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February 2016 News Archives

 

News from February 29, 2016


  • Positive response to aero package from drivers: For a race with a mere three cautions, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. found Sunday’s event with the new low-downforce competition package exhilarating. “I loved it,” Earnhardt said. “We were sliding around and driving the hell out of the car. I had a blast! I had some good races there on the track with the #2 (Brad Keselowski) and the #18 (Kyle Busch) and a bunch of guys. Man, it was so much fun. And I post old pictures online all the time of the ’80s and ’90s, and that’s when racing was racing. That’s when it was good. That’s what they saw today.”
    Ninth-place finisher Brad Keselowski echoed Earnhardt’s sentiments. “I loved the way the cars drive,” said Keselowski, who had the top-finishing Ford. “I understand that it takes more than my opinion to make the sport go round, but I thought it was awesome.”
    #19-Carl Edwards, a long-time advocate of the new aerodynamic package, would like to see NASCAR take even more downforce away. “They just need to keep taking more,” said Edwards, who drove his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to a fifth-place result. “This is real racing. We’re driving hard. You can see the guys out here just digging for everything they’re worth. I’m worn out. That’s a tough race and just a lot of fun. I just can’t thank NASCAR enough and Atlanta – don’t ever pave this place – it’s a perfect race track. I hope the fans enjoyed the show. The thing is, just know that in that car we’re driving as hard as we can.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-29-2016)
  • Hendrick will not look to replace Stewart-Haas business: Hendrick Motorsports won’t look to replace the engine lease program and the chassis business it will lose when Stewart-Haas Racing moves to Ford starting next season, but it also does not plan to lay off any employees. Team owner Rick Hendrick said Sunday that the decision “kind of caught me by surprise” but it was no surprise that another manufacturer would go after SHR. It will make for an interesting year as SHR remains a customer but one that will start building its own chassis and leasing engines from Roush Yates Engines next year. Hendrick, speaking prior to the Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, said his team is committed to working with SHR this year and will move on after the season. That doesn’t mean looking for new people to sell chassis and lease engines. HMS leases engines to two-car organizations HScott Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing. It also supplies engines and support to JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series. HScott Motorsports plans to remain a Hendrick affiliate next year, said team owner Harry Scott, whose team also has an affiliation with Stewart-Haas Racing this season. “We’ve been pretty much taxed to keep up with all the customers we have,” Hendrick said. “I think what we’re going to do now is turn our efforts inward and do more R&D; and give us a chance to do more, really, research and development than we’ve been doing in the last couple of years because our guys have been flat-out. While the team will fulfill the terms of its contracts with SHR, Hendrick said he expects SHR to begin the process of working on its own chassis this year. Losing the SHR business likely would cost Hendrick tens of millions of dollars, but Hendrick said his company has the ability to compensate for the lost business.(ESPN.com)(2-29-2016)
  • RCR cars have parts impounded: Richard Childress Racing’s three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars had trouble in pre-race inspection Sunday. After multiple trips through the line, NASCAR pulled the #3 of Austin Dillon, #27 of Paul Menard and #31 of Ryan Newman out of inspection and confiscated the braces in the right rear corners of their respective vehicles. According to NASCAR, the parts in question were optional braces (brackets) in the rear-wheel area of the cars. NASCAR officials had them removed and will take the parts back to the R&D; Center in Concord, North Carolina. No penalties … are expected … according to NASCAR.(NASCAR.com)(2-29-2016)
  • Penalty takes Kenseth out of contention: #20-Matt Kenseth scored his second disappointing finish in a row after a miscommunication cost him two laps and led to a 19th-place finish Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kenseth led 47 of the first 115 laps Sunday before pitting under green when trouble struck. NASCAR penalized him for improper fueling. Kenseth’s crew chief, Jason Ratcliff, argued the call. As that happened, NASCAR give Kenseth the black flag, but Kenseth did not respond to it. NASCAR stopped scoring Kenseth for a lap until he came into the pits for his pass-through penalty. He also lost a lap while going down pit road and was two laps down once he was back up to speed.(NBC Sports)(2-29-2016)
  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 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 4:33 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 127
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 53
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 111
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 53
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 16
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 9
    Number of times Fox utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 3
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 78
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 50 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:33 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 213
    Minutes of race broadcast: 162
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 51
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 6
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 162 Total comm. brdcst time 51
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(2-29-2016)
  • Daytona selects Tripleplay to display content to 1400 screens: World leading IPTV, Digital Signage and Video Streaming solutions manufacturer, Tripleplay, has been selected by Daytona International Speedway (DIS) to deliver live streaming content, communications, digital menus and interactive TV services to 1,400 screens around its new motorsports stadium. Additionally, Tripleplay becomes the latest partner to join the Daytona Technology Platform Powered by CDW. The Daytona Technology Platform Powered by CDW is designed specifically for companies supporting the technological advances at the new motorsports stadium. Participation in the Platform also enables them to showcase their involvement through an onsite marketing presence. Screens will be located within hospitality and corporate suites with integration into AMX control systems, concession stands and retail units for product promotion and live digital menu boards, infield video display boards and stadium concourses for live race playback and advertising. Tripleplay’s platform has been implemented by some of the world’s biggest sports venues and teams including All England Lawn Tennis Association (Wimbledon), Manchester City FC, Twickenham Stadium, Stade France, Chelsea FC, New York City FC, Amalie Arena and The SSE Hydro, voted world’s number 1 live music venue in 2015.(DIS)(2-29-2016)


    News from February 28, 2016


     

  • Johnson wins at Atlanta: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 5th win in at Atlanta and 76th career win. He ties Dale Earnhardt, Sr. for 7th on the all-time career wins list and has one at least 1 race in each of the last 15 years. Johnson led 52 of the 330 laps.
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. finished 2nd, followed by #18-Busch, #41-Busch, #19-Edwards, #4-Harvick, #78-Truex, Jr., #24-Elliott, #2-Keselowski, and #17-Stenhouse.
    The 8th place finish is a career best for #24-Elliott.
    The race went caution-free for the first 209 laps, the longest green flag run to start a race in Atlanta history.
    A spin by #31-Newman with 2 laps remaining sent the race into “NASCAR Overtime”. A wreck on the backstretch after the leaders had already passed the overtime line, forced the race to end under caution.
    There were 28 lead changes among 8 drivers and 3 cautions for 13 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 155.863mph.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, February 29 at 8:00am/et on FS1
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and [NOTE: money won is no longer reported] more at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf). (2-28-2016)
  • Race Fast Facts – Atlanta:
    Jimmie Johnson won the 57th Annual Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, his 76th victory in 509 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    With the victory, Johnson ties Dale Earnhardt for seventh on the all-time series wins list.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his fifth victory and 16th top-10 finish in 25 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 29 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2016.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 18 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Chase Elliott (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 3 points over Martin Truex Jr.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(2-28-2016)
  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
    [after Atlanta, race 2 of 36]
    1) #18-Busch, 78
    2) #78-Truex, Jr., 75, -3
    3) #4-Harvick, 74, -4
    4) #19-Edwards, 73, -5
    5) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 70, -8
    6) #48-Johnson [1 win], 70, -8
    7) #41-Kurt Busch, 69, -9
    8) #22-Logano, 64, -14
    9) #3-Dillon, 63, -15
    10) #43-Almirola, 55, -23
    11) #2-Keselowski, 54, -24
    12) #20-Kenseth, 51, -27
    13) #17-Stenhouse, Jr., 50, -28
    14) #42-Larson, 49, -29
    15) #31-Newman, 48, -30
    16) #5-Kahne, 46, -32
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
  • Lap 13 salute during Atlanta race: The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will feature a special salute to fallen military service members on Lap 13, chosen because of the 13 folds in the American flag given to families of fallen service men and women. Fans attending Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be asked to raise and hold replicas of folded American flags on Lap 13 in a show of honor. The event is also a fundraiser for Folds of Honor, a non-profit organization that helps to pay for the education of children and adults whose parents or spouses are killed or injured in military service.(NASCAR.com)(2-28-2016)
  • Roush Yates already prepping for Stewart-Haas addition: The addition of Stewart-Haas Racing to Ford in 2017 will mean an increased workload for Roush Yates Engines, the company that supplies Ford power to teams in all three of NASCAR’s national series. But it means much more than the 60 or so additional engines the supplier will have to produce, according to CEO Doug Yates. “For us, that’s four more top-notch cars, opportunities to win races and championships,” Yates said Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “But the work starts now because we’ve got to get ready for next year.” Yates, son of famed engine builder and former team owner Robert Yates, said his company currently has approximately 250 engines in its fleet for Sprint Cup teams. “We’ll start building them up but next year, with four cars will mean about 60 more engines… Today we build about 750 Cup, XFINITY and Truck engines a year. At our road race shop we build about 250 a year. Obviously we will have to add some people. We feel like we have a good process, we just have to add volume.” The benefit, he said, is it will be “a good opportunity to allow us to bring on more resources for the R&D; side, more testing, more engineers. Just add depth to every department. It’s exciting.(NASCAR.com)(2-28-2016)
  • NASCAR Race Partnership leaves Folds Of Honor with Scholarship Shortfall: Staring out at the infield of Atlanta Motor Speedway last year, Mike Beltz said he remembers thinking how “phenomenal it was” to see a folded American flag – the logo of the Folds of Honor organization – painted on the grass for NASCAR’s inaugural Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 race. He also recalls the prophetic words of Chuck O’Dell, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Tulsa, Oklahoma-based QuikTrip Corporation. “This will be a two-edged sword,” O’Dell told Beltz, acting President of Folds of Honor. “He was absolutely right. He saw it coming.” What O’Dell saw was an approaching avalanche of scholarship applications headed straight at Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides educational opportunities for families of military members who have been killed or disabled while on active duty. This weekend’s NASCAR race is the single biggest event that the Folds of Honor has been involved with. The organization, founded in 2007, is now faced with trying to fund almost $4.8 million worth of scholarship requests from military families. The education-based scholarships awarded by Folds of Honor are each for $5,000. After last year’s race, the number of military families applying for scholarships rose 69 percent, from 2,950 in 2014 to 5,000 in 2015, according to Folds of Honor. They were unable to fund 950 scholarships last year, marking the first time the organization found itself with too little supply and too much demand.(Forbes) (2-28-2016)
  • Atlanta Race Notes & Facts:
    � There have been 108 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway since the first race there in 1960. Until 2010 there have been two races per year except 1961, which had three. This year marks the fifth season with only one event.
    � The Hendrick Motorsports have the most wins at Atlanta in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 13; followed by the Wood Brothers with 12 and Joe Gibbs Racing with 11: Hendrick Motorsports: Jeff Gordon (five),Jimmie Johnson (four), Darrell Waltrip (one), Jerry Nadeau (one), Kasey Kahne (one) and Ken Schrader (one).
    � Nine different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Atlanta; led by Chevrolet with 39 victories; followed by Ford (29), Pontiac (11), Dodge (nine), Mercury (eight), Buick (four), Plymouth (four), Toyota (three) and Oldsmobile (one).
    � Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway was the March 11, 2001 race won by Kevin Harvick over Jeff Gordon with a MOV of 0.006 second.
    � There have been four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2007 (325/329); spring of 2010 (325/341), fall of 2012 (325/327) and 2014 (325/335).
    (NASCAR)
  • Daytona XFINITY TV Ratings: Last Saturday’s season-opening NASCAR Xfinity Series race from Daytona scored 2.1 million viewers on Fox Sports 1, down 28% from last year (2.9M) and down 23% from 2014, when coverage aired on ESPN opposite the Olympics (2.7M). Viewership was the lowest for the series opener since at least 2007. The multi-year low came one day before the Daytona 500 earns its second-smallest audience in 25 years (and its second-lowest rating ever).(Sports Media Watch)(2-28-2016)


    News from February 27, 2016


     

  • Final practice: for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over after 80 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #11-Hamlin 188.450
    #78-Truex, Jr. 188.226
    #48-Johnson 187.297
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 187.095
    #24-Elliott 186.963
    slowest: #30-Wise 177.385 & #32-Earnhardt 177.317
    All 39 cars practiced.
    See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Atlanta Final Practice speeds page (pdf).(2-27-2016)
  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #41-Kurt Busch chose pit stall 3 [the first pit stall available – 1 & 2 are not being used at Atlanta].
    Outside pole sitter #1-McMurray took the 43rd and final pit stall.
    #6-Bayne, who starts 3rd took the 11th pit stall, with an opening behind it.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-27-2016)
  • Smaller Cup field not a surprise: All eyes will be on the guys up front during Sunday’s NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It might be worth taking a look at who’s running toward the back. Or, more accurately, who isn’t there. Only 39 cars showed up for the second race of the Sprint Cup season, the lowest number of entries in more than two decades. It marks just the third time since NASCAR standardized the fields in 1998 that there aren’t enough cars to fill every available slot. While the reduced numbers won’t affect front-runners such as Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin – after all, we’re talking about low-budget drivers who probably would’ve been lapped early in the race – it does drive home the end of an era. Farewell to those penny-pinching teams that merely want to go fast enough in qualifying to hang around through the weekend. This season, NASCAR will be hard-pressed to get the new maximum – 40 cars – on the track each week. By the end of the year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see as few as 37.
    If lacking a charter, it simply doesn’t pay to compete on a regular basis unless you have a major sponsor, like the Wood Brothers. The race purses are still a bit of a mystery under the new arrangement, but it seems the charter teams are claiming a hefty piece of that pie, too, with an eye toward nudging out the start-and-park teams that showed up merely to collect a last-place paycheck.
    Even after scaling back the 43-car field, which had been in place for 18 years, NASCAR didn’t even hit the new target just two weeks into the season. This is the smallest number of teams at a Cup race since 35 attempted to qualify for the 1993 Goody’s 500 at Martinsville Speedway, and more contraction is likely. The season-opening Daytona 500 drew only 44 cars – the lowest number of entries in the 58-year history of NASCAR’s most storied event.(Associated Press)(2-27-2016)
  • Low downforce package means changes for Goodyear: NASCAR’s new low-downforce aerodynamic package debuts this weekend at Atlanta and it comes with a “significant change” in the tires Goodyear will bring for the Sprint Cup Series each week. The adaption of the package to all tracks except the superspeedways meant extra work for Goodyear. The tires NASCAR and Cup drivers most wanted to use with the aero package provide more fall-off (increased wear). “It’s a significant change when you talk about the amount of downforce that has come off the race cars so it’s a pretty significant change in what we’ve done from the grip perspective,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. In general we’re landing with softer compounds, at least on one side of the car if not both. The other things we’re trying to integrate on these mile-and-a-halves is a couple of new constructions we’ve been working on, which are actually a little bit more robust.”
    In theory, NASCAR believes the changes should help produce a better quality of racing, which was the case in last season’s races at Kentucky and Darlington. Still, NASCAR and Goodyear will keep a close eye on the racing each week. Unintended consequences are always a possibility.(Motorsport)(2-27-2016)
  • Harvick comments on SHR switch to Ford: #4-Kevin Harvick spent part of Friday morning working with JR Motorsports. He’s driving an Xfinity Series car for the team this weekend, and for him it appeared business as usual in a Chevrolet working with an affiliate of Hendrick Motorsports. He then went to the Sprint Cup garage to his full-time ride for Stewart-Haas Racing, also an affiliate of Hendrick Motorsports. If anyone knows how to handle lame-duck situations, it’s Harvick. It leaked in November 2012 that he would leave Richard Childress Racing for Stewart-Haas Racing after the 2013 season. The fact that SHR has announced it would leave Chevrolet for Ford after 2016 didn’t seem to affect Harvick in his routine at Atlanta Motor Speedway, except for reporters following him through the garage — even waiting outside a bathroom — to see whether he was upset over the move as a driver who has driven a Chevrolet his entire Sprint Cup career. Harvick said last month that he and wife, DeLana, work in five-year plans. The next five-year plan starts next year and has him driving all the way through 2021. Will that plan include SHR, or does it change after the announcement Wednesday? “My focus is the same as it has been since I started racing — it is to go out and win races and championships,” Harvick said in a brief interview as he walked between the Xfinity and Sprint Cup garages. “You’ve just got to follow along with what your organization thinks is best. I think they have the same interest in mind that I do — and that is to compete for wins and championships.” Harvick said he would be foolish not to be committed to his team and crew chief Rodney Childers. He won the Sprint Cup title in 2014. He finished second in 2015. He has led 4,431 laps with eight wins, 19 second-place finishes and 38 top-5s in 73 races with Childers. Most SHR contracts have appeared to be three-year deals with an option. If SHR picks up the option, it would take Harvick through 2017. When Harvick talked, he didn’t mention the word “Ford.” He probably can’t since he has a personal services deal with Chevrolet. Although he has pitched Chevrolets for 16 years as a Sprint Cup driver, assuming he stays, he’ll have to pitch something else.(ESPN.com)(2-27-2016)
  • Daytona 500 TV Ratings: the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race from Daytona International Speedway scored a 6.14 over night rating on Sunday, February 21st. The race was broadcast on FOX (ShowBuzzDaily). In 2015 the overnight rating was 7.3 with a final rating of 7.7 and and average audience of 13.36 million. In 2014 the number were down mainly due to the race being postponed by rain and running from 8:25pm/et to 11:23pm/et, scoring an 5.6 rating with 9.3 million viewers. in 2013 the overnight was 10.0, with a final of 9.9 and 16.651 million average viewers.(2-22-2016)
    UPDATE: Ratings for the Daytona 500 neared a record-low despite the closest finish in race history. The 2016 Daytona 500 earned a 6.6 final rating and 11.4 million viewers on FOX, down 14% in ratings and 15% in viewership from last year (7.7, 13.4M) but up 18% and 23%, respectively, from 2014, when coverage was delayed to primetime due to rain and faced the Winter Olympics (5.6, 9.3M). Denny Hamlin’s narrow win was the second-lowest rated Daytona 500 since live start-to-finish coverage began in 1979, ahead of only 2014. That spot was previously held by the 1990 race (7.3). It also scored the second-smallest audience for the race since 1991 (10.9M), again ahead of only 2014. Five of the ten lowest rated Daytona 500 telecasts have taken place in the past seven seasons. Compared to other sports, the Daytona 500 drew a lower rating and fewer viewers than every game of last year’s NBA Finals, World Series, Final Four and College Football Playoff, horse racing’s Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, and the final round of The Masters.(Sports Media Watch)(2-27-2016)
  • Atlanta Driver Notes & Facts:
    � 553 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway; 375 in more than one.
    � Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Atlanta with 65. Bobby Labonte leads all active drivers with 38 starts, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 28.
    � Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Atlanta with a 7.391.
    � Two active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career start at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Martin Truex Jr. (10/31/2004) and Ty Dillon (8/31/2014).
    � 43 different NSCS drivers have won at Atlanta Motor Speedway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with nine wins. Bobby Labonte leads all active drivers with six; followed by Jimmie Johnson with four. � No driver has swept the weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway across all three NASCAR national series. Two drivers have won in multiple NASCAR national series in the same weekend at Atlanta: Carl Edwards (2005, NSCS/NNS); (fall 2008, NSCS/NNS) and Kyle Busch (spring 2008, NSCS/NCWTS)
    � Eight of the nine active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Atlanta Motor Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Kevin Harvick won at Atlanta in his first appearance (2001). Carl Edwards won in his second appearance (2005).
    � Denny Hamlin competed at Atlanta Motor Speedway 12 times before winning in the spring of 2012; the longest span of any the nine active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    � Among the nine active NSCS Atlanta winners Denny Hamlin (12) is the only driver to have made 10 or more attempts before his first win.
    � Matt Kenseth leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Atlanta without visiting Victory Lane at 27.
    � Two active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Kevin Harvick (3/11/2001) and Carl Edwards (3/20/2005).
    � Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson lead the series in runner-up finishes at Atlanta with seven each; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with four.
    � Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes at Atlanta with 26; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with 13.
    � Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Atlanta with 33; Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers with 16.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at 11.083.
    � Cale Yarborough leads all drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Atlanta with 3,283 laps led in 47 starts. Bobby Labonte leads all active drivers in laps led at Atlanta with 959.
    � Three female drivers have competed at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick.
    (NASCAR)
  • Kyle Busch wins XFINITY race at Atlanta: #18-Kyle Busch won the Heads Up Georgia 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his 77th XFINITY Series win and 1st of the year. He started from the pole and lead 119 of the 163 laps. #42-Kyle Larson finished second, followed by #20-Erik Jones, #2-Paul Menard, #3-Ty Dillon, #22-Brad Keselowski, #19-Daniel Suarez, #7-Justin Allgaier, #1-Elliott Sadler, and #43-Jeb Burton.
    There were 5 cautions for 21 laps and 5 lead changes among 4 leaders.
    The average speed was 137.065mph.
    Complete results are on the Atlanta race results page (pdf).
    (2-27-2016)
  • Atlanta XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch won the 25th Annual Heads Up Georgia 250, his series-leading 77th victory in 312 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 12 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His previous best finish at Atlanta was second, five times.
    Kyle Larson (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in four races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2016.
    Erik Jones (third) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 3 points over Daniel Suarez.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-27-2016)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Atlanta:
    1) #1-Elliott Sadler, 70
    2) #19-Daniel Suarez, 67, -3
    3) #3-Ty Dillon, 65, -5
    4) #33-Brandan Jones, 64, -6
    5) #7-Justin Allgaier, 63, -7
    6) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 60, -10
    7) #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., 58, -12
    8) #11-Blake Koch, 53, -17
    9) #16-Ryan Reed, 51, -19
    10) #51-Jeremy Clements, 50, -20
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(2-27-2016)
  • Kyle Busch on XFINITY pole at Atlanta: #18-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light pole for the Heads Up Georgia 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 185.499mph. #20-Erik Jones will start second. The rest of the top 10: #19-Daniel Suarez, #42-Kyle Larson, #48-Brennan Poole, #3-Ty Dillon, #22-Brad Keselowski, #39-Ryan Sieg, #62-Brendan Gaughan and #88-Kevin Harvick.
    Did Not Qualify: none.
    The starting lineup is posted on the Atlanta starting lineup page (pdf).(2-27-2016)
  • Atlanta Qualifying Notes:
    Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 25th Annual Heads Up Georgia 250 with a lap of 29.887 seconds, 185.499 mph.
    This is his series-leading 49th pole in 312 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his fifth pole in 12 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Erik Jones (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2016 and his first in two races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Daniel Suarez (third) posted his first top-10 start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his second in two races this season.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-27-2016)
  • Caution clock used for first time: Time became a new factor in NASCAR for the first time on Saturday, with the Caution Clock coming into play twice in the Camping World Truck Series Great Clips 200. The first competition yellow on Lap 38 caused issues for Christopher Bell in terms of tire strategy. The second competition caution as the 20-minute clock expired also was tied to issues for Bell, but under the surface, was playing into every team’s pit and tire strategy at Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR introduced the caution clock in 2016, starting at Daytona International Speedway. A 20-minute timer begins counting down at the beginning of each green-flag run. If no natural caution occurs before the clock runs out, a caution will come out, giving teams the opportunity to pit, change tires and make adjustments.(NASCAR.com)(2-27-2016)
  • Nemcheck wins Truck Series race at Atlanta: #8-John Hunter Nemechek won the Georgia 200 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday. It is his 2nd career win, his 1st of 2016, and his first at Atlanta.
    He is now all but guaranteed to qualify for the Camping World Truck Series Chase this year.
    #13-Cameron Hayley finished second, followed bu #17-Timothy Peters, #19-Daniel Hemric, #33-Grant Enfinger, #41-Ben Rhodes, #05-John Wes Townley, #92-Parker Kligerman, #75-Caleb Holman, and #23-Spencer Gallagher.
    There were 5 cautions for 25 laps and the caution clock was used twice [for the first and third cautions]. There were 7 lead changes among 4 leaders.
    The average speed was 121.150mph.
    Complete results are on the Atlanta race results page (pdf).
    (2-27-2016)
  • Atlanta Race Fast Facts:
    John Hunter Nemechek won the 8th Running Great Clips 200, his second victory in 32 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in one races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    At 18 years, 8 months and 16 days, Nemechek becomes the youngest NASCAR national series winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Cameron Hayley (second) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2016.
    Timothy Peters (third) posted his third top-10 finish in eight races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Grant Enfinger (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Parker Kligerman leads the point standings by 1 points over Daniel Hemric.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(2-27-2016)
  • Driver standings following Atlanta:
    1) #92-Parker Kligerman, 55
    2) #19-Daniel Hemric, 54, -1
    3) #8-John H Nemechek, 52, -3
    4) #17-Timothy Peters, 49, -6
    5) #02-Tyler Young, 47, -8
    6) #81-Ryan Truex, 45, -10
    7) #86-Brandon Brown, 43, -12
    8) #41-Ben Rhodes, 43, -12
    9) #33-Grant Enfinger, 42, -13
    10) #21-Johnny Sauter, 41, -14
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(2-27-2016)
  • Owner Standings following Atlanta are posted (pdf).(2-27-2016)
  • Crafton on Truck Series pole at Atlanta: #88-Matt Crafton won the pole for the Georgia 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 179.790mph. #05-John Wes Townley will start second, followed by #4-Christopher Bell, #33-Grant Enfinger, #13-Cameron Hayley, #00-Cole Custer, #41-Ben Rhodes, #81-Ryan Truex, #19-Daniel Hemric, and #11-Ben Kennedy.
    #6-Norm Benning, #50-Ryan Ellis, #59-Korbin Forrister, and #66-Jordan Anderson, and #74-Timothy Viens did not qualify for the race.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(2-27-2016)
  • Atlanta Qualifying Notes:
    Matt Crafton won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 8th Running Great Clips 200 with a lap of 30.836 seconds, 179.790 mph.
    This is his 12th pole in 363 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in 15 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    John Wes Townley (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2016 and his second in three races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Christopher Bell (third) posted his first top-10 start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his second in two races this season.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-27-2016)
  • Buckcherry to headline Iowa Wide Opening Weekend: Race fans and music lovers will come together at Iowa Speedway for three weekends of top-notch entertainment this summer. The Speedway has announced the full NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series lineup, featuring three dynamic acts at the Pork Party Pavilion, complementing eight thrilling races on the 7/8-mile oval. The NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series kicks off on Saturday, June 18, when party-rock act Buckcherry, takes center stage. The Los Angeles-based group will perform following the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 200 Saturday night prior to the only NASCAR XFINITY Series race scheduled on a Sunday in 2016. Country singer and songwriter, Eric Paslay, will keep fans cheering following the conclusion of the ARCA Racing Series 150 presented by Casey’s General Stores on Saturday, July 9. Paslay will hit the Pork Party Pavilion, overlooking Turn 4, after the checkered flag is waved. The INDYCAR Series will speed things up the following day with the 10th running of the Iowa Corn 300, as INDYCAR’s stars solidify Iowa Speedway’s claim as the “Fastest Short Track on the Planet”. Snake Oil, a beloved rock tribute band, will close out the NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series in style on Friday, July 29. Following the NASCAR K&N; Pro Series Casey’s General Stores 150, fans can sing their hearts out to classic songs made famous by some of the biggest names in music. Each installment of the NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series will take place at the Pork Party Pavilion, following the conclusion of the first race of each race weekend.
    Before drivers turn a wheel in hopes of celebrating in Casey’s General Stores Victory Lane, international music producer and DJ – Michaelis – will charge up the crowd each race weekend. Michaelis first performed at a NASCAR event when he set the mood for the 2014 edition of the U.S. Cellular 250 putting a signature twist on driver introductions and setting the standard for pre-race hype. Since debuting at Iowa Speedway, Michaelis has gone on to produce the driver introduction music for the 2015 Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup and performed at the 2015 edition of NASCAR After the Lap in Las Vegas.
    After the roar of the engines has subsided following the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250, country music star Tim Dugger, will perform at Iowa Speedway’s third annual Post-Race Party on the frontstretch. Iowa Speedway was the first track to open the catchfence and throw a Post-Race Party for fans on the race surface, but this signature event is quickly being adopted at other venues as well.(Iowa Speedway)(2-27-2016)


    News from February 26, 2016


  • Kyle Busch’s qualifying time disallowed: #18-Kyle Busch’s pole-winning car failed post-qualifying technical inspection Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, putting his brother Kurt Busch on the pole for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. NASCAR said the degree to which the vertical angle of Kyle Busch’s rear wheels were skewed — called the toe — was illegal but that there would be no further penalties other than disallowing his qualifying time. The defending Sprint Cup champion will start the Folds of Honor 500 last in the field at 39th.
    NASCAR senior VP of competition Scott Miller said NASCAR began measuring rear toe after qualifying this season at the drivers’ request. The maximum rear toe allowed in postqualifying inspection is 0.15 degrees more than in prequalifying inspection. “Teams asked for it, we instituted it and they didn’t pass,” Miller said. “The others [that went through tech] passed.”
    More rear skew could improve performance by helping maintain speed through corners, though Kyle Busch crew chief Adam Stevens said the thousands of an inch that the car was in violation wouldn’t have made a difference. The car passed prequalifying tech, and Stevens seemed thankful the team learned its lesson instead of in a race, where they would have likely faced a fine and points penalty.
    “The parts move, everything moves, so you expect it to be a little bit different,” Stevens said. “This is the first opportunity we’ve had to gather post [qualifying] information, was right now, and it’s game time and it was too much. … Just the amount of load on the track moves everything a little bit, and that little bit was a little bit too much.”(ESPN.com)(2-26-2016)
  • Kurt Busch wins Atlanta pole: #41-Kurt Busch won the Coors Light pole for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway with speed of 191.582mph for his 1st pole of 2016, 1st at Atlanta and 20th of his career. Busch has won 1 race from the pole out of 19 previous poles.
    #1-McMurray is on the outside pole followed by #6-Bayne, #31-Newman, #17-Stenhouse, Jr., #4-Harvick, #19-Edwards, #3-Dillon, #78-Truex, Jr., #44-Scott #5-Kahne and #11-Hamlin.
    #18-Kyle Busch had the fastest speed in the final round but his qualifying time was disallowed because the rear toe of the car was off by 0.15 degrees. He will start 39th.
    #18-Busch was fastest in the first round with a speed of 193.299mph. #1-McMurray topped the second round at 191.834mph.
    Only 39 cars were entered so everyone made the race.
    See round-by-round qualifying results on the Atlanta qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Atlanta Starting Lineup page (pdf).(2-26-2015)
  • Qualifying Fast Facts – Atlanta:
    Kurt Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 57th Annual Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 with a lap of 28.938 seconds, 191.582 mph.
    This is his 20th pole in 542 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in 25 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Jamie McMurray (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2016 and his fourth in 23 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Trevor Bayne (third) posted his first top-10 start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his first in two races this season.
    Brian Scott (10th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(2-26-2016)
  • Qualifying Fast Facts – Atlanta:
    Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 57th Annual Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 with a lap of 28.925 seconds, 191.668 mph.
    This is his 18th pole in 392 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and second top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in 18 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    Kurt Busch (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2016 and his ninth in 25 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
    This is the third time Kyle and Kurt Busch have started 1-2. Kyle won both prior races. The first time was at Las Vegas (March of 2009); second time was Texas (April of 2013).
    Jamie McMurray (third) posted his fourth top-10 start at Atlanta Motor Speedway. It is his second in two races this season.
    Trevor Bayne qualified fourth, his best starting position at Atlanta. His previous best start was 29th, in 2015. The last time he started as high as fourth was at Talladega on Oct. 23, 2011 (fourth-place start).
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(2-26-2016)
  • Friday practice: for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #42-Larson 192.902
    #5-Kahne 191.807
    #47-Allmendinger 190.975
    #3-Dillon 190.404
    #41-Busch 190.326
    slowest: #98-Whitt 179.901 & #30-Wise 176.662.
    All 39 cars were on track during practice.
    NOTE: Qualifying is today at 5:45pm/et on FoxSports1.
    See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Atlanta Practice 1 speed page (pdf).(2-26-2016)
  • NASCAR Debuts Lower Downforce Aero Package At Atlanta: This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will debut its much-anticipated lower downforce 2016 aerodynamics package. The package is similar to the ones used at Kentucky and Darlington last year. Lowering the downforce on a car makes it harder to drive, which puts more emphasis on driver skill and increases the potential for more passing.
    Changes to the car for this season’s aero package include reductions to:

    • Spoiler – 2015: 6″ tall, 2016: 3.5″ tall
      • Air coming over the top of the car hits the spoiler, which pushes the back of the car down. A shorter spoiler creates less downforce than a taller spoiler.
    • Splitter – 2015: 2″ overhang, 2016: .25″ overhang
      • The splitter “splits” air and forces it to accelerate under the car, creating a high-pressure zone above the splitter and a low-pressure zone underneath that sucks the car down. Shortening the splitter reduces downforce.
    • Radiator Pan – 2015: 38″ wide, 2016: 33″ wide
      • The radiator pan is a flat panel that extends behind the splitter and under the car, deflecting air to create more downforce. A narrower panel is less effective in deflecting air, which slows airflow and creates less downforce.

    (NASCAR)(2-26-2016)

  • Premium Motorsports picks up sponsor: #98-Cole Whitt tweeted that Tweaker Energy Shots will be Premium Motorsports sponsor at Atlanta Motor Speedway and “some other races this year”. See an image of the car on the #98 team paint schemes page.(2-26-2016)
  • Atlanta Pole Notes & Facts:
    � Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Atlanta in 1960 with a speed of 133.870 mph.
    � 49 drivers have Coors Light poles at Atlanta, led by Buddy Baker and Ryan Newman with seven each.
    � Winning consecutive Coors Light poles has happened eight times at Atlanta, among six drivers.
    � Ryan Newman holds the record for most consecutive poles at Atlanta with six; spring of 2003 through 2005.
    � One active driver has posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (9/01/2013).
    � 14 of the 108 (12.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Kasey Kahne in 2006.
    � The fifth starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Atlanta Motor Speedway; the most recent was Jeff Gordon in 2011.
    � 26 of the 108 (24.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from the front row: 14 from the pole and 12 from second-place.
    � 60 of the 108 (55.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta have been won from a top-five starting position.
    � 85 of the 108 (78.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    � Eight of the 108 (7.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    � The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Atlanta is 39th, by Bobby Labonte in the fall of 2001.
    � Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway five times; most recently the fall of 2010.
    (NASCAR)
  • Erik Jones fastest in XFINITY happy hour: #20-Erik Jones was quickest during happy hour for the Heads Up Georgia 250 with a speed of 181.467mph. He was followed by: #18-Kyle Busch, #3-Ty Dillon, #19-Daniel Suarez, #42-Kyle Larson, #22-Brad Keselowski, #88-Kevin Harvick, #2-Paul Menard, #48-Brennan Poole, and #43-Jeb Burton. 38 drivers participated in the session.
    See complete results on the Atlanta practice 3 speeds page (pdf).(2-26-2016)
  • Daniel Suarez fastest in second XFINITY practice: #19-Daniel Suarez was fastest during second practice at Atlanta with a speed of 181.902mph. The rest of the top 10: #20-Erik Jones, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #42-Kyle Larson, #18-Kyle Busch, #22-Brad Keselowski, #7-Justin Allgaier, #3-Ty Dillon, #51-Jeremy Clements, and #16-Ryan Reed. 38 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Atlanta practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(2-26-2016)
  • Erik Jones fastest in first XFINITY practice: #20-Erik Jones was fastest during opening practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 183.358mph. #16-Ryan Reed was second, followed by: #11-Blake Koch, #43-Jeb Burton, #3-Ty Dillon, #22-Brad Keselowski, #4-Kyle Larson, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #88-Kevin Harvick, and #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr. 31 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Atlanta practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(2-26-2016)
  • Bell released after accident UPDATE: Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Christopher Bell was involved in a late-race accident during the running of Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Bell was transported to a local hospital following the accident as a precaution and was evaluated and released early Saturday morning.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(2-20-16)
    AND: Bell posted a statement on his Twitter page, in short, thanking NASCAR for its safety developments and fans for support. “Nobody wants to test the safety gear that they are wearing but thankfully everything I had last night worked perfectly. I walked away with only bruises. I can’t thank NASCAR enough and all of the racers before me who have made this sport as safe as it is.”(2-20-2016)
    UPDATE: Christopher Bell said it was symptoms of dizziness that sent him to the hospital after his terrifying wreck in the Camping World Truck Series opener at Daytona International Speedway. After his #4 Toyota stopped its barrel roll down the frontstretch on the last lap, Bell radioed his team he was fine and was able to walk to an awaiting ambulance. But the dizziness worsened during his trip to the infield care center, so the track medical staff elected to send the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver to the hospital to ensure he hadn’t sustained a concussion. “I’m just really thankful that everyone before me that have taken hard crashes and NASCAR has done all their research about it,” Bell said Friday morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he returned to practicing for Saturday’s truck race. “They just wanted to take me in for precautionary reasons and, yeah, (the dizziness) probably (is) why they took me back there. I was a little bit nauseaous but not bad. Went (to the hospital), did concussion tests, but thankfully I never really took a super hard hit, and I didn’t have a concussion.” Aside from some facial bruising on his forehead, Bell said he felt 100 percent the next morning until “I got out of bed and realized I couldn’t move quite as fast, but after a couple of days that was all gone, and I’m good to go.”(NBC Sports)(2-26-2016)
  • John Wes Townley fastest in second Truck practice: #05-John Wes Townley was fastest in the second practice session for the Georgia 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 178.224mph.#19-Daniel Hemric was second, then #9-William Byron, #00-Cole Custer, #88-Matt Crafton, #11-Ben Kennedy, #13-Cameron Hayley, #29-Tyler Reddick, #81-Ryan Truex, and #4-Christopher Bell. 36 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Atlanta practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(2-27-2016)
  • Enfinger fastest in first Truck practice: #33-Grant Enfinger was fastest during opening practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a speed of 179.574mph. Second was #4-Christopher Bell. They were followed by: #88-Matt Crafton, #19-Daniel Hemric, #05-John Wes Townley, #9-William Byron, #00-Cole Custer, #92-Parker Kligerman, #13-Cameron Hayley, and #29-Tyler Reddick. 31 drivers completed a lap during the session. See complete results on the Atlanta practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(2-19-2016)
  • Eddie Money to play pre-race concert at Kansas: While NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are thinking about taking home the trophy for the GoBowling.com 400 on May 7, race fans will be rocking out to legendary rock icon Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” prior to the race. Rock icon Money is back on the road with an all-star band. A student of legendary vocal coach Judy Davis and prodigy of manager Bill Graham, Money began his career in the late 1970s belting out hit after hit. The early days of MTV and music videos launched Eddie Money into stardom. An accomplished musician, he sings, he writes, and plays the saxophone, harmonica and piano. Money has recorded over a dozen albums of his own (selling over 28 million records), and has done numerous projects in television and film. Spring 2001’s David Spade film “Joe Dirt” features Money as Joe Dirt’s rock and roll idol. He also turned up as Mimi’s ex-husband in an episode of “The Drew Carey Show”. He’s currently working on theme songs for Arena Football and Major League Baseball.(Kansas Speedway)(2-26-2016)


    News from February 25, 2016


  • Daytona 500 winnings released UPDATE: Although NASCAR has stated that it does not plan to list winnings after races, it listed the winnings from Sunday’s Daytona 500 in a media packet. The winnings that go to Joe Gibbs Racing for Denny Hamlin’s victory is $1,507,592. That’s less than what Team Penske received last year for Joey Logano’s Daytona 500 victory. Those winnings were $1,581,453. Martin Truex Jr. finished second Sunday and the winnings that went to Furniture Row Racing was $1,201,998. That’s more than what went to Stewart-Haas Racing last year when Kevin Harvick finished second and collected $1,157,470. The smallest paycheck went to BK Racing for Matt DiBenedetto’s 40th-place finish. Those earnings were $297,128. The smallest paycheck in last year’s race went to Hillman Racing for Landon Cassill’s last-place finish. Those earnings were $262,390.(NBC Sports)(2-25-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR sent a note to Sprint Cup teams Thursday stating that it released incorrect information for Daytona 500 winnings on its media website. NASCAR stated to teams: “The information on 2016 Daytona 500 race team earnings posted (Wednesday) on NASCARMedia.com, our media services website, was factually incorrect. We removed the information, rectified the errors and are providing the correct information to race teams. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused and now collectively turn our focus to NASCAR racing action this weekend in Atlanta.”(NBC Sports)(2-25-2016)
  • Wise, TMG to attempt more races: Despite missing the field for the Daytona 500, Josh Wise and The Motorsports Group will be attempting to qualify for more Sprint Cup races in this season. Wise told The Racing Experts that he and TMG intend to attempt this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway and events beyond. Wise is hopeful he and TMG will attempt the full-schedule. “If the cards fall right, I think that’s the route we’re going to try to take, but it’s just a step-by-step process,” Wise said. “I was in this position with the 98 with Phil Parsons a few years ago, we started the race team from scratch, and had to race in in points, build the team and find sponsorship and what not. Just starting again there from ground zero.” Wise says the team has no affiliation with any team.(The Racing Experts)(2-25-2016)
  • NASCAR sets records for fan engagement during Daytona 500: Sunday’s Daytona 500 provided fans with the closest finish in the history of the Great American Race when winner #11-Denny Hamlin edged runner-up #78-Martin Truex Jr. by .010 seconds – roughly four inches on the track. But Hamlin’s impressive victory at Daytona International Speedway wasn’t the only record-setting event of the day. On Wednesday, NASCAR released social media numbers generated from its biggest race, and Sunday’s Daytona 500 produced a litany of milestones. The 2016 Daytona 500 set a record for most social impressions generated in one day by NASCAR’s social channels, with race-day impressions up 63 percent over last year’s Great American Race. Engagement with NASCAR social media content — likes, comments and shares — increased threefold over the total generated during the 2015 Daytona 500.
    The reasons for the spike are plenty, most notably the celebrity factor that the Daytona 500 often attracts. Singer Justin Bieber tweeted a photo of a NASCAR racing helmet to his 76 million followers. Ditto for actor Ashton Kutcher to his 17.4 million followers. Among the celebrities in attendance on Sunday, Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., actor Gerard Butler, WWE wrestler John Cena, rapper Wyclef Jean, National League MVP Bryce Harper and comedian Gabriel Iglesias all tweeted from the grounds. This year’s race dominated the Twitterverse. The Daytona 500, which peaked at 14.1 million television viewers tuned in for the checkered flag, generated more tweets than any other TV program on Sunday, beating second-place WWE Fastlane by 66 percent.
    NASCAR’s digital platform racked up 2.1 million unique visitors and 13 million page views. Fans spent a record 2.8 million minutes watching Daytona 500 content on a new race viewing product called NASCAR Drive, recently launched on NASCAR.com. More than 23,000 unique Twitter users competed in the Hashtag 500, a “race” to be the 500th person to tweet unique hashtags, with race-used memorabilia as prizes. A tweet promoting the competition to win #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Daytona 500 firesuit generated the most NASCAR-related mentions in 60 seconds since the debut of the NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center, which measures such things. Overall, the 2016 Daytona 500 saw more NASCAR-related social conversation than had previously occurred on any single day since the inception of the NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center. Social conversation was up 44 percent compared with last year’s race.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-25-2016)
  • Fr8Auctions sponsoring Cassill: Atlanta-based Fr8Auctions’ logo and colors will return to a Front Row Motorsports Ford Fusion, partnering with Landon Cassill’s #38 team for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The company first partnered with Front Row Motorsports for the 2015 Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway, Front Row Motorsports reported. “We had our first experience with Front Row Motorsports in November at Homestead, and thought it was great exposure for our company,” Fr8Auctions founder Marcus Barela said in a statement. “We couldn’t wait to get back on board in 2016, and we’re thrilled that we’ll be working with a great racer like Landon Cassill. And having our logo and colors on the #38 at our home track of Atlanta makes it even better.”(Atlanta Business Chronicle), see an image of the car on the #38 team paint schemes page.(2-25-2016)
  • Sewanee to sponsor DiBenedetto: Heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, BK Racing welcomes Sewanee aboard the #83 Toyota. Known familiarly as “Sewanee” by its students, faculty, staff and friends, The University of the South offers an unmatched educational experience. The university remains purposefully small and dedicated to building a sense of community. Vic Keller, Founder of ZAK Products, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, and his wife Alesha provided this sponsorship as a unique way to support the school their son proudly attends. “Sewanee University is an extraordinary school and is very special to our family,” said Vic Keller. “We look forward to watching for the #83 adorned in Sewanee purple at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend along with The University of the South student and Alumni community!”(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #83 team paint schemes page.(2-25-2016)
  • Jeffrey Earnhardt making 2016 debut at Atlanta: Kicking off his 2016 debut, Jeffrey Earnhardt will be driving the Can-Am sponsored #32 for Go Fas Racing in the 57th Annual Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Sun. February 28th. This will be the first major primary sponsorship race of the season with Can-Am. Earnhardt, 26, from Mooresville, NC, has previously raced at Atlanta twice with his best finish of 25. He moves up to the Sprint Cup series after achieving 66 starts in the Xfinity series. Jeffrey will be running in at least 20 races in the #32 car this Sprint Cup season for Go Fas Racing and their partnership with Can-Am.(Go Fas Racing)(2-25-2016)
  • Atlanta Track Notes & History:
    � Originally called Atlanta International Raceway, the track was then a 1.5-mile paved speedway.
    � The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta was on July 31, 1960, won by Fireball Roberts from the pole.
    � The track was re-measured to 1.522 miles in the spring of 1970.
    � It was renamed Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1990.
    � The track layout was reversed and the track was re-configured to 1.54 miles between the two races in 1997.
    (NASCAR)
  • Batteries Plus Bulbs sponsoring both B.J. McLeod cars: Fresh off their first race together last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, officials from B.J. McLeod Motorsports and Batteries Plus Bulbs announced they will expand their presence for Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race from Atlanta Motor Speedway. In addition to adorning their logos on the #78 Ford Mustang with driver B.J. McLeod, the Hartland, Wisconsin-based company will also back the team’s second entry, the #99 Ford Mustang with driver Todd Peck in the Heads Up Georgia 250. Batteries Plus Bulbs is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing battery, light bulb and smartphone/ tablet repair source with a nationwide network of stores. With access to nearly 60,000 batteries, light bulbs and accessories, Batteries Plus Bulbs has the widest selection of products available and offers unmatched services to retail and business consumers.(B.J. McLeod Motorsports)(2-25-2016)
  • Clements names Atlanta sponsors: Jeremy Clements Racing makes the short trip to the ATL to compete in the Heads Up 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Saturday afternoon at 1:30 pm. Jeremy looks to build on his solid 15th place finish in the PowerShares 300 last weekend at Daytona International Speedway. JCR welcomes back primary sponsors for the 2016 season, All South Electric and BRT Extrusions that will power Jeremy to his seventh career start at AMS. Jeremy “Jug” Clements has a career best start of 20th and career best finish of 14th on the fast 1.5 oval and will look to better both of these this weekend in the “Names Are Made Here” XFINITY Series. All South Electrical Constructors, Inc. was founded on June 1, 1993 by Chuck and Charlie Koon as a single family and small multifamily / commercial electrical contractor. BRT Extrusions Inc. based out of Niles, OH delivers high quality aluminum extrusions from standard or custom dies.(Jeremy Clements Racing)(2-25-2016)
  • Pull-A-Part sponsoring Sieg: Ryan Sieg from Tucker, GA and long standing partner Pull-A-Part from Doraville, Georgia will have a short drive this weekend to Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sieg has made six previous starts at AMS four in the NCWTS along with two NXS.(RSS Racing)(2-25-2016)
  • Justin Marks driving multiple NXS races for Ganassi: Chip Ganassi Racing announced they have partnered with Katerra, a Silicon Valley commercial construction company, as a primary sponsor for multiple races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series on the #42 Chevrolet Camaro for the 2016 season. Justin Marks, 34, will pilot the #42 Katerra Chevrolet Camaro beginning next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6. Marks will share the #42 car with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson. Katerra will also serve as a full-time associate sponsor on the #42. Katerra is reinventing the construction industry. By vertically integrating every aspect of building – from design and sourcing through installation and service – Katerra dramatically cuts the cost and time needed to create quality buildings of all kinds, ranging from residences to commercial structure. Marks has competed in many forms of road-course racing as well as in all three of NASCAR’s national series, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He was also part of the winning team in the 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona in the GT division of the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. Marks has 13 career XFINITY Series starts recording two top-10 finishes. He has competed the past two seasons at road-course events at Road America, Mid-Ohio and once in Daytona in 2015. Marks has two NSCS and 36 NCWTS starts in his career. He has four top-10 finishes and two poles in the NCWTS.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #42 team paint schemes page.(2-25-2016)
  • Townley names Atlanta Sponsor: Home will have a special meaning this weekend for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver John Wes Townley when he drives through the tunnel at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 26-year-old Townley will return to his home track in Hampton, Ga., the facility where he cut his racing teeth in Legends and Bandolero cars on AMS’ frontstretch quarter-mile oval. His #05 Chevrolet Silverado will be carrying the colors of a very special organization based in Townley’s hometown, Watkinsville, Ga. “We’ll be running the ESPFANCLUB.ORG Chevrolet this weekend in Atlanta,” said Townley, who scored his first Truck Series win last fall at one of Atlanta’s sister tracks, Las Vegas Motor Speedway. “Extra Special People (ESP) is a fantastic organization that does a lot throughout northeast Georgia to work with children. I’ve got some friends who have kids in the program and I know some of the folks that work with the kids. Overall, it’s a fantastic organization and I’m thrilled to have them onboard our Chevrolet this weekend.” ESP empowers children with developmental disabilities to cultivate skills, self-confidence, and relationships through recreational therapy, community involvement, and the arts. With the support of volunteers and donors, the ESP team gives participants and their families acceptance, hope, and the opportunity to not just survive, but to thrive.(Athenian Motorsports), see an image of the truck on the #05 team paint schemes page.(2-25-2016)
  • RaceTrac sponsoring Contreras at Atlanta: Contreras Motorsports is ready for the second race of the season, this time with the support of local gas station, RaceTrac. The experienced Hispanic driver, Carlos Contreras, will be behind the wheel for the Great Clips 200. The local sponsor that will be on board the #71 truck, is a chain of gas stations and convenience stores based in Atlanta, Georgia. RaceTrac is currently in more than 600 locations, primarily in southeastern United States. Contreras Motorsports is committed to improve the performance shown in Daytona and repeat the results demonstrated during last week’s practice sessions. The #71 Silverado will have RaceTrac’s traditional colors this weekend, red white and blue.(Contreras Motorsports), see an image of the truck on the #71 team paint schemes page.(2-25-2016)
  • LVMS confident about vehicle management plan for 2016 NASCAR Weekend: Las Vegas Motor Speedway officials are approaching this year’s NASCAR Weekend with extreme confidence about the track’s vehicle flow plan for its 20th year of racing. By working with local and county representatives for nearly two decades, LVMS has been able to design a fluid system for moving more than 100,000 avid NASCAR fans in and out of the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The track’s traffic plan has continued to evolve and improve to create a more efficient process, and this year is no different. The addition of the RaceDay Express shuttle bus service – which debuted at the 2015 NHRA Toyota Nationals and will transport thousands of fans to and from the speedway from the Strip and downtown Las Vegas – is the newest enhancement to LVMS’ transportation options. LVMS first began providing shuttles during the 2013 race season, and RaceDay Express takes it to the next level by providing a complete VIP experience. Speedway officials urge fans to head to the track early and to utilize options like the Lucky 7 Preferred Lot, which will have three dedicated gates for the first hour following the races on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, all fans parked in the Blue Lot can exit through the remaining gates until Lot 7 is cleared, and once Lot 7 is empty, all gates will be opened to those parked in the Blue Lot. Traffic updates will be provided on Sunday, March 6, via the LVMS Twitter feed (@lvmotorspeedway) and on the radio at KBAD AM-920.(LVMS)(2-24-2016)
  • Las Vegas teams with DC Solar to provide solar-powered charging stations: Thanks to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and DC Solar, a dozen lucky fans will have the chance to get a charge out of the 2016 NASCAR Weekend. LVMS and DC Solar, LVMS’ official off-grid mobile solar partner, are teaming to provide six solar-powered charging stations for electric vehicles at this year’s event, which runs March 4-6 at the superspeedway. Twelve EV owners will be chosen at random to receive free parking passes for each day of the race weekend. The charging stations will be set up at a premium location close to the LVMS Fan Engagement Area and ticketing gates. The multi-year agreement between LVMS and DC Solar will boost green and sustainability initiatives for both companies. In addition, DC Solar is providing 10 LED mobile solar light towers that will be used throughout the LVMS property on NASCAR Weekend. The light towers will run after sunset using solar energy stored during the day, providing fans with ample lighting in strategic areas in a safe and clean way. DC Solar is a clean energy company that specializes in mobile solar generators designed for off-grid applications that range from outdoor lighting to electric vehicle (EV) charging. DC Solar serves a variety of industries, including emergency preparedness, disaster relief, construction, entertainment, sports and agriculture, to name just a few.(LVMS)(2-25-2016)


