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April 2016 News Archives

 

News from April 30, 2016


 

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #24-Elliott chose pit stall 3, which is the first available pit stall in use this weekend.
    Outside pole sitter #3-Dillon took pit stall 17, with an opening in front of it.
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr, who starts 3rd took the 39th pit stall, with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 5th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-30-2016)
  • Chase Elliott wins Talladega pole: #24-Chase Elliott won the pole for the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway with speed of 192.661mph for his 2nd pole of 2016, 1stX at Talladega and 2nd of his career. He also won the pole at Daytona this year.
    #3-Dillon will start 2nd, followed by #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #20-Kenseth, #48-Johnson, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #2-Keselowski, #11-Hamlin, #19-Edwards, #27-Menard, #5-Kahne and #78-Truex, Jr.
    Ty Dillon qualified the #14 for Tony Stewart in 14th place. Stewart will start the race, so he will fall to the rear of the field, then turn the car back over to Dillon early in the race.
    #3-Dillon was fastest in the first round with a speed of 192.796mph and will start 2nd.
    41 cars were entered. The only team to not qualify: #30-Wise.
    See round-by-round qualifying results on the Talladega qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Talladega Starting Lineup page (pdf).(4-30-2016)
  • Talladega Superspeedway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
    Chase Elliott won the Coors Light 21 means 21 Pole Award for the 47th Annual GEICO 500 with a lap of 49.704 seconds, 192.661 mph.
    This is his second pole in 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and fifth top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Austin Dillon (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2016 and his second in six races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr (third) posted his 15th top-10 start at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his second in ten races this season.
    Chase Elliott (first) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(4-30-2016)
  • Brian France attends Drivers Council meeting: NASCAR chairman Brian France was busy meeting with drivers Friday, first privately with Tony Stewart and then he attended his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers Council meeting Friday night at Talladega Superspeedway. France was criticized by Stewart in January for not going to the meetings, which typically are attended by other NASCAR top executives. Stewart also was fined $35,000 last week for the tone of comments critical of NASCAR’s commitment to safety in reference to its not policing whether lug nuts are tight on wheels. “It was very productive and at least from Brian’s perspective, it was well done and he was happy he did it,” NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said late Friday night. The meeting with the nine-member drivers council was held in the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage and went past the time the garage was closed for the night. As he waited for a gate to be unlocked so he could leave the garage, France was asked if he delivered a message to the drivers. “No, we just had a good discussion,” France said about the drivers council meeting. The meeting went on for nearly two more hours after France left for another commitment. NASCAR spokesman David Higdon would not go into specific topics but said the meeting covered items for 2016 and 2017 and there were not discussions about Stewart’s fine.(ESPN.com)(4-30-2016)
  • Golden Corral returns to the #7: Golden Corral returns for their second race of the 2016 season with Tommy Baldwin Racing, driver Regan Smith, and a brand new car design. The car design features a new bold color scheme and the logos of two charitable organizations – Camp Corral and DAV (Disabled American Veterans). Golden Corral supports both of these organizations as a way to honor our nation’s men and women in uniform. Founded by Golden Corral, Camp Corral is a free, one-of-a-kind summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. Over 10,000 children have been served at Camp Corral and the program has expanded to 21 camps in 19 states.(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(4-30-2016)
  • Richmond TV Ratings UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Richmond earned a 2.9 overnight rating on FOX Sunday afternoon, down a tick from 2014, when it aired on a Saturday night (3.0). Overnights also dropped 6% from last year, when the race was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon (3.1). The 2.9 overnight is the lowest ever for a Sunday Sprint Cup race on FOX, falling below the previous mark of 3.2 for Bristol one week prior. Regardless of day, it is tied as the second-lowest for a Sprint Cup race on FOX – matching Texas last year and ahead of Texas this year (2.5). Head-to-head, the race edged ABC’s competing Spurs/Grizzlies NBA playoff game (2.7) but was no match for Warriors/Rockets later in the day (5.4).(Sports Media Watch)(4-25-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Richmond earned a 3.1 final rating and 4.7 million viewers on FOX last Sunday afternoon, down 6% in ratings and 16% in viewership from 2014, the last time it was run as scheduled on a Saturday night (3.3, 5.6M). Last year’s race, which was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, had a 3.3 and 5.2 million. The 3.1 rating is the lowest ever for a Sunday Sprint Cup race on FOX, falling below the previous mark of 3.4 for Bristol one week earlier, and the third-lowest regardless of day. The past three races on FOX rank among the network’s five lowest rated ever, with Texas dead last, Richmond third, and Bristol fifth at 3.4.(Sports Media Watch) see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(4-30-2016)
  • Ty Dillon still working on Sprint Cup plans: Ty Dillon talked to the media Friday at Talladega Superspeedway;
    HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK GETTING CHOSEN FOR THIS HIGH PROFILE JOB REPLACING TONY HAS HELPED YOUR PROSPECTS OF GETTING A FULL-TIME CUP RIDE? WHERE DOES IT STAND WITH WHAT YOU HAVE LINED UP FOR NEXT SEASON?
    “I think it’s helped a lot. I was hoping to maybe be full-time this year in the Sprint Cup series about this time last year. That is where I kind of had my goals set, my eyes set, but the opportunity didn’t come along. I can’t thank Stewart-Haas and their organization enough for giving me the opportunity to fill in this year with Tony being out. Not only has it helped me with my career and getting better as a race car driver, but it’s helped me show people that I can get the job done in other equipment too.”
    ANY UPDATE ON NEXT SEASON?
    “I can’t tell you that (laughs). No, there are a lot of good things going on. That is about as far as I’ll take it.”
    MANAGEMENT TOLD ME LAST WEEK THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU IN A CUP CAR FULL-TIME, BUT THEY WOULD ALSO LIKE TO FIND SPONSORSHIP THAT WAS SIMILAR TO WHAT CHASE ELLIOTT HAD. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT AS FAR AS SPONSORSHIP GOES?
    “Right now anything suits my brand. If we can get that kind of sponsorship I’m fine with supporting anything and exposing anything. That is definitely our goal is for RCR is to find a sponsor that we can grow with over the next couple of years similar to what Chase has done. There are other opportunities that could come along to provide me to be able to run full-time in the Sprint Cup Series. I feel like I’m ready to be in the series full-time as a driver mentally and physically. This year I’m focusing on winning the Xfinity Series championship. Hopefully, make my prospect a little bit better and hopefully that opportunity comes along.”(Chevy Racing PR)(4-30-2015)
  • Bobby Labonte Foundation’s “Tour de Reason” on the #32 at Talladega: Bobby Labonte and Go Fas Racing announced that the Bobby Labonte Foundation’s Archdale Drug Tour de Reason will be featured on the roof, side quarter panels and decklid of the Go Fas Racing #32 Ford Fusion this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Rimrock Devlin, a Jacksonville, Fla., based company, returns as the primary sponsor this weekend and will support the Tour de Reason in August. Registration is now open for the sixth annual cycling event scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 27 in Thomasville, N.C., and for the first time, the 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion has added an evening cocktail reception and silent auction to the weekend’s activities on Friday, Aug. 26, at The Gallery in downtown Thomasville. Last year, more than 225 riders weaved their way through one of the either 63, 35 or 12-mile-fun-ride courses that toured scenic Davidson and Randolph counties. The start and finish lines are bookended by the quaint Thomasville Main Street shops and businesses and participants will experience a sponsor festival featuring music, food and various vendors after crossing the finish line. Registration for the Tour de Reason is $25 for a single entry or $160 for a team of eight. The 2016 edition of the Bobby Labonte Tour de Reason racing jerseys are also available for an additional $65. To register for the Tour de Reason bicycle ride, visit the Bobby Labonte Foundation website or call 336-434-1800. All proceeds from the event will benefit High Point Young Life, Victory Junction and Bicycling in Greensboro. Labonte is also wearing a special firesuit this weekend paying tribute to Josh Comstock, CEO of C&J; Energy Services who recently passed away, and will auction it off to honor his niece, Miranda Labonte. Miranda Labonte is currently battling breast cancer and all proceeds from the 10-day auction will be donated to the Northwest Triad Affiliate of Susan G. Komen in North Carolina. To bid in the auction, fans are encouraged to visit the Bobby Labonte Facebook page.(Breaking Limits)(4-30-2016)
  • Hendrick named Charlotte Chamber 2016 Citizen of the Carolinas: The Charlotte Chamber has named local car dealer and NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick its 2016 Citizen of the Carolinas. The chamber said that Hendrick was chosen for the honor for his contributions to Charlotte’s business community, his influence within NASCAR and his work with local organizations, including Levine Children’s Hospital and Together We Feed Charlotte. “Rick embodies the collaborative spirit that sets Charlotte apart from any other major city in the United States,” chamber CEO and President Bob Morgan said in a statement. Last year, the chamber gave the award to former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles. Other past honorees include former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan. Hendrick, at age 26, became a Chevrolet dealer in 1976 with his first franchise in Bennettsville, S.C. By 1978, he moved to Charlotte and purchased City Chevrolet, which now serves as the flagship location for Hendrick Automotive Group. The privately-held dealership group employs more than 10,000 people and operates more than 130 retail franchises across 14 states. In a statement, Hendrick said he was humbled to receive the award. “We’ve been fortunate to call Charlotte home for nearly 40 years,” he said. “It’s been such a wonderful place for our family, and now our grandchildren are growing up here. I cannot imagine a more giving community or a better city to live and do business.” The chamber will present Hendrick with its most prestigious honor at the organization’s annual meeting in December.(Charlotte Business Journal)(4-30-2016)
  • Talladega Pole Notes & Facts:
    � Bobby Isaac won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Talladega in 1969 with a speed of 199.466 mph. Isaac won the first three poles at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
    � 38 drivers have Coors Light poles at Talladega, led by Bill Elliott with eight.
    � Seven active drivers are tied for the most poles at Talladega with one – Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers, Brian Scott, Michael Waltrip and Bobby Labonte.
    � 11 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Talladega. Bill Elliott holds the record for most consecutive poles at Talladega with six (1985 – 1987).
    � Six drivers have posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Talladega; the only active driver to post his first series career pole at Talladega is Brian Scott (05/04/2014).
    � 13 of the 93 (13.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from the Coors Light pole.
    � The No. 2 starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Talladega.
    � 33 of the 93 (35.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from the front row: 13 from the pole and 20 from second-place.
    � 65 of the 93 (69.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Talladega have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    � 8 of the 93 (8.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    � The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Talladega was 36th, by Jeff Gordon in the spring of 2000.
    � Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway five times; most recently fall of 2013.
    (NASCAR)
  • NASCAR explains Talladega finish: Elliott Sadler’s Xfinity Series victory Saturday in the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway took five minutes to be declared official by NASCAR officials. Xfinity Series director Wayne Auton held a news conference after the race explaining the process of how eight officials in the scoring tower determined Sadler, who collided with leader Joey Logano off the final turn, was ahead of Brennan Poole and Justin Allgaier when the yellow flag waved. Poole took the checkered flag in first but was ruled to have finished third. Though Sadler’s #1 Chevrolet went below the double-yellow line after Logano’s crash, Auton said NASCAR ruled it didn’t advance a position and had been forced low by the contact.
    What was your view of the finish?
    Auton: “At the end of the race there, we knew everyone would be jockeying for position trying to get that win to get into the Xfinity Chase with the Xfinity drivers. We use every resource we can. Our main goal is to make sure that we got it right. It took us a little time up in the tower. We feel 100% we got it exactly right. We used film. We used eyes, which mine are about wore out watching these cars today. These guys done one exceptional job today with a great race. We took our time in the tower. All of you saw (Sadler) and (Poole) come and set at the start-finish line, which was pretty cool of both drivers just sitting there really calm, knew that we were checking it. We used every bit of film we had. Slow down, speed up. Slow down, speed up. We arrived at the finish we did by using every piece of technology that we had to our availability.”
    How much did NASCAR use video in determining the finish?
    Auton: “We used video today every means we could from inside and outside the track and aerial as soon as the caution was out to position the cars at the time the caution was displayed.”
    Were there any problems with teams being required to fasten five lug nuts?
    “I’m so proud of this garage. It’s really cool to see the talent, not only the drivers and crew members, and they all done a great job today. We had no issues with the lug nuts today. Everyone had them glued up as they were asked to do prior to the race and kept them glued up all day.”
    Sadler went below the yellow line; did his contact with Logano make that allowable?
    Auton: “The rule is you can not go below the double yellow line to advance his position. He did not advance a position. And he was also forced down there when (Logano) and him made contact. In our eyes, he did not gain any positions. He was already there. It was legal by the rules.”
    Why was the caution thrown instead of letting the race play out?
    Auton: “That’s real easy to answer. Our No. 1 job is safety of these drivers, crew members, fans. When you see a car turn hard right, and in the years I’ve been in this business, it’s pretty scary. And with all the safety features, we applied the SAFER walls around our tracks now on the exterior, and the safety features inside the car, our No. 1 concern was when (Logano) hit to make sure Joey was OK. Automatically, we put out the caution. We felt it was the right time. Another car made contact with (Logano) when he come off the wall, but we needed guys to roll out of the throttle for the safety of all the other drivers who finished the race all the way to the line.”(NBC Sports)(4-30-2016)
  • Logano talks about Talladega finish:
    WHAT HAPPENED?
    Logano: “We crashed pretty hard. It is just typical superspeedway racing in the XFINITY Series racing for the win at the end. I know Elliott (Sadler) is a great speedway racer and he knew what he had to do to win the race and I knew what I had to do to try to keep him behind me. He went to make the move on the top and then he pulled it down to the bottom and got it underneath me and then I was a little late to the block. He was already there. Around I went and hit a bunch of other stuff along the way. Overall, I was proud of the effort of the team. We had a couple issues during the middle of the race. We had to come down and fix our car and we drove all the way back to the lead. It was a lot of fun out there. I am glad everyone is okay. Thank God for safer barriers and the way these seat belts are. That was a heck of a frontal hit for me. To get out and walk away and feel okay says a lot about our sport right now.”
    IS THAT JUST RACING AT THE END?
    Logano: “Yeah. I don’t feel like I got dumped. I haven’t seen a replay yet at all. I am sure he was there and I turned down. It is just a racing thing. Superspeedway racing is what it is.”
    THE 48 WORKED WITH YOU A LOT AT THE END. WAS THERE ANY CONCERN WORKING WITH SOMEONE THAT WASN’T VERY EXPERIENCED?
    Logano: “There was a concern until I started working with him and the kid is good. He did a tremendous job being able to lay to the back bumper and not slam into the back of you. He was really consistent the way he hit you and that is why he stayed up front all day. Brennan Poole did a great job. He deserved to finish up where he finished.”
    WHEN YOU ARE RUNNING UP FRONT LIKE THAT HERE, DO YOU ALMOST EXPECT THE MAYHEM?
    Logano: “Unfortunately yeah. It is part of it. It is part of speedway racing. It is what it is. That is speedway racing. If you put 40 cars in a pack going 200 mph racing for a win we are going to crash. Let’s be honest. It is exciting though and our cars are really safe. That is the hardest hit I have ever taken. I am impressed with the way the car held up and the way Team Penske built my Mustang they made sure to make safety first and that says a lot about us. Yeah we hit hard, yeah the ego is a little hurt but I am okay.”(Ford Racing)(4-30-2016)
  • Elliott Sadler wins XFINITY race at Talladega: #1-Elliott Sadler won the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his 1st XFINITY Series win of the season, the 11th of his XFINITY career and locks him into the Chase for this season.
    #22-Logano was leading coming to the checkered flag, but he moved up to block #48-Brennan Poole from taking the lead, then came back down and made contact with Sadler, sending him into the outside wall. He finished 27th. Several other drivers were collected and NASCAR had to review video to determine the finishing order. Although #48-Poole got back to the start finish line first, NASCAR determined that the caution came out prior to that, freezing the field. Sadler was credited with the win.
    #7-Justin Allgaier finished second, followed by #48-Brennan Poole, #51-Jeremy Clements, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #2-Austin Dillon, #19-Daniel Suarez, pole sitter #18-Matt Tifft, #88-Chase Elliott and #98-Aric Almirola.
    There were 6 cautions for 29 laps and 20 lead changes among 13 leaders.
    The average speed was 132.477mph.
    Complete results are on the Talladega race results page (pdf).
    (4-30-2016)
  • Talladega XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Elliott Sadler won the 25th Annual Sparks Energy 300, his 11th victory in 305 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in eight races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Justin Allgaier (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2016.
    Brennan Poole (third) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Brennan Poole (third) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 0 points over Daniel Suarez (tie breaker is wins).
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-30-2016)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Talladega:
    1) #1-Elliott Sadler [1 win], 314
    2) #19-Daniel Suarez, 314
    3) #3-Ty Dillon, 281, -33
    4) #7-Justin Allgaier, 280, -34
    5) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 279, -35
    6) #33-Brandon Jones, 273, -41
    7) #20-Erik Jones [1 win], 263, -51
    8) #48-Brennan Poole, 251, -63
    9) #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., 229, -85
    10) #16-Ryan Reed, 221, -93
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(4-30-2016)
  • Matt Tifft on XFINITY pole at Talladega: #18-Matt Tifft won the pole for the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 181.168mph. It is his first career pole. #19-Daniel Suarez will start second. The rest of the top 10: #2-Austin Dillon, #20-Erik Jones, #3-Ty Dillon, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #16-Ryan Reed, #22-Joey Logano, #1-Elliott Sadler, and #44-J.J. Yeley.
    #18-Matt Tifft was fastest in the first round of single car qualifying runs with a speed of 180.652mph.
    Did Not Qualify: #70-Derrike Cope, #74-Mike Harmon, #40-Carl Long.
    The starting lineup is posted on the Talladega starting lineup page (pdf).(4-30-2016)
  • Talladega Qualifying Notes:
    Matt Tifft(i) won the Coors Light 21 means 21 Pole Award for the 25th Annual Sparks Energy 300 with a lap of 52.857 seconds, 181.168 mph.
    This is his first pole in six NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Daniel Suarez (second) posted his ninth top-10 start of 2016 and his second in two races at Talladega Superspeedway.
    Austin Dillon(i) (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his seventh in eight races this season.
    Erik Jones (fourth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-30-2016)
  • Michigan launches Fan Appreciation program: Michigan International Speedway has launched this year’s Fan Appreciation program. Through this summer’s events at MIS, all guests have the opportunity to win prizes online at www.MISpeedway.com/goldenticket. All guests who purchase a ticket to the any of the track’s June 10-12 and Aug. 27-28 events including the FireKeepers Casino 400 or the Pure Michigan 400 may enter online for a chance to win. Guests in their party, even if they’re not account holders, can also try. In its ninth year, the Fan Appreciation Program continues to grow and reward fans with prizes and experiences. Prizes range from one fan being selected as the Ultimate Winner for June or August. Other prizes include NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cold garage passes for the weekend, Busch Acceleration Club tickets, FanVision rentals, “Michigan Money” food vouchers, NASCAR XFINITY Series garage passes, access to the XFINITY Series drivers’ meeting and an invitation to the XFINITY Series open garage session, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series cold garage passes, access to the truck series drivers’ meeting and an invitation to the truck Series open garage session, Racing Electronics scanner rentals and more.(MIS)(4-30-2016)


    News from April 29, 2016


     

  • Qualifying Order for the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is posted. 41 cars/drivers are listed.
    The order is based on the fastest single lap speed posted in the combined practice sessions Friday.
    Qualifying at Talladega will consist of two rounds of single car qualifying.
    #7-Smith will go out first. The final driver out will be #1-McMurray.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Talladega Qualifying Order Page (pdf).(4-29-2016)
  • Final practice for the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over after 55 scheduled minutes. The top five, slowest and notes:
    #22-Logano 196.290
    #21-Blaney 196.238
    #24-Elliott 196.185
    #10-Patrick 195.094
    #44-Scott 195.003
    slowest: #15-Bowyer 187.978 & #30-Wise 186.209. 35 drivers have been on track.
    most laps run: #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 30, #41-Busch 24
    notes: Qualifying is scheduled for 12:30pm/et tomorrow and will be televised on FS1 and covered via radio by MRN/SiriusXM.
    There is rain in tomorrow’s forecast. If qualifying is rained out, today’s practices determine who makes the race. There are 41 cars entered so 1 team will not qualify. The open (non-charter) teams that make the race are determined by fastest single lap speeds posted from the combined practicestoday by the open teams – #21-Blaney, #30-Wise, #35-Gilliland, #55-Waltrip, #98-Whitt. Because Josh Wise had the slowest speed in both practice sessions, he will not make the race if qualifying is canceled.
    Charter teams would start the race based on owner points standings, not by practice speeds.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Talladega Final Practice Speeds page (pdf).(4-29-2016)
  • First practice for the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #1-McMurray 199.737
    #24-Elliott 199.729
    #41-Busch 199.409
    #10-Patrick 199.384
    #6-Bayne 199.317
    slowest: #47-Allmendinger 191.708 & #7-Smith 187.820
    most laps run: #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 37, #17-Stenhouse, Jr. 36
    notes: Final (happy hour) practice is this afternoon at 4:30pm/et.
    Qualifying is scheduled for 12:30pm/et tomorrow and will be televised on FS1 and covered via radio by MRN/SiriusXM.
    There is rain in tomorrow’s forecast. If qualifying is rained out, today’s practices will determine who makes the race. There are 41 cars entered so 1 team will not qualify. The open (non-charter) teams that make the race will be determined by fastest single lap speeds posted from the combined practices today by the open teams – #21-Blaney, #30-Wise, #35-Gilliland, #55-Waltrip, #98-Whitt. Charter teams would start the race based on owner points standings, not by practice speeds.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Talladega Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(4-29-2016)
  • Stewart talks about his fine: Tony Stewart met with the media Friday at Talladega Superspeedway:
    WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE WHOLE LUGNUT CONTROVERSY, WHICH HAS BEEN RESOLVED WITH THE RULES CHANGE? WHAT WENT INTO YOUR DECISION TO MAKE THE DONATION TO THE AUTISM SOCIETY?
    Stewart: “I’ve been trying to figure out how many more $35,000 rules changes I want to make (laughter). I’m glad that something has been done. Scott Miller is a huge asset to NASCAR right now. And from what I understand, he’s the one who spearheaded getting something done. You hate to have to pay $35,000 to get somebody’s attention to do something, but apparently that’s what it took. I’ve got questions that I’d like to have answers to. I’m still wondering why I’m paying a $35,000 fine for something that got changed three days later. But, it is what it is. I was gone that evening when the announcement came out that I was getting the fine and the Driver Council, we all have a chat that we get in and when I was able to get back on my phone for 90 messages of discussions of what went on with those guys and I realized what they had done at about three in the morning. I didn’t want to take their money. I appreciated their support and I think they made a huge statement about what the Driver Council is about and the fact that they didn’t believe what I did deserved the fine. And with that, that’s why they decided to support us and help split the fine with me. I didn’t feel comfortable taking the money. And so what we decided as a group was to put the money together and give it to a great charity. Artie Kemper (founder of Autism Delaware) is a great friend to everybody in NASCAR and is somebody that we all as a group know personally and we thought that would really make a big difference. So that’s why we chose that charity. But we did it collectively, as a group; and that’s something I’m really proud of with this Driver Council is how the drivers are united about everything that we’re doing. This was the first time something had happened where somebody on the Council got a penalty for speaking an opinion and for them to show that kind of support and show that we’re all one unit; and that’s something that you don’t normally see and we haven’t seen in this sport. Guys talk amongst each other, but somebody gets in trouble for something where the rest of the drivers, privately, will support it but can’t publicly support it. So this was the first time that we’ve seen public support like that and I think it went a long way.”(Chevy Racing PR)(4-29-2016)
  • Accudoc Solutions sponsoring Bowyer at Talladega: Clint Bowyer’s #15 will carry Accudoc Solutions as the primary sponsor in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. AccuDoc Solutions is based in Morrisville, N.C. and provides billing-statement printing and processing to hospitals and hospital-based physicians. In addition to paper-based billing statements, AccuDoc Solutions enables patients to choose electronic statement delivery and make payments through secure online payment portals. Accudoc Solutions was the sponsor on Justin Allgaier’s #51 twice last season. See an image of the car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(4-29-2016)
  • Pit crew changes at Stewart-Haas: In an effort to improve pit stops, Stewart-Haas Racing has moved around several crew members between its teams. This past weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway saw different faces on different teams. So let’s start with the easy stuff: The #4 (Kevin Harvick) and #41 (Kurt Busch) looked to be the same as at Daytona. Both teams have been performing at a top level for years, and we didn’t see any changes as of Richmond. Now the fun stuff. The #10 car of Danica Patrick had a different front carrier, rear changer, and rear carrier. The team moved rear carrier Matt Holzbaur to the front and added rear changer Jonathan Sherman and rear carrier Jeremy Howard. Both Sherman and Howard came from the #38 team (Landon Cassill), which is pit supported by SHR. The #14 of Tony Stewart got a new front changer in Ryan Mulder. Mulder was moved from the rear of the #10 to the front of the #14. The #38 team got a new front changer, front carrier, rear changer and rear carrier. Bryan Jacobsen moved from the #14 is now on the front with Jeff Shoaf. Anchoring the rear is now Chris Jackson and Tyler Bullard. From what we can tell, no new pit crew members were hired or fired, just a restructuring of crewmen.(PitTalks)(4-29-2016)
  • Talladega Driver Notes & Facts:
    � 441 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega; 306 in more than one.
    � Dave Marcis and Terry Labonte lead the series in starts at Talladega with 61 each. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with 33 starts; followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 32.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Talladega with a 9.750.
    � A total of 68 drivers have made their first series start at Talladega; Jamie McMurray (10/06/2002) is the only active driver to make his series debut at Talladega Superspeedway.
    � 45 different drivers have won at Talladega Superspeedway, led by Dale Earnhardt with 10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with six.
    � 2012 series champion Brad Keselowski (04/26/2009) and Brian Vickers (10/08/2006) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Talladega.
    � Nine drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Talladega; Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in consecutive wins at Talladega after posting four-straight from the fall of 2001 – 2003.
    � Brad Keselowski is the only active series driver to win at Talladega in his first appearance.
    � Matt Kenseth competed at Talladega Superspeedway 25 times before winning the fall of 2012; the longest span of any the 11 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    � Matt Kenseth (25), Tony Stewart (19), Kevin Harvick (18), and David Ragan (12) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Talladega.
    � Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega without visiting Victory Lane at 30; followed by Ryan Newman with 28.
    � Buddy Baker and Tony Stewart are tied for the series’ most runner-up finishes at Talladega with six each.
    � NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes at Talladega with 23. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with 12.
    � Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-10 finishes at Talladega with 27. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with 16.
    � Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 12.200.
    � Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Talladega with 960 laps led in 32 starts.
    � Three female drivers have competed at Talladega in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Patty Moise and Danica Patrick.
    (NASCAR)
  • Jive Communications to sponsor Townley: Jive Communications announced that the international communications company has entered into a multi-faceted motorsports marketing program for the 2016 Racing Season. The announcement took place at Talladega Superspeedway during the ARCA and NASCAR weekend activities at the 2.66 mile speedway. Jive will serve as primary sponsors of the Athenian Motorsports #05 Chevrolets for the NASCAR Xfinity Series events in Talladega on Saturday April 30th and on Friday night July 1st in Daytona. The twelve-race ARCA program will debut during today’s General Tire 200 at Talladega. Jive will also serve as an associate sponsor on the #05 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.(Athenian Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #05 team paint schemes page.(4-29-2016)
  • Matt Tifft fastest in XFINITY happy hour: #18-Matt Tifft was quickest during happy hour for the Sparks Energy 300 with a speed of 181.918mph. He was followed by: #3-Ty Dillon, #33-Brandon Jones, #19-Daniel Suarez, #51-Jeremy Clements, #07-Ray Black, Jr., #2-Austin Dillon, #20-Erik Jones, #42-Jeb Burton, and #1-Elliott Sadler. Just 33 drivers participated in the session.
    See complete results on the Talladega final practice speeds page (pdf).(4-29-2016)
  • Darrell Wallace, Jr. fastest in first XFINITY practice: #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr. was fastest during opening practice at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 192.413mph. #16-Ryan Reed was second, followed by: #3-Ty Dillon, #18-Matt Tifft, #2-Austin Dillon, #33-Brandon Jones, #11-Blake Koch, #88-Chase Elliott, #20-Erik Jones, and #19-Daniel Suarez. All 43 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Talladega practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-29-2016)
  • Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet & BRT Extrusions Return To #51: Jeremy Clements returns to Talladega Superspeedway with Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet and BRT Extrusions back on board the #51 JCR Chevy Camaro SS for the Sparks Energy 300. Joining Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet and BRT Extrusions on the JCR Chevy is new sponsor SDD, Signs & Displays Direct. Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet, conveniently located off Interstate 85 at exit 48B, has served the upstate of South Carolina and nearby Georgia and North Carolina Communities for over 30 years. Customer service is Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet’s top priority. Founded in 1992, BRT Extrusions Inc. delivers high quality aluminum extrusions from standard or custom dies. Based in Niles, OH, the company offers a wide range of standard extruded shapes, as well as custom designs in several grades of aluminum alloys and tempers.(Jeremy Clments Racing)(4-29-2016)
  • New partner for Cobb in Kansas: Trinity Performance Wear, founded by 12-year old weightlifting phenom Abby Flickner, has teamed up with NASCAR driver/team owner Jennifer Jo Cobb for the Toyota Tundra 250 when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Kansas Speedway on May 6, 2016. Cobb’s #10 Mark One Electric Chevrolet Silverado will display the Trinity Performance Wear logo while racing around the 1.5 mile track at speeds over 170 mph. Flickner is a two-time national champion in Olympic-style weightlifting. She has set 14 Youth American Records, and twice has attended training camps at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. She is currently in training for her fifth trip to nationals in late June. Cobb began her career at local tracks in the Kansas City area, and has climbed up through the ranks of auto racing to become a fixture in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. She holds the series record for most starts, highest finish in a race, and highest finish in the championship standings by a female driver. Although Flickner is not old enough to view Cobb’s race from the team’s pit stall, she will be on hand on race day prior to the green flag to visit the NASCAR garage to take photos with the race truck to promote her brand.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing)(4-29-2016)
  • Dover adding SAFER barrier: ESPN’s Bob Pockrass reports, “Dover International Speedway will replace the guard rails it had on the inside of Turn 3 with approximately 500 feet of SAFER Barrier by the time NASCAR visits for its May 13-15 race weekend. The steel-and-foam barrier is designed to absorb energy in a crash.”(ESPN.com)(4-28-2016)


    News from April 28, 2016


  • Ty Dillon will also qualify for Stewart at Talladega: Ty Dillon said Wednesday that he plans to qualify Stewart-Haas Racing’s #14 Chevrolet as part of his relief efforts for owner/driver Tony Stewart this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. Dillon told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he’s discussed a preliminary game plan with #14 crew chief Mike Bugarewicz to split time in the cockpit with Stewart, who made his season debut last Sunday at Richmond after missing the first eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of 2016 with a broken back. “Sounds like Tony’s got to get in and make some practice laps to make it official and then I’ll get in and run some practice and not sure if we’re going to draft or what,” Dillon told SiriusXM. “I’ll qualify the car and Tony will start the race and it sounds like he’ll run to maybe the first caution, but you never know with Tony. He might like his race car and want to stay out there. But I think he’ll probably run to the first caution, we’ll try and make the swap as quick as possible, hopefully not lose a lap, and we’ll go to racing and hopefully win the race for Tony and hopefully get him that win he needs.” Stewart plans to resume normal full-time driving the following weekend at Kansas Speedway.(NASCAR.com)(4-28-2016)
  • Tire test this week at IMS UPDATE: Goodyear will hold a tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday Wednesday. Four drivers are scheduled to take part in the test: #43-Almirola (Ford), #24-Elliott (Chevy), #14-Stewart (Chevy), #19-Edwards (Toyota).(4-25-2016)
    UPDATE: Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers concluded a two-day Goodyear tire test Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For three-time series champion Tony Stewart, it wrapped up what he said would be the final tire test of his career. Stewart joined last weekend’s winner Carl Edwards, Aric Almirola and rookie Chase Elliott among drivers involved at the Brickyard, helping Goodyear officials determine the proper tire compound for the Sprint Cup Series’ annual visit on July 24. Stewart was fresh from his season debut at Richmond International Raceway. “I’m actually having fun up here,” said Stewart, an Indiana native. “This is my last tire test as a driver, so I’ve been having fun working with the Goodyear guys and it’s been kind of fun because three of the main guys here when I started here are at this test, which they don’t always get to come to the same test together. It’s kind of nice to be working with them one last time.”
    Edwards’ more immediate focus was to provide feedback to Goodyear engineers after a battery of tests at the historic 2.5-mile track. “There’s a lot of stuff to learn here,” Edwards said. “This track, it’s difficult for a number of reasons, but really for me, just the weather today versus yesterday, it’s hard to determine how much of it is the weather. As the track changes, the Goodyear rubber lays down, it changes. The challenge for us is as we make these changes with the car to try to separate the track changes and the temperature changes from the actual changes to the car. So it’s a pretty difficult place to test and to figure things out, but that kind of makes it fun.”(NASCAR.com)(4-28-2016)
  • Busch’s “Catch One. Win Big.” on the #4: Kevin Harvick’s #4 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing will feature a special Busch Beer fishing scheme this weekend for the GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. The scheme will help Busch Beer kick off the return of its popular fishing program for a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime fishing excursion with pro fisherman and seven time Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam. Beginning May 8, all Busch and Busch Light packaging will feature one of the four unique fish cans, or the grand prize: the brand new gold trophy can. The refreshed packaging will be featured on 18-, 24- and 30-packs of 12-ounce and 15-ounce cans. The graphics will represent each of the four potential grand prize trip destinations, with a particular species of game fish representing each trip’s respective geography. The four fish species and corresponding trips up for consumer voting are: Red Drum in Venice, Louisiana; Largemouth Bass in Lake St. Clair, Michigan; Cutthroat Trout in Montana; or Sockeye Salmon in Kenai River, Alaska. Consumers who find one of the 100,000 gold trophy cans randomly seeded in packs of Busch and Busch Light can capture a photo of themselves with the can and submit it online via Busch.com. They’ll then be entered for a chance to win weekly premium prizes including GoPros, sonar systems, tackle boxes, fishing bobbers and more. Five lucky consumers will be awarded the grand prize: the fishing trip of a lifetime to one of four possible destinations to go fishing with professional bass fisherman, Kevin VanDam. To celebrate the launch of the Busch fishing promotion, Harvick’s #4 Busch Fishing Chevrolet SS will prominently feature each of the four fish cans and the trophy can. The driver side will display the image of a cutthroat trout while the passenger side will feature a largemouth bass.(Stewart-Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the #4 team paint schemes page.(4-28-2016)
  • Turbocharged Tooth Fairy for Patrick at Talladega: This weekend, Danica Patrick’s #10 Chevrolet SS will sport blue and silver for Aspen Dental’s second of four primary races this season. The car will have a different look than it did in Atlanta, featuring a “Turbocharged Tooth Fairy” logo on the a hood, a nod to Patrick’s role in Aspen Dental’s newest TV campaign that started airing earlier this month. Aspen Dental dentists and teams recognize that going to the dentist isn’t always at the top of the “to-do” list. And so, as a part of the Aspen Dental Weekend at Talladega, a “Turbocharged Tooth Fairy Squad” will be roaming the grounds at the track to not only ask fans, “What would it take to get you to go to the dentist?” but also deliver on some of those wishes on the spot. It’s all a part of Aspen Dental’s commitment to doing whatever it takes to make dentistry easier.(Stewart-Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the #10 team paint schemes page.(4-28-2016)
  • Talladega Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same tire set-up at Talladega this weekend . . . for Sprint Cup teams, this combination of left- and right-side tires dates back to October 2014 . . . for Xfinity teams, since they don’t run at Talladega in the fall, they started running this tire set-up in May 2015 . . . teams in both of these series also ran this left-side code at Daytona in February . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Talladega . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear), see more nots, tire codes, set limits and more on the Taladega Race Info page
  • Alsco joins Richard Petty Motorsports: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that they will team up with Alsco Linen and Uniform Rental Services on track this season. Alsco, the official race shop uniform and supplies provider for the team, will join as an associate partner on the #44 Ford driven by Brian Scott for the remainder of the 2016 season. It’s only fitting this announcement comes at the launch of NASCAR Race to Green campaign as reducing their ecological footprint and offering sustainable choices are core components of Alsco’s business values. In their first year as the official race shop uniform and supplies provider for Richard Petty Motorsports, Alsco brings more than 125 years of experience and a standard of excellence as a pioneer in their field. The Alsco logo will run on the #44 Ford Fusion driven by Brian Scott starting this weekend at Richmond International Raceway and remain on the car for the remainder of the season.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-28-2016)
  • Talladega Track Notes & History:
    � Construction began on what was then known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway on May 23, 1968.
    � The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on Sept. 14, 1969 – won by Richard Brickhouse.
    � The name changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989.
    � Fourth repaving completed on Sept. 19, 2006.
    (NASCAR)
  • Sad News – Bill Wimble: Bill Wimble, 84, who captured NASCAR’s National Sportsman Championship in 1960, died Sunday from a brain aneurysm. Wimble, from Lisbon, New York, is best known in this area for his heroism by helping save the life of 1961 Daytona 500 champion Marvin Panch. Panch was trapped in a burning sports car after crashing during a test run at Daytona International Speedway in 1963. Tiny Lund, Wimble and several other men rushed to Panch’s aid and pulled him out of the flaming race car. Panch, who was injured in the incident, in turn gave his Daytona 500 ride with Wood Brothers Racing to Lund, who won the race. Wimble captured numerous track championships in the northeast. He made two NASCAR Cup Series starts in Daytona in 1962. He finished 17th in a qualifying race, which counted as a points race, and finished 11th in the Daytona 500. The Living Legends of Auto Racing honored Wimble with its prestigious Pioneer of Racing Award in 2007.(Daytona Beach News-Journal) There will be a memorial service on Monday, May 2, at Serenity Meadows, 6919 Providence Road in Riverview, FL. Friends and family will be received from 10-11 am, with the service at 11 am. Memorial donations may be made in his memory to LifePath Hospice. (full obit and more info at legacy.com.(4-28-2016)
  • BKR announces drivers for Dover, Charlotte: Brad Keselowski Racing announced its driver lineup today for the upcoming NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Austin Cindric will drive the team’s #2 Ford F-150 in the Dover 200 on May 13 at Dover, while Austin Theriault will return to the driver’s seat for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 on May 20 at Charlotte. Cindric and Theriault will join BKR’s full-time NCWTS contenders Daniel Hemric (#19) and Tyler Reddick (#29). Cindric, 17, made his NCWTS debut at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway with BKR last October, where he qualified 14th and ran well before a late-race incident relegated him to a 25th-place finish. His second NCWTS start came at Phoenix (Avondale, Ariz.) International Raceway a few weeks later, where he scored a respectable 14th-place finish. Theriault, 22, who has 10 previous NCWTS starts with BKR, will be making his first appearance at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His one previous Truck Series start in 2016 came with BKR in the season-opening event at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, where he qualified fourth and led five times for a race-high 31 laps before a late-race accident left him with a 27th-place finish. In 2015, Theriault claimed two top fives (a fourth-place finish in his first-ever series start at Daytona and fifth-place finish at Texas) and four top-10 finishes in nine starts.(Brad Keselowski Racing)(4-28-2016)


