Richard Petty, a member of the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the undisputed “King” of NASCAR racing welcomes arch-rival David Pearson into the Hall, as the pair combined for an amazing 63 first/second place finishes. Legendary race broadcaster Ken Squier welcomes two-time NASCAR champion and broadcasting pioneer Ned Jarrett.(SPEED)(5-22-2011)
News from May 21, 2011
Carl Edwards wins the All Star Race: #99-Carl Edwards won the Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning over $1 million. It is Edward's 1st All-Star race win and Roush Fenway Racing's 5th win. #18-Busch finished second followed by #00-Reutimann, #14-Stewart, #16-Biffle, #17-Kenseth, #11-Hamlin, #6-Ragan (who won the Sprint Showdown), #29-Harvick, and #39-Newman. Biffle won the first segment of the race, but Edwards won the final 3. The final 10 lap segment went green the whole way. There were 5 cautions for 6 laps and 8 lead changes among 4 leaders. The announced attendance was 130,000.
See race results, awards and notes on my All-Star / Sprint Showdown Results page.(5-21-2011)
Race Fast Facts - NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race:
Carl Edwards won The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, his first victory in six starts in the annual non-points event.
Edwards' previous best finish in The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race was fourth in 2006.
Edwards led 29 laps in the victory, the second time he has led the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. He led 12 laps in a 10th-place finish in 2008.
Kyle Busch finished second, his best finish in The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. It is his second top-10 finish in six starts. His previous best finish was seventh in 2009.
David Reutimann finished third in his second NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start. He finished 19th last year, in his first start.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-21-2011)
Edwards wins segment 3: #99-Carl Edwards won segment 3 of the Sprint All Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning $125,000. The rest of the top 10: #18-Busch, #16-Biffle, #14-Stewart, #11-Hamlin, #24-Gordon, #17-Kenseth, #5-Johnson, #00-Reutimann, and #39-Newman. #78-Regan Smith brought out the caution on lap 75, when he slid into the wall off turn 2 following contact from #17-Kenseth. The results:
1) #99-Carl Edwards
2) #18-Kyle Busch
3) #16-Greg Biffle
4) #14-Tony Stewart
5) #11-Denny Hamlin
6) #24-Jeff Gordon
7) #17-Matt Kenseth
8) #5-Jimmie Johnson
9) #00-David Reutimann
10) #39-Ryan Newman
11) #33-Clint Bowyer
12) #22-Kurt Busch
13) #6-David Ragan
14) #29-Kevin Harvick
15) #25-Mark Martin
16) #1-Jamie McMurray
17) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya
18) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
19) #78-Regan Smith
20) #2-Brad Keselowski
21) #4-Kasey Kahne - Accident
Carl Edwards wins segment 2: #99-Carl Edwards won segment 2 of the Sprint All Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning $25,000. #5-Johnson finished second ahead of #18-Busch, #17-Kenseth, #24-Gordon, #16-Biffle, #14-Stewart, #11-Hamlin, #22-Busch, and #00-Reutimann. The caution came out on lap 59 when #4-Kahne appeared to cut a tire and hit the wall. The results:
1) #99-Carl Edwards
2) #5-Jimmie Johnson
3) #18-Kyle Busch
4) #17-Matt Kenseth
5) #24-Jeff Gordon
6) #16-Greg Biffle
7) #14-Tony Stewart
8) #11-Denny Hamlin
9) #22-Kurt Busch
10) #00-David Reutimann
11) #39-Ryan Newman
12) #6-David Ragan
13) #1-Jamie McMurray
14) #78-Regan Smith
15) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
16) #25-Mark Martin
17) #29-Kevin Harvick
18) #33-Clint Bowyer
19) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya
20) #2-Brad Keselowski
21) #4-Kasey Kahne - Accident
Greg Biffle wins segment 1: #16-Greg Biffle won segment 1 of the Sprint All Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning $25,000. #99-Edwards was second followed by #18-Busch, #4-Kahne, #14-Stewart, #5-Johnson, #17-Kenseth, #33-Bowyer, #24-Gordon, and #25-Martin. #22-Busch had to serve a penalty for having a crew member over the wall too early on his pit stop and finished the segment 1 lap down but got the lucky dog. #2-Keselowski lost the brakes in his car and finished several laps behind the leaders. The results:
1) #16-Greg Biffle
2) #99-Carl Edwards
3) #18-Kyle Busch
4) #4-Kasey Kahne
5) #14-Tony Stewart
6) #5-Jimmie Johnson
7) #17-Matt Kenseth
8) #33-Clint Bowyer
9) #24-Jeff Gordon
10) #25-Mark Martin
11) #00-David Reutimann
12) #42-Juan Pablo Montoya
13) #11-Denny Hamlin
14) #1-Jamie McMurray
15) #39-Ryan Newman
16) #6-David Ragan
17) #29-Kevin Harvick
18) #78-Regan Smith
19) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
20) #22-Kurt Busch -1 Lap
21) #2-Brad Keselowski
Ragan wins Sprint Showdown: #6-David Ragan won the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He transfers to the Sprint All Star Challenge, along with #2-Brad Keselowski who finished second. #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who finished 6th, won the Sprint Fan Vote. #9-Marcos Ambrose finished 3rd followed by #43-AJ Allmendinger, and #20-Joey Logono. The results:
1) #6-David Ragan - transfers to the Sprint All Star Challenge
2) #2-Brad Keselowski - transfers to the Sprint All Star Challenge
3) #9-Marcos Ambrose
4) #43-A.J. Allmendinger
5) #20-Joey Logano
6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. - fan vote winner
7) #34-David Gilliland
8) #47-Bobby Labonte
9) #31-Jeff Burton
10) #83-Brian Vickers
11) #27-Paul Menard
12) #13-Casey Mears
13) #56-Martin Truex Jr.
14) #81-J.J. Yeley
15) #60-Mike Skinner
16) #38-Travis Kvapil
17) #66-Todd Bodine
18) #50-TJ Bell
19) #87-Joe Nemechek
20) #92-Brian Keselowski
21) #37-Tony Raines
22) #95-Starr - Ignition
23) #30-Stremme - Accident
24) #71-Andy Lally
25) #32-Boris Said - Accident
26) #09-Landon Cassill - Accident
27) #64-Derrike Cope - Accident
Race Fast Facts - NASCAR Sprint Showdown:
David Ragan won The Sprint Showdown, his first victory in the non-points race.
Ragan's previous best finish in The Sprint Showdown was third in 2008.
Ragan has finished in the top 10 in all four of his Sprint Showdown starts. This is his first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start.
Brad Keselowski finished second in The Sprint Showdown, his first start in the non-points event.
Keselowski earns a spot in his third NASCAR Sprint-All Star Race. He previously ran in 2009 and 2010. He finished 17th in 2009 and seventh in 2010.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-21-2011)
Sprint Showdown - Segment 1: #6-David Ragan finished first in Sprint Showdown Segment 1. On lap 3, #09-Cassill cut a tire and was hit by #64-Cope. Under caution Ragan, Menard, Allmendinger, Truex, Jr., Brad Keselowski and Ambrose stayed out. All others pitted. The segment 1 results:
1) #6-David Ragan
2) #27-Paul Menard
3) #43-A.J. Allmendinger
4) #56-Martin Truex Jr.
5) #22-Brad Keselowski
6) #9-Marcos Ambrose
7) #20-Joey Logano
8) #31-Jeff Burton
9) #47-Bobby Labonte
10) #83-Brian Vickers
11) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
12) #34-David Gilliland
13) #13-Casey Mears
14) #60-Mike Skinner
15) #95-David Starr
16) #81-J.J. Yeley
17) #30-David Stremme
18) #66-Todd Bodine
19) #38-Travis Kvapil
20) #87-Joe Nemechek
21) #50-TJ Bell
22) #37-Tony Raines
23) #92-Brian Keselowski
24) #71-Andy Lally
25) #32-Boris Said - Accident
26) #09-Landon Cassill - Accident
27) #64-Derrike Cope - Accident
Kahne wins Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge [burnouts]: #4-Kasey Kahne won the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge, which took place Saturday evening just before the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race pre-event festivities. The Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge is NASCAR's version of a "slam dunk contest," with the sport's top talent showing off their post-win celebration abilities in classic NASCAR tire-smoking burnouts. In addition to being a fan favorite of the weekend's activities, the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge has become a star-studded event with celebrity judges and some of the biggest names in NASCAR competing for a $10,000 donation to their favorite charity. A panel of judges scored the drivers' creativity during a 30-second freestyle burnout in order to select the top three – Kahne, #20-Joey Logano, and #18-Kyle Busch, who were then judged by the fans watching from the stands and on SPEED to pick the winner.(5-21-2011)
Brian France discusses 'Boy's have at it": NASCAR Chairman Brian France held a press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday, May 20th and discussed many issues in the sport, including, 'Boy's Have at it", the Q&A: Q. I'm wondering where you personally fall on the boys have at it issue? It's a little tricky in that NASCAR has to maintain law and order, but you get all this outside interest and you bring all these new eyeballs and it gets people talking and it's a real water cooler thing. So where do you personally fall, and what is the proper way to manage that? BRIAN FRANCE: "Well, I think that's a good question. I think there are limits. You saw one of the limits is that if you put anyone in danger, like what happened with Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch where it was after the race had happened. think it's important to note if you look through NASCAR's history, one of the videos that showed the most Wednesday night was the famous finish at Daytona with Richard Petty and David Pearson where they obviously hit each other and spun out in the grass. You go through our history and that's part of it, contact, emotion, in particular late in the race.
We're like anybody. We can over officiate and over regulate in some circumstances, over a 60 year period of time. And I think our point was a couple years ago we thought we might be in a pattern of that, and we wanted to put it more in the drivers' hands.
We never said there were no limits to that. You just can't go around with a missile and a weapon out there. But if you're having contact, that's part of NASCAR. So it's tough for us, but that's what we do. And it's tough for any sport to have certain areas of the game or in auto racing that are subjective as to what is too much, but we'll figure that out.
We're going to remain, obviously, a contact sport, and we're going to remain with the basic philosophy that we're putting more of it in the drivers' hands. If they go over a line we think is there, we'll deal with that." Q. What does probation mean and why was the All-Star Race included with Kevin and Kyle? A lot of fans are confused by that and think maybe because it's a non-points event that it shouldn't be included. BRIAN FRANCE: " What probation means is there is a different set of eyes and expectations that are placed on a driver who has been placed on probation. They're going to have a more limited flexibility in how we're going to officiate them should they be in a similar area that they have just violated.
Why it's important to have consistent rules even through the All-Star Races is there are safety elements that are inter-affected between events. There are lots of different reasons why you just wouldn't want to say we're not going to have a standard set of NASCAR rules in the All-Star Race.
Keep in mind, given that there are no points at stake, by definition, it gets more aggressive. We know that. That's fine. Drivers take more chances, they're not worried about where they are in the point standings, so it's going to be more aggressive and more competitive.
But if we took the lid off and said there are no rules or don't worry about any ramifications that might extend into next week at all, then we believe that -- as I said earlier in my remarks -- there has to be limits to all of this. That would be above the limits that we believe going into an event would make any sense.
See full transcript of the interview: Brian France Interview - May 2011.(5-21-2011)
News from May 20, 2011
Race Coverage of the Sprint Showdown & Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 2011. Television (TV): SPEED at 7:00 pm/et; pre-race show at 4:00 pm/et; green flag approx 7:15pm/et Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90 Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
SPEED, Saturday, May 21 at 11:30pm/et
SPEED, Wednesday, May 25 at 12:00pm/et
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Sprint Showdown and the Sprint All-Star Challenge races at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been made. The Sprint Showdown pits were selected by qualifying results, so #6-Ragan got to chose first and like most pole sitters, took the 1st pit stall available. Outside pole sitter, #43-Allmendinger took the 7th stall.
For the Sprint All-Star Challenge, the selections were made by the results from the Pennzoil Pit Crew Challenge held Thursday night and won by the #11-Hamlin team. #11-Hamlin took the first stall available, pit stall 2.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection charts on the All-Star Pit Stall Selection charts.(5-20-2011)
Coverage of Qualifying for the Sprint Showdown and the Sprint All-Star Race Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, May 20, 2011 at 5:00pm/et. Showdown qualifying is first, 2 lap qualifying run. After the Showdown qualifying, Sprint All-Star Challenge qualifying will run, 3 laps with a pitstop included. Television (TV): SPEED, 5:00pm/et Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90, via nascar.com only
Jayski.com: Jayski's All-Star Qualifying Page Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled
Happy Hour practice for the Sprint All-Star Challenge at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, the top 5, slowest and notes:
slowest: #17-Kenseth 183.113 & #1-McMurray 183.811
See practice speeds, average speeds, best 10 lap average, laps run on the All-Star Practice Speeds page.(5-20-2011)
Sprint Showdown: practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, the top five, slowest, notes:
#88-Earnhardt Jr. was 11th fastest
slowest: #92-Keselowski 177.410 & #64-Cope 178.506
Notes: #20-Logano lost an engine in practice.
The #46 team withdrew and driver J.J. Yeley will be in the #81 and Scott Rigs is not running the race, no idea why.
See practice speeds, average speeds, best 10 lap average, laps run on the All-Star Practice Speeds page.(5-20-2011)
Raikkonen talks about Cup, may run Nationwide race soon: Kimi Raikkonen, who makes his NASCAR debut tonight in the Camping World Truck Series, spoke to the media Friday for the first time, indicating that he would like to run in Cup later this year and also hinting that if things go well tonight, he might drive a Nationwide car next weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Raikkonen, the 2007 Formula One champion, is driving for Kyle Busch’s team tonight. Raikkonen made it through both practice sessions Friday morning without any major incidents (he did scrape the wall). He ranked 30th quickest among 36 drivers in the first practice session and was 30th among 37 drivers in the final truck practice session. Raikkonen, who is slipping his NASCAR events in between rally races he’s scheduled to do, said he wanted to come to NASCAR because “I want to try different things. I was interested to see how it is. I don’t have any plans for next year in anything I do. If I completely suck, there’s no reason to come back. Hopefully, it goes better than today.’’ As for his NASCAR schedule this year, Raikkonen said: “I’m looking at this weekend and hopefully next weekend I’m here. Then after that, there’s no real plans yet. Hopefully, I can get to run some Cup races that would be nice. There’s not awful lot of planning. I’ll try to do the best now and see what happens.’’(Virginian Pilot)(5-20-2011)
Sprint Fan Vote Nears 2 Million Votes; Top 5 Drivers Named: With just over 24 hours remaining in the voting, Sprint announced the top five drivers in the Sprint Fan Vote, which allows fans to decide which eligible driver will compete in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Fans have helped set a voting record this season, with more than 1.9 million votes cast since March 23. Voting remains open until 5:00pm/et Saturday, May 21. The top five drivers in alphabetical order are: #43-A.J. Allmendinger, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #47-Bobby Labonte, #20-Joey Logano and #83-Brian Vickers.
Fans can cast votes for their favorite eligible drivers by using the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application, visiting NASCAR.com or at the Sprint Experience, located in the midway at every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. As an incentive for Sprint customers, every wireless vote submitted from a Sprint, Nextel, Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile device counts double in the driver standings.
To be eligible for the Sprint Fan Vote, drivers must be approved by NASCAR for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition and have met all other eligibility requirements. Those requirements include finishing in the Top 50 of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship point standings; competing in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Event during the 2010 season; or attempting to qualify for the 2011 Daytona 500. The driver who accumulates the most votes and finishes the Sprint Showdown qualifying race on the lead lap with a car in raceable condition (as determined by NASCAR competition) will earn a spot in the prestigious NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race field. In addition to voting, fans can also use the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application to view the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in its entirety on Sprint devices. To download the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, which is free with any data plan, Sprint customers should text “NASCAR” to 7777. Votes may also be cast on Sprint devices by texting “VOTE” to 7777 (standard text messaging and data rates apply). Charlotte Motor Speedway is offering NASCAR fans a limited-time “Buy One, Get One Free” ticket offer for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. To take advantage of this promotion, follow the link ticketmaster.com. UPDATE SPEED just reported during Sprint Showdown practice that the driver who wins the Sprint Fan Vote does NOT have to finish on the lead lap must the car must be in raceable condition (as determined by NASCAR competition).(5-20-2011)
Danica still mum about 2012 plans: Rumors that Danica Patrick would jump to NASCAR have dogged her for years and even have been acknowledged by IndyCar officials. The 29-year-old, who has driven in both IndyCar and the NASCAR Nationwide series this year and last, was vague when asked about her plans Thursday. "I suppose anything is possible," she said. "But I know for me, I haven't made any of those decisions yet." Her improved performance in NASCAR has fueled speculation that her IndyCar days might be nearing an end [both her Indy Car and JR Motorsports contracts are done at the end of 2011]. She struggled last year during her first year of stock car racing, but she qualified fourth and briefly led the Nationwide race at Daytona this February before finishing 14th. The next month, she placed fourth in the Las Vegas Nationwide race, the best finish for a woman in a national NASCAR race. She'll return to NASCAR for the Nationwide race at New Hampshire in June.(in part from the Associated Press)(5-20-2011)
No racing for Bayne this weekend UPDATE: Roush Fenway and the Wood Brothers have decided to withhold Trevor Bayne from NASCAR competition this weekend, including Sunday's Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway and Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Although we would like for Trevor to be on the track this weekend, we want to make sure that he is fully back to prime condition before he goes out to compete with the best drivers in the world," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "He has been undergoing tests and out of his routine for almost a month now. With that disruption in his schedule, he has not been able to take part in our daily training activities and he's going to need a little more time to get acclimated to the strenuous demands of a NASCAR racing schedule," added Newmark. "Obviously we would love to have him back out on the track, but we are not prepared to do that until we are sure that he's 100 percent. His symptoms have improved tremendously, but we're still not all the way back to where we want to be."
"We knew all along that there was not a timetable for his return," said Eddie Wood, co-owner of Wood Brothers Racing. "We knew it would be a process and we continue to work towards his return. Trevor really wants to be back, and we remain hopeful that we'll have him competing again soon." Neither the Roush Fenway #16 Nationwide Series entry, nor the Wood Brothers #21 Sprint Cup entry, will participate in the NASCAR races this weekend. The Wood Brothers, however, do intend to participate in the Pit Crew Challenge this evening.(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-19-2011) UPDATE: The undisclosed illness that has sidelined Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne with blurred vision and other symptoms for more than three weeks will keep him from driving in Saturday's All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bayne tested Wednesday at Rockingham Speedway for Roush Fenway Racing, which owns Bayne's contract and fields him in the #16 Ford in the Nationwide Series. RFR officials said Bayne, who qualified for the All-Star race by winning the Sprint Cup opener at Daytona in the #21 he drives on a limited basis for the Wood Brothers, did not appear at full strength after more than three weeks of non-activity while undergoing tests. Bayne's Nationwide car did not make the trip to Iowa for Sunday's race and will not be entered with any driver. The Wood Brothers will not replace Bayne in the All-Star race even though they have that option. Bayne has been having symptoms of blurred vision, pain in his left shoulder and elbow, fatigue and periods of feeling nauseous since early last month. Although the symptoms had subsided enough that it was initially thought Bayne could compete in the All-Star race, it was decided after Wednesday's test he probably needed another week to recuperate and gain back his full strength.(ESPN), NOTE: #78-Regan Smith will replace Bayne in the burnout contest on Saturday, before the races.(5-20-2011)
All-Star Tire Notes Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will run a different tire set-up than those in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Charlotte this weekend . . . while this is the first time Sprint Cup teams will run this left-side tire code, they did run this right-side code at Darlington earlier this month . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear tire test at Charlotte last fall . . . drivers participating in that test were Kurt Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya and Martin Truex . . . compared to what Cup teams ran at Charlotte last season, this tire set-up features softer compounds on both the left and right side, which will give the cars more grip . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 48-52 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear), see tire pressures, number of tires and more on the 2011 All-Star Info page.(5-20-2011)
Three On-Track Events for One Price at CMS: Fans can enjoy three on-track events, a pre- and post-race concert and the public launch of the world's largest HDTV for the price of one ticket on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, highlighted by the 27th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. But before the first laps are turned on the track in the $1 million throwdown, race goers can wave the green flag during qualifying, attend a free Q-and-A session with NASCAR stars, browse through countless interactive displays right outside the track and enjoy delicious deep-fried peaches, among other fair food treats. Here are a few items of interest that will help race fans coming to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race get the most out of their experience. Live Entertainment, Four On-Track Activities for the Price of One Ticket: For the price of one ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 fans can enjoy the Dierks Bently concert presented by Budweiser in the infield, the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge burnout contest, the Sprint Showdown, the debut of the world's largest high definition television, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Julie Roberts post-race concert with the chance to walk on the track. Even before the on-track action heats-up, fans can enjoy plenty of other activities outside the track, including the Powerade Play Zone for kids, speedway and race shop tours and much more. For a full list of NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race week events, visit charlottemotorspeedway.com/fans/fan_guide_to_fun/. Fans Can Wave the Green Flag for All-Star Qualifying During NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race qualifying on May 20, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will randomly select fans in attendance to wave the green flag for each competitor attempting to qualify. Qualifying is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on May 20. Deep-Fried Peaches, New Kids Menu Available from Levy Restaurants: May race attendees will get a true southern treat with a twist with an order of deep-fried peaches at the Levy Restaurants concession stands throughout the speedway. The peaches are sliced, dipped in batter, rolled in a cornflake crumb topping, then fried and served with a cinnamon-vanilla dipping sauce. Several other southern-inspired treats will also be on the Levy menu, including a "bologna-q," sandwich (deep-fried strips of bologna, smothered in bar-be-cue sauce and topped with a pickled onion mustard slaw) and "lug nuts" mac and cheese balls (pimento mac and cheese balls mixed with bacon, coated and deep fried). Levy Restaurants will also offer a new kids menu in the Family Seating Section with smaller-size hot dogs and hamburgers, as well as new beverages for the adults and new sweet treats including funnel cakes and little donuts at its main concession stands. Kahne Part of 'PRN Up To SPEED' at the SPEED Stage "PRN Up To SPEED" returns for the third year to Charlotte Motor
Speedway. The popular free fan forum takes place at the SPEED stage, located at the speedway's main entrance, from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., prior to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Several NASCAR stars, including Kasey Kahne, are scheduled to join personalities from the Performance Racing Network for the 30 minute Q&A session. Plenty of Entertainment Options for Fans in Interactive Display Area Fans coming to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will have plenty of entertainment options right outside the track in the display areas. Toyota will host a hospitality area for any fan that has a Toyota key, NOS will offer an interactive area where fans can try their hand with Traxxas remote control cars and sunglass-maker Oakley will be on site with their O Labs where fans can purchase Oakley products. Fans will find plenty of food and beverage options as well and there will continue to be plenty of souvenir trailers in the display areas, so fans can buy their favorite driver's gear at the track. CATS Route Provides Easy Access to Speedway The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS), the City of Concord and Charlotte Motor Speedway have partnered to bring race day bus service from Center City Charlotte to the track. Starting from the Charlotte Transportation Center, race fans can take the 79X Concord Mills Express to beat the traffic and enjoy the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29 at the speedway for just $7 round-trip. The route will run every 20 minutes from noon to 6:00 p.m. on May 21 and May 29. Return trips will begin immediately after the checkered flag as race fans make their way to the buses near the track's main entrance. Passengers may bring small coolers that fit on their laps but no eating or drinking is permitted on the bus. Tickets can be purchased at the Charlotte Transportation Center at 310 East Trade Street in Center City or online at http://secure.ridetransit.org/psales/. For more information visit www.ridetransit.org or call (704) 336-RIDE (7433). Traffic Information Available on 91.1 FM Race fans will be able to tune into 91.1 FM for up-to-date traffic information following Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Charlotte Motor Speedway will broadcast traffic exit updates on that frequency to inform fans of any traffic concerns around the speedway.
Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HD video board, debuting at the speedway in May, start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.(CMS)(5-20-2011)
News from May 19, 2011
Hamlin's team repeats as Pit Crew Challenge champ: Denny Hamlin's #11 team successfully defended its title in NASCAR's Pit Crew Challenge on Thursday night, edging Jimmie Johnson's #48 team in the final round. Hamlin's seven-member team changed four tires, put in gas and pushed the car 40 yards in 22.298 seconds without collecting a penalty to earn $70,675. The crew now gets to select its pit stall Saturday for the All-Star race. Hamlin's team, which became the first repeat champion in the competition's seven seasons, included gas man Scott Wood; catch-can man Justin White; front tire changer Nick Krizmanich and carrier Brandon Pegram; rear tire changer Mike Hicks and carrier Heath Cherry; and jack man Nate Bolling. Clint Bowyer's #33 team and Tony Stewart's #14 crew combined to split all the individual awards - and rewrite the record book. They set event records based on their times in the seeding and opening rounds to collect $10,000 each. See much more on my Pit Crew News / Awards page.(Associated Press)(5-19-2011)
Black Cat Fireworks to sponsor #37, images:Black Cat Fireworks hopes to light up the NASCAR tracks with its recently announced sponsorship of NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver, Tony Raines #37 Ford. "As the premier brand of fireworks in the US, Black Cat is extremely fired up about this partnership with Larry Gunselman and his Max Q Motorsports Team," shared Chris Noland, Director of Marketing for the Fireworks sponsor. In China, "black cats" are a symbol of "luck and good fortune" and the Black Cat tagline "The Best You Can Get" should be a real incentive for the Sprint Cup Team. "As a lifelong fan of fireworks, I am really looking forward to this explosive partnership with Black Cat Fireworks," said Raines. The Black Cat brand was introduced in the US in the 1940's and is now the oldest and most highly recognized fireworks brand in the country. Black Cat Fireworks will sponsor the #37 Ford at the Sprint Showdown and Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte, Infineon Raceway in June and Daytona in July. Firehouse Subs, a fast casual restaurant chain with more than 430 locations and founded by firefighting brothers, Chris Sorenson and Robin Sorenson, will be an associate sponsor for those races.(PR), see images of the car on my #37 Team Schemes page.(5-19-2011)
Special scheme for Harvick: Kevin Harvick's #29 Chevy will sport a different look for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 2007 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner will transform his traditional black machine into a #29 Budweiser-Realtree Chevy, featuring Realtree on the hood, trunk and C-post with camo trim highlighting the body panels of the now-familiar Budweiser theme.(RCR), see an image of the car on my #29 Team Schemes page.(5-19-2011)
Dale Jr. to run special scheme at All-Star race: Through the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, The Dale Jr. Foundation is providing a $30,000 grant to Neal Middle School in Durham, N.C., to enhance its music program and give its students the opportunity to excel musically. The partnership between The Dale Jr. Foundation and the VH1 Save The Music Foundation will be celebrated on Earnhardt Jr.'s #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevy during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as primary sponsors AMP Energy and National Guard have donated the paint scheme of the #88 car to TDJF for the third consecutive year. With the donation, Earnhardt Jr.'s Hendrick Motorsports Chevy will feature bright red, orange and yellow coloring with music notes accentuating the side panels. The one-off paint scheme will appear in the May 21st Sprint Showdown with the opportunity to advance into the Sprint All-Star Race by winning the Showdown or fan vote. Pre-orders for the collectable diecast and apparel items related to The Dale Jr. Foundation/VH1 Save The Music paint scheme are being accepted now at ShopJrNation.com. A portion of the proceeds from merchandise sales will be donated to The Dale Jr. Foundation in continued support of non-profit organizations such as Victory Junction, Make-A-Wish and Blessings In A Backpack.(JR Motorsports), see an image of the car on my #88 Team Schemes page.(5-19-2011)
Aaron's Dream Machine pit crew to donate winnings: The #00 Aaron's Dream Machine pit crew competes in the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge at Time Warner Cable Arena in uptown Charlotte on Thursday and is donating the money won at the Pit Crew Competition to send a child to Victory Junction Gang Camp this summer. The #00 team participates each year in NASCARnival night at Victory Junction where they meet with the kids and demonstrate and perform pit stops for the campers. The #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Pit Crew Roster: Front Tire Changer—Ryan Langley, Front Tire Carrier—Chris Hall, Jack Man—Tony Cardamone, Rear Tire Changer—Lee Cunningham, Rear Tire Carrier—Don Marvel, Gas Man—Evan Marchal, Second Gas Man—Getty Cavitt.(MWR)(5-19-2011)
The Sprint Showdown: The Sprint Showdown is the perfect appetizer to the perfect all-star event. Just look at the names on the entry list: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Martin Truex Jr., AJ Allmendinger, Brian Vickers, Joey Logano. In the annual NASCARMedia.com preseason poll, all of the above names were either selected to make this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup or contend for a berth. Stakes are high in this short – and thrilling – event. The winner and runner-up will each earn a spot in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The current preliminary entry list shows 28 cars entered. The format: two 20-lap segments. Only green-flag laps will count in the second segment. There's another piece to watch. In actuality, three drivers participating in the Sprint Showdown will move onto the all-star race. The third comes from the Sprint Fan Vote. Here's the catch with that one: The Fan Vote winner must finish on the lead lap of the Sprint Showdown. In 2008, Kasey Kahne won the Sprint Fan Vote, and went on to win the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. He is the only driver to accomplish the feat.(NASCAR)(5-19-2011)
Final 2011 race for BB&T: For the final time this season, Clint Bowyer's #33 RCR Chevy will sport the maroon and yellow paint scheme of BB&T at the Sprint All Star race in Charlotte. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company operates approximately 1,800 financial centers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services.(RCR), see images of the car on my #33 Team Schemes page.(5-19-2011)
Protected bird builds nest at speedway campgrounds: Some NASCAR fans will be without their camping spot during race week because a federally protected bird has built a nest at the camping site. Charlotte Motor Speedway officials say the killdeer bird has laid 4 eggs in a nest on the ground. Officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture told the speedway that the bird cannot be disturbed because it's protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Speedway officials have placed temporary fencing around the campsite so that the nest will not be disturbed. The campers who reserved the site will be relocated. The Department of Agriculture says it could take up to 40 days for the eggs to hatch, so the bird is expected to be around for the Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday and the Coca-Cola 600 next week.(images at NewChannel 36)(5-19-2011)
Intimidator Camaro is out: Dale Earnhardt Chevy, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Earnhardt Technologies are proud to present the production 2011 Intimidator Camaro! This pack leading machine boasts 704hp with 695 ft-lbs of torque all wrapped up in a truly unique, menacing body. More info at www.intimidatorcamaro.com.(Dale Earnhardt Chevy)(5-19-2011)
Phoenix Fall Tickets on sale: Race fans can purchase tickets to the Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway – the semi-final playoff race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup – on May 19 by calling 866-408 RACE, logging on to PhoenixRaceway.com or visiting the PIR box office at 125 S. Avondale Blvd. in Avondale, Ariz. The Kobalt Tools 500 on November 13 will anchor a full, four-day weekend of NASCAR action at PIR (November 10-13) and will be the first Sprint Cup Series event on a new, reconfigured and repaved racing surface. In February, PIR President Bryan R. Sperber announced details related to the NASCAR facility's first major track pavement project since 1990. Construction – including the removal and reuse of the facility's old racing surface and subsequent installation of a new surface to go with a series of changes designed to promote side-by-side racing – began in March and will continue up to September.
"Our goal for the track pavement project was to not radically change a venue that's celebrated by fans and drivers alike, but to utilize new technology to give us the best opportunity to create not just a new Phoenix International Raceway, but an improved PIR," Sperber said. "We're pleased with the progress made on the project thus far and are eager to present the new PIR during NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup in November."
Race fans can take advantage of PIR's Value Pricing Period (May 19 to July 4) as soon as tickets to the November Kobalt Tools 500 weekend go on sale this Thursday. Great individual pricing options will be available with Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tickets starting at just $25 and Wypall 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series tickets (which includes admission to the Phoenix 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on Saturday night) starting at just $15. Add free daily on-site parking with regular tram service, live music entertainment and interactive fun throughout PIR's Midway and fans experience first-hand the "best value in NASCAR."
Fans seeking a full weekend of NASCAR excitement at Phoenix International Raceway can purchase the Best Value in NASCAR Package for just $40. This inclusive package allows fans to experience three races and Gatorade Pole Qualifying in two days for one low price. For just $179, fans can enhance their race weekend by purchasing a Budweiser ROLL-BAR and Pit Pass Combo Package for the Kobalt Tools 500 race day. This combo includes access to PIR's pit road, food, beverage and exclusive Q&A opportunities with NASCAR drivers. Tickets to see NASCAR drivers take on the "New PIR" for first time in practice sessions on November 10 and 11 are just $10. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit PhoenixRaceway.com or call 866-408-RACE (7223).(PIR)(5-19-2011)
News from May 18, 2011
#36 team not running the Shootout: The Tommy Baldwin Racing team and driver Dave Blaney will not compete in the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in order to take that time and money to focus on working on the fleet of cars needed to run the rest of the NSCS schedule. Blaney will return to the track in the #36 Golden Corral Chevy for the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29th at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(TBR)(5-18-2011)
#18 Over-the-Wall Team Voted First Quarter Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew: The pit crew of the #18 M&M's Toyota for Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing has earned first-quarter honors in the 2011 Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award competition, taking home the $5,000 quarterly prize. The Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award, which is determined by a vote of each team's crew chief, is given quarterly to the top-performing pit crew in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four quarterly winners are eligible for the year-end Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award presented during Champion's Week in Las Vegas – and the $100,000 grand prize. "I think that our M&M's/Interstate Batteries team is the best week in and week out on pit road. It's great to see them get the credit they deserve," said Kyle Busch. "I say it every week – those guys win me a lot of races and get me a lot of good finishes. A big thanks to Mechanix Wear for honoring all of their hard work." So far, Busch and the #18 team have two wins, five top-fives and six top-10s. As Busch continues to perform well on the track, Dave Rogers, crew chief on the #18 Toyota, continues to maintain that same level of performance by keeping the pit crew at the top of its game. Members of the #18 M&M's pit crew include: Nick Odell (Front Tire Changer), Brad Donaghy (Front Tire Carrier), Jake Seminara (Rear Tire Changer), Kenny Barber (Rear Tire Carrier), Jeff Fender (Jackman), and Dan Bajek (Fueler). The team's pit crew coach is Dave Rogers.(Mechanix Wear/VMG)(5-18-2011)
NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Entry List: The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman® will feature the top-24 NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesTM pit crews in a head-to-head competition at 7:00pm/et Thursday, May 19 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling Time Warner Cable Arena box office at (800) 745-3000. SPEED's broadcast of the event begins at 8:00pm/et. Eligible teams include all teams qualified for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman winning team. The remaining unfilled positions became available to the car owners ranked highest in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner point standings as of May 18, 2011, who were not otherwise eligible for this event (Sprint Pit Crew Challenge). See entry list and more info on the Pit Crew News page and pit crew list [for teams info has been found] on my 2011 Pit Crew Chart.(5-18-2011)
Said to run the Sprint Showdown: FAS Lane Racing announced that Boris Said will drive the Red Rocks #32 Ford in this weekend's Sprint All-Star race. Said is an accomplished road racer with several starts on the ovals. It will be Said's first appearance in the Sprint All-Star event. Red Rocks is a guest experience hosted by local owners John Love and Ron Herbert. With two locations, Southpark in Strawberry Hill Shopping Center and Huntersville in Birkdale Village, Red Rocks Café caters to every guests needs. "We are excited about sponsoring Boris Said and Frank Stoddard in the Sprint All-Star race this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway," said Herbert. "We greatly appreciate and respect our ties to the NASCAR community and thank each and everyone that has contributed to our success over the years. When our location in Birkdale opened, we quickly saw team owners, drivers, sponsors, and crew members taking a liking to Red Rocks."
"Both John and I have always supported our local athletes," said Herbert. "We quickly became friends with the Charlotte Hornets and the Carolina Panthers when their franchises began and now the Charlotte Bobcats. In fact, we name our dishes on the menu after athletes that are also our friends. We are also actively involved in the many charities affiliated with our local athletes and community."
"When I heard Red Rocks was on the car, I told Frank I'd drive for free if I could get a meal at Red Rocks," said Said. "It is one of my favorite stops whenever I'm in the Charlotte area."(FAS Lane Racing)(5-18-2011)
Lineup set for the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge [burnouts]: Pennzoil announced the lineup of drivers who will compete in this year's Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge, set to take place at 6:00 pm/et on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as part of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race pre-event festivities.
The Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge is NASCAR's version of a "slam dunk contest," with the sport's top talent showing off their post-win celebration abilities in classic NASCAR tire-smoking burnouts. In addition to being a fan favorite of the weekend's activities, the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge has become a star-studded event with celebrity judges and some of the biggest names in NASCAR competing for a $10,000 donation to their favorite charity. Seven drivers will take to the track in this year's Victory Challenge, in identical stock cars prepared by the Richard Petty Driving Experience. A panel of judges will score the drivers' creativity during a 30-second freestyle burnout in order to select the top three, who will then be judged by the fans watching from the stands and on SPEED to pick the winner.
Along with Shell-Pennzoil driver #22-Kurt Busch, this year's line-up will see 2010 Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge winner #20-Joey Logano back to defend his title. #33-Clint Bowyer, #2-Brad Keselowski, #18-Kyle Bush, #4-Kasey Kahne and 2011 Daytona 500 champion #21-Trevor Bayne will also be competing for their respective charities.
A new format this year allows for increased involvement from the fans in the stands and at home. A text-to-vote opportunity will begin after the judges have selected the top three burnouts. Fans at home watching on SPEED and in the stands can vote by texting in specific codes after seeing replays of the top three. Footage of the top three burnouts will be replayed on Charlotte Motor Speedway's World's Largest HD Video Board, along with their matching text number. The driver with the most votes at the end will be declared the winner, with $10,000 awarded to the driver's charity of choice. The Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge will be televised live on May 21 at 6:00 pm/et during SPEED's pre-race coverage prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Showdown and NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race.
Tickets start at only $39 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at charlottemotorspeedway.com. An admission ticket to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race includes the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge, Sprint Showdown and Dierks Bentley pre-race concert in the speedway infield.(Pennzoil/Shell)(5-18-2011)
Charlotte Motor Speedway Prepares Fans for Race Day Traffic: In preparation for May Race Weeks, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials are making sure race fans and area residents are fully equipped to handle race day traffic by providing safe and efficient travel routes and information. With help from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Charlotte Motor Speedway is working to ease travel for fans heading to and from the races. See tips on the Charlotte Track News, Links & Stats page.(5-18-2011)
Indy expects empty seats for Brickyard 400: Ticket sales for this year's Brickyard 400 are lagging behind last year's pace, and race organizers worry it could produce a second straight record-low turnout for the July 31 race. "We don't disclose numbers, but you saw a lot of empty seats here last year, and I think you're going to see more here this year," Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO Jeff Belskus told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Declining ticket sales have already hit two of NASCAR fans' favorite tracks this season - Bristol and Talladega. And Dover, which has traditionally drawn smaller crowds, had empty sections at Sunday's race. Indianapolis could be the next to see declining numbers. Last July's attendance estimate was 140,000 - nearly half of the 270,000 that came to the track in 2007. Belskus concedes that the poor economy and high gas prices have made an impact on ticket sales, but he believes the tire fiasco of 2008 and too many stock car races in the Midwest have also played a part in the decline.(Indianapolis Star)(5-18-2011)
News from May 17, 2011
Classic Track Tour on NASCAR Now: NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information show, will take viewers on a five-day tour featuring classic racetracks of the sport starting Tuesday, May 17, with a different track each day through Saturday, May 21. ESPN the Magazine's Ryan McGee will visit Bowman Gray Stadium, Hickory Motor Speedway, Rockingham Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway and Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Guests will include Richard Childress and Ned Jarrett. NASCAR Now airs at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday with host Michelle Bonner.
ESPN Going "NonStop" With NASCAR Commercial Format: ESPN's telecasts of the final 10 races of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will have a new look with the introduction of "NASCAR NonStop," a commercial format designed to bring more racing action to viewers while also providing value to advertisers. The new format will be in effect for the races that make up the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship and will debut with the event at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 2:00pm/et. In NASCAR NonStop, ESPN's commercial breaks will feature a split-screen format showing the advertisement on the left side of the screen and a continuation of racing action on the right side. In addition, ESPN's scoring ticker will continue to move across the top of the screen, allowing NASCAR fans to follow the running order of the race during the breaks.
When going to break during NASCAR NonStop, ESPN will utilize a screen wipe tied to an advertiser, with that advertiser occupying the wipe for the rest of the race. NASCAR NonStop will take effect at or near the halfway point of the race, with the first half of the race presented in the traditional commercial break format. "Since we returned to NASCAR racing in 2007, one of the most common questions from our fans has been 'why don't you do the commercials side-by-side?'" said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. "We're very pleased to be able to do it now with NASCAR NonStop and showcase the advertiser while still showcasing the race. ESPN's mission is to serve sports fans and this is a way to give the fans more racing action during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."
Skipper said that ESPN worked with NASCAR to create the format for NASCAR NonStop. "NASCAR has the most dedicated and loyal fans in the world, and we are constantly trying to enhance how those fans consume this great sport," said Paul Brooks, president of NASCAR Media Group. "ESPN's 'NonStop' format will ensure our fans maximize their viewing experience during the most intense and thrilling time of the season – the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."
The final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will be televised on ESPN Networks, with 14 airing on ESPN and three Saturday night races airing on ABC. ESPN's NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage begins with the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 31, at 1:00pm/et.(ESPN)(5-17-2011)
Bell to run Sprint Showdown: Bandit Industries will once again be turning laps on Saturday, only this time it will be with Sprint Cup driver T.J. Bell and LTD Powersports at the forthcoming Sprint Cup Showdown, taking place May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bell drive the #50 Bandit Industries Toyota Camry to try to gain one of the two remaining spots for the ensuing NASCAR All-Star race—and a chance at a million-dollar prize. "Being able to support LTD Powersports and run in the Sprint Showdown is just huge for us," said Bandit Industries Large Equipment Sales Manager Travis Lint. "This is an exciting event to be a part of, and we know T.J. will give Bandit fans something to cheer about." Though new to Sprint Cup racing, Bell is a veteran NASCAR truck series driver and ARCA Rookie of the Year from 2004. Prior to that, his racing portfolio includes considerable success in the CART Toyota Championship, and he's also competed in every major worldwide auto endurance race, including the 24 Hours of Lemans and the 24 Hours of Daytona. Bell's Sprint Cup debut took place May 7 at the Southern 500 in Darlington, where he qualified and spent 67 laps on track to get a feel for the new Bandit Industries Toyota. The team's debut was low key, as their goal at Darlington was to simply run a few laps for testing and shakedown, and to qualify for a spot in the Showdown, which among other things requires participants to have at least participated in a NASCAR Sprint Cup event prior to the race. Also involved with LTD Powersports is the Megan Meier Foundation, founded after the death of 14-year old Megan Meier back in 2006. The unfortunate victim of cyberbulling, Meier's tragic story received national attention and raised awareness to the dangers of bulling and cyberbulling, not just for youth but adults as well. More information meganmeierfoundation.org.(banditchippers.com)(5-17-2011)
some schemes added from Dover to the Paint Scheme Gallery: #1 Bass Pro Shops, #7 Fast Five / Scott Wimmer, #11 FedEx Autism Speaks, #17 Wiley X, #24 DuPont, #27 Menards / Certainteed, #38 A&W All American Food, #42 Target, #47 Kingsford, #81 Whitney Motorsports, #87 NEMCO and #88 Amp Sugar Free to the Paint Scheme Gallery.(5-17-2011)
Reese Towpower and DKMS joins up with #47 team: Cequent Consumer Products brand Reese Towpower and DKMS, the world's largest bone marrow donor center teamed up for three lifesaving events during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star week in Charlotte, NC . The public will have an opportunity to get swabbed and save a potential life by registering to become a bone marrow donor with DKMS. Reese Towpower is a 2011 sponsor of JTG Daugherty Racing and driver Bobby Labonte, who is driving the #47 Reese Towpower Toyota in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Labonte is vying for a coveted spot in the All-Star Race Saturday May 21st by the Sprint Fan Vote or by securing a transfer spot during the Sprint Showdown.
Race Fans can come out, get swabbed to save a life and see the race car and the Reese/ DKMS display during the All Star week- long celebration in Charlotte. The events kick off at The NASCAR Hall of Fame (400 Martin Luther King Blvd. between Caldwell and Brevard near the box office) from 1- 5pm May 23rd and 24th. Labonte's #47 Reese Towpower "getswabbed.org" car will be on display along with the Reese DKMS display. Reese Towpower will also hold a drawing for tickets to a future NASCAR race and DKMS will be registering for potential lifesaving bone marrow transplant donors on site. On February 12th the Reese Towpower/getswabbed.org car raced in the Bud Shootout to help raise awareness for a six-year-old girl named Jordan Jemsek fighting Leukemia in a Charlotte hospital. After the race, thousands of supporters turned out at swabbing events or registered online for home swabbing kits. Since then, a match was found for the child who is now recovering from a bone marrow transplant surgery. The awareness that this team created for getswabbed.org has already registered 3,000 bone marrow donors but there are thousands of patients who still have not found their life saving match. After the All Star Race, you can catch Labonte driving the #47 Reese Towpower car at the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono in August.(JTG Daugherty Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #47 Team Schemes page.(5-17-2011)
Energizer's "Light Up The Night" at NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Energizer and Charlotte Motor Speedway are asking for help from fans as they attempt to "Light Up The Night" and set a world record May 21 during pre-race festivities for the
NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. With assistance from fans in attendance, Energizer and Charlotte Motor Speedway will attempt to set the world record for shining the most flashlights simultaneously. Energizer is providing 66,000 Energizer 3 LED Headlights and 14,000 handheld flashlights to fans as they enter the gates. Fans will be asked to "flash their brights," between the Sprint Showdown and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Representatives from Guinness World Records will be on hand to record and judge the event.