    News from February 24, 2016


  • NASCAR Announces Nominees For NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017, Landmark Award:Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners, drivers and the most recognizable voice in motorsports. The talents, eras and levels may differ, but all share a common thread. They shaped NASCAR, and on Wednesday, they were recognized as nominees for the highest honor the sport bestows – enshrinement into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees, all legends who made excellence a habit through their various contributions to the sport. Among them are record-holding four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr.; the man with the most car owner wins in NASCAR national series history with 322, Jack Roush; former all-time consecutive starts leader Ricky Rudd; legendary motorsports broadcasting pioneer Ken Squier; and three-time premier series champion engine builder and three-time Daytona 500-winning crew chief Waddell Wilson. The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young. From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2017 class will be Wednesday, May 25. Added to this year’s list of Landmark Award nominees is Janet Guthrie – the first female driver to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race. The four returning nominees for the Landmark Award are H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Squier . Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.(NASCAR), see the complete list of nominees on the NASCAR Hall of Fame news page.(2-24-2016)
  • Daytona Warnings issued: Written warnings were issued to the teams of #7-Regan Smith, #38-Landon Cassill, #44-Brian Scott, and #46-Michael Annett for failing the Laser Inspection Station on February 14, 2016 at Daytona International Speedway during prequalifying inspection.(NASCAR)(2-24-2016)
  • No word yet on penalties for the #78 on roof flap violation UPDATE: NASCAR is not expected to announce until next week if Furniture Row Racing will be penalized further for a roof flap violation discovered while Martin Truex Jr.’s #78 Toyota was in line for qualifying Sunday. A series official noticed an issue with the roof flap and the car was sent back to the inspection area. The team was unable to leave the garage area in time to make a qualifying attempt. Truex will start at the rear of his qualifying race Thursday night. “Honestly, I can’t tell you what happened,” said Joe Garone, team president, about the issue with the roof flap. “We haven’t had any conversation with NASCAR other than the fact it didn’t fit tight against the roof. Rather than push it down, which it would have gone down, they had us take it back to the inspection bay to look at it. I understand they wanted to look at it. Where they took the car to look at it was so far away. They kind of waited a little bit and said we were on the five-minute clock before we even left pit road and then we had to push it a quarter mile or half mile down to inspection and then get enough people over there to look at it and then we were out of time to go back out.” If NASCAR finds an issue with a car on the qualifying grid, it has the car return to the inspection area. At most tracks, the inspection area is much closer than it is at Daytona.(NBC Sports)(2-19-2016)
    UPDATE: #78 crew chief Cole Pearn was issued a P2 penalty Tuesday for violations of Sections 12.1 [Actions detrimental to stock car racing or NASCAR] and 20.4.7.6 [roof flap assembly]. He has been placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(2-24-2015)
  • Stewart-Haas Racing switching to Ford in 2017: Ford Performance announced Stewart-Haas Racing will switch to Ford as its auto manufacturer partner starting with the 2017 NASCAR season. The multiyear agreement means that, beginning with Daytona Speedweeks in February 2017, the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing team will race the Ford Fusion with Ford engines prepared by Roush Yates Engines.
    “We are thrilled to be able to add a championship-level team like Stewart-Haas Racing to our Ford NASCAR program,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president and Chief Technical Officer, Ford Motor Company. “Tony Stewart and Gene Haas have the same passion for winning that we do, and bring a strong stable of drivers and personnel that fit into what we’re trying to do in the sport.”
    “We have said very clearly that we are not in NASCAR just to race, but to win races and championships,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “We believe the addition of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2017 will give our program a major boost in terms of being in contention for both drivers’ and manufacturers’ championships every year.
    “We believe that our NASCAR engineering experience and tools match up very well with the expertise and personnel that Stewart-Haas Racing has in house right now, and that we will both benefit from this partnership going forward.”
    Stewart-Haas Racing will join a Ford NASCAR lineup for 2017 that includes Team Penske, Roush Fenway Racing, Wood Brothers Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Front Row Motorsports. Roush Yates Engines is Ford’s technical partner for NASCAR race engines.
    Stewart-Haas Racing will continue its current manufacturer relationship throughout the 2016 season.(Ford Racing)
    AND: Stewart-Haas Racing, winners of two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships and 30 point-paying races, will campaign Ford Fusions beginning in 2017. The four-car team will compete with Ford engines prepared by Roush Yates Engines.
    “I am proud of our association with Chevrolet as they helped build our organization into the team it is today,” said Tony Stewart, co-owner, Stewart-Haas Racing. “This new partnership with Ford allows us to strengthen our position in the sport and ensure the long-term stability and success for everyone who is a part of Stewart-Haas Racing.”
    “Motorsports is an extremely challenging environment where in order to maintain success you have to constantly innovate. It’s true in NASCAR and it’s true in business,” said Gene Haas, co-owner, Stewart-Haas Racing. “We’ve enjoyed great success with Chevrolet, but this opportunity with Ford allows us to evolve while continuing to compete at the highest levels of the sport.”
    “From the very beginning of Stewart-Haas Racing we have fostered an environment of competitiveness, performance, teamwork and family,” said Brett Frood, team president. “This future partnership enables us to continue delivering across these silos and exceed our commitments to our fans, partners and employees.”(Stewart-Haas Racing)
    Transcript: Read what was said in Wednesday morning’s press conference on the Stewart-Haas Racing Ford press conference transcript page.(2-24-2016)
  • 2017 Hall of Fame nominees to be announced Wednesday: The 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017 and five nominees for the third Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR will be unveiled live on NBCSN’s NASCAR America on Wednesday at 5:00pm/et. Five of the nominees and one Landmark Award recipient will be voted in as the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s eighth class on Wednesday, May 25.(NASCAR)(2-24-2016)
  • Markham spotting for Kenseth: Former NASCAR driver, and current Joe Gibbs Racing employee, Curtis Markham will serve as #20-Matt Kenseth’s spotter this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kenseth’s usual spotter, Chris Osborne, continues to recover from an automobile accident in December.(2-24-2016)
  • Roush Performance on the #16 at Atlanta: This weekend, for the first time this season, Roush Fenway Racing’s Greg Biffle and the #16 Ford Fusion will carry the ROUSH Performance colors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. ROUSH Performance visited victory lane with 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion Chris Buescher twice last season, at Iowa Speedway and Dover International Speedway. ROUSH Performance Products is a premier supplier best known for its line of high-performance Mustang powertrain parts, including superchargers, cold air intakes, and exhaust kits. The list goes on to include a full line of wheels, tires, interior, body components, graphics, service parts, accessories, drivetrain, cooling upgrades, and more. ROUSH Performance also offers performance upgrade packages for the Ford F-150 and Focus. In addition to appearing on Biffle’s #16 Fusion in the NSCS, the #6 Mustang, driven by Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, will again carry the ROUSH Performance colors at select races during the 2016 season. Biffle displayed the ROUSH Performance livery three occasions last season, earning a best finish of fifth at Pocono Raceway in August.(Roush Performance), see an image of the car on the #16 team paint schemes page.(2-24-2016)
  • Atlanta Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will run a different tire set-up than those in Xfinity and Camping World Truck at Atlanta this weekend . . . this is the first time Sprint Cup teams have run either of these two tire codes . . . this right-side tire incorporates Goodyear Racing’s multi-zone tread technology, which debuted at Atlanta in 2013 . . . the tire features two distinct tread compounds — one for endurance and heat resistance on the inboard two inches of the tread and one for traction on the outboard 10 inches . . . compared to what was run at Atlanta last season, this right-side code (D-4682) features the same compound on the inboard, with a different compound for more grip on the outboard . . . this left-side code (D-4680) features changes to both compound (more grip) and construction (to bring in line with what is run at other speedways) . . . Goodyear held a tire test at Atlanta in early November 2015 . . . teams participating in that test were Chip Ganassi Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Richard Childress Racing and Roush Fenway Racing . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run liners in all four tire positions at Atlanta . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear PR), see full notes, tire codes, tire pressures, set limits on the Atlanta Race Info page.
  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Atlanta:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson, 106.2
    #19-Carl Edwards, 100.4
    #20-Matt Kenseth, 97.9
    #11-Denny Hamlin, 97.2
    #41-Kurt Busch, 94.3
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 94.3
    #18-Kyle Busch, 92.8
    #4-Kevin Harvick, 92.8
    #78-Martin Truex Jr., 90.9
    #16Greg Biffle, 89.0
    Note: Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2015 races (17 total) at Atlanta (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)
  • Daytona Warnings: Written warnings were issued to the teams of #40-Derek White, #0-Eric McClure, and #99-Chris Fontaine following the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. The #40 team was warned because the lower coil spring mount did not meet specifications. The #0 & #99 teams were warned because rear jack screws did not meet specifications. All violations were found during opening day inspection on February 18, 2016.(NASCAR)(2-24-2016)
  • Yeley joins TriStar: JJ Yeley joins TriStar Motorsports as the driver of the #14 NASCAR XFINITY Series Toyota, starting at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. A veteran in the sport, Yeley has been competing in NASCAR since his debut in 2004, with Joe Gibbs Racing. Coming off of a solid 2015 season Yeley finished 12th in driver points, with 23 Top-20 finishes and a fourth place finish at Talladega SuperSpeedway. “I am excited to get back behind the wheel of a racecar this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway,” Yeley commented. “It was tough not being at Daytona last weekend, but I am ready to get back out and make some laps. I can’t thank Mark Smith and the guys at TriStar Motorsports enough for the opportunity. Hopefully we’ll be able to get some decent finishes for the team.”
    “We are glad to have JJ in the No.14 starting in Atlanta”, says Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports. “Yeley is a strong competitor and we look forward to what he can bring to our organization.”(TriStar Motorsports)(2-24-2016)
  • Austin Hill debuts with his own team at Atlanta: Atlanta Motor Speedway is a track NASCAR Next driver, Austin Hill, knows better than most. He’s raced and won there numerous times before in Bandoleros and Legend cars. This Saturday, the 21-year-old competitor will compete at his hometown track for the first time in a national touring series as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series comes to town. Not only will this weekend’s race be the debut for Hill in the NCWTS at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but it will also kick off a part-time series of races with Hill holding both the driver and team owner title. The young driver will pilot the #20 ARCO Design/Build Ford F-150 for his family-owned team, Austin Hill Racing, in this weekend’s event. Hill and his father, Bryan, have been partnered in the racing industry for the last 15 years-ever since the NASCAR Next driver received his first Quarter Midget car as a gift for his sixth birthday.(Austin Hill Racing)(2-24-2016)
  • Daytona Penalty & Warnings: The #41 team of Ben Rhodes has been issued a P2 penalty following the race at Daytona International Speedway. The team was found in violation of Sections 12.1 [Actions detrimental to stock car racing or NASCAR] and 20.14.3.2.4.2.d [Rear lower coil spring mounts]. The teams crew chief has been fined $2,500 and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31; and the team has been assessed with the loss of 10 championship owner and 10 championship driver points. The violation was found during post-race inspection.
    In addition, written warnings were issued to the teams of #05-John Wes Townley, #22-Austin Self, #58-Ryan Reed, and #59-Korbin Forrister for trailing arms that did not meet specifications and the #23-Spencer Gallagher team for triangular filler panel that did not meet specifications. The violations were found during opening day inspection.(NASCAR)(2-24-2016)
  • Daytona could benefit from additional tax break: After scoring $40 million in tax incentives from Volusia County and Daytona Beach, International Speedway Corp. could get another $10 million in tax relief for its One Daytona project through a complex impact fee rule change that figures to only benefit the area’s most deep-pocketed developers. County Council members signed off this month on an exemption to impact fees that applies only to developers who own adjoining parcels and demolish a structure on one of them while making upgrades to the other. If that scenario seems hard to envision, picture this: By demolishing its old grandstand as part of the Daytona Rising renovations at Daytona International Speedway, International Speedway Corp. earns credits that can be applied to reduce impact fees when it builds across the street at the One Daytona mixed-use complex. The council approved the change on a 5-1 vote after about 15 minutes of discussion and no public comment. The lone dissenter, Councilman Doug Daniels, said the county was being overly generous to a wealthy developer and showing favoritism toward ISC. Impact fees are a one-time tax billed to new residential and commercial development. They are intended to help cover a community’s costs for roads and other infrastructure improvements that are imposed by the new development. Deputy County Attorney Jamie Seaman confirmed that ISC faced anywhere from $3 million to $10 million in financial benefits with the impact fee change, depending on how the credits are applied. If ISC used up all of the impact fee credits at One Daytona – where a P.F. Changs, Fairfield Inn, Bass Pro Shops and Cobb Theaters are going to be constructed – it would face a large impact fee bill down the road once it develops other planned parcels, including condominiums and apartments. The company could choose to hold off on using those credits until it begins work on those projects, Seaman said.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(2-24-2016)


    News from February 23, 2016


  • Aaron’s sponsoring Bowyer at Atlanta: Aaron’s, Inc., a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, announced that it will be the primary race sponsor for the #15 Aaron’s Chevrolet SS driven by Clint Bowyer for HScott Motorsports at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 in Atlanta this weekend. Aaron’s has been an integral part of NASCAR since 2000 and has sponsored several drivers over the years who raced at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Aaron’s backyard. The company’s recently announced partnership with Michael Waltrip as a spokesperson and the one-time primary sponsorship of Bowyer in the Atlanta race supports Aaron’s commitment to NASCAR and its fans.(HScott Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(2-23-2016)
  • Stewart updates his recovery UPDATES: #14-Tony Stewart continues to recover from the back injury suffered in an ATV accident a few weeks ago. He gave an update on his progress with a phone call to the FOX television crew during Sunday’s Daytona 500 broadcast. “[I] don’t even get X-rayed again until March 9,” Stewart said. “So we’re really not going to know what the progress of the bone is. Myself personally I’ve been up getting around a lot each day, I can tell a noticeable difference each day from the previous day so I am feeling a lot better and [am] on a mission to get back to the race track. That’s probably been the hardest part of the last 10 days is not being at the track, not seeing the officials, guys from the other team, everything from Speedweeks.”(MRN)(2-22-2016)
    UPDATE Ty Dillon is expected to be the interim replacement driver for Tony Stewart’s #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet for three of the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. Dillon will fill in for the injured Stewart at Atlanta, Phoenix and Auto Club Speedway, according to a headline Tuesday on the SHR website. The headline has since been deleted. Another interim driver, Brian Vickers — who stepped in for Stewart during the Daytona 500 and finished 26th — is expected to be behind the wheel at Las Vegas, according to the same post.(NASCAR.com)(2-23-2016)
    UPDATE2: Stewart-Haas Racing, tweeted Tuesday afternoon, that Ty Dillon will be in the #14 at Atlanta and Brian Vickers will drive at Las Vegas. Future races are to be determined.(2-23-2016)
  • Denny Hamlin Begins Champion’s Media Tour: Newly crowned DAYTONA 500 champion Denny Hamlin kicked-off his four-day media tour Monday morning with the annual Champion’s Breakfast in the Bill France Room at Daytona International Speedway. Hamlin was presented with the traditional champion’s jacket and a steel-and-gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona watch – which he will need to stay on schedule for the media frenzy ahead of him. In addition, his #11 FedEx Express Toyota was brought to its new home for the next year, inside the speedway’s Ticket and Tours Building where it will be viewed by fans.
    “It has been a long day, I haven’t been to bed yet,” said Hamlin, who took some advice from past winners after his dramatic Sunday victory when he edged Martin Truex Jr. by 0.010 seconds. “The greatest advice that I’ve gotten is the schedule’s [tough] but live in the moment because you never know. Plus, ‘this will live with you forever, so enjoy the week.'”
    Hamlin’s win not only marked the first DAYTONA 500 championship for him and Toyota, but it also ended Joe Gibbs Racing’s 23-year drought in the “Great American Race.”. Gibbs was awarded his own Harley J. Earl trophy to bring home with him this time. Crew chief Mike Wheeler received the Cannonball Baker Trophy given to the champion crew chief, in his first year with Hamlin.
    “I think about all the storylines: a first for Denny, a first for Toyota,” Gibbs said. “It’s a big deal for us. How many times do you lay out a plan, then have the thing actually play out?” During the Champion’s Breakfast, DIS President Joie Chitwood III also unveiled the 2017 logo for the 59th running of the DAYTONA 500.
    The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will return for a Saturday night showing of the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola on July 2. On Friday, July 1, the NASCAR Xfinity Series returns for the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or by visiting daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)
    Hamlin media tour Hamlin will continue to enjoy the spoils of victory in NASCAR’s biggest race on Tuesday with appearances on FOX & Friends, Live! With Kelly and Michael and a host of SiriusXM shows. And that’s just his morning schedule. On Tuesday afternoon, Hamlin will fly to Bristol, Conn., to take part in an ESPN ‘Car Wash’ that will include two live SportsCenter appearances, among a number of other hits across ESPN’s bevy of platforms.
    On Wednesday, Hamlin will take a breather, returning home to Charlotte, N.C., before flying to Atlanta for an interview on CNN Headline News and a visit to the Georgia State Capitol on Thursday morning.(2-23-2016)
  • Valvoline to sponsor Menard for four races in 2016: Valvoline the petroleum industry’s first U.S. trademarked motor oil brand now celebrating its 150th anniversary announced its 2016 sponsorship alignment with Menards home improvement centers and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) driver, #27-Paul Menard. Valvoline will be co-primary sponsor with hood branding for four upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, beginning with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 to be held Feb. 28 at Atlanta. Additionally, Menard will be featured in Valvoline’s LEGACY video series, designed specifically to tell the story of its motorsports history, commitment to excellence and dedication to developing cutting-edge motor oil. In addition to the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 in Atlanta, Valvoline will appear on the #27 Chevy hood at Indy in July, Darlingtoin in September and Charlotte in October. Also part of Valvoline’s newest NASCAR sponsorship alignment will be this week’s launch of the first of two Valvoline LEGACY videos featuring Menard, which can be viewed at TeamValvoline.com/LEGACY.(Valvoline), see images of the car on the #27 Team Schemes page (2-23-2016)
  • REPOST – NASCAR ends posting race winnings: Ending a practice of more than six decades, NASCAR has stopped disclosing winnings in Sprint Cup box scores because of its new charter system, whose financial details are emerging. NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar told NBC Sports the decision was made to stop disseminating total purse and individual winnings for each race because “it’s not contemporary” under the new system announced Tuesday that guarantees revenue and race attendance for 36 teams with charters. Another four “open” cars – which don’t have charters that guarantee making the race – could round out each field for a maximum of 40 cars. “It’s a new foundation and a new era,” Dewar said. “We’ve changed a lot of things from that old model to this model. That’s one of the things that was from a different time and place.” The move, which began with Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited, essentially ends career winnings as a calculable and comparable statistic. NASCAR has supplied race winnings virtually since its 1948 inception (Jim Roper is credited with earning $2,000 for winning the inaugural Strictly Stock race at Charlotte Speedway) and also listed each race’s total purse on entry blanks and box scores. The 2016 Daytona 500 entry blank didn’t contain a total purse or a breakdown of payouts by position. Those standard elements remain on the entry blanks for the truck and Xfinity series – both of which still have a race purse that includes money based on myriad contingency plans and finishing order.
    Under the new system, NASCAR has set aside guaranteed revenues for chartered teams based on entering each race and on their performance over the past three seasons. They also will compete for a points fund with more cash. The fourth and final source of income for chartered teams is what traditionally has been called “the purse,” but in this case, it’s dependent solely on finishing position – carved out from the previous contingency plans that rewarded the most competitive teams. The chartered and open teams compete for the same pool of money in what is known as the “variable” purse that is based on results (in addition to the “fixed” purse that offers guaranteed money in much larger amounts for the charter teams). Dewar said it didn’t make sense to provide winnings that are listed according to drivers, which was misleading because the money actually was awarded to teams. Dewar contrasted it to a PGA event, where the listed winnings actually go directly to the golfer. IndyCar takes a similar approach, publishing none of its winnings for races aside from the Indianapolis 500.(in part from NBC Sports), see the Official Daytona 500 Race & Points Report (pdf), race winnings are not posted (2-14/23-2016)
  • NASCAR looking to build international presence: NASCAR are eyeing a strategy to help build their international presence but the preeminent stock car racing organization have no immediate plans to schedule races outside the United States. Citing another made-in-America sports league, the National Basketball Association, NASCAR has decided to take a bottom-up approach in the hope of nurturing international drivers who might one day make the leap to the United States. “The NBA model is a great one,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice-president and chief racing development officer, told Reuters. “You have a (local league)in a particular country or region but the ultimate goal is to play in the NBA.” Although the NBA has played games overseas, NASCAR do not intend to export their premier Sprint Cup series, which includes the Daytona 500. In the distant past the mostly oval track racing series had non-points races for its stars in Australia and Japan. But those exhibitions do not fit with current NASCAR plans. “It was an idea before its time and we learned from that,” said O’Donnell. “Just taking a race to another country does not help build the sport. Our model for success is to grow at the grassroots level.” As part of the strategy implementation, a relatively new series, called the Whelen Euro Series, promotes racing on a variety of circuits in six countries, including former Formula One venues at Brands Hatch in England and Zolder in Belgium.(full article at Reuters)(2-23-2016)
  • XFINITY Entry List: There are 37 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Heads Up Georgia 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    Garrett Smithley makes his debut in the #0;
    Paul Menard will be in the RCR #2;
    Jeff Green is entered in the #10 for TriStar;
    The MBM #13 is TBA;
    The TriStar #14 is TBA;
    Corey LaJoie will drive the #24 for JGL;
    Scott Lagasse is again entered in the #93;
    Todd Peck is entered in the #99;
    Not entered but expected: #15 & #25 of Rick Ware, #52 of Jimmy Means, #97-Harrison Rhodes.(2-22-2015)
    See the complete list on the Atlanta entry list page.
  • Crew member reinstated: NASCAR has reinstated Frank W. Earnhardt, a former crew member in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, upon his successful completion of NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program. On May 14, 2013, Earnhardt was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(2-23-2016)
  • Gase names Atlanta sponsors: Thanks to a personal connection to the cause, NASCAR driver Joey Gase has a passion for sharing the importance of organ and tissue donation that rivals his passion for racing. When he was just 18 years old, his mother suffered from a brain aneurism and passed away. Joey made the decision to honor her wish to be an organ donor, choosing to save lives through her untimely death. The experience sparked a fire in Joey to spread the word far and wide about how the decision to become a donor can truly save lives. Gase will be in Georgia to race in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Heads Up Georgia 250 but on February 24, he will unveil his car at the Forest Park Department of Driver Services and advocate for donation. The design highlights the need for donation, and also features the images of several Georgians who have been impacted by donation. Photos of the Puckett family, whose son, Thomas, was an organ donor and of Derrick, Thomas’ organ recipient, will adorn Joey’s car when he takes to the Atlanta Speedway on February 27th. Every year, thousands of lives are saved by organ and tissue donations. Here in Georgia, more than 5,700 people are waiting for a transplant that will save their life. Each designation matters, every person who documents their decision to save lives in Georgia could one day save eight lives, and improve dozens more.(Joey Gase PR)(2-23-2016)
  • Smithley pulling NXS, CWTS double duty at Atlanta: Garrett Smithley, driver of the #0 JD Motorsports Chevrolet in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition, has added NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events to his 2016 schedule. Smithley will run double-duty this week in the JD Motorsports NXS entry as well as the #63 MB Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado NCWTS truck starting this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Both teams will carry primary sponsorship from Instalco. Smithley, 23, has competed in four previous NCWTS events, all for MB Motorsports. He finished 18th in the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway last season and posted a career-best NCWTS finish of 14th at Michigan International Speedway last August. He made his NXS debut last season at Homestead-Miami Speedway scoring a 28th-place finish. Instalco is a commercial door and hardware installation service company based in the Nashville, Tenn., area.. In addition to doors and hardware, their services also include installation of Division 10 items as well as cabinets and finish trim. Established in 1996, Instalco services a variety of industries including hotels, elderly care facilities, office and apartment buildings in the Southeast, Midwest and the Carolinas.(Smithley PR)(2-23-2016)
  • Justin Marks driving for Braun at Atlanta: Veteran driver Justin Marks will return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Saturday will mark his first race for Braun Motorsports, a Mooresville, N.C. based team that made its NCWTS debut last season. This weekend will also be the first race that Marks partners with new sponsor Katerra. Katerra, a high-tech construction company, is based in Menlo Park, Calif., just a few hours from Marks’ hometown of Rocklin.(Braun Motorsports)(2-23-2016)
  • Truck Series Entry list: There are 34 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Georgia 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    The #07 is TBA;
    Justin Marks will drive the #32;
    Timothy Viens makes his first start in the #74;
    Brandon Brown in the #86;
    Garrett Smithley will drive the #63 for MB Motorsports;
    Parker Kligerman returns to the #92.
    See the complete list on the Atlanta entry list page. 


    News from February 22, 2016


     

  • Third Daytona 500 win for car #11: #11-Denny Hamlin’s win in the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 was car #11’s third win ever in the Daytona 500. Mario Andretti was the first, winning in 1967, then Cale Yarborough in 1977.
    Car #11 has now won 207 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, which is nine wins ahead of the iconic #43 for all-time wins in Sprint Cup Series history for a car number. Car #3 is third best with 97 wins.
    Breakdown of wins by driver in the #11:
    Cale Yarborough (55)(won 3 championships in car #11)(1977 Daytona 500)
    Ned Jarrett (49)(won 2 championships in car #11)
    Darrell Waltrip (43)(won 3 championships in car #11)
    Denny Hamlin (27)(2016 Daytona 500)
    Junior Johnson (11)
    Bill Elliott (6)
    Geoff Bodine (4)
    Terry Labonte (4)
    Bobby Allison (3)
    Buddy Baker (2)
    A.J. Foyt (1)
    Mario Andretti (1)(won 1967 Daytona 500)
    Parnelli Jones (1)(1st driver to win in #11)
    TOTAL WINS = 207
    See more on car number wins at the Wins by Car Numbers page (2-22-2016)
  • Daytona 500 TV Ratings: the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race from Daytona International Speedway scored a 6.14 over night rating on Sunday, February 21st. The race was broadcast on FOX (ShowBuzzDaily). In 2015 the overnight rating was 7.3 with a final rating of 7.7 and and average audience of 13.36 million. In 2014 the number were down mainly due to the race being postponed by rain and running from 8:25pm/et to 11:23pm/et, scoring an 5.6 rating with 9.3 million viewers. in 2013 the overnight was 10.0, with a final of 9.9 and 16.651 million average viewers., see past races and three-year chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(2-22-2016)
  • Can-Am Duel 150’s TV Ratings: NASCAR’s Can-Am Duel 150’s at Daytona attracted its smallest audience since moving to primetime three years ago. The NASCAR Duel at Daytona scored a 1.57 final rating and 2.542 million viewers on Fox Sports 1 Thursday night, down 11% in ratings and 16% in viewership from last year (1.8, 3.0M) and down 16% and 18%, respectively, from 2014 (1.9, 3.1M). Ratings and viewership rank as the lowest for the event since 2013, the final time it aired during the afternoon (1.3, 2.0M). Despite the declines, the telecast finished comfortably ahead of TNT’s NBA doubleheader – Cavaliers/Bulls (1.3, 1.9M) and Spurs/Clippers (1.1, 1.7M). The NBA games did finish ahead in adults 18-49, each scoring a 0.8 compared to NASCAR’s 0.5.(Sports Media Watch / Programming Insider), see past races and three-year chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(2-22-2016)
  • Stewart updates his recovery: #14-Tony Stewart continues to recover from the back injury suffered in an ATV accident a few weeks ago. He gave an update on his progress with a phone call to the FOX television crew during Sunday’s Daytona 500 broadcast. “[I] don’t even get X-rayed again until March 9,” Stewart said. “So we’re really not going to know what the progress of the bone is. Myself personally I’ve been up getting around a lot each day, I can tell a noticeable difference each day from the previous day so I am feeling a lot better and [am] on a mission to get back to the race track. That’s probably been the hardest part of the last 10 days is not being at the track, not seeing the officials, guys from the other team, everything from Speedweeks.”(MRN)(2-22-2016)
  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Daytona 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 1:11 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:44 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 143
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 77
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 131
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 75
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 12
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 10
    Number of times Fox utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 3
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 80
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 10 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:11 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:44 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 213
    Minutes of race broadcast: 155
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 58
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 6
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 155 Total comm. brdcst time 58
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(2-22-2016)
  • Free Food on Monday: Regan Smith delivered an 8th place finish in the Golden Corral #7 Chevy in the Daytona 500. That means Kids Eat Free on Monday, February 22nd, at Golden Corral restaurants across the country. Each time the #7 Golden Corral Chevy finishes in the top 10 this season, Golden Corral will offer a one-day “Kids Eat Free” promotion immediately following the top-10 race finish. Free kids buffet with an adult buffet purchase at regular price with a limit of two (2) free kids meals per adult buffet purchased.
    AND with #4-Kevin Harvick’s 4th place finish in the Daytona 500, fans can get a free Bloomin’ Onion at Outback Steakhouse on Monday.(2-22-2016)
  • Truex misses Daytona 500 glory by inches: There is a new sponsor and a bright, glitzy new paint job for #78-Martin Truex Jr., whose 2015 car was black as a funeral suit. Still, two more coats of new paint on the front bumper and Truex is the Daytona 500 champion. Instead, in a finish he’ll be forced to replay for a lifetime, Truex lost to Denny Hamlin by 0.010 seconds, the closest finish in Daytona 500 history. “I just said, ‘Damn, that was close,'” Truex said, recalling his initial thoughts, when he was just past the finish line and wasn’t yet sure who had won the race. The gold standard had been — at least since Lee Petty’s controversial photo-finish over Johnny Beauchamp in the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959 — Kevin Harvick’s 0.020-second margin against Mark Martin in 2007. “Mark Martin, poor guy,” said poor Martin Truex Jr. Truex noted that the Harvick-Martin finish is pictured on a mural in the turn 1 tunnel leading to the Daytona infield. He figured he’s bound for the same sort of immortality now. “Just going to have to watch that on the highlight reel for the rest of my career, I suppose, the rest of my life,” Truex said. He was barely out of the car before he watched it the first time. “I just wanted to see how much I got beat by,” Truex said “Honestly, I don’t know that I could have done anything better to have a better chance of winning it.” If he had a mulligan, it’s that “maybe I should have maybe rubbed (Hamlin) up the track a little harder.” Ruefully, he added, “You’d rather get beat by a few feet than four inches, absolutely.”
    Truex spent countless laps on Hamlin’s bumper in the middle third of the race, but it was Matt Kenseth who owned the lead after a restart with 12 to go, and Truex hooked up behind him. But when Hamlin built up a head of steam on the outside, Kenseth went high to block with a quarter of a lap to go. The sudden move caused Kenseth to get loose and free Hamlin for the sprint to the finish. Truex is what Kenseth called “an adopted teammate,” with owner Barney Visser’s Furniture Row Racing team moving from Chevrolet to Toyota and affiliating with Joe Gibbs Racing, which fields the cars of Hamlin, Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. “For them to welcome us in as a group into their way of racing, part of their team, that quickly, and trust us was a huge deal,” Truex said. “You’ve got to give those guys a lot of credit,” Gibbs said. The vision of the narrow loss may never fade, but the agony is short-lived. “I’m fine,” Truex said. “I’m proud of what we did. … It’s my best finish ever in this race. Probably one of the strongest runs I’ve ever had at a restrictor plate track throughout the entire day. It was a big day for us for a lot of reasons. I realize the position I’m in, the opportunities I’m going to have this year. I’m going to have a lot more opportunities to win races. I feel like we did everything right today to put ourselves in position to win.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-22-2016)
  • Kenseth felt he had to make a move: If he had to do it over again, #20-Matt Kenseth might have stayed in line in front of #78-Martin Truex Jr., rather than moving up the track to try to block Joe Gibbs Racing teammate #11-Denny Hamlin. But Kenseth had to make a split-second decision, and he moved into the outside lane in the final corner of Sunday’s Daytona 500. But Hamlin dived to the inside, and Kenseth nearly wrecked before regaining control of his car. Hamlin went on to win the race, and Kenseth, who had led for most of the final lap rolled home in 14th. “There’s a million things you could do differently, but I did what I thought I should do at the time to try to win,” Kenseth said. “We finished terrible, but that was the move I thought I had to make to try to preserve the win. He (Hamlin) had such a big run, he was going to go right around me in my opinion anyway, and Turn 4 was treacherous on the bottom. I didn’t think we were in a good spot to try to win it with his run, so I was trying to get in front of him. Unfortunately, his run happened pretty late in the straightway and he had the whole width of the corner to make a move, and he was able to cross back over and get under me.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-22-2016)
  • Cope names Atlanta sponsors: Derrike Cope Racing has, for the second year in a row, Adrenalin Power Sports in association with Polaris and Argo on as Co-primary for the Atlanta Xfinity Nascar race on Feb. 27th. Owners Jimmy and Melissa Wade have been operating the business since 2004 at the same location on 1218 Enterprise Way in Griffin GA. Adrenalin Powersports Inc. is a Polaris dealership selling ATVs, side by side vehicles and the Polaris GEM electric vehicles. Last year they have added the Argo off-road amphibious vehicles. ICE-AID will be featured as the other Co-primary on the #70 Camaro this weekend. An environmentally safe, all natural, mineral-based product that turns your cooler of ice into a freezer, ICE-AID- formerly known as Beer Frost continues to make it’s presence in NASCAR and around the world as the first of it’s kind innovation. DCR also has two associate sponsors for the event. Military Missions in Action (MMIA) is a military charity that devotes their efforts to help veterans with disabilities achieve independent living, as well as supporting our service men and women and their families as they serve in combat areas abroad. With programs such as “Operation Building Hope,” where MMIA modifies disabled veterans homes to suit their specific needs, they use 93% of the funds from every dollar on the actual projects. Ocean Catering Company will be sponsoring DCR #70 team in Atlanta this year. For more than a decade, Ocean Catering Company, led by Executive Chef Shane McIntosh, has been creating innovative cuisine from Southern, Classic French, Caribbean, to even Vegan.(Derrike Cope Racing)(2-22-2016)


