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November 2016 News Archives

 

News from November 29, 2016


  • Chris Buescher to 2nd JTG Daughtery team? UPDATE 2: Greg Biffle’s decision to leave Roush-Fenway Racing on Monday triggered a strange chain reaction that will include the slumping racing company loaning driver Chris Buescher to a rival manufacturer next season. Buescher will drive for a newly-created second Chevrolet team at JTG Daughtery Racing in 2017. Roush Fenway is expected to scuttle Biffle’s #16 team, and that could make that team’s charter available to the highest bidder – including the new JTG Daughtery entry. Despite fielding full-time teams for Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway hasn’t won a race since 2014. By loaning Buescher to JTG Daugherty next year, Ford Racing will be able to work on upgrades with Roush Fenway while keeping one of its young drivers under contract. “It was a mutual agreement,” Biffle said. “It’s been frustrating for everyone. I’ve been the one carrying the company banner. It just didn’t get any better. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, so I decided I’d rather do something else – even if it means not driving anymore. I owe Jack everything I’ve accomplished in this sport. Some things just run their course.” Roush said Biffle was one of the anchors of his entire race team. “I don’t have the words to say what Greg has meant to this organization,” Roush said in a team release. “He is a true racer who has always exhibited a will to win and an intense passion for speed. For almost two decades Greg has given us an opportunity to run up front and compete for wins. Greg exemplifies what every owner hopes for in a driver and I’m extremely thankful for having him as part of our organization.”(Florida Times Union)(11-21-2016)
    UPDATE: From Bob Pockrass Twitter: “Tad Geschickter says nothing done yet as far as plans for second JTG car next year.”(11-22-2016)
    UPDATE 2: Roush Fenway Racing Announces 2017 NASCAR Cup Plans: Roush Fenway Racing has announced its 2017 plans for the NASCAR Cup Series that will see the organization field a two-car Cup operation next season, with drivers Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. piloting the #6 and #17 Ford Fusions, respectively, in NASCAR’s highest series. In addition, Kevin Kidd and Tommy Wheeler will lead Roush Fenway’s overall competition efforts going forward. Kidd will assume the role of Competition Director, and Wheeler will serve as the team’s Operations Director. The team will lease its #16 NASCAR Charter and driver Chris Buescher to JTG Racing in 2017. “We have been able to shore up our plans for 2017 and we feel that this will continue to move us in a direction that will yield improved performance and results,” said Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush. “We saw improvement in our cars and made substantial gains in our performance at times last season, and we will continue to build on that by maintaining a robust engineering group in order to take the next step by consistently running up front.”
    The #6 team will once again be led by veteran crew chief Matt Puccia. Brian Pattie, who was the crew chief for the #16 Cup Series team last season, will transition to crew chief of the #17 team. Nick Sandler, who served as the #17 crew chief the last two seasons, has been named Director of Engineering. Robbie Reiser, who has played an integral role on the competition side at Roush Fenway Racing for a number of years, will remain with the organization in a yet to be determined position. Kidd has served as Roush Fenway’s Cup Team Manager – supervising all at-track operations – for the previous two seasons, after coming over from Joe Gibbs Racing where he worked as a crew chief for the previous half decade. He holds a mechanical engineering degree from Virginia Tech, and has worked as a lead engineer for multiple teams and drivers. Wheeler, who holds a B.S. in physics from Davidson College, joined Roush Fenway in 2009. A 20-plus year veteran of the sport, he has served in many capacities for the team, including as the team’s production director since 2011, overseeing the building and production of all of the organization’s Cup and XFINITY Series cars. (RFR)(11-29-2016)
    AND Chris Buescher will drive a second car for JTG Daugherty in 2017, the team stated Tuesday. “We can confirm at this time that JTG Daugherty Racing is currently in the process of starting a second team in the NASCAR premier series,” JTG Daugherty Racing team owner Tad Geschickter said in a statement. “We would also like to confirm and welcome Chris Buescher to the team as our driver for the second car. More details will follow.” Said Buescher, 24, in a statement: “I can confirm that I have signed to race for JTG Daugherty Racing as they expand to a two-car team in the NASCAR premier series in 2017. I’m thankful for the opportunity and look forward to competing for a spot in the Chase. We’ll have more details at a later date.”(NBC Sports)(11-29-2016)
  • Jeff Gordon helping with GivingTuesdayCLT campaign: NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon is one of many in Charlotte contributing to the GivingTuesdayCLT campaign to raise $8 million. Giving Tuesday is this week and people across Charlotte are getting involved in the local effort. More than 170 local non-profits have spent the last two weeks in a big campaign to try to raise 8 million dollars in donations and volunteer efforts. Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Foundation that helps fight pediatric cancer is one of the local non-profits eager to help the cause. The campaign runs until midnight Tuesday night. Gordon will be on hand next week when giving tuesdayCLT organizers announce how much money people in charlotte helped raise.(WCNC)(11-29-2016)
  • Stewart to host SiriusXM Special tonight: Three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will host a special edition of his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show, Tony Stewart Live, tonight, November 29 from 7:00 to 9:00pm/et. Stewart and co-host Matt Yocum will broadcast live from Charlotte, where they will look back at Smoke’s 18-year career behind the wheel in NASCAR’s premier series and discuss what lies ahead for him in motorsports. Listeners will be invited to call in to the show to talk live with Smoke and Yocum and share their memories of Stewart’s career. Tony and Matt are also scheduled to be joined live on air during the show by Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, and Clint Bowyer, who will take over for Smoke as the driver for the #14 Stewart-Haas Racing team in 2017. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio is available to listeners nationwide on channel 90 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app. Throughout the program, listeners will also hear messages from several prominent guests who share their memories from various times in Smoke’s career, from his rookie year through his three championship seasons. These include the legendary Richard Petty; NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton; Joe Gibbs, Stewart’s team owner from 1999 through 2008; and fellow drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick; Donnie Allison, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano and Trevor Bayne.(SiriusXM)(11-29-2106)
  • Ty Dillon replacing Casey Mears at Germain Racing UPDATE: Beginning in 2017, Ty Dillon will take over full-time driving duties of the #13 GEICO Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Germain Racing. Dillon follows Casey Mears, a seasoned veteran who, over the last six years, has helped build Germain Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program into a viable organization that has garnered the respect and attention of NASCAR’s elite. The 24-year old Dillon has made 17 starts in the Sprint Cup Series for several different teams, including Circle Sport/Leavine Family Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing. He scored a career-best sixth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2016 while serving as a relief driver for Tony Stewart. Germain Racing notched two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championships and two top-10 points finishes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series before making the jump to the nation’s top racing series. Since the inception of their Sprint Cup Series program in 2009, the team has established itself as an accomplished restrictor-plate program, while also achieving success at the series’ road course events. With the switch to Chevrolet and the addition of Richard Childress Racing as a technical partner in 2014, they have experienced improvement at the challenging intermediate tracks. Team owner, Bob Germain, aims to continue making progress in the coming years. RCR’s partnership with Germain Racing includes technology sharing, research and development, and engineering under the Chevrolet banner. Germain Racing will also continue to utilize the highly reliable and powerful engines from ECR Engines.(Germain Racing)(11-28-2016)
    UPDATE: In a Monday morning appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR’s Radio’s “The Morning Drive” program, Dillon indicated that an agreement with Germain Racing came together earlier in the year. The challenge, he said, was staying mum until this week. A team spokesperson confirmed Monday that Robert “Bootie” Barker would return as the team’s crew chief in 2017. GEICO returns as primary sponsor, extending a relationship that bridged Germain Racing’s transition to a full-time Sprint Cup team in 2009. The Germain team shares a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing, the multicar organization founded by Dillon’s grandfather, and its entries are powered by Childress-owned ECR Engines. Dillon said that the existing partnerships should help smooth his own transition to a full slate of racing in NASCAR’s premier series.(NASCAR.com)(11-29-2016)
  • Stenhouse, Jr forms World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car team: Sprint car veteran and 99-time World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Car Series winner Joey Saldana has found a new home for the 2017 racing season. Saldana will drive the Elk Grove Ford/Roth Investments #17 for the newly-formed Stenhouse Jr.-Wood Racing team. Owned by NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Matt Wood, Stenhouse Jr.-Wood Racing will compete full time on the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series tour in 2017. Saldana, who finished fifth in the World of Outlaws point standings in 2016, will be looking to improve that finish and earn his milestone 100th series victory. Tyler Swank, who led the Keneric Team to a Kings Royal victory in 2014, has been named crew chief of the #17 team. Swank, 39, and crew members will Adam Clark and Chris Bowe will field the team out of Saldana’s Brownsburg, Ind., race shop. Wood’s No. 17W team started the 2016 with late driver Bryan Clauson. Clauson’s life tragically ended while leading the Belleville Midget Nationals in Belleville, Kansas in August. “A year ago Matt (Wood), Richard (Marshall of Priority Aviation) and I began forming a World of Outlaws team centered around Bryan Clauson driving. After Bryan’s tragic crash we all kind of just laid low,” said co-owner Stenhouse Jr. “A few weeks ago an opportunity came up to have a partnership with Matt, Dennis Roth, Richard and myself. With Joey driving the car, it was something I felt I couldn’t pass up.”(Stenhouse Jr. – Wood Racing)(11-29-2016)


    News from November 28, 2016


  • Jay Mohr to host Sprint Cup Series Awards: Grammy-nominated actor, comedian and radio personality Jay Mohr will join NASCAR fans across the nation in honoring the newly crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson, as the host of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 2. In addition to Sting’s previously announced headline performance, the show will feature award-winning musical artists American Authors, Skylar Grey and Olivia Holt.
    Jay Mohr, who will host the event for an unprecedented sixth time, is the host of “Jay Mohr Sports” on FOX Sports Radio, a daily sports talk and entertainment show, syndicated in more than 150 markets, highlighted by Mohr’s trademark comedic style.
    The evening’s musical lineup will include a performance by American Authors, best-known for hits “Best Day of My Life” from their debut album “Oh, What a Life” and “Go Big or Go Home” from their second album, “What We Live For.” This will be American Authors’ second performance during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week, as they will headline the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash Presented by Coors Light.
    Singer, songwriter Skylar Grey will also be featured at NASCAR’s championship celebration. The five-time Grammy Award-nominated artist recently released her sophomore album “Natural Causes” and has co-written hits for the likes of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj.
    Singer and actress Olivia Holt will join the evening’s lineup with a performance from her debut EP “Olivia,” released earlier this year. Holt has starred in several Disney originals including the Disney XD series “Kickin’ It” and the Disney Channel series “I Didn’t Do It.”(NASCAR)(11-28-2016)
  • Bowyer suing HScott Motorsports: One day after finishing a frustrating season with HScott Motorsports, Clint Bowyer sued the team for at least $2.223 million, alleging it missed two monthly payments and a commission for bringing sponsorship to the team. Bowyer, through his business arm Clint Bowyer Racing Inc., filed the lawsuit for breach of contract and fraud Nov. 21 against team owner Harry Scott and HScott Motorsports in North Carolina Superior Court. Bowyer alleges in the lawsuit that Scott, who is expected to shut down the Cup team, is using money owed to him to pay other creditors and “repeatedly failed to make the scheduled payments” owed on the 20th of each month. “[Scott and the team] are in financial distress and in negotiations with various creditors to settle substantial debts … all the while [they] refuse to pay [Bowyer] for services performed,” the complaint states. In the lawsuit, Bowyer alleges that Scott has not paid money owed to him Oct. 20 and Nov. 20 for a total of $1.2 million and that he is also owed at least $1 million from sponsorship of at least five companies — 5-Hour Energy, Maxwell House, Peak, Visine and AAA Insurance — that Bowyer claims he brought to the team. “We are aware of the lawsuit,” HScott Motorsports spokesman Ramsey Poston said. “Obviously we won’t speak about the details of the suit, but I can say that overall it is frivolous and capricious. Bowyer obtained an order of attachment, which requires Scott to hold on to at least $2.223 million in property while the lawsuit makes its way through court.(ESPN.com)(11-28-2016)
  • Ty Dillon replacing Casey Mears at Germain Racing: Beginning in 2017, Ty Dillon will take over full-time driving duties of the #13 GEICO Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Germain Racing. Dillon follows Casey Mears, a seasoned veteran who, over the last six years, has helped build Germain Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program into a viable organization that has garnered the respect and attention of NASCAR’s elite. The 24-year old Dillon has made 17 starts in the Sprint Cup Series for several different teams, including Circle Sport/Leavine Family Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing. He scored a career-best sixth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2016 while serving as a relief driver for Tony Stewart. Germain Racing notched two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championships and two top-10 points finishes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series before making the jump to the nation’s top racing series. Since the inception of their Sprint Cup Series program in 2009, the team has established itself as an accomplished restrictor-plate program, while also achieving success at the series’ road course events. With the switch to Chevrolet and the addition of Richard Childress Racing as a technical partner in 2014, they have experienced improvement at the challenging intermediate tracks. Team owner, Bob Germain, aims to continue making progress in the coming years. RCR’s partnership with Germain Racing includes technology sharing, research and development, and engineering under the Chevrolet banner. Germain Racing will also continue to utilize the highly reliable and powerful engines from ECR Engines.(Germain Racing)(11-28-2016)
  • Knaus wants his 8th championship: Jimmie Johnson’s record-tying seventh Sprint Cup Series title put him in elite company with the legendary Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. It’s quite the feat that the #48 team achieved, but Johnson’s already thinking about eight. For crew chief Chad Knaus. Dale Inman currently holds the record for most championships as a crew chief with eight premier series championships. Having been atop of the pit box for of all seven of Johnson’s championships, Knaus would tie that record with an eighth Sprint Cup title. “I mentioned it to him that we need to go get eight for him,” Johnson told NASCAR.com on Tuesday morning. ” … He’s honestly been such a huge part of my success and deserves the title of ‘greatest ever.’ So one way to really nip that is to go and put him up there with the same stats as Dale Inman.”(NASCAR.com)(11-28-2016)
  • Liberty University partners with Hendrick Automotive Group on dealership management class:In the spring, Liberty University will pilot its first course in automotive dealership management, thanks to a partnership with Hendrick Automotive Group, the nation’s largest privately held automotive retail organization. Liberty plans to offer a full specialization next fall, under its Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Dan DeHass, executive general manager for Mall of Georgia Mazda, Mall of Georgia MINI and Rick Hendrick Buick GMC, said there is a “giant void” for educating students in automotive dealership management and that most college students may not realize the “unbelievable opportunities within the industry.” Only two other colleges in the nation have these programs, even though the U.S. has the second-largest automotive industry in the world (behind China). Students will be trained in managing a dealership as well as how to adapt to technology in an ever-changing marketplace. “The purpose is building future owners of dealerships,” Hicks said. “If we can get students to think like owners and to learn the business that well, they are going to make phenomenal employees and, potentially, owners.” Hendrick Automotive Group is working with Liberty to develop the curriculum, and some of its employees will contribute to course instruction, including prerecorded and live videos. The North Carolina-based automotive company has an extensive training program in place, which will be incorporated into expanding Liberty’s curriculum.(Liberty University)(11-28-2016)


    News from November 27, 2016


  • Mike and Angie Skinner selected as fourth quarter Spirit Award winners: The National Motorsports Press Association has announced Mike Skinner and his wife, Angie, as the winners of the fourth quarter Pocono Spirit Award. The Spirit Award “recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.” The former Camping World Truck Series champion was chosen for his annual benefit, the Skinner Roundup. The event raises funds to support Hope For The Warriors, a nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for service members, veterans and military families. This years’ event raised $220,000. The previous quarter winners of the award this year were NASCAR spotter Chris Osborne, artist Jeanne Barnes and journalist Al Pearce. The overall Spirit Award for 2016 will be announced in January.(NBC Sports)(11-27-2016)
  • Rusty Wallace to compete in 2016 Finali Mondiali: NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace is going to return to the driver’s seat for the upcoming Ferrari Finali Mondiali on Dec. 1-4 at Daytona International Speedway. The 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will battle the twists and turns of the “World Center of Racing’s” 3.56-mile road course for the Risi Competizione/Ferrari of Houston team in the North America series of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. Wallace will practice on Thursday, Dec. 1 followed by qualifying and racing on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3. “I hope that I can run strong in it and hopefully win but I’m realistic too,” Wallace said. “I haven’t been in a car in a long time. I’m going to have to knock a lot cobwebs off but I got the passion for it.” Wallace is going to test with the team at the Circuit of Americas in Austin, Texas to get acclimated to the car and the crew before arriving at Daytona International Speedway. While Wallace knows every inch of the 2.5-mile tri-oval from his NASCAR competition, he only competed once on the 3.56-mile road course when he made his lone Rolex 24 At Daytona start in 2006. The Ferrari Finali Mondiali, the four-day event that is being staged in North America for the first time, will bring together competitors from the European, North American and Asia Pacific series of the Ferrari Challenge for a battle for the World Championship in their Ferrari 458 Challenge EVOs. The Ferrari Finali Mondiali has been previously held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Spain and Italy. The weekend also includes the display and running of historic Formula 1 cars and Ferrari’s exclusive XX Programmes.(Daytona International Speedway)(11-27-2016)


    News from November 26, 2016


  • Cassill returning to Front Row: Landon Cassill will return to the Cup Series for Front Row Motorsports in 2017. The 27-year-old has competed full-time in the Cup Series for the past six seasons, finishing a career-high 29th in the championship standings in 2016. At Bristol in the spring, the #38 car was out front for 20 laps, the most laps he has ever led in a single race. Cassill is seeking to secure sponsorship for next year, much like he did in 2016, in hopes of moving forward after a career year. “We’re continuing to work forward on everything with Front Row Motorsports,” Cassill said. “I don’t see any changes being made, but everything will be getting buttoned up in the next few weeks I’m sure.” Cassill had a career-high seven top-20 finishes in 2016, led by veteran crew chief Donnie Wingo. With a best finish of 11th at Talladega, the Iowa native is tired of being underrated, instead wishing he was “overrated.” Cassill wants to climb the ladder with FRM, moving them up the ranks to be a more competitive team in 2017. Jerry Freeze, General Manager at Front Row Motorsports, confirmed to Frontstretch that Cassill will return in 2017, admitting that the organization’s plans are not completely laid out for 2017. “I think so, too,” Freeze said of Cassill remaining with the team. “We still have to get everything worked out with all the partners, but we are really close.”(Frontstretch)(11-26-2016)
  • Some numbers from 2016: It was #48 in 2016. Jimmie Johnson, driver of the Hendrick Motorsports #48 Chevrolet, won the 2016 Sprint Cup title. Here are some key numbers after 36 points races, 10,523 laps and 14,929.83 miles.
    0: The number of laps led for #1-Jamie McMurray and #5-Kasey Kahne this year. There were 40 drivers who led laps this year, but not those two top-20 drivers.
    6: Career top-10s for #10-Danica Patrick — the same number she had at end of last season. Patrick was unable to build on her record for most top-10s for a female Cup driver.
    7: You could have guessed this one — the number of Cup titles for Johnson. But it also means something else for Johnson — that is where he currently ranks on Cup career wins list.
    12: The spot where #2-Brad Keselowski finished in the standings despite having four victories, one spot behind four-race winner #78-Martin Truex Jr. and three spots behind another four-race winner, #4-Kevin Harvick.
    32: Where #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished in the standings despite missing the final 18 races because of a concussion. He finished ahead of full-time drivers #34-David Ragan, #7-Regan Smith, #83-Matt DiBenedetto and #46-Michael Annett.
    358: Laps led by #24-Chase Elliott during his rookie season.
    2,230: Miles led by Truex this year. No other driver led more than 1,800 miles.
    See more at ESPN.com.(11-26-2016)
  • Adcock named vice president of track operations at Darlington: Darlington Raceway has promoted Dennis Adcock to vice president of track operations. Adcock, the track’s director of operations since 2013, will continue to oversee all facility and maintenance operations for the famed superspeedway. Prior to Darlington Raceway, Adcock served for 14 years as a NASCAR official, primarily as garage supervisor for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In that role, he was responsible for the overall operation of the garage and worked closely with the teams, tracks and other stakeholders. He was also involved on the race team side of the business, having co-owned LAR Motorsports out of Nashville, Tenn. with drivers Casey Atwood and Jeff Purvis in 1995. He was also part of Steve Grissom’s 1993 NASCAR Busch Series championship team and served as a crew member for Jeff Gordon’s 1991 and 1992 campaigns for Bill Davis Racing.(Darlington Raceway)(11-26-2016)


    News from November 25, 2016


  • Larson wins Turkey Night Grand Prix: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson made the most of his return to midget racing, winning Thursday night’s 76th running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix. Larson held off a furious late-race rally from early leader Brady Bacon to win his second career Turkey Night Grand Prix in the 76th running of the prestigious event at California’s Ventura Raceway. Larson, of Elk Grove, Calif., started from the outside of the front row in his Keith Kunz – Curb-Agajanian Motorsports/Bullet/Speedway Toyota alongside Bacon. Larson fought his way to the lead on lap 21 with a turn two outside pass of Bacon. Larson then navigated through numerous bouts with lapped traffic as Bacon rapidly closed to mount a serious challenge on Larson for the victory in the final laps. Larson weathered the storm and sped off to grab the .303-second victory over Bacon, Carson Macedo, Rico Abreu and Damion Gardner. Larson became the 18th driver to win Turkey Night twice during his career and also joins Mel Kenyon, Ron Shuman, Stan Fox, Billy Boat and Dave Darland as one of six drivers to claim a Turkey Night victory at two different tracks after also winning in 2012 at Perris (Calif.) Auto Speedway.(Speed Sport)(11-25-2016)
  • Homestead TV Ratings UPDATE: Ratings for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup finale broadcast on NBC saw a 25% dip over a year ago despite the dramatic race won by Jimmie Johnson on the final lap. The race drew a 3.32 overnight rating, NBC announced Monday. Last year’s broadcast — which was aided by the fact the race was delayed 90 minutes and took up nearly the entire first hour of Football Night in America — earned a 4.41 rating. NASCAR ratings tend to edge higher when the final national numbers are released.(USA Today), see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(11-22-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR ended its season with another double-digit decline, but the numbers were not nearly as bleak as in the preceding weeks. The NASCAR Chase For the Cup finale from Homestead (FL) drew a 3.5 rating and 6.1 million viewers on NBC and NBCSN Sunday afternoon, per Nielsen fast-nationals. Jimmie Johnson’s title-clinching win trails only last year as the highest rated and most-watched Homestead race since 2011 (4.0, 6.8M) and ranks behind those aforementioned races as the third-most watched Chase For the Cup telecast since 2009. For the season, it was the top Sprint Cup race since Talladega on FOX in May (4.0, 6.7M).(Sports Media Watch)(11-25-2016)
  • Limited-time holiday ticket package at Atlanta: Giving the gift of racing just got easier with the limited-time holiday ticket package from Atlanta Motor Speedway. For the race fan in every family, the AMS holiday package offers easy and affordable one-stop shopping for an extra jolly NASCAR-inspired gift. The holiday package offer includes everything the race fan needs to survive the offseason before NASCAR returns to Atlanta in March 2017. It comes with two tickets to the March 5 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Cup Series race, two 2016 1:64 souvenir program cars and the choice of either an AMS logo blanket or an AMS logo hat/scarf combo to keep race fans warm this winter, all for just $129. Two-day UPS shipping to anywhere in the contiguous U.S. is included in the package, and it will arrive perfectly wrapped and ready to be placed under the tree for a hassle-free shopping experience. While the $129 price point offers among the best value in racing, AMS will slash the price even further, dropping the cost of the holiday package all the way down to $99 between Black Friday and Cyber Monday on Nov. 25-28 to kick off the holiday shopping season with an extra dose of yuletide savings. To purchase the AMS holiday ticket package, click over to http://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/christmas/)(11-25-2016)
  • Special ticket offer available at Richmond: ‘Tis the season at RIR, and we’re offering up a deal perfect for every NASCAR fan! Richmond International Raceway has partnered with Fanatics to bring you a holiday special that is sure to make your favorite race fan smile. Get a ticket in the Commonwealth Grandstands (rows 11 and up) to either NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond and get a $25 Fanatics gift card for FREE. ‘No matter who you’re rooting for, you’ll be geared up for the Action Track in brand new threads. Snag that Se7en Championship t-shirt or a fresh Dale Earnhardt Jr. hat – on us. ‘Hurry and take advantage of this offer while supplies last.(RIR)(11-25-2016)


    News from November 24, 2016


  • Jeffrey Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte will not return to Go Fas: There will be a new face in the #32 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2017. Jeffrey Earnhardt will not be back in the Ford ride next year, according to team owner Archie St. Hilaire. “Jeffrey won’t be back,” St. Hilaire told Frontstretch. “We really want to focus on one driver for the year. We’re talking to several parties, but that’s our goal. We’ve been doing this for four years with multiple drivers. Our goal is to find one driver. If we have to, we’ll find two, but not four or five. It’s time to move the program up.” Primary sponsor Can-Am has announced they have extended their deal with Go Fas Racing for the next two seasons, with 13 races as a primary sponsor. “A couple of goals we have for next year is to run better, have an affiliation with another Ford team that we’re talking to and hoping the whole team can step it up,” St. Hilaire said. “We’re talking to both of them (Team Penske and Roush Fenway Racing), but we’ll be affiliated with a team next year.” The No. 32 team finished 38th in owner points, the lowest of teams with a charter. NASCAR has the option to revoke a team’s charter if it is one of the bottom three teams with a charter for three straight seasons. Bobby Labonte will not return to the #32 car for the team after longtime Go Fas Racing sponsor C&J; Energy Services owner Josh Comstock died in early March, which meant the company would no longer sponsor his efforts during the four plate races.(Frontstretch)(11-24-2016)
  • McDowell will be in the #95 full-time in 2017: Following years of struggle in the Sprint Cup Series, Michael McDowell has finally been able to say the word progress, as he and the #95 Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing team have topped their career-best numbers in the latter half of 2016.
    Q: The charter is the big story within your team right now [obtaining a charter from Tommy Baldwin Racing], so what is set in stone for next year?
    McDowell: The charters stuff is way out of my pay-grade, I have no idea how that all looks and works. I read the press release like you all did and I know they have been working on it. But, I really have stayed out of that. But I’ll be back next year with LFR and we’ll continue to grow this program. Hopefully, we can continue to move the pendulum in the right direction. We’ve made good gains and we want to continue that.
    Q: There [were two cars for Leavine at Homestead]. Is that something the team may be interested in for next year? Or just the one car?
    McDowell: The plan next year for us is to run full-time in the #95 and I’ll be in it in all the races. If a second car came along, it would be only an opportunity here and there. Really, we’re just focused on getting the one car funded and sured-up enough that we can keep it at the level that we are at.
    Q: You’re not the owner, but Ty Dillon has been doing well in the #95, so would someone like him be on board for the second car or does it just depend on availability?
    McDowell: I think Ty has his plans all sorted out. I’ll let them make their own announcements. He will not be in the #95 next year, I know that for sure. Obviously, with our RCR alliance and our affiliation with them, he’ll be in the family. As far as I know, the #95 is spoken for.(Frontstretch)(11-24-2016)
  • Mark Martin elected to NMPA Hall of Fame: Mark Martin, winner of 40 NASCAR premier series races and a runner-up in the championship battle on five occasions, has been selected for induction into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame. Martin, 57, will be inducted Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. He was named on 95 percent of the ballots cast by the NMPA membership. The Batesville, Arkansas, native competed in NASCAR for more than three decades. His 40 career victories currently rank 17th on the all-time list for the series while his 882 career starts rank fifth overall for the sanctioning body’s top series. Others receiving votes but falling short of the required 65 percent necessary for induction were veteran crew chiefs Kirk Shelmerdine (61 percent), Buddy Parrott (59 percent) and Larry McReynolds (51 percent); and long-time Martinsville Speedway public relations director Dick Thompson (59 percent). Former statistician Bob Latford and driver Dan Gurney were also named as write-in candidates on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot.(NMPA)(11-24-2016)
  • Chastain, Preese to return to JD Motorsports; Smithley uncertain: JD Motorsports will have some familiar faces in its camp next year. Lead driver Ross Chastain is returning to the #4 car, with 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece back in the #01 car as well. “We’re trying hard and we have a lot of great people behind us,” Preece said. “We’re hoping that next year, we can keep on digging. We want more sponsorship and make a lot more great things happen.” Chastain’s return to the team comes as he caps off his second full-time season with JD Motorsports. However, he failed to finish in the top 10 this year. “Before, the [No.] 01 car was leaps and bounds over the [No.] 4 car on the racetrack and business-wise,” Chastain said. “To have equal racecars is a big deal. I’ll be back in the #4 car next year. Me and Johnny shake hands and we’re racecars who want to go racing. We want to do it at the highest level possible, and we’re trying to get this car up the leaderboard.” While the two drivers are confirmed to be returning, Garrett Smithley is unclear of whether or not he will return to pilot the team’s #0 car in 2017. “Nothing is solid yet,” Smithley said. “We’re still working on sponsors and everything. I think we will be.”(Frontstretch)(11-24-2016)
  • Black Friday at Charlotte includes opportunity to drive on track: One of the world’s most unique Black Friday spectacles returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway Nov. 25, when Black Friday Blowout revs into high gear with once-a-year opportunities for fans and tremendous savings in the gift shop from 8:00am-4:00pm. Fans can drive their personal cars on the track – the only chance all year to share the same asphalt as legends like Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson – by spending $50 on merchandise or tickets to 2017 NASCAR or NHRA events, or donating $25 to Speedway Children’s Charities.(Charlotte Motor Speedway)(11-24-2016)
  • Daytona offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday Ticket Specials: Those looking to give the gift of Daytona International Speedway, the world’s only motorsports stadium, will find plenty of options in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday Thanksgiving holiday ticket specials. On Friday, Nov. 25 (Black Friday) and Monday, Nov. 28 (Cyber Monday), the “World Center of Racing” will offer the following $60 ticket package specials:
    ” General admission stadium ticket for the 55th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 28-29 with a Rolex 24 event hat and garage access on Sunday, a savings of 22 percent.
    ” General admission stadium and infield access for The Unlimited/Lucas Oil 200 doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 18 with Fanzone/Pre-Race access or scanner rental, a savings of 24 percent.
    ” General admission stadium ticket and Fanzone/Pre-Race access or scanner rental for the Can-Am Duel 150-mile qualifying races on Thursday night, Feb. 23, a savings of 24 percent.
    ” General admission stadium ticket and Fanzone/Pre-Race access or scanner rental for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Friday night, Feb. 24, a savings of 24 percent.
    ” General admission stadium ticket and Fanzone/Pre-Race access or scanner rental for the PowerShares QQQ 300, the NASCAR XFINITY Series season-opener on Saturday, Feb. 25, a savings of 24 percent.
    ” Kids 12 and under are FREE in general admission stadium and Fanzone for the above Speedweeks events.
    (DIS)(11-24-2016)


