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News from November 30, 2015


  • Hamlin to have knee surgery Nov. 30th UPDATE: #11-Denny Hamlin is scheduled to have surgery Nov. 30 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Hamlin injured his knee playing basketball in September and opted to wait until after the season to have surgery. He plans to attend NASCAR’s season-ending awards ceremony in Las Vegas a few days later. Dr. Patrick Connor, the team physician of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, will perform the operation in Charlotte.(Associated Press)(11-21-2015)
    UPDATE: Denny Hamlin had successful surgery on his right knee this afternoon. Hamlin is expected to make a full recovery in time for the start of the 2016 NASCAR season in February. The scheduled offseason surgery was to repair the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his right knee which he tore while playing basketball in early September. The surgery was performed by Dr. Patrick Connor of OrthoCarolina.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(11-30-2015)

  • SHR announces new crew chiefs for Stewart, Patrick: Stewart-Haas Racing has made new appointments within its competition department as the championship-winning race team wastes no time preparing for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
    Michael Bugarewicz has been promoted from race engineer on the #4 team to crew chief for the #14 team of Tony Stewart. The 33-year-old from Lehighton, Pennsylvania, replaces Chad Johnston, who has left SHR to pursue a new opportunity. Bugarewicz joined SHR in 2014 where in his role as race engineer, he helped Kevin Harvick secure his first Sprint Cup championship. Bugarewicz began his NASCAR career in 2005 at Roush-Fenway Racing in the engineering department, assisting a variety of teams as a race engineer in the Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series and Sprint Cup Series. Before coming to SHR, Bugarewicz was the race engineer on Roush-Fenway’s No. 17 team, where he worked with Matt Kenseth (2011-2012) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2013). Bugarewicz graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering (2004) and a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering (2005).
    Billy Scott has been named crew chief for the #10 team of Danica Patrick. The 38-year-old from Land O’ Lakes, Florida, comes to SHR from Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) where since 2014 he was the crew chief for the No. 55 team, which featured drivers David Ragan, Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip, among others. He also served as crew chief for MWR’s No. 15 team and driver Clint Bowyer from June 2015 through the end of the season. Prior to that role, Scott was a race engineer working under crew chief Rodney Childers, who joined SHR in 2014 and promptly led Harvick to the Sprint Cup championship. Scott came to MWR in 2008 after working in a variety of racing disciplines, including NASCAR, sports cars and sprint cars. It was during his work in the Truck Series in 2003 when Scott decided to focus on engineering. He attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 2005.
    Daniel Knost has been promoted to a senior leadership position within SHR. As manager of vehicle dynamics, Knost will oversee a number of the organization’s technical efforts, with a specific focus on track simulation and racecar performance. The 36-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, has been a crew chief at SHR for two years, spending 2014 with the #41 team of Kurt Busch and 2015 with the #10 team of Patrick. Knost joined SHR in 2008 when it was Haas-CNC Racing after earning Master of Science and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Knost graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.
    Childers remains as crew chief for the #4 team of Harvick and Tony Gibson remains as crew chief for the #41 team of Busch.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(11-30-2015)

  • Chris Buescher..no plans races with Front Row in 2016 UPDATES: Chris Buescher holds an 18-point lead in the NASCAR XFINITY point standings going into the Ford EcoBoost 300. Buescher held a Q&A session in the Homestead, one question asked was:
    Q) YOU RAN SOME CUP RACES WITH FRONT ROW [Racing #34 Ford] EARLIER THIS YEAR. ANY PLANS TO DO THAT NEXT SEASON?
    Buescher: “We don’t have anything planned for next year. I did get to run, I think it was six races what it ended up being, and I had a blast doing it. It was an awesome bunch of guys over there, had a lot of fun, and learned a lot as well. I realized real quickly how busy double-duty could get for a weekend in running back and forth between the garages. That made me give a lot more respect to the guys that do it every weekend and are constantly running because when you get out of the car, I remember Fontana was the first one. You get out of the car and there’s five minutes between XFINITY practice and a Cup practice and the garages seemed like they were a mile away there. It was a busy weekend. I was wore out by the end of it, but there’s no plans to do it next year, but what I got out of it this year was invaluable.”(Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes)(11-21-2015)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing owner, Jack Roush and XFINITY Series Champ Chris Buescher, answered questions at Homestead during the XFINITY Driver’s Championship Press Conference, a few were about Sprint Cup Series plans:
    Q) SPEAKING OF THE RIGHT OF PASSAGE, WHAT ARE THE PLANS FOR CHRIS NEXT YEAR?
    Jack Roush: “We are still not sure what his arrangement will be next year. He will be involved in a Cup car to some extent but whether it is a part time program or full program we are still in the midst of finalizing the conditions of that. We have a number of possibilities but we aren’t ready to announce that today.”
    Q) JACK SAID HE’S NOT SURE ABOUT WHAT YOU’LL DO NEXT YEAR. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED TO LEARN BEFORE BEING A FULL-TIME CUP DRIVER?
    Chris Buescher: “I think if you look and realize that Cup drivers come down to the XFINITY level every race there’s always something to be learned. They know that and that’s why they do it. To me, that’s part of just seat time. You’ve got to learn everything you can every race. There’s always something different about a race track. There are similarities between the two race cars now. Like Jack was talking about with the rules as close as they are now, there are things we can bounce back and forth. There’s always something to learn. Every time you get in a race car you figure out something. I’ve been clear. I’m not in a rush. If it comes around, that’s the first I’ve heard of it by the way, so it’s kind of like the radio interview where Jack said something four months ago and I found out from my dad. If that’s what it brings, then I’ll do my best to prepare for it and be ready and if not, we’ll go try and double up on these XFINITY championships. Right now, we’re living in the moment. It’s a big weight off our shoulders. We get to calm down a little bit and get to celebrate and enjoy the banquet – do some off-shore fishing while we’re out here in Florida – and we’ll go back and gear up for 2016.”(Ford Racing)(11-22-2015)
    UPDATE 2:, Since the finale, Buescher has been made aware that possibilities have developed for the 2016 season, with options in both series. “I look forward to the possibilities,” Buescher said. “I know in the past week that some things have developed, but I honestly don’t know what. They have told me we have some options, and we’ll talk to you about it after this is over to just try and not distract from the task at hand. We didn’t want to add stress to the weekend, or stress to the banquet.” Buescher added the plan was to celebrate the championship as well as the Thanksgiving holiday before returning to Roush Fenway Racing where the parties involved will go about nailing down the specifics.(Popular Speed)(11-30-2015)
  • Sad News – John Kennedy: John M. Kennedy passed away Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, at 2640 Cherry Road in Rock Hill, SC. He was born Dec. 25, 1939, in Chicago, Ill. Arrangements are entrusted to Wright Funeral Home (The Herald). Kennedy (racing-reference.info) ran 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races from 1969-1979 with a best finish of 14th at Atlanta in 1969.(11-30-2015)


    News from November 29, 2015


  • Best average finishes of 2015: Even if you win the most races in a year, you’re not guaranteed a championship or the best average finish over the season’s 36 races. Just ask #22-Joey Logano, who finished 2015 with the second best avg finish after winning six times. NASCAR Talk takes a look at the top 10 avg finishes among Sprint Cup drivers who competed in all 36 points races. 2015 Sprint Cup Champion #18-Kyle Busch missed the first 11 races of the season due to injury and finished with an avg finish of 10.8, which would be the third best. His brother, #41-Kurt Busch, missed the first three races due to suspension and finished the season with an avg of 11.1. That would tie him with the fifth best. Even with the Busch brothers removed, #20-Matt Kenseth, who was suspended for two Chase for the Sprint Cup races, would just miss out on the top 10 with his avg of 14.3.
    #4-Kevin Harvick; 8.7 – Were you expecting someone else? Harvick won three times in 2015 but the real mark of his consistency was finishing second 13 times, the most since NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison did it 15 times in 1970. He topped his average from his championship year, which was 12.9. He also tied his best avg., also finishing with 8.7 in 2010. That year Harvick also won three races.
    #22-Joey Logano; 9.2 – Logano, the wins leader in 2015 with six, earned a top-10 average for the first time in his seven full-time seasons. His average has risen every season since ending 2011 at 19.1.
    #2-Brad Keselowski; 11.1 – Keselowski finished the year with just one win (Auto Club Speedway), but he also only fell victim to one DNF (engine failure, Daytona I). Thirty-five races later, the Team Penske driver had his best avg finish since the 10.1 he earned in his championship year in 2012.
    See the rest at NBC Sports.(11-29-2015)

  • Cope plans another full season in 2016: NASCAR veteran Derrike Cope expects to run full-time in NASCAR’s second-tier Xfinity Series for a third consecutive season, the driver confirmed to The Racing Experts. Cope has competed in his self-owned car in 54 of 66 Xfinity Series races over the last two seasons. Cope’s best finish as an owner-driver was a 13th place effort at Daytona International Speedway in July of 2014. The plan for Cope, a one-time winner in the Xfinity Series, is to compete in all 33 races next season. “Right now, my plan is to drive every race, unless we can find a young driver that has the money that we can really elevate the program with,” he said. “Otherwise, we’re going to continue to keep somebody with a little bit more experience in the car and just try to take a very, again, methodical approach towards it, week in and week out, just try put numbers on the board.”(The Racing Experts)(11-29-2015)
  • Cyber Monday sale at Texas for the Duck Commander 500: This is your only change to purchase frontstretch tickets to the entire April weekend at Texas Motor Speedway (including Qualifying Day, O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 and the Duck Commander 500) plus a Pre-Race Pass at one low price. Tickets for the weekend and a Pre-Race pass for only $99 while supplies last. Individual tickets will not go on sale until February 12th, take advantage of the Cyber Monday Special and be the first to get your tickets.(TMS)(11-29-2015)


    News from November 28, 2015


  • 2015 Pit Road Penalties: Who was caught speeding on pit road the most this season? Who’s pit crew jumped over the wall too soon the most? Who drove through three or more pit boxes most often? With the season complete, the numbers can be tallied. With NASCAR’s new camera monitoring system of pit stops, pit road infractions – such as driving through three or more pit boxes, crew members over the wall too soon and teams not in control of the outside tire – were expected to be scrutinized more closely this season. Here’s a look at some key penalties this season and who were the leaders in those categories.
    Speeding Penalties
    #23-Jeb Burton … 8
    #11-Denny Hamlin … 7
    #46-Michael Annett … 6
    #16-Greg Biffle … 6
    #27-Paul Menard … 6
    Crew over the wall too soon
    #23-Jeb Burton … 4
    #32-Josh Wise … 4
    #41Kurt Busch … 3
    Driving through more than 3 pit boxes
    #47-AJ Allmendinger … 3
    #6-Trevor Bayne … 2
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto … 2
    #9-Sam Hornish Jr. … 2
    #13-Casey Mears … 2
    Crew not in contact with outside tire
    #47-AJ Allmendinger … 5
    #35-Cole Whitt … 5
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto … 4
    #55-David Ragan … 4
    see the complete list at NBC Sports(11-28-2015)

  • Congrats to David & Jacquelyn Ragan: David Ragan tweeted Thursday night, “@JacquelynRagan and I are having another girl. I better start saving double pretty quick!”.(11-28-2015)


    News from November 27, 2015


  • Lewis Hamilton interested in NASCAR: Lewis Hamilton admits he would love to take part in a NASCAR race “one day” after being an impressed spectator for the series’ season finale. Hamilton flew to Miami to support Jeff Gordon last week ahead of the four-time NASCAR champion’s final race in the series. The Mercedes driver is known to be an avid fan of America and American culture but has not raced outside of F1 since making his debut in 2007. Hamilton admits he has ambitions to follow in Gordon’s footsteps at some point in the future. “It was a really cool event, I hope I get to do one one day,” Hamilton said ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The reigning three-time world champion thinks there is a lot Formula One can learn from NASCAR, especially the access it gives to the fans. “I don’t know, I would have to really think about that but there are definitely things they do a lot better than us … Or for sure that we could learn from them. It was a great show, a great spectacle for the fans, a bit like DTM fans can get close to the garages in the background, to the drivers.”(ESPN.com)(11-27-2015)
  • Hayley could run some XFINITY races: Cameron Hayley was in the conversation for rookie of the year on the [Camping World Truck Series] circuit, but couldn’t quite keep pace with greenhorn Erik Jones, who won the points championship. Hayley, driving for ThorSport Racing, placed sixth overall. As such, his future in U.S. stock racing is bright, which is rare to say for a Canadian, let alone a guy from Calgary with the ink still drying on his high school diploma. “It was a lot of learning that went on, but we got a bunch of top fives (four), a bunch of top 10s and sat sixth in points by the end of the year, so I think it was a success.” If Hayley keeps climbing the ladder, the clamour is only going to grow. Right now, he and his team are working on securing a ride for next season, be it back in the trucks circuit or even better. “I’d love to do another year of trucks. I think I have a lot more to learn before I move up,” said Hayley, adding he hopes to have something in place before he visits his family in Calgary at Christmas. “But at the same time if the right opportunity presents itself I may move to the NASCAR XFINITY Series. “It all really depends on how the money situation works out and what opportunities arise.”(Calgary Herald)(11-27-2015)


    News from November 26, 2015


  • 3M to sponsor Elliott in 5 races: On the heels of Jeff Gordon’s retirement, 3M has decided to stick with Hendrick Motorsports’ #24 Chevy moving forward, but will be reducing the amount of times it is primary sponsor in ’16, sources told THE DAILY. The company will now serve as primary sponsor for five races for new driver Chase Elliott next season, down from 11, a source said. The switch is not part of a renewal, but brands often have the opportunity to reassess their sponsorships when a driver retires. 3M Senior Media Manager Lori Anderson confirmed the move. When the brand switched over to HMS in ’15 after a nearly decade-long relationship with Roush Fenway Racing, it signed on for the 11 races in ’15, ’16 and ’17. Whether the number will change again in ’17 is yet to be determined. Even with the reduction by 3M, inventory for the No. 24 is almost gone, as NAPA Auto Parts will be primary sponsor for 24 races, meaning 29 of the 36 Sprint Cup races are now accounted for, the source said. This comes after 3M recently announced that it was eliminating 1,500 positions – more than 1% of its nearly 90,000-person global workforce – as part of a restructuring effort amid a drop in sales and profits in the most recent fiscal quarter.(Sports Business Daily)(11-26-2015)

  • 2016 plans uncertain for Leavine Family Racing: #95-Leavine Family Racing set out to compete in 20 races this season. They raced in 16 events with an average starting position of 29.3 and an average finish of 30.6 across the season; the average finish of the team an improvement from 2014. The uncertainty of the future of the NASCAR ownership model has been a struggle for Leavine Family Racing as they work to attract personnel and partners leading into the 2016 season. While bigger, established teams have started preparing for Daytona, Leavine Family Racing is in a standstill – awaiting decisions by NASCAR in order to move forward. “Thanksgiving is still going to be pretty thought provoking because we have about eight different scenarios that our team could go in next year,” said team owner Bob Leavine. “It’s going to be a challenging off-season, we’ve talked about maybe getting contract labor to work later at night and have another shift at the shop to get the cars done. Committing to your first season as a full-time team is a big deal. You don’t go from 20 to 36 races without some planning.”
    Michael McDowell and the team are looking forward to continuing the growth in 2016 and beyond. “This year has had its challenges – we’ve had set backs with fires and things like that – but overall I feel that we’ve persevered,” said McDowell. “You know we are a small team, and we’ve accomplished some of the goals that we wanted to accomplish and we have to accomplish more still yet. It’s been a slow process, but we knew it was going to be that way. We are all really looking forward to next year and continuing that growing process.”(Leavine Family Racing)(11-26-2015)
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals at Daytona: Holiday shoppers looking to gift their friends and family with a first look at Daytona International Speedway’s new motorsports stadium will find a wide selection of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials at the “World Center of Racing.” On Friday, Nov. 27 (Black Friday) and Monday, Nov. 30 (Cyber Monday), Daytona International Speedway will have the following $55 ticket package specials available for race fans to select from as they conduct their holiday shopping:
    General admission stadium ticket for the 54th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 30-31 with a Rolex 24 event hat and garage access on Sunday, a savings of 21 percent.
    General admission stadium and infield access for The Sprint Unlimited/Lucas Oil 200 doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 13 with Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access, a savings of 27 percent.
    General admission stadium ticket and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the Can-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday night, Feb. 18, a savings of 30 percent.
    General admission stadium ticket and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 19, a savings of 27 percent.
    General admission stadium ticket and Sprint FANZONE/Pre-Race access for the PowerShares QQQ 300, the NASCAR XFINITY Series season-opener on Saturday, Feb. 20, a savings of 30 percent.
    Kids 12 and under are FREE in general admission stadium and Sprint FANZONE for the above Speedweeks events. To take advantage of the “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” ticket specials, race fans can call 1-800-PITSHOP between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. or visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/deals.(DIS)(11-26-2015)


    News from November 25, 2015


  • Busch to have surgery in December: #18-Kyle Busch has looked forward for months to offseason surgery on his left foot to have the plates and screws removed so that his foot can feel normal again. But he’s also decided to have a second surgery, one to remove the rod in his right leg. It’s not so he can feel good immediately, but it’s preventative. If he gets in another high-impact crash, he wouldn’t have complications of a possible broken rod in his leg. The 2015 Sprint Cup champion said Tuesday he hopes to have the surgeries on the same day in mid-December, possibly Dec. 14 or Dec. 15. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver should not have any problems being ready for the 2016 season in February. “I’m going to be down for probably, they said, about four weeks with the leg,” Busch said in a teleconference Tuesday to talk about winning the championship. “Just having to re-go through the knee and to cut the knee open again in order to pull the rod out, that’s going to be the most traumatic part — and just having that have to heal and go back together and let the muscle get back together, and of course the tendon as well.” Busch said he expects to be able to walk on his left foot right away following the surgery. “[I’ll have] rehab to make sure that all the joints that have been immobilized for the last nine months, we get them kind of woken back up in a smooth fashion and ‘break it in,’ let’s say,” Busch said.(ESPN.com)(11-25-2015)

  • New manufacturer for Front Row? Brian Scott joining? Front Row Motorsports is entertaining different manufacturing options for 2016. General Manager Jerry Freeze told Motorsport.com he’s assessing what the best opportunity would be for the three-car operation. In 11 seasons, FRM has fielded Chevrolets, Dodges and most recently Fords – since 2010. “There’s a couple of things we’ve been looking at really hard but we haven’t come to any final decision yet,” Freeze said. “We’re going to need to because we need to in the next week or two because we’re going to need the off-season to obviously ramp up with some of the changes coming down the pike – even if we remain doing what we’re doing. There’s a lot of changes coming down the road with the Fords, and we need to adapt to that. So it will be a very busy off-season regardless of what we do. We just have to figure out what’s best for us.”
    What drivers will fill the Front Row Motorsports’ seats in 2016? “We’re not there yet,” Freeze said. “Again, it’s kind of all tied up with what’s going to put us in the best place for competitive reasons – along with the financial part – and just kind of weigh out both the as much of the financial part and as much of the competitive part as you can to have the best package put together.” With Furniture Row Racing moving to Toyota next season, Richard Childress Racing could include FRM into its technical alliance. Currently, JTG/Daugherty and Germain Racing remain RCR partners. One option presented to Front Row Motorsports — that was similar to the deal presented to Richard Petty Motorsports earlier this year – would include Brian Scott as the driver with a built in sponsor. “There are certainly still some things that need to be decided,” Freeze added. “We’re just trying to stay in the mix. We’re just really, really, really trying to make this situation more competitive next year.(Motorsport)(11-25-2015)

  • NBC official talks about sticking with NASCAR on network TV Sunday: On Monday, [SI’s Richard Deitsch] spoke with NBC Sports chairman Mark Lazarus to get a sense of how the decision-making [to continue NASCAR coverage on NBC] came together. NBC was put in the situation because of a weather delay. The network had hoped the race would re-start at 4:30pm/et but it started around 4:50. Lazarus was on site for the NASCAR race. “We figured we would end in the 7:15-7:30pm/et. range but there were a few more cautions [flags] than we counted on,” Lazarus said. “It was a fluid process. From our team there was myself, [NBC Sports executive producer] Sam Flood and [president of programming] John Miller, discussing the pros and cons and the constituencies involved. First, there is the viewers and the fans of both sports. Then there are both leagues, NASACAR and the NFL. Then there is the advertising community. Then there are our broadcast affiliates who sell football inventory and NASCAR inventory. So there is a lot of input you are trying to balance to think through. As it appeared that the race would end in the 7:45pm range, we worked quickly and were on the phone with our advertising sales people, the people who work with our broadcast affiliates to let them know our plans. I also spoke with the NFL and NASCAR officials to let them know.(Sports Illustrated)(11-25-2015)

  • Gase wins Comcast Community Champion of the Year: During Monday’s combined Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series Awards banquet in Hollywood, Florida, Joey Gase took home some well-deserved hardware of his own. Gase was named recipient of the inaugural Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award. “Comcast created the award to honor NASCAR team members for their outstanding charitable endeavors,” according to a Comcast media release. “In addition to being named Comcast Community Champion of the Year, Gase received a $60,000 donation in his name to Iowa Donor Network, the Iowa-native’s charity of choice.” Part of the reason Gase was chosen was his advocacy for organ donation. When he was 18, Gase’s mother Mary Jo passed away from a brain aneurysm. Gase donated several of his mother’s organs, which led to either saving or improving the lives of 66 people. “I’m so thankful to Comcast for creating the Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award and recognizing so many great charities,” said Gase. “To be able to promote organ donation at a higher level by winning this award really means a lot to me, the 120,000 people that are on the wait list right now, and all those people who are donors and their loved ones.” Gase was one of three finalists for the award. The other two finalists, Martin Truex Jr. and Martha Nemechek, received $30,000 each for their respective charities. “We created the Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award to recognize the inspiring work from NASCAR team members like Joey Gase,” said Matt Lederer, Executive Director of Sports Marketing at Comcast. “His story truly defines what it means to be a Comcast Community Champion, and we are honored to have him as the recipient of our inaugural award.”(NBC Sports)(11-25-2015)
  • Pilot Flying J sponsoring “Battle at Bristol”: Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers in North America, announced that they have signed on to be the title sponsor of the Battle at Bristol – an iconic college football game to be held on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The historic racetrack will host a border battle between the Virginia Tech Hokies and Tennessee Volunteers and is expected to shatter the existing college football attendance record. This sponsorship represents a monumental company initiative for Pilot Flying J. From securing naming rights for the game – Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol – to using this pinnacle event as a catalyst to further engage employees, customers and consumers nationwide via multiple events, this opportunity will look to further position the company as a destination of choice in the travel center industry. Adding to the excitement, ESPN/ABC is confirmed as the broadcast partner of the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol, with time and final network to be determined at a later date. This sponsorship will complement Pilot Flying J’s current sponsorship of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Michael Annett’s #46 car. Following Bristol Motor Speedway’s legendary Night Race on August 20, 2016, the venue will be transformed into the world’s largest football stadium for the inaugural Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol game. With a projected attendance of 150,000, the event is expected to crush the previous college football attendance record, which currently stands at 115,109.(BMS)(11-25-2015)


    News from November 24, 2015


  • Drew Carey to Host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: The celebration will continue after the trophy is lifted at Homestead-Miami Speedway as NASCAR presents the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards hosted by actor and comedian Drew Carey. Live from Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 4, fans can tune-in to watch as the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion is honored with red carpet coverage beginning at 8:00pm/et on NBCSN, Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, followed by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards broadcast on NBCSN at 9:00pm/et.
    This year’s show will also feature a lineup of performances from award-winning musical artists Andy Grammer, Sam Hunt, Rachel Platten, and Sabrina Carpenter.
    As the current host of The Price is Right and former host of Who’s Line is it Anyway?, Drew Carey will bring a seasoned air of entertainment and comedy to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards stage. Best known for his self-portrayal on The Drew Carey Show, which garnered seven Emmy nominations, Carey has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including three People’s Choice Awards, an Editor’s Choice TV Guide Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    “This has been a tremendous year for NASCAR, and I’m honored to host this headlining event as fans all across the country tune-in to pay homage to the accomplishments of the 2015 champion,” said Carey. “I look forward to rounding out the 2015 NASCAR® racing season with a night of epic proportions alongside some of the greatest names in sports and entertainment.”
    Triple-platinum selling recording artist Andy Grammer will perform at the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. The pop singer best known for hits such as “Keep Your Head Up” and “Back Home” took America by storm in 2015 with his smash single, “Honey, I’m Good” turning it into one of the year’s catchiest songs. A deluxe edition of his sophomore album, Magazines Or Novels was released on Nov. 20 featuring Andy’s brand new single, “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah.)”
    The evening’s musical lineup will also feature country star Sam Hunt, who took home the honor of New Artist of the Year at Sunday night’s American Music Awards. His critically-acclaimed debut album Montevallo has so far produced three consecutive No. 1 platinum-selling singles with “Leave the Night On,” “House Party” and the double-platinum “Take Your Time,” plus his current platinum-selling Top 15, “Break Up In A Small Town.”
    Rachel Platten, one of this year’s breakout artists with her double platinum No. 1 hit single, “Fight Song”, will also grace the awards stage. Her current chart-climbing single, “Stand By You” will be released on her highly-anticipated forthcoming album, Wildfire.
    Rounding out the night’s performances will be multi-talented singer / songwriter Sabina Carpenter, who currently stars on the Disney Channel original series Girl Meets World. Carpenter released her debut album, Eyes Wide Open earlier this year, which features “We’ll be the Stars” and its namesake single, “Eyes Wide Open.”
    “The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards marks the pinnacle of our season as we have the opportunity to commend the drivers and teams for all of their hard work and dedication throughout the year,” said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. “With Drew Carey at the wheel and a lineup of performances from some of the most celebrated entertainers in the music industry, it will certainly be a finale to remember for everyone joining us in Las Vegas and the NASCAR fans watching at home.”
    This year’s artists will join a star-studded group of actors and musicians who have previously performed at NASCAR’s championship celebration, including Lady Antebellum, Sara Bareilles, Dierks Bentley, and Kid Rock. Part of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards is the headlining experience in a series of events that also includes the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Fanfest, NASCAR After The Lap and NASCAR Victory Lap, where fans get a front row seat as the 16 Challengers roar down Las Vegas Boulevard. Visit www.NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek to view the full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week schedule.(NASCAR)(11-24-2015)

  • Jeff Gordon may not be done driving racecars after all: “I don’t think he’s through driving,” said his [Jeff Gordon’s] manager, Zak Brown, whose firm, Just Marketing, Inc., has represented Gordon for years. JMI is the largest motorsports marketing agency in the world, matching sponsors with race teams and series. Four of the last five major Formula One deals were brokered by JMI. Brown (no relation to musician Zac Brown, who JMI’s Brown insists “spells ‘Zak’ all wrong!”) and his company only represent one active driver – Gordon – though they also represent former F1 champions Sir Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda. Brown is a former professional racecar driver who only last year stepped away from the cockpit of the United Autosports team he co-owns, which races primarily in Europe and Asia, though he still competes in vintage races. And he suspects that while Jeff Gordon may indeed be done with driving in NASCAR, he isn’t done with racing, most likely in sports cars. Gordon has repeatedly proven his expertise in NASCAR road races at tracks like Watkins Glen in New York and Sonoma Raceway in California. “If you look at champions like Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen, who left Formula One, took a breather, then came back to racing, I think that Jeff will take 12 or 24 months, and then when the right opportunity comes along, he’ll be back,” Brown told Autoblog. Endurance races such as the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona or the Twelve Hours of Sebring could be attractive, “and Jeff has shown a lot of interest in Le Mans. I’d be surprised if we never see him again behind the wheel of a race car.”(AutoBlog)(11-24-2015)

  • Moffitt named NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year: Lost in the shuffle of all that transpired in Sunday night’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, #34-Brett Moffitt was named the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year for 2015. Moffitt competed in 31 of the 36 Sprint Cup Series events this season, driving for Michael Waltrip Racing and Front Row Motorsports throughout the year. Moffett made his first start of the season, eighth of his career, at Atlanta Motor Speedway last March 1, driving the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. In that event, Moffitt started 22nd and finished eighth for a career-best and what turned out to be his highest finish of the season. “Atlanta was definitely the highlight of my year,” Moffitt said Sunday at Homestead. “Going into 2015, that was the one race I had on my schedule with Michael Waltrip Racing, and they gave me the opportunity. Michael, the folks at Aaron’s and Rob Kauffman (who owned MWR with Michael Waltrip) believed in me enough to fill in for Brian (Vickers) that race, and to go out there and finish eighth place was huge. You know, the time I didn’t even know what I was doing behind the wheel of a race car it seemed like.”
    Moffitt would pilot the #55 MWR Toyota until Richmond in April. Once David Ragan took over driving duties at MWR, Moffitt returned to Front Row Motorsports for the remainder of the 2015 season. “As a rookie, being with Front Row Motorsports was a really good home,” he said. “I learned a lot throughout the year, getting to race with 43 of the best drivers in the world is a learning curve, especially I have very limited XFINITY and truck experience, so a lot of these tracks were the first time for me. Just being able to get on the racetrack, being around them, trying to learn from them, it’s added up to a lot.” With only one scheduled race at the start of the season — Atlanta with MWR — Moffitt did not declare himself eligible for the Rookie of the Year award until later in the season, when it became apparent he would run the majority of the season. “Once we reached a point where I knew I was going to do at least seven races and wouldn’t be eligible in 2016 to run for Rookie of the Year, at that point we said, why not sign up for it and hope things work out, and they did,” he said. “And that’s really where Bob and everyone at Front Row Motorsports kind of made this happen, and they stuck their neck out on the line and hired a rookie, and it paid off.”
    Despite a consistent year that ended in with the rookie title, Moffitt’s 2016 plans are still up in the air. “Right now my slate is empty,” he said. “I mean, we’re working hard, but it’s hard to secure the funding to be able to run in any of the top three series. If anything would come forward, I’d be more than willing to work with any series, whether it was truck, XFINITY or another Cup ride.”(FoxSports), see Rookie Standings, History, Stats and more on the 2015 Rookie of the Year page.(11-24-2015)

  • Roush Fenway Racing restructures: Change is coming to Roush Fenway Racing. After the dissolution of the #1 XFinity Series team following Elliott Sadler’s departure, RFR “right-sized” its NXS program on Monday. However, despite the release of a significant number of employees, others will be hired as RFR restructures its organization. Kent Day, who holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson University and most recently worked at MWR following his tenures at Richard Childress Racing as technical director and Penske Racing as chief engineer. Day will oversee Roush’s simulation program. Kurt Romberg has also been recruited by RFR. Romberg was the chief aerodynamicist at Hendrick Motorsports for 15 years. He worked at General Motors and Petty Enterprises prior to joining HMS. Someone with knowledge of the situation told motorsport.com the net loss of personnel would likely be 25 workers.(Motorsport)(11-24-2015)

  • JTG Daugherty Racing makes crew chief change: Sources say Randall Burnett will oversee the #47 JTG/Daugherty team next season. He replaces crew chief Brian Burns, who will remain with the team. Burnett joined Ganassi Racing in 2005 after he graduated from UNC Charlotte with a degree in mechanical engineering. The 35-year-old St. Louis native – and former Late Model racer – most recently worked as the team engineer on the #42 Target Chevy under crew chief Chris Heroy. Burnett will join Ernie Cope, who spent the last season as crew chief for Chase Elliott at JR Motorsports. Cope will be JTGD’s new competition director starting Dec. 1.(Motorsport)(11-24-2015)

  • Petty talks about #9 driver plans: A week after indicating that Sam Hornish Jr. is unlikely to retain his seat in the #9 Ford for 2016, team co-owner and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series driving champion Richard Petty provided an update on the search for Hornish’s replacement. “Right now we’re just sort of in limbo,” Petty said at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “We’re talking to a couple or three different drivers and a couple different sponsor deals, so all of it’s got to come together. The way it is today you might want a driver but you can’t get anybody to back him up, and then you might can get the sponsor and then that’ll get the driver. It’s a chess game right now, and we think we’re almost there, but we’re not there right yet.” Among the more prominent drivers yet to nail down plans for 2016 are XFINITY Series veteran and former Cup driver Regan Smith, Michael Waltrip Racing’s David Ragan and newly minted 2015 XFINITY Series champion Chris Buescher. Whether any of the above names are candidates for RPM’s #9 remains to be seen, but this much is clear: Unless a driver can bring sponsorship, he’s probably not going to get much consideration from RPM. That Hornish wasn’t able to attract enough funding to keep the #9 team afloat speaks to the overall state of the sponsor climate in NASCAR. “It’s the same way with other teams,” Petty said. “You go talk to Hendrick, they’re out there struggling right now, Roush is struggling, Gibbs is struggling. Every team is struggling to try to fill their particular cars. Some of them has got them filled pretty good, some of them has got them maybe halfway and they’re still struggling to get it done. It’s just a trend of the times right now, and it’s tough on everybody. It doesn’t make any difference if you’re winning races or not winning races; it’s just tough.”(FoxSports)(11-24-2015)

  • Larson Planning Winter Dirt Return: Kyle Larson confirmed that he will contest a schedule similar to the one he ran last winter, beginning with the 75th annual Turkey Night Grand Prix midget race Nov. 26 at Perris Auto Speedway. Larson also plans to race his winged sprint car during the early January Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown at Cocopah Speedway in Arizona before turning his attention to the Jan. 12-16 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Okla. “As soon as our season is done I’ll go to Perris to do the Turkey Night,” Larson confirmed while at Phoenix Int’l Raceway over the weekend. “I’ll do the first three nights at Cocopah Speedway and then I’ll do the Chili Bowl. So that’ll be my open-wheel schedule for the offseason.” Larson’s focus the last few years has been on his career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, so he hasn’t done nearly as much open-wheel racing as he did while climbing the racing ladder. He said in the future he hopes to do more open-wheel racing when his schedule allows, but he said he needs permission from his team owner Chip Ganassi in order to do that. “I’d like to (run more open-wheel races), but I just don’t know about that. I’d have to get permission,” Larson said.(National Speed Sport News)(11-24-2015)

  • Gase wins Comcast Community Champion of the Year: During Monday’s combined Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series Awards banquet in Hollywood, Florida, Joey Gase took home some well-deserved hardware of his own. Gase was named recipient of the inaugural Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award. “Comcast created the award to honor NASCAR team members for their outstanding charitable endeavors,” according to a Comcast media release. “In addition to being named Comcast Community Champion of the Year, Gase received a $60,000 donation in his name to Iowa Donor Network, the Iowa-native’s charity of choice.” Part of the reason Gase was chosen was his advocacy for organ donation. When he was 18, Gase’s mother Mary Jo passed away from a brain aneurysm. Gase donated several of his mother’s organs, which led to either saving or improving the lives of 66 people. “I’m so thankful to Comcast for creating the Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award and recognizing so many great charities,” said Gase. “To be able to promote organ donation at a higher level by winning this award really means a lot to me, the 120,000 people that are on the wait list right now, and all those people who are donors and their loved ones.” Gase was one of three finalists for the award. The other two finalists, Martin Truex Jr. and Martha Nemechek, received $30,000 each for their respective charities. “We created the Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award to recognize the inspiring work from NASCAR team members like Joey Gase,” said Matt Lederer, Executive Director of Sports Marketing at Comcast. “His story truly defines what it means to be a Comcast Community Champion, and we are honored to have him as the recipient of our inaugural award.”(NBC Sports)(11-24-2015)

  • Dakoda Armstrong parts ways with Petty: Dakoda Armstrong and Richard Petty Motorsports have parted ways. The 24-year-old New Castle, Ind. native spent the last two seasons behind the wheel of the #43 WinField Ford. Armstrong earned one pole and posted three top 10s over the last two years. He finished 13th in the Xfinity Series point standings in 2014 and 12th this year under the direction of crew chief Frank Kerr. He also posted a career-best finish of sixth at Daytona in July. Sources told Motorsport.com Armstrong is still searching for a ride. Richard Childress Racing is among the teams that has been considered over the last few months.(Motorsport)(11-24-2015)
  • Homestead XFINITY TV Ratings: Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series finale from Homestead (FL) earned a 1.2 overnight rating on NBC, up a third from last year on ESPN2 (0.9). The 1.2 is tied as the second-lowest of the season for the Xfinity Series on broadcast television (eight telecasts), matching Dover on FOX in May and ahead of only Darlington on NBC on Labor Day weekend (1.1).(Sports Media Watch via Sports Business Daily)(11-24-2015)
  • Atlanta Motor Speedway & Kentucky Speedway repaving in 2016? UPDATE3 denied by both tracks: From an interview with Danny James of the Lane Construction Corporation. James is the Mechanical Supervisor responsible for overseeing the paving of racetracks such as Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway. James is supervising the paving the Dominion Raceway in Spotsylvania, VA. During the interview, James said Lane Construction has been contracted to repave Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway in 2016. The video interview which had been on the Dominion Raceway Facebook page, was removed Wednesday afternoon and the same video on YouTube is now private.(11-18-2015)
    UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway posted on their twitter: A repave has been looked into, but at this time, there are not any plans to do so.(11-18-2015)
    UPDATE2: Kentucky Speedway may be due for a repave in 2016, but it’s still plenty possible the track chooses to wait out another year with its bumpy surface. That’s despite what Lane Construction Corporation’s Danny James said in a recent interview circulating social media Wednesday. In a video published to Facebook, James said his company has been contracted to repave Kentucky Speedway and the Atlanta Motor Speedway, both owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. “I’m not exactly sure why he’s talking about what we’re doing,” said Mark Simendinger, Kentucky Speedway’s general manager. “If I were him, I’d be more focused on Lane Construction Corporation is up to — not what we’re up to.” Simendinger said repaving is something track officials have discussed with Lane Construction and other contractors. “Have we made up our mind with what we’re going to do? No,” Simendinger said. “We’re not going to ask (James) to make our media announcements for us. We evaluate it every year. We’re evaluating it right now. That shouldn’t come as a surprise.”(Courier-Journal)(11-18-2015)
    UPDATE 3: Atlanta Motor Speedway was last resurfaced in 1997 and today is among the oldest racing surfaces on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. While track officials are constantly monitoring the track’s condition, there are, at this time, no plans in place to resurface the track. A favorite among many NASCAR drivers, the aged, abrasive surface produces slick racing conditions and some of the fastest tire fall-off in NASCAR. With very little alteration since its most recent repave 18 years ago, regularly scheduled maintenance programs, including filling cracks with pavement preservation products, is performed on the 1.54-mile asphalt surface between races. Mild Georgia winters and the thorough maintenance program have played a key factor in the track’s longevity.(AMS)(11-24-2015)
  • Speedway Christmas Returns To Charlotte Motor Speedway: Speedway Christmas is returning to Charlotte Motor Speedway and the spectacular holiday light show will be even bigger and better in its sixth year. With more than three million lights, a huge infield Christmas Village and the unique chance to drive the track, Speedway Christmas has become the area’s best new holiday tradition!
    Speedway Christmas kicked off Saturday, Nov. 21. The drive-through show is open nightly from 6 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30 (closed Christmas Day). The infield Christmas Village, including movie nights on the speedway’s 16,000-square-foot HDTV, photos with Santa, a bustling Bethlehem village, petting zoo and more will be open every Thursday through Sunday night.
    Charlotte Motor Speedway is located at 5555 Concord Parkway S, Concord, NC. Take Interstate 85 to exit 49 (Bruton Smith Blvd.) toward Hwy. 29. Visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) for pricing, movie schedules and more information about Speedway Christmas.(CMS)(11-24-2015)
  • New Technology Enhancements Part of Daytona Rising Project: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) is pleased to announce several new technology enhancements as part of the unprecedented $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project that will help fans get and stay connected to the latest motorsports information and news. Just in time for Speedweeks 2016, fans will soon be able to connect to Wi-Fi at DIS with the help of ARRIS Group, a global telecommunications technology leader. In addition, fans will get to experience a new and improved mobile app, as well as interactive engagement stations to help guide them around the new motorsports stadium.
    “In our ever-connected world, consumers expect to be able to interact with their social circles and share their experiences in real-time from anywhere, and we are certainly seeing the same in motorsports,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “Bringing an unprecedented level of connectivity to DIS and motorsports in general was a non-negotiable when we began Daytona Rising, and we’re excited to work with ARRIS to help us accomplish this goal.”
    ARRIS will provide Wi-Fi access to some of the most high traffic areas of DIS to offer fans more connectivity than ever before. Through a multi-phased rollout, fans will be able to log in throughout the concourses and neighborhoods in the nearly mile-long frontstretch. Fans in the Midway and Sprint FANZONE will be able to connect to the ARRIS network as well. This installation will be complete in time for Speedweeks 2016 with additional areas of the property gaining Wi-Fi access later in the year.
    “ARRIS is providing high-speed Wi-Fi to Daytona-making it possible for fans to share, post and stream their experiences on race weekends,” said Ron Coppock, President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing at ARRIS. “Daytona Rising redefines the NASCAR experience, and we’re proud to support this vision. Our network technology and services will bring fans’ experiences to life in and around the track, while they continue to transform the crucial communications link between drivers and crews.”
    In addition, a brand new version of the DIS mobile app will launch by the end of January to help fans take full advantage of the amenities and offerings that the new motorsports stadium will provide. The updated app for iOS and Android devices will include several exciting mobile features such as Bluetooth-based indoor and GPS-based outdoor turn-by-turn navigation, location-based proximity engagement, and the ability to drop pins to remember certain locations like your parking spot powered by SPREO Indoor Location Solutions. It will also include an interactive GPS facility map and dynamic experiences with DIS Founding Partners in each of the new injectors/entrances.(DIS)(11-24-2015)
  • Black Friday Blowout Sale Offers Fans Incredible Deals at CMS: Black Friday 2015 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will provide fans a one-day opportunity to drive in the tire-tracks of NASCAR legends with qualifying purchases of race tickets, pit passes or souvenir merchandise. Shoppers who spend at least $50 or donate $25 to Speedway Children’s Charities can drive their personal vehicle for three laps around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway. During the one-day-only Black Friday Blowout Sale on Nov. 27, bargain-hunters will find souvenir items priced as low as $1. Ticket specials include gift cards, half-price pit passes and free pole night tickets with qualifying purchases. The Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office and all souvenir haulers will open with discounted sale items at 8:00am/et. Track drives for qualifying purchasers will take place between 8:00am and 3:30pm. The Black Friday Blowout Sale concludes at 4:00pm. For more information on the Black Friday Blowout Sale at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans should contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(11-24-2015)
  • Darlington Raceway Offers Black Friday Deal: Darlington Raceway is offering race fans the opportunity to purchase a special Black Friday ticket package for its Labor Day weekend events on Sept. 2-4, 2016. The package includes a ticket to all three days of racing at the famed South Carolina track. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Sunday, Sept. 4, NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 on Saturday, Sept. 3, and practice day on Friday, Sept. 2, are all included in the package. More info at DarlingtonRaceway.com.(Darlington Raceway)(11-24-2015)


    News from November 23, 2015


  • Homestead TV Ratings UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Homestead, the final race in the Chase For the Sprint Cup, had a 4.4 overnight rating on NBC and NBCSN Sunday – up 52% from last year (2.9) and up 63% from 2013 (2.7), both on ESPN. Kyle Busch’s win, which clinched the Sprint Cup, scored the highest overnight for NASCAR’s season finale since 2005, when the race drew a 4.8 on NBC. The last time the race aired on a broadcast network, 2009, it had a 3.2 overnight on ABC. The last time it aired on NBC, 2006, it had a 4.3. Overall, the 4.4 overnight is the fourth-highest ever for the annual Homestead race, which began in 1999 – trailing only 2005, 2004 (5.6) and 2002 (4.5). It is also the highest for a Sprint Cup race since Atlanta in March (5.1) and the third-highest of the season overall, trailing only Atlanta and the Daytona 500 (7.3). Sunday’s race benefited from several factors. Jeff Gordon was participating in his final race and had a chance to win the championship. The race aired on two networks, which usually provides a bump. Most importantly, rain pushed the finish into primetime – preempting the first 50 minutes of NBC’s Football Night in America.(Sports Media Watch / NBC Sports PR Twitter.(11-23-2015)
    UPDATE: NBC Sports Group presented the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship last night (Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015), featuring the primary broadcast on NBC and spotlight coverage of the four drivers racing for the 2015 title on NBCSN. After the smoke cleared from Kyle Busch’s victory burnouts and fans witnessed the final bow of Jeff Gordon’s iconic career, fast national data provided by The Nielsen Company shows that the event was the most-watched NASCAR Championship in a decade. The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship on NBC and NBCSN averaged 7.64 million viewers and posted a combined 4.42 national HH rating, marking increases of +46% (vs. 5.22 million) and +41% (vs. 3.14 HH), respectively, over last year’s presentation on ESPN. The 7.64 million viewers make last night’s event the most-watched NASCAR season finale since NBC presented the championship event in 2005 (9.46 million). Viewing peaked from 7:45P-7:56 p.m. ET with nearly 12.4 million average viewers as Kyle Busch battled Kevin Harvick for the title, ranking as the largest peak audience for NASCAR since the 2015 Daytona 500. Last night’s race stands as NASCAR’s most-watched Fall race (Sept-Nov) since 2006’s Charlotte race on NBC (7.797 million)(NBC)
    See past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(11-23-2015)

  • NASCAR defends late-race debris caution in Homestead finale: NASCAR defended its late-race caution Sunday, saying there was a piece of metal on the track, which created led to the final restart.Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, told “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the piece of metal was spotted by an official on the flagstand and confirmed via camera, causing the final caution and negating #18-Kyle Busch’s significant lead. Busch took off on the final restart and cruised to the win and the Sprint Cup championship. O’Donnell explained the situation with debris cautions in general and the final caution in particular. “We’ve got multiple spotters out there,” O’Donnell said, noting officials are positioned around the track. “If fans could go back and replay the radio chatter up to the tower during that race, I’m going to say we had upwards of 100 different reports from drivers calling in debris – many of them about to fall a lap down. We’ve got to vet a lot of that. We’re certainly going to rely on our spotters, who call something in. We’ve got 20 different camera angles we can look at. We can zoom in on anywhere on the track. Rest assured, we know the stakes are very high and in that situation in the final caution our flagman saw metal right below him in the groove. We looked and we confirmed that it was there and made the call. A car ended up hitting it as they were going around so it went down to the yellow portion of the track. I know television showed a water bottle unfortunately but then came back. When there is metal on the track we’re going to make the call each and every time.”(NBC Sports)(11-23-2015)

  • New crew chief for Stewart in 2016? Sources say Mike Bugarewicz will be named in the crew chief role on the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing team for Tony Stewart’s final Sprint Cup season. “Buga”, who worked as the race engineer on the #4 Budweiser Chevy the last two seasons, replaces Chad Johnston. Bugarewicz was recruited by crew chief Rodney Childers and joined the team in December 2013 – prior to Harvick’s 2014 championship run. Bugarewicz earned his Masters and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University and took a job with Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the 2005 season. Johnston has already found a new home at Chip Ganassi Racing (Motorsport)(11-23-2015)

  • New crew chief for Larson in 2016 UPDATE: Chad Johnston will guide Kyle Larson and the #42 Target Chevy at Chip Ganassi Racing, sources say. Johnston, who replaces Chris Heroy, led Tony Stewart and the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing team for the past two seasons. Prior to SHR, Johnston, 35, guided Martin Truex Jr. at Michael Waltrip Racing. He was displaced when MWR lost the NAPA sponsorship following the 2013 season. The second-generation racer graduated from Indiana State with a degree in mechanical engineering. Johnston started his career in the aerospace industry before his passion for racing carried him to the Camping World Truck Series in 2004. After a short stint at Evernham Motorsports he joined MWR in 2009 and became Pat Tryson’s engineer the following season. Johnston was promoted to crew chief for the 2011 June Pocono race. In his first full season with Truex and the No. 56 team qualified for the Chase. The following year, Johnston guided the team back to Victory Lane with the win at Sonoma – Truex’s second career victory. Johnston starts his new role on Tuesday (Motorsport)(11-23-2015)
    UPDATE: Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (TCGRFS) announced that Chad Johnston has been named crew chief for Kyle Larson and the #42 Target team. Johnston will assume the role effective immediately to begin preparation for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season. Johnston joins TCGRFS from Stewart-Haas Racing, where he has been the crew chief for Tony Stewart and the #14 Chevy since the 2014 season. Johnston also served as crew chief for Martin Truex, Jr. and the #56 at Michael Waltrip Racing from 2011 – 2013. Johnston has one career NSCS race win as a crew chief (2013 Sonoma) and helped guide Truex Jr. into The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup during the 2012 season. Johnston has also worked in NASCAR as a race engineer at Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, Evernham Motorsports, and JTG Daugherty Racing before serving as a crew chief. The Cayuga, Ind. native graduated from Indiana State University with a major in mechanical engineering, and briefly worked in the aerospace industry before his passion for motorsports brought him to NASCAR and the Camping World Truck Series in 2004. Larson will begin his third full-time season in the NSCS in 2016. The 2014 NSCS Rookie of the Year is coming off of a season that featured two top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. In 75 career NSCS starts he has accumulated one pole award, 10 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.
    TCGRFS Quote Board:
    Chip Ganassi, Owner, TCGRFS: “We are very much looking forward to having Chad join the No. 42 team, and excited for the fresh perspective that he brings. We fully expect the combination of Chad and Kyle to be the foundation of the No. 42 team for years to come. Chad is a race-winning crew chief and has helped steer a team into The Chase, two goals we have each season for our teams. I think his background and experience with veteran drivers will help as we look to continue to build on Kyle and the team’s success in the Sprint Cup Series.”
    Chad Johnston, Crew Chief, #42 Target Team: “I am very excited for the opportunity to be joining Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and the opportunity to work with Kyle Larson. The organization has a great reputation in numerous forms of racing, and I’m looking forward to adding to that reputation in NASCAR. Kyle is certainly a unique talent, and I’m eager to get to work with him and the team as we look to build a foundation of success.”
    Kyle Larson, #42 Target Chevrolet: “I’m excited to get to work with Chad and to start doing what needs to be done to get the team to victory lane next year. As a team, I think we are very close and the addition of Chad should help move our program forward for many years to come. Lastly, I would also like to thank Chris for all he did to help me grow in my first two seasons in the Cup series.”(CGR), no word on former crew chief Chris Heroy’s plans for 2016.(11-23-2015)

