- Kahne has surgery on knee again: Kasey Kahne tweeted that he had knee surgery again on Monday [April 18th] as he re tore his meniscus. Kahne says the knee just about feels better now then it has the last month and that he will be driving at Richmond [in The Sprint Cup race]. Kahne has surgery on both knee’s in November 2010 to clean up the area surrounding the knees.(4-22-2011)
- Johnson to run the #5 in All-Star race? UPDATE confirmed: hearing Jimmie Johnson will run the #5 Lowe’s car in the All Star Race to promote a special promotion for Lowe’s 5% discount for using their credit cards. Could be one reason Mark Martin is running the #25 in the event. Have seen nothing to confirm this yet or any images.(4-20-2011)
UPDATE: Jimmie [Johnson] will drive a special #5 Lowe’s Chevy in the All Star race to promote 5% off every day or special financing on purchases over $299 on Lowe’s Home Improvement’s consumer credit card purchases. Pictures of the special paint scheme will be unveiled exclusively here (facebook) on May 15.(Lowe’s Racing Facebook)(4-22-2011)
- Brian Keselowski to attempt next three races: Brian Keselowski will resume his driving duties in the #92 Dodge for the Sprint Cup race Richmond International Raceway. After suffering from emergency gallbladder surgery, Keselowski had to take a step back and recover. Keselowski was not able to drive at Bristol and had long time driver/friend Dennis Setzer step in and take over. Keselowski was forced to withdraw from Auto Club Speedway and was not yet medically cleared to race at Martinsville. Once again Dennis Setzer stepped in and drove the #92. An unfortunate wreck during practice at Martinsville put the K-Automotive Motorsports #92 out of contention early that weekend [the team had no backup car] and contributed to withdrawing their entries from Texas and Talladega. K-Automotive Motorsports took that time to rebuild and regroup and are now ready to get back on the track and go racing. Brian Keselowski has fully recovered and has been granted clearance by his doctors and NASCAR to return to his drivers seat in the #92 K-Automotive Motorsports Dodge. Plans are for Keselowski to drive Richmond, Darlington and Dover.(Brian Keselowski site)(4-22-2011)
- TBR set thru Kansas, unknown after UPDATE: on Monday’s NASCAR Now on ESPN2, #36 Chevy Sprint Cup Series team owner Tommy Baldwin said his team will race all events through Kansas and are working on more sponsorship so driver Dave Blaney can run the full season. Baldwin says he will evaluate things after Dover when the teams come back to the Charlotte area.(4-19-2011)
UPDATE: After leading the second-most laps (21) last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway and coming close to scoring at least his first top 10 since 2008, Dave Blaney is hoping he and the #36 Tommy Baldwin Racing team can continue to run whole races and gain on the momentum that has been building for the third-year Sprint Cup Series team. "Yeah, we’ve got some [races] lined up. Hopefully, we’ll have something firmed up with Golden Corral soon to run a few more. And Accell Construction has been with us for a few races and are going to do a few more," Blaney told News/Talk WSB during a test Wednesday at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson. "We’ll keep doing that – see how many races he can get sponsored and see how many we can afford to run. You know, funding determines how hard you can run, how much equipment you can afford to burn up." #36 team owner, Tommy Baldwin, told ESPN’s NASCAR Now earlier this week that the team has funding through the June 5th Kansas Speedway race, but then would have to evaluate his Cup program after that. Blaney says that team will at least be able to go to all of the races. "For sure. We are going to go to all of them, no doubt. It’s just when you get there, can you swing racing hard all day. That’s the question. We have [raced hard] every race this year and hopefully can keep that going." In other words, Blaney says that the #36 team will start-and-park at races that it does not have adequate funding, a practice that is prevalent amongst smaller teams in each of NASCAR’s top-three national series. The #36 has only started-and-parked once this season, after doing so in the majority of races last year.(
- Sprint Fan Vote Closes in on One Million Votes at Halfway Mark: Sprint announced Thursday that voting continues at a record pace in the 2011 Sprint Fan Vote, which allows fans to place a driver into the field of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. In the four weeks since voting began on March 23, NASCAR fans have cast more than 900,000 votes for their favorite Sprint Fan Vote eligible drivers. If voting continues at this pace, the final vote total will eclipse the 1.5 million mark set during last year’s Sprint Fan Vote window. The top 10 drivers in the Sprint Fan Vote standings (in alphabetical order) are A.J. Allmendinger, Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr. and Brian Vickers. Although David Ragan and Michael Waltrip are just outside the top 10, a strong voting effort this week by fans of either driver could boost them into the list of top vote recipients. Voting continues until 5:00pm/et on Saturday, May 21. More info on how and where to vote on my 2011 All-Star Race page.(4-22-2011)(Sprint)(4-22-2011)
- Sad News – Jonathan Bunting: Jonathan William Bunting, age 33, of 1702 Brittany Way, Archdale, NC died Wednesday, April 20, 2011. A memorial service will be held Saturday, April 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm at Central Carolina Community Church with Rev. Edward J. Arroyo officiating. Jonathan was a native of Asheboro and a 1996 graduate of Asheboro High School. He was a member of Central Carolina Community Church and was employed with Roush Fenway Racing in Concord, NC. He is survived by his wife, Charity Trogdon Bunting; son, Thomas William Bunting of the home; daughter, Alexandria Kate Bunting of the home. More info, the obit and services at the Pugh Funeral Home site.(4-22-2011)
- FedEx Corp to sponsor Dover race; support Autism Speaks: FedEx Corp., Autism Speaks and Dover International Speedway announced that the Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway on May 15, 2011 will be named the "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks." As part of the race sponsorship, and to help increase public awareness of autism and raise funds for continued research, there will be opportunities for fans to show their support through special ticket packages and unique race-weekend experiences. In addition, FedEx will make a donation of $100,000 to Autism Speaks if Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota Camry, wins the race. The FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks marks the first time they have sponsored a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Fans are encouraged to show their support for Autism Speaks by taking advantage of the following opportunities.