    News from April 27, 2016


  • Sprint Cup Drivers Council To Donate Stewart’s Fine To Autism Delaware: The Sprint Cup Drivers Council will donate the $35,000 it raised last week to pay Tony Stewart’s fine to Autism Delaware. Artie Kempner, coordinating director, NASCAR on FOX, and his wife, Marcy, founded Autism Delaware in 1998. It has raised more than $5 million and served more than 1,000 children and adults living with autism. “I appreciated the Drivers Council support, but I didn’t want them to pay the fine. We decided as a group to donate the money to charity,” Stewart said. “Artie is such a good friend to all of us and his foundation does a lot of great work.” The Drivers Council was formed in 2015 and meets periodically with NASCAR to discuss various issues from competition to safety. The Drivers Council is comprised of Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Stewart. Hamlin will present the check to Kempner at his Drive for Autism golf tournament May 12 in Wilmington, Delaware.(True Speed Communications)(4-27-2016)
  • Richmond post-race penalties and warnings; #17 crew chief suspended: Following the Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway, the team of #17-Stenhouse, Jr. team was given P3 penalty for violation of Section 20.13.I-1.d. [related to the steering system]. Stenhouse, Jr’s crew chief, Nick Sandler, has been fined $20,000, suspended from one race, and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. The violation was found on opening day inspection.
    In addition, the #48-Johnson and #14-Stewart teams were given written warnings. The #48 team failed template inspection twice The #14 team failed laser inspection twice. Both violations were found in pre-race inspection.
    See the Richmond Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(4-27-2016)
  • Stewart can still make the Chase with relief driver: #14-Tony Stewart doesn’t plan on finishing the race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, but NASCAR rules could make him a big winner. Stewart, who missed the first eight races with a broken back and returned to racing last weekend at Richmond, plans to get out of his car at the first caution Sunday because of the increased potential to be involved in a crash in this race. Ty Dillon will be his relief driver and, with the unpredictable nature of restrictor-plate racing, a win isn’t out of the question. NASCAR rules have always credited the initial driver with the result of the relief driver. Most notably in recent years, Aric Almirola was credited with the victory in the Xfinity Series when he started the race but handed off to a late-arriving Denny Hamlin in 2007 at Milwaukee. A NASCAR spokesman confirmed Tuesday that according to the interpretation of its Chase for the Sprint Cup eligibility rules, if a relief driver is first to cross the finish line, the initial driver can use that win to make the Chase. Stewart must win a race and be in the top 30 in points after the season’s 26th race to make the Chase. [NASCAR] has no written rule on relief drivers and the Chase, with the exception that driver changes are not permitted by the four championship-eligible drivers in the season finale.(ESPN.com)(4-27-2016)
  • Love’s and CSX team up with Buescher at Talladega: Chris Buescher’s #34 Ford Fusion will have the support of his two biggest partners at Talladega Superspeedway’s Geico 500. Love’s Travel Stops and CSX will serve as co-primary sponsors of the Front Row Motorsports entry for the May 1 Sprint Cup Series race, promoting safety on the roads and around railroad tracks. Love’s and CSX are the #34 team’s principal sponsors for the 2016 season, combining for 26 of the series’ 36 points races. The Talladega race will serve as an opportunity for the two transportation-based companies to come together to promote a unified message during one of the season’s most anticipated and action-packed races. CSX has used its Front Row Motorsports partnership for four straight seasons to promote its message to ‘Play It Safe’ around railroad tracks. And, with more than 370 locations in 40 states, Love’s has a customer base of recreational and professional drivers around the country who encounter railroad crossings every day.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(4-27-2016)
  • Rimrock Devlin sponsoring Go Fas at Dega: Go Fas Racing announced that Jacksonville, FL based company Rimrock Devlin will return to Go Fas Racing as the primary sponsor of Bobby Labonte’s #32 Ford Fusion at Talladega Superspeedway for this weekend’s Geico 500. Rimrock Devlin Development is a partnership established by two industry experts, fueled by the desire to build solid relationships and strong communities. They have worked to build an organization capable of managing large development projects while providing personal, reliable service, customized to meet clients’ individual needs. (Go Fas Racing), see an image of the car on the #32 team paint schemes page.(4-27-2016)
  • Robb Rogers hired as Pit Crew Coach at Richard Petty Motorsports: Richard Petty Motorsports secured 36-year-veteran coach Robb Rogers to lead the pit crews for both Sprint Cup Series teams and the XFINITY Series team. Rogers brings a varied resume with experience training emerging athletes to first round picks, Olympians to soccer moms, walk on free agents to perennial All-Pro athletes. His diverse experience will bring a new perspective to pit crew coaching for Richard Petty Motorsports. Rogers will coach 18 athletes who’s focus is to train throughout the week to perform solid pit stops in 11 seconds or less on race day. A pivotal aspect of the race, both the Sprint Cup #43 and #44 teams rely on their crews to keep and ideally enhance their position each pit stop during the race. “We are thrilled to add Robb (Rogers) to our team,” said Sammy Johns, Vice President of Operations. “We feel like Robb will bring a different approach with his very diverse background. We have a very robust and seasoned pit crew that I feel can benefit from a coach with a strong background in strength and conditioning and coaching in other fields.” A professional coach since 1980, Rogers is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), USA Weightlifting and is a Master Strength and Conditioning Coach (MSCC) as certified by the Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association. Rogers has been a national/international lecturer since 1985, teaching and consulting with coaches around the world from the United States to China, Australia and Europe.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-27-2016)
  • JACOB Companies joins Richard Petty Motorsports as associate sponsor: Returning for a second year in 2016, JACOB Companies has partnered with Richard Petty Motorsports and the #44 team as an associate partner. JACOB Companies joined Richard Petty Motorsports in 2015 and is continuing the partnership through the 2016 season with Brian Scott and the #44 team. JACOB Companies is a nationwide full service General Contractor offering design, development, construction, technology and management services to a diverse portfolio of clients in various industries. JACOB Companies specializes in High Rise Structures, Universities, Hotels, Automotive Dealerships, Athletic Facilities both Professional and Collegiate, and Parking Structures.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-27-2016)
  • Lixar Becomes a Preferred Technology Partner of NASCAR: NASCAR and Lixar, a technology company driven by mobile and data science innovation, announced a multi-year deal, designating the company as a preferred technology partner of NASCAR. Lixar specializes in mobile solutions for enterprise airline, automotive and travel clients and will work with NASCAR to enhance the guest experience at national series events, specifically related to garage access. NASCAR’s Garage Access Program is a three-year initiative to enhance guests’ experience while visiting the garage. The initial steps of the project debuted during 2016 Daytona Speedweeks when NASCAR’s in-house credentialing and registration operations merged to form The Guest Fulfillment Center. Working with Lixar, NASCAR plans to integrate state-of-the-art technology that will make the credential process easier and faster. With the rapid evolution of mobile technology, Lixar specializes in connected product platforms and mobile-to-everything software solutions. Through personalized architecture, design, development, implementation, and support, Lixar will evolve the credential system and help push forward NASCAR’s renewed focus on improving the event experience.(NASCAR)(4-27-2016)
  • David Starr released by TriStar; JJ Yeley to the #44: In an ongoing effort to increase the competitive level of the #44 Zachry Toyota, TriStar Motorsports announces a driver change effective immediately. Starting this weekend with the NASCAR XFINITY Series race in Talladega, JJ Yeley will transfer over to fill the seat of the #44 Zachry Toyota, until further decisions are made. Yeley drove the #44 Zachry Toyota last weekend in Richmond and earned a 12th place finish. Driver David Starr has been released from TriStar Motorsports. Starr joined the team full-time in 2015. For the 2016 season, he has competed in seven races with a best finish of 17th and is currently ranked 20th in Driver Standings. “We have made significant changes in an effort to improve our overall program,” said team owner Mark Smith. “With our commitment to our sponsor, we felt that an immediate change was necessary. We have every confidence in the team we have assembled and we will continue to pursue our competitive goals. We wish David all the best in his career and we will announce further plans as they are confirmed.”(TriStar Motorsports)(4-27-2016)
  • Brandon McReynolds in the #24 at Talladega UPDATE: Brandon McReynolds tweeted Monday that he will drive the #24 Toyota for JGL Racing at Talladega on May 1. It will be his second career XFINITY Series race.(4-12-2016)
    UPDATE: Brandon McReynolds will be making his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series start at Talladega Superspeedway. The #24 Toyota will sport the colors of two sponsors for the running of the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. Hard rockers Monster Truck will be featured on the hood of the #24 Toyota. “Don’t Tell Me How To Live,” the first single from Monster Truck’s recently released album, SITTIN’ HEAVY, is now #23 at Active Rock radio. In the band’s native Canada, “Don’t Tell Me How To Live” catapulted into the Top 5 at Canadian Rock radio just three weeks in. As part of an ongoing relationship with FOX Sports, Monster Truck will be filming segments at the track this weekend involving the #24 Toyota and the band – which will be aired during Saturday’s race. Also joining the #24 Toyota this week is the Redneck Rivera brand which will be featured on the upper rear quarter panels. Redneck Riviera has developed into a lifestyle brand that celebrates the everyday Americans who “Work Hard and Play Hard”.(Integrity Sports Marketing), see an image of the car on the #24 team paint schemes page.(4-27-2016)
  • Derrike Cope Racing Announces Talladega Sponsors: DCR with JP Motorsports is ready to do battle at the Talladega Superspeedway for the Sparks Energy 300, and announce our partners for the upcoming NASCAR Xfinity Series race. Returning to the #70 once again as a co-primary sponsor is Buddy’s Home Furnishings. Buddy’s offers a huge selection of name brand, quality furniture, appliances, electronics, computers and much more. ICE-AID – formerly known as Beer Frost – an environmentally safe, all natural, mineral based product that turns your cooler of ice into a freezer – will continue its support of DCR and will be featured as a co-primary sponsor at the Sparks Energy 300 on the #70 Camaro. E-hydrate, a unique line of natural, hydrating, and nutritious drink mixes, will be displayed prominently on the #70 Camaro as an associate sponsor for the Sparks Energy 300. Also on board the #70 will be Honeybaked Ham Cafe in Oxford. Selling only the finest meats, sides and desserts, DCR will enjoy devine eats throughout the entire Talladega weekend.(Derrike Cope Racing)(4-27-2016)
  • Talladega race officials named: Talladega Superspeedway announced the Honorary Officials for Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at the biggest, baddest race track on the planet. Wayne Sternbergh, of Heyworth, Illinois, will serve as the Grand Marshal and give the most famous command in motorsports, “Drivers, Start Your Engines!” just prior to the start of the 113-lap event. Sternbergh, who will be celebrating his 30th birthday on Saturday, has raced Sprint and midget cars, competitively, for over twenty years and is an avid NASCAR fan. Bringing the field to the green flag to start the race will be the event’s Honorary Starter, Michael Zappone, Manager of Resource Acquisition for Eversource Energy.
    Sunday’s National Anthem for the GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will be complimented by a C-130 flyover. Housed at Maxwell Air Force Base (Montgomery, AL), the plane is a 1985 Vintage H-2. In addition, the traditional patriotic pace lap by Johnny Ray – which features his iconic semi-truck displaying a giant American Flag blowing in the wind – will once again make its way through the tri-oval to the excitement of fans young and old alike. The Star Spangled Banner will be performed by the 313th United States Army Band, comprised of 30-plus citizen-soldiers who train and perform as Army musicians. The event’s military theme will continue with Master Sergeant Larry D. Nix, the Grand Marshal for the GEICO 500, bringing the field to life with the command to start engines, while Senior Airman Maxime V. Copley, Aerospace Medical Services Technician, will be serving as Honorary Starter and will waive the green flag to get the event started. Following the race, the Freedom Trophy, one of Talladega Superspeedway’s newest and most unique patriotic traditions, will be presented to the race winner by Commander Daniel G. Straub of the soon-to-be commissioned USS Montgomery. Earlier on Sunday morning, the United States Air Force will conduct a DEP (Delayed Enlistment Program) swear-in on the pre-race stage, located on the frontstretch near the start/finish line.(Talladega Superspeedway)(4-27-2016)
  • Panthers player Greg Olsen named All-Star pace car driver: While many in the professional football world are focused on the NFL Draft, Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen will lead a different kind of draft when he drives the Toyota Camry pace car prior to the unforgettable, action-packed May 21 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race during the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Since arriving in Charlotte I have developed a great admiration for NASCAR and their athletes,” Olsen said. “Their concept of teamwork and commitment to excellence is second to none and I have a great deal of respect for the drivers and their teams. I am honored to be included in such an event and I am looking forward to driving the pace car to kick off the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.” Olsen, one of the NFL’s premier pass catchers, is no stranger to NASCAR. For the past two years, the Charlotte, North Carolina, resident has participated in fundraising efforts with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr. to support The Dale Jr. Foundation and The Greg Olsen Foundation’s HEARTest Yard campaign. Olsen has also attended race events at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the past, but never in a dignitary role. Last season, the veteran tight end earned his second Pro Bowl nod after recording a career-high 1,104 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Olsen’s efforts helped the Panthers finish with a franchise-best 15-1 record in a (Charlotte Motor Speedway)(4-27-2016)


    News from April 26, 2016


  • Bayne’s Darlington Throwback scheme released: Roush Fenway Racing and Trevor Bayne unveiled the paint scheme the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion will run this September at Darlington Raceway for the second season of the track’s The Tradition Continues throwback celebration. The #6 AdvoCare Ford will carry the same red, white and blue design as Mark Martin’s #6 Ford did during the 1996 and 1997 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons. “It’s an honor any time you are mentioned alongside Mark Martin,” said Bayne. “He obviously contributed a lot to Roush Fenway and this organization, so to carry a paint scheme that he ran for the second year in a row is really cool. Our team has been working really hard and running well this season, so I’m hopeful that we can make Mark proud.” Last season Bayne paid homage to another successful Martin paint scheme, sporting the colors Martin donned in 1998, on his way to seven wins.
    “It’s going to be really cool to see that car on the track again at Darlington,” said Martin. “It’s always been one of my favorite paint schemes and we had a lot of good times taking that car to victory lane and leading a lot of laps during that time. I look at it as a tribute to all the guys that put the hard work in on those cars and gave us the opportunity to go out and compete each week.”(Roush Fenway Racing). See an image of the car on the #6 team paint schemes page.(4-26-2016)
  • France explains why Stewart was fined: Tony Stewart said Sunday that he wasn’t sure why he was fined $35,000 last week by NASCAR after comments he made about officials not requiring teams to tighten all five lug nuts on each wheel. NASCAR Chairman Brian France told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday that Stewart’s fine was based on what he said and how he said it. “Tony has been very aware of how we approach from a criticism standpoint of the sport and the product of the racing itself and safety is paramount,” France told host Dave Moody. “Tony is very aware of how we look at that.”
    France explained on “SiriusXM Speedway” how Stewart crossed the line. “I think we have to make judgment calls and how we look at the tone of what someone says, how they’re saying it,” France said. “They have ample opportunities, particularly with safety, to deal with us directly on that. But to insinuate that we’re taking the sport down a road that doesn’t care about safety or we’re trying to hurt people, those kind of comments, that goes to the integrity of the sport and we’ll have to deal with that. We go way beyond what any other league would allow in terms of how far people can go in voicing their view. There’s just a little line out there that is a bright line and everybody is aware of. Every once in a while we’ll have a driver or somebody else that gets over that line and we’ll just have to deal with it. It’s not a big thing. We deal with it. They understand it and we move on. That’s how it goes.”(NBC Sports)(4-26-2016)
  • NASCAR will require teams to tighten all lugnuts UPDATE: NASCAR sent a memo to teams on Monday updating the NASCAR rulebook that all 5 lug nuts are now required to be installed:
    .a All tires, wheels, and all five lugnuts must be installed in a safe and secure manner at all times during the event.
    .b NASCAR reserves the right at any time to require any Competitor to report to pit road to inspect for any noncompliance.
    .c Any loss of a wheel(s) beyond the exit of pit road may result in a penalty…
    Violation of the section, resulting in the loss of a wheel, could result in a mandatory minimum four race suspention of the crew chief and tire changer and tire carrier.(4-25-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR’s updated rule states that if any missing lug nuts are found on a wheel before the race it must be corrected immediately and is listed as an unapproved adjustment, forcing the competitor to start at the rear. Any tire intended for race use without all five lug nuts glued to the wheel must be fixed immediately. If the issue is found after a Sprint Cup race, the crew chief will be suspended for one race, placed on probation and fined $20,000 on the first offense. Multiple events will result in escalated penalties. The penalty in the Xfinity Series is a one-race suspension for the crew chief, probation and a $10,000 fine. In the Camping World Truck Series, the penalty is a one-race suspension, probation and a $5,000 fine.(NBC Sports)
    AND: “Our job is whenever there’s a safety improvement to make or a policy to enhance things, we will just do that,” NASCAR CEO Brian France said Monday during an interview with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “It’s as simple as that. There’s not a controversial thing. Our whole system is based on safe and competitive racing. If we can make an adjustment to make things safer, we just simply will.” (Associated Press)(4-26-2016)
  • Schluter-Systems to sponsor Ragan at Talladega: BK Racing announced that Schluter-Systemswill be the primary sponsor of David Ragan’s #23 Toyota Camry at Talladega Superspeedway. In addition, Schluter-Systems also joins BK Racing as an associate sponsor for the remainder of the 2016 season. “This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for us at Schluter-Systems,” said Marco Ludwig, President and CEO of Schluter-Systems North America. “We’ve come to get to know David Ragan and the whole team at BK Racing, and our relationship evolved to where sponsorship was the next natural step for us. It began where many Schluter relationships begin– talking tile– and today, we are very proud to stand behind #23 at the Talladega race. We’ll be cheering for David, and wishing him a safe race.”(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #23 team paint schemes page.(4-26-2016)
  • Richmond TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Richmond earned a 2.9 overnight rating on FOX Sunday afternoon, down a tick from 2014, when it aired on a Saturday night (3.0). Overnights also dropped 6% from last year, when the race was postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon (3.1). The 2.9 overnight is the lowest ever for a Sunday Sprint Cup race on FOX, falling below the previous mark of 3.2 for Bristol one week prior. Regardless of day, it is tied as the second-lowest for a Sprint Cup race on FOX – matching Texas last year and ahead of Texas this year (2.5). Head-to-head, the race edged ABC’s competing Spurs/Grizzlies NBA playoff game (2.7) but was no match for Warriors/Rockets later in the day (5.4).(Sports Media Watch) see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(4-25-2016)
  • “Amelia” returning for Earnhardt, Jr at Talladega: It’s official: one of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s favorite cars will make its return this weekend. “Amelia” is back. In 2015, Amelia earned three wins — a Duel at Daytona International Speedway, the May race at Talladega Superspeedway and the July race at Daytona – in addition to a third-place finish in the Daytona 500 and a second-place result in the second Talladega race. Earnhardt’s average finish of 1.75 while driving Amelia in the four superspeedway points races last season led all competitors. So it was no surprise that the chassis would make its return this season for the Daytona 500 this season. It looked like another successful run was in the works, but as Earnhardt looked to jump back into the top five with 30 laps remaining, the #88 Chevy SS was caught up in an incident that sent him to a 36th-place finish. Last month, Earnhardt hinted that it was posible Amelia could make a comeback for Talladega Superspeedway, but it was up to #88 crew chief Greg Ives and the team whether the car would be the backup or the primary. Ives answered that question Monday morning.(Hendrick Motorsports)(4-26-2016)
  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Talladega:
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr 93.8
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 89.5
    #20-Matt Kenseth 88.5
    #41-Kurt Busch 88.0
    #2-Brad Keselowski 84.4
    Brian Vickers 84.0
    #11-Denny Hamlin 82.9
    #42-Kyle Larson 81.9
    #22-Joey Logano 81.5
    #4-Kevin Harvick 80.6
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (22 total) among active drivers at Talladega Superspeedway.
    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)
  • SDD partners with Jeremy Clements at Talladega: SDD (Signs & Displays Direct), the industry leader in turnkey display programs has partnered with Jeremy Clements Racing for Talladega. Launched in 2006, SDD provides “quality products with knowledgeable customer service and value pricing,” according to SDD’s Kaz Rossetto. “SDD creates turnkey, no inventory, in-store display and graphics programs for manufacturers and retailers. We work with a client to decide which types of displays and graphics work best for retail areas in their network. Once the decision has been made, the client no longer has to dedicate time to the process. Their retailers or franchisees then order directly from SDD and we handle everything from that point on. We can even brand each item with the individual retailers name and logo.” In addition to its industry leading turnkey display programs, SDD also develops private label branding programs, imaging services and consulting services as well. The SDD logo will be featured as an associate sponsor on the JCR #51 Chevy Camaro for the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega.(Jeremy Clements Racing)(4-26-2016)
  • John Jackson in the #13 at Talladega: MBM Motorsports is teaming up with flwaterfront.com and IcardMerrell Attorney David Levin for this weekend’s race at Talladega. Both companies, based out of Sarasota, Florida, will be on the number 13 car driven by John Jackson. FLWATERFRONT.COM consists of a series of pages intended to provide useful information concerning all aspects of waterfront property ownership. Attorney David Levin can handle all of your water front property needs in the sunshine state.(MBM), see an image of the car on the #13 team paint schemes page.(4-26-2016)
  • Gas Buddy partners with MAKE: GasBuddy, the world’s leading gas mobile app, joins MAKE Motorsports as the primary sponsor of the #50 Chevy Silverado driven by Travis Kvapil for multiple races in the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, beginning with Kansas Speedway on Friday, May 6. With more than 56 million downloads and 15 million monthly active users, GasBuddy is home to the world’s largest network of people working together daily to save money at the pump.(MAKE Motorsports)(4-26-2016)
  • Kennedy joins GMS UPDATE: Team officials announced that Ben Kennedy will join the GMS Racing stable for a multi-race deal with 10 races already confirmed in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races, beginning May 6 at Kansas Speedway. Kennedy will pilot the #33 Chevy Silverado alongside teammates Johnny Sauter and Spencer Gallagher. Kennedy has 53 NCWTS starts under his belt and looks to claim his first victory in the series with GMS Racing. Jacob Companies, a first-year partner of Kennedy, plans to continue their support under the GMS Racing banner. Additional details on new partners and schedule will be released in the coming weeks.(GMS Racing)(4-25-2016)
    UPDATE: With Kennedy taking over the #33, Grant Enfinger, who earned the 2015 ARCA championship for the team and began the season with a pole in the #33 entry, posted on his Facebook page that he would remain with the team for multiple truck starts.”A lot of people have been asking about my racing plans lately so I am going to give an update as best I can. The only confirmed truck races that I will be in the seat of a GMS Racing truck as of now are Kentucky, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Talladega. There is still hope to add to that schedule, and everyone here at GMS Racing is working hard for that. I am still working here at GMS Racing everyday and the relationship continues to be great. I can’t wait to get back in the truck, but when I’m not I will continue to help all of my teammates here at GMS Racing. I am proud of what we have accomplished to this point, and I’m grateful for the past, present, and future at GMS Racing.” (4-26-2016)
  • Chicago race will be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400: Nickelodeon announced that it is the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 18, dubbed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Danica Patrick has signed on to drive a special car for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, which will feature a weekend of action, activities and fun for the entire family with the iconic Heroes in a Half Shell. NASCAR star Danica Patrick, a Roscoe, Illinois native, helped kick off the partnership in true Turtles style. She unveiled her #10 April O’Neil/Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet SS at an event at Wrigley Square in Millennium Park with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then took her car for a spin down Michigan Ave. She will join a number of other drivers with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles paint schemes for the Sept. 18 race. This Sept. 15-18 marks the sixth consecutive year that Chicagoland Speedway will kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Nickelodeon partnership will include sponsorship of the 2017 kick off race, as well. Patrick’s unique car was designed by Chicago artist Hebru Brantley, who will also design the race trophy, additional Turtles-branded paint schemes and other visual elements. Brantley breaks down the walls of cultural boundaries through his art and inspired by his 1980s Chicago upbringing, Brantley’s work touches on tough subjects in a way that may be easily digestible to the viewer, by telling his stories through youthful characters and their adventures. Brantley’s work can be described as pop infused contemporary art inspired by Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean Michel Basquiat, KAWS and Keith Haring.(Chicagoland Speedway), see an image of Patrick’s car on the #10 team paint schemes page.(4-26-2016)


    News from April 25, 2016


  • NASCAR will require teams to tighten all lugnuts: NASCAR sent a memo to teams on Monday updating the NASCAR rulebook that all 5 lug nuts are now required to be installed:
    .a All tires, wheels, and all five lugnuts must be installed in a safe and secure manner at all times during the event.
    .b NASCAR reserves the right at any time to require any Competitor to report to pit road to inspect for any noncompliance.
    .c Any loss of a wheel(s) beyond the exit of pit road may result in a penalty…
    Violation of the section, resulting in the loss of a wheel, could result in a mandatory minimum four race suspection of the crew chief and tire changer and tire carrier.(4-25-2016)
  • Edwards talks about bumping Busch for the win:
    Q: Can you take us through the final lap and how close things were with Kyle Busch?
    Edwards: “So going into the white flag Dave (Rogers, crew chief) said something on the radio basically like, ‘Get your butt in gear and go get him.’ So, I thought, ‘Heck, I’ll drive down there in turn one really far and it looked like Kyle (Busch), his car got real slow that last lap like his tires were just burnt up. He did a really good job keeping me held at bay ’til then but then we went down the back straightaway and I saw him spin the tires. So, going back down the back straight away I thought, ‘I’m going for the bottom. That’s where I’m going.’ He went down there and just parked it and his car was sliding and I was just so much faster I had to give him a little tap and we got by him. I didn’t think I was going to get him hard enough. I thought it would just be a bump and go but we got the win. We both got wins so it’s just racing hard and having fun.”
    Q: How much more difficult is that situation when it’s a teammate you’re racing for the win?
    Edwards: “It’s really difficult. I didn’t want to touch him at all. I just decided I was going to run the bottom and I went down there and I was like either I’ve got to lay on the brake and slow down or I can just kind of keep my momentum going and touch him. We were so much faster there at the bottom. If he’d have gone high I don’t know, I might have just got by him but it just looked like – I’d have to talk to him but it looks like his car just gave up like he’d just used up his tires. I couldn’t catch him up to that point, I thought it was over with about five to go.”(Toyota Racing)(4-25-2016)
  • Tire test this week at IMS: Goodyear will hold a tire test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday. Four drivers are scheduled to take part in the test: #43-Almirola (Ford), #24-Elliott (Chevy), #14-Stewart (Chevy), #19-Edwards (Toyota).(4-25-2016)
  • Stewart says he will continue to speak his mind UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart talked to Fox Sports during pre-race coverage at Richmond Sunday:
    Q: Moving forward, will you hold back on any of those opinions?
    STEWART: “No. I understand what NASCAR is trying to do, but I’m always going to speak my mind. I don’t know what the key word or key phrase was that got me fined. But when it comes to safety, I’m not going to hold back. That’s $35,000 well-invested if it makes it safer for these guys. I think they’re (NASCAR) doing something different today with rules on trying to keep everybody … making sure we get enough lug nuts on the cars. You just don’t want to be in a position where, with 20 laps to go and you’re leading the race and you haven’t won a race and you need that to get in the Chase, to have to make a decision as a driver whether to come in or whether to ride down and hope it stays. That’s not a good position for us to be in. I think some of the people at NASCAR took it the wrong way. They’ve done an awesome job with safety and this is one thing we still need to look at. It wasn’t saying they’re not doing their job. I just felt like this is one thing they dropped the ball on. So, they’re doing a good job. They’re looking at it. They’re going to address it and make it right, and down the road, we won’t have to worry about this again, hopefully.”(Fox Sports)(4-24-2016)
    UPDATE: ESPN’s Marty Smith says: [I] asked Tony Stewart what it said to him that his peers backed him up so staunchly this week: “It told me I was right. I won’t back down on safety.” Smoke also told me he hears, in the aftermath of his safety rant, that NASCAR is working now to fix/alter/change the rule.(ESPN.com)(4-25-2016)
  • Richmond Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Toyota Owners 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 4:22 PM (all times are EDT). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 112
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 52
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 93
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 49
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 19
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 12
    Number of times Fox utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:22 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 202
    Minutes of race broadcast: 160
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 42
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 9
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 2 (1 described, but not shown)
    Total race brdcst time 160 Total comm. brdcst time 42
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(4-25-2016)
  • XFINITY Entry List: There are 43 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. A few notes:
    John Wes Townley returns with the #05 team;
    John Jackson will be in the #13;
    Benny Gordon will drive the #14 for Tri-Star;
    Travis Kvapil is again entered in the #15 for Rick Ware;
    Matt Tifft remains in the JGR #18;
    Brandon McReynolds will drive the #24 for JGL;
    Bobby Gerhart is entered in his #85;
    The #97 is again TBA. Ryan Ellis has been in the car recently.(4-25-2015)
    See the complete list on the Talladega entry list page.
  • Sparks Energy to sponsor Sieg at Talladega: RSS Racing welcomes Sparks Energy Inc. as the primary sponsor for Ryan Sieg for this weekend at Talladega. The Danville, Alabama company will also serve as the title sponsor of the race for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Saturday named the Sparks Energy 300. Sparks Energy Inc. has provided services on high voltage power lines and industrial systems across the United States with a focus in transmission and distribution. Sieg, is currently 12th in the standings, holds the last Chase spot for the XFINITY Series.(RSS Racing), see an image of the car on the #39 team paint schemes page.(4-25-2016)
  • Chitwood named Chief Operating Officer of ISC; Wile moves from Darlington to Daytona:International Speedway Corporation announced that Joie Chitwood III, Executive Vice President, ISC and President of Daytona International Speedway, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer of ISC. Concurrently, the Company announced that Chip Wile, President of Darlington Raceway, has been promoted to President of Daytona International Speedway. “Joie has played a tremendous role in the success of our flagship racetrack at Daytona International Speedway since 2010,” stated ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy. “Most recently, his leadership of the DAYTONA Rising project, while simultaneously operating the facility, has demonstrated his operational acumen.” Chitwood moves into the newly-formed role of COO following oversight of the Company’s largest development to-date – the $400 million transformation of Daytona International Speedway into the world’s first motorsports stadium, along with the 2010 repave of the Speedway. In his new position, Chitwood will oversee ISC enterprise facility operations, along with strengthening key industry initiatives.
    Wile, promoter of one of NASCAR’s most successful events of the 2015 season – the Bojangles’ Southern 500, will transition from leadership of Darlington Raceway to President of Daytona International Speedway. In just two years as President of Darlington Raceway, Wile transformed the facility’s identity and impact on and off the track. He spearheaded a five-year strategy to reinvent Darlington Raceway with an inaugural Throwback Campaign during NASCAR’s return to Darlington on Labor Day weekend, in addition to re-engaging the local community hosting nearly 15 annual events. In his new role, Wile will oversee promotion and operation of the new motorsports stadium beginning with its first major event, the Country 500 over Memorial Day weekend, followed by the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola.(ISC)(4-25-2016)


    News from April 24, 2016


  • Carl Edwards wins at Richmond: #19-Carl Edwards won the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway for his 2nd win of the season, 2nd win at Richmond and 27th career win. Edwards led 151 of the 400 laps, but was trailing teammate #18-Kyle Busch on the final lap when he bumped him going into turn 4 to push Busch out of the groove and take the win.
    #18-Busch held on for 2nd followed by #48-Johnson, #5-Kahne, pole sitter #4-Harvick, #11-Hamlin, #20-Kenseth, #22-Logano, #78-Truex, Jr., and #41-Busch.
    #14-Stewart, in his first race of the year, lost a lap early but battled back for a 19th place, lead lap finish.
    There were 22 lead changes among 8 drivers and 8 cautions for 49 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 97.070mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    (4-24-2016)
  • Race Fast Facts – Richmond International Raceway:
    Carl Edwards won the 62nd Annual Toyota Owners 400, his 27th victory in 418 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his second victory and 12th top-10 finish in 24 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Kyle Busch (second) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 22 races at Richmond International Raceway. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2016.
    Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 29 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Chase Elliott (12th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Carl Edwards leads the point standings by 7 points over Kevin Harvick.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-24-2016)
  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Points (not CHASE) Standings:
    [after Richmond, race 9 of 36]
    1) #19-Edwards [2 wins], 331
    2) #4-Harvick [1 win], 324, -7
    3) #48-Johnson [2 wins], 310, -21
    4) #18-Busch, [2 wins], 302, -29
    5) #22-Logano, 299, -32
    6) #41-Busch, 279, -52
    7) #88-Earnhardt Jr., 278, -53
    8) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 258, -73
    9) #2-Keselowski [1 win], 255, -76
    10) #78-Truex Jr., 246, -85
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup CHASE Standings:
    [after Richmond, race 9 of 36, 16 drivers for the Chase]
    Set by most wins, then by points standing
    1) #19-Edwards [2 wins], 1st in driver points
    2) #48-Johnson [2 wins], 3rd
    3) #18-Busch [2 wins], 4th
    4) #4-Harvick [1 win], 2nd
    5) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 8th
    6) #2-Keselowski [1 win], 9th
    no wins, in by drivers points standings
    7) #22-Logano, 299
    8) #41-Busch, 279
    9) #88-Earnhardt Jr., 278
    10) #78-Truex, Jr., 246
    11) #24-Elliott, 234
    12) #3-Dillon, 234
    13) #1-McMurray, 224
    14) #5-Kahne, 222
    15) #20-Kenseth, 212
    16) #31-Newman, 205
    (4-24-2016)
  • Stewart says he will continue to speak his mind: #14-Tony Stewart talked to Fox Sports during pre-race coverage at Richmond Sunday:
    Q: Moving forward, will you hold back on any of those opinions?
    STEWART: “No. I understand what NASCAR is trying to do, but I’m always going to speak my mind. I don’t know what the key word or key phrase was that got me fined. But when it comes to safety, I’m not going to hold back. That’s $35,000 well-invested if it makes it safer for these guys. I think they’re (NASCAR) doing something different today with rules on trying to keep everybody … making sure we get enough lug nuts on the cars. You just don’t want to be in a position where, with 20 laps to go and you’re leading the race and you haven’t won a race and you need that to get in the Chase, to have to make a decision as a driver whether to come in or whether to ride down and hope it stays. That’s not a good position for us to be in. I think some of the people at NASCAR took it the wrong way. They’ve done an awesome job with safety and this is one thing we still need to look at. It wasn’t saying they’re not doing their job. I just felt like this is one thing they dropped the ball on. So, they’re doing a good job. They’re looking at it. They’re going to address it and make it right, and down the road, we won’t have to worry about this again, hopefully.” (Fox Sports)(4-24-2016)
  • Vickers still possible for an Indy 500 ride UPDATE – No: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt says NASCAR driver Brian Vickers and the late Justin Wilson’s brother, Stefan, are still possibilities for the team’s third car in the Indy 500. The team owner, whose other candidates include – but are not confined to – trusty veteran Oriol Servia and Verizon IndyCar Series sophomore Gabby Chaves, said: “The same four or five guys have been circling the sandbox for the last 45 days. One week one of them will be all fired up and there’ll be LOIs [letters of intent] exchanged…and then nothing happens and it’s left hanging. We seem to be spending a lot of time on it at the moment, which I hoped not to be doing by now, but that’s the nature of the business. So let me put it this way: as of this morning, the door’s still open to all!” Schmidt, whose team took pole at the 2011 Indy 500 with Alex Tagliani, confirmed that rookies Vickers and Wilson remain in the running for the third SPM seat on Memorial Day Weekend. Schmidt said no clear favorite had emerged among his potential third drivers for the 100th Indy 500.(Motorsport)(4-14-2016)
    UPDATE: Veteran IndyCar Series driver Oriol Servia was confirmed Saturday to the #77 Honda of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for next month’s Indianapolis 500. The team co-owned by Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson fields full-season cars for James Hinchcliffe and Mikhail Aleshin. Schmidt also considered Gabby Chaves, Katherine Legge and Jay Howard. At one point NASCAR driver Brian Vickers was considered for the SPM ride, but he has been focused on serving as the temporary Sprint Cup Series replacement for Tony Stewart, who is returning this weekend from a late-January back injury.(Indianpolis Star)(4-24-2016)
  • Frustrations continue for Bowyer: With less than five minutes remaining in Happy Hour at Richmond International Raceway, Clint Bowyer was far from pleased with the #15 car. Bowyer, who has struggled to get up to speed since joining HScott Motorsports, suffered another rant on Saturday when smoke started spewing from his car. “Right front smoking, real bad, real bad, real bad,” spotter Brett Griffin reported to the #15. Bowyer was 37th on the speed chart in single-lap runs during final practice – at a track where he’s won twice and enjoys his second-best career average finish (11.3) behind Sonoma. Yet on Saturday, he was one of just two cars not to post a 10 best consecutive lap run. “I’ve never been with such a (expletive) unprepared (expletive) team in my life,” Bowyer replied via team radio. “It’s a (expletive) joke. No power steering. (Expletive) put this in the truck and go home.” Bowyer is coming off of a season-best eighth place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend. His performance matched the organization’s career-high result posted by former driver Justin Allgaier at BMS in 2015. But as Bowyer acknowledged – quite honestly, two weeks ago – this season has been “tough”.(Motorsport)(4-24-2016)
  • Richmond Race Notes & Facts:
    � There have been 119 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway, one NSCS event from 1953 – 1958 and two races per year since 1959.
    � 486 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond; 316 in more than one.
    � Petty Enterprises has the most wins at Richmond in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 15; followed by Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing with 10 each and Richard Childress Racing with nine.
    � Nine different manufacturers have won at Richmond. Chevrolet leads the series in wins at Richmond with 37 victories; followed by Ford with 31 and Toyota with eight.
    � Only four of the 119 races at Richmond International Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions: spring of 1962, spring of 1977, spring of 1982 and spring of 2003.
    � Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway was the (09/12/1998) race won by Jeff Burton with a MOV of 0.051 second.
    � There have been two NSCS races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Richmond International Raceway: spring of 2008 (400/410) and spring of 2013 (400/406).
    (NASCAR)


    News from April 23, 2016


     

  • Final practice for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is over, after 80 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson 120.849
    #5-Kahne 120.622
    #18-Busch 120.493
    #4-Harvick 120.374
    #19-Edwards 119.979
    slowest: #46-Annett 115.321 & #30-Wise 114.446
    most laps run: #41-Busch 122, #3-Dillon 99
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Richmond Final Practice Speeds page (pdf).(4-23-2016)
  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #4-Harvick chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #2-Logano took pit stall 7.
    #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took the 27th pit stall, just before the start-finish line.
    The 42nd and final pit stall was taken by #44-Scott, who starts 20th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-23-2016)
  • Bristol TV Ratings UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing from Bristol had a 3.2 overnight rating on FOX Sunday afternoon, down 27% from 2013, the last time it was run as scheduled (4.4). The race was deluged by rain the past two years, with FOX airing just a few laps before handing off to Fox Sports 1. The network’s abbreviated coverage had a 2.9 overnight last year and a 4.1 in 2014. Excluding rainouts, the 3.2 is the lowest for the spring Bristol race since it moved to FOX in 2001. The previous low was a 3.9 in 2011. It is also the lowest overnight for a Sunday Sprint Cup race on FOX, falling below a 3.3 for Dover in 2014. Overall, the 3.2 is tied as the fourth-lowest for any Sprint Cup race on FOX, regardless of day – matching Darlington in 2014 and ahead of only Texas the previous week (2.5), Texas last year (2.9) and Richmond in 2014 (3.0). Head-to-head, #19-Carl Edwards’ win trailed competing coverage of the Pistons/Cavaliers NBA playoff game on ABC (4.1). As NASCAR ratings tend to rise from the overnights to the final, while NBA ratings decline, the race could still come out ahead when the final numbers are released (Spoirts Media Watch / Sports Business Daily)(4-19-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Bristol (TN) earned a 3.4 final rating and 5.5 million viewers on FOX last Sunday afternoon, down 26% in ratings and 27% in viewership from 2013, the last time the race was run as scheduled (4.6, 7.5M). Both last year and in 2014, FOX aired only brief snippets of the race due to extensive rain delays. The network drew a 3.3 and 5.1 million for less than 15 minutes of racing last year, and a 4.5 and 7.3 million for 45 minutes of coverage in 2014. Despite the lower numbers, NASCAR on FOX was still the most-watched sports broadcast of the weekend – edging ABC’s Pistons/Cavaliers NBA playoff game (5.4M).(Sports Media Watch)(4-23-2016)
  • BK Racing owner talks about Bristol finish; hiring DiBenedetto: BK Racing owner Ron Devine talked to the media Friday at Richmond and was asked about #83-Matt DiBenedetto’s 6th place finish at Bristol:
    Q: How special was last week’s finish for the entire BK Racing organization?
    Devine: “It was special for us and I know you saw it on pit road, we were all so emotional. We have a lot of confidence in this guy (Matt DiBenedetto) right here and I say he’s kind of like, ‘my guy,’ because we found each other along the way. We were excited to put him in a race car and we kind of took a chance on him, but he deserves it and I think he showed it last week. Think about, we’ve been out here for five years and that’s our best finish and it was real emotional. Even that last lap, we’ve taken the white flag in 10th by the way and came back 25th, and this time we took the white flag in sixth and came back sixth. It was really special for us and I can’t say enough about him and about this race team. It really speaks to how hard these guys worked all winter putting the cars together and their commitment to make something happen. Now that we’ve finally had some success with it, it just felt great.”
    Q: How insistent was J.D. Gibbs that you hire Matt DiBenedetto to drive for you?
    Devine: “I’m glad you asked that, the first person that mentioned Matt DiBenedetto to me was J.D. Gibbs and he said, ‘Ron, this guy is special.’ I have a lot of respect for the Gibbs organization – Joe (Gibbs) and myself have been friends for many, many years so I said, ‘Let’s take a look at him.’ We looked at his test when he was over there and then we started just examining him and J.D. was the first one that said, ‘Hey, we really like this young man and we think he’s something special and you should get him.’ For that, we thank you J.D. Gibbs and we wish you all the best with all that you’re going through. That organization and us both being Toyota, we have a great relationship anyway, but he is just a great friend and he was very kind to send him our way.”
    (Toyota Racing PR)(4-23-2016)
  • Richard Petty Motorsports aligns with Pioneer Technology Group: Richard Petty Motorsports announced an alignment with Pioneer Technology Group for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The software development company will have associate placement on the #44 Ford Fusion driven by Brian Scott. In their first NASCAR partnership, Pioneer Technology Group looks to grow their client base and provide targeted software solutions and content management solutions that increase productivity, improve delivery and reduce costs across a wide spectrum of institutions in both the public and private sectors. They strive to help companies and local governments do more with less through their state of the art technologies and experienced leaders who have the knowledge to make every client of theirs function better.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-23-2016)
  • Richmond Driver Notes & Facts:
    � NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Richmond with 63. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with 33 starts.
    � 50 different drivers have won at Richmond International Raceway, led by Richard Petty with 13. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in wins at RIR with four; all of which were spring races.
    � First Career NSCS Win At RIR: James Hylton (1970), Neil Bonnett (1977), Kyle Petty (1986), Tony Stewart (1999), Kasey Kahne (2005)
    � Eight drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Richmond International Raceway. Richard Petty leads the series in consecutive wins at Richmond after posting seven consecutive wins from the fall of 1970 – 1973. Jimmie Johnson (2007 sweep) is the only active driver with consecutive wins at Richmond.
    � All of the active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Richmond International Raceway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart won at Richmond in their second appearance.
    � Greg Biffle leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Richmond without visiting Victory Lane at 27.
    � Bobby Allison and Richard Petty are tied for the lead in runner-up finishes at Richmond with nine each. Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with five.
    � Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Richmond with 34; Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with 14.
    � Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Richmond with 41. Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers with 18.
    � Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Richmond International Raceway with a 7.095.
    � Two female drivers have competed at Richmond in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Danica Patrick & Janet Guthrie
    (NASCAR)
  • ToyotaCare 250 or ToyotaCare 210? Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY race was billed as the ToyotaCare 250, but many fans noticed that the scheduled laps weren’t 250 this year. There were 2 heat races with 35 laps each and the main event was only 140 laps, for a total of 210 laps run. The XFINITY Series has run 250 laps races at Richmond since the fall race in 1993. Prior to that, race was 200 laps for many years.
    The total number of laps changed this year due to the implementation of the Dash 4 Cash. With Dash 4 Cash, NASCAR added a 15 minute break between the two heats and a 15 minute break between the second heat and the main event. To compensate for the additional time it was estimated the race would take, the number of laps was shortened. In addition, according to a press release from the track in January, “The total number of laps at RIR will be 210, which puts the event at nearly 250 kilometers (based on where the line is measured).”(4-23-2016)
  • Bristol XFINITY TV Ratings: NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Bristol (TN) drew 1.2 million viewers on Fox Sports 1 last Saturday afternoon, up 6% from last year (1.1M) but down 26% from 2014, the last time it aired on ESPN2 (1.7M). The past three Xfinity Series races have been either flat or up compared to last year.(Sports Media Watch)(4-23-2016)
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. wins XFINITY race at Richmond: #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway. It is his 24th XFINITY Series win of his career and his first since 2010. He led 128 of the 149 laps.
    #2-Ty Dillon finished second and captured the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus. The rest of the top 10: #1-Elliot Sadler, #19-Daniel Suarez, #2-Austin Dillon, #5-Cole Custer, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #11-Blake Koch, #22-Brad Keselowski, and #48-Brennan Poole.
    The race ended after one attempt at NASCAR Overtime. A late race accident collected several drivers at the front of the field with less than 10 laps to go.
    The first caution of the race did not come until 15 laps to go.
    Pole sitter #20-Erik Jones was involved in both of the cautions on the day and finished 34th.
    There were 2 cautions for 20 laps and 4 lead changes among 4 leaders.
    The average speed was 93.623mph.
    Complete results are on the Richmond race results page (pdf).
    (4-23-2016)
  • Richmond XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Dale Earnhardt Jr.(i) won the 29th Annual ToyotaCare 250, his 24th victory in 137 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his fourth victory and fifth top-10 finish in six races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Ty Dillon (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in seven races at Richmond International Raceway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2016.
    Elliott Sadler (third) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 26 races at Richmond International Raceway.
    Brennan Poole (10th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Daniel Suarez leads the point standings by 9 points over Elliott Sadler.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-23-2016)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Richmond:
    1) #19-Daniel Suarez, 279
    2) #1-Elliott Sadler, 270, -9
    3) #3-Ty Dillon, 260, -19
    4) #33-Brandon Jones, 249, -30
    5) #20-Erik Jones [1 win], 244, -35
    6) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 242, -37
    7) #7-Justin Allgaier, 241, -38
    8) #48-Brennan Poole, 212, -67
    9) #16-Ryan Reed, 210, -69
    10) #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., 201, -78
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings (pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(4-23-2016)
  • Erik Jones on XFINITY pole for main event at Richmond: Following the two 35 lap heat races, #20-Erik Jones will start from the pole for the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond. He gets the pole by winning the first heat race and being higher in owner points than #2-Austin Dillon (because qualifying was cancelled). Dillon will start second after winning the second heat. The rest of the top 10 starters: #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr, #7-Justin Allgaier, #18-Matt Tifft, #19-Daniel Suarez, #48-Brennan Poole, #22-Brad Keselowski, #1-Elliott Sadler, and #2-Austin Dillon.
    The starting lineup is posted on the Richmond starting lineup page (pdf).(4-23-2016)
  • Ty Dillon wins XFINITY Heat 2 at Richmond: #3-Ty Dillon won the second heat race for the ToyotaCare 250 at International Raceway. He took the lead from #2-Austion Dillon on the first lap and led every lap. The race was caution free.
    #7-Justin Allgaier was second, followed by: #19-Daniel Suarez, #22-Brad Keselowski, #2-Austin Dillon, #42-Justin Marks, #4-Ross Chastain, #11-Blake Koch, #16-Ryan Reed, and #39-Ryan Sieg.
    Erik Jones, who won the first heat, will start the main event from the pole because he had a better starting position than Ty Dillon in the two heat races. Finishers of this heat race will lineup on the outside of the feature in even-numbered starting positions.
    Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier, the top 2 XFINITY regulars in the heat, will join Erik Jones and Brennan Poole in running for the Dash 4 Cash bonus in the main.
    Results are posted on the Richmond XFINITY Series Heat 2 results page (pdf).(4-23-2016)
  • Erik Jones wins XFINITY Heat 1 at Richmond: #20-Erik Jones won the first heat race for the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway. He took the lead from #18-Matt Tifft on lap 1 and lead every lap. The race was caution free.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr was second, followed by: #18-Matt Tifft, #48-Brennan Poole, #1-Elliott Sadler, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #33-Brandon Jones, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #5-Cole Custer, and #44-J.J. Yeley.
    After the second heat, the complete lineup will be set for the 140 lap main event.
    Erik Jones will start the main either first or second, depending on who had the best starting position in the two heat winners. Finishers of this heat race will lineup on the inside of the feature in odd-numbered starting positions.
    Erik Jones and Brennan Poole, being the top 2 XFINITY regulars in the heat, will run for the Dash 4 Cash bonus in the main.
    Results are posted on the Richmond XFINITY Series Heat 1 results page (pdf).(4-23-2016)
  • Allgaier fastest in XFINITY practice: #7-Justin Allgaier was fastest during practice at Richmond International Raceway with a speed of 121.174mph. #2-Austin Dillon was second, followed by: #22-Brad Keselowski, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #19-Daniel Suarez, #20-Erik Jones, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #11-Blake Koch, #1-Elliott Sadler, and #42-Justin Marks. All 40 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Richmond practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-23-2016)
  • Pocono Raceway, Penn State Working To Eliminate Waste: The goals for Pocono Raceway are set extremely high, especially when it goes to green initiatives. That’s why the 2.5-mile raceway has partnered with Penn State University. Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky started a project last year with Penn State to make the raceway a “near zero waste” facility. Meaning that a majority of the waste produced during Pocono’s operating season will be diverted from landfills. Already the first motorsports facility to operate on solar power thanks to its massive three megawatt solar farm, Pocono Raceway is now trying to eliminate waste. Last year, students from Penn State began a partnership at Pocono Raceway. They surveyed fans, explored materials management, identified persistent patterns in fan behavior and learned about sustainability-related infrastructure. The research showed that fans, especially at Pocono Raceway, were concerned about wastefulness and environmental responsibility. The study noted that fans are searching for better options for waste management. Among the immediate changes implemented were additional recycling containers. Working with Pocono Raceway partner Coca-Cola, the raceway is now blanketed with recycling bins. Pocono Raceway, Penn State and new food and beverage provider Spectra will also focus on the goal of near-zero waste. Meetings with area resorts and the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau have begun exploring options to manage biomass with composting or anaerobic digestion as a possible solution.(Pocono Raceway)(4-23-2016)