  • Danica may get a new crew chief in 2016? UPDATE: In her third full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Danica Patrick has shown some improvements from her first two years as driver of the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy. Those improvements might not be enough for crew chief Daniel Knost to keep his job, however. Speaking with FOXSports.com in an exclusive interview on Sunday morning in the Homestead-Miami Speedway garage, Knost — who worked was crew chief for SHR’s Kurt Busch for 33 races being tapped to call the shots for Patrick’s team late last year — was non-committal about what his role will be in 2016. “I’m still working with the company on what all I’m going to be doing,” said Knost, who has a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and worked as an engineer for SHR before becoming a crew chief. “I’m working with the company on what my future role is going to be for many years out. We’ve got a good, solid group. I want to see most of that stay together. Inevitably there is some change in racing on all teams, and quite frankly, when you have a program like what Stewart-Haas has got, a lot of people are interested in what you’re doing so it’s hard to maintain a really good team for a long time, just because opportunities open up for people.”(see full article at FoxSports)(11-23-2015)
    UPDATE: Billy Scott is expected to take over as crew chief for Danica Patrick and the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy in 2016. Sources say that Scott will replace Daniel Knost, who started with Kurt Busch and the #41 Haas Automation Chevy in 2014 before moving to the #14 car with four races remaining in the season. Scott honed his skills as a mechanic in the Camping World Truck Series prior earning his engineering degree. Following graduation, he joined Robert Yates Racing in 2005 before joining Michael Waltrip Racing in 2008. After working under Rodney Childers as team engineer on the #55 Toyota, Scott prepared to take over crew chief’s role in August 2013. Childers left MWR for Stewart-Haas Racing and Scott apprenticed with interim crew chief and vice president of competition Scott Miller. In 2014, Scott was promoted to crew chief for Brian Vickers. This season, Scott worked with Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Michael Waltrip and Vickers (Motorsport)(11-23-2015)
  • Homestead Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2015 Ford Ecoboost 400: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 4:18 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 7:53 PM (all times are EST). Did not keep records for the pre- and post-race coverage. NBC was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 123
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 58
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 96
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 56
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 27
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 23
    Number of times NBC utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 23 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 4:18 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 7:53 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 215
    Minutes of race broadcast: 171
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 44
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 11
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 171 Total comm. brdcst time 44
    See full reports, sponsor links, many more details at CawnJaws.com.(11-23-2015)
  • NXS, NCWTS Champs, top rookies honored at banquet: One night after Kyle Busch took a bow as a first-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, he helped to toast the youngster who brought him his first driver’s title as a team owner. With milk.
    On a night for honoring new champions, Erik Jones and Chris Buescher took center stage at the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series Awards at the Diplomat Resort and Spa. For Buescher, it marked the 23-year-old’s first national series championship in just his second full year in the series. For Jones, the title march coincided with a Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign. Busch was missing from Monday night’s awards, occupied with the media duties and obligations that came with winning his first premier series title at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His wife, Samantha, attended on behalf of Kyle Busch Motorsports, which claimed the team owners’ title for the third straight year. With Busch making the rounds with the Sprint Cup trophy, Ed Laukes, Toyota’s vice president of marketing communications and motorsports, provided an assist in toasting Jones’ stellar season. But the raised glass for the 19-year-old was full of milk, a half-joking homage to Dale Earnhardt’s toast of first-time champion Jeff Gordon in 1995.
    “I wish Kyle would’ve been there to see his creation come to life, I guess you’d say,” said Jones, who won three races and five pole positions in his first full season. “I think he had a good excuse to miss it, but that was funny. That’s definitely a Kyle thing he would do, especially to me.”
    Buescher’s coronation on the XFINITY tour came after a two-win season with hallmark consistency — 20 top-10s in 33 races. Monday night, he took his place with his Roush Fenway Racing team at the head table, saying that he showed a slight case of nerves in the Great Hall’s gala setting. Jitters notwithstanding, the experience capped a stellar 48-hour period full of well-wishes from his peers. “The coolest thing is just having so many different people come up and say congratulations and we’ve seen what you’ve done to work for this and it’s awesome to see you here,” Buescher said. “Stuff like that means that all those years working up to this point were well worth it. It’s been countless hours, many all-nighters to make sure we could get to the next ARCA race at night. We’ve done so many things to try and get to this point, and to finally be here, it’s special. It’s very humbling.”
    Chase Elliott, the driver who preceded Buescher as series champion, took Most Popular Driver honors with him as he transitions to the Sprint Cup Series next year, replacing Jeff Gordon in the Hendrick Motorsports #24 Chevrolet. NASCAR Next driver John Hunter Nemechek was voted Most Popular Driver in the Camping World Truck Series. Daniel Suarez, another product of the NASCAR Next program, was named Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the XFINITY Series.(NASCAR.com)(11-24-2015)
    AND: The awards banquet will air on NBCSN at 7pm/et Sunday, Nov. 29.
  • Chase Elliott voted Most Popular Driver: The fans have spoken. And for Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, that means a second consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver Award. Elliott accepted the 2015 Most Popular Driver honors during Monday night’s season-ending banquet at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Fla. It stands as the second such award for Elliott in only his sophomore year of full-time NXS competition. He joins Brad Keselowski, who won MPD in 2008-09, as the only JRM drivers to win the award in back-to-back seasons. “I was extremely grateful to have the fans vote for me last year,” Elliott said. “But for them to do it two years in a row just blows me away. So I’m thankful for that. It’s their award to give, which makes this even more special. They’re a passionate bunch and I’m honored they took the time to vote for me.” This marks the fourth consecutive year fans have voted a JRM driver as MPD. The four-year sweep began with Danica Patrick’s victory in 2012, Regan Smith’s in 2013, and finally, Elliott’s titles in 2014-15. Including Keselowski’s MPD honors in 2008-09, a JRM driver has won the award in six of the last eight NXS seasons.(JR Motorsports)(11-23-2015)
  • Record number of last place finishes for Green: #19-Jeff Green picked up the 83rd last-place finish of his NASCAR XFINITY Series career in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway when his #19 Premier Barter Exchange Toyota fell out with transmission problems after 3 of 200 laps. The finish, which came in Green’s 420th series start, was his 23rd of the 2015 season. He shatters his own record for the most last-place runs in a season by a NASCAR driver – 15, which he set in the 2013 XFINITY Series season, and is now a five-time LASTCAR champion. By rounding out the 2015 season with six consecutive last-place finishes, Green can also break his record of eight lasts in a row if he sweeps the opening three rounds in 2016. Green was 36th-fastest in the series’ final practice session of the season and timed in 27th in qualifying with a speed of 161.310 mph. The lone driver who missed the field was Morgan Shepherd, whose #89 Racing With Jesus Chevrolet ended up with its seventh DNQ of the season.(LastCar)(11-23-2015)


    News from November 22, 2015



    Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, FL.(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

  • Kyle Busch and #18 M&M’S Team Win 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship tonight at Homestead-Miami Speedway. While it is Busch’s first Sprint Cup championship, it is the fourth for JGR since its inception in 1992. JGR won its first Sprint Cup championship in 2000 with Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart earned championships with JGR in 2002 and 2005. The following are some anecdotes regarding the 2015 Sprint Cup Series champions.
    · This is Busch’s third driving title in his 17 years of racing. His titles are as follows:
    2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
    2009 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
    2001 Late Model track championship at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
    · This is Adam Stevens’ first championship as a crew chief in NASCAR. However, Stevens was a part of the 2005 Sprint Cup championship earned by Stewart, as he was the race engineer on JGR’s #20 team. Stevens is the first rookie crew chief to win a Sprint Cup title since 1982 when Jeff Hammond won with Darrell Waltrip.
    · This is JGR’s eighth owner championship. Its titles are as follows:
    2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
    2012 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
    2010 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
    2009 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
    2008 NASCAR XFNITY Series championship
    2005 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
    2002 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
    2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship
    · This is Joe Gibbs’ 15th championship. In addition to the titles listed above, he won three Super Bowls (1982, 1987 and 1991) and four NFC Conference Championships (1982, 1983, 1987 and 1991) as head coach of the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
    Anecdotes:
    · Busch joins Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the only drivers to earn both a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and a NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.
    · Prior to 2015, Busch’s previous best point finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series was fourth in 2013.
    · Busch’s championship season includes one pole, five wins, 12 top-fives, 16 top-10s and 736 laps led. Busch missed the first 11 races of the 2015 season after breaking his right leg and left foot during the season-opening NASCAR XFINITY Series race in February at Daytona International Speedway.
    (True Speed Communication)(11-22-2015)
  • Kyle Busch Wins 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship: Only nine months removed from suffering a broken right leg and left foot in an accident at Daytona, #18-Kyle Busch won at Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. The title is the first for Busch and Toyota. To take home NASCAR’s greatest prize, Busch needed to finish ahead of the three other Championship 4 drivers – #4-Kevin Harvick, #24-Jeff Gordon and #78-Martin Truex Jr. – in the final race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Homestead. Busch and his brother Kurt Busch (2004 NSCS champion) join Terry and Bobby Labonte as the only brothers to earn NSCS titles.
    Missing three months – a span of 11 races – due to his injury, Busch returned to his #18 Toyota at Charlotte in May, showing signs of rust by logging two finishes worse than 35th (36th at Dover; 43rd at Michigan) in his first four points events. He rounded into form his fifth race back by speeding to Victory Lane at Sonoma, catalyzing a dominant run of four wins in his next four starts, including three in a row at Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis. Entering the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as one of the favorites to take home the crown, Busch gutted his way through the first two rounds, highlighted by a runner-up showing in the Challenger Round cutoff race at Dover. He hit his stride as the only driver to log top-five finishes in each Eliminator Round race to set up his championship effort at Homestead.
    Busch joins Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the fourth driver to earn both a NSCS and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship. His title marks the fourth for Joe Gibbs Racing, which also won championships with Bobby Labonte (2000) and Tony Stewart (2002, 2005).
    Toyota, which began full-time racing in the NSCS in 2007, has now captured a driver’s championship in all three NASCAR national series. Busch also won Toyota its first NSCS race at Atlanta in 2008. Busch is the second consecutive champion to win the title with a victory in the Championship Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Harvick accomplished the feat last season.(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – Championship Fast Facts:
    #18-Kyle Busch has won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, becoming the 31st different series champion, and the first to win the title after missing the first 11 races of the season.
    Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 claiming the title.
    Busch joins Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte and Brad Keselowski as only the fourth driver all-time to boast both a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.
    Busch finished the 2015 season with five wins (Sonoma, Kentucky, New Hampshire-1, Indianapolis and Homestead), 12 top fives, 16 top 10s and one pole.
    In 25 starts Busch has led 736 of his 6,752 laps completed (10.9%)
    Busch’s Season-To-Date Loop Data: Driver Rating (108.2); Average Running Position (8.9).
    Owner Champion: Joe Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing
    This is Joe Gibbs Racing’s fourth series owner championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, previous titles: Bobby Labonte (2000), Tony Stewart (2002 and 2005).
    This is Joe Gibbs Racing’s eighth NASCAR national series owner championship (four NSCS, four NNS).
    Joe Gibbs Racing fielded four cars this season: #18-Kyle Busch (1st in points); #19-Carl Edwards (5th in points), #20-Matt Kenseth (15th in points) and #11-Denny Hamlin (9th in points).
    Joe Gibbs Racing has won four of the last 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup championships (2000-2015), putting the team’s title-winning percentage during that span at 25%.
    Crew Chief Champion: Adam Stevens
    Adam Stevens has won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with driver Kyle Busch.
    Stevens is the 38th different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief to win a championship.
    Stevens has five career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, all with Kyle Busch this season.
    Stevens also served as part-time crew chief on the NASCAR XFINITY Series car owner championship winning #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team in 2012 with driver Joey Logano.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-22-2015)

  • Kyle Busch wins at Homestead AND the Championship: #18-Kyle Busch won the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for his 5th win of the season, 1st win at Homestead, 2nd Chase race win (first since 2005) and 34th career win. Busch led 41 of the 267 laps.
    With the win, Busch won the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, his first, beating out #4-Kevin Harvick, who finished 2nd.
    It is the 4th Sprint Cup Series Championship for Joe Gibbs Racing, the first for sponsor M&M’s Mars, first for rookie crew chief Adam Stevens and first driver championship for Toyota.
    Kyle and Kurt Busch are the second set of brothers to win the Sprint Cup Series Championship, the first were Terry and Bobby Labonte.
    With Busch’s win at Homestead, there are only four tracks the Sprint Cup Series runs out that Busch has not won a Sprint Cup Series race at: Kansas, Martinsville, Charlotte and Pocono.
    The race was rain delayed for about one and a half hours, with the green flag waving at 4:50pm/et.
    #4-Harvick finished 2nd (for the 13th time in 2015 and 44th runner-up finish in his career) followed by #2-Keselowski (led the most laps, 86), #22-Logano, #42-Larson, #24-Gordon, #20-Kenseth, #41-Busch, #48-Johnson and #11-Hamlin (pole winner).
    The four drivers in the CHAMPIONSHIP RACE of The Chase finished:
    #18-Kyle Busch, won the race
    #4-Kevin Harvick, 2nd
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 6th
    #78-Martin Truex Jr., 12th
    There were 18 lead changes among 9 drivers and 7 cautions for 30 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 131.755mph.
    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). (11-22-2015)
  • Race Fast Facts – Homestead:
    #18-Kyle Busch won the 17th Annual Ford EcoBoost 400, his 34th victory in 390 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fifth victory and 16th top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and fourth top-10 finish in 11 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #4-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 13th top-10 finish in 15 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 28th top-10 finish in 2015.
    #2-Brad Keselowski (third) posted his third top-10 finish in eight races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #34-Brett Moffitt (31st) was the highest finishing rookie.
    #18-Kyle Busch leads the point standings by 1 points over #78-Kevin Harvick.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-22-2015)
  • Finishing positions of the 2015 Sprint Cup Chase drivers at Homestead:
    [by points standings before the race (start pos)]
    1) #18-Kyle Busch, WON (3rd)
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick, 2nd (13)
    3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 6th (5)
    4) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 12th (11)
    (11-22-2015)
  • 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
    [after Homestead, race 36 of 36, Chase race 10 of 10]
    1) #18-Busch [5 wins], 5043
    2) #4-Harvick [3], 5042
    3) #24-Gordon [1], 5038
    4) #78-Truex, Jr.[1], 5032
    (note: no bonus points for the four drivers in the championship race)
    5) #19-Edwards [2], 2368, -2675
    6) #22-Logano [6], 2360, -2683
    7) #2-Keselowski [1], 2347, -2696
    8) #41-Busch [2], 2333, 2710
    9) #11-Hamlin [2]. 2327, -2716
    10) #48-Johnson [5], 2315, -2728
    11) #31-Newman, 2314, -2729
    12) #88-Earnhardt Jr. [3], 2310, -2733
    13) #1-McMurray, 2295, -2748
    14) #27-Menard, 2262, -2781
    15) #20-Kenseth [5], 2234, -2809
    16) #15-Bowyer, 2175, -2868
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf) See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf).

  • Unofficial Top 25 in 2015 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) #4-Kevin Harvick(C1), 1321
    2) #22-Joey Logano(EC), 1299, -22
    3) #2-Brad Keselowski(EC), 1217, -104
    4) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (EC), 1198, -123
    5) #78-Martin Truex Jr.(C4), 1165, -156
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson(EC), 1155, -166
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin(EC), 1117, -204
    8) #24-Jeff Gordon(C2), 1110, -211
    9) #41-Kurt Busch(EC), 1108, -213
    10) #19-Carl Edwards(EC), 1108, -213
    11) #1-Jamie McMurray(EC), 1052, -269
    12) #31-Ryan Newman(EC), 1052, -269
    13) #20-Matt Kenseth(EC), 1046, -275
    14) #27-Paul Menard(EC), 972, -349
    15) #43-Aric Almirola, 940, -381
    16) #5-Kasey Kahne, 939, -382
    17) #15-Clint Bowyer(EC), 891, -430
    18) #42-Kyle Larson, 872, -449
    19) #16-Greg Biffle, 869, -452
    20) #18-Kyle Busch(C3), 867, -454
    21) #3-Austin Dillon, 832, -489
    22) #47-AJ Allmendinger, 758, -563
    23) #13-Casey Mears, 754, -567
    24) #10-Danica Patrick, 716, -605
    25) #9-Sam Hornish Jr., 709, -612
    (C# = chase driver and current Chase position)
    (EC = chase driver that has been eliminated from the Chase)
    (11-22-2015)
  • Competition caution scheduled for lap 30 at Homestead-Miami Speedway

  • Race a Homestead: after over an hour rain delay, the start of the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is close at hand. As of 4:45pm/et, rain has stopped, track is dry. Pre-race ceremonies are complete, engines have started, cars are on the track and took the green at 4:50pm/et. If the race runs after 7:00pm/et, TV coverage will move from NBC to NBCSN. The latest forecast:
    Sunday: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. Southwest wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
    Sunday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 66. West wind 8 to 10 mph becoming northwest after midnight.
    See links to other weather sites on the Homestead Race Info page.
  • Rain at Homestead: rain delayed the start of the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As of 3:15pm/et, rain has stopped, track drying is underway with the Air Titans. Driver Introductions are scheduled for 3:30pm/et. If the race runs to or starts after 7:00pm/et, TV coverage will move from NBC to NBCSN. The latest forecast:
    Sunday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 4pm, then scattered showers and thunderstorms after 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 81. Southwest wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.(since it is raining, I’d say this is 100%)
    Sunday Night: Scattered showers, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65. West wind 8 to 14 mph becoming north after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
    Monday: Isolated showers after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. Windy, with a north wind 17 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
    See links to other weather sites on the Homestead Race Info page.
  • Rain expected for NASCAR’s championship weekend: Homestead, Fla., the site of Homestead-Miami Speedway where NASCAR will crown three series champions, can expect rain each day of the race weekend, forecasters say. There is an 60% chance or rain for Sunday’s Sprint Cup championship. The question now is whether race officials would end a championship race early because of rain. Fans can expect long delays or even a race the next day should the weather worsen.(Sporting News)
    The current (as of 11/22/2015, 2:00pm/et) weekend forecast from the National Weather Service:
    Sunday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 4pm, then scattered showers and thunderstorms after 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 81. Southwest wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
    Sunday Night: Scattered showers, mainly before 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65. West wind 8 to 14 mph becoming north after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
    Monday: Isolated showers after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 74. Windy, with a north wind 17 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
    See links to other weather sites on the Homestead Race Info page.
  • Homestead Pre-Race Schedule for Sunday, November 22: (eastern time)
    1:00:00pm: Driver/Crew Chief Meeting
    2:20:00pm: Drivers Introductions
    2:34:00pm: Championship 4 Drivers Introductions
    2:58:15pm: God Bless America by Elizabeth Elias
    3:00:00pm: Presentation of Colors by 482nd Fighter Wing Base Honor Guard, Homestead ARB
    3:00:15pm: Invocation by Pastor Sammy Flores @Sammy317, Christ Fellowship, Miami
    3:01:00pm: National Anthem by actor Zachary Levi
    3:02:30pm.: Fly-By, 2 F-16’s from Homestead Air Force Reserve Base
    3:07:30pm: Command to Start Engines by Hoda Kotb, co-host of NBC’s Today Show
    3:15:00pm: Green Flag — Ford EcoBoost 400
    weather permitting / eastern time (NASCAR.com)

  • Homestead Race Notes & Facts – Sunday:
    · There have been 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway, one per season since 1999.
    · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Homestead with seven, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with five.
    · Most Cautions in a single NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead – 14 (11/21/2004)
    · Carl Edwards leads the NSCS in laps led at Homestead with 560 in 16 starts.
    · Most lead changes in a race at Homestead – 26 (11/20/2011)
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead is the (11/20/2005) race won by Greg Biffle with a MOV of 0.017 seconds.
    (NASCAR)(11-22-2015)

  • Richard Petty presents Jeff Gordon with special gifts: #24-Jeff Gordon still has the special memento from his first race in what is now NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. Gordon’s debut in that 1992 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway also happened to be the final race for NASCAR’s winningest driver, Richard Petty. To mark the occasion, during the drivers’ meeting that day the King gave each of his fellow competitors a money clip inscribed with their name and starting position. With Gordon preparing for his final race in pursuit of his fifth season championship, he received a visit Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway from the seven-time champ bearing two gifts. To thank Gordon for his contributions to the sport, Petty presented one of his trademark cowboy hats with his signature on the brim. He also gave Gordon 93 dollar bills for the money clip, one for each of his career victories. The encounter took place in private, away from view of crowds and media gathered for Gordon’s farewell race on Sunday. Richard Petty Motorsports tweeted photos of the exchange of gifts. Petty’s son, Kyle, told the tale during the NBC broadcast, and added a final detail. Richard Petty has one more dollar that he hopes to present on Sunday. Gordon must earn that one, just as he did the other 93.(South Florida Sun Sentinel)(11-22-2015)

  • Championship Favorite Harvick Hopes To Become Second Driver To Win Consecutive Crowns: Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title-winner #4-Kevin Harvick enters Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 Championship Round race as the favorite to take home his second straight series crown. If he finishes ahead of fellow Championship 4 drivers Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., Harvick will become the 11th person in NASCAR history to win consecutive NSCS titles. Harvick heads to Homestead as its reigning race winner. He had to finish first to win the championship last year, otherwise runner-up Ryan Newman would have taken home the title. In 14 career starts at Homestead, Harvick has one win (7.1%), six top fives (42.9%) and 12 top 10s (85.7%). His 7.6 average finish at the 1.5-mile track ranks first among active drivers. He also owns the fourth-best driver rating (102.5) and average running position (10.0) among active drivers at Homestead. At Phoenix on Sunday, Harvick placed second – his 15th top-two finish of the season and the most in the NSCS since Jeff Gordon posted 19 in 1998. A loop statistician’s dream, Harvick leads the NSCS in average running position (7.3; Next-best driver: Kyle Busch, 9.2), fastest laps (1,370; Next-best driver, Brad Keselowski, 650), laps led (2,248; Next-best driver: Joey Logano, 1,359) and driver rating (118.9; Next-best driver: Kyle Busch, 107.1). A Harvick championship would be the third for Stewart-Haas Racing, which has won titles with Harvick (2014) and Tony Stewart (2011).(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)

  • Still Alive In The Drive For 5: Gordon Can Walk Away With Sprint Cup Title On Sunday:Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 just might be the biggest race of #24-Jeff Gordon’s life. And it just so happens that it’ll likely be his last. If he can finish ahead of Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. in the final event of his last full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Gordon will walk away with his fifth NSCS championship. Already fourth on the all-time championships list, the No. 24 Chevrolet driver would end his career behind only Jimmie Johnson (six championships), Richard Petty (seven) and Dale Earnhardt (seven) in the NASCAR record books.
    Luckily for Gordon, he’s performed well at Homestead-Miami Speedway where the Ford EcoBoost 400 will be held. In 16 starts at the 1.5-mile track, he boasts one win (6.2%), seven top fives (43.8%) and 12 top 10s (75.0%). He finished 10th at Homestead last year after leading a race-high 161 laps. Gordon gutted his way into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as its 13th seed, qualifying on points. He’s upped his performance in NASCAR’s playoffs, leading all drivers in average finish (7.7) and top-10 finishes (8, tied with Joey Logano), highlighted by his win at Martinsville. A Gordon championship would not only be his first since 2001, but his first in the Chase era (2004-present). If he wins the title on Sunday, Gordon’s 14-year gap between championships would surpass 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Terry Labonte’s record 12-season drought between titles. Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports team already owns the NSCS record with 11 NSCS titles.(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)

  • Unbreakable: Kyle Busch Aims To Finish Championship Run Nine Months After Daytona Accident: #18-Kyle Busch’s season has been so improbable, even M. Night Shyamalan couldn’t make it up. A mere nine months after breaking his right leg and fracturing his left foot in an accident at Daytona, Busch will race for a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Busch had cooled off since winning four-of-five races including three in a row earlier in the season, but started to heat up again as the only driver to log a top-five finish in all three Eliminator Round races. Of the Championship 4 drivers, Busch has had the least success at Homestead. In 10 starts at the South Florida track he has no wins, one top five (10.0%) and three top 10s (30.0%). Busch owns three finishes worse than 30th at Homestead, including a 39th-place finish there last year. In fact, his 23.1 Homestead average finish ranks 25th among active drivers. If Busch finishes ahead of Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex Jr., he’ll become the first driver to ever pilot a Toyota to a NSCS title, giving the manufacturer a driver’s championship in all three national series. Coincidentally, Busch won Toyota its first NSCS race at Atlanta in 2008. Busch would also join Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the fourth driver to earn a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)

  • Martin Truex Jr. Is Homestead’s Hidden Heavyweight: #78-Martin Truex Jr. might be the Holly Holm to Kevin Harvick’s Ronda Rousey in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Considered the Cinderella of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season due to his struggles last year and the fact he’s the only driver for Furniture Row Racing, based far from NASCAR’s North Carolina hotbed in Denver, Colorado, Truex might actually be the driver to beat at Homestead. In 10 starts at the Miami oval, the No. 78 Chevrolet driver has no wins, three top fives (30%), seven top 10s (70%) and a 10.0 average finish (second among active drivers). What sets him apart from the rest of the Championship 4 at Homestead is his loop data success. He tops the Championship 4 drivers in Homestead average running position (9.0, second among active drivers), driver rating (106.6, third) and average Green Flag speed (162.357 mph, first). A Truex championship would make him the first title-winner from New Jersey and just the second from the Northeast (Bill Rexford, New York). Additionally, Truex would be the first driver from a one-car team to win an NSCS championship since Dale Earnhardt and Richard Childress Racing achieved the feat in 1994. Truex would also join Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the fourth driver to earn a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)

  • Three drivers who won a race in 2014, have not won 2015: Three drivers have now been shut out of winning a Sprint Cup race in 2015 after winning at least one race in 2014, after 35 of 36 races in 2015, the drivers:
    #5-Kasey Kahne last won at Atlanta in August 2014 and has a four season win streak.
    #43-Aric Almirola has won one career race, last year at Daytona in July.
    #47-A.J. Allmendinger has won one career race, last year at Watkins Glen in August.
    (11-22-2015)

  • Ancient Chaseology, seasons before 2004 and the Chase REPOST: Way back in 1975, NASCAR decided to change its points system, using an idea jotted down on a cocktail napkin at the Boot Hill Saloon in Daytona Beach, Fla. Pretty humble beginnings, no?
    What if the Chase had become a part of NASCAR back in 1975? How would history have changed with a Chase back then?
    Drivers probably would have driven differently, which would have led to changed results and altered points championships during the years covered here. But let’s play the “what if?” game and take the historical results and translate them into the current Chase system.
    See the following articles for each:
    same champs in 1975-1979, but in 1980-1984, 3 of the 5 would have had different champions, none for Earnhardt, 3 for DW and Gant would had won one; in 1985-1989 all five chase’s produce the same champ as the regular system did.
    Whew, some shake ups in the 1990-1994 chases, Earnhardt, who won 4 championships in the classic points, Earnhardt would had won only two Chase in that span and Kulwicki would not had won his championship with Kyle Petty winning in 92, Gant in 1991 and Rusty Wallace in 1993.
    in the 1995-1999 block, Earnhardt would had won in 1995 instead of Gordon, but Gordon would had won in 1996 instead of Terry Labonte, in 1997 Jarrett would had took it and not Gordon, Gordon in 1998 and Bobby Labonte would had won in 1999 not Jarrett, so only Gordon in 1998 would had been the same.
    and in the final block 2000-2003: Bobby Labonte still wins in 2000, Marlin beats out Gordon in 2001, Kurt Busch in 2002 instead of Stewart and in 2003 Johnson would had gotten his first championship, Kenseth, who won using the old system that year, would had been 8th in the 2003 chase. Here are the links to each block, with standings and info:
    Ancient Chaseology: 1975-1979
    Ancient Chaseology: 1980-1984
    Ancient Chaseology: 1985-1989
    Ancient Chaseology: 1990-1994
    Ancient Chaseology: 1995-1999
    Ancient Chaseology: 2000-2003
    as Matthew Willis will calculate all the seasons 1974 thru 2003.(9-9/13-2008, links checked 11-22-2015)

  • Chevy celebrates Jeff Gordon: Jeff Gordon, who has driven the #24 Chevrolet for 796 consecutive races from 1992-2015, is about to close out his full-time career as a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Gordon, a four-time series champion, enters the final race of the season with an opportunity to claim his fifth title. Gordon ends his full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, having driven for only one car owner, Rick Hendrick at Hendrick Motorsports, and only one manufacturer, Chevrolet. Among Gordon’s career highlights driving the #24 Chevrolet are:
    Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion (1995, 1997, 1998, 2001)
    93 career Cup victories; third on the all-time list
    81 career Cup pole positions; third on the all-time list
    Three-time Daytona 500 winner (1997, 1999, 2005)
    Five-time Brickyard 400 winner (1994, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2014)
    Three-time champion of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (1995, 1997, 2001)
    NASCAR record nine road course victories
    NASCAR record 12 restrictor plate victories
    Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports: “Jeff has been the unequivocal example of a Chevrolet race car driver. Over 23 years, he earned 93 overall victories including three Daytona 500 wins, five Brickyard 400 wins and four NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships. Jeff is a true champion, Chevrolet dealer and a key member of the Chevrolet family. Jeff Gordon continues to be a great ambassador for NASCAR and Chevrolet.”
    Pat Suhy, Group Manager – NASCAR Programs: “I think first of all and it will be said many times he has been a great ambassador to the sport. I think he attracted a new generation of fans and broadened the reach of NASCAR in terms of West Coast awareness and enthusiasm for it. On the competition side he has meant a lot to Chevrolet, he has been a great ambassador for the brand. But on the racetrack he’s done so much for us with four championships and 93 race wins. The points he collected for us have helped lead us to 18 manufacturer championships during his career. The race wins and the championships mean a lot to us. The manufactures championships mean a lot to us. He’s been an innovator. Recently, he and Alan Gustafson (crew chief) have shown that you can teach an old dog new tricks. They continue to try to use the latest technology and the tools that we offer. We keep pushing the boundaries of technology and they keep joining us and helping us push it even further. Which makes it good not only for them, but for all Chevy teams. We certainly appreciate everything he has done for us over the years.”
    Alba Colon, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program Manager: “To talk about what is GREAT about NASCAR is synonymous with talking about Jeff Gordon. This generation has been honored to see Jeff Gordon race and to witnessing how great he is. At the same time, we at Chevrolet have been privileged to count Jeff Gordon as an ambassador for our brand. He represents what our brand is about, true American values, the real heartbeat of America. He has always been passionate about our vehicles, about our brand. All his 93 great wins have all been behind the wheel of a Chevrolet. It can’t get better than that. Thanks to Jeff for all the great years of racing a Chevrolet. I know our relationship is one that will last forever. We salute you in your last career race and celebrate your new ventures”.(Team Chevy)(11-22-2015)

  • Last Race for Michael Waltrip Racing: Sunday’s 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway marks Michael Waltrip Racing’s final weekend of full-time competition. Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion, began the team in the mid-1990s at his house in Sherrill’s Ford, N.C., competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. In 2007, MWR began fielding full-time Sprint Cup entries as the flagship team for Toyota Racing Development, USA. MWR is the only original Toyota team still in competition. MWR owns seven Sprint Cup victories and four Chase berths. Going into Homestead, MWR cars have made 780 starts, earned seven poles and posted 73 top-five finishes. MWR victories by driver: Clint Bowyer, 3, David Reutimann, 2, Martin Truex and Brian Vickers with one each. In the XFINITY Series, MWR won four times with Waltrip behind the wheel and once with David Reutimann. MWR also fielded entries in eight truck series races. Sunday also marks the end of a partnership with 5-hour ENERGY and MWR. The company has been a proud partner of the team and Bowyer since the driver joined the organization in 2012. Bowyer earned three wins, 27 top-five and 69 top-10 finishes with 5-hour ENERGY on board his Toyota. PEAK and AAA Mid-Atlantic also enjoyed a multi-year relationship with MWR and Bowyer. Peak also supports Bowyer’s dirt late model teams. Maxwell House joined with the organization earlier this year and sponsored Bowyer in four Sprint Cup races (MWR)(11-22-2015)

  • Ortho will not sponsor Biffle or a team in 2016 UPDATE: Scotts Miracle-Gro has confirmed that its Ortho pest-control brand will not return next season as the primary sponsor of Roush Fenway Racing’s #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle, and the brand will instead sit out the year as a NASCAR team sponsor. Scotts Dir of Marketing Promotions & Communications Chris Strunk in a statement said, “We evaluate our sponsorship portfolio on an annual basis and have decided not to renew our partnership agreement with Roush Fenway Racing. Roush Fenway and Greg Biffle have been terrific partners, and we wish them the best. We are extremely appreciative of their participation and support of the Ortho brand.” RFR declined comment. The brand this season sponsored about half of Biffle’s 36 Sprint Cup Series races, but will not be on the car for the Sunday’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Bleacher Report will be on the car). Ortho was one of the main brands to step in and fill the void when 3M left after a nearly 10-year relationship with Biffle, switching to Jeff Gordon’s #24. Prior to deploying its Ortho brand to the #16, the Ohio-based Scotts had sponsored other RFR cars from 2005-2011.(Sports Business Daily)(11-20-2015)
    UPDATE: The Ortho brand of Scotts Miracle-Gro will not return as primary sponsor of Greg Biffle’s #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in 2016, the organization and team confirmed Friday. “We have enjoyed a long-standing and greatly productive working relationship with Ortho and the Scotts’ brand,” RFR President Steve Newmark said in a statement. “Over the course of the last decade they — at different times — have been able to successfully activate various marketing platforms through our partnership. They had great success activating around Greg and the No. 16 team and I think all of us enjoyed the ‘What’s Buggin’ Biffle’ promotion. However, their marketing strategy for ’16 will take them in a different direction. We would of course welcome working with them again in the future and look forward to that possibility.”(NASCAR.com)(11-22-2015)

  • Chris Buescher..no plans races with Front Row in 2016 UPDATE: Chris Buescher holds an 18-point lead in the NASCAR XFINITY point standings going into the Ford EcoBoost 300. Buescher held a Q&A session in the Homestead, one question asked was:
    Q) YOU RAN SOME CUP RACES WITH FRONT ROW [Racing #34 Ford] EARLIER THIS YEAR. ANY PLANS TO DO THAT NEXT SEASON?
    Buescher: “We don’t have anything planned for next year. I did get to run, I think it was six races what it ended up being, and I had a blast doing it. It was an awesome bunch of guys over there, had a lot of fun, and learned a lot as well. I realized real quickly how busy double-duty could get for a weekend in running back and forth between the garages. That made me give a lot more respect to the guys that do it every weekend and are constantly running because when you get out of the car, I remember Fontana was the first one. You get out of the car and there’s five minutes between XFINITY practice and a Cup practice and the garages seemed like they were a mile away there. It was a busy weekend. I was wore out by the end of it, but there’s no plans to do it next year, but what I got out of it this year was invaluable.”(Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes)(11-21-2015)
    UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing owner, Jack Roush and XFINITY Series Champ Chris Buescher, answered questions at Homestead during the XFINITY Driver’s Championship Press Conference, a few were about Sprint Cup Series plans:
    Q) SPEAKING OF THE RIGHT OF PASSAGE, WHAT ARE THE PLANS FOR CHRIS NEXT YEAR?
    Jack Roush: “We are still not sure what his arrangement will be next year. He will be involved in a Cup car to some extent but whether it is a part time program or full program we are still in the midst of finalizing the conditions of that. We have a number of possibilities but we aren’t ready to announce that today.”
    Q) JACK SAID HE’S NOT SURE ABOUT WHAT YOU’LL DO NEXT YEAR. WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED TO LEARN BEFORE BEING A FULL-TIME CUP DRIVER?
    Chris Buescher: “I think if you look and realize that Cup drivers come down to the XFINITY level every race there’s always something to be learned. They know that and that’s why they do it. To me, that’s part of just seat time. You’ve got to learn everything you can every race. There’s always something different about a race track. There are similarities between the two race cars now. Like Jack was talking about with the rules as close as they are now, there are things we can bounce back and forth. There’s always something to learn. Every time you get in a race car you figure out something. I’ve been clear. I’m not in a rush. If it comes around, that’s the first I’ve heard of it by the way, so it’s kind of like the radio interview where Jack said something four months ago and I found out from my dad. If that’s what it brings, then I’ll do my best to prepare for it and be ready and if not, we’ll go try and double up on these XFINITY championships. Right now, we’re living in the moment. It’s a big weight off our shoulders. We get to calm down a little bit and get to celebrate and enjoy the banquet – do some off-shore fishing while we’re out here in Florida – and we’ll go back and gear up for 2016.”(Ford Racing)(11-22-2015)

  • Driven To Thrive – To 95! promotion results announced: Officials from Thrivent Financial, Leavine Family Racing and Habitat for Humanity International along with Michael McDowell, driver of the #95 Thrivent Financial Ford, announcened that the Driven To Thrive – To 95! promotion has culminated with a $95,000 donation to Habitat for Humanity. Kris Werges from Decorah, Iowa, won the Grand Prize of a trip for two to the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway including the opportunity to meet McDowell and the LFR race team. Throughout the race season, McDowell and the Leavine Family Racing team had the chance to participate in Thrivent Builds events in race markets by helping with critical home repairs for an elderly homeowner in Hickory, N.C. and a Habitat family in Indianapolis. Thrivent is the largest non-governmental supporter of Habitat through a unique partnership called Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity. The online game rewarded fans for playing by triggering a donation from Thrivent Financial to Habitat for Humanity, awarding instant win prizes like autographed hero cards and diecast cars and entering all players into the Grand Prize sweepstakes (LFR95PR)(11-22-2015)
  • NASCAR Fans to Perform Card Stunt, Thanking Jeff Gordon: The NASCAR industry is deep into preparations for this Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which will be the final ride in the storied career of Jeff Gordon, one of the most iconic figures in NASCAR history. Fans in attendance at Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400, which will start at 3:00 p.m., will have the unique opportunity to send a special message to Jeff Gordon with a card stunt throughout the grandstands at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Fans sitting in grandstand sections 206 through 254 will be asked to perform two card stunts prior to the Ford EcoBoost 400, and are encouraged to get to their seats no later than 2:45 p.m. to participate. Cards will be attached to the seats prior to gates opening on Sunday. Card stunt leaders at the base of each section will hold up cue cards when it is time to perform each stunt, and PA announcements as well as cues on Sprint Vision screens will also let fans know when it is time to perform the stunt. There will be two card stunts during the pace laps of the Ford EcoBoost 400. The first will be a special message to Jeff Gordon, and the second will showcase the Championship 4 drivers. Fans are also encouraged to share their photos and memories of Jeff Gordon via social media, using the hashtag #24ever. Homestead-Miami Speedway will have a “Thank You, Jeff” banner for fans to write their well wishes to Gordon, located in the Fanatics Trackside Superstore.(Homestead-Miami Speedway)(11-22-2015)


    News from November 21, 2015



    ESPN.com’s Racecast
    Listen Live Online at Motor Racing Network
    Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Online Streaming Links
    Live race updates on Jayski.com’s Twitter

  • Race Coverage of the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, November 22, 2015.
    Television (TV): NBC at 3:00 pm/et; Countdown Green 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 23 at 12:00pm/et on NBCSN
  • 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, chase drivers and notes:
    #22-Logano 175.404
    #5-Kahne 175.080
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 175.035
    #19-Edwards 174.571
    #41-Busch 174.560
    best 10 consecutive lap ave: #24-Gordon 169.489
    Slowest: #98-Preec 163.186 & #40-Cassill 165.614
    No speed: #47-Ammnedinger (crew is repairing the car)
    Most laps run: #22-Logano, #20-Kenseth, #2-Keselowski, 49
    Chase Drivers
    #4-Harvick 26th fastest, ran 44 laps
    #24-Gordon 9th, 36 laps
    #18-Busch 17th, 47 laps
    #78-Truex Jr. 10th, 38 laps
    notes: #55-Ragan had a rear tire go down, no damage reported. Practice was aired on NBCSN.
    See the fastest speeds, lap run, best 10 consecutive lap average speed, see Jayski.com’s Homestead Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(11-21-2015)
  • Saturday 1st practice for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, the practice was called due to rain after 33 of 55 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest, chase drivers and notes:
    #42-Larson 176.010
    #4-Harvick 175.194
    #19-Edwards 174.374
    #16-Biffle 174.126
    #22-Logano 174.081
    best 10 consecutive lap ave: #2-Keselowski 168.660
    Chase Drivers
    #4-Harvick 2nd fastest, 29 laps run
    #24-Gordon 15th, 14 laps
    #18-Busch 9th, 21 laps
    #78-Truex Jr. 19th, 19 laps
    slowest: #32-Wise 165.685 & #98-Preece 165.761
    notes: #47-Allmendinger smacked the wall and pancaked the right side of the car, the team decided to keep the caqr and make repairs to the car for the race.
    Practice was aired on CNBC. Happy Hour (final) practice is scheduled for 1:00-1:50pm/et and be cover on NBCSN.
    See the fastest speeds, lap run, best 10 consecutive lap average speed, see Jayski.com’s Homestead Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(11-21-2015)
  • 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 #11-Hamlin chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #22-Logano took pit stall 4, the first pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    #18-Busch, 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 #2-Keselowski, who starts 8th.
    The Chase Drivers, pit stall selections:
    #4-Harvick, starts 13th, 37th stall, between #7-Bowman & #83-DiBenedetto.
    #24-Gordon, 5th, 6th stall, between #95-McDowell & #34-Moffitt.
    #18-Busch, 3rd, 3rd stall, the 1st stall with an opening behind it.
    #78-Truex Jr., 11th, 33rd stall, 4th with opening behind it.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-21-2015)

  • Homestead Driver Notes & Facts – Saturday:
    · 120 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead; 92 in more than one.
    · Jeff Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in starts at Homestead with 16.
    · There have been 10 different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Homestead-Miami; four drivers have won more than once.
    · Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart lead the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with three wins each; followed by Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin with two each.
    · Of the four drivers with multiple wins at Homestead, Tony Stewart is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Pontiac (1999, 2000) and Chevrolet (2011).
    · Two drivers have won consecutive races at Homestead-Miami: Tony Stewart (1999 – 2000) and Greg Biffle (2004 – 2006, three straight).
    · Eight of the 10 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. leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 15.
    · 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 Kevin Harvick with six and Carl Edwards with five.
    · Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick lead the series in top-10 finishes at Homestead with 12 each; followed by Jimmie Johnson with nine.
    · Kevin Harvick leads the series in average finish at Homestead with a 7.5; only two other drivers have an average finish inside the top 10: Carl Edwards (9.1) and Martin Truex Jr. (10.0).
    · Danica Patrick became the first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead-Miami in 2013.
    (NASCAR)(11-21-2015)

  • Hamlin to have knee surgery Nov. 30th: #11-Denny Hamlin is scheduled to have surgery Nov. 30 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Hamlin injured his knee playing basketball in September and opted to wait until after the season to have surgery. He plans to attend NASCAR’s season-ending awards ceremony in Las Vegas a few days later. Dr. Patrick Connor, the team physician of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, will perform the operation in Charlotte.(Associated Press)(11-21-2015)

  • Chris Buescher..no plans races with Front Row in 2016: Chris Buescher holds an 18-point lead in the NASCAR XFINITY point standings going into the Ford EcoBoost 300. Buescher held a Q&A session in the Homestead, one question asked was:
    Q) YOU RAN SOME CUP RACES WITH FRONT ROW [Racing #34 Ford] EARLIER THIS YEAR. ANY PLANS TO DO THAT NEXT SEASON?
    Buescher: “We don’t have anything planned for next year. I did get to run, I think it was six races what it ended up being, and I had a blast doing it. It was an awesome bunch of guys over there, had a lot of fun, and learned a lot as well. I realized real quickly how busy double-duty could get for a weekend in running back and forth between the garages. That made me give a lot more respect to the guys that do it every weekend and are constantly running because when you get out of the car, I remember Fontana was the first one. You get out of the car and there’s five minutes between XFINITY practice and a Cup practice and the garages seemed like they were a mile away there. It was a busy weekend. I was wore out by the end of it, but there’s no plans to do it next year, but what I got out of it this year was invaluable.”(Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes)(11-21-2015)

  • DiBenedetto ‘expects’ to be back with BK Racing in 2016: While a formal announcement has not been made, one driver anticipates to be back with his current team. Matt DiBenedetto, who drives the #83 Toyota, expects to be back with BK Racing next season “I expect to, for sure,” he said, “I do expect to be back, and I’m just thankful for the opportunity.” DiBenedetto, who is also a rookie-of-the-year contender this season, sits four points behind fellow candidate Brett Moffitt. Sunday afternoon will be the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “Wonderful, I couldn’t be happier, honestly,” he said on assessing his rookie season. “I ended last year not knowing-I thought I was going to be done racing for life, have to go get a job and be done. It was a blessing to be able to just drive a race car this year. I love working with everyone at BK Racing and I’m glad that they like me being there.”(The Racing Experts)(11-21-2015)

  • Amara Cay joins Preece at Homestead: Premium Motorsports announced that Amara Cay will be an associate sponsor for Ryan Preece and the #98 Chevy at Homestead. Amara Cay is a newly renovated property located in Islamorada, FL and is a premier luxury resorts.(Premium Motorsports)(11-21-2015)

  • NASCAR, RISE to promote Diversity: NASCAR announced this week it has partnered with the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), a recently formed alliance of major sports leagues, associations, media networks and educators created to promote diversity and equality through sports. NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France will help steer the new initiative, established by Miami Dolphins majority owner Stephen Ross, as a founding member of the RISE Board of Directors, serving alongside the commissioners of the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, and other top sports executives.(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-21-2015)

  • Smithfield Foods Partners with Cheney Brothers to Donate $25,000 to Big Dog Ranch Rescue:With the help of “The King” Richard Petty, Smithfield Foods and Cheney Brothers partnered to donate $25,000 to a local charity Friday afternoon at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. The donation comes as a result of a month long Smithfield Foods promotion. For every case of participating Smithfield Foods products that Cheney Brothers sold through October, Smithfield donated $1.00 to Big Dog Ranch Rescue, a charity that is very close to the Cheney Brothers family. The donation was made during a press conference at the Homestead-Miami Speedway where Richard Petty Motorsports and Cheney Brothers, a leading food distributor in the Southeast, are partnering to serve as the primary sponsor of the #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford and driver Sam Hornish, Jr. during NASCAR’s final race of the 2015 season. The donation was made by Petty on behalf of Smithfield Foods and Byron Russell, the Chief Executive Officer of Cheney Brothers to Lauree Simmons.(RPM)(11-21-2015)

  • Buescher Brings Home Roush Fenway’s 5th XFINITY Championship: Chris Buescher ran to an 11th-place finish in Saturday’s season finale to bring home the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship. Buescher led the championship point standings for the final 24 races of the season. The championship marked the fifth time a Roush Fenway Racing driver has hoisted the XFINITY Series trophy and the third time in the past five seasons. It also marked Jack Roush’s eighth NASCAR title.
    “I’m blessed to be here,” said Buescher. “It is so cool to be able to pull it off. It’s so nice to have everybody out here to support us and be with us for this accomplishment. This is what we have been fighting for since February and Daytona and these guys have done such a great job and stuck in there with us all year,” added Buescher. “It’s a huge accomplishment for our team.”
    Buescher becomes the third driver to power the famed #60 Roush Fenway Ford to the XFINITY Series title, joining fellow champions Greg Biffle (2002) and Carl Edwards (2007). Adding to the rich legacy of the No. 60, Buescher was the fourth Roush Fenway driver to drive the iconic #60 Ford to victory lane in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Mark Martin drove the #60 to victory lane 39 times and led almost 7,000 laps in the car, in addition to Biffle and Edwards’ championships in the car.
    “Chris was on his game this year,” said team owner Jack Roush. “His crew chief Scott Graves was on his game as well. They managed to win two races and they didn’t give up points on days when they weren’t at their best.”
    Most recently Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won back-to-back XFINITY series titles for Roush Fenway in 2011 and 2012 and the No. 60 Ford brought home the owner’s championship in 2011.
    Buescher, in only his second season of full-time NASCAR racing, adds to his list of accomplishments that includes becoming the youngest driver to ever win an ARCA title in 2012. Buescher scored his first NASCAR win last season at Mid-Ohio and followed up his rookie-year performance with wins at Iowa and Dover this season en route to the championship. On the season Buescher never ranked lower than third in the driver championship standings, the Prosper, Texas native finished the season with zero DNFs (Did Not Finish). He did has not finished outside of the top-20 in any of the 33 races on the season, completing 99.9 percent of the laps during the 2015 campaign, while leading a total of 263 laps.(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-21-2015)
  • NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship Fast Facts:
    Driver Champion: Chris Buescher – Team: #60 Fastenal Ford
    · Chris Buescher won his first NASCAR XFINITY Series championship; becoming the 26th different driver to win the title.
    · Buescher finished the season 15 points ahead of second-place Chase Elliott.
    · Buescher made 33 starts this season posting two wins (Iowa and Dover), 11 top fives and 20 top 10s.
    · Chris Buescher has become the second NXS champion from the state of Texas, joining Bobby Labonte (1991).
    · Buescher’s 2015 Season-To-Date Loop Data: Driver Rating (98.4) and Average Running Position (9.2).
    Owner: Jack Roush, Roush Fenway Racing
    · This is Roush Fenway Racing’s fifth NASCAR XFINITY Series driver championship. RFR’s first title came in 2003 with driver Greg Biffle, followed by Carl Edwards in 2007 and Stenhouse in 2011 and 2012.
    · Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in driver championships with five.
    · This is manufacturer Ford’s fifth series driver championship – all by Roush Fenway Racing.
    Crew Chief Champion: Scott Graves
    · This is Scott Graves first career NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.
    · Graves previous series best points finish was in 2014, when he finished seventh with Chris Buescher.
    Owner Champion: Roger Penske, #22 Team Penske Ford
    · This is Team Penske’s third consecutive NASCAR XFINITY Series owners championship; Roger Penske has become just the second owner in NXS history to win three consecutive owner titles joining William Baumgardner (1995-1997).
    · Roger Penske won the 2013 NNS owner title with drivers (starts): Brad Keselowski (15 races), Joey Logano (14), AJ Allmendinger (two) and Ryan Blaney (two).
    · Last 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).
    · This season Penske won the title with Brad Keselowski (9), Joey Logano (11), Ryan Blaney (13) and Alex Tagliani (1).
    (NASCAR)(11-21-2015)

  • Chevrolet Clinches XFINITY Manufacturer Championship: With Kyle Larson’s win in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Chevrolet clinched the Bill France Performance Cup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The 2015 achievement marks the 17th time the Bowtie Brand has captured this prestigious honor. It is also the second time Camaro has earned the award in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The Chevrolet Camaro made its series debut at Daytona International Speedway in February of 2013 and has since made 30 trips to Victory Lane. En route to securing the Bill France Performance Cup, Chevrolet drivers have won 11 races this season in the Xfinity Series. This season marked a milestone for Chevrolet in Xfinity Series competition when Chase Elliott, piloting the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro, earned the brand’s 400th series victory at Richmond International Raceway in September. In addition to Elliott, the following Team Chevy drivers contributed to this special award with victories: Austin Dillon (4 wins), Kevin Harvick (2 wins), Regan Smith (2 Wins), Kyle Larson (1 win), Paul Menard (1 win); along with manufacturer points-paying finishes by Ty Dillon, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Brian Scott.(Chevrolet Racing)(11-21-2015)
  • Daniel Suárez Wins NASCAR XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie Of The Year Awar: In what has already been an impressive first full season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, #18-Daniel Suárez added another accolade to his resume Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway – the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. In doing so, he became the first Mexican-born driver and the second NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) graduate to receive the award in a NASCAR national series.
    Also a member of the 2011-2013 NASCAR Next classes, an initiative designed to identify the sport’s next generation of stars, Suárez captured the rookie honors over fellow NASCAR Next and D4D graduate Darrell Wallace Jr. The Monterrey, Mexico native made 33 starts in 2015, posting three Coors Light Pole Awards, eight top-five and 18 top-10 finishes.
    Suárez will be officially crowned the Sunoco Rookie of the Year winner on Monday, Nov. 23 at the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Awards at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida.(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)
  • Kyle Larson wins XFINITY race at Homestead-Miami Speedway: #42-Kyle Larson won the Ford Ecoboost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. #33-Austin Dillon finished second, followed by #20-Erik Jones, #2-Brian Scott, #22-Ryan Blaney, #18-Daniel Suarez, #3-Ty Dillon, #9-Chase Elliott, #7-Regan Smith, and #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr.
    #60-Chris Buescher finished 11th and clinched the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship by 15 points over Ty Dillon.
    #54-Kyle Busch had a late race penalty for an uncontrolled tire, got caught in traffic, was involved in an accident and finished 30th.
    There were 6 cautions for 26 laps and 13 lead changes among 5 leaders. Complete results are on the Homestead race results page (pdf).
    (11-21-2015)
  • Homestead XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Larson(i) won the 21st Annual Ford EcoBoost 300, his third victory in 75 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in three races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Austin Dillon(i) (second) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 16th top-10 finish in 2015.
    Erik Jones(i) (third) posted his first top-10 finish in his first start at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Daniel Suarez (sixth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Chris Buescher leads the point standings by 15 points over Chase Elliott.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-21-2015)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Homestead:
    1) #60-Chris Buescher, 1190
    2) #9-Chase Elliott, 1175, -15
    3) #3-Ty Dillon, 1172, -18
    4) #7-Regan Smith, 1168, -22
    5) #18-Daniel Suarez, 1078, -112
    6) #1-Elliott Sadler, 1075, -115
    7) #6-Darrell Wallace Jr., 1071, -119
    8) #2-Brian Scott, 1032, -158
    9) #62-Brendan Gaughan , 1012, -178
    10) #16- Ryan Reed, 902, -288
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(11-21-2015)
  • Kyle Busch on XFINITY pole at Homestead-Miami Speedway: #54-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light pole for the Ford Ecoboost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a speed of 168.140mph. #18-Daniel Suarez will start second. The rest of the top 10: #33-Austin Dillon, #2-Brian Scott, #22-Ryan Blaney, #98-Aric Almirola, #20-Erik Jones, #1-Elliott Sadler, #42-Kyle Larson, and #3-Ty Dillon.
    Points leader #60-Chris Buescher starts 11th. The lineup was set after 2 rounds of qualifying. Rain started at the track before the final round could begin.
    Did Not Qualify: #89-Morgan Shepherd.
    The starting lineup is posted on the Homestead starting lineup page (pdf).(11-21-2015)