Energizer's partnership with Charlotte Motor Speedway is an outgrowth of its relationship with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix
Sabates. Energizer has created special paint schemes in the past as part of the Target program with the race team. The "Light Up The Night" event highlights the 16th year Energizer and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing have worked together.
"I can't wait for this 'Light Up the Night' promotion," said Juan Pablo Montoya, driver of the #42 Energizer Chevrolet. "I think it is going to be so cool to see 80,000 people all flashing their brights. I am also looking forward to being behind the wheel of the #42 Energizer Chevrolet that night in the race. They have been such a great partner in the Target program and I know we are going to have a lot of fun at the All-Star race." In preparation for hurricane season, Energizer will donate $30,000 worth of flashlights and batteries to a Charlotte-area disaster response group to help them prepare in advance of severe weather.
Tickets for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race start at only $24.75 when bought with a four pack, or buy two tickets on the frontstretch for just $99. Call the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-17-2011)
News from May 16, 2011
Dover Overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on Fox posted a 3.8/9 on Sunday for the race from Dover. That's up +6% over last year's 3.6/9 for the same race, and is FOX's best NASCAR rating in a month. Greensboro led all markets with an 11.4/23, followed by Knoxville (9.9/18), Dayton, (9.0/16), and Charlotte (8.7/20). Through eleven races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 4.5/10 in the meters, flat with last year's average of a 4.5/9 through nine races. On a total ratings points basis NASCAR is up +22% over last year in the overnights (49.7 vs. 40.7). See race-by-race and four-year comparison on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(5-16-2011)
Dover Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Sunday's race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:28 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
Total number of commercials: 115
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 71
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 45
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 5 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:28 PM
Total minutes: 208
Minutes of race broadcast: 147
Minutes of commercials: 53
Minutes of rain delay: 8
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 1
Number of 'Digger' appearances: 10
Number of commercials shown side-by-side during the broadcast: 3 Thank you, Sprint, FedEx, and Pizza Hut!
Number of minutes race was on delay for rain: 8
Total race brdcst time 147 Total comm. brdcst time 53
See more, race-by-race and links on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(5-16-2011)
Johnson to run the #5 in All-Star race UPDATE 2 image: hearing Jimmie Johnson will run the #5 Lowe's car in the All Star Race to promote a special promotion for Lowe's 5% off purchase at Lowe's when using your Lowe's consumer credit card. Could be one reason Mark Martin is running the #25 in the event. Have seen nothing to confirm this yet or any images.(4-20-2011) UPDATE: Jimmie [Johnson] will drive a special #5 Lowe's Chevy in the All Star race to promote 5% off every day or special financing on purchases over $299 on Lowe's Home Improvement's consumer credit card purchases. Pictures of the special paint scheme will be unveiled exclusively here (facebook) on May 15.(Lowe's Racing Facebook)(4-22-2011) IMAGE added an image of the scheme to the #48 Team Schemes page, unveiled on the Lowe's Racing Facebook page.(5-16-2011)
Ganassi honored: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team owner Chip Ganassi wasn't at Dover on Sunday. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Ganassi's home town, presented the winner of last year's Daytona 500 and Indy 500 with an honorary Doctor of Science and Technology degree during its commencement ceremonies. The school noted Ganassi has been a fixture in auto racing for more than 25 years as one of the most successful and innovative owners in motorsports.(Sporting News)(5-16-2011)
Bayne to test this week; could race in All-Star race: #21-Trevor Bayne will test this week at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia before a final decision is made on whether the Daytona 500 champion can compete in Saturday's All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Team owner Jack Roush said Sunday at Dover International Speedway that Bayne has made "a lot of progress" with the symptoms from his undisclosed illness. He said the symptoms beyond pain in the left shoulder and elbow and periods of feeling nausea and fatigue have included blurred vision. NASCAR medical consultant Dr. Jerry Petty is monitoring the situation and will make a final decision on clearing Bayne for his return after the test. "If he feels like it, he's going to be in the Wood Brothers car in the All-Star race," Roush said of Bayne. Roush said no decision has been made on whether Bayne will compete in next Sunday's Nationwide Series race at Iowa even if he does drive in the All-Star race. Bayne has missed the last three Nationwide Series races. He spent more than a week at the Mayo Clinic undergoing tests for what were originally believed to be symptoms from a bug bite received last month after the Martinsville Sprint Cup race. Roush said no definitive diagnosis came from the tests.(ESPN)(5-16-2011)
Sprint Offers Fans Free Race Tickets for Recycling: Race fans can do their part to help the environment and in return attend one of the most exciting races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Sprint announced a special program that will reward fans' social responsibility with complimentary tickets to this year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. A limited number of fans who recycle an old cellular phone or smartphone at either NASCAR Rev'd Up, Wednesday, May 18, or the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman, Thursday, May 19, in Charlotte, N.C., will each receive a pair of tickets to attend the May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The offer is good for the first 50 people at NASCAR Rev'd Up and the first 100 people at the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman who recycle a device at the Sprint display located on-site at both events. Sprint will accept devices from any manufacturer and carrier.
The Sprint display will be located outside the NASCAR Hall of Fame from 4:00 pm to 8:00pm/et on May 18 and in the main concourse of Time Warner Cable Arena from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm/et on May 19. All proceeds from the recycling program benefit Victory Junction, which provides life-changing camping experiences for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.
Recycling just one wireless phone helps support the conservation of resources, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and helps prevent air and water pollution. Since 2001, Sprint has recycled more than 24 million phones, which equates to 2,600 metric tons of material. Sprint's environmental responsibility has been recognized by Newsweek magazine, which ranked the company No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies.(Sprint)(5-16-2011)
News from May 15, 2011
Kenseth wins at Dover: #17-Matt Kesneth won the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 2nd win of 2011, 2nd win at Dover and 20th win of his 411 race career.
#5-Martin finished second followed by #9-Ambrose, #18-Busch [who started at the rear], #83-Vickers, #33-Bowyer, #99-Edwards, #56-Truex Jr., #48-Johnson and #29-Harvick. #43-Allmendinger, who started 2nd, lost an engine and finished 37th.
There were 23 lead changes among 11 drivers; 6 cautions for 28 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 82,000 down from 88,000 last year [133,000 seats]. Scheduled Race Re-Air: SPEED, Wednesday, May 18 at 12:00pm/et
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Dover Race Results/Awards page.(5-15-2011)
Race Fast Facts - Dover:
#17-Matt Kenseth won the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks, his 20th victory in 411 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
With the victory, Kenseth moves into a tie for 34th on the all-time wins list with Speedy Thompson.
This is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2011. His first win this season came at Texas.
This is his second victory and 16th top-10 finish in 25 races at Dover International Speedway. His last Dover win came in 2006.
#5-Mark Martin (second) posted his 31st top-10 finish in 50 races at Dover International Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2011.
#9-Marcos Ambrose (third) posted his first top-10 finish in six races at Dover International Speedway.
#99-Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 24 points over Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-15-2011)
2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
[after Dover, race 11 of 36]:
rank, car#, driver, points, behind
1) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 416
2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 392, -24
3) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 379, -37
4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 364, -52
5) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 362, -54
6) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 342, -74
7) #39-Ryan Newman, 340, -76
8) #33-Clint Bowyer, 336, -80
9) #22-Kurt Busch, 336, -80
10) #14-Tony Stewart, 328, -88 wild cards
11) #5-Mark Martin, 324, -92 [11th in points]
12) #24-Jeff Gordon [1 win], 299, -117 [14th in points]
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.(5-15-2011)
Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Charlotte [May 29th]:
No changes this week.
32) #36-Blaney/TBR, 174, +31
33) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 169, +26
34) #13-Mears/Germain, 168, +25
35) #7-RGordon/RGM, 150, +7 points ahead of 36th
these teams / drivers would need to qualify by speed at Charlotte:
36) #71-Lally/TRG, 143, 7 points out of top 35
37) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 140, -10
38) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 122, -28
39) #37-Raines/Front Row, 115, -35
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.(5-15-2011)
Edwards Nashville guitar raises $20k: After winning the Nationwide race at Nashville Superspeedway last month, Carl Edwards decided to auction off his Sam Bass-painted Gibson guitar trophy with the funds raised going to benefit the family of Roush Fenway employee Jonathan Bunting, who passed away in an automobile accident. When the auction closed late Sunday [May 8th] night the guitar and one of a kind Sam Bass sketch sold for $20,400. The winning bid came from Sedalia, Mo., which is located approximately 70 miles from Edwards' hometown of Columbia, Mo. In addition to the auction proceeds, Roush Fenway employees, drivers and sponsors contributed over $30,000 to the Bunting family. "Jonathan was a hard working young man with a young family and all of us together are going to use the money we raised to help out his family; that includes his wife and two young children," Edward said. "Nothing we do can bring back Jonathan, but we want his family to know that we are thinking of them and that we want to help - if even in a small way - during this difficult time."(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-15-2011)
Bill Lester wins Grand-Am event: former NASCAR dirver Bill Lester became the first black driver to win a Grand-Am Road Racing event, teaming with Jordan Taylor to top the Rolex Series' GT class Saturday in the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway. "We're ecstatic," Lester said. "Everything came together for us. We knew at the beginning of the season that this team had a lot of potential." The breakthrough victory in the Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro came in the hometown of auto racing pioneer Wendell Scott, the only black driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race. "I'm sure that the Scott family would be happy about what I was able to accomplish," Lester said. "I actually spent some time at the Scott residence in Danville and saw Wendell's old garage and sat in one of his race cars. It was quite an honor for me."(Associated Press/ESPN)(5-15-2011)
Testing at VIR: there is an open Stock Car test at Virginia International Raceway scheduled for Tuesday, May 24th with many NASCAR Sprint Cup teams expected to test there in preparation for NASCAR's road race coming up at Infineon Raceway.(VIR)(5-15-2011)
News from May 14, 2011
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway have been made.
Pole sitter #48-Johnson chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #43-Allmendinger took pit stall 10, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
#88-Earnhardt Jr., who starts 3rd took the 17th pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #83-Vickers, who starts 15th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-14-2011)
Drivers who have improved: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has gotten the headlines for a great year-over-year improvement through 10 races by improving by nine spots over this time last year, but #99-Carl Edwards, #39-Ryan Newman and #43-A.J. Allmendinger have each improved by 10 spots over last year, and Edwards has zoomed to the top spot in the standings. #14-Tony Stewart and #47-Bobby Labonte deserve kudos for each improving eight spots over last year so far.
Drivers who have dropped: #31-Jeff Burton has plummeted 15 spots from this time last year, and faces an uphill struggle to make The Chase. Mired in 24th, only one driver has come from that far back (Matt Kenseth in 2005) to make The Chase. #24-Jeff Gordon, despite recording a win at Phoenix, has dropped 11 spots from last year. #11-Denny Hamlin, who carried the championship lead into the final race last year, has slipped nine spots. See season-to-season comparison, 2011 rundown and more on the Chase Stats after Darlington page.(5-14-2011)
Qualifying cancelled at Dover: Coors Light pole qualifying for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway was cancelled due to rain on Saturday. So the field was set by the rules book, the top 35 in owners points in positions 1-35 by their fastest practice speeds. Then the Go-or-go homers were set, by race attempts, then set by best practice speeds. So #48-Johnson starts 1st, followed by #43-Allmendinger, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #4-Kahne, #20-Logano, #22-Busch, #18-Busch, #56-Truex Jr., #2-Keselowski and #29-Harvick. Last weeks winner at Darlington, #78-Smith starts 11th. Current points leader #99-Edwards starts 13th.
The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #66-McDowell, #71-Lally, #46-Yeley, #60-Skinner, #30-Stremme, #38-Kvapil, #87-Nemechek and #37-Raines.
The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (1): #81-Riggs (1 attempt).
See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Dover Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(5-14-2011)
NASCAR Announces College Scholarship Program: NASCAR announced the return of the NASCAR Wendell Scott Scholarship Program and the University of Central Florida, DeVos School of Management Scholarship. For a second consecutive year, the NASCAR Wendell Scott Scholarship Program is funded in part by long-time NASCAR partner UPS. The program was established to provide financial support to deserving African-American and Hispanic students currently enrolled in college who are pursuing degrees in areas of study related to motorsports, including marketing, engineering and public relations. The scholarship program is part of NASCAR Diversity Affairs' integrated initiative that includes a scholarship program, mentorship program and summer internship program. The NASCAR Wendell Scott Scholarship Program provides annual scholarships administered by the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). In addition, NASCAR and UPS support a scholarship program for students attending the University of Central Florida, DeVos School of Management which offers a master's program in sports management.(NASCAR)(5-14-2011)
NASCAR hall marks a year: The NASCAR Hall of Fame, which celebrated its first anniversary Wednesday, said it has attracted 274,000 visitors since opening – second only nationwide to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority stressed the positives about the city-owned hall at its monthly meeting, and said the hall has been a boost to the city's hospitality industry. But the hall is still losing money. The hall lost $184,672 in March, on attendance of 15,881, according to the CRVA. That brings the hall's loss in the first nine months of the fiscal year to $1.33 million. Before the hall opened, the CRVA projected a nearly $800,000 surplus. But with attendance lower than projected, the CRVA has slashed more than $4 million in expenses. The CRVA projects the hall will finish the year with a deficit of $1.29 million. That means the hall is projected to break even for the months of April, May and June. The authority plans to use its $3.4 million reserve fund to cover the deficit. If losses continue, the CRVA would likely have to ask the Charlotte City Council for money from its tourism tax reserves. The CRVA and the city have said that general fund tax dollars won't be used. Winston Kelley, the hall's executive director, said the baseball hall's annual attendance is 281,000. He said the hall's unaudited attendance for its first year shows 274,000 visitors, though that number includes roughly 12,000 people who visited in January during a free open weeklong open house. "Our staff remains bullish," Kelley said during the CRVA meeting. Derick Close, CRVA board chair, was also optimistic. He said the hall's first-year attendance projection of 800,000 is "behind us," and he said he expected the hall to do well in upcoming years. CRVA board members said the hall has put the city on the map, and helped fill hotel rooms and attract conventions. They said CRVA staff should start comparing the hall's attendance with other sports halls nationwide.(Charlotte Observer)(5-14-2011)
Qualifying Order for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is posted. 44 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 #36-Blaney.
The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #48-Johnson.
The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #37-Raines with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #66-McDowell.
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 Dover Qualifying Page.(5-13-2011)
Happy Hour practice for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes. Practices Friday could be more important then normal as there is rain in the forecast for Saturday [& Sunday], so the starting lineup could be set by fastest practice speeds [for the top-35], the go-or-go homers make the race by race attempts/owners points, then are set in the field by practice speed, so if qualifying is rained out, #81-Riggs would miss the race. The top five, slowest, notes:
slowest: #7-Wimmer 152.149 & #24-Gordon
incidents: #18-Busch smacked the wall and scraped the whole side of the car, the team made repairs to the car, replacing the crush panels.
See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Dover Practice Speeds page.(5-13-2011)
Dover Happy Hour Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers: if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
#71-Andy Lally, 17th
#66-Michael McDowell, 18th
#46-J.J. Yeley, 19th
#81-Scott Riggs, 20th
#30-David Stremme, 25th
#38-Travis Kvapil, 28th
#87-Joe Nemechek, 35th
#60-Mike Skinner, 38th these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
#37-Tony Raines, 42nd.(5-13-2011)
First Friday practice for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over. Practices Friday could be more important then normal as there is rain in the forecast for Saturday [& Sunday], so the starting lineup could be set by fastest practice speeds [for the top-35], the go-or-go homers make the race by race attempts/owners points, then are set in the field by practice speed, so if qualifying is rained out, #81-Riggs would miss the race. The top five, slowest, notes:
#88-Earnhardt Jr. 158.493
slowest: #38-Kvapil 151.598 & #36-Blaney 152.607
incidents: #18-Busch lost an engine in late in practice and team is putting in a new motor, so wherever Busch qualifies, he will fall to the rear of the field before the start of the race; so he will be qualifying for a good pit position. #71-Lally smacked the wall early in practice and did some slight damage to the right rear.
See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run on the Dover Practice Speeds page.(5-14-2011)
Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers: if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
#66-Michael McDowell, 20th
#60-Mike Skinner, 29th
#46-J.J. Yeley, 33rd
#87-Joe Nemechek, 38th
#81-Scott Riggs, 39th
#71-Andy Lally, 40th
#37-Tony Raines, 41st
#30-David Stremme, 42nd these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
#38-Travis Kvapil, 44th.(5-13-2011)
Kevin Harvick discusses Darlington incident: #29-Kevin Harvick met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed the incident with #18-Kyle Busch and penalties from last week at Darlington, the transcript in part:
Q) KYLE CALLED YOUR RACING UNCALLED FOR AND UNEXCEPTABLE, IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU THOUGHT YOU DID LAST WEEK THAT FITS THAT DEFINITION AND HOW DO YOU RACE HIM GOING FORWARD?
“Well I think when you look – after I got the I hooked you after I got a flat tire comment yesterday, the incident started off of turn two. We came off of turn two, I was driving straight behind the car in front of me. We can talk about being three feet off the wall or whatever, but I was directly behind the car in front of me coming up off the corner and at the time I didn’t even know it was the #18. The car hit me in the door and as soon as he hit me in the door I drove it to the left, we got to the other end, I let it go and ran into the back of him and ran him up the race track, took the position back. At that moment we got three wide and there wasn’t really a lot of room and things happened and he hooked me on the straightaway. Look the wrecking doesn’t bother me but the only thing that bothers me is the right-rear quarter panel because in my mind I know what that means. I don’t mind getting wrecked back. If you think it’s a payback for Homestead that’s fine. Those parts don’t bother me, I understand how it all works but when you throw them off its time to handle it.”
AS FAR AS YOU TWO GETTING ALONG, WHAT WOULD BE THE IDEAL SCENARIO?
“That probably won’t ever happen.”
HOW DO YOU RACE KYLE BUSCH GOING FORWARD AND DOES THIS ALSO IMPACT HOW YOU RACE EVERYBODY ELSE.
“It definitely affects how you race for the next four weeks. We got the ultimatum yesterday of the explanation of how probation worked and how NASCAR expected us to race on the race track was put to us very clear yesterday. I think the way that the next four weeks go was basically dictated to us yesterday in the NASCAR trailer.”
Q) A LOT WAS TALKED ABOUT THAT THE PENALTIES WERE SUPPOSEDLY FOR WHAT TRANSPIRED AFTER THE RACE, BUT IS THAT REALLY FAIR ON THE DRIVERS PART BECAUSE AREN’T THE THINGS THAT LEAD UP TO WHAT TAKE PLACE AFTER THE RACE A DIRECT RESULT OF WHAT HAPPENS IN THE RACE. CAN YOU JUST TALK ABOUT HOW DIFFICULT IT IS?
“For me I didn’t use my car as a ram or dry to make a point with running into somebody on the race track or knocking them out of the way after the race, I didn’t do any of that stuff after the race. I wanted to handle it so that the guys didn’t have to do more work than they already did. The bottom line is I know there are changes this week with the officials and how they are going to approach things after the race, but I mean there was a split screen on TV, there were no NASCAR officials in sight and they got what they wanted and in the end you suffer the penalty for what it’s supposed to be on pit road but has carried over to the race track now when it was stressed to me in the hauler after the race and when I received my penalty on Tuesday it was stressed to me it was for the pit road. So it just doesn’t make sense to me. But it is what it is. It’s not like I can do anything about it. I’m not complaining about it, I just want to understand it. I don’t understand it. I’m not going to lose sleep over it. I’m going to move forward and it’s done and over with. I don’t want to be the nice guy that has to understand why the penalties are ramping up like they used to be.”
Q) CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE MEETING YOU HAD YESTERDAY AND TONY STEWART MADE A COMMENT THAT MAYBE THEY SHOULD OUTLINE THE RULES MORE SPECIFICALLY ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU GUYS CAN HAVE AT IT?
“Well I mean the meeting was just basically NASCAR explaining how probation works and how we need to stay away from everybody basically and each other. So that was basically the jest of the meeting. I think as far as you talk about the Tony Stewart comment, I think for me it’s definitely to the point where it’s a little bit confusing with how it all works. I think when you look at the boys have it theme, it’s obviously changing as we go through the process. I think when you go back and you look at the very first major incident that you saw on the race track, I guess it would be Carl (Edwards) and (Brad) Keselowski in Atlanta and you saw the car go upside down. Carl was parked for hooking him in the right rear quarter panel and then it happened again and you see a lot of people coming out of the pits and retaliating and sometimes it’s a one-lap penalty and sometimes you are parked for the race and sometimes you look at the Keselowski and Hamlin thing at Homestead so there’s a lot of different things happening. I understand that it’s evolving but from a drivers standpoint you don’t really 100 percent understand how it works. Last week they stressed a lot to me that the penalties were for pit road violations after the race and the jeopardy that it put everybody in after the race and I understand that part. Yesterday it was all about being on probation and on the race track. So just a little bit confused about that. Nobody really had any clarification as to what we were supposed to do and not supposed to do other than we are on probation for four weeks and now it’s a penalty on the race track. I don’t really know if it was a penalty for the race track because we saw the same right-rear hook and obviously there was a lot that led up to that lap. I felt that Kyle (Busch) got into my door. I ran him down on the back straightaway. I got into him in (turn) three and we got three wide. Yesterday Kyle’s explanation was he had a flat tire and hooked me on the straightaway. It’s kind of one lie after the other and you see everything that happened after the race and for me the way that I was brought up and taught to race, when you hook somebody in the right-rear quarter panel that’s the equivalent of throwing your gloves off in hockey. That’s the point where everybody has reached the boiling point and basically the only answer I get out of Kyle is I’m a race car driver not a fighter but if you drive like that you’re gonna have to learn how to take care of yourself. It’s just a lot that went through the mind and for me it’s done and over with and we’ll move on. Just a lot of questions I think more than answers were a part of this week.”