    News from November 23, 2016


  • Reiser out as general manager at Roush Fenway: Robbie Reiser was relieved of his duties as general manager at Roush Fenway Racing on Tuesday, Motorsport.com has learned. Reiser, 53, has been with the company for 17 seasons, first as a crew chief and eventually graduating to a managerial role. Reiser has been offered a position in the car production side of RFR, but he has yet to decide where his future lies. Calls to Roush Fenway Racing were not immediately returned. Neither Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Trevor Bayne or Greg Biffle finished inside the top 20 in the Sprint Cup standings this season. For the second year, there was not a Roush driver in the Chase.(Motorsport)(11-23-2016)
  • Zest will not return to Roush Fenway: Zest announced Tuesday afternoon that they will not renew their sponsorship deal with Roush Fenway Racing:
    “Since 2012, the Zest brand has enjoyed a successful relationship with Roush Feway Racing and the NASCAR community. We’re proud to have been represented by drivers Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Matt Kenseth and Chris Busescher during our successful sponsorship program.
    We appreciate the support from NASCAR fans who welcomed and embraced our products over the past five years. Their loyalty had been key to the sccessful activation of our racing initiatives.
    While we will no longer have a Zest car racing, we will continue to watch the races as fans and always cheer for the Roush Fenway Racing team, especially #17!”
    (11-23-2016)
  • Comcast Community Champion Award winner announced: JR Motorsports fabricator Wade Jackson and his wife Kim accepted the second annual Comcast Community Champion Award Monday night during NASCAR’s XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series banquet at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. For this inspiring family, the recognition is also for their son Jacob, who passed away at the age of 17 from a congenital heart defect. They have channeled their unimaginable heartbreak into giving back to other children who suffer from the same medical issue and have formed Camp LUCK as a refuge for both those children and their families.
    Also nominated for the award and honored with a large monetary donation from Comcast was Samantha Busch, for her work with the Kyle and Samantha Busch Bundle of Joy Fund, which has contributed substantial money to 13 couples undergoing the IVF treatment as the Busches did two years ago. Busch also works with the Pretty in Pink Foundation to raise money for uninsured and under-insured breast cancer patients, and founded an annual Prom Dress Drive to help young girls who couldn’t afford formal wear.
    Richard Childress Racing pit crew coach Ray Wright was the third nominee for the Community Champion award. He founded “Pit Stops for Hope,” which raises money to help combat childhood hunger. Each week at the race track, pit crews donate worn clothing and various items that he then sells and uses the money to fund his program for local schools and children.
    “Just to have our name mentioned by XFINITY and Comcast and last year’s finalists, just to get the word out about camp is incredible,” said Jackson, who was still emotional after accepting the award on stage Monday night.”Once you see the kids coming and playing and forgetting about the scars…. They get to see their doctors in a fun-filled environment, not with all the needles and stuff they have to do to save their lives. But with them singing and dancing and playing and when they go back to the hospital it’s not such a bad experience.”
    The monetary donation to the winner is $60,000 with each of the other two finalists receiving $30,000 – help that will make an immediate difference. The Jacksons, for example, said their award will fund an entire year of camp for 120 patients. It will also allow for siblings to attend, an important aspect as families often have to forego trips and vacations due to the health of a child suffering from heart defects.(NASCAR.com)(11-23-2016)
  • Walter named Executive VP at Charlotte: Greg Walter, a 17-year veteran of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., was promoted from within the company to the role of executive vice president of Charlotte Motor Speedway, Speedway Motorsports’ President and CEO Marcus Smith announced. In his new role, Walter will oversee daily operations of the motorsports megaplex campus, which includes the famed 1.5-mile superspeedway as well as zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte. He will report to Smith. Walter joined Speedway Motorsports in 1999 as vice president of sales for Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 2014, Walter was promoted to the Speedway Motorsports national sales team, where he was responsible for identifying and building partnerships at the eight world-class racing facilities in the Speedway Motorsports portfolio.(CMS)(11-23-2016)
  • Darlington offering Black Friday deal: Beginning on Wednesday, November 23, Darlington Raceway is offering race fans the opportunity to purchase a special Black Friday ticket package at renewal pricing for its Labor Day weekend events on Sept. 2-3, 2017. The special package includes a ticket to both the NASCAR Premier Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 and NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at the famed South Carolina track. The Black Friday ticket package is available to all non-renewal customers. Non-renewal guests will receive renewal pricing, which is the lowest priced tickets the track offers throughout the year. The offer is valid from midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 23 through midnight on Nov. 30, while supplies last. To take advantage of the Black Friday offer fans can visit www.DarlingtonRaceway.com or by calling 866-459-7223.(Darlington Raceway)(11-23-2016)


    News from November 22, 2016


  • Earnhardt Jr. plans to get in a car soon and test: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. discussed Monday — one day into the 2016 NASCAR offseason — his plans to get back inside the race car on the Dirty Mo Radio podcast. “We’re going to go testing this offseason,” he said. “Obviously I need to get in a race car. I’d love to get in a car and go run a little bit somewhere just to shake the rust off and get some confidence. I can do the basics before we ever go to Daytona. We’ll go do that sometime this offseason. We have to squeeze it in there somewhere because I’m getting married and have my honeymoon, and I have to certainly devote proper time to (fianc�e) Amy (Reimann). But it’ll be no problem. … All signs point to us being in the car for Daytona.” The Hendrick Motorsports wheelman, who was sidelined for 18 Sprint Cup Series races this year due to a concussion, has not stepped inside his #88 Chevrolet since July.(NASCAR.com)(11-22-2016)
  • Chris Buescher to 2nd JTG Daughtery team? UPDATE: Greg Biffle’s decision to leave Roush-Fenway Racing on Monday triggered a strange chain reaction that will include the slumping racing company loaning driver Chris Buescher to a rival manufacturer next season. Buescher will drive for a newly-created second Chevrolet team at JTG Daughtery Racing in 2017. Roush Fenway is expected to scuttle Biffle’s #16 team, and that could make that team’s charter available to the highest bidder – including the new JTG Daughtery entry. Despite fielding full-time teams for Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway hasn’t won a race since 2014. By loaning Buescher to JTG Daugherty next year, Ford Racing will be able to work on upgrades with Roush Fenway while keeping one of its young drivers under contract. “It was a mutual agreement,” Biffle said. “It’s been frustrating for everyone. I’ve been the one carrying the company banner. It just didn’t get any better. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, so I decided I’d rather do something else – even if it means not driving anymore. I owe Jack everything I’ve accomplished in this sport. Some things just run their course.” Roush said Biffle was one of the anchors of his entire race team. “I don’t have the words to say what Greg has meant to this organization,” Roush said in a team release. “He is a true racer who has always exhibited a will to win and an intense passion for speed. For almost two decades Greg has given us an opportunity to run up front and compete for wins. Greg exemplifies what every owner hopes for in a driver and I’m extremely thankful for having him as part of our organization.”(Florida Times Union)(11-21-2016)
    UPDATE: From Bob Pockrass Twitter: “Tad Geschickter says nothing done yet as far as plans for second JTG car next year.”(11-22-2016)
  • Homestead TV Ratings: Ratings for Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup finale broadcast on NBC saw a 25% dip over a year ago despite the dramatic race won by Jimmie Johnson on the final lap. The race drew a 3.32 overnight rating, NBC announced Monday. Last year’s broadcast — which was aided by the fact the race was delayed 90 minutes and took up nearly the entire first hour of Football Night in America — earned a 4.41 rating. NASCAR ratings tend to edge higher when the final national numbers are released.(USA Today), see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(11-22-2016)
  • Chasing Legends – At Time of 7th NSCS Championship:
    Petty Earnhardt Johnson
    Season of 7th 19th 16th 15th
    Age for 7th 42 43 41
    >>In full seasons run (at least 50 pct of races)(ESPN)(11-22-2016)
  • Top-Ten Lap Leaders for the season:
    Driver, Laps Led
    1) #78-Martin Truex Jr, 1,804
    3) #4-Kevin Harvick, 1,384
    2) #18-Kyle Busch, 1,379
    4) #20-Matt Kenseth, 947
    5) #19-Carl Edwards, 918
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 734
    7) #22-Joey Logano, 704
    8) #2-Brad Keselowski, 549
    9) #11-Denny Hamlin, 524
    10) #42-Kyle Larson, 379
    39 drivers have led at least one lap
  • Meendering to serve as Custer’s crew chief: Jeff Meendering will oversee Cole Custer’s full-time foray with Stewart-Haas Racing’s new Xfinity Series team in 2017. Meendering, 39, started his career at Hendrick Motorsports. After 11 seasons, he was promoted to car chief on the #24 team under crew chief Steve Letarte and driver Jeff Gordon. Most recently, Meendering was the car chief on the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing team with Matt Kenseth and car chief Jason Ratcliff. Custer will pilot the #00, just as he has in the Camping World Truck Series. In 42 CWTS starts, he’s scored two victories (Loudon 2014, Gateway 2015) and ended the 2016 season tenth in the championship standings.(Motorsport)(11-22-2016)
  • Suarez, Sauter honored at XFINITY, Truck Series banquet: Thankfulness for family remained a theme for two NASCAR champions Monday night. One for the strong racing upbringing in pastoral Wisconsin that has sustained him over the course of a veteran’s career; the other for the family that encouraged a young star to leave his Mexican homeland to chase his racing dreams in America. Both Daniel Suarez and Johnny Sauter were honored for their crowning accomplishments Monday in the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series awards gala at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Their recognition came just days after each sealed their first NASCAR titles during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Elliott Sadler (XFINITY) and Tyler Reddick (Trucks) received the Most Popular Driver Award for each series, graciously thanking fans and their teams for their support. Joe Gibbs Racing’s #19 Toyota team (XFINITY) and Kyle Busch Motorsports’ #9 Toyota operation (Trucks) were toasted with team owner championships.
    Suarez entertained the packed ballroom with stories about the challenges of moving to the United States, learning to break the language barrier while becoming more adept with the nuances of racing and automotive skills. But Suarez also told the crowd about coming of age and becoming more independent in his life in America while his family cheered from afar back home. Saturday, his parents were both at the track for the first time ever to watch him race in the USA. But the gravity of his victory resonated beyond international borders, with Suarez receiving a congratulatory tweet from the president of Mexico as part of the overwhelming reaction. “It really means a lot. As you guys can imagine, it was really a huge deal in Mexico and Latin America,” Suarez said after his speech. “Everyone was super, super excited about what happened. It was something historic. It was just something that a lot of people were waiting for and finally we got it done. It was something really cool. I’m ready to come back to Mexico and celebrate with some of my friends down there that didn’t get an opportunity to come to my race here in Homestead. I’m just very, very blessed.”(NASCAR.com)(11-22-2016)


    News from November 21, 2016


     

  • Chevy to run SS thru 2017: Chevrolet will continue to campaign with the SS nameplate in NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2017, the final year of the production of the passenger car, Chevrolet executive Jim Campbell confirmed Saturday. It likely will change the model of its Sprint Cup car for 2018.(ESPN)(11-21-2016)
  • Chris Buescher to 2nd JTG Daughtery team? Greg Biffle’s decision to leave Roush-Fenway Racing Monday triggered a chain reaction that will include the slumping racing company loaning driver Chris Buescher to a rival manufacturer next season. Buescher will drive for a newly-created second Chevy team at JTG Daughtery Racing in 2017. Roush Fenway is expected to scuttle Biffle’s #16 team, and that could make that team’s charter available to the highest bidder – including the new JTG Daughtery entry. Despite fielding fulltime teams for Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway hasn’t won a race since 2014. By loaning Buescher to JTG Daugherty next year, Ford Racing will be able to work on upgrades with Roush Fenway while keeping one of its young drivers under contract. “I just couldn’t do this anymore,” Biffle told the Times-Union. “I’ve been the one carrying the company banner. I’ve been the one who kept re-signing. I was all of those things. But it just didn’t get any better. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, so I decided I’d rather do something else – even if it means not driving anymore. I just didn’t want to run 25th every week.” Biffle said he doesn’t have any definite plans for next year, but he hopes to be in a competitive car. “My passion is to drive a car that’s capable of winning,” he said. “If I had to bet, that’s what I’ll be doing next year.”(Florida Times Union)(11-21-2016)
  • Biffle ready for a change? UPDATE4 leaves Roush: After re-signing with RFR in 2014, Biffle hasn’t sniffed the Chase for the Sprint Cup in the last two seasons. He thought 2016 might be the year. With a new crew chief in Brian Pattie, a lower-downforce aero package from the sanctioning body and a renewed effort at Roush, things appeared to line up for NASCAR’s elder statesman. And now, he’s 24th in the standings with just one top-five finish, at Loudon. So when Biffle said his most recent contract might be his last, it’s understandable. “Well, if I talk to you Sunday after the race in here, maybe that will be some inspiration,” Biffle said in the media center where the winner is interviewed following the race. “I want to be competitive in races and run in the top 10. That’s my goal and my focus. If I’m not doing that, then I am probably going to do something different.” Biffle has been rumored to be leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. Although he owns the building that headquarters HScott Motorsports in North Carolina, Biffle said he has not discussed racing for Harry Scott after Clint Bowyer leaves in November. Biffle has heard the rumors that he’ll end up and Front Row Motorsports – a technical partner – but given his loyalty to Roush over his career, that’s unlikely to be something he’d consider. Still, it would take something more promising – and competitive – to pique his interest in continuing down the current path.(Motorsport)(10-15-2016)
    UPDATE: hearing Biffle will leave Roush Fenway Racing and go to a second team fielded by JTG Daugherty Racing. No word if the team would secure a charter.(10-22-2016)
    UPDATE 2: When motorsport.com reached out to JTGD team owner Tad Geschickter via text on Monday, he replied, “We are weighing the pros and cons of starting a second team as we speak.” Geschickter expects to stay the course with RCR after their contract expires at the end of the year. Although the Wood Brothers have shared a shop with JTGD since the end of the 2005 season, the #21 team is transitioning to a new home in Mooresville. The additional space would provide ample room for JTGD to expand to a second car.(Motorsport)(10-25-2016)
    UPDATE 3: Tad Geschickter, co-owner of JTG Daugherty racing, says it is “certainly a possibility’ his team may expand to two cars in 2017, adding “the economics” of charter acquisition will play into a decision, which they may “have that done next week.” Geschickter made the comments on SiriusXM Speedway on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “That’s a big decision,” Geschickter said. “Certainly we’re weighing out all the options right now. It’s no secret that we have to figure out are there are charters available and their cost, are there drivers available, what do they cost and certainly we ultimately have to report back to the sponsors and pull the trigger. But it’s Nov. 1, (eventually) we’ve got to make the call, but it’s a huge decision for a company of our size,” said Geschickter.(NBC Sports)(11-2-2016)
    UPDATE 4: Greg Biffle, who has spent the last 14 seasons driving a Sprint Cup car for Roush Fenway Racing, has left the organization after a frustrating season where he finished 23rd in the standings, the team confirmed. Biffle had one year left on his Roush Fenway contract, but the organization does not have sponsorship for him for next year. The organization has not made a decision whether to field the #16 car in 2017; the team has a charter for that car, so it either must run the car, lease the charter or sell it..(ESPN)
    AND Roush Fenway Racing and driver Greg Biffle have parted ways after the conclusion of the 2016 NASCAR season. Biffle, the organization’s longest-tenured driver, drove the #16 Sprint Cup Series entry since 2002. He joined Roush Fenway in 1998, and worked his way up through the NASCAR ranks, winning championships in the Truck and XFINITY Series’ and finishing runner up in the Sprint Cup Series. “We’ve had an incredible run and I am so appreciative for the opportunity to be a part of Roush Fenway,” said Biffle. “For a kid that grew up Washington, I’m extremely proud of everything we have been able to accomplish over the last 19 years – both on and off the track. I’ve enjoyed every minute. I’m excited about the next chapter of my life, and I look forward to exploring other opportunities – particularly in radio and television – both inside and outside of NASCAR. I’m thankful to Jack Roush for the opportunity to have driven his race cars for all these years. It’s very rare in this sport to have been able to stay with one team this many years, and to have been as successful as we have been.”
    “I don’t have the words to say what Greg has meant to this organization,” said team owner Jack Roush. “He is a true racer who has always exhibited a will to win and an intense passion for speed. For almost two decades Greg has given us an opportunity to run up front and compete for wins. Greg exemplifies what every owner hopes for in a driver and I’m extremely thankful for having him as part of our organization. I know that Greg and I will maintain a strong friendship and I look forward to leaning on him on occasion as we continue to work on improving our performance.”(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-21-2016)
  • Toyota wins first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturer’s Title: Toyota secured its first-ever NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) manufacturer’s championship with a sixth-place finish by Kyle Busch at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday to capture the title in Toyota’s 10th year of Cup competition. Camry drivers won 16-of-36 races to take the NSCS manufacturer’s championship in the season finale. The championship is the first manufacturer’s title for Toyota in the Cup Series, and Toyota has now secured the manufacturer’s title in all three NASCAR national touring series.
    “Capturing our first Cup Series manufacturer’s title is a tremendous accomplishment, and one that has been a goal for Toyota since entering the series 10 years ago as underdogs in this ultra-competitive series,” said Ed Laukes, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. “With the partnership of great teams like Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing, Toyota has been able to breakthrough and become the first different manufacturer to earn this championship in 13 seasons. Toyota has now won manufacturer’s championships in all three NASCAR national touring series, and to have reached this amazing milestone really speaks to Toyota’s commitment to not only NASCAR, but also to motorsports endeavors around the globe. We’re proud of the effort put forth by each of our Toyota teams, and all of the Toyota team members that have allowed us to reach this goal.”
    Five Camry drivers collected 16 wins over 36 races during the 2016 season, including 12 wins by Joe Gibbs Racing and four by Furniture Row Racing. Busch and Martin Truex Jr. led the group with four wins a piece, while Carl Edwards (three victories), Denny Hamlin (two), and Matt Kenseth (two) also recorded triumphs in 2016.
    In addition to securing the 2016 NSCS manufacturer’s championship, Toyota claimed the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) manufacturer’s title at Phoenix International Raceway and the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) manufacturer’s championship at Homestead. Toyota drivers also won multiple championships across the NASCAR national touring series, with Daniel Suarez winning the driver’s championship in the NXS and Kyle Busch Motorsports taking the owner’s title in the NCWTS.
    Toyota first entered NSCS competition in 2007 and the 2016 season marks the Camry’s 10th year competing at NASCAR’s highest level. Since joining NSCS competition, Toyota has won 95 races and captured 90 poles in 360 races.(Toyota Racing), see race-by-race results, drivers who scroed the more points, all time manuafacturer wins and more on the 2016 Manufacturer’s Standings page.(11-21-2016)
  • Hendrick Motorsports – 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Notes:
    JOHNSON MAKES HISTORY WITH SE7EN: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, earned a record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with his first-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. He joined NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Petty as the only drivers in history to win seven Cup titles and became the first driver to do it since Earnhardt in 1994. Johnson’s former Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon ranks fourth all-time with four Cup championships.
    RECORD 12TH TITLE FOR HENDRICK: Johnson’s 2016 Sprint Cup title is the 12th for Hendrick Motorsports and car owner Rick Hendrick, who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January. Hendrick is the all-time leader in Sprint Cup owner championships, which he won with three different drivers: Johnson (7), Gordon (4) and Terry Labonte. He has 245 Cup-level race wins as an owner, ranking second all-time and first in NASCAR’s modern era. *The previous version of this note incorrectly stated that Hendrick was the only car owner to win titles with three different drivers. Joe Gibbs has also won championships with three drivers — Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch.
    ALL-TIME CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2016 Sprint Cup car owner championship is the 15th for Hendrick Motorsports across NASCAR’s three national series, extending the team’s all-time record. Richard Childress Racing ranks second among owners with 12 combined titles. In the car owner category, Hendrick Motorsports has won 12 titles in the Sprint Cup Series and three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Hendrick Motorsports also won a NASCAR XFINITY Series driver championship in 2003, giving the organization 16 total national series titles.
    ONE DRIVER, ONE SPONSOR, ONE TEAM: Lowe’s has been the #48 team’s primary sponsor since its inception in 2001. The home improvement retailer has been Johnson’s only primary sponsor for 15 full seasons (2002-2016), encompassing all seven Sprint Cup championships, 80 race victories and numerous milestones, including two wins in the Daytona 500 and four in the Brickyard 400. Hendrick Motorsports’ relationship with Lowe’s is one of the longest-running driver-team-sponsor partnerships in NASCAR history.
    KNAUS SETS THE STANDARD: With seven career Sprint Cup championships, crew chief Chad Knaus ranks second all-time behind only NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Inman, who earned eight Cup titles as a crew chief. Knaus holds the distinction of being the only crew chief to win more than two Cup titles in a row, a feat he accomplished when he coached the #48 team to five straight from 2006-2010.
    KNAUS’ CAREER: Knaus has led the #48 team since Johnson’s 2002 rookie year in the Sprint Cup Series. In that 15-season span, he and Johnson have won seven titles and posted an average finish of 3.4 in the championship standings.
    #SE7EN A SPECIAL TRIBUTE: Johnson began using the hashtag #se7en as a tribute to Ricky Hendrick, the late son of car owner Rick Hendrick. Early in his racing career, Ricky Hendrick drove a #7 car and later a #17, and he developed a habit of writing out the number with a “7” in place of the letter “V.”
    YOUNGEST TO SE7EN: At 41 years old, Johnson is the youngest driver to win seven Sprint Cup championships. Petty earned his seventh title in 1979 at age 42, a little more than two months after Johnson was born. Earnhardt was 43 when he won his seventh title in 1994.
    SHORTEST SPAN: Johnson’s seventh championship came 10 seasons after his first title win (2006). That marks the shortest period of time between the first and seventh title in history. Petty’s final championship came in 1979, 15 seasons after his first title win (1964), and Earnhardt earned his seventh championship in 1994, 14 seasons after his first (1980).
    CUP VICTORIES: Hendrick Motorsports has tallied 245 Cup victories in 33 seasons, a figure that leads all teams in NASCAR’s modern era and ranks second all-time behind Petty Enterprises (268 wins). This season, Hendrick Motorsports posted five victories with its Chevy race cars. Hendrick Motorsports has been with manufacturer Chevrolet since its inaugural season in 1984.
    COMPARISONS: In the major American professional sports leagues, Hendrick Motorsports’ 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships are seventh all-time behind the New York Yankees (27 World Series titles), Montreal Canadians (24 Stanley Cup titles), Boston Celtics (17 NBA titles), Los Angeles Lakers (16 NBA titles), Toronto Maple Leafs (13 Stanley Cup titles) and Green Bay Packers (13 NFL championships).
    WINNING PERCENTAGE: Hendrick Motorsports is the most efficient championship team in major American professional sports, earning 12 titles since its inception in 1984 for a 36.4 all-time title-winning%age. The Boston Celtics rank second with 17 NBA titles in 70 seasons (24.3%), while the New York Yankees rank third with 27 World Series championships in 116 seasons (23.3%). The Los Angeles Lakers rank fourth with 16 NBA titles in 69 seasons (23.2%) and the Montreal Canadiens are fifth with 24 Stanley Cup titles in 107 seasons (22.4%). Hendrick Motorsports has won 12 of the last 22 Sprint Cup championships (1995-2016), putting the team’s title-winning%age during that span at 54.5.
    SINCE 1984: No other major American professional sports team has earned more championships than Hendrick Motorsports since 1984, the organization’s inaugural season. In that time, the Los Angeles Lakers have earned eight NBA championships and the Chicago Bulls have recorded six. The New York Yankees, San Antonio Spurs and Edmonton Oilers have tallied five titles apiece since 1984.
    ROAD WARRIOR: Along with Johnson and Knaus, car chief Ron Malec has been on the #48 Lowe’s team road crew for all seven championships. Malec started working as a mechanic with Johnson in the ASA Series in the late 1990s. When Johnson joined Hendrick Motorsports, Malec came on board. As car chief, he manages the crew members who work on the car both at the team facility in Concord, North Carolina, and during each race weekend. He is responsible for the preparation of the race car and seeing it through technical inspection.
    CHAMPIONSHIP STREAKS: Prior to Johnson’s run of five consecutive Sprint Cup titles from 2006-2010, Hendrick Motorsports scored four in a row from 1995-1998 with Gordon (1995, 1997 and 1998) and Labonte (1996). No other organization has won more than three Sprint Cup championships in consecutive seasons.
    STILL ROLLING: Hendrick Motorsports never has run a Sprint Cup season without winning a pole position, recording at least one for 33 consecutive years (1984-2016). The team scored four in 2016, including one from Johnson, one from #88 team substitute driver Alex Bowman and two from Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Chase Elliott.
    WIN STREAK: Hendrick Motorsports has posted at least one Cup-level win in 31 straight seasons, the longest active streak in NASCAR. The streak began Feb. 16, 1986, when Geoff Bodine won Hendrick Motorsports’ first Daytona 500.
    YEAR IN REVIEW: In 2016, Hendrick Motorsports amassed five wins, four pole positions, 28 top-five finishes, 56 top-10s and 1,355 laps led. The five wins came at five different tracks — Atlanta, Fontana, Charlotte, Martinsville and Homestead. The win at Martinsville propelled Johnson to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he won the organization’s 12th Sprint Cup Series championship.
    *When referencing “major American professional sports,” the following have been factored in: Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the National Hockey League.(HMS)(11-21-2016)
  • Homestead Race and Commercial Breakdown of the Ford EcoBoost 400: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 3:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 7:03 PM (all times are DST). NBC was the broadcast team for this event. This was the last Sprint Cup race of the 2016 season.
    Total number of commercials: 132
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 50
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 106
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 47
    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
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 3:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 7:03 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 243
    Minutes of race broadcast: 194
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 49
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 11
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1 Safety Vehicle Shown, But Not Debris
    Total race brdcst time 194 Total comm. brdcst time 49
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(11-21-2016)
  • Su�rez becomes First Latin American/Drive For Diversity Grad to Capture NASCAR National Series Title: It’s been a rapid rise for Daniel Su�rez, who captured the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway by winning the Ford EcoBoost 300 in only his second full-time season of NASCAR national series racing. The driver of the #19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is the first Latin American, as well as the first graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program operated by Rev Racing, to win a NASCAR national series title. It was a year of firsts for Su�rez, who burst onto the NASCAR XFINITY Series scene last season by earning its Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award and finishing fifth in the championship standings. In his sophomore campaign, Su�rez became the first Mexico-born driver to win a NASCAR national series race (June at Michigan) and to lead the points standings in a NASCAR national series. Su�rez is the third member of the NASCAR Next program to win a NASCAR national series championship (Erik Jones, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 2015; Chase Elliott, NASCAR XFINITY Series, 2014).(NASCAR)(11-21-2016)
  • Sadler voted Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver: Elliott Sadler’s inaugural season as driver of JR Motorsports’ #1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet was perhaps the best of his career. The fans noticed, too, voting the 41-year-old Virginia native the NASCAR Xfinity Series Most Popular Driver for 2016. Sadler accepted the award Monday night during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Awards Banquet at the Loews South Beach Hotel. “It’s an honor to be voted the 2016 NXS Most Popular Driver,” Sadler said. “This award is for the fans to give, so it’s humbling that they all took the time to vote for me. I really couldn’t ask for a better fan base, and for them to give me the honor twice in my career is incredible. This is a great week to be thankful for everything in my life and I especially want to thank everyone that voted, without our loyal fans this sport would not be what it is today.” Sadler, who finished second in the championship point standings, earned his second MPD nod in fan voting for the award, and pushed JRM’s streak in the category to five straight.(JR Motorsports)(11-21-2016)


    News from November 20, 2016


     