  • Hinchcliffe wants to run XFINITY race: James Hinchcliffe wants to go NASCAR racing and it could happen as soon as next season. In an interview with the Toronto Sun on Saturday at Homestead Miami Speedway Hinchcliffe said with a three week gap in the Verizon IndyCar Series schedule in 2016 it is the perfect opportunity for him to try his hand at stock car racing. “I am super, super keen to get into an (NASCAR) Xfinity Series car for one of the road course races in 2016,” he said. “We have come close the past couple of years trying to put a program together so now with August pretty much open for IndyCar, the timing couldn’t be better.” Hinchcliffe and his representative spent time on Saturday chatting up NASCAR team owners, including Chip Ganassi who owns two Sprint Cup teams and an Xfinity Series team along with his IndyCar team.(Toronto Sun)(11-21-2015)
  • Chris Buescher..no planned races with Front Row in 2016: Chris Buescher holds an 18-point lead in the NASCAR XFINITY point standings going into the Ford EcoBoost 300. Buescher held a Q&A session in the Homestead, one question asked was:
    Q) YOU RAN SOME CUP RACES WITH FRONT ROW [Racing #34 Ford] EARLIER THIS YEAR. ANY PLANS TO DO THAT NEXT SEASON?
    Buescher: “We don’t have anything planned for next year. I did get to run, I think it was six races what it ended up being, and I had a blast doing it. It was an awesome bunch of guys over there, had a lot of fun, and learned a lot as well. I realized real quickly how busy double-duty could get for a weekend in running back and forth between the garages. That made me give a lot more respect to the guys that do it every weekend and are constantly running because when you get out of the car, I remember Fontana was the first one. You get out of the car and there’s five minutes between XFINITY practice and a Cup practice and the garages seemed like they were a mile away there. It was a busy weekend. I was wore out by the end of it, but there’s no plans to do it next year, but what I got out of it this year was invaluable.”(Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes)(11-21-2015)
  • Hayley among those uncertain of 2016 plans following season-finale: Canadian Cameron Hayley took to his Facebook page following the Ford EcoBoost 200 thanking his ThorSport Racing team for the season and announcing that he is unsure of his 2016 plans. “Lived my dream and had the time of my life this year. Thank you to all my #13 guys and everyone at ThorSport for giving me amazing trucks week in and week out. I’m not sure what my future holds but I do know that whatever I do I will always remember this great year. Thank you to all that have helped me live my dream this year,” he wrote. ThorSport has not yet announced their 2016 driver lineup. Johnny Sauter ran his last race with the #98 team truck in Homestead. He is leaving the team after seven seasons to join GMS Racing in 2016.(11-21-2015)

  • Richmond, Red Horse part ways UPDATE: Marcus Richmond posted on his Twitter on Thursday night that despite picking up the win last week in Phoenix, he would not be ending the season as crew chief on the #17 of Timothy Peters. “Really hate I have to miss closing out the season with Timothy Peters. Go get ’em, bud! In exchange, looking forward to what my future holds,” he tweeted. The team has not announced who will guide the team in Homestead, nor their 2016 plans.(11-19-2015)
    UPDATE: Butch Hylton served as crew chief for Peters in Homestead, leading him to a fifth place finish. Richmond is rumored to be joining GMS Racing and Johnny Sauter.(11-21-2015)
  • Jones Crowned Youngest Champion in Truck Series History: After posting a sixth-place finish in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway, 19-year-old Erik Jones finished the season 15 points ahead of Tyler Reddick and was crowned the youngest champion in series history. Jones also became the first driver in Truck Series history to capture the Rookie of the Year award and a championship in the same season and in the process delivered Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) its first-ever Driver’s Championship and the organization’s record-breaking fourth overall and third consecutive Owner’s Championship.
    Over the course of the Truck Series’ 23-race season, Jones collected three wins (Iowa Speedway, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and Texas Motor Speedway), five poles, 925 laps led, 11 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes. After the eighth race of the season at Gateway Motorsports Park in June, the Michigan native found himself fourth in points, 33 behind Matt Crafton, but rallied back with 15 consecutive top-10 finishes to close out the season, including two of his three wins.
    “I can’t think of a better way to repay these guys and I can’t think of a better way to thank Kyle (Busch, team owner) for all these years – just getting a Driver’s Championship for him,” Jones said. “He’s wanted one since the company started and to bring it home for myself and for KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports), you couldn’t really ask for a better ending than that.
    “I think a lot of it was just being with a great team here in Kyle Busch Motorsports and bringing great Tundras to the race track every week. And I think there were definitely times in the year when I didn’t think we’d be able to do this and looking back and seeing the deficit we were in at some points and just being able to really to pull together and make this all happen here at the end of the year, man, it was just so, so special for everybody here. And to close off this run like this – I’ve had a great three years with these guys and I couldn’t think of a better way to thank them.”
    “Well, it’s just special to everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports,” Busch said when asked about the team’s first-ever Driver’s Championship. “I mean, we’ve been in existence for five seasons and this is obviously – six seasons, I guess – our fourth championship, but our first Driver’s Championship and it means so much more to have the opportunity to help these younger drivers and to help these kids that are coming up through the ranks to succeed and be successful and to do that with Kyle Busch Motorsports and Toyota.
    There’s nothing greater than to have that feeling and to build that company from the ground up from nothing and to take it to what it is today. It’s a true honor for Samantha (Busch, wife) and I to be able to accept the Owner’s Championship, but also our first Driver’s Championship with Erik Jones this weekend and this team. I mean, it takes all these people back here plus everyone at home back at the shop – chassis shop, body shop, everybody. We do all of our own stuff which is even more impressive that we’re able to accomplish the things that we do here.”(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(11-21-2015)


    News from November 20, 2015


  • Hamlin wins Homestead pole: #11-Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light pole for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway with speed of 176.655mph for his 3rd pole of 2015, 1st at Homestead and 23rd of his career. Hamlin has won 3 races from the pole out of 22 previous poles.
    #22-Logano is on the outside pole followed by #18-Busch, #31-Newman, #24-Gordon, #21-Blaney, #19-Edwards, #2-Keselowski, #88-Earnhardt Jr., #3-Dillon, #78-Truex Jr. and #48-Johnson.
    Missing the race: #23-Burton and #62-Soresnon.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying results, round-by-round results and more on Jayski.com’s Homestead Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(11-20-2015)
  • 2015 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers starting position at Homestead:
    [listed by current driver seeding position]
    1) #4-Kevin Harvick, starts 13th
    2) #24-Jeff Gordon, 5th
    3) #18-Kyle Busch, 3rd
    4) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 11th
    (11-20-2015)
  • Qualifying Fast Facts – Homestead:
    #11-Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 17th Annual Ford EcoBoost 400 with a lap of 30.568 seconds, 176.655 mph.
    This is his 23rd pole in 362 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third pole and 20th top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in 11 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #22-Joey Logano (second) posted his 27th top-10 start of 2015 and his fourth in seven races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #18-Kyle Busch (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 19th in 25 races this season.
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto (37th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    The Championship 4 starting positions – Kyle Busch (third), Jeff Gordon (fifth), Martin Truex Jr. (11th) and Kevin Harvick (13th).
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-20-2015)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #22-Logano 176.939
    #18-Busch 176.546
    #2-Keselowski 176.091
    #11-Hamlin 175.959
    #48-Johnson 175.879
    Chase Drivers:
    #4-Harvick 175.444, 13th, not advancing to round 3
    #24-Gordon 175.867, 6th
    #18-Busch 176.546, 2nd
    #78-Truex Jr. 175.461, 11th
    the rest of the top 12: 24 31 3 21 88 78 19;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 4 43 41 17 27 5 20 47 16 1 42 15
    (11-20-2015)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #4-Harvick 177.848
    #41-Busch 177.096
    #22-Logano 176.983
    #19-Edwards 176.904
    #2-Keselowski 176.638
    Chase Drivers:
    #4-Harvick 177.848, 1st
    #24-Gordon 175.564, 18th
    #18-Busch 175.947, 15th
    #78-Truex Jr. 176.211, 11th
    the rest of the top 24: 88 31 27 3 20 78 11 43 21 18 17 1 24 47 42 5 48 16 15;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 33 6 13 9 95 51 26 32 7 40 10 14 83 55 46 35 38 34 23 98 62
    Drivers who will miss the race: #62-Sorenson and #23-Burton.
    (11-20-2015)
  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Friday, November 20, 2015 at 6:15pm/et.
    Television (TV): NBCSN, 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. 45 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #32-Wise.
    The final driver lined up on pit road will be #40-Cassill.
    The order is set by a random draw, how cars park on pit road before they qualify, held about an hour before the first practice.
    After the first round, the cars line up by speed.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Homestead Qualifying Page.(11-20-2015)
  • Friday practice for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes and a rain delay, the top-five, slowest, chase drivers and notes:
    #19-Edwards 175.143
    #2-Keselowski 174.452
    #78-Truex Jr. 174.374
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 173.689
    #48-Johnson 173.678
    Chase Drivers
    #4-Harvick 7th fastest
    #24-Gordon 30th
    #18-Busch 16th
    #78-Truex Jr. 3rd
    slowest: #62-Sorenson 163.098 & #98-Preece 163.532
    notes: the last part of practice was rained out. These practice speeds would set the starting lineup if qualifying is rained out. Practice is being aired on NBCSN. Qualifying is scheduled for 6:15pm/et on Friday, weather permitting, TV=NBCSN.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average (7 drivers) and more on Jayski.com’s Homestead Practice 1 Speeds (pdf).(11-20-2015)


  • Rain expected for NASCAR’s championship weekend: Homestead, Fla., the site of Homestead-Miami Speedway where NASCAR will crown three series champions, can expect rain each day of the race weekend, forecasters say. There is an 80% chance or rain for Sunday’s Sprint Cup championship. The question now is whether race officials would end a championship race early because of rain. Fans can expect long delays or even a race the next day should the weather worsen.(Sporting News)
    The current (as of 11/20/2015, 5:00pm/et) weekend forecast from the National Weather Service:
    Friday: A 20% chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 83. Northeast wind around 7 mph.
    Friday Night: A slight chance of showers, then scattered showers and thunderstorms after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. Northeast wind around 6 mph becoming calm after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
    Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. Calm wind becoming southeast around 6 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
    Saturday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 1am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. East wind around 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
    Sunday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 81. Light and variable wind becoming west 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
    Sunday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 1am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 65. West wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
    Monday: A 30% chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 76. Breezy, with a north wind around 16 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.
    See links to other weather sites on the Homestead Race Info page.

  • Ortho will not sponsor Biffle or a team in 2016: Scotts Miracle-Gro has confirmed that its Ortho pest-control brand will not return next season as the primary sponsor of Roush Fenway Racing’s #16 Ford driven by Greg Biffle, and the brand will instead sit out the year as a NASCAR team sponsor. Scotts Dir of Marketing Promotions & Communications Chris Strunk in a statement said, “We evaluate our sponsorship portfolio on an annual basis and have decided not to renew our partnership agreement with Roush Fenway Racing. Roush Fenway and Greg Biffle have been terrific partners, and we wish them the best. We are extremely appreciative of their participation and support of the Ortho brand.” RFR declined comment. The brand this season sponsored about half of Biffle’s 36 Sprint Cup Series races, but will not be on the car for the Sunday’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Bleacher Report will be on the car). Ortho was one of the main brands to step in and fill the void when 3M left after a nearly 10-year relationship with Biffle, switching to Jeff Gordon’s #24. Prior to deploying its Ortho brand to the #16, the Ohio-based Scotts had sponsored other RFR cars from 2005-2011.(Sports Business Daily)(11-20-2015)

  • Kenseth and Logano before practice at Homestead: #20-Matt Kenseth met with #22-Joey Logano and NASCAR officials before practice Friday morning at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kenseth, in his first race weekend back from a two-race suspension, met face-to-face with the driver he has feuded with over the past few weeks. “We had a little discussion before practice with NASCAR and met with them a little bit,” Kenseth said. “Everything will be fine there. I wish none of it would have happened obviously. There’s probably certain things we’ll never totally agree on, but I think long term it probably will be fine, and I think we will work it all out.”(ESPN)(11-20-2015)

  • Brian France defends ‘quintessential NASCAR’ comments on controversy: NASCAR Chairman Brian France defended his “quintessential NASCAR” comments in reference to #22-Joey Logano bumping #20-Matt Kenseth in the closing laps at Kansas Speedway during his year-end state-of-the-sport news conference Friday morning. The second year of the elimination-style Chase for the Sprint Cup has been clouded by Kenseth’s retaliation against Logano in the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway when Kenseth was 10 laps down and Logano was the leader. Logano failed to advance out of the Eliminator Round to be one of the four finalists this weekend at Homestead. That was Kenseth’s goal, since Logano had wrecked Kenseth while they battled for the lead with five laps remaining two weeks earlier at Kansas. France called the Kansas contact “quintessential NASCAR,” but when Kenseth retaliated, NASCAR suspended Kenseth two races. In talking about what makes something “quintessential,” France talked about Brad Keselowski’s move that resulted in contact with Jeff Gordon late in the race last year at Texas, a move that resulted in a cut tire, a Gordon spin and an eventual pit-road brawl. “That’s quintessential NASCAR [on the track] — late in the race, wham, they’re going at it,” France said. “You’ve got to understand, that’s us. That’s what we do. That’s what those guys do.” France said no drivers have asked to sit down with NASCAR about where the line is on what they can and can’t do. “The reason that they don’t ask is that they know,” France said. “They know that circumstances late in the race, blocking — although I’m not a fan of blocking, that is part of racing — contact, the short end of some of those exchanges that happen are all part of it and do not look to NASCAR to deal with that. They are part of racing. The line is if you intentionally … banzai-ing into some situation with the sole purpose of taking somebody out, we’ll deal with that. We dealt with that at Martinsville, as a matter of fact.”(ESPN). See the full transcript of the interview on the Brian France State of the Sport Transcript page.(11-20-2015)

  • Wood Brothers returning to full-time racing in 2016: #21-Wood Brothers Racing announced that it will run a full, 36-race schedule in 2016 with Ryan Blaney continuing as the team’s driver contending for a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship with Motorcraft/Quick Lane and Ford Performance returning as anchor sponsors. “We are beyond excited to make this announcement about going back to full time competition,” said Eddie Wood, team co-owner, at a press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend. “It has been something we’ve worked toward since 2009 when we started running limited schedules. I have to thank Ford’s Dave Pericak and Raj Nair, Edsel Ford, our technical alliance partners Team Penske and Roush Yates Engines, as well as everyone at Motorcraft, for working with us to make this day possible. It’ll be fun to see just how good Ryan Blaney, Jeremy Bullins and our team can be over a full season. Lastly, it’ll be great not to have to worry about rain anymore on qualifying day.”
    Due to their limited schedule and the current point system, inclement weather prevented Wood Brothers Racing from qualifying for three races in which they were slated to run this season. “We are proud to have played a role in helping get the Wood Brothers back on the track full time for 2016,” said Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “These guys have been Ford’s most-loyal team for 65 years and they deserve the chance to show how they can perform when they are at every race. They’ve earned a full-time slot by running strong all year, even under adversity. We plan on being part of this when they capture their 100th Cup victory.”
    “This is a day everyone has looked forward to,” said Edsel B. Ford II, board member, Ford Motor Company. “The Wood Brothers represent everything that is great about this sport – tradition, family, loyalty, competition. When we asked them to regroup and consider going part-time in 2009, it was always with an eye on getting back to this day. And we are thrilled it is finally here.” Thus far in 2015, the Wood Brothers’ iconic #21’s best finishes were fourth in the spring Talladega race, 12th at the Brickyard, 14th in the fall Charlotte race and seventh in the most-recent Kansas race. Even in the four races when the team had engine problems, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion was running toward the front of the field when the trouble arose.
    “This is every driver’s dream come true,” Blaney said, “Getting a chance to run for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. I’m really looking forward to running a full schedule with this historic Wood Brothers team and hopefully get them their 99th and 100th wins sooner rather than later.” Motorcraft’s partnership with Wood Brothers Racing began in 2001 and quickly bore fruit by winning the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway with Elliott Sadler behind the wheel. The Motorcraft-Wood Brothers pairing had its greatest triumph in 2011 when rookie driver Trevor Bayne captured the Daytona 500. “We are thrilled to have been able to work with Ford Performance to make the Wood Brothers’ a full-time race team for the 2016 NASCAR season,” said Mary Lou Quesnell, director of marketing for Ford Customer Service Division. “Wood Brothers Racing has been an excellent representative of our brands for 15 years and we look forward to seeing the famous #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion on the track week after week.” In addition to Motorcraft and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers, the team will look to add additional sponsors to the roster during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.(Wood Brothers Racing)(11-20-2015)

  • Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Facts and Notes:
    · 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 12th Chase event.
    · The winner of the Homestead-Miami Chase race has gone on to win the championship during the Chase era twice: Tony Stewart (2011) and Kevin Harvick (2014).
    · Greg Biffle leads the series in Chase race wins at Homestead-Miami with three (2004 – 2006); followed by Carl Edwards (2008, 2010) and Denny Hamlin (2009, 2013) with two each.
    · 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 eight of the 11 previous Chase races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Two non-Chase contenders have won the Homestead-Miami Chase race: Greg Biffle (2004 and 2006) and Denny Hamlin (2013).
    · Five of the 11 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 three.
    · 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.
    · The 2014 Championship 4 finished – 1st (Harvick, 2014 Champion); 2nd (Newman), 7th (Hamlin) and 16th (Logano).(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)

  • Homestead Pole Notes & Facts – Friday:
    · 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 12 different Coors Light pole winners at Homestead, led by Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne with two each.
    · Jamie McMurray (November, 2003) and David Reutimann (November, 2008) won their first career Coors Light poles at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    · Two of the 16 (12.5%) 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 16 (31.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from the front row: two from the pole and three from second-place.
    · 11 of the 16 (68.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position inside the top 10.
    · Five of the 16 (31.3%) 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).
    · Denny Hamlin won the 2009 race from the 38th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started at HMS.
    (NASCAR)(11-20-2015)

  • Drivers with poles in 2014, none in 2015: Seven drivers won a Coor Light Pole in 2014 but has not won one in 2015: #1-Jamie McMurray (Martinsville, Oct), #3-Austin Dillon (Daytona, Feb), #14-Tony Stewart (Texas, Apr), #33-Brian Scott (Talladega, May), #38-David Gilliland (Daytona, July), #42-Kyle Larson (Pocono, Aug) and #55-Brian Vickers (Talladega, Oct). Scott ran a part-time schedule in 2014 and 2015. Vickers only ran two races in 2015 before having to sit out the season due to blood clots. There is one race left in the 2015 season, at Homestead. For the 2015 season, see the 2016 Sprint Unlimited / 2015 Poles page and the All-Time Pole Winners and stats page.(11-20-2015)

  • Stewart says there will be “a lot of changes” to his team: #14-Tony Stewart says that there will be “a lot of changes” to his team after this season following another disappointing year. Stewart would not reveal what the changes would be – “I think you’ll have that answer soon enough,” he said – but changes are expected in personnel, including with crew chief Chad Johnston. Stewart enters Sunday’s season finale 28th in the points. It would be his worst career finish in a season he ran the entire schedule. The three-time series champion has not finished better than 25th in the points in each of the past three seasons. “There’s got to be a lot of change,” Stewart said Thursday at the Championship 4 Media Day. “It’s not like we were a 15th-place car all year. We haven’t even been close to that.”(NBC Sports)(11-20-2015)

  • Three cars for Furniture Row? Furniture Row Racing [#78-Martin Truex Jr.] has big changes on the horizon, with a manufacturer move from Chevrolet to Toyota coming in 2016 and an expansion to two cars coming in 2017. The team may not be done at two teams, either. During Thursday’s live chat with Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone answered a fan question of where he saw his team in five years. “I see three race teams, with a super strong relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing,” Garone replied.(NASCAR.com)(11-20-2015)

  • Chase Drivers Heads Up Verses The Competition: #4-Kevin Harvick has finished ahead of #24-Jeff Gordon, #18-Kyle Busch and #78-Martin Truex Jr. in 17 Sprint Cup races in 2015. Kyle Busch has finished as the lead driver of the “Championship Four” in eight races, while Gordon and Truex Jr. has each been the top driver in five events (SHR). Of note, Busch missed the first 11 races of the season due to injuries from a wreck in the NXS race at Daytona in February.(11-20-2015)

    Homestead-Miami-Specific Statistics – Chase Driver
    1) – Kevin Harvick (#4 Budweiser / Jimmy John’s Chevy)
    · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 118.8
    2015 Rundown
    · Three wins, 22 top fives, 27 top 10s,
    · Led 2248 laps
    · Average Finish of 8.9
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    · One win, six top fives, 12 top 10s
    · Average finish of 7.571, Series-best
    · Average Running Position of 10.030, fourth-best
    · Driver Rating of 102.5, fourth-best
    · 2072 Laps in the Top 15 (77.6), fourth-most
    · 435 Quality Passes, seventh-most

    Homestead-Miami-Specific Statistics – Chase Driver
    2) – Jeff Gordon (#24 Axalta Chevy)
    · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.5
    2015 Rundown
    · One win, five top fives, 20 top 10s,
    · Led 256 laps
    · Average Finish of 13.9
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    · One win, seven top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole
    · Average finish of 10.563, seventh-best
    · Average Running Position of 11.465, fifth-best
    · Driver Rating of 100.7, fifth-best
    · 1998 Laps in the Top 15 (74.8), seventh-most
    · 467 Quality Passes, fifth-most

    Homestead-Miami-Specific Statistics – Chase Driver
    3) – Kyle Busch (#18 M&M’s Crispy Toyota)
    · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 107
    2015 Rundown
    · Four wins, 11 top fives, 15 top 10s,
    · Led 695 laps
    · Average Finish of 11.2
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    · One top five, three top 10s
    · Average finish of 23.1, 25th-best
    · Average Running Position of 16.056, 13th-best
    · Driver Rating of 91.5, ninth-best
    · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.019, eighth-fastest
    · 1696 Laps in the Top 15 (63.5), 10th-most
    · 422 Quality Passes, eighth-most

    Homestead-Miami-Specific Statistics – Chase Driver
    4) – Martin Truex, Jr (#78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevy)
    · Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100
    2015 Rundown
    · One win, eight top fives, 22 top 10s,
    · Led 564 laps
    · Average Finish of 12.2
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    · Three top fives, seven top 10s
    · Average finish of 10, second-best
    · Average Running Position of 9.037, second-best
    · Driver Rating of 106.6, third-best
    · Average Green Flag Speed of 162.357, Series-fastest
    · 1981 Laps in the Top 15 (82.4), second-most
    · 563 Quality Passes, Series-most

  • Fr8 Auctions to sponsor Moffitt at Homestead: Atlanta-based Fr8 Auctions joins the #34 Front Row Motorsports team of rookie of the year candidate Brett Moffitt as primary sponsor for Sunday’s race. Moffitt comments: “Homestead is just a lot of fun. It’s so rewarding to run right by the fence, but it’s so easy to make a mistake, too. It’s really a great place to have the championship race because to be fast there, you’ve got to be so good and just be precise as a driver for the whole race. If you mess up one corner and get in the fence and cut a right front tire, then your day’s over. Fr8 Auctions will be on board with us for Homestead. They work with businesses that have extra inventory and sell those products through their auction house. So, it’s a good way to cap off the season, bringing a new sponsor to the racetrack to give them a taste of what NASCAR racing’s all about and get them some exposure.” Fr8 Auctions Founder and CEO Marcus Barela: “Fr8 Auctions is a fast growing organization that strives to be the best. That’s why we are excited to partner with Front Row Motorsports”(FRM), see images of the scheme on the #34 Team Schemes page.(11-20-2015)

  • M&M’s Renews with Joe Gibbs Racing UPDATE2: On the cusp of his first potential NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship which would cap an amazing comeback season, #18-Kyle Busch and his team at Joe Gibbs Racing have even more reason to celebrate. Mars, Inc. finalized a multi-year contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) that will continue the winning alliance for the next several seasons. The new agreement with JGR cements one of the longest-standing and most successful partnerships not only in NASCAR, but in all of sports. Kyle Busch has piloted the #18 Toyota and dozens of Mars, Inc.’s iconic brands including M&M’S Brand, Snickers Brand, Skittles Brand, Double Mint Brand and Pedigree Brand to victory lane 29 times since 2008, as well as 15 poles and 142 top ten finishes. “In order to get to victory lane, you have to have the best team on and off the track,” said William Clements, Vice President, Sponsorships, Mars. “Our partnership with JGR and Kyle has routinely delivered for us at the track, as well as in-store and with millions of fans. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to build upon this amazing partnership.”
    “When working with a partner, collaboration, teamwork and a burning desire to win inspires us as a team, and Mars is the epitome of those qualities,” added Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Their brands have been a big part of our sport and team for a long time and we’re honored to carry them on the #18 for the foreseeable future.”
    “Representing Mars, Inc’s family of brands on the #18 since 2008 has been an honor, and knowing they are committed to JGR for the next several seasons is awesome,” said Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota. “Their support for me, my family and everyone at JGR has been incredible and this energizes me to work even harder for them and the team.”(Joe Gibbs Racing PR), Mars had been sighed thru 2017, nmo word how long this deal is for.(11-17-2015)
    UPDATE Joe Gibbs Racing has locked in primary sponsor Mars for the next several years as driver Kyle Busch looks to win his first Sprint Cup championship this weekend. Mars, mostly through its M&M’s brand, has sponsored Busch at JGR since 2008 and the extension will continue the JGR-Mars relationship at least through 2018. Specific terms were not announced, but Mars is expected to continue as primary sponsor for 32 of the 38 yearly events[36 points races, Sprint Unlimited, All-Star race]. Busch is signed with the team through at least 2017.(ESPN)(11-17-2015)
    UPDATE2: Kyle Busch will remain at Joe Gibbs Racing for the foreseeable future, as Busch confirmed he has signed a contract extension that correlates with the one the team announced Tuesday with sponsor Mars. Busch wouldn’t give the exact length of what he called a multiple-year extension, but it is expected to run through at least 2019, considering he was already signed with JGR through the next couple of years. Busch also said he has a deal with Toyota that runs concurrently and includes support of his Kyle Busch Motorsports entries in the Camping World Truck Series.(ESPN)(11-20-2015)

  • Joe Gibbs also met with Brian France; talked to Penske: Joe Gibbs said NASCAR chairman Brian France came to the race shop on Monday to meet with both suspended driver Matt Kenseth and then the team owner. The meetings were separate and done in advance of Kenseth’s return to the track this weekend. Kenseth was suspended two races for intentionally wrecking Joey Logano in retaliation. The payback ultimately cost Logano a spot in Sunday’s finale. “We had good meetings, I think we’re all in a good place right now,” Gibbs said. “I think Matt is, too. I appreciated getting the chance to meet with Brian and I think Matt did, too.” Gibbs also said he and Roger Penske had a pair of phone conversations as the feud between Kenseth and Logano brewed. He said Penske called him after Logano spun Kenseth at Kansas, and Gibbs called Penske after Kenseth wrecked Logano at Martinsville. “I think we really get along with each other,” Gibbs said. “The things we kind of talk about it are between us.”(Associated Press)(11-20-2015)
  • Dale Earnhardt’s Black GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Crowned “Lord of the Schemes”: In the beginning, there were 64 paint schemes. Fourteen weeks and six rounds later, only one remains. And it’s one of the most iconic paint schemes in NASCAR history. Dale Earnhardt’s black GM Goodwrench Chevrolet (60.4% of the votes) beat out Earnhardt’s yellow and blue Wrangler Chevrolet (39.6%) in the championship round of Lionel Racing’s “Lord of the Schemes” bracket challenge. The challenge began on Wednesday, August 19 – on the heels of the announcement that Jeff Gordon would be bringing back his popular rainbow-designed car at Bristol Motor Speedway – and ended on Wednesday, November 18. More than 138,000 votes were received throughout the campaign’s run. Lionel Racing, The Official Die-Cast of NASCAR, hosted the bracket challenge on its Facebook page. Earnhardt first slipped into the seat of the black #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet in the 1988 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Although he had already won 31 races and claimed three of his seven titles by this point, some of his best racing still lay ahead. He piloted the car for the next 13 seasons before passing away after sustaining injuries in a last-lap accident in the 2001 Daytona 500. During this span, he won four championships (1990-91, 1993-94) and celebrated in Victory Lane 45 times, including his memorable 1998 DAYTONA 500 victory. At the conclusion of the race, as Earnhardt steered his car to Victory Lane, crew members from every team lined pit road to congratulate the already legendary driver on winning the “Great American Race” after 20 attempts. Before facing the #3 Wrangler Chevrolet in the final round, the winning paint scheme faced an admirable lineup of contenders. In the first round, the #3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet went up against Tony Stewart’s #20 The Home Depot/It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Pontiac. It was then pitted against Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s #8 Budweiser/Intimidator Chevrolet in the second round. In the third round, the black GM Goodwrench paint scheme battled Davey Allison’s #28 Havoline Ford followed by a match-up with Petty’s #43 STP Pontiac. In the semifinals, the winning paint scheme squared off against another of Earnhardt’s paint schemes – the #3 Goodwrench/Silver Select Chevrolet – before the championship round.(Lionel Racing)(11-20-2015)
  • Phoenix TV Ratings UPDATE: Rain delayed and shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Phoenix, the ninth race in the Chase For the Cup, had a 1.3 overnight rating on NBCSN Sunday night. The race had a 2.8 last year and a 2.5 in 2013, when it was run as scheduled on ESPN. The 1.3 is the lowest for a delayed or postponed race this season (six races), trailing Charlotte last month (1.4), Bristol in April (1.4), Kansas in May (1.5), Daytona in July (2.6) and Richmond in April (3.1). Rain delay coverage drew a 1.5 on NBC earlier in the day.(Sports Media Watch/Showbuzz)(11-17-2015)
    UPDATE: Rain-delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Phoenix, the ninth race in the Chase For the Cup, drew a 1.4 final rating and 2.2 million viewers on NBCSN Sunday night. The race had a 3.1 and 5.1 million last year and a 2.7 and 4.3 million in 2013, when coverage aired as scheduled on ESPN. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s win ranks as the lowest rated and least-watched Sprint Cup telecast this season – including exhibitions – falling below the previous marks of 1.5 and 2.6 million for the delayed Bristol race on Fox Sports 1 in April.(Sports Media Watch / TV Media Insights)
    See past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(11-20-2015)
  • Follow the Championship 4 on Twitter at:
    @KevinHarvick @JeffGordonWeb @KyleBusch @MartinTruex_Jr
  • Ty Majeski claims Kulwicki Cup Champion: Ty Majeski’s incredible 2015 racing season will reach a peak on Dec. 14 when he is crowned the inaugural Kulwicki Cup Champion. Majeski and the other six members of the first-ever class of Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) drivers will be honored on that night next month at the organization’s banquet in the Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Highlighting the evening’s activities will be the presentation of the champion’s check for $54,439 and special one-of-a-kind champion’s trophy to Majeski. The KDDP banquet is set for Dec. 14 (Alan Kulwicki’s birthday) in The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event will feature a live online broadcast by Speed51 TV. More info at kulwickiddp.com and Jayski.com’s Driver Development news page.(KDDP)(11-20-2015)
  • Kyle Larson fastest in XFINITY practice: #42-Kyle Larson was fastest during the only XFINITY practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a speed of 169.470mph. #1-Elliott Sadler was second, followed by: #20-Erik Jones, #33-Austin Dillon, #3-Ty Dillon, #22-Ryan Blaney, #7-Regan Smith, #54-Kyle Busch, #28-J.J. Yeley, and #18-Daniel Suarez. Points leader #60-Chris Buescher was 11th. All 41 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Homestead practice speeds page (pdf).(11-20-2015)
  • Clements to make 200th career start at Homestead-Miami: Jeremy Clements, driver of the #51 Chevrolet Camaro SS will make his 200th career start in the Xfinity Series Season Finale this Saturday afternoon in the Eco-Boost 300. This a major accomplishment for an independently family owned single car team. Jeremy’s first start came back in 2003 at the age of 18 for Jerry Young at Pikes Peak. Then in 2004 when running his dirt late model he suffer what was thought to be a career ending injury to his right hand. A eight surgeries and a year later Jeremy returned to racing his Dirt Late model in 2005. Clements did not make his second career start in the Xfinity Series until 2007 with John McGill. Clements continued to make more starts in the Xfinity Series over the next few years culminating with a full-time foray into the Series in 2011 with his dad, Tony Clements as the owner. Jeremy has been competitive even with limited sponsorship over the last four years and this season is a prime example of the determination, perseverance and competitiveness of Jeremy and team. JCR is a team made up of just five guys that more times and not race on scuffed tires and use a rented pit crew every race, but this has not hampered Jeremy in having his most competitive season to date occupying 11th in driver points for 23 straight weeks and 27 weeks of the 33 race season. Only a some bad racing luck and plain hard racing kept Jeremy from challenging for the Top 10 in the standings this year. Homestead, will complete the career best season for Clements. The team will bring everything they have to close out the season on a high note and regain their points position.(Jeremy Clements Racing)(11-20-2015)
  • Crafton wins Homestead, Jones wins championship: #88-Matt Crafton dominated the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, leading 93 of the event’s 134 laps. He started the day off by earning his series-leading fourth pole of the season, and followed that up with his sixth win.
    #4-Erik Jones needed to finish 15th or better to win the championship, had a quiet night, and finished sixth to become the youngest champion in series history.
    #8-John Hunter Nemechek finished second to Crafton, leading 24 laps throughout the night. #19-Tyler Reddick finished second to Jones in the championship points, ended the night in third. He was followed by: #11-Ben Kennedy, #17-Timothy Peters, #4-Jones, #98-Johnny Sauter, in his final ride with ThorSport Racing, #14-Daniel Hemric, #13-Cameron Hayley, and #05-John Wes Townley in the top-10.
    There were 4 caution flags for 18 laps and 14 lead changes among 6 leaders.
    Complete results are on the Homestead race results page (pdf). (11-20-2015)
  • Homestead Race Fast Facts:
    Matt Crafton won the 20th Annual Ford EcoBoost 200, his 11th victory in 361 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his sixth victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 15 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    John H. Nemechek (second) posted his first top-10 finish in his first start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 10th top-10 finish in 2015.
    Tyler Reddick (third) posted his second top-10 finish in two races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    John H. Nemechek (second) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Erik Jones # leads the point standings by 15 points over Tyler Reddick.
    (NASCAR Statistics) (11-20-2015)
  • Championship Fast Facts:
    Driver Champion: Erik Jones:
    Erik Jones won his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship; becoming the youngest champion in series history at the age of 19 years, 5 months, 21 days.
    Jones is the 14th different driver to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
    Jones finished 15 points ahead of second-place Tyler Reddick.
    Jones finished the 2015 season with three wins, 11 top fives, 20 top 10s and five poles.
    Jones’ 2015 Season-To-Date Loop Data: Driver Rating (117.9); Average Running Position (4.9).

    Owner Champion: Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports:
    This is Kyle Busch Motorsport’s third-consecutive and fourth all-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner championship. Kyle Busch Motorsports’ previous owner championships were in 2010, 2013 and 2014 -KBM’s No. 51 tied ThorSport Racing’s No. 88 in owner points in 2013 but was awarded the championship due the tiebreaker (wins).
    KBM is the first team in NCWTS history to win three consecutive owner championships.
    Kyle Busch Motorsports now has the most owner titles in the NCWTS with four.

    Crew Chief Champion: Ryan Fugle:
    This is Ryan Fugle’s first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
    Fugle has nine career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories with two drivers – Kyle Busch (five) and Erik Jones (four).
    (NASCAR Statistics) (11-20-2015)

  • Driver standings following Homestead:
    1) #4-Erik Jones, 899
    2) #19-Tyler Reddick, 884, -15
    3) )#88-Matt Crafton, 877, -22
    4) #98-Johnny Sauter, 809, -90
    5) #17-Timothy Peters, 804, -95
    6) #13-Cameron Hayley, 766, -133
    7) #14-Daniel Hemric, 733, -166
    8) #05-John Wes Townley, 730, -169
    9) #11-Ben Kennedy, 690, -209
    10) #23-Spencer Gallagher, 677, -222
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf) and the final owner standings (pdf).(11-20-2015)
  • Crafton on pole at Homestead: #88-Matt Crafton won the pole for the season finale Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway with a speed of 167.551 mph. #8-John Hunter Nemechek will start second. #11-Ben Kennedy, #19-Tyler Reddick, championship leader #4-Erik Jones, #51-Daniel Suarez, #14-Daniel Hemric, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #54-Christopher Bell, and #98-Johnny Sauter close out the top-10.
    #6-Norm Benning, #18-Ross Kenseth, #36-Bobby Pierce, and #45-Todd Peck did not qualify for the race.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(11-20-2015)
  • Homestead Qualifying Notes:
    Matt Crafton won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 20th Annual Ford EcoBoost 200 with a lap of 32.229 seconds, 167.551 mph.
    This is his 11th pole in 361 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his fourth pole and 18th top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in 15 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    John H. Nemechek (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2015 and his first at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Ben Kennedy (third) posted his first top-10 start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 14th in 23 races this season.
    John H. Nemechek (second) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-20-2015)
  • Hemric fastest in final practice: #14-Daniel Hemric was fastest in the one and only practice for the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway with a speed of 168.908mph. He was followed by #19-Tyler Reddick, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #88-Matt Crafton, #4-Erik Jones, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #54-Christopher Bell, #17-Timothy Peters, #11-Ben Kennedy, #92-David Gilliland. 36 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Homestead practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-20-2015)
  • Zachary Levi to sing National Anthem for Ford 400: Zachary Levi, star of NBC’s Heroes Reborn, will complement the celebrity dignitaries at Homestead-Miami Speedway for Ford Championship Weekend, as it was announced Levi will sing the National Anthem prior to the Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship finale on Sunday. Levi adds to the impressive lineup of dignitaries for the Ford EcoBoost 400, along with NBC News Anchor Hoda Kotb, who will serve as the Grand Marshal. In addition, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company, Mark Fields, will waive the green flag as the Honorary Starter for the Ford EcoBoost 400 and bring the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship field to green for 400.5 miles at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Homestead-Miami Speedway will host the season-ending races in the NASCAR’s three premier series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series. Tickets for the Ford EcoBoost 200 and Ford EcoBoost 300 still remain, and can be purchased by calling (305) 230-5255 or by visiting www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com. The Ford EcoBoost 400 is officially sold out and will be broadcast on NBC at 3:00pm/et.(HMS)(11-20-2015)


    News from November 19, 2015


  • Homestead Track Notes & History – Thursday:
    · 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)(11-19-2015)

  • Rain expected for NASCAR’s championship weekend: Homestead, Fla., the site of Homestead-Miami Speedway where NASCAR will crown three series champions, can expect rain each day of the race weekend, forecasters say. There is an 80% chance or rain for Sunday’s Sprint Cup championship. The question now is whether race officials would end a championship race early because of rain. Fans can expect long delays or even a race the next day should the weather worsen.(Sporting News)
    The current (as of 11/19/2015) weekend forecast from the National Weather Service:
    Friday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83. Calm wind becoming east 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
    Friday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. East wind around 6 mph becoming calm in the evening.
    Saturday: Showers likely, with thunderstorms also possible after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. Light east wind becoming southeast 5 to 10 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
    Saturday Night: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72. East wind around 6 mph becoming calm in the evening. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
    Sunday: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. Calm wind becoming west 5 to 8 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
    Sunday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 68. Northwest wind 8 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
    Monday: A 30 percent chance of showers.
    See links to other weather sites on the Homestead Race Info page.(11-19-2015)
  • NBC Sports presents dual coverage of Sprint Cup Championship: In an unprecedented offering, NBC Sports Group will present dual national coverage of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship race from Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22. While NBC provides the primary broadcast of Jeff Gordon’s quest to close out his Hall of Fame career in storybook fashion, NBCSN offers a simultaneous live feed dedicated to each of the Championship 4 drivers racing for a historic victory on Sunday in South Florida. Live race coverage on both NBC and NBCSN begins at 3:00pm/et.
    The NBCSN Hot Pass multi-window display provides viewers an in-depth look at Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex, Jr., with up to three different angles from in-car cameras. A dynamic track map keeps viewers aware of Championship 4 driver positions and changes throughout the field, while a pane of race facts and figures illustrates live point differentials and key shifts in the race. Race announcer Leigh Diffey and NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Dale Jarrett host NBCSN Hot Pass coverage as the Championship 4 compete for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.
    “Get ready to experience history in real time from the drivers’ headset and perspective,” said Dan Steir, SVP of Production for NBCSN. “NBCSN Hot Pass will deliver a constant spotlight on the Championship 4 drivers and allow the race fan to access the strategy and drama in a more focused manner.” NBCSN Hot Pass also provides a simultaneous cycle of in-car audio, showcasing team communications between the driver, crew chief and spotter as each Championship 4 driver turns laps around the 1.5-mile track. Diffey and Jarrett punctuate the in-car audio, explaining key situations and communications among the four teams. NBCSN Hot Pass and NBC’s broadcast of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship race are both available for live stream via NBC Sports Live Extra.
    NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will stream this weekend’s NASCAR coverage via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store, Roku Channel Store and Apple TV.(NBC)(11-19-2015)

  • Teams receive warnings at Phoenix: Six Sprint Cup teams – including championship contender #18-Kyle Busch’s team – received warnings for inspection issues last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, NASCAR announced Wednesday. Busch’s team received its third warning after it failed pre-race inspection twice. If Busch’s team receives a fourth warning before pit stalls are picked this weekend, his team will have to pick last for this weekend’s season finale. Other Cup teams with three warnings entering this weekend are the teams of #4-Kevin Harvick, #7-Alex Bowman, #11-Denny Hamlin and #23-Jeb Burton.
    Other Cup teams receiving warnings at Phoenix:
    #10-Danica Patrick’s team failed pre-race inspection three times and also will lose 15 minutes of practice Friday.
    #20-Matt Kenseth’s team failed pre-race inspection three times and also will lose 15 minutes of practice Friday.
    #46-Michael Annett’s team failed pre-race inspection three times and also will lose 15 minutes of practice Friday.
    #16-Greg Biffle’s team received a warning after failing pre-race inspection twice.
    #27-Paul Menard’s team received a warning after failing pre-race inspection twice.
    (NBC Sports)(11-19-2015)

  • Florida Lottery returns to sponsor Gilliland at Homestead: Florida Lottery returns to the #38 Front Row Motorsports Ford of David Gilliland for the second time this season as primary sponsor. “I’m really excited to have the Florida Lottery back on our car for this race. They were on our car for the Daytona race in July, and we had a great time with them. We know there’s a big prize at stake on track this weekend, but there are also some pretty big prizes you can win with the Florida Lottery. So, everybody needs to stop and buy a ticket or two and ‘just imagine.'”(FRM), see images of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(11-19-2015)

  • Current Odds to Win 2015 Sprint Cup Championship:
    Driver, Odds
    #4-Kevin Harvick, 3/2
    #18-Kyle Busch, 11/4
    #78-Martin Truex Jr. 3/1
    #24-Jeff Gordon, 7/2
    (Vegas Insider, see more links to odds on the Homestead Race Info page)

  • Mechanix Wear names their pit crew of the year: Mechanix Wear has named their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crew of the year. This year the award goes to the #41 of Stewart Haas Racing for driver Kurt Busch. Each quarter the crew chiefs voted on their pick of the best pit crew. At the end of the year the four pit crews that won each quarters voting were eligible for the year end award. This marks the second year in a row that Coach’s Joe Piette and Kevin Sharpe of SHR have won this award. Last year the #4 of SHR won it and now the #41. Congrats to SHR and everyone involved in their pit department.
    1st quarter: #20 Joe Gibbs Racing / Matt Kenseth
    2nd quarter: #41 Stewart Haas Racing / Kurt Busch
    3rd quarter: #19 Joe Gibbs Racing / Carl Edwards
    4th quarter: #22 Team Penske / Joey Logano
    Each quarterly winner received $5,000. The end of the year winner receives $100.000.
    The #41 Stewart Haas Racing pit crew:
    Pit Coaches: Joe Piette and Kevin Sharpe
    Jackman: Sean Cotten
    Gasman: Rick Pigeon
    Front Tire Changer: Shane Pipala
    Front Tire Carrier: Jon Bernal
    Rear Tire Changer: Coleman Dollarhide
    Rear Tire Carrier: Dwayne Moore
    (Pit Talks)(11-19-2015)

  • Snap Fitness and Landon Cassill prepare for final 2015 race: Snap Fitness will run its eye-catching American flag collage paint scheme on the #40 car for a final time this season in the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, November 22. With Landon Cassill behind the wheel, America’s Fitness Brand looks to cap off a successful 2015 sponsorship with a strong finish at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. “It’s been another outstanding year working with Landon and seeing how NASCAR has revved up our brand,” Chief Marketing Officer Steele Smiley said. “This sponsorship provided us with a major platform to reach millions of potential Snap Fitness members.”
    “It’s important to find a sponsor who shares the same values as you. I love that I’m able to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle with an internationally-recognized 24/7 fitness provider,” Cassill said. “I’m hoping for a great race to wrap up the year with Snap Fitness.” Snap Fitness will have live race weekend coverage on its social media accounts. To watch all the action unfold, follow Snap Fitness on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.(Hillman Racing), see images of the scheme on the #40 Team Schemes page.(11-19-2015)

  • Ty Dillon to remain full time in XFINITY: Competing for the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship, #3-Ty Dillon is looking for more in 2016. The grandson of team owner Richard Childress will return to the XFINITY Series next year, according to Dillon himself during a teleconference on Wednesday afternoon. “I am expecting to run a full XFINITY again next year with most of the same sponsorships, along with trying to put together a full Sprint Cup program,” Dillon said. “I know for sure I will be in the XFINITY Series.” For several months, Dillon and Childress have speculated that they were working on a Cup program so he can join older brother, Austin Dillon, in the Cup Series. If he were to race at the Sprint Cup level, RCR would need to start a fourth full-time team, something they have not done since 2011.(Frontstretch)(11-19-2015)
  • Phoenix XFINITY TV Ratings: NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Phoenix earned 1.2 million viewers on NBCSN Saturday afternoon, down 35% from last year on ESPN (1.9M) and down 12% from 2013 on ESPN2 (1.4M). Despite the decline, the race earned the largest Xfinity Series audience on NBCSN since Bristol in August (1.3M).(ShowBuzz Daily / Sports Media Watch)(11-19-2015)

  • Chase Elliott still working on 2016 XFINITY plans: Chase Elliott, the 2014 XFINITY Series champion, is set to replace Jeff Gordon next season in Hendrick Motorsports’ iconic #24 Chevrolet, but admitted on Wednesday that he would also like to compete in the XFINITY Series on a limited basis. Any such plans have not been finalized, however. “We don’t have next year on the XFINITY side worked out yet,” Elliott said. “I don’t expect it to be racing fulltime. I would love to run some races if an opportunity presents itself, but nothing has been ironed out or worked out yet, so it’s obviously pending sponsorship. But no, it will not be fulltime.”(Fox Sports), there is a 2016 #88 TaxSlayer Chevy diecast available at Lionel Racing with Elliott’s name on it. See an image of the car on the #88 team paint schemes page.(11-19-2015)
  • Florida Lottery sponsoring Cassill: Landon Cassill is carrying a load of optimism into Saturday’s Xfinity Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Cassill will drive the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller #01 Chevrolet sponsored by the Florida Lottery in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300, the 33rd of 33 Xfinity events this season. Cassill has run 13 races at the 1.5-mile Homestead track. Included in that total are eight Xfinity races. Cassill has a best Xfinity finish of sixth, in 2008.(JD Motorsports)(11-19-2015)
  • Crest sponsoring Larson: The NASCAR XFINITY Series will waive the checkered flag on the 2015 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Kyle Larson will pilot the #42 Chevrolet for the 14th and final time in 2015 and the second with Procter & Gamble’s Crest brand onboard. In two prior starts at the 1.5-mile South Florida track, Larson has two top-five finishes, including a runner-up finish in 2013. He has an average starting position of 5.0, average finishing position of 2.5 and has led 165 laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Crest was the first oral care brand to secure the ADA Seal of Acceptance for a clinically proven fluoride toothpaste. Since first introducing fluoride toothpaste 54 years ago, it is estimated that Crest has helped prevent more than half a billion cavities in the United States.(HScott Motorsports)(11-19-2015)
  • Smithley attempting NXS debut at Homestead UPDATE: Garrett Smithley will climb behind the wheel of a NASCAR Xfinity Series car for he first time in the Ford Ecoboost 300. He will drive the #70 for Derrike Cope Racing, the same team he made three ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards starts with a few years ago. In addition to driving the #70 SegPay Chevrolet Camaro, Smithley will race the #63 ADAMA Chevrolet Silverado for MB Motorsports on Friday, his fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start of the season. SegPay, a global leader in online payment processing, and a longtime supporter of Smithley will shift its support to the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Look for the familiar SegPay colors on the #70 Derrike Cope Racing Chevrolet Camaro.(Garrett Smithley PR), see an image of the car on the #70 team paint schemes page.(11-18-2015)
    UPDATE: Derrike Cope Racing #70 and E-hydrate are teaming up once again up for the last race in the NASCAR Xfinity series as a sponsor at Homestead Miami Raceway on November 21st. E-hydrate offers a complete range of natural products for the entire health-conscious family that is always on-the-go and available at Target stores nationwide. All of E-hydrate’s natural products contain electrolytes – essential elements for proper hydration. E-hydrate is the first to offer premium Protein On-the-Go with electrolytes for optimum nutritional performance. “Fan response last week in Phoenix was fantastic and we’re adding new and exciting content on https://e-hydrate.com/racing/. We’ll be unveiling a very special car graphics package for the race. We look forward to another great weekend where people can experience our entire line of protein and hydration products. We’re also producing a line of very limited hero cards and branded race apparel,” stated Peter Evans, Chief Marketing Officer for E-hydrate.(Derrike Cope Racing)(11-19-2015)
  • Richmond, Red Horse part ways: Marcus Richmond posted on his Twitter on Thursday night that despite picking up the win last week in Phoenix, he would not be ending the season as crew chief on the #17 of Timothy Peters. “Really hate I have to miss closing out the season with Timothy Peters. Go get ’em, bud! In exchange, looking forward to what my future holds,” he tweeted. The team has not announced who will guide the team in Homestead, nor their 2016 plans.(11-19-2015)
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway reinforcing existing security procedures: With thousands converging on South Florida for NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend and Sunday’s Dolphins-Cowboys game, fans can expect a beefed-up security presence in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. The big event of this weekend in South Florida will be at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where three days of racing will culminate in Sunday’s sold-out Ford EcoBoost 400 for the Sprint Cup Series championship. The track issued a statement Tuesday concerning security: “We are presently in close communication with the FBI and Homeland Security related to the recent tragic incidents in Paris and other locations worldwide. We have taken measures to reinforce our existing security procedures for Ford Championship Weekend. Should they provide us with additional recommendations, we will act accordingly.” Precautions are warranted in light of attacks in Paris directed at a concert hall and the premier soccer stadium during an international match where an attacker wearing a suicide vest attempted to gain entry and was turned away by security.(South Florida Sun-Sentinel)(11-19-2015)
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway introduces “Banana Caramel Champanada”: New for the 2015 Ford Championship Weekend, Homestead-Miami Speedway is introducing a specialty food item: the “Banana Caramel Champanada.” A dessert twist on an empanada, the Champanada is a banana-lover’s dream. The Champanada consists of caramelized plantains in fresh-made banana pudding, wrapped in a crisp, flaky crust, drizzled with Carmel sauce and dusted with powdered sugar and crushed Nilla wafers. A full Champanada weighs more than one pound, and contains 650 calories per portion, and is the perfect dish to share with friends or eat on your own. The Champanada will be available for purchase in the Midway Display area for $9 each.(HMS)(11-19-2015)
  • Annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week Festivities to Celebrate: As The Championship 4 get ready to race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy at Homestead-Miami Speedway, preparations are underway in Las Vegas for annual postseason celebrations honoring the eventual 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year. Running Dec. 1-4, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week will once again bring together the “who’s who” of the racing industry, celebrities and fans for a robust schedule of events featuring the DAYTONA Rising / NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, the annual NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, and the star-studded NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. Wynn Las Vegas, the premier resort destination in Las Vegas, will serve as headquarters for NASCAR during the week.
    This year’s events will bring fans closer to their favorite drivers than ever before, featuring special guests and giveaways at The LINQ Promenade, an open-air fan hub offering retail and restaurant options along with the world’s tallest observation wheel, the High Roller. Fans will also get the chance to watch all 16 Chase drivers take their race cars to the streets for NASCAR Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco, an annual parade down Las Vegas Boulevard featuring burnouts and pre-event festivities.
    New to the event this year, NBCSN’s Rutledge Wood and television personality Courtney Hansen will host the fan-favorite driver tell-all, NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Sprint. In addition, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will debut a revamped Red Carpet walk offering select fans a chance to see many of their favorite drivers before they enter the Awards. Fans can stop by The LINQ Promenade to check out the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week schedule and learn more about how to secure access to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Red Carpet. NBCSN will broadcast this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, with coverage beginning at 9:00pm/et. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the awards show live at 8:00pm/et.
    For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, visit NASCAR.com. Following is a rundown of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week activities; all times are Pacific time unless otherwise noted.
    Tuesday, Dec. 1
    · NASCAR Live: Eli Gold will sit down with the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion to discuss his road to the championship. NASCAR Live will air from inside the Race and Sports Book at Wynn Las Vegas from 4 – 5 p.m. on Motor Racing Network. This event is free to the public. Fans in attendance will have a chance to participate in the live broadcast.
    Tuesday – Wednesday, Dec. 1 – 2
    · DAYTONA Rising / NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum: Part one of the annual DAYTONA Rising / NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, presented by SportsBusiness Daily/Global/Journal, will bring together industry decision-makers for insights and thought-provoking discussions on the state of motorsports. The event will be held at The Mirage Las Vegas. Media credentials are required and to register click here.
    Wednesday – Friday, Dec. 2 – 4
    · Champion’s Week Live at The LINQ Promenade: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week fan experience will be anchored in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip – Champion’s Week Live at The LINQ Promenade, the ultimate NASCAR fan headquarters. Open from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. each day, fans can purchase merchandise of The Challenger 16 at the NASCAR Superstore, get their photo taken with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy and view The Challenger 16 cars on display. For a full list of activities, fans and media can visit NASCAR.com.
    Wednesday, Dec. 2
    · Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway: A fan-favorite event, the seventh annual LVMS Fanfest will begin at 2 p.m. at the Fremont Street Experience. This event is free to the public and will consist of a red carpet walk by the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Challengers, followed by a special “game show format” event. Select fans may be chosen to participate in an onstage game with the drivers for a chance to win two tickets to the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards held two nights later at Wynn Las Vegas.
    Thursday, Dec. 3
    · NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: The annual awards luncheon and industry gathering will take place from 11 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. in the Encore Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas, where several team and individual awards will be presented. Hosted by FOX Sports personality Mike Joy, the event will be live-streamed on NASCAR.com.
    · NASCAR Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco: Fans can catch their favorite driver during pre-race
    introductions hosted by FOX Sports reporter Jamie Little at 2:45 p.m. The green flag on the Victory Lap will fly at 3:30 p.m. when the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers parade down Las Vegas Boulevard in their race cars. NASCAR Victory Lap will start in front of the Miracle Mile Shops and finish at The LINQ. For a full list of where each driver will participate in burnouts, fans can visit The LINQ Promenade earlier in the week. The event will be simulcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and NASCAR.com. · NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Sprint: A must-see event, NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Sprint will take place from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at The Pearl Theater inside Palms Casino Resort. All 16 Chase Challengers will appear on stage and give fans behind-the-scenes info about their lives on and off the track. The event will be simulcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and NASCAR.com.
    Friday, Dec. 4
    · Championship Year in Review: SiriusXM NASCAR Radio host Claire B. Lang will be joined live from 1-3 p.m. by the championship winning driver, owner, crew chief and other crew members in an exclusive two-hour retrospective on their championship-winning season.
    · 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: This black-tie celebration will be held at Wynn Las Vegas, where the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver and owner and the other Chase drivers will be honored. The drivers and stars will walk the Red Carpet from 4 – 5 p.m. NBCSN will broadcast this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, with coverage beginning at 9 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the awards show live at 8:00pm/et.
    · Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide Reveal: The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide will be given to an outstanding volunteer who has made a profound impact on children in his or her community. The NASCAR Foundation will announce the national award winner during this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards and donate $100,000 to the winner’s chosen charity. Fans can cast their vote for the 2015 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner by visiting NASCAR.com before 11:59pm/et on Dec. 3.(NASCAR)(11-19-2015)


