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News from June 30, 2015


  • Daytona to offer Confederate flag exchange: Daytona International Speedway will implement a voluntary flag exchange program this weekend for any fans flying a Confederate flag during the track’s traditional Independence Day race weekend. DIS President Joie Chitwood said Tuesday that because fans had purchased tickets, he would not change the flag policy for this weekend so close to the event. He said the track will offer United States flags in exchange for Confederate flags. “We want to be inclusive to everyone, and the last thing you want is for anyone to come to a sporting event and really not enjoy that experience because of symbols that really represent things we’re not proud of,” Chitwood told reporters after a news conference to announce a new track sponsor. “For us, we’re celebrating the American flag this weekend. It’s our nation’s birthday. … Going forward, we’ll really have to look at where that other flag goes because it doesn’t have a place in our sport and we’ve got to take a thoughtful process on how we get to that place.”(ESPN)(6-30-2015)
  • Sonoma TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Sonoma, CA, earned a 2.4 overnight rating [3,723 million viewers] on FoxSports1 Sunday afternoon, down 8% from last year (2.6) and down 20% from 2013 (3.0), both on TNT. The 8% decline is the smallest of the season for a Sprint Cup race on the network, with each of the other five down by at least 18%. The 2.4 overnight is also the second-highest of the season on FS1, trailing only coverage from Martinsville in March (2.5). The network’s four other races drew overnights of 2.3 (Dover and Pocono), 2.0 (Michigan) and 1.5 (Kansas). Sunday’s race had the second-highest overnight for any sporting event over the weekend, trailing only Friday’s USA/China FIFA Women’s World Cup match on FOX (4.2). It edged competing coverage of the PGA Tour on CBS (2.3).(Sports Media Watch / Show Biz Daily)
    See race-by-race ratings, five-year chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(6-30-2015)

  • NASCAR reviewing Sonoma pit road incident, Jeff Gordon penalty: NASCAR is examining a pit road incident involving a safety vehicle and #83-Matt DiBenedetto and will review a rule after this season that penalized #24-Jeff Gordon at Sonoma Raceway, a series official told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday morning. DiBenedetto spun when he tried to turn into his pit stall during Sunday’s race and was clipped by a safety vehicle. “An unfortunate incident,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “A lot of traffic on pit road. The vacuum truck and the safety vehicle were coming down. We told them to stay straight and maintain their pace at that point, that the teams were pitting behind them. Matt came across to go ahead and pit and was clipped by the safety vehicle. That’s something we never want to see happen. Obviously, we put a lot of training into every event. I’ve not seen that in my time in NASCAR. We’re reviewing that to make sure that never happens again.”
    NASCAR penalized Gordon’s team in Sunday’s race for throwing a spring rubber over the pit wall. That sent him to the back of the line for a restart. Teams are not allowed to toss equipment from the pit stall over the pit wall. “We made the call with throwing any type of equipment,” O’Donnell said. “That’s a call we’ve made this year. That may be something that we review at the end of the year in terms of if that is the right call. It’s difficult to say … what exactly was thrown back over the wall. That’s something we’re going to look at for ’16.”(NBC Sports)(6-30-2015)

  • Rainbow colors returns for Jeff Gordon: At long last, thanks to Axalta, Jeff Gordon’s #24 Chevy will once again sport the iconic rainbow paint scheme. Tuesday on “CBS This Morning,” Gordon broke the news, unveiling the Axalta Chevrolet SS in New York. Gordon will race the special Axalta car at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 22. To celebrate the scheme’s return, let’s take a look at the rainbow Chevy – which Gordon drove from his very first start in 1992 through the 2000 season — by the numbers.
    1: Rookie of the Year trophy
    1: All-Star Race victory
    3: Cup Series championships
    17: Different tracks where Gordon earned at least one win in the rainbow scheme
    33: Pole positions earned
    52: Trips to Victory Lane
    129: Top-five finishes
    166: Top-10s recorded
    10,708: Total laps led
    1,000,000: Dollars earned for winning the Daytona 500, Charlotte 600 and Southern 500 in 1997.
    (Hendrick Motorsports)(6-30-2015)

  • Leavine Family Racing hopes to be back in shop soon: The Leavine Family Racing team (LFR), which campaigns the #95 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, expects to move back to their Concord, NC shop after the Kentucky race on July 11, according to driver Michael McDowell. “We are still working out of Team Penske right now,” said McDowell. “We probably will for at least the next two or three weeks. But we’re getting closer to being able to move back into our shop. It won’t be like how it was. We lost a good portion of the shop that’s gonna take months and months to rebuild, but we have enough space up front to operate out of our shop again. Our plan is to move back in after Kentucky. It’s been a mess and Wally Rogers and all the guys have been working hard on that, too. And I’d say that’s where it’s affected us the most it’s just been a distraction. It’s taking a lot of our key people out of working on race cars and trying to get us back into a shop.”(Lastcar)(6-30-2015)

  • New TV show being developed based on NASCAR: Roma Downey and Mark Burnett have joined forces in a deal with NASCAR to develop a scripted television drama based on the legendary racing world. The series will weave exciting dramatic stories within the backdrop of this beloved sports franchise. “We have wanted to develop an original, scripted drama inside our sport for some time, but have been waiting to find the right partner,” said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. “Mark and Roma are two of the biggest, most well-respected names in Hollywood. They share our vision for this project and we are very excited to collaborate with them on the show.”
    “From the first time we got to attend NASCAR, we fell in love with their racing world. The teams, the drivers, the fans, it’s an electric atmosphere and is quintessentially American,” said executive producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett. “Now to be able to partner with NASCAR, Brian France and Zane Stoddard is a dream come true.” Burnett and Downey will serve as executive producers of the NASCAR series, along with Zane Stoddard.(NASCAR)(6-30-2015)

  • Blake Shelton perform song for NBC Sports Sprint Cup Series Theme: NBC Sports Group tapped country music superstar Blake Shelton to perform his hit “Bringing Back the Sunshine,” within the opening theme of its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage this season on NBC and NBCSN. Shelton, a judge on NBC’s The Voice, makes his NASCAR on NBC debut on Sunday, July 5th at 7:00pm/et, prior to coverage of the Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Marking a first for any NBC Sports open, the complete number is available for view prior to its network television debut via the NASCARonNBC Facebook and Twitter accounts. The opening theme package will be updated throughout the remainder of the season with fresh faces, updated footage of action on the track and scenic visuals of NASCAR’s storied venues, getting viewers geared up for NASCAR Sprint Cup action. Shelton and NBC Sports’ production team traveled to several NASCAR venues earlier this season to produce the open, interacting with many NASCAR drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick, Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon and more.(NBC Sports)(6-30-2015)

  • Skinner Breaks His Own Record at Goodwood Festival of Speed: Former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Mike Skinner was back to his winning ways on Sunday as he broke his own record time for the NASCAR class of competition at the iconic Goodwood Festival of Speed. After damaging his primary truck on Saturday afternoon, Skinner entered the final round of competition driving the 10th Toyota Tundra racecar ever built. He paced the race against the clock for the NASCAR division to beat the record time he set in 2014 by more than half-a-second and was identified as the “Driver Of The Day” at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, making for a storybook ending for the American NASCAR driver on his birthday.(PR)(6-30-2015)
  • Fifth Third Bank named Official Bank of Daytona International Speedway: Daytona International Speedway announced that Fifth Third Bank, a diversified financial services company, will become the official bank of the “World Center of Racing” and will integrate its ATMs into the redeveloped Speedway beginning in 2016. Additionally, Fifth Third Bank will serve as an official partner of the DAYTONA 500 and the Coke Zero 400. Effective immediately, the multi-year agreement will also provide Fifth Third Bank with fan engagement and corporate hospitality opportunities at the Speedway, as well as the ability to use Daytona International Speedway and its races’ marks and logos in Fifth Third Bank promotions. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(6-30-2015)
  • Sad News – Joan Farmer: Joan “Gram” Farmer passed away June 28, 2015. She was 84 years old. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Charles “Red” Farmer. International Motorsports Hall of Fame member Red Farmer is a former NASCAR driver who still competes at the Talladega Short Track. Farmer, an Alabama Gang original, recently had shoulder surgery and is recovering. Farmer raced in 26 Sprint Cup Series races with two 4th place finishes as his best. See full obit and services info at al.com.(6-30-2015)


    News from June 29, 2015


  • Entry List for the Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #21-Blaney, #32-Bobby Labonte, #33-Brian Scott, #34-Moffitt, #95-McDowell.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in owners points): #-62-Gaughan (46th in owners pts), #26-Burton(44th)
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): #21-Blaney (6 attempts), #95-McDowell (9)
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Daytona Entry List

  • NASCAR talking with owners about long-term equity in sport: NASCAR and team owners have had discussions on ways that teams can have more long-term value. Whether that is through franchising or NASCAR offering a select number of licenses that guarantee starting spots remains to be determined. Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman, who heads the Race Team Alliancebusiness coalition of team owners, wouldn’t go into details of the discussions the owners have had with NASCAR. Asked Sunday about possible 2016 franchise or license models, Kauffman said, “What I can say is both NASCAR and the teams recognize that the teams building up some kind of long-term equity for participating in the sport, year in and year out and putting on the show, is a good thing. You look at a lot of other sports around the world, and that’s how they work. “So the question is can you come up with some model within the framework of NASCAR that makes sense for everybody. It’s a very sensible concept. The hard part is the details. So we’re having productive discussions to see if we can figure out how to do it. It’s an ongoing project.”(in part from ESPN.com)(6-29-2015)
  • Sonoma Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2015 Toyota/Save Mart 350(k): 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 6:28 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. FS1 was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 105
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 52
    Number of times FS1 utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos ‘floating’ in corners of the screen): 54
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 15 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:28 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 208
    Minutes of race broadcast: 161
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 47
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 161 Total comm. brdcst time 47
    See full reports, sponsor links, much more details at CawsnJaws.com.(6-29-2015)

  • Goodyear explains early unusual tire wear at Sonoma: Tire issues affecting at least four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams during Sunday’s Toyota/SaveMart 350 were the result of the soft compound and harsh race conditions, according to Goodyear. The teams of #1-McMurray, #78-Truex Jr., #24-Gordon and #48-Johnson saw unusual tire wear after early pit stops in the 110-lap race. According to a Goodyear spokesperson, the tire being used for Sunday’s race was on the softest end of the range of compounds. Compared to what was used previously at Sonoma, this tire featured increased thickness for improved wear, however some tires were showing signs of tearing. Individual set-ups by the teams were not considered factors in the unusual wear.(NASCAR.com)(6-29-2015)

  • Jeff Gordon to be honored in New York: Jeff Gordon is scheduled to be inducted into the Ride of Fame this coming Tuesday, June 30th in New York City at Pier #78. This event starts at 2:00pm/et and is open to the public. More info at rideoffame.com.(6-29-2015)

  • NASCAR tower now controls pit-road entrance light: NASCAR officials in race control will now be in control of the indicator light at the entrance to pit road which began with Sunday’s race at Sonoma Raceway. The light and flags, previously both controlled by a NASCAR official at the opening of pit road, indicate whether pit road is open or closed at various points during a race. An issue with that system last weekend at Chicago during an NASCAR XFINITY Series event resulted in 19 drivers pitting under caution before pit road was officially open – because most had heard on the radio officials in the tower announce pit road was open. The change is for all three national series – Sprint Cup, XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series.(NASCAR.com)(6-29-2015)

  • Brothers with the most Sprint Cup wins [each won at least one Sprint Cup race]
    94 – Allison: Bobby (84), Donnie (10)
    88 – Waltrip: Darrell (84), Michael (4)* [both Daytona 500 Champs]
    62 – Flock: Tim (39), Fonty (19) Bob (4)
    56 – Busch: Kyle (30)*, Kurt (27)*
    49 – Thomas: Herb (48), Donald (1)
    43 – Labonte: Terry (22), Bobby (21)* [both Series Champs]
    26 – Burton: Jeff (21), Ward (5)
    22 – Parsons: Benny (21), Phil (1)
    19 – Bodine: Geoff (18), Brett (1)
    [Petty Note: Richard won 200, Maurice won 0, only count on this list if BOTH brothers have won]
    * active drivers (6-29-2015)

  • Genessee Revs Up with Go Green Racing’s #32 at Watkins Glen: Genesee Brewing Co. announced that it will be the primary sponsor for Go Green Racing’s #32 Ford Fusion driven by racing legend Boris Said at Watkins Glen this August. Genesee will sponsor the team for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkin’s Glen on Sunday, August 9, 2015. Watkin’s Glen International is one of only two road racing tracks in the country that hosts a Sprint Cup Series race. According to Matt Goldman, channel marketing manager for Genesee, the beer company is thrilled to be a primary sponsor at The Glen for the fourth consecutive year. “We’re excited to bring Genesee back to the Glen with a racing legend like Boris Said. Genesee has enjoyed incredible popularity among NASCAR fans, so we welcome the chance to connect with them once again this summer. ” The #32 Ford Fusion’s paint scheme reflects Genesee’s new heritage-inspired packaging that recently rolled out across its family of products. The 137-year-old brewing company is New York State’s oldest brewery. Its long history of quality beer holds a special place in the hearts of its passionate fans. “Genesee fans bring such enthusiasm and fun to race weekend,” said Boris. “We hope local fans will come out to cheer us on and watch us race. The new Genesee packaging inspired this year’s paint and it’s never looked better!” Team owner Archie St. Hilaire said, “Go Green Racing really enjoys working with local partners on these Sprint Cup Races, and we are excited to do the same with Genesee this August at Watkins Glen.” Genesee and NASCAR fans who would like to win the chance to be an honorary member of the Genesee Racing Team Pit Crew at the Glen can enter a sweepstakes through July 20, 2015.(Go Green Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #32 Team Schemes page.(6-29-2015)

  • #4 Crew Chief Childers awarded the ‘The Byrnsie Award”: To honor longtime FOX NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes, the NASCAR on FOX crew has developed ‘The Byrnsie Award.” In honor of late FOX NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes, whose nickname was ‘Byrnsie,’ the award was established to celebrate an individual in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series who embodies principles Byrnes portrayed daily in his personal and professional life — preparation, teamwork and family within the garage area. Childers was voted the recipient by Byrnes’ colleagues on the FOX NASCAR broadcast team, of which he was a member since the first race broadcast in February 2001. Byrnes passed away in April following a courageous battle with cancer.
    “The Byrnsie Award” was voted on by FOX NASCAR broadcasters, and introduced on Sunday’s “NASCAR RaceDay” pre-race show by Byrnes’ son, Bryson. “I’m very honored that my dad could have his very own award named after him,” Bryson said in announcing Childers as recipient of The Byrnsie Award. “I’m very excited to announce that the winner of the first-ever Byrnsie Award goes to Rodney Childers. Rodney is the crew chief for Kevin Harvick, and so far this season, he’s already led him to two victories and 10 top-five finishes. But he’s also a great family man. So I’d like to congratulate Rodney, and I think my dad is very proud of you right now.” Larry McReynolds presented the inaugural award to Stewart-Haas Racing crew chief Rodney Childers for his success both atop the pit box and as a father. “It’s incredible to hold this (trophy) and to think about Steve and his family and how much he meant to this community and everybody here at the race track,” Childers told McReynolds after receiving the trophy. “For somebody to say anything like this to me is incredible, so I appreciate this and everybody at FOX … a great honor.”(FoxSports)(6-29-2015)
  • Sad News – Herb Adcox: Herbert Grant Adcox, 86, a prominent business owner and resident of Chattanooga, TN, died on Thursday, June 25, 2015 in a local hospital. Adcox operated car dealerships from 1949 until 2003. He served on the board of the National Automotive Dealers Association. Adcox also owned a NASCAR Sprint Cup team, fielding a car for 62 races from 1961 to 1989, mainly for his son, the late Grant Adcox, with a best finish of 5th in 1978 at Talladega.(full obituary at the Chattanoogan)(6-29-2015)

  • Viva Motorsports shutting down? UPDATES: Viva Motorsports is reportedly headed for a shutdown following this weekend’s XFINITY Series race at Michigan International Speedway. A Facebook post on Monday night from the car chief of the #55 Viva Auto Group Chevy said Monday was his last day with the team, as they would soon be closing up shop. When asked for comment he politely declined. Inquiries to additional Viva Motorsports team members also confirmed the news. An announcement from the team, Popular Speed was told, could come after Michigan. Multiple requests for comment from Viva Motorsports were not returned. The single car operation owned and primarily driven by Jamie Dick has fought an uphill battle in 2015. In March, Dick, 26, was diagnosed with new onset diabetes and did not compete until Iowa Speedway last month.(Popular Speed)(6-9-2015)
    UPDATE Viva Motorsports regretfully announces that it will cease operations effective this week. The team’s showing at Michigan International Speedway this past weekend will serve as its last appearance in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Viva Motorsports came on the NASCAR scene in 2009. Since then, the team has competed in 13 races in the Camping World Truck Series and over 70 events in the Xfinity Series. This season, drivers Jeffrey Earnhardt, Brandon Gdovic and Jamie Dick have gone to work behind the wheel of the Viva Motorsports’ machines. The team garnered 3 top-20 finishes this season with Earnhardt’s 12th place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway proving the team’s best effort of the year. Owner Jamie Dick explains the decision, “It takes a tremendous level of commitment to compete at this level of auto racing, especially when striving to get better on limited resources, week in and week out. It has come to a point where my family and I cannot continue to make the personal and financial commitments that this sport requires. I have always been proud of the quality of race team we brought to the track. Instead of lessening that quality, we decided to take a step back from the sport.” All team assets have been purchased. The #55 will appear in a handful of races in the 2015 season.(Viva Motorsports)(6-15-2015)
    UPDATE: Area businessman Rick Gdovic’s purchase of the Viva Motorsports team that raced until mid-June in the Xfinity Series is arguably the most significant national move by an individual in Peninsula-area stock-car racing in a decade. The most recent Langley Speedway alum to make such a national splash was former division champion Denny Hamlin, who debuted in a Sprint Cup Series car in 2005 and is now among its top drivers. Xfinity is NASCAR’s second-tier series, and the Viva team ran competitively in it for six years before ceasing operations because of finances in mid-June after the Michigan race. Gdovic purchased all of Viva’s stock-car racing assets last week and will race out of its former China Grove, N.C., shop under the banner of his Precision Performance Motorsports team. Gdovic said he is unsure when the team, which ran the first 13 Xfinity races of the season, will resume racing in the Xfinity Series. He said races at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1 and at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 8 are possibilities, because of his son Brandon Gdovic’s familiarity with those tracks. Rick Gdovic said that Brandon will be one of the drivers when the team rejoins Xfinity as PPM. Brandon, a former K&N Pro Series East winner driving the full Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series schedule this year, raced twice this season for Viva in the Xfinity Series at Texas and Richmond. The current plan, Gdovic said, is to run selected Xfinity races to finish this season, while securing additional sponsorship and drivers to run most of the races in 2016. He said that PPM Xfinity cars will be available to rent by others as well.(Newport News Daily Press)(6-29-2015)
  • Behar may attempt trucks: Nicole Behar is a bright and friendly 17-year-old who just finished high school a year early in Spokane, Washington. She has started classes at Eastern Washington University and has a firm plan. It’s her Plan B. Nursing school and working in pediatrics holds a strong appeal, but what Behar really wants to do is a drive a race car in NASCAR’ s major league series. The dream isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. Behar already is racing in a respected NASCAR regional series, and on at least one occasion she’s turned heads so fast she’s caused whiplash. In April, she became the highest-finishing female driver in the 61-year history of the K&N West series when she finished second in a race at Irwindale Event Center in Southern California. (Kenzie Ruston has a second in the K&N East series.) A month later, Behar was introduced as the only female driver in the 12-member 2015-16 NASCAR Next class in a presentation at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. NASCAR Next — not to be confused with NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity developmental program for female and multicultural drivers and pit crew members — spotlights potential future stars of stock car racing. Drivers must be between the ages of 15 and 25, have “tangible and expressed goals” of competing in the Sprint Cup series and be showing the potential to get there. Selectees receive marketing and promotional help that can connect them to sponsors and other opportunities. Twenty-one of the 28 drivers selected before this year have raced in Sprint Cup, Xfinity or the Truck series, and 11 are competing full time in one of those series this year. So the designation bodes well for Behar’s prospects. “Hopefully, I can make it to Sprint Cup in the next five years,” Behar said. “Next year, I’d really like to be in a truck. Or maybe even the K&N East Series [generally considered a step up], and then kind of work my way up to Sprint Cup.”(ESPNW)(6-29-2015)
  • Skinner returns to England with familiar truck UPDATE: Former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) champion Mike Skinner will return to the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the fifth time in his career. Looking to improve the record he set in 2014, Skinner will return with a Toyota Tundra truck that has previously competed in the NCWTS. Skinner and business partner Andrew Franzone will return to the Goodwood Festival of Speed with two trucks, both carrying the #5 that represented so much success throughout Skinner’s NCWTS career. The partners will have one truck with the historic #5 Toyota Tundra paint scheme that Skinner raced in the NCWTS from 2005-2008. After Skinner used the truck in 2014 to break the record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the team will return with the same truck this year. This time, Franzone will use the historic #5 in an exhibition run. A second truck donning the #5 number will showcase partnerships with Textron Aviation, Cessna, Beechcraft, Remington, Venus Over Manhattan, Sentinel, Maui Jim, Justin Boots, Charlie 1 Horse Hat Company, C&R Racing and Racecar Solutions. Additionally, a special decal for Hope For The Warriors will showcase the charitable organization that both Skinner and Franzone support. Prepared by Skinner and his two sons, Jamie and Dustin, the truck was purchased from Bill Davis and was originally driven by Johnny Benson during his 2008 NCWTS championship run. In 2014, Skinner broke the record for a NASCAR-style stock car to win the Early Rally Cars division at the iconic Goodwood Festival of Speed. Driving the 10th Toyota Tundra racecar ever built, Skinner paced the eight-car race against the clock to shatter the record formerly held by Rusty Wallace, and to complete the 1.16-mile hill climb in just 50.75-seconds. Hosted by Lord March at the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England, the 23rd annual event will feature every kind of car imaginable from the 1800s through today and will attract some of the most accomplished drivers in motorsports. From the NASCAR garage, this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed will also feature competition-used NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars from Richard Childress Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing, as well as show cars from Sprint Cup Series team Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR XFINITY Series team JR Motorsports. Additionally, Richard Petty, “The King”, will showcase the famous Plymouth Superbird. This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed will take place June 25-28, 2015.(A2B Strategies)(6-8-2015)
    UPDATE: Former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Mike Skinner was back to his winning ways on Sunday as he broke his own record time for the NASCAR class of competition at the iconic Goodwood Festival of Speed. After damaging his primary truck on Saturday afternoon, Skinner entered the final round of competition driving the 10th Toyota Tundra racecar ever built. He paced the race against the clock for the NASCAR division to beat the record time he set in 2014 by more than half-a-second and was identified as the “Driver Of The Day” at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, making for a storybook ending for the American NASCAR driver on his birthday.Participating in his fifth Goodwood Festival of Speed event, Skinner had to overcome adversity throughout the weekend en route to his record setting run. Skinner was originally slated to compete in the #5 Cessna / Remington Toyota Tundra, but that truck sustained competition-ending damage when it made contact with the chicane during Skinner’s Saturday morning practice run. As a result, Skinner’s teammate and business partner, Andrew Franzone handed over the wheel of his historic Toyota Tundra entry to enable Skinner to make a timed-run in the final round of competition on Sunday afternoon. Climbing back in the truck he nicknamed “Old Faithful,” Skinner recorded a 50.22-second lap to improve his 2014 record time by more than half-a-second. In a tight competition, Skinner’s small team, composed of Chris Paulsen of C&R Racing, and Jamie and Dustin Skinner of Racecar Solutions, brought home a 0.05-second win against some of the most successful teams in NASCAR. The effort earned Skinner the “Driver Of The Day” title for the first time in his Goodwood career.(A2B Strategies)(6-29-2015)


    News from June 28, 2015


  • Kyle Busch wins at Sonoma: #18-Kyle Busch won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway for his 1st win of the season, 2nd win at Sonoma, 4th road course win and 30th career win. It is crew chief Adam Stevens’ first Sprint Series win as a crew chief.
    #41-Busch finished 2nd followed by #15-Bowyer, #4-Harvick, #22-Logano, #48-Johnson, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #5-Kahne, #31-Newman and #9-Hornish Jr.
    #48-Johnson led late in the race when the caution came out for #13-Mears broken axle. Most of the leaders pitted but Johnson stayed out. After the restart, #18-Busch started 7th, passing five cars before catching Johnson on lap 106 to take the lead and held off his brother, #41-Busch to win the race. Johnson finished 6th. It was the first time then Busch brothers have finished 1-2 in their Sprint Cup Series careers.
    Pole winner #47-Allmendinger led 1 lap and ran up front most of the day until having fuel problems on lap 60. Allmendinger’s team made repairs and he came back out to finish 37th, 12 laps off the pace.
    Harvick increases the drivers points lead to 53 points over #78-Truex Jr. who finished 42nd after an early wreck.
    #18-Busch now has 125 points and is 37rth in drivers points. To get in the Chase, he needs to be in the top 30.
    Busch is 136 points out of 30th and needs around a 14th average finish to crack the top 30 in the 10 races before the Chase.
    There were 9 lead changes among 5 drivers. There were 5 cautions for 21 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 74.774mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-28-2015)
  • Race Fast Facts – Sonoma:
    #18-Kyle Busch won the 27th Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350, his 30th victory in 370 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    With the victory, #18-Kyle Busch tied #4-Kevin Harvick for 23rd on the all-time wins list.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in 2015. His last victory was 35 starts (46 races) ago, at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014.
    This is his second victory and third top-10 finish in 11 races at Sonoma Raceway.
    #41-Kurt Busch (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 15 races at Sonoma Raceway. It is his eighth top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is the first time that the Busch brothers have finished 1-2 in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.
    #16-Clint Bowyer (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in ten races at Sonoma Raceway.
    #4-Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 53 points over #78-Martin Truex Jr.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(6-28-2015)
  • 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup CHASE Standings:
    [after Sonoma, race 16 of 36]
    (by wins, then by points standings)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 545, -70 (4th in driver points)
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 616 (1st)
    3) #41-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 469, -147 (10th)
    4) #78-Martin Truex Jr. [1 win], 563, -53 (2nd)
    5) #22-Joey Logano [1 win], 559, -57 (3rd)
    6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 545, -71 (5th)
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 505, -111 (6th)
    8) #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 479, -137 (9th)
    9) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 438, -178 (13th)
    10) #19-Carl Edwards [1 win], 405, -211 (17th)
    [would be in the Chase via points standings]
    11) #1-Jamie McMurray, 497, -119 (7th in driver points)
    12) #5-Kasey Kahne, 483, -133 (8th)
    13) #24-Jeff Gordon, 462, -154 (11th)
    14) #27-Paul Menard, 452, -164 (12th)
    15) #31-Ryan Newman, 435, -181 (14th)
    16) #43-Aric Almirola, 431, -185 (15th)
    [has a win but not in the top 30 in drivers points to make Chase]
    37) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 125, 136 pts out of 30th
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc)
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-28-2015)
  • Top-10 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers Points Standings:
    [after Sonoma, race 16 of 36]
    1) #4-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 616
    2) #78-Martin Truex Jr. [1 win], 563, -53
    3) #22-Joey Logano [1 win], 559, -57
    4) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 546, -70
    5) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 545, -71
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 505, -111
    7) #1-Jamie McMurray, 497, -119
    8) #5-Kasey Kahne, 483, -133
    9) #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 479, -137
    10) #41-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 469, -147
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc)
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-28-2015)
  • Sonoma Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
    #33-Alex Kennedy, finished 25th, 11 rookie points
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto, finished 29th, 10 rookie points
    #26-Jeb Burton, finished 32nd, 9 rookie points
    #34-Brett Moffitt, not entered, Justin Marks ran the car
    #66-Tanner Berryhill, did not race, not entered
    See the 2015 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(6-28-2015)

  • Ten different winners in last ten races at Sonoma: In the last 10 years there have been 10 different winners at Sonoma Raceway: Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards.(6-24-2015)

  • Road Course Wins: All-Time(3 or more wins)
    Driver, Wins 
    Jeff Gordon, 9*
    Tony Stewart, 7*
    Rusty Wallace, 6
    Bobby Allison, 6
    Richard Petty, 6
    Ricky Rudd, 6
    Darrell Waltrip, 5
    Tim Richmond, 5
    Dan Gurney, 5
    David Pearson, 4
    Mark Martin, 4
    Ernie Irvan, 3
    Geoff Bodine, 3
    Tim Flock, 3
    Cale Yarborough, 3
    Kyle Busch, 3*
    * active (6-28-2015)

  • No second team for Furniture Row in 2016: Furniture Row Racing currently fields only the #78 Chevy of driver Martin Truex Jr. Speaking Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone indicated there’s no rush to add a second team and that the earliest the Denver, Colorado-based organization would likely expand is 2017. “It’s still not a priority for us,” Garone said. “It kind of falls in getting sponsorship. So while we’re working on getting additional sponsorship for the 78 car, we’re also working on a second team, but it’s really, in priorities, it’s funding for the 78, support funding for the 78 and then a second program. So it’s not a huge priority right now, especially with the way the 78 has performed this year, and then being in the Chase, we want to keep 100 percent focused on what’s ahead of us here. We don’t have to have a second team. I think long-term we certainly do, but it’s got to come in the right steps.” Garone revealed that the addition of a second team could even be three years away. “To add a second team looking at right now, it would be a ’17 or an ’18 deal, not a ’16 deal, absolutely,” he said. “It all depends on funding. If a Wells Fargo truck pulled up and dropped enough money, you could probably do it because you could overpower some of the challenges with money, with resources. But that isn’t going to happen, so we’ve got to just lay it out ahead at least a year.” As for re-signing Truex, who is in the second-year of a two-year contract with the organization, Garone corroborated his driver’s comments from earlier this month that he expects to come to terms with the team on a new deal. “We’re starting to get a little bit serious about it,” Garone said. “We both have certainly said to each other, ‘We want to race together and continue racing,’ but we haven’t actually sat down and said, ‘What’s it look like?’ There’s a timeline for that, and everything’s going to be fine. We’ll just take it as it comes. Again, we’re trying to keep our focus on what we’re doing week to week.”(FoxSports)(6-28-2015)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing re-signs Bowman: Tommy Baldwin Racing has exercised its option on Alex Bowman. Bowman, 22, joined TBR at the start of the 2015 season. The driver of the #7 Nikko/Golden Corral Chevy is one of NASCAR’s rising stars. “Obviously, we have a lot of good things going on for the future,” said team owner Tommy Baldwin Jr. “We picked up his option last week. We’re real excited about what we have going on with TBR right now. We figured if we got Alex locked down and then we can work on all the necessary tools to keep climbing up the ladder.”(Motorsport)(6-28-2015)

  • Ty Dillon could break into Cup with another team: Speaking earlier this month about a possible move to the Sprint Cup Series in 2016, Richard Childress Racing XFINITY Series driver Ty Dillon said, “We’re 100% focused on getting sponsorship for full-time for RCR.” Dillon’s team owner and grandfather, Richard Childress, doesn’t seem totally settled on that plan, however. Childress told FOXSports.com on Saturday at Sonona Raceway that his youngest grandson could move up next year — but possibly do so with another organization. Any plans for Dillon to go Sprint Cup racing next year likely won’t be announced in July, Childress also indicated at Sonoma. “We’re going to wait and see a couple of months, anyway,” he said. “We’re working on some things and we’ve got another team already put together — the fourth (RCR) team — and he may even someday … it’s no telling where he’ll end up, because he’s got some people that’s been pretty interested in him, so we’ll see how it goes. Right now we’re working on, if the right sponsorship comes along, and we’re going to watch him a little more the rest of this year to see how he progresses. I just don’t want to move either one of them too soon. And you’ve got to wait. When the opportunity’s there, you’ve got to take your opportunity.”(FoxSports)(6-28-2015)

  • Transmission Changed for the #88: After Dale Earnhardt Jr. qualified 20th in Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series time trials, the #88 Hendrick Motorsports team opted to change the transmission for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350. Earnhardt said his Chevrolet got stuck in second gear in Turn 11 as he was coming to green for his second qualifying run. Under road course rules, Earnhardt can keep his starting spot and will not have to drop to the rear for the green flag on Sunday.(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-28-2015)

  • Gordon’s daughter wants to be the next Danica: At a question-and-answer session attended by about 1,000 fans Saturday morning, #24-Jeff Gordon was asked how his children were reacting to his impending retirement. Daughter Ella, 8, “is afraid her dad is not going to be famous anymore, which in turn means she’s not going to be famous,” he said. On the other hand, he said, “She wants to be the next Danica Patrick.” When a fan said he hadn’t seen Gordon win in person in many years, Gordon drew cheers when he said, “That’s going to change this weekend.”(San Francisco Chronicle)(6-28-2015)

  • Double-Header in Store for Bayne & Dillon in Sonoma UPDATE: This weekend at Sonoma Raceway will mark a double-feature for Roush Fenway Racing driver #6-Trevor Bayne. In preparation of his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at the 1.990-mile road course, Bayne will be competing in the K&N Pro Series West race on Saturday afternoon behind the wheel of the #60 AdvoCare Ford Fusion for Bill McAnally Racing. “I’m excited to in both races this weekend at Sonoma,” said Bayne. “I’ve never been there before so hopefully we can learn a lot on Saturday in the K&N race that can translate well to Sunday. We had a lot of success last time we ran double-duty earlier this season at Pocono and I think we can do that again this weekend.” When Bayne takes the green flag on Saturday, it will be for his first career start in the K&N Pro Series West and his first start of any kind at Sonoma. Bayne previously made 15 starts in the K&N Pro Series East, including the full 2008 season, earning one win, six top-five finishes and nine top-10 finishes.(RFR)
    AND #3-Austin Dillon is scheduled to race in the K&N Pro Series West Race at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday. Dillon said: “I am actually. I’m running it with Mike Hillman. I went and sat in the seat this past week. It’s really good to be able to practice getting through the corners and shifting, just getting to practice that type of racing helps a lot. It was a lot of help last year, so I think it’ll do the same this year and we’ll gain.”(RCR)(6-26-2015)
    UPDATE: For almost the entirety of Saturday’s Carneros 200 at Sonoma Raceway, Dalton Sargeant, a regular in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, looked primed to steal another one from his West series counterparts. Then, with four laps remaining, Dave Smith’s Dodge slid off course. And the yellow flag flew. That proved to be Sargeant’s undoing, as pole winner David Mayhew used a strong restart and eventual pass for the lead on the first lap of a green-white-checkered finish to capture his first victory of the season. It was his ninth victory in 92 career races in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Two Sprint Cup regulars, Austin Dillon and Trevor Bayne ran the race to gets laps at Sonoma Raceway, in preparation to Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race. Dillon started 6th and finished 6th. Bayne started 9th and finished 10th.(NASCAR.com Hometracks)(6-28-2015)


    News from June 27, 2015



    ESPN.com’s Racecast – Live Coverage and Chat
    Listen Live Online at Performance Racing Network
    Live updates on Jayski.com’s Twitter

  • Race Coverage of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, June 28, 2015.
    Television (TV): FoxSports1 at 3:00 pm/et; NASCAR Raceday Pre-Race show at 2:00pm/et; green flag approx. 3:20pm/et
    RadioPerformance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, June 29 at 10:00am/et on FS1

  • NASCAR chairman Brian France wants Confederate flag eliminated at races: Calling the Confederate flag an “insensitive symbol” he personally finds offensive, NASCAR chairman Brian France said the series will be aggressive in disassociating the symbol from its events. “We want to go as far as we can to eliminate the presence of that flag,” France told The Associated Press on Saturday. “I personally find it an offensive symbol, so there is no daylight how we feel about it, and our sensitivity to others who feel the same way. Obviously, we have our roots in the South, there are events in the South, it’s part of our history like it is for the country. But it needs to be just that, part of our history. It isn’t part of our future. We want everybody in this country to be a NASCAR fan, and you can’t do that by being insensitive in any one area.”(full article at the Associated Press)(6-27-2015)
  • Allmendinger wins Sonoma pole: #47-AJ Allmendinger won the Coors Light pole for the Toyota/Save Mart 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway with speed of 96.310mph for his 1st pole of 2015, 1st at Sonoma and 3rd pole of his career.
    #41-Busch is on the outside pole followed by #20-Kenseth, #42-Larson, #24-Gordon, #15-Bowyer, #14-Stewart, #13-Mears, #55-Ragan, #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch and #78-Truex Jr..
    #42-Larson broke the track record in the first round, running 96.624mph. The old record was 96.350mph, set by Jamie McMurray in 2014.
    Points leader #4-Harvick will start 17th and Chase leader, #48-Johnson will start 13th.
    Missing the race was: #62-Gaughan.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying results round-by-round, qualifying order and more Jayski.com’s Sonoma Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(6-27-2015)
  • Qualifying Fast Facts – Sonoma:
    #47-AJ Allmendinger won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 27th Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 with a lap of 74.385 seconds, 96.310 mph.
    This is his third pole in 243 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and third top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in seven races at Sonoma Raceway. His previous best Sonoma start was second, last year.
    #41-Kurt Busch (second) posted his eighth top-10 start of 2015 and his 11th in 15 races at Sonoma Raceway.
    #20-Matt Kenseth (third) posted his eighth top-10 start at Sonoma Raceway. It is his 10th in 16 races this season.
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto (30th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(6-27-2015)
  • Sonoma Pre-Race Schedule for Sunday June 28th: (eastern time)
    — 1:00:00 p.m.: NSCS Driver/Crew Meeting
    — 1:45:00 p.m.: Jeff Gordon Aerial Tribute
    — 2:25:00 p.m.: NSCS Driver Introductions
    — 2:45:00 p.m.: “Jeff Gordon Tribute” video
    — 2:58:00 p.m.: God Bless America by: Lindsay Bruce, Contestant from The Voice
    — 3:00:00 p.m.: Presentation of Colors: Travis Air Force Base Honor Guard
    — 3:00:20 p.m.: Invocation by: Tim Boeve, Track Minister, Sonoma Raceway
    — 3:01:00 p.m.: National Anthem by: Morgan Karr, Transcendence Theatre’s Broadway Under the Stars in Sonoma Valley
    — 3:02:45 p.m.: Fly-By TOT: 2 F-18S from VFA-22 at Lemoore Naval Air Station
    — 3:08:00 p.m.: “Drivers, Start Your Engines” by: Kevin Jorgeson, Professional Climber & Sergio Rizo, Assistant Service Manager, Fremont Toyota
    — 3:08:30 p.m.: Fly-by TOT: Vintage Aircraft Company flyover demonstration, Fastening Systems International (FSI)
    — 3:20:00 p.m.: Start of Toyota/Save Mart 350
    eastern time (NASCAR.com)
  • 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 #47-Allmendinger chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #41-Busch took pit stall 11, the first pit stall with an opening behind it.
    #20-Kenseth, who starts 3rd took the 22nd pit stall, the 2nd stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #4-Harvick, who starts 17th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-27-2015)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the Toyota/Save Mart 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is over, after 25 scheduled minutes.
    #42-Larson 96.568 (new track record)
    #47-Allmendinger 96.524
    #14-Stewart 96.386
    #24-Gordon 96.160
    #2-Keselowski 96.035
    the rest of the top 12: 18 13 20 41 15 78 55;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 2: 48 19 11 31 4 1 22 88 10 16 95 9 43 5 51 38 35 83 6 27 32 23 34 33 3 98 40 17 7 46 26 62;
    Drivers who will miss the race: #62-Gaughan.
    (6-27-2015)

  • Sonoma Raceway Pole Notes & Facts – Saturday:
    · 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.
    · Three drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Sonoma Ricky Rudd, Jeff Gordon (1998, ’99 and 2004, ’05) and Jamie McMurray (2013, ’14). Ricky Rudd holds the record for most consecutive poles at Sonoma with three; fall 1990 through 1992.
    · Boris Said posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Sonoma Raceway (6/22/2003).
    · Five of the 26 (19.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 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 (1998, 1999 and 2004).
    · 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 26 (30.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Sonoma have been won from the front row: five from the pole and three from second-place.
    · 19 of the 26 (73%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Sonoma have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Seven of the 26 (26.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Sonoma have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
    · Two of the 26 (7.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 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.
    · Jeff Gordon leads the series in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Sonoma with a 7.818.
    · Qualifying has never been cancelled in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Sonoma Raceway.
    (NASCAR)(6-27-2015)

  • Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon comment on the Confederate flag issue: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #24-Jeff Gordon met with media and discussed many issues, including thoughts about the Confederate flag, the transcripts in part:
    Q) WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON THE STATEMENT NASCAR ISSUED THIS WEEK ON THE CONFEDERATE FLAG?
    Earnhardt Jr. “I’ve made my comments on the Confederate Flag several times and I stand behind NASCAR’s stance to remove it. I think it is offensive to an entire race. It really does nothing for anybody to be there, flying. It belongs in the history books and that’s about it.”(Team Chevy)
    WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO NASCAR’S STATEMENT THIS WEEK REGARDING THE CONFEDERATE FLAG?
    Gordon: “As far as the confederate flag I think that… I know how we approach it at Hendrick Motorsports and that is everything that we can control. We have eliminated the ability to use it in anyway or it show up in any of the things that we are involved with. I think that is the stance I see that NASCAR has taken and have had that stance for several years. To me I’m in support of what they are doing. It’s a delicate balance. We race all over, but the South is an area where we have a lot of fans. Everyone has different opinions and expression of that. I support NASCAR and the stance that they are taking.”(Team Chevy)(6-27-2015)

  • Richard Petty drives 1970 Superbird at the Goodwood Festival of Speed: As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) crossed the country to the Sonoma Raceway this week, RPM Co-Owner Richard Petty crossed “The Pond” to participate in his third Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England. “The King” Richard Petty was invited back by Lord March to participate again at the annual Festival that attracts over 100,000 motorsports enthusiasts. When Petty arrived, he had awaiting one of his most iconic drives, his Petty Blue #43 1970 Plymouth Superbird. “This is a car that helped bring NASCAR into a new era of racing,” said Petty. “This was the first ‘race car’ and not a ‘stock car’. It looked like a rocket ship and had this big wing……that was my reaction when I first saw it from Plymouth. It introduced aerodynamics to the sport and just advanced the sport at that time. It was really ahead of its time back in the early 70’s.” Petty climbed behind the wheel of this famous #43 on Friday morning in England and drove the car during the Festival’s Hill Climb. Petty then greeted legions of fans as he continues to prove to be one of the world’s most popular figures in sports. “It was a lot of fun to get back behind the wheel, but I wasn’t looking to win any race,” commented Petty after the climb. “I wanted people to see the car and appreciate it. We had a lot of people waving and smiling, so I think they had as much fun as I did.”
    “You know, they asked us to bring this car over,” continued Petty when asked why the Superbird. “We came last year and had the ’67 Belvedere, the car we won a bunch of races with. In 2000, our first year we came, we had the ’72 Dodge Charger, but the Superbird was what they wanted. It’s just ‘iconic’ and probably what a lot of people recognize. The younger generation come up to me and say, ‘Hey, that’s the car that was in the movie, Cars.’ So, it’s a pretty popular car for us and it’s neat to see all the excitement around it.” Petty will stay in England throughout the weekend, but is unsure if he will be back behind the wheel. “I really want to give the chance for some of these other guys here to drive it if they want,” said Petty. “We will see, but we’re going to have fun and take it all in. I really enjoy it.” Petty will return home early next week before heading to Daytona for his 78th birthday on July 2 and to attend the race where the #43 team and Aric Almirola will defend their win from last year.(RPM, and see the video)(6-27-2015)