Q) HOW SPECIFIC DO YOU WANT IT TO BE?
“Well, there just has to be consistency. I can race either way. We can flip each other over. I don’t mind wrecking. I don’t mind getting wrecked. I don’t mind eye for an eye. I don’t mind any of that but just tell me what the rules are. Explain to me what the penalty is if you are going to hook somebody in the middle of the straightaway, if you are going to spin them out, if you are going to retaliate, what is the penalty? Tell me what the penalty is. A consistent answer.”
WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT WANTING TO UNDERSTAND, DO YOU FEEL LIKE NASCAR NEEDS TO GO MORE BLACK AND WHITE LIKE IN OTHER SPORTS?
“It can’t be for a certain circumstance and how you wake up in the morning as to how you think it needs to be treated. There has to be some guidelines on where it all is. You here the upper brass talk about wanting to do things more like the NFL or this or that, but you have to be consistent in order to do that.”
CAN YOU GIVE US THE READER’S DIGEST VERSION OF HOW PROBATION WORKS? ALSO CAN YOU ADDRESS THE FACT THAT WHY THE #29 TEAM CAME OUT TO DEFEND YOU THE 18 TEAM WAS NO WHERE IN SIGHT TO BACK UP THEIR DRIVER?
“Obviously I’ve got a bunch of guys that are just a great bunch of guys. We all get along. We all have the same approach to how we like to see things, what we think is fair and what we think is not fair. There isn’t a guy on that team that wouldn’t lay under a bus for the next guy. That really happened last year as we went through the year. It’s something that you just don’t find very often and this is a bunch of guys that I consider friends and I think they consider themselves all friends. Them running up pit road is not a surprise to me. I think they would back me whether I was right or wrong, they are going to back me up and I will do the same for them. That’s the great part about our team. The No. 18 team not backing him up, I mean when you don’t have a backbone how do you back someone up?”
DOVER, CHARLOTTE, KANSAS, THE NEXT THREE RACES ARE ALL THREE RACES THAT ARE IN THE CHASE, YOU’RE NOT LOCKED IN BUT YOUR PROBABLY AS COMFORTABLE OR MORE COMFORTABLE THAN ANYONE ELSE WITH THE WINS AND YOUR STANDING IN THE POINTS, HOW DO YOU APPROACH THESE THREE RACES?
“I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. I think over the past few weeks we’ve been able to try things that we wouldn’t have tried in the past. We struck out at Richmond on what we tried. I think Darlington was a huge success for us as far as the way the race track performance was and hopefully that bleeds over into Charlotte. This week is a little bit different than some of the race tracks because of the type of race track that you are racing on. These are important weeks. Dover is in the Chase, Charlotte is in the Chase, just to kind of zero in on what exactly you need when it comes time toward the end of the year. So we’re shooting for better set-ups and more wins. That’s basically where we are at right now points wise.”
NASCAR YESTERDAY SEEMED TO SAY THAT IF ONE PERSON REALLY PRESSES THE ISSUE THAT’S ITS MORE COMPLICATED THAN BEING ABLE TO LINE UP A MENU OF PENALTIES AND THAT IS ONE PERSON REALLY PUSHES IT, IT WOULD KIND OF BE DETRIMENTALTO THE SPORT TO HAVE EVERYTHING LAID OUT IN FRONT OF YOU, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
“I have a lot of experience of this in the past so I’ll reference the past, as things ramp up and you get in trouble the first time it’s best to just not get in trouble again because you’re gonna be the poster child to either change this process to make it more clear and see the fines ramp back up or you’re going to be the guy that shows it’s not really going to change. I just don’t think for us it’s not going to be the smartest thing in the world to be that next guy. I don’t know if you are referring to, are you referring to me or the #42 and #39, I don’t know which one you are referring to but there are just a lot of different elements to the whole thing that are happening right now that are confusing to the drivers.”(Team Chevy)(5-13-2011)
Kyle Busch discusses Darlington incident: #18-Kyle Busch met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed the incident with #29-Kevin Harvick and penalties from last week at Darlington, the transcript in part:
Q) Where was your team following the incident at Darlington? Busch: “To be honest with you, I don’t know if they were aware of the antics. I had already unplugged my radio, so I don’t know what was going on over the radio, but we were pitted down in pit stall three or four or something like that last week. I do know that it was an awfully long way to haul, if you ask me. As I did turn in to the garage area after what happened down on the end of pit road, I did see some guys coming from that way. They were behind the pit wall, they weren’t out on pit road. When I turned into the garage area, some of them were turning in with me and following the car. When I got back to the truck, there were about four or five at the truck. They were where they were supposed to be, I will say that.”
Q) Do you think hitting Kevin Harvick in the quarter panel during the race meant you were ‘throwing the gloves down?’ Busch: “Apparently he’s watching too much hockey. That’s what you do in your own time during the week I guess. To me, I did have a left rear tire flat and I wasn’t sure that if I turned too hard to the right to stay off of him or to get away from him that the car would actually spin out the wrong way -- my car would. Believe that for what it’s worth. I believe there’s some in car cameras you can see and I did have to come to pit road during that caution period to change left side tires because they were flat.”
Q) Why do you and Kevin Harvick not get along? Busch: “As far as us getting along, I’m not sure that we ever really did. I think he (Kevin Harvick) tried and that’s why at Homestead I kind of talked about the two faces of Kevin Harvick. I still believe that’s out there. He’ll talk to you to your face like your best friends, but then behind closed doors or him at home or whatever, he has the utmost disrespectful thoughts or whatever else. That’s all -- I don’t care. I’m going on with my own business.”
Q) Is there anything you want to clarify about your actions last week? Busch:“No, I don’t feel like I’m lying about anything because there’s video cameras and what is it, 85 video cameras around the race track that will pretty much simplify or backup anything that you’re saying. Not lying about anything. The only thing I will say I guess is that I’m sorry I came off of turn two on the flat trying to give Kevin (Harvick) room and maybe I slid a little too far and I got into him first. Maybe that’s what initiated everything. I apologize about that. It wasn’t my intentions to get into him and then have everything go down the way it went down. I was just trying to race the final five laps as hard as I could, as clean as I could to get the best finish we could. We shouldn’t have been back in that situation anyways, but we did have pit road -- a loose wheel and problems on pit road that we had to rebound from and come back from.”
Q) Do you like Kevin Harvick? Busch: “I don’t know. I’ve never gotten along with the guy. I don’t know that he (Kevin Harvick) really ever got along with my brother either. I think there’s something beyond from his past growing’s up maybe and racing with Kurt (Busch) that I don’t know and I was just kind of thrown in that I was never really liked. I don’t know.”
Q) Do you feel like you have a clear understanding of the NASCAR rules? Busch: “I do. I understand it perfectly actually. It’s the ‘boys have at it,’ that happens out on the race track and it seems like they allow us to police ourselves pretty simply out there. When matters get taken into the drivers hands or anything else onto pit road, where innocent bystanders can be injured or something , NASCAR is going to step in and they’re going to intervene and they’re going to set penalties the way that they feel need to be levied. To me, it’s not a gray area, it’s pretty simple, it’s black and white. I’m not focused in all that really or what penalties should be during what circumstances because I’m a racer and I know that going out there on the race track and trying to win is the utmost thing. If you do that, then you certainly shouldn’t be getting in any brawls or anything like that.”
Q) Do you agree that NASCAR probation does not change the way you race between the flags? Busch: “I think the focus of probation is between the two of us -- it’s between the situation. If I was out there on the race track -- say racing for fourth or fifth-place or something like that, and I got loose and I got into Jimmie Johnson or somebody like that and I spun them out and wrecked them. That has no consequences to the probation. If I’m out there racing hard and trying to pass Kevin (Harvick) for instance or something, and I feel like he’s blocking me and I spin him out and wreck him. There’s going to be consequences to that. That’s how I see it. And, of course, to anything happening off the race track or something like that. That’s also what it relates to. But as far as on the race track goes, good, clean, hard competition -- somebody making a mistake, something like that, it doesn’t mean anything.”
(Toyota Racing), see more quotes on the #18 Team News and Links page.(5-13-2011)
Wimmer in the #7 for Robby: it was reported during SPEED's Sprint Cup practice coverage on Friday that Scott Wimmer is in the #7 Speed Energy owned by Robby Gordon and usually driven by Gordon. Wimmer will practice, qualifying and race the #7 Dodge. No word why Gordon is not running the race or even at the track. Next weekend when the Sprint All-Star race is run, Gordon will be at the Glen Helen round of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series on May 21-22, taking part in the premier Pro 2 Unlimited class.(5-13-2011)
Martin not worried about 2012: #5-Mark Martin, whose contract with Hendrick Motorsports runs out at the end of this year, doesn’t know where he’ll be racing in 2012. Nor is the veteran driver particularly concerned about it. “Well, lucky for me, I don't need a job, so I don't have to worry about it,” Martin, 52, said on a national teleconference this week. “If I was 20 years younger, I would be concerned about it. But I'm in a good position right now, you know, being able to wait it out and let things play out the way they will.” Martin, who joined Hendrick in 2009 and later agreed to remain with the company through 2011, has previously indicated he plans to continue Sprint Cup racing next season in either a full-time or part-time role with another organization. “Something really, really fun and exciting is going to work out for me, something that will be very rewarding, and I'm in no hurry to force that to happen,” said Martin, who will be replaced by Kasey Kahne at Hendrick next season. “I'll just wait until it sort of falls in my lap, just like the 5 car did. I wasn't looking for a job when the 5 thing fell into my lap."(SPEED)(5-13-2011)
NASCAR revises procedure for pit road officials: NASCAR will change how it dispatches its officials after a race in response to the pit road incident between #29-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch on Saturday night at Darlington. The change is to make sure all cars are clear of pit road before series officials are released to head toward their post-race duties. The move is intended to help NASCAR better control pit road. At Darlington, Harvick stopped his car near pit entrance and blocked Busch after the race. The cars sat for several seconds before Harvick exited his car and reached in to hit Busch as he sat in his car. Busch ran into the back of Harvick's car as he drove off, sending Harvick's car into an inside pit wall. At the time of the incident only a couple of Harvick's crew members were in the vicinity of the cars. NASCAR's officials were positioned further down pit road where the top five finishers (and any random cars) stop, or in Victory Lane to monitor the winning car or throughout the garage. Video replays showed that after Busch hit Harvick's car, several of Harvick's crew members were en route to the scene along with three NASCAR officials.(Virginian Pilot)(5-13-2011)
Harvick & Busch meet with NASCAR at Dover: #29-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch were called to the NASCAR hauler before Thursday's Truck Series practice at Dover International Speedway, their second meeting with the governing body since Saturday's post-race pit road confrontation at Darlington. The meeting came two days after each driver was fined $25,000 and placed on four-race probation for the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. Neither was eager to discuss details of the second meeting, which included NASCAR president Mike Helton and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton, or the fine before heading onto the track for the first of two practices. "I've got better things to do," Busch said. "NASCAR has to police their series as best as they feel they need to. I'm all for it. I think it was fine." Harvick smiled and repeatedly said he would answer all questions during Friday's media availability.(ESPN)(5-13-2011)
Special scheme for Hamlin at Dover: the #11 Toyota of Denny Hamlin will carry a special FedEx Ground/Autism Speaks paint scheme throughout this weekend's racing activities. Helping raise awareness for Autism Speaks through the sponsorship of Sunday's race, FedEx will also donate $100,000 to the organization if Hamlin wins the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks. The donation will be made in addition to the specially-priced pair of $111 race tickets that has proceeds going to Autism Speaks. The FedEx Ground Florida district is leading the company in package care metrics, and will be recognized with its "FLDA" code letters on the b-post of the #11 FedEx Ground/Autism Speaks Toyota this weekend.(FedEx Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #11 Team Schemes page.(5-13-2011)
NASCAR to begin fuel injection tests: NASCAR will allow Sprint Cup teams to bring a second car to test fuel injection for the first time on July 7 at Kentucky Motor Speedway with plans to fully implement the new system at the 2012 Daytona 500. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, said at least four organizations are ready to move forward with the Kentucky test. Teams will also be allowed to test fuel injection during an Oct. 4 and 5 test of the new asphalt at Phoenix. There could potentially be another fuel injection test the Monday after the fall race at Talladega.(ESPN)(5-13-2011)
Stewart could had drove for Hendrick...in 1997: When Tony Stewart was a hot prospect in the IndyCar Series, Rick Hendrick (whose Hendrick Motorsports team was in the midst of four consecutive Sprint Cup championships from 1995-98) offered him a full-time ride in the Nationwide Series for the 1997 season. Stewart (who had run eight races in NASCAR's second-tier series) declined because he felt his experience didn't merit the ride. "I just didn't want to make that move too soon and not succeed and lose that opportunity," Stewart said. "As hard as it was, I thanked him and didn't accept that offer. I knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime. It's the first time I ever was in a situation I had to turn somebody down." It might have turned out for the best. Stewart won the 1997 IndyCar championship, joined Joe Gibbs Racing and won two Cup titles. When he decided to buy into Stewart-Haas Racing two years ago, the deal united him with Hendrick.(USA Today)(5-13-2011)
Sprint Fan Vote Surpasses 1.5 Million Total Votes: Sprint announced a record in the Sprint Fan Vote, which allows fans to decide which eligible driver will compete in the upcoming NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Since voting began on March 23, more than 1 million votes have been submitted using the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application on compatible Sprint devices, which has helped push the total number of votes cast to more than 1.5 million. This shatters the previous record of 1.5 million votes set last year. Voting continues until 5:00 pm/et on Saturday, May 21. With his win at Darlington Raceway, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith joins 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne as the only other driver to qualify this season for this year's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. This will mark the first time Smith will compete in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
The top 10 drivers in the Sprint Fan Vote standings remain unchanged since last week. In alphabetical order, they are: A.J. Allmendinger, Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, David Ragan and Brian Vickers.
Fans can cast votes for their favorite eligible drivers by using the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application, visiting NASCAR.com or at the Sprint Experience, located in the midway at every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. As an incentive for Sprint customers, every wireless vote submitted from a Sprint, Nextel, Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile device counts double in the driver standings. The driver who accumulates the most votes and finishes the Sprint Showdown qualifying race on the lead lap with a car in raceable condition (as determined by NASCAR competition) will earn a spot in the prestigious NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race field. Drivers eligible for the 2011 Sprint Fan Vote: A.J. Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, Dave Blaney, Mike Bliss, Todd Bodine, Jeff Burton, Patrick Carpentier, Landon Cassill, Kevin Conway, Derrike Cope, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Bill Elliott, David Gilliland, Robby Gordon, Sam Hornish Jr., Brad Keselowski, Brian Keselowski, Travis Kvapil, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Andy Lally, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, Joe Nemechek, Max Papis, David Ragan, Tony Raines, Robert Richardson, Elliott Sadler, Reed Sorenson, Scott Speed, David Stremme, Martin Truex Jr., Brian Vickers, Steve Wallace, Michael Waltrip and J.J. Yeley.(Sprint)(5-13-2011)
Goodyear Dover Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Dover this weekend will run the same tire codes, though the Sprint Cup and Nationwide tires will be branded "Goodyear Eagle," while the Camping World Truck tires will be branded "Goodyear Wrangler" . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in these series ran at Dover last season . . . this tire set-up was re-confirmed at a Goodyear tire test at Dover last month . . . teams/drivers participating in that test were the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Denny Hamlin, #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy with Jeff Gordon and #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford with A.J. Allmendinger . . . Dover is unique in that it is the only NASCAR oval one mile or less in length on which teams run inner liners in all four tire positions . . . generally, on mile tracks and short tracks, teams do not run any inner liners, while Bristol is the other exception on which teams run liners in their right-side tires only . . . air pressure in the inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window for Sprint Cup cars is every 74-78 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear), see full notes, tire codes, pressures and more on the Dover Race Info page - Goodyear section.(5-13-2011)
Ganassi Earns Two Sports Business Awards Nominations: After a banner 2010 that included a sweep of America's biggest auto racing events, NASCAR race team owner Chip Ganassi and his organization are among the nominees at next week's Fourth Annual Sports Business Awards. Ganassi is the first race team executive to be nominated for Sports Executive of the Year, and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams is the second race team to receive a Professional Sports Team of the Year nomination. The awards, given by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, honor excellence in sports business and will be announced next Wednesday, May 18 in New York City. Ganassi and his racing organization operate teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the IndyCar Series. In 2010, the teams had unparalleled success, both on and off the race track.(NASCAR)(5-13-2011)
Daytona 500 Tickets Go On Sale May 14th: Tickets to NASCAR's biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 – will go on sale Saturday, May 14 at 9:00 am/et. Prior to Saturday, May 14, only renewals for the 2012 Daytona 500 were accepted by the ticket office. The Speedway is also introducing a new feature for the 54th Daytona 500 - special youth pricing. Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all Superstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500. The special offer expires Feb. 1.
In addition to the youth pricing, the Speedway is offering new camping packages and amenities during Speedweeks 2012. Two-day camping options are now available in the GEICO Grounds Horseshoe for only $599 and GEICO Caveman Tent Campground for $399. Guests can now choose from 10-day premium sites, five-day standard sites or our new two-day campsites entering on Saturday, February 25 at 6 a.m.
Cable and electric hook-ups have been added to the first row of GEICO Grounds Yellow RV sites 1-89 and race fans can enjoy the convenience of expanded drive in/out privileges for even more races including the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger.
In addition to the 54th annual Daytona 500, tickets for all Speedweeks 2012 events will be available for purchase including the NASCAR Nationwide Series 300, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the Gatorade Duel, the Budweiser Shootout and Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 doubleheader, Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger and the historic 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
To celebrate the historic 50th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29, racing legend A.J. Foyt will deliver the command "Drivers, start your engines" as Grand Marshal, and Speedway officials have launched a campaign to locate all Rolex 24 At Daytona overall winning cars for a show-stopping heritage display.
Race fans have three different ways to purchase tickets.
· Online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com
· Calling 1-800-PITSHOP
· Visiting the Daytona International Speedway ticket office
Also available for purchase through www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or 1-800-PITSHOP are:
· Hospitality packages and Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE passes for all Speedweeks 2012 events.
· Tickets for the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola Weekend on July 1-2, including the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on Saturday, July 2 and the Subway Jalapeno 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday, July 1. Tickets for the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola start at $44.(DIS)(5-13-2011)
News from May 12, 2011
NASCAR teams in all three national series unite to support Autism Speaks: For the fifth consecutive year, Dover International Speedway has joined forces with Autism Speaks to create awareness for the special cause through the entitlement of the Monster Mile's spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, titled the "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks." The NASCAR community has embraced the messaging of Autism Speaks, and throughout the May 13-15, 2011 race weekend in Dover, 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cares, 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series cars and 20 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series trucks will sport the Autism Speaks blue puzzle piece logo as a sign of support for the nation's leading autism science and advocacy organization. Participating Sprint Cup Series drivers and teams include:
#1-Jamie McMurray, #2-Brad Keselowski, #4-Kasey Kahne, #6-David Ragan, #9-Marcos Ambrose, #11-Denny Hamlin, #13-Casey Mears, #14-Tony Stewart, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Matt Kenseth, #18-Kyle Busch, #20-Joey Logano, #22-Kurt Busch, #27-Paul Menard, #29-Kevin Harvick, #31-Jeff Burton, #33-Clint Bowyer, #34-David Gilliland, #38-Travis Kvapil, #39-Ryan Newman, #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #43-AJ Allmendinger, #46-J.J. Yeley, #56-Martin Truex Jr., #60-Mike Skinner, #66-Michael McDowell, #81-Scott Riggs, #83-Brian Vickers and #99-Carl Edwards. NASCAR returns to the Monster Mile on May 13-15, 2011. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.(DIS)(5-12-2011)
Start 200 for Truex Jr.: Mayetta, N.J. native, #1-Martin Truex Jr., will be making his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend at home track Dover. Truex sat on the pole in this event last season and has made 10 starts at Dover posting one win (2007) and three top 10s (NASCAR). AND NAPA Racing will honor David Nicholas Porter as the Honorary Pit Crew Member of the race. David lost a 14-month battle against a Wilms' tumor on Aug. 25, 2006. He was just four years old. His family will be on hand to help NAPA honor him in pre-race festivities and see his name decaled on the #56 Toyota (MWR)(5-12-2011)
The Numbers for Dover:
0 - fewest cautions for a Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway (6/6/71)
1 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (11 times, most recent 9/15/91)
3 - fewest leaders (five times, most recent 5/16/82)
3 -fewest lead changes (10/17/71)
4 -number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
6 - fewest laps led by race winner (Jeff Burton, 9/24/06)
6 - most poles (David Pearson)
7 - most wins by driver (Bobby Allison and David Pearson)
13 - fewest cars running at finish (5/17/81)
13 - most leaders (twice, most recent 9/24/00)
13 - wins from each of the first three starting positions in 82 races
16 - most cautions (9/19/93)
21 - most cars on lead lap at finish (6/4/06)
29 -most lead changes (twice, most recent 5/18/86)
31 - fewest cars to start a Sprint Cup race (5/20/79, 500-mile race)
32 - different race winners
35 -different pole winners
40 -most running at finish (9/21/08)
90 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the one-mile, all-concrete track after a significant rainfall
103 - most caution laps (9/19/93)
491 - most laps led by race winner (Richard Petty, 9/15/74)
1967 - Ground broken for dual-purpose facility - horse racing and motorsports events.
1969 - Dover Downs opened with the first Sprint Cup race, the Mason-Dixon 300, run on July 6 and won by Richard Petty.
1982 - First Nationwide race at the "Monster Mile".
1997 -Races shortened from 500 to 400 miles beginning with second race of the 1997 season.
2006 -Dover announces plans for the "Monster Makeover", a multi-year capital improvement project.