  • Johnson to start in the back: Chase driver, #48-Jimmie Johnson will start at the rear of the FORD EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sprint Cup Series championship race Sunday for unapproved body modifications after going through pre-race tech inspection.(11-20-2016)
  • Homestead Sprint Cup Series Pre-Race Schedule for Sunday, November 20: (eastern time)
    2:05:00pm: NSCS Drivers Introductions
    3:00:00pm: Intro Presentation of Colors by The U.S Southern Command Joint Color Guard
    3:00:15pm: Invocation by: Pastor Sammy Flores, Christ Fellowship
    3:01:00pm: National Anthem by JenCarlos Canela
    3:02:45pm: Fly-By 4 F-16’s from the Homestead Air Force Reserve Base
    3:07:45pm: Command to Start Engines by Justin Hartley of NBC’s Show, This is Us
    3:15:00pm: Green Flag — Ford EcoBoost 400
    eastern time (NASCAR.com)
  • NASCAR Chairman Brian France lauds diversity initiatives, new Chase formats: The significant milestone achieved by Daniel Su�rez in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway was not lost on NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. Su�rez, from Monterrey, Mexico, became the first driver born outside the United States to win a championship in one of NASCAR’s top three national series when he took the checkered flag at the 1.5-mile track. But for the NASCAR initiatives embodied in the Drive for Diversity program, France pointed out, Su�rez likely would not have been in position to claim the NASCAR XFINITY Series title at all.
    “Obviously, we’re very proud of Daniel Su�rez last night in an unbelievable run and winning the championship,” France said during a question-and-answer session with reporters before Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship race. “Historic for the sport in many ways. I got some nice calls from people south of the border last night that are very proud of him, and we’re very proud of him.We’re very proud that it validates our diversity plan in a significant way. … So we’re very proud of him. I would tell you, without the Drive for Diversity program, Daniel Su�rez is not in NASCAR. We’re very pleased with that program.”
    France also indicated NASCAR was pleased with the elimination Chase formats introduced this year in the NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. The Sprint Cup Series has been using the knockout system for three years. “I obviously love it,” France said of the move. “We’re very pleased with the formats. Wouldn’t change a thing. The result of it is this: better racing that our fans get to see. … Go back a year ago for the XFINITY Series. I don’t fault them, but you had the winner and the champion and a couple others talk about all they needed to do was finish the race. If I ran 30th, I’ll be okay. Well, that’s not really great for competition. Speed it up to this year, you had all four, 1-2-3-4 thinking they have to win the race-forget about finishing. That’s a big deal for auto racing. We’re bold enough to do that.”
    One of the possible changes France said NASCAR is considering is adding a reward or incentive for the driver who finishes on top of the standings after the regular season, the portion of the schedule that determines who makes the Chase and who doesn’t. “We’re going to think about that,” France acknowledged. “I think that’s a fair thing for us to consider, to make sure that the regular season is as important as it is.”
    France also addressed progress on the search for an entitlement sponsor to replace Sprint on NASCAR’s premier series. “It’s taken a little longer than I thought, but it’s also a big agreement and an important agreement,” France said. “It’s not just dollars and cents, but it’s a fit for us. We don’t want to announce anything certainly around this weekend. We’re in a good spot with that, I believe, but we’ll have to see how it finally plays out.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-20-2016)
  • Homestead Race Notes & Facts:
    � There have been 17 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 six.
    � 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.
    � Two of the 17 series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway have ended under NASCAR Overtime: Year (Scheduled #of Laps/Actual #of Laps) – 2006 (267/268) and 2004 (267/271).
    � 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 568 in 12 starts.
    � Most lead changes in a race at Homestead – 26 (11/20/2011)
    � None of the 17 series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway have been shortened due to weather.
    (NASCAR)
  • 1 – Joey Logano (#22 Team Penske Ford Fusion):
    � Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 83.5
    2016 Rundown
    � Three wins, 15 top fives, 25 top 10s,
    � Led 697 laps
    � Average Finish of 10.7
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    � One top five, two top 10s; one pole
    � Average finish of 17.714, 16th-best
    � Average Running Position of 15.383, 15th-best
    � Driver Rating of 83.5, 15th-best
    � 957 Laps in the Top 15 (51.2), 15th-most
    � 216 Quality Passes, 20th-most
  • 2 – Jimmie Johnson (#48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet SS):
    � Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.8
    2016 Rundown
    � Four wins, ten top fives, 15 top 10s,
    � Led 734 laps
    � Average Finish of 14.3
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    � Four top fives, ten top 10s; two poles
    � Average finish of 15.727, 12th-best
    � Average Running Position of 12.686, sixth-best
    � Driver Rating of 96.8, sixth-best
    � 2214 Laps in the Top 15 (75.4), sixth-most
    � 520 Quality Passes, third-most
  • 3 – Carl Edwards (#19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry):
    � Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.4
    2016 Rundown
    � Three wins, nine top fives, 18 top 10s,
    � Led 871 laps
    � Average Finish of 13.3
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    � Two wins, five top fives, seven top 10s; two poles
    � Average finish of 8.818, fourth-best
    � Average Running Position of 9.666, fourth-best
    � Driver Rating of 109.4, series-best
    � 2369 Laps in the Top 15 (80.6), third-most
    � 457 Quality Passes, eighth-most
  • 4 – Kyle Busch (#18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry):
    � Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.5
    2016 Rundown
    � Four wins, 17 top fives, 24 top 10s,
    � Led 1378 laps
    � Average Finish of 11.6
    Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
    � One win, two top fives, four top 10s
    � Average finish of 21.091, 23rd-best
    � Average Running Position of 14.792, 13th-best
    � Driver Rating of 95.5, eighth-best
    � 1962 Laps in the Top 15 (66.8), eighth-most
    � 447 Quality Passes, 10th-most
  • Most Championships – NASCAR Cup Series History:
    Last Title
    Dale Earnhardt 7 1994
    Richard Petty 7 1979
    Jimmie Johnson 6 2013
    Jeff Gordon 4 2001
    Meanwhile Carl Edwards is on the opposite end of the spectrum, 1 of 3 drivers to finish 2nd in the points multiple times without ever winning a championship, joining his former teammate Mark Martin, and James Hylton.
    Finished 2nd in NSCS Points Multiple Times – Without Winning Championship
    Mark Martin 5 times
    James Hylton 3 times
    Carl Edwards 2 times
    Most NASCAR Cup Series Wins – Drivers to Never Win Title
    Best Finish
    Junior Johnson 50 6th
    Mark Martin 40 2nd
    Fireball Roberts 33 2nd
    Denny Hamlin 29 2nd
    Carl Edwards 28 2nd
  • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 Notes:
    #22-Joey Logano
    In 2016, Logano has posted three wins, 15 top fives, 25 top 10s and three poles.
    During the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Logano has posted two wins, five top fives and seven top 10s.
    Logano’s average finish during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase was 7.9.
    During the Chase, Logano posted a driver rating of 107.1 and an average running position of 8.8.
    This is the second time in Logano’s career he has made the Championship 4 in the new Chase format (finished fourth in 2014).
    At Homestead, Logano has made seven starts posting one top five, two top 10s and an average finish of 17.7.
    #48-Jimmie Johnson
    In 2016, Johnson has posted four wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s and a pole.
    During the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Johnson has posted two wins, three top fives and five top 10s.
    Johnson�’s average finish during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase was 11.7.
    During the Chase, Johnson posted a driver rating of 107.2 and an average running position of 8.7.
    This is the first time in Johnson’s career he has made the Championship 4 in the new Chase format.
    At Homestead, Johnson has made 15 starts posting four top fives, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 14.1.
    #19-Carl Edwards
    In 2016, Edwards has posted three wins, nine top fives, 18 top 10s and six poles.
    During the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Edwards has posted one win, two top fives and three top 10s.
    Edwards’ average finish during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase was 14.9.
    During the Chase, Edwards posted a driver rating of 93.0 and an average running position of 12.2.
    This is the first time in Edwards’ career he has made the Championship 4 in the new Chase format.
    At Homestead, Edwards has made 12 starts posting two wins, five top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 9.2.
    #18-Kyle Busch
    In 2016, Busch has posted four wins, 17 top fives, 24 top 10s and two poles.
    During the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Busch has posted six top fives and eight top 10s.
    Busch�’s average finish during the first nine races of the 2016 Chase was 7.3.
    During the Chase, Busch posted a driver rating of 103.3 and an average running position of 10.3.
    This is the second time in Busch�’s career he has made the Championship 4 in the new Chase format (2015 Champion).
    At Homestead, Busch has made 11 starts posting one win, two top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 21.1.
    (NASCAR)(11-20-2016)
  • Tony Stewart Notes of Interest:
    o Sunday’s race marks Stewart’s 618th and final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his 17th Sprint Cup start at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    o Stewart has career totals of 49 wins, 15 poles, 187 top-five finishes, 308 top-10s and 12,815 laps led in 617 Sprint Cup races.
    His most recent Sprint Cup win came June 26 at Sonoma Raceway.
    His last Sprint Cup pole came April 5, 2014 at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Stewart missed the final 15 races of the 2013 season, three races in 2014 and the first eight races in 2016.
    o Stewart has three wins, four top-five finishes, seven top-10s and has led a total of 450 laps in his 16 career Sprint Cup starts at Homestead. His average start is 17.9, his average finish is 14.9 and he has a lap-completion rate of 97.9.
    o Stewart has led 450 of the 4,277 laps available to him at Homestead.
    o Stewart’s third and ninth career Sprint Cup wins came at Homestead, where he swept the track’s first two races in 1999 and 2000. Only one other driver has won back-to-back races at Homestead – Greg Biffle won three in a row from 2004 to 2006.
    o Stewart’s win at Homestead in 2011 came from the 15th starting position – the third-farthest back a driver has ever won from at Homestead. And his win in 2000 came from the 13th starting position – the fourth-farthest back a driver has ever won from at Homestead. Stewart, Greg Biffle and Denny Hamlin are the only other drivers to have won at Homestead from outside the top-10. Biffle won the 2006 race after starting 22nd and Hamlin won the 2009 race after starting 38th.
    o Race Rewind: In a race that went down as one of the best in NASCAR’s long and storied history, Stewart won the 2011 season finale at Homestead and clinched his third Sprint Cup championship. He led four times for 65 laps in the #14 Chevrolet and defeated Carl Edwards by 1.306 seconds to score his fifth win of the season and his third in 13 career Sprint Cup starts at Homestead. Incredibly, Stewart passed 118 cars during the 267-lap race. He and Edwards both ended the season with 2,403 points, but Stewart’s five wins in 2011 compared to Edwards’ one win gave Stewart the tiebreaker advantage.
    o Stewart won Sprint Cup titles in 2002 and 2005 and, with the 2011 crown, became the first driver-owner to win a Sprint Cup championship since Alan Kulwicki in 1992. In addition, Stewart became the ninth driver to win three or more championships, joining Richard Petty (seven), Dale Earnhardt (seven), Jimmie Johnson (six), Jeff Gordon (four), David Pearson (three), Darrell Waltrip (three), Cale Yarborough (three) and Lee Petty (three).(TSC/SHR)
    o Stewart won races 33 times in a Chevy, 15 times in a Pontiac and one time in a Toyota.
    o Stewart won 33 races for Joe Gibbs Racing and 16 races for Stewart Haas Racing.(11-20-2016)
  • Richard Petty hasn’t talked to Johnson about potential 7th title: Richard Petty sat in his motorhome Saturday afternoon, admitting he had not talked to Jimmie Johnson about the potential of Johnson tying him and Dale Earnhardt for a seventh Sprint Cup title Sunday in the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Petty said he wasn’t avoiding Johnson and doesn’t have any animosity in seeing another driver tie his record. They just aren’t all that close and haven’t had time to connect. “I haven’t talked to Jimmie,” Petty said. “I’ve been too busy answering questions about Jimmie so I haven’t got a chance to talk to him.”(see full article at ESPN.com)(11-20-2016)
  • Competition between Manufacturers extends to the showroom: Competition between NASCAR manufacturers isn’t confined to the race track. In a press conference featuring executives from Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota, Ed Laukes of Toyota couldn’t pass up an opportunity to needle Chevy’s Jim Campbell. “Let me apologize for those 16 Monday mornings,” Laukes quipped, referring to Toyota’s 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories this season. “Let me apologize for last night,” retorted Campbell, referring to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship Chevrolet driver Johnny Sauter won on Friday. All NASCAR’s OEMs are in the business of selling cars, and all view NASCAR racing as an invaluable resource toward that end.
    “I would just say, first of all, we’re a car company,” Campbell said. “So being in a sport where the car and the drivers are the stars is straight right on the money for us. What we have found in this series, we get skill and reach in terms of audience. We know, because we measure closely, that our involvement in NASCAR, we see a lift in the brand. We see key image ratings for Chevrolet lifted as well. When those two things happen, good things happen in the showroom. More people put you on their shopping list. That’s a fact. We see that for sure.”
    Ford is expanding its involvement in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with the addition of four-car Stewart-Haas Racing next year. “There’s no secret there’s a heck of an investment we all make in this sport,” said Dave Pericak, director of Ford Performance. “We wouldn’t be doing that if we weren’t getting a return on our investment. Having said that, it’s the enthusiasts that are here. We are talking to them. We are giving them what they want. At the end of the day, those are the people that go out and be the ambassadors for our companies. When somebody wants to know what they should buy, what Ford is doing, Chevy, that’s who they go talk to-they talk to enthusiasts. We’re really talking to the people that are going to help us carry our message forward.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-20-2016)
  • Championship Weekend by the Numbers: NBC Sports presents the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup series Championship race today at 2:00pm/et on NBC. #22-Joey Logano, #18-Kyle Busch, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #19-Carl Edwards will put it all on the line in hopes of claiming the title. Earlier Saturday, NBCSN presented the final XFINITY race of the season crowning Daniel Su�rez as its first Champion under the new Chase playoff format. NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage from Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend is powered by 79 cameras, 150 microphones, 13 on-air talent, 28 miles of cable and 230 production personnel. Listed below are some key metrics about NBC Sports Group’s coverage of NASCAR on NBC:
    1…….Helicopter providing aerial coverage throughout the weekend
    2…….Networks providing coverage of Sunday’s Championship race. NBCSN’s Hot Pass complements NBC’s broadcast of Championship race with spotlight coverage dedicated to Championship Four drivers
    5…….Mario Kart characters used during Friday’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon segment with Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards
    13…….Members of NBC Sports NASCAR on-air team providing Championship coverage
    19…….Number of 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races presented by NBC Sports Group
    20…….Laps taken by four-time Olympic medalist, Ato Boldon, in the NBC Sports on-track car at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Jeff Burton. Catch Boldon’s ride along segment in Sunday’s pre-race coverage
    21…….Hours of trackside coverage from Miami
    23…….Sony HDC-4300 cameras with 4K capabilities among NBC Sports’ complement
    28…….Miles of fiber cable surrounding Homestead-Miami Speedway
    32…….On-board cameras imbedded within Sprint Cup Series cars
    79…….Total on-site cameras
    150…….NBC Sports microphones throughout the speedway
    230…….Crew members on-site in Miami
    (NBC)(11-20-2016)
  • Armstrong will return to JGL: #28-Dakoda Armstrong will be back with JGL Racing in 2017, the third-year driver confirmed Friday afternoon to Frontstretch. The 25-year-old Indiana native moved to JGL Racing this season after competing with Richard Petty Motorsports for two years. But when RPM opted to sign Jeb Burton, Armstrong was left without a ride. “The plan is to try to come back and improve on everything we’ve done with Toyota this year,” Armstrong said. “Our crew is going to be pretty stout next year. We have a lot of new cars coming in and we just need to improve.” JGL Racing will continue to get its engines from Joe Gibbs Racing, which enabled Armstrong to compete at Iowa Speedway in July. That evening, he finished in the top 5 for the first time in his XFINITY Series career as he replaced Matt Tifft, who was out for several weeks due to having surgery for a brain tumor. In 2016, Armstrong has 21 top-20 finishes and sits 13th in the standings, an improvement from 20 last year.(Frontstretch)(11-20-2016)
  • Phoenix XFINITY TV Ratings: NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Phoenix had a 0.6 final rating and 1.1 million viewers on NBCSN last Saturday night, down a tick in ratings and 14% in viewership from last year’s afternoon coverage (0.7, 1.2M) and down 50% and 44%, respectively, from 2014 on ESPN (1.2, 1.9M).(Sports Media Watch)(11-20-2016)


    News from November 19, 2016


     

  • Race Coverage of the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, November 20, 2016.
    Live race updates on JAYSKI.com’s #NASCAR Twitter
    Television (TV): NBC at 3:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:00 pm/et; green flag approx. 3:00pm/et
    RadioMotor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, November 21 at 7:30pm/et on NBCSN
  • Homestead Sprint Cup Series Pre-Race Schedule for Sunday, November 20: (eastern time)
    2:05pm: NSCS Drivers Introductions
    2:45pm: Intro Presentation of Colors by The U.S Southern Command Joint Color Guard
    2:45:15pm: Invocation by Pastor Sammy Flores, Christ Fellowship
    2:46pm: National Anthem by JenCarlos Canela
    2:47:45pm: Fly-By: 4 F-16’s from the Homestead Air Force Reserve Base
    2:52:30pm: Command to Start Engines by Justin Hartley of NBC’s Show, This is Us
    3:00pm: Green Flag — FORD EcoBoost 400
    eastern time (NASCAR.com)
  • 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 and notes:
    #78-Truex Jr. 174.289
    #19-Edwards (Chase) 174.031
    #31-Newman 172.723
    #47-Allmendinger 172.502
    #24-Elliott 172.408
    Other Chase drivers:
    #22-Logano 8th
    #48-Johnson 10th
    #18-Busch 14th
    slowest: #32-Lupton 162.975 & #46-Annett 164.975
    no speed: #55-Sorenson
    Best 10 Consecutive Lap Ave (31 drivers) #4-Harvick 168.286
    Most laps run: #2-Keselowski, 52; #44-Scott, 51
    notes: #48-Johnson hit some debris early in the session, doing some damage to the splitter, the team made repairs.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap ave on the Homestead Happy Hour Practice speeds page (11-19-2016)
  • Saturday 1st practice for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #48-Johnson (Chase) 174.345
    #24-Elliott 173.332
    #19-Edwards 172.949
    #6-Bayne 172.739
    #21-Blaney 172.728
    Other Chase drivers:
    #22-Logano (Chase) 6th
    #18-Busch 28th
    slowest: #46-Annett 162.162 & #32-Lupton 162.754
    Best 10 Consecutive Lap Ave (26 drivers) #19-Edwards 169.062
    Most laps run: #11-Hamlin, 46; #2-Keselowski, 44
    notes: #24-Elliott scraped the wall, the team made repairs and the car went back on the track.
    Happy Hour (final) practice is scheduled 1:00pm/et on NBCSN.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap ave on the Homestead 1st Saturday Practice speeds page (11-19-2016)
  • Homestead Driver Notes & Facts:
    � 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 17; Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart lead all active drivers with 16.
    � There have been 11 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 11 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.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway without visiting Victory Lane at 15.
    � Kevin Harvick leads the series in runner-up finishes at Homestead with three; followed by Jimmie Johnson with two.
    � Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick lead the series in top-five finishes at Homestead with seven each; followed by Carl Edwards with five.
    � Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick lead the series in top-10 finishes at Homestead with 13 each; followed by Jimmie Johnson with 10.
    � Kevin Harvick leads the series in average finish at Homestead with a 7.3; only one other driver has an average finish inside the top 10: Carl Edwards (9.3).
    � Danica Patrick became the first female driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Homestead-Miami in 2013.
    (NASCAR)
  • Earnhardt Jr. nears final clearance from concussion: Rick Hendrick expects #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. to receive his final clearance from doctors in the next six weeks, which will allow him to return to Sprint Cup racing in February. “Sometime in December, the doctor is going to give him final clearance, and then we’ll get him in a car,” Hendrick said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “He feels great. Everything is on track.” Earnhardt, who will miss his 18th straight race this weekend as he recovers from vision and balance issues caused by a concussion suffered in June, has repeatedly said that his rehabilitation and recovery have been on track for a February return. NASCAR will allow Earnhardt to participate in a private test to allow doctors to approve his return to racing. “Every step that we supposedly need to go through, we’ve gone through. I don’t see anything holding us back,” Hendrick said. “I think we’ve just got a couple of more hurdles.”(ESPN)(11-19-2016)
  • Hendrick thought about splitting up Johnson-Knaus: As #48-Jimmie Johnson struggled through the longest winless drought of his Sprint Cup career, team owner Rick Hendrick wondered whether it was time to split up the band. Johnson and crew chief Chad Knaus have won six Sprint Cup titles together, and Knaus has overseen the cars for Johnson’s 79 victories (actually 77, Darian Grubb was the crew chief for 2 wins while Knaus was suspended). But after 15 seasons together, Hendrick at least wondered a little bit whether they needed a change as Johnson went on a 24-race winless streak with 11 finishes outside the top 15. He didn’t act on those thoughts, and Johnson is one of the four drivers vying for the Cup title Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “When you have two guys that have been so good and you try to decide is it time, and this year we started off really well, and then we hit a lull in the summer, and it was — we asked ourselves then, ‘Is this time, do we need to make a change?'” Hendrick said Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. “But when you see things that are so close [to turning around], I think that’s when they work harder. We really just sit down and work hard together and try to identify weaknesses, and I think they have both made a commitment — they want to retire together. They want to finish their careers together.” If Johnson wins a seventh title — tying Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. for the most championships in a career — it will be the first time a driver has won seven titles with the same crew chief.(ESPN)(11-19-2016)
  • NASCAR to trim the number of tires used in 2017: NASCAR has announced that will be cutting the number of Goodyear tires the Sprint Cup teams will get next season. That will be something that will happen mostly at the intermediate sized tracks and that could be as many as three sets.(Times Herald)(11-19-2016)
  • All-new Ford F-150 Raptor Will Pace NASCAR Sprint Cup Finale: The highly-anticipated 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor has been selected to pace the Ford EcoBoost 400, the final race of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 20. A Lightning Blue F-150 SuperCrew Raptor will lead the field to the green flag for the championship-deciding Sprint Cup Series race on the 1.5-mile track. An Oxford White F-150 Raptor SuperCab will serve as the splitter vehicle and back up vehicle for NASCAR’s championship race. The Ford F-150 Raptor pace vehicle is equipped with a second-generation twin-turbo, intercooled DOHC 24-valve, high-output 3.5L EcoBoostengine with direct fuel injection.
    Red and orange Mustang GT350s will pace the Ford EcoBoost 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Nov. 19. A Lightning Blue F-150 STX SuperCab and a Ruby Red F-150 Platinum SuperCrew will be the pace vehicles for the Nov. 18 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 race.
    Ford has used its Ford Championship Weekend entitlement as an opportunity to showcase many of its newest cars and trucks as pace vehicles throughout the years, including vehicles such as Fusion Hybrid, Bullitt Mustang, F-150 Foose Edition, 50th Anniversary Mustang, Police Interceptors and the lead Mustang from the movie “Need for Speed.”(Ford), see an image of the pace truck on the Ford News & Links page.(11-19-2016)
  • AutoZone extends partnership with Penske: Team Penske announced that AutoZone, the industry leader in retail automotive parts and supplies, will return as an associate sponsor on the #22 Ford driven by Joey Logano for the 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season and beyond. AutoZone will continue its presence on the c-post of the #22 Ford for the fourth-consecutive season. “We are excited to continue Team Penske’s partnership with AutoZone in 2017,” said Roger Penske. “Over the last three seasons, AutoZone and Team Penske have experienced tremendous success together. We look forward to building on that success and continuing to deliver for AutoZone with Joey and the #22 Ford team as we look ahead to the 2017 season.”(Team Penske)(11-19-2016)
  • Daniel Suarez wins Homestead race and XFINITY Series Championship: #19-Daniel Suarez won the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 3rd XFINITY Series win and 3rd of the year. #3-Ty Dillon finished second, followed by #1-Elliott Sadler, #22-Ryan Blaney, #2-Austin Dillon, #7-Justin Allgaier, #42-Kyle Larson, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #20-Erik Jones, and #98-Aric Almirola.
    Suarez started from the pole and led 133 of the 200 laps. He started 3rd on the final restart of the race with 3 laps to go, but was able to quickly take the lead, passing #14-Cole Whitt, who had stayed on track, and #1-Elliott Sadler, who had taken just two tires under the final pit stop.
    The win earned him the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship. #1-Elliott Sadler finished 2nd in the standings, followed by #7-Justin Allgaier, and #20-Erik Jones.
    There were 7 cautions for 39 laps and 21 lead changes among 11 leaders.
    The average speed was 116.455mph.
    Complete results are on the Homestead race results page (pdf).
    (11-19-2016)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Homestead:
    1) #19-Daniel Suarez (C), 4040
    2) #1-Elliott Sadler (C), 4038 -2
    3) #7-Justin Allgaier (C), 4035 -5
    4) #20-Erik Jones (C), 4032 -8
    5) #3-Ty Dillon, 2214 -1826
    6) #16-Ryan Reed, 2205 -1835
    7) #11-Blake Koch, 2200 -1840
    8) #48-Brennan Poole, 2192 -1848
    9) #39-Ryan Sieg, 2171 -1869
    10) #33-Brandon Jones, 2168 -1872
    11) #6-Darrell Wallace Jr, 2163 -1877
    12) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 2161 -1879
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(11-19-2016)
  • NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship Fast Facts:
    Driver Champion: Daniel Suarez
    Team: #19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry

    • Daniel Suarez won his first NASCAR XFINITY Series championship; becoming the 27th different driver to win the title.
    • Daniel Suarez is the first Latin American driver to win a NASCAR national series championship.
    • Suarez won the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to claim the 2016 series title in the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase.
    • Suarez made 33 starts this season posting three wins, 19 top fives and 27 top 10s and three poles.
    • Suarez has become the first graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program to win a NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.
    Owner Of Driver Champion: Joe Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing
    • This is Joe Gibbs Racing’s second NASCAR XFINITY Series driver championship.
    • Joe Gibbs Racing’s first driver title came in 2009 with driver Kyle Busch.
    • Joe Gibbs Racing had two teams make the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase; the No. 20 Toyota Camry team with driver Erik Jones who also made the Championship 4 finished third in the standings, and the No. 19 Toyota Camry team with driver Daniel Suarez, who won the driver championship.
    Crew Chief Champion: Scott Graves
    • This is Scott Graves second consecutive career NASCAR XFINITY Series championship; his first was with Roush Fenway Racing and driver Chris Buescher (2015).
    • Graves is the seventh NASCAR XFINITY Series crew chief to win consecutive titles joining Gere Kennon (1983, ’84), Ricky Pearson (1986, ’87), Steve Bird (1995-1997), Tony Eury Sr. (1998, ’99), Kevin Manion (2004, ’05) and Mike Kelley (2011, 2012).
    Owner Champion: Joe Gibbs, Joe Gibbs Racing
    • Joe Gibbs Racing has won the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series owners championship with the No. 19 Toyota Camry team and driver Daniel Suarez. • This is Joe Gibbs Racing’s fifth NASCAR XFINITY Series owners championship (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2016) – the series-most.
    • The No. 19 Toyota team posted three wins this season.
    (NASCAR)(11-19-2016)
  • Homestead XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Daniel Suarez (C) won the 22nd Annual Ford EcoBoost 300, his third victory in 68 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his third victory and 27th top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in two races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Ty Dillon (second) posted his third top-10 finish in four races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 17th top-10 finish in 2016.
    Elliott Sadler (C) (third) posted his fifth top-10 finish in 11 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Erik Jones (C) (ninth) was the highest finishing rookie. Jones wins the 2016 Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
    Daniel Suarez wins the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-19-2016)
  • Daniel Su�rez Wins 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship: It’s been a rapid rise for Daniel Su�rez, who captured the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway by winning the Ford EcoBoost 300 in only his second full-time season of NASCAR national series racing. The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is the first Latin American, as well as the first graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program operated by Rev Racing, to win a NASCAR national series title.
    To take home the crown in “The Series Where Names Are Made,” Su�rez, 24, outlasted his Championship 4 competitors Elliott Sadler (third), Justin Allgaier (sixth) and Erik Jones (ninth).
    It was a year of firsts for Su�rez, who burst onto the NASCAR XFINITY Series scene last season by earning its Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award and finishing fifth in the championship standings. In his sophomore campaign, Su�rez became the first Mexico-born driver to win a NASCAR national series race (June at Michigan) and to lead the points standings in a NASCAR national series.
    The Monterrey, Mexico, native dazzled from the outset of the season, racking up four top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his first 10 contests. Su�rez led the points standings following 14 separate races in the regular season and made his way into the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase with his win at Michigan.
    Once the Chase started, Su�rez upped his performance to another level. He breezed through the Round of 12 with a win at Dover, sandwiched between a runner-up result at Kentucky and a third-place finish at Charlotte. Then, Su�rez registered finishes of third (Kansas), fifth (Texas) and fifth (Phoenix) to set up his championship-clinching victory at Homestead.
    Su�rez is the third member of the NASCAR Next program to win a NASCAR national series championship (Erik Jones, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 2015; Chase Elliott, NASCAR XFINITY Series, 2014).
    Also on Saturday, Erik Jones won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, a season after accomplishing the feat in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
    (NASCAR)(11-19-2016)
  • Toyota clinches XFINITY Series Manufacturers Championship: Toyota captured the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series manufacturer’s championship with a victory by Daniel Suarez at Homestead Miami Speedway on Saturday. Camry drivers won 19-of-33 NXS events in the 2016 season to secure Toyota’s fourth manufacturer’s championship in the XFINITY Series following the season finale.
    “We’re overjoyed to take home the NASCAR XFINITY Series title for Toyota this year,” said Ed Laukes, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. “Of course, we’re extremely proud of Daniel Suarez for winning this year’s XFINITY Series driver’s championship, who in combination with all of our Camry drivers have contributed to Toyota’s fourth manufacturer’s championship in the series. This is Toyota’s 10th year competing in both the NASCAR XFINITY and Cup Series with the Camry and so we’re delighted to have captured the XFINITY Series manufacturer’s title this season, as well as to have won the 2016 Truck Series title last weekend.”
    Toyota also secured the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) manufacturer’s championship during the series’ penultimate event at Phoenix International Raceway last weekend, and Toyota is in position to win both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver’s and manufacturer’s championships in tomorrow’s season finale. Tundra team Kyle Busch Motorsports won the NCWTS owner’s title on Friday night at Homestead.
    The 2016 NXS manufacturer’s championship is Toyota’s fourth since entering XFINITY Series competition in 2007. Toyota previously won the honor from 2008 through 2010. Since joining NXS competition in 2007, Toyota has won 128 races and captured 130 poles in 339 races. (Toyota Racing)(-2016)
  • Whitt explains final restart: #14-Cole Whitt expressed remorse for the final restart but that won’t change the result for Justin Allgaier and Erik Jones, who each saw their chance of winning the Xfinity championship end as the green flag waved on the final restart with three laps to go. “It was pretty disrespectful, really, and I strongly hope that somebody is able to talk to him about that,” Jones said about Whitt’s actions. “I’d really hate to see something like that happen again.” The situation unfolded after a late caution brought the field to pit road – except Whitt. He said he did not pit because his team had used its allotment of tires. That meant he would be in front of the field on much older tires and have the championship contenders behind him. Whitt said he chose the outside line to give the contenders room to get by him if he didn’t get restarted quickly. Whitt got a poor restart and blocked the cars in the top lane behind him. Jones and Allgaier never had a chance to race for the championship in those final laps, as Sadler and eventual winner and Xfinity champion Daniel Suarez pulled away from the bottom lane.
    “We didn’t expect everybody to come in like that, and next thing I knew I was like this is going to be handful,” Whitt said after finishing 18th. “I thought if I was on the outside, I would have the most room for them to go underneath me if anything happened and I couldn’t get going.”
    “With (Jones) hitting me, I couldn’t get going. It was just making me spin the tires worse. If you could redo it, you would change the way you did it. It was not like we were out there to screw anybody over. I hate that it worked out that way. I was just following what I was told to do and that was just stay out because we were out of tires.”(NBC Sports)(11-19-2016)
  • Actor Wilmer Valderrama named Honorary Starter for FORD EcoBoost 400: With the excitement of the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race, November 20, rapidly mounting, the list of dignitaries for the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race also continues to grow. NCIS Star Wilmer Valderrama will have the role of Honorary Starter for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Valderrama currently stars in the number one drama “NCIS” on CBS as special agent Nick Torres. He can also be seen in Netflix’s comedy “The Ranch.” The “That ’70s Show” alum most recently co-starred on Fox’s “Minority Report” and recurred on “Grey’s Anatomy” and “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.” On the film side, Valderrama appeared in indie dramas “To Whom It May Concern “and “The Adderall Diaries,” opposite Amber Heard and James Franco and will next voice ‘Prince Charming’ in the John H. Williams animated film “Charming.”
    “I’ve always been a fan of racing so being an Honorary Starter for a NASCAR race is incredible,” said Valderrama. “I’m looking forward to waving the green flag and hearing the cars fly by as they compete for the 2016 Sprint Cup Series championship.”(HMS)(11-19-2016)


    News from November 18, 2016


     