  • BK Racing Continues American Salute Campaign: BK Racing continued its American Salute Campaign with a visit to Travis Air Force Base with #23-JJ Yeley and #26-Jeb Burton Thursday. Stepping off the plane the teamed headed straight to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, for a meet and greet with the service members. In addition to signing autographs and taking pictures, the two BK Racing drivers also handed out 350 tickets to Sunday’s Toyota Save-Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. “It was great to get out and visit with the Airmen at Travis Air Force Base,” commented JJ Yeley. “We were able to hand out tickets for Sunday’s event, and meet with the folks who continue to make sacrifices on a daily basis, so we can continue to do what we love every weekend.” Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Jeb Burton also commented, “I had a good time getting to meet with the Airmen yesterday at Travis Air Force Base. The team has done a great job with giving back to those who serve our country, and I’m glad to be part of it.”
    Next week, BK Racing continues the stride to saluting our military. Fifteen members of the BK Racing organization will be making their way to Feyetteville, NC, to participate in a skydiving event with the Golden Knights on Tuesday, June 30. In addition, the team is continuing its online silent auctions to help raise money for Hope For The Warrior, a non-profit that provides comprehensive support for service members, veterans and families. 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated back to the organization in Daytona, during Pre-Race Ceremonies at Daytona International Speedway on July 5.(BK Racing)(6-27-2015)

  • Amrose back racing in Australia: former NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose is once again back racing in his native Australia. After struggling to adapt to both V8 Supercars competition and the cars themselves, Ambrose took a leave of absence in mid-March from both the series and driving the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon – co-owned by IndyCar and NASCAR team owner Roger Penske – just a few months after returning home. Ambrose won the Supercars championship in 2003 and 2004 before coming to NASCAR in 2006. Now, the V8 Supercars Commission is welcoming Ambrose back by allowing him (and other “non-regular drivers”) two extra 30-minute practice sessions at upcoming endurance events at Ipswich SuperSprint at Queensland Raceway (July 31-August 2)and Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint (August 21-23), according to Australia’s version of FoxSports.com. Those races are essentially warm-up events for V8 Supercars’ prestigious Enduro Cup, which is a three-race series for the championship (think mini-Chase for the Sprint Cup): the Sandown 500 in September, and the Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 in October. This past Friday, Ambrose climbed back into a V8 Supercar for the first time and was allowed to complete just 10 laps of practice (mandated by V8 Supercars rules) at Hidden Valley raceway in Darwin, Australia.(NBC Sports)(6-27-2015)
  • NASCAR XFINITY Series Statistical Snapshot Following Race #14: The NASCAR XFINITY Series has reached its third off week of the season, which gives us the opportunity to look back at some of the statistical highlights of 2015 thus far.
    ” Number of different winners – 8
    ” Number of different Coors Light Pole winners – 6
    ” Green Flag Passes – 25,910, the most through 14 races since the inception of loop data in 2005.
    ” Green Flag Passes for the Lead – 364, which ranks second through 14 races since the inception of loop data in 2005.
    ” Average Leaders Per Race – 6.36
    ” Average Lead Changes Per Race – 11.79
    ” Total Number of Leaders – 34
    ” Percentage of Car Running At The Finish – 80.18% (second highest percentage all-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series behind 2006, 83.06%)
    (NASCAR)(6-27-2015)
  • Save Mart Supermarkets Signs Multi-Year Sponsorship Extension with Sonoma Raceway:Save Mart Supermarkets has signed a multi-year agreement to continue as co-title sponsor of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway, extending the raceway’s most enduring commercial sponsorship. Save Mart Supermarkets’ status as either title or co-title sponsor of the annual Cup event in Sonoma is one of the longest runs in all of NASCAR Cup racing. The new agreement is for five years, extending through 2020. First partnering with the raceway in 1992, Save Mart will celebrate its 25th anniversary as a race sponsor in Sonoma in 2016. Save Mart served as title sponsor of the NASCAR Cup event from 1992-1997. It has combined with partners as co-title sponsor of the event since 1998. The event has been known as the Toyota/Save Mart 350 since 2007. The raceway also unveiled a new granite monument at the corner of the Turn 11 Lawn, which renames the area Piccinini Plaza, in honor of the Piccinini family’s legacy at Sonoma Raceway. Bob Piccinini, Save Mart’s Chairman and CEO passed away earlier this year. Save Mart has hosted hospitality for its employees and clients in this area since the beginning of its sponsorship.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-27-2015)
  • Watkins Glen International Named Best NASCAR Track: Each year the NASCAR Sprint Cup series takes place on two dozen tracks across the nation. Each track makes for its own unique racing style and fan experience. USA Today 10 Best’s panel of NASCAR experts selected their 20 favorite venues as nominees for ‘Best NASCAR Track,’ and for the past four weeks, USA Today readers have been voting for their favorites. It was a close race between the winner and runner-up, but in the end it was Watkins Glen International, host of a double header weekend of top tier events, that snagged the title. Martinsville Speedway came in a close second.(see full list at USA Today)(6-27-2015)


    News from June 26, 2015


  • Qualifying Order for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers lined up on pit road is #95-Michael McDowell
    The final driver lined up on pit road is #55-David Ragan.
    Pit road lineup order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Sonoma Qualifying Page.(6-26-2015)
  • Happy Hour practice for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #18-Busch 96.175
    #19-Edwards 96.030
    #41-Busch 95.992
    #15-Bowyer 95.942
    #78-Truex Jr. 95.839
    slowest: #62-Gaughan 89.878 & #40-Cassill 91.743.
    most laps run: #6-Bayne 31.
    notes: #46-Annett stopped on the track, causing a full course yellow late in the session, broke a transmission. #62-Gaughan, slid off course, thru the dirt, but saved it and drove on. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, June 27th at 2:15pm/et, TV-FS1.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Sonoma Happy Hour Practice speeds page (pdf).(6-26-2015)
  • First Friday practice for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is over, after 115 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and any notes:
    #15-Bowyer 95.547
    #47-Allmendinger 95.318
    #9-Hornish Jr. 95.091
    #10-Patrick 95.012
    #1-McMurray 94.940
    slowest: #40-Cassill 90.630 & #62-Gaughan 90.637.
    most laps run: #26-Burton 34; #6-Bayne 30
    notes: #33-Kennedy spun around, but no damage reported. #43-Almirola spun into the dirt, drove back to garage, no damage reported.
    #13-Mears run off course and thru the dirt, dusting up the area and the car. Late in practice, Mears ran out of fuel and caused a caution
    Happy Hour practice is scheduled for 6:30pm/et and will be televised on FS2. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, June 27th at 2:15pm/et, TV-FS1.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Sonoma Practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(6-26-2015)
  • 2015 Top-5’s, Top-10’s:
    #4-Harvick leads all drivers in 2015 with 10 top-fives followed by #48-Johnson with 9.
    #78-Truex Jr. leads all drivers in 2015 with 14 top-Ten finishes. #4-Harvick is next with 13 then #22-Logano with 11
    Five drivers have ran all the races in 2015 and do not have a top-10 finish: #38-Gilliland, #35-Whitt, #46-Annett, #40-Cassill.(6-14-2015)

  • Sonoma Raceway Driver Notes & Facts – Friday:
    · 18 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; eight other active drivers have a single win.
    · 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 (1998 and 1999 each from the pole and 2000 from the fifth starting position).
    · Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Sonoma with four; followed by Tony Stewart with three.
    · Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Sonoma with 14; followed by Ricky Rudd with 10.
    · Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-10 finishes at Sonoma with 18; followed by Mark Martin with 13.
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Sonoma with a 7.955. Clint Bowyer (9.222) is the only other active driver with an average finish in the top 10.
    · Carl Edwards competed at Sonoma Raceway 10 times before before visiting Victory in Lane; the longest span of any the 10 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    · Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. lead the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Sonoma without visiting Victory Lane at 15 each.
    · 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 457 laps led in 22 starts.
    · Danica Patrick is the only female driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series to compete at Sonoma Raceway.
    (NASCAR)(6-26-2015)

  • WIX to sponsor Newman at Sonoma: Ryan Newman will race in the Save Mart / Toyota 350 at Sonoma Raceway in the #31 WIX Filters’ Chevy. This is the second race to feature the WIX Filters brand – the third and final race with WIX livery will take place at Martinsville in November. Since 1939, WIX has been an innovator in filtration products. WIX designs, manufactures and distributes products for automotive, diesel, agricultural, industrial and specialty filter markets.(WIX), see images of the car/scheme on the #31 Team Schemes page.(6-26-2015)

  • Golden Corral Returns to TBR’s #7: For the first time, Golden Corral will sponsor back-to-back race weekends for the #7 team. Appearing on the car this weekend at Sonoma, Golden Corral also heads to the high banks of Daytona International Speedway next week. Before heading west, Alex Bowman and Tommy Baldwin made a stop in Chicago for the next Go Baby Go clinic with sponsor Toy State. Building cars for children with mobility-based disabilities, Bowman and Baldwin made a stop in the Windy City to lend their hands to the build.(TBR), see images of the car/scheme on the #7 Team Schemes page.(6-26-2015)

  • FoxSports Season Finale at Sonoma: FOX Sports wraps up its portion of the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES race season with live coverage of a critical event for drivers still trying to fight their way into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Live coverage from the Sonoma Raceway road course gets underway Friday, June 26 on FOX Sports 2 (3:00pm/et) with practice. FOX Sports’ weekend programming culminates with live race coverage on Sunday, June 28 (3:00pm/et) on FOX Sports 1 with pre-race coverage on a 90-minute edition of NASCAR RACEDAY (2:00pm/et) on FOX Sports 1. FOX Sports remains the exclusive home of the NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES for the rest of the season, and popular programs NASCAR RACE HUB and NASCAR RACEDAY continue delivering the stories behind the racing all season long.(FOX Sports)(6-26-2015)

  • NASCAR modifies 2015 Rulebook: NASCAR introduced several modifications to the 2015 Sprint Cup rule book on Wednesday that involves competition, driver eligibility and safety issues. Some of the changes:
    Rookie Driver Responsibilities which addresses familiarization of the NSCS by a rising competitor and allowing the team to run a fifth car for said driver, the language changed to “Car owners will be permitted to enter such fifth vehicle in non-Championship Events, provided the car owner and driver are otherwise eligible to compete in the non-Championship Event, and the only driver permitted to drive the fifth vehicle is the designated rookie driver. Non-Championship Events will not count towards the vehicle’s seven permissible starts.”
    Inspection: NASCAR issued changes for camber and rear axle housing location specifications and tolerances along with rear wheel toe alignments (specified for different tracks), wheelbase, wheel offset (ovals and road courses), rocker panel width, main frame rail width, engine location and track bar heights for superspeedways.
    Wheels and tires: Valve stem location has been moved to the inside of the rim – center only. Goodyear updated the tire codes at 21 tracks and changed the minimum cold inflation for Kentucky.(more changes at Motorsport)(6-26-2015)

  • Double-Header in Store for Bayne & Dillon in Sonoma: This weekend at Sonoma Raceway will mark a double-feature for Roush Fenway Racing driver #6-Trevor Bayne. In preparation of his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at the 1.990-mile road course, Bayne will be competing in the K&N Pro Series West race on Saturday afternoon behind the wheel of the #60 AdvoCare Ford Fusion for Bill McAnally Racing. “I’m excited to in both races this weekend at Sonoma,” said Bayne. “I’ve never been there before so hopefully we can learn a lot on Saturday in the K&N race that can translate well to Sunday. We had a lot of success last time we ran double-duty earlier this season at Pocono and I think we can do that again this weekend.” When Bayne takes the green flag on Saturday, it will be for his first career start in the K&N Pro Series West and his first start of any kind at Sonoma. Bayne previously made 15 starts in the K&N Pro Series East, including the full 2008 season, earning one win, six top-five finishes and nine top-10 finishes.(RFR)
    AND #3-Austin Dillon is scheduled to race in the K&N Pro Series West Race at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday. Dillon said: “I am actually. I’m running it with Mike Hillman. I went and sat in the seat this past week. It’s really good to be able to practice getting through the corners and shifting, just getting to practice that type of racing helps a lot. It was a lot of help last year, so I think it’ll do the same this year and we’ll gain.”(RCR)(6-26-2015)
  • Ernie Irvan’s son wins late model race: Jared Irvan knew he could win the PASS South super late model race at Anderson, S.C., Speedway if his parents would allow him to enter, but his father, former NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan, was still stunned when his 17-year-old son received the checkered flag for his first-ever victory in the series. “I was dumfounded,” the 1991 Daytona 500 winner said. “I couldn’t believe that we had finally put it all together. It’s probably one of the best Father’s Day presents I’ve had. We all knew he had a lot of talent and was able to win races. We just hadn’t been able to put it all together. He did a great job. He drove like a veteran because he knew he had enough car under him not to have to push it harder than he had to push it.”
    The young Midland resident’s confidence in his ability to win at the three-eighths-mile track stemmed from the fact that he had raced more at that speedway than any other on the circuit. “I knew some tricks of the track that some other people didn’t,” Jared said. “I was able to change up my line a little bit and use that to my advantage.” Jared’s side-by-side duel with Concord’s Roger Lee Newton began with 15 laps remaining. For the next nine laps, they remained fender-to-fender before Jared gained the advantage with six laps to go. He then gradually pulled away, forcing Newton to settle for second. Troutman’s Clay Rogers placed third.(Charlotte Observer)(6-26-2015)

  • Jimmie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament raises an event record $900,000: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced that its annual Jimmie Johnson Foundation Golf Tournament and Dinner raised $900,000, an event record. “This is such a great event,” said Johnson. “Chani (wife) and I are so thankful to everyone that supports us and to sponsors like Lowe’s, that believe in supporting the vision of the Foundation. We are excited that the Foundation can continue funding projects that address critical needs in K-12 public schools.” Johnson hosted more than 125 golfers at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California for Wednesday’s golf tournament. The night before the tournament, the Johnsons hosted approximately 200 guests at a special dinner and auction, with live music from Darius Rucker at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. The tournament, which in nine years has raised more than $5.6 million, benefits the Champions Grants program, a partnership between the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Lowe’s Toolbox for Education. The grants range from $25,000-$100,000 and are distributed to K-12 public schools in Chandra and Jimmie Johnson’s hometowns in California and Oklahoma, and where they currently reside in North Carolina.(JJF)(6-26-2015)
  • Celsius returns with Koch at Daytona: TriStar Motorsports and their Official Energy Drink partner, Celsius, will join forces once again for the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Blake Koch will pilot the #8 Celsius Healthy Energy Camry under the lights on July 4th. Celsius is the world’s first negative calorie, healthy energy drink. Scientific data shows that by drinking Celsius, consumers can burn 100 extra calories or more with an active lifestyle. Blake Koch has 6 starts at the 2.5-mile oval. With an average finishing position of 24.0, Koch is ready to get back on track at Daytona International Speedway. Koch finished 20th at DIS earlier this year after having to go to a back-up car after a wreck during qualifying.(TriStar Motorsports)(6-26-2015)
  • Performance Energy Grou names associate sponsors for Daytona: Performance Energy Group and Driver of the #66 Toyota Camry, Benny Gordon welcomes new partnership for the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Serving as new Associate Marketing Partners on the #66 include LIFT Safety, MSM Global One, CGS Imaging and Motor Honey. MSM Global One is the original manufacturer of the PVC Eco friendly lay-in ceiling tiles – EcoTile WaterProof & Washable. LIFT Safety is recognized as the “original protective gear company,” and is the market leader in safety gear for the motocross industry. Performance Energy Group also brings Motor Honey’s national product line on board for the Subway Firecracker 250. Associate Marketing Partner, CGS Imaging is providing the graphics for the #66 SRWR/VSI Toyota Camry. Primary marketing partners on the #66 Toyota Camry include SRWR, VSI Racing, BWP Bats and TrickShot.(Performance Energy Group)(6-26-2015)
  • NHTSA Named Title Sponsor of NASCAR Pole Day at Sonoma: Sonoma Raceway and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will highlight the importance of tire safety this weekend during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in Sonoma. NHTSA, which was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970, will serve as title sponsor of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying for “Drive for Safety Pole Day” on Saturday, June 27. NHTSA is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety and works daily to help prevent crashes and their attendant costs, both human and financial. NHTSA recommends keeping your tires properly inflated for safety and fuel efficiency, as well as important tire maintenance like rotation, balance and alignment to help your tires last longer. Remember the 5 “PARTS” TO DRIVE-Pressure, Alignment, Rotation, Tread, and Size. Sonoma Raceway joins NASCAR and NHTSA in their Drive for Safety, a partnership focused on promoting life-saving highway safety and vehicle safety messages. The program will highlight topics including distracted driving, seat belts, tire safety and five-star crash ratings throughout the 2015 NASCAR season. The agreement also includes digital and social media programming to raise awareness for the Drive for Safety campaign, signage, promotional rights and other assets during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 event weekend in Sonoma.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-26-2015)
  • U.S. Marine announced as official namesake of Brickyard 400: When tens of thousands of race fans visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for one of NASCAR’s biggest races of the summer, one name will stick out among the rest. Come Race Day, not only will fans recognize the name within the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 race title, but they will also understand the reason why Jeff Kyle is being honored as an American hero. On Thursday in his home state, during a special reveal event at the Texas Rangers game, Kyle was announced as the winner of Crown Royal Canadian Whisky’s annual “Your Hero’s Name Here” program, which awards naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to a deserving hero. As the program winner, Kyle’s name will be incorporated into the official race title, the Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard. Kyle, of Lorena, Texas, was deployed multiple times to Iraq and Africa while serving in the military for eight years. During his time with the 3rd Marine Division, Kyle received the Navy Achievement Medal for leading the first Marine detachment to transport a nuclear submarine through hostile waters. After leaving the military, Sergeant Kyle has dedicated his life to helping his fellow servicemen and women through his tireless efforts to bring awareness to veterans’ needs. Kyle advocates for veterans across the nation and provides support through his involvement with a handful of organizations.
    A board member of the Guardian For Heroes Foundation, Kyle oversees the stewardship of the charity which provides free, in-home fitness equipment, health club memberships, personal training, life coaching and support for the disabled. He also plays a large role with American Valor, the foundation which runs the memorial benefit to honor his brother, CPO and U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. In addition, Kyle is one of the founders of Texas Elite Tactical Academy and trains individuals about firearms safety through his passion to educate those in a safe environment.
    “Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m deserving of this recognition,” said Kyle of being named the winner of the 2015 “Your Hero’s Name Here” program. “My true service to this country didn’t begin until I got out of the military and I’m proud to be in the position I am.”
    Thursday at Globe Life Park in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers, over 29,000 fans witnessed the announcement of Kyle as the 2015 “Your Hero’s Name Here” winner as the official race logo incorporating his name was unveiled during the pregame festivities. As Kyle made his way to the mound to throw the honorary first pitch, the logo was displayed across every screen within the stadium.
    After the monumental moment, Kyle was greeted off the field by his closest family and friends who surprised him in celebration of the honor, alongside representatives from Crown Royal and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kyle’s wife and parents were in attendance, as well as Kyle’s personal hero and nominator for the program, 2014 “Your Hero’s Name Here” race namesake and Green Beret John Wayne Walding. “Jeff has made his sacrifice time and time again, whether he’s serving his country overseas, locally or nationally,” Walding said. “After everything he has done living his life for others, having something that is just for him will be really special.”
    This will mark the ninth time the Crown Royal brand has awarded NASCAR race naming rights to an adult fan. After receiving hundreds 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. In addition to Kyle, program finalists included: Benjamin Parker, retired Army Staff Sergeant from Cincinnati, Ohio; Hector Manley, community leader from Bonita Springs, Florida; Brendan Marrocco, retired Army Sergeant from Staten Island, New York; and Margy Bons, founder of the Military Assistance Mission from Phoenix, Arizona.
    “Jeff Kyle’s dedication to helping veterans in Texas and across the country is a testament to his selfless nature,” said Matt Pechman, Brand Director for Crown Royal Canadian Whisky. “The race on July 26 will mark a special event for Kyle as he’ll experience his first NASCAR race in an incredibly unique way – as the namesake!”
    As the “Your Hero’s Name Here” winner, Kyle will receive the ultimate VIP race weekend, including garage tours and pace car rides before delivering the trophy bearing his name to the race winner in Victory Lane. Information on parking and camping at IMS events is available at www.ims.com/tickets.(IMS)(6-26-2015)
  • Sad News – William Haggard: William Howard Haggard, age 87, of Charlotte departed this life on June 23, 2015. Haggard was an active salesman for Class C Solutions, formerly KAR Products, for 53 years, serving many NASCAR teams, among other industries. He was a World War II Veteran having served on the USS Alabama and USS Yorktown, was a 32nd Degree Mason, a member of the Scottish Rite Bodies and Oasis Temple of the Shrine. (full obituary and service info at Charlotte Observer)(6-26-2015)


    News from June 25, 2015


  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Sonoma Raceway on the Sonoma Race Info page – Chassis selection area. Not many teams reporting Chassis this race.

  • Sonoma Raceway Track Notes & History – Thursday:
    · 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.
    (NASCAR)(6-25-2015)

  • Stewart-Haas working on new sponsor/contract for Patrick: Facing two hurdles to navigate with Danica Patrick’s #10 Chevy – finding a new primary sponsor and extending the driver’s contract – Stewart-Haas Racing is optimistic about completing both concurrently. “It’s a huge focus of ours on a daily basis,” SHR executive vice president Brett Frood told NBC Sports in a Wednesday interview. “We have a team working on it. From a timing standpoint, we’d like to have something done by the end of the summer in unison with her and a partner and feel confident we’ll be able to get that done.” GoDaddy announced in April that it would end its longtime sponsorship of Patrick’s cars after the 2015 season (likely remaining in a personal services deal with the driver). Patrick, who is in her third full-time season of Sprint Cup, also is in the final year of her deal at SHR, which she joined in 2012 in moving full time from IndyCar to NASCAR. Frood said SHR had been “engaged in several conversations” with prospective sponsors. “We feel very good where we are on that diligence and on that targeting,” he said. It’s unlikely, though, that either deal would be done independently. NASCAR contracts with drivers and sponsors tend to coincide in terms of at least three years. During a news conference last month, Patrick said her agent and advisers were working with the SHR marketing department to align with a new brand.(NBC Sports)(6-25-2015)

  • Bruton Smith increases voting power to sons: Bruton Smith, who in February stepped down as chief executive officer of track operator Speedway Motorsports Inc., has increased the voting power of his three sons in the company. The 88-year-old Smith has controlled 70.2% of the voting stock, and a filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission states he now shares that voting power with his sons Marcus, David and Scott as part of a transaction “for business succession purposes.” The individual voting power of each of the sons and their father was not disclosed, and SMI declined to comment on how the voting power is distributed. The filing indicates that Bruton Smith has retained significant oversight of SMI. Bruton Smith gave up the CEO and chairman titles of SMI in February, moving to a role as executive chairman while elevating Marcus to the CEO role. Scott Smith is president and David Smith is vice chairman of their father’s auto dealership company, Sonic Automotive, where Bruton remains as chairman and CEO.(ESPN)(6-25-2015)

  • Cargill returns to sponsor Stenhouse Jr.: Roush Fenway Racing has announced that long-standing partner Cargill Beef will return to the #17 team with NASCAR Champion driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2015. Cargill will serve as a primary partner for multiple races on the #17 beginning with the famed Southern 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway on Sept 6. As part of the Darlington ‘Throwback” initiative the paint scheme for the race will feature a ‘special’ retro look, which is sure to be a fan favorite. Details on the paint scheme will be released at a later date. “I’m thrilled to have Cargill back this season with the #17 team,” said Stenhouse. “They have been an outstanding partner with Roush Fenway for the past five seasons and with our team in both the XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series. I can’t think of a better way to welcome them back this season, than going for the trophy in one of my favorite all-time races, the Southern 500 at Darlington.”
    “We are pleased to announce the continuation of our successful partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.,” said John Keating, president of Cargill Beef. “Beef is a perfect choice for NASCAR racing fans everywhere. NASCAR fans have proven to be brand loyal, and this partnership provides us the avenue to make Cargill Beef products their top choice.”
    Cargill first teamed with Roush Fenway in 2010, joining Stenhouse during his rookie of the year season in the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES and continued to serve as a primary partner during Stenhouse’s back-to-back NXS Championships in 2011 and 2012. Last season they made the move to Sprint Cup racing with Stenhouse and the #17 team. “Cargill has been an outstanding partner for the past five seasons,” said team co-owner Jack Roush. “In 2010 they took a chance on a young and unproven driver in Ricky, and they went on to play a pivotal role in his XFINITY Series Championship seasons. They made the move up to Sprint Cup last season and they continue to play a major role with the #17 and Ricky.”
    In addition to serving as a primary partner with Stenhouse in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014, Cargill teamed with Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne in 2013 in the XFINITY Season, before moving up to the Sprint Cup Series with Stenhouse last year. “The enthusiasm we have experienced from our customers, employees and race fans during our time with Roush Fenway Racing has confirmed that high quality beef products and NASCAR racing fit perfectly together,” said Tammy Shaw, Cargill Beef vice president of marketing. “And we are extremely excited to once again extend our relationship and to make our 2015 debut with Ricky and the team at Darlington. We look forward to another terrific season with Roush Fenway and Ricky, as we continue to find unique ways to market our products and support our customers through NASCAR.”(RFR)(6-25-2015)

  • What Kyle Busch needs to do to make Chase: Heading into Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway, #18-Kyle Busch is 39th in points, 173 points behind 30th-place #51-Justin Allgaier. If Allgaier keeps accumulating points at his current rate, he’ll have roughly 435 points when the regular-season ends. That, in turn, means that to catch Allgaier, Busch will have to average a 12th-place finish in the next 11 races. Considering that in the four races Busch has run since returning from a compound fracture of the lower right leg and a midfoot fracture of the left foot, his average finish is 24.75, it’s safe to say Busch has his work cut out for him. Plus Busch has to win a race.(FoxSports)(6-25-2015)

  • Nathan’s Famous returns to the #43 at Sonoma: After a much appreciated off-weekend, Aric Almirola and the #43 Nathan’s Famous Ford team are ready to tackle the first road course race of the season. The team will head to the 10-turn Sonoma Raceway and compete to stay on the Chase Grid and work their way back into the Top-10 in Championship Points. Last month, Nathan’s Famous launched its Original Selfie Sweepstakes. Fans can enter to win by uploading selfies featuring Nathan’s Famous products by uploading at www.NathansSelfie.com. Almirola will stop by the Sonoma Raceway Victory Lane to kick off Nathan’s Famous activities on Sunday at 9:15am. He will participate in a question and answer session before contestants compete in a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest Qualifier.(RPM), see images of the car/scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-25-2015)

  • Uponor to sponsor Whitt at Sonoma: Uponor joins the #35 Front Row Motorsports team and Cole Whitt as primary sponsor for Sonoma. Uponor is an award-winning provider of plumbing, fire safety, radiant heating/cooling, hydronic piping and pre-insulated piping systems for residential and commercial applications. Whitt has one prior Sprint Cup career start at Sonoma Raceway, finishing 27th last season (FRM), see an image of the scheme on the #35 Team Schemes page.(6-25-2015)

  • Todd Parrott to crew chief #33 team: Sources tell motorsport.com that Todd Parrott will take over the duties on the #33 Sprint Cup team [when RCR runs the car, Pat Tryson is the crew chief when Circle Sport runs the #33] starting next week at Daytona International Raceway. Brian Scott, who is competing for Richard Childress Racing full-time in the XFINITY Series and is currently seventh in the point standings, will drive the car. Parrott spent last weekend at Chicago [XFINITY race] getting acquainted with Scott. Parrott takes over as crew chief for Slugger Labbe, who left the #33 team to oversee the #3 Cup car and driver Austin Dillon. Gil Martin started the season with the #3 team but has since been reassigned to RCR’s R&D department. Most recently, Parrott was subbing for Luke Lambert and driver Ryan Newman during the suspension of the #31 team’s crew chief (Motorsport). Circle Sport shares the #33 team with RCR. Brian Scott and Ty Dillon run the car for RCR. Alex Kennedy runs the car for Circle Sport.(6-24-2015)

  • Drivers who have fallen the most spots in drivers points since this time in 2014:
    1 – #18-Kyle Busch … lost 29 spots (miise 1st 11 races of 2015 season)
    2 – #42-Kyle Larson … lost 10 spots (missed one race)
    2 – #14-Tony Stewart … lost 10 spots
    4 – #24-Jeff Gordon … lost 9 spots
    5 – #19-Carl Edwards … lost 8 spots (different team)
    6 – #3-Austin Dillon … lost 6 spots
    7 – #31-Ryan Newman … lost 5 spots
    8 – #16-Greg Biffle … lost 5 spots
    9 – #20-Matt Kenseth … lost 4 spots
    10 – #48-Jimmie Johnson … lost 3 spots
    10 – #15-Clint Bowyer … lost 3 spots
    10 – #13-Casey Mears … lost 3 spots
    (NBC Sports)(6-25-2015)

  • NBC Sports Finalizes Broadcast Team: NBC Sports Group has finalized the on-air broadcast team that will present the organization’s first live slate of NASCAR racing action since 2006, when a hand-picked team of proven experts and motorsports journalists make their 4th of July Weekend debut from Daytona International Speedway. “NBC Sports has always taken great pride in the belief that we surround each of our broadcasts with the very best on-air talent in the business and this NASCAR team is exemplary,” said Flood. “We’re bringing fresh viewpoints from behind the wheel and on top of the pit box, multi-generational perspectives and Hall of Fame credentials, journalistic muscle, and an entertaining style that fans will enjoy and ultimately feel closer to the action.”
    Accomplished race announcer Rick Allen joins 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup winning driver Jeff Burton and Daytona 500 champion crew chief Steve Letarte in the NBC Sports broadcast booth to call two primetime races over the holiday weekend. NBC Sports Group first race is on Saturday July 4th at 7:00pm/et with the Subway Firecracker 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series Race on NBCSN. Allen, Burton and Letarte return the next evening to call the Coke Zero NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at 7:00pm/et on NBC.
    NBC Sports’ Krista Voda will sit alongside engaging NASCAR personality Kyle Petty, as well as three-time Daytona 500 champion and Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett, from a state-of-the-art open-air studio located atop pit road to set the stage for both races. Rutledge Wood, NBC Sports’ NASCAR features reporter and “man about the track,” will present pieces that delve into the experience of attending a race at the famed Daytona International Speedway and NBCSports.com lead motorsports writer Nate Ryan will be on hand to cover news and timely information affecting the sport. Once each checkered flag is captured, the set location will shift to Victory Lane in order to take in the post-race festivities and break down the pivotal moves and strategic decisions that dictated the outcome. Experienced motorsports reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Mike Massaro, and Dave Burns will cover pit road during both 4th of July Weekend telecasts,(NBC Sports)(6-25-2015)

  • NASCAR Technical Institute prepares for Chrysler partnership: Though Mooresville’s for-profit technical institute bears the name NASCAR, only about 20 percent of its graduates go on to work in racing. Most head to careers as auto technicians at car dealerships. Because of a new partnership forged between the school’s parent company, Universal Technical Institute, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, students at the Mooresville campus will now be able to take part in specialized training from all three of America’s major auto manufacturers. “It gives students confidence that major manufacturers are investing in our program,” NASCAR Technical Institute President Jennifer Bergeron said in an interview. Kim McWaters, CEO of Universal Technical Institute, was in Mooresville on Tuesday to discuss implementation of the new partnership. “This campus is one that we’re most proud of,” McWaters said. “It sets high standards.” The Mooresville campus will be used as the launchpad for the new partnership, which is expected to expand to other campuses over time.” School spokesman John Dodson said the local manufacturing industries are “starved” for workers who have the skills the school’s graduates have. On Tuesday, the school hosted recruiters from 12 different Ford dealerships. Dodson called this common and praised the school’s 90 percent placement rate.(Charlotte Observer)(6-25-2015)
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350 to Feature Aerial Pre-Race Show, New Fan Amenities: Sonoma Raceway has put together an unforgettable pre-race show featuring everything from jets to aeronautical aerobatics to live music entertainment. Pre-race will also include a tribute to Northern California native, #24-Jeff Gordon, who will take his final green flag in Sonoma as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. The raceway has also joined with its sponsors to offer two great new fan amenities: the Lucky/Save Mart Breaking Zone and three Real. Strong. Humboldt Redwood shade areas featuring redwood arbors. There will be plenty of on-track action throughout the day, so fans should be sure to get tickets and arrive early, as pre-race entertainment will get underway at 10:00am on Sunday, June 28. Tickets, parking and transportation are all still available for the Toyota/Save Mart weekend, June 26-28. For more information, call 800-870-7223, visit www.RaceSonoma.com.(Sonoma Raceway)
    See what fans can expect during this year’s pre-race show on Jayski.com’s Sonoma Raceway page.(6-25-2015)


    News from June 24, 2015


  • Congrats – Kasey Kahne: In October, #5-Kasey Kahne will achieve a lifelong dream: fatherhood. Kahne’s girlfriend, Sam Sheets, is due to deliver a baby boy on Oct. 10. “I’ve always really wanted a kid. Absolutely,” Kahne said via speakerphone while dragging a sprint car-loaded trailer up the interstate toward Indianapolis. “When I was growing up, I thought I’d have kids by the time I was 25. We’re 10 years past that now, of course. But once we found out, I realized how badly I wanted kids. It’s something that’s been on my mind for a long time. I’m really excited to have this type of life-changing experience, and I can’t wait to be the best dad I can possibly be.”(ESPN)(6-24-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Sonoma
    #41-Kurt Busch………………………….. 106.5
    #24-Jeff Gordon………………………… 103.4
    #14-Tony Stewart…………………………. 98.8
    #48-Jimmie Johnson…………………….. 98.8
    #15-Clint Bowyer…………………………. 95.0
    #19-Carl Edwards………………………… 90.1
    #31-Ryan Newman……………………….. 88.4
    #1-Jamie McMurray…………………….. 87.8
    #78-Martin Truex Jr………………………. 86.1
    #5-Kasey Kahne………………………… 85.5
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (10 total) among active drivers at Sonoma Raceway.
    Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
    See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)

  • Ten different winners in last ten races at Sonoma: In the last 10 years there have been 10 different winners at Sonoma Raceway: Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr. and Carl Edwards.(6-24-2015)

  • Drivers who have risen the most spots in drivers points since this time in 2014:
    1 – #78-Martin Truex Jr. … gained 23 spots
    2 – #41-Kurt Busch … gained 15 spots (and still missed 3 races)
    3 – #1-Jamie McMurray … gained 13 spots
    4 – #5-Kasey Kahne … gained 10 spots
    5 – #10-Danica Patrick … gained 9 spots
    5 – #55/#18/#34-David Ragan … gained 9 spots (3 teams in 2015)
    7 – #4-Kevin Harvick … gained 8 spots
    8 – #43-Aric Almirola … gained 7 spots
    9 – #22-Joey Logano … gained 4 spots
    10 – #38-David Gilliland … gained 3 spots
    (NBC Sports)(6-24-2015)
  • 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 teams will be running this code . . . compared to what was run at Sonoma last year, this tire features an increase in tread gage (thickness) for better wear . . . as on all NASCAR road courses, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Sonoma. This year, the NASCAR rulebook allows that Sprint Cup teams may run in wet conditions . . . Goodyear will bring its wet weather radials for use at Sonoma, should NASCAR decide that conditions warrant . . . teams are allowed up to three sets of “wets” for practice/qualifying and up to three sets for the race . . . this tire code has been run by NASCAR Xfinity Series teams on road courses over the past several seasons (Goodyear), see tire codes, tire pressures, set limits on the Sonoma Race Info page – Goodyear section.