    News from April 22, 2016


  • NASCAR will take another look at lug nut rules: In the face of increasing driver criticism about safety, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller said Friday afternoon that the sanctioning body will re-examine its lug nut rules. “Until this point, we’ve never really had too much trouble,” said Miller. Miller said Friday that NASCAR will continue to engage in discussions with the teams and drivers and decide whether a change needs to be made. “Since the drivers are now questioning it, it’s time for us to kind of re-evaluate our position and work with the community on looking at possibly different ways to enforce the pit-road rules,” Miller said. Miller did not off a timetable for evaluating the rules. “The teams are obviously pushing harder than they ever have in this area,” said Miller. “And it’s time for us to take a look at it, but we’ll do that as an industry. The open dialog is very good right now between NASCAR and the teams, so we’ll work internally and with them to move forward here.”(Fox Sports)(4-22-2016)
  • Richmond qualifying rained out; Harvick on pole: #4-Kevin Harvick will start from the pole for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway after qualifying was canceled due to persistant rain at the track. The field was set according to the rule book with Friday practice determining the lineup. #22-Logano will start second, followed by #48-Johnson, #19-Edwards, #11-Hamlin, #2-Keselowski, #41-Busch, #5-Kahne, #18-Busch, and #47-Allmendinger.
    41 cars were entered, #98-Whitt was the only car to not qualify. He failed to qualify by being the slowest open team during Friday practice.
    See the complete starting lineup on the Richmond Starting Lineup page (pdf).(4-22-2016)
  • Patrick Carpentier driving 2 races for Go Fas Racing: Go Fas Racing announces that Patrick Carpentier will pilot the #32 Can-Am, Kappa, Cyclops Ford Fusion at Sonoma Raceway in June, and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July. Carpentier has 40 starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 2007-2011. The Ville LaSalle, Quebec native has 2 NSCS starts at Sonoma with a best finish of 11h in 2009, and one start at Indianapolis where he finished 18th.
    “Even if I say that I’m retired, I could not miss the opportunity to drive in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, especially on circuits as interesting as those of Sonoma and Indianapolis,” said Patrick Carpentier. “I’m really happy to wear the colors of Can-Am, Kappa, and Cyclops Gear because I love to use their products.”
    “We are very happy with the choice of drivers made by our partner, Archie St.Hilaire of Go FAS Racing,” said Jos� Boisjoli President and CEO of BRP. “The decision to entrust the wheel of the Can-Am/Kappa/Cyclops Gear Ford Fusion #32 to Patrick Carpentier for the races in Sonoma and Indianapolis, pleases us very much.”(Go Fas Racing)(4-22-2016)
  • Hamlin comments on driver council’s reaction to Stewart fine: #11-Denny Hamlin was made available to the media at Richmond International Raceway Friday afternoon.
    Q: Why did the driver’s council make the statement supporting Tony Stewart’s comments?
    Hamlin: “I think it kind of shows a unity amongst us. It really has nothing to do with lug nuts or no lug nuts or anything like that, it’s more so the drivers believing that they have a right to express their opinion especially when asked in an interview. We try to do our best to give honest answers and sometimes those aren’t always the best thing. I know at times I’ve been very guilty of being too honest at times or too opinionated at times and it costs you a nickel or two. We just think that there should be a little bit of leniency there for someone that knows a lot about our sport and has been in our sport a long time. He gave his opinion and especially when it’s something on safety too. I think it’s pretty important. As far as what we believe, it’s all said in the statement. Everything I’m telling you here is my opinion and my opinion only.”
    Q: Where is the line when it comes to comments from drivers?
    Hamlin: “I don’t know where the line is, I don’t know if there is a line – obviously there is a line, but obviously we just believe that you should be able to express your opinion as long as you’re not just totally trashing the sport itself or anything like that. I think every situation is different, but we’ll just move forward from it.”
    Q: How has the driver’s council evolved and what is the direction of the council overall?
    Hamlin: “I think that the driver’s interests and the owner’s interests is 95 percent aligned most of the time. There’s some things that we feel like we would like to see changed, sometimes it doesn’t align with what NASCAR thinks or what the teams think, but I think that this was a pretty black and white thing from a driver’s perspective to have a guy that’s coming back and is in the middle of an interview and gets asked a question and he responds to the question and gets fined for it. That to us was a moment and I think for us it just shows solidarity that we’re all in this together as the drivers and we want to have one voice because that one voice is obviously a little louder and clearer to NASCAR when we go into meetings talking about where it’s going to head from competition to safety and amongst other things. I think that its grown a lot over the last year and our communication as drivers, the barriers that we have, those have been broken down tremendously over the last year to two. Our meetings with NASCAR have changed the sport and will continue to change the sport for many years. Mostly it’s all positive, every now and then we feel like we should show solidarity to a guy whose done a lot for the sport and we still don’t want to be so politically correct all the time and have to filter our thoughts and think about it because we have sponsors on our cars or owners we have to answer to or NASCAR, sometimes you just want to say what you feel and we feel like you should be able to do that at times.”
    Q: How did the discussion come about to pay Tony Stewart’s fine?
    Hamlin: “I think it’s more of a council thing. Obviously we chat on a daily basis about issues within our sport or things we’d like to work on or change or stay the same. When Tony (Stewart) informed us of the fine, we didn’t agree with it and no one agreed with it and we thought there was something we should do about it. This was a way for us to send a message back to NASCAR, not that we were trying to send any specific message that we just believe that we should have the right to speak our opinion. I don’t know whether everyone agrees with the opinion he had or not, but it doesn’t matter. It’s what he was asked so he answered the question. I think that was the biggest thing for us. We should have the right to speak our opinion.”
    Q: Have you heard from the series about the statement yet?
    Hamlin: “Nothing from the series at all, but I’m sure we’ll all hear something at some point.”
    (Toyota Racing)(4-22-2016)
  • Friday practice for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is over after 62 minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #4-Harvick 129.069
    #22-Logano 128.694
    #48-Johnson 128.187
    #19-Edwards 128.181
    #11-Hamlin 128.156
    slowest: #32-Earnhardt 119.458 & #15-Bowyer 117.842. #46-Annett was the only driver to not complete a lap.
    most laps run: #14-Stewart, 38 & #24-Elliott, 37
    notes: Practice was cut short by rain.
    #46-Annett spun early in the session and made contact with the inside wall on the backstretch. The team will have to go to a backup.
    Qualifying is scheduled for 4:15pm/et and will be televised on FS1 and covered via radio by MRN/SiriusXM.
    If qualifying is rained out, this practice session will set the field for the race. Practice speeds determine which open teams make the race, so #98-Whitt would be the DNQ if qualifying is not held.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap ave(only 3 drivers) on the Friday Richmond Practice Speeds page (pdf).(4-22-2016)
  • Qualifying Order for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted. 41 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #83-DiBenedetto.
    The final driver lined up on pit road will be #30-Wise.
    The order is set by a random draw, how cars park on pit road before they qualify, held about an hour before the first practice.
    After the first round, the cars line up by speed.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Richmond Qualifying Order Page (pdf).(4-22-2016)
  • Stewart says lug nut rule is a safety issue UPDATES: #14-Tony Stewart is “beyond mad” with NASCAR over the sanctioning body’s lack of lug nut enforcement on pit road, the driver/team owner said Wednesday. NASCAR stopped requiring teams to put all five lug nuts on its wheels at the start of last season, part of a new pit road technology initiative that also saw a reduction of its officiating force. With officials no longer in every pit box, NASCAR said it was up to the teams whether they should put all five lug nuts on the wheel or not. But teams have been pushing the limit by only securing as few as three lug nuts, creating an epidemic of loose wheels in the sport. And Stewart said it’s only a matter of time before that ends badly. “I guarantee you that envelope is going to keep getting pushed until somebody gets hurt,” Stewart said. “You will not have heard a rant that’s going to be as bad as what’s going to come out of my mouth if a driver gets hurt because of a loose wheel that hurts one of them. With all the crap we’re going through with all the safety stuff, and for them to sit there and sit on their hands on this one … this is not a game you play with safety and that’s exactly the way I feel like NASCAR is treating this. This is not the way to do this.” Stewart said NASCAR overall has done a fine job on safety — such as mandating safety changes to superspeedway cars in technical bulletins — but said “in this one particular area, they are totally dropping the ball and I feel like really made a grossly bad decision on.”(USA Today)(4-21-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has fined Stewart-Haas Racing driver and co-owner Tony Stewart $35,000 for violations of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book, the sanctioning body announced Thursday. Stewart’s fine falls under Section 12 of the rule book, specifically member conduct guidelines. According to Section 12.8.1, actions that could result in a $10,000-$50,000 fine include disparaging the sport and/or NASCAR’s leadership, or verbal abuse of a NASCAR Official, media members, fans, etc. Stewart announced earlier Thursday that he would return to the #14 Chevrolet this weekend at Richmond after missing the first eight races due to injury.(NASCAR.com)(4-21-2016)
    UPDATE 2: The Sprint Cup Drivers Council released a statement Thursday night on Tony Stewart’s punishment from NASCAR, supporting the three-time champion and announcing it would pay his $35,000 fine. The statement was released exclusively to NBC Sports through Drivers Council member Denny Hamlin. The statement reads:
    “We as drivers believe Tony has the right to speak his opinion on topics that pertain to a sport that he has spent nearly two decades helping build as both a driver and an owner. While we do not condone drivers lashing out freely at NASCAR, we do feel Tony was in his rights to state his opinion. We as a Council support him and do not agree with the fine. Therefore, we fellow council members have agreed to contribute equally to paying his fine.”
    The Drivers Council was formed last year and meets periodically with NASCAR to discuss various issues from competition to safety. It added Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch this year to a group that included returning members Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Stewart, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano.(NBC Sports)(4-22-2016)
  • France comments on search for title sponsor: NASCAR CEO Brian France was among the professional sports commissioners who met with the Associated Press Sports Editors at meetings in New York Thursday. Asked about the status of NASCAR finding a replacement for Sprint at the Cup Series title sponsor, France stated “We’re ahead of schedule, where normally these things take longer to do.” France expects [a] decision soon “There’s no playbook when it comes to a billion-dollar sports deal.”(4-22-2016)
  • MastiClean featured on the #95: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take on Richmond International Raceway this Sunday, with driver Michael McDowell piloting the #95 WRL General Contractors Chevrolet SS for Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR). As part of the NASCAR Race to Green initiative, CSLFR is highlighting their partnership with MastiClean this weekend at Richmond. MastiClean is a multi-purpose green cleaning solution that works on applications at home or on the job. The race team utilizes the multi-purpose cleaner for oils and grease, a scrubbing wipe for hand cleaning and surface prep, and a glass cleaner in the race shop everyday. MastiClean will be featured on the side quarter panels of the #95 Chevrolet during the Richmond race weekend.(Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing)(4-22-2016)
  • Duracell joins Germain as associate sponsor: Germain Racing announced that battery market leader Duracell has signed on to become an associate sponsor of the #13 GEICO Chevrolet SS and driver Casey Mears in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Duracell will be a full-season associate sponsor and will appear on the car beginning this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Germain Racing entered the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with a host of sponsor commitments. Most notably was a three-year extension from primary sponsor GEICO that will see the Gecko on the hood of the #13 entry through at least the end of the 2018 season. Now, Duracell will ride along with Mears on the B-post of the GEICO Chevy and will appear on the decklid during the races where the GEICO Military livery adorns the racecar. GEICO and Duracell are both members of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies. Duracell has a long history with the military and is looking to continue to build upon their relationship through their partnership with Germain Racing and GEICO Military. The trio will be hosting service members at the racetrack during race weekends, while also featuring the #13 GEICO Chevrolet SS showcar at various military exchange and commissary locations.(Player Management International)(4-22-2016)
  • Richmond Pole Notes & Facts:
    � Buck Baker won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Richmond in 1953 with a speed of 48.465 mph.
    � Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Richmond International Raceway with a 8.769.
    � Nine drivers posted their first NSCS pole at Richmond International Raceway: Brian Vickers (2004), Ted Musgrave (1994), Bobby Labonte (1993), Alan Kulwicki (1987), Morgan Shepherd (1981), Bill Dennis (1971), Dave Marcis (1971), Ned Jarrett (1960), Russ Hepler (1957)
    � 54 drivers have Coors Light poles at Richmond, led by Richard Petty and Bobby Allison with eight each. Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers and Joey Logano are all tied for the lead among active drivers with two each.
    � Eight drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Richmond. Bobby Allison holds the record for most consecutive Coors Light poles at Richmond with five (1972 – 1974).
    � 23 of the 119 (19.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from the Coors Light pole. Only four active drivers have been able to accomplish the feat: Kasey Kahne (2005), Jimmie Johnson (2007), Kyle Busch (2010) and Brad Keselowski (2014).
    � The pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners than any other starting position at Richmond (23).
    � 37 of the 119 (31.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond have been won from the front row: 23 from the pole and 14 from second-place.
    � 93 of the 119 (78.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    � 13 of the 119 (10.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    � The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Richmond International Raceway is 31st, by Clint Bowyer in the spring of 2008.
    � Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway seven times; most recently the fall of 2014.
    (NASCAR)
  • XFINITY qualifying canceled at Richmond: Rain washed out both Friday practices for XFINITY Series teams, so NASCAR canceled Saturday’s qualifying session for the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Teams will now practice from 9:00-9:50am/et. Both heat races and the main event will run as scheduled.
    The field for the two heat races was set by the rule book.
    Top 5 starters in the first heat race: #18-Matt Tifft, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #20-Erik Jones, #1-Elliott Sadler, and #33-Brandon Jones.
    Top 5 starters in the second heat race: #2-Austin Dillon, #19-Daniel Suarez, #7-Justin Allgaier, #22-Brad Keselowski, and #3-Ty Dillon.
    Result of the heat races will determine the lineup for the 140 lap main event.
    Did Not Qualify: None, the #10-DiBenedetto team withdrew so only 40 cars were entered.
    See the Heat 1 starting lineup (pdf) and Heat 2 starting lineup (pdf) and .(4-22-2016)
  • JR Motorsports and Unilever Extend Partnership: JR Motorsports and Unilever, a team partner since 2009 and one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Refreshments, Home and Personal Care products, announced an extension that sees Dale Earnhardt Jr. continue as a brand ambassador for the company through 2018. As part of the agreement, JR Motorsports, the race team co-owned by Earnhardt Jr., will carry Unilever sponsorship on its NASCAR Xfinity Series entries for 20 races in 2017-18. Unilever already stands as JRM’s longest-tenured sponsor, with the 2018 extension taking the pair into their 10th year of partnership in NXS competition. Unilever brands including Hellmann’s, Suave, Degree, and Breyers, will be featured as primary sponsors in 10 NXS races in 2017 and 10 NXS events in 2018. Earnhardt Jr. will drive a Unilever-branded Chevrolet for one event in each of those two seasons. Additionally, Unilever will be a presenting sponsor of a Dirty Mo Radio podcast in 2017. More details on the specific races, driving duties and car numbers surrounding the Unilever extension will be announced at a later date.(JR Motorsports)(4-22-2016)
  • Honorary Starter, Grand Marshal announced for Talladega: Talladega Superspeedway announcedthe Grand Marshal and Honorary Starter for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 on Sunday, May 1.
    Master Sergeant Larry D. Nix, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL, will serve as the Grand Marshal and give the most famous words in motorsports, “Drivers, Start Your Engines,” bookending pre-race ceremonies at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Bringing 40 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to the green flag as Honorary Starter will be Aerospace Medical Services Technician Senior Airman Maxime V. Copley, also from the Maxwell Air Force Base.
    MSgt Nix is currently responsible for the training of 1,700 students annually that are commissioned in the Chaplain, Healthcare and JAG Corps. MSgt Nix enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1998. In addition to being awarded the Bronze Star, MSgt Nix has acquired numerous prestigious decorations and awards including: Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with One Silver Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal and Air Force Achievement Medal with Three Oak Leaf Clusters.
    SrA Copley is currently assigned to 42d Medical Operations Squadron and performs a wide range of medical roles. She provides essential care in assisting 5 providers who care for patients in various situations such as immunizations and Pediatric screenings. SrA Copley was awarded the Hard Charger Award, 42d MDOS in 2015. Her other achievements include: 2015 Airman of the Second Quarter, 42d MDOS, 2015 Airman of the Year Award, 42d Air Base Wing and 2015 Airman of the Year, Team Maxwell.(TSS)(4-22-2016)
  • Homestead tickets on sale May 4: Last year, the sold-out crowd on hand for the Ford EcoBoost 400 witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in sports history when Kyle Busch earned the first Sprint Cup Series title of his career. This year, Ford Championship Weekend returns to Homestead-Miami Speedway, November 18-20, to once again make its mark on history as NASCAR crowns champions in the Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series. Tickets for the three-day championship event will go on sale to the public starting on Wednesday, May 4. For the first time in Homestead-Miami Speedway history, four drivers will be vying for a championship on Friday in the Ford EcoBoost 200, Saturday in the Ford EcoBoost 300 and Sunday in the Ford EcoBoost 400. With the prominent success of NASCAR’s refurbished playoff format in the Sprint Cup Series, which was instituted in 2014, the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series have adopted similar Chase formats starting this year, which will also feature four drivers competing for a championship amongst a full field in each series. Ford Championship Weekend will commence on Friday, November 18 at 8:00pm with the Camping World Truck Series championship race, the Ford EcoBoost 200. Then on Saturday, November 19 at 3:30pm, the XFINITY Series will hold its championship finale, the Ford EcoBoost 300.(Homestead-Miami Speedway)(4-23-2016)


    News from April 21, 2016


  • Stewart says lug nut rule is a safety issue UPDATE Fine issued: #14-Tony Stewart is “beyond mad” with NASCAR over the sanctioning body’s lack of lug nut enforcement on pit road, the driver/team owner said Wednesday. NASCAR stopped requiring teams to put all five lug nuts on its wheels at the start of last season, part of a new pit road technology initiative that also saw a reduction of its officiating force. With officials no longer in every pit box, NASCAR said it was up to the teams whether they should put all five lug nuts on the wheel or not. But teams have been pushing the limit by only securing as few as three lug nuts, creating an epidemic of loose wheels in the sport. And Stewart said it’s only a matter of time before that ends badly. “I guarantee you that envelope is going to keep getting pushed until somebody gets hurt,” Stewart said. “You will not have heard a rant that’s going to be as bad as what’s going to come out of my mouth if a driver gets hurt because of a loose wheel that hurts one of them. With all the crap we’re going through with all the safety stuff, and for them to sit there and sit on their hands on this one … this is not a game you play with safety and that’s exactly the way I feel like NASCAR is treating this. This is not the way to do this.” Stewart said NASCAR overall has done a fine job on safety — such as mandating safety changes to superspeedway cars in technical bulletins — but said “in this one particular area, they are totally dropping the ball and I feel like really made a grossly bad decision on.”(USA Today)(4-21-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has fined Stewart-Haas Racing driver and co-owner Tony Stewart $35,000 for violations of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book, the sanctioning body announced Thursday. Stewart’s fine falls under Section 12 of the rule book, specifically member conduct guidelines. According to Section 12.8.1, actions that could result in a $10,000-$50,000 fine include disparaging the sport and/or NASCAR’s leadership, or verbal abuse of a NASCAR Official, media members, fans, etc. Stewart announced earlier Thursday that he would return to the #14 Chevrolet this weekend at Richmond after missing the first eight races due to injury.(NASCAR.com)(4-21-2016)
  • Stewart medically cleared; will return at Richmond UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart tweeted Thursday morning, “Well, the long wait is over. I’ll be back in my @Mobil1 Chevy this weekend at Richmond. I can’t wait to race again” and “The Dr’s said my scans “looked much better than they thought they would after 3 months”. So they cleared me”.
    AND: Tony Stewart has been cleared by his doctors and NASCAR to return to racing, effective immediately. He will drive the #14 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Chevrolet SS fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing throughout this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. Stewart missed the first eight races of the season after sustaining a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in a Jan. 31 all-terrain vehicle accident. The prescribed rehabilitation regimen instituted by his doctors following a March 9 evaluation proved successful, allowing the three-time series champion to return for his final Sprint Cup season. “As soon as the doctors said they were happy with my scans, I wasn’t going to wait any longer to get back in my racecar,” said Stewart, who announced last year that he would retire after the 2016 season. “I want to make the most of my last season in Sprint Cup, and I’ve been on the sidelines long enough.” Following Richmond, Stewart will participate in a Goodyear tire test April 26-27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will then practice and qualify his #14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series’ next event at Talladega Superspeedway. However, Stewart will only start the race before yielding the car to Ty Dillon, who split substitute driving duties this year with Brian Vickers.
    “We’re taking a strategic approach to my return,” Stewart said. “Richmond is a track where I feel very comfortable and because it’s a short track, the speeds are substantially less. The Goodyear test in Indy is sort of a controlled environment, allowing me to get more acclimated with my car at higher speeds. We’ll start the Talladega race to get the points, but understanding the style of racing and the higher potential of getting involved in an incident, we thought it was best to minimize the amount of time I’m in the car. I’ll return fulltime at Kansas and enjoy every moment I can in my final year of Sprint Cup.
    “I appreciate everyone’s patience and all the support they’ve given me the last couple of months, but the best medicine will come this weekend at Richmond when I finally get to go racing.”
    Richmond will mark Stewart’s 591st career Sprint Cup start. Thirty-three of those starts have come at Richmond, where Stewart has three wins, four second-place finishes, 11 top-fives, 19 top-10s and has led a total of 950 laps. Richmond is home to Stewart’s his first career Sprint Cup win, earned on Sept. 11, 1999 when he led 333 of 400 laps.(Stewart-Haas Racing)
    UPDATE: “NASCAR received the appropriate medical clearance documentation allowing Tony Stewart to resume normal racing activities. We also have granted the request from Stewart-Haas Racing for a waiver for Tony to be eligible to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. As he begins his final season, we wish Tony the best of luck.”(NASCAR)(4-21-2016)
  • Stewart says lug nut rule is a safety issue: #14-Tony Stewart is “beyond mad” with NASCAR over the sanctioning body’s lack of lug nut enforcement on pit road, the driver/team owner said Wednesday. NASCAR stopped requiring teams to put all five lug nuts on its wheels at the start of last season, part of a new pit road technology initiative that also saw a reduction of its officiating force. With officials no longer in every pit box, NASCAR said it was up to the teams whether they should put all five lug nuts on the wheel or not. But teams have been pushing the limit by only securing as few as three lug nuts, creating an epidemic of loose wheels in the sport. And Stewart said it’s only a matter of time before that ends badly. “I guarantee you that envelope is going to keep getting pushed until somebody gets hurt,” Stewart said. “You will not have heard a rant that’s going to be as bad as what’s going to come out of my mouth if a driver gets hurt because of a loose wheel that hurts one of them. With all the crap we’re going through with all the safety stuff, and for them to sit there and sit on their hands on this one … this is not a game you play with safety and that’s exactly the way I feel like NASCAR is treating this. This is not the way to do this.” Stewart said NASCAR overall has done a fine job on safety — such as mandating safety changes to superspeedway cars in technical bulletins — but said “in this one particular area, they are totally dropping the ball and I feel like really made a grossly bad decision on.”(USA Today)(4-21-2016)
  • Tire test at Pocono Tues & Wed UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams representing Richard Childress Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Team Penske and Furniture Row Racing are scheduled to participate in a two-day Goodyear tire test Tuesday and Wednesday, April 19-20 at Pocono Raceway. Drivers expected to take part in the test are #78-Martin Truex Jr., #2-Brad Keselowski, #42-Kyle Larson and #31-Ryan Newman. “It’s kind of in line with what we’ve done at the other tests,” Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales for Goodyear said Sunday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway. “Looking at the 2016 package for Pocono and looking to increase grip.” With only three corners and each one drastically different, Pocono presents its own set of unique challenges both to teams and Goodyear. While teams often compared it to Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the series will visit later this summer, those similarities, such as from a tire-wear standpoint, had begun to lessen.(NASCAR)(4-19-2016)
    UPDATE: Four Sprint Cup Series teams participated in a two-day Goodyear tire test Tuesday and Wednesday in preparation for June’s Axalta, “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono Raceway. Drivers taking part at the Tricky Triangle were defending race winner Martin Truex Jr., the Chevrolet teams of Ryan Newman and Kyle Larson and Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski, who is also a former Cup winner at Pocono. Newman ran into trouble on Day 1 as his Richard Childress Racing team shipped up another car from their shop in Welcome, N.C. for the second day of testing. “We had a tire go down, not a tire problem,” Newman said. “It was either cut something or had some kind of leak and failed a tire, so we had to get another car shipped up here last night, got here this morning and the guys switched it over. We’ve had a busy day-and-a-half of testing so far, but don’t have a lot to show for it.” The Purdue University graduate wasn’t the only one who experienced issues Tuesday. Third-year Cup driver Kyle Larson had a close call in his #42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet while testing around the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway. “The car feels similar to how I raced here last time and I think we’ve actually improved on it some,” Larson said. “We’ve had to work through a couple issues throughout both days, was having brake problems yesterday getting a long pedal after a few laps. We had a tire sensor go bad and go flat right-rear. “(Times Leader)(4-21-2016)
  • Banfield Pet Hospital featured on the #18 at Richmond: The life of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver can be hectic. With 38 weekends of racing in a 40-week span, the marathon-like schedule of NASCAR’s top series can be incredibly grueling as competitors crisscross the country from as far east as Loudon, New Hampshire to as far west as Sonoma, California. While Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), and his wife Samantha live a lot of their lives in their motorhome at the track each weekend, a part of home they bring with them is their Pomeranian Yorkie named Lucy, who joined the family shortly after they were married in 2010, and a West Highland Terrier named Suzie, who Busch has owned since 2005. Founded in 1955, Banfield Pet Hospital is the largest privately owned veterinary practice in the world. The practice has more than 850 hospitals in the United States and Puerto Rico, most of which are located inside PetSmart stores. And, good news for the Busch family in case there is a need for veterinary service while they’re on the road, chances are there is always a Banfield Pet Hospital nearby.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #18 team paint schemes page.(4-21-2016)
  • First appearance for Busch Light on the #4: Kevin Harvick’s #4 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing will feature Busch Light for the first time during this weekend’s 400-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. It marks the first appearance for a Busch brand on the #4 since February’s season-opening non-points Sprint Unlimited during Speedweeks at Daytona. While Busch Beer has a rich racing history dating back to 1978, Busch Light, which was introduced to the public in 1989, will make its debut as a primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series. Busch Beer’s history as a primary sponsor in the Sprint Cup Series dates back to the first race of the 1979 season, when NASCAR champion Cale Yarborough drove Junior Johnson’s iconic #11 car to a third-place finish at Riverside International Raceway. Yarborough drove the #11 Busch Beer car for the entire 1979 and 1980 seasons. He went on to score 10 wins, 38 top-five finishes, 44 top-10s, 15 poles and led 4,130 laps over the 62-race span. This weekend marks the first of four appearances by Busch Light on the #4 Chevrolet SS in 2016. It will next appear on the #4 Chevrolet SS in the non-points-paying Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, before appearing in July at Kentucky Speedway and Martinsville Speedway in October.(Stewart-Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the #4 team paint schemes page.(4-21-2016)
  • Credit One Bank debuts as primary sponsor on McMurray’s #1: Credit One Bank will make its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams as the primary partner on the #1 Credit One Bank Chevrolet SS. The car, driven by 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contender Jamie McMurray, will hit the track for the first time this weekend at Richmond International Raceway. The Credit One Bank signature blue paint scheme can also be seen on the #1 Chevrolet later this season at Daytona International Speedway and Dover Speedway (Oct. 2). Credit One Bank, introduced earlier this year as the “Official Credit Card of NASCAR”, offers full spectrum credit card products, and is among the top 10 largest Visa credit card issuers in the United States. The Credit One Bank NASCAR credit card provides 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases and 2 percent cash back on purchases made at NASCAR.com. Card members also benefit from exclusive discounts from retail partners such as Fanatics and NASCAR Racing Experience.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(4-21-2016)
  • Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Receives Grant to develop Theater: The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MSHFA) announced that it has received a $2.5 million grant from the Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation of Los Angeles, with the money targeted to fund construction and development of the Robert E. Petersen Theater in the hall’s new permanent home at Daytona International Speedway. The MSHFA, which has moved to Daytona Beach from Novi, Michigan, will be housed in the speedway’s expansive ticket and tours facility that greets thousands of motorsports fans each year at the “World Center of Racing.” A vital component in the relocation will be the new theater, along with a Robert E. Petersen “Tribute Room” that will greet guests entering the attraction. The first phase of construction and development is expected to be completed by June – in time for the 28th Annual MSHFA Induction Ceremony Presented by Bridgestone on June 29 and the July 2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the speedway, the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. The Margie & Robert E. Petersen Foundation has donated more than $300 million to their namesake and renowned Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, children’s charities and to various organizations and causes since its 1996 formation. In 1948 Robert E. Petersen founded HOT ROD magazine followed by many more automotive magazines including MOTOR TREND, CAR CRAFT, ROD & CUSTOM, CIRCLE TRACK, MOTORCYCLIST and 4 WHEEL & OFF ROAD.(DIS)(4-21-2016)
  • Richmond Track Notes & History:
    � Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
    � The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was April 19, 1953 won by Lee Petty.
    � The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
    � The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
    � The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
    � The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
    � The track was re-measured to .542-mile for 1970.
    � The track was rebuilt as a three-quarters-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
    � The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
    � The first season with both races as night races was 1999.
    (NASCAR)
  • RepairableVehicles.com returns to #51 team at Richmond: Jeremy Clements heads into the second NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race at Richmond International Raceway with RepairableVehicles.com back on board the #51 JCR Chevy Camaro SS for the Toyota Care 250. RepairableVehicles.com, a division of Interstate Auto Center, Inc., is one of the leading resellers of repairable vehicles in North America. By working together with insurance companies, dealerships, rental companies, and automotive salvage auctions, we are able to provide an ever changing inventory of high quality total-loss, recovered theft, collision damage, and other types of repairable vehicles to our customers worldwide.(Jeremy Clements Racing)(4-21-2016)
  • Hemric to Promote Autism Awareness: Daniel Hemric, driver of the #19 Oakmont Management Group Ford F-150 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and Autism Delaware are teaming up together to raise funds and awareness for autism. On Saturday, April 23, Hemric will take part in the Walk for Autism at Fox Point State Park in Wilmington, Delaware. Hemric will sign autographs and participate in a Guinness World Record attempt to create the longest double high five chain. There will also be a show truck on site for an up close and personal look inside of Hemric’s Ford F-150. Three weeks later, Hemric’s race truck will sport a hood decal promoting autism education and awareness in the NCWTS race at Dover International Speedway on Friday, May 13. In addition, Hemric has produced a PSA encouraging race fans to purchase tickets for the Dover race weekend, with a portion of each ticket price directly benefitting Autism Delaware. Hemric will be actively promoting autism awareness via social media throughout of the remainder of April, which is Autism Awareness Month. One in 68 kids in the United States are diagnosed with some form of autism. That’s more than diabetes, AIDS, cancer, cerebral palsy and Downs syndrome combined. Autism Delaware provides vital programs and services for families and individuals affected by autism.(Brad Keselowski Racing)(4-21-2016)
  • Jason Jones to serve as grand marshal at Dover: Jason Jones, star of the hit TBS comedy “The Detour,” will serve as the grand marshal for the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, May 15. Jones, an actor and writer who first appeared on “The Daily Show” in 2005, became popular with critics and viewers alike with his many foreign trips for the show, including a trip to Iran for their elections in 2009 and Russia in 2014 for the Winter Olympics. Jones left “The Daily Show” in 2015 to begin work on “The Detour” on TBS, a comedy revolving around a family road trip that he created with his wife, Samantha Bee. Jones is a writer and executive producer for “The Detour” and also directed one episode. The “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is the centerpiece of the May 13-15 NASCAR tripleheader weekend at the Monster Mile. Dover International Speedway also plays host to a NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race on Saturday, May 14, and a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on Friday, May 13.(Dover International Speedway)(4-21-2016)


    News from April 20, 2016


  • Bristol Warnings issued: NASCAR has issued written warnings to Sprint Cup teams following the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The teams of #4-Harvick, #19-Edwards, #88-Earnhardt, Jr were warned for failing template inspection twice in pre-qualifying inspection. The team of #6-Bayne was warned for failing laser inspection twice in pre-qualifying inspection. See the Bristol Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(4-20-2016)
  • Drive to End Hunger joins Kahne: AARP Foundation’s Drive to End Hunger campaign will continue its relationship with 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports with a one-year contract extension. In 2016, the groundbreaking cause awareness effort will become a primary sponsor of the #5 Chevrolet SS team of driver Kasey Kahne. For its sixth season in NASCAR, Drive to End Hunger will be primary sponsor of the #5 Chevrolet SS in two Sprint Cup races — Aug. 20 at Bristol Motor Speedway and Nov. 6 at Texas Motor Speedway — and featured as an associate sponsor of the team in all other events. Unprecedented for a social cause, Drive to End Hunger was launched by AARP and AARP Foundation in 2011 via a primary sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports and four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon. Utilizing education, engagement and collaboration, it has donated more than 34 million meals. The No. 5 Drive to End Hunger Chevy will feature a new paint scheme for the 2016 season. The design uses a black background with candy apple red and white accents, highlighted by a sleek matte finish. The hood will showcase a larger Drive to End Hunger “Forked D” logo.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(4-20-2016)
  • #78 team makes pit crew change: Furniture Row Racing has made a change to its #78 pit crew. Tire changer Chris Taylor will be taking over front duties from Brian Eastlund for the foreseeable future. Taylor is a veteran changer who experienced success with Jamie McMurray at Chip Ganassi Racing and more recently on the #20 of Matt Kenseth. Taylor has spent most of his career as a rear changer and had worked with Kenseth’s crew up until this year when a change was made.(Pit Talks)(4-20-2016)
  • Different look for the #14 at Richmond: Taking home the winner’s trophy remains Brian Vickers’ priority at Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway, but he and his #14 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Chevrolet SS team hope to educate race fans about NASCAR’s 2016 Race to Green initiative. Race to Green builds awareness around the governing body’s commitment to increasing the sport’s sustainability. As part of Mobil 1’s third year as an official program partner, Vickers’ Chevrolet will carry a special paint scheme at Richmond spotlighting its fuel-saving brands of motor oils – Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy and Mobil Delvac 1 LE 5W-30. Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy is engineered for gasoline-powered engines to help increase efficiency and improve fuel economy by up to two percent. Mobil Delvac 1 LE 5W-30 is engineered to enhance fuel economy potential in heavy-duty diesel engines. The ExxonMobil motor oils with fuel-saving benefits will be represented throughout the NASCAR Race to Green activations, including a presence in the NASCAR-produced Green television commercial to air during Sunday’s race and in each remaining Sprint Cup race broadcast of 2016. Additionally, the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR’s multiyear efforts will serve as the focal point of NASCAR Green’s social media and online “Partner Spotlight” Friday.(Stewart-Haas Racing), see an image of the car on the #14 team paint schemes page.(4-20-2016)
  • Kulwicki throwback scheme for Smith at Darlington UPDATE: #7-Regan Smith and Tommy Baldwin Racing will run a special throwback scheme at Darlington Raceway that pays tribute to 1992 Sprint Cup Chamipon Alan Kulwicki. The car, sponsored by Nikko and Road Rippers resembles the #7 Hooters car driven by Kulwicki.(4-9-2016)
    UPDATE: Tommy Baldwin Racing’s #7 Chevrolet will pay tribute to 1992 NASCAR Cup champion Alan Kulwicki during Darlington Raceway’s throwback weekend in September. The #7 Road Rippers/Toy State design echoes the familiar paint scheme that Kulwicki drove to Victory Lane in three of his five career wins. “We’re proud to be part of such a unique promotion that helps connect fans to the history of NASCAR,” said Toy State President, Andy Friess. “It’s a privilege to recognize Alan Kulwicki as a champion, and as a man admired by so many, both inside and outside of the sport.”
    “It’s an honor for us to pay tribute to a true champion of our sport,” said team owner Tommy Baldwin. “Sharing the car number is a great way to celebrate his accomplishments, it is even more special because Alan achieved success as an independent team. We’re grateful to Darlington Raceway and NASCAR for giving us such a special platform.”(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(4-20-2016)
  • Richmond Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same Goodyear tire set-up at Richmond this week . . . this is the first time either of these two tire codes have been run . . . this tire set-up was confirmed at a Goodyear test at Richmond on March 29 . . . drivers participating in that test were Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Danica Patrick . . . compared to what was run at Richmond last year, this set-up features a compound change on the right-side.(Goodyear), see more nots, tire codes, set limits and more on the Richmond Race Info page.
  • Bristol warnings issued; #3 crew chief suspend 1 race: The #33 team of Brandon Jones has been given a written warning and lost 15 minutes of practice time at Richmond for failing laser inspection three times in pre-race inspection at Bristol.
    The #3 team of Ty Dillon was given a P3 penalty for the following violations: Sections 20.4.13 ; 20.4.13.1 a,b,c,d [spoiler deck lid assembly]; 12.5.3.4.1 c. Crew chief Nick Harrison has been fined $10,000, suspended for one race, and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. The violation was found on opening day inspection. See the Bristol Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(4-20-2016)
  • Travis Kvapil driving the #15 in Richmond: Rick Ware Racing and B.J. McLeod Motorsports announced that former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil will return to XFINITY Series competition in Saturday afternoon’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway. Kvapil will pilot the #15 Ford Mustang in his first XFINITY Series race since 2009. His return will be backed by his longtime supporters, CorvetteParts.net and Keen Parts. The Milton, Wisconsin native has 16 starts at RIR in NASCAR’s pinnacle level of Sprint Cup competition. Veteran industry crew chief Jason Houghtaling will call the shots for the #15 CorvetteParts.net / Keen Parts Ford Mustang. Additionally, Lilly Trucking and Carport Empire will serve as associate marketing partners this weekend.(BJ McLeod Motorsports)(4-20-2016)
  • Tifft in the #18 for Gibbs at Richmond: Matt Tifft had his first XFINITY Series start with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015 when he earned his first top-10 result at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. While he’s completed three XFINITY Series starts this year, the 19-year old Hinckley, Ohio native will return to Joe Gibbs Racing and the #18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota this week at Richmond International Raceway for series race number eight. In addition to this week’s Virginia short-track, partner NOS Energy Drink will increase it’s JGR #18 team presence with Tifft again at Talladega Superspeedway on April 30th, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on July 16th, Iowa Speedway on July 30th and Texas Motor Speedway on November 5th.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(4-20-2016)
  • Earnhardt, Jr. in the #88 at Richmond: In five career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Richmond International Raceway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. owns three wins, a runner-up finish, and led 605 of 1,250 total laps. He also qualified fourth or better in four of those five races. His most recent NXS start at the track came in September 2002. Saturday’s race marks Earnhardt’s first NXS short-track start since April 2012 at Bristol. Earnhardt started 11th and finished fifth in his lone NXS start this season two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway.(JR Motorsports)(4-20-2016)
  • XCalibur Pit School sponsoring Sieg: RSS Racing welcomes XCalibur Pit School as the primary sponsor for the NASCAR XFINITY race Saturday at Richmond International Raceway. XCalibur Pit School is a one stop shop professional pit crew training facility based in Mooresville, NC. Ryan Sieg is currently 11th in driver points after posting top 15 finishes the last two races.(RSS Racing)(4-20-2016)
  • Red Horse Racing and Ben Kennedy Part Ways UPDATE: Red Horse Racing announced that, effective immediately, it will part ways with driver Ben Kennedy. Kennedy and the team had an agreement through the first three races of 2016, but he will not continue in the #11 Toyota Tundra for the remainder of the season. “We wish Ben all the best in his career,” said team owner Tom DeLoach. “Red Horse Racing will continue to focus on pursuing the championship with Timothy Peters and the #17. We expect to field two teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and we will announce further plans as they are confirmed.”(Red Horse Racing)(4-15-2016)
    UPDATE: Matt Tifft will pilot the #11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra starting at Kansas Speedway next weekend. Tifft has also signed on to drive for two following races at Dover and Charlotte Motor Speedway, the team has confirmed. Tifft, 19, competed in 12 races in the Camping World Truck Series last season and finished in the top 10 five times. This season, Tifft has three starts in the #24 JGL Racing Young Guns Toyota in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The Hinckley, Ohio native has 15 starts in the truck series with six top 10s. His best result was eighth – four times. Scott Zipadelli will continue on as crew chief for the #11 Toyota. Most recently, Zipadelli worked with Ben Kennedy. Kennedy and Red Horse Racing parted ways last week. Kennedy is still looking to secure a full-time ride for the remainder of 2016.(Motorsport.com)(4-20-2016)
    AND: Up-and-coming driver Matt Tifft will join the Red Horse Racing stable for several races beginning at Kansas Speedway. Nineteen-year-old Tifft has 15 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts under his belt, recording six top-10 finishes. He also has four NASCAR XFINITY Series starts with one top-10. Tifft will pilot the #11 Toyota Tundra at Kansas Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and possibly additional races with veteran crew chief Scott Zipadelli leading the team.(Red Horse Racing)(4-20-2016)
  • Kipor Power Equipment partners with MB: Kipor Power Equipment, Inc. (KPE), a leading manufacturer of Portable, Standby, and Prime power solutions, has partnered with MB Motorsports for the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. The North American Branch headquartered in Clackamas Oregon, Kipor Power Equipment has maintained continued sales increases and has expanded its market penetration into Outdoor Power Equipment, RV, Rental, Industrial, and Hardware markets since its establishment in 1998.(MB Motorsports)(4-20-2016)
  • Trent Harmon to Perform National Anthem at Richmond: From the Hollywood stage to the River City, American Idol Season XV winner Trent Harmon will perform the National Anthem prior to the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 this Sunday, April 24 at Richmond International Raceway. Harmon previously performed at the Auto Club 400 alongside Idol’s Top 5 contestants in March. The Mississippi native has traveled coast-to-coast since earning the ultimate American Idol honors, debuting his Country single “Falling.” The track was written by Idol judge and Country superstar Keith Urban with Dallas Davison and Brett James. Harmon performed his coronation song during the series finale surrounded by Idol alumni and fellow contestants. Harmon will serve as the headliner to the Pre-Race Ceremony for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400, which will also include a performance of “God Bless America” by the USAF Heritage of America Band, skydivers and a six-plane flyover by the Bandit Flight Team.(RIR)(4-20-2016)
  • Talladega adds “Talla-Mento Dogwich” to GEICO 500 Weekend Menu Fans will be sinking their teeth into Talladega Superspeedway’s new signature hot dog – the Talla-Mento Dogwich -during the track’s upcoming GEICO 500 race weekend, April 29-May 31. The Talla-Mento Dogwich is a grilled, all beef hot dog, split in two and placed on top of melted Yancey’s Fancy buffalo cheddar cheese, topped with a generous helping of Pimiento Cheese, then placed between two slices of golden brown, grilled Texas toast and cut down the middle. Talladega is cutting no corners on this dish, using Yancey’s Fancy New York’s Artisan signature spicy buffalo cheese and cheddar cheese to drive home the flavor. Yancey’s Fancy has specialized in hand crafted cheeses for more than 60 years, with a reputation for producing high quality products. The Talla-Mento Dogwich ($5) will be sold in the O.V. Hill North and South Grandstands as well as the Tri-Oval Tower and all Infield Locations. The Big One Meatball ($13) will be sold at concession stands in the Gadsden and O.V. Hill South Grandstands, along with the Tri-Oval Tower along the frontstretch.(TSS)(4-20-2016)


