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November 2014 News Archives

News from November 30, 2014


  • Several NASCAR drivers running Snowball Derby: The NASCAR season may have ended but that hasn’t stopped several of the biggest names in the industry from racing deep into the off-season as drivers from all three national touring divisions have filed entries for the Snowball Derby Super Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla [on Sunday, December 5]. And for the first time in event history, the Snowball Derby will also be available for Pay-Per-View viewing as part of Speed51’s online streaming service – 51 TV. While entries continue to pour in for the Dec. 7 race, a healthy contingent of drivers, including NASCAR Nationwide Series champion and Super Late Model supporter Chase Elliott, have declared their intentions to enter the event. Elliott is without a doubt the headliner of the event but a variable directory of talented drivers have filed their RSVPs, including former winners Steven Wallace (2004) Johanna Long (2010) and defending winner Erik Jones and his stout Kyle Busch Motorsports #51 Toyota Camry. Other entries familiar to NASCAR fans are John Hunter Nemechek, Corey LaJoie, Spencer Gallagher and Grant Enfinger.(Popular Speed)(11-30-2014)

  • Kennedy uncertain of 2015 plans: Ben Kennedy, the great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., started his first season in the Truck series in the spotlight, winning the pole for the season opener at Daytona Beach, Fla. He led 52 laps in the race before finishing 15th. He added a third-place finish in the next race at Martinsville, Va. – a hard-nosed short track that rarely is kind to rookies. Kennedy, 22, ended up edging Tyler Reddick for rookie honors in a battle that went down to the season finale at Homestead, Fla. “I think everyone wants to get rookie of the year, …and it’s awesome to get it,” Kennedy said. “I’m definitely humbled by it, and I’m looking forward to the future and seeing what we can do in the future.” Kennedy’s plans for 2015 remain unsettled, but he is certain to compete in either Truck or Nationwide, or perhaps a combination of both.(Charlotte Observer)(11-30-2014)


    News from November 29, 2014


  • ESPN’s NASCAR personalities transition to new roles: ESPN’s affiliation with NASCAR, providing coverage of the second half of the season’s Sprint Cup Series races as well as the entire 33-race Nationwide Series schedule, came to an end earlier this month at Homestead-Miami Speedway. ESPN had been a television partner for the sport since 2007 and overall, had been involved in NASCAR coverage for 28 years.
    Allen Bestwick will remain in the booth, serving as the lead announcer for the Indianapolis 500 and ESPN’s association with the IndyCar Series. He will also be involved in college football and basketball, pro tennis and golf coverage.
    Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch served as pit reporters for ESPN. Burns will join NBC Sports next season when that network begins its Sprint Cup affiliation while Little will move over to FOX Sports as a pit reporter.
    Welch has worked the IndyCar series as well for ESPN and could possibly resume those duties. Jarrett, the 1999 premier series champion, Petree and Punch have not announced their plans for 2015 and beyond.
    Former driver Ricky Craven and reporter Marty Smith will remain entrenched with the Bristol, Connecticut-based network and tethered to NASCAR.
    Those out front for the pre-race NASCAR Countdown show included host Nicole Briscoe, Brad Daugherty and Rusty Wallace. Briscoe will move into the role of an anchor for SportsCenter starting in January and is expected to do other in-studio work as well. Daugherty, the former NBA standout who currently co-owns the JTG Daugherty Racing Sprint Cup Series team, will transition to ESPN’s coverage of college and pro basketball. Wallace, like Jarrett a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, has not announced his plans for next season.
    NBC Sports will begin its portion of live NASCAR race coverage at Daytona International Speedway in July of 2015. In addition to Burns, former ESPN reporter Mike Massaro will join the group as a pit reporter, along with Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast. Krista Voda will serve as host of pre- and post-race shows for NBC; Rick Allen (lead announcer), Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte (analysts) will be in the booth.(NASCAR.com)(11-29-2014)


    News from November 28, 2014


  • Whitt replacing Ragan at Front Row? Denied UPDATES: According to a Tweet by BK Racing’s minority owner Anthony Marlowe, Cole Whitt will be taking over the #34 Ford of Front Row Motorosports that has been driven by David Ragan for the previous three years.(11-26-2014)
    UPDATE: Anthony Marlowe, who was the co-owner of the #26 team with Cole Whitt at Swan Racing and now is the part-owner at BK Racing, posted an interesting tweet late Tuesday night. Apparently, Whtt’s representation sent a letter to BK Racing late last week informing team principals the driver would not be returning in 2015. Whitt moved with Marlowe to BKR before Richmond in April after Swan folded. When Motorsport.com reached out to Ragan on Wednesday morning about Marlowe’s tweet, the veteran replied via text, “I don’t know. I haven’t been told anything is changing on my end.”(Motorsport)(11-26-2014)
    UPDATE 2: A BK Racing co-owner tweeted congratulations to Cole Whitt on landing the #34 ride at Front Row Motorsports for next season, but a Front Row Motorsports spokesperson said there are “no expected changes with the 34 car.” David Ragan drove the #34 car this past season, finishing 32nd in points. Shari Spiewak, a spokesperson for Front Row Motorsports said Wednesday morning that it was anticipated that Ragan will be with the team again in 2015. “The team is working on getting its 2015 plans finalized and, hopefully, should be able to have everything buttoned up in a few weeks,” Spiewak told Motor Racing Network. Ian Moye, a spokesperson for BK Racing, said that the team has not announced any of its drivers for next season. Whitt, JJ Yeley and Alex Bowman finished the season with the team this past year.(Motor Racing Network)(11-26-2014)
    UPDATE 3: It’s not every day that a NASCAR team owner publicly apologizes for an error he made, especially in a large forum such as Twitter. But give BK Racing minority owner Anthony Marlowe credit for making a classy move at righting his wrong by offering exclusively to MotorSportsTalk a heartfelt apology and explanation for his inadvertent actions. Here is Marlowe’s entire statement to MotorSportsTalk:
    “I did not intend for it to make national news,” Marlowe said of his original tweet. “Aside from it being smart alecky, it was just a tweet congratulating a friend, and current supplier of driver services on his ride for next year. We could have had someone else drive the 26 car this year at BKR, but my new partners and I felt (Whitt) deserved a full season after his past NASCAR teams were not committed to him for the long term, along with his auspicious start to the 2014 season. That mission was accomplished. Additionally, we offered Cole (and it has been on the table since July) a multi-year option contract in the Cup series. Needless to say, I wish he would have stuck around and built this franchise with us over the years, but he obviously has and/or somehow created a better opportunity somewhere else.”
    On David Ragan / The number:
    “I should have left the #34 out of it (the tweet). Although I am fairly confident based on my multiple sources that he (Whitt) is going to Front Row, not all of those sources have been so sure it is the #34 car. Regardless if time tells us any of this is true or not, I feel like I owe David Ragan an apology. He is a Cup winner and seemingly great guy. I sincerely regret him being pulled into this.”(NBC Sports)(11-28-2014)

  • Foyt remains hospitalized: Four-time Indianapolis 500 winner A.J. Foyt remains in a Houston hospital, more than two weeks after he had triple-bypass surgery on his heart. Anne Fornoro, the spokesman for Foyt’s two-car IndyCar team, said in a release Wednesday there was a post-surgical complication, but that has now been resolved. She did not elaborate on what the complication was. Larry Foyt, the team director and Foyt’s youngest son, says his father is doing “really well,” though doctors have not said when the elder Foyt might be released. Larry Foyt also says his father is improving each day and is expected to make a full recovery.(Associated Press)(11-28-2014)

  • Petty’s 1988 Daytona wreck sold: There was no price or winner announced after it was sold Saturday, but a valuable piece of NASCAR history was auctioned off Saturday in Greer, South Carolina. The remnants of the 1988 Pontiac Grand Prix that Richard Petty crashed, flipped and spun in the 1988 Daytona 500 – ultimately walking away from the wreckage of one of the most spectacular crashes in NASCAR history – was sold by Wham Auctions. The car is still in its original crashed shape. And even though it’s been 26 years since Petty’s fateful wreck, it was a prized collector’s item. Or as the Wham web site put it, a “Once in a lifetime event.” The car came from the estate of NASCAR Hall of Famer Cotton Owens, who passed away a little over two years ago. Saturday’s auction was somewhat of a prelude to an auction of Owens’ memorabilia, tools and equipment that will be sold Dec. 6 at his home, located at 7065 White Avenue, Spartanburg, S.C. Among items on the auction block include a 1964 Grand National-winning race car, complete with its original Hemi motor, as well as Owens’ home, garage and all of its contents.(NBC Sports)(11-28-2014)


    News from November 27, 2014


  • Update on Steve Byrnes: Fox Sports’ Steve Byrnes, who has been on leave from the network while battling Stage 4 head-and-neck cancer, tweeted Wednesday evening, “My Oncologist just called and said my PET scan showed ‘progress.’ Thanks for your prayers, and Happy Thanksgiving. Grateful!”(11-27-2014)

  • NASCAR will address side skirts next season: Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s executive vice president and chief racing development officer, held an impromptu fan question-and-answer session Tuesday on Twitter while waiting for his flight to take off. Here are some of the best nuggets from his replies to fan tweets:
    – This season, teams found it was legal for crew members to yank the side skirts just in front of the rear wheels during pit stops, which created an odd image during races (it provided an aerodynamic benefit). But NASCAR plans to address the flared side skirts with a rule change next season, O’Donnell tweeted.
    – One fan asked O’Donnell if he could change the Chase for the Sprint Cup format back to how it was from 2004-2013 (officials have said they view the new format as a major plus for the sport).
    “No, but thanks for asking,” O’Donnell tweeted, including the surprised smiley face emoji.
    – The finale will remain at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the foreseeable future, O’Donnell indicated. A fan asked if NASCAR considered moving the championship race to different cities.
    “We have, but drivers love (the) track and it has been some great racing,” O’Donnell tweeted. “We are happy there.”
    – There are no plans to add a road course to the Chase, O’Donnell tweeted. There are currently two road races on the 36-race Sprint Cup Series schedule – Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International — but neither are in the 10-race playoff.
    “Not right now,” he said. “Still like (the) mix where they are at.”
    On a similar note, O’Donnell said NASCAR would look at changing the lineup of Chase tracks in 2016 (it’s the same for next season).
    – With the new testing ban now in place, some teams are hopeful to use Goodyear tire tests as a chance to try different setups on their cars.
    How many Goodyear tests will there be next year? O’Donnell said the exact number is still to be determined, but estimated 10-12.(USA Today)(11-27-2014)

  • Ryan Blaney focusing on Cup in 2015: Ryan Blaney, who won races in both Nationwide and truck in 2014, doesn’t have full sponsorship for any series. He will run at least 12 Sprint Cup races for Wood Brothers Racing and will split time in Xfinity with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano and maybe run a few truck races for Keselowski’s team. Blaney isn’t even worrying about running full time anywhere next season. He sees Cup as his future and is working on finding more money to add Cup races, whether that be with the Wood Brothers or a third Penske car for select events, for next season. “I hope we can get it upwards to 17 to 20 (Cup races),” Blaney said. “We’re working really hard to get that done. I’m going to be racing a lot next year and fortunate to be in great cars, so I can’t worry about it too much. My mindset is try to do more Cup races, just with that is the ultimate goal, obviously, and try to get more experience in that. I want to try to find more Cup races instead of Nationwide just because it progresses you a lot faster learning the cars.”(Sporting News)(11-27-2014)
  • Black Friday deals at Auto Club Speedway: Purchase a ticket to Auto Club Speedway’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race between Black Friday (Nov. 28) and Cyber Monday (Dec. 1) and Auto Club Speedway will put a little jingle back in your pocket by waiving ALL SERVICE FEES on ANY tickets purchased during that period. Auto Club Speedway is offering several ticket packages to fit everyone’s price range including, just in time for the holidays, the Auto Club Speedway Holiday Package. The special, limited-time package includes two tickets to the Auto Club 400 on March 22, two pit passes and a scanner rental with a set of headphones all for $99 (a $225 value). Purchase now and we’ll waive the SERVICE FEES. The special offer expires Dec. 31, 2015. Visit www.autoclubspeedway.com/holiday.(ACS)(11-27-2014)
  • Black Friday-Cyber Monday Special at NHMS: It’s the perfect gift for the NASCAR fan in your life, and you don’t have to camp outside in the cold to take advantage of this discount from New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Over the biggest shopping weekend of the year from Black Friday (Nov. 28) through Cyber Monday (Dec. 1), NHMS is offering a limited-time ticket offer. The package includes a pre-race pit pass to get up close to the action before the action, check out the cars, the concert, and the pre-race ceremonies. Of course, it also includes a frontstretch race ticket with a great view of the entire track, valued at $100. No interest payment plans are available and buyers have the option to skip payment in December. Please call Guest Services at (603) 783-4931 for more information about options.(NHMS)(11-27-2014)
  • Daytona offers Black Friday and Cyber Monday Ticket Specials: Holiday shoppers looking to give the gift of horsepower on the high banks of Daytona International Speedway will find a wide selection of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials at the “World Center of Racing.” Highlighting the holiday specials is a ticket package designed around six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and two-time DAYTONA 500 champion Jimmie Johnson. Included in the Jimmie Johnson DAYTONA 500 Ticket Package, which is available for $148, is:
    ” One adult Daytona 500 backstretch tower seat
    ” One child (ages 12 & under) Daytona 500 backstretch tower seat
    ” 15-minute question and answer session with Johnson
    ” Each child in attendance can participate in NASA Rockets 2 Racecars STEM education hands on activities either before or after Johnson’s appearance
    ” Each child in attendance will receive a Jimmie Johnson 12-page activity booklet
    ” Daytona International Speedway special giveaways
    The Jimmie Johnson DAYTONA 500 Ticket Package will be available throughout the holiday shopping season and leading up to Budweiser Speedweeks 2015, while supplies last. On Friday, Nov. 28 (Black Friday) and Monday, Dec. 1 (Cyber Monday), Daytona International Speedway will also have additional ticket package specials available for race fans to select from as they conduct their holiday shopping. To take advantage of the “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” ticket specials, race fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP between 9:00am-5:00pm or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.(DIS)(11-27-2014)


    News from November 26, 2014


  • Whitt replacing Ragan at Front Row? UPDATES: According to a Tweet by BK Racing’s minority owner Anthony Marlowe, Cole Whitt will be taking over the #34 Ford of Front Row Motorosports that has been driven by David Ragan for the previous three years.(11-26-2014)
    UPDATE: Anthony Marlowe, who was the co-owner of the #26 team with Cole Whitt at Swan Racing and now is the part-owner at BK Racing, posted an interesting tweet late Tuesday night. Apparently, Whtt’s representation sent a letter to BK Racing late last week informing team principals the driver would not be returning in 2015. Whitt moved with Marlowe to BKR before Richmond in April after Swan folded. When Motorsport.com reached out to Ragan on Wednesday morning about Marlowe’s tweet, the veteran replied via text, “I don’t know. I haven’t been told anything is changing on my end.”(Motorsport)(11-26-2014)
    UPDATE 2 A BK Racing co-owner tweeted congratulations to Cole Whitt on landing the #34 ride at Front Row Motorsports for next season, but a Front Row Motorsports spokesperson said there are “no expected changes with the 34 car.” David Ragan drove the #34 car this past season, finishing 32nd in points. Shari Spiewak, a spokesperson for Front Row Motorsports said Wednesday morning that it was anticipated that Ragan will be with the team again in 2015. “The team is working on getting its 2015 plans finalized and, hopefully, should be able to have everything buttoned up in a few weeks,” Spiewak told Motor Racing Network. Ian Moye, a spokesperson for BK Racing, said that the team has not announced any of its drivers for next season. Whitt, JJ Yeley and Alex Bowman finished the season with the team this past year.(Motor Racing Network)(11-26-2014)

  • Kurt Busch gets delay on protection hearing: A Delaware family court commissioner has granted NASCAR driver Kurt Busch’s request to delay a hearing on a protection from abuse petition filed by his ex-girlfriend. Busch’s attorney asked for the delay in court papers filed last Friday, saying Busch is participating in a race car rally in Italy and that his return flight is Dec. 2, the same day as the scheduled hearing. The postponement was granted over the objections of an attorney for Patricia Driscoll, who said Driscoll wants a no-contact order entered as soon as possible. The new hearing date is Dec. 16. The family court matter is separate from an ongoing criminal investigation by Dover police into Driscoll’s allegations that Busch assaulted her inside his motorhome at Dover International Speedway in September. (Associated Press)(11-26-2014)

  • Schedule set for Champion’s Week in Las Vegas: After a season filled with exciting racing fueled by the revamped Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” format, NASCAR will return to Las Vegas in December for its annual postseason celebration – this edition with first-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick as the guest of honor. NASCAR dignitaries, Hollywood stars and race fans will convene for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week, Dec. 2 through Dec. 5, for an exciting lineup featuring new consumer activations, fan-favorite events and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. Once again, NASCAR headquarters will be anchored at Wynn Las Vegas, a premier resort destination in Las Vegas. Among the fan-friendly and interactive events this year will be Champion’s Week Live at The LINQ Promenade, a new open-air fan hub located in the shadow of the 550-foot tall High Roller experience, offering an assortment of new activities. Returning will be the fan-favorite NASCAR Victory Lap parade, which provides fans with up-close views of Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Challengers in their race cars beginning at Miracle Mile Shops and ending at The LINQ. Another notable event on the schedule is the annual NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, where drivers and teams collect a number of year-end awards and accolades. In addition, NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola and Sprint, will feature an interactive Q&A where Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Challengers share their biggest moments of the season, followed by an event-closing performance by Republic Nashville artist Cassadee Pope. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week will culminate with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, where this year’s Chase drivers will be recognized for their accomplishments on stage before a star-studded audience comprised of teams, owners, celebrities and fans. FOX Sports 1 will provide coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards beginning at 9:00pm/et. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will begin coverage at 8:00pm/et.(NASCAR) See the complete schedule on the Spring Cup Series Awards page.(11-26-2014)
  • Silas to return: T3R Racing confirmed on the team Twitter page that Bryan Silas will return full-time to the Camping World Truck Series in 2015. In 2014, Silas finished 10th in the driver point standings in the #99 Chevy.(11-26-2014)
  • Bristol offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals: Holiday shoppers are encouraged to add Bristol Motor Speedway to their Black Friday shopping schedules as the World’s Fastest Half-Mile offers commemorative, autographed tickets to those purchasing at BMS on Friday, Nov. 28. Richard Childress, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards are just a few of the notable NASCAR personalities whose autograph customers can choose from after securing or verifying their seats inside the iconic short track. Black Friday shoppers purchasing tickets on site also will receive a 25% discount at the Speedway World Store, making it easy to fill Christmas stockings with coveted NASCAR driver and Bristol gear. For those who prefer to do their holiday shopping on line this holiday season, Bristol Motor Speedway brings back a Cyber Monday offering. Visit BristolMotorSpeedway.com for details on the Food City 500 and IRWIN Tools Night Race ticket offers. Ticket prices for the April 19 Food City 500 are as low as $64 with pricing for kids 15 and under beginning at $32. Weekend packages are also available, starting at $89 for adults and $49 for youth.(BMS)(11-26-2014)
  • Fans can drive the track at Charlotte on Black Friday: During the Black Friday Blowout sale, Friday, Nov. 28, race fans seeking discounts and thrills will visit Charlotte Motor Speedway for the opportunity to drive their personal vehicles on the high banks of the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. The sale is this from 8 am until 5 pm. Shoppers who spend at least $50 on souvenirs, race tickets or pit passes, or donate at least $25 to Speedway Children’s Charities during the event, will have the unique opportunity to drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the same 24-degree high banks where NASCAR legends like Richard Petty, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt and so many others raced. Bargain-hunting shoppers will be treated to souvenir items in our “Super Sale” tent priced as low as $1. Additionally, the merchandise trailer from newly crowned, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Kevin Harvick will be on hand with the very latest apparel and mementos commemorating his historic 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The merchandise trailers of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Brad Keslowski, Duck Commander, Ford Racing, zMAX and others are also scheduled to attend.(CMS)(11-26-2014)


    News from November 25, 2014


  • Mohr to host 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: The slogan is as recognizable as any: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But NASCAR will make an exception on Dec. 5 when it gives audiences a front row seat as Jay Mohr, Lady Antebellum, Aloe Blacc and Lennon and Maisy take the stage at the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards show from the Wynn Las Vegas live on FOX Sports 1. This year, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will honor 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, as well as celebrate the other Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Challengers. FOX Sports 1 will provide coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards beginning at 9:00pm/et. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will begin coverage at 80:00pm/et.
    Mohr will serve as the host for the second consecutive year. The actor, comedian, radio host and best-selling author has one of the most expansive backgrounds in show business. After landing his dream job at “Saturday Night Live” and launching his career in film alongside Tom Cruise in “Jerry Maguire,” Mohr appeared in approximately 200 network television episodes and more than 25 feature films. Additionally, his national radio show, “Jay Mohr Sports,” is syndicated in more than 155 markets across the U.S. With a career in entertainment that spans over three decades, Mohr has become an artist who knows no limits, making him the perfect person to help celebrate NASCAR’s most prominent drivers.
    Keeping his NASCAR performance streak rolling following his act at NASCAR’s season-opening, crown jewel event the 2014 DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway, Blacc will kick off the musical entertainment for the night with the soulful selection that has “woken up” audiences around the world. The singer / songwriter collaborated as vocalist and co-writer on well-known DJ/producer Avicci’s 2013 track “Wake Me Up,” which topped the charts in more than 100 countries across the globe, before releasing his third album “Lift Your Spirit” in March 2014. The rapper-turned-singer uses his surging popularity to affect social change and to deliver messages of positivity and passion.
    Later in the evening, the seven-time GRAMMY Award winning trio Lady Antebellum will keep the audience rocking with a new song from their fifth album entitled “747.” The 11-song disc has already spawned the PLATINUM certified multi-week chart-topping smash hit “Bartender,” and its new single “Freestyle” is quickly climbing the charts. The new album follows over 11 million albums sold worldwide, nine trips to No. 1 on the country radio charts, six Platinum singles and “Vocal Group of the Year” honors from both the CMA and ACMs three years in a row.
    Additionally, 15-year-old Lennon Stella and her 10-year-old sister Maisy Stella from ABC’s hit drama “Nashville” will perform. The daughters of the recording duo Brad and MaryLynne Stella, Lennon and Maisy’s musical roots run deep. In 2013, the sisters had a show-stopping performance of “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers on “Nashville,” which quickly entered the top 40 of Billboard’s “Hot Country Songs” list.(NASCAR)(11-25-2014)

  • Austin Dillon to run a majority of Xfinity season: Two-time NASCAR Champion #3-Austin Dillon will return to the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Rheem Manufacturing Company as primary sponsor on Richard Childress Racing’s #33 Chevy for a majority of the 2015 season. Dillon, the 2013 XFINITY Series Champion, will drive the #33 Rheem Chevy under the RCR banner during the 2015 season while maintaining a full schedule in RCR’s #3 Chevy SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He is a two-time XFINITY Series race winner, 10-time pole winner and holds the record for most consecutive poles in series history. Rheem Manufacturing Company has a long history of success with RCR having participated as a primary or associate sponsor since 2007 in various NASCAR series. Rheem has been the official heating, cooling and water heating provider to RCR for more than eight years and was the co-primary sponsor with Realtree of Ty Dillon’s Sprint Cup Series debut this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(RCR)(11-25-2014)

  • Danica Patrick will appear in another Super Bowl ad: #10-Danica Patrick will be back for her record 14th Super Bowl commercial for GoDaddy, but this one will be different than those she’s done in the past. No walking naked across the commercial set with Jillian Michaels while crewmen stand gape-jawed. No steamy shower scene for teenage computer geeks to leer at. No body painting a nude model. No dressing up like Lisa from “Weird Science” or teasingly unzipping a black leather jacket. This time around, Danica will be featured with a puppy. Yes, a puppy. And an inspirational message in the 30-second spot. “We are taking an advertising tradition — a tried-and-true Super Bowl commercial convention — and turning it upside down,” said GoDaddy chief marketing officer Barb Rechterman. “People love cute, little puppies in Super Bowl commercials, right? The power of our next Super Bowl ad is how it pivots from what you think is a traditional ‘Hallmark’ style commercial into something unexpected, while highlighting how our products help a small business owner drive their business online.”
    “I’m pretty sure this little GoDaddy puppy is going to steal the show,” said Patrick, the proud mother of Dallas Stenhouse, a dog she got earlier this year. “Our Super Bowl commercials have evolved over the years, and it’s been pretty cool to be a part of the transformation. I love this year’s surprise ending. I really don’t think people will see the punch line coming.”(FoxSports)(11-25-2014)

  • Mike Hillman, Jr. named crew chief for Brian Scott: Richard Childress Racing has hired Mike Hillman, Jr. to crew chief their #2 Chevy Camaro team with driver Brian Scott in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Hillman, Jr, 36, comes to RCR with 20 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories and two series championships. Through 235 NCWTS starts he has also earned 93 top-five and 132 top-10 finishes, including 17 pole awards. The Lockport, N.Y. native joins RCR and the #2 Chevy team effective immediately. This will be Scott’s third year with RCR in the XFINITY Series. During that time, the 26-year-old driver has earned four pole awards, nine top-five and 36 top-10 finishes. He’s coming off his best season with a final driver points standing of fourth place.(RCR)(11-25-2014)
  • Michigan seeks Youth Fan Advisory Board members: Michigan International Speedway strives to provide a memorable experience for fans of all ages. After a successful first-time effort in 2014, MIS is again seeking knowledgeable and passionate youth to share their insight and ideas to improve NASCAR’s fastest racetrack as part of a Youth Fan Advisory Board. The Youth FAB provides a unique opportunity for young NASCAR fans to communicate directly with the MIS staff through email and conference calls about the guest experience, as well as assist in the future planning of the track. All youth ages 14-20 who attend races at MIS are encouraged to apply to be a Youth FAB member. Youth can download the application and bylaws at the MIS website. The application must be returned to MIS by Jan. 23, 2015. The Youth Fan Advisory Board is modeled after the successful Fan Advisory Board instituted by the track in 2008. The discussions with the FAB have provided many ideas and initiatives to improve the facility for all guests. We look forward to the same success with the youth FAB to welcome fans of all ages to NASCAR’s fastest track. The Youth FAB is associated with many functions at MIS and members will have an opportunity to improve all facets of the track. The track believes all ideas are important and appreciates all feedback.(MIS)(11-25-2014)


    News from November 24, 2014


  • “Fresh From Florida” extends sponsorship of Almirola: The marketing arm of Richard Petty Motorsports announced the extension of their relationship with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. RPM will continue to develop and execute a fully-integrated motorsports marketing campaign in 2015 for “Fresh From Florida,” a marketing, advertising and promotional campaign focused on building awareness and sales of fresh seafood, produce and other Florida products. The “Fresh From Florida” campaign includes various marketing elements centered around motorsports including race promotion, team sponsorship, track sponsorship, marketing services, public relations, experiential marketing and retail partnerships along with traditional and digital media. The platform will be executed across the state of Florida and throughout the Southeast at motorsports events including NASCAR, IMSA and events at iconic motorsports venues. In 2015, “Fresh From Florida” will again partner with RPM and Tampa area native Aric Almirola as the primary brand ambassador via events in two NASCAR series. “Fresh From Florida” will be featured on the famed #43 Sprint Cup car at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March and Talladega Superspeedway in May and have associate placement at Martinsville Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Darlington Raceway. They will also support Almirola in both NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Daytona International Speedway. RPM will place media assets and procure at-track relationships at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Sebring International Raceway with the presenting sponsorship of the Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring. In addition, RPM will build strategic activation programs throughout the Southeastern United States in partnership with key Fresh From Florida retail partners.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(11-24-2014)

  • Ambrose ready to race in Australia: Marcos Ambrose is wasting little time in his return to racing V8 Supercars. Two days after the season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway last Sunday, the former two-time Supercar champ flew back to his native Australia. He’s already had two tests and preparing for his first race in nearly a decade in the Supercars series, the Sydney 500, on Dec. 5-7, as a wildcard entry for his new team, DJR Team Penske. “I am happy with my choices. I am very comfortable with what I have done,” Ambrose told New Zealand’s Stuff.co.nz. At 38, Ambrose could very easily have had another 5-10 years in NASCAR, but he chose to return home for family reasons, plus the challenge of racing in the Supercars series for Penske. “I left some unticked boxes but nothing is ever perfect, is it,” Ambrose said. “It was nothing but success for me,” Ambrose said. “I went across there on a whim and tried to make it work. I survived for a long time, won races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup level and left on my own terms, knowing I could compete against the best.” Now he’ll be competing against the best in the Supercars series, including Jamie Whincup, who has dominated the series by winning the last four V8 championships and six of the last seven. Ambrose’s return to Supercars has motorsport fans in his homeland buzzing in a positive way, particularly wanting to see what he can do against Whincup. In another interview with The Telegraph of Sydney, Australia, Ambrose said returning to his homeland and Supercars is actually a significant step down financially for a man the newspaper said is worth at least $20 million and is reportedly taking at least a $4 million per year pay cut. “I am really motivated to come back here and take Team Penske to the top,” Ambrose said. “I am bringing Team Penske and DJR together and I want to give them the best chance of success. I am really motivated to do this and I am not doing it for money. That is not my motivation.” Ambrose still has a couple more tests planned in his new ride in preparation for the first race back in two weeks. But he already feels very much into the swing of things and old times when he was winning past championships.(NBC Sports)(11-24-2014)
  • Sad News – Denny Darnell UPDATES: Denny Darnell, a sportswriter turned track general manager and respected public relations representative, died Saturday. A sportswriter for the Kingsport (Tennessee) Times-News, Darnell was VP/general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway from 1983 through 1988. During his time with the track, he worked with ESPN to televise both NASCAR race weekends live from Thunder Valley. From 1991 to 1998, Darnell served as director of communications for the National Hot Rod Association before becoming senior manager, media relations for Sports Marketing Enterprises at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for five years. He supported the company’s motorsports sponsorships, including NASCAR’s premier series. As president and CEO of Darnell Communications, he managed public relations for Dodge Motorsports from 2008 through 2013. His tenure included a Daytona 500 win by Ryan Newman in the 50th Daytona 500 in 2008, a NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with Brad Keselowski in 2010 and Keselowski’s 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Darnell retired at the beginning of 2014.(NASCAR.com)(11-22-2014)
    UPDATE: “NASCAR offers its sincere condolences to the friends and family of Denny Darnell. For decades working with Bristol Motor Speedway, RJ Reynolds, NEXTEL and Dodge, Denny was a familiar and friendly face in media centers and NASCAR garages throughout the country. He approached his job seriously and professionally, but few could bring laughter like Denny. He was a public relations institution, and will be greatly missed.”(NASCAR)(11-22-2014)
    OBIT: Denny Darnell, known as “The General” by his peers, 70, passed away peacefully of an apparent heart attack Saturday, November 22, 2014 in Tazewell, VA, surrounded by family and friends. Born in Coeburn, VA on September 1, 1944, a son of the late Denny F. and Hazel Campbell Darnell, growing up in Slant, VA, he has resided in Kingsport for the past 40 years. He graduated from Rye Cove High School in 1962. After graduating from ETSU in 1975, he got his start as a sports writer at Kingsport Times News. Denny’s motorsports career had many pit stops. He served as Vice-President and General Manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, and Director of Communications at NHRA. His next pit stop was as the head of public relations for R.J. Reynolds Winston and NEXTEL. His final pit stop was as the head of public relations for Dodge Motorsports as CEO of Darnell Communications. His proudest moments included a Daytona 500 win by Ryan Newman in the 50th Daytona 500 in 2008, a NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship with Brad Keselowski in 2010 and Keselowski’s 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Jean Honaker Darnell of the home and his son Denny F. “Trey” Darnell, III and husband Matthew Smith of Gray; one granddaughter, “Little Miss” Harper Darnell; one sister: Betty Carter and husband, Clay of Kingsport; one brother: Sidney Darnell and wife, Eva of Kingsport; Sister-in-law: Peggy Darnell of Weber City; Several Nieces and Nephews; two dogs: Dutchess and Ginger “Diggy”. Denny was a conservative Republican who enjoyed talking politics to his peers and anyone else that would listen. Due to his comments on social media regarding how our country is being handled, he and his wife listened every day for a helicopter to fly over containing the CIA. After several years of saying “just one more year” before retirement, he retired earlier this year. Although he loved the media and missed the NASCAR community, he didn’t miss the travel. He was often asked, “How are you enjoying retirement?” His answer was “I didn’t do anything today, and I didn’t get finished, and I plan on doing the same thing tomorrow”. Family will receive friends Tuesday, November 25, 2014 from 4-7 p.m at Springdale Missionary Baptist Church, 1616 Haga Rd, Kingsport, TN. A celebration of his life service will follow at 7 p.m. with Pastor Alan Buckles, Pastor Dave Rossetti and Dr. David Troutman. Burial following graveside services at 11 a.m. Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at Holston View Cemetery. Pallbearers will be nephews and friends. Those attending committal services are asked to assemble at the church by 10:15 a.m. Wednesday and then proceed to the cemetery. Those wishing to make memorial contributions may do so to Rye Cove High School Athletic Department, 164 Eagles Nest Ln, Duffield, VA or to Speedway Children’s Charities, 151 Speedway Blvd, Bristol, TN 37620.(Hamlett-Dobson)(11-24-2014)

  • Rheem to sponsor Austin Dillon in Xfinity Series: Two-time NASCAR Champion Austin Dillon will return to the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Rheem Manufacturing Company as primary sponsor on Richard Childress Racing’s #33 Chevy for a majority of the 2015 season. Dillon, the 2013 XFINITY Series Champion, will drive the #33 Rheem Chevy under the RCR banner during the 2015 season while maintaining a full schedule in RCR’s #3 Chevy SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He is a two-time XFINITY Series race winner, 10-time pole winner and holds the record for most consecutive poles in series history. Rheem Manufacturing Company has a long history of success with RCR having participated as a primary or associate sponsor since 2007 in various NASCAR series. Rheem has been the official heating, cooling and water heating provider to RCR for more than eight years and was the co-primary sponsor with Realtree of Ty Dillon’s Sprint Cup Series debut this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(RCR)(11-24-2014)
  • Burton among those waiting on sponsorship, Wallace still weighing all options: While nearly three months remain before the start of the 2015 season, most drivers like to have their sponsorship lined up. Companies need to budget the millions of dollars it takes, so few solid deals come along in January. For a driver who has five career wins, including four in 2014, in the Camping World Truck Series and four top-10s in six starts in what will be the Xfinity Series next season, how much more does (Darrell ) Wallace have to do? “I’ll take what I can get,” Wallace said. “I can only go out there and continue to run up front, lead laps, and win races.” Wallace isn’t alone among young drivers scrambling for sponsorship or still trying to figure out their 2015 plans. Jeb Burton, who was left without a ride at the start of the 2014 season when sponsorship fell through but then landed a full-time truck deal with sponsor Estes Express Lines and ThorSport Racing, is waiting to hear if the sponsorship will be renewed next season.
    In the week after the Homestead race, JGR officials had some meetings that they hoped would land more sponsorship for Wallace, the only full-time African-American driver in the three national series. “We’ve got some good stuff lined up for him for next year, so I think we’re going to wind up with a real good package for Darrell,” Gibbs said.
    If Wallace runs any truck races next season, it won’t be for the team he has driven for the last two years. Kyle Busch Motorsports has all its seats filled, so he would have to run for another Toyota team, either ThorSport Racing or Red Horse Racing.(Sporting News)(11-24-2014)
  • New driver lineup to lighten Busch’s schedule: Kyle Busch won’t expect a repeat next year for his Camping World Truck Series team. That would be expected no matter who was driving the car for a team after a season where it won 14 of the 22 events. But Busch will continue a transition he hopes has more younger drivers in his Kyle Busch Motorsports trucks next year as he will drive just four of the 22 events while fielding three full-time trucks instead of two. Busch will put Erik Jones, who won three races last year, in a truck full time thanks to the help of KBM sponsor Toyota. He then will have another truck full time for the funded Justin Boston and another truck he will split with Matt Tifft (six races) and Daniel Suarez (12 races). Suarez, backed by companies owned by Mexican businessman Carlos Slim, will run a full Xfinity (formerly Nationwide) Series schedule next year for Joe Gibbs Racing and the KBM truck. Tifft also was able to bring some funding.
    Busch said it is hard to find someone to come with the $3-3.5 million needed to fund a young driver for a full season. He won’t try to do a program for less because he doesn’t believe cutting corners is best for anyone. There is proof he is right. It is not rare to see owners come and go quickly in the series, including the latest Turner Scott Motorsports team that is not expected to compete next year and already has sold many of its trucks.
    “They’re spending too much of their own money,” Busch said about the deals some drivers have brought to owners and then what happens to the owners. “It’s not going to work. Look at what happened. It’s a fickle business. It’s tough. People always want to nickel and dime you and knock your price down but in reality, when you stand firm, you’re going to be the last one standing.”
    It’s that philosophy that led Busch out of the Xfinity Series. He tried to do a car for himself and brother Kurt in 2012 and while Kurt won one race, Kyle went winless. Parker Kligerman had some Toyota backing and other funding and ran a car for Busch in 2013. After two years and no wins, Busch closed that part of his operation.
    “Been there, done that,” Busch said about the possibility of going back to Xfinity. “It’s just so hard to compete at that level.”
    Focusing just on trucks and what he had money to run paid dividends. Busch won seven truck races last year, while JGR development driver Darrell Wallace Jr. won four and Jones had three. Wallace is expected to run at least a part-time Xfinity schedule next year.(Sporting News)(11-24-2014)


    News from November 23, 2014


  • Swan Racing suing Xxxreme Motorsports: not much info but a Swan Racing Company, LLC v. XXXtreme Motorsport, LLC et al lawsuit was filed on September 24, 2014 in North Carolina Western District Court, Statesville Office. Cause of Action is Diversity-Breach of Contract. More info at justia.com. XXXtreme Motorsport is now know as Team Xtreme Racing. Swan Racing ceased operations in April 2014 and haven’t been heard from since. Haven’t seen any updates or news on the case.(11-23-2014)

  • Who’s pitting for Edwards in 2015? You never know what a team or pit crew will do with a few months to think, but [Pit Talks] have an idea of who might be pitting the 4th JGR car for Carl Edwards next year. This is not official by any means and strictly rumors, but we think it’s pretty dang close to being correct. So here you go.
    We’ve heard that Front Changer Clay Robinson and Front Carrier Kevin Harris will be coming over to JGR from [Hendrick]. Both guys were on the front of Dale Jr.’s #88 last year and will be sticking together at Gibbs next year.
    We also heard that Jackman Trey Burklin will be coming back to JGR after leaving a year ago to go jack the #5 at Hendrick. Trey was the back up at JGR a few years back and jacked the NNS cars for Gibss before heading over the HMS to jack the #5 this year.
    On the rear will be Changer Kip Wolfmier and Matt Ver Meer. Wolfmier was the old rear changer for the #5 car of HMS this year before being replaced by Jeremy fuller. Matt Ver Meer was on the #88 of Dale Jr. and had been for the last few years.
    The gas man will be Kenneth Purcell. Kenneth has been at JGR for years now as a NNS jackman and back up Cup guy. Kenneth won 4 championships as a jack man on the #48 and has been with JGR for the last 4 or so years. Now, he is converting to a gasman for this 4th team.
    This is just what we have heard and we are treating this as rumor for now. I’m sure JGR will make an announcement at some point and it will become official.(Pit Talks)(11-23-2014)


    News from November 22, 2014


  • Sad News – Denny Darnell UPDATE: Denny Darnell, a sportswriter turned track general manager and respected public relations representative, died Saturday. A sportswriter for the Kingsport (Tennessee) Times-News, Darnell was VP/general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway from 1983 through 1988. During his time with the track, he worked with ESPN to televise both NASCAR race weekends live from Thunder Valley. From 1991 to 1998, Darnell served as director of communications for the National Hot Rod Association before becoming senior manager, media relations for Sports Marketing Enterprises at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for five years. He supported the company’s motorsports sponsorships, including NASCAR’s premier series. As president and CEO of Darnell Communications, he managed public relations for Dodge Motorsports from 2008 through 2013. His tenure included a Daytona 500 win by Ryan Newman in the 50th Daytona 500 in 2008, a NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with Brad Keselowski in 2010 and Keselowski’s 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Darnell retired at the beginning of 2014.(NASCAR.com)(11-22-2014)
    UPDATE: “NASCAR offers its sincere condolences to the friends and family of Denny Darnell. For decades working with Bristol Motor Speedway, RJ Reynolds, NEXTEL and Dodge, Denny was a familiar and friendly face in media centers and NASCAR garages throughout the country. He approached his job seriously and professionally, but few could bring laughter like Denny. He was a public relations institution, and will be greatly missed.”(NASCAR)(11-22-2014)

  • Newman’s Crew Chief named ‘Problem Solver of the Year’: Sprint Cup racing’s youngest crew chief is now also one if its most celebrated, as Luke Lambert of the #31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy team clinched Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ $100,000 MOOG Steering and Suspension “Problem Solver of the Year” Award during Sunday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 31-year-old Lambert, in just his second full year as a Cup Series crew chief and first with driver Ryan Newman, finished 2014 with a series-leading four weekly MOOG “Problem Solver of the Race” Awards. He will receive his $100,000 Problem Solver of the Year check and a handcrafted MOOG ball joint trophy during the NASCAR Myers Brothers Award Ceremony December 4 in Las Vegas. The MOOG Problem Solver of the Race and Problem Solver of the Year awards recognize the vital in-race contributions of Sprint Cup crew chiefs. The weekly Problem Solver of the Race award is presented to the crew chief whose car posts the greatest second-half improvement in average lap time while finishing on the lead lap. The prestigious year-end Problem Solver award is presented to the crew chief with the best overall performance throughout the season. Four crew chiefs – Jimmy Fennig (#99 Ford, Carl Edwards), Chris Heroy (#42 Chevy, Kyle Larson), Chad Knaus (#48 Chevy, Jimmie Johnson) and Steve Letarte (#88 Chevy, Dale Earnhardt Jr.) – tied for second in the final Problem Solver standings with three wins each. Eighteen different crew chiefs won a weekly MOOG award in 2014.(PR)(11-22-2014)

  • Almirola nominated for Premios Univision Deportes Award: Univision Deportes, the sport division of Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America, announced that Cuban American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #43-Aric Almirola is nominated for the Best Car Racing Performance Award in the inaugural Premios Univision Deportes awards. The two-hour show is the ultimate sports award show for U.S. Hispanics honoring top athletes and teams from the leagues and sports that Hispanics care about most. Nomination is based on athletic performance and accomplishments in 2014. Almirola became the first Cuban American driver to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race when he captured his first win in the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway in July. The win secured him a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s official playoffs, another first for a Cuban American driver in the sport. Premios Univision Deportes will air on UniMás on Thursday, December 18th at 9:00pm/et with a simulcast on UDN (Univision Deportes Network).(RPM)(11-22-2014)


    News from November 21, 2014


  • What are Sprint Cup plans for Chase Elliott? In a Thursday interview on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s NASCAR channel, Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt said the team planned to field a car for Chase Elliott in a handful of Sprint Cup races next season under the guidance of Kenny Francis (who was promoted Wednesday from crew chief of the #5 to vehicle technical director by Hendrick). Duchardt didn’t speculate further on the future for Elliott. The 18-year-old son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott will run the rebranded Xfinity Series next year for JRM. “We’ll see what the right steps are for the future, but right now, we’re just going to take 2015 and take a look at how things are progressing,” Duchardt said. “It’s like having a prospect in Triple A batting .380 and when’s he going to come up to the club. I get it. But we’ll work on that and see where that all heads. Right now, he’ll run the NAPA Camaro in ’15, and we’ll run some Cup races and see where that leads us. I understand it’s part of the fun and speculation of what could or should be done. I completely understand it. We’re going to try to make sure we put him in the best position to be successful when he does come here full time.”
    Hendrick also has signed Jimmie Johnson through next season. At a Thursday event to announce more than $500,000 in education grants from his foundation, the six-time series champion indicated he hoped to have an extension soon and said he had been unaware of Kahne’s deal. “That’s good news for Kasey,” he said. Asked if Elliott was in line for his #48, Johnson said with a laugh, “No. I think there’s maybe somebody else in line to retire before I do.”(USA Today)(11-21-2014)

  • Jimmie Johnson Foundation announces grants: Six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra, announced the recipients of the 2014 Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Champions Grants. The grants, which are awarded to K-12 public and charter schools in Chandra and Jimmie Johnson’s respective hometowns of Muskogee, Oklahoma, El Cajon, California, and where they currently reside in Charlotte, North Carolina, totaled $556,623. The announcement took place at Garinger High School. Garinger is one of five schools in the Charlotte area to receive a Champions Grant. Students and staff from the five local schools were in attendance as the Johnsons made the announcement on behalf of the Foundation and program partner Lowe’s. The Johnsons shared that these schools, along with seven others from Muskogee and the San Diego area, have been selected to receive the grants. This year, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Champions Grant awards included $257,870 toward science and technology needs, $168,316 for health and fitness activities, $80,458 toward arts programs and $49,979 toward literacy initiatives. The funded projects for 2014 range from constructing an outdoor classroom and kitchen to creating a district-wide e-library to creating a visual arts program. Several schools also received technology grants to purchase new computers. Nearly $3.7 million has been contributed through the Champions Grant program since 2009. To see a detailed list of the 2014 Champions Grant projects, visit Jimmie Johnson Foundation.(Jimmie Johnson Foundation)(11-21-2014)

  • Tyler Walker gets 13th postponement for plea: At a hearing Tuesday, 5th District Judge Eric Ludlow postponed taking a plea on behalf of Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker for the 13th time as he did not appear in person and his defense attorney said his paperwork had not yet been received. Tyler was arrested after leading law enforcement on a high speed chase in January 2013. “This will be the 13th time he’s missed this,” Walker’s defense attorney Douglas Terry said. Ludlow gave Walker until Dec. 2 to deliver his plea-by-mail. “He has until the 2nd, then he has to appear in person and we’ll go from there,” Ludlow said. Charges against Walker stem from the January 2013 incident in which he is accused of fleeing from officers and drug possession. At the time, the Nevada Highway Patrol was alerted to be on the lookout for a reckless driver on northbound Interstate 15. Once located, a pursuit began and one Nevada trooper clocked the car, a BMW, traveling at 140 mph. The BMW passed into Arizona and then into Utah where the tires were spiked at Utah mile post 2 and all four tires were blown. The car then pulled over at mile post 6 and, once stopped, Walker attempted to flee on foot but was quickly subdued by an Arizona Highway Patrol trooper. His girlfriend at the time, Raelle McDonald who was traveling with him, was taken into custody without incident. According to a UHP statement, a subsequent search of the BMW produced alleged methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and alcohol.(St. George News)(11-21-2014)
  • Congrats: to JD Motorsports’ #01 car chief Ryan Bell and his wife Sarah on the birth of their son, Harvey Scott Bell, Friday morning at 4:30am. He weighed in at 8 pounds 6 oz. and was 23.25 inches long.(11-21-2014)

  • Athenian switching to Chevy, Townley to return full-time: Athenian Motorsports, LLC is proud to announce it will field a Chevrolet Camaro full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and a Chevrolet Silverado in all 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events in 2015 with engines provided by Hendrick Motorsports. Georgia native John Wes Townley will compete full-time for AMS in the Truck Series and run a partial schedule on the circuit previously known as the Nationwide Series. Veteran crew chiefs Mike Ford and Michael Shelton will continue to call the shots for AMS. Ford, a multiple-race winner in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, will return to lead the Xfinity team. Michael Shelton, who guided James Buescher to a NASCAR Truck Series title, will direct Townley’s 2015 effort in the Truck Series. Athenian Motorsports will call Concord, N.C. home, beginning in January. That’s when the second-year organization will take possession of the 43,000 square foot facility adjacent to the Concord Regional Airport that currently houses Richard Petty Motorsports.(Athenian Motorsports)(11-21-2014)
  • Cheez-It returns as sponsor at Watkins Glen: Watkins Glen International and Kellogg Company announced Cheez-It renews its place as the title sponsor of The Glen’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. WGI’s marquee event, Cheez-It 355 at The Glen returns August 6-9. This will be the company’s third-consecutive year as the race’s entitlement sponsor, while the iconic snack brand’s parent company, the Kellogg Company, has been involved with NASCAR since 1991. “NASCAR provides a great way for Cheez-It crackers to reach our fans and Watkins Glen provides an amazing venue that is unlike any other,” said Melissa Pawlowicz, senior director of integrated promotions for the Kellogg Company. “Cheez-It is proud to be associated with ‘The Glen’ and to play a role in bringing the excitement of the Cheez-It” 355 to life.”(Watkins Glen International)(11-21-2014)