    News from February 21, 2016


  • Closest Sprint Cup Race Finishes:
    Margin Winner Runner-up Track Date
    .002 Ricky Craven, Kurt Busch, Darlington, March 16, 2003
    .002 Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Talladega, April 7, 2011
    .005 Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Daytona, July 7, 2007
    .005 Dale Earnhardt, Ernie Irvan, Talladega, July 25, 1993
    .006 Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Atlanta, March 11, 2001
    .008 Jimmy Spencer, Ernie Irvan, Daytona, July 2, 1994
    .010 Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Daytona 500, February 21, 2016
    .010 Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte, Atlanta, March 12, 2000
    .010 Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Rockingham, February 22, 2004
    .011 Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Talladega, April 25, 2010
    .017 Greg Biffle, Mark Martin, Homestead, November 20. 2005
    .018 Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Talladega, October 23, 2011
    .020 Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin, Daytona 500, February 18, 2007
    (points races only – since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993)(2-21-2016)
  • Car Numbers that have produced three or more Daytona 500 victories:
    Car Number (wins) – Drivers (years)
    o #43(7) – Richard Petty (1964, ’66, ’71, ’73, ’74, ’79, ’81)
    o #21(5) – Tiny Lund (1963), Cale Yarborough (1968), A.J. Foyt (1972), David Pearson (1976) and Trevor Bayne (2011)
    o #28(5) – Fred Lorenzen (1965), Buddy Baker (1980), Cale Yarborough (1983 and 1984) and Davey Allison (1992).
    o #88(4) – Bobby Allison (1982), Dale Jarrett (1996, 2000), Dale Earnhardt Jr.(2014)
    o #4(3) – Ernie Irvan (1991), Sterling Marlin (1994 and 1995)
    o #15(3) – Bobby Allison (1978), Michael Waltrip (2001 and 2003)
    o #17(3) – Darrell Waltrip (1989), Matt Kenseth (2009 and 2012)
    o #24(3) – Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999 and 2005)
    o #22(3) – Fireball Roberts (1962), Ward Burton (2002) and Joey Logano (2015)
    o #11(3) – Mario Andretti (1967), Cale Yarborough (1977) and Denny Hamlin (2016)
    (2-21-2016)
  • Denny Hamlin wins the Daytona 500: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 1st win in the Daytona 500 and 27th career win. Hamlin led 95 of the 200 laps.
    It is the 2nd Daytona 500 win for Joe Gibbs Racing and first since Dale Jarrett won in 1993. It is the first career win for crew chief Mike Wheeler.
    It is the 11th straight season Hamlin has won a race (2006-2016)
    #78-Truex Jr. led coming to the start-finish line, but Hamlin caught him and won by .010 seconds in a photo finish.
    #18-Nusch finished 3rd, followed by #4-Harvick, #19-Edwards, #22-Logano, #42-Larson, #7-Smith (kids eat free at Golden Corral on Monday), #3-Dillon and #41-Busch.
    #20-Kesneth led on lap 199 and was quite a bit ahead of the 2nd line which Hamlin was in, Kenseth moved over to race Hamlin and ended up falling back and finished 14th.
    #24-Chase Elliott, the pole sitter, spun on lap 20 while in the middle of the pack and did a lot of damage to the front end. Elliott came back out down 40 laps and finished 37th. #88-Earnhardt Jr., who led 15 laps, and was the race favorite, spun off turn 4 on lap 169 hitting the inside wall and ended his day, finishing 36th.
    There no large wrecks, termed ‘the big ones’, during the race.
    There were 20 lead changes among 15 drivers and 6 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 157.549mph.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, February 22 at 8:00pm/et on FS1
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and [NOTE: money won is no longer reported] more at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf) See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf). (2-21-2016)
  • Race Fast Facts – Daytona:
    #11-Denny Hamlin won the 58th Annual Daytona 500, his 27th victory in 363 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 21 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    #78-Martin Truex Jr. (second) posted his third top-10 finish in 22 races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2016.
    #18-Kyle Busch (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 22 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    #21-Ryan Blaney (19th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #11-Denny Hamlin leads the point standings by 5 points over Martin Truex Jr.
    This is the first Daytona 500 win for Toyota.
    The Margin of Victory in today’s race is the closest in Daytona 500 history at 0.010 second.
    Denny Hamlin becomes the fifth driver in series history to win the Sprint Unlimited and the Daytona 500 in the same season joining Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1987), Dale Jarrett (1996, 2000) and Jeff Gordon (1997).(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(2-21-2016)
  • 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
    [after Daytona, race 1 of 36]
    1) #11-Hamlin [1 win], 45
    2) #78-Truex, Jr., 40, -5
    3) #18-Busch, 39, -6
    4) #4-Harvick, 37, -8
    5) #19-Edwards, 36, -9
    6) #22-Logano, 35, -10
    7) #42-Larson, 34, -11
    8) #7-Smith, 33, -12
    9) #3-Dillon, 33, -12
    10) #41-Kurt Busch, 31, -14
    11) #31-Newman, 31, -14
    12) #43-Almirola, 29, -16
    13) #5-Kahne, 28, -17
    14) #20-Kenseth, 28, -17
    15) #59-McDowell, 26, -19
    16) #48-Johnson, 26, -19
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf) See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).
  • Race Coverage of the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, February 21, 2016.
    Television (TV): FOX at 1:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 10:00am/et on FS1 and 12:00pm/et on FOX; green flag approx. 1:31pm/et
    RadioMotor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, February 22 at 8:00pm/et on FS1
  • See the starting lineup for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on the Daytona 500 Starting Lineup Page (pdf).(2-18-2016)
  • Chase Elliott comments about Daytona 500 wreck: #24-Chase Elliott was sidelined by an accident on lap 20 of the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway after starting from the pole. Comments:
    Q) WHAT HAPPENED? 
    ELLIOTT: “I’m not sure, just got turned around there off of four. Got in the middle and got loose. Lost it and spun out. I hate it for everybody at less than 20 laps in and have something dumb like that happen. I apologize to my guys. We will try and get back out there I guess and make some laps.”
    Q) IS PART OF THIS GETTING USED TO THE CUP CAR? SO DIFFERENT FROM THE XFINITY CAR:
    ELLIOTT: “Yeah, it’s definitely different. That wasn’t what happened, but yes, that is definitely different.”
    Q) THE CAR WAS GETTING TIGHT. WAS IT TOO EARLY TO TELL WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH IT HANDLING WISE?
    ELLIOTT: “Yeah, too early to tell I think a lot of guys were fighting tight off there. That was just normal. It’s hot and tires were giving up a little bit as the run went on. I don’t think that was the cause of what happened.”
    Q) TALK ABOUT HOW WELL YOUR TEAM HAS DONE SO FAR DURING SPEEDWEEKS:
    ELLIOTT: “They have done a good job. We had a real fast car all week. Like I said, I just hate it ended so soon. We will just try to get back out there and make some laps. Most importantly get ready for Atlanta.”
    Q) YOU SAID ATLANTA WAS REALLY THE START OF THE SEASON HOW DO YOU REGROUP AND KIND OF JUST LET THIS ONE GO:
    ELLIOTT: “We don’t have much of a choice. It’s done now. We will let her go and get ready for Atlanta.”
    Q) WAS IT A HANDLING ISSUE?
    ELLIOTT: “No, just got in middle there a couple of laps before and got loose off of (turn) four and just lost. I hate it-it had been such a fun week and you hate to end the race before it even got started. Just disappointed for everybody. We will just have to look past it and get on for Atlanta. That is the most important thing now. Can’t get caught up in what happened today, it is irrelevant now. We’ll try and get it fixed and make some laps. Then it’s on to Atlanta and if we can make some laps we will and move forward from here.”
    (Team Chevy)(2-21-2016)
  • Daytona Pre-Race Schedule for Sunday, February 21: (eastern time)
    11:00:00am: NSCS Driver / Crew Chief Meeting 12:19:00pm: DAYTONA 500 Pre-Race Show Featuring Florida Georgia Line 12:43:00pm: NSCS Driver Introductions 1:11:00pm: Intro Presentation of Colors & Invocation: Patrick AFB Honor Guard 1:11:20pm: Invocation: From Central Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, FL; Sonny Gallman 1:12:00pm: National Anthem by: 82nd Airborne Division All American Chorus – Ft. Bragg NC 1:13:35pm: Fly by: United States Air Force Thunderbirds 1:19:00pm: Command to Start Engines by Actor Gerard Butler 1:31:00pm: Green Flag Daytona 500 eastern time (NASCAR.com)
  • Front row starters don’t win Daytona 500 often: In the 57 runnings of the Daytona 500, only seven drivers have won from the pole position. Only two of these drivers accomplished the feat more than once — Cale Yarborough (1968, 1984) and Bill Elliott (1985, 1987). Dale Jarrett was the most recent polesitter to capture the Harley J. Earl Trophy when he won the event in 2000. The other drivers to win the Daytona 500 from the pole were Fireball Roberts (1962), Richard Petty (1966), Buddy Baker (1980) and Gordon (1999).
    Winning the Daytona 500 from the outside of the front row is even rarer. Only six drivers have accomplished this feat, with Richard Petty the only one with more than one victory in the race from the second starting position. The most recent driver to win from this spot was once again Jarrett, in 1993. A.J. Foyt (1962), Geoffrey Bodine (1986), Darrell Waltrip (1989) and Ernie Irvan (1991) are the four other drivers.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-21-2016)
  • Car Numbers that have produced three or more Daytona 500 victories:
    Car Number (wins) – Drivers (years)
    o #43(7) – Richard Petty (1964, ’66, ’71, ’73, ’74, ’79, ’81)
    o #21(5) – Tiny Lund (1963), Cale Yarborough (1968), A.J. Foyt (1972), David Pearson (1976) and Trevor Bayne (2011)
    o #28(5) – Fred Lorenzen (1965), Buddy Baker (1980), Cale Yarborough (1983 and 1984) and Davey Allison (1992).
    o #88(4) – Bobby Allison (1982), Dale Jarrett (1996, 2000), Dale Earnhardt Jr.(2014)
    o #4(3) – Ernie Irvan (1991), Sterling Marlin (1994 and 1995)
    o #15(3) – Bobby Allison (1978), Michael Waltrip (2001 and 2003)
    o #17(3) – Darrell Waltrip (1989), Matt Kenseth (2009 and 2012)
    o #24(3) – Jeff Gordon (1997, 1999 and 2005)
    o #22(3) – Fireball Roberts (1962), Ward Burton (2002) and Joey Logano (2015)
    (2-21-2016)
  • Logano looking to be first repeat winner since 1995:
    With a visit to Victory Lane in Sunday’s Daytona 500, #22-Joey Logano would become only the fourth driver to win The Great American Race in consecutive seasons. The three drivers who have taken the checkered flag in the Daytona 500 two years in a row are Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84) and Sterling Marlin (1994-95).(NASCAR)
  • Engine Rule at Daytona: the engine rule is a little different at Daytona 500 then the other 35 races, teams must run the same engine from Saturday’s first practice session through the Budweiser Duel 150 mile qualifying races. If a team makes a change before the Duel, then it must start at the rear of the Duel 150 field and the Daytona 500 (as of 2015). After the Duel 150 races, teams can make an engine change before the Happy Hour practice session. After that, if an engine change is made, the driver will start at the rear of the Daytona 500.
  • Double Yellow Line at Daytona = do not pass: In order to emphasize the yellow-line rule at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway where passes are not permitted, NASCAR has made the single yellow line into a double-yellow line. The second yellow line was painted on the inside of the existing yellow line.
  • Daytona Driver Notes & Facts:
    � 533 drivers have competed in at least one Daytona 500; 318 in more than one.
    � Dave Marcis leads the series all-time in Daytona 500 starts with 33; followed by NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (32) and Terry Labonte (32).
    � Michael Waltrip leads all active NSCS drivers in Daytona 500 starts with 28; followed by Tony Stewart (17), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (16) and Matt Kenseth (16).
    � Bob Welborn won the first race at Daytona, the 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500.
    � Fireball Roberts won the first 400-mile race at Daytona, the 1963 Firecracker 400.
    � 58 different drivers have won at Daytona.
    � Richard Petty leads all drivers in points-paying victories at Daytona with 10.
    � The Wood Brothers have won 15 races at Daytona, more than any other car owner.
    � Danica Patrick on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2013 became the first female in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history to win a Coors Light pole for the Daytona 500 posting a speed of 196.434 mph.
    � Janet Guthrie previously held the record for top starting position by a female NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, starting ninth twice in 1977 – at Talladega Superspeedway on Aug. 7, 1977 and at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 28, 1977.
    � In 2012, Danica Patrick became the third female driver to compete in a Daytona 500 joining Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson. Below are the previous female driver performances in the Daytona 500.
    (NASCAR)
  • Harley J. Earl trophy for winning the Daytona 500, who was Earl? If there’s one trophy a driver dreams of putting his hands on, it’s the Harley J. Earl trophy. Awarded to the winner of the Daytona 500, the Harley J. Earl trophy is one of the most prized possessions in motorsports. Named after Harley J. Earl, a famous General Motors designer and friend of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., the Harley J. Earl Perpetual Trophy rests year round inside The Daytona 500 Experience , “The Official Motorsports Attraction of NASCAR,” and bears the name of every Daytona 500 champion.
    Each year, the Harley J. Earl Perpetual Trophy makes a trip outside the attraction to the hallowed grounds of Gatorade Victory Lane at the “World Center of Racing” for a meeting with the Daytona 500 champion.
    While the Daytona 500 champion doesn’t take home the Harley J. Earl trophy, the winner of the “Great American Race” is awarded a replica Harley J. Earl trophy, which has a black base with a scaled-down replica of the Firebird One that Earl created in 1954 at the peak of his career with General Motors.
    For the 50th running of the Daytona 500, the trophy was painted gold. The Harley J. Earl trophy is just one of three trophies awarded on the day of the Daytona 500.
    The winning crew chief of the Daytona 500 champion is awarded the Cannonball Baker trophy, which is named after the famous coast-to-coast racer who was elected the first national commissioner of NASCAR in 1948 while the owner of the winning Daytona 500 champion is awarded the Governor’s Cup.(DIS PR)
    Richard Earl, a former Wall Street broker and youngest grandson of Earl, makes his living selling Harley Earl-designed cars. ” ‘Motoramic masterpieces’ is how I like to refer to them,” he said.(3-24-2009/2-21-2016)
  • Earnhardt Jr., Johnson, Waltrip & Kenseth go for Third Daytona 500 Title: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will attempt to join elite company when he goes for his third Daytona 500 victory in Sunday’s 58th running of The Great American Race. Only five drivers are part of the club with three or more Daytona 500 wins: Richard Petty (seven), Cale Yarborough (four), Bobby Allison (three), Dale Jarrett (three) and Jeff Gordon (three). Earnhardt Jr. has finished third or better in the last four Daytona 500s. His four Daytona 500 runner-ups are the most among active drivers. Earnhardt won the summer race at Daytona last year from the pole and will attempt to become the ninth driver to capture consecutive checkered flags at Daytona. Cale Yarborough, Jeff Gordon and Bobby Allison have each won consecutive races at Daytona twice.(NASCAR)
  • Daytona Race Notes & Facts:
    � There have been 137 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since the track hosted its first race in 1959: 57 have been 500 miles, 53 were 400 miles and four 250 miles. There were also 23 qualifier races that were point races.
    � The 2016 edition will be the 58th running of the Daytona 500.
    � Although the first Daytona 500 was held in 1959, it has been the season-opener only since 1982.
    � Kevin Harvick’s 0.020-second margin of victory over Mark Martin in the 2007 Daytona 500 is the 12th-closest overall since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993, and the closest in a Daytona 500.
    � Due to the overtime rules in NASCAR the longest Daytona 500 ever run was the 2010 and 2011 Daytona 500s both went 208 laps/520 miles – eight laps and 20 miles more than the scheduled distance.
    (NASCAR)
  • Track / Daytona 500 Specific Stats:
    � NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty has led the most laps in a single Daytona 500; leading 184 laps in the 1964 Daytona 500.
    � Jamie McMurray has led the fewest laps in a Daytona 500 and won – in 2010, McMurray only led two laps on his way to win the Daytona 500.
    � 2011 Daytona 500 had the most all-time lead changes with 74.
    � 2011 Daytona 500 had the most all-time leaders with 22.
    � 2011 Daytona 500 had the most all-time Cautions with 16.
    � 1968 and 2011 Daytona 500s had the most all-time Caution Laps with 60 laps each.
    � The Daytona 500 has finished under Green/White/Checkered conditions seven times: 2015, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007, 2006 and 2005.
    � The largest field to compete in the Daytona 500 was 68 cars in the 1960 race.
    � 12 different manufacturers have made at least one start in the Daytona 500: Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, Toyota, Plymouth, Mercury, Chrysler, American Motors Company and Studebaker
    � 36 different drivers have won a Daytona 500.
    � Lee Petty won the inaugural Daytona 500 on Feb. 22, 1959; he led 38 laps and won by 2 feet.
    � Seven drivers posted their career-first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory with a win in the Daytona 500.
    � A driver has won back-to-back Daytona 500s three times. Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84) and Sterling Marlin (1994-95).
    � Five reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions have gone on to win the Daytona 500 the following season: Lee Petty (1959), Richard Petty (1973), Cale Yarborough (1977), Jeff Gordon (1999) and Dale Jarrett (2000).
    � Three other drivers posted their career-first victory in (points-paying) qualifying races: Johnny Rutherford (1963), Bobby Isaac (1964) and Earl Balmer (1966).
    � Lee Petty, who won the inaugural Daytona 500, and Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 champion, are the only two drivers to win the Daytona 500 in their first appearance.
    � 11 drivers have won more than one Daytona 500, led by Richard Petty with seven victories.
    � A driver has swept both the Daytona 500 and the July race only five times at Daytona International Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (2013), Bobby Allison (1982), LeeRoy Yarborough (1969), Cale Yarborough (1968) and Fireball Roberts (1962).
    � Six drivers made 10 or more attempts before their first Daytona 500 victory: Dale Earnhardt (19), Buddy Baker (18), Darrell Waltrip (16), Bobby Allison (14), Michael Waltrip (14) and Sterling Marlin (12).
    � The driver with the all-time most Daytona 500 starts without a victory is Dave Marcis with 33 races; Tony Stewart (17), Kurt Busch (14) and Greg Biffle (13) lead all active drivers with the most Daytona 500 starts without a Daytona 500 win.
    (NASCAR)
  • Roger Penske adds insight to team charter machinations: Roger Penske isn’t showing any bitterness publicly over his driver #21-Ryan Blaney not having a guaranteed spot in the Sprint Cup field in 2016. Penske got charters for his two teams [#2, #22] but Blaney and crew chief Jeremy Bullins have been farmed out to the Wood Brothers Racing team, which didn’t get a charter. Rob Kauffman was actively selling his two charters from the now-defunct Michael Waltrip Racing, which he sold to Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. The charters come with guaranteed starting spots and revenue streams. “There really wasn’t any opportunity because the two that were available went to other guys that ran the full season last year, which was SHR and Gibbs,” Penske said. “So we weren’t really in the discussion. That was done between Kauffman and the two [other] teams.” Penske says he hopes the charters “are worth a lot of money when I want to sell mine — we’ve invested a lot.” But Penske also might be looking for a charter to buy when he wants to bring Blaney in-house to Penske Racing. “It’s really up to the Wood Brothers long-term what they want to do [as far as getting a charter],” Penske said. “They’re very comfortable running as an open [without a charter] car. I think we are supporting them with equipment and technology, and with that they seem to be competitive and Blaney certainly will have a great career. Ultimately we’d like to go to three cars at some point [at Penske], [but] that’s certainly in the distant future.” Penske has long-term agreements with Blaney as well as with the Wood Brothers.(ESPN.com)(2-21-2016)
  • DHS And NASCAR Release New “If You See Something, Say Something” PSA: The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign and NASCAR today released two new Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and new campaign materials. The new PSAs, which feature Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr., will be on display this weekend at the Daytona 500 International Speedway. Fans using their smart phones will also see messaging that highlights the individual role of everyday citizens to protect their neighbors and the communities they call home, by recognizing and reporting suspicious activity when using mobile applications. In addition to these efforts, the “If You See Something, Say Something”” campaign will also display public awareness materials at the Daytona Beach International Airport, on billboards throughout the area, and at gas stations around Daytona Beach, FL. Since 2011, DHS has partnered with NASCAR to create public service announcements and digital awareness products through the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. This year, fans can see the “If You See Something, Say Something” message in English and Spanish at the track. Previously, DHS and NASCAR created two public service announcements featuring NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth. For more information, watch these public service announcements by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch or visit www.dhs.gov.(DHS)(2-21-2016)
  • Golden Corral “Top 10 Kids Eat Free” Promotion Kicks Off in Daytona: For the sixth consecutive year, Golden Corral returns to Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) sponsoring the four superspeedway races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. Golden Corral is the pioneer of one of the most unique promotions in NASCAR, “Top 10 Kids Eat Free.” Each time the #7 Golden Corral Chevy finishes in the top 10, Golden Corral will offer a one-day “Kids Eat Free” promotion on the Monday immediately following the top-10 event. Details of the offer include:
    � Free kids buffet with an adult buffet purchase at regular price at participating locations.
    � Limit of two (2) free kid’s meals per adult buffet purchased.
    “We’re delighted to be back at the superspeedway races with the #7 team. We want to share our Top 10 Kids Eat Free promotion with race fans so we’re pulling for top-10 finishes,” said Shelley Wolford, Vice President of National Marketing and Media at Golden Corral.
    “We’re always proud to have Golden Corral on board at the restrictor-plate races,” said owner Tommy Baldwin. “They’ve been a long-standing partner of ours and we look forward to helping them give away a lot of free meals!”(TBR)(2-21-2016)


    News from February 20, 2016


     

  • Happy Hour (final) practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 100 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 197.131
    #22-Logano 196.369
    #21-Blaney 196.288
    #2-Keselowski 196.262
    #41-Busch 196.061
    slowest: #34-Buescher 190.392 & #31-Newman 191.111
    25 cars made runs
    no laps run: #’s 3 10 11 13 17 18 19 27 32 42 47 59 78 83 93
    notes: many drivers didn’t run this practice, wishing to save their car/engine.
    See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Daytona Happy Hour Practice speeds page (pdf) (2-20-2016)
  • NASCAR defines penalties for behavioral infractions: NASCAR has defined penalties for various behavioral infractions, including possible suspensions for drivers intentionally wrecking another vehicle in attempting to manipulate the outcome of the race or championship. NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations Jim Cassidy said the rules announced Friday aren’t designed to be any tougher on the actions, only to define the potential penalties where before NASCAR had no penalty guidelines for specific behavioral actions. Last year, Kenseth said he didn’t think he would get suspended for intentionally wrecking race leader and potential championship candidate Joey Logano while nine laps down at Martinsville. “I wouldn’t tie this to any one specific event that has happened, but I would say what we’ve learned after talking to everybody is that everybody wants to understand more clearly where possible what potential ramifications will be in different scenarios, and this is an effort to go down that road,” Cassidy said.
    Those sanctions would come under the penalty guidelines for premeditatedly removing another competitor from champion contention in a dangerous manner when not racing for position. NASCAR says that targeting another driver who is in a “highly vulnerable position” such as when stopped with a window net lowered or with significant race damage would elicit a similar response. NASCAR specifically notes that it expects contact and that racing can be heated and that there will be times that “hard and sometimes aggressive racing while contesting a position that could result in routine racing contact.” It also notes that a shoving match, shouting match or general venting in the heat of the moment after the race would elicit only a “mild response” of a warning or probation.
    Actions that could result in a $10,000 to $50,000 fine would be disparaging the sport leadership, verbal abuse of NASCAR officials, media or fans and intentionally damaging another vehicle under yellow or red flag conditions or on pit road with no one else around.
    Actions that could result in a points penalty of 25-50 points, a fine of $50,000-$100,000 and a one-race suspension would include intentionally wrecking another competitor, manipulating the outcome of the race or championship and physical confrontations.
    NASCAR did not define penalties for disparaging comments on “race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age or handicapping condition.” Penalties for that violation — as well as criminal violations such as domestic assault — would result “in a fine and/or indefinite suspension or termination.” The new rule said NASCAR would consider when the incident occurs, the ramifications to the sport, a driver’s past history and impact to safety. All penalties can be appealed.(ESPN)(2-20-2016)
  • Jeff Gordon would consider racing at Le Mans: Jeff Gordon may be recently retired but has not given up on the idea of one day competing in the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race. “I’ve always said that if the right opportunity came along I would like to,” Gordon, who will be a member of Fox’s broadcast team for Sunday’s Daytona 500, told Reuters. “When it comes to competing and racing I don’t take it for granted of what it takes to be competitive. I wouldn’t do any (type) racing if I couldn’t fully prepare for and I couldn’t bring something to that team to enhance the their chances of winning. If I feel healthy enough with my back. Physically fit enough to handle the (high gravity forces) … make the lap times. It would be definitely be the goal.” Gordon is also keeping a close eye on Formula One as he is friends with triple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and would like to watch the Mercedes driver compete live later this year. “We’re working out on it,” said Gordon. “When I saw Lewis the other day I told him I want to repay him (for the friendship). I want to be there in Abu Dhabi – when he wins his next championship or battles for the championship. That’s what I’m working towards.”(Reuters)(2-20-2016)
  • Ganassi, Kauffman Discuss Partnership: Chip Ganassi and Rob Kauffman met with media and discussed their new partnership, a partial transcript:
    ON HIS PARTNERS
    CHIP GANASSI: “It’s a good opportunity for Chip Ganassi and Chip Ganassi Racing to have partners like Rob (Kauffman) and Felix (Sabates). From my point of view, Rob wanted to stay in the sport and this was a good opportunity for him to do that. We both have shared interest in lots of different kinds of cars and I think that’s probably what brought us together. And I think it’s obvious that Rob has skillsets I don’t have and maybe vice-versa. So, it seemed to work well.”
    Q) IS ROB KAUFFMAN A PARTNER IN THE WHOLE ORGANIZATION, OR JUST NASCAR?
    GANASSI: “Right now, it’s NASCAR and Sports Car. We’re trying to get him interested in IndyCar racing.”
    Q) HOW DO YOU LIKE WORKING WITH CHIP GANASSI?
    ROB KAUFFMAN: “It’s just really worked out well. I think at the end of the day, I’m a car guy who has been okay in business. The interesting thing about partnering with Chip is he’s a racer that’s created an actual racing business. He’s one of the few people who’s been successful in running racing as a business. If you look up the word racer in the dictionary, his picture is often there. And so for me, I think it’s a good combination. I’m not the guy to figure out arrangements for aerodynamics to make the cars faster, but hopefully together we can have even more success, especially on the Cup side.”
    Q) INAUDIBLE
    ROB KAUFFMAN: “We’ve thought about it. It didn’t really work out for potentially bringing over the #15 or something like that, with Clint (Bowyer), but that didn’t really work out. The way that system works is you have to run the cars. We’re a two-car team. And we have two charters that we need. So that’s really all that made sense to that.
    Q) INAUDIBLE
    ROB KAUFFMAN: “Remember that only brings about 25% of the budget you need to really run a competitive car, so it’s that pesky 75 percent that costs you all the money if you don’t have a sponsor. And there’s of course the driver, the staff, and everything that goes along with it. So, the Charter stuff is really just a means to an end; not an end in itself. So, really the important thing is to have a solid racing business, which Chip has had for many years, and I’m proud to be a partner in that. And, hopefully I can bring some added resources and skills to the equation. But Chip has done a great job winning championships and races. His organization doesn’t need my help to do that, which is great; and I can hopefully be an investor and a participant and hopefully help with more success.”
    Q) WHAT’S THE NEXT THING YOU’RE WORKING ON?
    ROB KAUFFMAN: “Well, there’s no shortage of things to do, I think, with the team itself. Chip and I, now that the little franchise project is done, and now working, Chip and I cannot focus a little bit more and try to work on developing the team and just get to know everybody and how I can contribute, really. With the RTA we have a number of projects underway just to kind of follow on. It fairly resembles a job now.”
    Q) WILL THERE BE ANY IMPACT ON THE WOOD BROTHERS WITHDRAWING FROM THE RTA?
    ROB KAUFFMAN: “No, not at all. It’s totally on good terms that make sense. The RTA is really about full-time teams and really it’ll probably be Charter Teams only going forward. But they’re great guys. When we talked to them the other day they gave me one of their metals when I was here and I would bet they will have a Charter sooner rather than later and rejoin and be part of it because then you have a say in what’s going on and a more formal role as opposed to not being on the outside looking in.”(Team Chevy)(2-20-2016)
  • Edwards Added To FOX Sports’ NASCAR Xfinity Series Booth Lineup: FOX Sports returns four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers as race analysts for its coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY Series coverage in 2016 and adds Carl Edwards this season for the first time. Rotating in the FOX and FS1 booth are Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Danica Patrick. Harvick, Bowyer, Keselowski and Patrick rotated in the FOX Sports booth in 2015. Harvick, is up first, calling the season opener from Daytona. Bowyer is on deck, joining the FS1 team of play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander and analyst Michael Waltrip at Atlanta on Saturday, Feb. 27. This season, FOX Sports airs the first 14 NASCAR XFINITY Series of the year. FS1 telecasts 10 of the events while FOX broadcasts the races from Phoenix, Talladega, Dover and Pocono. Below is a list of NASCAR XFINITY Series races on FOX and FS1 for which Cup Series drivers are scheduled to serve as guest analysts:
    Race, Date/Airtime, Network, Driver/guest analyst
    Daytona, Feb. 20 (3:30pm/et), FS1, Harvick
    Atlanta, Feb. 28 (1:30pm/et), FS1, Bowyer
    Las Vegas, March 5 (4:00pm/et), FS1, Bowyer
    Phoenix, March 12 (2:30pm/et), FOX, TBA
    Fontana, March 19 (4:00pm/et), FS1, Keselowski
    Texas, April 8 (8:30pm/et), FS1, Edwards
    Bristol, April 16 (12:30pm/et), FS1, Keselowski
    Richmond, April 23 (12:30pm/et), FS1, TBA
    Talladega, April 30 (3:00pm/et), FOX, TBA
    Dover, May 14 (2:00pm/et), FOX, Keselowski
    Charlotte, May 28 (2:30pm/et), FS1, Bowyer
    Pocono, June 4 (1:00pm/et), FOX, Patrick
    Michigan, June 11 (1:30pm/et), FS1, TBA
    Iowa, June 19 (1:30pm/et), FS1, Larry McReynolds
    *subject to change
    (FoxSports)(2-20-2016)
  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Can-Am Duels: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Thursday’s races. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the first race at 7:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag for the second race at 9:49 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. FS1 was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 92
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 49
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 24
    Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: *11
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 1 min. 30 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 9:49 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 169
    Minutes of race broadcast: 127
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 42
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 127 Total comm. brdcst time 42
    See race-by-race info and more stats CawsnJaws.com.(2-20-2016)
  • Goodyear, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Expand Relationship: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced that #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be the featured expert who chooses Goodyear tires on and off the track in a series of broadcast, digital and print ads. “We’ve already had a relationship due to the confidence that I have in Goodyear tires on the track with the 88 car and on the street with my own personal car,” said Earnhardt Jr. “There’s a huge trust factor that we’ve had for a really long time, so this feels like a continuation of something that has been going on for a while.” Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR’s most popular driver 13 years running and one of America’s favorite athletes, has accomplished his significant racing achievements on Goodyear tires including his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory in 2000 and Daytona 500 victories in 2004 and 2014. The creative materials draw on Earnhardt Jr.’s deep personal connection with the Goodyear brand. In the television spot, through a heartfelt message about hard work, tradition and pride, Earnhardt Jr. highlights the tenets of Goodyear’s involvement in NASCAR – the continuous learning that is achieved through all of the drivers and the ability to deliver superior performing tires both on and off the track. Goodyear will amplify the creative with a robust media plan and social media support.(Goodyear)(2-20-2016)
  • Suarez, Roush Fenway Crewmen Earn Diversity Awards: Joe Gibbs Racing driver Daniel Suarez, the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year, was honored Friday as the recipient of the Ignition Award, given annually to a minority or female NASCAR national series driver who demonstrates leadership both on and off the race track while helping to foster diversity in the sport. Suarez received one of eight awards conferred during the ninth annual NASCAR Diversity Awards luncheon at Daytona International Speedway. Two members of Roush Fenway Racing’s NASCAR XFINITY Series championship team, Rafael Diaz and Mike Russell, received the crew member award for inspiring awareness of NASCAR through competitive performance and outreach activities.
    Other recipients of NASCAR Diversity Awards were: Sirius XM radio personality Claire B. Lang (Industry Ambassador Award); 2014 NASCAR Mexico Series champion Abraham Calderon (Diverse Driver Award); Victoria Kim (Outstanding Intern Award); National Association of Black Journalists (Institution Award); Chevrolet (Partner Award); and Macy Causey (Young Racer Award).(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-20-2016)
  • Nemechek, Childress take top spots in Hot Rods and Reels Fishing Tournament: Friday’s action at Daytona International Speedway kicked off on the waters of Lake Lloyd before most of the folks camping in the infield were out of their motor homes. A group of anglers that included Richard Childress, Ryan Newman, Dave Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Max Papis, Joe Nemechek, John Nemechek, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison and Brad Keselowski, took to the waters at 8 a.m. to compete in the annual Hot Rods and Reels Fishing Tournament. The event benefits the Darrell Gwynn Chapter of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. Gwynn is a former NHRA driver who was paralyzed in a crash in 1990. John Nemechek’s team took first in the tournament with three bass that weighed a combined 13.87 pounds. Childress caught the biggest bass, which came in at just over 5 pounds.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-20-2016)
  • Chase Elliott wins XFINITY race at Daytona: #88-Chase Elliott won the PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway. It is his 5th XFINITY Series win and 1st of the year. #22-Joey Logano finished second, followed by #5-Kasey Kahne, #1-Elliott Sadler, pole sitter #2-Austin Dillon, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #33-Brandon Jones, #19-Daniel Suarez, #11-Blake Koch, and #62-Brendan Gaughan.
    There were 4 cautions for 17 laps and 19 lead changes among 9 leaders.
    The average speed was 151.176mph.
    Complete results are on the Daytona race results page (pdf).
    (2-20-2016)
  • Daytona XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Chase Elliott(i) won the 35th Annual Powershares QQQ 300, his fifth victory in 67 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in five races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Joey Logano(i) (second) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 12 races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2016.
    Kasey Kahne(i) (third) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 21 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Brandon Jones (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 3 points over Darrell Wallace Jr.
    Chase Elliott becomes the youngest winner at Daytona in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at the age of 20 years, 2 months, 23 days – former record holder was Joey Logano (21 years, 1 month, 7 days).
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-20-2016)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Daytona:
    1) #1-Elliott Sadler, 38
    2) #6-Darrell Wallace Jr, 35 -3
    3) #33-Brandon Jones, 34
    4) #19-Daniel Suarez , 33 -5
    5) #11-Blake Koch, 32 -6
    6) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 32 -6
    7) #7-Justin Allgaier, 29 -9
    8) #3-Ty Dillon, 29 -9
    9) #28-Dakoda Armstrong, 27 -11
    10) #51-Jeremy Clements, 26 -12
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(2-20-2016)
  • Ty Dillon on XFINITY pole at Daytona: #3-Ty Dillon won the Coors Light pole for the PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 181.844mph. #18-Daniel Suarez will start second. The rest of the top 10: #18-Bobby Labonte, #2-Austin Dillon, #20-Erik Jones, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #33-Brandon Jones, #22-Joey Logano, #11-Blake Koch, and #1-Elliott Sadler.
    Did Not Qualify: #13-Mark Thompson, #92-Mario Gosselin, #97-Harrison Rhodes, #70-Derrike Cope, #99-Chris Fontaine, #40-Derek White, #15-Stanton Barrett, #74-Mike Harmon.
    The starting lineup is posted on the Daytona starting lineup page (pdf).(2-20-2016)
  • Daytona Qualifying Notes:
    Ty Dillon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 35th Annual Powershares QQQ 300 with a lap of 49.493 seconds, 181.844 mph.
    This is his fourth pole in 79 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in six races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Daniel Suarez (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2016 and his second in three races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Bobby Labonte(i) (third) posted his third top-10 start at Daytona International Speedway.
    Erik Jones (fifth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-20-2016)
  • Rick Ware Racing names new sponsors: To kick off their 25th anniversary of Motorsports, Rick Ware Racing has announced a multi-level partnership beginning with the NASCAR XFINITY Series season-opener PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona. Keen Buildings, Robin Builders and financing partner USCredit.com will serve as a major associate marketing partners for the Thomasville, North Carolina-based team for all 33 NXS events this season. Rick Ware Racing, owned by former driver Rick Ware will also assist the organizations with their social media initiatives as well as construct and maintain the anticipated launch of CarportEmpireUSTour.com. CarportEmpireUSTour.com will be a friendly, fan-based information sports site with a heavy interest in Motorsports, while including Extreme Sports as well. The CarportEmpireUSTour.com website will be built with the same fundamentals of Carport Empire. Carport Empire is one of the largest distributors of quality carports, metal carports, steel carports, metal garages, steel garages, storage buildings, and more in the United States.(Rick Ware Racing)(2-20-2016)
  • Gosselin names sponsor: ronsportscards.com will serve as an associate sponsor on the #92 Chevy of Mario Gosselin at Daytona International Speedway.(PR), see an image of the car on the #92 team paint schemes page.(2-20-2016)
  • Bell released after accident: Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Christopher Bell was involved in a late-race accident during the running of Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Bell was transported to a local hospital following the accident as a precaution and was evaluated and released early Saturday morning.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(2-20-16)
    AND: Bell posted a statement on his Twitter page, in short, thanking NASCAR for its safety developments and fans for support. “Nobody wants to test the safety gear that they are wearing but thankfully everything I had last night worked perfectly. I walked away with only bruises. I can’t thank NASCAR enough and all of the racers before me who have made this sport as safe as it is.”(2-20-2016)
  • Best team finish allows RBR, Kligerman to continue: Parker Kligerman, in his first ride in the Ricky Benton Racing (RBR) Enterprises Valvoline/Advance Auto Parts/BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors/Goodyear Commercial Tire Network Ford F-150, survived a wild finish to bring home a third-place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The finish matches the team’s best ever finish in more than six years of NCWTS competition. Clay Rogers finished third in the 2011 running of this race. Kligerman and the RBR team plan to return to NCWTS action next Saturday for the Georgia 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Red Flag Communications)(2-20-2016)
  • NASCAR clarifies conduct policy: Effective immediately, NASCAR has implemented a new personal conduct policy for members in its three national series – Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Trucks – which more specifically spells out the penalties for behavioral infractions. The new policy puts the behavioral policy more in line with the penalty system for its technical infractions, which currently designated P1 through P6, which P6 being the most serious. No such designation will be used in the personal conduct policy but the series’ rulebooks have been updated with a list of consequences for a series of different infractions. “This is not an effort to change the way the drivers race today,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR’s senior vice president of racing operations. “This is to provide the best level of transparency and clarity as we can to all those involved. “NASCAR is an aggressive sport. We understand the drivers are going to be aggressive in racing for position. That is not going to change. That’s a very significant point but we also understand there will be a point and time when a competitor will cross the line and they should have a better understanding what exactly may transpire if they do cross the line.” The consequences of personal conduct violations can range from mild to severe.(Motorsport.com)(2-20-2016)


    News from February 19, 2016


     

  • See the starting lineup for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway on the Daytona 500 Starting Lineup Page (pdf).(2-18-2016)
  • Final Friday practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #11-Hamlin 199.658
    #18-Busch 198.640
    #78-Truex Jr. 198.640
    #19-Edwards 198.610
    #20-Kenseth 198.566
    slowest: #32-Labonte 188.292 & #59-McDowell 188.905
    30 cars have been out to run laps
    didn’t practice: #’s 4 5 7 13 16 26 31 34 41 95
    See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Daytona Practice 7 speed page (pdf) (2-19-2016)
  • Friday first practice: for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson 194.083
    #11-Hamlin 193.861
    #24-Elliott 193.216
    #17-Stenhouse Jr. 192.653
    #5-Kahne 192.505
    slowest: #32-Labonte 188.426 & #44-Scott 188.73
    only 14 cars made runs, all single car runs, no incidents
    See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Daytona Practice 6 speed page (pdf) (2-19-2016)
  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #24-Elliott chose pit stall 4, the first stall available [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #20-Kenseth took pit stall 43, the final pit stall.
    #88-Earnhardt Jr., who starts 3rd, took the 21st pit stall, the first pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #20-Kenseth, who starts 2nd (will fall to rear with a backup car).
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(2-19-2016)
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles continues sponsorship with HScott Motorsports: HScott Motorsports announced that the Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.) will continue its relationship with HScott Motorsports by sponsoring Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 2016 season. The sponsorship comprises nine Sprint Cup Series races as a major associate sponsor including the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 21 while serving as an associate sponsor for the entire season.
    “HScott Motorsports has proven to be a great ambassador for the Fraternal Order of Eagles for several years now,” said Fraternal FOE Grand Worthy President Bud Haigh. “To have Clint Bowyer behind the wheel for us, especially for the Daytona 500, brings our message of helping others to an even bigger audience. His charismatic personality and talent behind the wheel certainly make this a winning partnership.”
    The races that F.O.E. will be featured as a major associate include Daytona on February 21, Bowyer’s home track Kansas on May 7 and October 16, Sonoma on June 26, Bristol on August 20, Richmond on September 10, Charlotte on October 8, Martinsville on October 30 and Phoenix on November 13.
    The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international non-profit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope. Founded in 1898, the Eagles fund research in areas such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and cancer, and raise money for neglected and abused children and the aged, as well as work for social and civic change.
    “The Fraternal Order of Eagles represents a commitment to community encompassing so many worthy causes and issues,” said Harry Scott Jr., owner of HScott Motorsports. “We honor that commitment with their logo on Clint’s Chevrolet. Nothing would be more appropriate to celebrate the work they do than to get them in victory lane.”(HScott Motorsports)(2-19-2016)
  • Former RCR Team Pilot Killed in Crash: A pilot died Thursday night after his plane crashed in a wooded area in Union County, authorities said. Officials identified the pilot as Jim Cook, 68, of Lexington, NC. Cook reported engine problems before the plane went down. Investigators said he was the only person on board. Cook was a long time pilot for Richard Childress Racing. He retired from the race team and was working part-time for various corporate customers.(WSCO)(2-19-2016)
  • Daytona Track Notes & History:
    � Groundbreaking for Daytona International Speedway was Nov. 25, 1957. The soil underneath the banked corners was dug from the infield of the track and the hole filled with water. It is now known as Lake Lloyd.
    � The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona was a 100-mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20, 1959.
    � Richard Petty won his 200th career race on July 4, 1984 at Daytona.
    � Lights were installed in the spring of 1998. However, the July race was delayed until October that year due to thick smoke from wildfires. The second Daytona race has been held under the lights ever since.
    � The track underwent a repave in 2010.
    � 2016 will mark the next phase in the existence of Daytona International Speedway as the Daytona Rising project is completed, ushering in the first ‘motorsports stadium’, a 400-million dollar project.
    (NASCAR)
  • Mobil 1 Going “Three Wide” with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2016: Throughout the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Mobil 1, the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR, will spotlight Stewart-Haas Racing’s #4, #10 and #14 cars with primary hood sponsorships. At the same time, ExxonMobil wishes Tony Stewart a speedy recovery from his back injury and looks forward to welcoming the three-time series champion to the track for his final season as a Sprint Cup driver. In addition to Mobil 1 hoods on select SHR cars throughout 2016, Mobil 1 will continue to serve as a co-primary sponsor of Stewart’s #14 Chevy and season-long associate sponsor of Harvick’s #4 Jimmy John’s Chevy, Danica Patrick’s #10 Nature’s Bakery Chevy and Kurt Busch’s #41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Chevy. Mobil 1 lubricant technology will be used in all four SHR cars during the 2016 season. While SHR drivers will represent the Mobil 1 brand to NASCAR fans in 2016, the technology partnership between Mobil 1 and SHR has never been as basic as a logo on a car. The 2016 Sprint Cup season continues a symbiotic engineering relationship used to create lubricant packages and push technology limits. This relationship helps the team win races and Mobil 1 improve the quality of lubricant products for consumers. Mobil 1 and SHR’s partnership is approached as any other new research and development project: data driven, extensively evaluated and tested. In addition to its association with SHR, Mobil 1 is entering its 14th season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR.”(Mobil1)
    See images of the cars on the #4 Team Schemes page#10 Team Schemes page and #14 Team Schemes page.(2-19-2016)
  • Sprint Unlimited TV Ratings UPDATE: NASCAR’s Sprint Unlimited earned a 2.6 overnight rating on FOX Saturday night, down 19% from last year (3.2) but up 44% from 2014 on Fox Sports 1 (1.8). The 2.6 is the lowest for the event on the FOX broadcast network (12 telecasts dating back to 2001).(Sports Media Watch)(2-17-2016)
    UPDATE Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Unlimited earned a 2.8 final rating and 4.8 million viewers on FOX, down 13% in ratings and 14% in viewership from last year (3.2, 5.6M) but up 40% and 37%, respectively, from 2014 on Fox Sports 1 (2.0, 3.5M). Ratings and viewership rank as the lowest ever for the Sprint Unlimited (previously the Budweiser Shootout) on the FOX broadcast network. FOX aired the race every other year from 2001-06 and all-but-one year since. As recently as 2008, it pulled a 5.1 rating and 8.5 million viewers. Regardless of network, Saturday’s 2.8 rating was the second-lowest for the race since at least 1998 – ahead of only 2014 on FS1. Head-to-head, the Sprint Unlimited trailed competing coverage of NBA All-Star Saturday Night on TNT (3.2, 5.6M). The gap was especially wide among adults 18-49, with the NBA’s 2.6 more-than-doubling NASCAR’s 1.1. The race also trailed Saturday’s Republican primary debate on CBS, which drew an 8.1, 13.4 million and a 2.2 in the demo.(Sports Media Watch)(2-19-2016)
  • No word yet on penalties for the #78 on roof flap violation: NASCAR is not expected to announce until next week if Furniture Row Racing will be penalized further for a roof flap violation discovered while Martin Truex Jr.’s #78 Toyota was in line for qualifying Sunday. A series official noticed an issue with the roof flap and the car was sent back to the inspection area. The team was unable to leave the garage area in time to make a qualifying attempt. Truex will start at the rear of his qualifying race Thursday night. “Honestly, I can’t tell you what happened,” said Joe Garone, team president, about the issue with the roof flap. “We haven’t had any conversation with NASCAR other than the fact it didn’t fit tight against the roof. Rather than push it down, which it would have gone down, they had us take it back to the inspection bay to look at it. I understand they wanted to look at it. Where they took the car to look at it was so far away. They kind of waited a little bit and said we were on the five-minute clock before we even left pit road and then we had to push it a quarter mile or half mile down to inspection and then get enough people over there to look at it and then we were out of time to go back out.” If NASCAR finds an issue with a car on the qualifying grid, it has the car return to the inspection area. At most tracks, the inspection area is much closer than it is at Daytona.(NBC Sports)(2-19-2016)
  • Ty Dillon fastest in XFINITY happy hour: #3-Ty Dillon was quickest during happy hour for the PowerShares QQQ 300 with a speed of 182.113mph. He was followed by: #07-Ray Black, Jr., #43-Jeb Burton, #52-Joey Gase, #6-Drrell Wallace, Jr., #11-Blake Koch, #46-Anthony Kumpen, #24-Matt Tifft, #42-Kyle Larson, and #7-Justin Allgaier. 25 drivers participated in the session.
    See complete results on the Daytona practice 3 speeds page (pdf).(2-19-2016)
  • David Starr fastest in second XFINITY practice: #44-David Starr was fastest during second practice at Daytona with a speed of 183.516mph. The rest of the top 10: #33-Brandon Jones, #87-Joe Nemechek, #01-Ryan Preece, #14-Benny Gordon, #19-Daniel Suarez, #3-Ty Dillon, #18-Bobby Labonte, #20-Erik Jones, and #16-Ryan Reed. 46 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Daytona practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(2-19-2016)
  • Ty Dillon fastest in first XFINITY practice: #3-Ty Dillon was fastest during opening practice at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 192.526mph. #11-Blake Koch was second, followed by: #2-Austin Dillon, #5-Kasey Kahne, #22-Joey Logano, #18-Bobby Labonte, #42-Kyle Larson, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #20-Erik Jones, and #44-David Starr. 47 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Daytona practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(2-19-2016)
  • J. Streicher Joins Richard Petty Motorsports and Jeb Burton: Richard Petty Motorsports announced its newest sponsor today. Jeb Burton will pilot the #43 J. Streicher Ford Mustang for the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. The dynamic blue and black Ford debuts this Saturday in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. J Streicher, pronounced “striker”, is one of the oldest financial services firms on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1910, its founder Joseph Streicher started his business on a foundation of core values: investor advocacy, risk management, asset diversification and capital commitment to the clients they serve. The Streicher heritage, culture and exceptional people are an enduring testament to a 100 plus-year-old financial institution that is still driven by the same values that were core to its founding. To that end, J. Streicher strives to provide value and confidence to clients and investors by providing a Total Solution. In building beyond the firm’s 106 years, J. Streicher is launching its next phase of growth to fully serve its clients in mid to late March 2016.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(2-19-2016)
  • Jeff Green joins Rick Ware Racing: Rick Ware Racing announced the signing of 2000 +NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Jeff Green to drive the #17 Chevrolet Camaro in the PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona. The 52-year-old Green will look to make his 22nd career NXS start at the “World Center of Racing” with hopes of capturing his fourth top-10 finish at the 2.5-mile superspeedway. In his previous 21 efforts, Green delivered a track best of second in the 1999 season-opener driving for ppc Racing. Green open his 26th year of competition with backing from Dashub.com. Dashub was founded by a group of car enthusiasts who set out to revolutionize the car buying experience. As an online used car auction company, their mission is to create an easier, more affordable way to purchase a car by giving clients exclusive access to insurance and salvage auto auctions. George Church who has helped steered Rick Ware Racing to some of its peak performances in the XFINITY Series will lead Green for the Feb. 20 race.(Rick Ware Racing)(2-19-2016)
  • Sauter wins at Daytona: #21-Johnny Sauter won a dramatic season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 under the lights at the famed Daytona International Speedway on Friday night. Sauter took the lead on the last lap and seemingly simultaneously, a violent wreck involving the #4 truck of Christopher Bell broke out behind him, ending the race under yellow. The #4-Bell, flipped multiple times as other trucks were collected in the wreck. Bell exited the damaged truck under his own power but was later transferred to a local hospital for further evaluation. #81-Ryan Truex finished second, followed by #92-Parker Kligerman, #86-Brandon Brown, #50-Travis Kvapil, #02-Tyler Young, #41-Ben Rhodes, #19-Daniel Hemric, #14-Scott Lagasse, Jr., and #88-Matt Crafton.
    There were 26 lead changes among 10 drivers and 7 caution flags for 29 laps. An 18-truck accident broke out on lap 92, forcing an extended red flag period for cleanup. The red flag lasted for 27 minutes.
    With the win, Sauter, in his first race with GMS Racing, is the first driver to qualify for the newly implemented Chase in the Truck Series.
    Complete results are on the Daytona race results page (pdf).(2-19-2016)
  • Daytona Race Fast Facts:
    Johnny Sauter won the 17th Annual NextEra Energy Resources 250, his 11th victory in 176 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his second victory and fourth top-10 finish in eight races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Ryan Truex (second) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Daytona International Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2016.
    Parker Kligerman (third) posted his first top-10 finish in four races at Daytona International Speedway. Ben Rhodes (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Johnny Sauter leads the point standings by 4 points over Ryan Truex.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(2-19-2016)
  • Driver standings following Daytona:
    1) #21-Johnny Sauter, 36
    2) #81-Ryan Truex, 32, -4
    3) #92-Parker Kligerman, 30, -6
    4) #86-Brandon Brown, 29, -7
    5) #50-Travis Kvapil, 29, -7
    6) #02-Tyler Young, 27, -9
    7) #41-Ben Rhodes, 26, -10
    8) #14-Daniel Hemric, 25, -11
    9) #88-Matt Crafton, 24, -12
    10) #07-Michel Disdier, 22, -14
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(2-19-2016)
  • Enfinger on pole at Daytona: #33-Grant Enfinger won the pole for the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday night with a speed of 180.752mph. #21-Johnny Sauter, #17-Timothy Peters, #2-Austin Theriault, #51-Daniel Suarez, #88-Matt Crafton, #05-John Wes Townley, #4-Christopher Bell, #18-Cody Coughlin, and #00-Cole Custer.
    #1-David Levine, #6-Norm Benning, #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #28-Ryan Ellis, #43-Austin Hill, #58-Ryan Reed, #59-Korbin Forrister, #63-Reed Sorenson, #68-Clay Greenfield, #71-Carlos Contreras, #74-Mike Harmon did not qualify for the race.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(2-19-2016)
  • Daytona Qualifying Notes:
    Grant Enfinger won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 17th Annual NextEra Energy Resources 250 with a lap of 49.792 seconds, 180.752 mph.
    This is his first pole in seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in two races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Johnny Sauter (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2016 and his fifth in eight races at Daytona International Speedway.
    Timothy Peters (third) posted his first top-10 start at Daytona International Speedway.
    Grant Enfinger (first) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(2-19-2016)
  • Truck qualifying notes: Some teams have transferred 2015 owner’s points from their own teams with changed numbers, or, other teams.
    The #43 is using the #82 points;
    The #44 is using the #15 points;
    The #33 is using the #50 points;
    The #4 is using the #51 points;
    The #21 is using the #33 points;
    The #49 is using the #94 points;
    The #81 is using the #118 points;
    The #78 is using the #45 points.
    Qualifying will consist of two single-truck rounds.Qualifying Order (pdf)(2-19-2016)
  • Darlington Raceway to hold Daytona 500 watch party: Darlington Raceway will celebrate the start of the 2016 NASCAR season by hosting its fifth annual community watch party on Sunday, Feb. 21. The event will start at noon and continue until the conclusion of the Daytona 500. The party will again be hosted at Buffalo Wild Wings in Florence, SC. The community watch party will feature food and drink specials courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings and Crown Beverage. Fans who attend will have the chance to win tickets, pit passes and pre-race ceremony wristbands, along with other prizes and giveaways to the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend. The Tradition Continues on Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 is set for Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. The NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016.(Darlington Raceway)(2-19-2016)


    News from February 18, 2016


     

