NASCAR SPRINT CUP NEWS ARCHIVE
SEPTEMBER 2011

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    News from September 30, 2011

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 1:40pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 1:30pm/et
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

  • Qualifying Order for the AAA 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #32-Bkiss, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #27-Menard, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Dover Qualifying Page.(9-30-2011)

  • Happy Hour practice for the AAA 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over, after 95 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #5-Martin 155.072
    #24-Gordon 154.017
    #42-Montoya 153.840
    #30-Stremme 153.374 (1 lap)
    #55-Kvapil 153.165
    slowest: #71-Lally 149.844 & #32-Bliss 150.169
    See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run, best 10 lap average on the Dover Practice Speeds Page.(9-30-2011)

  • Friday's 1st practice for the AAA 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #27-Menard 156.027
    #17-Kenseth 155.986
    #99-Edwards 155.891
    #24-Gordon 155.878
    #18-Busch 155.777
    slowest: #32-Bliss 149.142 & #87-Nemechek 149.558
    notes: no TV coverage for this practice, the qualifying order will be set my practice speeds of this session, slowest to fastest.
    See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run, best 10 lap average on the Dover Practice Speeds Page.(9-30-2011)

  • 1st Friday Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers in Dover:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #30-David Stremme, 31st fastest overall
    #66-Michael McDowell, 33rd
    #7-Reed Sorenson, 34th
    #46-Scott Speed, 35th
    #55-Travis Kvapil, 36th
    #37-Josh Wise, 37th
    #38-J.J. Yeley, 38th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 42nd
    this driver would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 43rd
    (only post this comparsion for the session used for qualifying)

  • Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Continues at Dover: The third race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be run at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 2, and ESPN will a live telecast of the 400-lap race on the 1-mile track. The NASCAR Countdown presented by NAPA pre-race show airs at 1:00pm/et with the race's green flag at 2:15 pm/et. ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup practice on Friday, Sept. 30, at 2:30 pm. Analysts Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree will join lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth to call the action for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Nicole Briscoe with analysis by 1989 champion driver Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the race telecasts.
    RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, Oct. 2, RacingLive! Dover will kick off to coincide with ESPN's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. Fans can join ESPN.com's NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at espn.go.com/racing/nascar/. ESPN.com motorsports writer David Newton will be on hand at Dover.

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

  • Johnson says all is good with Chad: #48-Jimmie Johnson, met with members of the media at Dover International Speedway and discussed working with his crew chief Chad Knaus. The transcript in part:
    Q) HAVE YOU AND CHAD DISCUSSED THE CONVERSATION ON THE RADIO LAST WEEKEND AT NEW HAMPSHIRE?
    Johnson: "No, nothing off of this. After 10 years of working together, there are plenty of things that we know about each other and a lot of discussions that have taken place. There hasn't been anything more than normal. I mean, when you work with someone as long as we have, for over 10 years now, there are hot spots and buttons that can be pushed that send someone over the edge. We know what took place last weekend and he knows at times I can be frustrated with his cheerleading. That is what I said on the radio. So, it's nothing new to us. I know a lot of people are reacting to it and think that it is something abnormal. There's a lot of other instances throughout the last 10 years where stuff like this has gone on and during our review of races and review of things and how to be a better group-a better team; we talk about this stuff all the time. So, yes it wasn't our finest moment on Sunday, but, it is what we deal with. It's been part of what we've been dealing with for 10 years."
    Q) HAVE YOU SPENT ANY MORE TIME WITH CHAD THIS WEEK DISCUSSING WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IN THE WEEKS GOING FORWARD?
    Johnson: "No, it's been business as usual. We did have a function that Lowe's came to the shop and the Lowe's execs spent some time with us, congratulation the No. 48 team for making the Chase. But, outside of that, it's the same stuff. We're working as hard as we can to bring the best setup to the race track; our best cars and feel very good about this weekend's race."(Team Chevy)(9-30-2011)

  • Chevy Teams Add Pink Numbers and Bowties for Dover Race: Several Chevy teams will showcase pink numbers and Chevy Bowties in their paint schemes during this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway in support of Chevrolet's ongoing efforts to help the American Cancer Society in raising awareness during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The participating teams will have pink car numbers on the roof and doors, pink Chevrolet Bowtie on the hood and rear bumper, and pink Impala nameplate on the front bumper.
    "October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Chevrolet is extremely proud to help support the American Cancer Society's efforts to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays," said Jeff Chew, Chevy Racing Marketing Manager. "Several Team Chevy Impalas are carrying the pink awareness message, which will be seen by countless race fans, and hopefully will help to serve as a reminder that we can all do our part in helping in the fight against cancer." Chevrolet dealers across the country will be working in their communities to support the fight against breast cancer through the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program.
    In September, Chevrolet donated $29,800 to the American Cancer Society as a result of a combined 149 caution laps during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. Chevrolet had pledged to donate $200 for each caution lap that a specially-themed "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" pink 2011 Camaro SS pace car led the field during those two races.(Team Chevy), see some of the cars are posted: #14, #27, #29, #31, #42 & #78.(9-30-2011)

  • ROTC scheme for Newman at Dover: Ryan Newman's #39 U.S. Army Chevy will pay tribute to the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (Army ROTC) in the AAA 400 Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. Army ROTC is a college-based, officer commissioning program.(U.S. Army Racing)(9-30-2011)

  • Johnson Facing Tall Order To Overcome Early Deficit: #48-Jimmie Johnson has been down – but not out – before. Three times he's fallen to ninth in the championship standings, twice in 2004 when he scratched his way back to finish runner-up to Kurt Busch. Johnson opened the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ninth after a 39th-place finish in 2006, the season in which he claimed the first of five consecutive titles.
    Two races into this year's postseason, Johnson finds himself at an all-time Chase low of 10th, 29 points behind leader Tony Stewart.
    The deficit doesn't seem like much at first glance but consider:
    • Those 29 points represent roughly 120 points under the previous system.
    • He's more than half a race in the hole, points-wise.
    • Even more disturbing, Johnson cannot race his way to the lead without help. Wishing for nine rivals to stumble over the course of eight races may be an extremely tall order. All that may have prompted this tweet from Chase rival Brad Keselowski on Tuesday afternoon, moments after ESPN announced that the ratings for Sunday's New Hampshire race were up from last season: "I think ratings are up cuz [sic] it doesn't look like J.J. will win it again."
    Humorous trash talking aside, Johnson has another reason to smile. Dover International Speedway is one of the California native's best tracks. He has won three of the last five races and six times overall, and has posted eight top fives and 13 top 10s along with three Coors Light Poles. Johnson owns a series-best Driver Rating of 117.4 at the Monster Mile, where he finished ninth in May. Click here for video of Johnson discussing how Dover is his favorite track.(NASCAR)(9-30-2011)

  • Stewart going for three in row: #14-Tony Stewart has already accomplished the unthinkable in going 2-for-2 to open the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, winning at both Chicagoland Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway. In capturing his first two victories of 2011 in such a fashion, Stewart became only the second driver to start the Chase with two consecutive wins. The first was in 2008 by Greg Biffle, who went on to finish third in that season's championship points.
    Now, can he do the seemingly impossible? For one, he'd be the first to open the Chase with three consecutive wins. Two, it'd be the first time in his career he has ever won three straight. Three, you have to go all the way back to the 2007 Chase for the last time anyone won three straight in the Chase (Jimmie Johnson won four consecutive Chase races that season). And four, he'd have to win at Dover, something that hasn't happened for Stewart in more than a decade.
    Stewart enjoys-loathes a love-hate relationship with Dover. His career at the one-mile concrete oval, a series of peaks and valleys, includes two victories – but none since his Dover sweep of 2000. There has been the good – that 2000 sweep at Dover, the only track sweep in his illustrious career. There has been the bad – a Driver Rating of 71.4, making Dover his worst track (by a good bit) in terms of the Loop Data statistic. Driver Rating includes all Dover races since 2005, a span of 13 events. His second-worst track in terms of Driver Rating is Charlotte Motor Speedway (82.2).
    And there has been the bizarre – the Dover race in June of 2006, when he opted to hop out of the car after he injured his shoulder a week earlier. Ricky Rudd relieved Stewart after 38 laps, finishing the race in what was then Stewart's #20 Home Depot Chevy. Stewart's cushion going into Sunday's race is a small one – seven points ahead of Kevin Harvick. The last time Stewart led the points during the Chase: In 2005, when he won his second NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.(NASCAR)(9-30-2011)


    News from September 29, 2011

  • The Entry List for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Reed Sorenson (37/28)
    #30-David Stremme (43/16)
    #37-Josh Wise (39/28)
    #38-J.J. Yeley (36/28)
    #46-Scott Speed (40/28)
    #55-Travis Kvapil (51/10)
    #60-Mike Skinner (44/27)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/28)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/28)
    withdrew from the event:
    #50-T.J. Bell (50/13)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 38,7,37,46,66,87,30,60
    missing the race would be [1]: #'s 55
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Dover Entry List.(9-26/29-2011)

  • The Numbers for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway:
    0 - fewest cautions (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 (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 83 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, Dodge, 9/15/74)
    2011 Caution Update
    3 - fewest cautions this season (New Hampshire 2)
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona1)
    206 - number of cautions in the first 28 races of 2011; includes 100 for accidents, 47 for debris and 28 for spins
    1,004 of 7,943 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    1,380.619 of 10,951.158 - miles under caution in the first 28 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(9-29-2011)

  • Grilling.com scheme for Labonte at Dover: JTG Daugherty Racing's sponsors are mastering their use of the team's assets with driver Bobby Labonte and the #47 Toyota Camry team to promote their brand to millions of loyal NASCAR fans. Kingsford, is showcasing Grilling.com for the first time this weekend on Labonte's machine at Dover International Speedway in the AAA 400. To tie together the relationship between the brand, website, driver, team and fans, Kingsford and Grilling.com are providing a chance for one lucky fan to win an ultimate VIP track and grilling experience with Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing in Las Vegas in March by registering at Grilling.com/racing starting on September 30th. Fans can register for an opportunity to be Labonte's Pit Master for the day, which includes a 3-day (2-night) stay on the Las Vegas strip; round-trip airfare; a rental car; a BBQ lunch with Bobby and crew; a VIP tour and more leading into the big race weekend in 2012.(JTG Daugherty Racing), see images of the scheme on the #47 Team Schemes page.(9-29-2011)

  • Kahne to test the #5 car at Charlotte: Kasey Kahne revealed following the Bank of America Motorsports Career Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday that he will test for the first time in the #5 Chevy he will drive next year for Hendrick Motorsports on that Monday following the Saturday night Bank of America 500 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne [current driver of the #4 Red Bull Toyota] said he will receive his first opportunity to drive his car of the future during a fuel-injection test at CMS. He also said he expects it to be his only opportunity to test in the car before moving from Red Bull to Hendrick Motorsports at the end of this season. "I'm going to get into the 5 for the Charlotte test the Monday after the race. That'll be the first time I've been in one of those cars. That will be the first and maybe the only chance I'll get in those [fuel-injection] tests that are coming up," Kahne said. Kahne said the #4 car he currently drives will not be included in the limited group of cars testing on Oct. 17, so there was no conflict with his current team. He also said the test will be conducted under the watchful eyes of current and future crew chief Kenny Francis, who will be making the jump from Red Bull to Hendrick with him at the end of the season.(NASCAR.com)(9-29-2011)

  • Dover Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Dover this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams ran at Dover in May . . . this tire set-up was tested at Dover this past April, with drivers A.J. Allmendinger, Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin participating . . . the only other track at which Sprint Cup or Nationwide teams run either of these two Goodyear tire codes is this right-side on the Cup cars at Michigan . . . 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, with Dover and Bristol (inner liners in right-side tires only) being the exceptions . . . air pressure in the inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 72-76 laps, based on fuel mileage for the Sprint Cup Series cars.(Goodyear PR), see full notes, codes, pressures on the Dover Race Info page - Goodyear section.(9-29-2011)

  • Daytona testing dates set for January: NASCAR Preseason Thunder, the annual three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the prestigious season-opening 54th annual Daytona 500, will be held on Jan. 12-14. All NASCAR Preseason Thunder test sessions begin at 9 am and end at 5 pm, weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1 pm. Race fans can also rev up their new year at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest – the companion event to the January test sessions. Along with watching NASCAR Preseason Thunder track activity from the Sprint FANZONE, fans can enjoy two Fan Fest driver sessions – from 5-9 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 12 and from 5-7 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 13.
    The schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be finalized closer to the event. Tickets for the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, which include autograph session wristbands, will be available for purchase at a later date. For fans who would like to be contacted regarding NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest ticket information can sign up online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/thunder. Fans can also watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. Information on tickets for both the NASCAR Preseason Thunder and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 will be available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(9-29-2011)

  • Changes in the Hollywood Hotel: Michael Waltrip joins the FOX NASCAR Sunday prerace team next season, taking a seat in the Hollywood Hotel alongside big brother Darrell and host Chris Myers. And in an innovative new role for Fox's NASCAR prerace show, veteran analyst Jeff Hammond takes his extensive experience as a former championship-winning crew chief to where the action is, in the garages and pit road. Both moves were announced today by FOX Sports Media Group President, Co-COO and Executive Producer, Eric Shanks. "Michael is simply one of NASCAR's most gregarious, genuine personalities, and we loved the dynamic between him and Darrell when we paired them up on occasion last season," said Shanks. "Michael has also been featured in numerous television commercials over the last decade, which makes him familiar to a much broader audience. I expect a lot of 'gotta see' TV coming out of an all-Waltrip Hollywood Hotel next season." In addition to his FOX NASCAR SUNDAY prerace work, the younger Michael also contributes analysis and updates in-race as time permits. Michael Waltrip adds NASCAR on FOX to on-air positions that already include FOX's sister network SPEED and Showtime's "Inside NASCAR." Waltrip is a co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, the first full-time three-car team to field Toyota Camrys when Toyota entered the Sprint Cup racing in 2007. Currently, MWR features Sprint Cup drivers David Reutimann (#00) and Martin Truex Jr. (#56). Waltrip made his NASCAR Sprint Cup series debut in 1985 at the Coca-Cola 600 and is a two-time Daytona 500 Champion (2001, 2003). His first book, "In the Blink of an Eye," marking the 10th anniversary of his 2001 Daytona 500 victory, was released in February 2011, and spent 11 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list.
    Shifting to Hammond, the plan is to use his extensive experience as a former NASCAR crew chief to work the pavement and mine the grease pits for the latest news and go wherever big stories develop all race-day long. Having a former crew chief serve in this role is a first for network television's NASCAR coverage. Hammond has been a member of the NASCAR on FOX broadcast team since 2001 the network's first covering the sport. In 1982, he became a NASCAR Cup crew chief, working for Darrell Waltrip at the pinnacle of the legendary driver's career. Together, they saw Victory Lane an impressive 43 times, including Waltrip's memorable Daytona 500 victory in 1989. Hammond, known as a methodical strategist, was Waltrip's pit boss in two of his three NASCAR Championship seasons (1982 and 1985). In total, he has 508 NASCAR Cup races on his crew chief resume, while his television credits also includes work for FX, ESPN, Turner and TNN.(FOX)(9-29-2011)

  • Hamlin discusses his crew chief: in part from a NASCAR Cam Video Teleconference Transcript: with #11-Denny Hamlin on September 27, 2011, an Interview with Denny Hamlin, currently 12th in the Sprint Cup Series Chase Points standings:
    Q. You obviously had a tough break at New Hampshire running out of fuel, a decision that comes in part from the guy on top of the pit box. I was just wondering how you would characterize your relationship with Mike Ford right now and how it's handled this year of ups and downs, and also, what's the one thing you guys really need to improve on in the last eight races, the communication between each other, to be even more competitive and be up there contending for wins?
    DENNY HAMLIN: Well, we all know this is a performance business, and obviously you've got to be competitive and contend for race wins so everyone feels good about their job. I feel like Mike is the guy for me. I feel like he's done a great job. He won me eight races last year. Some of the things that we've had go wrong this year are crew chief related, some of them are not. Most of them are not. Some of them are driver related. It weighs on all of our shoulders equally, and I feel like he's kind of received a bit of a bad rap because of that.
    But I feel like he's the reason -- kind of the backbone of this race team, and obviously if you made a change, it would take a long time to get back to where I feel like we're capable of running at this point right now. I think at times during the season we've gotten off track between the two of us, and I feel like these last four or five weeks the communication has been better. I feel like we were heading in the right direction, we've just had some things go wrong these first couple Chase races that makes it look worse than it really is.
    Q. I was wondering if you could elaborate on your relationship with Mike Ford a little bit, and has there been times this year when you've questioned the direction of the team and thought maybe a change was needed?
    DENNY HAMLIN: You always have thoughts about what you need to do to improve, and like I said before, there's been weeks where I can put some of the responsibility on Mike, there's been some weeks that it ultimately goes on my shoulders, and there's some weeks where it's things back at the shop that need to be improved on.
    Until we have one specific thing that we need to work on and can identify as a problem, I can't see changing much. But I feel like we have a good group of guys. I can win a championship with Mike; I really and truly do believe that. But we've just got to get our ship righted. It seems like our communication at some point in the year got stale. I felt like we've turned that around this last month or so, and we had three good finishes going into the Chase, and of course we had flat tires and a loose wheel the first Chase race. That's stuff that Mike can't help. He can't help those problems that we have. Loudon, New Hampshire, fuel mileage. It's 50/50. It's one of those things where maybe I used up too much gas, maybe it was too risky of a call. But either way, it weighs on us equally when we don't run well. So I'm not going to completely throw him under the bus.(NASCAR Transcript)(9-29-2011)

  • Hamlin seeing sports psychologist: #11-Denny Hamlin said Tuesday he's been working with a well-known sports psychologist in an attempt to improve his attitude and outlook. Hamlin has been in a miserable slump since the penultimate race of last season, when poor fuel mileage at Phoenix figured heavily in his failure to wrest the championship away from Jimmie Johnson. Although he was still the points leader heading into the final race of the year, he had a poor weekend and Johnson won his fifth consecutive title. Many have speculated he's not been the same on or off the track since the Phoenix race, and Hamlin admitted Tuesday he struggled with the pressure of the championship race. Hamlin was initially reluctant to elaborate on whom he was working with, but eventually revealed it was Rotella and he had been referred to him by team owner Joe Gibbs. He did not say how long he's been working with Rotella.(ESPN/Associated Press)(9-29-2011)

  • Tire Testing at Bristol: #9-Marcos Ambrose was one of four NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars who participated in a tire test at Bristol Motor Speedway Tuesday. With swarms of creative Goodyear engineers taking notes, Ambrose and company experimented with a variety of tire compounds. "I think our objective here is to get a tire that works on the bottom of the track and on the top. That makes for a better race," said Ambrose, moments after his long and laborious session. #1-Jamie McMurray, #78-Regan Smith and #13-Casey Mears also took laps at BMS Tuesday. Tires were a major story at BMS last March, as numerous Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams experienced problems with a new right-side tire compound in the first practice session. Facing pressure and criticism, Goodyear officials responded the following morning by bringing in new tires which allowed drivers to go through the corners without having problems with tire wear. Tires were not an issue at BMS' August race, though some hardcore fans complained about the lack of action. Goodyear officials have worked overtime to find the most effective tire-combination since the Car of Tomorrow was introduced in 2007. There have some headaches along the way, but the racing has remained competitive for the most part. The tire test, which is closed to the public, concluded Wednesday.(Bristol Herald Courier)(9-29-2011)


    News from September 28, 2011

  • NASCAR Releases 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule: NASCAR announced the 2012 schedule for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with a lineup featuring a number of adjustments from the 2011 edition.
    “We believe the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will once again provide fans with what they’ve come to expect every season – the world’s most exciting and competitive form of motorsports,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “Next year’s schedule has a few adjustments that we think will be good for the fans and good for the overall flow of the season. One thing will remain constant, however, and that’s the intense competition we see week in and week out from our drivers and race teams.”
    One of those adjustments takes place during NASCAR’s playoffs – the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – and could affect the strategy during the championship run. Talladega Superspeedway’s Chase event moves up two weeks to Oct. 7, becoming the fourth race in the Chase. Often labeled as the wild-card track in the Chase, Talladega’s grueling test is now staged during the first half of the Chase.
    Talladega swaps its Chase date with Kansas Speedway (Oct. 21) to accommodate Kansas’ repave, scheduled for after the track’s spring event. As such, Kansas’ spring date has also been moved. Kansas now will be the eighth race of the season on April 22. Talladega’s spring event moves to May 6, and Dover International Speedway’s spring event returns to its traditional spot on June 3.
    As previously announced, the season-opening Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway will start one week later with the running of the preseason “non-points” Shootout at Daytona on Feb. 18. The 54th annual Daytona 500 will run on Feb. 26. The race dates for Phoenix International Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway have likewise been moved a week later, to March 4 and March 11, respectively.
    Two other featured adjustments to the 2012 schedule: Texas Motor Speedway’s spring date will be moved to April 14, to accommodate the traditional open week for the Easter holiday. Daytona’s summer event and Kentucky Speedway’s race will swap weekends in 2012, as the July 4th holiday falls mid-week next year. Kentucky’s race will be June 30; Daytona will run on July 7. As in past years, FOX will broadcast the first 13 races of next year’s schedule. TNT will follow, broadcasting the next six. ESPN/ABC will broadcast the final 17 events. Race start times will be announced at a later date. NASCAR will also release the 2012 schedules for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at a later date.
    See the schedule on my 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule page(9-28-2011)

  • NASCAR To Release 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule TODAY: NASCAR will unveil the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule via its social/digital channels on Wednesday, September 28, at 12:00pm/et. NASCAR will first unveil next year’s [2012] schedule on its homepage, with a question-and-answer Twitter chat session to follow involving NASCAR (@NASCAR) and NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell (@odsteve). Fans, media, teams and tracks are encouraged to participate throughout the one-hour interactive Twitter forum. A special hashtag – #2012Schedule – will accompany each tweet, and followers are encouraged to use it as well. As always, the hashtag #NASCAR also will be used.(NASCAR)
    See an tentative schedule on my 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule page, with some of the dates confirmed and some 'assummed'.(9-28-2011)

  • JTG Daugherty ending alliance with MWR? UPDATE4: Michael Waltrip Racing currently fields two teams with #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #00-David Reutimann, and supplies cars for #47-Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing out of its Mooresville, N.C., shop. Sources said JTG Daugherty Racing may cut its tie to MWR but remain in the sport with Labonte as its driver in 2012.(ESPN)(9-16-2011)
    UPDATE: MWR has paved the way for a third full-time entry [with Clint Bowyer] by ending its affiliation with JTG Daugherty Racing, which had housed its #47 entry at the team's headquarters as part of its alliance. Team owner Brad Daugherty plans to keep his organization on track next season but is currently looking at options to align with another team, with speculation of a partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports. Daugherty's affinity to and admiration of Petty has even included the former college basketball and NBA star wearing the #43 throughout his career. An association as NASCAR business partners would further that connection. RPM was close to launching a third team with Bowyer before contract talks with the driver broke down so the desire to expand is evident.(CBS Sports)(9-22-2011)
    UPDATE 2: JTG Daugherty Racing hasn't decided on an affiliation for next season, and retaining its relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing is still an option, team owner Tad Geschickter told Sporting News on Thursday. Geschickter said his phone had been "blowing up" in the wake of a report on CBSsports.com that MWR had terminated its relationship with JTG Daugherty, which fields Toyotas for Bobby Labonte, and speculation in the same story that JTG Daugherty might align itself with Richard Petty Motorsports. "I haven't talked with Richard Petty Motorsports," Geschickter said. "There's no truth to that at all." Geschickter said that, to his knowledge, MWR was still exploring its capacity to supply cars to JTG in light of possible expansion.(Sporting News)(9-23-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Michael Waltrip Racing is preparing to add a driver but not a team. Team co-owner Michael Waltrip said Friday he hopes to have a deal completed with driver Clint Bowyer and a sponsor within seven to 10 days. The move will not necessitate the addition of new personnel or expansion, however. MWR has been providing resources for the JTG Daugherty team - in essence a third team - but that relationship will end at year's end. Beginning next season, all three Cup teams operated out of the MWR shop will be owned by the organization.(Charlotte Observer)(9-24-2011)
    UPDATE 4: JTG Daugherty Racing is looking at potential alliances with Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing for the 2012 Sprint Cup season, co-owner Brad Daugherty said Tuesday. Daugherty, who is also an analyst for ESPN's NASCAR coverage, said the goal for the operation is to run the team from its own shop in Harrisburg, N.C. For the past three seasons, the team has been working from MWR's shop in Cornelius, N.C. Daugherty said the move has nothing to do with MWR looking to finalize a deal for current RCR driver Clint Bowyer in a third car. He also said reports that the organization is looking to form an alliance with Richard Petty Motorsports are not true. "We have an offer from MWR and we are evaluating that alliance opportunity along with a few others,'' said Daugherty. "I want to be clear it is JTG Daugherty Racing's desire to race out of our own shop. We are looking to run faster and smarter and we need a big team alliance to do so. MWR has been a good partner and we appreciate their input into our race team. One again, though, where we end up is a decision (co-owners) Tad (Geschickter), Jodi (Geschickter) and I will make.'' Daugherty said the team plans to keep its relationship with 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte and has not ruled out maintaining a relationship with Toyota. MWR and JGR field Toyotas, while RCR fields Chevrolets.(ESPN)(9-28-2011)

  • Yeley to promote 'Drive Sober' campaign at Dover UPDATE2: J.J. Yeley and the #38 Ford team will remind NASCAR fans to "Driver Sober, Arrive Alive" at Dover next week with a special paint scheme and a full weekend of promotional activities with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS), including a contest that will make Yeley a fan's designated driver for an evening. The OHS partnered with Yeley and Front Row Motorsports to get their message out to the campaign's target demographic - 18- to 34-year-old men - throughout the Dover race weekend Sept. 29 to Oct. 2. For more information about the "Drive Sober, Arrive Alive" campaign or the designated driver contest, visit www.duirealtime.com or www.jjismydd.com.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(9-21-2011)
    UPDATE: Andy Anderson of Newark, Delaware was named the winner of the JJ is my DD contest.(jjyeley.com).
    UPDATE2: J.J. Yeley will climb into the #38 Ford for the third consecutive weekend for Front Row Motorsports, this week in partnership with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS). Yeley and the OHS partnered for the AAA 400 race weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway to promote the agency's "Drive Sober, Arrive Alive" campaign. The weekend includes the fulfillment of the "J.J. is my D.D." contest, where contest winner Andy Anderson of Newark, Del., and a guest will have designated driver services provided by Yeley for a night on the town in Dover. The OHS ran an online contest where entrants submitted written comments on the importance of designated drivers. Anderson will also receive accommodations for the Dover race weekend on a Star Coach in the speedway infield.(FRM), and see an image of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(9-28-2011)

  • Pink numerials for EGR: This weekend at Dover International Speedway, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has partnered with Team Chevy to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the AAA 400, the #1 McDonald's Chevy of Jamie McMurray and #42 Target Chevy will have pink numbers on their roofs and doors, pink “Impala” branding on the front bumper and pink Chevrolet “Bow Ties” on the hood and rear bumper.(EGR)(9-28-2011)

  • NASCAR Driver Exposure Rankings at the Start of the Chase: Although he is off to a slow start in this year's Chase, #18-Kyle Busch's regular season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series could not have gone much better in terms of television exposure for himself and his sponsors. Altogether, Busch's presence during TV coverage of the first 26 Cup Series races helped deliver $57.8 million of exposure value to his sponsors, nearly $14 million more than the next most brand-friendly driver, Jimmie Johnson. According to research conducted by Joyce Julius & Associates, Inc. — which has monitored every NASCAR race telecast over the last 27 seasons — Busch's sponsors as a group appeared for 21 hours, five minutes, 45 seconds (21:05:45) during live and replayed race telecasts. Also contributing were a season-leading 251 mentions of Busch's sponsors.
    Joyce Julius calculates television exposure value by comparing the in-broadcast visual and verbal exposure to the estimated cost of a national commercial during the telecast and applying Joyce Julius Recognition Grading — which takes into account such factors as size and placement of the image on screen, as well as brand clutter and integration of the brand into the activity. Further evidence of Busch's regular season TV dominance can be seen from the 4,257 times announcers mentioned his name during the telecasts. Likewise, in terms of logo saturated on-camera interviews, Busch ranked second in total interviews conducted and third in interview length.
    Defending Series Champion #48-Jimmie Johnson stood second in cumulative sponsor exposure value with $43.9 million, trailed by #24-Jeff Gordon ($42.1 million) and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. ($35.1 million) a distant fourth.(more and a chart at Joyce Julius & Associates)(9-28-2011)

  • Waltrip to Throw First Pitch at Tonight’s Atlanta Braves Game: Two-time Daytona 500 champion, Michael Waltrip, will throw the first pitch in tonight’s final regular season game for the Atlanta Braves against the Philadelphia Phillies. This is a must win game for the Braves as they are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the National League Wild Card Spot. The game begins at 7:10 pm/et on ESPN2.MWR)(9-28-2011)

  • Pattie Petty Reveals Parkinson's Diagnosis MORE: Pattie Petty, the wife of former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, has revealed that she has Parkinson's disease. It was confirmed through a new test at the University of Kansas Hospital. Petty talked exclusively with FOX 4 medical reporter Meryl Lin McKean, and says Parkinson's won't stop her efforts to build a camp in Kansas City for kids with chronic illnesses. Petty is the sunny personality beside husband Kyle, and behind Victory Junction, a camp for sick kids. Petty noticed mood changes in recent years, and she linked them to the death of their son, Adam, in a crash 11 years ago. "I just assumed the depression or the emotional mood swings were that I'd lost my son, my husband's job had changed, I see the children at camp and they're not healthy and I can't fix it," she said. Petty is now living and working in Kansas City to build a camp like North Carolina's Victory Junction near the Speedway. The down economy was making fundraising harder, and she thought maybe that was behind the depression, too. But she had another symptom -- her hands shook. While having dinner with a doctor in Nashville 18 months ago, she asked if it could be Parkinson's Disease. "Because my hands are tremoring and he said, 'Oh, you have the disease,'" she said. It's the same disease her dad had. Petty began taking medicine to control Parkinson's symptoms, which include mood swings. She also began receiving care at the University of Kansas Hospital. Just last week, Petty had a brand new test called DaTscan to confirm the diagnosis. It looks at function of the brain instead of anatomy by spotting changes in brain chemistry. Petty wants others to know she has Parkinson's, but she hasn't lost her wits. "It's always nice to get all the facts that my cognitive skills are there," she said. And her desire is there to keep working for the kids. "Nothing's gonna stop me. I think anytime God puts something on your heart, to do," Petty said.(FOX 4 News)(9-27-2011)
    MORE: Petty, 60, suspected she had Parkinson’s in early 2010 when she began experiencing resting tremors and aching muscles – two symptoms her father suffered in the early stages of his 15 year battle with the disease. A doctor in Nashville, TN, confirmed her concerns giving her an initial diagnosis based on her distinctive outward symptoms and started her on anti-Parkinson’s drugs last summer. “After watching my father live with Parkinson’s, it was not a surprise when I was told that I may be suffering from this disease as well,” explained Petty. “I followed my doctor’s advice and began a series of medications, so that I could continue my plan of working a couple of weeks a month in Kansas City laying the ground work to open Victory Junction Midwest.” Victory Junction Midwest is slated be the sister camp to Victory Junction in Randleman, NC, a camp for chronically ill children started by Petty and her husband in honor of their oldest son Adam who died in a NASCAR practice session in 2000. “When I was introduced to the medical staff at University of Kansas Hospital,” Petty continued, “I knew immediately Victory Junction Midwest was not the only reason I was meant to be in Kansas City. Even after receiving the unfortunate results from DaTscan, I feel relief,” explained Petty. “I am relieved that my family and I are confident in my diagnosis and can focus on the work we have ahead of us to live with Parkinson’s disease. Kyle and I have already been blessed by the outpouring support to bring Victory Junction Midwest to Greater Kansas City and we feel doubly blessed that we have a strong and dedicated group of professionals at University of Kansas Hospital providing us with the latest medical technology and assisting us with this disease. This ‘official’ diagnosis does not change our efforts in Kansas City. My hands may not be still, and I might move a bit slower right now, but we are moving full-steam ahead to change the lives of chronically ill children in the Midwest.”
    “Pattie’s dedication to Victory Junction Midwest is firm,” said Kyle Petty, her husband of 33 years. “Staying active is an important part of managing Parkinson’s and that will not be hard for my wife. Pattie will not let Parkinson’s regulate her life. She will continue her initiative to expand Victory Junction, while our kids and I will support her and help her cope with this disease.”(Victory Junction)(9-28-2011)

  • More grandstands to be replaced at Watkins Glen: Watkins Glen International was a hotbed of activity leading into and during the 2011 season as a sweeping $3.1 million capital improvement project made extensive changes to the legendary road course. The 2012 season promises to be another busy year at The Glen, both on and off the track. The International Speedway Corporation Board of Directors (BOD) has approved approximately $1.5 million of funding to replace three more grandstands at WGI. This latest capital improvement project will bring the amount invested into The Soul of American Road Racing since 2001 to just over $30 million.
    The latest round of capital improvements will replace three grandstands – the Ninety, located on the outside of Turn 1, as well as the Red, White and Blue, and McDonald’s Family Grandstands which are located at the bottom and top of the famed Esses, respectively. All three have wooden bleacher seats and will be replaced by metal structures that match the four grandstands that were built during the 2011 season. The completion of this project will add approximately 2,000 seats and mean that every grandstand, with the exception of Pit Terrace, has been replaced since the beginning of the 2005 season.
    The Glen has been undergoing a series of major capital improvements over the past 10 years including replacing four grandstands, building a new Glen Club and adding permanent showers in 2011, the addition of SAFER barriers and extended run-off areas in several turns in 2010, the new media center in 2008, track repaving in 2006, a new grandstand along the front stretch in 2005, and an upgrade to the garage and an improved water and sewer system that included the additions of showers in the Gate 1 campground from 2001 thru 2004. (All projects are listed according to year they were completed).(WGI)(9-28-2011)

