- Steve Byrnes hospitalized: Fox Sports’ Steve Byrnes, who has been on leave from the network while battling Stage 4 head-and-neck cancer, is currently hospitalized. Byrnes tweeted Wednesday morning,”I am in ICU with pneumonia and a Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot) in my lung. Kind of a perfect storm on top of cancer. Thanks for prayers.”(4-8-2015)
- Ernie Elliott’s wife charged with aggravated assault UPDATE: The wife of famed NASCAR engine builder Ernie Elliott was arrested early Tuesday morning. Sheila G. Elliott, 63, was charged with felony aggravated assault in connection with an incident that occurred on March 18 at the family’s racing compound on Elliott Family Parkway. According to the arrest warrant, the suspect over revved the engine of her 2004 Mercedes Benz sedan and attempted to run her husband over with the vehicle, forcing him to climb “underneath a trailer for safety.” He was not injured during the incident, which was reported to local authorities on March 24, the same day a warrant was secured for Sheila Elliott’s arrest. Officers attempted to make an arrest that day, but were not able to do so due to a health concern. “Cpl. Ethan Taffar investigated and was about to take her into custody for aggravated assault under family violence when a medical condition arose, which had to be dealt with at that particular moment,” said Capt. Tony Wooten, sheriff’s spokesman. The nature of the argument that led to the alleged assault on March 18 was not publically revealed. Revered as one of NASCAR’s top engine builders, Ernie Elliott helped power brother Bill Elliott to numerous victories over the family’s 20-year collaboration, including his 1988 championship. He also built the engine that holds NASCAR’s Sprint Cup qualifying record. His engines have 39 wins, 148 top five’s, 291 top 10’s and 51 poles. As of Tuesday afternoon, she remained in police custody without bond. A hearing before a judge is set for today.(Dawson News)(4-1-2015)
UPDATE: The wife of famed NASCAR engine builder Ernie Elliott remained in custody Tuesday, nearly a week after she was arrested for reportedly trying to run him over. Magistrate Judge Tony Tarnacki set Sheila G. Elliott’s bond at $10,000 during her first appearance hearing on April 1. The 63-year-old Dawsonville woman may have no contact with her husband, according to the conditions of bond. Court records show that she also is required to stay away from business property on Elliott Family Parkway, where the alleged incident occurred.A preliminary hearing in Magistrate Court is set for April 29.(Dawson News)(4-8-2015)
- NASCAR announces All-Star Race format: Showcasing the sport’s top talent, NASCAR announced changes for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race that will elevate the excitement of this annual classic. Race coverage is set for 7:00pm/et, Saturday, May 16 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The field will include race winners from the 2014 and 2015 seasons, as well as all former NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winners and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions who are full-time competitors – all of whom will compete for the $1 million prize awarded to the winner. Prior to this change, former NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winners and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions were eligible only if they accomplished the feat within the previous 10 seasons.
In addition, the five-segment race will increase by a total of 20 laps, with the first four segments each scheduled for 25 laps as compared to 20 in recent years. With the final 10-lap shootout, the race now totals 110 laps.
The 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will have a minimum field of 20 drivers. There are currently 17 drivers eligible, with three additional spots available. Two of those are reserved for the segment winners from the two 20-lap Sprint Showdown segments beginning at 7:00pm/et, Friday, May 15 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The final spot belongs to the Sprint Fan Vote winner; voting at www.NASCAR.com/sprintfanvote and the NASCAR MOBILE application closes at 7:00pm/et on May 15. The winner of the Sprint Fan Vote will be announced in Victory Lane following the conclusion of the Sprint Showdown.
Drivers in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will compete in cars that conform to all 2015 rules. The race format will consist of a total of five segments: four 25-lap segments, with the average finish of the first four segments determining the order cars will enter pit road for a mandatory four-tire pit stop following the fourth segment. Running order ties will be broken by the finish of the fourth segment. The order of the cars returning to the track following the mandatory pit stop determines the starting order for a final winner-take-all 10-lap segment.
All laps will count in segments one through four. In the fifth and final segment, only green flag laps will be counted. There will be optional pit stops during the breaks following each of the first three segments, with the field set by the pit stop/stay out positioning during the five caution laps.