  • Kyle Busch wins 2nd Can-Am Duel 150: #18-Kyle Busch won the 2nd Can-Am Duel 150 Qualifying race for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway fir his third Duel win. #1-McMurray finished 2nd then #41-Busch, #19-Edwards, #95-Ty Dillon, #42-Larson, #10-Patrick, #14-Vickers, #93-DiBenedetto, #46-Annett, #38-Cassill, #35-Gilliland, #48-Johnson, #78-Truex Jr., #47-Allmendinger, #20-Kenseth, #13-Mears, #26-Richardson Jr., #43-Almirola, #83-Waltrip, #40-Sorenson and #31-Newman.
    #93-DiBenedetto was the highest finishing Open Team (non-chartered team), finishing 9th. The other three Open teams: #35-Gilliland finished 12th, #26-Richardson Jr. finished 18th and #40-Sorenson finished 21st. #93-DiBenedetto gets in the race as the highest finishing Open team and will start 20th. #26-Richardson Jr. gets in the race via his qualifying speed. #40-Sorenson and #35-Gilliland will not make the race.
    #31-Newman had an engine go sour halfway thru the race and will start the Daytona 500 38th. #13-Mears was running 2nd with two laps to go when his car ran out of fuel, he will start the 500 32nd. Coming to the checkered flag, #48-Johnson spun, trying to move around #1-McMurray, collecting #20-Kenseth, #78-Truex Jr., #41-Busch, #10-Patrick and #47-Allmendinger. Johnson, Kenseth and Truex Jr. will go to backup cars and have to start the Daytona 500 from the rear of the field.
    The finishers of the 2nd Can-Am Duel 150 will line up on the outside (even number) line. #20-Kenseth will lineup and go out on the grid Sunday on the outside pole but have to fall back to the rear due to going to a backup car. He will, however, get the 2nd choice of a pitstall. 2nd Duel winner, #18-Busch will start 4th but move up to the outside pole before the start.. #26-Richardson Jr., in on speed, will start 40th.
    See results on the Second Can-Am Duel 150 Results page (pdf).(2-18-2016)
  • Earnhardt Jr. wins first Can-Am Duel 150: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the first Can-Am Duel 150 Qualifying race for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway followed by #22-Logano, #21-Blaney, #4-Harvick, #5-Kahne, #16-Biffle, #34-Buescher, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #3-Dillon, #6-Bayne, #2-Keselowski, #59-McDowell, #7-Smith, #23-Ragan, #30-Wise, #15-Bowyer, #32-Labonte, #44-Scott, #27-Menard and #98-Whitt.
    #21-Blaney was the highest finishing Open Team (non-chartered team), finishing 3rd. The other three Open teams: #59-McDowell finished 14th, #30-Wise finished 17th and #98-Whitt finished 22nd/last, after spinning out and leaving the race. #21-Blaney gets in the race as the highest finishing Open team and will start 7th. #59-McDowell gets in the race via his qualifying speed. #30-Wise and #98-Whitt will not make the race.
    There were two incidents, on lap 43, #98-Whitt was trying to pass #59-McDowell and spun out, doing enough damage to the car that he could not finish. As the leaders were coming to the checkered flag, #44-Scott spun and was credited with 20th, the team will go to a backup car, so Scott will have to start at the rear of the field on Sunday.
    The finishers of the 1st Can-Am Duel 150 will line up on the inside (odd number) line. #24-Ellott starts on the pole and #88-Earnhardt Jr. will start 3rd. #59-McDowell, in on speed, will start 39th.
    See results on the First Can-Am Duel 150 Results page (pdf).(2-18-2016)
  • Coverage of Can-Am Duel Qualifying Races for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 7:00pm/et.
    Television (TV): FS1, 7:00pm/et
    Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: Friday, February 19 at 3:00am/et on FS1; and Saturday, February 20 at 7:30am/et on FS1
  • Can-Am Duel 150’s Starting Lineups Can-Am Duel Race 2 Starting Lineup (pdf)
    Can-Am Duel Race 1 Starting Lineup (pdf)
  • Pit Stall Selections for the Can-Am Duel 150 Sprint Cup Series Qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway have been made.
    Duel 1 pole sitter #24-Elliott chose pit stall 4, now the 1st pit stall with the first three closed.
    Duel 1 outside pole sitter #88-Earnhardt Jr. took pit stall 12.
    #17-Stenhouse Jr., who starts 3rd in Duel 1 took the 21st pit stall.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #32-Labonte, who starts 16th.
    Duel 2 pole sitter #20-Kenseth chose pit stall 43, the final one.
    Duel 2 outside pole sitter #18-Busch took pit stall 5.
    #48-Johnson, who starts 3rd in Duel 2 took the 34th pit stall.
    See the Can-Am Duel 150 Qualifying Races pit selection charts on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart page.
  • How To Qualify For The Daytona 500:
    Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position
    Four Open teams are eligible for starting positions
    o The highest finishing Open team in each Can-Am Duel race earns a starting position.
    Open Teams are: #21-Blaney, #93-DiBenedetto, #59-McDowell, #26-Richard Jr. #98-Whitt, #35-Gilliland, #30-Wise and #40-Sorenson.
    o The final two starting positions are awarded to Open teams based on Coors Light Pole Qualifying if not already a top finisher in a Duel race.
    Two Open Teams are locked in by speed: #21-Blaney and #93-DiBenedetto. Next in line if the #21 or #93 races into the field are #59-McDowell & #26-Richard Jr.. The only way the follow drivers: #98-Whitt, #35-Gilliland, #30-Wise and #40-Sorenson get in the race are being the highest finishing Open car.
    – Qualifying set the front row for the Daytona 500 and the starting lineup for the Can-Am Duel fields, with the number of Charter team and Open team cars split evenly throughout both races.
    #24-Chase Elliott is on the pole with #20-Matt Kenseth on the outside pole.The Can-Am Duels are set for Thursday Night at 7:00 pm/et on FS1 to set the rest of the field for the Daytona 500.
  • Accident in practice forces Larson, Waltrip to backup cars for Duels: Wednesday’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice brought the first major accident of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Ty Dillon’s #95 Cheerios Chevy spewed oil on the track, the result of an oil cooler cracked along the weld. Cars running behind Dillon’s in Turn 2 checked up, and Michael Waltrip’s #83 Maxwell House Toyota tapped the back of Ryan Newman’s #31 Caterpillar Chevy, spinning the Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. That started a chain reaction that saw the #35 Ford of David Gilliland turn Waltrip’s Camry into the outside wall. Behind Gilliland, #34-Chris Buescher rear-ended the #42 Target Chevy of Kyle Larson, who will start Thursday night’s second Can-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying race from the rear of the field. “Once we got into the oil, it was a chain reaction, and I got shoved into the wall,” Larson said. Waltrip also was forced to a backup and will drop to the back for the start of the second Duel. “I really hate it for those guys behind us,” Dillon said. “It’s just one of those weird situations. I hate that it tore up race cars. I couldn’t do anything to make it any different. We were just getting the pack going. It was unfortunate for everybody involved. I hate it for our guys that our race car is torn up. It’s just as simple as a cracked weld on an oil cooler. Hey, we didn’t catch it early enough. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll be fine. We have time to get everything fixed, and I just hope the other guys do, too.” By the time Dillon made his comments, Newman’s crew already was hard at work, hoping to salvage the primary car for Thursday’s qualifying races.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-18-2016)
  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Daytona:
    #18-Kyle Busch 94.4
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 93.7
    #41-Kurt Busch 90.3
    #20-Matt Kenseth 89.5
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 89.2
    #11-Denny Hamlin 88.7
    #15-Clint Bowyer 83.4
    #22-Joey Logano 83.4
    #5-Kasey Kahne 83.0
    #4-Kevin Harvick 82.4
    Note: Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2015 races (22 total) at Daytona (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)
  • Daytona Pole Notes & Facts:
    � Fireball Roberts won the inaugural pole at Daytona.
    � 59 drivers have posted poles at Daytona – including Chase Elliott 2016 Daytona 500 pole winner.
    � 40 different drivers have won a Coors Light pole for the Daytona 500; led by Bill Elliott, Cale Yarborough and Buddy Baker with four each.
    � Only nine drivers have posted more than one Coors Light pole for the Daytona 500; Jimmie Johnson (two) is the only active driver with more than one Daytona 500 pole.
    � Cale Yarborough leads all drivers with 12 poles at Daytona.
    � Chase Elliott has become the youngest Daytona 500 pole winner at the age of 20 years, 2 months, 17 days.
    � Hendrick Motorsports has won 10 Daytona 500 poles, the series most: Ken Schrader (1988, 1989, 1990), Jeff Gordon (1999, 2015), Jimmie Johnson (2002, 2008), Mark Martin (2010), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2011) and Chase Elliott (2016).
    � Chevrolet leads the series in Daytona 500 poles with 24.
    � The pole position is the most proficient starting position in the Daytona 500 field, producing more winners (nine) than any other position; followed by second-place (seven wins) and fourth-place (seven wins).
    The Daytona 500 has been won from the pole position nine times; Bill Elliott (1985, 1987) and Cale Yarborough (1968, 1984) are the only two drivers to accomplish the feat more than once. Dale Jarrett was the most recent driver to win from the pole in 2000.
    � 16 of the 57 Daytona 500s (28.1%) have been won from the front row; nine from the pole position and seven from the second-place position.
    � 28 of the 57 Daytona 500s (49.1%) have been won from a top five starting position.
    � 42 of the 57 Daytona 500s (73.6%) have been won from a top 10 starting position
    � Five of the 57 Daytona 500s (.08%) have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    � Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500 from the 39th starting position in 2009, the deepest a race winner has started.
    (NASCAR)
  • 82nd Airborne Division Chorus to perform National Anthem for Daytona 500: Before the engines rev at the Daytona 500 this weekend, the All-American Chorus will take the stage to perform the National Anthem and its popular chant about airborne operations. The 82nd Airborne Division Chorus, Fort Bragg, NC, has been invited to perform at the 58th annual Daytona 500 – billed as the most prestigious auto race in America. More than 101,000 people will be watching from the speedway, and the performance will be broadcast live on Fox for millions of viewers at home. “There are going to be a lot of crazy NASCAR fans hootin’ and hollerin’,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Severino, of Task Force All American. “No stage fright – or lip-synching, either.” The chorus was formed in 1964 to sing Sunday services in the 82nd Airborne Division Chapel. Now, the chorus performs at more than 250 events annually. Each member of the chorus has a full-time Army job and must audition to be part of the chorus. Candidates are put on a probationary period, requiring them to learn about seven new songs each week for four weeks.(Fayetteville Observer)(2-18-2016)
  • Roush cars forced to change rear gears: During the first practice, #6-Trevor Bayne and #16-Greg Biffle experienced rear gear issues. The rear gears were replaced and both Bayne and Biffle will start from the rear of the first Can-Am Duel on Thursday.(Motorsport)(2-18-2016)
  • Bowyer filling in for Stewart was never an option: Filling in for injured Tony Stewart to start this season was never an option, Clint Bowyer said. He is committed, hopeful and a little bit apprehensive about his bridge year with HScott Motorsports, during which Bowyer will try to help the tiny team grow and stay competitive while waiting for Stewart’s seat to open full time. “I think you can sneak in (to the Chase for the Sprint Cup) and win a race,” Bowyer said. “If you could do that, that would be monumental for a team like this, in a situation like this.” Bowyer was hired last fall to be Stewart’s replacement when Stewart retires from full-time Sprint Cup competition this year. Stewart subsequently suffered a broken back in an off-road buggy accident. Although Bowyer’s team and Stewart’s share technology, other contracts in place would make an early switch difficult. “There’s not the resources, the manpower that I’ve been accustomed to. Five hundred employees at RCR, 275 I think at MWR. I think it’s 40 here. But at the end of the day I really enjoy (owner) Harry (Scott). He’s a good guy. (Crew chief Steve) Addington, I’ve watched him win a lot of races, have success in this sport over the years. … It’s a year and we’ve got to make sure we make the most out of it.”(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(2-18-2016)
  • NASCAR’s Highest-Paid Drivers: NASCAR has undergone big changes over the past decade with how the sport crowns a champion, sells its merchandise and broadcasts its races on TV. The latest overhaul is a “charter” system that transforms 36 Sprint Cup teams into franchises, with similarities to other sports leagues liked shared revenue. The new system means adjustments to how drivers are paid. Drivers traditionally received a salary, as well as a percentage of the race purse winnings. But purse winnings will no longer be publicly released weekly with charter teams now guaranteed a certain amount of money annually distributed from a fund. Owners are currently reworking driver contracts and are expected to cut deals where the drivers won’t lose money under the new charter system.
    Leading the way for the eighth straight year is #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. who made an estimated $23.5 million in 2015. Second was #48-Jimmie Johnson at $22.2 million and Jeff Gordon at $21.6 million. Rounding out the top five are #4-Kevin Harvick at $15.5 million and #11-Denny Hamlin $15.1 million.(See full story and more at Forbes.com)(2-18-2016)
  • #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Jackman undergoes off season surgery, will miss the start season:#4-Kevin Harvick’s Jackman Mike Casto of Stewart Haas Racing has been jacking for nearly 15 years but will miss the Daytona 500 this year due to off season surgery. Castro had rotator / AC joint surgery his left shoulder on Nov. 25, then three weeks later had meniscus surgery on right knee. Castro hopes to return to action at Las Vegas. Stan Doolittle will fill in for Castro.(see Q&A; at PitTalks.com)(2-18-2016)
  • Doctors hope dangers of race noise in NASCAR won’t fall on deaf ears: Richard Petty loved nothing better than the piercing sound of a race engine. For 35 years the screaming sound helped propel him to a NASCAR record 200 victories and seven championships. But with each of his 307,836 career laps his ears were suffering irreversible damage. A man who used to race without goggles and gloves; a man who survived horrific, tumbling crashes; and, a man who, at 78, remains remarkably fit has one inescapable scar: He is deaf.
    The roar of a 725-horsepower engine is exhilarating for many at the race track. But experts warn a good thing can be very bad for your ears. “Every time you’re in that environment it kills more and more,” said Dr. Carolyn Hall, Director of Audiology and North Florida Center for Hearing and Balance in St. Augustine, FL. “It makes the damage worse.” According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, a decibel level of 85 sustained during an eight-hour period damages the ear. Since the levels can reach 130 on pit road and inside the car, NIOSH said that threshold of sound is broken “50 to 900” times a race. “Sensory neural hearing loss is when the damage is in the inner ear,” Hall said. “All of the conducting is going the way it should, but when it gets to the inner ear the nerve cells have been damaged. We don’t get the nerve cells back. Noise-induced hearing loss is most definitely sensory neural hearing loss.” The sound of 40 cars at full speed is louder – and more damaging – than a rock concert (115 decibels) or being 100 yards away from a jet on takeoff (125).
    That’s why Petty wears hearing aids in both ears to discern the simplest of conversation. ” I’m from the old school, you know what I mean?,” Petty said. “The noise is part of racing.”(see full article at the Florida Times-Union)(2-18-2016)
  • Florida Lottery sponsoring Townley: John Wes Townley and Athenian Motorsports, winners of Saturday’s ARCA Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona International Speedway, hope to flash another winning hand when they welcome the Florida Lottery to the #05 Chevrolet in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at the World Center of Racing. The Florida Lottery has supported education for 28 years through its drawings and Scratch-Off games. The organization has contributed more than $29 billion to education and sent more than 725,000 students to college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Programs. The partnership with Athenian Motorsports will encourage race fans to join in the fun and “Just Imagine” becoming one of the 1,800-plus players that have become millionaires through the Florida Lottery.(Athenian Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #05 team paint schemes page.(2-18-2016)
  • Gallagher fastest in final practice: #23-Spencer Gallagher was fastest in final practice for the Next Era Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 188.135mph. He was followed by #17-Timothy Peters, #29-Tyler Reddick, #98-Rico Abreu, #88-Matt Crafton, #78-Chris Fontaine, #41-Ben Rhodes, #4-Christopher Bell, #11-Ben Kennedy and #22-Austin Self. 38 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Daytona practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(2-18-2016)
  • Peters fastest in first practice: #17-Timothy Peters was fastest during opening practice at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 189.028mph. #41-Ben Rhodes was second followed by #11-Ben Kennedy, #33-Grant Enfinger, #21-Johnny Sauter, #00-Cole Custer, #29-Tyler Reddick, #05-John Wes Townley, #13-Cameron Hayley, and #78-Chris Fontaine. 41 of the entered 43 trucks practiced during the session. See complete results on the Daytona practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(2-18-2016)
  • Entry list: There are 43 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s Next Era Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway. A few notes:
    David Levine in the #1;
    Austin Theriault in the #2;
    Michel Disdier in the #07;
    Scott Lagasse, Jr. in the #14;
    Bobby Gerhart in the #36;
    The #44 of Tommy Joe Martins has the points of the former #15 BBM entry;
    Ryan Reed is in the #58;
    Mike Harmon is in the #74;
    Reed Sorenson is in the #63;
    Chris Fontaine is in the #78;
    Parker Kligerman is in the #92;
    Cole Whitt is listed in the #94, though the team announced Timmy Hill and a number switch to 49;
    (2-17-2016)
    UPDATE: Timmy Hill is in the #49 rather than Whitt in the 94;
    (2-18-2016)
    See the complete list on the Daytona entry list page.
  • AAA moves sponsorship to May Dover race: AAA announced it will be the primary sponsor of the “AAA 400 Drive for Autism” at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, May 15. The race is part of a three-year extension with the “Monster Mile,” keeping the race in Dover through 2018 when the track will celebrate its 50th anniversary. “NASCAR is an important sport for us in reaching fans and potential consumers,” said Berni Koch, CEO for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to strengthen our relationship with Dover International Speedway, while bringing much needed awareness to the autism community.” AAA and Dover International Speedway jumped at the opportunity to move the AAA entitlement race to the spring to ensure that the tradition of driving awareness to the needs of the entire autism community was maintained for years to come. Dover International Speedway has had races tied to autism awareness for nine years. In addition to the race, AAA will also sponsor the “Drive for Autism” golf tournament on May 12 that raises funds for Autism Delaware. This race continues AAA and Dover International Speedway’s partnership in NASCAR. For the past seven years, the AAA 400 took place at the track in the fall. AAA will still have a sponsorship presence for the Oct. 2 race, but will move its race entitlement to the spring. Along with a new name, the race will also have a new logo.
    “We’ve had a special relationship with AAA for many years and we’re excited to continue that partnership through 2018,” said Dover International Speedway President and CEO Mike Tatoian. “The commitment to quality and the high level of customer service AAA displays on a daily basis are the same goals we strive for with all of our events. With the AAA 400 Drive for Autism on May 15, we’ll come together again to support a cause critical to our entire community.”
    The full NASCAR weekend in Dover will also include a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, May 13 and a NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, May 14. The NASCAR XFINITY Series race will feature two 40-lap Dash 4 Cash heat races, followed by a 120-lap main event. Tickets are on sale at DoverSpeedway.com and 800-441-RACE.(Dover International Speedway)(2-18-2016)


    News from February 17, 2016


     

  • 2nd Wednesday practice: for the Daytona 500/Can-Am Duel 150 Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes and a red flag, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #44-Scott 199.800
    #3-Dillon 199.769
    #18-Busch 199.729
    #48-Johnson 199.645
    #27-Menard 199.601
    slowest: #26-Richardson Jr. 188.778 and #38-Cassill 190.255
    only 26 of 44 cars practiced.
    Just after practice started, #95-Dillon’s car leaked oil, causing #40-Sorensone to slow, #31-Newman slowed behind the #40, $83-Waltrip got into the rear of the #31, spinning both the #31 and #83. Others with some damage include: #35-Gilliland, #42-Larson, #34-Buescher, #27-Menard. BK Racing is not sure if #83-Waltrip will have to go to a backup car or if the team can fix it. #42-Larson will go to a backup car and have to start the Can-Am Duel 150 from the rear of the field (not the Daytona 500).
    There is one more practice before the Can-Am Duel 150 qualifying races (Thursday, Feb 18th, 7:00pm/et on FS1), on Thursday from 12:00 to 12:55pm/et on FS1.
    See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Daytona Practice 4 speed page (pdf) (2-17-2016)
  • First Wednesday practice: for the Daytona 500/Can-Am Duel 150 Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 45 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
    #59-McDowell 200.173
    #6-Bayne 199.916
    #16-Biffle 199.619
    #17-Stenhouse Jr. 199.252
    #13-Mears 199.164
    slowest: #43-Almirola 189.998 and #23-Ragan 190.464
    36 of 44 cars practiced. Most teams did drafting practice. No incidents.
    Skipping practice were: #4-Harivick, #41-Busch, #78-Truex Jr., #11-Hamlin, #18-Busch, #19-Edwards, #20-Kenseth, #83-Waltrip.
    The next practice is scheduled for tonight 6:00 to 6:55pm/et and be televised on FS1.
    On Thursday there is a practice scheduled for 12:00 to 12:55pm/et on FS1.
    See the fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run on the Daytona Practice 3 speed page (pdf) (2-17-2016)
  • Truex Jr. picks up another sponsor for the #78 Toyota UPDATE: Lee Janis, Auto-Owners Insurance VP, driver Martin Truex Jr., and Furniture Row Racing General Manager, Joe Garone announced that Auto-Owners Insurance will sponsor Truex Jr. and thew #78 Toyota for three races in 2016 (Furniture Row Racing Facebook)
    UPDATE Furniture Row Racing announced at Daytona International Speedway that it has formed a partnership with Auto-Owners Insurance. The Fortune 500 company will be a primary sponsor on Martin Truex Jr.’s #78 Toyota Camry for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races — at Indianapolis in July, Darlington in September and Martinsville in October – and become the Official Insurance Sponsor of Furniture Row Racing and Truex. Auto-Owners Insurance offers auto, home, life and business coverage for NASCAR fans and consumers through local, independent agents in 26 states. This year marks Auto-Owners Insurance 100th year in business with success based on the core values the company was built upon in 1916. “Furniture Row Racing and Martin had a tremendous 2015 season and we’re looking forward to being on board for even more success this season,” said Lee Janis, Vice President of Sales for Auto-Owners Insurance. “We often say, ‘It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it,’ and Martin and the team have earned success by that same mantra. We’ve been embraced by the NASCAR family and have greatly enjoyed the loyalty and passion we’ve experienced with the fans. To be a part of this dedicated community is a real privilege for all of us at Auto-Owners.” Auto-Owners Insurance, based in Lansing, Mich., joins Furniture Row and Bass Pro Shops as a primary sponsor on the #78 Toyota for the 2016 season.
    “When you have one of the nation’s leading companies join your team as a partner it’s not only a great day but also a great opportunity for Furniture Row Racing,” said team president Joe Garone. “As is the case with all of our partners, Auto-Owners Insurance is a winning company and we look forward to returning the confidence they placed in us with strong performances on the race track.” Truex finished fourth in the Sprint Cup final standings last season after garnering a victory along with eight top-five and 22 top-10 finishes. “Anytime you have a major and successful company come on board it is definitely exciting for a driver because it tells me that we’re doing something right,” said Truex. “The three Auto-Owners Insurance primary races are good tracks for us and we look forward to competing for a victory with the Auto-Owners Insurance colors on the #78 Toyota.”(Furniture Row Racing), see images of the car on the #78-Team Schemes page.(2-17-2016)
  • Sprint Unlimited TV Ratings: NASCAR’s Sprint Unlimited earned a 2.6 overnight rating on FOX Saturday night, down 19% from last year (3.2) but up 44% from 2014 on Fox Sports 1 (1.8). The 2.6 is the lowest for the event on the FOX broadcast network (12 telecasts dating back to 2001).(Sports Media Watch)(2-17-2016)
  • Aaron’s signs new deal with Waltrip, will race at Talladega: Aaron’s, a lease-to-own retailer specializing in the sales and lease ownership of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, announced that they have inked a new multi-year deal with Michael Waltrip. Aaron’s and Waltrip have had a relationship for over 16 years and this new agreement will create a lasting legacy between the two brands. The partnership with Waltrip renews Aaron’s commitment to NASCAR as well as deepens the fan connection to the sport. As part of the deal, Aaron’s will have associate sponsor placement when Waltrip races in the upcoming Daytona 500 (in the #83 Maxwell House Toyota fielded by BK Racing) as well as his race at the GEICO 500 (no word if it will be the #83 or another BK Racing car) at Talladega Superspeedway on May 1.(CWRUObserver), see an image of the #83 Toyota on the #83 Team Schemes page.(2-17-20146)
  • Changes on the NASCAR drivers council: Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch are now part of NASCAR’s nine-member drivers council, which enters its first full season as an official group. Returning members include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano. Jeff Gordon(retired), Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer are no longer on the council. The drivers communicate frequently using the group text function on their phones – sending daily messages – and hold meetings with NASCAR every few months. It was formed last spring and drivers held their first meeting with NASCAR in late May. Earnhardt acts as somewhat of a secretary for the group, managing the voting for elected positions (there are also spots for drivers who automatically qualify based on the point standings). Keselowski was elected – and was pleasantly surprised by it. He called it his “Sally Field moment” because there’s been talk Keselowski isn’t respected in the garage, but he was obviously respected enough to get voted onto the council. The current group met recently and discussed topics like tires, race day operations and the 2017 aero package, which Busch said is already under consideration.(USA Today)(2-17-2016)
  • Kahne was close to running the 2016 Indy 500: #5-Kasey Kahne met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, a few of the Q&A;’s:
    Q) YOUR NAME COMES UP ABOUT RUNNING THE INDY 500, ESPECIALLY WITH THIS YEAR BEING THE 100TH.
    Kahne: “I actually thought it would be really awesome to run the 100th and be part of that. I’ve always wanted to be part of that and do some IndyCar stuff. I worked on a couple of deals, but nothing really played out. Maybe in the future there still would be an opportunity to do something. I loved watching Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon, AJ Allmendinger and then Kurt Busch what they’ve done over the years. And then Jeff Gordon going back and forth with what he did last year driving the pace car. I’ve always been a huge fan of what those guys are doing.”
    Q) DID IT GET AS FAR AS TALKING WITH TEAMS?
    Kahne: “It actually was more about the team and being in the right spot and things like that. It’s definitely on my radar. It’s something that could happen in the future. It didn’t really get off the ground, but I did some talking to see what was out there.”
    Q) DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO RUN TRUCKS THIS YEAR?
    Kahne: “I don’t have any plans to run in trucks. Last year kind of came up late as well, and we were in that race at Charlotte and were able to win. That was cool. It was a highlight of my season. But I don’t have any plans to run at this point in time, but I’m going to pay attention to the truck race with their new rules. I have one Xfinity race this Saturday, and that usually changes to add one or two more. Last year I think I ran 10 NASCAR races other than Cup, and this year I plan on running one. I actually would like to spend a little more time with my Sprint Car teams. If I get an opportunity to race there, where it doesn’t affect my Cup deal, I’d like to race more Sprint Car races and things like that on the dirt. I would rather do that at this point in time and full in on the Cup stuff.”(full transcript at Team Chevy)(2-17-2016)
  • Snap Fitness to sponsor Cassill in some races: during media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, #38-Landon Cassill was asked how many races Snap Fitness would sponsor the #38 Ford he drives, Cassill said “We haven’t nailed it down yet, but probably similar to what they did last year. Probably four to six.”(Ford Performance)(2-17-2016)
  • No Indy 500 for Allmendinger: #47-AJ Allmendinger met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, a few of the Q&A;’s:
    Q) WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO THE (INDIANAPOLIS) 500 AGAIN?
    Allmendinger: “No. The moment Justin Wilson passed away I said ‘Never again.’ The only way I would do it is if they put in a closed cockpit over the car and tested it and they thought that was a good direction in safety then I might think about doing it again.”
    Q) YOU HAVE SEEN THE DRAMATIC DIFFERENCES THAT HAVE COME WITH SAFETY HERE.
    Allmendinger: “But it’s a different situation in the fact that IndyCar is just like Formula One. The basis of Indy car racing is open cockpit. Stuff like that has always been more at risk to happen. But every form of racing is doing the job to make it safer. NASCAR continually works on the racetracks and inside the cars. The direction with all the testing that they’re doing that they showed in the safety meeting is progress. Will you ever get to the day when you strap in a race car and say, ‘Ah, there’s no chance of something really bad happening?’ Well, no. That’s a part of racing that will always be there, but the best thing we can do is make it as safe as possible. It is way safer than it was 15 years ago. It’s getting better. When it comes to the IndyCar side of it, that took a big part of me away right there.”(full transcript at Team Chevy)(2-17-2016)
  • NASCAR and Mack Trucks Announce Partnership: Mack Trucks, one of the most iconic American brands, has entered into a multi-year national sports partnership with NASCAR. The collaboration designates Mack Trucks as the “Official Hauler of NASCAR.” Each and every race week, NASCAR transports equipment and technology essential for facilitating the best racing in the world. Logging 450,000 miles a year, NASCAR has a unique travel structure that presents logistical challenges unlike any other sport. Mack, a leader in the design, engineering and production of heavy duty trucks, is providing custom-designed Mack Pinnacle high-rise sleeper models that specifically meet NASCAR’s needs. All Mack trucks sold in the U.S. are made in America. With its legendary Mack durability and performance, the Pinnacle model is the ideal truck to handle NASCAR’s demanding schedule. Each of the trucks is equipped with a 505-horsepower, 13-liter Mack MP8 engine, the productivity-boosting Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmission and Mack’s GuardDog Connect telematics system. GuardDog Connect maximizes a truck’s uptime by proactively monitoring the truck’s performance and alerting customers to potential concerns. Mack Trucks will utilize the partnership to engage dealers and potential customers across the nation year round. Additionally, Mack Trucks joins the NASCAR Fuel for Business Council, which brings together an exclusive group of nearly 60 Official NASCAR Partners four times per year to construct customized deals that help address specific business needs.(NASCAR/Mack Trucks)(2-17-2016)
  • Logano joins Magnaflow: MagnaFlow announced the latest addition to its line-up of brand ambassadors, NASCAR star and car enthusiast, Joey Logano. The 2015 Daytona 500 winner will be representing MagnaFlow at different events throughout the year including SEMA and in select race markets this season. The events will be announced at a later date. A racer would not be complete without a few fun vehicles at home, and Logano’s fleet of vehicles will be MagnaFlow-equipped with the latest performance cat-back exhaust systems. The MagnaFlow team will also be visiting Logano’s shop to offer fans a behind-the-scenes look at some of his favorite rides.(PR)(2-17-2016)
  • Kenny Habul expected to drive road course races for JR Motorsports UPDATE: Last year, SunEnergy1 served as a primary sponsor in the XFINITY Series for a non-Kenny Habul race for the first time. Most notably, SunEnergy1 was sponsoring Denny Hamlin’s No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing when he won the Lakes Region 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway from the pole in July. In addition to the Sprint Cup primary sponsorship [with Chase Elliott], Habul noted that he has signed with Hendrick Motorsports-affiliated JR Motorsports for 2016. In his new role, Habul stated that he will be driving the #88 Chevrolet in the three XFINITY Series road races (Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and Road America). Habul’s SunEnergy1 will also provide primary sponsorship for Habul’s effort. Habul has raced in all of the XFINITY Series road races since 2012, first with his own operation using Joe Gibbs Racing equipment, then with JGR itself. In 12 career starts, Habul’s best finishes are a pair of 14ths at Road America in 2013 and 2015.(Frontstretch)(2-2-2016)
    UPDATE: JR Motorsports announced that SunEnergy1, one of the world’s largest privately held solar energy companies, will partner with the team to sponsor the #88 Chevrolet Camaro in five NASCAR Xfinity Series events this year. Kenny Habul, SunEnergy1 founder and CEO and a veteran road racer, will race the #88 SunEnergy1 Chevrolet in three of the five races. Late-model standout Josh Berry will drive in the remaining two events. Habul will pilot the #88 SunEnergy1 Chevrolet at Watkins Glen International (Aug. 6), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Aug. 13) and Road America (Aug. 27). Berry will be featured in races at Iowa Speedway (July 30) and Kentucky Speedway (Sept. 24). In addition to its primary placement, SunEnergy1 will also receive associate branding on the #88 Chevrolet for the full season. The addition of Berry and Habul all but completes the driver roster of the No. 88 “All-Star” car in 2016.(JR Motorsports)(2-17-2016)
  • Fitzgerald sponsoring Penske in select races: Team Penske announced it has partnered with Fitzgerald, North America’s leading Glider Kit assembler, to sponsor the #22 Ford Mustang in select 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series races this season. Fitzgerald will adorn the side of the #22 Ford in events at Bristol Motor Speedway in April, New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July, Darlington Raceway in September and Dover International Speedway in October. In addition, Fitzgerald will be an associate sponsor of the team for the balance of the season. The official unveil of the #22 Fitzgerald Ford Mustang livery will be made in mid-March at the company’s corporate headquarters in central Tennessee during a special event for employees and local media. In 1989, the Fitzgerald family recognized a need in the transportation industry for a quality built Glider and, already with over 10 years experience running a trucking company, the family rolled their first Glider Kit out of their one bay garage. The goal was to build a truck that was easy to service, capable of getting better fuel mileage and extremely reliable. Twenty five years later, Fitzgerald continues to produce one of the most reliable trucks on the road that can easily be maintained and worked on if needed.(Team Penske)(2-17-2016)
  • Clements names Daytona sponsor: Jeremy Clements and Jeremy Clements Racing are pleased to welcome back and be powered by Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet as primary sponsor for the Power Shares 300 at Daytona International Superspeedway. Sharing associate sponsorship will be Repairable Vehicles, WESC 92.5 and Attorney Robert Ianurio. Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet Cadillac has been the premier Greenville Chevrolet and Cadillac dealer near Spartanburg and Anderson, SC, for over 30 years. They serve the entire South Carolina Upstate area, and the nearby Georgia and North Carolina communities. They are easy to find, right off Interstate 85 at exit 48B, and only a few miles south from the Greenville Downtown Airport.(Jeremy Clements Racing)(2-17-2016)
  • Preece picks up Daytona sponsor UPDATES: Michael J. Cane, J.D. Tax Advisor is joining JD Motorsports with Gary Keller and driver #01-Ryan Preece as an associate sponsor for the Feb. 20 NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona. Michael J. Cane, J.D. joins JD Motorsports and its various other important sponsors, including G&K; Services, in helping the team achieve success on the track Feb. 20. JDM is looking to build on a strong 2015 season in which the team had 7 top 10 finishes and 13 top 15 finishes. Ryan Preece has had much success on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, including a championship in 2013.(JD Motorsports)(2-12-2016)
    UPDATE: JD Motorsports with Gary Keller has a tasty new sponsor beginning at Daytona International Speedway. UPTick Vineyards will be on board the #01 Chevrolet of Ryan Preece as a primary sponsor for the Powershares QQQ 300, Saturday’s opening race in the Xfinity Series. UPTick will continue their support as an associate sponsor for the next several races through the June 4 event at Pocono Raceway. “UPTick” is defined as “a transaction in the stock market at a price above the price of the preceding transaction.” It can also mean a move forward to a higher-level experience in the quality and production of wine. UPTick wine is meant to be shared with family and friends. To assure that you always receive uncompromising quality, each of UPTick’s wine offerings is hand-crafted with limited case production.(JD Motorsports)(2-15-2016)
    UPDATE 2: G&K; Services, Inc. announced the sponsorship of JD Motorsports with Gary Keller’s new driver Ryan Preece and the #01 Chevrolet for the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity series. “We’ve had a strong partnership with G&K; Services for the past seven years,” said Johnny Davis, JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team owner. “We’re very excited about Ryan joining the team and about the new Chase format for the Xfinity Series. It’s my goal to have the G&K; Services Chevy in the Chase. We are looking forward to our best season yet.”(JD Motorsports)(2-17-2016)
  • XFINITY Entry List: There are 46 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s season-opening PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway. A few notes:
    Eric McClure is in the #0 for JD Motorsports;
    Kasey Kahne will drive the #5 for JR Motorsports;
    Mark Thompson is in the #13;
    Jeff Green is in the #17 for Rick Ware;
    Bobby Labonte will drive the #18 for Joe Gibbs;
    Derek White is in the #40;
    Joe Nemechek will drive his #87;
    The JR Motorsports #88 will be driven by Chase Elliott;
    The #90 is TBA;
    Aric Almirola will drive the #98 for Biagi.
    UPDATE: The Rick Ware Racing Chevys of #15-Stanton Barrett & #25-Chris Cockrum have been added.(2-17-2016)
    See the complete list on the Daytona entry list page.
  • Entry list: There are 43 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s Next Era Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway. A few notes:
    David Levine in the #1;
    Austin Theriault in the #2;
    Michel Disdier in the #07;
    Scott Lagasse, Jr. in the #14;
    Bobby Gerhart in the #36;
    The #44 of Tommy Joe Martins has the points of the former #15 BBM entry;
    Ryan Reed is in the #58;
    Mike Harmon is in the #74;
    Reed Sorenson is in the #63;
    Chris Fontaine is in the #78;
    Parker Kligerman is in the #92;
    Cole Whitt is listed in the #94, though the team announced Timmy Hill and a number switch to 49;
    (2-17-2016)
    See the complete list on the Daytona entry list page.
  • Truex to run Daytona UPDATE: Ryan Truex, the younger brother of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr., will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Truex, 23, will drive the #81 Toyota Tundra fielded by former IndyCar driver Shigeaki (Shige) Hattori in Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250. Truex will make his first truck start since 2014 driving under the Hattori Racing Enterprises banner. Industry veteran John Monsam will serve as crew chief. Truex has made just four NCWTS starts in his career, with a best finish of fourth coming in his most recent race at Daytona in the 2014 season-opener driving for Steve Turner. HRE doesn’t have a long-standing record in trucks. The team made its debut at Michigan International Speedway in 2013 with Brett Moffit. In 2015, the team competed at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway with Ross Kenseth, finishing 17th. Truex is a two-time NASCAR K&N; Pro Series East champion from 2009-2010. During that time, he won five races, posted fifteen top-fives and earned 17 top-10s driving for Michael Waltrip Racing.(Catchfence.com)(2-15-2016)
    UPDATE: Two weeks ago, Ryan Truex had no idea what he was going to do this racing season. But then the 23-year-old Stafford Township native got the call. He was going to race in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series.”We plan on running full time. It’s not fully funded yet. There is still sponsorship things we need to put together, but we intend to run for the championship. We go into Daytona with intentions to run the full schedule.”(Press of Atlantic City)(2-17-2016)
  • Great Clips to sponsor Atlanta truck race: Great Clips, the world’s largest hair salon brand, will sponsor the Feb. 27 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The event will be named the Great Clips 200. The race will follow the Heads Up Georgia 250 XFINITY Series race to round out the same-day Saturday doubleheader unique to Atlanta Motor Speedway with a 4:30 p.m. start time. Great Clips, a longtime sponsor of various NASCAR events and drivers, returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time since sponsoring the 2014 Great Clips 300 to Benefit Feed the Children XFINITY Series race. Before that, the salon brand sponsored XFINITY Series races at Atlanta in 2010, 2011 and 2013.(Atlanta Motor Speedway)(2-17-2016)
  • RPM launches driver development partnership with Empire: Richard Petty Motorsports has announced a driver development partnership with Empire Racing Group for the 2016 season. Empire Racing Group will field a truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with the iconic, stylized #43. The truck will run the colors of Petty’s Garage as the primary sponsor in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 under the Friday night lights in Daytona. Austin Hill will be the first driver to pilot the #43 truck and a roster of various drivers will fill out the remainder of the schedule. The team will be led by Empire Racing Group Crew Chief Michael Cheek. The 2016 season will be the 20th anniversary of Cheek’s first run with the #43 truck. After leading the team as crew chief for driver Rich Bickle as part of the Petty Enterprises stable, the Petty family and Cheek will once again team up to put the truck on track. The #43, made famous by “The King” Richard Petty, will adorn the side of the truck in the same style as it has appeared on the historic and current Richard Petty Motorsports race cars. This will be the first partnership in the Truck Series for Richard Petty Motorsports.(See an image of the truck on the #43 Team Paint Schemes page)(Richard Petty Motorsports)(2-17-2016)
  • Gogo joins BKR: Brad Keselowski Racing announced today that Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO), a leading global aero communications service provider, will serve as primary sponsor for the #2 Gogo Ford F-150 driven by Austin Theriault in the season-opening NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race February 19 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Gogo entered into a multi-faceted personal services partnership with NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski in 2015. The company seized the opportunity to expand its relationship with Keselowski to include an on-truck branding component in the season-opening Truck Series race at Daytona. Additionally the Gogo company jet will be staged at SheltairFBO at Daytona Beach International Airport throughout race week to demonstrate its products and services. Gogo offers a complete suite of solutions including in-flight Internet, entertainment, text messaging and a host of other communications-related services to the commercial and business aviation markets, and is widely credited with many of the industry’s most influential achievements.(Brad Keselowski Racing)(2-17-2016)
  • Safelite joins Abreu’s rookie run: ThorSport Racing announced today that Safelite AutoGlass, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services, will be the primary sponsor of the #98 Toyota Tundra driven by Rico Abreu during his rookie season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) in 2016. Abreu, the 2014 USAC National Midget champion, open wheel standout, and back-to-back Chili Bowl Nationals winner, recently announced he would join the Sandusky, Ohio based team in 2016, piloting the #98 Toyota Tundra as he competes for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors and the 2016 NCWTS championship. With nearly 70 years of service, Safelite knows auto glass. Founded at a single location in Wichita, Kansas in 1947, the Columbus, Ohio based company has grown into the largest auto glass specialist in the United States, employing more than 12,000 people in all 50 states.(See an image of the truck on the #98 Team Paint Schemes page)(ThorSport Racing)(2-17-2016)