    News from November 20, 2014


  • #17 team has parts confiscated, could face penalty UPDATES: NASCAR announced late Friday that officials have confiscated the rear-end suspension parts on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s #17 Ford Fusion after finding an issue during prequalifying inspection for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Saturday afternoon that NASCAR will take Stenhouse’s rear-end suspension back to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluation early next week. Any penalties resulting from the issue on Stenhouse’s car will likely be handed down on Tuesday — two days after the season’s final race — and could affect the final points standings.(FoxSports)(11-16-2014)
    UPDATE Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. faces a likely points penalty for rear suspension pieces confiscated during pre-qualifying inspection Friday. Pemberton said NASCAR will begin its review of the Stenhouse suspensions pieces Monday. Having unapproved rear suspension parts is considered a P5 penalty on NASCAR’s penalty system, meaning it could be as much as a penalty of 50 points, a fine of up to $125,000 and a six-week suspension for crew chief Mike Kelley.(Sporting News)(11-17-2014)
    UPDATE 2: The #17 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been penalized for a rules infraction discovered during pre-qualifying inspection Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This infraction is a P3 level penalty which is outlined in Section 12-4.3 of the 2014 NASCAR rule book:
    Violations resulting in P3 penalties tend to fall between serious and intermediate in nature. While they might include general “categories” of infractions similar to those in P4 (e.g. unauthorized parts; failing to meet specs; etc.), they tend to pertain more to secondary componentry or systems; modifications of lessor significance; go/no-go measurement failures of an intermediate nature.
    This infraction violates Sections:
    12-1 – Actions detrimental to stock car racing;
    20-12 – Suspension: All front end and rear suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension/drive line component beyond normal rotation or suspension/drive line travel.
    As a result of these violations, crew chief Mike Kelley has been fined $50,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for six months starting Jan. 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015. Additionally, car chief Patrick Magee has also been placed on NASCAR probation for six months starting Jan. 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015.(NASCAR)(11-20-2014)

  • LiftMaster to sponsor Kahne: LiftMaster, the number-one brand of professionally installed residential garage door openers, will join 11-time Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports beginning with the 2015 NASCAR season when it will become a primary sponsor of driver Kasey Kahne and his #5 Chevy SS team. The new relationship will feature LiftMaster, which is headquartered in Elmhurst, Illinois, as a primary sponsor in three Sprint Cup races annually and as an associate-level partner in all other events. The agreement covers the 2015, 2016 and 2017 NASCAR seasons. In 2015, the #5 LiftMaster Chevy SS will appear in Sprint Cup Series races May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, July 11 at Kentucky Speedway and Oct. 18 at Kansas Speedway.(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(11-20-2014)

  • Kahne signs 3 year extension with Hendrick: Hendrick Motorsports and Kasey Kahne have agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep the driver with the #5 Chevy SS team through the end of the 2018 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
    “It’s extremely gratifying to work with a driver like Kasey,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “I think the world of him both as a driver with championship-level talent and an overall terrific young man. Our whole organization has a great deal of respect for how hard he works, the professionalism he displays with our partners and the way he carries himself every day. We’re committed to winning races and competing for titles with him for many years to come.”
    Kahne, 34, originally signed with Hendrick Motorsports in April 2010 and officially joined the team’s four-car stable for the 2012 season. Over the past three years (2012-14), he ranks among the top-10 drivers in Sprint Cup wins (5), pole positions (4), top-five finishes (26) and laps led (1,177). The Enumclaw, Washington, native has 17 career wins in NASCAR’s top division.
    “I’ve found a home at Hendrick Motorsports,” said Kahne, who since 2012 has earned at least one victory each season while securing three consecutive Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berths. “We have incredible people and partners supporting us, and I couldn’t be more excited about the direction we’re headed as a team and a company. It’s the right place for me, and I’m looking forward to being here for a long time.” Kahne’s contract with Hendrick Motorsports was set to expire following the 2015 NASCAR season.(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-20-2014)

  • Greensboro Leads ESPN’s NASCAR Ratings for 2014 Season: For the seventh time in eight years, the Greensboro, N.C., television market led the nation’s metered markets with the highest average rating for ESPN’s 17 weeks of NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts, according to Nielsen Media. The 2014 season concluded Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Greensboro market averaged an 8.5 rating for the 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races on ESPN’s schedule (including three Saturday night races that aired on ABC), edging out Greenville, S.C., (8.4) for the top spot. Indianapolis was third with a 7.7 average rating, followed by Birmingham, Ala., at 6.3 and Charlotte, N.C., at 6.2. Rounding out the top 10 markets were Raleigh-Durham, N.C., 6.0; Richmond, Va., 5.8; Knoxville, Tenn., and Nashville, Tenn., tied for eighth at 5.5; and Orlando, Fla., Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., and Norfolk, Va., tied for 10^th at 5.1.
    Over the eight years of ESPN’s NASCAR TV contract, which expired at the end of this season, Greensboro led the nation with the highest average rating every year but 2009, when Knoxville, Tenn., took the top spot. Greensboro slipped to fifth that year but bounced back the following year and led every year afterward.
    The Greensboro market also led the nation with the highest average rating this year for the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, averaging an 8.2 rating. Greenville, S.C., was again second at 7.7, with Indianapolis (6.6), Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham (tied at 6.0) completing the top five.
    ESPN averaged a 2.9 U.S. household rating for its 17-race NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule for the fourth straight year in 2014, while the Chase averaged a 2.7 U.S. household rating for the third straight year.(ESPN)(11-20-2014)

  • 2014 First Team All Pit Road: After 4 weeks of peer voting, PitTalks.com has announced the names that got the most votes. They received over 350 votes from pit crew members and feel this is the most accurate and legit All Pit Road Team there is. Thanks to all the crew members who helped vote and congratulations to all the award winners:
    Gas Man: Justin White #14
    Jack Man: Nate Bolling #11
    Front Tire Changer: Dustin Necaise #11
    Front Tire Carrier: Kevin Harris #88
    Rear Tire Changer: Mike Hicks #11
    Rear Tire Carrier: Heath Cherry #11
    Pit Coach of the year: Mike Lepp, Joe Gibbs Racing
    Pit Crew of the Year: 1st. Team-#11 car of Joe Gibbs Racing For 2nd team, 3rd team and honorable mention, see the lists at PitTalks.com
    and see the latest pit crew lists on Jayski.com’s 2014 Pit Crew Chart page.(11-20-2014)

  • Stump named technical director at Stewart Haas: Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, has hired Rex Stump as its technical director, effective immediately. Stump comes to Stewart-Haas Racing after an 18-year career at Hendrick Motorsports. There, he founded the organization’s research and development program and has been instrumental in chassis design and technology. Stump graduated from Kettering University (formerly the General Motors Institute) in 1989 with bachelor’s degrees in mechanical and automotive engineering. Upon graduation, Stump worked at General Motors and participated in the Sloan Fellowship program, pursuing a master’s degree in structural analysis from Wayne State University in Detroit. While at General Motors, he began working with the Corvette team in developing the active-suspension of the C5, which was slated to debut in the early 1990s. When the active-suspension program was canceled and the C5 was delayed, Stump delved into motorsports, becoming a race engineer for Team Penske in 1991. Working with a group of engineers dedicated to improving the performance of the #2 team of driver Rusty Wallace, Stump helped advance Wallace from a two-win season in 1991 to a massive, 10-win season in 1993. By the end of 1993, Corvette had reactivated the C5. Stump returned to General Motors to assist with the project and stayed until the end of 1995, joining Hendrick Motorsports in 1996.(Stewart Haas Racing)(11-20-2014)

  • NASCAR Goes Orange to Recognize World COPD Day: NASCAR announced on World COPD Day that it is joining the fight to help NASCAR fans with COPD breathe easier. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a life threatening lung disease, is the fourth leading cause of death globally and affects more than 300 million individuals worldwide. Within the United States, COPD ranks as the third leading cause of death, with more than 24 million Americans affected and approximately half that number remaining undiagnosed. However, a simple, painless breathing test, called spirometry, can determine whether or not a person has COPD. DRIVE4COPD has been the Official Health Initiative of NASCAR since 2010 and has been responsible for screening nearly three million NASCAR fans. NASCAR and DRIVE4COPD are embarking on activities this month to help generate awareness and encourage fans to get screened, including:
    ” NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte will be lit orange throughout the remainder of the month
    ” SiriusXM will run PSAs encouraging fans to be screened
    ” NASCAR will recognize World COPD Day across its digital platforms
    ” DRIVE4COPD to host sweepstakes with NASCAR-themed prizing
    World COPD Day is an annual global event that aims to raise awareness of COPD. World COPD Day 2014 takes place around the theme “It’s not too late.” This positive message was chosen to emphasize the meaningful actions people can take to improve their respiratory health, at any stage, before or after a COPD diagnosis. DRIVE4COPD is a public health initiative that aims to help people identify symptoms of COPD and take action by utilizing public health screenings offered by the nonprofit group. For more information about the COPD Foundation and DRIVE4COPD, please visit www.drive4copd.org.(NASCAR)(11-20-2014)
  • Quiroga working on 2015 plans: German Quiroga has not yet locked up his seat with Red Horse for the 2015 season. Homestead winner Darrell Wallace Jr. is in a similar position, but may end up landing a gig in the Nationwide (soon to be Xfinity Series). As for Quiroga, his NASCAR future rides on sponsorship money, just as so many others trying to make it today are. “I’m trying to put everything together to keep racing. Sponsorship wise, it’s going to be hard. I’m trying so we can continue with this program and it all depends on how much money/sponsors we can have. We’ll just have to see where we land.”(Motorsport.com)(11-20-2014)
  • Martinsville Speedway Toy Drive Has New Look, Same Goals: This year’s Martinsville Speedway Toy Drive will have a new look and feel, but the goal will remain the same: to brighten Christmas morning for as many children as possible in Martinsville and Henry County. The centerpieces of the 2014 toy drive will be five online auctions of VIP race experiences at Martinsville Speedway and toy collection at the Lowe’s in Martinsville between 11am and 2pm on December 13 complete with Santa Claus, the Martinsville Speedway pace car and a mock victory lane for photos. The auctions, which will be on eBay, will make the fundraiser a national event, drawing from Martinsville Speedway and NASCAR fans from all over the country, which in turn should mean the ability to raise more money. The auctions will be announced on Martinsville Speedway’s website, www.martinsvillespeedway.com and via social media. Some of the items included in the auctions will be pre-race passes, pit passes, suite tickets and victory lane passes. All proceeds will go to the Grace Network, an association of more than 100 churches in the Martinsville and Henry County area, to help families in need at Christmas. Fans will still be able to drive their personal cars around the historic Martinsville Speedway as part of the toy drive, but this year the window of opportunity is much larger. Beginning Dec. 1 and running through Dec. 12, Monday through Friday between 9:00am and 5:00pm, five laps around the track will be offered for the donation of a new, unwrapped toy or a $10 donation.(Martinsville Speedway)(11-20-2014)


    News from November 19, 2014


  • Kurt Busch meets with Delaware police: NASCAR driver Kurt Busch has met with Delaware police investigating an allegation by his ex-girlfriend that he assaulted her. Police say Busch and his attorneys met with investigators Tuesday afternoon. An attorney for Busch says he was cooperative and continues to deny the allegations by 36-year-old Patricia Driscoll. Police spokesman Mark Hoffman says the investigation is continuing and that no decision on whether to file charges has been made. Driscoll claims she was assaulted inside Busch’s motorhome at Dover International Speedway in September, just days after the couple broke up.(Associated Press)(11-19-2014)

  • Harvick does Top 10 on Letterman: Tuesday night, #4-Kevin Harvick appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman to give the Top 10 List.
    His subject: Top Ten Tips For Becoming An Auto Racing Champion
    10. Hands at 10 and 2 when driving. 11 and 1 when celebrating
    9. Reduce weight of the car — take out the brakes
    8. During a race, save your energy for the post-race brawl
    7. There’s no rule about slashing your opponents tires
    6. No sex the night before the race — or during the race
    5. Don’t waste time learning to parallel park
    4. A pit stop should only last long enough to lick the windshield clean
    3. Resist the temptation to take a mid-race selfie
    2. Remeber: If you lose, you don’t have to do ‘Letterman’
    1. Accept the fact that your ass will never stop vibrating
    View the video on the Late Show with David Letterman site.(11-19-2014)

  • Crew chief change for Kahne? UPDATE: Since #5-Kasey Kahne’s struggles earlier this season, rumors have persisted that Hendrick Motorsports would make a crew chief change on the #5 Farmer’s Insurance Chevy. Although Kenny Francis has guided Kahne to 16 wins and five Chase appearances, this season the team barely made the playoffs after pulling off a last-minute victory at Atlanta. After eight seasons with Francis, the success the pair once enjoyed appeared to evaporate after team engineer Keith Rodden left to join Ganassi Racing as crew chief for #1-Jamie McMurray. But if the rumor mill is right, Rodden could be returning to Hendrick Motorsports next season as Kahne’s crew chief. The trio of Kahne, Francis and Rodden moved to HMS three seasons ago. Francis, who has a year remaining on his contract, would remain on in a technical director type of role. When asked about his status for next year, Francis declined comment. Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick said on Sunday morning, “I don’t know what we’re going to do yet. Doug Duchardt is working on some projects…nothing is done. Nothing is signed. We’re looking at some options, but we’re really happy with what we have.” When asked whether Rodden was returning to HMS, Hendrick said, “I’m not sure.” Ganassi Racing reps offered a similar reply. Long-time Hendrick Motorsports engineering director Rex Stump is moving to Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the season.(Motorsport)(11-9-2014)
    UPDATE: In preparation for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and revised rules that affect race car development and on-track testing, Hendrick Motorsports has named Kenny Francis to the new position of vehicle technical director and Keith Rodden as crew chief of the #5 Chevy SS team of driver Kasey Kahne. The roles take effect immediately. Francis, 44, will oversee organization-wide car design and development with day-to-day management of Hendrick Motorsports’ chassis, body, research and development, on-track testing, vehicle engineering and simulation programs. Reporting to general manager Doug Duchardt, he will serve as the primary liaison between Hendrick Motorsports’ crew chiefs and its vehicle group. Rodden will return to Hendrick Motorsports where he worked alongside Francis in 2012 and 2013 while the lead engineer for Kahne and the #5 team. For 2014, he was named crew chief for the #1 team at Chip Ganassi Racing where he won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, earned two pole positions and helped driver Jamie McMurray set a career-best season in laps led.(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-19-2014)

  • Gustafson talks about decision to pit Gordon at Homestead: Crew chief Alan Gustafson said his mistake late in Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway cost #24-Jeff Gordon a chance to win. Gustafson discussed his late-race strategy Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.” Gustafson told Gordon not pit during a caution 19 laps from the finish. The move kept Gordon first but with most of the field taking tires, it left him at a disadvantage. During the next caution a few laps later, Gordon pitted from second to get four new tires. He didn’t have time to recover. Gordon finished 10th despite leading a race-high 161 laps. So what happened?
    “Really, the error was made, I stayed out when the majority of the field pitted and that put us in a bad situation,” Gustafson said of the caution 19 laps from the finish. “Jeff felt like (on the following caution) we weren’t in a very good position to succeed, so we made a decision to come pit. Really the first stop, when us and Denny (Hamlin) and … a few other cars stayed out, that was the one that really hurt us. That’s on me. It was a mistake I made. I tried to keep the track position. I felt like that was going to be the highest percentage decision and it ended up not being. That put us behind unfortunately. I think we had the best car. The team deserved to win the race. It was a bad decision from my part and I’m going to learn from it. It would be really easy for me to make a lot of excuses and say, ‘Hey there’s a lot of circumstances that play into it – and there are and it is a very tough thing to do – but that’s my job and in that situation I feel like I didn’t do it to the best of my capabilities.”(MRN)(11-19-2014)

  • ESPN’s Live NASCAR Race Coverage Takes Checkered Flag: After 28 years and 398 races, ESPN’s live telecasts of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing took the checkered flag Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the telecast of the 2014 season finale. The race marked the end of ESPN’s eight-year contract with NASCAR, which began in 2007. Previously, ESPN had televised live NASCAR racing from 1981-2000. Beginning in 2015, Fox and NBC will split the NASCAR season.
    “We’ve enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with NASCAR,” said John Skipper, ESPN president. “NASCAR was a fundamental building block for ESPN during our first two decades and will always be an important part of our history. We have tremendous respect for all in the sport and wish them well. While we won’t be televising NASCAR races after this season, the only thing ending in our relationship with NASCAR is the live racing. NASCAR coverage will continue to live on all ESPN platforms going into the future.”
    ESPN’s history with NASCAR began in March of 1981, less than two years after the network launched in September of 1979, with the tape-delayed airing of its first NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Rockingham, N.C. At the time, only the Daytona 500, NASCAR’s biggest race, aired live in its entirety, and that had only started in 1979. Selected other events either aired live in part or on a delayed basis, sometimes weeks later, on broadcast network television. After three more delayed telecasts in 1981, ESPN aired its first live flag-to-flag telecast of a NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Nov. 8, 1981, from Atlanta. From that race forward, with a few exceptions, the NASCAR races airing on ESPN were live and the entire race was shown, setting a pattern that resonated with viewers. And as ESPN added races to its schedule in the next several years, and other networks did as well, the NASCAR premier series schedule was on its way to being fully televised. ESPN televised 262 races from NASCAR’s premier series from 1981-2000, an era of unprecedented growth for both NASCAR and ESPN. During a time when individual racetracks made their own deals for television, ESPN introduced a national audience to races telecast from classic NASCAR tracks such as Bristol, Martinsville, North Wilkesboro, Rockingham and others that had seldom been seen on TV. In 1990, ESPN aired its all-time high of 20 events.
    Bob Jenkins was a central figure in ESPN’s live NASCAR race telecasts for the first 20 years as the lap-by-lap announcer, joined by analyst Larry Nuber in the early years and then later by former NASCAR champions Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons in the booth as analysts. Dr. Jerry Punch, who joined ESPN in 1984, was a pit reporter for 17 of ESPN’s first 20 years of NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage and also called some races from the booth, including the memorable Talladega race in 2000 that was the last win for the late Dale Earnhardt. Punch remains with ESPN today and was the only announcer who worked on Sprint Cup race telecasts in both ESPN eras. Dr. Dick Berggren and John Kernan also had long runs as pit reporters during ESPN’s first 20 years in NASCAR while Nuber, Jack Arute, Bill Weber and Ray Dunlap also contributed to coverage from the pits. Bestwick and analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree were the voices calling the race in ESPN’s NASCAR booth in recent years, with pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Vince Welch and Punch. Analysts Rusty Wallace and Brad Daugherty joined host Nicole Briscoe on the pre-race NASCAR Countdown program. Among other announcers who contributed to ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race telecasts over the past eight seasons: analysts Tim Brewer, Ricky Craven and Ray Evernham, anchor Marty Reid, pit reporters Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake, reporter Marty Smith and pre-race show hosts Brent Musburger and Suzy Kolber.
    Along the way in both periods of NASCAR on ESPN, the network has been a leader in innovations to elevate the coverage of the sport, with the live racing honored with 19 Sports Emmy Awards, as well as many industry honors, including the NASCAR Award of Excellence (1989) and the National Motorsports Press Association Myers Brothers Award (1987). Notable innovations and firsts in ESPN’s NASCAR coverage:
    1981 – ESPN airs its first live, flag-to-flag telecast of a NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Atlanta on Nov. 8.
    1985 – ESPN is first network to have live telecast of qualifying for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race
    1989 – Introduction of “crew cam” attached to a member of Rusty Wallace’s crew at Rockingham – followed by other unique innovations including telemetry, “CableCam,” “FootCam,” “RoofCam,” “SuspensionCam” and the use of an infrared camera and roving reporters.
    1991 – Introduction of “Tread Cam” buried in the asphalt at Indianapolis Raceway Park for telecast of a NASCAR Nationwide Series race – the innovation won a Sports Emmy Award for Point of View Technology.
    1996 – “rpm2night” becomes TV’s first daily motorsports news show
    2007 – First time a single network had televised entire NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule
    2007 – ESPN is first network to televise NASCAR fully in high definition with the first use of HD in-car cameras
    2007 – First network to record/have available for playback all 43 team radios during a race telecast
    2007 – First network to have enclosed mobile studio for cutaway race car and demonstration of technical elements of racing (Emmy Award-winning ESPN Tech Garage)
    2008 – First network to have two female pit reporters on NASCAR Sprint Cup telecasts (Jamie Little and Shannon Spake)
    2009 – ESPN2’s NASCAR Now originates live from the White House, the first regularly-scheduled ESPN program ever to do so. President Obama is interviewed on the program.
    2011 – Introduction of “NASCAR NonStop” for split-screen commercial breaks during second half of all Chase races (ESPN pioneered split-screen commercial breaks in IndyCar coverage in 2006)
    2011 – Introduction of dual path technology in Sprint Cup coverage, allowing views from two different onboard cameras in same shot for first time
    2013 – NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson becomes first active athlete to guest host ESPN’s signature news and information program SportsCenter
    (ESPN)(11-19-2014)

  • Discount Tire renews with Team Penske: Team Penske announced that it has reached a multi-year extension with Discount Tire, the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer, to continue as a key marketing partner with the team. Discount Tire will remain a primary sponsor of the #22 Team Penske Ford Mustang for at least 24 races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and serve as an associate sponsor for both the #2 and #22 Ford Fusions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. A long-time NASCAR supporter, Discount Tire established a successful relationship with Team Penske after joining forces for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. That year, the #22 Discount Tire team earned a series-record 26 top-five finishes en route to the NNS Championship with Brad Keselowski, which gave Roger Penske his first NASCAR title as a team owner. In 2013, Discount Tire and Team Penske continued their success together, earning the NNS Owners’ Championship and 12 wins with four different drivers, including Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and AJ Allmendinger. The production continued this season with the #22 Discount Tire Ford team once again claiming the 2014 NNS Owners’ Championship with Keselowski, Logano, Blaney, Alex Tagliani and Michael McDowell sharing driving duties.(Team Penske)(11-19-2014)


    News from November 18, 2014


  • Homestead TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of the Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 16, the final race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, had a rise in viewership for the second straight year, leading to an increase in overall viewership during the 10 races of the Chase. The Miami event averaged 5,223,000 viewers, up from 5,119,000 for last year’s race and 4,769,000 for the race in 2012, according to Nielsen Media. The race telecast earned a 3.1 U.S. household rating, the same as last year, but up from a 3.0 rating in 2012. The 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup averaged 4,408,000 viewers, up from 4,283,000 for last year’s Chase. The 10 races averaged a 2.7 U.S. rating in both years. For the Miami race, Greensboro, N.C., led the nation’s 56 metered markets with a 9.9 rating, followed by Greenville, S.C., at 9.0 and Indianapolis at 8.9. Raleigh-Durham, N.C., (7.6) and Charlotte, N.C., (7.2) were fourth and fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Richmond, Va., 6.7; Knoxville, Tenn., 6.6; Norfolk, Va., 5.9; and a tie at 5.5 among Jacksonville, Fla., Dayton, Ohio, Birmingham, Ala., and Tampa-St.Petersburg, Fla.(ESPN)See past races for 2014 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2014 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(11-18-2014)

  • McCall named new crew chief for McMurray: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates announced that Matt McCall has been named crew chief for Jamie McMurray and the #1 team. McCall will assume the role effective immediately to prepare for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. McCall joins CGRFS from Richard Childress Racing where he most recently has been the race engineer for the #31 Chevy that made it to the Championship round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ultimately finishing the season second in the championship point standings. McCall is also a former driver who has competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series. In fact, racing has been in his blood from an early age as he began racing go-karts at age nine and eventually joined the World Karting Association Dirt Series where he would ultimately win the honor of Grand National Champion. He would also go on to race in Super Sport events as well. The Denver, NC native graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a major in mechanical engineering. The 33-year-old McCall is also passionate about fitness and holds a third-degree black belt in karate.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(11-18-2014)

  • Crew member suspended for substance abuse violation: Kelly Johnson, 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 Nov. 17, 2014, Johnson 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 2014 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(11-18-2014)

  • Borland to move over to Haas’ F1 team UPDATE: One of Gene Haas’ first hires for his Formula One, Matt Borland, was recruited from right next door, Stewart-Haas Racing. Although Borland, 43, has straddled his duties between SHR and Haas F1, the engineer turned crew chief and now vice president of competition on the NASCAR side will take of the role as vice president of special projects for the F1 team at seasons end. “Formula One is certainly a lot more technical and I think Borland is looking for the challenge,” Haas told Motorsport.com. “He’s been doing this a long time and even I have been doing NASCAR a long time and I look at Formula One, like next year we’ll have a whole year to see how these cars are built. I’ve already had a couple of opportunities to see how the cars are built and they’re just very fascinating. It’s going to give us an opportunity to take some of our NASCAR crew people and say, ‘hey, here’s an opportunity to learn something new, can you apply that to Formula One and vice versa. The Formula One people from Ferrari are also interested in how we do things.” Haas and Borland attended the F1 race at Circuit of the Americas last month. Haas also visited the Maranello-based Ferrari during the Italian Grand Prix. In Austin, Borland preferred to remain under the radar while on his fact-finding mission.(Motorsport)(11-13-2014)
    UPDATE: Veteran motorsports engineer Matt Borland has been named vice president of technology for Haas F1 Team and Stewart-Haas Racing. In this role, Borland will serve as a liaison between the two organizations – Haas F1 Team in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Borland will oversee the transfer of Formula One technology to Stewart-Haas Racing while providing Haas F1 Team with deep engineering resources. Concurrently, the highly-respected Borland will serve as a gatekeeper, ensuring the privacy of proprietary information respective to each team. Borland joined Haas CNC Racing, the precursor to Stewart-Haas Racing, in May 2007. He has served in numerous capacities, including crew chief, competition director, technical director and, most recently, vice president of engineering, where he oversaw all of the team’s technical initiatives and research and development projects. Borland came to Haas CNC Racing with significant NASCAR experience, first with Team Penske from the end of the 1999 season through 2006 and then with Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007. Prior to coming to NASCAR, Borland was the race engineer for driver Mark Blundell at PacWest Racing in Champ Car and before that, Borland was at Pi Research, a well-known engineering organization specializing in motorsports.(SHR)(11-18-2014)

  • Brian France: ‘like a grand slam in the ninth inning’: NASCAR Chairman/CEO Brian France didn’t think Kevin Harvick just hit a home run Sunday in winning the first Sprint Cup championship under the new elimination format. No, with the dramatic way Harvick took the lead on the closing laps and then held on for his first-ever Sprint Cup championship, it was much more in France’s mind. “It might have been a grand slam in the ninth inning,” France said Monday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “I really thought that in past times and late in the season – I go back to Tony Stewart when he not only had to beat Carl Edwards and win (2011 championship), and some other performances – I really thought whoever was going to come away with the championship was going to need a win.”
    “It was amazing,” France said. “The amount of excitement and drama, watching that, even for long-time fans like myself, that has you on the edge of your seat, who’s going to do this thing. That’s the beauty of this format.” It’s unlikely there will be any further major revisions to the format, although some minor tweak(s) may still occur once NASCAR reviews all elements of how the Chase played out in the next month or so. Certainly, having sold-out venues at the final two tracks – Phoenix and Homestead-Miami – ended the Chase on an especially high note. And then with Harvick’s dramatic push to the front, the race win and ultimately the championship, France and NASCAR look forward to more of the same kind of excitement and drama in subsequent editions of the Chase to come. “As we go down the road, that’s going to be the Chase,” France said. “If you go back through (this year’s edition of) the Chase, there were plenty of big moments where teams stepped up to move on – (Brad) Keselowski when he had to do it at Talladega, for example. I think the teams like that environment. I know it’s stressful for them, but at the end of the day, they get excited and elevated themselves.”(NBC Sports)(11-18-2014)

  • Kyle Busch says JGR needs an affiliation: #18-Kyle Busch says that Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing need to work more closely together if they are to compete against the Hendrick Motorsports-Stewart Haas Racing conglomeration and other teams next season. While Busch’s teammate, #11-Denny Hamlin, raced for the championship Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, there was a disparity in victories among the Toyota teams and others, including Stewart-Haas Racing, which won the championship with #4-Kevin Harvick. “We have four cars going next year and in reality we should have six, no ifs, ands, or buts,” Busch said Monday, alluding to the addition of #19-Carl Edwards to JGR, which gives that organization four teams, and MWR’s two teams. “We need to have as much as we can have.” Busch views Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing as one eight-car entity. Stewart-Haas Racing receives chassis and engines from Hendrick Motorsports and shares information. “We need to have an affiliation,” Busch said during a luncheon before Monday night’s Nationwide and Camping World Truck banquet. “It would be nice if MWR … made us all eight. It would be better for all of us. There’s a couple of reasons that we’re fighting internally why we’re not mingling with those guys quite yet, but hopefully that gets resolved here soon.” Busch described the information shared between Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing as “informal. It’s like … “Hey we’re running these four springs and bars and shocks,’ but in reality what’s your pivots, what’s this, what’s that, what’s everything else?” Busch said that aero information from a wind tunnel is shared among the two teams but other areas of information doesn’t transfer as well. Busch noted that the two teams have different chassis simulation programs.(in part from MRN)(11-18-2014)

  • Frankie Kerr consulting for Renegade Sprints: To clear up any recent confusion, Frankie Kerr has been picked as the Renegade Sprints series director for the near future. However, he is currently enjoying the series and will not be leaving NASCAR at this time. Renegade Sprints President Shane Helms is the point man with Kerr acting as an advisor until he can officially come on board. “Every decision made is still going to go through Frankie Kerr,” Helms said. “We are very excited to have him helping the series right now before he can completely take the reins.”(Renegade Sprints series)
    AND: been told that Kerr has offered to advise, but that’s it. He’s plans to stay in NASCAR.(11-18-2014)

  • Gordon moves into 2nd in the all-time top-tens list: During his 22-year Sprint Cup career, #24-Jeff Gordon has collected 454 top-10s, which is now 2nd all-time in that statistical category, with Mark Martin (453) now in 3rd and 258 behind Richard Petty (712). Gordon has collected 23 this season, which is the series-best.(11-18-2014)

  • Kenseth goes from seven wins to zero wins: After winning a series-high seven races last year, #20-Matt Kenseth was winless in 2014. It was one of the greatest turnarounds in series history. Only Carl Edwards’ falloff in 2008 would be greater. Edwards won a series-high nine races in 2008 and then went winless the following season. Kenseth is the eighth driver in series history to win at least five races one season and go winless the following year (while running the full schedule).
    The drivers:
    Carl Edwards (nine wins in 2008, zero in 2009)
    Matt Kenseth (seven wins in 2013, zero in 2014)
    Jeff Gordon (six wins in 2007, zero in 2008)
    Kasey Kahne (six wins in 2006 zero in 2007)
    Mark Martin (five wins in 2009, zero in 2010)
    Bill Elliott (five wins in 1992, zero in 1993)
    Dale Earnhardt (five wins in 1980, zero in 1981)
    Richard Petty (five wins in 1978, zero in 1977)
    (MRN and updated)(11-18-2014)

  • Eight drivers who won in 2013, did not win in 2014: Eight drivers were shut out of winning a Sprint Cup race in 2014 after winning at least one race in 2013:
    #14-Tony Stewart last won at Dover in June 2013 and lost a 15 season win streak, the 4th longest in NASCAR history.
    #31-Ryan Newman last won at Indianpolis in July 2013 and lost a 4 season win streak.
    Other drivers who won in 2013 and failed to do so in 2014: #20-Matt Kenseth, #16-Greg Biffle, #34-David Ragan, #78-Martin Truex Jr., #55-Brian Vickers and #1-Jamie McMurray.(11-18-2014)

  • Kevin Harvick’s Racing Championships:
    The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship is Kevin Harvick’s eighth driving title in his 33 years of racing.
    His titles are:
    2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship
    2006 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship
    2002 IROC Series Championship
    2001 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship
    1998 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Championship
    1993 Late Model Track Championship at Mesa Marin Raceway in Bakersfield, California
    1987 World Karting Association National Championship
    1985 World Karting Association National Championship.(SHR)(11-18-2014)
  • Elliott, Crafton honored at banquet: NASCAR’s first year celebrating its Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series awards banquet at the Trump National Doral Miami feted one of the sport’s newest champions and a repeat victor Monday night. But before the festivities came into full swing, it included a warm-up by the resort’s namesake. The day after the thrilling conclusion to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Chase Elliott and Matt Crafton — stock-car racing’s other national series champions — took center stage Monday as the toast of the glitzy Donald J. Trump Ballroom. But before their speeches and moments of remembrance, “The Donald” himself gave the industry a warm welcome. “I didn’t watch a minute of the NFL yesterday,” Trump said about Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “I watched NASCAR. You’re much more brave.”
    Participants in both series donned their formal best Monday evening, celebrating the accolades of two seasons of racing that began in February at Daytona. Those assembled at the 62 tables cheered the contributions of departing entitlement sponsor Nationwide and longtime broadcast partner ESPN, but also paid tribute to two deserving champions.
    Elliott’s first full season in a NASCAR national series was welcomed with a championship in what will become the NASCAR XFINITY Series next year. But it also came with a surprise honor in the form of the series’ most popular driver award. His father, NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Bill Elliott, was a 16-time winner of the NMPA Most Popular Driver Award in NASCAR’s premier series.
    Crafton’s return to the head table came by virtue of his second straight title, a historic first for the Camping World Truck Series. Last season his heart-tugging acceptance speech took several emotional turns; this year, a quip beforehand about his 1 1/2-year-old daughter, Elladee, helped him channel his inner comic. “She’s been around two years and I’ve won two truck series championships,” Crafton said. “Why’d I wait so long to have kids?”
    Ryan Blaney, the truck series’ runner-up this year, brought home the most popular driver award in the Camping World Truck Series but waved off making an acceptance speech.
    The Team Penske #22 Ford (Nationwide) and Kyle Busch Motorsports #51 Toyota (trucks) were honored for their team owner championships in their respective series. Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch (Nationwide) also claimed top honors in the year-end Keystone Light and Coors Light Pole Awards, leading both series in the number of poles this season. Busch was also lauded with the Mobil 1 Driver of the Year in the truck series. Kyle Larson won the award in the Nationwide Series.(NASCAR.com)(11-18-2014)

  • Regan Smith to get new crew chief: JR Motorsports just completed its most successful season, with drivers #9-Chase Elliott and #7-Regan Smith finishing 1-2 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. But changes are ahead for the 10-year-old organization founded by Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., and capably run by Kelley Earnhardt Miller, co-owner of the team as well as the vice president and business manager of the organization. Ryan Pemberton, who as served in the dual role of competition director and crew chief for the #7 Chevy team fielded for Smith, will return to the singular role of competition director. Greg Ives, who guided Elliott and the #9 team to the championship, is moving to Hendrick Motorsports to replace Steve Letarte atop the pit box for Earnhardt in the Sprint Cup Series. Ives will be replaced by Ernie Cope, a veteran crew chief that has overseen the third team, the #5, at JRM that has featured several drivers, including Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and 2014 Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick, behind the wheel. That leaves a need for a crew chief for Smith as well someone for the #5 entry (which will be the #88 entry next season in the XFINITY Series), something Earnhardt said has been addressed and will be announced likely as soon as week’s end.(NASCAR.com)(11-18-2014)

  • Zipadelli leaves Turner Scott: Scott Zipadelli has been released from Turner Scott Motorsports. Most recently, Zipadelli was the crew chief for Kyle Larson and the #42 Chevy in the Nationwide Series. Zipadelli, 45, was promoted from car chief to crew chief in 2007. His first assignment was with Kelly Bires at the #47 team owned by Tad Geschickter. He has 253 starts in eight seasons. Team owner Harry Scott said on Saturday that he hopes to have his lineup set in the next two weeks. There have been rumblings that Ganassi Racing would take Larson and Kwasniewski’s NNS programs in house. “I don’t want to race as much Nationwide stuff, but I would like to run a handful of races,” Larson told Motorsport.com on Friday.(Motorsport)(11-18-2014)

  • Discount Tire renews sponsorship with Penske: Team Penske announced that it has reached a multi-year extension with Discount Tire, the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer, to continue as a key marketing partner with the team. Discount Tire will remain a primary sponsor of the #22 Team Penske Ford Mustang for at least 24 races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and serve as an associate sponsor for both the #2 and #22 Ford Fusions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. A long-time NASCAR supporter, Discount Tire established a successful relationship with Team Penske after joining forces for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. That year, the #22 Discount Tire team earned a series-record 26 top-five finishes en route to the NNS Championship with Brad Keselowski, which gave Roger Penske his first NASCAR title as a team owner. In 2013, Discount Tire and Team Penske continued their success together, earning the NNS Owners’ Championship and 12 wins with four different drivers, including Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and AJ Allmendinger. The production continued this season with the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford team once again claiming the 2014 NNS Owners’ Championship with Keselowski, Logano, Blaney, Alex Tagliani and Michael McDowell sharing driving duties.(Team Penske)(11-18-2014)
  • Crew member reinstated: NASCAR has reinstated Troy Cupples, a crew member in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, upon his successful completion of NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. On Aug. 11, 2014, Couples 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 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(11-18-2014)

  • Crafton, KBM honored: NASCAR’s first year celebrating its Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series awards banquet at the Trump National Doral Miami feted one of the sport’s newest champions and a repeat victor Monday night. But before the festivities came into full swing, it included a warm-up by the resort’s namesake. The day after the thrilling conclusion to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Chase Elliott and Matt Crafton — stock-car racing’s other national series champions — took center stage Monday as the toast of the glitzy Donald J. Trump Ballroom. But before their speeches and moments of remembrance, “The Donald” himself gave the industry a warm welcome. Participants in both series donned their formal best Monday evening, celebrating the accolades of two seasons of racing that began in February at Daytona.
    Crafton’s return to the head table came by virtue of his second straight title, a historic first for the Camping World Truck Series. Last season his heart-tugging acceptance speech took several emotional turns; this year, a quip beforehand about his 1 1/2-year-old daughter, Elladee, helped him channel his inner comic. “She’s been around two years and I’ve won two truck series championships,” Crafton said. “Why’d I wait so long to have kids?”
    Ryan Blaney, the truck series’ runner-up this year, brought home the most popular driver award in the Camping World Truck Series but waved off making an acceptance speech. The Team Penske #22 Ford (Nationwide) and Kyle Busch Motorsports #51 Toyota (trucks) were honored for their team owner championships in their respective series.
    Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch (Nationwide) also claimed top honors in the year-end Keystone Light and Coors Light Pole Awards, leading both series in the number of poles this season. Busch was also lauded with the Mobil 1 Driver of the Year in the truck series.(NASCAR.com)(11-18-2014)
  • Atlanta Motor Speedway Offering Free Fourth Ticket With Purchase Of Any 3: In celebration of Kevin Harvick’s 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship win, Atlanta Motor Speedway is offering a free fourth ticket with the purchase of any three reserved grandstand tickets for the Sunday, March 1 Sprint Cup Series race. Tickets may be purchased at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com, Ticketmaster or at the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office. This extremely limited-time offer will only be available through midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 19. Tickets must be purchased in blocks of four to take advantage of this offer. NASCAR racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway Feb. 27-March 1, 2015, including a Camping World Truck Series race and Xfinity Series race doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 28 and Sprint Cup Series racing action on Sunday, March 1. For more information or to purchase tickets today, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.(AMS)(11-18-2014)
  • Sonoma Raceway Tickets Now On Sale: Race fans looking to enjoy some of the best events in motorsports are in luck, as Sonoma Raceway has opened its ticket office for the 2015 race season just in time for the holidays. Tickets for all major events are now available, including the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (June 26-28), NHRA Sonoma Nationals NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series (July 31-Aug.2) and the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, the Verizon IndyCar Series’ season finale (Aug. 28-30). Plus, to help ring in the holidays, anyone who purchases race tickets through Dec. 19 will receive a 2014 commemorative Sonoma Raceway ornament (one per account). Sonoma Raceway will continue its Buy-Early-and-Save options in 2015 for all three major event weekends. By purchasing tickets well in advance of NASCAR, NHRA or INDYCAR, fans can secure the best seats at the best prices. In addition, all Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend pass buyers will receive a complimentary Friday and Saturday Cold Pit Pass. Fans can purchase individual or weekend tickets, as well as secure camping and ticket packages, for all 2015 major events by calling 800-870-RACE (7223), visiting an account representative at the raceway or by purchasing tickets online at racesonoma.com/tickets.(Sonoma Raceway)(11-18-2014)


    News from November 17, 2014


  • NASCAR Next Alumni Sweep Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards: For the first time since the NASCAR Next initiative was created in 2011, three of its alumni captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards in NASCAR’s national series. Kyle Larson took home the honor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Chase Elliott added the accolade to his resume in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Ben Kennedy earned the recognition competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. “The 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year class is a testament to the massive effort put towards developing our next generation of stars through the NASCAR Next initiative,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president of Industry Services. “We congratulate all three honorees and look forward to watching them accomplish great things in the future.”
    The winner of last season’s NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, Larson, 22, is only the sixth driver to also claim the honor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He defeated runner-up Austin Dillon by 88 points behind eight top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. A graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity (D4D) program, Larson placed second in three races and won a Coors Light Pole Award. He pilots the #42 Target Chevrolet SS for Chip Ganassi Racing.
    Elliott – 18 years, 11 months and 18 days – became the youngest and first rookie champion in NASCAR national series history when he captured the NASCAR Nationwide Series title. The #9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet driver won three races and ended his season on a streak of 14 top-10 finishes. A native of Dawsonville, Georgia, Elliott will return to the series next season to defend his title. He finished 47 points ahead of second-place Ty Dillon in the final NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award standings.
    Kennedy, 22, was the highest rookie finisher in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series-best eight races. Kennedy tied Tyler Reddick atop the rookie standings, winning the tiebreaker thanks to a final championship points position of ninth. Kennedy drove his #31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado to a career-best third-place finish at Martinsville in March.
    “Sunoco has been a proud supporter of NASCAR’s rising stars through the Sunoco Rookie of the Year program for the past decade,” said Cynthia Archer, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Sunoco. “This year’s award winners represent the youthful exuberance and competitive drive that define this award and we couldn’t be more excited to see what the future holds as their careers advance.”(NASCAR)
    See the 2014 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(11-17-2014)
  • Homestead Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2014 Ford Ecoboost 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 3:02 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:41 PM (all times are EST). ESPN was the broadcast team for this event. Not only was this the last race of the 2014 season, but ESPN’s for the foreseeable future, as Fox and NBC will split broadcast duties starting in 2015.
    Total number of commercials: 128
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 64
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 70
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 46
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 58
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 35
    Number of times ESPN utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 9
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 262
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 2 min. 50 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:02 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:41 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 219
    Minutes of race broadcast: 189
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 30
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 23
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 189 Total comm. brdcst time 30
    For past races, links to more detailed reports at CawsnJaws.com see the 2014 TV Commercials page.(11-17-2014)

  • Budweiser Racing Championship Fact Sheet:
    Kevin Harvick and the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS team secured the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with a dominating victory in Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    The effort marks Budweiser’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship as a primary sponsor in the racing series. The King of Beers’ previous title came in 1985 with Darrell Waltrip driving the #11 Budweiser Chevrolet for Junior Johnson & Associates. That year Waltrip won three races, scored 5 pole awards, and earned 18 top fives and 21 top-10 finishes.
    In 32 seasons as a primary sponsor of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, Budweiser Racing drivers have earned a total of 66 wins, 52 pole awards, 306 top fives and 527 top-10 finishes.
    The 2014 season marks Budweiser’s fourth-consecutive year as one of Harvick’s primary sponsors in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the brewer’s first season with Stewart-Haas Racing.
    Harvick and the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS team earned five wins, 14 top fives, 20 top-10 finishes and eight pole awards en route to the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
    In Harvick’s 14 seasons competing at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series level he’s accumulated 28 wins, 114 top fives, 229 top-10 finishes and 14 pole awards. (Budweiser Racing)(11-17-2014)

  • Stewart’s win streak on the line; no new crew chief UPDATE: #14-Tony Stewart has won at least one race in each of the last 15 seasons and needs to win at Homestead to extend his streak. Richard Petty holds the record at 18 seasons followed by David Pearson at 17, Rusty Wallace and Ricky Rudd at 16 each. See the list on the All-time wins page for the full list.
    UPDATE – no crew chief change: “All streaks come to an end at some point,” Stewart quietly said during an interview with The Associated Press. “The streak is important to me, and this year, I still won a sprint car race when I came back,” he said. “So I’ve had 36 straight years of at least winning a race. I was proud to have 15 years in a row that I won a race in the Cup Series. I’ll be sad if it stops and it ends, but that’s part of it.”
    Crew Chief Chad Johnston, who in his first year with Stewart, is desperately trying to keep the winning streak intact. Many of Stewart’s longtime fans think Johnston is to blame for Stewart’s struggles because he’s not giving him a car he can drive. Stewart said Johnston is doing just fine and likened their chemistry to the relationship he had with Greg Zipadelli, his crew chief for 10 years and two championships. “I really like working with Chad, and it’s been frustrating for him, too,” Stewart said. “If there’s any fans who don’t think he is mad and frustrated, they are fooling themselves. He wants it so bad, but we’ve tried so many different things, I honestly feel it’s the package that’s the hang-up. I don’t feel like I need a different crew chief next year. I am very comfortable with who I have.”(in part from the Associated Press)
    AND Stewart quickly dismissed any idea that the tumultuous year meant he would part ways with his first-year crew chief Chad Johnston. “Chad and I are — probably of all the crew chiefs I’ve had — personality-wise, we are probably the best fit in all reality. We have the same level of intensity but also the same level of quick wit, sarcasm; it’s like we might be related to one another.”(NASCAR.com)(11-16-2014)
    UPDATE – streak ends For Tony Stewart the driver, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway was forgettable. An overheating engine dropped him out of the race early, leaving Stewart with a 43rd-place finish. But for the Tony Stewart who co-owns Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas, Sunday at Homestead was unforgettable as SHR’s Kevin Harvick took the win and the series championship. With a damaged front grill from contact earlier in the 267-lap race around the 1.5-mile oval, Stewart’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS began to overheat. With the oil and water temperatures pegged, Stewart was forced to take his car off the racetrack and into the garage. After completing 182 laps, Stewart’s day was over, at least as a driver.(SHR)(11-17-2014)

  • Kennedy named Sonoco Rookie of the Year: For the first time since the NASCAR Next initiative was created in 2011, three of its alumni captured the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards in NASCAR’s national series. Kyle Larson took home the honor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Chase Elliott added the accolade to his resume in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Ben Kennedy earned the recognition competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Kennedy, 22, was the highest rookie finisher in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series-best eight races. Kennedy tied Tyler Reddick atop the rookie standings, winning the tiebreaker thanks to a final championship points position of ninth. Kennedy drove his #31 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevy Silverado to a career-best third-place finish at Martinsville in March.(NASCAR)(11-17-2014)


    News from November 16, 2014




    Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane
    after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and
    the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014
    Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

  • Kevin Harvick Wins 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: In a storybook finish to conclude a revamped Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, #4-Kevin Harvick won the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday to claim his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. To win the title, Harvick needed to finish ahead of his fellow Championship 4 – and a win was the only way that would’ve happened. #31-Ryan Newman finished second, #11-Denny Hamlin finished seventh and #22-Joey Logano ended the night in 16th.
    After finishing a career-best third in the standings in three of the last four seasons, the 14-year series mainstay finally broke through for the premier series title in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing. A veteran of all three of NASCAR’s national series, Harvick joins Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski as the third driver to win both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series crowns. Harvick, 38, is the 30th champion in the 66-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
    The #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevy driver showed off his speed throughout 2014, pacing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led and poles. Following a two-win regular season, Harvick entered the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as its No. 6 seed. He adeptly navigated his way through the Chase’s Challenger and Contender Rounds highlighted by his victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but would still be searching for a championship without his clutch performance in the Eliminator Round cutoff race at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Entering the penultimate showdown at the one-mile tri-oval last among Chase qualifiers, Harvick needed a win at Phoenix to advance to the Championship 4. He responded to the pressure by leading 264-of-312 laps and beating four-time series champion Jeff Gordon on his way to Victory Lane. The Bakersfield, California, native carried his momentum to Homestead, becoming the first title-winner under NASCAR’s new playoff format.
    Harvick’s championship is the second for Stewart-Haas Racing. The racing outfit jointly owned by three-time premier series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas won its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title behind the driving efforts of Stewart in 2011. #4 team crew chief Rodney Childers, also in his first season with SHR, won his first series crown as well.(NASCAR)(11-16-2014)