  • Harvick wins Homestead pole: #4-Kevin Harvick won the Coors Light pole for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway with speed of 177.737mph for his 2nd pole of 2016, 1st at Homestead and 17th of his career. Harvick has won 5 times from the 16 previous poles.
    #2-Keselowski will start 2nd followed by #31-Newman, #11-Hamlin, #24-Elliott, #78-Truex Jr., #20-Kenseth, #21-Blaney, #18-Busch, #19-Edwards, #14-Stewart and #47-Allmendinger.
    The Chase / Championship4 drivers starting spots:
    #22-Logano, 13th
    #48-Johnson 14th
    #19-Edwards 10th
    #18-Busch 9th
    #14-Stewart, in his final Sprint Cup Series race, will start 11th.
    #44-Scott, in his final Sprint Cup Series race, will start 23rd.
    #24-Elliott was fastest in the second round with a speed of 178.554mph and will start 5th.
    #24-Elliott was fastest in the first round with a speed of 178.707mph and will start 5th.
    Driver(s) who will miss the race: #30-Gray Gaulding.
    See round-by-round qualifying results on the Homestead qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Homestead Starting Lineup page (pdf).(11-18-2016)
  • Homestead-Miami Speedway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
    #4-Kevin Harvick won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 18th Annual Ford EcoBoost 400 with a lap of 30.399 seconds, 177.637 mph.
    This is his 17th pole in 574 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and 20th top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in 16 races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #2-Brad Keselowski (second) posted his 20th top-10 start of 2016 and his sixth in nine races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #31-Ryan Newman (third) posted his seventh top-10 start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 13th in 36 races this season.
    #24-Chase Elliott (fifth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    Championship 4 Starting Positions: Kyle Busch (ninth), Carl Edwards (10th), Joey Logano (13th) and Jimmie Johnson (14th).
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-18-2016)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #24-Elliott 178.554
    #21-Blaney 177.690
    #4-Harvick 177.697
    #19-Edwards 177.474
    #78-Truex Jr. 177.369
    the rest of the top 12: 2 18 47 20 11 31 14;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 22 48 1 41 3 17 88 6 16 44 13 42
    (11-18-2016)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #24-Elliott 178.707
    #2-Keselowski 177.561
    #31-Newman 177.223
    #22-Logano 176.968
    #41-Busch 176.893
    the rest of the top 24: 19 4 3 42 47 21 78 20 14 11 88 18 13 6 16 17 48 44 1;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 43 59 34 27 5 10 49 38 15 95 7 23 55 30 83 32 46
    Drivers who will miss the race: #30-Gaulding
    (11-18-2016)
  • Coverage of Qualifying for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is scheduled for Friday, November 18, 2016 at 6:15pm/et.
    Qualifying updates, news and notes on JAYSKI.com #NASCAR Twitter
    Television (TV): NBCSN, 6:00pm/et
    Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: 12:00am/et on NBCSN
  • Qualifying Order for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is posted. 41 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #43-Almirola.
    The final driver lined up on pit road will be #5-Kahne.
    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 Order Page (pdf).
  • Group qualifying under the three-round qualifying format:
    ” Round 1 — All entries will have 20 minutes to post a qualifying time, after which the 24 registering the fastest laps will advance to the second round. Those failing to advance will be sorted based on first-round times in descending order (from fastest to slowest).
    ” Round 2 — The 24 fastest from the first round will have 10 minutes to post a second-round qualifying time, with the 12 fastest advancing to a third round. Those not advancing will earn starting positions 13 through 24 based on time, again in descending order.
    ” Round 3 — The final round will be five minutes in length. The fastest times from this session will determine the first (Coors Light Pole Award) through 12th starting positions.
    There will be a seven-minute break between each round; teams may make adjustments to their entries only during the individual breaks. They will not be allowed to jack the vehicle or raise the hood, and once the car or truck enters the garage, it will no longer be permitted to return to the track for additional qualifying attempts.
  • Friday practice for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #31-Newman 175.387
    #78-Truex Jr. 175.353
    #42-Larson 175.256
    #22-Logano (Chase) 175.165
    #48-Johnson (Chase) 174.944
    Other Chase drivers:
    #18-Busch 8th
    #19-Edwards 9th
    slowest: #32-Lupton 164.554 & #46-Annett 165.173
    Best 10 Consecutive Lap Ave (4 drivers) #4-Harvick 168.283
    Most laps run: #88-Bowman 31; #14-Stewart & #4-Harvick, 29
    the driver who would miss the race if things stayed the same: #30-Gaulding, slowest of 5 drivers on open teams.
    note: no incidents reported. Qualifying is scheduled for 6:15pm/et today, also on NBCSN.
    See the fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap ave on the Homestead Friday Practice speeds page (11-18-2016)
  • Homestead Pole Notes & Facts:
    � 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 13 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 17 (11.7%) 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 17 (29.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from the front row: two from the pole and three from second-place.
    � 12 of the 17 (70.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead have been won from a starting position inside the top 10 – most recently – Kyle Busch (third starting position; last season).
    � Five of the 17 (29.4%) 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.
    � Qualifying has never been cancelled due to weather conditions at Homestead-Miami.
    (NASCAR)
  • Stewart says Homestead is his final Cup race…ever; cell phone stolen: #14-Tony Stewart, met with members of the media at Homestead-Miami Speedway and discussed his final race as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competitor, his future plans, his legacy and many other topics. The transcript in part:
    Q) HAS ANYTHING GOTTEN TO YOU SO FAR THIS WEEK? 
    Stewart: “I guess I will get to that, but the first part you said kind of struck a nerve because somebody reached out and touched me yesterday and stole my cell phone out of my pocket. I was like ‘well that kind of brought it right back to my mind.’ Yeah, it’s been a hell of a start to the weekend to get your phone stolen. That was probably the biggest thing that was disappointing last night when I realized my phone was stolen was the fact that I was in the process of answering text messages from people. I got a flood of text messages yesterday and I think I’m going to have a phone by tomorrow. So, I’m sure when I turn it on it’s going to be absolutely crazy when I turn it back on. It’s been neat. People I haven’t talked to for a long time, people that are friends that I haven’t seen or heard of from a long time reached out this week and it’s been pretty cool. Nothing in particular really struck a nerve, but it’s just the overall support from everybody was really awesome.”
    Q) DO YOU HAVE ANY DESIRE TO GET BACK IN A CUP CAR FOR ANY REASON AFTER THIS SEASON? WOULD YOU FILL IN FOR ONE OF YOUR DRIVERS?
    Stewart: “No, I’m good. This is it. This is the last one. I think I learned my lesson from Jeff (Gordon). Jeff tried to do somebody a favor this year and got roped into running half the season (laughs). Thank you Jeff for teaching me a lesson before I got roped into it. So, no, I’m not planning on that at all. We are going to be busy. In all honesty and I don’t have a schedule set next year, but I just know the things that I’m planning, my schedule next year is going to be much busier than it already is this year. There is just not going to be room for it.”
    Q) WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU LOST YOUR CELL PHONE? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
    Stewart: “My girlfriend and I, we were actually on our way Wednesday night to Miami in a hotel we were staying at there because we had the owners meeting yesterday. We saw some carnival deal, so we stopped and it was about the close, but we went back to it last night on our way back to here. We were just getting ready to leave and I realized it wasn’t in my pocket. I had her phone, my phone and a couple of other things I was holding for her. When I was checking to see where it was at it was not there anymore. We had bumped into some people right before that and I’m fairly certain that is when it decided it went a different direction, but it was kind of fun because they have that Find My iPhone app. We went chasing people forever trying to find it. Until we realized they were in the parking lot and they got in the car and they were gone. I hit block on it and deleted it and now I’ve got to get a new phone, which is devastating because I do everything off of my cell phone. My life is on that cell phone, so I start my life over tomorrow (laughs).” (Team Chevy)(11-18-2016)
  • Sprint Cup champion’s prize cut in half: Four drivers will compete for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship Sunday at Homestead with the intensity for the trophy unchanged but for a champion’s bonus less than half of last season’s, sources tell ESPN. The overall point fund last year was $21.765 million, with the champion slated to earn about $4.7 million (Kyle Busch’s take was less because he missed 11 races), and this year it will be less than half that amount. Second place last year paid $2.1 million, third $1.58 million, with seventh place on back earning less than a million. As part of the new charter system and in an effort to make their revenue stream more predictable, NASCAR and the team owners’ Race Team Alliance agreed to pay the champion less but spread the point fund more equitably throughout the top 25 drivers and teams. Drivers typically get paid a percentage of purse and point-fund money in addition to a base salary. The overall point fund increased in 2016, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brett Dewar said, but he wouldn’t elaborate, citing confidentiality clauses in the charters, about the distribution. The teams obviously had to share with the drivers what they were getting from NASCAR as they reworked agreements based on the new system unveiled in February. “I think it is a million-and-a-half to win a Cup,” six-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said. “The last time I stood on stage, it was 7-and-a-half [million]. It’s a huge change.” Sources familiar with the charter agreements indicated the 2016 bonus to the championship team is much closer to $2 million than $1.5 million. The last time Johnson was on stage, in 2013, the champion bonus was $5.2 million, with Johnson and his team having total earnings of $14.66 million. Johnson and his team did get a $7.225 million champion bonus in 2008. NASCAR stopped publishing how much money a driver earns for the team each week in the purse and does not plan to publicize the bonus structure as it has in the past, citing the new charter system structure. The 36 charter teams get dollars from two pools of money based on participation — a fixed amount each team gets, and then an amount based on the team’s finishes the previous three years, most heavily weighted to the previous season, which means that the champion will earn more for his team over the next three years than if he had finished lower in the standings. Charter and non-charter teams vie for the same amount of purse money for each race through the field (obviously less than in past years because much of the money is part of the fixed amount) and year-end bonus money that goes to the top 25 owners and drivers.(see full article at ESPN)(11-18-2016)
  • Johnson has some clarity regarding his pit road penalty, wants more: #48-Jimmie Johnson met with members of the media at Championship Media Day at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel and discussed a variety of topics including the pit road penalty at Phoenix, the transcript in part:
    Q. Have you talked to NASCAR at all about pit road yet? Have you gotten any clarity from last Sunday?
    Johnson: “There’s been quite a few voicemails back and forth. They were traveling Monday. We were in New York Tuesday. So I haven’t had that chance. There’s been enough texting and voice mails back and forth communicating, so I have a better understanding. I still look forward to tomorrow and understand what would lead to that again in the future, and how aggressive they’re going to be in calling that week after week, stop after stop. I think what I got called on happened more pit stops after my penalty. I just want consistency is all I’m after.”(Team Chevy)(11-18-2016)
  • Tire Changer set to retire at seasons end: At the end of Homestead this weekend, tire changer Jason Pulver will retire. Almost everyone on pit road is familiar with Pulver and he’s probably one of the most liked and respected crewmen out there. He’s been on pit road nearly 20 years and spent the last 16 with RCR. Throughout his career, Jason has won plenty of races and been part of many great teams. Spending 16 years as a tire changer at one place is an accomplishment, but pitting for more than 6 months on one of Kevin Harvick’s crew is even more impressive! Jason did both. Pit Talks caught up with pit coach Ray Wright of RCR to talk about Jason. “For the 10 years that I’ve been at RCR I’ve learned so much from Jason Pulver. Not only from a pit road standpoint but also a personal standpoint. He’s helped me to keep life in perspective as well as show me how a successful tire changer carries on a long career. His work ethic and his character have reflected positively on everybody and we are going to miss him geratly.”(Pit Talks)(11-17-2016)
  • Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing wrapping up best season: Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR) is looking forward to finishing up their best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season to date at Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday, where they will have two entries in the 2016 season finale race. Just as CSLFR began the season in Daytona, they will end the season with both drivers, Ty Dillon and Michael McDowell piloting the #95 and #59 Chevy’s, respectively.
    McDowell, who has competed at Homestead six times in the NSCS series, had one of his best races of his career in the 2014 season finale event and is looking forward to finishing this season the same way. McDowell has recorded fifteen Top-25 finishes and fifteen career-best track finishes this season, and looks to add a sixteenth to both lists in the NSCS season finale. He will pilot the #59 Thrivent Financial Chevy during Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400. Although Dillon has only raced at Homestead once in the NSCS, he competed for CSLFR a handful of times this season and will add another NSCS start to his resume while piloting the #95 Advil Chevy. Out of five starts for CLSFR, Dillon recorded four Top-25 finishes during the 2016 season.(CSLFR)(11-18-2016)
  • For Kids’ Sake Foundation Partners with Tommy Baldwin Racing at Homestead: Tommy Baldwin Racing announced that For Kids’ Sake Foundation will partner with the #7 Tommy Baldwin Racing team at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. For Kids’ Sake Foundation was created by Megan and Glen Jusczyk after their daughter Malia was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma at 2 � years old. Years later, the non-profit is still committed to raising awareness for and improving the lives of children with neuroblastoma throughout the country. The fact remains that every sixteen hours a child dies from neuroblastoma. Although cancer is the number one disease killer of our children, only 3.8% of cancer research funding goes toward pediatric cancer. For Kids’ Sake is here to raise money for neuroblastoma research as well as for families of children diagnosed with this horrible disease. Malia Jusczyk, now an 8-year-old neuroblastoma cancer survivor, will join the team at Homestead and help share the message that you can help fight pediatric cancer. Go to www.maliacrushescancer.com to learn how you can help. “We are excited to partner with Tommy Baldwin Racing and the #7 car at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend,” said Megan Jusczyk, Volunteer CEO of For Kids’ Sake Foundation. “Not only are we able to get our message out to the millions of people watching during this NASCAR championship weekend, but my daughter Malia, the face of our foundation, will have the experience of a lifetime attending a race close to our home.”
    “We are honored to support Malia and the For Kids’ Sake Foundation at Homestead,” said team owner Tommy Baldwin. “Cancer affects so many families and Malia’s story touched my heart. We are proudly representing all children and families suffering from this disease through Malia and the For Kids’ Sake Foundation.”(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(11-17-2016)
  • Gray Gaulding returns to the #30 Chevy at Homestead; Full-time in 2017? Eighteen year old Gray Gaulding with 17 starts in NASCAR’s national touring series will make his debut at a 1.5-mile speedway in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the #30 Feed the Children TMG Chevy. Last week at Phoenix a fuel pump failure neglected Gaulding to a 37th place finish (GGR Enterprises)
    AND Add Gray Gaulding to the list of drivers who will compete full-time in NASCAR’s premiere series in 2017 and a candidate for rookie-of-the-year honors. “Our plan is to run full-time in the Cup Series,” Gaulding said. “I’m really excited about [it]. We’ll probably announce in the next couple weeks, the sponsor and the manufacturer, so got a lot of good things rolling, but you should see me full-time next year in the Sprint Cup Series.” Gaulding said “the plan right now” is to run the #30 car next season for The Motorsports Group.(The Racing Experts)(11-18-2016)
  • Dylan Lupton Joins Go Fas Racing: Heading into the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the #32 Go Fas Racing team will travel south to the “The Sunshine State” with a new addition behind the wheel of the #32 Ford. Wilton, CA native Dylan Lupton will join Go Fas Racing this weekend at Homestead. Sunday’s event will mark Lupton’s fourth career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series(NSCS), and his first NSCS start at the 1.5-mile oval. Lupton made his NSCS debut earlier this season at the road course in Sonoma. Lupton earned a career best NSCS finish of 25th, which came at Richmond back in September.(Go Fas Racing)(11-18-2016)
  • Kyle Larson paces final XFINITY practice: #42-Kyle Larson was quickest in final practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a speed of 170.487mph. #19-Daniel Suarez was second, followed by: #20-Erik Jones, #22-Ryan Blaney, #33-Brandon Jones, #98-Aric Almirola, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #18-Matt Tifft, #28-Dakoda Armstrong and #3-Ty Dillon.
    Chase drivers not in the top 10: #1-Elliott Sadler was 15th; #7-Justin Allgaier was 18th after making contact with the wall a couple times.
    43 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Homestead practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-18-2016)
  • Kyle Larson fastest in first XFINITY practice: #42-Kyle Larson was fastest during opening practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a speed of 168.177mph. The rest of the top 10: #22-Ryan Blaney, #20-Erik Jones, #88-Alex Bowman, #19-Daniel Suarez, #33-Brandon Jones, #98-Aric Almirola, #3-Ty Dillon, #62-Brendan Gaughan, ad #18-Matt Tifft. 44 drivers practiced during the session.
    #1-Elliott Sadler made contact with the outside wall midway through the session. The team will repair the car. He was 11th fastest.
    #7-Justin Allgaier was 15th in practice.
    See complete results on the Homestead practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-18-2016)
  • “Deadliest Catch” star named Grand Marshal for XFINITY race at Homestead: Ford Championship Weekend is in full swing, and to celebrate the XFINITY Series championship race on Saturday, Homestead-Miami Speedway announced Johnathan Hillstrand, star of the show “Deadliest Catch,” as the Grand Marshall for the Ford EcoBoost 300. Hillstrand, who was born and raised in Homer, Alaska, is a third generation fisherman and the captain of the F/V Time Bandit. Hillstrand has been on commercial fishing vessels since the age of three and began commercial fishing at the age of 17. Apart from fishing, Hillstrand is an entrepreneur and operates Time Bandit Fireworks, Time Bandit Entertainment, Time Bandit Productions, and The Time Bandit Gear Store.(Homestead Miami Speedway)(11-18-2016)
  • Reaume gets Homestead sponsor: NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Josh Reaume welcomes new sponsor Pit Barrel Cooker to NASCAR. Josh will be driving the #25 Lilly Trucking Pit Barrel Cooker, Colonial Countertop Chevrolet Camaro in the Ford EcoBoost 300 this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Pit Barrel Cooker Co. is a family-owned business from Strasburg Colorado, established in 2010 by an Iraqi war veteran. Their flagship product the Pit Barrel Cooker combines the best qualities of smokers, slow cookers and BBQs into one product and is sold nationwide.(Reaume Motorsports)(11-18-2016)
  • Tyler Reddick to Ganassi: Chip Ganassi Racing announced that Tyler Reddick, a current driver and a three-time winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will pilot the #42 Chevrolet Camaro in multiple NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2017. Reddick, 20, will share the #42 Chevrolet with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Series Rookie of the Year and 2016 member of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Kyle Larson. Veteran XFINITY Series crew chief Mike Shiplett will continue to lead the #42 team. Reddick competed in the NCWTS on a part-time basis in 2013 and 2014, before moving to full-time duties in 2015 and 2016. In 62 starts, Reddick has three wins, three poles, 24 top-five and 39 top-10 finishes. He finished second in the NCWTS standings in 2015 and after a win, seven top-five and 11 top-10s in 2016, Reddick currently sits ninth in the standings.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(11-18-2016)
  • Byron wins Truck Series finale at Homestead; Sauter wins title: #9-William Byron won the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway on Friday, closing out the season with seven wins, Rookie of the Year honors, and an owner’s championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports. But it was #21-Johnny Sauter, who finished third and won the inaugural Chase in the Camping World Truck Series.
    Byron took the lead with 10 laps to go. Sauter passed #88-Matt Crafton with 16 to go for the third position, giving him the advantage in the championship.

    #29-Tyler Reddick, finished between Byron and Sauter in second. His team opted for two tires during the final pitstop for track position. Also under that stop, the #24-Kyle Larson, lost multiple spots on pitroad. Larson was leading before the caution flag that allowed the stops. He finished fourth. #19-Daniel Hemric, #51-Daniel Suarez, #88-Matt Crafton, #8-Christopher Bell, #17-Timothy Peters, and #00-Cole Custer were the top-10.
    There were 4 cautions for 18 laps and 15 lead changes among 5 leaders.
    The average speed was 129.747mph.
    Complete results are on the Homestead race results page (pdf).
    (11-18-2016)

  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Fast Facts
    Driver Champion: Johnny Sauter
    Team: No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado

    Johnny Sauter won his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship; becoming the first inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase champion.
    Sauter is the 15th different driver to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
    Sauter finished third in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway to claim the title.
    Sauter finished the 2016 season with three wins, 12 top fives, 19 top 10s and one pole.Owner Of Driver Champion: Maurice Gallagher Jr., GMS Racing:
    This is GMS Racing’s first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship (Johnny Sauter, 2016).
    Maurice Gallagher Jr. is the 15th different owner to have a driver win a championship. In 2013, GMS Racing made its series debut with driver Spencer Gallagher in the No. 23 at Kansas Speedway.

    Crew Chief Champion: Joe Shear Jr. 
    This is Joe Shear Jr.’s first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship; his previous best standings finish was second at Curb Racing with driver Johnny Sauter in 2011.
    Shear Jr. has 13 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories with three drivers – Kasey Kahne (one), Cole Custer (two) and Johnny Sauter (10).

    Owner Champion: Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports, No. 9 Toyota Tundra
    Kyle Busch Motorsports has won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner championship with the No. 9 Toyota Tundra team; led by crew chief Ryan Fugle and driver William Byron.
    This is Kyle Busch Motorsport’s fourth-consecutive and fifth all-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner championship.
    Kyle Busch Motorsports’ previous owner championships were in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015 – 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 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history to win four consecutive owner championships.
    Kyle Busch Motorsports now has the most owner titles in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with five.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-18-2016)

  • Homestead Race Fast Facts:
    William Byron won the 21st Annual Ford EcoBoost 200, his seventh victory in 24 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his seventh victory and 16th top-10 finish in 2016. This is his first victory and first top-10 finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Tyler Reddick (second) posted his third top-10 finish in three races at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his 12th top-10 finish in 2016.
    Johnny Sauter (C) (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in ten races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    William Byron (first) was the highest finishing rookie and has won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award this season.
    Johnny Sauter is the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver champion.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-18-2016)
  • Driver standings following Homestead:
    1) #21-Johnny Sauter [3 wins], 4030
    2) #88-Matt Crafton [2 wins], 4026, -4
    3) #4-Christopher Bell# [1 win], 4025, -5
    4) #17-Timothy Peters, 4024, -6
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(11-18-2016)
  • Owner Standings following Homestead are posted (pdf).(11-18-2016)
  • Byron on pole at Homestead: #9-William Byron won the pole for the final race of the Truck Series season, the FordEcoBoost 200, at Homestead Miami Speedway with a speed of 170.886mph. #00-Cole Custer will start second, followed by #24-Kyle Larson, championship contender #88-Matt Crafton, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #29-Tyler Reddick, championship contender #4-Christopher Bell, #05-Brady Boswell, and #18-Noah Gragson.
    The remaining championship contenders: #17-Timothy Peters, will start 13th and #21-Johnny Sauter will start 19th.
    Did Not Qualify: #10-Jennifer Jo Cobb, #44-Tommy Joe Martins, #63-Norm Benning.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(11-18-2016)
  • Homestead Qualifying Notes:
    William Byron won the Keystone Light 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 21st Annual Ford EcoBoost 200 with a lap of 31.600 seconds, 170.886 mph.
    This is his third pole in 24 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his third pole and 20th top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in one races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Cole Custer (second) posted his 11th top-10 start of 2016 and his first in one races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    Kyle Larson(i) (third) posted his third top-10 start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is his third in three races this season.
    William Byron (first) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    Championship 4 Starting Positions: Matt Crafton (fourth), Christopher Bell (eighth), Timothy Peters (13th) and Johnny Sauter (19th).
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-18-2016)
  • Byron fastest in final Truck practice: #9-William Byron was fastest in final practice for the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway with a speed of 171.778mph. He was followed by #51-Daniel Suarez, #00-Cole Custer, #05-Brady Boswell, #4-Christopher Bell, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #97-Jesse Little, #13-Cameron Hayley, #41-Ben Rhodes, and #92-Grant Enfinger.
    Bell was the only Championship contender within the top-10. #88-Matt Crafton was 15th. #17-Timothy Peters was 18th, and #21-Johnny Sauter was 23rd.
    35 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Homestead practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-18-2016)
  • Byron fastest in first Truck practice: #9-William Byron was fastest during opening practice at Homestead Miami Speedway with a speed of 171.411mph. #24-Kyle Larson was second, followed by #21-Johnny Sauter, #00-Cole Custer, #88-Matt Crafton, #29-Tyler Reddick, #33-Ben Kennedy, #41-Ben Rhodes, #19-Daniel Hemric, and #23-Spencer Gallagher.
    Sauter, Crafton are among four drivers competing for the championship in the season-finale. #17-Timopthy Peters was 11th and #4-Christopher Bell, the remaining Chase driver, was 14th during the session.
    34 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Homestead practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-18-2016)
  • Reddick not returning to BKR UPDATE:Tyler Reddick confirmed Wednesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he will not return to Brad Keselowski Racing next season, ending a three-year tenure with the team owned by the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. “It’s going to be a shame I’m not going to be there next year, but I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent there,” Reddick told SiriusXM. “Hopefully I can repay them with two more wins to add to the list.” Reddick did not announce his 2017 plans.
    In 61 races, which includes two full-time seasons, Reddick has won three times and logged 24 top-five finishes and 39 top 10s. His first victory was the 2015 season-opener at Daytona, setting the tone for a memorable year in which Reddick never dropped below third in the points standings.Battling Erik Jones and Matt Crafton all year, Reddick would finish second to Jones in the championship point battle. Deemed a title contender by many entering 2016, Reddick did not find the same success as the previous year. The driver did not qualify for the inaugural eight-driver NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, although he did win at Las Vegas, a postseason race.
    A natural fit for Reddick may be a promotion to the NASCAR XFINITY Series, where Team Penske — for whom Keselowski drives — is expanding its operation to a second car. The intention, according to the team, is for Ford Performance to use the second entry as an extension of a driver development program in an effort to build for the future. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski Racing will have two new drivers in its two-truck operation next year. Daniel Hemric, who qualified for the postseason, is moving on to drive for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series next year.(NASCAR)(11-10-2016)
    UPDATE: Chip Ganassi Racing announced that Tyler Reddick, a current driver and a three-time winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, will pilot the #42 Chevrolet Camaro in multiple NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2017. Reddick, 20, will share the #42 Chevrolet with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Series Rookie of the Year and 2016 member of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Kyle Larson. Veteran XFINITY Series crew chief Mike Shiplett will continue to lead the #42 team. Reddick competed in the NCWTS on a part-time basis in 2013 and 2014, before moving to full-time duties in 2015 and 2016. In 62 starts, Reddick has three wins, three poles, 24 top-five and 39 top-10 finishes. He finished second in the NCWTS standings in 2015 and after a win, seven top-five and 11 top-10s in 2016, Reddick currently sits ninth in the standings.(Chip Ganassi Racing)(11-18-2016)
  • Ford EcoBoost 400 Officially Sold Out: Homestead-Miami Speedway announced a grandstand sellout for the Ford EcoBoost 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship race on Sunday. The event has sold out each of the last three years. “Ford Championship Weekend continues to grow in stature each year, and having sold out the Ford EcoBoost 400 three years in-a-row is a testament to that,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “Not only do we have world class racing with Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards competing for a championship amongst a full field of drivers, but we also offer outstanding entertainment as well, including the pre-race concert by The Band Perry. Championship weekend should provide tremendous excitement for the entire family as we celebrate the final race in the Chase for all three NASCAR national series, beginning with the Camping World Truck Series Championship race tonight followed by the XFINITY Series Championship race on Saturday.”
    A limited number of Sunday tickets still remain for seats in the infield Pit Road Cabanas, in addition to spots in the FanVision Fan Zone, where four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will be holding a Q & A on Sunday at 12:30pm. Tickets for the Ford EcoBoost 200 Camping World Truck Series Championship race tonight at 8:00 p.m. as well as the Ford EcoBoost 300 XFINITY Series Championship race on Saturday 3:30 p.m. are still available and can be purchased by calling (305) 230-5255, or online at HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.(HMS)(11-18-2016)
  • Major PIR upgrade approval said to be imminent UPDATE: It appears the long-awaited renovation of Phoenix International Raceway is at hand. Directors of International Speedway Corp., PIR’s parent company, met in recent days and are believed to have approved plans to modernize the Avondale facility, azcentral sports was told exclusively by two motorsports industry sources with knowledge of the situation. The sources requested not to be identified by name. It’s believed the cost of such a major project would be between $150-$200 million and likely would take about two years to complete. For the first time in several years, Sunday’s Can-Am 500 isn’t a grandstand sellout. PIR has lagged well behind the Valley trend to build new or upgrade existing sports venues.(Arizona Republic)(11-10-2016)
    UPDATE: Phoenix International Raceway has submitted renovation plans that includes moving the start/finish line to what is now Turn 2, although NASCAR says nothing has been finalized on that matter. The track submitted a site plan for expansion last week to the city of Avondale, Arizona, Brett Harris, chief building official, confirmed to NBC Sports. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and end in late 2018. Harris said his office typically takes about three weeks to review such plans. Once approved, track officials will be able to submit construction documents. Harris noted that changes still could be made by the track. Officials from Phoenix International Raceway and International Speedway Corp. did not return messages for comment.
    Among the changes in the track’s submitted plan:
    – The start/finish line is shown to be in what is now Turn 2.
    – All the frontstretch grandstands would be eliminated and replaced by an elevated RV parking lot and have additional parking behind it.
    – The Allison grandstand in Turn 2 will be extended to go through the entire turn.
    – Pit road will be moved closer to the infield and have a tighter radius. That will allow additional space between the track and pit road.
    -There would be five new garages for competitors.
    – The media center would be moved from its present location across from the current start/finish line to just beyond Turn 2.
    – The infield care center would move from behind the current media center to between what is now Turns 3 and 4.
    – Victory Lane would be moved behind pit road to spot between what is now Turns 1 and 2.(NBC Sports)(11-18-2016)
  • Rockingham Speedway for sale…again: One of racing’s most well-known tracks is up for sale, six months after a public auction drew no substantial bids. Iron Horse Properties, LLC listed Rockingham Speedway on its Facebook page and several real estate websites around 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to Mark Baysek. He said the company negotiated with the property owner, BK Rock Holdings, LLC, over several weeks, signing the deal to act as the real estate agent on Wednesday. With a purchase price of $3,795,000, Baysek said the agreement is “strictly” for the real property and improvements on the roughly 250 acres. The speedway property, which includes the 1.017-mile oval track as well as a half-mile track, is valued at $6.85 million, according to Richmond County tax records.(Richmond County Daily Journal)(11-18-2016)