    News from February 16, 2016


  • Ty Dillon expected to run the #14 starting at Atlanta UPDATE: Ty Dillon is expected to drive the #14 Chevy for Tony Stewart at Atlanta, Phoenix, Auto Club Speedway and Talladega, a source with knowledge of the deal but not authorized to comment told NBC Sports. Nothing has been finalized. Stewart-Haas Racing is not expected to announce who will drive the car at Atlanta until the Wednesday after the Daytona 500. Dillon is expected to drive the races with Bass Pro sponsorship of the #14 car. Bass Pro, which has backed Dillon for years, is scheduled to be a co-primary sponsor with Mobil 1 for the Feb. 28 race at Atlanta, the March 13 race at Phoenix and the March 20 race at Auto Club Speedway. Bass Pro is scheduled to be the car’s primary sponsor for the May 1 race at Talladega. Dillon’s next race Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing in the #95 is expected to be at Texas in April. Also, a candidate to drive Stewart’s car at Las Vegas is Brendan Gaughan, a Las Vegas native, whose family owned South Point Hotel and Casino backs him. Vickers also is a candidate to drive the car in other races.(NBC Sports)(2-15-2016)
    UPDATE: Ty Dillon acknowledged Tuesday that he’s had discussions about potentially taking a substitute driving role with Stewart-Haas Racing, filling in for Tony Stewart as the three-time NASCAR champion recovers from a severe back injury. “Obviously that’s something that’s been talked about a lot,” Dillon said. “Nothing has been finalized. Unfortunately, it kind of stinks that we’re even talking about that this year.” Dillon, who is locked into the Daytona 500 field with Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing’s #95 entry, could take the wheel of Stewart’s #14 Chevy in the second Sprint Cup Series race of the season — at Atlanta. Dillon said no contract has been signed, but that he hoped to have news to report “sooner or later.” Negotiations have been positive, Dillon said, adding that he’s honored to have his name mentioned as Stewart’s interim replacement.(NASCAR.com)(2-16-2016)
  • Biffle talks about Charter system and possible new contract: #16-Greg Biffle met with members of the media at Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, a few of the Q&A;’s:
    Q) HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE NEW CHARTER SYSTEM?
    Biffle: “I think it is good. I don’t know a tremendous amount about it but I know bits and pieces and I think it gives owners and investors something to build upon over time. It gives them some value I think. I get all of those things because after all, if somebody wants something at the end of the day for their time and effort they put in that a charter system heads in that direction.”
    Q) DID IT REQUIRE RENEGOTIATION OF YOUR CONTRACT?
    Biffle: We are still working on that. I haven’t had a chance to sit down with our people yet. Our contracts were based around the old system so obviously the new system won’t work around the old system so we have to figure out how that translates.”
    Q) WHAT DO YOU MAKE OF THE IMPACT THE CHARTER SYSTEM HAS HAD ON DRIVERS AS A WHOLE?
    Biffle: “I think two things. This is just purely my opinion. I know they worked very hard on the charter system and spent a great deal of time on it and I believe it is a great thing for NASCAR and the teams and owners and investors across the board. The bad thing, and not by design, was that it got done – they worked all through Christmas and everything – but it got done two weeks before or a week before the season started and our contracts are built around the old system so now it is almost like that gets kicked out of the system and has to be redone or renegotiated or whatever. You have Daytona a week away and I will have to say also that I wasn’t up on what all the changes were going to be and how it affected us. That is probably my fault. Until it was done did we know that it happened. I don’t know if other drivers were privy on how it would go down. I knew it would change, and it isn’t a bad thing, but the timing is more of an issue than anything.”
    Q) HAVE YOU HAD YOUR DEAL REDONE?
    Biffle: “Not yet. Steve (Newmark) has bugged me a couple times that we need to sit down and go over it so that we can get it and we had media things and KFC commercials to shoot and I have been very busy doing stuff so we haven’t had a chance to sit down yet. I think it is just a matter of economics or math. We are all going to want to keep our same deal, it will just be derived differently. It will be the same as it was just instead of coming from one column it will come from four but ultimately will be the same.” Q) STEVE NEWMARK HAS TOLD YOU THAT YOU WILL GET PAID THE SAME AS LAST YEAR BUT JUST A DIFFERENT STRUCTURE BECAUSE THE PURSE IS DIFFERENT?
    Biffle: “That is what I anticipate. He hasn’t used those exact words but I don’t think anybody is taking it as an opportunity to change driver contracts.”
    Q) HAVE YOU SEEN THE CHARTER SYSTEM, THE DEAL AND HOW IT DIVIDES UP THE MONEY DIFFERENTLY THAN BEFORE?
    Biffle: “No.”
    Q) SO THEY AREN’T GOING TO PUT PURSE WINNINGS IN BOX SCORES AFTER RACES ANYMORE. DID YOU EVER LOOK AT THAT?
    Biffle: “Not really because it was really a phantom number because it had planned money or TV money or contingency money. You could look at it as a sea level type thing of what that race paid to win because there is some variance if you are going to Texas or Darlington or Michigan, there is a little variance, but I didn’t look at it to try to figure out what I was going to get out of a certain thing.”(Ford Performance)(2-16-2016)
  • NASCAR says ‘lot of interest’ in its search to replace Sprint as title sponsor: With Sprint set to begin its final season sponsoring stock-car racing’s premier series, NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps said the hunt for a replacement remains steady. “I think we would characterize it as we’re tracking as we thought we would, so a lot of interest,” Phelps told NBC Sports in an interview last week. “A lot of presentations. We have a number of companies active with us in the search, but nothing to report at this point.” Phelps said there is good news with team sponsorship, which he said has grown in terms of the number of companies but become more diffuse in terms of how much each is spending per team. It’s resulted in a landscape where only a handful of sponsors are on a Sprint Cup for virtually the entire 36-race season. “I’m encouraged, but it’s difficult (to gauge the sponsor climate) because the model has shifted so much to where the number of sponsors in NASCAR has increased, but the distribution is far different than it was five to 10 to 15 years ago,” Phelps said. “Within the new paradigm, you’ll continue to see inventory that’s open. You’ll see inventory open on some really good cars because they don’t want to devalue what the cost is, or devalue the partnerships they currently have.”(in part from NBC Sports)(2-16-2016)
  • Truex Jr. tells story of Sherry Pollex’s cancer battle: Just over a month ago Sherry Pollex, the long-time girlfriend of Sprint Cup driver #78-Martin Truex Jr., celebrated the end of almost two years of precautionary chemotherapy for Stage III ovarian cancer. Now Truex, about to start his third season with Furniture Row Racing, has shared his perspective on Pollex’s journey in a blog for the Players’ Tribune. Truex begins with the genesis of his relationship with Pollex, who he met 10 years ago at a race track and quickly began dating. They moved in together after just six months. Pollex’s cancer diagnosis came in August 2014 after months of mysterious pain in her abdomen. The chemotherapy Pollex would finish in January 2016 began to take a toll. Even before her diagnosis, the couple had done work in the cancer community with the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. The foundation had primarily focused on research and support of pediatric cancer. Now it has rebranded to also fight ovarian cancer.(NBC Sports and read Truex’s story at the Players’ Tribune site)(2-16-2016)
  • Fanatics Revamps Trackside Superstore for 2016 Season: Fans visiting Daytona International Speedway’s (DIS) new motorsports stadium during Speedweeks 2016 will enjoy more than 100,000 square feet of retail options as part of the Fanatics Trackside Superstore shopping experience. The experience will be highlighted by a Superstore located on the Speedway’s revamped Midway featuring a customization area for fans to add imagery to leather products and headwear. Fans will also be able to purchase the Official Daytona 500 Champion’s Hat (produced by New Era) from this location immediately following the race. In addition to the Superstore, the stadium will feature two large stores in the “World Center of Racing” Center injector/entrance (located on level one), Toyota and Chevrolet stores in their respective injectors, infield stores as well as other locations throughout the stadium. The locations will offer a variety of merchandise options for men, women and kids, in addition to tailgating gear and collectibles (DIS)(2-16-2016)
  • #47 Chevy to pay tribute to the late Bernie Stowe: A.J. Allmendinger’s #47 Kroger Chevy will have a sticker on it at Daytona that reads, “In Loving Memory of Bernie Stowe.” Bernie Stowe, the longtime clubhouse manager for the Cincinnati Reds, died on Tuesday. He was 80 years old. Stowe began his career with the Reds in 1947 as a clubhouse boy and continued to work for the team through the 2013 season. Visitation for Stowe was held Sunday from 3-7 p.m. at Elder High School.(WLWT Cincinnati)(2-16-2016)
  • Gase names Daytona sponsors: Joey Gase and Jimmy Means Racing have announced their sponsors for the Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20th. JT Concrete, Inc. will be on the hood of the #52 Chevy. JT Concrete, Inc. is a premier full service concrete company based out of Chicago, IL. Joey will also once again be promoting organ, eye and tissue donation thanks to TransLife and Lions Eye Bank. Joey received The Comcast Community Champion of the Year award at the 2015 XFINITY Series Banquet for promoting organ donation and honoring everyone affected by it. Gase and Means will also be teaming up with U-Glove, Inc. U-Glove, Inc. is a company that specializes in providing a cleaner experience at your local gas station pumps by protecting your hands from dirt, smells and germs by providing a disposable glove.(Joey Gase PR)(2-16-2016)
  • Benny Gordon in the #14 at Daytona: Benny Gordon has teamed with TriStar Motorsports to race the #14 Toyota Camry at Daytona International Speedway on February 20th in the Powers Shares QQQ 300. Benny Gordon, in conjunction with his longtime sponsor and friend, Frank Varischetti are once again teaming up to try and better their 5th place finish in July of 2015 at the famed Daytona International Speedway. The TriStar #14 Toyota Camry will have veteran crew chief Eddie Pardue calling the shots for Gordon. Gordon will also have teammate David Starr to draft and compare notes with. Associate sponsors on Gordon’s #14 will be Monna Mitchell with BWP bats from Brookville, Pa. Staar Trucking DuBois, PA, Trick Shot lubricant.(Benny Gordon’s Facebook page) see an image of the car on the #14 team paint schemes page.(2-16-2016)
  • New team to debut; Jacques Villeneuve in part-time UPDATES: Wing Nut Racing, a new motorsports team will be debuting this year with a wide variety of racing avenues from off-road to stock car racing and announces the addition of driver Jacques Villeneuve to our team. Jacques will run the #68 Wing Nut Racing car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Jacques has raced all over the world and has been extremely successful including winning the 1995 Indy 500, the 1995 Indy Championship, and the 1997 Formula One Championship. Recently, the past few years have seen Jacques in a variety of cars including Indy and Formula E. Wing Nut Racing has also signed some great sponsorship partners for this upcoming season including Alsco, K1 Speed, and SpeedForSale.(Wing Nut Racing) the team plans to run full time in Fords with engines provided by Roush Yates. Villeneuve is expected to drive and Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, and Road America as well as 3 additional races.(2-8-2016)
    UPDATE: Following confirmation that Jacques Villeneuve will race in this year’s NASCAR XFINITY series, the French-Canadian has told Motorsport.com he will be entered in a #27 Ford at Daytona this month. Although he reiterated that his deal with Wingnut Racing is part-time, Villeneuve said: “We intend to race at Daytona. I admit it will be difficult. We are now trying to find a good crew chief; one I worked with previously. The problem is they’re all working for very good teams now and it will be difficult to attract one of them!” He explained: “It’s a brand new team. I don’t know much about it, unfortunately. It’s totally new, so there’s very little information I can give. We started talking in December when I was still racing in Formula E. I quickly realized I couldn’t do TV, Formula E and NASCAR. It would have been too much. Since TV is a priority for me, I decided to leave Formula E and accept the NASCAR offer. I think it’s worth taking the risk. My intention has always been to return to NASCAR. I will not do the entire season. Like I said, TV is my priority. But this is a golden opportunity to make a return in NASCAR and contest a few races. If it works out, great, if not, I’ll have no regrets.”(Motorsport)(2-8-2016)
    UPDATE 2: Jacques Villeneuve now plans to make his NASCAR return in the March 5th Xfinity race. Villeneuve had planned to run the Daytona season-opener with Wingnut Racing in the #27. “We decided to skip the first two races of the season, Daytona and Atlanta,” Villeneuve told Motorsport.com. “There was clearly not enough time to get ourselves prepared properly. It was really too tight, and we would have looked bad. It didn’t make sense. So we decided to skip the first two races. The plan now is to be ready and to start our season in Las Vegas, March 5th”.(Motorsport)(2-16-2016)
  • Flex Seal returns to JD Motorports: JD Motorsports with Gary Keller kicks off the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series season with long-time partner Flex Seal. Returning to JD Motorsports for its fourth year as a marketing partner, Flex Seal will start the season as the primary sponsor of Ross Chastain’s #4 Chevrolet for Saturday’s Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Flex Seal is a watertight, flexible rubberized coating. Flex Seal sprays out a liquid that seeps into cracks and holes, and dries to a watertight, flexible rubberized coating. Flex Seal seals out water and lasts for years. Once dry, Flex Seal can be painted any color.(JD Motorsports)(2-16-2016)
  • Smart Cell joins Sieg as associate sponsor: RSS Racing welcomes back SmartCellFundraising.com for the PowerShares QQQ 300 this Saturday at Daytona. Smart Cell’s fundraising program offers schools one of the most progressive opportunity’s for marching bands and any other school or church organization that is in need of raising money for trips or other expenses. RSS Racing is still seeking a primary sponsor for the race this Saturday in Daytona.(RSS Racing)(2-16-2016)
  • Actor Gerard Butler Named Grand Marshal for the Daytona 500: Actor Gerard Butler, star of the high-octane action thriller London Has Fallen that opens in theaters nationwide March 4, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. As Grand Marshal, Butler will deliver the most famous words in motorsports, “Drivers, start your engines.” Along with the command, Butler will take part in other pre-race ceremonies including riding in one of the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 200-lap, 500-mile race and attend the drivers meeting. “We’re honored to have Gerard Butler serve as Grand Marshal for the DAYTONA 500,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Gerard is a talented actor and we look forward to hearing his starting command to kick off the first DAYTONA 500 held in the new motorsports stadium.”
    In Gramercy Pictures’ London Has Fallen, the non-stop suspenseful sequel to “Olympus Has Fallen,” Butler returns as Secret Service agent Mike Banning, alongside Aaron Eckhart as U.S. President Benjamin Asher, Angela Bassett as Secret Service Director Lynne Jacobs, and Morgan Freeman as Allan Trumbull, now the Vice President. Butler has starred in such hit films as “Machine Gun Preacher” and “300.” Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-16-2016)
  • Stadium Tickets for Daytona 500 Sold Out: Reserved stadium tickets for the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the first following the completion of the $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project, are sold out. Ticket holders for “The Great American Race” will enjoy 101,500 permanent and wider seats, five expanded and redesigned entrances, 40 escalators and upgraded amenities throughout the 11 football-field sized neighborhoods in the world’s first motorsports stadium. Premium hospitality, infield admissions and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access still remain for the Daytona 500 and fans have an opportunity to enjoy the new motorsports stadium during other Speedweeks 2016 events including the PowerShares QQQ 300, NextEra Energy Resources 250 and the Cam-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races. Tickets are available at Daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. “We’re ecstatic to hold the first Daytona 500 since the completion of our $400 million Daytona Rising project,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “The demand for this historic race has been tremendous and we look forward to waving the green flag on February 21.” This year’s Daytona 500 will be attended by fans representing 44 different countries and every state in U.S.(DIS)(2-16-2016)
  • Daytona International Speedway to hold “Open House” for fans on Wed: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) will hold an “Open House” for the general public on Wednesday, February 17, giving fans the opportunity to explore the amenities featured in the new motorsports stadium during Speedweeks 2016. Tickets are not required. DIS will offer self-guided tours around the stadium to showcase the vertical transportation, wider and more comfortable seats and 11 spacious social areas/”neighborhoods.” The “Open House” will take place between 3:00 pm and 7:00pm and is free of charge. Attendees will also have the opportunity to watch NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice for the Daytona 500 from 5:00 to 7:00pm/et. In addition, making a 3:30 p.m. appearance on the main concourse of the Florida Hospital Injector will be 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray, who drives the #1 McDonald’s and Cessna Chevy for Chip Ganassi Racing and is a Florida Hospital ambassador. Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(2-16-2016)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd to headline free concert at Texas: Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band that was fundamental in defining the term “Southern rock,” will headline the Loud & Proud Pre-Race Show powered by Texas Lottery for the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, April 9, at Texas Motor Speedway. Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform an hour-long concert on the frontstretch stage beginning at approximately 4:40 p.m. CT prior to the start of the Duck Commander 500 at 6:30 p.m. Fans can enjoy the concert from their seats or upgrade with the VIP pre-race pass for $79 that allows “mosh pit” access in front of the stage for the concert and Sprint Cup Series driver introductions. VIP pre-race passes as well as individual tickets for the Duck Commander 500, which must accompany the VIP credential, go on sale Friday beginning at 9 a.m. The VIP pre-race pass is free for most 2016 season ticket packages. For more ticket information, please visit texasmotorspeedway.com or call the ticket office at 817.215.8500.(TMS)(2-16-2016)


    News from February 15, 2016


  • Vickers talks about hard wreck in Sprint Unlimited: Brian Vickers, subbing for inured Tony Stewart in the #14 Chevy, was in a hard accident but able to walk away from the damage Saturday night during the exhibition Sprint Unlimited at Daytona. His comments about the wreck:
    Q) WHAT HAPPENED?
    Vickers: “I cut a right-rear tire. I don’t know how it happened. The No. 2 (Brad Keselowski) and I were racing hard there going across the start/finish line. The No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and I got together going four-wide early in the race. Had a little smoke for a lap and then it went away. I suspect that could have been it or I could have just run over something, there is no telling. It’s unfortunate. This Mobil 1 Chevy was just charging to the front. We went to the front early. We got kind of shuffled out then went right back to the front. I was really happy with the car. The guys, everyone at Stewart-Haas did a great job. It’s unfortunate I’m in this car because that means Tony (Stewart) is sitting at home. But I’m just doing the best I can. It’s an honor to fill this seat. I was just out there having fun until we got into the wall. It wasn’t anyone’s fault we just cut a tire. We will just go get them for the Daytona 500.”
    Q) HOW HARD WAS THE HIT? HOW HEARTBREAKING IS THIS?
    Vickers: “It was a hard hit. They are never fun. You blow a right-rear tire, you hit driver-side at 200 (mph), but that is part of racing. That is all the risk we take. I’m fine. I feel fine. I was having fun. I was having a blast actually. It was just so much fun to get out there with those guys and rub fenders again and race hard. It’s such a fun race. I hate we are not going to be able to put this Mobil 1 Chevy in Victory Lane. I think we really had a shot at it. I’m back racing, I’m having fun and the Daytona 500 is next week. I don’t have a lot to complain about.”(Team Chevy)(2-15-2016)
  • Ty Dillon expected to run the #14 starting at Atlanta: Ty Dillon is expected to drive the #14 Chevy for Tony Stewart at Atlanta, Phoenix, Auto Club Speedway and Talladega, a source with knowledge of the deal but not authorized to comment told NBC Sports. Nothing has been finalized. Stewart-Haas Racing is not expected to announce who will drive the car at Atlanta until the Wednesday after the Daytona 500. Dillon is expected to drive the races with Bass Pro sponsorship of the #14 car. Bass Pro, which has backed Dillon for years, is scheduled to be a co-primary sponsor with Mobil 1 for the Feb. 28 race at Atlanta, the March 13 race at Phoenix and the March 20 race at Auto Club Speedway. Bass Pro is scheduled to be the car’s primary sponsor for the May 1 race at Talladega. Dillon’s next race Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing in the #95 is expected to be at Texas in April. Also, a candidate to drive Stewart’s car at Las Vegas is Brendan Gaughan, a Las Vegas native, whose family owned South Point Hotel and Casino backs him. Vickers also is a candidate to drive the car in other races.(NBC Sports)(2-15-2016)
  • February 14th Marks the Anniversary of Roush Fenway’s entry into NASCAR: While across the world, Feb. 14th annually marks the celebration of St. Valentines Day, the date holds a different significance for Jack Roush and the Roush Fenway Racing team. It marks the anniversary of Roush’s first foray into the world of NASCAR; his first race at the highest level of automobile racing and a day that would serve as the launch pad for one of the most successful organizations in professional sports history. Competing with a backup car not even built for a superspeedway, Roush and his newly formed team covered only 19 laps before overheating and finishing 41st in its debut Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, 1988. Humble beginnings for a team which 29 years later has accumulated a NASCAR record 322 wins and hoisted championships in all three of NASCAR’s highest levels of competition.
    “We wrecked our car in the twin qualifying race and had to run a car that was built for a smaller track,” said Roush of the day. “We went with what we had and of course did not yield the results we would have liked for your intro to NASCAR that day.”
    “We made the race on time,” said driver Mark Martin, who piloted the #6 Stroh’s Ford Thunderbird in Roush Fenway’s inaugural season and held the ride for the next 19 seasons. “Then we got wrecked in the Twin-125’s and we didn’t have a backup speedway car, so we used the Atlanta car for the race. We didn’t last 20 laps.”
    The results would quickly improve however, with Roush and Martin winning a pole that season and earning 10 top-10 finishes. The next season Roush Fenway won six poles, earning 19 top-10 finishes and its first win in 1989, breaking through to the win column in the fall at Rockingham. Roush Fenway would go on to earn its first NASCAR championship in 2000 and its first Cup championship in 2003. Ironically, 25 years later Roush would earn his historic 300th NASCAR [Cup, XFINITY & Trucks] victory in the 2012 Daytona 500; the same event his car had lasted only 19 laps a quarter of a century earlier. Today, Roush’s teams have competed in 5,579 NASCAR events, holding the record for most NASCAR wins, most NASCAR wins in the Nationwide Series and most NASCAR wins in the Truck Series.(Roush Fenway Racing)(2-15-2016)
  • Wood Brothers Racing leaves Race Team Alliance: Wood Brothers Racing team members expressed disappointment Friday that they didn’t receive one of 36 charters issued by NASCAR this week and said they had pulled out of the Race Team Alliance. The 36 teams with charters have automatic starting spots in each Sprint Cup race. The other four spots on each starting grid will be available to “open” teams like the Woods and their driver, Ryan Blaney, through qualifying. Although the Woods’ team, one of the oldest in NASCAR, has been racing since the sanctioning body’s first season, the fact that it has been running part-time over the past several years caused the #21 to fail to meet the numbers for a charter. Ironically, the Woods decided last year to run full-time this season and now face having to qualify via speed every week. Should Blaney be one of the 16 drivers to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, under the current rules, he would have to qualify for those races too, taking one of the four Open slots in the new system. “It’s all going to work out,” said team co-owner Eddie Wood. “I promise. It’s going to be OK.” Jon Wood, Eddie’s son and the team’s business manager, said it was evident during preliminary charter discussions last season that the #21 would not be among the teams receiving charters.(USA Today), see transcript at Ford Racing (2-15-2016)
  • Jeb Burton to RPM? UPDATES: hearing that Jeb Burton, former driver for BK Racing (#23 & #26 Toyota) in the Sprint Cup Series last season, will drive for Richard Petty Motorsports in the XFINITY Series this season bringing sponsor Estes with him. No word if full or part time.
    UPDATE: Jeb Burton will drive the iconic #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford in the XFINITY Series. The 23-year-old second-generation racer – son of 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward – has one win in the Camping World Truck Series, which came at Texas Motor Speedway in his 12th start on the tour. Most recently, Burton struggled in the #26 BK Racing Toyota. Burton’s best finish was 27th last season at his home track – Martinsville Speedway. Veteran crew chief Drew Blickensderfer will lead Burton’s effort at Richard Petty Motorsports.(Motorsport)(2-7-2016)
    UPDATE 2: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that NASCAR driver Jeb Burton will compete full time in the NASCAR XFNITY Series for the 2016 season. Burton will debut the #43 Ford Mustang this Saturday in the XFINITY Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Burton comes from a long family line of racing in NASCAR’s premier series. Burton’s father, Ward, is a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and Daytona 500 Champion, and Burton’s uncle, Jeff, is also a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and current NBC Sports broadcaster. Along with his family’s racing background, Burton brings four years of NASCAR experience to Richard Petty Motorsports. He competed full time in the Camping World Truck Series in 2013 and 2014, earning one win, seven Top-Five finishes and 20 Top-10 finishes in 50 starts. In the Sprint Cup Series, he competed for BK Racing in 2015 with 28 starts. Veteran Sprint Cup Series crew chief, Drew Blickensderfer, will be atop the pit box for Burton in the 2016 season. A sponsorship announcement is expected to be made prior to Friday’s first practice session.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(2-15-2016)
  • Preece picks up Daytona sponsor UPDATE: Michael J. Cane, J.D. Tax Advisor is joining JD Motorsports with Gary Keller and driver #01-Ryan Preece as an associate sponsor for the Feb. 20 NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona. Michael J. Cane, J.D. joins JD Motorsports and its various other important sponsors, including G&K; Services, in helping the team achieve success on the track Feb. 20. JDM is looking to build on a strong 2015 season in which the team had 7 top 10 finishes and 13 top 15 finishes. Ryan Preece has had much success on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, including a championship in 2013.(JD Motorsports)(2-12-2016)
    UPDATE: JD Motorsports with Gary Keller has a tasty new sponsor beginning at Daytona International Speedway. UPTick Vineyards will be on board the #01 Chevrolet of Ryan Preece as a primary sponsor for the Powershares QQQ 300, Saturday’s opening race in the Xfinity Series. UPTick will continue their support as an associate sponsor for the next several races through the June 4 event at Pocono Raceway. “UPTick” is defined as “a transaction in the stock market at a price above the price of the preceding transaction.” It can also mean a move forward to a higher-level experience in the quality and production of wine. UPTick wine is meant to be shared with family and friends. To assure that you always receive uncompromising quality, each of UPTick’s wine offerings is hand-crafted with limited case production.(JD Motorsports)(2-15-2016)
  • Jeb Burton to RPM? UPDATE: hearing that Jeb Burton, former driver for BK Racing (#23 & #26 Toyota) in the Sprint Cup Series last season, will drive for Richard Petty Motorsports in the XFINITY Series this season bringing sponsor Estes with him. No word if full or part time.
    UPDATE: Jeb Burton will drive the iconic #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford in the XFINITY Series. The 23-year-old second-generation racer – son of 2002 Daytona 500 winner Ward – has one win in the Camping World Truck Series, which came at Texas Motor Speedway in his 12th start on the tour. Most recently, Burton struggled in the #26 BK Racing Toyota. Burton’s best finish was 27th last season at his home track – Martinsville Speedway. Veteran crew chief Drew Blickensderfer will lead Burton’s effort at Richard Petty Motorsports.(Motorsport)(2-7-2016)
  • Smithley to run partial schedule for JD Motorsports: After making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway this past November, Garrett Smithley has found a home for the 2016 NASCAR race season at JD Motorsports with Gary Keller. The 23-year-old Peachtree City, Ga. native will pilot the #0 Chevrolet Camaro in the Xfinity Series beginning with the Heads Up Georgia 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Feb. 27. “Just a few years ago, the thought of racing in NASCAR was just a dream, and now after a successful 2015 debut season in the Camping World Truck Series, I have the chance to climb another big step up the racing ladder,” Smithley said. “This opportunity with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller is incredible and was completely unexpected.” Smithley began his racing career in 2007, driving Bandolero cars on various short tracks in his adopted home state of Georgia. He was awarded rookie of the year honors at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His natural talent helped him win multiple races, and he quickly progressed to the ultra-competitive U.S. Legend Car Series, where he won four championships. Smithley will be in the driver’s seat of the #0 Chevrolet Camaro for JD Motorsports in multiple races throughout the 2016. Future races will be announced as the season progresses. He will compete for the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year award.(JD Motorsports)(2-15-2016)
  • Lagasse Jr. entering NXS race at Daytona UPDATE: Scott Lagasse Jr. will compete in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 truck race Feb. 19 and return to compete in the 300 the following day. Mark Gibson, who is the brother of NASCAR crew chief Tony Gibson, is prepping the #93 Chevy for Lagasse. The Gibsons are originally from Daytona Beach. Tony is crew chief for Kurt Busch.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(2-10-2016)
    UPDATE: The car will be a second Ryan Sieg Racing car.(Ryan Sieg Racing Facebook page)(2-15-2016)
  • Truex to run Daytona: Ryan Truex, the younger brother of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr., will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Truex, 23, will drive the #81 Toyota Tundra fielded by former IndyCar driver Shigeaki (Shige) Hattori in Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250. Truex will make his first truck start since 2014 driving under the Hattori Racing Enterprises banner. Industry veteran John Monsam will serve as crew chief. Truex has made just four NCWTS starts in his career, with a best finish of fourth coming in his most recent race at Daytona in the 2014 season-opener driving for Steve Turner. HRE doesn’t have a long-standing record in trucks. The team made its debut at Michigan International Speedway in 2013 with Brett Moffit. In 2015, the team competed at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway with Ross Kenseth, finishing 17th. Truex is a two-time NASCAR K&N; Pro Series East champion from 2009-2010. During that time, he won five races, posted fifteen top-fives and earned 17 top-10s driving for Michael Waltrip Racing.(Catchfence.com)(2-15-2016)
  • Nemechek partners with f�rbe technik: f�rbe technik, a leading global supplier of mobile product accessories, will join NEMCO Motorsports beginning with the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season when it will become a primary sponsor of driver John Hunter Nemechek and his #8 Chevy Silverado team at the Daytona International Speedway in the Nextera Energy Resources 250 on Friday, February 19. The new relationship will feature f�rbe technik as a primary sponsor at the Daytona International Speedway and as an associate-level partner in all other NEMCO Motorsports events. The agreement covers the 2016 and 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series seasons. The Kelowna, British Columbia-based company will use the sponsorship in consumer promotions, product launches and business-to-business opportunities.(See an image of the truck on the #8 Team Paint Schemes page)(NEMCO Motorsports)(2-15-2016)
  • New sponsor for Cobb at Daytona: WestsideVapor.com, an Ohio-based E-Cigarette company with 23 Vapor Station stores and an online store will be the primary sponsor of the #10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry at Daytona on February 19th for the NextEra Energy Resources 250. Westside Vapor President & CEO Jason Gang and Jennifer Jo Cobb want the 20% of adults in the United States who smoke conventional cigarettes to quit with their “Kick-Ash” message. According to The Centers For Disease Control, 70% of smokers truly want to quit and according to The American Heart Association, “vaping” is a safer alternative to smoking. WestsideVapor.com and their Vapor Station stores offer a multi-line of various products including tobacco-free juices and can be shipped anywhere in the United States. Westside Vapor is a member of the Consumer Advocates For Smoke Free Alternatives and the Smoke Free Alternative Trade Association.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing)(2-15-2016)
  • Smokey Mountain joins Sauter at GMS: Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff will sponsor Johnny Sauter’s #21 Chevy Silverado for at least five races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), beginning with the season opener at Daytona (Fl.) International Speedway. Smokey Mountain is America’s original and best-selling tobacco-free smokeless brand. Appealing to adult smokeless tobacco consumers who are seeking tobacco-free and nicotine-free alternatives, Smokey Mountain is available in long cut and easy-to-use pouches. A seasoned NCWTS veteran, Sauter owns 175 starts, 10 wins, five poles, 63 top-five and 102 top-10 finishes over a 12-year NCWTS career. With the leadership of Marcus Richmond, Sauter is a top championship contender heading into his first season with GMS Racing.(GMS Racing)(2-15-2016)
  • Levine to drive for MAKE in Daytona: David Levine will make his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start, and his first NCWTS start at Daytona International Speedway, on Friday, February 19th in the Next Era Energy Resources 250. Levine will be behind the wheel for MAKE Motorsports in the #1 Chevy Silverado. Levine is a Brand Ambassador for Revant Optics and their logo will be clearly seen on his truck. Levine has experience on the 2.5 mile Daytona high-banks from last year’s ARCA Racing Series event at the track, where he had a top 20 finish. The Highland Park, IL native, who now lives in Mooresville, NC, competed full time in ARCA competition last year, ending the season as the highest finishing rookie in the points standings after collecting 11 top ten finishes, as well as four Hard Charger Awards and two Rookie of the Race Awards. In November last year, Levine made his NCWTS debut in the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After qualifying his way into the race in a truck with no owner points, he raced to a 17th place finish.(David Levine Racing)(2-15-2016)


    News from February 14, 2016


     

  • Elliott wins Daytona 500 pole: #24-Chase Elliott win the pole for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway with a speed of 196.314mph, his first career pole and he is the youngest Daytona 500 pole winner. #20-Matt Kenseth will start 2nd, running 194.036mph. The front row is locked into those spots. The rest of the field will be determined by the Can-Am Duel 150 Qualifying Races on Thursday (7pm/et on FS1). The rest of the top12: #88-Earnhardt Jr., #18-Busch, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #48-Johnson, #21-Blaney, #3-Dillon, #19-Edwards, #11-Hamlin, #41-Busch and #22-Logano.
    During round one of qualifying #88-Earnhardt Jr. was fastest, followed by #20-Kenseth, #24-Elliott, #18-Busch, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #3-Dillon, #48-Johnson, #21-Blaney, #11-Hamlin, #19-Edwards, #41-Busch and #22-Logano, these 12 drivers will go for the two locked positions of the pole and outside pole.
    Not Advancing: 13 5 31 4 27 95 2 43 14 16 1 44 42 93 59 83 34 10 32 47 6 46 15 38 26 98 35 23 30 40 78.
    #78-Truex Jr had a roof flap that wouldn’t close and didn’t make a lap after going to the garage and not being able to get back within the five minute time limit once the car is presented for qualifying. Truex Jr will start the 2nd Can-Am Duel 150 from the rear of the field.
    From the eight Open, non-Charter, teams running for the four open Daytona 500 spots, #21-Ryan Blaney and #93-Matt DiBenedetto secured spots by being the two fastest non-charter cars in qualifying. Blaney was 7th fastest and DiBendetto was 26th fastest. The next two drivers in speed were #59-Michael McDowell and #26-Robert Richardson Jr. If either Blaney or DiBenedetto are the highest finisher in their Duels, McDowell would make the race on speed. If both Blaney and DiBenedetto are the highest finisher in their Duels, then both McDowell and Richardson Jr. would make the Daytona 50 field. The remaining four drivers: #98-Whitt, #35-Gilliland, #30-Wise and #40-Sorenson, have to be the highest finishing non-Charter car to make the race.
    The cars of #4-Harvick and #14-Vickers failed post-qualifying inspection as the cars did not have the track bars in compliance. Both qualifying speeds were disallowed. #4-Harvick who was to start 9th in the 1st Duel, will start from the rear. #14-Vickers was to start 10th in the 2nd Duel, will start at the rear with Truex Jr.
    For round-by-round qualifying results, see the Daytona 500 Qualifying Results page (pdf).
    (2-14-2016)
  • Can-Am Duel 150’s Starting Lineups Can-Am Duel Race 2 Starting Lineup (pdf)
    Can-Am Duel Race 1 Starting Lineup (pdf)
  • Daytona Qualifying Fast Facts:
    #24-Chase Elliott won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 58th Annual Daytona 500 with a lap of 45.845 seconds, 196.314 mph.
    This is his first pole in six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole at Daytona International Speedway.
    #20-Matt Kenseth (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2016 and his 12th in 33 races at Daytona International Speedway.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his 22nd top-10 start at Daytona International Speedway.
    This is Hendrick Motorsports 10th Daytona 500 pole – the series most.
    This is the third Daytona 500 pole for the #24 car – Jeff Gordon (1999, 2015), Chase Elliott (2016).
    The Elliotts become the fourth father-son duo to win the Daytona 500 pole joining Richard and Kyle Petty, Bobby and Davey Allison and Dale Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    Chase Elliott becomes the youngest Daytona 500 pole winner at the age of 20 years, 2 months and 17 days – previous record holder was Austin Dillon (2014 pole winner) – 23 years, 9 months, 27 days.(NASCAR Statistics)(2-14-2016)
  • NASCAR ends posting race winnings: Ending a practice of more than six decades, NASCAR has stopped disclosing winnings in Sprint Cup box scores because of its new charter system, whose financial details are emerging. NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar told NBC Sports the decision was made to stop disseminating total purse and individual winnings for each race because “it’s not contemporary” under the new system announced Tuesday that guarantees revenue and race attendance for 36 teams with charters. Another four “open” cars – which don’t have charters that guarantee making the race – could round out each field for a maximum of 40 cars. “It’s a new foundation and a new era,” Dewar said. “We’ve changed a lot of things from that old model to this model. That’s one of the things that was from a different time and place.” The move, which began with Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited, essentially ends career winnings as a calculable and comparable statistic. NASCAR has supplied race winnings virtually since its 1948 inception (Jim Roper is credited with earning $2,000 for winning the inaugural Strictly Stock race at Charlotte Speedway) and also listed each race’s total purse on entry blanks and box scores. The 2016 Daytona 500 entry blank didn’t contain a total purse or a breakdown of payouts by position. Those standard elements remain on the entry blanks for the truck and Xfinity series – both of which still have a race purse that includes money based on myriad contingency plans and finishing order.
    Under the new system, NASCAR has set aside guaranteed revenues for chartered teams based on entering each race and on their performance over the past three seasons. They also will compete for a points fund with more cash. The fourth and final source of income for chartered teams is what traditionally has been called “the purse,” but in this case, it’s dependent solely on finishing position – carved out from the previous contingency plans that rewarded the most competitive teams. The chartered and open teams compete for the same pool of money in what is known as the “variable” purse that is based on results (in addition to the “fixed” purse that offers guaranteed money in much larger amounts for the charter teams). Dewar said it didn’t make sense to provide winnings that are listed according to drivers, which was misleading because the money actually was awarded to teams. Dewar contrasted it to a PGA event, where the listed winnings actually go directly to the golfer. IndyCar takes a similar approach, publishing none of its winnings for races aside from the Indianapolis 500.(in part from NBC Sports)(2-14-2016)
  • Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Sprint Unlimited: For those of you 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 8:15 PM, and stopped at the waving of the last caution flag at 10:07 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 61
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 37
    Number of times Fox utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos ‘floating’ in corners of the screen): 27
    Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: 13
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 2 min. 15 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 8:15 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 10:07 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 112
    Minutes of race broadcast: 86
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 26
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 86 Total comm. brdcst time 26
    See race-by-race info and more stats CawsnJaws.com.(2-14-2016)
  • Three Charters Changes Hands: Saturday afternoon brought confirmation of the first sales of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series charters under the new ownership model announced on Tuesday in Charlotte, NC. “Charter for the #41 car (driven by Kurt Busch) has been secured,” Stewart-Haas Racing asserted on its Twitter account during Daytona 500 practice on Saturday afternoon. “SHR officially has 4 charters. #NASCAR”
    Joe Gibbs Racing made a similar proclamation a few minutes later. “It’s official!” JGR tweeted. “Today JGR secured a 4th charter to be used for the #19 team (with driver Carl Edwards).” Stewart-Haas and Gibbs obtained their charters from Rob Kauffman, who earned two charters as a principal with Michael Waltrip Racing, which ceased operations at the end of the 2015 season. In discussing the possible purchase of a charter on Friday at Daytona, Stewart-Haas Racing president Brett Frood deflected the question with a joke. “As far as what we paid for it, Rob’s a fairly reasonable guy-well-traveled-enjoys cars, fine dining. We ended up coming to an agreement. We’re going to give him a lifetime supply of Mobil 1 (motor oil) for his cars, and we’re going to deliver Jimmy John’s and Busch beer for the next two years. Good deal!”
    On Friday, the day before the official confirmation of the sale of Kauffman’s charters, HScott Motorsports announced it had acquired a charter on a short-term lease basis from Premium Motorsports, owned by Jay Robinson. Team owner Harry Scott said the charter will be used with the #46 Chevy driven by Michael Annett. Scott already had earned a charter for the #15 Chevy, to be driven this year by Clint Bowyer, who will move to Stewart-Haas in 2017.(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-14-2016)
  • Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. Named Honorary Starter for Daytona 500: Newly elected Baseball Hall of Fame centerfielder Ken Griffey Jr. will serve as Honorary Starter (wave the green flag) of the 58th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Griffey received a record-breaking 99.32% of the vote (437 of 440) by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He played 22 seasons – 13 with the Seattle Mariners, nine with the Cincinnati Reds and less than one season with the Chicago White Sox. In his 22 seasons, Griffey was a 13-time All Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner and 1997 American League MVP; he is also ranked sixth on the career home run list (630). The 2016 Hall of Fame Weekend will be held July 22-25, with the annual Induction Ceremony scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 24. Griffey will be the first player to represent the Seattle Mariners organization in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Tickets for the 2016 Daytona 500 and 2016 Speedweeks At Daytona can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-14-2016)
  • Kennedy gets new sponsor to start the season: Red Horse Racing announced that JACOB Companies, a multifaceted construction firm with a focus on construction management, design, and technology, will partner with Ben Kennedy in 2016. The multi-race sponsorship of the #11 JACOB Companies Toyota Tundra will kick off with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 19.(Red Horse Racing)(2-14-2016)


    News from February 13, 2016


     

  • Denny Hamlin wins the Sprint Unlimited: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, for his third win the the non-points season opener. Hamlin also won in 2006 and 2014. It was the first time new Overtime procedures were use. #11-Hamlin got past the overtime line on the backstretch and made it to the start-finish line to take the white flag when #20-Kenseth, running 5th, got loose and into #78-Truex Jr. also collecting #1-McMurray, #10-Patrick and #2-Keselowski. The caution came out and the cars slowed and the cars that came across the finish line first were scored first. #22-Logano held off #27-Menard for 2nd. #42-Larson finished 4th and #13-Mears was fifth.
    On lap 73, #2-Keselowski got into the rear of #19-Edwards, turning the #19 sideways, collecting #13-Mears, #18-Busch, #43-Almirola and #3-Dillon, this set up NASCAR Overtime.
    On lap 57, #1-McMurray was bump drafting #5-Kahne, but the #5 got sideways, shot up into #47-Allmendinger. Kahne came back out, but left debris causing another caution and went to the garage
    On lap 44, #48-Johnson and #13-Mears made contact while Johnson was in the middle. The #48 then moved up and bounced off #27-Menard and shot across the track and thru the grass, tearing the nose of the #48 Chevy.
    On lap 23, #14-Vickers lost a tire in turn one while running in the middle and slid left into #88-Earnhardt Jr. tearing off much of the #88’s door area, the #14 shot up the track and slammed head first into the wall, collecting #4-Harvick. The #14 came back down the track getting into #15-Bowyer. Other cars damaged of #41-Busch, #16-Biffle and #47-Allmendiner. That ended segment 1.
    1) #11-Denny Hamlin, FedEx Express Toyota(started 15th), 79 laps run, 39 laps led
    2) #22-Joey Logano, Shell Pennzoil Ford(25), 79
    3) #27-Paul Menard, Peak Antifreeze/Menard Chevy(14), 79
    4) #42-Kyle Larson, Target Chevy(4), 79
    5) #13-Casey Mears, GEICO Chevy(6), 79
    6) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Fastenal Ford(11), 79
    7) #41-Kurt Busch, Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevy(21), 79
    8) #3-Austin Dillon, DOW Chevy(10), 79
    9) #2-Brad Keselowski, SKF Ford(2), 79, 26 led
    10) #16-Greg Biffle, KFC Nashville Hot Ford(16), 79
    11) #10-Danica Patrick, Nature’s Bakery Chevy(12), 79
    12) #20-Matt Kenseth, Dollar General Toyota(13), 79
    13) #78-Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota(7), 78
    14) #1-Jamie McMurray, McDonald’s Chevy(24), 78, 14 led
    15) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., Taxslayer.com Chevy(23), -4 laps, 75
    16) #19-Carl Edwards, ARRIS Toyota(19), accident, 56
    17) #18-Kyle Busch, M&M;’s 75 Toyota(9), accident, 56
    18) #43-Aric Almirola, Smithfield Ford(17), accident, 56
    19) #31-Ryan Newman, Caterpillar Chevy(5), accident, 56
    20) #5-Kasey Kahne, Great Clips Chevy(20), accident, 56
    21) #47-AJ Allmendinger, Kroger/Stouffer’s/Lean Cuisine Chevy(3), accident, 56
    22) #48-Jimmie Johnson, Lowe’s Chevy(1), accident, 43
    23) #15-Clint Bowyer, 5-hour Energy Chevy(8), accident, 22
    24) #14-Brian Vickers, Mobil 1 Chevy(18), accident, 22
    25) #4-Kevin Harvick, Busch Beer Chevy(22), accident, 22
    There were 7 cautions for 25 yellow flag laps; 3 drivers leads laps with 12 lead changes.
    15 cars were running at the finish with 12 on the lead lap.
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs:
    Sunday, February 14 at 3:30am/et on FoxSports1;
    Sunday, February 14 at 9:00am/et on FoxSports1
    See race and segment results and more on 2016 Sprint Unlimited page (2-13-2016)
  • Sprint Unlimited Segment One results, after 25 of 75 laps:
    On lap 23, #14-Vickers lost a tire in turn one while running in the middle and slid left into #88-Earnhardt Jr. tearing off much of the #88’s door area, the #14 shot up the track and slammed head first into the wall, collecting #4-Harvick. The #14 came back down the track getting into #15-Bowyer. Other cars damaged of #41-Busch, #16-Biffle and #47-Allmendiner. That ends segment 1.
    1) #11-Denny Hamlin, FedEx Express Toyota(started 15th)
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski, SKF Ford(2)
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson, Lowe’s Chevy(1)
    4) #19-Carl Edwards, ARRIS Toyota(19)
    5) #3-Austin Dillon, DOW Chevy(10)
    6) #1-Jamie McMurray, McDonald’s Chevy(24)
    7) #78-Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota(7)
    8) #20-Matt Kenseth, Dollar General Toyota(13)
    9) #42-Kyle Larson, Target Chevy(4)
    10) #13-Casey Mears, GEICO Chevy(6)
    11) #22-Joey Logano, Shell Pennzoil Ford(25)
    12) #18-Kyle Busch, M&M;’s 75 Toyota(9)
    13) #27-Paul Menard, Peak Antifreeze/Menard Chevy(14)
    14) #10-Danica Patrick, Nature’s Bakery Chevy(12)
    15) #5-Kasey Kahne, Great Clips Chevy(20)
    16) #43-Aric Almirola, Smithfield Ford(17)
    17) #31-Ryan Newman, Caterpillar Chevy(5)
    18) #47-AJ Allmendinger, Kroger/Stouffer’s/Lean Cuisine Chevy(3)
    19) #16-Greg Biffle, KFC Nashville Hot Ford(16)
    20) #41-Kurt Busch, Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevy(21)
    21) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Fastenal Ford(11)
    22) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., Taxslayer.com Chevy(23), -4 laps
    23) #15-Clint Bowyer, 5-hour Energy Chevy(8), accident
    24) #14-Brian Vickers, Mobil 1 Chevy(18), accident
    25) #4-Kevin Harvick, Busch Beer Chevy(22), accident
  • Images of all 25 Sprint Unlimited cars posted:
    See them on the 2016 Sprint Unlimited Paint Scheme page or Jayski’s Pinterest
  • Check out Daytona Garage Cam: NASCAR.com has the GarageCam up and running at Daytona, see it at nascar.com
  • Qualifying Order for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted. The order is set by the combined practice speeds ran on Saturday. So #30-Josh Wise will go out first in round 1 of qualifying and #22-Joey Logano will be the final driver to qualifying in round 1. Qualifying order for the 2nd and final round of qualifying will be set by round 1 qualifying speeds. The 12 fastest drivers advance to round two, the final round, with the slowest going out first and the fastest being the final driver to make a qualifying attempt.
    Daytona 500 Qualifying Format is as:
    Single car, nne lap run, fastest 12 advance to final round
    Top two in final round set the front row for the Daytona 500
    Remaining 38 starting spots determined by the Can-Am Duels on Thursday
    For the qualifying order, see the Daytona 500 Qualifying Order page (pdf).(2-13-2016)
  • 2nd Saturday Practice for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 115 scheduled minutes, the top five and notes, the top three did a last minute drafting practice:
    #22-Logano 196.933
    #2-Keselowski 195.848
    #21-Blaney 195.797
    #41-Busch 194.877
    #18-Busch 194.696
    slowest: #30-Wise 186.227 and #40-Sorenson 187.021
    most laps run: #22-Logano 29; #2-Keselowski 22
    no laps run: #11-Hamiln, #78-Truex Jr.
    No driver ran 10 consecutive laps during this practice.
    42 drivers made runs, most (except the top three) made single cars runs in preparation to the one-lap qualifying runs on Sunday (FOX at 1:00pm/et). No incidents.
    See the fastest speeds and more on the Daytona 500 Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf) (2-13-2016)
  • 1st Saturday Practice for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 115 scheduled minutes, the top five and notes:
    #88-Earnhardt Jr., 194.116
    #22-Logano 193.853
    #20-Kenseth 193.782
    #24-Elliott 193.586
    #5-Kahne 193.582
    slowest: #40-Sorenson 186.185 and #30-Wise 186.474
    most laps run: #22-Logano 19; #17-Stenhouse Jr., 18
    fastest 1st lap runs: #16-Biffle 193.407 & #78-Truex Jr. 193.100
    No driver ran 10 consecutive laps during this practice.
    All 44 drivers made runs, all single cars runs in preparation to the one-lap qualifying runs on Sunday (FOX at 1:00pm/et). No incidents.
    A 2nd practice is scheduled for 1:30-3:25pm/et on FS1.
    See the fastest speeds and more on the Daytona 500 Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf)(2-13-2016)
  • Premium Motorsports gets sponsor for Daytona: Per RTIC’s Facebook page: “RTIC Coolers Wishes Cole Whitt Good Luck in the #98 RTIC Coolers Car – Race To The Daytona 500 Checkered Flag!”, an image of the layout of the car, an image from The Decal Source Twitter shows the car, see the #98 Team Schemes page.(2-13-2016)
  • Daytona Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Daytona throughout Speedweeks . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams have run at Daytona since July 2013 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear PR), see full notes, tire codes, tire pressures, set limits on the Daytona Race Info page.
  • Credit One Bank Becomes NASCAR, CGR Partner: One of the largest and fastest growing credit card issuers in the United States, Credit One Bank has entered into a multi-year official sanctioning body partnership which designates Credit One Bank as the “Official Credit Card of NASCAR.” Additionally, Credit One will become a partner on the No. 1 Chevrolet of Chip Ganassi Racing. As part of the agreement with NASCAR, Credit One Bank will offer fans officially licensed NASCAR-themed credit cards. Credit One Bank will also be the primary partner of the #1 Chevy, piloted by “2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” contender Jamie McMurray for three races, as well as a partner throughout the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) campaign. The #1 Credit One Bank Chevy will debut on the track at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) on April 24. Fans can apply for the official NASCAR credit card by visiting www.CreditOneBank.com/NASCAR. Credit One Bank will utilize 2010 Daytona 500 champion McMurray as a spokesperson to promote its brand and the Official Credit Card of NASCAR.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page.(2-13-2016)
  • Florida Lottery Joins Cassill for Daytona 500: The Florida Lottery will once again hit the high-speed track of Daytona International Speedway with Front Row Motorsports, joining the team as primary sponsor of Landon Cassill’s #38 Ford for this month’s season-opening Daytona 500. The Florida Lottery partnered with the team in 2015 for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Daytona and Homestead Miami Speedway and also with Cassill in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The organization is celebrating 28 years of supporting education through its drawings and Scratch-Off games. The Florida Lottery contributed more than $29 billion to education and sending more than 725,000 students to college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The partnership with Front Row Motorsports will encourage race fans to join in the fun and “Just Imagine” becoming one of the 1,800-plus players that have become millionaires through the Florida Lottery. The Feb. 21 race will be Cassill’s first with Front Row Motorsports, at a track where he has had two top-15 finishes in his past four starts. The 26-year-old driver looks forward to having a familiar partner on board for the Great American Race. “I’ve loved working with the Florida Lottery, and it’s fantastic that they’re back on board for the Daytona 500 with our #38 Ford,” Cassill said. “They have a lot of fun with their sponsorship in a way that really gets fans’ attention, and we’ll hope to get them plenty of attention on track, too.” Cassill and teammate #34-Chris Buescher will make appearances at the Florida Lottery display at Daytona International Speedway on Daytona 500 race weekend.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #38 Team Schemes page.(2-13-2016)
  • France discusses possibility of Chase waiver for Stewart: With #14-Tony Stewart sidelined for an indefinite number of races with an injured back, does the three-time Sprint Cup Series champion still have a chance to make NASCAR’s Chase in his final season? NASCAR rules state that a driver must compete in all 26 points-paying regular-season races and be in the top 30 in points to be in the running for one of the 16 playoff slots. The sanctioning body has a history of lifting the perfect attendance requirement, however, in cases where a driver has been out due to injury or another health-related isssue. Such an exception — formally known as a waiver — was most recently handed down last season when #18-Kyle Busch missed the first 11 Sprint Cup points races after suffering extensive leg and foot injuries in the XFINITY Series opener at Daytona. Busch ultimately made the Chase by virtue of winning multiple races and climbing into the top 30 in points before the end of the regular season. He also went on to win the championship. Stewart, who is set to retire at season’s end, could theoretically make a championship run of his own if NASCAR doesn’t require him to enter all 26 regular-season races to be Chase-eligible. While nothing is official, it sounds as though Stewart is likely to receive the same kind of waiver that Busch did, provided he returns to his #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy before missing too many races. “I think we’re going to treat that just as we did Kyle Busch,” NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said Wednesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio with host Dave Moody. “There obviously is a balance … you can’t come in the race before the Chase starts and win that race and expect to cruise on in for the final 10 races. So there’s some balance, but this is the beauty of the Chase. We have that ability to make some medical and other important exceptions for things like this. But you still have to compete at a high level over a number of events. We will cross that bridge when we can. I hope for his sake, just like I was hoping for Kyle’s, that will be sooner rather than later. And the sooner the better in terms of making a decision on our end.” France noted that Stewart’s accident wasn’t a result of any kind of carelessness on his part, which likely makes him a candidate for a waiver.(FoxSports)(2-13-2016)
  • Stewart talks about ATV accident and future: Tony Stewart, using the streaming platform Periscope, talked to his fans — and showed the six scars on his back — while rehabbing on a treadmill Friday morning just prior to his Stewart-Haas Racing team conducting a news conference naming Brian Vickers as his replacement in the #14 Chevy for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. “We are doing much better,” Stewart said during the Periscope chat with fans. “We’re starting to get the pain under control and just didn’t want everybody to think that while everybody was at Daytona today that I was sitting on my ass here in Charlotte. … Walking feels pretty good for my back right now.” Stewart talked briefly about his Jan. 31 ATV accident, saying he was left for two hours in the sand before his friends realized he was hurt. Jeff Gordon, Ray Evernham and Greg Biffle were among those with him on the trip. “I didn’t hit the wrong dune,” Stewart said. “I just went over one and just nose-planted into the bottom of it. It was about a 20- to 25-foot drop. It wasn’t exactly what I had planned when I went over the lip of it. I didn’t think it was straight down on the other side. … I’ve never been hurt so bad running 5 mph in my life.” Neither Stewart nor his team has said how long he will be out. He likely will miss two to three months, according to doctors who said that would be the time it would take for a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra to heal. Stewart was emphatic that he would not return to race in 2017, as the three-time Sprint Cup champion already has announced this would be his final NASCAR season. “I’m not doing another season since this happened,” Stewart said. “I made my decision, and that’s it.” SHR executive vice president Brett Frood said Vickers is expected to do more races but there is the possibility of another driver getting in the seat before Stewart’s return.(ESPN)(2-13-2016)
  • Daytona could be McClure’s final race: For the past nine seasons, Eric McClure defied the odds by racing full-time on the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Enduring horrific crashes, injuries and illness, the Chilhowie, Virginia, native became a vital member of the Xfinity supporting cast with five straight finishes among the top 20 in points. McClure confirmed Friday that he will shift gears for the 2016 season – on and off the track. “It’s been years since I’ve been in this position, but I feel at peace,” McClure said. As usual, McClure plans to leave for Daytona on Wednesday for Saturday afternoon’s Xfinity Series opener at Daytona International Speedway. He will drive the #0 Chevrolet for the Johnny Davis Motorsports team. Reynolds Wrap will serve as the sponsor, with Todd Myers working as crew chief. McClure began one of the longest active NASCAR driver-sponsor combinations with Reynolds Consumer Products and its Hefty brand in 2006. But he learned that Reynolds officials planned to alter their program soon after the first of this year. “Right now, Daytona is the only race I have for the season,” McClure said. “There are a few things on the horizon, but nothing solid.” While he continues to receive inquires from car owners, the 37-year-old McClure said there is a chance that next week’s race could represent his final ride into the famed Daytona sunset. “I’m prepared that this could be the last one for me,” he said. “I’m taking my entire family to Daytona for the race and then we’re going to Disney World. I’m one of the old guys in the series now.”(Bristol Herald Courier)(2-13-2016)
  • Updated Daytona International Speedway Mobile App: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced that a new version of its mobile app is now available for download on iOS and Android devices. As part of the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project, the updated DIS mobile app helps race fans take full advantage of the amenities and offerings at the new motorsports stadium during upcoming events such as Speedweeks 2016. The DIS mobile app offers a variety of features to help fans find their way around the new stadium including Bluetooth-based indoor and GPS-based outdoor turn-by-turn navigation. It also includes an interactive GPS facility map and the ability to drop pins to remember certain locations like a parking spot. Also included in the new version of the app is location-based proximity engagement technology. The DIS app offers dynamic experiences for fans as they enter each of the new injectors/entrances from DIS Founding Partners such as Toyota, Florida Hospital, Chevrolet and Sunoco. Additionally, the DIS app is fully integrated with the new DAYTONA Rewards program, with locations throughout the property to provide one unified mobile experience for fans. More info at DIS’s website.(2-13-2016)