  • Harvick wins at Homestead and is the 2014 CHAMPION: #4-Kevin Harvick won the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his 5th win of the season, 1st win at Homestead and his 28h career win.
    Harvick is the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, beating #31-Ryan Newman by 1 points in the first ever Championship Race. #11-Hamlin finished 7th which placed him 3rd in the Chase and #22-Joey Logano suffered a poor pitstop late in the race to finish 16th and 4th in the Chase.
    #31-Newman finished 2nd followed by #2-Keselowski, #27-Menard, #1-McMurray, #11-Hamlin, #15-Bowyer, #48-Johnson and #24-Gordon.
    Pole winner #24-Gordon dominated most of the race, leading 161 of 267 laps until pitting late in the race and finishing 10th.
    There were 18 lead changes among 5 drivers. There were 13 cautions for 52 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 122.280 mph.
    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).(11-16-2014)

  • Chevrolet Wins NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Championship: With the conclusion of the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chevrolet clinched the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Championship. It marks the 12th consecutive year and 38th time overall that the Bowtie Brand has won the prestigious title in NASCAR’s premiere series. It is the second Manufacturers’ award for the Chevrolet SS race car.
    “Winning the Manufacturers’ championship is one of the goals we set at the beginning of every season,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “This championship is the result of great teamwork by the owners, drivers, crew chiefs, crews and technical partners. Special thanks to the Chevrolet powertrain team, along with the engine shops at Hendrick Motorsports and Earnhardt-Childress Racing for delivering the right combination of power, fuel economy, and reliability throughout the entire season. Congratulations to everyone who has made this special achievement possible for Chevrolet.”
    In the 2014 season Chevrolet drivers captured 20 victories. Chevrolet won its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ award in 1958 and now with the 2014 Cup secured, Chevrolet has reached an unprecedented 38th title. The Team Chevy drivers that have contributed to the manufacturers’ points that achieved the title for Chevrolet are: Kevin Harvick (five wins), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (four wins); Jeff Gordon (four wins), Jimmie Johnson (four wins), AJ Allmendinger (one win), Kurt Busch (one win), Kasey Kahne (one win); along with top finishers Landon Cassill, Kyle Larson, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.(Team Chevy)
    see the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ championship rules, standings and stats on Jayski.com’s Manufacturers’ Standings page.(11-16-2014)
  • Where the 2014 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers finished at Homestead:
    [listed by driver chase points position before the race](started)
    1) #11-Denny Hamlin, 7th (8)
    2) #22-Joey Logano, 16th (9)
    3) #31-Ryan Newman, 2nd (21)
    4) #4-Kevin Harvick, WON (5) – CHAMPION
    (11-16-2014)
  • Race Fast Facts – Homestead:
    #4-Kevin Harvick won the 16th Annual Ford EcoBoost 400, his 28th victory in 502 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fifth victory and 20th top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his first victory and 12th top-10 finish in 14 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #31-Ryan Newman (second) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 13 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 16th top-10 finish in 2014.
    #2-Brad Keselowski (third) posted his second top-10 finish in seven races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #42-Kyle Larson (13th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Kevin Harvick leads the point standings by 1 points over Ryan Newman.
    Kyle Larson is the 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
    Chevrolet wins the manufacturers championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-16-2014)
  • FINAL Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
    [after Homestead, race 36 of 36]
    the four drivers who raced for the Sprint Cup Series Championship race at Homestead
    1) #4-Kevin Harvick [5 wins] 5043
    2) #31-Ryan Newman, 5042, -1 point
    3) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win] 5037, 6-
    4) #22-Joey Logano [5 wins] 5028, -15
    Which ever driver finished the best at Homestead, won the championship
    See UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
    See the UNOFFICIAL owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(11-16-2014)
  • Final Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
    [after Homestead, race 36 of 36]
    driver that finishes highest at Homestead will win the Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead
    1) #4-Kevin Harvick [5 wins] 5043
    2) #31-Ryan Newman, 5042, -1 point
    3) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win] 5037, 6-
    4) #22-Joey Logano [5 wins] 5028, -15
    drivers below were eliminated in the first 3 rounds:
    5) #2-Brad Keselowski [6 wins], 2361, -2667
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon [4 wins] 2348, -2695
    7) #20-Matt Kenseth, 2334, -2709
    8) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [4 wins], 2301, -2742
    9) #99-Carl Edwards [2 wins] 2288, -2755
    10) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win] 2285, -2758
    11) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 2274, -2769
    12) #41-Kurt Busch [1 win], 2263, -2780
    13) #47-AJ Allmendinger [1 win], 2260, -2783
    14) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 2247, -2796
    15) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 2234, -2809
    16) #43-Aric Almirola [1 win], 2195, -2848
    See UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
    See the UNOFFICIAL owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(11-16-2014)

  • Unofficial Top 25 in 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings (not the Chase):
    [after Homestead, race 36 of 36]
    (using current points system, but not the Chase rules, unofficial)
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon(EC), 1253
    2) #22-Joey Logano(C4), 1216, -37
    3) #2-Brad Keselowski(EC), 1179, -74
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(EC), 1175, -78
    5) #4-Kevin Harvick(CH), 1171, -82
    6) #31-Ryan Newman(C2), 1136, -117
    7) #20-Matt Kenseth(EC), 1131, -122
    8) #42-Kyle Larson #, 1080, -173
    9) #48-Jimmie Johnson(EC), 1067, -186
    10) #99-Carl Edwards(EC), 1059, -194
    11) #1-Jamie McMurray, 1014, -239
    12) #16-Greg Biffle(EC), 1000, -253
    13) #11-Denny Hamlin(C3), 987, -266 (missed a races)
    14) #15-Clint Bowyer, 979, -274
    15) #18-Kyle Busch(EC), 969, -284
    16) #5-Kasey Kahne(EC), 966, -287
    17) #3-Austin Dillon #, 958, -295
    18) #27-Paul Menard, 944, -309
    19) #55-Brian Vickers, 921, -332
    20) #41-Kurt Busch(EC), 911, -342
    21) #9-Marcos Ambrose, 872, -381
    22) #47-AJ Allmendinger(EC), 868, -385
    23) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 857, -396
    24) #43-Aric Almirola(EC), 820, -433
    25) #14-Tony Stewart, 799, -454 (missed 3 races)
    (CH is the 2014 Sprint Cup Series Champion)
    (C# is chase driver and current Chase position)
    (EC is chase driver that has been eliminated from the Chase)
    (11-16-2014)

  • Unofficial Chase Standings using 2013 Sprint Cup Chase rules:
    [after Homestead, race 36 of 36]
    1) #22-Joey Logano [5 wins], 2396
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick [5 wins], 2389, -7 (2014 Champ)
    3) #2-Brad Keselowski [6 wins], 2361, -35
    4) #31-Ryan Newman, 2354, -42
    5) #24-Jeff Gordon [4 wins], 2348, -48
    6) #20-Matt Kenseth, 2334, -62
    7) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [4 wins], 2301, -95
    8) #99-Carl Edwards [2 wins], 2288, -108
    9) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win], 2282, -114
    10) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 2274, -122
    11) #16-Greg Biffle, 2247, -149
    12) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 2231, -165
    (11-16-2014)
  • Homestead Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
    #42-Larson, finished 13th, 11 rookie points
    #51-Allgaier, 15th, 10
    #3-Dillon, 25th, 9
    #26-Whitt, 26th, 8
    #23-Bowman, 33rd, 7
    #7-Annett, 35th, 6
    Truex, Did Not Race
    Kligerman, Did Not Race
    See the 2014 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(11-16-2014)

  • Knaus faces no penalty after unauthorized use of wheel spacer: NASCAR called Chad Knaus and Hendrick Motorsports executives to its at-track offices after the season finale Sunday, but Knaus and Jimmie Johnson’s #48 team will not face any penalties for what is being characterized as a misunderstanding on pit road. On a pit stop during the Ford 400, Knaus wanted to put on a wheel spacer after having a loose wheel. The NASCAR official in the pit saw it and told him not to, and Knaus had the team do it anyway. Because he disobeyed a NASCAR order, Knaus and team general manager Doug Duchardt were called to the NASCAR hauler after the race. “It’s really not a big deal,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. “We were just trying to clarify what went on. … It’s fine. We just wanted to clear the air and clarify everything. It’s really not an issue.” NASCAR allows wheel spacers but they must be “acceptable to NASCAR officials,” according to the rulebook. They have a maximum diameter of seven inches and may not be less than one-sixteenths of an inch thick and must meet certain safety specifications. Pemberton said that a team should ask for permission before putting the wheel spacer on the car. It appears from the rulebook that the spacers must be approved, although Pemberton said he wouldn’t get into specifics of the rule.(Sporting News)(11-16-2014)

  • Homestead Notes & Facts – Sunday – race:
    · Since the inception of the position-based points system in 1975, only four drivers have made up a points deficit in the season finale: Richard Petty in 1979 (made up two points on Darrell Waltrip), Alan Kulwicki in 1992 (made up 30 points on Davey Allison), Jimmie Johnson in 2010 (made up 15 points on Denny Hamlin) and Tony Stewart in 2012 (made up three points on Carl Edwards).
    · There have been 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway, one per season since 1999.
    · There have been nine different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Homestead-Miami; three have won more than once, led by Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart with three each. Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin (two each) are the only other drivers with multiple wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    · Of the three drivers with multiple wins at Homestead, Tony Stewart is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Pontiac (1999, 2000) and Chevrolet (2011).
    · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Homestead with seven, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with five.
    · Denny Hamlin won the 2009 race from the 38th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started at HMS.
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead was the (4/10/2010) race won by Greg Biffle with a MOV of 0.017 seconds.
    (NASCAR)(11-16-2014)

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Notes:
    #11-Denny Hamlin
    – In 2014, Hamlin has one win, seven top fives and 17 top 10s.
    – During the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Hamlin scored one top five and six top 10s.
    – Hamlin’s average finish during the Chase was 12.4.
    – His driver rating was 92.7 and his average running position was 14.7.
    – During the Eliminator Round, Hamlin had one top five and three top 10s, with an average finish of 7.7.
    – At Homestead, Hamlin has nine starts, two wins, four top fives, five top 10s, with an average finish of 11.2.
    #22-Joey Logano
    – In 2014, Logano has five wins, 16 top fives and 22 top 10s.
    – During the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Logano scored two wins, six top fives and seven top 10s.
    – Logano had a Chase-best average finish of 5.3.
    – His driver rating was 107.8 and his average running position was 9.5.
    – During the Eliminator Round, Logano had one top five and two top 10s, with an average finish of 7.7.
    – At Homestead, Logano has five starts, one top 10 and an average finish of 20.8.
    #31-Ryan Newman
    – In 2014, Newman has four top fives and 15 top 10s.
    – During the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Newman scored two top fives and five top 10s.
    – Newman’s average finish during the Chase was 9.8.
    – His driver rating was 90.1 and his average running position was 14.0.
    – During the Eliminator Round, Newman had one top five, with an average finish of 9.7.
    – At Homestead, Newman has 12 starts, one top five, four top 10s and an average finish of 17.0.
    #4-Kevin Harvick
    – In 2014, Harvick has four wins, 13 top fives and 19 tops.
    – During the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Harvick scored two wins, five top fives and six top 10s.
    – Harvick had a Chase average finish of 8.8.
    – His driver rating was a Chase-best 118.9 and his average running position was 7.6.
    – During the Eliminator Round, Harvick had one win and two top fives, with an average finish of 12.0.
    – At Homestead, Harvick has 13 starts, five top fives, 11 top 10s and an average finish of 8.1.
    (NASCAR)

  • ESPN to Follow NASCAR Championship Contenders Closely in Sunday’s Finale: With four drivers – #11-Denny Hamlin, #4-Kevin Harvick, #22-Joey Logano and #31-Ryan Newman – having a chance to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, ESPN will keep viewers up-to-date on all four contenders during its live telecast of the Ford Ecoboost 400. The race-within-the-race will be the story of the event as the contender who finishes highest in the race will be the new champion, no matter where he finishes overall in the 43-car field. The Championship Four survived three elimination rounds over nine races in the new-format Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which started with 16 drivers. To help ensure that nothing involving the contenders on the track is missed, each will have a tower camera assigned to follow only them during the race, and the cars of all four will be equipped with onboard cameras. In addition, each contending team will have a robotic overhead camera in its pit stall to document pit stops. ESPN also will have a graphic below the scoring ticker across the top of the screen to show where all four are running at all times during the race.
    On Sunday, each of the contenders will visit the ESPN Pit Studio during a special two-hour NASCAR Countdown at 1:00pm/et that will precede the race’s 3:16pm/et green flag. “It’s been exciting for us to bring the races in the new format of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup to our viewers, and we’re especially looking forward to history being made in Sunday’s championship race as the entire season comes down to the wire in one race,” said John Skipper, ESPN president.(ESPN)(11-16-2014)

  • Stewart’s win streak on the line; no new crew chief: #14-Tony Stewart has won at least one race in each of the last 15 seasons and needs to win at Homestead to extend his streak. Richard Petty holds the record at 18 seasons followed by David Pearson at 17, Rusty Wallace and Ricky Rudd at 16 each. See the list on the All-time wins page for the full list.
    UPDATE – no crew chief change: “All streaks come to an end at some point,” Stewart quietly said during an interview with The Associated Press. “The streak is important to me, and this year, I still won a sprint car race when I came back,” he said. “So I’ve had 36 straight years of at least winning a race. I was proud to have 15 years in a row that I won a race in the Cup Series. I’ll be sad if it stops and it ends, but that’s part of it.”
    Crew Chief Chad Johnston, who in his first year with Stewart, is desperately trying to keep the winning streak intact. Many of Stewart’s longtime fans think Johnston is to blame for Stewart’s struggles because he’s not giving him a car he can drive. Stewart said Johnston is doing just fine and likened their chemistry to the relationship he had with Greg Zipadelli, his crew chief for 10 years and two championships. “I really like working with Chad, and it’s been frustrating for him, too,” Stewart said. “If there’s any fans who don’t think he is mad and frustrated, they are fooling themselves. He wants it so bad, but we’ve tried so many different things, I honestly feel it’s the package that’s the hang-up. I don’t feel like I need a different crew chief next year. I am very comfortable with who I have.”(in part from the Associated Press)
    AND Stewart quickly dismissed any idea that the tumultuous year meant he would part ways with his first-year crew chief Chad Johnston. “Chad and I are — probably of all the crew chiefs I’ve had — personality-wise, we are probably the best fit in all reality. We have the same level of intensity but also the same level of quick wit, sarcasm; it’s like we might be related to one another.”(NASCAR.com)(11-16-2014)

  • #17 team has parts confiscated, could face penalty: NASCAR announced late Friday that officials have confiscated the rear-end suspension parts on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s #17 Ford Fusion after finding an issue during prequalifying inspection for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Saturday afternoon that NASCAR will take Stenhouse’s rear-end suspension back to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluation early next week. Any penalties resulting from the issue on Stenhouse’s car will likely be handed down on Tuesday — two days after the season’s final race — and could affect the final points standings.(FoxSports)(11-16-2014)

  • Bowman gets new crew chief: Following a string of finishes outside the top-30, #23-Alex Bowman is set to make his Sprint Cup Homestead-Miami Speedway debut this weekend. Having never raced at the 1.5 mile South Florida speedway, Bowman will rely on help from his teammates, #83-Yeley and #26-Whitt, who have both made starts at the track. During his rookie season, Bowman has completed 93.6% of the laps in the NSCS season leading up to this weekend. DipYourCar.com will be the sponsor of BK Racings #23 Toyota at Homestead. Change the color of any part of your car – wheels, trim or the whole car. Long lasting, removable and easy to use. Bowman on Homestead… “This will be my first time racing at Homestead this weekend. I will certainly use any advice that my teammates Cole (Whitt) and JJ (Yeley) will provide from me during the weekend. Working with a new crew chief in Patrick (Donahue) will be a challenge, but I am confident that all his experience will help a lot.”(BK Racing), Dave Winston had been the crew chief for Bowman all season.(11-16-2014)

  • Manufacturers discuss winning the drivers championship and more: In NASCAR’s Championship 4, the four drivers competing for the Sprint Cup championship on Sunday, all three manufacturers are represented-Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota-as well as four different engine builders: Hendrick Motorsports (#4-Kevin Harvick), ECR Engines (#31-Ryan Newman), Roush-Yates Engines (#22-Joey Logano) and Toyota Racing Development (#11-Denny Hamlin). In the Homestead-Miami Speedway media center on Saturday, executives representing each of the car makers shared their perspectives on the value of one of their drivers winning the title on Sunday.
    Ford’s success this season, with 14 victories in 35 Cup races, already has spurred interest in the brand, according to Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing. “We have generated 570,000 leads yet this year, up 60% from a year ago,” Allison said. “We track sales, match to leads generated from on track activation, and our sales are up 90 percent versus a year ago. These are gigantic swings in engagement, gigantic swings in fan affinity, and it translates all the way down from awareness down to conservation to shopping to intention to buy. So success on the track translates into fan consideration and purchase intention. At the end of the day, we are here because of our fans, our fans of Ford, and what we race on the track increasing with relevance to what’s being shown in the showroom as well as what’s in people’s driveway-there’s that direct correlation. Whoever said ‘Win on Sunday, sell on Monday,’ it’s absolutely true, because we’re seeing it in the evidence of the data that we have.”
    Jim Campbell, Chevrolet vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports, says the manufacturer starts each season with the same objectives. “For Chevrolet that’s one of our goals every year is to help our teams win a driver’s championship and collectively giving our teams the best opportunity to win enough races for us to win the manufacturer’s championship. We have two opportunities out of the four (on Sunday), and if you look over the past number of years, eight of the last nine driver’s champions have been Chevrolet drivers. We do see a lift in opinion, and when you get a lift of opinion on a brand, great things happen. Customers put you on their shopping list more quickly. It’s a fact. So that’s big.”
    On Sunday, Hamlin could become the first driver to deliver a championship to Toyota in NASCAR’s premier series. “For Toyota, it would simply be historic and unprecedented,” said David Wilson, president and general manager of Toyota Racing Development USA. “We’re still the new guys, so to speak, in the series. This is our… celebrating our 10th anniversary in NASCAR in their national series. We’ve won championships, multiple championships in the Camping World Truck Series, in the Nationwide Series. Cup, the Sprint Cup Series, that box hasn’t been checked yet, so for Toyota it would be huge. It would be significant, I think, for the sport. It would be huge for TRD. Certainly Toyota, our engagement model is a little bit different than my colleagues’, and I have 250 people that work their butts off, and they have for years and years, so it would be very emotional.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-16-2014)
  • Daytona tower will be removed before 2015 July race: Daytona International Speedway’s in-progress renovation will create some unusual circumstances next year. In March, Daytona plans to remove its familiar white tower on the frontstretch – emblazoned with “DAYTONA” and filled with suites, race control and a press box – but will not have its replacement ready until the 2016 Daytona 500. That means the 2015 Coke Zero 400 on July 5 will feature a temporary race control and television booth located in a backstretch suite for NBC’s first race in its return to being a NASCAR broadcaster. Daytona is removing its backstretch stands (the “Superstretch”), but not until after July’s race. That means NBC will be able to transform a suite for its purposes, though announcers won’t have a very good view of the start or finish. The changes are part of Daytona’s $400-million “Daytona Rising” project, which is transforming NASCAR’s most famous track into a stadium-style facility with NFL-quality amenities. Ninety percent of the steel for the project is currently installed, Chitwood said, and 40,000 new seats will be ready for the Feb. 22 Daytona 500. That race will also have 60,000 old seats available on the frontstretch. Daytona’s seating capacity before the renovations began is listed in the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup media guide as 146,000. After the 2015 season, the backstretch grandstands – which have been closed for July races since 2009 — will be removed, and the track will have a 101,000-seat capacity (all on the frontstretch).(USA Today)(11-16-2014)


    News from November 15, 2014



    ESPN.com’s Racecast – Live Coverage and Chat
    Racing Live! on ESPN.com
    Watch the race LIVE online at WatchESPN
    Listen Live Online at Motor Racing Network
    Ask in-race reporter TBA

  • Race Coverage of the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, November 16, 2014.
    Television (TV): ESPN at 3:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:00pm/et; green flag approx. 3:17pm/et
    RadioMotor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, November 17, 1:00am/et, ESPN2
  • Happy Hour practice for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest, notes, Chase drivers info:
    #48-Johnson 175.200
    #5-Kahne 174.820
    #41-Busch 174.385
    #47-Allmendinger 173.706
    #20-Kenseth 173.633
    The Four CHASE drivers:
    #22-Logano was 7th fastest
    #4-Harvick was 8th fastest
    #31-Newman was 12th fastest
    #11-Hamlin was 13th fastest
    slowest: #66-Moffitt 163.979 & #13-Mears 166.698.
    Best 10 consecutive lap average
    #48-Johnson 171.446 and #20-Kenseth 170.575
    The Four CHASE drivers best 10 consecutive lap ave:
    #11-Hamlin was 3rd fastest
    #4-Harvick was 7th fastest
    #31-Newman was 8th fastest
    #22-Logano was 12th fastest
    notes: #22-Logano brushed the wall early, doing slight damage to the right rear of the car.
    #33-Scott had a tire go down and was smoking, but no damage to the car.
    See fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run and more on the Homestead Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(11-15-2014)
  • First Saturday practice for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest, notes, Chase drivers info:
    #4-Harvick 175.069
    #24-Gordon 175.029
    #2-Keselowski 174.498
    #48-Johnson 174.222
    #11-Hamlin 173.969
    The Four CHASE drivers:
    #4-Harvick is fastest
    #11-Hamlin is 5th fastest
    #22-Logano is 6th fastest
    #31-Newman is 12th fastest
    slowest: #66-Moffitt 165.797 & #32-Koch 166.154.
    notes: #2-Keselowski scraped the wall late in the session and has some front end damage.
    #31-Newman hit something on the track mid-way thru practice and has damage to the splitter and bead blower (cools tires/brakes).
    #33-Scott had an engine blow early in practice, leaving a lot of fluid on the track.
    See fastest speeds, best 10 consecutive lap average, laps run and more on the Homestead Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(11-15-2014)

  • Newman not worried after first practice problems: #31-Ryan Newman ended Saturday’s first practice with the 12th-fastest time, but the RCR team faced a bit of adversity during the 50-minute session. When #33-Brian Scott lost a motor, Newman hit a piece of debris from the engine failure. The incident broke the right front bead blower and damaged the front splitter of the car. The team quickly repaired the bead blower and got Newman back on track to complete the session. After the practice, neither Newman nor crew chief Luke Lambert were concerned about the potential setback. “We hit a piece of debris,” said Newman. When asked about replacing the splitter he simply said, “No big deal.”
    “That debris from the engine that blew up, a chunk of it went underneath the car, messed the splitter up and knocked the bead blower hose off,” Lambert told FOXSports.com. Lambert said replacing the splitter would not set the team back any, as they had plenty of time before the 50-minute Happy Hour practice session. “We’ve got enough time to change it,” he said. “Honestly, it was something we were probably going to do anyway based on the splitter wear. It’s not really a big deal.” Despite being the slowest of the four contenders, Lambert showed little concern about the speed charts. “The car was pretty good,” he said. “We tried some adjustments to shift the balance a little bit for what it was doing on entry and on exit. We got it close, but need just a little bit more, so it was a pretty positive learning experience. We’re fine. If we get the balance right we’ll be OK. Really, right now he’s been searching trying to find the line he’s at, get the car to run where he wants to. It’s going to be such a different race than this right here. You can go out there and fool yourself trying to run lap times. It’s all about getting the car like it needs to in the race.”(FoxSports)(11-15-2014)

  • Homestead Notes & Facts – Saturday – drivers:
    · 113 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead; 89 in more than one.
    · Two drivers have made all 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead: Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon.
    · Two drivers have won consecutive races at Homestead-Miami: Tony Stewart (1999 – 2000) and Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006, three straight).
    · Carl Edwards leads the series in average finish at Homestead with a 6.600; only two other drivers have an average finish inside the top 10: Kevin Harvick (8.078) and Martin Truex Jr. (9.222).
    · Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick lead the series in runner-up finishes at Homestead with two each.
    · Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-five finishes at Homestead with seven; followed by Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick with five each.
    · Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick lead the series in top-10 finishes at Homestead with 11 each; followed by Jimmie Johnson with eight.
    · Eight of the nine NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Homestead-Miami participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart (1999) is the only driver to win at Homestead in his first appearance.
    · Dale Earnhardt Jr. lead the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 14.
    · Danica Patrick became the first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season; starting 24th and finishing 20th.
    (NASCAR)(11-15-2014)
  • Talladega TV Ratings UPDATE: ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, Oct. 19, earned a 2.7 U.S. household rating, averaging 4,328,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media. Last year’s race earned a 3.1 rating and averaged 4,916,000 viewers. Nearby Birmingham, Ala., led the nation’s 56 metered markets with a 10.1 rating, with Greensboro, N.C., second at 9.0 and Greenville, S.C., third at 8.5. Charlotte, N.C., was fourth at 7.2 with Indianapolis fifth at 6.5. Rounding out the top 10 were Norfolk, Va., 5.9; Raleigh-Durham, N.C., 5.8; Orlando, Fla., 5.7; and a tie for ninth between Nashville and Knoxville, Tenn., at 5.5.(ESPN)(10-21-2014)
    UPDATE: Due to a minor crediting error for ESPN that has been corrected by Nielsen, the rating and viewership for the Oct. 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway is higher than originally reported. The final national rating for the race telecast is now a 3.0, not a 2.7 as was originally reported, with a viewership average of 4,757,000, not 4,328,000 as originally reported. The 2013 race earned a 3.1 rating with an average viewership of 4,916,000.
    TV Ratings for the nine Chase race overall as compared to last year at this point is even at 2.6 but viewership is up 3% 4,318,000 vs. 4,194,000 in 2013.(ESPN)(11-15-2014)

  • NASCAR Grassroots Ties Aplenty With Chase Finalists: Denny Hamlin’s first NASCAR championship was earned in a mini stock at Langley Speedway in his native Virginia. Seventeen years later, he’s positioned to reach the pinnacle of the profession. Hamlin’s start in stock car racing began in the entry-level divisions of local weekly racing tracks like Langley in the late 1990s. By the early 2000s he had moved up to the feature division late model stocks and started to venture out beyond his Chesterfield, Virginia, home base. Success followed everywhere he went. Flash forward to 2014, where Hamlin is one of four contenders for the sport’s ultimate prize, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman head to Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 as the Championship 4 contenders, each with a chance to become a first-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series titlist.
    While they took different routes to reach Sunday’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway as finalists, like Hamlin, each has a direct connection to NASCAR’s grassroots regional touring and weekly series:
    · Harvick’s first stock car crown was earned at Mesa Marin Raceway in 1993, two years before NASCAR began sanctioning weekly competition at the track in his hometown of Bakersfield, California. But he wouldn’t have to wait long to get a championship under the NASCAR banner. Following Rookie of the Year honors in the former NASCAR Southwest Tour in 1995, Harvick scored five wins in 14 races en route to the 1998 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West title as a 22-year-old. It was his only full-time season in the series, and he captured the championship while simultaneously competing full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
    · Logano ushered in a new era of K&N Pro Series competition when he dominated as a teen in 2007. The Middletown, Connecticut, native’s lone regional touring series season during his meteoric rise up the NASCAR Ladder began with a win in his debut at Phoenix International Raceway in K&N Pro Series West action and included five more victories en route to the championship and Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the K&N Pro Series East. Logano’s signature moment came in the inaugural K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway when he beat Harvick – by then well established in the Sprint Cup Series – to the checkered flag just four days shy of his 17th birthday.
    · Newman may not have come up through NASCAR’s regional touring system, but he has become a frequent fixture in the cockpit of the No. 7NY when the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour heads to New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the last seven years, the South Bend, Indiana, wheelman has compiled four wins and 12 top 10s in 18 races driving as part of a team formed by crew chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and car chief Gary Putnam, who got their start on the tour on the way to Sprint Cup Series careers. An additional modified win came in the inaugural Whelen All-Star Shootout this past July at New Hampshire.
    · Hamlin was a rising star in 2003 in the late model world and the season proved to be the launching pad. Twenty-two years old at the time, Hamlin exploded with 25 wins, 30 poles and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championship at Southern National Motorsports Park in North Carolina. The experience gained at those southeastern NASCAR short tracks proved to be such a solid foundation that Hamlin made his debut in the Sprint Cup Series just two years removed from that breakout 2003 late model campaign.
    Like Newman, Hamlin’s involvement at the grassroots level continues today with the annual Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown late model event – held at South Boston in 2014 – that benefits the Denny Hamlin Foundation and pits weekly racers and up-and-coming talent against competitors from the sport’s upper echelon.(NASCAR)(11-15-2014)

  • France: “modest to zero” changes Chase format changed planned: In Brian France’s estimation, the new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format introduced this year has struck a perfect balance between winning and consistency in determining the series champion. At the same time, France said, the new system, featuring an expanded 16-driver field and eliminations after every third race, has elevated interest in the sport. “It’s exceeded what I had hoped for, and it’s done precisely what we thought we wanted to do, which was recalibrate competition-or winning, rather-and still have a strong place for consistency and all the rest, but recalibrate that balance,” NASCAR’s chairman and CEO said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in his “State of the Sport” question-and-answer session with reporters. “It’s only year one, but clearly we’re on our way.” France said any changes to the format would be “modest to zero,” and he doesn’t have an issue with the possibility of Ryan Newman winning the Sprint Cup championship in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 without winning a race. “Well, we would like that,” France said. “The best team will win on Sunday. What I mean, though, is any format that we’ve ever had always has the possibility that somebody might win the championship without winning an event, short of us-which we’re not going to do-making it a hard prerequisite that you have to win a race to qualify. That takes it out of balance, frankly.” (NASCAR Wire Service)(11-15-2014)

  • Harvey Gulf to sponsor Cassill at Homestead: Hillman Racing announced that Harvey Gulf International Marine, a marine transportation company that specializes in providing offshore supply and multi-purpose support vessels for deepwater operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, will sponsor Landon Cassill and the #40 Chevy at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Sunday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400. Founded in 1955 by Captain Numa J. Guidry on the premise that superior performance and safer operations provide its customers value and satisfaction, Harvey Gulf’s trademark livery will be the backdrop of Cassill’s #40 Harvey Gulf Chevy. “I met Shane Guidry and the folks from Harvey Gulf earlier this season and having them on the car this weekend really adds an exclamation point to our season,” said Landon Cassill, the 24-year-old former development driver for Hendrick Motorsports and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native. “Harvey Gulf represents the ninth different primary sponsor that we’ve had this season and we couldn’t have accomplished as much as we did without the help from all of our sponsors. From our 12th-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 to our fourth-place finish at Talladega just a few weeks ago, Mike Hillman and the entire organization put forth a tremendous effort to take this team to the next level. With the addition of Harvey Gulf this weekend in Homestead, we were able to secure an ECR engine package and we’re looking to finish out the season strong as we continue to build for 2015.”(Mike Hillman Racing)
    see images of the scheme / car on the #40 Team Schemes page.(11-15-2014)

  • Larson Comments on Newman’s Move UPDATE…more: #42-Kyle Larson called #31-Ryan Newman’s last-lap actions Sunday “a little upsetting” but said he understood Newman’s desperation and “can’t fault him for being aggressive there.” Needing to pass Larson to secure the final spot in the championship round, Newman dive-bombed the rookie on the last lap at Phoenix International Raceway. Newman’s car slid up the track and hit Larson’s car, sending it toward the wall. That allowed Newman by, giving him a shot at the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. By advancing, Newman eliminated #24-Jeff Gordon from title contention. “Coming to the finish, there were a lot of cars racing really hard,” Larson said in a statement provided to Motor Racing Network by Chip Ganassi Racing. “I knew (Newman) was right around me and knew he needed to gain some spots to keep from getting eliminated from the Chase. It’s a little upsetting he pushed me up to the wall, but I completely understand the situation he was in and can’t fault him for being aggressive there. I think a lot of drivers out here would have done something similar if they were in that position.”(Motor Racing Network)(11-10-2014)
    More comments: Larson, met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed his conversation with Ryan Newman this week, the transcript in part:
    Q) DO YOU WANT TO KICK RYAN NEWMAN’S BUTT AFTER LAST WEEK?
    Larson: “No, I didn’t want to kick his butt. He called me this week and we talked. I told him I was upset for 10 minutes then I realized Ryan (Newman) knew what was on the line for him. I think there are a lot of people out here that probably would have done the same thing that he did. At least he is in the Chase; it would be a great move if he goes on to win the championship. Like I said, I get over things pretty quickly.”
    Q) WOULD YOU HAVE DONE THE SAME THING IF YOU WERE IN HIS POSITION?
    Larson: “It’s hard to really say until you are in that position. I got a ton of criticism a couple of years ago when I did an even probably worse move at a late model race. Yeah, I don’t know, it’s hard to say, but there is a ton on the line at that point.”
    Q) DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE STILL LEARNING WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE?
    Larson: “Yeah, maybe a little bit. I think in the Cup series most people race with respect, so I think I’ve gotten a lot better with that throughout my career so far, last year in Nationwide and this year in Cup. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot better with give and take and things like that. With this new format it kind of throws a little different curve into it, where in the Chase each race is so important, so you see people take chances like that. Yeah, it’s hard to say if you would do the same thing in that point in time.”
    Q) AFTER LAST WEEK WITH WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOU AND (RYAN) NEWMAN IN THE CLOSING LAPS ON SUNDAY IF YOU ARE RACING AROUND ONE OF THOSE FOUR WHAT DO YOU DO?
    Larson: “I just race them how I have raced them all season long I think. Hopefully I don’t get into any of them. I got into Ty Dillon here a couple of years ago and he was going for a Truck championship and I felt horrible after that. I don’t want to go through that again. I’m going to try my best to get a win and if they are in front of me I’m definitely going to try and pass him, but not do anything stupid or crazy to ruin their chances of winning a championship. Because none of them have won a championship so I know how much it means to them.”
    Q) YOU TALKED TO RYAN VIA PHONE?
    Larson: “Yeah, he called me Tuesday maybe.”
    Q) HOW DID THAT GO? WHAT WAS THE TONE LIKE?
    Larson: “Oh it was fine. He said he was waiting for a coyote to stick it’s head out so he could shoot it. He said he was out there on his farm, but I mean like I said I was upset for 10 minutes and I was over it. I understood the situation and what was at stake for him. He just kind of explained himself. I was totally fine. I like (Ryan) Newman a lot. I think he’s a great driver. He came from an open wheel background so I have kind of always been a fan of his. Like I said I was over it pretty quick.”(Team Chevy)(11-15-2014)

  • Hendrick Motorsports going for pole #200: This weekend, Hendrick Motorsports could reach a milestone. With one more Sprint Cup Series pole position, the organization will have earned 200 in its 30-year history. Currently, Hendrick Motorsports sits at 199 poles, with #24-Jeff Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson combining for three so far in the 2014 season.(HMS), HMS’s last pole was when Gordon won the pole at Michigan in August (11-14-2014)
    UPDATE: Jeff Gordon won the pole at Homestead, bring Hendrick Motorsports pole total to 200.(11-15-2014)
  • 200 POLES Hendrick Motorsports First To Reach Century Mark … TWICE:
    1 – Hendrick recorded its first series pole with Geoff Bodine at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 25, 1985
    16 – The number of different Hendrick Motorsports drivers that have posted at least one pole
    26 – The number of different tracks at which Hendrick posted a pole
    40 – The number of wins from the pole (qualifying was canceled for two of the wins)
    206.558 – The MPH of the fastest pole winning speed for a Hendrick driver – Jeff Gordon at Michigan on Aug. 17, 2014
    Driver Poles
    1 Jeff Gordon 77
    2 Jimmie Johnson 33
    3 Geoff Bodine 22
    4 Ken Schrader 17
    5 Mark Martin 10
    6 Tim Richmond 9
    7 Terry Labonte 7
    8 Dale Earnhardt Jr 6
    9 Brian Vickers 4
    10 Kasey Kahne 4
    11 Ricky Rudd 4
    12 Darrell Waltrip 2
    13 Kyle Busch 2
    14 Casey Mears 1
    15 Greg Sacks 1
    16 Ricky Craven 1
    (NASCAR)(11-14-2014)

  • Gordon pole-less at Homestead: Although #24-Jeff Gordon ranks third all-time with 76 career pole positions, Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of four tracks where Gordon has yet to win a pole position. Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway are the other venues where Gordon has never won a pole position.(HMS)(11-14-2014)
    UPDATE: with Gordon’s pole at Homestead, he now has won a pole at all tracks he has ran but three: Kansas, Kentucky and Las Vegas.(11-15-2014)

  • Congresswoman calls for NASCAR to suspend Kurt Busch UPDATE2: A congressional lawmaker is calling on NASCAR to suspend driver Kurt Busch from Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway until the recent domestic accusation against him is fully resolved, SI.com has learned. In a letter addressed to NASCAR president Mike Helton and Stewart-Haas owners Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), called the charges made by Patricia Driscoll, Busch’s former domestic partner, “horrifying.”
    “But despite the severity of the criminal allegations against Mr. Busch,” Speier writes, “I am disappointed to see that NASCAR and Stewart-Haas Racing have not taken any action. Your response to these serious allegations has been totally inadequate.” Speier has also asked to be looped into the internal investigations of NASCAR and SHR, and for “a history of sanctions levied by NASCAR and racing teams for domestic violence incidents brought to your attention over the last five years.”(in part from Sports Illustrated)
    UPDATE: NASCAR chairman Brian France said Friday that no action will be taken against the Sprint Cup driver. France confirmed Friday that Rep. Jackie Speier sent a letter to NASCAR president Mike Helton and to Stewart-Haas Racing saying she was “disappointed” that Busch hadn’t been suspended until the matter is resolved. Busch has not yet been arrested or charged with any crime. “We are watching that case carefully,” France said Friday. “It’s under review by law enforcement and others. They haven’t made a decision on that regarding Kurt. Until they make judgments on that investigation, it wouldn’t be right to intervene before it’s completed.” NASCAR has rules covering inappropriate or criminal behavior away from arenas, but it does not have a policy addressing domestic violence on its own. The rule book has a section covering violations and disciplinary action, including penalties that can be determined “by the gravity of the violation and its effect on … the interests of stock car racing and NASCAR.” France said Friday that NASCAR is sensitive to the issue of domestic violence. “You can expect our policies to reflect the understandable awareness that that’s not going to be tolerated,” France said. “How any league handled some of this is one thing. It’s pretty clear when you see what’s happening around the country that our policy will reflect the significance and importance that it should.”(ESPN)(11-14-2014)
    UPDATE2: “If every time somebody made an allegation against a congresswoman or a congressman, and they were then to be suspended from their office until the investigation was concluded, we’d have an empty Capitol building,” Busch lawyer Rusty Hardin said in a phone interview with Sporting News. “While that might please the public to have that building be empty, it certainly wouldn’t be fair to the person the charge or allegation was made against.” Hardin said that while domestic violence is a serious issue, with no charges filed Busch should be allowed to do his job and Speier’s letter was “inappropriate.”
    “He not only has adamantly denied it, but when the investigation is concluded, I think people are going to realize it is a fabricated charge,” Hardin said. “I don’t know where in the world this congresswoman thinks we’ve moved to where you start punishing people just because somebody makes an allegation. … For a congresswoman to make these kind of statements is just ludicrous. I hope she’s in the minority and everybody will wait to find out what the true story is. When they do, they’ll find out that this didn’t happen. We’re not going to participate in it, we’re not going to try every charge (in public). But when a congresswoman sends a letter like this, I feel compelled to remind everybody we still have due process and presumption of innocence in this country even if she doesn’t recognize it.” Obviously pleased with the decisions by NASCAR and the team to let Busch race, Hardin said he has been in arbitration all week and Busch will talk to Dover police investigators in the “near future. I hope we can do it outside the glare of public media. But, I can assure you, he’s cooperating fully and in the near future will be visiting with them.”(Sporting News)(11-15-2014)
  • Sad News – Bill Schmitt: Bill Schmitt, former NASCAR Champion passed away on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at the age of 78. Bill was a prolific businessman, starting or buying more than two dozen businesses over his lifetime, and driving the majority to success. He was well-known as one of the leaders in the North State logging industry in the 1980s and was chosen Logger of the Year in 2007. He wasn’t all work, though, and made time to play hard at his dual passions, fishing and NASCAR racing. Bill and Sylvia hosted dozens of their friends and family on their Alaskan King Salmon fishing trips annually. He was also a constant presence on the NASCAR circuit from the late 1970’s into the 1990’s, powering his way to NASCAR Winston West Champion four times [1977, 1979, 1989, 1990] with the help of Sylvia, his family, and many friends. He was inducted into the Gatorade Circle of Champions in 1989 and competed in the very first International NASCAR race. Schmitt made 44 starting in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 1975-1993 with a best finish of 4th at Riverside in 1979. More info and services on Jayski’s Sad News page.(11-15-2014)
  • NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Fast Facts:
    Driver Champion: Chase Elliott
    Team: #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet

    · Chase Elliott won his first NASCAR Nationwide Series championship; becoming the youngest champion in NASCAR national series history at the age of 18 years, 11 months, 18 days – previous record holder was Brian Vickers at 20 years, 0 months, 2 days.
    · Elliott is the 25th different driver to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship. Elliott finished the season 42 points ahead of second-place Regan Smith.
    · Elliott is the first driver to win a series title in his Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign. He also is the first rookie to post three or more wins (Darlington, Texas-1, and Chicago) since Carl Edwards in 2005.
    · The Elliott’s (Bill and Chase) have become the fifth father/son combo to win NASCAR-sanctioned championships; joining the Jarretts (Ned and Dale), the Pettys (Lee and Richard), the Pearsons (David and Larry) and the Earnhardts (Dale and Dale Jr.) as the only NASCAR father/son champions in all of national series competition.
    · Chase Elliott has become the third champion from the state of Georgia, joining NASCAR Hall of Famers Bill Elliott (father) and Tim Flock. Bill Elliott (NHOF inductee – Class of 2015); Tim Flock (NHOF inductee- Class of 2014)
    · Elliott’s 2014 Season-To-Date Loop Data: Driver Rating (108.6) and Average Running Position (7.022).

    Owner: Dale Earnhardt Jr., JR Motorsports
    · This is JR Motorsports’ first NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship. The organization’s previous best series championship finish was third (twice: Regan Smith, 2013 and Brad Keselowski, 2008).
    · Owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., a two-time (1998, ’99) NASCAR Nationwide Series driver champion, fielded his first car as an owner in the series with driver Mark McFarland at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2005.
    · JR Motorsports has posted 21 victories in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (2005 – 2014).

    Crew Chief Champion: Greg Ives
    · This is Greg Ives first career NASCAR Nationwide Series championship.
    · Ives’ previous series best points finish was in 2013, when he finished third with Regan Smith.
    · Ives is scheduled to move up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season to work with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet team, replacing Steve Letarte.

    Owner Champion: Roger Penske, #22 Team Penske Ford
    · This is Team Penske’s second consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series owners’ championship. Roger Penske won last season’s NNS owner title with drivers (starts): Brad Keselowski (15 races), Joey Logano (14), AJ Allmendinger (two) and Ryan Blaney (two).
    · This season the #22 captured the title with drivers: Brad Keselowski (10 races), Joey Logano (10), Ryan Blaney (10), Michael McDowell (one) and Alex Tagliani (two).
    · The #22 Team Penske Ford Mustang team had five wins, 23 top fives and 29 top 10s in 2014 (NASCAR)(11-15-2014)

  • Kenseth wins Nationwide race at Homestead: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Ford Ecoboost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. #54-Kyle Busch finished second followed by #42-Kyle Larson, #12-Ryan Blaney, #60-Chris Buescher, #7-Regan Smith, #3-Ty Dillon, #22-Brad Keselowski, #11-Elliott Sadler, and #2-Brian Scott.
    There were 11 cautions for 48 laps and 16 lead changes among 10 leaders. Complete results are on the Homestead race results page (pdf).
    (11-15-2014)
  • Homestead Nationwide Race Fast Facts:
    Matt Kenseth(i) won the 20th Annual Ford EcoBoost 300, his 29th victory in 283 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his first victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 13 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Kyle Busch(i) (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in eight races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 25th top-10 finish in 2014.
    Kyle Larson(i) (third) posted his second top-10 finish in two races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Chris Buescher (fifth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Chase Elliott # leads the point standings by 42 points over Regan Smith.
    The NASCAR Nationwide Series had 16 different winners this season.
    Chevrolet wins the manufacturers’ championship this season.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-15-2014)
  • Nationwide Driver standings following Homestead:
    1) #9-Chase Elliott# 1213
    2) #7-Regan Smith 1171 -42
    3) #11-Elliott Sadler 1154 -59
    4)#2-Brian Scott 1154 -59
    5) #3-Ty Dillon# 1148 -65
    6) #6-Trevor Bayne 1086 -127
    7) #60-Chris Buescher# 1014 -199
    8) #62-Brendan Gaughan 954 -259
    9) #16-Ryan Reed# 889 -324 -65
    10) #99-James Buescher 868 -345
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(11-15-2014)
  • Nationwide Owner Standings following Homestead are posted (pdf).(11-15-2014)
  • Keselowski on pole at Homestead: #22-Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light Pole for the Ford Ecoboost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a speed of 166.384mph. #42-Kyle Larson will start second followed by: #20-Matt Kenseth, #11-Elliott Sadler, #12-Ryan Blaney, #54-Kyle Busch, #2-Brian Scott, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #31-Dylan Kwasniewski, #60-Chris Buescher, #16-Ryan Reed, and #5-Josh Berry.
    Fastest in the second round of qualifying was Blaney at 166.754mph.
    He was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 165.289mph
    Did Not Qualify: #46-Ryan Ellis, #74-Kevin Lepage, #70-Derrike Cope, #72-John Jackson and #90-Martin Roy. The starting lineup is posted on the Homestead starting lineup page (pdf).(11-15-2014)
  • Homestead Qualifying Notes:
    Brad Keselowski(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 20th Annual Ford EcoBoost 300 with a lap of 32.455 seconds, 166.384 mph.
    This is his 19th pole in 216 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his fifth pole and 10th top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his second pole in eight races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Kyle Larson(i) (second) posted his 18th top-10 start of 2014 and his second in two races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Matt Kenseth(i) (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 17th in 19 races this season.
    Dylan Kwasniewski (ninth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-15-2014)
  • Florida DOT sponsoring Daytona race: To promote the important messages of pedestrian and bike safety throughout the Sunshine State, the Florida Department of Transportation will serve as the title sponsor of the prestigious season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway. The 120-lap, 300-mile race will be known as the Alert Today Florida 300. The partnership will increase the visibility of the safety campaign – Alert Today Alive Tomorrow – which is designed to raise public awareness of pedestrian and bicycle safety in the state of Florida. In addition to the entitlement, FDOT is partnering with Florida native Scott Lagasse Jr., who will drive the #33 Alert Today Alive Tomorrow Boy Scouts of America car in the event.(DIS)(11-15-2014)

  • Wallace expected to move to Xfinity next season: Darrell Wallace, Jr. won his fourth race of the season and fifth of his career in his final ride in the #54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, as the organization picked up its 14th victory in 22 races. Signed to Joe Gibbs Racing, Wallace is expected to move up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series next year. “It is going to be sad to see him go,” Busch said, “but we’ve got another great shoe that’s going to be able to fit into that role really, really good with Erik Jones. It’s not that I’m saying good-bye, but I’m wishing him the best next year in what he gets to do, and I’m excited about his growth and opportunity to move up to the Nationwide Series.” Wallace said he hopes to get plans for 2015 settled soon. “I wish things were finalized,” Wallace said. “We’re continuing to work hard to find my future plans. For me, I’m just going to go play some golf while I’m down here in Miami and enjoy this win, enjoy the offseason. But as far as plans, we’re continuing to work hard.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-15-2014)


    News from November 14, 2014


  • Gordon wins Homestead pole: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light pole for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway with speed of 180.747mph for his 3rd pole of 2014, 1st at Homestead and 77th of his career. Gordon has won 20 races from the pole out of 76 previous poles. Gordon now has three tracks he has not won a pole at: Las Vegas, Kansas and Kentucky.
    #41-Busch is on the outside pole followed by #20-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski, #4-Harvick, #15-Bowyer, #18-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #22-Logano, #78-Truex Jr., #88-Earnhardt Jr. and #48-Johnson.
    Chase driver #31-Newman failed to advance into the final round and will start 21st.
    #2-Brad Keselowski set a new track record in Round 1 with a speed of 181.238 mph
    Missing the race were: none, only 43 cars entered.
    See the starting lineup, round-by-round qualifying results, qualifying order and more on Jayski.com’s Homestead Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(11-14-2014)
  • Qualifying Fast Facts – Homestead:
    #24-Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 16th Annual Ford EcoBoost 400 with a lap of 29.876 seconds, 180.747 mph.
    This is his 77th pole in 761 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third pole and 24th top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his first pole in 16 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #41-Kurt Busch (second) posted his 17th top-10 start of 2014 and his eighth in 14 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #20-Matt Kenseth (third) posted his fifth top-10 start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 12th in 36 races this season.
    #51-Justin Allgaier (14th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    This is the 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole for Hendrick Motorsports.
    #2-Brad Keselowski set a new track record in Round 1 of 3 with a speed of 181.238 mph.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-14-2014)
  • Where the four 2014 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers will start at Homestead:
    [listed by current driver chase points position]
    1) #11-Denny Hamlin, 8th
    2) #22-Joey Logano, 9th
    3) #31-Ryan Newman, 21st
    8) #4-Kevin Harvick, 5th
    (11-14-2014)
  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #24-Gordon chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #41-Busch took pit stall 4, the first pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    #20-Kenseth, who starts 3rd took the 3rd pit stall, the 1st stall with an opening behind it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #48-Johnson, who starts 12th.
    Chase Drivers pit stalls:
    #4-Harvick, who starts 5th, chose stall 13
    #11-Hamlin, who starts 8th, chose stall 6
    #22-Logano, who starts 9th, chose stall 8
    #31-Newman, who starts 21st, chose stall 17
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on the Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-14-2014)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #41-Busch 181.196
    #48-Johnson 179.964
    #2-Keselowski 179.922
    #78-Truex Jr. 179.593
    #11-Hamlin 179.414
    the rest of the top 12: 20 24 88 4 18 15 22;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 55 51 99 27 9 43 1 16 31 17 5 3
    (11-14-2014)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 25 scheduled minutes.
    #2-Keselowski 181.238 (new track record)
    #4-Harvick 181.014
    #22-Logano 180.989
    #41-Busch 180.717
    #24-Gordon 180.638
    the rest of the top 24: 78 11 18 20 31 3 15 48 1 17 16 51 88 99 43 5 27 9 55;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 47 21 42 14 13 33 34 10 40 83 38 36 98 95 7 32 23 26 66
    Driver who will miss the race: none, only 43 entered.
    (11-14-2014)
  • Coverage of Qualifying for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Friday, November 14, 2014 at 6:15pm/et.
    Television (TV): ESPN2, 6:00pm/et
    Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none
  • Qualifying Order for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is posted. 43 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #26-Whitt.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #48-Johnson.
    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 Homestead Qualifying Page.(11-14-2014)
  • Group qualifying under the three-round qualifying format:
    ” Round 1 — All entries will have 25 minutes to post a qualifying time, after which the 24 registering the fastest laps will advance to the second round. Those failing to advance will be sorted based on first-round times in descending order (from fastest to slowest). Four drivers will not make the race.
    ” Round 2 — The 24 fastest from the first round will have 10 minutes to post a second-round qualifying time, with the 12 fastest advancing to a third round. Those not advancing will earn starting positions 13 through 24 based on time, again in descending order.
    ” Round 3 — The final round will be five minutes in length. The fastest times from this session will determine the first (Coors Light Pole Award) through 12th starting positions.
    There will be a five-minute break between each round; teams may make adjustments to their entries only during the individual breaks. They will not be allowed to jack the vehicle or raise the hood, and once the car or truck enters the garage, it will no longer be permitted to return to the track for additional qualifying attempts.
  • Friday practice for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest, notes, Chase drivers info:
    #2-Keselowski 179.004
    #4-Harvick 178.950
    #10-Patrick 178.767
    #20-Kenseth 178.453
    #42-Larson 177.948
    The Four CHASE drivers:
    #4-Harvick 2nd fastest
    #31-Newman 9th fastest
    #11-Hamlin 11th fastest
    #22-Logano 22nd fastest
    slowest: #36-Sorenson 169.497 & #66-Moffitt 169.924
    notes: #78-Truex Jr. was reported to have smoke and fluid from the car early in practice.
    #3-Dillon had a right rear tore go down, but slowed down and got it to the garage.
    If qualifying, scheduled for tonight at 6:15pn.et on ESPN2, is cancelled (no chance of rain), this practice would set the starting order.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and more on the Homestead Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf). (11-14-2014)
  • 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 FORD Ecoboost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on the Homestead Race Info page – Chassis selection area.