  • Director Of Operations named at Martinsville: Matthew Brannock, a 12-year veteran of the Virginia State Police, has been named Director of Operations for Martinsville Speedway. Brannock, a Ridgeway native who grew up just a few miles from Martinsville Speedway, will begin his duties immediately. “We feel very fortunate to land someone of Matt’s caliber, someone with his experience and knowledge,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “He has been involved with many big events in his duties with the State Police, so he understands what goes into putting on one of our races. And he is from our area, so he also knows our community and that is important for us.” Brannock, 36, is the speedway’s first full-time Director of Operations in its 65-year history. Brannock was on the scene during the April 16, 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech, and appeared in an iconic photograph helping three Blacksburg police officers carry a wounded Virginia Tech student from the scene. The photo was distributed to news outlets worldwide. More recently, Brannock was wounded in a shoot-out with a murder suspect after a high-speed chase on Interstate 81 near Roanoke this past Memorial Day weekend. Prior to his service with the Virginia State Police, Brannock spent four years as a Law-Enforcement Specialist with the United States Air Force. During his military service, Brannock was part of an Air Base Ground Defense team that was dispatched to Kuwait where he spent six months protecting the Kuwait City International Airport as part of a six-man fire team. Brannock, a 1993 graduate of Magna Vista High School in Ridgeway, is married and has two children.(Martinsville Speedway)(9-28-2011)

  • Pocono Raceway Solar Farm hits milestone: Slightly more than one year after the dedication of Pocono Raceway’s solar farm, the total amount of electricity produced by the 25 acre facility reached the 4,000,000 kilowatt hour (kWh) mark. The solar installation consists of 39,960 American made photovoltaic modules that will produce more than 72 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy over the next 20 years. The environmental attributes associated with the system will offset more than 3,104 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide annually and will generate enough power to provide the electricity needs for over 1,000 homes beyond the power needs of Pocono Raceway.
    The 4,000,000 (kWh) produced has already impacted the environment. The total energy generated equals the use of 22,830 light bulbs (60W) for one year at eight hours per day and represents a savings of 324,000 gallons of gasoline with a carbon dioxide (CO2) offset equaling that of 72,000 trees. The Raceway has been awarded a number of environmental awards for its sustainable energy efforts including the 2011 Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards, Readers Choice Award presented by RenewableEnergyWorld.com and the 2011 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence, presented each year by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. These awards highlight the best in environmental innovation and expertise
    The Pocono Raceway Solar Farm is located along Long Pond Road adjacent Pocono Raceway’s storied two and one-half mile Super Speedway. Pocono Raceway will host two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekends in 2012. The 31st annual Pocono 400 is scheduled for June 8-10 and the 39th annual Pennsylvania 400 is set for August 3-5.(Pocono Raceway)(9-28-2011)


    News from September 27, 2011

  • New Hampshire TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 25, earned a 3.1 household coverage rating, averaging 4,235,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating was up 19% from last year’s New Hampshire race, which also aired on ESPN and earned a 2.6 rating. The telecast also saw double-digit growth in key audience demographics, including a 28% rise in the Male 18-34 demographic and a 20% rise in the Male 18-49 demographic. The audience also saw 33 percent of growth in the Persons 55+ demographic.(ESPN), see past TV Ratings for the season and past four seasons on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(9-27-2011)

  • Special scheme for Harvick at Dover: Rheem and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) will mark National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a pink and black paint scheme on the renamed #29 Rheem Chasing the Cure Chevy for the Oct. 2 AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Dover International Speedway. The special paint scheme of the #29 Chevy, driven by Kevin Harvick, is part of a month-long program created by Rheem to help raise national awareness of the importance of regular check-ups and early diagnosis in the fight against breast cancer. Young Survival Coalition (“YSC”), the premier global organization helping young women face the challenges of breast cancer, expects that another 10,000 women under the age of 40 in the U.S. will be added this year to the 250,000 who have already been diagnosed. YSC works with survivors, caregivers and the medical, research, advocacy and legislative communities to increase the quality and quantity of life for women diagnosed with breast cancer ages 40 and under. The Rheem Chasing the Cure program is a part of the company’s “Heart of Comfort” corporate responsibility initiative. DeLana Harvick, wife of Kevin Harvick, will wear a specially designed pink and black Rheem firesuit for the race. She will also present a duplicate version of her firesuit autographed by the entire #29 team to Young Survival Coalition during a media event at the Dover Monster Mile Speedway prior to the start of the race. “I’ve had friends and family affected by breast cancer,” said DeLana Harvick. “With groups like the Young Survival Coalition and programs like Chasing the Cure, it’s a great way to promote awareness and early detection.” Beginning in October, Rheem will launch a month-long contest on its Rheem Racing Facebook fan page to build awareness and garner support for breast cancer awareness. Rheem has pledged to donate one dollar for the first 10,000 Rheem Facebook fans who pledge one dollar or more to Young Survival Coalition. The #29 crew will wear special pink and black Rheem Chasing the Cure T-shirts and hats for the Dover race; these hats and shirts, as well as a special ladies T-shirt, will be on sale at the RCR merchandise hauler at Dover as well as online at the RCR team store. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Young Survival Coalition.(RCR), see an image of the scheme on the #29 Team Scheme page.(9-27-2011)

  • New Hampshire Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • Tony Stewart earned his 41st career win in his 456th start. It was also his eighth victory with Stewart-Haas Racing and crew chief Darian Grubb in their 100th start together.
    • Tony Stewart became the second driver to win the first two races of the Chase; Greg Biffle did so in 2008.
    • Tony Stewart's eighth Chase victory tied Carl Edwards for second all time behind Jimmie Johnson's 19.
    • Tony Stewart led once for two laps, tying Jeff Burton for the fewest laps led in a New Hampshire victory.
    • Tony Stewart leads the points for the first time during the Chase since he won the title in 2005; however, the driver leading the points after the second race has never gone on to win the Chase.
    • Brad Keselowski (second) had his best career finish at NHMS; his previous best was sixth in Sept. 2009.
    • Greg Biffle (third) earned his second top-five finish of 2011; the other was a fourth at Texas in March.
    • Jeff Gordon (fourth) has had top-six finishes in five of the past six races; he led a race high 79 laps.
    • Brian Vickers (fifth) picked up his second top-five finish of 2011; he also tied his best finish at NHMS.
    • Matt Kenseth (sixth) rebounded from a spin early to get his first top-10 finish at New Hampshire in his past eight races.
    • David Ragan (seventh) earned his best New Hampshire finish in his 10th start; he has had top-11 finishes in the past three races.
    • Carl Edwards (eighth) had his fifth consecutive top-10 finish, but only his third top-10 finish in his 15th New Hampshire start.
    • All four Roush Fenway Racing drivers finished in the top 10; they also did that at Texas in April. ( NASCAR.com/Sporting News/Racing Recall)(9-27-2011)

  • Katie Kenseth in wreck practicing for Better Half Dash: The wife of NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth left Charlotte Motor Speedway by stretcher early Monday evening after a crash at the race track during a practice session for a charity race next month. Katie Kenseth crashed in to what typically is the pit stop wall in a driving school bandolero vehicle after taking a sharp turn. Her husband rushed to check on her, and emergency track officials loaded her onto a stretcher. Other NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Casey Mears, Michael McDowell and David Ragan were also in attendance to watch their wives and girlfriends practice for the inaugural Better Half Dash on October 15. The charity race will benefit Speedway Children's Charities and Motor Racing Outreach and will feature a 25-lap race on the front stretch quarter-mile oval before the Bank of American 500.(WCNC)
    AND: Monday night, Kenseth tweeted, "That didn't turn out so well. Katie and I are home, she has a broken scapula and some bumps and bruises. Thanks for all the well wishes."(9-27-2011)

  • 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 83 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover International Speedway since the track opened in 1969.
      There was one race in 1969 and 1970. There has 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; 18 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: 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).(NASCAR)(9-27-2011)

  • Sara Evans prerace concert at Charlotte: Multi-platinum recording artist and country music superstar Sara Evans will perform a pre-race concert for the 2011 Bank of America 500, Oct. 15, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The concert will begin around 5:30 p.m. on the speedway's frontstretch and will be part of the spectacular Bank of America 500 pre-race show. Fans can get the best views near the front of the stage for the Sara Evans concert with the purchase of a Bank of America 500 driver intro pass. This limited issue pass allows fans to tour the pit area, take pictures on pit road and be front and center at the driver introduction and concert stage. Fans can also purchase the NASCAR Country Two Pack, with two frontstretch tickets to the Bank of America 500 and the best views of the Sara Evans concert, being broadcast on the world's largest HDTV, for just $99. All NASCAR Country Two Pack buyers are automatically entered in a drawing to win a VIP meet and greet with Evans on race day.(CMS)(9-27-2011)


    News from September 26, 2011

  • The Entry List for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Reed Sorenson (37/28)
    #30-David Stremme (43/16)
    #37-Josh Wise (39/28)
    #38-J.J. Yeley (36/28)
    #46-Scott Speed (40/28)
    #50-T.J. Bell (50/13)
    #55-Travis Kvapil (51/10)
    #60-Mike Skinner (44/27)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/28)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/28)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 38,7,37,46,66,87,30,60
    missing the race would be [2]: #'s 50,55
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Dover Entry List.(9-26-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 Sylvania 300: 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 at 2:02 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 5:02 PM (all times are EST). ESPN was the broadcast team for this event. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event. Included in the last half of the broadcast was ‘NASCAR Non-Stop’, commercials shown split-screen with the race broadcast.
    Total number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 66
    Total number of ‘NASCAR Non-Stop commercials’ (split-screen): 49
    Total number of commercials: 115
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 63
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 23
    Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: 18
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:02 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:02 PM
    Minutes of race broadcast: 130
    Minutes of traditional commercials: 30
    Minutes of ‘NASCAR Non-Stop Commercials’: 20
    Number of times ESPN utilized ‘NASCAR Non-Stop’ to show split-screen commercials: 9
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1
    For links to sponsors, or special items-of-interest such as links to contests and movie sites, selected drivers [at a later date] and more, see the 2011 TV Commercials page.(9-26-2011)

  • Kurt Busch's car held up going through pre-race inspection: The car of Kurt Busch did not pass prerace inspection the first time through Sunday morning, and NASCAR sent a message to the team to stop having small issues in technical inspection. NASCAR did not release the car until 10 minutes before the engines were fired for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Penske Racing team fixed the rear-end issue and the car rolled out to pit road following the national anthem. Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said after the race there would be no penalties for Busch's Penske Racing team. After the race, team owner Roger Penske indicated Darby was sending a message to his team. "The problem was we had been the last two or three weeks late getting through tech," Penske said. "Then if we had a little bit of a problem, we had to go back through again and they said, 'We've had enough of you going back through for just little things.'(Scene Daily)(9-26-2011)


    News from September 25, 2011

  • Stewart wins at New Hampshire: #14-Tony Stewart won the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his 41st career win, 2nd win in a row and 2nd of of the season.
    The race again came down to fuel mileage with Stewart passing #33-Bowyer for the lead with 2 laps to go when Bowyer ran out of gas. #2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #16-Biffle, #24-Gordon, #83-Vickers, #17-Kenseth, #6-Ragan, #99-Edwards, #42-Montoya, and #78-Smith. Pole-sitter #39-Newman ran up front early, but had to pit late and finished 25th.
    #14-Stewart now leads the points by 7 over #29-Harvick.
    There were 19 lead changes among 15 drivers and 3 cautions for 14 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 95,000, the same as last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    ESPN2, Monday, September 24 at 1:00am/et;
    SPEED, Wednesday, September 28 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's New Hampshire Race Results/Awards page.(9-25-2011)

  • Stewart doesn't elaborate on Victory Lane comment about 'dead weight': from a Team Chevy Post-Race Winner's Press Conference Transcript:
    Q. Tony, ever since you were on TV in Victory Lane, the buzz all around the track and Internet is wondering what you meant when you said, We dropped some dead weight earlier this week.
    TONY STEWART: We're just going to leave it at that.
    Q. Could we ask if that was
    TONY STEWART: You can't ask anything. It is what it is. That's all it was is what you said. That's where we'll leave it.
    Q. Darian said there's not been any personnel changes on the team.
    TONY STEWART: No, there hasn't. (Team Chevy)(9-25-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Chase Points Standings:
    1) #14-Tony Stewart [2 wins], 2094
    2) #29-Kevin Harvick [4 wins], 2087, -7
    3) #2-Brad Keselowski [3 wins], 2083, -11
    4) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 2080, -14
    5) #24-Jeff Gordon [3 wins], 2071, -23
    6) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 2068, -26
    7) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 2068, -26
    8) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [0 wins], 2068, -26
    9) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 2066, -28
    10) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 2065, -29
    11) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 2060, -34
    12) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 2028, -66
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(9-25-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Dover:
    #71 decreases their lead slightly to 38 pts over 36th in owners pts, the #38 team.
    34) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 388, +51
    35) #71-Lally/TRG, 375, 38 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #38-Yeley/Front Row, 337, 38 points out of top 35
    37) #7-Gordon/RGM, 290, -85
    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.(9-25-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - New Hampshire:
    Tony Stewart won the 15th Annual Sylvania 300, his 41st victory in 456 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second consecutive victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2011.
    The only other driver to win the first two races of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup was Greg Biffle in 2008.
    This is his third victory and 16th top-10 finish in 26 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    Brad Keselowski (second) posted his second top-10 finish in five races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his 12th top-10 finish in 2011.
    Greg Biffle (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 19 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    Tony Stewart leads the point standings by 7 points over Kevin Harvick.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-25-2011)

  • Chase Drivers Finishing Position at Chicago:
    [by points standings before the race]:
    1) #29-Kevin Harvick, 12th
    2) #14-Tony Stewart, 1st
    3) #99-Carl Edwards, 8th
    4) #22-Kurt Busch, 22nd
    5) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 17th
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski, 2nd
    7) #39-Ryan Newman, 25th
    8) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 18th
    9) #18-Kyle Busch, 11th
    10) #17-Matt Kenseth, 6th
    11) #24-Jeff Gordon, 4th
    12) #11-Denny Hamlin, 29th
    (9-25-2011)

  • NASCAR changes Phoenix schedule; Goodyear chooses tire: NASCAR has eliminated a scheduled Sprint Cup practice on Thursday of race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway Nov. 11-13. Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to participate in an open test at Phoenix Oct. 4-5. Those testing sessions were scheduled because the track has been reconfigured and resurfaced since NASCAR's last visit. The Thursday practice apparently was eliminated because of the October testing opportunities. Teams are approaching the Phoenix race as one of the most important in the Chase not only because it is the next-to-last event but also because the new surface will make most notes from previous PIR races virtually obsolete.(SPEED)
    AND: Goodyear has selected its tire for Phoenix International Raceway. Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager/Worldwide Racing, said that when the Sprint Cup tour returns to PIR for the two-day test, Oct. 4-5, teams will use the same left-side tires as they did at Indianapolis. They also will go with a right side similar to what they used in Indy in terms of construction, compound and mold, but with a little different gauge and tread thickness for heat resistance.(Fox Sports)(9-25-2011)

  • NASCAR prohibiting teams from greasing bumpers at Talladega: Along with changes to the size of the restrictor-plate and the pressure release valves of Sprint Cup cars there is another change mandated by NASCAR that will affect the racing there next month. In the technical bulletin issued to teams this week outlining the changes at Talladega, there was also a note that "the addition of lubricants to the rear bumper cover will not be permitted." To keep the pushing car from spinning out the lead car in the two-car tandems, teams have used everything from grease, to ointment to cooking spray to keep the bumpers from getting locked up when they meet.(Charlotte Observers)(9-25-2011)

  • Kansas announces National Anthem performers for race weekend: Kansas Speedway officials announced their national anthem singers for the upcoming Kansas Lottery 98.9, Kansas Lottery 300 and Hollywood Casino 400. Up and coming artist Tammie Davis will sing the national anthem for the Kansas Lottery 98.9 on Oct. 7, new Curb Recording artist Rachel Holder will perform the anthem prior to the Kansas Lottery 300 on Oct. 8 and new Curb Recording artist Tim Dugger will sing the national anthem prior to the Hollywood Casino 400 on Oct. 9. Dugger is no stranger to NASCAR, having performed at several tracks this season. The Alabama native's video for his single "Sunday Drive" is available on YouTube, which includes Richard Childress Racing's Austin Dillon. Holder and Dugger will play a post race concert showcasing their music for fans following the Kansas Lottery 300 on Oct. 8 in the Display Midway.(Kansas Speedway)(9-25-2011)


    News from September 24, 2011

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #39-Newman chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #4-Kahne took pit stall 19, the second pitstall in an opening in front of it.
    #83-Vickers, who starts 3rd took the 29th 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 10th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(9-24-2011)

  • Final practice for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #30-Stremme 130.644
    #24-Gordon (X) 130.416
    #48-Johnson (X) 130.336
    #31-Burton 130.309
    #18-Busch (X) 130.269
    (X) = Chase driver
    slowest: #32-Bliss 128.139 & #13-Mears 128.079.
    notes: #11-Hamlin reported being concerned with his transmission. The team is going to check it out after practice.
    See fastest speeds, average speeds, top 10 lap averages, number of laps run on the New Hampshire Practice Speeds Page.(9-24-2011)

  • First Saturday practice for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over after 50 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson (X) 130.198
    #31-Burton 130.180
    #29-Harvick (X) 130.149
    #16-Biffle 130.109
    #24-Gordon (X) 130.006
    (X) = Chase driver
    slowest: #38-Yeley 127.885 & #71-Lally 124.989.
    notes: There is no TV coverage of this practice session.
    See fastest speeds, average speeds, top 10 lap averages, number of laps run on the New Hampshire Practice Speeds Page.(9-24-2011)

  • Rain expected Saturday: The forecast calls for a steady rain early in the morning then remaining cloudy throughout the day with a few showers. The overall chance of rain 70%. The Sprint Cup Series has 2 practice scheduled. The Camping World Truck Series will also try to qualify and race. See a few weather links on the New Hampshire Race Info page.(9-24-2011)

  • Villeneuve interested in Red Bull: UPDATE: Brian Vickers says he isn't feeling pressure to prove himself on the track, but that doesn't mean his future is secure or he knows where he'll be racing in 2012. Red Bull announced in late June that it was selling the team and it's been nearly three months with no announcement of a buyer. Vickers has even worked to line up potential buyers but nothing has materialized. There could be some rides available with other teams, depending on sponsorship. Among those who have inquired about purchasing the Red Bull assets is former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve. His business manager confirmed that Villeneuve has inquired about buying the team, but gave no indication of whether talks have been productive. Villeneuve has never hidden his interest in Cup racing and if the Canadian driver can find investors to put him in a seat, he likely would do it. He also could have investors purchase the team with the idea of him running a partial Cup schedule along with another driver.(Scene Daily)(9-21-2011)
    UPDATE: In June it was reported that Red Bull will put the brakes on its involvement with NASCAR at the end of this year but this seems to be premature. [Red Bull owner Dietrich] Mateschitz says "this is not yet a final decision but we had many reasons to re-analyse our involvement with the goal of either to confirm our participation in NASCAR or to question it." He adds that the key factors which will affect Red Bull's decision are target groups, marketing, media values, the engine, the fact that NASCAR is a purely American series and of course success and the cost to benefit ratio.(PitPass)(9-23-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Red Bull Racing expects to layoff 152 employees when it shutters operations in December. Red Bull Racing filed a notice this week as part of North Carolina's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act that the layoffs were expected by Dec. 17, 2011. Red Bull says the closure is permanent.(ESPN)
    AND: The notification with the state does not mean the team will or will not be sold but covers Red Bull if it does not sell the team and shuts it down or sells the team to a buyer that lays off workers. North Carolina law requires the 60-day notice to the state and employees if at least 50 employees will be laid off because of the closure or shutdown of a business unit or if a company has layoffs of at least 50 people that impact 33 percent of a workforce at a single site. A team spokesman said the team had no comment on the WARN filing. If an employer does not notify the state and its employees of layoffs, it could be responsible for 60 days of wages plus a $500 fine for each violation.(Scene Daily)(9-24-2011)

  • JTG Daugherty ending alliance with MWR? UPDATE - Bowyer in, JTG out?: Michael Waltrip Racing currently fields two teams with #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #00-David Reutimann, and supplies cars for #47-Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing out of its Mooresville, N.C., shop. Sources said JTG Daugherty Racing may cut its tie to MWR but remain in the sport with Labonte as its driver in 2012.(ESPN)(9-16-2011)
    UPDATE: MWR has paved the way for a third full-time entry [with Clint Bowyer] by ending its affiliation with JTG Daugherty Racing, which had housed its #47 entry at the team's headquarters as part of its alliance. Team owner Brad Daugherty plans to keep his organization on track next season but is currently looking at options to align with another team, with speculation of a partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports. Daugherty's affinity to and admiration of Petty has even included the former college basketball and NBA star wearing the #43 throughout his career. An association as NASCAR business partners would further that connection. RPM was close to launching a third team with Bowyer before contract talks with the driver broke down so the desire to expand is evident.(CBS Sports)(9-22-2011)
    UPDATE 2: JTG Daugherty Racing hasn't decided on an affiliation for next season, and retaining its relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing is still an option, team owner Tad Geschickter told Sporting News on Thursday. Geschickter said his phone had been "blowing up" in the wake of a report on CBSsports.com that MWR had terminated its relationship with JTG Daugherty, which fields Toyotas for Bobby Labonte, and speculation in the same story that JTG Daugherty might align itself with Richard Petty Motorsports. "I haven't talked with Richard Petty Motorsports," Geschickter said. "There's no truth to that at all." Geschickter said that, to his knowledge, MWR was still exploring its capacity to supply cars to JTG in light of possible expansion.(Sporting News)(9-23-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Michael Waltrip Racing is preparing to add a driver but not a team. Team co-owner Michael Waltrip said Friday he hopes to have a deal completed with driver Clint Bowyer and a sponsor within seven to 10 days. The move will not necessitate the addition of new personnel or expansion, however. MWR has been providing resources for the JTG Daugherty team - in essence a third team - but that relationship will end at year's end. Beginning next season, all three Cup teams operated out of the MWR shop will be owned by the organization.(Charlotte Observer)(9-24-2011)

  • Sad News -- Johnnie Long: Johnnie F. Long passed away with his loving family by his side on Thursday, September 22, 2011. Long was born on October 3, 1939 in Clarksville, FL. He is survived by his wife Betty. The racing community knew Johnnie best as the father of Donald and Jerry Long, grandfather of Johanna Long, Haley, Brook, Ryan and Erica Long, and Holly Williamson. Since 1979, Long owned and operated Panhandle Grading & Paving Inc. He was extremely proud and grateful for the loyalty that was shown and the relationships that he was able to build with each of his long-term employees. Visitation will be held at 2:30 pm. on Monday, September 26, 2011 at East Brent Baptist Church, 4801 N. Davis Hwy, Pensacola, FL. Funeral service will immediately follow at 3:30 pm.

  • Michigan repave project to include internal road course: Repaving the Michigan International Speedway oval is the biggest part of the $7 million project, but it's not the only racing course scheduled to be repaved for 2012. The speedway's internal road course is also on the docket for its first repave in track history. MIS recognizes the importance of having a newly paved internal road course, however not for professional racing activities, but for its continued effort to be a test-bed for automotive manufacturers and other various R&D opportunities. The road course could also potentially be used for karting and car club activities. Over the past two weeks, crews have paved the backstretch skid pad and performed various maintenance projects to the track in preparation for the repave of the MIS oval and road course. The repaving of both is scheduled to begin in the next week (weather permitting).(Michigan Speedway)(9-24-2011)


    News from September 23, 2011

  • Ryan Newman wins New Hampshire pole: #39-Ryan Newman won the Coors Light pole for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a speed of 135.002mph. It is his 3rd pole of the season and the 49th of his career. #4-Kahne starts 2nd followed by #83-Vickers, #16-Biffle, #22-Busch, #29-Harvick, #24-Gordon, #18-Busch, #56-Truex, Jr., and #48-Johnson.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #38-Yeley, #30-Stremme, #66-McDowell, #7-Gordon, #55-Kvapil, #87-Nemechek, #37-Wise, #46-Speed.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (2): #35-Park & #50-Bell
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my New Hampshire Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page. (9-23-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - New Hampshire:
    Ryan Newman won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 15th Annual Sylvania 300 with a lap of 28.213 seconds, 135.002 mph.
    This is his 49th pole in 360 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He ties Bobby Isaac for ninth on the all-time series poles list.
    This is his third pole and 13th top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his series-leading sixth pole in 20 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Newman also won the pole at New Hampshire in July, becoming the second driver to sweep the pole at the track (Ken Schrader, 1997).
    Kasey Kahne (second) posted his 14th top-10 start of 2011 and his fifth in 16 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
    Brian Vickers (third) posted his third top-10 start at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It is his eighth in 28 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-23-2011)

  • Evernham joins SPEED: Beginning Sunday, Ray Evernham joins SPEED as a regular analyst on SPEED Center, the definitive motor sports news program. Evernham will be introduced on Friday's show (11 p.m. ET), promoting his Sunday appearances (10:30 a.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET). Evernham, the dominant crew chief of the 1990s, when he partnered with driver Jeff Gordon for 47 wins in 216 starts, netting three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships, two Daytona 500 victories and a win at the inaugural Brickyard 400, has a wide-ranging resume that offers SPEED a fresh voice across multiple topics and platforms.(SPEED)(9-23-2011)

  • Qualifying Order for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #50-Bell, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #39-Newman, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the New Hampshire Qualifying Page.(9-23-2011)

  • Friday practice for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #39-Newman (X) 133.769
    #4-Kahne 133.642
    #24-Gordon (X) 133.548
    #48-Johnson (X) 133.394
    #42-Montoya 133.357
    (X) = Chase driver
    slowest: #35-Park 129.164 & #50-Bell 128.148.
    notes: There is some rain on the radar well south of the track and it won't impact this practice session.
    This practice sets the qualifying order, which is scheduled for Friday at 3:10pm/et and will be televised on ESPN2. It is the only practice session today.
    See fastest speeds, average speeds, top 10 lap averages, number of laps run on the New Hampshire Practice Speeds Page. (9-23-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 30th
    #55-J.J. Yeley,
    #66-Michael McDowell, 34th
    #30-David Stremme, 35th
    #46-Scott Speed, 36th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 38th
    #37-Josh Wise, 40th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 41st
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #35-Steve Park, 44th
    #50-T.J. Bell, 45th

  • Villeneuve interested in Red Bull: UPDATE: Brian Vickers says he isn't feeling pressure to prove himself on the track, but that doesn't mean his future is secure or he knows where he'll be racing in 2012. Red Bull announced in late June that it was selling the team and it's been nearly three months with no announcement of a buyer. Vickers has even worked to line up potential buyers but nothing has materialized. There could be some rides available with other teams, depending on sponsorship. Among those who have inquired about purchasing the Red Bull assets is former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve. His business manager confirmed that Villeneuve has inquired about buying the team, but gave no indication of whether talks have been productive. Villeneuve has never hidden his interest in Cup racing and if the Canadian driver can find investors to put him in a seat, he likely would do it. He also could have investors purchase the team with the idea of him running a partial Cup schedule along with another driver.(Scene Daily)(9-21-2011)
    UPDATE: In June it was reported that Red Bull will put the brakes on its involvement with NASCAR at the end of this year but this seems to be premature. [Red Bull owner Dietrich] Mateschitz says "this is not yet a final decision but we had many reasons to re-analyse our involvement with the goal of either to confirm our participation in NASCAR or to question it." He adds that the key factors which will affect Red Bull's decision are target groups, marketing, media values, the engine, the fact that NASCAR is a purely American series and of course success and the cost to benefit ratio.(PitPass)(9-23-2011)

  • Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Continues at New Hampshire: The second race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., on Sunday, Sept. 25, and ESPN will a live telecast of the 300-lap race on the 1.058-mile track. The NASCAR Countdown presented by NAPA pre-race show airs at 1 p.m. ET with the race's green flag at 2:15 p.m. ESPN2 will air NASCAR Sprint Cup practice on Friday, Sept. 23, at 11:30 a.m. as well as qualifying on Friday at 3 p.m. All three telecasts from NHMS will also be available on computers, smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com. Analysts Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree will join lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth to call the action. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Nicole Briscoe with analysis by 1989 champion driver Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the race telecasts.(ESPN)(9-23-2011)

  • Weather could be an issue at New Hampshire: After having the Chicago Cup race was delayed a day for rain, the weather forecast for the start of the weekend at New Hampshire looks like rain could be a problem again. There is a 60% overall chance of rain on Friday with a 60% chance at 3:00pm/et, when Sprint Cup qualifying is scheduled to start. Saturday also calls for a 60% chance of rain as well, but Sunday's forecast is much better with just a 10% chance. See a few weather links on the New Hampshire Race Info page.(9-23-2011)

  • JTG Daugherty ending alliance with MWR? UPDATES: Michael Waltrip Racing currently fields two teams with #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #00-David Reutimann, and supplies cars for #47-Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing out of its Mooresville, N.C., shop. Sources said JTG Daugherty Racing may cut its tie to MWR but remain in the sport with Labonte as its driver in 2012.(ESPN)(9-16-2011)
    UPDATE: MWR has paved the way for a third full-time entry [with Clint Bowyer] by ending its affiliation with JTG Daugherty Racing, which had housed its #47 entry at the team's headquarters as part of its alliance. Team owner Brad Daugherty plans to keep his organization on track next season but is currently looking at options to align with another team, with speculation of a partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports. Daugherty's affinity to and admiration of Petty has even included the former college basketball and NBA star wearing the #43 throughout his career. An association as NASCAR business partners would further that connection. RPM was close to launching a third team with Bowyer before contract talks with the driver broke down so the desire to expand is evident.(CBS Sports)(9-22-2011)
    UPDATE 2: JTG Daugherty Racing hasn't decided on an affiliation for next season, and retaining its relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing is still an option, team owner Tad Geschickter told Sporting News on Thursday. Geschickter said his phone had been "blowing up" in the wake of a report on CBSsports.com that MWR had terminated its relationship with JTG Daugherty, which fields Toyotas for Bobby Labonte, and speculation in the same story that JTG Daugherty might align itself with Richard Petty Motorsports. "I haven't talked with Richard Petty Motorsports," Geschickter said. "There's no truth to that at all." Geschickter said that, to his knowledge, MWR was still exploring its capacity to supply cars to JTG in light of possible expansion.(Sporting News)9-23-2011)

  • Special schemes for EGR cars at New Hampshire: This weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, both the #1 and #42 Chevy's will be sporting special paint schemes for the Sylvania 300. Unilever, a world leader in consumer goods, will sponsor each of the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates entries for the second race of NASCAR’s post-season.
    Jamie McMurray and the #1 team will race a specially-branded silver and black AXE Cool Metal Chevy. For this weekend, AXE is giving fans the opportunity to vote on which firesuit McMurray will wear on raceday. By visiting AXE's Facebook page, fan could like their favorite suit design and whichever has the most on Sunday morning will be the one that McMurray hits the track in for the Sylvania 300.
    Juan Pablo Montoya and the #42 team have a new black and yellow color scheme in honor of their Degree Men sponsorship. New Degree Men V12TM Juan Pablo Montoya special edition, available exclusively at Target, is designed to respond to increases in adrenaline and provide top protection when men need it most. To support the new stick, Degree Men is giving NASCAR fans a sneak peek inside the adrenaline-fueled racing life of Juan Pablo Montoya and his Earnhardt Ganassi teammates at Facebook.com/DegreeMen.(EGR), see an image of the schemes on the #42 team paint schemes page and the #1 team paint schemes page.(9-23-2011)

  • Melora Hardin to sing National Anthem at Dover: Melora Hardin, best known for her role as Jan Levinson on the hit NBC series "The Office," will sing the National Anthem prior to the running of the "AAA 400" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Oct. 2 at Dover International Speedway. Hardin's impressive career spans a variety of mediums, including numerous television series, films, live concerts and music albums. She also just made her directorial debut with the feature film "You," currently available on DVD. Hardin's performance of the "Star Spangled Banner" adds to a list of entertaining events surrounding the Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2011 race weekend.(Dover Speedway)(9-23-2011)


    News from September 22, 2011

  • Bowyer "close" to announcement: At Chicagoland last weekend, rumors swirled that #33-Clint Bowyer and MWR were ready to announce a deal with Michael Waltrip Racing, but the two parties never made an announcement. Pressed about the issue during an appearance for the upcoming Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Bowyer seemed close to a decision. "We are getting close to making an announcement," he told News/Talk WSB. "I've had a lot of opportunities and a lot it hinges on funding." Longtime Richard Childress Racing employee and former Director of Competition Scott Miller has left RCR and is highly rumored to have taken a job at MWR - Bowyer's likely destination. When asked whether Miller's departure and destination were linked to his own, Bowyer grinned and said, "I wish him the best and, who knows, maybe I will be working with him someday."(WSB Radio Blog)(9-22-2011)