    News from November 18, 2015


  • Atlanta Motor Speedway & Kentucky Speedway repaving in 2016? UPDATE2 denied by both tracks: From an interview with Danny James of the Lane Construction Corporation. James is the Mechanical Supervisor responsible for overseeing the paving of racetracks such as Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Kansas Speedway. James is supervising the paving the Dominion Raceway in Spotsylvania, VA. During the interview, James said Lane Construction has been contracted to repave Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kentucky Speedway in 2016. The video interview which had been on the Dominion Raceway Facebook page, was removed Wednesday afternoon and the same video on YouTube is now private.(11-18-2015)
    UPDATE: Atlanta Motor Speedway posted on their twitter: A repave has been looked into, but at this time, there are not any plans to do so.(11-18-2015)
    UPDATE2: Kentucky Speedway may be due for a repave in 2016, but it’s still plenty possible the track chooses to wait out another year with its bumpy surface. That’s despite what Lane Construction Corporation’s Danny James said in a recent interview circulating social media Wednesday. In a video published to Facebook, James said his company has been contracted to repave Kentucky Speedway and the Atlanta Motor Speedway, both owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc. “I’m not exactly sure why he’s talking about what we’re doing,” said Mark Simendinger, Kentucky Speedway’s general manager. “If I were him, I’d be more focused on Lane Construction Corporation is up to — not what we’re up to.” Simendinger said repaving is something track officials have discussed with Lane Construction and other contractors. “Have we made up our mind with what we’re going to do? No,” Simendinger said. “We’re not going to ask (James) to make our media announcements for us. We evaluate it every year. We’re evaluating it right now. That shouldn’t come as a surprise.”(Courier-Journal)(11-18-2015)

  • Jimmie Johnson Narrates SportsCenter Jeff Gordon Tribute Today: ESPN SportsCenter will air a tribute to the career of retiring NASCAR star Jeff Gordon in the 6:00pm/et edition of tonight’s program, with the feature also running in other editions through the evening. Gordon’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson narrates the feature, which includes highlights of the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion’s career as he prepares to race for a fifth in Sunday’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Lindsay Czarniak hosts the 6 p.m. SportsCenter, which will air on ESPN and stream on WatchESPN.(ESPN)(11-18-2015)
  • FOX Sports Redesigns NASCAR Coverage for 2016: As NASCAR prepares to crown its national Series champions this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, FOX NASCAR already has begun preparations for the 2016 season, announcing today its full broadcaster lineup for next year, including a new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team featuring veteran play-by-play announcer Mike Joy and analysts Darrell Waltrip, together for their 16th season, and newcomer and four-time champion Jeff Gordon, plus new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series play-by-play announcer Vince Welch.
    Waltrip, a NASCAR Hall of Famer, and Gordon, currently campaigning for his fifth title in 2015, combine for seven Cup Series championships and 177 Series wins, while Joy marks his 30th year as a NASCAR broadcaster. The FOX NASCAR deck is stacked well beyond the booth, though, with veteran crew chief Larry McReynolds returning for his 16th year with the network, providing in-race analysis during each event armed with 40 years in the sport.
    “In 2016, we have the unique opportunity to take a four-time champion, Jeff Gordon, directly from the Chase to the booth, pairing him with Darrell Waltrip to offer fans seven championships’ worth of expertise,” said Eric Shanks, President and COO, Executive Producer, FOX Sports. “Led by Mike Joy, one of the sport’s most talented play-by-play announcers ever, there is a ton of enthusiasm building around our 2016 talent lineup.”
    The team is joined on pit road by reporters Jamie Little, Chris Neville, Welch and Matt Yocum. FOX broadcasts 10 of FOX Sports’ 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, while FS1 telecasts six. Chris Myers hosts FOX NASCAR SUNDAY, the network’s fast-paced prerace show from the traveling Hollywood Hotel, alongside Gordon and brothers Darrell and Michael Waltrip.
    The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to FOX Sports for the second consecutive season in 2016, with Adam Alexander once again handling fulltime play-by-play duties alongside analyst Michael Waltrip and a rotation of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. In 2015, FOX Sports featured five Cup Series drivers in the XFINITY booth throughout the season, offering fans a variety of knowledgeable viewpoints. Neville, Hermie Sadler, Little, Welch and Yocum alternate to cover pit road.
    For the 14th consecutive year, FS1 offers exclusive coverage of the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Welch, longtime pit reporter covering the Cup and XFINITY Series, moves into the Truck Series play-by-play role fulltime in 2016 with veteran analysts Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip. Welch, who also calls play-by-play for select FOX Sports college basketball games this season, pitched in to call Truck Series races on FS1 in 2015, as well as select NASCAR XFINITY Series races prior to joining FOX. Sadler leads pit road reporting with Yocum and Kaitlyn Vincie. FS1 telecasts 22 of the Series’ 23 races live in 2016, while FOX broadcasts the October Talladega race.
    NASCAR RACEDAY, FS1’s popular prerace show, continues to deliver the excitement behind-the-scenes and up-to-the-minute reports from the garage prior to the start of each Sprint Cup race. Myers, Danielle Trotta and John Roberts share hosting duties, while the entire FOX NASCAR on-air team joins analysts Kenny Wallace, Jeff Hammond and Wally Dallenbach and reporters Alan Cavanna, Andrew Doud and Vincie.
    In addition, FOX Sports offers a dedicated 30-minute prerace show immediately prior to each NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Trotta returns to host NASCAR RACEDAY-XFINITY with McReynolds and Wallace providing analysis. Roberts has the honors for NCWTS SETUP leading into all Truck Series races with insight from two-time Series champion Todd Bodine and feature reports from Ray Dunlap.
    NASCAR RACE HUB, the sport’s most watched news and information program, continues live at 6:00 PM ET every Monday through Thursday on FS1. Alexander, Trotta and Roberts co-host the hour-long program with analysts McReynolds, Hammond and Dallenbach, who are joined by a rotating team of active drivers and crew chiefs. The trio of Cavanna, Doud and Vincie are back with daily reports from NASCAR race shops, while Dunlap delivers Truck Series feature reports and analysis.
    NASCAR RACE HUB WEEKEND EDITION once again is a Friday and Saturday fixture on FS1, delivering at-track updates and news as it breaks throughout the course of the race weekend, while NASCAR VICTORY LANE recaps each Sprint Cup Series race with highlights and analysis.(FoxSports)(11-18-2015)

  • Jeff Gordon featured on Sports Illustrated cover: #24-Jeff Gordon is featured on this week’s national cover of Sports Illustrated ahead of the final race of his storied career. Gordon, 44, will race against #18-Kyle Busch, #4-Kevin Harvick and #78-Martin Truex Jr. on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in pursuit of his fifth NASCAR championship. Win or lose, Gordon will retire after the race to cap more than 20 years of professional competition. SI’s Mark Bechtel looks back at the highlights of Gordon’s career, from his accomplishments on the track to his complicated relationship with his dad and his sudden transformation years ago from a devout Christian to something more Hollywood. St. Louis Rams running back Todd Gurley is featured on the regional cover.(for locations see Sports Illustrated)(11-18-2015)

  • Ty Dillon in the #33 at Homestead: Ty Dillon will make his Sprint Cup Series Homestead-Miami Speedway debut this weekend in the #33 Nexium 24HR Chevy. Dillon has made two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at the 1.5-mile speedway, resulting in one top-10 finish. In four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts, Dillon has two top-10 finishes. Nexium 24HR, the over-the-counter heartburn medication, will be featured on the #33 Chevy this weekend, Nexium 24HR was the sponsor for Dillon in the Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan in June. Nexium 24HR is now available without a prescription for frequent heartburn. Veteran crew chief and current #3 XFINITY Series crew chief, Nick Harrison, will be a top the pit box for the #33 team this weekend in Homestead. Harrison, a Columbia, Tenn.-native, has been a crew chief in the Sprint Cup Series for 120 races. Last season, Harrison and Dillon worked together at the Cup level for Dillon’s career debut at Atlanta and again at Phoenix last November (Circle Sport), see images of the scheme on the #33 Team Schemes page.(11-18-2015)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports and Cheney Brothers partner for Homestead: Richard Petty Motorsports is partnering with Cheney Brothers, a leading food distributor in the Southeast, to help feed their need for speed. Cheney Brothers will serve as the primary sponsor of the #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford and driver Sam Hornish, Jr. at NASCAR’s final race of the 2015 season. The partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports will allow Cheney Brothers to be a part of NASCAR’s most exciting evening, when a champion is crowned. Cheney Brothers will have their logos adorn the hood, sides and rear of the #9 car throughout the weekend at Homestead. For over 25 years, Smithfield Foods and Cheney Brothers have enjoyed a winning partnership off the track, serving customers around the world. This is the second consecutive year that Cheney Brothers will partner with Richard Petty Motorsports at Homestead. “Cheney Brothers has long been a leader in foodservice distribution,” added Chuck Gitkin, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Smithfield Foods. “We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Cheney Brothers, and we are excited to join forces with them and Richard Petty Motorsports again, for what promises to be an unforgettable night of racing.” Sam Hornish, Jr., an Indianapolis 500 winner and three-time IndyCar Champion, will be racing for his first win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He wants nothing more than to do it with Cheney Brothers in their home state. “The atmosphere at Miami for the season finale is electric,” said Hornish. “Any time you can share that with a partner is something pretty special. We want to end our season with a win and I want to do that with Cheney Brothers on our car.”(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #9 Team Schemes page.(11-18-2015)
  • Goodyear Tire Notes for Homestead: Teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Homestead this week will run the same tire set-up . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup and Xfinity teams ran at Homestead last season . . . teams in all three series have also run this same tire set-up at Texas and Chicagoland this season . . . in 2014, Camping World Truck teams ran a different right-side tire at Homestead . . . this right-side tire 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 . . . Goodyear confirmed this tire set-up at a test at Homestead on August 24-25 . . . drivers participating in that test were Trevor Bayne, Clint Bowyer, Ty Dillon and Kyle Larson . . . as on all NASCAR ovals one mile or greater in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Homestead . . . the air pressure in those liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Goodyear’s “Wingfoot One” will be in the air over Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend . . . this airship is based out of Pompano Beach, Fla. . . . “Wingfoot One” will provide air coverage for NBC Sports’ broadcasts of both the Xfinity race on Saturday and Sprint Cup race on Sunday (Goodyear PR), see full notes, tire codes, tire pressures, set limits on the Homestead Race Info page.(11-18-2015)

  • Shelby GT350 Mustang to Serve as Ford EcoBoost 400 Official Pace Car: The 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang will lead the field to green in the season-ending and championship-deciding Ford EcoBoost 400 Sunday afternoon with Ford Motor Company Executive Vice President and President, the Americas, Joe Hinrichs behind the wheel. “The Shelby GT350 Mustang is the most track-capable Mustang ever, making it the perfect pace car for the Ford EcoBoost 400 during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway,” Hinrichs said. “This is a great chance for the fans at Homestead, and millions more watching around the world, to see the new GT350 in action. Knowing this race will determine NASCAR’s 2015 champion makes it even more special.” 2015 marks the third straight year Mustang has paced the Ford Championship Weekend premier event, joining the 50th Anniversary Edition Mustang in 2014 and the Need for Speed Mustang in 2013. One of Mustang’s most iconic performance nameplates of all time, the Shelby GT350 builds on the dramatically improved sixth-generation Mustang to create a truly special driving experience. Under the hood is a high-revving, free-breathing 5.2-liter V8. It is the first-ever Ford production V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft. It is also the most-powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever, generating 526 horsepower and 429 foot-pounds of torque.
    Every component and shape of the GT350, which also will pace the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 race at Homestead on Saturday, is optimized to work in harmony resulting in a world-class, street-legal race car with everyday drivability and road manners. The weekend will kick off with the Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck Series race Friday with the 2015 F-150 SuperCrew 4×4 model in Lariat trim level pacing the field. It is painted in White Platinum, and has a Camel leather interior. This marks the 14th year Ford has served as title sponsor of Ford Championship Weekend.(Ford Racing), see images of the cars on the 2015 Pace Car page.(11-18-2015)
  • Phoenix TV Ratings: Rain delayed and shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Phoenix, the ninth race in the Chase For the Cup, had a 1.3 overnight rating on NBCSN Sunday night. The race had a 2.8 last year and a 2.5 in 2013, when it was run as scheduled on ESPN. The 1.3 is the lowest for a delayed or postponed race this season (six races), trailing Charlotte last month (1.4), Bristol in April (1.4), Kansas in May (1.5), Daytona in July (2.6) and Richmond in April (3.1). Rain delay coverage drew a 1.5 on NBC earlier in the day.(Sports Media Watch/Showbuzz)
    See past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(11-17-2015)
  • NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award Voting is underway. The voting period runs through 11:59pm/et on Sunday, November 22, 2015, more info on the award, past awards and voting for XFINITY and Truck Series awards on Jayski.com’s Jayski.com’s Most Popular Driver award page.
    UPDATE: Less than one week remains before voting ends in the annual NMPA Most Popular Driver award, which means it’s crucial for NASCAR fans to vote. Last week saw a 14.9% increase in total number of votes cast from the previous week. Sprint has revealed the top 10 vote-getters thus far. Where is your favorite driver? The list is in alphabetical order:
    #18-Kyle Busch
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.
    #19-Carl Edwards
    #24-Jeff Gordon
    #4-Kevin Harvick
    #48-Jimmie Johnson
    #5-Kasey Kahne
    #20-Matt Kenseth
    #10-Danica Patrick
    #14-Tony Stewart.(NASCAR.com)(11-18-2015)
  • NASCAR says resuming Phoenix race Monday wasn’t policy after reaching halfway:Responding to questions about why Sunday’s shortened race wasn’t resumed Monday, Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR vice president, said that’s not policy after an event becomes official at halfway. “It really isn’t,” O’Donnell told SiriusXM Satellite Radio host Dave Moody in an interview Monday afternoon. “Fans can ask questions, and it’s something we can look at in the future, but for NASCAR, we’ve advertised the race on a certain date, and if we feel we can get the race in on that day, we’re going to do that. We started the race with every intention of believing we could get every lap in, but once it does reach halfway, the policy known in the garage that we’ve operated on is that’s considered an official race. We don’t want to always have to rely on that. We’re going to make every effort to get all the laps in, but unfortunately, we couldn’t do that on Sunday night.” Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway was called after 219 of a scheduled 312 laps, making #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. the winner and putting #4-Kevin Harvick, #18-Kyle Busch and #78-Martin Truex Jr. in the championship round of the playoffs with #24-Jeff Gordon. That prompted questions about whether NASCAR should make it policy to run every playoff race to the end.(full article at NBC Sports)(11-18-2015)
  • Buescher’s Championship Clinch Scenarios: To clinch the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver championship in Miami no matter what any other competitor does, #60-Chris Buescher will have to finish 13th or better without leading a lap, 14th or better while leading at least one lap, or 15th or better while leading the most laps.(NASCAR)(11-18-2015)

  • Fox Sports names 2016 XFINITY announcers: The NASCAR XFINITY Series returns to FOX Sports for the second consecutive season in 2016, with Adam Alexander once again handling fulltime play-by-play duties alongside analyst Michael Waltrip and a rotation of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers. In 2015, FOX Sports featured five Cup Series drivers in the XFINITY booth throughout the season, offering fans a variety of knowledgeable viewpoints. Chris Neville, Hermie Sadler, Jamie Little, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum alternate to cover pit road. In addition, FOX Sports offers a dedicated 30-minute prerace show immediately prior to each NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Danielle Trotta returns to host “NASCAR RaceDay-XFINITY” with Larry McReynolds and Kenny Wallace providing analysis.John Roberts has the honors for “NCWTS Setup” leading into all Truck Series races with insight from two-time series champion Todd Bodine and feature reports from Ray Dunlap. (Fox Sports)(11-18-2015)
  • 100th (and final) start at JR Motorsports for Regan Smith: #7-Regan Smith will make his 100th career start for JR Motorsports at Homestead-Miami…the same place he made his first for the team in 2012. In that race, Smith took the lead for good on a restart at lap 179 and held on through two restarts over 22 laps to earn his first career NXS victory. He joined the team full-time for the 2013 season, and combined with his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Darlington in 2011, has won races in five straight seasons at the top levels of NASCAR competition.(JR Motorsports)(11-18-2015)
  • NASCAR will crown youngest truck champ following Homestead race: With one race left in the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, Erik Jones leads second-place Tyler Reddick by 19 points in the championship standings. Regardless of Reddick’s performance, all Jones must do to take home the title is finish 15th or better; 16th with at least one lap led; or 17th and the most laps led in Friday night’s Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A record will be broken no matter what as Jones (19 years, 5 months, 21 days) or Reddick (19 years, 10 months, 9 days) will become the youngest champion in NCWTS history. The title was previously held by Austin Dillon (2011: 21 years, 6 months, 22 days). Jones has finished lower than 15th just once this season (23rd at Gateway). In fact, he currently boasts a streak of 14 consecutive top-10 showings. The No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports driver has never raced at Homestead. Reddick enters Friday’s race riding a streak of four consecutive fifth-place finishes. He has put himself in title contention by posting two wins, 13 top fives and 18 top 10s in 22 starts this season. Reddick raced in last season’s Homestead finale, finishing sixth.(NASCAR)(11-18-2015)

  • FOX sets broadcast crew, Welch to call truck races in 2016: As NASCAR prepares to crown its national series champions this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, FOX NASCAR already has begun preparations for the 2016 season, announcing its full broadcaster lineup for next year, including a new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team featuring veteran play-by-play announcer Mike Joy and analysts Darrell Waltrip, together for their 16th season, and newcomer and four-time champion Jeff Gordon, plus new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series play-by-play announcer Vince Welch. For the 14th consecutive year, FS1 offers exclusive coverage of the entire NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Welch, longtime pit reporter covering the Cup and XFINITY Series, moves into the Truck Series play-by-play role fulltime in 2016 with veteran analysts Phil Parsons and Michael Waltrip. Welch, who also calls play-by-play for select FOX Sports college basketball games this season, pitched in to call Truck Series races on FS1 in 2015, as well as select NASCAR XFINITY Series races prior to joining FOX. Sadler leads pit road reporting with Yocum and Kaitlyn Vincie. FS1 telecasts 22 of the series’ 23 races live in 2016, while FOX broadcasts the October Talladega race. In addition, FOX Sports offers a dedicated 30-minute prerace show immediately prior to each NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. John Roberts has the honors for “NCWTS Setup” leading into all Truck Series races with insight from two-time series champion Todd Bodine and feature reports from Ray Dunlap.(FOX Sports)(11-18-2015)
  • Toyota could clinch Manufacturers’ title in Phoenix UPDATE: If the top-finishing Toyota finishes 14th or better in Friday’s race at Phoenix, Toyota will capture its eighth Manufacturers’ Championship, tying Chevrolet for the most in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history. The Manufacturers’ Championship would also be Toyota’s third consecutive title.(NASCAR)(11-11-2015)
    UPDATE: Toyota won its third consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series manufacturers’ championship following Timothy Peters’ victory at Phoenix International Raceway. Toyota now boasts eight manufacturers’ titles – tied with Chevrolet for the series record. On the season, Toyota has won 13 races with Matt Crafton (5), Erik Jones (3), Kyle Busch (2) and Christopher Bell (1). Toyota has won four driver championships – Todd Bodine (2006), Johnny Benson (2008), Matt Crafton (2013-14) – and can capture a fifth with Erik Jones in Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(NASCAR)(11-18-2015)

  • NASCAR considering Chase scenario for trucks: NASCAR acknowledged it’s contemplating a playoff-type system similar to the Chase for the ultra-competitive Truck tour. One scenario that’s been discussed would feature eight contenders in a seven-race elimination where two drivers are knocked out after each three-race segment with the four teams battling for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Twenty-one points currently separate third-place Tyler Reddick from series points leader Erik Jones in the truck standings. Defending truck champion Matt Crafton trails Jones by 17 points as he attempts to become the first driver to win three consecutive titles. This season the truck series has enjoyed 13 different winners in the first 21 events. The proposed seven-race Chase would occupy roughly 30 percent of the schedule – a greater portion than the Chase for the Sprint Cup consumes (27.78 percent).(Motorsport.com)(11-8-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell confirmed Monday on SiriusXM that the sanctioning body is having “conversations in the garage” about the possibility of a Chase-style format in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. A post from the NASCAR Fan Council circulated on social media late last week in which those on the council were asked for feedback on an XFINITY Series-specific idea in which 12 drivers would advance to a seven-race postseason. “We certainly have talked to a lot of people who would have a keen interest if we were to go that route,” O’Donnell said on SiriusXM. “Getting their feedback, what do they think of the concept, how they think it plays out in the Sprint Cup Series and how that would work both at the XFINITY and Truck level. We’re going to continue to do that in Miami. “If we do make any changes, obviously they would come in the offseason. I would confirm we are having those discussions in the industry. If we continue to see some positives, that may be a direction we choose to go to.”
    O’Donnell also addressed reports that the sanctioning body may consider limiting the number of starts a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver makes in the other two national series.”At no time have we gone out and said, ‘Hey, we’re looking to ban Cup drivers,’ ” he said. “I think what we have looked at is, how does it play out in the competitive landscape of each series? A lot of it has to do with, are we enabling the young drivers to showcase their talents and giving them the best opportunity to move up the ranks, if they have the ability to do so? “There’s a lot of different opinions. We are looking at some things, partly around if you go to a different championship format, could you look at some of those events potentially as just XFINITY or Truck drivers only. Not anywhere near making a call on that yet, but we certainly hear the fans. I’d say (fans) are more vocal now in terms of Cup drivers not participating as much as they are.”(NASCAR.com)(11-18-2015)
  • Kenseth, Hattori building toward 2016: Ross Kenseth will attempt to make his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start on Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the #18 Green Brave/Saitama Toyopet Toyota Tundra for Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE). Kenseth made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut with HRE at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on October 31, where he finished 17th in what was the team’s first NASCAR national touring series race of 2015. Friday’s race will mark Kenseth’s fourth NASCAR start of the season. The son of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Matt Kenseth made his NASCAR debut in the June XFINITY Series race at Chicagoland Speedway when Kenseth, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, qualified second and finished sixth. “We are trying to build something for 2016 and performing well this weekend will only help that,” said Shigeaki Hattori, owner of HRE and the #18 truck.(Fuel SMG)(11-18-2015)


    News from November 17, 2015


  • Teammates to pay tribute at Homestead with ‘Jeff Gordon yellow’ numbers: Sunday will mark a momentous occasion in the history of Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR as a whole. Jeff Gordon will make his final start behind the wheel of the #24 Chevy. To honor the event, Axalta has provided a special paint scheme for Gordon to drive as he attempts to win a fifth NASCAR Cup Series championship in the final race of his final full-time season. But the remaining three Hendrick Motorsports cars will also celebrate the close of an iconic career. In a collaboration Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick announced Tuesday morning on Twitter, Gordon’s teammates and their partners worked together to run the familiar “Jeff Gordon yellow” for the car numbers on the #5, #48 and #88 Chevy as well. See the behind-the-scenes gallery of the application of the yellow numbers inside the race shops.(Hendrick Motorsports) and see images of the four cars on Jayski.com’s:
    #5 Team Schemes page;
    #24 Team Schemes page;
    #48 Team Schemes page;
    #88 Team Schemes page.(11-17-2015)

  • Chase drivers to appear on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” tonight: The four NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship 4 drivers, #24-Jeff Gordon, #78-Martin Truex Jr., #4-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch are scheduled to appear on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” Tuesday night, November 17th, scheduled for 11:35pm/et on NBC. Also scheduled to appear is singer Justin Bieber.(11-17-2015)

  • M&M’s Renews with Joe Gibbs Racing UPDATE: On the cusp of his first potential NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship which would cap an amazing comeback season, #18-Kyle Busch and his team at Joe Gibbs Racing have even more reason to celebrate. Mars, Inc. finalized a multi-year contract extension with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) that will continue the winning alliance for the next several seasons. The new agreement with JGR cements one of the longest-standing and most successful partnerships not only in NASCAR, but in all of sports. Kyle Busch has piloted the #18 Toyota and dozens of Mars, Inc.’s iconic brands including M&M’S Brand, Snickers Brand, Skittles Brand, Double Mint Brand and Pedigree Brand to victory lane 29 times since 2008, as well as 15 poles and 142 top ten finishes. “In order to get to victory lane, you have to have the best team on and off the track,” said William Clements, Vice President, Sponsorships, Mars. “Our partnership with JGR and Kyle has routinely delivered for us at the track, as well as in-store and with millions of fans. We look forward to the opportunity to continue to build upon this amazing partnership.”
    “When working with a partner, collaboration, teamwork and a burning desire to win inspires us as a team, and Mars is the epitome of those qualities,” added Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Their brands have been a big part of our sport and team for a long time and we’re honored to carry them on the #18 for the foreseeable future.”
    “Representing Mars, Inc’s family of brands on the #18 since 2008 has been an honor, and knowing they are committed to JGR for the next several seasons is awesome,” said Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Toyota. “Their support for me, my family and everyone at JGR has been incredible and this energizes me to work even harder for them and the team.”(Joe Gibbs Racing PR), Mars had been sighed thru 2017, nmo word how long this deal is for.(11-17-2015)
    UPDATE Joe Gibbs Racing has locked in primary sponsor Mars for the next several years as driver Kyle Busch looks to win his first Sprint Cup championship this weekend. Mars, mostly through its M&M’s brand, has sponsored Busch at JGR since 2008 and the extension will continue the JGR-Mars relationship at least through 2018. Specific terms were not announced, but Mars is expected to continue as primary sponsor for 32 of the 38 yearly events[36 points races, Sprint Unlimited, All-Star race]. Busch is signed with the team through at least 2017.(ESPN)(11-17-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Homestead:
    #19-Carl Edwards………… 110.2
    #20-Matt Kenseth…………. 108.9
    #78-Martin Truex Jr………. 106.6
    #4-Kevin Harvick.…………. 102.5
    #24-Jeff Gordon………….. 100.7
    #48-Jimmie Johnson……… 97.5
    #11-Denny Hamlin………… 95.9
    #15-Clint Bowyer………….. 93.2
    #18-Kyle Busch……………. 91.5
    #5-Kasey Kahne…………… 90.1
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (10 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)(11-17-2015)
  • Chevy clinces the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer Championship: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s victory in the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday clinched the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Championship for Chevrolet. It marks the 13th consecutive year and 39th time overall that the Bowtie Brand has won the prestigious title in NASCAR’s premiere series. It is the third 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 award 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 35 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races run to date in the 2015 season, Chevrolet drivers and teams have captured 15 victories. Chevrolet won its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Championship in 1958. The Team Chevy drivers who have contributed so far this year to the Manufacturers’ points that achieved the title for Chevrolet are: #48-Jimmie Johnson (five wins), #4-Kevin Harvick (three wins), #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (three wins), #41-Kurt Busch (two wins), #24-Jeff Gordon (one win) and #78-Martin Truex, Jr. (one win).(Team Chevy), see the Manufacturers Points / Winners page on Jayski.com’s 2015 Manufacturers Points & Stats page.(11-17-2015)
  • Phoenix Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2015 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500:For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 5:22 PM, stopped for a rain delay at 5:47 PM; restarted recording times at 9:00 PM, and stopped when the race was called at 11:41 PM (all times are EST). NBCSN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 104
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 56
    Number of times NBCSN utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast: 57
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 3 min. 50 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 5:22 PM
    Stop time for rain delay: 5:47 PM
    Restart time to record race/commercial periods: 9:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:41 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 186
    Minutes of race broadcast: 139
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 47
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 0
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 139 Total comm. brdcst time 47
    See full reports, sponsor links, many more details at CawnJaws.com.(11-17-2015)

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Laps Led Leaders:
    (after Phoenix, 35 of 36 races)
    1. #4-Kevin Harvick, 2,248
    2. #22-Joey Logano, 1,359
    3. #2-Brad Keselowski, 1,098
    4. #20-Matt Kenseth, 927 (33 races)
    5. #41-Kurt Busch, 788 (32 races)
    6. #18-Kyle Busch, 695 (24 races)
    7. #78-Martin Truex Jr., 564
    8. #48-Jimmie Johnson, 558
    9. #11-Denny Hamlin, 529
    10. #19-Carl Edwards, 368
    Laps Run: 10,158
    (11-17-2015)

  • Chase format for XFINITY Series? UPDATE: On Wednesday, Jeff Gluck of USA Today tweeted an interesting tidbit that was forwarded to him by an anonymous member of the NASCAR Fan Council. Contained in the tweet was the outline of a potential playoff format that NASCAR claims to be considering for use in the XFINITY Series. In short, it’s very similar to the one employed by the Sprint Cup Series, but also has the added feature of preventing Cup regulars from dropping down and stealing wins from tour regulars. The concept as presented to the Fan Council goes as follows:
    • Full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers would not be able to race in any of the NASCAR XFINITY Series races
    • The XFINITY Series championship field consists of 12 XFINITY drivers
    • Drivers eligible for the playoffs are determined by the greatest number of wins after 26 events, then drivers without a win who have the most points will take the remaining spots
    • The championship format would consist of seven races; six races and one final championship race
    • The number of championship drivers in contention decreases after every three XFINITY races, from 12 to start; eight after race three and four after race six
    • A win at any of the three races within a round equals advancement into the next round
    • Four drivers enter the NASCAR XFINITY Championship race in Miami with a chance to win, with the highest finisher amongst those four capturing the NASCAR XFINITY Series title.
    But if there is something fans dislike more than the Chase, it’s Cup Series drivers dipping down into the lower divisions and taking rides and victories away from younger drivers. It’s a complaint that predates the Chase for the Championship with fans lamenting Winston Cup drivers who participated in Busch Series races, an act still known to this day as Buschwacking. Unfortunately for fans who want to see the XFINITY Series roster stand on its own, the economics just don’t make sense without a radical overhaul of the status quo. Race teams, even at the XFINITY Series level, require a tremendous amount of money to participate, and for the time being, that has meant bringing in Sprint Cup drivers to come in and sell advertising. Some of the top teams in the garage have been able to allocate resources to support up-and-coming talent, but it’s not the easiest endeavor in the world.(Popular Speed)(11-11-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell confirmed Monday on SiriusXM that the sanctioning body is having “conversations in the garage” about the possibility of a Chase-style format in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. “We certainly have talked to a lot of people who would have a keen interest if we were to go that route,” O’Donnell said on SiriusXM. “Getting their feedback, what do they think of the concept, how they think it plays out in the Sprint Cup Series and how that would work both at the XFINITY and Truck level. We’re going to continue to do that in Miami. If we do make any changes, obviously they would come in the offseason. I would confirm we are having those discussions in the industry. If we continue to see some positives, that may be a direction we choose to go to.”
    O’Donnell also addressed reports that the sanctioning body may consider limiting the number of starts a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver makes in the other two national series. “At no time have we gone out and said, ‘Hey, we’re looking to ban Cup drivers,’ ” he said. “I think what we have looked at is, how does it play out in the competitive landscape of each series? A lot of it has to do with, are we enabling the young drivers to showcase their talents and giving them the best opportunity to move up the ranks, if they have the ability to do so? “There’s a lot of different opinions. We are looking at some things, partly around if you go to a different championship format, could you look at some of those events potentially as just XFINITY or Truck drivers only. Not anywhere near making a call on that yet, but we certainly hear the fans. I’d say (fans) are more vocal now in terms of Cup drivers not participating as much as they are.”(NASCAR.com)(11-17-2015)
  • Crafton to pass Hornaday in career starts: Although a third-consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver’s championship title is unlikely for Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Door/Menards Toyota Tundra in 2015, the ThorSport Racing driver can characterize his season as a success. Entering the final race of the 2015 season, Crafton has claimed a season-high three poles (Michigan International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Texas Motor Speedway), led a career-high 678 laps, and earned a season-best five wins (Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway). In fact, Crafton has earned half of his 10 career wins in 2015. In addition to his success in 2015, Crafton will once again make history in Friday night’s NCWTS 200 at Homestead-Miami (FL) Speedway. The two-time and defending series champion, has spent 15 full-time seasons in the NCWTS to date, and will make his 361st career start in the series Friday night, passing four-time NCWTS champion, Ron Hornaday, Jr., in career starts. Currently, both Crafton and Hornaday are tied with 360 starts. Of the 360 starts that Crafton has made since 2000, the Tulare, California native has made 14 starts at Homestead, site of Friday night’s NCWTS season finale. Although Crafton is still looking for his first win at the 1.5-mile oval, a type of track the Menards driver has dominated on in 2015, the ThorSport Racing diver has lead 38 laps en route to two two-five and six top-10 finishes, with a track-best start of second (2004), and a track-best finish of second (2009). Furthermore, among active series drivers, Crafton has the most starts (14), is tied for the most top-five finishes (2), has the most top-10 finishes (6), has completed the most laps (1917), and has the most lead lap finishes (10).(ThorSport Racing)(11-17-2015)
  • Little hopes to continue truck effort in 2016: Jesse Little, a member of the 2015 NASCAR Next class, makes his final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start of the 2015 season with the running of the Ford Ecoboost 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway. Little will be back behind the wheel of his #97 Toyota Tundra in an alliance with ThorSport Racing and will continue to have support from Protect The Harvest, an organization started by Lucas Oil founder, Forrest Lucas. With one race left in the season, Little has been planning for 2016. “We’ve got our NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team heading in the right direction and a good run in Homestead will keep the attention on what we’re capable of doing with solid support from our supporters,” he said. “We’re working on plans for 2016 and would like to run the entire season and each race helps to build towards that goal. Coming out of Homestead with a solid finish will help garner the sponsorship support we need to be ready for the 2016 season that’s for sure.”(Team Little Racing)(11-17-2015)


    News from November 16, 2015


  • Entry List for the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #21-Blaney, #32-Wise, #33-Ty Dillon, #62-Sorenson, #95-McDowell, #98-Preece.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in owners points): #62-Sorenson (45th in owners pts); #95-McDowell (44th)
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): #21-Blaney (18 attempts), #95-McDowell (19)
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Homestead Entry List

  • NASCAR asks to meet with Matt Kenseth UPDATE: NASCAR has asked to meet with Joe Gibbs Racing driver #20-Matt Kenseth on Monday in advance of the driver’s return to the track this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Kenseth was suspended for the past two races following his role in an on-track incident with #22-Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway. “NASCAR has asked the driver of the 20 to meet with Chairman and CEO Brian France,” NASCAR Vice President David Higdon said. France and NASCAR handed down the suspension, which was upheld on appeals, following Kenseth’s wreck of race leader Joey Logano in the Eliminator Round opener. The two had previous on-track run-ins, and Kenseth — nearly 10 laps down at the time — drove Logano into the wall with less than 50 laps remaining. Logano was eliminated from the postseason following Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway. Kenseth had been eliminated the week before Martinsville. In addition to his suspension, Kenseth is on probation for the rest of 2015.(NASCAR.com)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth met Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina, in advance of the driver’s return to the track following a two-race suspension. France was “pleased” with the dialogue, according to a tweet from NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes. Kenseth tweeted later Monday afternoon, noting that he’s “glad to have all this behind (him).”(NASCAR.com)(11-16-2015)

  • Team Penske plans to eventually have four teams: For Team Penske to make the next progression longer-term, president Tim Cindric said, it will eventually have to field four teams, like powers Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. Until then, he said, the organization will not be regarded as an “elite team.”
    “I don’t think we’re looked at as that yet,” Cindric said. “I mean, you look at the pedigree, and you look at the time, it’s only been since Joey arrived (in 2013) that we’ve had two cars consistently contending. I think you could say maybe there was a year with Brad and Kurt (Busch, in 2011) but before that, if you look at the 90s and you look at the 2000s time period, we were hit and miss. I don’t think that we got to the point where we were a consistent contender with multiple cars, and I think we’re almost over that hump. But I don’t think we’re viewed yet as an elite team within NASCAR because we only run two cars.” Sponsorship shortfalls this summer quashed a plan to field a full-time program beginning in 2016 for Ryan Blaney, Cindric said. The 21-year-old is running partial national touring campaigns this season, with the Wood Brothers in Cup, for Penske in Xfinity, where he has won twice, and for Keselowski’s trucks team, where he has one victory. “There’s a certain tolerance that you have,” Cindric said of sponsor money, “but you can’t close the gap so far. For ’17 it’s a definite goal of ours to get ourselves back up to three and longer-term we want to be a four-car team.” NASCAR currently limits to four the number of full-time Sprint Cup cars an organization can race. Teams capable of funding such operations benefit from economies of scale in building cars and information-gathering and -sharing. Of the three teams with the maximum, JGR qualified all four drivers for the 16-person Chase this season, HMS three and Stewart-Haas Racing two. “I think four is the right business model, but we felt like we had to go to two to get ourselves focused,” Cindric said. “When you have two successful cars or one successful car and others that aren’t successful, you spend as much time or more time on the car that is not successful. And we felt like we needed to take a step back and get ourselves to a point where we could simplify things.For sure we want to get back to three and eventually four. I do think four is easier to manage than three just because you typically have a better balance. I do think there is some truth to three’s a crowd and it’s harder to manage the three.”(USA Today)(11-16-2015)

  • Three drivers who won a race in 2014, have not won 2015: Three drivers have now been shut out of winning a Sprint Cup race in 2015 after winning at least one race in 2014, after 35 of 36 races in 2015, the drivers:
    #5-Kasey Kahne last won at Atlanta in August 2014 and has a four season win streak.
    #43-Aric Almirola has won one career race, last year at Daytona in July.
    #47-A.J. Allmendinger has won one career race, last year at Watkins Glen in August.
    (11-16-2015)
  • Zoo Miami Cheetah to Predict NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion: At 10:30am/et on Tuesday, November 17th, Zoo Miami, in partnership with the Homestead Miami Speedway, will host an event that will feature “Koda,” a 2 year old cheetah from South Africa. Koda will be making his debut as Zoo Miami’s new official “Wildlife Prognosticator” and will make his prediction as to who will win this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship! Koda will be presented with smaller model replicas of each of the four finalist’s cars. He will then make his prediction by going to and touching the car he believes will be this year’s winner! Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animal with the ability of going from 0-60 mph in four seconds! With less than 12,000 believed to exist in the wild, these highly endangered cats are found in isolated pockets of Eastern and Southern Africa. Zoo Miami’s Cheetah Ambassador Program has been in existence for nearly 20 years and has provided countless individuals around the country to connect with these beautiful cats in an effort to protect them for generations to come.(HMS)(11-16-2015)

  • Will the NASCAR charter program begin in 2016 as planned? As the Sprint Cup season nears an end, some team executives privately are questioning if NASCAR’s charter program to provide organizations with long-term equity will begin next year as intended. One source who was heavily involved in the negotiations but not authorized to speak publicly about them told NASCAR Talk that a “deal isn’t imminent.” Another source said that plans remain to have the charter program in place before next season begins. The deal was likened to the glacial pace that it took NASCAR to release the 2016 schedule last month because of new five-year sanctioning agreements with each track. The Sprint Cup schedule was released two months later than a year ago. The charter program is important for teams because it provides value for them. Now, if a team loses sponsorship or financial backing, it faces the prospect of going out of business because a lack of tangible assets precludes the appeal of selling to another investor. Michael Waltrip Racing, which is losing its financial backing with Rob Kauffman purchasing an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing, will cease operations after this season. Team owner Richard Petty said such an equity program is needed. Asked how confident he was that NASCAR’s charter program will be in place for next season, Petty said: “The one deal that NASCAR has, they have slowed down, and we’re talking to them and they’re listening. Will they do anything or not? We’ll just have to wait and see, but there have been a couple of pretty interesting suggestions the (Race Team Alliance) has made, so it’s going to be a long, drawn out deal. We’re not going to get everything we want, and they’re not going to get everything they want, but if we can get a start, then I think the RTA can really help NASCAR, and I think NASCAR can help the RTA. It’s a combination. We can’t hurt each other. If we do, we’re killing each other.” NASCAR announced Sept. 29 that it presented teams with “framework concepts for future qualification to compete in NASCAR’s top national series with an eye toward implementing a new model for the 2016 season.”(NBC Sports)(11-16-2015)

  • New pit crew coach at RCR: Eric Wilson has stepped down as head coach of Richard Childress Racing’s pit crews effective immediately. Wilson took over the coaching job 3 years ago when Matt Clark was released. Wilson’s plans are unclear to us at this time but what is clear is that Ray Wright will be taking over. Wright has been the strength and conditioning coach for the last 7 years and will now transition to the coaching role. Ray was also the rear tire carrier for the #27 of Paul Menard. Taking his place over the wall will be Adam Mestenmacher. As far as the strength condition role goes, we are hearing that Tyler Radar will be taking over the void for the foreseeable future. Rader also fuels the #30 Cup car on Sundays.(PitTalks)(11-16-2015)
  • David Ferroni wins 2015 Jim Chapman Award: David Ferroni, who has been involved in motorsports for 30 years and currently is media representative for Furniture Row Racing and driver Martin Truex Jr. in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, today was announced as winner of the 2015 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. Ferroni started his career as publicist for Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway before traveling the NASCAR and NHRA national circuits. His blue-chip corporate clients have included Miller Brewing Co., McDonald’s, Valvoline, Interstate Batteries, Pennzoil, the U.S. Army and Furniture Row. Ferroni was PR director for the famed “Miracle On Ice” 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team, which won the gold medal in Lake Placid, N.Y. He also worked in professional soccer and the U.S. Women’s Indoor Tennis Championship in Bloomington, Minn. Established in 1991 by media and publicists within the CART series, the Chapman Award originally focused on achievement in CART. After a hiatus of several years, the award was resumed in 2004, with eligibility expanded to anyone working in racing PR. Chapman started as sports editor or managing editor of several Southern newspapers before joining the New York Times. He entered the PR business in 1946, as regional PR director for Ford Motor Co. in Detroit.(SpinDoctor500)(11-16-2015)
  • Name change for spring race at Phoenix: When NASCAR embarks on its second annual West Coast Swing next March, the ideal way to experience the three-race road trip will be in an RV. Then, join the fun with serious RV owners at the Good Sam 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 13, 2016. Tickets for the Good Sam 500 are on sale now, with prices beginning as low as $25. In order to secure tickets early and guarantee their seats throughout every NASCAR race at PIR next year, fans can purchase a 2016 NASCAR season ticket, which includes the Good Sam 500 race weekend on March 12-13. Tickets can be purchased by visiting PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 866-408-RACE (7223).
    “We are proud to continue our tremendous relationship with Camping World and Good Sam with the Good Sam 500 next March,” said PIR President Bryan R. Sperber. “We take pride in hosting thousands of campers at every race, and with our spring race taking place during Spring Break, partnering with the world’s largest RV owners association makes perfect sense.”
    Good Sam is the world’s largest organization of recreational vehicle (RV) owners and is committed to making RVing a safer and more rewarding experience for its over 1.6 million members. Founded in 1966 by Trail-R-News, a small California RV magazine, Club members originally promised to help fellow travelers on America’s highways. Good Sam is a sister company of Camping World, who is the NASCAR Truck Series Sponsor and America’s largest retailer of RV supplies, accessories, services and new and used RVs. Last year’s spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at PIR was named the CampingWorld.com 500.
    “We are excited to partner with the Phoenix International Raceway for our Good Sam 500 race as this is also in celebration of our 50th anniversary of serving the outdoor and RV community,” said Marcus Lemonis, CEO and Chairman of Camping World and Good Sam and host of CNBC’s The Profit. “Camping is such an integral part of the race experience for many fans, and at Good Sam, we look forward to continuing our services for many more years to come; offering preferred rates on insurance, extended warranty, roadside assistance and savings at campgrounds across the country.”
    The Good Sam 500 will be the fourth race of the 2016 and will take place during Spring Break for virtually every school in the state of Arizona, making it an ideal camping destination for families. Additionally, the Good Sam 500 will coincide with 2016 Major League Baseball Spring Training, giving campers the flexibility to take in a wide variety of sporting events while in the Phoenix area.(Phoenix International Raceway)(11-16-2015)
  • Changes coming to Phoenix track? After five-consecutive fall sell-outs at Phoenix International Raceway, the track is considering several capital improvement’s for the half-century old track – including the possibility of moving the start-finish line to the backstretch. “I think we’re going to take a really hard look at our master plan over the next couple of months and start to answer some of those questions about how best to maximize the opportunities here at Phoenix,” PIR track president Bryan Sperber said. “If this were a baseball game, we’re probably in the first inning of that. So, there will probably be a lot of different things that will surface and will vet a lot of the potential opportunities and land on a really good plan for Phoenix going forward.” What’s made the backstretch so attractive to fans is how the reconstruction of the one-mile track has enhanced the quality of racing. In 2010, ISC announced a $100 million project that widened the front stretch to 62 feet and expanded the dogleg by 95 feet which increased the radius to 500 feet. Progressive banking was added to the relatively flat track. Turns 1 and 2 were raised to 10-11 degrees, Turns 3 and 4 to 8-9 degrees. Work was completed in tim for the November 2011 race. “The fans love it – what they call the dive-bombing,” Sperber says of the action on the backstretch where drivers use the apron to their advantage. “Whoever thought we could be four and five-wide at Phoenix. It’s been tremendously exciting. We thought it would be good, but it vastly exceeded even my expectations. We’ve really been blessed with a great racetrack and I think the next step for us is to make sure the rest of the facility matches the high quality of what we’re seeing in terms of the racing.”
    With the track holding approximately 60,000 fans along the front stretch into Turns 1 and 2, a row of motorcoaches on the backstretch and a smattering of spectators on Rattlesnake Hill between Turns 3 and 4, there’s certainly room for expansion. While many tracks are tearing down stands, few areas boast the car culture of Phoenix and the valley. “We’ve looked at enhancing the front stretch,” Sperber said. “We’ve looked at some concepts, like adding a double-decker stand on the frontstretch. Certainly, the idea of developing some things on the back – were even talked about back in the late ’90s – Bill France Jr., even talked about that.(Motorsport)(11-16-2015)
  • New sponsor for Smithley at Homestead: Garrett Smithley will return to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition this coming Friday with support from a new NASCAR sponsor – ADAMA. ADAMA is a leading global manufacturer of crop protection solutions. With a comprehensive range of high-quality, differentiated and effective products, ADAMA strives to provide accessible, easy-to-use solutions that simplify the user experience while improving crop yields. As part of its NASCAR sponsorship, ADAMA is featuring a new global innovation for the agricultural industry called NIMITZ. NIMITZ is a novel, non-fumigant nematicide with a simplified application and improved safety features that are advantageous to farmer and consumer audiences. In its first year of commercial sales, NIMITZ has exceeded the company’s expectations in regards to marketplace performance and user satisfaction. ADAMA is featuring its NIMITZ brand on the #63 MB Motorsports Chevy Silverado at the Ford EcoBoost 200 Championship Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20, 2015.(See an image of the truck on the #63 Team Paint Schemes page)(Spire Sports+Entertainment)(11-16-2015)


    News from November 15, 2015


  • Earnhardt Jr. wins at Phoenix: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Quicken Loan’s for Heroes 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) for his 3rd win of the season, 3rd win at Phoenix and 26th career win. Earnhardt Jr. led 22 of the 219 laps.
    The race was rain delayed for over six hours, getting the command to start engines at 9:00pm/et and taking the green flag at 9:27pm/et. During a late race caution on lap 195, it started raining again, just after NASCAR red flagged the event at 11:30pm/et on lap 219, the rain came down hard. With more rain in the forecast, NASCAR decided to call the race and made it official. It is only the second Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix in 39 races to be rain shortened and the first since October 25, 1998 when Rusty Wallace won a race shortened to 257 of 312 laps.
    #4-Harvick finished 2nd (for the 12th time in 2015 and 43rd runner-up finish in his career) followed by #22-Logano, #18-Busch, #48-Johnson (pole winner), #24-Gordon, #41-Busch, #11-Hamlin, #2-Keselowski and #43-Almirola.
    The four drivers advancing to the CHAMPIONSHIP RACE of The Chase at Homestead-Miami Speedway are:
    #24-Jeff Gordon (4 Championships)
    #4-Kevin Harvick (1 Championship)
    #18-Kyle Busch (0 Championships)
    #78-Martin Truex Jr. (0 Championships)
    Four drivers failed to win or score enough points during the Eliminator Round(3) to advance to the Championship Race:
    #19-Carl Edwards
    #2-Brad Keselowski
    #41-Kurt Busch
    #22-Joey Logano
    There were 8 lead changes among 7 drivers and only 2 cautions for 29 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 106.512mph.
    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). (11-15-2015)
  • Finishing positions of the 2015 Sprint Cup Chase drivers at Phoenix:
    [by points standings before the race (start pos)]
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon, 6th (11th)
    2) #18-Kyle Busch, 4th (10)
    3) #4-Kevin Harvick, 2nd (8)
    4) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 14th (5)
    5) #19-Carl Edwards, 12th (4)
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski, 9th (18)
    7) #41-Kurt Busch, 7th (2)
    8) #22-Joey Logano, 3rd (14)
    (11-15-2015)
  • Race Fast Facts – Phoenix:
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the 28th Annual Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, his 26th victory in 576 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third victory and 22nd top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his third victory and 13th top-10 finish in 27 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #4-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 26 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 27th top-10 finish in 2015.
    #22-Joey Logano (third) posted his eighth top-10 finish in 14 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    The Championship 4 drivers, in order of seed, are #4-Kevin Harvick, #24-Jeff Gordon, #18-Kyle Busch and #78-Martin Truex Jr.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-15-2015)
  • Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings – Eliminator Round:
    [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36, Chase race 9 of 10]
    Top 4 advance to Championship race
    1) #4-Harvick [3 wins], 4123; 22 ahead of 5th
    2) #24-Gordon* [1], 4121
    3) #18-Busch[4], 4121 -2; 20 ahead of 5th
    4) #78-Truex, Jr.[1], 4106 -17; 5 ahead of 5th
    Bottom 4 fail to advance to Championship race
    5) #19-Edwards[2], 4101 -22; -5 out of 4th
    6) #2-Keselowski[1], 4093 -30; -13 out of 4th
    7) #41-Busch[2], 4085 -38; -21 out of 4th
    8) #22-Logano [6], 4054 – 69; -52 out of 4th
    The order is set by the points standings after the last round.
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc, with in that round of the Chase)
    *Automatically advances to Championship round with a win in the Eliminator round.
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf). (11-15-2015)
  • Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings:
    [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36, Chase race 9 of 10]
    1) #4-Harvick [3 wins], 5000
    2) #24-Gordon [1], 5000
    3) #18-Busch [4], 5000
    4) #78-Truex, Jr.[1], 5000
    5) #19-Edwards [2], 2334, -2666
    6) #22-Logano [6], 2319, -2681
    7) #88-Earnhardt Jr. [3], 2306, -2694
    8) #2-Keselowski [1], 2304, -2696
    9) #41-Busch [2], 4085 -38; -21 out of 4th
    10) #11-Hamlin [2]. 2293, -2707
    11) #31-Newman, 2286, -2714
    12) #48-Johnson [5], 2280, -2720
    13) #1-McMurray, 2264, -2736
    14) #27-Menard, 2239, -2761
    15) #20-Kenseth [5], 2197, -2803
    16) #15-Bowyer, 2174, -2826
    See the Unofficial Drivers Chase Points Standings page (pdf)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Race & Points Report (pdf). (11-15-2015)