  • Congresswoman calls for NASCAR to suspend Kurt Busch UPDATE: A congressional lawmaker is calling on NASCAR to suspend driver Kurt Busch from Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway until the recent domestic accusation against him is fully resolved, SI.com has learned. In a letter addressed to NASCAR president Mike Helton and Stewart-Haas owners Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), called the charges made by Patricia Driscoll, Busch’s former domestic partner, “horrifying.”
    “But despite the severity of the criminal allegations against Mr. Busch,” Speier writes, “I am disappointed to see that NASCAR and Stewart-Haas Racing have not taken any action. Your response to these serious allegations has been totally inadequate.” Speier has also asked to be looped into the internal investigations of NASCAR and SHR, and for “a history of sanctions levied by NASCAR and racing teams for domestic violence incidents brought to your attention over the last five years.”(in part from Sports Illustrated)
    UPDATE: NASCAR chairman Brian France said Friday that no action will be taken against the Sprint Cup driver. France confirmed Friday that Rep. Jackie Speier sent a letter to NASCAR president Mike Helton and to Stewart-Haas Racing saying she was “disappointed” that Busch hadn’t been suspended until the matter is resolved. Busch has not yet been arrested or charged with any crime. “We are watching that case carefully,” France said Friday. “It’s under review by law enforcement and others. They haven’t made a decision on that regarding Kurt. Until they make judgments on that investigation, it wouldn’t be right to intervene before it’s completed.” NASCAR has rules covering inappropriate or criminal behavior away from arenas, but it does not have a policy addressing domestic violence on its own. The rule book has a section covering violations and disciplinary action, including penalties that can be determined “by the gravity of the violation and its effect on … the interests of stock car racing and NASCAR.” France said Friday that NASCAR is sensitive to the issue of domestic violence. “You can expect our policies to reflect the understandable awareness that that’s not going to be tolerated,” France said. “How any league handled some of this is one thing. It’s pretty clear when you see what’s happening around the country that our policy will reflect the significance and importance that it should.”(ESPN)(11-14-2014)

  • Homestead Notes & Facts – Friday – poles:
    · David Green won the first Coors Light pole at Homestead in 1999 at a speed of 155.759 mph (34.669 sec.).
    · There have been 11 different Coors Light pole winners, led by Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with two each.
    · Two of the 15 (13.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole: Bill Elliott (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002).
    · Five of the 15 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from the front row: two from the pole and three from second-place.
    · 10 of the 15 (66.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position inside the top 10.
    · 5 of the 15 (33.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position outside the top 10 – most recently – Jeff Gordon (15th-place starting position; 2012).
    · Jamie McMurray (November, 2003) and David Reutimann (November, 2008) won their first career Coors Light poles at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    (NASCAR)(11-14-2014)
  • Homestead Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire set-up at Homestead this week . . . Camping World Truck teams will run the same left-side tire with a different right-side . . . the Sprint Cup/Nationwide set-up is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that teams in both series ran twice at Texas this season . . . Cup teams also ran this tire set-up in race No. 1 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Chicagoland in September . . . this left-side tire code has been run by NASCAR teams at Homestead since 2010 . . . this is the first time these teams have run this right-side tire code at Homestead . . . this right-side employs Goodyear’s multi-zone tread technology, which combines two distinct tread compounds on the same tire — the outside 10 inches of the tread features a compound that is designed for grip, while the inside two inches of the tread is toughened to enhance durability on the part of the tire sees the most heat and takes the most abuse . . . this tire set-up was confirmed for Homestead at a Goodyear test at the track on September 9 . . . one team per Chase-qualified organization was allowed to participate, though no Chase-eligible driver was allowed to test . . . drivers that participated were Justin Allgaier (Hendrick), Ryan Blaney (Penske), Austin Dillon (Childress), Sam Hornish (Gibbs), Danica Patrick (Stewart-Haas), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Roush-Fenway) and Martin Truex Jr. (JTG-Daugherty) . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Homestead . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear), see full notes, tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Homestead Race Info page – Goodyear section.(11-14-2014)

  • Chase Elliott ready for Cup but: Chase Elliott hasn’t turned 19 yet, and the Nationwide Series champion already could be ready for a Sprint Cup ride. Even Rick Hendrick, who has Elliott under contract, thinks in some ways Elliott was ready to run at least some Cup races before he earned his first Nationwide win in April. “I told the guys before he ever ran this year, I said I believe I can put him in the World 600 (at Charlotte), and he’d finish 15th because he’s just that smooth and fast and knows how to use his head,” Hendrick said. But Hendrick has no room to put Elliott in a Cup car for 2015. And he knows that for a young driver, defending the Nationwide title won’t be a bad thing. “I think we have got to wait a little bit longer, but he’s really impressed me,” Hendrick said. So expect Elliott, who turns 19 later this month, to run a full season for JR Motorsports next season as part of the original two-year deal with sponsor NAPA Auto Parts. He also could run a select number of Cup events, a maximum of seven with Hendrick Motorsports but no limit if Hendrick allows him to run for another organization. The big question is where Elliott will race in 2016. Kasey Kahne’s contract is up after 2015. Jeff Gordon hasn’t said when he will retire, but there is sponsorship signed on his car through 2016. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson aren’t going anywhere. “I don’t know what tomorrow brings so I have no idea what the future has in store for myself or our team or whatever,” said Elliott, son of former Cup champion Bill Elliott. “The biggest thing is just make the most of what is going on right now and let it figure itself out. Me thinking about or worrying about it ain’t going to change it. So the best thing I can do is just focus on what is going on on the racetrack and make sure your mind is there 100% each weekend. Hopefully next season we’re able to go and have the same result and championship with some more wins.”(Sporting News)(11-14-2014)

  • Hendrick Motorsports going for pole #200: This weekend, Hendrick Motorsports could reach a milestone. With one more Sprint Cup Series pole position, the organization will have earned 200 in its 30-year history. Currently, Hendrick Motorsports sits at 199 poles, with #24-Jeff Gordon and #48-Jimmie Johnson combining for three so far in the 2014 season.(HMS), HMS’s last pole was when Gordon won the pole at Michigan in August (11-14-2014)

  • Gordon pole-less at Homestead: Although #24-Jeff Gordon ranks third all-time with 76 career pole positions, Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of four tracks where Gordon has yet to win a pole position. Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway are the other venues where Gordon has never won a pole position.(HMS)(11-14-2014)

  • Different look for the Brandt #51 at Homestead: BRANDT International Paint Scheme…The #51 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy of Justin Allgaier will be sporting a different look this weekend at Homestead. A bright yellow world map has been placed on the traditional BRANDT red to bring attention to their international business. BRANDT products are increasing yield and production quality in agriculture markets around the globe. Currently, BRANDT products can be found in over 40 countries supported by their international business managers. Allgaier will make his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start at Homestead. HMS is the only remaining track in the NSCS that Allgaier hasn’t made a start at in the #51 BRANDT Chevy (HScott Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on the #51 Team Schemes page.(11-14-2014)

  • The Pete store returns to sponsor Ragan: The Pete Store, the largest privately owned Peterbilt dealer by sales in the country, returns to Front Row Motorsports as primary sponsor of the #34 Ford of David Ragan. Ragan commented: “Homestead-Miami Speedway has really turned into one of the best tracks on the circuit. It’s aged well, and the different levels of banking just give you a lot of options. You can run right up by the wall, but on restarts you can really make up some ground on the bottom. In the last race of the year, you want to run as well as you can and put an exclamation point on the season. We’ll have The Pete Store on our #34 for this race and we want to have a good run for them, too. It’s a terrible feeling leaving Homestead with an engine issue or a DNF. So, everybody puts a lot of effort into Homestead. It’s a fun racetrack, but it’s going to be a tough 400 miles. I’m going to enjoy racing hard, but I also want to keep my eye on the four guys racing for the championship. That will be fun to watch as well. Miami is a great place to finish the year. The weather’s great, we get to enjoy some good seafood and good entertainment. And the plane ride home from Homestead is the best plane ride of the year. You know you’re going home and you’ve got a couple of weeks off.”(FRM)(11-14-2014)

  • LeafFilter to Sponsor the #32 at Homestead: LeafFilter announced its sponsorship of the #32 Ford at Homestead. “We are pleased to continue our sponsorship with Go Green Racing and that Blake Koch will be piloting the #32 LeafFilter Ford for the upcoming Ford EcoBoost 400,” states Matt Kaulig, owner of LeafFilter North, Inc. “It is exciting for the entire LeafFilter team to be a part of Ford’s Championship Weekend as driver’s race for the Sprint Cup.” Blake Koch is scheduled to drive the #32 LeafFilter Ford at the Homestead. Koch began his racing career at the age of 22. Prior to transitioning into the NASCAR arena in 2008, Koch raced on two wheels and was considered one of the top motocross competitors in Florida. “I am super excited to get back behind the wheel in the Sprint Cup series. I am even more excited to have LeafFilter back on board. They are a great sponsor and just a great group of people to be around. Looking to get them a good finish in Miami, and end the season on a high note,” Koch mentions of the upcoming race.(PRNewswire), see images of the car / scheme on the #32 Team Schemes page.
    AND Tender Beef Jerky will be an associated sponsor of the #32 Go FAS Racing Ford and driver Blake Koch at Homestead. Tender Beef Jerky is a line of gourmet jerky based in Florida (GFR PR)(11-14-2014)

  • New trophy for the FORD EcoBoost 400: It’s a trophy Henry Ford himself would love. The winner of this Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be taking home a trophy, but in this case, the new trophy represents a unique part of Ford Racing history. For the first time, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Ford Racing collaborated on a special race winner’s trophy unlike any other in the sport. The trophy features an exact replica of the steering wheel of Henry Ford’s first race car – the 1901 Sweepstakes racer – which is on display at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. Mr. Ford drove Sweepstakes to an upset victory in his one and only race on Oct. 10, 1901, a win that helped attract the investors who would help him start Ford Motor Company in June, 1903. “We’re pleased that the winner of the Ford EcoBoost 400 will get such a unique trophy,” said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford board of directors and great-grandson of Henry Ford. “The steering wheel visually represents the start of the Ford Racing program 113 years ago, and the winner of it will need to do the same thing great-grandfather did that day – defeat the best drivers in America.” In addition to the steering wheel on the top, the base of the trophy features a plaque that includes an engraving of Henry Ford and his riding mechanic – Spider Huff – in action from 1901.(Ford Racing)(11-14-2014)

  • X8 Energy Gum to sponsor Moffitt at Homestead: X8 Energy Gum will sponsor The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series #66 team with Brett Moffitt driving the Toyota Camry at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “We are excited to have Brett Moffitt on team X8! He is young and focused with a great future ahead of him – a lot like our company. We’re also honored to be working within the sport of NASCAR. We love this organization and its fans.” Said X8 Brands Co-founder and CEO, Robert DiMarco. Though this is X8 Energy Gum’s inaugural race, they know they will be back for more. Promoting their product to NASCAR patrons that will appreciate the sustained boost of energy and endurance in an all-natural gum. X8 Energy Gum will be keeping their fans posted on race day via Twitter. They will be posting pictures of the event, as well as reporting on Brett Moffitt’s performance. Founded in 2012, X8 Energy Gum’s patented formula has a special blend of ingredients that make this unique gum a great alternative to those energy boosting drinks and gels. The delivery system for this “energy gum” also makes this the perfect partner for athletes that want a pre-workout, endurance enhancer and recovery aid all in a quick acting, convenient gum.(PR)(11-14-2014)

  • Wood Brothers, Trevor Bayne, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team Up for One Last Race: Trevor Bayne is hoping to give Eddie and Len Wood one more trip to victory lane this Sunday at the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead, his last in the iconic #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion. Bayne gave NASCAR’s oldest team it most recent visit to victory circle at the 2011 Daytona 500 as a 20-year-old rookie. Next year, Bayne takes the reins of the #6 AdvoCare Ford for a full-time Sprint Cup ride out of the Roush Fenway Racing stable. “To drive that 21 car has been incredible,” Bayne said. “They have given me so much support over the last four years. They’ve made it possible for me to get to a place where I could have this new opportunity. It’s been such a ride with the 21 guys, and they’ve become part of the family, and I’ve become part of their family. You think about the history that we’ve had together over the last four years. When I told them in May about the announcement I was about to make in Charlotte, they told me how much they’re behind me and how much they’ve appreciated what we’ve done together. I was actually standing beside the trailer talking to them and they pointed up to the Daytona 500 sticker and said ‘that’s one thing that will never change right there. You got your first one here. I don’t care if you get 25 more, this was your first one and we’re so glad we were able to be a part of it.’
    “Ultimately the goal at the end of the day was for me to be a full-time Sprint Cup driver for Jack Roush,” he said. “The Wood Brothers played such a big part of my career and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.” Eddie Wood, co-owner of Wood Brothers Racing, also looks back on the team’s Trevor Bayne era fondly. “It’s been a really good relationship,” Wood said. “We knew going in it might be a short-term deal, but we were lucky – lucky for us, maybe not so lucky for them – we got to keep Trevor for four years. Trevor Bayne will always be a part of our family. And we will always share that great Daytona 500 moment together. It’s something that will always be so special for all of us. We will always be Trevor Bayne fans, so we are happy he is getting his shot to race for the Sprint Cup Championship. We are going to do everything in our power to get him to victory lane one more time in the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion.”(Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing)(11-14-2014)
  • Blaney fastest in happy hour: #12-Ryan was quickest during happy hour for the Ford Ecoboost 300 with a speed of 168.240mph. He was followed by: #3-Ty Dillon, #54-Kyle Busch, #11-Elliott Sadler, #42-Kyle Larson, #2-Brian Scott, #20-Matt Kenseth, #25-Townley, #22-Keselowski, and #7-Smith. All 45 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Homestead practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-14-2014)
  • Blaney fastest in first practice: #12-Ryan Blaney was fastest during opening practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a speed of 167.942mph. #11-Elliott Sadler was second, followed by: #20-Matt Kenseth, #9-Chase Elliott, #7-Regan Smith, #10-Ross Chastain, #54-Kyle Busch, #22-Brad Keselowski, #42-Kyle Larson, and #2-Brian Scott. 42 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Homestead practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-14-2014)
  • Wallace wins at Homestead, Crafton takes the title: #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr. won the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at the Homestead Miami Speedway on Friday. #42-Kyle Larson, who started from the pole and led 96 of the 134 laps, finished second. #17-Timothy Peters, #51-Kyle Busch #29-Ryan Blaney, #19-Tyler Reddick, #9-Ty Dillon, #8-Joe Nemechek, #88-Matt Crafton, and #98-Johnny Sauter closed out the top 10.
    With his ninth place finish, Crafton became the first driver to win back-to-back truck championships. He ended the season with a 21-point lead over #29-Ryan Blaney.
    There were 7 caution flags for 28 laps and 13 lead changes among 5 leaders.
    Complete results are on the Homestead race results page (pdf).(11-14-2014)
  • Homestead Race Fast Facts:
    Darrell Wallace Jr. won the 19th Annual Ford EcoBoost 200, his fifth victory in 44 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his fourth victory and 14th top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in two races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Kyle Larson(i) (second) posted his first top-10 finish in two races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his first top-10 finish in 2014.
    Timothy Peters (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in eight races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Tyler Reddick (sixth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Matt Crafton leads the point standings by 21 points over Ryan Blaney.
    This is the 15th win for Toyota in 2014 – tieing the manufacturer’s most wins a single season (2010).
    Most wins all-time in a single season in the NCWTS is 18 by Chevrolet in 1996.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-14-2013)
  • Championship Fast Facts:
    Driver Champion: Matt Crafton
    Team: # 88 Menards Toyota

    Matt Crafton won his second consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. He is the first driver in series history to win back-to-back championships (2013-2014).
    Crafton is the 13th different driver to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, and the fourth to win multiple series titles. 2013 marked Crafton’s 15th year competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He leads the series in consecutive starts with 337.
    Crafton finished 21 points ahead of second-place Ryan Blaney.
    Crafton finished the 2014 season with two wins, 13 top fives, 17 top 10s, and an average finish of 7.0.
    Crafton’s 2014 Season-To-Date Loop Data: Driver Rating (106.0); Average Running Position (6.504).

    Owner: Duke Thorson, ThorSport Racing
    This is ThorSport Racing’s second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship.
    Owners Duke and Rhonda Thorson fielded their first truck in the series with driver Terry Cook at the Milwaukee Mile on July 6, 1996. ThorSport Racing has fielded at least one truck in 431 races, a run of 413 consecutive starts beginning at Walt Disney World Speedway in January 1998 – both are series records.
    ThorSport Racing fielded one other full-time truck this season – the No. 98 driven by Johnny Sauter. Sauter finished the season fourth in the standings. He posted one win, eight top fives and 16 top 10s in 2014.

    Crew Chief Champion: Carl Joiner Jr. 
    This is Carl Joiner Jr.’s second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. Joiner becomes the fourth all-time NCWTS crew chief with multiple championships joining Dennis Conner (1997, ’99, ’01); MikeHillman Jr. (2006, ’10); and Rick Ren (2007, ’09).
    Joiner is the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series crew chief to win consecutive series titles.

    Owner Champion: Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports
    This is Kyle Busch Motorsport’s second-consecutive and third all-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner championship. Kyle Busch Motorsports’ previous owner championships were in 2010 and 2013 – KBM’s No. 51 tied ThorSport Racing’s No. 88 in owner points in 2013 but was awarded the championship due the tiebreaker (wins).
    Two drivers competed in the No. 51 Toyota this season (Kyle Busch, 10 starts and Erik Jones, 12 starts)
    KBM is the second team in NCWTS history to win back-to-back championships (Xpress Motorsports, 2002-03).The team’s third title ties Hendrick Motorsports and Kevin Harvick Inc. for most all-time.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-14-2013)

  • Driver standings following Homestead:
    1) #88-Matt Crafton, 833
    2) #29-Ryan Blaney, 812-21
    3) #54-Darrell Wallace Jr., 799 -34
    4) #98-Johnny Sauter, 773 -60
    5) #17-Timothy Peters, 746 -87
    6) #77-German Quiroga, 683 -150
    7) #21-Joey Coulter, 680 -153
    8) #13-Jeb Burton 679 -154
    9) #31-Ben Kennedy #, 679 -154
    10) #99-Bryan Silas, 548-285
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(11-14-2014)
  • Owner Standings following Homestead are posted (pdf).(11-14-2014)
  • Lucky Dogs – Who got a lap back on each caution at Homestead: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: none
    Caution 2: #82-Derek White, 27th
    Caution 3: #45-Matt Tifft, 21st
    Caution 4: #08-Ray Black, Jr., 28th
    Caution 5: none
    Caution 6: #45-Matt Tifft, 21st
    Caution 7: #92-Austin Hill, 20th
    (11-14-2014)
  • Larson on pole at Homestead: #42-Kyle Larson won the Keystone Light pole for the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway on Friday night with a speed of 167.431mph. #29-Ryan Blaney will start second, followed by: #35-Ross Chastain, #19-Tyler Reddick, #51-Kyle Busch, #88-Matt Crafton, #9-Ty Dillon, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #13-Jeb Burton, #99-Bryan Silas, #31-Ben Kennedy, and #05-John Wes Townley.
    Fastest in the second round of qualifying was #19-Reddick with a speed of 169.295mph.
    #42-Larson was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 168.813mph.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(11-14-2014)
  • Homestead Qualifying Notes:
    Kyle Larson(i) won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 19th Annual Ford EcoBoost 200 with a lap of 31.988 seconds, 168.813 mph.
    This is his second pole in nine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his second pole and second top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his first pole in two races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Matt Crafton (second) posted his 17th top-10 start of 2014 and his eighth in 14 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Kyle Busch(i) (third) posted his fifth top-10 start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his ninth in ten races this season.
    Tyler Reddick (fifth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-14-2014)

  • Boston to join KBM in 2015 UPDATE: Motorsport.com has learned that Justin Boston will move up into the NASCAR national touring divisions come 2015. Boston has spent the last two seasons in ARCA, piloting a car owned by Venturini Motorsports. In 2014, he won for the first time at Toledo. Kyle Busch has hired the young talent to drive a third entry in the Camping World Truck Series next season, alongside fellow young guns Darrell Wallace Jr. and Erik Jones. He will have backing from Zloop in this new venture. Oddly enough, the 24-year-old racer will be the ‘veteran’ driver of the trio, in terms of age. He made his Truck debut earlier this year at Bristol, finishing 30th after getting caught up in a wreck. He impressed in two starts for Gibbs at the Nationwide level though, placing inside the top 12 in both races. Kyle Busch Motorsports has dominated the Truck circuit in 2014, which is to be expected when Kyle gets behind the wheel. However, Jones and Wallace have each won three races this season as well. The team is eying it’s second consecutive owner’s title this weekend, hoping to hold off ThorSport and win it all tonight.(Motorsport.com)(11-14-2014)
    UPDATE: Kyle Busch Motorsports announced today the additions of Justin Boston and Matt Tifft to the team’s driver lineup for the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Boston will run a full-time schedule competing for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award, while Tifft will run a six-race schedule and share the driving duties behind the wheel of his Tundra with KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Daniel Suarez competing for the Truck Series Owner’s Championship.
    Boston completed his second full-time season in the ARCA Racing Series in 2014, finishing fifth in the championship standings and collecting wins at Toledo Speedway in May and Madison International Speedway in August. In addition to his two wins, he collected three poles, 241 laps led, seven top-five and 13 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.6 across 20 starts this year. Overall in two seasons of ARCA action, the Maryland native has posted two wins, five poles, 15 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes across 41 starts and finished inside the top-five in the championship standings both years. The 25-year-old also made two NASCAR Nationwide Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2014, finishing ninth in his series debut at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and following it up with a 12th-place finish at Dover International Speedway. He made one Truck Series start this season, but was relegated to a 30th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway getting caught up in a late-race accident.
    Tifft has made 12 ARCA Racing Series starts the last two seasons, registering six top-five and eight top-10 finishes. The Ohio native registered a career-best runner-up finish in this year’s September event at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. In addition to his time in the ARCA Racing Series, the 18-year-old has competed in the NASCAR K&N East and West Series, posting one top-five and nine top-10 finishes across 24 starts. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte freshman has competed in two of the last three Truck Series races this season, including an eighth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway in September, and is entered in the series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend.
    Announcements on truck numbers, sponsors and crew chiefs for both drivers are forthcoming. (Kyle Busch Motorsports)(11-14-2014)
  • Free cholesterol screenings at Homestead: Free cholesterol screenings for adults aged 18 and older will be conducted at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 14th through Sunday, November 16th during NASCAR’s Championship Races during the 2014 Ford Championship Weekend. Sponsored by AstraZeneca, the free cholesterol screenings are part of an educational initiative the company is conducting to help raise awareness about the importance of “knowing your numbers” as nearly 37% of South Floridians have high cholesterol levels. Health care professionals will be onsite to provide screening results and information about the importance of managing cholesterol levels. The cholesterol screenings will be held in the display area located beyond gate 11. Times: Friday, November 14th: 11:30am – 8:00pm; Saturday, November 15th: 11:30am – 4:30pm; Sunday November 16th: 10:00am – 3:30pm.(PR)(11-14-2014)


    News from November 13, 2014


  • Homestead Notes & Facts – Thursday – history:
    · Groundbreaking for Homestead-Miami Dade Motorsports Complex – as the track was originally named – began Aug. 24, 1993.
    · The first race held at Homestead-Miami Speedway was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Nov. 5, 1995 – won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett.
    · The original configuration was a four-turn, rectangular oval based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s layout.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead was held on Nov. 14, 1999 – won by Tony Stewart.
    · 2002 was the first season of the Championship Weekend at Homestead, with all three of NASCAR’s national series holding their season finale at the same track.
    (NASCAR)(11-13-2014)

  • Hamlin Hopes To Repeat At Homestead: After going winless the first 35 races last year, Denny Hamlin captured the checkered flag in the season finale at Homestead to salvage his streak of notching at least one victory in each of his first eight full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series campaigns. The stakes are higher for the #11 FedEx driver in Sunday’s Championship race at Homestead. If Hamlin wins at the 1.5-mile track, or just finishes ahead of Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman, he will capture his first series championship. Hamlin expressed his confidence in a title race at Homestead on Eliminator 8 Media Day, saying: “Truth be told, if you ask me ‘you have one race to race heads up for a championship, pick either Martinsville or Homestead?’ I’d almost pick Homestead simply because we’ve just had a lot of success there over these last few years and it’s been a great track for us.” Hamlin has won at the Miami-area track twice and also claims four top-five and ten top-10 finishes there. In 2010, Hamlin found himself in a similar situation in the biggest race of his life prior to Sunday – the Ford 400 season finale at Homestead. The Chesterfield, Virginia native entered the race 15 points ahead of Jimmie Johnson for the standings lead. With the championship in his sights, Hamlin failed to stave off Johnson. He qualified 37th and spun on the 25th lap, events that culminated in a 14th-place finish. Johnson took second to win his fifth straight title.
    With a new shot at redemption, Hamlin can accomplish two major milestones by winning the championship: Unable to compete at Auto Club in March due to an injury caused by a piece of metal lodged into the back of his eye, Hamlin can become the first NSCS champion to miss a race since NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty in 1971. Petty missed two races that year: A Daytona qualifying races – which was a points race at that time – and a race in Macon, Georgia’s Middle Georgia Raceway. Hamlin, 33, can pilot the first Toyota to a NSCS title.(NASCAR)(11-13-2014)

  • Logano Looks For One More Large Performance In Chase: No driver has been better in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup than Joey Logano. The 24-year-old has coasted his way to the Championship 4 behind a Chase-best 5.3 average finish and two victories. To earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, Logano likely needs to produce one more dominant effort in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead. The #22 Team Penske driver does not need to win the event to take home the title, but instead must finish ahead of Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman – a task he has completed 10 times this season. Logano has the worst previous statistics at Homestead among the Championship 4 with one top 10 and an average finish of 20.8 in five starts there. The silver lining… he finished eighth at Homestead last season in his first campaign with Team Penske and has performed at an elite level on 1.5-mile tracks this year. In Logano’s nine starts at 1.5 mile courses in 2014, he boasts two victories and leads all drivers with a 5.8 average finish and six top-five performances.
    If Logano wins the championship, at 24 years, 5 months and 23 days, he would become the youngest driver to capture the series crown since Jeff Gordon in 1995 – and third premier series champion under the age of 25, joining Gordon and Bill Rexford, who was 23 years old when he won the title in 1950. A native of Middletown, Connecticut, he would be the first driver from the Constitution State to win a NASCAR premier series title.
    In addition, a Logano championship would mark the second title for Team Penske, that claimed its first with the efforts of Brad Keselowski in 2012. Currently leading the NASCAR Nationwide Series owner standings by 29 points, Roger Penske’s racing outfit has a legitimate chance of becoming the first team to win a NSCS, NNS and IndyCar championship in the same season.(NASCAR)(11-13-2014)

  • Master of Survival: Newman Can Capture Cup Title At Homestead: On the final lap of last Sunday’s penultimate race at Phoenix, Ryan Newman found himself on the verge of elimination, needing to gain one more position from his 12th-place spot on the track. In a final move of desperation, Newman was able to force Kyle Larson into the Turn 4 wall and pass him for 11th-place – a performance that put him one point ahead of Jeff Gordon for the final berth in the Championship 4. Newman’s Arizona effort was not the first time he rose to the occasion under pressure in this season’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Clinging onto the final position on the Chase Grid entering the Challenger Round cutoff race at Dover, the #31 Caterpillar, Inc./Quicken Loans driver produced an eighth-place finish to advance to the Contender Round. He also avoided “The Big One” at Talladega and registered a third-place showing in the process to solidify his spot in the Eliminator Round. The NASCAR world will see if Newman has one more clutch effort left in the tank for Sunday’s Championship race at Homestead. A 13-year full-time veteran of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Newman can capture his first title in any NASCAR national series by finishing ahead of Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin.
    In 12 Homestead starts, Newman owns one top five and four top 10s. His highest finish at the Miami-area track was a third-place showing in 2012. One potential note of interest: Newman is the only one of the Championship 4 who did not test at Homestead at the end of October. Competing in his first season with Richard Childress Racing, Newman can earn the organization its first premier series title since 1994 when Dale Earnhardt captured RCR its sixth championship. Newman would be the only driver other than Earnhardt (six titles) to clinch a premier series crown with RCR.
    Newman has proven to be the true underdog story in the Chase. Despite not winning a race during the regular season, the consistent 36-year-old racked up 10 top-10 finishes and placed lower than 30th only two times to clinch the 16th and final spot in NASCAR’s playoffs. No matter how Newman fares at Homestead, he will achieve a career-best finish in the final standings. His previous high finish was sixth – a feat he has achieved three times (2002, ’03, ’06).(NASCAR)(11-13-2014)

  • Harvick Heads To Homestead In Hunt For First Championship: Entering the penultimate race at Phoenix in last place among Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup contenders, #4-Kevin Harvick could only guarantee himself a spot in The Championship 4 by winning at the Arizona track. Shrugging off the pressure, Harvick turned in a dominant performance leading 264 of 312 laps on his way to Victory Lane. Now, Harvick heads into Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship Round Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway needing just one more clutch performance to earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in his 14 years competing on the circuit. Following last Sunday’s showdown at Phoenix, Harvick and the three other drivers who advanced to The Championship 4 – Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman – had their points reset to 5,000. At Homestead, the format is simple. Drivers cannot earn bonus points for leading laps. Whoever crosses the line first among the quartet will win the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. None of the drivers have ever won a NSCS title, guaranteeing that the series will crown its 30th champion in its 66-year history.
    Harvick, whose 109.9 driver rating and 2,083 laps led lead the series, has to like his odds of taking home his first title. He has finished higher than Logano, Hamlin and Newman in 11 races this season – the most of the Championship 4. Comparatively, Logano was the highest finisher of the four in 10 races; Hamlin in eight and Newman in six. Although he has never won at Homestead, he has been highly successful at the 1.5-mile track with five top fives, 11 tops 10s and an average finish of 8.1 in 13 starts. The #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevy driver has two victories in the past five weeks and four total this season. If Harvick wins the championship, he would join Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski as only the third driver to boast both a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series championship. Competing in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing, he would earn the organization its second premier series title.(NASCAR)(11-13-2014)

  • Borland to move over to Haas’ F1 team: One of Gene Haas’ first hires for his Formula One, Matt Borland, was recruited from right next door, Stewart-Haas Racing. Although Borland, 43, has straddled his duties between SHR and Haas F1, the engineer turned crew chief and now vice president of competition on the NASCAR side will take of the role as vice president of special projects for the F1 team at seasons end. “Formula One is certainly a lot more technical and I think Borland is looking for the challenge,” Haas told Motorsport.com. “He’s been doing this a long time and even I have been doing NASCAR a long time and I look at Formula One, like next year we’ll have a whole year to see how these cars are built. I’ve already had a couple of opportunities to see how the cars are built and they’re just very fascinating. It’s going to give us an opportunity to take some of our NASCAR crew people and say, ‘hey, here’s an opportunity to learn something new, can you apply that to Formula One and vice versa. The Formula One people from Ferrari are also interested in how we do things.” Haas and Borland attended the F1 race at Circuit of the Americas last month. Haas also visited the Maranello-based Ferrari during the Italian Grand Prix. In Austin, Borland preferred to remain under the radar while on his fact-finding mission.(Motorsport)(11-13-2014)

  • McDowell and #95 LFR Team honors all 2014 sponsor on the car at Homestead: The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season was an important one for Leavine Family Racing. The growing single-car race team fielded the #95 Ford in 19 races this season, seven more races than 2013. Highlights of the season included a team-best 7th-place finish at Daytona and a hard-fought 18th place finish at Bristol. Heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the season finale race on Sunday, Michael McDowell and the LFR team continue their course of action and plan to push forth, in spite of any challenges, toward a solid finish for the 2014 season. “This has really been a growing year for us and we really want to work hard at Homestead and finish off this season strong,” said McDowell. “We have an awesome group of sponsors behind us and our entire team is appreciative for their support and glad we can showcase all of them at the season finale race.” The #95 paint scheme will sport colors from all of Leavine Family Racing’s sponsors this weekend as a ‘Thank You’ for another great year of growth. Sponsors include: KLOVE, Thrivent Financial, TWD, JTS, Triangle Office Equipment and E6 apparel. The Parts House joins Leavine Family Racing as a new sponsor at Homestead and will be featured on the car with Parts Plus. The Parts House (TPH) is a warehouse distributor of premium automotive and heavy-duty truck parts and accessories for the automotive repair industry. Following Homestead, McDowell and the Leavine Family Racing team will join forces with Thrivent Financial and pack gifts for Operation Christmas Child, a Samaritan’s Purse project, on Thursday, Nov. 20 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at Christ Lutheran Church in Charlotte, NC.
    As for 2015: “We¹re excited to have Michael McDowell back with Leavine Family Racing next year and we¹re currently working to finalize our races and sponsors for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.”(LFR), see an image of the car on the #95 Team Schemes page.(11-13-2014)

  • Different look for Danica’s #10 at Homestead: Danica Patrick’s #10 Florida Lottery/GoDaddy Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will feature the orange-and-pink color scheme of the Florida Lottery on the front of the car, joining the GoDaddy green on the back. It is part of a two-race package as Florida Lottery was on the car at Daytona in July. This weekend’s Sprint Cup season finale is a great opportunity for the Florida Lottery to increase awareness about its role in funding education and contributing to Florida’s economy. The Florida Lottery has generated more than $27 billion for education over its 26-year history, enabling more than 700,000 students to attend college through the Bright Futures Scholarship Program. The Lottery also proudly supports the Classrooms First and Classrooms for Kids programs, which utilize Lottery revenue to fund school district projects for new construction, renovation, remodeling and major repair and maintenance of educational facilities. The Lottery reinvests nearly 98% of its revenue back into Florida’s economy through prize payouts, commissions to more than 13,000 Florida retailers, and transfers to education (SHR), see images of the scheme on the #10 Team Schemes page.(11-13-2014)

  • A.J. Foyt Undergoes Successful Triple Bypass Surgery: Four-time Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500 winner and former NASCAR team owner A.J. Foyt underwent successful coronary bypass surgery today in Houston after being diagnosed with blockages on Monday. Foyt, 79, had been admitted to the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center on Friday with intermittent chest pains but initial testing results were inconclusive. However, a cardiac catheterization procedure performed Monday revealed blockages in arteries where Foyt had several stents from past procedures, most recently in March, 2010. Foyt is expected to remain in the hospital through Monday.(Foyt Racing)(11-13-2014)
  • Contreras returns to the #23: It’s been nearly 12 years since Carlos Contreras has seen Homestead-Miami Speedway, but that will change this weekend, as he returns to the track to compete in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Nationwide Series season finale for Rick Ware Racing. For this weekend’s Ford EcoBoost 300, Contreras will have the support of Sports Leadership and Management, as well as new race partner, Circle K. Opening in 2013, Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM) is a public charter school in Miami, Florida for 6th through 12th grade students seeking careers in the Sports Leadership and Management industries. The mission of SLAM is to provide an innovative and in-depth secondary educational program that produces college-bound students through emphasis on sports-related majors and post secondary preparation.(Rick Ware Racing)(11-13-2014)
  • Clements names Homestead sponsor: Jeremy Clements Racing has announced that All South Electrical Constructors, Inc. will return as primary sponsor of the #51 Chevy for the final race of the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series in Homestead. All South Electrical Constructors, Inc., based in Cartersville, GA, is one of the most competitive electrical contractors within the multifamily market, providing a quality product at the most economical price while maintaining a safe environment within the work place. ANP Lighting, a leading producer of lighting fixtures for residential and commercial use, will also return as an associate sponsor for the Ford EcoBoost 300. ANP Lighting has the manufacturing, engineering and design expertise to create custom lighting that fits everyone’s needs.(Clements Racing)(11-12-2014)
  • RSS Racing gets Homestead Sponsor UPDATE: RSS Racing and driver Ryan Sieg will have Huntinator as a primary sponsor for the final Nationwide race of the season. Huntinator is an apparel line designed by professional fishing and hunting guide Jeff Beeler to describe in a bold way fishing, hunting, and everything else outdoors.(RSS RacingPR)(11-11-2014)
    UPDATE: Smart Cell Fundraising is pleases to be on board as Ryan Sieg and RSS Racing will compete in the final Nationwide Race this Saturday at the Miami Homestead Speedway. Smart Cell Fundraising allows schools a great new fundraising program, instead of the same old cookie dough and wrapping paper that has been sold for the last thirty years.(RSS Racing)(11-13-2014)
  • Blaney fastest in final truck practice: #29-Ryan Blaney, who trails points leader by 25 markers entering the season-finale, was fastest in final practice for the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway with a speed of 166.996 mph. He was followed by #19-Tyler Reddick, #51-Kyle Busch, #35-Ross Chastain, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #8-Joe Nemechek, #13-Jeb Burton, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #42-Kyle Larson, and #20-Daniel Hemric. 35 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Homestead practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-13-2014)
  • Crafton fastest in first truck practice: #88-Matt Crafton was fastest during opening practice at Homestead Miami Speedway with a speed of 166.728mph. #19-Tyler Reddick was second, followed by #29-Ryan Blaney, #98-Johnny Sauter, #77-Geman Quiroga, #31-Ben Kennedy, #13-Jeb Burton, #05-John Wes Townley, #35-Ross Chastain, and #17-Timothy Peters. 27 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Homestead practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-13-2014)
  • Homestead Air Reserve Base To Provide Flyover For Ford EcoBoost 400: Two of Homestead’s most recognizable residents will team up to provide fans attending the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, November 16 an unforgettable experience. Homestead Air Reserve Base will be providing a flyover prior to the start of Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, making it one of only a handful of tracks that will have had a military flyover this year. On Sunday following the National Anthem, a pair of F-16 fighter jets from the 93rd Fighter Squadron will be seen – and heard – over the host venue for the championship races in all three of NASCAR’s series.
    In addition to the flyover, the Base will be involved in many other ways throughout Ford Championship Weekend. The 482nd Homestead Air Reserve Base Security Forces Color Guard will be Presenting the Colors on Friday, November 14 prior to the Ford EcoBoost 200, while the 482nd Honor Guard out of Homestead Air Reserve Base will be doing the same for the Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday, November 15 and the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, November 16. U.S. Army Brigadier General Kurt L. Sonntag, Commander of SOCSOUTH, will deliver the Pledge of Allegiance before Sunday’s race, while Colonel Christian G. Funk, Commander of the 482nd Fighter Wing at Homestead Air Reserve Base, will be giving the Oath of Enlistment to the new military recruits who will be present on stage prior to Sunday’s race.
    This is not the first time this year that the Speedway and the Base have joined forces. Back on September 10, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports, paid a visit to the Base as part of the Chase Across North America Tour media event. In fact, during that visit he worked with the crew chief to prep and launch an F-16 fighter jet. For more information on tickets, call 305-230-5255 or visit homesteadmiamispeedway.com.(HMS)(11-13-2014)


    News from November 12, 2014


  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Homestead:
    #99-Carl Edwards 115.5
    #78-Martin Truex Jr. 110.0
    #20-Matt Kenseth 109.8
    #4-Kevin Harvick 99.1 [Chase driver]
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 96.6
    #24-Jeff Gordon 96.5
    #18-Kyle Busch 93.4
    #11-Denny Hamlin 93.4 [Chase driver]
    #15-Clint Bowyer 92.7
    AND
    #31-Ryan Newman 84.8, 13th-best [Chase driver]
    #22-Joey Logano 71.2, 22nd-best [Chase driver]
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (nine total) among active drivers at Homestead-Miami 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)

  • Gordon and sponsor ring the bell at New York Stock Exchange: Axalta Coating Systems listed its IPO at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday morning under the ticker symbol AXTA. The company’s chairman and CEO Charlie Shaver rang the opening bell with four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Jeff Gordon. Axalta has the longest-running sponsor combination relationship in NASCAR history. Shaver says being a manufacturer of auto coatings makes it an auto-related stock play like TrueCar (TRUE) and Mobileye (MBLY), both of which have risen significantly since debuting this year (The Street)(11-12-2014)

  • Grubb going for 2nd championship, could be with different JGR team next season: Darian Grubb, current crew chief for #11-Denny Hamlin, will remain as a crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing, he just doesn’t know which driver he will head up in 2015. In part from a NASCAR Teleconference with Grubb:
    Q. Darian, three years ago you knew for several races that you weren’t coming back as the crew chief for Tony Stewart but you held the team together and you won the championship. This year the crew chief lineup for Joe Gibbs Racing hasn’t been announced for next year, so I guess a two-part question. One, do you know what you’re doing next year yet, and two, does this remind you at all of 2011 and has that experience helped you as you go for the title again?
    DARIAN GRUBB: It doesn’t remind me of that situation at all. We’re still working towards winning a championship, and I’m going to be here next year doing the same thing. We have had some talks internally about what next year’s plans are, but there’s nothing that’s ready to be announced and/or we’re not working towards that for next year, either. I’m sure winning a championship with the team and stuff might have some bearing on some of those discussions and things, as well. We’re going to wait until Monday after Homestead to even think about that stuff.
    Q. Are you saying that the difference between like this year and maybe what hasn’t been announced in 2011 to what has been announced, is that you and your crew guys, you know you’re going to have jobs, you know that you’re not wondering where you’ll be come next January or February?
    DARIAN GRUBB: Exactly. I’m not updating any résumés or anything like that. We know we all have jobs. There’s security. We all know for a fact that we’re going to be working together within this organization, so we’re going to go out and try to finish the business at hand first no matter what happens and try to win that trophy at Homestead.
    Q. Would you find it ironic at all if you were to win a title, win two championships and then be with somebody else the following year?
    DARIAN GRUBB: To me that doesn’t matter. I’m still going to do the same effort and the same work that I do every week regardless of who I’m working for. If it’s Denny again next year, we’re going to try to win two in a row, and if it’s for somebody else, then we’re going to try to win together that way, also. It doesn’t matter to me. I love this sport and I love my job, and I love all the guys that I work with. FedEx Toyota team is my home for now, and that’s what I plan to be working hard on.(NASCAR Teleconference)(11-12-2014)

  • Feed the Children Joins TBR and Sorenson at Homestead: Feed the Children has joined forces with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) for the 2014 season finale this weekend at Homestead. Feed the Children will adorn the #36 Chevy driven by Reed Sorenson. “The Feed the Children program is near and dear to my heart,” said Tommy Baldwin, owner of TBR. “They’ve done great things for individuals all over the world, including my hometown of Long Island. We’re proud to bring them with us to Homestead and raise awareness for such a fantastic cause.”
    “Feed the Children is proud to partner with Tommy and his team. Their support has been invaluable,” said Kevin Hagan, President and CEO of Feed the Children. “Every day, hunger robs children of the chance to be kids. Through the support of organizations like TBR, we are not only able to bring food to kids across the world, but also give them the opportunity to just be kids.” Hirzel Canning Company & Farms, a valued partner of Feed the Children, will be featured on the quarter panels of the Chevy.(TBR), image of the scheme on the #36 Team Schemes page.(11-12-2014)