  • NASCAR increasing restrictor plate size at Talladega: UPDATE: NASCAR will implement two rule changes for next month's running of the Good Sam Club 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. The size of the restrictor plate that teams will use to prepare and practice for the race will increase by 1/64 inch and is now going to be 57/64 inch diameter. This will provide the teams with an additional 7-10 horsepower. Additionally, the pressure relief valve on the cars' cooling system will be recalibrated to reduce the pressure by approximately eight pounds per square inch from last April's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega. "After the last few superspeedway races, we've heard many drivers express their desire to open up the size of the restrictor plate some and we thought the time was right to do that," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president, competition. "We anticipate these revisions in the rules package for Talladega will help continue to provide competitive and exciting racing for the fans."(NASCAR)(9-21-2011)
    UPDATE: The larger restrictor plate could push speeds over 200 mph, but the combination of the pop-off valve change likely means the cars won't be able to stay locked together for as many laps. #00-David Reutimann crew chief Rodney Childers thinks drivers might be limited to a lap of pushing before needing to swap. "Changing the plates will be better," Childers said. "It should make it more racy, where you can pull out and pass. If they are wanting to make it where people can't draft as long, it's going to do that. Probably only a half of a lap or a lap is all you're going to get out of it." Chad Johnston, crew chief for #56-Martin Truex Jr., predicted that drivers will have to swap positions more. That could make it dicey, he said, because drivers will have to swap while also avoiding the two-car packs closing in behind them. The chances of something going wrong on a swap are going to go up obviously, but hopefully it will eliminate or lessen the two-by-two racing," he said.(Associated Press/ESPN)(9-22-2011)

  • JTG Daugherty ending alliance with MWR? UPDATE: Michael Waltrip Racing currently fields two teams with #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #00-David Reutimann, and supplies cars for #47-Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing out of its Mooresville, N.C., shop. Sources said JTG Daugherty Racing may cut its tie to MWR but remain in the sport with Labonte as its driver in 2012.(ESPN)(9-16-2011)
    UPDATE: MWR has paved the way for a third full-time entry [with Clint Bowyer] by ending its affiliation with JTG Daugherty Racing, which had housed its #47 entry at the team’s headquarters as part of its alliance. Team owner Brad Daugherty plans to keep his organization on track next season but is currently looking at options to align with another team, with speculation of a partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports. Daugherty’s affinity to and admiration of Petty has even included the former college basketball and NBA star wearing the #43 throughout his career. An association as NASCAR business partners would further that connection. RPM was close to launching a third team with Bowyer before contract talks with the driver broke down so the desire to expand is evident.(CBS Sports)(9-22-2011)

  • Kurt Busch visits every MLB park: Monday's race at Chicagoland Speedway was only moments old and Kurt Busch was in such a hurry to get away that he didn't stop for interviews. Not to go home after rain extended his stay by a day. To go to a baseball game at Wrigley Field. Outside of racing, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion has no bigger passion than baseball. He spent Monday night on a rooftop beyond the ivy-covered walls at Wrigley watching his beloved Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2. Kurt Busch threw out the first before the Seattle Mariners played the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field on Aug. 31. Twenty-four hours later, he was at Toronto's Rogers Centre watching the Blue Jays play the Angels. The Toronto game concluded a 12-year odyssey that has taken Busch to all 30 major-league parks. So if you think these drivers don't have a life outside of the stock car, think again.(ESPN)(9-22-2011)

  • Hannaford Supermarkets on the #47 at New Hampshire: This weekend Bush's Beans will be sharing the JTG Daugherty Racing entry with Hannaford Supermarkets to help bring continued awareness to The Hannaford Helps Schools Program, which has raised over $6.75 million for 2800 K-12 schools during the past eleven years across New England and New York. Bush's Beans has taken the lead with partners, Clorox, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline, McKee Foods, Snyder's-Lance Inc. in partnering with Hannaford. During driver introductions, Labonte will be presenting a $20,000 check to Shawn McBreairty, Category Manager for Hannaford on behalf of sponsor relationships.(JTG Daughtery Racing) see an image of the car on my #47 team paint schemes page.(9-22-2011)

  • The Numbers for New Hampshire:
    1 - fewest lead changes (9/17/00)
    1 - fewest leaders (Jeff Burton, 9/17/00)
    2 - fewest cautions (7/13/97)
    2 - fewest laps led by race winner (Jeff Burton, 7/11/99)
    3 - wins by Dodge at NHMS since manufacturer's return to NASCAR in 2001
    4 - most wins (Jeff Burton)
    5 - wins from the pole; seven from the front row
    5 - most poles (Ryan Newman)
    6 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at NHMS
    7 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (7/11/93)
    7 - drivers with more than one win
    8 - races won from outside a top-20 starting position
    10 - fewest caution laps (7/13/97)
    17 - most cautions (7/10/94)
    17 - different pole winners
    20 - different race winners
    23 - most lead changes (twice, most recent 7/21/02)
    30 - most cars on lead lap at finish (7/21/02)
    30 - fewest cars running at finish (twice, most recent 9/17/00)
    43 - most cars running at finish (9/16/07)
    79 - most caution laps (7/10/94)
    120 minutes - approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 1.058-mile track
    300 - most laps led by race winner (Jeff Burton, 9/17/00)
    2011 Caution Update
    6 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011 (Daytona1, Darlington, Charlotte, Daytona2, Watkins Glen, Bristol2)
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono1)
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona1)
    203 - number of cautions in the first 27 races of 2011; total includes 98 for accidents, 46 for debris and 28 for spins
    990 of 7,643 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    1,365.807 of 10,633.758 - miles under caution in the first 27 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(9-22-2011)

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post these] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on the New Hampshire Race Info page - Chassis selection area.

  • Bristol race dates unchanged in 2012: Bristol Motor Speedway will again kick off NASCAR's short track season in 2012 in March and will welcome fans back for its second Sprint Cup event on the last Saturday in August. The main event in March, the Food City 500, which is the fourth Sprint Cup race of the season, takes place March 18. The IRWIN Tools Night Race, the sport's most popular event, takes place Aug. 25. NASCAR kicks off the BMS March race weekend with Ford Fan Friday March 16, followed by the Nationwide Series event March 17, and the Food City 500 Sprint Cup race March 18. August race week will begin with the Camping World Truck Series/Whelen Modified Series UNOH Perfect Storm 150 doubleheader Aug. 22. The Food City 250 Nationwide Series race is Aug. 24, followed by the IRWIN Tools Night Race Aug. 25.(BMS)(9-22-2011)

  • Kansas to have Kansas Lottery 300 post race concert: Kansas Speedway fans have another reason to attend the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday, Oct. 8 - a post race concert by The Chris Weaver Band and Curb recording artists Tim Dugger and Rachel Holder. Holder is a Tennessee native, who is currently making the rounds at radio stations across the country. Holder's videos are currently available on YouTube. Dugger is no stranger to NASCAR, having performed at several tracks this season. The Alabama native's video for his single "Sunday Drive" is available on YouTube, which includes Richard Childress Racing's Austin Dillon. The Chris Weaver Band, who's first CD "Standing in Line" is available on iTunes, is currently in studio working on their second album. The band, who is currently touring throughout the country, counts among their fans NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer.(Kansas Speedway)(9-22-2011)


    News from September 21, 2011

  • Scott Miller leaving RCR: UPDATES: Scott Miller and Richard Childress Racing have parted ways. Miller had served as director of competition since 2003 for RCR, whose drivers are Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard. After a short sabbatical, sources said Tuesday, Miller will fill a similar role at Michael Waltrip Racing. Kent Day will serve as interim director of competiton for RCR until a permanent replacement can be found. Miller was in his second stint with RCR, having initially worked with the team from 1997 to 2001.(Fox Sports)(9-20-2011)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing has promoted Kent Day to interim director of competition from his previous position as technical director with the 12-time NASCAR championship winning organization. Former RCR director of competition Scott Miller has taken a position with another motorsports organization."Kent brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new position as interim director of competition at Richard Childress Racing," said Mike Dillon, RCR's vice president of competition. "As technical director, he played an integral role in the overhaul and turnaround of RCR's competition department beginning in mid-2008. He already understands our competition philosophy and will now play an even more important role in RCR's on-track success.(RCR)(9-20-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip Racing named industry veteran Scott Miller as executive vice president of competition effective at the conclusion of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Miller has served in several roles throughout his 16-year stint in NASCAR, most recently as director of competition at Richard Childress Racing. Miller has been a winning crew chief and has repeatedly guided teams into the Chase for the Sprint Cup from his management role. Miller will manage all competition aspects, including design, manufacturing and engineering, as well as the technical relationship between Toyota Racing Development’s resource facilities in Salisbury, N.C., and Costa Mesa, Calif.(MWR)(9-21-2011)

  • the 2012 #88 Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard scheme was unveiled today [Sept 21st] on ESPN's SportsCenter at 1:40pm/et. See images of the car and other 2012 schemes on the Paint Scheme Gallery and/or 2012 Paint Schemes page.

  • Chicago TV Ratings: ESPN's live telecast of the rain-delayed Geico 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Monday, Sept. 19, earned a 1.8 household coverage rating, averaging 2,179,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The race was rained out on Sunday, Sept. 18, and rescheduled for the following day. ESPN2's live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 17, earned a 1.1 household coverage rating, averaging 1,453,000 viewers. Both races were at new places on the schedule this year. In past years, Chicagoland Speedway's combined NASCAR Sprint Cup-NASCAR Nationwide Series weekend had been held in July.(ESPN). See past race TV Ratings, comparison charts on the 2011 TV Ratings page.(9-21-2011)

  • NASCAR increasing restrictor plate size at Talladega: NASCAR will implement two rule changes for next month's running of the Good Sam Club 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. The size of the restrictor plate that teams will use to prepare and practice for the race will increase by 1/64 inch and is now going to be 57/64 inch diameter. This will provide the teams with an additional 7-10 horsepower. Additionally, the pressure relief valve on the cars' cooling system will be recalibrated to reduce the pressure by approximately eight pounds per square inch from last April's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega. "After the last few superspeedway races, we've heard many drivers express their desire to open up the size of the restrictor plate some and we thought the time was right to do that," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president, competition. "We anticipate these revisions in the rules package for Talladega will help continue to provide competitive and exciting racing for the fans."(NASCAR)(9-21-2011)

  • Keselowski wins 3rd quarter driver of the year award: Brad Keselowski's winning ways, overcoming a broken ankle and other injuries, helped him win the voting as the third quarter Driver of the Year 2011. In the last seven NASCAR Sprint Cup races, in the quarter ending at Richmond International Raceway, he recorded two wins, four top-fives and seven top-12 finishes. And those two wins were earned within days of recovering from a broken ankle at a test session. Adding those victories to a previous one and an 11th place overall finish in NASCAR's regular season Keselowski earned a wild card spot for his first Chase for the Sprint Cup. In the voting Keselowski took ten first-place ballots and totaled 117 points according to the Driver of the year points system. Will Power, a Penske Racing teammate in the IndyCar series, had five first place votes and garnered 108 points. This was the first time that the same team owner (Roger Penske) had two drivers from different series finishing one-two. Kyle Busch the first quarter 2011 Driver of the Year took two first place votes and was third with a total of 67 points. Greg Anderson, the 2003 Driver of the Year from the NHRA, and Kevin Harvick, from NASCAR, also received first-place votes. A total of 18 drivers scored points in the third quarter voting.(Driver of the Year Foundation)(9-21-2011)

  • The Entry List for the Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    #60-Mike Skinner has withdrawn.
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon (37/27)
    #30-David Stremme (43/15)
    #35-Steve Park (46/7)
    #37-Josh Wise (39/27)
    #38-J.J. Yeley (36/27)
    #46-Scott Speed (40/27)
    #50-TJ Bell (49/12)
    #55-Travis Kvapil (52/9)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/27)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/27)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 38,7,37,46,66,87,30,50
    missing the race would be [2]: #'s 55,35,
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's New Hampshire Entry List.(9-19/21-2011)

  • Villeneuve interested in Red Bull: Brian Vickers says he isn't feeling pressure to prove himself on the track, but that doesn't mean his future is secure or he knows where he'll be racing in 2012. Red Bull announced in late June that it was selling the team and it's been nearly three months with no announcement of a buyer. Vickers has even worked to line up potential buyers but nothing has materialized. There could be some rides available with other teams, depending on sponsorship. Among those who have inquired about purchasing the Red Bull assets is former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve. His business manager confirmed that Villeneuve has inquired about buying the team, but gave no indication of whether talks have been productive. Villeneuve has never hidden his interest in Cup racing and if the Canadian driver can find investors to put him in a seat, he likely would do it. He also could have investors purchase the team with the idea of him running a partial Cup schedule along with another driver.(Scene Daily)(9-21-2011)

  • Harvick to have Designated driver paint scheme at New Hampshire: This Friday Budweiser employees around the United States will celebrate Global Be(er) Responsible Day, a day of outreach to encourage alcohol responsibility and the use of designated drivers. Budweiser and NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick are helping spread the message and will debut a special "Designate a Driver" paint scheme for this Sunday's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Visit Budweiser's Facebook page to watch a video from Harvick about Global Be(er) Responsible Day, when more than 1,500 Anheuser-Busch employees across the United States will join local wholesalers to encourage the use of designated drivers. Adults can also take the pledge on Budweiser's Facebook page to be, or use, a designated driver. Thousands of consumers who take the pledge will be eligible, where legal, to win a Budweiser hat with a designated driver message.(Budweiser PR)(9-21-2011)

  • Yeley to promote 'Drive Sober' campaign at Dover: J.J. Yeley and the #38 Ford team will remind NASCAR fans to "Driver Sober, Arrive Alive" at Dover next week with a special paint scheme and a full weekend of promotional activities with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS), including a contest that will make Yeley a fan's designated driver for an evening. The OHS partnered with Yeley and Front Row Motorsports to get their message out to the campaign's target demographic - 18- to 34-year-old men - throughout the Dover race weekend Sept. 29 to Oct. 2. For more information about the "Drive Sober, Arrive Alive" campaign or the designated driver contest, visit www.duirealtime.com or www.jjismydd.com.(Breaking Limits/Front Row Motorsports)(9-21-2011)

  • Tickets on sale for "NASCAR Acceleration" Weekend: Tickets are now on sale for NASCAR Acceleration Weekend 2012, a combination of events and activities scheduled for Jan. 20-22 in Charlotte, N.C. that gives race fans an unprecedented, festival-like experience featuring legends of the sport and stars of today and tomorrow. Ticket prices range from $10 for individual event admission to $299 for a VIP weekend package. Starting off the inaugural NASCAR Acceleration Weekend on Friday, Jan. 20 is the induction of the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2012 - Richie Evans, Dale Inman, Darrell Waltrip, Glen Wood, and Cale Yarborough - at a dinner and induction ceremony located in the Charlotte Convention Center, which adjoins the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Following the Induction Ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 21 is the NASCAR Preview 2012 Presented by Sprint, a new addition to the annual calendar reminiscent of popular season preview events of the past. The fan-focused, all-day event located inside the Charlotte Convention Center will feature driver and show car appearances, simulators, games, prizes, and a host of other fan-friendly and interactive activities. The highlight of the day for many fans will be autograph and on-stage Q&A sessions with drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, plus all four living NASCAR Hall of Fame members inducted the previous night. The weekend's activities continue into Sunday, Jan. 22 when the Hall of Fame exhibits of the five-member Class of 2012 will be unveiled inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame. For more information, visit www.nascaracceleration2012.com.(NASCAR)(9-21-2011)

  • Ford40mpg.com on the #16: Greg Biffle will have a special www.Ford40mpg.com paint scheme this weekend. If a Ford driver wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NHRA Funny Car and World Rally Championship titles, 40 fans will win a 2012 Ford Focus. Ford has to sweep all three championships for the 40 fans to win. At the very least, one lucky fan is going to take home a brand new, 40 MPG, 2012 Ford Focus, but if the Blue Oval brings home all three titles, then 40 Ford fans are taking home the fun to drive, 40 MPG 2012 Focus.(Roush Fenway)(9-21-2011)

  • Lightning McQueen on the #27: Paul Menard will have a passenger riding with him on the rear quarter-panels of the #27 Chevy - Lightning McQueen. McQueen is the main character featured in the Pixar-produced Cars and Cars 2 movies. SYLVANIA is a Strategic Alliance Partner of Disney and is collaborating with Disney Home entertainment Division in the promotion of the DVD and Blu-ray release of Cars 2 on November 1, 2011.(RCR)(9-21-2011)

  • Kansas Speedway adds fan hospitality option: Kansas Speedway unveiled a new fan hospitality option for fans attending the Kansas Lottery 300 and Hollywood Casino 400 weekend, October 8 & 9. The Finish Line at Turn 1 will provide fans the opportunity to enhance their race day experience and not miss a minute of the exciting on track activity. The Finish Line is only $100 for Saturday, $150 for Sunday or $225 per person for the entire weekend and includes infield pit tours, meal and drink vouchers for each day, large screen TV's covering the racing action and DJ entertainment. The Finish Line has limited availability. Fans purchasing a ticket to The Finish Line must also have a grandstand ticket.(Kansas Speedway)(9-21-2011)


    News from September 20, 2011

  • Scott Miller leaving RCR: UPDATE: Scott Miller and Richard Childress Racing have parted ways. Miller had served as director of competition since 2003 for RCR, whose drivers are Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard. After a short sabbatical, sources said Tuesday, Miller will fill a similar role at Michael Waltrip Racing. Kent Day will serve as interim director of competiton for RCR until a permanent replacement can be found. Miller was in his second stint with RCR, having initially worked with the team from 1997 to 2001.(Fox Sports)(9-20-2011)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing has promoted Kent Day to interim director of competition from his previous position as technical director with the 12-time NASCAR championship winning organization. Former RCR director of competition Scott Miller has taken a position with another motorsports organization."Kent brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his new position as interim director of competition at Richard Childress Racing," said Mike Dillon, RCR's vice president of competition. "As technical director, he played an integral role in the overhaul and turnaround of RCR's competition department beginning in mid-2008. He already understands our competition philosophy and will now play an even more important role in RCR's on-track success.(RCR)(9-20-2011)

  • Harvick gets some of Bowyer's crew members: Kevin Harvick was circumspect after Monday's GEICO 400, but those were Clint Bowyer's pit crew members he was standing beside during prerace ceremonies at Chicagoland Speedway. In fact, for the second time in as many seasons, Harvick has gotten pit crew help for the Chase from his Richard Childress Racing teammate. In an effort to bolster RCR's only Chase entry, front tire changer Jason Pulver, front tire carrier Austin Craven, rear tire changer Dustin Necaise, rear tire carrier Matt Kreuter and jack man Andrew Childers moved from Bowyer's #33 Chevy to Harvick's #29. Last year, most of Bowyer's crew went to Harvick's car before the sixth Chase race at Martinsville. By that time, Harvick was contending for the title and Bowyer was out of the running.(Sporting News)(9-20-2011)

  • AdvoCare sponsoring Allmendinger at Martinsville: Richard Petty Motorsports announced a new primary partnership with AdvoCare International, LP, an award-winning, premier health and wellness company headquartered in Plano, Texas. AdvoCare will serve as primary sponsor of the AJ Allmendinger driven #43 Ford during the Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Martinsville Speedway in October.(RPM)(9-20-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 GEICO 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Monday’s race. Began recording the times at the call to start the engines at 12:03 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 3:02 PM (all times are EST). ESPN was the broadcast team for this event. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event. Included in the last half of the broadcast was ‘NASCAR Non-Stop’, commercials shown split-screen with the race broadcast.
    Total number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 46
    Total number of ‘NASCAR Non-Stop commercials’ (split-screen): 54
    Total number of commercials: 100
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 50
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 23
    Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: 14
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 12:03 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 3:02 PM
    Minutes of race broadcast: 157
    Minutes of traditional commercials: 22
    Minutes of ‘NASCAR Non-Stop Commercials’: 21
    Number of times ESPN utilized ‘NASCAR Non-Stop’ to show split-screen commercials: 9
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 2
    For links to sponsors, or special items-of-interest such as links to contests and movie sites, selected drivers [at a later date] and more, see the 2011 TV Commercials page.(9-20-2011)

  • President of Iowa Speedway leaving:Iowa Speedway president Jerry Jauron is resigning after 3½ years. Jauron told The Associated Press on Monday he is leaving to become a general manager at Urbandale, Iowa-based C & L Companies, a motorsports manufacturing company. Jauron oversaw the Iowa Speedway during a period of significant growth with addition of NASCAR Nationwide and Trucks series races. The track's annual IndyCar race also grew into one of the more popular stops on the open-wheel circuit. The 0.875-mile track is set up for its biggest season yet in 2012, with the two Nationwide races, two trucks series events and an IndyCar race on the schedule. Jauron said he's staying on as track president through the middle of October, adding that joining C & L was a "great opportunity" for himself and his family which will also allow him to stay in central Iowa.(Associated Press/ESPN)(9-20-2011)

  • At New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
    • Groundbreaking for New Hampshire International Speedway, as New Hampshire Motor Speedway was originally named, was Aug. 13, 1989.
    • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was on July 11, 1993.
    • Renamed New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2008.
    • There have been 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway; one per year from 1993 through 1996 and two per year since.
    • Four drivers have competed in all 33 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Joe Nemechek.
    • Mark Martin won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup pole.
    • Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
    • There have been 17 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman (five).
    • 20 different drivers have won, led by Jeff Burton (four).
    • Jimmie Johnson (2003) and Kurt Busch (2004) are the only drivers that have posted season sweeps. Those are also the only back-to-back winners.
    • Hendrick Motorsports has won eight races, more than any other organization.
    • The deepest in the field that a New Hampshire race winner started was 38th, by Jeff Burton in 1999.
    • There have been five winners who started from the pole. The last race winner to win from the pole was Ryan Newman this past July.
    • Jeff Burton led all 300 laps raced in the 2000 fall race.
    • Five drivers got their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at New Hampshire: Joe Nemechek (1999), Robby Gordon (2001), Ryan Newman (2002), Clint Bowyer (2007) and Joey Logano (2009).
    • Two drivers got their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole at New Hampshire: Patrick Carpentier (2008) and Brad Keselowski (2010).
    • The last four races that have not finished under caution have had a margin of victory of less than a second.(NASCAR)(9-20-2011)

  • New Hampshire unveils 'Moose Head Maniacs' Section: Wrigley Field in Chicago has it's beloved "Bleacher Bums," the Cleveland Browns have their passionate "Dawg Pound," Duke University's basketball team has its "Cameron Crazies" and now New Hampshire Motor Speedway has the "Moose Head Maniacs." Recognizing the passion of NASCAR fans at "The Magic Mile," speedway officials announced that they have designated a special section of seating in turns three and four to create a wicked fun fan zone for the "Moose Heads." For this Sunday's SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, speedway officials have released 2,000 tickets, priced at $19 each for this seating section, located in the Laconia Grandstand. The package also includes a customized "Moose Heads" T-shirt and the freedom to be creative in fun fan wear. The "Moose Heads" section is not for the faint of heart, it is for the NASCAR FANatic. Fans are encouraged to face paint your favorite driver's number, don some Moose antler headgear, wear their new "Moose Head" t-shirt, colorful wigs, outlandish sunglasses or any other fun wear to showcase their passion for NASCAR racing in New England. Fans with the most outlandish costumes will be featured on New Hampshire Motor Speedway's giant video board throughout race day festivities.(NHMS)(9-20-2011)


    News from September 19, 2011

  • Stewart wins at Chicago: #14-Tony Stewart won the rain delayed GEICO 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway for his 40th career win and 1st of the season.
    The race came down to fuel mileage with several chase drivers running out on the last lap. #29-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #99-Edwards, #2-Keselowski, #22-Busch, #33-Bowyer, #39-Newman, #5-Martin, and #48-Johnson. Pole-sitter #17-Kenseth ran out of gas on the last lap and finished 21st after being penalized for receiving a push from another car.
    #29-Kevin Harvick now leads the points by 7 over #14-Stewart.
    There were 22 lead changes among 10 drivers and 6 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 42,000. Las't year's Chicago race, held in July, drew 67,500.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    SPEED, Wednesday, September 21 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Chicago Race Results/Awards page.(9-19-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Chase Points Standings:
    1) #29-Kevin Harvick [4 wins], 2054
    2) #14-Tony Stewart [1 win], 2047, -7
    3) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 2044, -10
    4) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 2043, -11
    5) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [0 wins], 2041, -13
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski [3 wins], 2040, -13
    7) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 2040, -14
    8) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 2038, -16
    9) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 2035, -19
    10) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 2030, -24
    11) #24-Jeff Gordon [3 wins], 2029, -25
    12) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 2013, -41
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(9-19-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at New Hampshire:
    #71 increases their lead slightly to 45 pts over 36th in owners pts, the #38 team.
    34) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 375, +55
    35) #71-Lally/TRG, 365, 45 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 320, 45 points out of top 35
    37) #7-Gordon/RGM, 286, -79
    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.(9-19-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Chicago:
    Tony Stewart won the 11th Annual GEICO 400, his 40th victory in 455 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He ties Mark Martin for 17th on all-time victory list. He scores a victory in 13 consecutive seasons. Stewart's last win was Oct. 10, 2010 at Auto Club Speedway.
    This is his first victory and 12th top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his third victory and ninth top-10 finish in 11 races at Chicagoland Speedway.
    Kevin Harvick (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 11 races at Chicagoland Speedway. It is his 14th top-10 finish in 2011.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in 11 races at Chicagoland Speedway.
    Andy Lally (28th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 7 points over Tony Stewart.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-19-2011)

  • Chase Drivers Finishing Position at Chicago:
    [by points standings before the race]:
    1) #18-Kyle Busch, 22nd
    2) #29-Kevin Harvick, 2nd
    3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 24th
    4) #17-Matt Kenseth, 21st
    5) #99-Carl Edwards, 4th
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 10th
    7) #22-Kurt Busch, 6th
    8) #39-Ryan Newman, 9th
    9) #14-Tony Stewart, 1st
    10) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 3rd
    11) #2-Brad Keselowski, 5th
    12) #11-Denny Hamlin, 31st
    (9-19-2011)

  • Diet Mt. Dew replacing Amp on Earnhart, Jr's car: Four years after making waves in NASCAR by signing on as the primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Amp Energy is phasing its brand off the car of the sport's most popular driver. PepsiCo is expected to announce this week that Diet Mountain Dew will replace its Amp Energy brand as Earnhardt's primary sponsor for 16 races in 2012. The company has the primary sponsorship rights for 20 total races on the #88 car, and Amp will serve as an associate sponsor while also appearing on the hood for the other four races. The shift is a major downsizing in the sponsorship between Amp, an upstart energy drink, and Earnhardt, the sport's biggest driver. Pepsi, which owns Amp and Mountain Dew, has one year left on its contract with Earnhardt and Hendrick Motorsports, and the company's executives believe that Diet Mountain Dew, which is one of the fastest-growing soft drinks, stands to benefit more from Earnhardt than Amp. Pepsi and Hendrick Motorsports are expected this week to unveil a new paint scheme for the #88 car for next year's Daytona 500.(Sports Business Journal)(9-19-2011)


    News from September 18, 2011

  • Stenhouse could drive for Woods in 2012: Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Led Wood says a decision will be made in the next few weeks about whether Trevor Bayne will return to the legendary #21 Sprint Cup Series Ford next season, or be replaced by current Nationwide Series point leader Ricky Stenhouse. "If I had to say right now, I would say it would be that guy," said Wood, pointing to Bayne's name on the roof of the #21 Quick Lane Tire and Auto Ford Fusion in the garage at Chicagoland Speedway. "He's done an amazing job for us this season, and we'd love to have him back. But it's all up to Ford Motor Company and the sponsors." Wood said he expects to run a similar number of races next season, with "at least 12 and maybe as many as 18" events on the schedule. "If I tell you 12 (races) and it ends up being 18, that's great," he said. "Right now, though, I'll just say 12." He said a decision on who will steer the #21 Ford next season will be made by Ford Motor Company and Roush Fenway Racing, which whom the Woods have a longstanding technical alliance. "We'll probably have a conversation about that with (RFR President) Steve Newmark in the next couple of weeks," he said.(Sirius Speedway)(9-18-2011)

  • Childress still looking for sponsorship for Bowyer: Richard Childress said on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway that until Bowyer tells him his deal with Michael Waltrip Racing is done he will continue to work to find sponsorship for the driver of RCR's #33 Cup car. "Honestly, we're still trying today,'' Childress said. "We both agreed if an opportunity comes for him he needs to take it. But yes, we're still trying to put something together this week and last week.'' Childress said he has a list of four or five drivers, including Bowyer, to drive the 33 in 2012. He said several sponsors are interested for any of the drivers. Childress would not mention other drivers that might fill Bowyer's seat should sponsorship be found. But the prime candidates are Brian Vickers, Mark Martin and possibly David Ragan if he loses his ride at Roush Fenway Racing due to lack of sponsorship. Childress didn't rule out putting grandson Austin Dillon into a Cup ride for a few races with another driver filling out the rest of the season. But the plan for Dillon is to put him in a full Nationwide Series car next season with Childress' other grandson Ty Dillon replacing him in the #3 Bass Pro Shops ride in the Truck Series. Childress said there's a chance if he doesn't stay at four Cup teams that the 33 crew could drop down to Nationwide for Dillon.(ESPN)(9-18-2011)

  • Childress elected to International Motorsports Hall of Fame: Richard Childress, a former independent driver who built a NASCAR team that won six Sprint Cup championships with Dale Earnhardt Sr. behind the wheel, has been voted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. Childress and two other new hall members (to be announced later) will be inducted into the Talladega, Ala. hall May 3 next year. Childress and the other new hall members were chosen from a list of 20 finalists in recent voting by news media members and other hall panelists. Among other candidates on the nominee list are Kenny Bernstein, John Force, Joie Chitwood, David Hobbs, Marvin Panch and Lee Shepherd.(SPEED)(9-18-2011)

  • Chicago race postponed until Monday: The GEICO 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race has been postponed because of rain. The race has been rescheduled for Monday, September 19 with a start time of 12:00 pm/et. The race will be televised on ESPN live.(9-18-2011)

  • Rain could be an issue at Chicago: NASCAR has moved up the start of the Geico 400 by 15 minutes. to 2:03 pm/et, since the weather forecast has a 70% chance of rain today for the greater Chicago/Joliet area. There is also a scheduled competition caution on lap 30 today because of the rain washing all the rubber off the track, so team can check tires. Teams can pit, make repairs and change tires before the competition caution but cannot fuel the cars. To keep up with the weather, see a few weather links on the Chicago Race Info page.(9-18-2011)

  • Kyle Busch is most mentioned Cup driver: According to a study by Joyce, Julius & Associates, #18-Kyle Busch was the most mentioned Spring Cup driver during telecasts of the first 20 races of the year. The results:
    Driver # of Interviews Interview Time Mentions
    Busch, Ky. 38 0:52:28 3,829
    Gordon, J. 32 0:42:33 3,052
    Johnson, J. 24 0:23:34 2,605
    Edwards, C. 36 0:37:37 2,450
    Hamlin, D. 27 0:24:27 2,320
    Busch, Ku. 19 0:13:52 2,205
    Stewart, T. 19 0:21:40 2,185
    Kenseth, M. 17 0:12:16 1,939
    Menard, P. 17 0:21:51 1,912
    Earnhardt Jr., D. 17 0:26:51 1,898

    (Joyce Julius & Associates)(9-18-2011)

  • NASCAR teams with MillerCoors And TEAM Coalition to promote responsibility: NASCAR announced that it has joined Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, an alliance that promotes responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports facilities through the Responsibility Has Its Rewards campaign. NASCAR's membership launches with a promotion conducted in partnership with MillerCoors that will reward one responsible NASCAR fan with a grand prize trip to Las Vegas, Nev. to attend the season-ending festivities that crown the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. TEAM Coalition is an alliance of 20 organizations, including professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaires, stadium service providers, the beer industry, broadcasters, governmental traffic safety experts and others. Its members are united by their mission to provide effective alcohol service training and promote responsible alcohol consumption to enhance the entertainment experience while reducing alcohol-related instances in facilities and on the road. Beginning Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway and later at four additional Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races, NASCAR fans at least 21 years in age can pledge at designated driver booths to be a designated driver and help promote responsible alcohol consumption at the race track. Fans can also enter online at www.rhir.org.(NASCAR)(9-18-2011)

  • NASCAR Kinetics Program to expand: NASCAR announced the expansion of its successful NASCAR Kinetics program from 12 to 20 schools, further increasing the breadth of the program to 17 states and dozens of additional students for the fall 2011 semester. This innovative case study competition gives college students the opportunity to work through real-world business challenges and scenarios provided by NASCAR and its various industry stakeholders, such as Official Partners, teams and tracks. With the mission of educating and exposing college students across the nation to the NASCAR brand, NASCAR Kinetics was started as a grassroots initiative in the spring semester of 2009 with only four schools. Over the past three years, the program has grown to become the largest NASCAR college enterprise. This semester the case studies will involve evaluating the social media strategies for Michael Waltrip Racing and generating sponsorship activation ideas for Dodge. The last stage of the competition - the viewing parties - will all be hosted in conjunction with M&M's and will serve to celebrate the colorfulness of the M&M's characters and NASCAR. For more information on NASCAR Kinetics, refer to the new website: www.NASCARKinetics.com.(NASCAR)(9-18-2011)

