- Entry List for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #11-Vickers is still listed as the driver, Denny Hamlin could return to the #11 if cleared by the doctor; #51-Allmendinger, #19-Bliss, #32-Hill, #98-McDowell, #33-Cassill and #52-Brian Keselowski. Since there are 43 drivers entered for 43 starting spots, no driver will miss the race.
See the full entry list at my Jayski’s Richmond Entry List
- New NASCAR Sprint Cup Road-Course Qualifying Procedure Announced: NASCAR announced that the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will implement the group-based road course qualifying procedure used in NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Touring Series competition during its road-course events at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International. Under the new procedure, cars will qualify in groups instead of the traditional single-car qualifying runs held on oval race tracks. "The change will add an exciting element to road-course qualifying," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition. "Fans will be treated to new strategy and increased competition with several cars on track at once."
The new qualifying rules for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at road courses are as follows:
· Cars attempting to qualify will be divided into groups. The number of groups, and amount of cars in each, will depend on the number of cars that practice for the event.
· Group assignments will be based on final practice times.
· Each qualifying group will be on-track for a set period of time, determined by the Series Director.
· A car’s best lap time during the group session will be the qualifying lap time of record.
· A group’s time begins when the first car receives the green flag at the start/finish line.
"This is going to be a terrific new format for our NASCAR weekend," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway. "It will intensify the action, with multiple cars on the track at the same time. It’s a very positive development for our fans."
"The new format of qualifying at Watkins Glen International enhances the fan experience which is our top priority," said Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen. "Qualifying on Saturday for our Cheez-ItTM 355 at The Glen is even more of a not-to-be missed aspect of a weekend of high-quality racing."
The new format will debut with the Toyota Save-Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 23 and will return at Watkins Glen for the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen on August 11.(NASCAR)(4-22-2013)
- Overnight Kansas TV Ratings: On a very busy sports weekend, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX led the network to a 3.9/9 Sunday afternoon for the STP 400 from Kansas City, KS. That’s up +5% over last year’s 3.7/9 for the same race. While yesterday’s race ranked as the second highest-rated event of the weekend behind ABC’s Lakers-Spurs NBA Playoff game (4.6/10) among the metered markets, the STP 400 on FOX may very well surpass the NBA telecast once the national ratings are released on Thursday. Through eight races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on FOX is averaging a 5.0/11 among the metered markets, up +11% over last year’s 4.5/9, see past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(4-22-2013)
- Dodge heading back to NASCAR soon? UPDATE 2: Ray Alexander, on hand for the LX-centric Spring Festival 8, reported that Ralph Gilles told him that NASCAR funding has been approved, and that Chrysler is talking to teams. While no details can be provided, because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, this is the first time a Chrysler official has confirmed that the company is working on a NASCAR re-entry. Last month, Mr. Gilles told Allpar in New York, in answer to a question about NASCAR, "Oh my God, I can’t talk about that right now. No comment on that." Chrysler’s return to NASCAR presumably remains contingent on being able to sign up competitive drivers and support crew (e.g. car and engine builders).(allpar.com)(4-22-2013)
UPDATE: allpar.com has added an update to this post: While it appears that Ralph Gilles did speak with Ray on this topic, there was a misunderstanding as to the context. Mr. Gilles appears to have been referring to why Dodge pulled out of NASCAR, and was essentially saying that it was not a funding issue – the funding had been approved, but there were other issues. At this time we are awaiting clarification from Chrysler, but it appears that Chrysler had the money earmarked for another NASCAR run but lost key personnel such as engine builders and top-tier teams.(4-22-2013)
UPDATE2 – NASCAR funding story off target: Yesterday [Sunday], Allpar broke the news that Ralph Gilles had confirmed Chrysler’s funding of NASCAR racing again. Unfortunately, while Mr. Gilles did say that funding for NASCAR had been approved, he was referring to the reasons why Dodge left NASCAR shortly before winning the championship last year, in essence saying that the budget was there for another season, but there were other reasons for leaving. In short, Mr. Gilles was quoted with the correct words but in the wrong context.