  • Goodyear schedules June 30 test at Darlington: A tire test with three Sprint Cup teams has been scheduled for June 30 at Darlington Raceway, Goodyear confirmed Tuesday. The session will include Brad Keselowski’s #2-Ford, Tony Stewart’s #14-Chevrolet and Matt Kenseth’s #20-Toyota. This will be the second Goodyear test at Darlington in three weeks. NASCAR held a two-day test at the 1.366-mile oval on June 9-10 with the first day devoted to testing tires for the Southern 500 on Sept. 5. It’s common for Goodyear to hold “confirmation” tests in the weeks leading into a race to select a tire, but it’s unusual for multiple sessions to be conducted. The test is unrelated to the July 11 race at Kentucky Speedway, which will feature the debut of a lower-downforce rules package that NASCAR is trying in the hopes of increasing lead changes. NASCAR hasn’t committed to the change beyond Kentucky, but executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell hinted Monday that another race-specific rules package could be rolled out prior to the Chase for the Sprint Cup.(NBC Sports)(6-24-2015)

  • Caymus Vineyards to be associate sponsor of the #13 at Sonoma: For the third consecutive year, the #13 GEICO Chevy of Casey Mears is proud to sport the logos of Caymus Vineyards and Wagner Family of Wine. Few stops on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit are as exciting for Germain Racing as when the team loads up the specially built road-course chassis and heads west to Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota/Save Mart 350. “Germain racing proudly flies the Caymus banner throughout the season and we are particularly proud to showcase this wonderful Napa Valley wine brand and the Wagner family here at the road course in Sonoma. The Wagner’s put the kind of passion and detail into making their wines that the race team puts into building cars. Our relationship with Caymus Vineyards and the Wagner family has made Sonoma Raceway an even more special destination for the team,” said team owner Bob Germain, Jr. Caymus Vineyards is located in Rutherford, Napa Valley, a short drive from Sonoma Raceway. “We’re extremely pleased to continue our sponsorship of Germain Racing,” said Chuck Wagner, Owner/Winemaker of Caymus Vineyards. “Every race has its unique moments, and we’re excited to see the team in action at Sonoma Raceway and cheer on Casey Mears. We value the pursuit of excellence, whether in winemaking or pushing to achieve the best possible performance in the world of competitive racing.”(Germain Racing)(6-24-2015)

  • Bowyer Raises More Than $350,000 For His Hometown: Before heading to Sonoma, #15-Clint Bowyer hosted the eighth annual Clint Bowyer’s Support Emporia Charity Event on Saturday, June. 20 in his home town of Emporia, Kan. More than 450 people attended the golf tournament and auction where a record $360,000 was raised. It was the sixth consecutive year the event has raised more than $350,000. The dinner and auction included several one-of-a-kind items from several NASCAR stars, the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs. The highlight of the auction was a VIP experience with Cessna to the Daytona 500. The evening concluded with a concert by country music entertainer Chris Weaver. Money raised from the event goes to the “79 Fund,” a fund established by Bowyer for the Emporia Community Foundation. To date, Bowyer has helped raise more than $2.5 million for the fund. In addition to constructing the Clint Bowyer Community Building, a multi-purpose community center, gifts have been awarded to various youth-related initiatives including outfitting children with school backpacks as well as shoes for the needy at Christmas.(MWR)(6-24-2015)

  • Driven to Thrive to 95: Through a new interactive game introduced by Thrivent Racing, fans not only have the chance to win prizes, they also can be part of a $95,000 donation from Thrivent Financial to Habitat for Humanity. Plus, just by playing,they will also be entered into a grand prize drawing for a VIP trip for two to the championship race weekend on Nov. 22 in Homestead. Thrivent Racing represents the partnership of not-for-profit financial services organization Thrivent Financial, Leavine Family Racing and NASCAR driver Michael McDowell. Thrivent Financial is a primary sponsor of Leavine Family Racing’s #95 NASCAR Sprint Cup car and McDowell for the 2015 NASCAR race season. Their relationship has been extended to include fans through ThriventRacing.com, a microsite that brings fans under the hood of a growing race team and offers real-time updates and access to behind-the-scenes action with McDowell. Now through Oct. 15, fans can engage even further by playing the Driven to Thrive-to 95! game for the chance to win prizes and live generously through Thrivent’s contribution to Habitat for Humanity.(LFR)(6-24-2015)

  • Crew Member Suspended Due To Violation of NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy: Ernest Pierce, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy. On June 17, 2015, Pierce 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 2015 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(6-23-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has indefinitely suspended Joe Gibbs Racing development pit-crew member Ernest Pierce for violation of its substance-abuse policy. To be reinstated, Pierce must complete NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery” process, which requires an assessment by a substance-abuse professional who will then determine the appropriate rehabilitation program and guidelines for Pierce’s return. NASCAR announced Pierce’s suspension Tuesday afternoon, saying it confirmed the violation (typically a failed drug test) last Wednesday. A JGR spokesman said any discipline issued by JGR would be an internal personnel matter.(ESPN)(6-24-2015)
  • ISC negotiating to operate Laguna Seca? UPDATE: On Monday, Monterey County officials confirmed they are in negotiations with the International Speedway Corporation on a potential concession agreement to operate Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Salinas, CA), which is a county park but has been associated with the nonprofit Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula since its inception. According to a statement from county officials, SCRAMP has been retained to manage the raceway on a monthly renewal basis since March 2014 while the county “has been exploring options for the management of the raceway to ensure its long-term success.” One of those options is a potential agreement with ISC, which the statement called a “premier operator of motor sports entertainment facilities in the United States.” The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a potential raceway concession agreement with ISC during Tuesday’s closed session. The statement, however, noted that any potential deal would be considered in open session with an opportunity for the public to comment.
    The world-renowned racetrack at Laguna Seca was built in 1957 and has been operated by SCRAMP, a nonprofit organization, ever since. It’s credited with distributing more than $12 million to Monterey Peninsula charitable and service groups, along with hundreds of millions in economic benefit to the regional economy. But the organization has struggled in recent years with the loss of MotoGP’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and its Indy Racing League (then known as Champ Car) event.
    “Since 1957 SCRAMP has been committed to the successful future of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and, working hand-in-hand with its sponsors, racing organizations, race teams and volunteers, has firmly established it as one of the premier motor sports facilities in the world,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of the track, in a prepared statement. ISC didn’t return a late afternoon phone call from The Herald.(Monterey Herald)(6-23-2015)
    UPDATE: A potential three-year deal for International Speedway Corp. to operate Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca does not come with the intention of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing there, a Monterey County Supervisor told NASCAR Talk. Dave Potter, Monterey County Supervisor of the 5th District, which includes the track, said that International Speedway Corp. has 90 days to complete its due diligence before completing a deal with the county to operate the 11-turn, 2.238-mile track. The Board of Supervisors of Monterey County approved the action Tuesday. Potter said “there is no intent to bring NASCAR racing to Laguna Seca. ISC says the configuration of the track doesn’t work for NASCAR.” An International Speedway Corp. official did not return requests for comment.(NBC Sports)(6-24-2015)
  • Sonoma Raceway Traffic Advisory: Sonoma Raceway and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) unveiled their plans to mitigate race-day traffic on area roadways during this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. NASCAR’s annual visit to the Sonoma wine country marks one of the Bay Area’s largest single-day sporting events, and the addition of racing fans to the normal wine country visitor traffic puts tremendous strain on the surrounding road systems, particularly the two-lane stretches of Highways 37 and 121. Traffic on the surrounding roadways is expected to be most affected during the following days/times:
    · Friday, June 26: 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
    · Saturday, June 27: Moderate traffic expected with lane controls in place all day
    · Sunday, June 28: Non-race fans should avoid the area all day
    The heaviest traffic is expected on Sunday, and race fans heading to the track are advised to arrive early (gates open at 7 a.m.) to avoid traffic and enjoy the complete race-day experience. A primary focus is to educate non-race attendees about alternate routes in and out of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. In past years, up to 85% of the drivers passing the raceway on Highways 37 and 121 during peak entry and exit times are not attending the event. When combined with race traffic, the results can bring hours of congestion for all drivers.
    The raceway’s traffic management plan includes an array of measures intended to divert ambient traffic from the adjacent highways on race day. Some of these initiatives include:
    A total of 46 changeable message signs will be distributed along highways up to a 15-mile radius around the facility directing ambient traffic away from Highways 37 and 121.
    Widespread distribution of traffic warnings, including maps and alternate routes, to local restaurants, hotels and wineries for both residents and visitors.
    Seven signs placed along Highway 121 to direct raceway guests to the appropriate entry gate. The signs will also help explain lane delineation for raceway and Sonoma/Napa traffic.
    The raceway will employ a traffic manager, who will work closely with a CHP officer to provide real-time direction to maximize ingress and egress for raceway traffic.
    Sonoma Raceway has worked closely with the CHP and Caltrans to develop and execute this plan, which will utilize more than 30 CHP and Caltrans workers on race day. The raceway also encourages guests to explore two of its most popular mass transit options, including the 3rd annual Raceway Fun Train from Sacramento, which will bring nearly 700 race fans to the track by rail, and the SportsFan Express bus program, which is slated to bring in more than 1,000 fans from 29 locations around Northern California.
    To ensure sufficient parking for its disabled guests, Sonoma Raceway will again work with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on a stringent placard check. Sheriffs will check each car and driver for its Handicap Placard, matching paperwork with name and placard number and a valid Driver’s License. Persons displaying fake or placards that are not their own will be fined, ticketed and required to appear in court. For more information about the Toyota/Save Mart 350, Sonoma Raceway’s traffic plan, best routes to and from the race and transportation options, visit www.racesonoma.com/traffic or call 800-870-7223.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-24-2015)

  • RCR Swaps #3 and #33 Crew Chiefs: Richard Childress Racing has swapped its #3 and #33 Chevy crew chiefs on its NASCAR XFINITY Series program. The changes are effective immediately, moving crew chief Nick Harrison to the #3 Bass Pro Shops/Yuengling Light Lager/WESCO/Red Kap Chevy and Danny Stockman to the #33 Rheem/Menards Chevy. “Like many teams this time of year, we are making some mid-season personnel changes to improve the overall performance of our teams this season,” said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “This will also give us an opportunity to get an early look at what our personnel lineup might look like for the 2016 season.”(RCR)(6-24-2015)

  • Jones back in the #54 at Daytona: Erik Jones will pilot the #54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry in the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. After pulling double duty last weekend, Jones will have a week off from NASCAR competition prior to his return to Daytona International Speedway. In his NXS debut at the 2.5-mile track in February, he qualified sixth and finished 18th. His Sprint Cup debut came one month later at Kansas Speedway, where Jones, who was subbing for the injured Busch, transferred to the final round of qualifying and was running in the top-five when he admittedly “just lost it” into the outside Turn 4 wall. In 2015, Jones amassed two wins, three poles, seven top fives and 11 top 10s in just 16 NXS starts. In trucks, where he’s competing for the title, Jones earned his fifth career pole and victory on Friday along with his 12 top-five and 19 top 10 finish.(Motorsport)(6-24-2015)

  • NTS Motorsports, Rick Ware Racing team up for Daytona: NTS Motorsports and Scott Lagasse, Jr. announce their partnership with Rick Ware Racing for the upcoming NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) race at Daytona International Speedway. The #15 Chevy will be sponsored by Alert Today Florida/Boy Scouts of America with Lagasse behind the wheel. The Subway Firecracker 250 will be NTS Motorsports’ first NXS race of 2015. The team competed in three events in the series in 2014 with Brennan Newberry in the driver’s seat. NTS Motorsports competition director Chris Rice will serve as crew chief for the #15 Alert Today Florida/Boy Scouts of America Chevy. “We’re thrilled to partner with Rick Ware Racing and to have Scott Lagasse, Jr. behind the wheel for what is arguably one of the most anticipated and exciting events of the season,” said NTS Motorsports team owner Bob Newberry. “The NASCAR XFINITY Series has produced some really good racing in 2015, and Daytona always puts on a show. I can’t think of anything more exciting than NTS Motorsports and Rick Ware Racing bringing home a win on the Fourth of July.”
    Lagasse has one NXS start this year, having competed in the season-opening event at Daytona in February. Lagasse also competed with NTS Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the 2.5-mile superspeedway earlier this year, finishing third. Lagasse has a total of seven previous NXS starts at Daytona International Speedway, with a best finish of 18th at the track.
    “It is always an honor to promote and partner with Alert Today Florida,” said Lagasse. “This campaign raises awareness for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists. As an avid cyclist, I am proud to take part in helping spread this safety message. My goal is to get everyone to just take a couple extra seconds to think about the safety of others while on the road. I’m looking forward to working with Rick Ware Racing and NTS Motorsports. I had a great run with NTS Motorsports in the [NASCAR Camping World] Truck Series race in February, and I’m hoping that we can close the deal when we return.”(NTS Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on the #15 Team Schemes page.(6-24-2015)

  • Chastain to run patriotic watermelon scheme at Daytona: Ross Chastain will have a special red, white and blue paint scheme, with a touch of watermelon, for the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. The National Watermelon Association, in conjunction with Chastain’s season long sponsors Watermelon.org and Helena Chemical, want to show their support for America’s troops with a special patriotic paint scheme for the July 4th race. “What goes together better than the Fourth of July and watermelons?” says Chastain. “I’ve been excited about this race all year, and I am so thankful that the NWA and JD Motorsports have helped make this car a reality. Growing up hearing my grandparents’ stories about serving overseas makes this so special to me, and watermelon farming is my family’s livelihood. So having both on the car is perfect.”
    The JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team is proud to carry the colors of the American Flag on the #4 Chevrolet. “We can’t thank the NWA enough for supporting us this weekend with the stars and stripes on the car. Having had friends and family members that have served in the US military, this means a lot to me,” said team owner, Johnny Davis. “Plus, adding the watermelon to the car makes it that much better! This is one of my favorite paint schemes that we have had this year, and it is sure to stand out on the track.”
    “When we had the opportunity to design a race car that would carry two of the most iconic symbols of Americana together, we jumped at it”, said Bob Morrissey of the NWA. “We will celebrate America and Watermelon together on our country’s birthday! It will be a great ride, and race. So go out and buy more watermelons, and thank our military for their service that provides the freedom that we all enjoy!”
    The National Watermelon Association, Inc. is a voluntary, membership trade association dedicated to making a positive difference in the business and lives of its Watermelon family – those involved in the growing, grading, handling, transporting, distributing, and selling of watermelon. The National Association has members in over 30 states, Canada and Central America and is comprised of regional chapters in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois-Indiana, Maryland-Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and the Western United States.(JD Motorsports with Gary Keller), see an image of the scheme on the #4 Team Schemes page.(6-24-2015)
  • Chicago NXS TV Ratings: NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Chicago drew just 377,000 viewers on Fox Sports 2 Sunday afternoon, easily the series’ smallest audience of the season. The race was originally scheduled to air on FS1 Saturday night, but was postponed due to rain.(Sports Media Watch via Sports TV Ratings)(6-24-2015)
  • ISC negotiating to operate Laguna Seca? UPDATE: On Monday, Monterey County officials confirmed they are in negotiations with the International Speedway Corporation on a potential concession agreement to operate Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Salinas, CA), which is a county park but has been associated with the nonprofit Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula since its inception. According to a statement from county officials, SCRAMP has been retained to manage the raceway on a monthly renewal basis since March 2014 while the county “has been exploring options for the management of the raceway to ensure its long-term success.” One of those options is a potential agreement with ISC, which the statement called a “premier operator of motor sports entertainment facilities in the United States.” The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a potential raceway concession agreement with ISC during Tuesday’s closed session. The statement, however, noted that any potential deal would be considered in open session with an opportunity for the public to comment.
    The world-renowned racetrack at Laguna Seca was built in 1957 and has been operated by SCRAMP, a nonprofit organization, ever since. It’s credited with distributing more than $12 million to Monterey Peninsula charitable and service groups, along with hundreds of millions in economic benefit to the regional economy. But the organization has struggled in recent years with the loss of MotoGP’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and its Indy Racing League (then known as Champ Car) event.
    “Since 1957 SCRAMP has been committed to the successful future of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and, working hand-in-hand with its sponsors, racing organizations, race teams and volunteers, has firmly established it as one of the premier motor sports facilities in the world,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of the track, in a prepared statement. ISC didn’t return a late afternoon phone call from The Herald.(Monterey Herald)(6-23-2015)
    UPDATE: A potential three-year deal for International Speedway Corp. to operate Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca does not come with the intention of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing there, a Monterey County Supervisor told NASCAR Talk. Dave Potter, Monterey County Supervisor of the 5th District, which includes the track, said that International Speedway Corp. has 90 days to complete its due diligence before completing a deal with the county to operate the 11-turn, 2.238-mile track. The Board of Supervisors of Monterey County approved the action Tuesday. Potter said “there is no intent to bring NASCAR racing to Laguna Seca. ISC says the configuration of the track doesn’t work for NASCAR.” An International Speedway Corp. official did not return requests for comment.(NBC Sports)(6-24-2015)
  • Sonoma Raceway Traffic Advisory: Sonoma Raceway and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) unveiled their plans to mitigate race-day traffic on area roadways during this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. NASCAR’s annual visit to the Sonoma wine country marks one of the Bay Area’s largest single-day sporting events, and the addition of racing fans to the normal wine country visitor traffic puts tremendous strain on the surrounding road systems, particularly the two-lane stretches of Highways 37 and 121. Traffic on the surrounding roadways is expected to be most affected during the following days/times:
    · Friday, June 26: 3 p.m.-7 p.m.
    · Saturday, June 27: Moderate traffic expected with lane controls in place all day
    · Sunday, June 28: Non-race fans should avoid the area all day
    The heaviest traffic is expected on Sunday, and race fans heading to the track are advised to arrive early (gates open at 7 a.m.) to avoid traffic and enjoy the complete race-day experience. A primary focus is to educate non-race attendees about alternate routes in and out of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. In past years, up to 85% of the drivers passing the raceway on Highways 37 and 121 during peak entry and exit times are not attending the event. When combined with race traffic, the results can bring hours of congestion for all drivers.
    The raceway’s traffic management plan includes an array of measures intended to divert ambient traffic from the adjacent highways on race day. Some of these initiatives include:
    A total of 46 changeable message signs will be distributed along highways up to a 15-mile radius around the facility directing ambient traffic away from Highways 37 and 121.
    Widespread distribution of traffic warnings, including maps and alternate routes, to local restaurants, hotels and wineries for both residents and visitors.
    Seven signs placed along Highway 121 to direct raceway guests to the appropriate entry gate. The signs will also help explain lane delineation for raceway and Sonoma/Napa traffic.
    The raceway will employ a traffic manager, who will work closely with a CHP officer to provide real-time direction to maximize ingress and egress for raceway traffic.
    Sonoma Raceway has worked closely with the CHP and Caltrans to develop and execute this plan, which will utilize more than 30 CHP and Caltrans workers on race day. The raceway also encourages guests to explore two of its most popular mass transit options, including the 3rd annual Raceway Fun Train from Sacramento, which will bring nearly 700 race fans to the track by rail, and the SportsFan Express bus program, which is slated to bring in more than 1,000 fans from 29 locations around Northern California.
    To ensure sufficient parking for its disabled guests, Sonoma Raceway will again work with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office on a stringent placard check. Sheriffs will check each car and driver for its Handicap Placard, matching paperwork with name and placard number and a valid Driver’s License. Persons displaying fake or placards that are not their own will be fined, ticketed and required to appear in court. For more information about the Toyota/Save Mart 350, Sonoma Raceway’s traffic plan, best routes to and from the race and transportation options, visit www.racesonoma.com/traffic or call 800-870-7223.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-24-2015)


    News from June 23, 2015


  • Crew Member Suspended Due To Violation of NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy: Ernest Pierce, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Substance Abuse Policy. On June 17, 2015, Pierce 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 2015 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR), no word which team Pierce worked for.(6-23-2015)

  • Boris Said to run the #32 Ford at Sonoma: After a weekend off, the #32 Go Green Racing team will head west to Wine Country for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway with Boris Said. This weekend’s event will mark Said’s 50th career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and his 16th start at the 1.99-mile road course. Said has 32 starts in five different types of vehicles at Sonoma. Said has three starts in the American Le-Mans Series (ALMS), one start in the Grand-Am Series, five NASCAR Southwest Tour (NSWT) starts, five NASCAR K&N West Series starts (NKNPS), three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) starts, and 15 NSCS starts. In 32 starts, Said has found victory lane twice, winning the 1998 NCWTS event, and the 1999 ALMS event. Said also has two poles at Sonoma, including one In 2003 where Said won his first career NSCS pole award, and followed that up with another pole award in 2004 in the NSWT.
    Boris Said on Sonoma: “All year long I wait for two weekends, Sears point and Watkins glen. I always feel like a little kid at Christmas time when I think about getting behind the wheel of a cup car at Sears Point. I’m really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the #32 Ford Fusion for Go Green Racing and driving the wheels off the thing.” This weekend’s event at the Sonoma Raceway will feature three new local partners for the GGR team. Oakland, CA based company The Loss Prevention Group, and Roseville, CA based company SBC Contractors will make their first appearance of the 2015 season with GGR starting with this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350. Additionally, GGR is pleased to partner with the Four Points by Sheraton San Rafael location as the official Sonoma hotel partner of the GGR team.(GoGreen Racing), see image of the scheme on the #32 Team Schemes page.(6-23-2015)

  • Jacob Companies to Sponsor Hornish in Sonoma: Sam Hornish Jr. will have a new look on the #9 Ford at Sonoma Raceway this weekend. Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) has signed new partner, Jacob Companies as the primary sponsor on the #9 Ford at the California road course. Jacob Companies is a nationwide full service General Contractor offering design, development, construction, and management services to a diverse portfolio of clients in various industries. Jacob Companies specializes in High Rise Structures, Universities, Hotels, Automotive Dealerships, Athletic Facilities both Professional and Collegiate, and Parking Structures. While Hornish has competed at the 1.99-mile road course in both NASCAR and IndyCar, he only has three starts per series. In his six starts between both series, Hornish earned his best finish of fifth during the 2007 IndyCar event.(RPM), see image of the scheme on the #9 Team Schemes page.(6-23-2015)

  • NASCAR releases statement about the Confederate Flag: “As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of life last week in Charleston, we join our nation’s embrace of those impacted. NASCAR supports the position that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley took on the Confederate Flag on Monday. As our industry works collectively to ensure that all fans are welcome at our races, NASCAR will continue our long-standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate Flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity. While NASCAR recognizes that freedom of expression is an inherent right of all citizens, we will continue to strive for an inclusive environment at our events.”(NASCAR)
    AND Statement from International Speedway Corporation (ISC) President John Saunders: “We join NASCAR in support of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s position on the Confederate Flag. ISC strives to ensure all fans are welcome to enjoy our events and maintains an inclusive environment at our facilities nationwide. ISC will continue our long-standing practice to prohibit the sale of Confederate Flag material on our property.”(ISC)(6-23-2015)

  • Kentucky might not be only track this year with special aero package: Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that fans could hear “fairly soon” about another track with a rules package created specifically for its race. NASCAR announced last week that it would have a special aerodynamic package for the July 11 race at Kentucky Speedway. The adjustments – intended to improve passing and increase the number of lead changes – include cutting the spoiler to 3.5 inches, reducing the radiator pan to 25 inches and limiting the overhang on the splitter to 1.75 inches. “We had a lot of discussions with really everyone in the industry in looking at where we may or may not want to head for 2016,” O’Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “What it kept coming back to … if we could really dial in some packages around certain tracks.” O’Donnell stressed more work remains.
    “This isn’t just Kentucky and then we go away,” he told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I think we want to look at this possibly even again this year. Not everyone agrees in terms of certain packages or certain directions. It’s our job, ultimately, to make the call on what we’re going to run at Kentucky, but I think it will give us some really good feedback, especially from the fans, as we go forward and look at what, if any, tweaks we can make prior to the Chase for 2016.” Asked on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio what might be another race this season where NASCAR could try a different rules package, O’Donnell said: “I think it’s still a little early, but it is certainly being discussed with the race teams and the drivers and something you could hear about fairly soon.”(NBC Sports)(6-23-2015)

  • Jones youngest driver to win two races in a weekend: 19-year old Erik Jones is the youngest driver to win two NASCAR national series races in the same weekend. Jones won Friday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Iowa Speedway and then won the XFINITY Series race at Chicago on Sunday (NASCAR). After doing some research, it looks like Jones is the first driver since 2008 to win a National Series race in the same weekend at different tracks. Carl Edwards won the XFINITY Series race at Memphis on 10/25/2008 and then won the Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta on 10/26/2008.(6-23-2015)

  • Danica up for a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Sports Award: #10-Danica Patrick has been nominated for Best Female Athlete in the 2015 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Sports Awards. Voting takes place through July 9th at nick.com.(6-23-2015)

  • Earnhardt welcomes leadership role: As a member of NASCAR’s newly formed drivers’ council, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. has had the ears of the fans, drivers and NASCAR in the past four weeks. And now that he’s more comfortable than ever about giving his views on the sport, Earnhardt appears to relish his place on the council, which met with NASCAR executives for the first time May 30. At a promotional appearance on a hot midweek afternoon a couple of weeks ago for Amp energy drinks, one of his sponsors, Earnhardt acknowledged that he’s more opinionated now than he was when he started racing. “All the drivers have very strong opinions, and we all feel like we have a handful of answers of things that we could change to make this sport better,” Earnhardt said before going onstage. “I don’t know that my ideas are better than anyone else’s. We all sort of get together and talk it over.”
    Being elected as an inaugural member of the council shows that Earnhardt could fill the role that his father once played in the garage as the person who can walk into the NASCAR hauler and truly have the ear — and respect — of NASCAR brass. Jeff Gordon somewhat assumed that role in the 2000s. Earnhardt isn’t necessarily ready to fill that role when Gordon retires after this season, nor does Earnhardt feel that one driver should have that role. The council membership is designed to change year to year; it includes the top driver from each manufacturer, some past champions, the top rookie and other members selected to represent a cross section of the standings. “You take a little pride in that your peers respect you,” Earnhardt said about his selection to the council. “I think we all share that respect for each other and won’t be on the council every year. The way the voting is with the points and everything and the way the guys are kind of chosen and locked in, it will change every year, which is going to be good because it will get fresh guys in there with new ideas.”
    “There’s a lot of guys that are not on the council that probably belong on the council,” Earnhardt said. “There’s more drivers, certainly, qualified, deserving and smart. There’s a lot of guys with a lot of amazing ideas that should be in that room. But NASCAR thought it would be good to sort of keep it down to a small number so the conversations are reasonable.” Earnhardt isn’t sure what impact the council will have this year. He believes this group is laying the foundation. “It won’t really bear fruit right off the bat,” Earnhardt said. “It will take a few meetings. Let’s get down the road several months so we can understand how to talk to each other and how to work together. Then this next crop of guys, whoever comes in the council next year, will be more productive then.”(see full article at ESPN.com)(6-23-2015)

  • Richard Petty to be honored at IMRRC Award Dinner: Richard Petty, the most decorated driver in the history of NASCAR, will start the August race weekend in Watkins Glen by receiving the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports, sponsored by the International Motor Racing Research Center. Petty, who earned a record 200 career races and seven NASCAR Cup championships during his 30-year driving career, will be recognized on Aug. 6 at the IMRRC Award Dinner presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corp. and Watkins Glen International. The dinner will be at the Corning Museum of Glass on the Thursday prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup event at Watkins Glen International, the famed upstate New York road race course. The award memorializes Cameron R. Argetsinger, founder and organizer of the first races at Watkins Glen. Team owner and former driver Chip Ganassi was the first recipient of the Argetsinger Award in 2014. “It always makes you feel good to be honored or recognized for your contributions, especially for something you have dedicated so much of your life towards,” Petty said. “You can tell that Cameron also had a passion for road racing and dedicated his time and efforts to making it better for everyone.” The inaugural race through the streets of Watkins Glen was in 1948. In 1961, Argetsinger organized the first U.S. Grand Prix, and Formula One racing began its successful 20-year run at The Glen. NASCAR competed at The Glen in 1957, 1964 and 1965 and annually since 1986. “You have to figure that racing wasn’t as popular back when I started,” said Petty, who piloted his first race car in July 1958 at the age of 21. “It didn’t matter if it was on an oval, road course or a street course, it was still coming along in America. Today, it’s all popular, and it took a lot of folks working together to make that happen. I appreciate this award and what it means to our sport.” Petty competed in eight NASCAR races at Watkins Glen, including July 19, 1964, when both he and his father, the legendary Lee Petty, were on the track. It was Lee Petty’s final career race. The IMRRC Award Dinner is open to the public, but tickets are limited. The ticket price is $250 per person. Tickets may be purchased online at racingarchives.org or by calling the Racing Research Center at (607) 535-9044.(IMRRC)(6-23-2015)
  • ISC negotiating to operate Laguna Seca? On Monday, Monterey County officials confirmed they are in negotiations with the International Speedway Corporation on a potential concession agreement to operate Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which is a county park but has been associated with the nonprofit Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula since its inception. According to a statement from county officials, SCRAMP has been retained to manage the raceway on a monthly renewal basis since March 2014 while the county “has been exploring options for the management of the raceway to ensure its long-term success.” One of those options is a potential agreement with ISC, which the statement called a “premier operator of motor sports entertainment facilities in the United States.” The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to consider a potential raceway concession agreement with ISC during Tuesday’s closed session. The statement, however, noted that any potential deal would be considered in open session with an opportunity for the public to comment.
    ISC was founded in 1953 by NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. for the construction of Daytona International Speedway, and its primary business is the ownership and management of NASCAR race tracks. In addition to owning 13 tracks hosting more than half of the events in NASCAR’s top level of competition – the Sprint Cup Series – the corporation has also hosted IndyCar races, Grand Am, IMSA GT and SCCA sports car races, WKA go-kart races, and motorcycle races, as well as IROC and ARCA stock car series. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, most of the corporation’s stock is traded on the stock market.
    The world-renowned racetrack at Laguna Seca was built in 1957 and has been operated by SCRAMP, a nonprofit organization, ever since. It’s credited with distributing more than $12 million to Monterey Peninsula charitable and service groups, along with hundreds of millions in economic benefit to the regional economy. But the organization has struggled in recent years with the loss of MotoGP’s Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix and its Indy Racing League (then known as Champ Car) event.
    “Since 1957 SCRAMP has been committed to the successful future of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and, working hand-in-hand with its sponsors, racing organizations, race teams and volunteers, has firmly established it as one of the premier motor sports facilities in the world,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of the track, in a prepared statement. ISC didn’t return a late afternoon phone call from The Herald.(Monterey Herald)(6-23-2015)
  • NASCAR Hauler Parade Rumbles Through Sacramento, June 25: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers will rumble through the streets of Sacramento at the 5th annual NASCAR Hauler Parade on Thursday, June 25. The NASCAR haulers, which will be en route to Sonoma Raceway for this year’s Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 26-28, will make their way over the Tower Bridge and around the State Capitol on a newly-designed route to greet Northern California NASCAR fans ready for the big race in Sonoma. The parade will also start two hours earlier than past years, with the “green flag” slated for noon.
    The parade will begin promptly at noon on Thursday, June 25, as the haulers depart their staging area and cross the Tower Bridge, heading for the State Capitol. The new route is as follows:
    Cross Tower Bridge towards Capitol Mall.
    Right turn on 3rd 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 2:00pm. 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, giveaways and tickets for the big race. This will be the heart of the action. For the fifth consecutive year, State Senator Jim Nielsen will be on hand to present to the president of the Transporter Drivers of Motorsports Association (TDMA) an official State Assembly Proclamation, officially naming June 25, 2014, “NASCAR Day” in the City of Sacramento. A $5,000 donation will also be made to the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway, on behalf of the Transporter Drivers of Motorsports Association. For tickets or more information on the Toyota/Save Mart 350, visit racesonoma.com/nascar or call 800-870-RACE (7223).(6-23-2015)


    News from June 22, 2015


  • Gordon to run new AARP Scheme for 6 races: Jeff Gordon’s #24 Chevy is getting a new look for six races this season – starting this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. AARP Member Advantages will be featured on Gordon’s ride to spread awareness about the many benefits available to AARP members. The special AARP Member Advantages paint scheme is part of Hendrick Motorsports’ existing partnership with Drive to End Hunger, which is AARP and AARP Foundation’s multi-year effort to raise awareness of and support for the fight against older adult hunger. AARP Member Advantages is a collection of discounts, products, services and insurance programs available to AARP’s millions of members through third party providers. The provider offers include a variety of health products, financial products, travel and leisure products, and life event services.
    Including its first race at Sonoma, the #24 AARP Member Advantages Chevy will appear in the following Sprint Cup Series races:
    Kentucky in July, New Hampshire in July, Pocono in August, Dover in October and Martinsville in November.
    “AARP is passionate about NASCAR, and we know many of our members are dedicated racing fans,” said Dave Austin, vice president, marketing services, at AARP Services, Inc. “This partnership is a great opportunity to get in the driver’s seat and bring awareness of the value, quality and convenience of our program to the NASCAR community.”
    “I’ve been fortunate to meet many AARP members over the last few years, and I understand why they’re so loyal,” Gordon said. “The benefits of membership are truly valuable, and I know people enjoy being affiliated with an organization that gives back the way AARP does through Drive to End Hunger and other initiatives.”(HMS), see image of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(6-22-2015)

  • Microsoft Windows 10 to Sponsor Earnhardt Jr.: A global leader in technology and innovation, Microsoft has ramped up its involvement in NASCAR with new multi-year official agreements with both the sanctioning body and 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports. The collaborations designate Microsoft as an Official Technology Partner of NASCAR and a major technology partner of Hendrick Motorsports.
    Hendrick Motorsports will adopt the Windows 10 platform and Microsoft Azure to deliver technology solutions to help improve performance on and off the track. In addition, Microsoft will support the upcoming launch of Windows 10 with primary sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s #88 Chevy at Sonoma Raceway on June 28 and Pocono Raceway on Aug. 2. Windows 10 will be the Official Operating System of Hendrick Motorsports.
    Microsoft will utilize two-time Daytona 500 champion Earnhardt as a spokesperson to promote Windows 10, which will be available July 29 as a free upgrade for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices. In addition, its new multi-year partnership with Hendrick Motorsports will incorporate technology solutions and training across the team, including competition, business and IT functions.(HMS), see image of the scheme on the #88 Team Schemes page.(6-22-2015)
  • NASCAR Explains pit road confusion in Chicago XFINITY race: Nineteen teams were penalized for pitting too soon in Sunday’s Xfinity race at Chicagoland Speedway although NASCAR’s tower stated on the radio – which teams monitor – that pit road was open. The problem was that the official at the entrance at pit road had a red flag up and the red lights on, indicating pit road was closed. A green flag and green lights indicates pit road is open. Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, explained Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio what happened and why the drivers were penalized. “The tower did come over the radio and say pit road was open, but if you go back to the driver’s meeting, what we say in every driver’s meeting is the light and the flag are what dictates whether it’s open or not,” he said. “The (official) at the opening didn’t hear the radio communication so the red flag and light were still on and, in that case, if anyone comes down pit road and it’s technically closed via the light or the flag, they’ll receive a penalty for pitting too soon.”(NBC Sports)(6-22-2015)

  • Purple colors for Larson at Sonoma: Voted Product of the Year in 2015, Viva Vantage paper towels have blown consumers away with their remarkable stretch and scrubbing power. This season, the revolutionary brand will make its NASCAR debut as the primary sponsor of Kyle Larson’s #42 Chevy at Sonoma Raceway.(Lionel Racing), see image of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(6-22-2015)

  • Folds of Honor scheme for Harvick at Sonoma: During the Toyota/SaveMart 400 race at Sonoma Raceway in June, Kevin Harvick will be swapping paint on his #4 Chevy. For one race only, Harvick’s race car will feature a special “Folds of Honor” paint scheme designed to raise awareness and support for the families of our nation’s brave servicemen and women.(Lionel Racing), see image of the scheme on the #4 Team Schemes page.(6-22-2015)


    News from June 21, 2015


  • Gordon makes emotional return to first race track: #24-Jeff Gordon returned home as both the conquering hero and the retiring hero Saturday. Gordon made an emotional return to Roy Hayer Memorial Speedway, the quarter-midget track where he began a racing career that will come to a close with the end of this Sprint Cup season. Gordon showed his wife, Ingrid, and his children, Ella and Leo, the groove in the hard-packed dirt track where his Hall of Fame career began as a 5-year-old. Former competitors, their parents and numerous track officials from Gordon’s days at the tiny track returned Saturday to share the day with Gordon, who spent much of his time signing autographs, posing for photographs and listening to old friends tell stories of the days when they raced each other as first-graders. The event, attended by several hundred people, was another in a series of nostalgic days for Gordon as writes a finish to his driving career while also pursuing another Cup championship. Later in the day, Gordon made an appearance at a school he attended as a child. Then it was off to Vancouver for a camping trip with his family. The Sprint Cup series is off this weekend.(USA Today)(6-21-2015)

  • Wreck Dims Kyle Busch’s Chase Hopes: If #18-Kyle Busch wants to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, he needs to rack up points. And he needs to rack them up fast. Yes, he also needs a win in the next 11 races. Busch’s Chase hopes took a hit when he smacked into the wall on a Lap 52 restart at Michigan, causing him to finish 43rd. He ranks 39th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings after missing the first 11 races of the season due to foot and leg injuries. To make NASCAR’s playoffs, Busch must finish the regular season 30th in the points standings and win a race prior to the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway. Right now, he trails Justin Allgaier in the 30th position by 173 points. In four races since his return, Busch has posted finishes of 11th at Charlotte, 36th at Dover, ninth at Pocono and 43rd at Michigan.(NASCAR)(6-21-2015)
  • Erik Jones wins XFINITY race at Chicago: #54-Erik Jones won the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. #22-Ryan Blaney finished second, followed by #33-Austin Dillon (pole winner), #62-Gaughan, #60-Chris Buescher, #20-Ross Kenseth (in his 1st career start), #18-Suarez, #2-Scott, #3-Ty Dillon and #6-Bubba Wallace.
    There were 7 cautions for 39 laps and 23 lead changes among 11 drivers. Jones led the most laps with 94.
    The race was delayed a day due to rain on Saturday night.
    Complete results are on the Chicago race results page (pdf).
    (6-21-2015)
  • Chicago XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    #54-Erik Jones(i) won the 5th Annual Owens Corning AttiCat 300, his second victory in 16 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in two races at Chicagoland Speedway.
    #22-Ryan Blaney (second) posted his third top-10 finish in three races at Chicagoland Speedway. It is his fourth top-10 finish in 2015.
    #33-Austin Dillon(i) (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in five races at Chicagoland Speedway.
    #18-Daniel Suarez (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #60-Chris Buescher leads the point standings by 29 points over #3-Ty Dillon.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-21-2015)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Chicago:
    1) #60-Chris Buescher, 528
    2) #3-Ty Dillon, 499, -29
    3) #9-Chase Elliott, 485, -43
    4) #7-Regan Smith, 466, -62
    5) #6-Darrell Wallace Jr. #, 462, -66
    6) #1-Elliott Sadler, 447, -81
    7) #2-Brian Scott, 430, -98
    8) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 419, -109
    9) #16-Ryan Reed, 410, -118
    10) #18-Daniel Suarez #, 407, -121
    See complete driver and owners points standings on the driver standings page(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(6-21-2015)
  • Reed wins Chicago ARCA race: Ryan Reed became the sixth consecutive first-time winner in the ARCA Racing Series Saturday, winning the Scott 150 at Chicagoland Speedway. Reed, a full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver, started in the back and climbed his way to the lead and finished 6.2 seconds ahead of Grant Enfinger for his first career ARCA win. Will Kimmel finished third, Matt Tifft fourth and Frank Kimmel fifth. Reed also became the first Lira Motorsports driver to reach victory lane in the ARCA Racing Series. “My job was easy in this thing from the moment I hoped in it,” Reed said. “We just kind of cruised.” Grant Enfinger opened the ARCA season with three consecutive wins, then Ken Schrader won the fourth race of the season. Since then, six straight first-time ARCA winners have visited victory lane – Blake Jones, Todd Gilliland, Kyle Weatherman, Trevor Bayne, Ross Kenseth and now Reed.(ARCA Racing)(6-21-2015)


    News from June 20, 2015


  • Harvick first driver since 2001 to lead 1,200 laps after 15 races: In Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Raceway, #4-Kevin Harvick became the first driver since Jeff Gordon in 2001 to eclipse 1,200 laps led 15 races into a season. Harvick only has two wins, but his robust loop data numbers suggest more are coming. The #4 Chevy driver ranks first in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average running position (7.3), number of fastest laps (755), laps led (1,225) and driver rating (126.0). Harvick’s number of fastest laps are nearly triple the next-best driver’s total (Kurt Busch, 277). His number of laps led are nearly double the next-best driver’s total (Kurt Busch, 665). Harvick is on pace to shatter the driver rating record of 112.2 set by Jimmie Johnson is his 2009 championship season. The only caveat when comparing Harvick’s driver rating statistic is that it could drop with two restrictor plate and two road course races left on the schedule.(NASCAR)(6-20-2015)

  • #55 crewman and Cassill to run in Ironman race in Canada: #55 Michael Waltrip crewman and gym strength trainer Blake Haugland heads to Quebec Canada to compete in another Ironman Competition on his off week from his rear tire carrier position on the #55 Toyota. This is the first race of 2015 Haugland will be racing with Smile Train’s Team Empower. The IRONMAN Mont Tremblant 70.3 will be held June 21st in Mont Tremblant Canada. Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Haugland has a goal to raise $10,000 as a team and $2.500 individually by race day with a 2nd goal in mind of raising enough money to provide surgery for 70 children to match the 70 mile race.
    AND Landon Cassill, driver of the #40 Chevy in Sprint Cup Series, will also run the IRONMAN Mont Tremblant 70.3.(6-20-2015)
  • Michigan TV Ratings UPDATE: Delayed and eventually shortened by rain, NASCAR from Michigan did not do well in the overnights. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Michigan earned a 2.0 overnight rating on Fox Sports 1 Sunday afternoon, down 23% from both last year and 2013 on TNT (2.6 both years). The race was delayed several times due to rain and was eventually shortened after 138 of 200 laps. It is not clear whether the 2.0 overnight includes rain delay coverage. Given those caveats, there is no great significance to the 2.0 overnight – though it is the second-lowest of the season for any Sprint Cup telecast. Only rain-delayed coverage from Kansas earned a lower overnight, also on FS1 (1.5). All five Sprint Cup races on FS1 have had a double-digit decline in the overnights, with the Pocono and Michigan races down from coverage on fellow cable network TNT. Keep in mind TNT was in over 10 million more homes as of February.(Sports Media Watch), see past races, 5-year chart, links and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(6-16-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Michigan drew 3.5 million viewers on FS1 Sunday afternoon, down 17% from last year (4.3M) and down 22% from 2013 (4.5M), both on TNT, and the least-watched edition of the race since at least 2000 (viewership prior to 2001 was not available). Viewership for the race did not dip below four million in eight seasons on TNT (2007-14), and reached as high as 8.5 million on the FOX broadcast network in 2003. Keep in mind this year’s race was hampered by several rain delays. FS1 averaged 3.0 million viewers for nearly 2 1/2 hours of rain delay coverage. Each Sprint Cup race on FS1 has had a double-digit decline in viewership, with the last two down from coverage on TNT. The downward trend is not confined to FS1, however. Excluding rainouts, eight of the past nine Sprint Cup telecasts have had a decline from last year, with the lone exception being Fontana in March (+3%). That is a far cry from the solid start to the season, in which the first three races each posted gains.(Sports Media Watch / ShowBuzzDaily.(6-20-2015)

  • Biffle returns to the Northwest: #16-Greg Biffle will be on hand Saturday night as the guest of honor for the return of the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series late model group to the Inland Northwest. After a five-year absence, the series returns to the area, racing Spokane County Racewayfor the first time, and with Biffle off this weekend, track operator Rick Nelson invited the NASCAR star to the half-mile to take in some short-track racing action. Biffle has ties to the Spokane area as a driver in 1997 on the NASCAR Northwest Tour for Ron and Kathy Hall. The season was one of the best for the family-owned team as Biffle brought them a victory (Twin Falls), five top-5 finishes and eight top-10 runs that propelled him to a sixth-place finish in the championship standings.(Spokesman-Review)(6-20-2015)
  • Sad News – Glen McDuffie: Glen Lester McDuffie, 78, of Sanford, NC, passed away on June 17, 2015, at FirstHealth Hospice House in Pinehurst, NC. Glen owned and operated MacDuff’s Cleaners for over 20 years. He also worked for Lee Paving Company for 15 years. Glen was a faithful member of Turner’s Chapel and served as Past Deacon, Trustee, and on the Cemetery Committee. He was the Class President for 42 years of the Ed Wicker Bible Class and a teacher of that Sunday school class. He was also a race car driver from 1962-1983, making two starts in the Sprint Cup Series, both at Rockingham, one each in 1975 and 1976 with a best finish of 19th in 1975. He enjoyed many things in life, including dancing and playing cards every Wednesday night, but most of all being a devoted Duke fan for over 50 years. In addition to his parents, Glen was predeceased by one brother, NASCAR driver J.D. McDuffie Jr.(Sanford Herald). Full obit, online condolences and more on the Sad News Page.(6-20-2015)
  • the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 #NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Chicago postponed due to rain to Sunday, June 21st at 12:00pm/et on FoxSports2 and via radio at MRN. Chicagoland officials said Saturday’s tickets will be accepted for Sunday’s race. They’ll also be selling tickets. Parking lots are scheduled to open at 9:00am with entry at 10:00am.
  • TV Coverage for the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 XFINITY Series race at Chicagoland Speedway has been re-scheduled for Sunday, June 21 at 12:00pm/et and be televised on FoxSports 2 starting at 12:00pm/et. The race will be covered on radio at MRN and SiriusXM. Also race updates on Jayski.com’s Twitter.
  • Austin Dillon on XFINITY pole at Chicago: #33-Austin Dillon won the Coors Light pole for the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 at Chicagoland Speedway with a speed of 176.569mph. #20-Ross Kenseth will start second in his first XFINITY Series start. The rest of the top 12: #1-Sadler, #7-Smith, #62-Gaughan, #9-Elliott, #18-Suarez, #3-Ty Dillon, #60-Buescher, #6-Wallace, #54-Jones and #43-Armstrong.
    #20-Ryan Blaney, who was fastest in round 1 of qualifying, hit the wall on his run in round 2 and will go to a backup car to start the race, having to start at the rear of the field before the start.
    Did Not Qualify: none, 40 cars entered.
    Qualifying results are posted on the Chicago qualifying results page (pdf).
    The starting lineup is posted on the Chicago starting lineup page (pdf).(6-20-2015)
  • Pit Stall Selections (pdf)
  • Chicago XFINITY Qualifying Notes:
    #33-Austin Dillon(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 5th Annual Owens Corning AttiCat 300 with a lap of 30.583 seconds, 176.569 mph.
    This is his 15th pole in 89 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his fifth pole and 10th top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in five races at Chicagoland Speedway.
    #20-Ross Kenseth will start second in his first career NASCAR national series race.
    #1-Elliott Sadler (third) posted his eighth top-10 start at Chicagoland Speedway. It is his fifth in 14 races this season.
    #18-Daniel Suarez (seventh) was the fastest qualifying rookie. (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-20-2015)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 XFINITY Series race at Chicagoland Speedway is over, after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #20-Ross Kenseth 177.299
    #1-Sadler 176.488
    #33-Austin Dillon 176.022
    #62-Gaughan 175.982
    #3-Ty Dillon 175.724
    the rest of the top 12: 60 7 9 43 54 18 6;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 2 16 42 39 88 51 28 8 4 25 14 22.
    #22-Blaney, who was fastest in round 1, hit the wall in turn 2 on his run and will have to go to a backup car.
    Drivers who will miss the race: none.
    (6-20-2015)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 XFINITY Series race at Chicagoland Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #22-Blaney 179.033
    #3-Ty Dillon 177.819
    #1-Sadler 177.009
    #62-Gaughan 176.632
    #54-Jones 176.401
    the rest of the top 24: 20 60 33 2 42 7 18 9 43 28 16 88 6 51 39 ;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 01 44 26 24 19 97 70 52 90 15 13 74 89 0 79 40.
    Drivers who will miss the race: none.
    (6-20-2015)
  • Qualifying for the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 XFINITY Series race at Chicagoland Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, June 20 at 5:15pm/et and be televised on FoxSports 2 at 5:00pm/et. Updates on Jayski.com’s Twitter and then posted here.
  • Chicago Qualifying Order (pdf)
  • Gerber Collision & Glass to honor Blackhawks on #4 car at Chicago: Gerber Collision & Glass, the nation’s leading autobody repair and glass repair and replacement company, is paying tribute to the Chicago Blackhawks at Saturday’s Owens Corning AttiCat 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. Gerber will be riding with driver Ross Chastain in the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller #01 Chevy, but Gerber is paying tribute to the Blackhawks and featuring them on the team’s #4 car, driven by Harrison Rhodes. “Gerber Collision & Glass has been a longtime supporter of the Chicago Blackhawks. As the Preferred Automotive Collision & Glass Repairer of the Chicago Blackhawks, we are excited to show our support to such a great team on and off the ice,” said Simeen Kazmi, Advertising Manager for Gerber Collision & Glass.
    “The teams at Gerber have been our friends for years, and it’s good to be back with them at Chicago,” race team owner Johnny Davis said. “As people in the car business, we know how important quality workmanship is as it relates to personal vehicles, and no one is better than Gerber Collision & Glass in that delivering quality and timely repairs.” Gerber Collision & Glass has been a JD Motorsports partner for six years.(Gerber Collision & Glass / JD Motorsports PR)(6-20-2015)
  • NXS Sunoco Rookie Update: After 13 races, Daniel Suarez sits 11 points behind Darrell Wallace Jr. in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings as the series heads to Chicagoland Speedway. Both standout rookies have been impressive this year but Wallace continues to hold a slight edge over Suarez. Wallace has accumulated one top five and four top 10s this season. Ironically, so has Suarez, but they differ in the amount of DNFs. Suarez has one; Wallace has none. Suarez’s experience might give him an opportunity to close the points gap this weekend. It will be Wallace’s series debut at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend; a track Suarez started 18th and finished 15th at last season.(NASCAR)(6-20-2015)
  • NXS Milestones at Chicago: Ryan Sieg will attempt to make his 50th NASCAR XFINITY Series career start this weekend at Chicago. … Brian Scott will attempt to become the first driver in series history to post three consecutive Coors Light poles at Chicagoland Speedway. … JR Motorsports (2014 sweep) is looking to become the second team in series history to post three consecutive wins at Chicagoland Speedway, joining Joe Gibbs Racing (2008, 2009 and 2010).(NASCAR)(6-20-2015)