  • Roush Yates to hold sale: Roush Yates will be having a Used Equipment and Parts Sale on Monday, September 19th from 7am - 9pm. Open to the public and all race teams. Engines, cars, surface plates, pit boxes, garage boxes, mill, lathe, racks, fab tables, etc. will be available. (more info at Roush Yates Engines)(9-18-2011)

  • Iowa Speedway releases 2012 schedule: Iowa Speedway officials on Saturday night unveiled a 2012 schedule that features an extra race weekend and a second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. The Camping World Truck Series, which attracted an announced crowd of 24,408 in July for the Coca-Cola 200 at Iowa Speedway, will stage a race on July 14, 2012 and circle back around to Newton for another race on Sept. 15. Race fans could also have two opportunities to watch Danica Patrick next year in her first full-time season on the NASCAR Nationwide circuit. Patrick announced last month that she planned to leave IndyCar in 2012 to race a full Nationwide schedule and part-time on the Sprint Cup series. For the second consecutive year, Iowa Speedway will stage two Nationwide races. The Nationwide series and NASCAR K&N East/West Challenge will race in Newton on May 19-20 and again on Aug. 3-4.(Des Moines Register)(9-18-2011)


    News from September 17, 2011

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the GEICO 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #17-Kenseth chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #27-Menard took pit stall 8, the next pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    #22-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 7th pit stall, the first stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #47-Labonte, who starts 11th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(9-17-2011)

  • Gordon questions Menard's spin at Richmond: UPDATES: #24-Jeff Gordon says there is something "fishy'' about Saturday night's final caution at Richmond International Raceway that opened the door for #29-Kevin Harvick to win. Gordon implied after the race that #27-Paul Menard, Harvick's teammate at Richard Childress Racing, spun out intentionally with 16 laps to go to bring out the caution. Harvick then beat Gordon off pit road and maintained the lead after the final restart with 12 laps remaining. Gordon said from what he's been told of the radio communications between Menard, crew chief Slugger Labbe and RCR executive Mike Dillon there is reason to believe the spinout was orchestrated on a second channel. NASCAR released a statement Thursday saying officials did not see any wrongdoing during the race. "We haven't seen or heard anything that would indicate the #27 did anything inappropriate in Richmond," NASCAR said. "We watch closely the activity in each event all season long to maintain a fair and even event for all competitors. We naturally will do the same for the balance of the season." Harvick said he asked officials within the organization about the incident after accusations began flying and was told the right rear tire on Menard's car was "down to the cords.'' Menard said on the radio the tire was going down with 17 laps to go.(ESPN)
    AND: Statement from Richard Childress: "There were no team orders despite all the speculation in the media. I know Paul Menard well enough that he wouldn't have spun out on purpose even if he had been asked. We are at Chicagoland Speedway to win the race and get a great start toward the championship."(RCR)(9-16-2011)
    UPDATE: NASCAR President Mike Helton said Friday morning at Chicagoland Speedway that series officials are investigating Paul Menard's spin late in the Richmond race that played a role in helping teammate Kevin Harvick win that race. Helton said he has yet to hear the audio from Menard's radio chatter. "We're going to look into it and see if there's anything,'' Helton said. "A lot of it is going to be interpretation. Certainly, it's on us to understand exactly what all we can find as far as facts are concerned. It's on all of our shoulders to get the facts right and if there's something there, we should find out about it and be sure that we've got it right.'' Helton said that series officials will look at video of the caution itself to determine "if it appears that there … it was done on purpose.'' He also said series officials will get access to the audio.(Virginian-Pilot)(9-16-2011)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR officials said on Saturday there is no evidence to support allegations that Paul Menard spun out intentionally to bring out a caution and affect the finish of last weekend's Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Spokesman Kerry Tharp said officials listened to audio of Menard's radio transmission before he spun out with 16 laps remaining and found nothing to indicate he did anything deliberately.(ESPN)(9-17-2011)

  • Kenseth wins Chicago pole: #17-Matt Kenseth won the Coors Light pole for the GEICO 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway with a speed of 183.243mph. It is his 2nd pole of the season and the 6th of his career. #27-Menard starts 2nd followed by #22-Busch, #39-Newman, #99-Edwards, #2-Keselowski, #16-Biffle, #83-Vickers, #18-Busch, and #20-Logano.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #21-Bayne, #38-Yeley, #66-McDowell, #30-Stremme, #46-Speed, #87-Nemechek, #7-Gordon, #37-Wise.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (4): #55-Kvapil, #95-Starr, #35-Leicht, #60-Skinner
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Chicago Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page. (9-17-2011)

  • Starting Spots for the Chase drivers at Chicago:
    Six of the 12 Chase drivers qualified in the top 10 for the GEICO 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, the starting spots for the 12 chasers:
    [by current points standings]:
    1) #18-Kyle Busch, 9th
    2) #29-Kevin Harvick, 30th
    3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 23rd
    4) #17-Matt Kenseth, 1st
    5) #99-Carl Edwards, 5th
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 12th
    7) #22-Kurt Busch, 3rd
    8) #39-Ryan Newman, 4th
    9) #14-Tony Stewart, 26th
    10) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 19th
    11) #2-Brad Keselowski, 6th
    12) #11-Denny Hamlin, 27th
    (9-17-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Chicago:
    Matt Kenseth won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 11th Annual GEICO 400 with a lap of 29.469 seconds, 183.243 mph.
    This is his sixth pole in 427 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and ninth top-10 start in 2011. His previous pole came on March 6 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
    This is his first pole in 11 races at Chicagoland Speedway.
    Paul Menard (second) posted his 13th top-10 start of 2011 and his second in five races at Chicagoland Speedway.
    Kurt Busch (third) posted his second top-10 start at Chicagoland Speedway. It is his 15th in 27 races this season.
    Andy Lally (40th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-17-2011)

  • Bowyer expected to sign with Michael Waltrip Racing: UPDATES: Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Clint Bowyer is near agreement on a new, multi-year contract with Michael Waltrip Racing, with an announcement expected within the next 24-48 hours. Bowyer will leave Richard Childress Racing at season's end, after being unable to come to terms with the team for which he has competed for his entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. The Emporia, Kansas, native is reported to have spoken -- at least preliminarily -- with at least four teams; Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. MWR emerged as the leading candidate within the last two weeks, and now, final details are being wrapped up that will put Bowyer in an MWR Toyota Camry next season as a teammate to Martin Truex, Jr., and David Reutimann. Sponsorship will come from Five Hour Energy. The multi-year deal is in the final stages of negotiation, with an official announcement expected this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.(Sirius Speedway)(9-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip issued the following statement Friday afternoon: “I can confirm we have had very productive conversations with Clint and a quality sponsor. Today, however, we don’t have anything finalized and we’re not in a position to make any formal announcements. Our goal has never changed. Rob (Kauffman) and I want to continue to improve the competitiveness of our team and be a consistent winner at NASCAR’s highest level. Pursuing Chase-proven personnel, including drivers, has been a priority. As soon as we have more information to share, we will.”(MWR)(9-16-2011)
    UPDATE 2: During a Friday morning interview on Sirius Satellite Radio, Rusty Wallace confirmed that Five-Hour Energy was leaving his Nationwide team next year for Sprint Cup and was shopping itself as a package deal with Bowyer. "I hear they'll run about 20 races," Wallace said. "They've been with me for over four years and put a lot of money in our team and been awesome partners of mine, but they want to move to the Cup series, and I'm not in the Cup series. They aligned with Clint Bowyer because he was out of a ride with Childress."(USA Today)(9-17-2011)

  • Cup schedule complete; Nationwide and Truck still up in the air: If you're still waiting for NASCAR's 2012 national touring schedules, well, it looks like the Sprint Cup calender is ready for printing but there are holdups with the Truck and Nationwide calenders. Rockingham Speedway could get a Nationwide date. And the Montreal Nationwide date is still under negotiations. What other holdups are unclear.(MikeMulhern.net)(9-17-2011)

  • Kansas Speedway Extends Ticket Office Hours: As the days to the Hollywood Casino 400 weekend count down, Kansas Speedway is extending its office hours for race fans wanting to purchase tickets for the Kansas Lottery 98.9, Kansas Lottery 300 and the Hollywood Casino 400. Starting Saturday, Sept. 17, the Kansas Speedway Ticket Office will be open from 9 AM - 3 PM. The following Saturday, Sept. 24, the Ticket Office will also be open from 9 AM - 3 PM. On Oct. 1 (Saturday) and Oct. 2 (Sunday) the Ticket Office will be open from 9 AM - 3 PM each day for fans wanting to purchase tickets. Kansas Speedway's ticket office will also continue its regular office hours, Monday - Friday from 9 AM - 5 PM. Fans can also purchase race tickets by calling 866.460.RACE (7223) or by logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com.(Kansas Speedway)(9-17-2011)

  • Expanded ticket hours at Martinsville: Martinsville Speedway's ticket office is expanding its hours so fans will have plenty of time to purchase tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 weekend, which is just six weeks away. The ticket office will extend its hours to Saturdays, beginning on Sept. 17 and to Sundays starting on Oct. 16. Saturday hours will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 17, 24 and Oct. 1. Saturday hours will expand to 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 15 and 22. Sunday hours will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 16 and 23. Tickets for the TUMS Fast Relief 500 on Sunday, October 30, the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, October 29 and the NASCAR practice day on Friday, October 28 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.racetickets.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(9-17-2011)


    News from September 16, 2011

  • Happy Hour practice for the GEICO 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway is over after 85 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #83-Vickers 184.275
    #4-Kahne 184.087
    #17-Kenseth (X) 183.536
    #27-Menard 183.374
    #29-Harvick (X) 183.331
    slowest: #36-Blaney 176.120 & #32-Bliss 176.039
    notes: There was some light rain as the session begun, but not enough to stop practice. #36-Blaney spun early but didn't hit anything.
    See fastest speeds, average seepds, top 10 lap averages, number of laps run on the Chicago Practice Speeds Page.(9-16-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #30-David Stremme, 9th
    #38-J.J. Yeley, 15th
    #21-Trevor Bayne, 16th
    #35-Stephen Leicht, 18th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 21st
    #46-Scott Speed, 24th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 25th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 27th
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #55-Travis Kvapil, 34th
    #95-David Starr, 35th
    #37-Josh Wise, 41st
    #60-Mike Skinner, 45th

  • Qualifying Order for the GEICO 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway is posted. 47 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #7-Gordon, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #00-Reutimann, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Chicago Qualifying Page.(9-16-2011)

  • First Friday practice for the GEICO 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #00-Reutimann 183.138
    #33-Bowyer 182.964
    #5-Martin 182.883
    #18-Busch (X) 182.846
    #21-Bayne 182.723
    (X) = Chase driver
    slowest: #32-Bliss 176.010 & #7-Gordon 175.633.
    notes: #22-Keselowski went out for his first run but came back into the garage reporting a possible problem with the engine. The team changed spark plugs and the car was ok. #99-Edwards reported a possible problem with the fuel pickup. The team is going to change the carburetor. #60-Skinner had a possible engine failure that laid oil on the track.
    This practice sets the qualifying order, which is scheduled for Saturday at 3:30pm/et and will be televised on SPEED.
    See fastest speeds, average seepds, top 10 lap averages, number of laps run on the Chicago Practice Speeds Page.(9-16-2011)

  • Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #21-Trevor Bayne, 5th
    #30-David Stremme, 7th
    #38-J.J. Yeley, 18th
    #35-Stephen Leicht, 24th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 27th
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 38th
    #46-Scott Speed, 39th
    #60-Mike Skinner, 41st
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #95-David Starr, 42nd
    #55-Travis Kvapil, 43rd
    #37-Josh Wise, 45th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 47th

  • Bowyer expected to sign with Michael Waltrip Racing: UPDATE: Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Clint Bowyer is near agreement on a new, multi-year contract with Michael Waltrip Racing, with an announcement expected within the next 24-48 hours. Bowyer will leave Richard Childress Racing at season's end, after being unable to come to terms with the team for which he has competed for his entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. The Emporia, Kansas, native is reported to have spoken -- at least preliminarily -- with at least four teams; Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. MWR emerged as the leading candidate within the last two weeks, and now, final details are being wrapped up that will put Bowyer in an MWR Toyota Camry next season as a teammate to Martin Truex, Jr., and David Reutimann. Sponsorship will come from Five Hour Energy. The multi-year deal is in the final stages of negotiation, with an official announcement expected this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.(Sirius Speedway)(9-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Michael Waltrip issued the following statement Friday afternoon: “I can confirm we have had very productive conversations with Clint and a quality sponsor. Today, however, we don’t have anything finalized and we’re not in a position to make any formal announcements. Our goal has never changed. Rob (Kauffman) and I want to continue to improve the competitiveness of our team and be a consistent winner at NASCAR’s highest level. Pursuing Chase-proven personnel, including drivers, has been a priority. As soon as we have more information to share, we will.”(MWR)(9-16-2011)

  • JTG Daugherty ending alliance with MWR? Michael Waltrip Racing currently fields two teams with #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #00-David Reutimann, and supplies cars for #47-Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing out of its Mooresville, N.C., shop. Sources said JTG Daugherty Racing may cut its tie to MWR but remain in the sport with Labonte as its driver in 2012.(ESPN)(9-16-2011)

  • Gordon questions Menard's spin at Richmond: #24-Jeff Gordon says there is something "fishy'' about Saturday night's final caution at Richmond International Raceway that opened the door for #29-Kevin Harvick to win. Gordon implied after the race that #27-Paul Menard, Harvick's teammate at Richard Childress Racing, spun out intentionally with 16 laps to go to bring out the caution. Harvick then beat Gordon off pit road and maintained the lead after the final restart with 12 laps remaining. Gordon said from what he's been told of the radio communications between Menard, crew chief Slugger Labbe and RCR executive Mike Dillon there is reason to believe the spinout was orchestrated on a second channel. NASCAR released a statement Thursday saying officials did not see any wrongdoing during the race. "We haven't seen or heard anything that would indicate the #27 did anything inappropriate in Richmond," NASCAR said. "We watch closely the activity in each event all season long to maintain a fair and even event for all competitors. We naturally will do the same for the balance of the season." Harvick said he asked officials within the organization about the incident after accusations began flying and was told the right rear tire on Menard's car was "down to the cords.'' Menard said on the radio the tire was going down with 17 laps to go.(ESPN)
    AND: Statement from Richard Childress: "There were no team orders despite all the speculation in the media. I know Paul Menard well enough that he wouldn't have spun out on purpose even if he had been asked. We are at Chicagoland Speedway to win the race and get a great start toward the championship."(RCR)(9-16-2011)
    UPDATE: NASCAR President Mike Helton said Friday morning at Chicagoland Speedway that series officials are investigating Paul Menard's spin late in the Richmond race that played a role in helping teammate Kevin Harvick win that race. Helton said he has yet to hear the audio from Menard's radio chatter. "We're going to look into it and see if there's anything,'' Helton said. "A lot of it is going to be interpretation. Certainly, it's on us to understand exactly what all we can find as far as facts are concerned. It's on all of our shoulders to get the facts right and if there's something there, we should find out about it and be sure that we've got it right.'' Helton said that series officials will look at video of the caution itself to determine "if it appears that there … it was done on purpose.'' He also said series officials will get access to the audio.(Virginian-Pilot)(9-16-2011)

  • Medal of Honor recipient Cavaiani named Honorary Starter of GEICO 400: Medal of Honor recipient Jon Cavaiani has been named the Honorary Starter for Sunday's GEICO 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. As the Honorary Starter, Cavaiani will wave the green flag to officially kick off the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Cavaiani, a retired United States Army Special Force's Staff Sergeant, is one of only 83 living Medal of Honor recipients. The Medal of Honor is the military's highest honor.(GEICO)(9-16-2011)


    News from September 15, 2011

  • Bowyer expected to sign with Michael Waltrip Racing: Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Clint Bowyer is near agreement on a new, multi-year contract with Michael Waltrip Racing, with an announcement expected within the next 24-48 hours. Bowyer will leave Richard Childress Racing at season's end, after being unable to come to terms with the team for which he has competed for his entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. The Emporia, Kansas, native is reported to have spoken -- at least preliminarily -- with at least four teams; Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. MWR emerged as the leading candidate within the last two weeks, and now, final details are being wrapped up that will put Bowyer in an MWR Toyota Camry next season as a teammate to Martin Truex, Jr., and David Reutimann. Sponsorship will come from Five Hour Energy. The multi-year deal is in the final stages of negotiation, with an official announcement expected this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.(Sirius Speedway)(9-15-2011)

  • Goodyear to run "Support our Troops" tires this weekend: Goodyear will honor the U.S. Armed Forces by altering the sidewalls of its tires in this weekend's NASCAR and NHRA events. The design features a patriotic color scheme reading "Support Our Troops" on the tires that symbolically kicks off a "Goodyear Support Our Troops" initiative, an 11-week awareness and fund-raising effort designed to generate support for military families. Goodyear is the official tire sponsor of NASCAR and NHRA. Race-used tires from Sunday's Sprint Cup Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway and the NHRA's O'Reilly Auto Parts Nationals at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be put up for a charity auction and signed by the drivers who used them. The second-year program invites fans to visit goodyear.com/supportourtroops for more interactive ways to get involved. All funds raised will be donated to Support Our Troops, a nonprofit nationwide organization which bolsters the morale and well-being of America's troops and their families.(USA Today), see an image of the tires run last year on the Goodyear Tire News page(9-15-2011)

  • Kenseth Says Still No Word on 2012 Sponsorship: The Chase is not all on Matt Kenseth's mind. A couple of months ago, primary sponsor Crown Royal announced its departure from the team after the season and, so far, there is still no word on which company or companies will adorn the hood and quarter panels of the #17 Ford. "I am sure they are working on it as hard as possible back in the sales and marketing department at Roush Fenway Racing," Kenseth told News/Talk WSB. "That's really the only thing I know. I don't know of anything that right now they have and I don't know of anything they are close to getting signed up. I wish I did. I am going to worry about racing these next 10 weeks, doing the best job I can to win a championship for Crown Royal and I'll let them worry about it."(WSB Radio)(9-15-2011)

  • More attendance woes for NASCAR Hall of Fame: Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame fell by 35% in July from a year earlier, continuing a trend of declining results. The Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, operator of the $200 million publicly funded stock-car museum, reported the figures at its board meeting Wednesday. In July 2010, 33,452 people visited the hall of fame. Attendance declined to 21,910 in July 2011, the first month of the new fiscal year. July marked the third month of attendance slips of 30 percent or more in year-over-year comparisons. Those figures offer a barometer of interest in the hall of fame, which opened in May 2010. For May 2011, attendance was 30 percent below the previous year (25,034 visitors compared with 35,090 in May 2010). In June 2011, crowds dropped by 39 percent to 17,604 visitors for the month. Visitors authority board members didn't discuss the hall of fame results during their meeting. A recent update to City Council included questions and discussion of whether ticket prices could be hurting attendance (Charlotte Business Journal). Past info, links, announcements on the NASCAR Hall of Fame page.(9-15-2011)

  • Bradley University to assist #37, special paint scheme at Chicago: Eight Bradley University [Peoria, IL] sports communication students will have the unique opportunity for a weekend internship at a NASCAR Sprint Cup race in the Chicago area. The students will assist the #37 Sprint Cup team with promotions and public relations. The #37 Bradley University Sprint Cup Ford Fusion will be wrapped in the University's markings and the BU Braves logo during the Sprint Car event. The white Bradley #37 Ford, covered in red University markings, will be driven by Josh Wise at the Geico 400 this weekend at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. Wise will attempt to qualify on Saturday for the Sunday race; his teammate in the NASCAR Nationwide Series is Danica Patrick. "This is another wonderful example of hands-on experiential learning opportunities available to Bradley students," President Joanne Glasser said. "I want to thank Max Q Motorsports and NASCAR for allowing our students to bring what they learn in the classroom onto the race track." The #37 Bradley University Sprint Cup Ford Fusion show car, an authentic race car, will be displayed at Olin Quad on the Bradley campus on Thursday, September 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bradley sports communication students will be available to explain details of the #37 race car and their involvement in the Geico 400. "We welcome Bradley University students to Chicagoland to experience firsthand the excitement of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing and to learn more about career opportunities in our sport," said Max Q Motorsports Owner Larry Gunselman. Gunselman has donated the primary sponsorship of the race car for the Geico 400 to Bradley University. Bradley is a private, independent university in Peoria, Illinois, offering 6,000 students the choice of more than 100 academic programs. This size provides students extensive resources not available at most private colleges and the personal attention not commonly found at large universities.(Bradley University), see image of the scheme on the #37 Team Schemes page.(9-15-2011)

  • Kleenex Cool Touch Tissues on #47 at Chicago: From its beginnings in 1924, Kleenex Brand has grown into a global icon. This month the Kleenex Brand launches a brand new product and Bobby Labonte showcases the new Kleenex Cool Touch Tissue on his #47 Toyota Camry at Chicagoland Speedway for the first time. Kleenex Cool Touch Tissue was created to provide comfort to the sore and uncomfortable nose that occurs with frequent wiping, like when you have a cold or allergies. It's a first-of-its-kind feature.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(9-15-2011)

  • The Numbers for Chicago:
    1 - win from the pole (Kyle Busch, 7/12/08)
    1 - number of times qualifying canceled due to weather (7/12/08)
    2 - most wins by driver (Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart)
    4 - fewest cautions (7/10/10)
    6 - fewest leaders (7/11/09)
    6 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    8 - different race winners
    9 - different pole winners
    10 - fewest lead changes (twice, most recent 7/10/10)
    10 - most cautions (twice, most recent 7/10/05)
    11 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (7/13/03)
    11 - fewest laps led by race winner (Dale Earnhardt Jr., 7/10/05)
    13 - most leaders (7/11/04)
    20 - most lead changes (twice, most recent 7/15/07)
    21 - fewest caution laps (7/10/10)
    29 - most cars on lead lap at finish (7/12/08)
    42 - most running at finish (twice, most recent 7/12/08)
    120 minutes - amount of time it takes to dry the 1.5-mile track after a significant rainfall
    195 - most laps led by race winner (7/11/09 - Mark Martin - 267-lap race)
    2011 Caution Update
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono1)
    6 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    8 - number of cautions in spring race (April 30) at RIR
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    197 - number of cautions in the first 26 races of 2011: includes 97 for accidents, 43 for debris and 28 for spins Note: 185 cautions in the first 26 races in 2010; includes 98 for accidents, 34 for debris and 25 for spins
    965 of 7,376 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    1,328.307 of 10,233.258 - miles under caution in the first 26 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(9-15-2011)

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

  • Tire notes and facts for Chicago: Teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Chicagoland 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 Nationwide Series teams ran at Chicagoland in June . . . this is also the same exact tire set-up that Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams ran at Texas earlier this season and at Homestead last November . . . for Camping World Truck teams, they ran this set-up at Homestead last season, but ran only this left-side tire code with a different right-side at Texas earlier this season . . . NASCAR teams have also run this left-side tire at Dover (all three series) and Nashville (Nationwide and Trucks) in 2011 . . . talking specifically about Chicagoland, teams in all three of these series ran this same left-side tire code (D-4392) last season, but with a different right-side code . . . compared to what was run at this track in 2010, this right-side (D-4410) features just a minor construction change . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Chicagoland . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 50-53 laps for Sprint Cup cars, based on fuel mileage.(Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures, and more on the Chicago Race Info page - Goodyear section.(9-15-2011)

  • NASCAR returns to Watkins Glen August 9-12, 2012: The Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Welliver marked the finale of the 2011 race season at Watkins Glen International and the historic road course is already looking ahead to 2012. WGI is proud to announce that during the weekend of August 9-12, The Soul of American Road Racing will host the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 27th consecutive time on Sunday, August 12. The Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide and Canadian Tire 200 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series races will both return on Saturday, August 11. Moved from the traditional weekend a season ago, this is the second-consecutive year that Watkins Glen International is set to host NASCAR the second weekend of August.(WGI)(9-15-2011)

  • Richmond announces 2012 dates: On the heels of what many race fans are calling one of the best races at Richmond International Raceway in years and the most entertaining race of the 2011 season, track officials announced that America's Premier Short Track will again host two NASCAR weekends in 2012. Next season Richmond International Raceway will feature NASCAR racing April 26-28 and September 7-8. The spring weekend features the second annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Thursday night, April 26; the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Friday night, April 27 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Saturday night, April 28. The Saturday, September 8 date again features the final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event before the Chase cutoff, rendering the Wonderful Pistachios 400 as the "One Last Race to Make The Chase." The weekend begins Friday, September 7, with the NASCAR Nationwide Series race.(RIR)(9-15-2011)

  • Easton Corbin to entertain fans prior to Hollywood Casino 400: As the championship actions heats up on the track at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 9, Easton Corbin, one of country music's hottest new acts, will warm up the crowd for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway in a pre-race concert. Corbin, who has been compared to country music icon George Strait, broke onto the country music scene with his debut single, "A Little More Country than That", which peaked at No. 1 on the country charts for the week ending April 3, 2010. Corbin, who signed with Mercury Nashville/Universal Music Group Nashville in 2009, is currently touring with Flatts Fest 2011, which features Rascal Flatts, Sara Evans and Justin Moore, after spending 2010 on tour with Brad Paisley.(Kansas Speedway)(9-15-2011)


    News from September 14, 2011

  • Most chase races will be available online: UPDATES: NASCAR, ESPN and Turner Sports will announce plans Wednesday to air nine of the 10 Chase races live online, allowing fans to view the end of the Sprint Cup season in ways never before available. Fans can view the nine ESPN races via NASCAR.com's RaceBuddy and ESPN's WatchESPN.com platform and the free WatchESPN app, beginning with Sunday's Cup race from Chicagoland Speedway. The lone Cup race fans won't be able to view online will be the Oct. 15 event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. That race airs on ABC, which does not air events live online to protect its affiliate stations. Here's what fans can see online:
    • NASCAR.com's RaceBuddy will feature two mosaics with a mix of eight in-car and stationary cameras positioned around the track. Team radio audio will be associated with each of the in-car cameras.
    • ESPN's live broadcast can be viewed via computer, smartphone and tablet through ESPN's WatchESPN app and at WatchESPN.com.
    Also, it will be announced that ESPN's daily NASCAR show "NASCAR Now'' will be available for the first time through WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app. Telecast of NASCAR Nationwide Series races on ESPN and ESPN2 also will be available on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.(Virginian-Pilot)(9-14-2011)
    UPDATE: Heading into the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR, ESPN and Turner Sports, which manages NASCAR.COM, announced details of a new partnership that will provide race fans with a never-before-seen digital viewing experience during the sport's postseason run. NASCAR.COM's RaceBuddy product will be available for the first time ever during the Chase while NASCAR content will appear for the first time ever in ESPN's WatchESPN.com platform and WatchESPN app. WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com, which give sports fans access to 24/7 live programming from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU, will, for the first time ever, exclusively feature the live ESPN telecasts of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. WatchESPN is available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN.com and the free WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider. Also, ESPN2's daily NASCAR news and information program, "NASCAR Now", will be available on multiple devices to NASCAR fans for the first time ever through WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com. Telecasts of NASCAR Nationwide Series races on ESPN and ESPN2 will also be available.(ESPN)(9-14-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Here's a few more details:
    • The agreement goes through the length of the TV contract, which is 2014. So, this will be not just a one-time thing.
    • The agreement is for ALL ESPN Cup races, not just the Chase races, as is the case this year. ESPN is broadcasting 14 of the final 17 Cup races. So, provided that number stays the same, you will get to see a few more Cup races online next year. (Of course, the six TNT races are also on NASCAR.com's RaceBuddy, so that can mean about 20 races online next year).
    • The agreement does NOT cover the ABC races. Those races aren't shown to protect the affiliate.
    • The agreement covers practice sessions and qualifying sessions that ESPN broadcasts, along with the Nationwide races and "NASCAR Now'' and any other NASCAR content.
    • As part of this agreement, you can watch the ESPN broadcast on WatchESPN.com or the WatchESPN app that allows you to view the race broadcast on your smartphone, computer or tablet. As of now, those with Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS TV can get the WatchESPN feed.(Virginian-Pilot)(9-14-2011)

  • RPM no longer interested in Bowyer: Richard Petty Motorsports has withdrawn its offer to Clint Bowyer to drive a car for the organization in 2012. Team owner Andrew Murstein confirmed to FOXSports.com that RPM has decided to go in another direction with the program. "We are no longer in discussions with Clint," Murstein said. "We just feel that RPM is in a great place today, especially how far we have come since last year. Both #9-Marcos (Ambrose) and #43-A.J. (Allmendinger) are not only having career years, but they are both moving in the right directions and improving. "Clint is a great driver and we wish him the best wherever he ends up. For now, we will continue to focus on our two teams and continuing to make great strides as we return the King and his unmatched tradition and legion of loyal fans back into Victory Lane." The most recent organization in the Bowyer sweepstakes is Michael Waltrip Racing. Bowyer was seen touring MWR last Thursday. If he ends up at MWR, expect the company to a run a third team along with current drivers #00-David Reutimann and #56-Martin Truex, Jr.(Fox Sports)(9-14-2011)

  • Richmond race brings in good TV Ratings: ABC's live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday night, Sept. 10, saw a 19% rise in ratings from last year's race along with a 17% rise in viewership, according to the Nielsen Company. The telecast earned a 3.7 rating, up from a 3.1 for last year's race that also aired on ABC, and averaged 6,167,000 viewers (ESPN). See race-to race news, 4-year chart and more on the 2011 TV Ratings page. The best TV Ratings from Richmond since 2006.(9-14-2011)

  • Budweiser Bowtie for Harvick at Chicagoland: Budweiser and NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick will celebrate the recent debut of the new Budweiser "Bowtie" can refresh with a special paint scheme for the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept. 18. Introduced last month, the new can design is Budweiser's 12th since Anheuser-Busch began offering its flagship brand in cans in 1936. The focal point of the design is Budweiser's iconic bowtie, complemented by the time-honored Budweiser creed and Anheuser-Busch medallion. The same elements are prominent on the #29 Budweiser Chevy for Sunday's race.(Elevation Group), see images of the scheme on the #29 Team Schemes page.(9-14-2011)

  • #14 to run Copy & Print scheme at Chicago: Tony Stewart's #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy will feature the Office Depot Copy & Print Depot logo along with phrase "Printing Done Right" during Sunday's Chase-opening race at Chicagoland Speedway. NASCAR fans can rely on the Copy & Print Depot in their local Office Depot store to help them take care of business seven days a week - including race day! (Office Depot Racing), see images of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(9-14-2011)

  • Speed gets Chicago Sponsor: The #46 Whitney Motorsports Ford Fusion driven by Scott Speed will have a primary sponsor this weekend in Chicago, Red Line Oil. Green Stuff is also back on board. They will serve as an associate sponsor on Speed’s Ford Fusion at the Chicagoland Speedway this weekend.(Speed PR)(9-14-2011)


    News from September 13, 2011

  • Big Red sponsoring FAS Lane for 6 races: Big Red, Inc. will sponsor the FAS Lane Racing #32 entry in the Sprint Cup Series for six of the remaining races in the 2011 season. The #32 Big Red Ford will be piloted by Mike Bliss as the series heads to Chicagoland Speedway this weekend for the first event in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Big Red will use this six race sponsorship to debut a new and exciting product in the marketplace. FAS Lane Racing currently sits 34th in the ever important NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner's points. The team is coming off a disappointing 36th place finish last week at Richmond after a blown right front tire and expired engine.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(9-13-2011)

  • Yeley returns to the #38 at Chicago: J.J. Yeley will get the call to drive the #38 Long John Silver's Ford once again, this time at the 1.5-mile tri-oval of Chicagoland Speedway. The GEICO 400 race weekend will be Yeley's third time piloting the #38 Ford Fusion since joining Front Row Motorsports in July. The #38 team is 40 points outside the top 35 in owner points and wants to eliminate that gap before season's end to guarantee a starting position for the beginning of the 2012 season.(Front Row/Breaking Limits), Travis Kvapil will move to the #55 Ford.(9-13-2011)

  • Kurt Busch goes after reporter, restrained: UPDATE: It started with a simple question to Kurt Busch from NASCAR.com reporter Joe Menzer following two on-camera interviews by ESPN and MRN on pit road at Richmond International Raceway. "Kurt, can either you or Jimmie win the Chase…" Menzer began to ask. Before Menzer could finish his thought, Busch cut him off. "How did I see you were going to come with that? We're good." Busch said. In an attempt to end the interview, Busch turned away and started walking down pit road. Menzer called after him and said the question was legitimate following the multiple incidents with Jimmie Johnson during Saturday night's race. At that moment, Busch turned around yelling expletives at Menzer, coming at him as if he wanted to fight. As he called Menzer names and continued to try to get at him, team members from Busch's Penske Racing team had to physically restrain Busch.(SB Nation)
    AND It was the 2004 champion, though, who seemed to be feeling the pressure afterward. He castigated a reporter during a pit-road interview and renewed a heated discussion with him before a news conference 30 minutes later in the media center. He then challenged another reporter who asked Johnson to respond to Busch's contention that he was in the five-time champion's head. "I didn't say that tonight," retorted Busch, who later tore up a transcript of the interview (which was broadcast on national TV) handed to him by the reporter. "Did not."(USA Today and more news on this at Sports Illustrated)(9-11-2011)
    UPDATE: NASCAR said Monday it does not plan to take disciplinary measures after driver Kurt Busch's unsavory interactions with two media members following Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. And, in an apparent effort to clear the air, the Penske Racing driver contacted the reporters individually Monday; both reporters confirmed that Busch had apologized. Busch shouted expletives at one reporter on pit road who tried to ask about his ongoing rivalry with Jimmie Johnson (the drivers had two on-track scrapes Saturday) and had to be physically restrained by Penske Racing teammates. NASCAR, which promotes a "boys, have at it" approach to on-track discipline, indicated it wasn't going to entirely sweep Busch's actions under the rug. "No disciplinary action is planned," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "But we will be following up and discussing with Kurt this week."(USA Today)(9-13-2011)

  • Dillon will use the #3 in Nationwide Series in 2012: The return of Nationwide Series teams to Richard Childress Racing also signifies the return of the venerable #3 Chevy to competition full time in 2012. The merger between Kevin Harvick Inc. and RCR will enable KHI's existing teams, the #2 car with Elliott Sadler and the #33 with a cast of current Sprint Car drivers, to compete in the NNS along with Childress' grandson Austin Dillon. Dillon, 21, drives the #3 Silverado in the Camping World Truck Series. Dillon competed in four Nationwide non-companion events for KHI this season. Dillon's brother Ty will take over the driving duties in the #3 truck next season.(Fox Sports), Austin Dillon is scheduled to make his Sprint Cup debut in the #98 Chevy at Kansas in October.(9-13-2011)

  • Wheaties FUEL Reveals 'Most Popular Driver' Finalists: Just as NASCAR launches its playoff season this week, so does the campaign for the NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Wheaties FUEL Most Popular Driver. Voting for the full field of drivers ended September 10 and only the 10 drivers with the most votes remain to battle it out for the title of 2011's Most Popular Driver. The 10 finalists are, in alphabetical order: Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart. The "playoffs" now begin. Vote totals are reset to zero and fans have 10 race weeks to cast their vote once a day. at www.wheatiesfuelmostpopulardriver.com to determine the winner from the final 10 drivers. Voting will conclude November 20 at 11:59 PM CT and the winner will be announced at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon in December. More info on my Awards - Most Popular Driver page.(9-13-2011)

  • Chrissy Wallace wins ASA Track Championship: Chrissy Wallace did something no other female Late Model driver has ever done in ASA competition over the weekend. She clinched the ASA Late Model championship at her home track of Lebanon I-44 Speedway on Saturday night. In turn, that also put her back in the lead for the West Region track championship, which consists of hundreds of drivers from multiple tracks. Now, the 23-year old daughter of NASCAR driver Mike Wallace has another fete left to accomplish this year - the ASA Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil National Championship. But, she's going to have to wait until October to find out the results for the West Region and National championship as other ASA Member track have seasons that are still in progress. Wallace has made no secret of her desire to return to the NASCAR ranks in either the Camping World Truck Series, or the Nationwide Series. Utilizing her ASA Championships at a catalyst makes perfect sense.(chrissywallace.com)(9-13-2011)

  • Good Sam Club sponsoring Talladega race: Talladega Superspeedway announced a multi-year partnership with Good Sam Club for sponsorship of the track's fall NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. This year's event, the Good Sam Club 500, is scheduled for October 23. "Talladega Superspeedway has long been known for our thousands of acres of free and reserved camping," said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. "To welcome a sponsor such as Good Sam Club is a real honor and a great fit for our two brands. We look forward to welcoming thousands of RV'ers to Talladega Superspeedway Oct 21-23."(TSS)(9-13-2011)

  • Martinsville Speedway's Campbell honored: Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell was presented with the Heck Ford Award by the Martinsville and Henry County Chamber of Commerce Thursday night. The Heck Ford Award is the most prestigious award given by the M-HC Chamber and it is not given on an annual basis, but only when it is deemed deserving. The award is given in memory of Ford, who was in the real estate business in Martinsville from 1908 until 1955 and who was a "one-man chamber" long before the business group was organized. The crowd of more than 250 people attending the dinner gave Campbell a standing ovation.(Martinsville Speedway)(9-13-2011)


    News from September 12, 2011

  • Benson, Craven, Smith on NASCAR Now Roundtable: NASCAR driver Johnny Benson Jr. will join ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven and NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith as panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Monday, Sept. 12, at 2:30 pm/et on ESPN2. Allen Bestwick will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.