A Chrysler spokesman wrote, "Chrysler Group’s decision to leave NASCAR competition at the end of the 2012 season was based solely on not being able to develop the correct structure to fit our overall business and competitive objectives." At the time Chrysler withdrew, Mr. Gilles said that Penske had offered a "one-stop shop" for engines, drivers, and sponsors that could not be replaced in a way that would allow SRT to race at the level that was desired, in the time available. Mr. Gilles was contacted by the spokesman, and confirmed that he did not say that funding had been approved for a new run, but was saying that funding had been approved for the current season, when other factors caused the company to withdraw.(allpar.com)(4-22-2013)
- Kurt Busch to test V8 Supercar at COTA: Sprint Cup Series driver #78-Kurt Busch will add another form of professional motorsports to his driving resume. The former NASCAR champion, who has driven an Indy car, sports car and an NHRA Pro Stocker, will take part in a car swap Tuesday (April 23) with the Australian V8 Supercars Series during a media event at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. While Busch will be testing a Holden Commodore V8 Supercar, his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS will also be at the track with an offer to the Australian V8 drivers in attendance – James Courtney and Fabian Coulthard – to pilot the Sprint Cup car around the 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit. "I’m flattered to be invited by Circuit of The Americas and the Australian V8 Supercars Series to participate in this unique event," Busch said. "Getting a chance to drive a V8 Supercar was high on my wish list, and the chance to do it at Circuit of The Americas makes this a dream opportunity." The V8 Supercars Series, Australia’s premier motorsports category, is scheduled to compete May 17-19 at the Circuit of The Americas, which will also host the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix later in the year.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(4-22-2013)
- Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 STP 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:19 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
Total number of commercials: 122
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 60
Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 112
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 57
Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 10
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 8
Number of times Fox utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 3
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 43
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 35 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:19 PM
Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 199
Minutes of race broadcast: 149
Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 50
Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 6
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1
Total race brdcst time 149 Total comm. brdcst time 50
See links, other news and past races on the TV Commercials page.(4-22-2013)
- Three races wins in a row from the pole, last time?: It’s been a while since races have been won from the pole three consecutive times, which is what has happened this season after #20-Matt Kenseth’s victory Sunday at Kansas Speedway [Johnson won from the pole at Martinsville and Kyle Busch won last week at Texas from the pole]. The last time it happened was 1985 when Bill Elliott (Michigan), Dale Earnhardt Sr. (Bristol) and Elliott (Darlington) did it.(Charlotte Observer). In the modern era [1972-current] it also happened during the 1980, 1975, 1973 and 1972(5 races) season.
Four races in a row? the last time Sprint Cup Series races have been won from the FOUR three consecutive times? in 1981 when Darrell Waltrip won four races in a row, all from the pole: Martinsville, North Wilkesboro, Charlotte and Rockingham, late in the 1981 season. In 1972 it happened in five consecutive races.(4-22-2013)
- Racing and motorsports industry legends to be inducted into Motorsports Hall of Fame of America: Racing and motorsports industry legends Jack Chrisman, Harvey Firestone, Masten Gregory, Brad Lackey, Bud Moore, Robert E. Petersen and Alex Zanardi will be this year’s Silver Anniversary inductees into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America at the organization’s 25th Annual Induction Ceremony that will be held on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit. "There is no better way to celebrate our 25th anniversary than with an induction class that showcases a true variety of American motorsports with an international flair," said Ron Watson, President of the Motorsports Hall of Fame. "This year’s Silver Anniversary group features a champion rider and drivers, a title-winning team owner, a legendary publisher and an industrial giant whose name still graces racing tires today." The Silver Anniversary celebration will also see chassis constructor and technology innovator Bob Riley receive the Hall’s Bob Russo Motorsports Heritage Award for his numerous contributions to racing. The eight honorees combined account for countless race wins and numerous North American and World Championships in IndyCar, NASCAR, NHRA, AMA, motocross and sports car racing and victories in such legendary races as the Indianapolis 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Tickets for the induction ceremony can be purchased by calling 1-248-349-RACE (7223) or by visiting the Hall of Fame’s website www.mshf.com.(MSHF.com)(4-22-2013)
- Farmland donates $20k to Harvesters: Farmland Foods presented $20,000 to Harvesters-The Community Food Network on Friday as part of an expanding effort by the company to raise awareness of hunger issues around the country. The donation is a first step toward Farmland’s yearlong goal of raising $100,000 for Harvesters. The announcement follows more than $60,000 in donations in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Fontana, Calif., earlier this year as part of Farmland’s partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports to promote hunger awareness in race communities. In addition to the $20,000, 43 cases of Farmland Oven Perfect were donated in honor of the #43 Ford made famous by Richard Petty. Oven Perfect is new, fresh pork tenderloin that is already marinated, seasoned and ready to cook right in the package. This easy-to-prepare meal will help to ensure families, children and seniors in the Kansas City area have access to much-needed protein. Richard Petty, legendary racecar driver and team owner, and Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Ford, have helped present the checks with Farmland in each of the four communities.(RPM/Farmland Foods)(4-22-2013)
- Entry List:There are 46 cars on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s Toyota Care 250 at Richmond International Raceway. A few notes:
Michael McDowell returns to the #00;
Jeffrey Earnhardt will drive the #5 for JR Motorsports;
Scott Lagassee returns with his #8 team;
Ryan Reed will make his NNS debut in the Roush #16;
Tanner Berryhill will make his 2013 debut in the #17;
Kenny Wallace will drive the #29 for Robby Benton;
Derek Thorn will be in the #52 for Jimmy Means;
Morgan Shepherd returns with his #89 team.(4-22-2013)
See the complete list on the Richmond entry list page.