    News from February 12, 2016


     

  • Starting Line Up for the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway:
    (by a draw done by crew chiefs at Daytona)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, Lowe’s Chevy
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski, SKF Ford
    3) #47-AJ Allmendinger, Kroger/Stouffer’s/Lean Cuisine Chevy
    4) #42-Kyle Larson, Target Chevy
    5) #31-Ryan Newman, Caterpillar Chevy
    6) #13-Casey Mears, GEICO Chevy
    7) #78-Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota
    8) #15-Clint Bowyer, 5-hour Energy Chevy
    9) #18-Kyle Busch, M&M;’s 75 Toyota
    10) #3-Austin Dillon, DOW Chevy
    11) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Fastenal Ford
    12) #10-Danica Patrick, Nature’s Bakery Chevy
    13) #20-Matt Kenseth, Dollar General Toyota
    14) #27-Paul Menard, Peak Antifreeze/Menard Chevy
    15) #11-Denny Hamlin, FedEx Express Toyota
    16) #16-Greg Biffle, KFC Nashville Hot Ford
    17) #43-Aric Almirola, Smithfield Ford
    18) #14-Brian Vickers, Mobil 1 Chevy
    19) #19-Carl Edwards, ARRIS Toyota
    20) #5-Kasey Kahne, Great Clips Chevy
    21) #41-Kurt Busch, Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevy
    22) #4-Kevin Harvick, Busch Beer Chevy
    23) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., Taxslayer.com Chevy
    24) #1-Jamie McMurray, McDonald’s Chevy
    25) #22-Joey Logano, Shell Pennzoil Ford
    See the lineup on the Sprint Unlimited Lineup page (pdf)
    For practice speeds and more, see Jayski.com’s 2016 Sprint Unlimited page.(2-12-2016)
  • Happy Hour Practice for the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five and notes:
    #11-Hamlin 198.930
    #15-Bowyer 195.253
    #43-Almirola 194.885
    #14-Vickers 194.805
    #4-Harvick 194.763
    slowest: #19-Edwards 75.517 and #47-Allmendinger 189.155
    no laps run: #13-Mears, #16-Biffle, #20-Kenseth, #78-Truex Jr.
    most laps run: #4-Harvick 23; #41-Busch & #27-Menard 22
    No incidents reported.
    See the fastest speeds and more on the Sprint Unlimited Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf)(2-12-2016)
  • 1st Practice for the Sprint Unlimited Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five and notes:
    #42-Larson 199.344
    #5-Kahne 199.159
    #11-Hamlin 199.067
    #27-Menard 198.979
    #19-Edwards 198.715
    slowest: #41-Busch 190.026 and #31-Newman 190.375
    most laps run: #22-Logano 30; #14-Vickers 28
    Twenty-five drivers are entered and all ran some practice. No incidents.
    See the fastest speeds and more on the Sprint Unlimited Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf)(2-12-2016)
  • Entry List for the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed. 36 teams with Charters are guaranteed to make the field. The rest need to make the field via qualifying or the rules book (owners attempts/points), four will make the field.
    Some of the drivers entered include: #26-Richardson Jr., #30-Wise, #32-Bobby Labonte, #35-Gilliland, #40-Sorenson, #59-McDowell, #83-Michael Waltrip, #93-DiBenedetto, #95-Ty Dillon and #98-Whitt.
    Drivers with a team without a Charter, need to race into the field: #21-Blaney, #26-Richardson Jr., #30-Wise, #35-Gilliland, #40-Sorenson, #59-McDowell, #93-DiBenedetto and #98-Whitt. Four will make it, four will DNQ.
    The #19 and #41 teams have completed deals to gain Charters from defunct Michael Waltrip Racing.
    The #46 team is leasing the #62 Premium Motorsports Charter for 2016.
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Daytona 500 Entry List
  • HScott Motorsports Reaches Agreement for Short Term Transfer of Charter: HScott Motorsports announced that it has reached agreement with Premium Motorsports for use of its Charter in 2016 to run the #46 Pilot Flying J Chevy driven by Michael Annett. This agreement has been accepted and approved by NASCAR. “The #46 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet driven by Michael Annett will be locked into the field for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2016 thanks to an agreement HScott Motorsports reached with Premium Motorsports for a short term transfer of its Charter,” said team owner Harry Scott, Jr. “I want to thank Jay Robinson, owner of Premium Motorsports, for his collaborative approach and belief in HScott Motorsports.” Earlier this week NASCAR and team owners came to a historic agreement for a NASCAR Charter System. Under the agreement HScott Motorsports was granted one Charter. That Charter will be used to field the #15 5-hour ENERGY Chevy driven by Clint Bowyer. The new system allows Charters to be transferred on a short term basis. “The new Charter License structure is the result of monumental and unprecedented cooperation between NASCAR and the teams that will further advance the sport into the foreseeable future,” said Scott. “The Charter System provides equity and certainty necessary for owners to build a successful business plan and maintain the health of their investment that will benefit fans and sponsors.(HScott Motorsports)(2-12-2015)
  • Brian Vickers named to drive the #14 at Daytona Speedweeks: Stewart-Haas Racing has named Brian Vickers interim driver of its #14 Chevy for all the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events during Speedweeks Feb. 12-21 at Daytona International Speedway. Vickers will begin driving the #14 Mobil 1 Chevy today as he and the team prepare for Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited. On Sunday, Vickers will pilot the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy in qualifying for the Daytona 500 before racing it again on Thursday in the Can-Am Duel and, finally, in the 58th running of the Daytona 500 Feb. 21.
    Vickers is a three-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series and was the 2003 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion. His best Sprint Cup finish at Daytona is a second-place result in the 2014 Coke Zero 400. His first career Sprint Cup victory came in 2006 at Talladega Superspeedway, the sister track to Daytona. The 2016 Daytona 500 will mark Vickers’ ninth start in the Great American Race. An interim driver for the #14 team in the races following Daytona has not been determined.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(2-12-2016)
  • Wrestler John Cena Named Honorary Pace Car Driver: WWE Superstar and actor John Cena will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the 58th annual DAYTONA 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Cena will pace the 40-car field to the green flag in a Toyota Camry. Cena, a 15-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, has been at the forefront of WWE’s programming for more than a decade, and most recently starred on the big screen in the Golden Globe-nominated “Trainwreck” as well as “Sisters” with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. He next will host FOX’s upcoming reality competition series American Grit. Cena is also a wish ambassador for Make-A-Wish having granted more than 500 wishes. Tickets for the 2016 DAYTONA 500 and Speedweeks can be purchased online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(12-12-2016)
  • More info about the Charters: on Thursday NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that at the end of the nine-year charter term, NASCAR will review the 36 charter holders based on performance. The sanctioning body has “built-in clauses with existing charter holders” outlining attendance and performance expectations, and O’Donnell indicated that perfect attendance will likely be a high priority. Asked whether teams still be allowed to field a fifth car in a limited schedule of races for a planned, next-season Rookie of the Year contender, O’Donnell said the sanctioning body expects to announce a policy “very similar to previous years” in the near future.(Godfather Motorsports)(2-12-2016)
  • FOX offers 100 Hours of NASCAR Daytona Speedweeks Coverage: Headlined by the addition of four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon, FOX broadcasts the 58th running of the Daytona 500 — the Great American Race — from the newly renovated Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 21, with live coverage beginning at 12:00pm/et with FOX NASCAR Sunday.
    Marked by the network’s 16th consecutive season covering the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, FOX NASCAR’s presentation of Daytona Speedweeks features approximately 100 hours of multi-platform programming, including the Sprint Unlimited, Can-Am Duel at Daytona, and NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season openers. FOX NASCAR returns in 2016 armed with seven championships’ worth of analysis and insight from Hall of Famer and three-time champ Darrell Waltrip alongside Gordon, with veteran play-by-play announcer Mike Joy, covering his 41st Daytona 500.
    The FOX NASCAR booth trio is bolstered by a deep and experienced on-air team featuring former crew chief and race analyst Larry McReynolds and pit reporters Jamie Little, Chris Neville, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum. Chris Myers hosts FOX NASCAR Sunday and the network’s coverage from the famed Hollywood Hotel alongside Michael Waltrip, Darrell Waltrip and Gordon.
    “The Great American Race” is streamed live in both English and Spanish through FOX Sports GO, the critically acclaimed app that provides live streaming video of FOX Sports content at home or on-the-go. All FOX NASCAR programming in 2016 is live streamed on FOX Sports GO. FOX Deportes, the #1 Spanish-language sports network in the U.S., also offers live coverage of the Daytona 500.
    FOX Sports’ Daytona Speedweeks coverage kicks off Friday, Feb. 12 on FS1 with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice for the Sprint Unlimited (5:00pm/et).
    The Sprint Unlimited, the first NASCAR event of the 2016 season, airs live on FOX on Saturday, Feb. 13 (8:00pm/et). Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Gordon call the 75-lap, non-points race with race analyst Larry McReynolds and pit reporters Little, Welch and Yocum. Myers and Michael Waltrip host the network’s coverage from the Hollywood Hotel. This year’s edition features 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, including all 16 who qualified for the 2015 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup, 2015 pole winners, former Sprint Unlimited winners and former Daytona 500 pole winners.
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers hit the track the next day, Sunday, Feb. 14, for Daytona 500 Qualifying, live on FOX at 1:00pm/et, setting the prestigious first and second starting positions for the Daytona 500, as well as the starting order for the Can-Am Duel at Daytona.
    The complete Daytona 500 starting order is determined following the Can-Am Duel at Daytona, live on FS1 on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7:00pm/et. The pair of qualifying races, historically one of Daytona Speedweeks’ most exciting events, are under the lights with Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Gordon on the call with race analysis by McReynolds and pit reporting by Little, Neville and Yocum. Myers and Michael Waltrip host.
    FOX Sports kicks off its sophomore year of coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY Series from Daytona on Saturday, Feb. 20 with the season opener at 3:30pm/et. Adam Alexander calls the action alongside Michael Waltrip and 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick with pit reporting by Little, Neville and Yocum. NASCAR Raceday – XFINITY, FS1’s XFINITY Series pre-race show, previews the action at 3:00pm/et. Trotta hosts with analysis from McReynolds and Kenny Wallace.
    The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series opens its season on Friday, Feb. 19 (7:30pm/et) on FS1, with complete pre-race coverage beginning with NCWTS Setup at 7:00pm/et. Vince Welch, in his first year as FS1’s Truck Series play-by-play announcer, has the call alongside Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip. Hermie Sadler, Yocum and Kaitlyn Vincie cover pit road. Trotta hosts NCWTS Setup live from the Hollywood Hotel with analysis from two-time Series champion Todd Bodine and reporting by Sadler and Vincie.
    Before FOX coverage of the Daytona 500 begins on Sunday, Feb. 21, NASCAR Raceday is live on FS1, bringing viewers the latest news amidst the buzz as drivers prepare to start the biggest race of the year. John Roberts hosts from the Charlotte studio and Trotta co-hosts from the FOX Sports set inside the new Daytona Rising stadium. They are joined by analysts McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Wally Dallenbach. NASCAR Raceday also airs immediately preceding the Sprint Unlimited and the CAN-AM DUEL on FS1.
    Daytona 500 Media Day is live from Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, Feb. 16 (9:00 am-12:00pm/et) on FS1, followed by a special two-hour edition of NASCAR RACE HUB, also from Daytona 500 Media Day (5:00-7:00pm/et). Adam Alexander, John Roberts and Danielle Trotta co-host with analysis from McReynolds and reporting by Alan Cavanna and Little.
    In addition, FOX Sports has several NASCAR specials planned during Daytona Speedweeks. On the eve of “The Great American Race,” FOX Sports and FOX NASCAR analyst and four-time champion Jeff Gordon celebrate the race and 2016 season with Jeff Gordon’S Daytona 500 Kickoff Celebration on FOX on Saturday, Feb. 20 (9:00pm/et). FS1 also premieres three NASCAR original specials during Speedweeks in a special three-hour programming block on Friday, Feb. 12. Untold Stories: Daytona airs at 7:30pm/et, followed by NASCAR Race Classic: 1993 Daytona 500 (8:30pm/et) and Beyond the Wheel Short Film Series (9:00pm/et). Fans are also invited to share their Daytona 500 experience by uploading videos to social media using #100KCams and #NASCAR for an opportunity to have footage included in the 30-minute special 100,000 Cameras: Daytona 500, which premieres Saturday, Feb. 27 on FS1 immediately following live coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(FoxSports)(2-12-2016)
  • The Sprint Unlimited Tidbits:
    ” The number of participants has ranged from a low of seven in 1981 to a high of 28 in 2009 (25 are eligible for this year’s event).
    ” Jeff Gordon has appeared in the most consecutive Sprint Unlimited races, competing in 22 consecutive events from 1994-2015.
    ” Tony Stewart leads all active drivers in consecutive Sprint Unlimited starts with 16.
    ” There have been nine multiple winners in the Sprint Unlimited:
    Dale Earnhardt won six events, most all-time (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995).
    Dale Jarrett won in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
    Kevin Harvick won in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
    Tony Stewart won in 2001, 2002 and 2007.
    Other multiple winners: Neil Bonnett (1983-1984), Ken Schrader, (1989-1990), Jeff Gordon (1994 and 1997), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003 and 2008) and Denny Hamlin (2006 and 2014).
    ” Bonnett, Schrader, Stewart and Harvick are the only drivers to win back-to-back Sprint Unlimited races. No driver has won three consecutive Sprint Unlimited events.
    ” Buddy Baker (1979), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Jeff Gordon (1994), Dale Jarrett (1996) and Denny Hamlin (2006) all won the first Sprint Unlimited in which they competed. ” Only five times in the 32-year history of the race has the winner gone on to win the Daytona 500:
    Bobby Allison (1982)
    Bill Elliott (1987)
    Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000)
    Jeff Gordon (1997)
    ” There have been four winners from the pole: Darrell Waltrip (1981), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989) and Denny Hamlin (2014). ” Two drivers have swept the Sprint Unlimited, Daytona 500 pole and Daytona 500 from 1979-2015: Dale Jarrett (2000) and Bill Elliott (1987) ” One driver has swept the Sprint Unlimited, Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 from 1979-2015: Bobby Allison (1982). ” Four drivers have won the Sprint Unlimited (1979-2015) and the championship in the same season. Dale Earnhardt is the only one to have accomplished it multiple times (four times):
    Tony Stewart (2002)
    Jeff Gordon (1997)
    Dale Earnhardt (1993)
    Dale Earnhardt (1991)
    Dale Earnhardt (1986)
    Darrell Waltrip (1981)
    Dale Earnhardt (1980)
    ” Four drivers have won consecutive Sprint Unlimited races (1979-2015). None went on to win that year’s Daytona 500:
    Kevin Harvick (2009-10)
    Tony Stewart (2000-01)
    Ken Schrader (1990-91)
    Neil Bonnett (1983-84)
    ” The format for The Sprint Unlimited has changed 13 times since its inception into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 1979.
    ” Danica Patrick is the only female driver that has competed in the Sprint Unlimited (1979 – 2015).
    (NASCAR)(2-12-2016)
  • By the Numbers: The Sprint Unlimited:
    .013 – Margin of victory in seconds by Kyle Busch over Tony Stewart in 2012, the closest margin in Sprint Unlimited history
    .058 – Margin of victory in seconds by Kurt Busch over Jamie McMurray in 2011, the second closest margin in Sprint Unlimited history
    .08 – Margin of victory in seconds by Dale Earnhardt over Sterling Marlin in 1995, the third closest margin of victory in Sprint Unlimited history
    1 – Laps led by Rusty Wallace (1998), Neil Bonnett (1983-84), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Dale Jarrett (2000 and 2004) and Kevin Harvick (2009) in the Sprint Unlimited races they won
    2.75 – Average finish by Dale Earnhardt, best by any driver with multiple starts
    4 – Number of drivers to win the Sprint Unlimited from the pole position – Darrell Waltrip (1981), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989) and Denny Hamlin (2014).
    5 – Drivers who have won the event in their first appearance (Buddy Baker, 1979; Dale Earnhardt, 1980; Jeff Gordon, 1994; Dale Jarrett, 1996; Denny Hamlin, 2006)
    6 – Number of Sprint Unlimited wins by Dale Earnhardt, the Series leader (1980, 86, 88, 91, 93, 95)
    7 – Number of fewest starters in the field for the Sprint Unlimited (1981)
    11 – Number of starts before winning, most since race began in 1979 (Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin)
    14 – Number of different leaders in the 2009 event, most since race began in 1979
    20 – Number of wins by Chevy in the Sprint Unlimited, leads all manufacturers
    22 – Most consecutive starts in the Sprint Unlimited by Jeff Gordon (1994-2014).
    27 – Kevin Harvick’s starting position in 2009, the lowest by a race winner in the event’s history
    .013 – Margin of victory in seconds by Kyle Busch over Tony Stewart in 2012, the closest margin in Sprint Unlimited history
    .058 – Margin of victory in seconds by Kurt Busch over Jamie McMurray in 2011, the second closest margin in Sprint Unlimited history
    .08 – Margin of victory in seconds by Dale Earnhardt over Sterling Marlin in 1995, the third closest margin of victory in Sprint Unlimited history
    1 – Laps led by Rusty Wallace (1998), Neil Bonnett (1983-84), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Dale Jarrett (2000 and 2004) and Kevin Harvick (2009) in the Sprint Unlimited races they won
    2.75 – Average finish by Dale Earnhardt, best by any driver with multiple starts
    4 – Number of drivers to win the Sprint Unlimited from the pole position – Darrell Waltrip (1981), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989) and Denny Hamlin (2014).
    5 – Drivers who have won the event in their first appearance (Buddy Baker, 1979; Dale Earnhardt, 1980; Jeff Gordon, 1994; Dale Jarrett, 1996; Denny Hamlin, 2006)
    6 – Number of Sprint Unlimited wins by Dale Earnhardt, the Series leader (1980, 86, 88, 91, 93, 95)
    7 – Number of fewest starters in the field for the Sprint Unlimited (1981)
    11 – Number of starts before winning, most since race began in 1979 (Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin)
    14 – Number of different leaders in the 2009 event, most since race began in 1979
    20 – Number of wins by Chevy in the Sprint Unlimited, leads all manufacturers
    22 – Most consecutive starts in the Sprint Unlimited by Jeff Gordon (1994-2014).
    27 – Kevin Harvick’s starting position in 2009, the lowest by a race winner in the event’s history.(NASCAR)(2-12-2016)
  • Preece picks up Daytona sponsor: Michael J. Cane, J.D. Tax Advisor is joining JD Motorsports with Gary Keller and driver #01-Ryan Preece as an associate sponsor for the Feb. 20 NASCAR Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona. Michael J. Cane, J.D. joins JD Motorsports and its various other important sponsors, including G&K; Services, in helping the team achieve success on the track Feb. 20. JDM is looking to build on a strong 2015 season in which the team had 7 top 10 finishes and 13 top 15 finishes. Ryan Preece has had much success on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, including a championship in 2013.(JD Motorsports)(2-12-2016)
  • Corey Lajoie in the #24 at Atlanta: JGL Racing officials announced the formation of “The JGL Racing Young Guns” program designed to highlight a group of rising stars in the NASCAR ranks. The “Young Guns” collectively will pilot the team’s #24 Toyota entry in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Corey Lajoie will debut in the program as he will climb behind the wheel of the #24 Toyota for the season’s second race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 24-year old Lajoie has six prior starts in the XFINITY Series to his credit to go along with two starts in the Sprint Cup Series. The son of Randy Lajoie, two time XFINITY Series champion, is a former developmental driver for Richard Petty Motorsports. The JGL Racing Young Guns program offers many marketing opportunities for corporations and drivers alike. JGL Racing will announce further driver schedules, sponsor announcements and additional drivers in the near future. JGL Racing will field two full-time entries in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the 2016 season. The team previously announced the signing of Dakoda Armstrong to pilot the #28 WinField Toyota. The team’s #24 and #28 Toyota’s will be powered by Joe Gibbs Racing engines for the 2016 season.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(2-12-2016)
  • Corvetteparts.net joins MAKE: MAKE Motorsports is happy to announce a new associate partnership with Corvetteparts.net also known as Keen Parts. Corvetteparts.net will be sported on the MAKE Motorsports NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entries during the 2016 racing season. With over 18,000 Corvette parts in inventory, from exterior to interior, Keen Parts / Corvetteparts.net offers specialty and hard to find restoration parts and have the ability to make special parts for any project.(MAKE Motorsports)(2-12-2016)


    News from February 11, 2016


  • NASCAR FAST FACTS – 2016 Procedural Changes:
    Maximum Field Sizes / Corresponding New Points Systems
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Maximum 40-car field (36 Charter team cars, 4 Open team cars), race winner awarded 40 points, 40th place awarded one point.
    NASCAR XFINITY Series – Maximum 40-car field, race winner awarded 40 points, 40th place awarded one point.
    NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – Maximum 32-truck field, race winner awarded 32 points, 32nd place awarded one point
    New points systems apply to driver, owner, and manufacturer championships. Existing 2015 Bonus points remain in place for 2016.
    Qualifying – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
    Daytona 500 Specific
    – Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position
    – Four Open teams are eligible for starting positions
    o The highest finishing Open team in each Can-Am Duel race earns a starting position
    o The final two starting positions are awarded to Open teams based on Coors Light Pole Qualifying if not already a top finisher in a Duel race
    – Qualifying sets the front row for the Daytona 500 and the starting lineup for the Can-Am Duel fields, with the number of Charter team and Open team cars split evenly throughout both races
    – If qualifying is cancelled due to weather, the top two finishing Open teams from each Can-Am Duel race earn starting positions in the Daytona 500
    – If the second Can-Am Duel race is cancelled due to weather, the highest finishing Open team from the first race earns a starting position, with the other three Open teams determined by qualifying
    – If both Can-Am Duel races are cancelled due to weather, qualifying determines all four Open teams
    – If qualifying and both Can-Am Duel races are cancelled due to weather, the combined practice speeds are used to determine the four Open teams
    – If all on-track activity prior to the race is cancelled due to weather, 2015 Owner points will be used to determine the four Open teams
    All Other Championship Race events
    – Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position and four Open teams are eligible for starting positions.
    – Qualifying results will determine the Open team starting positions assuming the event is run as scheduled
    – If qualifying is cancelled due to weather, the combined practice speeds determine the four Open teams
    – If practice and qualifying are cancelled due to weather, Owner points determine the four Open teams (events 1-3 revert to 2015 Owner points)
    (looks like no more past champion provisional)
    NASCAR Overtime
    For all three NASCAR national series, a race may be concluded with overtime, consisting of a new procedure for a green-white-checkered flag finish featuring an “overtime line.” The location of the overtime line will vary by track.
    After taking the green on the overtime restart, if the leader then passes the overtime line on the first lap under green before a caution comes out (a “clean restart”), it will be considered a valid green-white-checkered attempt. However, if a caution comes out before the leader passes the overtime line on the first lap under green, it will not be considered a valid attempt, and a subsequent attempt will be made. If necessary, multiple subsequent attempts will be made until a valid attempt occurs.
    Once a valid attempt is achieved (clean restart), it will become the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. If a caution comes out at any time during the valid green-white-checkered attempt, the field will be frozen and the checkered/yellow or checkered/red displayed to cars at the finish line.(NASCAR)(2-11-2016)
  • #14 car to run Sprint Unlimited with ineligible driver UPDATE: NASCAR is considering whether to allow Stewart-Haas Racing to enter a replacement of its choosing in the #14 Chevy for Tony Stewart, who is sidelined indefinitely after fracturing his back in an ATV accident last month. An SHR spokesman said the team continues to prepare a car for the Sprint Unlimited even though its plans for an interim driver (supposedly Brian Vickers for Daytona, Ty Dillon after) haven’t been finalized. Eligibility for the Sprint Unlimited, a 70-lap exhibition race, is tied to the driver and open to pole winners, Sprint Unlimited winners, Daytona 500 pole winners and Chase drivers. As a former Sprint Unlimited winner, Stewart’s Unlimited eligibility has been secure for weeks, and SHR has been preparing for the race with a purpose-built car, which is why NASCAR might allow unusual dispensation to stay in the 24-driver field with a driver who technically wasn’t qualified or in line for the spot. One active and eligible driver, David Gilliland, still doesn’t have a ride for the exhibition event, but does have a ride for the Daytona 500 in the #35 FRM Ford (NBC Sports)(2-11-2016)
    UPDATE: The Stewart-Haas Racing #14 Chevy will be eligible to run in the Sprint Unlimited even without Tony Stewart in the seat, NASCAR Executive Vice President & Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Thursday. Stewart will miss the Sprint Unlimited and the Daytona 500 due to severe back injuries sustained in an all-terrain vehicle crash. The three-time series champion had automatically qualified for the Sprint Unlimited field as a previous event winner. Brian Vickers has emerged as SHR’s top target to replace Stewart in the seat of the #14 at Daytona. Vickers, 32, competed in only two races last season for Michael Waltrip Racing after missing time due to a recurrence of blood clots. “(Vickers) is medically cleared,” O’Donnell said. “Stewart-Haas is still looking at communicating the driver of that vehicle, (but) we have made the decision to allow the 14 car to participate in the (Sprint Unlimited). When we looked at it, it’s due to some unforeseen circumstances. A lot of prep work went into that car. There are a lot of implications for the 14 not being in that race. In this instance, we made the decision to allow the 14 to participate.”(NASCAR.com)(2-11-2016)
  • Stewart’s replacement to be named on Friday UPDATE4 Vickers & Dillon: We’ll have to wait a little longer to find out who will replace Tony Stewart in the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. SHR spokesman Mike Arning said the team did not expect to make an announcement about Stewart’s replacement in the #14 before Wednesday. Daytona 500 practice begins Saturday morning at Daytona International Speedway, so the team will need to have a driver ready — and the car modified to fit the new driver — by then.(Fox Sports)(2-9-2016)
    UPDATE: ESPN.com’s Bob Pockrass says, [Stewart-Haas Racing’s] Brett Frood told me that he would speak Friday at Daytona as far as replacement driver for Tony Stewart.(2-10-2016)
    UPDATE2: Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a press conference to announce interim driver of #14 Chevy during Daytona Speedweeks for Friday, February 12th at 11:30am/et. The press conference will be streamed LIVE on NASCAR.com at www.nascar.com/presspass.(SHR)(2-10-2016)
    UPDATE3: Brian Vickers is expected to replace injured driver #14-Tony Stewart for the NASCAR season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a Friday news conference to discuss its plans for the #14 Chevrolet. A person familiar with the situation told AP on Wednesday that it will be Vickers. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is awaiting word from NASCAR on whether Vickers is medically cleared to race. Vickers ran only two races last season before suffering a recurrence of blood clots. He can’t compete when being treated for the clots because the blood thinners increase his risk of serious internal bleeding if he crashes. Vickers is only expected to run at Daytona, which opens Friday ahead of the Feb. 21 season-opening Daytona 500. SHR is still looking at all of its options for beyond Daytona. Stewart is expected to race at some point this year.(Associated Press), no mention about the Sprint Unlimited.
    AND Brian Vickers is expected to replace injured driver Tony Stewart for the NASCAR season opener at Daytona International Speedway, a source with knowledge of the plans told ESPN’s Bob Pockrass.
    AND II: Brian Vickers will drive for Tony Stewart at Daytona International Speedway provided he is cleared by NASCAR, a source close to the situation confirmed to NBC Sports. Stewart is eligible for Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited and NASCAR is considering if to allow his team to compete in the non-points race even though Vickers is not eligible for the event. Eligibility for the event is tied to the driver.(NBC Sports)(2-10-2016)
    UPDATE 4: Ty Dillon will sub for Tony Stewart in a few races where the #14 SHR Chevy has Bass Pro Shops as its primary sponsor. Richard Childress, Dillon’s grandfather and XFINITY Series team owner, has a long-running relationship with Bass Pro Shops. Brian Vickers will race the #14 in the Daytona 500 and possibly additional races (FoxSports)(2-11-2016)
  • Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Announces Driver Lineup For Daytona: Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing announced that it will field two entries in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The 2016 season is a major one for Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing, as the team recently announced their plans to run all 36 races with a new Richard Childress Racing Alliance and switch in manufacturer to Chevy. Ty Dillon will be behind the wheel of the #95 Cheerios / Kroger Chevy with Todd Parrott serving as crew chief. In addition, NASCAR veteran Michael McDowell will drive the #59 Thrivent Financial / K-LOVE Radio Chevy with Dave Winston as crew chief.
    Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing partners Joe Falk and Bob Leavine have a strong outlook for Daytona Speedweeks, bringing two Chevrolet race cars to the track with two of the top drivers in motorsports. “I’m looking forward to going to Daytona and finally getting this season under way!” said Joe Falk, partner of Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing. “It has been a long off-season with lots of changes and it will be great to finally get this season started. I’m excited to have Michael McDowell and Ty Dillon pilot the two CSLFR entries at Daytona.”
    “We are thrilled with our new alliance with Richard Childress Racing and having the opportunity to run two cars in The Great American Race,” said Bob Leavine, partner of Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing. “This is the ultimate stage in motorsports and I’m proud to have two great drivers behind the wheel of CSLFR race cars for Daytona Speedweeks.”
    Dillon, from Welcome, N.C., competed in his first Daytona 500 last year, starting 31st and finishing 28th. The XFINITY Series driver, who finished third in series points in 2015, is looking to gain valuable experience in the Cup Series at Daytona as he progresses through the NASCAR ranks. “The Daytona 500 is such a prestigious race and it’s an incredible honor to be able to compete on this stage,” said Dillon. “Last season I learned a lot and experienced a lot. I got to race up front with the leaders, raced in the back, had some damage we had to repair and eventually finished 28th. This season, we’re going to go out there like any other team and try to win the race.” McDowell will be running the majority of the 36-race schedule in the #95 Chevrolet for CSLFR, with Ty Dillon competing in a handful of races with the team. Dillon is looking forward to working with his new teammate in 2016. “Michael is an extremely talented race car driver and it’s going to be a great opportunity for me this season to learn from him; especially on the road courses,” said Dillon. “He’s had success in the past and I think the two of us together are going to only get better this season.”
    McDowell, a Glendale, Ariz. native, earned his best career finishes at Daytona International Speedway in the NSCS. He finished ninth in the Daytona 500 in 2013 and seventh in the July race at Daytona in 2014. “I think it’s a good track in that it allows any team to have a shot at running well. It’s one of the ‘opportunity’ races for our team to run up front and finish well,” said McDowell. “The changes that we made in off season — switching to Chevrolet and aligning with RCR — has provided us with, by far, the best equipment, car and motor combination that we’ve ever brought to a superspeedway. It’s pretty exciting because we’ve had good results at superspeedways in the past. Hands down this is the best car we’ve ever brought to Daytona.” McDowell will pilot the #59 Thrivent Financial / K-LOVE Radio Chevrolet SS at Daytona Speedweeks and will have to race his way into the starting line-up for the Daytona 500. “That’s the most nerve-racking park of the weekend. I can’t say that you ever get used to doing it. But I’ve never not had to race my way in so this is nothing new to me. It’s standard operating procedure. I’ve made it in more times that I’ve missed, but there’s no guarantee. You have to race hard and give it all you got and see what happens.”(CSLFR95)(2-11-2016)
  • 75th Anniversary M&M;’s scheme at Daytona: This year’s Speedweeks at Daytona is where the M&M;’S brand, primary sponsor of defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and his #18 M&M;’S Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), first takes to the track in its season-long celebration of its 75th anniversary. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the M&M;’S brand, Busch’s colorful #18 M&M;’s Toyota will bring back the familiar yellow scheme, with a few nods to its rich past, as Kyle Busch and the #18 team open their title defense in 2016.(TrueSpeedCommunications/M&M;’s Racing), see images of the car on the #18 Team Schemes page (2-11-2016)
  • TaxSlayer.com debuts for Earnhardt Jr in the Sprint Unlimited: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is slated to drive the red-and-black #88 TaxSlayer.com Chevy in Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. TaxSlayer.com marks the company’s first race as a primary sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Earnhardt, and associate brand placement on the #88 Chevy throughout the remainder of the year (HMS), see images of the car on the #88 Team Schemes page(2-11-2016)
  • Bobby Labonte back with Joe Gibbs Racing for an XFINITY race: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced a partnership with NOS Energy Drink (owned by Monster), as primary sponsor of the team’s #18 NOS Energy Drink Toyota in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Kyle Busch will drive his first NOS program race at Atlanta and in subsequent races that total 16 XFINITY Series events this season. To kick off the 2016 race schedule at Daytona, Joe Gibbs Racing and NOS Energy Drink announced they are also bringing back another champion for the XFINITY series program start, longtime race winner and past Joe Gibbs Racing veteran racecar driver Bobby Labonte. “We’ve always sought out the most determined, fearless and committed athletes to represent our company and brands,” said Vice President of Sports Marketing, Mitch Covington. He commented further, “With Kyle (Busch) in the seat most of the year and a strong Daytona start with Bobby (Labonte), we have every reason to believe our program will win.” Labonte proved to be a strong selection to kick off the NOS Energy Drink program for the first race of the season as he rejoins Joe Gibbs Racing while they celebrate their 25th year of NASCAR racing. “I’m excited about the opportunity to drive for JGR again. I didn’t think this would ever happen and when Joe called me about the program, it was a ‘no-brainer.’ Great race team, great cars, the opportunity is a good one. There would be nothing better than to hang a flag in this building too,” said Labonte of the Daytona opportunity in front of him with the #18 JGR XFINITY Series team. A Texas native, Labonte was an early driver of the #18 with JGR and earned them 21 victories and a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in 2000. Labonte is also a NASCAR Champion in the XFINITY Series (1991) and the IROC Series (2001) and has victories recorded in all three of NASCAR’s premier racing series. 2016 marks Labonte’s 30th consecutive year as a professional racecar driver. The #18 team’s goal will again be to capture an Owner’s Championship in the XFINITY Series. With Busch and Labonte confirmed and the recent announcement of Matt Tifft as driver of the #18 for races later in the schedule, crew chief Chris Gayle is eager to attack that goal.(JGR)(2-11-2016)
  • Wood Brothers Racing make statement: “We can’t express enough how proud and thankful we are for the overwhelming expression of support for our team. NASCAR has pressed the reset button on the ownership structure and we hope it takes the sport in a positive direction. We have endured challenges throughout our 66 years and will undoubtedly face more in the future, but that’s what makes our team unique. We take great pride in our organization’s reputation and our loyal fans are nothing short of amazing. The main focus right now is to be the best team we can possibly be. Motorcraft and Ford Performance have put tremendous faith in us and our objective is to make the most of this 2016 season and beyond. We know there are numerous questions and as a result, Eddie, Len and Jon Wood will be addressing any available media at the speedway on Friday, February 12, at 1:00pm/et behind their hauler in the Sprint Cup garage.(WBR Facebook)(2-11-2016)
  • Wood Brothers Racing add veteran tire changers to pit crew: Rookie Ryan Blaney will have veteran tire changers Shannon Myers and Ryan Langley manning the stops at Daytona. Both changers were at Michael Waltrip Racing last year and come over with loads of experience and talent. Carrier Jesse Mills will be carrying fronts with longtime jackman Chris Conklin in the middle. The back of the car has Josh Chaney carrying tires and gassing will be Andrew Lackey.(Pit Talks)(2-11-2016)
  • Gibbs, Stewart Haas expected to buy charters; HScott to lease one UPDATE: There are 38 teams committed to full-time racing in 2016. Four weren’t awarded charters — Joe Gibbs Racing’s #19-Carl Edwards (team started in 2015), Stewart-Haas Racing’s #41-Kurt Busch (2014), HScott Motorsports’ #46-Michael Annett (2015) and #21-Wood Brothers Racing’s Ryan Blaney (formerly part-time team now going full time). Former Michael Waltrip Racing owner Rob Kauffman, who has two charters from his teams that ceased operations after last year, said he expects to sell his charters to JGR (for Edwards) and SHR (for Busch). Kauffman estimated the value of a charter at the “single-digit millions.” The transfer of a charter must be approved by NASCAR, which will charge an administrative fee but not get a percentage of the sale. All NASCAR team owners will be allowed to see the transfer application, which would include the price of the charter sold. Charters can only be sold prior to the start of a season and can be transferred only once every five years.(NBC Sports)
    AND According to Motorsports’ Lee Spencer, “Been told Jay Robinson (Premium Motorsports) has leased his charter to @Team_HSM #46. Hearing $1.6m for lease of charter.(2-9-2016)
    UPDATE: A representative for SHR said Tuesday afternoon that “Stewart-Haas Racing will have four Charters and that process is nearly complete.” A Joe Gibbs Racing representative said Tuesday afternoon that it was “just a matter of finalizing the transaction” that would bring a Charter to the #19 entry.(NASCAR.com)
    AND: ESPN.com’s Bob Pockrass tweeted that an HScott spokesman said: “HSM intends to field two full time cars for the 2016 season and is in the process of finalizing an agreement.”(2-10-2016)
    UPDATE2: HScott Motorsports confirmed Tuesday that it is in the process of leasing second charter from another team to ensure that Michael Annett is in every Sprint Cup points race this season. The charter will return to the other team after this season.(NBC Sports)(2-11-2016)
  • Chip Ganassi won’t rule out Ford NASCAR move: NASCAR team owner Chip Ganassi has refused to rule out a future switch from Chevrolet to Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup having strengthened its ties with the manufacturer ahead of the 2016 season. CGR has been synonymous with Chevrolet in NASCAR, but the team is strengthening its ties with Ford after joining forces to spearhead its new Le Mans and World Endurance Championship programme having worked together during the Daytona Prototype sportscar era. It also enjoys success in IndyCar using Honda engines (CORRECTION: the team runs Chevy in IndyCar NOT Honda). Though owner Ganassi maintains he is happy running three programmes with three different partners [CGR actually runs in six different series not three – NASCAR, NASCAR XFINITY (Chevy), IndyCar (Chevy), IMSA & WEC (Ford) and Global Rally Cross (Ford)], he suggests there is potential for more homogeny with Ford in the future, saying ‘I would never say never. I would not rule it out all. I’m happy to run Honda (Chevy) in Indycar, Chevy in NASCAR and Ford in Sportscar racing, all the manufacturers we work with are fully aware of my deals with the other manufacturers, I go in with an open book. I think that is what it takes to be in this business today. I would compare it to a car dealer that has multiple name plates or a manufacturing company which work for different manufacturers. I think it’s important that they understand that we do not kiss and tell. We try to the best we can for everyone.”(Crash.net, article is a little inaccurate)(2-11-2016)
  • New points structure for XFINITY: In the NASCAR XFINITY Series there will be a maximum 40-car field. The race winner is awarded 40 points, 40th place awarded one point. The new points system applies to driver, owner, and manufacturer championships. Existing 2015 Bonus points remain in place for 2016.(NASCAR)(2-11-2016)
  • Green-White-Checker finishes become “NASCAR Overtime” For all three NASCAR national series, a race may be concluded with overtime, consisting of a new procedure for a green-white-checkered flag finish featuring an “overtime line.” The location of the overtime line will vary by track. After taking the green on the overtime restart, if the leader then passes the overtime line on the first lap under green before a caution comes out (a “clean restart”), it will be considered a valid green-white-checkered attempt. However, if a caution comes out before the leader passes the overtime line on the first lap under green, it will not be considered a valid attempt, and a subsequent attempt will be made. If necessary, multiple subsequent attempts will be made until a valid attempt occurs. Once a valid attempt is achieved (clean restart), it will become the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. If a caution comes out at any time during the valid green-white-checkered attempt, the field will be frozen and the checkered/yellow or checkered/red displayed to cars at the finish line.(NASCAR)(2-11-2016)
  • Brennan Poole running full season for Ganassi: Chip Ganassi Racing announced that DC Solar will return as the season-long partner on the #48 Chevy Camaro with Brennan Poole behind the wheel. Poole, will compete for the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship and Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2016. Veteran XFINITY Series Crew Chief Chad Norris will lead the DC Solar sponsored team. Poole shared seat time in 2015 with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and road-course specialist Justin Marks. The Woodlands, Texas native competed in 17 NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2015, scoring two top-10s and 10 top-15 finishes.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(2-11-2016)
  • New points structure for CWTS: In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series there will be a maximum 32-truck field. The race winner is awarded 32 points, 32nd place awarded one point. The new points system applies to driver, owner, and manufacturer championships. Existing 2015 Bonus points remain in place for 2016.(NASCAR)(2-11-2016)
  • Green-White-Checker finishes become “NASCAR Overtime” For all three NASCAR national series, a race may be concluded with overtime, consisting of a new procedure for a green-white-checkered flag finish featuring an “overtime line.” The location of the overtime line will vary by track. After taking the green on the overtime restart, if the leader then passes the overtime line on the first lap under green before a caution comes out (a “clean restart”), it will be considered a valid green-white-checkered attempt. However, if a caution comes out before the leader passes the overtime line on the first lap under green, it will not be considered a valid attempt, and a subsequent attempt will be made. If necessary, multiple subsequent attempts will be made until a valid attempt occurs. Once a valid attempt is achieved (clean restart), it will become the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. If a caution comes out at any time during the valid green-white-checkered attempt, the field will be frozen and the checkered/yellow or checkered/red displayed to cars at the finish line.(NASCAR)(2-11-2016)
  • Reed, Forrister to run truck race for Lira UPDATE: Ryan Reed posted one of the most dramatic victories of the season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway in 2015. He will return to Speedweeks this season with a pair of opportunities to return to Victory Lane; competing in both the XFINITY Series race and in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season openers. Reed will pilot the #58 Dexcom Ford F-150 with associate sponsor Aslan Cold Storage & Transportation, LLC in the Next Era Energy 250 at the famed 2.5-mile racetrack – known as the World Center of Racing. Lira Motorsports serves as a developmental team for Roush Fenway Racing and in addition to Reed’s participation in the truck race at Daytona, the team plans to run Reed in selected ARCA races later this season, with the exact dates yet to be determined. Last season, Reed competed in three ARCA races with Lira Motorsports, recording wins at Chicagoland and Kentucky, and earning top-five finishes in all three events, while leading 102 laps. The race will mark Reed’s second start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He finished 17th in his series debut in Las Vegas in 2012.(See an image of the truck on the #58 Team Paint Schemes page)(Lira Motorsports)(2-11-2016)
    UPDATE: ESPN’s Bob Pockrass posted on Twitter that Korbin Forrister, who drove for Bob Dotter last season, has also joined Lira and will drive the #59 for the team in Daytona.(See an image of the truck on the #59 Team Paint Schemes page)(2-11-2016)
    AND: Lira Motorsports welcomes a new face to the 2016 season, a face that is recognizable in the Camping World Truck Series after his rookie debut and a top 20 finish in the season points last year. Korbin Forrister, a prodigy who started racing dirt tracks at a very young age, is up for the challenge of training with and competing against some of the biggest names in NASCAR. He is also extremely enthusiastic about all of the new opportunities that are coming his way. On January 29, Forrister made a powerful career move and signed on with Lira Motorsports. For Forrister to sit down with Carlos Lira and find they share a similar vision for the future made quite an impression on the young, motivated driver. He’ll be running in the Camping World Truck Series in Daytona, Atlanta, and Martinsville to start off the season, followed by a race in the ARCA series at Talladega.(Lira Motorsports)(2-11-2016)
  • Timmy Hill to drive for Premium UPDATE: Premium Motorsports announced on Twitter that Timmy Hill would return to drive the team’s #49 Horomone Therapeutics Camping World Truck Series entry. The team will also be switching from #94 to #49 for 2016. In 2015, Hill drove 12 races for Premium.(See an image of the truck on the #49 Team Paint Schemes page)(2-8-2016)
    UPDATE: Hormone Therapeutics will serve as primary sponsor for Timmy Hill and the #49 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team for the Nextera Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 19th. Hormone Therapeutics is the first National Testosterone Replacement Therapy provider helping patients live happier, healthier and more energetic lives as they age anywhere in the US. With over 12,000 blood testing locations, and physicians in every state, we provide consultations in the privacy and convenience of our patient’s homes. We are available to patients anywhere for $199 per month. Low testosterone is affecting over 12 million males today who are not receiving world-class specialist physician guidance which is rarely available outside of major cities.(Premium Motorsports)(2-11-2016)
  • Contreras Motorsports to debut in Daytona:Enrique and Carlos Contreras are pleased to announce the formation of the first Mexican team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), Contreras Motorsports.Contreras Motorsports LLC began as a vision that Enrique and Carlos had, both of whom are recognized as pioneers in the Hispanic world of NASCAR, who now bring the legacy of the Mexican race-winning team of the early 90’s to the sport. The team will be the first of its’ kind in one of NASCAR’s top-tier series, as the only Hispanic owned NCWTS team. Contreras Motorsports will be based in Mooresville, N.C., area of great importance to NASCAR. Crew Chief Tim Andrews, son of crew chief champion, Paul Andrews, will lead the talented young crew on their inaugural season. The team will be running trucks that are prepared for different tracks that the series visits throughout the season, with the purpose of providing opportunities for up-and-coming drivers looking to break into NASCAR. The first race of the team will be on Feb.19 at the newly renovated Daytona International Speedway. Carlos Contreras, who has more than 100 NASCAR starts and six Daytona appearances, will be driving the Chevy Silverado #71 at the Nextera Energy Resources 250. Bellator MMA, a leading mixed martial arts promoter founded in 2008, will sponsor the Chevy Silverado #71, promoting #Bellator149 which will take place on Feb. 19 featuring Grace vs.Shamrock as the main event.(See an image of the truck on the #71 Team Paint Schemes page)(Contreras Motorsports)(2-11-2016)