  • Final NASCAR start for Marcos Ambrose: Marcos Ambrose will make his final start in the #9 Stanley Ford this weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway for Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM). Ambrose will depart the organization as one of its most successful drivers. Since joining RPM in 2011, he has put the #9 Sprint Cup team in Victory Lane twice while also earning three poles. In addition, Ambrose has 33 Top-10 and 11 Top-Five finishes. Ambrose will be most remembered as one of the best road course racers in the history of NASCAR. “It’s been about nine years since my family and I came over the ‘water’ to try out this experiment of NASCAR. And, it’s been great. We’ve won races, had good runs and met a lot of wonderful people. But, it’s time to take my family back across the ‘pond’ and go home. I made that decision this year, and once we did that, we started working towards that plan. That’s what this year has been like, and everyone has been very supportive. We are finishing our NASCAR season, and we just want to spoil the guys in ‘The Chase’. I have had a good time here in NASCAR. It’s the most competitive form of racing in the world, and there is nothing like it. It’s a grind, and you need to be focused all the time on the task at hand. It will be nice to get some more weekends off and get back to V8. I will miss NASCAR, and I will watch it too. I will watch the night races in the morning in Australia with breakfast, and that will be fun. I’m looking forward to that. I have good runs, memorable races that I’ll carry with me for sure. It was great winning for ‘The King’ and racing for wins at Watkins Glen. These are memories that I’ll have for a lifetime. I would have liked to win on an oval, sure, but I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot too. Now, it’s just time to go back home with my family.”(RPM)(11-12-2014)

  • 50-Year Limited Edition 2015 Ford Mustang to Pace Cup, Nationwide Races at Homestead: In a fitting tribute to the continuing golden anniversary celebration of the iconic pony car, a 50-Year Limited Edition 2015 Ford Mustang will pace the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 14-16. The Wimbledon White pace car, one of just 1,964 50-Year Limited Edition Mustangs built, will lead the field to the green flag for the Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Nov. 16 and the Ford EcoBoost 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Nov. 15.
    Mark Fields, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company, will drive the pace car equipped with 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine, leading the Sprint Cup field to green for the final time this season. John Felice, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service will pace the starting field for the Nationwide race. A Race Red 2015 Mustang GT fastback will serve as the splitter pace car for the two races.
    Built in Flat Rock, Mich., Mustang is all-new from the ground up. This sixth-generation, rear-wheel-drive car has the long hood and short rear deck lid proportions of its most iconic predecessors, as well as that low, wide stance, but its design is very much 21st century, with state-of-the-art engineering and technology. “Ford is very proud to have a 50-Year Limited Edition 2015 Mustang pace the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide races during Ford Championship Weekend,” said Chantel Lenard, director, U.S. Marketing, Ford Motor Company. “To have Mustang — a brand born of racing — in this special anniversary year, leading some of the world’s best drivers to the championship in two of NASCAR’s premier series, is special. We know our fans will enjoy seeing it out on the track.”
    Among the many new features on the 2015 Mustang GT is an independent rear suspension engineered specifically for this new platform and car. It also features an all-new state-of-the-art front suspension. Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine generates 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Two other engines — a 3.7-liter V6 and 2.3-liter EcoBoost® — will also be available when the car hits showrooms later this year, part of the Mustang stable of engines which all boast over 300 horsepower.
    A pair of all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup trucks will pace the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Nov. 15.(Ford Racing), see images of the pace car on the 2014 Pace Car page.(11-12-2014)

  • Drivers looking for a win: After winning a series-high seven races last year, #20-Matt Kenseth is on the verge of going winless this year. It would be one of the greatest turnarounds in series history. Only Carl Edwards’ falloff would be greater. Edwards won a series-high nine races in 2008 and then went winless the following season. If Kenseth does not win this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he would become only the eighth driver in series history to win at least five races one season and go winless the following year (while running the full schedule). Others on that list are Jeff Gordon (six wins in 2007, zero in 2008), Kasey Kahne (six wins in 2006, zero in 2007), Mark Martin (five wins in 2009, zero in 2010), Bill Elliott (five wins in 1992, zero in 1993), Dale Earnhardt (five wins in 1980, zero in 1981) and Richard Petty (five wins in 1978, zero in 1977). Of those drivers, two are in the Hall of Fame (Earnhardt and Petty) and one will be inducted in the next class (Elliott).
    A number of marks and streaks are on the line this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. #14-Tony Stewart looks for his first victory of the season. He’s won at least one race every year he’s been in Sprint Cup (15 seasons). His streak is tied for fifth in series history. Richard Petty won at least one race a record 18 consecutive seasons (1960-77).
    Other drivers who won at least one points race last year and are still looking for their first points win this season are: #31-Ryan Newman, #55-Brian Vickers, #34-David Ragan, #16-Greg Biffle, #1-Jamie McMurray and #78-Martin Truex Jr. There have been 13 different winners this season. That would be the fewest winners in a season since 2010.(MRN)(11-12-2014)

  • “Bonsai” predicts Hamlin as the champ: The season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 race may be taking place this Sunday, but South Florida got a taste of Vegas when Zoo Miami’s “Bonsai,” a binturong, became the official Zoo Miami “Wildlife Prognosticator,” picking the winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. Choosing from the four cars of #4-Kevin Harvick, #11-Denny Hamlin, #22-Joey Logano and #31-Ryan Newman, Bonsai had a tough decision to make as to who he thought would take home the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. After thorough consideration, Bonsai picked the #11 car of Denny Hamlin to take home the Championship. Bonsai is a unique animal found in the tall forests of Asia that can reach a weight of close to 50 pounds. They are primarily arboreal and are excellent climbers feeding on a variety of small mammals, birds, insects and fruits. Commonly called a “bear cat,” they have thick black fur and a long prehensile tail with sharp claws. They are active both day and night and give off a scent that smells very much like popcorn. Their biggest threat in the wild is habitat destruction due to deforestation.(South Dade News Leader)(11-12-2014)

  • Chevy close to clinching 38th Manufacturers’ Title: Chevrolet will clinch this season’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Title if its top finishing SS concludes the race 38th or better, giving Chevy its 38th Sprint Cup Series manufacturers’ championship. It will be the 12th consecutive manufactures’ trophy for Chevrolet and the second for the SS nameplate. Since its debut at the Daytona 500 in February of 2013, the Chevy SS had recorded 35 wins amongst 10 different drivers. Two of those drivers are #4-Kevin Harvick and #31-Ryan Newman, the final two Chevrolet competitors still in the running to earn the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Should Harvick or Newman earn this year’s trophy, it would be the first championship for either driver; and it would mark Chevrolet’s 30th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver’s title since 1949. Not only can Chevrolet claim this season’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series manufacturers’ championship the brand also has the opportunity to take home it’s 16th Bill France Performance Cup, an award that recognizes the manufacturers’ champion in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Chevrolet can claim the title if its top finishing Chevy Camaro ends the race 26th or better. In 2014 Chevrolet Camaro drivers have visited Winner’s Circle 15 times. Last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, 18 year-old Camaro driver Chase Elliott clinched Chevrolet’s 18th driver’s title.(Team Chevy), see the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ championship rules, standings and stats on Jayski.com’s Manufacturers’ Standings page.(11-12-2014)

  • Brian Scott to run the #33 at Homestead: Brian Scott will be making his first Sprint Cup Series start at Homestead, driving the #33 Shore Lodge Chevy in his 7th Sprint Cup Series start. Slugger Labbe will be handling the crew chief duties this weekend. Shore Lodge is located in the heart of the Idaho Mountains. In Scott’s last Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the #33 Shore Lodge Chevy team started in 18th and finished the race 32nd after early contact.(Circle Sport)(11-12-2014)
  • GCL Construction, Tobacco Free Florida sponsoring Earnhardt: GCL Construction and Tobacco Free Florida will sponsor driver Jeffrey Earnhardt in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300, the final race of the Nationwide Series season. GCL Construction, joining the team along with Polyglass, is one of Florida’s leading builders. GCL is a fully licensed and insured general contractor and roofing contractor in Florida. GCL specializes in complete residential restoration as well as in the shell construction for all commercial, residential and industrial projects. In addition to being certified Green Advantage Builders and certified Home Inspectors, GCL is capable of bidding and performing work on county and state projects with SBE and CBE certification. Tobacco Free Florida, which launched in 2007, provides a comprehensive tobacco education and use prevention program. TFF is administered through the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida (BTFF) and funded by money derived from the state’s tobacco settlement agreement with the major tobacco companies in 1997.(JD Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #4 team paint scheme page.(11-12-2014)
  • Preece returns to the #36: For just the second time this season, Tommy Baldwin Racing will field an entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Ryan Preece will jump into the #36 Chevy with sponsorship from Accell Construction. Making his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in 2013, Preece has previously only raced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He is now set to tackle the multi-grooved track at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A member of the NASCAR Next Class of 2014, Preece is Accell-erating his future with the help of longtime Tommy Baldwin Racing sponsor Accell Construction. This is Accell’s first appearance on the car of the Berlin, Connecticut native.(TBR/140 BUZZ)(11-12-2014)
  • Berry returns to the #5 at Homestead: This weekend, Josh Berry will pilot the #5 Chevy as a teammate to Regan Smith. When Smith raced the #5 car to victory in his JRM debut at Homestead two years ago, Berry worked on the team as an interior mechanic. Berry made his Nationwide Series debut at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 2, 2014. Despite limited testing and practice time, Berry qualified 10th and raced inside the top 15 the entire night en route to a 12th-place finish. Ragu adorns the hood of Berry’s #5 Chevy for Saturday night’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This marks the fourth race for America’s leading pasta sauce this season. Ragu enjoyed a successful 2014 campaign with JRM led by Regan Smith’s thrilling victory at Daytona in February.(JR Motorsports)(11-12-2014)
  • Rookie title also up for grabs: A mere three points separate Ben Kennedy (184) and Tyler Reddick (181) in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. The two youngsters have one more opportunity to compete for who comes out on top – Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In search of his first win, Kennedy ranks eighth in the overall standings and claims seven top-10 finishes this season. He has led the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points standings since the second race of the season and earned his career-best third-place finish at Martinsville in March. The 22-year-old NASCAR Next alum came in 30th at Homestead last season – his only previous start there – after experiencing an engine failure 45 laps shy of the finish line. At the conclusion of the race, Kennedy will be the first descendant of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. to complete a season in one of NASCAR’s three national series. Though starting only 15 of the 21 races this season, Reddick has stormed his way into the Sunoco Rookie of the Year conversation with six top-10 finishes in the last seven races, including three season-best fourth-place showings. The 18-year-old Corning, California native took 10th in last week’s event at Phoenix. Friday’s start will be his first appearance at Homestead. Rounding out the NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings are Mason Mingus (44 points behind Kennedy), Tyler Young (-49) and NASCAR Next member Gray Gaulding (-103).(NASCAR)(11-12-2014)
  • KBM eyeing repeat owner’s championship: Ten victories split between Kyle Busch (7) and Erik Jones (3) have propelled the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra to the top of the owner standings. Busch leads Rhonda Thorson and her #88 ThorSport Racing entry – exclusively piloted by current first-place driver Matt Crafton – by 18 points. Busch will control his own destiny when he takes the wheel of the #51 for the final time this season in Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A finish of 14th or higher will earn him his second consecutive owner championship and his third since KBM’s first Truck Series season in 2010 (2010, 2013). KBM would become just the second organization to repeat as owner champions. Xpress Motorsports – owned by Steve Coulter – won consecutive NCWTS championships from 2002-03.(NASCAR)(11-12-2014)
  • Berry to celebrate 200th race at home: Equipped with 12 years of experience in the NCWTS, Bryan Berry will make his 200th career trucks start as a crew chief in Friday night’s 134-lap season finale, orchestrating the #02 Young’s Motorsports team at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Berry, a Homestead, Florida native, will call his 10th race at his “home” track where he claims a high finish of second in 2006 with driver Brandon Gaughan.(NASCAR)(11-12-2014)
  • Chastain to race Homestead UPDATE: Ross Chastain announced on his Twitter that he would pilot the #35 WinTron Racing Toyota in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Chastain will be the sixth driver to drive for WinTron this season. (See an image of the truck on the #35 Team Paint Schemes page).(11-5-2014)
    UPDATE: Ross Chastain hasn’t had the opportunity to race as much as he would have liked to this NASCAR season.That won’t be the case though this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as Win-Tron Racing confirmed that the likable Florida driver will pilot the team’s #35 Toyota Tundra in Friday night’s Ford EcoBoost 200. Roughly two and a half hours south of his hometown, Chastain will bring a recognizable partner for his third and final NCWTS race of the year, Watermelon.org and the National Watermelon Association. The National Watermelon Association was organized in 1914. Originally it was called the “Melon Distributors Association,” but as the organization grew and the goals became more defined, the name was changed (in 1945) to the “National Watermelon Growers & Distributors Association”. In 1979, Growers & Distributors was dropped from the name, resulting in the current “National Watermelon Association.” NWA has members in 30 states. Its purpose of the Association is to promote the best interests of the Watermelon Industry from production to consumption.(WinTron Racing)(11-12-2014)


    News from November 11, 2014



  • Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Homestead-Miami Speedway:
    · Homestead-Miami Speedway has been a part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the playoff’s inception in 2004. This season the track will host its 11th Chase event.
    · The winner of the Homestead-Miami Chase race has gone on to win the championship during the Chase era once: Tony Stewart (2011).
    · Greg Biffle leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami with three (2004 – 2006); followed by Carl Edwards with two (2008, 2010).
    · The worst finish in a Chase race by the eventual series champion at Homestead-Miami Speedway is 15th (three times), Tony Stewart in 2005, Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Brad Keselowski in 2012.
    · Chase Contenders have won seven of the 10 previous Chase races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Two non-Chase contenders have won a Homestead-Miami Chase race: Greg Biffle (2004 and 2006) and Denny Hamlin (2013).
    · Four of the 10 previous Chase races at Homestead the eventual series champion has finished in the top five.
    · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway with six, including five consecutive: Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006), Matt Kenseth (2007) and Carl Edwards (2008).
    · Ford leads the series in Chase wins at Homestead with six; followed by Chevrolet with two.
    · The most dominant performance by a Chase race winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway is Carl Edward’s victory in 2010. He posted a Perfect Driver Rating of 150.0 and led 190 of the 267 laps (71.1% of his laps completed) – most by a Chase race winner at Homestead.(NASCAR)
  • Grandstands, premium seating sold out for Ford Ecoboost 400: Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer announced that the grandstands are sold out for the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, November 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In addition, premium seating areas in Champions Club, Speedway Club and the Pit Box are sold out as well. Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman each will have a chance to claim the 2014 Sprint Cup Series championship at the Ford EcoBoost 400 as they will compete amongst a full field of 43 cars. Whichever driver among the Championship 4 finishes the highest on Sunday will be crowned the champion. Although the Ford EcoBoost 400 is now sold out, fans of some of the most popular drivers on the Sprint Cup Series circuit will have a chance to see those same drivers earlier in the weekend. Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Larson are scheduled to take part in the Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday while Busch and Larson will compete in the Ford EcoBoost 200 on Friday. Fans will also have the opportunity see one of the top young drivers on the NASCAR circuit in the Ford EcoBoost 300 as Chase Elliott takes the wheel for the first time since clinching the Nationwide Series Championship following the race in Phoenix last weekend. At 18 years of age, Elliott is the youngest champion ever in any NASCAR series. Tickets remain available for the Ford EcoBoost 200 on Friday and the Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday. For more information on tickets, call 305-230-5255 or visit homesteadmiamispeedway.com.(HMS)(11-11-2014)
  • Phoenix TV Ratings UPDATE: Following an all-out brawl on pit road following last week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (at Texas), ESPN saw a double-digit increase in the overnight rating for Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. ESPN drew a 2.8 overnight for the telecast from 3:00-6:45pm/et, up 12% from last week and up 21% from same race in 2013 and is best for the penultimate Chase race in at least the last five years.(Sports Business Daily / Twitter)
    UPDATE: With the final elimination in the revised Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup on the line in the race, ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, Nov. 9, was the highest-rated and most-viewed Fall race at Phoenix since 2009, earning a 3.1 U.S. household rating and averaging 5,091,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media. The rating and viewership were up double digits from last year’s race, which earned a 2.7 rating and averaged 4,271,000 viewers. The rating was also up from 2012 (2.8), 2011 (2.9) and 2010 (2.5). Greensboro, N.C., was the highest-rated of the nation’s 56 metered markets with an 8.9 rating, followed by Greenville, S.C., at 8.5 and Indianapolis at 8.1. Raleigh-Durham, N.C., was fourth at 7.3 with Charlotte, N.C., fifth at 7.2. Rounding out the top 10 metered markets were Richmond, Va., 6.9; Knoxville, Tenn., 6.3; Birmingham, Ala., 6.2; Norfolk, Va., 5.7; and a tie for 10th between Jacksonville and Orlando, Fla., at 5.6.
    Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix was the highest-rated and most-viewed Fall race at Phoenix in ESPN’s eight seasons of televising the event, earning a 1.2 rating and averaging 1,875,000 viewers. Last year’s event earned a 1.0 rating and averaged 1,392,000 viewers.(ESPN)
    See past races for 2014 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2014 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(11-11-2014)

  • NASCAR Numbers:
    2,083: Laps led by Kevin Harvick through the first 35 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races this year, far and away a career best. Harvick added 264 laps to his total on Sunday in winning the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, his fourth victory of the season.
    41: The number of laps led this season by Ryan Newman, who dive-bombed his way into NASCAR’s Championship Round with a dramatic pass of Kyle Larson on the final lap at Phoenix. If Newman can lead the final lap at Homestead-Miami Speedway, however, he’ll be the new series champion.
    1: In championship points, the margin by which Jeff Gordon, Sunday’s race runner-up, missed qualifying for the season finale at Homestead. Gordon was eliminated by Newman’s desperation pass, but the real damage occurred a week earlier, when Brad Keselowski’s late-race contact with Gordon’s car at Texas cut Gordon’s tire and dropped him to 29th at the finish.
    13: The position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings of six-time champion Jimmie Johnson, who suffered his fourth DNF of the season on Sunday at Phoenix. In his 12 previous full-time seasons, Johnson has never finished lower than sixth in the final standings.
    11: The number of races this season that Kevin Harvick finished higher than Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman – the highest of the Championship 4. Comparatively, Logano was the highest finisher of the four in 10 races; Hamlin in eight and Newman in six.(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-11-2014)

  • If Newman wins championship he could set a record…no wins: Of the final four championship contenders, #31-Ryan Newman is the only one who has not won a race. NASCAR has never had a winless champion in its top series. Ever. He has led just 41 laps all season and has just four top-five finishes, the lowest for a potential champion since 1949, when Red Byron won NASCAR’s first championship with four top-fives in just six races. Even if Newman wins the season finale, he will set a record for championship futility. He would become just the fifth driver to win the championship with just one win [1950 Bill Rexford in 17 races, 1961 Ned Jarrett in 46 races, 1973 Benny Parsons in 28 races and 2003 Matt Kenseth in 36 races], and the previous four each had more top-fives, more top-10s and more laps led. His 16 top-10s – assuming he finishes in the top 10 at Homestead – would be the fewest for a champion since 1950, when Bill Rexford had 11 in just 17 races.(Sporting News)(11-11-2014)

  • Gordon ties Martin for 2nd all-time all-time top-tens: During his 22-year Sprint Cup career, #24-Jeff Gordon has collected 453 top-10s, tied for 2nd all-time in that statistical category, with Mark Martin (453) and 260 behind Richard Petty (712). Gordon has collected 22 this season, which is tied for the series-best.(11-11-2014)

  • SportsCenter To Follow NASCAR Championship Contenders All Week: With the revised Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship having determined the four drivers who have a chance to win what will be the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for each, ESPN SportsCenter will follow the four contenders all week as they prepare for Sunday’s Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final race of the season. The four finalists are Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman. Though all drive for multi-car race teams, the four finalists represent four different race teams and three different manufacturers. The driver among the four who finishes highest in Sunday’s race, no matter where he finishes overall in the 43-car field for the event, will be the new champion.
    ESPN reporters will be embedded with the championship contenders early this week, with SportsCenter airing multiple live reports from the four contending race shops between 9:30am/et and 2:00pm/et each day on Monday and Tuesday. The 6:00pm/et and 11:00pm/et editions of SportsCenter will air larger all-access features from each team, summarizing what the teams did on those days to prepare for the championship race.
    The Wednesday night editions of SportsCenter will air interviews and reports from that evening’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship contender’s press conference in Miami, including the four drivers and their team owners, while Thursday’s SportsCenter reports will follow work back at the race shops and what the drivers are doing in South Florida before on-track action begins Friday.
    Dave Burns will follow Logano from the Penske Racing headquarters, while Ryan McGee will report on Hamlin from Joe Gibbs Racing. Mike Massaro will report on Newman from Richard Childress Racing and Marty Smith will be with Harvick and Stewart-Haas Racing.
    ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven will appear on SportsCenter frequently throughout race weekend, including during extended post-race coverage Sunday that will feature an interview with the new NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. Sunday’s 400-mile race airs live on ESPN. A special two-hour edition of NASCAR Countdown at 1:00pm/et will lead up to the 3:16pm/et green flag. All four championship contenders will appear live on Countdown from the ESPN Pit Studio, and the program also will include extended “the week that was” features on all four. The champion will visit ESPN on Wednesday, Nov. 19, and appear on a variety of ESPN programs and platforms.(ESPN)(11-11-2014)

  • Fox Sports 1 gears up for 21 hours of NASCAR Championship Week Coverage: FOX Sports wraps a riveting 2014 NASCAR season next week with 21 hours of live coverage surrounding the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship from Homestead-Miami Speedway. FOX Sports 1 delivers comprehensive and live NASCAR Championship Week programming beginning Monday, Nov. 10, highlighted by NASCAR Race Hun’s live coverage of Wednesday’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship Press Conference from Miami, live telecasts of on-track activity across the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and NASCAR Ccamping World Truck Series from Homestead beginning Friday, Nov. 14, and live presentation of Friday’s Truck Series season finale (8:00pm/et).
    Highlights of FOX Sports 1’s coverage of Championship Week include:
    · Special two-hour NASCAR Rrace Hub (Wednesday from 5:00-7:00pm/et) – includes live coverage of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship Press Conference from Miami, featuring the four drivers competing for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship and their respective car owners. Bob Dillner reports live from the Trump National Doral in Miami. John Roberts and Danielle Trotta co-host in-studio with analysis from Ray Dunlap.
    · Thursday’s NASCAR Race Hub (5:00-6:00 pm/et) delivers coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series/NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Press Conferences from Homestead-Miami Speedway, featuring the drivers, owners and crew chiefs battling for the Nationwide and Truck Series championships. Ray Dunlap reports from Homestead, with John Roberts and Danielle Trotta co-hosting in-studio and Matt Clark alongside with analysis.
    · Live coverage of Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale from Homestead on FOX Sports 1 (8:00pm/et), with pre-race coverage beginning at 7:30 PM ET with NCWTS Setup.
    · Sunday’s NASCAR Raceday (12:00pm/et) on FOX Sports 1 features sit-down interviews with all four Championship Round drivers; a “Chase War Room” roundtable discussion among NASCAR on FOX analysts, who break down the season finale and debate the four championship contenders; and an essay on the prestige of being a champion, related from the perspective of stars across various sports. Adam Alexander, Larry McReynolds, Bob Dillner and Rutledge Wood are live from Homestead, with John Roberts, Jeff Hammond and Kenny Wallace in-studio in Charlotte, N.C.
    · Complete post-race and championship coverage on NASCAR Victory Lane (7:00pm/et) on Sunday, Nov. 16 on FOX Sports 1. Alexander, McReynolds and Dillner deliver the latest from Homestead, with Roberts, Hammond and Wallace in-studio in Charlotte.(FoxSports)(11-11-2014)
  • Northeastern Supply Company renews sponsorship of Regan Smith: The Northeastern Supply Company will commemorate its 22nd consecutive season of NASCAR Xfinity Series race team sponsorship in 2015 by renewing its support of driver Regan Smith and JR Motorsports’ #7 Chevy team. Northeastern Supply is a leading, regional distributor of plumbing, heating, HVAC, water system and hardware products. Over the 21 years in which the company has been a NASCAR Xfinity Series team sponsor, Northeastern Supply has grown from a 2-state, 5-branch organization to a 5-state, 32-branch operation with sales branches located throughout Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.(Northeastern Supply)(11-11-2014)
  • Phoenix TV Ratings: Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix was the highest-rated and most-viewed Fall race at Phoenix in ESPN’s eight seasons of televising the event, earning a 1.2 rating and averaging 1,875,000 viewers. Last year’s event earned a 1.0 rating and averaged 1,392,000 viewers.(ESPN)(11-11-2014)
  • RSS Racing gets Homestead Sponsor: RSS Racing and driver Ryan Sieg will have Huntinator as a primary sponsor for the final Nationwide race of the season. Huntinator is an apparel line designed by professional fishing and hunting guide Jeff Beeler to describe in a bold way fishing, hunting, and everything else outdoors.(RSS RacingPR)(11-11-2014)
  • Hill returns to RBR with ARCO Design/Build: Ricky Benton Racing Enterprises announced today that Austin Hill will make his second series start in the #92 ARCO Design/Build / BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors / Goodyear FleetHQ /A &D Welding / Wynn’s Ford F-150 in Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford Ecoboost 200 at Miami Homestead Speedway. The #92 F-150 will be carrying primary sponsorship from ARCO Design/Build for the Ford 200. Based in Atlanta, ARCO Design/Build, Inc. is a turn-key design/build firm widely recognized as an industry leader for various industrial project types, including but not limited to cold storage, food distribution, tenant improvements, retrofits and light industrial warehouse/distribution.(Ricky Benton Racing)(11-11-14)
  • Hemric returns to truck action with NTS at Homestead: Daniel Hemric, the twenty-three year old from Kannapolis, North Carolina returns to the NCWTS for the 2014 season finale with NTS Motorsports. Hemric who has made two previous short track starts in the NCWTS will make his 1.5 mile debut on Friday night driving the #20 First Community Bank of Santa Rosa California Chevy Silverado.(NTS Motorsports)(11-11-2014)
  • Crafton on verge of becoming first back-to-back champion: Reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, Matt Crafton, has the opportunity to make history following the final race on the 2014 schedule at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday. The seasoned veteran is looking to do what no other competitor has done in the series before him – become the first back-to-back champion. Crafton, who enters the 22nd race of the season with a 25 point lead over second-place Ryan Blaney, has to finish 21st or better in the 134-lap event to clinch his second-consecutive series title.(ThorSport Racing)(11-11-2014)
  • Atlanta Offering Discounted Tickets to Active Military & First Responders for 2015 NASCAR Weekend: In honor of current and former men and women in uniform, Atlanta Motor Speedway will again partner with GovX to offer discounted tickets for members of the military and first responders to events during the 2015 NASCAR weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, scheduled for Feb. 27 to March 1. GovX is an e-commerce portal for active, retired and guard members of the military, in addition to those associated with related government agencies. GovX is partnering with Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second consecutive year to offer tickets for the NASCAR weekend at a discounted rate. Other events and professional sports teams that GovX has partnered with to provide their services include Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Atlanta Braves. Discounted tickets for 2015 NASCAR weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway are available to military who are active, retired or have guard status, in addition to first responders at a rate of up to 25 percent off of the regular price. Discounted tickets can be easily purchased by visiting atlantamotorspeedway.com/GovX and creating a free, online GovX ID.(AMS)(11-11-2014)
  • Pocono offers special prices for military: Pocono Raceway proudly salutes our US Military Servicemen and Women. In recognition of your service to our country, we are happy to extend special pricing as a benefit to you and your family. Save 20% on 2015 NASCAR and INDYCAR tickets when you use your Troop ID, powered by ID.me. As an added salute this Veterans Day, all Veterans and active US Military who purchase a ticket through the ID.me platform between Monday, November 10 and Monday, November 17, 2014 will automatically be entered into an exclusive Grand Prize drawing for an automatic upgrade into our 300 Level Shaded Grandstand for two – a $300 value. For the convenience of all, and to ensure the most accurate verification of your Military status, the ID.me platform is designed for online use. However, if you are experiencing any difficulty, would like to learn more about products and services available at Pocono Raceway, or would like to speak to one of our trained ticketing specialist, please call 1-800-722-3929.Pocono Raceway)(11-11-2014)


    News from November 10, 2014


  • Entry List for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #21-Bayne, #32-Blake Koch, #33-Brian Scott, #66-Brett Moffitt, #83-Yeley, #95-McDowell.
    Since only 43 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski.com’s Homestead Entry List

  • Larson Comments on Newman’s Move: #42-Kyle Larson called #31-Ryan Newman’s last-lap actions Sunday “a little upsetting” but said he understood Newman’s desperation and “can’t fault him for being aggressive there.” Needing to pass Larson to secure the final spot in the championship round, Newman dive-bombed the rookie on the last lap at Phoenix International Raceway. Newman’s car slid up the track and hit Larson’s car, sending it toward the wall. That allowed Newman by, giving him a shot at the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. By advancing, Newman eliminated #24-Jeff Gordon from title contention. “Coming to the finish, there were a lot of cars racing really hard,” Larson said in a statement provided to Motor Racing Network by Chip Ganassi Racing. “I knew (Newman) was right around me and knew he needed to gain some spots to keep from getting eliminated from the Chase. It’s a little upsetting he pushed me up to the wall, but I completely understand the situation he was in and can’t fault him for being aggressive there. I think a lot of drivers out here would have done something similar if they were in that position.”(Motor Racing Network)(11-10-2014)

  • Haas has not considered pulling Kurt Busch from car: Kurt Busch will continue to drive the #41 Chevy at Stewart-Haas Racing as long as co-owner Gene Haas has anything to do with it. Busch, who is being investigated by Dover (Del.) police for an alleged assault on ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll, will drive Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, will be in the car next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway and continue to drive for the team for the foreseeable future, Haas said Sunday. “He’ll be in the car until someone else pulls him out,” Haas told a small group of reporters before the Phoenix race. “I’m not pulling him out.” Haas’ company, Haas Automation, is the sponsor of Busch’s car and will continue to be on the hood during the investigation, he said. “I think we’re just going to let the police department do their job and try not to say anything that would compromise that,” he said. “We want an unbiased investigation and we’ll see how it all plays out.” Is Haas worried about what the investigation might find? “The facts I know, I’m not concerned about it,” he said.(USA Today)(11-10-2014)
  • Phoenix Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2014 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500(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 3:02 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:31 PM (all times are EST). ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 124
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 60
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 67
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 37
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 57
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 34
    Number of times ESPN utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 10
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:02 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:31 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 209
    Minutes of race broadcast: 182
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 27
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 23
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 182 Total comm. brdcst time 27
    See past races, links to past reports and more on the 2014 TV Commercials page.(11-10-2014)
  • Entry List: There are 45 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Ford Ecoboost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A few notes:
    Josh Berry is in the #5 for JR Motorsports;
    Ryan Blaney will drive the #12 for Team Penske;
    Jake Crum is in the #26 for Browning Motorsports;
    Scott Lagasse Jr will drive the #33 for RCR;
    Ryan Preece is in the #36;
    David Starr will drive the #55 for Viva Motorsports;
    Kevin Lepage is in the #74 for Mike Harmon;
    Milka Duno will drive the #87.(11-10-2014)
    See the complete list on the Homestead entry list page.
  • Keselowski in #22 at Homestead instead of Logano: Team Penske will have #22-Brad Keselowski race in this week’s Nationwide Series finale instead of Joey Logano. The decision announced Monday comes one day after Logano advanced to NASCAR’s championship race while Keselowski was eliminated from the Chase for the Sprint Cup champion. Logano will race Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his first NASCAR championship. Keselowski will also be in the Sprint Cup finale, but is not one of the four drivers eligible to win the title. So Penske swapped drivers for Saturday’s race, which will decide the owners’ championship. Team Penske has a 29-point lead over Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide standings following Keselowski’s victory last weekend at Phoenix.(Associated Press/ESPN)(11-10-2014)
  • Humalog KwikPen on the #60 at Homestead: Roush Fenway Racing rookie and NASCAR Nationwide Series winner Chris Buescher will partner with Lilly in the 2014 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Buescher will carry the Humalog KwikPen colors on his iconic #60 Roush Fenway Mustang as he looks to finish out his NNS rookie season with a victory at the 1.5-mile track in the Ford EcoBoost 300 during the season-ending Ford Championship weekend.(Roush Fenway)(11-10-2014)
  • ParkerStore to sponsor Larson in select 2015 races: Parker Hannifin Corporation, the global leader in motion and control technologies, announced today that Kyle Larson, the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, will reunite with former sponsor ParkerStore for a multi-year, multi-series partnership starting with the final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event of the season, the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 14. After originally partnering with Larson when he raced midget cars in California, ParkerStore will be the primary sponsor of the #42 NCWTS Turner Scott Motorsports entry driven by Larson at Homestead and will be on board the #42 NNS entry in 2015. ParkerStore will serve as a primary and associate sponsor for Larson in a number of races throughout the 2015 NNS season.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(11-10-2014)
  • Chastain in the TriStar #10 at Homestead: TriStar Motorsports is in the final race week of the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. Watermelon.Org will be the primary sponsor of Ross Chastain’s #10 Toyota Camry at Homestead Miami Speedway this weekend. The Alva, FL native is no stranger to the 1.5-mile oval speedway. Although Chastain does not have any NNS starts at Homestead Miami Speedway, he has three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts. Chastain has one top-5 start and two top-10 finishes in the NCWTS.(TriStar Motorsports)(11-10-2014)
  • Entry list: There are 34 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway. A few notes:
    Todd Peck is listed in the #07 and the #40;
    The #20 is TBA;
    Ross Chastain is in the #35;
    Kyle Larson is in the #42;
    Kyle Martel is in the #59;
    Austin Hill is in the #92;
    Mason Mitchell is not listed, but expected in the #48;
    (11-10-2014)
    See the complete list on the Homestead entry list page.
  • Kennedy makes history for NASCAR: When Ben Kennedy takes the checkered flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he will be the first descendant of NASCAR’s founding family to complete a season in one of the sport’s top-three series. Kennedy can be proud of what he’s accomplished in his first full season in the NCWTS, as he comes into the final race of the year sitting eighth in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings and has led the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points since the second race of the year. The 22-year-old has earned one top five and seven top 10s in 21 races, earning a best finish of third at Martinsville Speedway in the spring.(Turner Scott Motorsports)(11-10-2014)
  • ParkerStore kicks off multi-year sponsorship with Larson in Homestead: Parker Hannifin Corporation, the global leader in motion and control technologies, announced today that Kyle Larson, the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, will reunite with former sponsor ParkerStore for a multi-year, multi-series partnership starting with the final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event of the season, the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 14. After originally partnering with Larson when he raced midget cars in California, ParkerStore will be the primary sponsor of the #42 NCWTS Turner Scott Motorsports entry driven by Larson at Homestead and will be on board the #42 NNS entry in 2015. ParkerStore will serve as a primary and associate sponsor for Larson in a number of races throughout the 2015 NNS season.(See an image of the truck on the #42 Team Paint Schemes page)(Turner Scott Motorsports)(11-10-2014)


    News from November 9, 2014


  • Harvick wins at Phoenix: #4-Kevin Harvick won the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway for his 4th win of the season, 6th win and 3rd straight win at Phoenix and his 27h career win. The win clinched a spot into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship race. Harvick led 264 laps, which broke the record held by the late Dale Earnhardt, who led 262 laps on 11/4/1990.
    #24-Gordon finished 2nd followed by #20-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski, #11-Hamlin, #22-Logano, #41-Busch, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #16-Biffle and #9-Ambrose.
    Pole winner #11-Hamlin led the first 24 laps and finished 5th after going down a lap twice, getting two lucky dogs.
    #31-Newman made was able to pass #42-Larson on the last lap to gain a position to finish 11th and a point to vault him into the Championship race at Homestead next weekend.
    The four drivers who advanced to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship race at Homestead: #4-Harvick, #11-Hamlin, #22-Logano and #31-Newman.
    The four drivers who failed to advance: #24-Gordon (by 1 point), #20-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski and #99-Edwards. So there will be a first time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion in 2014.
    There were 8 lead changes among 6 drivers. There were a record 12 cautions for 58 yellow flag laps and a 4 minute red flag to clean up the track.
    The average speed was 99.991mph.
    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).(11-9-2014)
  • Race Fast Facts – Phoenix:
    #4-Kevin Harvick won the 27th Annual Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, his 27th victory in 501 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    With the victory, Harvick clinched a spot in the Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    This is his fourth victory and 19th top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his sixth victory and 13th top-10 finish in 24 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    The four drivers advancing to the Championship race in Miami: #11-Denny Hamlin, #22-Joey Logano, #31-Ryan Newman and #4-Kevin Harvick.
    #24-Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 22nd top-10 finish in 32 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 22nd top-10 finish in 2014.
    #20-Matt Kenseth (third) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 25 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-9-2014)
  • Where the 2014 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers finished at Phoenix:
    [listed by driver chase points position before the race](started)
    1) #22-Joey Logano, 6th (4) – advanced
    2) #11-Denny Hamlin, 5th (1) – advanced
    3) #31-Ryan Newman, 11th (20) – advanced
    4) #24-Jeff Gordon, 2nd (7)
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 3rd (5)
    6) #99-Carl Edwards, 15th (13)
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski, 4th (2)
    8) #4-Kevin Harvick, WON (3) – advanced
    (11-9-2014)
  • Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings before reset:
    [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36]
    first four drivers head to the Championship race at Homestead
    1) #4-Kevin Harvick [4 wins, 1 in round 3] 4102
    2) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win] 4112 [+10]
    3) #22-Joey Logano [5 wins] 4111 [+9]
    4) #31-Ryan Newman, 4103 [1 points ahead of 4th]
    These drivers eliminated at Phoenix:
    5) #24-Jeff Gordon [4 wins] 4102 [1 points out of 4th]
    6) #20-Matt Kenseth, 4100 [-3]
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski [6 wins], 4095 [-8]
    8) #99-Carl Edwards [2 wins] 4088 [-15]
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc, within that round of the Chase)
    See UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
    See the UNOFFICIAL owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).(11-9-2014)
  • Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
    [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36]
    driver that finishes highest at Homestead will win the Sprint Cup Championship at Homestead
    1) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win] 5000
    2) #22-Joey Logano [5 wins] 5000
    3) #31-Ryan Newman, 5000
    4) #4-Kevin Harvick [4 wins] 5000
    drivers below eliminated in the first 3 rounds:
    5) #2-Brad Keselowski [6 wins], 2320
    6) #24-Jeff Gordon [4 wins] 2312, -8 out of 5th
    7) #20-Matt Kenseth, 2296, -24
    8) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win] 2280, -40
    9) #99-Carl Edwards [2 wins] 2278, -42
    10) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [4 wins], 2271, -49
    11) #47-AJ Allmendinger [1 win], 2256, -64
    12) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 2256, -64
    13) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 2239, -81
    14) #41-Kurt Busch [1 win], 2229, -91
    15) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 2202, -118
    16) #43-Aric Almirola [1 win], 2170, -150
    See the CHASE drivers championship points standings on the Drivers Reset Chase Points Standings (pdf).(11-9-2014)
  • Average Finish at Homestead of the Four Chase Drivers:
    1) #4-Kevin Harvick, 8.1, 0 wins
    2) #11-Denny Hamlin, 11.2, 2 wins
    3) #31-Ryan Newman, 17.0, 0 wins
    4) #22-Joey Logano, 20.8, 0 wins
    (ESPN Sports Center)(11-9-2014)

  • Unofficial Chase Standings using 2013 Sprint Cup Chase rules:
    [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36]
    1) #22-Joey Logano [5 wins] 2368
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick [4 wins] 2342, -29
    3) #2-Brad Keselowski [6 wins], 2320, -48
    4) #24-Jeff Gordon [4 wins] 2312, -56
    5) #31-Ryan Newman, 2311, -57
    6) #20-Matt Kenseth, 2296, -72
    7) #99-Carl Edwards [2 wins] 2278, -90
    8) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win] 2277, -91
    9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [4 wins], 2271, -97
    10) #16-Greg Biffle, 2244, -124
    11) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 2239, -129
    12) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 2199, -169
    (11-9-2014)

  • Unofficial Top 25 in 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings (not the Chase):
    [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36]
    (using current points system, but not the Chase rules, unofficial)
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon(EC), 1217
    2) #22-Joey Logano(C2), 1188, -29
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(EC), 1145, -72
    4) #2-Brad Keselowski(EC), 1138, -79
    5) #4-Kevin Harvick(C4), 1124, -93
    6) #20-Matt Kenseth(EC), 1093, -124
    7) #31-Ryan Newman(C3), 1093, -124
    8) #99-Carl Edwards(EC), 1049, -168
    9) #42-Kyle Larson, 1049, -168
    10) #48-Jimmie Johnson(EC), 1032, -185
    11) #16-Greg Biffle(EC), 997, -220
    12) #1-Jamie McMurray, 975, -242
    13) #18-Kyle Busch(EC), 964, -253
    14) #11-Denny Hamlin(C1), 949, -268 (missed a races)
    15) #15-Clint Bowyer, 943, -274
    16) #3-Austin Dillon, 939, -278
    17) #5-Kasey Kahne(EC), 934, -283
    18) #27-Paul Menard, 904, -313
    19) #55-Brian Vickers, 900, -317
    20) #41-Kurt Busch(EC), 877, -340
    21) #47-AJ Allmendinger(EC), 864, -353
    22) #9-Marcos Ambrose, 855, -362
    23) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 830, -387
    24) #14-Tony Stewart, 798, -419 (missed 3 races)
    25) #43-Aric Almirola(EC), 795, -422
    (C# is chase driver and current Chase position)
    (EC is chase driver that has been eliminated from the Chase)
    (11-9-2014)
  • Phoenix Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
    #42-Larson, finished 13th, 11 rookie points
    #7-Annett, 26th, 10
    #23-Bowman, 32nd, 9
    #51-Allgaier, 37th, 8
    #3-Dillon, 38th, 7
    #26-Whitt, 42nd, 6
    Truex, Did Not Race
    Kligerman, Did Not Race
    See the 2014 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(11-9-2014)
  • Lucky Dogs – Who got a lap back on each caution at Phoenix: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: #83-Yeley, 30th
    Caution 2: #16-Biffle, 9th
    Caution 3: #11-Hamlin, 5th
    Caution 4: #33-Ty Dillon, 27th
    Caution 5: #1-McMurray, 14th
    Caution 6: #22-Logano, 6th
    Caution 7: #11-Hamlin(2), 5th
    Caution 8: #48-Johnson, 39th
    Caution 9: #14-Stewart, 20th
    Caution 10: #40-Cassill, 29th
    Caution 11: #38-Gilliland, 24th
    Caution 12: #34-Ragan, 25th
    (11-9-2014)

  • Crew chief change for Kahne?: Since #5-Kasey Kahne’s struggles earlier this season, rumors have persisted that Hendrick Motorsports would make a crew chief change on the #5 Farmer’s Insurance Chevy. Although Kenny Francis has guided Kahne to 16 wins and five Chase appearances, this season the team barely made the playoffs after pulling off a last-minute victory at Atlanta. After eight seasons with Francis, the success the pair once enjoyed appeared to evaporate after team engineer Keith Rodden left to join Ganassi Racing as crew chief for #1-Jamie McMurray. But if the rumor mill is right, Rodden could be returning to Hendrick Motorsports next season as Kahne’s crew chief. The trio of Kahne, Francis and Rodden moved to HMS three seasons ago. Francis, who has a year remaining on his contract, would remain on in a technical director type of role. When asked about his status for next year, Francis declined comment. Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick said on Sunday morning, “I don’t know what we’re going to do yet. Doug Duchardt is working on some projects…nothing is done. Nothing is signed. We’re looking at some options, but we’re really happy with what we have.” When asked whether Rodden was returning to HMS, Hendrick said, “I’m not sure.” Ganassi Racing reps offered a similar reply. Long-time Hendrick Motorsports engineering director Rex Stump is moving to Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of the season.(Motorsport)(11-9-2014)

  • Phoenix Notes & Facts – Sunday – race:
    · There have been 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since.
    · There have been 23 different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Phoenix, eight have won more than once, led by Eliminator Eight driver Kevin Harvick, with five – (’06 spring race and Chase race, ’12 Chase race, ’13 Chase race and ’14 spring race).
    · The eight drivers have won more than once at Phoenix: Kevin Harvick leads the series in wins with five followed by Jimmie Johnson (four), Davey Allison (two), Jeff Burton (two), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two), Jeff Gordon (two) Carl Edwards (two) and Mark Martin (two).
    · Of the eight drivers with multiple wins at Phoenix International Raceway, Mark Martin is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Ford (1993) and Chevrolet (2009).
    · Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Phoenix with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven.
    · Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
    · Matt Kenseth won the 2002 race from the 28th-place starting position, the furthest back an active race winner has started.
    · Two drivers have won at Phoenix and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same season: Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008 sweep and 2009); Dale Earnhardt (1990).
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Phoenix was the (4/10/2010) race won by Ryan Newman with a MOV of 0.13 seconds.
    (NASCAR)(11-9-2014)

  • Kurt Busch being investigated for domestic assault STATEMENTS & UPDATE3: Dover Police Issue Statement In Regards to Ongoing Kurt Busch investigation: Due to numerous media inquiries regarding a criminal investigation involving professional race car driver #41-Kurt Busch, the Dover Police Department has issued the following statement: The Dover Police Department can confirm that an investigation is being conducted based on an allegation of domestic assault that is alleged to have occurred in the City of Dover involving Mr. Busch. These allegations were brought to the Dover Police Department on Wednesday, November 5th at 2:00PM. At this time, the department is still investigating the victim’s claims and will not have any further comment on this matter in order to preserve the integrity of the case. The Dover Police Department will release further information as it becomes available. We appreciate the public’s and media’s patience in this matter and are confident that the department is taking the proper investigative steps to ensure the case is resolved appropriately.(Dover Police Department)
    NASCAR Statement from Brett Jewkes, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Regarding Dover Police Department Release: “NASCAR is aware of the investigation involving driver Kurt Busch. We recognize the seriousness of this matter and are actively gathering information from all parties, including law enforcement authorities and Stewart-Haas Racing. It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment further on this matter until we have more information.”(NASCAR)
    Stewart-Haas Racing Statement: “This is an allegation Stewart-Haas Racing takes very seriously, but we’re still gathering all of the facts and are not in a position to comment in greater detail,” said SHR spokesman Mike Arning.
    Armed Forces Foundation Statement: “I want to, first and foremost, express the direct support from the Board of Directors of the Armed Forces Foundation to Ms. Driscoll. For more than a decade, Ms. Driscoll has been a tireless worker and advocate for our nation’s service members, veterans, and military families. The Foundation will continue working to support service members, veterans, and military families and we ask that Ms. Driscoll’s privacy be respected. Given the serious nature of the allegations, the Foundation has suspended its association with Mr. Busch.” – Mr. Pat LaFrieda, Board of Directors Co-Chairman.(AFF Facebook)
    UPDATE: Busch has been accused of domestic assault by his ex-girlfriend, and police in Delaware said Friday they are investigating. The Dover Police Department said the allegations were brought to the department Wednesday. Busch’s ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, 36, said the allegations involved an incident inside his motorhome at a race at Dover International Speedway in September. The couple broke up about a week before. Driscoll has filed court documents asking that a judge order Busch to stay away from her and not contact her. She also is asking that Busch undergo a psychiatric evaluation and be evaluated by a certified domestic violence treatment agency. The documents, filed Wednesday, say Busch was despondent the night of Sept. 26 after his poor performance at the qualifying session. “He was verbally abusive to her and said he wished he had a gun so that he could kill himself,” the documents say. Driscoll said Busch, 36, called her names and accused her of “having spies everywhere and having a camera on the bus to watch him.” He then jumped up, grabbed her face and smashed her head three times against the wall next to the bed, Driscoll says in the documents. Driscoll says she pushed Busch away and ran from the bedroom, going to a nearby bus to put an ice pack on her head and neck. She said the incident caused her severe pain, difficulty breathing and bruising on her neck. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 2.(in part from the Associated Press)
    UPDATE 2: Busch’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, released a statement calling the allegations “a complete fabrication.”
    “The Dover Police Department has been informed that Mr. Busch will fully cooperate with their investigation and he expects to be vindicated when the entire truth of the situation comes to light,” the statement said. “This allegation is a complete fabrication by a woman who has refused to accept the end of a relationship and Mr. Busch vehemently denies her allegations in every respect. At this time we intend to have no further comment in the media out of respect for the Dover Police Department’s desire to conduct a thorough investigation without a media circus.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-7-2014)
    UPDATE3: Kurt Busch’s ex-girlfriend waited nearly six weeks to file a domestic assault claim with police because she was locked in a custody battle over her son, the attorney for Patricia Driscoll said Saturday. Mark Dycio told USA TODAY Sports that Driscoll did not immediately go to Dover police after the alleged assault occurred on the advice of counsel. She’s currently involved in a fight for custody over son Houston with her ex-husband. After the custody situation was stabilized, Driscoll then went to the Dover police and provided them with text messages, photographs and people with knowledge of the situation to support her claims, Dycio said.(full story at USA Today)(11-9-2014)