- Ryan Reed to make Nationwide debut at Richmond: Ryan Reed will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with Roush Fenway Racing in the #16 Drive to Stop Diabetes Ford Mustang Friday, April 26, 2013 at Richmond International Raceway. Reed, age 19, has proven that life has no limits as a race car driver with diabetes. The Bakersfield, California native has been racing since the age of four and was diagnosed two years ago at age 17 with type 1 diabetes and was told he would never drive again. Reed recently announced his collaboration with the American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop Diabetes campaign as well as becoming the newest driver in Roush Fenway Racing stable of development drivers. Reed will take to the ¾-mile Richmond International Raceway to launch the Drive to Stop Diabetes awareness campaign where he will use his motorsports platform to be an advocate to educate people on and off the race track. Reed’s blood glucose levels will be carefully monitored by his Roush Fenway Racing team. In the rare event that Reed experiences a high in his blood glucose levels; his Drive to Stop Diabetes driver’s suit has a bulls-eye target spot that will show a crewman where to give him an injection of insulin during the race. Reed isn’t too worried though, as he has never had a problem before. Reed will compete in a number of NASCAR Nationwide Series races for Roush Fenway Racing in 2013 and the #16 Ford Mustang will adorn the American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop Diabetes paint scheme. Dexcom and Playseat participate as associate partners on the #16 Drive to Stop Diabetes Roush Fenway Racing Ford Mustang at Richmond International Raceway.(Reed PR)(4-22-2013)
- Lofton cuts schedule: Justin Lofton will take four months off from the Truck Series. Robby Gordon has reinvigorated Stadium Truck Racing, developing the Speed Energy Stadium Super Truck Series. Lofton had committed to a few of the races, but after participating in the first race of the season in Arizona and taking part in the exhibition race in Long Beach over the weekend, Lofton has decided he wants to pursue the $500,000 championship prize in the Stadium Truck Series. He will resume competing in the Camping World Truck Series once the Speed Energy season is over. (KXO Radio)
AND: Eddie Sharp Racing confirmed that Lofton has reduced his schedule, adding that the #6 will continue to run full-time. Initially, Lofton was going to run upwards of 10 races on tracks larger than one mile for ESR. After Lofton ran Daytona, the 6 has since been filled by Devin Jones, Tyler Young, and Danny Efland. (4-22-2013)
- Cushioned seat rentals at Richmond: Richmond International Raceway and IMG Seating are teaming up to offer padded seat rentals for the April 26-27 NASCAR weekend at RIR. Seat rentals are $8 per event and available for both the Saturday, April 27, Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Friday, April 26, ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The seats feature three-inch padded cushion and back support and will be attached to your seat and waiting for you before you enter the grandstand gates on race day.* To reserve your seat, you can add on during your purchasing process; or, if you already have tickets, click here to add your cushioned seat rental for Saturday. Click here to add your cushioned seat rental for Friday, or call 866-455-7223. This service is not available for guests who sit in the Commonwealth Tower Grandstand, as these seats already have seat backs. Guests who have general admission seating for the Friday, April 26 race must pick up their cushioned seats at any customer service location on-site with a photo ID.(RIR)(4-22-2013)
- Off-site parking and shuttle offered at Richmond: Fans attending the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 27, 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, April 27, 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, April 27. The shuttle runs continuously back and forth throughout the afternoon and evening, with pick-up/drop-off at 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: rir.com.
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, April 27 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.
Tickets are on sale now for the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, more info at rir.com.(RIR)(4-22-2013)
- House OKs IMS bill, despite dispute over funding source: A bill to help pay for $100 million in improvements at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway passed the House on Monday-but only on its second try, as some lawmakers expressed frustration about a funding source for the project. That funding-money now dedicated to the horse racing industry for purses and breeding programs-is actually part of another bill. But several lawmakers viewed the pair as a package, despite insistence by the Speedway bill’s sponsor, Rep. Tim Brown, R-Crawfordsville, that lawmakers should consider the proposals separately. SB 91 also creates a new $1 tax on the tickets for major events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and captures new sales and income tax revenues generated there. Those revenue streams would be used to help pay off the bonds.(more at the Indianapolis Business Journal)(4-22-2013)