  • ESPN’s NASCAR Now to be Live from Chicago’s Navy Pier: With the Chicago skyline as a backdrop, NASCAR Now, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, will air live from Chicago’s Navy Pier for three shows in advance of the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at nearby Chicagoland Speedway. NASCAR Now will originate from the Navy Pier for a half-hour show at 3:00 pm/et on Tuesday, Sept. 13, and one-hour shows on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 14-15, at 2:30 pm/et. The 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins with the Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., on Sunday, Sept. 18, airing live on ESPN at 1 pm/et [green flag 2:16pm/et].
    Some of the 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers competing in the Chase are expected to be guests on the set in Chicago each day, including Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin on Tuesday, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart on Wednesday and Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski on Thursday (subject to change). Spectators will be allowed to gather near the stage and set during the live telecasts. ESPN NASCAR analysts Dale Jarrett and Rusty Wallace, both former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions, and former NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Ricky Craven will participate in the programs from the Navy Pier, while Nicole Briscoe will host.(ESPN)(9-12-2011)

  • At Chicagoland Speedway, facts and notes:
    · Construction began in August 1999.
    · The first NASCAR Nationwide Series race was July 14, 2001.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was held on July 15, 2001.
    · This weekend marks the first time Chicagoland Speedway will be included in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup – Sept. 18, 2011.
    · There have been 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Chicagoland Speedway.
    · 12 drivers have competed in all 10 races.
    · Todd Bodine won the first pole.
    · There has been a different pole winner after every qualifying session (qualifying was canceled in 2008).
    · Kevin Harvick won the first two races; six drivers have won races, led by Harvick and Tony Stewart, each with two.
    · Kyle Busch won the 2008 race from the pole, the first time a driver won from the pole. It was also the only time a driver had won from a top-five starting position.
    · Kevin Harvick won the 2002 race from the 32nd starting position, the deepest in the field that a race winner ever started at Chicago.
    · Only one starting position has multiple wins: 14th. Mark Martin won from the 14th starting position in 2009, as did Ryan Newman in 2003.
    · Jeff Gordon (8.6), Jimmie Johnson (10.0), Tony Stewart (9.5) and Brian Vickers (8.8) are active drivers who average a top-10 finish.
    · Five of the last six races have ended with a margin of victory under one second.
    · There have been 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Illinois.
    · 74 drivers all-time in NASCAR three national series have their home state recorded as Illinois.
    · There have been four race winners from Illinois in NASCAR’s three national series.(NASCAR)(9-12-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 Wonderful Pistachios 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, or wonder how often your driver was focused on, here is the breakdown for Saturday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 7:30 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 11:11 PM (all times are EST). ABC was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 131
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 66
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 29
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 40 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:30 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:11 PM
    Total minutes: 221
    Minutes of race broadcast: 172
    Minutes of commercials: 49
    Number of missed restarts: 1
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Number of silent, commemorative laps in honor of victims of 9/11: 3 Laps 9, 10 and 11
    Number of times Mike Helton was in the broadcast booth: 1 to discuss Wild Card drivers
    Number of times ABC used Split-Screen technology to show an ESPN SportsCenter update and the race: 2
    Total race brdcst time 172 Total comm. brdcst time 49
    For links to sponsors, or special items-of-interest such as links to contests and movie sites, selected drivers [at a later date] and more, see the 2011 TV Commercials page.(9-12-2011)

  • Richmond Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • Kevin Harvick picked up his 18th career victory in his 348th start and, in turn, clinched one of the two top seeds in the 2011 Chase.
    • This was Kevin Harvick's second Richmond victory in his 22nd start.
    • It was also Kevin Harvick's eighth victory with Gil Martin, the most he has enjoyed with any of the five crew chiefs with whom he's worked.
    • It was a bit of a turn of fortunes for Kevin Harvick as it was his first top-five finish since Pocono, 13 races ago.
    • Kevin Harvick led five times for 202 laps, the most of any driver. That total is 72 more than he had led in the first 25 races combined.
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (16th), Tony Stewart (seventh) and Denny Hamlin (ninth) secured their spots in the Chase.
    • Carl Edwards (second) earned his second top-five in two races at Richmond; it was also his 12th top-five of 2011.
    • Jeff Gordon (third) has finished 13th or better in his past 11 races, extending a streak he began at Infineon.
    • David Ragan (fourth) finished in the top five in both Richmond races, but fell short of his first Chase berth.
    • Kurt Busch (fifth) earned his best finish at Richmond in his past four races there.
    • Kyle Busch (sixth) recovered from an early pit stop on Lap 70 and got the free pass on the sixth caution.
    • Denny Hamlin (ninth) overcame a Lap 8 wreck that put him as low as 40th and one lap down on Lap 10.
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (16th) pitted 17 times and earned the free pass three times.
    (Racing Recall/nascar.com)(9-12-2011)

  • Talladega Superspeedway accepting applications for Fan Advisory Network: The TSS FAN was established in 2010 to gain insight on race fan interactions with the track, from the ticket buying process all the way through the exit procedures after a race. Race fans that would like to participate in the Fan Advisory Network are encouraged to download an application at talladegasuperspeedway.com/tssfan.(TSS)(9-12-2011)

  • Andretti & Milliken join Legends of the Glen: Watkins Glen International announced that William “Bill” Milliken and Mario Andretti have joined the Legends of the Glen. Among the first drivers to have raced at The Glen, Milliken was also one of the first racing committee members for the competitions held in Watkins Glen. He left his mark on the original 6.6-mile street course during the first race on October 2, 1948, rolling his car into a turn that has been known as “Milliken’s Corner” ever since. Milliken’s largest impact on The Glen, however, might have come off of the track as he was instrumental in the planning and designing of both the temporary and permanent tracks. His use of sweeping turns and long straight aways throughout the course that allow for high speeds has resulted in Watkins Glen International becoming known as the super speedway of road courses.
    Andretti had modest success on the track at Watkins Glen in winning the 1972 Six Hours endurance race and claiming the pole for United State Grand Prix in 1968 and 1977 but his true impact came off of the track as well. His popularity was a huge draw that brought a record setting crowd to Watkins Glen in 1968. His appeal continued to bring fans in large numbers to Upstate New York and was truly a key contributor in building The Glen’s worldwide popularity and recognition. Andretti is one of two drivers to win races in Formula 1, IndyCar, World Sportscar Championship and NASCAR as well as a four-time IndyCar National and Formula 1 World Champion.(WGI)(9-12-2011)

  • OktoberFast Fan Festival offers fans a lot during Bank of America 500 week: Incredible racing, driver appearances and autograph sessions, fun games, dynamite music and great food await fans during the fall’s biggest racing festival on the planet, the OktoberFast Fan Festival Presented by Budweiser, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. OktoberFast is highlighted by four nights of intense racing action at Charlotte Motor Speedway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte during Bank of America 500 Week. The lineup includes the World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown on Oct. 12, Bojangles’ Pole Night and the UNOH Southern Slam 150 on Oct. 13, the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage on Oct. 14 and the only prime time night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Bank of America 500, on Saturday, Oct. 15. Fans who purchase an OktoberFast party package will get the opportunity to meet NASCAR personalities and share a few drinks, brats and live music with fellow race fans. The Bank of America 500 single-day OktoberFast party package costs just $59 and includes:
    • A Q-and-A session with NASCAR star Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and winner of the 2011 Coca-Cola 600.
    • A variety of authentic Oktoberfest food and drinks, including vouchers for three beers or sodas, a sausage and a pretzel.
    • A limited-edition OktoberFast lanyard and credential.
    • Access to a special OktoberFast party area on Saturday with an Oktoberfest-themed pre-race festival of live music, games and giveaways.
    • An appearance by nationally-syndicated radio show hosts John Boy & Billy.
    An OktoberFast three-day pass is available for just $99, which includes access to a special OktoberFast area on Friday and Saturday of Bank of America 500 Week. The first 600 fans who purchase the three-day pass gain access to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver autograph session on Thursday, Oct. 13. Drivers will include Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, A.J. Allmendinger, Casey Mears, Robby Gordon and Joe Nemechek.
    Just 600 three-day OktoberFast passes are available and must be accompanied with race tickets for each day. Each three-day package comes with one pass for entry in the Thursday NASCAR Sprint Cup driver autograph session. Fans will receive two driver autographs per person as determined by a lottery the morning of the event. Driver participation and number of autographs is subject to change and without notice. Neither NASCAR, Inc., nor any of its affiliates are sponsors of this promotion.
    A Bank of America 500 race ticket must be purchased separately in order to purchase either OktoberFast party package. Individual Bank of America 500 tickets start at just $49. For full OktoberFast package details, visit charlottemotorspeedway.com/oktoberfast. Tickets for all October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).(CMS)(9-12-2011)


    News from September 11, 2011

  • Kurt Busch goes after reporter, restrained: It started with a simple question to Kurt Busch from NASCAR.com reporter Joe Menzer following two on-camera interviews by ESPN and MRN on pit road at Richmond International Raceway. “Kurt, can either you or Jimmie win the Chase…” Menzer began to ask. Before Menzer could finish his thought, Busch cut him off. “How did I see you were going to come with that? We’re good.” Busch said. In an attempt to end the interview, Busch turned away and started walking down pit road. Menzer called after him and said the question was legitimate following the multiple incidents with Jimmie Johnson during Saturday night’s race. At that moment, Busch turned around yelling expletives at Menzer, coming at him as if he wanted to fight. As he called Menzer names and continued to try to get at him, team members from Busch’s Penske Racing team had to physically restrain Busch.(SB Nation)
    AND It was the 2004 champion, though, who seemed to be feeling the pressure afterward. He castigated a reporter during a pit-road interview and renewed a heated discussion with him before a news conference 30 minutes later in the media center. He then challenged another reporter who asked Johnson to respond to Busch's contention that he was in the five-time champion's head. "I didn't say that tonight," retorted Busch, who later tore up a transcript of the interview (which was broadcast on national TV) handed to him by the reporter. "Did not."(USA Today and more news on this at Sports Illustrated)(9-11-2011)

  • Chevy Donates $17,000 to American Cancer Society: Eighty-five caution laps in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway means a donation of $17,000 to the American Cancer Society, courtesy of Chevrolet. Chevy pledged to make a donation to the American Cancer Society in the amount of $200 for each caution lap that the specially-themed “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” pink Camaro SS pace car leads the field during Saturday night’s race at RIR. “We are very proud to partner with the American Cancer Society, and carry the ACS logo on the pace car,” said Jeff Chew, Chevy Racing Marketing Manager. “Hopefully, the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” pink Camaro SS helped serve to remind race fans of all of the upcoming events in October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and that we all can do our part in helping in the fight against cancer.” A track record-tying 15 cautions produced the 85 laps. Chevrolet has donated a total $29,800 to the American Cancer Society in the last two weeks. Chevy also provided a specially-themed pink Camaro SS pace car last week at Atlanta. That race produced 64 caution laps that resulted in a donation of $12,800 from Chevrolet to ACS.(Team Chevy)(9-11-2011)


    News from September 10, 2011

  • Harvick wins at Richmond: #29-Kevin Harvick won the Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 18th career win 4th of the season.
    #99-Edwards finished 2nd followed by #24-Gordon, #6-Ragan, #22-Busch, #18-Busch, #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #11-Hamlin and #5-Martin. The pole sitter, #00-Reutimann finished 26th after being involved in a wreck mid-race.
    With the Chase starting next race at Chicago, the points have been reset with #18-Busch and #29-Harvick leading the points.
    #14-Stewart and #88-Earnhardt Jr. lock up 9th and 10th place in the Chase with the Wild Cards going to #2-Keselowski (3 wins, 11th in points) and #11-Hamlin (1 win, 12th in points).
    There were 11 lead changes among 7 drivers and a record tying 15 cautions for 85 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 88,000, down from 95,000 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    ESPN2, Sunday, September 11 at 1:00am/et;
    SPEED, Wednesday, September 14 at 12:00pm/et

    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Richmond Race Results/Awards page.(9-10-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Chase Points Standings:
    1) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 2012
    2) #29-Kevin Harvick [4 wins], 2012
    3) #24-Jeff Gordon [3 wins], 2009
    4) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 2006
    5) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 2003
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 2003
    7) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 2003
    8) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 2003
    9) #14-Tony Stewart [0 wins], 2000
    10) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [0 wins], 2000
    WC1) #2-Brad Keselowski [3 wins, 11th pts]. 2000
    WC2) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win 12th pts], 2000
    (ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(9-10-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Chicago:
    #71's lead drops a tad to 40 pts over 36th in owners pts, the #38 team.
    34) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 356, +47
    35) #71-Lally/TRG, 349, 40 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 309, 40 points out of top 35
    37) #7-Gordon/RGM, 281, -68
    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.(9-10-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Richmond:
    #29-Kevin Harvick won the 54th Annual Wonderful Pistachios 400 , his 18th victory in 384 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fourth victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his second victory and 14th top-10 finish in 22 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    #99-Carl Edwards (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 15 races at Richmond International Raceway. It is his 17th top-10 finish in 2011.
    #24-Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 24th top-10 finish in 38 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin are the new clinching drivers for the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-10-2011)

  • Pit Road Times
    Richmond International Raceway
    Wonderful Pistachios 400
    Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Sat, September 10, 2011 @ 11:33 PM Eastern

    Car# Pit Stops Driver Laps Time Total Seconds Avg Seconds
    99 6 Carl Edwards 400 03:48.1 228.120 38.020
    22 7 Kurt Busch 400 04:36.9 276.931 39.562
    39 7 Ryan Newman 400 04:38.3 278.332 39.762
    6 7 David Ragan 400 04:43.3 283.343 40.478
    29 8 Kevin Harvick 400 04:58.4 298.415 37.302
    16 8 Greg Biffle 400 05:15.5 315.467 39.433
    24 8 Jeff Gordon 400 05:17.1 317.081 39.635
    2 8 Brad Keselowski 400 05:17.3 317.278 39.660
    14 8 Tony Stewart 400 05:19.1 319.064 39.883
    5 8 Mark Martin 400 05:23.8 323.843 40.480
    43 8 A J Allmendinger 400 05:30.5 330.496 41.312
    18 8 Kyle Busch 400 05:32.7 332.695 41.587
    1 8 Jamie McMurray 400 05:33.3 333.274 41.659
    35 8 Dave Blaney 400 06:06.1 366.072 45.759
    42 8 Juan Pablo Montoya 400 06:17.2 377.242 47.155
    78 10 Regan Smith 400 07:08.9 428.881 42.888
    47 11 Bobby Labonte 400 08:12.1 492.125 44.739
    13 14 Casey Mears 400 10:02.1 602.102 43.007
    88 18 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 400 13:00.7 780.722 43.373
    11* 18 Denny Hamlin 400 13:45.5 825.512 45.862
    51 7 Landon Cassill(i) 399 05:01.1 301.090 43.013
    00* 8 David Reutimann 399 06:26.7 386.712 48.339
    36 9 Stephen Leicht 399 06:40.0 400.025 44.447
    33 12 Clint Bowyer 399 08:38.1 518.073 43.173
    17 12 Matt Kenseth 399 08:52.9 532.942 44.412
    9* 13 Marcos Ambrose 399 11:49.9 709.921 54.609
    34* 16 David Gilliland 397 13:58.5 838.486 52.405
    38 21 Travis Kvapil(i) 394 17:30.2 1050.181 50.009
    31* 12 Jeff Burton 393 10:15.6 615.616 51.301
    56* 16 Martin Truex Jr. 391 13:22.1 802.141 50.134
    48* 10 Jimmie Johnson 362 08:50.5 530.527 53.053
    71* 9 Andy Lally # 357 33:03.8 1983.838 220.426
    83 9 Brian Vickers 328 07:45.2 465.172 51.686
    27* 11 Paul Menard 319 45:43.2 2743.173 249.379
    20 7 Joey Logano 296 05:02.0 301.998 43.143
    32* 12 Mike Bliss(i) 198 10:50.9 650.918 54.243
    7 2 Robby Gordon 51 01:15.0 75.017 37.509
    4 3 Kasey Kahne 50 02:39.3 159.349 53.116
    66 2 Michael McDowell 46 00:52.1 52.125 26.063
    87 1 Joe Nemechek(i) 24 00:35.9 35.854 35.854
    55 1 J J Yeley 22 00:28.8 28.805 28.805

    * Includes time spent in the garage
    # Sunoco Rookie of the Year Candidate
    (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series.(8-21-2011)

  • Race Coverage of the Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2011.
    Television (TV): ABC at 7:30 pm/et; NSCS Countdown pre-race show at 7:00 pm/et; green flag approx 7:43pm/et
    Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    ESPN2, Sunday, September 11 at 1:00am/et;
    SPEED, Wednesday, September 14 at 12:00pm/et

  • NASCAR on ABC / ESPN: The 400-lap NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will air on ABC on Saturday night, Sept. 10, with the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show at 7 pm/et and the race’s green flag scheduled at 7:43 pm/et. The race is the final event in the NASCAR “regular season” and will solidify the 12 drivers who will be competing in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Analysts Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree will join lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth to call the action for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. Two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Nicole Briscoe with analysis by 1989 champion driver Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty. The studio team will interact with the booth during the race.
    NASCAR Now Weekend Wrap-up Program Begins after Richmond Race The weekend wrap-up edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will return to lead into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with the first program airing at 11 pm/et on Saturday night, Sept. 10. The program will follow ABC’s live telecast of that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway, the final race before the start of the Chase. NASCAR Now’s weekend wrap-up program will air on Sunday nights after the nine Sunday afternoon races in the Chase and on Saturday night after the night race at Charlotte.
    RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Saturday, Sept. 10, RacingLive! Richmond will kick off to coincide with ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Fans can join ESPN.com’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at espn.go.com/racing/nascar/. ESPN.com national motorsports writer Terry Blount will be on hand at Richmond.

  • Lionel NASCAR Collectables donates $125k: Friday at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR drivers David Gilliland, Danica Patrick, Greg Biffle, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. joined Howard Hitchcock, Vice President of Lionel NASCAR Collectables (LNC), to present a $125 thousand check to Mary Siller Scullin, Vice Chairman of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and sister of fallen FDNY firefighter Stephen Siller. Scullin was joined by U.S. Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco and U.S.M.C. Corporal Todd Nicely. Marrocco and Nicely are the first two Americans to survive the loss of both arms and both legs in combat. The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has earmarked this donation to be used for the construction of a customized “smart home” for Nicely. The construction of Marrocco’s smart home was finished in June.
    The check is the first installment of the proceeds from LNC’s “Honoring Our Heroes” die-cast program. A total of eight drivers will run special “Honoring Our Heroes” cars at Richmond this weekend. Each car takes the track in honor of those who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11, 2001 and also our nation’s military heroes. This donation also includes proceeds from die-cast sales of John Force’s Castrol GTX High Mileage/Honoring Our Heroes Ford Mustang Funny Car which will race at Charlotte’s zMAX Dragway on Sept. 16-18.
    After the check presentation, Scullin presented a small piece of metal debris from the World Trade Center to each driver in attendance. Every piece is stamped with “W.T.C. 9/11 Never Forget” and the number “343” in honor of the 343 firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2001. Each team’s crew has agreed to guard the metal in their pit box on race day.
    Friday night, Danica Patrick, Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. raced “Honoring Our Heroes” cars in the Nationwide Series race. #34-David Gilliland, #16-Greg Biffle, #14-Tony Stewart and #1-Jamie McMurray will race “Honoring Our Heroes” cars in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series race.
    [See images of the schemes on the #34 Team Schemes page, #14 Team Schemes page, #16 Team Schemes page and #1 Team Schemes page]. Following the events at Richmond and Charlotte, 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, an FDNY firefighter who ran through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, carrying 75 pounds of gear on his back, to rescue his fellow New Yorkers. This year for the first time, Tunnel to Towers Runs will be held in cities nationwide as a way to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Danica Patrick’s #7 GoDaddy.com/GetYour.Net Chevrolet and the #10 Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Show Car will be on display at the run. Lionel NASCAR Collectables is also the title sponsor of the Charlotte Tunnel to Towers run which will start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 on Hamilton Street in downtown Charlotte. A group of LNC staffers will run and be on hand to share information about the Honoring Our Heroes program. Patrick’s #7 GoDaddy.com/GetYour.Net Chevrolet will also be on display.(Lionel NASCAR Collectables)(9-10-2011)

  • Danica waiting on 2012 Schedules to be released for Cup races to be decided: Danica Patrick, who is moving to NASCAR’s Nationwide Series full time in 2012, said Friday her limited Sprint Cup schedule wouldn’t be determined until NASCAR released next year’s schedule in its entirety. “Go Daddy’s input is important (in determining the schedule) and they’ll play a part, but they’re also respectful enough to understand that I’m the driver and the team owners are drivers, too, and they’re not NASCAR professionals necessarily” Patrick said about her sponsor. “Taking the advice of those around me who have been in the sport for a long time, they realize that’s the smart thing to do, too, and they don’t stand in the way.” When Patrick discussed her limited Cup schedule with team owner Tony Stewart, he suggested going to the tougher tracks, such as Darlington, Dover or Bristol, so she could start learning them. “That means I’m really going to look like crap out there,” Patrick said with a laugh. Patrick expects her schedule to come together rather quickly once NASCAR has released the 2012 Sprint Cup dates.(RacinToday)(9-10-2011)

  • Newman visits Arlington National Cemetery, 9/11 Pentagon Memorial : U.S. Army Racing drivers #39-Ryan Newman (NASCAR) and Tony Schumacher (NHRA) paid solemn tribute Thursday to our nation's heroes in powerful, emotional visits to both the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery and the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. Schumacher and Newman were humbled and honored by the experience as they laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a symbol of all unaccounted for American Soldiers lost in combat. The Tomb commemorates the spirit of devotion, sacrifice and courage of the American Soldier, and has been guarded 24/7 since 1930. "Just staring at the Tomb and then seeing all of those delicately-placed white marble headstones is one powerful reminder that we must never take for granted the many sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform," said Newman, who is in his third season driving the #39 U.S. Army Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing. Following the Arlington National Cemetery visit, Newman and Schumacher laid a wreath at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial which was designed as a place for remembrance, reflection and renewal. The design captures that moment in time at 9:37 a.m., Sept. 11, 2001 when 184 lives from the Pentagon and American Airlines Flight 77 became intertwined for eternity. Each Memorial Unit is a cantilevered bench and a permanent tribute to each victim in a single element. Beneath each bench is a pool of flowing water, lit at night to illuminate the Memorial park. "It was another emotional visit to see this magnificent and well-thought-out Memorial," said Newman. "This Memorial will ensure that the 184 lives that were lost here 10 years ago will never be forgotten." ollowing the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial visit, the U.S. Army drivers met with Secretary of the Army, John M. McHugh, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond T. Odierno and Sergeant Major of the Army, Raymond F. Chandler. Said Newman, "It was an insightful, moving and inspiring day to visit both Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon. After today, it makes me even more proud to wear the Army uniform and drive the Soldiers' car."(See images at Stewart Hass Racing site)(9-10-2011)

  • Brian Keselowski spotting for Yeley: While Brian Keselowski has been seldom seen on the Sprint Cup circuit over the course of the summer, the other Cinderella story of this year's Daytona 500 has returned to the seat, running a start-and-park entry for Key Motorsports in the Nationwide Series [#47]. A number of folks from the K-Automotive operation are taking part in running the car, including the gasman from the #92 Cup team and father Bob, who is atop the box as crew chief. The ride has given some stability to Brian, who "has the ride as long as he wants it." On the Cup side, the driver has started taking on a new role, spotting for the #55 team of J.J. Yeley. That's not to say the driver has signed off on Cup racing altogether; the series rookie is working on a potential sponsorship package for the upcoming return to Loudon later this month. "If it comes through, we'll race," said a team official. "If not, he's got the #47."(Frontstretch)(9-10-2011)

  • Truex Jr. helps family: #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. will make more than 200 pit stops during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, but he served as crew chief for one of the most memorable pit stops of his career on Thursday in Richmond, VA. Truex Jr. visited Carroll's Auto Services in Richmond to supervise the pit stop for the Nanette Smith family whose car had fallen out of repair. Truex and the shop employees put on new NAPA brakes and made some general repairs to the 10-year-old vehicle. Smith, 48, is waging a six-year battle with breast cancer and the accompanying radiation and chemotherapy treatments while she and husband Lee raise their two teenagers. During the day, she's a hospice worker helping families deal with the emotions of illness – something she's learned to master through her own experience. Even with an incredible attitude and good medical coverage, Smith and her husband Lee admit the out-of-pocket expenses to fight cancer "cost a small fortune." The money the Smiths would have spent on Thursday's work can now go toward paying some of the bills that Smith said, "don't stop coming just because you have cancer." That wasn't lost on Truex. "They may have it rough right now but they are rich when it comes to attitude," said Truex, who will host the Smiths in his pit before Saturday night's race. Thursday's pit stop for the Smith family will be the first of about 56 similar events in Richmond kicking off the NAPA KNOWS HOW TO CARE program that runs through October. Richmond NAPA AutoCare Centers will accept nominations from customers of deserving families or organizations that could use a brake repair and vehicle tune up similar to the work done for the Smiths.(MWR)(9-10-2011)


    News from September 9, 2011

  • Reutimann wins Richmond pole: #00-David Reutimann won the Coors Light pole for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway with a speed of 127.383mph for his 1st pole of the season and the 4th of his career. Reutimann is the 16th driver to win a pole in 2011. #1-McMurray starts 2nd followed by #48-Johnson, #5-Martin, #33-Bowyer, #31-Burton, #29-Harvick, #99-Edwards, #43-Allmendinger and #42-Montoya.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #30-Stremme, #66-McDowell, #35-Blaney, #38-Kvapil, #7-Gordon, #87-Nemechek, #46-Speed and #55-Yeley.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (3): #60-Skinner, #37-Darnell, #50-Bell,
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Richmond Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(9-9-2011)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #00-Reutimann chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #1-McMurray took pit stall 17, the first pitstall in front of the start finish line.
    #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took pit stall 30, the 2nd stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #51-Cassill, who starts 20th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(9-9-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Richmond:
    #00-David Reutimann won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 54th Annual Wonderful Pistachios 400 with a lap of 21.196 seconds, 127.383 mph.
    This is his fourth pole in 161 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and sixth top-10 start in 2011. His last pole was at Dover in May of 2009, 84 races ago.
    This is his first pole in ten races at Richmond International Raceway.
    #1-Jamie McMurray (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2011 and his second in 18 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his 11th top-10 start at Richmond International Raceway. It is his 10th in 26 races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(9-9-2011)

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled for Friday, September 9, 2011 at 5:35pm/et.
    Television (TV): ESPN2, 5:30pm/et
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: none scheduled

  • Qualifying Order for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted. 46 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #36-Leicht, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #24-Gordon, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Richmond Qualifying Page.(9-9-2011)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #99-Edwards 122.755
    #5-Martin 122.366
    #88-Earnhardt Jr., 122.166
    #18-Busch 121.814
    #33-Bowyer 121.797
    slowest: #71-Lally 118.105 and #50-Bell 118.504
    See fastest speeds, average seepds, top 10 lap averages, number of laps run on the Richmond Practice Speeds Page.(9-9-2011)

  • First Friday practice for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is over, after 110 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #24-Gordon 126.292
    #48-Johnson 125.962
    #13-Mears 125.927
    #33-Bowyer 125.921
    #43-Allmendinger 125.611
    slowest: #36-Leicht 120.552 & #50-Bell 120.795
    notes: #51-Cassill spun in turn two running his first lap, didn't hit anything.
    This practice sets the qualifying order, which is scheduled to run at 5:35pm/et and be televised on ESPN2.
    See fastest speeds, average seepds, top 10 lap averages, number of laps run on the Richmond Practice Speeds Page.(9-9-2011)

  • Richmond 1st Practice rank for the non top-35 drivers:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #46-Scott Speed, 19th fastest overall
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 21st
    #30-David Stremme, 32nd
    #55-J.J. Yeley, 35th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 36th
    #35-Dave Blaney, 37th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 38th
    #37-Erik Darnell, 39th
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #60-Mike Skinner, 40th
    #38-Travis Kvapil, 44th
    #50-T.J. Bell, 45th