    News from February 10, 2016


  • Stewart’s replacement to be named on Friday UPDATE3 Vickers? We’ll have to wait a little longer to find out who will replace Tony Stewart in the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. SHR spokesman Mike Arning said the team did not expect to make an announcement about Stewart’s replacement in the #14 before Wednesday. Daytona 500 practice begins Saturday morning at Daytona International Speedway, so the team will need to have a driver ready — and the car modified to fit the new driver — by then.(Fox Sports)(2-9-2016)
    UPDATE: ESPN.com’s Bob Pockrass says, [Stewart-Haas Racing’s] Brett Frood told me that he would speak Friday at Daytona as far as replacement driver for Tony Stewart.(2-10-2016)
    UPDATE2: Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a press conference to announce interim driver of #14 Chevy during Daytona Speedweeks for Friday, February 12th at 11:30am/et. The press conference will be streamed LIVE on NASCAR.com at www.nascar.com/presspass.(SHR)(2-10-2016)
    UPDATE3: Brian Vickers is expected to replace injured driver #14-Tony Stewart for the NASCAR season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart-Haas Racing has scheduled a Friday news conference to discuss its plans for the #14 Chevrolet. A person familiar with the situation told AP on Wednesday that it will be Vickers. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team is awaiting word from NASCAR on whether Vickers is medically cleared to race. Vickers ran only two races last season before suffering a recurrence of blood clots. He can’t compete when being treated for the clots because the blood thinners increase his risk of serious internal bleeding if he crashes. Vickers is only expected to run at Daytona, which opens Friday ahead of the Feb. 21 season-opening Daytona 500. SHR is still looking at all of its options for beyond Daytona. Stewart is expected to race at some point this year.(Associated Press), no mention about the Sprint Unlimited.
    AND Brian Vickers is expected to replace injured driver Tony Stewart for the NASCAR season opener at Daytona International Speedway, a source with knowledge of the plans told ESPN’s Bob Pockrass.
    AND II: Brian Vickers will drive for Tony Stewart at Daytona International Speedway provided he is cleared by NASCAR, a source close to the situation confirmed to NBC Sports. Stewart is eligible for Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited and NASCAR is considering if to allow his team to compete in the non-points race even though Vickers is not eligible for the event. Eligibility for the event is tied to the driver.(NBC Sports)(2-10-2016)
  • What will the 2016 and Daytona 500 Qualifying format look like? The Sprint Cup Series Qualifying format for the 2016 season/Daytona 500 is scheduled to be announced on Thursday, February 11th.
  • Gilliland to attempt the Daytona 500: Front Row Motorsports will enter a third car for the Daytona 500 with David Gilliland at the wheel of the #35 Ford. No sponsor has been announced. Gilliland will have to race into the field into one of the open four spots not used by the teams with a charter. FRM’s #34 and #38 teams have a charter and are locked in to the field. Gilliland will not be competing for FRM in the Sprint Unlimited.(FRM Facebook)(2-10-2016)
  • added a more 2016 schemes:
    #1 McDonald’s & CreditOne#13 GEICO Military#18 Snickers Crisper#32 Can-Am#34 Love’s travel Stops#40 CRC Brakleen#46 Pilot Flying J#48 Lowe’s Red Vest#95 K-Love
  • Gibbs, Stewart Haas expected to buy charters; HScott to lease one UPDATE: There are 38 teams committed to full-time racing in 2016. Four weren’t awarded charters — Joe Gibbs Racing’s #19-Carl Edwards (team started in 2015), Stewart-Haas Racing’s #41-Kurt Busch (2014), HScott Motorsports’ #46-Michael Annett (2015) and #21-Wood Brothers Racing’s Ryan Blaney (formerly part-time team now going full time). Former Michael Waltrip Racing owner Rob Kauffman, who has two charters from his teams that ceased operations after last year, said he expects to sell his charters to JGR (for Edwards) and SHR (for Busch). Kauffman estimated the value of a charter at the “single-digit millions.” The transfer of a charter must be approved by NASCAR, which will charge an administrative fee but not get a percentage of the sale. All NASCAR team owners will be allowed to see the transfer application, which would include the price of the charter sold. Charters can only be sold prior to the start of a season and can be transferred only once every five years.(NBC Sports)
    AND According to Motorsports’ Lee Spencer, “Been told Jay Robinson (Premium Motorsports) has leased his charter to @Team_HSM #46. Hearing $1.6m for lease of charter.(2-9-2016)
    UPDATE: A representative for SHR said Tuesday afternoon that “Stewart-Haas Racing will have four Charters and that process is nearly complete.” A Joe Gibbs Racing representative said Tuesday afternoon that it was “just a matter of finalizing the transaction” that would bring a Charter to the #19 entry.(NASCAR.com)
    AND: ESPN.com’s Bob Pockrass tweeted that an HScott spokesman said: “HSM intends to field two full time cars for the 2016 season and is in the process of finalizing an agreement.”(2-10-2016)
  • Hamlin investing in solar farm: SunEnergy1, with an investment by NASCAR racer Denny Hamlin’s recently formed Won One Energy, will build a 20-megawatt solar farm in Chesapeake, Va. The project will be the largest solar farm in Virginia. Dominion Virginia Power will buy the power produced by the project under a 20-year contract. One Won, like SunEnergy1, is based in Mooresville. Hamlin registered the company in December. He lives now in nearby Cornelius. He shares a racing connection with SunEnergy1 CEO Kenny Habul. Hamlin drives the #11 FedEx Car for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Kenny Habul, CEO of SunEnergy1, races the #20 car for Gibbs in the Xfinity Series. This year SunEnergy1 is also the principal sponsor for Chase Elliot’s #24 car for Hendricks Motorsposts. There principals did not disclose how much Hamlin is investing. Nor has any information been released about the cost of the project. But based on current prices in the Southeast, the 20-hegawatt project is likely to cost between $30 and $40 million. The project will be built on 250 acres off Ballahack Road and U.S. Highway 17.(Charlotte Business Journal)(2-10-2016)
  • Daytona Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Daytona throughout Speedweeks . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams have run at Daytona since July 2013 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Daytona . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear PR), see full notes, tire codes, tire pressures, set limits on the Daytona Race Info page.(2-10-2016)
  • Barrett driving for Rick Ware at Daytona: A familiar face will help kick off Rick Ware Racing’s 25th year of competition later this month at Daytona International Speedway. Stanton Barrett, a longtime fixture in the NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to the team and will drive the #15 Dodge Challenger in the February 20 running of the PowerShares QQQ 300. Joining Barrett and Ware in the season-opening event is new marketing partner, Mozido and veteran industry crew chief Paul Andrews. Mozido’s mobile payment solutions unlock financial freedom for roughly 2 billion people globally by providing trusted digital payments and mobile commerce. Founded by Michael Liberty, Mozido’s worldwide presence and global offerings include operations in the US, China, India, Asia, Africa, Middle East, Europe and Latin America, enabling people to manage their money, payments and other services from their mobile phones.(Rick Ware Racing), see an image of the car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(2-10-2016)
  • Lagasse Jr. entering NXS race at Daytona: Scott Lagasse Jr. will compete in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 truck race Feb. 19 and return to compete in the 300 the following day. Mark Gibson, who is the brother of NASCAR crew chief Tony Gibson, is prepping the #93 Chevy for Lagasse. The Gibsons are originally from Daytona Beach. Tony is crew chief for Kurt Busch.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(2-10-2016)
  • Lagasse to run Daytona with NTS, Kennedy still searching: Scott Lagasse Jr., who lives in nearby St. Augustine, will compete in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 truck race Feb. 19. And expect to see Daytona Beach native Ben Kennedy, who has two years of truck series racing under his belt, pop up on an entry sheet following an 11th-hour announcement. The 24-year-old Kennedy, a great grandson of NASCAR founder William H.G. France, is expected to announce his deal in the very near future. Lagasse will run the #14 Chevy owned by Bob Newberry in the truck race.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-10-2016)


    News from February 9, 2016


  • Gibbs, Stewart Haas expected to buy charters; HScott to lease one: There are 38 teams committed to full-time racing in 2016. Four weren’t awarded charters — Joe Gibbs Racing’s #19-Carl Edwards (team started in 2015), Stewart-Haas Racing’s #41-Kurt Busch (2014), HScott Motorsports’ #46-Michael Annett (2015) and #21-Wood Brothers Racing’s Ryan Blaney (formerly part-time team now going full time). Former Michael Waltrip Racing owner Rob Kauffman, who has two charters from his teams that ceased operations after last year, said he expects to sell his charters to JGR (for Edwards) and SHR (for Busch). Kauffman estimated the value of a charter at the “single-digit millions.” The transfer of a charter must be approved by NASCAR, which will charge an administrative fee but not get a percentage of the sale. All NASCAR team owners will be allowed to see the transfer application, which would include the price of the charter sold. Charters can only be sold prior to the start of a season and can be transferred only once every five years.(NBC Sports)
    AND According to Motorsports’ Lee Spencer, “Been told Jay Robinson (Premium Motorsports) has leased his charter to @Team_HSM #46. Hearing $1.6m for lease of charter.(2-9-2016)
  • Sorenson to drive for Hillman at Daytona: With today’s formal announcement of the implementation of a NASCAR charter system for the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season, Hillman Racing will field the #40 CRC BRAKLEEN Chevrolet SS with driver Reed Sorenson as an open competitor in the 58th annual Daytona 500. “While we are absolutely disappointed with our exclusion from the new charter system, we have sponsors, partners and friends that have stood behind us, and for that I am truly grateful,” said team owner Mike Hillman. “I’ve poured my heart and soul – literally my blood, sweat and tears – into building a competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup team over the past three years, and to be told one week prior to the sport’s biggest event of a complete overhaul of the framework of the Series is disheartening. For the time being, I will instead focus on the positives and that we have a great partner like CRC Industries that will allow me to continue to realize my lifelong dream of fielding a car in the Daytona 500.” The team has secured the driving services of 30-year-old Sorenson, who last season memorably raced his way into the Daytona 500 by earning a transfer spot in the 150-mile qualifying races, and has tapped race-winning crew chief Pat Tryson to lead the #40 CRC Brakleen team. Sorenson, who celebrated his 30th birthday last Friday, will attempt to race his way into the Daytona 500 starting field for the seventh time in his career and has recorded a fifth- and ninth-place finish in NASCAR’s biggest race.(Hillman Racing), see an image of the car on the #40 team paint schemes page.(2-9-2016)
  • NASCAR Implements Team Owner Charter Agreement for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: During a historic event held today in Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owners to announce a landmark long-term agreement that provides teams with increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to produce best-in-class racing.
    In effect as the 2016 NASCAR season prepares to kick off this weekend, the new Charter system addresses three key areas – participation, governance and economics – to promote a more predictable, sustainable and valuable team business model. The agreement grants NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charters to 36 teams, establishes a Team Owner Council that will have formal input into decisions, and provides Charter teams with new revenue opportunities including a greater interest in digital operations.
    “Today represents a landmark change to the business model of team ownership in NASCAR,” France said. “The Charter agreements provide nine years of stability for NASCAR and the teams to focus on growth initiatives together with our track partners, auto manufacturers, drivers and sponsors. The Charters also are transferable, which will aid in the development of long-term enterprise value for Charter members.”
    The system affords Charter teams that remain in good standing more predictable revenue over the nine years of the agreement. Along with improved financial certainty, the new framework is designed to increase the long-term market value of teams and provide the ability to plan farther ahead with existing, new and prospective partners.
    Similar to the five-year sanctioning agreements that NASCAR begins with tracks in 2016, team owner Charter agreements allow for longer planning cycles around competition, innovation, digital marketing, governance and research and development.
    “The new Charter program strengthens each of our businesses individually and the team model as a whole, which is good for NASCAR, our fans, drivers, sponsors and the thousands of people who we employ,” said Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing. “This will give us more stability and predictability, and it will allow us to take a more progressive, long-term approach to issues.
    “NASCAR and the teams share a desire to preserve, promote and grow the sport and ultimately produce great racing for our fans and partners. These common goals served as the foundation for discussions and helped bring us to this unprecedented agreement. This is a great step forward for the entire sport made possible by Brian France setting a new course for the NASCAR industry and the owners coming together on shared issues. Everyone involved then compromised a bit to be able to come up with something that worked for all.”
    Each Charter team owner has a guaranteed entry into the field of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race. To maintain the historical openness of NASCAR racing, the balance of the field will be open for team owners who do not hold Charters. These Open team owners will compete for the remaining starting spots and positions in the race, as each event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ starting lineup shifts in 2016 to a 40-car field.
    “The new team owner agreements will offer a more appealing environment for both current and prospective team owners at the NASCAR premier series level,” France said. “I’ve always stressed that if we can do things to improve the business of our stakeholders, we will pursue it. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished today with this agreement.”(NASCAR)
    see a list of Chartered teams on the NASCAR 2016 News & Rules page
    read the full announcement press conference transcript on the NASCAR Charter Announcement transcript page.(2-9-2015)
  • NASCAR expected to announce charter system Tuesday UPDATE: NASCAR will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon at 1:30pm with NASCAR CEO Brian France where they are expected to announce the details on a new charter system for Sprint Cup teams. The agreement is expected to guarantee a certain number of starting spots in the field to certain owners and shrink the race field to 40 cars. The system would provide owners with additional revenue and give them more value for their teams.
    The press conference will be shown online at NASCAR.com.(2-8-2016)(2-8-2016)
    UPDATE: Now that the paperwork is signed, how much one of these franchises — “charters” as NASCAR will call them — is worth in the coming years is as big a guess as picking the winner of the Daytona 500. The new system is to guarantee 36 owners a certain amount of revenue as well as starting positions in what will be a 40-car field, down from 43. There would be no buy-in for the initial 36 charters — they will go to owners whose cars have attempted every race since 2013. The owners, who likely will have to meet a performance clause to keep a charter, can opt to sell them to the highest bidder. There currently are 38 full-time teams announced for the 2016 Sprint Cup season, and four would not meet the criteria to get a charter. Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing are expected to purchase two charters from the now-defunct Michael Waltrip Racing [for the teams of #19-Edwards & #41-Busch]. The other two — #21-Wood Brothers Racing and one of the two HScott Motorsports cars — would either need to purchase a charter from an existing team or have to be among the four at-large qualifiers each week. There have been 41 announced entries for the Daytona 500, although that number could change. The system should give organizations more value to potential investors and buyers. Teams will still need sponsorship to be competitive — sponsorship makes up about 70-75 percent of a team’s revenues. It is likely that whatever MWR owner Rob Kauffman sells his charters for will at least set an initial standard. And it remains to be seen whether future owners will come from racing fans with money or private equity firms.(ESPN.com)(2-9-2016)
  • Stewart’s replacement to be named later in the week: We’ll have to wait a little longer to find out who will replace Tony Stewart in the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet. SHR spokesman Mike Arning said the team did not expect to make an announcement about Stewart’s replacement in the #14 before Wednesday. Daytona 500 practice begins Saturday morning at Daytona International Speedway, so the team will need to have a driver ready — and the car modified to fit the new driver — by then.(Fox Sports)(2-9-2016)
  • NASCAR issues updates to Rule Book: NASCAR issued a bulletin to teams with updates to the 2016 Sprint Cup Rule Book. Most are clarifications or updates as opposed to anything new. Among the items listed:
    – Teams may change the radiator during Speedweeks at Daytona. The radiator may be changed after completion of the 150-mile qualifying races and must be completed before the final practice for the Daytona 500.
    – Teams must use the same rear end differential assembly at all events except: All road course events, events at Martinsville Speedway, the Daytona 500, the Sprint Showdown and the Sprint All-Star Race.
    – NASCAR listed how many sets of tires teams are permitted for races. Teams will be allowed one fewer set of tires than last year at seven venues, representing 11 races.
    – NASCAR listed the tire codes for the first 12 Cup events this season. There will be new left- and right-side tire codes for races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, Auto Club Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Kansas Speedway and Dover International Speedway.
    – NASCAR listed the pit road speed limit for each track.
    (NBC Sports)(2-9-2016)
  • Tungaloy America joins Penske: Team Penske and Tungaloy America today announced a strategic alliance between the two organizations. As part of the new partnership, Tungaloy America will serve as a preferred supplier, as well as a technical partner, to Team Penske for both its NASCAR and INDYCAR racing programs. Tungaloy America will provide expertise to Team Penske in order to enhance efficiency and accelerate machining within the team’s manufacturing processes. The technical alliance between the two entities will allow Tungaloy America to feature and showcase Team Penske NASCAR and INDYCAR components for case studies, demonstrations and trade shows in the future.(Team Penske)(2-9-2016)
  • Fontaine in the #99 at Daytona for B.J. McLeod Motorsports: Officials from B.J. McLeod Motorsports announced the signing of NASCAR veteran driver Chris Fontaine to pilot the second NASCAR XFINITY Series team car in the upcoming PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Fontaine will drive the #99 Ford Mustang in the Feb. 20 XFINITY Series season-opener in a former Roush Fenway Racing car acquired by the team during the off-season. Fontaine’s XFINITY Series debut will be backed by RackTails Gear with additional support from Glenden Enterprises and JPS Ford. RackTails is a fashion company specializing in everything from tee-shirts, sweatshirts, hats and more for the hunting and fishing enthusiast. In addition to his duties in the XFINITY Series, Fontaine will jumpstart his 2016 season by competing in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250 race in a partnership with BJMM.(B.J. McLeod Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #99 team paint schemes page.(2-9-2016)
  • Las Vegas to provide gluten-free food items: NASCAR fans flocking to Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 4-6 for the 2016 NASCAR Weekend are in for a treat. The superspeedway, through its partnership with Levy Restaurants, is providing a number of unique food items and menus designed for those looking for healthier options or avoiding gluten to thrill the most sophisticated of palates. During the three-day motorsports extravaganza, fans looking to avoid gluten will find paninis, tacos, beef brisket and specialty items like the Smokey Bacon Bloody Mary and Southwestern Street Corn. Items without gluten have been available at LVMS for years and will be provided at nearly a dozen locations at the 1.5-mile superspeedway, including concourse concession stands, the Neon Garage, LVMS suites and concourse-level seating. Dozens of items made without gluten – from rice bowls, cobb salads and blackened Mahi tacos, to hot dogs, vegetable baskets and chicken fajitas – are part of the diverse menu Levy Restaurants has put together for LVMS visitors this year. In addition, Levy and Melissa’s Produce will continue to serve fresh and healthy selections in the Neon Garage, including fruit, blended fruit smoothies, salads and more. The partnership between Levy and Melissa’s Produce began in 2012 and gives fans fresh options to enjoy during their time at LVMS.(LVMS)(2-9-2016)


    News from February 8, 2016


  • NASCAR expected to announce charter system Tuesday: NASCAR will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon at 1:30pm with NASCAR CEO Brian France where they are expected to announce the details on a new charter system for Sprint Cup teams. The agreement is expected to guarantee a certain number of starting spots in the field to certain owners and shrink the race field to 40 cars. The system would provide owners with additional revenue and give them more value for their teams.
    The press conference will be shown online at NASCAR.com.(2-8-2016)(2-8-2016)
  • BK Racing to run fourth team at Daytona with Richardson: BK Racing is welcoming Stalk It as a partner for the upcoming Daytona 500 with driver Robert Richardson Jr. Veteran NASCAR Crew Chief, Mike Ford, will lead the effort. Stalk It is an innovative eco-driven longboard company that uses CornBoard in the construction of its custom, hand-crafted longboards. Utilizing innovative CornBoard material allows Stalk It to reduce dependency on wood products while creating boards that are high-performance with low-ECO impact. All Stalk It boards are hand-made in the USA. “I feel very blessed with the opportunity to be back in the driver’s seat for Daytona,” said Richardson Jr. “I can’t thank Lane and Stalk It enough for coming on board. I’m looking forward to working with Mike (Ford) and the entire BK organization.”(140 Buzz/BK Racing) He will drive the #26.(2-8-2016)
  • Furniture Row ready for new season; still looking at 2nd team in 2017: Much is new for 2016 at Furniture Row Racing, which will have a new manufacturer, a new means of engine and chassis delivery and a new pit crew. But one thing hasn’t changed for the Denver-based team that enjoyed a breakthrough 2015 that culminated with reaching the championship round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Among the new elements the team will be adapting to this year:
    -Its engines will be shipped via airfreight from Toyota Racing Development headquarters in Costa Mesa, California, instead of trucked in from Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, North Carolina (actually cutting the transport time in half to Furniture Row Racing’s shop in Denver, Colorado).
    -The pit crew will be supplied by Joe Gibbs Racing, which has become a technical partner of Furniture Row as Toyota’s flagship team.
    -TRD has relocated two of its technicians to Denver for embedding with the team.
    As part of its new alliance with JGR, Furniture Row Racing will be using the same chassis as Gibbs but start with an older model before switching a few races into the season – which has Visser slightly concerned. “That throws everything off,” team owner Barney Visser said. “So it’s going to be kind of a rocky start. I’m expecting a rocky start, but hopefully by May or June, we’ll be rolling again.”
    With Bass Pro Shops as a primary sponsor on Truex’s #78 for several races this season, the team has corporate sponsorship independent of Visser’s furniture business for the first time. Team owner Barney Visser hints that prospects are solid for expanding to a second car next season. “There’s some things going on that I can’t really talk about right now, but we’re excited about the possibility of a second car that Toyota may bring to us,” he said. “We’ll see.”(NBC Sports)(2-8-2016)
  • Lowe’s Red Vest scheme will return to the #48: Team Lowes Racing tweeted Sunday that #48-Jimmie Johnson will drive a Lowe’s Red Vest scheme at the Brickyard in July. See an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(2-8-2016)
  • New team to debut; Jacques Villeneuve in part-time UPDATE: Wing Nut Racing, a new motorsports team will be debuting this year with a wide variety of racing avenues from off-road to stock car racing and announces the addition of driver Jacques Villeneuve to our team. Jacques will run the #68 Wing Nut Racing car in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Jacques has raced all over the world and has been extremely successful including winning the 1995 Indy 500, the 1995 Indy Championship, and the 1997 Formula One Championship. Recently, the past few years have seen Jacques in a variety of cars including Indy and Formula E. Wing Nut Racing has also signed some great sponsorship partners for this upcoming season including Alsco, K1 Speed, and SpeedForSale.(Wing Nut Racing) the team plans to run full time in Fords with engines provided by Roush Yates. Villeneuve is expected to drive and Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, and Road America as well as 3 additional races.(2-8-2016)
    UPDATE: Following confirmation that Jacques Villeneuve will race in this year’s NASCAR XFINITY series, the French-Canadian has told Motorsport.com he will be entered in a #27 Ford at Daytona this month. Although he reiterated that his deal with Wingnut Racing is part-time, Villeneuve said: “We intend to race at Daytona. I admit it will be difficult. We are now trying to find a good crew chief; one I worked with previously. The problem is they’re all working for very good teams now and it will be difficult to attract one of them!” He explained: “It’s a brand new team. I don’t know much about it, unfortunately. It’s totally new, so there’s very little information I can give. We started talking in December when I was still racing in Formula E. I quickly realized I couldn’t do TV, Formula E and NASCAR. It would have been too much. Since TV is a priority for me, I decided to leave Formula E and accept the NASCAR offer. I think it’s worth taking the risk. My intention has always been to return to NASCAR. I will not do the entire season. Like I said, TV is my priority. But this is a golden opportunity to make a return in NASCAR and contest a few races. If it works out, great, if not, I’ll have no regrets.”(Motorsport)(2-8-2016)
  • Theriault to drive third truck for BKR: Brad Keselowski Racing announced today that Austin Theriault will drive a third entry for the organization in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season-opening race on February 19 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Theriault will drive the #2 Ford F-150 in the NextEra Energy Resources 250, joining full-time drivers Tyler Reddick and Daniel Hemric, with Buddy Sisco serving as the team’s crew chief. Theriault made his NCWTS debut in 2015 with Brad Keselowski Racing at Daytona. He scored an impressive fourth-place finish, leading the race once for nine laps after starting fourth and finishing with a driver rating of 110.2. He made nine NCWTS starts for BKR in 2015, claiming two top five and four top 10 finishes. Theriault spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons as part of BKR’s driver development program, running a partial schedule in the Southern Super Late Model Series while working full-time in the team’s shop.(Brad Keselowski Racing)(2-8-2016)
  • Sorenson, Theme Park Connection join MB for Daytona UPDATE: Reed Sorenson will team with MB Motorsports and Theme Park Connection for the season-opening race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Feb. 19 at Daytona International Speedway. This will mark Sorenson’s first ever Truck Series start. The 30-year-old Peachtree City, Ga. native has competed at the NASCAR national level since 2004. He is a winner of four NASCAR Xfinity Series races and made 234 career starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Trip Bruce will serve as crew chief for Sorenson’s #63 Theme Park Connection Chevy Silverado.(Rising Star Management)(2-5-2016)
    UPDATE: See an image of the truck on the #63 Team Paint Schemes page)(2-8-2016)
  • Timmy Hill to drive for Premium: Premium Motorsports announced on Twitter that Timmy Hill would return to drive the team’s #49 Horomone Therapeutics Camping World Truck Series entry. The team will also be switching from #94 to #49 for 2016. In 2015, Hill drove 12 races for Premium.(See an image of the truck on the #49 Team Paint Schemes page)(2-8-2016)
  • Austin Hill to run part-time: Austin Hill will compete in more than half the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this season. The 21-year-old driver, who finished third in the 2015 NASCAR K&N; Pro Series East championship standings, will kick-off his part-time Truck Series schedule at Daytona International Speedway in the ARCO Design/Build Ford F-150 for Empire Racing Group. He will then move over to his own race team – Austin Hill Racing – for the remainder of his season. Hill, a Winston, Ga. native, is set to enter the field at tracks including Atlanta, Dover, Kentucky, Bristol, Texas. Veteran crew chief Doug Chouinard, who previously partnered with Hill in the K&N; Pro Series, will guide the rookie competitor in this next level of his career. Hill has competed in six NCWTS races over the past two years. In his first start, Hill led 21 of 200 laps at Martinsville in 2014.(Godfather Motorsports)(2-8-2016)
  • Bristol “tops off” support towers for Colossus: The fourth and final structural tower that will support Colossus, the world’s largest outdoor, center-hung 4-sided screen, was “topped off” Thursday with the raising of an American flag. In addition, the scoring pylon in the infield has been removed. The next phase of the colossal undertaking is to install the cables that support Colossus TV as well as the state-of-the-art, 540,000-watt audio system powering 380 3-way loudspeakers and 48 stadium subwoofers – enough to make any rock star squirm with envy. The team at Bristol Motor Speedway has put together two timelapses that give a view of the removal of the scoring pylon and the building of one of the four towers.
    Pylon removal
    Tower construction
    (Bristol Motor Speedway)(2-8-2016)


    News from February 7, 2016


  • Kenseth’s spotter not healed enough to be at Daytona UPDATE: #20-Matt Kenseth will be without spotter Chris “Crazy” Osborne for next weekend’s Sprint Unlimited and likely the Daytona 500. Osborne told NBC Sports that he continues to recover from injuries suffered in a Dec. 17 auto accident and will not spot for Kenseth in the Feb. 13 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. Osborne’s next doctor’s visit is Feb. 16. The doctor will determine then if Osborne will be able to spot for Kenseth in the Daytona 500. “My gut feeling is I won’t make Daytona,” said Osborne, entering his fourth season spotting for Kenseth. “I want to be there as bad as anyone. It kind of knocked the wind out of my sails when they said I absolutely would not be going to the Unlimited.” Osborne, who also spots for Daniel Suarez in the Xfinity Series, is hopeful to be back spotting next month when NASCAR makes its West Coast swing. The team has not announced who will fill in for Osborne until he returns. Osborne was injured while driving home with his wife Melissa and son Austin. A car, traveling an estimated 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the police report, approached from the opposite direction. The car went off the road and then cut across the median, slamming into Osborne’s car.(NBC Sports)(2-6-2016)
    UPDATE: The story was updated Saturday: “The team stated Saturday that Lorin Ranier, a long-time spotter who was most recently with Jamie McMurray, will spot for Kenseth in the Sprint Unlimited.”(2-7-2016)
  • Pit crew changes for Patrick: Danica Patrick and the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet SS team will have a new look on its pit crew for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Nate House will take over for Tony Cardamone at jackman with Cardamone moving from jackman to gasman. House filled in for Cardamone for several races in 2015 while Cardamone recovered from a back injury. Continuing on the team from last year are front changer Eric Maycroft, front carrier Jeff Shoaf, rear carrier Matt Holzbaur and rear changer Ryan Mulder, who was on the team for nearly half of last season.(PitTalks/NASCAR.com)(2-7-2016)
  • Fox teaming with SI to cross promote Daytona 500, Swimsuit Issue: Fox Sports and SI announced they are joining forces to cross promote the Feb. 21 Daytona 500 and ’16 SI swimsuit issue, which comes out Feb. 15. A major facet of the deal will come the night before the race, when new Fox analyst Jeff Gordon will co-host a 200-person VIP party. The event will air on Fox at 9:00pm/et and see models Erin Heatherton and Hannah Ferguson in attendance. The telecast will offer features on Daytona’s renovation, plus the upcoming NASCAR season. Meanwhile, on its digital and social channels and during the party, Fox will give coverage to two other events around the issue leading up to its release — the two-day Swim City fan festival in N.Y. and the two-day Swim Beach festival in Miami.(Sports Business Journal)(2-7-2016)
  • Jeb Burton to RPM?: hearing that Jeb Burton, former driver for BK Racing (#23 & #26 Toyota) in the Sprint Cup Series last season, will drive for Richard Petty Motorsports in the XFINITY Series this season bringing sponsor Estes with him. No word if full or part time.(2-7-2016)
  • Darlington Raceway receives ‘Community Pride’ award: On Thursday evening, Darlington Raceway was named the recipient of the 2016 ‘Community Pride’ Award at the annual Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, held at the Darlington Country Club. The award was given to the track by local business leaders for its tremendous involvement and impact in the greater Darlington community. Since 2013, Darlington Raceway has increased its community events exponentially. The track annually hosts the following events for the community:
    – Turn 3 Theater Movie Nights Presented by Raceway Ford & Chevrolet featuring family-fun movies such as Cars and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Movie nights occur in the spring.
    – Speed & Feed BBQ Cook-Off and Car Show Presented by Sam Carbis Solutions Group. Held on the second weekend in November each year. The event features over 40 of the region’s top cook teams competing for a $2,500 cash prize. Over 400 classic cars are on display for enthusiasts.
    – In the spring, the track hosts a one-day running event, featuring a half marathon, 5K and 1.366-mile fun run.
    – Darlington Raceway partners with the Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce to host Freedom Fest. Freedom Fest is a July 4 community festival and fireworks show. Over 15,000 people attend the event annually.
    – Country concert supporting the Darlington County Education Foundation (DCEF). Held in May of 2015.
    – Touch-A-Truck event held in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage with proceeds benefiting the Junior League of Florence.
    – The track has hosted a Walk with the Docs event, which raises funds for the free medical clinic in Darlington County.
    Additionally, the track has made contributions to support local area charitable organizations, including The Lord Cares and Harvest Hope Food Banks, the YMCA of Darlington and the Darlington County School District. (Darlington Raceway)(2-7-2016)


    News from February 6, 2016


  • Stewart looking at return in May? #14-Tony Stewart still faces a long and difficult road to recovery, but roughly 48 hours after undergoing spinal stabilization surgery, informed sources say the Indiana native is progressing well in his rehabilitation. The three-time Sprint Cup Series champion underwent surgery Wednesday to remove dangerous bone fragments from the area of the fracture and stabilize the affected vertebra. While many victims of burst fractures are forced to wear a stabilizing brace for 2-3 months post-op, the procedure performed on Stewart reportedly will not require a brace. In fact, sources say Stewart was on his feet and walking by Friday. Sources close to the situation say that on the advice of his doctors, Stewart and his team have set a tentative return date of May 21, the day of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Stewart is highly unlikely to return earlier than that, and his timeline for return could easily be pushed back, depending on the success of his rehabilitation program.(Godfather Motorsports)(2-6-2016)
  • Kenseth’s spotter not healed enough to be at Daytona: #20-Matt Kenseth will be without spotter Chris “Crazy” Osborne for next weekend’s Sprint Unlimited and likely the Daytona 500. Osborne told NBC Sports that he continues to recover from injuries suffered in a Dec. 17 auto accident and will not spot for Kenseth in the Feb. 13 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway. Osborne’s next doctor’s visit is Feb. 16. The doctor will determine then if Osborne will be able to spot for Kenseth in the Daytona 500. “My gut feeling is I won’t make Daytona,” said Osborne, entering his fourth season spotting for Kenseth. “I want to be there as bad as anyone. It kind of knocked the wind out of my sails when they said I absolutely would not be going to the Unlimited.” Osborne, who also spots for Daniel Suarez in the Xfinity Series, is hopeful to be back spotting next month when NASCAR makes its West Coast swing. The team has not announced who will fill in for Osborne until he returns. Osborne was injured while driving home with his wife Melissa and son Austin. A car, traveling an estimated 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the police report, approached from the opposite direction. The car went off the road and then cut across the median, slamming into Osborne’s car.(NBC Sports)(2-6-2016)
  • Update on Jerry Nadeau: Thirteen years ago, Jerry Nadeau’s life changed forever. During a practice session at Richmond International Raceway, he crashed hard into the wall, driver’s side first. That crash left Nadeau with a traumatic brain injury, immobility on his left side, a collapsed lung and broken ribs. The crash not only ended Nadeau’s career, but also had great implications for his personal life. “A lot of tough things happened,” Nadeau said. “I got divorced, had to sell my house and had to start over again. Then I lost my father who I was very, very close to from cancer.” While Nadeau admits his road has been up and down, he has had some successes recently both on and off the track. “I’ve got a great wife,” Nadeau said. “I have a little girl who is eight months old. I also have a thirteen year old Natalie from my first marriage. So, I have two girls and that’s really interesting.” Nadeau has also been keeping his hand in racing in a way that might be somewhat surprising to his fans. “I love driving and I don’t think I can get that out of me,” Nadeau said. “I got asked to go to Japan a month ago and I did some driving at Fuji Speedway, an old Formula One race track. His racing fix also included attending one of dirt track racing’s most competitive events. “I went this year to one of the greatest weekends in racing, the Chili Bowl,” Nadeau said. “It was amazing and really fun. I reconnected a little bit and saw a couple of people I knew from the past. It was just great to be back.”
    Nadeau has also kept his driving skills sharp in a unique way, by helping young drivers handle the challenges of being newbies behind the wheel. “I do work for an organization called B.R.A.K.E.S.,” Nadeau said. “It’s a driving company where we help teenagers learn to drive.” B.R.A.K.E.S., which stands for ‘Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe’, was started by drag racer Doug Herbert after his two boys were killed in a car accident. In addition to his work on the track and with teen drivers, Nadeau has also been focused on reaching out to others who have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
    “For me, right now, it’s all about family and kids,” Nadeau said. “Like so many people, I’m still on the fence on where I want to go and what I want to do. “I appreciate all of my former fans. But I need them to know that I’m now trying to move on and get on with my new life as it is today. I want everyone to know that you just have to keep going and marching forward, no matter what You all have to know that there will be something on the horizon that will hopefully inspire you. That is what I’m trying to hold onto at this point in my life.”(Popular Speed)(2-6-2016)
  • Rookies test Atlanta: As the Georgia 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck series race – the tail end of a NASCAR twinbill at Atlanta Motor Speedway set for Feb. 27 – looms just three weeks away, a handful of rookies got the chance to get their feet wet on the aged, historic 1.54-mile track at AMS in a two-day rookie test that wrapped up this afternoon. Five drivers – William Byron, Chris Bell and Cody Coughlin from Kyle Busch Motorsports, Grant Enfinger from GMS Racing, and Austin Wayne Self from AM Racing – turned laps, preparing for the rapidly approaching season and the challenge of driving competitively at AMS in the second week of the 2016 schedule. Combined, the five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookies have a total of just 16 truck races under their collective belt. None have raced in NASCAR at Atlanta. Important seemed to be a theme among the drivers to describe the opportunity to get some seat time on one of the truck series circuit’s toughest tracks.(Atlanta Motor Speedway)(2-6-2016)
  • Atlanta offering cheaper ticket prices: Attending the 2016 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be less expensive than in the past, as ticket prices for the Feb. 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race are reduced an average of 15 percent. This year, Sunday racegoers will spend no more than $99 for an individual grandstand ticket, with prices starting at just $39. Also new in 2016, AMS is offering affordable options for fans who want to attend all three days of the race weekend. Some of the best deals in NASCAR, the “Good,” “Better” and “Best” ticket packages, offer reasonable options in increments that allow fans to customize their race weekend with attractive packages according to their budgets.
    ” The “Good” ticket package, priced at $79, includes upper Petty Grandstand seating for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, plus general admission seating to Friday’s Active Pest Control Qualifying Day and Saturday’s doubleheader, a savings of $40 off the regular prices.
    ” The “Better” ticket package is priced at $139 and offers seating in the Winners, Earnhardt or Petty Grandstand for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, general admission seating to Friday’s Active Pest Control Qualifying Day and Saturday’s doubleheader, a weekend FanVision rental and a Sunday pre-race pit pass, for a total savings of $125 off regular prices.
    ” The “Best” package, which offers the best value of all three deals, is priced at $179 and boasts an ultimate NASCAR weekend combination, including a seat in the Upper Champions Grandstand or the Upper Winners Grandstand chairback seats for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, general admission seating to Friday’s Active Pest Control Qualifying Day and Saturday’s doubleheader, a weekend FanVision scanner rental, a weekend pre-race pit pass, and $25 off a purchase of $50 or more in the AMS souvenir shop. In total, the “Best” package shaves a whopping $165 off normal pricing.
    Again in 2016, children 17 and under will be admitted free with a paid adult to Friday’s Active Pest Control Qualifying Day and Saturday’s Heads Up Georgia 250 XFINITY Series and Georgia 200 Camping World Truck Series doubleheader. Students and children 17 and under can cash in on half-priced tickets for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 when they attend with a paid adult.(AMS)(2-6-2016)


    News from February 5, 2016


  • Three teams for BK Racing at Daytona: Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip will compete in the 2016 Daytona 500 for BK Racing. Waltrip , a commentator for Fox Sports, had sponsorship for the race from Maxwell House, but he had not announced which team he would drive for until Thursday, nine days prior to opening practice at Daytona International Speedway. BK Racing is expected to have two automatic berths in the Daytona 500 as part of the new NASCAR “charter” system that is expected to be finalized in the coming days. The team will field three cars at Daytona with Waltrip driving the #83 that typically will be driven by Matt DiBenedetto. DiBenedetto will drive a third car, the #93, while David Ragan will drive the #23 he is expected to run all season.(ESPN.com)(2-5-2016)
  • More details on Stewart’s accident: Legendary drag racer Don “Snake” Prudhomme gave NBC Sports a first-hand account of Tony Stewart’s accident in the Southern California sand dunes Sunday. Stewart and a number of current and former racers including Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Ray Evernham, Rusty Wallace and Prudhomme were having a day of fun in the sun and sand when Stewart became separated from the group and went missing for about 90 minutes. Here’s how Prudhomme described the incident to NBC Sports:
    “We were riding these sand rails. We do that quite a bit. We were all together. What really happened is, it isn’t hard to get split off from one another. In other words, if a guy makes a left turn and you’re not watching his flags or there’s dust or something, you can make a right turn and kind of get lost. So, we got mixed up and (Stewart) was probably missing for an hour-and-a-half from the pack, at least. He was missing, he was not there. We figured maybe he got hooked up with one of the other guys. Then we were stopped and kinda gathered up and started to shoot the s- and asked, ‘Where’s Tony?’ One of the guys (on the dunes) came driving up and said, ‘Hey, one of your buddies is hurt over on the other side of the hill.’ “There was about three of us who went back on our buggies and we came upon him. He was laying there. He got out of it (the sand buggy) and was laying there in the sand on his back.”
    “We pulled up, asked ‘How you doing, dude?’ He was on the ground and said his back’s hurt. We made sure he could move all his legs and everything, so everything was good there.” Prudhomme said Evernham took charge of the scene. Gordon, car collector Ron Pratte and Prudhomme provided assistance.
    See more information at NBC Sports.(2-5-2015)
  • What is a burst fracture? #14-Tony Stewart suffered a burst fracture of his L1 vertebra and had surgery Wednesday in North Carolina. There are varying degrees of burst fractures, said ESPN college sports and motorsports announcer and reporter Dr. Jerry Punch, who also said he expects Stewart to be out for months. Punch has not talked with Stewart and is not treating him but said the burst fracture is worse than a compression fracture. Denny Hamlin missed five weeks after a compression fracture of his L-1 vertebra (the highest bone in the lower back) in 2013. “[A burst fracture] is basically an explosion of the vertebrae, typically the body of the vertebrae,” Punch said in a phone interview. “Unlike a compression fracture, where it sort of gets pushed down on itself, a burst fracture usually involves multiple fractures and multiple fragments. … Normally when someone has a burst fracture, you’re talking months of healing, you’re talking people wearing these big lumbar braces for two to three months.” Stewart will not be able to return until an MRI or a CT scan shows that the bone has healed. Stewart also will need to have rehab to strengthen his back if any of the bone fragments caused weakness to his spinal column, Punch said. “It’s not like a broken arm where you can put a plate in it where you can deal with the pain and get in the car,” Punch said. “With the back, it can impact your ability to walk and move the rest of your life. You can’t take a chance on hitting something at all.”(ESPN.com)(2-5-2016)
  • Team Penske and Bosch extend partnership: Building on one of the most successful and longest-lasting partnerships in motorsports, Team Penske and Bosch Automotive Aftermarket North America have announced a multi-year extension that will carry on the long-standing relationship between the two companies. Under the terms of the new agreement, Bosch will return as an associate partner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Verizon IndyCar Series and in the V8 Supercars Championship with Team Penske. Bosch has helped Team Penske get the most of its results on track by providing starters, alternators, oxygen sensors, fuel injectors and spark plugs – all key components in racing. With the extension of the agreement, Bosch will continue to leverage the Team Penske relationship across multiple platforms including retail programs, customer hospitality experiences and by utilizing the Team Penske facilities and business-to-business relationships through the Penske Corporation, Penske Automotive Group and other existing Team Penske partners. The Bosch-Penske pairing is one of many long-term partnerships in the Team Penske organization. With an average tenure of 13 years amongst its partners, Team Penske will celebrate its 25th year working with Bosch this season while also commemorating its 50th anniversary of racing.(Team Penske)(2-5-2016)
  • Tifft to drive 13 races for Gibbs: “Names are Made Here” in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and young Ohio-native Matt Tifft will be doing just that in 2016 with a 13-race schedule behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing #18 Toyota Camry. The 19-year old driver has 16-career starts in NASCAR’s top-three racing series over the last two seasons, while running a limited schedule in both the XFINITY Series and in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In these early stages of his career Tifft has successfully earned six top-10 finishes in the Camping World Tuck Series and a top-10 result from 2015 in the XFINITY Series. Additionally Tifft has raced competitively in NASCAR’s K&N; Pro West, K&N; Pro East and ARCA Series, as well as the X-1R Pro Cup Series. In 2015 Tifft made his first career XFNITY Series start and first entry with Joe Gibbs Racing at Kentucky Speedway in September. In what he described as a big learning experience, Tifft started from a 16th-place qualifying effort and made steady gains through the race, to bring home his first series finish in 10th place. Tifft’s 2016 XFINITY Series schedule will kick off at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on April 23 and continues for a total of 13 scheduled races including: Dover International Speedway (May 14), Iowa Speedway (June 19), Daytona International Speedway (July 1), New Hampshire International Speedway (July 16), Iowa Speedway (July 30), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (August 13), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 19), Road America (August 27), Kentucky Speedway (September 24), Charlotte Motor Speedway (October 7), Texas Motor Speedway (November 5) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (November 19). Primary sponsorship across the 13 designated races with Tifft in the #18 continue to be developed and will be announced at a later date.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-5-2016)
  • Cessna to sponsor JR Motorsports in 6 races: JR Motorsports and Cessna Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Textron Aviation Inc. announced a new relationship making Cessna the official business jet choice of Dale Earnhardt Jr. As part of the agreement, JRM’s #88 Chevrolet will carry the Cessna brand as primary sponsor in six races during NASCAR Xfinity Series competition in 2016 with drivers Alex Bowman and Cole Custer. Cessna will also receive associate placement on the #88 during the two NXS events Earnhardt Jr. will compete in at Texas Motor Speedway (April 8) and Richmond International Raceway (April 23). Bowman and Custer will drive the #88 Cessna Chevrolet Camaro in six races, with 22-year-old Bowman first up at Michigan International Speedway (June 11) and Iowa Speedway (June 19). The Tucson, Ariz., native will also drive the Cessna entry at Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 9), Dover International Speedway (Oct. 1) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 12). Custer, who competes full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for JRM, will race the Cessna machine in one of his five NXS starts with the organization this season. He takes his turn at the wheel at Kentucky Speedway (July 8).(JR Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #88 team paint schemes page.(2-5-2016)
  • Sorenson, Theme Park Connection join MB for Daytona: Reed Sorenson will team with MB Motorsports and Theme Park Connection for the season-opening race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Feb. 19 at Daytona International Speedway. This will mark Sorenson’s first ever Truck Series start. The 30-year-old Peachtree City, Ga. native has competed at the NASCAR national level since 2004. He is a winner of four NASCAR Xfinity Series races and made 234 career starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Trip Bruce will serve as crew chief for Sorenson’s #63 Theme Park Connection Chevy Silverado.(Rising Star Management)(2-5-2016)
  • Champion joins Enfinger in rookie effort: Champion Power Equipment (Champion) will expand their partnership with GMS Racing in 2016, as the primary sponsor of driver #33-Grant Enfinger for select NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) events. Champion, a leading supplier of durable engine products, will kick off the season with Enfinger at the historic Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway later this month. Champion has been a longstanding partner with the Statesville, N.C.-based team since the beginning of 2014. The 2015 season marked Champion’s first primary sponsorship in the motorsports realm, seeing their notable yellow design adorn Enfinger’s car while competing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season finale at Kansas Speedway. Champion is a market leader in power generation equipment for work, recreation or home use. Champion has years of experience providing dependable and durable power products designed and engineered in the United States for the North American and world markets.(GMS Racing)(2-5-2016)
  • Fire destroys inn owned by Pocono Raceway: A blazing fire, that required fire companies from four counties, did extensive damage Wednesday to the Blakeslee Inn in Tobyhanna Township. The inn and restaurants, which are on Route 940, are owned by the Mattioli family, which also owns and operates Pocono Raceway, just a few miles from the inn. Brandon Igdalsky, the grandson of Pocono Raceway founder and the late Dr. Joseph Mattioli, is now the president of Pocono Raceway. In the mid-2000s, Igdalsky ran the Blakeslee Inn before turning his full attention to the raceway. Crews from Monroe, Carbon, Lackawanna and Luzerne counties fought the fire which started around 8:30 a.m. and was not contained until the afternoon. About 60 to 70 percent of the building was damaged, according to Tobyhanna Township Fire Chief Troy Counterman. Counterman said there were workers in the kitchen area of the restaurant, but everyone got out of the building safely. He said it appears that the fire started in the kitchen area, but the state police fire marshal was at the scene and will make the official determination of the cause of the fire.(Pocono Record)(2-5-2016)
  • University of Northwestern Ohio extends partnership with Kentucky Speedway: The University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) extends its longtime relationship with Kentucky Speedway for three years and will continue to be the “Official Education Partner of Kentucky Speedway.” Kentucky Speedway will provide UNOH with numerous advertising and promotional components. Plus, the speedway will utilize its racing platform and large loyal fan base to promote UNOH, host an orientation program for future students and provide business to business opportunities for the UNOH motorsports program through 2018. Located in Lima, Ohio, UNOH grants masters, baccalaureate, and associate degrees through its Colleges of Applied Technologies, Business, Occupational Professions, Health Professions, and Graduate Programs along with online degree options. The College of Applied Technologies prepares students for careers in the motorsports and automotive industries through specialized automotive, high performance motorsports, diesel, agricultural, and alternate fuels programs. The UNOH College of Applied Technologies has built a storied motorsports history through its involvement in the ARCA Racing Series, three NASCAR national touring series, and NHRA. In 1992, UNOH became the first university in the world to feature a high performance motorsports program. More than 4,500 students are currently enrolled at UNOH from all 50 states and 32 foreign countries.(Kentucky Speedway)(2-5-2016)