    News from November 17, 2016


  • Leavine Family Racing acquires charter from Tommy Baldwin Racing: Team leadership at Leavine Family Racing (#95 Chevy) has announced that the team has secured an ownership charter in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. “Leavine Family Racing is committed to continued growth on and off the race track,” said owner Bob Leavine. “The charter is a meaningful step forward for our team and provides us further stability as we look towards success in 2017 and beyond. We are confident that the purchase of the charter and continued improvement on the track will lead to increased revenue opportunities.” The charter was purchased from Tommy Baldwin Racing. Bob and Sharon Leavine have been active in NASCAR since 2010 when they became sponsors in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Leavine Family Racing was formed in 2011 and has grown to an organization employing 25 people with a race shop in Concord, N.C.(LFR), the sale of the charter kicks this weekend as #59-Michael McDowell is now guaranteed a spot in the race at Homestead while #7-Regan Smith has to qualify on speed.(11-17-2016)
  • Tommy Baldwin Racing sells charter: from Tommy Baldwin Racing’s Facebook: The season finale at Homestead will be the last race for Tommy Baldwin Racing (#7 Chevy) full-time. We felt that it’s time for a new chapter in our lives and we have sold our charter to a great group of people (#95 Leavine Family Racing) who will continue to guide our vision. For the past eight years we’ve shown up at every race, worked hard to compete at the top level and bring value to our sponsors. I feel confident that we are moving on having accomplished that. There have been many teams like ours that have come and gone. I’m proud that we have been able to sustain ourselves from the very beginning. Over the years we have been fortunate enough to have a great group of people both in the shop and on the road. In this business, you are really defined by the people you employ and I’m grateful for everyone’s hard work. Getting sponsors these days is a tough task. Keeping them is even tougher. But we have had so many great supporters of our program. Whether they were a primary, associate or just a one-race sponsor, they were all great to work with and I thank them for believing in us. We’ve had some really great drivers in our cars over the years. Each of them drove hard every lap – no matter how the car was handling. They always gave 110% and that’s all you can really ask from a driver. We’re proud of the names that were on the roof of our Chevrolets.
    If you’re reading this, you already know that NASCAR is the greatest sport in the world. I have been blessed to have a career in motorsports because of how NASCAR has grown over the years. Teams don’t always agree with their stance on rule changes or penalties or just the way things are done. But I can tell you that they have gone out of their way to help our team. They’ve brought us opportunities and have always made themselves available to meet with prospective sponsors if we needed them to. It’s been a privilege for me to say that I’m a NASCAR team owner.
    Finally, there are you guys. We can’t begin to tell you how much your support of our team has meant to us. You’re not just fans — you’re friends and family to us. When we have good days, you cheer us on. When we’ve had rough days, you give us encouragement. You have supported our drivers and our sponsors with so much enthusiasm. I promise you that it never went unnoticed.
    So what’s next? Well, we’re not 100% sure. We are going to work hard to get the best possible results in Miami, take a little family time and then figure out the rest. So, stay tuned – announcements will be forthcoming. Thanks again for everything, TB.(TBR Facebook)(11-17-2016)
  • Homestead Track Notes & History:
    � There have been 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Homestead-Miami Speedway, one per season since 1999.
    � 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)
  • Jeffrey Earnhardt returns to BK Racing: BK Racing announced that Jeffrey Earnhardt will return to drive the #83 Starter Toyota at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Earnhardt will be one of three BK Racing cars on track for the Ford EcoBoost 400 as he joins teammates #23-David Ragan and #49-Matt DiBenedetto for the Sprint Cup season finale. “This week I’m jumping back in the #83 Starter Toyota Camry with BK Racing and I couldn’t be more excited to have this opportunity for the last race of the season,” said Earnhardt. “Doug (Richert) is back as my crew chief and the team at BK Racing has me fired up to see how well we can do to wrap up the 2016 season. I enjoyed my last two races with BK and going to Homestead should be a lot of fun.”
    “We are looking forward to having Jeffrey and Starter back with us at Homestead,” said Doug Fritz, BK Racing CMO. “Everyone at BK Racing is proud to represent a brand as iconic as Starter.”(BK Racing)(11-17-2016)
  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Homestead:
    #19-Carl Edwards (Chase) ………….. 109.4
    #20-Matt Kenseth………………………. 108.4
    #78-Martin Truex Jr…………………….. 105.0
    #4-Kevin Harvick………………………… 104.3
    Jeff Gordon………………………………. 100.6
    #48-Jimmie Johnson (Chase)…………. 96.8
    #11-Denny Hamlin……………………….. 96.3
    #18-Kyle Busch (Chase)……………….. 95.5
    #42-Kyle Larson………………………….. 92.8
    #2-Brad Keselowski……………………… 88.8
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races (11 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)
  • Toyota close to 1st Cup Series Manufacturers Championship: Toyota leads the Manufacturer’s Championship point standings in the Sprint Cup Series, having a 30-point advantage and a finish of 26th or better by a Toyota driver would clinch the title. Should Toyota win the NSCS title, it would mark the first time in 13 seasons a manufacturer other than Chevrolet has won the award and would be the first ever Manufacturer’s title for Toyota in Cup (Toyota Racing), see race-by-race highest finishers for each manufacturers, most wins by manufacturers and more on the 2016 Manufacturers Points Standings page.(11-17-2016)
  • Dow Corning scheme for Dillon at Homestead: Austin Dillon will drive the #3 Dow Corning Chevy at Homestead. Dow Corning, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, shares 73 years of history with Dow, as Dow Corning was created in 1943 as a joint venture between Dow and Corning Incorporated. Dillon has two previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Homestead, securing his best finish of 14th and a best starting position of 10th in November 2015 (RCR), see images of the car on the #3 Team Schemes page.(11-17-2016)
  • TaxAct returns to Patrick’s #10 Chevy: Danica Patrick and the #10 Stewart-Haas Racing team will close out the 2016 season in the red, white and black colors of TaxAct, the official tax preparation software partner of SHR and Patrick. Sunday’s race marks the fourth event in which TaxAct will have served as the primary sponsor on Patrick’s #10 Chevy (HMS), see images of the car on the #10 Team Schemes page.(11-17-2016)
  • Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Homestead-Miami Speedway:
    � Homestead-Miami Speedway has been a part of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the playoff’s inception in 2004. This season the track will host its 13th Chase event.
    � The winner of the Homestead-Miami Chase race has gone on to win the championship during the Chase era three time: Tony Stewart (2011), Kevin Harvick (2014) and Kyle Busch (2015).
    � 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 nine of the 12 (75%) 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).
    � In six of the 12 (50%) previous Chase races (2004-2015) 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 – First (Kevin Harvick, 2014 Champion); Second (Ryan Newman), Seventh (Denny Hamlin) and 16th (Joey Logano).
    � The 2015 Championship 4 finished – First (Kyle Busch, 2015 Champion); Second (Kevin Harvick), Sixth (Jeff Gordon) and 12th (Martin Truex Jr.).
    (NASCAR)(11-17-2016)
  • By The Numbers: Homestead-Miami Speedway:
    1 – Tony Stewart, in his last appearance this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, is the only driver in series history to win at the famed 1.5-mile speedway in his first appearance (1999).
    2 – Number of Coors Light poles at Homestead-Miami Speedway by the series leaders: Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne.
    3 – Number of times the winner of the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway has won the title during the Chase Era; including the last two seasons in the elimination-style format of the Chase (Tony Stewart, 2011; Kevin Harvick, 2014; Kyle Busch, 2015).
    9 – Number of Chase races at Homestead-Miami Speedway that were won by Chase contenders; three times a non-Chase contender has won season finale: Greg Biffle (2004 and 2006) and Denny Hamlin (2013).
    11 – Number of different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Homestead-Miami Speedway; led by Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart with three each.
    12 – Number of Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races Homestead-Miami Speedway has hosted (2004-2015).
    13 – Number of different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole winners at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    14 – The most cautions in a single NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (11/21/2004; the inaugural Chase race in Miami)
    15 – The worst finish by the eventual series champion in a Chase race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (it happened three times: Tony Stewart in 2005, Jimmie Johnson in 2008 and Brad Keselowski in 2012).
    17 – Total number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races held at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    18-20 – The degrees of banking in all four turns of Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    22 – The age of the youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Award winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway: Joey Logano (11/18/2012 – 22 years, 5 months, 25 days).
    24 – The age of the youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway: Kurt Busch (11/17/2002 – 24 years, 3 months, 13 days).
    26 – The most number of lead changes in a single race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (11/20/2011).
    38 – The lowest starting position by a race winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Denny Hamlin, 2009).
    46 – The age of the oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Award and race winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway: Bill Elliott set both records in 2001 (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 month, 3 days).
    64 – Total number of NASCAR national series races held at Homestead-Miami Speedway, second-most by a track in the state of Florida: NSCS (17), NXS (21) and NCWTS (20).
    120 – The number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers that have made at least one start at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    150.0 – The highest score in driver rating scale, considered a perfect performance, and has only been accomplished at Homestead-Miami Speedway once, in 2010 by Carl Edwards.
    267 – Number of laps scheduled for this weekend’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    568 – Number of laps led at Homestead-Miami Speedway by the series leader (Carl Edwards, 12 starts).
    (NASCAR)
  • FanVision launches the Legend: FanVision Entertainment launched its new flagship product called the Legend, an innovative device that provides a new level of data and information in realtime for car owners. The next step in FanVision Entertainment and Racing Electronic’s continued legacy of excellence in racing technology, the Legend combines the capabilities of their best-selling scanner and functionality of a smartphone into one modern touch screen device. This innovative product will change the automotive experience for professionals, fans and gearheads across the world. It provides a tool to race professionals that is capable of capturing data such as temperature, tire pressure and more to form the backbone of communications and data sharing trackside. The Legend comes set with a variety of pre-downloaded and for-sale apps to give fans and drivers a look under the hood unlike any other. The Legend brings FanVision technology from the track to the driveway, giving auto-owners a wealth of data and information that previously wasn’t accessible. The Legend is compatible for races in the Sprint Cup Series, Indycar, NHRA all the way down to grassroot events at the local track. This dramatic expansion in the number of race events makes the Legend an integral device not only for fans of auto-racing but for all car enthusiasts. Never before has someone provided a tool to race professionals that is capable of capturing data and forming the backbone of communications and data sharing trackside. More info at Racing Electronics (11-17-2016)
  • All in The Petty Family- Thad Moffitt Wins Stock Car Championship: Thad Moffitt, the 16-year-old grandson of “The King” Richard Petty, won his first stock car championship at the Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway this past weekend. Moffitt finished fifth during Friday night’s Southeast Limited Late Model (SELLM) Daytona 1 Challenger Series race to secure the season-long championship. It’s the first major championship for Moffitt who previously raced go-karts and quarter midgets. Moffitt won the championship in the famous family color, Petty Blue. Moffitt races the 46 to continue the Petty family tradition, started by his great grandfather Lee racing the #42. The team is supported by Transportation Impact, Jacob Companies and Hostetler Ranch. Moffitt is the oldest son of Brian and Rebecca Moffitt.(RPM)(11-17-2016)
  • Drivers return for Obaika at Homestead: Drivers Josh Bilicki and Ryan Ellis will take the wheels of the #97 and #77 Vroom Brands Chevrolets again this weekend in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300. Saturday’s race will be Bilicki’s third time driving for the Obaika Racing team. He debuted in the Xfinity Series in the #77 Vroom Brands Chevrolet at Road America, and gave Obaika Racing their best qualifying result. In last week’s race at Phoenix International Raceway, Bilicki gained 12 spots racing from 40th position to 28th. Ellis returns to Obaika Racing in Phoenix for the tenth time driving for the team.(Obaika Racing)(11-17-2016)
  • Florida Lottery sponsoring Whitt: Cole Whitt will be behind the wheel of the #14 TriStar Motorsports Toyota for the NASCAR XFINITY Series season finale in Miami, Florida. Whitt brings with him Florida Lottery to serve as the primary sponsor of the #14 Toyota. Whitt competed last week in the #14 Rinnai Toyota at Phoenix International Raceway finishing 16th.(TriStar Motorsports)(11-17-2016)


    News from November 16, 2016


     

  • Attendance up, revenue down at NASCAR Hall of Fame: Revenue declined by $300,000 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during the fiscal year that ended last summer, according to new annual figures compiled by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, but whether the racing museum finally broke even remains unresolved. Executives at the visitors authority and the hall of fame attributed the 4.6% decline in revenue, to $6.2 million, from 2015 to a slower booking year at the neighboring convention center. Revenue slipped by 12% at the convention center during fiscal 2016. Still, the visitors authority cited an increase in attendance and other business trends at the hall of fame as signs of stability. Attendance increased by 4,000 to 170,500 for the fiscal year, up from 166,559 in fiscal 2015. City government executives and the visitors authority have said in recent years the taxpayer-owned hall of fame is moving closer to a break-even financial performance. Ron Kimble, interim city manager, told CBJ last fall that the NASCAR museum reduced losses to $500,000 in fiscal 2015. At the time, he told CBJ the hall of fame would break even in fiscal 2016. Each fiscal year runs from July 1 to the following June 30; at present, the hall of fame is in fiscal 2017.(Charlotte Business Journal)(11-16-2016)
  • Phoenix warnings/fines announced: NASCAR has announced penalties and warnings following the Can-Am 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on November 13, 2016.
    Adam Stevens, the crew chief for #18-Kyle Busch, was fined $10,000 for lug nut(s) not properly installed after the race.
    #2-Keselowski (3), failed LIS three times, pre-race, written warning, loss of 15 minutes practice time.
    #2-Keselowski (2), failed template inspection twice, pre-race, written warning.
    #22-Logano (1), #24-Elliott (2), #98-Sorenson (3), failed LIS twice, pre-race, written warning.
    #10-Patrick (1), failed template inspection twice, pre-qualifying, written warning.
    #78-Truex Jr. (2), #95-McDowell (2), failed LIS twice, pre-qualifying, written warning
    () — total current warnings.
    See the Phoenix Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(11-16-2016)
  • Stewart to run “Always a Racer” scheme for final Cup race: After three NASCAR Sprint Cup titles, 49 victories and 618 starts, Tony Stewart will climb in his #14 Always a Racer/Mobil 1 Chevy for the final time in his 18-year career Sunday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Speedway and conclude what is destined to be a first-ballot Hall of Fame career. But save the tears, race fans. He isn’t done driving and he isn’t going away. “You’re going to see me driving a lot next year, but most of it will be on dirt,” Stewart said. “I kind of look at this as halftime of my career and I’ll still be around the NASCAR garage. I’ll just have more time. If I see Richard Petty or anyone else in the garage, I can go over and talk to him now and not have to worry about getting to the car or trying to figure out how to make my car go faster. I can focus now on what I want to do and my job at SHR (Stewart-Haas Racing.)”
    For his last race, Stewart will drive a special paint scheme carrying each SHR employees’ signature with the words “Always a Racer, Forever a Champion,” as well as pictorial highlights of his 18-year career on the hood. Except for the special paint scheme and hosting about 75 SHR guests to watch his final race, Stewart’s finale will be low-key as the rest of the racing world watches the culmination of NASCAR’s 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, during which the sport will crown its champion.
    “We didn’t want all the ceremony and distraction this year,” Stewart said. “We just wanted to focus on the racecar and run well and let the NASCAR fans see us race a final time.” Stewart has avoided much of the pomp and circumstance, opting instead to race well and accept a few accolades along the way from tracks and SHR’s corporate partners. The strategy has worked as Stewart has returned to the front of the field, logging five top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 2016. The highlight came in June, when Stewart made a last-lap pass of Denny Hamlin at Sonoma Raceway to claim his 49th career victory that ultimately led to a berth in the 2016 Chase, where Stewart fell a few points short of advancing to the Round of 12.
    He’d like nothing more than to close his 2016 season, as well as his career, with a strong run Sunday on the high-banked turns at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He won the first two Sprint Cup races at the South Florida track in 1999 and 2000, then visited victory lane again in 2011, when he won a thrilling duel with Carl Edwards. The victory left Edwards and Stewart tied in points, with Stewart winning his third Sprint Cup title based on a tiebreaker. In 16 career starts at the 1.5-mile oval, he also owns four top-five and seven top-10 finishes and has led 450 laps. He’s completed 4,186 of a possible 4,277 laps at the track.
    The full list of Stewart’s assault on the NASCAR record book is a long one but, when he climbs from the #14 Sunday, he’ll do so as the 13th-winningest driver with his 49 wins. His three Sprint Cup titles ties him for fifth all-time, and he’s also won IndyCar and IROC championships. His race wins include: 11 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, six in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, three in IndyCar and four in IROC. Plus, he’s won countless short-track races and titles since he first climbed in a go-kart in Indiana all those years ago (TSC/SHR). See an image of the scheme on the #14 Team Schemes page.(11-16-2016)
  • Homestead Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same combination of left- and right-side tires at Homestead this weekend . . . this is the first time these teams have run this tire set-up at Homestead, though they have run it at both Texas and Chicagoland this season . . . similar to what was run at Homestead last year, this right-side tire code employs Goodyear’s multi-zone tread technology, which combines two distinct tread compounds on the same tire — the outboard 10 inches of the tread (Traction Zone) features a compound that is designed for grip, while the inboard two inches of the tread (Endurance Zone) is toughened to enhance durability on the part of the tire sees the most heat and takes the most abuse . . . different from Homestead 2015, this right-side tire features a construction change, and a compound change on the outboard 10 inches to give the cars and trucks more grip . . . compared to Homestead last year, this left-side tire code features an updated construction and mold shape, as well as a compound change for more grip . . . this tire set-up came out of a Goodyear test at Homestead last December 14 . . . drivers participating in that test were Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Brian Scott and Martin Truex Jr. . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Homestead . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear), see full notes, tire codes, set limites, pressures and more on the Homestead Race Info page
  • Phoenix TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Phoenix, the penultimate race in the Chase For the Cup, had a 2.4 final rating and 4.0 million viewers on the NBC broadcast network Sunday afternoon – down 23% in ratings and 21% in viewership from 2014 on ESPN, the last time the race was run as scheduled (3.1, 5.1M). Last year’s race was postponed due to rain and aired on NBCSN, earning a 1.4 and 2.2 million (Sports Media Watch / ShowBuzz Daily). See race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(11-16-2016)
  • Why did the #11 FexEx car change the FedEx paint schemes? FedEx has a highly recognizable, iconic logo, but the color scheme across the company’s many business divisions varied-until now. FedEx announced back in August (yep, I missed it) that it’s consolidating its look by turning all of its logos purple and orange. The simplified visual identity was created after FedEx’s research showed that purple and orange is one of the most recognized representations of the logo by consumers. The purple and orange combination was previously used on FedEx’s Express and Supply Chain logos and will now run on all of its business division logos, including FedEx Corp., Services, Office, Ground and Freight. FedEx Corp.’s logo will change from purple and gray to purple and orange, for example, while FedEx Ground will say goodbye to its purple and green color scheme (AdWeek), looks like the scheme has stayed the same since Chicago in September. See some of the differences on the #11 Team Schemes page.(11-16-2016)
  • NBCSN to feature Hot Pass during the Championship race: NBCSN compliments NBC’s live coverage of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship race from Homestead-Miami Speedway with Hot Pass Sunday November 20th at 2:30pm/et. While NBC provides the primary broadcast of Jimmie Johnson’s quest for a historic seventh Championship and the last race of Tony Stewart’s career, NBCSN offers simultaneous live coverage dedicated to each of the Championship 4 drivers.
    Utilizing multi-window displays and in-car cameras, Hot Pass provides viewers an in-depth look at Johnson, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch as they battle for the 2016 title. On-air graphics highlight the point differentials and field changes between the four drives while a pane of race facts and figures give viewers up to the minute statistics. NBCSN’s Hot Pass provides continuous in-car audio, highlighting team communication, punctuated with commentary from race announcer Leigh Diffey and NASCAR on NBC reporter Parker Kligerman.
    “With NASCAR Hot Pass, you won’t miss a move from the four Championship drivers,” said Rich O’Connor, NBC Sports motorsports producer. “It provides fans with an inside look at the strategy, communication and pressure felt by the Championship Four drivers.” Last year’s dual coverage of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship, on NBC and NBCSN, averaged 7.64 million viewers and posted a combined 4.42 national HH rating. It was the most-watched NASCAR season finale since NBC presented the championship event in 2005.(NBC Sports)(11-16-2016)
  • Ragan picks up an associate sponsor: BK Racing announced that JAS Expedited Trucking will return to the team and serve as an associate sponsor on David Ragan’s #23 Dr Pepper Toyota at Homestead. JAS Expedited Trucking just served as the primary sponsor on Matt DiBenedetto’s #83 Toyota during last weekend’s race at Phoenix International Raceway. JAS Expedited Trucking LLC. is a small family-owned expedited trucking company, located in Imlay City, Michigan.(BK Racing)(11-16-2016)
  • Two loose lug nuts for Sadler after Phoenix race UPDATES: Elliott Sadler’s #1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet had 18 of 20 lug nuts safe and secure following Saturday night’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, a development that will have implications for next week’s championship race. Sadler finished 13th on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway, his finish good enough to advance to the Championship 4 next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Officials took a close look at the car’s lug nuts following the Ticket Galaxy 200, where they discovered two were either loose or missing. It’s the second consecutive week lug nut issues plagued the #1 team. As a result, crew chief Kevin Meendering will be suspended for the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller told NBCSN after the race.(NASCAR.com)(11-12-2016)
    UPDATE: JR Motorsports race operations manager Mike Bumgarner will serve as crew chief of the #1 OneMain Financial team this Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway as driver Elliott Sadler vies for the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.(JR Motorsports)(11-15-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has announced warnings and penalties following the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway on November 12th.
    #1-Sadler was issued a P3 penalty for violation of Section 10.11.3.4 – Lug nut(s) not properly installed. Crew chief (Kevin Meendering) has been fined $10,000 and suspended from all 2016 NASCAR Series Championship Points Events at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    #3-Ty Dillon (2), #15-D.J. Kennington (1), #18-Kyle Busch (2), #20-Erik Jones (2), #33-Brandon Jones (2), #60-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (1) Failed LIS twice in pre-race inspection and were given written warnings.
    See the Phoenix Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.
  • 50th XFINITY Series start for Bowman: Alex Bowman will make his 50th career NASCAR Xfinity Series start this weekend in the #88 Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet. Saturday’s race will mark Bowman’s first NXS start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Arizona native has two previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at the 1.5-mile speedway.(JR Motorsports)(11-16-2016)


    News from November 15, 2016


  • Ty Dillon to run the #95 at Homestead: Ty Dillon is scheduled to make his 11th Sprint Cup Series start of the 2016 season this weekend at Homestead in the #95 Advil Chevy. Dillon has one previous NSCS start at the 1.5-mile speedway; he drove the #33 Nexium 24HR Chevy to a 23rd-place finish last November. This weekend on the #95 Chevy will be the blue-and-white colors of Advil. Patients and doctors have trusted Advil to deliver fast and long-lasting relief from several kinds of pain, including headache, muscle aches, minor arthritis and other joint pain, and backache for more than 30 years (RCR), see an image of the car on the #95 team schemes page. Michael McDowell will be in a 2ns Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing car, the #59 Thrivent Financial Chevy. McDowell will have to qualify by speed as the 2nd team doesn’t have a charter.(11-15-2016)
  • Top-Ten Lap Leaders after 35 races:
    Driver, Laps Led
    1) #78-Martin Truex Jr, 1,795
    2) #18-Kyle Busch, 1,374
    3) #4-Kevin Harvick, 1,305
    4) #20-Matt Kenseth, 943
    5) #19-Carl Edwards, 869
    6) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 729
    7) #22-Joey Logano, 690
    8) #2-Brad Keselowski, 540
    9) #11-Denny Hamlin, 516
    10) #24-Chase Elliott, 351
    39 drivers have led at least one lap
  • Koda the Cheetah to make Championship pick Tuesday UPDATE – Edwards: To kick off Ford Championship Weekend, at 10:30am/et on Tuesday, November 15th, Zoo Miami, in partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway, will host an event that will feature “Koda,” a 4-year old cheetah from South Africa. For the second straight year, Koda will serve as Zoo Miami’s official “Wildlife Prognosticator” and make his prediction as to who will win this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship! The Championship 4 drivers who will compete for the 2016 Sprint Cup Championship are Joey Logano, Carl Edwards, defending champion Kyle Busch and six-time champion Jimmie Johnson. The champion will be decided at this year’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday. 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)
    UPDATE: Koda chose #19-Carl Edwards (HMS Facebook page), of NOTE: last year Koda picked Kevin Harvick; but Kyle Busch won the championship.(11-15-2016)
  • Johnson & Truex Jr. not happy about ‘pulling up to pit’ penalties; NASCAR responds: #48-Jimmie Johnson and #78-Martin Truex Jr. both plan to talk to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series officials after each was penalized a lap for pulling up to pit during Sunday’s race at Phoenix. Truex, who was running 10th after starting last in a backup car, was penalized on Lap 85. He never recovered and finished last after an accident. Johnson was penalized on Lap 133 of the 324-lap race and was not a factor. He finished 38th after his car was damaged in an incident. The penalties marked only the second time this season that NASCAR has cited Cup drivers for pulling up to pit. #4-Kevin Harvick and #13-Casey Mears both were penalized for the infraction at Dover in May. Johnson was confused by NASCAR’s call and wants to make sure he understands it as he races for a championship next weekend in Miami against #19-Carl Edwards, #22-Joey Logano and #18-Kyle Busch. Truex and his team also argued their penalty when it happened. In the video that is played during the drivers’ meeting each week, competitors are told “do not pull up to pit, hold your respective track position under the yellow flag.’ NASCAR previously warned drivers about this issue. During the drivers meeting at Martinsville, Richard Buck, Sprint Cup director, told competitors: “Also a reminder, under caution, the leader may not pass the caution car when entering pit road.”(NBC Sports)
    AND A NASCAR executive was adamant that drivers were warned about passing the pace car as they entered pit road and that series officials penalized Martin Truex Jr. after a move that was “just blatant” Sunday at Phoenix and penalized Jimmie Johnson to be consistent. Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, made the comments Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “We’ve reminded the drivers quite often that it was getting very close that you can’t pass the pace car as you pull off on to pit road,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve had that in every drivers meeting. Not a surprise to anyone. Jimmie has been racing with us for a long time and is aware of that rule. Have there been some borderline situations in the past? Sure. We’re always going to try to err if we can on the competitor’s side. We’ve been very clear on that.”(NBC Sports)(11-15-2016)
  • Jordan Anderson in the #46 at Homestead: NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series driver Jordan Anderson will join forces with Precision Performance Motorsports to compete in this Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The XFINITY Series’ season finale will mark Anderson’s fifth XFINITY Series race of the 2016 season and first with the PPM team. Precision Performance Motorsports welcomes Urban Carry Holsters to the #46 team. Urban Carry Holsters are proudly made in the USA and represent a new breed of concealed carry holsters.(Precision Performance Motorsports)(11-15-2016)
  • Crew chief swap at Homestead for RCR: In anticipation of next season, two of RCR’s Xfinity teams will have different crew chiefs on top of their pit boxes this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Nick Harrison, who has been with Ty Dillon for a season and a half, will trade places with Mike Hillman Jr. Dillon, 24, finished third in the standings last year, but failed to transfer out of the first round of the inaugural Xfinity Series Chase. The #3 team’s overall results have diminished as well. After posting a career-best 12 top fives and 25 top 10s in 2015, this year Dillon tallied eight top fives and 16 top 10s. He has been winless over the last two seasons and is currently eighth in the standings. Harrison will oversee the #33 team and driver Brandon Jones. The 19-year-old Atlanta, Georgia native competed in his first full Xfinity season in 2016. Jones has 12-top 10 finishes and is currently ninth in the standings. His best result was sixth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Crew chief Justin Alexander, who was moved from RCR’s #27 Cup team to the #2 All-Star Xfinity team with Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Regan Smith, Michael McDowell and Sam Hornish Jr., will stay the course with that team. Brendan Gaughan’s long-time crew chief Shane Wilson will also stay the course.(Motorsport)(11-15-2016)
  • AntlerGrow joins Sieg at Homestead: RSS Racing and driver Ryan Seig welcome AntlerGrow.comas the title sponsor for the final race of the season at Miami-Homestead Speedway. AntlerGrow is the first and only 100% natural micro nutrient food plot spay resulting in better crops and bigger deer. Huntinator.com, Everything Outdoors in a Bold Way, will also race on board as a primary sponsor for the final race of the season. Sieg enters the season finale in the 10th position in the XFINITY series standings.(RSS Racing), see an image of the car on the #39 team paint schemes page.(11-15-2016)
  • Two loose lug nuts for Sadler after Phoenix race UPDATE: Elliott Sadler’s #1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet had 18 of 20 lug nuts safe and secure following Saturday night’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, a development that will have implications for next week’s championship race. Sadler finished 13th on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway, his finish good enough to advance to the Championship 4 next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Officials took a close look at the car’s lug nuts following the Ticket Galaxy 200, where they discovered two were either loose or missing. It’s the second consecutive week lug nut issues plagued the #1 team. As a result, crew chief Kevin Meendering will be suspended for the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller told NBCSN after the race.(NASCAR.com)(11-12-2016)
    UPDATE: JR Motorsports race operations manager Mike Bumgarner will serve as crew chief of the #1 OneMain Financial team this Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway as driver Elliott Sadler vies for the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.(JR Motorsports)(11-15-2016)
  • Townley to miss finale: Still nursing an ankle injury he sustained just over three weeks ago, John Wes Townley had hoped to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday night. But unable to put full weight on his left ankle, Townley decided earlier today to turn to fellow Watkinsville, Ga. driver Brady Boswell to fill the seat of the #05 Chevrolet.”The good news is I was able to get off the crutches last week. The bad news is I’m still limping some,” Townley said. “Nothing is broken. But it’s just going to take longer than I thought for it to heal.”(Athenian Motorsports)(11-15-2016)
  • Enfinger, Benton team up for finale: The last time Grant Enfinger was behind the wheel of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) entry, he found himself in victory lane in his home state of Alabama at Talladega Superspeedway. The NCWTS season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the Fairhope, Ala., native will look to repeat that feat in the #92 Ricky Benton Racing (RBR) Enterprises BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors/Goodyear Commercial Tire Network Ford F-150. To make the Enfinger/RBR pairing work required a little rearranging of Enfinger’s schedule for the finale weekend.”Before Ricky called, I was scheduled to be at Homestead to work as a mechanic on the #24 entry with my GMS Racing crew guys,” Enfinger said. “I’m thankful that those guys let me off the hook for a chance to race.(Ricky Benton Racing Enterprises)(11-15-2016)
  • TV Actor Justin Hartley named Grand Marshal for the Ford EcoBoost 400: To match the championship aura of Ford Championship Weekend, November 18-20, Homestead-Miami Speedway has named NBC’s “This Is Us” actor Justin Hartley as Grand Marshal for the Ford EcoBoost 400 on November 20. Hartley will give the famous command of “Drivers, start your engines!” just before the green flag waves for the NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series championship race. Hartley, who was born and raised in Illinois, has starred in multiple hit TV series, including his role as billionaire superhero Oliver Queen in the long running series “Smallville” on CW. The television actor has also appeared on ABC’s popular TV show “Revenge” and CBS’s soap opera “The Young and the Restless.” Hartley can now be seen co-starring on NBC’s #1 new fall show “This Is Us.”. “As a huge NASCAR fan, I’m both excited and honored to be named Grand Marshal of the Ford EcoBoost 400,” said Hartley. “I’m very much looking forward to a wonderful weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. I want to thank NASCAR and Matthew Becherer for this great opportunity!” Tickets for NASCAR’s 2016 Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, are available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting www.HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.(HMS)(11-15-2016)