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

  • NASCAR Unites For 10th Anniversary 9/11 Tribute:
    To commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, NASCAR announced today a special in-race tribute to take place on Saturday, Sept. 10 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Fans attending the event, ABC-TV and MRN Radio broadcasters announcing the race, and the track announcer will all go quiet for a three-lap moment of silence from laps 9 through 11 at the .75-mile oval. The three-lap moment of silence, in which all fans attending the race will also wave American flags, is the culmination of many 9/11 tributes and patriotic activities being planned by NASCAR race tracks, teams, sponsors, licensees, drivers, and fans in special recognition of the anniversary.
    ABC’s broadcast of the Richmond race will also feature a NASCAR Foundation public service announcement (PSA) television spot that encourages NASCAR fans to pay tribute by pledging to perform good deeds, support charitable causes, and volunteer in honor of the 9/11 victims, survivors and those who served in response to the attacks. The NASCAR Unites-branded, 30-second PSA has been airing on ABC and ESPN race broadcasts, as well as on SPEED, since August 27.
    “NASCAR takes great pride in the patriotism that the sport showcases every race weekend, and the 10th anniversary of 9/11 is a special opportunity for NASCAR to unite and recognize those we lost and honor those who responded with courage,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “Bringing together the various 9/11 tributes with the NASCAR Unites platform collectively demonstrates the giving nature of NASCAR fans and those who work in our sport.”
    The NASCAR Unites PSA is an extension of The NASCAR Foundation’s support for the national “I Will, Join the 9/11 Tribute Movement” campaign organized by MyGoodDeed and the HandsOn Network, which seeks to create the single largest day of charitable service in observance of the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance (911day.org). MyGoodDeed’s campaign features relatives of 9/11 victims and survivors of the attacks, along with celebrities, sharing a special 9/11 memory or tribute. Appearing in a campaign spot as a representative of NASCAR is five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, who will wear a Helmet of Hope in Saturday’s race to raise awareness for children and families in need.
    Johnson also appears in the NASCAR Unites PSA spot, entitled “I will. Will you?” along with fellow NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart and Brian Vickers, team owner Richard Childress, Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier, NASCAR officials, team crew members, track safety firemen and NASCAR fans. In the spot, viewers are directed to visit NASCAR.COM/Unites to submit their own 9/11 video tribute, send a postcard to a first responder and register for volunteer opportunities in observance of the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance.
    Highlights of various 9/11 tributes planned across the NASCAR industry:
    · Richmond International Raceway has planned its most patriotic pre-race ceremony, highlighted by Wounded Warriors saying the Pledge of Allegiance; N.Y. police officer Daniel Rodriguez performing God Bless America; and the U.S. Army Infantry Division Band performing the National Anthem in a “Salute to America.” First responders will also be honored with a special ladder truck American flag display. Representing the Flight 93 National Memorial in Richmond will be a first responder and Tanker 627-4 truck from the Shanksville (Pa.) Volunteer Fire Dept. that responded on 9/11.
    · Jimmie Johnson visitied The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial for remembrance on Wednesday before being hosted by President Barack Obama at the White House in a ceremony to honor his 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
    · NASCAR is hosting a group of Wounded Warriors from Quantico Marine Corps Base, Fort Belvoir Army Base, and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. as part of the new Troops to the Track program with the Armed Forces Foundation.
    · Lionel NASCAR Collectables, the official die-cast of NASCAR, partnered with the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, in a multi-car “Honoring Our Heroes” program in which several race cars will feature special patriotic paint schemes at Richmond that pay tribute while giving thanks to three military heroes who were severely wounded in the line of duty. Cars participating are driven by NASCAR drivers Greg Biffle, David Gilliland, Jamie McMurray, Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, Trevor Bayne, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Lionel NASCAR Collectables will also be title sponsor of the Charlotte Tunnel to Towers Run, which takes place on Saturday.
    · Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Newman will carry the names of the 75 U.S. Army Pentagon victims on his No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet at Richmond. In addition to the listing of the names, the race car will carry an inscription "We Will Never Forget" and sport a specially-designed logo featuring the World Trade Center twin towers, Pentagon and the American Flag.
    · ABC/ESPN will air a special feature during its Richmond race broadcast on Saturday entitled "I Remember" that includes stars of the sport reflecting on 9/11 and their memories 10 years later.
    · Many race tracks, including Daytona International Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Speedway are hosting annual blood drives.
    · Dover International Speedway, along with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association, will host Delaware’s 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb on Sunday. In addition, Dover is hosting a free concert by the Dover Symphony Orchestra that night.(NASCAR)(9-9-2011)

  • Atlanta TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Sept. 6, earned a 1.8 national household coverage rating, averaging 2,161,000 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The race was originally scheduled for Sunday night, Sept. 4, but was pushed to Tuesday due to rain and effects from Tropical Storm Lee. Last year’s race, which was run and telecast as scheduled, earned a 3.9 rating. ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta on Saturday night, Sept. 3, earned a 1.4 national household coverage rating, averaging 1,857,000 viewers. The rating was the same for the 2010 race.(ESPN)(9-9-2011)

  • The Numbers for Richmond:
    Richmond International Raceway (all 110 Sprint Cup races)
    1 - fewest cautions (three times, most recent, 3/1/70)
    1 - fewest cars on lead lap at finish (22 times, most recent 10/12/75)
    2 - fewest leaders (six times, most recent 2/23/75)
    2 - fewest lead changes (seven times, most recent 2/23/75)
    4 - number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
    4 - fewest laps led by race winner (Kyle Petty, 2/23/86)
    6 - fewest caution laps (6/5/60)
    12 - most leaders (four times, most recent 5/6/07)
    13 - most wins by driver (Richard Petty)
    15 - most cautions (twice, most recent 5/2/09)
    22 - wins from the pole; 35 from the front row (110 races)
    25 - most lead changes (twice, most recent 3/3/96)
    32 - most cars on lead lap at finish (9/7/08)
    49 - different pole winners
    47 - different race winners
    43 - most running at finish (9/7/08)
    90 minutes - amount of time it takes to dry the .75-mile track after a significant rainfall
    123 - most caution laps (two times, most recent 9/8/74)
    488 - most laps led by race winner (9/13/70 - Richard Petty - 500-lap race)
    Key RIR Dates
    1946 - Ted Horn won the first race on half-mile dirt track (10/12/46) in open-wheel car
    1953 - Lee Petty won the first NASCAR Grand National Division, now Sprint Cup, race on the half-mile dirt track (4/19/53).
    1955 - Paul Sawyer and driver Joe Weatherly purchased the track
    1964 - race run under temporary lights (3/10/64)
    1968 - last race on dirt track won by David Pearson (3/24/68)
    1968 - first race on paved track won by Richard Petty (9/8/68)
    1969 -- track remeasured from .625-mile to .5625-mile; remeasured from .5625-mile to .5-mile; remeasured again from .5-mile to .542-mile prior to the first race of 1970
    1988 - track reconfigured to its current .75-mile layout
    1991 - permanent lighting added prior to fall event won by Harry Gant (9/7/91)
    1999 - International Speedway Corporation (ISC) acquires track
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(9-9-2011)

  • 2011 Caution Update:
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono1)
    6 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    8 - number of cautions in spring race (April 30) at RIR
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    182 - number of cautions in the first 25 races of 2011; includes 84 for accidents, 43 for debris and 26 for spins
    880 of 7,076 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    1,264,577 of 9,933.258 - miles under caution in the first 25 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(9-9-2011)

  • RCR teams running 9/11 decals at Richmond: Richard Childress Racing's four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars [#27-Menard, #29-Harvick, #31-Burton & #33-Bowyer] will be adorned with decals commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this weekend to honor the fallen heroes of the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of the City of New York and the Port Authority Police of New York and New Jersey. The decals, which the RCR cars first carried in 2002, were provided by Police Officer Victor Dipierro of the NYPD's 49th Precinct in The Bronx, N.Y. The Dirt Late Models that RCR's Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon will drive Sept. 10 in the World 100 at Eldora Speedway near Rossburg, Ohio will also be adorned with the 10th anniversary decals (RCR)(9-9-2011)

  • Johnson brings back Power of Pride scheme and wearing Helmet of Hope: The #48 Lowe's Chevy of Jimmie Johnson will feature a special Power of Pride paint scheme at Richmond commemorating the 10th anniversary of the events of 9/11. The Power of Pride paint scheme originally was driven by Johnson in his Sprint Cup Series debut in October 2001 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Since then, the #48 machine has featured the special scheme at Charlotte in 2003, where Johnson won both the All-Star and 600-mile races in the colors, and during the 2007 Memorial Day weekend race. The scheme was intended as a tribute to the country and the men and women who serve in our armed forces.
    Johnson will be wearing the 2011 Jimmie Johnson Foundation Helmet of Hope in Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series event. In its fourth year, the Helmet of Hope program gives fans and media members across the country the opportunity to nominate their charity of choice to be featured on Johnson's helmet for a select race. Each charity also receives a grant of $10,000. To date, the program has contributed over $300,000 to 49 different charities.(Team Lowe's PR)(9-9-2011)

  • HMS teams running 9/11 decals at Richmond: In remembrance of Sept. 11, all four Hendrick Motorsports Chevys will carry a special decal at Richmond. The black, white and gray decal features the phrase, “Never Forget 9.11 2001-2011” and will be placed on the roof near each driver’s name on the car: #5-Martin, #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson & #88-Earnhardt Jr.(HMS)(9-9-2011)

  • Quaker State colors for Martin at Richmond: Quaker State will adorn the hood of the #5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy of Mark Martin for the fourth and final time this season on Saturday night at Richmond. Quaker State, a partner of Hendrick Motorsports since 1996, will return to the #5 Chevy for four NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2012 whe nKasey Kahne takes over the ride.(HMS), see images of the car/scheme on the #5 Team Schemes Page.(9-9-2011)

  • Kurt Busch MLB Quest: #22 Shell-Pennzoil driver Kurt Busch is closing in on his personal goal to visit every Major League Baseball park. Busch’s “hit list” is now down to only one venue; Rogers Centre in Toronto (home of the Blue Jays). “We had an absolute blast out Safeco Field in Seattle last week,” said Busch. “What a ballpark and what a great time we had, thanks to our friends at Shell-Pennzoil. We’ll hit Toronto the Tuesday after Chicago; the day after our big Monday night Wrigleyville Rooftop party. That will wrap it up and take another item off my bucket list.” Stay tuned because there is a special TV feature and one on ESPN.com in the works that will focus on Busch’s love of baseball and his personal goal of hitting all the ball parks.(Tom Roberts PR)(9-9-2011)

  • Richmond Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Richmond this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in both series ran at Richmond in April . . . Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams also ran this same tire set-up at Phoenix in February and New Hampshire in July . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Richmond. The estimated pit window for the Cup cars is every 90-95 laps, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear)(9-9-2011)

  • Facts and Stats at Richmond International Raceway:
    · Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was April 19, 1953.
    · The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
    · The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
    · The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
    · The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
    · The track was re-measured to .542-mile for 1970.
    · The track was rebuilt as a three-quarters-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
    · The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
    · The first season with both races as night races was 1999.
    · There have been 110 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond since the track opened in 1953.
    · The current 400-lap race length was established on the .542-mile measurement in March 1976.
    · Buck Baker won the pole in 1953.
    · Lee Petty won the first race in April 1953.
    · There have been 49 different pole winners, led by Bobby Allison and Richard Petty (eight).
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with five poles.
    · 47 different drivers have posted victories at Richmond, led by Richard Petty (13).
    · Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Terry Labonte and Jimmie Johnson (three) lead active race winners.
    · Petty Enterprises has won 15 races at Richmond, more than any other team.
    · 63 of 110 races have been won from the top five starting positions, including 22 from the pole.
    · The last driver to win from the pole was Kyle Busch in 2010.
    · The furthest back in the field a race winner has started was 31st, by Clint Bowyer in the 2008 spring race.
    · Kyle Busch (4.9), Denny Hamlin (7.5) and Clint Bowyer (9.5) are the only active drivers with an average finish in the top 10.
    · Kyle Petty became the first third-generation NASCAR race winner when he won his first race at Richmond, on Feb. 23, 1986. Richard Petty posted his first Richmond victory in 1961 and Lee won the very first Richmond race in 1953.
    · Three of the last four races have had a margin of victory less than one second.
    · There have been 272 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Virginia.
    · 162 drivers in NASCAR's three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Virginia.
    · There have been 18 race winners from Virginia in NASCAR's three national series(NASCAR)(9-9-2011)

  • Stewart 'Honoring our 9/11 Heroes': Tony Stewart will race a special "Honoring Our 9/11 Heroes" paint scheme on his #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy during Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. As the world marks the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, Stewart's red, white and blue scheme will honor the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives that day. "Like so many others, September 11th, 2001, is a day I will remember forever," Stewart said. "I'm humbled and honored to help pay tribute to the thousands of heroes we lost. Their stories and acts of courage live on, and we will never forget them or the families, friends and loved ones they left behind." Stewart's "Honoring Our 9/11 Heroes" paint scheme will be produced as a Lionel NASCAR Collectables diecast car for purchase. A portion of the proceeds will go to The Stephen Siller "Tunnel To The Towers" Foundation. The Foundation's logo will be featured on Stewart's car as part of the special scheme. Siller was a firefighter who lost his life on 9/11 after bravely running through the tunnel into the World Trade Center towers to rescue people who were trapped. His family created the Foundation in his memory, which works to support firefighters, children who have lost a parent and military who have been seriously injured in the line of duty.(Office Depot Racing), see images of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes Page.(9-9-2011)

  • Childress discusses Bowyer's situation UPDATE: on Wednesday, September 8th on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, hosts Rick Benjamin and Chocolate Myers spoke with Richard Childress about the status of negotiations with driver #33-Clint Bowyer.
    Host/Rick Benjamin: "What's the future of the #33 car and Clint Bowyer at this stage of the game with you?"
    Richard Childress: "You know, we've tried and we've really worked really hard to put the deal together to keep Clint. It's not 100% off the table but it's getting tougher and tougher as the day goes by. Clint's got a couple of really good opportunities there facing him. We just, for us it just didn't seem that we could get everything worked out. Clint's still a good friend. I want the best for him. I feel like that we've done a lot together and I hope that if we can't put him in a car next year that he gets in a ride that he's really good and happy with."
    Benjamin: "So the door's not completely closed yet but almost there, huh?"
    Childress: "Well, the door's not closed for sure and it'll always be open no matter where he ends up. But we're still looking at other options and trying to put some things together. It'd be great to get him back in that #33 and run him but if we don't I want him to have the best for him because he's a great guy, a great talent, a lot of fun and I look at him as a good friend."
    SiriusXM NASCAR Radio is available to listeners nationwide on channel 90 on Sirius and XM Premier (formerly known as "The Best of Sirius")(SiriusXM)(9-8-2011)
    UPDATE - Bowyer: Bowyer has repeatedly said he wants a three-year contract extension to stay with RCR, but talks have seemed strained over the last month. Bowyer two weeks ago even expressed frustration over the free agency process and lashed out at how he was being characterized in the media of late. He called Childress' Thursday comments "fair" and said there's no updates in his situation. "There's opportunities and stuff we're just trying to weigh out and, again, you've got to have all the stars line up," Bowyer said. "You can't just have one piece of the puzzle or a couple pieces of the puzzle. You have to have the whole puzzle put together and that's how you do that in today's world and you're wasting your time talking about it to any media because you don't really have anything to deliver to them."(Associated Press)(9-9-2011)

  • Vegas race dates moves back two weeks: Nevada’s largest annual sports weekend has a new date for 2012. Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s NASCAR Weekend is scheduled for March 9-11, 2012, a week later than in recent years. Again in 2012, the Kobalt Tools 400 is scheduled to be the third stop on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tour. The 2012 event will mark the 15th visit of NASCAR’s most elite series to Las Vegas’s 1.5-mile superspeedway. The Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event will precede the NASCAR Sprint Cup event on Saturday, March 10. Stratosphere Pole Day for the Kobalt Tools 400 will be held Friday, March 9. “We’re very excited about this new date,” said Chris Powell, LVMS general manager. “Even though we’re just a few months removed from this past year’s event, we already are in the process of renewing tickets for the 2012 event, and the renewals are coming in at a strong pace. NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas has become one of the most significant events on the motorsports calendar, as evidenced by the tremendous crowds that turn out all three days. The new date should further increase the anticipation that race fans have for this event.” The 2011 event drew more than 300,000 people to LVMS and generated more than $198 million for the local economy. Times for all events will be announced at a later date. FOX Sports will televise the Kobalt Tools 400 for the 12th consecutive year. Television information for the Sam’s Town 300 will be announced later. Tickets as well as Neon Garage, Lucky 7 Preferred parking and driver introduction passes are on sale now by logging on to lvms.com or calling 1-800-644-4444.(LVMS)(9-9-2011)

  • Parking and Shuttle Service options for Richmond: Fans attending the Wonderful Pistachios 400 “One Last Race to Make The Chase” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 10 will once again be able to take advantage of the “Park and Ride” shuttle program from downtown Richmond at the Richmond Coliseum parking lot and The Showplace parking lot on Mechanicsville Turnpike. The shuttle service, which is only available on Saturday, September 10, allows fans to park their vehicles at either location and use the free shuttle service to the main gate of America’s Premier Short Track.
    The Richmond Coliseum parking area at North 7th Street in downtown Richmond opens and begins offering free shuttle rides to fans at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 10. The shuttle service back to the Coliseum parking area resumes immediately after the conclusion of the Wonderful Pistachios 400 race from the track’s main entrance. The shuttle is free, but a $6 parking fee applies at the Coliseum lot. The Richmond Coliseum parking area is conveniently located less than five minutes from the intersections of I-95 and I-64. To see a detailed map of the Richmond Coliseum area visit: http://www.rir.com/About-The-Track/Seating-Chart-and-Maps/Shuttle-Map.aspx.
    Fans can also park their cars and RVs at The Showplace and take a free shuttle ride to Richmond International Raceway. The Showplace is conveniently located less than three miles from Richmond International Raceway at 3000 Mechanicsville Turnpike and is just ¼-mile off of I-64 at exit 192. The cost for parking at The Showplace on Saturday, September 10 is $10 per car and $25 per RV. The complimentary shuttle to and from the track begins at Noon and operates continuously with pick-up and drop-off points at The Showplace and the main entrance to Richmond International Raceway at Richmond-Henrico Turnpike. To see a detailed map of The Showplace area visit: http://www.rir.com/About-The-Track/Seating-Chart-and-Maps/Shuttle-Map.aspx. Fans can also contact The Showplace at 804-225-8877 with any questions.
    Fans will experience all the sights and sounds of NASCAR excitement at Richmond International Raceway September 9-10 for the “One Last Race to Make The Chase” weekend. Saturday’s Wonderful Pistachios 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is one of the most anticipated events of the year, as the race sets the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Advance tickets start at $45 and can be purchased on www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223. The weekend begins Friday, September 9, with a full day of on-track activity, highlighted by the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race “under the lights.” A great option for the family, Friday’s tickets start at $30 in advance, with children 12 and younger admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections.(RIR)(9-9-2011)

  • Pit Passes at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway is bringing you closer to the action than ever before with Friday Pre-Race Pit Passes for the next weekend’s “One Last Race to Make The Chase” NASCAR doubleheader. You can watch NASCAR pole qualifying and practice from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member and see the stock cars from just a few feet away as they rumble down pit road, giving you an unforgettable experience of the sights and sounds that only NASCAR can produce. For just $50 per person, you can enjoy pole qualifying and practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. Pre-Race Pit Passes are available online or by calling 866-455-7223. Friday’s events include Fas Mart Pole Qualifying and practice for the Sprint Cup Series, as well as WRIC-TV8 Pole Qualifying and practice for the Nationwide Series. In order to purchase the Friday Pre-Race Pit Pass, you must have a ticket for the September 9 Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Pre-Race Pit Passes are limited to guests 16 years of age and older. Parent or guardian must sign waivers for and accompany children under 18 who are utilizing Pre-Race Pit Passes. New this year, shorts, short-sleeve or sleeveless shirts and blouses and open-toed shoes are permitted. Shoes, shirts and pants or shorts, dresses and/or skirts and blouses are required. No alcohol or coolers are permitted in the infield. NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway September 9-10 for a doubleheader weekend “under the lights.” The Saturday, September 10, Wonderful Pistachios 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is “One Last Race to Make the Chase” for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Advance tickets start at $45 and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(9-9-2011)

  • RIR & Wonderful Pistachios to honor Military and First Responders During Pre-Race Ceremony: As fans fill the stands at Richmond International Raceway this Saturday night, September 10th, they will be joining in the most patriotic pre-race ceremony ever at America's Premier Short Track. To honor America, the pre-race ceremony will begin with a "Salute to America" concert featuring patriotic music performed by police and military bands, as well as an active duty marine. The evening will be highlighted by Wounded Warriors saying the pledge, Danny Rodriguez, the singing NY police officer, singing God Bless America and the U.S. Army Infantry Division Band performing the National Anthem.
    Rounding out the pre-race festivities announced last week, R. Lee Ermey "The Gunny" - a retired U.S. Marine and real-life Drill Instructor - will salute the troops by asking the drivers to start their engines and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi - a New Jersey resident and daughter of a volunteer New York fireman – will pay tribute to firefighters by passing the flag-waving duties to Frank Siller, founder of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation whose brother, Stephen Siller, lost his life on September 11th, 2001. Ermey and Polizzi are part of the Wonderful Pistachios advertising campaign.
    Fans will be handed 4" x 6" American flags as they enter the stands and are encouraged to wave them in tribute to America during the concert, God Bless America and National Anthem.
    In addition, fans attending the event, ABC-TV and MRN Radio broadcasters announcing the race, and the track announcer, will all go quiet for a three-lap moment of silence from laps 9 through 11 at the ¾-mile oval. The three-lap moment of silence, in which all fans attending the race are again encouraged to wave their American flags, is the culmination of many 9/11 tributes and patriotic activities being planned by NASCAR race tracks, teams, sponsors, licensees, drivers, and fans in special recognition of the anniversary.
    This patriotic pre-race will serve as the "opening ceremonies" for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. When the checkered flag flies Saturday night, September 10, the field will be set for the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Tickets for Saturday's event to be a part of the most patriotic pre-race ever start at $45 in advance and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(9-9-2011)


    News from September 8, 2011

  • Chase Card Services to be featured on the #24 of Gordon: AARP Foundation announced that Chase Card Services will join Drive to End Hunger on Jeff Gordon's #24 Chevy at Richmond and Dover. Chase announced earlier this year it will donate $0.03 for each purchase made with the AARP Visa Card from Chase, as well as $1 for each new account opened, up to $2 million each year through 2012, to AARP Foundation for Drive to End Hunger. The AARP Visa Card and Chase logo will appear on the #24's hood and trunk lid in support of Drive to End Hunger at the September 10 and October 2 events. AARP Foundation also announced it has now raised more than $12 million for Drive to End Hunger through individual and corporate donations in 2011. To date, Drive to End Hunger has provided more than 3.2 million meals for hungry older Americans through local hunger relief organizations. In addition, the Foundation is accepting applications for its hunger innovation grants, which will award between $50,000 to $300,000 to organizations focused on sustainable solutions to end hunger. AARP Foundation recently released new research that found 8.8 million Americans 50 and older are at risk of hunger, including 4.9 million 50- to 59-year-olds. A full copy of the report is available at www.aarpfoundation.org.(AARP/HMS)(9-8-2011)

  • Sad News - Raymon Earl Dunlap: Raymon Earl Dunlap, of Carrollton, Ohio, age 77 left the earth to be with the Lord on Thursday, September 08, 2011 after a year-long battle with lung cancer. He is survived by his wife of fifty seven years, Mary (Garner) Dunlap, daughter Terrye Copeland of Bolivar, Ohio and son Ray Dunlap [SPEED] of Mooresville, NC. After eighteen years working the family farm and coal mine, Raymon worked for multiple local companies. He was hired at Jones and Laughlin Steel Company in Louisville, Ohio in 1965, where he remained employed as a line operator for thirty three years. Described as an avid car-guy, he spent much of his leisure time at car shows, NASCAR races and touring the Ohio country side with wife Mary on the back of his Honda gold-wing motorcycle. Sports activities included boating, water skiing, poker, bowling league and his newest found passion, golf. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice, 1040 Trump Rd NW # B, Carrollton, Ohio 44615. Services will be held at the Sweeny-Dodds funeral home.(Services and more info at Sweeny-Dodds funeral home site)(9-8-2011)

  • Safe Skies to sponsor #32 team at Richmond: Safe Skies, provider of the industry's largest selection of TSA Accepted and Recognized luggage locks, will sponsor the FAS Lane Racing team for the Wonderful Pistachio 400 at the Richmond International Raceway on September 10th. As the primary sponsors of the race, Safe Skies logo will adorn #32 Ford Fusion of FAS Lane Racing, driven by Mike Bliss. "Safe Skies is proud and grateful for the opportunity to join the NASCAR family and to partner with FAS Lane Racing," stated David Tropp, founder of Safe Skies. "Frank Stoddard and his team are renowned for their professionalism, winning record and competitive nature, and we hope this is the start of a long-term relationship."
    "We are proud to welcome Safe Skies to the FAS Lane Racing family," said Frank Stoddard, team owner of FAS Lane Racing. "A traditionally exciting and competitive night race, the Wonderful Pistachio 400 is considered the one last race to make the chase and we look forward to putting forth a solid race weekend on and off the track for Safe Skies." The complete selection of Safe Skies TSA accepted and recognized luggage locks, including unique styles and designs that fit every need and taste can be found at www.SafeSkiesLocks.com All Safe Skies TSA Accepted Luggage Locks come with a lifetime warranty and a hassle-free replacement policy in case your lock is clipped by mistake.(FAS Lane Racing)(9-8-2011)

  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2011 AdvoCare 500: 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 Tuesday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 11:00 AM, then stopped at the rain delay at 1:28 PM, resumed following the restart of activities at 2:19 PM, then stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 3:36 PM (all times are EST). I did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 94
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 64
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 22
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 5 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 11:00 AM
    End time due to rain delay: 1:28 PM
    Restart time to record race/commercial periods: 2:19 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 3:36 PM
    Total minutes: 225
    Minutes of race broadcast: 185
    Minutes of commercials: 40
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 185 Total comm. brdcst time 40
    For links to sponsors, or special items-of-interest such as links to contests and movie sites, selected drivers [at a later date] and more, see CawsnJaws.com.(9-8-2011)

  • Four drivers have come from outside the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cut-off to make the Chase at Richmond:
    o Jeremy Mayfield in 2004 made up a 55-point deficit (approx 13 in current pts system)
    o Ryan Newman in 2005 made up a one-point deficit
    o Kasey Kahne in 2006 made up a 30-point deficit (7)
    o Brian Vickers in 2009 made up a 20-point deficit (5)(NASCAR)
    For Chase rules, notes, news, see my 2011 Chase page, and for Chase History, pts comparisons, what-if's, see my Chase History page.(9-8-2011)

  • President Obama Honors NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson: on Wednesday, September 7th, President Obama congratulated Jimmie Johnson on his fifth straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship and welcomed other 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch and Jeff Burton to the White House. During his remarks, the President reflected that the last time many of the drivers were at the White House he was honoring Jimmie Johnson for his third straight championship:
    "And that’s why Jimmie is not just one of the best drivers of all time -- he’s up there with some of the great sports dynasties. If you think about it, only the Boston Celtics, the Yankees and the Canadiens have ever won more than four titles in a row. And now Jimmie is breathing down the necks of Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for the most NASCAR titles ever, which is not bad for the son of a machine operator and a school bus driver who still has plenty of seasons ahead of him. Jimmie’s talent has been to make a very difficult, demanding sport look easy. But this year, the Number 48 team also showed its toughness. They entered the last race of the Chase trailing, and ended up pulling off an extraordinary comeback."
    The President also commended the contributions NASCAR has made to the country, particularly through the support of military families:
    "Now, what also makes NASCAR special is the difference that it makes in the lives of so many people, especially our troops and their families. And I personally thanked all these guys for what they’ve been doing on behalf of military families, who are obviously huge fans of NASCAR. Last month, the drivers and staff toured Walter Reed hospital, served dinner to 400 wounded warriors and their loved ones. NASCAR has been a huge supporter of the Joining Forces program that Michelle and Dr. Jill Biden have set up to support military families. This morning, Jimmie made a special visit to the Pentagon to spend time with folks over there. And later this week, NASCAR will be honoring our military and first responders again in Richmond the night before the anniversary of 9/11. So I want to congratulate Jimmie. I want to congratulate all the drivers who are on the stage for their extraordinary success, for the success of NASCAR, and for everything that they do for our country."
    For images and video, go to whitehouse.gov.(9-8-2011)

  • Ollie's to sponsor Kenseth at Richmond: Roush Fenway Racing announced a new primary sponsor for the driver of the #17 Ford, Matt Kenseth. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet will serve as the sponsor of Kenseth’s Ford Fusion for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 10. The sponsorship marks the second time that Ollie’s will serve as a sponsor in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, and the first time that the company has partnered with Roush Fenway Racing. “I’m happy to welcome Ollie’s Bargain Outlet to the Roush Fenway team and I look forward to a great race weekend with them at Richmond,” said Kenseth, driver of the #17 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Ford. “We always enjoy welcoming new sponsors to our organization and I’m happy to have them aboard our No. 17 Ford.”
    “Since the moment we were presented with the opportunity to sponsor Matt Kenseth for the race at Richmond, we have been looking forward to watching him race in our signature Ollie’s colors in the Sprint Cup Series,” said Mark Butler, President and CEO of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. “Partnering with Roush Fenway Racing to sponsor the #17 Ford gives us a great chance to showcase our company to NASCAR’s fans at the highest level in the Cup series. I am personally a big NASCAR fan and am proud to partner with Roush Fenway Racing to support Kenseth and the great sport of racing.” Founded in 1982, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet is one of America’s largest retailers of closeouts, salvage and surplus merchandise (RFR), see an image of the scheme on the #17 Team Schemes page.(9-8-2011)

  • Jeff Gordon: Victory #85 Adds To Legend: Further cementing his legendary status, #24-Jeff Gordon won the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his 85th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. With the historic milestone win, Gordon took sole possession of third on the all-time series wins list. Only Richard Petty (200 wins) and David Pearson (105) have more. “I have always liked him as a driver,” said Pearson, next on Gordon’s march up the wins list. “He is smart, takes care of his equipment and when it is time to go, he gets right up there with them. Reminds me some of the way I drove. … He has been the ‘head honcho’ for a long time in NASCAR. He was good out of the box and has been very good ever since.” Gordon also became the Modern Era (1972-Present) wins leader, breaking a tie with Darrell Waltrip. (Note: “Modern Era” refers to the period in NASCAR Sprint Cup history when NASCAR shortened the schedule from as many as 62 races in 1964 to the 31-race schedule of 1972. Race numbers fluctuated between 28 and 36 since 1972.)
    To commemorate the milestone, NASCAR President Mike Helton presented Gordon with an “85” mosaic featuring images from each of the four-time champion’s victories. Additionally, special commemorative “85” hats were worn by Gordon and his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team in Victory Lane. During a career that began on the final race of 1992, Gordon assembled a list of accomplishments fit for a future NASCAR Hall of Famer: Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships, three Daytona 500 victories, four Brickyard 400 victories, most road-course wins all-time (nine) and most restrictor plate wins all-time (12). Still only 40 years of age, the highlight reel can only grow.
    Below is a timeline of Gordon’s notable victories on his way to 85:
    1 – On May 29, 1994 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Gordon won his first race. It was in one of NASCAR’s biggest events – the Coca-Cola 600.
    2 – Gordon won the inaugural NASCAR race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 6, 1994. He would go on to win three other IMS races, in 1998, 2001 and 2004.
    8 – Won another “crown jewel” race, the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, on Sept. 3, 1995.
    19 – On Sept. 29, 1996, won his only race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, the final race at the North Carolina short track.
    20 – At the time, became the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history at 25 years, six months, 12 days on Feb. 16, 1997. His record was later broken in 2011 by Trevor Bayne (20 years, one day). Gordon also won the Daytona 500 in 1999 and 2005.
    28 – On Aug. 31, 1997, won his second Southern 500, capturing a $1 million bonus in what was known as The Winston Million. The Winston Million was given to any driver to win three of the following four races: the Daytona 500, the Coca-Cola 600, the Southern 500 and the first Talladega race.
    42 – In the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Nov. 8, 1998, won his 13th race of the season, tying a Modern Era record first set by Richard Petty in 1975.
    74 – On June 25, 2006, won at Infineon Raceway, his record ninth victory at a road course.
    76 – With a win at Phoenix International Raceway on April 21, 2007, Gordon tied Dale Earnhardt for sixth on the all-time wins list. Gordon memorably took a victory lap with a massive No. 3 flag waving out his driver-side window, a tribute to his long-time rival.
    80 – On Oct. 7, 2007 at Talladega Superspeedway, Gordon captured his record 12th restrictor-plate victory.
    85 – In a race delayed two days because of inclement weather, Gordon captures historic win No. 85 on Sept. 6, 2011 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(NASCAR)(9-7-2011)

  • Fuel Injection Tests: NASCAR will hold fuel injection tests Oct. 18 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Oct. 20 at Talladega Superspeedway and Oct. 30 at Martinsville Speedway. Teams will be allowed to test fuel injection Oct. 4-5 at the open Phoenix test but with the other three tests already scheduled, they might not trek that far.(SceneDaily)(9-8-2011)


    News from September 7, 2011

  • Blaney and Leicht to Swap Rides at Richmond: In an effort to put the team's best foot forward, Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) will swap drivers for the event at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. Veteran NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney will pilot the #35 Pepsi Max Chevy and attempt to qualify for the Wonderful Pistachios 400. Rookie Stephen Leicht will wheel the #36 Golden Corral Chevy in the 400-mile event. Both cars will be competing for kids to eat free in Golden Corral's "Racing for America's Family" promotion, in which kids eat free on Monday, September 12th if either car finishes in the top-10. In preparation for the race at Richmond, the TBR #35 team tested with Leicht during two sessions at Gresham Motorsports Park. Blaney attended the first session with the team. Both drivers showed good speed. Leicht showed improvement during the second test session, and the team is confident he can have a good run next weekend. "With Dave's 14 years of experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and his proven ability to qualify for races, we felt like swapping cars was best for our partners and will give us the best opportunity to get both cars in the field," explained TBR owner Tommy Baldwin. "I have full confidence in Stephen's abilities, and he was very successful at the test. We just didn't want his inexperience in Cup cars to affect both cars making the event. Both drivers are team players and understand how important it is for the future of TBR for both cars to make the field this weekend. Dave is a standup guy and understands that giving Stephen the opportunity to show his talent in a TBR racecar will help our team's future."(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(9-7-2011)