    News from June 19, 2015


  • Entry List for the Toyota/Save Mart 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #32-Said, #33-Kennedy, #34-Marks, #95-McDowell.
    One driver will miss the race. There will be two rounds of qualifying.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in owners points): #62-Gaughan (46th)
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): #95-McDowell (8 attempts)
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Sonoma Entry List

  • Lug Nut or Valve Stem Issue?: Flat tires caused when valve stems have been knocked off by lug nuts during pit stops have been a recurring issue for teams this season. The #19 of Joe Gibbs Racing driver Carl Edwards, the #27 of Paul Menard (Richard Childress Racing) and more recently, the #4 of Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing) are among those that have been affected by the problem. According to some in the garage, the problem isn’t that the lug nuts occasionally strike the stem during a tire change. Instead, it’s how the stem is seated in the wheel that makes it easier to be knocked off. “I don’t even know how to fix it,” Rodney Childers, crew chief for Harvick, said after Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway. “Definitely got to do something though.”(NASCAR.com)(6-19-2015)

  • Testing drivers comment on rules change: Because his team was among several testing tires at Richmond International Raceway on Wednesday, #55-David Ragan is hoping NASCAR doesn’t have any plans to alter its short-track rules before the Sprint Cup circuit returns here in September for the Federated Auto Parts 400. “I think they’ve got a pretty good package when it comes to short-track tracing,” said Ragan, who drives for Michael Waltrip Racing. “I don’t think your aero package is as important as the fast 1½-mile racetracks. When you’re at Martinsville and Bristol and even here in Richmond – it’s a little faster – it’s important to have your tires working together, your mechanical grip right. Aero is certainly important, but it’s not as important as those big tracks.”
    “It doesn’t matter who dominates the race,” said #22-Joey Logano, who was testing with his Penske Racing team on Wednesday. “A rules package isn’t going to change that. … I’m not hoping for a rules-package change just to slow somebody down. That’s our job to figure out how to make our car go faster and make sure we can beat them. If they change it, good. If they don’t, I’m good either way. It’s the same for everyone.”
    NASCAR originally aimed to have the rules changes in place for next season but sped up the process after talking to teams and racing industry officials. To reduce downforce for the Kentucky race, the height of the spoiler will be lowered, the splitter extension panel will be decreased and the splitter will have less overhang. To improve grip, O’Donnell said a softer tire will be used, although it’s not specifically made for the new package. “I applaud NASCAR,” said #19-Carl Edwards, who was testing at RIR for Joe Gibbs Racing. “NASCAR wants to make this the best sport they can for the fans. They want to make it the most fun for the drivers. Taking downforce off and making the cars hard to drive, in my opinion they’re a third of the way where they need to go. They need to keep taking it off and keep making it better.”(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-19-2015)

  • Ragan hopes for full-time ride in 2016: #55-David Ragan is with his third team … this season. Injury and illness to other drivers have taken Ragan from Front Row Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing. On Wednesday, Ragan and his MWR team were among those at Richmond International Raceway for a tire test. Ragan was gracious enough to hold a news conference after his morning practice session. “I know where you’re going,” he said. “It’s been a busy year. It’s so nice when you can get with one team and one group and build a little chemistry and get to understand everything. I’m glad it unfolded like that. I’m very happy at Michael Waltrip Racing.” Ragan, no doubt, would be happy anywhere as long as it involved a ride on the Sprint Cup circuit. Such employment is difficult to find. Ragan has been fortunate this season to be with two well-funded teams in JGR and MWR. His future, however, is far from certain. He’s the replacement driver for Brian Vickers, who is out because of issues with blood clots. Vickers wants to return. His doctors, and NASCAR, will decide if that’s possible and even advisable. As other spots become available, Ragan must compete with drivers on the rise whose potential seems impressive. Ragan has driven for more teams this season than he did in his previous eight full seasons in NASCAR. He began his career with #6-Roush Fenway Racing in 2007 and moved to #34-Furniture Row in 2012-14. Now he’s a Sprint Cup vagabond, a young man in demand as a replacement driver who wants a full-time ride to call his own. “When you’re consistently with the same team, same manufacturer, same group, you get to know one another easily,” Ragan said. “You spend time on and off the racetrack together. Some things are second nature. When you’re with a new group of guys, it forces me to go into detail a little more about the race car. It makes my job a little more difficult because you try to be more precise in describing the car, and even race strategy, things you take for granted once you’ve worked with someone for several months or years. I think I’m a better driver because of it. I’ve had to study and work hard and devote more time to my racing program. It’s been good. I’ve enjoyed it. I feel like I’m a smarter driver today than I was six months ago.” Whether that means Ragan will be in a more stable situation six months from now is another question.(Roanoke Times)(6-19-2015)

  • Matt, Ross Kenseth eager for memorable Father’s Day weekend: On Father’s Day weekend in the Kenseth family – everyone wins. Son Ross Kenseth intends to give his father something only an aspiring racing prodigy can deliver, and father Matt Kenseth prepares to hand over the wheels of the #20 Dollar General Toyota in an epic father-son moment. The duo hopes to celebrate in a big way as Ross makes his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway. Coming fresh off his first career ARCA win last Friday in Michigan – in only his third ARCA start – the 22-year-old is eager to hit the track in Saturday night’s Owens Corning AttiCat 300 with his dad standing by on the pit box. “Having my dad there that weekend will be a big help for me,” Ross said. “I’ve been looking forward to getting to this weekend now ever since we announced it at Bristol. The closer it gets, the more real it feels and the more excited I get to go there this weekend.” With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series off for the second weekend of the season, Ross will drive the #20 Dollar General Toyota – the same paint scheme his father uses in Sprint Cup.(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-19-2015)

  • Johnson to Visit Volunteers and Families During Home Builders Blitz: From June 22 through June 26, 2015, San Diego Habitat for Humanity, in partnership with local home builders, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation, and Lowe’s, will build four homes – from the ground up – in five days. These homes represent the second phase of Habitat for Humanity’s Foundation Lane community – four homes were built in 2009 through a generous gift of nearly $1 million from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. Jimmie Johnson and his wife, Chandra, return to El Cajon with another substantial donation of $50,000 from their foundation to help build the first four homes of the next phase of the development.
    “Chandra and I are extremely excited to see phase two of this development become a reality,” said Johnson. “It’s great to see the progress of the families from phase one. We are proud to partner with Lowe’s, local builders and Habitat for Humanity to expand Foundation Lane and provide homes for more families.”
    Lowe’s, proud racing sponsor of Johnson and longtime supporter of Habitat for Humanity, is donating another $50,000 to the build efforts in El Cajon. “Lowe’s is committed to strengthening the communities where we live and work by helping ensure that all people have access to safe and affordable housing,” said Joan Higginbotham, director of community relations at Lowe’s. “We’re excited to help Habitat for Humanity and the Jimmie Johnson Foundation make a meaningful impact on the El Cajon community through the Home Builders Blitz.”
    The completed homes will be sold to Habitat for Humanity Partner Families who qualify according to Habitat for Humanity’s family selection criteria – a demonstrated need for improved housing, the ability to repay an affordable mortgage, and willingness to partner with Habitat by completing 250-500 sweat-equity hours before moving into the homes. “Working alongside partner families, volunteers and generous sponsors, Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent, affordable housing for local families in need,” said Lori Holt Pfeiler, President/CEO of San Diego Habitat for Humanity. “This mission is possible because of the support of great partners like the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and Lowe’s, and we are so grateful to be working with them once again in El Cajon.”(HMS/JJF)(6-19-2015)
  • FanVision introduces FanVision Puck: FanVision, the in-venue technology and content platform used at professional sporting events across the country, announced the introduction of the groundbreaking mobile accessory FanVision Puck. FanVision Puck connects to any iOS or Android device to provide access to the streaming video, audio, and data content currently available on the FanVision Controller dedicated device. FanVision Puck will debut at the 2016 Daytona 500 via the Daytona International Speedway mobile app and will be available at all other International Speedway Corporation (ISC) races throughout the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Trial runs for the device will be available at select ISC tracks during the remainder of the 2015 schedule.(FanVision)(6-19-2015)
  • Sad News – Jim Vandiver: Jim Vandiver, 75, of Huntersville died Thursday at a hospital in his native Charlotte, NC. He had been admitted Monday complaining of chest pains. The Vandivers made it to the big-time NASCAR tour for one race in 1968 and then appeared sporadically on it through 1983. Jim Vandiver compiled 85 starts on what now is the Sprint Cup circuit, posting five top-five finishes and 14 more in the top 10. His best finish, second, came in the inaugural Talladega 500 on Sept. 14, 1969, a date notorious in NASCAR history. The sanctioning body’s top stars boycotted the event at the superfast 2.66-mile track, then known as Alabama International Motor Speedway, mainly out of concern that tires were unsafe for a scorching pace of almost 200 mph. Big Bill France, founder of both NASCAR and the facility now called Talladega Superspeedway, cobbled together a field of drivers and cars from other divisions and the show went on. Vandiver was among the drivers agreeing to race, taking over a Dodge fielded by Ray Fox. A funeral is scheduled at 4 p.m. Monday at Huntersville United Methodist Church with a viewing at 3:30. A reception is to follow at the Pearl Wedding and Events Center in Cornelius at 5:30. A private burial will be held at Northlake Memorial Gardens.(Charlotte Observer)(6-19-2015)
  • Dillon fastest in NXS happy hour: #33-AustinDillon was quickest during happy hour for the Owens Corning AttiCat 300 with a speed of 177.340mph. He was followed by: #28-JJ Yeley, #22-Ryan Blaney, #54-Drew Herring #3-Ty Dillon, #60-Chris Buescher, #25-Dylan Lupton, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #9-Chase Elliott, and #2-Brian Scott. 39 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Chicago practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(6-19-2014)
  • Dillon fastest in NXS first practice: #3-Ty Dillon was fastest during opening practice at Chicagoland Speedway with a speed of 177.392mph. #22-Ryan Blaney was second, followed by: #33-Austin Dillon, #60-Chris Buescher, #2-Brian Scott, #28-JJ Yeley, #54-Drew Herring, #18-Daniel Suarez, #62-Brendan Gaughan, and #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr. 38 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Chicago practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(6-19-2014)
  • Jones on Truck Series pole at Iowa: #4-Erik Jones will start from the pole for the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway on Friday night with a qualifying speed of 136.193mph. #8-John Hunter Nemechek will start alongside in row one. He will be followed by: #19-Tyler Reddick, #33-Brandon Jones, #13-Cameron Hayley, #75-Caleb Holman, #00-Cole Custer, #11-Ben Kennedy, #88-Matt Crafton, #51-Christopher Bell.
    Fastest in the second round of qualifying was #4-Jones with a speed of 137.040.
    #4-Jones was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 137.940mp..
    32 trucks entered, so all make the field. See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(6-19-2015)
  • Iowa Qualifying Notes:
    Erik Jones won the Keystone Light 21 means 21 Pole Award for the 7th Annual American Ethanol 200 Presented by Enogen with a lap of 23.129 seconds, 136.193 mph.
    This is his fifth pole in 26 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his third pole and ninth top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in four races at Iowa Speedway.
    John H. Nemechek (second) posted his second top-10 start of 2015 and his first in two races at Iowa Speedway.
    Tyler Reddick (third) posted his first top-10 start at Iowa Speedway. It is his sixth in nine races this season.
    Erik Jones (first) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    Erik Jones has set the new NCWTS track record for the youngest Keystone Light 21 means 21 Pole winner at the age of 19 years, 0 months, 20 days. The previous record holder was Austin Dillon (20 years, 2 months, 14 days).
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-19-2015)
  • Jones fastest in final practice: #4-Erik Jones was fastest in the one and only practice for the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway with a speed of 136.051mph. He was followed by ##51-Christopher Bell, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #13-Cameron Hayley, #88-Matt Crafton, #75-Caleb Holman, #54-Justin Boston, #00-Cole Custer, and #19-Tyler Reddick. All entered 32 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Iowa practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(6-19-2015)


    News from June 18, 2015


  • Marks to drive the #34 at Sonoma: per Front Row Motorsports Facebook page: Northern California native Justin Marks looks to make his 2015 Sprint Cup debut in FRM’s #34 Ford at Sonoma Raceway. Marks has run one Sprint Cup Series race, running the #7 GoPro Chevy for Tommy Baldwin Racing at Sonoma in 2013, finishing 30th. Marks has also run 11 XFINITY Series races and 36 Camping World Truck Series race.
    Brett Moffitt is the primary driver of the #34 for the rest of the season. The #34 FRM Ford has had five drivers in the car since the beginning of the season. David Ragan started the season as the full-time driver of the #34 Ford at Daytona, but when Kyle Busch got injured in the Daytona XFINITY race, Ragan took over the #18 Toyota for nine races. Ragan then accepted the ride in the #55 Aaron’s Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing for the rest of the season. Joe Nemechek drove the #34 Ford at Atlanta in the 2nd race of the season. Brett Moffitt ran the car at Las Vegas and Phoenix before moving to the #55 Toyota when Brian Vickers left the ride due to illness (blood clots), Roush Fenway Racing XFINITY Series driver Chris Buescher ran the #34 in five races. Reed Sorenson drove at Richmond. Moffitt took over as the primary driver at Kansas [when Ragan took over the #55] and will return to the car at Daytona in July.(6-18-2015)

  • NASCAR issues warnings to four teams: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Hendrick Motorsports #88 team was one of four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams that received written warnings for pre-qualifying or pre-race inspection issues this past weekend at Michigan International Speedway. THe #88 team needed three trips to clear pre-race inspection leading into Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400. The Joe Gibbs Racing entries of #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards, along with that of Phil Parsons Racing with driver #98-Josh Wise, had issues in pre-qualifying inspection, and made more than two trips through the line before heading out to pit road on Friday. Failing to pass either pre-qualifying or pre-race inspection twice results in a written warning from the sanctioning body; failing a third time will result in a 15-minute loss of practice penalty at the next scheduled event. In March, teams were notified that beginning with the Phoenix race weekend, the series’ fourth race, any vehicle failing qualifying inspection more than twice would be subject to a 15-minute practice penalty.
    Officials began issuing written warnings prior to this year’s race at Richmond International Raceway due to the number of teams requiring multiple passes through inspections. It was noted at that time that had the policy been in place the previous week, when the series was at Bristol Motor Speedway, it would have resulted in nine written warnings and three teams would have received time penalties. Since the policy was adopted, there have 44 written warnings issued to Sprint Cup teams. The warnings are a part of NASCAR’s 2015 Deterrence Policy, which categorizes infractions (Level 1 through Level 6) and the applicable penalties.
    If the same team receives two warnings during the same event, or during two consecutive events, the P1 penalties may include last choice in the pit selection process, a deduction in track time for practice or qualifying, a delay in the order of inspection or selection for post-race inspection.
    If a team or member receives six or more warnings during a six-month period (from the time of the first warning), the penalty may be increased to P2. P2 level penalty options may include the loss of 10 championship driver and owner points and/or a fine not less than $10,000 and not more than $25,000. P2 level infractions also carry the potential for suspensions and probation.(NASCAR)(6-18-2015)

  • Kurt Busch to be inducted into Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame: #41-Kurt Busch will be inducted into the Southern Nevada Sports Hall of Fame on Friday at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas while being surrounded by family and friends in the city where he grew up. The ceremony comes five days after the Durango High School graduate won his second race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, claiming the rain-shortened event Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. “This year has been so rewarding,” said Busch, who is driving the #41 Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing. “I’ve been executing well with my race preparation and forecasting well what’s going to happen during the race.” Busch will be joined by boxer Mike Tyson, former NFL quarterback Glenn Carano, golf pro Joe Kelly and rodeo coach Ric Griffith as members of the Class of 2015. Busch has won 27 times in NASCAR’s elite division and ranks No. 26 on the all-time victory list. Two spots ahead of him is his younger brother Kyle, who has 29 victories.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(6-18-2015)

  • Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Induction Ceremony tonight: At the 2015 Motorsports Hall of Fame of America (MHOF) Induction Ceremony on June 18, the inductees, as always, will be the stars. And they’ll be complemented by an illustrious lineup of “co-stars” – the men tabbed to present those inductees – at the 27th annual black-tie event set for Detroit’s historic Fillmore Theater. Indy-car great Parnelli Jones and former and current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Jeff Burton and Brian Vickers head the list of presenters. They’ll be joined by Motocross legend Jeff Emig; Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson; and Atlanta Dragway announcer Tony Sheffler.
    The 2015 class of inductees were announced in January at Daytona International Speedway amid the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend. The presenter-inductee matchups:
    ” Jones, the 1963 Indianapolis 500 champion and MHOF inductee in ’92, will present inductee Walker Evans, whose career evolved from being a volunteer mechanic to an off-road legend. Evans won nine SCORE World Championships, part of his career total of 17 titles.
    ” Burton, who won 21 Sprint Cup races prior to his recent retirement, will present his old friend and former Roush Racing teammate Mark Martin who won 40 Sprint Cup races and was Sprint Cup Series championship runner-up five times.
    ” Vickers, the former NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, has the honor of introducing sports car legend Tommy Kendall, a former titlist in both Trans-Am and IMSA production-based competition and a two-time class champion in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
    ” Emig, who won 36 races and four Motocross championships in the 1990s, will present the motorcycle racer dubbed “The GOAT” – Greatest of All-Time. That’s former Motocross/Supercross star Ricky Carmichael, who captured 10 consecutive national Motocross championships and a total of 150 race victories.
    ” Davidson will do double-duty, presenting both the late Duke Nalon and the late Lloyd Ruby. Nalon was a top midget driver prior to World War II, later gaining acclaim at the wheel of the famed Novi, winning the Indy 500 pole twice. Ruby made 18 consecutive Indy 500 starts from 1960-77, finishing third in ’64; he also was an accomplished sports car racer.
    ” Sheffler will bring NHRA drag racing great Warren Johnson to the stage. Johnson is a six-time NHRA Pro Stock champion who was selected the NHRA’s seventh-best driver of the organization’s first 50 years.
    Tickets for the 27th annual Motorsports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Wednesday, June 18, can be purchased by calling 248.349.RACE (7223) or at www.mshf.com. The evening’s emcee will be former sports car great David Hobbs, a 2009 MHOF inductee.(MHOF)(6-18-2015)

  • High School Students Take An Inside Look At NASCAR with Camp 95: Leavine Family Racingkicked off the start of summer by holding the debut session of Camp 95, a summer camp program designed to give high school students a behind-the-scenes look at the world of NASCAR. The camp, attended by 19 students, was held on Tuesday, June 16 at Roush Yates Engines and offered campers an in-depth exploration of the career options available in racing. “Giving back to the community is something that is embedded in our race team,” said Bob Leavine, owner of Leavine Family Racing. “Creating the opportunity to open up these students’ minds to all the different career possibilities in NASCAR is extremely rewarding for our team.” Nineteen high school students from cities across the United States attended the camp, with some traveling from as far as New Mexico, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Florida and New Jersey. Cameron Hawkins, a senior from Louisville, Kentucky, traveled to Mooresville, N.C. for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
    “The camp was a fantastic experience! It’s hard choosing a favorite part, but I loved talking with Wally Rogers (crew chief) and hearing him explain how the cars work and all of that,” said Hawkins. “Camp 95 helped solidify my decision of what I want to do. This is something I definitely want to pursue and it helped me see how to start out towards it. I saw the camp advertised on the home screen of NASCAR.com, and I thought it was a fantastic opportunity to see what goes on behind-the-scenes in a race shop.”
    Hawkins, who has been a race fan his entire life, says just getting to sit and talk with drivers Michael McDowell and Trevor Bayne is an experience he will remember for years to come. Michael McDowell, driver of the #95 Ford Fusion, spoke to the campers about his path to NASCAR and provided encouragement as these students seek our their dreams.
    “I’m just really excited and blessed to extend this offer to these students and help them to explore more of the sport than what they see on TV,” said McDowell. “This camp is something the team put together, and it’s a great opportunity for us to give back to the community and help the sport grow. We want Camp 95 to open up these students’ minds to just how big this sport is and all the different career options there are in it. There’s not just one path into the sport and so if we can help these kids see some of the different entry points, I think we are headed in the right direction.”
    A LinkedIn group was created to allow the students to remain connected to each other and the camp’s speakers following the event. In addition, one camper will receive the opportunity to shadow a LFR crew member at an upcoming 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup race based on their experiences and feedback at the camp. “Camp 95 is the first camp of its kind, and the reception it got from the NASCAR community has been tremendous,” said Jeremy Lange, Vice President of Leavine Family Racing. “The team definitely foresees growing it into an annual event and expanding it to include even more speakers and opportunities.”(LFR)(6-18-2015)
  • Long hurt in Dover crash: From Carl Long Motorsports’ Facebook page, “Josh Reame will drive the 13 and Johnny Jackson in the 40 [this weekend]. I have had some pain since Dover in my shoulders and ribs, found out my shoulder blade is fractured, and the ligaments connecting the collar bone and shoulder are mis-aligned…so that crash at Dover totaled the car, engine, and put a hurting on me.”(6-19-2015)
  • Gerhardt in the #0 at Chicago: Veteran driver Bobby Gerhart is making his return to Chicagoland Speedway this weekend as he drives for the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team in Saturday’s Owens Corning AttiCat 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race. The Pennsylvania driver will pilot the team’s #0 Chevy as a one-race replacement for Harrison Rhodes, who is moving over to the JD Motorsports #4 car for Chicagoland. Gerber Collision & Glass will be a sponsor on the #0 car. Ross Chastain is filling in this weekend for teammate Landon Cassill in the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller #01 Chevy, sponsored by Gerber Collision & Glass. Chastain normally drives the team’s #4 Chevy.(Johnny Davis Motorsports), Cassill is taking the weekend off to compete in Ironman Mont Tremblant.(6-18-2015)
  • Cope names Chicago sponsor: Derrike Cope Racing announced our partnership with Bulletproof Energy Drinks for the Atticat 300 at the Chicagoland Speedway as our primary sponsor for this race. Bulletproof Energy provides healthy energy without the use of additives, artificial ingredients and is made with real sugar. Available in regular or sugar free, Bulletproof Energy Drinks provide great tasting energy but also supports wounded troops by donating five cents of every can sold to Fisher House, a non-profit organization that benefits wounded troops and military personnel. Sold in retailers in Northern California and Nevada or buy online. Other associate sponsors for this race are Sammi’s Best Healthy Coffee Creamers, FanVision, and a local company Bella Cucina Catering.(Derrike Cope Racing)(6-18-2015)
  • Kimberly Car City joins MB Motorsports at Iowa: Kimberly Car City, a well established Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and BMW dealership, that has served the greater Quad City area of Moline, IL, Rock Island, IL, Davenport, IA and Bettendorf, IA for almost 40 years, has become a marketing partner of MB Motorsports. Dale Zude, Vice President of Kimberly Car City is excited about partnering with the team. “Iowa Speedway is the closest track to Davenport, where our dealership is located. This is a great opportunity for Kimberly Car City. MB Motorsports has a great reputation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Jake Griffin, although only 16-years-old, is a rising star. We couldn’t be happier to have our logo on the #63 truck for the American Ethanol 200.”(MB Motorsports)(6-18-2015)
  • Daytona 500 Tickets go on sale Monday, June 22nd: Tickets for the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race-and the first ever following the completion of the $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project-will officially go on sale Monday, June 22 at 9:00am/et. Fans will have the first opportunity to witness the 2016 Daytona 500, to be held on Sunday, February 21, 2016, in the new motorsports stadium, experiencing unprecedented amenities that include 101,500 new, wider seats, thousands of premium club seats, 40 escalators and 17 elevators, 60 luxury suites, social “neighborhoods” and three concourse levels that will span the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Those wishing to attend “The Great American Race” will need to act quickly, as there will be a limited number of tickets available due to the reduced seating capacity in the new stadium. Fans should also note:
    · Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting www.Daytona500.com.
    · Hospitality and premium seat packages, including the Trioval Club and the Rolex 24 Lounge, and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race wristbands are also available.
    · For all other Speedweeks events, children 12 and under are $10 in reserved grandstands and free in general admission areas and in the Sprint Fanzone.
    · Fans can also visit PrimeSport.com, the new official ticket exchange and travel package provider of Daytona International Speedway. Offering multiple options for tickets, lodging and hospitality, PrimeSport is ideal for fans looking for the ultimate racing experience.
    In addition to “The Great American Race,” fans may purchase tickets and multi-day packages for the remaining events during Speedweeks, which officially kicks off with the 58th Rolex 24 At Daytona TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event on Jan. 30-31.(DIS)(6-18-2015)
  • Turn 3 Theater at Darlington postponed: Due to a potential heat advisory causing near record high temperatures on Friday, June 19, Turn 3 Theater Presented by Raceway Ford Chevrolet will be postponing its feature presentation ‘Grease.’ The film will be rescheduled at a later date by Darlington Raceway officials.(Darlington Raceway)(6-18-2015)
  • Super Bowl Champ to Lead Cup Field to Green at NHMS: On July 19, Super Bowl champion Rob Ninkovich and two-time American League All-Star Rico Petrocelli will celebrate the speedway’s 25th Anniversary by serving honorary roles during pre-race festivities for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Following the “Star Spangled Banner”, Ninkovich, who recorded three tackles, including a sack in the New England Patriots’ 28-24 Super Bowl win in February, will lead the field to the green flag as the Official Pace Car Driver. Petrocelli, a former star infielder for the Red Sox, who is one of only two Major League shortstops to ever hit two home runs in one World Series game, will deliver the invocation before the national anthem. Both New England favorites will be recognized at the drivers’ meeting and participate in driver introductions. Before Ninkovich leads the field of 43 drivers around the Magic Mile in a Toyota Camry, he will participate in a mandatory pace car training session with NASCAR officials. Petrocelli is the first sports player to do the invocation for a NASCAR race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. For more details and ticket information on other events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, including the July New Hampshire 301 and September SYLVANIA 300, please stop by our Ticket Office, visit the speedway website at www.nhms.com, or call the Ticket Hotline at (603) 783-4931.(NHMS)(6-18-2015)


    News from June 17, 2015


  • Congrats – Dale Earnhardt Jr.: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced on twitter that he and girlfriend Amy Reimann are engaged. No date or details mentioned.
    While vacationing in Germany learning about his ancestors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series off-week, Dale Earnhardt Jr. proposed to long-time girlfriend Amy Reimann. And she said “yes.”(HMS)(6-17-2015)

  • Elliott’s throwback NAPA scheme inspired by ‘Awesome Bill’ at Darlington: Darlington Raceway is known as the track “Too Tough to Tame.” Well, the Elliott family has certainly done its best. Bill Elliott earned five trips to Victory Lane at Darlington, including perhaps his most famous in 1985 when he became the first driver to clinch the “Winston Million.” As three of his main competitors saw their cars go up in smoke, Elliott took home both the race win and a $1 million bonus – at the time the biggest single payoff in the history of auto racing. Now 30 years later, Chase Elliott will drive a #25 NAPA Auto Parts Chevy at Darlington Raceway that pays tribute to the car his father drove while accomplishing that feat. Elliott, who has a NASCAR XFINITY Series win at Darlington to his name, will drive a throwback paint scheme that harkens back to the heyday of “Awesome Bill” as the Southern 500 returns to Labor Day weekend. Though the colors and partners are different, the design is the same as the 1985 car down to the font used for the name above the door. “I’m really looking forward to seeing this car on the track at Darlington,” Elliott said. “It’s one of my favorite schemes that my dad raced and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of him winning the million dollars is very cool. I appreciate NAPA for letting us do this and I hope the fans enjoy it as much as I am going to.” The race at Darlington, scheduled for Sept. 6, will be the final Sprint Cup race for Elliott in the 2015 season before he moves to the #24 Chevrolet SS full-time starting in 2016.(HMS), see an image of the scheme on the #25 Team Schemes page.(6-17-2015)

  • Drivers with all their wins with different teams: When #78-Martin Truex Jr. won at Ponono for the #78 Furniture Row team, it was his third career win. The other two wins came with two different teams. Some other drivers who have won one race with separate teams/owners (3 or more wins):
    Morgan Shepherd, four wins, four teams:
    Martinsville, 4/26/1981, #5-Cliff Stewart
    Atlanta, 3/16/1986, #47-Jack Beebe
    Atlanta, 11/18/1990, #15-Bud Moore Engineering
    Atlanta, 3/20/1993, #21-Wood Brothers Racing
    Joe Nemechek, four wins, four teams:
    Kansas, 10/10/2004, #01-MB2 Motorsports
    Richmond, 5/3/2003, #25-Hendrick Motorsports
    Rockingham, 11/4/2001, #33-Andy Petree Racing
    New Hampshire, 9/19/1999, #42-SABCO (Felix Sabates)
    Martin Truex Jr., three wins, three teams:(also, won all 3 races in the month of June)
    Pocono, 6/7/2015, #78-Furniture Row Racing
    Sonoma, 6/23/2013, #56-Michael Waltrip Racing
    Dover, 6/4/2007, #1-Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
    Brian Vickers, three wins, three teams:
    New Hampshire, 7/14/2013, #55-Michael Waltrip Racing
    Michigan, 8/16/2009, #83-Red Bull Racing
    Talladega, 10/8/2006, #25-Hendrick Motorsports
    Bill Blair, three wins, three teams:
    Vernon, 6/18/1950, #2-Sam Rice
    Atlanta/Lakewood Speedway, 4/20/1952, #2-George Hutchens
    Daytona Beach, 2/15/1953, #2-Bill Blair
    (Checked stats at racing-reference.info)(6-17-2015)

  • Piquet Jr signs multi-year Formula E deal: Ahead of the finale showdown in London later this month, championship leader Nelson Piquet Jr. announced that he has signed a multi-year deal with NEXTEV TCR to compete in the FIA Formula E Championship. Piquet, a double Formula E race winner who is currently leading the championship, joined NEXTEV TCR ahead of the inaugural Formula E season. It saw his return to single-seater racing after five years away competing in NASCAR and rallycross in the USA. In just nine races he has impressed, scoring outright race victories at Long Beach in California and Moscow in Russia, as well as podiums in Uruguay, Buenos Aires and the legendary Monte Carlo. With two races remaining he is leading the championship with a 17 point margin. From 2010 Piquet Jr. began to pursue a career in the USA in NASCAR. He became the first Brazilian to win a top tier NASCAR race by visiting Victory Lane at Road America in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2012 and further took victories in the NASCAR Truck Series. In 2014 he took a full-time ride in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship, impressing with four podiums in his first season and, last autumn was announced as a driver for NEXTEV TCR in the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship.(Nelson Piquet Jr. Facebook)(6-17-2015)
  • Danielle Trotta on the #6 at Chicago: Thanks to thousands of fan votes from around the world via social media, the face of FOX Sports personality Danielle Trotta will appear on the #6 Ford Mustang of Bubba Wallace this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway as part of the ROUSH Performance Distractor face contest. Trotta beat out fellow FOX Sports hosts Larry McReynolds and ‘Hollywood’ Jeff Hammond in the vote, which was counted by use of hashtags across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and Reddit. Trotta, McReynolds and Hammond each appeared in Wallace’s “Midnight Run” promotional video, which debuted on FOX Sports 1’s NASCAR Race Hub program. The ROUSH Performance Distractor Face originated in 2012, when fans submitted photos of their own faces for a chance to appear on the rear bumper of Jack Roush Jr.’s No. 61 car in the Grand-Am series. The trend quickly spread across online racing communities, with fans attempting to come up with their favorite designs to distract the competition.(Roush Fenway), see an image of the car on the #6 team paint schemes page.(6-17-2015)
  • NASCAR upholds penalty to 97 team from Dover: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a P3 penalty issued on June 3, 2015 to Obaika Racing relative to NASCAR XFINITY Series vehicle #97 at Dover International Speedway. The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:
    12.1 – Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
    20.17.2.1b – Any and all ballast added to the vehicle must be bolted inside an added ballast container inside the main frame rails, and/or inside the front sway bar mounting tube.
    Improperly attached weight; weight fell out of car.
    The original penalty assessed was a $15,000 fine to the crew chief; a one-race suspension for the crew chief and car chief; probation for both the crew chief and car chief through Dec. 31; and the loss of 15 championship driver and 15 championship owner points.
    The team only appealed the assessment of the 15 championship driver and 15 championship owner points.
    Upon hearing the testimony, the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel is:
    That the team violated the rule or rules set forth in the penalty notice.
    That the panel affirms and upholds the original penalty levied by NASCAR.
    The team has the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR rule book.
    The panel consisted of the following three individuals:
    Russell Hackett, Bud Moore, Lyn St. James.(NASCAR)(6-17-2015)
  • Michigan TV Ratings: NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Michigan drew 1.4 million viewers on Fox Sports 1 Saturday afternoon, ranking fifth out of the nine Xfinity races on the network this season. Viewership for last year’s comparable race on ESPN was not available.(Sports Media Watch via ShowBuzz Daily)(6-17-2015)
  • Military members to be honored in Iowa: In conjunction with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and United States Auto Club (USAC) event weekend at Iowa Speedway, June 19-20, Hope For The Warriors® will continue to honor local service members, veterans and military families through motorsports. With 50 service members, veterans and military family members in attendance at Friday night’s NCWTS race, Hope For the Warriors will also invite fans to participate in “Operation: Care Packages” throughout the event weekend. Continuing their mission to restore hope for service members and veterans, Hope For The Warriors will invite fans to visit their display to assemble care packages, which will be distributed to veterans and military families in the Greater Newton, Iowa area. “Operation Care Packages” will take place at the Hope For The Warriors display outside the Newton Club on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., and again on Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. In a private event on Friday night, Hope For The Warriors will host 50 service members, veterans and military family members for the NCWTS race. The families will have an opportunity to connect with each other during a special afternoon cookout hosted by Hope For The Warriors, before moving to the grandstands to watch the American Ethanol 200.(A2B Strategies)(6-17-2015)


    News from June 16, 2015


  • Sprint Cup teams to run new rules package at Kentucky in July: Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, announced on Tuesday that NASCAR has delivered to the Sprint Cup Series teams a rules package that will be raced at Kentucky Speedway on July 11th. So following what’s been really well-documented and unprecedented communications and collaboration with NASCAR’s OEM partners, the race teams, drivers and Goodyear, NASCAR made the decision to move forward with the package. Some of the changes include:
    Reduced spoiler height: The spoiler height will be 3½ inches, and the cars will have a 25-inch wider splitter extension panel (radiator pan), and the splitter will have a 1¾ inches less overhang than the current splitter.
    Tires: the tires for the event will have more grip than in 2014, but they are not specifically built for the package.
    Practice: Teams will be afforded extended practice time (4 hours) on the racetrack, and that will occur opening up Wednesday, July 8, for them to tune their race cars.
    Some Q&A’s about the package from the NASCAR Teleconference with O’Donnell:
    Q. And then what will you look for at Kentucky to determine whether this is a success or whether it’s something you might want to see again in future races?
    O’DONNELL: “I think ultimately that’s up to the fans, but certainly we’ll look for — we’ve been very, very vigilant in talking about tighter racing. I think we’ve achieved that in terms of 1st to 43rd. You see that those teams are closer than ever, but we certainly want to see more lead changes on the racetrack. We’ll evaluate not only that but a number of different factors coming out of Kentucky and see what we can learn and potentially what we can implement down the road.”
    Q. A couple of quick things: I didn’t hear you address whether or not the package will be used beyond Kentucky, or is that going to be the only race where it’s in place this season? And also, how much of a risk is putting that package on the track without extensive testing?
    O’DONNELL: “Yeah, on your first question, this is a Kentucky package only, but any options are on the table coming out of Kentucky. But for now, that’s been the dialogue with the industry. And as for your second question, I’d go back to we’ve had an extensive testing plan with the industry over the last 18 months. The teams have some data on this package, so we feel confident, and we wouldn’t implement this if we didn’t feel confident as an industry to implement it at Kentucky. And then you also look at some of the things, even in a test, there’s only so much you can learn, and then you validate it ultimately at a race, and we feel like that’s the direction we’re headed.”
    Q. And can you also talk about testing — the concept in our sport of testing during a race, they’ll have Wednesday, but it’s like some people have said, the off-season should be longer so that maybe this testing could be done then, but obviously you need all the cars on the track in order to test this fully.
    O’DONNELL: “Yeah, let me be clear. This is not a test; this is a race. This is the Kentucky package, and we have tested this over the last 18 months. There’s been a number of tests done. There’s been a number of simulations done. The OEMs are involved. I want to be very clear that this is the Kentucky race package and not at all a test for us.”
    Q. And again, do you plan to add any sort of tire tests or anything for future looks at this package?
    O’DONNELL: “Still looking at that.”
    Q. Worst case scenario, if Kentucky is an abnormal race, if there are an abnormal number of cautions, if it’s rain delayed, rain interrupted, if it doesn’t go full distance, if drivers don’t really ever get a chance to run a significant number of green flag laps, is there any chance y’all will just throw out that result and say, okay, we can’t use this as a template, we’ll try again somewhere else, or are you all in based on Kentucky, period?
    O’DONNELL: “No, that’s a good question. Let me back up on a couple things. So we’re opening up on Wednesday. Number one, you want to look at any feedback you get from the industry, safety, anything, we want to make sure that the package meets anything that we’ve seen in simulation, so we’ve built in time for that. We’ve built in time if it does rain and we lost Wednesday, we’ve got a plan in place with the industry of getting practice time in. And then from there if you get to the race, I would say this is still a specific Kentucky race package, so I wouldn’t say we’re building our entire rules package by any means on one race, and it goes back to what I’ve said earlier, and this has been on me in terms of describing the 2015 rules package in its totality, and if you go to Las Vegas and the race maybe wasn’t as good as we all had hoped, is that an indictment on the entire year’s package, and it shouldn’t be, because it’s specific to that race, and that’s more where we want to go in terms of having that rules package, more specific to the race, to put on the best race possible as we head into each track that weekend. ”
    (in part from a NASCAR Teleconference Transcript)(6-16-2015)

  • Testing at Richmond: A week after testing at Darlington Raceway, it’s off to Richmond International Raceway for Goodyear officials and a handful of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The official tire supplier for NASCAR will test with four teams Tuesday at the 0.75-mile track in preparation for this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cutoff race. #42-Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), #6-Trevor Bayne (Roush Fenway Racing) and #55-David Ragan (Michael Waltrip Racing) are scheduled to take part in the Goodyear tire test. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Brian Scott (Richard Childress Racing) will also take part, stepping into the #27 for driver Paul Menard. The four will join several others on Wednesday for an open team test. According to officials, those scheduled to be on hand are #24-Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports), #19Carl Edwards (Joe Gibbs Racing), #22-Joey Logano (Team Penske), #9-Sam Hornish Jr. (Richard Petty Motorsports), #30-Jeff Green (The Motorsports Group) and #75-Clay Rogers (Beard Motorsports). Stu Grant, Goodyear’s general manager for global race tires, said several options would be considered. “We’ve got a pretty good baseline at Richmond,” he said. “I don’t want to move too far off of that. We’re not going to test a whole lot of different things. We ran a (multi-) zone tread at Richmond; we’ll try a couple of zone treads, we’ll try a couple of non-zone treads to see what happens … we don’t have a real big program (scheduled) so we can get that done in a day.” Wednesday’s test will be open to fans, with access to the grandstands through Gate 70 only.(NASCAR.com)(6-16-2015)
  • Michigan Overnight TV Ratings: Delayed and eventually shortened by rain, NASCAR from Michigan did not do well in the overnights. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Michigan earned a 2.0 overnight rating on Fox Sports 1 Sunday afternoon, down 23% from both last year and 2013 on TNT (2.6 both years). The race was delayed several times due to rain and was eventually shortened after 138 of 200 laps. It is not clear whether the 2.0 overnight includes rain delay coverage. Given those caveats, there is no great significance to the 2.0 overnight – though it is the second-lowest of the season for any Sprint Cup telecast. Only rain-delayed coverage from Kansas earned a lower overnight, also on FS1 (1.5). All five Sprint Cup races on FS1 have had a double-digit decline in the overnights, with the Pocono and Michigan races down from coverage on fellow cable network TNT. Keep in mind TNT was in over 10 million more homes as of February.(Sports Media Watch), see past races, 5-year chart, links and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(6-16-2015)
  • Reed to run Chicago ARCA race: NASCAR XFINITY Series regular Ryan Reed will pilot the #58 Lira Motorsports Ford Fusion in the Scott 150 ARCA race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, June 20. Reed, who competes full time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for Roush Fenway Racing, captured six top-10 finishes in a partial ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule in 2012. He will return to the series this weekend behind the wheel of Lira’s #58 Ford Fusion, with primary sponsorship from Lilly Diabetes. The 21-year-old Bakersfield, Calif. native has competed in three previous races at Chicagoland Speedway. He tallied a fifth-place finish in his first appearance at the track in the ARCA series in 2012 and scored finishes of 15 and 24 at the 1.5-mile track in XFINITY action last season.(Lira Motorsportts)(6-16-2015)