    News from November 14, 2016


     

  • Entry List for the FORD EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway is posted, 41 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed, including: #21-Blaney*, #30-Gaulding*, #32-Dylan Lupton, #49-DiBenedetto(#93)*, #55-Sorenson*, #59-McDowell*, #83-Jeffrey Earnhardt, #88-Bowman, #95-Ty Dillon.
    Not entered: #98-Premium Motorsports*
    Drivers who are not a Charter team, an Open Team, and must get in via speed: #21-Blaney, #30-Gaulding, #49-DiBenedetto, #55-Sorenson, #59-McDowell
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts, then owners pts): #59-McDowell.
    * Open Team (no Charter)
    See the full entry list and pdf links on Jayski.com’s Phoenix Entry List
  • NASCAR considering 2-day race weekends: Could the NASCAR race weekend get shorter? In one of about 15 to 20 initiatives being studied around the race-day experience, NASCAR stakeholders are considering tweaking some (Cup) race weekends to make them two-day events rather than three-day affairs. The proposal is still being evaluated (SportsBusiness Journal)(11-14-2016)
  • Phoenix Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Can-Am 500: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Sunday’s race. Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 2:29 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 5:57 PM (all times are DST). NBC was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 116
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 51
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 93
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 46
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 23
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 21
    Number of times NBC utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 2:29 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 5:57 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 208
    Minutes of race broadcast: 167
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 41
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 10
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 1
    Total race brdcst time 167 Total comm. brdcst time 41
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(11-14-2016)
  • Phoenix Facts and Notes:
    – Joey Logano: 3rd win this season (17th of career); qualifies for Championship 4 for 2nd time in 3 seasons (finished 4th in 2014)
    – Logano: 2 of 3 wins this season have been in Chase cutoff races (won at Talladega); 7th career Chase race win (all in last 3 seasons, leads all drivers)
    – Kyle Busch: finishes 2nd to take last spot into Championship 4 (only driver to get in on points)
    – Busch: will try to become 4th driver in modern era (since 1972) to win first 2 championships back-to-back
    – Busch: won last year’s race at Homestead to win championship
    – Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards: already qualified for Chase
    – Kevin Harvick: finished 4th; eliminated from Chase (had won 5 of previous 6 races at Charlotte)
    – Harvick: first time being eliminated in this Chase format (had made Championship 4 in first 2 seasons with format)
    – Matt Kenseth: finished 21st after wrecking on overtime restart while leading after contact from Alex Bowman (led 55 laps)
    – Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin: also eliminated
    2016 Championship 4 Drivers
    2016 Wins Best Career Pts Finish
    Joey Logano 3 4th
    Jimmie Johnson 4 1st
    Carl Edwards 3 2nd
    Kyle Busch 4 1st
    2016 Championship 4 – NSCS Careers at Homestead
    Wins Avg Finish 2015 Finish
    Carl Edwards 2 9.2 11th
    Kyle Busch 1 21.1 1st
    Jimmie Johnson 0 14.1 9th
    Joey Logano 0 17.7 4th
    (Highest finisher at Homestead wins championship)
    Most Chase Race Wins – Last 3 Seasons, In Championship 4?
    Joey Logano 7 Yes
    Kevin Harvick 6 No
    Jimmie Johnson 4 Yes
    (ESPN)(11-14-2016)
  • Restrictor-plate engines in Indy XFINITY race? NASCAR is considering a major experiment to see if it can improve the racing entertainment at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where there has been precious few green-flag passes for the lead in recent years. The sanction is considering use of restrictor-plate engines in next year’s second-tier Xfinity Series event at IMS, azcentral sports has learned. Plate engines, which restrict engine horsepower, are only mandated at the high-speed banked Daytona and Talladega superspeedways. If tried, and if deemed successful, plate engines could be used for the 2018 Brickyard 400 – still arguably Cup’s second-most prestigious race after the Daytona 500.(Arizona Republic)(11-14-2016)
  • Kenseth’s race win and championship hopes evaporate in late accident: In one moment, #20-Matt Kenseth was leading Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix and seemed destined to race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship next Sunday at Homestead. A moment later, he was wrecked and out of the Chase. Kenseth led the field to green on the first attempt at overtime, with polesitter #88-Alex Bowman to his inside. #18-Kyle Busch made a move to the inside of Bowman from the third position, and Bowman blocked. As Busch shoved Bowman’s Chevy forward toward the first corner, Kenseth turned down, thinking his Toyota had a clear lane. But contact between the cars sent Kenseth spinning out of the Championship 4. “The 88 (Bowman) was laying way, way back for that restart, more than a car width, so I got going early on purpose and I looked at him at the start/finish line, and I thought we were doing OK. And I looked back, and it looked like he had a little run on me, maybe not and shortly thereafter (spotter) Chris (Osborne) cleared me. So with the glare, I started looking to the corner to approach the corner and I got turned out of the way. He hollered ‘Inside’ at the same time I got turned towards the fence, so I really don’t know what happened. I was just going off the information I had to try to get the best corner I could and lead more laps.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-14-2016)
  • DiBenedetto to run #49 NASCAR Heat car at Homestead: BK Racing has announced that Dusenberry Martin Racing’s NASCAR Heat Evolution video game, available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, will be on the #49 NASCAR Heat Evolution Toyota Camry driven by Matt DiBenedetto at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR Heat Evolution is now $49.99, a new price point for the popular NASCAR video game, and the reason for the number change of the #93 BK Racing Toyota to the #49 NASCAR Heat Evolution Toyota Camry. Featuring over 40 drivers, all 23 licensed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tracks, and a variety of gameplay modes, NASCAR Heat Evolution is the first authentic NASCAR game for PlayStation4 and Xbox One. With the new AI system in NASCAR Heat Evolution, racing is like the real thing. NASCAR Heat Evolution is available for Xbox One, PlayStation�4, and Windows PC at all major mass-market retailers including Walmart, GameStop, Target, Best Buy, Toys “R” Us, Amazon, and more. This title is rated E (Everyone) by the ESR (BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #93/#49 team schemes page (11-14-2016)
  • XFINITY Entry List: There are 44 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A few notes:
    Cole Custer will drive the #5 for JR Motorsports;
    Cole Whitt remains in the TriStar #14;
    Travis Kvapil is entered in the RWR #15;
    Ryan Blaney will drive the #22 for Penske;
    The RWR #25 is TBA;
    Jordan Anderson is entered in the #46 for Rick Gdovic;
    The Obaika #77 & #97 are TBA;
    Brandon Brown is entered in his #86.(11-14-2016)
    See the complete list on the Homestead entry list page.
  • Gase announces Homestead sponsor: Jimmy Means Racing and Joey Gase announce a new partnership with Maxpeedingrods for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 19th, as an associate sponsor. Maxpeedingrods is a professional high performance aftermarket auto parts manufacturer who supplies high quality racing parts with a competitive price and excellent service to their customers worldwide.(Joey Gase Racing)(11-14-2016)
  • Truck Series Entry List: There are 35 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead Miami Speedway. A few notes:
    Travis Kvapil is in the #1 this week;
    Matt Mills is listed in the #07 but Patrick Staropoli announced he would be driving;
    Jennifer Jo Cobb isn’t listed, but expected in the #10;
    Noah Gragson is in the #18;
    Kyle Larson is in the #24;
    Spencer Boyd is in the #50;
    Alon Day is in the #71;
    Jesse Little is in the #97;
    (11-14-2016)
    See the complete list on the Homestead entry list page.
  • Staropoli to debut at Homestead: Patrick Staropoli finished his duties at Jackson Memorial Hospital and barely made it to Homestead-Miami Speedway to witness the start of his idol Jeff Gordon’s farewell race at last year’s NASCAR championship weekend. He didn’t even take time to change out of his scrubs. That is perfectly symbolic of the University of Miami medical student’s dual passions. The aspiring doctor and racer from Plantation will push it to the max when, amid a cross-country interview process for his residency in ophthalmology, he somehow finds time to drive Friday in the Camping World Truck Series season finale at Homestead.”Last year I showed up in scrubs and this year I’ll be there in a firesuit. That’s pretty cool the difference a year can make,” said Staropoli, 27, who will be behind the wheel of the pink #7 AutoNation Cure Bowl Chevrolet Silverado in the Ford EcoBoost 200 championship race. Don’t be surprised if he’s wearing scrubs under the firesuit. That’s how delicate the balance is between Staropoli’s competing interests. The days preceding the race have included a frantic schedule of interviews – hopping from New York to New Orleans, doubling back to New York, then to Utah and finally to Miami for a final interview at UM’s Bascom Palmer eye clinic. Only after that can Staropoli turn his attention to truck racing.(See an image of the truck on the #07 Team Paint Schemes page)(Sun Sentinel)(11-14-2016)
  • Pocono Raceway Offering Worry-Free Weather Guarantee: In a continued effort to take care of its fans and create exciting experiences and lifelong memories, Pocono Raceway today announced it will offer a Worry-Free Weather Guarantee. This guarantee is FREE to all Pocono fans that hold a Sunday Grandstand, Club or Suite ticket to either NASCAR Premier Series race or Verizon INDYCAR Series race in 2017. The Worry-Free Weather Guarantee ensures fans that purchased Sunday tickets directly from Pocono Raceway in advance will be reimbursed the face value if weather postpones the race and they are unable to make the re-scheduled event. Pit/Paddock Passes will also be eligible for reimbursement when they are purchased with a Sunday grandstand ticket.
    “Since 1971, we have hosted 101 NASCAR and INDYCAR races and only six of those have been postponed. After a tough year with three rainouts, we listened to our fans and instituted the Worry-Free Weather Guarantee,” said Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway President & CEO. “Now, if one of our Sunday races is impacted by weather and it is postponed, those fans who cannot make it on the re-scheduled day will be reimbursed the face value of their ticket. This demonstrates our level of commitment to the greatest fans in motorsports.” All fans who purchase advance tickets and cannot attend a Sunday race that is postponed on the makeup date will receive a check for the face value listed on their tickets, no questions asked. The Worry-Free Weather Guarantee protects those who purchase tickets in the grandstands, suites and clubs for the NASCAR Premier Series Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 on June 11, the NASCAR Premier Series Pennsylvania 400 on July 30 and the Verizon IndyCar Series ABC Supply 500 on August 20.
    Additional information, including Frequently Asked Questions, can be found at www.poconoraceway.com/guarantee. Pocono Raceway will host seven major motorsports events in 2017, including four NASCAR, two ARCA and one Verizon IndyCar Series weekend. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.poconoraceway.com, by calling 1-800-RACEWAY or in person at the Pocono Raceway Ticket Office on Long Pond Road.(Pocono Raceway)(11-14-2016)


    News from November 13, 2016


  • Joey Logano wins at Phoenix: #22-Joey Logano won the Can-Am 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway running 12 extra laps in two NASCAR Overtimes for his 3rd win of the season, 1st win at Phoenix and 17th career win. Logano led 58 of the 324 laps.
    #18-Busch finished 2nd followed by #42-Larson, #4-Harvick, #41-Busch, #88-Bowman (pole winner), #11-Hamlin, #21-Blaney, #24-Elliott and #27-Menard.
    With two laps to go and #20-Kenseth having a 3 second lead over #88-Bowman, #95-McDowell spun out and hit the wall bring out the caution with a lap to go in the race. NASCAR Overtime was implemented and after the cleanup the race restarted on lap 314 with Kenseth on the outside lane and #88-Bowman on the inside. On the restart 3rd place #18-Busch tried to get around #88-Bowman and bumped the #88 Chevy, causing it to wiggle and go low. The leader, #20-Kenseth was just ahead of Bowman and appeared to come down on the #88, who had no place to go with the inside wall to his left, making contact causing Kenseth’s car to spin out and hitting the wall. #22-Logano took the lead and the field was again placed under caution. After the track was cleaned #22-Logano led the field to the green with #18-Busch in 2nd. Logano took the lead and held on to it with Busch finishing 2nd. Kenseth, who looked like he was going to win and advance to the Championship 4, finished 21st and was eliminated from The Chase. Logano’s win allowed him to advance to the Championship 4 and Kyle Busch made it on points in the 4th and final spot.
    #88-Bowman, the pole winner, led the most laps with 194 and was up front for most of the race until tangling with Kenseth on the first NASCAR Overtime restart, finishing 6th.
    #48-Johnson had run in the top 10 early in the race before having to serving a penalty (losing a lap) for “Pulling up to pit”, hence passing the caution car as entering pit road. On lap 219, #3-Dillon had a slow restart with #16-Biffle getting into the back of the #3 and causing Dillon’s car to spin. When Biffle checked up, #48-Johnson hit the #16 car hard, doing serious damage to the car. Johnson was able to get the car repaired and run another 77 laps but finished 38th. Since Johnson had already won a race in the Round of 8, he advanced in the Chase to the Championship 4 at Homestead.
    Four drivers advance to the CHAMPIONSHIP Race of the Chase at Homestead: #48-Johnson, #19-Edwards, #22-Logano, #18-Busch.
    Eliminated from the Chase: #11-Hamlin, #20-Kenseth, #4-Harvick, #41-Busch.
    There were 8 lead changes among 5 drivers and 9 cautions for 53 yellow flag laps.
    The average speed of the race was: 102.866mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
    Chase Reset Points (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Phoenix Race & Points Report (pdf).(11-13-2016)
  • Finishing positions of the 2016 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers at Phoenix:
    (by Chase standings before the race)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 38th
    2) #19-Carl Edwards, 19th
    3) #22-Joey Logano, WON
    4) #18-Kyle Busch, 2nd
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 21st
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 7th
    7) #4-Kevin Harvick, 4th
    8) #41-Kurt Busch, 5th
    (11-13-2016)
  • Race Fast Facts – Phoenix International Raceway:
    Joey Logano won the 29th Annual Can-Am 500, his 17th victory in 290 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his third victory and 25th top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his first victory and ninth top-10 finish in 16 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #18-Kyle Busch (second) posted his 15th top-10 finish in 23 races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 24th top-10 finish in 2016.
    #42-Kyle Larson (third) posted his second top-10 finish in six races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #21-Ryan Blaney (eighth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-13-2016)
  • Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings – Championship 4:
    [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36, Chase race 9 of 10]
    1) #22-Joey Logano [3 wins], 5000
    2) #48-Jimmie Johnson [4 wins], 5000
    5) #19-Carl Edwards [3 wins], 5000
    8) #18-Kyle Busch [4 wins], 5000
    Points are reset after each round, for the Championship 4 it goes to 5000, no points for wins
    Standings are reset by best finish of previous round.
    If tied, then next-best finish within that round of the Chase)
    Remember in the Championship race at Homestead these four drivers do not get points for leading laps(1+1) or winning(3).
    See reset points for the Championship 4 and the rest of the drivers on the Championship 4 Reset Points Standings page (pdf).(11-13-2016)
  • Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings – Round of 8:
    [after Phoenix, race 35 of 36, Chase race 9 of 10]
    1) #22-Joey Logano*, [3 wins], 4118 (won Phoenix)
    2) #19-Carl Edwards*,[3 wins], 4071 (won Texas)
    3) #48-Jimmie Johnson*,[4 wins], 4078 (won Martinsville)
    4) #18-Kyle Busch,[4 wins], 4113, +6
    eliminated from the Chase
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin,[3 wins], 4107, -6
    6) #20-Matt Kenseth,[2 wins], 4094, -19
    7) #4-Kevin Harvick,[4 wins] 4093, -20
    8) #41-Kurt Busch,[1 win], 4076, -37
    (ties are broken by wins, 2nds, 3rds, etc, with in that round of the Chase)
    * will advance to the Championship 4 by winning a Round of 8 race
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Chase Reset Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Phoenix Race & Points Report (pdf).
  • Unofficial Top 25 in 2016 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(EC), 1120
    2) #22-Joey Logano(C1), 1095, -25
    3) #2-Brad Keselowski(EC), 1083, -37
    4) #18-Kyle Busch(C4), 1069, -51
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin(EC), 1052, -68
    6) #41-Kurt Busch(EC), 1027, -93
    7) #19-Carl Edwards(C3), 997, -123
    8) #78-Martin Truex Jr.(EC), 986, -134
    9) #48-Jimmie Johnson(C2), 963, -157
    10) #20-Matt Kenseth(EC), 963, -157
    11) #24-Chase Elliott#(EC), 936, -184
    12) #5-Kasey Kahne, 894, -226
    13) #42-Kyle Larson(EC), 890, -230
    14) #31-Ryan Newman, 879, -241
    15) #3-Austin Dillon(EC), 873, -247
    16) #1-Jamie McMurray(EC), 871, -249
    17) #47-AJ Allmendinger, 797, -323
    18) #21-Ryan Blaney#, 797, -323
    19) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 761, -359
    20) #6-Trevor Bayne, 741, -379
    21) #16-Greg Biffle, 667, -453
    22) #10-Danica Patrick, 667, -453
    23) #27-Paul Menard, 651, -469
    24) #43-Aric Almirola, 637, -483
    25) #14-Tony Stewart(EC), 623, -497
    28) #34-Chris Buescher#(EC), 524, -596
    (C# = chase driver and current Chase position)
    (EC = chase driver that has been eliminated from the Chase)
    (11-13-2016)
  • Race Coverage of the Can-Am 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, November 13, 2016.
    Live tweets at JAYSKI.com #NASCAR Twitter
    Television (TV): NBC at 2:30 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 2:00 pm/et; green flag approx. 2:45pm/et
    RadioMotor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, November 14 at 2:30pm/et on NBCSN
  • Phoenix Sprint Cup Series Pre-Race Schedule for Sunday, November 13: (eastern time)
    2:00:00 NSCS Drivers Introductions
    2:30:00 Intro Presentation of Colors by: Luke Air Force Base Color Guard
    2:30:20 Moment of Silence for Veterans & Invocation by: Ken Bowers, PIR Chaplin
    2:30:45 Intro National Anthem
    2:31:00 National Anthem by Member of the Military Intelligence Corps Band, Fort. Huachuca, AZ – SFC Dana Fischl
    2:32:45 Fly-By (2) F-35’s and (2) F-16’s from Luke Air Force Base
    2:37:30 Command to Start Engines by 5 time world Champion, Vinny Paz
    2:45:00 Green Flag — Can-Am 500
    eastern time (NASCAR.com)
  • Phoenix Race Notes & Facts:
    � There have been 40 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 10, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with seven.
    � Since the advent of electronic scoring (1993) the closest margin of victory in the NSCS at Phoenix was earlier this season (03/13/16) when Kevin Harvick beat Carl Edwards to the line by 0.010 seconds.
    � Of the 40 races at Phoenix six 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); 03/13/16 (312/313).
    � Only two of the 39 races at Phoenix have been shortened due to weather – 10/25/98 (Scheduled 312 / Completed 257); 11/15/2015 (Scheduled 312 / Completed 219)
    (NASCAR)
  • Chase Drivers at Phoenix: After Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field will shrink from eight to four. Here’s how all of the drivers have fared at the one-mile Arizona track.
    1. #48-Jimmie Johnson (clinched Championship 4 berth with win at Martinsville) – In 26 starts at Phoenix, Johnson boasts four wins (second-most in track history), 15 top fives, 19 top 10s and a 7.9 average finish (best among active drivers). The #48 Chevrolet driver has not won at Phoenix since the track was repaved in 2011.
    2. #19-Carl Edwards (clinched Championship 4 berth with win at Texas) – Edwards has two wins, eight top fives and 13 top 10s in 24 starts at Phoenix. He finished runner-up at the one-mile track in March in an extremely tight finish where Kevin Harvick beat him to the stripe by .010 seconds – the closest margin of victory in track history.
    3. #22-Joey Logano (one point ahead of Matt Kenseth on the cutoff line) – In 15 starts at Phoenix, Logano claims no wins, three top fives, eight top 10s and a 14.0 average finish. Before finishing 18th at the one-mile track in March, he posted five consecutive top-10 finishes there.
    4. #18-Kyle Busch (+1) – Busch owns one win, five top fives and 14 top 10s in 22 starts at Phoenix. He has finished fourth in his last two races at the desert track.
    5. #20-Matt Kenseth (one point below Kyle Busch on the cutoff line) – In 27 Phoenix starts, Kenseth has one win, six top fives, 11 top 10s and a 16.3 average finish. His last top 10 in the Phoenix fall race was a seventh-place showing in 2010. Kenseth’s win came in 2002 from the 28th starting position – the furthest back in the field an active race winner has started.
    6. #11-Denny Hamlin (-2) – Hamlin claims one win, 10 top fives, 12 top 10s and an 11.0 average finish in 22 starts at Phoenix. The #11 Toyota driver finished third there in March and eighth last fall.
    7. #4-Kevin Harvick (-18) – Harvick boasts eight wins, 12 top fives, 16 top 10s and a 10.3 average finish in 27 starts at Phoenix. He has won six of the last eight races there and finished runner-up in last year’s fall race.
    8. #41-Kurt Busch (-34) – In 27 Phoenix starts, Busch claims one win, six top fives, 16 top 10s and a 13.4 average finish. He has placed no worse than seventh in his last 27 starts at the one-mile track.(NASCAR)(11-13-2016)
  • Harvick not happy with lack of Stewart ‘credit’: after qualifying at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday, #4-Kevin Harvick was asked:
    Q) WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TONY RETIRING IN TWO RACES AND WHAT HIS LEGACY IS GOING TO BE HERE?
    Harvick: “It’s not going to be what it should be because I don’t think anybody did a very good job of giving him the credit that he deserved throughout the year at the race tracks and from a sports standpoint. That has been very disappointing from my standpoint. I know that Tony probably would say that he didn’t want that but I don’t think anybody has done a very good job of giving him the credit for the time that he has put in and had in the sport. A three-time champion, multiple race winner, IndyCar champion and winner and to auto racing in general. It’s been pretty disheartening to me to see the lack of credit that he has gotten.”(Team Chevy Qualifying Notes and Quotes)(11-13-2016)
  • Race for final Chase spots may cause hurt feelings: Six drivers vying for two spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship 4 Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway just might be a recipe for bad blood – particularly since three of the six drive for the same organization. “There’s an opportunity for two or three of us to be disappointed – or one of us,” says #11-Denny Hamlin, who is battling his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates #18-Kyle Busch and #20-Matt Kenseth, along with #22-Joey Logano, #4-Kevin Harvick and #41-Kurt Busch, for one of the final spots. “There’s always going to be hurt feelings, but I don’t think it has anything to do with each other. I think that, for me, if we don’t make it, then we just weren’t good enough. We’ve had one good finish and one average finish in this round, and you’ve got to have a lot of speed at every race track. Every race in this (Round of 8) – Texas, Martinsville and Phoenix – it’s an elimination race. Even though they cut us off at the end of Phoenix, it started in Martinsville. You have to have speed every single race, so if we don’t make it, it’s not my teammates’ fault. It’s our own.”
    The race could hardly be tighter between the teammates. With six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and JGR driver Carl Edwards having clinched berths in the Championship 4 with respective victories at Martinsville and Texas, Logano and Kyle Busch are tied for third in the Chase standings, with Kenseth one point back and Hamlin two behind. In the event of a dead heat for one of the final four positions, Logano currently holds the tiebreaker on the strength of his runner-up finish at Texas.
    Harvick, who has won five of the past six races at Phoenix, likely needs a victory in Sunday’s Can-Am 500 to overcome an 18-point deficit to Logano and Kyle Busch and advance to Homestead. If Harvick gets the win, that leaves one spot available to the three remaining Gibbs drivers, and don’t expect them to race each other with kid gloves in the closing laps. Asked whether he would use the bumper on one of his teammates to gain the final spot in the Championship 4, Hamlin quipped, “No, I would not – that’s my answer today.”
    Sunday might be another matter, but for Kyle Busch, whether it’s Friday or Sunday is of no consequence. Asked whether he would move a teammate to make the final round, Kyle Busch was unequivocal. “Absolutely,” he said.(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-13-2016)
  • Harvick left hanging after reaching out to Dillon: #4-Kevin Harvick said he reached out to #3-Austin Dillon following last week’s incident between the two Sprint Cup Series drivers at Texas Motor Speedway but got no response. Austin Dillon said he’s here at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend to race, and preferred not to comment on what took place last weekend. “I reached out to him and he didn’t reach back,” Harvick, the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, said after qualifying Friday at PIR. “So it is what it is.” The two competitors were racing for fifth place at Texas when contact from Harvick’s #4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy sent Dillon’s car into the wall in Turn 4 and ended his night.(NASCAR.com)(11-13-2016)
  • Brian France talks family business, NASCAR at Phoenix conference: During a keynote presentation Friday at Transitions West 2016, a family business conference held in Phoenix, Arizona, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France shared stories of advice provided to him by his grandfather William H.G. France and father Bill France Jr. – and how he now is doing the same with his nephew Ben Kennedy, a driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
    “I sat [Kennedy] down a while back and I told him, ‘You better figure out where is your value going to come in the business,'” said France. “He’s going to get an opportunity. He deserves an opportunity. He’s a great guy, a great student and he deserves every opportunity you’d want any other family member to get. But on the other hand, I want him to really think long and hard about coming into the business where he can add value. That’s harder and harder to do when businesses are more mature.”
    Each generation of the France family passed down that specific piece of advice, Brian France said Friday, and NASCAR’s current leader said he took it to heart. France saw his value in ushering NASCAR into the 21st Century, making bold decisions while using the constantly growing technology space to help bring the sport closer to fans. France created the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup which has led to the most dramatic racing in years; introduced the landmark Charter and track sanctioning agreements that created stability for NASCAR’s teams and racetracks; signed agreements with FOX and NBC worth a reported $8.2 billion deal to broadcast races for the next decade; secured more FORTUNE 500 partnerships than at any time in history; and spearheaded the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.
    France talked about the importance of learning the business from the ground up and how that led to his first signature achievement – when as senior vice president in 1999, he consolidated the sanctioning body’s television rights. “People said it could never be done, you’re too independent, tracks would never go along with that. And we took revenues at the time from $90 million to now $900 million in that one area.”
    Under France’s leadership, NASCAR now has more FORTUNE 500 partnerships than at any time in history and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program is beginning to bear fruit which is critical to widening the fan base. “I think communicating with your industry, your stakeholders, you can’t do that enough, you literally can’t do that enough,” he said. NASCAR’s new emphasis on collaboration with its industry becomes even more important as fans change the way they consume sports – one of the biggest challenges France says the sanctioning body faces in the next five to 10 years. “Millennial fans are consuming things way differently,” France said. “They’re getting their NASCAR not just solely from the TV, now it’s online, it’s video clips, it could be a number of things. They want to be entertained at a different level. They want to connect with their friends at the events.”
    France believes that NASCAR’s emphasis on technology at the track and in its communication with fans provides it with an advantage over other sports in the changing consumption space. The sanctioning body has emphasized engaging with fans on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Year-to-date, the NASCAR Facebook and Twitter accounts have generated 3.8 billion impressions. NASCAR’s variety of digital offerings include NASCAR Drive, which gives fans drivers’ views from the cockpit, the NASCAR mobile app and a plethora of video content on NASCAR.com. Across all its digital platforms, NASCAR Digital Media has registered 890 million page views and 296 video views. “In our case, we can be a great validator of technology because of all the telemetry and things that go on to make up an event,” he said. “We can be very interactive, we already are, but we can be a lot better for our fan base. We have to get all that stuff right.”(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-13-2016)
  • Stewart to be honored: #14-Tony Stewart will receive a painting depicting various cars he’s driven at PIR during pre-race ceremonies. Sunday is scheduled to be the three-time Cup champion’s next-to-last race before concluding the NASCAR portion of his career. Stewart’s average finish in 27 Cup races at the Avondale oval is 14th, with one win and 12 top-10s.(Arizona Republic)(11-13-2016)
  • Drivers and other members of the NASCAR community attend childs funeral: Joey Logano joined roughly 60 members of the NASCAR community this week attending the funeral of a young boy whom they’d never met. The poignant display of uniformed crew members and drivers was all for Jake Leatherman, who died earlier this month following a long battle with leukemia. Charlotte news anchor Molly Grantham of WBTV had posted a request from Leatherman’s mother asking for people from the NASCAR garage to show up in uniform for his funeral. Logano and fellow drivers Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Ellis and JJ Yeley were among those who answered the call, along with crew members from teams like Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports (some of whom served as pallbearers). In addition, Logano’s wife Brittany arranged for a custom firesuit for Leatherman to be buried with.(USA Today)(11-13-2016)


    News from November 12, 2016


     