4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana)
16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
86 -- number of cautions in the first 10 races of 2011; includes 44 for accidents, 15 for debris and 14 for spins
437 of 3,279 -- number of laps under caution in 2011
553.429 of 3,968.500 -- miles under caution in the first 10 races
(Darnell Communications / Dodge Motorsports)(5-12-2011)
#32 gets sponsor for Dover; Bliss to drive: FAS Lane Racing announced that US Chrome will sponsor the #32 Ford this weekend in Dover. US Chrome sponsored FAS Lane Racing in the Daytona 500 with Terry Labonte, where they cruised to a 15th-place finish in the season opener. US Chrome has recently landed a contract for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter components where they will implement a "green" alternative to chrome plating. "We're doing pretty well with this new coating," said Bob Reath, owner of U.S. Chrome. "We have a dozen parts we're coating and it's been a huge spring board for our new coatings." U.S. Chrome is headquartered in Stratford, CT. Reath has dedicated his life to U.S. Chrome and it is no secret that his passion also lies with racing. Reath and Stoddard have had a relationship since the late 1980's when U.S. Chrome sponsored Dana Patten. Patten made one of his first of four NASCAR Sprint Cup starts in 1989 at Dover Downs International Speedway with Stoddard as the lead wrench and front tire changer. "I'm excited to have Bob and U.S. Chrome on board again at Dover," said Stoddard. "He is a wonderful friend and I admire his passion for the sport. I'd love to go out there and have a great run for him, his family and U.S. Chrome." (FAS Lane Racing), Mike Bliss will drive the #32 Ford at Dover.(5-12-2011)
Racing's Elite To Engage In 'Dirty Driving' In Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway: The last thing any racecar driver wants to be called is "dirty," but they'll make an exception to this rule on Wednesday, June 8 when the most celebrated dirt track in all of motorsports hosts the Prelude to the Dream. Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, will once again be the site of the all-star dirt Late Model race featuring more than 25 world renowned drivers as they battle for dirt supremacy on the half-mile clay oval, all of which will be presented live to the entire nation on HBO Pay-Per-View with proceeds from the telecast supporting four of the nation's top children's hospitals:
· Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, N.C.
· Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
· St. Louis Children's Hospital
· Children's Medical Center Dallas
The seventh annual event will feature stars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck 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. The live, commercial-free broadcast will begin at 8:00 pm/et (5:00pm/pt) with an immediate replay. HBO Pay-Per-View's racing telecast has a suggested retail price of $24.95 and is available to more than 71 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View is the leading supplier of event programming in the pay-per-view industry. Much more Info, ticket info, links on my Racing Charities - Prelude to the Dream page.(5-11-2011)
Different look for #38 at Dover: Travis Kvapil heads to Dover International Speedway with momentum from having a fast car and a solid run at Darlington. The #38 team moved up a spot in owners' points after its 26th-place finish last weekend and looks to continue climbing as they prepare for Sunday's FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. The #38 car will have a different look this week, sporting the A&W All American Food restaurants paint scheme for the first time this season. The car will also carry the "Autism Speaks" puzzle-piece decal in support of the weekend's autism awareness efforts (Front Row Motorsports).See an image of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(5-12-2011)
#36 to run logo to support to members of the military:Manpower to Horsepower, a disabled veteran's vocational rehabilitation program, will have their logo on the #36 Golden Corral Chevy that Dave Blaney will drive at Dover as part of a campaign to show support to members of the military. With approval from the Veteran's Administration, Manpower to Horsepower is an accredited program through the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and offers a certificate program in Motorsports Management Technology for military veterans with physical disabilities.(TBR)(5-12-2011)
Technical director leaving Penske Racing: The technical director of Penske Racing's NASCAR program is leaving the team at the end of the month. The team says Tom German has been accepted into the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and will begin classes in June. German was the focus of driver Kurt Busch's anger during his mid-race rant at Richmond two weeks ago. Busch alluded to behind the scenes changes at Penske last week, but declined to be more specific. Penske officials say German expressed interest in the program last fall, and the team supported him during the application process. The team says only 15 percent of applicants are accepted into the program.(Associated Press)(5-12-2011)
SPEED to air special about Daytona - tonight: SPEED original series, Speedmakers, and its camera crews were present for the six month re-paving of Daytona International Speedway. The hour-long special episode featuring this high-profile project is set to premiere on Thursday, May 12 at 9:00pm/et. The special will re-air a few times.(5-12-2011)
Another Andretti Finds Victory Lane: The month of May for the Andretti racing family got off to a winning start this past weekend, and this time it was third-generation Jarett Andretti carrying the checkered flag for the first time in his young career. Jarett, the son of John Andretti and grandchild of Aldo Andretti won Saturday night's 35-lap Ford Focus Midget feature at the famed Hickory Motor Speedway. The 18-year-old high school senior grew up watching his father race both IndyCar and NASCAR-sanctioned events along with other national series including NHRA, CART and professional sports car racing. Jarett decided in mid-summer of 2010 to get behind the wheel, first starting in a go-kart. He quickly advanced to a Ford Focus Midget and competed in only a handful of events at the end of 2010. This year, Jarett is competing for the Eastern Ford Focus Midget Championship sanctioned by USAC. Saturday night's win came in only the second race of the season. The win compliments his runner-up finish earlier this year at Dillon Motor Speedway. Jarett will join his father and cousin Marco racing in Indianapolis later this month where he plans to compete in more midget races, but first will race his Ford Focus Midget at Ace Speedway located in Altamahaw, N.C. on Friday and back to Hickory Motor Speedway again this Saturday. Andretti also has plans to compete in sports cars, NASCAR modifieds and possibly the NASCAR Pro Series East later this season.(Breaking Limits)(5-12-2011)
Darlington Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Recording of the times began at the Invocation of the race at 7:30 pm, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 11:41 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
Total number of commercials: 122
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 77
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. 15 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:41 PM
Total minutes: 251
Minutes of race broadcast: 193
Minutes of commercials: 58
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
Number of 'Digger' appearances: 9
Total race brdcst time 193 Total comm. brdcst time 58
For more stats, drivers selected, past races and links see the 2011 TV Commercial News.(5-12-2011)
JTG Daugherty Racing 1st Quarter Spirit Award: JTG Daugherty Racing received news that members of the National Motorsports Press Association selected the team as the first quarter winner of the NMPA Speedway Motorsports Spirit Award. The team was recognized for its efforts with six-year-old Jordan Jemsek, who was racing for her life. Little Jordan was in desperate need of a bone marrow transplant in the midst of fighting Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia (AML), which was brought to the attention of the race team by crew member Joey McCarthy. "I think it is unbelievable the fact that we can make a difference in people's lives by doing things that are so important, which takes little time away from us," said Bobby Labonte. "To make such an impact on one person and then so many is a true testimony for our race team. We literally just got an update from an email that Jordan came home last Thursday and is doing well. That is such great news."
DKMS, which is the world's largest marrow donor center, is grateful to the team and sponsors for their continued efforts. Worldwide, DKMS donors have provided marrow and peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) for more than 25,000 transplants. DKMS now has over 2.7 million registered bone marrow donors.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(5-12-2011
NASCAR Hall of Fame Celebrates First Birthday: The NASCAR Hall of Fame celebrated its first birthday today with a special celebration attended by nearly 300 students from neighboring Metro School. In its first 12 months, the NASCAR Hall of Fame entertained more than 270,000 customers making it the second-most visited sports hall of fame in North America. In addition to the morning ceremony, guests visiting on May 11 were treated to a special one-day admission price of $5.11 with a $1 donation per ticket going to the American Red Cross for tornado victims (NASCAR Hall of Fame)(5-12-2011)
USO to present the large military display at Dover: At a time when national pride is the highest it's been in nearly a decade and patriotism has moved back to the forefront of American consciousness, Dover International Speedway is bringing something special to the FanZone for its May 13-15, 2011 race weekend, as the USO is set to present the Military Expo Village, the largest military display to ever be featured at a NASCAR track. The scale of the exhibit is only fitting for the Monster Mile, since Dover has long been a military town as home to the Dover Air Force Base —including the 436th Airlift Wing and 512th Airlift Wing that provide continued support to the ongoing military efforts in the Middle East. The Delaware National Guard also has a strong presence in the capital of the First State.
The base may be best known for having the largest military mortuary in the Department of Defense, which has been used for the processing of the dignified transfers of military personnel killed in both war and peacetime. In addition, DAFB processes a large volume of military cargo, and its workforce consists of approximately 6,400 military personnel, broken down into 3,900 active duty, 1,500 reservists and 1,000 civilians. It also supports approximately 5,100 military family members.
The USO village will feature more than a dozen visual and interactive displays, including a replica foxhole display that fully shows the living conditions for a soldier currently deployed overseas. The foxhole setup is designed with all the items a soldier would have to create their living quarters.
Other highlights of the expo include a mini C-17 Globemaster III from the 512th Airlift Wing that will give a scaled-down idea of one of the planes operated out of Dover Air Force Base; a number of military vehicles from the Delaware National Guard, such as a Phoenix satellite truck and a Hummer with a large weapon turret attached; two helicopters, including one celebrating the Centennial of Naval Aviation; and a climate-controlled museum with displays from the United States Marine Corps and the Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
The United States Coast Guard will display one of its communications vehicles used for natural disasters and homeland security matters, while the Seabees — the construction battalion of the United States Navy — will have a few of its own specialized vehicles on hand, including a tractor trailer, bulldozer and Humvee. Representatives from Dover's own Air Mobility Command Museum are set to display an exhibit featuring a jet engine, and a Navy SEAL team mentor will be available to answer questions for those interested in the elite unit.
The USO Military Expo Village will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 13; 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14; and 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15, in the FanZone at Dover International Speedway.
Race weekend returns to the Monster Mile May 13-15 with the "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, "5-hour ENERGY 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series race and "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. For information or to purchase tickets, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.(DIS)(5-12-2011)
News from May 11, 2011
Bayne to skip Dover NNS race, but plans All-Star race: Roush Fenway Racing will hold Trevor Bayne out of this week’s Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway. Fellow Tennessee native Kevin Swindell will fill in for Bayne in the #16 Roush Fenway Mustang this weekend in the Nationwide Series race. “Trevor’s symptoms have subsided and we are very encouraged by his progress,” said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. “Still, we are going to exercise an element of caution with his return to the track and keep him out of competition for at least another week. “Trevor is itching to get back out on the race track, and, although it’s hard to keep someone with his passion away, we feel it is in his best interest to hold off for another week. As of now, we, along with the Wood Brothers, are planning for Trevor to return next week and compete in the Sprint Cup All-Star event in Charlotte and the Nationwide Series race in Iowa.”(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-11-2011)
Johnson named America's most influential athlete: #48-Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series champion every year since 2006, isn't particularly charismatic. But he's great at what he does. He's also appealing to many fans because he seems to be just like them--the guy next door who just happens to double as the best driver on the NASCAR circuit. That's among the reasons why Johnson rates as America's most influential athlete this year.
After a prolonged slump, "NASCAR has had a bit of resurgence, people are becoming more aware of the drivers this year," says Gerry Philpott, CEO of Encino, Calf.-based E-Poll Market Research, which co-conducted the poll of influential athletes our list is based on. While the sport is still lagging behind the glory days of the early 2000s, television ratings are up 6% this year, according to NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps, who credits competitive early races this season with drawing interest. "It helps drive story lines," says Phelps. The first nine races of the 2011 season have produced seven different winners. #24-Jeff Gordon, a longtime fan favorite, got a nice boost from making it into the winner’s circle in Phoenix in February, his first victory in two years.
Combined with the retirement of Lance Armstrong, the diminished reputation of Tiger Woods, and the fading of interest in 2010 winter Olympians like Apolo Anton Ohno and Shaun White, the mini-rally has launched three NASCAR drivers into the ranks of the most influential athletes. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., who certainly is charismatic, and Gordon, a steady and likeable presence since the early 1990s, join Johnson in the top 10 in third and eighth place, respectively.
E-Poll and Nielsen Media Research surveyed over 1,000 adults as to the athletes they considered influential, while also assessing their likeability and awareness levels. Only those known to at least 20% of the respondents were considered. (That eliminated boxer Manny Pacquiao, who scores the highest influence numbers of anyone but who's familiar to only 12% of the population. What does it say about boxing that its most exciting champion toils in near anonymity?)(Forbes.com) see Full List: The Most Influential Athletes.(5-11-2011)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. calls team meeting, apologizes: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. called a team meeting following Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway and apologized for his pit road mistake that cost the team a top 10 finish -- and possibly a win. Earnhardt was running sixth coming to pit road with 38 laps remaining when he came in too fast and hit the commitment cone, knocking it onto the track. Because he wasn't all the way inside the cone, Earnhardt Jr. most popular driver was given a pass-through penalty under green conditions, dropping him to 21st. Despite rallying to finish 14th and maintaining his position of fourth in the points standings, Earnhardt felt bad enough about his mistake to gather his team and apologize. "It was a good thing to do, especially immediately after the event, to clear the air," Earnhardt said on Tuesday during a demonstration at Charlotte Motor Speedway to show off the world's largest HD screen. "That way nobody goes home wondering what anyone's thinking. They know how I feel and I know how they feel. It was just a good way to put it behind us as quick as we could." Earnhardt knew the penalty was coming as soon as he hit the cone. He said crew chief Steve Letarte and the rest of his team told him post-apology that they "were fine and they understood."
"We hold team meetings every day in the hauler and before the races," Earnhardt said. "Steve does all the talking and I really don't talk that much. So I felt like I needed to get vocal right there for a second. I made a mistake getting on pit road and I wanted to tell the guys that my focus was strong, it wasn't because there was a lack of focus or lack of concentration, [and] that I'll try to minimize my mistakes going forward and to continue working hard and loading up great race cars."(ESPN.com)(5-11-2011)
NASCAR "Needed To Send A Message": NASCAR’s Senior Director of Communication Kerry Tharp told Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that the $25,000 fines and four-race probations handed down to drivers Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are in response to what happened on pit road after Saturday night’s Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, and not for anything that transpired in the final laps of the race. “We look very closely at what happens on the race track,” said Tharp. “But more importantly after the race, (where) the actions of those two competitors led to putting some people in harm’s way on pit road. We’ve got to maintain a safe environment on pit road, and we’re going to maintain a safe environment there. That’s why we reacted with the penalties.
Tharp said NASCAR fined both drivers equally because, “both had skin in the game. Both had opportunities to make other decisions that would not have put them in this situation, so the penalty was assessed to both.” He said the sanctioning body has reached out to both Busch and Harvick to clarify what is expected of them going forward, saying, “Anytime we penalize a driver, we have a conversation with that individual and their team owner. We feel like we owe it to both parties to give them a heads-up on what the penalties will be, so they can notify their respective teams and sponsors. We’ve had conversations with Kevin and Kyle and explained why we were penalizing them.”
He said the penalties do not signal a change in NASCAR’s “Boys Have At It” policy, adding, “The drivers have done a very good job of that. We’ve seen some terrific, hard racing over the last couple of years, and I think (the policy) is alive and well. We certainly want it to be. Newman-Montoya: Tharp said he does not expect NASCAR to sanction either #39-Ryan Newman or #42-Juan Pablo Montoya for a reported physical confrontation during a closed-door meeting at Darlington Raceway last Friday. “You go into some meetings thinking they’re going to go well, and most of the time they hit the mark. Sometimes, they don’t,” he said. “We met with Ryan and Juan Friday and made it clear to them that this was their final warning and we will be watching them very closely. I believe both of them understood where we were coming from. They got the message, loud and clear. They raced hard Saturday night at Darlington, but they raced cleanly. I believe they will continue to do so moving forward.”(Sirius Speedway)(5-11-2011)
News from May 10, 2011
Harvick -Busch fined, probation: per a Kevin Harvick tweet: "4 weeks probation and $25,000 fine....I understand because of the car on pit road.." And from ESPN.com: Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were placed on four weeks' probation and fined $25,000 Tuesday for their pit road confrontation following Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. Harvick tweeted about his penalty and officials from Kevin Harvick Inc. confirmed the punishment Tuesday. AND NASCAR has penalized NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick as a result of rules infractions committed at last weekend's event at Darlington Raceway. Busch, driver of the #18 car, and Harvick, driver of the #29 car, have each been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events until June 15 for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing – involved in an altercation on pit road after the conclusion of the race). "These penalties are a result of what occurred on pit road after the race was over," said Kerry Tharp, senior director for communications, competition. "They are about maintaining a safe environment on pit road."(NASCAR)(5-10-2011)
#78 Team Qualifies for Sprint Pit Crew Challenge: By virtue of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy's NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesTM win Saturday, May 7 at Darlington Raceway, the pit crew is now qualified for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman. The competition is the only indoor event sanctioned by NASCAR featuring head-to-head competition between the top-24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews. The finishing order of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman will determine the order of pit selection for The Sprint Showdown or NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
The following teams are currently eligible: #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota, #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy, #4 Red Bull Racing Toyota, #5 GoDaddy.com Chevy, #11 FedEx Toyota, #14 Office Depot Chevy, #16 3M Ford, #17 Crown Royal Ford, #18 M&M's Toyota, #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford, #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge, #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy, #29 Budweiser Chevy, #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevy, #39 US Army Chevy, #42 Target Chevy, #48 Lowe's Chevy, #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy, and #99 Aflac Ford. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling 800-745-3000.(Sprint)(5-10-2011)
T.J. Bell gets three race sponsor:Green Smoke, one of the nation's leading electronic cigarette brands, announced that it will sponsor T.J. Bell in the 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 29th at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Bell, who is known to NASCAR fans in the Camping World Truck and Nationwide Series, will pilot the #50 Green Smoke Toyota Camry in his first attempt to qualify for NASCAR's longest race. Green Smoke's sponsorship of Bell will mark its first NASCAR endeavor, as well as the first NASCAR sponsorship by any organization within the electronic cigarette industry. "Every driver goes into racing wanting to compete at the highest level possible. Green Smoke has come on board to make racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series a reality for me and I'm looking forward to putting our #50 Green Smoke Toyota Camry to the test at Charlotte," said Bell, who currently resides in Mooresville, NC. "This is a big step forward for my career and Green Smoke couldn't have picked a more perfect market to promote its product. I'm looking forward to a great future with Green Smoke and a very exciting Coca-Cola 600 debut." Green Smoke will sponsor Bell's #50 Toyota Camry for at least three Sprint Cup events this season [no word on the other two races).(Green Smoke/Breaking Limits), see an image of the scheme on the #50 Team Schemes page.(5-10-2011)
Delaware General Assembly declares May 15, 2011 'Jimmie Johnson Day': Though he is a native of El Cajon, Calif., and currently lives in Charlotte, it appears as if Jimmie Johnson has found himself yet another home here in the First State. Based on his extensive success at Delaware's NASCAR track, Dover International Speedway, as well as the charitable work done nationwide by the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, the 146th Delaware General Assembly, in a joint resolution from the House and Senate, declared in Senate Joint Resolution No. 2 that Sunday, May 15, 2011 will be known as "Jimmie Johnson Day." Johnson will be aiming for his second straight win at Dover, and seventh ever at the track. A victory would put Johnson, a 10-year NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran, in elite company with NASCAR Hall of Fame members Richard Petty and Bobby Allison, the only drivers to ever win seven times at the Monster Mile.
The resolution, authored by Sen. Bruce Ennis (D-Smyrna), and co-sponsored by Sen. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover), Rep. William Carson (D-Smyrna) and Rep. Darryl Scott (D-Dover), lauds Johnson's athletic achievements, including his five consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titles, and dedication to community service off the track, and "urges the people of the State of Delaware to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities." Tickets for the "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, as well as the "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and "5-hour ENERGY 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series races are available by calling 800-441-RACE or visiting DoverSpeedway.com.(5-10-2011)
VZillion Signs J.J. Yeley: VZillion, a social utility and lifestyle technology company, has partnered with #46-J.J. Yeley. As part of the agreement, VZillion will collaborate with Yeley to integrate his voice, his brand and his sponsors into the online platform the company is currently developing. This will enable Yeley to expand his reach among NASCAR fans, regardless of their location, and offer them exclusive news, videos, pictures as well as special promotions.(see full release at jjyeley.com)(5-10-2011)
At Dover International Speedway:
· The official opening of Dover International Speedway, then called Dover Downs International Speedway, was in 1969.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on July 6, 1969.
· The first two races at Dover were 300 miles. The race length was changed to 500 miles in 1971.
· The track surface was changed to concrete in 1995.
· The race length was changed to 400 miles beginning with the second race in 1997.
· The track name was changed to Dover International Speedway in 2002.
· There have been 82 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover International Speedway since the track opened in 1969.
· There was one race in 1969 and 1970. There have been two-a-year since 1971.
· Richard Petty won the track's first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
· There have been 35 different pole winners, led by David Pearson (six).
· David Pearson won the first pole in July 1969.
· Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers, each with four poles.
· 32 different drivers have posted victories led by Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, each with seven.
· Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers, with six victories.
· Hendrick Motorsports has a series-high 12 wins.
· 50 races at Dover have been won from a top-five starting position; 17 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
· 13 drivers have won from the pole. The last to do so was Jimmie Johnson, in last season's September race.
· The furthest back in the field a race winner started was 37th, by Kyle Petty in 1995.
· Several active drivers had their first start at Dover, including three past champions: David Ragan (finished 42nd in 2006), Kurt Busch (18th in 2000), Matt Kenseth (sixth in 1998) and Bobby Labonte (34th in 1991).
· In addition, Matt Kenseth (2002) and Michael Waltrip (1991) earned their first pole at Dover. Martin Truex Jr. won his first race there (2007).
· There have been 82 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Delaware, all at Dover International Speedway.
· Eight drivers in NASCAR's three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Delaware, though none have posted victories.(NASCAR)(5-10-2011)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Takes World's Largest HD TV For a Test Drive: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the world's largest high definition television for a spin Tuesday [May 10th] at Charlotte Motor Speedway by taking virtual laps around the legendary 1.5-mile track using an iRacing simulation. Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, invited Earnhardt Jr., an avid video gamer, to show off his skills on the giant HDTV. For its operational debut, Smith and Earnhardt Jr. used an oversized remote to power on the 200 foot-wide, 80 foot-tall HDTV, created by Panasonic, to reveal a highlight video of past racing action at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Charlotte sets the standard for the rest of the tracks," said
Earnhardt Jr. "They always do things first and do things the biggest and look, here we are today with another first from them. Charlotte holds a special place in a lot of drivers' hearts, mine included and the big TV makes this place even more special."
"This giant Panasonic HDTV will be a game changer for our fans on race day," said Smith. "It will give them a whole new way to
experience a NASCAR event at Charlotte Motor Speedway." The event signaled the completion of the Panasonic HDTV project, which took up to 57 workers a day, working more than 11,000 man hours, more than four months to construct. The 332-and-a-half-ton
structure is the largest HDTV in the world. The 158 panels that make up the face of the television's screen will be illuminated by nine million LED lamps during select events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Sam Bass, the official artist of Charlotte Motor Speedway, was
also on hand to unveil the souvenir race program covers for the 27th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on the gigantic screen.