    News from June 15, 2015


  • Slugger Labbe takes over as Dillon’s crew chief: Richard Childress Racing has made a change in crew chiefs for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program, effective immediately. Veteran crew chief Richard “Slugger” Labbe will assume crew chief responsibilities for the #3 Dow/American Ethanol/Cheerios/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS team with Austin Dillon as the driver. Labbe’s first race with the team will be the Sonoma Raceway road-course event on Sunday, June 28. Labbe’s wins include the 2003 Daytona 500 and 2011 Brickyard 400 championship, as part of 433 Cup starts to his credit. Dillon, a two-time NASCAR champion, is currently 23rd in driver’s points standings. Gil Martin will move into a leadership role within the RCR R&D Department, taking over Labbe’s responsibilities.(Richard Childress Racing)(6-15-2015)

  • Ford seeks to improve teams’ success; not interested in adding teams: New Global Ford Performance Director Dave Pericak said Sunday that the company is committed to increased success and performance across all of its racing platforms, including NASCAR. Joined by Sprint Cup driver Brad Keselowski at Michigan International Speedway, Pericak discussed a number of things, including working to improve the performance of Roush Fenway Racing, the evolution of Ford Racing into Ford Performance and the company’s promising new GT entry that will debut at Daytona next February. Some excerpts:
    Working to improve performance of Roush Fenway Racing: “We are with Jack (Roush) all the time, and we spend a lot of time with Jack’s team and we are making all the right, I believe, changes within not only the Roush Fenway organization but as we apply our technical resources within Ford Performance, assisting Jack and his team to get to a better place. We have seen progress. We are excited about what we have seen so far. Obviously we need to see more, but we are confident that Jack is dedicated with his team to do that. We are partners in this and our goal is to make them perform better and we are expecting a better performance today.”
    What in particular are you working on with RFR? “We are working with them on all aspects of the race car and not only the car but driver training or just everything that is involved in getting a race car to perform on the track. It is all aspects. There is nothing that is not on the table. Jack has welcomed all of the support and help and we have seen some significant improvement as a result of that.”
    Are you satisfied with the current roster of Ford teams, and have you talked to Furniture Row Racing (about moving from Chevrolet to Ford): “What I would say is that we are very happy with the partners we have today, and we have an approach where we are working to get everybody’s performance up and we are committed to doing that. We believe in long-term partners and believe we have the right people that we are with currently.”(NBC Sports)(6-15-2015)

  • 14th Top-10 for Truex, Jr.: #78-Martin Truex Jr. charged to a third-place finish and in the process tied a 46-year-old NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record. With the third-place result in Sunday’s rain-shortened Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Truex became the first driver to score 14 top-10 finishes in the first 15 races since Richard Petty accomplished the feat in 1969. “Really proud to have my name mentioned next to Richard Petty,” said Truex. “The King is pretty special and I am so thankful for my team and what they’ve done this year. Hopefully we’ll keep this thing rolling.” Truex narrowed the gap in the driver point standings. He remains second, 15 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.(Furniture Row Racing)(6-15-2015)

  • Kyle Busch’s Chase chances take a hit: The debate on if a driver who misses 11 races deserves to have a chance to be in the Chase for the Sprint Cup might become moot after #18-Kyle Busch finished last – his second finish of 36th or worse since returning to the car last month. Busch said on the radio after the incident that he crashed when he hit rain in Turn 4. Call it bad luck that Busch was the one who crashed in that situation but it leaves him way behind in his bid to earn a Chase bid. He must win one of the remaining 11 races before the Chase field is determined and be in the top 30 in points by then. #51-Justin Allgaier is 30th in points and on pace to score 435 points by the time the Chase field is set. Busch needs a win (at least 47 points) and then would need to average about a 13th-place finish in the other 10 races to match Allgaier’s projected total. Busch’s chances are dropping.(NBC Sports)(6-15-2015)

  • Larson OK with taking chance to win: Given his position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, Kyle Larson understands that his #42 Chip Ganassi Racing team may have to go for broke to win a race and qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR sprint Cup. That’s exactly what happened on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway, when Larson’s crew chief, Chris Heroy, kept the car on the track in hopes it would be leading when an impending thunderstorm arrived. With a push from eventual race winner Kurt Busch, Larson indeed took the lead moments after a restart on Lap 130 of the Quicken Loans 400, but Larson had to pit for fuel on Lap 133, handing the top spot to Busch. Less than two minutes later, the anticipated deluge arrived. NASCAR threw a caution on Lap 136, red-flagged the race on Lap 138 and shortly thereafter declared Busch the winner. “We could see weather coming there off of (Turn) 4 and just praying that it would get here in time for me to stay out and be in the lead when the rain did hit,” Larson said. “Hey, I applaud my guys for trying. We are pretty deep in points (18th after Sunday’s race) so we have to take risks like that to make the Chase. I’m happy with the call-just wish the rain would have come three laps sooner.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-15-2015)
  • Michigan Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2015 Quicken Loans 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 12:50 PM, and finished recording times at the end of the last block of the race broadcast, at 5:37 PM (the race was called later, at 6:05 PM). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. FS1 was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 57
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 41
    Number of times FS1 utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos ‘floating’ in corners of the screen): 30
    Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: 23
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 12:50 PM
    Stop time for rain delay: 1:24 PM
    Restarted recording: 3:25 PM
    Stopped for rain delay: 3:41 PM
    Restarted recording: 4:28 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:37 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 119
    Minutes of race broadcast: 91
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 28
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 91 Total comm. brdcst time 28
    See full reports, sponsor links, much more details at CawsnJaws.com.(6-15-2015)

  • New team to debut at Daytona: After a successful race at Talladega Superspeedway in the 2015 Winn Dixie 300, Benny Gordon and Larry Mostoller teamed up to establish a top-rate NASCAR XFINITY Series team, known as Performance Energy Group (PEG). Benny Gordon will make his second NASCAR Xfinity Series start of the 2015 season in the Subway Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015. Gordon will enter the Subway Firecracker 250 under the #66 SRWR/VSI Toyota Camry with the newly established team. Larry Mostoller is also the owner and CEO of Somerset Regional Water Resources (SRWR), serving as Gordon’s primary marketing partner on the #66 Toyota Camry. Serving as Gordon’s Crew Chief is Howard Bixman. Bixman is a veteran in the racing industry, managing his own team in the ARCA Racing Series for over five years, known as Team BCR Motorsports.(PEG Racing), see an image of the car on the #66 team paint schemes page.(6-15-2015)

  • Viva Motorsports shutting down? UPDATE: Viva Motorsports is reportedly headed for a shutdown following this weekend’s XFINITY Series race at Michigan International Speedway. A Facebook post on Monday night from the car chief of the #55 Viva Auto Group Chevy said Monday was his last day with the team, as they would soon be closing up shop. When asked for comment he politely declined. Inquiries to additional Viva Motorsports team members also confirmed the news. An announcement from the team, Popular Speed was told, could come after Michigan. Multiple requests for comment from Viva Motorsports were not returned. The single car operation owned and primarily driven by Jamie Dick has fought an uphill battle in 2015. In March, Dick, 26, was diagnosed with new onset diabetes and did not compete until Iowa Speedway last month.(Popular Speed)(6-9-2015)
    UPDATE Viva Motorsports regretfully announces that it will cease operations effective this week. The team’s showing at Michigan International Speedway this past weekend will serve as its last appearance in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Viva Motorsports came on the NASCAR scene in 2009. Since then, the team has competed in 13 races in the Camping World Truck Series and over 70 events in the Xfinity Series. This season, drivers Jeffrey Earnhardt, Brandon Gdovic and Jamie Dick have gone to work behind the wheel of the Viva Motorsports’ machines. The team garnered 3 top-20 finishes this season with Earnhardt’s 12th place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway proving the team’s best effort of the year. Owner Jamie Dick explains the decision, “It takes a tremendous level of commitment to compete at this level of auto racing, especially when striving to get better on limited resources, week in and week out. It has come to a point where my family and I cannot continue to make the personal and financial commitments that this sport requires. I have always been proud of the quality of race team we brought to the track. Instead of lessening that quality, we decided to take a step back from the sport.” All team assets have been purchased. The #55 will appear in a handful of races in the 2015 season.(Viva Motorsports)(6-15-2015)
  • Double duty for Jones this weekend: Erik Jones will drive the #54 Monster Energy Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry this Saturday, June 20 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series’ 14th event of 2015, at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. The 1.5-mile oval attempt won’t come without its challenges, however. Not only will it be the rookie XFINITY Series driver’s second start at Chicagoland Speedway, but it will also come during a weekend when Jones runs NASCAR double duty – scheduled to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Friday night before traveling directly to Illinois for the XFINITY Series race on Saturday night. During Chicagoland Speedway XFINITY Series practice on Friday afternoon, since Jones will be competing in the Camping World Truck Series event in Iowa, the #54 Monster Energy seat will see Joe Gibbs Racing XFINITY Series veteran Drew Herring behind the wheel. Herring will remain on site Saturday in case of any travel delays for Jones. Otherwise Jones will travel to Illinois in time for Saturday afternoon’s qualifying and subsequent night-race start. (Joe Gibbs Racing)(6-15-2015)
  • XFINITY Entry List:There are 37 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Owens Corning AttiCat 300 at Chicagoland Speedway. A few notes:
    Derek White is entered in the #13;
    Jimmy Weller returns to the #15;
    Jeff Green remains in the #19 for TriStar;
    Ross Kenseth makes his XFINITY debut in the JGR #20;
    Ryan Blaney is in the #22;
    CJ Faison remains in the #26;
    Erik Jones will drive the JGR #54;
    Ben Rhodes is in the JR Motorsports #88;
    Morgan Shepherd is entered in his #89;
    The #55 of Viva Motorsports was initially entered with Mike Harmon as the driver, but the entry has been withdrawn.
    Harmon is currently not entered in his #74.(6-15-2015)
    See the complete list on the Chicago entry list page.
  • Entry list: There are 29 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway. A few notes:
    Cole Custer in the #00;
    Ted Minor in the #12;
    Christopher Bell in the #51;
    Jake Griffin in the #63;
    Caleb Holman in the #75;
    Neither MAKE Motorsports entries are entered on the initial entry list, but expected.
    (6-15-2015)
    UPDATE: Jordan Anderson has been added in the #74;
    (6-15-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Both MAKE entries have been added to bring entries to 32;
    (6-15-2015)
    See the complete list on the Iowa entry list page.
  • Jones pulling double duty this weekend: Erik Jones will drive the #54 Monster Energy Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Toyota Camry this Saturday, June 20 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series’ 14th event of 2015, at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. The 1.5-mile oval attempt won’t come without its challenges, however. Not only will it be the rookie XFINITY Series driver’s second start at Chicagoland Speedway, but it will also come during a weekend when Jones runs NASCAR double duty – scheduled to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Iowa Speedway in Newton on Friday night before traveling directly to Illinois for the XFINITY Series race on Saturday night.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(6-15-2015)
  • New partners on board for MB in Iowa: When the green flag flies at Iowa Speedway for the start of the American Ethanol 200, MB Motorsports’ #63 Chevy Silverado will be featuring the HVAC / Diesel Mechanic & Powersports Equipment and Small Engine Mechanic programs of Vatterott Educational Centers, Inc. Jake Griffin will be at the helm of the Vatterott Educational Centers / Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool / Excel Bottling Chevy for MB Motorsports.(MB Motorsports)(6-15-2015)


    News from June 14, 2015


  • Kurt Busch wins rain-shortened race at Michigan: #41-Kurt Busch won the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, 3rd win at Michigan and 27th career win. The race was called after 138 laps because of rain.
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr finished 2nd, followed by #78-Truex, Jr., #20-Kenseth, #22-Logano, #2-Keselowski, #1-McMurray, #27-Menard, #6-Bayne, and #15-Bowyer.
    Rain plagued the race all day. There were 3 red flags that lasted more than 2 hours before the race got to halfway. Another band of heavy rain hit on lap 137 and after another red flag, NASCAR called the race. The race is the first to be shortened because of rain since Daytona in July 2014.
    Pole sitter #5-Kahne finished 15th. #18-Kyle Buch hit the wall on lap 54 and finished 43rd. Harvick had a tire go down late and finished 29th, only second finish outside the top 10 this season.
    Harvick maintains the drivers points lead with 576, 15 points over #78-Truex, Jr.
    There were 17 lead changes among 11 drivers. There were 5 cautions for 38 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 116.688mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-14-2015)
  • Race Fast Facts – Michigan:
    Kurt Busch won the 47th Annual Quicken Loans 400, his 27th victory in 519 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2015. This is Busch’s first multi-win season since 2011.
    This is his third victory and 10th top-10 finish in 29 races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his 13th top-10 finish in 32 races at Michigan International Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2015.
    Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 19 races at Michigan International Speedway. This is Truex’s 14th top-10 finish in the first 15 races, the first time that has happened since Richard Petty did it in 1969.
    Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 15 points over Martin Truex Jr.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(6-14-2015)
  • 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup CHASE Standings:
    [after Michigan, race 15 of 36]
    (by wins, then by points standings)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 506, -70 (5th in driver points)
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 576 (1st)
    3) #41-Kurt Busch [2 wins], 426, -150 (11th)
    4) #78-Martin Truex Jr. [1 win], 561, -15 (2nd)
    5) #22-Joey Logano [1 win], 520, -56 (3rd)
    6) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 508, -68 (4th)
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 480, -96 (6th)
    8) #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 456, -120 (8th)
    9) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 412, -164 (13th)
    10) #19-Carl Edwards [1 win], 401, -175 (14th)
    [would be in the Chase via points standings]
    11) #1-Jamie McMurray, 464, -112 (7th in driver points)
    12) #5-Kasey Kahne, 447, -129 (9th)
    13) #24-Jeff Gordon, 434, -142 (10th)
    14) #27-Paul Menard, 421, -155 (12th)
    15) #43-Aric Almirola, 401, -175 (15th)
    16) #31-Ryan Newman, 400, -176 (16th)
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc)
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(6-14-2015)
  • Michigan Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
    #34-Brett Moffitt, finished 33rd, 11 rookie points
    #26-Jeb Burton, finished 37th, 10 rookie point
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto, finished 39th, 9 rookie points
    #33-Alex Kennedy, did not race
    #66-Tanner Berryhill, did not race
    See the 2015 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(6-14-2015)

  • Pit crew changes for Gordon: Changes were made to the #24 Hendrick Motorsports pit crew prior to Sunday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan Speedway. John Gianninoto will jack the car. Drew Morgan will be front tire carrier. Bailey Walker started the season as jackman for the team, while Dion Williams has been the front tire carrier for the pit crew. Gianninoto and Morgan came from HScott Motorsports.(Motorsport)(6-14-2015)

  • Truex, Jr interested in contract extension; team looking at manufacturers UPDATES: Martin Truex Jr. hopes that his success early this season, especially his win Sunday at Pocono Raceway, will spark discussions on a contract extension at Furniture Row Racing. Truex, in the second year of a two-year deal, and team general manager Joe Garone both said Wednesday that while they plan to get a new deal done, they have not talked about an extension because they have been so focused on racing. “We haven’t really talked about it,” Truex said about a possible contract extension Wednesday during a break in testing at Darlington Raceway. “You know, with the team that we’re building, that we’ve built, I feel like this is the kind of situation that I’ve really looked for my whole career. … I hope [the win sparks talks]. I’m ready to go, so we’ll have to figure it all out and see what happens with it.” Furniture Row appears ready to make sure he doesn’t entertain any thoughts of moving and start those talks, especially now that the team has solidified a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. “We’ve been so busy focusing on what we’re doing, we haven’t talked about it yet ,” Garone said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s obvious things are working well, and it might be time to start talking about it.”(ESPN.com)(6-11-2015)
    UPDATE: After Sunday’s win at Pocono Raceway, Furniture Row Racing wants to lock down its future with driver Martin Truex Jr. The team’s manufacturer relationship seems hazier. In a Wednesday interview on Sirius Satellite Radio’s NASCAR channel, #78 Chevy owner Barney Visser said the team would weigh its options in working on an extension with Truex, whose contract expires after this season. “We’re looking for sponsorship,” Visser told Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody. “We need to get some of that in place to negotiate the kind of contract (for Truex) that we’d both like to see. It may involve a change in manufacturer here. We’re not sure. There just doesn’t seem to be any money out of General Motors and probably never will be for us. So something’s got to give. We’ll see where it goes.” Chevys comprise roughly half the 43-car field in every Sprint Cup race, and rival manufacturers Toyota and Ford have indicated a desire to expand their rosters. Toyota Racing Development builds engines for six cars but has the capacity to add two more. Furniture Row Racing has fielded Chevrolets exclusively since entering NASCAR’s premier series part time in 2005, currently receiving chassis and engines from Richard Childress Racing since 2013. Furniture Row Racing had preliminary negotiations with Dodge three years ago before its exit from Sprint Cup.(NBC Sports)(6-11-2015)
    UPDATE 2: For the second consecutive season, Toyota is trying to sign Furniture Row Racing, a team that’s fielded Chevys since its inception in 2005. Sources in the Toyota camp confirmed to FOXSports.com that the automaker would like to sign Furniture Row to give it another championship-capable team to go along with Joe Gibbs Racing. The need for another contending Toyota team has increased over the past two seasons, with the fall off in performance of Michael Waltrip Racing, which has not won a race since mid-2013. Last year, Toyota offered Furniture Row incentives to make the change, but the team decided to stay with Chevy for 2015. Now, the push is on to sign Furniture Row to Toyota for 2016, sources have confirmed.(FoxSports)
    AND: Chevy officials took note this week when team owner Barney Visser broached the subject of a possible manufacturer change for his Furniture Row Racing #78 team. “We don’t want to lose them; we’ve been there with them in every stage of their business and we’re very happy to see they are doing that great,” Alba Colon, General Motors program manager for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series effort said Thursday. It would be disappointing if the relationship with Furniture Row came to an end, Colon said. “We have a good relationship with our teams; we don’t want to lose any of our teams. But at the end of the day, outside of the personal side, business is business and manufacturers and teams make the decisions that they think are the best for their circumstances.(NASCAR.com)(6-13-2015)
    UPDATE 3: Toyota’s United States racing boss confirmed that he is indeed interested in signing Furniture Row Racing for 2016, and is looking at some other NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams as well. “We would love to have the 78 team,” David Wilson, the president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A., told FOXSports.com Saturday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. “Who wouldn’t really, the way they’re running right now? … If you asked me, ‘Would I like to have Furniture Row in the Toyota stable?’ Absolutely. Love to. Martin Truex Jr., we go back. That would be a great story.” Wilson said he wants to expand the number of contending Toyota teams in the Cup field beyond Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. “I’m always quality over quantity, but we’re undersubscribed with quality Toyotas right now,” said Wilson. “We’ve got our eyes open.” Asked if Toyota would consider adding teams besides Furniture Row, Wilson said, “There’s a couple other teams that are interesting to look at. I don’t whether they’re available. So many of these things have to do with timing.”(FoxSports)(6-14-2015)

  • NASCAR considering track-specific aero packages? UPDATES: NASCAR Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell has revealed an interesting new angle in the ongoing discussion about the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series aerodynamic package. In an interview at the American Speedfest event at Brands Hatch, which hosted rounds five and six of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series on June 6th & 7th, O’Donnell told Downforce Radio that NASCAR is considering track-specific aero packages for 2016, and possibly earlier. He said: “I think you’ll look at a little bit more of a set race package, so instead of looking at a 2016 package, you’ll look at it more in terms of putting some packages around certain tracks – not to have it be 36 individual packages, but potentially look at some lower downforce at some (tracks), look at superspeedway packages, kind of cater it to certain tracks.” Fans of the Sprint Cup Series may not have to wait until 2016 for aero changes, as O’Donnell revealed: “You’re going to see us probably make some moves as early as this year, so some exciting things are going on as we head into the second half of the series”. O’Donnell admitted it can be difficult to take all opinions on board. “You’ve got a lot of stakeholders to balance; first and foremost the fans, the owners, the tracks, the OEMs, but ultimately we’ve got to make a decision and stand by that. We try and get as much input as we can, but we’ve got to make a call that we believe is going to grow the sport in its entirety, and that’s our job – not always easy, but we try and make the right decisions to let us all grow in the future.”(Downforce)(6-11-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR had a teleconference with Sprint Cup teams earlier this week to discuss a lower downforce aero package which could possibly debut as soon as at Kentucky Speedway on July 11th. Teams would have an open test date on Thursday July 11 to shake down the cars. Several sources told motorsport.com that the revised package was tested by the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team and Jimmie Johnson during the Darlington Speedway test on Wednesday. The new configuration would likely include a 3.5-inch spoiler (down from six inches), and 25-inch radiator pan (down from 38 inches) and a shorter splitter. It’s the same package that was expected to be run during the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May but the idea was scrapped. NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp told Motorsport.com, “NASCAR’s commitment includes putting the best racing on the track. All options remain viable at this time.”(Motorsport)(6-12-2015)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR has yet to confirm that Sprint Cup teams will compete with lower downforce cars at Kentucky Speedway, but teams are already testing the cars. When NASCAR told the Sprint Cup teams on Wednesday that a new lower downforce aerodynamic package could be coming for Kentucky Speedway on July 11, the wind tunnels around Charlotte, N.C. started filling up. According to several sources that have seen the numbers from early trips to tunnel, the reductions of downforce with the new configurations will mean 825 to 1,000-pounds less of overall downforce to the cars. Side force dropped roughly 50 to 55 pounds with a reduction of 70 counts of drag horsepower. One engineer told Motorsport.com the sensation for the drivers will be like gaining 110 horsepower under the hood. He added, “A real game changer.” Teams will have four extra hours of practice at Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday night.(Motorsport)(6-14-2015)

  • Earnhardt Jr. comments on retirement: After watching #24-Jeff Gordon compete in his final season in NASCAR, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. says his final lap around the NASCAR circuit may soon follow. “I’m turning 41,” he said Friday in a press conference at Michigan International Speedway. “So it’s on the horizon, as far as my retirement.”
    “I have to watch Jeff (Gordon) and talk to Jeff (Gordon),” Earnhardt said. “(I have to) talk to other drivers, like Dale Jarrett – guys that I trust – about their decisions and what they would have done differently and what to keep your eye on, be prepared for, what shocked them or what they weren’t prepared for. You know, what was their decision like years later? Do they feel like they made the right decision?”
    “Do you run as long as you possibly can, even stay longer than you should? Do you go out on top when you feel like you’re competitive? Those are questions that a lot of drivers have to answer eventually for themselves.”(Sporting News)(6-14-2015)

  • Michigan International Speedway – Notes & Facts – Sunday – race:
    · There have been 91 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.
    · Roush Fenway Racing has the most wins at Michigan in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 13: Mark Martin (four), Greg Biffle (four), Carl Edwards (two), Matt Kenseth (two) and Kurt Busch (one).
    · Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Michigan; led by Ford with 34 victories; followed by Chevrolet with 22. Toyota has four wins at Michigan.
    · 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 Series 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 91 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan International Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the event on 6/18/2006.
    (NASCAR)(6-14-2015)
  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka named official sponsor of Sonoma Raceway: Race fans can enjoy more than your typical trackside beverage during the upcoming race season in Sonoma, as Tito’s Handmade Vodka has been named an official sponsor of Sonoma Raceway. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is produced in Austin, Texas’ first and oldest legal distillery, will host a full-service bar at all three major race weekends in Sonoma this summer, including the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NHRA Sonoma Nationals and GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series season finale. The full-service bar will offer race-themed vodka drinks, including Tito’s Texas Blood Mary, Raceway Lemonade and The American Mule. Tito’s will also be featured at satellite concession stands around the facility at all three events. The agreement also includes vendor display, signage and other assets during race weekends. Tito’s Handmade Vodka will also be available for purchase through Levy Restaurants in all hospitality menus throughout the year.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-13-2015)


    News from June 13, 2015


  • Final practice for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over after 55 minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes.
    #24-Gordon 198.604
    #78-Truex, Jr. 198.571
    #18-Busch 198.571
    #42-Larson 198.495
    #4-Harvick 198.358
    slowest: #83-DiBenedetto 190.905 & #23-Yeley 189.603.
    most laps run: #41-Busch, 45 laps.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Practice 3 Speeds page (pdf).(6-13-2015)
  • First Saturday practice for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over after 30 minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes.
    #4-Harvick 201.084
    #5-Kahne 200.401
    #42-Larson 199.989
    #18-Busch 199.828
    #78-Truex, Jr 199.795
    slowest: #23-Yeley 191.159 & #32-Bliss 189.974.
    most laps run: #42-Larson, 27 laps.
    notes: Practice started about 30 minutes late, due to fog and track drying.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(6-13-2015)

  • Ross Kenseth wins Michigan ARCA race: Ross Kenseth has earned his first victory on the ARCA Racing Series, beating Frank Kimmel by 2.1 seconds at Michigan International Speedway on Friday. Kenseth is the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup star Matt Kenseth. Ross Kenseth, 22, was making his third career ARCA start. Ross Kenseth was making his first ARCA start of 2015. He drove the #52 Chevrolet for Ken Schrader Racing. “This is the best I’ve ran at a big track,” he said. “I felt like right out of the bat we were real fast.”(Associated Press), Kenseth will make his NASCAR XFINITY debut next weekend at Chicago.(6-13-2015)

  • Truex, Jr interested in contract extension; team looking at manufacturers UPDATE: Martin Truex Jr. hopes that his success early this season, especially his win Sunday at Pocono Raceway, will spark discussions on a contract extension at Furniture Row Racing. Truex, in the second year of a two-year deal, and team general manager Joe Garone both said Wednesday that while they plan to get a new deal done, they have not talked about an extension because they have been so focused on racing. “We haven’t really talked about it,” Truex said about a possible contract extension Wednesday during a break in testing at Darlington Raceway. “You know, with the team that we’re building, that we’ve built, I feel like this is the kind of situation that I’ve really looked for my whole career. … I hope [the win sparks talks]. I’m ready to go, so we’ll have to figure it all out and see what happens with it.” Furniture Row appears ready to make sure he doesn’t entertain any thoughts of moving and start those talks, especially now that the team has solidified a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. “We’ve been so busy focusing on what we’re doing, we haven’t talked about it yet ,” Garone said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s obvious things are working well, and it might be time to start talking about it.”(ESPN.com)(6-11-2015)
    UPDATE: After Sunday’s win at Pocono Raceway, Furniture Row Racing wants to lock down its future with driver Martin Truex Jr. The team’s manufacturer relationship seems hazier. In a Wednesday interview on Sirius Satellite Radio’s NASCAR channel, #78 Chevy owner Barney Visser said the team would weigh its options in working on an extension with Truex, whose contract expires after this season. “We’re looking for sponsorship,” Visser told Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody. “We need to get some of that in place to negotiate the kind of contract (for Truex) that we’d both like to see. It may involve a change in manufacturer here. We’re not sure. There just doesn’t seem to be any money out of General Motors and probably never will be for us. So something’s got to give. We’ll see where it goes.” Chevys comprise roughly half the 43-car field in every Sprint Cup race, and rival manufacturers Toyota and Ford have indicated a desire to expand their rosters. Toyota Racing Development builds engines for six cars but has the capacity to add two more. Furniture Row Racing has fielded Chevrolets exclusively since entering NASCAR’s premier series part time in 2005, currently receiving chassis and engines from Richard Childress Racing since 2013. Furniture Row Racing had preliminary negotiations with Dodge three years ago before its exit from Sprint Cup.(NBC Sports)(6-11-2015)
    UPDATE: For the second consecutive season, Toyota is trying to sign Furniture Row Racing, a team that’s fielded Chevys since its inception in 2005. Sources in the Toyota camp confirmed to FOXSports.com that the automaker would like to sign Furniture Row to give it another championship-capable team to go along with Joe Gibbs Racing. The need for another contending Toyota team has increased over the past two seasons, with the fall off in performance of Michael Waltrip Racing, which has not won a race since mid-2013. Last year, Toyota offered Furniture Row incentives to make the change, but the team decided to stay with Chevy for 2015. Now, the push is on to sign Furniture Row to Toyota for 2016, sources have confirmed.(FoxSports)
    AND: Chevy officials took note this week when team owner Barney Visser broached the subject of a possible manufacturer change for his Furniture Row Racing #78 team. “We don’t want to lose them; we’ve been there with them in every stage of their business and we’re very happy to see they are doing that great,” Alba Colon, General Motors program manager for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series effort said Thursday. It would be disappointing if the relationship with Furniture Row came to an end, Colon said. “We have a good relationship with our teams; we don’t want to lose any of our teams. But at the end of the day, outside of the personal side, business is business and manufacturers and teams make the decisions that they think are the best for their circumstances.(NASCAR.com)(6-13-2015)

  • Driscoll being investigated by FBI, IRS: FBI and IRS officials are investigating Patricia Driscoll, former girlfriend of NASCAR driver Kurt Busch, over allegations she has mishandled money as executive director of the multimillion-dollar Armed Forces Foundation, three sources told Outside the Lines. The investigation follows an Outside the Lines report on May 22 that detailed a host of questionable practices by Driscoll during her ongoing 12-year run as executive director of the foundation, which has ties to sports-related entities, including NASCAR. Driscoll also is facing a federal whistleblower complaint filed by a former foundation employee. Documents show that Patricia Driscoll, in effect, used the Armed Forces Foundation as a bank to lend money for or pay various personal expenses, including bills for a private company she owns. Driscoll has declined to be interviewed by Outside the Lines multiple times. A crisis communications firm hired by the foundation, though, and the foundation’s general counsel have adamantly denied any wrongdoing on her part. After the Outside the Lines report published, the foundation and Driscoll hired Atlanta-based attorney L. Lin Wood to “evaluate potential libel claims for false and defamatory reporting,” stating that “the one-sided reporting of ESPN makes accusations that are blatantly and demonstrably false.” Spokespersons for the FBI and IRS declined to comment. See much more at ESPN.com.(6-13-2015)

  • 86th consecutive Michigan race for Wood Brothers: The weather cooperated long enough Friday to allow Wood Brothers Racing to qualify for its 86th consecutive Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. That’s a streak unmatched by any other Sprint Cup team at the track. It appeared the team and driver #21-Ryan Blaney might miss the race due to rain. If qualifying was washed out, the 43-car field would have been based off the NASCAR rule book and the starting grid determined by practice times, resulting in Blaney not making Sunday’s race. But qualifying went on Friday as planned. Blaney will start Sunday’s race after turning in the fifth-fastest qualifying lap of 201.056 mph.(Associated Press)(6-13-2015)

  • Michigan International Speedway – Notes & Facts – Saturday – drivers:
    · 373 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway; 274 in more than one.
    · Bill Elliott leads the series in starts at Michigan with 61. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 44 starts.
    · Donnie Allison won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Michigan in 1969 with a speed of 160.135 mph.
    · 36 different NSCS drivers have won at Michigan International Speedway, led by David Pearson with nine wins; Greg Biffle leads all active drivers with four.
    · Eight drivers have posted consecutive wins at Michigan International Speedway, including four consecutive by Bill Elliott (1985 sweep and 1986 sweep).
    · Jeff Gordon leads the series in runner-up finishes at Michigan with eight; followed by Darrell Waltrip with seven and Kevin Harvick with five.
    · NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough leads the series in top-five finishes at Michigan with 21; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19.
    · Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Michigan with 31; followed by Bill Elliott with 29. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 27.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Michigan with a 9.615.
    · Carl Edwards leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Michigan with a 9.714.
    · One active driver has posted his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Michigan International Speedway: J.J. Yeley (6/17/2007).
    · 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).
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Michigan with 1,058 laps led in 44 starts.
    · Four female drivers have competed at Michigan International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Robin McCall, Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick. Of the four female drivers to compete at Michigan, Guthrie has the best finish (10th).
    · All active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 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 the active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    · Among the active NSCS Michigan winners Kevin Harvick (19), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (17) Kyle Busch (13), Jeff Gordon (11) and Joey Logano (10) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win.
    · Jamie McMurray leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Michigan without visiting Victory Lane at 24; followed by Casey Mears at 23.
    (NASCAR)(6-13-2015)
  • Kyle Busch wins XFINITY race at Michigan: #54-Kyle Busch won the Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America at Michigan International Speedway, for his 1st win of 2015 in his first race back since his Daytona accident. #9-Chase Elliott finished second, followed by #42-Kyle Larson, #60-Chris Buescher, #1-Elliott Sadler, #88-Kevin Harvick, #22-Joey Logano, #98-Aric Almirola, #2-Brian Scott, and #20-Denny Hamlin.
    There were 8 cautions for 26 laps and 13 lead changes among 7 leaders. Complete results are on the Michigan race results page (pdf).
    (6-13-2015)
  • Michigan XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch won the 24th Annual Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America, his series record 71st victory in 298 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    Busch won in his first start of 2015 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
    This is his second victory and seventh top-10 finish in eight races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Chase Elliott (second) posted his second top-10 finish in two races at Michigan International Speedway. It is his 11th top-10 finish in 2015.
    Kyle Larson (third) posted his third top-10 finish in three races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Darrell Wallace Jr. (15th) was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender.
    Chris Buescher leads the point standings by 25 points over Ty Dillon.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-13-2015)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Michigan:
    1) #60-Chris Buescher, 489
    2) #3-Ty Dillon, 464, -25
    3) #9-Chase Elliott, 454, -35
    4) #7-Regan Smith, 434, -55
    5) #6-Darrell Wallace Jr. #, 428, -61
    6) #1-Elliott Sadler, 414, -75
    7) #2-Brian Scott, 394, -95
    8) #16-Ryan Reed, 378, -111
    9) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 378, -111
    10) #18-Daniel Suarez #, 369, -120
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(5-30-2015)
  • Injured RCR crewman returns to track: Anthony O’Brien, rear tire changer for the #62 Richard Childress Racing Chevy of Brendan Gaughan in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, is back to work at Michigan after recovering from injuries sustained in a pit road fire at Rhichmond International Raceway. O’Brien, RCR gasman Josh Wittman and Clifford “Doc” Turner, the gas runner for Eric McClure’s #24 team, were all transported to the hospital after flames flashed across two pit stalls during the ToyotaCare 250 on April 24. The fire was caused by a malfunction on the head of the gas can, which prevented the nozzle from sealing flush with the No. 62 car. O’Brien was changing the left rear tire right under the fuel nozzle when the fire erupted. He was hospitalized until the Monday following the race, April 27.(NASCAR.com)(6-13-2015)
  • Joey Logano on XFINITY pole at Michigan: #22-Joey Logano won the Coors Light pole for the Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America at Michigan International Speedway with a speed of 193.637mph. #2-Brian Scott will start second. The rest of the top 10: #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #42-Kyle Larson, #33-Paul Menard, #63-Brendan Gaughan, #88-Kevin Harvick, #7-Regan SMith, #3-Ty Dillon, and #18-Daniel Suarez.
    #22-Logano set a new track record in the first round with a speed of 193.772 mph.
    Did Not Qualify: None.
    The starting lineup is posted on the Michigan starting lineup page (pdf).(6-13-2015)
  • Michigan XFINITY Qualifying Notes:
    Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 24th Annual Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America with a lap of 37.183 seconds, 193.637 mph.
    Logano set the track qualifying record with a lap of 37.157 seconds/193.772 mph in the first round.
    This is his 29th pole in 141 NASCAR XFINITY Series races. With the pole, he now holds sole possession of third on the all-time pole list.
    This is his third pole and fifth top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in seven races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Brian Scott (second) posted his 11th top-10 start of 2015 and his third in six races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Darrell Wallace Jr. (third) posted his first top-10 start at Michigan International Speedway. It is his seventh in 13 races this season.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-13-2015)
  • Owens Corning sponsoring Chicago XFINITY race: Chicagoland Speedway announced Owens Corning as the title sponsor of its NASCAR XFINITY Series Race on Saturday, June 20. The Owens Corning AttiCat 300 will take center stage in the motorsports world, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads into an off week. “Most of us have seen the Pink Panther or the PINK Fiberglas insulation, but very few people realize just how many Owens Corning products impact our day-to-day lives,” said Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway. “We’re looking forward to educating both our fans and the larger NASCAR industry on Owens Corning, as we highlight its brand during Father’s Day weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.” In addition to the XFINITY Series race, the June weekend will welcome back the ARCA Racing Series with the Scott 150 and two nights of TORC: The Off Road Championship Series Presented by Amsoil at Route 66 Raceway.(Chicagoland Speedway)(6-13-2015)
  • Custer wins at Gateway: #00-Cole Custer got the lead following a restart with five laps to go and went on to win the Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at the Gateway Motorsports Park. #23-Spencer Gallagher finished second followed by: #98-Johnny Sauter, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #13-Cameron Hayley, #17-Timothy Peters, #11-Ben Kennedy, #19-Tyler Reddick, #14-Daniel Hemric, and #29-Austin Theriault.
    There were 6 caution flags for 35 laps and 9 lead changes among 5 leaders.
    #4-Erik Jones started the race from the pole after rain forced NASCAR to start the field based on practice speeds. He led 84 laps before spinning late in the race. Point leader Matt Crafton also had trouble, wrecking with less than 10 laps to go after leading 49 laps.
    Complete results are on the Gateway race results page (pdf). (6-13-2015)
  • Gateway Race Fast Facts:
    Cole Custer won the 2nd Annual Drivin’ for Linemen 200, his second victory in 12 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in two races at Gateway Motorsports Park.
    Spencer Gallagher (second) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Gateway Motorsports Park. It is his second top-10 finish in 2015, and best overall finish of his career.
    Johnny Sauter (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in four races at Gateway Motorsports Park.
    Spencer Gallagher (second) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Matt Crafton leads the point standings by 12 points over Tyler Reddick.
    (NASCAR Statistics) (6-13-2015)
  • Driver standings following Gateway:
    1) #88-Matt Crafton, 329
    2) #19-Tyler Reddick, 317, -12
    3) #98-Johnny Sauter, 299, -30
    4) #4-Erik Jones #, 296, -33
    5) #05-John Wes Townley, 260, -69
    6) #13-Cameron Hayley, 254, -75
    7) #23-Spencer Gallagher #, 251, -78
    8) #14-Daniel Hemric #, 246, -83
    9) #17-Timothy Peters, 245, -84
    10) #11-Ben Kennedy, 238, 91
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(6-13-2015)
  • Owner Standings following Gateway: are posted (pdf).(6-13-2015)
  • Jones on pole at Gateway: #4-Erik Jones. will start from the pole for the Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park after rain canceled qualifying. Rain began less than five minutes into the session, forcing NASCAR to set the field based on practice speeds. #00-Cole Custer, #88-Matt Crafton, #98-Johnny Sauter, #33-Brandon Jones, #19-Tyler Reddick, #14-Daniel Hemric, #51-Matt Tifft, #13-Cameron Hayley, and #29-Austin Theriault are the top-10. #08-Korbin Forrister wrecked in qualifying prior to the rain and will go to a backup truck. See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(6-13-2015)
  • Jones fastest in final practice: #4-Erik Jones was fastest in the one and only practice for the Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park with a speed of 136.766mph. He was followed by #00-Cole Custer, #88-Matt Crafton, #98-Johnny Sauter, #33-Brandon Jones, #19-Tyler Reddick, #14-Daniel Hemric, #51-Matt Tifft, #13-Cameron Hayley, and #29-Austin Theriault. 32 drivers are entered and 32 practiced during the session. See complete results on the Gateway practice speeds page (pdf).(6-13-2015)
  • Entry list: There are 26 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park. A few notes:
    Cole Custer is in the #00;
    John Hunter Nemechek takes over for the rest of the season in the #8;
    Austin Theriault is in the #29;
    Matt Tifft is in the #51;
    Timmy Hill is in the #94;
    (6-8-2015)
    UPDATE: Ryan Ellis in the 1, Travis Kvapil in the 50 and Jordan Anderson in the 74 were added;
    UPDATE 2: Tommy Regan is in the 45 in place of BJ McLeod; Adam Edwards added in the #0;
    (6-8-2015)
    UPDATE 3: Michael Affarano has been added in the #03 to bring entries to 31;
    (6-12-2015)
    UPDATE 4: Joey Gattina has been added in the #57;
    (6-13-2015)
    See the complete list on the Gateway entry list page.


