Kenseth wins Kentucky:#20-Matt Kenseth won the Quaker State 400 rain delayed Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway for his 4th win of 2013, 1st ever win at Kentucky and 28th career win. On the last pit stop during caution, the #20 team only took fuel, came out with the lead and won the race. #48-Johnson led the most laps with 182 of 267 laps
#1-McMurray finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #22-Logano, #18-Busch, #78-Busch, #56-Truex Jr, #24-Gordon, #48-Johnson and #29-Harvick.
The race was pushed back from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon due to rain.
On lap 47, #78-Busch tried to pass #2-Keselowski on the apron, when he came back on the track, he drifted hard into the #2, who spun and came back up into the track and got hit by #16-Biffle, #93-Kvapil and #7-Blaney. Others involved #27-Menard and #33-Cassill.
Pole sitter, #88-Earnhardt Jr. led 11 laps, but around lap 37, he hit the remains of a blown tire from #11-Hamlin which did some damage to the nose & grill on the car. The team made numerous repairs and he finished 12th.
On lap 148, #11-Hamlin had a tire go down and smacked the wall, really hurts his Chase chances. Hamlin was taken to the infield care center at the track to get checked out. Hamlin said he is ok, banged his knee, bell rung, didn’t feel good when he wnet to the care center, felt much better afterwards. Back feels fine.
On lap 247 on the resatrt #48-Johnson was 2nd, came off turn 1 and came down on #22-Lagaon, they didn’t touch, but the #48 spun and caused a caution, falling to the rear. Johnson rallied to finish 9th.
There were 11 lead changes among 6 drivers and 10 cautions for 42 yellow flag laps and a short red flag to clean up the track after a wreck.
The average speed was 131.948mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Kentucky Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Kentucky Penalty Report (pdf).
For Official Results & Points, see the Official Kentucky Race and Points Report.(6-30/7-1-2013)
2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
[after Kentucky, race 17 of 36]
1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 610
2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 572, -38
3) #15-Clint Bowyer, 569, -41
4) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 528, -66
5) #20-Matt Kenseth [4 wins], 528, -82
6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 512, -98
7) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 500, -110
8) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [1 win], 490, -120
9) #16-Greg Biffle, 489, -121
10) #22-Joewy Logano, 479, -131 Wild Cards:
WC) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 11th in points
WC) #14-Tony Stewart [1 win], 16th in points 2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
#24-Jeff Gordon, 12th in points
#2-Brad Keselowski, (the 2012 champ), 13th
#11-Denny Hamlin, 25th [missed 4 races with injury], -104 from 20th
(ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
See drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
For Official Results & Points, see the Official Kentucky Race and Points Report
Race Fast Facts – Kentucky:
#17-Matt Kenseth won the 3rd Annual Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts, his 28th victory in 489 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his fourth victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2013. This is his highest win total since 2006 when he won four races. He won a personal best five victories in 2002.
This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in three races at Kentucky Speedway.
#1-Jamie McMurray (second) posted his first top-10 finish in three races at Kentucky Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2013.
#15-Clint Bowyer (third) posted his first top-10 finish in three races at Kentucky Speedway.
#48-Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 38 points over #99-Carl Edwards.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(6-30-2013)
Edwards to Penske? Denied: ….the rumor of Carl Edwards [who is signed with Roush thru at least 2013] driving a third Penske Racing car with Quicken Loans as the sponsor next season circled around the garage the last few weeks. “Absolutely not,” [team owner Roger] Penske said emphatically. “That’s a good one, but no. We would do a third car if we had proper sponsorship. But right now we have two good young drivers and we continue to get our cars better.” Penske didn’t rule out the possibility of adding a third car down the road but he remains loyal to Sam Hornish Jr.(FoxSports)(6-30-2013)
Newman wants to race for a team where he is wanted: #39-Ryan Newman’s needs are simple.”I just want to race some place where I’m wanted,” Newman said. “Where people are happy I’m there.” Newman received a one-year reprieve on his contract with Stewart-Haas Racing, where he is currently 18th in the standings. For most of the season, Newman has been outrunning his bossman Tony Stewart. While Newman’s resume isn’t as extensive as Stewart’s, it’s respectable with 16 Sprint Cup victories and six finishes of 10th or better in the standings. The 35-year-old South Bend, Ind., native ranks third among active drivers in pole positions with 49. Not surprisingly, team owner Richard Childress said last week that Newman tops his list of potential candidates for the #29 Chevy which is being vacated by Kevin Harvick at season’s end. “There are only so many guys that don’t have contracts for next year,” Newman said. “At this point, I would entertain any possible opportunity. I don’t think anyone in my position wouldn’t do anything otherwise. “Of all the opportunities that there are out there, he’s got one of the best opportunities as far as the 29 being vacated. But I don’t know what the family tree is going to look like over there.”(FoxSports)(6-30-2013)
Keselowski Nominated For Two ESPY Awards by ESPN: Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski continues to be recognized for his remarkable run to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) championship. On Thursday, ESPN announced that Keselowski has been nominated for two awards during this year’s ESPY Awards Presentation that will be held on Wednesday, July 17 at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles. After a five-win season in the #2 Miller Lite Dodge that concluded with the first NSCS championship for Penske Racing, it comes as no surprise that Keselowski received a nomination for Best Driver. In an impressive, late-season push over the last 20 weeks of the 2012 NSCS season, Keselowski scored 17 top-10 finishes including three wins to secure the title. Over the 20-year history of the ESPY’s Best Driver category, 14 of the 20 winners have come from NASCAR competition. Following a toe-to-toe battle with five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson for the title, Keselowski and the #2 Miller Lite team will also be in the running for the Best Championship Performance award. With the two nominations, Keselowski could become the first Penske Racing driver to win an ESPY. “When you think of the ESPYs, you think of the ‘Who’s Who’ in the world of sports,” said Keselowski. “Just to receive a nomination along with some of the biggest athletes in the world is one of the biggest honors I have received. If we are able to take home just one of the trophies it would be quite an accomplishment for the team, our sponsors and Penske Racing.” The 2013 ESPY Awards will air live on ESPN on Wednesday, July 17 at 9 pm/et. Fans can visit espn.go.com/espys/2013/ to cast their votes. Voting will end at 7 pm/et on July 17.(Penske Racing)
Other drivers up for the Best Driver award: Ryan Hunter-Reay of IndyCar; Tony Kanaan of IndyCar and Sebastian Vettel of Formula One Others nominated for Best Championship Performance: Joe Flacco (Super Bowl MVP), LeBron James (NBA Finals MVP) and Pablo Sandoval (World Series MVP).(6-30-2013)
News from June 29, 2013
Race postponed to Sunday: Rain at Kentucky Speedway has caused the postponement of the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race. The race is scheduled to run at 12:00pm/et on Sunday, June 30, 2013 and be aired on TNT live.(6-29-2013) TIMES: Invocation set for 11:49am/et, National Anthem at 11:50am/et, engines fired at 11:57am/et, TNT comes on at 12noon/et, green flag approx 12:05pm/et.
NASCAR has designated a competition caution for lap 30 so teams can check tire wear and make adjustments. Canada Watch live coverage of the postponed NASCAR Sprint Cup Quaker State 400 on TSN2, Sunday at 12noon/et. Radio Performance Racing Network (radio) will come on air at 11:45am/et to catch the invocation & national anthem, goprn.com/live AND Kentucky Speedway’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 has been postponed to Sunday, June 30 at noon due to unwelcome and persistent rain showers. All tickets, credentials and parking passes will be honored. Parking lots will open at 8 a.m. and all speedway gates will open at 10 am. Tickets remain available and will be on sale when gates open.(Kentucky Speedway)
See weather links onJayski’s Kentucky Race Info page – weather section.(6-29-2013)
Only three birthday winners ever in a Sprint Cup Series race: Cale Yarborough, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth are the only NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers to ever win a points paying race on their birthday. Yarborough, birthday March 27, in 1977 at North Wilksboro Speedway and a second time in 1983 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch won at Richmond on May 2, 2009, to become only the 2nd driver EVER to win on their birthday, and only the third time ever.
Matty Kenseth won at Las Vegas on March 10, 2013, to become only the 3rd driver EVER to win on their birthday, and only the 4th time ever. AND #31-Jeff Burton and #56-Martin Truex Jr. both will run the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, June 29th, each celebrate their birthday on the same day, June 29th, so either could be the 4th driver to win a Sprint Cup Series race on their birthday.(6-29-2013) BUT with the postponement of the race, this will not happen.(6-29-2013)
Purple Heart Recipient Surprised With ‘Ride of a Lifetime’ at Kentucky: Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #43-Aric Almirola logged some extra time on the track this weekend at the Kentucky Speedway. With sponsor Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, and Operation Homefront, they surprised a special member of the U.S. military and his family with a ‘Ride of a Lifetime’. United States Marine Corps Corporal Sebastian Gallegos, a 23-year-old Purple Heart recipient, and his wife, Tracie are VIP guests of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team, Eckrich and Operation Homefront this weekend. Saturday morning, the Gallegos received a ‘Ride of a Lifetime’ around the 1.5-mile track with Almirola in an Eckrich-branded Richard Petty Driving Experience Ford Fusion. In addition to the morning event, the Gallegos will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the garage and track and all-access with the #43 team prior to settling in atop the pit box for the night’s race. The couple’s story and the surprise in San Antonio will be featured in the half hour NBC special hosted by Roker, which airs on local NBC stations across the country tonight, June 29, and in syndication throughout the summer. The special, sponsored by Eckrich, is aimed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire us. Eckrich is providing additional assistance to military families by donating up to $250,000 to Operation Homefront this year through the donation of five cents from the purchase of specially-marked packages through July 4.(RPM)(6-29-2013)
Richard Childress Racing to Participate in England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) will have a presence in England’s Goodwood Festival of Speed for the fourth year by providing a pair of stock cars to be driven in this year’s annual Hillclimb. Kerry Earnhardt will pilot the 2000 #3 GM Goodwrench Monte Carlo and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III will drive the 2013 #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Camaro in July’s historic event. The Goodwood Festival of Speed, July 11-14, is one of the world’s premier historic auto racing events. The festival has been held annually since 1993 on the grounds of Goodwood House, West Sussex, England. Race cars from the past and present participate in both demonstration and competition runs up the nine-turn, 1.16-mile Hillclimb circuit. The #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo the legendary Dale Earnhardt drove to victory in March 2000 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and tallied 10 top-five finishes that year, will be driven by his eldest son, Kerry Earnhardt. Joie Chitwood III will be behind the wheel of the 2013 #3 Bass Pro Shops Camaro in this year’s Festival of Speed. This Chevrolet is driven in regular NASCAR Nationwide Series competition by Childress’ grandson Austin Dillon, the 2012 Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year and 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion. Both cars participating in Goodwood festivities were prepared by and will be cared for at the Festival of Speed by Danny Lawrence, former #3 team crew member. Lawrence is an award-winning engine builder and longtime member of the RCR management team.(RCR)(6-29-2013)
Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence to be announced: NASCAR will announce the third recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence on Saturday, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. The recipient of the award, which is named after inaugural winners and NASCAR broadcasting legends Ken Squier and Barney Hall, will be honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony festivities on Jan. 29, 2014 and featured in an exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. One of the following nominees will receive the prestigious annual award: Russ Catlin, one of the best-known early racing writers and historians, served as editor of Speed Age Magazine Chris Economaki, known as the “Dean of Motorsports,” spent more than 50 years as editor of National Speed Sport News Shav Glick, covered motorsports for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years, bringing NASCAR coverage to the West Coast Tom Higgins, the first NASCAR beat reporter to cover every race in a season, he covered motorsports for The Charlotte Observer for 34 years Bob Jenkins, served as the lead NASCAR lap-by-lap anchor at ESPN from 1982-2000. Bob Moore, spent more than 20 years as a NASCAR beat writer including stints with the Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Charlotte Observer Benny Phillips, spent 48 years covering NASCAR for the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise, 27 years for Stock Car Racing and 12 years on TBS T. Taylor Warren, best known for his three-wide photo of the 1959 Daytona 500 finish, he covered every Daytona 500 until his death in 2008.(NASCAR)(6-29-2013)
“Troops to the Track” Program comes to Kentucky: The Armed Forces Foundation and NASCAR continue the 2013 Troops to the Track program on Sunday, June 29th, by bringing service members of the 19th Engineer Battalion based out of Fort Knox, KY. The 19th Engineer Battalion, on order, deploys engineer forces in order to provide mission command and general engineer support to decisive action in support of Expeditionary, Army, Joint, or Combined Military Operations world-wide. The 19th Engineer Battalion is composed of the 15th Engineer Company, 76th Engineer Company, 502nd Engineer Company, Forward Support Company, and Headquarters and Headquarters Company. Recent operations include disaster relief and aid in support of Super Storm Sandy as well as construction projects in support of the U.S. Border Patrol in Nogales, AZ. Troops to the Track will be expanded to include service member’s families during NASCAR: An American Salute, which begins at the Coca-Cola 600 and runs through the Coke Zero 400 on July 4th weekend. NASCAR: An American Salute is a six-week industry-wide effort to honor and celebrate the service of current Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families.(AFF)(6-29-2013)
Bobby Allison named Grand Marshal for the Subway Firecracker 250: Three-time Daytona 500 champion Bobby Allison will serve as Grand Marshal for the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 5 at Daytona International Speedway. Allison will give the starting command to the 43-car field that will do battle in the 100-lap, 250-mile race. Allison, a NASCAR Hall of Famer, is one of the most successful drivers in Daytona history. In addition to his three victories in “The Great American Race,” Allison won the July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series summer race another three times. Overall, Allison has 16 career victories at Daytona, which puts him third on the all-time list. “We’re honored to have Bobby Allison serve as Grand Marshal for the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola,” President Joie Chitwood III said. “Bobby has won his share of ‘Firecrackers’ at Daytona and we’re looking forward to hearing his command and kicking off an exciting NASCAR Nationwide summer race.” The July NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Daytona is bearing a legendary name in 2013 the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola. The origin of the name “Firecracker” dates back to the first year of operation of Daytona International Speedway in 1959. The inaugural NASCAR summer race was run as the Firecracker 250. The summer NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at DIS included “Firecracker” in the event from 1959 through 1988. The Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola is also the first “Dash 4 Cash” race, which is bonus program where the top four drivers to receive NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship points are eligible for a $100,000 bonus. The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 5-6. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-29-2013)
Martinsville race gets new name: Goody’s pain reliever and Martinsville Speedway announced today a new name for the track’s fall NASCAR Sprint Cup race and a sponsorship extension for one of the longest partnerships in NASCAR. The October 27, 2013, NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville has been renamed the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 to promote the launch of the brand’s innovative new pain reliever: a unique, single-dose liquid shot. Goody’s has also renewed its sponsorship of the fall Sprint Cup race at Martinsville for another two years, through the 2015 season. Goody’s Headache Relief Shot is a single dose of pain reliever in a convenient, easy-to-take liquid form. Its unique packaging and fast liquid action formula are designed for consumers who need quick and long-lasting relief when they are on the go: a single shot of the great tasting liquid provides as much pain relief medication as extra-strength tablets and powders. For more information visit www.goodysheadachereliefshot.com. This year marks the 26th anniversary of the partnership between Martinsville Speedway and Goody’s, and the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 is the 33rd Martinsville race sponsored by the fast pain relief product in six different divisions. To purchase tickets for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 weekend, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(6-29-2013)
News from June 28, 2013
Race Coverage of the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, June 29, 2013. Television (TV): TNT at 7:30 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 6:30 pm/et; green flag approx 7:45pm/et Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90 Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Wednesday, July 3 at 12:00pm/et
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway have been made.
Pole sitter #88-Earnhardt Jr. chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #99-Edwards took pit stall 43, the last stall.
#48-Johnson, who starts 3rd took the 14th pit stall, the 1st stall with an opening in front of it.
The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #99-Edwards, who starts 2nd.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-29-2013)
Earnhardt Jr. wins Kentucky pole: #88-Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway with a track record speed of 183.636mph for his 1st pole of 2013 and 12th of his career. Earnhardt Jr. has never won from the pole in eleven tries.
#99-Edwards is on the outside pole, followed by #48-Johnson, #18-Busch, #9-Ambrose, #11-Hamlin, #39-Newman, #2-Keselowski, #55-Vickers and #42-Montoya. The first nine drivers broke the old track record of 181.818mph set by Johnson last June. Since there were on 43 entries, all drivers made the race.(6-28-2013)
Qualifying Fast Facts – Kentucky:
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 3rd Annual Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts with a lap of 29.406 seconds, 183.636 mph.
His qualifying speed set a track qualifying record previously held by #48-Jimmie Johnson (181.818 mph) from June 30, 2012.
Nine different drivers posted faster laps than the old record.
This is his 12th pole in 486 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2013.
This is his first pole in three races at Kentucky Speedway.
#99-Carl Edwards (second) posted his eighth top-10 start of 2013 and his second in three races at Kentucky Speedway.
#48-Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his third top-10 start at Kentucky Speedway. It is his ninth in 17 races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-28-2013)
Coverage of Qualifying for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is scheduled for Friday, June 28, 2013 at 5:10pm/et.
TV: SPEED at 5:00pm/et
Radio: Performace Racing Network at goprn.com
Scheduled Qualifying TV Re-Air: 12:00am/et on SPEED
Qualifying Order for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is posted. 43 cars/drivers are listed.
The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #87-Nemechek.
The final driver scheduled to go out is #36-Yeley.
Fastest in Friday’s first practice, #29-Harvick, is scheduled to qualify 8th.
Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
See the full qualifying order on the Kentucky Qualifying Page.(6-28-2013)
Happy Hour practice for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is being over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five fastest, slowest and notes:
slowest: #32-Schrader 170.946 & #19-Bliss 171.146
Notes: #83-Reutimann spun in turn 3 early in practice, may have scraped the wall a tad.
See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the Kentucky Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(6-28-2013)
First Friday practice for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five fastest, slowest and notes:
slowest: #32-Schrader 169.833 & #19-Bliss 170.326
See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the Kentucky Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(6-28-2013)
Finch has prospective buyer for Phoenix Racing UPDATE Harry Scott Jr.?: James Finch said Thursday that he expects to announce the sale of #51 Phoenix Racing on July 15. He said the prospective owner passed muster in terms of the most necessary qualification for owning a team that competes in Sprint Cup and Nationwide racing. “He’s somebody who’s got money,” Finch said. Unable to find a long-term sponsor for his racing team the past three years, Finch has been saddled with the exorbitant costs required to drive on a weekly basis. Unwilling to shoulder that burden any longer, he said previously that he intended to race through the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 28 before ceasing operations. Now he believes he has found a buyer who will take over and keep the team running through the rest of the year and beyond. Finch wouldn’t reveal who the potential buyer is, but he did say the prospective owner has not owned a racing team before. “I’m in negotiations with an individual to buy the team, and if he does that I’ll let him finish out the year,” Finch said, adding that details of the sale will be reserved until July 15. “He’s a qualified buyer, so hopefully we can make everything work. I’ve got close to 800 starts. That’s a lot of weekends, you know what I mean? I’ll help (the new owner) get started and stuff like that. I’ll go attend some races a little bit, but I’ll be out of ownership. I might run a few Nationwide races out of his shop, go play or something. But full time is over for me. We’re going to the shop (in Spartanburg, S.C.) this next week and telling the employees, ‘Here’s the new guy, and this is the plan.'” The Sprint Cup schedule rolls through Daytona next week for the Coke Zero 400, and Finch said he will have Regan Smith or AJ Allmendinger in the driver’s seat for that race. “Regan’s concentrating on trying to win the Nationwide championship,” Finch said. “If he wants to drive at Daytona, he’s been so good the last two (restrictor) plate races I’m going to give him the opportunity. If he wants to concentrate on the Nationwide championship then we will have AJ finish up the next three races.”(Sun Herald)(6-28-2013) UPDATE: A source close to the situation told ESPN.com the potential buyer is Harry Scott Jr., the co-owner of Turner Scott Motorsports, which competes in the Nationwide and Truck Series. Finch, 63, said he should know if the deal will go through by July 15. If not, he said the organization will shut down after the July 28 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway due to a lack of funding. “My last race is going to be the Brickyard  that I’m going to fund,” Finch said Friday. “I’ve been trying to make this sale happen to keep my employees. I’ve got some of them jobs with different teams if I shut down. If the guy buys the team, they will be able to stay and go forward racing.” Finch has 18 employees in his Spartanburg shop located just over an hour from the NASCAR hub in Charlotte (ESPN). AND Team General Manager Steve Barkdoll confirmed the pending sale to Sporting News on Friday. Barkdoll was vague on whether the new buyer also is bringing a driver. He indicated that Allmendinger would drive the next three races at Daytona, New Hampshire and Indianapolis. “(The owner’s preferred driver is) not necessarily for all the races,” Barkdoll said Friday morning at Kentucky Speedway. “Nothing has really been talked about (on) that for sure. & We know that AJ is going to drive the three races in July. That gets us hopefully to the announcement. After that, we haven’t looked past July yet on the driver part.” Barkdoll said he is “very confident” of the sale being completed by the middle of next month. Barkdoll did say that Jacques Villeneuve, who drove for the team last week, is not the prospective buyer but would not go into details about who is buying the team.(Sporting News)(6-28-2013)
Burton says he will drive for RCR in 2014: All of the chatter about flux at Richard Childress Racing doesn’t have Jeff Burton flustered. There were rumors about Paul Menard not returning to the #27 in 2014 (he is) and RCR has not announced a driver to replace the departing Kevin Harvick in the #29. The common belief is that Jeff Burton’s contract is up after this season to drive the #31 but not so fast, he says. “My contract is not up,” Burton told News/Talk WSB Thursday. “One of the things I find humorous at times with the media is that they assume facts. My contract is not up I will be driving for RCR next year.” Speculation has surrounded Burton’s future, as he has finished 19th and 20th in points the last two seasons and hasn’t won since 2008. But Burton, who turns 46 Saturday and has been with RCR since 2004, is prepared to take over as the senior driver at RCR. As for who may replace RCR’s current longest-tenured driver in the #29, Burton says he has no inside info, but does have a good hunch about who it should be. “Austin [Dillon] has proven he is ready to make that step,” adding, “He is the logical choice. He has proven he is ready to drive a Cup car.” Childress has stated before that the tentative plan is for his grandson to start running Sprint Cup full-time in 2014. Stories surfaced earlier this week about pending free agent #39-Ryan Newman being the leading candidate for the #29. Harvick is joining Newman’s current home at Stewart-Haas Racing next season. Kurt Busch is also a free agent and currently drives for RCR satellite team #78 Furniture Row Racing.(WSB Radio Race Blog)(6-28-2013)
Valvoline NextGen to sponsor Mears for two races: Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway extends the team’s relationship with Valvoline, a brand of Ashland Inc., to four seasons as driver Casey Mears will wheel the #13 Valvoline NextGen Ford Fusion for 400.5 miles in the Greater Cincinnati area venue. “Promoting Valvoline NextGen recycled oil products to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series fans is a great opportunity to reach the do-it-yourself community. On the other hand, if the drivers in the Kentucky Speedway grandstands don’t want to change their own oil, Valvoline NextGen is a blend of recycled oil that can be requested at many oil change service centers,” said Bob Germain Jr., Germain Racing team owner.
Germain Racing’s normally blue and green #13 Ford Fusion that typically bears the familiar gecko alongside the GEICO logo, shifts its stripes and colors to showcase the Valvoline NextGen paint scheme at Ashland Inc.’s hometown race track, Kentucky Speedway, on Saturday night, and will do so again at Michigan International Speedway in August. “Valvoline has supported Germain Racing for many years and I’m glad to be part of promoting the Valvoline NextGen brand to the Sprint Cup Series fans. We’ll be running the Valvoline NextGen Ford Fusion at Kentucky and again at Michigan, tracks where we look forward to good results,” said Mears. “The NextGen oil is 50-percent recycled. It’s specially engineered for today’s hotter running engines as well as a green product to help our environment.”(Germain Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #13 Team Schemes page.(6-28-2013)
Blaney back in the #7 with SANY; UME returns to the #36 with Yeley: Experiencing their first season as a NASCAR sponsor, SANY America continues their sponsorship of Dave Blaney’s #7 Chevy this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. Blaney on Kentucky: “I am looking forward to getting behind the wheel of my #7 Chevrolet this weekend. This track is still very new to the Sprint Cup series and that really levels the playing field in terms of experience. We’re ready to go for Saturday night.” This weekend United Mining Equipment is back on board the #36 Chevy with JJ Yeley. UME has been developing, repairing and supplying long wall equipment for 20 years. Together with their sister company PittLite they now offer low cost, leading technology cap lamps throughout the mining industry. Yeley on Kentucky: “Coming off of a good run at Michigan, I am excited to get back in the #36 United Mining Equipment Chevy with my team. Our guys have been working hard to get the car ready for this weekend, and we have a lot to prove.”(TBR)(6-28-2013)
Congrats to Nick DeFazio, car chief for the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing team, and his wife Cassie welcome there first baby Isla June, born Monday June 24th.(6-28-2013)
A Tribute Die-Cast to Benefit the Charlie Dean Leffler Trust Fund: When tragedy strikes, NASCAR unites and for a brief moment nothing else matters except for an unbreakable bond in the community. It doesn’t matter what team you are on, what manufacturer you drive for or who finishes first at the track what does matter is the moment that everyone gathers together to remember a great race car driver, wonderful friend and an amazing father.
On June 16 at Michigan International Speedway, the NASCAR community did just that, and in a special tribute to former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jason Leffler, Joe Gibbs Racing and Denny Hamlin ran a replica paint scheme of Leffler’s 2005 #11 FedEx car.
Hamlin didn’t win the race that Sunday afternoon, but the NASCAR community will forever remember the car Hamlin drove on Father’s day, in honor of Leffler’s life at the track. After all, Leffler debuted the FedEx sponsorship for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2005. After a last minute re-wrap of the #11 FedEx Toyota Camry took place late Saturday night, the car rolled out on track ready for Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 and the NASCAR community stood together as one.
Now Lionel Racing joins forces with Joe Gibbs Racing in honoring Leffler’s life with the die-cast of the #11 FedEx LefTurn Tribute Toyota Camry that Hamlin drove in honor of Leffler 100% of the profit from the purchase of each die-cast will be donated to the Charlie Dean Trust Fund to benefit Leffler’s son Charlie.(Lionel Racing Pit Box)(6-28-2013)
Keselowski wins at Kentucky: #22-Brad Keselowski won the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway after the race was called early because of rain, with 30 laps to go.#11-Elliott Sadler finished second followed by #33-Matt Crafton (in his first Nationwide start), #20-Brian Vickers, #54-Kyle BUsch, #3-Austin Dillon, #32-Kyle Larson, #30-Nelson Piquet, Jr., #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., and #99-Alex Bowman. Points leader #7-Regan Smith, spent time behind the wall after a suspension failure and finished 30th. His points lead is down to 8 over Hornish. There were 5 cautions for 25 laps and 12 lead changes among 7 leaders. Complete results are on the Kentucky race results page (pdf).(6-28-2013)
Kentucky Race Fast Facts:
Brad Keselowski(i) won the 13th Annual Feed The Children 300, his 22nd victory in 197 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his second victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2013.
This is his second victory and sixth top-10 finish in six races at Kentucky Speedway.
Elliott Sadler (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in four races at Kentucky Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2013.
Matt Crafton(i) (third) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Kentucky Speedway.
Kyle Larson (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.
Regan Smith leads the point standings by 8 points over Sam Hornish Jr.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-28-2013)
Driver standings following Kentucky:
1) #7-Regan Smith 521
2) #12-Sam Hornish Jr. 513, -8
3) #31-Justin Allgaier 510, -11
4) #11-Elliott Sadler 502, -19
5) #3-Austin Dillon 501, -20
6) #32-Kyle Larson # 477, -44
7) #77-Parker Kligerman 475, -46
8) #20-Brian Vickers 473, -48
9) #2-Brian Scott 466, -55
10) #6Trevor Bayne 453, -68
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(6-28-2013)
Dillon on pole at Kentucky: #3-Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole for the Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway with a speed of 175.758mph. It is his 8th career pole and his 5th in the last six races. #60-Travis Pastrana will start second. The rest of the top 10: #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #6-Trevor Bayne, #54-Kyle Busch, #11-Elliott Sadler, #31-Justin Allgaier, #33-Matt Crafton, #44-Cole Whitt, and #99-Alex Bowman. Did Not Qualify: #92-Dexter Stacey, who wrecked on his qualifying attempt. #51-Jeremy Clements also wrecked and will have to go to a backup car. The starting lineup is posted on the Kentucky starting lineup page (pdf).(6-28-2013)
Kentucky Qualifying Notes:
Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 13th Annual Feed The Children 300 with a lap of 30.724 seconds, 175.758 mph.
This is his eighth pole in 59 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his fifth pole and 13th top-10 start in 2013.
This is his third pole in three races at Kentucky Speedway.
Travis Pastrana (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2013 and his first in one races at Kentucky Speedway.
Sam Hornish Jr. (third) posted his third top-10 start at Kentucky Speedway. It is his 13th in 15 races this season.
Alex Bowman (10th) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-28-2013)
Pastrana fastest in happy hour: #60-Travis Pastran was quickest during happy hour for the Feed the Children 300 with a speed of 175.970mph. He was followed by: #33-Matt Crafton, #99-Alex Bowman, #3-Austin Dillon, #22-Brad Keselowski, #77-Parker Kligerman, #6-Trevor Bayne, #31-Justin Allgaier, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., and #7-Regan Smith. 41 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Kentucky practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(6-28-2013)
Changes at Green Light UPDATE: Veteran truck series owner Bobby Dotter has called on NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver CJ Faison to pilot the #81 Toyota Tundra at Kentucky Speedway. This will be Faison’s second ever start in the Camping World Truck Series after making his debut just weeks ago at Dover. Faison takes over this week for David Starr, who has been behind the wheel of the SS Green Light Racing #81 for the first seven races of the year, is taking a break from the seat while continuing to secure additional sponsorship for the balance of the 2013 NCWTS season. Thursday night’s race will mark the 300th consecutive start for the SS Green Light Racing team, a historic streak that dates back to 2001. Former Nationwide Series driver Mark McFarland will guide the rookie driver in his second NCWTS start from atop the pit box. In 2003, McFarland drove one race for the SS Green Light Racing team finishing 12th at Richmond. McFarland currently crew chiefs for Faison during his K&N effort. Todd Peck will make his sixth career NCWTS start at Kentucky behind the wheel of the National Arthritis Foundation #07.(SS Greenlight Racing PR)(6-25-2013) UPDATE: Jimmy Weller confirmed on his Facebook page that he would be behind the wheel of the #81 in Iowa. “We will make our first career Camping World Truck Series start in the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway on July 13. Thank you to our sponsor Grime Boss and Mr. Gaulding and Bobby Dotter for working hard to put this all together,” Weller wrote. Weller, who has a background in sprint and midget cars, ran the 2012 season in the K&N Pro Series East for Dave Blaney Racing.(6-28-2013)
NASCAR considering changes to look of Trucks: NASCAR met with representatives from all three manufacturers earlier this month at Dover to discuss the “facelift” to the trucks for 2014. The changes to the trucks come after NASCAR overhauled the Nationwide Series and introduced Pony Cars in 2010. This season, after six years of fans despising the Car of Tomorrow, the Generation 6 was introduced. So what about the trucks? “Trucks are a little bit trickier for us because we’re not afforded some of the foundations with trucks that we have for the cars meaning the common or the consistent or the certified chassis,” said NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director John Darby, who attended the meeting. “The Truck series still has a lot of variances and frames and chassis and all that which makes it a much more difficult project because you want an end product that is controllable and very cost efficient for the truck teams. At the same time, we don’t have an interest of tearing up every truck in existence.” That’s a bonus for the Truck teams many which lack the sponsorship dollars or significant contribution from the series’ purses to exercise a complete overhaul of their inventory. As the lone full-time Truck team owner in the Ford camp, Brad Keselowski Racing will be responsible for the F150 build. Keselowski calls the project “an interesting situation.” While the manufacturers will design the latest concepts and develop the trucks, Turner-Scott Motorsports will construct the Chevy Silverado and Kyle Busch Motorsports will handle the Toyota Tundras. As a driver/owner who regularly competes in the Truck series, Busch would like to see some aerodynamic changes to the new trucks. Darby says he’d like to have all three trucks in the wind tunnel for base-line testing in the next two months before they are actually on track tests. “The project is actually moving forward pretty nicely with a very nice aesthetic result,” Darby added. “It’s goal is to do the same thing that we’ve done with Nationwide and the Gen 6 Cup car, [which] is to put the correct look of the truck back into the trucks.(Fox Sports)(6-28-2013)
“Grown Ups 2” Stars named Grand Marshals for the Coke Zero 400: Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Shaquille O’Neal, the stars of the upcoming comedy “Grown Ups 2,” in theaters July 12, will serve as Grand Marshals for the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6 at Daytona International Speedway. Sandler, James and O’Neal will give the starting command “Drivers, start your engines” in the Independence Day holiday classic. They will also be introduced at the driver’s meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies, and ride in the Grand Marshal cars during the pace laps prior to the green flag of the 160-lap, 400-mile race.
The stars of NASCAR return to Daytona International Speedway on July 5-6. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-28-2013)
News from June 27, 2013
Ducks Unlimited to be featured on #14 at Daytona: The Ducks Unlimited logo will appear on Bass Pro Shops’ #14 Chevy and truck during two of the biggest races of the year to bring awareness of the organization’s ongoing conservation efforts to NASCAR fans. Bass Pro Shops Founder Johnny Morris made the announcement recently at the 2013 Ducks Unlimited Convention. Ducks Unlimited’s commitment to conservation for the past 76 years will be honored with special logos placed prominently on the Bass Pro Shops-sponsored racecar and truck. The Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 6 will be the first race where the Ducks Unlimited logo will appear on the Bass Pro Shops #14 Sprint Cup Series car driven by Tony Stewart. The special logo will appear again on Oct. 19 at the Talladega Superspeedway on the Bass Pro Shops #14 Camping World Truck Series truck driven by Ty Dillon. “Conservation is the only way we can ensure our grandchildren and their children will have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors like our generation has, and Ducks Unlimited has been promoting conservation for the past 76 years,” Morris said. “It’s a tremendous organization with a great mission, and I’m proud to call myself a DU member.” Habitat conservation is the Ducks Unlimited mission. DU is the world’s largest and most effective private, non-profit waterfowl and wetlands conservation organization. DU is able to multilaterally deliver its work through a series of partnerships with private individuals, landowners, agencies, scientific communities and other entities.(SHR), see an image of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
Special scheme for Earnhardt Jr. at Kentucky: The National Guard Youth Foundation will adorn the hood of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s blue-and-white #88 Chevrolet SS this weekend in Kentucky. The National Guard Youth Foundation assists adolescents, who drop out of school, with the opportunity to improve their life skills, education and employability, creating the next generation of skilled workforce in America. The Foundation also works to raise awareness of the growing dropout crisis in the nation and its impact on our economy and national security.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on the #88 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
RPM announces partnership with GoBowling.com: The number one recognized car in NASCAR will now feature the number one participatory sports activity – bowling! Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Strike Ten Entertainment announced today at the International Bowl Expo (IBE) the launch of a new partnership that will feature GoBowling.com as a primary sponsor of the #43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola. Also at IBE was the official unveiling of the #43 GoBowling.com Ford Fusion. Richard Petty appeared on the Expo floor and helped give attendees a first look at the historic car as well as posed for photos and signed autographs. Later this summer the car will make its on-track debut at the GoBowling.com 400 on August 4 at the Pocono Raceway. The GoBowling.com Ford will also be the primary partner for the #43 team at the same event in 2014. GoBowling.com is the website to visit to learn more about the 2,100+ bowling centers around the country. Fans can learn about their local bowling centers, promotional offers, bowling tips and more. Currently, GoBowling.com is running a national promotion for one lucky race fan to wave the green flag to start their NASCAR Sprint Cup event (GoBowling.com 400) on Sunday, August 4. This partnership with RPM is their first with a team and driver.(RPM), see images of the car/scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
Hellmann’s on the #1 at Kentucky: The #1 Chevrolet SS of Jamie McMurray will carry the colors for Hellmann’s Mayonnaise this weekend at Kentucky Speedway. The paint scheme will feature the iconic Hellmann’s Blue Ribbon logo with the Happy 100 Years branding. Hellmann’s products have been staples in American kitchens for generations. The brand’s flagship product, Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, is the best-selling mayonnaise in the United States.(EGR), see an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
Danica Patrick 91st on Forbes list: #10-Danica Patrick once again joined Oprah Winfrey, Lady Gaga, Steven Spielberg, Bon Jovi and Justin Bieber — to name a few — on the World’s Most Powerful Celebrities list published by Forbes. The Sprint Cup rookie ranked 91st. No other driver in motorsports was ranked. This marks the highest Patrick has ranked. She was 95th in 2007, 96th in 2010 and 2011.(ESPN)(6-27-2013)
30th Anniversary Camry scheme for Bowyer: Clint Bowyer drove a Camry off Toyota’s production line at Georgetown, Ky. in February now he’d like to drive a Camry into victory lane at nearby Kentucky Speedway. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver will pilot the #15 30th Camry Anniversary Toyota Camry in Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The best-selling passenger cars are built in Georgetown, Ky. about 45 miles from the track. Carrying the Toyota banner is important to Bowyer who opened his own dealership in Emporia, Kansas in April.(MWR), see an image of the scheme on the #15 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
UPS returns to the #99: UPS will serve as primary sponsor of Carl Edwards and the #99 Roush Fenway Racing team this weekend in Kentucky. The Official Logistics Provider of NASCAR will also honor United States Army National Guard Captain, William Baker, with a VIP experience. Baker was nominated by his son for the trip to Kentucky through Twitter. Kentucky Speedway is less than an hour away from UPS Worldport, the company’s main air hub. UPS Air is celebrating its 25th anniversary and Worldport is the largest full automated package handling facility in the world.(RFR), see images of the scheme on the #99 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
Kentucky Goodyear Tire Notes: While teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Kentucky this week will run the same right-side tire code, teams in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run a slightly different left-side code than those in the Camping World Truck Series . . . this is the same right-side tire that Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams ran at Kentucky the last two seasons . . . this left-side tire is new to Kentucky and features a construction change compared to what was run at this track last year . . . teams in these two series ran this same tire set-up at Dover earlier this month . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Kentucky . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear), see tire codes, pressures, set limits on the Kentucky Race Info page – Goodyear section.
Eckrich and Operation Homefront return to the #43: This weekend Aric Almirola and the #43 race team will head to the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway for Saturday night’s 400-mile event. The team will again be carrying the logos of Eckrich and Operation Homefront on the hood and sides of the Petty Blue Ford. Eckrich, through their Operation Inspiration program, will be hosting some special guests this weekend. A San Antonio military family will be VIP guests of the team and be surprised with a ‘Ride of a Lifetime’ this Saturday morning courtesy of Almirola. This special couple receiving the “Ride of a Lifetime” will be one of three families featured on the half-hour television special ‘Operation Inspiration’ hosted by television personality Al Roker, with appearances by Almirola and “The King” Richard Petty. The show, sponsored by Eckrich, is aimed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire us. It will air on local NBC stations across the country this weekend and in syndication throughout the summer.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
Gordon, Stewart & Johnson looking for first win at Kentucky: In the 2012 season finale at Homestead, #24-Jeff Gordon was victorious leaving only one track that Gordon has not won at in the Sprint Cup Series, Kentycky Speeedway.
Kentucky is one of only two tracks the Sprint Cup Series visits where #14-Tony Stewart has yet to record a Sprint Cup victory. The other is Darlington Raceway, where Stewart at least has a NASCAR Nationwide Series win (2008).
Kentucky Speedway is one of five of the 23 tracks on the Sprint Cup schedule where #48-Jimmie Johnson has yet to win. Michigan International Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Watkins Glen International and Homestead-Miami Speedway are the others.