    News from April 19, 2016


  • BK Racing names associate sponsors for Richmond: BK Racing announced four additional associate sponsors for their team at the upcoming Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
    Union Bank and Trust, commonly referred to as Union, is part of Union Bankshares Corporation (UBSH), will be on all three BK Racing entries with David Ragan, Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Ellis’s #93 ScienceLogic Camry. As the largest community bank headquartered in Virginia, Union offers their customers more than 100 years of community banking history and strong customer relationships.
    Visit Henrico County will be on David Ragan’s #23 sweetFrog Camry. As the resource center for Henrico County, they are your destination of where to eat, stay and shop while visiting Richmond International Raceway this weekend.
    The Richmond Flying Squirrels, minor league baseball team, join the #23 and #83 BK Racing cars this weekend. In support of the Toyota Owners 400, the Flying Squirrels are hosting Turn Left Night Tuesday evening
    RMC Events will be on both Matt DiBenedetto’s #83 E.J. Wade Construction Camry and David Ragan’s No.23 sweetFrog Camry. RMC Events, founded in 1999, is a private security services firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia with an office in Charlottesville as well as personnel across the Commonwealth including in the following regions: Harrisonburg, Southwest Virginia and Tidewater.(BK Racing)(4-19-2016)
  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Richmond:
    #18-Kyle Busch 110.4 (4 wins)
    #4-Kevin Harvick 110.1 (3)
    #11-Denny Hamlin 108.8 (2)
    #15-Clint Bowyer 98.6 (2)
    #41-Kurt Busch 94.2 (2)
    #2-Brad Keselowski 93.9 (1)
    #31-Ryan Newman 91.1 (1)
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 90.1 (3)
    #20-Matt Kenseth 89.0 (2)
    #19-Carl Edwards 88.3 (1)
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (22 total) among active drivers at Richmond International Raceway.
    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)
  • Tire test at Pocono Tues & Wed: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams representing Richard Childress Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Team Penske and Furniture Row Racing are scheduled to participate in a two-day Goodyear tire test Tuesday and Wednesday, April 19-20 at Pocono Raceway. Drivers expected to take part in the test are #78-Martin Truex Jr., #2-Brad Keselowski, #42-Kyle Larson and #31-Ryan Newman. “It’s kind of in line with what we’ve done at the other tests,” Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales for Goodyear said Sunday morning at Bristol Motor Speedway. “Looking at the 2016 package for Pocono and looking to increase grip.” With only three corners and each one drastically different, Pocono presents its own set of unique challenges both to teams and Goodyear. While teams often compared it to Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the series will visit later this summer, those similarities, such as from a tire-wear standpoint, had begun to lessen.(NASCAR)(4-19-2016)
  • Bristol TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing from Bristol had a 3.2 overnight rating on FOX Sunday afternoon, down 27% from 2013, the last time it was run as scheduled (4.4). The race was deluged by rain the past two years, with FOX airing just a few laps before handing off to Fox Sports 1. The network’s abbreviated coverage had a 2.9 overnight last year and a 4.1 in 2014. Excluding rainouts, the 3.2 is the lowest for the spring Bristol race since it moved to FOX in 2001. The previous low was a 3.9 in 2011. It is also the lowest overnight for a Sunday Sprint Cup race on FOX, falling below a 3.3 for Dover in 2014. Overall, the 3.2 is tied as the fourth-lowest for any Sprint Cup race on FOX, regardless of day – matching Darlington in 2014 and ahead of only Texas the previous week (2.5), Texas last year (2.9) and Richmond in 2014 (3.0). Head-to-head, #19-Carl Edwards’ win trailed competing coverage of the Pistons/Cavaliers NBA playoff game on ABC (4.1). As NASCAR ratings tend to rise from the overnights to the final, while NBA ratings decline, the race could still come out ahead when the final numbers are released (Spoirts Media Watch / Sports Business Daily), see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(4-19-2016)
  • Sprint Cup could get heat races: NASCAR would consider eventually bringing heat races to Sprint Cup after the format made its debut in the Xfinity Series at Bristol last weekend. NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell said feedback would be sought from race promoters about the reception of heat races, which will be used again Saturday at Richmond International Raceway and two more times this season. “I think it’s something we’ll continue to look at,” he said. “We certainly want to talk to promoters and race fans. If we see positive momentum and fans really like it, it’s something we’d take a look at (for Sprint Cup). We know with any change there is always some risk. We’ve got to make sure we hang on to our hard-core fans, because always with change comes some challenges. Our goal is to grow the sport. If we can make it more exciting and have everyone even more up on the wheel, we’ll take a look at it. But right now, (we’re) really happy with the decision to go with those four events in Xfinity.”(NBC Sports)(4-19-2016)
  • NASCAR Race To Green Week-Long Campaign Highlights Sport’s Efforts to Protect the Environment: In celebration of the industry’s wide ranging effort to protect the environment, NASCAR announced today its fourth annual NASCAR Race to Green program. The week-long initiative will culminate with Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway, and recognize many of the key stakeholders that care deeply about sustainability, including teams, tracks, partners, employees and fans. For the first time, NASCAR Race to Green will feature a week-long spotlight series on NASCAR.com/green highlighting the sustainability efforts of partners that work closely with NASCAR year-round to help protect the environment. In addition to several tracks and teams, the following partners will be recognized for their green efforts:
    � American Ethanol and Growth Energy will celebrate six years as a NASCAR Official Partner and will eclipse 10 million miles of racing on Sunoco Green E15 in 2016, the equivalent of more than 400 trips around the circumference of the earth.
    � Elgin Sweepers save roughly one gallon of diesel fuel per hour, which relates to about 22.4 pounds of CO2. This technology offsets about 16 metric tons of CO2 being put into the environment over the course of a full NASCAR season, the equivalent of planting 372 new tree seedlings.
    � Safety-Kleen – the official waste remover of NASCAR – will collect approximately 180,000 gallons of oil. That oil is transported to one of four Safety-Kleen oil refineries and processed, making the oil clean and usable again.
    � Mobil 1 is serving as a NASCAR Race to Green initiative partner for the third consecutive year, further extending its promotion of sustainability through its fuel-efficient motor oils – Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy and Mobil Delvac 1 LE 5W-30.
    � Toyota has partnered with Richmond International Raceway to create a Toyota Green Space, a newly beautified area that includes nearly 38,000 square feet of fresh grass, a picnic area and newly planted trees and plants, for fans to visit during the Toyota Owners 400 race weekend.
    Also featured on NASCAR.com/green is the NASCAR Green Carbon quiz, where fans will once again be invited to measure their environmental impact and receive tips from Official Green Partners on how to reduce their carbon footprint.
    During NASCAR Race to Green week the color green will be displayed on the A-post of race cars across the NASCAR national series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. NASCAR Green flags will be displayed at all tracks hosting NASCAR events this weekend, including Richmond International Raceway, Stafford Motor Speedway and the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain (NASCAR Whelen Euro Series).
    After a successful pilot program in 2015, Richmond International Raceway will once again focus its sustainability efforts towards food rescue and recovery. Last year, the track and Americrown Services donated more than 3,300 meals to local food shelters and soup kitchens, diverted more than 24,700 pounds of food scraps and waste to composting and recycled more than two tons of cardboard, resulting in nearly 33 metric tons of CO2 Greenhouse Gas Reductions.(NASCAR)(4-19-2016)
  • Cope announces Richmond sponsors: Derrike Cope Racing with JP Motorsports will be hosting one Primary and three associates at the Richmond Xfinity NASCAR Race on Saturday April 23rd at Richmond International Raceway. Acredale Vending owned by Scott Abshire has been serving Tidewater for 32 years, providing full service vending and sales. Acredale Vending has been a primary and associate sponsor for various NASCAR teams for over 20 years. Ice-Aid returns as an associate for the #70 Camaro. Ice-Aid, formerly known as Beer Frost, an environmentally safe, all-natural, mineral based product turns your cooler of ice into a freezer. Baker’s Crust Artisan Kitchen is a local restaurant chain with six locations in the Richmond area serving all meals and a full bar. For over 20 years Baker’s crust has had the mission to Eat Well and Be Happy. Stakes Body Shop of Norfolk VA returns to RIR as an associate sponsor for DCR. Father and son operated, Stakes specializes in classic automobile restoration.(Derrike Cope Race)(4-19-2016)
  • Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett named Kansas Grand Marshal: Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and former Kansas City Royal George Brett has been named Grand Marshal for the May 7 Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway. Brett was also one of the first people in line to purchase Kansas Speedway season tickets when tickets went on sale before the facility opened. “George Brett is an iconic figure not just in Kansas City but to sports fans across the country and I’m excited to have him take part in the Go Bowling 400,” said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren. “George has an impressive resume, winning a World Series title with the Royals, a Gold Glove, an MVP award, and I’m thrilled that Kansas Speedway was able to add another accomplishment to this already extraordinary list – Grand Marshal.” Brett, who played his entire career with the Royals organization, is considered one of baseball’s greatest clutch hitters and was chosen Royals Player of the Year eight times. The 13-time All-Star was named the 1980 American League MVP and won a Gold Glove in 1985. He was the first player in Major League history to win batting titles in three decades (1976, 1980 and 1990) and the first with career totals of more than 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, 600 doubles, 100 triples and 200 stolen bases. In 1999, Brett was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the fourth-highest vote percentage ever recorded (98%).
    Tickets are currently on sale for races at Kansas Speedway and can be purchased online at www.kansasspeedway.com or by calling 866.460.7223. Parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring in one 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and beverages.(Kansas Speedway)(4-19-2016)


    News from April 18, 2016


     

  • Entry List for the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway is posted, 41 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed, including: #14-Vickers, #21-Blaney*, #30-Wise*, #32-Jeffrey Earnhardt, #55-Sorenson*, #93-Ryan Ellis*, #95-McDowell, #98-Whitt*.
    Drivers who are not a Charter team, an Open Team, and must get in via speed: #21-Blaney, #30-Wise, #55-Sorenson, #93-Ellis, #98-Whitt
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts, then owners pts): #93-Ellis
    * Open Team (no Charter)
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Richmond Entry List
  • Special Mountain Dew schemes at RIR for 3 Hendrick cars: This summer, Mountain Dew is bringing back two all-time fan favorite flavors — Pitch Black and Baja Blast. It’s up to America to decide which flavor will take the honors. There are three ways to vote online — cast your vote at MountainDew.com/DEWcision, complete one of DEW’s video and photo challenges or simply tweet #VotePitchBlack or #VoteBajaBlast (HMS) The cars of #5-Kasey Kahne, #24-Chase Elliott and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will all run special Mountain Dew paint schemes at Richmond International Raceway in the Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race this coming weekend. See images of the cars on the #5 Team Schemes page#24 Team Schemes page and #88 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2016)
  • DiBenedetto gets sponsor for Richmond: BK Racing announced the signing of sponsor E.J. Wade Construction to a primary sponsorship on Matt DiBenedetto’s #83 E.J. Wade Construction Toyota this weekend in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The race on April 24, 2016, will be E.J. Wade Construction’s debut into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Licensed in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and West Virginia, E.J. Wade Construction is a company that believes in quality, reliability, friendliness, and putting the concerns of the client first. “I’m excited to have E.J. Wade Construction on board our #83 car this weekend at Richmond International Raceway,” said DiBenedetto. “We’ve got a sharp looking car for a track that I really enjoy racing at, so we’re looking forward to the Toyota Owners 400.”
    “We’re proud to have E.J. Wade Construction, another Virginia-based company, join us at a track that means a lot to our race team,” said Doug Fritz, CMO of BK Racing. “Matt DiBenedetto has shown perseverance and excellence in his drive to succeed,” said Jeff Wade, President of E.J. Wade Construction. “We are excited for the opportunity to partner with and support such a talented and focused driver. He will represent E.J. Wade Construction well.”(140 Buzz / BK Racing), DiBenedetto is coming off a career best finish of 6th at Bristol.(4-18-2016)
  • NASCAR will discuss lug nuts and loose wheels: NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell said Monday that a recent rash of loose wheels would be a topic in the Sprint Cup Series’ monthly competition meeting with teams. #78-Martin Truex Jr., #24-Chase Elliott and #48-Jimmie Johnson were among several who needed extra pit stops because of loose wheels during Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. There also were multiple loose wheels in the previous race at Texas Motor Speedway, prompting much debate last week over the risks and rewards of the practice of tightening fewer than five lug nuts during a pit stop. A loose wheel is a safety hazard for drivers, who can be left with little warning of losing control at a high rate of speed. “We’ll continue to look at it,” O’Donnell said during his weekly appearance on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM’s NASCAR channel. “We’ve got our competition meeting monthly where we meet with the teams and certainly raise any issues that they see as something we’ve got to address, probably more so immediately.” NASCAR once monitored and punished teams for hitting fewer than five lug nuts on a stop. But it hasn’t been policed since an overhaul of pit road officiating before last season.(in part from NBC Sports)(4-18-2016)
  • Light attendance at Bristol’s Cup race: A crowd estimated at 90,000 attended the (Sprint Cup Series) race (at Bristol) despite near-perfect weather conditions of 72 degrees and sun.(Bristol Herald Courier)
    AND Everything was there for a great Food City 500 race weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway except the crowds. NASCAR quit putting out official attendance figures a few years ago and track officials quit commenting on them around the same time, but from the eyeball test, the Bristol Motor Speedway looked around a third full for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race. The crowd was even more sparse for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race and the Friday qualifying crowd was virtually non-existent. The Sunday crowds were clearly better than the last two years for the spring race when March and then April showers not only brought May flowers but washed away race fans. But, this weekend had perfect weather and a great Xfinity Series race leading into the Food City 500 (Johnson City Press)(4-18-2016)
  • Earnhardt Jr. finishes runner-up for 2nd straight race: Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series runner-up effort in the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS was impressive, but didn’t come easy at Bristol Motor Speedway. Earnhardt suffered an issue with the ECU unit right after the start of the race and lost two laps to the leaders. But by lap 146, he had moved back to the lead lap in 27th position. “Junior” methodically made his way back to the front and had a shot at the win in the waning laps before finishing second. This was the fifth top 10 finish in eight races so far for Earnhardt and the #88 team. Some Q&A;’s:
    THE MODERATOR: “We are also joined by our second-place finisher, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. This is second runner-up finish. Could you talk a little bit about that great come back?”
    DALE EARNHARDT JR: “Yeah, we got the Roush system on our cars for the stuck-throttle issue, and just warming the brakes up, I engaged that system to kill the throttle. I was warming the brakes up like I always do, and apparently I applied too much pressure and it killed the motor. We’ll work on that and maybe raise that threshold a little bit because I wasn’t really using the brake that much. So I just needed to cycle the ECU, reset that, came to pit road and did that. I probably could’ve done it on the track and saved ourselves a lot of trouble, but you don’t know what’s going on at that particular point, and you listen to the first thing anybody tells you when it comes to direction, and the first thing that my spotter said was that if I need to pit, I need to come on now. We got on pit road, cycled it, lost a couple laps. Greg did a good job getting the wave-arounds and knowing when to take them and stuff, and we got back on the lead lap. We had about a 10th-place car. We weren’t really that good all day. We tried a setup that we’ve never really ran here before, just trying to learn a little something going forward, and we’ll go home and science it out a little bit. We got real lucky the last three restarts to be on the outside line. We restarted 10th, 6th and 4th, and when you restart 4th you’re typically going to come out in second place after that. I was hoping we didn’t have any more cautions after that. So it was good. We’ll take it.
    Q. So it’s a system where if you brake really hard, it kills the engine?
    EARNHARDT JR.: “Yes. If your throttle is stuck and you mash the brake to a certain, you’re going to mash the (expletive) out of that brake when the throttle sticks, it’ll shut the motor off. That’s a system, that’s one of the two systems that you have to choose from in this sport. The other is a button on the steering wheel. I don’t like the button on the steering wheel, because when the throttle sticks, I ain’t going to think mash a button. I’ll be in the fence before it’s over with. So the brake thing works too good.”
    Q. How did you keep yourself from just panicking when you had the problem and you tried several times to get a lap back and it took several times?
    DALE EARNHARDT JR.: “Yeah, I turned 40. Quit panicking. It is what it is these days. You know, as I got older, I tried harder to enjoy what I’m doing, and not get really upset and too out of shape when things aren’t going our way, plus I know Greg and them guys are on the pit box trying everything they can, and for me to — they’re the only ones I’m going to be able to yell at, so for me to — it doesn’t do any good to be hollering at them or upset or just lose your mind, and the over-the-wall guys especially, we don’t really spend a ton of time with the over-the-wall guys, and they’re real sensitive. They’re big ol’ guys and athletes, but they’ve got big hearts, too, so you can’t be screaming and coming unglued because they don’t want to work for people like that.”(Team Chevy)(4-18-2016)
  • Goodyear to examine tires: #19-Carl Edwards avoided the tire issues that plagued his teammates and took off on the final restart to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Bristol. “I just kept getting tighter in the long run, not sure why that was,” said #18-Kyle Busch, who had two other tire failures and was penalized for speeding off pit road. “I guess it wasn’t meant to be.” #20-Matt Kenseth led three times for 142 laps and seemed to be one of the few drivers capable of challenging Edwards before his day ended early after he cut a right front tire a second time and hit the wall. #11-Denny Hamlin had problems too. Goodyear will examine all the tires from Busch and Kenseth to determine if the failures were due to the tire makeup or the aggressive setups drivers use at the high-banked track. “Because all of them had the same problem, we wanted to take a look,” Goodyear racing director Greg Stucker said.(ESPN)(4-18-2016)
  • Bayne scores first top-five since 2011 Daytona 500 win: #6-Trevor Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500 in his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, but that he hadn’t scored a top-five since then – until Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Bayne qualified 10th and ran near the front until a commitment-line violation on Lap 149 sent him to the rear of the field. Undeterred, Bayne drove back through the field and took advantage of late restarts to finish fifth, his first top-five result after a drought of 99 races.”It was a lot of battling back,” Bayne said after the race. “We went through a lot of adversity to get there, but we just didn’t give up. We had a really good race car. That’s what paid off. You can’t come back if you don’t have good race cars, and we’ve got that now. I need to minimize my mistakes going forward, but we were able to make mistakes and get back to a top-five finish. I kept getting on the bottom on restarts every time, but it came back to me at the end. We were able to start on the top those last three, and that’s really what got us in the top five.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-18-2016)
  • Kyle Busch’s car hits woman in garage area: A woman who was struck by Kyle Busch’s car in the garage area at Bristol Motor Speedway at first said she was uninjured by the minor contact, but Sunday went to a hospital to check for possible injuries. Erin Vandyke, a longtime race fan, was bumped into as was taking pictures on pit road. Busch was heading to the garage area after a second blown right-front tire when his #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota made sight contact with her, briefly knocking her to the ground. Vandyke at first said she was completely fine after the incident and suffered no injuries. But she did go to the track’s infield care center afterwards, and later went to a local hospital Sunday night to be evaluated.(FoxSports)(4-18-2016)
  • DiBenedetto has career-best run for BK Racing: If Matt DiBenedetto had done a burnout alongside race winner #19-Carl Edwards, no one would have blamed him. That’s how unexpected DiBenedetto’s sixth-place finish was in Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol. After going a lap down, the driver of the #83 BK Racing Toyota got a free pass as the highest-scored lapped car for a restart on Lap 345, and subsequent cautions kept him on the lead lap. On the final three late-race restarts, DiBenedetto lined up 14th, 10th and eighth – all in the top lane – and took full advantage of the fast way around the .533-mile concrete oval. On the final restart with five laps left, the NASCAR Next alumnus passed Kevin Harvick for sixth and held the spot to the finish. That result was a career-best for both DiBenedetto and BK Racing. “That’s unbelievable for a team like to us to be growing this much and for us to get a sixth-place run,” said DiBenedetto, who came to driver introductions disguised as ZZ Top lead guitarist Billy Gibbons, beard and all. “I’m sorry I’m so emotional. It’s just this is like a win for us. I’m so excited. I see my family back here – my wife, Taylor, my brother is in town from the military and I’m so glad he got to experience this. This is just… this is incredible. I’m so blessed to be here.” Race winner Carl Edwards had made a point of congratulating DiBenedetto on his 20th-place run in Phoenix in the fourth race of the season, but Edwards wasn’t aware of the driver’s strong run behind him. “They finished sixth?” Edwards asked, incredulous. “Man that’s unbelievable. That’s probably tougher than what we did.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-18-2016)
  • Bristol Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Food City 500: 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 4:36 PM (all times are EDT). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 105
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 50
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 87
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 46
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 18
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 13
    Number of times Fox utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:36 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 216
    Minutes of race broadcast: 176
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 40
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 10
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 176 Total comm. brdcst time 40
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(4-18-2016)
  • The sixth win ever for car #19: Carl Edwards win in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway is the sixth overall Sprint Cup Series win for a car number 19. Edwards has won three of those races, Bristol in 2016, Darlington and Charlotte in 2015. Before Edwards, the #19 had only three other race wins in the history of the Sprint Cup Series (1949). In 1960 when John Rostek won at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix. And twice with Jeremy Mayfield in 2004 at Richmond and 2005 in Michigan. For more info on car number wins and some history, see Jayski.com’s Wins by Car Number page.(4-18-2016)
  • XFINITY Entry List: There are 41 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway. A few notes:
    Cole Custer will drive the #5 for JR Motorsports;
    Jeff Green returns to the Tri-Star #10;
    Timmy Hill returns to the #13;
    The Rick Ware #15 is TBA;
    Matt Tifft will drive the #18 for Joe Gibbs;
    Spencer Gallagher and the #21 team return to the track;
    The #24 JGL team was entered with Corey LaJoie but has withdrawn;
    The Rick Ware #25 is TBA;
    Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will drive the #88;
    Josh Wise remains in the #93 for RSS;
    The #97 is TBA, but Ryan Ellis has driven is the last 2 races.(4-18-2015)
    See the complete list on the Richmond entry list page.
  • MARADYNE Extends Partnership With MB Motorsports: MARADYNE High Performance Fans, a DCM Manufacturing brand, has extended its partnership with MB Motorsports, the sole surviving original team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. MARADYNE High Performance Fans is a brand name owned by DCM Manufacturing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dreison International, Inc. DCM Manufacturing manufactures and sells accessories and components serving the off-road equipment, agricultural machinery, heavy-duty truck, automotive, bus, RV, marine and military markets.(MB Motorsports)(4-18-2016)
  • Bristol Driver Song Selections: Bristol Motor Speedway has always featured the most unique driver introductions on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit, but 2016 takes it to a whole new level with the addition of Colossus TV. The sights and sounds of each driver selecting their own songs was presented on the world’s largest, outdoor, center-hung, four-sided video display. See the full list on Jayski.com’s Bristol Motor Speedway Track News and Links page (BMS)(4-18-2016)
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Song Superstar Trophy Tour: The Share a Coke and a Song Superstar Trophy Tour (starts April 18th in Charlotte, ends in Concord on May 16th) will feature appearances by NASCAR celebrities, Hall of Famers and Miss Sprint Cup, tire changing station and simulator, the Charlotte Motor Speedway pace car, plus the opportunity for fans to take photos with the Sprint All-Star and Coca-Cola 600 race trophies. Fans can also register to win tickets to the Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600, as well as sample delicious Coca-Cola products. Aspiring performers will have the chance to sing their way to stardom during Charlotte Motor Speedway’s May events with on-site auditions at each tour stop April 18 through May 16. Five lucky winners will be selected to perform at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder. For the tour schedule and more info go to charlottemotorspeedway.com (4-18-2016)
  • Pocono Raceway, GEICO Establish Partnership: Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky announced that GEICO will be the Official RV and Recreational Insurance sponsor of ‘The Tricky Triangle.’ The multi-year deal aligns Pocono Raceway with GEICO and adds to the insurance companies motorsports offering. As part of the agreement, GEICO will have branded naming rights to GEICO RV and Camping Registration, GEICO Motorcycle Parking and GEICO Family Camping. In addition, GEICO will have a large presence during race weekends at Pocono Raceway and will rely on its street team to identify the best campsite and present the “Golden Gecko” to the winner. Tickets for all races are now on sale at www.poconoraceway.com or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY.(Pocono Raceway)(4-18-2016)


    News from April 17, 2016


  • Carl Edwards wins at Bristol: #19-Carl Edwards won the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 4th win at Bristol and 26th career win. Edwards won from the pole for the 3 times in 18 tries, the first driver to win from the pole in 2016
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 2nd followed by #41-Busch, #24-Elliott (best career finish), #6-Bayne (1st top-five since he won the 2011 Daytona 500), #83-DiBenedetto (best career finish), #4-Harvick, #15-Bowyer, #31-Newman and #22-Logano.
    There were 16 lead changes among 7 drivers and 15 cautions for 102 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 81.637mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Bristol Race & Points Report (pdf).(4-17-2016)
  • Race Fast Facts – Bristol Motor Speedway:
    #19-Carl Edwards won the 56th Annual Food City 500, his 26th victory in 417 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his fourth victory and 11th top-10 finish in 24 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 33 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2016.
    #41-Kurt Busch (third) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 31 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    #24-Chase Elliott (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-17-2016)
  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Points (not CHASE) Standings:
    [after Bristol, race 8 of 36]
    1) #4-Harvick [1 win], 287
    2) #19-Edwards [1 win], 286, -1
    3) #48-Johnson [2 wins], 271, -16
    4) #22-Logano, 266, -21
    5) #18-Busch, [2 wins], 262, -25
    6) #88-Earnhardt Jr., 250, -37
    7) #41-Busch, 247, -40
    8) #2-Keselowski [1 win], 224, -63
    9) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 222, -65
    10) #78-Truex Jr., 214, -73
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf) See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Bristol Race & Points Report (pdf).
  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup CHASE Standings:
    [after Bristol, race 8 of 36, 16 drivers for the Chase]
    Set by most wins, then by points standing
    1) #48-Johnson [2 wins], 3rd in driver points
    2) #18-Busch [2 wins], 5th
    3) #4-Harvick [1 win], 1st
    4) #19-Edwards [1 win], 2nd
    5) #2-Keselowski [1 win], 8th
    6) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 9th
    no wins, in by drivers points standings
    7) #22-Logano, 266
    8) #88-Earnhardt Jr., 250
    9) #41-Busch, 247
    10) #78-Truex, Jr., 214
    11) #3-Dillon, 213
    12) #24-Elliott, 205
    13) #1-McMurray, 199
    14) #47-Allmendinger, 188
    15) #5-Kahne, 185
    16) #31-Newman, 182
    (4-17-2016)
  • Bristol Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
    #24-Chase Elliott, finished 4th, 18 rookie points (best career finish)
    #21-Ryan Blaney, finished 11th, 10 rookie points
    #34-Chris Buescher, finished 21st, 9 rookie points
    #44-Brian Scott, finished 30th, 8 rookie points
    #32-Jeffrey Earnhardt, finished 32nd, 7 rookie points (best career finish)
    See Jayski.com’s 2016 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(4-17-2016)
  • Pugs joins Premium Motorsports at Bristol: Premium Motorsports announced it has added Pugsto the team of partners backing Cole Whitt this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Pugs joins RTIC Coolers, Drink Doc, Ultimate Tailgating and Speed Stick as part of a soon to be announced 2016 #98 Cole Whitt fan sweepstakes surrounding select race venues and outdoor fun. “We believe Pugs brings great value to what we are putting together with our other partners and are very thankful for their support this weekend at Bristol,” team owner Jay Robinson said. For over 25 years, Pugs has been a premier national brand providing the highest quality sunglasses, outdoor apparel and electronics to millions of fans. Pugs leads the industry by exceeding customer expectations, developing innovative products, and reinventing distribution models to provide for our retail partners. Available at retail stores all over the United States and online, Pugs is driven to provide excellent products and service to our passionate customers. “I am excited to carry the Pugs brand on the #98 this weekend and thankful they hooked me up with some shades to battle the sun at the Bristol coliseum,” said Whitt. “I look forward to being a big part of the partner promotion as we move ahead and hope to have a good finish for all.”(Premium Motorsports), see images of the car on the #98 Team Schemes page (4-15-2016)
  • ‘Overtime’ line at Bristol: Because Bristol is a short track, the NASCAR “overtime” line is in Turn 3.(ESPN)(4-17-2016)
  • Kyle Busch trying to tie Stewart’s record at JGR:#18-Kyle Busch can match Tony Stewart’s record for most wins by a Joe Gibbs Racing driver. Before leaving in 2008 to form Stewart-Haas Racing and avoid driving a Toyota, Smoke made 356 starts for Gibbs in more than a decade of racing. He won 33 Cup races and two Cup championships. Busch sits on 32 wins [has 36 total, 4 with Hendrick Motorsports] after his back-to-back victory weekends. And he hit that total in 283 starts, two seasons fewer than Stewart. He is the reigning Cup champion, his first and the first for Toyota. Come Sunday, Busch will be in a good starting position. He goes off fifth, with three Gibbs cars ahead of him on the grid. And Saturday, Busch was fastest in early practice.(Sporting News)(4-17-2016)
  • Peyton Manning to appear on race broadcast Sunday: NFL legend Peyton Manning will make an appearance in the FOX NASCAR broadcast booth on Sunday, April 17, during live FOX coverage of the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES race from Bristol Motor Speedway. The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, who retired at the conclusion of the 2015 NFL season, will join the FOX NASCAR broadcast team of Mike Joy, four-time champion Jeff Gordon and Hall of Famer/three-time champion Darrell Waltrip for a brief time. Manning is at Bristol this weekend as a guest of Dale Earnhardt Jr.(FOX)(4-17-2016)
  • Kenseth says he has no plans to retire in near future: Although #20-Matt Kenseth hasn’t won this season and has just one top-10 finish, he’s exhibited as much speed as his teammates. His 164 laps led is third among the JGR drivers. Kenseth just doesn’t have the results to show for it. So why are pundits and fans questioning Kenseth’s future in the sport? “This is turning into a huge retirement topic right now for some odd reason–I’m not sure why and I’m getting a little bit of a complex about it,” Kenseth said sarcastically. With Jeff Gordon, 44, stepping out of the seat last year – and Kenseth turning the same age last month, comparisons are inevitable. The recent retirements of Peyton Manning, who will be an honorary race official and guest of Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Sunday, and Kobe Bryant certainly have fueled the topic. But perhaps the greatest reason the rumor won’t die is the long list of development drivers JGR has waiting in the wings – particularly Saturday’s Xfinity Series winner Erik Jones and points leader Daniel Suarez. Kenseth’s not going anywhere But Kenseth’s boss, Joe Gibbs, insists emphatically his senior driver’s future is secure. “Kenseth’s future is – we love him,” Gibbs says with a laugh. “I can tell you that right now. We love Matt Kenseth. He’s a big part of our program. We don’t need to announce anything. He’s solid.” Kenseth said retirement was the farthest thing from his mind. “I feel incredibly good, I’m driving I think arguably the best team in the sport, love the guys I’m working with and we’re still really competitive,” Kenseth said. “Our sport is just so different. I think you see a lot of people not go out on their own terms because they keep trying to do it for too long because they can still get a job and they can still maybe get in stuff that’s maybe not as good, but somebody is still going to hire them.”(in part from Motorsport)(4-17-2016)
  • Autistic child’s name featured on #88 car: Through The Dale Jr. Foundation’s Driven to Give Gloves program, 8-year-old Aiden VanWagner will have his name featured above the passenger door of Dale Earnhardt’s #88 Nationwide Chevy this weekend. Aiden was diagnosed with autism at an early age but under the care of Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s (NCH) Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Aiden has received individualized and comprehensive interventions and is enjoying school in a mainstream classroom. The Driven to Give Gloves program has been revamped for 2016 and focuses on four NCH Patient Champions. This month, Earnhardt is wearing gloves accented in blue, representing autism. Earnhardt’s race-worn gloves will be auctioned off to raise funds for NCH’s clinical and research programs. NCH is America’s largest pediatric hospital and research center with all care provided regardless of a family’s ability to pay. All four 2016 NCH Patient Champions will be attending the Kentucky Speedway race as special guests of Earnhardt and the #88 team.(HMS)(4-17-2016)


    News from April 16, 2016


     