    News from June 12, 2015


  • 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 #5-Kahne chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #4-Harvick took the second pit stall.
    #2-Keselowski, who starts 3rd took the 4th pit stall.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #24-Gordon, who starts 6th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-12-2015)
  • Kahne wins Michigan pole: #5-Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light pole for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway with speed of 201.992mph for his 1st pole of 2015, 3rd at Michigan and 27th of his career.
    #4-Harvick is on the outside pole followed by #2-Keselowski, #19-Edwards, #21-Blaney, #24-Gordon, #3-Dillon, #48-Johnson, #78-Truex, Jr., and #18-Busch.
    Missing the race was: #62-Gaughan.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying results round-by-round, qualifying order and more on Jayski.com’s Michigan Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(6-12-2015)
  • Qualifying Fast Facts – Michigan:
    Kasey Kahne won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 47th Annual Quicken Loans 400 with a lap of 35.645 seconds, 201.992 mph.
    This is his 27th pole in 411 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    With the pole, Kahne ties NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Terry Labonte for 25th on the all-time series pole list.
    This is his first pole and ninth top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his third pole in 23 races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 11th top-10 start of 2015 and his 11th in 29 races at Michigan International Speedway.
    Brad Keselowski (third) posted his fifth top-10 start at Michigan International Speedway. It is his ninth in 15 races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(6-12-2015)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #4-Harvick 201.992
    #5-Kahne 201.664
    #24-Gordon 201.123
    #19-Edwards 201.050
    #2-Keselowski 200.865
    the rest of the top 12: 22 21 20 48 78 3;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 11 88 14 42 27 55 10 6 16 33 31 41.
    (6-12-2015)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #4-Harvick 201.410
    #5-Kahne 200.507
    #11-Hamlin 200.195
    #22-Logano 199.684
    #19-Edwards 199.645
    the rest of the top 24: 21 14 48 2 20 3 88 41 55 31 27 78 42 33 24 18 16 10 6;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 1 43 13 7 40 9 47 15 17 38 46 51 34 26 98 35 23 32 83 62.
    Drivers who will miss the race: #62-Gaughan.
    (6-12-2015)

  • Carsforsale.com returns to the #40 at Michigan: Carsforsale.com, one of the Internet’s largest online automotive inventory websites, will make their fourth appearance as the primary sponsor of the # 40 Carsforsale.com Chevy SS and NASCAR driver Landon Cassill at the Quicken Loans 400. Carsforsale.com joins Hillman Racing at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR’s fastest track, for the second consecutive year this Sunday, June 14, 2015. Carsforsale.com features simple search functions and a fully responsive design to aid consumers in finding their next vehicle. Inventory listings from nearly 20,000 dealers nationwide make Carsforsale.com an effective outlet to connect buyers with sellers of vehicles.(Hillman Racing)(6-12-2015)
  • Friday practice for the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is over after 85 minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes.
    #4-Harvick 202.492
    #22-Logano 201.607
    #78-Truex, Jr 201.157
    #11-Hamlin 200.921
    #24-Gordon 201.781
    slowest: #32-Bliss 190.079 & #62-Gaughan 181.182
    most laps run: #55-Ragan, 15 laps.
    notes: #41-Busch slid up into the outside wall in turn 2. He will have to go to a backup car. There were 2 delays for rain showers.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(6-12-2015)

  • NASCAR considering track-specific aero packages? UPDATE: NASCAR Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell has revealed an interesting new angle in the ongoing discussion about the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series aerodynamic package. In an interview at the American Speedfest event at Brands Hatch, which hosted rounds five and six of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series on June 6th & 7th, O’Donnell told Downforce Radio that NASCAR is considering track-specific aero packages for 2016, and possibly earlier. He said: “I think you’ll look at a little bit more of a set race package, so instead of looking at a 2016 package, you’ll look at it more in terms of putting some packages around certain tracks – not to have it be 36 individual packages, but potentially look at some lower downforce at some (tracks), look at superspeedway packages, kind of cater it to certain tracks.” Fans of the Sprint Cup Series may not have to wait until 2016 for aero changes, as O’Donnell revealed: “You’re going to see us probably make some moves as early as this year, so some exciting things are going on as we head into the second half of the series”. O’Donnell admitted it can be difficult to take all opinions on board. “You’ve got a lot of stakeholders to balance; first and foremost the fans, the owners, the tracks, the OEMs, but ultimately we’ve got to make a decision and stand by that. We try and get as much input as we can, but we’ve got to make a call that we believe is going to grow the sport in its entirety, and that’s our job – not always easy, but we try and make the right decisions to let us all grow in the future.”(Downforce)(6-11-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR had a teleconference with Sprint Cup teams earlier this week to discuss a lower downforce aero package which could possibly debut as soon as at Kentucky Speedway on July 11th. Teams would have an open test date on Thursday July 11 to shake down the cars. Several sources told motorsport.com that the revised package was tested by the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team and Jimmie Johnson during the Darlington Speedway test on Wednesday. The new configuration would likely include a 3.5-inch spoiler (down from six inches), and 25-inch radiator pan (down from 38 inches) and a shorter splitter. It’s the same package that was expected to be run during the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May but the idea was scrapped. NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp told Motorsport.com, “NASCAR’s commitment includes putting the best racing on the track. All options remain viable at this time.”(Motorsport)(6-12-2015)

  • Ford Returning to Le Mans with Chip Ganassi Racing: Ford announced it is returning to one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world with its new Ford GT race car, based on the all-new ultra-high-performance supercar that goes on sale next year. The Ford GT race car will compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans – referred to by many as the Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency – starting next year. Ford GT will compete in the Le Mans GT Endurance class for professional teams and drivers (LM GTE Pro). The new race car is based on the all-new Ford GT supercar unveiled in January. Both the production car and race car will arrive in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of Ford GT race cars placing 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ford went on to repeat its victory at Le Mans in 1967, 1968 and 1969. The new Ford GT race car will run the full 2016 schedules of the FIA World Endurance Championship and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, making its competition debut in January 2016 in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Florida. The two Ford teams will be operated by Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS). Both series teams intend to compete with a four-car effort at Le Mans. Drivers will be announced later. Joining Ford in this project are Multimatic Motorsports, Roush Yates Engines, Castrol, Michelin, Forza Motorsport, Sparco, Brembo and CGRFS.(Ford)(6-12-2015)

  • Roush questions NASCAR inspection process: Team owner Jack Roush questions the consistency of NASCAR’s laser platform, raising issues with an inspection process noteworthy for the numerous warnings issued teams this season. Cars must go through NASCAR’s laser platform for inspection at the start of the weekend, before qualifying and before the race. The laser platform logs measurements of various parts, including front and rear wheel camber, wheel base and rear axle location. The laser platform can record measurements within 1/1,000th of an inch in some cases. Controversy has surrounded NASCAR’s inspection process and the platform this season. Roush raised issues about the laser platform Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Dialed In” show when asked about inspection issues this season. “That laser machine is also a problem because it’s recognized and understood by everybody that either operates it or either inspected by it … it is not consistent, it does not repeat 100 percent of the time,” Roush said. “It is off. We don’t know why it’s off. Sometimes, we think maybe the humidity has something to do with it. The temperature may have something to do with it. It does not always give you the same answer for the same set of circumstances on the car dimensionally. That’s caused NASCAR to increase the tolerance sometimes. So if you’ve got something that varies and they give you a tolerance to take care of the variance and you’re a racer, then you try to use the tolerance in your favor to make your car better.” NASCAR declined comment.(NBC Sports)(6-12-2015)

  • RCR adding to engineering department: When Martin Truex Jr. won at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, he didn’t get to Victory Lane alone. Certainly, there was the unwavering investment of time and effort of his Furniture Row Racing team. But the engine and the chassis underneath Truex came from a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing. JTG Daugherty Racing, Germain Racing and Circle Sport Racing also enjoys similar relationship the Welcome, N.C.-based race shop which has increased technological investment considerably over last year. RCR’s Competition Director Dr. Eric Warren wasn’t kidding when he referred to RCR’s engineering department as the United Nations. In 2015, RCR has bolstered its resources with talent from all over the globe but primarily Formula One.
    In January, Amro Karim, Miguel Botella, Travis Slagle, Richard Youden and Ben Siegle were added to RCR’s engineering department. Karim most recently was a Vehicle Performance Engineer with Marussia F1 but also worked as a F1 Project Engineer for Wirth Research. Bottella was a Software Engineer at both Caterham F1 and HRT F1 Team. Younden was as an Electronics & Control Systems Engineer at Williams F1. Previously, he worked as an Applications Engineer at Racelogic, an Electronics Design Engineer at Hasford Sensors and a Systems Engineer at Honda Racing F1 and Stack Ltd. Slagle advanced from a Systems Engineer at Moog to Systems Development Lead prior to joining RCR. On June 1, Javier Marcos Padros, a performance engineer from Williams F1 and DIL Simulator Engineer Lawrence Hodge, who also worked as a Trackside Aerodynamicist with Scuderia Ferrari F1 and McLaren Racing, joined the fold.(Motorsport)(6-12-2015)

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame debuts new exhibits: Just in time for summer vacation, the NASCAR Hall of Fame has hundreds of new high octane reasons to visit. Beginning June 17, the venue will welcome two new exhibits including “From the Garage: Street Rides of NASCAR Stars” in the Great Hall along with a revamped Heritage Speedway on the fourth floor. “From the Garage: Street Rides of NASCAR Stars” puts you in the driver’s seat of the hot wheels that the sport’s icons drive every day. For 38 weeks a year, these top contenders in NASCAR’s premier series battle it out in high powered race cars designed and built by top engineers to perform at maximum velocity. While these impressive machines propel drivers to victory, what do these stars choose to drive when they’re not on the track? “From the Garage” explores what some of the sport’s most well-known names have tucked behind their garage doors and what drew them to each of these one-of-a-kind vehicles.
    Meanwhile, the brand new Heritage Speedway will add more than 200 artifacts that walk you through NASCAR’s storied past decade by decade. From dirt and asphalt short tracks to superspeedways across the nation, drivers have showcased their talents over the course of seven eras of motorsports. In this exhibit, guests will find iconic moments illustrated through artifacts that capture the personality of the legends who paved the way for today’s drivers along with unexpected memorabilia and relics that pay homage to the sport’s deep-seated roots. Items range from Bobby Allison’s 1988 uniform that he wore at the Daytona 500 when he beat his son Davey to Dale Earnhardt’s money bag from his spectacular come-from-behind win in 2000 at the Winston 500 in Talladega.(NASCAR Hall of Fame)(6-12-2015)

  • Michigan International Speedway – Notes & Facts – Friday – poles:
    · 46 drivers have Coors Light poles at Michigan, led by David Pearson with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six.
    · 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.
    · 18 of the 91 (19.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Jeff Gordon last season.
    · The Coors Light pole position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (18) than any other starting position at Michigan International Speedway.
    · 26 of the 91 (28.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from the front row: 18 from the pole and eight from second-place.
    · 69 of the 91 (75.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Six of the 91 (6.5%) 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 is 32nd, by Mark Martin in the spring of 2009.
    · 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.
    (NASCAR)(6-12-2015)
  • Rally’s and Checkers sponsoring Chastain: Rally’s and Checkers restaurants will be riding with talented rookie driver #4-Ross Chastain as he competes in Saturday’s Great Clips 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Rally’s and Checkers promise bold flavor at an unbelievable value, and the restaurants’ constant innovation has made Rally’s/Checkers one of the nation’s leading quick-service restaurant brands. Thirty-eight new locations were opened in 2014, and between 40 and 50 new restaurants are planned for this year. The restaurants specialize in hamburgers, chicken, fish and delicious fries.(Johnny Davis Motorsports)(6-12-2015)
  • Chase Elliott fastest in XFINITY practice: #9-Chase Elliott was fastest during the only practice at Michigan International Speedway with a speed of 191.215mph. The first scheduled practice was cancelled because of rain. #98-Aric Almirola was second, followed by: #2-Brian Scott, #60-Chris Buescher, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #33-Paul Menard, #54-Kyle Busch, #22-Joey Logano, #3-Ty Dillon, and #20-Denny Hamlin. All 40 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Michigan practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(6-12-2014)
  • Diamond Pistons on the #51 at Michigan: Jeremy Clements Racing welcomes back Diamond Pistons to the #51 Chevy Camaro SS this weekend in the Irish Hills of Michigan in the Great Clips 250. The team looks to continue building on the momentum gained over the last six weeks and is very excited to have Diamond Pistons based in Clinton, MI on the car for the fifth consecutive season at MIS. Diamond Pistons was founded in 1968 and have been meeting the needs of the world’s fiercest competitors with its high performance high quality piston manufacturing, specializing in extreme racing applications. Jeremy is currently 11th the driver points going into race 13 of 33. This will mark Jeremy’s 180th career Xfinity Start and 7th career start at Michigan.(Jeremy Clements Racing)(6-12-2015)
  • PIR to be renamed in honor of Jeff Gordon for fall race: Phoenix International Raceway is about to become Jeff Gordon Raceway. For one day. PIR will honor the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion by formally renaming the 1-mile oval in his name for the Nov. 15 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, azcentral sports has learned. Gordon, who has four career PIR wins, says he doesn’t plan to drive after this season, which would make Phoenix his penultimate race. An official announcement is expected Friday. “We were thinking of it like an athlete getting the keys to the city,” PIR President Bryan Sperber said. “It (the idea) took off from there. Starting with the quirky layout of our track, it seems like Phoenix always does things a little different.(Arizona Republic)(6-12-2015)
  • Medal of Honor Recipients to be honored at Daytona: During the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Weekend Powered By Coca-Cola on July 3-5, Daytona International Speedway will salute three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. The Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, one from the Vietnam War and two from the War in Afghanistan, are:
    ” Gary Littrell, Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army
    ” Salvatore Giunta, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
    ” Ryan Pitts, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
    This is the seventh consecutive year that the Speedway has honored Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. The program started back in the 1970s by Bill France Sr. The Congressional Medal of Honor recipients will be recognized during a special luncheon on Saturday at the Bill France Room, will attend driver’s meetings and participate in pre-race ceremonies for both the Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday night, July 4 and the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday night, July 5. During Sunday’s 57th annual Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola, a special salute will take place for the three recipients during pre-race ceremonies. In addition, the three Congressional Medal of Honor recipients will take part in an autograph session with race fans in the Sprint FANZONE on Sunday prior to the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. The Congressional 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.(DIS)(6-12-2015)
  • Sonoma to pay tribute to Jeff Gordon: Northern California’s Jeff Gordon is the undisputed king of Sonoma Raceway, and this year’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 will mark the NASCAR legend’s final visit to the challenging road course as a full-time driver in the Sprint Cup Series. Gordon, a native of nearby Vallejo, has had more success at Sonoma than any other NASCAR driver. He holds almost every significant NASCAR track record in Sonoma, including most wins (five), most pole positions (five), most top-five finishes (14) and most laps led (440). In 22 Sonoma starts, Gordon has 17 top-10 finishes, including nine consecutive top-10 finishes, and is the top money earner at $3,307,604. To pay homage to the four-time Cup Series champion, Sonoma Raceway has put together a number of tributes to its “Hometown Hero.” Gordon will be front and center for fans during a Q&A session on Saturday of race weekend at 9:00am on the start/finish line. All Track Pass season ticket holders, weekend-pass holders and campers receive a free credential for stage-front access to the Q&A. Fans who have already purchased a Sunday ticket can get a Saturday ticket for just $24, which includes access to the Main Grandstand to watch the Q&A. Two of Gordon’s vintage race cars will be on display all weekend behind the main grandstand for fans to enjoy. Sonoma Raceway has also prepared a special tribute video to Gordon, which will be shown during pre-race ceremonies. Fans can also pick up two commemorative Gordon items during the race weekend. The first 10,000 fans to enter the gates on race day, Sunday, June 28, will receive a free Hometown Hero rally towel to be waved on Lap 24 of the 110-lap feature. In addition, fans who download the Sonoma Raceway app will receive a free poster commemorating Gordon’s dominance in Sonoma.(WGI)(6-12-2015)


    News from June 11, 2015


  • Truex, Jr interested in contract extension; team looking at manufacturers: Martin Truex Jr. hopes that his success early this season, especially his win Sunday at Pocono Raceway, will spark discussions on a contract extension at Furniture Row Racing. Truex, in the second year of a two-year deal, and team general manager Joe Garone both said Wednesday that while they plan to get a new deal done, they have not talked about an extension because they have been so focused on racing. “We haven’t really talked about it,” Truex said about a possible contract extension Wednesday during a break in testing at Darlington Raceway. “You know, with the team that we’re building, that we’ve built, I feel like this is the kind of situation that I’ve really looked for my whole career. … I hope [the win sparks talks]. I’m ready to go, so we’ll have to figure it all out and see what happens with it.” Furniture Row appears ready to make sure he doesn’t entertain any thoughts of moving and start those talks, especially now that the team has solidified a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. “We’ve been so busy focusing on what we’re doing, we haven’t talked about it yet ,” Garone said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s obvious things are working well, and it might be time to start talking about it.”(ESPN.com)(6-11-2015)
    UPDATE: After Sunday’s win at Pocono Raceway, Furniture Row Racing wants to lock down its future with driver Martin Truex Jr. The team’s manufacturer relationship seems hazier. In a Wednesday interview on Sirius Satellite Radio’s NASCAR channel, #78 Chevy owner Barney Visser said the team would weigh its options in working on an extension with Truex, whose contract expires after this season. “We’re looking for sponsorship,” Visser told Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody. “We need to get some of that in place to negotiate the kind of contract (for Truex) that we’d both like to see. It may involve a change in manufacturer here. We’re not sure. There just doesn’t seem to be any money out of General Motors and probably never will be for us. So something’s got to give. We’ll see where it goes.” Chevys comprise roughly half the 43-car field in every Sprint Cup race, and rival manufacturers Toyota and Ford have indicated a desire to expand their rosters. Toyota Racing Development builds engines for six cars but has the capacity to add two more. Furniture Row Racing has fielded Chevrolets exclusively since entering NASCAR’s premier series part time in 2005, currently receiving chassis and engines from Richard Childress Racing since 2013. Furniture Row Racing had preliminary negotiations with Dodge three years ago before its exit from Sprint Cup.(NBC Sports)(6-11-2015)

  • Skuttle Tight renews partnership with Go Green Racing: Willmar, MN based company Skuttle Tight renews their partnership with Go Green Racing for the 2015 season starting with this weekend’s 47th annual Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. In 2014, Skuttle Tight partnered with Go Green Racing for the August event at MIS. This weekend’s event will mark the second occasion that America’s premiere manufacturer of insulated attic-entry systems will appear in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(Go Green Racing)(6-11-2015)

  • Jill Gregory to lead NASCAR Marketing: NASCAR announced that Senior Vice President Jill Gregory, who currently oversees the company’s Industry Services department, will also assume leadership of NASCAR Marketing effective immediately. Gregory replaces Kim Brink who was named Chief Operating Officer of Global Team Ford, the WPP-owned group of agencies dedicated to Ford. In her current role, Gregory oversees a group that includes Driver, Team and Event Marketing Services, as well as Industry Operations. She has led NASCAR’s Driver Star Power initiative and spearheaded industry integration on the rollout of numerous marketing initiatives, including the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase format in 2014. With her added responsibilities, she will now lead Brand Marketing, Marketing and Media Research, and NASCAR Creative Design. She also serves as a member of the board of directors for The NASCAR Foundation. Gregory will report to NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer, Steve Phelps on Marketing and continue to report to NASCAR Chief Racing Development Officer, Steve O’Donnell on Industry Services. Gregory joined NASCAR in 2007 after serving as Senior Vice President of Motorsports Marketing at Bank of America and prior to that served as Director of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Marketing at Sprint NEXTEL. Brink has led all marketing initiatives at NASCAR since 2011, spearheading award-winning advertising creative, the launch of NASCAR’s current Hispanic outreach efforts, as well as the development of NASCAR’s acclaimed youth marketing platform, Acceleration Nation.(NASCAR)(6-11-2015)

  • Truex, Jr fastest at Darlington test: Twelve drivers took part in an open NASCAR test Wednesday at Darlington Raceway including the most recent Sprint Cup Series winner, #78-Martin Truex Jr. He finished atop the speed chart with a lap of 175.535 mph just three days after driving to victory at Pocono Raceway. #18-Kyle Busch ran a session-high 108 laps, finishing fifth on the speed chart at 174.036 mph. #1-Jamie McMurray (174.646 mph) was second, #41-Kurt Busch (174.196 mph) third and #31-Ryan Newman fourth (174.110 mph). The hot, slick track lived up to its slogan “Too Tough to Tame” during Wednesday’s test, with both Busch and Joey Logano making contact with the outside wall. #15-Clint Bowyer approved of the track conditions, saying “This is the fastest repave wear-out ever.” The track was resurfaced in 2008. The temperature during the test peaked into the low 90s. Teams can expect it to be similar come race weekend in early September, when the average temperature in Darlington is 85 degrees.(Motor Racing Network)(6-11-2015)

  • NASCAR considering track-specific aero packages? NASCAR Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell has revealed an interesting new angle in the ongoing discussion about the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series aerodynamic package. In an interview at the American Speedfest event at Brands Hatch, which hosted rounds five and six of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series on June 6th & 7th, O’Donnell told Downforce Radio that NASCAR is considering track-specific aero packages for 2016, and possibly earlier. He said: “I think you’ll look at a little bit more of a set race package, so instead of looking at a 2016 package, you’ll look at it more in terms of putting some packages around certain tracks – not to have it be 36 individual packages, but potentially look at some lower downforce at some (tracks), look at superspeedway packages, kind of cater it to certain tracks.” Fans of the Sprint Cup Series may not have to wait until 2016 for aero changes, as O’Donnell revealed: “You’re going to see us probably make some moves as early as this year, so some exciting things are going on as we head into the second half of the series”. O’Donnell admitted it can be difficult to take all opinions on board. “You’ve got a lot of stakeholders to balance; first and foremost the fans, the owners, the tracks, the OEMs, but ultimately we’ve got to make a decision and stand by that. We try and get as much input as we can, but we’ve got to make a call that we believe is going to grow the sport in its entirety, and that’s our job – not always easy, but we try and make the right decisions to let us all grow in the future.”(Downforce)(6-11-2015)

  • Truex, Jr interested in contract extension: Martin Truex Jr. hopes that his success early this season, especially his win Sunday at Pocono Raceway, will spark discussions on a contract extension at Furniture Row Racing. Truex, in the second year of a two-year deal, and team general manager Joe Garone both said Wednesday that while they plan to get a new deal done, they have not talked about an extension because they have been so focused on racing. “We haven’t really talked about it,” Truex said about a possible contract extension Wednesday during a break in testing at Darlington Raceway. “You know, with the team that we’re building, that we’ve built, I feel like this is the kind of situation that I’ve really looked for my whole career. … I hope [the win sparks talks]. I’m ready to go, so we’ll have to figure it all out and see what happens with it.” Furniture Row appears ready to make sure he doesn’t entertain any thoughts of moving and start those talks, especially now that the team has solidified a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. “We’ve been so busy focusing on what we’re doing, we haven’t talked about it yet ,” Garone said in a phone interview Tuesday. “It’s obvious things are working well, and it might be time to start talking about it.”(ESPN.com)(6-11-2015)

  • Teams get warnings after Pocono: NASCAR confirmed Wednesday that #48-Jimmie Johnson’s team received a warning after failing to get through pre-race inspection three times last weekend at Pocono Raceway. NASCAR also stated that it gave a warning to #10-Danica Patrick’s team for failing pre-qualifying inspection multiple times at Pocono. NASCAR also gave a warning to #38-David Gilliland’s team for failing pre-qualifying inspection multiple times and to #9-Sam Hornish Jr.’s team for a pre-race inspection issue at Pocono. This marks the fourth warning Johnson’s team has received this year.(NBC Sports)(6-11-2015)

  • Switch Hitch sponsoring Allgaier at Michigan: The #51 Chevy’s primary sponsor this weekend at MIS is Switch Hitch. This is Switch Hitch’s first primary race with HScott Motorsports. Switch Hitch was a co-primary sponsor on the #51 Chevy at Martinsville Speedway earlier this season. Switch Hitch was invented by Terry Brinkley after he experienced problems with traditional hitch balls. Switch Hitch is a tri-ball hitch system designed to quickly switch from one ball to another through a patented switching and locking mechanism.(HScott Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #51 team paint schemes page.(6-11-2015)

  • Special Nationwide scheme at Daytona for Earnhardt Jr.: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will run a special patriotic Nationwide scheme at Daytona International Speedway in July. The scheme was unveiled on Facebook Wednesday. See an image of the car on the #88 team paint schemes page.(6-11-2015)

  • Congrats to Ray Evernham & Erin Crocker: Ray Evernham, a three-time champion crew chief with Jeff Gordon, talked Tuesday with Sirius XM NASCAR Radio about having a baby next month with his wife, Erin Crocker Evernham, who has 39 NASCAR national series starts to her credit. While discussing a taping of an upcoming episode of his show “AmeriCarna” on Velocity, Evernham said he would have to wait until after his wife’s pregnancy. “We’re building a special race car for Crocker,” Evernham said. “She’s going to be the first woman to compete in an upcoming event so pretty cool deal coming up. But right now, we have to wait until probably late August. I guess it’s going to be probably October by the time we can shoot her racing this car because as you know she doesn’t fit into her fire suit anymore. We haven’t really said much, but they had a shower the other day,” Evernham said. “And some time in late July, Miss Cate Evernham will be joining us so hopefully she will be another redhead lady driver pretty soon.” It will be a second child for Evernham and a first for his bride.(NASCAR.com)
  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Quicken Loans 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on the Michigan Race Info page – Chassis selection area.

  • Michigan International Speedway – Notes & Facts – Thursday – history:
    · 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 2-mile speedway underwent a repave in 2012.
    (NASCAR)(6-11-2015)
  • Jeffrey Earnhardt returns to the #55: After a month long hiatus, and a trip to England to race in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, Jeffrey Earnhardt is anxious to get back into a racecar on American soil. He will do just that this weekend as Earnhardt is prepared to drive the Fronius USA/Viva Auto Group Chevy at Michigan International Speedway. The #55 Camaro will once again sport the red and grey colors synonymous with Fronius. Fronius USA was also featured on Earnhardt’s Viva Motorsports machine for the first two races of the year. The Great Clips 250 will mark the third trip with the NASCAR Xfinity Series to the fast 2-mile oval for the 4th generation driver. In his previous two visits, he has a best finish of 25th, occurring last June.(Viva Motorsports)(6-11-2015)
  • Goody’s and Martinsville Speedway extend relationship: Dale Earnhardt Jr. understands the significance of the long-term relationship between Martinsville Speedway and Goody’s and was excited when he found out the two had renewed their partnership for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500. “The great thing about the Martinsville-Goody’s relationship is that it goes back over so many years. It really shows the kind of devotion that Goody’s has to the sport and to the Martinsville racetrack and the area,” said Earnhardt, a student of the history of the sport. “They’re very proud of that relationship and they’ve grown it over the years. It’s been very productive for them and you just sort of associate one with the other: Martinsville and Goody’s.” Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell and Joseph Juliano, Brand Director, Goody’s, announced this week that the long relationship would continue with the renewal of Goody’s sponsorship for the fall NASCAR Sprint Cup race for 2016. It will mark the 29th year of involvement between Goody’s and Martinsville and the 36th Martinsville race sponsored by Goody’s.(Martinsville Speedway)(6-11-2015)


    News from June 10, 2015


  • Special scheme for Earnhardt, Jr at Michigan: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will drive the purple-and-black #88 AMP Energy Chevy this weekend at Michigan. AMP Energy recently unveiled four new flavors: Strawberry Limeade, Passion Fruit, Blueberry White Grape ZERO and Watermelon ZERO. Fans voted on Facebook from the four new flavors to see the AMP Energy Passion Fruit paint scheme hit the track in Michigan.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #88 team paint schemes page.(6-10-2015)
  • Michigan Goodyear Tire Notes: While teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same right-side tire code (D-4630) at Michigan this weekend, they will run distinct left-side codes . . . in Sprint Cup, teams have run this left-side code (D-4558) at Michigan since 2013 . . . this is the first time they have run this right-side code at Michigan, though they have run it earlier this season at Las Vegas, Talladega and Kansas . . . compared to what was run at Michigan last year, this right-side features a minor increase in tread gage (thickness) . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in 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), see tire codes, tire pressures, set limits and more on the Michigan Race Info page.(6-10-2015)

  • Racing-Rewards.com debuts on the #7 at Michigan: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced a partnership with Racing-Rewards.com that kicks off this week with the debut of Alex Bowman’s #7 Racing-Rewards.com Chevrolet to be run at Michigan International Speedway. Racing Rewards is an opportunity for fans to earn prizes without any need to buy into the program. Through social media, fans earn points for liking, sharing, hashtagging and even pinning NASCAR related accounts.(Tommy Baldwin Racing), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(6-10-2015)

  • Sam Bass recovering from surgery: Sam Bass, NASCAR’s first officially licensed artist, continues to recover from surgery for complications resulting from another severe blood infection. A life long Type 1 diabetic, Bass was hospitalized twice in 2014 and spent 10 weeks in treatment as a result of sepsis, a severe blood disorder that often results in loss of limbs or even death. “I tremendously appreciate the prayers and continued support of everyone during this extremely difficult time,” Bass said. The artist expects to be released from the hospital in the middle of the week. Bass’ battle with sepsis began in February 2014. Complications with the severe blood infection resulted in multiple surgeries for the NASCAR artist and led to a long road to recovery. Able to return to the track just three months later, Bass suffered another setback in October 2014, when a less severe infection returned to his bloodstream. Now familiar with the warning signs, Bass was able to get the medical attention he needed before this latest bout with infection escalated. After undergoing surgery last Wednesday, Bass will be released from the hospital to continue recovery at home.(Sam Bass)(6-10-2015)

  • Sheila Elliott back in jail: The wife of famed NASCAR engine builder Ernie Elliott is back in Dawson County Sheriff’s Office custody. Sheila G. Elliott, 63, was arrested June 2 for violating her court ordered conditions of release. The initial arrest stems from an incident in which she reportedly attempted to run over her husband with a car on March 18. Initially taken into custody on March 24, she appeared before Northeastern Judicial Circuit Judge Jason Deal on May 12, the same day he signed a consent bond and ordered her release on her “own recognizance,” provided she check into and reside at a residential treatment facility. According to court records, on June 1 she notified authorities of her intent to leave the residential treatment facility in Atlanta where she was ordered to remain as a condition of her release from jail on an aggravated assault charge. “…defendant notified the district attorney’s office and the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office she was leaving said treatment facility and returning to Dawson County,” the motion to revoke bond read. “Defendant did so without consent of all parties and did so with the knowledge she would be in direct violation of her bond agreement.”(Dawson Community News)(6-10-2015)

  • Knaus says appeal was about understanding penalty process: Jimmie Johnson’s # 48 team won its appeal Tuesday to overturn a P1 penalty, but crew chief Chad Knaus still awaits more clarity on its exposure to future punishment. NASCAR issued the penalty of last choice in pit stalls for the next race after the team received written warnings in consecutive Sprint Cup events. Written warnings are cumulative over the course of a season, and if a team receives six over a six-month period following the first, it could result in a P2 penalty. Per the 2015 NASCAR rulebook, a P2 penalty would result in at least one (and possibly more) of the following: loss of 10 championship driver and owner points; $10,000-$25,000 fine; suspension for the crew chief,and/or any other team members for at least one race; probation through the end of the calendar year for the crew chief. Johnson’s team has received at least four warnings this season and could face another after failing prerace inspection three times Sunday at Pocono Raceway.
    Knaus said Hendrick Motorsports’ appeal was as much about understanding the new system, which was introduced last year, as contesting the penalty. “If you look at the way warning schedule is, and the way the penalties can start to accumulate over a period of time, we needed to understand the methodology behind that, and we have a better understanding of that now,” he said. “I think that with all the teams and NASCAR, we’re all going to have some more conversations in the future about how the warnings are applied and can be contested. That was the big reason we’re here. We need to get in here and understand the format, the system and thankfully, we have a system like this. I think it’s great that NASCAR is willing to have an open forum to where we can get together, chat and have a face to face conversation about it and try to get some clarification.”
    The tricky part of the new system is a warning isn’t appealable, but a punishment resulting from a warning is. NASCAR, at its discretion, can issue P1 penalties based on multiple warnings or warnings in consecutive events.(NBC Sports) (6-10-2015)

  • TV Ratings up for Fox races: The FOX broadcast network averaged a 4.5 rating and 7.6 million viewers for NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage this season, up 5% in ratings and 9% in viewership from last year (4.3, 7.0M) and the network’s first year-over-year increase since 2011. FOX aired fewer races this year as part of NASCAR’s new television deal, jettisoning low-rated telecasts from Kansas and Dover. (Sports Media Watch via Sports Video Group)(6-10-2015)

  • Winning #21 Motorcraft & Quick Lane JDRF scheme chosen: Maryn Winters, an 8-year-old entering third grade from Basehor, Kan., 8, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at age 4, has won the Race Car Design Contest for JDRF, hosted by Motorcraft & Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers. Maryn’s winning design will be the paint scheme for the Wood Brothers’ #21 Ford tha Ryan Blaney will drive in the Crown Royal 400 at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 26, 2015. She and her family will experience a trip of a lifetime, seeing the car that she designed race at the famed Indiana speedway in person. “I am so excited about winning this contest,” said Maryn whose design raised $3,460 at www.fordracecar.jdrf.org during the contest. “I entered last year and couldn’t wait to design another car this year. This is awesome!”(Ford Racing / Wood Brothers Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #21 Team Schemes page.(6-10-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Michigan:
    #16-Greg Biffle 107.1
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 102.5
    #20-Matt Kenseth 101.3
    #99-Carl Edwards 100.5
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 98.0
    #14-Tony Stewart 95.8
    #24-Jeff Gordon 93.6
    #22-Joey Logano 91.8
    #4-Kevin Harvick 90.2
    #41-Kurt Busch 89.9
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (20 total) among active drivers at Michigan International Speedway.
    Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
    See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)
  • Gift of Life Michigan on the #52: Gift of Life Michigan is teaming up with Joey Gase this weekend to promote organ, eye, and tissue donation and honor two donors. There are currently over 120,000 people nationwide on the waitlist for a lifesaving organ, with over 3,500 of those coming from the state of Michigan. Joey will be honoring two donors this weekend (Gerrit Vandenberg and Chelsey Northrup) by having their pictures on the bumper of his car and inviting their families into the pits.(Joey Gase Racing)(6-10-2015)
  • Lilly Trucking sponsoring Weller: Rick Ware Racing and Lilly Trucking announced that the team’s longtime partner will serve as primary sponsor for the next two NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Michigan International Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway respectively. Lilly Trucking specializes in reliable transportation of fine machinery and machinery parts for the paper industry. Jimmy Weller, a big block dirt modified division racer from Ohio will pilot the team’s #15 Lilly Trucking Chevy Camaro for the June 13 event. The Hubbard, Ohio-native hold a career-best ninth place finish in his NCWTS debut at Daytona International Speedway in February 2014.(Rick Ware Racing)(6-10-2015)
  • Sieg names Michigan sponsors: RSS Racing welcomes JoeUSA.com as the primary sponsor for this weekend’s XFINITY race at Michigan International Speedway. JoeUSA.com offers affordable, full service web needs; domain names, web hosting, Secure SSL Certificates, Website builder, Storage, E-commerce Solutions and so much more. The RSS team also welcomes Michigan based Cottage Inn Gourmet Pizza as a sponsor for the race. Additionally, Uncle Bob’s Self Storage and Pull-A-Part will be associate sponsors.(RSS Racing)(6-10-2015)
  • Bell announced for KBM: Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announced today that 20-year-old Christopher Bell will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut June 19 driving the #51 Toyota Certified Used Vehicles Tundra in the American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway in Newton. The open-wheel dirt standout, who was crowned the 2013 United States Auto Club (USAC) National Midget Champion, began his pavement-racing career last September driving for KBM’s Late Model team. In just his fourth-career Late Model start, Bell outdueled second-generation NASCAR driver John Hunter Nemechek to win the Orange County 150 Pro All Star Series (PASS) South Super Late Model race last October at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, N.C. In 2015, Bell has collected four victories and a pair of runner-up finishes en route to an average finish of 1.7 across seven starts behind the wheel of KBM’s #51 Late Model. The talented youngster picked up his first marquee Late Model victory in March when he led 203 of 250 laps of the prestigious Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, dominating a field which included reigning NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(6-10-2015)
  • Jones graduating before Gateway race: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads west to Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill. for the eighth race of the season. Brandon Jones, driver of the #33 MasterForce Chevrolet for GMS Racing, will make his debut at the 1.25-mile track the same day he is set to graduate from Lake Norman High School. Jones’ NASCAR education continues Saturday, as he makes his fourth start on a track larger than one mile. Jones and the #33 MasterForce team look for redemption after an on-track incident early in the race at Texas Motor Speedway prevented them from improving on their eighth and 13th-place finishes at Charlotte and Dover, respectively. In five starts, Jones has picked up two top-15 finishes and one top-10 result. Following the fifth of 17 scheduled events for Jones, he is ninth in Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, while the #33 truck sits 12th in NCWTS Owner Standings.(GMS Racing)(6-10-2015)
  • Bret Michaels to headline July pre-race at New Hampshire: It’s going to be “Nothing but a Good Time” at New Hampshire Motor Speedway when Bret Michaels hits the concert stage prior to the New Hampshire 301 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on July 19. Speedway officials announced that the multi-platinum global superstar will play in front of a sea of fans on the Magic Mile frontstretch. Michaels, who is best known as the front man of Poison, winning the most viewed season of Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2010, and starring on the multi-season reality TV show Rock of Love, will visit New Hampshire as part of his True Grit Tour. Michaels will take the stage at 10:45am, prior to driver introductions. The free concert is included for all fans that have purchased a ticket to the New Hampshire 301, which will drop the green flag at 1:30pm. Stage-front access on the Magic Mile frontstretch will be available with the purchase of a pre-race pit pass. Michaels, personally and through his Life Rocks Foundation, has helped raise tens of millions of dollars for charity and makes donations to not only diabetes awareness and research but to such causes as childhood cancer, wounded warriors, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, PetSmart Charities and more. Having been diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of 6, Michaels is passionately devoted to raise awareness of the debilitating disease in hopes of finding a cure.(NHMS)(6-10-2015)
  • West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame to induct new members: Long-time Sonoma Raceway spokesman John Cardinale will be inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame later this month. Cardinale and five other honorees will be inducted during a gala event at the Meritage Resort in Napa on Thursday, June 25, in conjunction with the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR weekend at Sonoma Raceway, June 26-28. Cardinale, who passed away from gastric cancer in 2013, joined the raceway in 1998 and quickly established himself as one of the most respected representatives within the motorsports industry. He was promoted to Vice President of Media and Community Relations in 2003 and was well known for creative media stunts, including driver ride-alongs with the California Highway Patrol and driving race cars across the Golden Gate Bridge. Cardinale also bolstered the raceway’s community profile through community events, including food drives, blood drives and holiday parties for families in need. He also served as Vice President of Communications & Marketing from 2007-2012. Cardinale was frequently recognized for his efforts, including being named NASCAR Track PR Representative of the Year in 2009, and posthumously receiving the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Spirit Award in May 2013. Joining Cardinale in the 2015 West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame class are a NASCAR driver, two crew chiefs and two team owners: Jerry Baxter is a crew chief at Kyle Busch Motorsports; late NASCAR driver Jason Leffler; late team owner Warren Razore; former Dale Earnhardt crew chief Doug Richert and team owner and race promoter Jim Williams. The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, which inducted its inaugural class in 2002, was founded in 2001. It memorializes significant contributors to the sport’s development and history – including designers, engineers, mechanics, drivers, racetrack owners, promoters, publicists and members of the motorsports media.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-10-2015)


    News from June 9, 2015


  • #48 team penalty rescinded on appeal: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of a P1 penalty issued on May 27, 2015 to Hendrick Motorsports relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #48 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The penalty concerns the following section in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:
    12.5.3.1 – Warnings and P1 penalty options:
    .b: Multiple warnings issued to the same team member or team will result in one or more P1 penalties.
    .c: If the same team receives two warnings during the same event, or two warnings during two consecutive events, whether the events are championship or non-championship, then this may result in one or more … P1 penalties at NASCAR’s discretion.
    The original penalty assessed was the last choice in the pit selection process for the next event.
    Upon hearing the testimony, the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel is:
    · Warnings are not appealable. NASCAR acted correctly in issuing a P1 penalty after the second warning.
    · But, the panel must also decide if there has been a violation of the rules (Section 14.15.1.b).
    · In the hearing, there was a preponderance of evidence presented that the side skirt violation which led to a warning did occur. There was conflicting evidence about the inspection violation which led to the second warning instead of preponderance.
    · Since only one of the two violations were shown by a preponderance of the evidence, the panel rescinds the P1 penalty.
    The panel consisted of the following three individuals: Richard Gore, David Hall, Jay Signore.(NASCAR)(6-9-2015)

  • NASCAR considering change to qualifying rules: Could a tweak to NASCAR qualifying be coming? Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief operating officer, hinted so during his appearance Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive” show. Last weekend at Pocono Raceway, Denny Hamlin spun with less than a minute left in the final round. That prevented Hamlin and four other drivers from recording a time in the final round. NASCAR’s rules state that if more than one driver is unable to complete a lap in a round, their position is determined based on who had the fastest lap in the previous round. Hamlin had the second-fastest lap in the second round. That placed him ahead of the four other drivers who had yet to record a time in the final round even though Hamlin caused the caution. That policy could change.
    “It’s something we are going to look at,” O’Donnell said. “In this case is it the right decision to have a driver, not on purpose, cause a caution and therefore they qualify ahead of … drivers who may have not been able to go out and qualify? Some folks could say that’s on them, they should have gone out earlier, but you also look at it if that is the right move. We’re taking a hard look at that this weekend. We’ve had some dialogue with some of the industry and we’ll make a decision here shortly.”(NBC Sports)(6-9-2015)

  • Michael Waltrip Racing swaps crew chiefs: Michael Waltrip Racing announced personnel changes to its two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup operation, which include the reassignment of its crew chiefs. Effective immediately, Brian Pattie will become the crew chief for the #55 Toyota Camry driven by David Ragan. Billy Scott will become the crew chief for the #15 Toyota Camry driven by Clint Bowyer. Pattie has been the crew chief for the #15 with Bowyer since the team was established in 2012. He has scored three wins with the team, and finished second in the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup and seventh in 2013. Scott has been the crew chief of the #55 since August 2013, and previously served under Rodney Childers as that team’s lead engineer. Additional changes include a reorganization of lead, secondary and support engineers for each team. Car chiefs, road mechanics and pit crews will remain with their originally assigned teams. “Our goal is to best position the 15 and 55 teams for a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup,” said co-owner Rob Kauffman. “MWR has an enormous amount of bright, motivated and quality people working to solve the endless challenges inherent to racing. We have won poles and races, we have made the Chase and competed for a championship with this core group of personnel. We just felt it was time to shake things up a bit to try and spark fresh ideas and more consistent results. There are 12 races left before the 2015 Chase field is set and we plan to be a part of it.”(Michael Waltrip Racing)(6-9-2015)
  • 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: #21-Blaney, #32-Bliss, #33-Ty Dillon.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in owners points): #62-Gaughan
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): #21-Blaney
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Michigan Entry List

  • France says new manufacturers still interested in NASCAR: NASCAR Chairman Brian France [interviewed on SiriusXM Satellite Radio Monday] said NASCAR still fields calls from potential new manufacturers. “We’re generally open to figuring out how to make a new manufacturer work in NASCAR,” he said. “We have those discussions. Obviously, it’s complicated how a manufacturer might enter the sport. It goes back to the original points. They want to make sure they have a fair and balanced playing field. If they line up talent, that they can have a shot to compete and do well. … Every single thing, and this is the beauty of NASCAR, leads back to the same path: How do we make sure that, as a sanctioning body, we lay out a plan and path where drivers, teams, manufacturers and sponsors all feel they can come into NASCAR if they compete hard and their talent allows them to do reasonably well? That’s an ongoing mission and serves everybody well when we get it right. That’s our mission.”(NBC Sports)(6-9-2015)

