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CHARLOTTE, NC - APRIL 25: Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives a statement announcing his retirement from NASCAR after the 2017 season at the Hendrick Motorsports Team Center on April 25, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) | Getty Images

April 25 – Today in Jayski’s NASCAR history

April 25, 2012

  • Will Chevy’s new car be the SS? From Autoblog: Count us eager to get behind the wheel of whatever a "2014 Chevrolet SS Performance" turns out to be. Hopefully the appearance of [a] reference on the OnStar website is more than just a digital placeholder. Chevy SS rumors have been swirling lately, with General Motors registering the "SS" trademark earlier this month, just days after & spy shooters caught what looked like a hotted-up Impala. Then there’s the NASCAR situation: Chevrolet has said its new entry in the racing series will be both a new vehicle and a new nameplate. We’re guessing that car isn’t going to be the Spark. So this new OnStar "leak," if it is such a thing, would point to the Chevy SS being a separate model. If we are reading our tea leaves correctly, the model will be derived from the rear-drive Holden Commodore (the same Zeta architecture that underpins Chevrolet’s law-enforcement-only Caprice PPV), while the brand’s front-drive Impala will get a new, sportier variant. We’d also assume that the long-wheelbase version of the Commodore used for the Caprice cop car would donate its top-level powertrain, the 355-horsepower, 6.0-liter V8.(Autoblog)(4-25-2012)
  • Goodyear will test at Bristol’s new surface: With the track changes at Bristol Motor Speedway, Goodyear felt the need to hold a tire test to evaluate the new surface. We’re happy with our current tire set-up at Bristol but we always have to keep up with track changes, so we plan to run a test to determine what will best suit the specific modifications made to Bristol," said Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager of worldwide racing. "We will start out our test with the existing Bristol tire set-up, in order to determine if the changes to the track surface require any changes to our tread compound formulation. We’ll then evaluate if the track surface has changed and if we’ll need to bring back something different for the race in August." Being a concrete surface, we always need to manage the ‘rubbering in’ process," added Grant. "Concrete seems to be more sensitive to taking rubber, so we need to make sure we get the right combination of tires to match up with this race track. The most important thing to us is making sure the actual racing surface is the same from the bottom of the track to the top." Goodyear’s tire test will be held at Bristol on June 12-13. Participating teams are to be determined.(Goodyear)(4-25-2012)
  • Johnson named most influential athlete: From the year of the NASCAR driver to the year of the quarterback. Last year three drivers from the NASCAR circuit made [the Forbes] list of America’s Most Influential Athletes, led by perennial Sprint Cup Series champ #48-Jimmie Johnson. NASCAR hasn’t exactly faded. Johnson, whose talent and guy-next-door demeanor endears him to fans, as well as to marketing chiefs of brands like Chevrolet, Quaker State and Lowe’s, repeats as America’s most influential athlete, based on public opinion polling. But fellow drivers #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (down from #3 to #7) and #24-Jeff Gordon (off the list this year) didn’t keep up, making way for newcomers like Jeremy Lin and Manny Pacquaio, and for the rise of several pro quarterbacks. This year, six of the 10 most influential athletes are NFL signal callers, with both Manning brothers now in the fold. In second place is Tim Tebow, who shot up from #10 last year after claiming the Denver Broncos’ starting job and igniting "Tebowmania" across the country. Chalk it up to the dominance of pro football on television. Not many shows can match the 30 million viewers that the NFL gets for a playoff game, let alone the 100 million or so who tune in for the Super Bowl. Nielsen and E-Poll surveyed over 1,100 adults about dozens of well-known athletes to measure their likeability and whether they’re considered "influential," an important quality for marketers. Candidates were limited to pro athletes who are currently active and who score at least 20% "awareness" with the general public.(Forbes)(4-25-2012)
  • Will Power named first quarter Driver of the Year: The IndyCar Series’ Will Power was named winner of the Driver of the Year panel’s first-quarter award. Power edged NHRA Funny Car driver Robert Hight by a single point to earn the award, which goes to the top driver in United States-based racing series. It is voted upon by a panel of 21 racing-media members. Power, who drives a Chevrolet-powered Dallara DW12 for Team Penske, has won two of the first three races on the 2012 schedule. He won on the Barber Motorsports Park road circuit in Alabama and on the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach’s street circuit. Greg Biffle, who led the Sprint Cup Series in points for the quarter – which ended with his victory at Texas Motor Speedway – finished third with two first-place votes and 78 points. A total of 16 drivers scored points in the third quarter voting. In its’ 46th year, the Driver of the Year Award is unique. The panel of 21 leading journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. determines the winner. Votes are held quarterly. A year-end vote determines the overall Driver of the Year.(PR)(4-25-2012)
  • BB&T; returns to the #31: Jeff Burton’s #31 Chevy will sport the burgundy and gray colors of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T; this weekend. The #31 BB&T; Chevy paint scheme debuted in March at Bristol Motor Speedway and made an appearance earlier this month at Martinsville Speedway. After this weekend, BB&T; will be the primary sponsor in May at Darlington Raceway and Dover International Speedway in June along with a special edition co-branded paint scheme with Caterpillar at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.(RCR), see an image of the car on the #31 team paint schemes page.(4-25-2012)