There are 23 tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit.(PRs)(6-27-2013)
Quaker State returns to Kahne’s car: Quaker State will adorn the hood of Kasey Kahne’s #5 Chevrolet SS this weekend at Kentucky Speedway for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup race. Quaker State will be the primary sponsor on the car for one more event this year at Charlotte in Oct. Saturday’s 267-lap race marks the third annual event at the Sparta, Ky., track with Quaker State as the entitlement sponsor.(HMS), see images of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
Special scheme for the #55 at Kentucky: Brian Vickers should be a popular man at Kentucky Speedway this weekend. Vickers’ #55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota will carry a special paint scheme during Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race honoring the University of Louisville’s men’s national championship basketball team. At last year’s Kentucky race, MWR founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip drove an Aaron’s/ University of Kentucky themed paint scheme. At the May 5 Talladega race, Aaron’s and Michael Waltrip Racing honored the University of Alabama’s BCS National Championship football team. It marked the fourth consecutive year Aaron’s honored Alabama or Auburn University championship football teams with a special paint scheme (MWR), see images of the scheme on the #55 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)
New NASCAR related clothes: Burn Rubber Productions and JRM Licensing announced the exclusive launch of the Dale Earnhardt Jr. Original Burn Rubber Tee Shirt. Printed using Burn Rubber’s Patent Pending process, the lineup includes shirts in several “paint scheme” designs – each screen printed with authentic Dale Jr. race used tire rubber. The first of its kind, the Original Tee takes being a race fan to a whole new level.(Burn Rubber Productions) AND Actress Alyssa Milano, who started her own clothing line about six years ago: “I’m doing NASCAR. & We’re launching NASCAR in a couple of weeks, which I’m really excited about,” she told talk show host Jimmy Fallon last week. NASCAR will begin selling her products next week on its website and it also will be available at the tracks on race weekends. The launch will feature all female tops and the product line will include 10 driversKyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart.(Sporting News)(6-27-2013)
Crafton fastest in first practice: #33-Matt Crafton was fastest during opening practice at Kentucky Speedway with a speed of 172.750 mph. #12-Sam Hornish was second, followed by: #44-Cole Whitt, #22-Brad Keselowski, #7-Regan Smith, ##54-Kyle Busch, #20-Brian Vickers, #99-Alex Bowman, #3-Austin Dillon, #2-Brian Scott. 40 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Kentucky practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(6-27-2013)
Mike Wallace to carry “drive sober” message: Mike Wallace and the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Nationwide Series team have joined hands this weekend with the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety to share an important message. Wallace’s black #01 Chevy will carry the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” message in Friday night’s Feed The Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. “I’m happy to represent a program that creates public awareness and helps save lives,” Wallace said. “I’m looking forward to racing the ‘Drive Sober’ Impala because we’ve never promoted anything like this before. It’s great to be sharing this important message with the fans at Kentucky because it’s such a good area for racing.”(JD Motorsports)(6-27-2013)
Default to drive for Go Green: The nephew of a Sprint Cup star has been the primary driver for Archie St. Hilaire of Old Orchard Beach this season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. And an actress and former model on the TV game show “The Price is Right” is expected to earn some seat time for team owner St. Hilaire’s Go Green Racing team later this season. Jeffrey Earnhardt, nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr., is 20th in the Nationwide Series points standings and has run in 10 of the 14 races so far this season. He drove in nine of those 10 races for Go Green Racing and one for his uncle’s JR Motorsports team. Canadian Maryeve Dufault, who has run in the ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) series and has one career Nationwide start, has tested for St. Hilaire. She impressed him to the point where they have agreed to a deal that will give her at least one race in the #79 Ford. She has appeared in several television shows and movies including Driven, Entourage, Relative Strangers and The Bold and the Beautiful as well as her Price is Right gig.(Bangor Daily News)(6-27-2013)
Dillon wins Kentucky: #3-Ty Dillon won Thursday night’s UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. It was his first win of the year. #19-Brad Keselowski was second. #51-Kyle Busch, #31-James Buescher, #29-Ryan Blaney, #17-Timothy Peters, #32-Miguel Paludo, #77-German Quiroga, #4-Jeb Burton, and #88-Matt Crafton were the remainder of the top-10. There were six caution flags for 25 laps, and five lead changes among four drivers. Complete results are on the Kentucky race results page (pdf).(6-27-2013)
Kentucky Race Fast Facts:
Ty Dillon won the 3rd Annual UNOH 225, his second victory in 33 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2013.
This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in four races at Kentucky Speedway.
Ty Dillon’s win makes him the youngest NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race winner at Kentucky Speedway; he is 21 years and 4 months old. James Buescher was the youngest NCWTS winner at Kentucky Speedway prior to this race.
Brad Keselowski(i) (second) posted his second top-10 finish in four races at Kentucky Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2013.
Kyle Busch(i) (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in four races at Kentucky Speedway.
Ryan Blaney (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie. Matt Crafton leads the point standings by 22 points over Jeb Burton. (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-27-2013)
Blaney on pole for UNOH 225 at Kentucky: #29-Ryan Blaney won the pole for Thursday night’s race at Kentucky Speedway. It is his first career pole. Blaney ran a fast lap at 175.160 mph. #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr. was second. He was followed by: #7-John Wes Townley, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #18-Joey Coulter. #51-Kyle Busch, #88-Matt Crafton, #77-German Quiroga, #17-Timothy Peters, and #32-Miguel Paludo in the top-10. Brett Moffitt, in his debut in the #13, wrecked during his lap and will go to a back-up truck. See complete results on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(6-27-2013)
Kentucky Qualifying Notes:
Ryan Blaney won the Keystone 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 3rd Annual UNOH 225 with a lap of 30.829 seconds, 175.160 mph.
This is his first pole in 17 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
This is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2013.
It is his fourth consecutive top-10 start.
This is his first pole in two races at Kentucky Speedway.
Darrell Wallace Jr. (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2013 and his first in one races at Kentucky Speedway.
John Wes Townley (third) posted his first top-10 start at Kentucky Speedway.
It is his first in eight races this season.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-27-2013)
Gale fastest in final practice at Kentucky: #30-Cale Gale was fastest during final practice at Kentucky Speedway. It is Gale’s first race of the 2013 season. Gale ran a fast lap at 174.961 mph. #17-Timothy Peters, #4-Jeb Burton, #77-German Quiroga, #7-John Wes Townley, #18-Joey Coulter, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #29-Ryan Blaney, #19-Brad Keselowski and #32-Miguel Paludo were the top-10. 35 trucks practiced during the session. Practice speeds are posted on the Kentucky final practice page (pdf).(6-27-2013)
Wallace fastest in first practice at Kentucky: #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr. led the way in first practice at Kentucky Speedway with a fast lap at 174.605 mph. The practice was delayed at the start while track drying took place, and delayed again due to weepers on the racing surface. #32-Miguel Paludo was second quick. The remainder of the top-10 were: #4-Jeb Burton, #18-Joey Coulter, #51-Kyle Busch, #77-German Quiroga, #29-Ryan Blaney, #18-Brad Keselowski, #88-Matt Crafton, and #3-Ty Dillon. 32 trucks made at least one lap during the session. Practice speeds are posted on the Kentucky practice page (pdf).(6-27-2013)
Crawford to race in France: Mobilian Rick Crawford is returning to NASCAR racing in a place where an American has never been NASCAR racing. Crawford has been tabbed to be part of America’s Team, which will race on July 6 and 7 in the NASCAR Euro-Racecar events at the new Tours Speedway. The Euro-Racecar Series uses NASCAR-style cars on European circuits. It started in 2009 and raced mainly in France. After being sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, it expanded in 2011, and last year it reached an agreement to be sanctioned as a NASCAR circuit. Crawford will be joined by Giles Thornton, a 15-year-old NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver from Whitefish, Mont., whom Crawford has been mentoring. They’ll stay in Paris while in France. Crawford said they would drive Nationwide Series-type cars that carry a wing like the one used on the Sprint Cup Series’ old Car of Tomorrow. The cars are in France waiting for the drivers. NASCAR is sending the drivers to its European circuit for the debut of Tours Speedway, which is the series’ first track designed with input and guidance from NASCAR officials. The series held a race in Tours last year on a temporary track, but the new layout is an asphalt, D-shaped stock-car racing oval. The European circuit is six races into a season that ends at Le Mans in October and includes a six-hour race at Motorland Aragon in Spain. Crawford, who is a member of the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame, has not raced this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he holds the series record with 336 starts. He’s spent this year managing Montana Raceway Park, a one-quarter-mile paved oval near Kalispell, Mont. He spent 2011 and 2012 as the manager and promoter of Mobile International Speedway.(AL.com)(6-27-2013)
Marine honored as Brickyard Sprint Cup race namesake: While deployed in Iraq, Gunnery Sgt. Samuel Deeds, a diehard NASCAR fan, dreamed of working in the sport after completing his service. In 2005, those dreams took a back seat when Deeds placed himself in harm’s way to save the lives of his fellow Marines. This summer Deeds will travel to one of the country’s most historic tracks, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), not as a fan or employee, but as the race namesake. On June 27 in his hometown of Erlanger, Ky., Deeds was recognized as the winner of Crown Royal’s “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, which awards one deserving individual naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, July 28 at IMS. Surrounded by friends, family and Marines, Deeds cemented his place in the NASCAR record books by laying the final brick, engraved with the official race logo, in a ceremonial “Yard of Bricks” at Flagship Park in Erlanger.
While deployed in Iraq, Deeds came across an improvised explosive device (IED) while setting up a vehicle checkpoint. Upon seeing fellow Marines approaching, he exposed himself to the device, risking his life to save others. He was severely injured and underwent more than 30 surgeries and procedures following the blast. Three years later, while still recovering, Deeds’ heroic instincts took charge once again when he saved the lives of three individuals caught in a rip tide off the coast of North Carolina.
In addition to Deeds’ friends and family, special representatives from Crown Royal, Big Machine Label Group (BMLG), and IMS attended the ceremony and spoke of Deeds’ many accomplishments. NASCAR driver Kurt Busch surprised Deeds during the ceremony, appearing on behalf of the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF), and country music star Justin Moore debuted a special song titled “Heroes,” which was penned specifically for the “Your Hero’s Name Here” program. Consumers 21 and over can visit CrownHeroesSong.com to download “Heroes” for free. For every download redeemed between now and the Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com July 28, Crown Royal will donate $1 to AFF.
“I was so fortunate to be part of this program last summer,” Moore said. “That experience and the brave men and women I met along the way served as inspiration for this new song. The opportunity to debut ‘Heroes’ in front of a true hero like Samuel, his friends, family and community is incredibly special to me as well as all of the folks at BMLG.”
This will mark the seventh time Crown Royal has awarded race naming rights to an adult fan. After receiving thousands of entries during the nomination period, five heroes were chosen as finalists, and adult fans had the opportunity to cast their votes for the person they felt was most deserving of the honor. As the winner of the program, Deeds will participate in a VIP race weekend experience, riding in the pre-race pace car, delivering the trophy bearing his name to the race winner in Victory Lane and participating in the “kissing the bricks” ceremony following the race.
“I’ve been a NASCAR fan for as long as I can remember, so the reality of having my name on a track with such rich history and meaning is beyond words,” Deeds said. “I am so grateful to all of those who took the time to hear my story and vote for me. I can’t wait to attend the race and dedicate that special weekend to all fellow servicemen and women who put their lives on the line every day.” Deeds, now retired from his service in the Marines, is a husband and father of two boys. His wife, April, nominated him for the program for his unwavering commitment to his country.
“We could not be more honored to announce Gunnery Sgt. Samuel Deeds as the 2013 ‘Your Hero’s Name Here’ winner,” said Abby Wise, brand director for Crown Royal. “His sacrifice and continued acts of heroism serve as an inspiration to all of us at Crown Royal, and we are proud to provide him with the ultimate race experience at the Brickyard next month.”
The official race title, Crown Royal Presents the Samuel Deeds 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com, will be incorporated into race memorabilia as well as the winner’s trophy. Various events and celebrations will take place leading up to and throughout race weekend to honor Deeds, during which Crown Royal would like to remind adult consumers to please drink responsibly. “It is our privilege to participate in this program with Crown Royal for the second year at IMS,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation Chief Operating Officer Doug Boles. “We’ve been introduced to so many deserving American heroes, and we look forward to rolling out the red carpet for Samuel and all other heroes in attendance at this year’s race.”(IMS)(6-27-2013)
News from June 26, 2013
Childress could run the #3 in 2014: Richard Childress is still mulling whether to bring Dale Earnhardt’s famous #3 back to Sprint Cup competition. Childress, who owns the rights to the car number that Earnhardt made famous, has said since last November that he believes that fans would accept a return of the slanted design that marked Earnhardt’s car for six of his seven Cup championships. Speaking on SiriusXM’s NASCAR channel Wednesday morning, Childress reiterated that only a member of his family or the Earnhardt family would race the number in Cup. Childress grandsons Austin and Ty Dillon have raced the number in the Truck and Nationwide series in recent years, and Austin Dillon could run a full-time Cup schedule in 2014. “We’re definitely in the process of discussing that,” Childress told the network Wednesday. “Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon did a great job representing it.” He said he wouldn’t want to run the #3 in Sprint Cup with just a partial schedule. The #3 has not been used in Cup since Earnhardt’s death in 2001.(in part from the Sporting News)(6-26-2013)
Keselowski in rare territory for defending NASCAR champ: #2-Brad Keselowski’s 21st-place showing at Sonoma marked the seventh time in the past eight races that he has failed to crack the top 10. This comes after a blistering start to the season in which he had four top-5 finishes and seven top 10s in his first eight starts. Since then, he’s dropped from third to ninth in the point standings and is only 10 points away from falling out of the top 10 entirely. In fact, the standings are so crowded that Keselowski is a mere 29 points ahead of 17th place #78-Kurt Busch. He’s also only one early crash or mechanical failure away from dipping into territory rarely seen by a defending Cup champion.
Over the past 40 years, since NASCAR consolidated its schedule, no defending Cup champion has finished worse than 12th in the standings (not including 1992 champ Alan Kulwicki, who died in a place crash in April of 1993). In fact, only five drivers have finished worse than seventh. The average finishing position for the defending champion over the past four decades has been fourth place.(Sports Illustrated)(6-26-2013)
Gordon Looks For Schedule Sweep: Kentucky Speedway offers #24-Jeff Gordon additional motivation. The 1.5-mile track, which became part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule in 2011, is the only blank line on the 87-race winner’s resume. He’s won at every other stop on circuit, crossing off previously missing Homestead-Miami Speedway last November. “I’d love to win at every track,” said Gordon. “That would be a special accomplishment.” Gordon finished 10th in Kentucky’s inaugural race and was fifth a year ago.(NASCAR)(6-26-2013)
Bobby Labonte’s start streak to end at 704: Bobby Labonte’s consecutive start streak will come to an end at 704 races. Labonte is not entered in the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, which will bring an end to the second-longest active starts streak in NASCAR behind Jeff Gordon’s 705 starts. Labonte confirmed his status on a chat with fans on the JTG Daugherty Racing website. “I will not be racing this week,” he wrote. “It is disappointing the way it is happening. I have had a couple of offers this morning, but I have declined them because I don’t want anybody else that has an opportunity to do what I do, what they love, to have to sit on the sideline for my sake.” JTG will use A.J. Allmendinger in the #47 Toyota at Kentucky. Allmendinger drove for the team two weeks ago at Michigan, while Labonte drove the #51 Chevy for Phoenix Racing. Phoenix Racing will use Austin Dillon this weekend, which left Labonte without a seat after two consecutive rough races. Labonte has not missed a start since he began racing full-time in the Cup Series in 1993. He’s won 21 races and the 2000 championship while driving for Joe Gibbs Racing. Kentucky will mark the first Cup race without a Labonte in the field since the 1978 season finale at Ontario. Older brother Terry Labonte has 884 starts. Ricky Rudd holds the NASCAR record of 788 consecutive starts.(Associated Press), see the full list of consecutive starts on my All-Time NASCAR Sprint Cup Starts page.(6-26-2013)
Top 12 Driver Rating at Kentucky:
#18-Kyle Busch…………………………. 133.0 (1 win)
#2-Brad Keselowski………………….. 128.2 (1 win)
#48-Jimmie Johnson………………….. 119.5
#11-Denny Hamlin……………………… 105.0
#20-Matt Kenseth………………………… 98.2
#5-Kasey Kahne………………………… 96.7
#99-Carl Edwards……………………….. 94.3
#78-Kurt Busch…………………………… 92.6
#24-Jeff Gordon………………………….. 89.8
#56-Martin Truex Jr…………………….. 88.8
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr………………….. 88.3
#29-Kevin Harvick……………………….. 88.2
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (two total) among active drivers at Kentucky Speedway.
Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.(NASCAR)
Next Generation Earnhardt & Parsons racing: Meet the newest member of the Earnhardt racing family — 12-year-old Karsyn Elledge. Karsyn is the daughter of Kelley Earnhardt Miller, who is the daughter of Dale Earnhardt and the GM of the JR Motorsports Nationwide Series team owned by her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Karsyn’s father is Jimmy Elledge, a long-time NASCAR crew chief who now is working on his daughter’s budding career. Karsyn and her dad held a press conference Saturday morning in the Sonoma Raceway Winner’s Circle, unveiling her new, bright pink Mini Outlaw Series car that is sponsored by Nickelodeon. Of course, the car sports the #3 made famous by her grandfather. Karsyn has racing heritage from her paternal grandparents, also. Terry Elledge, Jimmy’s dad, built engines that Dale Sr. used to win several of his seven Cup championships. Mom Kelley raced with her little brother when they were kids. Earnhardt Sr. once said he thought Kelley had more of what it takes to be a quality racer than any of his children, but Kelley opted for the business side of things.(Full story at ESPN.com) AND Stefan Parsons always had racing on his mind. “I feel like it’s in my blood,” the 15-year-old Cornelius resident said. “I really wanted to do it.” Stefan’s father, Phil, and uncle, Benny, raced in NASCAR. So Stefan grew up around the sport and wanted to be part of the family business. In 2010, Stefan made his racing debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Summer Shootout. He was hooked. “It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “This is where everybody wants to come. It’s the best competition in the U.S.” Phil Parsons has enjoyed seeing Stefan grow up as a driver. Stefan moved up to drive a Legends car this year after competing in the Bandolero divisions during the past three summers. “He’s obviously not been doing this long, but he has a pretty good head on his shoulders,” said the 1988 Winston 500 winner at Talladega. “He’s smart, he misses a lot of wrecks, but he’s aggressive when time comes to be aggressive.” Stefan, a rising sophomore at SouthLake Christian Academy, tries to keep a cool head on the track. He said being patient can only make him a better driver. “It takes more talent to pass somebody without touching them,” he said. Phil doesn’t know where Stefan gets that from. “Maybe from his uncle Benny,” he said. Benny, who passed away in 2007, saw plenty of success during his career, winning the 1975 Daytona 500 and 20 other races. “The Professor,” the 1973 Winston Cup champion, was named one of NASCAR’s 50 all-time greatest drivers in 1988.(full story at the Charlotte Observer)(6-26-2013)
OtterBox partners with Quiroga: OtterBox, the worldwide leader in protective solutions for mobile devices, has technology and Red Horse Racing’s driver of the #77 Toyota Tundra, Germán Quiroga, covered for nine Camping World Truck Series races this season starting this weekend at Kentucky Speedway for the UNOH 225. Together, OtterBox will share a series of firsts in the sport with Quiroga and the Truck Series as they make their debut racing on dirt at Eldora Speedway in addition to the return to road course racing for the trucks and their first endeavor to Canada at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. OtterBox will serve as primary sponsor on six additional races including both races held at Iowa Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Martinsville Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. They will also be an associate sponsor on the #77 Toyota Tundra for the remainder of the season .(Red Horse Racing PR)(6-26-2013)
Kentucky Gov. Beshear proclaims NASCAR Week in the Commonwealth: Three of Kentucky’s most influential leaders, Papa John’s Founder John Schnatter, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari, are pledging their support to Kentucky Speedway’s June 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts and encouraging fans to do the same by coming together to celebrate a “slice of Kentucky.” Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed the week of June 24 as “NASCAR Week in the Commonwealth.” This is the third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway. In its first two years, the event at the Sparta venue has attracted fans from each of the 50 U.S. states and Canada, making a significant impact on travel and tourism in the region. Papa John’s customers are able to purchase two “Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts” tower grandstand tickets in select sections along with infield Fan Zone passes for the event through a special pizza box topper or on-line at kentuckyspeedway.com/papajohns. In addition, Calipari will participate in the big night by serving as Honorary Pace Car Driver. The Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts includes a race-day concert with platinum-selling country music artist Billy Currington presented by Kroger and anchors a NASCAR tripleheader weekend at the speedway. Racing begins Thursday, June 27 with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) UNOH 225 and continues Friday, June 28 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Feed The Children 300. Tickets, weekend and season ticket packages, daily infield Fan Zone passes – that provide a trackside view of Currington’s concert, a similar view of driver introductions, pit road access and more – along with campsites are on sale now at kentuckyspeedway.com , (859) 578-2300 and the speedway offices.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-26-2013)
Arnold recognized for dedication to safety at Dover International Speedway: Throughout the May 31-June 2, 2013 race weekend, Dover International Speedway employees and volunteers were cheering for their fellow teammate, Charlie Arnold. Arnold is not a NASCAR driver and didn’t compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday, but he was recognized for his unfailing work ethic and dedication by being named this year’s ServiceMaster Clean Extra Mile Award recipient at the Monster Mile. Arnold joined the Monster Mile team in 2001 as an EMT-B, and has since completed his EMT certification and been promoted to lead EMT. A valuable and dedicated emergency associate for over 13 years, Arnold also brings his ministry practices to the track in form of morning prayer, homemade pre-race snacks and a helping hand whenever needed. Away from the track, Arnold serves as a volunteer firefighter, rescue swimmer, chaplain and EMS captain for Lewes Fire Department, in addition to owning Arnold’s Power Wash, LLC. Prior accomplishments include being named “Firefighter of the Year” in Lewes, Del. and an Honorary Colonel for Cape Henlopen High School’s Junior ROTC. Since its inception in 2010, the ServiceMaster Clean Extra Mile Award has recognized 36 track team members across the country. Award recipients have been key members of full-time track staff and dedicated volunteers selected by track management personnel.(Dover International Speedway)(6-26-2013)
News from June 25, 2013
Sonoma TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Racing on TNT averaged a 3.0/7 for Sunday’s race from Sonoma, matching last year’s rating [I have 2012 as a 3.3/7]. There were 4.66 million viewers. Through three races, NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing on TNT is averaging a 2.8/7, down -10% from last year’s 3.1/7. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(6-25-2013)
Most Points Scored in the four races on 1.5 mile tracks in 2013 (so far):
1) #5-Kasey Kahne, 163
2) #56-Martin Truex Jr., 149
3) #20-Matt Kenseth, 145 (won Las Vegas & Kansas)*
4) #29-Kevin Harvick, 145 (won Charlotte)
5) #99-Carl Edwards, 142
[Las Vegas, Texas, Kansas & Charlotte](* includes 12 point penalty from Kansas)(MWR)(6-25-2013)
Drivers, owners start looking to 2014: It was curious when [#78-Kurt] Busch slipped last Thursday after he was asked a silly question about who he would prefer to have dinner with when given a list of drivers. His focus turned to #39-Ryan Newman, his former Penske Racing teammate with whom he experienced a not-so-friendly feud on and off the track as the two free agents searched for rides last year. “Maybe Newman and I need to have a sit-down, because we’re both out there charging hard and trying to get into the Chase, and we’re looking for rides,” said Busch, who almost immediately regretted the last few words. Busch, 34, signed a one-year deal with Furniture Row Racing last year. Although team owner Barney Visser attempted to extend the contract with Busch after he posted three consecutive top-10 finishes to close out the 2012 season, the driver believed it was best to hold off.
And as Busch learned on Sunday – before he made the error of speeding down pit road twice, dropped to 38th and battled back to a fourth-place finish – FRR can produce cars capable of winning. That’s a prospect not lost on his rival Newman, who has inquired about the possibility of a second team at FRR for 2014.
Yes, Busch is accustomed to competing with high-profile teams but those coveted seats are few and far between. There have been talks with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Richard Childress Racing but the driver landscape remains in flux.
On Sunday, Childress admitted that Newman, who will likely have the support of sponsor Quicken Loans, is topping his list of candidates for the #29 ride being vacated by Kevin Harvick. In the winner’s post-race interview, Michael Waltrip acknowledged that Brian Vickers “is our guy.” “We’re trying to get all the pieces together so he can drive the #55 and race for the championship next year,” Waltrip said.
Furniture Row Racing has no issues with Busch testing the market – as long as it doesn’t become a distraction for the team.(Fox Sports)(6-25-2013)
Kentucky Speedway News & Notes:
• In 1998, the track broke ground in Sparta, Kentucky, and opened as a 1.5-mile speedway in 2000.
• The original owners, Jerry Carroll and four other investors owned the track until 2008, when current owners, Speedway Motorsports Inc. purchased the facility.
• Since 2000, the track has hosted 13 NASCAR Nationwide Series (2001-2012) and 15 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races (2000-2012).
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held there in 2011 won by Kyle Busch.
• There have been two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway since the first race in 2011 one race per season.
• Fifty drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway; 36 in more than one.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Kentucky was cancelled due to weather. The starting line-up was set per the rule book.
• Jimmie Johnson has the only Coors Light pole at Kentucky 181.818 mph, 29.700 secs.
• Two different NSCS drivers have won at Kentucky Speedway: Kyle Busch (7/09/2011) and Brad Keselowski (6/30/2012).
• Joe Gibbs Racing (2011) and Penske Racing (2012) each have one victory at Kentucky Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
• Two different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Kentucky: Toyota (2011) and Dodge (2012).
• Kyle Busch won the inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kentucky from the first starting position (qualifying was canceled; starting lineup set by rule book).
• One of the two (50%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky have been won from the front row.
• Both of the NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky have been won from a top-five starting position.
• The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Kentucky was fourth, by Brad Keselowski last season.
• Two different drivers have posted NSCS runner-up finishes at Kentucky: David Reutimann (2011) and Kasey Kahne (2012).
• In the two NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky, 10 different drivers have posted top-five finishes.
• In the two NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky 15 different drivers have posted top-10 finishes; five have posted two: Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth.
• Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Kentucky with a 1.500.
• Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Kentucky with a 4.0. Jimmie Johnson (4.5), Kyle Busch (5.5), Matt Kenseth (6.5), Denny Hamlin (7.0), Jeff Gordon (7.5), Kasey Kahne (7.5), are the other active drivers with an average finish in the top 10.
• The closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway was the June 30, 2012 race won by Kyle Busch over David Reutimann with a MOV of 0.179 second.
• Neither of the two NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky Speedway have resulted with a green-white-checkered finish.
• Neither of the two NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kentucky Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions.
• Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway once; the 2011 race.
• Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Kentucky with 243 laps led in two starts. Brad Keselowski has led the second-most with 147.
• Danica Patrick will attempt to become the first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kentucky Speedway.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(6-25-2013)
Sad News – Jud Pemberton: George “Jud” Pemberton, of Mooresville, NC, passed away on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at the Brian Center in Mooresville, NC. He was born in 1931 in Saratoga Springs, NY, to the late Peter and Ellen Pemberton. Known as Jud by family and friends, George proudly served his country aboard the USS COATES, as a gunners mate, from 1951-55. A phenomenal basketball player, in high school, college and in the service, he was often referred to as “Juddy Jump Shot” a distinction earned, as one of the first players to ever shoot the basketball “jump shot”. Jud passed his love of sports and competition on to his son’s Robin, Randy, Ryan and Roman who are all involved in NASCAR racing.(Charlotte Observer)
Services are Wednesday, more info about services, donations, condolences on my Sad News Page)(6-25-2013)
Sad News – Harvey Crane: Harvey J. Crane Jr., 81, founder of Crane Cams, Inc., and a pioneer figure in the racing and performance automotive industry, passed away peacefully with family at his side on May 31, 2013. More info at the Daytona Beach News Journal and at harveycrane.com.(6-25-2013)
RCR crew members trying to get charges dropped: The two Richard Childress Racing crewmen arrested on misdemeanor assault charges for a fight with Nelson Piquet Jr. following the Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway plan to complete 24 hours of community service and hope the charges are dismissed. Michael Scearce and Thomas Costello, both suspended by NASCAR for four races and fined $15,000 following the incident, each face one misdemeanor assault charge from the April 26 fight, which occurred in the RIR driver/owner lot. Scearce originally faced two charges but one of those was dropped during their court appearance last week in Virginia. Their attorney, Clinton Cleary, said that they plan to perform 24 hours of community service prior to their next court date, Oct. 8. The completion of community service in this type of case typically results in the charges being dismissed.(Sporting News)(6-25-2013)
Nationwide extends negotations with NASCAR: Nationwide Insurance has extended its exclusive negotiating window with NASCAR, giving the company through the end of the summer to determine whether it wishes to renew its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s second-tier series, according to a report in the Sports Business Journal. The original agreement gave Nationwide until the end of June to negotiate exclusively with NASCAR but the company requested more time so it could take into consideration what TV network would be broadcasting the series’ races. Sources told the Observer on Tuesday that Fox Sports, perhaps in conjunction with its new Fox Sports 1 brand which debuts later this summer, may be making a play for the series’ TV rights. The series is currently broadcast by ESPN/ABC.(Charlotte Observer)(6-25-2013)
Moffitt to replace Bodine? UPDATE 2: Todd Bodine tweeted on Tuesday that he would be replaced in the #13 Toyota next week at Kentucky Speedway by Brett Moffitt. Moffitt drives for Hattori Racing Enterprises in the K&N Pro Series East and was initially scheduled to make five starts for the team in trucks this season beginning in Charlotte, but that was pushed back to Kentucky. (6-18-2013) UPDATE: Hattori Racing Enterprises confirmed on the team’s Twitter that Moffitt will be in the #13 in Kentucky.(6-18-2013) UPDATE 2: Brett Moffitt, currently second in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship, will make his Camping World Truck Series debut in the #13 AISIN Toyota Tundra in Thursday’s UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Moffitt, who’s never finished outside the top-three in points in four full K&N East seasons, will also make his Kentucky Speedway debut on the longest oval track on which he’s ever raced. (See an image of the truck on the #13 team paint schemes page.)(ThorSport Racing PR)(6-25-2013)
Changes at Green Light: Veteran truck series owner Bobby Dotter has called on NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver CJ Faison to pilot the #81 Toyota Tundra at Kentucky Speedway. This will be Faison’s second ever start in the Camping World Truck Series after making his debut just weeks ago at Dover. Faison takes over this week for David Starr, who has been behind the wheel of the SS Green Light Racing #81 for the first seven races of the year, is taking a break from the seat while continuing to secure additional sponsorship for the balance of the 2013 NCWTS season. Thursday night’s race will mark the 300th consecutive start for the SS Green Light Racing team, a historic streak that dates back to 2001. Former Nationwide Series driver Mark McFarland will guide the rookie driver in his second NCWTS start from atop the pit box. In 2003, McFarland drove one race for the SS Green Light Racing team finishing 12th at Richmond. McFarland currently crew chiefs for Faison during his K&N effort. Todd Peck will make his sixth career NCWTS start at Kentucky behind the wheel of the National Arthritis Foundation #07.(SS Greenlight Racing PR)(6-25-2013)
News from June 24, 2013
Entry List for the Quaker State 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #19-Bliss, #47-Allmendinger, #51-Dillon, #55-Vickers, #44-Riggs, #32-Schrader. With 43 teams at the track, no one will miss the race. Bobby Labonte is not entered, which would break his 704 consecutive race starting streak.
See the full entry list at my Jayski’s Kentucky Entry List
Sonoma Race and Commercial Breakdown: 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 3:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:21 PM (all times are EST). I did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
Total number of commercials: 110
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 65
Number of times TNT utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 0
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 30
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:21 PM
Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 201
Minutes of race broadcast: 146
Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 55
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
Total race brdcst time 146 Total comm. brdcst time 55
See past races, links, more info on the 2013 TV Commercials page.(6-24-2013)
Allmendinger returning to #47 at Kentucky UPDATE: AJ Allmendinger will drive for JTG Daugherty next week at Kentucky Speedway, car owner Tad Geschickter told Motor Racing Network on Saturday. It will be the second of five races Allmendinger is scheduled to drive the #47 car in place of Bobby Labonte, as JTG Daugherty seeks to uncover what has caused its struggles this season. Labonte is driving the car at Sonoma and starts 20th in Sunday’s race. Allmendinger drove for the team last week at Michigan, finishing 19th – the team’s best result since Richmond in late April. Allmendinger also is scheduled to drive for the team at Watkins Glen. The other two races he’s scheduled to run with JTG have not been determined. Geschickter said that Labonte will drive for the team in all three NASCAR Sprint Cup races in July: Daytona, New Hampshire and Indianapolis.(MRN)(6-23-2013) UPDATE: Bobby Labonte is still uncertain of his plans for next weekend’s race at Kentucky Speedway. “As of today, I’m not sure yet about Kentucky,” Labonte said. “I’m trying to work on some things.” Although Labonte tested with the #47 JTG/Daugherty team on the 1.5-mile track earlier this month, team owner Tad Geschickter says “mechanical problems at Michigan” have forced the organization to move up its second of a five-race schedule with AJ Allmendinger. “Some of what we were trying to read at Michigan wasn’t accurate,” Geschickter said. “We had a sensor go bad, a right rear hub go bad, so we want to get that extra reading at a high speed, low grip track like Kentucky so we know what direction to go in. Then (Allmendinger’s) next race will be Watkins Glen and Bobby will get back in after Kentucky. Labonte is scheduled to drive at Daytona where he finished a season-high 15th in February followed by New Hampshire and Indianapolis. As of Sunday’s green flag at Sonoma, Labonte has a consecutive race starting streak of 704, second only to Jeff Gordon’s 705 straight races. Although Labonte piloted the #51 Chevy last weekend at Michigan to a 43rd-place finish, Austin Dillon is currently scheduled to drive that car.(Fox Sports) (6-24-2013)
Gordon would like to see change to car for road courses: After racing the new Gen-6 car for the first time on a road course, runner-up #24-Jeff Gordon has a note for NASCAR’s suggestion box. “There’s one thing I’m going to talk to NASCAR about with this car,” Gordon said after posting a much-needed top five that vaulted him three positions to 13th in the Cup standings. “We don’t have the body in the right position for the road courses to turn right. When we go to Watkins Glen, as fast as those right-handers are, we’re going to have some issues. There’s nothing to lean on. You have plenty of grip on the lefts, because the body still has a little bit of rake on the rights. It has nice sideforce for the right side of the car for those left turns, but on the right turns, the cars are just so out of control.” That’s an issue Gordon hopes NASCAR will address.(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-24-2013)
KHI branches out to professional athlete management: A perennial powerhouse in NASCAR in its 10 years of competition, Kevin Harvick, Inc. (KHI) has reached outside auto racing and into the world of professional athlete management, inking a deal to represent UFC fighter Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. KHI, co-owned by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick and his wife, DeLana, is renowned in the motor sports world not only for its on-track success, but also for its efficacious and innovative sponsorship relationships. In its NASCAR operations, the company has demonstrated expertise in marketing through sponsor activation, sales and promotion, event management, advertising and public relations. More recently, KHI transferred its primary concentration to athletes and sponsors in and out of the auto racing industry, including Harvick, Cerrone, Jeff Burton (NASCAR) and Jason Gore (PGA). “One of KHI’s strongest qualities always has been our ability to sell and maintain sponsorship in NASCAR despite the economic challenges,” Kevin Harvick said. “With that solid foundation and the template we’ve created over the last 10 years, I think we are ready to take the next step to represent other athletes in other arenas. Donald is our first client in the UFC, and I’m excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead.”(KHI)(6-24-2013)
Entry List:There are 41 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway. A few notes:
Brad Sweet returns to the #5;
Scott Riggs is entered in the Rick Ware #15;
Ken Butler will drive the #24 for SR2;
Matt Crafton will drive the RCR #33;
Cole Whitt remains in the TriStar #44;
Joey Gase is back in the Jimmy Means #52;
Kyle Busch returns to the JGR #54;
Derrike Cope will make another attempt in the #73;
The Mike Harmon Racing #74 is TBA;
Bryan Silas will drive the #79 for Go Green.(6-24-2013)
See the complete list on the Kentucky entry list page.
Entry list: There are 35 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Thursday night’s UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Some notes include:
Brett Moffitt replaces Todd Bodine in the #13;
Cup drivers – Brad Keselowski is in his #19 and Kyle Busch in his #51;
Cale Gale returns to trucks for the first time this year in the #30 for TSM; (6-24-2013)
See the complete list on the Kentucky Speedway entry list page
Martels involved in Pocono track walk: The summer heat may be a couple months away but Lebanon based Bill Martel Racing is accelerating a plan to burn up the Pocono Raceway in a different way. BMR is hosting Go Pink at Pocono 2, a benefit track walk for the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) to be held on Saturday, August 3 following the Camping World Truck Series Pocono Mountains 125 which is scheduled to start at 1:00 P.M. The walk will be led by Kyle Martel, driver of the BMR #59 TURN4FOODS.COM Chevy Silverado. Registration for Go Pink at Pocono 2 will take place at the Bill Martel Racing Tent located under the main grandstand at the start/finish line beginning August 2nd from noon to 7:00 P.M. Registration continues on August 3rd at 8:30 A.M. and concludes immediately following the NCWTS race. The cost for the benefit walk is $10.00 or $20.00 which includes a commemorative tee shirt. Walkers must also sign a waiver and wear a pink bracelet – to be provided. Fans wishing to donate directly to the PBCC may do so at pabreastcancer.org/donate.(Bill Martel Racing PR)(6-24-2013)
AKL associates with Coulter: Joey Coulter welcomes new associate sponsor, Arthur Krenzel Lett Insurance Group, a risk management solutions firm specializing in auto, home, life, and commercial insurance products, aboard the #18 Toyota Tundra for the 16th running of the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. AKL Insurance Group is highly skilled in developing custom solutions that protect your family through every walk of life.(Kyle Busch Motorsports PR)(6-24-2013)
F.O.E. on board with Buescher: Turner Scott Motorsports welcomes back Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.) to the NCWTS. For the first time this season, F.O.E. will be featured on the #31 truck of James Buescher at Kentucky Speedway. The F.O.E. was founded in 1898 by six theatre owners gathered in a Seattle shipyard to discuss a musician’s strike. After addressing the matter, they agreed to “bury the hatchet” and form “The Order of Good Things.” As numbers grew, members changed the name to “The Fraternal Order of Eagles.” Presently, F.O.E. membership is almost one million strong, with more than 1,700 local aeries in the U.S. and Canada.(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(6-24-013)
Gale in the 30 at Kentucky: Former Camping World Truck Series winner Cale Gale will return to the driver’s seat at Kentucky Speedway on June 27th driving the #30 Rheem Chevy Silverado for Turner Scott Motorsports. Gale captured his first NCWTS win last November at the season finale in at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Gale has 32 previous NCWTS starts with a total of one win, three top fives and 10 top 10s. Gale will attempt to make his fourth career start at Kentucky Speedway.(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(6-24 2013)
Enogen presenting sponsor of Iowa truck race: Officials at Iowa Speedway announced today that Syngenta and its Enogen brand seed corn will be the presenting sponsor for the Camping World Truck Series race at the Newton track on Saturday, July 13. Now titled ‘American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen’, the 200-lap, 175-mile event over Iowa Speedway’s fast 7/8-mile tri-oval will feature 36 NASCAR ‘truckers’ vying for championship points and prize money. Enogen corn features the first corn output trait bio-engineered specifically for ethanol production. This breakthrough technology helps drive dramatic process improvements in dry grind ethanol production and is delivered through a high-value grain system that has the potential to greatly benefit growers, local communities and the renewable fuels industry.(Iowa Speedway PR)(6-24-2013)
Atlanta gets official ice cream: Atlanta-based Jake’s Ice Cream has been named the official ice cream of Atlanta Motor Speedway. The agreement is for three years. Jake’s Ice Cream will be sold at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR night race weekend Aug. 30 Sept. 1. It will also be sold during the Thursday Thunder summer racing series and the Speedway’s drag racing series, Friday Night Drags & Show-N-Shine. Founded in 1999, Jake’s Ice Cream’s headquarters is located inside the Irwin Street Market in the Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s products are sold in The Downtown W Hotel, numerous restaurants and in their own shop. With over 200 flavors currently in rotation, Jake’s is known for their unusual flavor names and over the top flavors like Chocolate Slap Yo Mama, Brown Shugah Vanilla and Key Lime Piescream.(AMS)(6-24-2013)
News from June 23, 2013
Truex, Jr. wins Sonoma:#56-Martin Truex, Jr. won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway for his 1st win of 2013, 1st road course win and 2nd career win. His win breaks a 218 race winless streak. His first win was at Dover in June of 2007. Truex, Jr. led the most laps on the day – 51 of 110.
#24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #99-Edwards, #78-Busch, #15-Bowyer, #5-Kahne, #9-Ambrose, #16-Biffle, #48-Johnson, and #29-Harvick.
#42-Montoya was running 2nd when he ran out of gas on the final lap. He finished 34th.
Pole sitter #1-McMurray finished 25th after having trouble with a broken shock late in the race.
There were 10 lead changes among 8 drivers and 7 cautions for 19 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 76.658mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Sonoma Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Sonoma Penalty Report (pdf).(6-23-2013)
Race Fast Facts – Sonoma:
Martin Truex Jr. won the 25th Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350, his second victory in 277 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He breaks a 218-race winless streak – second longest in series history (Bill Elliott, 226, 2001, Homestead-Miami Speedway) – dating to June 4, 2007 at Dover.
This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2013.