    News from February 4, 2016


  • Joe Gibbs Racing makes changes to executive team: J.D. Gibbs will join his father Joe Gibbs as Co-Chairman of JGR with Coy Gibbs officially joining the NASCAR operations as Vice-Chairman/Chief Operating Officer, and Dave Alpern, who has been with Joe Gibbs Racing since its beginning, has been named President of the organization. In addition, JGR announces Tim Carmichael will assume expanded responsibilities in his role as Chief Financial Officer, while Wally Brown will serve as Competition Director and Todd Bowland has been named Technical Director. Todd Meredith has resigned his position as Chief Operating Officer but will continue to consult for the organization over the next several months as he explores new opportunities.
    “The Lord has blessed me and my family with something that is truly remarkable and as we celebrate our 25th Anniversary at Joe Gibbs Racing this year, it is more apparent than ever that our people are responsible for the success we have experienced,” said Joe Gibbs. “We feel the timing is right to bring Coy into the NASCAR operations in a more official capacity. He has done an outstanding job with our motocross operations and will continue to provide his leadership there as well.
    Coy Gibbs launched JGRMX in 2008 and has been at the center of every aspect of the operations from personnel decisions to sponsor acquisitions and competition direction. He will primarily be focused on the operations side for JGR’s NASCAR team while continuing his daily role with JGRMX.
    “I’m excited to be more involved with our NASCAR operations,” said Coy Gibbs. “I take great pride in what we have accomplished with our motocross operations and I will continue to provide direction there, while working more closely with my father and brother on the NASCAR side of the business. I know we have a tremendous team in place already and I’m looking forward to being more involved now in this official capacity.”
    Alpern joined JGR in 1992 and has worked in the organization’s marketing department since his arrival and most recently served in the capacity of Chief Marketing Officer the past two years. Alpern has been a key figure to JGR’s involvement in the RTA and is well respected by his peers within the industry. Meredith joined JGR in 1992 and has spent the past 25 years working in the competition and operations departments of the organization. He was named Chief Operating Office in 2013.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(2-4-2016)
  • Stewart hospitalized for a back injury UPDATES: #14-Tony Stewart is being hospitalized for a back injury he suffered in a non-racing accident while driving an all-terrain vehicle, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Tuesday. Stewart is awake, alert and able to move his extremities, according to a statement from Stewart-Haas Racing spokesman Mike Arning, who said the accident happened Sunday on the West Coast and wouldn’t specify where Stewart is hospitalized. Fox Sports reports that Stewart flipped a sand buggy outside of San Diego and was airlifted to a hospital. Arning said the team is not expected to make any further announcements about Stewart’s condition until Thursday afternoon. Stewart was in Arizona on Saturday night at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale and was interviewed on live television from the event. “We have received word from Stewart-Haas Racing of Tony Stewart’s accident and injury,” NASCAR chairman Brian France said. “On behalf of everyone at NASCAR, I wish Tony a full recovery and look forward to seeing him back in our sport when he’s ready to return.”(ESPN)(2-2-2016)
    UPDATE: Greg Biffle was among a group riding with Tony Stewart in the sand dunes of Southern California when Stewart suffered a back injury on Sunday, he told SiriusXM’s NASCAR channel on Wednesday night. Biffle confirmed to Sirius he was in Stewart’s group, though he “wasn’t near what went on” and didn’t see exactly what happened. “We were kind of all riding as a group,” Biffle told Sirius. “We started kind of hearing bits and pieces that he hurt his back. That’s all we knew. I do know the people that helped him … (said) he was walking and moving all of his extremities, but he was in a lot of pain.”(USA Today)(2-4-2016)
    UPDATE 2: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, sustained a burst fracture of the L1 vertebra in an all-terrain vehicle accident Sunday while vacationing on the West Coast. Stewart was transported to a local hospital following the non-racing accident and promptly evaluated. He was awake and alert throughout the process and able to move all of his extremities. Stewart flew to North Carolina Tuesday evening and was admitted to a Charlotte-area hospital for further evaluation. On Wednesday, he underwent surgery. The subsequent recovery period means Stewart will miss the beginning of the Sprint Cup season. A timetable for Stewart’s return has not been determined, but he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the #14 Chevrolet in 2016. Plans for an interim driver have not been finalized.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(2-4-2016)
  • Richard Petty featured on CBS This Morning Thursday: In preparation for Super Bowl 50, the popular morning news program “CBS This Morning” made a recent visit to the Queen City of Charlotte to highlight some of the city’s key landmarks and traditions. The visit was not complete until CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller made a visit to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and participate in the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Doing so, Miller was given pointers by “The King” Richard Petty after her laps. The feature will air Thursday morning, February 4 between 8:00 – 9:00am/et.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(2-4-2016)
  • Earnhardt, Jr’s car chief delivers his own daughter: When you sign up to be the car chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. ‘s #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, there’s quite a bit of understood pressure that comes along with the job. Sometimes there’s even more pressure that comes along with being a husband, as Travis Mack learned early Wednesday morning. According to Mhis Twitter account, Mack, who heads into his second season as Earnhardt’s car chief under crew chief Greg Ives, delivered his own baby girl at 3:15 a.m. in his home bathroom. “I delivered my baby girl at 3:15 this morning in our bathroom! Amazing experience. #GodIsGood My Wife is so strong.” Mack tweeted.(NASCAR.com)(2-4-2016)
  • EnerSys extends partnership with Penske: Team Penske announced that it has reached a multi-year extension with EnerSys, the global leader in stored energy solutions for industrial applications. EnerSys is a premiere business-to-business partner with Team Penske and other Penske Corporation companies and will continue to maximize the relationship with hospitality at race events next season and into the future. EnerSys joined the team in 2014 as an associate sponsor for Team Penske’s NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series programs. EnerSys has collaborated with many Team Penske partners such as AutoZone and Cintas, as well as working closely with Penske Truck Leasing, providing an array of battery options for consumer and commercial use. The B2B opportunities are an important aspect of the relationship as the portfolio of Penske partners allows EnerSys to generate quality leads, create more business and garner extra exposure for its brands.(Team Penske)(2-4-2016)
  • Kentucky truck race gets sponsor: Kentucky Speedway has partnered with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) in 2016 to sponsor the Thursday, July 7 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The partnership is centered on the “Buckle Up in Your Truck” (BUIYT) campaign to bring awareness to seatbelt use in pickup trucks. The Camping World Truck Series Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 will kick off a NASCAR tripleheader weekend. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety’s BUIYT campaign, an aspect of safety within the Transportation Cabinet, works in conjunction with “Click It or Ticket” program. Their research found that drivers and occupants of pickup trucks were less likely to use their safety belt than in any other type of vehicle. By using the Camping World Truck Series race as a platform the goal is to increase public awareness of the lack of safety belt use in pickup trucks, educate drivers to buckle up and diminish fatalities.(Kentucky Speedway)(2-4-2016)
  • Browning to lead Self in rookie season: AM Racing has hired veteran NASCAR crew chief Marc Browning to head the team’s at-track efforts with driver Austin Wayne Self in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the 2016 season, the organization announced. Browning, a native of Dundee, MI, has a background rich with experience in the upper levels of NASCAR, including a stint as a member of Kyle Busch’s Sprint Cup Series crew at Joe Gibbs Racing. Browning has also worked with numerous other drivers including Johnny Sauter, Landon Cassill and Parker Kligerman as a crew chief in the NCWTS and Xfinity Series. Browning is no stranger to Self or AM Racing, as he was Self’s crew chief when Self won at Winchester in the ARCA Racing Series last season. AM Racing has also hired Patrick McGee (formerly of Roush Fenway Racing) as truck chief. Rob Winfield will fill the role of front-end mechanic, Perry Mitchell as underneath mechanic and Zach Yager as interior mechanic and tire specialist for the #22 truck.(AM Racing)(2-4-2016)
  • Disdier to return to SS team: Michel Disdier continues his adventure in the United States in 2016 by taking part in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Daytona International Speedway on February 19th. This will mark Disdier’s second NASCAR race on the famous and fast circuit on the other side of the Atlantic. This will be the second time in three years that Michel will drive a racing car from Bobby Dotter’s SS-Green light Racing Team based near Charlotte, North Carolina. Michel will also support a great cause; Racing 2 Cure’s (R2C) mission is to help families that are currently fighting cancer. R2C wants to treat the “Human Side” of cancer. R2C donates a portion of the funds raised to cancer organizations that do amazing work in research, treatment, and raising awareness for this horrible disease.(See an image of the truck on the #07 Team Paint Schemes page)(Michel Disdier)(2-4-2016)
  • VisitMyrtleBeach.com renews sponsorship for Kentucky’s fall XFINITY Race: One of the fastest-growing family and vacation destinations in the nation, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has renewed as the title sponsor of the Saturday, Sept. 24 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300. The Myrtle Beach area welcomes over 17 million visitors annually, many of whom travel from Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana to experience true southern hospitality along 60 miles of beautiful, sandy beaches. The VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway will conclude a two-race weekend that begins Friday, Sept. 23 with the ARCA Racing Series Crosley 150. The 2016 season at Kentucky Speedway begins in July with the return of a NASCAR tripleheader weekend anchored by the July 9 Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts. The Camping World Truck Series starts the weekend with the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 Thursday, July 7 and the XFINITY Series Alsco 300 Friday, July 8.(Kentucky Speedway)(2-4-2016)
  • Switchfoot to perform National Anthem at Auto Club Speedway: SoCal native alternative rock band, Switchfoot, will sing the National Anthem and headline the pre-race concert on the O’Reilly Auto Parts Main Stage at 10:15am on Sunday, March 20, just before the NASCAR Auto Club 400 race gets underway at Auto Club Speedway. Switchfoot traces its roots to the beaches of San Diego and are currently working on their 10th studio album. Fans will hear alternative radio hit singles like “Meant to Live,” “Dare You To Move,” “Mess of Me,” “Dark Horses,” and “Afterlife”. With a race ticket, fans will have access to the O’Reilly Auto Parts Fan Zone that includes the Switchfoot concert, NASCAR driver autograph sessions, Lefty’s Kids Zone, freestyle motocross stunt show demonstrations, vendors, and to shop Fanatics “Trackside Superstore” – a 50,000 square-foot store – with a breadth of product unmatched anywhere else as well as specific sections for most drivers and dedicated specialty shops for ladies, kids and collectables.(Auto Club Speedway)(2-4-2016)


    News from February 3, 2016


  • SunEnergy1 to sponsor Elliott? UPDATE: This past weekend, Kenny Habul was part of the driving team for Stevenson Motorsports’ #9 Audi R8 LMS GT3 in the GT-Daytona class at the Rolex 24. Habul, along with Boris Said, Tristan Vautier and Dion von Moltke, finished eighth in the GT-Daytona class. During an Audi Meet the Teams free-for-all on Friday, Habul said that his company (SunEnergy1) will enter the Sprint Cup Series with Hendrick Motorsports on a sponsorship deal. “SunEnergy1 will be sponsoring the 24 car for Chase Elliott at Hendrick Motorsports,” Habul said during the meet and greet. “It is a full sponsorship deal for certain races with Elliott.” However, the deal is not fully set in stone. Habul says that he and Hendrick Motorsports are still working on the details of the deal. Expect an announcement sometime in the near future that will include the races that will feature the SunEnergy1 colors.(Frontstretch)(2-2-2016)
    UPDATE: SunEnergy1, one of the world’s largest privately held solar energy companies, has joined 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports as a primary sponsor of rookie of the year contender Chase Elliott. With a three-year contract, SunEnergy1 will be a primary sponsor of Elliott’s #24 Chevrolet SS team for four Sprint Cup races annually. The agreement, which covers the 2016, 2017 and 2018 NASCAR seasons, also includes associate-level sponsorship. In 2016, SunEnergy1 will be featured as a primary sponsor July 2 at Daytona International Speedway, Aug. 7 at Watkins Glen International, Oct. 16 at Kansas Speedway and Nov. 13 at Phoenix International Raceway.(Hendrick Motorsports(2-3-2016)
  • SKF to sponsor Keselowski in Sprint Unlimited: posted two images of the #2 SKF Ford taken at Team Penske recently. SKF is supposedly scheduled to sponsor the #2 in the Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on Feb 13th. See images of the car on the #2 Team Schemes page(2-3-2016)
  • GM Inaugurates New Performance and Racing Center: General Motors opened the doors to the all-new GM Powertrain Performance and Racing Center – a state-of-the-art facility designed to enhance the development processes for the company’s diverse racing engine programs. The new, 111,420-square-foot facility is connected to GM’s Global Powertrain Engineering Center and is part of a $200-million investment at the Pontiac, Mich., campus. It relocates the Racing center from Wixom, Mich. to the Pontiac Powertrain Campus, bringing together under one roof an additional team of nearly 100 engine builders, engineers and other support staff. The Performance and Racing team is responsible for developing engines for NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCar, IMSA and other racing series. It also leverages the resources at the Global Powertrain Engineering Center, enabling faster and more integrated technology transfer between GM’s racing experience and production-vehicle powertrains. The racing engines under responsibility at the new center include the NASCAR “R07” – a unique 358-cubic-inch V-8 engine designed and developed exclusively for NASCAR Sprint Cup racing along with engines for IndyCar, NHRA, Corvette Racing and Cadillac ATSV.R Twin Turbo. Additionally, the high-performance crate engines and crate powertrain systems offered by Chevrolet Performance are developed at the new facility. Facility highlights include engine assembly, machining, engine testing, calibration and an interactive lobby and meeting space. RCR driver #31-Ryan Newman addressed the gathering at the opening of the new Powertrain Performance and Racing Center.(Team Chevy, see images at the Detroit News)(2-3-2016)
  • Four KU football players try out for NASCAR: The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development program put four former Kansas University football players through a series of exercises on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, to project their potential as pit road crew members. One running back and three defensive lineman took part. The program’s director of athletic performance, Phil Horton, was a former football trainer at Memphis and Florida A&M.; He envisions a series of qualities transferring from the football field to the pit, and 17 athletes have made their way from the introductory stage of the program to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four former KU football players will find out over the next few weeks whether they impressed enough to qualify for the national combine in Charlotte in the spring. From there, a group of 10 people will be offered relocation stipends for a six-month training period.(Kansas City Star)(2-3-2016)
  • DIS Teams Up With Jeff Gordon For Special Daytona Ticket Package: Daytona International Speedway has teamed up with three-time Daytona 500 champion and new FOX Sports analyst Jeff Gordon for a special ticket package around the PowerShares QQQ 300 season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Feb. 20. The package, which is available to adults starting at $115 and children 12 and under for $10, includes:
    � One stadium seat for the PowerShares QQQ 300
    � Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access
    � A 15-minute question and answer session with Gordon in a climate-controlled room located on Level 2 of the new motorsports stadium scheduled to occur on Feb. 20
    Gordon, a four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, recently completed his final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and will make his debut in the broadcast booth with FOX Sports with the prestigious 58th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 21. Tickets for the Jeff Gordon Ticket Package for the PowerShares QQQ 300 are available at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/gordon or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(2-3-2016)
  • Batteries Plus Bulb sponsoring McLeod at Daytona: Days after announcing their plans to run two full-time NASCAR XFINITY Series teams in 2016, officials from B.J. McLeod Motorsports announced the signing of Batteries Plus Bulbs as the primary marketing partner for driver B.J. McLeod in the February 20th PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, the team will receive additional support from Batteries Plus Bulbs for the upcoming XFINITY Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Batteries Plus Bulbs is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing battery, light bulb and smartphone/ tablet repair source with a nationwide network of stores. With access to nearly 60,000 batteries, light bulbs and accessories, Batteries Plus Bulbs has the widest selection of products available and offers unmatched services to retail and business consumers. The company also offers on-site repairs for iPhone, iPad and iPod Apple devices, most Samsung devices and many more. On-site repair services include battery replacements, and fixing cracked screens, charge ports, and buttons, among others. Additional marketing partnerships for B.J. McLeod Motorsports’ vehicles, as well as the team’s second driver for the season-opening PowerShares QQQ 300 from the newly renovated Daytona International Speedway will be announced in the coming weeks.(B.J. McLeod Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #78 team paint schemes page.(2-3-2016)
  • Morgan Shepherd joins CM2; plans to race in 2016 UPDATE: 31 years before some of his NASCAR Xfinity Series competitors were born, Morgan Shepherd made his NASCAR debut. 49 years later, Morgan is still racing, using every bit of his vast experience to his advantage. Whether on the track or building the cars he races, Morgan Shepherd was the ultimate “Active Senior” before the phrase had even been coined. For the 2016 season, Morgan and his Shepherd Racing Ventures will be working with CM2, Commander Motorsports Marketing. “I’m very excited to be working with Morgan,” says CM2 President Michael Boswell. “Morgan has quite the legacy in NASCAR and we don’t think he’s done yet. Any organization trying to reach “Active Seniors” needs to consider having Morgan as their spokesperson. CM2 is very pleased with the opportunity to work with Shepherd Racing Ventures.” Shepherd began his NASCAR career in 1967. Since that time, he has acrued 19 wins in NASCAR’s top two series. He has driven for some legendary NASCAR owners including Bud Moore and the Wood Brothers. At 74 years young, Morgan’s passion for racing hasn’t diminished.(CM2), sponsorship will dictate Shepherd’s schedule in 2016 with the team working towards an effort at Daytona.(1-16-2016)
    UPDATE: With funding in place, Morgan Shepherd is set to return to the high banks of Daytona for the PowerShares QQQ 300, the first race of the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. The event will mark Shepherd’s 97th race at the famed superspeedway. “Our Camaro is coming together nicely,” says Shepherd. “It’s from the Childress shop, so we know it’s a fast car. And now that Tony Furr has come on board as crew chief, I think we’re starting out pretty well.” Furr, who has served a crew chief for Henrick Motorsports, Petty Enterprises, Felix Sabates Racing and Cale Yarborough Racing among others, knows his way around a superspeedway car. “Morgan’s got a good ride for Daytona, there’s no doubt about that,” states Furr. “We just have to get it prepared properly so when we unload, we are competitive from the get go.” The team still has some sponsorship spots available for the Daytona race.(2-3-2016)
  • GMS Racing to run partial NXS schedule: GMS Racing announced that the team would field a single-car entry in select NASCAR XFINITY Series races throughout the 2016 season. Spencer Gallagher is slated to pilot the team’s #21 Chevrolet Camaro beginning at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, March 12. The Statesville, N.C.-based organization currently competes full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) with Johnny Sauter, Spencer Gallagher and Grant Enfinger. Gallagher completed his first full-time NCWTS campaign in 2015, finishing 10th in the driver championship standings with one top-five and six top-10 finishes. Leading Gallagher through the next phase of his career will be crew chief Joey Cohen, who joins GMS Racing after serving as Lead Engineer for Roush Fenway Racing. Additional details on GMS Racing’s NXS plans will be released at a later date.(GMS Racing)(2-3-2016)
  • Kligerman joins Benton for Daytona: Ricky Benton Racing (RBR) Enterprises announced that Parker Kligerman will be behind the wheel of the #92 Valvoline/Advance Auto Parts/BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors/Goodyear Commercial Tire Network Ford F-150 when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) makes its first stop of 2016 at Daytona International Speedway for the NextEra Energy Resources 250. Daytona marks a return to the NCWTS for Kligerman, who competed full time in the series in 2011 and 2012 (winning once in 2012) before moving to the Xfinity Series in 2013. In addition, he had 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts in 2013 and 2014. Kligerman ran the full ARCA Series schedule in 2009, finishing the year with nine wins, 14 top fives and 18 top 10s in 21 races. When not racing over the past two seasons, Kligerman served as an analyst for the NBC Sports Network. Beyond the new driver, there are very few other program changes for the Ricky Benton Racing team for 2016. Mike Hester returns atop the pit box as crew chief. The team will again be running Roush-Yates-powered Fords F-150s.(RBR Enterprises)(2-3-2016)
  • Hayley to return to ThorSport: Canadian racer Cameron Hayley will drive the #13 Toyota Tundra for ThorSport Racing in 2016. The 19-year-old Calgary native, who is currently the only Canadian to compete full-time in NASCAR’s top three tours, finished sixth in the Camping World Truck Series standings last season with four top fives, 13 top 10s and an average finish of 11th. Hayley’s best result came in the fall race at Martinsville Speedway where he started on the front row and finished a career-high of third. He made his truck series debut with Turner-Scott Motorsports in 2014. He posted two top-10 finishes in three starts and earned a remarkable average qualifying effort of 5.7. Hayley’s return marks the first time the Sandusky, Ohio based-operation has campaigned four truck team’s since its inception in 1996. ThorSport is the longest-running organization in the NCWTS and holds the series’ record for competing at least one truck in the last 454 races. Hayley joins two-time Camping World Truck Series Champion Matt Crafton as we’ll as newcomers Ben Rhodes and Rico Abreu. Eddie Troconis, the former engineer on the #4 Toyota Tundra at Kyle Busch Motorsports, will serve as Hayley’s crew chief. In addition to Hayley’s experience in trucks, he ran two seasons in NASCAR K&N; Pro Series West in 2012-2013 and the 2014 season in the K&N; Pro Series East where he finished second in the standings.(Motorsport)(2-3-2016)
    AND: Calgary, Alberta, Canada native, Cameron Hayley, will return to ThorSport Racing and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) in 2016, piloting the #13 Cabinets by Hayley Toyota Tundra. Hayley, who competed for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2015, finished sixth in the championship point standings, amassing four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. Hayley’s 2016 campaign will be led by crew chief, Eddie Troconis. Troconis, who has an engineering background, spent the last three NCWTS seasons as a race engineer at Kyle Busch Motorsports, and called the shots for drivers such as Christopher Bell, Gray Gaulding and Matt Tift in 2015. In 12 NCWTS races, the San Antonio, Texas native, has collected one top-five and five top-10 finishes. Hayley will complete the roster for the Sandusky, Ohio-based team for the 2016 NCWTS season. Rounding out ThorSport Racing’s stable of drivers will be Ben Rhodes, driver of the # 41 Alpha Energy Solutions Toyota Tundra. Two-time NCWTS champion, Matt Crafton, who will pilot the #88 Menards Toyota Tundra, and Rico Abreu who will pilot the #98 CURB Records Toyota Tundra. As the longest tenured team in the NCWTS garage, ThorSport Racing will kick off its 21st season of competition in the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 19.(ThorSport Racing)(2-3-2016)
  • Auto Club Speedway unveils private, fine-dining, club experience: It is Auto Club Speedway’s honor to put the name ‘Richter’ on one of the most distinguished clubs in Southern California. Because, in life, ‘Coach’ was both. With Les Richter in mind, Auto Club Speedway will unveil an exclusive, high-end private club which will provide its 60-80 members the ultimate business and entertainment environment, not just on NASCAR Weekend, but year-round. The d�cor features a collection of racing memorabilia and historical photos of Auto Club Speedway. The Speedway’s marquee club will offer a unique dining experience on race-day, offering all-inclusive upscale food and beverage in a high-class pit road setting offering incredible views overlooking the start finish line. It’s someplace that no doubt, Richter himself would be delighted to spend time in. To attend a special preview event or to purchase tickets call 909-429-5306 or autoclubspeedway.com/Richters.(ACS)(2-3-2016)


    News from February 2, 2016


  • Stewart hospitalized for a back injury: #14-Tony Stewart is being hospitalized for a back injury he suffered in a non-racing accident while driving an all-terrain vehicle, Stewart-Haas Racing announced Tuesday. Stewart is awake, alert and able to move his extremities, according to a statement from Stewart-Haas Racing spokesman Mike Arning, who said the accident happened Sunday on the West Coast and wouldn’t specify where Stewart is hospitalized. Fox Sports reports that Stewart flipped a sand buggy outside of San Diego and was airlifted to a hospital. Arning said the team is not expected to make any further announcements about Stewart’s condition until Thursday afternoon. Stewart was in Arizona on Saturday night at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale and was interviewed on live television from the event. “We have received word from Stewart-Haas Racing of Tony Stewart’s accident and injury,” NASCAR chairman Brian France said. “On behalf of everyone at NASCAR, I wish Tony a full recovery and look forward to seeing him back in our sport when he’s ready to return.”(ESPN)(2-2-2016)
  • Premium Motorsports signs Cole Whitt to drive the #98: Premium Motorsports announced it has signed Cole Whitt to drive the #98 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. The 24-year-old Whitt, who will be entering his third full season in the premier Sprint Cup Series, finished 31st in driver points each of his first two seasons. “We believe Cole is an accomplished young driver who drives aggressively, yet smart,” team owner Jay Robinson said. “He’s a great fit for our team as we look to improve our competitiveness in the Sprint Cup Series.” This off season, Premium Motorsports made several strategic moves to upgrade the team and its race cars. On the competition side, Premium acquired additional updated equipment along with hiring Mike Hillman to fill the role of competition director and Mark Hillman to serve as crew chief. Mike and Mark join team manager Scott Eggleston along with owner Jay Robinson to round out the Premium Motorsports management team.
    “Jay and the crew at Premium Motorsports impressed me with their vision for the future and commitment to making the #98 car competitive week in and week out,” said Whitt. “I look forward to being a big part of the family atmosphere at Premium and having a successful start at the Daytona 500 in a few weeks.” Many of Whitt’s previous partners (sponsors) in the Sprint Cup Series the past two years are expected to support him again in 2016 at Premium. More details regarding car sponsors will be released at a further date.(Premium Motorsports)(2-2-2016)
  • SunEnergy1 to sponsor Elliott? This past weekend, Kenny Habul was part of the driving team for Stevenson Motorsports’ #9 Audi R8 LMS GT3 in the GT-Daytona class at the Rolex 24. Habul, along with Boris Said, Tristan Vautier and Dion von Moltke, finished eighth in the GT-Daytona class. During an Audi Meet the Teams free-for-all on Friday, Habul said that his company (SunEnergy1) will enter the Sprint Cup Series with Hendrick Motorsports on a sponsorship deal. “SunEnergy1 will be sponsoring the 24 car for Chase Elliott at Hendrick Motorsports,” Habul said during the meet and greet. “It is a full sponsorship deal for certain races with Elliott.” However, the deal is not fully set in stone. Habul says that he and Hendrick Motorsports are still working on the details of the deal. Expect an announcement sometime in the near future that will include the races that will feature the SunEnergy1 colors.(Frontstretch)(2-2-2016)
  • added a bunch of 2016 schemes:
    #2 SKF#6 AdvoCare#14 Bass Pro Shops#15 Visine#17 Fastenal#22 Automobile Club of Southern California#47 Kroger / Scott’s
  • Kauffman says RTA close to NASCAR agreement: Rob Kauffman has partnered with team owner Chip Ganassi Racing after pulling his resources from Michael Waltrip Racing, which closed its competition department after the 2015 NASCAR season. Kauffman arrived in NASCAR from the world of high finance and was picked by an elite group of Cup car owners to chair the Race Team Alliance. The RTA has been tasked with improving series-wide efficiency among race teams – such as saving money on travel and pooling together for things such as health insurance. Last year Kauffman and RTA members started a conversation with NASCAR to create some sort of charter system to give race teams more tangible value, similar to a league franchise. NASCAR and RTA are expected to announce the charter plan before the start of this season, which begins with the Feb. 21 Daytona 500. Daytona Beach News Journal Motorsports Editor Godwin Kelly conducted an exclusive one on one interview with Kauffman during the Rolex 24 At Daytona for NASCAR This Week.
    A few of the Q&A;’s:
    Q) Define your function with Ganassi Racing?
    Kauffman: Business partner. This is the early days of us figuring it out. Both of us are pragmatic people and we’ll see what makes the most sense for me and what areas I can help benefit the team the most. I’m pretty flexible.
    Q) Based on your history at Waltrip Racing, you seem to be able to spark performance with a race team.
    Kauffman: We achieved some level of success at MWR but not the level that we wanted to reach. Chip is pretty successful and hopefully I can add to the mix. We did combine some parts of (Waltrip Racing) with Ganassi Racing, so some of the people, technology came over and we hope that makes us stronger on the NASCAR side.
    Q) Talk about what you have been talking about with NASCAR.
    Kauffman: I think it is pretty well known by now, this is a charter system with NASCAR to put more structure around teams so there is more value potentially to teams over time, so that NASCAR racing looks like other sports, which are organized and structured. We’d like team ownership to (look like) that of baseball or football. We are quite optimistic we will have something in place for 2016.
    Q) Where does that now stand?
    Kauffman: We have worked on this for a while. The teams have been working on it with NASCAR for a number of months. I think we are quite close to getting something done for the 2016 season, and the season starts in three weeks. I think all the major issues have been ironed out at this stage and now it’s a matter of dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s and getting the paperwork sorted out. I’m quite optimistic we’ll have something for this season. Read the full interview at the Daytona Beach News Journal (2-2-2016)
  • 2016 Crew Chief changes: There have been a number of crew chief changes since the end of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season, including:
    #6-Matt Puccia moves over from the #16 team, Bob Osbourne moves to the #34 Front Row Motorsports team.
    #10-Billy Scott, from the closed #15 MWR team, replaces Daniel Knost, promoted within SHR
    #11-Mike Wheeler, moves up from JGR’s XFINITY program, Dave Rogers moves to #19 JGR team
    #14-Mike Bugarewicz, engineer moves over from #4 SHR team, replaces Chad Johnston, who heads to #42 CGR team
    #15[was #51]-No word if Steve Addington stays on a the crew chief of this team, now with driver Clint Bowyer
    #16-Brain Pattie, moves from closed #55 MWR team, replaces Matt Puccia, who moves to the #6 RFR team.
    #19-Dave Rogers, moves over from #11 JGR team, Darian Grubb heads to Hendrick as vehicle production director.
    #32-Wally Rogers, takes over after being with the #95 team a few years, Clayton Cram goes back to car chief, Frank Stoddard a consultant.
    #34-Bob Osbourne comes over from Roush Fenway Racing (FRM Technical partner), Derrick Finley stays in FRM’s competition director spot
    #42-Chad Johnston, moves over from #14 SHR team, replaces Chris Heroy who heads to #9 RPM team
    #44[was #9]-Chris Heroy, from #42 CGR team, replaces Kevin “Bono” Manion, who goes to Kyle Busch’s Truck Series program
    #47-Randall Burnett, the engineer comes over from CGR, replaces Brian Burns, who stays with JTG Daugherty
    #95-Dave Winston takes over, recently at BK Racing, replaces Wally Rogers who left late in the 2015 season.
    Other teams made crew chief changes during the 2015 season, including #3-Richard Childress Racing, #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #15 & #55 Michael Waltrip Racing teams (swapped crew chiefs, team ceased operations after 2015)
    For all the changes see Jayski.com’s 2016 Driver/Team Silly Season Chart. (2-2-2016)
  • Allmendinger wants to run Le Mans: AJ Allmendinger, whose full-time job is wheeling the #47 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, co-drove the #60 Honda Ligier Prototype in the Rolex 24 At Daytona Saturday and Sunday. Allmendinger has been doing the sports-car thing for more than 10 years with IMSA team owner Michael Shank. Michael Shank Racing won the 2012 Rolex 24 with Allmendinger behind the wheel of the Prototype at the checkered flag. Allmendinger can compete the 24-hour race because it starts before the NASCAR season begins. There is no conflict with his NASCAR schedule. The one race on Allmendinger’s bucket list is the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. The 34-year-old driver may get his chance this year. “If AJ can find a way to get to Le Mans, we’ll make it work from our end,” Shank told NASCAR This Week. “He has been with me many years. I would love to see it happen. It sounds fun to talk about it, but the reality is, AJ has a lot of (NASCAR) sponsor programs built around him.” The Le Mans 24 program will be staged on a NASCAR Cup Series off week, June 14-18. NASCAR races at Michigan on June 12 and goes to Sonoma June 26.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(2-2-2016)
  • Kenny Habul expected to drive road course races for JR Motorsports: Last year, SunEnergy1 served as a primary sponsor in the XFINITY Series for a non-Kenny Habul race for the first time. Most notably, SunEnergy1 was sponsoring Denny Hamlin’s No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing when he won the Lakes Region 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway from the pole in July. In addition to the Sprint Cup primary sponsorship [with Chase Elliott], Habul noted that he has signed with Hendrick Motorsports-affiliated JR Motorsports for 2016. In his new role, Habul stated that he will be driving the #88 Chevrolet in the three XFINITY Series road races (Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio and Road America). Habul’s SunEnergy1 will also provide primary sponsorship for Habul’s effort. Habul has raced in all of the XFINITY Series road races since 2012, first with his own operation using Joe Gibbs Racing equipment, then with JGR itself. In 12 career starts, Habul’s best finishes are a pair of 14ths at Road America in 2013 and 2015.(Frontstretch)(2-2-2016)
  • REV Group joins Penske for 4 NXS races: Team Penske announced a new multi-year partnership agreement with REV Group, a leading manufacturer of motor vehicle brands serving the commercial, fire and emergency and recreational markets. REV will showcase their American Coach and Fleetwood RV brands beginning this season during four NASCAR XFINITY Series races on the #22 Ford Mustang, including at the season finale event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The brand will also sponsor three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves and will be featured as the primary partner on the #3 Team Penske Chevrolet driven by Castroneves at Phoenix International Raceway race in April. Those in the motorsports industry are already familiar with REV vehicles, even if they don’t already know it. From a safety standpoint, REV fire trucks (E-One brand) and ambulances (such as the Horton Emergency Vehicles ones) are used at tracks around the country. In addition, motorsports fans utilize buses (such as the Champion Bus ones), mobility vans (Eldorado Mobility brand) and RVs (such as the American Coach ones) across the U.S. The partnership with Penske will help push all of these brands into the collective forefront of the NASCAR and INDYCAR communities.(Team Penske)(2-2-2016)
  • Harvick back to FOX Sports NASCAR XFINITY booth: Former NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES champion Kevin Harvick is scheduled to return as race analyst for FOX Sports’ coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES in 2016, beginning with the season opener from Daytona on Saturday, Feb. 20 on FS1. The 2014 champion was the first of five NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES drivers in 2015 to rotate in the FOX and FS1 booth for FOX Sports’ inaugural year of NASCAR XFINITY SERIES coverage. Harvick, who called three races for FOX in 2015, also kicked off his roster of races at Daytona last year. In 2016, offers analysis at Daytona alongside play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander and analyst Michael Waltrip. Announcements regarding additional Cup Series drivers in the FOX NASCAR booth for XFINITY Series races are forthcoming.(FoxSports)(2-2-2015)


    News from February 1, 2016


  • Visine to sponsor Bowyer in 2016: Visine will sponsor Clint Bowyer’s #15 HScott Motorsports Chevy in three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events this season: Auto Club Speedway on March 20, Texas Motor Speedway on April 9 and Pocono Raceway on June 5. Visine will also serve as an associate sponsor and marketing partner for the entire season.(NASCAR.com)(2-1-2016)
  • Kyle Larson finally meets his crew chief: Kyle Larson has a new crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but it took a while before the driver actually had his first-face-to-face meeting with Chad Johnston, the successor to Chris Heroy on the pit box for the #42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevy. The delay was understandable. Larson sped through a whirlwind offseason where, among other things, he competed in the Chili Bowl, the premier event for Midget cars, in Tulsa, OK. Johnston, who comes to Ganassi after two years as Tony Stewart’s crew chief, paid a visit to the simulator with Larson, who will start his third full season in Cup racing in February. “He could see my driving style a little bit, even though the simulator isn’t quite (the same as on-track driving),” Larson told the NASCAR Wire Service a day before he begins his defense of the Rolex 24 title he won with Jamie McMurray, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan last year. “We went through some changes, and the communication was nice. He’s a really good guy, really quiet, calm and focused. So I think we’ll be really good.” Johnston’s experience with Stewart should translate well to Larson’s effort. “Me and Tony, I feel like aside from attitude, have a pretty similar feel as far as driving race cars and how we communicate about race cars,” Larson said. “So I don’t think it’s going to be too much of a transition, but you don’t really know until it actually happens.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-1-2016)
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Trophy Stops in Macon, GA: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship trophy was in Macon, GA on Thursday. The trophy was at Food Depot on Northside Drive as part of a promotion for Atlanta Motor Speedway’s upcoming race weekend. NASCAR returns to AMS the last weekend of February when the Camping World Truck Series, XFINITY Series and Sprint Cup Series all race at AMS. AMS is going back to its Georgia roots this year with pre-race performances from a few Peach State celebrities, including Robin Meade and Mark Willis. They’ll also have some Georgia-grown foods items at the concession stands. “We’re going to really have an emphasis on our Georgia-based food items using peanuts and pecans,” says Dustin Bixby, director of marketing and promotion for AMS. “Speaking of peanuts, we’ve got a great Georgia Peanut Butter and Jelly milkshake that will be sold at the concession stand.” No grandstand ticket is over $99 this year, plus there’s a “perfect weather guarantee.” If it rains or fails to reach 50 degrees (like last year), you can get a credit for next year’s race weekend.(41NBC/WMGT)(2-1-2016)
  • Ganassi receives the Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence: Chip Ganassi Racing owner Chip Ganassi, of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been named the recipient of the 2015 Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence. The announcement was made during the traditional prelude to the Rolex 24 At Daytona – the Grand Marshal Dinner – which was held at the Daytona 500 Club on Friday, January 29, 2016. The Rolex Bob Snodgrass Award of Excellence recognizes a team owner or manager who has demonstrated the qualities of honesty, integrity, passion for the sport of automobile racing and an infinite love of cars altogether. The other candidates for the 2015 award were Bobby Rahal, Kevin Buckler and Bill Riley. A fixture in the auto racing industry for over 30 years as a race-car driver and team owner, Ganassi is considered one of the most successful and innovative owners in the sport. He currently counts two cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, four in the Verizon IndyCar Series, two in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, two in the World Endurance Championship and two cars in Global Rally Cross (RRDC/The Road Racing Drivers Club)(2-1-2016)
  • Rolex 24 at Daytona: Luis Felipe Derani turned in a dominant final driving stint on Sunday, delivering a Rolex 24 At Daytona championship to Tequila Patr�n ESM Racing at Daytona International Speedway. Derani was joined in Gatorade Victory Lane by co-drivers Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek and Ed Brown, who combined efforts in the #2 Honda Ligier JS P2 entry in the race’s headlining Prototype class. It marked the first victory in the Rolex 24 for a Honda-powered car. For Sharp, it was a second Rolex 24 triumph, following up on his 1996 championship. Derani crossed the finish line 26.166 seconds of the #10 Corvette DP of Wayne Taylor Racing driven by Max Angelelli. Brothers Jordan and Ricky Taylor of Apopka and Rubens Barrichello. Finishing third was the #90 Corvette DP of VisitFlorida Racing, co-driven by Ryan Dalziel of Orlando, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marc Goossens. Over the 24 hour-span, the top-three finishing teams completed 736 laps around the 3.56-mile DIS road course – a total of 2,620.16 miles, the approximate distance from Daytona Beach to Bakersfield, California.
    XFINITY Series driver Brendan Gaughan was NASCAR’s highest finisher this year, his #20 ORECA FLM09 finishing third in the PC class; nine laps behind the class winner and eight laps ahead of the next car in class; 43 laps down to the overall winner. Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year (2011) Andy Lally claimed his fifth class win in the GTD classification. The defending overall Rolex race winning team of McMurray and co-drivers Kyle Larson, IndyCar champion Scott Dixon and former Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan finished 13th overall, 28 laps down after a crash with approximately three hours remaining thwarted any chance of a podium finish. NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger was scored 50th in the 54-car field. His #60 Honda prototype — which won the 50th anniversary of this race four years ago — suffered engine failure about nine and a half hours into the 24-hour affair.(DIS / ESPN / NASCAR.com)(2-1-2016)
  • B.J. McLeod to operate 2 full-time XFINITY teams: B.J. McLeod Motorsports announced the creation of two full-time NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) teams to debut later this month at Daytona International Speedway. Team principal B.J. McLeod, a successful Super Late Model racer from Wauchula, Florida will lead the two-car effort this season driving the #78 Ford Mustang, while the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team will field the #99 Ford Mustang also in a full-season slate with a rotating list of drivers. Since the offseason, team owner McLeod, a successful entrepreneur by trade acquired key assets from Roush Fenway Racing and will utilize that equipment in the team’s expansion into NASCAR’s second-most predominant national division. “We are very excited with the expansion of our team into the NASCAR XFINITY Series, especially on a full-time basis,” said McLeod. “We are forever grateful for the door that was opened with Roush Fenway Racing to gain some of the equipment for our use this season. It’s our hope that while are expectations are modest, we can surprise a few people on the track this season.” Before expanding the team’s operations into XFINITY, the team has been a fixture in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with a variety of drivers, including Matt Tifft’s debut at Martinsville Speedway in October 2014 which delivered an impressive eighth place result. Longtime industry team veteran George (David) Ingram will serve as crew chief of the #78 Ford Mustang this season, while Jason Houghtaling takes the lead as the director of the #99 program. Collectively, McLeod is optimistic that his team can head to the “World Center of Racing” and competitively perform in the series’ 120-lap race.(B.J. McLeod Motorsports)(2-1-2016)
  • Harvick, other drivers to again provide TV commentary during NXS races: Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick is scheduled to return as race analyst for FOX Sports’ coverage of the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2016, beginning with the season opener from Daytona International Speedway. The 2014 champion was the first of five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers in 2015 to rotate in the FOX and FS1 booth for FOX Sports’ inaugural year of NASCAR Xfinity Series coverage. Harvick, who called three races for FOX in 2015, also kicked off his roster of races at Daytona last year. In 2016, offers analysis at Daytona alongside play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander and analyst Michael Waltrip. Announcements regarding additional Cup Series drivers in the FOX NASCAR booth for Xfinity Series races are forthcoming. In 2015, Harvick rotated with four other fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to call 12 of 14 NASCAR Xfinity Series races carried by FOX Sports — four-time champion and current FOX NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon, 2012 champ Brad Keselowski, Danica Patrick and Clint Bowyer. This season, FOX Sports airs the first 14 NASCAR Xfinity Series of the year. FS1 telecasts 10 of the events while FOX broadcasts the races from Phoenix, Talladega, Dover and Pocono.(Fox Sports)(2-1-2016)