  • Happy Hour (final) practice for the Can-Am 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest & notes:
    #18-Busch 136.358
    #2-Keselowski 136.286
    #22-Logano 136.204
    #88-Bowman 136.044
    #3-Dillon 135.977
    slowest: #32-Earnhardt 129.711 & #30-Gaulding 131.584
    most laps run: #1-McMurray, 59 laps; #18-Busch, 56
    best 10 consecutive lap ave (33 cars): #88-Bowman 135.417mph
    notes: #78-Truex Jr.’s team will not change the engine in the car.
    #42-Larson spun off turn 2 late in the session, didn’t hit anything.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap aves on the Phoenix Happy Hour Practice speeds page (pdf).(11-12-2016)
  • Happy Hour practice rank for the Chase drivers at Phoenix:
    (in current Chase standings order)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 11th
    2) #19-Carl Edwards, 15th
    3) #22-Joey Logano, 3rd
    4) #18-Kyle Busch, 1st
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 10th
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 22nd
    7) #4-Kevin Harvick, 14th
    8) #41-Kurt Busch, 20th
    (11-12-2016)
  • Saturday 1st practice for the Can-Am 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest & notes:
    #78-Truex Jr. 135.476
    #2-Keselowski 135.410
    #1-McMurray 135.105
    #42-Larson 135.059
    #22-Logano 135.014
    slowest: #30-Gaulding 128.329 & #32-Earnhardt 129.278
    most laps run: #14-Stewart, #24-Elliott, #95-McDowell, 49 laps
    best 10 consecutive lap ave (30 cars): #78-Truex Jr. 134.539mph
    Notes: #78-Truex Jr.’s over heated early when duct work was blocked, the team may change engines after the practices.
    Happy Hour (final) practice is scheduled for 6:00pm/et today TV=NBCSN.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap aves on the Phoenix Practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-12-2016)
  • Saturday 1st practice rank for the Chase drivers at Phoenix:
    (in current Chase standings order)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 11th
    2) #19-Carl Edwards, 19th
    3) #22-Joey Logano, 5th
    4) #18-Kyle Busch, 8th
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 13th
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 10th
    7) #4-Kevin Harvick, 6th
    8) #41-Kurt Busch, 9th
    (11-12-2016)
  • U.S. Air Force and RPM Team Again in 2017: Richard Petty Motorsports and the U.S. Air Force announced that they will once again team up for the 2017 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 ninth 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 also be continuing its Summer Engineering Internship with U.S. Air Force Academy Cadets at Richard Petty Motorsports applying their knowledge of aerodynamics, fuels and engineering systems to optimize the #43 car. The U.S. Air Force will remain an associate partner on the historic #43 for the entirety of the 2017 season and will 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. “I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot of things and meet a lot of people through our partnership with the Air Force,” said Almirola. “I’ve had rides in fighter planes, experienced refueling missions and toured many bases, but the thing I love most about the partnership is being able meet and thank the men and women of the Air Force. The things they do to keep our country safe is nothing short of amazing. It’s remarkable to see that the Air Force and all of its members are working at the forefront of technology and truly making a difference. I’m honored to be able to represent them and share the message of the Air Force will all of our race fans.”
    This season marks the Air Force’s 17th season in NASCAR and ninth consecutive season with Richard Petty Motorsports. “The Air Force is excited to partner with Richard Petty Motorsports again in 2017, for the ninth 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), see an image of the 2017 scheme on the #43 Team 2017 Schemes page.(11-12-2016)
  • Baldwin meets with employees, ‘exploring all my opportunities’ for team’s future UPDATE4:Unsure about his organization’s future, #7 team owner Tommy Baldwin met with his employees Monday “so I can give them the options if they needed to go find a job.” Baldwin said Tuesday that “I’m exploring all my opportunities right now. I’m trying to figure everything out.” He hopes to have his plans solidified by some point in December. Among the options, there is one thing Baldwin said he won’t do. “I would never shut down,” said Baldwin, whose team debuted in the Cup series in 2009. “Don’t use that word. The options are keep going or sell. That’s the only two options we have.” Baldwin admits he’s given his employees a similar message “in six out of the eight years” of the team and always made it to the next season. “The technology has just increased,” Baldwin said. “Everyone has just become smarter. The race teams, with Michael Waltrip Racing shutting down (after the 2015 season) and some other things, it put a lot good people, dispersed a lot of good people to different teams. Everyone had to spend a lot more money to keep up with the Gibbs and Hendrick programs. It’s funny to me how everyone thinks our racing is not good. This is the most competitive that NASCAR has ever been.” Baldwin admits it has been a struggle at times for the team and driver Regan Smith. Baldwin has one of the 36 charters granted to Sprint Cup teams at the beginning of this season. That adds value to his organization, ensuring that his team – or whoever purchases the charter, if that happens – would be in every Cup points race. Baldwin’s car is 32nd in the car owner point standings, ahead of five other teams that have charters (another team below Baldwin’s leased its charter for this season). Smith is 33rd in the driver standings. He finished a season-best third at Pocono in August. His only other top-10 finish this year has been an eighth-place result in the Daytona 500.(NBC Sports)
    UPDATE: hearing that Baldwin has sold the #7 TBR charter to the #95 Circle Sport – Leavine Family Racing team. Not sure if that means the team will have two charters and run two teams or if Circle Sport gets one of the charters and runs the #33 team again. Supposedly Casey Mears will be the driver of the #95. Rumors have floated around the Ty Dillon would take over the #13 Germain Racing Chevy ride with increased support from Richard Childress Racing. No word if Baldwin would stay on as a part-owner or crew chief, move on to another team or keep running the #7 TBR team as an open team.
    UPDATE2: FS1’s NASCAR Racehub show confirmed Wednesday with multiple sources that Tommy Baldwain Racing has signed paperwork to transfer ownership charter to Leavine Family Racing (#95 Chevy). It was also reported that LFR leased their charter for 2016, supposedly from Circle Sport, which ran the #33 Chevy for years under the ownership of Joe Falk. Baldwin could play an advisory role with the team. TBR declined to comment. (10-19-2016)
    UPDATE3: Leavine Family Racing is in the process of buying a charter for next season as its relationship with Circle Sport owner Joe Falk (who has a charter) will end after 2016, Leavine VP Jeremy Lange said Wednesday. Lange wouldn’t confirm from which team it is buying a charter. The team plans to operate one Cup car (the #95) next year with a Richard Childress Racing alliance. Michael McDowell has been the Leavine primary driver since 2014 and has built a good relationship with the team but does not have a deal signed yet to drive for the team next season.(ESPN)(10-20-2016) UPDATE 4: #95-Leavine Family Racing is looking for sponsorship for Michael McDowell as Thrivent Financial has informed the team it won’t return next season. The team is in the process of obtaining a charter to have a guaranteed spot next year and plans to run McDowell in all races with Todd Parrott to continue to crew chief in 2017. The team is riding momentum – McDowell has top-20 finishes in three of the last five races and has finished top-25 in all five of those events.(ESPN)(11-12-2016)
  • Wood Brothers Racing moving; plans to have Blaney return: If all goes as planned, #21-Wood Brothers Racing will be moved into its new home by the middle of next week and driver Ryan Blaney will be back with the team in 2017. Wood Brothers co-owner Len Wood said Friday that the team is almost entirely moved out of its shop in Harrisburg, NC, and will be moving about 45 minutes away to Mooresville. Wood said the team is moving into a former HScott Motorsports shop K&N; Series shop near Mooresville Dragway. The facility is in a business park filled with racing teams and more importantly is very close to Penske Racing, with whom the Woods have a close affiliation. The Wood Brothers had been in Harrisburg since late 2005, sharing the shop in recent years with JTG Daugherty Racing, which Len Wood said purchased the Woods’ portion of the facility earlier this year. As for Blaney, who had a successful rookie season in the Wood Brothers first full season of racing since 2008, Wood said the team intends to have him drive the #21 Ford again in 2017.(FoxSports)(11-12-2016)
  • Phoenix Driver Notes & Facts:
    � 206 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix; 150 in more than one.
    � Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon lead series in starts at Phoenix with 34 each; Ryan Newman leads all active drivers with 28 starts.
    � Rusty Wallace leads the series at Phoenix in average starting position (8.053); Kyle Larson leads all active drivers with an 8.200.
    � There have been 23 different NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race winners at Phoenix, eight have won more than once, led by Kevin Harvick, with eight – (’06 spring race and Chase race, ’12 Chase race, ’13 Chase race, ’14 spring race and Chase race, ’15 spring race and ’16 spring race).
    � Eight drivers have multiple wins at Phoenix: Kevin Harvick leads the series in wins with eight 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).
    � Matt Kenseth won the 2002 race from the 28th-place starting position, the furthest back an active race winner has started.
    � 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 26.
    � 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 15; followed by Kevin Harvick Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon with 12 each.
    � Jeff Gordon leads the series in top-10 finishes at Phoenix with 24, followed by Mark Martin with 21. Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with 19.
    � Alan Kulwicki leads the series in average finishing position at Phoenix with a 5.200. Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with a 7.846; he is the only active driver with more than one start to have 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 March 2015.
    � Danica Patrick is the only female driver that has made a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at Phoenix International Raceway.
    (NASCAR)
  • Bowman talks about 2017 prospects: #88-Alex Bowman, met with members of the media Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. He discussed his role driving the #88 Chevy, his future plans in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and other topics. The transcript in part:
    Q) DO YOU HAVE A DRIVE IN PLACE FOR 2017?
    Bowman: “No, I’m still waiting for the right opportunity to come along. There’s nothing that has really fit that has come along. I’ll still probably have my day job at Hendrick Motorsports driving the simulator. We’ll go from there.”
    Q) THIS SEASON, STEPPING INTO THE NO. 88 CHEVROLET WASN’T THE EASIEST SITUATION TO STEP INTO BUT YOU’VE GOTTEN SOME SIGNIFICANT SEATTIME IN A QUALITY RIDE. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THE MOST IN THE WHOLE PROCESS OF DRIVING THE #88 CHEVROLET?
    Bowman: “Really it’s been a big learning process on how Hendrick Motorsports works – the process on doing things, how they operate as a team. It’s been incredible to be a part of it, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot doing it. It’s been a lot of fun and a huge blessing in my life to do this. I’m trying to make the most of it but at the same time trying to have as much fun as I can. You never know when this is going to end or if you’re ever going to get an opportunity like this again. So it’s been a lot of fun.”(Team Chevy)(11-12-2016)
  • Safeway featured on the #44 at Phoenix: With just two races left in the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season (and Scott’s racing career), Brian Scott and the #44 team are heading back out west for the final short-track race of the year at Phoenix International Raceway. With its proximity to Idaho, Scott considers Phoenix a homecoming, especially with Safeway, a banner store of Albertsons, and Whitetail adorning the hood of the Ford Fusion, in which Scott has ties to both companies. Scott has two starts in the Cup series at Phoenix, finishing 27th in the spring race. However, one of Scott’s Camping World Truck Series wins came at Phoenix in 2012. In 13 starts in the XFINITY Series, he has five Top-10 finishes, a highest finish of seventh in 2014. Safeway, a banner store under the Albertsons umbrella, will be featured on the hood of the #44 Ford.(RPM), see image of the scheme / car on the #44 Team Schemes page. (11-12-2016)
  • Stewart to be guest of honor in Festival of Lights Parade: Columbus (IN) native Tony Stewart will climb back into a car after his retirement as a NASCAR driver – in a passenger seat while traveling along a downtown street. Stewart, the three-time NASCAR champion who is on the final laps of his 18-year career as a Sprint Cup driver, will return to his hometown Dec. 3 to be guest of honor in the city’s Festival of Lights Parade, Mayor Jim Lienhoop said Friday. Stewart has appeared in Columbus parades before – the most recent one five years ago to the day.(The Republic)(11-12-2016)
  • Jimmie Johnson Foundation announces nearly $600,000 in Champions Grants: #48-Jimmie Johnson, and his wife Chandra, announced at an event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, that 12 schools will receive $599,891 in Champions Grants this year. The grants are awarded annually to K-12 public and charter schools in and around their hometowns in San Diego and El Cajon, California and Muskogee and Tulsa, Oklahoma, as well as their current residence in Charlotte, North Carolina. This year, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Champions Grant awards included $228,404 toward language and literacy initiatives, $195,745 toward science and technology programs, $145,742 for health and fitness activities, and $30,000 toward school improvement projects. See the full list of grants at jimmiejohnsonfoundation.org.(JJF)(11-12-2016)
  • Two loose lug nuts for Sadler after Phoenix race: Elliott Sadler’s #1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet had 18 of 20 lug nuts safe and secure following Saturday night’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, a development that will have implications for next week’s championship race. Sadler finished 13th on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway, his finish good enough to advance to the Championship 4 next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Officials took a close look at the car’s lug nuts following the Ticket Galaxy 200, where they discovered two were either loose or missing. It’s the second consecutive week lug nut issues plagued the #1 team. As a result, crew chief Kevin Meendering will be suspended for the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition Scott Miller told NBCSN after the race.(NASCAR.com)(11-12-2016)
  • Kyle Busch wins XFINITY race at Phoenix: #18-Kyle Busch won the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 86th XFINITY Series career win and 10th of the year. #2-Austin Dillon finished second, followed by #60-Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., #7-Justin Allgaier, #19-Daniel Suarez, #16-Ryan Reed, #3-Ty Dillon, #11-Blake Koch, #22-Brad Keselowski, and #20-Erik Jones. Busch started on the pole and dominated the race, leading 190 of the 200 laps.
    Chase drivers that clinched a spot in the Championship race at Homestead: #19-Daniel Suarez, #1-Elliot Sadler, #7-Justin Allgaier, and #20-Erik Jones.
    Drivers that were eliminated from the Chase: #11-Blake Koch, #16-Ryan Reed, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., and #62-Brendan Gaughan.
    Wallace and Gaughan were each involved in accidents and finished 32nd and 35th, respectively.
    There were 6 cautions for 39 laps and 6 lead changes among 4 leaders.
    The average speed was 97.310mph.
    Complete results are on the Phoenix race results page (pdf).
    (11-12-2016)
  • Phoenix XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Busch(i) won the 18th Annual Ticket Galaxy 200, his 86th victory in 328 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his 10th victory and 14th top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his 10th victory and 17th top-10 finish in 21 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Austin Dillon(i) (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in nine races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 15th top-10 finish in 2016.
    Ricky Stenhouse Jr(i) (third) posted his seventh top-10 finish in seven races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Erik Jones (C) (10th) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Daniel Suarez (C) leads the point standings by 9 points over Elliott Sadler (C).
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-12-2016)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Phoenix:
    Top 4 drivers compete for the Championship at Homestead:
    1) #19-Daniel Suarez [2 wins], 3111, +19 ahead of 4th
    2) #1-Elliott Sadler [3 wins], 3102, +10
    3) #20-Erik Jones [4 wins], 3097, +5
    4) #7-Justin Allgaier, 3096, +4 ahead of 5th
    Bottom 4 drivers have been eliminated:
    5) #11-Blake Koch, 3092, -4 behind 4th
    6) #16-Ryan Reed, 3089, -7
    7) #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., 3048, -48
    8) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 3032, -64
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(11-12-2016)
  • Texas XFINITY TV Ratings: NASCAR Xfinity Series racing from Texas had a 0.9 final rating and 1.4 million viewers on the NBC broadcast network last Saturday, down 40% in ratings and 38% in viewership from last year (1.5, 2.2M) and down 18% and 16%, respectively, from 2014 on ESPN (1.1, 1.6M). It was the lowest rated Xfinity Series race on a broadcast network this year.(Sports Media Watch)(11-12-2016)
  • Kyle Busch on XFINITY pole at Phoenix: #18-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light pole for the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 136.132mph. #20-Erik Jones will start second. The rest of the top 10: #16-Ryan Reed, #11-Blake Koch, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #19-Daniel Suarez, #88-Alex Bowman, #2-Austin Dillon, #7-Justin Allgaier, and #1-Elliott Sadler.
    The only Chase driver not starting in the top 10 is #62-Brendan Gaughan. He starts 25th.
    Did Not Qualify: #93-David Starr, #89-Morgan Shepherd, #77-Ryan Ellis and #70-Dexter Stacey.
    The starting lineup is posted on the Phoenix starting lineup page (pdf).(11-12-2016)
  • Phoenix XFINITY Qualifying Notes:
    Kyle Busch(i) won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 18th Annual Ticket Galaxy 200 with a lap of 26.445 seconds, 136.132 mph.
    This is his 57th pole in 328 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his ninth pole and 17th top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his ninth pole in 21 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Erik Jones (C) (second) posted his 31st top-10 start of 2016 and his fifth in five races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Ryan Reed (C) (third) posted his first top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his seventh in 32 races this season.
    Erik Jones (C) (second) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-12-2016)
  • DC Solar to sponsor Spring XFINITY race at Phoenix: Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced that DC Solar has been named the title sponsor of the track’s spring NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2017 and 2018. The DC Solar 200 for the upcoming NASCAR season will take place on Saturday, March 18. In conjunction with the entitlement, PIR will implement DC Solar’s mobile solar generator portfolio throughout the Raceway property. Fans will benefit by the addition of Power Stations – DC Solar’s mobile generator-based, table-top stations that provide AC outlets for users to charge their personal devices. The convenience and sustainability of this new product, located throughout the Fan Midway, will increase the overall fan experience and engagement with PIR’s newest partner. Phoenix Raceway will also incorporate mobile solar light towers on and around the track for safety and security, as well as traffic control. Not only will the towers reduce overall carbon emissions at the track, a single solar light tower will save over 24 gallons of diesel fuel per tower during the race weekend. Additionally, electric vehicle (EV) charging stations will be added so that EV drivers can charge their cars with mobile solar power while attending events. DC Solar has committed to working with other tracks around the NASCAR circuit to integrate their products and technology, including the first-ever solar powered cool down unit on pit road for NASCAR XFINITY Series driver, Brennan Poole.(PIR)(11-12-2016)


    News from November 11, 2016


     

  • Alex Bowman wins Phoenix pole: #88-Alex Bowman won the Coors Light pole for the Can-AM 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway with speed of 140.521mph for his 1st pole of 2016, 1st at Phoenix and FIRST of his career in his 80th start.
    #42-Larson will start 2nd, followed by #24-Elliott, #22-Logano, #11-Hamlin, #4-Harvick, #3-Dillon, #21-Blaney, #1-McMurray, #20-Kenseth, #19-Edwards and #41-Busch.
    #22-Logano was fastest in the second round with a speed of 140.378mph and will start 4th.
    #4-Harvick was fastest in the first round with a speed of 139.746mph and will start 6th.
    #78-Truex Jr., in a backup car, failed to run a qualifying lap and will start 40th.
    Driver(s) who will miss the race: none, 40 drivers entered
    See round-by-round qualifying results on the Phoenix qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Phoenix Starting Lineup page (pdf).(11-11-2016)
  • Phoenix International Raceway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
    #88-Alex Bowman won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 29th Annual Can-Am 500 with a lap of 25.619 seconds, 140.521 mph.
    This is his first pole in 80 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his first pole and fourth top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in five races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #42-Kyle Larson (second) posted his 10th top-10 start of 2016 and his fifth in six races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    #24-Chase Elliott (third) posted his first top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 17th in 35 races this season.
    #24-Chase Elliott (third) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-11-2016)
  • Starting positions of the 2016 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers at Phoenix:
    (by Chase standings before the race)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 17th
    2) #19-Carl Edwards, 11th
    3) #22-Joey Logano, 4th
    4) #18-Kyle Busch, 19th
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 10th
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 5th
    7) #4-Kevin Harvick, 6th
    8) #41-Kurt Busch, 12th
    (11-11-2016)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the Can-Am 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #22-Logano 140.378
    #3-Dillon 139.914
    #42-Larson 139.855
    #21-Blaney 139.811
    #24-Elliott 139.768
    the rest of the top 12: 11 88 41 4 1 20 19;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 5 2 31 10 48 47 18 27 17 13 6 16
    (11-11-2016)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the Can-Am 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #4-Harvick 139.746
    #3-Dillon 139.719
    #42-Larson 139.524
    #88-Bowman 139.367
    #21-Blaney 139.340
    the rest of the top 24: 5 11 22 2 19 18 24 31 41 1 48 20 10 27 17;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 14 95 43 38 7 34 23 83 44 15 32 46 30 98 55 78
    #78-Truex Jr.’s team didn’t get the car ready in time and failed to make a run, will start 40th.
    Drivers who will miss the race: none as 40 cars entered for 40 spots
    (11-11-2016)
  • Coverage of Qualifying for the Can-Am 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is scheduled for Friday, November 11, 2016 at 6:45pm/et.
    Television (TV): NBCSN, 6:30pm/et
    Radio: Live online at Motor Racing Network (MRN)
    Scheduled Qualifying Re-Air: Saturday, November 12th on NBCSN at 1:30pm/et
  • Group qualifying under the three-round qualifying format:
    ” Round 1 — All entries will have 20 minutes to post a qualifying time, after which the 24 registering the fastest laps will advance to the second round. Those failing to advance will be sorted based on first-round times in descending order (from fastest to slowest).
    ” Round 2 — The 24 fastest from the first round will have 10 minutes to post a second-round qualifying time, with the 12 fastest advancing to a third round. Those not advancing will earn starting positions 13 through 24 based on time, again in descending order.
    ” Round 3 — The final round will be five minutes in length. The fastest times from this session will determine the first (Coors Light Pole Award) through 12th starting positions.
    There will be a seven-minute break between each round; teams may make adjustments to their entries only during the individual breaks. They will not be allowed to jack the vehicle or raise the hood, and once the car or truck enters the garage, it will no longer be permitted to return to the track for additional qualifying attempts.
  • Qualifying Order for the Can-Am 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted. 40 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #7-Smith.
    The final driver lined up on pit road will be #55-Kennington.
    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 Order Page (pdf).
  • Phoenix Pole Notes & Facts:
    � 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.
    � Casey Atwood (October 2001), Denny Hamlin (November, 2005) and AJ Allmendinger (April, 2010) won their first career NSCS poles at Phoenix International Raceway.
    � Five of the 40 (12.5%) 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 40 (20%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from the front row: five from the pole and three from second-place.
    � 20 of the 40 (50%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position inside the top 10.
    � 20 of the 40 (50%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.
    � 3 of the 40 (7.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    � Ricky Rudd won the 1995 Phoenix race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
    � Qualifying has never been cancelled due to weather at Phoenix International Raceway.
    (NASCAR)
  • Friday practice for the Can-Am 350(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is over, after 85 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest & notes:
    #42-Larson 139.524
    #22-Logano 139.324
    #24-Elliott 139.297
    #11-Hamlin 139.152
    #78-Truex Jr. 139.136
    slowest: #55-Kennington 128.599 & #98-Sorenson 129.538
    most laps run: #18-Busch 34; #21-Blaney 31
    best 10 consecutive lap ave (3 cars): #14-Stewart, 134.421mph
    Notes: #78-Truex Jr. hit the wall towards the end of practice and pancaked the right side of the car. The team pulled out the backup car qualifying, which is scheduled for 6:45pm/et today TV=NBCSN.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap aves on the Phoenix Practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-11-2016)
  • Friday practice rank for the Chase drivers at Phoenix:
    (in current Chase standings order)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 7th
    2) #19-Carl Edwards, 13th
    3) #22-Joey Logano, 2nd
    4) #18-Kyle Busch, 19th
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 10th
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin, 4th
    7) #4-Kevin Harvick, 15th
    8) #41-Kurt Busch, 8th
    (11-11-2016)
  • Cat MineStar featured on the #31 at Phoenix: Ryan Newman will make his 547th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start when the series embarks on its 35th event of the season driving the #31 Cat MineStar Chevy at Phoenix. Caterpillar has spent over 90 years committed to innovation and technology that helps customers succeed. For any type of mine, any size of operation, any brand of equipment, there’s a mix of Cat MineStar technologies and services to help customers get more out of their operations (RCR), see image of the scheme / car on the #31 Team Schemes page. (11-11-2016)
  • SKF sponsors Blaney at Phoenix: Ryan Blaney and the #21 SKF Ford team head into this weekend’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway heartened by a strong run at Texas Motor Speedway and looking to end the season on a positive note. “I’m really excited to have SKF with us this weekend,” he said. “They have been a big supporter in my Cup career. I don’t have a lot of Cup experience at Phoenix, but earlier in the year we finished 10th in our first Cup start here. I am hoping the team and I can have another solid run for SKF and KAMAN.” Team co-owner Len Wood also said he’s hoping to deliver a strong Phoenix finish for sponsors SKF and KAMAN. “We’ve gotten to work with SKF several times in the past two seasons and their support is much appreciated,” Wood said. “You always want to put your sponsor’s colors up front on the race track, and that’s what we plan to do this weekend.” SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems, and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training.(Wood Brothers Racing), see image of the scheme / car on the #21 Team Schemes page. (11-11-2016)
  • Gray Gaulding returns to the #30 at Phoenix: Gray Gaulding will be back behind the wheel of the #30 Feed the Children Chevy in Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway making his second start in the Sprint Cup Series. Gaulding’s debut at Martinsville was cut short after a broken rear gear forced the team behind the wall for lengthy repairs. Gaulding has one win and one runner-up finish with an average finishing position of 11th in five previous starts at PIR. Gaulding: “Phoenix is one of my favorite tracks we race at, we have had great success in the past and hopefully some of that experience will pay off in Sunday’s race. I learned a lot at Martinsville and will continue learning every time I strap in the car. My plan going into the weekend is to be a sponge and soak in the knowledge and continue building on previous experiences.”(GGR Enterprises)(11-11-2016)
  • Kennington to make debut at Phoenix: Premium Motorsports announced that DJ Kennington will be behind the wheel of the #55 Chevy for the Can-Am 500k. Kennington has driven for Premium Motorsports in The NASCAR Camping World Series during the 2016 Season. Northern Provincial Pipelines, based in Edson, Alberta, Canada and led by Dwight Kennedy has been a longtime sponsor of DJ Kennington will be the sponsor. Team owner Jay Robinson says, “DJ has ran really well for Premium Motorsports this year and I look forward to seeing him in the #55 Sprint Cup Series Car.”(Premium Motorsports PR)(11-11-2016)
  • added the #21 SKF / Kaman#31 Cat Mining / Minestar#22 Shell Pennzoil / PVA Mosiac#47 Fry’s / Clorox and #44 Safeway schemes that will run at Phoenix in November (11-11-2016)
  • Logano’s car to honor veterans at Phoenix: Shell, Pennzoil and Team Penske will add a special section to the “mosaic” paint scheme on Joey Logano’s #22 Ford for the Can-Am 500 race at Phoenix International Speedway (PIR) this weekend in honor of Veteran’s Day. Logano has carried the mosaic scheme in eight races so far in 2016 to celebrate Team Penske’s 50th anniversary. The mosaic consists of 140 unique images from significant moments in Team Penske’s history in motorsports. In addition to celebrating the 50 years of Team Penske, Shell and Pennzoil want to recognize our veterans that have sacrificed so much to allow us to do what we love – race. This weekend, the deck lid of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford includes a photo mosaic of Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) members and historic moments in PVA’s history as they celebrate their 70th year. The Paralyzed Veterans of America was founded in 1946 by a band of WWII veterans. The organization helped establish a specialized system of care for spinal cord injury and/or disease, and advocated for benefits accessibility and the civil rights of individuals with disabilities.(Team Penske), see image of the decklind on the #22 Team Schemes page. (11-11-2016)
  • Truex Jr. Taking Team Military Spirit to Phoenix: Friday’s opening practice session for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway falls on the same day that Americans pay tribute to the men and women who served in the United States military. Veterans Day, the annual federal holiday that is celebrated on Nov. 11, takes on a special importance for #78 Furniture Row Racing and its nine team members, who served in the U.S. military – Henry Benfield (Army), Gregg Huls (Marine Corps), Barry Huston (Navy), Charlie Krauch (Army), Chuck Lemay (Navy), John Parks (Marine Corps), Craig Phillips (Air Force), Chris Taylor (Marine Corps) and team owner Barney Visser (Army). “We are all proud of our members at Furniture Row Racing who served in the military,” said team driver Martin Truex Jr. “We salute not only our team military veterans, but to all the men and women who have made sacrifices to defend our freedom.”(FRR)(11-11-2016)
  • Brennan Poole paces final XFINITY practice: #48-Brennan Poole was quickest in final practice at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 134.098mph. #18-Kyle Busch was second, followed by: #20-Erik Jones, #62-Brendan Gaughan, #42-Justin Marks, #7-Justin Allgaier, #2-Austin Dillon, #19-Daniel Suarez, #39-Ryan Sieg, and #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr. 42 of 44 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Phoenix practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-11-2016)
  • Kyle Busch fastest in first XFINITY practice: #18-Kyle Busch was fastest during opening practice at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 133.284mph. The rest of the top 10: #19-Daniel Suarez, #22-Brad Keselowski, #20-Erik Jones, #7-Justin Allgaier, #2-Austin Dillon, #88-Alex Bowman, #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., #3-Ty Dillon, and #48-Brennan Poole. 42 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Phoenix practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-11-2016)
  • Suarez wins Truck Series Race at Phoenix: #51-Daniel Suarez claimed his first career Truck Series win in the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night. Suarez was running second when his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, #9-William Byron, lost an engine just 11 laps from the finish. Suarez inherited the lead and Byron finished 27th. The results dropped him out of the final four in the Chase to the Championship for the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Byron won six races this season, earned the pole in Phoenix, and led a race high 112 of the 150 laps.
    #21-Johnny Sauter, #88-Matt Crafton, #13-Cameron Hayley, #17-Timothy Peters, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #4-Christopher Bell, #11-Matt Tifft, #33-Ben Kennedy, and #00-Cole Custer were the remainder of the top-10.
    #21-Sauter, #88-Crafton, #4-Bell, and #17-Peters are the final four contending for the Championship in Homestead.
    Suarez’s win secured the manufacturer’s championship for Toyota.
    There were 9 cautions for 49 laps and 5 lead changes among 3 leaders.
    The average speed was 84.441mph.
    Complete results are on the Texas race results page (pdf).
    (11-11-2016)
  • Phoenix Race Fast Facts:
    Daniel Suarez(i) won the 22nd Annual Lucas Oil 150, his first victory in 26 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his first victory and second top-10 finish in two races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Johnny Sauter (C) (second) posted his sixth top-10 finish in eight races at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his 18th top-10 finish in 2016.
    Matt Crafton (C) (third) posted his 11th top-10 finish in 16 races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Christopher Bell (C) (seventh) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Johnny Sauter (C) leads the point standings by 25 points over Matt Crafton (C).
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-11-2016)
  • Truck Series Driver standings following Phoenix:
    1)#21-Johnny Sauter [3 wins], 4000
    2) #88-Matt Crafton [2 wins], 4000
    3) #4-Christopher Bell# [1 win], 4000
    4) #17-Timothy Peters, 4000
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(11-11-2016)
  • Owner Standings following Phoenix: are posted (pdf).(11-11-2016)
  • Free Pass – Who got a lap back on each caution at Phoenix Truck Race: (and their finish)
    Caution 1: none
    Caution 2: none
    Caution 3: none
    Caution 4: none
    Caution 5: #05-Lupton, 19th
    Caution 6: #18-Gragson, 16th
    Caution 7: #22-Snider, 17th
    Caution 8: #16-Friesen, 18th
    Caution 9: #71-Donahue, 20th
    (11-11-2016)
  • Toyota wins 2016 manufacturer’s championship for Truck Series: Toyota captured the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) manufacturer’s championship with Daniel Suarez’s victory at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday night.
    Tundra drivers won 13-of-23 races to date to capture the NCWTS manufacturer’s championship one week prior to the season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway. This is the ninth NCWTS manufacturer’s championship for Toyota in 13 seasons since the Tundra joined Truck Series competition in 2004.
    Three Tundra teams – Kyle Busch Motorsports, Red Horse Racing and ThorSport Racing – all contributed victories to the NCWTS manufacturer’s title this season, including wins by rookie William Byron (six victories), Matt Crafton (two), Kyle Busch (two), Christopher Bell (one), Brett Moffitt (one) and Daniel Suarez (one). After 22-of-23 races, Tundra drivers combined to win 13 races and lead 1,997 laps in the NCWTS – more than 50 percent of the races and laps contested.
    Following the Truck Series race at Phoenix, three Tundra drivers – Bell, Crafton and Timothy Peters – qualified for the ‘Championship 4’ field and will compete for the NCWTS driver’s championship in the season finale. In addition to winning the NCWTS manufacturer’s title and having an opportunity to capture the Truck Series driver’s championship, Toyota is also in contention for the driver’s and manufacturer’s titles in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series. Since joining NCWTS competition in 2004, Toyota has won 157 races and captured 118 poles in 311 races. Kyle Busch (38) has the most victories driving a Tundra. Toyota also claimed manufacturer championships in the following seasons — 2006 (12 wins); 2007 (13 wins); 2008 (13 wins); 2009 (14 wins); 2010 (15 wins); 2013 (13 wins); 2014 (18 wins) and 2015 (14 wins).(Toyota Racing)(11-11-2016)
  • Byron on pole at Phoenix: #9-William Byron won the pole for the Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 138.254mph. He led all three qualifying rounds en route to the pole. #51-Daniel Suarez will start second, followed by #98-Rico Abreu, #21-Johnny Sauter, #4-Christopher Bell, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #13-Cameron Hayley, #17-Timothy Peters, #41-Ben Rhodes, and #88-Matt Crafton.
    Did Not Qualify: #10-Tommy Regan.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(11-11-2016)
  • Phoenix Qualifying Notes:
    William Byron (C) won the Keystone Light 21 Means 21 Pole Award for the 22nd Annual Lucas Oil 150 with a lap of 26.039 seconds, 138.254 mph.
    This is his second pole in 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his second pole and 19th top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in two races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Daniel Suarez(i) (second) posted his 10th top-10 start of 2016 and his second in two races at Phoenix International Raceway.
    Rico Abreu (third) posted his first top-10 start at Phoenix International Raceway. It is his second in 22 races this season.
    William Byron (C) (first) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-11-2016)
  • Gallagher fastest in final Truck practice: #23-Spencer Gallager was fastest in final practice for Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 135.150mph. He was followed by #13-Cameron Hayley, #21-Johnny Sauter, #4-Christopher Bell, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #00-Cole Custer, #51-Daniel Suarez, #88-Matt Crafton, #24-Kaz Grala, and #18-Noah Gragson. 33 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Phoenix practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-11-2016)
  • Byron fastest in first Truck practice: #9-William Byron was fastest during opening practice at Phoenix International Raceway with a speed of 135.957mph. #41-Ben Rhodes, #18-Noah Gragson, #88-Matt Crafton, #51-Daniel Suarez, #21-Johnny Sauter, #8-John Hunter Nemechek, #98-Rico Abreu, #17-Timothy Peters, and #4-Christopher Bell followed in the top-10. 29 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Phoenix practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-11-2016)
  • Cindric to join BKR full-time in 2017: Brad Keselowski Racing announced that driver Austin Cindric will compete full-time for the organization in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) in 2017 piloting one of the Team’s Ford F-150 entries. Cindric, 18, has five NCWTS series starts dating back to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October 2015 – all with Brad Keselowski Racing. He has made three starts to date with BKR in 2016, qualifying a career-best second at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Bowmanville, Ontario) and will compete for the Statesville, N.C., based organization in the Lucas Oil 150 Friday night at Phoenix (Avondale, Ariz.) International Raceway. Cindric scored victories in the Sept. 23 ARCA Racing Series race at Kentucky Speedway and in the NASCAR K&N; Pro Series East events at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and Virginia (Danville, Va.) International Raceway.The specifics of Cindric’s 2017 BKR program, including sponsor partners, will be announced at a later date.(Brad Keselowski Racing)(11-11-2016)
  • Boyd, MAKE to salute veterans with Grunt Style sponsorship in Homestead: MAKE Motorsports is honored to fly our Nation’s colors with Spencer Boyd and Grunt Style at the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Boyd will pilot the #50 Chevrolet Silverado as a teammate to 2003 NCWTS Champion Travis Kvapil in this final race of the season. Grunt Style is a lifestyle apparel brand founded by Former US Drill Sergeant, Daniel Alarik. Grunt Style believes in Pride in Self, in Military, and in Country – values that resonate with NASCAR fans. Upon special invitation, Former Combat Marine, Timothy Jensen, will be the honorary crew chief for the race. After nine years in the military, including deployment to Iraq in 2004 and 2005, Timothy Jensen is now the Chief Operations Officer for Grunt Style.(See an image of the truck on the #50 Team Paint Schemes page)(MAKE Motorsports)(11-11-2016)
  • Lyft partners as official rideshare of Phoenix Raceway: Phoenix Raceway is proud to offer fans a safe and affordable way to and from the Can-Am 500 race this weekend with Lyft, the fastest growing on-demand transportation service in the US. As the exclusive rideshare provider, Lyft will be promoting the Safe Ride Program with deals throughout the weekend, including a $50 ride credit for new passengers with the code: PIR16. Starting this Friday, Nov. 11 when gates open, race fans can catch their Lyft at a designated pick up and drop off area near Gate 7 at Phoenix Raceway. Tickets for the upcoming NASCAR race weekend are still available online at PhoenixRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the PIR ticket office.(PIR)(11-11-2016)