  • Charlotte names race officials: Every celebration needs an emcee, so it stands to reason that Charlotte Motor Speedway will need two for the 10 greatest days of racing, May 18-27, which includes the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the 53rd running of the Coca-Cola 600. Two personalities from the Charlotte air-waves will serve as the speedway’s ambassadors of fun beginning May 1 and lasting through the final lap of NASCAR’s greatest test of man and machine, the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27. Fox Charlotte’s Jon Wilson, of the famed "Wilson’s World" segments on the popular Fox News Rising morning show, has been named Master of Ceremonies and he will serve alongside former Miss Sprint Cup and current radio personality on The Ace & TJ Show, Monica Palumbo, who has been named Mistress of Ceremonies for the 10 greatest days of racing. The fun at Charlotte Motor Speedway begins on Friday, May 18 with the N.C. Education Lottery 200 and qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and lasts through the 53rd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27.(CMS)(4-25-2012)
  • Bristol Motor Speedway will remove progressive banking: Less than a month after fan feedback convinced him to make changes to the concrete surface at Bristol Motor Speedway, Bruton Smith, Chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, announced his plans for significant modifications to the track. "I said when this process began last month that I would listen to what the fans said they wanted," Smith said. "After a week to 10 days, there was no question that the overwhelming majority was asking for alterations to the track. Since March 28, when we announced that changes would be made, we have listened to fans, heard from drivers and talked to engineers about what to do and how much time we had to do it. Once we knew the direction, we located the right equipment to make it happen." The changes concentrate on the progressive banking applied when the current track surface was put in place in the summer of 2007. "The majority of fans we heard from said they wanted adjustments made and the bulk of those said the progressive banking was what they didn’t like," said Smith in explaining the decision-making process. "So, that’s the focus of our efforts. And that is what we are working to change." When the deteriorating BMS track surface was replaced in 2007, variable banking was added. Often referred to as "progressive" because the degrees increase from bottom to top, the layout provided multiple lanes of racing on the famed short track. Smith said the choice to change the track surface did not come easy, but listening to the race fans always has served him well. "More and more fans kept asking us to do something to the track," Smith said. "So I put it out there. They spoke and we listened. I want them to be happy; I want them to love their experience in Bristol. This will accomplish that and I know they will be pleased with the result."(BMS)(4-25-2012)
  • Restaurant.com to sponsor Mike Wallace: JD Motorsports, Restaurant.com and HalfOffDeals.com have entered into an agreement for Primary and Co-Sponsorship on the team’s #01 Chevy driven by Mike Wallace for the 2012 season. Restaurant.com com is the leading provider of restaurant savings nationwide. The company offers nearly 50,000 daily deals at more than 18,000 restaurants across the country. Customers can visit Restaurant.com or download the Restaurant.com iPhone app to search for restaurant deals in their area or while traveling to the races. The agreement begins with an associate status for this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway, and will move to a Primary Partnership for Talladega Superspeedway the following weekend. Restaurant.com’s Primary Partnership will continue through all four races in the month of May. (JD Motorsports)(4-25-2012)
  • Pastrana ready for series debut: When #99-Travis Pastrana makes his much anticipated NASCAR Nationwide Series debut Friday night at Richmond International Raceway, he’ll have one goal in mind – finish on the lead lap. The 11-time X Games gold medal winner expects to run in seven Nationwide Series races in 2012 with RAB Racing, who formed a Nationwide alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing this month. The 28-year-old action sports star will also run in Thursday’s K&N; Pro Series East race in Pastrana199’s #99 iRacing Toyota.(RAB Racing)(4-25-2012)
  • Childhood Cancer Initiative featured on Whitt’s #88: CURE Childhood Cancer’s Press On Fund will be featured on Cole Whitt’s #88 TaxSlayer.com Chevy in Nationwide Series events at Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway as part of a collaborative effort by TaxSlayer and JR Motorsports to raise awareness in the fight against childhood cancer. The Press On Fund’s goal is two-fold: to achieve a greater cure rate for pediatric neuroblastoma and AML, which represents the two childhood cancers with the lowest survival rates. It also aims to mitigate the potentially devastating side effects of current therapies. Press On Fun is a named fund of CURE Childhood Cancer, a 501(c)(3) with a long standing reputation for its commitment to supporting families and finding a CURE. To accomplish its goals, the Press On Fund provides grants to scientists and institutions conducting research into novel, targeted therapies for neuroblastoma and AML. In just under three years the Press On Fund has invested more than $770,000 to save children’s lives.(JR Motorsports)(4-25-2012)

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