  • Special Axalta scheme for Gordon at Phoenix UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon will be behind the wheel of the fiery #24 Axalta Radiant Red Chevy this week at Phoenix. See images of the scheme/car on the #24 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2014)
    UPDATE: The original Brilliant Flames design, created by Sam Bass, will sport a new look, as its painted in Radiant Red – Axalta’ s Automotive Color of the Year 2015. The color was selected based on Axalta Coating System’s Global Automotive Color Popularity Report, which includes research that shows a three percent increase in red cars in North America over the past year. Axalta Vice President Nigel Budden assisted Gordon in revealing the paint scheme this week at the Axalta Engineered for Speed booth at the SEMA 2014 automotive aftermarket trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. “Radiant Red is made from our Cromax Mosaic low VOC solvent basecoat line,” said Budden. “We also used special high chroma technology, called Vermeera to help ensure that the paint’s brilliance could be clearly seen on the track at Phoenix.(Finish First Marketing)(11-9-2014)

  • Burns to remain with JTG Daugherty Racing: Brian Burns has agreed to terms with JTG/Daugherty Racing to remain as crew chief for the #47 Chevy for the next two seasons. Burns graduated from Indiana University/Purdue University in 2000. He worked as a race engineer with Earnhardt Ganassi six seasons and enjoyed a lead engineer role with Front Row Motorsports from 2009-2011 before joining JTGD. In 2012, Burns was named crew chief for Bobby Labonte mid-way through the season. He remained in the role during the transition with AJ Allmendinger last season and qualified for the company’s first Chase to the Sprint Cup berth this year following his win at Watkins Glen in August. “Well, for 20 years we have been building an organization and heading towards a goal,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Geschickter said. “A large part of achieving goals is knowing you can, believing you can and knowing the steps to take. At the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series level, we hadn’t achieved the highest level of winning races and being with the elite teams in the Chase. Now, we have done that and competed at a high level against those guys. Now, we know we can do it and we know the steps it took to do that. I believe this season can springboard us to the next level just having achieved some of our goals.”(Motorsport)(11-9-2014)
  • PIR upgrades put on hold: Even though the grandstands are again sold out for today’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Phoenix International Raceway’s parent company, ISC, hasn’t approved a budget for the much-needed improvements. This despite NASCAR Chairman Brian France, whose career began managing Tucson Raceway Park, saying he has a “special interest” in his series’ success here. ISC Chairwoman Lesa France Kennedy told azcentral sports two years ago PIR was second only to Daytona International Speedway for redevelopment. ISC is spending $400 million for what it calls a “re-imagining” of its flagship Daytona track, scheduled for completion in 2016. Millions more have been committed to repaving the Watkins Glen, N.Y., road course next year. PIR’s needs include new and more comfortable grandstands with better sight lines, concessions, restrooms, scoreboard, competitor garages, parking, medical center and victory lane. Although $10 million was spent in 2011 for repaving and some infrastructure work, PIR hasn’t kept-up with the trend of brand-new or upgraded Valley venues. These include the $100 million Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, $84 million Cubs Park, $20 million remodeling of HoHoKam Park, $15 million TPC Scottsdale makeover and Sun Devil Stadium’s $225 million renovation. Public funds have been used for some of these projects. Avondale paid to connect the city’s water and sewer system to PIR. “We’re going to start to try to actively identify the opportunity and get all the approvals,” Sperber said. “It’s a long road. Things are falling into alignment to create an environment to potentially move forward.”(Arizona Republic)(11-9-2014)

  • Bullins heading Wood Brothers Racing? After winning the DAV 200 Honoring America’s Veterans, Keselowski slipped and mentioned that this would be the last race for crew chief Jeremy Bullins with the Team Penske’s Nationwide Series team. When asked what made Saturday’s Phoenix win special, Keselowski replied, “I’ve got the boss (Roger Penske) here, I’ve got Jeremy here, his last year, our last race of the year driving the 22 car…” Bullins is rumored to be heading to Wood Brothers Racing next season to oversee Ryan Blaney’s program in the #21 Motorcraft Ford. He’s worked with Blaney since the 20-year-old third generation racer made his debut in 2012. Next season, Team Penske begins its technical alliance with the venerable Wood Brothers Racing team. Bullins joined Penske prior to the 2012 season after working as the race engineer for Kevin Harvick at Richard Childress Racing. The 37-year-old Walnut Cove, N.C. native graduated from North Carolina State University and worked with the Wood Brothers early in his career. He was the car chief and crew chief for Jon Wood’s Late Model and Pro Cup cars and the shock specialist/engineer for the #21 Ford in the late 1990s through 2002.(Motorsport)(11-9-2014)

  • Crews remain permitted around cars after race: NASCAR will not change its postrace procedure Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway in reaction to the fight between crews at Texas Motor Speedway. After races, the top cars plus select others are stopped on pit road while the remainder drive into the garage and park at their haulers. Crews often surround the car to push it to inspection or onto the hauler. It can add to the volatility of situatons when drivers and/or teams are angry with each over. NASCAR won’t make any changes to its procedure this weekend. All eight of the Chase drivers – the four who advance as well as the four eliminated – will be stopped on pit road after the race, with the lone exception if one of them wins, they’ll head to victory lane. “We’ve got two races left,” NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. “We’ve had some issues. The tension level is high. The competition level is at an all-time high. The pressure is at an all-time high to perform. We feel like the teams don’t want to what they’ve done and misbehave. We’ll address it in the offseason like so many things that we do.”(Sporting News)(11-9-2014)

  • Leffler named to West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame: The late Jason Leffler will be one of six new members inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Class of 2015. The hall’s chairman of the board, Ken Clapp, announced the names Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway. Leffler, a native of Long Beach, California, died in a crash in June 2013. A winner of two NASCAR Nationwide Series races and a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Leffler also made 73 Sprint Cup Series starts. A member of the National Midget Hall of Fame, Leffler won three consecutive USAC championships form 1997 to 1999.
    Crew chief Jerry Baxter, currently atop the pit box for Kyle Busch Motorsports’ #54 Camping World Truck ride with Darrell Wallace Jr., started his career in Southern California, building cars for Ivan Baldwin and eventually buying Baldwin Engineering. As a consultant, he helped Michael David win the 2007 K&N Pro Series West title before moving to North Carolina to work for Michael Waltrip Racing, Eddie Sharp Racing and now KBM.
    Another pit boss, Doug Richert, is on the list. The youngest Sprint Cup championship crew chief directed Dale Earnhardt’s first title run in 1980 for owner Rod Osterlund. In 509 Sprint Cup starts over 25 years, he won 13 times while working with several drivers including Darrell Waltrip, Neil Bonnett, Buddy Baker, Benny Parsons, Davey Allison and Greg Biffle. Richert also crew-chiefed Ron Hornaday Jr. to his first Camping World Truck title in 1996.
    John Cardinale, the vice president of communications at Sonoma Raceway for nearly two decades, was an active member of the board of directors for the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame. Starting as a sportswriter for the Antioch (California) Ledger, Cardinale turned his passion for motorsports into a career at the Napa Valley road course. Cardinale died in 2013 after a battle with gastric cancer.
    Warren Razore, a native of Seattle, built a business in refuse disposal and a distributorship of Peterbilt trucks. In the late 1980s, he was among the top car owners in the K&N Pro Series West, fielding cars for Roy Smith and Derrike Cope. He died in 1999 after complications from treatment for Hodgkin’s Disease.
    Jim Williams, a self-made man who became a major supplier of beef to various companies including McDonalds, was an associate sponsor of cars owned by Roger Penske. Al Unser drove to his fourth Indianapolis 500 win with Williams’ name on his car. He was a driving force behind the creation of Irwindale (California) Speedway. The Los Angeles area short-track oval hosted the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, a showcase for young drivers.
    The induction ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 25, 2014 heading into Sprint Cup race weekend at Sonoma Raceway.(NASCAR.com)(11-9-2014)
  • DAYTONA Rising November Project Update: During the last month, Daytona International Speedway (DIS) celebrated major milestones related to the $400 million DAYTONA Rising project as well as focused on key construction activities.
    Recent project milestones:
    · Florida Hospital became the second Founding Partner of DAYTONA Rising. The organization’s brand will be represented on one of five special entrances called fan injectors. Within this injector, Florida Hospital will have a presence in one of the “neighborhoods” which will encompass retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens to provide fans with non-stop views of on-track action. Beginning in January 2015, Florida Hospital will also become the exclusive healthcare provider of DIS.
    · DIS held a topping out ceremony to install the highest piece of steel and celebrate the halfway point in the project. Approximately 90 percent of the total steel planned for the project has been installed to date.
    Key ongoing/upcoming construction activities:
    · Interior and exterior concrete pours for injectors/entrances
    · Continued installation of remaining steel infrastructure
    · Installation/testing of vertical transportation
    Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-9-2014)


    News from November 8, 2014



    ESPN.com’s Racecast – Live Coverage and Chat
    Racing Live! on ESPN.com
    Watch the race LIVE online at WatchESPN
    Listen Live Online at Motor Racing Network
    Ask in-race reporter #99-Carl Edwards

  • Race Coverage of the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, November 9, 2014.
    Television (TV): ESPN at 3:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:00pm/et; green flag approx. 3:15pm/et
    RadioMotor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, November 10, 1:30am/et, ESPN2
  • Happy Hour (final) practice for the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #1-McMurray 137.106
    #4-Harvick 137.065
    #20-Kenseth 137.018
    #22-Logano 137.002
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 136.830
    slowest: #83-Yeley 132.807 & #98-Wise 132.920
    no speed: #37-Bliss and #66-Wallace
    most laps run: #1-McMurray and #14-Stewart at 51.
    Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average
    #4-Harvick 136.406
    #20-Kenseth 135.926
    #42-Larson 135.730
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 135.676
    #27-Menard 135.656
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Phoenix Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(11-8-2014)
  • Saturday 1st practice for the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #4-Harvick 138.403
    #2-Keselowski 138.387
    #41-Busch 137.762
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 137.573
    #14-Stewart 137.336
    #24-Gordon 137.336
    slowest: #66-Wallace 132.509 & #32-Gase 133.343
    no speed: #37-Bliss (start & park)
    Happy Hour practice is scheduled for 2:30pm/et and will be televised on FoxSports2.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Phoenix Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(11-8-2014)

  • Phoenix Notes & Facts – Saturday – drivers:
    · 194 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix; 139 in more than one.
    · Mark Martin leads series in starts at Phoenix with 34; followed by Jeff Gordon with 31.
    · Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Phoenix with five; followed by Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart with three each.
    · Five drivers have won consecutive races at Phoenix: Davey Allison (1991,1992); Jeff Burton (2000, 2001); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003, 2004); Kevin Harvick (swept 2006) and (2013 Chase race – Spring race 2014); Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the five to win three consecutive races (fall 2007, swept 2008).
    · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average finish at Phoenix with a 6.273; he is the only active driver with an average finish inside the top 10.
    · Two perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 have been recorded at Phoenix, Kurt Busch in April of 2005 and Kevin Harvick in November of 2006.
    · Jimmie Johnson lead the series in top-five finishes at Phoenix with 14; followed by Mark Martin with 12 and Jeff Gordon with 11.
    · Alan Kulwicki (11/6/1988) and Bobby Hamilton (10/27/1996) are the only two drivers to post their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career win at Phoenix International Raceway.
    · 21 of the 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Phoenix participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Alan Kulwicki (11/6/1988) and Tony Stewart (11/7/1999) are the only two drivers to win at Phoenix in their first appearance.
    · Jeff Gordon competed at Phoenix International Raceway 16 times before winning (4/21/2007); the longest span of any the 23 winners.
    · Six drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Phoenix: Jeff Gordon (16), Ryan Newman (15), Kasey Kahne (14), Denny Hamlin (13), Carl Edwards (12) and Rusty Wallace (11).
    · Joe Nemechek leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix without visiting Victory Lane with 28.
    · Danica Patrick is the only female driver that has made a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Phoenix International Raceway.
    (NASCAR)(11-8-2014)

  • Keselowski not worried what others think: from a media press conference after qualifying 2nd at Phoenix, #2-Brad Keselowski answers some questions pertaining to the brawl at Texas and waht drivers think of him:
    Q) IT SEEMS THE MAIN BEEF WITH YOU IS THEY FEEL YOU DON’T LISTEN TO THEM AFTER THE RACE AND YOU TURN YOUR BACK WHEN PEOPLE WANT TO TALK. DO YOU FEEL THERE’S ANY VALIDITY TO THAT?
    Keselowski: “To answer your first thing, I honestly haven’t paid that much attention to it. I knew early on in the week it was gonna be one of those weeks and I kind of put my head down and focused on Phoenix and my Madden team to kind of get me through, so I honestly haven’t spent a lot of time with all that stuff and the rhetoric. I think at the end of the day we all have our own biases. I don’t think it’s really productive for me to get into the he-said, she-said because at the end of the day we disagree. That kind of is what it is. I think the more I dig into becoming what someone else wants me to be, the less I stay who I am and who I am is someone who can win races and be a championship threat year over year with a great team that supports me, a great cast of family and friends. I’m not looking to become what everyone else wants me to become, so I have not spent a lot of time on that rhetoric and I don’t wish to spend a lot of time trying to justify anything I do or don’t do. I feel pretty good about the actions I’ve taken. Certainly I’m not perfect. I’ve made some bad ones, but I didn’t make any bad ones last week and I still feel that way.”
    Q) DO YOU THINK ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR ACTIONS AND IF YOU WOULD HAVE DONE ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY WHEN JEFF GORDON CAME UP TO TALK TO YOU?
    Keselowski: “You always think about that stuff. I’ve thought about it and moved on, and feel good about it.”
    Q) DO YOU FEEL THE SIX WEEK SUSPENSION FOR THE CREWMEN WHO PUNCHED WAS APPROPRIATE?
    Keselowski: “I didn’t really think that much about it. They took an action. Again, I go back to I have my own set of biases on that, obviously. I don’t envy their job, that being NASCAR, at any given time. I’m glad I’m a competitor and not an official because I think no matter what decision they would have made there would be someone saying it was the wrong one. I’m not sitting here clapping for joy or angry either way on that direction. I don’t take any pleasure in someone else’s pain, so it kind of is what it is there. That’s why I haven’t put a lot of thought into it. I hate to use that cliché, but I can’t spend all my time worrying about the other people. I have to worry about winning this weekend, this race, and this championship. That’s where my focus is and will continue to be. Really, a lot of these conversations and a lot of these talking points are meant to serve as a distraction, so to sit here and really comment on a lot of them would really be to justify them because I know the things that I’m doing are the right things.”(Ford Racing)(11-8-2014)

  • Gordon comments about Keselowski: #24-Jeff Gordon met with members of the media at Phoenix and discussed last week’s post-race incident with Brad Keselowski, the transcript in part:
    Q) LOOKING BACK TO LAST WEEK THE AFTER THE RACE INCIDENT. DOES THAT ESCALATE THE WAY IT DOES IF (KEVIN) HARVICK DOESN’T HELP YOU OUT?
    Gordon: “Well, it escalates because Brad (Keselowski) didn’t want to face the situation. Those pit crew guys were kind of in the middle of that. The thing that I feel terrible about is getting my guys involved with it. I feel like if we could have just had a face-to-face there would have been no incident. But Kevin (Harvick) played a role; there is no doubt about that. I didn’t realize who it was at the time. I thought it was him, but it wasn’t until I went back and saw it later on video and got a good chuckle out of that one that I realized what had happened. It certainly played a role. Let me address this. I think there is a little bit of misunderstanding. I have no issue with a guy being aggressive and making a bold move. If you win the race and the guy that you slam finishes third or fourth I will be the first one to stand up and say that was awesome, that was a great move. But when you don’t win the race and you ruin a person’s day then there are consequences that you are going to have to deal with. How you handle yourself after that is a part of that. To me if you are going to compare to the greats of this sport that have been aggressive over the years, you also have to compare how they handle themselves in those situations afterwards. The ones that I have had to deal with on that, they know how to not make enemies, they might not have a lot of friends out there, but they also don’t have a lot of enemies. If they do they seem to find a way to patch that up fairly quickly.”
    Q) OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE STILL MAD ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED SO HOW DO YOU RACE BRAD (KESELOWSKI) GOING FORWARD?
    Gordon: “I’m not mad about it. I’m ready to move on and focus on Phoenix. I race people the way they race me. If I am in a situation that I feel like I can make a bold move that I think is going to help me win the race and he stands in the way then I’m going to do the same thing that he did to me last week. The difference is if the same results happen how I’m going to deal with it afterwards and face him on that. So, my goal is to make sure that we have the fastest race car that we possibly can in qualifying, practice and the race. To go out there and win this race, that is our goal. I can’t think about what may happen, what might not happen, how I’m going to approach each restart and all that stuff. You just don’t know. But, I also know that the way I have raced over the years have gotten me here is that balance between aggressiveness and patience’s and feeling like when it is worth taking the risk and when it’s not worth it.”
    Q) WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A SITUATION WHEN YOU APPROACH SOMEONE ON PIT ROAD LIKE YOU DID BRAD? 
    Gordon: “To be able to just have a conversation to discuss what their decision making process was at that time. Yes, it ruins your day; you want somebody to have a little bit of sympathy. Doesn’t mean you have to take back what you did…it means you have to understand what it did for the other person. And that certainly is not the way that one was handled.”
    Q) SO JUST TO CLARIFY, NEITHER YOU NOR BRAD KESELOWSKI HAS REACHED OUT TO THE OTHER SINCE LAST SUNDAY?
    Gordon: “No.”
    Q) ARE THE MODERN DRIVERS JUST GETTING AWAY FROM SOME SORT OF ‘CODE’ OR WAY OF SHOWING REMORSE?
    Gordon: “Well, I don’t believe in the whole texting thing and calling. I like face-to-face. But there’s a period of time that needs to go by before; sometimes you can do face-to-face. But typically, I want it to happen immediately on both sides. And then, if that doesn’t occur, then I’d like to wait until the next weekend when I can see them face-to-face. Or, if I run into them somewhere, I don’t know. But I’m not one to do the calling and texting. That’s just not the way I believe it should be done. I can’t speak for what other guys say and do and how they should do it.”(Team Chevy)(11-8-2014)

  • Harvick has no problem with how Keselowski races…but: #4-Kevin Harvick met with members at Phoenix on Friday and discussed post-race at Texas last week, the transcript in part:
    Q) WHEN YOU PUSHED HIM (BRAD KESELOWSKI) IT ENDED UP IGNITING THE BRAWL, BUT THEY WEREN’T BRAWLING AT THAT TIME. WERE YOU JUST TRYING TO GET HIM TOWARD HIM AND SAY ‘HEY GO TALK TO HIM’ OR WERE YOU TRYING TO START A FIGHT?
    Harvick: “No, I think for me… honestly I was leaning on the back of the car just kind of taking it all in and seeing what was going on. I have been in that situation with him (Brad Keselowski) before. For me it is like the week of two totally opposite situations. I have no problem with the way Brad races. I think he races hard. I think that is what we are all supposed to do and in those positions you would probably do the same thing yourself. But, I think that the problem that I have with it I have been in that situation with him before and have him turn his back on me and just walk off. I don’t think that is the appropriate way to handle those types of situations. It just kind of rubbed me the wrong way and I reacted and obviously didn’t really realize that it was going to ignite that. All in all it just kind of rubs me the wrong way when you have to just turn your back on situations and walk off and mumble your way off into no man’s land and not just handle the situation. I think in those situations you at least deserve, even if you are going to get yelled at or whatever the case may be, you at least need to handle it like it needs to be handled.”
    Q) YOU ARE NOT KIND OF SNICKERING ABOUT THE WHOLE THING?
    “I think in the end, you guys know, I love the controversy. But I think in the end the difficult part for me is to go home and realize that one day you are going to have to answer those questions to your son. It’s definitely two different sides and how you have to look at it and how you have to approach it. I think you look at Martinsville and how that situation was handled. I have a lot of respect for Matt (Kenseth) and what he does on the race track. You leave the track and you talk about things and you figure out what went wrong and how to handle things moving forward. There is just never that opportunity really presented with Brad (Keselowski) and I think that is what frustrates me. I’m not going to speak for everybody else.”(Team Chevy)(11-8-2014)

  • Dave Blaney believes he’s done racing in NASCAR: Dave Blaney is content to take that next step in his racing career. And no, that doesn’t mean retirement. It’s back to dirt. Blaney returned to his roots a few years ago when he mixed in a few Sprint Car races with his NASCAR schedule. But it was only a handful of shows, and fans never knew when, where or if he was going to show up. This season, Blaney only competed in seven NASCAR events. That allowed the former World of Outlaws champion to run in the neighborhood of 25 shows east of the Mississippi. It looks like that commitment is going to increase in 2015. Blaney appears to be done with NASCAR and could increase his Sprint Car schedule to 50 or 60 shows depending on sponsorship and finances. “I don’t plan on running any NASCAR at the moment,” said Blaney, who is competing in this weekend’s World of Outlaws World Finals in Charlotte. “I’m not in any position to get any kind of ride that is going to be competitive, but I will go to a lot of races to watch [my son] Ryan. So by no means will [sprint cars] be full time, but it could be a lot more than this year.” Continued Blaney, “I could even see a 60-race schedule if things line up perfect. I could also see 15 as well, but we will see.” Before Blaney embarked on a full-time NASCAR career in 2000, he was one of the best in the Sprint Car game. The competition mattered little. Blaney won 70 races with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series and a tour championship in 1995.(Patriot-News)(11-8-2014)

  • Leavine Family Racing to hold a special presentation at Phoenix: #95-Michael McDowell will be returning to his hometown this week as the Leavine Family Racing team heads to Phoenix International Raceway for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500. McDowell was born in Glendale, Arizona and grew up racing BMX bicycles and karting. He won the World Karting Association Championship and back-to-back International Kart Federation championships before moving on to Formula racing and eventually entering NASCAR. “I always enjoy going to Phoenix and spending time with family,” said McDowell. “We tested at PIR last month with some of the Chase contenders, so from a competition standpoint, I’m feeling confident for this race.”
    In honor of Veterans Day, Leavine Family Racing wants to thank the following #95 team members for their service to our country: Kenneth Roettger Jr., Active U.S.M.C. 1993-97; Bob Moore, Active Army 1976-80; Brad Carson, National Guard.
    Leavine Family Racing will hold a special presentation in the media center at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday at 10:30am featuring Michael McDowell, Thrivent Financial and Operation Heal Our Patriots. Thrivent Financial will donate $10,000 to Operation Heal Our Patriots, a Samaritan’s Purse program designed to strengthen the marriages of wounded members of the U.S. Military. The check presentation will include guests of honor Johnny and Shannon Montoya, a married couple from Prescott, Ariz., who is participating in the Operation Heal Our Patriots program. Johnny served in the Marine Corps from 2004 to 2008.(LFR)(11-8-2014)
  • NASCAR Hall of Fame ‘stabilizes,’ loses $1.4 million: Losses at the NASCAR Hall of Famedeclined 14% over the past year but still totaled more than $1 million, according to newly released financial reports from the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. The $195 million publicly funded hall of fame finished with a deficit of $1.4 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, compared with $1.6 million in 2013. The hall of fame opened in May 2010 and has lost money from the start. Attendance never reached the projections made before the stock-car racing museum opened and has failed several times since to reach revised targets. Tom Murray, visitors authority CEO, and Winston Kelley, executive director of the hall of fame, said in an interview Wednesday they are pleased with the progress of the NASCAR hall. Attendance, they said, has stabilized. Between July 2013 and June 2014, a total of 169,724 people visited the hall of fame, the visitors authority said. Those figures are for paid admissions only. The previous year, 178,838 people visited, but the difference of 7,100 is attributed to private events staged during the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which was included in fiscal 2013 (July 2012-June 2013).
    Murray said talks are underway to revamp terms with the banks and NASCAR. “With our partners, we’ve had ongoing conversations. We don’t have any results with that, but they’ve been very amicable. There will be a future change in our structure of that some day.” Reworking the loans and the deferred royalties is a priority, but Murray said there is no deadline for negotiating revised agreements. Both executives touted the changes to how the hall of fame is run internally as well as private rentals and other events for broadening the NASCAR museum as more than just a tourist attraction. Almost every convention hosts a party or reception at the hall of fame, Murray said.(Charlotte Business Journal)
    AND Faced with continuing financial losses at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the city of Charlotte has begun negotiating with Wells Fargo and Bank of America about forgiving a $19 million loan used to build the racing museum. The loan – which has grown to $21 million with interest – was supposed to be paid from the sale of sponsorships and commemorative brick sales, but revenue from those two sources has fallen far short of what’s needed. In addition, the hall is struggling to meet other obligations, including royalties owed to NASCAR on the sale of tickets, merchandise and food and beverages. The hall is also repaying the city for its share of a $32 million loan that was added to the hall in the midst of construction in 2008.(Charlotte Observer)(11-8-2014)

  • Brian France to ride with the Boss: Imagine the boss of NASCAR riding in a motorcycle sidecar next to the legendary singer/songwriter known simply as “The Boss.” That image isn’t as far-fetched as you might think, after Thursday night’s eighth annual Stand Up for Heroes fundraiser at New York City’s Theater at Madison Square Garden. During an auction that accompanied a night of music and comedy to raise money in support of post-9/11 injured service members through the Bob Woodruff Foundation, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France and wife Amy France partnered with another bidder to win a package of experiences with Bruce Springsteen. The Frances pledged $300,000 (a total matched by their bidding partner) to the Stand Up for Heroes Fund to acquire the Springsteen package, which includes a signed guitar and a one-hour guitar lesson from The Boss, a lasagna dinner prepared by Springsteen and a ride in the aforementioned sidecar with Springsteen driving. All told, the star-studded event raised more than $6 million, beating the record $5 million set last year.(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-8-2014)
  • Jon Edwards wins Jim Chapman Award: Jon Edwards, who has been media representative for four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon for almost 15 years, was announced as winner of the 2014 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations. The Chapman Award is considered by many in the industry as the highest honor in racing public relations. It is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary PR executive and innovator, who worked with Babe Ruth and was named Indy Car racing’s “most influential man” of the 1980s. Chapman died in 1996 at age 80. The announcement and presentation were made at Phoenix International Raceway by Michael Knight, chairman of the selection committee, and one of Chapman’s closest friends. The award is determined by a vote of national media members, most of who knew Chapman, and is authorized by the Chapman family. PR representatives from all forms of motorsports are eligible for consideration. As has happened before, the selection committee chose two equally-deserving Chapman Award recipients this year. Elon Werner, of John Force Racing, was recognized last weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before the NHRA national event.(PR)(11-8-2014)
  • Keselowski wins at Nationwide race at Phoenix; Elliott Clinches Championship: #22-Brad Keselowski won the DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans at Phoenix International Raceway. He passed pole sitter #54-Kyle Busch, who had dominated the race, on the final lap. The rest of the top 10: #11-Elliott Sadler, #3-Ty Dillon, #9-Chase Elliott, #20-Erik Jones, #2-Brian Scott, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #6-Trevor Bayne, and #7-Smith.
    With his 5th place finish, Chase Elliott clinched the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship over Regan Smith.
    There were 5 cautions for 33 laps and 6 lead changes among 4 leaders. Complete results are on the Phoenix race results page (pdf).
    (11-8-2014)
  • Phoenix Nationwide Race Fast Facts:
    Brad Keselowski won the 16th Annual DAV 200 Honoring America’s Veterans, his 32nd victory in 215 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his fifth victory and 10th top-10 finish in 2014. He has finished fourth or better in all 10 of his starts this season.
    This is his first victory and 10th top-10 finish in 16 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Chase Elliott leads the point standings by 52 points over Regan Smith.
    With the points lead, Elliott officially clinches the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship.
    Elliott becomes the first rookie in NASCAR national series history to win the championship.
    Elliott becomes the youngest champion in national series history (He will be 18 years, 11 months, 18 days at Homestead). Brian Vickers previously held the record at 20 years, 22 days when he won the 2003 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship.
    Chase Elliott’s father Bill Elliott won the 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. They are the fifth father/son combo to win NASCAR national series championships; joining the Jarretts (Ned and Dale), Pettys (Lee and Richard), Pearsons (David and Larry) and Earnhardts (Dale and Dale Jr.).
    Kyle Busch (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 18 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 24th top-10 finish in 2014.
    Elliott Sadler (third) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 12 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Ty Dillon (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-8-2014)
  • Nationwide Driver standings following Phoenix:
    1) #9-Chase Elliott # 1185
    2) #7-Regan Smith 1133 -52
    3) #2-Brian Scott 1120 -65
    4) #11-Elliott Sadler 1119 -66
    5) #3-Ty Dillon # 1111 -74
    6) #6-Trevor Bayne 1052 -133
    7) #60-Chris Buescher # 975 -210
    8) #62-Brendan Gaughan 939 -246
    9) #16-Ryan Reed # 872 -313
    10) #31-Dylan Kwasniewski # 842 -343
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(11-8-2014)
  • Nationwide Owner Standings following Phoenix are posted (pdf).(11-8-2014)

  • JR Motorsports Championship Notes Package:
    Chase Elliott, the driver of the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevy, clinched the 2014 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship after scoring a fifth-place finish today at Phoenix International Raceway.  The rookie driver from Dawsonville, Ga., will carry an insurmountable 52-point lead into next week’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  This marks the first national touring series championship for JR Motorsports, the company owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

    A FRATERNITY OF CHAMPIONS: Elliott becomes the 24th driver to win a NASCAR Nationwide Series championship in this, the 33rd year of the series.

    NASCAR’S YOUNGEST CHAMPION: At the age of 18 years, 11 months and 18 days, Elliott will officially become the youngest driver to win a championship in any of NASCAR’s top-three national touring series next Saturday.  He will break the record previously held by Brian Vickers, the 2003 Nationwide Series champion at the age of 20 years, 0 months and 22 days.

    ON THE BRINK OF HISTORY: If Elliott is named 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year, he would become the first driver in any NASCAR national series to win the championship and rookie of the year in the same season.  The award’s winner is not determined until the end of the season because its format factors off-track merit as well as on-track performance.  Elliott entered the Phoenix race weekend with a 52-point lead in the ROY standings.  Three former rookie-of-the-year winners who came close to winning series championships were James Hylton (Sprint Cup in 1966), Kurt Busch (Camping World Truck in 2000) and Kyle Busch (Nationwide in 2004).

    CHAMPIONSHIP ‘KNOW HOW’: This marks NAPA AUTO PARTS’ third championship since becoming a NASCAR team sponsor in 1996.  NAPA won championships with Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) and driver Ron Hornaday, Jr., in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 1996 and 1998.  This is NAPA’s first season as a sponsorship partner of JR Motorsports.

    LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Bill Elliott, the 1988 Sprint Cup champion, and Chase Elliott, the 2014 Nationwide Series champion, become the fifth father/son duo to win NASCAR national series championships.  They join an esteemed list that includes Lee Petty (Sprint Cup in 1954, 1958 and 1959) and Richard Petty (Sprint Cup in 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1979), Ned Jarrett (Sprint Cup in 1961 and 1965) and Dale Jarrett (Sprint Cup in 1999), David Pearson (Sprint Cup in 1966, 1968 and 1969) and Larry Pearson (Nationwide in 1986 and 1987), and Dale Earnhardt Sr. (Sprint Cup in 1980, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Nationwide in 1998 and 1999).

    A LONG TIME COMING: JR Motorsports’ first Nationwide championship comes in its ninth season in the series.  The company started competing full time in the NNS in 2006 (it entered one race in 2005).  Mark Martin delivered JRM its first victory on March 1, 2008, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  Since then JR Motorsports has earned 21 victories.  The 2014 season has featured nine victories from four drivers – Kevin Harvick (4), Chase Elliott (3), Regan Smith (1), and Kasey Kahne (1).  Elliott’s top-finishing points position supplants the company’s previous best of third (achieved three times by Brad Keselowski in 2008 and 2009 and Regan Smith in 2013).

    DECORATED DRIVERS: While this is JR Motorsports’ first championship, the company’s current stable of drivers has five Nationwide Series titles among them – Earnhardt Jr. with two (1998, 1999), Harvick with two (2001, 2006) and Elliott with one (2014).

    OWNERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES: Elliott’s championship marks the third for Earnhardt Jr. as an owner.  His first company, Chance 2, won Nationwide Series championships with driver Martin Truex Jr., in 2004 and 2005 in partnership with Dale Earnhardt Inc.

    THE HENDRICK CONNECTION: Elliott is the fifth driver to win his first career championship with Rick Hendrick, co-owner of JR Motorsports.  Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers and Jack Sprague were the others.  This is Hendrick’s 16th overall championship and second in the Nationwide Series.

    STORYBOOK SEASON: Elliott’s championship-winning campaign has featured three victories – the Texas 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, the VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, and EnjoyIllinois.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19.  His Texas win came in only his sixth career start, making him the second-youngest winner in Nationwide Series history behind Joey Logano, who in 2008 was three months younger than Elliott was in 2014 when scoring his first victory.  However, Elliott became the youngest multiple-race winner with his victory the following week at Darlington.

    BOWTIE BRIGADE: This marks the 18th time that a Chevrolet driver has won the Nationwide Series championship.  Chevrolet is close to winning the Bill France Performance Cup, which is awarded to the Nationwide Series’ top manufacturer, for the 16th time.  Chevrolet entered the Phoenix race weekend with a 34-point lead in the manufacturers’ standings.

    POWER SOURCE: This will be the 15th NASCAR championship and second Nationwide Series championship for Hendrick Motorsports engines, which supplies the motors for all JR Motorsports teams.  Hendrick Motorsports engines won its first NNS championship in 2003 with Brian Vickers.

    PEACH STATE CHAMPIONS: Elliott becomes only the second Georgia-born NASCAR champion.  His father and 1988 Sprint Cup champion, Bill Elliott, was the first.  There are three others who were not born in Georgia but were longtime state residents and considered “from Georgia.”  Red Byron (born in Anniston, Ala., but resident of Georgia most of his life) was the first NASCAR modified champion in 1948 and first strictly stock champion in 1949.  Tim Flock (born in Fort Payne, Ala., but resident of Atlanta, Ga.) won Sprint Cup titles in 1952 and 1955.  Rex White (born in Taylorsville, N.C., but later moved to Georgia and still resides in Fayetteville, Ga.) won the 1960 Sprint Cup championship.  Before the formation of NASCAR in 1948, there were other drivers from the peach state considered “national champion” drivers, including Roy Hall (Dawsonville, Ga.) in 1940, 1941 and 1946, and Lloyd Seay (Dawsonville, Ga.) in 1938 and 1941. Ed Samples (Atlanta, Ga.) won stock car championships in 1946 and 1949.

    DAWSONVILLE DIAMONDS: Bill and Chase Elliott aren’t the first racers to come from the town of Dawsonville, Ga.  In fact, the small Georgia community has given stock car racing a long line of successful racers not named Elliott. The list includes:
    ”           Ted Chester, car owner – Sprint Cup champion in 1952 with driver Tim Flock.
    ”           Gober Sosebee, driver – winner of two Sprint Cup races; two-time winner on Daytona’s beach and road course prior to NASCAR’s inception in 1948.
    ”           Bernard Long, driver – Daytona’s beach and road course winner in 1941.
    ”           Roy Hall, driver – national champion in 1939.
    ”           Lloyd Seay, driver – winner of more than 40 races; inaugural class of Georgia Racing Hall of Fame (2002).
    ”           Harry Melling, owner – NASCAR champion owner in 1988 with driver Bill Elliott; won Daytona with Elliott in 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1991.
    ”           Raymond Parks, owner – won the first two NASCAR championships as Red Byron’s car owner in 1948 (modified class) and 1949 (strictly stock class, now known as Sprint Cup); inaugural class of Georgia Racing Hall of Fame (2002); inducted into International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009.

    RING MASTER: Greg Ives has won championships in six of his 11 years in the sport of NASCAR.  Joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2004 as a mechanic in the 24/48 shop, Ives quickly elevated to an engineering role on the No. 48 team.  He was part of Jimmie Johnson’s historic run of five Sprint Cup championships from 2006-10.  The Bark River, Mich.-native came to JR Motorsports as a rookie crew chief in 2013.  Following the season, Ives will return to Hendrick Motorsports to begin his new role as Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief on the No. 88 Nationwide Insurance / Diet Mountain Dew team.

    QUICK WORK: Chase Elliott is the first driver since Brad Keselowski in 2010 to clinch the Nationwide Series championship before the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  The last non-Sprint Cup Series driver to secure the title early was Martin Truex Jr., in 2004.

    UNFINISHED BUSINESS: With Elliott clinching the top spot, the quest now for JR Motorsports is for Regan Smith to finish second.  If Smith holds on to the runner-up position after next week’s season-finale at Homestead-Miami, JR Motorsports would become the first team in 14 years to finish first and second in the series point standings.  The Greg Pollex-owned ppc Racing did it in 2000 with drivers Jeff Green and Jason Keller.

    AS GOOD AS IT GETS: If Smith finishes second in the 2014 Nationwide Series standings, JR Motorsports will have successfully finished first and second in each of its racing divisions this year – the Nationwide Series with Elliott and Smith, and the NASCAR Whelen All American Series at Hickory Motor Speedway with late model drivers Josh Berry and William Byron.(JR Motorsports)(11-8-2014)

  • Busch on pole at Phoenix: #54-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole for the DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 133.963mph. #22-Brad Keselowski will start second followed by: #20-Erik Jones, #11-Elliott Sadler, #5-Alex Bowman, #7-Regan Smith, #3-Ty Dillon, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #2-Brian Scott, #9-Chase Elliott, #42-Kyle Larson, and #6-Trevor Bayne.
    Busch was also quickest in the opening qualifying session at 134.414mph
    Did Not Qualify: #46-Ryan Ellis. The starting lineup is posted on the Phoenix starting lineup page (pdf).(11-8-2014)
  • Phoenix Qualifying Notes:
    Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 16th Annual DAV 200 Honoring America’s Veterans with a lap of 26.873 seconds, 133.963 mph.
    This is his 43rd pole in 295 NASCAR Nationwide Series races.
    This is his seventh pole and 23rd top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his seventh pole in 18 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Brad Keselowski (second) posted his ninth top-10 start of 2014 and his 11th in 16 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Erik Jones (third) posted his first top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his third in three races this season.
    Busch set the track qualifying record in the first round with a lap of 134.414 mph (26.783 seconds).
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-8-2014)
  • Cope crew member has heart attack: Upon arrival at the airport in Phoenix, team members of the #70 Derrike Cope racing team had a different challenge to face before getting to the track this weekend. One of the team members, Dan, had a massive heart attack, team work kicked in and Mark, the motor man of the team, went to work and provided life saving CPR for about 12 minutes till the EMT’s arrived on the scene. After getting Dan stabalized they transported him to the hospital. Dan had immediate surgery and had to have his heart stabilized from an erratic heart beat. Later, they performed a second surgery to insert some stents in his vascular system to give his heart some relief. Dan is doing well and expected to recover fully. Quick thinking by the team and the knowledge of CPR by his teammate Mark is what saved his life.(Let’s Talk Racing)(11-8-2014)
  • Statement from Phoenix International Raceway regarding the power outages at Truck race: We are extremely disappointed that tonight’s race was delayed and ultimately shortened by failures in the local power grid. We want to thank the devoted race fans who stayed throughout the race, however PIR and NASCAR both agreed that it was in the best interest of the drivers to call an end to the race after the second power outage, as safety of the competitors is paramount. While we appreciate the efforts of APS and its repair crews to restore service as quickly as possible, having to end the race prematurely is not the experience that our fans expect and deserve.(PIR)(11-8-2014)


    News from November 7, 2014


  • Hamlin wins Phoenix pole: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light pole for the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway with speed of 142.113mph for his 3rd pole of 2014, 2nd at Phoenix and 20th of his career. Hamlin has won three races from the pole out of 19 previous poles. #22-Logano set the track record in 1st round of qualifying with a lap of 142.141mph.
    #2-Keselowski is on the outside pole followed by #4-Harvick, #22-Logano, #20-Kenseth, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon, #42-Larson, #55-Vickers, #41-Busch, #27-Menard and #13-Mears.
    Missing the race were: #75-Clay Rogers, who was 41st fastest and had no provisional available to use.
    See the starting lineup, round 1 & 2 qualifying results, notes, qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Phoenix Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(11-7-2014)
  • Qualifying Fast Facts – Phoenix:
    #11-Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 27th Annual Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 with a lap of 25.332 seconds, 142.113 mph.
    This is his 20th pole in 325 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He ties Neil Bonnett and Benny Parsons for 35th on the all-time series pole list.
    This is his third pole and 15th top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his second pole in 19 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #2-Brad Keselowski (second) posted his 27th top-10 start of 2014 and his third in 11 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #4-Kevin Harvick (third) posted his ninth top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 24th in 35 races this season.
    #22-Joey Logano broke the track qualifying record in the first round of qualifying with a lap of 142.141 mph/25.327 seconds. The previous record was set by Brad Keselowski in February of 2014 (139.384 mph/25.828 seconds).(NASCAR Statistics)(11-7-2014)
  • Where the 2014 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers will start at Phoenix:
    [listed by current driver chase points position]
    1) #22-Joey Logano, 4th
    2) #11-Denny Hamlin, POLE
    3) #31-Ryan Newman, 20th
    4) #24-Jeff Gordon, 7th
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 5th
    6) #99-Carl Edwards, 13th
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski, 2nd
    8) #4-Kevin Harvick, 3rd
    (11-7-2014)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 30 minutes.
    #22-Logano 142.141
    #11-Hamlin 141.587
    #2-Keselowski 141.354
    #42-Larson 141.315
    #4-Harvick 141.143
    the rest of the top 12: 24 55 18 20 41 27 13;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 2: 99 78 48 88 15 17 1 31 9 5 43 47 3 33 51 16 14 7 95 10 36 38 34 98 23 40 37 26 75 83 32 66
    Driver who will miss the race: #75-Rogers.
    (11-7-2014)
  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Friday, November 7, 2014 at 6:45pm/et.
    Television (TV): ESPN2, 6:30pm/et
    Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none
  • Qualifying Order for the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted. 44 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first of the drivers scheduled to go out is #48-Johnson.
    The final driver scheduled to go out is #78-Truex Jr.
    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 Phoenix Qualifying Page.(11-7-2014)
  • Friday practice for the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 90 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #4-Harvick 141.521
    #42-Larson 141.471
    #2-Keselowski 140.851
    #41-Busch 140.526
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 140.362
    18 drivers were faster than the track record speed
    slowest: #36-Sorenson 133.978 & #32-Gase 134.665
    if speeds stayed the same, missing the race would be #75-Rogers who was 38th fastest, Rogers needs to qualify in the top 36 to make the race
    notes: in the unlikely event that qualifying is cancelled due to weather (0% chance of rain tonight), this practice would set the starting lineup.
    Track record is 139.384mph, set in March 2014 by #2-Keselowski.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Phoenix Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(11-7-2014)

  • Kurt Busch being investigated for domestic assault STATEMENTS & UPDATES: Dover Police Issue Statement In Regards to Ongoing Kurt Busch investigation: Due to numerous media inquiries regarding a criminal investigation involving professional race car driver #41-Kurt Busch, the Dover Police Department has issued the following statement: The Dover Police Department can confirm that an investigation is being conducted based on an allegation of domestic assault that is alleged to have occurred in the City of Dover involving Mr. Busch. These allegations were brought to the Dover Police Department on Wednesday, November 5th at 2:00PM. At this time, the department is still investigating the victim’s claims and will not have any further comment on this matter in order to preserve the integrity of the case. The Dover Police Department will release further information as it becomes available. We appreciate the public’s and media’s patience in this matter and are confident that the department is taking the proper investigative steps to ensure the case is resolved appropriately.(Dover Police Department)
    NASCAR Statement from Brett Jewkes, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Regarding Dover Police Department Release: “NASCAR is aware of the investigation involving driver Kurt Busch. We recognize the seriousness of this matter and are actively gathering information from all parties, including law enforcement authorities and Stewart-Haas Racing. It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment further on this matter until we have more information.”(NASCAR)
    Stewart-Haas Racing Statement: “This is an allegation Stewart-Haas Racing takes very seriously, but we’re still gathering all of the facts and are not in a position to comment in greater detail,” said SHR spokesman Mike Arning.
    Armed Forces Foundation Statement: “I want to, first and foremost, express the direct support from the Board of Directors of the Armed Forces Foundation to Ms. Driscoll. For more than a decade, Ms. Driscoll has been a tireless worker and advocate for our nation’s service members, veterans, and military families. The Foundation will continue working to support service members, veterans, and military families and we ask that Ms. Driscoll’s privacy be respected. Given the serious nature of the allegations, the Foundation has suspended its association with Mr. Busch.” – Mr. Pat LaFrieda, Board of Directors Co-Chairman.(AFF Facebook)
    UPDATE: Busch has been accused of domestic assault by his ex-girlfriend, and police in Delaware said Friday they are investigating. The Dover Police Department said the allegations were brought to the department Wednesday. Busch’s ex-girlfriend, Patricia Driscoll, 36, said the allegations involved an incident inside his motorhome at a race at Dover International Speedway in September. The couple broke up about a week before. Driscoll has filed court documents asking that a judge order Busch to stay away from her and not contact her. She also is asking that Busch undergo a psychiatric evaluation and be evaluated by a certified domestic violence treatment agency. The documents, filed Wednesday, say Busch was despondent the night of Sept. 26 after his poor performance at the qualifying session. “He was verbally abusive to her and said he wished he had a gun so that he could kill himself,” the documents say. Driscoll said Busch, 36, called her names and accused her of “having spies everywhere and having a camera on the bus to watch him.” He then jumped up, grabbed her face and smashed her head three times against the wall next to the bed, Driscoll says in the documents. Driscoll says she pushed Busch away and ran from the bedroom, going to a nearby bus to put an ice pack on her head and neck. She said the incident caused her severe pain, difficulty breathing and bruising on her neck. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 2.(in part from the Associated Press)
    UPDATE 2: Busch’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, released a statement calling the allegations “a complete fabrication.”
    “The Dover Police Department has been informed that Mr. Busch will fully cooperate with their investigation and he expects to be vindicated when the entire truth of the situation comes to light,” the statement said. “This allegation is a complete fabrication by a woman who has refused to accept the end of a relationship and Mr. Busch vehemently denies her allegations in every respect. At this time we intend to have no further comment in the media out of respect for the Dover Police Department’s desire to conduct a thorough investigation without a media circus.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-7-2014)

  • Phoenix Notes & Facts – Friday – poles:
    · Geoffrey Bodine won the first pole in 1988 at a speed of 123.203 mph (29.220 sec.).
    · There have been 20 different Coors Light pole winners, led by Ryan Newman with four.
    · Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards are the only drivers to win consecutive poles. Newman won three straight (2002-04), while Gordon won the fall of 2006 and the spring of 2007. Edwards won the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.
    · Four of the 36 (11.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from the Coors Light pole: Jeff Gordon (spring 2007), Jimmie Johnson (fall 2008), Mark Martin (spring 2009) and Carl Edwards (fall 2010).
    · Seven of the 36 (19.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from the front row: four from the pole and three from second-place.
    · 17 of the 36 (47.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position inside the top 10.
    · 19 of the 36 (52.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
    · 3 of the 36 (8.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    · Denny Hamlin (November, 2005) and AJ Allmendinger (April, 2010) won their first career Coors Light poles at Phoenix International Raceway
    (NASCAR)(11-7-2014)