– Special FedEx 400 Race Charity Ticket Package: The package, priced at $111, offers two tickets (regularly priced at $84 each) to the May 15 event with proceeds going directly to Autism Speaks. Supplies are limited and fans are encouraged to visit www.DoverSpeedway.com/FedEx400 or call the Dover ticket office at 800-441-RACE and mention "FedEx 111."
– Race Weekend Experience Auctions: The premier package is highlighted by the opportunity to wave the green flag to start the Cup race after joining the Sprint Cup drivers on stage for driver introductions. The package also includes two all-access pit passes, a garage tour, overnight accommodations in the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, luxury suite passes, and a green flag signed by the starting lineup of the race. A second package features two seats in the unique Monster Bridge. Proceeds from the auction go to Autism Speaks. Visit DoverSpeedway.com and click on the Autism Speaks button to place a bid.
– Support Autism Speaks Directly: Fans can text "autism" to "25383" to donate $10 instantly. Standard messaging charges apply and the donation will appear as a charge on your cell phone bill. In addition, donation locations will also be set up during the race weekend for those fans interested in donating on-site to Autism Speaks.(FedEx)(4-22-2011)
- Group seeks NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Iowa: A group of Iowans have banded together in hopes of bringing a NASCAR Sprint Cup race to the Iowa Speedway in Newton, IA. The Green Flag Alliance, a coalition that includes Newton mayor Chaz Allen, says it’s seeking to boost fan interest and sponsorship support in hopes of landing stock car’s premier circuit. The group says it’s the perfect time for the Speedway to host a Sprint Cup race after landing two lower-tier NASCAR Nationwide races for 2011. The group says that analysis from other markets indicates that a Sprint Cup race can generate as much as $150 million to the local economy.(Associated Press/USA Today)(4-22-2011)
- Construction work at Kentucky Speedway affects testing: Construction work at Kentucky Speedway has prompted a two-day IndyCar test to be canceled and pushed back a NASCAR tire test to be pushed back. The IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights had an open test planned for May 9-10 at the track. Teams were notified about the cancellation Wednesday and told IndyCar is looking into scheduling a one-day test at a similar oval. Goodyear invited seven NASCAR Sprint Cup teams to a May 17 test at Kentucky Speedway to confirm the tire setup for the inaugural Quaker State 400 on July 9. That tire test now will take place June 1. The date change could affect the driver lineup. As of last week it included #16-Greg Biffle (Roush Fenway Racing, Ford), #29-Kevin Harvick (Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet), #2-Brad Keselowski (Penske Racing, Dodge), #38-Travis Kvapil (Front Row Motorsports, Ford), #20-Joey Logano (Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota), #5-Mark Martin (Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet) and #00-David Reutimann (Michael Waltrip Racing, Toyota).
The culprit isn’t the racing surface but construction going on around it. The rescheduling comes after crews recently removed the inside retaining wall from the exit of pit road, through Turns 1 and 2, and down much of the backstretch. "We’re doing some grading there and also putting in a new wall with the SAFER barrier," Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Bruton Smith said. "This is just to make it better and safer. That’s what it’s all about." Workers framed the pit stalls earlier this week and poured concrete Thursday. While The pit stalls will be concrete, but pit road itself will be asphalt. The changes are part of a massive effort to get the track ready for its Sprint Cup debut, and to handle the more than 100,000 fans expected to attend the July 9 race. "I think we’ve made some great strides," Smith said. "We’ve improved parking tremendously and the road system a great deal. Adding 12 more elevators and the extra camping and concessions and souvenirs, all the things we’re doing there to accommodate the crowd, that’s what we’re about."(Cincinnati Enquirer)(4-22-2011)
- Hamilton Jr. in #1 for RWR at Nashville & more; sponsors added: Rick Ware Racing is proud to announce the return of Bobby Hamilton Jr to their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series #1 entry. In 2010, Hamilton Jr. drove the RWR truck to consistent finishes in the top 15 and looks to run towards the front in front of his home crowd at Nashville Superspeedway. Race Fuel Energy Drink has come on board for this weekend and their logo is on the hood and bed of the #1 Chevy Silverado. Direct Auto Insurance also returns as sponsor for Bobby Hamilton Jr. RWR team representative also said Hamilton will be running more races for RWR; tracks TBD.(RWR PR)(4-22-2011)