The following drivers are eligible to compete in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: #47-AJ Allmendinger, #43-Aric Almirola, #41-Kurt Busch, #18-Kyle Busch, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #19-Carl Edwards, #24-Jeff Gordon, #11-Denny Hamlin, #4-Kevin Harvick, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #5-Kasey Kahne, #20-Matt Kenseth (2004 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner), #2-Brad Keselowski, #22-Joey Logano, #1-Jamie McMurray (2014 winner), #31-Ryan Newman (2002 winner), #14-Tony Stewart (2009 winner).(NASCAR)(4-8-2015)
- Teams will get quicker access to video of pit road violations: Beginning with this weekend’s race at Texas, all Sprint Cup teams will be provided adequate bandwidth to allow videos detailing pit road infractions to be sent directly to the appropriate pit box. In late May, when the series moves to Charlotte Motor Speedway, similar connectivity will also be provided in each garage bay. Video showing an infraction is currently sent to the team in question – typically to their haulers where they have adequate bandwidth to handle video – almost as soon as it is received and processed by officials in the PRO trailer. Some teams have the capability and bandwidth to forward it along to their pit box, where the crew chief and any others may view it as well. Now, when a team commits and infraction, video evidence will be delivered to the crew chief on the pit box almost as soon as it occurs. (NASCAR.com)(4-8-2015)
- TaxAct returns to sponsor Patrick at Texas: Despite being a marketing phenom whose myriad endorsement deals easily will outlast her racing career, Danica Patrick likes reminding people that success can drive her sponsorship portfolio, too. She will be sporting a colorful and prominent reminder this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Patrick revealed that TaxAct had bought the hood of her #10 Chevy after sponsoring her in the March 29 race at Martinsville Speedway, where she finished a season-best seventh. “It was definitely a last-second thing that they were really happy about from Martinsville,” the Stewart-Haas Racing driver said Tuesday afternoon at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “I’ve always said when I do well, things happen. That’s an example of that. If I never, ever had good weekends, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Of course, I’d like to have them more than I do, but when I do, it’s a good perk with everything from media to the sponsors.” Patrick is off to her best start in Sprint Cup this season, which marks a critical juncture. It’s a contract year for her and primary sponsor GoDaddy, which recently went public April 1 with Patrick helping ring in the occasion on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.(NBC Sports)(4-8-2015)
- Knock’er Loose to debut on the #40: CRC Industries, Inc., the worldwide leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the maintenance and repair professional, serving industrial, electrical, aviation, automotive & marine markets, will debut a new industrial-themed paint scheme on the #40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car of Hillman Racing with driver Landon Cassill this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Cassill will pilot the #40 CRC KNOCK’ER LOOSE Chevy SS – the first of two races for CRC Industrial this season – in Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500. CRC Knock’er Loose Penetrating Solvent is specially formulated to dissolve rust, gum, grease and corrosion to allow quick removal of nuts, bolt, pins, screws, bushings, hinges and lugs. In addition to this weekend’s race in Texas, CRC Knock’er Loose returns as the primary sponsor of Cassill and the #40 Hillman Racing Chevy at Chicagoland Speedway on September 20.(Hillman Racing), see an image of the car on the #40 team paint schemes page.(4-8-2015)
- “Flipping Ships” sponsoring Allgaier: Justin Allgaier will drive the #51 Flipping Ships Chevy this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Flipping Ships is a TV series based around singer Edwin McCain and his Boats Have Souls business and is set to premier on Friday, April 24 at 10:00pm/et on Animal Planet. In the six-part series, Edwin takes abandoned boats and restores them for charity and clients. The first episode features Edwin’s friend and fellow singer, Darius Rucker, as they team up to restore a boat for the Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital charity auction.(HScott Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #51 team paint schemes page.(4-8-2015)
- Northland Oil debuts on the #46: Michael Annett’s #46 will be adorned at Texas by the logo and livery of Northland, a longtime Annett partner. Saturday’s race marks the first time Northland will act as a primary partner in the Sprint Cup Series. Northland Products Company, headquartered in Waterloo, Iowa, formulates, manufactures, markets and distributes premium quality engine oil, lubricants, engine coolants and associated fluids throughout North America.(HScott Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #46 team paint schemes page.(4-8-2015)
- Top 10 Driver Ratings at Texas Motor Speedway:
#20-Matt Kenseth 105.9
#48-Jimmie Johnson 105.7
#18-Kyle Busch 101.3
#16-Greg Biffle 100.9
#14-Tony Stewart 98.3
#99-Carl Edwards 95.9
#11-Denny Hamlin 93.5
#24-Jeff Gordon 93.2
#15-Clint Bowyer 91.4
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 91.1
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (20 total) among active drivers at Texas Motor Speedway. Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.<
See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)
- Texas Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same tire set-up at Texas this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams ran twice at Texas last season . . . this left-side tire code (D-4392) has been run by NASCAR teams at Texas since 2011 . . . this right-side tire code (D-4618) was introduced at this track last April . . . this right-side tire employs Goodyear’s multi-zone tread technology, which combines two distinct tread compounds on the same tire — the outside 10 inches of the tread features a compound that is designed for grip, while the inside two inches of the tread is toughened to enhance durability on the part of the tire sees the most heat and takes the most abuse . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Texas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire..(Goodyear). See tire codes, pressures and more on the Texas Race Info – Goodyear section.