  • Race Coverage of the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, April 17, 2016.
    Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 12:30pm/et; green flag approx. 1:13pm/et
    RadioPerformance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, April 18 at 8:30am/et on FS1
  • Bristol Pre-Race Schedule for Sunday, April 17: (eastern time)
    12:20pm: NSCS Driver Introductions
    12:53pm: “God Bless USA” by Lee Greenwood
    1:00pm: Presentation of Colors by TN Army National Guard
    1:00pm: Invocation by Mike Rife, Vansant Church of Christ, Vansant, VA
    1:01pm: National Anthem: Clare Dunn, country music entertainer
    1:02pm: Flyover by A-10s, 74th Fighter Squadron, Moody AFB, GA
    1:07pm: Command to start engines: NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace
    1:13pm: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500, FOX & PRN
    eastern time (NASCAR.com)
  • Happy Hour practice for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #11-Hamlin 126.129
    #24-Elliott 125.823
    #78-Truex Jr. 125.749
    #19-Edwards 125.691
    #18-Busch 125.395
    slowest: #55-Sorenson 120.407 & #32-Earnhardt 121.558
    most laps run: #34-Buescher 104; #31-Newman 103
    the best 10 consecutive lap ave: #42-Larson 124.657
    notes: #10-Patrick scraped the wall early in the practice, team made repairs and he was back on the track.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap ave on the Bristol Happy Hour practice speeds page (pdf) (4-16-2016)
  • Denny Hamlin, Danica Patrick tangle in Saturday practice: #10-Danica Patrick and #11-Denny Hamlin had had their differences in the past, but what happened in Saturday morning’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Bristol Motor Speedway had nothing to do with old grudges. Nevertheless, contact between their two cars bent the sheet metal on both vehicles, Hamlin’s on the right front and Patrick’s on the left rear. Patrick, on new tires, was struggling with the handling of her #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy and had difficulty holding the bottom. She had just let Clint Bowyer’s #15 Chevy pass her to the inside, and as she approached Turn 1, Hamlin was closing fast behind her. Patrick entered the turn low but didn’t hold the bottom, and as she drifted up off the bottom lane, Hamlin opted to try an inside pass but ran out of room. The resulting collision, though not a violent impact, was enough to do cosmetic damage to both cars. “I had just come out on tires,” Patrick said. “They were cold and I wasn’t very good anyway – I was pretty loose. I came down the front straightaway and I put my finger out the window to point him by, but he hit me on entry. I don’t know if he… it looked like he came pretty close when he went to go to the inside, too. Man, I love Denny, but he makes a lot of mistakes behind me. I don’t know if he misjudged it, or I was going slower than he thought, but I put my finger out the window and pointed him by. I had no intention to race him. I was not fast enough. I don’t know, but the guys are going to try and fix it.”
    From his vantage point, Hamlin couldn’t see Patrick’s signal. “I was on the outside of her on the straightaway, so I couldn’t see the left side of her car,” Hamlin said. “I went to go low, but I don’t know if she had stuff on her tires. It looked like she was struggling and had stuff on her tires for a few laps there. I tried to go low and obviously we hung bumpers.” Patrick’s troubles weren’t over. In Saturday’s final practice prior to Sunday’s Food City 500, she was still fighting a loose handling condition and brushed the wall near the apex of Turns 3 and 4 approximately five minutes into Happy Hour. After repairs, Hamlin’s #11 Toyota, on the other hand, was fast enough to top the speed chart during final Cup practice with a lap at 126.129 mph.(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-16-2016)
  • Saturday first practice for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #18-Busch 126.370
    #24-Elliott 126.253
    #41-Busch 126.137
    #43-Almirola 125.988
    #19-Edwards 125.972
    slowest: #32-Earnhardt 120.282 & #98-Whitt 121.914
    most laps run: #41-Busch 86; #18-Busch 77
    the best 10 consecutive lap ave: #18-Busch 125.569
    notes: #11-Hamlin got into back of #10-Patrick’s car, doing some damage to the front of the #11 and the rear of the #10.
    Happy Hour practice is scheduled for 11:00am/et and will be televised on FS1.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap ave on the Bristol practice 2 speeds page (pdf) (4-16-2016)
  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #19-Edwards chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    2nd place qualifier #20-Kenseth took pit stall 23, the first pit stall on the rear pit road.
    #22-Logano, who starts 3rd took the 6th pit stall.
    The 42nd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 7th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-16-2016)
  • Bristol Pit Rules: Bristol Motor Speedway operates under a plan where one-pit road will be used during pit stops under caution. Currently, Bristol remains the only track in the Sprint Cup Series that utilizes two pit roads with 20 pit stalls on the front stretch and 20 on the backstretch (three stalls are not used). Teams that pit on the backstretch used to be at a competitive disadvantage. Since the spring 2002 race at Bristol, teams will enter pit road in Turn 2 (the current backstretch pit entrance) drive around down the backstretch and around Turns 3 and 4 and exit in Turn 1. Under green-flag conditions teams will enter and exit pit road under the current two-pit-road scheme.
  • Texas TV Ratings UPDATE2: FOX’s coverage of NASCAR’s Duck Commander 500 led a typically quiet Saturday. In primetime the race scored a 0.9 rating / 3 share (4.22 million viewers) in adults 18-49, pending updates, tying with CBS’ “48 Hours” for the top rating of the night.(TV by the Numbers)(4-11-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Texas earned a 2.5 overnight rating on FOX Saturday night, down 14% from last year (2.9) and the lowest overnight ever for a Sprint Cup race on FOX. The 2.5 is also the lowest ever for the spring Texas race (dates back to 1997). In both cases, the previous low was set last year. No doubt contributing to the record-low performance was a nearly two-hour rain delay that pushed the start of the race past 9:30 PM ET. Despite the decline, the race was the top sporting event of the weekend outside of The Masters.(Sports Media Watch)(4-12-2016)
    UPDATE2: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Texas earned a 2.7 final rating and 4.3 million viewers on FOX last Saturday night, down 7% in ratings and 10% in viewership from last year (2.9, 4.8M). The start of the race was delayed more than an hour due to rain. Excluding rainouts – i.e., races that were postponed rather than delayed – the 2.7 rating is the lowest ever for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race on FOX. This is the second straight year Texas has set a network low, though rain was clearly a factor this time around. The 2.7 is also the lowest ever for the spring Texas race (dates back to 1997). Since earning a 5.6 in 2007, ratings for the race have declined in each successive year (again excluding rainouts). Despite the lower numbers, NASCAR on FOX topped the combined audience of the Warriors/Grizzlies and Cavaliers/Bulls NBA games on ESPN and ABC (4.2M). Keep in mind ESPN’s Warriors coverage was blacked out in the Bay Area. For the weekend, it was the top sporting event outside of The Masters.(Sports Media Watch / Programming Insider) see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(4-16-2016)
  • Bristol Driver Notes & Facts:
    � NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Bristol with 60. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with 32 starts.
    � Joey Logano leads all active series drivers in average starting position at Bristol with a 7.929. Logano is the only active driver with an avg. starting position inside the top 10.
    � Ryan Newman leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Bristol without visiting Victory Lane at 28.
    � Paul Menard (17 starts) leads the series in starts with the fewest DNFs (0) at Bristol.
    � Thirty-three drivers have made their first series career start at Bristol Motor Speedway; including two active drivers – AJ Allmendinger (2007) and Regan Smith (2007).
    � 42 different drivers have won at Bristol, led by Darrell Waltrip (12). Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch each have five wins, the most among active drivers.
    � 12 drivers have won consecutive races at Bristol led by Darrell Waltrip with seven consecutive victories from 1981-1984. The other 11 are Fred Lorenzen (1963-1964 sweep), David Pearson (1968 sweep), Bobby Allison (1972 sweep), Cale Yarborough did it twice (1974 sweep and four straight from 1976-1977), Richard Petty (1975 sweep), Dale Earnhardt also did twice (1985 sweep and 1987 sweep), Alan Kulwicki (1992 sweep), Rusty Wallace (2000 sweep), Kurt Busch (2003 sweep and 2004 spring race), Kyle Busch (2009 sweep), and Brad Keselowski (2011 fall-2012 spring).
    � Five drivers have posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career win at Bristol Motor Speedway: Dale Earnhardt (04/01/1979), Rusty Wallace (04/06/1986), Ernie Irvan (03/25/1990), Elliott Sadler (03/25/2001) and Kurt Busch (03/24/2002).
    � Richard Petty leads the series in runner-up finishes at Bristol with 10; Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers with five; followed by Kyle Busch with three.
    � Darrell Waltrip leads the series in top-three finishes at Bristol with 23 followed Richard Petty with 18. Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers with eight.
    � Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty lead the series in top-five finishes at Bristol with 26 each. Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers with 13; followed by Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick with 10 each.
    � Richard Petty has leads the series in top-10 finishes at Bristol with 37. Matt Kenseth leads the series among active drivers in top-10 finishes with 20; followed by Jimmie Johnson (16).
    � Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads the series among active drivers in average finishing position at Bristol with an 11.167.
    � Two female drivers have made NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Bristol: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick.
    (NASCAR)
  • Comcast featured on Edwards car at Bristol: #19-Carl Edwards heads to Bristol, TN this weekend with Comcast Business as his primary sponsor. Edwards has had a lot of success and has always been strong on the concrete tracks. Comcast Business, a unit of Comcast Cable provides advanced communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. Through a next-generation network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast delivers Business Internet, Ethernet, TV and a full portfolio of Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communications management (JGR), see an image of the scheme on the #19 Team Schemes page(4-16-2016)
  • Kyle Busch looking for record third straight weekend sweep: Last week at Texas Motor Speedway, #18-Kyle Busch swept the XFINITY Series and Cup races – a week after winning both the Camping World Truck Series and Cup races at Martinsville Speedway. Busch and Harry Gant are the only drivers to have swept consecutive NASCAR weekends, a feat Gant accomplished in 1991 at Richmond and Dover. No driver has ever swept three consecutive NASCAR weekends – yet. But Busch think he has a realistic shot, even though he’ll have to win Saturday’s XFINITY Series race under a completely new Dash 4 Cash format featuring two 50-lap heat races and a 200-lap main event.(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-16-2016)
  • Gilliland to race at Talladega: On hand to watch his son Todd Gilliland try to make NASCAR K&N; Pro Series East history Saturday at Bristol, David Gilliland confirmed that he will compete in the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega. Gilliland will drive a third entry [#35 Ford] for Front Row Motorsports as a teammate to Chris Buescher and Landon Cassill. Gilliland attempted to make the Daytona 500, but failed to qualify. While Gilliland has enjoyed watching son Todd do magical things on the NASCAR K&N; Pro Series side, the 40-year-old is ready to get back behind the seat. “I’m excited about it,” said Gilliland. “We’ve been busy working with Todd and BRM and all the folks in the K&N; Series, but I’m looking forward to it. We have an off-weekend, so Todd’s going to let me go race. We’ve been joking about it. He said he’ll even driver coach me. We’re going to have a lot of fun with it. Talladega is a very special place and we’ve had some great runs there and to get back with Front Row Motorsports and Bob Jenkins, they’re putting a lot of effort into it and I’m excited about it.” Gilliland mentioned that they have sponsorship for the car, which is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. There’s speculation that Gilliland could also run the road course races at Sonoma and Watkins Glen International for FRM, Gilliland said, however, the approach is to take one race at a time.(Catchfence)(4-16-2016)
  • Larry McClure recalls the good old days at MMM: Larry McClure smiles when he thinks back on the glory days of Morgan-McClure Motorsports (#4 Kodak Chevy / Olds / Pontiac). For 27 years, the Abingdon, Virginia-based team represented a source of pride for Southwest Virginia residents and a symbol of hope for NASCAR teams who operated away from the stock car epicenter of Charlotte, NC. Relying on hometown owners, homegrown employees and a diverse cast of drivers, MMM won 14 Cup races and 13 poles in the familiar yellow #4 car. That resume included three victories in the biggest event on the schedule – the Daytona 500 (one with Ernie Irvan and two with Sterling Marlin). McClure served as general manager for MMM and was a co-owner along with his three brothers and businessman Tim Morgan. In a wide-ranging interview earlier this week, McClure talked about the ups and downs in his NASCAR adventure and personal life. Read the full interview at the Bristol Herald Courier (4-16-2016)
  • What happened to Ty Dillon in qualifying? Ty Dillon, subbing for injured Tony Stewart in the #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevy at Bristol, was involved in an on track accident during qualifying. The team decided NOT to go to a back-up car. A couple of Q&A;’s with Dillon:
    Q) TOUGH QUALIFYING EFFORT OUT THERE, CAN YOU TELL US WHAT HAPPENED?
    Dillon: “Yeah, probably one of my most embarrassing moments in racing. I was coming off the corner there and getting up to speed and I clipped the apron and I slid and got loose and slid into the #38 car. It destroyed our right front and took away any good shot we had at a real qualifying lap. Not what I wanted to do in stepping into this No. 14 ride with Bass Pro Shops and Stewart-Haas. I thank them for the opportunity and I feel bad that I tore it up in qualifying and we are starting in the back of the field. But we will work on it and race back up through the field. We have been doing that the entire year. I am just disappointed in myself in making a mental mistake in getting up to speed there. Just real disappointed, but we will come back tomorrow, forget about it, and go forward.”
    Q) YOUR TEAM TALKED ABOUT GOING TO A BACK-UP CAR. DID YOU FEEL ANYTHING WHEN YOU WENT BACK OUT THERE THAT MIGHT INDICATE THE NEED FOR A BACK-UP CAR?
    Dillon: “Yeah, it just didn’t have the speed, it was real tight feeling. The aero is really messed up. These guys are the best in the business so they will get it fixed. Whether we have to go to a back-up or not, we will be alright.”(Team Chevy)(4-16-2016)
  • The Groove at Bristol expected to move: In Friday’s opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Bristol Motor Speedway, there was no mistaking the fastest way around the .533-mile oval. Consistently, drivers ran their top speeds on the bottom of the track. That runs contrary to the past few races at Bristol. Ever since the grinding of the top lane, the preferred line has been the outside. Never fear, says #19-Carl Edwards. The groove will move, either before or during Sunday’s Food City 500. “I’m not exactly sure why,” Edwards said on Friday afternoon when asked why the bottom lane was best in practice. “There might be some slight differences with the Goodyear tires, but probably the best reason or most likely reason for that is that we haven’t put a lot of rubber down on the track yet, and it just seems like this place moves around a lot. We talked about it in practice. I don’t think that the race will be run on the bottom like that. I think it will really widen out, but I don’t know when it will happen. I don’t know if it will happen today or all the way where we might have to wait until Sunday for it.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-16-2016)
  • McClure and Martin expanding K&N; team UPDATE: Plans for a new era of motorsports in Southwest Virginia were unveiled Wednesday in a familiar setting. With pioneer NASCAR team car and Food Country USA owner Charlie Henderson in attendance, Xfinity Series drivers Eric McClure and Hal Martin announced details on their expanded NASCAR K&N; Pro Series East program. Last July, McClure and Martin first announced their intentions to field a single-car car Martin-McClure Racing operation for developmental drivers in the K&N; Series. Chad Finchum, a popular Late Model racer from Knoxville, Tennessee, was hired as the first driver. Step two was Wednesday’s press conference at the headquarters of the Henderson Motorsports NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. The sprawling building was once located next door to the headquarters of the Morgan-McClure Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup team, which won the Daytona 500 three times. The Martin-McClure team will be featured in a big away in the April 16 PittLite 125 K&N; Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway. Finchum will drive the #39 MMR Reynolds Wrap Toyota Camry while Abingdon’s Caleb Holman will drive the #75 Food Country USA. Holman, a former Xfinity Series driver who currently competes in the truck series for the Henderson team, will be making his debut in the K&N; series which has produced several drivers currently competing in the top levels of NASCAR. Finchum is also scheduled to compete in the K&N; events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 16), Iowa Speedway (July 29) and Dover International Speedway on Sept. 30. Finchum has earned dozens of wins in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, including the season-opening event at Kingsport Speedway on March 26.(Bristol Herald Courier)(4-7-2016)
    UPDATE: Moments after winning Saturday’s PittLite 125 NASCAR K&N; Pro Series East race at Bristol Motor Speedway, Chad Finchum cruised up to the flag stand. With the checkered flag hanging out the side of his Abingdon, Virginia-based Martin-McClure Racing Reynolds Wraps Toyota, Finchum took a joy ride around his favorite track to punctuate the biggest victory of his career.”Racing at the local level for the past few years really gave me the experience in a big car,” Finchum said. “When Eric [McClure] and Hal [Martin] formed Martin-McClure Racing and partnered with Reynolds Wraps, I couldn’t have been happier.” McClure and Martin are both former Xfinity Series racers with big plans for the future. McClure and Martin both admitted to shedding tears of joy as they watched Finchum close in on the landmark victory for their second-year team. Veteran crew chief Chris Carrier, a native of Bristol, Tennessee, was just as joyous in the post-race press conference. “This is the biggest day of my pro career,” McClure said.(Bristol Herald Courier)(4-16-2016)
  • Erik Jones wins XFINITY race at Bristol: #20-Erik Jones won the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 3rd XFINITY Series career win and 1st of the year. The win earns him a spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase this year. He also won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus. Jones took the lead from #42-Kyle Larson on a restart with 3 laps to go. #18-Kyle Busch finished second, followed by #42-Kyle Larson, #2-Austin Dillon, #7-Justin Allgaier, #19-Daniel Suarez, #3-Ty Dillon, #$88-Kevin Harvick, #22-Joey Logano, and #98-Aric Almirola.
    Jones had the fastest qualifying time this morning and led all 50 laps to win the first heat race. He started the main from the pole.
    There were 3 cautions for 23 laps and 10 lead changes among 4 leaders.
    The average speed was 93.829mph.
    Complete results are on the Bristol race results page (pdf).
    (4-16-2016)
  • Bristol XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Erik Jones won the 34th Annual FITZGERALD GLIDER KITS 300, his third victory in 33 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in three races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Busch(i) (second) posted his 19th top-10 finish in 23 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his sixth top-10 finish in 2016.
    Kyle Larson(i) (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in six races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Erik Jones (first) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Daniel Suarez leads the point standings by 6 points over Erik Jones.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-16-2016)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Bristol:
    1) #19-Daniel Suarez, 242
    2) #20-Erik Jones [1 win], 236, -6
    3) #7-Justin Allgaier, 234, -8
    4) #1-Elliott Sadler, 232, -10
    5) #33-Brandon Jones, 223, -19
    6) #3-Ty Dillon, 221, -21
    7) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 208, -34
    8) #48-Brennan Poole, 180, -62
    8) #16-Ryan Reed, 180, -62
    10) #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., 176, -66
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(4-16-2016)
  • Erik Jones on XFINITY pole for main event at Bristol: Following the two 50 lap heat races, #20-Erik Jones will start from the pole for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol. He gets the pole by winning the first heat race and having the fastest qualifying time. #2-Austin Dillon will start second after winning the second heat. The rest of the top 10 starters: #42-Kyle Larson, #3-Ty Dillon, #18-Kyle Busch, #22-Joey Logano, #7-Justin Allgaier, #19-Daniel Suarez, #33-Brandon Jones, and #88-Kevin Harvick.
    The starting lineup is posted on the Bristol starting lineup page (pdf).(4-16-2016)
  • Austin Dillon wins XFINITY Heat 2 at Bristol: #2-Austin Dillon won the second heat race for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The race was caution free and Dillon led every lap. #3-Ty Dillon was second, followed by: #22-Joey Logano, #19-Daniel Suarez, #88-Kevin Harvick, #98-Aric Almirola, #43-Jeb Burton, #11-Blake Koch, #51-Jeremy Clements, and #39-Ryan Sieg.
    Austin Dillon will start the main in 2nd because he had a faster qualifying time compared to #20-Erik Jones, who won the first heat. Finishers of this heat race will lineup on the outside of the feature in even-numbered starting positions.
    #3-Ty Dillon and #19-Daniel Suarez, being the top 2 XFINITY regulars in the heat, will join #20-Erik Jones and #7-Justin Allgaier in running for the Dash 4 Cash bonus in the main.
    Results are posted on the Bristol XFINITY Series Heat 1 results page (pdf).(4-16-2016)
  • Erik Jones wins XFINITY Heat 1 at Bristol: #20-Erik Jones won the first heat race for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The race was caution free and Jones led every lap. #42-Kyle Larson was second, followed by: #18-Kyle Busch, #7-Justin Allgaier, #33-Brandon Jones, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #1-Elliott Sadler, #16-Ryan Reed, and #48-Brennan Poole.
    After the second heat, the complete lineup will be set for the 200 lap main event.
    Erik Jones will start the main either first or second, depending on who had the fastest qualifying time of the two heat winners. Finishers of this heat race will lineup on the inside of the feature in odd-numbered starting positions.
    Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier, being the top 2 XFINITY regulars in the heat, will run for the Dash 4 Cash bonus in the main.
    Results are posted on the Bristol XFINITY Series Heat 1 results page (pdf).(4-16-2016)
  • Erik Jones fastest in XFINITY qualifying at Bristol: #20-Erik Jones won the pole award for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway with a speed of 125.914mph. Qualifying sets the field for the two heat races. Even-numbered qualifiers will run in the first heat race, odd-numbered qualifiers in the second.
    Top 5 starters in the first heat race: #20-Erik Jone, #42-Kyle Larson, #18-Kyle Busch, #7-Justin Allgaier, and #33-Brandon Jones.
    Top 5 starters in the second heat race: #2-Austin Dillon, #19-Daniel Suarez, #22-Joey Logano, #98-Aric Almirola, and #3-Ty Dillon.
    Result of the heat races will determine the lineup for the 200 lap main event.
    Did Not Qualify: #89-Morgan Shepherd and #40-Carl Long.
    See round-by-round qualifying results on the Bristol qualifying results page (pdf) and the Heat 2 lineup (pdf) and Heat 1 lineup (pdf).(4-16-2016)
  • Erik Jones fastest in XFINITY qualifying at Bristol: #20-Erik Jones won the pole award for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway with a speed of 125.914mph. Qualifying sets the field for the two heat races. Even-numbered qualifiers will run in the first heat race, odd-numbered qualifiers in the second.
    Top 5 starters in the first heat race: #20-Erik Jone, #42-Kyle Larson, #18-Kyle Busch, #7-Justin Allgaier, and #33-Brandon Jones.
    Top 5 starters in the second heat race: #2-Austin Dillon, #19-Daniel Suarez, #22-Joey Logano, #98-Aric Almirola, and #3-Ty Dillon.
    Result of the heat races will determine the lineup for the 200 lap main event.
    Did Not Qualify: #89-Morgan Shepherd and #40-Carl Long.
    See round-by-round qualifying results on the Bristol qualifying results page (pdf) and the Heat 2 lineup (pdf) and Heat 1 lineup (pdf).(4-16-2016)
  • Bristol Qualifying Notes:
    Erik Jones won the Coors Light 21 means 21 Pole Award for the 34th Annual FITZGERALD GLIDER KITS 300 with a lap of 15.239 seconds, 125.914 mph.
    This is his fifth pole in 33 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his second pole and seventh top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his second pole in three races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Austin Dillon(i) (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2016 and his sixth in six races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Larson(i) (third) posted his fifth top-10 start at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his fourth in five races this season.
    Erik Jones (first) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-16-2016)


    News from April 15, 2016


     

  • Carl Edwards wins Bristol pole: #19-Carl Edwards won the Coors Light pole for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway with speed of 127.997mph for his 2nd pole of 2016, 2nd straight pole, 3rd at Bristol and 18th of his career. Edwards has won two races from the pole in 17 tries, inclduing winning Bristol from the pole in August 2008.
    #20-Kenseth will start 2nd, followed by #22-Logano, #11-Hamlin, #18-Busch, #48-Johnson, #4-Harvick, #78-Truex Jr., #47-Allmendinger, #6-Bayne, #5-Kahne and #2-Keselowski.
    #22-Logano was fastest in the first round with a speed of 128.408mph and will start 3rd.
    #18-Busch topped the second round with a speed of 127.258 and will start 5th.
    Since the maximum of 40 cars entered the race, everyone made the race.
    See round-by-round qualifying results on the Bristol qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Bristol Starting Lineup page (pdf).(4-15-2016)
  • Bristol Motor Speedway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
    #19-Carl Edwards won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 56th Annual Food City 500 with a lap of 14.991 seconds, 127.997 mph.
    This is his 18th pole in 417 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and sixth top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his third pole in 24 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    #20-Matt Kenseth (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2016 and his 14th in 33 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
    #22-Joey Logano (third) posted his 13th top-10 start at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his seventh in eight races this season.
    #21-Ryan Blaney (18th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(4-15-2016)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over, after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #18-Busch 127.258
    #22-Logano 127.241
    #19-Edwards 126.829
    #20-Kenseth 126.762
    #2-Keselowski 126.570
    the rest of the top 12: 11 48 4 78 6 5 47;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 1 27 3 13 31 21 24 88 34 43 16 23
    (4-15-2016)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #22-Logano 128.408
    #19-Edwards 128.142
    #11-Hamlin 127.954
    #20-Kenseth 127.903
    #18-Busch 127.529
    the rest of the top 24: 1 3 21 2 78 13 48 16 4 24 27 6 47 43 88 23 34 5 31;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 42 41 44 38 7 83 95 17 10 14 30 15 32 55 98 46
    Drivers who will miss the race: none as 40 cars entered for 40 spots
    (4-15-2016)
  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, April 15, 2016 at 4:15pm/et.
    Television (TV): FS1, 4:00pm/et
    Radio: Live online at Performance Racing Network (PRN)
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: Saturday, April 16 at 7:00am/et on FS1
  • Group qualifying under the three-round qualifying format:
    ” Round 1 — All entries will have 20 minutes to post a qualifying time, after which the 24 registering the fastest laps will advance to the second round. Those failing to advance will be sorted based on first-round times in descending order (from fastest to slowest).
    ” Round 2 — The 24 fastest from the first round will have 10 minutes to post a second-round qualifying time, with the 12 fastest advancing to a third round. Those not advancing will earn starting positions 13 through 24 based on time, again in descending order.
    ” Round 3 — The final round will be five minutes in length. The fastest times from this session will determine the first (Coors Light Pole Award) through 12th starting positions.
    There will be a seven-minute break between each round; teams may make adjustments to their entries only during the individual breaks. They will not be allowed to jack the vehicle or raise the hood, and once the car or truck enters the garage, it will no longer be permitted to return to the track for additional qualifying attempts.
  • Qualifying Order for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted. ## cars/drivers are listed.
    The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #88-Earnhardt Jr.
    The final driver lined up on pit road will be #11-Hamlin.
    The order is set by a random draw, how cars park on pit road before they qualify, held about an hour before the first practice.
    After the first round, the cars line up by speed.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Bristol Qualifying Order Page (pdf).(4-15-2016)
  • Friday practice for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #11-Hamlin 128.666
    #78-Truex Jr. 128.399
    #2-Keselowski 128.374
    #48-Johnson 128.176
    #1-McMurray 127.767
    slowest: #98-Whitt 119.084 & #46-Annett 120.573
    notes: #46-Annett had smoke coming out of cockpit late in the race.
    Qualifying is scheduled for 4:15pm/et, being televised in FS1 and via radio PRN/SiriusXM.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap ave(only 3 drivers) on the Friday Bristol Practice Speeds page (pdf) (4-15-2016)
  • Bristol Pole Notes & Facts:
    � Fred Lorenzen won the inaugural Coors Light pole with a speed of 79.225 mph in a Ford.
    � 48 different drivers have poles at Bristol, led by Mark Martin and Cale Yarborough with nine each. Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers with three each.
    � 10 different drivers have posted consecutive poles at Bristol Motor Speedway; Mark Martin is the only of the 10 to win four consecutive poles at Bristol: Fireball Roberts (swept 1962), Fred Lorenzen (swept 1963), Richard Petty (1967-’68), Bobby Allison (swept 1972), Cale Yarborough (swept 1973; swept 1977; swept 1980), Darrell Waltrip (swept 1981), Geoff Bodine (swept 1986), Mark Martin (swept 1995-1996- all four races; and swept 2009); Rusty Wallace (swept 1998), Jeff Gordon (swept 2002) and Denny Hamlin (fall 2013, spring 2014).
    � Seven different drivers have posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career pole at Bristol. Joey Logano is the only active driver to win his first NSCS career pole at Bristol (03/21/2010).
    � The race winner has started from the pole 23 times (20.9%) – the most productive starting position. The last driver to win from the pole was Matt Kenseth (Spring 2015).
    � Five drivers have won from the pole position multiple times: Bobby Allison (1972 twice), Cale Yarborough (1973, 1977 twice, 1980), Darrell Waltrip (1981 twice, 1982), Rusty Wallace (1991, 1993, 1999, 2000) and Matt Kenseth (2005 and 2015).
    � 36 of the 110 (32.7%) races at Bristol have been won from the front row: Pole position (23 wins); second-place (13 wins).
    � 64 of the 110 (58.8%) races have been won from a top-five starting position.
    � 88 of the 110 (80%) races have been won from a top-10 starting position
    � Five of the 110 (4.5%) races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20; most recent was Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2004 – he started 30th.
    � Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway three times; most recently August 25, 2012.
    (NASCAR)
  • Kyle Busch could run the Indy 500 someday?: Joe Gibbs Racing driver #18-Kyle Busch was made available to the media at Bristol Motor Speedway and he was asked:
    Q) “Who would be more difficult to convince for you to run the Indianapolis 500 – Joe Gibbs or your wife Samantha?
    Busch responded: “Joe’s (Gibbs) going to be the hardest one for sure. Samantha (Busch) is not necessarily a fan of it and I’ve talked to her about it a little bit and she’s just like, ‘I’ll be there when the time comes, but don’t tell me.’ Then the sponsor aspect, they’ve actually shown some interest in it and that was kind of fun for me to hear that there might actually be an opportunity there if I continue my relationship with them from the Cup side to the IndyCar side. We have to work out all those details and it’s certainly not going to happen for this year, but maybe in some future years we’ll see what we can put together.”(Toyota Racing)(4-15-2016)
  • WIX Filters Extends Partnership with Richard Childress Racing: In advance of this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway, WIX Filters, a global manufacturer of filtration products, announced the continuation of its partnership with Richard Childress Racing (RCR). Entering its third season, the partnership includes primary branding of select events with the #31 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program and driver Ryan Newman. WIX also served as primary sponsor of the #62 XFINITY Series program and driver Brendan Gaughan last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Under the partnership, WIX continues its technical support of both RCR and ECR Engines by supplying air and oil filters and providing research and development support. All RCR race cars will also feature the WIX logo under the hood. Newman’s turn in the WIX Filters Chevrolet begins this weekend for the running of the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee on April 17 (RCR), see images of the scheme on the #31 Team Schemes page, Newman is scheduled to run WIX colors at Sonoma in June and Dover in October.(4-15-2016)
  • CARSTAR North America partners with Axalta, to be featured on #88 at Kansas: CARSTAR North America, the continent’s largest network of collision repair shops and a member of the Charlotte-headquartered Driven Brands family, will make its debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway this May. This opportunity is thanks to a joint promotion with CARSTAR’s new paint partner Axalta Coating Systems. The #88 Axalta/CARSTAR Chevy, driven Dale Earnhardt Jr., will race on Saturday, May 7, in Kansas City, KS. The CARSTAR logo will be featured prominently on the car. “I’ve enjoyed working with Axalta this season,” said Earnhardt. “It’s great to see how they’ve rallied behind the 88 team and how they are bringing new partners like CARSTAR into the sport. I’m looking forward to having CARSTAR on our Axalta Chevy at Kansas. I expect to run very well there, so we’ll do our best to give the CARSTAR folks plenty to cheer for.” As part of the race weekend, Axalta and CARSTAR will host top CARSTAR franchisees from across North America, along with prospective franchisees and corporate team members.(VMG PR), see images of the scheme on the #88 Team Schemes page (4-15-2016)
  • Two Dillon’s & Two Bass Pro Shop cars at Bristol: #3-Austin Dillon and his younger brother, #14-Ty, will both race Bass Pro-branded entries this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, marking the first time the brothers will sport the iconic Bass Pro Shops logo on the hood of their Sprint Cup Series Chevys in the same race during their careers. Austin’s #3 Chevy features Ranger Boats for the first time of his racing career. Headquartered in Flippin, Ark., Ranger Boats is the nation’s premier manufacturer of legendary fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats, which include series of bass, multi-species, fish ‘n play, waterfowl utility and saltwater boats. Founded in 1968 by Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats continues its commitment to building the highest-quality, strongest-performing boats on the water.
    Ty Dillon, substitute driver of the #14 Chevy for injured Tony Stewart, will run a Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats scheme (PR), see an image of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes pageand #3 Team Schemes page (4-15-2016)
  • New sponsor for Ragan at Richmond: BK Racing announced that sweetFrog premium frozen yogurt will be sponsoring David Ragan and the #23 sweetFrog Toyota Camry for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. The race scheduled for April 24th represents sweetFrog’s NASCAR debut. sweetFrog is a Richmond, VA-based, national frozen yogurt franchise that was recently named the #1 Frozen Yogurt Shop in the US by the Daily Meal. Since their 2009 inception, sweetFrog has grown to more than 350 locations in the US and abroad – serving customers in 25 states, the United Kingdom and the Dominican Republic. “We are thrilled to partner with David Ragan and BK Racing for the spring race in sweetFrog’s hometown,” said Patrick Galleher, CEO of sweetFrog. “Our shared commitment to family and community make the partnership a perfect fit.”(BKR), see an image of the scheme on the #23 Team Schemes page (4-15-2016)
  • Harvick to run 1979 Daytona 500 Busch Beer scheme at Darlington: The car that inspired the paint scheme on Kevin Harvick’s #4 Busch Beer Chevy competed in one of the most important races in NASCAR history. On Thursday afternoon, Stewart-Haas Racing, along with Busch Beer and Harvick, announced that the Busch Beer car that Cale Yarborough drove in the 1979 Daytona 500 was the inspiration for Harvick’s Darlington ride. With most of the eastern part of the U.S. confined to their homes because of a huge snowstorm, millions tuned in to watch the race, which changed the perception of the sport. Not only was the racing great, but those watching were treated to a boxing match. Yarborough was one of the three participants in the last-lap brawl. The competitive nature of the race and the impromptu altercation thrust NASCAR into the spotlight (Lionel), see an image of the scheme on the #4 Team Schemes page (4-15-2016)
  • Stewart updates his health: #14-Tony Stewart, who sustained a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident Jan. 31 while vacationing on the West Coast, commented in a SHR PR about his health: “We won’t know anything until the end of the month, when we go get scanned again. Unfortunately, it’s a lot of waiting right now, which is about to drive me crazy. Tomorrow, in my heart (I could be back) but, the reality is, I’m 45 and I don’t know how fast my bones are healing. It’s not like you go in there every week and get scanned and (get) an update. The hard part is literally waiting until we get scanned and they’ll have a better idea when we can get back in. In the meantime, you’re just waiting. I feel confident that when they say I’m ready, I will be ready. Breaking a leg or an arm is a lot different than when you have something going on in your back because that is your core, (and it) is important to make sure it gets healed right. This is important to make sure it heals right, but it hasn’t stopped me from pushing the envelope here and there just to see where I’m at. If I get sore at the end of the day, I’m very good about it. I think breaking (my) leg and going through that cycle (in 2013), I learned to just listen to my body and, when it’s telling you it’s had enough, then OK, stop. The doctor has to go to NASCAR to clear me, so there’s no point in going through the agony (of questioning) when it’s still in their hands. It’s literally about doing what they tell you to do and, when they say it’s time to go, it’s time to go.”(SHR)(4-15-2016)
  • ditech makes its 2016 debut on the #4 Chevy: Kevin Harvick’s #4 Chevy will feature the familiar blue color of ditech at Bristol in the Food City 500. Ditech is also giving race fans a reason to cheer for Harvick and the #4 Chevy each weekend with its “Drive Down Your Mortgage” sweepstakes. Each time Harvick wins a Sprint Cup race, ditech will conduct a sweepstakes drawing for a cash prize of $20,000. The prize winner can use the $20,000 for any purpose they choose, including paying down their mortgage. No mortgage is required in order to be eligible to enter or win. In addition to the ditech’s “Drive Down Your Mortgage” sweepstakes grand prize, participants can also play an instant win game for a chance to win hundreds of other prizes. ditech is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in one more 2016 race, at New Hampshire in September (SHR), see images of the scheme on the #4 Team Schemes page (4-15-2016)
  • Sponsors returning to the #51 at Bristol: Jeremy Clements heads into the first NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race at Bristol Motor Speedway with All South Electric and BRT Extrusions back on board the #51 JCR Chevy Camaro SS for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300. All South Electrical Constructors, Inc. began as a single family and small multifamily / commercial electrical contractor in 1993. Today, All South Electrical is one of the most competitive electrical contractors within the multifamily market. The company presently averages 5,000 units per year, while offering a 24-hour service department. All South Electrical is licensed in most of the southeastern states and continues to grow and expand with the market’s needs. Founded in 1992, BRT Extrusions Inc. delivers high quality aluminum extrusions from standard or custom dies. Based in Niles, OH, the company offers a wide range of standard extruded shapes, as well as custom designs in several grades of aluminum alloys and tempers. Clients also have product options such as fabricated, mill finish, anodized, painted, thermal fill and re-cut.(Jeremy Clements Racing)(4-15-2016)
  • Spec engines coming for Truck teams: Teams will be allowed to use a NASCAR spec engine at tracks 1.25 miles in length and shorter, and those races will start coming up in a couple of months. Kyle Busch, who gets significant support from Toyota, isn’t likely to get one. Toyota wants a Toyota engine in its trucks. “We’re leaving our game plan as it is with what we’ve got with the Toyota support and the Toyota engines that we run in the Truck Series and we’ll see how it plays out with the other engines and see if it’s a necessity that we need to look toward for next year,” Busch said.(ESPN.com)(4-15-2016)
  • Rusty Wallace Named Grand Marshal for Food City 500: NASCAR Hall of Famer and former driver/sports analyst, Rusty Wallace has been named Grand Marshal for the April 17 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wallace will give the command to start the 25th running of the Food City 500. “Over the years, Rusty has always been one of the greatest supporters of Food City and our racing program. As the driver who boasts the most Food City 500 wins (6), we thought it appropriate to recognize his tremendous contributions to our company and the sport by naming him Grand Marshal for the 25th running of the Food City 500,” says Steven C. Smith, Food City president and chief executive officer.
    ‘For over 30 years, racing legend Rusty Wallace has delighted racing fans with his hard-nosed and aggressive approach to racing and a personality and charisma that are unmatched. Wallace, a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and 55-time race winner, will go into history as one of America’s greatest racing drivers. At the time of his retirement, his career victories marked the eight-best all-time career total and his nearly 20,000 laps led rank him seventh all-time. For sixteen straight seasons, Wallace won at least one race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, marking the third longest such streak in history. He is a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. As a former ABC/ESPN Racing Analyst, he has headlined a number of popular pre-race shows and is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost authorities on NASCAR racing.’ Tickets are still available and may be purchased at www.BristolTix.com or by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).(BMS)(4-15-2016)
  • Tenn Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey named Honorary Starter of the Food City 500: Tennessee’s Lt. Governor, Ron Ramsey has been named Honorary Starter for the April 17 Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Lt. Governor Ramsey will wave the green flag to signal the start of Sunday’s Food City 500. Lt. Governor Ramsey has built a reputation as the leading voice for economic growth in the General Assembly. The first Republican Senate Speaker in 140 years, Ramsey has been named “The Best Lawmaker for Business in Tennessee” by Business Tennessee magazine for his success in passing pro-growth policy to improve the state’s business climate. A small business owner himself, Ramsey believes job growth must be the top priority for state government. He is the first GOP Senate Speaker in Tennessee in 140 years and the first from Sullivan County in over 100 years. In 2011, Ramsey was named to the Board of Directors of National Conference of State Legislators. In 2013, GOPAC named Lt. Governor Ramsey to their Legislative Leaders Advisory Board. Tickets are still available and may be purchased at www.BristolTix.com or by calling the BMS ticket office at 423-BRISTOL (274-7865).(BMS)(4-15-2016)


    News from April 14, 2016


  • Bristol Track Notes & History:
    � Groundbreaking for Bristol International Speedway, as Bristol Motor Speedway was originally known, took place in 1960. The track was an exact half-mile.
    � First NASCAR Sprint Cup race was July 30, 1961; Jack Smith won the event (with relief from Johnny Allen).
    � All of the NSCS races have been scheduled for 500 laps, except for both races in 1976 and the second in 1977, which were 400 laps.
    � In the fall of 1969, the track was reshaped and re-measured to .533-miles.
    � The name changed to Bristol International Raceway in 1978.
    � The first night race was held in the fall of 1978.
    � The surface was changed from asphalt to concrete in 1992.
    � The name changed to Bristol Motor Speedway in May 1996.
    � The track was resurfaced between races in 2007, and the turns were ground down in 2012 to eliminate part of the progressive banking.
    (NASCAR)
  • Fire at Richard Petty Museum UPDATE: Statement from Richard Petty Motorsports: There was a fire today [Saturday] at the historical site of Petty Enterprises and now the current site of Petty’s Garage and Richard Petty Museum. The fire was contained to a portion of the building and was controlled quickly. There were no injuries and minimal damage to the structure. The Petty Family is grateful to the first responders.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-3-2016)
    UPDATE: The Petty Family Foundation donated $1,000 to the Level Cross Fire Department as their way of thanking the local firefighters for their help with a recent minor fire. Station 43 firefighters responded quickly last week after a small fire was reported at the current site of Petty’s Garage and the Richard Petty Museum, the historical site of Petty Enterprises. “Because of their efforts, damage to our facility was minimal,” said Shannon Newman, Director of Development for the Petty Family Foundation. “This donation from the Petty family is their way to demonstrate their appreciation and support for our community firefighters. They are such an important part of the Level Cross community, and we sincerely thank Chief Russell and his staff.” A fire was reported on Saturday, April 2, but was contained to a portion of the building and was controlled quickly by the local fire department. There were no injuries and minimal damage to the structure. Both The Richard Petty Museum and Petty’s Garage continue to operate. The Museum is currently offering half-off admission prices as clean up continues. Clean up is expected to be complete by mid-May.(Petty Family Foundation/Richard Petty Museum)(4-14-2016)
  • Vickers still possible for an Indy 500 ride: Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team owner Sam Schmidt says NASCAR driver Brian Vickers and the late Justin Wilson’s brother, Stefan, are still possibilities for the team’s third car in the Indy 500. The team owner, whose other candidates include – but are not confined to – trusty veteran Oriol Servia and Verizon IndyCar Series sophomore Gabby Chaves, said: “The same four or five guys have been circling the sandbox for the last 45 days. One week one of them will be all fired up and there’ll be LOIs [letters of intent] exchanged…and then nothing happens and it’s left hanging. We seem to be spending a lot of time on it at the moment, which I hoped not to be doing by now, but that’s the nature of the business. So let me put it this way: as of this morning, the door’s still open to all!” Schmidt, whose team took pole at the 2011 Indy 500 with Alex Tagliani, confirmed that rookies Vickers and Wilson remain in the running for the third SPM seat on Memorial Day Weekend. Schmidt said no clear favorite had emerged among his potential third drivers for the 100th Indy 500.(Motorsport)(4-14-2016)
  • Dale Jr. says he’ll be nervous to meet Peyton Manning: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has met Peyton Manning before, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get nervous when he meets the recently retired Super Bowl champion quarterback Sunday. Manning is scheduled to join Earnhardt during driver introductions before the Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Just like fans often get when they meet NASCAR’s most popular driver, Earnhardt expects to get a little tongue-tied when around Manning as they ride around in the pickup truck waving to fans following driver introductions. “We’ll see how that goes,” Earnhardt said Wednesday. “That will be pretty interesting to have him there in that process and ride around in the back of the truck. I’m sure I’ll lock up and get stage fright and get all nervous around him — that’s normally what I do around celebrities.” Manning will be an honorary race official for the Food City 500 as the track tries to cross-promote the race as well as the Sept. 10 football game between Tennessee and Virginia Tech. Earnhardt and Manning both are spokesmen for Nationwide.(ESPN)(4-14-2016)
  • Three drivers appear on “Dude Perfect” tonight: Texas Motor Speedway will serve as the backdrop for the NASCAR-themed episode of Thursday evening’s The Dude Perfect Show on CMT. The Dude Perfect crew of Tyler Toney, Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones and twin brothers Coby and Cory Cotton filmed at Texas Motor Speedway during last November’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader weekend that included guest appearances by drivers as well as Dude Perfect in an honorary race role. The episode, which airs at 9:30pm/et, is the second in the show’s debut season for the five Texas A&M; University friends that became YouTube sensations over seven years ago with incredible basketball trick shots. This episode revolves around Dude Perfect being named by Texas Motor Speedway to drive the honorary pace car for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. With only one seat up for grabs, Toney and Hilbert have some fierce competition to determine who will drive the Chevrolet Camaro official pace car that will lead the XFINITY Series field to the green flag. Hilbert ultimately prevails, but the Camaro has a stick shift and he needs to enlist the likes of NASCAR drivers Chase Elliott and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to get him situated for his honorary role.(TMS)(4-14-2016)
  • Johnson to be honored at Bristol: Food City Race Night will recognize #48-Jimmie Johnson for his contributions to the sport of NASCAR and the racing community on Friday, April 15, at the Bristol Motor Speedway Pepsi Stage (Hospitality Area). Johnson will take the stage at 6:30pm/et for the recognition along with Jerry Caldwell, executive vice president/general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway and Mike Helton, president of NASCAR. Larry McReynolds of NASCAR on FOX will be the master of ceremonies. Food City will make a donation to the Jimmie Johnson Foundation in its 24th year of sponsoring the race event at Bristol.(HMS)(4-14-2016)
  • Jeff Gordon and wife attend gala in NYC for good cause: Jeff Gordon along with his wife, Ingrid, attended the Breast Cancer Research Foundation gala in New York City on Tuesday night. The “Hot Pink Party” was held at the Waldorf Astoria luxury hotel in Midtown Manhattan. The event was also highlighted with a special performance by legendary singer, pianist and composer Elton John.(FoxSports)(4-14-2016)
  • Sad News – Joni Roberts: Joan M. Hensel (Joni) Roberts died Tuesday, April 12, in the Huntsville (AL) Hospital. She was 58. Her death came at the end of a 10-month battle with lung cancer after being diagnosed the day before her birthday last June. Mrs. Roberts was a devoted employee of the Marshall County Health Department. Mrs. Roberts was working in the avionics field when she relocated to the Atlanta area. It was there she met her husband, Guntersville native Tom Roberts, who was the public relations director at Atlanta International Raceway at the time. Tom moved on to be the assistant general manager of the Nashville International Raceway and the couple were married in 1981 in Nolensville, TN. The couple bought a weekend cabin at Pine Island Point and moved there to live in 1989 as Tom was now traveling on the top level NASCAR circuit working with drivers, teams and sponsors. After serving as hospitality director for driver Alan Kulwicki’s team for a few seasons, Mrs. Roberts was tired of the road and eventually landed her position at the health department.
    Service info, full obituary, condolences, donation info at carrfuneralhomeguntersville.com.(4-14-2016)
  • McLeod Motorsports announces Bristol sponsor: B.J. McLeod Motorsports announced that the team has signed Main Gates as the primary marketing partner for driver B.J. McLeod’s #78 Ford Mustang this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Eight years ago, during Florida’s worst ever housing slump, Main Gate Enterprises began with the office in the owner’s home and the equipment in an old barn on an abandoned dairy farm. In 2016, the company will be operating out of a 35,000 square foot facility in Wauchula, Fla. Main Gate builds its reputation on exceptional service, attentive customer service and proudly being the only gate company in Florida that has both a state licensed building contractor, as well as a state licensed electrical contractor on staff. (McLeod Motorsports)(4-14-2016)
  • Sparks Energy sponsoring Gase at Talladega: Sparks Energy Inc., an electrical operations and restoration company based out of Danville, Alabama, will sponsor Joey Gase and the #52 Jimmy Means Racing Chevrolet for the upcoming NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on April 30. Standing as the entitlement sponsor for the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega, the company will sign on with Gase for a one-race deal. Since 2007, Sparks Energy Inc. has provided services on high voltage powerlines and industrial systems across the United States with a focus in transmission and distribution. They have restored power for families and businesses across the country for more than a decade. Gase has a strong dose of momentum once they head into the 2.66-mile track as they are hot off a career-best fifth-place effort one year ago at Talladega. One of the factors that play into plate racing in NASCAR is the heightened level of opportunity for smaller teams. This applies for Joey Gase and Jimmy Means Racing as they were able to keep their legendary #52 Chevrolet in the lead draft before gaining six spots in the last two laps to finish in the fifth position. To join Sparks Energy Inc., Donate Life Alabama and Alabama Organ Center [AOC] will return as sponsor for the 300-mile event. The Alabama Organ Center [AOC] is dedicated to providing a better quality of life for those people who require organ or tissue transplants, while respecting the families who share the gift of life. AOC will continue to dedicate itself to providing a better quality of life for those people who require organ and tissue transplantation, while respecting those families who share.(Joey Gase Racing), see an image of the car on the #52 team paint schemes page.(4-14-2016)
  • Cope announces Bristol sponsors: DCR with JP Motorsports are ready to do battle at “The Last Great Colosseum,” and announce partners for the upcoming Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Returning to the #70 once again as a co-primary sponsor is E-hydrate. Offering the world’s first line of premium natural nutritional products, E-hydrate announced a partnership with Ingles Markets, a chain of food stores with over 200 locations. Also on the car as a co-primary sponsor for the Bristol race is To The Point Apparel. To The Point, based out of Winston-Salem, NC, is celebrating its 20th year in business supplying custom logo apparel to businesses and organizations nationwide. ICE-AID – formerly known as Beer Frost – an environmentally safe, all natural, mineral based product that turns your cooler of ice into a freezer – will continue its support of DCR and will be featured as a co-primary sponsor at the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 on the #70 Camaro. Also on board the #70 for the Bristol event is Fatz Cafe of Bristol(Derrike Cope Racing)(4-14-2016)
  • Watkins Glen to unveil $11M track project: Watkins Glen International will unveil its newly resurfaced race track on Friday, and then let the public take their own cars on the track this weekend to test it out. Contractors began work on the $11 million repaving project began right after the NASCAR Sprint Cup race last August and continued through the winter. The finishing touches are being put on this spring, just in time for WGI’s annual Opening Weekend festivities, when fans can take laps to raise money for charity. “This is one of those wow projects, for everybody, from the fans to the drivers to the media,” said WGI President Michael Printup. “It’s going to be awesome.” The last major resurfacing was done about 20 years ago, Printup has said, and due to the cold Northeast winters, frost heave was a constant problem. Drivers in all the series that race at WGI, from sports cars to NASCAR, will notice a “dramatic” difference, Printup says. He says there will be better grip in the corners and he’s expecting record speeds in the Sprint Cup race. WGI will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:15 a.m. Friday. Bob Varsha, a TV racing announcer, will be the MC, and special guests will include sportscar drivers Andy Lally and Derek Bell, who have 10 victories at the Glen between them. Afterward, cars from the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association will take the first laps on the fresh surface. Fans are invited to view the on-track festivities free of charge in the Argetsinger and Seneca grandstands by entering through Gate 2 off County Route 16.(Corning Leader)(4-14-2016)