The public debut of the world's largest HDTV will take place May 21 under the lights during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The screen is centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in clear 720P high-definition visuals. Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HDTV start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29. Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(5-10-2011)
Frankie's Monster Mile Café to open NASCAR weekend: Dover Downs Hotel & Casino will introduce race fans to a Tuscan-style café with the flavor and atmosphere of its Frankie's Wine Bar and Italian Restaurant during the May 13-15 NASCAR race weekend at Dover International Speedway. Frankie's Monster Mile Café will offer race fans a variety of new menu options in an al fresco setting. The public is invited to the Friday grand opening event at 7 p.m., which will feature renowned pastry chef and "Delaware's King of Cakes" Dana Herbert. Herbert will craft custom replica cakes of Miles the Monster, one to remain on display and one to be sliced and served on Friday evening. Chef Herbert, owner/operator of Desserts by Dana in New Castle, Del., is the winner of TLC's 2011 season of Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, hosted by Buddy Valastro. Herbert will be available for autographs. More info at Doverspeedway.com.(5-10-2011)
North Wilkesboro Speedway Closing: For the last 1 ˝ years, Speedway Associates Inc. has taken race fans and Wilkes County residents on a history-making ride with the reopening of North Wilkesboro Speedway which had been shuttered for 14 years. However, the business climate and a lack of working capital has now brought everything at the historic facility to a screeching halt. "Simply put, we made a lot of improvements to the speedway," Speedway Associates Inc. President Alton McBride Jr. said Monday. "We lined up some great events. However, even though we can project positive income from events at the speedway, we do not have the money needed on the front end to make those events happen. In spite of our complete investment in the speedway and in this community, we have run out of money necessary to go forward."
Despite the unexpected re-shuttering of the track after the 2011 season had begun, McBride said it was "not entirely a sad day" due to everything that had been accomplished, including receiving the North Carolina Motorsports Association's industry award for the track's contribution to motorsports in 2010. Speedway Associates began its journey at the five-eighths-mile track in November 2009 with an ambitious but strategic plan to reopen North Wilkesboro Speedway, which was closed after the fall NASCAR Cup race in 1996. Immediately, its name was adjusted to Historic North Wilkesboro Speedway in order to pay respect to the track's place in motorsports history. From Labor Day weekend 2010 through the 2011 season-opening richest-ever Pro All-Star Series race, the SAI team conducted six large and more than a dozen small successful events. In 2010 PASS and SAI executives announced "The Race", which guaranteed a minimum $75,000 to the winner. Approximately 80 drivers, including past Daytona 500 winners Sterling Marlin and Geoff Bodine, entered the event. Every region of the United States, as well as Canada, was represented in the history-making race.(more at historicnws.com and / or savethespeedway.net)(5-10-2011)
News from May 9, 2011
Darlington overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR on Fox posted a 3.5/7 Saturday night in primetime for racing from DARLINGTON. Saturday's 3.5/7 is down -10% compared to last year's 3.9/8 for the same race. Competition from the NBA was clearly a factor in the skid, as ABC's Saturday night NBA game was up +32% over last year. For the season-to-date NASCAR's 4.6/10 average in the metered markets is now flat with last year, although there continues to be a divide between the average ratings comparison and the gross ratings points comparison. Last year's average excludes two rainouts, which actually helps the average. On a total ratings points basis NASCAR is up +25% over last year in the overnights (45.9 vs. 36.8 ). See race-to-race and four year comparison on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(5-9-2011)
The Entry List for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
Mike Bliss is listred in the #32 Ford Not in top 35 of owners points:
#30-David Stremme (46/2)
#37-Tony Raines (38/10)
#38-Travis Kvapil (39/10)
#46-J.J. Yeley (40/10)
#60-Mike Skinner (45/10)
#66-Michael McDowell (41/10)
#71-Andy Lally (37/10)
#81-Scott Riggs (53/1)
#87-Joe Nemechek (43/10) In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
the eight who would make it : #'s 38,37,46,66,87,60,30
missing the race would be : #'s 81
See the full entry list at my Jayski's Dover Entry List.(5-9-2011)
NASCAR will look into driver altercations: NASCAR will address altercations that occurred between Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya in the sanctioning body's hauler and the dustup on and off the track between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. "We'll look at both of those," Kerry Tharp, NASCAR's senior director of communications, said Sunday morning. Montoya requested a meeting with NASCAR after his feud with Newman was reignited at Richmond International Raceway last weekend. Newman and officials from Stewart Haas Racing elected to meet with NASCAR immediately after the Richmond race. When the drivers gathered in the hauler on Friday morning, a punch was thrown by Newman, according to sources. Harvick vs. Busch came to a crescendo last November at Homestead Miami Speedway when the driver of the #29 complained that Busch was racing him too hard and Harvick then dumped Busch's #18 Toyota, which erupted into flames. The rivalry was rekindled Saturday night at Darlington Raceway on the second-to-last restart on Lap 363 as the drivers jockeyed for position among the top 10 on the lead lap. After the race, Harvick chased Busch onto the entrance of pit road, where the #29 crew waited to defend their driver. Harvick climbed from the car and approached Busch's vehicle. Harvick attempted to throw a haymaker, but Busch hit the gas and plowed the #29 into the wall. Both drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler after the incident. The last time a NASCAR driver intentionally hit another car on pit road was Steven Wallace at Memphis Motorsports Park in October 2009. Wallace was fined $5,000 and placed on probation.(Fox Sports)(5-9-2011)
NASCAR Hall of Fame Celebrates First Birthday: On Wednesday, May 11, 2011, the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, N.C., will celebrate its first birthday. A year ago, the venue captured national attention during its grand opening. This year's celebration will focus on the local and regional community. Highlights include a visit from Metro School students, special one-day admission price of $5.11 and donations to the Red Cross for tornado victims. "It is appropriate that we take a moment to show our appreciation for the community that has embraced us," said Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "We have had challenges in this economy, the same challenges that many start-up businesses have. However, we also have many stories that should make Charlotteans and the NASCAR community very proud." As a special treat, various executives and board members will serve birthday cake to students from neighboring Metro School shortly after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11 in the Great Hall. In addition, all customers that day will be treated to a discounted admission of $5.11 in honor of the landmark date, and $1 from every admission will go directly to the Red Cross to fund tornado relief efforts. In its first 12 months, the NASCAR Hall of Fame entertained more than 270,000 customers making it the second-most visited sports hall of fame in North America. In 2010, the National Baseball Hall of Fame led the way with 281,000 visitors, while the Pro Football Hall of Fame had 191,943 visitors. More info at the NASCAR Hall of Fame site.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(5-9-2011)
Alliance Truck Parts Acquires Naming Rights for Nationwide Race at Michigan: Alliance Truck Parts, a leading provider of replacement parts for the commercial transportation industry, has signed a 3-year naming rights deal with Michigan International Speedway for the Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250. This year's race will be held on Saturday, June 18.
NASCAR racing is not new to Alliance Truck Parts. The organization's Alliance Truck Parts Racing also sponsors the NASCAR Nationwide Series #12 Dodge Challenger driven by Sam Hornish Jr.(Michigan Speedway)(5-9-2011)
Ticket holders can get on the track for free on Saturday at Dover: Interested in getting up close and personal with the Monster Mile prior to the May 14 "5-hour ENERGY 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway? Well the race's title sponsor is providing just that opportunity as it is set to host the "5-hour ENERGY Open Track" session. From 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, NASCAR Nationwide Series race ticket holders will have the chance to enter the track at Gate 18 and roam pit road and the frontstretch of the Monster Mile, with a few special bonuses planned as well.(Dover Speedway)(5-9-2011)
News from May 8, 2011
NASCAR says teams can use fuel injection at some tests: NASCAR told Sprint Cup teams Saturday that they can use fuel injection at NASCAR-sanctioned tests this season. The Cup series will switch from carburetors, used since the series’ inception in 1949, to fuel injection next year. NASCAR told teams that they’ll be allowed to test fuel injection at Kentucky in July - where teams will be given an extra day of practice since this will be the first Cup race there - at Goodyear tire tests, and at a test later this year on Phoenix’s repaved surface. John Darby, Sprint Cup series director, also said that he would like to have additional fuel injection tests for all teams at a restrictor-plate track and a 1.5-mile track. A possibility is for teams to test at Talladega the day after the Cup race there in October and to a test at Charlotte Motor Speedway, since most teams are located near that 1.5-mile track, sometime this fall. Another option would be for teams to test in Daytona in January. Two years ago, teams did not test at Daytona, as part of NASCAR’s testing ban. Last year, teams tested at Daytona because it had a new track surface. Fuel injection could allow Cup teams to test at Daytona in January for the second year in a row.(Virginian-Pilot)(5-8-2011)
Drivers complete Brickyard tire test: UPDATE: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #22-Kurt Busch, #16-Greg Biffle, #27-Paul Menard and #56-Martin Truex Jr. got a head start on preparations for the 2011 Brickyard 400 by participating in a Goodyear tire test May 3-4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Menard said drivers and teams still gained plenty of important data and experience despite a high temperature of only 60, at least 20 degrees cooler than the probable Race Day temperature in July. "It was good," Menard said. "Goodyear is trying a bunch of different things, and we hit on a couple things that will hopefully make a great race even better come July. It's a nice, cool day, and we'll come back in July and it'll be really hot, so times will be a lot slower. You have to take that into account in what you do as a driver and kind of set up trends that we learn today and tomorrow that we'll apply for July, for sure."(IMS PR)(5-5-2011) UPDATE: After two days of testing earlier this week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Goodyear has decided to use the same tread compound at this year's Brickyard 400 that drivers raced on in 2010, Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager of worldwide racing, told Sporting News. Grant said the tire maker was opting for a known quantity in the tread compound, one that produced a problem-free race won by Jamie McMurray last year. In keeping with what Goodyear has done at many tracks this season, there will be a slight construction change to the tires supplied at Indy. The right-side tires will be slightly smaller, with an eye toward improved handling. The left sides will feature a mold shape change to preserve the stagger (the relationship to the right-side tires).(Sporting News)(5-8-2011)
Miss Sprint Cup, Red Bull Racing's Brian Vickers Help Promote Sprint Fan Vote: Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo recently found out firsthand the lengths to which a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver will go in order to be in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, scheduled for Saturday, May 21, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Palumbo was invited on a stock car ride-along with Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota. To see what happened next, click here: MissSprintCupVideos - YouTube. The Sprint Fan Vote is currently around 1.3 million votes.(5-8-2011)
Miss Willie Brown to sing National Anthem at Dover: A&M/Octone Records' new country music duo Miss Willie Brown will sing the National Anthem prior to the start of the "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, May 15 at Dover International Speedway. Miss Willie Brown released their first major label EP in March, produced by award-winning producer Keith Stegall (Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson and George Strait), and will wrap up the 30-city JAGERMEISTER COUNTRY TOUR with Dierks Bentley on May 13 in Norfolk, Va. In addition to performing the "Star Spangled Banner," Miss Willie Brown is scheduled to entertain race fans with one of their original songs during pre-race activities.(Dover Raceway)(5-8-2011)
News from May 7, 2011
Regan Smith wins at Darlington: #78-Regan Smith won the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway for the first win of his career. He stayed on track during the last caution and held off #99-Edwards on a green-white-checker finish.
Edwards held on to finish second followed by #2-Keselowski, #4-Kahne (the pole sitter), #39-Newman, #11-Hamlin, #14-Stewart, #16-Biffle, #1-McMurray, and #56-Truex, Jr.
#29-Harvick and #18-Busch were called to the NASCAR hauler after the race. They were involved in the accident that brought out the final caution of the night. Then as cars were headed to pit road after the checkered flag, they parked next to one another on pit road and Harvick got out of his car to confront Busch, when Busch took off and pushed Harvick's car out of the way and into the pitwall.
The win was the 5th ever for a car #78 and the first since Jim Paschal won at Columbia, SC running the #78 on July 9, 1955 [see wins by car number page].
There were 21 lead changes among 12 drivers; 11 cautions for 46 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 61,000, down from 67,000 last year. Scheduled Race Re-Air: Wednesday, May 11 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED
See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Darlington Race Results/Awards page.(5-7-2011)
Race Fast Facts - Darlington:
Regan Smith won the 62nd Annual SHOWTIME Southern 500, his first victory in 105 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2011.
This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in four races at Darlington Raceway.
Carl Edwards (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in eight races at Darlington Raceway. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2011.
Brad Keselowski (third) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Darlington Raceway.
Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 23 points over Jimmie Johnson.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-7-2011)
Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Dover:
By skipping the last two races, the #21-Wood Brothers team has fallen out of the top 35. The #13 team has moved back in.
32) #36-Blaney/TBR, 156, +16
33) #32-Skinner/FAS Lane, 149, +9
34) #13-Mears/Germain, 147, +7
35) #7-RGordon/RGM, 137, +4 point ahead of 36th these teams / drivers would need to qualify by speed adt Dover:
36) #21-Bayne/Wood Brothers, 140, -4 points out of top 35
37) #71-Lally/TRG, 132, -12
38) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 109, -35
39) #37-Raines/Front Row, 106, -38
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.(5-7-2011)
Montoya, Newman fued continues at Darlington: Tempers were still raging Friday between #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #39-Ryan Newman, who had a heated discussion at Darlington Raceway about an extended on-track feud. Newman, asked if he hit Montoya during what sources called a heated session inside the NASCAR hauler, said, "That's speculation." Asked the same question Montoya said, "I don't know. Ask him." Both drivers tried to downplay their latest flare-up in their morning media sessions, but a later meeting moderated by NASCAR did not go well. The two were called in to discuss their actions last Saturday night at Richmond, where Newman wrecked Montoya early in the race, and Montoya later retaliated by intentionally crashing Newman. "We did have a meeting with both Ryan and Juan relative to their incident, and we made it clear to them that this is their final warning. We also made it clear to them that we will be watching them very closely," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "The meeting did not go as well as we had hoped it would." NASCAR told the two drivers the discussion is not finished.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(5-6-2011) UPDATE: The Juan Pablo Montoya/Ryan Newman feud erupted Friday afternoon at Darlington Raceway. Sources tell FOXSports.com that an altercation broke out between the drivers in the NASCAR hauler, the sanctioning body's at-track office where private meetings can be held. One source told FOXSports.com that Montoya said after the incident that "Newman hits like a girl." When asked directly about the incident after his qualifying run Friday, Montoya said, "I'm not going to tell you s---. Let's leave it at that. What happened in the trailer was between me, Ryan Newman and NASCAR. That's it." Asked about whether Newman threw a punch, Montoya smiled and said, "That's just speculation. It was a private meeting; that's why we met in the hauler."(Fox Sports)(5-7-2011)
Kurt Busch says tirade helped communications: #22-Kurt Busch says his profanity-laced tirade last weekend at Richmond led to a restructuring at Penske Racing that will produce better cars. "Instead of talking about it we're reacting to it," Busch said on Friday at Darlington Raceway. Busch called out technical director Tom German and anybody else within shouting distance after watching his team drop from first to sixth in the standings over the past five races. He said the reaction to his comments opened up the lines of communication to make changes necessary for improvement, specifically in the chassis. Busch said the restructuring had to do more with communication than moving people around. "This weekend here at the racetrack I see four engineers I haven't seen at the track -- ever," the 2004 Sprint Cup champion said. "I see them at the shop, but never at the track." Busch said there's always been an open door policy at Penske Racing, but "things just happen slowly sometimes." He acknowledged the cars haven't been up to par since early last summer after he won the All-Star race and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.ESPN.com)(5-7-2011)
Stewart to drive F1 car in exhibition: UPDATE: Barring an unforeseen scheduling hiccup, two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton will swap racecars in an exhibition later this year, Stewart-Haas Racing spokesman Mike Arning confirmed Saturday. The seat swap comes at the hands of Mobil 1, a mutual sponsor for the two drivers, and is expected to take place at Watkins Glen International sometime during the summer. The cars involved will not be show cars. They will be legitimate race-prepared machines. Hamilton will man Stewart's road course ready # 14 Chevy, and Stewart will drive Hamilton's 2010-model F1 McClaren. The respective drivers' race teams will travel with them to the event to tune the cars.(ESPN.com)(2-27-2011) UPDATE: Mobil 1 is bringing Formula 1 World Champion driver Lewis Hamilton and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart together to swap race cars at the legendary Watkins Glen International in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. This exhibition builds upon Mobil 1's more than three decades of supporting motorsports champions and globally renowned race teams. The Mobil 1 Car Swap will take place on Tuesday, June 14. Hamilton will take laps in Stewart's #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet Impala and Stewart will climb into the cockpit of the team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23. The drivers will drive each other's car on the long course at The Glen, experiencing the 3.4-mile, 11-turn lap course.(The Glen)(5-7-2011)
Fans can vote for Harvick's Daytona scheme: Budweiser and Kevin Harvick will celebrate Fourth of July this year with a special patriotic paint scheme that will be selected by adult NASCAR fans and featured on the #29 Budweiser Chevy during the July 2 race at Daytona International Speedway. Now through June 3, fans 21 years of age or older can visit the Budweiser Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/Budweiser and cast their vote for one of three patriotic paint schemes they would like to see featured on the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet for the July 2 Daytona race. Voting is available in the "Pick Your Paint" tab on the Budweiser Facebook page, and fans can cast one vote daily during the voting period.(Budwesier PR)(5-7-2011)
ICS tracks to donate unused foods: Jeff Gordon, International Speedway Corporation's Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy and Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning announced that, on behalf of Drive to End Hunger, Americrown, ISC's food and beverage concessions operator, will donate all extra food items from the Sprint Cup Series races it services to the local food bank that serves the race track area. Drive to End Hunger is AARP and AARP Foundation's national effort to end hunger for older Americans. Donations are expected to include breads, produce and other food items and will be prepared for delivery by Americrown on Mondays following ISC's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. The announcement follows ISC's donations at Daytona International Speedway of more than 7,000 pounds of excess food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida following the 2011 Daytona 500; Talladega Superspeedway, which donated the extra food from its Aaron's Dream Weekend to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama; and Richmond International Raceway Central which donated to the Central Virginia Food Bank.(ISC)(5-7-2011)
NASCAR community helps victims for tornados: a few examples of what NASCAR the community has done to help folks with relief efforts from the storms that hit Alabama and the South last week.
Between the Red Bull Racing and Hendrick Motorsports transporters approx 65-70,000 lbs of relief items/donations were delivered to Pell City, Ala. to help St. Clair County residents (where 14 people were killed and small communities destroyed) on Weds., May 4; more than 230 people lost their lives on April 27, 2011 due to the outbreak of tornadoes in the state of Alabama.
Items were collected from the following in the NASCAR community: Red Bull, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Motorsports, Michael Waltrip Racing, RCR, JRMotorsports, MRN and Victory Junction Gang Camp;
Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation raised more than $5,000 last weekend, with the monies going towards purchases for baby/children's needs (food, diapers, bottles, socks, underwear, etc..)
More than 16 pallets of water, soda and Red Bull were delivered along with a generator, dozens of coolers, cleaning supplies, canned goods, clothing and items for children (food, formula, sunscreen, clothing, shoes and even brand-new toys) Plus this today thru Sunday, Talladega Superspeedway will aid the American Red Cross in relief efforts from the storms that tore through Alabama with a $100,000 commitment. And race fans can do their part as well and get a chance at tackling the high-banks of Talladega in turn. For a $50 donation to the American Red Cross race fans will be able to drive their personal vehicle around the track and participate in a blood drive there on Saturday. More info at talladegasuperspeedway.com.(5-6-2011)
Ned Jarrett added to Darlington Legends Walk: Just days before his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Ned Jarrett has been added to the Darlington Legends walk on the grounds of the famed 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval. "Ned Jarrett is known throughout NASCAR as one of the nicest and most talented drivers to ever compete on the Cup circuit," said Darlington Raceway President, Chris Browning. "Ned's two NASCAR Cup championships are an impressive feat as is his 14-lap victory in the 1965 Southern 500." Keeping with the historic racing theme present throughout the Darlington Raceway facility, each of the Darlington Legends Walk monuments resembles a Goodyear racing tire and old style pit board. Each monument is made of solid granite and marble and weighs nearly 2,300 pounds.(Darlington Raceway)(5-7-2011)
News from May 6, 2011
Montoya, Newman fued continues at Darlington: Tempers were still raging Friday between #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #39-Ryan Newman, who had a heated discussion at Darlington Raceway about an extended on-track feud. Newman, asked if he hit Montoya during what sources called a heated session inside the NASCAR hauler, said, "That's speculation." Asked the same question Montoya said, "I don't know. Ask him." Both drivers tried to downplay their latest flare-up in their morning media sessions, but a later meeting moderated by NASCAR did not go well. The two were called in to discuss their actions last Saturday night at Richmond, where Newman wrecked Montoya early in the race, and Montoya later retaliated by intentionally crashing Newman. "We did have a meeting with both Ryan and Juan relative to their incident, and we made it clear to them that this is their final warning. We also made it clear to them that we will be watching them very closely," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "The meeting did not go as well as we had hoped it would." NASCAR told the two drivers the discussion is not finished.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(5-6-2011)
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway have been made.
Pole sitter #4-Kahne chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #39-Newman took pit stall 8, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
#11-Hamlin, who starts 3rd took the 7th pit stall, thefirst stall with an opening behind it.
The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #14-Stewart, who starts 9th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-7-2011)
Kahne wins Darlington pole: #4-Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light pole for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway with a speed of 181.254mph, a new track record.
It is his 1st pole of the season and the 21st of his career. #39-Newman starts 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #99-Edwards, #24-Gordon, #9-Ambrose, #43-Allmendinger, #83-Vickers, #14-Stewart, and #22-Keselowski.
The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #38-Kvapil, #46-Yeley, #50-Bell, #60-Skinner, #37-Raines, #30-Stremme, #66-McDowell, and #87-Nemechek.
The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #81-Riggs, #71-Lally, and #92-Keselowski.
See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Darlington Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(5-6-2011)
Qualifying Fast Facts - Darlington:
Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 62nd Annual SHOWTIME Southern 500 with a lap of 27.131 seconds, 181.254 mph a new track record. The previous record was held by Jamie McMurray 180.37 mph (05/08/2010).
This is his 21st pole in 262 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2011.
This is his fourth pole in nine races at Darlington Raceway.
Ryan Newman (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2011 and his 10th in 13 races at Darlington Raceway.
Denny Hamlin (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Darlington Raceway. It is his third in ten races this season.
Andy Lally (45th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(5-6-2011)
Qualifying Order for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted. 46 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-Gordon.
The final top-35 driver scheduled to go out is #39-Newman
The first go-or-go homer scheduled to qualify [36th] is #71-Lally with the final driver scheduled to qualify being #46-Yeley.
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 Darlington Qualifying Page.(5-6-2011)
Friday's first practice: for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is over after being cut short by rain. Final practice was also washed out. The top five, slowest and any notes:
slowest: #92-Keselowski 167.779 & #71-Lally 166.919. No speed: #7-Gordon
incident: #18-Busch got the first Darlington stripe of the session early. Just a little sheetmetal damage that the team will repair. #50-TJ Bell also scraped the wall and will have to have the car repaired. #22-Busch cut down a tire going into turn 1 and hit the wall. He will have to go to a backup car.