  • Knaus talks about failed pre-race inspections at Pocono: Crew chief Chad Knaus of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team weighed in Monday on his team’s third-place finish as well as its three failed inspections before the Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400 at Pocono Raceway. After going through inspection a fourth time before being cleared to race, the team fought back from a blown tire and contact with Matt Kenseth’s #20 before Jimmie Johnson brought home a podium finish. “We did our due diligence as extreme as we can,” Knaus said on FOX Sports 1’s “NASCAR Race Hub” without specifying what the pre-race inspection holdup was. “We went through the first time and weren’t in compliance. Went through a second and failed again. It’s just about guys making the most out of every advantage that we can.” Hendrick Motorsports will be at NASCAR’s R&D Center in Concord, NC, on Tuesday, appealing the P1 penalty handed down to the #48 team after written warnings were issued during two race weekends at Charlotte.(NASCAR.com)(6-9-2015)
  • Pocono Overnight TV Ratings: Compared to coverage on TNT last year, FS1 had a double-digit drop in overnights for NASCAR from Pocono. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Pocono earned a 2.3 overnight rating on Fox Sports 1 Sunday afternoon, down 18% from last year (2.8) and down 21% from 2013 (2.9), both of which aired on TNT. Each of the four Sprint Cup races on FS1 has had a double-digit decline in overnights, but the first three of those comparisons were to races on the FOX broadcast network. Sunday’s race was the first to decline from coverage on a cable outlet. Compared to previous FS1 races, Sunday’s 2.3 overnight matched Dover the previous week and trailed Martinsville in March (2.5). It easily topped the Saturday night race from Kansas in early May, which was delayed due to rain (1.5). For the weekend, NASCAR not only trailed the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final and Belmont Stakes, but also the final round of The Memorial on CBS (2.7).(Sports Media Watch), see past races, 5-year chart, links and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(6-9-2015)
  • Buddie Toys sponsoring Cassill: Landon Cassill is going racing with a Buddie. Buddie Toys, a Michigan-based company dedicated to matching children with fun and safe toys made in the United States, is sponsoring Landon Cassill’s JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevy in Saturday’s Great Clips 250 Xfinity Series race at Michigan International Speedway. Three “buddies,” the company’s colorful plastic toy designed to be the perfect hand-held toy for infants, will ride on Cassill’s hood during the race. The buddies are available in turquoise, purple and orange colors and, at seven inches in length and very pliable, are designed to be an excellent teething toy and one that will delight infants again and again.(Johnny Davis Motorsports)(6-9-2015)

  • Viva Motorsports shutting down? Viva Motorsports is reportedly headed for a shutdown following this weekend’s XFINITY Series race at Michigan International Speedway. A Facebook post on Monday night from the car chief of the #55 Viva Auto Group Chevy said Monday was his last day with the team, as they would soon be closing up shop. When asked for comment he politely declined. Inquiries to additional Viva Motorsports team members also confirmed the news. An announcement from the team, Popular Speed was told, could come after Michigan. Multiple requests for comment from Viva Motorsports were not returned. The single car operation owned and primarily driven by Jamie Dick has fought an uphill battle in 2015. In March, Dick, 26, was diagnosed with new onset diabetes and did not compete until Iowa Speedway last month.(Popular Speed)(6-9-2015)
  • AeroShell Aerobatic team to performance at Kentucky: The AeroShell Aerobatic Team is set to carve the skies over Kentucky Speedway with an array of daring stunts during a special prerace performance and flyover on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts race day July 11. The longest-flying civilian aerobatic team in North America delights audiences by reeling off tricks in four iconic red-white-and-black North American AT-6 Texans amid billowing smoke. Three decades of renowned airmanship propelled the team to the International Council of Air Shows Foundation (ICAS) Hall of Fame in 2014. The team also earned the air show community’s two most prestigious performance awards – the Art Scholl Showmanship Award and the Bill Barber Award for Showmanship. Flyers will treat Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts guests with an exhibition that will roll into Jerrod Niemann’s prerace concert performance and stage the prerace flyover. A busy prerace ceremony slate also is scheduled to spotlight a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” by the 113th U.S. Army Band from Fort Knox, Ky., a “God Bless America” performance by Leo Welsh of the Columbus Blue Jackets National Hockey League (NHL) Club, fire truck parade laps for National Fallen Firefighters Foundation members along with celebrity guest and driver introductions.(Kentucky Speedway) (6-9-2015)


    News from June 8, 2015


  • France says drivers council will help communication: NASCAR chairman Brian France wouldn’t call the creation of a council of Sprint Cup drivers a part of a “new NASCAR,” saying it just further formalized the lines of communication between the sanctioning body and its participants. The council — the top-finishing 2014 driver from each manufacturer plus at-large members — met with several NASCAR executives for the first time on May 30 at Dover International Speedway. They talked primarily about safety issues at tracks and the competition rules package. France, who was not at the meeting, made his first public comments about the formation of the drivers council following the pre-race drivers meeting Sunday at Pocono Raceway. “I’ve said from the beginning that we’re going to improve our communications across the board with all the stakeholders, and they’re certainly as important as anybody,” said France, who took over from his father as NASCAR’s top executive in 2003. “So that’s consistent. What you’re seeing is just more formalized conversations. “We talk all the time about things that are important to them.” NASCAR has started to meet with all the track operators in a similar group fashion in February, and France also spends time meeting with each Cup organization in January. The majority of the Cup owners belong to the Race Team Alliance, formed last year to work as a unit to find ways to help teams remain fiscally sound. When the RTA was formed, France said having “one voice” of the owners was a bad idea and he instead wanted to remain talking to owners on an individual basis. France didn’t say if he has started talking more formally with the owners as a group as NASCAR has begun doing with the drivers and tracks. “When anybody has things that can improve the sport, we’re going to be open to that,” France said Sunday when asked about formal talks with the RTA. “It doesn’t really matter how the exact form of communications happens. What matters is it does happen. We’re getting the stakeholders as close to us as we can because there are a lot of good ideas that come out of these discussions — the drivers with safety and there is a business side to this they have an interest in.”(ESPN.com)(6-8-2015)

  • 2016 rules package still not decided: NASCAR chairman Brian France was interviewed on NASCAR Raceday Sunday and asked about pending rules changes for next season:
    “Well, we’re not done yet. That’s the number one thing. I realize it’s easy to say, ‘Well, stay where you are. Things were pretty good.’ But our job is to make the better and have closer, tighter racing, where some teams that don’t have the budget of the size of some of the bigger teams have a better shot to win and compete. That’s what we’re trying to do. Are we happy? We’re never happy because whatever package that we come with, the drivers and teams are trying to game that package and gain an advantage on that. That’s what they do. They’re great at it. But my sense of it is we’ll be coming with some things that just keep marching toward our goal of tighter, closer, lower-cost racing, and that’s what our fans want.”(Fox Sports)(6-8-2015)

  • Newman not happy with Allmendinger after contact: #31-Ryan Newman is not happy with #47-AJ Allmendinger after the two made contact in Sunday’s Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 at Pocono Raceway. Newman’s streak of consecutive top-10 finishes at Pocono Raceway came to an end Sunday when he was involved in an incident with Allmendinger on lap 141. Allmendinger, who was battling Newman for seventh, appeared to slide up the track just a little as the duo raced through Turn 1 and made contact with the left-rear of Newman’s car in the outside lane. That caused the No. 31 Chevrolet to hit the wall and Newman’s day ended with a severely damaged car. “It’s pretty obvious what happened,” Newman said. “The #47 (Allmendinger) just ran out of talent. He has got one coming now.”(Motor Racing Network)(6-8-2015)
  • Pocono Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2015 Axalta “We Paint Winners” 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 4:20 PM (all times are EDT). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. FS1 was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 116
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 57
    Number of times FS1 utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos ‘floating’ in corners of the screen): 67
    Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: 29
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 5 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:20 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 200
    Minutes of race broadcast: 148
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 52
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 148 Total comm. brdcst time 52
    See full reports, sponsor links, much more details at CawsnJaws.com.(6-8-2015)
  • Sad News – “Worth” McMillion: Hollingsworth “Worth” McMillion, age 88, of Amelia, VA, passed from this life on June 5, 2015. McMillion was the first paid deputy in Amelia County and was a Navy Veteran of WWII, retired Special Agent with the ABC board and was a former NASCAR driver.“Worth” McMillion ran NASCAR Grand National (Sprint Cup) from 1962 to 1969. He amassed 18 top 10’s in 62 starts with a best finish of 5th at Occoneechee Speedway on Sept. 15, 1968. Service info on the Sad News Page.(6-8-2015)

  • Kyle Busch returns to the #54 at Michigan: This week at Michigan International Speedway, Kyle Busch returns to the seat of the #54 Monster Energy Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, after recuperating from injuries sustained in the season-opener race that left Busch out of his familiar black machine for 11 weeks. At the beginning of the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule, Busch sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg and a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in an accident during the Feb. 21 XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway. While Busch returned to racetrack action four weeks ago at Charlotte Motor Speedway, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, this week will be Busch’s first XFINITY Series attempt back in the #54 since February. Future scheduled races for Busch in the #54 Camry, after the Michigan event, are not yet confirmed.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(6-8-2015)
  • XFINITY Entry List:There are 40 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America at Michigan International Speedway. A few notes:
    Derek White is in the #13;
    Jimmy Weller will drive the #15;
    Jeff Green remains in the #19 for TriStar;
    Denny Hamlin is in the JGR #20;
    Alex Bowman will be in the #25;
    CJ Faison returns to the #26;
    A driver has not been announced for the Gibbs #54;
    Jeffrey Earnhardt returns to the #55 for Viva Motorsports;
    Mario Gosselin is back in the #90.(6-8-2015)
    See the complete list on the Michigan entry list page.
  • Cope names Michigan sponsors: Derrike Cope Racing announced primary and associate sponsorship for the upcoming Michigan Xfinity Race on June 13th. Jackson Coffee Company is a well known coffee roaster in the Jackson, Michigan area with 5 stores and supplies coffee to many other restaurants and coffee houses in the immediate area, as well as online coffee orders for home delivery. They have been awarded one of the top ten best coffee houses in the state of Michigan. Jackson Coffee Company is known as an advertising leader in their community, but this is their first debut into NASCAR. Coming on board as an associate sponsor to compliment the “Coffee Car” is Sammi’s Best Healthy Coffee Creamer. Made by Bestlife Int. out of Washington State the Sammi’s Best retail label has pioneered the nutritional beverage industry with milk alternatives, shakes, protein powders, and coffee creamers made with no trans fats and always NON GMO.(Derrike Cope Racing)(6-8-2015)
  • Entry list: There are 26 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park. A few notes:
    Cole Custer is in the #00;
    John Hunter Nemechek takes over for the rest of the season in the #8;
    Austin Theriault is in the #29;
    Matt Tifft is in the #51;
    Timmy Hill is in the #94;
    (6-8-2015)
    UPDATE: Ryan Ellis in the 1, Travis Kvapil in the 50 and Jordan Anderson in the 74 were added;
    UPDATE 2: Tommy Regan is in the 45 in place of BJ McLeod; Adam Edwards added in the #0;
    (6-8-2015)
    See the complete list on the Gateway entry list page.
  • Gattina to announce truck ride: Alabama racer Joey Gattina posted on his Facebook page that he would be announcing his plans to debut in the Camping World Truck Series. “I’ve found my home in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and plan to make our announcement tomorrow after we get everything turned into NASCAR. This could have me in the field for most of the remaining races on the schedule in 2015 … I can’t wait to share the details and get to Gateway for my first event this weekend.” Gattina has experience in the ARCA Racing Series and works as a driving instructor at Talladega Superspeedway through the Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure.(Joey Gattina Facebook)(6-8-2015)
  • Skinner returns to England with familiar truck: Former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) champion Mike Skinner will return to the Goodwood Festival of Speed for the fifth time in his career. Looking to improve the record he set in 2014, Skinner will return with a Toyota Tundra truck that has previously competed in the NCWTS. Skinner and business partner Andrew Franzone will return to the Goodwood Festival of Speed with two trucks, both carrying the #5 that represented so much success throughout Skinner’s NCWTS career. The partners will have one truck with the historic #5 Toyota Tundra paint scheme that Skinner raced in the NCWTS from 2005-2008. After Skinner used the truck in 2014 to break the record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the team will return with the same truck this year. This time, Franzone will use the historic No. 5 in an exhibition run. A second truck donning the No. 5 number will showcase partnerships with Textron Aviation, Cessna, Beechcraft, Remington, Venus Over Manhattan, Sentinel, Maui Jim, Justin Boots, Charlie 1 Horse Hat Company, C&R Racing and Racecar Solutions. Additionally, a special decal for Hope For The Warriors will showcase the charitable organization that both Skinner and Franzone support. Prepared by Skinner and his two sons, Jamie and Dustin, the truck was purchased from Bill Davis and was originally driven by Johnny Benson during his 2008 NCWTS championship run. In 2014, Skinner broke the record for a NASCAR-style stock car to win the Early Rally Cars division at the iconic Goodwood Festival of Speed. Driving the 10th Toyota Tundra racecar ever built, Skinner paced the eight-car race against the clock to shatter the record formerly held by Rusty Wallace, and to complete the 1.16-mile hill climb in just 50.75-seconds. Hosted by Lord March at the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, England, the 23rd annual event will feature every kind of car imaginable from the 1800s through today and will attract some of the most accomplished drivers in motorsports. From the NASCAR garage, this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed will also feature competition-used NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars from Richard Childress Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing, as well as show cars from Sprint Cup Series team Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR XFINITY Series team JR Motorsports. Additionally, Richard Petty, “The King”, will showcase the famous Plymouth Superbird. This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed will take place June 25-28, 2015.(A2B Strategies)(6-8-2015)


    News from June 7, 2015


  • Truex, Jr. wins at Pocono: #78-Martin Truex, Jr. won the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 1st win of the season, 1st win at Pocono and 3rd career win. It is his first win since Sonoma in 2013.
    #4-Harvick finished 2nd, his 10th top 2 finish of the season. #48-Johnson was 3rd followed by #22-Logano, pole sitter #41-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #1-McMurray, #42-Larson, #18-Busch, and #11-Hamlin.
    Harvick maintains the drivers points lead with 559, 39 points over #78-Truex, Jr.
    There were 12 lead changes among 6 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 134.266mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
    (6-7-2015)
  • Race Fast Facts – Pocono:
    Martin Truex Jr. won the 34th Annual Axalta We Paint Winners 400, his third victory in 347 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2015. With the victory, Truex ends a 69-race winless drought.
    This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 19 races at Pocono Raceway. His previous best Pocono finish was third (twice).
    Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 29 races at Pocono Raceway. It is his 13th top-10 finish in 2015.
    Jimmie Johnson (third) posted his 18th top-10 finish in 27 races at Pocono Raceway.
    Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 39 points over Martin Truex Jr.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(6-7-2015)
  • 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup CHASE Standings:
    [after Pocono, race 14 of 36]
    (by wins, then by points standings)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 481, -78 (3rd in driver points)
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick [2 wins], 559 (1st)
    3) #78-Martin Truex Jr. [1 win], 5202, -39 (2nd)
    4) #22-Joey Logano [1 win], 480, -79 (4th)
    5) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [1 win], 465, -94 (5th)
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski [1 win], 441, -118 (6th)
    7) #20-Matt Kenseth [1 win], 415, -144 (9th)
    8) #41-Kurt Busch [1 win], 379, -180 (12th)
    9) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win], 379, -180 (13th)
    10) #19-Carl Edwards [1 win], 368, -191 (16th)
    [would be in the Chase via points standings]
    11) #1-Jamie McMurray, 427, -132 (7th in driver points)
    12) #5-Kasey Kahne, 417, -142 (8th)
    13) #24-Jeff Gordon, 411, -148 (10th)
    14) #27-Paul Menard, 385, -174 (11th)
    15) #43-Aric Almirola, 379, -180 (14th)
    16) #31-Ryan Newman, 374, -185 (15th)
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc)
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    (6-7-2015)
  • Pocono Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
    #34-Brett Moffitt, finished 30th, 11 rookie points
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto, finished 32nd, 10 rookie points
    #26-Jeb Burton, finished 33rd, 9 rookie point
    #33-Alex Kennedy, did not race
    #66-Tanner Berryhill, did not race
    See the 2015 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(6-7-2015)

  • Danica not under consideration for F1 ride: The American Haas team have effectively ruled out signing US female racer Danica Patrick for their debut Formula 1 season next year. Patrick, 33, has been linked with the team, who are building up to an entry in 2016. But team principal Gunther Steiner said Patrick, who has won an IndyCar race, was “happy” racing in the American NASCAR stock-car racing series. “This would be a gamble and I don’t know if she is ready,” Steiner said. Patrick would in any case not meet the qualifying criteria to earn an F1 driver’s ‘super licence’. Haas are basing their new programme on a technical partnership with Ferrari, from whom they are buying as many parts as is allowed under the F1 regulations. The only parts of the car they have to design themselves are the monocoque and the aerodynamic surfaces. Haas said the team were looking at “a number” of drivers but refused to be drawn on their identity. Among the names linked to the team are former F1 racers Esteban Gutierrez and Jean-Eric Vergne, who are Ferrari’s reserve and development drivers this season after failing to find a race seat.(BBC)(6-7-2015)

  • NASCAR Named “National Treasure”: NASCAR has been named one of the United States’ “National Treasures” by PARADE magazine and will be featured in the widely distributed print edition this Sunday. PARADE’s ongoing series highlights “uniquely American people, places and things that make us very, very happy,” and so has also recognized the Declaration of Independence, the Hollywood sign, Stevie Wonder and potato chips among other “National Treasures.” The NASCAR distinction is supported by Sprint Cup driver Danica Patrick, who describes the sport as “totally American – NASCAR’s roots are true.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(6-7-2015)

  • Pocono Raceway – Notes & Facts – Sunday – race:
    · There have been 74 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway, one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since.
    · 2012 marked the first season the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono were scheduled for 400 miles. Prior to 2012 all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races were 500 miles at Pocono Raceway.
    · Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Pocono in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 17: Jeff Gordon (six), Tim Richmond (three), Jimmie Johnson (three), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two), Kasey Kahne (one), Geoff Bodine (one) and Terry Labonte (one) – including the last four consecutively.
    · Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Pocono; led by Chevrolet with 30 victories; followed by Ford with 21 and Toyota has three.
    · 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 have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish 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 74 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the event on 8/5/2012. (NASCAR)(6-7-2015)

  • Anthony Kumpen to run 3 NXS races: Reigning NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Anthony Kumpen announced an extensive racing program in the United States that will involve one NASCAR K&N Pro Series race and three NASCAR XFINITY Series races, beginning in July, as part of the Nexteer Road To Daytona program. The first race in Kumpen’s American NASCAR program will be July 17 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and will include the following NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR XFINITY Series races:
    July 17 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series – East Granite State 70 at New Hampshire
    August 1 – NASCAR XFINITY Series – US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway
    November 14 – NASCAR XFINITY Series – at Phoenix International Raceway
    November 21 – NASCAR XFINITY Series – Ford Ecoboost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
    The campaign will be part of the Nexteer Road To Daytona program – the path designed by Nexteer and NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to bring European driver to race in NASCAR in the United States. Kumpen will also be sponsored by Leaseplan, EL System and Keupers.(NASCAR Home Tracks) what team he will drive for was not announced.(6-7-2015)
  • Pocono to host poker tournament in July: Pocono Raceway announced the Fourth Annual Pocono Poker Tournament, benefitting The NASCAR Foundation and the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, will be held at Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, PA, on Thursday, July 30. The event, taking place prior to the July 31-August 2 Pennsylvania 400 race weekend, will feature NASCAR drivers and celebrities, among them Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and race fans. A limited number of playing spots are available. Fans can choose from four donation options: A $250 donation offers a pre-tournament, VIP meet-and-greet with drivers and celebrities on hand as well as entry to participate in the Poker Tournament; a $150 donation offers entry into pre-event VIP reception and attendance at the event as a spectator; a $100 donation reserves a seat in the poker tournament; and a $50 donation allows for fans to attend the event as spectators. The top-finishing fan will receive a choice between two exciting prizes – a VIP Race Experience at Pocono Raceway or a VIP Stay and Play Experience at Mohegan Sun. To register for the Pocono Poker Tournament, fans can visit NASCARfoundation.org.(Pocono Raceway)(6-7-2015)


    News from June 6, 2015


  • Bayne wins ARCA race at Pocono: Trevor Bayne, driver of the #22 AdvoCare Ford Fusion for Cunningham Motorsports, led 42 laps en route to his first career ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards victory at Pocono Raceway on Saturday afternoon. “I’m so excited to get AdvoCare to Victory Lane,” said Bayne after the race. “I want to thank everyone at Cunningham Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing for helping make this happen. This AdvoCare Ford was so strong all race long and I’m very, very happy that we were able to get the checkered flag here in Pocono.” Bayne took the green flag from pole position for the 80-lap event at Pocono Raceway but didn’t take the lead for the first time until the eighth lap of the race, where he proceeded to drive away from the field. Bayne would maintain the race lead until he and crew chief Paul Andrews decided to come to pit road during a Lap 17 caution period for fuel only. Restarting in 11th on Lap 21, the Knoxville, Tenn. native only needed two laps to rejoin the top-five and 14 laps to retake the race lead. Bayne would not give up the race lead again except for during two visits to pit road and would ultimately go on to earn his first career ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards victory in his first career start in the series.(Roush Fenway Racing)(6-6-2015)
  • Final practice for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over after 55 minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes.
    #4-Harvick 175.764
    #42-Larson 175.292
    #5-Kahne 174.914
    #19-Edwawrds 174.897
    #41-Busch 174.829
    slowest: 23-Yeley 169.074 & #32-Kvapil 168.770.
    most laps run: #41-Busch, 29 laps.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Practice 3 Speeds page (pdf).(6-6-2015)
  • First Saturday practice for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over after 55 minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes.
    #4-Harvick 175.658
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 175.596
    #19-Edwards 175.593
    #78-Truex, Jr. 175.493
    #11-Hamlin 175.418
    slowest: #32-Kvapil 168.884 & #62-Gaughan 167.560.
    most laps run: #6-Byane, 31 laps.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(6-6-2015)

  • Childers signs contract extension with Stewart-Haas UPDATE: Stewart-Haas Racing has signed crew chief Rodney Childers to a multiyear contract extension, maintaining the successful pairing with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick. In his inaugural season as crew chief for Harvick and the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team in 2014, Childers oversaw an outfit that won five races, scored eight poles and led 2,137 laps en route to the championship. The Childers-led squad became only the third Sprint Cup team to lead more than 2,000 laps in a single year since 2000, and of the 24 track qualifying records set during the 2014 season, the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team accounted for six of them. No other team had more than four. Childers and Harvick haven’t let up in 2015. They have a commanding lead in the championship point standings 13 races into the season thanks to two wins, nine top-two finishes and 12 top-10 finishes. They’ve also led 1,123 laps this season, or 25.99 percent of the laps available. The next closest driver in laps led this season is Harvick’s SHR teammate Kurt Busch, who has led 659 laps in his #41 Haas Automation Chevy SS. Childers is a native North Carolinian who turns 39 on June 7.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(6-5-2015)
    UPDATE: The deal will keep Childers paired with reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick on the #4 Chevrolet team for the indefinite future. Stewart-Haas didn’t disclose the terms of the contract in announcing the deal Friday; asked how long the extension will keep him in the SHR fold, Childers simply smiled and said: “It’s a long time.”
    “I said this last year, but Kevin’s the last guy I’m ever going to crew chief for, so signing something for a long time doesn’t scare me,” Childers said Friday morning in the Pocono Raceway garage. “I think there’s always going to come a time in somebody’s life when they decide not to crew chief, and I feel like Stewart-Haas would do whatever they wanted to do if I got to that point to help me move into a different role or something like that. To be there and have that security and all that stuff is a good feeling for sure.”
    Childers said he had another extension in place on his current contract that would have kept him with Stewart-Haas Racing through the end of 2016, but said that the two sides agreed to start from scratch on a new deal. He said he and the team negotiated for “a couple of weeks” on the all-new contract and that talks went smoothly.(NASCAR.com)(6-6-2015)

  • Ty Dillon to run another full season in XFINITY Series UPDATES: In preparation for an eventual move to full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing, Ty Dillon will increase his presence in NASCAR’s top series next year, pending sponsorship. Dillon will spend another year running for the XFINITY Series championship in 2016. He currently is second in the series standings behind leader Chris Buescher. “We’re kind of working on it now,” said Richard Childress, Dillon’s grandfather and team owner. “It sort of depends on the sponsorship and all, but we want to get him set up for the XFINITY Series next year, and if we can get him going in the Cup [Series], that’s kind of our plan.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-25-2015)
    UPDATE: Ty Dillon will be back behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car this weekend at Pocono Raceway, driving the Joe Falk-owned #33 Chevy with sponsor Yuengling on board. However, there has been talk in the garage of the 23-year-old driver wanting to go full-time Sprint Cup Series racing in 2016. On Tuesday’s edition of SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Tradin’ Paint,” Dillon set the record straight and said that is in fact the plan for next year, but there is still a lot of work to be done in order for it to happen. “I don’t know if we can fully commit to say anything,” Dillon told host Jim Noble. “We don’t have anything in concrete, and that’s the way the sport goes. I think we have full intentions — I know I do and my grandfather both sat down talking of full intentions of doing both full-time series and running for the points in the Sprint Cup Series. That’s all in due time and that’s what we’re working toward right now.” The younger Dillon brother admitted that could be “off in the future and sponsor-pending.” “I know I can get in the Cup Series next year do a good job and run for the rookie of the year. We have to continue to work hard and wait for opportunities to come up,” he said. There are a variety of options at Dillon’s disposal in the Sprint Cup Series. Richard Childress Racing is currently a three-car team with Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard. Ty Dillon and fellow RCR driver Brian Scott often compete in Falk’s #33 Chevry, and Brendan Gaughan — RCR’s third XFINITY Series driver — often runs Sprint Cup entries for team owner Jay Robinson. In addition, RCR has a close technical alliance with Furniture Row Racing. The long-time single-car team recently told FOXSports.com it is open to the idea of fielding a second car, if sponsorship were to work out.(FoxSports)(6-2-2015)
    UPDATE: Friday, Ty Dillon was asked about current plans for next season:
    HAS ANYTHING PROGRESSED IN THE DISCUSSIONS ABOUT NEXT SEASON AND THE CUP SERIES? IS THERE ANYTHING MORE CONCRETE ALONG THOSE LINES?
    “No, nothing real concrete. We had talks, actually starting last year that going into this year we were going to start searching for an opportunity for me to run full-time in the Sprint Cup Series, like my brother, after his second year in the XFINITY Series. But it’s a slow process. We’re doing a lot of different things and working with a lot of different people. It’s not really our main focus. It’s kind of on the back burner at this point. But, if we could get something nailed down early, it would only help our effort for next year. But right now, my main focus as a driver is getting experience. When I do get to run the Sprint Cup Series this year, if something were to happen for next year; and also, getting experience so I can go win the XFINITY championship this year.”
    IF IT WERE TO HAPPEN, WOULD IT NECESSARILY HAVE TO BE WITH THE RCR TEAM, OR COULD IT PERHAPS BE WITH AN RCR-AFFILIATED TEAM? “The plan is to be with RCR. And that’s definitely what I want to do and my grandfather (Richard Childress), so we’re working 100 percent. There might be options later down the road, but right now we’re 100 percent focused on getting sponsorship for full-time for RCR.”(Team Chevy Racing)(6-6-2015)

  • Pocono will fix bumps in turn 2 before next race: NASCAR drivers were greeted Friday by a challenging new wrinkle to an already treacherous turn at Pocono Raceway. A wrinkle, a bump — or even a motorcycle jump, depending on whom you ask. The 2.5-mile speedway’s second corner — otherwise known as the “tunnel turn” for the location of the track’s infield entry lanes — provided rough terrain during opening Sprint Cup Series practice, spawning mixed reviews from drivers and a promise from track president Brandon Igdalsky to find a remedy before the circuit returns Aug. 2. “Those bumps have been there since we did the repave,” Igdalsky told reporters Friday afternoon. “The first year, they weren’t there. The second year, they were there. Last year, they were a little bigger. It’s just been gradual, and the winter this year — these guys will tell you, living in Pennsylvania, the roads this year just got disintegrated. Everything just got beat up so bad because it was so cold. And it’s basically two back-to-back years of awful winters, and they’re taking their toll. A road is not any different than a race track at the end of the day. When the ground gets frozen, it does bad, bad things.” Because NASCAR returns to Pocono for opening-day practice July 31, the turnaround time for a track renovation project is tight but doable, Igdalsky said. After the visit by the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series, Indy cars race here three weeks later. “We’re going to try to get something done before the next race,” Igdalsky said. “If it’s as bad for these guys, it’s going to be worse for the Indy cars. So we’ve got to look at them, too. Those races being so close, we’re not going to have time between those two races to get it done. We have a really busy track schedule. We’ve got cars out there just about every day, so it’s just a matter of finding enough days to do something, get the track cleared, do something and then make it work.”(NASCAR.com)(6-6-2015)

  • Gordon commits $100,000 to Childhood Cancer Research in September: In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon has personally committed to matching all funds raised — up to $100,000 — through JGCF Kick-It events held during the month of September. Kick-It, a program and partner of the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, is a national volunteer driven effort focused solely on raising money for children’s cancer research through kick-ball games and peer-to-peer fundraising events. Participants use their network to raise funds and events have been held in schools, stadiums, backyards and parks all over the country and as far away as Australia. Kick-It is committed to directing every possible dollar to research. To locate or organize an event in your community, visit www.kick-it.org/jeffgordon. Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation will host the 3nd Annual Charlotte Kicks-It kickball tournament at CMC-NorthEast Stadium, home of the Kannapolis Intimidators, on Sunday September 13th from 3:00-8:00pm. Lowe’s, dedicated to improving the communities they serve, will be supporting the event as a Field Sponsor. Proceeds raised will benefit childhood cancer research at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC.(Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation)(6-6-2015)

  • Pocono Raceway – Notes & Facts – Saturday – drivers:
    · 322 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway; 229 in more than one.
    · Ricky Rudd leads the series in starts at Pocono with 55. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 44 starts.
    · 32 different drivers have won at Pocono Raceway, led by Jeff Gordon with six wins.
    · Seven 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).
    · Three of the seven drivers to win consecutive races at Pocono are active: Jimmie Johnson (2004 sweep); Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep and 2009 fall and 2010 spring races); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014 sweep).
    · Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Pocono with seven; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six.
    · Mark Martin leads the series in top-five finishes at Pocono with 20; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19.
    · Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Pocono with 34; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 31.
    · Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Pocono with a 6.556.
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Pocono with a 9.864.
    · Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards are the only two active drivers to win at Pocono in their first appearances.
    · Matt Kenseth leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono without visiting Victory Lane at 30; followed by Kevin Harvick with 28.
    · Kyle Larson (8/03/2014) and Casey Mears (8/1/2004) posted their 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 1,037 laps led in 44 starts.
    · Two female drivers have competed at Pocono Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick. Patrick’s average finish in four starts at Pocono is 32.750.
    (NASCAR)(6-6-2015)
  • Free Climber Kevin Jorgeson named grand marshal at Sonoma: Sonoma County native Kevin Jorgeson, who captured the world’s attention with his free climb of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park earlier this year, has been named Grand Marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Sonoma Raceway. Jorgeson, a Santa Rosa resident, and his climbing partner Tommy Caldwell accomplished the first-ever free climb of El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in Yosemite, completing the 3,000-foot ascent after 19 days on the wall and six years of preparation. The duo scaled what is widely considered the most difficult rock climb in the world, using only their hands and feet, utilizing ropes and gear only to stop a fall. Jorgeson will be honored on Friday, June 26, at the Children’s Champions Grand Marshal’s Banquet at beautiful Cline Cellars in Sonoma. The gala is a fundraiser for the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. He will also take part in pre-race activities on Sunday, June 28, and participate in the official command of, “Drivers, Start Your Engines.”(Sonoma Raceway)(6-6-2015)
  • DAYTONA Rising June update: After several busy months of construction related to its $400 million DAYTONA Rising project, Daytona International Speedway is now shifting gears to prepare for the upcoming Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Fans attending the event will have an opportunity to preview some of the new amenities being created by historic renovation project. Approximately 40,000 new seats will be available near the west end of the Speedway along with 10,000 seats near the east end. Fans can also access new concessions and restrooms, escalators and vertical transportation options and several new “neighborhood” areas. Construction will accelerate again following the Coke Zero 400 Powered By Coca-Cola. Upcoming race-ready activities: Final installation of elevators and escalators; Completion of east end seating areas; Installation of temporary infrastructure.(DIS)(6-6-2015)


    News from June 5, 2015


  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway have been made.
    Pole sitter #41-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #19-Edwards took the 43rd and final pit stall.
    #78-Truex, Jr., who starts 3rd took the 2nd pit stall.
    #4-Harvick, who was penalized after Charlotte, qualified 5th but had to pick last. He took the 13th pit stall, between #10-Patrick & #16-Biffle.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(6-5-2015)
  • Kurt Busch wins Pocono pole: #41-Kurt Busch won the Coors Light pole for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway with speed of 177.599mph for his 3rd pole of 2015, 2nd at Pocono and 19th of his career.
    #19-Edwards is on the outside pole followed by #78-Truex, Jr., #24-Gordon, #4-Harvick, #3-Dillon, #2-Keselowski, #11-Hamlin, #48-Johnson, and #18-Busch.
    #11-Hamlin spun with less than a minute remaining in the final qualifying session and only 7 drivers completed a full lap.
    With only 43 cars entered, everyone made the race.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying results round-by-round, qualifying order and more on Jayski.com’s Pocono Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(6-5-2015)
  • Qualifying Fast Facts – Pocono:
    Kurt Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 34th Annual Axalta We Paint Winners 400 with a lap of 50.676 seconds, 177.599 mph.
    This is his 19th pole in 518 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third pole and seventh top-10 start in 2015. This matches the second-highest pole total of his career. He also had three poles in 2011. His highest total was six in 2006.
    This is his second pole in 28 races at Pocono Raceway. His last Pocono pole came in June of 2011, when he finished second.
    Carl Edwards (second) posted his eighth top-10 start of 2015 and his ninth in 21 races at Pocono Raceway.
    Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his third top-10 start at Pocono Raceway. It is his eighth in 14 races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(6-5-2015)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #4-Harvick 177.708
    #11-Hamlin 177.676
    #48-Johnson 177.385
    #18-Busch 177.193
    #3-ADillon 176.803
    the rest of the top 12: 22 78 19 24 41 5 2;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 31 1 42 27 17 13 20 88 55 10 15 9.
    (6-5-2015)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #4-Harvick 177.539
    #18-Busch 177.452
    #24-Gordon 177.427
    #19-Edwards 176.988
    #11-Hamlin 176.946
    the rest of the top 24: 3 78 31 48 13 22 5 88 1 27 41 2 42 10 55 20 17 9 15;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 43 47 16 14 33 51 46 40 6 7 38 34 23 98 35 26 83 32 62.
    Drivers who will miss the race: None.
    (6-5-2015)
  • Qualifying Order for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted. 43 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #83-DiBenedetto.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #18-Busch.
    Qualifying order is set by a random draw, held about an hour before the first practice.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Pocono Qualifying Page.(6-5-2015)
  • Friday practice for the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over after 85 minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes.
    #4-Harvick 176.932
    #18-Busch 176.772
    #19-Edwards 176.717
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 176.564
    #3-ADillon 176.561
    slowest: #23-Yeley 168.565 and #62-Gaughan 164.357.
    most laps run: #6-Bayne, 21 laps.
    notes: #14-Stewart spun off turn 2 and hit the inside wall. He will go to a backup car. #9-Hornish, Jr. spun but did not hit anything.
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(6-5-2015)

  • Childers signs contract extension with Stewart-Haas: Stewart-Haas Racing has signed crew chief Rodney Childers to a multiyear contract extension, maintaining the successful pairing with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick. In his inaugural season as crew chief for Harvick and the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team in 2014, Childers oversaw an outfit that won five races, scored eight poles and led 2,137 laps en route to the championship. The Childers-led squad became only the third Sprint Cup team to lead more than 2,000 laps in a single year since 2000, and of the 24 track qualifying records set during the 2014 season, the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s team accounted for six of them. No other team had more than four. Childers and Harvick haven’t let up in 2015. They have a commanding lead in the championship point standings 13 races into the season thanks to two wins, nine top-two finishes and 12 top-10 finishes. They’ve also led 1,123 laps this season, or 25.99 percent of the laps available. The next closest driver in laps led this season is Harvick’s SHR teammate Kurt Busch, who has led 659 laps in his #41 Haas Automation Chevy SS. Childers is a native North Carolinian who turns 39 on June 7.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(6-5-2015)

  • Keselowski, Logano to appear in newest “Sharknado”: A third Sharknado movie is releasing in July on Syfy, and NASCAR drivers #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano will be a part of the film. Keselowski watches a mammoth shark fall from the sky in the trailer, which was released Wednesday. The huge cast also includes David Hasselhoff, Jerry Springer, Michelle Beadle, Max Kellerman, Ryan Kerrigan and Chris Jericho. No one is safe, including Abraham Lincoln.(USA Today)(6-5-2015)

  • Sprint Cup Series hits midpoint of regular season: The comforting term “It’s still early” doesn’t really apply anymore – not when discussing opportunities to lock into the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Thirteen down, 13 to go. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season officially reached its midpoint as the checkered flag dropped at Dover to give #48-Jimmie Johnson his series-leading fourth victory of the season. It was a storyline-rich first half…
    ” Nine different drivers have won a race, all but locking up a spot in the Chase.
    ” #4-Kevin Harvick opened the season with five consecutive finishes of second or better. Dating to the end of the 2014 season, Harvick cobbled together a string of eight consecutive top-two finishes, the longest streak since 1975.
    ” Johnson is closing in on a hallowed NASCAR number – 76. That’s Dale Earnhardt’s career win total, which currently is good for seventh on the all-time list. Johnson’s four wins thus far puts his career total at 74.
    ” After a rough 2014, #78-Martin Truex Jr. is in the midst of a career-year. Though still searching for his first victory, Truex is second in the points and is on pace to obliterate his career-high of 19 top-10 finishes. He currently has 12.
    ” Through 13 races, there have been a total of 55,701 green flag passes, the second-highest total through 13 races since the inception of loop data in 2005.
    Each manufacturer – Chevy, Toyota and Ford – has at least two victories.(NASCAR)(6-5-2015)

  • Pit crew change on #14 team: Just a few weeks ago [Pit Talks] reported that the #14 crew was getting a new tire changer in the front. Tire Changer Bryan Jacobson was undergoing shoulder surgery and would be out for a while. Ex EGR changer Chris McMullen was taking over in the front. Well…that didn’t last long. Last week the #14 crew sent McMullen to the back and moved Ryan Mulder to the front. Mulder was pitting on the rear of the #35 car at the beginning of the year. Last we heard, Jonathon Sherman would be changing on the rear of the #35 taking over Mulder’s void.(Pit Talks)(6-5-2015)