    News from April 13, 2016


  • Texas penalties/warnings announced: NASCAR has announced no penalties but a few warnings following the race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
    #2-Brad Keselowski: car failed laser inspection (LIS) three times in pre-qualifying;
    #6-Trevor Bayne: car failed laser inspection three times in pre-race;
    Both Keselowski and Bayne were given written warnings and will lose 15 minutes of practice time at Bristol.
    #18-Kyle Busch and #23-David Ragan: cars failed laser inspection twice in pre-qualifying and teams given written warnings.
    #3-Austin Dillon and #42-Kyle Larson: cars failed laser inspection twice in pre-race and teams given written warnings.
    See the Texas Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(4-13-2016)
  • Dale Jr. unveils special Buddy Baker scheme at Darlington: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Nationwide unveiled a #88 special paint scheme for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Wednesday, April 13th. Earnhardt will drive a paint scheme version of Buddy Baker’s #28 Gray Ghost car that Baker drove in 1980, winning the Daytona 500. Earnhardt ran a similar scheme to pay tribute to the National Guard and Baker’s “Gray Ghost” car in the 2008 All Star race. See images of the 2016 scheme on the #88 Team Schemes page (4-13-2016)
  • Visone RV to co-sponsor #32 Ford at Bristol: Visone RV returns to Go Fas Racing for the 2016 NSCS Season as both an associate and primary sponsor of the #32 Ford. Visone RV will be present on the #22 for all 36 Scheduled NSCS events while also taking on a few split primary sponsorship duties with Corvette Parts. The first split primary sponsorship will be this weekend’s Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway followed by The Federated Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway in September. Visone RV, based in East Bernstadt, Kentucky has the world’s largest selection of new and used Motor Home parts in the nation and sells new and used RVs.(Go Fas Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #32 Team Schemes page (4-13-2016)
  • Hendrick Motorsports and Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence partner up: Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence and Hendrick Motorsports announced a landmark technology partnership. The two-year agreement effectively merges metrology expertise and technology with the brightest engineering minds in auto racing. The relationship will expand Hendrick Motorsports’ in-house capabilities with additional measurement systems, training and expert technical support. The team is a longtime user of ROMER Absolute Arms and GridLOK volume-expansion systems, as well as Hexagon coordinate measuring machines. These solutions are used to inspect and assemble auto bodies, chassis and engine components for pre-race fine tuning and post-race evaluation. Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence will partner in collaborative technology development and problem solving with Hendrick Motorsports’ engineering team. As Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence develops new concepts in metrology, Hendrick Motorsports will have the opportunity to preview those advancements before the technology reaches the marketplace. The team will also have the option to participate in beta testing and provide user feedback during the course of development projects. With multi-disciplinary expertise, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence will benefit from those early stage metrics and gain valuable insight into the intricate performance and manufacturing challenges found in NASCAR.(HMS)(4-13-2016)
  • Thomas Built Buses to be featured on the #2 at RIR: Brad Keselowski is scheduled to drive the #2 Thomas Built Buses Ford Fusion in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 24, celebrating 100 years. One hundred years ago, Perley A. Thomas gave Thomas Built Buses its start when he founded the Perley A. Thomas Car Works, a streetcar company, in 1916. Since then, Thomas Built Buses has been a leader in the school bus industry providing innovations, product features and designs that not only make school buses even more durable, safe, smart and efficient, but also make Thomas Built buses beloved by so many. Thomas Built Buses will celebrate with some festivities during 2016 (Thomas Built Buses), see images of the scheme on the #2 Team Schemes page (4-13-2016)
  • What’s up with Ron Hornaday? Ron Hornaday is currently not competing in NASCAR, but the four-time champion appears to be as busy as ever. And racing remains his focus. Hornaday, winner of a series-best 51 victories in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series, is more hands-on these days, building dirt Modifieds for grandson Slater Blickensderfer and teammate Billy Workman Jr. as well as several other competitors. There are those who kick up the dust and ride the cushion on local tracks in the Carolinas, Kentucky, Indiana and various other venues who put their faith in a Hornaday-built entry. Given their success, it seems that trust has been well placed. A recent Saturday night outing at Fayetteville Motor Speedway indicated as much — the top three in the Open Wheel Modified division were built by Hornaday Race Cars. “Back to building dirt cars and having fun again,” Hornaday said recently from his race shop, surrounded by cars in various states of progress. “Back to doing a little bit of everything, I guess.” It’s been two years since Hornaday made his last start in the Truck Series, running what turned out to be an abbreviated schedule with the former Turner Scott Motorsports group and NTS Motorsports. He has competed in all three of NASCAR’s national series — Sprint Cup, XFINITY as well at Trucks. Last year, he made five attempts with The Motorsports Group in Sprint Cup, but qualified for only one race. See full article at NASCAR.com.(4-13-2016)
  • Goodyear Bristol Tire Notes/Facts: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same Goodyear tire set-up at Bristol this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams have run at Bristol since last April . . . Bristol is the only track at which NASCAR teams are scheduled to run either of these two tire codes . . . unlike on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, on which teams generally do not run inner liners in their tires, teams are required to run liners in their right-side tires only at Bristol . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear Racing), see tire pressures, codes, set limits on the Bristol Race Info page
  • Texas post-race warnings: NASCAR has issued written warnings the teams of #01-Ryan Preece, #5-Chase Elliott, and #7-Justin Allgaier following the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. All three teams failed laser inspection twice during pre-race inspection.(4-13-2016)
  • Different look for Erik Jones at Bristol: For the seventh race of the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series, teams head to the high-banked short track of Bristol Motor Speedway. Making his third series start at the track, Erik Jones and the #20 GameStop Performance Designed Products Camry team unload looking for their first win of the 2016 season. In his previous two starts at the track, Jones has one pole, one top-five finish and two top-10 finishes. PDP is the No. 1 video game accessory company in North America. Their passion is to design and develop products that help consumers engage and interact with the entertainment they love. Products are designed to exacting standards with a high level of performance and quality. Products are built to be durable and comfortable for long play sessions, short online multiplayer battles, watching a movie or listening to music.(Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on the #20 team paint schemes page.(4-13-2016)
  • Rockingham Speedway scheduled for public auction: A year after the deadline for a court-ordered sale, the legendary Rockingham Speedway is going on the auction block. According a notice of foreclosure sale filed in Richmond County Superior Court on April 7, the property will be sold “to the highest bidder for cash” at a public auction May 5. The notice states the sale will include “the real property, together with all rights, privileges and appurtenances thereto…and the personal property described in the deed of trust.” It goes on to state that the property will be sold subject to any and all matters superior to the lien of the deed of trust, including: superior mortgages, deeds of trust, liens and assessments, if any; the lien of unpaid ad valorem taxes; valid and enforceable easements and restrictions of record; and matters which would be revealed by a current and accurate survey of the property. “The property will be sold ‘as is, where is,’ the notice continues. “Neither the substitute trustee nor the holder of the debt secured by the deed of trust, nor their respective officers, directors, attorneys, employees, agents or authorized representatives, make any representation or warranty relating to the title or any physical, environmental, health or safety conditions existing in, on, at or relating to the property, and any and all responsibilities or liabilities arising out of or any way relating to any such conditions expressly are disclaimed.” Raleigh attorney Louis E. Wooten Jr. was named substitute trustee in February, according to records filed with the Richmond County Register of Deeds. The sale will open at the Richmond County Courthouse at 11 a.m., and will be held open for 10 days for upset bids as required by law. Kenneth Robinette, chairman of the Richmond County Board of Commissioners, speculated that the foreclosure could be an attempt to “get rid of some partners” and move forward in bringing racing back to the track.(Richmond County Daily Journal)(4-13-2016)


    News from April 12, 2016


     

  • Texas Overnight TV Ratings UPDATE: FOX’s coverage of NASCAR’s Duck Commander 500 led a typically quiet Saturday. In primetime the race scored a 0.9 rating / 3 share (4.22 million viewers) in adults 18-49, pending updates, tying with CBS’ “48 Hours” for the top rating of the night.(TV by the Numbers)(4-11-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Texas earned a 2.5 overnight rating on FOX Saturday night, down 14% from last year (2.9) and the lowest overnight ever for a Sprint Cup race on FOX. The 2.5 is also the lowest ever for the spring Texas race (dates back to 1997). In both cases, the previous low was set last year. No doubt contributing to the record-low performance was a nearly two-hour rain delay that pushed the start of the race past 9:30 PM ET. Despite the decline, the race was the top sporting event of the weekend outside of The Masters.(Sports Media Watch)(4-12-2016)
  • Bruton Smith interested in Carolina Panthers: With an already sold-out college football game, dubbed the Battle at Bristol, being held at his historic Bristol Motor Speedway, Speedway Motorsports Incorporated’s Chairman, O. Bruton Smith, appears ready to branch out into other sports-related genres – specifically the NFL and the possible purchase of the Carolina Panthers. During an interview with Kickin’ the Tires and Motorsports.com this past week, Smith admitted that he has always been interested in the Panthers and now might be the time for him to make a play that would bring football and motorsports closer together. “You stepped into this but it’s odd that you did because we were talking about this today,” Smith said. “Would we buy them? I’ve got some boys (his sons, Marcus and Scott), they want me to. And so we may, on a weak moment, we might would do that.” [Panthers’ owner Jerry] Richardson, who is 79-years-old, is said to have mandated that the team be sold within two years of his death, according to an article in Charlotte Business Journal in 2013. That mandate also has a caveat, which would be to keep the team in Charlotte. Smith would fit the bill since he is a Charlotte native and has historically expressed interest in the football franchise. Now that the Panthers have made yet another trip to the Super Bowl, some might suspect that the price would be too much for Smith to be seriously interested in buying the team but he countered that isn’t the case. And with thousands of people on a waiting list for the upcoming game between the University of Tennesee Volunteers and the Virgina Tech Hokies, Smith may be seeing big dollar signs. “Not necessarily … they didn’t win,” Smith said. “So, you are buying a losing team but if they would have won it would be different.”(KickinTheTires)(4-12-2016)
  • Pit crew switch on the #24: Prior to the Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway the #24 Hendrick Motorsports team slightly restructured its lineup. Front and rear tire carriers, Dion Williams and Jared Erspamer, switched positions before heading to Fort Worth. As of now they remain switched. Toward the end of the 2015 season, with Jeff Gordon piloting the Chevrolet, Williams — originally positioned on the front — and Erspamer — on the rear — swapped spots in order to improve timeliness in the team’s stops. Now the pair switch back to their original positions.(Pit Talks / NASCAR.com)(4-12-2016)
  • Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award wins Cynopsis Social Good Award: The NASCAR Foundation and Nationwide were honored at the Cynopsis Social Good Awards in New York City, winning the award for Nonprofit/Corporate Partnership with a Brand for The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide. Cynopsis Media hosted the second annual Social Good Awards Breakfast April 7 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City to celebrate achievements by brands, networks and digital entities over the past year. The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide honors a NASCAR fan who embodies the ideals of charity and community that France, the foundation’s founder and chairwoman emeritus, has championed throughout her life. This year marks the sixth annual presentation of the award and NASCAR Official Partner Nationwide’s second year as presenting sponsor for the award. With a panel of judges who benchmark excellence in the area of social good in the TV and entertainment industry, Cynopsis Media’s Cynopsis Social Good Awards honors everything from sustainability partnership and PSA’s, to diversity campaigns, environmental initiatives and more.(NASCAR)(4-12-2016)
  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Bristol:
    #20-Matt Kenseth, 102.5
    #18-Kyle Busch, 101.3
    #2-Brad Keselowski, 94.1
    #4-Kevin Harvick, 93.3
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 92.7
    #41-Kurt Busch, 92.7
    #42-Kyle Larson, 92.4
    #19-Carl Edwards, 91.7
    #16-Greg Biffle, 90.9
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 89.5
    Note: Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2015 races (22 total) at Bristol Motor Speedway (active drivers only).
    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)
  • Brandon McReynolds in the #24 at Talladega: Brandon McReynolds tweeted Monday that he will drive the #24 Toyota for JGL Racing at Talladega on May 1. It will be his second career XFINITY Series race.(4-12-2016)
  • Pocono Raceway opening infield Bark Park: In conjunction with National Pet Day, Pocono Raceway President & CEO Brandon Igdalsky has announced the creation of the Pocono Raceway Bark Park, the first dog park at a national motorsports facility. The Pocono Raceway Bark Park will be housed in the infield at Pocono Raceway, near the Infield Fan Center along Earnhardt Road. The 100-feet by 100-feet facility will be open to all dogs in the infield and feature a secure gate, obstacles and size-appropriate exercise areas. The Pocono Raceway Bark Park is free of charge and open to all fans who have secured an infield camping spot. Fans who have purchased an infield camping spot can buy a limited-edition Pocono Raceway dog tag. The dog tag will allow fans an extra two hours of access and entry into the “Best in Show” contest. The “Best in Show” contest will be held at the Pocono Raceway Bark Park with the winning dog announced during the Infield Block Party Saturday night of each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend and having a photo taken with Pocono Raceway’s beloved mascot Tricky The Fox.(Pocono Raceway)(4-12-2016)


    News from April 11, 2016


     

  • Entry List for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is posted, 40 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed, including: #14-Ty Dillon, #21-Blaney*, #30-Wise*, #32-Jeffrey Earnhardt, #55-Sorenson*, #95-McDowell, #98-Whitt*.
    Drivers who are not a Charter team, an Open Team, and must get in via speed: #21-Blaney, #30-Wise, #55-Sorenson, #98-Whitt
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts, then owners pts): none
    Since 40 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race, 40 is the maximum.
    * Open Team (no Charter)
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Bristol Entry List
  • Waltrip inspired Throwback scheme for Stenhouse, Jr.: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. knew exactly what iconic #17 car he wanted to race in this year’s Southern 500 Throwback Weekend at Darlington Raceway. It had to be the orange and white #17 that Darrell Waltrip drove to his first win in 1975. “Darrell Waltrip is one of the icons in our sport and has helped build NASCAR into the sport it is today,” said Stenhouse. “It is a huge honor to be able to run the 1975 throwback paint scheme of Darrell’s at Darlington. Darrell’s last win was at Darlington so only seems fitting that we get his throwback paint scheme in victory lane on Labor Day weekend and have Darrell celebrate with us.” Waltrip was 28 years old when he put the field two laps down in his orange and blue #17 on his way to victory lane at Nashville Speedway. He would go on to win a total of 84 Sprint Cup Series races and three Championships throughout a career that spanned three decades. “It’s an honor to have this car run in the Southern 500,” said Waltrip. “I got my first win at Nashville with that paint scheme but I got my last win in Darlington so it will be a special race weekend for me. I missed the throwback weekend in Darlington last year and regretted it. You can bet I won’t miss this one and I’ll be rooting for the 17!”(Roush Fenway Racing, see an image of the car on the #17 team paint schemes page.(4-11-2017)
  • 25 years since last race sweep on consecutive weekends: Four races in NASCAR’s top three series over eight days – and Kyle Busch won them all. From Martinsville to Texas, Busch had consecutive weekend sweeps, something last done in NASCAR 25 years ago. Along with his second consecutive Cup victory, taking the checkered flag just after midnight into Sunday morning, his Texas two-step included winning for the fourth time in his five Xfinity starts of 2016. His sweep at Martinsville was a truck victory and the Cup race. The next Sprint Cup and Xfinity races are at Bristol, where Busch swept all three national series races in the same weekend in August 2010. Harry Gant had consecutive weekend sweeps at Richmond and Dover in 1991, during a stretch when he won four Cup races in a row at age 51. It was Busch’s second weekend sweep at Texas, after doing it in the spring of 2013. Busch won his seventh Cup race in 32 starts since returning last year from a compound fracture of his lower right leg and a broken left foot sustained in a crash in the 2015 season-opening Xfinity race at Daytona.(Associated Press)(4-11-2016)
  • Debris cautions down at Texas: Texas Motor Speedway often has been the apex for debris cautions in the Sprint Cup Series – which made Saturday’s Duck Commander 500 an anomaly. The yellow flag flew only twice for debris in the 500-mile race – on Lap 136 and 296 of 334 – tying the fewest number of debris cautions at the 1.5-mile oval over the past six years. The April 19, 2010 race was the last at Texas that didn’t include a debris yellow. In the 12 Cup races since then at Texas, there had been average of three debris cautions per race, including a high of seven in the Nov. 2, 2014 race. There were four in the Nov. 8, 2015 race. The Texas race kept in line with a trend of declining debris cautions this season. Through seven races, there have been eight debris yellows, with a high of two at Texas and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Martinsville Speedway had none over 500 laps).(NBC Sports)(4-11-2016)
  • Texas Overnight TV Ratings: FOX’s coverage of NASCAR’s Duck Commander 500 led a typically quiet Saturday. In primetime the race scored a 0.9 rating / 3 share (4.22 million viewers) in adults 18-49, pending updates, tying with CBS’ “48 Hours” for the top rating of the night.(TV by the Numbers)(4-11-2016)
  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Duck Commander 500: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 9:25 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 1:12AM (all times are EDT). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 113
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 54
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 98
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 51
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 15
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 10
    Number of times Fox utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 93
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 30 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 9:25 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 1:12 AM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 227
    Minutes of race broadcast: 184
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 43
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 7
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 2
    Total race brdcst time 184 Total comm. brdcst time 43
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(4-11-2016)
  • XFINITY Entry List: There are 42 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    Matt DiBenedetto will be in the #10;
    Carl Long is in the #13;
    Jeff Green will drive the #15 for Rick Ware;
    Matt Tifft remains in the JGL #24;
    Cody Ware is entered in the #25;
    Josh Reaume returns to the #40;
    Brandon Gdovic is in the #46;
    Scott Lagasse is entered in the #93;
    The #97 of Obaika Racing is TBA;
    Aric Almirola is back in the #98.(4-11-2015)
    See the complete list on the Bristol entry list page.
  • Texas XFINITY TV Ratings: NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Texas drew 1.2 million viewers on Fox Sports 1 Friday night, the exact same audience – down to the third decimal – as last year (1.172M). Compared to 2014, when coverage aired on ESPN, viewership declined 30% from 1.7 million.(ShowBuzz Daily / Sports Media Watch)(4-12-2016)
  • Dash 4 Cash debuts at Bristol: The NASCAR XFINITY Series will take racing back to its roots with Heat races, beginning with the first of four Dash 4 Cash events Saturday, April 16, at Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will each compete in one of two 50-lap Heat races for the chance to be eligible to win $100,000 in the 200-lap Main event. As in years past, the potential for a $1,000,000 total payout stands. New for this year, a driver who wins multiple Dash 4 Cash bonuses will earn a spot in the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, provided he/she remains eligible per the NASCAR rule book.
    All Dash 4 Cash events are comprised of two Heats and a Main, and will take place when the NASCAR XFINITY Series visits Bristol, Richmond (April), Dover (May) and Indianapolis. For these unique Dash 4 Cash events, traditional, single-car qualifying will determine the 40 eligible vehicles and starting positions for the two Heats, with the fastest qualifier receiving the Coors Light Pole Award. Odd-numbered qualifiers (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) will start in the first Heat in respective order, while even-numbered qualifiers (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.) will start the second Heat in respective order. The two Heats will set the starting positions for the Main, with the top two NASCAR XFINITY Series championship points-earning drivers in each Heat becoming eligible for the Dash 4 Cash bonus. Of the four eligible Dash 4 Cash drivers, the highest-finishing driver in the Main will be awarded a $100,000 bonus.
    Multiple Dash 4 Cash bonus wins will earn a driver a spot in the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, provided he/she remains eligible per the NASCAR rule book. In essence, multiple Dash 4 Cash bonus wins equal one race win for Chase eligibility. If a driver wins the first three Dash 4 Cash bonuses and wins the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway outright, that driver will also receive an additional $600,000 to bring the total Dash 4 Cash award to $1,000,000.(NASCAR)(4-11-2016)


    News from April 10, 2016


  • Low downforce package gets first night race test: The crumbled and taped nose of the #48 Chevrolet illustrated Jimmie Johnson’s point more than the amount of leaders or passes in the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. It had to. The downforce-reducing aerodynamics package that NASCAR vetted successfully last season and applied to most of the venues on the 2016 schedule had produced results mostly pleasing to fans and compelling to drivers through five applications so far. The result early Sunday morning felt decidedly less exhilarating with Martin Truex Jr. leading 141 of 334 laps, Carl Edwards 124 and Kyle Busch producing the crucial pass for the eventual win by virtue of a decisive sequence that had more to do with pit strategy and tire wear than aerodynamics. But, Johnson said, this was progress, however subtle.
    “I passed a lot of cars tonight in a variety of situations and getting out and looking at the nose of my car, it’s pretty hammered,” said Johnson, whose tribulations en route to a fourth-place finish included a pit road collision, a near-wreck, and being caught a lap down during an inopportune caution. “I think having a beat-up race car and being down a lap and taking the wave-by, a variety of other issues that went on and passing that many cars I think that’s a great sign of where this package is at.”
    But in the first night race of the season, amid cool temperatures and on a track that was washed of rubber before the race by rain, there resulted a show that outwardly appeared less dazzling or at least not commensurate with the anticipation level. “Honestly, we’ve got to be real about the things that contribute to creating grip,” Johnson said. “A nice cold evening is going to create grip. The slicker the race track, I think, the more the cars will shine is where we’re at. I think Vegas was cool and crisp ad good grip and not exactly what we wanted. Here was still good but I think once we get in the hot summer months we’ll put on a good show.”(USA Today)(4-10-2016)
  • Decision not to pit dooms Truex, Jr.: When the yellow flag waved on Lap 289 of 334 Truex’s #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota was in command of the race. The decision at that time was to pit or not to pit for tires. Truex’s crew chief Cole Pearn opted not to pit while the majority of the cars came down pit road for fresh rubber. Truex continued to lead, but when another caution came out a few laps later the Furniture Row Racing driver got passed on the restart by cars with fresher Goodyears, and he eventually fell back to finish sixth in the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race. “I was hoping more cars would have stayed out, but when you have the dominant car that’s the only chance they have to beat you,” said Furniture Row Racing crew chief Cole Pearn. “By staying out and leading, we felt that having clean air would be an equalizer. But in that situation it’s easier to make the call when you’re running second and not first. We’ve seen this happen many times in NASCAR when the race leader is sometimes in a no win situation. It was a bummer to finish where we did tonight.” Truex never ran lower than third before the final restart and at one point of the race had a whopping eight-second lead.(Furniture Row Racing)(4-10-2016)


    News from April 9, 2016


  • Kyle Busch wins at Texas: #18-Kyle Busch won the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, 2nd win at Texas and 36th career win. He led 34 of 334 laps. Busch also won the XFINITY Series race on Friday night. It is the 9th time he has swept both races at a track during the same weekend.
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. finished 2nd, followed by #22-Logano, #48-Johnson, #24-Elliott, #78-Truex, Jr., #19-Edwards, #5-Kahne, #41-Busch, and #4-Harvick.
    Pole winner, Edwards led 124 laps but had to pit under green with a loose wheel, lost a lap, and couldn’t get back to the front before the end of the race.
    Truex, Jr. led 141 laps, the most of any driver, but did not pit under the last caution and lost the lead to Busch with 32 laps to go.
    There was a large wreck late in the race when Johnson got into the back of #3-Dillon, who was on old tires, and sent him into a spin. 13 cars received some damage in the incident.
    The start of the race was delayed by nearly 2 hours after light rain hit the track.
    There were 17 lead changes among 8 drivers and 7 cautions for 41 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 138.355mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    (4-9-2016)
  • Race Fast Facts – Texas:
    Kyle Busch won the 20th Annual Duck Commander 500, his 36th victory in 397 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his second victory and 11th top-10 finish in 21 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his 17th top-10 finish in 28 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2016.
    Joey Logano (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 16 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Chase Elliott (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 6 points over Jimmie Johnson.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-9-2016)
  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Points (not CHASE) Standings:
    [after Texas, race 7 of 36]
    1) #18-Busch, [2 wins], 259
    2) #48-Johnson [2 wins], 253, -6
    3) #4-Harvick [1 win], 252, -7
    4) #19-Edwards, 241, -18
    5) #22-Logano, 234, -25
    6) #88-Earnhardt Jr., 211, -48
    7) #41-Busch, 208, -51
    8) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 201, -58
    9) #2-Keselowski [1 win], 201, -58
    10) #3-Dillon, 198, -61
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup CHASE Standings:
    [after Texas, race 7 of 36, 16 drivers for the Chase]
    Set by most wins, then by points standing
    1) #18-Busch [2 wins], 1st in driver points
    2) #48-Johnson [2 wins], 2nd
    3) #4-Harvick [1 win], 3rd
    4) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 8th
    5) #2-Keselowski [1 win], 9th
    no wins, in by drivers points standings
    6) #19-Edwards, 241 points
    7) #22-Logano, 234
    8) #88-Earnhardt Jr., 211
    9) #41-Busch, 208
    10) #3-Dillon, 198
    11) #78-Truex, Jr., 187
    12) #20-Kenseth, 171
    13) #1-McMurray, 171
    14) #24-Elliott, 168
    15) #47-Allmendinger, 166
    16) #5-Kahne, 161
    (4-9-2016)
  • Go Bowling sponsoring Scott at Kansas: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Go Bowling and Strike Ten Entertainment, the bowling industry’s marketing arm and sponsorship division, will partner with driver Brian Scott and the #44 Ford Team for the Go Bowling 400 at Kansas Speedway in May. As part of the one-race primary partnership, the GoBowling.com logo will be on the hood of the #44 Ford Fusion at the May 7 night race in Kansas. Go Bowling has been a partner with Richard Petty Motorsports since 2013, and has been featured on the #43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola. The ties between racing and bowling date back to the 1990s when NASCAR bowling leagues were launched and were immediate hits at bowling centers across the country. Since then, the bowling industry – Go Bowling and Strike Ten Entertainment – has increased its involvement in racing from sponsoring races to engaging with drivers and teams. More than 67 million people take to the lanes each year and bowling centers serve as community hubs for social events, birthday parties, competitive leagues and charitable fundraisers.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #44 team paint schemes page.(4-9-2016)
  • Kulwicki throwback scheme for Smith at Darlington: #7-Regan Smith and Tommy Baldwin Racing will run a special throwback scheme at Darlington Raceway that pays tribute to 1992 Sprint Cup Chamipon Alan Kulwicki. The car, sponsored by Nikko and Road Rippers resembles the #7 Hooters car driven by Kulwicki. See an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(4-9-2016)
  • Texas Race Notes & Facts:
    � There have been 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one NSCS event from 1997 – 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
    � 148 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas; 118 in more than one.
    � Roush Fenway Racing leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with eight and Joe Gibbs Racing has four.
    � Four different manufacturers have won a NSCS race at Texas, led by Ford and Chevrolet (12 each); followed by Toyota (three) and Dodge (three).
    � Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas is the (4/4/2004) race won by Elliott Sadler with an MOV of .028 seconds over Kasey Kahne.
    (NASCAR)
  • Military exercises and music highlight Salute the Troops Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show: For decades, Charlotte Motor Speedway has paid tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces each Memorial Day Weekend with a captivating pre-race show before the drop of the green flag for the Coca-Cola 600. On May 29, the 57th running of the ultimate test of man and machine, which will see drivers face in-car temperatures exceeding 120 degrees in the heat of May, will host one of the biggest military appreciation pre-race spectaculars in the track’s history.
    Military Re-enactment Storms the Skies and the Frontstretch. The action-packed show will include:
    ” Ground exercises with troops from Fort Bragg featuring Humvees, Howitzers, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and more
    ” Rope teams from Fort Bragg descending from Black Hawk helicopters with an aerial reenactment of an invasion
    ” Vintage war birds with a flyover parade during pre-race ceremonies including a T-35 Buckaroo, P-149 Trainer, C-46 Commando, T-6 Texan and two P-51 Mustangs
    ” A 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg Firing Squad
    ” 600 U.S. Army soldiers marching down the grandstands to the frontstretch, where they will display two American flags each as large as a football field
    ” A flyover with four F-15s from the 334th Fighter Squadron, Fighting Eagles Seymour Johnson AFB
    ” Sky-diving members of Team Fastrax descending to the infield with Old Glory flying behind
    Thousands of Troops Honored during Pre-Race Ceremonies
    ” Fans will be able to salute the troops when 600 soldiers from Fort Bragg walk through the grandstands to the infield
    ” Through the Charlotte Motor Speedway Patriot Partners program, buses will bring thousands of troops. An unprecedented social media presence will allow fans to keep track of the troops’ adventures by following #PatriotPartners on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
    ” Fans and businesses can take part by sponsoring an entire bus, or by donating Coca-Cola 600 tickets for just $25 each through the Let The Troops Race program
    ” Medal of Honor recipients Major General Patrick Henry Brady and U.S. Army Officer Joe Marm Jr. will also be recognized on the pre-race stage
    ” Through the new Salute the Crews program, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team members who have served in the military will be recognized during the pre-race ceremonies and on the giant Speedway TV
    A star-studded musical lineup will highlight the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show, including:
    ” Two-time GRAMMY nominee and country music megastar Lee Brice will perform a 45-minute pre-race concert presented by Speed Perks
    ” Bugler from Fort Bragg to perform “Taps”
    ” Rendition of “Amazing Grace” by the Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band
    ” Performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” by the 82nd Airborne Chorus
    ” Performances of “God Bless the USA” and the Armed Forces Medley
    (CMS)(4-9-2016)


    News from April 8, 2016


     

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #19-Edwards chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #22-Logano took the 2nd pit stall.
    #78-Truex, Jr, who starts 3rd took the 14th pit stall, with an opening in front of it.
    The 42nd and final pit stall [43 is not being used] was taken by #2-Keselowski, who starts 8th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-8-2016)
  • Friday (final) Practice for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 80 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #78-Truex, Jr. 192.390
    #19-Edwards190.248
    #18-Busch 189.507
    #47-Allmendinger 189.500
    #22-Logano 189.480
    slowest: #32-Earnhardt 178.136 & #30-Wise 176.505.
    most laps run: #3-Dillon 65, #5-Kahne 64
    See fastest speeds, laps run, and more on the Texas Final Practice Speeds page (pdf).(4-8-2016)
  • Edwards wins Texas pole: #19-Carl Edwards won the Coors Light pole for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with speed of 194.609mph for his 1st pole of 2016, 2nd at Texas and 17th of his career.
    #22-Logano is on the outside pole followed by #78-Truex, Jr., #24-Elliott, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #11-Hamlin, #21-Blaney, #2-Keselowski, #20-Kenseth, #3-Dillon, #48-Johnson, and #6-Bayne.
    Edwards led the second round of qualifying with a speed of 195.214mph
    #14-Vickers was fastest during the first round at 196.014mph.
    Only 40 cars were entered so everyone made the race.
    See round-by-round qualifying results on the Texas qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Texas Starting Lineup page (pdf).(4-8-2015)
  • Texas Speedway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
    Carl Edwards won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 20th Annual Duck Commander 500 with a lap of 27.748 seconds, 194.609 mph.
    This is his 17th pole in 416 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his second pole in 23 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Joey Logano (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2016 and his eighth in 16 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his eighth top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his fourth in seven races this season.
    Chase Elliott (fourth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(4-8-2016)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #14-Vickers 196.014
    #22-Logano 195.242
    #19-Edwards 194.946
    #5-Kahne 194.833
    #78-Truex, Jr. 194.693
    the rest of the top 24: 2 3 88 16 43 21 41 47 42 48 24 18 20 31 11 1 17 6 4;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 27 10 44 7 83 95 23 13 38 34 46 15 98 32 30 55
    Drivers who will miss the race: none as 40 cars were entered for 40 spots
    (4-8-2016)
  • Bowyer says team is working to improve: It’s no secret that Clint Bowyer’s one-off season at HScott Motorsports has been less than stellar but even though he knows what lies ahead of him, he isn’t sitting back and letting the bad times go by – he and the team are trying to improve. “I’m pretty miserable right now and I don’t aim to be that way for a year,” Bowyer told Kickin’ the Tires and Motorsport.com Thursday night. “Here’s the thing, in the situation you’re in, yes, you want to rip the leather off the steering wheel and get mad and everything else but it doesn’t do any good. And you know these guys are working their asses off to get you to where you are even at. It’s just they don’t have the tools that these other teams have.”
    “We are definitely behind a lot farther than I was ready for but, you know, a year is a long time and I know what my future holds. That’s the positive that keeps me going but I won’t rest at night until I know that Harry Scott is where they need to be when I get out of the seat.
    And if fans think there’s a secret alliance between HScott Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) or even Hendrick Motorsports – they would be incorrect. The team does get some information from SHR but it’s not on the level that would make a dramatic impact on the track and it definitely doesn’t include giving HScott ready-made cars capable of winning races. “If that is the conception, yes, for sure, because it’s not,” Bowyer laughed when asked about any misconceptions regarding what HScott Motorsports was getting. “It’s definitely not and it’s not a Hedrick Motorsports car either. If you wreck a car or need a new car, you reach to one of those organizations and order a car but what you do with that car after that is the ingredients that make up the difference between a fast car and a slow car.”(KickintheTires)(4-8-2016)
  • Stewart still unsure of when he can return: Tony Stewart said he feels good but needs to wait for a scan on his broken back later this month to determine when he will return to the driver’s seat. The three-time Sprint Cup champion, speaking Thursday after being honored for raising $1.5 million through his “Smoke Show” fantasy camp for the Texas chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, said some days it has been hard and some days it has been easy not racing this year while his back heals. “I don’t [know my return] — not until they do the next set of scans,” Stewart said. “The first thing they did were X-rays [in early March] just to make sure the rods and screws were in place. When we do the scans at the end of the month, then they’ll be able to have an idea exactly when it’s going to happen.” Stewart suffered a burst fracture of his L1 vertebra in a Jan. 31 dune buggy accident. He was going 5 mph but landed hard in a drop he estimated was 20 to 25 feet in the California sand dunes.
    “I feel great,” Stewart said. “I’ve been doing everything now over the last week that I’ve wanted to do. If you step off a curb wrong or step too hard, you’re definitely reminded you have these rods in your back. “Other than that, I feel really well. I’m anxious to get the scans. It’s driving me crazy wanting to see what it looks like and what is the diagnosis and when they think they’re going to let me go.”(ESPN.com)(4-8-2016)
  • Tony Gibson not at Texas until Saturday: Stewart-Haas Racing tweeted Friday afternoon that “Johnny Klausmeier, engineer on the #41 car, will serve as crew chief” on Thursday and Friday because [Tony Gibson] is back home in NC with his wife as she is under the weather. He plans to be @TXMotorSpeedway Saturday for the race.(4-8-2016)
  • Patrick comments on Auto Club fine: Frustration boiled over two races ago in California when [Danica Patrick] was hooked by Kasey Kahne and slammed into the wall. Patrick walked up the apron of the track to hold her hands out, palms up, when Kahne drove by — and NASCAR promptly fined her $20,000 for walking on the apron or track toward moving cars. “I understand NASCAR has to do whatever they can to protect their drivers and making sure that we don’t put ourselves in harm’s way,” Patrick said. “Did I feel like I was in danger? Absolutely not. It’s my own body. I don’t want to put my body in danger at all. But then you start working into gray areas of, well, what’s too close and what’s not close? So I get their position. But some of the most exciting throwback videos you see of NASCAR is of drivers getting all rowdy and getting mad. … You can’t do things that completely eliminate the spirit of the sport.” The rule was instituted after Tony Stewart accidentally struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. in a sprint-car race in August 2014. Ward was out on the track, and Stewart has said he didn’t see Ward until just before his car struck the 20-year-old. Patrick’s fine was the same as the one issued last year to Trevor Bayne, who crossed the track after an accident just to get to the infield before safety workers got to him. “I get that it’s 2016, and we can get smarter and better, and there are certain things that cross the line, and I guess that they deemed that I did,” Patrick said. “When I did it, it wasn’t like I thought, ‘I don’t care if I get fined, I’m going to walk out [there].’ It literally didn’t enter my mind. So I think that’s the challenge. … When I did that, I was just really giving the universal ‘WTF’ sign to him like, ‘I can’t believe you just did that to me.'”(ESPN.com)(4-8-2016)
  • Almirola’s tire carrier injured over Easter break: Injuries have not been kind to the #43 of RPM. Two weeks before Daytona, Gas Man Justin Reisman tore his Achilles and now they have another injury. Over the Easter weekend, tire carrier Devon Armstrong tore his distal bicep tendon and will be out at least until the middle of the season. “I was at the gym that I work out at. I was hitting the punching bag when I heard it pop. I knew instantly that something wasn’t right. Because it was Easter weekend there were no doctors that I could see so I had to wait until Monday to get it looked at.” An MRI on Tuesday proved that Devon had tore his tendon and he went into surgery last Thursday. “The doctor says I’ll be out at least 12 weeks but depending on how well rehab goes will ultimately determine how long I’m out.” Taking Devon’s place will be tire carrier Josh Galloway.(Pit Talks)(4-8-2016)
  • Penske to be honored with Cameron R. Argetsinger Award: Roger Penske, one of auto racing’s most notable team owners, will be honored in June by the International Motor Racing Research Center with the 2016 Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports. As Team Penske celebrates its 50th year in motorsports in 2016, Penske will receive the award at a gala dinner presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corp., Watkins Glen International and IMSA. This will be the third annual award presented by the IMRRC. NASCAR racing great Richard Petty was the 2015 Argetsinger Award recipient. Team owner and former driver Chip Ganassi was the inaugural winner in 2014. The award memorializes Cameron R. Argetsinger, founder and organizer of the first races at Watkins Glen almost 70 years ago. The Racing Research Center is an archival and research library and a 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to the preservation and sharing of the materials of motorsports, all series and all venues, worldwide. The Center established the Argetsinger Award to honor a person in the motorsports industry who is recognized universally for having advanced and improved the sport. The honoree brings prestige to motorsports and demonstrates commitment to the future of racing.(IMRRC)(4-8-2016)
  • Texas Pole Notes & Facts:
    � Jeremy Mayfield was the first Coors Light pole winner, in 1998 at Texas with a speed of 185.906 mph. The inaugural Coors Light pole at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 was cancelled due to weather conditions.
    � 22 drivers have Coors Light poles at Texas, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte and Martin Truex Jr. with two each.
    � Two drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway: Bobby Labonte (2003 and 2004) and Ryan Newman (2005 sweep).
    � Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (2014 Chase race and 2015 sweep), Carl Edwards (2008 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep).
    � Three of the 30 (10%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; Kasey Kahne (2006), Jimmie Johnson (2012) and Kyle Busch (2013).
    � Six of the 30 (20%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the front row: three from the pole and three from second-place.
    � The third-place starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Texas Motor Speedway, producing more wins than any other starting position (six) – most recent: Jimmie Johnson (fall of 2014).
    � 24 of the 30 (80%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position. Below is a breakdown of the number of wins by starting position in the top 10.
    � Four of the 30 (13.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    � The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Texas Motor Speedway is 31st, by Matt Kenseth in 2002.
    � Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions twice in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway; the inaugural event in 1997 and the spring race of 2007. The actual race has never been rain shortened, but was postponed to Monday in 2014 due to weather.
    (NASCAR)
  • Sad News – Dennis King: Dennis P. King, 69, of Salina, KS, passed away Wednesday, April 6, 2016. Dennis was a cam grind engineer formerly with General Kinetics and a lifelong machinist in his own business; High Velocity Cams, never really retiring. Dennis was long standing member of the NASCAR family known by engine builders and crew chiefs alike. (full obituary and more info at dignitymemorial.com)(4-8-2016)
  • Kyle Busch wins XFINITY race at Texas: #18-Kyle Busch won the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 80th XFINITY Series win and 4th of the year. #20-Erik Jones finished second, followed by #22-Brad Keselowski, #5-Chase Elliott, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #7-Justin Allgaier, #1-Elliott Sadler, #2-Austin Dillon, #33-Brandon Jones, and #39-Ryan Sieg.
    Busche started from the pole and led 150 of the 200 laps.
    There were 5 cautions for 22 laps and 6 lead changes among 3 leaders.
    The average speed was 141.121mph.
    Complete results are on the Texas race results page (pdf).
    (4-8-2016)
  • Texas XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch(i) won the 20th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, his 80th victory in 316 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his fourth victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his eighth victory and 16th top-10 finish in 20 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Erik Jones (second) posted his third top-10 finish in three races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2016.
    Brad Keselowski(i) (third) posted his 13th top-10 finish in 17 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Erik Jones (second) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Daniel Suarez leads the point standings by 1 point over Elliott Sadler.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-8-2016)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Texas:
    1) #19-Daniel Suarez, 207
    2) #1-Elliott Sadler, 206, -1
    3) #7-Justin Allgaier, 198, -9
    4) #33-Brandon Jones, 193, -14
    5) #20-Erik Jones, 192, -15
    6) #3-Ty Dillon, 187, -20
    7) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 183, -24
    8) #6-Darrell Wallace Jr., 160, -47
    9) #16-Ryan Reed, 160, -47
    10) #48-Brennan Poole, 152, -55
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(4-8-2016)
  • Kyle Busch on XFINITY pole at Texas: #18-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light pole for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 188.475mph. #20-Erik Jones will start second. The rest of the top 10: #19-Daniel Suarez, #42-Kyle Larson, #48-Brennan Poole, #3-Ty Dillon, #2-Austin Dillon, #22-Brad Keselowski, #33-Brandon Jones, and #16-Ryan Reed.
    Busch was also fastest in the second round at 188.673mph.
    #20-Erik Jones was fastest in the first round with a speed of 188.897mph.
    Did Not Qualify: #10-Jeff Green.
    The starting lineup is posted on the Texas starting lineup page (pdf).(4-8-2016)
  • Texas Qualifying Notes:
    Kyle Busch(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 20th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 with a lap of 28.651 seconds, 188.475 mph.
    This is his 51st pole in 316 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his third pole and fifth top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his fourth pole in 20 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Erik Jones (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2016 and his third in three races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Daniel Suarez (third) posted his third top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his sixth in six races this season.
    Erik Jones (second) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-8-2016)
  • Nazareth Speedway sold: For more than a decade, the Nazareth Speedway has set idle. But around town, people still remember this was the place to be in its glory days. “We used to go to the races there and see Mario Andretti,” Bob Kline remembers. The big names rolling down the track, boasted big speed. But the engines were silenced in 2004, when the track closed. Since then, there have been reports here and there that something was in the works, but nothing ever came of it – until now. Jaindl Real Estate has purchased the land and developer David Jaindl says his company will farm the agricultural lands around the speedway this Spring. It’s not clear their plans for the actual track, but some say they’d just like to see something done with it. Time will tell what the new owner does, but people have already been waiting a dozen years. “It’s been so long that it hasn’t been in use,” Kline says. They might be willing to wait a little more, to see if the road for this speedway will ever re-open again, or if it’ll be done away with completely – and mark the true finish line for the old track.(WFMZ)(4-8-2016)
  • “Dale Jr. sandwich” will be available at Bristol: The banana and Hellmann’s mayonnaise snack craze has hit an all-time high after NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Dale Earnhardt Jr. tweeted out his love of the sandwich. Fans from NASCAR nation were quick to recreate the sandwich and post their experiences of this unique item. In honor of this enthusiasm, BMS will be offering the famous “Dale Jr Sandwich” featuring Hellman’s mayonnaise and bananas on white bread during the Food City 500 weekend, April 15-17. The Dale Jr Sandwich is $4 and a portion of the proceeds will go to the Dale Jr. Foundation. Interested in trying it? Visit the concession stand in the Family Section of Waltrip Grandstand, just inside Gate 14 to the left.(BMS)(4-8-2016)