  • Dumb and Dumber To featured on #23 & #83 cars at Phoenix: BK Racing announced a partnership with Universal Pictures and Granite Pictures to promote Dumb and Dumber To, which hits theaters nationwide on November 14. Alex Bowman’s yellow #23 Toyota Camry will carry the image of Lloyd Christmas, while JJ Yeley’s blue #83 Toyota Camry will carry the image of Harry Dunne. Arizona natives Bowman and Yeley will be competing at their home track this weekend.
    Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their signature roles as Lloyd and Harry in the sequel to the 1994 smash hit that took the physical comedy and kicked it in the nuts: Dumb and Dumber To. The original film’s directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, take Lloyd and Harry on a road trip to find a child Harry never knew he had and the responsibility neither should ever, ever be given. “This is a huge deal for BK Racing to promote one of the most popular movies of all-time,” said Ron Devine, team owner of BK Racing. “Ever since I found out about this deal coming together many months ago I have been very excited. We hope to play a big role in promoting Dumb and Dumber To to NASCAR fans who will be attendance in Phoenix and the millions watching on television.”
    “I was only a little kid when the original movie came out, but I have seen it many times on television, said Bowman. “I like much of the team have been extremely excited for this deal and I hope to give them a great run this weekend in Phoenix.”
    “I am very excited to apart of this partnership this weekend in Phoenix,” said Yeley. “Racing at my home track in front of friends, family and hardcore supporter is always enjoyable, but having a piece of motion-picture history on board is an added bonus.” To learn more, visit www.dumblr.com or be a part of the phenomenon by using social media hashtag #DumbTo and #MuttCuttsTour.(BK Racing).
    See images of the schemes on the #23 Team Schemes page and #83 Team Schemes page.(11-7-2014)

  • BK Racing teams up with Innovative Green Technologies on the #26 at PIR: BK Racing announced a new partnership with Innovative Green Technologies (IGT), in the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix [being featured on the #26 Toyota of Cole Whitt]. As an Arizona company, IGT is excited about the opportunity to promote their fuelxx brand at their hometown NASCAR track, Phoenix International Raceway. “We are thrilled for this opportunity to be associated with NASCAR and BK Racing and are excited to continue our relationship with Alex Bowman as well as begin a new relationship with Cole Whitt” said Don Hawley, chairman and chief executive officer of IGT. “We are excited about the future growth paths of these emerging NASCAR drivers with our fuelxx product and establishing a mutually rewarding relationship with BK Racing that we hope will last for years to come.”
    “We are proud of our relationship with IGT and its revolutionary fuelxx product,” said Ron Devine, team owner of BK Racing. “We welcome their enthusiasm for Cole, Alex and our team and hope that PIR (Phoenix International Raceway) is just the beginning of a long term partnership and brand alignment. Our first-hand experience with fuelxx” made us believers in their product and their company.”
    “I’m really excited to have fuelxx on board at Phoenix,” said Whitt. “2014 has been great to partner with many excellent companies and fuelxx and their customers will enjoy a great ride this weekend.”(BK Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #26 Team Schemes page.(11-7-2014)
  • added the #1 LiftMaster – Prescott Granite Mountain “Hotshots” tribute#23 Dumb and Dumber To#26 fuekxx and the #83 Dumb and Dumber To schemes that will run at Phoenix.(11-7-2014)

  • Hendrick Motorsports going for pole #200: This weekend, Hendrick Motorsports could reach a milestone. With one more Sprint Cup Series pole position, the organization will have earned 200 in its 30-year history. Currently, Hendrick Motorsports sits at 199 poles, with Gordon and Johnson combining for three so far in the 2014 season.(HMS)(11-7-2014)

  • Gordon one top-five from tying Martin for 2nd all-time: During his 22-year Sprint Cup career, #24-Jeff Gordon has collected 452 top-10s. Gordon is third all-time in that statistical category, one behind Mark Martin (453) and 260 behind Richard Petty (712). Gordon has collected 21 this season, which is tied for the series-best.(HMS)(11-7-2014)

  • LiftMaster to honor Prescott Granite Mountain “Hotshots” at Phoenix: The #1 LiftMaster Chevy of Jamie McMurray will carry a special look this weekend to honor 19 firefighters from the Prescott Granite Mountain “Hotshots” who lost their lives battling a wildfire at Yarnell Hill, Ariz. in June 2013. As a tribute to their heroism, the hood of the LiftMaster Chevy SS will carry the names of all 19 firefighters, as LiftMaster, Jamie McMurray and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates honor these fallen heroes and their families this weekend for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500.(CGR), see an image of the scheme on the #1 Team Schemes page.(11-7-2014)

  • Larson to run camo scheme at Phoenix: In honor and observance of Veteran’s Day, which is Nov. 11, the usually easy to spot Team Target Chevy will feature a red camouflage paint scheme. The camo paint scheme is a small way of saying thank you to all the military veterans for their sacrifice and service. Target has hired veterans in 2014 in conjunction with their work with the 100,000 Jobs Mission, which is a pledge to hire more veterans and has seen over 140,000 veterans hired this year. In addition to the special camo paint scheme this weekend, Larson also will be showing support for the Pat Tillman Foundation, which was founded to honor the late Arizona State University (ASU) player and U.S. Army Ranger. Tillman, who wore #42 while playing at ASU, proudly put his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals on hold to serve in the Army, and was killed in action in Afghanistan while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment. The Pat Tillman Foundation was established in 2008 to honor Tillman’s legacy of leadership and service through investing in veterans and their spouses through academic scholarships, and has invested more than $10 million in academic support.(CGR), see an image of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page.(11-7-2014)

  • Caterpillar Global Mining featured on the #31: The #31 Caterpillar Chevy features the Caterpillar Global Mining Twitter account this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. @CatMining provides updates and information about the organization and their ongoing commitment to the mining industry. Wherever you go in the mining world, you’ll find Caterpillar. From underground coal mines in the United States to gold mines in Africa and iron ore mines in Australia, Caterpillar products are hard at work and CAT people are right there too with building and supporting products, training operators, helping customers mine more profitably and working with schools, organizations and communities. As industry leaders, Caterpillar is engaged in the mining industry at every level.(RCR), see an image of the scheme on the #31 Team Schemes page.(11-7-2014)

  • Ariz. State To Honor Former Tight End Now #55 Jackman: Wes Evans, a former tight end on Arizona State’s 2008 football team will be honored on the Sun Devil Stadium video board Saturday night when his alma mater takes on highly ranked Notre Dame. Less than 24 hours later he’ll serve as jackman on Brian Vickers’ #55 Aaron’s Dream Machine pit crew in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at nearby Phoenix International Raceway. “It seems like it was just yesterday when I was playing at ASU,” laughed the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder who made four starts and played in all 12 games for ASU in 2008. That year he won the team’s iron man award for exemplary work ethic in the weight room, on the field and in the community. Evans became interested in NASCAR after meeting pit crew members who visited the ASU campus for a workout in 2007. That contact led Evans to a life as a NASCAR pit crew member and his ASU degree led him to a job in the Michael Waltrip Racing marketing office. Each week Evans hosts the “Wednesday’s With Wes- Ask MWR” video feature on the team website answering viewer questions about NASCAR racing.(MWR)(11-7-2014)

  • Dollar General to honor the military community: On Veteran’s Day weekend at Phoenix, Dollar General will recognize and honor the military community by recognizing the Paychecks for Patriots program with a special decal on the c-post of Matt Kenseth’s #20 Dollar General Camry, as well as offering all current and veteran military service members and their family an 11% off discount on Veterans Day. Paychecks for Patriots is an innovative partnership between state government and employers to address veteran and National Guard unemployment challenges. This successful program was created by Dollar General in partnership with state employment agencies to create a pathway toward economic opportunity for veterans and their families both online and through hiring fairs.(JGR)(11-7-2014)
  • Integrity Sports Marketing Announces Racer Advancement Program: Integrity Sports Marketing, a full service marketing firm, has established a one-of-a-kind program that will advance the careers of young drivers with a star studded team providing advice and a clear path to the upper ranks of NASCAR – The Racer Advancement Program. After spending over 15 years in NASCAR garages, local tracks, and race team shops, Brent Bushu, owner of Integrity Sports Marketing realized that future racers need a better support system in order to reach their dreams. The Racer Advancement Program focuses on the entire spectrum of what it takes to make it to NASCAR’s top levels. A young racer’s brand will be established and awareness will be built through exposure in the right places. The program offers something that no other program offers. First, we offer advice from an advisory board of NASCAR drivers, crew chiefs, owners, media personnel, and sponsor representatives. Secondly, a clearly defined path is established to move from where the driver is today to where the racer wants to be tomorrow.
    Integrity Sports Marketing has partnered with leading experts in the motorsports world who will serve as members of the “Racer Advisory Board” for this program. This will entail a monthly conference call between program participants and a different member of the “Advisory Board” as well as special guests. This will serve as a one-of-a-kind platform for advice and suggestions for program participants. The “Racer Advisory Board” members will also be available for further support outside of this monthly conference call and be a tremendous resource for career and racing advice.
    The Racer Advisory Panel includes advice from several industry experts including:
    Tommy Baldwin – Sprint Cup Team Owner, Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 & #36 entries
    Frank Stoddard – Fourteen-time race winning NASCAR crew chief and NBC NASCAR Analyst
    Hermie Sadler – Current NASCAR driver, Fox Sports NASCAR Analyst and owner of Hermie Sadler Karting and Premier Racing Chassis
    Limited spots are available for the 2015 Program. For more information on the Racer Advancement Program visit www.WinningWithIntegrity.com.(11-7-2014)
  • Bowman fastest in happy hour: #5-Alex Bowman was quickest during happy hour for the DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans with a speed of 133.610mph. He was followed by: #54-Kyle Busch, #20-Erik Jones, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #25-John Wes Townley, #77-Brennan Newberry, #3-Ty Dillon, #42-Kyle Larson, #9-Chase Elliott, and #7-Regan Smith. 41 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Phoenix practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-7-2014)
  • Busch fastest in first practice: #54-Kyle Busch was fastest during opening practice at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 132.861mph. #3-Ty Dillon was second, followed by: #20-Erik Jones, #7-Regan Smith, #5-Alex Bowman, #22-Brad Keselowski, #11-Elliott Sadler, #9-Chase Elliott, #2-Brian Scott and #60-Chris Buescher. 35 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Phoenix practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-7-2014)

  • WESCO extends sponsorship of Ty Dillon: Richard Childress Racing announced that WESCO International, Inc. has renewed its sponsorship of Ty Dillon and the #3 Chevy team for the 2015 XFINITY Series season. WESCO is a leading provider of electrical, industrial, and communications MRO and OEM products, construction materials, and advanced supply chain procurement services. Pittsburgh-based WESCO has been a sponsor of RCR and Ty Dillon in the Nationwide Series since 2012 and will continue the sponsorship in 2015, when XFINITY will become the Series premier sponsor. This is Dillon’s first full-time season in the Nationwide Series. He is fifth in the driver point standings leading up to the final races at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend and in Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15.(RCR)(11-7-2014)
  • Jones wins truck race at Phoenix: #51-Erik Jones won the Lucas Oil 150 at the Phoenix International Raceway on Friday after the race was called on lap 126 of the scheduled 150 due to power outage issues. Points leader #88-Matt Crafton finished second followed by: #00-Cole Custer, #29-Ryan Blaney, #32-Ben Rhodes, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #14-Austin Dillon, #98-Johnny Sauter, #19-Tyler Reddick. There were 7 caution flags for 48 laps, 2 red flag periods, and 2 lead changes among 2 leaders.
    #51-Jones started from the pole and led 114 laps before being declared the winner.
    #88-Crafton leads #29-Blaney by 25 points entering the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he can clinch his second championship by finishing 21st or better.
    Complete results are on the Phoenix race results page (pdf).(11-7-2014)
  • Phoenix Race Fast Facts:
    Erik Jones won the 20th Annual Lucas Oil 150, his fourth victory in 17 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his third victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his second victory and second top-10 finish in two races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    This is Kyle Busch Motorsports’ 13th victory of 2014, a single-season NASCAR Camping World Truck Series record.
    Matt Crafton (second) posted his 10th top-10 finish in 14 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 16th top-10 finish in 2014.
    Cole Custer (third) posted his first top-10 finish in one races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Matt Crafton leads the point standings by 25 points over Ryan Blaney.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-7-2013)
  • Driver standings following Phoenix:
    1) #88-Matt Crafton, 798
    2) #29-Ryan Blaney, 773 -25
    3) #54-Darrell Wallace Jr., 752 -46
    4) #98-Johnny Sauter, 739 -59
    5) #17-Timothy Peters, 705 -93
    6) #21-Joey Coulter, 659 -139
    7) #77-German Quiroga, 654 -144
    8), #31-Ben Kennedy #, 652 -146
    9) #13-Jeb Burton 648 -150
    10) #15-Mason Mingus #, 530 -268
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(11-7-2014)
  • Jones on pole at Phoenix: #51-Erik Jones won the eystone Light 21 Means 21 pole for the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 135.532 mph. Points leader, #88-Matt Crafton will start second. He will be followed by: #31-Ben Kennedy, #32-Ben Rhodes, #21-Joey Coulter, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #19-Tyler Reddick, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #17-Timothy Peters, #9-Brennan Newberry, and #14-Austin Dillon.
    #51-Jones was quickest in the opening qualifying session at 134.253 mph.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(11-7-2014)
  • Phoenix Qualifying Notes:
    Erik Jones won the Keystone Light 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 20th Annual Lucas Oil 150 with a track qualifying record lap of 26.562 seconds, 135.532 mph. The previous record was set by Nelson Piquet Jr. in 2012 (134.439 mph/26.778).
    This is his second pole in 17 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his second pole and ninth top-10 start in 2014.
    This is his first pole in two races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Matt Crafton (second) posted his 16th top-10 start of 2014 and his ninth in 14 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Ben Kennedy (third) posted his first top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his ninth in 21 races this season.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-7-2014)
  • Gillian Zucker leaves Auto Club Speedway and heads to the Los Angeles Clippers: The Los Angeles Clippers today announced Gillian Zucker as the club’s new President of Business Operations. A sports industry veteran who was named one of the top five most powerful women in motorsports by MSN and FOX, Zucker comes to the Clippers after spending nine years as the President of Auto Club Speedway, the largest race track on the West Coast. Zucker was named President of Auto Club Speedway in June 2005 and led all aspects of the Speedway’s business – including operations, ticketing, finance, communications and marketing. In addition, she served on the International Speedway Corporation executive management team and oversaw Chicagoland and Kansas Speedways. She was successful in repackaging NASCAR to appeal to a Southern California audience and developed the Auto Club Speedway into an industry leader in diversity of audience. Zucker’s innovations included a wide-ranging capital improvement plan, improved traffic and parking management, and completion of the only current naming rights track agreement in the sport in 2008.(ACS)(11-7-2014)


    News from November 6, 2014


  • Phoenix Notes & Facts – Thursday – history:
    · Construction was completed in January 1964. The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course.
    · Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988.
    · The first spring race was held on April 23, 2005 and also the first night race, which was won by Kurt Busch.
    · The track underwent its first repave in 2011. The construction began in March and concluded in September of that year.
    · The following changes were made during the construction period (March – Sept., 2011):
    o Widened the frontstretch from 52 to 62 feet
    o Reconfigured pit road with the installation of concrete pit stalls
    o Pushed the dog-leg curve between Turn 2 and Turn 3 out 95 feet
    o Tightened the turn radius of the dog-leg from 800 to 500 feet
    o Implemented variable banking to ensure the immediate use of two racing grooves, including 10-11 degree banking between Turn 1 and Turn 2; 10-11 degree banking in the apex of the dog-leg; and 8-9 degree banking in Turn 4
    (NASCAR)(11-6-2014)

  • NBC announces pit reporters for 2015 TV team: NBC Sports Group has reached agreements with motorsports reporters Dave Burns and Mike Massaro, who will join NBC’s multiplatform NASCAR coverage in 2015. In addition to covering pit road during Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series action on NBC and NBCSN, Massaro and Burns will contribute to NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN, as well as handle assignments throughout various NBC Sports properties. The announcement was made today by Sam Flood, Executive Producer, NBC Sports and NBCSN.
    “We’ve known Dave Burns for a long time, and are excited to welcome back his ability to make strong contributions,” said Flood. “Dave was a member of NBC Sports’ Emmy Award-wining NASCAR broadcast team during our last partnership, and brings extensive knowledge and experience into his role.”
    “Mike Massaro has developed into a talented reporter and host, with great relationships that have formed over the course of two decades in motorsports,” said Flood. “We’re happy to welcome him to NBC Sports and are looking forward to his work on pit road, as well as his contributions to NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN.”
    The appointments of Massaro and Burns follow previous NBC Sports NASCAR on-air announcements for analysts Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte, race announcer Rick Allen, pre- and post-race host Krista Voda, and fellow reporters Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast.
    Burns has more than 25 years of motorsports experience, having covered everything from NASCAR Sprint Cup to Sports Cars at LeMans, Daytona and Sebring, to SuperBikes, Formula cars and Legends. His on-air career began as a hobby, announcing American Speed Association stock car races. Radio and television roles with the ASA led to his first NASCAR coverage of their truck series on ESPN, where he developed the skills that led to his appointment as one of NBC Sports’ NASCAR pit road reporters in 2001. His success in that role contributed to NBC Sports’ Outstanding Live Sports Series Emmy Award for NASCAR coverage in 2006. In 2007, Burns re-joined ESPN, where he has handled NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage as both a reporter and announcer over the last eight years. Burns lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife and daughter.
    “I feel truly blessed to be back with the NBC Sports team, or more accurately: NBC Sports family,” said Burns. “NASCAR is such a cool sport to cover, and I enjoyed a great run of success with NBC from 2001-06. I’ve developed great working relationships throughout NASCAR over the years, and could not be more excited about the future.”
    Massaro also joins NBC Sports from ESPN, where he has been handling motorsports coverage and other assignments since 2001 as a reporter during live events and contributing to properties such as SportsCenter and Outside the Lines. Over the past eight years, Massaro has been working alongside Burns on pit road during ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series coverage. Previously, Massaro served as a reporter for RPM2Night, and as host/reporter for ESPN2’s NASCAR Now. In his first announcing duties, he handled the public address system at Stafford Motor Speedway in upstate Connecticut. From there, he joined MRN Radio, which led to increased exposure as a reporter for Inside NASCAR on TNN, and assignments on pit road for NBC and TBS. In 2000, he earned a National Motorsports Press Association and Russ Catlin Motorsports Journalism Award for a feature on the late Dale Earnhardt. To date, Massaro has won three Russ Catlin Motorsports Journalism awards, and four from the NMPA. Massaro lives outside of Hartford, Conn.
    “I’m extremely thankful to have experienced many amazing things over the last two decades, and this opportunity to join NBC’s NASCAR coverage is the validation of a dream,” said Massaro. “NBC’s dedication to storytelling is something that I value and look forward to advancing as part of the next generation of NASCAR coverage.”
    (NBC)(11-6-2014)

  • Stewart’s win streak on the line: #14-Tony Stewart has won at least one race in each of the last 15 seasons and needs to win at either Phoenix or Homestead to extend his streak. Richard Petty holds the record at 18 seasons followed by David Pearson at 17, Rusty Wallace and Ricky Rudd at 16 each. See the list on the All-time wins page for the full list.(11-6-2014)

  • Special Axalta scheme for Gordon at Phoenix: Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon will be behind the wheel of the fiery #24 Axalta Radiant Red Chevy this week at Phoenix. See images of the scheme/car on the #24 Team Schemes page.(11-6-2014)
  • Phoenix Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series will run the same tire codes at Phoenix this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that NASCAR teams have run at this track since November 2013 . . . this left-side tire code was introduced at Phoenix last November, while this right-side code debuted at the track in March 2013 . . . Phoenix is the only track at which either of these two tire codes will be run in 2014 . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Phoenix (Goodyear). See full tire notes, codes, pressures, set limits on the Phoenix Race Info page – Goodyear section.

  • Banfield Pet Hospital featured on the #18 at Phoenix: While Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), and his wife Samantha live a lot of their lives out of a suitcase, a part of home they bring with them whenever possible are their dogs Kelly, Suzie and Lucy. While the three Busch canines are no strangers to the racetrack, they will be in a unique position – actually, their likenesses will be – during Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500k at Phoenix International Raceway. Kelly, Suzie and Lucy will ride along with Busch as their pictures will adorn Busch’s #18 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota. Kyle and Samantha Busch travel with their four-legged friends every opportunity they get, and this is the first time they’ll be included on the #18 Toyota Camry paint scheme fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing. West-Highland Terriers Suzie and Kelly have been part of Busch’s extended race team since he began racing in NASCAR’s top touring series in 2005. Lucy, a Pomeranian Yorkie, joined the family shortly after the Busches were married in 2010. Founded in 1955, Banfield Pet Hospital is the largest privately owned veterinary practice in the world. The practice has more than 850 hospitals in the United States and Puerto Rico, most of which are located inside PetSmart stores. And, good news for the Busches in case there is a need for veterinary service while on they’re on the road, chances are there is always a Banfield Pet Hospital nearby (JGR), see an image of the scheme on the #18 Team Schemes page.(11-5-2014)

  • LiftMaster to honor “Hotshots” with special paint scheme for McMurray: The #1 LiftMaster Chevy of Jamie McMurray will carry a special look this weekend to honor 19 firefighters from the Prescott Granite Mountain “Hotshots” who lost their lives battling a wildfire at Yarnell Hill, Ariz. in June 2013. As a tribute to their heroism, the hood of the LiftMaster Chevy SS will carry the names of all 19 firefighters, as LiftMaster, Jamie McMurray and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates honor these fallen heroes and their families this weekend for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500.(CGR)(11-6-2014)

  • Changes at Roush Fenway Racing UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing is taking steps to right the ship. On Wednesday, RFR will announce the addition of respected motosports manager Mark McArdle as engineering director. McArdle will oversee all engineering for the organization and report to general manager Robbie Reiser. “My role is to provide the organization with better vision, increased levels of direction and communication to allow all the available resources to work together to find the solutions to the basic core problem of car performance,” McArdle said. McArdle most recently was director of racing operations at Richard Childress Racing. He held the position since the summer of 2013 after four seasons with Furniture Row Racing in Denver. The last two years at FRR, McArdle served as an intermediary in the teams’ technical alliance. He moved back to North Carolina to be closer to his family – ultimately the reason McArdle chose to leave RCR and join RFR, which cuts his commute in half. McArdle acknowledged he was grateful for the opportunity with Richard Childress and still has tremendous respect for the organization. Although McArdle will join RFR at the track this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, he only expects to be on the road 25-percent of the time in order to focus on the challenges back at the Concord, N.C.-based shop.
    RFR has also hired Kevin Kidd as its Sprint Cup team manager. Kidd, who currently oversees the #20 Nationwide Series team for Joe Gibbs Racing, earned an engineering degree at Virginia Tech. He also worked with McArdle as the race engineer on the #19 at Evernham Motorsports. Kidd’s role will be similar to Eric Peterson, who was Roush Fenway’s operations manager before overseeing the Nationwide Series program.(Motorsport)(11-5-2014)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing has announced the hiring of two industry veterans to senior positions in its competition group. Mark McArdle will oversee engineering for the organization’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) and NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) teams. Kevin Kidd will serve as NSCS team manager, supervising at-track operations beginning next season for an organization that has placed multiple cars in the ‘Chase’ in all 10 seasons of the format’s existence. “I’m confident that having Mark and Kevin in these two key positions will make our organization even stronger next season,” said team co-owner Jack Roush. “Mark has a pedigree in racing that spans multiple platforms and speaks for itself in terms of results. He has a reputation not only for success, but as a great manager and motivator. Kevin is recognized in the garage as one of the brightest minds in our sport. He has acquired invaluable experience working with both veteran and young drivers, and will be a great asset to our Sprint Cup program week in and week out at the race track. We look forward to bringing both Mark and Kevin on board and welcoming them into the fold.”
    McArdle, a successful veteran of IndyCar and NASCAR racing, has been named engineering director and will directly oversee Roush Fenway’s engineering efforts. A renowned engine builder, McArdle boasts three victories in the famed Indianapolis 500 with Penske Racing in 1991, 1993 and 1994, having worked with a litany of open-wheel legends including Ricky Mears, Emerson Fittipaldi, Al Unser Jr. and Michael Andretti. McArdle has spent the last 15 years working in NASCAR, having served in high-level positions with Roush Yates Engines, Evernham Motorsports, Furniture Row Racing and most recently as director of racing operation at Richard Childress Racing.
    “Roush Fenway Racing has a tradition and history of success like none other in motorsports, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” said McArdle. “I’ve always had a very deep respect for Jack Roush and his entire organization, and know that the expectation for him, his drivers, teams and sponsors is to win races and championships at every level. I look forward to becoming part of that winning tradition, and to continuing it in 2015 and beyond.”
    Kevin Kidd has been named NSCS team manager. He will join Roush Fenway after having served as the crew chief for the No. 20 NASCAR Nationwide Series team at Joe Gibbs Racing since 2010. During that time he guided his teams to nearly 90 top-10 finishes in 167 starts with veteran drivers such as Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, as well as a host of developmental drivers. “Roush Fenway is a perennial ‘Chase’ contender with three extremely talented drivers in the 2015 line-up,” said Kidd. “All of the right resources are in position to place all three of those drivers into the ‘Chase’ next season, and that will be our goal. I’ve had a great deal of experience working with both veterans and younger drivers, and this organization has a great mix of that with Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne. I look forward to the opportunity to work with each of them, their teams and everyone at Roush Fenway.” Kidd will move into his new role at the conclusion of the 2014 season.(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-6-2014)

  • RCR Adds Jason Golden to Business Development Team: Richard Childress Racing has hired Jason Golden to join their Business Development Department, effective immediately. Golden is a native of New Lebanon, Ohio and a graduate of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Industry/Sports Sciences and Masters in Sports Administration. He comes to RCR from IMG College where he was the Associate Regional Vice President, Midwest Region developing corporate partnerships for seven different schools and the Mid-American Conference. Prior to joining IMG College, a leading collegiate multimedia, marketing and licensing brand-management company, Golden held similar roles at Marshall University, ISP Sports at University of Nevada at Las Vegas, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NBA’s Houston Rockets and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He will work with the Business Development team led by Rick Penn, Vice President of the department. “We are fortunate to have Jason join the Business Development team and are looking forward to putting him in a situation to continue his successful sales career,” Penn said. “His leadership and experience will enhance our incredible team as we continue to add blue chip partners to the RCR family.” Golden will be relocating from Columbus, OH to North Carolina with his wife, Jaime, and their two children. “I am honored and feel very privileged to join an iconic and first class organization in Richard Childress Racing,” Golden said. “I also look forward to getting back into the world of NASCAR as the sport has always been a great passion of mine. My goals are to build meaningful partnerships with new corporations for RCR, while helping add incremental value for the organization’s current partners.” (RCR)(11-6-2014)

  • Vision Racing to expand in 2015: Vision Racing is gearing up for an expanded season with the addition of its #37 team for the 2015 season. “We are very excited to allow opportunities for development of additional drivers in the XFINITY NASCAR series”, “We have been instrumental in developing careers for other drivers over the years with our program considering that we work hard to subsidize the cost for them to compete and gain experience” said team owner Adrian Berryhill. Vision Racing will have support from several of its 2014 sponsors for 2015 allowing the improvement of its personnel, equipment and engine program. “We have recently formed an agreement with Triad Racing Technologies of Mooresville North Carolina to manage our engine program going into the 2015 season”, “This paired with several Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota chassis being purchased will certainly give us the opportunity to advance our position on the track” said Berryhill. Vision Racing is looking to fill the seat of the current fulltime #17 Nationwide Series team moving into the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in February 2015.(Vision Racing PR)(11-6-2014)

  • Jones full time with KBM in 2015: Kyle Busch Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing jointly announced today that Erik Jones will compete full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2015 for KBM and run a part-time schedule for JGR in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Running a part-time schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series the last two seasons, Jones has registered three wins, one pole, six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.7 across 16 starts. The Michigan native picked up his first career Truck Series victory at Phoenix International Raceway last November, when at the age of 17 years, five months and nine days old, at the time became the youngest winner of a NASCAR National Series event. This season, he added wins at Iowa Speedway in Newton and Las Vegas Motor Speedway and collected his first career pole in July at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Ryan “Rudy” Fugle will call the shots for Jones’ championship campaign in the Truck Series next season. The New York native led KBM’s #51 Tundra team to a series-leading six wins,including Jones’ historic Phoenix victory, and an Owner’s Championship as crew chief in 2013 and has contributed to an additional 10 wins in his role as race engineer for the organization during the 2012 and 2014 seasons. Announcements on truck number and sponsor for Jones’ Truck Series effort are forthcoming as well as total number of races, his crew chief, car number and sponsors for his part-time schedule in the XFINITY Series.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(11-6-2014)
  • Chastain to race Homestead: Ross Chastain announced on his Twitter that he would pilot the #35 WinTron Racing Toyota in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Chastain will be the sixth driver to drive for WinTron this season. (See an image of the truck on the #35 Team Paint Schemes page).(11-6-2014)
  • Anderson to debut in Phoenix with MAKE: There will be a new face walking around the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garage this week in Phoenix looking to learn the ropes. After competing in select NASCAR K&N Pro Series, USAR Pro Cup, and Super Late Model races over the past several years – South Carolina driver Jordan Anderson will be making his debut into the NCWTS Friday night, under the lights, at the Phoenix International Raceway during the Lucas Oil 150, while driving for Make Motorsports in their #50 Dedicated To Linemen truck. Anderson, who last raced at Richmond International Raceway earlier this year, is a recent college graduate with a business degree, and entrepreneur, has worked tirelessly for just this chance. “It’s such a humbling experience to have an opportunity like this one come about,” said Jordan. “My goal is to gain as much knowledge as I can about the series, trucks, other drivers, and team as we work into the off-season preparing sponsorship for next year.”(Jordan Anderson Racing)(11-6-2014)
  • Jones fastest in final truck practice: #51-Erik Jones was fastest in final practice for the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 134.509 mph. He was followed by #13-Jeb Burton, #00-Cole Custer, #31-Ben Kennedy, #9-Brennan Newberry, #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #88-Matt Crafton, #29-Ryan Blaney, #14-Austin Dillon, #32-Ben Rhodes. 34 drivers are entered for the event and all 34 practiced in practice. Multiple trucks made contact with the wall during the session, including #77-German Quiroga, who will go to a back-up truck. See complete results on the Phoenix practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-6-2014)
  • Wallace fastest in first truck practice: #54-Darrell Wallace, Jr. was fastest during opening practice at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 131.569 mph. #29-Ryan Blaney was second, followed by #88-Matt Crafton, #77-German Quiroga, #13-Jeb Burton, #51-Erik Jones, #19-Tyler Reddick, #98-Johnny Sauter, #00-Cole Custer, and #9-Brennan Newberry. 29 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Phoenix practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-6-2014)
  • Bruce Buffer To Serve As Special Emcee at Homestead: Legendary Ultimate Fighting Championship announcer Bruce Buffer will headline what is shaping out to be one of the most dramatic Ford EcoBoost 400 races to date at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, November 16. The “Veteran Voice of the Octagon” will announce a different type of battle, as he will introduce all 43 drivers, including the Championship 4 drivers competing for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. In addition, Buffer will introduce the race’s Grand Marshal prior to the command for the drivers to start their engines. Tickets are still available, but going quickly, for Ford Championship Weekend, where fans will have a chance to witness the crowning of three champions in NASCAR’s premier series – the Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Three-Day Championship ticket holders – fans with tickets for all three races of Ford Championship Weekend – will be able to be a part of history on three different nights, as Homestead-Miami Speedway crowns champions at the Ford EcoBoost 200, Ford EcoBoost 300 and Ford EcoBoost 400. Three-day ticket holders also will also have preferred parking, exclusive entrance through Gate 4 at the main entrance of the Speedway and access to the race track for the post-race Championship celebration.(HMS)(11-6-2014)


    News from November 5, 2014


  • HMS will pay fines for crew members: Hendrick Motorsports will pay the $185,000 in fines levied against six crew members for their role in a post-race fight at Texas between #24-Jeff Gordon and #2-Brad Keselowski. NASCAR fined and suspended four Hendrick team members, while the crew chiefs for Gordon and Kasey Kahne were also fined. Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt said Wednesday on Sirius XM that the organization would cover all the fines (ESPN/AP). Listen at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.(11-5-2014)

  • Changes at Roush Fenway Racing: Roush Fenway Racing is taking steps to right the ship. On Wednesday, RFR will announce the addition of respected motosports manager Mark McArdle as engineering director. McArdle will oversee all engineering for the organization and report to general manager Robbie Reiser. “My role is to provide the organization with better vision, increased levels of direction and communication to allow all the available resources to work together to find the solutions to the basic core problem of car performance,” McArdle said. McArdle most recently was director of racing operations at Richard Childress Racing. He held the position since the summer of 2013 after four seasons with Furniture Row Racing in Denver. The last two years at FRR, McArdle served as an intermediary in the teams’ technical alliance. He moved back to North Carolina to be closer to his family – ultimately the reason McArdle chose to leave RCR and join RFR, which cuts his commute in half. McArdle acknowledged he was grateful for the opportunity with Richard Childress and still has tremendous respect for the organization. Although McArdle will join RFR at the track this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, he only expects to be on the road 25-percent of the time in order to focus on the challenges back at the Concord, N.C.-based shop.
    RFR has also hired Kevin Kidd as its Sprint Cup team manager. Kidd, who currently oversees the #20 Nationwide Series team for Joe Gibbs Racing, earned an engineering degree at Virginia Tech. He also worked with McArdle as the race engineer on the #19 at Evernham Motorsports. Kidd’s role will be similar to Eric Peterson, who was Roush Fenway’s operations manager before overseeing the Nationwide Series program.(Motorsport)(11-5-2014)

  • Harvick to run classic Budweiser scheme at Phoenix: To celebrate the upcoming holiday season, Kevin Harvick’s #4 Budweiser Chevy features a special paint scheme for this weekend’s race at Phoenix. The paint scheme replicates Budweiser’s classic holiday packaging that was introduced this week by the King of Beers. The 12-, 18- and 24-pack bottles available in the holiday packaging feature classic labels from 1918 – the last label before Prohibition, 1933 – the first label following the repeal of Prohibition, and 1976 – the Budweiser brand’s 100th anniversary. In addition, Budweiser has introduced a limited-edition, handmade wooden crate with 18 bottles of Budweiser and two pilsner glasses inside, all featuring authentic classic labels. Only 10,000 of the wooden crates – handmade by Vintage Editions in North Carolina – will be available, hitting shelves across the country this week. The wooden crate is an exact replica of those stacked atop the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdale hitch (SHR/Bud Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #4 Team Schemes page.(11-5-2014)

  • Special fans scheme to run on the #43 at Phoenix: Aric Almirola and the #43 Farmland Ford team hope to rebound from Texas with a Top-10 finish at Phoenix International Raceway this Sunday. The team raced in the Top-15 for the majority of the race this spring and hope that their strong short track performances this season will translate to a good finish this weekend. Almirola has seven Sprint Cup Series starts at the one-mile track and scored four Top-16 finishes including his best finish of 12th. He tallied one pole, two Top-Fives and four Top-10 finishes in nine starts in Nationwide and Truck Series races. Farmland Foods has partnered with the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides support to families of fallen or disabled armed forces members, throughout the 2014 NASCAR season to support our county’s armed forces. As a result of the partnership, Farmland Foods is now donating $100,000 to Folds of Honor, which will provide scholarships to families of fallen or disabled armed forces members. Farmland Foods will highlight the partnership with Folds of Honor as part of a customized paint scheme on the #43 car at this Sunday’s race. The paint scheme was chosen by fans through a vote on Farmland Food’s Facebook page (RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(11-5-2014)

  • Hamlin talks about Texas fight and Keselowski: from the NASCAR Teleconference With #11-Denny Hamlin, the transcript, in part:
    Q). Did you have any strong feelings, thoughts about what penalty should be for the fight last week and what are they?
    DENNY HAMLIN: Not really. I don’t really have any strong feelings about it one way or another. When things are as tense as they are and your whole season comes down to kind of one cut tire by somebody else, you’re of course going to be upset. So who knows what should happen. But definitely it will probably be monetary, if anything.
    Q). Obviously a lot of debate about the move that Brad Keselowski made when he collided with Jeff Gordon near the end of the Texas race, whether there was a hole there or not. I was wondering if you had a chance to look at the replay and what you thought of the move, is it a move you would have made? Do you think there was enough room to justify it and do the circumstances itself maybe sort of justify it?
    DENNY HAMLIN: Well, I think going in, you know, I don’t know what Brad thought. But I thought from my perspective, if I was in that car and shoes, that I would have to know that I’m not going to make it through that hole without having contact of some sort. That’s fine. But if it costs somebody a bad day, you’re going to have to expect retaliation, which I’m sure he did. So you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.
    Q). Would you have made that move?
    DENNY HAMLIN: I don’t know. I think about that a lot and whether I would or would not. He was on fresher tires. So saying that that was his only opportunity to get the win may not necessarily be a true statement. He still had two laps to get around. And if you push the 48 there past the 24, it was a battle between him and the 48. I don’t know. You know, it’s tough for me to say. And his points position, his actual position, I didn’t have the tires he had. So everyone has a different way of doing things. But I think a common feel amongst drivers is that what they call that, people are calling that a hole that that was a very small hole. And the car is call it six and a half, seven foot wide, that hole was six foot. It was not enough that a car was going to fit without being in contact. Somebody was going to have to pay the price. It was Jeff Gordon. And it made him have a bad day.
    Q). Of course back to the fight. When you look at the aftermath of what happened, once you got home, what did you see there? What are all the variables involved that made that such an intense moment?
    DENNY HAMLIN: Well, I think it was the moment where Brad kind of blew Jeff off was when it set things off and that kind of goes back to what I just talked about, with Nate. That the times that I’ve had tussles with Brad and other drivers, it’s just oh, well, that’s how a race is, just deal with it. As drivers, you’re just looking at someone to say I’m sorry I ruined your day, I screwed up, oh, well, I apologize. When that doesn’t get said, then immediately it just lights a fire in your stomach that all he cares — he doesn’t have any remorse. It’s just like oh, well, it’s your problem. And I think that just lights a fire in your insides, especially when you just had a bad day and your season could have just rested on that one mistake or whatever you want to call it. I think that that really set things off. I think if Brad would have talked to Jeff and said, man, I was going for a hole. It was my only chance, you know, I’m really sorry it cut your tire, I think it goes totally different. Instead, it was oh, well, sorry, bud, you left a hole. If he did it to me I would have had the same reaction as Jeff. No question. I think that’s what escalated it the most.
    Q). Is it a stretch to say that Brad is the most disliked driver in the garage?
    DENNY HAMLIN: I don’t know. I can’t speak for many other guys. But I mean it’s just — there’s a lot of animosity. And that’s all that you can really say. And so I don’t know. It’s just something that’s happened and a lot of built-up frustration over the years.(NASCAR Teleconference)(11-5-2014)

  • Hendrick Motorsports Statement about penalties: Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal penalties announced Tuesday by NASCAR related to a post-race incident Sunday evening at Texas Motor Speedway. “With NASCAR’s new Chase format, we’re seeing an unprecedented level of intensity every single week,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Emotions run high when you’re racing for a championship, and that’s exciting for our fans and everyone involved with the sport. But there’s a line the competitors need to be cognizant of, and we understand that. “Jeff (Gordon) was rightfully fired up Sunday night, and it just reiterated to me how passionate he is and how much he wants to win. The No. 24 team is a group that works together and is loyal to one another. They have our full support as we go into these final two races.” Team members involved in the incident will not be additionally sanctioned by Hendrick Motorsports.(HMS)(11-5-2014)
  • Sad News – Gary Overman: Herman “Gary” Overman, 60, of North Wilkesboro, died Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. He was born June 16, 1954, in Iredell County to Herman Bean and Evelyn Call Overman. He was a mechanic with NASCAR race teams and worked for Junior Johnson as well as Travis Carter Motorsports, Team Rensi Motorsports and others. Mr. Overman was preceded in death by his father and grandparents, Lois Brooks Call and Brance Call.
    Surviving are three daughters, Patricia Johnson and husband, Chris, Samantha Call and husband Keith, all of North Wilkesboro, and Kayla Danielle Overman of Oklahoma; his mother, Evelyn Call Overman of North Wilkesboro; a brother, James Randy Call and wife, Vickie, of North Wilkesboro; a sister, Lois Call Sumner and husband, Ricky Sr., of Pleasant Garden; and four grandchildren, Gregory Williams, Nicole Call, Zack Call and Emily Johnson.
    A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014, at the Miller Funeral Chapel, with the Rev. David Wellborn and the Rev. Mike Church officiating. Burial will follow in Fishing Creek Arbor Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Miller Funeral Service from noon until 2 p.m. on Thursday, prior to the service.
    The family has requested no flowers. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 2361, North Wilkesboro, N.C. 28659 or to Fishing Creek Arbor Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 2446 Fishing Creek Arbor Road, Wilkesboro, N.C. 28697. Miller Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences may be made to www.millerfuneralservice.com.(Wilkes Journal-Patriot)(11-5-2014)

  • Jones to run partial schedule with JGR in 2015: Kyle Busch Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing jointly announced today that Erik Jones will compete full time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2015 for KBM and run a part-time schedule for JGR in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Running a part-time schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series the last two seasons, Jones has registered three wins, one pole, six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.7 across 16 starts. The Michigan native picked up his first career Truck Series victory at Phoenix International Raceway last November, when at the age of 17 years, five months and nine days old, at the time became the youngest winner of a NASCAR National Series event. This season, he added wins at Iowa Speedway in Newton and Las Vegas Motor Speedway and collected his first career pole in July at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. Jones made his Nationwide Series debut for JGR at Chicagoland Speedway in July, qualifying fourth, leading one lap and ending the day with a seventh-place finish. He followed his successful debut up with an eighth-place finish in the August race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Announcements on truck number and sponsor for Jones’ Truck Series effort are forthcoming as well as total number of races, his crew chief, car number and sponsors for his part-time schedule in the XFINITY Series.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(11-6-2014)
  • Fire Alarm Services sponsoring Smith: Fire Alarm Services, Inc. will be featured in its final primary race with Regan Smith and the #7 team this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. 2014 marked Fire Alarm’s second year of partnership with JR Motorsports. The company has also received associate placement on the #7 for the season’s entirety. Headquartered in Arvada, Colo., Fire Alarm Services provides superior Fire Life Safety and Security services and products for protecting client’s real estate investment.(JR Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #7 team paint schemes page.(11-5-2014)

  • New team to debut at Homestead: Mooresville, NC businessman Marc Browning has formed Browning Motorsports that will compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series starting at Homestead in November 2014. The team will field the #26 Chevy Camaro with sponsorship from myfreedomsmokes.com with driver Jake Crumb. Marc Browning will be the crew chief on the #26 at Homestead. Browning, originally from Dundee, MI, owns Browning Automotive which has NAPA Autocare and Collision centers, plus Browning NAPA Truck Centers that is known for repairing and servicing many of the NASCAR team haulers, as one is located in Mooresville. Browning has been in NASCAR for years as a suspension mechanic, car chief, and crew chief in all three series working with drivers Parker Kligerman, Alex Bowman, Landon Cassill, Johnny Sauter, Mike Wallace and more. Browning was most recently at Joe Gibbs Racing on the 18 M&M’s Toyota with Kyle Busch. Browning is slowly putting together a team of select individuals to run the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series in which several openings will be filled during the post season shuffle. “We have met with several drivers for 2015 but as of today we have not made that decision. I will say that I have no intention of riding around 20th, anything we field will be there to race.” Browning also has NASCAR K&N opportunities that he is considering but says it would have to make sense.(Browning Motorsports)(11-5-2014)
  • USO featured on Bayne’s car at Phoenix: Trevor Bayne’s #6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang will have a different look this weekend when it hits the track for the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Phoenix International Raceway. Along with the red, white and blue colors of the USO, the name of Medal of Honor recipient Frederick Ferguson will be carried on the passenger door of the #6 Mustang. Ferguson received the Medal of Honor on May 17, 1969 following his actions during the beginning stages of the Tet Offensive in Viet Nam. On January 31, 1968, Chief Warrant Officer Ferguson flew his helicopter through heavy enemy fire to rescue five American soldiers trapped in Hue, South Vietnam after their helicopter had been shot down.(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the car on the #6 team paint schemes page.(11-5-2014)
  • Admiraal returns to the #29: Kelly Admiraal will pilot RAB Racing with Brack Maggard chassis #042 in Friday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. Swan Rentals returns this weekend as primary sponsor of the #29 Toyota Camry. Swan Rentals is a premier provider of equipment rental solutions to the Energy and Commercial Construction Industries in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. They supply rental equipment such as matting, tank farms, oilfield equipment, construction and rig mats. Admiraal joins RAB Racing for only his fourth career NNS start and second at PIR. In 2013, Admiraal competed in his first ever NNS race here. The Canadian racer has also competed at PIR four times in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West since 2012, posting a best finish of seventh in 2013’s running of the Casino Arizona 50.(RAB Racing)(11-5-2014)
  • Andrews returns to MB as crew chief: Justin Jennings is set to make his first start at Phoenix International Raceway in the Lucas Oil 150 as NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Crew Chief Paul Andrews making the calls. Jennings will once again be piloting MB Motorsports’ #63 Mittler Brothers Machine & Tool / LG Seeds / Roofix / Excel Bottling Chevy Silverado. Andrews last worked with the team in 2011.(MB Motorsports)(11-5-2014)
  • Ogata to debut in Phoenix with hopes of more in 2015: Officials from Win-Tron Racing announced today that Japanese racer Akinori Ogata will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 from Phoenix International Raceway. Ogata will bring longtime support from longtime marketing partner ENEOS, as his NASCAR advancement continues under the watchful eye of Win-Tron Racing. Ogata’s mission is to productively accelerate his learning curve that will allow him to compete in additional races for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team in 2015. Ogata, a native of Kanagawa, Japan, started racing over 27 years ago in his home country of Japan, and through the past three decades, he’s steadily built a resume and recently moved to the United States to set forth his dream of competing in NASCAR. This year, he has competed in three NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races this season, as well as short track races across North Carolina. Since his last K&N race at Iowa Speedway this summer, Ogata turned his concentration towards making his debut in one of NASCAR’s national series.(WinTron Racing)(11-5-2014)
  • Mitchell to debut in Homestead: Mason Mitchell 2014 ARCA Racing Series champion looks to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, November 14th. Mitchell and his Mason Mitchell Motorsports team will field the #48 New England Energy Management, Wildlife Foundation of Florida F-150. Veteran crew chief Ricky Viers will lead the operation. Viers has seven wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with four different drivers including Kevin Harvick. Mitchell captured the 2014 ARCA championship with his first year team MMM. In 20 starts Mitchell earned 1 win, 12 top-five’s, 18 top-ten’s and five pole positions en-route to his first championship.(See an image of the truck on the #48 Team Paint Schemes page).(Mason Mitchell Motorsports)(11-5-2014)
  • Watkins Glen International Set to Repave in 2015: Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup announced Wednesday that the historic track will conduct a repaving project in the summer of 2015. It is the first time the track will be repaved since 1998. The repave will begin with “The Boot” in July, followed by the short course immediately following the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in August. The repave is slated for completion in advance of the 2016 race season. “This is a significant project for Watkins Glen International, our competitors, fans and track rental customers,” Printup stated. “The repave is a tremendous undertaking and next summer is the right time to begin this historic project and prepare The Glen for the future.” Asphalt specialists and engineers conducted a thorough evaluation of The Glen’s entire circuit and recommended the current timeline. Further details and project specifics will be released at a later date. As a result of the repave, the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Welliver will take place July 24-26. Information regarding renewals and ticket sales will be shared with customers in the coming weeks. Fans will be able to witness the project from the Fans R1st Viewing Area in the Argetsinger Grandstand. That area will continue to be free and open to the public through the end of October. Fans will also be able to follow the progress of the project via Facebook, Twitter and TheGlen.com.(WGI)(11-5-2014)


    News from November 4, 2014


  • NASCAR penalizes crew members and crew chiefs: NASCAR has assessed penalties to crew members from the #5 and #24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams for their involvement in post-race incidents on Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway. In addition, the crew chiefs from those two teams also have been penalized.
    Jeremy Fuller, a crew member with the #5 team, along with Dwayne Doucette and Jason Ingle, crew members with the #24 team, each have been fined $25,000 and suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points races. All three were found to be in violation of:
    ” Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
    ” Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty – involved in a post-race physical altercation with a driver on pit road
    Dean Mozingo, a crew member with the #24 team, has been fined $10,000 and suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points races. He was found to be in violation of:
    ” Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
    ” Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty – involved in a post-race physical altercation with another crew member on pit road
    Kenny Francis, crew chief of the #5 team, and Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the #24 team, have each been fined $50,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points races. They were found to be in violation of:
    ” Section 9-4A: Crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members
    ” Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
    ” Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty
    “While the intensity and emotions are high as we continue through the final rounds of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the actions that we saw from several crew members Sunday following the race at Texas are unacceptable,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR senior vice president, competition and racing development. “We reviewed the content that was available to us of the post-race incident along pit road, and identified several crew members who crossed the line with their actions, specifically punching others. We therefore have penalized four crew members as well as their crew chiefs, as they ultimately are responsible for members of their team per the NASCAR rule book,” Pemberton continued. “A NASCAR championship is at stake, but we can’t allow behavior that crosses the line to go unchecked, particularly when it puts others in harm’s way.”(NASCAR)(11-4-2014)