  • Pocono Raceway – Notes & Facts – Friday – poles:
    · Buddy Baker won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Pocono in 1974 with a speed of 144.122 mph.
    · 40 drivers have posted Coors Light poles at Pocono, led by Bill Elliott and Ken Schrader with five each; Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin lead all active drivers with three each.
    · 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.
    · Two active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Pocono: Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep) and Joey Logano (fall 2011 and spring 2012).
    · 15 of the 74 (20.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Jimmie Johnson (June, 2013).
    · The Coors Light pole position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Pocono Raceway.
    · 24 of the 74 (32.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the front row: 15 from the pole and nine from second-place.
    · 52 of the 74 (70.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Five of the 73 (6.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 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 is 29th, by Carl Edwards in the spring of 2005.
    · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway five times; most recently the spring of 2013.
    (NASCAR)(6-5-2015)
  • Sad News – Jabe Thomas: Cerry Ezra (Jabe) Thomas born May 12, 1930 went home to be with the Lord , Thursday June 4, 2015. Thomas had a longstanding career in racing beginning in mid-1950’s on the dirt tracks in Virginia. Driving a Ford Coupe, he was the 1958 track Champion at the dirt track at Radford Speedway, in Radford Virginia (now Motor Mile). In 1965, at the age of 35, Thomas started his racing NASCAR’s Grand National Series, which later became known as the Winston Cup [and Sprint Cup] Series, in an ex Holman Moody 1964 Ford, making 322 starts with 77 top ten finishes in his career. Usually Thomas partnered with Roanoke Virginia’s Don Robertson (Star City Body Shop) with crew chief Jimmy Cox preparing the cars. On October 17, 2010 Jabe was inducted into the Memory Lane Racers Reunion Hall Of Fame in Mooresville, NC, along with Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison, Rex White, Louise Smith, Earl Brooks and Charlie Glotzbach. Service info on the Sad News Page.(6-5-2015)
  • Dover TV Ratings: NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Dover earned a 1.2 final rating and 1.8 million viewers on FOX last Saturday, marking the series’ lowest rated and least-watched telecast on FOX this season (4 telecasts). The previous lows were a 1.3 and 1.9 million for coverage from Charlotte the previous week.(Sports Media Watch)(6-5-2015)
  • Bit-O-Honey sponsoring Buescher at Daytona: Fresh off last weekend’s win at Dover International Speedway, Roush Fenway Racing has announced that Bit-O-Honey will partner with Chris Buescher at Daytona International Speedway for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 on July 4. Buescher is the current points leader and has earned two victories in the last three weeks. Buescher teamed with Bit-O-Honey earlier this season for a sixth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway. The #60 Bit-O-Honey Mustang raced up front for the majority of the day and was in contention for the win in the closing laps, before crossing the line in sixth. Last season, Bit-O-Honey and Buescher paired up for a 13th-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway. The honey flavored taffy was first manufactured in 1924 and is now produced by Pearson Candy Company in St. Paul, Minn. Pearson Candy Company, founded in 1909, is also known for other classic brands such as the Salted Nut Roll, Mint Patties, Nut Goodie and Bun Bar.(Roush Fenway)(6-5-2015)
  • Crafton wins at Texas: #88-Matt Crafton was able to hold off #51-Daniel Suarez after a restart two laps from the finish to win the WinStar World Casino 400k at the Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night. It was Crafton’s eighth career win and second at Texas. #05-John Wes Townley finished third. He was followed by: #98-Johnny Sauter, #29-Austin Theriault, #8-Joe Nemechek, #13-Cameron Hayley, #54-Justin Boston, #14-Daniel Hemric, and #11-Ben Kennedy.
    There were 5 caution flags for 21 laps and 19 lead changes among 9 leaders.
    #4-Erik Jones started the race from the pole and led 68 laps before being plagued with battery issues. He finished the race 15th.
    Complete results are on the Texas race results page (pdf). (6-5-2015)
  • Texas Race Fast Facts:
    Matt Crafton won the 19th Annual WinStar World Casino & Resort 400, his eighth victory in 345 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his third victory and seventh top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his second victory and 18th top-10 finish in 29 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Daniel Suarez (second) posted his first top-10 finish in one race at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his sixth top-10 finish in 2015. His runner-up finish is his second in a row, and ties his career high.
    John Wes Townley (third) posted his third top-10 finish in seven races at Texas Motor Speedway. The third-place finish is a career best for Townley. His previous best was fourth (Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16, 2014).
    Austin Theriault (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Matt Crafton leads the point standings by 25 points over Tyler Reddick.
    (NASCAR Statistics) (6-5-2015)
  • Driver standings following Texas:
    1) #88-Matt Crafton, 305
    2) #19-Tyler Reddick, 280, -25
    3) #4-Erik Jones #, 273, -32
    4) #98-Johnny Sauter, 257, -48
    5) #05-John Wes Townley, 227, -78
    6) #13-Cameron Hayley, 215, -90
    7) #14-Daniel Hemric #, 211, -94
    8) #23-Spencer Gallagher #, 209, -96
    9) #17-Timothy Peters, 207, -98
    10) #54-Justin Boston#, 205, 100
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(6-5-2015)
  • Owner Standings following Texas: are posted (pdf).(6-5-2015)
  • Jones on pole at Texas: #4-Erik Jones will start from the pole for the WinStar World Casino 400k at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night after running a speed at 181.074mph. #88-Matt Crafton will start second. He was followed by: #51-Daniel Suarez, #98-Johnny Sauter, #29-Austin Theriault, #17-Timothy Peters, #13-Cameron Hayley, #14-Daniel Hemric and #8-Joe Nemechek.
    Fastest in the second round of qualifying was #05-Townley with a speed of 180.548mph.
    #19-Reddick was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 181.117mph..
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(6-5-2015)
  • Texas Qualifying Notes:
    Erik Jones won the 21 means 21 Pole Award for the 19th Annual WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 with a lap of 29.822 seconds, 181.074 mph.
    This is his fourth pole in 24 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his second pole and seventh top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in two races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Matt Crafton (second) posted his fourth top-10 start of 2015 and his 11th in 29 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Daniel Suarez (third) posted his first top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his fourth in six races this season.
    Erik Jones (first) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(6-5-2015)
  • Dillon ready for Eldora return: Ty Dillon is looking forward to getting down and dirty once again. The Xfinity Series driver confirmed Friday that he’ll take part in the Mudsummer Classic Camping World Truck Series race July 22 at Eldora Raceway in Rossburg, Ohio. “I’m excited to go back” Dillon said Friday at Pocono Raceway, where he’ll compete in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race. Dillon will drive the No. 33 truck for Gallagher Motorsports at Eldora. This will be Dillon’s third consecutive run at Eldora, and he hasn’t forgotten what happened to him last year. He had a good chance to win, but was penalized one lap for pitting for fuel too early, relegating him to an eventual fifth-place finish.(NBC Sports))(6-5-2015)
  • Harvick to run truck race: Reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick will enter the Aug. 1 NASCAR Truck series race at Pocono, driving the #00 Chevy for JR Motorsports, the team confirmed Friday to the Observer. Harvick last competed in the series in 2013, when he ran both races at Martinsville Speedway for NTS Motorsports. His most recent win in the series came in 2012 at Martinsville. JRM is fielding the #00 for the first time this season. Rookie Cole Custer is running 10 of the races with a handful of other races run with a variety of drivers.(Charlotte Observer))(6-5-2015)
  • Nemechek may enter second truck: Just because Joe Nemechek is about to hand his keys over to his son in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series doesn’t mean that he is simply going to ride off into the sunset and never be seen again.John Hunter Nemechek will turn 18-years-old next week, making him eligible for every track on the schedule. As a result, the elder Nemechek is suddenly (but willingly) without the competitive part-time ride that has reinvigorated him over the past two seasons. While neither Nemechek has won since joining the Truck Series last season, “Front Row Joe” is adamant that he has had a lot of fun sharing the #8 Chevy with John Hunter. He’s having so much fun, in fact, that he wants to keep racing on the tour and ultimately race side-by-side with his highly-touted teenager. Nemechek says NEMCO Motorsports has the equipment and resources to run a second truck from time-to-time and that the 30-year-veteran hopes to find the funding to keep racing as long as it doesn’t take away from John Hunter. In fact, Nemechek also hopes to enter two or three races with their 18-year-old female development driver, Dominique Van Wieringen, who has been impressive in Super Late Model competition across the Midwest and Deep South.(Popular Speed))(6-5-2015)
  • Pocono to install video screen towers: Pocono Raceway announced two new video screen towers will be installed at the track. Each tower will feature two high-definition quality video screens to provide all fans with new visuals of live action, entertainment, real-time statistics, and fan engagement. The new video towers are being designed, engineered, installed and operated by ANC Sports Enterprises, LLC, a full service technology service provider specializing in designing video display systems. Most recently, ANC designed and integrated the Cleveland Cavaliers scoreboard, which is the largest arena center-hung scoreboard in the country and the Seattle Mariners, the largest high-definition display in Major League Baseball. Pocono Raceway will be the first major NASCAR track to feature ANC’s award-winning technology. The video screens will stand on the top of two new 60′ standalone structures. Each of the four video screens will measure 24.15′ high by 30.45′ wide. Specifically designed for the tricky-triangle, the double-sided displays will stand at either side of pit row, providing fans in the grandstand, club boxes or camping in the infield with a clear view of one of the sides of displays. The new screens will be deployed and operational for the Pennsylvania 400, July 31- August 2.(Pocono Raceway)(6-5-2015)
  • Pocono renews partnership with Lehigh Valley Health Network: Pocono Raceway announced a multi-year extension of their partnership with Lehigh Valley Health Network as the ‘Official Health Care Provider of Pocono Raceway.’ Additionally, as previously announced last week, the 50/50 raffle being hosted at the Raceway during the upcoming Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 race weekend will benefit the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Pocono Raceway will continue to utilize LVHN’s medical staff and resources during their annual NASCAR and INDYCAR Series race weekends. LVHN will continue to provide support with a medical location behind the Grandstand and inside the track at the LVHN Infield Care Center. The 50/50 raffle being held at Pocono Raceway, in conjunction with the Mattioli Foundation, will benefit the Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital. Individuals, over the age of 21, can participate by purchasing a 50/50 ticket from one of the roaming volunteers dressed in bright yellow shirts. A random winner will be announced prior to the end of the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400, but tickets may be purchased anytime during the race weekend.(Pocono Raceway)(6-5-2015)
  • Schwarzenegger to drive pace car at Sonoma: Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will drive a 2016 Toyota Mirai pace car to kick off the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, June 28. Schwarzenegger, whose new film Terminator Genisys from Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions will be released on July 1, will lead the field of 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stock cars around the twists and turns of Sonoma Raceway to kick off the 110-lap feature. He will pilot a 2016 Toyota Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle that emits only water from its exhaust. It will be the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle used as a pace car in Sonoma. As Governor, Schwarzenegger championed and established California’s Hydrogen Highway, the nation’s first network of hydrogen fueling stations. This will mark the first time Schwarzenegger has served as an Official Pace Car Driver at a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. He will also be recognized during pre-race ceremonies and greet each NASCAR driver on stage during driver introductions.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-5-2015)


    News from June 4, 2015


  • Congrats: to #6-Trevor Bayne and wife Ashton. Bayne posted on Instagram that the couple is expecting their first child.(6-4-2015)

  • NASCAR formalizes additional safety rules: NASCAR formalized expanded standards for pit road safety apparel Wednesday, making specially certified gloves, head socks and underwear mandatory for over-the-wall pit crew personnel in all three national series. The move became official through a bulletin added Wednesday to the NASCAR Rule Book. The requirements go into effect beginning with this weekend’s events for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway. NASCAR competition officials had already recommended that teams use the apparel approved by the SFI Foundation, a California-based organization that sets motorsports industry standards for racing equipment. Teams in all three national series were notified May 13 that the recommendations would soon become a rule.(NASCAR.com)(6-4-2015)

  • SEM Products makes 2015 debut on #51: The #51 Chevy’s primary sponsor this weekend at Pocono is SEM Products. Allgaier’s car is painted with SEM Products’ Hot Rod Black for this weekend. Hot Rod Black is the industry leading matte, two-component, single stage black for low gloss accent stripes, hoods or entire vehicles. Justin last ran a SEM paint scheme last year at the Bristol Motor Speedway spring race and drove it to a 17th-place position.(HScott Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #51 team paint schemes page.(6-4-2015)

  • New sponsor on Annett’s Chevy: Sherwin-Williams, the nation’s largest retailer of paint and paint supplies and the “Official Paint of NASCAR,” will adorn Annett’s #46 Chevy this weekend. Annett’s only two starts at Pocono Raceway came last year, in his rookie Cup Series season. He corralled finishes of 20th in the June race and 22nd in August’s event.(HScott Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #46 team paint schemes page.(6-4-2015)

  • Petty to be honored by International Motor Racing Research Center: NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty will be honored by the International Motor Racing Research Center with the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award. The award is for outstanding contributions to motor sports and will be given Aug. 6 at the Corning Museum of Glass. The inaugural award was given last year to NASCAR and IndyCar team owner Chip Ganassi. Long removed from his era as one of the greatest drivers in NASCAR history, the 77-year-old Petty still serves as an ambassador, corporate pitchman and team owner in NASCAR. Argetsinger started the road-racing tradition at nearby Watkins Glen in 1948. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, he brought full international races to the Finger Lakes village a decade later and in 1961 helped lure Formula One to race at Watkins Glen International, a run that lasted two decades.(Associated Press)(6-4-2015)

  • Pocono Raceway – Notes & Facts – Thursday – history:
    · 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.
    (NASCAR)(6-4-2015)
  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on the Pocono Race Info page – Chassis selection area.
  • Crafton fastest in truck final practice: #88-Matt Crafton was fastest in final practice for the WinStar World Casino 400k at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 178.566mph. He was followed by #19-Tyler Reddick, #51-Daniel Suarez, # 98-Johnny Sauter, #4-Erik Jones, #14-Daniel Hemric, #33-Brandon Jones, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #17-Timothy Peters, #05-John Wes Townley. 28 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Texas practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(6-4-2015)
  • Gallagher fastest in truck first practice: #23-Spencer Gallagher was fastest during opening practice at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 178.406mph. #98-Johnny Sauter was second, followed by #19-Tyler Reddick, #4-Erik Jones, #13-Cameron Hayley, #05-John Wes Townley, #29-Austin Theriault, #33-Brandon Jones, #11-Ben Kennedy, #17-Timothy Peters. 24 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Texas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(6-4-2015)
  • Entry list: There are 27 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s WinStar World Casino 400k at Texas Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    The #1 is TBA;
    Austin Theriault is in the #29;
    Timmy Hill is in the #94;
    (5-30-2015)
    UPDATE: Adam Edwards to replace Caleb Roark in the #0; Donnie Neuenberger named driver of the #1; Jordan Anderson added in the #74;
    (6-2-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Michael Affarano has been added in the #03; BJ McLeod has been added in the #45;
    (6-4-2015)
    See the complete list on the Texas entry list page.
  • New pit road rules raise concern, cost for teams: The new NASCAR rule that goes into effect Friday requiring over-the-wall crewmen to wear extensive fireproof clothing comes with concerns about dehydration, mobility and peripheral vision. It likely will cost a multicar organization more than $10,000 to outfit its crew, and it will cost the glove manufacturer possibly $250,000. It will cost the crewmen more than 10 pounds in sweat on hot days. The cost in time on pit road remains a mystery. Not that anyone will complain too much about a rule intended to protect them from fire, but those whom the rule impacts the most certainly have angst, starting with the Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway and the Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Pocono Raceway. NASCAR mandated in mid-May that starting this week, anyone who goes over the wall (including engine tuners and mechanics) must have fireproof underwear, a fireproof head sock that covers the nose and face, and — likely the biggest impact — fireproof gloves. Violating the rule will result in immediate ejection from pit road for the remainder of the race.The gloves cause the most hand-wringing. Teams participate in a contingency award program by glove manufacturer Mechanix Wear, which provides gloves to any team that runs the company’s sticker on the car that also makes the pit crew eligible for a $100,000 prize at the end of the season. In turn, the crewmen must wear the gloves provided by no one other than Mechanix Wear. Mechanix Wear racing director Ted Abdon said that his company, as of Wednesday, had manufactured nearly 1,600 pairs of gloves since NASCAR announced the rule. At $85 at a pair, that comes to $136,000. With approximately $100,000 in now-obsolete inventory and additional cost of continuing to develop new gloves, it likely will cost the company at least $250,000. The fireproof gloves have 2-millimeter thickness in the palms and fingertips, compared to a half-millimeter for nonfireproof gloves.
    Most tire changers wear glasses for protection from flying lugnuts. With the increased clothing comes the possibility of glasses fogging during a pit stop. With cars whizzing by them on pit road, optimizing peripheral vision with the head sock also ranks as a concern along with whether to go with protective eyewear or shields. Teams are looking at helmets with fireproof socks in them or more luge-style helmets than the BMX-type helmets many use. “They’re all afraid of the helmet,” said Tom DeLoach, a truck series team owner and co-owner of a pit road crew training school. “They want to be able to see around the corners. The changer down there likes to see the carrier reaching in at the right moment so he knows when to follow the wheel in. DeLoach’s Red Horse Racing, a three-truck operation, has its own pit crews and it will cost him $300 to $500 individually to outfit each of the crewmen – the six who go over the wall plus any additional mechanics — before possibly buying new helmets. What would really impact DeLoach is if NASCAR begins to require a one-piece firesuit rather than a two-piece. The form-fitting one-piece suits go for $1,200 — a possible $30,000 investment — and often can’t be used from one crew member to the next. DeLoach regularly has crew members who leave for better Cup opportunities, so a one-piece firesuit would come with a significant cost.(ESPN.com)(6-4-2015)
  • Riley’s Brewing Company joins Forrister: Riley’s Brewing Company will join Korbin Forrister on the #08 Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery Chevy Silverado for this Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400k at the Texas Motor Speedway. Riley’s is a Madera, California brewer that creates fine craft beers in small batches with distribution on the West coast.(SS Green Light Racing)(6-4-2015)

  • Cobb visits with NASCAR officials following Dover incident UPDATE 3: NASCAR officials beckoned Camping World Truck Series driver Jennifer Jo Cobb to the infield hauler following an incident in Friday’s Lucas Oil 200 at Dover International Speedway. Cobb was involved in a wreck on Lap 14. It was unclear from TV replays if she made contact with Tyler Reddick or not, but Cobb apparently felt that was the case. On Reddick’s next lap around the one-mile, all-concrete track, Cobb stepped onto the racing surface and appeared to shout at Reddick. NASCAR passed new rules last season that prohibit drivers from stepping onto the racetrack to confront a driver while racing is underway, even under yellow caution situations. The rule change came shortly after Kevin Ward Jr. was killed while walking down on a racetrack when he was struck by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart’s car during a sprint car race in upstate New York last August. Ward appeared as if he wanted to confront Stewart in the belief that Stewart forced Ward to crash into a wall. NASCAR has the option to issue penalties against Cobb for her actions. If that occurs, the penalties would be announced next week, most likely Tuesday or Wednesday.(NBC Sports)(5-29-2015)
    UPDATE: Jennifer Jo Cobb could become the first driver to be penalized under a rule NASCAR revised last year following the Tony Stewart-Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy. Cobb left her wrecked truck Friday on the fronstretch at Dover International Speedway and walked about halfway across the racing surface toward Tyler Reddick’s truck as Reddick and the other trucks drove by on the high line under caution. Reddick was attempting to lap Cobb when her car hooked left and crashed into the inside wall just 13 laps into the Lucas Oil 200. Reddick went on to win the race for his second victory of the season. NASCAR created a new rule six days after Stewart struck and killed 20-year-old Ward, who approached Stewart’s sprint car during an Empire Super Sprints race Aug. 9 at Canandaigua Motorsports Park in New York. The rule is that drivers should remain in wrecked vehicles, unless there are extenuating circumstances such as fire, until safety personnel get to the driver. Also included in the rule is the directive “at no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron.” The rule is considered a “behavioral rule” with any penalties determined on a case-by-case basis. While NASCAR has generally still allowed drivers to leave their vehicles before safety personnel arrive and has allowed them to take a couple of steps to gesture at others while safety personnel watched, Cobb was the first driver to take several steps toward the vehicles running under caution. NASCAR instructed Cobb to meet with series officials after the race Friday. Typically, if NASCAR issues any penalties, they would not be determined until Tuesday.
    “We take safety very serious and discussed it with her. … It’s a serious infraction,” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series director Elton Sawyer said. “She understands what she did, and there will be consequences.”
    Cobb, who owns her truck team and runs it on a $300,000 annual budget (the top teams spend $3-4 million a year), said she has a reputation of giving respect to the lead-lap trucks and had given Reddick plenty of room to pass her. Damage on the right-rear corner of her truck shows that Reddick made contact with her, she said. “I completely forgot [the rule],” Cobb said. “And the fact that I forgot is such a shame because the reason it is in place likely stems from a tragedy that none of us should forget. … It was a huge error in judgment on my part. “The fact that we had a very stern meeting [after the race] will keep it top of mind with me for sure.” Cobb indicated she would be penalized for her reaction. “We’ll see what happens,” Cobb said. “There’s repercussions, and I hope it didn’t make a bad day worse. It wasn’t that I knew and didn’t care. I forgot. In the moment you’re just like, ‘What just happened?’ … I wasn’t thinking about any of that. I was just mad.”
    Reddick said he didn’t believe he had contact with Cobb but, as a former owner of the car he raced on dirt tracks, he can relate to the frustration a driver/owner feels in that situation. “We were lapped traffic early on in the race and Jennifer was trying to pass another vehicle and she looked like she was going to give me three-wide and then she closed the door so I whoa’d up to try and avoid from getting in the back of her,” said Reddick, who drives for Brad Keselowski Racing.(ESPN)(5-30-2015)
    UPDATE 2:Jennifer Jo Cobb, driver of the #10 truck, has received a penalty for her actions during the May 29 race (Sections 12-1, 12.8 b and 10.4.2.1 NASCAR rule book). Cobb has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(6-3-2015)
    UPDATE 3: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Jennifer Jo Cobb won’t appeal a $5,000 penalty and probation for the remainder of the season after walking onto a hot track in last Friday’s Lucas Oil 200 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. “I believe NASCAR has acted in a fair and necessary manner,” Cobb told CATCHFENCE.com. “The irony is that there are no consequences to turning someone head first into a wall. NASCAR is diligent about our safety and that is something I have always appreciated. I hope we can continue to see improvements in rules and policies that best benefit the entire NASCAR community. “We will not appeal and now can fully shift our focus on Friday night’s race at Texas.” Cobb will make her 100th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway.(Catchfence.com)(6-4-2015)
  • Mark Dantonio named grand marshal of Quicken Loans 400: Michigan State University football coach Mark Dantonio will serve as grand marshal of the Quicken Loans 400 on June 14 at Michigan International Speedway. Dantonio will give the command of “Start your engines!” live on Fox Sports 1 when the Quicken Loans 400 gets underway. Dantonio will enter his ninth season at Michigan State this year as one of the most accomplished head coaches in the school’s history, leading a program that has transformed itself into one of the nation’s perennial powers. Under Dantonio’s direction, the Spartans have posted four 11-win seasons in the past five years, a feat accomplished by just two other coaches in Big Ten history (Fielding Yost, Michigan; Jim Tressel, Ohio State). The Spartans also took home a Rose Bowl win in 2014 and a Cotton Bowl win in 2015.(Michigan Speedway)(6-4-2015)
  • U.S. Army Chorus Quartet to sing national anthem at Michigan: The United States Army Chorus Quartet will sing the national anthem prior to the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The U.S. Army Chorus Quartet has performed across the country and at some of the most prestigious locations. The rendition is sure to be an unforgettable performance. The U.S. Army Chorus was established in 1956 and maintained a reputation of excellence in the performance of male choral literature. Currently, the U.S. Army Chorus is one of the only professional male choruses. Beyond the traditional military music and patriotic standards, the U.S. Army Chorus Quartet covers a broad spectrum which includes pop, Broadway, folk, and classical music. The Army Chorus performs frequently at the White House, the Vice President’s Residence, the U.S. Capitol and the State Department. Most of the members of the Army Chorus, hold advanced degrees in music, are selected from among the nation’s finest musicians. In 2016, the group will celebrate its 60th Anniversary to be marked with concerts to include a reunion of past members, many of whom have had successful careers in music education and as soloists on Broadway and opera stages around the world.
    By The Way will perform the national anthem prior to the Great Clips 250 Benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America at Michigan International Speedway. The four teens of Detroit-based By the Way are a classically trained opera singer, a pageant titleholder, a musical theater performer and a singer-songwriter. The diverse styles of Ursula Fuller, Darbi Dombrowski, Marisa Nahas and Frankie Bellisario together create vocal harmonies blending into one beautiful, distinctive sound.(Michigan Speedway)(6-4-2015)


    News from June 3, 2015


  • Harvick’s team penalized: The #4 team has been assessed a P1 level penalty for receiving written warnings in two consecutive events (Section 12.5.3.1b,c NASCAR rule book). The team will receive the last choice in the pit selection process for this weekend’s event at Pocono Raceway. (NASCAR)(6-3-2015)

  • Bayne called to NASCAR hauler after race UPDATES: NASCAR met with #6-Trevor Bayne after Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway because he exited his car before safety crews arrived – the second time a driver violated the rule this weekend. Jennifer Jo Cobb met with Camping World Truck Series officials Friday after taking 12 steps on to the racing surface to gesture toward Tyler Reddick after an accident. Penalties are expected this week. Bayne was involved in an accident with Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier on Sunday that brought out the caution on Lap 176. Bayne exited his car before he was cleared by any safety crew members. “Our on-track incidents, we’ve been very clear on what we expect,” said Richard Buck, Cup series director said. Buck said that officials will continue their conversation with Bayne this week.(NBC Sports)(6-1-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials have already had post-race conversations with drivers Trevor Bayne and Jennifer Jo Cobb. On Tuesday, the sanctioning body likely will react in a more stern fashion. Bayne and Cobb exited their cars prior to the arrival of safety workers during separate races this past weekend at Dover International Speedway, a move forbidden by the sanctioning body except under extenuating emergency conditions. The rule was enacted following the death of 20-year-old Kevin Ward in August of last year during a non-NASCAR sanctioned race in New York. Ward left his car and approached three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and was struck by Stewart’s car. “Certainly what you saw with Trevor and with Jennifer Jo — both drivers were called to the hauler and we’ll look at both of those incidents, like we always do, Tuesday, but for us it’s a safety issue,” Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer for NASCAR, told NASCAR.com on Monday. “We want to keep the race track as safe as possible for the competitors. You’ll likely see us react to that a little bit more on Tuesday.” Such incidents are considered behavioral infractions, and NASCAR officials address each situation individually. Among the penalties NASCAR may employ, if warranted, are probation, fines, suspension of the annual hard card or loss of points. The requirement to remain in one’s vehicle until emergency workers arrive following an accident is reiterated during each driver’s meeting prior to an event, O’Donnell said.(NASCAR.com)(6-1-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 car, has received a penalty for his actions during the May 31 race (Sections 12.1, 12.8 b and 10.4.2.1 in the 2015 NASCAR rule book). Bayne has been fined $20,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(6-3-2015)

  • Jimmie Johnson Foundation on the #48: For the 10th year, Lowe’s has generously donated its space on the #48 Chevy SS to promote the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. This year, the scheme features the programs and activities of the foundation, including the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, the Champions Grant program, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation Wellness Challenge and Team Up For Technology. In addition to the special paint scheme, Johnson will wear the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope this weekend. The helmet is a program that recognizes education-focused charities voted on by fans to receive a $25,000 grant.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #48 team paint schemes page.(6-3-2015)

  • No Cup plans for Bubba Wallace in 2015: Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr., diver of the #6 Ford EcoBoost Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY met with media members last Friday afternoon in Dover, he was about his Sprint Cup Series plans:
    Q) WHAT ARE YOUR CUP PLANS THIS SEASON?
    Wallace: “For me, we are focused on the XFINITY Series right now. No Cup plans or Cup starts this season for me it is being at the race track and watching those guys practice when we are off the track. Right now we are just trying to get our stuff turned around.”(Ford Racing / Campbell Marketing)(6-3-2015)

  • Kvapil in the #32 at Pocono: Heading into Sunday’s Axalta 400, Travis Kvapil will be looking to make his 268th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, and his 16th at the “Tricky Triangle.” The Janesville, WI native will also be making his first start of 2015 with Go Green Racing. Kvapil went to Victory Lane at Pocono Raceway back in 2005 driving for Roger Penske in his first career ARCA start.(Go Green Racing)(6-3-2015)

  • DiBenedetto gets Bristol sponsor: BK Racing has partnered with Cosmo Motors as a primary sponsor on Matt DiBenedetto’s #83 Toyota. Cosmo Motors, a family owned and operated business in Hickory, North Carolina, is well known for their large selection of high end vehicles. From a Dodge Viper to a Tesla, Cosmo Motors provides the best price on pre-owned vehicles. New colors will appear on the #83 Toyota of Matt DiBenedetto as a primary sponsor at Bristol Motor Speedway in late August. In addition, Cosmo Motors will be an associate sponsor for several other races including; Richmond International Raceway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway.(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #83 team paint schemes page.(6-3-2015)

  • Juicy Juice sponsoring Stenhouse at Charlotte: Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will team with Juicy Juice for the Oct. 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with Stenhouse carrying the brand on his #17 Ford Fusion in what has traditionally played out as one of the most exciting events in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. “Growing up there was nothing better than grabbing a Juicy Juice box,” said Stenhouse. “It’s going to be great to have them on our #17 Ford Fusion in Charlotte. It’s a great looking paint scheme. It will look great under the lights and the fans are going to love seeing it on the track.”(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the car on the #17 team paint schemes page.(6-3-2015)
  • Ellis, MAKE promote Moonlight Fund in Texas: Ryan Ellis will be driving the #50 Burnie Grill Chevy Silverado at Texas Motor Speedway. Ellis will be making his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the famed wild asphault circus known as Texas Motor Speedway. The #50 will be representing the Moonlight Fund during the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400. The Moonlight Fund provides 24/7 assistance to burn survivors and their family members, as well as families who have lost a loved one to a burn injury. The Moonlight Fund addresses the financial, emotional and physical needs in the hour of need. The Moonlight Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In attendance with the MAKE Motorsports team on behalf of the Moonlight Fund will be military veteran Hardy Mills IV. Hardy was injured in the battle of Fallujah. He is a highly decorated war hero, including the Purple Heart. The Moonlight Fund stepped in this year to pay for Hardy’s education. Everywhere he turned for help, he was shut down, until he contacted the Moonlight Fund. Hardy lives in the Dallas area with his wife and two children.(MAKE Motorsports)(6-3-2015)
  • Pocono Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that NASCAR Sprint Cup teams have run at Pocono since June 2012 . . . Pocono is the only track on which either of 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 codes, tire pressures, set limits and more on the Pocono Race Info page.(6-3-2015)
  • Gronkowski and family serving as grand marshals at Chicago NXS race: New England Patriots All-Pro tight end and Super Bowl Champion, Rob Gronkowski, will kick off Father’s Day Weekend at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, June 20. Alongside his brothers Gordie Jr., Chris, Dan, Glenn and their father, Gordy Sr., it will be a family affair as Rob and his four brothers serve as co-Grand Marshals and Gordy Sr. serves as the Honorary Starter. Rob will then lead the field of drivers onto the track as the official pace car driver prior to the NASCAR XFINITY Series race under the lights. Gronkowski, 26, recently became the first tight end in NFL history to have four consecutive seasons with 10 or more touchdown receptions, and owns an NFL record for most touchdown receptions by a tight end in a single season with 17 in 2011.(Chicagoland Speedway)(6-3-2015)


    News from June 2, 2015


  • Bayne called to NASCAR hauler after race UPDATES: NASCAR met with #6-Trevor Bayne after Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway because he exited his car before safety crews arrived – the second time a driver violated the rule this weekend. Jennifer Jo Cobb met with Camping World Truck Series officials Friday after taking 12 steps on to the racing surface to gesture toward Tyler Reddick after an accident. Penalties are expected this week. Bayne was involved in an accident with Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier on Sunday that brought out the caution on Lap 176. Bayne exited his car before he was cleared by any safety crew members. “Our on-track incidents, we’ve been very clear on what we expect,” said Richard Buck, Cup series director said. Buck said that officials will continue their conversation with Bayne this week.(NBC Sports)(6-1-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials have already had post-race conversations with drivers Trevor Bayne and Jennifer Jo Cobb. On Tuesday, the sanctioning body likely will react in a more stern fashion. Bayne and Cobb exited their cars prior to the arrival of safety workers during separate races this past weekend at Dover International Speedway, a move forbidden by the sanctioning body except under extenuating emergency conditions. The rule was enacted following the death of 20-year-old Kevin Ward in August of last year during a non-NASCAR sanctioned race in New York. Ward left his car and approached three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and was struck by Stewart’s car. “Certainly what you saw with Trevor and with Jennifer Jo — both drivers were called to the hauler and we’ll look at both of those incidents, like we always do, Tuesday, but for us it’s a safety issue,” Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer for NASCAR, told NASCAR.com on Monday. “We want to keep the race track as safe as possible for the competitors. You’ll likely see us react to that a little bit more on Tuesday.” Such incidents are considered behavioral infractions, and NASCAR officials address each situation individually. Among the penalties NASCAR may employ, if warranted, are probation, fines, suspension of the annual hard card or loss of points. The requirement to remain in one’s vehicle until emergency workers arrive following an accident is reiterated during each driver’s meeting prior to an event, O’Donnell said.(NASCAR.com)(6-1-2015)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR did not release any penalties on Tuesday. They are now expected to be announced on Wednesday.(6-2-2015)

  • Ty Dillon to run another full season in XFINITY Series UPDATE: In preparation for an eventual move to full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing, Ty Dillon will increase his presence in NASCAR’s top series next year, pending sponsorship. Dillon will spend another year running for the XFINITY Series championship in 2016. He currently is second in the series standings behind leader Chris Buescher. “We’re kind of working on it now,” said Richard Childress, Dillon’s grandfather and team owner. “It sort of depends on the sponsorship and all, but we want to get him set up for the XFINITY Series next year, and if we can get him going in the Cup [Series], that’s kind of our plan.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(5-25-2015)
    UPDATE: Ty Dillon will be back behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car this weekend at Pocono Raceway, driving the Joe Falk-owned #33 Chevy with sponsor Yuengling on board. However, there has been talk in the garage of the 23-year-old driver wanting to go full-time Sprint Cup Series racing in 2016. On Tuesday’s edition of SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Tradin’ Paint,” Dillon set the record straight and said that is in fact the plan for next year, but there is still a lot of work to be done in order for it to happen. “I don’t know if we can fully commit to say anything,” Dillon told host Jim Noble. “We don’t have anything in concrete, and that’s the way the sport goes. I think we have full intentions — I know I do and my grandfather both sat down talking of full intentions of doing both full-time series and running for the points in the Sprint Cup Series. That’s all in due time and that’s what we’re working toward right now.” The younger Dillon brother admitted that could be “off in the future and sponsor-pending.” “I know I can get in the Cup Series next year do a good job and run for the rookie of the year. We have to continue to work hard and wait for opportunities to come up,” he said. There are a variety of options at Dillon’s disposal in the Sprint Cup Series. Richard Childress Racing is currently a three-car team with Austin Dillon, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard. Ty Dillon and fellow RCR driver Brian Scott often compete in Falk’s #33 Chevry, and Brendan Gaughan — RCR’s third XFINITY Series driver — often runs Sprint Cup entries for team owner Jay Robinson. In addition, RCR has a close technical alliance with Furniture Row Racing. The long-time single-car team recently told FOXSports.com it is open to the idea of fielding a second car, if sponsorship were to work out.(FoxSports)(6-2-2015)

  • NASCAR monitoring fuel cooling: NASCAR is looking at monitoring the cooling of fuel after #41-Kurt Busch’s team was asked to remove heat shields from its fuel during Sunday’s race. “That’s something we continue to look at, and with the heat in Dover, it was unbelievably hot, but that’s something we have to continue to monitor anytime we’re dealing with fuel,” [NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve] O’Donnell said. “You know we’ve had some incidents on pit road where we’ve taken some reactive measures from a safety standpoint. We’ll sit down (Tuesday) and walk through that and look at the upcoming schedule and see what may or may not be happening on pit road as we go forward.”(NBC Sports)(6-1-2015)

  • Testing at Darlington next week; fans welcome: Fans who want to experience the sights and sounds of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series roaring around Darlington Raceway before the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Labor Day weekend might want to pay a visit to the famed South Carolina track on Wednesday, June 10. On that day, Darlington Raceway is hosting an open NASCAR test session from 9:00am-5:00pm. The test is free and open to the public, giving fans the opportunity to see NASCAR’s stars race around the high banks of the track Too Tough To Tame. Ten NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race teams are scheduled to participate in the test session. Drivers currently scheduled to take part are #43-Aric Almirola, #16-Greg Biffle, #15-Clint Bowyer, #41-Kurt Busch, #18-Kyle Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #22-Joey Logano, #1-Jamie McMurray, #31-Ryan Newman and #78-Martin Truex Jr. Darlington Raceway will open two sections of the Colvin Grandstands, on the backstretch of the track, for fans to watch the test throughout the day. Fans need to use the Gate 3 entrance to the track off of Highway 151. The parking lot is located next to the track’s administration building.(Darlington Raceway)(6-2-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Pocono:
    #11-Denny Hamlin 108.3
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 106.9
    #41-Kurt Busch 105.9
    #24-Jeff Gordon 103.5
    #14-Tony Stewart 97.6
    #42-Kyle Larson 95.7
    #31-Ryan Newman 95.4
    #99-Carl Edwards 94.2
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 92.6
    #5-Kasey Kahne 92.1
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (20 total) among active drivers at Pocno Raceway.
    Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
    See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)
  • Buescher, Wallace still cooling off: So how did Monday’s Xfinity team meeting go at Roush Fenway Racing two days after #60-Chris Buescher made contact with teammate #6-Darrell Wallace Jr., costing Wallace a chance for the win at Dover? “We’ve got to cool down a little bit,” Buescher said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “Tradin Paint.” Wallace led when he and Buescher made contact, sending Wallace up the track and Buescher into the lead with 10 laps to go. The contact damaged Wallace’s car and gave it a flat tire. Wallace finished 17th, three laps behind the leaders. The contact also cost Wallace a chance at the $100,000 bonus in the Dash 4 Cash program. He was one of four eligible drivers vying for the money at Dover. After exiting his car, Wallace described what happened with Buescher: “Got run over. I would say I’m happy Roush won, but I’m not.” Buescher, the Xfinity points leader, was asked on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio if Monday’s meeting was awkward. “I don’t know if awkward is the word, but, obviously, not as smooth as we wanted it to go,” Buescher said. “When you come down to the end and you have two cars with the same organization with a chance to win a race and both on similar strategies, it gets a little rough sometimes. Not ideal. I hate it went the way it did.” Asked how he would asses his relationship with Wallace after Saturday’s race, Buescher said: “I’ve tried to express my view on the situation. It’s just too soon. We’ve got an off weekend to go relax a little bit and we’ll come back to it and we’ll get it resolved before Michigan. It’s still fresh in everyone’s mind. I think both of us have opinions on what went on, and I don’t think we agree completely with the situation. We’ll get it figured out. It’s part of racing and part of having as many teammates as we do over at Roush Fenway.”(NBC Sports)(6-2-2015)
  • Jeffrey Earnhardt driving in Europe this weekend: Dale Earnhardt’s grandson Jeffrey Earnhardt will race in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series at Brands Hatch this weekend. Earnhardt currently competes in NASCAR’s second-tier Xfinity Series. “This is my first time racing in England and I’m really excited to have this opportunity,” said Earnhardt. Earnhardt’s appearance follows NASCAR Euro champion Anthony Kumpen’s recent outing in a round of NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series regional championship in America. NASCAR Euro Series chief Jerome Galpin added: “The Earnhardt family is one of the most famous in motorsport and it demonstrates, once again, the close relationship between the European and American NASCAR series.”(Autosport)(6-2-2015)
  • Tickets on sale at Phoenix: Phoenix International Raceway announced that tickets for the semifinal race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the “Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500”, went on sale Friday, May 29. Tickets start at just $25 and can be purchased by visiting PhoenixRaceway.comor by calling 866-408-RACE (7223). The popular fall race at PIR historically sells out in advance and features a full weekend of NASCAR action, including racing from the top-three series in NASCAR. The Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race takes place on Sunday, Nov. 15. The event weekend also features the DAV 200 Honoring America’s Veterans NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, Nov. 14 following the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, Nov. 13. The weekend kicks off with the Casino Arizona 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series-West race on Thursday, Nov 12. Race fans can take advantage of PIR’s ‘Value Pricing’ period and receive extra savings by purchasing their tickets for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 early. The ‘Value Pricing’ period takes place May 29 through July 5. Regular pricing begins on July 6 and runs through Monday, Nov. 10 when walkup pricing goes into effect for race week.(PIR)(6-1-2015)


    News from June 1, 2015


  • Johnson’s appeal hearing set for June 9: Hendrick Motorsports #48 team appeal of their P1 penalty following the Charlotte race will be heard on Tuesday, June 9. NASCAR announced last week that the team would receive the final pit stall selection at Dover because they received written warnings 2 weeks in a row. The team announced their appeal and the penalty was deferred last weekend at Dover and will be deferred this week at Pocono until the appeal process is completed.(6-1-2015)
  • Dover TV Ratings: A move from FOX to Fox Sports 1 resulted in a big drop for NASCAR from Dover. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Dover earned a 2.3 overnight rating on Fox Sports 1 Sunday afternoon, down 30% from last year (3.3), down 34% from 2013 (3.5), and the lowest overnight for the race since at least 2006. The race aired on the FOX broadcast network each year from 2007-14. The 2006 race was the most recent on cable prior to this year, airing on FX. Compared to the previous Sprint Cup telecasts on FS1, the 2.3 overnight is up 53% from a 1.5 for last month’s rain-delayed Saturday night race from Kansas, but down 8% from a 2.5 for Sunday afternoon coverage from Martinsville in March.(Sports Media Watch via ShowBuzz Daily), see past races, 5-year chart, links and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(6-1-2015)

  • Bayne called to NASCAR hauler after race: NASCAR met with #6-Trevor Bayne after Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway because he exited his car before safety crews arrived – the second time a driver violated the rule this weekend. Jennifer Jo Cobb met with Camping World Truck Series officials Friday after taking 12 steps on to the racing surface to gesture toward Tyler Reddick after an accident. Penalties are expected this week. Bayne was involved in an accident with Michael Annett and Justin Allgaier on Sunday that brought out the caution on Lap 176. Bayne exited his car before he was cleared by any safety crew members. “Our on-track incidents, we’ve been very clear on what we expect,” said Richard Buck, Cup series director said. Buck said that officials will continue their conversation with Bayne this week.(NBC Sports)(6-1-2015)

  • Drivers met with NASCAR on Saturday UPDATE:In a first of its kind, NASCAR met with a group of Sprint Cup drivers for about two hours Saturday night, discussing safety, competition, attendance and more. #11-Denny Hamlin, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., and #4-Kevin Harvick confirmed they were among about eight drivers in the meeting, which was held in the Kent Room at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. It marked the first time that a council of drivers – selected by their peers – had met with NASCAR in such a formal setting. “The drivers got together and organized a vote and all the drivers voted for the guys they wanted on this council,” Earnhardt said before Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway. “NASCAR asked us to do that so we could get together and just have a better ability to communicate. It’s just a better way to have discussions.” A source told NBC Sports that NASCAR was represented by Mike Helton, vice chairman, and Steve O’Donnell, executive vice president and chief racing development officer, among others. “The drivers, we always talk amongst ourselves anyway, but having that open line of communication to NASCAR has never been this open before,” Hamlin said before Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway. “You look around the room and you’re like, ‘Wow, this is a monumental time to where you’ve got the powers that be and some of the greatest drivers talking about how we can make this sport better.” The meeting comes after a recent spat of complaints from drivers about the rules and racing. So what was discussed? “There was talk of competition,” Earnhardt said. “What we think about the new package and the direction that they want to go and what we’re doing with tires and testing.” NASCAR recently came out with a rules update eliminating the 2016 tire testing at all Goodyear tire tests until October. Hamlin said safety was a big topic discussed. “We talked about a lot of safety issues we want to see changed at various racetracks,” Hamlin said. “We went racetrack by racetrack, and I feel like we’re going to make our sport better.” NASCAR did not offer details of the meeting. Brett Jewkes, NASCAR senior vice president and chief communications officer, issued a statement: “NASCAR meets with drivers frequently on a wide range of topics. As part of our ongoing commitment to foster dialogue between all stakeholders, we’ve met formally with drivers on several occasions this season, including here at Dover. We’ll meet with them again later in the season as normal course of business. The meetings have been productive and we find the dialogue very valuable.” Hamlin said he’s unsure how often the group will meet but expected it would be “at least a few times a year.”(NBC Sports)(5-31-2015)
    UPDATE: Three-time NASCAR champion #14-Tony Stewart confirmed he was among a group of drivers that met with NASCAR officials for about two hours Saturday evening at the Dover Downs Hotel and Casino adjacent to Dover International Speedway. Stewart came away impressed by the intent and encouraged by the content of the discussions. He said it was the first time in his 17 years in NASCAR racing he can remember this kind of informal get-together session between the sanctioning body and a group of drivers that also included Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle among others. “They want to sit down, and they want to listen,” Stewart told NASCAR.com on Sunday just prior to the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. I think it’s just everyone staying on the same page which is good. It was a good thing, it was positive and makes me feel good about our sport that they want to keep everyone staying on the same page. I’d call it very, very positive.”(NASCAR.com)(6-1-2015)
  • Dover Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2015 FedEx 400 benefiting AutismSpeaks.org: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 4:40 PM (all times are EDT). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. FS1 was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 191
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 59
    Number of times FS1 utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos ‘floating’ in corners of the screen): 86
    Total number of companies or entities advertised in brief promos or crawlers: 34
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 5 min. 45 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 4:40 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 220
    Minutes of race broadcast: 172
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 48
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 172 Total comm. brdcst time 48
    See full reports, sponsor links, much more details at CawsnJaws.com.(6-1-2015)
  • ‘Race. Camp. Party.’ at MIS this summer: It’s sparks flying on the track and off. It’s warm bodies and cold drinks. It’s camping under the moon and seeing how wild things get. It just might be the best days of summer you’ll ever have. Michigan International Speedway has a whole new experience for fans in 2015. In a package catered to those who want to party late into the night, MIS has the perfect package just for you. “Race. Camp. Party.” It is an experience unlike any other and will be sure to keep the good times rolling all day and late into the night. This $450 package is for four people and includes a campsite in the MISCamping.com M-50 Campground, access to “Night Cap”, organized, Spring Break style parties that last until 3:00am, four wristbands for The Deck all weekend, access to Keloorah on Friday and Saturday and a four-pack of Red Bull Energy Drink delivered to the campsite. The new Race. Camp. Party. deal at Michigan International Speedway is the ultimate camp and party package. (Michigan Speedway)(6-1-2015)