    News from April 7, 2016


     

  • Thursday Practice for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #78-Truex, Jr. 192.892
    #2-Keselowski 192.162
    #22-Logano 192.143
    #3-Dillon 191.612
    #14-Vickers 191.578
    slowest: #55-Sorenson 179.253, #30-Wise 179.164.
    most laps run: #24-Elliott, 28 & #22-Logano, 24
    Qualifying is scheduled for Friday at 2:45pm/et, followed by final practice at 6:30pm/et.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, and more on the Texas Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(4-7-2016)Ford exec says “no doubt” Harvick will drive a Ford next season UPDATE: Ford Performance boss Dave Pericak did not mince words when it comes to Kevin Harvick’s status for 2017. “There is no doubt in my mind,” Pericak said. “He will be in a Ford.” Despite rumors Chevrolet would like to keep Harvick in their camp, Pericak insists the 2014 champion will drive a Ford next season. Enlisting the services of Stewart-Haas Racing is just the latest bold move made by Pericak, who took over Ford’s racing arm 16 months ago. With Chevrolet having a stranglehold over half of the Sprint Cup field Pericak acknowledged it was time to even the odds. “We’ve always said we’re here to win races,” Pericak added. “We’re not just here to have fun. We have to have more than just a couple bullets in the chamber every time you show up on the weekends. So we’re going to strengthen all the way across the board and adding a championship caliber team like Stewart-Haas is putting more bullets in the chamber.” As for the bigger picture, Pericak sees plenty of progress for the Blue Oval brigade — from rookie Ryan Blaney’s ability to get up to speed so quickly to the gains at Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports.(Motorsport)(4-7-2016)
    UPDATE: Kevin Harvick strongly reiterated his intentions to remain at Stewart-Haas Racing, saying Thursday “There is nothing to it” as far as the rumors he could leave over the team’s move to Ford next season. “As far as I know, I thought I had a team extension that had two more years left on my contract,” he said.(ESPN.com)(4-7-2016)

  • Harvick and Kyle Busch dominating laps led: Two drivers have combined to lead over half the 1,815 laps so far in the Sprint Cup Series. #18-Kyle Busch is tops at 486 laps led – one more than #4-Kevin Harvick. After Busch and Harvick, only three drivers have led more than 100 laps this season: #48-Jimmie Johnson has led 171, #20-Matt Kenseth 143 and #11-Denny Hamlin at 107.(Associated Press)(4-7-2016)
  • Most mentioned drivers of 2016: According to Joyce Julius, a company that tracks media mentions for sport sponsors, #4-Kevin Harvick has been the most-mentioned NASCAR driver on TV this year while #18-Kyle Busch has received the most interview time
    Driver
    Interviews
    Interview Time
    Mentions
    #4-Kevin Harvick
    7
    0:05:42
    1,052
    #48-Jimmie Johnson
    6
    0:05:16
    846
    #18-Kyle Busch
    7
    0:06:32
    590
    #19-Carl Edwards
    5
    0:03:45
    524
    #22-Joey Logano
    4
    0:02:52
    507
    #11-Denny Hamlin
    7
    0:04:38
    474
    #78-Martin Truex, Jr.
    3
    0:02:56
    471
    #20-Matt Kenseth
    3
    0:01:52
    408
    #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
    5
    0:03:35
    404
    #2-Brad Keselowski
    2
    0:02:48
    399
    #41-Kyle Busch
    2
    0:01:40
    356
    #24-Chase Elliott
    4
    0:01:58
    318
    #2-Austin Dillon
    6
    0:04:06
    205
    #21-Ryan Blaney
    2
    0:01:10
    134
    #5-Kasey Kahne
    0
    0:00:00
    128

    Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Fontana.(Joyce Julius & Associates)(4-7-2016)

  • Ty Dillon returns to the #95 at Texas: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series switches gears this week, leaving short track racing behind in favor of the 1.5-mile tri-oval of Texas Motor Speedway. Ty Dillon will return to the #95 for his second race of the season with Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing. Dillon will pilot the #95 Nexium 24HR Chevrolet SS in his Sprint Cup debut at Texas, but is no stranger to racing at Texas. The 24-year-old has never finished outside the top-15 in his 10 Camping World Truck and XFINITY Series starts at Texas, which includes a truck win in 2013. Texas will always be a special race for CSLFR partners Bob and Sharon Leavine, who moved to the state in 1985.(Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing).(4-7-2016)
  • Quicken Loans makes first appearance on #5: Texas marks the first of two races this season for Quicken Loans as the primary sponsor on the #5 Chevrolet SS. Quicken Loans will also adorn Kasey Kahne’s Chevrolet SS at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. It will serve as a co-primary with Hendrick Automotive Group for May’s All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne is a race and pole award winner at the Fort Worth, Texas, track. He led 63 laps and swept the April 2006 weekend with a pole and a win in only his fourth start at the mile-and-a-half track. Kahne started from the fourth position and took the checkered flag in eighth in last year’s Texas spring race.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(4-7-2016)
  • CMT showing 3-Night Special on NASCAR: Each week millions of NASCAR fans – a massive television and digital audience – tune in to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and CMT announced an unprecedented six hour, three night special event dedicated to the fearless men who took stock car racing out of the backwoods and into the national spotlight with NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed premiering Sunday May 8, May 15 and May 22 at 10:00pm et/pt. From Stephen David Entertainment, the Emmy Award-winning company behind the miniseries “The Men Who Built America,” “Gold Fever” and “The World Wars,” the special event is not only a unique look into NASCAR’s legendary beginnings, but in the spirit of racing, it is a no-holds-barred account of the sport’s early pioneers and ascention to national prominence. The film features archival footage, reenactments and interviews with NASCAR personalities and experts including Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Richard Petty, Tony Stewart and Darrell Waltrip.
    It’s the story about how a generation of Southern bootleggers and gangsters pursued their version of the American dream and created an industry that defined them. Despite a destitute South, they became wildly rich, while in the process forming the nation’s greatest racing league through their persistence, sweat and moonshine. The success of NASCAR surpassed even their wildest dreams and inspired a new generation of Southern icons. But in the race to always go bigger and faster, sometimes there were casualties along the way. “NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed” is a tale of fearless men who didn’t just live their lives, they raced them to the finish. To see a sneak peek of “NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed,” click on the trailer here.(CMT)(4-7-2016)
  • Texas Driver Notes & Facts:
    � Jeff Gordon is the only driver to have made all 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with 27 Texas starts.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8.400. Johnson is the only active driver with an average starting position at Texas inside the top 10.
    � Six drivers have made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start at Texas Motor Speedway: Adam Petty (2000), Jay Sauter (2002), Brad Keselowski (2008), Trevor Bayne (2010), David Starr (2011) and Parker Kligerman (2013).
    � David Ragan (4/09/2011) and Martin Truex Jr. (11/04/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway.
    � 18 different drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with six victories; including five of the last seven races.
    � Seven drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (six), Carl Edwards (three), Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have two.
    � One NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has won at Texas Motor Speedway in two different manufacturers: Jeff Burton (1997 – Ford; 2007 – Chevrolet)
    � Jeff Burton (4/06/1997) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4/02/2000) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career race at Texas Motor Speedway.
    � 11 of the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Texas Motor Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Texas in his first appearance; Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman won in their second appearance at TMS.
    � Only two of the 12 winning drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Texas Motor Speedway: Kyle Busch (15) and Kurt Busch (13).
    � Kevin Harvick leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 26.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five; followed by Matt Kenseth with four and Jeff Gordon with three.
    � Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson lead the series in top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 13 each; followed by Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch with nine each.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 19; followed by Matt Kenseth (17) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (16).
    � Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish inside the top 10 at Texas: Jimmie Johnson (8.440) and Matt Kenseth (9.462).
    � Casey Mears has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway without posting a DNF (23).
    � Jimmie Johnson leads the series in laps led at Texas with 1,017 laps led in 24 starts.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads all active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers in laps led at Texas Motor Speedway with 1,023 laps.
    � Two female drivers have made NSCS starts at Texas Motor Speedway: Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick
    (NASCAR)
  • Erik Jones fastest in XFINITY happy hour: #20-Erik Jones was quickest during happy hour for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 with a speed of 183.830mph. He was followed by: #18-Kyle Busch, #42-Ky;e Larson, #3-Ty Dillon, #19-Daniel Suarez, #33-Brandon Jones, #22-Brad Keselowski, #48-Brennan Poole, #01-Ryan Preece, and #2-Austin Dillon. 39 drivers participated in the session.
    See complete results on the Texas practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(4-7-2016)
  • Erik Jones fastest in first XFINITY practice: #20-Erik Jones was fastest during opening practice at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 186.968mph.#3-Ty Dillon was second, followed by: #33-Brandon Jones, #19-Daniel Suarez, #48-Brennan Poole, #43-Jeb Burton, #2-Austin Dillon, #39-Ryan Sieg, #18-Kyle Busch, and #98-Aric Almirola. 36 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Texas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-7-2016)
  • Final season for Brendan Gaughan? UPDATE: It is Tuesday of NASCAR Week, high noon, the Coronado Cafe at South Point. Michael Gaughan, who owns the joint, is about to break bread with his board of directors, which is what he calls the men who serve as his department heads and confidants. The topic switches to auto racing. Michael Gaughan is asked if he is proud of what Brendan Gaughan, his youngest son who has turned 40, has accomplished on the racetrack. He nods his head. His way of saying, yes, he is very proud. Then he says this season probably is going to be it for Brendan. What?
    Yes, this is probably going to be Brendan Gaughan’s last season driving the black and yellow gold #62 South Point Chevy in the Xfinity Series for Richard Childress. Last season was to have been it, his old man said. But Childress talked him into letting Brendan make another season of left-hand turns – Childress’ racing grandsons, Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon, really like having Brendan around, Michael said.
    The next day, Brendan Gaughan will say that he and his old man have yet to sit down and talk about this being it. But if his old man decides not to write the check, then yes, that will be it, because it’s difficult to be competitive in NASCAR without a good sponsor, no matter how heavy one’s foot is. In chatting with Brendan Gaughan, one laughs a lot. For a kid of means, he doesn’t have a spoiled bone in his body. Instead of pretension, you get self-deprecating humor. You get the impression he’d like to drive Richard Childress’ car and hang out with the Dillon boys for at least one more season after this one. Or two.(Las Vegas Review-Journal)(3-4-2016)
    UPDATE: Brendan Gaughan is aware of the talk that he might retire after the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. He even has that conversation every year. “Every year, I almost retire,” Gaughan said at Texas Motor Speedway. “When I closed my team down in 2007 and the way it closed down was personally pretty difficult. I never thought I’d race again from there in NASCAR. We’ve been talking about that for years. What happens is, my father some days is — I think best way I can put it is what my grandfather used to say — trying to tell my father a secret is like telling the Las Vegas Sun. He likes to talk when he gets around reporters.” Gaughan was referring to a story that ran in the Las Vegas Review-Journal last month during the NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series weekend indicating that 2016 would be it for Gaughan. And while he considers it each year, he’s not ready to call it a career just yet. “Every year he (his dad) and I talk about retirement,” Gaughan said. “Every year I talk about it, he talks about it, one of us does, one of us doesn’t. We always are saying it and discussing it. But it’s always been the same strategy in my eyes. If I can’t win races, I don’t want to be here. … As long as I can keep winning races and being up front and if we can make this Chase and keep competing for wins and championships, I think we will stay around as long as I can keep going.”(NASCAR.com)(4-7-2016)
  • Gaulding to run limited XFINITY Series schedule UPDATE: Though former Camping World Truck Series driver Gray Gaulding has not made a NASCAR-sanctioned start so far in 2016 there’s plenty to be excited for in terms of his future career. Gaulding will announce his plans to run select XFINITY Series races this season “next week,” saying he is excited to finally make the decision public. “[I’m] really looking forward to it,” Gaulding told Frontstretch Friday at Martinsville. “I have some good tracks I’m going to go to and be able to run that I’ve ran before. I’m looking forward to announcing my team.” A native of Virginia, Gaulding is a winner in the K&N; Pro Series West Series and has 13 CWTS starts to his record, earning a best of fourth at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in 2014. Making 38 starts in the K&N; Pro Series East from 2013 to ’15, Gaulding had three runner-up results.(Frontstretch)(4-2-2016)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing has announced the addition of Gray Gaulding to its developmental program. Gaulding, who hails from Colonial Heights, Va., will make his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut behind the wheel of the famed #60 Ford Mustang in the August 19th race at Bristol Motor Speedway. He is also slated to run the NXS race in September at his ‘home’ track of Richmond. The 18-year old Gaulding has made 13 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, including a fourth-place finish at Bowmanville in 2014. He has made 38 starts in the NASCAR K&N; East Series, including four starts at Bristol where he earned a pair of top-10s and posted a runner-up finish in 2014. He also has five starts in the K&N; West Series, including a win at Phoenix in 2013.(Roush Feway Racing)(4-7-2016)
  • McClure and Martin expanding K&N; team: Plans for a new era of motorsports in Southwest Virginia were unveiled Wednesday in a familiar setting. With pioneer NASCAR team car and Food Country USA owner Charlie Henderson in attendance, Xfinity Series drivers Eric McClure and Hal Martin announced details on their expanded NASCAR K&N; Pro Series East program. Last July, McClure and Martin first announced their intentions to field a single-car car Martin-McClure Racing operation for developmental drivers in the K&N; Series. Chad Finchum, a popular Late Model racer from Knoxville, Tennessee, was hired as the first driver. Step two was Wednesday’s press conference at the headquarters of the Henderson Motorsports NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team. The sprawling building was once located next door to the headquarters of the Morgan-McClure Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup team, which won the Daytona 500 three times. The Martin-McClure team will be featured in a big away in the April 16 PittLite 125 K&N; Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway. Finchum will drive the #39 MMR Reynolds Wrap Toyota Camry while Abingdon’s Caleb Holman will drive the #75 Food Country USA. Holman, a former Xfinity Series driver who currently competes in the truck series for the Henderson team, will be making his debut in the K&N; series which has produced several drivers currently competing in the top levels of NASCAR. Finchum is also scheduled to compete in the K&N; events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 16), Iowa Speedway (July 29) and Dover International Speedway on Sept. 30. Finchum has earned dozens of wins in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, including the season-opening event at Kingsport Speedway on March 26.(Bristol Herald Courier)(4-7-2016)
  • Regan Smith returning to JR Motorsports UPDATE: Regan Smith will drive the #88 Chevy for JR Motorsports in the fall race at Bristol. His sponsor will be Dale’s Pale Ale. See an image of the car on the #88 team paint schemes page.(3-9-2016)
    UPDATE: JR Motorsports and Dale’s Pale Ale, the first craft beer to be featured in a can, have announced a multi-year extension that will see the brand sponsor JRM’s #88 Chevrolet in three NASCAR Xfinity Series races in 2016-17. The #88 Dale’s Pale Ale Chevrolet will make its season debut on Aug. 19 at Bristol Motor Speedway with Regan Smith returning to JRM to drive in the event. A JRM partner since 2015, the remaining two races and driving duties for Dale’s Pale Ale in 2017 will be announced at a later date. Additionally, the brand will receive associate placement on the #1 Chevrolet with driver Elliott Sadler for the 2016 season.((JR Motorsports)(4-7-2016)
  • Peyton Manning named Bristol race official: Tennessee’s proverbial hometown football hero, Peyton Manning, has been named Honorary Race Official of the Food City 500, April 17, at Bristol Motor Speedway. This will be Manning’s first NASCAR experience courtesy of Nationwide. As an Honorary Race Official, the legendary quarterback will accompany fellow Nationwide spokesman, Dale Earnhardt Jr. during BMS’s wildly popular driver introductions and experience the World’s Fastest Half Mile in the Food City 500 from Earnhardt’s pit box. In the NFL, Manning is the first and only quarterback to achieve 200 career wins, and his five NFL MVP awards are also a league record. He was the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLI, named to a record 14 Pro Bowls and has 14 4,000-yard passing seasons (NFL record) and is the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards (71,940) and touchdown passes (539). “I’m thrilled to get a chance to watch Dale compete at Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Peyton Manning. “I want to thank Nationwide for bringing me to one of the great NASCAR tracks to watch what I’m sure will be an exciting race in front of some of the most passionate fans in the sport.”(BMS)(4-7-2016)
  • Racing at Rockingham in doubt again: Plans to bring racing back to Rockingham Speedway have hit a wall. James Martin, of Level 1 Motorsports in Union County, announced on Facebook Monday night that the inaugural season for the X-Cup Series “is at least temporarily on hold.” An open test was planned for this coming Sunday so drivers could get their cars on the track to prepare for the opening race on April 23 – the first scheduled at the storied speedway in three years. Martin said he learned speedway co-owner Bill Silas – who holds the lien on the property and is a partner with Andy Hillenburg in Rockingham Raceway Park LLC, which owns the track – terminated the lease Vets-Help.org had signed with Hillenburg. “I was kind of as blown away as anybody else,” he said. Martin then called the drivers to tell them the news. “I did what I felt was best.” However, Craig Northacker says the lease is still valid and a purchase agreement is in negotiation. “As far as I’m concerned, we’re still on track to do what we’re going to do,” said Northacker, executive director of Vets-Help. Despite the caution flags, Jim Blankenbaker [vice president of operations and development for Vets-Help] said he and Curt Trent – who was vice president of motorsports and automotive programs – are still trying to move forward and there are “conversations going on trying to salvage something in 2016,” which could possibly include the X-Cup Series. “If there’s a way to do something, we’re doing it,” he said. “There’s too much synergy not to be able to pull something off.” Records with the Richmond County tax office show a payment of $11,350.61 – $9,324.91 for taxes plus $1,965.70 in interest and a $60 lien cost – was made March 21. Another payment of $47,189 was made Tuesday, zeroing out the speedway tax bill.(Richmond County Daily Journal)(4-7-2016)


    News from April 6, 2016


  • Martinsville post-race penalties & warnings: #18-Kyle Busch was given a written warning following the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. The #18 team failed laser inspection twice during pre-race inspection.(4-6-2016)
  • Cautions down sharply this season: Did You Notice? … No Sprint Cup race has had more than eight caution flags all season? The 51 laps we ran under yellow at Martinsville were the fewest for that track since 1996; overall, the number of slowdowns have dropped significantly for the first six events. Total caution flags for the first six races: 2007: 58, 2008: 66, 2009: 59, 2010: 56, 2011: 56, 2012: 38, 2013: 50, 2014: 54, 2015: 56, 2016: 34. It’s a 39 percent decline over 2015, green-flag momentum that began with this year’s relatively clean Daytona 500 and continued through Sunday’s Martinsville race that featured mostly one-car incidents. The drop is impressive considering the numbers through the years have been fairly consistent: six times over the past ten years we’ve had between 54 and 59 yellow flags during this opening stretch. What gives? It’s a small surprise considering NASCAR’s new rules package has made the handling package more challenging for the drivers over a long green-flag run; we’ve seen more people just “lose it,” like Denny Hamlin Sunday than we have in quite sometime. But for every self-induced incident, we’ve seen a sharp reduction in the number of DNFs and also a pretty strong track record by Goodyear (with the possible exception of Fontana). When your engine doesn’t break, your tires hold up and your speeds are controlled chances at running a clean race rise significantly.(Frontstretch)(4-6-2016)
  • Kenseth surprises Steve Byrnes’ family: The wife and son of the late Steve Byrnes showed up at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Tuesday expecting to take a photo with Matt Kenseth. The one-year anniversary of Kenseth’s win at Bristol Motor Speedway – the “Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer” – was approaching, so they didn’t have reason to suspect an ulterior motive. But Karen Byrnes and her seventh-grader son Bryson were surprised with a pair of gifts upon their arrival. Kenseth presented them with a replica sword given to the winner of the Bristol race along with a framed picture of the #20 team in victory lane holding up signs in support of Steve, a beloved FOX Sports announcer who died two days after the event.
    Bryson, a well-spoken young man who seemed comfortable addressing reporters Tuesday, has dreams of becoming a college football announcer if his own football career doesn’t work out (last season he played both center and defensive end on his middle school team). He said all the outpouring of support for his father has been “overwhelming and kind of magical to see.”
    Karen Byrnes said the last year has been “bittersweet.” She and Bryson have been supported in many ways by the NASCAR community, but they’ve also lived through many firsts – the first Father’s Day without Steve, the first Christmas, the first Easter. And this month, they’ll mark Steve’s birthday (April 14) and the anniversary of his death (April 21).
    “Those are challenging times,” she said. “But we’ve tried to be purposeful in also living, too. (We’re) moving forward and experiencing life because I think we do a disservice to him by not going out and living life.”(USA Today)(4-6-2016)
  • Pole sitters not faring well in 2016: Winning the pole for a Sprint Cup race isn’t all that great, at least in 2016. After six races, the average finishing spot of pole-sitters is 14.8. Other than the first spot on the starting grid, the biggest perk of winning a pole is the first pit choice. But none of this season’s five different pole-sitters – #24-Chase Elliott, #41-Kurt Busch, #18-Kyle Busch, #22-Joey Logano and #3-Austin Dillon – have translated that prime real estate into a race win. The last time a race was won from the pole? Matt Kenseth in last year’s spring race at Michigan International Speedway. That was 20 races ago. In all, only four pole winners claimed wins last season. That included Dale Earnhardt Jr’s pole for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, which was awarded on practice time when qualifying was rained out.(NBC Sports)(4-6-2016)
  • Martinsville Overnight TV Ratings UPDATE: A downturn in ratings has followed NASCAR from big FOX to Fox Sports 1. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Martinsville (VA) earned a 2.2 overnight rating on FS1 Sunday afternoon, down 12% from last year (2.5) and down 42% from 2014 on the FOX broadcast network (3.8). The double-digit drop is especially notable considering that last year’s race aired opposite the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. This year’s race had much lighter competition from the NBA on ABC (1.7) and Opening Day baseball on ESPN (1.4) and ESPN2 (0.7). Not surprisingly, the 2.2 is the lowest for the spring Martinsville race since at least 2002. All six NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season have had a decline in the overnights, with four of those six by double-digits.(Sports Media Watch)(4-5-2016)
    UPDATE: The Sprint Cup Series race from Martinsville, the first of the 2016 season to air live on FS1, scored 4,232,000 viewers according to Nielsen Media Research, up 4% from last year’s 4,061,000, making it the most-watched racing event and daytime telecast ever on FS1. The race was the ninth most-watched telecast in FS1 history and the most-watched since Game 6 of last year’s ALCS between Toronto and Kansas City. Among Adults18-49, it was up 7% over last year’s race (1,198,000 vs. 1,121,000). On FOX Sports GO, the telecast delivered 46,930 streams, 25,322 unique streamers and 1,853,642 minutes streamed. On Saturday, FS1 scored viewership increases with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from Martinsville (1,177,000; up 7%), Monster Energy Supercross from Santa Clara (239,000; up 42%) and the FIA Formula E Championship from Long Beach (189,000; up 73%). FS1 was No. 1 among all ad-supported cable sports networks during the Trucks race.(Fox Sports)(4-6-2016)
  • ISC advanced ticket sales down: Jeff Gordon’s retirement and injured driver Tony Stewart’s absence are among factors International Speedway Corp. officials cited Tuesday for advance ticket sales being down about 10 percent from a year ago for some upcoming races. ISC officials also said the focus on the Chase for the Sprint Cup may be playing a role in fans purchasing tickets for those events instead of races earlier in the season. “Star power is very impactful in our sport as it is in any sport,” said John Saunders, president of International Speedway Corp. on a conference call with investor analysts. “We’ve got to be better going forward and think strategically about retiring drivers,” Saunders said, “and how you connect their retirement to the rising stars, the young stars, such as the Chase Elliotts and Ryan Blaney drivers.” There are a number of drivers in the NASCAR Xfinity Series who likely will be in Cup full-time soon, including Erik Jones, who turns 20 in May, 23-year-old Darrell Wallace Jr., 24-year-old Ty Dillon and 24-year-old Daniel Suarez. Those young drivers will compete for the championship in a Chase format this year with NASCAR adding that to the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.
    Also, discussed on the call with investor analysts:
    – Saunders said on the digital platform they’ve seen consumption from the 18- to 34-year old demographic double year over year but didn’t provide details.
    – Advanced ticket sales for the July Daytona race are pacing ahead of last year.
    – ISC has one of their available Sprint Cup series race sponsorships either open or not announced and two for Xfinity events this season.
    – Average ticket price for NASCAR Sprint Cup events at Daytona International Speedway was about $160.07, an increase of more than 19 percent from last year primarily related to new seats sold at higher prices with the Daytona Rising project that reduced capacity from 147,000 to 101,000.
    (NBC Sports)(4-6-2016)
  • Texas Goodyear Tire Notes: While teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same left-side tire code at Texas this week, they will run their own right-side codes . . . in Sprint Cup, both of these tire codes are being run for the first time . . . like last year at Texas, this right-side tire code employs Goodyear’s multi-zone tread technology, which combines two distinct tread compounds on the same tire — the outboard 10 inches of the tread (Traction Zone) features a compound that is designed for grip, while the inboard two inches of the tread (Endurance Zone) is toughened to enhance durability on the part of the tire sees the most heat and takes the most abuse . . . compared to what was run at Texas last season, this right-side tire (D-4686) features a construction change, and a compound change on the outboard 10 inches to give the cars more grip . . . this left-side tire (D-4684) features an updated construction and mold shape, as well as a compound change for more grip . . . this tire set-up came out of a test at Homestead last December 14; traditionally, Texas, Homestead and Chicagoland have all lined up with the same tire set-up . . . drivers participating in that Homestead test were Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Brian Scott and Martin Truex Jr. . . . teams 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 more nots, tire codes, set limits and more on the Texas Race Info page.(4-6-2016)
  • Texas Track Notes & 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.
    (NASCAR)
  • Earnhardt, Jr. in the #88 at Texas: Friday night’s race at Texas Motor Speedway marks the first of two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts this season for two-time series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. He’ll also compete at Richmond International Raceway on April 23. Earnhardt Jr. is riding a streak of three consecutive top-five NXS efforts at the 1.5-mile quad-oval. The 1998 Texas winner finished fourth, fifth and third, respectfully, in his past three NXS starts at the track. Overall, Earnhardt Jr. has one win (1998), four top-five and six top-10 efforts in eight NXS starts at Texas. The #88 Chevrolet will carry a purple and blue design at Texas featuring Goody’s Mixed Fruit Blast.(JR Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #88 team paint schemes page.(4-6-2016)
  • Sieg gets Texas sponsor: RSS Racing welcomes Aries Well Service and RMS South as a co-primary sponsors for Ryan Sieg in Friday night’s NASCAR XFINITY race at Texas Motor Speedway. Aries Well Service, an established well servicing company will have their logo on the hood of the #39 Camaro. RMS South, owned by Randy Sieg, is an experienced concrete construction and general contracting company based in Georgia. Additionally, Jackson Brothers Meat Locker and Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse will join the team as a major associate sponsors. RSS Racing will again have two cars entered for the race, the #93 will be driven by Josh Wise.(RSS Racing)(4-6-2016)
  • Martinsville post-race penalties & warnings: #22-Austin Wayne Self was given a written warning following the Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. The #22 team truck trailing arms did not meet specifications. The infraction was caught in opening day inspection.(4-6-2016)
  • Pocono Raceway sets JR Nation Camping Experience: In honor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series’ first race at Pocono Raceway on June 4, Pocono and JR Motorsports have paired up to create the inaugural JR Nation Camping Experience at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania speedway. This exclusive partnership between Pocono Raceway and JR Motorsports allows a limited number of camping spots at the JR Nation Camping Experience in the infield. Fans can purchase an exclusive weekend camping spot at the branded JR Nation area inside ‘The Tricky Triangle’ by going to www.poconoraceway.com/jrnation. JR Nation Camping is part of the “JRM On Tour 2016,” a year-long marketing initiative that rewards fans with free merchandise throughout the season’s 33-race schedule. A camping spot as part of JR Nation Camping is $200 and includes infield access and all of the benefits associated with camping at Pocono Raceway. Those who purchase a spot for JR Nation Camping will be given a commemorative “JRM On Tour 2016” t-shirt and are eligible to be selected to participate in the inaugural JR Nation Campsite Decorating contest, which includes cash prizes and bragging rights. The JR Nation Campsite Decorating contest will reward creativity for Best Dale-Gate Party Campsite; Best Use of Lights; Best Patriotic Campsite and an overall winner for Best & Most Creative JR Nation Fan Campsite. All camping guests will have access to the JR Nation Camping Experience. As part of the festivities, JR Motorsports NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers – including Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Alex Bowman — will participate in an autograph session and Kelly Earnhardt Miller will participate in a question-and-answer session. JR Motorsports partners will be on hand throughout the weekend for giveaways and prizes.(Pocono Raceway)(4-6-2016)


    News from April 5, 2016


  • Voting open for Sprint All-Star Race: NASCAR fans once again have the power to put a driver of their choice in the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The Sprint Fan Vote is now open, and will send one of 30 drivers into the annual star-studded event on May 21 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans can vote their favorite Sprint Fan Vote-eligible driver into the all-star race by casting votes daily now through 7:00pm/et on Friday, May 20. Votes shared via Facebook and/or Twitter will count double toward a driver’s total. Fans can vote daily with a maximum of one vote per day per unique email address by downloading the NASCAR MOBILE application or visiting www.NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote. The 30 drivers (as of April 5) eligible for the Sprint Fan Vote are AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Michael Annett, Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, Chris Buescher, Landon Cassill, Matt DiBenedetto, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Chase Elliott, David Gilliland, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Larson, Michael McDowell, Casey Mears, Paul Menard, Danica Patrick, David Ragan, Robert Richardson Jr., Brian Scott, Regan Smith, Reed Sorenson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Brian Vickers, Michael Waltrip, Cole Whitt and Josh Wise. The winner of the Sprint Fan Vote will be announced in Victory Lane following the conclusion of the Sprint Showdown.(NASCAR)(4-5-2016)
  • Fire Alarm Services joins Tommy Baldwin: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced the signing of sponsor Fire Alarm Services to a two-race primary sponsorship beginning this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. FAS will also sponsor Regan Smith’s #7 Chevrolet at Kansas Speedway on October 16th. Headquartered in Arvada, Colo., Fire Alarm Services, Inc. provides superior Fire Life Safety and Security services and products for protecting client’s real estate investment. Fire Alarm Services, Inc. brings a fresh and innovative approach to the Fire Life Safety industry with an emphasis on developing lasting client relationships, and as always, unmatched customer service.(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(4-5-2016)
  • Yellow numbers return for Johnson: Lowe’s announced Tuesday morning that the #48 that adorns Jimmie Johnson’s Chevy will once again be yellow starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The #48 Lowe’s Chevy featured yellow numbers when Johnson first found Victory Lane in 2002, and the iconic yellow stuck with the car through the 2011 season — and one special paint scheme that found Victory Lane in the 2014 season — earning 56 wins and five championships in the process. The yellow numbers will appear on both the #48 Lowe’s Chevy and the #48 Lowe’s ProServices Chevy paint schemes.(Hendrick Motorsports)(4-5-2016)
  • TMG picks up Texas sponsor: The Motorsports Group officials announced that Crawfest New Braunfels and the City of New Braunfels (Texas) will serve as sponsors of the team’s #30 Chevrolet entry for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway. The logos of the festival and city it is held in will adorn the #30 Crawfest New Braunfels Chevrolet piloted by Josh Wise for the running of the Duck Commander 500 on Saturday night April 9, 2016 at the 1.5-mile Texas track. Crawfest New Braunfels 2016 will be held on April 29-30 at the Comal County Fairground in New Braunfels, Texas. Ben Jones, organizer of Crawfest New Braunfels, had been having a crawfish fest at his home for 14 years. After his wife said “no” to the loads of tour buses pulling up to her front door, Jones moved the increasingly popular event to the Comal County Fairgrounds. Now the event features three stages of live music, rides for the kiddos, the “Battle of the Roux” Gumbo Championships, a 5K Crawdaddy Dash, an art/craft market, and 10,000 lbs. of the best tasting mudbugs this side of the Louisiana border. TMG will also be supported for the Texas race by Radisson Ft. Worth North at Fossil Creek which will serve as home for the team during their stay in the area.(Integrity Sports Marketing), see an image of the car on the #30 team paint schemes page.(4-5-2016)
  • TaxAct on the #14 at Texas: Tax season is upon us, and it coincides with the seventh race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. There, Brian Vickers will make his third consecutive start in the #14 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing as he continues to sub for regular driver Tony Stewart, who is temporarily out of the car with a back injury. Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 at the 1.5-mile oval will be Vickers’ fifth overall start in the #14 car this season, as he has shared the ride with rookie Ty Dillon. Adorning Vickers’ car will be TaxAct, the leading provider of affordable digital and download tax preparation solutions. Last month, the company announced that all active-duty military and reservists can file both their federal and state taxes for free, whether they have simple or complex returns. Service members can use any of TaxAct’s online products to file easy, fast and free and get their maximum guaranteed refund this tax season. Military members and reservists will have access to all of TaxAct’s solutions, including TaxAct Online Premium Bundle, which is comprised of all e-fileable federal forms for individual returns as well as free state returns. Free federal and state filing with TaxAct is available through April 18, 2016, this year’s filing deadline.(Stewart Haas Racing)(4-5-2016)
  • Martinsville Overnight TV Ratings: A downturn in ratings has followed NASCAR from big FOX to Fox Sports 1. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Martinsville (VA) earned a 2.2 overnight rating on FS1 Sunday afternoon, down 12% from last year (2.5) and down 42% from 2014 on the FOX broadcast network (3.8). The double-digit drop is especially notable considering that last year’s race aired opposite the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. This year’s race had much lighter competition from the NBA on ABC (1.7) and Opening Day baseball on ESPN (1.4) and ESPN2 (0.7). Not surprisingly, the 2.2 is the lowest for the spring Martinsville race since at least 2002. All six NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season have had a decline in the overnights, with four of those six by double-digits.(Sports Media Watch)(4-5-2016)
  • NASCAR Hall of Fame Fan Vote underway: NASCAR fans are invited to cast their votes for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 by participating in the annual Fan Vote. Fans are encouraged to vote for five of the 20 nominees for the Class of 2017. The top five vote-getters, as voted upon by the fans, will make up one of the ballots from the Voting Panel that will be used to tabulate the results for the NHOF Class of 2017 on Voting Day, Wednesday, May 25. Voting opens at 12:01am Tuesday, April 5 and closes on 12:01am Monday, May 23 at www.NASCAR.com/halloffame.(NASCAR)(4-5-2016)
  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Texas:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 108.0
    #20-Matt Kenseth, 104.7
    #18-Kyle Busch, 101.9
    #16-Greg Biffle, 98.1
    #19-Carl Edwards, 96.4
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr, 92.2
    #11-Denny Hamlin, #78-Martin Truex Jr, 89.7
    #15-Clint Bowyer, 89.1
    #4-Kevin Harvick, 88.8
    Note: Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2015 races (22 total) at Texas Motor Speedway (active drivers only).
    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)
  • Cope names Texas sponsors: Everything’s bigger and better in Texas, and Derrike Cope Racing with JP Motorsports announces partners for the upcoming O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway. E-hydrate, the world’s first line of premium natural nutritional products, will be prominently featured as a co-primary sponsor for the race, following their sponsorship during the West Coast Swing. E-hydrate offers a complete range of natural products for athletes and the entire health-conscious family, which are available at Target. ICE-AID – formerly known as Beer Frost – an environmentally safe, all natural, mineral based product that turns your cooler of ice into a freezer – will continue its support of DCR and will be featured as a co-primary sponsor at the O’Reilly 300 on the #70 Camaro. Also on board the #70 for the Texas event is Red Hot & Blue. Offering premium Memphis style barbecue to the DFW Motorplex for 20+ years.(Derrike Cope Racing)(4-5-2016)
  • Tifft returns to the #24: Matt Tifft will be making his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series start at Texas Motor Speedway. This event will be Tifft’s third career XFINITY Series start and the second one this season after piloting the #24 Toyota in the season opener in Daytona. The #24 Toyota will sport the colors of a new sponsor this week in Texas as Architectural Daylighting (Arch Day) joins the program. Headquartered in Medina, Ohio, Architectural Daylighting, LLC is your source for Skylights, Canopies, Vertical Wall Systems, and Solar Shading Devices (Light Shelves) utilizing polycarbonate panels for the glazing infill.(Integrity Sports Marketing), see an image of the car on the #24 team paint schemes page.(4-5-2016)
  • Carroll Shelby Foundation on the #98 at Texas: When veteran NASCAR driver Aric Almirola takes the wheel of the Biagi-DenBeste Racing #98 Ford Mustang at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, he will also represent the Carroll Shelby Foundation at the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Friday, April 8. For the Lone Star race only, the Mustang will wear the Carroll Shelby Foundation and Carroll Shelby Automotive Technology Program logos to raise awareness for the two non-profit organizations. The Carroll Shelby Foundation was created to provide medical assistance, as well as educational opportunities through automotive and other training programs. It also benefits the Shelby Automotive Museum in Southern California.(Carroll Shelby Foundation), see an image of the car on the #98 team paint schemes page.(4-5-2016)
  • Champion Brands Partners With MB Motorsports For Rest Of 2016 Season: Champion Brands, LLC, a globally recognized industry leader in specialty lubricants for over 60 years, has partnered with MB Motorsports, the sole surviving original NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team, for the rest of the 2016 season. Founded by Ralph Lowe in 1956, Champion Brands has been a globally recognized industry leader in specialty lubricants for over 60 years. Champion produces and blends more than 300 products including fuel, brake fluid, oil and engine additives and lubricants for the automotive, heavy truck, agricultural and specialty markets.(MB Motorsports)(4-5-2016)
  • Bill Goldberg returns to Bristol for driver intros: Bill Goldberg, one of the most popular professional wrestlers of all time, will once again pump fans up as pre-race host for April 17’s Food City 500. Bristol Motor Speedway’s driver introductions are unique on the NASCAR circuit as drivers select a song to play as they arrive in style at the Last Great Colosseum. Mixed together with Goldberg’s famous voice and booming personality, the intros have become a fan favorite on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. In addition to emceeing the Food City 500 intros, Goldberg will be on hand Saturday during the pre-race experience prior to the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. He will also make appearances throughout the weekend, including at Yee-Haw Banks and Brews. This is Goldberg’s second appearance at Bristol, having served as pre-race host during last year’s Food City 500.(BMS)(4-5-2016)
  • Darlington Raceway names new “Lady in Black”: Darlington Raceway announced South Carolina native Amanda Bishop has been selected as the Lady in Black for 2016. As the Lady in Black, Bishop will serve as a key ambassador for Darlington Raceway throughout the year. She will represent the track at various community and media events as well as the 67th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend Bishop was selected from over 50 candidates that submitted an online application for the position. Bishop, a native of Greer, S.C., is a 2014 graduate of the University of South Carolina. She is currently enrolled in the Master’s of Arts elementary education program at USC. She competed in the Miss South Carolina pageant twice, regularly traveling across the state to promote the Miss America Organization and Children’s Miracle Network.(Darlington Raceway)(4-5-2016)


    News from April 4, 2016


     