This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in eight races at Sonoma Raceway. He is the track’s ninth consecutive different winner and seventh different first-time road course winner at Sonoma.
Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 17th top-10 finish in 21 races at Sonoma Raceway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2013.
Carl Edwards (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in nine races at Sonoma Raceway.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (27th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 25 points over Carl Edwards.
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(6-23-2013)
2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
[after Sonoma, race 16 of 36]
1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 573
2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 548, -25
3) #15-Clint Bowyer, 528, -45
4) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 510, -63
5) #20-Matt Kenseth [3 wins], 481, -92
6) #16-Greg Biffle, 479, -94
7) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 479, -94
8) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 461, -112
9) #2-Brad Keselowski, 454, -119
10) #56-Martin Truex Jr. [1 win], 453, -120 Wild Cards:
WC) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 12th in points
WC) #14-Tony Stewart [1 win], 15th in points 2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
#24-Jeff Gordon, 13th in points
#11-Denny Hamlin, 25th [missed 4 races with injury], -83 from 20th
(ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
See drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
Only 2nd win for car #56: The win by Martin Truex Jr at Sonoma in the #56 Toyota is only the 2nd time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history that the car #56 has won a NSCS race. The other time was when Jim Hurtubise won at Atlanta on March 27th, 1966 in the #56 Plymouth. See all the wins by car number on my Win by Car Number page.(6-23-2013)
Most Sprint Cup Series starts between victories in NASCAR history: Seasons, Driver, race between wins:
1994-2001: Bill Elliott 226
2007-2013: Martin Truex Jr. 218
2001-2006: Jeff Burton 175
1996-2001: Sterling Marlin 170
2002-2007: Jamie McMurray 165
1999-2003: Terry Labonte 156
2008-2012: Dale Earnhardt Jr. 143
Race Coverage of the Toyota Save-Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, June 23, 2013. Television (TV): TNT at 3:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:00 pm/et; green flag approx 3:19pm/et Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90 Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Wednesday, June 26 at 12:00pm/et
Allmendinger returning to #47 at Kentucky: AJ Allmendinger will drive for JTG Daugherty next week at Kentucky Speedway, car owner Tad Geschickter told Motor Racing Network on Saturday. It will be the second of five races Allmendinger is scheduled to drive the #47 car in place of Bobby Labonte, as JTG Daugherty seeks to uncover what has caused its struggles this season. Labonte is driving the car at Sonoma and starts 20th in Sunday’s race. Allmendinger drove for the team last week at Michigan, finishing 19th – the team’s best result since Richmond in late April. Allmendinger also is scheduled to drive for the team at Watkins Glen. The other two races he’s scheduled to run with JTG have not been determined. Geschickter said that Labonte will drive for the team in all three NASCAR Sprint Cup races in July: Daytona, New Hampshire and Indianapolis.(MRN)(6-23-2013)
Earnhardt’s engine problems not related: While Toyota has taken a public relations hit over the last month from multiple engine problems, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 39th at Charlotte and 37th last weekend at Michigan after engine failures knocked NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver out of contention in both races. Team owner Rick Hendrick said both failures were “random” issues and “unrelated.” The engine at Michigan was valve train-related while the issue with the Charlotte engine was a piston problem. “It started with a valve spring just one of those valve spring problems,” Hendrick said of Junior’s engine which expired after he led 34 laps at Michigan. “It’s the only one we had, but it’s kind of the Achilles’ heel in most of your engine problems. You break a valve spring and then you drop the valve. There’s nothing you do about it. You try to get the best parts and pieces, the best batch numbers but that track is so hard on equipment because you’re on the throttle so much and have little time for the engine to breathe.(Fox Sports)(6-23-2013)
Teams to test at New Hampshire: NASCAR’S top drivers will be visiting the Granite State for a test session on Tuesday, June 25 and Wednesday, June 26. Hometown favorites Roush-Fenway Racing along with Penske and Stewart-Haas Racing drivers will all be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in preparation for next month’s New Hampshire 300 weekend on July 11-14. Grandstands will be open free of charge from 9:00am-5:00pm. Several NASCAR drivers visited the Magic Mile last month for a two-day Goodyear Tire Test. This time drivers including defending Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski will be turning hot laps on the track, along with former champion #14-Tony Stewart, and his teammates, #10-Danica Patrick and #39-Ryan Newman. Roush-Fenway Racing’s Sprint Cup drivers #99-Carl Edwards, #16-Greg Biffle and #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will join Nationwide Series driver Trevor Bayne and Travis Pastrana. Fans are encouraged to watch from the grandstands free of charge. Fans will have the opportunity to get a look at some of their favorite drivers in a very up-close-and-personal environment.(NHMS)(6-23-2013)
Ticket buyers can get access to autograph session at Atlanta: As part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 1, Atlanta Motor Speedway is providing select fans with the opportunity to gain access to an autograph session with five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers at the track during race weekend. Fans who purchase tickets to the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway before Monday, July 8 will be entered to be selected to attend the autograph session with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Martin Truex, Jr. The autograph session will be held at the speedway on the afternoon of Saturday, Aug. 31. By random draw, 50 accounts that have purchased tickets prior to July 8 will be selected and notified after July 9. Those selected will be allowed to bring one guest to the autograph session. Those who have already purchased AdvoCare 500 tickets are automatically eligible for selection.(AMS)(6-23-2013)
News from June 22, 2013
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Toyota Save-Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway have been made.
Pole sitter #1-McMurray chose pit stall 11, the first stall past the start finish line.
Outside pole sitter #9-Ambrose took pit stall 1.
#99-Edwards, who starts 3rd took the 22nd pit stall,with an opening in front of it.
The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #47-Labonte, who starts 20th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-22-2013)
McMurray wins Sonoma pole: #1-Jamie McMurray won the pole for the Toyota / Save Mart 350k Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway with speed of 94.986mph for his 1st pole of 2013 and 9th of his career. #9-Ambrose is on the outside pole, followed by #99-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #15-Bowyer, #20-Kenseth, #78-Busch, #22-Logano, #18-Busch, and #24-Gordon. There are 43 cars at the track so no one missed the race. #36-Gonzalez, Jr. wrecked on his first qualifying lap. He will go to a backup car.
See the starting lineup, pole progression, qualifying results, qualifying order, qualifying rules on the Sonoma Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(6-22-2013)
Qualifying Fast Facts – Sonoma:
Jamie McMurray won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 25th Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 with a lap of 75.422 seconds, 94.986 mph.
This is his ninth pole in 382 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. His last pole, 81 races ago, came at Martinsville Speedway in March 2011.
This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2013.
This is his second pole in 11 races at Sonoma Raceway. His previous pole came in 2007.
Marcos Ambrose (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2013 and his sixth in six races at Sonoma Raceway.
Carl Edwards (third) posted his first top-10 start at Sonoma Raceway. It is his seventh in 16 races this season.
Danica Patrick (31st) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
Coverage of Qualifying for the Toyota Save-Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is scheduled for Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 2:05pm/et. Television (TV): SPEED Radio: PRN, 2:00pm/et Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none
Police rule mechanical problem as cause of Leffler’s accident: New Jersey state police said Friday that a mechanical problem was to blame for the dirt-track racing crash that killed NASCAR driver Jason Leffler. The state police released some findings from a not-yet-complete report on the June 12 crash at Bridgeport Speedway in Logan Township. The report finds that a torsion stop came off, causing part of the sprint car’s suspension system to become lodged between a wheel and the steering system. As a result, the report found, Leffler was unable to control the car’s steering as he came out of the fourth turn and spun out, slamming into the concrete wall along the side of the track. The report does not say how fast Leffler was going, but says cars in the race were averaging 135 mph and hitting 150 mph on straightaways. Blunt-force neck injuries were cited as his cause of death.(Associated Press)(6-22-2013)
Kennedy could return to #19 team: Is there a possibility of seeing Alex Kennedy run more Cup races this season?
“Possibly. You never know what can happen from this. I know Watkins Glen is still open for debate. I know you will see us in a couple more races, I’m sure. Whether they’re Cup or Nationwide, we don’t know yet. We’ll have to play it by ear. We will look at the rest of the year after this event and this weekend.” Will Sunday’s effort be a fully funded race, or will we see the #19 car pull off the track early?
“No, this Sunday’s race will be a full-on, 100% effort. I wouldn’t do my debut if it was going to be a start and park. We have a fully funded effort, a fully funded race car, and we are going to race it as hard as we have to.”(Racing Experts)(6-22-2013)
Allmendinger wins at Road America: #22-A.J. Allmendinger won the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America. #31-Justin Allgaier finished second followed by #77-Parker Kligerman, #54-Owen Kelly, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #20-Brain Vickers, #32-Kyle Larson, #44-Cole Whitt, #11-Elliott Sadler, and #3-Austin Dillon. It is Allmendinger’s first NASCAR win. The race took two green-white-checker attempts to finish. Points leader #7-Regan Smith wrecked on the last lap and was unable to restart. He finsihed 32nd and his point lead fell from 58 to 28. #31-Justin Allgaier is now second. There were 8 cautions for 16 laps and 11 lead changes among 7 leaders. Complete results are on the Road America race results page (pdf).(6-22-2013)
Road America Race Fast Facts:
AJ Allmendinger(i) won the 4th Annual Johnsonville Sausage 200 Presented by Menards, his first victory in nine NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2013.
This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in one races at Road America.
Justin Allgaier (second) posted his second top-10 finish in four races at Road America. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2013.
Parker Kligerman (third) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Road America.
Kyle Larson (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.
Regan Smith leads the point standings by 28 points over Justin Allgaier.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-22-2013)
Driver standings following Road America:
1) #7-Regan Smith 507
2) #31-Justin Allgaier 479, -28
3) #12-Sam Hornish Jr. 477, -30
4) #3-Austin Dillon 462, -45
5) #11-Elliott Sadler 459, -48
6) #77-Parker Kligerman 447, -60
7) #32-Kyle Larson # 440, -67
8) #2-Brian Scott 439, -68
9) #20-Brian Vickers 433, -74
10) #6-Trevor Bayne 421, -86
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(6-22-2013)
Allmendinger on pole at Road America: #22-A.J. Allmendinger won the Coors Light Pole for the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America with a speed of 109.233mph. It is his first career pole in 9 Nationwide races. #54-Owen Kelly will start second. The rest of the top 10: #77-Parker Kligerman, #31-Justin Allgaier, #18-Michael McDowell, #30-Nelson Piquet, Jr., #16-Billy Johnson, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #20-Brian Vickers, and #33-Max Papis. There are 40 cars at the track so no one missed the race. The starting lineup is posted on the Road America starting lineup page (pdf).(6-22-2013)
Road America Qualifying Notes:
AJ Allmendinger(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 4th Annual Johnsonville Sausage 200 Presented by Menards with a lap of 133.410 seconds, 109.233 mph.
This is his first pole in nine NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first pole and first top-10 start in 2013.
This is his first pole in one races at Road America.
Owen Kelly (second) posted his first top-10 start of 2013 and his second in two races at Road America.
Parker Kligerman (third) posted his first top-10 start at Road America. It is his sixth in 14 races this season.
Nelson Piquet Jr. (sixth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-22-2013)
Rahal will not run at Mid-Ohio: Izod IndyCar Series team owner Bobby Rahal says that although Graham Rahal will not contest the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 17, he hopes his son and IndyCar driver will figure out a way to do so in the future. “That’s his desire,” Bobby Rahal said ahead of this Sunday’s IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway. “I think it would be great for him to try. I drove [in the old International Race of Champions] and I drove a NASCAR race, and it’s all interesting. Anything you can drive in, you get better. Now, I think he’s more concerned with making it happen next year. It would be really great for him to try and I think he would do very well at it.” Graham Rahal, 24, a one-time IndyCar winner who was raised outside of Columbus, Ohio, confirmed to Autoweek that a run in NASCAR first stock-car event at the 2.3-mile Lexington, Ohio, facility “won’t happen” this year.(Autoweek)(6-22-2013)
Papis driving for NTS in Canada: NTS Motorsports announced the addition of road course specialist and veteran Max Papis to their driver line up when the Camping World Truck Series heads north to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on September 1, 2013. Papis will carry the colors of Sport Clips Haircuts on his #14 Chevy for the Chevrolet Silverado 250, as the series makes its first road-course appearance.(Motorsport.com)(6-22-2013)
Landers joins ESR: Dirt late model standout driver Jared Landers of Batesville, Arkansas, has signed with ESR for NASCAR’s spectacular inaugural dirt show at Eldora Speedway. Landers’, a full time driver for Clint Bowyer Racing, is also the current track record holder in at dirt late model at Eldora Speedway, and most recently competed in the Dream 100 there on June 8. Sponsorship support comes from Mark Martin Automotive of Batesville, Arkansas, Peak Motor Oil and Crawford Supply/Traeger Grills. ESR is putting together several trucks for the dirt and road course events on this year’s Camping World Truck Series schedule.(Eddie Sharp Racing PR)(6-22-2013)
Daytona reinforcing crossover gates: With racing action returning to Daytona International Speedway in just under two weeks, a project to reinforce crossover gates in the track safety fencing that failed to stop crash debris from injuring fans in a February race started this week. The work will be completed prior to the Coke Zero 400 weekend July 5-6, Speedway spokesman Andrew Booth said Friday. The reinforcements were prompted by a last lap crash in the DRIVE4COPD Nationwide Series race on Feb. 23 that destroyed a car driven by rookie Kyle Larson. Pieces of Larson’s car slammed into the fence, sending a wheel and other parts flying into the stands through one of the crossover gates, injuring more than 30 spectators. Additional steel cables were recommended to create a “redundant system to enhance continuity to the gate area,” Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said in April. The track also planned to add tethering between the gate frame and posts of the crossover areas. Chitwood said the key was “how that whole system was in place and creating some redundancy with it to make sure that it’s as strong as possible.” Chitwood said track officials did not discuss removing the crossover gates, adding they served a purpose for fans and industry personnel.(Dayonta Beach News-Journal)(6-22-2013)
News from June 21, 2013
Final practice for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is over after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five fastest, slowest and notes:
Slowest: #52-Harraka 90.832 & #87-Drissi 88.713. No speed: #37-Yeley.
Notes: #39-Newman did a lazy spin early but didn’t hit anything. #48-Johnson also spun. #11-Hamlin slid off track and into the wall, suffering some rear end damage.The team will repair the car.
Qualifying will be Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm/et.
See speeds, laps run on the Sonoma Practice 2 Speeds (pdf) page.(6-21-2013)
Qualifying Order for the Toyota Save-Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is posted. 43 cars/drivers are listed.
Drivers will go out in 8 separate groups, based on speeds from the first practice session. Slower cars go out first, faster cars last.
The first group is: #30-Stremme, #36-Gonzalez, Jr., #7-Marks, #52-Harraka, #37-Yeley, and #87-Drissi.
The final scheduled group is: #9-Ambrose, #42-Montoya, #13-Mears, #78-Busch, and #1-McMurray
See the full qualifying order on the Sonoma Qualifying Page.(6-21-2013)
First Friday practice for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is over after 105 scheduled minutes, the top five fastest, slowest and notes:
Slowest: #37-Yeley 88.588 & #87-Drissi 88.129.
Notes: Several drivers spun or got off track during the session: #43-Almirola, #27-Menard, #48-Johnson, #37-Yeley, #11-Hamlin, #5-Kahne, #93-Kvapil, #29-Harvick.
This practice will be shown on SPEED, tape-delayed at 4:00pm/et. Happy Hour (final) practice is scheduled for 6:30-8:00pm/et tonight and will be shown on SPEED. Qualifying will be Saturday afternoon at 2:00pm/et. Speeds from this session will be used to group drivers for qualifying.
See speeds, laps run on the Sonoma Practice 1 Speeds (pdf) page. (6-21-2013)
Group qualifying debuts at Sonoma: Single-car qualifying on road courses will be shelved this week and later this summer at The Glen. Instead, cars will be assigned to one of five or six groups based on practice speeds, slowest to fastest. Within those groups, cars will be separated fastest to slowest and released at intervals. Each group will have a window in which cars can complete their qualifying each likely receiving three laps at full speed. A car’s fastest lap will count and the field will be set based upon overall qualifying speeds. The process has been used previously for NASCAR Nationwide Series road course qualifications.(NASCAR)(6-21-2013)
Little success for Road Course “Ringers”: Road racing specialists often dubbed “ringers” fit the category of many being called; few if any answering. Mark Donohue was the last such competitor to score a NASCAR premier series road race victory on Jan. 21, 1973 at Riverside International Raceway. Canadian Ron Fellows heads the list of such drivers vying for a spot in Sunday’s race. Fellows, who’ll drive Joe Falk’s #33 Chevy, has made 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts with a pair of second-place finishes at Watkins Glen his best performances. With six NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck victories, Fellows could become the 24th to sweep all three national series and first to do it with road race wins.(NASCAR)(6-21-2013)
Headrest may have helped Leffler: Jason Leffler would have had a better chance of surviving his fatal crash in a winged sprint car in New Jersey if he’d had a full containment headrest similar to what is used in NASCAR, multiple safety experts told ESPN.com. Racing safety pioneer Bill Simpson and Randy LaJoie, a two-time Nationwide Series champion who now designs and builds race car seats, have studied the wreck. They agree that a 180-degree surround headrest might have saved Leffler’s life at the 0.625-mile dirt track. Medical examiner Dr. Fredric Hellman, who performed the autopsy, said the death resulted from a blunt-force neck injury caused by a head-whip-type motion. New Jersey State Police have not released results of their investigation, although Simpson and others who have looked into the wreck have been told by those at the track that a failed part on the front end likely caused the car to angle into the wall at a high speed. LaJoie, who once served on the New Jersey safety board, has been in contact with investigators regarding the accident. Simpson has talked to mechanics and other eyewitnesses who were at the track. Both were told that Leffler, who was wearing a head and neck restraint designed to protect on frontal impacts, did not have a headrest sufficient enough to keep his head in line with the rest of his body on a lateral impact. “He wasn’t contained,” [LaJoie] said. “That’s why we haven’t killed anyone in NASCAR, because we learned not to let the body and head move. Your head, chest and pelvis need to stay in line as close as possible.”(ESPN)(6-21-2013)
Kelly fastest in happy hour: #54-Owen Kelly was quickest during happy hour for the Johnsonville Sausage 200 with a speed of 108.721mph. He was followed by: #16-Billy Johnson, #22-AJ Allmendinger, #18-Miichael McDowell, #12-Sam Hornish, Jr., #5-Johnny O’Connell, #30-Nelson Piquet, Jr., #32-Kyle Larson, #3-Austin Dillon, and #33-Max Papis. All 40 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Road America practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(6-21-2013)
Hornish fastest in first practice: #12-Sam Hornish, Jr. was fastest during opening practice at Road America with a speed of 99.210mph. #40-Reed Sorenson was second, followed by: #44-Cole Whitt, #18-Michael McDowell, #31-Justin Allgaier, #22-AJ Allmendinger, #01-Mike Wallace, #53-Andrew Ranger, #16-Billy Johnson, and #54-Kelly Owen. 27 drivers practiced during the session, which started late because of rain and lightning. See complete results on the Road America practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(6-21-2013)
Fireworks to Serve as Finale for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona: Following the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, July 6, there will be a big celebration in Gatorade Victory Lane for the winning team and driver of the mid-summer classic. There will also be a massive celebration in the sky thanks to Fireworks By Santore, which will once again deliver race fans the largest fireworks show in the Southeast. Fireworks By Santore will illuminate the sky of Daytona International Speedway with a 15-minute show shot from 15 different locations located along the backstretch. It will take seven days and a crew of 10 from Fireworks By Santore to set up the show, which is electronically fired using state-of-the-art digital firing equipment. The show will begin with red and white fireworks for 30 seconds and the finale will last for approximately one minute, 30 seconds and will have over 2,000 individual pieces. The show uses enough control wire to wrap a lap and a half around the legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval.(DIS)(6-21-2013)
News from June 20, 2013
Three drivers making Cup debut UPDATE: Three drivers will attempt to make their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start on Sunday at Sonoma: #19-Alex Kennedy, #36-Victory Gonzalez Jr. and #52-Paulie Harraka. The last time three or more drivers made their debut in the same race was at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 24, 2004 when Chad Chaffin, Mario Gosselin and Travis Kvapil all made their debut.(NASCAR)(6-20-2013) UPDATE: Justin Marks will be driving the #7 for Tommy Baldwin and is also making his Sprint Cup debut.(6-20-2013)
HendrickCars.com joins FAS Lane: Hendrickcars.com will be the primary sponsor on the #32 car owned by FAS Lane Racing and driven by Boris Said in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road course race at Sonoma Raceway. “Rick (Hendrick, chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group) has been a fantastic partner in our BMW dealership, and it’s an honor to represent Hendrickcars.com, a brand that focuses on personal and professional service” commented Said. “I’m looking forward to having a great weekend back on the track. I’ve always enjoyed Sonoma and have had some solid top-10 finishes there. I’m looking forward to adding to that number on Sunday.” A native of Carlsbad, Calif., Said is a member of Hendrick Automotive Group as a business partner in the company’s BMW of Murrieta dealership in California. As part of the sponsorship package, Hendrickcars.com also will be a major associate on FAS Lane Racing’s #32 entries in five Cup races this season with veteran driver and four-time Cup race winner Ken Schrader: Kentucky Speedway on June 29, New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14, Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 24, Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 7 and Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 17.(FAS Lane Racing)(6-20-2013)
Atlanta tire testing June 18 & 19 UPDATES: Gooodyear Tire testing is scheduled on Tuesday, June 18th and Wednesday, June 19th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sprint Cup drivers scheduled to attend one or both days: #9-Marcos Ambrose, #11-Denny Hamlin, #5-Kasey Kahne and #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(AMS), the test will be closed to the public.(6-14-2013) UPDATE: The first of two days of a Goodyear tire test is underway at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with #5-Kasey Kahne, #9-Marcos Ambrose, #11-Denny Hamlin and #17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. taking part in Tuesday’s portion of the test session. The tire test comes less than 80 days prior to the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR night race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where drivers expect tire wear to be more of a factor than other similar tracks. Goodyear will utilize data gained during the tire test to develop the tire supplied to race teams during Labor Day Weekend.(AMS)(6-19-2013) UPDATE 2: #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #9-Marcos Ambrose and #21-Trevor Bayne were the drivers taking part in the second and final day of a Goodyear Tire Test on Wednesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway as Goodyear works to develop the tire compound that will be provided to race teams during the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR night race weekend Aug. 30- Sept 1, 2013. The test session saw cars lay down laps at a high rate of speed on the 1.-54-mile quad-oval. The AdvoCare 500 will be the first race at Atlanta Motor Speedway with NASCAR’s new Gen-6 cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and this week’s tire test was the first time that the Gen-6 was on the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “I think based on what we’ve seen is that the new car is definitely faster. I don’t know if it is track-record fast, because that was set a long time ago,” said Rick Campbell, NASCAR Project Manager for Goodyear. “It’s certainly way faster than last year’s car and I expect the speeds to be significantly faster than last year.” Earnhardt Jr. posted the fastest lap of the day at a speed of 188.69 mph. Earnhardt Jr. and Bayne were substituting for respective teammates, Kasey Kahne and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who took part in the test on Tuesday and flew back to Charlotte to attend the funeral of Jason Leffler. Earnhardt Jr. and Bayne were driving test cars driven by Kahne and Stenhouse on Tuesday.(AMS)(6-20-2013)
Danica Patrick featured on “In the Game with Robin Roberts”: The second season of espnW’s In the Game with Robin Roberts presented by Lexus will debut Thursday, June 20, online at espnW.com and abcnews.com, as well as on ESPN’s SportsCenter. In the Game, produced by espnW in partnership with ABC News, is a series of intimate interviews with top athletes in sports today. In the season premiere, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts formerly a longtime ESPN anchor sits down for a one-on-one with NASCAR driver Danica Patrick. The interviews will focus on “pursuit of perfection” in each athlete’s career, sport, and life. In addition to Patrick, confirmed guests include US Women’s National team forward Alex Morgan and Gold Medal gymnast Gabby Douglas.(ESPN)(6-20-2013)
Cessna returns to the #1 at Sonoma: Cessna Aircraft Company will be the primary sponsor once again this weekend on the #1 Chevy SS for Jamie McMurray. This marks just the second of seven races that the Cessna colors will adorn the race car.(Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(6-20-2013)
Sonoma Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will run the same Goodyear tire code on all four tire positions at Sonoma . . . this is the first time Sprint Cup teams have run this code (D-4590) at Sonoma . . . compared to what was run at this track last season, this tire features a slight compound change and a reduction in gage (tread thickness) . . . this code is also run as the right-side tire at Martinsville . . . Sprint Cup teams will run this tire on the circuit’s other road course — Watkins Glen in August . . . as on all NASCAR road courses, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Sonoma.(Goodyear PR), see full notes, tire codes, pressures, set limit on the Sonoma Race Info page.(6-20-2013)
CBC Framing sponsoring Whitt at Road America: Cole Whitt will debut a new sponsor for this weekend’s race at Road America. Whitt will parade the red, white and blue colors of CBC Framing, Inc. around four-miles and through 14-turns at America’s National Park of Speed. Whitt will make his second start at Road America for the Johnsonville Sausage 200; his debut last year resulted in a ninth place finish. CBC Framing, Inc. is a residential General Contractor based in Canoga Park, California. With 300 employees CBC Framing, Inc. is one of the leading Contractors in Southern California; specializing in Carpentry and floor work.(TriStar Motorsports)(6-20-2013)
Kentucky basketball coach to drive pace car: University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Head Coach John Calipari will be the honorary Ford Fusion pace car driver for Kentucky Speedway’s Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts and will help lead a 43-car field to the green flag just after 7:30 p.m. Calipari guided the 2011-12 Wildcats to the program’s eighth NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship and 15th Final Four appearance. His team, led by Associated Press Player of the Year Anthony Davis and All-American Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, earned 38 victories and posted an unblemished 16-0 Southeastern Conference record. The coach earned his first national championship after making his second straight and fourth Final Four appearance.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-20-2013)
News from June 19, 2013
Leffler’s funeral held Wednesday afternoon: They came to honor Jason Leffler, but they left with instructions to do more. “We have something that all we have a part in, every single one of you,” Jeff Dickerson said at a service Wednesday afternoon celebrating his friend’s life. “We all have a responsibility in making sure that his son knows exactly who he was and how much he loved his son. From his grandparents to those who maybe met him in passing, we must make sure he is not forgotten. When we see Charlie and that same little playful grin that his dad had, we must let him know at every chance we get to tell him that he hung the moon with his dad. That Jason savored every minute he spent with his son. We must let him know about Jason as a driver, a man and a father. That’s what Jason would want from us. It’s up to all of us to make that happen.” Dickerson spoke to hundreds of mourners, including about a dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, at Grace Covenant Church. Among those who attended were Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne. President Mike Helton led a NASCAR contingent. Leffler raced in NASCAR’s top three series from 1999 to this season. Leffler’s passion for racing and his son were the themes of the nearly hour-long service that featured laughter, applause and tears.(Motor Racing Network)(6-19-2013)
Drissi in the #87 at Sonoma: Tomy Drissi once again will head to Northern California for The Toyota / Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 23, 2013. The Trans Am Champion was hired by NEMCO-JRR for the NASCAR road course event. Tomy has driven in both NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series events. Tomy and the #87 team will be sponsored by The Wolverine [movie] opening in theaters, July 26, 2013. The Wolverine is an upcoming American/Australian superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Wolverine and is intended to be the sixth installment in the X-Men film series.(NEMCO-JRR)(6-19-2013)
Edwards, Biffle work to clear up confusion over Michigan issues: #99-Carl Edwards understood when #16-Greg Biffle wouldn’t give up a big lead to help clean paper off his grille with about 40 laps remaining in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Edwards’ issue with his Roush Fenway Racing teammate came around lap 70 when he wanted Biffle to drop about six car lengths to help with the same issue that was causing an overheating problem with them racing for sixth or seventh. “I want us to be the best teammates we can be,” Edwards told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “I never want somebody to give up a shot at winning a race. … My hope is he never heard the communication on lap 70.” Biffle told ESPN.com he didn’t recall getting a message from his spotter or crew chief on lap 70 and totally understood Edwards’ frustration if there was a miscommunication that led to that. “I can see where he’d be upset under those circumstances,” said Biffle, who went on to win the race. “All I can say is I’ll help Carl absolutely anytime I can. We go out of our way to help each other. It’s a team sport. None us do it all on our own.” Edwards admitted he was frustrated the first time his spotter asked the #16 team for help. He said over his team radio that “he ain’t my teammate” when told Biffle wouldn’t come back. After the race, when a reporter asked if Biffle should have helped and he responded with “it’s his job to help,” Edwards thought it was in reference to the first request. Edwards had no major issue with the second request as Biffle led by 20 to 25 car lengths. “That one I understood,” Edwards said. “It was toward the end of the race and it was for the lead. And frankly, our car was pretty fast. That was probably wishful thinking [he would drop back].” The two discussed the situation briefly during Monday’s team debriefing call, and even then Biffle was unclear they were talking about two different situations. They plan to meet on Friday at Sonoma to clear up any miscommunication there might have been so that it makes all RFR teams stronger moving forward.(ESPN.com)(6-19-2013)
Vickers pulling road course double duty: As the only driver pulling double duty across half the country this weekend, #55-Brian Vickers is well aware of the special challenges ahead. Still, he’s more aware of some challenges than others. There’s the logistics of getting from one place to the other. There’s the transition from his full-time role in the NASCAR Nationwide Series to his part-time detail on the Sprint Cup circuit. The biggest hurdle, however, might be the actual task at hand, adapting from NASCAR’s longest road course — a circuit he’s never competed on — to its shortest. Vickers goes into the great unknown in Saturday’s Johnsonville Sausage 200 for the Nationwide Series at 4.048-mile Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., before he returns to a more familiar track — 1.99-mile Sonoma Raceway, site of Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 for the Sprint Cup tour. The unique Wisconsin-to-California doubleheader will mark the first time he’s competed in NASCAR national series events in different states in the same weekend. Part of Vickers’ divide-and-conquer strategy includes making just one commute. He’ll start the weekend with his #20 Joe Gibbs Racing team, focusing on regaining ground in the Nationwide title hunt. In the meantime, Jason Bowles will sub for him in the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in Sprint Cup practice and qualifying, meaning Vickers will have to start Sunday’s race from the back of the field.(NASCAR.com)(6-19-2013)
Michigan TV Ratings: Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Michigan drew a 2.8 U.S. rating and 4.5 million viewers on TNT, down 13% in ratings and 14% in viewership from last year (3.2, 5.3M), and down 3% and 7%, respectively, from 2011 (2.9, 4.9M). The 2.8 rating is the lowest for the season’s first Michigan race since at least 1996, falling below the previous mark of 2.9 in 2011 and 2010. So far this season, both NASCAR Sprint Cup races on TNT have earned a 2.8 rating tied as the lowest of the season for a regular points race. Despite the lower numbers, Sunday’s race was the top sporting event of the week on cable, finishing ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC Sports Network (2.0, 4.0M). Overall, the race ranked as the third-most viewed cable program of the week.(Sports Media Watch / Bloomberg / TV By the Numbers)(6-19-2013)
Alex Kennedy making Sprint Cup debut: Alex Kennedy is attempting to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Sonoma Raceway this weekend driving for Humphrey Smith Racing, LLC (HSR). Kennedy, who is familiar with the 2.52-mile road course, will pilot the #19 MediaMaster/Dream Factory Toyota Camry. As an aspiring race car driver, Kennedy, then 12, competed in multiple Legends Car events at the hilly, 12-turn course. Known for its motto, “Think Outside the Oval”, Sonoma Raceway is one of only two road courses on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. Kennedy brings NASCAR racing experience with him, having competed in 14 events in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, nine of which were on the road courses of Watkins Glen, Road America and Montreal. He earned his best finish of 15th last year at Montreal. Kennedy will pilot HSR’s chassis No. 318, which was last raced by Jason Leffler at Pocono Raceway on June 9th. As a tribute to Leffler, who was tragically killed in a sprint car accident last week, Kennedy’s Toyota will carry the familiar “LEFturn” decal above the right side door.(Humphrey Smith Racing)(6-19-2013)
Atlanta tire testing June 18 & 19 UPDATE: Gooodyear Tire testing is scheduled on Tuesday, June 18th and Wednesday, June 19th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sprint Cup drivers scheduled to attend one or both days: #9-Marcos Ambrose, #11-Denny Hamlin, #5-Kasey Kahne and #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(AMS), the test will be closed to the public.(6-14-2013) UPDATE: The first of two days of a Goodyear tire test is underway at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with #5-Kasey Kahne, #9-Marcos Ambrose, #11-Denny Hamlin and #17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. taking part in Tuesday’s portion of the test session. The tire test comes less than 80 days prior to the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR night race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where drivers expect tire wear to be more of a factor than other similar tracks. Goodyear will utilize data gained during the tire test to develop the tire supplied to race teams during Labor Day Weekend.(AMS)(6-19-2013)
Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company sponsoring Burton: Jeff Burton will drive the #31 Utility Trailer Manufacturing Chevy this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. Utility Trailer Manufacturing is America’s oldest privately owned, family-operated trailer manufacturer. Founded in 1914, the company designs and manufactures dry freight vans, flatbeds, refrigerated vans, Tautliner curtainsided trailers and side skirts. Utility currently operates five trailer manufacturing facilities across the United States(Richard Childress Racing)(3-19-2013)
Gilliland gets associate sponsor for Sonoma: The #38 Long John Silver’s team will welcome Pick-N-Pull as an associate sponsor on its Ford Fusion for the race weekend. The California-based company is a chain of self-service auto parts stores providing recycled original equipment manufacturer parts.(Front Row Motorsports)(6-19-2013)
Coulter going dirt racing to ready for Eldora: In preparation for next month’s Inaugural Mudsummer Classic Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway, Joey Coulter will get down and dirty in the dirt at various dirt short tracks around Tennessee, Alabama and even Eldora Speedway, prior to the Truck Series feature at the half-mile clay oval. Coulter will pilot his own #2 Wolf-Pack Racing Dirt Super Late Model at the following tracks in July: Tazewell Speedway, Smokey Mountain Speedway, Volunteer Speedway, East Alabama Motor Speedway, and Eldora Speedway.(JoeyCoulter.com)(6-19-2013)
NASCAR Express Train sold out at Sonoma: With five days remaining until its departure, Sonoma Raceway and the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority announce that the inaugural NASCAR Express Train is sold out. For the first time ever, race fans had the option to ride the train to the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 23, and they responded in droves. The train can accommodate 500 passengers and the last ticket was sold by the raceway [Tuesday] afternoon. The NASCAR Express train will depart from Sacramento, with stops in Davis and Suisun City, and traverse some of Northern California’s most spectacular scenery before dropping passengers just steps from the raceway’s main entrance on race-day morning. The NASCAR Express offers fans a unique option to avoid highway traffic and parking hassles on race-day, and will feature two café cars with on board food and beverage service. Fans will be able to renew or purchase their NASCAR Express tickets for next year during the race weekend.(Sonoma PR)(6-19-2013)
News from June 18, 2013
Great Clips increases its sponsorship on the #5 in 2014: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick said that just recently Great Clips, which has/will sponsor #5-Kasey Kahne for three Cup races this season, has also extended its support. Sources say Great Clips will expand its involvement to 10 races in 2014.(FoxSports)(6-18-2013)
Michigan Race and Commercial Breakdown: 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 4:11 PM (all times are EST). I did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. TNT was the broadcast team for this event.
Total number of commercials: 113
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 71
Number of times TNT utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 0
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 34
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 30 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:11 PM
Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 191
Minutes of race broadcast: 136
Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 55
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
Total race brdcst time 136 Total comm. brdcst time 55
See past races, links, more info on the 2013 TV Commercials page.(6-18-2013)
Top 12 Driver Rating at Sonoma:
#78-Kurt Busch………………………….. 107.8
#14-Tony Stewart……………………….. 107.5
#9-Marcos Ambrose………………….. 106.8
#24-Jeff Gordon………………………… 101.1
#42-Juan Pablo Montoya………………. 97.8
#48-Jimmie Johnson…………………….. 96.6
#15-Clint Bowyer…………………………. 93.3
#18-Kyle Busch…………………………… 92.8
#39-Ryan Newman……………………….. 89.9
#99-Carl Edwards………………………… 84.9
Elliott Sadler…………………………. 84.9
#1-Jamie McMurray…………………….. 84.4
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (eight total) among active drivers at Sonoma Raceway.
Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.(NASCAR)
Caymus Vineyards to be associate sponsor for Mears: Germain Racing announced that Caymus Vineyards, part of the prestigious Wagner Family of Wine, will be on board the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion of driver Casey Mears as an associate sponsor for the upcoming Sonoma Raceway event. “We are very proud to have Caymus Vineyards and the Wagner Family of Wine partner with us on the #13 GEICO Ford Fusion at Sonoma this year. I had an opportunity to visit Caymus with friends in 2011 and Chuck Wagner actually took the time to give us a personal tour. The Wagners are certainly one of the most well respected families in the wine-making business and we’re looking forward to representing them on the track,” said Bob Germain Jr., team owner of Germain Racing.
“We are pleased to be an Associate Sponsor of Casey Mears from Germain Racing and supporter of NASCAR for this year’s Sonoma race. In addition to enjoying this great sport, Caymus has many friends connected with NASCAR and we are happy to be able to support them in some way,” said Chuck Wagner, Owner/Winemaker, Caymus Vineyards and Wagner Family of Wine.(GEICO Racing)(6-18-2013)
Front Row & Carson-Newman University partner up for Bristol: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Front Row Motorsports and Carson-Newman University (C-N) have forged a one-race partnership featuring the University on Front Row’s #35 Ford Fusion. The Carson-Newman car will be driven by Josh Wise during the IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 24. “We are very excited about this unique opportunity that specific University donors and Front Row Motorsports have afforded us,” said Carson-Newman President Randall O’Brien. O’Brien says he is impressed with both the integrity and humbleness in which Front Row owner and Dandridge, Tenn., resident Bob Jenkins operates his team. “To be able to partner with Mr. Jenkins and his organization in showcasing Christian higher education on a national stage – well, it just doesn’t get much better than that,” O’Brien said. “One of the most gratifying parts of running a Sprint Cup team is bringing new partners into the sport,” said Jenkins. “And when it’s an organization as respected as Carson-Newman, it’s even better. Throw in that it’s one of the biggest races of the year and that’s going to make it a pretty special weekend.” The Front Row car will also highlight several area C-N supporters including Knoxville’s Ted Russell Automotive Group and Premier Building Maintenance Corporation, as well as Oak Ridge’s Denton Financial Group. Planning is also under way for a Carson-Newman/Front Row VIP event that will take place on C-N’s Jefferson City campus during the week leading up to the race. Proceeds from the event will go to the local Boys & Girls Clubs of Dumplin Valley. Details will be announced at a later date.(FRM)(6-18-2013)
Sonoma Raceway Facts & Notes:
· The track opened as a 2.52-mile road course and drag strip in 1968.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 11, 1989 won by Ricky Rudd at a speed of 76.088 mph.
· The first nine races were 300 kilometers and switched to a 350k format in 1998.
· The track was reconfigured to 1.949 miles in 1998 with the installation of an 890-foot chute between the original Turns 4 and 7.
· The track was reconfigured to 2.0 miles in 2001 and re-measured at 1.99 miles in 2002.
· There have been 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma Raceway since the first race there in 1989 one race per season.
· 184 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway; 131 in more than one.
· Mark Martin and Terry Labonte lead the series in starts at Sonoma with 21 each; followed by Bobby Labonte and Jeff Gordon with 20 each.
· Rusty Wallace won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Sonoma in 1989 with a speed of 90.041 mph.
· 15 drivers have Coors Light poles at Sonoma, led by Jeff Gordon with five.
· Two drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Sonoma Ricky Rudd and Jeff Gordon. Ricky Rudd holds the record for most consecutive poles at Sonoma with three; fall 1990 through 1992.
· Jeff Gordon is the only active driver to have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Sonoma: 1998-’99 and 2004-’05.
· 16 different NSCS drivers have won at Sonoma Raceway, led by Jeff Gordon with five wins. Tony Stewart has the second most wins (two) among active drivers at Sonoma.
· Jeff Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in road course wins with nine (Sonoma, five; Watkins Glen, four); Tony Stewart has the second most road course wins all-time with seven (Watkins Glen, five; Sonoma, two).
· NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison holds the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record for the most wins (six) at a single road course track – Riverside International Raceway.
· Jeff Gordon is the only driver to post consecutive wins (three total) at Sonoma Raceway (1988 and 1989 each from the pole and 2000 from the fifth starting position).
· Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Sonoma in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with six: Jeff Gordon (five) and Jimmie Johnson (one).
· Six different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Sonoma; led by Chevrolet with 10 victories; followed by Ford with six.
· Five of the 24 (20.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Jeff Gordon in 2004. Gordon is the only NSCS driver to win from the pole at Sonoma more than once.