  • Unofficial Top 25 in 2015 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) #4-Kevin Harvick(C1), 1278
    2) #22-Joey Logano(EC), 1258, -20
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (EC), 1194, -84
    4) #2-Brad Keselowski(EC), 1174, -104
    5) #78-Martin Truex Jr.(C4), 1132, -146
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson(EC), 1120, -158
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin(EC), 1083, -195
    8) #19-Carl Edwards(EC), 1074, -204
    9) #41-Kurt Busch(EC), 1072, -206
    10) #24-Jeff Gordon(C2), 1071, -207
    11) #31-Ryan Newman(EC), 1024, -254
    12) #1-Jamie McMurray(EC), 1021, -257
    13) #20-Matt Kenseth(EC), 1009, -269
    14) #27-Paul Menard(EC), 949, -329
    15) #43-Aric Almirola, 937, -341
    16) #5-Kasey Kahne, 914, -364
    17) #15-Clint Bowyer(EC), 890, -388
    18) #16-Greg Biffle, 840, -438
    19) #42-Kyle Larson, 832, -446
    20) #18-Kyle Busch(C3), 820, -458
    21) #3-Austin Dillon, 802, -476
    22) #13-Casey Mears, 752, -526
    23) #47-AJ Allmendinger, 734, -544
    24) #10-Danica Patrick, 696, -582
    25) #9-Sam Hornish Jr. , 690, -588
    (C# = chase driver and current Chase position)
    (EC = chase driver that has been eliminated from the Chase)
    (11-15-2015)
  • Race Coverage of the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is scheduled for Sunday, November 15, 2015.
    Television (TV): NBCSN at NOW; green flag approx. TBA
    RadioMotor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, November 16 at 2:00pm/et on NBCSN
  • Race starts after 6+ hour rain delay: The Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) was delayed due to rain and finally got underway just after 9:00pm/et. The track was close to being dry around 3:15pm/et then it started raining again. The Air Titans and track crew worked hard all day to get the track dry. The race was scheduled for a 2:41pm/et green flag. Pre-race ceremonies were held around 5:20pm/et, and the command to start engines was given by Cmd. Scott Pleus at 9:00pm/et. A competition caution is scheduled for lap 40. Race coverage switched to NBCSN as of 6:00pm/et as NBC had the Arizona at Seattle NFL game scheduled).
  • Rain Delay as of 8:55pm/et: The Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is being delayed due to on-and-off rain. The track was close to being dry around 3:15pm/et then it started raining again. As of 8:25pm/et, rain has stopped and the track is mostly dry, the issue is the apron, pit road and water seeping under the SAFER barriers. The Air Titans are still on the track. The race was scheduled for a 2:41pm/et green flag. Pre-race ceremonies were held around 5:20pm/et, all that is left is the command to start engines. Drivers are in their cars and things are getting close to starting engines as of 8:55pm/et. A competition caution is scheduled for lap 40. Race coverage has switched to NBCSN as of 6:00pm/et as NBC will air coverage of the NFL starting at 7pm/et (Arizona at Seattle).
  • Phoenix Pre-Race Schedule for Sunday, November 15: (eastern time)
    12:30:00 pm: NSCS Driver/Crew Chief Meeting
    2:00:00 pm: NSCS Drivers Introductions
    2:26:00 pm: Intro Presentation of Colors by Luke Air Force Base
    2:26:20 pm: Moment of Silence for Veterans & Invocation by Col. Daniel Butler, Chaplain, National Guard
    2:27:00 pm: National Anthem by Jo Jo, “Multi-Platinum Atlantic Records Recording Artist”
    2:28:30 pm: Fly-By (2) F-35’s, 56th Fighter Wing, Luke Air Force Base (Turn 3 to Turn 1)
    2:33:30 pm: Command to Start Engines by Senator John McCain, Arizona
    2:41:00 pm.: Green Flag – Quicken Loans Race For Heroes 500
    eastern time (NASCAR.com)

  • Truex Jr. Racing With Heavy Heart: Martin Truex Jr. will be racing with a heavy heart in today’s Sprint Cup Series Race at Phoenix International Raceway. He will race in memory of 10-year-old Elijah Aschbrenner, who died Wednesday of a rare form of cancer. A photograph of Elijah and his name will be displayed on Truex’s race car. Elijah was someone special to both Truex and his girlfriend Sherry Pollex. The youngster from Huntersville, N.C. took part in the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Catwalk for a Cause in May, a fundraiser for pediatric and ovarian cancer research. Elijah was also a guest of Martin and Sherry during the spring race at Talladega. He flew on Truex’s airplane to Talladega and watched the race from the pit box. “Our brave Catwalk hero has gone home to be with the Lord,” said Martin and Sherry in a Facebook post. “Our lives will forever be changed because of him. We will never stop fighting for this horrible disease. He was the strongest little boy we’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Now we focus on lifting his family in prayer. We shall meet again one day my sweet friend.”(Furniture Row Racing PR)(11-15-2015)

  • Hamlin loses rear tire changer for the last two races of the year: The #11 pit crew of Denny Hamlin will be without rear changer Mike Hicks for the remaining two races. Early in the week, Hicks broke a bone in his right foot. From the sounds of it, the injury was kind of a freak accident but doesn’t seem to pose any problems for next year. When we asked Mike about the injury this is what he had to say. “It was a weird deal. It happened Wednesday at practice and I was just walking backwards. My ankle kind of gave out and my foot rolled over and popped a bone. Thankfully its not bad and I should be walking in two weeks and good to go in about 4.” The good news is that JGR hired long time tire changer David Mayo from HMS a few weeks back. Mayo was the back up for JGR and will now be changing rears for the #11 at Phoenix and Homestead. Mayo was able to practice with the #11 crew for a few days this week and should do just fine.(PitTalks)(11-15-2015)

  • NASCAR drivers join in Paris attacks reaction: They are a world away from Paris, but NASCAR drivers and their teams are standing in support of France in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks. #41-Kurt Busch#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.#10-Danica Patrick#15-Clint Bowyer #22-Joey Logano were among stockcar racing participants who took to social media to express their thoughts. NASCAR spent Friday in preparation for racing at Phoenix while events unfolded in Paris. More than 120 people died and about 350 more were wounded as terrorists attacked the French capital. Sprint Cup qualifying for Sunday’s race took place about the time of the Paris attacks. The sport’s Trucks series race ran as scheduled on Friday, and the Xfinity Series was a go for Saturday. Sunday’s race will find Jimmie Johnson leading the field at Phoenix. It is the final race in the Eliminator Round, from which Jeff Gordon and three drivers to be determined will emerge as participants in the Cup championship race on Nov. 22 at Homestead-Miami. Racers watched with the rest of the world as the horror of Paris played out. As at all public events this week, Phoenix International Raceway is coordinating with law enforcement officials to make sure its spectators and race participants are safe.(Sporting News)(11-15-2015)

  • More issues with JGR cars thru tech inspection: For the second week in a row, three of the four Joe Gibbs Racing cars have had issues clearing NASCAR technical inspection. Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway, the cars of #18-Kyle Busch, #11-Denny Hamlin and #20-Erik Jones went through the tech inspection multiple times without being cleared by the NASCAR officials. The issue with Busch’s car was with the rear end skew and the left rear toe, while the issue with Hamlin’s car was with the camber. As of 1:05pm/et, the cars of Busch and Hamlin had cleared the inspection process, but crews were still working on Jones’ #20 Toyota. By 1:20pm/et, Jones’ car had cleared tech and was pushed to the starting grid. A NASCAR official said the three teams would not face a points penalty for Sunday’s issue, and they would not confirm how many times the cars passed through the inspection process. Despite the issue, none of the three teams were penalized and were allowed to retain their starting spot on the grid.(FoxSports)(11-15-2015)

  • Phoenix Race Notes & Facts – Sunday:
    · There have been 38 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since.
    · Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Phoenix with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven.
    · 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.
    · Of the 38 races at Phoenix five have ended with a Green-White-Checkered: 3/3/13 (312/316); 11/11/2012 (312/319); 4/10/10 (375/378); 11/9/08 (312/313); 11/7/04 (312/315)
    · Only one of the 38 races at Phoenix have been shortened due to weather – 10/25/98 (312/257).
    (NASCAR)(11-15-2015)

  • U.S. Air Force returns to sponsor the #43 in 2016: Richard Petty Motorsports and the U.S. Air Force announced that they will once again team up for the 2016 season. The U.S. Air Force will continue to use the #43 Ford as a vehicle to connect with America’s best young adults for the eighth consecutive season. Aric Almirola will once again pilot the #43 Air Force Racing Ford for two of the most patriotic race weekends of the year: Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Veterans Day weekend race at Phoenix International Raceway. As part of the partnership, the U.S. Air Force will remain an associate partner on the historic #43 for the entirety of the 2016 season. The U.S. Air Force will continue their experiential marketing at NASCAR races, bringing the #43 U.S. Air Force Ford show car and the “Air Force Race Day” interactive display to environments where recruiters can connect with young adults. It will also continue to hold swear-in ceremonies of Airmen in the Delayed Entry Program at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, giving fans an up-close, in-person look at the moment when groups of young Americans commit themselves to serving their country.
    Proving a great fit for the U.S. Air Force, Almirola was born on Eglin Air Force base in Florida while his dad served in the Air Force and appreciates the partnership and what it means for the Air Force. In 2014, Almirola drove the #43 Air Force Ford to victory at his home track Daytona International Speedway on the 30th anniversary of “The King” Richard Petty’s historic 200th win. “Having a dad that was in the Air Force really made me appreciate our partnership with the Air Force initially, but after working with them the last four seasons, it’s the men and women of the Air Force that we meet every week that really resonate with me,” said Almirola. “The sacrifice these military members make every day to make our country safe is the ultimate gift to Americans. It’s an honor to represent the superior talent who are members of the Air Force. It’s not something I take lightly. I know the Air Force has high expectations for their recruits, and I’m glad that they chose me to represent them. We have a similar mission to win, and I’m excited to continue that mission together next season.”
    This season marks the Air Force’s 16th season in NASCAR and eighth consecutive season with Richard Petty Motorsports. “The Air Force is excited to partner with Richard Petty Motorsports again in 2016, for the eighth consecutive season,” said Maj Jacob Chisolm, Air Force Recruiting Service National Events Branch Chief. “NASCAR is a great venue to inspire young adults, communicate the service’s mission and build awareness about career opportunities within the Air Force. It’s also a great way to highlight the connection between our Air Force mission and the science, technology, engineering and math principles that play a major role in NASCAR.”(RPM)(11-15-2015)

  • Reporters Honor Jeff Gordon: On Saturday morning, next to the NASCAR transporter in the Sprint Cup Series garage, reporters gathered to honor #24-Jeff Gordon for his benevolence and accessibility to the media over his 24-year career. Organized by veteran writers Mike Hembree and Kenny Bruce, the informal ceremony included the presentation of a gift the reporters knew Gordon didn’t already have – a trophy from Kentucky Speedway, the only active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series track where Gordon has never won. Instead of “Winner” or “Champion,” the trophy was inscribed “Participant,” and Gordon appreciated the joke. The media originally wanted to honor Gordon at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but that was before Gordon won the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville and qualified for the Championship Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Gordon promised that, if he should win a fifth champion at Homestead, his emotional celebration at Martinsville would pale in comparison with the exultation he would feel at ending his career in the #24 Chevy as a champion. “Just like in Martinsville, I didn’t go into that race expecting us to win or think about what that was going to be like if we did win,” Gordon said. “But you saw the raw emotion of what that win meant to me. That’s nothing compared to what you’ll see in Homestead if we do that. I literally will be climbing the fences. I’ll be down with a bad back for the next week, but it will all be worth it.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-15-2015)

  • Moffitt, DiBenedetto battle for NASCAR Cup rookie honors: Neither of the leading NASCAR Rookie of the Year candidates thought they’d be competing for the title when the season began. Both #34-Brett Moffitt and #83-Matt DiBenedetto were late arrivals to the Sunoco-sponsored program, but find themselves 1-2 in the complicated rookie points standings with two races remaining. “My first few races, I wasn’t even signed up for it and didn’t pay much attention to it,” Moffitt said. “But later in the year, these last few races I’ve been asking them on the radio toward the end of the race: ‘All right, where’s the 23 (Jeb Burton) and 83 (DiBenedetto)?’ We might not have the best day, but if we can beat them, it’s kind of icing on the cake.”
    Rookie points are mostly based on finishes in comparison to the other rookies over their best 17 races, with bonus points for things like top-10 results. But points don’t decide the title; they’re just a guide for a panel made up of mostly NASCAR executives who will determine the winner next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    DiBenedetto had no clue 2015 would turn out to be his rookie season, either. A former development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, DiBenedetto started the season at BK Racing with a last-minute deal thrown together just to get the #83 car to the track. “We weren’t planning on running full-time, so I missed a lot of races and we had some good finishes that didn’t count,” he told USA TODAY Sports. “If we would have entered (at the start), it should have been a walk in the park. But obviously, I’m just thankful I got to run full time.”(in part from the USA Today), see Rookie standings, race-by-race results and history on the 2015 Rookie of the Year Standings page.(11-15-2015)
  • Kyle Busch wins XFINITY race at Phoenix International Raceway: #54-Kyle Busch won the DAV 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. He started on the pole and dominated the race, leading 190 of the 200 laps. #22-Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by #20-Erik Jones, #18-Daniel Suarez, #3-Ty Dillon, #7-Regan Smith, #9-Chase Elliott, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #1-Elliott Sadler, and #88-Kasey Kahne. Points leader #60-Chris Buescher finished 13th.
    There were 3 cautions for 18 laps and 5 lead changes among 3 leaders. Complete results are on the Phoenix race results page (pdf).
    11-14-2015)
  • Phoenix XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch won the 17th Annual DAV 200 Honoring America’s Veterans , his series record-extending 76th victory in 310 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his sixth victory and 11th top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his track-record eighth victory and 15th top-10 finish in 19 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Brad Keselowski (second) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 17 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2015.
    Erik Jones (third) posted his third top-10 finish in three races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Daniel Suarez (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Chris Buescher leads the point standings by 18 points over Chase Elliott.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-14-2015)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Phoenix:
    1) #60-Chris Buescher, 1157
    2) #9-Chase Elliott, 1139, -18
    3) #3-Ty Dillon, 1135, -22
    4) #7-Regan Smith, 1133, -24
    5) #9-Elliott Sadler, 1044, -113
    6) #18-Daniel Suarez, 1040, -117
    7) #6-Darrell Wallace Jr., 1037, -120
    8) #2-Brian Scott, 992, -165
    9) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 991, -166
    10) #16-Ryan Reed, 875 -282
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(11-14-2015)
  • Kyle Busch on XFINITY pole at Phoenix International Raceway: #54-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light pole for the DAV 200 at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 138.504mph, a new track record. #33-Austin Dillon will start second. The rest of the top 10: #20-Erik Jones, #22-Brad Keselowski, #18-Daniel Suarez, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #60-Chris Buescher, #3-Ty Dillon, #42-Kyle Larson, and #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr.
    Did Not Qualify: #89-Morgan Shepherd, #70-Matt Waltz. The starting lineup is posted on the Phoenix starting lineup page (pdf).(11-14-2015)
  • F-35 jets from Luke AFB to zoom over Phoenix International Raceway during pre-race ceremonies: Fans in the sold-out grandstands at Phoenix International Raceway will be treated to the thrill of the first-ever flyover by a pair of F-35 fighter jets prior to the start of the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The F-35 fighter jets from Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Ariz. will have some very special cargo onboard: to celebrate Jeff Gordon’s final race at PIR, one of the fighters will be a commemorative Jeff Gordon Raceway flag. The first-ever flyover of the F-35 fighter jets is scheduled to begin at the conclusion of the National Anthem and will pass directly over the Estrella Mountains to the Southeast behind Turn 3 and then exit beyond the Bobby Allison Grandstands above Turn 1. Although the grandstands are sold out for Sunday’s race, fans wishing to attend the final Eliminator race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup may still purchase general admission tickets to PIR’s Hillside area. Tickets for the Hillside area, may be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com, by phone at 866-408-RACE or in person at the track ticket windows.(PIR)(11-15-2015)
  • Jani-King named Official Cleaning Company of Daytona International Speedway: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) announced a multi-year partnership with Jani-King, the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchise company. As part of the partnership, Jani-King will serve as the Official Cleaning Company of Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500. The partnership enables Jani-King to be associated with the historic 2016 Daytona 500, the first to be held at the Speedway’s new motorsports stadium (as part of the Daytona Rising project). Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Through the partnership, Jani-King will receive brand exposure via sponsor signage at the “World Center of Racing” and the ability to use the DIS and event marks for promotional purposes. In addition, Jani-King will receive corporate hospitality opportunities for entertaining guests during Speedweeks. Tickets for the 58th annual Daytona 500 are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-800-PITSHOP or visiting daytonainternationalspeedway.com.(DIS)(11-15-2015)


    News from November 14, 2015



    ESPN.com’s Racecast
    Listen Live Online at Motor Racing Network and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Live updates on Jayski.com’s Twitter

  • Race Coverage of the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is scheduled for Sunday, November 15, 2015.
    Television (TV): NBC at 2:30 pm/et; Countdown to Green Pre-Race show at 2:00pm/et; green flag approx. 2:41pm/et
    RadioMotor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, November 16 at 2:00pm/et on NBCSN
  • Phoenix International Raceway track president talks about security for Sunday’s race: Phoenix International Raceway will host the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday. Track president Bryan Sperber said officials work closely with law enforcement and would act accordingly: “Phoenix International Raceway works closely with the FBI and Homeland Security, as well as other local, state and federal agencies, throughout the planning and implementation of our event security plan,” Sperber said in a statement. “They are closely monitoring the events in Paris and are confident in our plan based on all available information. If they provide us with additional recommendations, we will immediately act accordingly.”(USA Today)(11-14-2015)

  • Hornish will not return to the #9 in 2016: Richard Petty Motorsports team owner, Richard Petty, was interviewed by the media at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday and mentioned that Sam Hornish Jr., current driver of the #9 Ford for RPM, will not return to the car in 2015. Some of the Q&A’s:
    Q) WHERE ARE YOU WITH THE 9 CAR FOR NEXT YEAR? DO YOU HAVE A DRIVER YET?
    Petty: “No, we’re still working on what we’re gonna do with the 9 car and crew and all that stuff. Things are looking up. We’ve got some stuff coming down the pike, but we don’t have it corralled yet.”
    WILL SAM BE BACK NEXT YEAR?
    Petty: “No, I don’t think so.”
    Q) DO YOU WANT A VETERAN OR A YOUNG GUY?
    Petty: “We’ve got to look at sponsorship as much as anything else. It’s a combination deal. We can’t just go with a driver and then not have the money, and we can’t go with just the money and not have a driver, so it’s gonna be interesting.”
    Q) HOW CONFIDENT DO YOU FEEL THE OWNERSHIP GROUP WILL HAVE SOMETHING IN PLACE WITH NASCAR THAT GIVES YOU LONG-TERM VIABILITY BEFORE NEXT YEAR? 
    Petty: “The one deal that NASCAR has, they have slowed down and we’re talking to them and they’re listening. Will they do anything or not? We’ll just have to wait and see, but there have been a couple of pretty interesting suggestions the RTA has made, so it’s gonna be a long, drawn out deal. We’re not gonna get everything we want, and they’re not gonna get everything they want, but if we can get a start, then I think the RTA can really help NASCAR and I think NASCAR can help the RTA. It’s a combination. We can’t hurt each other. If we do, we’re killing each other.”
    Q) ANY CHANCE YOU WOULD GO TO ONE CAR NEXT YEAR?
    Petty: “No, we’re a two-car team.”
    (Ford Performance NSCS Notes and Quotes)(11-14-2015)
  • Happy Hour practice for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #41-Busch 140.029mph
    #48-Johnson 139.389
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 139.130
    #42-Larson 138.910
    #4-Harvick & #20-Jones 138.905
    The slowest Chase driver: #24-Gordon, who was 20th
    Slowest drivers: #62-Hill 130.923 and #98-Ryan Preece 133.294
    Most laps run: #1-McMurray & #4-Harvick, 56; #19-Edwards, 55
    10 consecutive lap average: #48-Johnson 138.553, out of 37 drivers.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Phoenix Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(11-14-2015)
  • Saturday first practice for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #41-Busch 139.627
    #19-Edwards 139.260
    #42-Larson 139.152
    #4-Harvick 139.147
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 139.028
    The slowest Chase driver: #24-Gordon, who was 18th
    Most laps run: #11-Hamlin, 69; #88-Earnhardt Jr., 54
    Slowest drivers: #62-Hill 131.162 and #98-Ryan Preece 133.323
    10 consecutive lap average: #41-Busch 138.834mph.
    notes: Happy Hour practice is scheduled for 2:30-3:20pm/et and be aired on NBCSN.(11-14-2015)

    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Phoenix Practice 2 Speeds page (pdf).(11-14-2015)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) have been made.
    Pole sitter #48-Johnson chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #41-Busch took pit stall 16, the first pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    #88-Earnhardt Jr., who starts 3rd took the 33rd pit stall, the 3rd stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #42-Larson, who starts 6th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(11-14-2015)

  • Phoenix Driver Notes & Facts – Saturday:
    · 200 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix; 144 in more than one.
    · Mark Martin leads series in starts at Phoenix with 34; Jeff Gordon (second all-time) leads all active drivers with 33.
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers at Phoenix in average starting position (10.788).
    · There have been 23 different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Phoenix, eight have won more than once, led by Kevin Harvick, with seven – (’06 spring race and Chase race, ’12 Chase race, ’13 Chase race, ’14 spring race and Chase race, ’15 spring race).
    · The eight drivers have won more than once at Phoenix: Kevin Harvick leads the series in wins with seven 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).
    · 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, swept 2014 and ’15 spring race); Jimmie Johnson (fall 2007, swept 2008).
    · 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).
    · Jamie McMurray leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix without visiting Victory Lane with 24.
    · Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Phoenix with five; followed by Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart with three each.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-five finishes at Phoenix with 14; followed by Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon with 12 each.
    · Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-10 finishes at Phoenix with 23, followed by Mark Martin with 21.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in average finishing position at Phoenix with a 7.833; he is the only active driver with an average finish inside the top 10.
    · Three 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); Kevin Harvick (2014).
    · Four perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 have been recorded at Phoenix, Kurt Busch in April of 2005 and Kevin Harvick in November of 2006, November 2014 and earlier this season.
    · Danica Patrick is the only female driver that has made a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Phoenix International Raceway.
    (NASCAR)(11-14-2015)

  • Kenseth: no regrets over wrecking Logano: Pushed to his limit after three races worth of slights, #20-Matt Kenseth firmly believed he had no choice but to retaliate against #22-Joey Logano. His deliberate wrecking of Logano drew a two-race suspension from NASCAR, and Kenseth said Friday he would have handled the payback differently had he known he’d draw such an unprecedented penalty. But in a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Kenseth said he would do it again. “I really stand by my actions,” he said. “I feel like there’s a breaking point. It wasn’t just about being mad, it was about getting this fixed. It was time to make it stop.” Logano spun Kenseth while racing for a win at Kansas that Kenseth needed to continue his championship chances. Kenseth retaliated two races later by wrecking Logano as Logano raced for a win at Martinsville Speedway that would have landed him a berth in the championship field. Kenseth had returned to the track down nine laps after a wreck with Logano teammate #2-Brad Keselowski. “You have to have respect in the garage area. If you are going to go out and try to race for wins and race for championships, you can’t be a doormat or next year you are going to get knocked out again,” Kenseth said. “Drivers are going to be like, ‘Well, he ain’t going to do nothing. We’ll just knock him out of the race and then jack with him as much as possible and make sure he’s not going to make it through because he’s not going to retaliate.’ “At some point, in my opinion, you have to retaliate.” His mood upbeat and his deadpan humor intact in a 30-minute interview from North Carolina, Kenseth accepted responsibility for wrecking Logano but insisted he feels no remorse that it potentially ruined Logano’s title chances. Kenseth will return for next weekend’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and admitted the first four days after the suspension were “were really hard on me” and he struggled to watch Erik Jones drive his race car. He watched Sunday’s race at Texas on television, and is eager to get back to his Joe Gibbs Racing team for the finale. When he makes his return, he vowed to be more aggressive on the track than he’s ever been.(see full article at the Associated Press)(11-14-2015)

  • Drivers with poles in 2014, none in 2015: Seven drivers won a Coor Light Pole in 2014 but has not won one in 2015: #1-Jamie McMurray (Martinsville, Oct), #3-Austin Dillon (Daytona, Feb), #14-Tony Stewart (Texas, Apr), #33-Brian Scott (Talladega, May), #38-David Gilliland (Daytona, July), #42-Kyle Larson (Pocono, Aug) and #55-Brian Vickers (Talladega, Oct). Scott ran a part-time schedule in 2014 and 2015. Vickers only ran two races in 2015 before having to sit out the season due to blood clots. There is one race left in the 2015 season, at Homestead. For the 2015 season, see the 2016 Sprint Unlimited / 2015 Poles page and the All-Time Pole Winners and stats page.(11-14-2015)

  • Gordon didn’t like the Chase when first told about it: #24-Jeff Gordon met with members of the media at Phoenix and discussed many topics including his reaction when he first was told about NASCAR’s plan to do the Chase:
    Q) HAVE YOU CURSED THE CHASE OVER THE YEARS AND WOULD IT BE POETIC JUSTICE IF YOU WIN IT HERE?
    Gordon: “That would be the ultimate, most poetic justice ever. (laughs) Well the one thing that I will never forget is the moment that I was standing on the dock in Key West, Florida on a NASCAR boat trip with Brian France and Mike Helton and they told me what they were planning on doing with the Chase format and I laughed in their faces because I thought that was the most hilarious thing I have ever heard of. Because I thought it was a joke, then I quickly realized that was not a joke and I was pulling the laughs back into my mouth. I was like, ‘are you serious?’, and they said ‘yes’. Of course I didn’t like it. I felt like point system was just fine for me. I don’t think you can go back and look at accumulating points in the old system in the new system. Everybody races differently under each point system and does what it takes. So I don’t know if we can all sit here and speculate and talk about things and wonder what could have been if the old point system would have stayed the same. There is no doubt in my mind that it suited my driving style. The reason I was able to win at so many different tracks was the consistency that our team had and that I had at all the different tracks. That paid off when you were trying to win the championship under a 36-race schedule. I didn’t want to see it come down to that final 10, because some of those final 10 were not all tracks that suited me. It actually suited others pretty well and so I felt like it was not benefitting me. So of course I wish it hadn’t changed. But when I look at the sport from 10,000 feet I love it and think it is exciting. And with this new format, I think it is even better. I will continue to support it, always have, even when it hasn’t suited me. I think that I try and not be that selfish and think of what is best for the sport. At the end of the day, what is best for the sport is best for me, best for the team, best for all teams. And best for you guys too.”(Team Chevy)(11-14-2015)

  • SHR changes transmission brand on #4 car: #4-Kevin Harvick confirmed his team changed transmission brand Friday morning at Phoenix. The move comes after Harvick ran roughly the final 100 laps Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway holding his car in gear with his right hand while driving the car with his left hand. Crew chief Rodney Childers was frustrated after last weekend’s race, saying that he was ready to change transmission brands after another failure. “We’ve had way, way, way too many problems with them,” Childers said at Texas. “Something is going to have to change there. It’s never to late to change anything. We’re the only people in the entire garage that run that brand of transmission and I’m tired of dealing with them.” Harvick noted he had a similar issue with the transmission at Sonoma and knew from that experience that the more he let it pop out of gear, the faster it would occur.(NBC Sports)(11-14-2015)

  • Kurt Busch: Pit selection penalties “make no sense”: #41-Kurt Busch, met with members of the media at Phoenix and was asked about pit stall penalties:
    Q) Regarding Pit Stall Issues at Texas last week and pit stall strategy in Phoenix this weekend.
    Kurt Busch: “We knew our pit stall was doomed last week. We picked it with an opening behind us and then the #88 (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) car had a penalty which meant he had to forfeit his pit road pit selection. So now we hope that NASCAR realizes that when you are penalizing a team for their pit road selection that it affects another team that is an innocent bystander. It makes no sense to penalize people on their pit selection. But we knew it was going to be an issue and we knew the 88 was going to run well and then our pit crew had a couple loose lugs there. I mean normal situations. We didn’t have anything out of the serious normal and it was just business as usual. We knew we were going to get blocked in a few times and we all tried to work around it. What compounded the issue was that the 88 would pit around us, and then the 16 would come around the 88. So anytime that you have three cars that are pulling in, in that order, it’s going to slow up all three teams. Gibson was animated, I was excited, we all wanted to get a better result out of it, but that is part of racing. That is part of working your way out of a full count sometimes.”(Team Chevy)(11-14-2015)

  • Ferguson to sponsor Whitt at Phoenix: Ferguson Enterprises, the largest distributor of commercial and residential plumbing supplies, and pipe, valves and fittings (PVF) in the United States, joins the the #35 Front Row Motorsports team of Cole Whitt as primary sponsor for Sunday’s race at Phoenix. Bubba Blade joins the team as an associate sponsor. Cole Whitt said: “I like Phoenix because it’s six hours from my house, so I get to go home and see family. I’ve raced on Phoenix growing up, and have even been out there just to watch a lot of races. So, for me, it’s going back to a place that’s close to home and familiar. Although it’s a lot different from what it used to be. I really enjoyed the track before they changed it, and I’ve been a little more hit-or-miss with the new track. You’ve got to be really perfect with your set-up and hit your marks. We’ve got a new sponsor, Ferguson, with us this week, so we’ll do our best to hit those marks and give them a good run.”(FRM), see an image of the car on the #35 Team Schemes page.(11-14-2015)

  • Hendrick Motorsports and Freightliner Trucks extend deal: Freightliner Trucks has announced a five-year contract extension with 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports. In addition, the company announced a new five-year contract with defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champions JR Motorsports. Both racing teams now have agreements with Freightliner through the 2020 NASCAR season. With the Hendrick Motorsports partnership renewal, the team’s over-the-road drivers will continue to stay behind the wheel of their custom Freightliner trucks to carry race cars, supplies and equipment to Sprint Cup events across the United States.(HMS)(11-14-2015)
  • Can-Am 500 to headline November 2016 NASCAR Weekend at Phoenix: The November 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) will be known as the Can-Am 500, continuing the brand’s expansion into racing sponsorship. The race is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. “We are thrilled to partner with BRP to present the Can-Am 500 next November,” said PIR President Bryan R. Sperber. “There is a tremendous affinity for outdoor powersports among NASCAR fans, particularly in the desert southwest, that makes this a fantastic fit. The passion, energy and excitement synonymous with the Can-Am brand will be on full display throughout the Can-Am 500 race weekend as the Chase for the Sprint Cup comes to Phoenix.” The Can-Am brand, owned by BRP, manufacturer of world-renowned motorized recreational vehicles and engines, will serve as the title sponsor for the popular race on Veterans’ Day weekend. It will bookend a year of motorsports activity for the powersports leader, as the company will also serve as the title sponsor of the 2016 Can-Am Duel At Daytona on Feb. 18. In order to secure tickets for the Can-Am 500 early, fans can purchase a 2016 NASCAR season ticket, which includes the Good Sam 500 race weekend on March 12-13. Tickets can be purchased by visiting PhoenixRaceway.com or by calling 866-408-RACE (7223).(PIR)(11-14-2015)
  • Hoda Kotb to be Grand Marshal at Ford EcoBoost 400; Minions to be featured all weekend:Minion Mayhem is coming to Miami! The lovable stars of the Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment summer blockbuster hit, Minions, will be at the Ford Championship Weekend from November 20-22. The three Minions – Kevin, Stuart and Bob — will be a fixture throughout Homestead-Miami Speedway, making appearances with fans and participating in the Ford EcoBoost 400 pre-race ceremonies on Sunday, November 22. Minions will be released November 24 on Digital HD and Blu-ray/DVD on December 8. NBC News’ Anchor and “Today” Show co-host Hoda Kotb will serve as Grand Marshal at the Ford EcoBoost 400. Ms. Kotb, the popular co-host of NBC’s “Today” fourth hour with Kathie Lee Gifford, is also a “Dateline NBC” correspondent and New York Times Bestselling author and has been at NBC since 1998. She will give the command for drivers to start their engines prior to the Sprint Cup Series championship race on Sunday, November 22. In addition, the Minions will introduce the “Minionwagon”, a one-of-a-kind Ford Transit Connect Wagon that will be making appearances on a road trip at select locations, including as the Grand Marshal car for Ford Championship Weekend and a stop at Universal Orlando Resort on their way to the Today Show in New York City. The Minions will also be the entitlement sponsor of the “Minions Kids Zone” in the Homestead-Miami Speedway display area, making an appearance on November 22.
    The 2015 Ford Championship Weekend will be held on November 20-22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and will consist of the Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series finales. Tickets are available for the Ford EcoBoost 200 on Friday, November 20, and Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday, November 21, and can be purchased by calling (305) 230-5255 or visiting homesteadmiamispeedway.com. Tickets for the Ford EcoBoost 400 are officially sold out (HMS)(11-14-2015)
  • New Solar Structures at Daytona International Speedway: Daytona International Speedway (DIS) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) showcased construction progress related to FPL’s new Solar Pavilion, one of three new structures that make up the FPL Solar Circuit at the “World Center of Racing.” The commercial-scale distributed solar power installation at DIS complements the $400 million Daytona Rising redevelopment project. The FPL Solar Pavilion and FPL Solar Patio, both of which are canopy-like structures that will offer shade for race fans, and FPL Solar Park collectively consist of more than 7,000 solar panels generating 2.1 megawatts of zero-emissions energy. The three solar structures will be located in the Midway, Sprint FANZONE and Lot 10 parking area. The total weight of the structures (900 tons) represents the equivalent of more than 500 NASCAR stock cars. The clean energy generated by the installation will prevent the emission of an estimated 2,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year – equivalent to an average vehicle driving more than 2 million laps around DIS. Once connected to the FPL grid, the solar energy at DIS will help to power approximately 400 Florida homes per year. Upon completion of the installation in January 2016, DIS will become one of the top five U.S. professional sports venues in terms of solar energy capacity. The FPL Solar Circuit at Daytona International Speedway is one of several FPL solar projects that will add 225 megawatts of new, zero-emission solar energy by the end of 2016, cost-effectively tripling FPL’s solar capacity and making Florida one of America’s top solar energy producing states.(DIS)(11-14-2015)
  • 2016 Kulwicki Driver Development Program application available: The official application for the 2016 Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) is now available online and by request. As was the case with the incredibly successful 2015 inaugural year for the program, seven drivers will be selected to participate in the KDDP class of 2016. Chosen by the organization’s seven-member advisory board, each driver will receive a $7,777 stipend at the beginning of the season. Then, those drivers will compete against one another for the annual Kulwicki Cup award. The overall winner receives a $54,439 grand prize (7 X $7,777) and a coveted, one-of-a-kind trophy. Drivers are required to compete in a MINIMUM of fifteen races over the course of the season. Program participants will be judged on race results, off-track civic participation, program promotion, fan interaction, and stewardship for Alan’s story.
    Established in 2015 by the family of 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Alan Kulwicki, the Kulwicki Driver Development Program is the premier short track driver development program for pro and super late model drivers in North America. The role of the KDDP is to help worthy drivers achieve their dreams, while at the same time keeping alive the legacy of Alan Kulwicki. The program will provide assistance to up-and-coming racers in several ways. A one-time stipend will provide financial support in covering operational expenses, transportation costs, entry fees, development of promotional and marketing materials, and assistance with necessary equipment. Staff and friends of the KDDP will assist participants in areas such as sponsorship development; publicity, marketing, and social media; business education; and industry networking and relationship building.
    “We are awaiting the final voting results to determine our inaugural 2015 Kulwicki Cup champ and are looking forward to our KDDP banquet in Charlotte next month, but the 2016 season is just around the corner,” said KDDP executive director Tom Roberts. “We’re making the 2016 application available now in order to give everyone adequate time to get them submitted by our Dec. 31 deadline.”
    The final 2015 Kulwicki Cup point standings will be announced on Wednesday, Nov. 18 on Speed51.com, the official media partner of the KDDP. The champion and all members of the inaugural 2015 class will be recognized at the KDDP banquet set for Dec. 14 in The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event will feature a live online broadcast by Speed51 TV. To download the 2016 KDDP application, please visit the organization’s website (www.KulwickiDDP.com) and follow the links. Applications can also be requested by mail at KDDP, P.O. Box 1020, Guntersville, AL 35976. Copies of the application will also be available during the upcoming annual Snowball Derby weekend at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.(TRPR)(11-14-2015)


    News from November 13, 2015


  • Johnson wins Phoenix pole: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light pole for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) with a TRACK RECORD speed of 143.158mph for his 1st pole of 2015, 3rd pole at Phoenix and 34th of his career. It is Johnson’s first pole in 58 races, since winning the pole at Charlotte in May 2014. Johnson has won 14 races from the pole out of 33 previous poles.
    #41-Busch is on the outside pole followed by #88-Earnhardt Jr., #19-Edwards, #78-Truex Jr., #42-Larson, #20-Jones, #4-Harvick, #5-Kahne, #18-Busch, #24-Gordon and #1-McMurray.
    Since 43 drivers were entered, all drivers made the race.
    See the starting lineup, round-by-round qualifying, pole progression, qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Phoenix Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(11-13-2015)
  • 2015 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers starting position at Phoenix:
    [listed by current driver points position]
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon, 11th
    2) #18-Kyle Busch, 10th
    5) #4-Kevin Harvick, 8th
    4) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 5th
    5) #19-Carl Edwards, 4th
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski, 18th
    7) #41-Kurt Busch, 2nd
    8) #22-Joey Logano, 14th
    (11-13-2015)
  • Qualifying Fast Facts – Phoenix:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 28th Annual Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 with a track qualifying record lap of 25.147 seconds, 143.158 mph. The previous record was set by Joey Logano in November 2014 (25.327 sec/142.141 mph).
    This is his 34th pole in 506 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and 19th top-10 start in 2015. Johnson’s last pole came in May 2014 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, 58 races ago.
    This is his third pole in 25 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #4-Kurt Busch (second) posted his 19th top-10 start of 2015 and his 17th in 26 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 12th in 35 races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-13-2015)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is over after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #41-Busch 142.982
    #42-Larson 142.264
    #48-Johnson 142.259
    #88-Earnhardt Jr. 142.242
    #19-Edwards 142.236
    the rest of the top 12: 24 4 20 1 78 5 18;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 11 22 27 3 43 2 17 16 10 31 47 13
    (11-13-2015)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #24-Gordon 141.731
    #11-Hamlin 141.509
    #41-Busch 141.482
    #42-Larson 141.465
    #18-Busch 141.237
    the rest of the top 24: 22 4 5 10 3 19 43 20 88 2 48 16 17 31 13 47 27 78 1;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 51 6 15 9 55 83 14 40 26 38 7 46 23 35 32 34 98 33 62
    Drivers who will miss the race: none, 43 entered.
    (11-13-2015)
  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is scheduled for Friday, November 13, 2015 at 6:45pm/et.
    Television (TV): NBCSN, 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 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is posted. 43 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #6-Bayne.
    The final driver lined up on pit road will be #55-Ragan.
    The order is set by a random draw, how cars park on pit road before they qualify, held about an hour before the first practice.
    After the first round, the cars line up by speed.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Phoenix Qualifying Page.(11-13-2015)
  • Friday Practice for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson 141.827
    #42-Larson 141.783
    #41-Busch 141.571
    #19-Edwards 141.448
    #1-McMurray 141.315
    slowest Chase driver: #24-Gordon, 25th fastest
    10 consecutive lap average: #24-Gordon 136.389mph.
    slowest: #62-Hill 130.369 and #32-Gase 133.447
    notes: the track record is 142.141mph, set by Joey Logano last November.
    in the very unlikely event that qualifying is rained out (0% chance), this practice would set the starting order for the race. Qualifying is scheduled for 6:45pm/et on Friday and be televised on NBCSN and via radio on MRN and SiriusXM.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Phoenix Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(11-13-2015)

  • Phoenix Pole Notes & Facts – Friday:
    · Geoffrey Bodine won the first pole at Phoenix in 1988 at a speed of 123.203 mph (29.220 sec.).
    · There have been 21 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), Gordon won the fall of 2006 and the spring of 2007. Edwards won the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.
    · Denny Hamlin (November, 2005) and AJ Allmendinger (April, 2010) won their first career Coors Light poles at Phoenix International Raceway.
    · Five of the 38 (13.1%) 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), Carl Edwards (fall 2010) and Kevin Harvick (spring 2015).
    · Eight of the 38 (21%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from the front row: five from the pole and three from second-place.
    · 19 of the 38 (50%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position inside the top 10.
    · 19 of the 38 (50%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
    · 3 of the 38 (7.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    · 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.
    · Qualifying has never been cancelled due to weather at Phoenix International Raceway.
    (NASCAR)(11-13-2015)

  • Harvick going for a record at Phoenix: #4-Kevin Harvick will go for his fifth straight win at Phoenix International Raceway. With a visit to Victory Lane on Sunday, Harvick would join NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (Richmond, 7) and Darrell Waltrip (Bristol, 7; North Wilkesboro, 5) as the only drivers to win at least five consecutive races at a single track. Currently third on the Chase Grid, 10 points above the cutoff line, Harvick is trying to advance to the four-driver Championship Round race at Homestead-Miami Speedway to defend his 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. Harvick owns a track-record seven wins at Phoenix. He has the second-best average finish (11.0), driver rating (108.3), average running position (9.4) and average green flag speed (126.523 mph) at the Arizona oval.(NASCAR)(11-13-2015)

  • Veterans scheme for Johnson at Phoenix: Jimmie Johnson will pilot the #48 Lowe’s Patriotic Chevy this weekend. The last time Johnson raced the scheme was the July Daytona event where he finished second. The red, white and blue-themed Chevy SS will race this weekend in honor of the Veterans Day holiday. Lowe’s has a long history of supporting the military. Lowe’s Home Improvement was founded just after World War II by military veteran Carl Buchan, whose leadership helped it grow from a small hardware store in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, into the Fortune 50 company it is today. Currently, more than 14,000 veterans work at Lowe’s. Additionally, Lowe’s is honored to thank all the men and women who have served our nation in the military with a 10 percent discount this Veterans Day weekend (HMS), see images of the car on the #48 Team Schemes page.(11-13-2015)

  • Cargill / Sam’s Club featured on the #17 at Phoenix: The #17 Cargill Beef Ford will feature a special Sam’s Club paint scheme this weekend at Phoenix. Cargill Beef first featured a Sam’s Club scheme in 2011 during Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s first championship season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. In 2012, Stenhouse drove the Cargill Beef/Sam’s Club Ford to victory lane in Kansas for his sixth win en route to his second XFINITY Series title. “We love running the Sam’s Club paint scheme for Cargill Beef because it’s such a recognizable logo and we’ve had a great history with both partners on our cars,” said Stenhouse. “This year the car has a little different look than we’ve run in the past with a little more white on it so I think the fans will definitely notice the #17 in Phoenix.” Cargill Beef has a longstanding history of supplying quality beef to Sam’s Club members across the country (Roush Fenway Racing), see images of the car on the #17 Team Schemes page.(11-13-2015)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. could be offered F1 ride: Tavo Hellmund who helped bringing Formula One racing back to the United States and his hometown of Austin, TX and to his father’s homeland, Mexico, is now involved with a pair of F1 projects. If he and his group of investors succeed in acquiring a struggling F1 team, Manor Marussia, Hellmund said he’ll offer a ride to none other than NASCAR’s ultrapopular Dale Earnhardt Jr. He’s also involved in a plan to create an F1 track in California, a project different from the urban street race in Southern California that Hellmund said F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is currently pursuing. Hellmund’s investor group is looking to purchase at least a controlling interest in the Manor Marussia race team from British businessman Stephen Fitzpatrick. If that does happen, a big goal of the team would be to put an American driver on the grid. Hellmund said he’s serious about his first choice being Dale Jr., even if that seems like a pie-in-the-sky idea. A more realistic option would be his second choice, Alexander Rossi. He raced in the U.S. Grand Prix this year and has competed successfully in a couple of series that are considered steppingstones to F1.(Culled from an article at the Austin American-Statesman)(11-13-2015)

  • Ernie Cope to JTG Daugherty: Ernie Cope will leave JR Motorsports at the end of the season. Cope, who is currently the crew chief for defending Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott, will join JTG Daugherty Racing as Competition Director. Cope has worked with a variety of teams as a crew chief over the last 13 seasons and earned 15 wins in the NXS and nine in the Camping World Truck Series. He worked for JTG team owner Tad Geschickter in what is now the XFINITY Series with Stacy Compton in 2006 and Marcos Ambrose in 2007. The 46-year-old Tacoma, Wash. native started his racing career behind the wheel. He competed in four different NASCAR tours from 1991 to 1996 including the Southwest Serie, K&N Pro Series West (where he posted two wins in 1995), the Camping World Truck Series and one Cup start here in Phoenix (Motorsport)(11-13-2015)
  • Texas TV Ratings UPDATE: A move from cable to broadcast gave NASCAR’s Chase For the Cup a bump in the overnights. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Texas, the eighth race in the Chase For the Cup, earned a 2.6 overnight rating on NBC Sunday afternoon – up a tick from last year (2.5) and up 13% from 2013 (2.3), both on ESPN. The 2.6 is the highest for the fall Texas race since 2011 (2.8). The 2.6 is also the highest for any Chase For the Cup telecast this year, topping the previous high of 2.5 for Talladega on NBCSN, and the highest for any Sprint Cup race overall since Darlington on NBC over Labor Day weekend (3.4). All four NASCAR races on NBC this season have had an increase in overnight ratings, with the caveat that the comparable races last year each aired on cable. With that said, the numbers are not spectacular for broadcast television. The last time the Texas race aired on broadcast, 2009, it had a 3.1 on ABC. The last time it aired on NBC, 2006, it had a 4.0.(ShowBuzz Daily / Sports Media Watch)(11-10-2015)
    UPDATE: The AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, broadcast this past Sunday on NBC, earned the highest Nielsen Rating among the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races broadcast to date. The AAA Texas 500, the eighth race in the 10-event championship play-off style format and middle race of the Eliminator 8 Round, pulled a 2.7 rating and 4.551 million average viewers to rank as the most-watched Chase race to date. The rating and viewership topped the GEICO 500 Chase race at Talladega on Oct. 25 that drew a 2.6 rating and 4.2 million cable viewers on NBC Sports Network. The AAA Texas 500 showed a 9% increase in U.S. households and 10% increase in average viewers than the previous Chase race broadcast on NBC, the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas on Oct. 18. The viewership peaked in the final full quarter hour (4:45-5 p.m. CT) with a 3.95 U.S. Household Rating and 6.615 million viewers as #48-Jimmie Johnson registered his fourth consecutive AAA Texas 500 win and completed a Sprint Cup season sweep at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS), last year on ESPN, the race garnered a 2.8 rating with 4.749 million viewers.
    See past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(11-13-2015)

  • Jay Frye named IndyCar president: Jay Frye, who since November 2013 has been the chief revenue officer of IndyCar, was confirmed Thursday as Derrick Walker’s replacement IndyCar president. Walker stepped down in August. Frye, 50, arrives in the position as a known quantity in the motor sports industry. Before joining IndyCar he was a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner, having built MB2 Motorsports from the ground up -growing from 10 employees to more than 200 – and revamping Red Bull Racing, which earned a spot in the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup. His teams won four races. At IndyCar, Frye helped sign Verizon as series sponsor, among other sponsorship deals. In the new role, he will oversee competition and operations, including race control.(Indy Star)(11-13-2015)

  • Race Industry Leaders Provide Insight into State of Racing: Race industry leaders say safety, marketing with new technology and incorporating fresh faces are all factors that will determine the future of NASCAR. Another challenge is drawing in a new generation of racers. Multiple industry leaders, including Hendrick Motorsports, Team Penske and Roush Yates Racing Engines, shared insight into the world of NASCAR at Tuesday’s annual North Carolina Motorsports Associationmeeting. As speedways work to fill seats, a challenge is drawing in a new generation. “We have to meet them where they are, with something they’re going to find relevant and compelling,” said Steve Phelps, with NASCAR. “The challenges continue to be everybody wants more for less, but at the same time, it’s not as much about who has a personal relationship with Motorsports as it is with return on investment,” said Tim Cindric, the president of Team Penske. Teams cited the importance of social media platforms but also say a challenge is measuring the success of marketing campaigns. “Much of that technology will bring the race fan closer to the sport that they love, that’s going to be more important particularly as we try to get younger and more diverse,” said Phelps. Another challenge NASCAR faces is gaining additional owners. “Value on your numbers, value on a spot in the field, which I think NASCAR is going toward, is a huge thing,” said Greg Fornelli, the chairman of the North Carolina Motorsports Association board. The goal is to continue to grow the fan base using social media, while providing entertainment value for fans.(Time Warner Cable)(11-13-2015)
  • Kyle Busch fastest in XFINITY happy hour: #54-Kyle Busch was quickest during happy hour for the DAV 200 with a speed of 135.491mph. He was followed by: #3-Ty Dillon, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #60-Chris Buescher, #9-Chase Elliott, #20-Erik Jones, #33-Austin Dillon, #22-Brad Keselowski, #18-Daniel Suarez, and #42-Kyle Larson. All 42 drivers participated in the session. See complete results on the Phoenix final practice speeds page (pdf). (11-13-2015)
  • Austin Dillon fastest in first XFINITY practice: #33-Austin Dillon was fastest during opening practice at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 136.018mph. #3-Ty Dillon was second, followed by: #9-Chase Elliott, #20-Erik Jones, #54-Kyle Busch, #42-Kyle Larson, #2-Brian Scott, #22-Brad Keselowski, #18-Daniel Suarez, and #88-Kasey Kahne. 35 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Phoenix practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-13-2015)
  • Peters wins Phoenix: #17-Timothy Peters won the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night. Peters inherited the lead with just under 30 laps to go after then-leaders #4-Erik Jones and #88-Matt Crafton battled over position. The two made contact, and the 4 truck bounced off of the outside wall while the 88 shot down track and into the path of the third place truck, #98-Johnny Sauter. #4-Jones rallied, despite right side damage, and maintains the point lead with one race remaining. #88-Crafton ended the night in 23rd and dropped back to third in the championship standings.
    #8-John Hunter Nemechek was second, followed by #05-John Wes Townley, #51-Daniel Suarez, #19-Tyler Reddick, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #32-JJ Haley, #54-Matt Tifft, #4-Erik Jones, and #15-Mason Mingus.
    There were 7 caution flags for 37 laps and 9 lead changes among 4 leaders.
    Complete results are on the Phoenix race results page (pdf). (11-6-2015)
  • Phoenix Race Fast Facts:
    Timothy Peters won the 21st Annual Lucas Oil 150, his 10th victory in 206 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his second victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in seven races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    John H. Nemechek (second) posted his second top-10 finish in three races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2015.
    John Wes Townley (third) posted his first top-10 finish in five races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Erik Jones # leads the point standings by 19 points over Tyler Reddick.
    Toyota has clinched the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Manufacturer’s Championship. It is Toyota’s eighth title, tying Chevrolet for the most in series history.
    (NASCAR Statistics) (11-13-2015)
  • Driver standings following Phoenix:
    1) #4-Erik Jones, 861
    2) #19-Tyler Reddick, 842, -19
    3) )#88-Matt Crafton, 829, -32
    4) #98-Johnny Sauter, 772, -89
    5) #17-Timothy Peters, 765, -96
    6) #13-Cameron Hayley, 731, -130
    7) #14-Daniel Hemric, 697, -164
    8) #05-John Wes Townley, 695, -166
    9) #11-Ben Kennedy, 650, -211
    10) #23-Spencer Gallagher, 644, -2187
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(11-13-2015)
  • Owner Standings following Phoenix are posted (pdf).(11-13-2015)
  • Jones on pole at Phoenix: #4-Erik Jones won the pole for Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway with a new track record at 137.515mph. #19-Tyler Reddick will start second, followed by: #32-JJ Haley, #88-Matt Crafton, #9-William Byron, #13-Cameron Hayley, #33-Brandon Jones, #51-Daniel Suarez, #00-Cole Custer, and #17-Timothy Peters.
    #45-Brandon Hightower, #0-Caleb Roark,#6-Norm Benning, and #49-Cassie Gannis did not qualify for the race.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(11-13-2015)
  • Phoenix Qualifying Notes:
    Erik Jones won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 21st Annual Lucas Oil 150 with a track-record lap of 26.179 seconds, 137.515 mph.
    This is his seventh pole in 39 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his fifth pole and 20th top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his second pole in three races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Tyler Reddick (second) posted his 13th top-10 start of 2015 and his second in two races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    JJ Haley (third) posted his first top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his first in three races this season.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-13-2015)
  • Pop singer/songwriter/actress JoJo will sing “The Star Spangled Banner” at Phoenix: Pop singer/songwriter and actress JoJo will sing “The Star Spangled Banner” prior to the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Phoenix International Raceway Sunday afternoon. “I’m so excited to return to Phoenix International Raceway and perform at the semifinal race in the Chase,” said JoJo. “I feel extremely honored to have the opportunity once again to sing the National Anthem in front of such amazing and dedicated racing fans.” Race fans attending the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, Nov. 13 will hear the national anthem performed by the Anglim Sisters. The country singing trio from Scottsdale, Ariz., covers contemporary rock ballads and is looking to release a self-titled debut album. Although the grandstands are sold out for Sunday’s race, fans wishing to attend the final Eliminator race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup may still purchase general admission tickets to PIR’s Hillside area. 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)(11-13-2015)
  • PIR’s Park ‘N Ride Program Offers NASCAR Fans Travel Option: Phoenix International Raceway has announced the operating schedule for its Park ‘N Ride program – encouraging race fans to take advantage of the convenient shuttle service when traveling to and from the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Nov. 15. After much success in recent years, the Park ‘N Ride program returns to Ak-Chin Pavilion, located just two blocks north of I-10 on 83rd Avenue (Exit 135) at 2121 N. 83rd Ave. All NASCAR fans heading to PIR are encouraged to enter at the 83rd Avenue entrance and park on Pavilion grounds, from where shuttle bus service (provided by First Student Charter of Phoenix) will take you to the Gate 4 area at the track.
    Cost for parking and shuttle services to PIR will remain at $7 per car. Those with a PIR-issued parking pass or a government-issued disability parking tag may ride for free. This year, all shuttle buses are ADA compliant to make sure all race fans are able to get to the track safely. Shuttle buses will take guests to PIR via preferential traffic routes, offering guests an earlier arrival to the facility. With the green flag dropping on the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at 12:30 p.m. (local), Park ‘N Ride services will be available for 12 hours – from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. – on Sunday, giving all NASCAR fans an alternate transportation option before and after the race. The first shuttle will depart at 7:30 a.m., with PIR gates open to the public at 8 a.m. 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. Tickets and pit passes may be purchased online at PhoenixRaceway.com, by phone at 866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the track ticket office.(PIR)(11-13-2015)