  • Entry List for the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted, 40 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed, including: #14-Vickers, #21-Blaney*, #30-Wise*, #32-Jeffrey Earnhardt, #55-Sorenson*, #95-Ty Dillon, #98-Whitt*.
    Drivers who are not a Charter team, an Open Team, and must get in via speed: #21-Blaney, #30-Wise, #55-Sorenson, #98-Whitt
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts, then owners pts): none
    Since 40 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race, 40 is the maximum.
    * Open Team (no Charter)
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Texas Entry List
  • Busch brothers tied for 3rd with most wins: with #18-Kyle Busch’s 35th career Sprint Cup Series win, he and his brother Kurt, who has 27 Sprint Cup Series wins, now have 62 combined wins. This ties them with the three Flock brothers Tim (39 wins), Fonty (19) Bob (4) with 62 wins, 3rd best overall. Darrell (84 wins) and Michael Waltrip are 2nd with 88 wins. The Allison brothers, Bobby (84) and Donnie (10) hold the record with 94 overall wins by brothers. See the full list and some other brother records on the All-Time Sprint Cup Series Winners page
    [Petty Note: Richard won 200, Maurice won 0, only count on this list if BOTH brothers have won].(4-4-2016)
  • Hamlin comments on Martinsville accident:
    Q Did you wheel hop before getting into the wall?
    Hamlin: “It’s my first time ever doing it here, so it’s a little embarrassing, but I mean we were the fastest car those last 30 laps and we got back to the top-five and I was making up a lot of my speed on entry. As the tires wear, the rears get hotter, less grip, you can’t brake at the same amount and I just – it was really out of the blue. I didn’t ever have a hint of it up until that moment, so a bit of a rookie move on my part – been around here too much to do something like that, but learning for the fall and I’m really encouraged about how good our car came up through the pack and I really thought we had a car that could win.”(Toyota Racing)(4-4-2016)
  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 STP 500: For those 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 4:36 PM (all times are EDT). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. FoxSports1 was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 80
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 41
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 76
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 40
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 4
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 4
    Number of times Fox utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 1
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:36 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 216
    Minutes of race broadcast: 184
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 32
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 2
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 184 Total comm. brdcst time 32
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(4-4-2016)
  • Mike Skinner returning to Goodwood Festival of Speed: With less than three months until the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mike Skinner is preparing for his annual trip across the pond with team owner and driver Andrew Franzone, and celebrity guest driver Bill Goldberg. The team will have three trucks at the iconic festival, with each driver making two runs up the 1.16-mile hill climb daily. The 1995 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Mike Skinner will pilot the truck nicknamed the “Skinner Special.” Originally a part of the Bill Davis Racing stable, the truck has been set up specifically for road course competition. Returning to the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the sixth time in his career and participating in the timed competition for the third consecutive year, Skinner will attempt his third straight NASCAR class victory while also looking to break his own record time, which was set in 2015. Team owner Andrew Franzone will pilot the truck known to the team as “Truck 10.” The 10th Toyota Tundra racing chassis ever built, Truck 10 was a favorite of Skinner’s during his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career. While Franzone continues his driver development under the direction of Skinner, he is no stranger to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The 2016 festival will mark Franzone’s fourth year participating in the annual hill climb event. Professional athlete, actor and automobile aficionado Bill Goldberg will drive the team’s “Celebrity” truck. A friendship that goes back 10 years, Skinner and Goldberg first met when Skinner drove a racecar promoting a television show hosted by Goldberg in 2005. A two-time World Champion, who has recorded a WWE World Heavyweight Championship, a WCW World Heavyweight Championship and a WCW World Tag Team Championship, Goldberg is also a collector of vintage cars. After undergoing some training with Skinner and Racecar Solutions, Goldberg will make his first appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.(A2B Strategies)(DATE)
  • XFINITY Entry List: There are 42 cars on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    Garrett Smithley will be in the #0;
    Chase Elliott is in the #5 for JR Motorsports;
    The #14 of TriStar Motorsports is TBA but could be JJ Yeley;
    Kyle Busch is back in the #18;
    Matt Tifft will drive the #24 for JGL;
    The Rick Ware #25 is TBA;
    Josh Wise will drive the #40;
    Dale Earnhardt Jr will be in the #88;
    The #97 is TBA. Harrison Rhodes has driven he car so far this year.(4-4-2015)
    See the complete list on the Texas entry list page.
  • Derek White Targeted in Tobacco-Smuggling Operation UPDATES: NASCAR driver Derek White was among almost 60 people targeted by Quebec and Ontario police in the biggest tobacco-smuggling bust in North American history, according to law enforcement officials. Authorities said some of the suspects arrested early Wednesday have links to biker gangs and organized crime, buying tobacco in the U.S. and illegally importing it into Canada through three border crossings. The tobacco was ultimately sold on the Kahnawake and Six Nations reserves, according to police. Ingrid Asselin, a spokeswoman for Surete du Quebec, the provincial police force, declined to confirm that the Derek White they arrested is the NASCAR driver. Law enforcement officials, who requested anonymity because of restrictions about commenting beyond the scope of the warrants, said it was the same man. White is listed as one of the top ranking members of the smuggling operation, according to a chart provided by police. Dwayne Zacharie, Kahnawake’s chief peacekeeper, said investigators from Quebec contacted his police force early Wednesday and said they had arrest warrants for three members of the tribe, including NASCAR driver Derek White. Zacharie said his office informed the three suspects of the warrants and told them to contact Quebec police. Lieutenant Jason Allard, spokesman for the Quebec provincial police, said the tobacco operation was tightly organized. It bought shipments of tobacco leaf in North Carolina, trucking them north and reselling them in Canada. Profits from tobacco were used to purchase cocaine, and some of the money was laundered abroad, in Europe, he said. The tobacco shipments were not declared at the border and disclosed to government officials, thereby avoiding taxes and allowing the cigarettes to be manufactured and sold for less money.(Bloomberg)(3-30-2016
    UPDATE: NASCAR driver/owner Derek White turned himself into authorities Wednesday and faces seven charges in connection to the biggest tobacco-smuggling bust in North American history, NBC Sports has learned. Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau of the Quebec Provincial Police told NBC Sports that White was being interrogated Wednesday. White, who turned himself in after learning of an arrest warrant in his name, was expected to be arraigned Wednesday night. Thibaudeau said that the seven charges White faces are: Three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud against the government; Three counts of fraud toward the government; One count of profiteering as a criminal organization.(NBC Sports)(4-1-2016)
    UPDATE 2: While the [police] tried to highlight the so-called “Aboriginal organized crime” angle of the operation, the agency provided little information to support the claim beyond evidence of tobacco smuggling. Many Mohawks see the tobacco trade as a sovereignty issue and consider the movement and sale of tobacco as a right. The Harper government made the sale and manufacturing of unlicensed tobacco products a Criminal Code offence. It had previously been a tax enforcement issue. Only four individuals ensnared in the operation have so far been linked to a First Nation community. Besides Hill, the SQ named Hunter Montour 45, Todd Beauchamp, 48, and Derek White, 45, who are all from Kahnawake, among the dozens arrested Wednesday. White has been under police surveillance since 2006, according to a previously obtained file from the RCMP’s Aboriginal Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. White was identified by police, but never charged, during the lead-up to Operation Cancun in 2008 which targeted a Mohawk-based marijuana smuggling operation in Kahnawake and Akwesasne, a Mohawk community which straddles the Canada-U.S. border and sits about 120 kilometres west of Montreal. White told Kahnawake’s Eastern Door newspaper in an article published Thursday evening that his charges were all tobacco-related and that he turned himself in. He denied any links to the drug trade. “All it has to do with is with tobacco, it has nothing to do with any of the other stuff they’re making up,” White told the Eastern Door. “I have nothing to do with drugs, or ISIS or terrorism…I have nothing to do with that [stuff], absolutely zero. They want their tax money, that’s all.” (APTN)(4-3-2016)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR indefinitely suspended White on Tuesday, April 4.(4-4-2016)
  • Gdovic driving at Bristol: Reigning Lamborghini Gallardo World Champion, Brandon Gdovic, will return to the seat of the #46 Chevrolet Camaro for the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 16th, 2016. Transportation and logistics enterprise PITT OHIO will debut as primary sponsor with Precision Performance Motorsports and Gdovic as he competes in his first NASCAR XFINITY Series race of the season. Multi-year partner WindStax Wind Power Systems will return as a sponsor in 2016 as well. Established in 1979, PITT OHIO is dedicated to providing their customers with the best value in its SUPPLY CHAIN, GROUND, Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) and TRUCKLOAD services. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, PITT OHIO services the entire Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West regions and the remainder of the United States, Canada and Mexico with The Reliance Network.(Precision Performance Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #46 team paint schemes page.(4-4-2016)
  • Bobby Pierce driving for MB Motorsports in 3 races: Bobby Pierce, the 19 year-old dirt track phenom who impressed legions of NASCAR fans with his amazing performance at Eldora Speedway last season, has once again teamed up with MB Motorsports for 2016. The Oakwood, Illinois native will be behind the wheel of MB Motorsports’ #63 Chevy Silverado for the Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway on Friday, May 6th, the Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on Friday, May 13th and the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, May 20th. Team owner Mike Mittler is enthused to be working with Pierce once again. Bobby has amassed a lengthy list of accomplishments for someone so young. Pierce is a two-time and defending DIRTcar UMP Late Model National Champion, as well as the 2015 DIRTcar UMP Summer Nationals Champion, He has over 130 total career feature wins with various regional and national touring series, numerous track championships, as well as winning the 2013 Champion Spark Plugs Search for a Champion.(MB Motorsports)(4-4-2016)


    News from April 3, 2016


  • Kyle Busch wins at Martinsville: #18-Kyle Busch won the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 1st win at Martinsville Speedway and 35th career win. He led the most laps – 352 of 500 laps.
    #47-Allmendinger finished 2nd, followed by #42-Larson, #3-Dillon, #2-Keselowski, #19-Edwards, #14-Vickers, #27-Menard, #49-Johnson, and #31-Newman.
    Pole winner, #22-Logano, lost a lap early but got back on the lead lap and finished 11th.
    There were 11 lead changes among 5 drivers and 8 cautions for 51 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 80.088mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    (4-3-2016)
  • Race Fast Facts – Martinsville:
    Kyle Busch won the 67th Annual STP 500, his 35th victory in 396 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2016. With the win, Busch is virtually guaranteed a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
    This is his first victory and 11th top-10 finish in 22 races at Martinsville Speedway. His previous best finish was second, in 2012.
    Busch, who won Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, completed the first NASCAR national series weekend sweep at Martinsville.
    Busch led 352 laps, the most at Martinsville since Bobby Hamilton led 378 on April 20, 1998.
    AJ Allmendinger (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish and second runner-up finish in 16 races at Martinsville Speedway. It is his second top-10 finish in 2016.
    Kyle Larson (third) posted his first top-10 finish in five races at Martinsville Speedway.
    Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 4 points over Jimmie Johnson.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(4-3-2016)
  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Points (not CHASE) Standings:
    [after Martinsville, race 6 of 36]
    1) #4-Harvick [1 win], 220
    2) #48-Johnson [2 wins], 216, -4
    3) #18-Busch, [1 win], 215, -5
    4) #19-Edwards, 206, -14
    5) #22-Logano, 196, -24
    6) #2-Keselowski [1 win], 178, -42
    7) #3-Dillon, 176, -44
    8) #41-Busch, 176, -44
    9) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 172, -48
    10) #88-Earnhardt Jr., 172, -48
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup CHASE Standings:
    [after Martinsville, race 6 of 36, 16 drivers for the Chase]
    Set by most wins, then by points standing
    1) #48-Johnson [2 wins], 2nd in drivers pts
    2) #4-Harvick [1 win], 1st
    3) #18-Busch [1 win], 3rd
    4) #2-Keselowski [1 win], 6th
    5) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 9th
    no wins, in by drivers points standings
    6) #19-Edwards, 206 points
    7) #22-Logano, 196
    8) #3-Dillon, 176
    9) #41-Busch, 176
    10) #88-Earnhardt Jr., 172
    11) #78-Truex, Jr., 150
    12) #47-Allmendinger, 147
    13) #1-McMurray, 143
    14) #20-Kenseth, 140
    15) #21-Blaney, 132
    16) #24-Elliott, 131
    (4-3-2016)
  • Vickers unsure of plans after Texas; looking at Indy 500: Brian Vickers doesn’t know how much he will race in 2016 beyond next week. He could have more races as a substitute for Tony Stewart. Or he could find himself competing in the Indianapolis 500. That could be unsettling for some drivers. For a driver who has been sidelined four times by the effects of blood clots, Vickers can handle fluid situations. “I don’t know what the future holds,” Vickers said Friday at Martinsville Speedway. “I’ve stopped trying to guess what the future holds. I’ve stopped trying to plan what the future holds. It’s always fluid. It’s always challenging. I just live in the present. I want a good run because I want a good run. Maybe I’ve got another 500 starts. Maybe I’ve got two. But I really approach it like this is going to be my last one.”
    Vickers has competed in three races this year as a substitute for the injured Stewart with a best finish of 13th at Auto Club Speedway two weeks ago. He gets his fourth start Sunday and will get one next week at Texas. He’s unsure on the schedule after that as Ty Dillon has shared the substitute role and Stewart continues to recover from a broken back.
    Vickers isn’t just looking at future stock-car rides. He is working to put together a deal to run in the Indianapolis 500. “It’s still a possibility,” Vickers said. “We’ll see. Nothing is done yet. … I’d love to do it. It would be awesome.”(ESPN.com)(4-3-2016)
  • Hamlin says drivers would like to see race winnings published: The introduction of the new charter system – and the subsequent restructuring and distribution of purse money and other revenue streams – caused some feverish preseason reworking of driver contracts. It also caused some hand-wringing among stars who were accustomed to being paid by a percentage of a purse that was posted publicly in every race box score, along with the winnings for each finishing position. Citing the complicated revenue streams, NASCAR discontinued publishing winnings and races purses as part of the new charter system. Five races into the season, Denny Hamlin said concerns have settled about the latter as drivers are being paid as they’d expected, though the contracts vary much more widely than before when virtually every driver drew a defined percentage of the purse as a slice of the overall salary.
    Hamlin, though, said drivers would like NASCAR to return to including race winnings in box scores, if only in appealing to fans who grew accustomed to the format. “I think some fans like to see that and us drivers I think we like to see purses posted personally,” Hamlin said.
    A NASCAR spokesman said the policy of whether to publish purses currently isn’t being reviewed, but Hamlin believes officials are “considering it. I think if everyone knows what they’re getting, I don’t know what the benefit is from keeping it from the public. I don’t know but there’s probably some sort of reason that I don’t know about.”(NBC Sports)(4-3-2016)
  • Martinsville Race Notes & Facts:
    � There have been 134 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.
    � 609 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville; 387 in more than one.
    � Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 23 – Jeff Gordon (nine), Jimmie Johnson (eight), Darrell Waltrip (four), Geoffrey Bodine (one) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one).
    � The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 36th, by Kurt Busch in the fall of 2002.
    � Chevrolet leads series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 55 victories – including the nine of the last 10 races.
    � There have been five NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Martinsville Speedway: fall 2007 (500/506), fall 2008 (500/504), fall 2009 (500/501), spring 2010 (500/508), and spring 2012 (500/515).
    � Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway is the April 1, 2007 race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.065 second.
    (NASCAR)
  • Derek White Targeted in Tobacco-Smuggling Operation UPDATES: NASCAR driver Derek White was among almost 60 people targeted by Quebec and Ontario police in the biggest tobacco-smuggling bust in North American history, according to law enforcement officials. Authorities said some of the suspects arrested early Wednesday have links to biker gangs and organized crime, buying tobacco in the U.S. and illegally importing it into Canada through three border crossings. The tobacco was ultimately sold on the Kahnawake and Six Nations reserves, according to police. Ingrid Asselin, a spokeswoman for Surete du Quebec, the provincial police force, declined to confirm that the Derek White they arrested is the NASCAR driver. Law enforcement officials, who requested anonymity because of restrictions about commenting beyond the scope of the warrants, said it was the same man. White is listed as one of the top ranking members of the smuggling operation, according to a chart provided by police. Dwayne Zacharie, Kahnawake’s chief peacekeeper, said investigators from Quebec contacted his police force early Wednesday and said they had arrest warrants for three members of the tribe, including NASCAR driver Derek White. Zacharie said his office informed the three suspects of the warrants and told them to contact Quebec police. Lieutenant Jason Allard, spokesman for the Quebec provincial police, said the tobacco operation was tightly organized. It bought shipments of tobacco leaf in North Carolina, trucking them north and reselling them in Canada. Profits from tobacco were used to purchase cocaine, and some of the money was laundered abroad, in Europe, he said. The tobacco shipments were not declared at the border and disclosed to government officials, thereby avoiding taxes and allowing the cigarettes to be manufactured and sold for less money.(Bloomberg)(3-30-2016
    UPDATE: NASCAR driver/owner Derek White turned himself into authorities Wednesday and faces seven charges in connection to the biggest tobacco-smuggling bust in North American history, NBC Sports has learned. Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau of the Quebec Provincial Police told NBC Sports that White was being interrogated Wednesday. White, who turned himself in after learning of an arrest warrant in his name, was expected to be arraigned Wednesday night. Thibaudeau said that the seven charges White faces are: Three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud against the government; Three counts of fraud toward the government; One count of profiteering as a criminal organization.(NBC Sports)(4-1-2016)
    UPDATE 2: While the [police] tried to highlight the so-called “Aboriginal organized crime” angle of the operation, the agency provided little information to support the claim beyond evidence of tobacco smuggling. Many Mohawks see the tobacco trade as a sovereignty issue and consider the movement and sale of tobacco as a right. The Harper government made the sale and manufacturing of unlicensed tobacco products a Criminal Code offence. It had previously been a tax enforcement issue. Only four individuals ensnared in the operation have so far been linked to a First Nation community. Besides Hill, the SQ named Hunter Montour 45, Todd Beauchamp, 48, and Derek White, 45, who are all from Kahnawake, among the dozens arrested Wednesday. White has been under police surveillance since 2006, according to a previously obtained file from the RCMP’s Aboriginal Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. White was identified by police, but never charged, during the lead-up to Operation Cancun in 2008 which targeted a Mohawk-based marijuana smuggling operation in Kahnawake and Akwesasne, a Mohawk community which straddles the Canada-U.S. border and sits about 120 kilometres west of Montreal. White told Kahnawake’s Eastern Door newspaper in an article published Thursday evening that his charges were all tobacco-related and that he turned himself in. He denied any links to the drug trade. “All it has to do with is with tobacco, it has nothing to do with any of the other stuff they’re making up,” White told the Eastern Door. “I have nothing to do with drugs, or ISIS or terrorism…I have nothing to do with that [stuff], absolutely zero. They want their tax money, that’s all.” (APTN)(4-3-2016)
  • Sad News – Ryan Shea: Ryan Shea, car chief for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Xfinity Series team, died overnight, NBC Sports has confirmed. He was 34 years old, according to his Facebook page. According to his LinkedIn page, Shea joined Chip Ganassi Racing in Jan. 2015. He was a car chief/mechanic at Michael Waltrip Racing from 2007-15. Shea began working in NASCAR in Feb. 2001 when he was hired by BAM Racing. He later worked for FitzBradshaw Racing, Carver Racing, ppc Racing and Braun Racing. Kyle Larson and Justin Marks have split time driving the #42 car this season.(NBC Sports)(3-31-2016)
    UPDATE: Chip Ganassi Racing is sad to report that Ryan Shea, car chief on the #42 NASCAR XFINITY Series team, passed away last night at his home in Troutman, N.C. “It is a sad day for our team as we mourn the untimely loss of Ryan,” said Chip Ganassi, team owner. “Ryan was a dedicated worker and a great friend to those on our team, as well as others in the garage. Our hearts go out to Ryan’s family and friends during this difficult time.” “Ryan was a tremendous asset to Chip Ganassi Racing and the No. 42 team and will be sorely missed,” said crew chief Mike Shiplett. “My thoughts go out to his wife, children, family and friends in this time of mourning.” Chip Ganassi Racing will communicate further details regarding funeral arrangements and memorials as they become available.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(3-31-2016)
    Service / Memorial info at legacy.com.(4-3-2016)
  • Terry Labonte to Appear at Kentucky Speedway’s Ford Fan Day: Kentucky Speedway’s Ford Fan Day returns Saturday, April 30 from 11:00am-4:00pm. The free event gives visitors a behind-the-scenes look at the venue, view the track renovation project while enjoying family oriented activities and a chance to chat with this year’s special guest, 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Terry Labonte. The Texas native and two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be available for two question-and-answer sessions starting at 12:30pm, with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ThorSport Racing driver Ben Rhodes, and again at 2:15pm. Both sessions will take place on the stage near the Indiana Tower. Guests will have the opportunity for an autograph at approximately 1:30pm. Limit two items per person and time is subject to change. Guests will be able to tour the spotters stand, flag stand, owner’s suite, press box, and campgrounds. Visitors are able to have their photo taken with the Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts trophy when you visit the owner’s suite. Fans can learn more about the track renovations from Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger during the “Ask the GM” question-and-answer session at noon on the stage near the Indiana Tower. Attendees will also have the opportunity to test drive the all-new 2016 Ford F-150.(Kentucky Speedway)(4-3-2016)


    News from April 2, 2016


  • Fire Saturday at Richard Petty Museum: Statement from Richard Petty Motorsports: There was a fire today [Saturday] at the historical site of Petty Enterprises and now the current site of Petty’s Garage and Richard Petty Museum. The fire was contained to a portion of the building and was controlled quickly. There were no injuries and minimal damage to the structure. The Petty Family is grateful to the first responders.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-3-2016)
  • Happy Hour (final) Practice for the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over after 55 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #42-Larson 95.648
    #18-Busch 95.338
    #14-Vickers 95.304
    #31-Newman 95.304
    #78-Truex, Jr. 95.280
    slowest: #6-Bayne 92.910 & #32-Gase 92.710. All 40 drivers practiced.
    most laps run: #27-Menard, 85 & #18-Busch, 83
    See fastest speeds, laps run, and more on the Martinsville Practice 3 Speeds page (pdf).(4-3-2016)
  • First Saturday Practice for the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over after 55 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #5-Kahne 96.073
    #31-Newman 95.849
    #78-Truex, Jr. 95.694
    #14-Vickers 95.661
    #27-Menard 95.636
    slowest: #46-Annett 93.341 & #32-Gase 93.084. No speed: #55-Sorenson.
    most laps run: #27-Menard, 70 & #31-Newman, 69
    See fastest speeds, laps run, and more on the Martinsville Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(4-2-2016)
  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #22-Logano chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #5-Kahne took pit stall 2.
    #14-Vickers, who starts 3rd took the 11th pit stall,with an opening in front of it.
    The 42nd and final pit stall [43 is not being used at Martinsville] was taken by #16-Biffle, who starts 14th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(4-2-2016)
  • Larson feeling fine after Auto Club accident: #42-Kyle Larson says he feels no ill effects from a heavy crash two weeks ago at Auto Club Speedway, despite soreness in his upper body and legs that lingered for a handful of days after the impact. Larson declared himself fit Friday in advance of Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, where he’s running double duty this weekend in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series. “Yeah, I feel fine,” said Larson, who opted out of an extracurricular sprint-car race in his home state of California last week to rest up and heal. “I was only sore for just a few days. I’m pretty surprised I healed up as quick as I did. I was definitely pretty sore right after it and the next day, but then I got a lot better. Went and saw a chiropractor and after that, I was pretty good.”(NASCAR.com)(4-2-2016)
  • Earnhardt Jr. to donate brain for concussion research UPDATE: Following in the footsteps of many NFL players and extreme sports athletes, Dale Earnhardt Jr. said Saturday [via Twitter] he plans to donate his brain for concussion research. It’s a major announcement, because Earnhardt is NASCAR’s most popular driver – and has been the past 13 years. Earnhardt, 41, like many veteran NASCAR drivers, is no stranger to hard crashes and head injuries similar to what football players endured before being diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) post-mortem.(Sporting News), Earnhardt missed two races in October 2012, at Charlotte and Kansas after being diagnosed with a concussion following the Oct. 7, 2012 race at Talladega.(3-27-2016)
    UPDATE: #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. discussed his decision more in-depth Friday at Martinsville:
    AS FAR AS THE TWEET ABOUT DONATING YOUR BRAIN TO SCIENCE, IS THAT SOMETHING YOU KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO DO? OR IS THAT SOMETHING NEW? WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE PEOPLE WOULD LEARN FROM YOUR BRAIN?
    Earnhardt, Jr. “Hopefully, they don’t have to look at my brain whenever I pass away they have learned enough science to study the brains of living adults. Hopefully, the science has advanced enough to where they no longer need to be poking around inside my brain. I was inspired really by Brandi Chastain (professional soccer player) and the Raiders guys that donated their brains in honor of their teammate. I went through my experience in 2012 and met some amazing doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Mickey Collins was one of those guys. They gave me the confidence going through that process that I could be successful and get through it. I have. I have been healthy and successful and I learned a ton. I may be even a better race car driver today and I’m definitely getting the results on the track that I’ve always wanted. I will be donating or pledging my brain is what they like to say to the Concussion Legacy Foundation. They are in partnership with Boston University where the brain bank is. I was a donor already for many years, as my driver’s license would attest. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do for me. Anything that I can do to help others, but hopefully the science has advanced far beyond where it is today and they don’t need it. It was something that I didn’t have to ask myself whether I wanted to do it or not. Going through that process in 2012 I learned so much and have so much respect for the work that those doctors are doing and really were inspired by some of the athletes that have pledged their brains before me.”
    WAS YOUR TWEET THE OTHER NIGHT A SPUR OF THE MOMENT THING?
    Earnhardt, Jr. “I saw a story, we obviously had the week off, and I was just sitting around reading Twitter and saw that story about the Raiders donating their brains. I just thought that was amazing that those guys did that in honor of their teammate. I read where Brandi (Chastain) had done that maybe a month ago. That just was really inspiring and I saw someone mention, I don’t even know what the context of the Tweet I was responding to was. I probably should have, Mike Davis (JR Motorsports Public Relations) would prefer me to have done that in a more put together fashion where we could have put together a release or whatever. I just was in the moment of conversation and that is sometimes the comfort that you find yourself in on Twitter sometimes and I didn’t expect it to turn into the story it did, but by all means if it raises more awareness and inspires people to donate their brains and pledge their brains. They don’t need just athletes. They need everybody. I’m going to give up all the organs that are worth anything when it’s over with. They can have it all.”
    “I got in touch with the Concussion Legacy Foundation and they help me understand exactly what the process is and it’s very straight forward. You get a card, basically like you would carry around a driver’s license where it says you are a donor on the license. There will be a card in your pocket that you carry like your driver’s license. Your family can refuse. Nothing is binding so it’s really just a promise in a way.”(Chevy Racing PR)(4-2-2016)
  • Johnson favors tougher concussion tests: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s decision to donate his brain to scientific research has added another layer to discussion about concussion issues in auto racing. Six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson weighed in on the topic Friday at Martinsville Speedway, saying medical evaluation equipment that reversed a concussion diagnosis that kept IndyCar driver Will Power from competing in a race last month should be available at NASCAR tracks. Power missed the IndyCar season opener at St. Petersburg, Fla., after he crashed in practice, experienced nausea and then was diagnosed with a mild concussion Sunday – race day and two days after the initial crash – by IndyCar medical personnel. Later, tests at the University of Miami hospital’s Concussion Program showed that Power did not have a concussion but probably was suffering from an inner ear infection. Power had been experiencing problems with his inner ear since early March, including at a test at Sebring, Fla.
    “Whatever they have in Miami needs to be at every racetrack to make a better decision – whatever that stuff is,” Johnson told reporters from USA TODAY Sports and NBC Sports.com. “That’s the bottom line. You’re dealing with someone’s career — someone’s life, in a couple of ways, good or bad. If somebody does get cleared to race, and they did have a concussion, if they did pass that first test, I think it’s important to get whatever they have in Miami at every racetrack following our series (and) the IndyCar Series.”
    In both NASCAR and IndyCar, officials can sideline drivers who don’t meet concussion protocols. “The bottom line there is concern for the athlete, for the driver,” he said. “I think it all stems from a good place. Unfortunately, mistakes are made. We’re trying with the baseline concussion tests we now take. That’s hopefully a tool to help make a better decision.(USA Today)(4-2-2016)
  • Martinsville Driver Notes & Facts:
    � NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty has the all-time most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville with 67; Dale Earnhardt Jr. has the most starts among active drivers with 32.
    � Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Martinsville Speedway with a 9.3. Denny Hamlin (9.8) is the only other active driver with an average starting position at Martinsville inside the top 10.
    � In total 60 drivers have made their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Martinsville.
    � Chase Elliott (03/29/2015) and Michael McDowell (3/30/2008) are active drivers that made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Martinsville Speedway.
    � Four of the 13 have won three consecutive poles at Martinsville: Glen Wood (Fall of 1959 and 1960 sweep); Darrell Waltrip (1979 sweep and spring 1980); Mark Martin (fall of 1990 and 1991 sweep); Jeff Gordon (2003 sweep and spring 2004).
    � 12 drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Martinsville Speedway; the last two most recent are Scott Riggs (4/10/2005) and Tony Stewart (4/18/1999).
    � 48 different drivers have won at Martinsville Speedway, led by Richard Petty with 15; Jimmie Johnson leads the series among active drivers with eight wins.
    � 24 drivers have multiple wins at Martinsville Speedway; nine drivers have won five or more times.
    � 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Martinsville Speedway. Fred Lorenzen won four NSCS races straight (the most) from the fall of 1963 through the spring of 1965. Jimmie Johnson is the most recent driver to win consecutive races (fall of 2012 / spring of 2013) at Martinsville.
    � Ryan Newman competed at Martinsville Speedway 20 times before winning in the spring of 2012; the longest span of any the six active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    � Two active drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Martinsville Speedway: Kevin Harvick (19) and Ryan Newman (20).
    � 11 drivers posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was Ricky Craven (10/15/2001).
    � NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in runner-up finishes at Martinsville Speedway with seven; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with five, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth with two each.
    � Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 30; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with 18, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 13.
    � Richard Petty and Jeff Gordon lead the series in top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 37 each; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with 22, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr with 18.
    � Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson (7.5) and Denny Hamlin (8.1).
    � Greg Biffle has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway without a DNF (26).
    � Danica Patrick is the only female driver to compete at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
    (NASCAR)
  • Gaulding to run limited XFINITY Series schedule: Though former Camping World Truck Series driver Gray Gaulding has not made a NASCAR-sanctioned start so far in 2016 there’s plenty to be excited for in terms of his future career. Gaulding will announce his plans to run select XFINITY Series races this season “next week,” saying he is excited to finally make the decision public. “[I’m] really looking forward to it,” Gaulding told Frontstretch Friday at Martinsville. “I have some good tracks I’m going to go to and be able to run that I’ve ran before. I’m looking forward to announcing my team.” A native of Virginia, Gaulding is a winner in the K&N; Pro Series West Series and has 13 CWTS starts to his record, earning a best of fourth at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in 2014. Making 38 starts in the K&N; Pro Series East from 2013 to ’15, Gaulding had three runner-up results.(Frontstretch)(4-2-2016)
  • Kyle Busch wins Truck Series Race at Martinsville: #18-Kyle Busch won the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at the Martinsville Speedway on Saturday. It is his 45th series win and his 1st at Martinsville. He led 123 of the 255 laps. The race was scheduled for 250 laps but went into overtime.
    #8-John Hunter Nemechek finished second, followed by #9-William Byron, #24-Kyle Larson, #17-Timothy Peters, #23-SPencer Gallagher, #88-Matt Crafton, #92-Parker Kligerman, #13-Cameron Hayley, and #98-Rico Abreu.
    Pole sitter #41-Ben Rhodes was caught in a late accident and finished 16th.
    There were 11 cautions for 68 laps and 8 lead changes among 4 leaders. There were 2 red flags for track cleanup after the final 2 cautions.
    The average speed was 61.811mph.
    Complete results are on the Martinsville race results page (pdf).
    (4-2-2016)
  • Martinsville Truck Series Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch won the 18th Annual Alpha Energy Solutions 250, his 45th victory in 130 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his first victory and sixth top-10 finish in nine races at Martinsville Speedway. It is also his first NASCAR national series win in 31 starts at Martinsville.
    John H Nemechek (second) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Martinsville Speedway. It is his second consecutive runner-up finish at Martinsville.
    William Byron (third) posted his career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series top-10 finish.
    John H Nemechek leads the point standings by 3 points over Parker Kligerman.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(4-2-2016)
  • Truck Series Driver standings following Martinsville:
    1) #8-John Hunter Nemechek, 83
    2) #92-Parker Kligerman, 80, -3
    3) #17-Timothy Peters, 77, -6
    4) #02-Tyler Young, 67, -16
    5) #13-Cameron Hayley, 66, -17
    6) #81-Ryan Truex, 66, -17
    7) #19-Daniel Hemric, 65, -12
    8) #86-Brandon Brown, 62, -21
    9) #23-Spencer Gallagher, 62, -21
    10) #41-Ben Rhodes, 61, -22
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(4-2-2016)
  • Truck Series Owner Standings following Martinsville are posted (pdf).(4-2-2016)
  • Ben Rhodes on Truck Series pole at Martinsville: #41-Ben Rhodes won the pole for the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway with a speed of 96.322 mph. #18-Kyle Busch will start second, followed by #21-Johnny Sauter, #13-Cameron Hayley, #24-Kyle Larson, #51-Daniel Suarez, #9-William Byron, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #29-Tyler Reddick, #88-Matt Crafton, #23-Spencer Gallagher, and #00-Cole Custer.
    Rhodes was also fastest in the second round with a speed of 96.073mph.
    #24-Kyle Larson was fastest in the first round at 95.854mph.
    #44-Tommy Jo Martins backed into the wall during the first session. He will go to a backup.
    Did not qualify: #22-Austin Wayne Self, #66-Jordan Anderson, #50-Travis Kvapil, #6-Norm Benning, #78-Chris Fontaine, & #14-Natalie Decker.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(4-2-2016)
  • Martinsville Truck Series Qualifying Notes:
    Ben Rhodes won the Keystone Light 21 means 21 Pole Award for the 18th Annual Alpha Energy Solutions 250 with a lap of 19.659 seconds, 96.322 mph.
    This is his first pole in seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his second top-10 start in 2016.
    Kyle Busch (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2016 and his fifth in nine races at Martinsville Speedway.
    Johnny Sauter (third) posted his 12th top-10 start at Martinsville Speedway. It is his second in three races this season.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(4-2-2016)
  • Qualifying Results (pdf)
  • Hawg Heaven BBQ Melt available at Texas: Texas Motor Speedway and Levy Restaurants are making it easy for race fans to enjoy an entire barbeque meal, including those delicious comfort food sides, with just their hands. The Hawg Heaven BBQ Melt is the next generation of the highly successful, bacon-infused Hawg Heaven line and is sure to entice Texas BBQ lovers to check out the latest creation by Levy Restaurants Executive Chef Lincoln Engstrom. This oversized sandwich features: Texas BBQ pulled pork braised in Texas Motor Speedway’s recently released No Limits Checkered Past craft beer produced by the Audacity Brew House in Denton, Texas, Creamy bacon jalape�o mac & cheese, Texas 1015 sweet onions, and Fried spicy pickle chips. All of those ingredients are wedged between two slices of griddled jalape�o cornbread and garnished with a bacon-wrapped jalape�o. The Hawg Heaven BBQ Melt, which will sell for $12, makes its debut at next weekend’s Duck Commander 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The item will only be available at the concession stand on the concourse inside the Gate 4 main grandstand entrance.(TMS)(4-2-2016)


    News from April 1, 2016


     

  • Logano wins Martinsville pole: #22-Joey Logano won the Coors Light pole for the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway with speed of 97.043mph for his 1st pole of 2016, 3rd at Martinsville and 15th of his career.
    #5-Kahne is on the outside pole followed by #14-Vickers, #27-Menard, #31-Newman, #47-Allmendinger, #18-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #20-Kenseth, #24-Elliott, #2-Keselowski, #21-Blaney.
    Logano was fastest in all 3 rounds.
    Only 40 cars were entered so everyone made the race.
    See round-by-round qualifying results on the Martinsville qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Martinsville Starting Lineup page (pdf).(4-1-2015)
  • Martinsville Speedway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
    Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 67th Annual STP 500 with a lap of 19.513 seconds, 97.043 mph.
    This is his 15th pole in 261 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his third pole in 15 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    This is Logano’s third consecutive pole at Martinsville. He is the first to accomplish the feat at Martinsville since Jeff Gordon in 2003-04.
    Logano is the fifth driver to win three straight poles at Martinsville. The others are Glen Wood, Darrell Waltrip, Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon.
    Kasey Kahne (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2016 and his ninth in 25 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    Brian Vickers (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Martinsville Speedway. It is his first in four races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(4-1-2016)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #22-Logano 97.237
    #14-Vickers 97.212
    #47-Allmendinger 96.973
    #27-Menard 96.944
    #4-Harvick 96.909
    the rest of the top 24: 21 16 78 2 20 18 31 42 24 13 41 11 17 5 23 88 43 1 48;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 19 44 95 10 3 15 98 6 38 7 83 34 32 46 30 55
    Drivers who will miss the race: none as 40 cars were entered for 40 spots
    (4-1-2016)
  • Friday Practice for the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is over after 80 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #14-Vickers 97.182
    #11-Hamlin 97.108
    #22-Logano 97.088
    #31-Newman 97.053
    #42-Larson 97.023
    slowest: #7-Smith 94.656 & #46-Annett 93.715. All 40 drivers have been on track.
    most laps run: #17-Stenhouse, Jr. 67, #6-Bayne, 51
    #6-Bayne wrecked as the session ended when his brakes locked up going into turn 1.
    Qualifying is scheduled for 4:15pm/et this afternoon. There is a chance of rain later in the day. If qualifying were to be rained out, speeds from this practice session would set the lineup.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, and more on the Martinsville Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(4-1-2016)
  • Qualifying Order for the STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway is posted. 40 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #10-Patrick.
    The final driver lined up on pit road will be #44-Scott.
    The order is set by a random draw, how cars park on pit road before they qualify, held about an hour before the first practice.
    After the first round, the cars line up by speed.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Martinsville Qualifying Order Page (pdf).(4-1-2016)
  • NASCAR’s Richest Teams and Drivers: Forbes has released its annual ranking of Sprint Cup teams and drivers based on earnings. Once again, Hendrick tops the charts. The top 10 teams and drivers and their estimated value:
    Highest earning NASCAR teams:
    Hendrick Motorsports $375 million
    Joe Gibbs Racing $256 million
    Stewart-Haas Racing $195 million
    Richard Childress Racing $175 million
    Roush Feneway Racing $155 million
    Team Penske $140 million
    Chip Ganassi Racing $75 million
    Richard Petty Motorsports $55 million
    Front Row Motorsports $26 million
    BK Racing $24 million
    Highest earning NASCAR drivers:
    #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. $23.5 million
    #48-Jimmie Johnson $22.2 million
    Jeff Gordon $21.6 million
    #4-Kevin Harvick $15.5 million
    #11-Denny Hamlin $15.1 million
    #18-Kyle Busch $15.0 million
    #10-Dania Patrick $13.4 million
    #14-Tony Stewart $12.8 million
    #19-Carl Edwards $12.1 million
    #20-Matt Kenseth $11.9 million
    Total earnings equals salary/winnings plus endorsements and licensing
    In addition, Forbes estimates the actual cash value of a NASCAR charter to be $15-$17 million.(Forbes)(4-1-2016)
  • Special Axalta scheme for Earnhardt, Jr. at Michigan: Four-time Sprint Cup Series champion and FOX NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon visited the University of Michigan on Wednesday to announce a new research partnership between the school, Axalta Coating Systems and Hendrick Motorsports. The partnership is a five-year agreement will allow students of the Walter E. Wilson Student Team Project Center to explore the professional racing world, as well as conduct research involving the coating industry. The research will be financially supported by Axalta, which will give students the chance to learn more in-depth about various elements of coating technology. The partnership will be officially launched when NASCAR visits Michigan International Speedway in August. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will also drive a special Michigan Wolverines-themed paint scheme sponsored by Axalta for that race weekend.(FoxSports)(4-1-2016)
  • Martinsville Pole Notes & Facts:
    � Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Martinsville Speedway in 1949.
    � 59 drivers have Coors Light poles at Martinsville, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip with eight; Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers with three each.
    � 13 drivers have won two or more consecutive Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was Joey Logano sweeping both poles last season.
    � 21 of 134 races (15.6%) at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; four of those 21 wins came from active drivers: Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2012, spring 2013) and Denny Hamlin (2010).
    � The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Martinsville producing more wins (21) than any other starting position.
    � 36 of the 134 (26.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the front row: 21 from the pole and 15 from second-place.
    � 96 of the 134 (71.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    � Seven of the 134 (5.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20 – including both races in 2015.
    � Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions eight times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was the fall race of 2011.
    (NASCAR)
  • Derek White Targeted in Tobacco-Smuggling Operation UPDATE: NASCAR driver Derek White was among almost 60 people targeted by Quebec and Ontario police in the biggest tobacco-smuggling bust in North American history, according to law enforcement officials. Authorities said some of the suspects arrested early Wednesday have links to biker gangs and organized crime, buying tobacco in the U.S. and illegally importing it into Canada through three border crossings. The tobacco was ultimately sold on the Kahnawake and Six Nations reserves, according to police. Ingrid Asselin, a spokeswoman for Surete du Quebec, the provincial police force, declined to confirm that the Derek White they arrested is the NASCAR driver. Law enforcement officials, who requested anonymity because of restrictions about commenting beyond the scope of the warrants, said it was the same man. White is listed as one of the top ranking members of the smuggling operation, according to a chart provided by police. Dwayne Zacharie, Kahnawake’s chief peacekeeper, said investigators from Quebec contacted his police force early Wednesday and said they had arrest warrants for three members of the tribe, including NASCAR driver Derek White. Zacharie said his office informed the three suspects of the warrants and told them to contact Quebec police. Lieutenant Jason Allard, spokesman for the Quebec provincial police, said the tobacco operation was tightly organized. It bought shipments of tobacco leaf in North Carolina, trucking them north and reselling them in Canada. Profits from tobacco were used to purchase cocaine, and some of the money was laundered abroad, in Europe, he said. The tobacco shipments were not declared at the border and disclosed to government officials, thereby avoiding taxes and allowing the cigarettes to be manufactured and sold for less money.(Bloomberg)(3-30-2016
    UPDATE: NASCAR driver/owner Derek White turned himself into authorities Wednesday and faces seven charges in connection to the biggest tobacco-smuggling bust in North American history, NBC Sports has learned. Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau of the Quebec Provincial Police told NBC Sports that White was being interrogated Wednesday. White, who turned himself in after learning of an arrest warrant in his name, was expected to be arraigned Wednesday night. Thibaudeau said that the seven charges White faces are: Three counts of conspiracy to commit fraud against the government; Three counts of fraud toward the government; One count of profiteering as a criminal organization.(NBC Sports)(4-1-2016)
  • New Truck team to debut at Martinsville UPDATE: Faith Motorsports has prepared to make their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway this coming weekend. The team will run the #62 Toyota with owner/driver Donnie Levister behind the wheel. Kansas City based real estate management company, Property Pro’s will be the first primary sponsor on the #62. Property Pro’s is owned and operated by Faith Motorsports team owner Shane Lamb. Another partner of Faith Motorsports will also be making their NASCAR in 2016. Shawn Magee Design (SMD) is the official graphics partner of Faith Motorsports and will serve as a primary sponsor in the upcoming racing season. The crew chief will be Matt Carter and engines are scheduled top be supplied by TRD. Faith Motorsports plans on attempting to run the remaining Camping World Truck Series races in 2016.(Faith Motorsports)(3-30-2016)
    UPDATE: According to the teams Facebook page, they had trouble in pre-race inspection and were forced to withdraw.(4-1-2016)
  • Cole Custer fastest in final Truck practice: #00-Cole Custer was fastest in final practice for the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway with a speed of 95.694 mph. He was followed by #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #41-Ben Rhodes, #18-Kyle Busch, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #33-Kaz Grala, #24-Kyle Larson, #9-William Byron, #21-Johnny Sauter, and #4-Christopher Bell. All 38 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Martinsville practice 3 speeds page (pdf).(4-1-2016)
  • Ben Rhodes leads second Truck practice: #41-Ben Rhodes was fastest in the second practice session for the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway. His speed was 95.448mph. #9-William Byron was second, followed by #00-Cole Custer, #29-Tyler Reddick, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #33-Kaz Grala, #88-Matt Crafton, #17-Timothy Peters, #19-Daniel Hemric, and #51-Daniel Suarez. All 38 drivers were on track during the session. See complete results on the Martinsville practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(4-1-2016)
  • William Byron paces first Truck practice: #9-William Byron was fastest during opening practice at Martinsville Speedway with a speed of 95.309 mph. He was followed by #17-Timothy Peters, #18-Kyle Busch, #21-Johnny Sauter, #00-Cole Custer, #02-Tyler Young, #88-Matt Crafton, #19-Daniel Hemric, #41-Ben Rhodes, and #24-Kyle Larson. 35 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Martinsville practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-1-2016)
  • Talladega names XFINITY race sponsor: Sparks Energy Inc., an electrical operations and restoration company based out of Decatur, AL, has partnered with NASCAR’s Most Competitive and Energized Track – Talladega Superspeedway – to become the entitlement sponsor of the Sparks Energy 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, April 30. The Sparks Energy 300 will be a high voltage battle between the best drivers of the NASCAR XFINITY Series against some of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regulars that could provide an all-but-guaranteed spot in the Series’ season-ending Championship Chase. Since 2007, Sparks Energy Inc. has provided services on high voltage powerlines and industrial systems across the United States with a focus in transmission and distribution. Their services include; storm response, transmission and distribution construction, live line maintenance, line clearing, substations and engineering. As the leader in the high voltage industry, the company is proud to sponsor the Sparks Energy 300 at the mammoth 2.66-mile track this spring and looks forward to making its debut in NASCAR, exposing the energy brand to Talladega Superspeedway’s fans.(TSS)(4-1-2016)
  • Jana Kramer in concert at Dover: Rising country music artist and actress Jana Kramer will perform a free concert at Dover International Speedway’s Victory Plaza prior to the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, May 15. Kramer’s show will begin at 10:00am Kramer’s most recent album “Thirty One” came out in 2015 and features the hit “I Got the Boy” and latest single “Said No One Ever.” Her self-titled debut album was released in 2012 and included the popular track “Why Ya Wanna.” Kramer, 32, first hit the spotlight as a cast member on The CW’s drama “One Tree Hill,” where she played actress Alex Dupree. Kramer has also appeared on HBO’s “Entourage” and NBC’s “Friday Night Lights.” Also in Victory Plaza, on Saturday, May 14, country music artists Sam Grow and Tom Dixon will appear for free concerts prior to the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash race.(Dover Speedway)(4-1-2016)