· The Coors Light pole position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more wins (five) than any other starting position at Sonoma Raceway.
· Eight of the 24 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma have been won from the front row: five from the pole and three from second place.
· 18 of the 24 (75.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma have been won from a top-10 starting position.
· Two of the 24 (8.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Michigan was 32nd, by Juan Pablo Montoya in 2007.
· Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Sonoma with four; followed by Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart with three each.
· Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Sonoma with 12; followed by Ricky Rudd with 10.
· Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-10 finishes at Sonoma with 16; followed by Mark Martin with 13.
· Marcos Ambrose leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Sonoma with a 5.000.
· Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Sonoma with an 8.550. Clint Bowyer (9.714) is the only other active driver with an average finish in the top 10.
· All but one of the nine active NASCAR Sprint Cup winners at Sonoma Raceway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Juan Pablo Montoya won at Sonoma in his rookie season and his first appearance at the 1.99-mile track, the fewest previous starts among the active NSCS winners.
· Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin competed at Sonoma Raceway eight times each before visiting Victory in Lane; the longest span of any the nine active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners. Johnson won in 2010 and Martin won in 1997.
· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Sonoma Raceway was the June 27, 1999 race won by Jeff Gordon over Mark Martin with a MOV of 0.197 second.
· There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup races resulting in a green-white-checkered finish at Sonoma Raceway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): 2008 (110/112); 2009 (110/113) and 2012 (110/112).
· None of the 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions.
· Qualifying has never been cancelled in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Sonoma Raceway.
· Boris Said posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Sonoma Raceway (6/22/2003).
· Juan Pablo Montoya posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at Sonoma Raceway (6/24/2007).
· Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Sonoma with 450 laps led in 20 starts.
· Danica Patrick will attempt to become the first female driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to compete at Sonoma Raceway.
· Patty Moise is the only female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on a road course, running two races at Watgkins Glen in 1988 & 1989.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications)(6-18-2013)
Allmendinger making first NNS start in 5 years: #22-AJ Allmendinger is returning to the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend after a five-year hiatus. His last start and his best finish (a 12th-place) came in Phoenix of 2008 while driving for Gillett-Evernham Motorsports. Between 2007 and 2008, Allmendinger made a total of eight NNS starts. Having two previous starts under his belt at Road America, Allmendinger made a trip to Victory Lane in 2006 in the CART Series. He also made a visit to the facility in the same series in 2004 where he finished 13th. His victory in 2006 marked his last win in an open-wheel series.(Penske Racing)(6-18-2013)
Charter on the #2 at Road America: Charter Media takes center stage this weekend as they display their colors on the #2 Chevy Camaro for the first time this season. Charter Media is currently aligned with RCR for the second year and serves as an associate sponsor on the #29 and 31 Sprint Cup Series cars, as well as the #2, 3 and 33 Nationwide Series cars throughout the 2013 season. Earlier this year, Charter took advantage of their relationship with RCR when they utilized Sprint Cup Series drivers Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton to record television commercials with Chevrolet dealers throughout the country, which helped to promote special discounts the various dealerships have taking place.(RCR)(6-18-2013)
Crew member suspended: Ryan Hess, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy. On June 14, Hess was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(6-18-2013)
White in the #24 at Road America: SR2 Motorsports welcomes Derek White back to the wheel of the #24 Toyota entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. White, a North American Indian from Kahnawake, Quebec, will handle the driving duties of the #24 VIP Poker Toyota this weekend in the running of the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America. The Road America event will be White’s fifth career start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He made four starts in the 2012 season with SR2 Motorsports with a best finish of 18th at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. He also has three career starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and 30 in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series where he was the Rookie of the Year in 2010.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(6-18-2013)
Kevin O’Connell in the #74 at Road America: Mike Harmon Racing announced that veteran road course racer Kevin O’Connell will be driving the #74 this week at Road America. Kevin has had many ventures with Rick Ware Racing driving in Rolex Grand-Am and NASCAR. Since Carl Long is not driving the #15 for Rick Ware and not being a driver coach for Juan Carlos Blum, he will be crew chief for the #74.(Mike Harmon Racing)(6-18-2013)
Hornaday, Little getting inducted: This week will be one to remember for Ron Hornaday Jr. and Series Director Chad Little. Both men with be inducted in to the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame during a ceremony Thursday night at The Meritage in Napa, Calif. Occasional NCWTS driver and owner Derrike Cope also is among the five 2013 inductees.(NASCAR PR)(6-18- 2013)
Buescher to run Nationwide road course in preparation for Canada UPDATE 2: Reigning Camping World Truck Series champion and past Nationwide Series winner James Buescher will attempt to make his first NNS start of 2013 in the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America on June 22nd. Buescher goes to Road America with limited experience on road courses, with just one road course start in the NNS at Watkins Glen in 2011. Buescher took part in an open test session last month at Virginia International Raceway. Buescher looks to gain road course experience for the upcoming NCWTS race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on September 1. Crew chief Michael Shelton and his NCWTS crew will come over and call the shots for Buescher in the NNS race at Road America. (Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(6-17-2013) UPDATE: Brendan Gaughan is also entered for Road America, driving a Chevy for Richard Childress Racing. Gaughan’s Truck Series crew will also be working on his entry this weekend.(6-18-2013 ) UPDATE 2: Although he doesn’t compete in his truck for another week, Brennan Newberry is taking advantage of his time off to get a little road course experience in advance of the race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sept. 1. He will participate in Saturday’s K&N Pro Series West Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway as well as attending Ron Fellows’ driving school.(NASCAR PR)(6-18-2013 )
Moffitt to replace Bodine? UPDATE: Todd Bodine tweeted on Tuesday that he would be replaced in the #13 Toyota next week at Kentucky Speedway by Brett Moffitt. Moffitt drives for Hattori Racing Enterprises in the K&N Pro Series East and was initially scheduled to make five starts for the team in trucks this season beginning in Charlotte, but that was pushed back to Kentucky. (6-18-2013) UPDATE: Hattori Racing Enterprises confirmed on the team’s Twitter that Moffitt will be in the #13 in Kentucky.(6-18-2013)
Great Clips / Grit Chips sponsoring Atlanta Nationwide race: Great Clips, the world’s largest salon brand, along with Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips, one of the world’s most innovative “corn chip” brands on the market, will jointly sponsor the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Aug. 31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The night race event will be named the Great Clips / Grit Chips 300. The Great Clips / Grit Chips 300 will feature 195 laps on Atlanta Motor Speedway’s 1.54-mile quad-oval. Only nine 2013 Nationwide Series events will remain following the Atlanta race, making the Great Clips / Grit Chips 300 a critical event for drivers racing for a Nationwide Series championship. Great Clips will for a third time offer two free tickets to the race with the purchase of a full-price haircut at participating salons in the Atlanta, greater Georgia and other surrounding areas while supplies last.(AMS)(6-18-2013)
ISC approves Daytona frontstretch redevelopment: International Speedway Corporation approved funding to redevelop the frontstretch of Daytona International Speedway, the Company’s 54-year-old flagship motorsports facility, to enhance the overall experience for its fans, marketing partners and the motorsports industry. This historic, multi-year project will break ground on July 5, 2013, and is targeted for completion in January 2016, in time for the 54th Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 58th DAYTONA 500. The redevelopment is expected to cost between $375 million to $400 million, excluding capitalized interest. The Company expects to fund the redevelopment from cash on hand, cash from its operations and may use borrowings on its credit facility for a limited period of time to even out cash flow.
The vision for the redevelopment of the Daytona International Speedway frontstretch places an emphasis on enhancing the complete fan experience, beginning with five expanded and redesigned fan entrances, or injectors, along International Speedway Boulevard. Each injector would lead directly to a series of escalators and elevators that would transport fans to any of three different concourse levels, each featuring spacious and strategically-placed social “neighborhoods” along the nearly mile-long frontstretch.
A total of 11 neighborhoods, each measuring the size of a football field, will enable fans to meet and socialize during events without ever missing any on-track action, thanks to an open-sightline design throughout each concourse and dozens of added video screens in every neighborhood. The central neighborhood, dubbed the “World Center of Racing,” would celebrate the history of Daytona International Speedway and its many unforgettable moments throughout more than 50 years of racing.
Every seat in the Speedway frontstretch will be replaced with wider and more comfortable seating, with more restrooms and concession stands throughout the facility. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will be comprised of approximately 101,000 permanent seats with the potential to increase permanent seating to 125,000.
There will be no capacity changes for the 2014 DAYTONA 500. The eventual decrease in capacity could occur in stages following the 2014 DAYTONA 500 and will include the complete removal of the backstretch grandstand by the start of the 2016 motorsports season. By moving all seating to the frontstretch, all attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy a full race day experience including pre-race ceremonies, pit road action and the facility’s new amenities.(DIS)(6-18-2013)
Sonoma Raceway to Honor John Cardinale: Sonoma Raceway will honor its long-time spokesman John Cardinale during the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend. Cardinale, who passed away in March after a two-year battle with stage IV gastric cancer, will be inducted into the raceway’s Wall of Fame and the raceway will rename its media center the “John Cardinale Media Center” during a ceremony in the Wine Country Winner’s Circle on Friday, June 21, at 10:15 am. Cardinale’s likeness will be engraved onto the raceway’s Wall of Fame, which is located on the back of the Main Grandstand in the main paddock, and a bas relief bronze plaque will be hung in the John Cardinale Media Center.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-18-2013)
MIS honored as NASCAR Foundation’s Track of the Year: For the second year in a row, the NASCAR Foundation has recognized Michigan International Speedway’s charitable and community efforts, naming the racetrack its “Track of the Year.” Of note, the NASCAR Foundation lauded the speedway’s “Track and Explore” program, a partnership with Adrian College that teaches area youth about nature and conservancy with a series of field trips to MIS. The speedway was also cited for awarding $75,000 in 2012 to local charities through MIS Cares, the speedway’s official platform. Through annual programs such as Fish Your Bass Off, NASCAR Unites, Extreme Bus Make Over, the track’s annual Charity Drive and Racing to Read and its Spirit of America blood drive, Michigan International Speedway has fostered a community-minded effort, as well as raised funds for charities, big and small, and charitable work. Michigan International Speedway annually hosts the Spirit of America, the nation’s largest 9-11 blood drive. But that’s not all. Besides its annual fund-raisers and community involvement efforts, MIS Cares also partnered with the Ryan Newman Foundation and Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation to help those NASCAR drivers with their efforts. Fish Your Bass Off is an annual fishing tournament held at Jerry’s Pub during the track’s August NASCAR weekend. Working with NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, his wife Krissie, ESPN’s Mark Zona and fishing legend Kevin VanDam, the track raised funds and hosted guests looking for a great time fishing on scenic Wamplers Lake. MIS also worked with Michigan native Brad Keselowski and his Checkered Flag Foundation in June to host injured soldiers and veterans for a day at the races with the driver’s Race to Recovery program.(MIS)(6-18-2013)
Four Medal of Honor Recipients to be honored at Daytona: For the fifth consecutive year, Daytona International Speedway will honor four Congressional Medal of Honor recipients during the 55th annual Coke Zero 400 Weekend on July 4-6. The Medal of Honor recipients, all from the Vietnam War, are:
· Walter J. (Joe) Marm, Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army
· Gary Littrell, Sergeant First Class, U.S. Army
· Robert Patterson, Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army
· Bruce Crandall, Major, U.S. Army
While it’s the fifth straight year that Daytona International Speedway has honored Medal of Honor recipients during the Coke Zero 400 Weekend, the program was actually first started back in the 1970s by the Bill France Sr. All four Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Friday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver’s meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Firecracker 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Friday night, July 5 and the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday night, July 6. During Saturday’s 55th annual Coke Zero 400, a special salute will take place for the four Medal of Honor recipients during pre-race ceremonies. In addition, the four Medal of Honor recipients will take part in an autograph session with race fans in the Sprint FANZONE on Saturday prior to the Coke Zero 400. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It’s bestowed on a member of the United States armed forces who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. Tickets to the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and the Subway Firecracker 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race are available by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(6-18-2013)
News from June 17, 2013
Entry List for the Toyota Save-Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #7-Justin Marks, #19-Alex Kennedy, #32-Boris Said, #33-Ron Fellows, #36-Victor Gonzalez Jr., #37-Yeley, #47-Labonte, #51-Jacques Villeneuve, #52-Paulie Harrake. The #98 Phil Parsons team is not entered. Since 43 cars/drivers are entered for 43 spots, no driver/team will miss the race.
See the full entry list at my Jayski’s Sonoma Entry List
Ragan to Drive #34 Hauler Cross-Country to Sonoma Before David Ragan climbs into his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car for Sunday’s race at Sonoma Raceway, he’s going to climb into the driver’s seat of the 18-wheeler that will carry that race car 2,700 miles from North Carolina to California. The driver of the #34 Taco Bell Ford will be at the wheel of the team’s 80-foot, 80,000-pound transporter early Tuesday morning when it pulls out of the Front Row Motorsports race shop for the cross-country trip. Team truck driver Mike Smith, the rig’s primary operator throughout the season, will accompany Ragan and split the seat time during the 42-hour journey. “I’ve always had a fascination with big trucks,” Ragan said. “I wanted to get my CDL (commercial driver’s license), so I got that a little while ago. And I thought it would be fun to take a trip across the country on the open roads and see everything, and at the same time get to spend some time with my truck driver.” Smith had his doubts when Ragan first told him he wanted to drive the hauler to one of the race venues, much less the farthest one on the Sprint Cup Series map. “At first, he didn’t really believe me,” Ragan said. “But I showed him my license and told him I’d been driving the transporter for my late model team a little. Now, I think he’s excited. It’s going to be something different and something fun. Although he’s probably going to sleep with one eye open just to make sure I’m not driving too crazy.” The 27-year-old Ragan, who has been racing within NASCAR’s top three series since he was 18, received his commercial learner’s permit last year and earned his full provisional CDL several months ago. “I was surprised when he said he wanted to do it, but it should be neat,” truck driver Smith said. “I think he’s the first driver to ever do this. But we’re going to have a good time and he’s going to be just fine behind the wheel.” On Sunday, Ragan will strap into his #34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion to drive 219 miles on the winding Sonoma Raceway road course. After 110 demanding laps on the twisting terrain, will he have to climb back into the hauler for the 2,700-mile trip back to North Carolina? “I’ll be taking a plane home.”(FRM)(6-17-2013)
New sponsor for Earnhardt Jr? UPDATE: #88 Team owner Rick Hendrick on Monday said Hendrick Motorsports was “very close” to a new multi-year sponsorship deal for Dale Earnhardt’s #88 ride in the Sprint Cup Series. “I’ve not been worried about it because we could sell it if we wanted to piecemeal it. We’ve been looking for the future,” Hendrick told the Charlotte Observer. “We don’t want to get into (sponsor relationships) where you see somebody one time and you don’t seem them anymore after that. I am very confident that in the next couple of weeks we should have not only this year (covered) but we should have a lot done for next year, too.” The majority of the #88’s season is currently sponsored by the National Guard, Diet Mountain Dew and AMP Energy.(Charlotte Observer)(6-10-2013) UPDATE: The sponsor Hendrick Motorsports is close to signing to a multiyear deal for Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be new to NASCAR. HMS owner Rick Hendrick said the deal likely won’t be completed in time for the sponsor to be on the hood for the July 6 race at Daytona International Speedway — the first race in which the No. 88 was unsponsored. Hendrick said National Guard likely would be on the car at DIS. “We’re going to have to switch some stuff around,” Hendrick said before Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. NASCAR’s most popular driver entered the season with 13 unsponsored races. Hendrick insisted in February there was plenty of interest and he was looking for a long-term fit for the 88 and not a quick fix for this season. “This will be a pretty neat deal when we get to announce it, but I think we’re in good shape,” said Hendrick, not naming the sponsor other than to say it is new to the sport. “There hasn’t been a lot of new sponsors in the sport just because of the economy and the way people go to market, a combination of a lot of things. [But] there’s always been a lot of interest in him.”(ESPN)(6-17-2013)
Biffle Claims Ford’s 1,000th NASCAR Victory: Henry Ford’s win over Alexander Winton on Oct. 10, 1901 in what proved to be his only race as a driver was a milestone victory that helped launch the Ford Motor Company. Since then there have been several more memorable moments with the latest coming today at Michigan International Speedway, where #16-Greg Biffle took the checkered flag and registered Ford’s 1,000th all-time NASCAR victory. That total includes 100 wins from Lincoln-Mercury in what is known today as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and 900 combined Ford-branded victories in NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Series competition.
· Ford Motor Company has won 1,000 NASCAR races in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series combined.
· Jim Roper won the very first NASCAR-sanctioned stock car race in a Lincoln when he was deemed the winner at Charlotte on June 19, 1949.
· Ford Motor Company has won 20 manufacturer titles and 13 driver championships in NASCAR’s top three series.
· The victory is the first of the season for Biffle and third of the year for Ford Racing in the Sprint Cup series.
· The record win comes on the June 16, the 110th birthday of Ford Motor Company.(Ford Racing)(6-17-2013)
Villeneuve to drive #51 at Sonoma: There will be a familiar name to road course racing next weekend as Jacques Villeneuve takes over the #51 TAG Heuer Eyewear Chevy for Phoenix Racing at Sonoma Raceway. The 42-year-old native of Montreal, Quebec, CAN isn’t a stranger to NASCAR competition making three previous Sprint Cup Series, nine Nationwide and seven Camping World Truck Series starts. His best results were in the Nationwide Series where he earned four top-fives and six top-10 finishes; all on road courses. Villeneuve has also competed in F1, CART, and USAC races. He was most successful in F1 winning 11 times and CART where he won five times and was the series champion in 1995. “We wanted to put a driver in our #51 Chevy who would give us the best chance to win at Sonoma Raceway,” said James Finch, team owner. “When the opportunity came up to have someone like Jacques Villeneuve in our car, we were very happy to make that happen. It’s a long way out there to not be competitive. He gives us the chance to not only do really well, but to actually win the race. We led laps there last year and almost did win it; we plan on getting the trophy this time.” Sponsorship from TAG Heuer Eyewear isn’t a new thing for Villeneuve as the two were partnered up during his F1 competition days. “We are very happy to have Jacques Villeneuve representing our eyewear in the race at Sonoma Raceway,” said Robert Cooper, Racing Director for TAG Heuer Eyewear. “He was an excellent ambassador for us during his F1 days and we’re glad to be part of his return to NASCAR racing. We’d like to thank James Finch and Phoenix Racing for making this possible. We know Jacques is going to be looking good in our TAG Heuer Eyewear, and on the track in the #51 Chevrolet.”(PR), see an image of the scheme on the #51 Team Schemes page.(6-17-2013)
Jack Roush reveals Ford Racing alliance with Penske Racing: Jack Roush had been around long enough to know that something had to change for his Roush Fenway Racing program to be successful. Roush explained how the team had doubled its engineering efforts. After the race, Roush elaborated more on what had transpired to make the Ford Fusion Gen 6 car more competitive. “We had a summit meeting with the Penske guys last week, and talked about some of the strategies,” Roush said of the launch of two Ford Racing teams working together. “We have had one cooperative wind tunnel test. We just scratched the surface. It will be great to have someone to share information with.” Penske Racing, with drivers #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano, switched over to Fords this season. Roush identified aerodynamics and front suspensions as the areas the Ford Fusion needs to make up ground. “We have to find that last tweak in the front suspension or aerodynamics,” Roush said. “When we started on Gen 6 (car development), it was a jump ball, and the car changed during its development to have more downforce than was anticipated to start with. We are on the path, and we have nice, light cars that I’m not the least bit unhappy about.”(Michigan Live)(6-17-2013)
Kahne talks about his wreck at Michigan: #5-Kasey Kahne was sidelined on lap 105 at Michigan when a tire went down while leading the race, from Team Chevy Driver Race Quotes transcript: Q) DID YOU HAVE ANY VIBRATION OR INDICATION AT ALL? Kahne: “No, I had no indication. We were just cruising. We had a really good Farmers Insurance Chevrolet. I knew it was going to be a battle with Jimmie (Johnson) today. He’s fast and I thought we were really good. We were on the loose side but I think we could have tightened it up a little bit more and gotten a little bit better. But I felt really good about it. We’ll see what happens here through the rest of this race. But I know it’s been a tough week for a lot of people. Jason Leffler was a good buddy of mine and it’s neat to see how the racing world and the fans and his friends and everybody has supported him for the last four or five days. That showed the person and the racer that he was. I’m just glad I could say he was one of my good friends.” Q) WHAT HAPPENED? Kahne: “Something broke. I don’t really know. I would say it was a tire that went down, but I don’t know for sure. I just was going into the corner and then it ‘boom’ and turned right went straight into the wall. It was a hard hit. We had a great Farmers Insurance Chevy. Things were working out. I thought it was going to be between myself and Jimmie (Johnson). We both had two really fast cars.” Q) HOW SLICK IS IT OUT THERE? Kahne: “It was slick at the start. It’s still slick. We were still on the loose side so I thought as the race went we still had an opportunity to tighten up and hopefully get a little better. My car would move around some on exit, but I felt really good. I felt like our Farmers Insurance Chevy was fast and Jimmie (Johnson) is going to be tough to beat. I thought it was going to be between me and him. It would have been a shootout.”(Team Chevy)(6-17-2013)
Earnhardt Jr. discusses engine failure at MIS: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr was sidelined with engine failure on lap 132 at Michigan, from Team Chevy Driver Race Quotes transcript: Q) HOW DISAPPOINTING IS IT TO BE RUNNING UP FRONT WHEN AN ENGINE LET’S GO? Earnhardt Jr. “Yeah, that is worse than if it happens when you’re running in the back. I’m real proud of the car. We were really struggling in practice and I’m just real proud of (crew chief) Steve (Letarte) and the whole team. They made a lot of great changes. And that car was just flying at the end there. I don’t know if we had as good a car as Jimmie (Johnson), but we had certainly made some gains on it, even in the last stop. So, I’m just real proud of my team. I hate to run into trouble. They’ll figure it out and we’ll get it sorted and we’ll be able to come back here and expect to run strong again. I just hate it. Hendrick Motorsports, they work harder than anyone in the business. They’re the best company in the business and we ought to be out there running up front still, but we’ll get it eventually.” Q) WAS THERE ANY WARNING WHEN THE ENGINE LET GO? Earnhardt Jr. “No there was no warning at all even after I think we lost a cylinder. The gauges all looked really good. Flipped all the switches I could flip and nothing was really making a difference. We just had something come apart in the motor. Really happy though with the engine. Happy with the way the car performed. Weren’t really happy with the National Guard Chevrolet yesterday. Made a lot of changes last night. Steve Letarte (crew chief) and the whole crew made some great changes last night. We had such an awesome car. Look forward to coming back here and try to get a win.” Q) YOU TALKED QUITE AWHILE WITH YOUR CREW CHIEF ONCE YOU CLIMBED OUT OF THE CAR. WHAT WERE YOU DISCUSSING? Earnhardt Jr. “I was just telling him how proud I was of him and the team because we were really frustrated yesterday after practice. Really frustrated with how the car was driving and where our speed was. Just telling them guys to hold their head up they did a great job overnight getting the car competitive. We had a first or second-place car right there.” (Team Chevy)(6-17-2013)
Entry List:There are 45 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America. A few notes:
Johnny O’Connell will drive the #5 for JR Motorsports;
Billy Johnson will drive the #16 for Roush Fenway;
Michael McDowell is in the #18 for Joe Gibbs;
Brendan Gaughan will be in the #21 for Richard Childress;
AJ Allmendinger will drive the #22 Ford for Penske;
Stanton Barret is in the #23 for Rick Ware;
Max Papis returns to the RCR #33;
The Jimmy Means #52 is TBA;
The#53 Dodge is TBA;
Owen Kelly is in the #54 for Joe Gibbs;
Kenny Habul will make his first attempt of the year in the #75;
Kyle Kelley will drive the #87 for Joe Nemechek.(6-17-2013)
See the complete list on the Road America entry list page.
Stolen vehicles siezed from Harmon’s garage UPDATES – arrest warrants issued: Rowan County Sheriff’s deputies are watching NASCAR driver Mike Harmon closely, after recovering two cars and five trucks from his two garages Tuesday afternoon. Deputies say Harmon stole the cars from racer Jennifer Jo Cobb at the end of last year. The vehicles were seized from Harmon’s shop in Mooresville, and from a storage facility in Catawba County, officials told WBTV. Harmon was arrested two weeks ago in a separate incident, also involving Cobb. Authorities say Harmon broke into Cobb’s Mooresville headquarters, and stole her hauler to transport cars and trucks. WBTV spoke with Harmon just moments after he posted bail on the initial charge. “I’ve never stolen as much as a piece of bubble gum. To be arrested for a felony is ridiculous,” Harmon said. Last week, a judge ordered Harmon to stay away from Cobb, though the two both say they plan to finish this year’s racing season. As of Tuesday night, Harmon had not been charged for the seven vehicles, and Cobb’s hauler was still missing.(WBTV)(5-28-2013) UPDATE: Arrest warrants have been issued for a NASCAR driver, and his business associate, after investigators say they stole at least seven vehicles from a competitor. According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, warrants were issued for driver Mike Harmon and business associate David Novak. Each man is wanted on breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering. WBTV was there as deputies recovered two cars and five trucks from Harmon’s two garages in late May. Deputies say Harmon stole the cars from racer Jennifer Jo Cobb at the end of last year. The vehicles were seized from Harmon’s shop in Mooresville, and from a storage facility in Catawba County, officials told WBTV. Harmon was arrested in mid-May in a separate incident, also involving Cobb. Authorities say Harmon broke into Cobb’s Mooresville headquarters, and stole her hauler to transport cars and trucks. Harmon and Novak had not been arrested as of Monday afternoon. At last check, Cobb’s hauler was still missing.(WBTV)(6-17-2013) UPDATE 2: Mike Harmon turned himself in to Cleveland County authorities Monday around 5 p.m. He then posted a $10,000 bond, for both charges combined. Novak had not been arrested as of Monday afternoon.(WBTV)(6-17-2013)
James Buescher driving at Road America: Reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher will attempt to make his first NNS start of 2013 in the Johnsonville Sausage 200 at Road America on June 22nd [in the #34 Chevy]. Buescher captured his first NNS win in February of 2012 in the season opener at famed Daytona International Speedway. Buescher went on to race a total of 20 events during 2012 and had two top-five and eight top-10 finishes with an average finish of 13.4. Buescher has 54 career NNS starts heading into Road America. Buescher goes to Road America with limited experience on road courses, with just one road course start in the NNS at Watkins Glen in 2011. Buescher took part in an open test session last month at Virginia International Raceway. Buescher looks to gain road course experience for the upcoming NCWTS race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park on September 1. Crew chief Michael Shelton and his NCWTS crew will come over and call the shots for Buescher in the NNS race at Road America.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(6-7-2013)
NASCAR Hauler Parade Returns to Sacramento, June 20: More than 30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers will rumble through the streets of Sacramento at the 3rd NASCAR Hauler Parade on Thursday, June 20. The NASCAR haulers, which will be en route to Sonoma Raceway for the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 21-23, will make their way over the Tower Bridge and around the State Capitol to greet Northern California NASCAR fans ready for big race in Sonoma. You can expect to see haulers from Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and most every other driver on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. This marks the third consecutive hauler parade in Northern California and raceway officials are thrilled to bring it to Sacramento, home to some of our most avid race fans. The parade will begin promptly at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, as the haulers depart their staging area and cross the Tower Bridge, heading for the State Capitol. The route is as follows:
· Cross Tower Bridge and drive up Capitol Mall.
· Right turn on 9th Street.
· Left turn on N Street.
· Left turn on 16th Street.
· Left turn on L Street.
· Haulers will then be directed to the freeway and head South on Hwy. 80 to Sonoma Raceway, where they will be parked in the garage for the race weekend. The Haulers will arrive at the raceway at approximately 3:30 p.m. Race fans can catch the haulers all along the parade route, but are encouraged to head to L and 11th streets for the best view. Sonoma Raceway will have a display there, as well as the popular Raceway Girls, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, giveaways and tickets for the big race. This will be the heart of the action. For tickets or more information on the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350, visit racesonoma.com/nascar or call 800-870-RACE (7223).(Sonoma Raceway)(6-17-2013)
James Durbin to Perform National Anthem at Toyota/Save Mart 350: Santa Cruz native and American Idol star James Durbin will perform the national anthem for the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 23. American blues singer/songwriter Gina Sicilia will perform the national anthem prior to the Carneros 200 NASCAR Pro Series West main event on Saturday, June 22. For tickets or more information on the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350, visit racesonoma.com/nascar or call 800-870-RACE (7223).(Sonoma Raceway)(6-17-2013)
News from June 16, 2013
Greg Biffle wins Michigan:#16-Greg Biffle won the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 1st win of 2013, 4th Michigan win and 19th career win. Biffle led the most laps with 48 of 200 laps
#29-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #56-Truex Jr, #18-Busch, #14-Stewart, #20-Kenseth, #15-Bowyer, #99-Edwards (pole sitter), #22-Logano & #31-Burton.
Points leader #48-Johnson wrecked with three laps left while running 2nd and finished 28th down a lap.
The win for was the 1000th wins for Ford.
There were 22 lead changes among 13 drivers and 8 cautions for 38 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 139.278mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Michigan Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Michigan Penalty Report (pdf).
For Official Results & Points, see the Official Michigan Race and Points Report.(6-16/17-2013)
Race Fast Facts – Michigan:
#16-Greg Biffle won the 45th Annual Quicken Loans 400, his 19th victory in 381 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. This is the 1000th victory for Ford Motor Company in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
This is Biffle’s first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2013.
This is his fourth victory and 13th top-10 finish in 21 races at Michigan International Speedway. He has now won back-to-back race at Michigan.
#29-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his ninth top-10 finish in 25 races at Michigan International Speedway. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2013.
#56-Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 15 races at Michigan International Speedway.
#48-Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 31 points over #99-Carl Edwards.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(6-16-2013)
2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
[after Michigan, race 15 of 36]
1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 538
2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 507, -31
3) #15-Clint Bowyer, 489, -49
4) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 476, -62
5) #20-Matt Kenseth [3 wins], 456, -82
6) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 452, -86
7) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 447, -91
8) #16-Greg Biffle, 443, -95
9) #2-Brad Keselowski, 430, -108
10) #14-Tony Stewart [1 win], 417, -121 Wild Cards [11 & 12]
WC) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 12th in points
WC) #27-Paul Mernard, 11th in points 2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
#56-Martin Truex Jr., 13th in points
#24-Jeff Gordon, 16th in points
#11-Denny Hamlin, 26th [missed 4 races with injury], -85 from 20th
(ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
See drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
For Official Results & Points, see the Official Michigan Race and Points Report
Competition caution scheduled for lap 20,, drivers can not take any fuel until then. The track is green from rain over night; plus #30-Stremme will go to the rear of the field before the start of the race as he is in a backup after wrecking early in Saturday’s Happy Hour practice
Gordon talks about Michigan wreck: from Team Chevy Driver Race Quotes transcript, #24-Jeff Gordon talks about being sidelined in crash on Lap 4 when #51-Bobby Labonte spun off turn 2 at Michigan: Q) WHAT HAPPENED? Gordon: “Bobby Labonte (#51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevy) just lost it over there in Turn 2. He just did one of those slow spins where I couldn’t tell which direction he was going to go, so I had to guess and I guessed the wrong way. I didn’t really have anywhere to go. But I just can’t believe the way this season is going for us in this Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet. It seems like we can run all day long when we can’t get the car right but when we finally get the car right, something like this happens. At Charlotte, I thought our car was awesome and I was really pleased with the way the car took off right there. We were really going to march up through the field. It’s unfortunate. This team just continues to have to face adversity and I appreciate how strong they are during it, but I just wish we didn’t all have to be tested quite this much.” Q) WOULD YOU SAY THE TRACK IS SURPRISINGLY SLICK? Gordon: “It’s not surprising because I expected it. When you have these fast practices in the mornings and then it loses a little grip in the next practice, you know when the sun comes out on race days it’s going to be pretty slick. So, I just wasn’t surprised.” Q) TELL US WHAT HAPPENED: Gordon: “Bobby Labonte lost it off of turn two in front of me. It was just such a slow spin that I didn’t know which way he was going to go, so I had to guess. I tried to go around him on the outside and that was not the right way. I don’t know if I would have missed him even if I went to the inside. It’s unfortunate this season we are having is just unbelievable to me. We are at times struggling to get the speed then when we get the speed we struggle to finish because of stuff like this. I thought we were being tested last year, boy we are really being tested this year. Nobody has more fight in them than this Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet team.” Q) HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE FRUSTRATION OF BEING INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT THIS EARLY IN A RACE? Gordon: “It’s not like we have any choice. You have to just deal with it and move on. You feel for the guys that are working so hard. There are some guys that are doing their job perfectly and things are out of their control and they don’t deserve this. There are other guys that, like myself, we contribute to being back there starting 29th. That is something we have to do better. I was really happy with the way the car was running. I’m happy with the way this team is sticking together, but boy I tell you these moments when they add up they really can be frustrating. That is the thing we have to work through the most. We are a great organization, a great team and we can rebound, it’s just we have to get the finishes.” Q) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR LUCK? Gordon: “For years I’ve always said I don’t believe in good luck or bad luck that you make it. Just in that instance right there I call that being at the wrong place at the wrong time, but I also know that we contribute to where we started. We started back there and we were moving forward which I’m proud of, but the fact that we are back there. I put as much blame on myself. I really struggled this weekend when we went into qualifying trim. I’ve struggled all year. Shoot, the last two years with qualifying and I don’t know what it is, but we have to get it better. Starting back there you are only putting yourself into those positions to have those kinds of things happen.” Q) HOW MUCH IS THIS TESTING YOUR PATIENCE? Gordon: “I’m a pretty patient person, but it’s testing my frustration level and my confidence that is the biggest thing. We all know how big confidence is in this sport, any sport really. I don’t want to see the team get down and I don’t want to see myself get down. I have a lot of fight in me and so does this team. I’m looking forward to going to Sonoma.”(Team Chevy)(6-16-2013)
Paint Scheme change on the #11 at MIS to honor Leffler: Joe Gibbs Racing has changed the paint scheme of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. Denny Hamlin will run the original FedEx paint scheme from the 2005 season as they pay tribute to the late Jason Leffler who ran the car for 19 races that season (Denny Hamlin Facebook), see images of the scheme on the #11 Team Schemes page.(6-16-2013)
Carlisle extends with Penske Racing: Penske Racing announced Friday that it has extended its partnership with Carlisle Companies Incorporated through the 2016 season. In addition to Carlisle’s continued support of the #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion driven by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, the new agreement will also include associate branding for the company on a Team Penske IZOD IndyCar Series car beginning in 2014. Carlisle Companies joined the #2 Miller Lite Ford team prior to the 2011 NASCAR season the same year that Keselowski began competing in the iconic race car.(Penske Racing)(6-16-2013)
Hendrick wants Nationwide ride for Chase Elliott: Team owner Rick Hendrick hopes to put Chase Elliott, the 17-year-old son of 1988 Cup champion Bill Elliott, in a Nationwide Series car in 2014. Chase Elliott is coming off a win in the ARCA series last weekend at Pocono with Aaron’s as his primary sponsor. He has finished sixth, fifth and fourth in three starts for Hendrick in the Truck Series with Aaron’s on the hood. Asked about his plans for 2014, Hendrick, a co-owner of JR Motorsports, said “Hopefully, in the Nationwide Series.” Hendrick didn’t rule out Aaron’s being the sponsor. “They like him a lot,” Hendrick said before Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. “They’ve been with him since he started. We’ve had a lot of interest in him — a lot of interest. I tell you, his record in Trucks, and that [Pocono] race, it was pretty awesome.” Hendrick signed Elliott to a multiyear deal in 2011.(ESPN.com)(6-16-2013)
Atlanta Motor Speedway Announces Henry County Week, June 17-23: As a way to say thank you to the residents in its home county, Atlanta Motor Speedway will celebrate “Henry County Week” June 17-23, allowing county residents and businesses to purchase NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 tickets for 25% off. Any regularly-priced reserved grandstand ticket to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 on Sunday, Sept. 1 will be available to Henry County residents during the week of June 17 at the 25% discount. This discount cannot be combined with any other ticket special. Those purchasing tickets will be asked to provide a Henry County mailing address for verification of residency. Henry County residents looking to take advantage of this limited-time offer may contact the AMS Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or (770) 946-4211. Customers may also purchase online at any time by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(6-16-2013)
News from June 15, 2013
Race Coverage of the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, June 16, 2013. Television (TV): TNT at 1:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 12:00 pm/et; green flag approx 1:16pm/et Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90 Scheduled Race Re-Airs: SPEED, Wednesday, June 19 at 12:00pm/et
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway have been made.
Pole sitter #99-Edwards chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #78-Busch took the last pit stall 43.
#5-Kahne, who starts 3rd took the 38th pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening in front of it.
The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #78-Busch, who starts 2nd.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-15-2013)
Happy Hour (final) practice for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after 60 scheduled minutes, the top five fastest, slowest and notes:
Slowest: #30-Stremme 185.171 & #87-Nemechek 187.154
No speed / laps run: #35-Wise, #98-McDowell
Notes: #30-Stremme wrecked in the practice and the team pulled out the backup car.
See speeds, laps run, best ten-lap average on the Michigan Happy Hour Practice Speeds (pdf) page.(6-15-2013)
Saturday first practice for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five fastest, slowest and notes:
Slowest: #87-Nemechek 187.818 & #19-Bliss 191.944
Notes: this practice was not being televised. Happy Hour (final) practice is scheduled for 12:30-1:30pm/et and be televised on SPEED.
See speeds, laps run on the Michigan Practice 2 Speeds (pdf) page.(6-15-2013)
Jason Leffner Memorial services, trust fund set up: In honor of NASCAR driver Jason Leffler, who lost his life in a racing accident this week, a trust fund has been established for his five-year-old son, Charlie Dean. This trust will serve as the official Leffler Family fund, with all monies going directly to Charlie’s needs. Turner Scott Motorsports co-owner Harry Scott Jr., former Braun Racing owner Todd Braun and Steve Overholser, CFO of Great Clips, will serve as trustees.
Donations can be made to The Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust at:
The Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust
c/o SunTrust Bank
232 Williamson Road
Mooresville, NC 28117 A celebration of Jason Leffler’s life will be held on Wednesday, June 19. The service will be at Grace Covenant Church, located at 17301 Statesville Road in Cornelius, N.C. at 1:00pm/et. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust.(Charlotte Observer)(6-15-2013)
“LEFturn” stickers on all NNS & Cup cars at MIS: The death of Jason Leffler was on the minds of several Sprint Cup drivers when they arrived at Michigan International Speedway on Friday. Leffler, who made 73 Sprint Cup starts, was killed Wednesday after a violent crash during a sprint car race at Bridgeport Speedway, a dirt track in Swedesboro, N.J. He was 37. An autopsy found he died of blunt force neck trauma after he hit a wall. Tony Stewart, who roomed with Leffler years ago, remembered a friend. “I’ve known him a long time and we grew up racing together,” he said. “I knew him as a roommate and teammate. I know he loved nothing more than being behind the wheel of a race car. His son, Charlie, that’s the one we’re thinking about the most right now.” A Long Beach, Calif., native, Leffler completed just eight laps in his final Sprint Cup start last weekend at Pocono. He also won a pair of Nationwide Series races and once in the Camping World Truck Series. He was reportedly wearing a head and neck safety device on Wednesday. “I was shocked to hear what happened,” Stewart added. “It’s just a reminder of how dangerous our sport is but we’ve had a lot of safety innovations and it’s proof that they’ll never get to the stage where anybody is totally immune from getting hurt in a race car.” Defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski paid tribute to Leffler, whom he often raced against in the Nationwide Series, by adding the late driver’s Twitter handle to the rear of his #2 Ford. A decal reading “LEFturn” will be affixed to both NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide cars this weekend at Michigan.(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-15-2013)
Military Veteran Father and Son Receive Special Father’s Day Surprise at Michigan: Joel Correll, a United States Marine Corps veteran, and his 15-year son, Jarrett, who lives with cystic fibrosis, received a Father’s Day surprise of a lifetime today at Michigan International Speedway. Joel and Jarrett Correll, along with Jarrett’s mother, were on a VIP tour of the track – or at least that’s what they thought – when Aric Almirola, “The King” Richard Petty and representatives from Operation Homefront and Victory Junction surprised the family with an experience they will not soon forget.
As part of the “tour,” the family was brought to the facility’s media center to listen to a press conference involving Almirola and NASCAR Hall of Famer, Petty. In the middle of the press conference, Almirola called the family to the front. The driver of the famed #43 announced that Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, would be providing Jarrett with a week at Victory Junction, a camp founded by the Petty family that hosts children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.