    News from November 12, 2015


  • GEICO and Mears Inks Multi-Year Extension with Germain Racing: Longtime partner, GEICO, announced that they have extended their relationship with Germain Racing as the primary sponsor of the #13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry through at least the end of the 2018 season. GEICO is wrapping up their 15th season as a team sponsor and their eighth with Germain Racing. Along with the sponsorship extension comes a new primary paint scheme, as well as new GEICO Military livery that will appear at select races during the season. Additionally, Germain Racing and driver Casey Mears have agreed to a three-year extension that will continue Mears’ status as the driver of the #13 GEICO Chevy through the 2018 racing season.
    Since the inception of Germain Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program in 2009, GEICO has been alongside the organization every step of the way, from a part-time program to a full-time team that now consistently performs in the top-20, while also finding itself in contention for wins at both Daytona and Talladega. The sponsorship extension further solidifies and expands an already rock-solid relationship that has seen GEICO’s famous gecko adorn the hoods of Germain Racing’s NASCAR Xfinity Series entry in 2008 and Camping World Truck Series entry in 2011.
    Aside from its team support, GEICO has become synonymous with the sport of auto racing, establishing itself as an entitlement sponsor at Talladega Superspeedway with the GEICO 500, while also blanketing many racetracks across the country with the GEICO logo, including campgrounds where fans make their home during each race weekend. Their ever-present GEICO banner can also be spotted flying overhead at nearly every NASCAR event. GEICO’ s support of NASCAR and its fan base is unwavering and they look forward to their continued engagement of fans in America’s greatest spectator sport.
    “NASCAR is a natural fit for us and it has provided access to a brand-loyal fan base that now has a clear line of sight into GEICO’s multiple product lines and the many ways that we can service their insurance needs,” said GEICO vice president of marketing, Ted Ward. “We’ve enjoyed our partnership with Germain Racing and Casey Mears and the character of their organization is in line with our corporate values. We are excited about the extension and look forward to building upon our successful relationship in the sport of NASCAR.”
    Germain Racing is in its 12th year of NASCAR competition and boasts two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championships. The opportunity to further expand its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program with GEICO has team owner Bob Germain excited about the future.
    “I’m thrilled to be able to extend our partnership with GEICO thru 2018. We are proud to be associated with a company that supports our sport in so many ways and we feel fortunate to be able to represent them on the track,” said team owner, Bob Germain. “We’re thankful for GEICO’s unwavering support and this extension allows us to keep building upon the foundation we’ve laid and continue to add people and resources in an effort to accelerate the grow th and progress of our program. It also allows us to make long-term commitments to our great partners Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing and ECR, along with our driver, Casey Mears; all of which have played an integral role in the development of our Sprint Cup Series program.”
    Mears, a race winner in his 13th year in the Sprint Cup Series, was equally enthusiastic about the news. “This is great news for our Germain Racing team because everyone has worked so hard to build this GEICO program and people in the garage are taking notice of what we’re accomplishing,” Mears said. “GEICO is such a great partner and they not only support our team, but the sport in general, which makes me even prouder to have the opportunity to drive the GEICO Chevy. We appreciate their belief in us and have enjoyed our relationship with everyone at the corporate office, as well as the GEICO associates that we get to interface with each week at the racetrack.”(GEICO Racing Twitter)(11-12-2015)

  • Phoenix Track Notes & History – Thursday:
    · 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): Widened the frontstretch from 52 to 62 feet; Reconfigured pit road with the installation of concrete pit stalls; Pushed the dog-leg curve between Turn 2 and Turn 3 out 95 feet, Tightened the turn radius of the dog-leg from 800 to 500 feet; 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)(11-12-2015)

  • Sherwin-Williams to Show-Off Its Colors on #1 Chevy: Jamie McMurray will carry the Sherwin-Williams branding on the #1 Chevy this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Although Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) and Sherwin-Williams have shared a partnership for more than a decade, this will be the first time that one of the CGRT race cars has displayed a full paint scheme featuring the nation’s largest specialty retailer of paint and painting supplies (CGR), see images of the car on the #1 Team Schemes page.(11-12-2015)

  • Regan Smith looking for a ride: At 32, Regan Smith feels like he’s just entering his prime as a race car driver. He’s won at least one NASCAR national series race in each of the last five seasons, including two victories this season in the Xfinity Series. He’s been regarded highly enough to substitute in Sprint Cup Series races for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson – as well as in practice and qualifying for Jimmie Johnson. But as this season draws to a close, there’s just one problem: Smith doesn’t know where he’ll drive next year. Smith hasn’t hit the open market for three years, when he moved from Furniture Row Racing (Sprint Cup) to JR Motorsports (XFINITY). His goal was always to get back into the Sprint Cup Series, but he was determined to be patient. Now he doesn’t have a choice. JRM informed Smith it did not have a seat for him next year (new drivers Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier brought sponsorship with them), forcing Smith to scramble. “The misconception was, ‘You have something and that’s why you’re leaving JRM,'” he said. “No, I got told I didn’t have a position there in the coming season. Now I’m paying more attention to the free agency thing, I can say with 100% certainty I’ve never seen it this difficult to get things done and solidified.”(USA Today)(11-12-2015)

  • Final GoDaddy special scheme for Danica: Nearly nine years ago, GoDaddy, now the world’s largest technology provider dedicated to small businesses, partnered with Danica Patrick, a promising star who was heating up the track in the IndyCar Series. That relationship grew over the years and continued as the driver transitioned from open-wheel cars to the stock-car ranks of NASCAR. As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series enters the penultimate race of the 2015 season and Patrick’s longtime sponsor plans to exit the sport at the conclusion of the year, her #10 GoDaddy Chevy for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will feature a special paint scheme at both Phoenix and Homestead. The paint scheme celebrates the company’s long bond with Patrick by featuring memorable photos from their nine-year partnership, including her history-making pole award for the 2013 Daytona 500. #10 GoDaddy ChevyIn addition, the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet also features the hashtag #GoingTheDistance to reference the fact that just as Patrick and the #10 team “go the distance” on the track, GoDaddy and its employees “go the distance” for customers. Last week, the GoDaddy Racing Twitter account shared a video thanking Patrick and NASCAR for helping the company build its brand over the years, and the company encourages fans to share their favorite GoDaddy Racing memories on social media with the #GoingTheDistance hashtag.(SHR), see an image of the scheme on the #10 Team Schemes page (11-12-2015)

  • Johnson Approaches Earnhardt On All-Time Wins List: #48-Jimmie Johnson passed #2-Brad Keselowski with four laps remaining in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 to win his third consecutive race at Texas Motor Speedway and block an automatic qualifying berth in the Championship Round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup from one of the Eliminator 8 drivers. The win was the fifth of the season for Johnson and the 75th of his career. He now trails NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt by just one victory for seventh on NASCAR’s all-time wins list. Johnson will attempt to play spoiler again this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway where he owns four wins, 14 top fives and 18 top 10s in 24 starts.
    Johnson is not the only one who can ruin a Chase-eligible driver’s day in Arizona. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2 wins), #11-Denny Hamlin (1), #5-Kasey Kahne (1), #31-Ryan Newman (1) and #14-Tony Stewart (1) are all non-Chase drivers who have won at Phoenix. #24-Jeff Gordon, a two-time Phoenix winner who has already advanced to the Championship Round via his victory at Martinsville, can also block a transfer spot by taking the checkered flag on Sunday (NASCAR), see the all-time winners list on Jayski.com’s All-Time Winners List & Stats page.(11-12-2015)

  • CAT Mining featured on the #31 at PIR: Ryan Newman will drive ther #31 Caterpillar Chevy at Phoenix, promoting the official Caterpillar Global Mining Twitter account this weekend. @CatMining provides updates and information about Caterpillar and its support of the mining industry as it faces some of its toughest challenges. Caterpillar is committed to going beyond equipment to help mining companies solve problems, leveraging its global expertise and game-changing technologies to provide solutions that help mine sites operate more efficiently and productively, keep people safe, and lower overall owning and operating costs.(RCR)(11-12-2015)

  • Dillon sponsored by Realtree / Bad Boy at PIR: Austin Dillon will race the #3 Realtree / Bad Boy Chevy in the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix. Realtree’s presence on the #3 Chevy this weekend continues a friendship between the Dillon/Childress family and Realtree designer and president Bill Jordan that dates as far back as 1997 when the world’s leading camouflage designer, marketer, and licensor first began sponsoring #3 Chevy’s fielded by Childress and driven by Dale Earnhardt. Bad Boy pioneered the category of electrically powered 4×4 vehicles, ideal for hunting and outdoor recreation due to their silent, odorless operation and environmentally friendly, emissions-free drivetrains. Bad Boy vehicles are designed and manufactured by Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc.(RCR)(11-12-2015)
  • 2016 XFINITY Series Team Chart: There’s still a lot of unknowns for next season, but the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Team Chart is up and will be updated as things are announced.(11-12-2015)
  • Charlotte Penalty UPDATES: NASCAR member Chicago Paskiecz has been penalized for infractions that occurred during last weekend’s events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is a behavioral penalty (Sections 12.1 and 12.8 of the NASCAR rule book) and Paskiecz has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR.(NASCAR)(10-14-2015)
    UPDATE: Paskiecz has appealed the suspension and supposedly the appeal is scheduled for November 4, 2015.(10-22-2015)
    UPDATE 2: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a Behavioral Penalty issued on Oct. 14 to NASCAR member Chicago Paskiecz following events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1 and 12.8. The original penalty assessed included indefinite suspension from NASCAR. Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
    1. That the Appellant violated the Rule or Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice.
    2. That the Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty levied by NASCAR.
    The panel consisted of the following three individuals: Mr. Lee Baumgarten, Mr. Ken Clapp, and Mr. Steve Lewis.
    The Appellant has the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(11-12-2015)

  • Ernie Cope leaving JR Motorsports: Ernie Cope will leave JR Motorsports at the end of the season. Cope, who is currently the crew chief for defending Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott, will join JTG Daugherty Racing as Competition Director. Cope has worked with a variety of teams as a crew chief over the last 13 seasons and earned 15 wins in the NXS and nine in the Camping World Truck Series. He worked for JTGD team owner Tad Geschickter in what is now the XFINITY Series with Stacy Compton in 2006 and Marcos Ambrose in 2007. The 46-year-old Tacoma, Wash. native started his racing career behind the wheel. He competed in four different NASCAR tours from 1991 to 1996 including the Southwest Serie, K&N Pro Series West (where he posted two wins in 1995), the Camping World Truck Series and one Cup start here in Phoenix.(Motorsport)(11-12-2015)
  • Korbin Forrister NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie Korbin Forrister will run double-duty this weekend at the Phoenix International Raceway running both the NCWTS Lucas Oil 150 on Friday night and the NASCAR XFINITY Series DAV 200 on Saturday afternoon in the hometown of sponsor Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery. Besides running the #08 Silverado for SS Green Light Racing on Friday, Forrister will also pilot the #15 Camaro for Rick Ware Racing on Saturday making the second XFINITY Series start of his career. Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 will be Forrister’s second NCWTS start at PIR, he finished 15th last fall behind the wheel of the SS Green Light Racing Silverado.(SS Green Light Racing)(11-12-2015)

  • Chastain returning to JD Motorsports in 2016: Ross Chastain, who has had a remarkable Xfinity Series rookie season driving JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolets, will return to the team’s #4 cars for the 2016 season. Team owner Johnny Davis, who fields multiple cars in the Xfinity Series, made the announcement at his Gaffney, S.C. shop. “I couldn’t be happier with what Ross has done this season,” Davis said. “He is a smart, young driver with unlimited potential. We knew from the first race at Daytona (where Chastain finished ninth) that we were going to be in for a good year with him. He’s been able to balance getting good finishes with protecting our cars and staying out of trouble, and we couldn’t ask for more. It’s going to be fun to go racing for another season with Ross.” With two races remaining in the 2015 season, Chastain is 15th in Xfinity Series driver points. Through 31 races, he has scored four top 10s and 18 top 20s. His best finish is the ninth at Daytona. Despite his rookie status and the fact that he was racing at many of the Xfinity tracks for the first time, Chastain has stayed in the top 16 in points all season, with a high point position of fifth.(JD Motorsports)(11-12-2015)

  • Regan Smith still looking for a ride: At 32, Regan Smith feels like he’s just entering his prime as a race car driver. He’s won at least one NASCAR national series race in each of the last five seasons, including two victories this season in the Xfinity Series. He’s been regarded highly enough to substitute in Sprint Cup Series races for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch and Kyle Larson – as well as in practice and qualifying for Jimmie Johnson. But as this season draws to a close, there’s just one problem: Smith doesn’t know where he’ll drive next year. Smith hasn’t hit the open market for three years, when he moved from Furniture Row Racing to JR Motorsports. His goal was always to get back into the Sprint Cup Series, but he was determined to be patient. Now he doesn’t have a choice. JRM informed Smith it did not have a seat for him next year (new drivers Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier brought sponsorship with them), forcing the New York native to scramble. And given the current sponsorship climate in NASCAR – where it’s become increasingly challenging to get a ride without bringing money – Smith is hoping his track record is enough to help him find a new home. “The misconception was, ‘You have something and that’s why you’re leaving JRM,'” he said. “No, I got told I didn’t have a position there in the coming season. Now I’m paying more attention to the free agency thing, I can say with 100% certainty I’ve never seen it this difficult to get things done and solidified.”(USA Today)(11-12-2015)
  • Sieg picks up Phoenix sponsor: AntlerGrow, a Huntinator brand, joins RSS Racing as the primary sponsor of Ryan Sieg’s #39 Chevy for the DAV 200 Honoring America’s Veterans at Phoenix. Sieg has climbed his way to 11th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings coming off an impressive run of three consecutive top-15 finishes including an eighth place finish at Kansas Speedway. Huntinator, a brand name, does everything outdoors in a bold way from hunting to fishing. AntlerGrow, is a revolutionary 21st Century product for serious hunters who want to attract and grow bigger deer.(Sieg PR)(11-12-2015)
  • Hayley fastest in final practice: #13-Cameron Hayley was fastest in the one and only practice for the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 137.447 mph. He was followed by #4-Erik Jones, #33-Brandon Jones, #9-William Byron, #88-Matt Crafton, #51-Daniel Suarez, #19-Tyler Reddick, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #00-Cole Custer, and #05-John Wes Townley. 36 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Phoenix practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-12-2015)
  • Entry list: There are 34 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. A few notes:
    Dalton Sargeant in the #5;
    William Byron in the #9;
    Chad Boat in the #16;
    Austin Cindric in the #29;
    Rico Abreu in the #31;
    JJ Haley in the #32;
    Bobby Pierce in the #36;
    TBA in the #49;
    Akinori Ogata in the #63;
    Cassie Gannis in the #74;
    (11-7-2015)
    UPDATE: Cassie Gannis will be in the #49; Jordan Anderson will be in the #74;
    (11-10-2015)
    UPDATE 2: Ruben Pardo is in the 1 and Travis Kvapil in the 50;
    (11-12-2015)
    See the complete list on the Phoenix entry list page.
  • Phoenix International Raceway to recognize Veterans: Phoenix International Raceway’s race has fallen on or around Veterans Day for nearly the past 15 years. This weekend, the track will be recognizing veterans throughout the weekend for the DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans on Saturday, Nov. 14 and the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 on Sunday, Nov. 15. For the second year-in-a-row, PIR partnered with Disabled American Veterans to present the DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans NASCAR XFINITY Series Race on Saturday, Nov. 14 and will be hosting and recognizing US military veterans during pre-race ceremonies. As part of their outreach, the track has been running a donation campaign to raise money to support the DAV’s efforts to educate and assist US military veterans and their families.
    On Sunday, Nov. 15, all five major branches of the US military will be represented during pre-race ceremonies prior to the start of the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race in a show of patriotism. The US Air Force will even be performing an induction ceremony prior to driver introductions.
    The honorary officials for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 will recognize several notable veterans. The Grand Marshal will be highly decorated US Navy Veteran and US Senator for the State of Arizona John McCain. US Marine Corps Veteran and former UFC Champion Brian Stann will act as Honorary Pace Car Driver, while the honorary Starter will be the 22-year US Army Veteran and Head of Veterans Affairs for Quicken Loans, Rob Ells. The Invocation given on Sunday prior to the start of the race will be delivered by Chaplain and retired National Guard member Colonel Daniel Butler courtesy of the University of Phoenix who with Quicken Loans and other PIR Partners donated tickets for Veterans to attend the race.
    In cooperation with Luke Air Force Base, attendees at the race will enjoy the first-ever F-35 flyover highlighting the newest unit to be housed at the Glendale base while and the Honor and Remembrance flag will fly above the score tower.
    NASCAR will host the 29th NASCAR Troops to the Track program of 2015, presented by Bank of America, when it welcomes a group of airmen from Luke Air Force Base to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. The NASCAR Troops to the Track program is a season-long initiative that honors members of the military for their services and treats them to customized experiences at a NASCAR race.
    In partnership with Honor and Remember, NASCAR will also welcome the Gold Star families of U.S. Army Spc. Thomas H. Byrd and U.S. Army Sgt. James Witkowski to Phoenix International Raceway. Spc. Byrd was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Georgia, and was killed Oct. 15, 2005, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. Witkowski was assigned to the 729th Transportation Company, Army Reserve, Fresno, California, and died Oct. 26, 2005, of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during convoy operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    Additionally, Comcast, the title sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series, will host approximately 75 military veterans and guests, all of whom are from Arizona, at the DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans. Comcast worked with local VetNet chapters in Arizona to select the veterans invited to the race.(PIR)(11-12-2015)
  • Atlanta Motor Speedway To Make SAFER barrier additions: Atlanta Motor Speedway will install additional SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier to both its inside and outside retaining walls prior to the 2016 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Weekend, scheduled for Feb. 26-28. Installation of an additional 4,742 linear feet of the barrier, set to begin in January, will add protection in areas on both the front and back stretches as well as to inside sections in all four turns not yet equipped. Once the project is complete, the entire outer wall and significant portions of interior areas will be fitted with the protective barrier. “The safety of both drivers and fans continues to be our utmost priority,” said track president Ed Clark. “These additions solidify our commitment to providing the safest racing environment possible and the high-quality entertainment experience our fans deserve.” SAFER barrier was first installed at AMS in 2004, covering approximately 8,000 linear feet and 75 percent of the outer walls, as well as sections inside Turn 2. The new additions add protective coverage based on the recommendations prescribed by NASCAR and safety officials. Erring on the side of safety, AMS supplemented its barrier system prior to its NASCAR events earlier this year by extending the protective wall at the exit of Pit Road as well as placing a temporary tire barrier along the inside wall in Turn 4. Both those areas will be equipped with SAFER barriers at the completion of new additions.(AMS)(11-12-2015)


    News from November 11, 2015


  • NASCAR warnings from Texas issued: NASCAR issued written warnings to five teams from last weekend’s Sprint Cup inspections at Texas. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost his pit stall selection for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 because of the warning for failing the laser inspection twice in prequalifying inspection. Since NASCAR revamped its warning system in August, a fourth cumulative warning results in loss of pit selection. Earnhardt’s cumulative warnings total has been reset to zero after the penalty.
    The teams of #23-Jeb Burton (failing prerace laser inspection twice), #32-Joey Gase (failing prequalifying laser inspection three times), #95-Michael McDowell (failing prequalifying laser inspection twice) and #98-Ryan Preece (failing prequalifying laser inspection four times) also received warnings. The teams of Gase and Preece will be held out of practice for 15 minutes at Phoenix. There were no problems discovered with the cars taken to the R&D Center after Sunday’s race (race winner #48-Jimmie Johnson, runner-up #2-Brad Keselowski, #3-Austin Dillon).(NBC Sports)(11-11-2015)

  • Jones back in the #20 car: This weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, Erik Jones will be running triple-duty as he competes in the Camping World Truck Series, XFINITY Series, and Sprint Cup Series events. Jones earned his first career NASCAR series victory at Phoenix with his truck series win in November of 2013 (JGR). In two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Phoenix, Jones has finished fifth and sixth. Jones will race the #20 Dollar General Toyota, subbing for suspended Matt Kenseth. Kenseth is scheduled to return to the car at Homestead, after missing the Texas and Phoenix races.(11-11-2015)
  • Chevy can clinch 39th manufacturers’ championship: If the top-finishing Chevy at Phoenix places 10th or better, the company will capture its 13th consecutive manufacturers’ championship and the 39th in its history (NASCAR), the worst a Chevy driver has finished as the highest finishing driver at a race was at Kentucky, when #24-Jeff Gordon was the highest finishing Chevy driver with a 7th place finish. See the Manufacturers Points / Winners page on Jayski.com’s 2015 Manufacturers Points & Stats page.(11-11-2015)

  • Gordon completes first rehearsal with 2016 FOX Sports team: NASCAR Hall of Famer and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Darrell Waltrip and veteran FOX NASCAR broadcaster Mike Joy welcomed future FOX NASCAR analyst #24-Jeff Gordon into the booth Friday night to get a little “seat time” in front of the cameras together, as the trio rehearsed their craft during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in Texas. “Any time you can get seven championships together in the booth, it’s special,” said FOX Sports President & COO Eric Shanks. “And getting eight championships in the 2016 booth is still a very real and electrifying possibility. … Friday night, we got a glimpse of the future, and it looks great.” Gordon, who announced he is retiring after the 2015 season, has qualified for the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup finale in Homestead, with his mind set firmly on a fifth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title. He joins the FOX NASCAR team beginning in Daytona in 2016.(FoxSports)(11-11-2015)

  • Gase returns to the #32 at Phoenix: Heading into this weekend’s event at the Phoenix International Raceway, the #32 rFactor 2 team will race in the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway. Sunday’s event will mark Gase’s second career start at PIR and his seventh career NSCS start. Gase comments: “Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit, both turns are different which creates more of a challenge, but it’s a fun challenge. The type of short track racing Phoenix produces is always a lot of fun, and it will be fun pulling double duty again this weekend. Huge thanks to everyone at rFactor 2, and Donate Life Arizona for coming on board this weekend.” (Go Green Racing), see an image of car on the #32 Team Schemes page.(11-11-2015)

  • Get Well Lennie Pond UPDATE: Lennie Pond, NASCAR’s rookie of the year in 1973, was scheduled to undergo cancer surgery Friday in Richmond, Va. Pond, 75, who had one career Cup victory (at Talladega in 1978), beat out Darrell Waltrip for the ’73 rookie honor.(Charlotte Observer)(11-7-2015)
    UPDATE: driver Lennie Pond was recovering at home in Chester on Monday after undergoing surgery Friday for a cancerous tumor on his brain. Pond’s brother, Wright Pond, said the surgery was successful and doctors told the family they were able to remove all the cancerous tissue from Lennie Pond’s brain. Wright Pond said his brother still is battling cancer in other parts of his body. “They had already started chemotherapy and they’ll resume that and some radiation treatment,” Wright Pond said. Wright Pond said his brother is maintaining an upbeat attitude, “and he and his family really appreciate the support that has poured in.” Pond’s last Cup Series race was in 1989. He had 234 career Cup starts with 88 top-10 finishes. After retiring from racing, Pond got into automotive sales. He is a member of the staff at Heritage Chevrolet in Chester.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(11-11-2015)
  • Phoenix Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR national series will run the same tire set-up at Phoenix this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that Sprint Cup and Xfinity teams ran at this track in March . . . Goodyear reconfirmed this tire set-up at a tire test at Phoenix on October 12-13 . . . drivers participating in that test were #47-A.J. Allmendinger, #41-Kurt Busch, #20-Matt Kenseth and #2-Brad Keselowski . . . for Camping World Truck teams, they ran this left-side tire code at Phoenix last year, but this is the first time running this right-side code . . . compared to what the trucks ran here last fall, this right-side tire features a construction change and a compound change to enhance grip and help rubber-in the track . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Phoenix.
    Goodyear Blimp: Goodyear’s “Sprit Of Innovation” will be in the air over Phoenix International Raceway this weekend . . . this airship is based out of Carson, Calif. . . . the “Spirit of Innovation” will provide air coverage for NBC Sports’ broadcasts of both the Xfinity race on Saturday and Sprint Cup race on Sunday (Goodyear), see full notes, codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Phoenix Race Info page.(11-11-2015)

  • Todd Gilliland To Make NASCAR K&N Pro Series Debut: Fifteen-year-old Todd Gilliland is set to make his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut with Bill McAnally Racing in the Casino Arizona 100 at Phoenix International Raceway on Thursday. Gilliland, the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran David Gilliland, will be driving the #54 Frontline Enterprises Toyota. The third-generation driver from Sherrils Ford, NC has already scored a victory in the ARCA Racing Series, winning just two days after his 15th birthday in May, and has been to Victory Lane at various tracks since he started racing late models at the age of 13. Gilliland will be competing in a series where his family name is well known. His father, David, won the rookie title in the series in 2004; and his grandfather, Butch, won the 1997 championship in the series, when it was known as the NASCAR Winston West Series.(Bill McAnally Racing)(11-11-2015)

  • Chase format for XFINITY Series? On Wednesday, Jeff Gluck of USA Today tweeted an interesting tidbit that was forwarded to him by an anonymous member of the NASCAR Fan Council. Contained in the tweet was the outline of a potential playoff format that NASCAR claims to be considering for use in the XFINITY Series. In short, it’s very similar to the one employed by the Sprint Cup Series, but also has the added feature of preventing Cup regulars from dropping down and stealing wins from tour regulars. The concept as presented to the Fan Council goes as follows:
    • Full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers would not be able to race in any of the NASCAR XFINITY Series races
    • The XFINITY Series championship field consists of 12 XFINITY drivers
    • Drivers eligible for the playoffs are determined by the greatest number of wins after 26 events, then drivers without a win who have the most points will take the remaining spots
    • The championship format would consist of seven races; six races and one final championship race
    • The number of championship drivers in contention decreases after every three XFINITY races, from 12 to start; eight after race three and four after race six
    • A win at any of the three races within a round equals advancement into the next round
    • Four drivers enter the NASCAR XFINITY Championship race in Miami with a chance to win, with the highest finisher amongst those four capturing the NASCAR XFINITY Series title.
    But if there is something fans dislike more than the Chase, it’s Cup Series drivers dipping down into the lower divisions and taking rides and victories away from younger drivers. It’s a complaint that predates the Chase for the Championship with fans lamenting Winston Cup drivers who participated in Busch Series races, an act still known to this day as Buschwacking. Unfortunately for fans who want to see the XFINITY Series roster stand on its own, the economics just don’t make sense without a radical overhaul of the status quo. Race teams, even at the XFINITY Series level, require a tremendous amount of money to participate, and for the time being, that has meant bringing in Sprint Cup drivers to come in and sell advertising. Some of the top teams in the garage have been able to allocate resources to support up-and-coming talent, but it’s not the easiest endeavor in the world.(Popular Speed)(11-11-2015)

  • Bowman to drive 9 races for JRM in 2016: Alex Bowman, the 22-year-old racer from Tucson, Ariz., will drive nine NASCAR Xfinity Series races for JR Motorsports in the #88 Chevy next season. Bowman becomes the fourth driver named to the lineup of JRM’s #88 “All-Star” car for 2016, joining Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne. The primary sponsor for Bowman’s races will be announced at a later date. With the addition of Bowman, the #88 team’s driver roster now accounts for 19 of 33 races. Bowman’s nine-race schedule is as follows: Dover International Speedway (May 14), Pocono Raceway (June 4), Iowa Speedway (June 19), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 16), Watkins Glen International (Aug. 6), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Aug. 13), Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 9), Dover International Speedway (Oct. 1) and his hometown track Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 12). “This is such a great opportunity,” said Bowman. “Being able to race in top-notch equipment with a team like JR Motorsports is all I could ask for, really. I had a good experience driving for them in the past and I know we’ll be competing for wins next year. That’s a great feeling.” Bowman’s résumé includes more than 100 starts across NASCAR’s top-three series. In 2014, he made two starts for JRM at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway, earning respective finishes of 12th and 17th. Earlier this season, Bowman made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in JRM’s #00 entry.(JR Motorsports)(11-11-2015)
  • Anthony Kumpen driving the #55 at Phoenix & Homestead: 2014 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series champion Anthony Kumpen will make his first of two starts with Precision Performance Motorsports at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, November 13th driving the #55 Nexteer Automotive Chevy Camaro. 36-year-old Kumpen, a native of Hasselt, Belgium will make just his second NASCAR XFINITY Series start, the first coming at Iowa Speedway in August of 2015 with Rick Ware Racing. Kumpen’s two XFINITY Series’ starts will continue the Nexteer Road to Daytona program – the path designed by Nexteer and the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to bring European drivers to race in NASCAR in the United States. The Nexteer Road to Daytona program will culminate with the NXS event at Daytona International Speedway in February of 2016. LeasePlan, EL Systems, Keupers Tankstations, and Heinz Performance will also partner with Kumpen and Nexteer for these events. Kumpen is fresh off the heels of his second season of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series competition that proved noteworthy. 2014 highlights included one win, overall driver points’ championship, and team points’ championship. Kumpen made his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut in their 2015 season opener at New Smyrna Speedway and went on to compete again at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.(Precision Performance Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #55 team paint schemes page(11-11-2015)
  • Toyota could clinch Manufacturers’ title in Phoenix: If the top-finishing Toyota finishes 14th or better in Friday’s race at Phoenix, Toyota will capture its eighth Manufacturers’ Championship, tying Chevrolet for the most in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history. The Manufacturers’ Championship would also be Toyota’s third consecutive title.(NASCAR)(11-11-2015)
  • Byron set for debut as he readies for busy rookie season: William Byron heads west this weekend to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway. The 17-year-old Charlotte, N.C., native was crowned the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion and shortly afterwards signed on with KBM to compete full-time in the Truck Series in 2016 with sponsorship from Liberty University. The talented teen has found success in every series in which he has competed, so expectations are high for him. Although Byron has only been racing since 2013, in a short time he has accumulated many trophies and championship titles. In just his first year of racing, he competed in 69 Legends races across the United States, posting 59 top-five and 64 top-10 finishes en route to the 2013 U.S. Legend Young Lions National Championship. Byron competed over several series in 2014 gaining experience in full-size stock cars: US Legend Car Pro Division, NWAAS Late Model division and select Pro Late Models. He competed 56 times and earned 24 pole awards, 11 wins, 29 top-three finishes and 37 top-five finishes over the course of the year. Racing is not the only thing on Byron’s plate. He is currently in his senior year at Charlotte Country Day and is taking college courses online through Liberty University Online Academy. In addition to his high school workload, he is taking Math 115 and has earned several college credits to date. Once he graduates from high school in the spring, his plan is to pursue a business degree at Liberty while advancing his racing career. More than 13,500 students attend classes on Liberty’s campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Lynchburg, Va., and more than 95,000 students are enrolled in Liberty’s online program.(Kyle Busch Motorsports)(11-11-2015)
  • Kroger Extends Partnership With Daytona International Speedway: Daytona International Speedway announced a multi-year partnership extension with The Kroger Co. As part of the partnership, Kroger will serve as the presenting sponsor of Daytona 500 Qualifying Day and conduct in-store consumer activation programs across multiple grocery store locations to promote the Daytona 500. The partnership enables Kroger to be associated with the historic 2016 Daytona 500, the first to be held at the Speedway’s new motorsports stadium (as part of the Daytona Rising project). Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Kroger will also receive brand exposure opportunities via sponsor signage and promotional display space at the Speedway during Daytona 500 Qualifying Day as well as corporate hospitality opportunities for entertaining guests during Speedweeks. In addition to Daytona International Speedway, Kroger will receive signage opportunities at the following International Speedway Corporation venues during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events: Homestead, Darlington, Talladega, Richmond, Martinsville, Watkins, Chicago and Michigan. Race fans can follow the progress of the Daytona Rising project by visiting www.DAYTONARising.com. For tickets, tours and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or call 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(11-11-2015)
  • Phoenix International Raceway announces fan guidelines, traffic info: Phoenix International Raceway is encouraging fans to prepare for race day traffic by arriving early and enjoying the full NASCAR experience during the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 event weekend, Nov. 12-15. In addition to the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 12:30 p.m. (local), the race weekend at PIR will include the DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m., the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. and the Casino Arizona 100 NASCAR K&N Series West race on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 5:30 p.m..
    FAN GUIDELINES A NASCAR weekend at ZOOMTOWN, U.S.A., is an experience like no other. Expect exciting racing on the track and a fun party atmosphere throughout the raceway. Whether you are a die-hard fan cheering on your favorite driver or a first-time fan catching NASCAR fever, PIR is the place for your entertainment. Expect to have a great time while taking part in the interactive displays on our fan midway or experiencing great live entertainment on one of our many stages. A full list of fan guidelines, including when to arrive, what to expect, recommended attire, what you can or cannot bring and a full list of activities scheduled throughout race weekend is available by visiting www.PhoenixRaceway.com and selecting the “Visiting PIR” tab at the top of the homepage and browsing to the “PIR 101: Raceday FAQ’s” page.
    TRAFFIC Phoenix International Raceway, in collaboration with the Department of Public Safety, Arizona Department of Transportation, Maricopa County’s Department of Transportation and Sheriff’s Office, and the cities of Avondale and Goodyear, recommend the following guidelines when traveling to and from the raceway:
    · When exiting I-10, westbound or eastbound, be sure to follow the signage and traffic plan marked out to guide you to the track for the quickest and safest route. During the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 event weekend at PIR, traffic safety will deploy more than 4,000 traffic cones, 600 barricades, approximately 75 people, and numerous special signs and vehicles to help ensure safe travel for the nearly 100,000 fans heading to the track.
    · Race fans can call 511 and press *7 when prompted for traffic updates. Additionally, fans can check for traffic updates on Twitter at Twitter.com/PhoenixRaceway.
    · On Sunday, the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 will conclude at approximately 3 p.m. with the heaviest outbound flow of traffic expected to take place from 3 to 6 p.m. During this period, motorists traveling on I-10 will experience intermittent closing of Exit 131 (Avondale Boulevard) to allow for the successful egress of race traffic.
    PARK ‘N RIDE ENCOURAGED FOR SUNDAY Due to the expected race day traffic on Sunday, Nov. 15, PIR and local authorities are encouraging fans to utilize the highly efficient Park ‘N Ride program. Park ‘N Ride is located at the Ak-Chin Pavilion, just two blocks north of I-10 on 83rd Avenue (Exit 135). All NASCAR fans heading to PIR are advised to enter at the 83rd Avenue entrance and park on Pavilion grounds. From there, a shuttle from First Student Charter of Phoenix will transport patrons to a location near Gate 4 at the track. Pick-up after the race will be from the same location. Park ‘N Ride services will be available from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., giving all NASCAR fans an alternate transportation option, before and after the race. The first shuttle will depart at 7:30 a.m. The raceway opens to the public Sunday at 8 a.m. Cost for parking and shuttle services to and from PIR is $7 per car for fans without PIR-issued parking passes. Guests with PIR-issued parking passes or with government-issued disability parking tags can utilize the Park ‘N Ride at no charge. ADA accessible buses are available.
    PARKING Fans driving their own vehicles to the track should remember that their parking pass determines the exits they should take from I-10 to the race. Motorists who take the wrong routes may face major delays as they approach the track. Phoenix International Raceway is proud to offer nearly 900 disabled parking spaces on our property, and all fans who purchase a wheelchair-accessible seat to the race will receive a parking pass for the ADA lot. PIR provides a free tram system that operates along the southern edge of the facility. Guests who utilize the tram system will be dropped off near the entry gate. ONLY those fans with PIR-issued parking passes and government-issued disability parking permits should exit at Avondale Boulevard (Exit 131). Refer to the reverse side of the parking pass for directions to and from the track. Fans without passes who plan to use the free general parking lots must exit the roadway at either Litchfield Road (Exit 128) or Estrella Parkway (Exit 126) and travel south following directions.
    DIRECTIONS Directions to free parking lots – Eastbound: Take Estrella Parkway (Exit 126). Drive south approximately five miles to Vineyard Road. Follow the signs and directions from officers and deputies to the parking lots.
    Directions to free parking lots – Westbound: Take Litchfield Road (Exit 128). Drive south approximately two miles to MC 85. Drive west on MC 85 approximately one mile to Bullard Avenue. Drive south on Bullard Avenue and follow the signs and directions from officers and deputies to the parking lots.
    Directions for Local Traffic – MC 85 (Buckeye Road): Local fans who travel on MC 85 (Buckeye Road) should exit on Litchfield Road or Bullard Avenue. Fans with special passes and permits only may use Avondale Boulevard.(PIR)(11-11-2015)
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway’s Garcia awarded: Al Garcia, a Miami native and the long-time Vice President of Operations at Homestead-Miami Speedway, was presented with the 2015 Terry Jackson Memorial Award by the Southern Automotive Media Association. Garcia was honored at SAMA’s recent November luncheon which was held at the Miami Beach Convention Center during the Miami Auto Show. The award is named after Terry Jackson, a former Miami Herald writer/editor and SAMA member who passed away from cancer in 2009. He was a racing enthusiast. The award is judged by SAMA”s executive committee and given to a member who best exemplifies the spirit of giving, and working for the benefit of ALL in SAMA.(HMS)(11-11-2015)
  • PIR to be renamed in honor of Jeff Gordon for fall race: Phoenix International Raceway is about to become Jeff Gordon Raceway. For one day. PIR will honor the four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion by formally renaming the 1-mile oval in his name for the Nov. 15 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, azcentral sports has learned. Gordon, who has four career PIR wins, says he doesn’t plan to drive after this season, which would make Phoenix his penultimate race. An official announcement is expected Friday. “We were thinking of it like an athlete getting the keys to the city,” PIR President Bryan Sperber said. “It (the idea) took off from there. Starting with the quirky layout of our track, it seems like Phoenix always does things a little different.(Arizona Republic)(6-12/11-11-2015)


    News from November 10, 2015


  • Splitters confiscated from Gibbs cars before Texas race UPDATE: The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas driven by #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards were all forced to surrender their front splitters and replace them with ones that were unaltered as the cars rolled through pre-race inspection for the AAA Texas 500. NASCAR officials said the confiscated carbon-fiber splitters, “did not fit the gauges” and would be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. for further scrutiny. The splitter on the #20 car being driven by Erik Jones, who is subbing for the suspended Matt Kenseth, did not have any issues.
    A close inspection of photos taken by Kickin’ the Tires appeared to show they were altered in a manner that made them look concaved. A source in the garage, who was watching the situation play out, explained that some type of resin or Bondo was used to misshape the splitters in a manner to let the car run lower to the track. The source said the resin would wear down easier and not impact the handling of the car as it went into the corners.
    The matter is similar to what happened with the Team Penske #2 and #22 cars at Michigan International Speedway earlier this year but those splitters hadn’t been altered by adding resin, according to the source.(Kickin the Tires) See several photos at the site. If there are any penalties from NASCAR, they would likely be announced on Tuesday.(11-9-2015)
    UPDATE: No penalties to the JGR teams for the splitters NASCAR took before the race Sunday (ESPN’s Bob Pockrass Twitter)(11-10-2015)
  • Texas TV Ratings: A move from cable to broadcast gave NASCAR’s Chase For the Cup a bump in the overnights. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Texas, the eighth race in the Chase For the Cup, earned a 2.6 overnight rating on NBC Sunday afternoon – up a tick from last year (2.5) and up 13% from 2013 (2.3), both on ESPN. The 2.6 is the highest for the fall Texas race since 2011 (2.8). The 2.6 is also the highest for any Chase For the Cup telecast this year, topping the previous high of 2.5 for Talladega on NBCSN, and the highest for any Sprint Cup race overall since Darlington on NBC over Labor Day weekend (3.4). All four NASCAR races on NBC this season have had an increase in overnight ratings, with the caveat that the comparable races last year each aired on cable. With that said, the numbers are not spectacular for broadcast television. The last time the Texas race aired on broadcast, 2009, it had a 3.1 on ABC. The last time it aired on NBC, 2006, it had a 4.0.(ShowBuzz Daily / Sports Media Watch)
    See past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(11-10-2015)

  • GoBowling.com returns to RPM at Phoenix: Making its return to Richard Petty Motorsports, GoBowling.com will adorn the #9 Ford Fusion driven by Sam Hornish Jr. during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Phoenix International Raceway this Sunday, November 15. GoBowling.com is the online hub to visit and learn more about the 2,100 plus bowling centers around the country. It’s also the website to learn about promotional offers, bowling tips and more. RPM and Strike Ten Entertainment, owners of GoBowling.com, have been partners since 2013. GoBowling.com made its 2015 debut with RPM this September at the Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Speedway and will make its second appearance of the season at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #9 team paint schemes page.(11-10-2015)

  • Ambrose done racing full-time UPDATE: Marcos Ambrose has finally called time on his full-time V8 Supercars comeback, leaving the way clear for Fabian Coulthard and Scott Pye to drive a revitalised DJR-Penske team into 2016 and beyond. Confirmation of the expanded two-car team, and the signing of Coulthard after months of rumours and speculation, comes following a solid performance by Pye and Ambrose in the Bathurst 1000. Ambrose will still race in the final double-driver event of the season at the Gold Coast in just over a week but has yet to decide on his plans for next year, including a potential return to co-driving duties. “I do not intend to drive full-time any more. I elected not to be a part of it,” Ambrose confirmed on Tuesday to News Limited. “It’s absolutely my choice. There is no sadness. I’ve had a great run, a great career. I have my own personal reasons. I’ve got other priorities now.”(Herald Sun)(10-14-2015)
    UPDATE: Marcos Ambrose will not return to the wheel of a V8 Supercar next season, Roger Penske has revealed. Having earlier opted out of a full-time drive, Ambrose met with Penske at Pukekohe to formally discuss his future with the team. Penske confirmed to Speedcafe.com that Ambrose has elected against continuing as a co-driver, but is likely to remain involved as a commercial ambassador. The move appears to spell retirement for the 39-year-old, who in March pulled out of a full-time drive with DJRTP just two events into his long awaited comeback from NASCAR. “I’ve talked to Marcos and he has made a decision that if he’s not the primary driver he doesn’t really want to be a co-driver,” Penske told Speedcafe.com. “I think from a driving perspective he won’t be in a car, but hopefully he will work with us on the commercial side. He’d still come to certain key races to support us. (Speed Cafe)(11-10-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Phoenix:
    #4-Kevin Harvick…………..108.3
    #24-Jeff Gordon…………..100.5
    #19-Carl Edwards…………..98.7
    #41-Kurt Busch…………..98.6
    #18-Kyle Busch…………..96.6
    #11-Denny Hamlin…………..95.0
    #2-Brad Keselowski…………..94.0
    #31-Ryan Newman…………..89.0
    #20-Matt Kenseth…………..88.0
    #22-Joey Logano…………..87.6
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
    See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)(11-10-2015)
  • New Hampshire considering lights; other uses for track: David McGrath is new at the top for New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but he already has four years of experience helping the track improve its performance in the Granite State. McGrath, 51, was named the speedway’s executive vice president and general manager one month ago, replacing Jerry Gappens. Now he’s in the corner office, leading the business that has become the state’s preeminent sports and entertainment venue, and one of the top venues in New England. He’s trying to find new ways of using the property. And he’s thinking big.
    He’s building on many of Gappens’ efforts to expand operations at the 1,200-acre facility. Among the ideas the speedway has been considering is the addition of lights above the 1.058-mile oval track, which is one of the more distinctive racing loops in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Lights, a multimillion-dollar investment, would allow night racing, something NASCAR fans have been asking for, McGrath said. It would need the approval of the town, and the track would seek the approval of area residents. Such a move would also require the approval of NASCAR “and our broadcasting partners,” he said.
    McGrath also wants to find new ways of using and selling the track, and for bringing more people there on a year-round basis. NHMS already offers numerous attractions besides its two Sprint Cup races, such as serving as host to the Daniel Webster Council’s Boy Scout Jamboree in the fall and hosting high-profile motorcycle races during Motorcycle Week in the Granite State. He’s considering hosting an Ironman Triathlon or a Tough Mudder mud run, the kinds of events that are held at other venues in the state during warmer months. Also receiving strong consideration is a return of snowmobile racing during winter months.
    But most of his work revolves around the major NASCAR events, which fill the 88,000-seat grandstands in July and September each year. He hopes to bring new “decking space” for fans outside of the first two turns of the track.(New Hampshire Union Leader)(11-10-2015)
  • Larry Foyt gets married: former NASCAR driver and current president of AJ Foyt Racing,Larry Foytmarried Kelly Curran this past Saturday afternoon at Houston Oaks Country Club in Hockley, TX. Former NASCAR driver A.J. Foyt IV was the Best Man.(AJFR)(11-10-2015)
  • Phoenix sponsor for Cope UPDATE: Derrike Cope Racing #70 and E-hydrate (E-hydrate.com) are teaming up for the next race in a series of NASCAR Xfinity races as the primary sponsor at Phoenix International Raceway on November 14th. E-hydrate offers a complete range of natural products for the entire health-conscious family that is always on-the-go and available at Target stores nationwide. All of E-hydrate’s natural products contain electrolytes – essential elements for proper hydration. E-hydrate is the first to offer premium Protein On-the-Go with electrolytes for optimum nutritional performance.
    AND Matt Waltz will be driving the #70 E-hydrate/Ashurst American Honey Camaro for Phoenix. This is Waltz’s second start in the Xfinity Series this year and he is eager to continue his approval status and further his racing career. Matt Waltz comes from Virginia where he is the “winningest driver ever at Langely VA Speedway”.(DCR)(11-10-2014)
    UPDATE: Ashurst American Honey is joining the team of Derrike Cope Racing for the upcoming race in Phoenix, Arizona. Ashurst American Honey is a family owned and operated honey business based in El Centro, California. As a long time racing fan, American Honey owner, Buddy Ashurst is thrilled to be a part of the support behind Derrike Cope Racing this weekend. Built upon three generations of beekeepers, Ashurst American Honey produces, packages and distributes honey throughout the Western United States.(DCR)(11-10-2015)
  • Texas TV Ratings: NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Texas scored a 1.4 overnight rating on NBC Sunday afternoon, up 27% from last year on ESPN (1.1) and the highest mark for the series since coverage from the Brickyard in July (1.5). Overall, the 1.4 overnight is the fifth-highest for an Xfinity Series r
  • GMS gets penalty following Talladega UPDATE 2: The #33 team has been penalized for an infraction that occurred during pre-qualifying inspection on Oct. 23. This is a P4 level penalty (Sections 20.4.12.2; 20.20.a; 20.4.f; P4, 12.5.3.4. b&d, Penalty Options; P4, 12.5.3.4.1 d&f, Penalty Examples). Crew chief Shane Huffman has been fined $10,000, suspended for the next three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship events, plus any non-championship races or special events which might occur during that period, and placed on NASCAR probation for a six-month period following the issuance of the penalty. The team has also been assessed with the loss of 25 championship driver (Brandon Jones) and 25 championship owner (Maurice Gallagher Jr.) points.(NASCAR)(10-28-2015)
    UPDATE: Director of Competition Mike Beam’s response to penalties levied against alleged infractions made at Talladega Superspeedway:
    “As a stand-alone team in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) we respect NASCAR’s efforts to maintain a level playing field for all teams and competitors. However, we feel that it is in the best interest of our organization, partners and team personnel to appeal NASCAR’s decision. GMS Racing will have no further public comment until the process is completed.”(GMS Racing)(10-29-2015)
    UPDATE 2: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a P4 level penalty issued on Oct. 28 to Shane Huffman (crew chief), Brandon Jones (driver) and Maurice Gallagher Jr. (owner) relative to the #33 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team at Talladega Superspeedway. The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 20.4.12.2; 20.20.a; 20.4.f; P4, 12.5.3.4. b&d, Penalty Options; P4, 12.5.3.4.1 d&f, Penalty Examples. The original penalty assessed included: Huffman was fined $10,000, suspended for the next three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship events, plus any non-championship races or special events which might occur during that period, and placed on NASCAR probation for a six-month period following the issuance of the penalty. Jones and Gallagher Jr. were also assessed with the loss of 25 championship driver and 25 championship owner points, respectively. Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
    The Appellants violated the Rule or Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice
    The Panel finds that the suspension portion of the Penalty for the crew chief should not last beyond the current season in this special case because of the delay in the originally scheduled hearing. All other portions of the original Penalty as levied by NASCAR (e.g.; owner points; driver points; fine; probation) are affirmed and upheld.
    The Appellants have the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(11-10-2014)

