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BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 22:  Brad Keselowski driver of the #88 U.S. Navy Chevrolet celebrates in victory Lane with car owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2008 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR) | Getty Images

April 29 – Today in Jayski’s NASCAR history

April 29, 2010

  • Final Talladega TV Ratings higher: Sunday’s race from Talladega earned a 5.2/12 (8.5 million viewers) on Fox, a +4% improvement over last year’s 5.0/12 and the second regularly scheduled NASCAR race in a row to post a slight increase over last year. Sunday’s Talladega race was down -16% year-to-year among Men 18-34 (1.6 vs. 1.9), and for the year to date NASCAR is now down -30% among Men 18-34 (1.6 vs. 2.3). Meanwhile, while younger viewers have been slow to come to NASCAR, the trend among older viewers has picked up. Viewing among Men 35+ has been up in each of the last three regularly scheduled races, and for the entire season Men 35+ are down by just a tenth of a point (-2%, 6.2 vs. 6.3). On a Household basis, NASCAR is down -4% for the season-to-date (5.3/11 vs. 5.5/11). FOX’s last three Sunday afternoon NASCAR races have each aired one hour earlier than they did a year ago. Those three races – Atlanta, Bristol, and Talladega – have averaged a 5.0/12, which is identical to the performance of the same races a year ago. The earlier start times don’t appear to be helping or hurting viewership in any meaningful way. Initial tune-in was down -2% for the Atlanta race (4.3 vs. 4.4), flat at Bristol (4.0), and down -2% at Talladega (4.4 vs. 4.5). Those trivial differences in Atlanta and Talladega were then made up later in the races, which may be because NASCAR faces slightly lesser competition by going earlier, or may simply be a function of the races just being more exciting this year. Both the Atlanta and Talladega races were run at faster average speeds and had more lead changes this year. See season ratings, race-to-race, 4 year comparison, , race-chart on more on my 2010 TV Ratings.(4-29-2010)
  • Chase Notes & Stats: #11-Denny Hamlin, who many think is one of the leading contenders to unseat Jimmie Johnson in 2010, has made up 13 spots in
    the standings and scored the second most points over the last five races, despite having major knee surgery in the middle of the period. He is second in wins (2) and his fourth at Talladega has him on a roll heading to his home track at Richmond. Eleven drivers are within one race (161 points or less) of the Top 12, the most in the seven-year history of The Chase. Five (Carl Edwards -15, Tony Stewart -21, Ryan Newman -87, Juan Montoya -123, Kasey Kahne -156), made the Chase last year. Every current member of the Top 12 has made the Chase at least twice before. In addition to Hamlin’s +13 over the last five races, Ryan Newman is +11 and
    Kyle Busch is +10. Paul Menard has lost nine spots over the last five races. For season-to-season comparision and more, see my Chase stats after Talladega page and 2010 Chase Rules, Notes and History page.(4-29-2010)
  • Rockets to Race Car at Richmond: From better brakes and safer tires to heat-resistant paint and cleaner emissions, NASA’s contributions to the racing world will be featured in the traveling exhibit: "From Rockets to Race Cars" the NASCAR weekend of April 30-May 1 at the Richmond International Raceway. Over the years, NASA has provided technology that not only helps the racing world, but also improves conditions for all drivers while helping to protect the environment. On display will be a quarter-scale NASA Benefits Race Car as well as a Wheel Exhibit, that includes a NASCAR tire, Shuttle tire, Lunar Rover tire, Lunar Tweel (a non-pneumatic tire/wheel combination) and a Spring Tire allowing fans the opportunity to see, touch and compare the wheels of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Fans will get a shot at NASA Spin the Wheel where they can win prizes if they answer NASA-related questions correctly. A "Rockets to Race Car" photo opportunity will allow visitors to have a photo taken with their own camera in which they look like they are sitting in a NASA Race Car. To find out what else NASA and NASCAR have in common, check out the exhibit at select NASCAR races through June. NASA’s "From Rockets to Race Cars" will be at the following races:
    * Richmond International Raceway, April 30-May 1
    * Charlotte Motor Speedway, May 29-30
    * Kentucky Speedway, June 11-12.(NASA)(4-29-2010)
  • Richmond Tire Notes: Teams in both NASCAR series in action at Richmond this weekend will run the same tire codes . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in these two series ran at Richmond last season . . . this is also the same tire set-up that Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams ran at Phoenix earlier this month, as well as in both races at that track last season . . . teams in these series ran this left-side tire code (D-4238) with a slightly different right-side code at New Hampshire last season . . . Nationwide teams also ran this left-side code at Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Memphis in 2009 . . . 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 is every 90-100 laps, based on fuel mileage(Goodyear). See tire codes, pressures and more on my Richmond Race Info page.(4-29-2010)
  • Reutimann’s Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Talladega: David Reutimann’s over-the-wall crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. The fast pit stops by the #00 crew at the 2.66-mile tri-oval helped Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) attain its third Tissot win of the season. The #56 MWR crew for Martin Truex Jr. leads the Tissot standings with two wins. Reutimann’s Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota spent the least amount of time on pit road – 208.560 seconds – during the 200-lap overtime race, which saw a maximum of three green-white-checkered restarts. David Ragan’s UPS Ford was second (214.115) and Kyle Busch’s M&M’s Toyota was third (238.719). Reutimann’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Ryan Langley (front-tire changer), Chris Hall (front-tire carrier), Eric Maycroft (rear-tire changer), Donnie Marvel (rear-tire carrier), Tony Cardamone (jackman), Aaron Pieratt (gasman), Jeff Seaberg (catch can) and Nate Kennedy (Eighth Man). The team’s crew chief is Rodney Childers. The winning pit crew in each Sprint Cup race will earn $5,000 and a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.(Tissot)(4-29-2010)