But, the surprises weren’t over yet. “The King” then offered Joel and his son Eckrich crew uniforms and asked them to be a part of the race team on Sunday as special guests of the team, Eckrich and Operation Homefront. Petty and Almirola also informed Joel and Jarrett that they would have their names on the #43 Eckrich Ford on Sunday to honor them and help celebrate Father’s Day. This Father’s Day surprise was a part of “Operation Inspiration,” a campaign launched by Eckrich and Operation Homefront earlier this year to help honor, thank and support the military families who inspire their fellow Americans. Eckrich is providing additional assistance to military families by donating up to $250,000 to Operation Homefront this year through the contribution of five cents from the purchase of specially-marked packages from May 1 through July 4.(RPM)(6-15-2013)
Keselowski says rivals stole Ford employees, information: #2-Brad Keselowski met with Ford Motor Co. employees in Dearborn on Thursday and signed autographs and answered questions. The defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion also found time to chat with reporters and take a sharp jab at Chevrolet-backed Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing, which runs Toyotas. Keselowski criticized Hendrick and Gibbs for “stealing away” employees and information from Ford Cup teams, including his own Penske Racing outfit and Roush Fenway Racing. Keselowski didn’t mince words about Hendrick and Gibbs’ recruitment techniques when he was asked by the media about the recent efforts of Ford teams like Penske and Roush coming together and sharing information. “There are little things you can do,” Keselowski said of Ford-backed teams opening up lines of communication in an effort to improve performances on the track. “What keeps it from going too far is the fact that Hendrick and Gibbs have this nasty little habit of going to other teams and outbidding other people and taking those employees and stealing our information, and, when that happens, that puts walls up between the camps because you are giving up more than one piece of information you are giving up two companies’ information and trying to protect yourself against that, it forces you to put up walls.It doesn’t necessarily lend itself to working together. But still, we are going to put in a valiant effort where we can and where it makes sense to put Ford in a position to have the best results possible.”Keselowski cited two incidents where he claimed Hendrick and Gibbs who between them run the likes of series points leader and five-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. lured away Ford team employees with big offers.”Gibbs stole the Roush aero director and took all the information,” said Keselowski. “And Hendricks took three employees from our Chase-winning team last year.”(USA Today)(6-14-2013) GIBBS STATEMENT: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) released the following statement from Owner Joe Gibbs in response to the recent comments made by driver Brad Keselowski: “We were surprised to read the recent comments and accusations made by Brad Keselowski. Clearly those comments are misguided and irresponsible. Brad’s candor is well documented, but he would do well to only speak to subjects on which he is properly informed. Obviously NASCAR is a very competitive environment and we take our hiring processes seriously at JGR. The individual he referenced in his comments was working outside of the sport of NASCAR at the time we hired him. We have a great deal of respect for Roger Penske and his organization and I feel like I have always had a good personal relationship with Roger. We look forward to competing with Brad on the racetrack, but hope that he will use better judgment in the future before making such misinformed claims and accusations.”(JGR) HENDRICK: HMS owner Rick Hendrick also took offense to what Keselowski said. “The comments Brad reportedly made were misinformed,” Hendrick said. “The truth is that we hired one tire changer, who was a backup for Penske and whose contract was up. We also brought over one mechanic from their Nationwide program and, when the Penske engine shop was closing, added a few of those people. What Brad left out was that his organization also hired one of our tire changers. All of this was above board and is part of doing business in a competitive environment. I take no issue with any of it, and I expect Roger [Penske] would say the same. Brad misrepresents the facts and spends a lot of time making insinuations and accusations about other teams when he should be focused on his own program and competing at a high level. I hope he figures that out and begins representing himself and the sport with more class.”(ESPN)(6-15-2013)
Belle Tire Partners with Joe Nemechek at Michigan: NEMCO-JRR Motorsports is happy to announce that Belle Tire Distributors, Inc., headquartered locally in Allen Park, Michigan, will be the primary partner on the #87 for both the NASCAR races at MIS over this Father’s Day weekend. Family owned, Belle Tire is a company built on proving their customers with exceptional service and the Lowest Tire Price, Period! The #87 Belle Tire Toyota will sport Belle Tire’s famous Tireman logo along with the company’s traditional red, white and blue colors. “We are thrilled to announce that Belle Tire is partnering with us for the races this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. To have the support of such a respected, local company like this is just awesome. We are proud to have their colors on the cars and look forward to having a great weekend of racing thanks to Belle Tire,” said Jay Robinson, NEMCO-JRR Motorsports. Joe Nemechek added, “It’s really nice to have a company like Belle Tire that has such a strong family history and local connection to partner with over these special Father’s Day weekend NASCAR races. I am a proud Father myself and I couldn’t have asked for a better company partner to have here in Michigan. The #87 Belle Tire Toyota looks great and I hope to have some good runs in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Races.”(NEMCO-JRR PR), see images of the car on the #87 Team Schemes page.(6-15-2013)
Edwards drives 1901 car Henry Ford used to win match race: #99-Carl Edwards got to drive a 1901 Ford driven by Henry Ford himself to win in a two-automobile race at a horse racing track in Grosse Pointe on Oct. 10, 1901. Edwards drove the vintage racer while visiting Greenfield Village in Dearborn earlier this week. NASCAR is at Michigan International Speedway this weekend. “We got it up to 20 or 25 miles per hour on the road there, but they said it would go 73 back in 1901,” Edwards said. “It was scarier driving that thing 25 miles per hour than it was driving the corner here at 205.” The car was named “Sweepstakes” because the 1901 race was a sweepstakes race. Ford, struggling after the failure of his Detroit Automobile Company, entered a race against fellow automobile maker Alexander Winton in hopes of re-establishing some credibility. Ford trailed early, but rallied to defeat Winton. With his reputation restored, Ford went on to start Ford Motor Company in 1903.(Michigan Live)(6-15-2013)
Free admission to some Father’s to the NASCAR Hall of Fame: The NASCAR Hall of Fame is offering free admission with the purchase of a second admission to the first 103 dads who visit the adrenaline-pumping, entertainment attraction on Father’s Day Sunday, June 16. More info at nascarhall.com.(6-15-2013)
NHRA racer tests at Bristol: Accustomed to streaking down straightaways at speeds in excess of 300 mph, Top Fuel driver Antron Brown tested his command of left turns Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. In town for the NHRA Ford Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, Brown circled the world’s fastest half mile in a Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure car that was previously run on the NASCAR Nationwide circuit. Brown was enthusiastic following his 20-lap run but expressed uncertainty about piloting 500 circuits around the half-mile. “That was so much fun,” he said. “The car drove great, but it took me a few laps to get the feel for the track and what line to take. This was my second time running laps at Bristol but my first time in a true stock car, and it was an awesome experience. I’m definitely not in round track shape though. I don’t know how those guys stay focused for 500 laps.”(BMS)(6-15-2013)
64th Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition National Finals: One hundred of the nation’s best young automotive minds converged at the Ford World Headquarters to compete for the title of top high school technicians in the country at the 64th Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition National Finals. The competition featured two-person teams of the top high school automotive technology students from all 50 states. The students had their automotive skills and knowledge put to the test with a written exam and a timed event where they raced against the clock and each other to identify and repair deliberately-installed “bugs” in identical 2013 Ford Explorer XLTs. Logan Boyle and Cody Collins from Vale High School in Vale, Ore. claimed the crown of America’s top auto technicians, registering the day’s top score under the guidance of instructor Drew Barnes.(Wood Brothers Racing)(6-15-2013)
Manufacturer’s Trophy will recognize winning automobile maker at MIS: Michigan International Speedway, the hometrack of auto manufacturers since 1968, announced today the creation of a Manufacturer’s Trophy, an ode to the spirit of the automobile and its importance to the racetrack. Inspired by the Stanley Cup, the award will recognize the winning manufacturer Ford, Toyota or Chevrolet after each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at MIS. “MIS is important. It’s important to all (the manufacturers),” track president Roger Curtis said. “Whether you’re headquartered here or not, Toyota has a huge presence in this state with the Tech Center and employs a lot of people there. I thought it was very important that we do something to formally recognize almost in a rivalry standpoint the significance of MIS on the schedule for these guys.” Each manufacturer and MIS also will donate $10,000 that will be given to a youth-related, STEM-related charity in Michigan. The trophy was designed by Fortress Studios artists Steven Kuypers and Steven McShane, both graduates of Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. The trophy will be more than three feet tall, weigh about 50 pounds and feature sculpture similar to Greek goddess of victory Nike, also inspiration for classic cars hood ornaments from Cadillac, Rolls-Royce and Packard. The original bronze artwork will sit atop a base similar to architecture of Detroit landmarks such as the Fisher Building and Guardian Building. Curtis compared the trophy with the tradition-steeped Big Ten football rivalries that have produced such iconic prizes as the Old Oaken Bucket (Indiana vs. Purdue) and the Paul Bunyan Trophy (Michigan vs. Michigan State). The track annually recognizes NASCAR’s manufacturers, asking fans in the grandstands to cheer on their favorite during a fun poll conducted over the PA during pre-race ceremonies. The Manufacturer’s Trophy will be presented after every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan in June and August, starting with the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 18. The trophy is expected to renew a fun “rivalry” between the automakers. The trophy is unnamed. And Curtis has asked media to Tweet him name ideas at @MISRoger. Tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(6-15-2013)
Tony Stewart says Eldora is safe: Jason Leffler’s death at a dirt track in New Jersey on Wednesday raised safety questions about Eldora Speedway, which will host a NASCAR Truck Series event in July. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp and Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart said the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln that invented SAFER barriers recommended the technology not be installed at the half-mile clay oval. “We went over that track top to bottom,” Tharp said on Friday at Michigan International Speedway. “There were some recommendations they made to improve the safety features of it. Those have been done. I do know the consensus recommendation was do not install SAFER barriers because it could reverse what you want because of the way the dirt is. “We would not have agreed to race there if we had not gotten a sign-off by all of our safety people.”
The improvements at Eldora, where NASCAR will run one of its top three series on dirt for the first time since 1970, include:
” Replacing portions of the infield wall with new walls that feature a design approved by University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility.
” The Turn 4 pit entry wall being further protected by energy-absorbing impact attenuators.
” The track retrofitting the pedestrian gate at the start/finish line and the vehicle crossover gate in Turn 3 as well as adding a new pedestrian gate on the pit wall — all with designs approved by University of Nebraska.
” Pit lane being widened in two positions.
” A permanent helipad for emergency flight care being installed.
” An infield care center being brought in that meets or exceeds all of NASCAR’s medical standards — including a trauma center and critical care unit.(ESPN)(6-15-2013)
News from June 14, 2013
Edwards wins Michigan pole: #99-Carl Edwards won the pole for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway with speed of 202.452mph for his 1st pole of 2013 which puts him in the 2014 Sprint Unlimited and 12th pole of his career. Edwards has won twice from the pole in his career. His last pole was for the 2012 Daytona 500.
#78-Busch is on the outside pole, followed by #5-Kahne, #27-Menard, #43-Almirola, #22-Logano, #33-Dillon, #20-Kenseth, #18-Busch & #42-Montoya. Thirteen drivers went over 200mph. One driver missed the race, #44-Scott Riggs.
See Michigan qualifying results, pole progression, starting lineup, pdf links, notes on the Michigan Starting Lineup / Qualifying page.(6-14-2013)
Qualifying Fast Facts – Michigan:
#99-Carl Edwards won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 45th Annual Quicken Loans 400 with a lap of 35.564 seconds, 202.452 mph.
This is his 12th pole in 316 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
With the pole, Edwards earns a spot in the 2014 Sprint Unlimited.
This is his first pole and sixth top-10 start in 2013.
This is his first pole in 18 races at Michigan International Speedway. His previous best start was second, last August.
#78-Kurt Busch (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2013 and his ninth in 25 races at Michigan International Speedway.
#5-Kasey Kahne (third) posted his 13th top-10 start at Michigan International Speedway. It is his 11th in 15 races this season. (NASCAR Statistics)(6-14-2013)
Coverage of Qualifying for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is scheduled for Friday, June 14, 2013 at 3:35pm/et.
TV: SPEED at 3:30pm/et
Radio: Motor Racing Network at motorracingnetwork.com.
Scheduled Qualifying TV Re-Air: 8:30pm/et
Qualifying Order for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #24-Gordon.
The final driver scheduled to go out is #13-Mears.
Fastest in Friday practice, #5-Kahne, is scheduled to qualify 26th.
Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
See the full qualifying order on the Michigan Qualifying Page.(6-14-2013)
Friday practice for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five fastest, slowest and notes:
#88-Earnhardt Jr. 199.922
Slowest: #44-Riggs 190.345 & #32-Schrader 191.479
Notes: #14-Stewart slapped the turn two wall hard early in practice and the team pulled out the backup car. With 15 minutes left in practice, #14-Stewart got the backup car on the track.
See speds, laps run on the Michigan Practice 1 Speeds (pdf) page.(6-14-2013)
McCollum amendment to ban military sponsorship fails: An amendment to cut off government spending on sponsorships of NASCAR and pro wrestling events sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL-Minn., fell short in the U.S. House on Friday. McCollum, who sits on the powerful appropriations committee, has been trying to highlight Pentagon spending she considers wasteful. Her biggest target: money the National Guard spends on pro sports sponsorships which the Guard says helps with recruiting. “The fact that $53 million in taxpayers’ funds is going to sponsor some of the most violent and sexist entertainment on television and NASCAR racing teams that results in zero recruits is a waste of money,” McCollum said. The amendment was defeated by a wide margin. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., represents a district with a big NASCAR track. “We would be stealing from our nation’s military and hard-working taxpayers if this amendment were to pass,” Hudson said.(MPR News)(6-14-2013)
TRD increases power in some engines: A week after decreasing power in favor of durability, Toyota Racing Development is adjusting engines on some of the six Sprint Cup cars it supplies to recapture speed. Joe Gibbs Racing’s #11-Denny Hamlin, who needs to win races to become a Chase contender after missing four races with a back injury, in particular will get more power. “Hamlin will be a little more full blown,” Jimmy Makar, vice president for race operations at JGR, told ESPN.com on Friday. TRD, which builds engines for JGR and Michael Waltrip Racing, took a more conservative path with its engines at Pocono after blowing two engines the week before at Dover and three in two weeks. MWR will stay with last week’s engine package on the cars of #15-Clint Bowyer and #56-Martin Truex Jr., but Mark Martin’s #55 will be “all out,” according to crew chief Rodney Childers. Makar said JGR will use several packages between #18-Kyle Busch, Hamlin and #20-Matt Kenseth in an attempt to find the right mix before the Chase.(ESPN)(6-14-2013)
Keselowski says rivals stole Ford employees, information: #2-Brad Keselowski met with Ford Motor Co. employees in Dearborn on Thursday and signed autographs and answered questions. The defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion also found time to chat with reporters and take a sharp jab at Chevrolet-backed Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing, which runs Toyotas. Keselowski criticized Hendrick and Gibbs for “stealing away” employees and information from Ford Cup teams, including his own Penske Racing outfit and Roush Fenway Racing. Keselowski didn’t mince words about Hendrick and Gibbs’ recruitment techniques when he was asked by the media about the recent efforts of Ford teams like Penske and Roush coming together and sharing information. “There are little things you can do,” Keselowski said of Ford-backed teams opening up lines of communication in an effort to improve performances on the track. “What keeps it from going too far is the fact that Hendrick and Gibbs have this nasty little habit of going to other teams and outbidding other people and taking those employees and stealing our information, and, when that happens, that puts walls up between the camps because you are giving up more than one piece of information you are giving up two companies’ information and trying to protect yourself against that, it forces you to put up walls.It doesn’t necessarily lend itself to working together. But still, we are going to put in a valiant effort where we can and where it makes sense to put Ford in a position to have the best results possible.”Keselowski cited two incidents where he claimed Hendrick and Gibbs who between them run the likes of series points leader and five-time Cup champ Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. lured away Ford team employees with big offers.”Gibbs stole the Roush aero director and took all the information,” said Keselowski. “And Hendricks took three employees from our Chase-winning team last year.”(USA Today)(6-14-2013)
Biffle teaming up with ADA at MIS: The #16 team and driver Greg Biffle are excited to be teaming up again with the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Give Kids A Smile program, the ADA Foundation, Henry Schein, Inc., Care-Credit, Oral Health America, and 3M ESPE Dental Products to put good oral health on the fast track for young fans of NASCAR. Across the country, they will help deliver the message to children about healthy habits like brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist, and making smart food choices. Biffle will run a 3M Give Kids a Smile paint scheme at Michigan this weekend (RFR), see image of the car/scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page.(6-14-2013)
A blue bridge honors Keselowski:The Mackinac Bridge in northern Michigan was lit in blue on May 29th as part of a celebration of #2-Brad Keselowski’s 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Cup title. It will remain lit through the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. The bridge is the third-longest in the world in total suspension.(Penske Racing)(6-14-2013)
Ford going for NASCAR win 1000: Last Sunday at Iowa Speedway, Trevor Bayne, driving the #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, won the DuPont Pioneer 250 beating Austin Dillon to the finish line by 2.023 seconds. The win gave the car manufacturer its 200th NASCAR Nationwide victory. With the series headed to Ford’s home state, the manufacturer is seeking its 1,000th victory in NASCAR’s three national touring series (rank second to the 1,276 by Chevrolet). Ford drivers have 714 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (96 wins by Mercury and four wins by Lincoln), 200 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and 85 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.()(6-14-2013)
Two drivers to run the ‘triple’ at Kentucky: Kentucky Speedway’s only two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race winners, #18-Kyle Busch (2011) and #2-Brad Keselowski (2012), will race head-to-head three times during the track’s June 27-29 tripleheader weekend as they compete for the checkered flags in the NSCS Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts, NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) Feed The Children 300 and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) UNOH 225. Both drivers will race a full Kentucky NASCAR tripleheader for the second time in their career. Busch completed the feat in 2011 and Keselowski in 2012.
Busch’s sterling record at the track features four victories in four different series. He nailed down the track’s inaugural NSCS Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts crown along with a NCWTS UNOH 225 victory in 2011. He reeled in a 300-mile NNS victory in 2004 and made his track debut with a 206-mile ARCA Racing Series victory in 2003 as an emerging 18-year-old talent. Overall, the 28-year-old has collected a combined six top-five and nine top-10 finishes while leading 762 of the 2,086 Kentucky Speedway laps he’s raced through 11 career starts in four series.
Keselowski, the reigning NSCS champion, will defend his 2012 Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts title. He claimed a 2011 Feed The Children 300 victory and earned his NCWTS track-best second-place finish in last season’s UNOH 225.
Race tickets, infield Fan Zone passes, driver introductions and more – season and weekend ticket packages along with campsites can be purchased at kentuckyspeedway.com.(859) 578-2300 and the speedway ticket offices.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-14-2013)
Stricken former motorsports announcer heading home: Motorsports announcer and journalist Al Robinson, who suffered a massive stroke two years ago, is preparing to move back into his Waverly home thanks to a lot of help from friends and members of the racing community. Since May of 2011, Robinson has been living at the Elderwood Nursing Facility in Waverly. While his recovery has been long and arduous, he’s now capable of living on his own. His house, however, needed to be updated for wheelchair access. Carol Houssock, who has been filling in for Robinson as co-announcer at Shangri-La II Motor Speedway, has spearheaded a recent push to raise money to build handicap access throughout his house. Among the work needed to be done included plumbing and the construction of an entry ramp. Houssock raised $900 at last month’s Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour event at Shangri-La II after appealing to race fans for help. Houssock, who is the Director of the Chemung County Volunteer Action Corps, was able to arrange a group from her program to build the access ramp at Robinson’s house earlier this month. Robinson, who spent several years in public relations for a NASCAR series [and Dover International Speedway for years] and has been a longtime announcer at Watkins Glen International, is expected to move back home at the end of this month.(Elmira Star Gazette)(6-14-2013)
Atlanta tire testing next week: Gooodyear Tire testing is scheduled on Tuesday, June 18th and Wednesday, June 19th at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Sprint Cup drivers scheduled to attend one or both days: #9-Marcos Ambrose, #11-Denny Hamlin, #5-Kasey Kahne and #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(AMS), the test will be closed to the public.(6-14-2013)
NASCAR Bring “Troops to the Track” Program at MIS: The Armed Forces Foundation and NASCAR continue the 2013 Troops to the Track program on Sunday, June 16th, by bringing service members from the Michigan Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion to the Quicken Loans 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Their mission is the responsibility of maintaining the personnel end strength goals for Michigan by recruiting qualified applicants and retaining quality soldiers to ensure units stand ready to defend the local community, state and nation. Troops to the Track will be expanded to include service member’s families during NASCAR: An American Salute, which begins at the Coca-Cola 600 and runs through the Coke Zero 400 on July 4th weekend. NASCAR: An American Salute is a six-week industry-wide effort to honor and celebrate the service of current Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families.(AFF)(6-14-2013)
Michigan Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both NASCAR series in action at Michigan this weekend will run the same right-side tire code, though they will run different left-side codes . . . the Sprint Cup Series’ left-side code is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup teams ran at Michigan last August . . . this is also the same tire set-up Cup teams have run at the last two races at Kansas April 2013 and October 2012 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners on all four tire positions at Michigan . . . 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, pressures, set limit on the Michigan Race Info page.(6-14-2013)
There are five race tracks the Sprint Cup Series currently races at that #48-Jimmie Johnson has not won a Sprint Cup race at:
Michigan: 0 for 21 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007
Kentucky: 0 for 2 with a best finish of 3rd in 7/2011
Watkins Glen: 0 for 11 with a best finish of 3rd in 8/2007 and 8/2012
Chicago: 0 for 11 with a best finish of 2nd in 7/2004 & 7/2008
Homestead: 0 for 11 with a best finish of 2nd in 11/2004 & 11/2010
plus Johnson ran five races at Rockingham Speedway and didn’t win there.
Michigan Facts and Notes #3:
· Donnie Allison won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Michigan in 1969 with a speed of 160.135 mph.
· 43 drivers have Coors Light poles at Michigan, led by David Pearson with 10. Bill Elliott leads all active drivers with six; followed by Jeff Gordon with five.
· Six drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Michigan. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Michigan with five; fall 1976 through 1978.
· Four active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Michigan: Terry Labonte (1983 sweep), Bill Elliott (1984 sweep and 1988 sweep), Bobby Labonte (2003 sweep), and Brian Vickers (fall 2008 2009 sweep).
· 16 of the 87 (18.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Brian Vickers in 2009.
· The Coors Light pole position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (16) than any other starting position at Michigan International Speedway.
· 24 of the 87 (27.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan have been won from the front row: 16 from the pole and eight from second-place.
· 66 of the 87 (75.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan have been won from a top-10 starting position.
· Six of the 87 (6.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Michigan was 32nd, by Mark Martin in the spring of 2009.
· Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Michigan with a 9.227.
· Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway four times; most recently the spring of 2008 race.
· Three drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light pole at Michigan International Speedway: Jeff Burton (8/18/1996), J.J. Yeley (6/17/2007) and Marcos Ambrose (6/17/2012).
Dillon fastest in happy hour: #3-Austin Dillon was quickest during happy hour for the Alliance Truck Parts 250 with a speed of 190.789mph. He was followed by: #31-Justin Allgaier, #33-Paul Menard, #2-Brian Scott, #77-Parker Kligerman, #5-Brad Sweet, #32-Kyle Larson, #99-Alex Bowman, #60-Travis Pastrana, and #54-Kyle Busch. 39 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Michigan practice speeds page (pdf).(6-14-2013)
Belle Tire Partners with Joe Nemechek at Michigan: NEMCO-JRR Motorsports announced that Belle Tire Distributors, Inc., headquartered locally in Allen Park, Michigan, will be the primary partner on the #87 for both the NASCAR races at MIS over this Father’s Day weekend. Family owned, Belle Tire is a company built on proving their customers with exceptional service and the Lowest Tire Price, Period! The #87 Belle Tire Toyota will sport Belle Tire’s famous Tireman logo along with the company’s traditional red, white and blue colors.(NEMCO-JRR)(6-14-2013)
VIP Poker joins SR2 for MIS: SR2 Motorsports is proud to announce VIP Poker as sponsor for this week’s events at Michigan International Speedway. The premier destination for poker players of all skill levels will adorn the #24 Toyota driven by Blake Koch for Saturday’s running of the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at the 2-mile oval in the Michigan Irish Hills. Situated in Kahnawake territory, just a short drive from Montreal, VIP is the epicenter of the Quebec poker boom. VIP is brought to you by management who has long understood and catered to the desires of the local poker playing population. VIP knows what players want; VIP knows what players deserve. The room was founded on the principal that all players should be treated as VIP’s.(Integrity Sports Marketing PR)(6-14-2013)
Tickets still available for Michigan races: Join us for the Patriot Pumps 200 on Friday, the Alliance Truck Parts 250 on Saturday and the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday! Don’t forget to upgrade your race weekend experience with pit access, food & drink, merchandise, driver appearances and much more with our Budweiser Acceleration Club and Champions Club! Tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(6-14-2013)
MIS Budweiser Party Porch features live entertainment all weekend: The day does not end when the on-track activity concludes at Michigan International Speedway in June. Instead, the action moves to the Budweiser Party Porch in Turn Four where live music continues late into the night. The Budweiser Party Porch at Michigan International Speedway is a respite area and hang-out at the track, all overlooking Turn Four. It is open all day and practically all night. Guests to the Budweiser Party Porch on Saturday will be entertained by country music artist Dani Jamerson. The Sherwood, Mich. native will play from 7 11 p.m. You will hear country, rock, pop, and blues music projected from Jamerson’s one-of-a-kind unique blend of both silky smooth and coarse, gritty vocals when the Dani Jamerson Band is on stage. Patrons will also have the opportunity to ride an 80-foot tall Ferris Wheel overlooking the fastest track in NASCAR. More details and info at mispeedway.com.(6-14-2013)
NASCAR returns to Vegas March 9-11 in 2014: Purchase your tickets to see all of your favorite drivers in fabulous Las Vegas for the March 7 – 9, 2014 NASCAR Weekend. Fans can also experience the one-of-a-kind Neon Garage featuring live music and entertainment all weekend long. Driver introduction and Lucky 7 preferred parking passes also are available. The event weekend includes the Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and Stratosphere Pole Day.(LVMS)(6-14-2014)
News from June 13, 2013
MWR & Aaron’s to honor NCAA Basketball Champ Louisville: When NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brian Vickers climbs in the #55 Toyota at Kentucky Speedway on June 29 he and his Aaron’s Dream Machine will sport University of Louisville colors and a paint scheme honoring the school’s 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship team. The Cardinal Bird mascot on the hood and Vickers’ red, black and white fire suit will pay tribute to the school whose campus is about 60 miles from the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Ky.
“We’re thrilled Aaron’s and Brian Vickers have chosen to run the Louisville colors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Kentucky Speedway,” said Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. “I know how many Louisville basketball fans are NASCAR fans, and like them I’m looking forward to seeing the car on the track. I think one of those die cast cars might eventually make it to my office. I’ve seen the paint scheme and it’s really sharp.”
At last year’s Kentucky race, MWR founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip drove an Aaron’s/ University of Kentucky themed paint scheme. The Owensboro, Ky. native and 2010 Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame inductee admits seeing the Louisville colors on one of his cars makes him proud.
U of L supporters and alumni can support Vickers in his second Sprint Cup start at the speedway by taking advantage of a special Cardinal Takeover ticket package that includes admission to a hospitality tent with food and complimentary beverages, a Fan Zone pass that provides race-day admission to the infield for pit road access and a trackside view of a prerace concert with Billy Currington. The first 200 fans to attend the Cardinal Takeover also will receive a collectible red miniature Louisville Slugger bat with the race logo emblazoned in gold. Cardinal Takeover packages can be purchased at http://www.kentuckyspeedway.com/CardinalTakeover, by calling (859) 578-2300 or visiting the Kentucky Speedway ticket office at 1 Speedway Drive, Sparta, Ky., 41086 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.(MWR), see image of the car/scheme on the #55 Team Schemes page.(6-13-2013)
Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Nominations due by Friday: The NASCAR Foundation awards the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award to a NASCAR fan who embodies the ideals of charity and community that Mrs. France has championed throughout her life. These applicants honor the spirit of NASCAR, demonstrating goodwill and generosity in the interest of helping children in need. One winner receives a $100,000 donation to the children’s charity of their choice along with a NASCAR experience of a lifetime. The top three remaining finalists receive $25,000 for their children’s charity of choice. Applications for the 2013 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award are due by Friday, June 14. More info at foundation.nascar.com.(6-13-2013)
Indy could be the last race for the #51 team: Phoenix Racing team owner, James Finch, has decided that enough is enough when it comes to owning a NASCAR team. Phoenix Racing has struggled over the last couple of years in getting a full time sponsor for the #51 Sprint Cup Series car and his #1 Nationwide Series car, which has made financing a Nationwide Series car and a Sprint Cup Series car difficult. Phoenix started out the year with a deal with Guy Roofing, who sponsored the #51 car for the Daytona 500 and a couple other races, but since then Finch and Phoenix Racing have been in search of a major sponsor. That search has come up empty spurring rumors of the closing down of the Phoenix Racing team. Finch stopped by the News 13 station Wednesday for a One On One with News13’s Amy Hoyt and during the conversation, the topic of Phoenix Racing’s future was discussed. Finch confirmed that after this summer, he is done with racing. Finch said ” this is my last year racing hopefully it will be in July in the Brickyard. I am talking to some people that might buy the race team and if they do I might stay with them a few months. After that I will not invest any more money in it after this race in July.”(see video of interview at wmbb.com)(6-13-2013)
Las Vegas NNS race gets new name: The parent-company sponsor remains the same, but Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race will have a new name beginning in 2014. The Sam’s Town 300 is to be known henceforth as the Boyd Gaming 300. “With our recent extension, Boyd Gaming is looking forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary as the sole corporate sponsor of the Nationwide Series race since it began in 1997,” said Paul Chakmak, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Boyd Gaming. NASCAR Weekend 2014 is tentatively set to begin on Friday, March 7 with Stratosphere Pole Day followed by the Boyd Gaming 300 on Saturday, March 8.(LVMS PR)(6-13-2013)
Jason Leffler killed in Sprint Car wreck: NASCAR driver Jason Leffler died after an accident Wednesday night in a heat race at a dirt car event at Bridgeport Speedway. The 37-year-old Leffler, a two-time winner on the NASCAR Nationwide Series who had the nickname “LefTurn” above the driver’s side window on his race cars, was pronounced dead shortly after 9:00pm/et, New Jersey State Police said. After losing his NASCAR ride, Leffler had been racing dirt car events most of this year, including the 410 Sprint Car race Wednesday that promised a $7,000 prize to the winner at the 0.625-mile, high-banked dirt oval. On Sunday, Leffler finished last at Pocono in his lone NASCAR Sprint Cup start of the year.(see much more at the Associated Press) Statement from NASCAR on the passing of Jason Leffler: “NASCAR extends its thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathies to the family of Jason Leffler who passed away earlier this evening. For more than a decade, Jason was a fierce competitor in our sport and he will be missed.”(NASCAR) MORE: Jason Leffler died in a crash Wednesday night during a 410 sprint car event at Bridgeport (N.J.) Speedway. He was 37. Sgt. Adam Grossman, public information officer for the New Jersey State Police, confirmed to Motor Racing Network that a 37-year-old driver was pronounced dead at Crozer-Chester Medical Center. Sgt. Grossman would not confirm the name until next of kin had been notified. NBC10 in Philadelphia first reported that Leffler had been killed in the accident. Bridgeport Speedway confirmed in a tweet that the evening’s racing program had been canceled after a crash involving Leffler. Sgt. Grossman said the accident happened about 8:30 pm. He stated that the driver was extricated from the car and transported by ambulance to Crozer-Chester Medical Center. The accident remains under investigation.
Leffler competed in 73 NASCAR Sprint Cup races since 2001. He finished 43rd at Pocono last weekend in his only start this season. He also ran 294 Nationwide races, winning two. He won at Nashville in 2004 and what is now O’Reilly Raceway Park in 2007. He competed in 56 Camping World Truck Series races from 2000-12, winning at Dover in 2003. Leffler was a member of the National Midget Hall of Fame in 2003. He won four USAC championships, winning three consecutive USAC midget titles (1997-99). He also won the USAC Silver Crown championship in 1998. After running four Nationwide races in 1999, he ran the full season in 2000 for Joe Gibbs Racing. Leffler moved to the Sprint Cup Series in 2001, driving for car owner Chip Ganassi with a best finish of 10th at Homestead. It would be the only top-10 in his Cup career. He did not drive a full season in Cup again. He ran 19 in 2005 for JGR before being replaced in the ride that would go to Denny Hamlin. Leffler had better success in the Nationwide Series with 107 top-10 finishes. He finished a career-best third in the points in 2007 for Braun Racing. Leffler finished behind champion Carl Edwards and runner-up David Reutimann that season. Leffler leaves behind a son Charlie Dean Leffler.(Motor Racing Network)(6-12-2013)
Harraka to attempt Sonoma in the #52 UPDATE: Look for the #52 BKMotorsports “Ford” at Sonoma on June 23rd with driver Paulie Harraka at the wheel in his 1st NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Brian Keselowski will return the following week at Kentucky on June 29th to pilot his #52 Toyota (BKMotorsports Favebook) UPDATE Next weekend, Paulie Harraka will attempt to qualify for the Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. If Harraka, 23, makes the field, he will be the first Drive for Diversity graduate to compete at the Sprint Cup level. Since 2010, Harraka has competed in more than a dozen races between the NASCAR Nationwide and Truck Series. His best results were a pair of 17th-place finishes last year in the #5 truck, at Dover and Kentucky Speedway. At Sonoma, Harraka will drive the #52 HASA Pool Products Ford for Go Green Racing team owner Archie St. Hilaire. Veteran crew chief Ben Leslie will oversee the team. Harraka has three starts at Sonoma in the K&N Pro Series West and an average finish of 9.2, with a career-high result of second. “Archie St. Hilaire and I have worked together in three Nationwide races already, and it’s there that we built the platform to run this Cup race,” Harraka said. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity for both of us me and the team to make the step into the Sprint Cup Series and start learning what that’s like together. St. Hilaire said realistically he would be pleased with a finish around 25th to 28th. If everything goes according to plan, Go Green Racing would also attempt the Cup races at New Hampshire and Watkins Glen later this summer.(FoxSports)(6-12-2013)
Heroin dealers arrested leaving Poconos NASCAR race: Four heroin dealers were arrested and their drugs seized outside the Party in the Poconos NASCAR race Sunday afternoon because their driver made a wrong turn leaving the track, police said. The group attracted the attention of police when the car turned right against traffic exiting the Pocono Raceway from Long Pond Road onto Route 115 in Tunkhannock Township, state police at Fern Ridge said. When police noticed drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle and started a car search, two of the suspects tried to hide several heroin packets, but police and NASCAR fans spotted the attempt and police confiscated the drugs, police said.(full story at the Morning Call)(6-12-2013)
TRD Provides More Power For Michigan: Drivers for Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing should have a little more horsepower this weekend at Michigan International Speedway after suffering no issues with their toned-down engines at Pocono, a Toyota Racing Development official told Motor Racing Network on Tuesday. TRD reduced horsepower in its engines at Pocono Raceway after suffering three failures the previous two races. While all those engines made it to the end Sunday, Pocono marked the first time this season that a TRD engine did not place in the top five. Kyle Busch was the top finisher, in sixth place. “We may have been a bit too conservative at Pocono,” said David Wilson, TRD’s acting president and general manager. “We still need to look at some parts and pieces before we pull the trigger, but we certainly don’t anticipate stepping back any further. Our target is to start clawing back one weekend at a time.” Wilson said preliminary inspections by TRD officials on the Pocono engines showed no valve train issues, which had been a concern. “Michigan will be another test, but the good news is we continue to make some headway back home in the shop,” he said. “Any performance changes are going to be in the right direction.”(see full report at Motor Racing Network)(6-12-2013)
Pocono TV Ratings: Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Party in the Poconos 400 earned a 2.8 U.S. rating and 4.4 million viewers on TNT, down 13% in ratings and 17% in viewership from last year (3.2, 5.3M), and down 10% and 19%, respectively, from 2011 (3.1, 5.2M). The 2.8 rating is the lowest for the season’s first Pocono race since at least 2000. The previous low was a 3.0 for the 2007 race. The race also ranks as the second-lowest rated and second-least viewed Sprint Cup telecast of the season, ahead of only the Sprint Cup All-Star Race on Speed Channel in May (2.3, 3.7M). Despite the lower numbers, Sunday’s race ranked as the fifth-most viewed television program of the week on cable.(Sports Media Watch / BusinessWeek / Zap2it), see five year chart, past 2013 race news and more on the 2013 TV Ratings page.(6-12-2013)
Michigan Facts and Notes #2:
· 34 different NSCS drivers have won at Michigan International Speedway, led by David Pearson with nine wins. Bill Elliott leads all active drivers with seven; followed by Mark Martin with five.
· Eight drivers have posted consecutive wins at Michigan International Speedway, including four consecutive by Bill Elliott (1985 sweep and 1986 sweep).
· Roush Fenway Racing has the most wins at Michigan in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 12: Mark Martin (four), Greg Biffle (three), Carl Edwards (two), Matt Kenseth (two) and Kurt Busch (one).
· Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Michigan; led by Ford with 32 victories; followed by Chevrolet with 20.
· Jeff Gordon leads the series in runner-up finishes at Michigan with eight; followed by Darrell Waltrip with seven.
· NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough leads the series in top-five finishes at Michigan with 21; Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin lead all active drivers with 18 each.
· Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Michigan with 31; followed by Bill Elliott with 29.
· Carl Edwards leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Michigan with an 8.235. Matt Kenseth (9.556) is the only other active driver with an average finish in the top 10.
· All 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup winners at Michigan International Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart won at Michigan in his third appearance, the fewest previous starts among the active NSCS winners.
· Kevin Harvick competed at Michigan International Speedway 19 times before winning in the fall of 2010; the longest span of any of the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
· Among the 16 active NSCS Michigan winners Kevin Harvick (19), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (17) Kyle Busch (13), Bill Elliott (13), Jeff Gordon (11) and Brian Vickers (11) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win.
· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway was the June 10, 2001 race won by Jeff Gordon over Ricky Rudd with a MOV of 0.085 second.
· There have been two NASCAR Sprint Cup races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Michigan International Speedway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2011 (200/203); and fall of 2012 (200/201).
· Four of the 87 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan International Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the event on 6/18/2006.
Labonte to Race for Phoenix Racing at Michigan Bobby Labonte confirmed today that he will drive the #51 Chevrolet this weekend at the Michigan International Speedway for Phoenix Racing. The agreement was reached after Labonte spoke with and received approvals from officials with JTG/Daugherty Racing and Toyota Racing Development. It is currently an agreement for one race. Labonte, who has 14 previous starts for Phoenix Racing and the James Finch-owned team, is always grateful for the opportunity to race with the team. “James has always been one of the first to reach out to offer help in a situation like this,” said Labonte. “I enjoy racing with Nick Harrison, Steve Barkdoll and the entire group of guys. I’m looking forward to this weekend.” Labonte also feels this will help his current team, JTG/Daugherty Racing, as he continues to be committed to helping the organization move forward.
“Racing for another team this weekend will be another process in helping me understand the development of the new car and how it compares to my current ride,” continued Labonte. “I’m not happy with our current performance level as a team and absolutely want to work hard to help our race team improve. My commitment continues to give the best efforts possible each weekend. That has never changed and this opportunity will hopefully make everyone, including myself, get a better understanding of where improvements can be made. We just completed our first test at Kentucky, which was valuable time spent on the track, that should assist in improving our team performance starting this weekend and going forward.”
Labonte, the 1991 Nationwide Series champion and 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, is focusing on the remainder of this season with JTG/Daugherty Racing. Labonte, who does not have a contract for the 2014 race season, still wants to help the Tad and Jodi Geschickter-owned team move forward.
“I enjoy racing for Tad, Jodi and Brad (Daugherty),” commented Labonte. “They have given me a great opportunity to help this team grow. It’s where my focus has been since racing with the team in 2011. I want to see this team get better and will do what I need to do to make that happen.” Labonte will be making his 705th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend.(Phoenix Racing/Breaking Limits)(6-12-2013)
Dillon to run MIS Cup race with new sponsor: Richard Childress Racing’s #33 Chevrolet team will sport the black and green colors of American Ethanol this weekend at Michigan International Speedway for driverr Austin Dillon. American Ethanol, a renewable source of cleaner burning energy from the bounty of America’s farmers, helps create new green jobs and a renewed sense of pride for the American worker, while helping to achieve greater energy security for our country. Launched by Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association, along with the support of other partners, American Ethanol is a breakthrough brand that seeks to expand consumer awareness of the benefits of ethanol and E15, and takes the NASCAR Green initiative to the next level. Since the program launch for the 2011 season, NASCAR drivers have run more than 4 million miles on renewable Sunoco Green E15.(RCR), see image of the car/scheme on the #33 Team Schemes page.(6-12-2013)
Top 12 Driver Rating at Michigan:
#16-Greg Biffle………………………….. 108.9
#20-Matt Kenseth……………………….. 105.5
#99-Carl Edwards………………………. 105.2
#48-Jimmie Johnson…………………… 104.2
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr…………………… 97.1
#14-Tony Stewart…………………………. 95.9
#24-Jeff Gordon………………………….. 94.7
#11-Denny Hamlin……………………….. 93.7
#18-Kyle Busch…………………………… 92.9
Brian Vickers………………………… 91.5
#78-Kurt Busch……………………………. 89.5
#5-Kasey Kahne………………………… 88.2
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (16 total) among active drivers at Michigan International Speedway.
Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.(NASCAR)
Sad News – Pappy Wilcox: Harold Edward Wilcox “Pappy,” passed away June 6, 2013, at his residence after a long illness. Pappy was born July 26, 1927, in Bangor, ME. Pappy proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Pappy was the very first driver from Maine to ever drive in the racing series now known as NASCAR. This distinction, and others, led to his induction into the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Unity Raceway Hall of Fame. Wilcox ran one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, at Norwood, MA in 1961. See an obituary at the Bangor Daily News.(6-12-2013)
Cottonelle to serve as primary for Larson at Road America: Chip Ganassi Racing Teams has joined forces with Kimberly-Clark North America as the primary sponsor of CGRT drivers. Cottonelle brand will be the primary sponsor of young driving sensation Kyle Larson’s #32 Chevy Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Road America.(Chip Ganassi Racing PR)(6-12-2013)
CleanTech on board with Bayne: For the first time this season, the ROUSH CleanTech paint scheme will be on the #6 car. ROUSH CleanTech is a propane autogas company specializing in developing reliable and cost-effective alternative fuel powered products for Ford trucks and vans, school buses and taxis.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(6-12-2013)
NIOXIN to serve as primary on JR Motorsports car: NIOXIN, a Salon Professional hair treatment brand that specializes in hair thinning, will be featured as a primary paint scheme on Kasey Kahne’s #5 Chevy in the Sept. 6 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond. It also will receive associate placement on the #5 for the remainder of the season, starting this weekend for the Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway.(JR Motorsports PR)(6-12-2013)
North American Power on board with Kligerman in New Hampshire UPDATE: In a YouTube video, #77-Parker Kligerman announced that he will be sponsored by North American Power at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.(6-12-2013) UPDATE: North American Power, one of the fastest-growing energy suppliers in the country, will team up with one of the fastest drivers in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the New England 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon on Saturday, July 13. The New England based company has signed a one-race deal to be the primary sponsor of Connecticut native Parker Kligerman and his #77 Toyota Camry fielded by Kyle Busch Motorsports for his homecoming event.(Kyle Busch Motorsports PR)(6-12-2013)
Valvoline NextGen joins Red Horse: Red Horse Racing is proud to announce a new partnership with Valvoline, the manufacturer of NextGen recycled motor oil made with 50% re-refined oil technology, for the remainder of the 2013 season. Valvoline NextGen will serve as primary sponsor of the #17 Toyota Tundra with driver Timothy Peters during two Camping World Truck Series events this season along with associate sponsorship of the #7, #17 and the #77 Toyota Tundras. Valvoline with NextGen technology and Tire Discounters will share primary sponsorship for Timothy Peters and the #17 Toyota Tundra at Kentucky Speedway on June 27 for the UNOH 225. Valvoline will be the primary sponsor for an additional race in the season to be announced at a later date.(Red Horse Racing PR)(6-12-2013)
Blaney’s Ford too low post race in Texas UPDATE 2: Following Friday night’s race in Texas, NASCAR officials confirmed on the official Truck Series Twitter feed that the #29 Brad Keselowski owned Ford driven by Ryan Blaney failed post race inspection for being too low, “with more details early next week.” Blaney finished eighth on Friday, and currently sits fifth in the driver point standings.(6-8-2013) UPDATE: Penalties have been issued to the #29 team in the Camping World Truck Series as a result of violations following the June 7 event at Texas Motor Speedway. The #29 truck was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-B of the rule book) and 20B-12.8.1A (The roof failed to meet the minimum height requirement during post-race inspection) of the 2013 rule book. As a result of this violation, crew chief Doug Randolph has been fined $5,000. The team has also been docked six championship driver (Ryan Blaney) and six championship truck owner (Brad Keselowski) points.(NASCAR PR)(6-12-2013) UPDATE 2: Brad Keselowski Racing issued a statement on the team’s Twitter regarding the penalties issued following Texas, stating, ” BKR respects the NASCAR inspection process. We will not appeal the #29 team Texas post-race penalties issued today.”(6-12-2013)
News from June 11, 2013
Edwards To Appear on “Big Brain Theory” on Wednesday, June 12th: Roush Fenway driver and NASCAR champion Carl Edwards will appear on Discovery’s “Big Brain Theory” on Wednesday, June 12th at 7:00pm/et. Edwards will join host Kal Pen and full-time judges Dr. Christine Gulbranson and Mark Fuller for his first appearance on the show. Only four competitors remain in the race to win $50,000 and a one-year contract at WET, the industry leader behind some of the world’s most innovative water-based designed environments. In this week’s episode, four semifinalists face off in a contest to bring a speeding car to a safe stop. In the closest elimination yet, the judges must choose between innovation and simplicity. For two contestants, their road to the finale will prove just a dead end. “It was a lot of fun,” said Edwards. “I’m looking forward to seeing the show and I learned a lot. There were some very, very smart people out there. They were very impressive.”(RFR)(6-11-2013)
Quicken Loans returns to the #39 at MIS: Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender, adorns the #39 Chevy that Ryan Newman this weekend at Michigan in addition to its status as the entitlement sponsor of the 400-mile race. A victory in the Quicken Loans 400 would be the perfect scenario as the 2-mile, D-shaped Michigan oval is located approximately 70 miles from the sponsor’s headquarters in the heart of Detroit’s business district. It also would serve to rekindle Newman’s winning ways and keep his Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship hopes alive via the wild-card opportunity two of which are awarded to a race winner outside the top-10 in points but among the top-20 (SHR), see images of the car/scheme on the #39 Team Schemes page.(6-11-2013)
Danica tops celebrities in generating social media buzz: #10-Danica Patrick finished about four times higher than any other celebrity endorser in brand-related social-media buzz in the Synthesio social-media research report. Moisand says it’s in part, because Patrick frequently mentions GoDaddy in tweets from her personal handle. Also, he says, “she appears reachable.”
“The best social media isn’t scripted,” says Barb Rechterman, chief marketing officer at GoDaddy. “Danica’s the real deal.”(USA Today), see the report at synthesio.com.(6-11-2013)
Michigan Facts and Notes #1:
· Michigan International Speedway sits on more than 1,400 acres in the “Irish Hills” of Southeastern Michigan. Ground-breaking took place on Sept. 28, 1967.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan was held June 15, 1969 won by Cale Yarborough at a speed of 139.254 mph.
· The track was known as Michigan Speedway during the time Roger Penske was the primary owner (1996-99).
· The two-mile speedway underwent a repave this season.
· There have been 87 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan International Speedway since the first race there in 1969. Other than 1973, which had just one race, there have been two races each season since 1969.
· The first race was 500 miles in length; the second was scheduled for 600. The track was re-measured to 2.04 miles for the last race in 1970 and both races in 1971 with the race distance being 402 miles. All other races have been scheduled for 400 miles.
· 363 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway; 266 in more than one.
· Bill Elliott leads the series in starts at Michigan with 61. Terry Labonte leads all active drivers with 55 starts; followed by Mark Martin with 54.
· Terry Labonte leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Michigan without visiting Victory Lane at 55.
· Two active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career start at Michigan International Speedway: Carl Edwards (8/22/2004) and Landon Cassill (6/13/2010).
· Bill Elliott leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Michigan with 1,004 laps led in 61 starts. Jeff Gordon has led the second-most with 954.
· Three female drivers have competed at Michigan International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Robin McCall and Shawna Robinson. (NASCAR)(6-11-2013)
A Tribute to Chris Economaki: The achievements of Chris Economaki, the late dean of American motorsports, will be celebrated on Saturday, June 15, at the International Motor Racing Research Center. The free talk, part of the on-going Center Conversations speaker series, will be at 1 p.m. at the Center located at 610 S. Decatur St., Watkins Glen, N.Y. It is open to all. “A Tribute to Chris Economaki” will be led by a panel composed of Corinne Economaki, Chris’ daughter and motorsports insider; Leo Levine, retired automotive industry executive and author; and Judy Stropus, noted motorsports publicist. Economaki’s 70-year career in motorsports spanned print reporting, track announcing, television commentating and book authorship. He wrote his popular National Speed Sports News weekly column, “The Editor’s Notebook,” for 60 of those years. Economaki died in September 2012 at the age of 91. After nearly 77 years of continuous publication, NSSN issued its final print edition in March 2011. The NSSN archives were donated to the Racing Research Center in August 2011, with funding from the Dyson Foundation. For more information about this event and the Center’s work and its programs, visit www.racingarchives.org or call (607) 535-9044.(6-11-2013)
Kelly in for Busch at road races: Australian journeyman Owen Kelly will reignite his NASCAR career with two appearances for Joe Gibbs Racing in the United States over the next few months. Kelly will replace Kyle Busch the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in NASCAR Nationwide Series road course events at Road America on June 22 and Mid Ohio on August 17. Kelly had his first taste of NASCAR action in 2010 when he drove a Baker Curb entry to fifth place in a Nationwide race at Road America. Kelly’s efforts caught the eye of Busch who hired him to qualify his Monster Energy car at last year’s Montreal event while he completed his own commitment at Michigan. Kelly qualified the car fifth and Busch was on target to take the win when a late-race puncture forced him to finished 10th.(SpeedCafe)(6-11-2013)
Ryan Preece to make NNS debut at New Hampshire: Multiple sources have confirmed to RaceDayCT that NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour driver Ryan Preece will attempt to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in the New England 200 on July 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Preece is expected to race a car owned by Tommy Baldwin Racing. Preece, reached Monday evening, said that he could not confirm or deny that he would be on the entry list for the event at NHMS. Reached Monday, Baldwin would only say that he has had some talks with Preece about the possibility of doing something together. A formal announcement is expected Tuesday. The 22-year old Preece, who was one of 13 drivers announced last Friday to be part of the 2013 NASCAR Next program.(RaceDayCT)(6-11-2013) UPDATE: Tommy Baldwin Racing welcomes NASCAR Next driver Ryan Preece as he prepares to make his stock car debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway F.W. Webb 200 in July. Ryan Preece, a Connecticut native, has finished as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Championship runner-up twice. In addition, he has an impressive 12 pole awards and five wins. Currently, he is tied for the points lead in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, and is leading the points at Stafford Speedway. East West Marine will proudly be represented on the #8 Chevy with Tommy Baldwin Racing.(Tommy Baldwin Racing PR)(6-11-2013)
Crew chief change at the #14? hearing that John Monsam, crew chief for Eric McClure in the #14 Hefty Toyota for Tristar Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, has been released and is looking for a new job. No word who will replace Monsam as the crew chief.(6-11-2013) UPDATE: TriStar Motorsports owner Mark Smith announced today that Clio, Michigan native Todd Myers will assume crew chief duties for the #14 Toyota Camry and driver Eric McClure on an interim basis. Myers, who has worked in all three of NASCAR’s top divisions, joined TriStar Motorsports in February 2011, serving as crew chief for TriStar’s #10 Camry and driver Jeff Green. A NASCAR veteran of 22 years, Myers will replace John Monsam at the helm of the Hefty/Reynolds Race Team beginning with Saturday’s Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway.(TriStar Motorsports PR)(6-11-2013)
Teams testing Kentucky: Camping World Truck Series drivers representing Kyle Busch Motorsports, ThorSport Racing, Turner Scott Motorsports and T3R2 will test Kentucky Speedway in preparation for the June 27 UNOH 225 on Wednesday. Expected participating drivers include Kyle Busch, Joey Coulter, Chad Hackenbracht, Darrell Wallace Jr., Erik Jones, Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter, Jeb Burton and Bryan Silas.(Kentucky Speedway)(6-11-2013)
Michigan International Speedway Storylines:
& Michigan International Speedway has added WiFi hot spots at select locations around the facility. These locations include the Budweiser Party Porch at Turn 4, Champion’s Club presented by CP Federal Credit Union, Pit Patio, MISCamping.com APEX and MISCamping.com Turn 2 Retreat.
& MIS has added two new items to the food menu in 2013. The first new delicacy will be the Pieorgi burger, a traditional hamburger featuring a Polish dumpling on top. The other new item will be gravy cakes, potato pancakes topped with a chipped beef gravy, sour cream and green scallions.
& MIS has made it easier for fans visiting the 2013 Quicken Loans 400 with updated tram services. Tram hubs will be located at Turns Two and Four to take fans to their respective parking lots. These tram routes will be much more efficient for fans going to and from the lots.
& Michigan International Speedway has upgraded numerous bathrooms and restrooms around the facility. Campers in the infield and fans in the grandstands will be treated to refurbished restrooms and some completely rebuilt restroom facilities.
&The new Budweiser Party Porch at Michigan International Speedway is a respite area and hang-out at the track, all overlooking Turn four. The patio includes concession and merchandise stands, as well as a full bar. Plus, there will be umbrella-covered picnic tables for fans to sit and relax during the day. On Friday, DJ Services will be spinning the tunes from 12- 5 p.m. and again from 7-11 p.m. Country music artist Dani Jamerson will play Saturday night from 7 11 p.m.
& Finger Eleven will headline the annual McDonald’s Rock and Race Saturday concert on Saturday, June 15. The band, best known for their hits “One Thing” and “Paralyzer” will take the stage after Tony Lucca. Lucca is a former finalist from NBC’s “The Voice”. The concert will begin after the checkered flag for the Alliance Truck Parts 250. The Finger Eleven and Tony Lucca concert will be held in Lot 10 and is free to anyone with an Alliance Truck Parts 250 race ticket.
& Stop by the “MIS Welcome Center” for all information MIS and NASCAR. Throughout the race weekend, fans can stop by to find out what’s going on around the facility or find out more about NASCAR. The speedway’s Fan Advisory Board (FAB) will be there to offer some motorsports insider tips and will answer questions about the speedway and the sport of NASCAR. The welcome center will also feature the Pit Stop Challenge, where fans can attempt their own pit stop, complete with tire changes. There will also be a mock pit where fans can see everything that goes into a NASCAR pit stop. It’s your one-stop for everything MIS and NASCAR. For info on tickets call 1-800-354-1010 or go to MISpeedway.com.(MIS)(6-11-2013)
News from June 10, 2013
Entry List for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #47-Allmendinger, #33-Dillon, #44-Riggs, #51-Bobby Labonte, #32-Schrader, #21-Bayne, #19-Bliss. #44-Riggs would had to get in by speed and be in the top 36 in speed as the team is too far down the owners points list to use a provisional. If qualifying is rained out, the #21-Bayne would miss the race with the least number of race attempts for a team.
See the full entry list at my Jayski’s Michigan Entry List
New sponsor for Earnhardt Jr?: #88 Team owner Rick Hendrick on Monday said Hendrick Motorsports was “very close” to a new multi-year sponsorship deal for Dale Earnhardt’s #88 ride in the Sprint Cup Series. “I’ve not been worried about it because we could sell it if we wanted to piecemeal it. We’ve been looking for the future,” Hendrick told the Charlotte Observer. “We don’t want to get into (sponsor relationships) where you see somebody one time and you don’t seem them anymore after that. I am very confident that in the next couple of weeks we should have not only this year (covered) but we should have a lot done for next year, too.” The majority of the #88’s season is currently sponsored by the National Guard, Diet Mountain Dew and AMP Energy.(Charlotte Observer)(6-10-2013)
Special “Man of Steel” paint scheme for #88 at MIS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the #88 National Guard “Man of Steel” Chevy on June 16 at Michigan International Speedway. Superman’s values align with National Guard values. Both are citizens who put on their uniforms when their communities need them. More info at soldierofsteel.com.(HMS), see images on the #88 Team Schemes page.(6-10-2013)
Pocono Race and Commercial Breakdown: 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 4:08 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. TNT was the broadcast team for this event. This was the network’s first race of the 2013 racing season.
Total number of commercials: 112
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 65
Number of times TNT utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 0
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 36
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 55 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:08 PM
Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 188
Minutes of race broadcast: 136
Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 52
Number of missed restarts: 0
Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1 A blanket on the track was referred to, but not shown
Total race brdcst time 136 Total comm. brdcst time 52
See past races, links, more info on the 2013 TV Commercials page.(6-10-2013)
NFL Legend Jim Brown says NASCAR ahead of NFL in safety: Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown, attending the Sprint Cup race at Pocono on Sunday, said the NFL has a ways to go to catch up with NASCAR in terms of safety improvements for the sport. “We are way behind,” Brown said. “NASCAR stepped up their safety concepts, and I think the drivers feel NASCAR is doing everything that can be done. So we are a little behind NASCAR in that respect. Someone in NASCAR realized there were certain things that could be done to make it safer. The same thing has to happen in football. It’s two different sports, but you want to make sure it’s as safe as you can make it.” Brown feels the NFL is just beginning to make the type of changes that can revolutionize the sport’s safety. “This is the first time [the NFL] has really taken the safety situation seriously,” Brown said. “Part of that was forced on them because of the concussion lawsuits, but I think when we come out of this we’ll have a much safer game without taking away from the impact of the game.” Brown, 77, returned to his NFL roots last month when he was hired by the Cleveland Browns to become a special adviser to the organization. Brown was attending the NASCAR race as a guest of Richard Petty and Andrew Murstein, the co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. Brown is part of Murstein’s ownership group of the New York Lizards lacrosse team. Brown also attended the pre-race drivers’ meeting.(in part from ESPN.com)(6-10-2013)
Entry List: There are 38 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Alliance Truck Parts 250 at Michigan International Speedway. A few notes:
Chris Buescher is in the #16;
Joey Logano is in the #22;
Kyle Busch is in the #54; There were 39 original entries, but a Turner Scott Motorsports entry to be driven by James Buescher withdrew. (6-10-2013)
See the complete list on the Michigan entry list page.
Takagi primary for Whitt for five races: Starting this weekend at Michigan International Speedway, Takagi will debut as primary sponsor on Cole Whitt’s #44 Toyota Camry. Whitt and Takagi will then team up for Indianapolis, Atlanta, Texas and the season finale at Homestead. (TriStar Motorsports PR)(6-10-2013)
News from June 9, 2013
Jimmie Johnson wins Pocono:#48-Jimmie Johnson won the Party in the Poconos 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 3rd win of 2013, 3rd Pocono win and 63rd career win. Johnson led the most laps, 128 of 160 laps and increased his points lead to 51 points over #99-Edwards
#16-Biffle finished 2nd followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr, #14-Stewart, #39-Newman, #18-Busch, #78-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #29-Harvick & #22-Logano.
There were 14 lead changes among 4 drivers and 6 cautions for 19 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 144.202mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Pocono Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Pocono Penalty Report (pdf).
See the Official Pocono Race and Points Report
Race Fast Facts – Pocono:
#48-Jimmie Johnson won the 32nd Annual Party in the Poconos 400 Presented by Walmart, his 63rd victory in 413 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his third victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2013. Johnson has now won three or more races in 11 of his 12 full-time seasons.
This is his third victory and 16th top-10 finish in 23 races at Pocono Raceway.
#48-Johnson led 128 laps, the highest single-race total of his Pocono career (23 starts).
#16-Greg Biffle (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 21 races at Pocono Raceway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2013.
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 27 races at Pocono Raceway.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(6-9-2013)
2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
[after Pocono, race 14 of 36]
1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [3 wins], 521
2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 470, -51
3) #15-Clint Bowyer, 452, -69
4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 439, -82
5) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 434, -87
6) #20-Matt Kenseth [3 wins], 418, -103
7) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 412, -109
8) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 400, -121
9) #2-Brad Keselowski, 398, -123
10) #16-Greg Biffle, 395, -126 Wild Cards [11 & 12]
#14-Tony Stewart [1 win], 13th in points
#24-Jeff Gordon, 11th in points 2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
#56-Martin Truex Jr., 17th in points
#11-Denny Hamlin, 25th [missed 4 races with injury]
(ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
2013 Top-5’s, Top-10’s: #48-Johnson leads all drivers after 14 races with 7 Top-fives in 2013, followed by #18-Busch with 6.
#48-Johnson & #88-Earnhardt Jr. lead all drivers in 2013 with 9 Top-Ten finishes.
Seven drivers have ran all 14 races in 2013 and do not have a top=10 finish: #17-Stenhouse Jr., #13-Mears, #47-Labonte, #7-Blaney, #83-Reutimann, #93-Kvapil & #35-Wise.(6-9-2013)
Drivers for the #51 at MIchigan and Sonoma:Motor Racing Network’sDustin Long tweets:
(#51) Phoenix Racing GM Steve Barkdoll says they’ll reach out to Bobby Labonte to have him drive 51 car next weekend at Michigan …
(#51) Phoenix Racing GM Steve Barkdoll confirms that Jacques Villeneuve will drive the #51 car at Sonoma in two weeks.(6-9-2013)
Biffle has no plans to leave Roush: #16-Greg Biffle will not drive for Richard Childress Racing next season. Biffle, 43, began his NASCAR career in the Truck Series with Jack Roush in 1998 and remains under contract through 2014. When the driver of the #16 3M Ford read the rumors on Twitter, he was equally surprised. “I’m hit or miss with Twitter, right,” Biffle said. “I follow it quite a bit and then I don’t. So yesterday over the rain delay, I’m just bored out of my mind everyone was. I’m flipping through, reading some of the Twitter stuff and it’s kind of funny, that’s the first I heard of it last night when I read it on my Twitter account. You know how fans are, they’re like, ‘Hey, he should go over there. He’d be a great fit.’ But anyway, no, that’s news to me. We haven’t even started contract talks. We’ve had preliminary kind of talks around (sponsor) 3M extending but then again, we have over a year a year and a half left.” Despite performance issues with the Generation 6 car for the Roush Fenway Racing Fords, Biffle, who is currently 13th in the point standings, acknowledges that he’s “really happy” with his current team. “It’s not from a lack of effort,” Biffle said. “And that’s all I care about. We’ve got all the resources and tools and everybody is trying hard. Yeah, we’re scratching and clawing to get our head above water, but that’s all we can do.(FoxSports)(6-9-2013)
Bill Elliott’s son wins ARCA race: Seventeen-year-old Chase Elliott became the youngest superspeedway winner in ARCA Racing Series history Saturday, winning the Pocono ARCA 200 at Pocono Raceway. Elliott, in the #9 Aaron’s Dream Machine-Hendrickcars.com Chevy, raced his way from the 32nd starting position, took the lead with 21 laps to go, and then held back a hard charge from fellow 17-year-old driver Erik Jones to earn his career-first ARCA victory. “This was a lot of fun,” Elliott said. “This means a ton to me. It was about 10 years ago that I was sitting in victory lane here with my dad.” Elliott, who had to test at Pocono beforehand just to be eligible to enter the race, is a few months younger than Shelby Howard was when Howard won at Kansas Speedway in 2003. Despite an event-filled race, Elliott was the story of the show, setting the age mark on a track that his father won five career NASCAR races at. The elder Elliott stood alone atop the Hendrick Motorsports ARCA team transporter for most of the race watching his son make laps, take the lead, and then hold on for the victory. “He definitely helped me out a lot,” Chase said. “He wasn’t here Wednesday, but we talked on the phone. It was strange coming here because I am so used to coming here with dad and watching him race. Being able to come to the ARCA series and run at Pocono Raceway is huge for me. It definitely opens some doors for us and enables us to do something different.”(ARCA)(6-9-2013)
Bayne wins at Iowa: #6-Trevor Bayne won the rain-delayed Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 at Iowa Speedway. #3-Austin Dillon finished second after dominating 207of the 250 laps. He was followed by #11 -Elliott Sadler, #12-Sam Hornish, #32-Kyle Larson, #2-Brian Scott, #7-Regan Smith, #31-Justin Allgaier, #22-Ryan Blaney, and #19-Mike Bliss. There were five cautions for 31 laps and 12 lead changes among four leaders. Complete results are on the Iowa race results page (pdf).(6-9-2013)
Iowa Race Fast Facts:
Trevor Bayne won the 3rd Annual DuPont Pioneer 250, his second victory in 97 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2013.
This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in four races at Iowa Speedway.
Austin Dillon (second) posted his third top-10 finish in five races at Iowa Speedway. It is his seventh top-10 finish in 2013.
Elliott Sadler (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in five races at Iowa Speedway.
Kyle Larson (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie.
Regan Smith leads the point standings by 23 points over Sam Hornish Jr.
This is the 200th victory for Ford in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Seven manufacturers have posted wins in the NNS, Ford is ranked second behind Chevrolet with 376.
This is the fourth win for Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 6 team at Iowa Speedway: three wins with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and one win with Trevor Bayne.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-9-2013)
Driver standings following Iowa:
1) #7-Regan Smith 448
2) #12-Sam Hornish Jr. 425, -23
3) #31-Justin Allgaier 404, -44
4) #3-Austin Dillon 402, -46
5) #11 Elliott Sadler 388, -60
6) #77-Parker Kligerman 385, -63
7) #20-Brian Vickers 384, -64
8) #2-Brian Scott 381, -67
9) #6- Trevor Bayne 368, -80
10) #32-Kyle Larson # 361, -87
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(6-9-2013)
Lucky Dogs – Who got a lap back on each caution at Iowa: (and their finish)
Caution 1: #52, 33rd
Caution 2: #01, 20th
Caution 3: #31, 21st
Caution 4: none
Caution 5: #44, 16th
Kronwall serves as grand marshal, Clary waves green flag for Quicken Loans 400: Detroit Red Wings alternate captain Niklas Kronwall will be the grand marshal and Olympic gold medalist swimmer Tyler Clary will serve as honorary starter for the Quicken Loans 400 on June 16 at Michigan International Speedway. Kronwall will give the command of “start your engines” while Clary will wave the green flag to start the Quicken Loans 400. “We are thrilled to welcome Niklas Kronwall and Tyler Clary to the MIS festivities,” track president Roger Curtis said. “Niklas is an integral member of the Red Wings and the Detroit community who represents the state with pride. As a member of the US Olympic team, Tyler represented our country with pride and we are pleased he will be here with us to wave the green flag.” Tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(6-9-2013)
25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 Features New Elements for Fans: Sonoma Raceway will celebrate 25 years of NASCAR Cup racing in the Sonoma Valley during the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 21-23, but the road course certainly isn’t resting on its laurels when it comes to bringing dynamic new features to NASCAR fans. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in Sonoma will feature a number of dynamic new features, both on and off the track, which are sure to deliver a NASCAR weekend you’ve never seen before. Here’s a glimpse of some of the all-new elements you can expect during the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350:
Gen-6 Car Hits the Road: NASCAR’s Gen-6 stock car, which has produced exciting racing and record-breaking weekends so far this season, will make its road-course debut in Sonoma.
New Qualifying Format: NASCAR has introduced a new group qualifying format for its two road-course races. Drivers will duke it out in two practice sessions on Great Clips Fast Friday, followed by Lean1 Pole Day group qualifying on Saturday morning.
Patrick Returns: Rookie sensation Danica Patrick returns to Sonoma Raceway for her NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course debut. It’s the first time Patrick has raced in the Sonoma Valley since her final INDYCAR visit in 2011.
All Aboard! New for 2013, the NASCAR Express train will pick fans up in Sacramento, Davis or Suisun and drop off at Sonoma Raceway’s main gate. This $199 package, which includes a reserved seat, train transportation and more, is now available for purchase at racesonoma.com/nascarexpress.
New Driver Introductions: This year, Sonoma Raceway is putting fans closer than ever to their favorite drivers during pre-race festivities with a new “cat-walk” style introduction stage. Get your Pre-Race Pit & Track Pass today to enjoy all the fun!
Good Eats: If handmade burgers, locally-sourced sausages and other gourmet BBQ items are what you crave, look no further than the all-new Sears Point Grill, and then quench your thirst at the new Nor Cal Craft Beer Garden in the main paddock with Northern California’s finest craft beers, ales and hard ciders.
Camping Fun: We’ve got all-new amenities for fans who join us for a weekend of camping fun. Enjoy a free, round-trip shuttle to the Sonoma Square, or head to the 50 Acres Campground and enjoy cinema-quality movies on Friday and Saturday nights.
Enhanced Pre-Race Show: The Patriots Jet Team Airshow returns with a never-before-seen six-jet air show. Keep your eyes to the sky for more great aerial action, including vintage fighter jets, historic World War II planes, a Huey helicopter and the GoPro Bomb Squad. Plus, the high-flying Brigade Freestyle Motocross Team will perform incredible stunts around the road course, and the Grant Union High School Drumline will take to the pre-race stage.
For more information about the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 or to purchase your ticket today, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit www.racesonoma.com/nascar.(6-9-2013)
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Party in the Poconos 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway have been made.
#48-Johnson, who starts 1st [rain out] chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
#99-Edwards, who start 2nd, took pit stall 31, the 2nd pitstall with an opening in front of it.
#15-Bowyer, who starts 3rd took the 25th pit stall, the 1st stall with an opening in front of it.
The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #20-Kenseth, who starts 4th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-8-2013)
Happy Hour [Final] practice for the Party in the Poconos 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five slowest and notes:
slowest: #44-Riggs 165.761 & #32-Hill 166.948
no speed: #19-Leffler, #36-Yeley
notes: #87-Nemechek is not at the track, is at Iowa for the NNS race. David Stremme has ran a lap in the #87.
See fastest speeds, laps tun on the Pocono Happy Hour Practice speeds page.(6-8-2013)
Driver change in the #47 at MIS? MORE: Could #47 JTG/Daugherty Racing be looking to make a driver change at Michigan International Speedway next weekend? Although Bobby Labonte has driven the No. 47 car since 2011, with the team teetering just within the top 30 in owner points, sources tell FOXSports.com that AJ Allmendinger has been approached to fill the seat and offer a fresh opinion. Labonte, who turned 49 on Saturday, has 21 career Sprint Cup wins but has not posted a top-five finish in the car since he debuted with JTG/Daugherty in the 2011 Daytona 500. The 2000 Sprint Cup champion scored top 10 finishes last year at Daytona and Martinsville Speedway but his best result in 2013 was 15th in the Daytona 500. After a busy month of May in the IndyCar Series including a top 10 finish in the Indy 500 Allmendinger, 31, returns to stock cars this weekend at Pocono Raceway with Phoenix Racing. He will start 18th on Sunday after qualifying was rained out on Friday. Team owner Tad Geschickter could not be immediately reached for comment.(FoxSports) MORE AJ Allmendinger will replace Bobby Labonte next week at Michigan International Speedway as JTG Daugherty Racing looks for answers for its struggling performance. Labonte is tentatively scheduled to return to the car the following week at Sonoma Raceway. The 2000 Cup champion, Labonte is mired in 28th in the standings with a season-best of 15th at Daytona. Having driven for JTG Daugherty Racing since 2011, Labonte does not have a contract for next season, but team co-owner Tad Geschickter said Saturday that this change is just to get a second opinion. The team does not have sponsorship for five races in 2013 and Allmendinger could run all of those five but that is still to be determined, said team co-owner Brad Daugherty. “We’re not replacing Bobby he’s still our driver,” Geschickter said. “But we have a few races that we don’t have any sponsor activation and it was pretty easy to do (a change and) some benchmarking. The big issue for a single-car team, how else do you benchmark for your car? & Michigan is the only one set in stone (for a change). Bobby will be back in the car at Sonoma. It is just a good opportunity for us to verify what Bobby thinks the main issue is.” Allmendinger declined comment on the reports Saturday, deferring to Geschickter.(Sporting News)(6-8-2013) UPDATE: 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte will share seat time with AJ Allmendinger in the #47 Toyota Camry fielded by JTG Daugherty Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the remainder of the 2013 season. The team is currently eyeing five races with the first taking place in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan. The move is being made by the single-car operation to help refine the direction for the team’s development of the Gen-6 Camrys housed in their Harrisburg, N.C. shop. Allmendinger believes he can assist the JTG Daugherty Racing team. “I have raced for Phoenix Racing some this year and feel confident I’ll be able to provide JTG Daugherty Racing with a good comparison,” said Allmendinger. “I’m thankful for this opportunity to work with the team and Bobby (Labonte).”
“At the end of the day, the name of the game is to provide value to our sponsors,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “We are realistic about our position in the garage as a single-car operation. However, we have always been able to punch above our weight to deliver a great value to our partners on and off the track. We have not been doing that with the new car and this move is an additional step in determining what areas we need to work on to improve our performance.”(JTG Daugherty Racing)(6-8-2013)
1st Saturday practice for the Party in the Poconos 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five slowest and notes:
slowest: #44-Riggs 164.297 & #32-Hill 166.236
no speed: #87-Nemechek/Stremme
notes: #27-Menard had transmission problems early in the session and was smoking, SPEED reports the team changed the transmission. At Pocono and the road courses, NASCAR allows teams to change a transmission if there are problems.
#87-Nemechek is not at the track, David Stremme will take a few laps in the #87 during one of the practices.
See fastest speeds, laps tun on the Pocono Practice 1 speeds page.(6-8-2013)
Johnson comments about the restart at Dover: #48-Jimmie Johnson met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway, and discussed the restart at Dover. The transcript in part: Q) DID YOU TALK TO NASCAR ABOUT THE RESTART AT DOVER AND WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON IT NOW? Johnson: “I did a little bit after the race and then sat and digested things this week and I’m going to go and speak to them now that we have a lot of time this morning since it’s raining and just walk through it some more. It’s an interesting thing that took place in my opinion. I feel that in NASCAR and auto racing there are very few moments where maybe a penalty could be drawn or a foul could be drawn like we would see in the NBA Finals or something right now there is flopping that goes on. I really believe that in the restart zone to the start-finish line that Juan (Pablo Montoya) just didn’t go and in my opinion, I think he played it right. I think he was smart in letting me get out ahead of him and let them make the call on me to keep me from having the lead and winning the race. It’s interesting, I really don’t have anything against Juan for doing it, as racers we need to work any and every angle we can to win a race. That’s what we do, we race. I put a little more weight into officiating in exactly how the rule reads and the way the rule is intended to be enforced. I think we can look at enforcing it differently. I think everybody looking at it afterwards can see that Juan just didn’t go. What happens then when you get out of that restart zone? What happens from there to the start-finish line? I think with the data we have and the technology we have today, we have the tools to maybe make a better decision and make a better decision at that point in time. It’s difficult after the race, people look at stuff and that didn’t work out. The race had been taken away from us, the championship bonus points are gone and it’s very difficult at that point to do the right thing, but in today’s world of technology, I hope that we can figure out one, exactly how does that rule read. I kind of get it, but from the restart zone to the start-finish line, if I guy breaks or has trouble NASCAR has the ability to make the call and say that they had trouble and it’s fine to go. Someone flops, what then? You think about the restart zone at Indy, you have a couple hundred yards from the end of that zone to the start-finish line and if I’m the leader and on the outside, I could let five or six cars go by and then get to the start-finish line and trap them all down and put them in position to be penalized. Essentially, Juan found a loophole. He found a loophole in the officiating and worked it to his advantage so sure I’m mad I didn’t win the race, and I’m not mad at him, but I think we need to look at how we officiate and how we can regulate that and keep that from happening. Dover, it’s a very short distance from the zone to the start-finish line. At other tracks, it’s a huge distance. Here, it’s pretty big. I would have to imagine it’s a couple hundred yards as well. You could pin four or five people into that position if they take the bait, which I took the bait clearly.” Q) NASCAR SAID IT WAS A ‘NO BRAINER,’ BUT NOT FOR YOU?
“Not for me, not for the 15 (Clint Bowyer), not for the 99 (Carl Edwards), not for the 18 (Kyle Busch), I mean all these guys have talked to me and I just saw Clint and he was like, ‘Dude, I was on the brakes, like I stomped on the brakes to stop because I knew you were in trouble.’ I said I knew I was too, I was just hoping that they would see the rest of you check up. It is what it is, I can’t change it and can’t do anything about it, but moving forward I think we can prevent that situation from happening again.”(Team Chevy)(6-8-2013)
Montoya comments about the restart at Dover: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, met with members of the media at Pocono Raceway and discussed last week’s restart at Dover. The transcript in part: Q) JIMMIE (JOHNSON) CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN THAT YOU CLEARLY AND DELIBERATELY DID NOT RESTART YOU STOPPED FORCING HIM TO RESTART AHEAD OF YOU TO GET TO THE LINE. THEN HE CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN HE TRIED TO GIVE THE POSITION BACK AND YOU WOULDN’T TAKE THE POSITION BACK. WHAT IS YOUR FEELING ON THAT: Montoya: “If I did that why only Jimmie passed me in his lane? I mean you think about it. Let’s say I had a bad start and he beat me by a bumper or half a car length NASCAR wouldn’t have said anything. But it was Jimmie the field so I’m okay with it. He didn’t if you pay attention we were coming to the cones he didn’t even want to lineup next to me. He was actually dropping back. He wanted to time it. He just mistimed it. It’s all good. It’s racing.” Q) JIMMIE (JOHNSON) SAID HE IS GOING TO GO TALK TO NASCAR BECAUSE HE WOULD LIKE IT TO BE CRYSTAL CLEAR HE IS NOT CLEAR ON THE RULE AND HE THINKS THAT YOU FOUND A LOOP HOLE IN THE RULE: Montoya: “Wow, I’m that good (laughs). Man that is a compliment. The loop hole is that you have to start between the cones and the leader has got to& I think the start says you have to restart between the two cones that I did. And you are not supposed to beat the leader to the line. What is so hard about that? You know what I mean? I read a quote about him this week. I was at my house and I read a quote. He (Jimmie Johnson) said ‘if he wouldn’t have done that the No. 42 would have beat him.’ I’m like well I’m the leader not you. I was thinking I know you dominated the race, but we came to a pit stop and we did a better job than you guys. And as we did a better job than you guys we are the leader not you. Crazy enough if he would have backed off let me go he would have probably passed me again. It would have been all good. He wanted to time it really well where he didn’t have to deal with me through turns one and two, but he mistimed it. That is it, no drama.”(Team Chevy)(6-8-2013)
Toyota dialing back its Sprint Cup engines for two races: Nearly all of Toyota’s Sprint Cup crew chiefs and drivers gathered on leather couches in the back room of the manufacturer’s mobile headquarters Friday morning at Pocono Raceway. It was the first meeting chaired by David Wilson since his appointment as acting president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development, yet this wasn’t a perfunctory get-to-know-you affair. With Toyota’s engines failing at an alarming rate, including those in the Camrys of Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. last week at Dover International Speedway, the subject matter was serious: How to improve reliability without dialing back performance. Starting with Sunday at Pocono Raceway and continuing next week at Michigan International Speedway, Toyota will be more conservative with its tuning at two superspeedways known for putting heavy stress on engines.(USA Today)(6-8-2013)
2013 NASCAR on FOX Season Wraps as Highest-Rated, Most-Watched Sport In-Season:NASCAR on FOX concluded its 2013 portion of the season as the highest-rated and most-watched sport in-season for the 13th straight season, according to figures released today by Nielsen Media Research. The complete 2013 NASCAR on FOX Sprint Cup season averaged a potent 4.8/10 household rating/share for the third time in four years (2010, 2012 & 2013).
In addition to its 13-year in-season reign, the 2013 NASCAR on FOX season also outperformed the NBA Playoffs on ABC by +41% (4.8 vs. 3.4), as well as complete NBA Conference Finals coverage on all networks by +7% (4.8 vs. 4.5). NASCAR on FOX is the only major sport on a broadcast network not to post a year-to-year ratings decline this year. NASCAR on FOX also continues to be a ratings force among male viewers watching events live. Compared to broadcast network prime time entertainment programming, live NASCAR on FOX viewership ranks No. 2 among Men 18-49 and Men 25-54 from February through the end of the broadcast season.
“NASCAR has been a bedrock of consistency in an unpredictable media environment, best exemplified by the sport’s same strong rating in three of the last four years,” said Michael Mulvihill, Senior Vice President, Programming & Research, FOX Sports. “This season we helped the sport introduce a new generation of car, which is by all measures a tremendous success. We also tried new formats for our biggest pre-race shows and came up with hit new segments like the Michael Waltrip prerace pit walk. With the upcoming launch of FOX Sports 1, our partnership with NASCAR becomes more essential to our overall success. NASCAR is poised for a tremendous future, and we’re glad to be along for the ride.”