  • 2016 Truck Series schedule released: NASCAR announced the 2016 schedule for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, which features 21 tracks hosting 23 events in the U.S. and Canada. As with the previously announced NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series schedules, agreements have also been reached with the tracks to host the Camping World Truck Series through 2020.
    Iowa Speedway will host its first NASCAR national series companion weekend, with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series joining the NASCAR XFINITY Series on June 18-19. Other changes for 2016 are:
    The Dover International Speedway event moves two weekends earlier in the schedule (May 13).
    The first visit to Texas Motor Speedway moves one week later to June 10.
    The Gateway Motorsports Park event moves two weekends later in the schedule to June 25.
    The Canadian Tire Motorsport Park event returns to the Sunday of Labor Day (U.S.) weekend, on Sept. 4.
    The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series kicks off the 2016 season during Daytona Speedweeks, as the iconic track welcomes fans to experience its $400 million redevelopment project, DAYTONA Rising. After Daytona, the trucks will race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in a double-header with the NASCAR XFINITY Series for the second consecutive season. Two popular Wednesday night events – at Eldora Speedway (July 20) and Bristol (Aug. 17) – also return to the schedule for 2016.
    The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series closes the 2016 season with five events in five weekends, including three triple-header weekends with the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series at Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway, and Homestead-Miami Speedway. FOX Sports will provide broadcast coverage of every race event in the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck season.(NASCAR)(See the schedule on the 2016 Camping World Truck Series schedule page)(11-10-2015)
  • New sponsor for Boat at PIR: Billy Boat Motorsports (BBM) announced today a partnership with Lawson Rock & Oil and the #16 Chevy Silverado driven by Chad Boat in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix Intentional Raceway on Friday, November 13. Lawson Rock & Oil, along with Pristine Auction and CorvetteParts.net, will adorn the #16 Chevy Silverado for Boat’s hometown NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race in Phoenix, Ariz. The 23-year-old, who captured a career-best ninth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in October, will attempt to make his fourth-career NCWTS start in the Lucas Oil 150. Lawson Rock & Oil is a trucking company based in Fresno, California started and owned by John Lawson. BBM owner Billy Boat drove for Lawson in the USAC Midget Series in the 90’s, where they went on to capture record-breaking feature wins, as well as the Belleville Nationals and Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.(Billy Boat Motorsports)(11-10-2015)
  • Sargeant pulling double duty: Dalton Sargeant will make his fourth career start in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) in the Lucas Oil 150 Friday, November 13, 2015. This will be the 17-year-old NASCAR Next driver’s first start on the one-mile flat tri-oval piloting the #5 GALT Wauters Motorsports Toyota Tundra. Sargeant will also compete in the NASCAR K&N West Series on Thursday, November 12th at the Avondale, AZ racetrack. Sargeant has impressed with his first two NCWTS starts during the 2015 season with a 10th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway and a ninth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Sargeant had been running 10th in his third NCWTS start at Martinsville Speedway but was caught up in an incident breaking the streak of three consecutive top-10 finishes.(Wauters Motorsports)(11-10-2015)
  • Levine gets sponsor for Homestead debut: David Levine earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications Studies from Furman University earlier this year. His education at the school’s picturesque Greenville, South Carolina campus prepared him to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex and ever-changing world. Now, the 22-year-old race car driver is excited to announce that his Alma Mater will be behind him, both literally and figuratively, as he takes on his next challenge. David will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway with the University’s purple and white logo adorning the tailgate of his Lira Motorsports Ford F-150 race truck as an associate sponsor. Founded in 1826, Furman University is one of the nation’s premier undergraduate liberal arts colleges. At the heart of the University is an outstanding academic program, with top-notch faculty whose chief priority is teaching undergraduate students. They also offer distinguished visual and performing arts programs, NCAA Division I athletics, and a campus community that values collaboration and fosters empathy for a diversity of ideas and perspectives. This will be the series debut for Lira Motorsports. Based in Mooresville, NC, the team just completed their first full season of ARCA Racing Series competition. Fielding two to four cars in every race, the team collected a total of 22 top ten finishes including two race victories. After his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut, David will turn his attention to securing sponsorship for the 2016 racing season.(Lira Motorsports)(11-10-2015)


    News from November 9, 2015


  • Phoenix Championship Clinch Scenarios:
    #24-Jeff Gordon has already clinched a spot in the Championship 4.
    Regardless of the finish of any other driver…
    #18-Kyle Busch will clinch with a finish of 3rd or better; 4th and at least one lap led; or 5th and most laps led.
    #4-Kevin Harvick will clinch with a finish of 2nd or better; 3rd and at least one lap led; or 4th and most laps led.
    #78-Martin Truex Jr., #19-Carl Edwards, #2-Brad Keselowski, #41-Kurt Busch and #22-Joey Logano only control their own destiny with a victory. Logano can ONLY make it to the Championship Round with a win at Phoenix.
    (NASCAR)(11-9-2015)

  • Splitters confiscated from Gibbs cars before Texas race: The Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas driven by #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards were all forced to surrender their front splitters and replace them with ones that were unaltered as the cars rolled through pre-race inspection for the AAA Texas 500. NASCAR officials said the confiscated carbon-fiber splitters, “did not fit the gauges” and would be taken back to the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, N.C. for further scrutiny. The splitter on the #20 car being driven by Erik Jones, who is subbing for the suspended Matt Kenseth, did not have any issues.
    A close inspection of photos taken by Kickin’ the Tires appeared to show they were altered in a manner that made them look concaved. A source in the garage, who was watching the situation play out, explained that some type of resin or Bondo was used to misshape the splitters in a manner to let the car run lower to the track. The source said the resin would wear down easier and not impact the handling of the car as it went into the corners.
    The matter is similar to what happened with the Team Penske #2 and No. 22 cars at Michigan International Speedway earlier this year but those splitters hadn’t been altered by adding resin, according to the source.(Kickin the Tires) See several photos at the site. If there are any penalties from NASCAR, they would likely be announced on Tuesday.(11-9-2015)

  • Several teams have tire problems at Texas: When Sunday’s race got under way on Sunday afternoon, it did not take long for tire issues to pop up. Chase driver #22-Joey Logano was running fourth in the opening laps of the race when his left-rear tire exploded, going down the backstretch. The shredded tire destroyed the left-rear quarter panel of the car, brought out the first caution of the day and took the Team Penske driver out of contention. On Lap 36, reigning series champion #4-Kevin Harvick also had a flat left-rear tire, but the car did not suffer any damage. With just 54 laps to go, Harvick had another flat tire — this time it was the left rear. Harvick was forced to give up the second spot to hit pit road. Crew chief Rodney Childers determined Harvick ran over a piece of debris on both occasions.
    The tire problems were far from over, though. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a right-front tire go down on Lap 50. #42-Kyle Larson suffered two separate left-rear tire failures on Lap 101 and Lap 232. #31-Ryan Newman lost a left rear on Lap 145. Kyle Busch had a tire coming apart on his #18 Toyota, but was able to hit pit road during a cycle of green flag pit stops with 84 laps to go, and did not lose any ground.
    Despite the multiple problems, Goodyear’s director of racing, Greg Stucker, said it was a myriad of issues causing the tire failures in Sunday’s race, but he stood behind the compound. Stucker said both Harvick and Earnhardt ran over debris, which cut the tires. “The left rear is most certainly the most common occurrence,” Stucker said inside the Texas Motor Speedway media center during the race. “We’re seeing signs of over-deflection type air losses, which we have seen before. I think one of the other factors you have to consider is the impact the weather had.” Stucker pointed out that with no practice on Saturday, teams were unable to properly gauge the tire wear and find the edge. “I think that’s just where we are right now,” he said. “They’re still trying to sort through that and find where they can be with left-rear deflection, where they can be with air pressures and where they can be with their setup.” The tire compound used Sunday at Texas is the same that will be run in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(Fox Sports)(11-9-2015)
  • Texas Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2015 AAA 500: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 2:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 6:00 PM (all times are EST). NBC was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 147
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 63
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 121
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 61
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 26
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 23
    Number of times NBC utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos ‘floating’ in corners of the screen): 106
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 25 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 6:00 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 240
    Minutes of race broadcast: 187
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 53
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 11
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 187 Total comm. brdcst time 53
    See full reports, sponsor links, many more details at CawnJaws.com.(11-2-2015)

  • NASCAR and Chevrolet Announce Diversity Scholarship Winners at Texas: NASCAR and Chevy announced the scholarship winners in the NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest during a special presentation at Texas Motor Speedway. Four undergraduate college students from across the country were awarded a total of $20,000 in scholarships and treated to a VIP experience at the AAA Texas 500, including a tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, pace car rides and meet-and-greets with Team Chevy drivers and Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program Manager, Alba Colon. Last month, NASCAR and Chevrolet challenged college students to identify a specific technology within the sport and explain how STEM professionals came to its design in 90-second videos. Student videos were submitted online and judged on technical accuracy, creativity and production value. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student Maria Kaselow Salas earned first place and a $10,000 scholarship by illustrating the physics behind track banking in her video demonstration at a local skateboard park. Utah State University sophomore Allan Blad took second place and won a $5,000 scholarship for his video about NASCAR’s eco-friendly, track-drying technology, the Air Titan 2.0. Vishnu Rachakonda, a biomedical engineering student at the University of Pennsylvania, and Jonathan Gwinn, who studies mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio, finished in third and fourth place, respectively, earning $2,500 scholarships.(NASCAR)(11-8-2015)

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Laps Led Leaders:
    (after Texas, 34 of 36 races)
    1. #4-Kevin Harvick, 2,105
    2. #22-Joey Logano, 1,359
    3. #2-Brad Keselowski, 1,094
    4. #20-Matt Kenseth, 927
    5. #41-Kurt Busch, 788 (31 races)
    6. #18-Kyle Busch, 694 (22 races)
    7. #78-Martin Truex Jr., 564
    8. #11-Denny Hamlin, 529
    9. #48-Jimmie Johnson, 514
    10. #19-Carl Edwards, 368
    Laps Run: 9,939
    (11-9-2015)

  • Three drivers who won a race in 2014, have not won 2015: Three drivers have now been shut out of winning a Sprint Cup race in 2015 after winning at least one race in 2014, after 34 of 36 races in 2015, the drivers:
    #5-Kasey Kahne last won at Atlanta in August 2014 and has a four season win streak.
    #43-Aric Almirola has won one career race, last year at Daytona in July.
    #47-A.J. Allmendinger has won one career race, last year at Watkins Glen in August.
    (11-9-2015)
  • Ross Kenseth to run second NXS race: Ross Kenseth will attempt to make his second NASCAR XFINITY Series start of 2015 this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, driving the #80 Toyota Genuine Parts / TACTI Toyota Camry for Hattori Racing Enterprises. Team owner Shigeaki Hattori and Kenseth first teamed up at Martinsville Speedway, in the October 30 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, where the team finished 17th in their first race of 2015. Kenseth, the son of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth, has one other NASCAR XFINITY Series start in his career. It came in June at Chicagoland Speedway when Kenseth, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, qualified second and finished sixth in his NASCAR debut. Veteran crew chief Pat Tryson will lead the same team that fielded the #18 HRE truck for Kenseth last month at Martinsville. This will be Kenseth’s first start at Phoenix.(Fuel SMG)(11-9-2015)


    News from November 8, 2015


  • Entry List for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Jeff Gordon Raceway (Phoenix International Raceway) is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #32-Gase, #33-Ellis, #62-Hill, #98-Preece.
    Since only 43 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Phoenix Entry List

  • Johnson wins at Texas: #48-Jimmie Johnson won the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 5th win of the season, 6th win at Texas and 75th career win. Johnson led just 6 of the 334 laps. He passed #2-Keselowski with 3 laps remaining after Keselowski had dominated the race, leading 312 laps.
    #24-Gordon remains the only driver automatically advancing to the Championship round of The Chase after his Martinsvile win.
    #2-Keselowski finished 2nd followed by #4-Harvick, #18-Busch, #19-Edwards, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #41-Busch, #78-Truex, Jr., #24-Gordon, and #1-McMurray.
    #22-Joey Logano cut down a tire 10 laps into the race and had to go to the garage for extended repairs. He finished 40th, 66 laps down.
    Erik Jones, filling in for #20 Kenseth, finished 12th.
    There were 15 lead changes among 8 drivers and 9 cautions for 47 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 137.490mph.
    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).
    (11-8-2015)
  • Finishing positions of the 2015 Sprint Cup Chase drivers at Texas:
    [by points standings before the race (start pos)]
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon, 9th (18)
    2) #18-Kyle Busch, 4th (3)
    3) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 8th (23)
    4) #4-Kevin Harvick, 3rd (2)
    5) #19-Carl Edwards, 19th (13)
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski, 2nd (1)
    7) #41-Kurt Busch, 7th (7)
    8) #22-Joey Logano, 40th (4)
    (11-8-2015)
  • Race Fast Facts – Texas:
    Jimmie Johnson won the 11th Annual AAA Texas 500, his 75th victory in 505 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his fifth victory and 20th top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his sixth victory and 19th top-10 finish in 25 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Brad Keselowski (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in 15 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 23rd top-10 finish in 2015.
    Kevin Harvick (third) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 26 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Brett Moffitt (30th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Jeff Gordon leads the point standings by 2 points over Kyle Busch.
    Jimmie Johnson becomes the first driver to win three consecutive NSCS races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Jimmie Johnson has won the last four consecutive Chase races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Jimmie Johnson has 75 career wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, just one win behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt (76).
    Jimmie Johnson is the third driver in series history to sweep both races at Texas in a single season joining Carl Edwards (2008) and Denny Hamlin (2010).
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-8-2015)
  • Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings – Eliminator Round:
    [after Texas, race 34 of 36, Chase race 8 of 10]
    1) #24-Gordon* [1 win], 4082
    2) #18-Busch[4], 4080 -2; +11 ahead of 5th
    3) #4-Harvick [3], 4079 -3; +10 ahead of 5th
    4) #78-Truex, Jr.[1], 4076 -6; +7 ahead of 5th
    Top 4 advance to Championship round
    5) #19-Edwards[2], 4069 -13; -7 out of 4th
    6) #2-Keselowski[1], 4057 -25; -19 out of 4th
    7) #41-Busch[2], 4048 -34; -26 out of 4th
    8) #22-Logano [6], 4013 – 69; -63 out of 4th
    The order is set by the points standings after the last round.
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc, with in that round of the Chase)
    *Automatically advances to Championship round with a win in the Eliminator round.
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    (11-8-2015)

  • Unofficial Top 25 in 2015 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) #4-Kevin Harvick (C3), 1234
    2) #22-Joey Logano (C8), 1217 -17
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (EC), 1147 -87
    4) #2-Brad Keselowski (C6), 1138 -96
    5) #78-Martin Truex Jr. (C4), 1102 -132
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson (EC), 1080 -154
    7) #11-Denny Hamlin (EC), 1047 -187
    8) #19-Carl Edwards (C5), 1042 -192
    9) #41-Kurt Busch (C7), 1035 -199
    10) #24-Jeff Gordon (C1), 1032 -202
    11) #20-Matt Kenseth (EC), 1009 -225
    12) #1-Jamie McMurray (EC), 992 -242
    13) #31-Ryan Newman (EC), 991 -243
    14) #27-Paul Menard (EC), 918 -316
    15) #43-Aric Almirola, 903 -331
    16) #5-Kasey Kahne, 896 -338
    17) #15-Clint Bowyer (EC), 869 -365
    18) #16-Greg Biffle, 822 -412
    19) #42-Kyle Larson, 809 -425
    20) #18-Kyle Busch (C2), 779 -455
    21) #3-Austin Dillon, 778 -456
    22) #13-Casey Mears, 730 -504
    23) #47-AJ Allmendinger, 714 -520
    24) #17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 687 -547
    25) #9-Sam Hornish, Jr., 677 -557
    (C# = chase driver and current Chase position)
    (EC = chase driver that has been eliminated from the Chase)
    (11-8-2015)

  • Three Chase teams with three warnings before Texas UPDATE: In the wake of #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team losing its pit stall selection because of a fourth warning for inspection failures, three championship contenders are facing the same fate. The teams of #4-Kevin Harvick, #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano each have compiled three warnings since August, when NASCAR revamped its policy so that a fourth warning ensured the loss of pit selection for a race. If the fourth warning is issued before pit selection occurs after qualifying, the penalty is enforced for that race. Otherwise, it is assessed in the next event. That means if the teams of Harvick, Keselowski or Logano were to receive a warning in prerace inspection Sunday for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, the penalty would be enforced next week at Phoenix International Raceway – where a tight pit lane magnifies the importance of stall selection. A prequalifying warning next week also would result in loss of pit selection at Phoenix. If a fourth warning was issued in prerace inspection at Phoenix or prior to qualifying at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the loss of pit selection would be enforced in the championship finale. Keselowski’s team received its three warnings at Michigan International Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Harvick’s warnings were amassed at New Hampshire (twice) and Charlotte. Logano’s were at Bristol, Charlotte and Kansas Speedway.(NBC Sports)(11-7-2015)
    UPDATE: Kevin Harvick’s team has compiled three warnings since August, when NASCAR revamped its policy so that a fourth warning ensured the loss of pit selection for a race. Harvick’s warnings were amassed at New Hampshire (twice) and Charlotte.
    There are two more remaining title-contending teams currently with two warnings: Joey Logano’s #22 (Bristol and Charlotte) and Jeff Gordon’s #24 (Bristol and Charlotte). Two have a warning apiece: #41-Kurt Busch (Dover) and #78-Martin Truex Jr. (Dover).
    Brad Keselowski’s #2 Ford has zero warnings after his team’s total was reset following a fourth warning that resulted in loss of pit selection last month at Kansas Speedway.(NBC Sports)(11-8-2015)

  • Meendering leaving Earnhardt’s Cup team to crew chief in XFINITY: Kevin Meendering currently serves as the chief engineer on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Sprint Cup Series team. In 2016, he will move to the Xfinity Series next season as a crew chief. Meendering will serve as crew chief for driver Elliott Sadler next season at JR Motorsports, sources familiar to the move confirmed. Sadler, 40, joined Roush Fenway Racing this season after spending the two previous seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing. He is currently sixth in the series standings with four top-five and 10 top-15 finishes in 30 races.(Motorsport)(11-8-2015)
  • Martinsville TV Ratings UPDATE: NASCAR’s final race on cable this season had another decline in the metered markets. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Martinsville, the seventh race in the Chase For the Cup, had a 1.9 overnight rating on NBCSN Sunday afternoon – down 17% from last year and 2013, which both aired on ESPN (2.3). The 1.9 is the second-highest of this year’s Chase For the Cup on cable, trailing only a 2.5 for Talladega the previous week. The four other races on cable, not including rescheduled action from Charlotte, had either a 1.7 or 1.8. Overnight ratings have now declined for 18 of the 19 Sprint Cup races on cable this season, with Kentucky in July the lone exception. That race, which was even in the metered markets, ended up declining in the final tally. Despite the relatively low numbers, NASCAR on NBCSN easily topped Formula 1 racing from Mexico on the NBC broadcast network (0.6).(ShowBuzz Daily / Sports Media Watch)
    See past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(11-4-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Martinsville drew a 2.0 final rating and 3.3 million viewers on NBCSN Sunday afternoon, down 20% in ratings and 18% in viewership from last year (2.5, 4.1M) and down 26% and 22%, respectively, from 2013 (2.7, 4.3M), both on ESPN. Ratings and viewership were the lowest for the fall Martinsville race since at least 2000, falling below the previous lows of 2.4 (twice) and 3.6 million (2012). As recently as 2005, it had a 4.7 and 7.1 million on the NBC broadcast network. The race completed an inauspicious debut for NASCAR’s new cable partners NBCSN and Fox Sports 1, as all 19 Sprint Cup races on cable this season hit either a record-low or the lowest marks in over a decade. That does not include the recent Charlotte race, which moved from NBC to NBCSN due to rain. The multi-year lows are no surprise considering both NBCSN and FS1 were in fewer than 85 million homes as of July. Previous cable partners ESPN and TNT were north of 90 million, even after having shed subscribers. Based on the numbers, one might conclude that NASCAR’s new television deal has been unsuccessful. In fact, it has worked out quite well for the parties involved. NBCSN and FS1 have generated some of their largest audiences ever, and NASCAR managed to substantially increase its rights fees – even though incumbents Turner Sports and ESPN declined to submit a bid. This year’s historically low numbers also have a silver lining, setting the bar low enough that next season’s races could hold steady or even increase.(Sports Media Watch)(11-8-2015)

  • Texas Race Notes & Facts – Sunday:
    · There have been 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one NSCS event from 1997 – 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
    · 144 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas; 116 in more than one.
    · Roush Fenway Racing leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with seven and Joe Gibbs Racing has four.
    · Four different manufacturers have won a NSCS race at Texas, led by Ford (12), followed by Chevrolet (11), Toyota (three) and Dodge (three).
    · There have been five NSCS green-white-checker finishes at Texas Motor Speedway: fall 2006 (334/339), spring 2008 (334/339), fall 2012 (334/335), spring 2014 (334/340) and fall 2014 (334/341).
    · 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 over second-place Kasey Kahne.
    (NASCAR)(11-8-2015)

  • NASCAR considering Chase scenario for trucks: NASCAR acknowledged it’s contemplating a playoff-type system similar to the Chase for the ultra-competitive Truck tour. One scenario that’s been discussed would feature eight contenders in a seven-race elimination where two drivers are knocked out after each three-race segment with the four teams battling for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Twenty-one points currently separate third-place Tyler Reddick from series points leader Erik Jones in the truck standings. Defending truck champion Matt Crafton trails Jones by 17 points as he attempts to become the first driver to win three consecutive titles. This season the truck series has enjoyed 13 different winners in the first 21 events. The proposed seven-race Chase would occupy roughly 30 percent of the schedule – a greater portion than the Chase for the Sprint Cup consumes (27.78 percent).(Motorsport.com)(11-8-2015)


    News from November 7, 2015


  • Practices canceled: Both Sprint Cup practices were canceled on Saturday. There was rain overnight at the track and rain seeping onto the track prevented teams from getting practices in.(11-7-2015)
  • Get Well Lennie Pond: Lennie Pond, NASCAR’s rookie of the year in 1973, was scheduled to undergo cancer surgery Friday in Richmond, Va. Pond, 75, who had one career Cup victory (at Talladega in 1978), beat out Darrell Waltrip for the ’73 rookie honor.(Charlotte Observer)(11-7-2015)
  • First Saturday practice: was canceled. NASCAR could not get the track dry soon enough to get the session in before NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying was scheduled to start.(11-7-2015)

  • K&W FIBERLOCK featured on the #40 at Texas: CRC Industries, the worldwide leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the maintenance and repair professional and do-it-yourselfer, will partner with O’Reilly Auto Parts to promote K&W FIBERLOCK Head Gasket & Block Repair, with Landon Cassill driving the distinctive green #40 CRC/O’Reilly Auto Parts Chevy SS in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. As part of a nationwide in-store promotion on CRC products at all O’Reilly Auto Parts stores through November 23rd, widely-accepted cooling system additive K&W FIBERLOCK will be prominently displayed on the Hillman Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup entry. Easy to use, K&W FIBERLOCK does not require the user to drain the cooling system first unlike many other cooling system repair additives on the market today. Just pour and go.(Hillman Racing), see an image of the car on the #40 team paint schemes page.(11-7-2015)

  • Buescher expects another full season of XFINITY: Chris Buesher was asked about his plans for 2016 on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway:
    Buescher: “Nothing is set… I look toward next year and more than likely we will be doing another year of XFINITY and I am good with that. I think as you look through, there have been a handful of names that have been rushed up ahead and tried to be put into something that they may have thought they were ready for but it is a very big jump up to the next level. I am glad I got the handful of starts I did with Front Row earlier this year. It made you realize really quickly the competition level and intensity of the racing is a lot different, especially as you close in on the later stages of a race. There is a lot of things that go with moving up, it isn’t just a matter of pure speed. There are a lot of things to learn and if you aren’t ready and don’t perform at that level as soon as you move up it is very easy to get forgotten about, get labeled and not have that chance again as you go forward. If we run another year in the XFINITY in 2016 I am all for it. I am in no rush. I turned 23 a couple weeks ago so I am one of the older guys in XFINITY I feel like now but I am in no rush. I feel good about where we are at.”(Ford Racing)(11-6-2015)

  • Drivers complete test at Atlanta: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers were on track at Atlanta Motor Speedway participating in test sessions for the second straight week on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, ahead of the 2016 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Weekend. #1-Jamie McMurray, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Bobby Labonte and David Ragan, again subbing in for Carl Edwards in the #19 car, were all on hand for a closed Goodyear tire test. The Goodyear test followed a Sprint Cup Series open team test last Thursday in which teams were testing the low-downforce aero package that will be used full time next season and for the first time at Atlanta. Inclement weather shortened the sessions on both days, but cars were eventually able to log laps after jet dryers worked overtime to prepare the track for safe driving. Tuesday, drivers worked predominantly on short runs, while longer runs were the name of the game on Wednesday. Often, Goodyear will invite a handful of teams to participate in a tire test as they prepare a new tire customized for optimal performace at specific tracks. Atlanta Motor Speedway’s aged, rough surface popular with many drivers, combined with the new aero package in 2016 prompted the track to host the test in preparation for the unique racing anticipated in next season’s Sprint Cup Series event.(AMS)(11-7-2015)
  • Chip Ganassi Racing forms Generation Ganassi Driver Identification Program: Chip Ganassi and his Chip Ganassi Racing Teams announced the creation of the Generation Ganassi (Gen G) racing talent identification program, a mentorship that will look to identify and assist North America’s young and talented race car drivers. The program identifies 13-18 year old drivers as “Ones to Watch” in the world of auto racing and offers professional guidance to aid in fostering their growth within the sport of auto racing. The first recipient of the 2016 Generation Ganassi moniker is a 15-year-old driver from Canada named Devlin Defrancesco. Defrancesco has been racing karts since 2006 where he has had much success including winning the Canadian National Junior Championship in 2013, also named Vice-Champion of the CSAI Italian Championship and was third overall in the CIK FIA European Karting Championship. In 2015, he joined British racing team Carlin Motorsports to prepare for races in the FIA Formula 4 Championship.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(11-7-2015)

  • 3M Automotive Aftermarket continues NASCAR sponsorship: NASCAR and 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division announced a five-year extension to their long-standing Official Partnership. As part of the agreement, 3M Automotive Aftermarket will continue its nearly two-decade NASCAR Sprint Cup Series contingency sponsorship that provides many of its innovative automotive products and solutions used in race cars and race shops throughout NASCAR. As an Official Partner, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division will continue to carry the NASCAR bar mark on key product categories sold to car enthusiasts everywhere and to professional auto repair shops. In addition, the division will collaborate with the NASCAR R&D Center to integrate 3M automotive products and solutions into the sport. 3M automotive products keep the world on the move, with innovative solutions for building, repairing and maintaining vehicles.(NASCAR)(11-7-2015)

  • Texas Driver Notes & Facts – Saturday:
    · Jeff Gordon is the only drive to have made all 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8.417. Johnson is the only active driver with an average starting position at Texas inside the top 10.
    · 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.
    · David Ragan (4/09/2011) and Martin Truex Jr. (11/04/2007) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway.
    · 18 different drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with five victories.
    · Seven drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (five), Carl Edwards (three), Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart each have two.
    · One NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has won at Texas Motor Speedway in two different manufacturers: Jeff Burton (1997 – Ford; 2007 – Chevrolet)
    · Jeff Burton (4/06/1997) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (4/02/2000) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career race at Texas Motor Speedway.
    · Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (2014 Chase race and Spring of 2015), Carl Edwards (2008 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep).
    · Jimmie Johnson has won the last three consecutive Chase races at Texas Motor Speedway (2012, 2013 and 2014).
    · 11 of the 13 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 13 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
    · Only three of the 13 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 leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 25.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five; followed by Matt Kenseth with four and Jeff Gordon with three.
    · Matt Kenseth leads the series in top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 13; followed by Jimmie Johnson with 12, Jeff Gordon with nine, Greg Biffle and Kyle Busch each have eight.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 18; followed by Matt Kenseth (17) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (15).
    · Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish inside the top 10 at Texas: Jimmie Johnson (8.750) and Matt Kenseth (9.462).
    · Casey Mears has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway without posting a DNF (21).
    · Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Laps Led at Texas Motor Speedway with 1,017 laps led in 24 starts.
    · Jeff Gordon leads all active NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers in Laps Completed at Texas Motor Speedway with 8,664 laps.
    · Two female drivers have made NSCS starts at Texas Motor Speedway: Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick
    (NASCAR)(11-7-2015)
  • Keselowski wins XFINITY race at Texas Motor Speedway: #2-Brad Keselowski won the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. #88-Kevin Harvick finished second, followed by #33-Austin Dillon, #20-Erik Jones, #3-Ty Dillon, #18-Daniel Suarez, #2-Brian Scott, #9-Chase Elliott, #7-Regan Smith, and #1-Elliott Sadler.
    There were 4 cautions for 23 laps and 17 lead changes among 7 leaders. Complete results are on the Texas race results page (pdf).
    (11-7-2015)
  • Texas XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Brad Keselowski(i) won the 11th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, his 34th victory in 224 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his second victory and 12th top-10 finish in 16 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Kevin Harvick(i) (second) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 18 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2015.
    Austin Dillon(i) (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in seven races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Daniel Suarez (sixth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Chris Buescher leads the point standings by 24 points over Chase Elliott.
    Roger Penske has clinched the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series owners championship with the No. 22 Ford team. The No. 22 is 98 points ahead of the No. 54 in owner points.
    This is Roger Penske’s third consecutive NASCAR XFINITY Series owner title.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-7-2015)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Texas:
    [2 races remaining]
    1) #60-Chris Buescher, 1126
    2) #9-Chase Elliott, 1102, -24
    3) #3-Ty Dillon, 1096, -30
    4) #7-Regan Smith, 1095, -31
    5) #1-Elliott Sadler, 1008, -118
    6) #6-Darrell Wallace Jr., 1001, -125
    7) #18-Daniel Suarez, 1000, -126
    8) #2-Brian Scott, 959, -167
    9) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 959, -167
    10) #16-Ryan Reed, 854, -272
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(11-7-2015)

  • Meendering to be Sadler’s crew chief in 2016: Kevin Meendering currently serves as the chief engineer on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Sprint Cup Series team. In 2016, he will move to the Xfinity Series next season as a crew chief. Meendering will serve as crew chief for driver Elliott Sadler next season at JR Motorsports, sources familiar to the move confirmed. Sadler, 40, joined Roush Fenway Racing this season after spending the two previous seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing. He is currently sixth in the series standings with four top-five and 10 top-15 finishes in 30 races. In his career, Sadler has 10 wins and 16 poles in 293 Xfinity starts. He also has three wins in the Sprint Cup Series and one in Trucks.(Motorsport)(11-7-2015)
  • XFINITY qualifying canceled at Texas: Overnight rains forced the cancellation of qualifying for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. The field was set by the rule book, based on yesterday’s practice results. #33-Austin Dillon will start from the pole, followed by #22-Brad Keselowski, #20-Erik Jones, #7-Regan Smith, #18-Daniel Suarez, #54-Kyle Busch, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #88-Kevin Harvick, #3-Ty Dillon, and #9-Chase Elliott. Did Not Qualify: none. The starting lineup is posted on the Texas starting lineup page (pdf).(11-7-2015)
  • Entry list: There are 34 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. A few notes:
    Dalton Sargeant in the #5;
    William Byron in the #9;
    Chad Boat in the #16;
    Austin Cindric in the #29;
    Rico Abreu in the #31;
    JJ Haley in the #32;
    Bobby Pierce in the #36;
    TBA in the #49;
    Akinori Ogata in the #63;
    Cassie Gannis in the #74;
    (11-7-2015)
    See the complete list on the Phoenix entry list page.
  • Gannis set for series debut: Cassie Gannis, the 24-year-old female race driver from Phoenix, Arizona, announced that she is scheduled to race in the Camping World Truck Series at Phoenix International Raceway. Gannis will be driving the Mike Harmon Racing #74 truck. Gannis lives in Phoenix and works as a veterinarian technician at a local animal hospital when she’s not racing. She is also very active in the Phoenix metro community, promoting safe driving and Don’t Text and Drive campaigns. She had to take 8 months off from racing in 2006 due to spinal surgery. During her experience in the K&N West series, Gannis was named Most Popular Driver in 2012. A graduate of the Lyn St. James Driving Academy, she has made numerous NASCAR appearances in her own #7 Super Late Model car at Tucson Speedway, about 2 hours south of Phoenix. She also has racing experience at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Irwindale Raceway, Colorado National Speedway, and several others. Her earliest experience was in the Quarter Midget series from 1999 to 2003, with 15 top 5 finishes in 18 races.(Cassie Gannis Racing)(11-7-2015)
  • Homestead Sprint Cup race sold out: With three races still remaining in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer announced that the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, November 22, is sold out for the second consecutive year. In addition to reserved and general admission seating, all premium seating areas including the Champions Club, Speedway Club, Pit Box, suites and Pit Road Cabanas have been sold out since September. All that remains is a limited number of RV Camping available in the GEICO RV Park. 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 a day earlier in the XFINITY Series race. The Camping World Truck Series championship title could come down to the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as only 13 points separate the top three drivers in Erik Jones, Matt Crafton and Tyler Reddick. The XFINITY Series championship could also come down to the final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, as defending champion Chase Elliott is second in points to Chris Buescher, who is looking for his first championship title. Only 36 points separate first through fourth place in the XFINITY Series, with drivers Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott (27 points behind Buescher), Regan Smith (33 points behind Buescher) and Ty Dillon (36 points behind Buescher) will battle for the title.(Homestead-Miami Speedway)(11-7-2015)
  • DAYTONA Rising November Project Update: On Thursday, Daytona International Speedway welcomed the arrival of the LED-lit letters for its new, massive identification sign as part of the ongoing $400 million DAYTONA Rising project. The “supersign” will be located near the new center injector/entrance, welcoming race fans and guests to the “World Center of Racing.” The “DAYTONA” text measures 13 feet 6 inches tall and the “INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY” text is more than 12 feet tall, while the entire length of the sign measures 355 feet. Jones Sign Company, a national specialist in the sign manufacturer and sign installation industry, built and transported the letters. During the last week, the letters traveled nearly 1,500 miles across six states (via two semi-trucks) before arriving at DIS. The completion of the sign installation is scheduled for December 2015. Upcoming construction activities include: Aluminum installation for FPL Solar Pavilion in the Midway; Paving of Midway; Step work for injectors.(DIS)(11-7-2015)


    News from November 6, 2015


  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #2-Keselowski chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #4-Harvick took pit stall 14, the first pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    #18-Busch, who starts 3rd took the 9th pit stall.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #42-Larson, who starts 5th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.(10-30-2015)
  • Keselowski wins Texas pole: #2-Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light pole for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with speed of 196.929mph for his 3rd pole of 2015, 1st at Texas and 11th of his career. Keselowski has won 2 races from the pole out of 10 previous poles.
    #4-Harvick is on the outside pole followed by #18-Busch, #22-Logano, #42-Larson, #20-Jones, #41-Busch, #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #10-Patrick, and #16-Biffle.
    Missing the race were: #32-Gase & #62-Sorenson.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying results round-by-round, qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Texas Qualifying Page.(11-6-2015)(11-6-2015)
  • Where the 2015 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers will start at Texas:
    [listed by current driver points position]
    1) #24-Jeff Gordon, 18th
    2) #18-Kyle Busch, 3rd
    3) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 23rd
    4) #4-Kevin Harvick, 2nd
    5) #19-Carl Edwards, 13th
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski, 1st POLE
    7) #41-Kurt Busch, 7th
    8) #22-Joey Logano, 4th
    (10-6-2015)
  • Qualifying Fast Facts – Texas:
    Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 11th Annual AAA Texas 500 with a lap of 27.421 seconds, 196.929 mph.
    This is his 11th pole in 231 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third pole and 21st top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his first pole in 15 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 23rd top-10 start of 2015 and his sixth in 26 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Kyle Busch (third) posted his 10th top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 17th in 23 races this season.
    Brett Moffitt (35th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-6-2015)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #2-Keselowski 197.455
    #22-Logano 196.671
    #4-Harvick 196.542
    #41-Busch 196.150
    #18-Busch 196.078
    the rest of the top 12: 48 11 42 20 88 16 10;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 19 15 55 5 13 24 31 27 33 14 78 43
    (11-6-2015)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #2-Keselowski 198.282
    #22-Logano 197.260
    #14-Stewart 197.260
    #41-Busch 197.246
    #18-Busch 197.116
    the rest of the top 24: 88 11 15 42 31 20 48 27 5 4 13 24 10 43 16 19 55 78 33;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 21 3 1 17 6 47 7 9 95 26 34 40 46 83 35 23 38 98 32 51 62
    Drivers who will miss the race: #32-Gase, #62-Sorenson.
    (11-6-2015)
  • Friday practice: for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over. After 85 scheduled minutes, top five, slowest and notes:
    #2-Keselowski 197.059
    #4- Harvick 196.421
    #19-Edwards 196.249
    #42-Larson 196.128
    #22-Logano 196.000
    slowest: #62-Sorenson 187.201 & #98-Preece 185.727.
    most laps run: #40-Cassill, 32 laps
    note: Qualifying will be this evening at 6:45pm/et. It will be shown on NBCSN.
    See fastest speeds, lap run, best 10 consecutive lap ave on the Texas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-6-2015)
  • Coverage of Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled for Friday, November 6, 2015 at 6:45pm/et.
    Television (TV): TBA, 6:30pm/et
    Radio: Live online at Performance Racing Network (PRN)
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: none
  • Qualifying Order for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted. 45 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #23-Burton.
    The final driver lined up on pit road will be #38-Gilliland.
    The order is set by a random draw, how cars park on pit road before they qualify, held about an hour before the first practice.
    After the first round, the cars line up by speed.
    See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Texas Qualifying Page.(11-6-2015)

  • Annett’s hauler catches fire on way to Texas UPDATE: Authorities are responding to a vehicle fire near mile marker 595 on westbound Interstate 20. The driver Michael Dennis Smith said he’s okay. He said he pulled over when he saw smoke, and then he and his passenger began detaching the trailer from the cab. He says the fire was around the back of the race car. The fire did not reach the cab. According to Smith, the trailer he was hauling had two NASCAR stock cars in the trailer. They were headed to Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas for a race this weekend.(KLTV) several photos are posted with the story showing an HScott Motorsports hauler with Pilot / Flying J decals.(11-5-2015)
    UPDATE: The transporter of race cars for HScott Motorsports driver Michael Annett caught fire Thursday in Texas, destroying both race cars as well as additional equipment Annett was expected to use this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. An Annett spokesman said its drivers were not injured, and the team was preparing to send additional cars in a spare hauler for the approximately 15-hour drive Thursday afternoon to Texas. That should allow the team to participate in practice at 11:30am.ct Friday.(ESPN.com)(11-6-2015)

  • New spotter for McMurray: #1-Jamie McMurray will have a new pair of eyes in the sky at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. After 20 years on the spotters’ stand, Lorin Ranier is moving on to pursue other options. Tyler Green, who most recently spotted for Aric Almirola and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, will take over for Ranier. Ranier followed his father Harry and grandfather H.B.’s footsteps into racing. Buddy Baker, Cale Yarborough, Bobby and Davey Allison all raced under the Ranier Racing banner. Baker and Yarborough both drove the #28 car from the pole to Victory Lane at Daytona for two of Ranier Racing’s three 500 wins. Ranier Racing earned 24 wins over 17 NASCAR Cup seasons prior to selling the team to Robert Yates in 1988.(Motorsport)(11-6-2015)

  • What are the winningest pit stalls? Pit selections are becoming a more important factor in how races play out. Everyone in the garage knows that, but what they might not know is where all the races are being won from. [Pit Talks] tallied all the wins so far this year and found out where all the wins are coming from. Here’s what we got. So far this year, races have been won from a total of 21 different pit stalls. Stall #1 has been the most effective stall with 4 wins followed by pit stall #5 with 3 wins. Stalls 1-10 occupy 16 of the 33 (48%) wins this year while stalls 33-43 only account for 3 (9%) of the wins. Opening are also a big deal, so far this year 13 (39%) of the wins have come from teams with an opening in or out of their stalls. Some of these stats might not mean much to you, but next time you look at your favorite drivers pit stall it might make you feel better or worse about their chances.(Pit Talks)(11-6-2015)

  • Finalists for Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award named: Comcast announced three finalists selected for the inaugural Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award. As part of its long-term partnership with NASCAR, Comcast created the award to honor NASCAR team members for their outstanding charitable endeavors. The 2015 finalists include an individual from each of the top-three national NASCAR series: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Chevy SS, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Joey Gase, driver of the #52 Ford Mustang, for the NASCAR XFINITY Series; and Martha Nemechek, whose son and grandson, Joe and John Hunter Nemechek, currently compete in the NASCAR ranks, for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The 2015 Comcast Community Champion of the Year will be determined by a panel comprised of executives from Comcast and The NASCAR Foundation, as well as former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and NASCAR.com reporter Holly Cain. In recognition of their efforts, Comcast will make a donation of $60,000 to the Comcast Community Champion of the Year’s affiliated charitable organization. A $30,000 contribution will also be made to each of the remaining finalists’ charitable organizations. The winner will be named at the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Banquet on November 23 at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida, which will air on NBC Sports Network at 7:00pm on Sunday, November 29.(Comcast)(11-6-2015)

  • Texas Pole Notes & Facts – Friday:
    · Jeremy Mayfield was the first Coors Light pole winner, in 1998 at Texas with a speed of 185.906 mph. The inaugural Coors Light pole at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 was cancelled due to weather conditions.
    · 21 drivers have Coors Light poles at Texas, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte and Martin Truex Jr. with two each.
    · Two drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Texas Motor Speedway: Bobby Labonte (2003 and 2004) and Ryan Newman (2005 sweep).
    · Three of the 29 (10.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; Kasey Kahne (2006), Jimmie Johnson (2012) and Kyle Busch (2013).
    · The third-place starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Texas Motor Speedway, producing more wins than any other starting position (six) – most recent: Jimmie Johnson (fall of 2014).
    · Six of the 29 (20.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from the front row: three from the pole and three from second-place.
    · 23 of the 29 (79.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Four of the 29 (13.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Texas Motor Speedway is 31st, by Matt Kenseth in 2002.
    · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions twice in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway; the inaugural event in 1997 and the spring race of 2007. The actual race has never been rain shortened, but was postponed to Monday in 2014 due to weather.
    (NASCAR)(11-6-2015)
  • Austin Dillon fastest in first practice: #33-Austin Dillon was fastest during opening practice at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 184.363mph. #22-Brad Keselowski was second, followed by: #20-Erik Jones, #7-Regan Smith, #18-Daniel Suarez, #54-Kyle Busch, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #88-Kevin Harvick, #3-Ty Dillon, and #9-Chase Elliott. All 40 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Texas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-6-2015)
  • Jones wins Texas: #4-Erik Jones dominated the WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night, and with the win picked up a few extra points in the championship battle with two races remaining. Jones led 117 laps of the 147-lap race. #51-Daniel Suarez finished second. #29-Ryan Blaney, #88-Matt Crafton, #19-Tyler Reddick, #17-Timothy Peters, #33-Brandon Jones, #54-Christopher Bell, #11-Ben Kennedy and #13-Cameron Hayley closed out the top-10 finishers.
    There was 1 caution flags for 5 laps and 7 lead changes among 5 leaders.
    Complete results are on the Texas race results page (pdf). (11-6-2015)
  • Texas Race Fast Facts:
    Erik Jones won the 17th Annual WinStar World Casino & Resort 350, his seventh victory in 38 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his third victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his first victory and first top-10 finish in three races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Daniel Suarez(i) (second) posted his second top-10 finish in two races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2015.
    Ryan Blaney(i) (third) posted his fourth top-10 finish in six races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Erik Jones (first) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Erik Jones # leads the point standings by 17 points over Matt Crafton.
    Set a new track record for the time of the race in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at 1 hour, 23 minutes, 48 seconds. Previous record was 1 hour, 25 minutes, 30 seconds.
    Set a new track record for fewest cautions in a NCWTS race at Texas with one caution for five laps.
    Previous record was 2 cautions for 8 laps (11/02/2012).
    (NASCAR Statistics) (11-6-2015)
  • Driver standings following Texas:
    1) #4-Erik Jones, 824
    2)#88-Matt Crafton, 807, -17
    3) #19-Tyler Reddick, 803, -21
    4) #98-Johnny Sauter, 753, -71
    5) #17-Timothy Peters, 718, -106
    6) #13-Cameron Hayley, 698, -126
    7) #14-Daniel Hemric, 674, -150
    8) #05-John Wes Townley, 654, -170
    9) #11-Ben Kennedy, 630, -194
    10) #23-Spencer Gallagher, 606, -218
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(11-6-2015)
  • Owner Standings following Texas are posted (pdf).(11-6-2015)
  • Crafton on pole at Texas: #88-Matt Crafton won the pole for Friday night’s WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 181.397mph. #23-Spencer Gallagher will start second, followed by: #14-Daniel Hemric, #33-Brandon Jones, #4-Erik Jones, #17-Timothy Peters, #51-Daniel Suarez, #00-Jeb Burton, #11-Ben Kennedy, and #05-John Wes Townley.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(11-6-2015)
  • Texas Qualifying Notes:
    Matt Crafton won the 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 17th Annual WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 with a lap of 29.769 seconds, 181.397 mph.
    This is his 10th pole in 359 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his third pole and 16th top-10 start in 2015.
    This is his third pole in 30 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Spencer Gallagher (second) posted his seventh top-10 start of 2015 and his first in three races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Daniel Hemric (third) posted his second top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his eighth in 21 races this season.
    Spencer Gallagher (second) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-6-2015)
  • Fan files lawsuit over 2013 XFINITY wreck: Allen Davis, a spectator who was hit in the head by a piece of debris while sitting in the Daytona International Speedway upper deck during the 2013 season-opening Xfinity Series race, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the race track, its parent company and NASCAR. According to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Orlando, Davis “was struck in the head by a heavy piece of debris and suffered a catastrophic, traumatic brain injury.” The complaint does not list a specific amount being sought in damages. More than 30 fans were injured in the Feb. 23, 2013, accident where Kyle Larson’s car got up into the catch fence coming to the checkered flag. Larson’s car hit an area of fencing known as the crossover gate, where the fencing can be removed so fans and officials can cross the track prior to and following the race. The lawsuit claims that NASCAR, the speedway and speedway parent company International Speedway Corp. are negligent “by failing to develop and utilize a racing methodology that prevents pack racing and the inherent hazards it causes; by failing to develop and utilize effective technology to prevent race cars from becoming airborne during crash situations; [and] by failing to properly design and/or construct catch fences and crossover gates to assure race car debris cannot penetrate fences during crash situations.” After that accident, Daytona (and its sister track, Talladega Superspeedway) added tethers to the cross-over gates as well as additional cabling. It eventually changed the way the walls are constructed in those areas. ISC already has settled with several fans injured by debris from the Larson accident; the statute of limitations for these cases in Florida is four years.(ESPN.com)(11-6-2015)
  • Bass Pro Shops and the National Rifle Association sponsoring Bristol night race: The Night Race lights will shine brightly on hunters, sportsmen and women – America’s true conservation heroes – as Bass Pro Shops and the National Rifle Association (NRA) team up with Bristol Motor Speedway to create the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. Both organizations are excited to align with one of the most iconic motorsports events in the world and unite two great American traditions – NASCAR and the outdoors – while connecting directly with an audience that is passionate about both. Both Bass Pro Shops and the NRA, through its Hunting and Wildlife Conservation Committee, are deeply committed to conserving the outdoors and recognize the need to raise awareness about the contributions of America’s hunters and sporting men and women. For example, hunters and anglers are the largest contributors to conservation in the United States, accounting for more than 75 percent of the funds provided to state conservation agencies. Sportsmen have contributed more than $7.2 billion to a variety of wildlife and habitat conservation programs since 1937 through hunting licenses and excise taxes on outdoor gear. Bass Pro Shops and the NRA are long-time supporters of Bristol Motor Speedway and its parent company, Speedway Motorsports Inc. through multiple entitlement sponsorships at various motorsports venues and with NASCAR race teams and drivers.(BMS)(11-6-2015)
  • New hospitality options available at Daytona: Daytona International Speedway unveiled the complete list of new hospitality options available as part of its new motorsports stadium. Beginning in January 2016, DIS will feature more than 60 luxury suites with breathtaking trackside views, patio and club seat options and a completely revamped hospitality experience. “DAYTONA Rising is enabling us to elevate our hospitality offerings,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “By moving all hospitality from a temporary outdoor village to a new climate-controlled permanent environment, we’re able to deliver a world-class experience.” The suites and hospitality offerings will debut during the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 58th annual DAYTONA 500.(DIS)(11-6-2015)
  • “X FACTOR USA” Star singing National Anthem before XFINITY race at Phoenix: Fans at Phoenix International Raceway will be in for a treat at the DAV 200 – Honoring America’s Veterans when Drew Ryniewicz, one of the breakout stars of FOX’s talent-search show “X Factor USA,” performs the national anthem on stage before the start of the race. The talented young singer from Chino Valley burst onto the national scene in 2011 as a 14-year-old when she captured the attention of millions of fans with her unique and soulful renditions of songs such as Justin Bieber’s Baby on “X Factor USA.” Her popularity with the show’s viewers was so strong that host Simon Cowell declared that she was “now known simply as ‘Drew.'” Since her season on “X Factor USA,” Drew has released her first EP, “Hello it’s Me,” performed across the country, and spent time in Nashville and Los Angeles writing and recording. She recently released a new original single titled Ugly off of a new album set to debut in early 2016. She has also been on tour for the last several months performing and speaking to teens about bullying.(PIR)(11-6-2015)


    News from November 5, 2015


  • Penalty Announcement: Kenseth suspended 2 races; Patrick fined UPDATES Penalty upheld:Matt Kenseth , the driver of the #20 car, has been penalized for an infraction that occurred during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Kenseth has been suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events and placed on NASCAR probation for a six-month period following issuance of the penalty notice.
    “Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the #20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the #22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time,”said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The #20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the #22 car’s opportunity to continue to compete in the race.
    “Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR.”
    Danica Patrick, the driver of the #10 car, has been penalized for an infraction that also took place during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Patrick has been fined $50,000, assessed with the loss of 25 series championship driver points and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(11-3-2015)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that driver Matt Kenseth will appeal the penalty issued by NASCAR. The appeal will challenge the severity of the penalty which is believed to be inconsistent with previous penalties for similar on-track incidents. There will be no further comments from JGR personnel during he appear process.(JGR)
    UPDATE 2: JGR’s appeal will be expedited, meaning Kenseth’s case will be heard by a three-person panel this week before Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. If he loses, he can make a plea to Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss. While Kenseth appeals the suspension, it can be deferred at NASCAR’s discretion. Depending on the timing of the appeal hearings, that means Kenseth could be driving his #20 Toyota in practice or qualifying at Texas this weekend in advance of Sunday’s race. The appeal likely would be settled before then, however.(NBC Sports)
    AND: Kenseth currently has 571 consecutive Sprint Cup starts, second only to Jeff Gordon’s 794. He has run every race since the beginning of the 2000 season.
    UPDATE 3: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel has scheduled Kenseth’s expedited appeal of his NASCAR penalty for 9:00am/et Thursday in Concord, NC.(11-3-2015)
    UPDATE 4: The National Motorsports Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of a Behavioral Penalty issued on Nov. 3 to Matt Kenseth (driver) relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #20 at Martinsville Speedway. The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1 and 12.8. The original penalty assessed included suspension from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and placed on NASCAR probation for six months following the issuance of the Penalty Notice. Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
    1. The Appellant violated the rules set forth in the Penalty notice;
    2. The Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty levied by NASCAR.
    The panel consisted of the following three individuals: Mr. Ken Clapp, Mr. Bill Mullis, Mr. Dale Pinilis.
    The Appellant has chosen to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book. The appeal will begin at 1:00pm/et.(11-5-2015)
    UPDATE 5: Today the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, Mr. Bryan Moss, heard and considered the appeal of a Behavioral Penalty issued on Nov. 3, 2015 to Matt Kenseth (driver) relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #20 at Martinsville Speedway. The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1 and 12.8. The original penalty assessed included suspension from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and placed on NASCAR probation for six months following the issuance of the Penalty Notice. Upon hearing this afternoon’s testimony, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer made the following decisions:
    1. The Appellant violated the Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice;
    2. The Penalty is amended to: “Suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Events. Placed on NASCAR probation through December 31, 2015.”
    The decision of the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer is final and binding on all parties.(NASCAR)
    AND: “It didn’t turn out like we wanted,” Kenseth said after the final decision was announced. “I’m obviously more than a little disappointed on the decision and the penalties to start with. I’m the first driver in the 65-year history of NASCAR to get suspended for an incident that happened in a Sprint Cup Series race. I feel like I was unfairly made the example instead of knowing where the line is and what the penalties are. I’m extremely disappointed, but we’ll get through this and go to Homestead.
    “I’m not going to change who I am, not going to change what I stand for, I’m not going to change how I race. I’ve been in this business for a long time, I feel like I’ve had a pretty good career to this point and I feel like I’m going to continue to have the respect on the racetrack I feel like I deserve. I’m looking forward to going to Homestead, hopefully going there and getting a win before the year is out.”(USA Today)(11-5-2015)

  • Annett’s hauler catches fire on way to Texas: Authorities are responding to a vehicle fire near mile marker 595 on westbound Interstate 20. The driver Michael Dennis Smith said he’s okay. He said he pulled over when he saw smoke, and then he and his passenger began detaching the trailer from the cab. He says the fire was around the back of the race car. The fire did not reach the cab. According to Smith, the trailer he was hauling had two NASCAR stock cars in the trailer. They were headed to Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas for a race this weekend.(KLTV) several photos are posted with the story showing an HScott Motorsports hauler with Pilot / Flying J decals.(11-5-2015)

  • France discusses differing penalties for Kenseth, Patrick: NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France appeared on the SiriusXM Radio Speedway show on Wednesday and addressed the two-race suspension handed out to #20-Matt Kenseth for his role in the wreck that knocked himself and Joey Logano out of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. Also penalized coming out of Martinsville was #10-Danica Patrick for aggressive driving on #38-David Gilliland. Patrick received a $50,000 fine and the loss of 25 driver points. When asked about the difference between Kenseth’s aggressive driving and Danica’s, France noted the stakes that were on the line.
    “Going back to Richmond, we made it very clear that anybody in the industry, any driver or participant who intentionally tries to alter the outcome of events or championships, that that crosses a different line than a racing problem between two drivers,” France said.
    When asked about whether NASCAR drivers should be allowed to self-police the sport, France clarified the sanctioning body’s position. “What Robin (Pemberton) was saying a few years ago was hey look, boys have it, do your normal thing, and if we over-officiate, we’ll draw back on that and let the normal racing action of NASCAR happen,” France said. “And that’s what he meant, and that’s what we tried to do.”
    “… when there are lines that are crossed, like we believe there were in Martinsville, then NASCAR will step in and deal with that. And it’s as simple as that.”(NASCAR)(11-5-2015)