- Texas Motor Speedway Notes & Facts – Wednesday – history:
· Construction on Texas Motor Speedway began in 1995.
· The first NASCAR national series race at TMS was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 5, 1997 – won by Mark Martin.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was on April 6, 1997 – won by Jeff Burton.
· The track underwent a repave between the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
· In 2011, the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was moved from Sunday to Saturday night under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.
· Texas Motor Speedway hosted its first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on November 6, 2005 – won by Carl Edwards.
· There have been 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one NSCS event from 1997 – 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
- New look for Conley at Texas: TriStar Motorsports and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) revealed a new paint scheme on the #14 Toyota Camry beginning this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Founded in 2004 by an Iraq veteran, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. IAVA has become the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA has repeatedly received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator. Conley expanded his relationship with IAVA beginning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and is taking it to the next level with the paint scheme upgrade. Conley’s Camry will run the green and yellow of IAVA indefinitely this season. As an avid supporter of current and former military, Conley is especially excited to represent them on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, participating in veteran events and hosting veterans at the track.(TriStar Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #14 team paint scheme page.(4-8-2015)
- Advocare sponsoring Wallace at Texas: This weekend at Texas Motor Speedway marks a double-feature for Roush Fenway Racing and primary sponsor AdvoCare. AdvoCare, the sponsor of the #6 Ford Fusion for driver Trevor Bayne in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will also adorn the hood of the #6 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for driver Bubba Wallace. AdvoCare is headquartered in Plano Texas, which is roughly 45 minutes from the Texas Motor Speedway.(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the car on the #6 team paint schemes page.(4-8-2015)
- ZZ Top to perform pre-race concert at Charlotte: ZZ Top, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, will bring their iconic tunes, trademark beards and dark sunglasses to Charlotte Motor Speedway for what promises to be an energetic pre-race concert to get fans revved up before the green flag falls on the Coca-Cola 600, Sunday, May 24. The concert was announced by Coca-Cola Racing Family driver Danica Patrick and Marcus Smith, president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Tuesday. Patrick, who said she grew up listening to ZZ Top, drove the “Little Ol’ Band From Texas” into a press event in a vintage Chevrolet Bel Air as the band’s classic “Sharp Dressed Man” played. Comprised of the same three members who formed the band in 1969 – Billy F. Gibbons (guitar), Dusty Hill (bass) and Frank Beard (drums) – ZZ Top will perform a 45-minute set in the infield of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway just hours before NASCAR’s best are scheduled to take the track for the ultimate test of man and machine. The concert is free for all Coca-Cola 600 race ticket holders. (CMS)(4-8-2015)
- Daytona Rising April Project Update: During the recent weeks, Daytona International Speedway continued demolition of the Sprint Tower as part of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Using a 490-foot Manitowoc 2250 Crawler Crane, the Speedway has already completed the removal of the Tower’s iconic front façade that featured “DAYTONA.” The Speedway will continue the 30-day demolition process with two additional phases. The next phases will involve the removal of elevated walkways and concessions between the Tower and the Speedway followed by general demolition of the Campbell Suites. Additional upcoming construction activities include: Ongoing elevator installation, Continuing miscellaneous framing and concrete installation, and Developing hospitality suites.(DIS)(4-8-2015)
8 APR 2002: Matt Kenseth drives en route to winning the NASCAR Winston Cup Series SamsungRadio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. DIGITAL IMAGE - Mandatory Credit: Jon Ferrey/Getty Images