NASCAR on FOX 2013 also posted ratings increases in five of the top seven and nine of the nation’s 15 biggest markets, including Los Angeles (+6%) and Chicago (+32%). Overall, ratings grew +7% (4.5 vs. 4.2) in the country’s 56 biggest markets compared to a year ago.(FoxSports)(6-8-2013)
Keselowski to be honored: #2-Brad Keselowski will be honored by the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame during the 40th Anniversary Induction Banquet on June 13 in Troy, MI. The awards will be presented to the recipients at the 40th Anniversary Induction Banquet on June 13 at the American Polish-Cultural Center in Troy, with Detroit Pistons play by play announcer George Blaha serving as Master of Ceremonies.()(6-8-2013)
Sad News – Gilford Hicks Martin Sr: #29-Kevin Harvick will be without his crew chief for practice at Pocono Raceway and possibly on race day Sunday as Gil Martin mourns the death of his father. Gilford Hicks Martin Sr. died Friday. He was 89. Gil Martin did not travel with the Richard Childress Racing team to Pocono, where events were being delayed by rain Friday with the weather expected to clear for track activity Saturday. It will not be determined until Sunday morning whether Martin will fly to Pocono with the race-day pit crew for the Sprint Cup race Sunday. If Martin does not travel to the track, car chief Chad Haney would call the race Sunday with the help of competition director Eric Warren.(Sporting News), Martin plans to be at Pocono for the race on Sunday.(6-8-2013)
Dillon on pole at Iowa: #3-Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole for the Pinoeer Hi-Bred 250 at Iowa Speedway with a speed of 136.737mph. #12-Sam Hornish, Jr. will start second. The rest of the top 10: #2-Brian Scott, #20-Brian Vickers, #7-Regan Smith, #22-Joey Logano, #11-Elliott Sadler, #60-Travis Pastrana, #54-Drew Herring, and #32-Kyle Larson. Did Not Qualify: #89-Morgan Shepherd. The starting lineup is posted on the Iowa starting lineup page (pdf).(6-8-2013)
Iowa Qualifying Notes:
Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 3rd Annual DuPont Pioneer 250 with a lap of 23.037 seconds, 136.737 mph.
This is his sixth pole in 56 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his third pole and 11th top-10 start in 2013.
This is his first pole in five races at Iowa Speedway.
Sam Hornish Jr. (second) posted his 11th top-10 start of 2013 and his fourth in four races at Iowa Speedway.
Brian Scott (third) posted his fifth top-10 start at Iowa Speedway. It is his seventh in 12 races this season.
Kyle Larson (10th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-8-2013)
News from June 7, 2013
Another Burton in victory lane: Jeb Burton, son of 2002 Daytona 500 Champion Ward Burton and nephew of #31-Jeff Burton, won the WinStar World Casino 400K Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night. For more info and news, see Jayski’s Truck Series site.(6-7-2013)
Qualifying rained out at Pocono: rain all day at Pocono Raceway caused qualifying to be canceled for the Party at the Poconos 400 Sprint Cup Series race on Friday. The starting lineup was set by the rules book. The top 36 set by OWNERS [not drivers] points, then by race attempts, ties broken by owners points rank. #48-Johnson will start first followed by #99-Edwards, #15-Bowyer, #20-Kenseth, #29-Harvick, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kahne, #18-Busch, #27-Menard & #2-Keselowski. 43 drivers were entered, so all made the race. All tickets from Friday are good for $10 off tomorrow’s ticket or can be redeemed for Fri Aug ticket
See the Party on the Poconos 400 starting lineup on the Pocono Starting Lineup page.(6-7-2013)
Weather rained out track activities at Pocono on Friday UPDATES: The weather forecast for Long Pond, PA and the Pocono Raceway this weekend does NOT look good at all for Friday [Practice & Qualifying] or Saturday [Practices]:
The forecast for Friday: Showers. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 62. Southeast wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
Friday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Cloudy, with a low around 56. East wind 7 to 13 mph becoming north after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
Saturday: Showers likely, with thunderstorms also possible after 9am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71. West wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
See weather links on the Pocono Race Info page – weather section.(6-7-2013) UPDATE: As of 9:30 am/et Friday, it was raining at the track. The 2.5-mile triangular track typically takes more than two hours to dry, although it does have NASCAR’s new drying system on-site (Sporting News) UPDATE2: as of 12:00pm/et, Sprint Cup Series practice is under a rain delay at Pocono. UPDATE3: All track activities at Pocono scheduled for Friday have been canceled. Sprint Cup Series race lineup has been set by the rules book, the top 36 by owners points, then by race attempts, ties broken by owners points rank. LINEUP see the Party on the Poconos 400 starting lineup on the Pocono Starting Lineup page.(6-7-2013)
NASCAR Next Roster For 2013 Announced: Filled with prospects coming from Nevada to Georgia, from Canada to Mexico, and a number of hometowns in between, NASCAR unveiled today the 2013 driver roster for the NASCAR Next program at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. NASCAR Next, an evolution of the Next9 initiative that began in 2011, is an overarching industry initiative to help spotlight NASCAR’s rising stars and bolster fan recognition around talent that will grow into NASCAR Sprint Cup Series mainstays. In addition to competing on various NASCAR series across the country, drivers in the program will participate in several media and promotional activities throughout the next 12 months. This year’s NASCAR Next group ranges from 15 to 24 years of age, represents three countries and 10 U.S. states from Nevada to Connecticut. They have amassed 32 NASCAR touring series wins and one series title. The multicultural group represents a diversity in geography (10 different U.S. states, in addition to Canada and Mexico), with racing backgrounds from asphalt to dirt and open wheel to stock car.
The team was assembled through a thorough process that included separate nominating and voting panels. Drivers must be between the ages of 15-25, have tangible and expressed goals in eventual competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and possess the skill set to realize that goal. Additionally, each driver in NASCAR Next must be actively competing in a NASCAR touring or weekly series NASCAR K&N Pro Series East or West, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series, Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series or NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitors also are eligible providing they are in the first full-time season in their respective series. The NASCAR Next members for 2013-14 are: Jeb Burton, Chase Elliott, Gray Gaulding, Ryan Gifford, Cameron Hayley, Ben Kennedy, Dylan Kwasniewski, Brett Moffitt, Ryan Preece, Ben Rhodes, Kenzie Ruston, Michael Self and Daniel Suárez (NASCAR), see the full PR and short bios on my Driver Delveopment News page.(6-7-2013)
More cautions in Sprint Cup races this season: NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers have crashed more often this season than at this point in each of the past two years as they continue to understand the new car. Such incidents also have led to significantly more cautions than a year ago and changed the racing. Through 13 races this season:
– There have been 52 cautions for accidents according to NASCAR race reports.
There were 29 cautions for accidents at this time last year. In 2011, there were 51 cautions for accidents.
– There have been 28 cautions for multi-car accidents compared to 17 last year.
– There have been 68 cautions for accidents and spins this year. That total was 36 a year ago.
– Ten of the 13 tracks had more accidents this year than in last year’s race.
– There have been 104 cautions this season compared to 73 at this time last year.(See full post at Motor Racing Nework)(6-6-2013)
Halfway Home, Wild Card Watch Begins: With half of the regular season in the record book, the road to the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” figures to take a variety of twists and turns through the next 13 races, beginning with Sunday’s Party in the Poconos 400. The Chase lineup will be set Sept. 7 at Richmond International Raceway. The top 10 in points automatically qualify for the Chase. Two Wild Cards drivers ranked 11th through 20th with the most wins fill out the field of 12. By points margins, the current top 10 is unsettled. From eighth Kyle Busch to 13th Greg Biffle the spread is just 21 points. A year ago, nine of the 10 drivers qualifying for the Chase by points occupied a top-10 position entering the regular season’s final 13 races. So it’s not too early to consider the Wild Card scenarios.
Tony Stewart, until recently outside the top 20, is the current Wild Card leader (16th) following Sunday’s victory at Dover.
Jeff Gordon, 11th in the standings, holds the second Wild Card based upon his points position.
David Ragan won at Talladega but ranks 27th and is 113 points outside top-20 eligibility.
Stewart’s Dover victory was his first top-five finish of the 2013 campaign the slowest start in 15 seasons for the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. To say Stewart-Haas Racing has struggled would be an understatement, but Stewart said last month at Charlotte his team had turned the corner.
Only 33 points outside the top 10, Stewart may not be a Wild Card hopeful for long. He finished third in Pocono’s first race a year ago, fifth in the second. Stewart counts two victories at the track and a fifth-best Driver Rating of 98.6. Of Stewart’s 48 career victories, 42 have come after June 1. Gordon, likewise, is trending upward. A trio of accident-caused DNFs has offset three third-place finishes, the most recent coming last Sunday. He’s gained 10 positions in the points since Bristol, where Gordon suffered one of three finishes of 34th or worse. Gordon won last August’s weather-shortened Pocono event, his second victory in the last four races and sixth overall at the 2.5-mile track. Gordon enjoys a third-best Pocono Driver Rating (100.9) and series-best top-five (18) and top-10 (28) finishes.(NASCAR)(6-7-2013)
Armed Forces Foundation and NASCAR Bring “Troops to the Track” Program to Pocono: The Armed Forces Foundation and NASCAR continue the 2013 Troops to the Track program on Sunday, June 9th, by bringing service members based out of United States Army Garrison West Point Directorate of Emergency Services Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians to the Party in the Poconos 400 at the Pocono Raceway. Their mission is to provide the West Point community world class police and fire emergency response, security, and exceptional customer service while directly enhancing the quality of life for all members of our community and the United States Military Academy. Troops to the Track will be expanded to include service member’s families during NASCAR: An American Salute, which begins at the Coca-Cola 600 and runs through the Coke Zero 400 on July 4th weekend. NASCAR: An American Salute is a six-week industry-wide effort to honor and celebrate the service of current Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families. Sergeant John Shoemaker, a member of the military police force located at West Point, will be riding in the pace car and will be spotlighted at the Party at the Poconos 400. Sergeant Shoemaker has dedicated ten years of his life to the military and is proud to provide professional law enforcement for the West Point community and its guests.(AFF)(6-7-2013)
Burton wins Texas: #4-Jeb Burton won the WinStar World Casino 400K on Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway, holding off a hard-charging #3-Ty Dillon. Dillon settled for second with #77-German Quiroga third, #88-Matt Crafton, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #98-Johnny Sauter, #29-Ryan Blaney, #31-James Buescher, and #32-Miguel Paludo close out the top-10. There were three caution flags for 16 laps, and 12 lead changes among eight drivers. Complete results are on the Texas race results page (pdf).(6-7-2013)
Texas Race Fast Facts:
Jeb Burton won the 17th Annual WinStar World Casino 400, his first victory in 12 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2013. This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in one races at Texas Motor Speedway.
Earlier today, Burton was recognized as a member of the NASCAR Next class of 2013.
Ty Dillon (second) posted his fourth top-10 finish in four races at Texas Motor Speedway.
It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2013.
German Quiroga (third) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Texas Motor Speedway.
Matt Crafton leads the points standings by 23 points over Jeb Burton.(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-7-2013)
Speedway Motorsports installs new cables: Kentucky Speedway has installed new vertical cables along the catch fence as an added safety measure in spectator areas, owner Bruton Smith said Wednesday. Smith said the technology was developed by Speedway Motorsports Inc. personnel and a patent is pending. The 5/8-inch steel cables were placed between support posts and anchored into the retaining wall with epoxy. They’re connected to the existing horizontal steel cables with a steel clamp. The system is designed to keep the horizontal cables from spreading if a tire or car were to sail into the catch fence. Smith said he’s made NASCAR aware of the new feature. “I’m going to predict they’ll start using it, but I don’t know. I think they will,” he said. “This is the latest and greatest as far as a safety feature that we’ve ever done. We went between each post and we’ve tied those cables together. There’s no wheel going to go through there at any time. A car can’t get through there. So it’s a major safety factor. I’d like to see all the speedways use it.”(Cincinnati Enquirer)(6-7-2013)
Fort Erie speedway gets green light: The decision was worth the wait say proponents of the Canadian Motor Speedway. Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin was informed Thursday morning that an appeal made to the Ontario Municipal Board regarding the Canadian Motor Speedway was denied, clearing the way for the $400-million project to move forward. “It’s been a long time and a long journey and we’re finally glad the decision has come forward,” said Martin. “Our next step is meeting with Azhar (Mohammad, executive director of the speedway) to get his team together and the documents together to move forward with the project and put shovels in the ground.” The decision came almost three months after the environmental group Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society made the appeal following the OMB’s original decision in favour of the speedway late last year. The OMB needed to determine whether or not there were any planning or land issues in order for the speedway’s groundbreaking plans to move forward.(Niagara Falls Review)(6-7-2013)
AMS & SCC donate meats to Henry County Food Pantry: The Atlanta Motor Speedway chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities has teamed up with Smithfield Foods to donate 320,000 hot dogs. The donation was hosted by Helping In His Name Food Pantry of Henry County. Smithfield’s donation of Gwaltney-brand hot dogs, totaling over 40,000 pounds of protein, will be distributed to needy families and other food pantries in the Henry County area through Helping In His Name Ministries, located in Stockbridge. If lined end-to-end, all 320,000 of those hot dogs would make just over 19 laps around the Atlanta Motor Speedway’s 1.54-mile racing surface. This donation was part of Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes tour, the company’s coast-to-coast effort to help families and individuals become more food secure. By way of this program, Smithfield has partnered with charities like SCC to deliver more than 25.4 million servings of protein to food-assistance groups across the country. AdvoCare 500 tickets are on sale now and adult tickets start at just $39. Student tickets cost just $19. Other specials are available while they last. For more information, visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or call the AMS Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX or (770) 946-4211.(AMS)(6-7-2013)
News from June 6, 2013
TRD’s President Lee White to Retire at End of Season UPDATE: TRD, USA (Toyota Racing Development) President Lee White announced that he has elected to retire at the end of the 2013 race season. Due to family health care needs, White will step down from his daily duties and will vacate the position of president and general manager of TRD, effective immediately. “I have been planning and working toward retirement at the end of this race season in December,” he said. “I have been offered and accepted an opportunity to perform a reduced amount of duties from my home office. This generous arrangement afforded to us by the company will allow me to attend to personal family priorities.” Throughout his career, White has participated in programs totaling approximately 1000 individual race victories and 250 championships. He is also a private, instrument-rated pilot, aircraft tuner and holder of two U.S. National and World F.I.A. speed records. White will continue as a Special Advisor to TRD and Toyota Motorsports until his planned retirement at the end of the season. Assignment of his duties will be determined shortly.(Toyota Racing)(6-4-2013) UPDATE: TRD, USA (Toyota Racing Development) announced that Senior Vice President David Wilson, is named acting president & general manager of TRD effective immediately. In this role, David will be responsible for all of TRD’s day-to-day operations and activities. These include engineering, manufacturing, engine build and supply chain management. Wilson also will continue in his role as SVP for TRD’s administration, finance and facilities department.(TRD)(6-6-2013)
Final Dover TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing on FOX concluded its 2013 campaign with a 3.8/9 (5.973 million viewers) on Sunday afternoon for the FEDEX 400 from Dover. That’s up +3% over last year’s 3.7/9 (5.738 million viewers) for the same race and ranked as the highest-rated and most-watched event of the day. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(6-6-2013)
Final 2013 FOX NASCAR TV Ratings: For the complete 2013 season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Races on FOX averaged a 4.8/10 with 7.8 million viewers. That’s flat with last year’s average of a 4.8/10 with 7.9 million viewers and once again ranks as the highest-rated and most-watched sport in season.. Though NASCAR on FOX did not post any gains over last year’s Household average, it was the only major sport on any broadcast network not to post a year-to-year ratings decline. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(6-6-2013)
Axalta Coating Systems extends sponsorship of #24 car:Axalta Coatings Systems, formerly DuPont Performance Coatings, not only launched its new brand this week, it today announced a three-year contract extension with the #24 Hendrick Motorsports team through 2016. In its 21st year of sponsorship, Hendrick Motorsports and Axalta will reach an extraordinary 24-year partnership. Currently the longest running driver, owner and sponsor combination in NASCAR, the partnership with driver Jeff Gordon has four NASCAR Cup Series championships and 87 NASCAR Sprint Cup wins to their credit. Axalta will have primary positioning on the #24 Chevy for 10 races for each of the next three years and will continue its associate sponsorship status for the remaining races. The Axalta logo will appear on the hood of the #24 Chevy for the first time this weekend at Pocono Raceway with the familiar “firestorm” paint scheme.(Hendrick Motorsports), see images of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(6-6-2013)
Stewart heats up after May: When the weather heats up, so does #14-Tony Stewart. Of his 48 Sprint Cup (points) wins, only six have come before June. They are&
1) May 5, 2001 at Richmond
2) March 10, 2002 at Atlanta
3) May 5, 2002 at Richmond
4) April 2, 2006 at Martinsville
5) March 11, 2012 at Las Vegas
6) March 25, 2012 at Auto Club
(Stewart Haas Racing)(6-6-2013)
Hendrickcars.com on the #5 at Pocono: Hendrickcars.com returns as a primary partner for Kahne Kahne and the #5 Chevy this weekend at Pocono Raceway. Hendrickcars.com offers more than 25,000 new and pre-owned vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Hendrickcars.com also features classic cars, available for purchase, from Rick Hendrick’s personal collection.(HMS)(6-6-2013)
Rheem returns to the #29: The red Rheem logo will adorn the hood of the #29 Richard Childress Racing Chevy this weekend at Pocono Raceway for their fourth of seven appearances during the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season. Rheem will also be featured on Harvick’s Chevy at Sonoma in June, Michigan in August and Talladega in October (RCR), see images of the scheme on the #29 Team Schemes page.(6-6-2013)
Pocono Goodyear Tire Notes This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that NASCAR Sprint Cup teams ran twice at Pocono last season . . . these teams also ran this right-side tire code twice on Phoenix’s recently repaved surface in 2012 . . . for 2013, Pocono is the only track on which these tire codes are scheduled to be run . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners on all four tire positions at Pocono . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear), see tire pressures, tire codes, number of sets on the Pocono Race Info page – Goodyear section.(6-6-2013)
Quaker State sponsors Menard at Pocono: The #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevy of Paul Menard will sport a different look this weekend carrying a special paint scheme combination of Quaker State green and Menards yellow at Pocono. Menard has 12 starts at Pocono Raceway. His best start of second came in 2011 and best finish of ninth came in 2012. The Wisconsin native has completed 2,105 of 2,168 laps attempted (97.1 percent) at the Pennsylvania track.(RCR), see images of the scheme/car on the #27 Team Schemes page.(6-6-2013)
Valvoline colors on the #17 at Pocono: The Party in the Poconos Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is Valvoline’s debut on the #17 Ford of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. this season. Valvoline first partnered with RFR in 1989 and served as the primary sponsor on the #6 Sprint Cup Ford. In 2011, RFR first adopted NextGen motor oil technology, testing it at the lab and on track. Since 2011, overall regular season race wins using Valvoline with NextGen technology total 55, with 17 of those in NASCAR with RFR. In addition, Valvoline with NextGen technology won the last two NNS championships with RFR and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(RFR), see an image of the scheme on the #17 Team Schemes page.(6-6-2013)
Sad News – Cecil Wilson: Mr. Cecil Ray Wilson, age 77 of Lawsonville, NC, passed away Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at Stanleytown Healthcare Center in Bassett, VA. He was born in Patrick County on September 8, 1935 to the late Pete and Gladys Lawson Wilson. He had worked for 42 years with Wood Brothers Racing Team where he was affectionately known as “Big C” and he also worked for Fieldcrest Mills for over 40 years. See an obit and service info at moodyfuneralservices.com.(Wood Brothers Racing)(6-6-2013)
Clawdog Affordable Websites sponsoring Rhodes:Clawdog Affordable Websites will sponsor High Point NASCAR driver Harrison Rhodes in the Nationwide Series race Saturday night in Iowa. Rhodes will drive the #23 Mustang for Rick Ware Racing. Jon Kemp, President of locally owned Kemp Advertising + Marketing heard that High Point driver Harrison Rhodes’ racing career was on the rise and that he needed a sponsor. Being a long time NASCAR fan he thought this would be a great way to introduce their newest product Clawdog Affordable Websites. In what’s becoming a more common trend to “give back,” the team at Clawdog websites is also taking advantage of this opportunity to showcase one of their favorite charities – Energize Ministries. Energize Ministries will also be highlighted on the #23 car this weekend. Energize Ministries is passionate about encouraging and motivating others to consistently invest in the lives of their pastors.(KEMP Advertising + Marketing)(6-6-2013)
Harr returns to the #4: After driving the iWorld Connect Chevy in three Nationwide Series races for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller early in the season, Daryl Harr will return to the cockpit for Saturday’s DuPont Pioneer 250 at Iowa Speedway. Harr drove the #4 Chevy at Phoenix, Las Vegas and Auto Club Speedway near the start of the season, scoring a top finish of 28th. Harr, a veteran of the K&N Pro Series West who has raced in three Nationwide events at Iowa, said he’s looking forward to returning to the seven-eighths-mile track. iWorld Connect is an Apple premium reseller of computer equipment with four locations in western Canada.(JD Motorsports)(6-6-2013)
Sauter on pole for WinStar World Casino 400k: #98-Johnny Sauter, who won both Texas races last season, won the pole for Friday night’s race at Texas Motor Speedway after running a top speed at 180.222 mph. #3-Ty Dillon will start alongside in row one. #4-Jeb Burton was third, followed by: #62-Brendan Gaughan, #32-Miguel Paludo, #29-Ryan Blaney, #17-Timothy Peters, #88-Matt Crafton, #9-Ron Hornaday, and #19-Ross Chastain in the top-ten. See complete results on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(6-6-2013)
Texas Qualifying Notes:
Johnny Sauter won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 17th Annual WinStar World Casino 400 with a lap of 29.963 seconds, 180.222 mph.
This is his fifth pole in 115 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2013.
This is his second pole in ten races at Texas Motor Speedway.
Ty Dillon (second) posted his sixth top-10 start of 2013 and his fourth in four races at Texas Motor Speedway.
Jeb Burton (third) posted his first top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his seventh in seven races this season.
Jeb Burton (third) was the fastest qualifying rookie.(NASCAR Statistics)(6-6-2013)
Burton leads rain-delayed practice at Texas: #4-Jeb Burton led the lone practice session at Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday. Originally, teams were to have two sessions, but rain and track drying altered the schedule, giving them just one extended session. Burton topped the charts with a top speed of 180.971 mph. #98-Johnny Sauter was second, followed by: #17-Timothy Peters, #51-Chad Hackenbracht, #88-Matt Crafton, #32-Miguel Paludo, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #77-German Quiroga, #3-Ty Dillon, and #24-Brennan Newberry. 32 trucks are entered for the event, and each truck turned at least one lap during the session. Practice speeds are posted on the Texas Practice page (pdf).(6-6-2013)
Tim Dugger to Perform Pre-Race Concert at Pocono Raceway June 9: Curb recording artist, Tim Dugger is addicted to the “fast lane” and there will be no faster lane on Sunday, June 9, than the Party in the Pocono 400 Presented by Walmart at Pocono Raceway. Dugger’s concert will headline pre-race festivities leading the 1:00 PM start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at “The Tricky Triangle.”
On Saturday, Pittsburgh-based, The Truth, will perform at Pocono Raceway’s Victory Circle from 11:00 – 11:30 am/et. The rock-genre band features two lead singers, Paul Michael Benson and Ayesha Scott, as well as lead, guitarist Shayne MacLaughlin and drummer Josh Gerba. The Truth will be touring with the ARCA Racing Series, serving as the official “Musical Partner” of Venturini Motorsports. Additionally, lead-singer Ayesha Scott will perform the national anthem prior to the start of the Pocono 200 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards race.
All Sunday Concourse Grandstand tickets are only $25! Our new partnership with Walmart has reduced tickets once costing $45 – $55 to just $25! For more details, visit www.poconoraceway.comor call 1-800-RACEWAY.
The entire weekend is jam-packed with tons of events for the whole family to enjoy. NASCAR Qualifying has moved back to its traditional Friday afternoon time slot and Saturday, besides being our annual Bowlopolis Kid’s Day, will feature a 200-mile ARCA Racing Series race. Kids, ages 12 and under, are FREE to attend Friday and Saturday with accompanying adult Grandstand ticket holder. Friday Grandstand Tickets start at $10 and Saturday Grandstand Tickets start at $20 ($25 the day of the event).(Pocono Raceway)(6-6-2013)
Watkins Glen looking for Volunteer Organizations: Watkins Glen International is still in need of volunteer organizations for the 2013 season. The Glen is seeking assistance for the Finger Lakes Wine Festival presented by Yancey’s Fancy (July 12-14) and the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen (August 8-11). Non-profit groups interested in volunteering their time will be among the many that receive donations from The Glen as a token of appreciation for the support. In 2012, Watkins Glen International and parent company, Americrown, donated over $80,000 to such organizations. Responsibilities of these non-profit groups include ticket stubbing, driving courtesy carts to aid fans, gate support, parking attendants, guest services and grandstand ushers. If your non-profit organization is interested in volunteering at The Glen this summer, please send an application more info at theglen.com.(WGI)(6-6-2013)
News from June 5, 2013
Top 12 Driver Rating at Pocono:
#11-Denny Hamlin………………………. 115.1 (4 wins)
#48-Jimmie Johnson…………………… 107.6 (2)
#78-Kurt Busch………………………….. 103.7 (2)
#24-Jeff Gordon………………………… 100.9 (6)
#14-Tony Stewart…………………………. 98.6 (2)
#99-Carl Edwards………………………… 97.4 (2)
#39-Ryan Newman……………………….. 95.4 (1)
#55-Mark Martin…………………………… 94.4
#5-Kasey Kahne………………………… 91.4 (1)
#20-Matt Kenseth………………………… 90.7
#29-Kevin Harvick………………………… 89.6
#31-Jeff Burton…………………………… 87.1
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (16 total) among active drivers at Pocono Raceway.
Formula combining the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.(NASCAR)
Banana Boat to sponsor McMurray at Pocono: Banana Boat will once again join #1-Jamie McMurray and team as primary sponsor on the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevy. Banana Boat car will sport a special orange, blue and white paint scheme at Pocono Raceway. Banana Boat has you covered for all of your sun care needs. Stop by the Banana Boat Shade Station in the display area for fun games and activities and also learn about Banana Boat sun care products.(EGR), see an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(6-5-2013)
Dell teams up with JTG Daugherty Racing: JTG Daugherty Racing, the NASCAR team for 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte, has selected Dell Rugged laptops to help manage the testing and tuning of its #47 Toyota Camry race car in harsh race track conditions and garage environments. JTG Daugherty is deploying Dell’s Rugged Laptop solutions, consisting of the Dell Rugged XFR and Dell Rugged ATG laptops and the Dell Latitude 10 tablet to manage race operations both on and off the track. With Dell Rugged products integrated into the NASCAR team’s environment at the shop, in the garage, and at the track, JTG Daugherty Racing now has the ability to quickly collect performance statistics, analyze that data and implement changes based on those findings much faster than before.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(6-5-2013)
TRD focuses on durability of parts: Toyota Racing Development will introduce upgraded engine parts and make adjustments in power for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway to ensure durability moving forward. TRD had engine failures in the cars of contending drivers Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. last weekend at Dover International Speedway. That brought their total for the season to six, two more than the Ford engines and four more than the Chevrolet engines. TRD senior vice president David Wilson told ESPN.com on Tuesday that four of the failures — including both at Dover and one the previous week at Charlotte — were related to the valve train. “We probably pushed a little too hard and we need to put margin back into our engines,” Wilson said by phone from TRD headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif. “What we’re doing and focusing on is durability. I have the entire group at TRD putting performance stuff on the backburner and focusing on nothing but durability.”(full story at ESPN.com)(6-5-2013)
New look for the #24 Chevy, starting at Pocono: The last time Jeff Gordon visited Pocono Raceway, the #24 Chevy had a great finish. This time he will have the same great finish – just with a different name. In August, Gordon started 27th and worked his way up to sixth before a lap-90 restart. One corner later, he was leading. Contact between the leaders sent the top four either into a spin or out of the groove. Gordon drove the bottom lane to the lead – and to the win since the race never restarted due to rain. The finish on the car that weekend was DuPont Performance Coatings. That business was sold in the first quarter of this year and was re-branded Axalta Coating Systems. So while the name may have changed, Gordon’s #24 Chevrolet SS will feature the same great finish in this Sunday’s Party in the Poconos 400. Plus, the car will display the bold new Axalta logo. The #24 Axalta Coating Systems Chevrolet SS will feature the familiar FireStorm paint scheme.(Performance PR Plus / HMS), see an image of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(6-5-2013)
Fellows Completes One-Day NASCAR Test at Sonoma: Accomplished road-course driver Ron Fellows completed a one-day test at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday, in advance of the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, June 21-23. Fellows, who will pilot the #33 Circle Sport Chevy, will compete in both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course events at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International (Aug. 11). Fellows completed approximately 80 laps on the 10-turn, 1.99 mile road course during the test. “It’s been a couple years since I’ve driven a Cup car,” said Fellows, who has competed in eight NASCAR Cup races in Sonoma, posting a best finish of third in 2003. “These things have so much more horsepower (than the Nationwide cars) and are tricky to drive. The ride’s a little harsher than I remember, but I’m also a little older.” For more information on the 25th Toyota/Save Mart 350, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit racesonoma.com/nascar.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-5-2013)
New sponsor for Xxxtreme Motorsport at Pocono: Xxxtreme Motorsport and Brabble team up for the Party in the Poconos “400” at Pocono Raceway. This will be the first appearance for the new social media app on the team’s #44 Ford Fusion driven by Scott Riggs. Brabble is an interesting New York-based unique social media start-up which just soft-launched a beta version of their social sharing app and network in May. Brabble is a free multi-media social sharing app and network where users can capture and share moments in any of four media formats: video, audio, picture or text. The Brabble social sharing app is available on the Apple appstore. Brabble for Android, as well as Brabble for tablet versions will be available later this summer.(Xxxtreme Motorsport)(6-5-2013)
Keselowski tests at Road Atlanta: Brad Keselowski and the #2 Miller Lite Ford team traveled to Road Atlanta to test on Tuesday of this week, in preparation for the road course races at Sonoma and Watkins Glen.(Penske Racing)(6-5-2013)
Search Underway For 2014 NASCAR Drive For Diversity Candidates: Applications are being accepted online for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Combine until Aug. 26. To access the application, please visit revracing.net/combine-application. The application for the annual Combine is the first phase of the selection process for the NASCAR D4D program. The Combine evaluation process consists of five elements: physical fitness, driver resume, media aptitude, driver communications/knowledge and driving skills on and off track. Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 26 as of Oct. 15, and must be a member of an ethnic minority classification or a female of U.S. citizenship. Those who are legally allowed to work in the U.S. can apply to participate in the Combine as well.(NASCAR)(6-5-2013)
RAIN-X sponsoring Scott at Daytona: Rain-X, an automotive aftermarket leader in water repellency and wiper blades, will serve as the primary sponsor for Brian Scott and Richard Childress Racing’s #2 Chevy team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event under the lights at Daytona International Speedway, on July 5. In a partnership with Advance Auto Parts, Rain-X joins RCR for the second-consecutive year as a primary sponsor. For the Friday, July 5, Nationwide Series race at the “World Center of Racing” Rain-X will “salute” America and military families by participating in NASCAR’s American Salute program. In a patriotic initiative to unite the NASCAR industry to celebrate America and support our military and their families, the #2 Rain-X Chevy Camaro will feature patriotic red, white and blue colors.(RCR)(6-5-2013)
Herring making first start of the year: This week the #54 Monster Energy seat will see a new driver when 26-year-old Drew Herring tackles the first of two-scheduled races, both 2013 Iowa events, in the Joe Gibbs Racing winning Camry. Herring, a familiar face at JGR, along with the six-time 2013 winners look forward to week 12 running the Pioneer 250 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. In 2010 Benson, N.C. native Herring began his NASCAR Nationwide Series career at Baker Curb Racing with his debut race at Iowa Speedway. He accomplished a 15th-place finish in that inaugural series run and then continued the year with two top-20 finishes in four series starts.(JGR)(6-5-2013)
100th start for Benning: Norm Benning, driver of the #57 Chevy will mark his 100th career start in the Camping World Truck Series when he takes the green flag Friday night at the WinStar World Casino 400K in Texas. Benning is competing in his fifth season as a full time driver in the Truck Series.(Norm Benning Racing PR)(6-5-2013)
New crew for Bodine: Todd Bodine, who has a series-best six career victories at the high-speed 1.5-mile quad-oval that’s the site of Friday night’s race, will have a completely new crew working at the racetrack on his #13 SealMaster Toyota fielded by ThorSport Racing. Bodine will also work with a new spotter at Texas, 2005 Truck Series champion Ted Musgrave. Bodine’s spent the first six Truck Series races this season working with ThorSport crew chief Jeriod Prince and the crew that has concurrently been servicing Frank Kimmel’s ARCA Racing Series #44 Ansell / Menards Toyota. But with ARCA practicing and qualifying on Friday in preparation for Saturday’s Pocono ARCA 200 in Eastern Pennsylvania, and the Truck Series scheduled to race on Friday night, Prince’s crew assembled and set up Bodine’s truck before it left the ThorSport shop for Texas. ThorSport Racing general manager David Pepper and Bodine collaborated with previous connections in the sport to create a solution for this weekend. Jason Miller, who formerly worked with Pepper at Bobby Hamilton Racing and who more recently has worked as a crew chief on trucks and in the Nationwide Series, will lead Bodine’s crew, comprised of some of Miller’s teammates on the VIVA Motorsports Nationwide team, which isn’t racing this weekend.(ThorSport Racing PR)(6-5-2013)
Hackenbracht to drive for KBM in Texas, other possible races UPDATE: Chad Hackenbracht confirmed on his Twitter on Friday evening that he will be driving the #51 Toyota next week at Texas Motor Speedway, making his series debut. Additionally, during post race television coverage, SPEED reporter Ray Dunlap mentioned that Hackenbracht, who won the ARCA race in Pocono last season, may be behind the wheel for up to five truck races this season.(5-31-2013) UPDATE: Chad Hackenbracht, who made a name for himself in the ARCA Racing Series, is set to make his Camping World Truck Series debut for Kyle Busch Motorsports behind the wheel of the #51 Tastee Apple/Ingersoll Rand Toyota Tundra in this weekend’s WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. This weekend’s Truck Series stand-alone race will be the first of four Truck Series events for the 21-year-old New Philadelphia, OH. Native, which also include: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (Aug. 3), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Canada (Sept. 1) and Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (Sept. 28).(Kyle Busch Motorsports PR)(6-3-2013) AND: See an image on the #51 team paint scheme page.(6-5-2013)
News from June 4, 2013
#2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team Penalized For Violation: Penalties have been handed down to the #2 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team following last Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway. The #2 car was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (the car failed to meet the minimum front car heights during post-race inspection) of the 2013 rule book. As a result of this violation, crew chief Paul Wolfe has been fined $25,000 and will remain on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. The team has also been docked six championship driver (Brad Keselowski) and six championship car owner (Roger Penske) points.(NASCAR)(6-4-2013)
Testing at Kentucky: Richard Childress Racing teammates #27-Paul Menard, #31-Jeff Burton and #29-Kevin Harvick, will be stopping at Kentucky Speedway on their way to Pocono Raceway for a team test session on Tuesday and Wednesday [June 4-5, 2013].(RCR)(6-4-2013)
TRD’s President Lee White to Retire at End of Season: TRD, USA (Toyota Racing Development) President Lee White announced that he has elected to retire at the end of the 2013 race season. Due to family health care needs, White will step down from his daily duties and will vacate the position of president and general manager of TRD, effective immediately. “I have been planning and working toward retirement at the end of this race season in December,” he said. “I have been offered and accepted an opportunity to perform a reduced amount of duties from my home office. This generous arrangement afforded to us by the company will allow me to attend to personal family priorities.” Throughout his career, White has participated in programs totaling approximately 1000 individual race victories and 250 championships. He is also a private, instrument-rated pilot, aircraft tuner and holder of two U.S. National and World F.I.A. speed records. White will continue as a Special Advisor to TRD and Toyota Motorsports until his planned retirement at the end of the season. Assignment of his duties will be determined shortly.(Toyota Racing)(6-4-2013)
Fellows to run both Sprint Cup Series road races:Ron Fellows will begin his race toward his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory when he pilots the #33 Circle Sport Chevy in the upcoming road course events. Canadian Tire Corporation will be the primary sponsor for Fellows along with associate sponsorship from Texas-based AER Manufacturing in the Sprint Cup Series races at Sonoma Raceway (June 23) and Watkins Glen International (August 11). Fellows, who lives in the Toronto area and will be inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame in September, has six NASCAR victories to his credit in NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series competition. He is intent on joining the list of 23 drivers to win a race in each of NASCAR’s three major touring series.
“I’m really excited about driving the #33 Chevy SS for Circle Sport Racing and proud to have the iconic Canadian Tire red triangle on the hood,” said Fellows. “Joe Falk and his team have a great relationship with Richard Childress Racing, and with the opportunity to test the new generation Sprint Cup car at tracks on the NASCAR schedule, it was a deal I felt I wanted to be a part of and so did Canadian Tire.”
An accomplished road-course driver that has experienced success in every discipline of racing, Fellows has wins in the 24-hour classics at Le Mans and Daytona, NASCAR Truck and Nationwide stock car competition, and three championships in the American Le Mans Series. In 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races over a span of 15 years, Fellows has recorded a pair of runner-up finishes at Watkins Glen in 1999 and 2004.
“To have a driver of Ron’s experience and ability behind the wheel of the #33 Canadian Tire Chevrolet at the road course events is another milestone in our program,” said Circle Sport team owner Joe Falk. “Ron’s longtime affiliation with GM Racing and our relationship with RCR (Richard Childress Racing) made this possible, and we’re looking forward to giving Ron the opportunity to add to the list of his accomplishments in his racing career.”
“Canadian Tire has a long history of supporting racing and motorsport in Canada and we’re incredibly proud to be part of this exciting Sprint Cup opportunity south of the border,” said Landon French, Vice President, Sport Sponsorship, and Canadian Tire. “The chance to partner with Ron Fellows, a Canadian racing legend at the highest level of sport, is a rare honor and we’re excited to see him behind the wheel of the #33 Chevy. We wish Ron the best of luck at Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen this summer.”(Circle Sport), see an image of the scheme Fellows will drive on the #33 Team Schemes page.(6-4-2013)
Dover Overnight TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing on FOX for Sunday’s FedEx 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway concluded FOX’s 2013 season with a 3.5/9. While off one-tenth from last year’s performance, yesterday’s race managed to rank as the highest-rated event of the day among the metered markets. For the complete 2013 season, FOX averaged a 4.5/10 among the metered markets. That’s up +7% over last year’s performance of a 4.2/9. Final national ratings for yesterday’s race will be made available this Thursday. See past races for 2013 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2013 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(6-4-2013)
Keselowski fails post-race inspection UPDATE: According to media members at Dover, #2-Keselowski failed post-race inspection because his Ford was too low in the front. The car will be further examined at the NASCAR Research & Development Center. Penalties are typically announced on Tuesdays. Earlier this year #56-Truex, Jr. was penalized 6 points when his car was too low after the Texas race.(6-2-2013) UPDATE: Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing face potential penalties after the front end of the #2 Ford was found to be too low in inspection following Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. Keselowski finished fifth in the race to move up two spots to eighth in the standings. If penalized, it would be the second time this season. Keselowski was docked 25 points after NASCAR discovered an unapproved rear end housing before the April race at Texas.(ESPN)(6-3-2013) UPDATE 2: As Penske Racing awaits potential penalties for Brad Keselowski’s Ford failing postrace inspection at Dover International Speedway, the team blamed a broken part for the car not meeting minimum height. Team spokesman Jonathan Gibson [said] the part failure caused the front of the car to be too low. In a text message, Roger Penske called the Dover infraction “unfortunate,” and said the team wouldn’t appeal any possible penalty. #56-Martin Truex Jr.’s Toyota was too low in postrace inspection at Texas, resulting in a six-point deduction, a $25,000 fine and probation for crew chief Chad Johnston. Michael Waltrip Racing didn’t appeal the punishment and said the car didn’t meet minimum height because of debris in the shock that didn’t allow it to rebound.(USA Today)(6-4-2013)
Pocono Raceway News & Notes:
• Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971.
• The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974 won by Richard Petty, Dodge, 115.593 mph, 08/04/1974.
• The 2.5-mile track was repaved during the fall of 2011.
• There have been 70 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway, one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since.
• 2012 marked the first season that NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono were scheduled for 400 miles. Prior to 2012 all NASCAR Sprint Cup races were 500 miles at Pocono Raceway.
• 311 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway; 218 in more than one.
• Ricky Rudd leads the series in starts at Pocono with 55. Terry Labonte leads all active drivers with 54 starts; followed by Mark Martin with 52.
• Buddy Baker won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Pocono in 1974 with a speed of 144.122 mph.
• 39 drivers have Coors Light poles at Pocono, led by Bill Elliott and Ken Schrader with five each; followed by Mark Martin with three.