See speeds, laps run, aveage speed, best ave 10 laps on the Darlington Practice Speeds Page.(5-6-2011)
Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers: if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
#46-J.J. Yeley, 18th
#66-Michael McDowell, 25th
#50-T.J. Bell, 28th
#30-David Stremme, 31st
#60-Mike Skinner, 32nd
#37-Tony Raines, 33rd
#38-Travis Kvapil, 36th
#81-Scott Riggs, 37th these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
#87-Joe Nemechek, 40th
#92-Brian Keselowski, 44th
#71-Andy Lally, 45th
Congrats: Carl Edwards' wife Kate gave birth Wednesday to their second child, a son named Michael. He weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces. Mother and baby are doing well.(5-6-2011)
Need more SAFER at Richmond? UPDATE: #24-Jeff Gordon was involved in a multi-car accident on lap 302 at Richmond Saturday night and slammed into the inside wall, which had no SAFER barrier protecting the drivers, sone of Gordon's comments after the race:
Q) WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE: Gordon: "It knocked the wind out of me. I just saw the corner through my mirror, a car come into my left rear, and around I went in a hurry. I was hoping that I spun quick enough that I wasn't going to spin to the inside wall. And then I hit really, really hard. I'm just so proud of these guys on the DuPont Chevrolet. We had an awesome race car tonight. I don't know if we had a car capable of winning, but we were certainly going to give it a heck of a try and we certainly had a top-five car pretty easy. So, I hate it with the pit sequence and the pit strategy that was going on there that we lost all that track position. With 100 (laps) to go and everyone was just getting so impatient; you had to dive in there three-wide. I don't know what happened behind me but somebody shot up and got my left rear and around we went. I must have hit the corner of that inside wall. Again, I wish they had a Safer barrier there. I seem to be able to find the ones without the Safer barrier. But what a shame, man. That DuPont Chevrolet was so strong tonight. I'm so proud of Alan (Gustafson) and these guys. I hate that we lost that track position there, you know, with all the pit sequences and pit strategies that were going on there. You know, with 100 to go, everybody is losing their patience, including me. We were all three-wide. I don't know what happened. I just know that somebody got into my left rear and around I went."
Q) YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO FIND THE SPOT WHERE THERE IS NO SAFER BARRIER: Gordon: "I know. I don't know what it is. I'm not trying to teach anybody anything. I really am not. I think it is pretty well known we need safer barriers everywhere. You think it is a short track and everything but man, I hit a ton and hit right on the corner where you don't want to hit. It definitely got my attention. That is for sure. It rang my bell AND Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz Statement on SAFER Barriers at America's Premier Short Track. "The safety of all who attend our events, including the drivers, is of the upmost importance at Richmond International Raceway. We along with NASCAR and the developer of the Safer Barrier at the University of Nebraska, review the performance of the barrier and its locations and have made improvements from time to time based on recommendations from the University of Nebraska, and will continue to look at being able to improve upon it."(RIR)(5-3-2011) UPDATE: Members of Jeff Gordon’s team were informed that Gordon’s crash last week at Richmond registered a G-force spike of about 40, which would be high enough for NASCAR to recommend that a SAFER barrier be added along at least part of the inside backstretch wall at Richmond.
Gordon was uninjured when his car slammed driver side into the inside wall at Richmond. He was outspoken after the crash, questioning why there wasn’t a SAFER barrier on the inside backstretch wall at Richmond in particular and elsewhere at other tracks. NASCAR officials would not reveal the g-force spike in Gordon’s crash but said it was among the hardest hits in Cup this season.(Virginian-Pilot(5-6-2011)
Red Bull Racing: no drivers set for 2012, no Chevy? Red Bull Racing team manager, Jay Frye, says he's comfortable letting things play out elsewhere in the NASCAR garage over the next month or so before he needs to start pushing on the 2012 lineup. #4-Kasey Kahne is on only a one-year contract and moving to Rick Hendrick at the end of the year. That's one seat Frye needs to fill. #83-Brian Vickers is the final year of his contract, is just eight races into his comeback, after sitting out most of 2010 recovering from blood clots. Mark Martin could be the wild card. He's quite happy with Hendrick, though Martin says he has no specific plans for 2012, when he's to turn his Cup team over to Kahne. But Martin and Frye have worked together before and have a good comfort level; Frye, who is bringing along 20-year-old newcomer Cole Whitt (a part-time Nationwide schedule this season), might like Martin as mentor and part-time driver (as Martin did for Frye when they ran Bobby Ginn's team in 2007)…though Red Bull itself might prefer a different marketing demographic than Martin, at 52, might provide. "Everybody knows who the players are," Frye says of the landscape. "And over the next month we'll just be watching and listening…before we have to start making moves and hard pitches. What we have to do right now is run well. When Kasey runs well, he helps us in 'selling' that seat, because that shows everyone what we've got to offer, shows everyone 'Hey, these guys are for real.'" Is a Chevrolet deal in the works for Team Red Bull for 2012? That's not new; it keeps cropping up, in part because Frye has worked with General Motors in the past, and in part because Red Bull is a good co-promotional sponsor. Again Frye is shooting it down: "That's been going on for about three years now. There is no truth to that." [Supposedly Red Bull is signed with Toyota thru 2012](in part from Mikemulhern.net)(5-6-2011)
Cope withdraws from Darlington: Derrike Cope posted on his Facebook page, "I had entered the 75 Sprint Cup car for Darlington this weekend...but after running the car on the engine dyno we found that the horsepower was not where it need to be to really have a chance at qualifying for the race. So, we will address the issue of trying to look at an alternative engine source and hopefully be at the Showdown at Charlotte on All-Star weekend to shake the car down and look at future races later in the year."(5-6-2011)
Speed to attempt Indy 500, Vegas: Dragon Racing will field NASCAR and Formula One veteran Scott Speed in the Indianapolis 500 and also in the Izod IndyCar Series finale at Las Vegas. Speed would be eligible to compete for a $5 million bonus posted by IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard for any driver for another series who wins the race. As a teammate to Ho Pin Tung, Speed would be sponsored by Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka, American Racing Wheels and Vizio in his attempt to make the Indy 500 for Dragon. If he makes the field of the centennial running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, it would mark the IndyCar debut for Speed. Dragon Racing owner Jay Penske, son of 15-time-winning Indianapolis 500 car owner Roger Penske, recently returned to IndyCar at the Long Beach Grand Prix with Paul Tracy after a sponsorship shortage forced his team to close during the offseason. Speed will test at Chicagoland Speedway on May 9th and begin practicing at Indy on May 14.(USA Today)(5-6-2011)
SMI reports first quarter loss: Beset by falling revenues and rising fuel prices, Speedway Motorsports Inc. reported Wednesday that it lost $1.5 million for the first quarter of this fiscal year. The company said revenues were hurt by the country's ongoing economic troubles and the fact that two major races were moved back from this quarter to other dates. Total revenue for the three months ending March 31 fell to $87 million, down from $118 million during the same period last year. Admissions from revenues fell nearly $13 million, to $24.5 million. Company officials said they weren't surprised by the news, and said they still expect the company to earn profits of between 90 cents and $1.20 per share for the fiscal year.(Charlotte Observer)(5-6-2011)
MRN to broadcast Hall of Fame Induction: The Motor Racing Network will provide live coverage of the 2011 induction ceremony for the NASCAR Hall of Fame later this month as the cornerstone of its May schedule. The Hall of Fame induction will air live at 7 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, May 23, capping a busy four-day stretch of broadcasts by the network that will include the Camping World Truck Series race May 20 and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 - both originating from Charlotte Motor Speedway.(MRN)(5-6-2011)
BB&T returns to the #33: #33-Clint Bowyer's Chevy will sport the maroon and yellow paint scheme of BB&T this weekend under the lights. The Winston-Salem, N.C., corporation has three bank branches within a 12-mile radius of the historic track.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #33 team paint schemes page.(5-6-2011)
Book: Funny Dan the Race Car Man: Headline Kids, a division of Headline Books, has released Funny Dan the Race Car Man [32 pages, Retail $15.95] by award-winning writer Tim Packman this week. The book is part of the NASCAR Library Collection and is illustrated by talented artist Brendan Sellaro, a student at West Virginia University. Funny Dan is a NASCAR driver who competes for the pure joy of being involved in something he loves. His passion for racing is the one thing that motivates him to compete and, despite the fact he's never been to victory lane, he's still a winner to his family, friends and fellow competitors. More info on my Book News page.(5-5-2011)
Congrats: Richard Coleman the front tire carrier on the #56 MWR team that Martin Truex Jr. drives for, and his wife Jessica Coleman welcomed their first born son Sunday [May 1st] afternoon at 4:45 pm. Richard Edward Coleman III was 8.1 lbs 21.5 in. Both Mother and baby doing well.(5-5-2011)
Mother's Day Special at Pocono: Pocono Raceway is celebrating Mother's Day with a ticket sale. Show you mother how much you appreciated her by sending her to a live NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Pocono Raceway has slashed their prices on grandstand tickets for both the Pocono and Pennsylvania 500's during this special offer! Concourse tickets are only $22.50 each and Terrace tickets are only $60 each. Tickets are limited to six (6) per order, per customer. Get yours today by clicking here and entering promo code "MOM11" or you can speak to one of our ticket representative at 1-800-RACEWAY!(Pocono Raceway)(5-6-2011)
News from May 5, 2011
Bayne doubtful for Darlington Nationwide race: UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing driver Trevor Bayne remains hospitalized in the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and likely will remain out of the driver's seat for at least another week. Hospitalized last week for fatigue, nausea and blurred vision, Bayne missed the Nationwide Series race at Richmond last week. He likely will miss this weekend's race at Darlington although a final decision might not be made until Thursday, a Roush Fenway Racing spokesman said Wednesday. His replacement would be Chris Buescher.(Scene Daily)(5-4-2011) UPDATE: Chris Buescher likely will replace Trevor Bayne in the Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series car for the second straight race as the Daytona 500 winner remains hospitalized for an undisclosed illness, sources told ESPN.com Wednesday. Despite numerous rumors about Bayne's condition -- which at times has included a rash as well as swelling and numbness in his left arm -- several sources said doctors have not made a final diagnosis and would not speculate on whether this could be career-threatening. A final decision on whether to put Buescher in the car is expected to be made Thursday. Bayne's next scheduled Cup race for the Wood Brothers is the May 21 All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(ESPN.com)(5-4-2011) UPDATE 2: Roush Fenway Racing’s Trevor Bayne has been released from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. after being admitted last week for testing and evaluation. The 20-year old Daytona 500 winner will continue to be monitored closely by the Mayo Clinic team. He is expected to return to his NASCAR racing duties with both Roush Fenway Racing in the Nationwide Series and the Wood Brothers in the Sprint Cup Series this season. He will not, however, be in the #16 Roush Fenway Nationwide Series entry this weekend at Darlington Raceway. No timeframe has been set for Bayne’s return at this point.
“Trevor Bayne was seen by a team of Mayo Clinic specialists where he underwent a series of tests and consultations over the last week,” said Mayo Clinic neurologist Brian Crum, M.D. “He was admitted after suffering from nausea, fatigue and vision impairment. Since his admission, the nausea and fatigue have abated, and the vision impairment continues to be treated with medication, and is showing significant improvement.
“This symptom appears to be the result of an inflammatory condition. Further assessments will be made over the next couple of weeks. His condition is not life threatening or career-ending. We expect he will continue to improve, though the timeframe for his return to racing is unknown at this point. He will continue to be followed closely by his Mayo Clinic team."
Chris Buescher, who drove the #16 Roush Fenway NNS entry last week at Richmond, will again fill in for Bayne this weekend at Darlington. Team officials are unsure of Bayne’s status for next week’s Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway but are hopeful for his return for that race.(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-5-2011)
Different look for Hamlin at Darlington: Sport Clips will serve as the primary sponsor for Denny Hamlin and the #11 Joe Giobbs Racing Toyota this weekend at Darlington Raceway. Sport Clips is headquartered in Georgetown, Texas and has more than 750 Sport Clips locations in 38 states. Hamlin on Racing at Darlington: “It’s exciting to have Sport Clips on board for the Cup race this weekend. We were able to get them to victory lane last week in the Nationwide Race in Richmond and hopefully we can match that success over on the Cup side this weekend. I know they are big race fans so it would be a thrill to give them that opportunity.”(JGR)(5-5-2011)
Drivers complete Brickyard tire test: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #22-Kurt Busch, #16-Greg Biffle, #27-Paul Menard and #56-Martin Truex Jr. got a head start on preparations for the 2011 Brickyard 400 by participating in a Goodyear tire test May 3-4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Menard said drivers and teams still gained plenty of important data and experience despite a high temperature of only 60, at least 20 degrees cooler than the probable Race Day temperature in July. "It was good," Menard said. "Goodyear is trying a bunch of different things, and we hit on a couple things that will hopefully make a great race even better come July. It's a nice, cool day, and we'll come back in July and it'll be really hot, so times will be a lot slower. You have to take that into account in what you do as a driver and kind of set up trends that we learn today and tomorrow that we'll apply for July, for sure."(IMS PR)(5-5-2011)
NASCAR meets with manufacturers: NASCAR held a "town hall" style meeting with its manufacturers - Chevy, Dodge, Ford and Toyota - in Detroit on Tuesday. The five-hour summit, which was described by both sides as "very productive" with "an open exchange," is expected to be the first of many where marketing and competition ideas are shared between the sanctioning body and its automotive partners. NASCAR Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O'Donnell and Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton offered a brief update on the 2013 Sprint Cup car models and the decision behind restructuring points. In addition, computer-aided design photos of one of the 2013 cars were compared to the 2012 street car for the same manufacturer, highlighting an effort to return to the showroom influence. But the focus was geared more toward the current state of the sport and building NASCAR through its new integrated marketing and communications department.(Fox Sports)(5-5-2011)
Hendrick plane crash lawsuits settled: Hendrick Motorsports and the widows of two former Hendrick employees have settled claims with the U.S. government over the October 2004 plane crash that killed 10 people, including four members of team owner Rick Hendrick's family. Lawsuits stemming from the accident were pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals, but recent filings indicate all parties have reached undisclosed settlements to end the litigation. The settlements involved cases in which Linda Turner (widow of HMS general manager Jeff Turner) and Dianne Dorton (widow of HMS engine builder Randy Dorton) had sought money from the government, as did Hendrick Motorsports for the government to contribute to the settlements with the families of victims Scott Lathram (NASCAR driver Tony Stewart's pilot who was a passenger on the plane) and DuPont executive Joe Jackson.(Scene Daily)(5-5-2011)
JTG Daugherty running special decals at Darlington: JTG Daugherty Racing is carrying the Snyder's-Lance Inc. brand Tom's on the hood of Bobby Labonte's #47 Toyota with a special patriotic scheme along with a couple special decals at Darlington Raceway. With the recent partnership of Snyder's-Lance Inc. and the Armed Forces Foundation, the racing organization has positioned the foundation's logo on the quarter panels to show support to their mission of promoting the morale, welfare and quality of life of those within the United States armed forces community, including members of the military and their families. The campaign will run throughout the summer months encouraging consumers to support the Foundation via an in-store and Facebook donation drive along with a matching gift of $25,000 from Snyder's-Lance Inc. In addition to having presence from the Armed Forces Foundation, JTG Daugherty Racing is placing an American Red Cross decal on the C-post highlighting states affected by deadly spring storms.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(5-5-2011)
The Numbers for the Showtime Southern 500:
0 - fewest cautions for a Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway (9/2/63)
1 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (24 times, most recent 9/3/79)
1 - fewest laps led by race winner Ricky Craven, 3/16/03)
2 - fewest leaders (5/9/64)
4 - fewest lead changes (9/4/50)
6 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
10 - most wins by driver (David Pearson)
12 - fewest cars running at finish (9/2/74)
17 - most cautions (5/9/09)
17 - most leaders (9/6/82)
19 - wins from the pole; 35 from the front row (107 races)
23 - most cars on lead lap at finish (9/1/02)
41 - most lead changes (9/6/82)
41 - most running at finish (twice, most recent 5/10/08)
44 - different race winners
47 - different pole winners
82 - number of cars that started the 1951 race on what was then a 1.25-mile track
101 - most caution laps (9/2/74)
120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 1.366-mile track after a significant rainfall Key Darlington Dates
1949 - Harold Brasington, a retired racer, purchased 70 acres from Sherman Ramsey and started construction of the race track. (The egg-shaped design was necessary because Brasington promised Ramsey the track wouldn't disturb his minnow point on the west side of the property).
1950 - First race on Labor Day, a 75-car field for the 500-mile event on what was then a 1.250-mile track
1951 - Field of 82 cars started the race
1953 - Track was re-measured to 1.375 miles
1959 - Last convertible race (won by Fireball Roberts)
1965 - Cale Yarborough, of nearby Timmonsville, crashed with his car sailing over the guard rail and off the track. He was unhurt and the mishap was used as an introduction to ABC's Wide World of Sports for several years.
1970 - Track re-configured to 1.366 miles following the spring race
1982 - International Speedway Corporation (ISC) acquires Darlington Raceway
1995 - Track repaved
1997 - Frontstretch and backstretch switched
2000 - All cars pit on same side for first time
2005 - First Saturday night race at Darlington; track repaved.(Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(5-5-2011)
Bring-a-kid program celebrates 25 years at Darlington: Tommy DeWitt didn't quite know what he was getting himself into 25 years ago when he walked into the office of Red Tyler, then Darlington Raceway President, with a bold idea. DeWitt, who counted the track as a client of his pest control business, had an idea to fill the stands during the track's NASCAR Nationwide Series events. The idea: offer Nationwide race tickets and Christian fellowship to families through Darlington Raceway Ministries and the Welsh Neck Baptist Association. Tyler's response was immediate, "Let's do it." The program began small and grew, quickly. Managed by Tommy and his wife Linda since its inception in 1987, Bring-A-Kid has brought over 150,000 youths to Darlington Raceway for fellowship and racing. Each package includes a Nationwide Series race ticket, hot-dog, soda and a Christian themed program prior to the race. "Bring-A-Kid has grown to levels we could never have imagined back in 1987," said Linda Dewitt. "Tommy and I love being a part of this program and enjoy being a part of the kid's lives at Darlington Raceway." "Tommy and Linda have poured so much of their heart and souls into this program at Darlington Raceway," said track President, Chris Browning. "Each year when they call to place their ticket order we are amazed at the number of youth they are bringing to the track." The DeWitts will be honored during the pre-race ceremonies of the upcoming Royal Purple 200 at Darlington Raceway. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com/tickets/.(Darlington Raceway)(5-5-2011)
Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall on display at Darlington: Veterans and active members of America's armed services travel great distances and make great sacrifices to preserve and protect freedom and liberty and now race fans can honor these service men and women during the SHOWTIME Southern 500 weekend at Darlington Raceway. The American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) Traveling Wall will visit Darlington Raceway on Friday, May 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Fans are invited to attend a special wreath laying ceremony at the Wall at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 6. The Traveling Wall is an 80 percent scale version of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. Across its 370-foot length the wall contains every single name etched on the original. At its apex the memorial is an impressive eight-feet tall. The traveling wall was completed in early 1998 and began traveling that year. AVTT's traveling wall is the largest Wall replica traveling the United States. Race fans are encouraged to visit the display located in the display/vendor area behind the Tyler Tower grandstand. AVTT staff will be onsite and can assist fans in finding names of loved ones honored on the Traveling Wall display.(Darlington PR)(5-5-2011)
Updated amenities and entertainment options at Darlington: Race fans preparing to make the trip to Darlington Raceway for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Royal Purple
200 and Showtime Southern 500 this Mother's Day weekend will have plenty of updated amenities and entertainment options to look forward too at the track Too Tough To Tame. "Ensuring that our guests have the best possible experience while they are here is our number one priority," said Darlington Raceway, Chris Browning. "Everything we do focuses on that objective and we take pride in providing a unique, southern hospitality, experience." Fans can look forward to the following items when they converge on Darlington Raceway this Mother's Day weekend:
· Way-finding Signage - Signage around the facility has
been updated with new 3-D maps making it easier for fans to find their way around the 400-plus acre facility. Additionally, new parking lot marker signs have been added in the Petty Boulevard parking lot making it easier for fans to locate their vehicles.
· Redesigned Event Program - The Darlington Raceway
Official Souvenir Program has been redesigned with value-minded fans in mind! Now only $5, each program features the same great content as previous year's programs but also has several money saving coupons, including $10 off a purchase at Americrown souvenir stands.
· Larger Cooler Size - Fans will now be permitted to
bring in coolers measuring 14x14x14 (2,700 cubic inches) - six times larger than the size previously permitted. These coolers can typically hold up to 36 cans of Coca-Cola or other beverages.
Coolers must be soft-sided and be free of wheels or telescoping handles but may have removable plastic liners.
· Darlington Car Hauler Parade Presented by Nationwide
Insurance - The Darlington Car Hauler parade returns for its seventh run from the Florence Civic Center, through the Darlington Square, before entering Darlington Raceway. Race Fest gets underway at 4:00 p.m. at the Civic Center and the trucks depart at 7:00 p.m.