  • Tommy Williams Drywall sponsoring McDowell: Making their 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut, Tommy Williams Drywall will appear as the primary sponsor on LFR’s #95 Ford Fusion at Texas Motor Speedway. The Texas-based drywall company adds a new blue, white and silver paint job to the #95 Ford. Leavine Family Racing, founded and owned by Tyler, Texas-based businessman Bob Leavine and his wife Sharon, are returning to what the team considers its home track. The Leavine family got their first taste of racing when they participated in one of the speedway’s stock car driving experiences. The family went on to accumulate over 2,800 laps at the speedway and eventually created their own NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team in Leavine Family Racing. Leavine Family Racing will be making its sixth Cup Series start at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. Both the team and driver Michael McDowell’s best finish at the track is 30th. McDowell, who has 12 starts at the 1.5-mile oval, has qualified as high as 17th at the track.(Leavine Family Racing), see an image of the car on the #95 team paint schemes page.(11-5-2015)

  • Moen sponsoring Whitt at Texas: The colors of Moen, the No. 1 faucet brand in North America, will hit the high-speed banks of Texas Motor Speedway with Cole Whitt for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The company will serve as primary sponsor of the #35 team for the 501-mile high-stakes event in the heart of the series’ playoff chase. Moen offers customers around the world a selection of kitchen and bath faucets, showerheads, accessories, bath safety products and kitchen sinks for residential and commercial applications. The primary sponsorship for the AAA Texas 500 marks the North Olmsted, Ohio-based company’s first partnership with Front Row Motorsports. The blue, white and red scheme will feature the Moen logo on the hood and rear quarter panels. Whitt enters the Texas race with momentum after earning a top-20 finish Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #35 team paint schemes page.(11-5-2015)

  • Texas Track Notes & History – Thursday:
    · Construction on Texas Motor Speedway began in 1995.
    · The first NASCAR national series race at TMS was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on April 5, 1997 – won by Mark Martin.
    · The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was on April 6, 1997 – won by Jeff Burton.
    · The track underwent a repave between the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
    · In 2011, the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was moved from Sunday to Saturday night under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway.
    · Texas Motor Speedway hosted its first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on November 6, 2005 – won by Carl Edwards.
    (NASCAR)(11-5-2015)
  • Hayley fastest in final practice: #13-Cameron Hayley was fastest in final practice for the WinStar World Casino 350k at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 179.164mph. He was followed by #00-Jeb Burton, #11-Ben Kennedy, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #97-Jesse Little, #05-John Wes Townley, #33-Brandon Jones, #17-Timothy Peters, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, and #51-Daniel Suarez. 27 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Texas practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-5-2015)
  • Crafton fastest in first practice: #88-Matt Crafton was fastest during opening practice at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 179.862 mph. #51-Daniel Suarez was second, followed by #23-Spencer Gallagher, #33-Brandon Jones, #17-Timothy Peters, #14-Daniel Hemric, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #97-Jesse Little, #00-Jeb Burton and #19-Tyler Reddick. 30 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Texas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-5-2015)
  • Enhanced cellular coverage available at Texas: Since joining the sport in 2004, Sprint has consistently provided a system of traditional mobile/portable integrated communication towers known as Cell on Wheels or COW system at Texas Motor Speedway to ensure fans attending the largest sporting events in the state have complete mobile service. Now, a new Distributed Radio Access Network known as a D-RAN system will build on the COW concept that Sprint pioneered and offer all carriers an even bigger opportunity. Texas Motor Speedway has installed the largest D-RAN system in the state and among the most prevalent deployments in the United States to greatly enhance cellular-based services for its fans using Verizon service beginning with this weekend’s AAA Texas 500 NASCAR triple header. This is the initial phase of the multi-million dollar project that was spearheaded and built by Verizon and will only be available to the company’s customers for the AAA Texas 500 race weekend. Once the system is established this weekend, other major carriers will have the ability to be added to the D-RAN system in the future to give Texas Motor Speedway the most comprehensive coverage during race weekends with multiple carriers on board. For the AAA Texas 500, other major carriers will continue to utilize the COW system. Sprint will have four COWs to enhance their service on the inside and outside of the facility while AT&T will have one COW situated inside.(Texas Motor Speedway)(11-5-2015)
  • Phoenix race weekend entertainment announced: A full lineup of race weekend entertainment has been announced for the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway featuring theme nights at the Cantina with bands entertaining fans throughout the weekend. Each night, the Cantina will be highlighted by a different theme for PIR fans to enjoy. Thursday, Nov. 12, will be Country Night at the Cantina with entertainment by Hillbilly Deluxe and Harry Luge Band. Appropriately, Friday the 13 will be Zombie Night at the Cantina with music from Badmotorfinger, while Saturday, Nov. 14 will be highlighted by METALHEAD and special musical guests for 80’s Night. On Friday and Saturday night, the American Born Moonshine Bar will be open on the Cantina patio featuring specialty moonshine drinks.
    Prior to the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 on Sunday, Nov. 15, powerhouse rock band Everclear will also be performing a free concert for any fan with a grandstand ticket. The group, who recently released their ninth studio album titled Black Is The New Black, will entertain fans in the midway area at 10:30am/mt.(PIR)(11-5-2015)


    News from November 4, 2015


  • Logano comments on Kenseth’s penalty: #22-Joey Logano said NASCAR made the right decision to suspend #20-Matt Kenseth two races for wrecking him at Martinsville Speedway because series officials “needed to regain control of our sport.” “Obviously, they put their foot down,” Logano told [NBC’s Tony] DiZinno. “I feel like it’s a good thing. They needed to regain control of our sport. I feel like it’s a good direction and the right thing to do.”
    Logano also reaffirmed that his contact with Kenseth at Kansas was different from what happened at Martinsville. At Kansas, they were racing for the lead in the final laps. At Martinsville, Kenseth was 10 laps down and Logano led with 45 laps left. “If I look at Kansas, it’s a racing thing,” Logano told NASCAR Talk. “If I look at the way we were racing each other, he threw some blocks, I understand that. The third one, I was on the inside, I didn’t back out. There’s really not much for me to say to him after that. That was kind of what happened. And he knows what happened. He’s a smart enough race car driver to know what happened. Whatever happened at Martinsville was, apparently to NASCAR, unacceptable.”
    Both Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. said this week that they believe Logano didn’t help himself with comments he made after the Kansas race, saying that further ignited the situation with Kenseth and played a role in Kenseth’s desire for retaliation. Logano said he had not heard what Gordon or Earnhardt said, but defended himself. “I think this is a test of your character and a test of your faith,” Logano said. “You need to stay true to your character in these types of situations and the type of person you are. It’s an amazing opportunity is the way I look at it. We have an opportunity right now to win a championship. “Our minds are focused on doing that. We can be the great team we know we are. This isn’t going to shut us down. We’re way stronger than that. I’m excited to get to Texas. I’m excited to get back on the track and give it our best shot.”(NBC Sports)(11-4-2015)

  • Penalty Announcement: Kenseth suspended 2 races; Patrick fined UPDATES: Matt Kenseth , the driver of the #20 car, has been penalized for an infraction that occurred during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Kenseth has been suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events and placed on NASCAR probation for a six-month period following issuance of the penalty notice.
    “Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the #20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the #22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time,”said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The #20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the #22 car’s opportunity to continue to compete in the race.
    “Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR.”
    Danica Patrick, the driver of the #10 car, has been penalized for an infraction that also took place during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Patrick has been fined $50,000, assessed with the loss of 25 series championship driver points and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(11-3-2015)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that driver Matt Kenseth will appeal the penalty issued by NASCAR. The appeal will challenge the severity of the penalty which is believed to be inconsistent with previous penalties for similar on-track incidents. There will be no further comments from JGR personnel during he appear process.(JGR)
    UPDATE 2: JGR’s appeal will be expedited, meaning Kenseth’s case will be heard by a three-person panel this week before Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. If he loses, he can make a plea to Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss. While Kenseth appeals the suspension, it can be deferred at NASCAR’s discretion. Depending on the timing of the appeal hearings, that means Kenseth could be driving his #20 Toyota in practice or qualifying at Texas this weekend in advance of Sunday’s race. The appeal likely would be settled before then, however.(NBC Sports)
    AND: Kenseth currently has 571 consecutive Sprint Cup starts, second only to Jeff Gordon’s 794. He has run every race since the beginning of the 2000 season.(11-3-2015)
  • Martinvsville TV Ratings: NASCAR’s final race on cable this season had another decline in the metered markets. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Martinsville, the seventh race in the Chase For the Cup, had a 1.9 overnight rating on NBCSN Sunday afternoon – down 17% from last year and 2013, which both aired on ESPN (2.3). The 1.9 is the second-highest of this year’s Chase For the Cup on cable, trailing only a 2.5 for Talladega the previous week. The four other races on cable, not including rescheduled action from Charlotte, had either a 1.7 or 1.8. Overnight ratings have now declined for 18 of the 19 Sprint Cup races on cable this season, with Kentucky in July the lone exception. That race, which was even in the metered markets, ended up declining in the final tally. Despite the relatively low numbers, NASCAR on NBCSN easily topped Formula 1 racing from Mexico on the NBC broadcast network (0.6).(ShowBuzz Daily / Sports Media Watch)
    See past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(11-4-2015)

  • Kahne’s car to feature Terry Labonte decal: Terry Labonte, commonly called “Texas Terry,” will be the first Texan to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame since its inception in 2010. Kahne, the current driver of Hendrick Motorsports’ #5 Chevy, will run a congratulatory decal on his car this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway to recognize Labonte for his career in the #5 as he prepares for his Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Jan. 22, 2016. Labonte ran 387 Sprint Cup Series races in his career for owner Rick Hendrick and accumulated 12 wins, 64 top-five finishes and 125 top-10 finishes. Labonte won the 1996 championship, which was the second championship for Hendrick Motorsports.(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-4-2015)

  • NASCAR, Universal Technical Institute announce 10-Year partnership extension: NASCAR and Universal Technical Institute have announced a 10-year partnership extension, ensuring the official partner will continue providing training for students seeking employment in the motorsports and automotive services industries. The partnership was highlighted by the opening of UTI’s subsidiary school, NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech) in 2002. NASCAR and UTI have partnered to offer a curriculum that has developed new generations of technicians to serve motorsports and the automotive services industries. NASCAR Tech has become the leader in the industry for technical education, graduating thousands of students. Four out of five graduates from NASCAR Tech find employment in careers within their field of study. Team Penske has hired nearly 50 NASCAR Tech graduates, more than any other team.(NASCAR)(11-4-2015)
  • Texas Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series in action at Texas this week will run the same tire set-up . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams have run at Texas since the beginning of 2014 . . . Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck teams have also run this tire combination at Chicagoland earlier this season, and will do so again at Homestead in two weeks . . . this right-side tire code (D-4618) 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 . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Texas . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.(Goodyear), see tire codes. pressures, set limits and more on the Texas Race Info page.(11-4-2015)
  • New look for Reed’s #16 at Texas & Phoenix: While Ryan Reed and the #16 Lilly Diabetes American Diabetes Association team serve as ambassadors for the Drive to Stop Diabetes program by helping to spread awareness of diabetes each week, they will take on a new look in November as they support American Diabetes Month. Reed’s paint scheme for the races at Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway will mimic each state’s state flag, which both feature stars. Each car showcases a multitude of gray and red stars, representing the population of the state and the number of people in the state who live with diabetes, respectively. For example, the red stars on this weekend’s car at Texas Motor Speedway represent the 14 percent of Texas residents who have diabetes, diagnosed and undiagnosed. Reed, Lilly Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association are working to spread awareness and provide support for those diagnosed and the estimated 663,000 undiagnosed diabetes patients in Texas. Diabetes costs an estimated $23.7 billion in Texas each year and people living with diabetes have medical expenses approximately 2.3 times higher than those without diabetes. The change to Reed’s pit crew members can be seen on the backs of their firesuits. The pit crew will feature names of the Lilly Diabetes My Diabetes Pit Crew Sweepstakes winners, instead of their own, for the last three races of the season. To emphasize the importance of a support system in diabetes management, Lilly Diabetes and Reed launched the My Diabetes Pit Crew Sweepstakes in July to encourage people with diabetes to acknowledge the people who have supported them throughout their diabetes journey.(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the car on the #16 team paint schemes page.(11-4-2015)
  • Richard Petty Motorsports hauler involved in accident: Richard Petty Motorsports employee and transport driver, Will Mallard, driving the #43 XFINITY Series car and equipment was involved in a traffic accident this morning in Louisiana on route to the Texas Motor Speedway. Mallard was not injured in the accident and was not issued a citation.The transporter suffered enough damage to warrant a replacement tractor. However, the team does expect to arrive at the track in time for on-track activities on Friday.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(11-4-2015)
  • BKR names drivers for next two races: Brad Keselowski Racing announced today that Ryan Blaney will drive the team’s #29 Cooper Standard Careers For Veterans Ford F-150 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Nov. 6 at Texas Motor Speedway while Austin Cindric will be behind the wheel of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150 Nov. 13 at Phoenix (Avondale, Ariz.) International Raceway. The team remains optimistic that Austin Theriault will return to the #29 in the season ending race at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway on Nov. 20. Blaney will be making his fifth NCWTS start of the season and after winning the Aug. 19 race at Bristol Motor Speedway in his most recent start. Ryan has placed seventh or better in four previous starts in 2015 for a sizzling average finish of 3.25. He has four wins in 57 career NCWTS starts – all with BKR. Cindric, 17, made his NCWTS debut with BKR Oct. 31 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and was impressive in his first series start. He was running inside the top 10 as the race drew to a close but was involved in a late race spin that shuffled him back to a 25th place finish.(Brad Keselowski Racing)(11-4-2015)
  • Due to injury, sponsors, Theriault uncertain of racing return: Austin Theriault released a statement on his Facebook page that he is uncertain of his racing future due to lack of sponsorship, as he continues to recover from injuries sustained at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last month.
    “It’s been an up and down month of healing. However, it is even harder sitting on the sidelines, waiting to get back in the Truck. Unfortunately I won’t be competing this weekend at Texas, or Phoenix, however the doctors are upbeat about Homestead. Though the season’s not over, we’ve had a great year. I remain grateful for the opportunity to drive the #29 this year. Working with everyone at BKR has been immensely rewarding, both professionally and personally.
    I am certain that the injury will not effect my plans for 2016. Unfortunately, due to lack of sponsorship, I don’t have any full time opportunities. Staying positive is one of the lessons I’ve learned in life so far and especially the past few weeks. So I remain encouraged that we will partner with the right sponsors, and the right racing opportunities will open up.” (Austin Theriault Racing Facebook)(11-4-2015)
  • Harvick and Ripken Jr. Unveil Multi-Sport Kevin Harvick Foundation Park: Christmas came early for The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Greensboro Wednesday, November 4th, in the form of a multi-purpose, turf playing surface Youth Development Park, gifted to the organization by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Kevin Harvick Foundation. Sport superstars Cal Ripken Jr. and Kevin Harvick cut the ribbon to unveil the Kevin Harvick Foundation Park at the future site of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Greensboro on W. Whittington Street in Greensboro, NC. The park will provide a clean and safe environment in which local youth can play, learn and grow. “The Kevin Harvick Foundation is honored to partner with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to build a ‘field of dreams’ for so many underserved children in Greensboro,” Harvick said. “Sports can be instrumental in a child’s physical and mental development – an outlet for youth who could be facing a variety of challenges in everyday life. The Kevin Harvick Foundation and Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation are honored to be able to give so many children a safe, clean environment to just be kids.”
    The state-of-the-art facility is designed for multi-sport use, featuring a turf playing surface, backstop, fencing, dugouts and a digital scoreboard. The park, a gift to The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Greensboro, will be maintained by the organization, with whom the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and Kevin Harvick Foundation will collaborate to create and implement character education programming and clinics for the children.
    Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony featured guest speakers including: Ripken, Baseball Hall ofFamer and Ripken Foundation vice chairman; Harvick, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and Kevin Harvick Foundation co-founder; Major Don Vick, Corps Officer, The Salvation Army of Greensboro;and Steve Salem, president of Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. Following the ceremony, Ripken and Harvick hit the field with the children for a Quickball clinic – a fast-paced, easy-to-learn version of America’s pastime. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with the Kevin Harvick Foundation and The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Greensboro,” Ripken said. “It’s a special moment when multiple organizations sharing a common mission come together to provide our youth with opportunities to succeed. Dad would be proud to see us all joining hands to make a difference.”
    The park marks the 51st Youth Development Park completed by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation for use by Boys & Girls Clubs across the country. The Greensboro project represents the first collaboration between the two foundations. The Kevin Harvick Foundation assists in funding the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, as the two charitable organizations share the common goal of supporting underprivileged youth across the United States in various ways.
    During the last five years, the Ripken Foundation has developed more than 50 multi-purpose turf facilities in 16 states, impacting more than 220,000 youth. Since 2009, the Ripken Foundation has had presence in numerous communities throughout North Carolina through its Badges for Baseball law enforcement youth mentoring programand Youth Development Park initiative. In addition to Kevin Harvick Foundation Park, the Ripken Foundation has three Youth Development Parks in use by youth-serving organizations in Charlotte, Greenville and Raleigh – two of which are adaptive fields to provide children with special needs a safe place to play and grow.(Kevin Harvick Foundation)(11-5-2015)


    News from November 3, 2015


  • Penalty Announcement: Kenseth suspended 2 races; Patrick fined UPDATE: Matt Kenseth , the driver of the #20 car, has been penalized for an infraction that occurred during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Kenseth has been suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events and placed on NASCAR probation for a six-month period following issuance of the penalty notice.
    “Based upon our extensive review, we have concluded that the #20 car driver, who is no longer in the Chase, intentionally wrecked the #22 car driver, a Chase-eligible competitor who was leading the race at the time,”said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “The #20 car was nine laps down, and eliminated the #22 car’s opportunity to continue to compete in the race.
    “Additionally, we factored aspects of safety into our decision, and also the fact that the new Chase elimination format puts a premium on each and every race. These actions have no place in NASCAR.”
    Danica Patrick, the driver of the #10 car, has been penalized for an infraction that also took place during the Nov. 1 race at Martinsville Speedway. This is a Behavioral Penalty (Sections 12.1, 12.8). Patrick has been fined $50,000, assessed with the loss of 25 series championship driver points and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(11-3-2015)
    UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that driver Matt Kenseth will appeal the penalty issued by NASCAR. The appeal will challenge the severity of the penalty which is believed to be inconsistent with previous penalties for similar on-track incidents. There will be no further comments from JGR personnel during he appear process.(JGR)(11-3-2015)

  • Martinsville penalties to be announced later today: NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France indicated a harsh penalty could be in store for Matt Kenseth when officials release their decision later Tuesday. France, appearing on Sirius/XM Radio, said Kenseth went too far in intentionally wrecking Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway as payback for an incident at Kansas Speedway last month. “We don’t want that to happen again,” France said. “We don’t want any of our events to be altered in a way they shouldn’t be. What we want to prevent happening is drivers or any participant in NASCAR to take matters into their own hands and begin to control the outcome of races beyond hard racing. When that happens, that’s a very serious thing for us. And we’ll be dealing with that.”
    Asked specifically about a possible suspension for Kenseth, France said all options were on the table and indicated some penalty could also be issued to Danica Patrick after she intentionally crashed into David Gilliland.
    France said Martinsville was much different than the racing incident between Logano and Kenseth at Kansas, which he had termed “quintessential NASCAR.” “That was an entirely different situation,” he said. “What we’re not going to do is take the style of NASCAR and parlay that into something where one driver believes the way to pay back somebody for something that happened is take matters into their own hands. Obviously, we won’t be accepting that.The way to pay drivers back is to race them hard. That’s NASCAR. But what happened on Sunday is not quite the way we’d like things to turn out.”(USA Today)(11-5-2015)

  • NASCAR considered cutting race short because of darkness: NASCAR officials discussed ending Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway because of darkness, a series official told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday. Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, told “The Morning Drive” that officials had conversations toward the end of the race of what to do should the race be extended by a lengthy caution or a green-white-checkered. The race started at 1:24pm/et. Sunday marked the end of daylight savings time. That meant the sun set in Martinsville at 5:24pm/et. With overcast skies, it grew darker quicker. Martinsville Speedway is one of four tracks in the Chase that does not have lights. Eighteen cautions and a red flag of 12 minutes and 46 seconds after Matt Kenseth intentionally wrecked Joey Logano, pushed the end of the race close sunset. Sam Hornish Jr.’s accident brought out the final caution on Lap 495, setting the race for a two-lap shootout. If there had been a caution on the first lap of the restart, the race might have ended instead of going to the first of three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish. “We did have some conversations very likely that was our last shot at getting it in,” O’Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “If we would have gone to a long caution, I think that might have been it. We talked about it, if we had to go to a green-white-checkered earlier, what could we do, how long did we have? “Our scoring system has it built in that we knew that we would finish, if everything stayed green, around 5:23, so we felt that was kind of the cutoff. A lot of dialogue going on, but it worked out, which was great and certainly great for the race fans.” The close call, though, has officials pondering an earlier start time for this race next year. “I think that’s something we’ll look at certainly with the race track and see what we can do for 2016,” O’Donnell said. “We always want to get the full laps in for the fans.”(NBC Sports)(11-3-2015)

  • Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau featured on the #34: Brett Moffitt’s #34 Ford Fusion at Texas Motor Speedway will encourage fans to think big when choosing a travel destination. The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau will be on board as primary sponsor for Sunday’s race, reminding the NASCAR audience that “Big Things Happen Here.” The ninth-largest city in the United States, Dallas’ recreational attractions, year-round sporting events, shopping venues, hotels and transportation systems make it the number-one visitor and leisure destination in Texas. The Convention and Visitors Bureau will use the partnership to remind race fans both watching on television and at the area track to check out VisitDallas.com to see all the city has to offer. The partnership will be the first for the non-profit organization and Front Row Motorsports.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint schemes page.(11-3-2015)

  • Brett Jewkes leaving NASCAR: NASCAR announced that Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Brett Jewkes has accepted a senior management position with Atlanta-based AMB Group, LLC, the investment management and support services arm of Arthur Blank’s family of businesses, and will leave his role at NASCAR following Ford Championship Weekend. Jewkes joined NASCAR in 2011 after serving as an outside agency counsel to the sanctioning body beginning in late 2000. At NASCAR, Jewkes has led the company’s Integrated Marketing Communications department and overseen NASCAR’s relationship with the operators of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Working closely with NASCAR senior management, he has played a key role in the development and execution of numerous strategic initiatives, spearheaded the creation of NASCAR’s acclaimed Fan & Media Engagement Center and guided the evolution of the sport’s hall of fame nomination, selection and induction process. Jewkes joins AMB Group as senior vice president – chief communications officer at a time of exciting growth and will work closely with Blank, who co-founded The Home Depot before establishing AMB Group and building its portfolio of businesses. In addition to the for-profit businesses, Jewkes will also support the efforts of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.(NASCAR)(11-2-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Texas:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson……………107.2
    #20-Matt Kenseth……………104.7
    #18-Kyle Busch……………101.3
    #16-Greg Biffle……………99.4
    #14-Tony Stewart……………97.0
    #19-Carl Edwards……………95.8
    #24-Jeff Gordon……………93.3
    #11-Denny Hamlin……………93.0
    #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr……………91.9
    #15-Clint Bowyer……………89.6
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Texas Motor 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)(11-3-2015)
  • Gase picks up Homestead sponsors: Joey Gase and Jimmy Means Racing announce a one race partnership for the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21st, with a new southern clothing company, Ole Country Apparel, and Florida based U-GLove. “2015 has been a good year overall for us,” Gase stated. “We had a huge run earlier in the year at Talladega of 5th which really helped to put our small team on the map.” Gase is currently 21st in driver points with a personal goal to finish in the top 20. “We have some work to do in the next three races to make it happen, but thanks to Ole Country Apparel and U-Glove we have a much better shot at this.” Ole Country Apparel is a new clothing company that specializes in the latest southern trends. #52 team paint schemes page.(11-3-2015)
  • Magic Creeper sponsoring Kwasniewski, #97 team at Phoenix: Magic Creeper, a wheel-less automotive creeper, has partnered with Obaika Racing as the primary sponsor of the #97 Chevy and driver Dylan Kwasniewski for the DAV 200 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday, November 14 at Phoenix International Raceway. Magic Creeper, by Cloud Cap Innovations LLC in Portland, Ore., is the company’s entry product into the automotive marketplace and leverages medical technology used in in-bed patient transfers to create unique and highly usable tool for everyday use nearly everywhere cars are worked on. Kwasniewski, 20, of Las Vegas, has earned three top-10 finishes in 38 career NASCAR XFINITY Series starts. In his most recent start for Obaika Racing, Kwasniewski finished 17th at Kentucky Speedway. He posted 13th and 15th-place finishes in his two previous Phoenix International Raceway starts.(Obaika Racing)(11-3-2015)
  • E-Hydrate to sponsor Cope at Texas: Derrike Cope Racing #70 and E-hydrate are teaming up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series race as the primary sponsor at Texas Motor Speedway on November 7th. E-hydrate offers a complete range of natural products for the entire health-conscious family that is always on-the-go and available at Target stores nationwide. All of E-hydrate’s natural products contain electrolytes – essential elements for proper hydration. E-hydrate is the first to offer premium Protein On-the-Go with electrolytes for optimum nutritional performance.(Derrike Cope Racing), see an image of the car on the #70 team paint schemes page.(11-3-2015)
  • Ray Black Jr. to make NXS debut at Texas UPDATE: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Ray Black Jr. will make his NASCAR XFINITY Series debut Saturday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge. An official announcement is expected as early as Tuesday. The Palm Coast, Florida native will drive the #15 Chevy Camaro in a collaborative effort between Rick Ware Racing and SS Green Light Racing, the same organization he competes with full-time on the truck tour. Sources indicate that Black is close to finalizing his plans for next season, which is expected to include more truck races, with a hefty dose of XFINITY Series races packed in as well. Jason Miller, Black’s crew chief in trucks will assist in calling the shots as crew chief in Saturday’s race.(Catchfence)(11-3-2015)
    UPDATE: It will be a busy weekend for NASCAR driver Ray Black Jr., as the 24-year-old is set to compete in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series races this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Black will return to his normal red, white and blue paint scheme for the #07 ScubaLife.com Chevy in the WinStar World Casino 350 on Friday night and make his debut XFINITY start during Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge in the #15 Burnie Grill Chevy Camaro. Burnie Grill is an all wood self-burning grill. Burnie Grill provides powerful, portable fires that light with one match, ignite evenly and burn for hours. When done, the Burnie burns itself out, making it great for the environment.(Ray Black PR)(11-3-2015)

  • Reddick returns, Hemric joins BKR for 2016: Brad Keselowski Racing announced its full-time driver lineup in the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Tyler Reddick will pilot the #29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150 while Daniel Hemric joins the organization as the driver for the #19 Ford F-150 with support from partners California Clean Power and Cequent (a Horizon Global company). Keselowski added that his organization would like to field a third team with a variety of drivers behind the wheel and his company is hard at work in an effort to put a program together. Tyler Reddick, 19, will return for his second full-time season at Brad Keselowski Racing in 2016 moving from behind the wheel of the Team’s #19 Ford F-150 to the #29 Ford F-150 with primary sponsorship from Cooper Standard and the company’s Careers For Veterans program. The 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season has been a breakout year for Reddick, who scored his first career win in the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. His second victory came just five races later at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Reddick has been atop the NCWTS championship standings or ranked third or higher after every race. Hemric, 24, said it is an honor to drive for Keselowski and that finalizing his plans for the upcoming season is a weight lifted off his shoulders. The 2015 season was Hemric’s first in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He has racked up four top fives and 12 top 10 finishes and is currently seventh in the series championship standings. His best finish this season is fourth-place (three times, most recently on the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada).(Brad Keselowski Racing)(11-3-2015)
  • Pocono accepting Fan Council Applications: Pocono Raceway is now accepting applications for their new Fan Council. The purpose of the Pocono Raceway Fan Council is to assist the Raceway staff in developing and improving the overall fan experience at ‘The Tricky Triangle.’ “Our first two Fan Council classes were very involved and did a great job,” said Brandon Igdalsky, President and CEO of Pocono Raceway. “Their input played a role in some of the new initiatives and changes made over the last four years. For 2016, we are adding new features to enhance this program moving forward. We always say we have the best race fans in world, so, we cannot wait to start receiving applications.” The Pocono Raceway Fan Council will continue to play a key role in developing and driving new initiatives, including the ‘Tricky Awards.’ This program will honor race fans at the 2016 NASCAR and INDYCAR race weekends at Pocono Raceway. More details about the ‘Tricky Awards’ will be announced next year. Fans who would like to apply for the Pocono Raceway Fan Council can visit www.poconoraceway.com/fcapply. Applications must be submitted by Monday, December 1, 2015 at 11:59pm/et. Finalists will be contacted no later than Friday, December 18, 2015, and the new Pocono Raceway Fan Council will be announced in early January 2016.(Pocono Raceway)(11-3-2015)


    News from November 2, 2015


  • Entry List for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted, 45 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #21-Blaney, #32-Gase, #33-Scott, #62-Sorenson, #95-McDowell, #98-Preece.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in owners points): #62-Sorenson (45th), #95-McDowell (44th)
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): #21-Blaney (17 attempts), #95-McDowell (18)
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Texas Entry List

  • Gilliland, Patrick have contact at Martinsville UPDATE: #10-Danica Patrick says she was “repaying the favor” when she ran into #38-David Gilliland with less than 100 laps left in Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. Patrick hit the wall to bring out the caution on Lap 158 after being hit from behind by Gilliland. Patrick was upset on the radio and said “no matter what I do, he is (in trouble).” Later during the race, she ran near Gilliland but didn’t know it was him because he’s in a special paint scheme. After passing Gilliland, she was told that was his car. Patrick responded: “Damn it, I was meaning to take him out. I’ll have to next time.” Patrick ran into the back of Gilliland about 250 laps after their first incident. Patrick’s car was too damaged to continue. “He unnecessarily, I thought, took me out at the beginning of the race,” Patrick told NASCAR Talk. “So I was just repaying the favor.”(NBC Sports)(11-2-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR will review Danica Patrick’s actions against David Gilliland during Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway, a series official said. Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR that series officials did not meet with Patrick after the race, but the incident is something they’ll “take a look at.”(NBC Sports)(11-2-2015)

  • Kyle Busch says drivers involved impacts NASCAR penalties: Does the name of a driver or drivers involved have an impact on penalties issued by NASCAR? #18-Kyle Busch says it does. Busch believes NASCAR concerns itself more with the driver involved than the violation that occurred. Busch, who has had plenty of run-ins with NASCAR over on-track incidents in his career, was asked Sunday his opinion about Kenseth’s actions toward Logano. “Did he do anything wrong? I don’t know. Did he do anything right? I don’t know,” Busch said. “I think it all depends on whose name’s above the door on whether or not you’re allowed to do it.” Busch said he wasn’t sure NASCAR needed to necessarily curtail any of the actions taking place in recent races, but needed to enforce its rules consistently. “It’s boys being boys right now. You got to be consistent. I definitely feel NASCAR is very consistent in being inconsistent on calls,” he said. “I think it’s ‘BS.’ “They better – I say ‘They better’, but they don’t have to listen to me for squat. Really doesn’t matter what I say.” Asked on pit road after the race if he would be racing next week at Texas if he had done the same thing as Kenseth on Sunday, Busch simply said, “Nope.”(Motorsport)(11-2-2015)
  • Martinsville Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2015 Goody’s Headache Relief 500: For those NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 1:02 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 5:23 PM (all times are EST). NBCSN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 132
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 66
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 107
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 60
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 25
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 24
    Number of times NBC utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 5
    Total number of brief promos of products/services during the race broadcast (including company logos ‘floating’ in corners of the screen): 99
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 4 min. 55 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:02 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:23 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 261
    Minutes of race broadcast: 217
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 44
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 11
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 217 Total comm. brdcst time 44
    See full reports, sponsor links, many more details at CawnJaws.com.(11-2-2015)

  • Gordon presented with the H. Clay Earles Award: Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell presented Jeff Gordon with the H. Clay Earles Award. The award, given for “Outstanding Dedication to Auto Racing”, was established in 2000 and is named for Martinsville Speedway Founder H. Clay Earles. “Jeff Gordon is one of the greatest drivers NASCAR has ever seen,” Campbell said. “However, if you look at what he has meant to the sport – the commitment he has made to it and the role he played in helping grow it to a popularity never seen before – that’s what I’ll think of when I look back on his career and that’s what the H. Clay Earles Award is all about.” Gordon, an eight-time Martinsville winner, said receiving the award means a lot, for a variety of reasons. “This place is special; more than just the race track. It’s what they’ve done to the track to keep it authentic, to keep the fans engaged. I’m really honored by it.” Former NASCAR President Bill France Jr. was the first recipient of the award.(Martinsville Speedway)(11-2-2015)

  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Laps Led Leaders:
    (after Martinsville, 33 of 36 races)
    1. #4-Kevin Harvick, 2,094
    2. #22-Joey Logano, 1,359
    3. #20-Matt Kenseth, 927
    4. #41-Kurt Busch, 788 (30 races)
    5. #2-Brad Keselowski, 782
    6. #18-Kyle Busch, 693 (22 races)
    7. #78-Martin Truex Jr., 563
    8. #11-Denny Hamlin, 529
    9. #48-Jimmie Johnson, 508
    10. #19-Carl Edwards, 368
    Laps Run: 9,605
    (11-2-2015)

  • Three drivers who won a race in 2014, have not won 2015: With #24-Jeff Gordon’s win at Martinsville, he now has his first win of 2015. Three drivers have now been shut out of winning a Sprint Cup race in 2015 after winning at least one race in 2014, after 33 of 36 races in 2015, the drivers:
    #5-Kasey Kahne last won at Atlanta in August 2014 and has a four season win streak.
    #43-Aric Almirola has won one career race, last year at Daytona in July.
    #47-A.J. Allmendinger has won one career race, last year at Watkins Glen in August.
    (11-2-2015)
  • Sad News – David Lee Green: David Lee Green, 77, of Owensboro, Kentucky died Sunday, November 1, 2015, at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. He was born December 19, 1937 in Evansville, Indiana. He retired from Alcoa Warrick Operations and had served in the U.S. Navy. He was a member of the Ensor Masonic Lodge. He enjoyed sport clay shooting and won many national competitions. He was a successful drag racer and also enjoyed NASCAR racing. He was preceded in death by his father, David Leonard Green and a sister, Anna Louise Green. Survivors include his sons, David Green (Diane), Mark Green (Cathy) and Jeff Green (Michelle).
    Services are 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, at the Chapel of James H. Davis Funeral Home & Crematory in Owensboro. See more info on the Sad News page.(11-2-2015)
  • XFINITY Entry List: There are 40 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. A few notes:
    Derek White is in the #13;
    The #14 for TriStar is TBA. Cale Conley will not return to the team;
    BJ McLeod is in the RWR #15;
    Erik Jones will drive the Joe Gibbs #20;
    Brad Keselowski will be in the Penske #22;
    Kevin Harvick will drive the JR Motorsports #88;
    Mason Mingus returns to the #97;
    Ryan Truex returns to the #98.(11-2-2015)
    See the complete list on the Texas entry list page.
  • $10 holds seat for Spring race at Martinsville: The STP 500 is five months away, but it’s never too early to make sure you’ve got your seat locked in for the first short-track race of the season. All it takes to hold your ticket for the STP 500 is a $10 deposit. Tickets for the STP 500 range from $45 to $85. There are also great packages and pricing for families. The STP 500 is the first race back on the east coast after the “West Coast Swing” and the first short-track race of the season. To reserve your tickets for the STP 500 and set up a payment plan, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(11-2-2015)


    News from November 1, 2015


  • Contact between Kenseth and Logano at Martinsville; NASCAR will consider penalties for Kenseth: Two weeks after #20-Matt Kenseth was taken out by #22-Joey Logano, Kenseth returned the favor, wrecking him when Logano was leading the Sprint Cup Series race with 47 laps remaining Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Kenseth, who himself was vying for the lead a handful of laps earlier, was involved in a wreck that he felt was triggered by Logano’s Penske Racing teammate #2-Brad Keselowski. But Sunday’s wreck appeared to be in response to an incident two weeks earlier, when Logano turned Kenseth for the win with five laps remaining at Kansas Speedway, a move that eventually kept Kenseth from advancing to the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
    “What happened at Kansas was a completely different deal,” Logano said. “We were racing for the win, and he blocks you a few times, and we raced hard, and he blocked me and spun out. That’s what happened there. Here, he was a complete coward. … It’s a chicken-you-know-what move to completely take out the leader when your race is over. … He’ll have his.”
    Although Kenseth’s car was heavily damaged, NASCAR told his team not to repair it and that he couldn’t return to the race.
    “I had two chances to win in the last three weeks and got wrecked out of both of them going for the lead, one from him and one from Brad,” Kenseth said. “That’s disappointing.” Kenseth didn’t directly answer whether he turned Logano intentionally. “The right front was dragging down there and probably should’ve went to the garage area and went into the corner there and, man, couldn’t get it to turn and collected him,” Kenseth said. “I know it’s got to be disappointing for him, you know? It’s a tough sport. Some days you’re the bat, and some days you’re the ball. I was the ball a few weeks ago, and I was the ball again today, so that part is never fun.”
    Kenseth and team owner Joe Gibbs met with NASCAR officials after the race. They both declined to comment after the meeting.
    Keselowski said he lost control of his car after getting hit from behind.
    NASCAR executive vice president Steve O’Donnell said after the race that he was disappointed in Kenseth’s actions and that NASCAR will make any decisions of additional discipline by Tuesday. He wouldn’t rule out a suspension. “There’s still a lot to digest from what happened tonight,” O’Donnell said. “We’ll do that and have some additional conversations. … What was disappointing today was in the incident, [it was] a driver not competing for a win [and] was in fact many laps down when that happened. In our minds, that’s a little bit different than two drivers really going after it coming out of Turn 4 for a win.”(ESPN.com)(11-1-2015)

  • Contact between Kenseth and Logano at Martinsville; NASCAR will consider penalties for Kenseth: Two weeks after #20-Matt Kenseth was taken out by #22-Joey Logano, Kenseth returned the favor, wrecking him when Logano was leading the Sprint Cup Series race with 47 laps remaining Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Kenseth, who himself was vying for the lead a handful of laps earlier, was involved in a wreck that he felt was triggered by Logano’s Penske Racing teammate #2-Brad Keselowski. But Sunday’s wreck appeared to be in response to an incident two weeks earlier, when Logano turned Kenseth for the win with five laps remaining at Kansas Speedway, a move that eventually kept Kenseth from advancing to the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
    “What happened at Kansas was a completely different deal,” Logano said. “We were racing for the win, and he blocks you a few times, and we raced hard, and he blocked me and spun out. That’s what happened there. Here, he was a complete coward. … It’s a chicken-you-know-what move to completely take out the leader when your race is over. … He’ll have his.”
    Although Kenseth’s car was heavily damaged, NASCAR told his team not to repair it and that he couldn’t return to the race.
    “I had two chances to win in the last three weeks and got wrecked out of both of them going for the lead, one from him and one from Brad,” Kenseth said. “That’s disappointing.” Kenseth didn’t directly answer whether he turned Logano intentionally. “The right front was dragging down there and probably should’ve went to the garage area and went into the corner there and, man, couldn’t get it to turn and collected him,” Kenseth said. “I know it’s got to be disappointing for him, you know? It’s a tough sport. Some days you’re the bat, and some days you’re the ball. I was the ball a few weeks ago, and I was the ball again today, so that part is never fun.”
    Kenseth and team owner Joe Gibbs met with NASCAR officials after the race. They both declined to comment after the meeting.
    Keselowski said he lost control of his car after getting hit from behind.
    NASCAR officials did not announce whether there would be any additional penalties against Kenseth.(ESPN.com)(11-1-2015)

  • Gordon wins at Martinsville: #24-Jeff Gordon won the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 9th win at Martinsville and 93rd career win. Gordon led 35 of the 500 laps.
    Gordon automatically advances to the Championship round of The Chase with the win.
    #1-McMurray finished 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #88-Earnhardt, Jr., #18-Busch, #78-Truex, Jr., #31-Newman, #4-Harvick, #5-Kahne, and #14-Stewart.
    Several Chase drivers ran into trouble during the race. Less than 200 laps into the race, #18-Kyle Busch spun, #47-AJ Allmendinger checked up, and #19-Carl Edwards got into the rear of Allmendinger. He suffered hood damage and lost a lap, before getting it back late in the race. Busch and Edwards recovered for top 15 finishes.
    With just over 50 laps remaining, #2-Keselowski got into #20-Kenseth, spinning him into #41-Kurt Busch. Keselowski and Busch had to go to the garage for repairs. Kenseth pitted and stayed on track. Then with 46 laps to go, Kenseth got into the back of Logano in turn 1, sending them both into the wall. NASCAR parked Kenseth for the remainder of the race. Logano called the move intentional, Kenseth denied that.
    There were 21 lead changes among 9 drivers and 18 cautions for 109 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed was 69.643mph.
    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).
    (11-1-2015)
  • Finishing positions of the 2015 Sprint Cup Chase drivers at Martinsville:
    [by points standings before the race (start pos)]
    1) #22-Joey Logano, 37th (1)
    2) #19-Carl Edwards, 14th (14)
    3) #24-Jeff Gordon, 1st – WON (5)
    4) #41-Kurt Busch, 34th (15)
    5) #2-Brad Keselowski, 32nd (11)
    6) #78-Martin Truex Jr., 6th (2)
    7) #4-Kevin Harvick, 8th (12)
    8) #18-Kyle Busch, 5th (6)
    (11-1-2015)
  • Race Fast Facts – Martinsville:
    Jeff Gordon won the 67th Annual Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500, his 93rd victory in 794 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2015.
    This is his ninth victory and 37th top-10 finish in 46 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    Jamie McMurray (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 26 races at Martinsville Speedway. It is his ninth top-10 finish in 2015.
    Denny Hamlin (third) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 20 races at Martinsville Speedway.
    Jeb Burton (27th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-1-2015)
  • Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings – Eliminator Round:
    [after Martinsville, race 33 of 36, Chase race 7 of 10]
    1) #24-Gordon* [1], 4047
    2) #18-Busch[4], 4039 -8; +9 ahead of 5th
    3) #78-Truex, Jr.[1], 4039 -8; +9 ahead of 5th
    4) #4-Harvick [3], 4037 -10; +7 ahead of 5th
    Top 4 advance to Championship round
    5) #19-Edwards[2], 4030 -17; -7 out of 4th
    6) #2-Keselowski[1], 4013 -34; -24 out of 4th
    7) #41-Busch[2], 4011 -36; -26 out of 4th
    8) #22-Logano [6 wins], 4009 – 38; -28 out of 4th
    The order is set by the points standings after the last round.
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc, with in that round of the Chase)
    *Automatically advances to Championship round with a win in the Eliminator round.
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).
    (11-1-2015)

  • Unofficial Top 25 in 2015 Sprint Cup Driver Points Standings (not the Chase):
    [after Martinsville, race 33 of 36]
    (using current points system, but not the Chase rules, unofficial)
    1) #22-Joey Logano (C8), 1213
    2) #4-Kevin Harvick (C4), 1192 -21
    3) #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (EC), 1109 -104
    4) #2-Brad Keselowski (C6), 1094 -119
    5) #78-Martin Truex Jr. (C3), 1065 -148
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin (EC), 1041 -172
    7) #48-Jimmie Johnson (EC), 1033 -180
    8) #20-Matt Kenseth (EC), 1009 -204
    9) #19-Carl Edwards (C5), 1003 -210
    10) #41-Kurt Busch (C7), 998 -215
    11) #24-Jeff Gordon (C1), 997 -216
    12) #31-Ryan Newman (EC), 969 -244
    13) #1-Jamie McMurray (EC), 958 -255
    14) #27-Paul Menard (EC), 887 -326
    15) #43-Aric Almirola, 877 -336
    16) #5-Kasey Kahne, 872 -341
    17) #15-Clint Bowyer (EC), 840 -373
    18) #42-Kyle Larson, 802 -411
    19) #16-Greg Biffle, 796 -417
    20) #3-Austin Dillon, 745 -468
    21) #18-Kyle Busch (C2), 738 -475
    22) #13-Casey Mears, 712 -501
    23) #47-AJ Allmendinger, 687 -526
    24) #10-Danica Patrick, 665 -548
    25) #17-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 664 -549
    (C# = chase driver and current Chase position)
    (EC = chase driver that has been eliminated from the Chase)
    (11-1-2015)

  • Rain could impact Martinsville race: Rain could threaten the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 t Martinsville Sunday. According to the National Weather Service:
    Sunday – A chance of showers, mainly between 7am and 4pm, then a chance of rain after 4pm. Cloudy, with a high near 64. Calm wind. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
    Monday’s forecast looks worse:
    Monday – Rain. High near 57. Northeast wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
    According to NASCAR_WXMAN‘s forecast:
    For Sunday, it’s not a matter of if it rains but when will it rain. That “when” is key to getting a race complete or waiting out a couple of days of soggy weather across southern Virginia. I am giving the odds of racing on Sunday around 60 percent. The odds of a complete race to be around 50 to 55 percent. A little better than half.
    Sunset at Martinsville is at 5:23pm/et on Sunday. The track does not have lights.
    See more weather links on the Martinsville Race page – weather section.(11-1-2015)

  • Ford Fusion to get slightly different look in 2016: The Ford Fusion used for competition in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series is expected to have a slightly different look for 2016, with changes to the front and sides of the car. Officials with the Detroit-based automaker have not announced any changes, but at least one driver has acknowledged that the modifications are forthcoming. During an open test Thursday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Richard Petty Motorsports driver #43-Aric Almirola noted that his team was “trying to really focus on what we need for our balance for this 2016 package, and it’s not really a great gauge for us because this (car) is still the 2015 Ford Fusion. We actually have a new nose and some new sides coming for next year with a new 2016 Ford Fusion,” he said. “(I’m) pretty excited about that. I’ve heard early reports of some good things. I’m excited about getting that on the race track next season.”
    Asked about possible changes for ’16, Dave Pericak, Director of Ford Performance said last month, “Our current car has a strong relationship to the street car and if we were to make any changes going forward, it would certainly be in the spirit of the collaboration that has been ongoing between all the OEMs to make sure that the next generation car is an even closer tie to the street car.” It would be the second change to the front of the Fusion since NASCAR and the automakers — Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota — unveiled the new Generation 6 entries before the 2013 season. A year after the ’13 Fusion’s debut, Ford requested and was granted a slight change to the inset area below the car’s grille. Concerns about debris collecting on the front of the car, potentially creating overheating issues, led officials to alter the area so that it became more flush with the car’s bumper.
    Manufacturers make design changes to their race cars when changes are being made to the production versions. Toyota officials made changes to the front of the Camry before the start of the ’15 season so that it more closely resembled those made to the street version of the car. There have been no changes for the Chevrolet SS since that model debuted in ’13.(NASCAR.com)(11-1-2015)

  • Martinsville Race Notes & Facts – Sunday:
    · There have been 133 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.
    · 608 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville; 381 in more than one.
    · Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 22.
    · Chevrolet leads series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 54 victories – including the eight of the last nine races.
    · There have been five NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Martinsville Speedway: fall 2007 (500/506), fall 2008 (500/504), fall 2009 (500/501), spring 2010 (500/508), and spring 2012 (500/515).
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway is the April 1, 2007 race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.065 second.
    (NASCAR)(11-1-2015)
  • Texas to debut ‘Fire and Ice’ food items: Texas Motor Speedway and Levy Restaurants have once again captured their fans love of bacon with a unique combination of ‘Fire and Ice’ food items for the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR tripleheader weekend set for Nov. 5-8. The next generation of the highly successful Hawg Heaven line ignites the “fire” with the Hawg Heaven Double Barrel Dawg and then cools things down with an icy treat – the Final Rocky Road-eoice cream sundae in tribute to retiring NASCAR icon Jeff Gordon. Both items will make their debut at during the AAA Texas 500 race week at Texas Motor Speedway. The tradition of bacon-themed concession items continues with the Hawg Heaven Double Barrel Dawg. Following in the footsteps of the widely popular Hawg Heaven Queso Wing, Hawg Heaven Bacon Nachos, Hawg Heaven Bacon Cotton Candy and Shake ‘N Bacon Brew, this sandwich is all about bacon. The massive sandwich features two foot-long Texas Hot Links, custom made for Levy Restaurants by locally owned Syracuse Sausage in nearby Ponder, Texas, a jalapeno bacon and caramelized onion mix, bacon queso and topped with crunchy spicy pork rinds. The bacon theme continues with a special tribute to Jeff Gordon’s final race at Texas Motor Speedway with the Final Rocky Road-eo Sundae. The sundae features a Krispy Kreme maple bacon donut, two scoops of rocky road ice cream, hot fudge sauce infused with bacon, bacon whipped cream, honey roasted peanuts, chocolate chips, marshmallows and candied bacon. The two scoops of ice cream and four kinds of bacon are the perfect way to celebrate Gordon’s final race at Texas Motor Speedway. The sandwich will sell for $11 while the sundae costs $10. Both will be available at the concession stand inside Gate 4 of the speedway.(TMS)(11-1-2015)
  • Cessna Skinner Round-Up raises $125k: Volusia County residents, celebrities and sponsors raised an estimated $125,000 to support the Council on Aging of Volusia County at the 2015 Cessna Skinner Round-Up. The two-day event included the Hoedown Bash at Daytona International Speedway and a sold-out Cessna Skinner Round-Up Golf Tournament presented by Halifax Health at Spruce Creek Country Club. With donations still coming in, the Cessna Skinner Round-Up plans to ink a check for at least $125,000 to the Council on Aging following expenses. “It’s always such an honor to host the Cessna Skinner Round-Up here in Volusia County,” said Mike Skinner, 1995 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion and co-host of the Cessna Skinner Round-Up. “We have such great partners for this event, such as Cessna, Hard Rock Seminole, Halifax Health, Oral-B, SunTrust Bank, Toyota, National Wild Turkey Federation, Germain Motor Company, Froggy’s Saloon, Richard Childress Racing, Yuengling, American Auto, Maui Jim, Justin Boots, and so many others. It’s such an honor to have their support, and the support of all of our guests and attendees-including many people who don’t even have a direct connection to Volusia County. However, they’ve gotten behind Angie and me, and they’ve stepped up to support the Council on Aging, and that’s something that’s really special to be a part of.” In it’s seventh year, the Skinner Round-Up has raised more than $900,000 for charity organizations within Volusia County, Fla. This year’s event solely benefitted the Council on Aging of Volusia County, an organization that promotes healthy, independent living through caring and compassionate services for the area’s seniors. The Council on Aging of Volusia County serves thousands of clients every year through meals programs, non-medical health services and senior activities.(A2B Strategies)(11-1-2015)
  • Jimmie Johnson Foundation Announces Nearly $550,000 in Champions Grants: The Jimmie Johnson Foundation announced that 10 schools will receive approximately $550,000 in Champions Grants this year. The grants are awarded annually to K-12 public and charter schools in and around the hometowns of six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson and his wife Chandra – San Diego and El Cajon, California and Muskogee, Oklahoma, as well as their current residence in Charlotte, North Carolina. “This year’s applications were very impressive,” Johnson said. “We are honored to be able to fund so many innovative and exciting projects in our hometowns and here in the Charlotte area. We can’t wait to see them through to completion.” Chandra, Jimmie and representatives from partner Lowe’s spent time this morning hearing from students and staff from the six local grant recipients about their projects and the anticipated impact on their school community. In addition to these six schools, four others from Muskogee and the San Diego area have been selected to receive grants. This year, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Champions Grant awards included $341,001 toward science and technology, $113,948 toward literacy initiatives, $52,434 for health and fitness activities, $27,964 toward arts programs and $13,600 toward school improvement projects.
    The 2015 Champions Grants were awarded to the following schools:
    North Carolina
    · C.C. Griffin Middle School (Concord, North Carolina)
    · Charles E. Boger Elementary School (Kannapolis, North Carolina)
    · Crown Point Elementary School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
    · Harding University High School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
    · Independence High School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
    · University Park Creative Arts Elementary School (Charlotte, North Carolina)
    California
    · Lexington Elementary School (El Cajon, California)
    · Mira Mesa High School (San Diego)
    Oklahoma
    · Hilldale Public Schools (Muskogee, Oklahoma)
    · Rougher Alternative Academy (Muskogee, Oklahoma)
    More than $4.2 million has been contributed through the Champions Grant program since 2009. To see a detailed list of the 2015 Champions Grant projects, please visit www.jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org. (Jimmie Johnson Foundation)(11-1-2015)