  • Coupons.com sponsoring Kenseth at Richmond: – Roush Fenway Racing and Coupons.com announced that Coupons.com will serve as the primary sponsor for the #16 NASCAR Nationwide Series team at Richmond International Raceway and Darlington Raceway with NASCAR champion driver Matt Kenseth at the helm of the #16 Coupons.com Ford. Coupons.com also introduces a #16 racing-themed version of the site at http://racing.coupons.com during the sponsorship.(Roush Fenway PR)(4-29-2010)
  • Dale Jr. to run #3 car at Daytona NNS race? UPDATE 2: If arrangements go as planned, Earnhardt will run the #3 Wrangler Chevrolet for JR Motorsports at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on July 2. Sources have told FOXSports.com that Earnhardt will revive his father’s famous #3 in a collaborative effort initiated by JR Motorsports with Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. A formal announcement is expected on April 29. According to team sources, a Hendrick Motorsports engine will power the car. Earnhardt Jr. currently has a personal services contract with Wrangler, continuing a family legacy between the brands. Wrangler first sponsored his father for the final race of his 1980 Cup championship season and the following year with Rod Osterlund for the first 16 races. (4-22-2010)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive a #3 Nationwide Series car at Daytona International Speedway in July, Earnhardt Jr. reluctantly confirmed Friday at Talladega Superspeedway. JR Motorsports is unveiling the car and making the announcement Thursday, but television commentator Darrell Waltrip tweeted about Earnhardt Jr. driving a #3 yesterday. The paint scheme is expected feature Wrangler, which sponsored Dale Earnhardt in the early 1980s. "We ain’t really got anything confirmed – DW blew the lid off of it on Twitter no less," Earnhardt Jr. said Friday. "That kind of ruined our announcement that we had planned. "We’re going to have our announcement here soon and explain to everybody what the whole program is about and how it came about and what’s going to happen. It’s unfortunate DW uncovered that. We didn’t plan to announce it like this. We’ll do it when we had it originally planned." The car will be a third JR Motorsports car to go along with its #88 and #7 cars running on a full-time basis.(Scene Daily)(4-23-2010)
    UPDATE 2: Through a joint effort between Richard Childress Racing, JR Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Wrangler, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will pay tribute to his father’s upcoming induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame by driving the #3 Wrangler Chevy in the Nationwide Series race on July 2 at Daytona International Speedway. The announcement and car unveiling was made Thursday in Mooresville, N.C., at JR Motorsports and to the fans at Dale Earnhardt Inc. In attendance were Earnhardt Jr., Richard Childress, Kelley Earnhardt Teresa Earnhardt and Craig Errington, vice president of Wrangler marketing. The car is an RCR entry built and prepared by JR Motorsports. The combination of Earnhardt Jr., DEI and RCR has a very brief yet shining history on the track together. In their only race together, Earnhardt drove the #3 Chevrolet to victory in the February 2002 Nationwide Series race at Daytona. That car is on display at the RCR Museum in Welcome, N.C. In support of the program, an array of licensed product will be available to fans from die-cast cars to apparel and select novelty items. Merchandise will highlight both Dale Earnhardt original Wrangler car and Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s current paint scheme. Fans can find the products at www.nascar.com, trackside or through each of the represented team stores.(RCR PR), see a graphic of the car on my #3 Nationwide team paint scheme page.(4-29-2010)
  • Warranty Direct sponsoring Lagasse at Richmond: Baker Curb Racing announced that Scott Lagasse Jr.’s #43 Fords will promote WarrantyDirect.com, one of the largest and most established extended vehicle warranty companies in North America in Friday night’s Bubba Burger 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Lagasse Jr. currently ranks 10th in the NASCAR Nationwide driver point standings after eight races, having gained 22 spots over the last seven races. (Warranty Direct PR), see a graphic of the car on my #43 Nationwide team paint scheme page.(4-29-2010)
  • Westerman returns to the #40 at Richmond: Driver Mike Bliss is happily welcomed back to the seat of the #40 Westerman Companies Chevy for Key Motorsports at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. Predictions of clear weather and the driver’s history at the track foretell another great finish to enrich Westerman’s participation. This season marks the fourth consecutive year Westerman Companies has backed the efforts of Key Motorsports in NASCAR racing. "Key Motorsports has represented our company well and we look forward to being at the track with them for eight Nationwide Series races this year," said a company spokesperson.(Key Motorsports PR)(4-29-2010)
  • Jackson makes 2nd start for SS Green Light: Tony Jackson Jr. has run hundreds of races over the last dozen years in and around the Missouri area he calls home, but this Sunday he will make the biggest start of his career when he takes the green flag in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at the Kansas Speedway. The Kansas Speedway is only about three hours from Tony’s Lebanon, Missouri home and a large following of friends, fans and family are planning to make the trip to see Tony compete against tough competition in the NCWTS. Kansas is the second of seven scheduled races for Jackson with the SS Green Light #07 team this season. By running a seven-race schedule Jackson will retain his status for NCWTS rookie of the year in 2011.(SS Green Light Racing PR)(4-29-2010)

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