· Extended Darlington Raceway Museum and Pit Shop Hours -
The Darlington Raceway Museum and Pit Shop will feature extended hours on race week and is stocked with all of the latest NASCAR gear from your favorite driver. Coupons from the Official Souvenir Program are valid on Pit Shop purchases. Take a stroll down memory lane while you are there with a visit to the Darlington Raceway Museum and National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. For just $5 you can see some of the most fabled cars in NASCAR's 60-plus year history. Darlington Raceway, or the track Too Tough To Tame as it is known to many, is where the purest of NASCAR competition meets true southern hospitality. A NASCAR staple since 1950, Darlington Raceway has seen some of motorsports most talented drivers thunder to Gatorade Victory Lane. On Mother's Day weekend, May 6-7, 2011, NASCAR's biggest stars return to battle the track Too Tough To Tame in the Sprint Cup Series Showtime Southern 500® and Nationwide Series Royal Purple 200. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com/tickets/.(Darlington Raceway)(5-5-2011)
News from May 4, 2011
Bayne doubtful for Darlington Nationwide race: UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing driver Trevor Bayne remains hospitalized in the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and likely will remain out of the driver’s seat for at least another week. Hospitalized last week for fatigue, nausea and blurred vision, Bayne missed the Nationwide Series race at Richmond last week. He likely will miss this weekend’s race at Darlington although a final decision might not be made until Thursday, a Roush Fenway Racing spokesman said Wednesday. His replacement would be Chris Buescher.(Scene Daily)(5-4-2011) UPDATE: Chris Buescher likely will replace Trevor Bayne in the Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series car for the second straight race as the Daytona 500 winner remains hospitalized for an undisclosed illness, sources told ESPN.com Wednesday. Despite numerous rumors about Bayne's condition -- which at times has included a rash as well as swelling and numbness in his left arm -- several sources said doctors have not made a final diagnosis and would not speculate on whether this could be career-threatening. A final decision on whether to put Buescher in the car is expected to be made Thursday. Bayne's next scheduled Cup race for the Wood Brothers is the May 21 All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(ESPN.com)(5-4-2011)
Wiley X sponsoring Kenseth: Wiley X Eyewear's successful NASCAR sponsorship program has switched into high gear with announcement of the #17 Wiley X Sunglasses Ford. This car will be driven by Matt Kenseth and will make its nationwide debut Saturday, May 7th in the Showtime Southern 500 at South Carolina's historic Darlington Raceway. Kenseth will also drive this special paint scheme on Sunday, May 17th as he tries to win the Fed Ex 400 benefitting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway in Delaware. Large Wiley X Eyewear logos will be featured prominently on the Ford Fusion race car, perfectly complimenting the vehicle's black/red/white color scheme. The words "Wiley X Sunglass Machine" are emblazoned in large letters across the rear of the car - a view Kenseth hopes to show competitors as he fights for the checkered flag at these two events.(Roush Fenway)(5-4-2011)
Sprint Cup season at the quarter mark:
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series reached race No. 9 at Richmond last Saturday night, the official quarter mark of the season. At this point, teams – and fans – have a pretty good feel for how this year might fall out. In other words, we’re well past the “it’s too early to tell” phase of the season. Thus far, the season has been filled with competitive balance and record-breaking numbers. Only two drivers – Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch – have multiple wins, sending a clear signal that this year’s championship is wide open. Some of the other numbers…
• There has been an average of 14.1 leaders per race, the most through nine races in series history.
• There has been an average of 35.8 lead changes per race, the most through nine races in series history.
• Four of the nine races have seen the lead change record broken or tied.
• Six different teams make up the top 10.
• There have been seven different winners in the first nine races.
• There have been seven different Coors Light Pole winners in the first nine races.
• Five of the nine races have had a margin of victory under one second, including Talladega, which tied the closest MOV since the inception of electronic timing in 1993 (.002 seconds).
• There has been an average of 4,255 passes per race, second-most since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.
• There has been an average of 50 passes per race, second-most since the inception of Loop Data in 2005.(NASCAR)(5-4-2011)
Sirius NASCAR Radio gets new channel number: Starting Wednesday, May 4 SiriusXM is reorganizing their channel lineup and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will move to channel 90. For more information about the channel linuep change, see the SiriusXM web site.(5-4-2011)
Testing underway on Charlotte video board: The final touches are being put on the world's largest HD video board as officials from Panasonic are in Charlotte, N.C., this week testing the massive screen that will debut during Charlotte Motor Speedway's 2011 May race events. The face of the approximately 200-foot-wide, 80-foot-tall screen is comprised of 158 panels and each is being tested graphically for color quality, contrast and light levels this week. More than nine million light emitting diode, or LED, lamps will illuminate the Panasonic video board during select NASCAR events at Charlotte Motor Speedway this spring, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29.(CMS)(5-4-2011)
Bristol Race to Relief Creates 24 Hours of Awareness: Relief and awareness of victims in Tennessee and Virginia from the recent devastating storms are the focus as Bristol Motor Speedway and Dragway aid efforts of the American Red Cross this Friday and Saturday with a variety of activities during the BMS Race To Relief. From 5-8 p.m. Friday, for a $25 donation to the relief efforts, fans may make laps around the famed Bristol Motor Speedway in their own cars. For those who cannot make it Friday evening, anyone interested can take part in track laps from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 7. While some take laps on the Speedway, others who happen to be driving by the Speedway may help as well. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, at the North Entrance of the Speedway, BMS employees will be on hand to collect monetary donations of any amount from people wanting take part in the "drop in the bucket" fundraiser. In addition, 25 percent of every ticket sold Saturday for any event during the August NASCAR IRWIN Tools Night Race weekend will be donated to the Red Cross.(BMS)(5-4-2011)
News from May 3, 2011
Crew changes for Truex: #56-Martin Truex Jr. will have new tire carriers and tire changers this weekend at Darlington. Steve Hallam, MWR's Executive Vice President said: "We've seen significant improvement in the overall performance of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota in 2011. With our impressive speed comes the added pressure of the entire team to perform. As we know, the #56 has experienced several challenges on pit road and we feel the need to intervene. Pit crews are professional sportsmen and as such, they understand that sometimes changes need to be made. The team will have new tire carriers and changers beginning at Darlington this weekend. Two of those four athletes we've added come from our Nationwide program and the other two from our back-up squad. Our organization is fortunate to have the flexibility and depth of experienced crew members to make adjustments from time to time that benefit everyone involved." The new crew members are Front Tire Changer: Eric Maycroft, Front Tire Carrier: Ricky Coleman, Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Rankin, Rear Tire Carrier: Jake Brzozowski.(MWR)(5-3-2011)
NASCAR Chairman Brian France Visits ESPN: Brian France, chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR, visited ESPN on Monday and appeared on NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program, and on SportsCenter.
On SportsCenter, France told anchor Kevin Negandhi that the sport has momentum. "We started off with a really neat champion in the Daytona 500, Trevor Bayne, a young kid with an old team, so we had some neat storylines. Some of the drivers that had been struggling, like Jeff Gordon, have already won and they've put notice that they're going to contend for the championship. Jimmie Johnson could do something historic and get to six, and then Dale Earnhardt Jr. is running well, he's well within our playoff structure to make it, and he's competing at a high level, so we see a lot of neat things going on right now." Some more quotes from France's appearance on SportsCenter: What does it mean to the sport of NASCAR when Dale Earnhardt Jr. is succeeding?
"He's the biggest franchise in NASCAR. It would be great if he continues to figure out the chemistry of the team. He's done that, and I think his confidence is finally back to where it was a few years ago. He went through a pretty good slump, so it's nice to see him competing at a high level." Why do you think Jimmie Johnson doesn't get enough credit?
"I don't think that's something he runs around trying to promote and figure out. I think he just puts his game face on and wins when he needs to win. He's a great guy, he's represented us well, and we'll see what he does on (championship) No. 6." What's your favorite thing when you go out to the track?
"The size of it, the huge crowds that file in, the energy level when the green flag comes out. It's just a different feeling than perhaps any other sport."
France later joined part of the one-hour Monday roundtable edition of NASCAR Now to discuss the sport with ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven, ESPN.com senior writer Ed Hinton, NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith and host Allen Bestwick.(ESPN)(5-3-2011)
Need more SAFER at Richmond? #24-Jeff Gordon was involved in a multi-car accident on lap 302 at Richmond Saturday night and slammed into the inside wall, which had no SAFER barrier protecting the drivers, sone of Gordon's comments after the race:
Q) WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE: Gordon: "It knocked the wind out of me. I just saw the corner through my mirror, a car come into my left rear, and around I went in a hurry. I was hoping that I spun quick enough that I wasn't going to spin to the inside wall. And then I hit really, really hard. I'm just so proud of these guys on the DuPont Chevrolet. We had an awesome race car tonight. I don't know if we had a car capable of winning, but we were certainly going to give it a heck of a try and we certainly had a top-five car pretty easy. So, I hate it with the pit sequence and the pit strategy that was going on there that we lost all that track position. With 100 (laps) to go and everyone was just getting so impatient; you had to dive in there three-wide. I don't know what happened behind me but somebody shot up and got my left rear and around we went. I must have hit the corner of that inside wall. Again, I wish they had a Safer barrier there. I seem to be able to find the ones without the Safer barrier. But what a shame, man. That DuPont Chevrolet was so strong tonight. I'm so proud of Alan (Gustafson) and these guys. I hate that we lost that track position there, you know, with all the pit sequences and pit strategies that were going on there. You know, with 100 to go, everybody is losing their patience, including me. We were all three-wide. I don't know what happened. I just know that somebody got into my left rear and around I went."
Q) YOU ALWAYS SEEM TO FIND THE SPOT WHERE THERE IS NO SAFER BARRIER: Gordon: "I know. I don't know what it is. I'm not trying to teach anybody anything. I really am not. I think it is pretty well known we need safer barriers everywhere. You think it is a short track and everything but man, I hit a ton and hit right on the corner where you don't want to hit. It definitely got my attention. That is for sure. It rang my bell AND Richmond International Raceway President Doug Fritz Statement on SAFER Barriers at America's Premier Short Track. "The safety of all who attend our events, including the drivers, is of the upmost importance at Richmond International Raceway. We along with NASCAR and the developer of the Safer Barrier at the University of Nebraska, review the performance of the barrier and its locations and have made improvements from time to time based on recommendations from the University of Nebraska, and will continue to look at being able to improve upon it."(RIR)(5-3-2011)
Fueling Dreams Tour Set For 2011: program aim to provide career opportunities for Nation's youth: NASCAR announced today the 2011 Fueling Dreams Tour, a creative and multifaceted program whose aim is to identify talented drivers and provide them with the tools and opportunities to fulfill their dreams of becoming race car drivers. Additionally, Fueling Dreams introduces a cross-section of young fans to NASCAR through resources, tools, experiential engagement and career opportunities within motorsports to help develop the next generation of motorsports executives. Over the course of 10 months, the Fueling Dreams Tour will blanket the nation, touching youth and families through racing simulators, show cars, contests, giveaways and online racing. High school students can enjoy the NASCAR Fan Experience High School Outreach program brought to their schools exclusively (NASCAR). For more info, see Jayski's Driver Development page.(5-3-2011)
2011 National Speedway Directory comes out in May: The source for race tracks hits the shelves in mid-May. The 2011 National Speedway Directory will list a total of 1,374 auto racing facilities. This directory is the most comprehensive and accurate listing of active tracks in the United States and Canada. Inside this handy 592-page paper-back book is detailed information on 1,000 oval tracks, 331 dragstrips and 108 road courses, including phone numbers, addresses, exact directions, nights of operation and type of racing. National Speedway Directory is the trusted information source for the motorsports industry. It prints listings of oval tracks, dragstrips, road courses, sanctions, publications, museums and race schedules. National Speedway Directory has been published annually since 1975. Track Guide is the new iPhone app, which puts race track information and directions right in the palm of your hand. Users can locate their favorite tracks, anywhere, anytime.(more info at the National Speedway Directory site)(5-3-2011)
Darlington Racway rededicates infield media center in honor of Jim Hunter: Darlington Raceway officials have rededicated the facility's media center in honor of former track President and NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communication, Jim Hunter. As part of the rededication, a plaque featuring a photo of the late Jim Hunter will be installed near the building's main entrance. "Darlington Raceway meant so much to Jim, he looked forward to coming back to his home track each spring," said Ann Hunter, wife of the late Jim Hunter. "I am happy that his memory will continue to live on for years to come at the track that was so special to him." The Jim Hunter Media Center was built in 1997 and has served as the hub of media coverage of Darlington's race weekends ever since. Tickets for this weeks races can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at darlingtonraceway.com/tickets/.(Darlington Raceway)(5-3-2011)
CMS Providing 1,000 Tickets For U.S. Navy SEALs and Their Families: In the wake of Sunday's news of the U.S. Navy SEALs successful mission in bringing Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden to justice, Charlotte Motor Speedway officials are pleased to announce that 1,000 tickets will be provided by fans and sponsors to send active SEALs and their families to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29. Started by Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2010, the Let the Troops Race program allows fans and sponsors to purchase $20 tickets to send active military members and their families to the Coca-Cola 600. A Memorial Day Weekend tradition, the Coca-Cola 600 annually honors U.S. military members and features the largest military pre-race show in the world. More than 600 troops from Fort Bragg, N.C., will assist in the large-scale military demonstration on the frontstretch and three Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized on stage prior to driver introductions. But, that's just the tip of the iceberg, as full details of the Let Freedom Race prerace show will be released in the near future.
Fans can participate in the Let the Troops Race program and send a military member and their family to the Coca-Cola 600 for only $20 by calling the Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-3-2011)
News from May 2, 2011
Brian France on Monday's NASCAR Now: Brian France, chairman and chief executive officer of NASCAR, will be a special guest on Monday's edition of NASCAR Now, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program, airing at 5:00 pm/et. France will be in the studio and join part of the one-hour Monday roundtable edition of the program to discuss the sport with ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven, ESPN.com senior writer Ed Hinton, NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith and host Allen Bestwick. In addition to appearing on NASCAR Now, France also will be interviewed on SportsCenter, ESPN's flagship news and information program, during the 10 am program. The interview will re-air in later editions of SportsCenter between noon and 3 pm Monday.(ESPN)(5-1-2011)
Big non-NASCAR news: Osama bin Laden was killed in a U.S.-led military operation, President Barack Obama announced in an extraordinary address late Sunday night. Special forces pulled off the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, earlier Sunday and recovered the body of the 9/11 mastermind. Much more info at abcnews.com or cnn.com.(5-2-2011)
The Entry List for the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted, 47 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: Not in top 35 of owners points:
#30-David Stremme (46/1)
#37-Tony Raines (38/9)
#38-Travis Kvapil (39/9)
#46-J.J. Yeley (40/9)
#50-T.J. Bell (none/0)
#60-Mike Skinner (45/9)
#66-Michael McDowell (41/9)
#71-Andy Lally (37/9)
#75-Derrike Cope (none/0)
#81-Scott Riggs (none/0)
#87-Joe Nemechek (43/9)
#92-Brian Keselowski (47/5) In the event that all practices and qualifying are all rained out or cancelled:
the eight who would make it : #'s 71,37,38,46,66,87,60,92
missing the race would be : #'s 30,50,75,81
See the full entry list at my Jayski's Darlington Entry List.(5-2-2011)
2nd Whitney Motorsports car at Darlington: Scott Riggs is entered in the #81 Whitney Motorsports Chevy in the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Hearing the team will run as many races as possible to help support the #46 Whitney Motorsports team that J.J. Yeley drives for.(5-2-2011)
Richmond overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing posted a 3.4/7 in Primetime for the race from Richmond. Saturday night's race was flat with last year's Richmond telecast, and easily powered FOX to a first place finish for the night beating NBC (2.7/5), CBS (2.5/5), and ABC (2.1/4). Because last year's Richmond race was run a week later, that 2010 rating is not yet included in the year-ago average, instead a higher Talladega rating is. Through 9 races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 4.7/10, down one-tenth from last year's 4.8/10 which included two less races in the average. See race-by-race, 4 year comparison on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(5-2-2011)
Busch brothers 5th best in brotherly wins: With #18-Kyle Busch's win at Richmond, he now has 21 Sprint Cup wins and his bother #22-Kurt Busch has 22 for a total of 43 for brothers. The record for two or more brothers wins combined [both have had to win] is 94 by Bobby Allison  and Donnie Allison . The Busch's are tied for 5th with Terry  and Bobby  Labonte. The top-10 Brother wins list:
94 - Allison: Bobby (84), Donnie (10)
88 - Waltrip: Darrell (84), Michael (4)* [both Daytona 500 Champs]
62 - Flock: Tim (39), Fonty (19) Bob (4)
49 - Thomas: Herb (48), Donald (1)
43 - Labonte: Terry (22), Bobby (21)* [both Series Champs]
43 - Busch: Kurt (22)*, Kyle (21)*
26 - Burton: Jeff (21)*, Ward (5)
22 - Parsons: Benny (21), Phil (1)
19 - Bodine: Geoff (18), Brett (1)
[Petty Note, Richard won 200, Maurice won 0, only count if both bothers have won]
* still active.(5-2-2011)
Richmond Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Recording began at the Invocation of the race at 7:30 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: 116
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 71
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 49
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 5 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:55 PM
Total minutes: 205
Minutes of race broadcast: 157
Minutes of commercials: 48
Number of missed restarts: 1
Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
Number of 'Digger' appearances: 9
Number of pit boxes on fire: 1 Robby Gordon's
Number of loyal brothers honoring another loyal brother: 1 Matthew Hansen (Daniel Hansen)
Total race brdcst time 157 Total comm. brdcst time 48
See more details, driver focus and past races on the 2011 TV Commercials page.(5-2-2011)
DeLana Harvick Selected as One of The Top Women in Business: Kevin Harvick Inc. (KHI) co-owner DeLana Harvick has been selected as a recipient of The Business Journal's 12th-annual Women in Business award and will be honored today at a luncheon along with the other award winners in Greensboro, N.C. For over 10 years, The Business Journal's Women in Business program has honored extraordinary businesswomen in the Triad for outstanding contributions to their profession, employers and community. Sponsored by the Bryan Series at Guilford College and NewBridge Bank, the Women in Business program recognized 15 outstanding business leaders, ranging from entrepreneurs to high-ranking executives. Harvick grew up in racing as her father, John Paul Linville, was a driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series until 1995. While she would have preferred to follow in her father's footsteps behind the wheel, she found a successful career in motorsports public relations. Her strong work ethic and professionalism earned the Kernersville, N.C. native the respect of not only the media, but of the racing community as well.
In February of 2001, Harvick married her husband, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick. Together they formed KHI which celebrates 10 years of competition in NASCAR this season. The Harvicks have two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championships to their credit and multiple wins in both the Truck Series and Nationwide Series with a host of drivers. With the support of long-time and new sponsor partners, KHI has grown to three full-time Truck Series teams and two full-time Nationwide Series teams which will compete for both the Driver and Owner championships in the two series this year.
In 2010, the duo founded the Kevin Harvick Foundation. Established to support programs that positively enrich the lives of children throughout the United States, the Kevin Harvick Foundation works not only to improve the quality of life, but to help underprivileged youth find and realize their dreams by supporting programs such as the Kevin Harvick Athletic Scholarship Fund at California State University, Bakersfield, Kevin's Krew, Kevin Harvick Foundation Chase Your Dreams Scholarships and a camper cabin at Victory Junction.(KHI)(5-2-2011)
News from May 1, 2011
Roush-Edwards contract discussions continue: Roush Fenway Racing president Steve Newmark said discussions also continue with Carl Edwards, who is the only Roush driver not signed beyond 2011. The team's deal with AFLAC, the primary sponsor of Edwards' #99 Ford, also is up after this season. Roush recently announced extensions concurrently with Greg Biffle and sponsor 3M. It's expected the contract for Edwards would be done the same way. "The way NASCAR has evolved a little bit is sponsor and driver contracts aren't done in isolation," Newmark said. "They're connected. The driver salary is directly dependent on the sponsor dollars coming in, so that dictates all of it. We've had discussions with AFLAC as well, similar to what we did with 3M and Greg. You try to match everything up; it's putting the pieces of a puzzle together. We continue to have continuous discussions and remain cautiously optimistic about getting a deal done."(USA Today)(5-1-2011)
NASCAR, manufacturers schedule meeting: NASCAR officials and representatives of the four participating manufacturers plan to meet next week in Detroit. It's all informal, of course. NASCAR President Mike Helton likened the meeting with representatives from Dodge, Ford, General Motors and Toyota to the many town hall sessions with teams and drivers over the last few years. "The idea was for us to be better communicators with the stakeholders — the broadcast partners, the tracks, the teams, the drivers," Helton said.(Associated Press)(5-1-2011)
Bayne Undergoing Medical Tests UPDATE 2: Roush Fenway's [and Wood Brothers Racing's #21] Trevor Bayne has been hospitalized and is undergoing tests for symptoms that are thought to be related to the insect bite he sustained earlier this month. "Trevor was not feeling well early this week and he is currently being evaluated for lingering symptoms that may be related to his previous insect bite," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "Unfortunately Trevor will not be available to drive the #16 Ford for us this weekend in the Nationwide race at Richmond [Bayne was not scheduled to run the Sprint Cup race as the #21 Wood Brother's team runs a limited schedule]. As of now, our plans are to use a substitute driver from the Roush Fenway family of drivers in place of Trevor at Friday night's race. Obviously Trevor wanted to be in Richmond and he's upset about not being able to compete. However, his health is our top priority and we insisted that he have these tests to get to the bottom of his symptoms. We will work to provide you with further updates as they become available." The 20-year old driver was treated and released earlier this month after a reaction from an apparent insect bite on his left elbow that he suffered earlier that week while at home in North Carolina.(Roush Fenway Racing)(4-28-2011) UPDATE: Trevor Bayne remained hospitalized a second night Friday as he undergoes tests for symptoms thought to be related to an insect bite suffered earlier this month. He suffered nausea and fatigue earlier this week before going to the hospital for the second time this month, a Roush Fenway Racing official said. Bayne was hospitalized April 10 upon returning to North Carolina from the Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. "[Bayne] is undergoing a very comprehensive and thorough battery of tests,'' said Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing, on Friday night at Richmond International Raceway. "The doctors will finish those tests and, hopefully, get the results back and figure out what the diagnosis is. In a perfect world, what's going to happen is that they're going to come back and say, 'Roush Fenway, you overreacted.' In our view, the racing is kind of irrelevant right now when you're talking about the health of a 20-year old kid.'' Bayne was scheduled to have competed in Friday night's Nationwide race. He was replaced by Chris Buescher.(Roanoke Times)(4-30-2011) UPDATE 2: Bayne no longer believes an insect bite is behind the symptoms that have landed him in the hospital. "Still at the hospital!" Bayne posted on Twitter on Saturday night. "Don't think its related to the bite ... But we'll see!" Roush Fenway Racing announced Thursday that Bayne had been hospitalized to be tested for symptoms that were believed to be from an insect bite in early April. Team owner Jack Roush told the Motor Racing Network that Bayne has been hospitalized at the Mayo Clinic. The team has released very few details about the 20-year-old, and has not said how long he's been hospitalized (Associated Press)(5-1-2011)
NASCAR Championship Tickets On-Sale at Homestead: Tickets for NASCAR's Ford Championship Weekend go on-sale to the general public Monday, May 2. For the 10th consecutive year, Homestead-Miami Speedway will host NASCAR during Ford Championship Weekend. South Florida again will be the site where NASCAR crowns its Champions in all three of its top national divisions—the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series— the weekend of Nov. 18-20, 2011. Homestead-Miami Speedway is making it easier to enjoy NASCAR's Ford Championship Weekend Nov. 18-20 with several new amenities. A three-day championship tradition unlike any other, Homestead-Miami Speedway provides the South Florida finish line for NASCAR's series-crowning finale, Ford Championship Weekend Nov. 18-20. For ticket information, visit HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com or call (866) 409-RACE.(HMS)(5-1-2011)