  • Some #18 2015 Toyota images posted: Toyota Racing posted a few images on their Twitter of the #18 M&M’s 2015 Toyota Camry that was shown at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Nov 4th. See images of the car on the 2015 #18 Team Schemes page.(11-4-2014)

  • Ty Dillon in the #33 at Phoenix: Ty Dillon will be making his second-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his first at Phoenix International Raceway. The NASCAR Nationwide Series regular finished 10th earlier this season in the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 at PIR and in two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races, Dillon has one top-five finish. The #33 Circle Sport Racing Chevy will feature Charter Communications on the hood this weekend. Charter is the leading broadband communications provider and the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States. Charter will also join the #62 Richard Childress Racing entry of Brendan Gaughan in Saturday afternoon’s Nationwide Series race. Charter was also featured on the #2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro at Charlotte. Dillon has competed in all three of NASCAR’s top series this year. One of only 11 drivers to accomplish the feat this season, the Nationwide Series regular raced in the second annual Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway in July and made his Sprint Cup Series debut at Atlanta on August 31. Dillon will work with crew chief Nick Harrison this weekend. Harrison has worked with several drivers this season, including Brian Scott, Paul Menard, Matt Crafton, Austin Dillon and Cale Conley. The duo worked together in Dillon’s Sprint Cup Series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this season where he finished 25th. Dillon was asked: What did you learn in your first Sprint Cup Series start at AMS that you can apply to this race? “Well first, the competition is that much stiffer. There is little to no room for error, even in a 500-mile race. Second, these cars carry a lot of speed and getting seat time and learning the race track during the practice sessions is critical. I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded with experienced guys like Nick Harrison and the crew. I’m really excited to have Charter Communications on board for this race.”(Circle Sport / RCR), see an image of the scheme on the #33 Team Schemes page.(11-4-2014)

  • NASCAR defeats F1 in American TV market UPDATE: The United States Grand Prix at COTA drew a 0.7 overnight rating on NBC, a bump in their usual number considering most GPs are at bizarre times for Americans. NASCAR drew ratings nearly four times higher than F1 overnight, earning a 2.5, according to SportsBusiness Daily.(Motorsport)(11-4-2014)
    UPDATE ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 2, saw its highest rating and viewership in two years, according to Nielsen Media. The race earned a 2.8 U.S. rating, averaging 4,749,000 viewers, both numbers up from last year’s race (2.6 rating, 4,179,000 average viewers) and the 2012 race (2.5 rating, 3,943,000 viewers). Greensboro, N.C., was the highest-rated of the nation’s 56 metered markets with an 8.8 rating, followed by Greenville, S.C., at 8.1 and Indianapolis at 7.1. Raleigh-Durham, N.C., was fourth at 6.5 with Knoxville, Tenn., fifth at 6.4. Rounding out the top 10 markets were Nashville, Tenn., 5.9; Charlotte, N.C., 5.8; Jacksonville, Fla., 5.5; and a tie between Richmond, Va., and Louisville, Ky., at 5.2.
    ESPN’s live telecast of Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas also saw ratings and viewership growth over last year’s event with a 1.1 U.S. rating and an average viewership of 1,633,000. Last year’s telecast earned a 0.9 rating and averaged 1,395,000 viewers.(ESPN)
    See past races for 2014 and 5-year comparison chart on the 2014 NASCAR TV Ratings page.(11-4-2014)
  • NASCAR Races Onto Nicktoons’ NickSports TV Block: NASCAR is racing into kids’ living rooms with an all-new docu-series on Nickelodeon titled, “Hammer Down,” which will premiere Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 10:00pm/et during the NickSports programming block on Nicktoons. “Hammer Down” is an original, four-episode series featuring four of NASCAR’s rising stars – Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Kenzie Ruston. It is the latest programming from a major sports league to join the sports block lineup, which airs every Wednesday from 9-11pm/et. Produced by EMMY Award-winning NASCAR Productions, the eight- to 12-minute episodes will give audiences an all-access pass into the young athletes’ lives as they aspire to become elite NASCAR drivers, while also enjoying time with friends and coming of age as young adults.
    The first two episodes titled “A Picture of Speed” and “The Family Business” will debut on Nov. 5 spotlighting Wallace and Blaney, respectively. In the episodes, the drivers will share their racing roots, walk viewers through a NASCAR race shop and garage and open up about their hobbies and the practical jokes that continue to bond them as friends. On the track, Wallace has solidified himself as a fierce competitor with four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career wins, including a stirring victory at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 25. A third generation NASCAR driver, Blaney is also making his mark on the sport with 10 top-five and 15 top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season. The final two episodes will be centered on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Kenzie Ruston, and are scheduled to air later this month. Larson won the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year award and the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship — and is the run-away leader of this year’s rookie standings in NASCAR’s top series, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As the highest finishing female in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history, Ruston brings a unique perspective to the “Hammer Down” line-up.
    In addition to “Hammer Down,” NASCAR Productions will create four 60- to 90-second vignettes that will air during the NickSports block. The vignettes will focus on key strategic NASCAR initiatives that reflect principles of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), the athleticism of NASCAR drivers and the sanctioning body’s Green efforts, among other topics.(NASCAR)(11-4-2014)

  • Waltrip eliminated from “Dancing with the Stars”: Michael Waltrip’s ballroom dancing career has come to a close on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” as he was eliminated from the show Monday night. Week eight’s theme was “Dynamic Duos” and Waltrip and partner Emma Slater performed a foxtrot as Tarzan and Jane to “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins. Waltrip and Slater received a score of 25 out of 40.(scores and more at NASCAR.com and ABC News)(11-4-2014)

  • NASCAR Numbers:
    18: The point spread between Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin (tied for first in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings) and eighth-place Kevin Harvick. With eight drivers competing that closely for four spots in the season finale at Homestead, Sunday’s final Eliminator Round event at Phoenix promises to be the wildest yet.
    14: The number of positions gained by Brad Keselowski by staying out on old tires under caution on Lap 253 of Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. That call by crew chief Paul Wolfe turned the race around for the #2 Team Penske Ford, eventually leading to Keselowski’s third-place finish.
    9: The finishing position of Chase driver Carl Edwards, who at one point in Sunday’s race was two laps down in 30th place. Edwards used wave-around and a free pass as the highest-scored lapped car to return to the lead lap. Over the last 81 laps, the #99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford showed a net gain of 21 positions.
    191: The number of laps led by race winner Jimmie Johnson in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. That brings his career total to 889, most ever at the 1.5-mile track. Bragging rights for most career laps led at Texas actually changed hands twice during the race, with polesitter Matt Kenseth briefly holding the honor at 834 before Johnson surpassed him.
    8: The finishing position of Kurt Busch in his maiden voyage with crew chief Tony Gibson, after Stewart-Haas drivers Busch and Danica Patrick swapped crew chiefs and road crews before the Texas race. Patrick wasn’t as fortunate in her first outing with Daniel Knost on her pit box. After hitting the wall, Patrick finished 36th, nine laps down.(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-4-2014)

  • Joey Gase and the #32 Zimmer Foreverhip.com car head to Phoenix: Joey Gase and the #32 Go Fas Racing team are ready to take on the Phoenix heat on Nov. 9 at PIR under the Zimmer Forever Hip Campaign. This will mark as Gase’s fourth and final start with the team in the 2014 season. “I am excited to race in the nation’s highest level of stock car racing once again and very happy to team up with Zimmer again so I can help promote Zimmer’s commitment to helping people make a comeback from joint pain. Phoenix is also one of my favorite tracks to race. I love the type of short track racing it promotes,” said Gase. Zimmer, the worldwide leader in joint replacements, has developed Vivacit-E Vitamin E Technology, the only hip replacement technology that has demonstrated it can keep up with today’s trends and demands.(Go Fas Racing)(11-4-2014)
  • Texas Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2014 AAA Texas 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:02 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 7:12 PM (all times are EST). I did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. ESPN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 136
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 56
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 80
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 39
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 56
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 28
    Number of times ESPN utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 11
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos ‘floating’ in corners of the screen): 168
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 55 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:02 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 7:12 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 250
    Minutes of race broadcast: 216
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 34
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 26
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 2
    Number of male enhancement commercials: 2 Many NASCAR fans report to CawsnJaws they find these ads very offensive
    Total race brdcst time 216 Total comm. brdcst time 34
    See past races, links to past reports, on the 2014 TV Commercials page.(11-4-2014)
  • AAA Texas to stay as sponsor through 2017: AAA Texas has served as the title sponsor of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup’s most dramatic race in the 10-race playoff for the last five seasons and on Sunday the organization announced it has extended its partnership as title sponsor with Texas Motor Speedway. AAA Texas has agreed to extend its sponsorship of the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race through the end of the 2017 season. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but with the extension AAA Texas 500 will continue to keep its namesake on the Chase’s largest-attended race. “We are always excited for NASCAR racing here at Texas Motor Speedway,” AAA Vice President of Direct Sales Vicki Foshee said. “The AAA Texas 500 has loyal fans, many of which are actually AAA members. Since both organizations share a number of high-focus service qualities it makes sense for us to extend our partnership.” Sponsors remain the lifeblood of Texas Motor Speedway and an essential component of helping continue its efforts to provide a one-of-a-kind experience to its loyal race fans. “It’s important for us to have AAA Texas to help us do things the way we do them – from paying the biggest purse to unicycle football in the ‘No Limits’ Garage Party and all the other things that we do,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “Those kinds of things cost money and to be able to try and do it as first-class and as usual as we try to do things here it’s important to us that folks like AAA Texas are good partners. We thank them for their loyal support and look forward to all the excitement that will unfold in the AAA Texas 500 for the next three years.”(TMS)(11-4-2014)
  • Good crowd at Texas: The Chase for the Sprint Cup AAA Texas 500 on Sunday drew a larger crowd than last season, Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage. NASCAR stopped giving attendance figures last season. Unofficial estimates placed the crowd at about 138,000. The fall race in 2012 had a listed crowd of 146,000. Gossage said this was the largest attendance for the eight Chase races to date. “You’d always like to have more,” Gossage said. “Good crowd.” The race went against the start of deer-hunting season in the state of Texas and a Formula 1 event in Austin (plus a home Cowboy’s game on Sunday).(Dallas Morning News)(11-4-2014)
  • Ingersoll Rand sponsoring Koch in the #44: Blake Koch and Ingersoll Rand will join forces to take on Phoenix International Raceway in this weekend’s DAV 200 Honoring America’s Veterans. Koch will pilot the #44 Ingersoll Rand Camry in his 25th race with TriStar Motorsports this season. This will be Koch’s debut in the #44 red, black and white Camry, as he will tackle the one-mile tri-oval for the eighth time in his NASCAR Nationwide Series career. In 2011 the Florida native made his best career start of 13th and finished the race 14th.(TriStar Motorsports)(11-4-2014)
  • Whitetail Club on the #2 at Phoenix: Brian Scott and the #2 Whitetail Chevrolet Camaro team are heading into Phoenix International Raceway this weekend for the NASCAR Nationwide Series DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans. Located in the heart of the Idaho Mountains, Whitetail Club is a secluded gated community where social and recreational activities are a part of everyday living. Whitetail Club offers a wide array of amenities including biking, fishing, hiking, golf, water skiing, and snow skiing. The beautiful family neighborhood is located in McCall, Idaho with a variety of modern mountain cottages and homes set to describe camp life.(RCR)(11-4-2014)
  • Texas TV Ratings: ESPN’s live telecast of Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas saw ratings and viewership growth over last year’s event with a 1.1 U.S. rating and an average viewership of 1,633,000. Last year’s telecast earned a 0.9 rating and averaged 1,395,000 viewers.(ESPN)(11-4-2014)
  • Phillips to move to NNS with KBM team UPDATE: They’re preparing to shuffle the crew chief deck at Joe Gibbs Racing. Multiple sources say Kyle Busch and longtime crew chief Dave Rogers will end their long-running association at season’s end, as part of a multi-divisional realignment involving both JGR and Kyle Busch Motorsports. While Rogers’ departure from the #18 team was announced in-house on Tuesday of this week, no one from JGR has commented publically on the move. Sources close to the team say Adam Stevens will move from JGR’s Nationwide Series operation to replace Rogers atop the #18 pit box. Stevens has gone to Victory Lane five times this season with Busch, and is the obvious heir-apparent to Rogers. Stevens will be replaced in the Nationwide Series garage by Eric Phillips, who has served as crew chief on the #51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Camping World Truck Series entry. Under his guidance, the team has won eight times in 17 starts this season with Busch (six wins) and Erik Jones (two wins). He won the Truck Series owner’s championship for KBM a year ago and is solidly in the running to defend that title this season.(Godfather Motorsports).(10-3-2014)
    UPDATE: The all-time wins leader among crew chiefs in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history is heading for a new home. Kyle Busch Motorsports crew chief Eric Phillips, who has earned 36 victories in the Truck Series (21 of them working with Busch himself), told Sirius XM NASCAR Radio on Monday that he’ll be going to Joe Gibbs Racing at season’s end to work in an as-of-now undefined position. Phillips served as crew chief for NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman in KBM’s Nationwide Series program last year. When KBM was forced to shut that program down and focus solely on its two-team program in the Truck Series, Phillips said he was asked by Busch to help on the latter effort. While wanting to continue on the Nationwide circuit, he ultimately decided to stay with the KBM Truck team to take care of, in his words, “unfinished business.” He feels that has been accomplished, and with two races remaining on the 2014 Truck schedule, Phillips intends to focus on finishing his tenure with KBM strong.(NBC Sports).(11-4-2014)


    News from November 3, 2014


  • Entry List for the Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted, 44 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #32-Joey Gase, #33-Ty Dillon, #66-Mike Wallace, #75-Clay Rogers, #83-Yeley, #95-McDowell.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in owners points): #75-Rogers
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): #75-Rogers
    See the full entry list at my Jayski.com’s Phoenix Entry List

  • Clinch Scenarios For Phoenix International Raceway: Below are the finishes each driver needs in Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway to guarantee a spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, regardless of the finish of any other driver:
    #22-Joey Logano and #11-Denny Hamlin: 11th or better; 12th and at least one lap led; 13th and most laps led
    #31-Ryan Newman: 9th or better; 10th and at least one lap led; 11th and most laps led
    #24-Jeff Gordon, #20-Matt Kenseth, #99-Carl Edwards, #2-Brad Keselowski and #4-Kevin Harvick only control their own destiny by winning Sunday at Phoenix.(NASCAR)(11-3-2014)

  • NASCAR to review the Brawl: NASCAR will study film of the post-race fight [at Texas Motor Speedway at the end of the race] involving #24-Jeff Gordon, #2-Brad Keselowski and a host of crew members, but according to Robin Pemberton, the sanctioning body’s senior vice president of competition and racing development, NASCAR has no issue with the incident that caused it. “I think it was hard racing, and this is a contact sport,” Pemberton said of Keselowski’s up-the-middle attempt pass on the next-to-last restart, a move that left Gordon with a cut tire and diminished championship chances. “You look at what drivers are trying to do. We had a couple shots at a green-white-checkered finish, and everybody was going for it. Nobody was leaving anything behind.” The brawl itself is a different story. NASCAR will review the incident in its entirety and decide if penalties are warranted. Keselowski already is on probation from post-race actions three weeks ago at Charlotte. “We knew the (new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) format was going to put a lot of pressure on people to perform and make aggressive moves and decisions out there on the race track,” Pemberton said. “You could see the result of that after the race. We’re going to take our time. We’ve got a lot of film to review and things like that. The important thing is to make the right decision at the end of the day.” Pemberton says NASCAR draws the line when drivers and crew members come to blows. “You shouldn’t punch somebody,” he said. “Everybody gets together, and when you’re holding onto each other and grabbing and this, that and the other, that’s one thing. When punches are landed, that’s a different scenario…We have a lot of work to do this week.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-3-2014)

  • Statement by Team Penske owner Roger Penske: “The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup has provided great excitement and intense competition. Brad Keselowski is a champion who competes to win in every race, which is what I expect of him. While the actions by others following the race in Texas were unfortunate, Brad has my 100 percent support as we now move on to Phoenix for the next stage of the NASCAR championship.”(Team Penske)(11-3-2014)

  • Gordon, Keselowski and Harvick comment on the ‘brawl’: #2-Brad Keselowski made a move on 1st the green-white-checkered finish at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday night, moving past #24-Jeff Gordon. Keselowski’s move resulted in contact with Gordon causing a tire to go down, sending the #24 scraping the wall and to the pits, losing a lap. The move was not well received by Gordon, his team or Harvick and his team as both drivers took issue with Keselowski on pit road, resulting in a three-team brawl after the race.
    Gordon’s comments: “We drove down into Turn 1 and he just decided to body slam us and cut our left-rear tire. It ruined our night. It ruined our chances, ruined our night, might of even ruined our Chase hopes. It’s just uncalled for. I had to show my displeasure. It got ugly down there, obviously, and you know that is alright. A lot of things are going to happen in the next couple of weeks.”
    IS THIS EMOTION THAT WE ARE SEEING FROM A LOT OF YOU GUYS A RESULT OF THIS NEW CHASE FORMAT?
    “It’s emotion that is a part of this Chase and this format as well as towards people that make dumb decisions. He has been making a lot of them lately. That is why people have been running after him and chasing him down. It’s why his team has got to defend him over there because of what he does on the race track.”
    TAKE US THROUGH THE FINAL RESTART AND THE CONTACT. “We were sitting there on a little bit older tires. I spun the tires a little bit but got a pretty decent start. We went down into Turn 1 and I just wanted to get on the outside of the 48 and out of nowhere I just got slammed by the 2 and it cut my left-rear tire. He’s just a (expletive). The way he races, I don’t know how he’s ever won a championship and I’m just sick and tired. That’s why everyone is fighting him and running him down. Your emotions are high. That was a huge, huge race for us. We had the car and had the position. I’m so proud of my team and I’m proud of Jimmie Johnson for winning that race and not letting that little you-know-what win that race.”
    YOU PULLED ON THE PIT ROAD TO TALK TO TO BRAD (KESELOWSKI). WHAT WAS THAT CONVERSATION?
    “There wasn’t a conversation. You can’t have a conversation with him. He gets himself in this position and he has to pay the consequences. I’m going to race him the same way he races me. That kind of stuff is just uncalled for and I’m not going to stand for it.”
    WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES AS FAR AS YOU’RE CONCERNED? SHOULD NASCAR GET INVOLVED OR IS THIS BETWEEN YOU TWO?
    “To them, I’m sure it’s a racing incident. But to me, it’s just a bunch of crap. The kid is just doing stuff way over his head. That’s just uncalled for. You’re racing for a win and a championship. You don’t go slam someone and cut their left-rear tire. If that’s what it takes, then no problem. We can do the same thing to him.”
    WHAT HAPPENED AT END OF RACE: “He cut my left rear tire. I went over there to talk to him.”
    YOU WEREN’T GOING TO BE DENIED TALKING TO HIM, DID YOU WANT TO SEND A MESSAGE TO HIM: “I wanted to do a lot more than that.”
    Keselowski’s comments: “I am doing everything I can to win this championship racing at 100-percent and that is something I am not going to be ashamed for,” Keselowski said, bloodied from pit road. If I was out there wrecking guys to do it, that would be one thing, but a little bit of rubbing is how this sport was created and probably how it should move forward. I don’t mind getting raced that way and I don’t mind racing that way. I got a little rub there at the end too from the 4 car and that was just good racing. I am proud of our effort but just wish I would have been able to make two more spots out of it. We were very close and will keep fighting the good fight.”
    Q) WHAT WAS YOUR VIEW OF THE CONTACT WITH JEFF GORDON?
    “There was a hole and I went for it. It closed up and we bounced off each other and kept going. It was just a battle for the win.”
    KEVIN HARVICK CAME UP HERE ON PIT ROAD AND GAVE YOU A SHOVE AND THAT KIND OF SET EVERYTHING OFF DOWN HERE.
    “Kevin likes everybody to fight for some reason. I came here to race, not to fight. I raced as hard as I could and these guys just didn’t like it.”
    Harvick’s comments: YOU HAD SOMETHING TO SAY TO (BRAD) KESELOWSKI WHAT WAS THAT?
    “I mean if you are going to run into people all the time you are going to have to fight your own fight, so I helped him get into it.”
    TELL US ABOUT THE END OF YOUR RACE. “Yeah, you just try to do all you can do. Obviously it was no-holds barred there with the 2. He was in bulldoze mode. I’m proud of all my guys on our Budweiser team. We fought all day and put ourselves in position to win. A lot happened at the end of this race, and we were able to put ourselves back in the hunt.”(Ford Racing / Team Chevy)(11-3-2014)

  • Knaus, Johnson confirm they will be back together next season: Following #48-Jimmie Johnson’s victory in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas, his longtime crew chief Chad Knaus confirmed he will be back as the leader of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team next season. Rumors have swirled in recent weeks that Knaus might step down or head elsewhere after a disappointing 2014 season for the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. But Knaus said Sunday night he’ll be back on the pit box next year. During his post-race press conference at Texas Motor Speedway, Knaus was asked about the rumors he might be leaving. “I haven’t heard any of that stuff,” Knaus said. “You write all the bad stuff, don’t tell me the good stuff. No, man, I’m set. I don’t foresee a change with the 48 car from a driver or crew chief standpoint in the near future. I don’t foresee that happening. If it does, I’ll have to be a reporter because I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do after that.”(FoxSports)(11-3-2014)
  • Sad News – Jim Sauter: Jim Sauter, a racer and father of four drivers including NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter, died on Friday night. He was 71. Sauter competed in 82 NASCAR national series races from 1980 to 2004, including 76 premier series starts. The native of Necedah, Wisconsin, made his final NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the Milwaukee Mile in 2002, racing against his sons Jay, Johnny and Tim. Jim Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps as well. A two-time champion in the ARTGO Racing Series in the Midwest, Sauter tested International Race of Champions cars with fellow Wisconsin racers Dave Marcis and Dick Trickle.(NASCAR.com)(11-1-2014)
    SERVICES: The wake for Jim Sauter will be held Tuesday night, November 4 at HARE Funeral in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, located at 217 W. Pearl Street New Lisbon, WI 53950. The funeral will be held at Our Lady of Victory in Necedah, Wisconsin on Wednesday morning, November 5, N11190 17TH Ave. Necedah, WI 54646. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Jim Sauter’s name to: Queen of the Holy Rosary School in Necedah, WI. (11-3-2014)

  • Elenz to be named crew chief for JR Motorsports: The trend is continuing at JR Motorsports for promoting Hendrick Motorsports’ engineers as crew chiefs. Dave Elenz will be the new crew chief for the #5 JRM Chevy in 2015. He is replacing Ernie Cope, who is taking the place of Greg Ives on the #9 crew with driver Chase Elliott. Ives, the former team engineer for Jimmie Johnson at HMS, was named Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief for next season. Elenz, a Gaylord Mich.-native who attended Clemson University, moved from the #88 team with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and replaced Ives on the #48 Hendrick team after the 2013 season. Ives spent one year with Regan Smith at JRM before guiding Elliott to the top of the standings this season. Elenz started at Jasper Racing, where he first met JRM competition director Ryan Pemberton. The pair worked together at Ginn Racing and Red Bull Racing prior to Elenz joining the Hendrick Motorsports stable. The #5 team campaigned with Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne this season.(Motorsport), the team is expected to change from the #5 to #88 next season.(11-3-2014)
  • Nationwide Entry List: There are 39 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans at Phoenix International Raceway. A few notes:
    Alex Bowman returns to the JR Motorsports #5;
    Jeff Green will be in the #10 for TriStar;
    Erik Jones will be in the JGR #20;
    Kelly Admiraal will drive the #29 for RAB Racing;
    Brennan Newberry will be in the #77;
    Chad Boat is in the #84;
    Carl Long will drive the #87.(11-3-2014)
    UPDATE: Tanner Berryhill will be in the #17 Toyota.(11-3-2014)
    See the complete list on the Phoenix entry list page.
  • Boat gets Phoenix sponsor: Billy Boat Motorsports announced a partnership with Vektor Vodka, an award-winning ultra premium vodka, for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, November 8. NNS rookie Chad Boat will pilot the #84 Vektor Vodka Chevy Camaro for his first-career NNS start at his hometown track. The 22-year-old will make his 14th and final start of the 2014 NNS season at the one-mile track in Phoenix, Arizona.(Billy Boat Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #84 team paint schemes page.(11-3-2014)

  • Mackena Bell to make Nationwide debut at Phoenix: Have you ever wanted to sponsor a big-time race car? Well, now’s your chance to sponsor a NASCAR Nationwide racer in one of the final races of the 2014 season. Carson City’s own Mackena Bell, who started racing an Outlaw Kart at 11 years old at Champion Speedway, will make her debut in one of NASCAR’s premier touring series on Nov. 8. Bell will drive the Rick Ware Racing #23 Chevy Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide series DAV200 “Honoring America’s Veterans” race at Phoenix International Raceway. Bell will be one of only a few female drivers to compete in the Nationwide series, following in the footsteps of Patty Moise, Erin Crocker, Joanna Long, Jennifer Jo Cobb, and Danica Patrick, who’s now a Sprint Cup regular. Bell is also the only female graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program to race in the Nationwide series. This is an important career move for Bell, who has been running in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East the past two seasons. It means she will be certified by NASCAR to run bigger tracks, something that makes her more valuable to teams in the ARCA, Camping World Truck, and Nationwide series. But in order to do this, she needs funding.(Nevada Appeal)(10-29-2014)
    UPDATE: Rev Racing history will be made once again at the NASCAR Nationwide Series DAV200 “Honoring America’s Veterans” race at Phoenix International Raceway this Saturday, November 8th. Fresh off of her second consecutive NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season, Mackena Bell will be making her debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Rick Ware Racing. The only female graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program will pilot the #23 Chevy Camaro. While Saturday’s race is not a means to an end, Bell has worked her entire life for the opportunity to display her skills in a nation series race.(Rev Racing PR)(11-3-2014)

  • Brandon Jones joins RCR for partial 2015 schedule: Richard Childress Racing is adding NASCAR K&N Pro Series driver Brandon Jones to their NASCAR XFINITY Series lineup on a part-time basis for the 2015 season. Jones, 17, is a native of Atlanta, Ga. and competed full time this year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East division earning one win at Iowa Speedway, five top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He finished the 2014 season fourth in points. He has also competed in three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events this year, earning a top-five finish at Dover International Speedway. In addition, Jones competed in three ARCA Series presented by Menards races, winning his first two starts at Winchester and Indianapolis and notching a third place finish at Madison, WI. He will share seat time next season with other RCR drivers, to be named later. This season, the #33 Chevy team has earned a victory with Paul Menard at Michigan International Speedway. Jones also plans to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Series on a limited basis in 2015.(Richard Childress Racing)(11-3-2014)
  • Phoenix Truck Entry list: There are 35 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. A few notes:
    Cole Custer in the #00;
    John Hunter Nemechek in the #8;
    Austin Dillon in the $13;
    Ben Rhodes in the #32;
    Brandon Jones in the #33;
    Ross Chastain in the #35;
    Tyler Tanner in the #36;
    Matt Tifft in the #45;
    Wendell Chavous in the #74;
    Jody Knowles in the #80;
    (11-3-2014)
    See the complete list on the Phoenix entry list page.


    News from November 2, 2014


  • Johnson wins at Texas: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 4th win of the season, 4th at Texas and his 70th career win. It is the third straight November win at Texas for Johnson. The race featured two Green-White-Checkered finishes. #24-Gordon had a decent lead with 4 laps to go when #15-Bowyer smacked the wall, setting up the first G-W-C. On the first G-W-C Gordon chose the outside lane with #48-Johnson next tow him on the inside and #2-Keselowski in third. On the green flag the #24 and #48 separated a bit and the #2 went between the two cars, with #24 and #2 cars making contact, causing a tire to go down on the #24, which sent the #24 scraping the wall bring out the 13th record breaking caution. Gordon lost a lap pitting to get tires. Johnson led on the restart and kept the lead to the checkered flag. Harvick was able to pass Keselowski and take 2nd. Gordon was relegated to 29th.
    #4-Harvick 2nd followed by #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch, #1-McMurray, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #42.Larson, #41-Busch, #99-Edwards (was two laps down at one point) and #11-Hamlin.
    Pole winner #20-Kenseth finished 25th after having a tire rub late in the race.
    After the race, #24-Gordon stopped his car next the Keselowski’s, got out and headed around the car to confront Keselowski. The two drivers were yelling back and forth when Harvick pushed Keselowski, which then set up a mini brawl that left both Gordon and Keselowski with blood on their faces.
    There were 23 lead changes among 7 drivers. There were a record 13 cautions for 61 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 132.239mph.
    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).
    (11-2-2014)
  • Where the 2014 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers finished at Texas:
    [listed by driver chase points position before the race](started)
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon, 29th(2)
    2) #31-Ryan Newman, 15th (7)
    3) #22-Joey Logano, 12th (10)
    4) #20-Matt Kenseth, 25th (1)
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin, 10th (20)
    6) #99-Carl Edwards, 9th (11)
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski, 3rd (26)
    8) #4-Kevin Harvick, 2nd (5)
    (11-2-2014)
  • Race Fast Facts – Texas:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson won the 10th Annual AAA Texas 500, his 70th victory in 469 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fourth victory and 19th top-10 finish in 2014.
    This is his track-record fourth victory and 17th top-10 finish in 23 races at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson had previously been in a tie with Carl Edwards for the all-time wins lead at Texas.
    This is Johnson’s 25th victory during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
    #4-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 24 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 18th top-10 finish in 2014.
    #2-Brad Keselowski (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in 13 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    #42-Kyle Larson (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.(NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-2-2014)
  • Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
    [after Texas, race 34 of 36]
    drivers who win in round 3 automatically advance to the Championship race at Homestead
    1) #22-Joey Logano [5 wins] 4072 [+13]
    2) #11-Denny Hamlin [1 win] 4072 [+13]
    3) #31-Ryan Newman, 4070, -2 [+11]
    4) #24-Jeff Gordon [4 wins] 4060, -12 [1 points ahead of 4th]
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 4059, -13 [1 points out of 4th]
    6) #99-Carl Edwards [2 wins] 4059, -13 [-1]
    7) #2-Brad Keselowski [6 wins], 4055, -37 [-5]
    8) #4-Kevin Harvick [3 wins] 4054, -38 [-6]
    Chase drivers eliminated in the first 2 rounds:
    9) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win] 2270
    10) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [4 wins], 2234
    11) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 2234
    12) #47-AJ Allmendinger [1 win], 2228
    13) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 2209
    14) #41-Kurt Busch [1 win], 2192
    15) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 2179
    16) #43-Aric Almirola [1 win], 2144
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc, with in that round of the Chase)
    See UNOFFICIAL drivers championship points standings on the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
    See the UNOFFICIAL owner points standings on the Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    (11-2-2014)
  • Unofficial Chase Standings using 2013 Sprint Cup Chase rules:
    [after Texas, race 34 of 36]
    1) #22-Joey Logano [5 wins] 2329
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick [3 wins] 2294, -35
    3) #2-Brad Keselowski [6 wins], 2280, -49
    4) #31-Ryan Newman, 2278, -51
    5) #24-Jeff Gordon [4 wins] 2270, -59
    6) #18-Kyle Busch [1 win] 2267, -62
    7) #20-Matt Kenseth, 2255, -74
    8) #99-Carl Edwards [2 wins] 2249, -80
    9) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. [4 wins], 2234, -95
    10) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 2234, -95
    11) #16-Greg Biffle [1 win], 2209, -120
    12) #5-Kasey Kahne [1 win], 2176, -153
    (11-2-2014)
  • Unofficial Top 25 in 2014 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings (not the Chase):
    [after Texas, race 34 of 36]
    (using current points system, but not the Chase rules, unofficial)
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon(C4), 1175
    2) #22-Joey Logano(C1), 1149, -26
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.(EC), 1108, -67
    4) #2-Brad Keselowski(C7), 1098, -77
    5) #4-Kevin Harvick(C8), 1076, -99
    6) #31-Ryan Newman(C3), 1060, -115
    7) #20-Matt Kenseth(C5), 1052, -123
    8) #48-Jimmie Johnson(EC), 1027, -148
    9) #99-Carl Edwards(C6), 1020, -155
    10) #42-Kyle Larson, 1018, -157
    11) #16-Greg Biffle(EC), 962, -213
    12) #18-Kyle Busch(EC), 954, -221
    13) #1-Jamie McMurray, 945, -230
    14) #15-Clint Bowyer, 939, -236
    15) #3-Austin Dillon, 933, -242
    16) #5-Kasey Kahne(EC), 911, -264
    17) #11-Denny Hamlin(C2), 909, -266
    18) #27-Paul Menard, 883, -292
    19) #55-Brian Vickers, 875, -300
    20) #41-Kurt Busch(EC), 840, -335
    21) #47-AJ Allmendinger(EC), 836, -339
    22) #9-Marcos Ambrose, 821, -354
    23) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 798, -377
    24) #14-Tony Stewart, 774, -401
    25) #43-Aric Almirola(EC), 769, -406
    (C# is chase driver and current Chase position)
    (EC is chase driver that has been eliminated from the Chase)
    (11-2-2014)
  • Texas Rookie of the Year Race Results & Points:
    #42-Larson, finished 7th, 15 rookie points
    #51-Allgaier 20th, 10
    #3-Dillon, 21st, 9
    #7-Annett, 22nd, 8
    #26-Whitt, 26th, 7
    #23-Bowman, 42nd, 6
    Truex, Did Not Race
    Kligerman, Did Not Race
    See the 2014 Rookie of the Year page for rules, standings and more.(11-2-2014)

  • Texas Notes & Facts – Sunday – race:
    ” There have been 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one NSCS event from 1997 – 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
    ” 18 different drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson with three each.
    ” Seven drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (three), Jimmie Johnson (three), Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have two.
    ” Roush Fenway Racing leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with five and Joe Gibbs Racing with four.
    ” The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Texas Motor Speedway is 31st, by Matt Kenseth in 2002.
    ” There have been three NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Texas Motor Speedway: fall 2006 (334/339), spring 2008 (334/339), and fall 2012 (334/335).
    ” Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway was the (4/4/2004) race won by Elliott Sadler with a MOV of 0.028 second ahead of Kasey Kahne.
    (NASCAR)(11-2-2014)

  • Kyle Busch running his 10th ‘triple’ UPDATEs 2 for 2 so far: Kyle Busch is entered in the Camping World Truck (#51 ToyotaCare), Nationwide (#54-Monster) and Sprint Cup (#18-M&M’s) races this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. It’s the 10th time in his career he’s entered all three series in the same weekend. Busch swept the entire weekend once, at Bristol in August 2010.(MRN)(10-31-2014)
    Trucks: Busch won the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 Camping World Truck Series race Friday night, leading 80 of 152 laps for his 42nd series win.(11-1-2014)
    Nationwide: Busch won the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge Nationwide Series race at Texas on Saturday, leading 116 of 200 laps for his 70th NNS win. So if Busch can win the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race, he will win his 2nd ‘triple’.(11-2-2014)

  • NASCAR owner plans to launch Formula One team in 2016: Gene Haas made the rounds Saturday in the paddock at Circuit of the Americas, enthusiastically shaking hands and attempting to convince people in the business of Formula One that an American race team will succeed. The past, the present and the future perhaps aren’t looking kindly upon his plan, but Haas is getting the pieces and finances in place for a 2016 launch of Haas F1 Team. “We’re just getting around the garage,” Haas told USA TODAY Sports after a day of meeting with F1 officials, manufacturers and team principals Saturday. “We had several people from different teams come up and shake hands and introduce themselves. We’re just becoming more noticed around here. It’s going to be a quick year next year, and I want to make sure people know who we are.” Haas already has a technical partnership in place with Ferrari, and he says things are moving forward with the plan for a team headquarters in Kannapolis, N.C. It’s a tough sell in light of the circumstances surrounding Sunday’s United States Grand Prix, but Haas remains optimistic. Two F1 teams, citing financial difficulty, dropped out in the week leading up to the USGP. Three others are said to be considering a boycott of Sunday’s race, although all three took part in Saturday’s qualifying. Perhaps best known to American race fans as Tony Stewart’s partner in Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR Sprint Cup, Haas, 61, is the founder of Haas Automation, a computer numerical control machine tool manufacturer. The last effort by Americans to launch an F1 team failed. In 2010, former Haas CNC Racing technical director Ken Anderson and former Williams and Ferrari manager Peter Windsor attempted to form USF1 Team, but it fell apart before getting to the racetrack. Haas said he isn’t concerned that his project won’t work. Originally scheduled to launch next season, he postponed the launch earlier this year to 2016. An American driver hasn’t raced in F1 since Scott Speed in 2007, but Haas says he isn’t looking specifically for American drivers, instead leaning toward drivers with F1 experience. At first, anyway. Given the current issues of F1 and the struggles of some of its teams, Haas thinks he could be in good position to find talent, especially experienced F1 engineers.(USA Today)(11-2-2014)
  • James and Krishtian Buescher Form The Buescher Foundation: At a press conference at the Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) for the start of National Adoption Month, it was announced that NASCAR Driver and Champion, James Buescher and his wife Krishtian Buescher have launched the Buescher Foundation. The Buescher Foundation is committed to providing financial support to families who have been called to adopt. Their personal experience has taught them that all children deserve a family who can help them grow into loving and caring individuals. The Buescher Foundation’s mission is to provide support and resources to families going through the adoption process domestically.
    The Buescher Foundation was established in 2014 by James and Krishtian Buescher who have experienced adoption first hand. Stetson Buescher, now 15 months old, was adopted as an infant by James and Krishtian Buescher in the summer of 2013. Adoption for the Bueschers was always the goal and Stetson was the next piece to the puzzle of family life for the Bueschers. All children need a supportive family who can help them develop into successful and thriving individuals and the Buescher Foundation’s goal is to give families the opportunity.
    Families that are adopting domestically and have been approved by an agency or facilitator may apply for a grant through The Buescher Foundation. There is no income requirement. The process begins with an application and a home study. Also required is a “look book” that tells the story of your family and proof that you are working with an agency or facilitator. Awards will be granted at the end of each quarter. “Having gone through the adoption process ourselves, we know what it takes to be able to adopt. Our goal is to take some of that stress off the families that want to adopt and give a child a loving forever home,” said James and Krishtian Buescher collectively.
    Also announced at the press conference at TMS, The Fraternal Order of Eagles, who is an international non-profit organization uniting fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope have vowed to donate $50,000.00 towards the Buescher Foundation. In addition, Great Clips, Inc. has pledged to donate $10,000.00.
    The Buescher Foundation will hold and support multiple family friendly fundraising events around the United States of America. One of the tentative events will be a fun for all ages carnival. On Friday, January 16, 2015 at 7:00 p.m., in conjunction with the Charlotte Checkers, the AHL affiliate for the Carolina Hurricanes, the Charlotte Checkers will host Buescher Foundation Adoption Night. To create awareness about National Adoption Month, The Wells Fargo / Duke Energy Tower in Charlotte, N.C. will be lit up in the colors of yellow and red on Saturday, November 22.
    The Buescher Foundation Board of Directors will be made up of: James and Krishtian Buescher, Johanthon Bobbitt-Miller, Todd Bodine, Susan Karli and Steve Overholser.
    For more information regarding the Buescher Foundation and details on how you can support the Buescher Foundation and apply for grants, please visit, TheBuescherFoundation.org and “Like” facebook.com/TheBuescherFoundation and follow on Twitter and Instagram at BuescherFNDN.(11-2-2014)
  • Grandstands sold out for Phoenix Cup race: Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today that the track’s grandstands are sold out for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Nov. 9. “The excitement generated by the new Chase for the Sprint Cup format and by Phoenix hosting the final Eliminator race in the Chase has made the demand for tickets very strong,” Sperber said. “Every race, we hear from drivers and team owners how much they enjoy coming to Phoenix and racing in front of sold-out grandstands, and we are grateful to our fans for their ongoing support of Phoenix International Raceway.” Although the grandstands are sold out for Sunday’s race, race fans wishing to attend the final Eliminator race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup may still purchase general admission tickets to PIR’s Hillside area. Great seats are still available for the DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Saturday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. MST at PIR, with prices starting as low as $35 before Monday, Nov. 3. On Monday, race week pricing goes into effect and tickets begin at $40. Saturday’s action also features the final “happy hour” practice session for the Sprint Cup Series race teams. The Friday, Nov. 9 Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race also has excellent seats remaining, with prices starting at $30 before Monday and $35 during race week. Tickets for Friday’s race also include admission to Gatorade Pole Qualifying for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, as well as practice sessions for the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series, giving fans a chance to see all three national series on the same day. Tickets for Friday and Saturday, as well as Sunday’s Hillside area, may be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com or by phone at 866-408-RACE.(PIR)(11-2-2014)


    News from November 1, 2014


    Don’t forget to turn BACK [fall – back] the clocks on Sunday, November 2nd at 2:00am
    (for those areas that use Daylight Saving Time)
    ALSO….a great time to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

    change those batteries


    ESPN.com’s Racecast – Live Coverage and Chat
    Racing Live! on ESPN.com
    Watch the race LIVE online at WatchESPN
    Listen Live Online at Performance Racing Network
    Ask in-race reporter #20-Matt Kenseth

  • Race Coverage of the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, November 2, 2014.
    Television (TV): ESPN at 3:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:00pm/et; green flag approx. 3:16pm/et
    RadioPerformance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, November 3, 1:30am/et, ESPN2
  • Happy Hour practice for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson 193.791
    #31-Newman 193.771
    #27-Menard 193.597
    #22-Logano 193.396
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 192.954
    slowest: #66-Moffitt 181.714 and #32-Gase 183.107
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Texas Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(11-1-2014)
  • Saturday 1st practice for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #99-Edwards 196.342
    #48-Johnson 195.822
    #14-Stewart 195.115
    #78-Truex Jr. 194.918
    #9-Ambrose 194.714
    slowest: #32-Gase 184.376 and #83-Yeley 184.735
    no speed: #33-Hill
    See fastest speeds, laps run on the Texas Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(11-1-2014)

  • Texas Notes & Facts – Saturday – drivers:
    ” 138 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas; 111 in more than one.
    ” Jeff Gordon is the only drive to have made all 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
    ” Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five; followed by Matt Kenseth with four.
    ” Matt Kenseth leads the series in top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 13; followed by Jimmie Johnson with 10.
    ” Matt Kenseth leads the series lead in top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 17; followed by Jimmie Johnson with 16 and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 13.
    ” Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8.818. Johnson is the only active driver with an average starting position at Texas in the top 10.
    ” Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Texas: Matt Kenseth (8.250) and Jimmie Johnson (9.455).
    ” Tony Stewart leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Laps Led at Texas Motor Speedway with 801 laps led in 24 starts.
    ” Jeff Gordon leads all active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers in Laps Completed at Texas Motor Speedway with 7,990 laps.
    ” One NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has won at Texas Motor Speedway in two different manufacturers: Jeff Burton (1997 – Ford; 2007 – Chevrolet)
    ” Two female drivers have made NSCS starts at Texas Motor Speedway: Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick.
    ” 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski (11/02/2008) and Trevor Bayne (11/07/2010) made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
    ” Two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Carl Edwards (2008 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep).
    ” 11 of the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Texas Motor Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Texas in his first appearance; Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman won in their second appearance at TMS.
    ” Jeff Gordon competed at Texas Motor Speedway 16 times before winning in the spring of 2009; the longest span of any the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    ” Only three of the 12 winning drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Texas Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (16) Kyle Busch (15) and Kurt Busch (13).
    ” Kevin Harvick and Joe Nemechek lead the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 23 each.
    ” Casey Mears has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway without posting a DNF (20).
    ” Jeff Burton (4/06/1997) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4/02/2000) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career race at Texas Motor Speedway.
    (NASCAR)(11-1-2014)

  • Kenseth on Harvick wreck: ‘I couldn’t feel any worse’: #20-Matt Kenseth and #4-Kevin Harvick met Friday morning at Texas Motor Speedway for their first conversation since a mistake by Kenseth left Harvick on the brink of title elimination. Though he can’t do anything to fix it, Kenseth hopes his error somehow would be rectified partly if Harvick’s title hopes are resuscitated. “I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever feel better about,” Kenseth said. “The only way I’ll probably feel a little better about it or whatever is if he makes it to Homestead, because if he doesn’t win a championship, at least it wasn’t because of my stupid mistake. But until then, I don’t know how much better I’ll feel about it.” Before his chat with Harvick in a Nationwide Series garage stall, Kenseth spoke with the news media about triggering a crash by Harvick at Martinsville Speedway. A 33rd dropped Harvick to last among the eight Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers in the points standings, and the Stewart-Haas Racing driver virtually needs a victory in Sunday’s AAA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway or the next week at Phoenix International Raceway to advance to the Nov. 16 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “First of all you hate making mistakes,” Kenseth said. “You really hate to take somebody else out in your mistakes. Being the new format and being Kevin is one of the favorites. Him and I have got along really good in the last five or six years, but the last eight or nine years, we’ve raced each other well. I honestly couldn’t feel any worse about it. Only way maybe you feel worse is if you wrecked a teammate. You hate stuff like that to happen, and then in this format, to take him out of that race with as much as I like and respect Kevin and (crew chief) Rodney (Childers).” Neither Harvick nor Kenseth were available after their Texas meeting, which seemed civil. Harvick has declined interview requests this weekend at Texas. He vowed retribution against Kenseth at Martinsville, saying “he won’t win this championship. If we don’t, he won’t.”(USA Today)(11-1-2014)

  • Roush cars to carry special decals on cars in Nov.: Throughout the month of November, Roush Fenway Racing will support partners Lilly Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association as they highlight American Diabetes Month and World Diabetes Day (November 14). In addition to unique video and social content, the team will carry special decals on all six of its Fords in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series [#6, #16, #60] and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series [#16, #17, #99] during the month )of November). “Diabetes is obviously something that hits very close to home for me, so I really appreciate that our entire Roush Fenway team and partners are helping to raise awareness during the month of November,” said Ryan Reed, driver of the #16 American Diabetes Association Drive to Stop DiabetesSM presented by Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang (in the NNS). “I’m proud of the work that both the American Diabetes Association and Lilly Diabetes do, and am excited to draw more attention to that.” Diabetes impacts nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States, with another 86 million having prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. American Diabetes Month takes place each November, with the goal of raising awareness of this ever-growing epidemic, with programs designed to focus the nation’s attention on the issues surrounding diabetes and the many people who are impacted by the disease.(RFR)(11-1-2014)
  • Sad News – Jim Sauter: Jim Sauter, a racer and father of four drivers including NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter, died on Friday night. He was 71. Sauter competed in 82 NASCAR national series races from 1980 to 2004, including 76 premier series starts. The native of Necedah, Wisconsin, made his final NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the Milwaukee Mile in 2002, racing against his sons Jay, Johnny and Tim. Jim Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps as well. A two-time champion in the ARTGO Racing Series in the Midwest, Sauter tested International Race of Champions cars with fellow Wisconsin racers Dave Marcis and Dick Trickle.(NASCAR.com)(11-1-2014)
  • Daytona International Speedway Names Florida Hospital as a Founding Partner: Two iconic Central Florida organizations, Daytona International Speedway and Florida Hospital, announced today a multi-year partnership that will make Florida Hospital the second Founding Partner at Daytona International Speedway, as part of its historic $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. Providing high-quality medical services and new fan experiences at the “World Center of Racing,” Florida Hospital will inspire the community to race toward better health. Beginning in January 2015, Florida Hospital Volusia/Flagler will be the exclusive healthcare provider of Daytona International Speedway, which includes providing medical equipment and personnel for all events, managing the care center operations and providing ambulances to handle emergency situations. The massive DAYTONA Rising project, encompassing the Speedway’s nearly one-mile long frontstretch, will be complete by January 2016. The project will transform the Speedway into the world’s first motorsports stadium with premium amenities and attractions unmatched in the industry. The Florida Hospital brand will be represented on one of five special entrances called fan injectors, including more than 20,000 square feet of engagement space. Within this injector, Florida Hospital will have a presence in one of the “neighborhoods” which will encompass retail and dining areas, as well as dozens of video screens to provide fans with non-stop views of on-track action. For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-1-2014)