  • Allmendinger talks about a possible third RPM team: Frontstretch.com's Amy Henderson sat down with #43-A.J. Allmendinger in Atlanta to discuss many things, including his thoughts on a third team at Richard Petty Motorsports:
    Henderson: "There has been some talk of adding a third team at RPM. That's a long way from the team that, a year ago, the speculation was you weren't even going to be here this year. You stuck around through that and it turned out for the better. Is adding a third team something that would be helpful to you?"
    Allmendinger: "It's helpful if it's done the right way. The thing is that we can't try to take off too much right away, we can't bite off too much. If all the sponsorship is there for all three cars and it's done the right way? Sure, it can only help. If you get a guy, say, like Clint Bowyer who's won races and got great experience, that can only be a benefit. But it's got to be done in the right way. That's the stuff for me, that you look at. As you said, we're a team that just barely missed bankruptcy, and we're still making sure that we've got everything kind of buttoned up for next year among our two cars. It's only good if it's done the right way. There are other teams that have shown that. You look at Richard Childress Racing when they first went to four cars. They were terrible because of it. You take a team like Gibbs, who could easily do a fourth car, but they won't do it unless it's done the right way. I think that's the main thing."(Frontstretch)(9-7-2011)

  • Hero R-W-B scheme for Kyle Busch at RIR: M&M's will once again run a special red, white & blue scheme on the #18 M&M's Toyota to be driven by Kyle Busch in the Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 10th. The paint scheme is reminiscent of the #36 September 11th memorial car driven by Kenny Schrader at Dover following the attacks ten years ago. See an image of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page.(9-7-2011)

  • Clinch Scenarios For Richmond: With only one race remaining until the 12-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is set, eight drivers have clinched a top-10 spot – Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman. Brad Keselowski, with three victories, has clinched at least a Wild Card berth. He remains eligible to earn a top-10 spot. Heading into the final race of the regular season, here are the clinch scenarios for the remaining three Chase spots.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    Earnhardt is currently 25 points ahead of 11th place. Regardless of any other driver's finish, Earnhardt will clinch if he finishes:
    · 20th or better
    · 21st or better and leads at least one lap
    · 22nd or better and leads the most laps
    #14-Tony Stewart
    Stewart is currently 23 points ahead of 11th place. Regardless of any other driver's finish, Stewart will clinch if he finishes:
    · 18th or better
    · 19th or better and leads at least one lap
    · 20th or better and leads the most laps
    A number of different finishes affect the Wild Card scenario.
    - With a victory, #11-Denny Hamlin will earn at least a Wild Card spot.
    - With a victory, #27-Paul Menard will earn a Wild Card spot.
    - With a victory AND entry into the top 20, #9-Marcos Ambrose or #6-David Ragan will earn a Wild Card spot. Both drivers are currently outside the top 20. Ambrose is seven points outside the top 20; Ragan is 20 points outside the top 20.
    All drivers through 23rd place in the series standings remain eligible for a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Aside from the scenarios listed above, those without an already-clinched Chase spot need a win, a top 20 spot and various finishes from other drivers to earn a Chase spot.(NASCAR)(9-7-2011)

  • #39 US. Army Racing to honor the victims of the Pentagon attack: As the nation observes the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. Army announced that both its NHRA and NASCAR teams will honor the victims of the Pentagon attack with special paint schemes at upcoming races. At the recent Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis (Sept. 2-5), Tony Schumacher's U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster carried the names of the 75 U.S. Army personnel killed at the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. On Sept. 10, Stewart-Haas Racing driver Ryan Newman also will carry the names of the 75 U.S. Army Pentagon victims on his #39 U.S. Army Chevy in the Wonderful Pistachios 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. In addition to the listing of the names, both race cars will carry an inscription "We Will Never Forget" and sport a specially-designed logo featuring the World Trade Center twin towers, Pentagon and the American Flag. Newman is expecting to be deeply moved by the first appearance of his Richmond race car. "There's no question it will be an emotional time for not only my team, but the entire NASCAR family," said Newman, a 15-time Sprint Cup winner. "We all remember where we were and what we were doing when the news surfaced about the attacks. I know it will be etched in my memory forever. And, it should be that way for everyone. We want to win every race for the Army, but you can imagine how much more we'll want to win the Richmond event. It would be a very special, touching moment if we could drive into victory lane carrying the names of those great Americans."(U.S. Army Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #39 Team Schemes page.(9-7-2011)

  • Sprint Will Donate to Sprint Summer Showdown Designated Charities: While no NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver was able to win the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Tuesday afternoon, Sprint will make a donation of $10,000 to each of the four finalists' designated charities. "One of the things that made the Sprint Summer Showdown promotion so unique was the opportunity for a driver to win a $1 million donation for their chosen charity," said Tim Considine, director of sports marketing for Sprint. "Although we're disappointed that didn't happen, we hope this promotion helped bring additional attention and awareness to these worthy organizations, and we're happy to make a donation to each of them to help them continue their missions." The four finalists and their designated charities are:
    #2-Brad Keselowski – Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation
    #27-Paul Menard – Habitat for Humanity
    #18-Kyle Busch – Kyle Busch Foundation
    #9-Marcos Ambrose – Victory Junction.(Sprint Nextel)(9-7-2011)

  • Chevrolet Donates $12,800 to American Cancer Society: Sixty-four caution laps in Tuesday's rain-postponed AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway means a donation of $12,800 to the American Cancer Society, courtesy of Chevrolet. Chevrolet pledged to make a donation to the American Cancer Society in the amount of $200 for each caution lap that a specially-themed pink Camaro SS pace car ran in Tuesday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "We're very proud to partner with the American Cancer Society, and carry the ACS logo on the pace car, which hopefully helps to remind race fans of the upcoming events during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; and that we all can do our part in helping in the fight against cancer," said Jeff Chew, Chevy Racing Marketing Manager. Chevrolet will also provide a specially-themed pink Camaro SS pace car for next week's event and again make a donation to the American Cancer Society in the amount of $200 for each caution lap that the pace car runs in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.(Team Chevy)(9-7-2011)

  • Rockingham to make announcement - Trucks? UPDATE Governor Bev Perdue and Rockingham Speedway owner, Andy Hillenburg are scheduled to make a joint announcement on the facility's growth and the potential economic boost it will have to Richmond County, the city of Rockingham and the state of North Carolina (Rockingham Speedway), rumor has it that the track will get a NASCAR Truck Series race in 2012.(9-3-2011)
    AND: Rockingham Speedway will host a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, tentatively scheduled for the second weekend of April 2012, sources have told ESPN The Magazine. The event will mark the track's first NASCAR event since the then-Winston Cup Series held its 78th and final race at "The Rock" on Feb. 22, 2004.(ESPN)(9-3-2011)
    UPDATE: Rockingham Speedway announced that Richmond County and the city of Rockingham, N.C., will once again be home to NASCAR-sanctioned racing with the addition of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 on April 15, 2012.
    "In 2007, we set a goal to return Rockingham Speedway to its roots," states Andy Hillenburg, president of Rockingham Speedway. "The introduction of the truck series to Rockingham Speedway is representative of years of hard work and the support of the county, city and state government officials, who understood the positive economic impact a NASCAR-sanctioned race could offer to the Piedmont region. We are very excited about this news and know our supporters are just as proud to have Rockingham's national racing roots become a reality once again."
    Good Sam Club, the world's largest RV owners' organization will serve as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham Speedway, while Cheerwine, legendary soft drink of the south will serve as presenting sponsor. "We are thrilled about the return of NASCAR racing at Rockingham Speedway and we're even more excited to have a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on the schedule for 2012," said Marcus Lemonis, chairman and CEO of Camping World & Good Sam. "The Rock has a rich tradition of hosting tough racing and thrilling finishes, and we expect the same to hold true next April. We look forward to being a part of next year's race and exposing those avid fans to the Good Sam RV products and services."
    Rockingham Speedway, affectionately known as "The Rock," will begin safety improvements to its race track this fall. One improvement will include the installation of a Steel and Foam Energy Reduction barrier, known as the SAFER barrier system, which is a required feature for all top three tier NASCAR-sanctioned race tracks to help improve driver safety. Additional upgrades will be made to the track's scoring system and pit road, as well as other aesthetic improvements. "NASCAR is looking forward to returning to Rockingham Speedway with a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event in 2012," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice-president for Racing Operations. "The fans and community have shown strong support and the track is making significant improvements to its facility. We appreciate all the hard work by Andy Hillenburg and his staff to get to this point. It should be a fun event."(NASCAR)(9-7-2011)

  • Kentucky Speedway gets 2012 Sprint Cup race date: NASCAR's Sprint Cup racing series will return to the Kentucky Speedway. Track officials revealed Tuesday that on June 30, 2012 the track will host its next major race. Before a State Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday, Mark Simendinger, the track's general manager said NASCAR is satisfied scenes like what happened earlier this summer won't happen again. However, the senators had plenty of tough questions of their own. Among the thousands of people who got tied up in traffic on the way to the Kentucky Speedway's inaugural Sprint Cup race was State Senator Bob Leeper (I-Paducah). "I was one of those people," Leeper said. "I have my tickets here." Simendinger once again took full responsibility for the traffic mess. "We do not want to have this issue again," Simendinger said. "I can't stress that to you guys enough." Simendinger said the track and state transportation officials think they can avoid similar parking and traffic problems in the future with planned improvements - more parking, more lanes and better traffic flow. "I want enough parking, enough lanes, I want them moving fast enough so that, and we didn't build this track and we're not spending all this money to just be ok," said Simendinger. It's not just the Speedway spending money. Improvements also come at an almost $4 million price tag to the state and that brought the most criticism from senators. Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock told senators that the cabinet's main concern is keeping I-71 moving and the state was going to have to spend the money to do that on NASCAR weekends. Simendinger said the state improvements were part of the plan the Speedway pitched to NASCAR before NASCAR agreed Kentucky could have another Sprint Cup race next year.(Wave News)(9-7-2011)

  • RIR to honor America: With the Wonderful Pistachios 400 "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled on Saturday, September 10, just a day before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Richmond International Raceway has a patriotic pre-race ceremony planned. The evening will be highlighted by Wounded Warriors saying the pledge, Danny Rodriguez, the singing NY police officer, singing God Bless America and the U.S. Army Infantry Division Band performing the National Anthem.
    The pre-race ceremonies will begin at 6:15 pm with a "Salute to America" concert featuring patriotic music from the Newport News (VA) Police Pipe and Drums; Mike Corrado, an active duty Marine stationed in Quantico, Virginia, and the U.S. Army 29th Infantry Division Band from Ft. Belvoir. As fans enter the grandstands on Saturday, September 10 for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, they will be greeted by NASCAR Foundation volunteers handing out 4" x 6" handheld flags provided by Harrisonburg Auto Mall. Fans are asked to show their patriotism by waving the flags during the "Salute to America" concert.
    "Richmond International Raceway is unique in that every year since the 9/11 attacks our September race weekend has fallen on the weekend closest to 9/11," commented Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier. "It has always been important to us to recognize 9/11 and remember the victims and survivors, but even more so this weekend as we remember the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We are proud of our military and first responders; active, former and retired, and we are honored to have so many join us this weekend. I think our fans will find that this will be the most patriotic pre-race ceremony they have ever been a part of at Richmond International Raceway."
    Following the concert, the official welcome will be given by Richmond International Raceway president Dennis Bickmeier, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and Frank Thornton, Chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors – Fairfield District for Henrico County. As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are introduced, they will cross the stage and exit through a tunnel of first responders from Virginia and enter into a Chevy Silverado, where they will be joined by a member of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America for a lap around the track with an American flag.
    Henrico County (VA) Fire Department will display a flag from their ladder truck on the frontstretch apron for the day, along with Charlottesville (VA) Fire Department's ladder truck flag display on the backstretch apron for fans to enjoy. Additionally, skydivers will enter Richmond's ¾-mile facility carrying the American flag.
    In addition to viewing the patriotic pre-race ceremonies on the Video Scoring Tower, fans will enjoy five color guards presenting our nations' flags (Ft. Lee – Army on the pre-race pad, Central Virginia Combo Fire Team in Turn One, Virginia State Police in Turn Two, Newport News Police in Turn Three and Naval Ocean Processing Facility in Turn Four).
    US Army Specialist Brendan Marrocco from Staten Island, NY, the first American to lose all four limbs in combat and survive, and Marine Corps Corporal Todd Nicely who is the second American to lose all four limbs in combat and survive, will lead the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a memorable rendition of God Bless America by Danny Rodriguez, known as the "singing policeman from New York City." The 29th Infantry Division Band from Ft. Belvoir will return to the forefront to play our National Anthem. Fans are encouraged to wave their 4" x 6" flags during the entire pre-race.
    This patriotic pre-race will serve as the "opening ceremonies" for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 "One Last Race to Make The Chase" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. When the checkered flag flies Saturday night, September 10, the field will be set for the 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Tickets for Saturday's event to be a part of the most patriotic pre-race ever start at $45 in advance and can be purchased online at www.rir.com or by calling 866-455-7223.(RIR)(9-7-2011)


    News from September 6, 2011

  • The Entry List for the Wonderful Pistachios 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including:
    Not in top 35 of owners points:
    #7-Robby Gordon (37/25)
    #30-David Stremme (44/13)
    #35-Dave Blaney (51/5)
    #37-TBA (39/25)
    #38-Travis Kvapil (36/25)
    #46-Scott Speed (40/26)
    #55-J.J. Yeley (52/7)
    #50-T.J. Bell (49/11)
    #60-Mike Skinner (43/25)
    #66-Michael McDowell (41/25)
    #87-Joe Nemechek (42/25)
    In the event that qualifying is cancelled:
    the eight who would make it [8]: #'s 38,7,37,46,66,87,60,30
    missing the race would be [3]: #'s 50,55,35
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Richmond Entry List.(9-6/7-2011)

  • Jeff Gordon wins at Atlanta: #24-Jeff Gordon won the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 85th career win, 5th at AMS and 3rd of the season.
    #48-Johnson finished 2nd followed by #14-Stewart, #22-Busch, #99-Edwards, #2-Keselowski [last three races 1-2-3-1-6], #29-Harvick, #11-Hamlin, #17-Kenseth and #43-Allmendinger. The pole sitter, #4-Kahne finishing 34th after losing a radiator in the race.
    Points leader going in to the race, #18-Busch finished 23rd and lost the points lead to #48-Johnson, who has a 21 points lead over Busch.
    There were 35 lead changes among 14 drivers and 9 cautions for 64 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 29,700 [Sunday was estimates at 87,600], was 85,000 last year.
    Scheduled Race Re-Air:
    ESPN2, Wednesday, September 7 at 1:00 am/et;
    SPEED, Wednesday, September 7 at 12:00pm/et
    See race results, awards, laps led and more on Jayski's Atlanta Race Results/Awards page.(9-6-2011)

  • 2011 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
    [after Atlanta, race 25 of 36]:
    rank, car#, driver, points, behind
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [1 win], 873 (CH)
    2) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 852, -21 (CH)
    3) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 835, -38 (CH)
    4) #17-Matt Kenseth [2 wins], 834, -39 (CH)
    5) #24-Jeff Gordon [3 wins], 830, -43 (CH)
    6) #29-Kevin Harvick [3 wins], 819, -54 (CH)
    7) #22-Kurt Busch [1 win], 789, -84 (CH)
    8) #39-Ryan Newman [1 win], 786, -87 (CH)
    Drivers with a (CH) have clinched a Chase birth
    9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 753, -120, 25 ahead of 11th, needs 20th or better at RIR
    10) #14-Tony Stewart, 751, -122, 23 ahead of 11th, needs 18th or better at RIR
    current wild cards
    WC1) #2-Brad Keselowski [3 wins], 728, -145 [11th in points, 3 wins](CH)
    WC2) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 709, -164 [12th in points, 1 win]
    out of top 10, no wins, can get in, only if they get a win and either #2 or #11 get in top 10 and #27 doesn't win at RIR
    #43-Allmendinger, #33-Bowyer, #16-Biffle, #56-Truex Jr.,
    #4-Kahne, #20-Logano, #5-Martin
    in the top 20 with wins, possible for the wild card, would get in if wins at RIR and stays in top 20
    20) #27-Paul Menard [1 win], 657, -216 [20th in points, 1 win]
    Three race winners are not inside the top-20:
    #9-Ambrose is 21st, 7 points out of 20th; #6-Ragan is is 23rd, 20 points out of 20th;
    #78-Smith is 26th, 104 pts out of 20th
    NOTE: wild cards are drivers not in the chase with a win as long as they are in the top-20 in points, then if no wins by drivers points.
    See drivers championship points standings on Jayski's Drivers Points Standings page.(9-6-2011)

  • Top-35 in Owner Points and guaranteed a starting spot at Richmond:
    #71 increases lead tis 44 pts over 36th in owners pts, the #38 team.
    33) #36-Blaney/Baldwin, 355, +62
    34) #32-Bliss/FAS Lane, 348, +55
    35) #71-Lally/TRG, 337, 44 points ahead of 36th
    these teams / drivers will need to qualify by speed:
    36) #38-Kvapil/Front Row, 293, 44 points out of top 35
    37) #7-Gordon/RGM, 274, -63
    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.(9-6-2011)

  • Race Fast Facts - Atlanta:
    #24-Jeff Gordon won the 52nd Annual AdvoCare 500, his 85th victory in 642 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races placing him solely third on the all-time wins list.
    This is his third victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2011.
    This is his fifth victory and 24th top-10 finish in 38 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (second) posted his 13th top-10 finish in 20 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his 17th top-10 finish in 2011.
    #14-Tony Stewart (third) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 25 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Andy Lally (30th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 21 points over Kyle Busch.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-6-2011)

  • Atlanta Notes-n-Nuggets:
    • Jeff Gordon claimed his 85th career Cup Series victory, giving him sole possession of third place on the all-time winners list. It broke a tie with Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip.
    • This was the 11th 1-2 finish for teammates Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson; Gordon has won seven of them.
    • Jeff Gordon led 146 laps, including the final 38; that was the most laps led by any driver, and it was the second week in a row in which Gordon led the most laps.
    • This was the 15th career victory on a 1.5-mile track, tying Jimmie Johnson for the most all time.
    • This was the fifth Atlanta victory for Jeff Gordon, but his first since the fall of 2003.
    • Hendrick Motorsports earned its 198th Sprint Cup Series victory.
    • Chevrolet claimed its 10th victory of the season (most of any manufacturer) and 37th win at Atlanta (also the most by any manufacturer).
    • Jimmie Johnson (second) earned his 11th top-five finish of 2011, which ties him for the second most in the series.
    • Tony Stewart (third) picked up his third top-five of 2011; He has just four top-10 finishes in the past 10 races.
    • Kurt Busch (fourth) had only his second top-10 finish in the past six races.
    • Carl Edwards (fifth) is tied with Jimmie Johnson with 11 top-five finishes in 2011.
    • Brad Keselowski (sixth) earned his sixth consecutive top-10 finish; his worst finish in the past six races is ninth.
    • This was only the second race run on a Tuesday since 1978; the other was run at Michigan.(Racing Recall/nascar.com)(9-6-2011)

  • Four of the Sprint Summer Showdown fans still at the track: Four of the five fans paired with the drivers in the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO3D are in attendance at today's race. The only one not in attendance is Molly Hilyard from Sidney, Ohio, one of the two fans paired with Brad Keselowski. Hilyard does not need to be present to win, so if Keselowski wins today's race and the Sprint Summer Showdown title, Hilyard will still split the $1 million fan portion of the $3 million payout with Helene Cross from Kansas City, MO., the other fan paired with Keselowski. All four of the fans in attendance are watching the race from a special "fan stand," located just past the first pit stall in Turn 4 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Sprint)(9-6-2011)

  • Blaney develops kidney stones: per SceneDaily's Bob Pockrass twiiter: Mike Skinner will be in the #36 today; Dave Blaney in the #60 as Blaney developed kidney stones last night, the 60 car was going to start-and-park so Blaney will start and pull it in.(9-6-2011)

  • Changes in Talladega 2012 race dates: Talladega Superspeedway announced that the 2012 Aaron's Dream Weekend returns to a traditional place on the calendar; May 4-6. The 2012 Talladega 500 Weekend also moves up on the calendar to October 5-7. Talladega historically held a race in May from 1971 through 1994. The shift in dates should bring a favorable change in the weather that has affected the past two spring weekends at Talladega Superspeedway. May historically is a drier and less stormy month than April in Alabama. "We approached NASCAR about changing the date of the Aaron's Dream Weekend and have been extremely pleased with their cooperation and flexibility," said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. "May is a great month to visit Alabama and we look forward to welcoming all our race fans. As one of the most historical tracks in NASCAR, it's great to see another tradition return to Talladega." Race fans don't have to wait until 2012 to experience the excitement of a Talladega race weekend. True southern hospitality combined with the most competitive racing in NASCAR awaits race fans during the Oct. 21 -23 Talladega 500 Weekend. For tickets, call the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office today at 1-877-Go2-DEGA. Guests that purchase their tickets in advance have the opportunity to save over those who purchase during race week. Tickets are also available online at www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.(TSS)(9-6-2011)


    News from September 5, 2011

  • Goodyear decides on tires after testing: Following tire tests in recent weeks at both Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has finalized its tire combinations for the two tracks.
    "We've had two very successful tests over the past couple weeks, and after having some time to go back to Akron with our entire racing group and review the data, we've come up with our race recommendations for both Martinsville and Phoenix," said Greg Stucker, Goodyear's director of racing. "Each track presented its unique challenges, with Martinsville's concrete corners and Phoenix's repave and reconfiguration, but we had great participation and information from our test teams and feel good about what we've come up with."
    The Martinsville test was held on August 16-17 with five teams -- #2 Penske Racing Dodge with Brad Keselowski, #6 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford with David Ragan, #31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy with Jeff Burton, #47 JTG-Daugherty Racing Toyota with Bobby Labonte and #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    "What we came up with at Martinsville was returning with the same left-side tire we ran there in the spring, and pairing that with the Watkins Glen tire on the right-side," said Stucker. "Many times in the past we've utilize the same tire code as our Martinsville right-side that we run on all four tire positions on the road courses. We found at this test that this Watkins Glen tire was a good fit because it provided plenty of grip while rubbering in Martinsville's concrete corners."
    Phoenix provided several challenges, including being completely repaved, reconfigured and had progressive banking knocked into the corners. Those testing in the Valley of the Sun last Monday and Tuesday (August 29-30) were the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy with Tony Stewart, #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Kyle Busch, #22 Penske Racing Dodge with Kurt Busch, #48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy with Jimmie Johnson and #99 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford with Carl Edwards.
    "With all the changes at Phoenix, we knew it would be a much faster track," added Stucker. "We went to that test with our Indianapolis tire as our 'control' tire because we thought it might have many traits of a higher speed speedway with relatively flat corners. We ran through a number of different tire set-ups to explore what kind of grip we could generate. The results always came back to that control tire for consistency, grip, wear and heat resistance. What we finally decided on for Phoenix was bringing the exact Indianapolis left-side tire, with the Indianapolis compound and construction on the right side with just slightly less gage, or tread thickness, for heat resistance."
    Goodyear will now build a total of 2,000 tires -- 1,000 per side -- of the Phoenix set-up for teams to use at NASCAR's open test at the track on October 4-5.
    Goodyear continues its tire testing schedule with a September 27-28 session at Bristol Motor Speedway. Teams and drivers scheduled to participate in that test are the #1 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevy with Jamie McMurray, #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford with Marcos Ambrose, #13 Germain Racing Toyota with Casey Mears and #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy with Regan Smith. Following Bristol, additional tire tests have already been scheduled for Auto Club Speedway on October 18 and Las Vegas Motor Speedway on November 7.(Goodyear)(9-5-2011)

  • Stewart would like to have Martin but: Could Mark Martin be driving for Tony Stewart next year? Stewart would like it. Martin has stated that he's looking for a part-time ride in Cup next year after he moves on from his Hendrick Motorsports ride after this season (Kasey Kahne takes over that ride next year). Danica Patrick is scheduled to run eight to 10 races in a third entry for Stewart's team, Stewart-Haas Racing. Pairing Patrick and Martin could give Patrick an additional mentor, besides Stewart, and also give the team a driver to run the remaining races Patrick doesn't. "I would love to have him," Stewart said of Martin. "The biggest thing is us getting the financial backing to run the remainder of those races. I would love nothing more than Mark in all the races that Danica doesn't run next year. I've been a Mark Martin fan for a long time and trust me I would love nothing more than to have Mark in one of our cars."(Roanoke Times)(9-5-2011)


    News from September 4, 2011

  • Atlanta race postponed until Tuesday: The AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race has been postponed because of weather from Tropical Storm Lee. The race will be rescheduled for Tuesday, September 6 with a start time of 11:00 am/et. Existing tickets and credentials will be honored when the gates open at 8:30 am. The Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office will open at 9:00 am. on Monday, September 5 for fans still wishing to purchase tickets for the rescheduled race. Fans can also purchase tickets at the gate the day of the event. Due to impending weather, the Monday, Sept. 5 Breakfast on Bruton has been cancelled (AMS). The race will be televised on ESPN live.(9-4-2011)

  • Race Coverage of the rain postponed AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Tuesday, September 6, 2011.
    Television (TV): ESPN at 11:00am/et; green flag approx 11:15am/et
    Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    SPEED, Wednesday, September 7 at 12:00pm/et

  • Storm threatens Atlanta race, not and updates on the weather UPDATE 9:15pm/et: Looks like Tropical Storm Lee is going to cause problems for getting the Sprint Cup race run on time at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race is scheduled to go green around 7:45pm/et tonight, Sunday, September 4th. But the forecast for tonight and the next 2-3 days does not look promising. Forecasts from National Weather Service:
    TONIGHT: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. Low around 69. Southeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
    MONDAY: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds and heavy rain. High near 80. South wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
    MONDAY Night: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds and heavy rain. Low around 71. East wind between 5 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.
    Tuesday has a similar forecasts with things looking better for Tuesday evening. Other sources of weather forecasts and news on my Atlanta Race Info page - weather section.
    NASCAR.com reports that in an effort to beat the storm, NASCAR officials already have moved the start time up some 20 minutes to 7:30 pm/et, but that may not be enough to allow completion of the next-to-last race before the Chase field is set. A race is official at the halfway mark; in this case, that's 163 laps on Atlanta's 1.54-mile oval. According to the NWS, widespread showers and thunderstorms will be developing during the afternoon. The hour-by-hour prediction now shows a 100% chance of precipitation around 6 pm/et, with the possibility of up to a half-inch of rain by midnight. However, there may be breaks in the weather that may allow for track drying. Heavy rains are expected throughout the night and Monday, with as much as 3 to 5 inches total over the next 48 hours. The heaviest band of storms shown on the radar at 3 pm/et was near Columbus, Ga., approximately 90 miles to the southwest of the track.
    UPDATE from the AMS site - Race fans, we are all excited to host you today at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the AdvoCare 500. I just stepped out of a meeting with the National Weather Service and wanted to give you all an update. Our contact there has told us we will have some light rain today, but the heavy rains should stay to the west of us. The pre-race festivities have been moved up a bit in order to have the green flag fly promptly at 7:30 pm/et. It appears we have a good opportunity to get the race in tonight and our track services staff will do everything possible to maximize that opportunity. So come out, enjoy the cooler temperatures and light breeze while you take in all the sponsor displays and activity all around the track. If there are any further updates, we will message them out on our social media channels, so tell all the other fans you interact with to subscribe to us and you will get up to the minute updates. Thanks for your patronage and enjoy the race! –Ed Clark, President and General Manager, Atlanta Motor Speedway
    Can also get updates at AMS's Twitter and AMS Facebook, including......due to safety, umbrellas are not permitted in the grandstands.
    The race did not start at 7:30pm/et, invocation and National Anthem have been completed, flyover was 4 F-15’s, 159th FW, Louisiana ANG.
    Rain started again around 9:15pm/et and the track was lost, soon afterward NASCAR postponed the race until Tuesday, September 6th at 11:00am/et, to be aired on ESPN.(9-4-2011)

  • David Ragan not worried about future: David Ragan has lost some of the momentum he brought through the month of July. The #6 Roush Fenway Racing team scuffled through August and now sits with only a slim chance at making the Chase, despite Ragan's breakthrough win in July's Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. Friday, news surfaced that UPS was cutting its sponsorship back from 36 races to four to six [eight] races and may take that money over to Carl Edwards' #99 Ford or even to another team. The bad news did not shock Ragan. "I think we've known for a while that UPS was going to cut back a little bit.," Ragan told News/Talk WSB just after posting the 15th-fastest time in Sprint Cup Series Happy Hour practice. "They are still going to be involved in the sport in some way, shape, or form. Hopefully, we can do the right things and keep them around Roush Fenway in a small capacity. We knew they had a different mindset of how they want to spend some of their marketing dollars. We've had a good relationship and I hope we can keep that going - just not in the same way we have today." Despite rumors that now swirl about Ragan's future in the sponsor-lacking #6, the 25-year-old remains confident that his future is in that seat. "We've got a lot of irons in the fire. It's just a matter of which one materializes.We've got a lot of meetings with a lot of companies. It's just a matter of finding some sponsorship. We've got to fill out the 6 car with some extra races. That's what we're working on and we're positive we can get that done."(WSB Radio)(9-4-2011)


    News from September 3, 2011

  • Kahne wins Atlanta pole: #4-Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light pole for the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 186.196mph. It is his 2nd pole of the season and the 22nd of his career. Kahne has won five races from the pole. #33-Bowyer starts 2nd followed by #18-Busch, #83-Vickers, #24-Gordon, #17-Kenseth, #99-Edwards, #56-Truex, Jr., #39-Newman and #22-Busch.
    The go-or-go homers who made the race (8): #66-McDowell, #46-Speed, #38-Yeley, #7-Gordon, #87-Nemechek, #60-Skinner, #55-Kvapil and #95-Starr.
    The go-or-go homers who failed to qualify for the race (): #50-Bell, #37-Raines, #30-Stremme and #35-GBodine.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying speeds and notes on my Atlanta Starting Lineup/Qualifying Results page.(9-3-2011)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Atlanta:
    #4-Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 52nd Annual AdvoCare 500 with a lap of 29.775 seconds, 186.196 mph.
    This is his 22nd pole in 277 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and 13th top-10 start in 2011.
    This is his second pole in 15 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    #33-Clint Bowyer (second) posted his eighth top-10 start of 2011 and his third in 11 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    #18-Kyle Busch (third) posted his ninth top-10 start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his ninth in 25 races this season.
    #71-Andy Lally (42nd) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(9-3-2011)

  • Happy Hour practice for the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #24-Gordon 182.392
    #14-Stewart 181.979
    #33-Bowyer 181.675
    #2-Keselowski 180.669
    #16-Biffle 180.557
    slowest: #32-Bliss 171.870 & #35-GBodine 172.345
    notes: #38-Yeley smacked the wall as soon as he got on the track, didn't even finish a lap. #18-Busch scraped the wall, no major damage. #2-Keselowski who hit a bolt on the track Friday and tore a hole in the oil cooler, had the oil pan replaced without changing the engine, so he will start where he qualifies Saturday..
    Friday's practice set the qualifying order, qualifying is scheduled for 5:10pm/et on Saturday, September 3rd on SPEED.
    See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run, best 10-lap average on the Atlanta Practice Speeds Page.(9-3-2011)

  • Special scheme for McDowell on the #66: The #66 HP Racing Toyota that Michael McDowell drives, will carry the James Fund colors at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Family Christian Stores, through The James Fund, partners with its customers in a shared mission: Reaching out to orphans and widows. In addition, The James Fund provides adoption assistance to partner agencies as well as hands-on orphan care and quality of life initiatives that make differences in the lives of orphans and widows. More info at The James Fund. See an image of the car on my #66 Team Schemes page.(9-3-2011)

  • Elliott's Atlanta streak to end: Since he starting in the series now known as Sprint Cup back in 1976, Bill Elliott has never gone a whole year without racing at his home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway. But that streak is expected to end this week. Other than accompanying his son, Chase, to an appearance on behalf of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series that his son races in, Elliott won't participate in the AdvoCare 500 weekend. Elliott, 55, has run 62 races at Atlanta, winning five times, snagging five poles and leading 1,017 laps. Elliott has made only five starts this year, four of them for Phoenix Racing, which released him after four starts. He said he still thinks he's capable of performing at a high level in the right equipment, but the only offers he's getting are from teams that want to hire him because as a past series champion, he can get a starting spot even if his qualifying speed isn't fast enough. "I don't want to get into that," he said, adding that the money to be made is substantial. "It's pretty tempting." He acknowledges that unless he signs on with an underfunded team or a start-and-park outfit, his driving career might have ended, but he's not ready to call himself retired.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-3-2011)

  • 2010 Chase drivers to be honored by the President: Heading into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cut-off race at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will be honored by President Barack Obama at The White House on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The event will also include NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France, plus several drivers from the 2010 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. Drivers who are scheduled to attend: Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth. Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart cannot attend due to schedule conflicts (NASCAR).
    Stewart's comment: THE WHITE HOUSE INVITED 12 DRIVERS TO VISIT PRESIDENT OBAMA AND YOU'RE ONE OF THE FIVE THAT SAID YOU HAVE OTHER THINGS TO DO, WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON ALL OF THAT? "We had an obligation that we have to fulfill. I've enjoyed every trip that I've been invited and very honored to be invited every time we've had that opportunity and I'm very sorry I'm going to miss the chance to go again because there's a lot of people in this nation that would love to have that opportunity to spend time with the President and just have a couple of minutes of his time. I'm very regretful that I'm not going to be able to make it but it's a tough schedule that we have and if I could have rescheduled and got the scheduling to work out I would have been there in a heartbeat because I've not missed one yet."(Team Chevy)(9-3-2011)