• Five drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Pocono. Bill Elliott holds the record for most consecutive poles at Pocono with three; fall 1984 and both races in 1985.
• Four active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover: Mark Martin (fall 1990 and spring 1991), Ken Schrader (1993 sweep), Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep) and Joey Logano (fall 2011 and spring 2012).
• 31 different drivers have won at Pocono Raceway, led by Jeff Gordon with six wins.
• Six drivers have posted consecutive wins at Pocono Raceway, including three consecutive by Bobby Allison (1982 sweep and spring 1983) and Tim Richmond (1986 sweep and spring 1987).
• Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Pocono in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 13: Jeff Gordon (six), Tim Richmond (three), Jimmie Johnson (two), Geoff Bodine (one) and Terry Labonte (one).
• Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Pocono; led by Chevrolet with 26 victories; followed by Ford with 21.
• 14 of the 70 (20.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Joey Logano in 2012.
• The Coors Light pole position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (14) than any other starting position at Pocono Raceway.
• 23 of the 70 (32.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono have been won from the front row: 14 from the pole and nine from second-place.
• 49 of the 70 (70.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono have been won from a top-10 starting position.
• Five of the 70 (7.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
• The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Pocono was 29th, by Carl Edwards in the spring of 2005.
• Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Pocono with seven; followed by Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Richard Petty with five each.
• Mark Martin leads the series in top-five finishes at Pocono with 20; followed by Jeff Gordon with 18.
• Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Pocono with 34; followed by Jeff Gordon with 28.
• Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Pocono with a 5.571.
• Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Pocono with a 9.0.
• 11 of the 13 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Pocono Raceway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards won at Pocono in their first appearances.
• Terry Labonte competed at Pocono Raceway 17 times before winning in the fall of 2010; the longest span of any the 13 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
• Among the 13 active NSCS Pocono winners Terry Labonte (17), Greg Biffle (15) and Bobby Labonte (12) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win.
• Mark Martin leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono without visiting Victory Lane at 52; followed by Jeff Burton with 38.
• Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway was the July 23, 2000 race won by Rusty Wallace over Jeff Burton with a MOV of 0.126 second.
• There has been three NASCAR Sprint Cup races resulting in green-white-checkered finishes at Pocono Raceway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): spring of 2005 (200/201); fall of 2005 (200/203); spring of 2010 (200/204).
• Six of the 70 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the event on 6/6/2010.
• Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway four times; most recently the fall of 2009 race.
• Casey Mears (8/1/2004) posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Pocono Raceway.
• One active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has posted his first career win at Pocono Raceway: Denny Hamlin (06/11/06).
• Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Pocono with 965 laps led in 40 starts.
• One female driver has competed at Pocono in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie.(NASCAR)(6-4-2013)
Crew Member Suspended by NASCAR: Robert S. Harrison, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy. On May 30, Harrison was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(6-4-2013)
Dash 4 Cash is back: There will be more on the line June 28 during the Nationwide Series Feed the Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway than most races. This year, the Kentucky race will be the qualifier for the “Dash 4 Cash,” the beginning of the popular Nationwide Series program that could result in a $1 million payout to one talented driver. Kentucky will determine the four eligible drivers that could win one of the four $100,000 payouts that make up the program beginning July 5 at Daytona. Following Daytona, the next three series races are Dash 4 Cash events: July 13 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, July 21 at Chicagoland Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27. Last August, Sam Hornish Jr. was the highest-finishing points-eligible driver in the final D4C race at Iowa Speedway, which paid him and his fan partner, Tammy Altieri, $100,000 each. Here’s how the Dash 4 Cash program works: The top-four finishers in the Kentucky race who are eligible to receive Nationwide Series championship driver points will qualify for the first D4C race at Daytona International Speedway. The highest finisher of those four drivers at Daytona he or she does not have to win the race will win the first $100,000 D4C award and automatically qualify for the next event at New Hampshire. Additionally, the top-three finishing points-eligible drivers at Daytona will also qualify for the race at New Hampshire. Those rules will apply for the remaining three events. If one driver wins the first three D4C awards and then wins the Indianapolis race outright, Nationwide Insurance will award the driver an additional $600,000 bonus, bringing the total payout to $1 million.(NASCAR PR)(6-4-2013)
SR2 Motorsports announces driver program with Butler brothers: SR2 Motorsports announced a unique 10 race program with the brother combination of Ken Butler III (KB3) and Brett Butler. The Butler’s join the families of the Busch’s, Wallace’s, and Labonte’s to name a few of the recent brother duos in NASCAR. The program will include each of the brothers driving five races for the SR2 Motorsports team. The program kicks off this weekend at Iowa Speedway where KB3 will climb behind the wheel of the team’s #24 Toyota. The Butler Brothers have a combined 39 career starts in the NASCAR ranks. KB3 has 17 previous starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series along with three Camping World Truck Series starts. Brett is credited with 19 career starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He will make his SR2 Motorsports and NASCAR Nationwide Series debut on July 13th at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(Integrity Sports Marketing)(6-4-2013)
Buescher visiting Oklahoma: On Wednesday, June 5, reigning Camping World Truck Series Champion James Buescher, along with his wife Krishtian, will travel to Moore, Oklahoma, to assist with cleanup and rebuilding efforts throughout the community that was hit by devastating tornados last week. In addition to the Bueschers traveling to Oklahoma, Turner Scott Motorsports co-owner Steve Turner is also supporting the cleanup efforts by sending heavy machinery and operators to assist with clearing the rubble that was left behind. The devastation hits close to home for the Bueschers as James’ brother Michael lives in nearby Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Michael was unharmed in the storms that ripped through the area last week.(Turner Scott Motorsports PR)(6-3-2013) AND: Last weekend, the #60 Silverado featured logos from Gleaning for the World and the Heart of Virginia Tornado Lifeline on the rear deck lid to help raise awareness, support and donations for the victims of the tornadoes in Oklahoma. Based in team owner Stacy Compton’s hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia, the Heart of Virginia Tornado Lifeline is a partnership between the local ABC affiliate and Gleaning For the World that has been gathering donations and shipping supplies to Oklahoma to help those in need. The team will continue to help spread the word this weekend as the non-profit continues its efforts.(Dakoda Armstrong PR)(6-4-2013)
Bulldog on board with BKR for one race: Ross Chastain, driver of the #19 Bulldog Ford F-Series, will make his fifth start for Brad Keselowski Racing during the WinStar World Casino 400 this Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Bulldog, a Cequent Performance Products brand, will serve as the primary sponsor of the #19 BKR entry this week for the first and only time of the 2013 NCWTS season. The Bulldog brand was founded in 1920 in Wisconsin and was an early innovator of trailer couplers, jacks, and other towing products. Today, Bulldog is best known for their under-bed gooseneck hitches, as well as their heavy duty couplers and jacks. Bulldog is the choice of America’s military and manufacturers.(Brad Keselowski Racing PR)(6-4-2013)
Atlanta ticket buyers eligible for garage tour: Atlanta Motor Speedway is giving fans a chance to enjoy the ultimate race experience during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 race weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 1. Any customer who purchases AdvoCare 500 tickets prior to Sunday, July 7 will be eligible to be randomly selected for an upgrade to receive a garage tour during race weekend. Over 300 people will have the opportunity to receive a special behind-the-scenes Sprint Cup garage tour. Two tours will take place on Friday Aug. 30 prior to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying, with three others taking place on Sunday, Sept. 1 prior to the AdvoCare 500. Winners will be contacted the week of July 8 to determine their date and time for their guided tour.(AMS)(6-4-2013)
Hamlin headlines New Hampshire autograph session: Totaling 71 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins over their careers, New Hampshire Motor Speedway officials are revved up to announce the inclusion of Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears at the July autograph session during the New Hampshire 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend. The autograph session, scheduled from 5:30-6:15pm/et on Friday, July 12, is open to fans on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be held in the Display Lot. The autographs will be available by wristband only and supplies will be very limited. Fans may begin lining up for the autograph session at 4:00pm, and wristbands will be distributed first-come, first-serve.(NHMS)(6-4-2013)
News from June 3, 2013
Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2013 FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 4:33 PM (all times are EST). Fox was the broadcast team for this event.
Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 191
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 76
Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 11
Total number of companies or entities advertised: 8
Number of times Fox utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 3
Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 40
Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 50 sec.
Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:33PM
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): 2
Total race brdcst time 162 Total comm. brdcst time 51
See past races and links on the 2013 TV Commercials page.(6-3-2013)
Keselowski fails post-race inspection UPDATE: According to media members at Dover, #2-Keselowski failed post-race inspection because his Ford was too low in the front. The car will be further examined at the NASCAR Research & Development Center. Penalties are typically announced on Tuesdays. Earlier this year #56-Truex, Jr. was penalized 6 points when his car was too low after the Texas race.(6-2-2013) UPDATE: Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing face potential penalties after the front end of the #2 Ford was found to be too low in inspection following Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. Keselowski finished fifth in the race to move up two spots to eighth in the standings. If penalized, it would be the second time this season. Keselowski was docked 25 points after NASCAR discovered an unapproved rear end housing before the April race at Texas.(ESPN)(6-3-2013)
Johnson disapproves of penalty call: With seven wins at the track, #48-Jimmie Johnson is used to being out in front at Dover. This time it cost him. Johnson’s drive for a record eighth win on the mile concrete track ended when NASCAR penalized him Sunday for jumping leader #42-Juan Pablo Montoya off the restart with 19 laps left. Johnson finished 17th in a race won by Tony Stewart. Montoya finished second. “There’s always a judgment call in pro sports,” Johnson said. “Our sport doesn’t have many opportunities for that. Today, it did, and the call didn’t go my way.” NASCAR states that the race leader (Montoya) has to be the first car across the starting line. Johnson got a huge jump on Montoya and refused to give up his position. Montoya also had the responsibility to speed up and be in the lead once the cars leave the restart zone. Johnson said Montoya wasn’t driving fast enough.
NASCAR said it was an easy call. “He left early and he didn’t give it back like we tell them all the time when that type of thing comes up,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s vice president for competition. “It’s pretty cut and dried. You can look at the films and the restart zone and where the start was.”(Associated Press)(6-3-2013)
Stewart says Addington is not being replaced: #14-Tony Stewart’s win in the FedEx 400 gave him an opportunity to squelch rumors of crew chief Steve Addington possibly being replaced. “I was ticked,” he said after the race Sunday. “I don’t need that crap. I’ve got enough stuff to worry about, keeping three cars competitive and trying to get them in that state and having to deal with a bunch of bullcrap that’s inaccurate and speculation.” You might want to talk to the guys that write the checks, the guys that work there, and find out the facts before you guys go throwing darts on the dartboard,” he told the media. “I’ll be honest, it pissed me off because it was a big distraction to my team, my organization. It kept us from doing our job, because people are hearing humors and reading what you guys write, and it was totally inaccurate and unprofessional in my opinion.” A three-time Cup champion, Stewart is expected to regularly compete for wins. He fired crew chief Darian Grubb even though they made the Chase in 2011, and then won the championship together that season. But Stewart seems committed to Addington, who had most recently worked with both the Busch brothers at Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing.(Sporting News)(6-3-2013)
Fox apologizes to drivers, fans for camera cable: Fox officials made two public apologies Sunday in regard to last week’s broken camera rope at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Artie Kempner, lead director for Fox network’s coverage of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, apologized to drivers and officials during Sunday’s drivers’ meeting at Dover international Speedway. During the network’s pre-race show, host Chris Myers read a statement from the network, saying “Many of you saw last week’s race at Charlotte, where a television camera cable dropped on to the track, interrupting the race, and unfortunately, injuring some race fans. At Fox Sports, we pride ourselves on bringing you the best race coverage and being a part of the NASCAR family. We regret what happened and we apologize to our partners at NASCAR, the drivers, our friends at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and most of all, the fans.”(NASCAR.com)(6-3-2013)
Entry List:There are 40 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Pinoeer Hi-Bred 250 at Iowa Speedway. A few notes:
Brad Sweet will return to the JR Motorsports #5;
Carl Long is listed as driver of the Rick Ware #15;
Harrison Rhodes is back in the #23;
Ken Butler will drive the #24 for SR2;
Max Papis will make his 2013 debut in the Childress #33;
Cole Whitt stays in the TriStar #44;
Tim Schendel returns to the Jimmy Means #52;
Drew Herring will drive the #54 for Joe Gibbs;
Joey Gase moves back to the Go Green #79;
Morgan Shepherd is entered again in his #89.(6-3-2013)
See the complete list on the Iowa entry list page.
Valvoline on the #60 at Iowa: The Valvoline brand, a longtime partner of Roush Fenway Racing, will serve as the primary sponsor for Travis Pastrana and the #60 Ford Mustang when the NASCAR Nationwide Series visits Chicagoland Speedway for a standalone event on Sunday, July 21. Pastrana will make his second career NASCAR start at the track, having started 32nd en route to a 17th-place finish there last season. In concert with Pastrana’s new relationship with Valvoline, the brand which also produces NextGen recycled motor oil, recently launched the NextGen Stunt Amplifier, in order to show fans how exciting recycling can be.(Roush Fenway)(6-3-2013)
Whitt in #44 for Hackenbracht at Iowan: Rookie Chad Hackenbracht was planning to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut this weekend at Iowa Speedway, but a scheduling conflict will postpone his first series start until New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 13. Hackenbracht will instead make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut as pilot of the #51 for Kyle Busch Motorsports in Friday night’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to drive for KBM,” said Hackenbracht. “They’re a high caliber team in the Camping World Truck Series and have quite the track record. I was hoping to race at Texas and Iowa, but I wouldn’t be able to get any practice laps in the Nationwide car, which wouldn’t be fair to the team. This is a bitter-sweet scenario and I look forward to working with TriStar in the future.” As a result, TriStar driver Cole Whitt, who made his first start for the team at Dover last weekend, will sub as driver of the #44 Toyota Camry. Iowa will continue a three week stretch for Whitt in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.(TriStar Motorsports)(6-3-2013)
Kenny Wallace gets two race sponsor: Kenny Wallace will return to Iowa Speedway this summer, at the wheel of a U.S. Cellular-sponsored NASCAR Nationwide Series Toyota in Saturday’s DuPont Pioneer 250 and the August 3 U.S. Cellular 250. “In an effort to show our continued support for the U.S. Cellular 250, we decided to steer our involvement with Kenny to the race track,” said Kathy Hust, Mid-Central Region Vice President for U.S. Cellular. “We look forward to seeing his #29 car with U.S. Cellular logos zoom around Iowa Speedway’s track.” During his 23-year Nationwide Series career, Wallace is a nine-time winner and three-time most popular driver. He has made the most starts in Nationwide Series history, and finished seventh and sixth in his last two Iowa Speedway appearances in 2011.(Godfather Motorsports)(6-3-2013)
Entry list: There are 33 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway. Chad Hachenbracht debuts in the 51. (6-3-2013)
See the complete list on the Texas Motor Speedway entry list page
Hackenbracht to drive for KBM in Texas, other possible races UPDATE: Chad Hackenbracht confirmed on his Twitter on Friday evening that he will be driving the #51 Toyota next week at Texas Motor Speedway, making his series debut. Additionally, during post race television coverage, SPEED reporter Ray Dunlap mentioned that Hackenbracht, who won the ARCA race in Pocono last season, may be behind the wheel for up to five truck races this season.(5-31-2013) UPDATE: Chad Hackenbracht, who made a name for himself in the ARCA Racing Series, is set to make his Camping World Truck Series debut for Kyle Busch Motorsports behind the wheel of the #51 Tastee Apple/Ingersoll Rand Toyota Tundra in this weekend’s WinStar World Casino 400 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. This weekend’s Truck Series stand-alone race will be the first of four Truck Series events for the 21-year-old New Philadelphia, OH. Native, which also include: Pocono (Pa.) Raceway (Aug. 3), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Canada (Sept. 1) and Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (Sept. 28).(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(6-3-2013)
News from June 2, 2013
Keselowski fails post-race inspection: According to media members at Dover, #2-Keselowski failed post-race inspection because his Ford was too low in the front. The car will be further examined at the NASCAR Research & Development Center. Penalties are typically announced on Tuesdays. Earlier this year #56-Truex, Jr. was penalized 6 points when his car was too low after the Texas race.(6-2-2013)
Stewart wins the FedEx 400:#14-Tony Stewart won the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway for his 1st win of 2013, 3rd win at Dover and 48th career win. He took the lead from #42-Montoya with 2 laps to go and won by .788 second.
#42-Montoya finished 2nd, tying his best finish on an oval course, followed by #24-Gordon, #18-Busch, #2-Keselowski, #15-Bowyer, #22-Logano, #29-Harvick, #55-Martin, and #88-Earnhardt Jr.
NASCAR determined that #48-Johnson jumped the final restart with 19 laps remaining. He was black flagged, had to serve a pass through penalty, and finished 17th. Johnson said that Montoya spun the tires on the restart.
Polesitter #11-Hamlin, after running near the front most of the race, cut a tire late and finished 34th.
There were 21 lead changes among 11 drivers and 7 cautions for 32 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 123.172mph. NASCAR no longer announces the track attendance.
See race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Dover Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Dover Penalty Report (pdf)
See the Official Dover Race and Points Report.(6-3-2013)
Race Fast Facts – Dover:
Tony Stewart won the 44th Annual FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks, his 48th victory in 513 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in 2013.
This is his third victory and 16th top-10 finish in 29 races at Dover International Speedway.
Juan Pablo Montoya (second) posted his third top-10 finish in 13 races at Dover International Speedway. It is his third top-10 finish in 2013.
Jeff Gordon (third) posted his 23rd top-10 finish in 41 races at Dover International Speedway.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (13th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 30 points over Carl Edwards.
(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(6-2-2013)
2013 Sprint Cup Driver Championship Points Standings:
[after Dover, race 13 of 36]
1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [2 wins], 473
2) #99-Carl Edwards [1 win], 443, -30
3) #15-Clint Bowyer, 423, -50
4) #20-Matt Kenseth [3 wins], 399, -74
5) #29-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 399, -74
6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 398, -75
7) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 392, -81
8) #2-Brad Keselowski, 375, -98
9) #18-Kyle Busch [2 wins], 374, -99
10) #27-Paul Menard, 371, -102 Wild Cards [11 & 12]
#14-Tony Stewart [1 win], 16th in points
#24-Jeff Gordon, 12th in points 2012 Chase drivers out of top 12
#56-Martin Truex Jr., 14th in points
#16-Greg Biffle, 13th
#11-Denny Hamlin, 26th [missed 4 races with injury]
(ties broken by 1sts, 2nds, 3rd, etc)
See drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Points Standings (pdf) and the owner points standings on the Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
Allmendinger running NNS races for Penske, back in #51 at Pocono: AJ Allmendinger is set to drive in two NASCAR Nationwide Series races for Penske Racing. Penske Racing announced Saturday it plans to put Allmendinger in road course events at Road America on June 22 and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Aug. 17. This weekend, Allmendinger is driving in the Detroit Grand Prix races and insists he doesn’t have a preference between IndyCar and NASCAR racing. “I’m just happy to have the opportunity to drive something,” he said before a first-lap crash ended his race Saturday. Allmendinger has driven a limited NASCAR schedule since being suspended for a failed drug test last year. Penske fired him but gave him another chance in IndyCar. “There’s nothing I could do to come even close to repaying him,” Allmendinger said. “So, I just try to give everything I’ve got and hopefully it’s enough.”(Associated Press) AND: according to MRN’s Dustin Long, “Phoenix Racing confirms that AJ Allmendinger will be back in the 51 next weekend at Pocono.”(6-2-2013)
Kahne not planning to pay back Busch: #18-Kyle Busch admitted he would understand if #5-Kasey Kahne spun him out at some point in retaliation for wrecks earlier this Sprint Cup season. But it appears Busch doesn’t have too much to worry about. Kahne and Busch have battled for the lead and position several times in the Nationwide Series the last two weeks. And nothing happened. In the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Dover International Speedway, Busch, on fresher tires, easily passed Kahne for the lead on lap 129. Then after Busch took four tires and restarted 10th with 34 laps remaining, his rally was cut short in part because of a long side-by-side battle with Kahne for seventh. There were plenty of times Kahne could have just blocked or made Busch’s life miserable. He didn’t. He raced Busch hard, but clean. Was there any thought of payback? “It never has been (in my nature)I just race hard,” Kahne said. “Kyle races hard. We’ve never had problems in the past. His were mistakes. If I were ever to hit him, it would be a mistake myself. I’m going to race him all year. It is just what we’re going to do every Sunday and Saturday.”(Sporting News)(6-2-2013)
Hamlin says Pocono has changed with repave: Denny Hamlin says the recent repaving of the 2.5-mile triangular track, where the Cup series races next week and Aug. 4, has taken away the edge he had there. “We had a leg up& we had two legs up on everyone when we went there with the old pavement,” Hamlin said. “I think now we’re better than average, but we’re not the best anymore at that track. But it’s definitely a place that we have performed well. Even after it got paved we still performed pretty well. Yeah, it is a track I look forward to … Really, for me, I think that when they changed the track and they paved it, it changed everything. It really was like a whole new race track. Same with Kansas and Michigan — all of these tracks, as soon as they pave them, they took one track and they just really threw it out and you’ve got a whole other surface, new setups, new way of driving style every single time. I think that’s the challenge for us. We’ve got to really learn that race track again.” Because passing is more difficult on the new Pocono surface, track position will be crucial. That may be good news for Hamlin, who will be trying for his third straight Sprint Cup pole next weekend at the Tricky Triangle.(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-2-2013)
HANS co-founder pushing for safety everywhere: The co-founder of HANS performance productshas called on sanctioning bodies in all levels of racing to become more educated in proper use of safety equipment. While NASCAR and IndyCar have both made significant safety advancements over the last decade, Jim Downing said he’s concerned about drivers in all forms of auto racing. A sprint car driver in Bloomington, Ind. and two Dwarf car drivers competing near Reno, Nevada were killed by accidents during the Memorial Day weekend and a 12-year-old girl suffered critical head and neck injuries in a quarter midget racing accident in Graham, Wash. “It’s not news that weekend warriors are often at greater risk when it comes critical or fatal injuries than pro drivers in major series,” Downing said. “All of us in the motor racing safety business are aware that sanctioning bodies, track promoters, car builders and drivers need to put a greater focus on safety on the short tracks, road courses and drag strips where many competitors race each weekend.” HANS Performance Products will publish a Best Practices presentation later this summer for use by sanctioning bodies, track promoters, safety personnel and competitors. Focused on information about the proper use of seat belts, helmets and Head and Neck Restraints, the presentation is entitled “15 Minutes Could Save Your Life.”(Associated Press)(6-2-2013)
Sad News – Melanie Jane (Lyons) Deware, 48, of Easton, MA, wife of Scott Deware, DRG Motorsports and NASCAR Nationwide Team #86 owner passed away Friday, May 31, 2013 after brief battle with Cancer. Melanie was a Social Studies teacher at Bristol Plymouth Regional Technical High School in Taunton, MA. An avid participant in husband Scott Deware’s racing career, Melanie helped start the Dream Car Foundation, an organization that utilized a two seater stock car to provide a real racing experience for both physically and mentally challenged children. Melanie is survived by her Husband D. Scott Deware and her children Lily, Bethany, and Eden of Easton, parents John (Jack) and Charlotte (Urban) Lyons of CT. Melanie is the Sister of Michael J. Lyons and his wife Cheryl of S.C., John J. Lyons Jr. and his wife Charlene, Erik J. Lyons and his wife Pam, both of CT, Patrick W. Lyons and his wife Anya of NH. Niece of Mary Ellen Lyons of CT, Sister in law of Cptn. Jacklyn Deware Webb, USN Ret. of FL., Daughter in law of Mary E. Deware of Quincy and the late Donald M. Deware, also survived by Cousins, Cara, Danny and Erin and their families, nephews, Chandler, Nicholas, Kevin, Anthony, Jason, Brayden, Jack, nieces Marisa, Kelsey, Selbie, , and Grace. A Celebration of Melanie’s life will be conducted in the St Chrysostom’s Episcopal Church, corner of Hancock and Linden Street, Quincy (Wollaston), on Tuesday, June 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM. Family and friends are invited to visit on Monday at the Copeland MacKinnon Funeral Home, 38 Center Street, Easton, MA from 2-4 and 7-9 PM and from 10:00 11:00 AM in the church prior to the funeral . Burial will be private in the Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree. Remembrances may be made to Deware Family Educational Fund, C/O Marilyn Cyr, North Easton Savings Bank, P.O. Box 299, North Easton, MA 02356 or the charity of your choice. Services under the direction of the Deware Funeral Home, Quincy. To post an on line condolence please go to www.dewarefuneralhome.com.(6-2-2013)
Corey LaJoie signed by Richard Petty Motorsports UPDATE – Ryan Truex too: Richard Petty Motorsports has signed a development deal with Corey LaJoie and plans on putting the 21-year-old in a few Nationwide races later this season and running a full series schedule next year, pending sponsorship. “It definitely takes a lot of weight off my shoulders,” LaJoie told Motor Racing Network on Saturday morning. “We’ve been working so hard on a shoe-string budget. It’s cool that somebody takes notice and invest in me and, hopefully, push me to the next level. I’m really excited to be a part of their family.” LaJoie, son of two-time Nationwide champion Randy LaJoie, has run a limited schedule with his family’s operation this season. He’d run only two NASCAR K&N Pro Series races this season before getting a chance to race in Saturday night’s K&N Pro Series East race at Bowman-Gray Stadium and defend last year’s win. LaJoie said he plans to run a few ARCA races later this year and will receive engines, technical support and a pit crew from RPM. His first ARCA race likely will be next month at Chicagoland Speedway.(Motor Racing Network)(6-1-2013) UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports confirmed Sunday it has signed Ryan Truex to a development deal, the second young driver to join the organization this week. Truex joins Corey LaJoie, who also signed a development deal. Sponsorship will determine their programs, Sammy Johns, RPM’s competition director, told Motor Racing Network. The 21-year-old Truex has run 35 Nationwide races the past three seasons for a variety of teams, including Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. He had two top-five finishes and nine top 10s. He’s run three Camping World Truck Series races, including Daytona this season. He placed 28th in that race, his only start in any of NASCAR’s national series this season. Truex, the brother of Martin Truex Jr., was scheduled to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut at Richmond but had to miss that after breaking his collarbone in two places on Easter. Ryan Truex had hinted in recent days on Twitter that he’d been hired. He tweeted Saturday that “I will say that my future is finally clear and secure.” The changes are part of the growth Richard Petty Motorsports is seeking to make. “I think we’re changing as a company,” Johns said. “There have been a couple of years where we were just trying to keep the doors open. We’ve got a lot better footing on that. Our Cup programs are starting to run better and we’re starting to look like we can possibly be Chase contenders.”(Motor Racing Network)(6-2-2013)
News from June 1, 2013
Final practice for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over after 60 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes:
slowest:#32-Hill 148.405 & #87-Nemechek 146.765. No speed: #98-McDowell.
See fastest speeds, laps run on the Dover Practice 3 Speeds page (pdf).(6-1-2013)
First Saturday practice for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway is over after 55 scheduled minutes, the top 5, slowest and any notes:
slowest:#44-Riggs 150.332 & #87-Nemechek 148.258
notes: #88-Earnhardt, Jr. made contact with the outside wall, but only had a little sheetmetal damage.
See fastest speeds, laps run on the Dover Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(6-1-2013)
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway have been made.
Pole sitter #11-Hamlin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
Outside pole sitter #56-Truex, Jr. took pit stall 10, the next pitstall with an opening in front of it.
#18-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 17th pit stall, the next stall with an opening in front of it.
The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #20-Kenseth, who starts 4th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-1-2013)
Sad News – Dorothy Campbell: Dorothy Earles Campbell, the daughter of Martinsville Speedway founder H. Clay Earles and mother of Martinsville Speedway President W. Clay Campbell, died Friday evening at Memorial Hospital in Martinsville. She was treasurer of Martinsville Speedway for over 50 years and a familiar face to thousands of fans over the years in the track’s ticket office. She retired from the speedway in 2004. Campbell, 81, was born in Martinsville March 28, 1932 to H. Clay Earles and Mildred Warren Earles. She was a graduate of Martinsville High School and Perry Business School and a member of Starling Avenue Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Emmett William Campbell and a sister, Mary Earles Weatherford. She is survived by a daughter Sarah Campbell Fain and husband, William of Ridgeway; a son, W. Clay Campbell of Martinsville, four grandchildren, William Campbell Fain, Mary Dorothy Emmett Fain, William Clay Campbell II and Alayna Jane Campbell; two brothers-in law, Pete Weatherford of Martinsville and Richard S. Campbell and wife, Sue of Schertz, Texas. The funeral service will be held Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM at McKee-Stone Funeral Home with the Rev. Dr. David Adkins officiating.Entombment will follow in Roselawn Abbey. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the funeral service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Starling Avenue Baptist Church, 932 Starling Avenue, Martinsville, VA24112 or to the SPCA, 132 Joseph Martin Hwy, Martinsville, VA24112. To express condolences on line, please visit www.collinsmckeestonemartinsville.com.(6-1-2013)
Penske crew chiefs back at the track: After serving their two-race penalties for a rules violation at Texas in April, crew chiefs Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon are back this weekend, ready to help #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano stop backsliding in Sprint Cup points. They originally were suspended six races and fined $200,000 for cheating, but their suspensions were reduced to only Darlington on May 11 and Charlotte last weekend. Wolfe, last year’s championship-winning crew chief with Keselowski and the #2 Ford team, said being gone was tougher than he expected. “I’m a hands-on kind of guy and for me to be able to watch the car in practice and see how it runs around other cars is important,” he said Friday at Dover. “It’s important to see all that and make decisions on what changes to make. Everyone who stepped up and helped out did a great job and did all that we could ask, but obviously, it’s just not the same.” Wolfe and Gordon were busted by NASCAR for having “unapproved” rear suspension parts on their Ford Fusions. While NASCAR never said the parts were illegal, they said the parts were “unapproved” and thus by unspoken definition, illegal. Wolfe is convinced that other teams were working in the same “unapproved” area, but is reluctant to say he and his Penske Racing teammates were unfairly targeted. “There were probably cars working in that (gray) area,” he said. “We feel we got behind on that area last year leading up to the Chase…with other teams working in that area. We didn’t want to fall behind this year. But I don’t think NASCAR was necessarily picking on us. They just happened to find where we were working and didn’t agree with it.”(Autoweek)(6-1-2013)
Hamlin plans to be more aggressive to make Chase: From Hamlin’s media availability Friday at Dover: Q: Will you race more aggressively to try to make the Chase? Hamlin: “I think our only play is to be aggressive. I think that to come here and try to get a good points day is irrelevant because if we don’t win then we’re really not accomplishing much. Obviously, we still have to get inside the top-20, but I think we can do that over the course of the next 13 or 14 weeks. We’re going to need to win races so we’re going to do everything we can to try to get that. I’ll be as aggressive as I can so I’m treating this as more of an offensive race than a defensive one for sure.” q: Do you and the team feel pressure to be perfect and win races? Hamlin: “I think we’re treating it as if it is Chase scenarios right now. I’m driving like it or even more aggressive than I would be if I was in the Chase. We’re going to have to capitalize on our money tracks. We’re going to have to win at those race tracks and sneak a few in here and there when we don’t expect it. We’re doing everything we can and if we come up short then we come up short, there’s nothing we’re going to be able to do about it. Right now I feel pretty good about where Joe Gibbs Racing as a whole is — we’re competitive, a little bit off on speed from my teammate, which I have to go to work on. I feel good about where we’re at and we just need to win everything we can.”(Toyota Racing PR)(6-1-2013)
Gordon wants more SAFER barriers: #24-Jeff Gordon talked about the lack of SAFER barriers in many areas around track: Q: On your tweet comment after the Charlotte race about hitting the wall, not being a SAFER barrier there. Have you talked to Anybody in relation to that? Gordon: “I found the one off of (Turn) 2 here (Dover) and they haven’t fixed that one. I saw somebody in the Truck Series found it, too, and they haven’t done that. So, I’m not anticipating any change. I understand their theory is they go through their testing and see where multiple impacts have happened and highest impacts and those things. But, I’ve got to tell you, that was one of the hardest hits I’ve had in a race car. And the type of impact it was, I got hit from the left so it shifted everything to the left, and then I hit the wall on the right so I went from left to right. I had a rough week. I didn’t quite understand the pain that I was feeling that night until I went back and watched the video and realized the angle that I hit as well as the fact that there was no Safer barrier. I had no idea there was no Safer barrier at that dogleg on the front stretch. That blew my mind that there wasn’t one. I mean, there’s one at the start/finish line and it stops and then there’s one at Turn 1. It goes around to Turn 2. That kind of shocked me. So, I certainly said something and when I get the opportunity, I’ll talk to others as well about it. As I’ve learned in the past, they’re going to look at those circumstances and make their calls based on that. Me sitting down and having a conversation with them isn’t necessarily going to change that, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to stop me from doing it.”(Chevy PR)(6-1-2013)
Johnson also donating Dover winnings to Oklahoma: Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was “shocked and floored” by the devastation he witnessed during a visit Thursday to tornado-ravaged Moore, Okla. Johnson, who said he will donate his winnings from Sunday’s race at Dover to recovery efforts, visited the town to distribute supplies to victims of the May 19-20 Oklahoma tornadoes in which two schools were destroyed and 24 lives were lost. The trip was made in conjunction with Lowe’s, the primary sponsor on Johnson’s #48 Chevy, and the Feed the Children initiative. Johnson was joined by his wife, Chani, who grew up in Muskogee, about 160 miles from Moore. “[I] had to leave yesterday and get out of there as fast as we could because storms were coming,” Johnson said. “It was odd, because I’m getting on a plane to fly out and I’m leaving my family behind. They’re staying there with Chani’s parents this weekend. I’m, ‘Oh, my God. I’m so torn. I’m rushing out of here because something bad is coming, but I’m leaving my girls behind.'” Johnson had to leave for Dover, where he’s been extremely successful over the years, so his donated winnings to Moore could be substantial. Since the start of 2009, Johnson has led 1,681 laps at the Monster Mile, more than half the total laps run there in that time, and 1,201 more than any other driver. Johnson is the defending champion, taking home more than $319,000 a year ago, a seven-time winner at the one-mile track and winner of four of the eight races held there since 2009.(ESPN)(6-1-2013)
Logano wins at Dover: #22-Joey Logano won the 5-hour Energy 200 at Dover International Speedway. It is his first Nationwide win of the season, his 3rd in a row at Dover and 19th of his career. #20-Brian Vickers finished second followed by #18-Matt Kenseth, #6-Trevor Bayne, #54-Kyle Busch, #5-Kasey Kahne, #12-Hornish, Jr., #3-Austin Dillon, #7-Regan Smith, and #32-Kyle Larson. There were 5 cautions for 28 laps and 5 lead changes among 9 leaders. Complete results are on the Dover race results page (pdf).(6-1-2013)
Dover Race Fast Facts:
Joey Logano(i) won the 32nd Annual 5-hour ENERGY 200, his 19th victory in 114 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 2013.
This is his third victory and sixth top-10 finish in nine races at Dover International Speedway.
Brian Vickers (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in six races at Dover International Speedway. It is his sixth top-10 finish in 2013.
Matt Kenseth(i) (third) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 19 races at Dover International Speedway.
Kyle Larson (10th) was the highest finishing rookie.
Regan Smith leads the point standings by 27 points over Sam Hornish Jr.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-1-2013)
Driver standings following Dover:
1) #7-Regan Smith 411
2) #12-Sam Hornish Jr. 384, -27
3) #20-Brian Vickers 369, -42
4) #31-Justin Allgaier 368, -43
5) #3-Austin Dillon 358, -53
6) #77-Parker Kligerman 355, -56
7) #11-Elliott Sadler 347, -64
8) #2-Brian Scott 343, -68
9) #32-Kyle Larson # 322, -89
10) #6- Trevor Bayne 321, -90
See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(6-1-2013)
Dillon on pole at Dover: #3-Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole for the 5-hour Energy 200 at Dover International Speedway with a speed of 152.951mph. #12-Sam Hornish, Jr. will start second. The rest of the top 10: #54-Kyle Busch, #99-Alex Bowman, #5-Kasey Kahne, #22-Joey Logano, #7-Regan Smith, #33-Ty Dillon, #18-Matt Kenseth, and #2-Brian Scott. There were only 40 cars entered, so no one missed the race. The starting lineup is posted on the Dover starting lineup page (pdf).(6-1-2013)
Dover Qualifying Notes:
Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 32nd Annual 5-hour ENERGY 200 with a lap of 23.537 seconds, 152.951 mph.
This is his fifth pole in 55 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
This is his second pole and 10th top-10 start in 2013.
This is his first pole in three races at Dover International Speedway.
Sam Hornish Jr. (second) posted his 10th top-10 start of 2013 and his second in four races at Dover International Speedway.
Kyle Busch(i) (third) posted his 10th top-10 start at Dover International Speedway. It is his eighth in ten races this season.
Kyle Larson (15th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
(NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-1-2013)
Allmendinger driving for Penske at Road America UPDATE: AJ Allmendinger will drive a Nationwide Series car for Penske Racing next month at Road America. Travis Geisler, the team’s competition director, told Motor Racing Network of Penske Racing’s plans Friday morning. Allmendinger tested with the team earlier this week at Virginia International Raceway. The Johnsonville Sausage 200, the first of three road races on the 2013 schedule, is slated for Saturday, June 22. That’s the day before the Sprint Cup Series race in Sonoma, Calif. Penske Racing has used its Cup Series drivers in the #22 Ford this season but with the distance between the two venues, it was decided that Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano would remain in California. That provides Allmendinger with this opportunity. He’ll be a teammate to Sam Hornish Jr. Geisler isn’t sure if Allmendinger will drive the #22 car in the two other road races this season, at Watkins Glen International and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August.(Motor Racing Network)(5-31-2013) UPDATE: Penske Racing announced that AJ Allmendinger will pilot the #22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in two upcoming NASCAR Nationwide Series road course events at Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The move will allow Allmendinger a chance to return to Penske Racing’s NASCAR program. This season, Allmendinger has been competing in a part-time schedule with the Team Penske IndyCar program. In three races behind the wheel of the #2 Team Penske IndyCar, Allmendinger has a best finish of seventh, which came in the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 over Memorial Day weekend. Allmendinger, making his first start in the historic race, led 23 laps as a rookie at the speedway.(Penske Racing)(6-1-2013)
Corey LaJoie signed by Richard Petty Motorsports: Richard Petty Motorsports has signed a development deal with Corey LaJoie and plans on putting the 21-year-old in a few Nationwide races later this season and running a full series schedule next year, pending sponsorship. “It definitely takes a lot of weight off my shoulders,” LaJoie told Motor Racing Network on Saturday morning. “We’ve been working so hard on a shoe-string budget. It’s cool that somebody takes notice and invest in me and, hopefully, push me to the next level. I’m really excited to be a part of their family.” LaJoie, son of two-time Nationwide champion Randy LaJoie, has run a limited schedule with his family’s operation this season. He’d run only two NASCAR K&N Pro Series races this season before getting a chance to race in Saturday night’s K&N Pro Series East race at Bowman-Gray Stadium and defend last year’s win. LaJoie said he plans to run a few ARCA races later this year and will receive engines, technical support and a pit crew from RPM. His first ARCA race likely will be next month at Chicagoland Speedway.(Motor Racing Network)(6-1-2013)
MTM Technologies sponsoring Bliss at Dover: Mike Bliss and MTM Technologies, Inc. will team up for today’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway. MTM will serve as primary sponsor on Bliss’ Toyota Camry for 200 action packed laps on Dover’s concrete surface. MTM is well known for designing, implementing and supporting virtualized and mobile computing solutions allowing today’s workers, including NASCAR fans, to have access to their applications and data in a secure manner. When they want, where they want and on any device they want.(TriStar Motorsports)(6-1-2013)
Phoenix race tickets on sale: Phoenix International Raceway announced that tickets will go on-sale June 1 for the fall AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Semi-Final Race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased by visiting Phoenix Raceway.comor calling 866-408-RACE (7223). The popular fall weekend at PIR historically sells out and features a full weekend of NASCAR action, including racing from NASCAR’s top-three series. The AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race takes place on Sunday, November 10. The event weekend also features the NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 on Saturday, November 9 and the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, November 8.(PIR)(6-1-2013)
New restrooms at Martinsville: Construction began this week on new restroom and concession facilities along the concourse in the first and second-turn of Martinsville Speedway. It is the third such project in three years at Martinsville Speedway. “Fan comfort and convenience are extremely important to us. This new construction is part of an ongoing project to keep upgrading our facilities for fans,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “We want to make sure our facilities are equal to those at any sporting or entertainment venue our fans may attend.” The new building, which is at ground level under the South Terrace, is approximately 3,000 square feet. It will have men’s and women’s restrooms and two family restrooms. The building will also contain a concession stand with full cooking capabilities.(Martinsville Speedway)(6-1-2013)