  • Fans Eager for a Shot at the Grand Prize at the Sprint Summer Showdown: Thousands of fans will be at Atlanta Motor Speedway to see which NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver will win Sunday's AdvoCare 500, but none will be watching with more interest than the five who have a shot at a portion of the $3 million payout in the Sprint Summer Showdown.
    Andrea Gay, Helene Cross, Ronald Rempinski, Dana Hardie and Molly Hilyard will be in Atlanta to see whether their qualified driver can claim the Sprint Summer Showdown title and the $3 million payout – $1 million for the driver, $1 million for the driver's charity, and $1 million for a lucky fan (or fans). "Fans are what make this sport so great, and fans have made the Sprint Summer Showdown presented by HTC EVO 3D promotion a huge success," said Tim Considine, director of sports marketing for Sprint. "We'd love to show our gratitude to every fan who entered by handing over a $1 million check to one of the five Sunday night."
    Each of the five correctly picked the winning driver for one of the qualifying races on Sprint.com/Speed during the promotion, which began with the Brickyard 400 on July 31. Their names were then randomly chosen from the pool of entrants who correctly picked the winning driver for each race, and they are paired with that driver for the final race of the promotion at Atlanta. If their driver wins the race, the fan(s) win $1 million. Because he won two of the five qualifying races, Brad Keselowski will have two fans paired with him in Atlanta. If he wins, the fans will split the $1 million fan portion of the payout equally.
    To help fans and viewers identify which drivers are finalists for the Sprint Summer Showdown, the four drivers' cars will feature special yellow numbers and spoilers for this event. One of the four designated charities can also claim part of the $3 million Sprint Summer Showdown purse if their respective driver crosses the finish line first on Sunday night.
    The drivers, their paired fans and designated charities are:
    Race Won, Driver, Designated Charity, Fan and Hometown
    Indy, #27-Paul Menard, Habitat for Humanity, Andrea Gay - Voorhees, N.J. Pocono, #2-Brad Keselowski, Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation, Helene Cross - Kansas City, Mo. Watkins Glen, #9-Marcos Ambrose, Victory Junction, Ron Rempinski - St. Charles
    Michigan, #18-Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Foundation, Dana Hardie - Laurel Hill, NC.
    Bristol, #2-Brad Keselowski, Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation, Molly Hilyard - Sidney, OH.(Sprint)(9-3-2011)

  • Pink the Color of Choice at Atlanta Motor Speedway This Weekend : This weekend's Chevrolet Camaro SS pace car for the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will feature a different look for a good cause. Chevrolet will feature a specially-themed Camaro SS pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at both Atlanta and Richmond. This weekend's pace car will be pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month for October. For each caution lap that the pace car leads the Sprint Cup field under for the next two races, Chevrolet will make a $200 contribution to the American Cancer Society. "With October—which is right around the corner—being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Chevy wanted to take this opportunity to raise awareness of our collaboration with the American Cancer Society by pacing with specially themed Camaro SS pace cars the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta and Richmond," said Jeff Chew, Chevy Racing Marketing Manager. "Hopefully, this will serve to help race fans remember all of the upcoming events in October, and remind everyone that we all can do our part in helping in the fight against breast cancer."(AMS)(9-2-2011)
    MORE: A brigade of pink-clad breast cancer survivors invaded pit road at Atlanta Motor Speedway Friday morning for pace car rides, driver meet-and-greets and more. The survivors were guests of Chevrolet in support of the American Cancer Society. The 30 survivors were treated to rides in the pink Chevrolet Camaro SS pace cars and truck, driven by NASCAR drivers Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and Ron Hornaday Jr. Chevrolet painted the pace cars pink for this weekend to serve as a reminder that Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming up in October. In addition to the pink pace cars, Chevy will also donate $200 per caution lap in Sunday's AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race to the American Cancer Society. "We decided to make them pink to stand out and make a statement," said Maria Stenbom, Assistant Marketing Manager for Chevy Racing and a breast cancer survivor as well. "As we like to say, at Chevy we've been part of people's lives for 100 years, even through the detours."
    Those detours create life bonds, as was evident on pit road Friday. Pink dominated the normally testosterone-filled alley, while hugs, smiles, laughter and tears also mingled with the sight of the pink pace car flashing around the track. "We're all sisters," said Alice Ramsey of Brooks, Ga. "We're like sorority sisters, but of a sorority we didn't rush for and wouldn't have picked."
    Ramsey, a Delta flight attendant and a member of the Piedmont Cancer Hospital's task force, said she had never been to a race before and didn't consider herself a race fan before Friday morning's experience. "But I am now!" she said. Survivor Kathy Smith said that even though she knew nothing about racing before entering AMS, she felt like an insider after her track ride with Hornaday. "He hit the bump that makes the cars go into the wall in turns 3 and 4," Smith said. "The other drivers wouldn't take us up there, but Ron did. To me, that was so neat, to know exactly what they're talking about and actually feeling what the truck does when you hit that bump."(AMS)(9-3-2011)

  • Biffle, Stewart In Small Business Showdown UPDATE: This weekend, #16-Greg Biffle will face off against #14-Tony Stewart at Atlanta Motor Speedway to determine the 2011 "Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot" and possibly deliver a $1 million payday to the one of two small business finalists. Biffle will carry the logo of Downers Grove, Ill.-based Bales Mold Service, Inc., on his #16 3M Ford, while Stewart will feature the logo of Daytona Beach, Fla.-based HuckleBerry Pets on his #14 Office Depot Chevy. The small business featured on the highest-finishing driver's car will be named the 2011 "Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot," and if Biffle or Stewart wins the race, the small business on the winning car will walk away with $1 million. Both finalists receive a $10,000 small business makeover from Office Depot and a VIP experience this weekend at Atlanta.(RFR/Office Depot Racing), see images of the cars on the #14 Team Schemes page and #16 Team Schemes page.(8-31-2011)
    UPDATE: Office Depot announced the two small businesses finalists who could take home $1 million in its annual "Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot" sweepstakes. Office Depot, the Official Office Products Partner of NASCAR, has partnered with 3M for this promotion. The two small business finalists are Kacie Howard, owner of HuckleBerry Pets, in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Sara Mortensen, owner of Bales Mold Service, Inc., in Downers Grove, Ill. As part of the finalists prize package, Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy and team owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, and Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford will each feature one finalist's logo on their respective race cars at Atlanta. Howard was randomly paired with Stewart, while Mortensen was matched with Biffle. The small business featured on the highest-finishing driver's car at the end of Sunday's race will be named the 2011 "Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot" and receive the use of the "Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot" logo for one year. Additionally, if Stewart or Biffle win the race, the small business featured on the winning car will walk away with $1 million. As finalists, both Howard and Mortensen receive a $10,000 small business makeover from Office Depot and a VIP experience this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Office Depot Racing)(9-3-2011)

  • Rockingham to make announement - Trucks? Governor Bev Perdue and Rockingham Speedway owner, Andy Hillenburg are scheduled to make a joint announcement on the facility’s growth and the potential economic boost it will have to Richmond County, the city of Rockingham and the state of North Carolina (Rockingham Speedway), rumor has it that the track will get a NASCAR Truck Series race in 2012.(9-3-2011)
    AND: Rockingham Speedway will host a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, tentatively scheduled for the second weekend of April 2012, sources have told ESPN The Magazine. The event will mark the track's first NASCAR event since the then-Winston Cup Series held its 78th and final race at "The Rock" on Feb. 22, 2004.(ESPN)(9-3-2011)


    News from September 2, 2011

  • Coverage of Qualifying for the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 5:10pm/et.
    Television (TV): SPEED, 5:00pm/et
    Jayski.com: Jayski's Qualifying Page
    Qualifying Re-Air: 12:00am/et on SPEED

  • Qualifying Order for the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is posted. 47 cars/drivers are listed. Go-or-go homers are now mixed in with the top-35 drivers, slowest by fastest in first practice.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #37-Raines, slowest in practice.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #2-Keselowski, who was fastest in first practice.
    Qualifying order is set by the first practice session, with slowest driver going out by speed and the fastest going out last. The non-top 35 drivers are now mixed in with the top-35 in owners points, slowest to fastest.
    See the full qualifying order on the Atlanta Qualifying Page.(9-2-2011)

  • Friday practice for the AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, after 80 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and notes:
    #2-Keselowski 187.722
    #11-Hamlin 186.689
    #33-Bowyer 185.016
    #56-Truex Jr. 184.911
    #5-Martin 184.794
    slowest: #37-Raines 173.288 & #50-Bell 175.260
    notes: #11-Hamlin scraped the wall, no major damage. #2-Keselowski hit a bolt on the track and tore a whole in the oil cooler, plans are to pull the engine, replace the pan and put the same engine back in the car.
    The results of this practice session will set the qualifying order, qualifying is scheduled for 5:10pm/et on Saturday, September 3rd on SPEED.
    See fastest speeds, average speeds, laps run, best 10-lap average on the Atlanta Practice Speeds Page.(9-2-2011)

  • Friday practice rank for the non top-35 drivers at Atlanta:
    if things stay the same, these eight drivers would make the race:
    #38-J.J. Yeley, 32nd fastest overall
    #60-Mike Skinner, 34th
    #66-Michael McDowell, 35th
    #55-Travis Kvapil. 37th
    #30-David Stremme, 39th
    #46-Scott Speed, 40th
    #7-Robby Gordon, 41st
    #87-Joe Nemechek, 42nd
    these drivers would miss the race if the order stayed the same:
    #35-Geoff Bodine, 43rd
    #95-David Starr, 45th
    #50-T.J. Bell, 46th
    #37-Tony Raines, 47th/last

  • UPS to cut back NASCAR sponsorship: UPS plans to cut back dramatically on its support of Roush Fenway Racing’s #6 Ford driven by David Ragan in 2012, SportsBusiness Daily reported. Sources familiar with the company’s plan said it will drop its full-season primary sponsorship of the #6 car and sponsor 4-8 races at RFR in '12. The company is in talks to shift its sponsorship to Carl Edwards, who drives the team’s #99 Ford. RFR president Steve Newmark declined to comment and said the team is still in discussions with UPS. The company did not return a call seeking comment. The move will further reduce the number of sponsors paying for their logo to appear in all 36 NASCAR races. UPS was one of seven sponsors slated to be on the same NASCAR hood for all 36 Sprint Cup races. The other full-season primary sponsors are #11-FedEx [34 races, Sports Clips at Darlington, Charter Comm at Atlanta], #20-Home Depot, #48-Lowe’s, #27-Menard’s, #2-Miller Lite and #56-NAPA Auto Parts. (Red Bull and Furniture Row own the teams that feature their logos.) Though UPS won’t renew its full-season primary sponsorship at RFR, sources said the company is expected to renew its official partnership with NASCAR. It has been the sport’s official delivery company since 2000.(Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal)(9-2-2011)

  • #39 Chevy to Pay Tribute to U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers: This weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Ryan Newman will be driving the #39 U.S. Army Reserve Chevy. A tribute to Soldiers who combine civilian experience with military training to provide specialized skills for missions around the world. Entering Sunday night's AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup event, Newman's performance in eight races this season at the 1.5 and 2-mile venues has dramatically improved with an average finish of 10.63 compared to a 21.00 average during the same period and same amount of races last year. Newman's overall record at Atlanta Motor Speedway includes 18 starts, one top-five and six top-10s. His average start is 6.4 and average finish is 17.3. It will be a double-duty Atlanta weekend for Newman, who will also compete in Friday evening's Camping World Truck Series race. Newman will drive the #08 Turner Motorsports Chevy, which will honor his outdoors buddy Beau Slocumb, who lost his life to cancer earlier this year.(U.S. Army Racing), see the scheme, that also ran at Texas in April on the #39 Team Schemes Page.(9-2-2011)

  • Collective Soul featured on the #36 at Atlanta: Collective Soul [a Jayski fave] will adorn the #36 Collective Soul/Golden Corral Chevy that Dave Blaney will drive this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Hailing from Stockbridge, Ga., just 15 miles north of the speedway, Collective Soul shot to international fame with their 1993 release Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, and their mega No. 1 hit “Shine.” The band’s sophomore album self-titled Collective Soul, released in 1995, made triple-platinum and generated three No. 1 singles. Collective Soul released five more albums with three No. 1 singles prior to 2009 when they released their latest studio effort Collective Soul. The band is currently touring and working in the studio. TBR will compete to feed America’s families again this weekend. If the #36 Golden Corral Chevy finishes in the top-10 in the AdvoCare 500, kids eat free (with an adult purchase) on Monday, September 5th. Golden Corral will also donate $5,000 to the DAV.(TBR)(9-2-2011)

  • Keselowski four straight top three's: Saturday's win at Bristol was #2-Brad Keselowski's third of the season and his fourth consecutive top-three finish [1st at Pocono, 2nd at Watkins Glen, 3rd at Michigan, 1st at Bristol]. Keselowski is the first driver to pull off that feat this season. There was only one streak of that kind in 2010, by Jimmie Johnson, and no one did it in 2009. If Keselowski gets a fifth straight top-three, he'll be the first driver to do that since Kyle Busch in 2008. Other than Busch, there were the other two drivers with streaks of four straight top-three finishes since 2000: Jimmie Johnson did it twice, and Bobby Labonte once (ESPN)(9-2-2011)

  • Special scheme for Dale Jr. at Atlanta: This weekend Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive a blue-and-white #88 National Guard Military Intelligence/AMP Energy Chevy. Today's Military Intelligence professionals are highly trained soldiers who provide their commanders with relevant intelligence and electronic warfare support. Working behind the scenes, these soldiers can be tasked to research and analyze information on almost any topic, interview enemy combatants or interpret the foreign languages spoken on the battlefield. Visit www.NationalGuard.com/TrainedbyTradition and search “Military Intelligence” to learn more.(HMS), see an image of the scheme on the #88 Team Schemes page.(9-2-2011)

  • #46 gets sponsor for Atlanta: Property Masters, long known for its speed in delivering quality renovation and landscape management services to residential and commercial properties, is teaming up with Scott Speed, who drives the #46 Ford Fusion with Whitney Motorsports. The Marietta-based property-improvement company is sponsoring Speed on Sunday, Sept. 4 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race AdvoCare 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. As a primary, one-time sponsor, Property Masters will be featured prominently on the hood, quarter panels and rear TV panel of Speed’s car #46. “We look forward to the opportunity for Property Masters to get involved in the exciting sport of NASCAR,” said Kyle Cooper, Property Masters’ founder, president and CEO. “Partnering with Scott is one way we can help spread the word about what we do, and the benefits we offer,” he said, adding, “But most importantly, this sponsorship gives employees the chance to attend the race, which is our way of thanking them for their continued loyalty. We look forward to a fun and productive weekend.”
    “I am super stoked to be teaming up with Property Masters,” said Scott Speed. “I am glad to be representing such a successful company, and I am even more excited to show them what NASCAR is all about this weekend.” Property Masters provides a broad range of property-improvement services throughout the Southeastern United States (Whitney Motorsports), see image of scheme on the #46 Team Schemes page.(9-2-2011)

  • Some Milestones at Atlanta: #17-Matt Kenseth will make his 425th Sprint Cup Series start, #34-David Gilliland will make his 175th series start and #20-Joey Logano will make his 100th series start.(NASCAR)(9-2-2011)

  • Manufacturer Breakdown of Sprint Cup Action at AMS: With this weekend’s AdvoCare 500 featuring entries from all four of NASCAR’s current manufacturers, Atlanta Motor Speedway takes a look at what makes have made up the fields during competition at AMS.
    Of 4,270 entries (not including DNQs) for the 103 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races that have been held at Atlanta from 1960-2010, Chevy has the most starts with 1,366. Ford follows behind with 1,236, which includes six entries by the T-Bird. Dodge has 492 starts, followed by Pontiac with 447, Buick with 179 and Oldsmobile at 174 starts. Following these are Mercury’s 137 entries, Plymouth with 133 starts, Toyota with 78 Cup races, Chrysler with 20 and the Matador (AMC) with eight starts.
    This year’s AdvoCare 500 entry list features 47 cars vying to make the 43-car field. Among them are 18 Chevys, 14 Fords, 12 Toyotas and three Dodges.
    Chevy leads all makes in victories at AMS with 36 wins. Ford has 29, followed by Pontiac’s 11, nine for Dodge and eight by Mercury. Buick and Plymouth have both won four races, while Oldsmobile and Toyota each have one win apiece.(AMS)(9-2-2011)

  • Menard goes green for Atlanta: The #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevy of Paul Menard will sport a slightly different look this weekend, carrying a special paint scheme. "Quaker State green" and "Menards yellow" will don Menard's Chevy Impala as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races under the lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night. Menard will run the same car he won with at Indy in July.(RCR), see images of the car on the #27 Team Schemes page.(9-1-2011)

  • Tire notes and facts for Atlanta: Teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Atlanta this week 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 Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams ran in their last races at Atlanta last September . . . at Atlanta's spring doubleheader last year, Cup and Truck teams ran this left-side tire code with a different right-side code . . . since this is the Truck Series' first race at Atlanta since that March 2010 weekend, this is the first time they have raced on this right-side tire . . . compared to what the trucks ran at Atlanta that weekend, this right-side features just a slight construction change . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Atlanta. . . .air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. The estimated pit window is every 49-51 laps for Sprint Cup cars, based on fuel mileage (Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures and more on the Atlanta Race Info page - Goodyear section.(9-2-2011)

  • Keselowski Wins DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout Competition: The second annual DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout competition ended at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday when #2-Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag and secured the DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout title, earning $199,375 for Paralyzed Veterans of America. The DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout competition placed 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers in a bracket-format competition for charity. DIRECTV, the exclusive provider of the NASCAR HotPass broadcast, donated $400,000 to driver charities during the course of the competition while fans competed for prizes and a chance at $1 million. Paralyzed Veterans of America is a national non-profit that changes lives and builds brighter futures for seriously injured military members. In 65 years the organization has built 34 chapters that represent thousands of veterans in 50 states and Puerto Rico. Behind Keselowski, the Fastest Four drivers in the high-stakes competition included #17-Matt Kenseth, racing for Motor Racing Outreach; #33-Clint Bowyer for Emporia Kansas Community Foundation; and #24-Jeff Gordon for The Jeff Gordon Foundation. Each of the Fastest Four earned $39,375 for their perspective charities.(Directv)(9-1-2011)

  • Kansas announces 2012 race dates: Kansas Speedway officials announced that the facility will again host two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekends in 2012, albeit both will be held on different surfaces, and the spring event weekend has moved to April to ensure the recently announced track improvements are completed. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns with the inaugural SFP 250 on Saturday, April 21 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns with the STP 400 on April 22, 2012, which will be the final race at the facility under its current design and with the current racing surface. When NASCAR returns to Kansas Speedway for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 on Oct. 20 and the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Hollywood Casino 400 on Oct. 21, 2012, race teams will need to throw out the notes they have cultivated over the past decade at the facility and prepare for a new racing surface that includes banking up to 20 degrees. Remaining 2011 events at Kansas Speedway include the Hollywood Casino 400 on Oct. 9, the Kansas Lottery 300 on Oct. 8 and the Kansas Lottery 98.9 on Oct. 7 and tickets for all events are on sale now by calling 866.460.RACE (7223) or by logging onto kansasspeedway.com. Parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring in one 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and beverages.(Kansas Speedway)(9-2-2011)

  • Fantastic Deal Still Available for Race Fans at Atlanta: For fans looking for a great value and the opportunity to be up-close to the action, the Atlanta Motor Speedway $149 Start/Finish Line Package is the perfect option. For just $149, customers get an Upper Champions Grandstand ticket to both the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 4 and the Great Clips 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday, Sept. 3. Also included is a Sunday Pre-Race Pit Pass. This is a total savings of over $111. With NASCAR's changes to the pit road dress code for 2011, a variety of clothing options that were previously not allowed are now accepted for this year's AdvoCare 500. Fans can dress comfortably in shorts, open-toed shoes, sleeveless shirts, skirts and dresses for their visit to pit road. NASCAR night racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway this Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4. Tickets for the AdvoCare 500 start at $39 and $19 for students. Children 12 and under admitted free for the Great Clips 300 and the Good Sam Club 200 with an adult ticket. For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(9-2-2011)

  • Pink the Color of Choice at Atlanta Motor Speedway This Weekend: This weekend's Chevrolet Camaro SS pace car for the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will feature a different look for a good cause. Chevrolet will feature a specially-themed Camaro SS pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at both Atlanta and Richmond. This weekend's pace car will be pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month for October. For each caution lap that the pace car leads the Sprint Cup field under for the next two races, Chevrolet will make a $200 contribution to the American Cancer Society. "With October—which is right around the corner—being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Chevy wanted to take this opportunity to raise awareness of our collaboration with the American Cancer Society by pacing with specially themed Camaro SS pace cars the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta and Richmond," said Jeff Chew, Chevy Racing Marketing Manager. "Hopefully, this will serve to help race fans remember all of the upcoming events in October, and remind everyone that we all can do our part in helping in the fight against breast cancer."(AMS)(9-2-2011)


    News from September 1, 2011

  • Dale Jr. re-signs with Hendrick thru 2017: Hendrick Motorsports and driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. have agreed to a five-year contract extension that will keep Earnhardt behind the wheel of the #88 Chevys through the end of the 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. “We’re excited to have everything formalized and announced,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Junior and I had a handshake agreement months ago, and we let other people work out the finer points from there. It was as simple and smooth as it gets. My feelings haven’t changed since the day he first signed with us. I’m committed as ever to putting him in the best possible situation to be successful and compete for wins and championships.”
    Earnhardt, 36, has earned 18 Sprint Cup race wins since joining the circuit full-time in 2000. The Kannapolis, N.C., native has won the Daytona 500, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and two Nationwide Series championships. In NASCAR’s national touring series, he has a combined 41 points-paying victories. “It’s great to have it all wrapped up so quickly and far in advance,” said Earnhardt, who currently is ninth in the Sprint Cup standings. “Rick and I were on the same page from the first time we talked about it, so there wasn’t any sense in waiting. There were never any questions or hesitations from either of us. It was just, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ I’m really happy at Hendrick Motorsports and enjoy working with everyone here. The team’s been very competitive this season, and we’re all excited about the direction of things. I want to make sure we’re giving our fans something to cheer about for a long time.” Earnhardt originally signed with Hendrick Motorsports in June 2007 for the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. That contract was set to expire at the end of 2012.(Hendrick Motorsports)(9-1-2011)

  • Fastenal Steps up to be primary sponsor for Edwards: Fastenal announced that it has signed a multiyear agreement with Roush Fenway Racing to become a primary sponsor of Carl Edwards’ #99 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Fastenal will be the primary on Edwards’ #99 for 17 Cup Series races in 2012, starting at Daytona International Speedway. The company will also sponsor two additional Roush Fenway entries in a yet to be determined 2012 Sprint Cup Series race, putting three Fastenal-branded Fords on the track during a single event. “I’ve appreciated the long relationship that I’ve had with Fastenal,” said Edwards. “I’m proud that they believe so strongly in our team and program that they are making the commitment to sponsor us in the Sprint Cup Series. My partnership with Fastenal started in 1999 at my local dirt track. I would have never imagined that we would be going to the 2012 Daytona 500 together. They have always treated me with the same respect that they treat their customers and I am proud to represent them."
    “It’s hard to imagine a better driver, or a better spokesperson for our company, than Carl Edwards,” said Cory Jansen, Fastenal’s Executive Vice President, Operations. “He’s become a true member of the Fastenal ‘blue team,’ and we can’t wait to see him make a run for the championship in the #99 Fastenal Ford.”
    For Fastenal, the road to this marquee sponsorship began back in 2006 when the company began sponsoring a team in NASCAR's Truck Series. Fastenal moved to the Nationwide Series two years later. But through it all, a Fastenal-sponsored car had never won a NASCAR race until its partnership with Roush Fenway and Edwards began in 2010. Edwards and Fastenal have teamed up to go to NASCAR victory lane five times in the #60 Fastenal Ford Mustang, including four times this season. “Because of the phenomenal season Carl is having, we’ve probably had more brand exposure this year than we’ve had in the previous five years combined,” added Jansen. “We’re looking forward to taking another huge step forward next season by presenting our brand to the tens of millions of fans who follow the Cup Series.”(Roush Fenway Racing)(9-1-2011)

  • Heil Trailer to sponsor #32 at Atlanta: FAS Lane Racing announced they have acquired sponsorship from Heil Trailer International for this Labor Day weekend's running of the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Heil Trailer, celebrating their 110th anniversary will be the primary sponsor on the locked in #32 Heil Trailer Ford of FAS Lane Racing driven by Mike Bliss. Heil Trailer partners Hendrickson, Alcoa Wheel and Civacon will adorn lower hood decals on the #32 car, along with partners Accuride, Jost and Kalyn Siebert with decals on the TV panel of the #32 Heil Trailer Ford Fusion. "We're proud to welcome Heil Trailer and their partners to the FAS Lane Racing family," said team owner Frank Stoddard. "Labor Day weekend racing is always a big event and we look forward to the race in Atlanta with our new partner. Our solid position in the top-35 adds great value to our partners and gives us a valuable tool to offer companies every race weekend. We are happy to have Mike Bliss back in the #32 Heil Trailer Ford again this weekend and as a team we will do our best to put forth a solid race weekend on and off the track for Heil Trailer and partners."
    "Heil Trailer International is very excited to partner with FAS Lane Racing and the #32 Mike Bliss Ford Fusion for this weekend's Labor Day Race in Atlanta. We look forward to celebrating our 110th Anniversary of Going the Extra Mile for our customers at this Sunday's race," said Greg Heyer, Vice President of Global Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for Heil Trailer International. Heil Trailer International and its partners are proud to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association. MDA stickers will be displayed on the #32 Heil Trailer Ford Fusion. FAS Lane Racing currently sits 34th in the ever important owners points standings and has a solid cushion of 57 points in the Top 35 standings after the Bristol race this past weekend.(FAS Lane Racing/Heil Trailer), see an image of the scheme on the #32 Team Schemes page.(9-1-2011)

  • added the #38 Vampt, #32 Heil Trailers, #14 Office Depot Small Business Contest Winner and #16 3M / Office Depot Small Business Contest Winner and #99 Aflac Cancer Center

  • Jeffrey Earnhardt to run in Grand Am Series: The Earnhardt family has accomplished nearly every goal set in racing. Jeffrey Earnhardt will now set his goal on a family first……winning the championship in the NASCAR owned Grand Am Series. Jeffrey Earnhardt has signed a deal to place him in a full season of Grand Am Racing in 2012 in the Rolex GT Class with Rick Ware Racing. Earnhardt made his series debut at the 2011 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with RWR in a GT3 Porsche and finished 11th in class and 25th overall. “I have never experienced any type of racing like that before. It was definitely a rush and look forward to competing in the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2012 with RWR again,” stated Jeffrey Earnhardt. Earnhardt will be displaying the #15 for the 2012 season, a number his late grandfather, Dale Earnhardt, competed with 30 years ago in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Earnhardt will also make his Indianapolis Motor Speedway debut as the Grand Am Series heads to the “Brickyard” for the inaugural event during the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend. Earnhardt and Rick Ware Racing will be making announcements for the car manufacturer, sponsors and co-drivers in the upcoming weeks.(Rick Ware Racing)(9-1-2011)

  • Bowyer discusses contract situation: from a #33-Clint Bowyer article on SPEED: "I’m still working on my deal to return to RCR next year. But it’s all about sponsorship. These things take time and you can’t just jump in with both feet – you’ve got to be patient and wait on the sponsorship search to pan out for you. Unfortunately, the media, and they’re just doing their jobs, asks me every weekend and throughout the week about the status of my contract negotiations. Then rumors get started and folks start speculating about things they really know nothing about. In my opinion, that only complicates my situation and confuses all parties involved. But that little speech probably will go in one ear and out the other by the time we hit the track this weekend. I wish I could push the pressure to get a deal done aside that easily, but I certainly have been busy. The Chase is priority one now – it comes before this contract mess. I want to be in the Chase and I think our Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet deserves a spot. We’ve still got a shot and we intend to do everything in our power to make that happen. Despite all the speculation and uncertainty, I’m 100-percent focused on performance when I climb into that race car each weekend. There’s no reason to think otherwise at Atlanta this weekend. We’ve got a mission … and it’s to make our way into the Chase."(SPEED)(9-1-2011)

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

  • Rheem returns to the #29: With headquarters in Atlanta, less than 50 miles north of AMS, Rheem will serve as the primary sponsor on Kevin Harvick's #29 RCR Chevy for Sunday's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the car will carry the company's familiar red and black colors. Rheem first served as the primary sponsor on the #29 Chevy this season at Infineon Raceway where Harvick scored a ninth-place finish in June. The company will also be the primary sponsor on the #29 Chevy at Dover and Texas later this season (RCR), see images of the car on the #29 Team Schemes page.(9-1-2011)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing Tests at GMP: Gresham Motorsports Park was expecting one driver to test with Tommy Baldwin Racing and was surprised to see two! Steve Park and Stephen Leicht arrived early Tuesday morning to test on GMP’s half-mile oval. “The test was good today. This is a good place to make changes on the car without going through a lot of tires,” said TBR owner, Tommy Baldwin. “The track is beautiful! This is the first time I have been here and I was really impressed with the race track,” said NASCAR driver, Steve Park. “This track is most similar to Richmond. Richmond is a little bigger and the banking is a little more dramatic than the track here, but the corners are very similar to Richmond.” TBR will team up with Park for the second annual modified tribute car. Park will run the #35 “Ole Blue” Chevy to tribute owner, car-builder and mechanic Len Boehler in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 25th. Fans will have the unique opportunity to sponsor the #35 “Ole Blue” Chevrolet by making contributions from $20 to $10,000. For each contribution, fans will have the opportunity to add their name to the Len Boehler tribute car that will race in the Sylvania 300. All proceeds exceeding $100,000, the cost to race in the Sylvania 300, will be donated by Tommy Baldwin Racing to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Geoff Bodine will run the #35 Golden Corral Chevy in Atlanta this weekend. Stephen Leicht will join Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) for the Cup Series race at Richmond in the #35 Pepsi Max Chevy.(Gresham Motorsports Park)(9-1-2011)

  • The Numbers for Atlanta Motor Speedway (all 103 Sprint Cup races):
    1 - fewest cautions for a race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (twice, most recent 8/2/70)
    1 - fewest laps led by race winner (9/17/61 - David Pearson)
    3 - wins by Dodge in last four Sprint Cup races at AMS
    6 - fewest lead changes (three times, most recent 6/30/63)
    6 - number of jet dryers available for track drying at AMS during race weekend
    6 - wins from outside a top-20 starting position
    7 - most poles (Buddy Baker, Ryan Newman)
    7 - fewest caution laps (11/2/86)
    9 - most wins (Dale Earnhardt)
    12 - most wins by a car owner (Glen Wood/Wood Brothers)
    14 - most cautions (10/28/07)
    14 - wins from the pole
    17 - most leaders (3/12/00)
    22 - drivers with multiple wins at AMS
    32 - most cars on lead lap at finish (11/8/98)
    41 - most cars running at the finish (three times, most recent 3/9/08)
    42 - different race winners in 103 races
    45 - different pole winners
    45 - most lead changes (11/7/82)
    99 - most caution laps (11/6/77)
    120 - minutes, the minimum amount of time it takes to dry the 1.54-mile track after a significant rainfall
    2011 Caution Update
    4 - fewest cautions this season (Fontana and Pocono1)
    6 - number of races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2011
    16 - most cautions this season (Daytona)
    173 - number of cautions in the first 24 races of 2011; includes 80 for accidents, 43 for debris and 24 for spins
    816 of 6,751 - number of laps under caution in 2011
    1,165,997 of 9,432,758 - miles under caution in the first 24 races
    (Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports)(9-1-2011)

  • 1992 Hooters 500 Documentary tonight: Ask most NASCAR fans and industry insiders to name the best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points battle in history and you’ll likely hear the 1992 Hooters 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway [originally broadcast on ESPN]. That memorable season finale had it all – six drivers with a mathematical chance of clinching the title, a nail-biting race considered one of the best of all time, the sport’s closest championship points margin to-date, the points leader’s crash into a spinning car, Richard Petty’s final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and Jeff Gordon’s debut with a less-than-championship-caliber pit crew. With all eyes on who will move a step closer to realizing their own championship dreams this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway with two races remaining to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, SPEED and NASCAR Media Group will flash back to the track’s 1992 Hooters 500 in a one-hour special premiering Thursday, September 1st at 8:00pm/et on SPEED. The program tells the story of NASCAR’s closest championship battle and quite possibly its greatest race through the eyes of Petty, Gordon, Larry McReynolds, Tim Brewer, Peter Jellen, Paul Andrews, Tony Gibson, Ryan Pemberton, Ray Evernham and Robbie Loomis. The Day: 1992 Hooters 500 also examines how TV producers orchestrated network coverage of the unprecedented title chase and kept up with the ever-changing points fluctuation throughout the 500-mile race.(SPEED)(9-1-2011)


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