    News from November 10, 2016


     

  • Major PIR upgrade approval said to be imminent: It appears the long-awaited renovation of Phoenix International Raceway is at hand. Directors of International Speedway Corp., PIR’s parent company, met in recent days and are believed to have approved plans to modernize the Avondale facility, azcentral sports was told exclusively by two motorsports industry sources with knowledge of the situation. The sources requested not to be identified by name. It’s believed the cost of such a major project would be between $150-$200 million and likely would take about two years to complete. For the first time in several years, Sunday’s Can-Am 500 isn’t a grandstand sellout. PIR has lagged well behind the Valley trend to build new or upgrade existing sports venues.(Arizona Republic)(11-10-2016)
  • RPM Driver Brian Scott Announces Retirement: Richard Petty Motorsports and Brian Scott announced Scott, driver of the #44 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, will retire from full-time competition in NASCAR at the end of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Scott has made the personal decision to focus on his young and growing family and also the next phase of his career. Scott began competing in NASCAR’s national series in 2007, debuting in the NASCAR Camping World Series. He competed full-time in that series in 2008 and 2009 and earned his first win at the Dover International Speedway in 2009.
    From 2010 through 2015, Scott competed in the NASCAR XFINTY Series, racing for and against some of the sports best. Scott finished inside the Top 10 in championship standings in five of his six seasons. In 2016, Scott was signed by Richard Petty Motorsports to compete in his first full-season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. This season was highlighted by a runner-up finish just weeks ago at the Talladega Superspeedway.
    “This was a difficult decision, but one that I made myself for my family,” said Brian Scott. “Racing and specifically NASCAR has been and will always be in my heart, but right now, I want to turn all my attention to my family and to be able to spend more time with them. Racing has blessed me with great opportunities, and I’m very grateful for everything that it has allowed me to do, but for me, it’s time to move on. I can’t thank everyone enough who helped me in my career. I would not have made it to where I am at today without their trust and commitment.”
    “Brian made it to and competed at a level that very few do in NASCAR,” said Brian Moffitt, Chief Executive Officer, Richard Petty Motorsports. “Brian became part of the Petty family this year, and he committed himself to making our organization better. We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know Brian and wish him nothing but the best for him and his family.”
    RPM will continue to field the #44 Ford Fusion in 2017 with further announcements to be announced later.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(11-10-2016)
  • Albertsons Companies to End NASCAR Program at end of season: Albertsons Companies announced a decision to terminate their NASCAR program at the conclusion of 2016. The company is currently a partner with Richard Petty Motorsports, supporting Boise-native Brian Scott and the #44 team. “Local sports sponsorships are an important part of our marketing strategy in communities across the country,” said Albertsons Companies Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer Shane Sampson. “While we have decided to focus our investments elsewhere in 2017, we appreciate the work that Brian, Richard Petty Motorsports and the entire #44 team put forth for Albertsons Companies this year, and we wish them the very best in the future.”(RPM)(11-10-2016)
  • Sting to Headline the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: Sting will headline a show at the Sprint Cup Series Awards, NASCAR tells Billboard exclusively. The performance will take place Dec. 2 at Wynn Las Vegas and will serve as the finale to a handful of celebrations that coordinate with NASCAR Champion’s Week. According to a press release, Sting will perform both a classic hit from his catalog as well as a new song from his latest album 57th & 9th, due Friday. One song in particular, “Petrol Head” has already been selected as the anthem for NASCAR’s upcoming social video release, which aims to rev up excitement and anticipation for the final two races of the season and the crowning of a new champion.(Billboard)(11-10-2016)
  • Phoenix Track Notes & History:
    � Construction was completed in January 1964. The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course.
    � Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988.
    � The first spring race was held on April 23, 2005 and also the first night race, which was won by Kurt Busch.
    � The track underwent its first repave in 2011. The construction began in March and concluded in September of that year.
    � The following changes were made during the construction period (March – Sept., 2011):
    o Widened the frontstretch from 52 to 62 feet
    o Reconfigured pit road with the installation of concrete pit stalls
    o Pushed the dog-leg curve between Turn 2 and Turn 3 out 95 feet
    o Tightened the turn radius of the dog-leg from 800 to 500 feet
    o Implemented variable banking to ensure the immediate use of two racing grooves, including 10-11 degree banking between Turn 1 and Turn 2; 10-11 degree banking in the apex of the dog-leg; and 8-9 degree banking in Turn 4
    (NASCAR)
  • Rules change starting at Phoenix: NASCAR announced a rules change that go into place this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, site of the penultimate racing weekend of the season. The sanctioning body sent out a tech bulletin pertaining to Section 20.14.2.I-1 Truck Trailing Arms of the Sprint Cup rule book. The bulletin, which pertains to both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series reads as follows: “Truck trailing arm mounting slugs may be used to locate the truck trailing arms on the truck trailing arm mounting brackets. If used, truck trailing arm mounting slugs slots must be perpendicular to the slots on the truck trailing arm mounting brackets.” A NASCAR spokesman said the new changes were designed to keep teams from getting an advantage in rear yaw or sideforce, and that the changes would be part of the 2017 rules package.(FoxSports)(11-10-2016)
  • Team Penske and PPG Automotive extend partnership: PPG Industries and Team Penske announced a multi-year extension of their relationship. Celebrating the 34th year of its successful partnership with Team Penske in 2017, Pittsburgh-based PPG’s automotive refinish business – a leading worldwide supplier of high-performance coatings for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, heavy-duty trucks and many commercial applications – will continue as a key team partner into next season and beyond. PPG Automotive Refinish will serve as a primary sponsor on one of Team Penske’s entries for four Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017 and as an associate sponsor on all of the team’s cars and equipment. In NASCAR, PPG will once again be a primary sponsor on a Team Penske car for one XFINITY Series race and, through the new agreement extension, the company will serve as an associate sponsor on all of the team’s NASCAR entries.(Team Penske)(11-10-2016)
  • NASCAR Whelen Euro Series to race at Hockenheimring: Historic Hockenheimring road course will host NASCAR Whelen Euro Series stock cars for first time in 2017. Since its inception as the Racecar Euro-Series and later to the NASCAR Whelen Euro-Series, NASCAR’s only European-based stock car division has grown every year since the series began in 2009. One clear sign of the growth of the series is the recent announcement that the series will make its first visit to a road course in Germany competing at Hockenheimring in 2017. This will also be the first time the track – built in 1932 – will host NASCAR stock cars. The series competes on short tracks and road courses and it will use the 15-turn 2.842 mile (4.574 km) course originally created in 2002 for the inaugural NASCAR event slated for next year in early July.(Motorsport)(11-10-2016)
  • Clements names Phoenix sponsors: Long time JCR sponsor All South Electric returns to join RepairableVehicles.com on the #51 JCR Chevy Camaro SS for the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. Part of the Phoenix Group Metals Company, Phoenix Automotive Cores is an international automotive core supplier that works hard to provide the best quality used automotive parts for the automotive parts remanufacturers. RepairableVehicles.com, a division of Interstate Auto Center, Inc., is one of the leading resellers of repairable vehicles in North America. Continuing their support of JCR at Phoenix International Raceway are Federal-Mogul Motorparts and ZAK Products, as well as associate sponsors on the 51 car this week are Coca Cola of Spartanburg, Fish Camp, Robert Ianuario, Cometic, Wix and Kollegetown.(Jeremy Clements Racing)(11-10-2016)
  • Stacey returns to the #70 at Phoenix: Dexter Stacey with Adito Vodka will be driving the #70 Camaro at PIR this weekend. For the third time at Phoenix, Ashurst American Honey will be featured as co-primary for DCR. This Arizona based company produces, packages, and distributes honey throughout the western US. Continuing as a co-primary sponsor, E-hydrate produces a unique line of electrolyte infused products including Protein On-the-Go PREMIUM featured at all GNC stores nationwide. Maricopa Manor – a gracious, all suites inn set in the historical Medlock Place residential district of Phoenix will be a new sponsor for Team DCR this weekend. Ice-Frost.com, the ice additive that turns your cooler into a freezer will be featured as an associate.(Derrike Cope Racing)(11-10-2016)
  • Sieg names Phoenix sponsor: RSS Racing welcomes Big Valley Towing as a primary sponsor for Ryan Sieg in the XFINITY race at Phoenix International Raceway this Saturday. The towing company was the primary sponsor for the #39 in the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this year. Sieg and his RSS Racing team recorded their fourteenth top 15 finish last weekend in Texas, a career high.(RSS Racing)(11-10-2016)
  • Napier to run Phoenix with Premium: Bryce Napier will pilot the #49 Central Valley HHO Chevrolet for Premium Motorsports during his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday. Central Valley HHO, a family owned and operated company out of Central California, specializes in Global Hydrogen Technology. After years of moral support from Scott and Jen Smith in the lower divisions, the Smith’s were committed to Napier’s continuing success and wanted to become a sponsor on the larger scale. Napier made his NCWTS debut this past April at Martinsville Speedway piloting the #1 truck. As the youngest driver starting, 16 years old, Napier had an impressive finish of 23rd. Additional partnerships for Bryce Napier include: Lilly Trucking, SupportMilitary.org, Cure.org, and Pure Flix Films -showcasing the new film I’m Not Ashamed.(Bryce Napier Racing)(11-10-2016)
  • Reddick not returning to BKR:Tyler Reddick confirmed Wednesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that he will not return to Brad Keselowski Racing next season, ending a three-year tenure with the team owned by the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. “It’s going to be a shame I’m not going to be there next year, but I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent there,” Reddick told SiriusXM. “Hopefully I can repay them with two more wins to add to the list.” Reddick did not announce his 2017 plans.
    In 61 races, which includes two full-time seasons, Reddick has won three times and logged 24 top-five finishes and 39 top 10s. His first victory was the 2015 season-opener at Daytona, setting the tone for a memorable year in which Reddick never dropped below third in the points standings.Battling Erik Jones and Matt Crafton all year, Reddick would finish second to Jones in the championship point battle. Deemed a title contender by many entering 2016, Reddick did not find the same success as the previous year. The driver did not qualify for the inaugural eight-driver NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, although he did win at Las Vegas, a postseason race.
    A natural fit for Reddick may be a promotion to the NASCAR XFINITY Series, where Team Penske — for whom Keselowski drives — is expanding its operation to a second car. The intention, according to the team, is for Ford Performance to use the second entry as an extension of a driver development program in an effort to build for the future. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski Racing will have two new drivers in its two-truck operation next year. Daniel Hemric, who qualified for the postseason, is moving on to drive for Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series next year.(NASCAR)(11-10-2016)
  • Phoenix Raceway celebrates Military and Veterans: Phoenix Raceway will cap off a weekend full of Veterans Day recognition with the first four-plane flyover featuring two F-16 and two F-35 fighter jets from Luke Air Force Base. The fall race at PIR traditionally lands on Veterans Day weekend, and for the 2016 Can-Am 500 race, Phoenix Raceway will recognize veterans both on and off the track. With the help of Luke Air Force Base, Phoenix Raceway will add to the excitement of last year’s first F-35 flyover, by not only adding another F-35 but also two F-16 fighter jets. The flyover is scheduled to begin at the conclusion of the national anthem prior to the start of the Can-Am 500. Also, the national anthem for the Can-Am 500 on Sunday, Nov. 13 will be performed by SFC Dana J. Fischl, US Army Military Intelligence Corps Band Training and Operations – Fort Huachuca, during the pre-race ceremonies.
    On Thursday, Nov. 10, Phoenix Raceway will team up with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to bring NASCAR drivers to the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stars Cameron Hayley and Ben Rhodes join NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Brendan Gaughan and Joey Gase for an autograph session and tour of the Community Living Center where they will visit with local veterans.
    Prior to the Lucas Oil 150 on Friday, Nov. 11, Jamie Manker, Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits of the Department of Veterans, will be recognized as an honorary race official. Phoenix Raceway has also worked with long-standing partner Vet Tix to provide race tickets to all branches of currently-serving military and veterans, including family of troops KIA. This year, PIR, along with track partners Anheuser-Busch and Ticket Galaxy, teamed up to provide over 500 tickets to be donated through the Vet Tix program. Please visit VetTix.org for more information. Tickets for the Can-Am 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race start at just $35 and are available online at PhoenixRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the PIR ticket office.(PIR)(11-10-2016)
  • iHeartMedia and Homestead-Miami Speedway Enter into Partnership: Ford Championship Weekend, which will be held next weekend, November 18-20 at Homestead-Miami, has plenty to offer the plethora of fans who attend each year, as champions are determined in all three of NASCAR’s premier series over the course of three days. Similarly, Miami’s iHeartMedia family of stations gives listeners an abundance of options as well. Whether it’s country, classic rock, contemporary, hip-hop, R&B;, news/talk or sports, iHeartMedia has been a mainstay over the South Florida airwaves for many years. Now the two entities are partnering to offer both of its fan basses even more, as iHeart will become the exclusive on-site radio partner of Homestead-Miami Speedway.
    As an exclusive radio partner, iHeart will be doing live remotes from Homestead-Miami Speedway during 2016 Ford Championship Weekend. In addition the Tailgate Zone at the track will now be renamed the “iHeart Tailgate Zone,” while iHeart will also be the presenting sponsor for the Smithfield Entertainment Stage, one of the many entertainment areas available to fans during the course of Ford Championship Weekend. In addition to this partnership, as an affiliate of Motor Racing Network (MRN), iHeart will carry the MRN broadcast of the Ford EcoBoost 400 Sprint Cup championship race on both WINZ (940 AM) and 93.5 The Bull on Sunday, November 20. Tickets for 2016 Ford Championship Weekend, which will be held November 18-20, are available and can be purchased by calling (866) 409-RACE (7223) or visiting HomesteadMiamiSpeedway.com.(HMS)(11-10-2016)


    News from November 9, 2016


     

  • Texas warnings/fines announced: NASCAR has announced penalties and warnings following the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2016.
    Todd Gordon, the crew chief for #22-Joey Logano, was fined $10,000 for lug nut(s) not properly installed after the race.
    #4-Harvick(2), #14-Stewart(3), #19-Edwards(1), #78-Truex Jr.(1), failed template inspection three times, pre-qualifying, written warning and loss of 15 minutes practice time.
    #47-Allmendinger (2) Failed LIS three times, pre-qualifying, written warning and loss of 15 minutes practice time
    #3-Dillon(3), #23-Ragan(3), failed LIS twice, pre-race, written warning.
    #3-Dillon(3), #16-Biffle(0 – served in Texas), failed LIS twice, pre-qualifying, written warning.
    #6-Bayne(0; penalty served in Texas), #11-Hamlin(0; penalty served in Texas), #18-Busch(2), #20-Kenseth(1), #41-Busch(1), #83-DiBenedetto(2), failed template inspection twice, pre-qualifying, written warning.
    () — total current warnings.
    See the Texas Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(11-9-2016)
  • Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown underway: Hendrick Motorsports is hosting the 15th annual Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 8-9. The event pairs 12 Hendrick Certified Master Technicians from Hendrick Automotive Group dealerships with 12 Hendrick Motorsports engine department team members. In two rounds of competition over the two days, each team will assemble a 358-cubic-inch Chevrolet engine similar to the fuel-injected engine that runs every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend, with the fastest two teams competing for the win in the final round on Wednesday afternoon. Bowman will be on hand to support the competitors and speak with a group of approximately 150 tech students and instructors from 15 states who will be visiting Hendrick Motorsports to watch the competition and learn more about both the race team and the Hendrick Automotive Group.(HMS)(11-9-2016)
  • Championship 4 Clinch Scenarios for Phoenix:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson and #19-Carl Edwards are locked into the Championship 4 after winning races in the Round of 8.
    #22-Joey Logano (0 Wins, 4074 Points) – Would clinch on points with a second-place finish and at least one lap led. With a win, would clinch a next round spot on wins.
    #18-Kyle Busch (0 Wins, 4074 Points) – Would clinch on points with a second-place finish and the most laps led. With a win, would clinch a next round spot on wins.
    The following drivers can only guarantee a clinch with a win. The could also clinch on points with help:
    #20-Matt Kenseth (0 Wins, 4073 Points)
    #11-Denny Hamlin (0 Wins, 4072 Points)
    #4-Kevin Harvick (0 Wins, 4056 Points)
    #41-Kurt Busch (0 Wins, 4040 Points)(NASCAR)(11-9-2016)
  • Greg Biffle to Make 500th Consecutive Start: #16-Greg Biffle will make his 500th consecutive career Sprint Cup start this Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway. Biffle is only the 17th driver in NASCAR history to reach this career milestone. The 500-race streak began for Biffle at Atlanta in the spring of 2003. Earlier this season Biffle made his 500th Sprint Cup start at Richmond in September, but now joins the ranks of the few elite drivers who have reached the 500 consecutive milestone. “I was really excited about making my 500th start at Richmond and it’s pretty amazing to be reaching 500 in a row this weekend at Phoenix,” said Biffle. “There are a lot of great memories over the 500 starts, but one of my favorites was winning on Father’s Day in Michigan with my daughter there to celebrate with me. So far this season we don’t have the results that we would have liked, but hopefully we can finish up these final two races on a high note.” Biffle made his Sprint Cup debut in 2002 at California driving for Jack Roush. Over his 15 years in the series he has earned 19 wins, 92 top-five and 175 top 10 finishes.(Roush Fenway Racing)(11-9-2016)
  • All-time Consecutive NASCAR Cup Starts:
    1)  Jeff Gordon, 797 [ended Feb 2016, retired]
    2)  Ricky Rudd, 788 [ended Feb 2006, retired]
    3)  Bobby Labonte, 704 [ended June 2013, sat out Kentucky]
    4)  Rusty Wallace, 697 [ended Feb 2006, retired]
    5)  Terry Labonte, 655 [ended Aug 2000 at Indy]
    6)  Dale Earnhardt, 648 [ended when he was killed at Daytona in 2001]
    7)  Jeff Burton, 626 [ended Feb 2014, part time]
    8)  Mark Martin, 621 [ended March 18, 2007 after Atlanta]
    9)  Ken Schrader, 579 [ended Aug 2003 at Indy]
    10) Matt Kenseth, 571 [ended Nov 2015 at Texas, two-race suspension]
    11) Jimmie Johnson, 538*
    11) Ryan Newman, 538*
    13) Kevin Harvick, 530*
    14) Tony Stewart, 521 [ended August 2013, after being injured in sprint car wreck before Watkins Glen]
    15) Richard Petty, 513 [ended March 26, 1989 at Richmond when Petty failed to qualify for the race]
    16) Jamie McMurray, 506*
    17) Greg Biffle, 499*
    17) Darrell Waltrip, 499 [ended July 1990 at Daytona, injured]
    * active streaks.(11-9-2016)
  • Texas TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from rained delayed Texas Motor Speedway earned a 1.1 overnight rating on NBCSN Sunday evening with 1.806 million viewers. The race was scheduled to air on NBC on Sunday afternoon but was rained delayed about 6 hours and switched to NBCSN as an NFL game was on NBC (Show Buzz Daily). Not a direct comparison but last year on NBC the race had a 2.6 fast rating, 2.7 final rating and 4.551 million viewers. See race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(11-9-2016)
  • Goodyear Tire Notes for Phoenix: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same tire set-up at Phoenix this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series teams ran at Phoenix in March . . . for Camping World Truck teams, this is a different tire set-up from what they ran at Phoenix last November . . . compared to what was run at Phoenix last season, both left- and right-side tires feature the same constructions with different compounds to give the trucks/cars more grip . . . Phoenix is the only track at which either of these two tire codes are run . . . as on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run liners in their tires at Phoenix.(Goodyear), see full tire notes, tire codes, pressures, set limits on the Phoenix Race Info page – Goodyear section.
  • Mark Martin Selling North Carolina Lakeside Home: Retired professional stock car racer Mark Martin has put his lakeside mansion in North Carolina on the market for $2.55 million. Martin bought the home a little over three years ago for $2 million. Martin, 57, is one of five drivers who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2017. He raced professionally from 1977 to 2013, completing 882 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The four-bedroom, 4.5-bath home is in Cornelius, NC, a wealthy suburb north of Charlotte. Built in 1994, the 5,767-square-foot home was designed to maximize its 190 feet of Lake Norman shoreline, with large windows in nearly every room looking out on the lake.(Realtor)(11-9-2016)
  • Harvick and Gaughan cars too low after XFINITY race UPDATES: NASCAR announced after Saturday’s Xfinity race that #1-Elliott Sadler’s car had 19 of 20 lug nuts secured and that the cars of #88-Kevin Harvick and #62-Brendan Gaughan were too low in the rear. Sadler’s team faces a P2 penalty of a $5,000 fine since this is a first occurrence. There would be no points penalty. The JR Motorsports team of Harvick and Richard Childress Racing team of Gaughan face a P2 penalty for being too low in the rear. John Hunter Nemechek’s Camping World Truck Series team was docked 10 points after New Hampshire in September for a similar infraction.(NBC Sports)(11-5-2016)
    UPDATE: NASCAR has announced warnings and penalties following the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on November 5th.
    #62-Gaughan – P2 penalty for violation of sections 12.1; 20.17.3.2.2 Race finish is encumbered per Section 12.10 Encumbered Race Finishes*. Post-race incorrect ground clearance and/or body heights measurements. Crew chief (Shane Wilson) has been fined $10,000; team has been assessed with the loss of 10 championship owner and 10 championship driver points.
    #88-Harvick – P2 penalty for violation of sections 12.1; 20.17.3.2.2 Race finish is encumbered per Section 12.10 Encumbered Race Finishes*. Post-race incorrect ground clearance and/or body heights measurements. Crew chief (Dave Elenz) has been fined $10,000; team has been assessed with the loss of 10 championship owner points.
    #1-Sadler – P2 penalty for violation of sections 12.1; 10.11.3.4. Lug nut(s) not properly installed. Crew chief (Kevin Meendering) has been fined $5,000.
    #18-Tifft (2), Failed template inspection four times in pre-race inspection. Given a written warning and loss of 15 minutes practice time
    #3-Dillon (2), #20-Erik Jones (2), Failed template inspection three times in pre-race inspection. Given a written warning.
    #2-Dillon (2), #88-Harvick (1), Failed LIS twice in pre-race inspection. Given a written warning.
    See the Texas Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.
    UPDATE 2: A three-member panel upheld a P2-grade penalty to the JR Motorsports #88 team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at the conclusion of an expedited appeals hearing Wednesday. Kevin Harvick drove the #88 Chevrolet to a third-place finish last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, but the JRM entry did not meet the proper height requirement in the rear during a post-race inspection. The penalties were affirmed Wednesday by the National Motorsports Appeals Panel. The team had the option of a final appeal to Bryan Moss, the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer, but it declined. The panel members who heard Wednesday’s appeal were: Dale Pinilis, longtime operator of NASCAR-affiliated Bowman Gray Stadium; former premier series driver Lake Speed; and Kevin Whitaker, owner of Greenville-Pickens Speedway, another historic weekly NASCAR track.(NASCAR.com)(11-9-2016)
  • PPG renews sponsorship with Penske: Building on one of the longest partnerships in motorsports, PPG Industries and Team Penske announced a multi-year extension of their relationship. Celebrating the 34th year of its successful partnership with Team Penske in 2017, Pittsburgh-based PPG’s automotive refinish business – a leading worldwide supplier of high-performance coatings for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, heavy-duty trucks and many commercial applications – will continue as a key team partner into next season and beyond. PPG Automotive Refinish will serve as a primary sponsor on one of Team Penske’s entries for four Verizon IndyCar Series races in 2017 and as an associate sponsor on all of the team’s cars and equipment. In NASCAR, PPG will once again be a primary sponsor on a Team Penske car for one XFINITY Series race and, through the new agreement extension, the company will serve as an associate sponsor on all of the team’s NASCAR entries.(Team Penske)(11-9-2016)
  • Bilicki returns to Obaika at Phoenix: Drivers Josh Bilicki and Ryan Ellis will take the wheel of the #97 and #77 Vroom Brands Chevrolets at the NASCAR Xfinity Race this Saturday. Saturday’s race will be Bilicki’s second time driving for the Obaika Racing team. He debuted in the Xfinity Series in the #77 Vroom Brands Chevrolet at Road America, and gave Obaika Racing their best qualifying result. The race this weekend will mark Bilicki’s rookie appearance at Phoenix International Speedway. Ellis returns to Obaika Racing in Phoenix for the ninth time driving for the team.(Obaika Racing)(11-9-2016)
  • Whitt returns to TriStar at Phoenix: California native, Cole Whitt returns to TriStar Motorsports as the driver of the #14 Toyota for the Phoenix NASCAR XFINITY Series race. Having a previously established relationship, Whitt continues to cultivate his partnership with Rinnai, the number-one selling brand of tankless water heater in the U.S. and Canada, who will serve as the primary sponsor of the #14 along with associate sponsors RTIC Coolers and Speed Stick. Cole Whitt is considered as one of the bright up and coming stars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Cole’s NASCAR career includes six years on the circuit and races in which Cole has competed in each vitally important building block series such as the NASCAR K&N; Pro Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.(TriStar Motorsports)(11-9-2016)
  • Arizona Lottery partners up with Phoenix Raceway: Phoenix Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced that the Arizona Lottery has been named the track’s official lottery partner ahead of the upcoming Can-Am 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Nov. 13. Race fans attending the upcoming Can-Am 500 weekend at Phoenix Raceway will have the opportunity to stop by the Arizona Lottery ticket trolley on the Fan Midway to purchase lottery tickets from Nov. 11-13. Tickets for the upcoming Can-Am 500 NASCAR race weekend start at just $35. Individual tickets and season tickets are available online at PhoenixRaceway.com, by phone at 1-866-408-RACE (7223) or in person at the PIR ticket office.(PIR)(11-9-2016)
  • Diana Brennan named VP at Sonoma, Kiser Promoted: Longtime Sonoma Raceway spokeswoman Diana Brennan has been promoted to the position of Vice President, Communications and Marketing. Brennan, who has worked in the Sonoma Raceway Media Relations department for more than 15 years, will assume responsibility for all of the raceway’s event marketing and promotions, including advertising, event entertainment, publications and digital media. She will continue to oversee all media communications, as well as the facility’s community initiatives, including the local chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. Gary Phillips, who headed the raceway’s ticketing department from 2003-2013 before becoming vice president of marketing, will depart the raceway in January to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations and join the digital marketing agency, Blue Collar Digital. To support the department alignment, Jennifer Imbimbo has been promoted to Director of Media & Community Relations. Imbimbo, who joined the raceway’s media relations department in 2006, will oversee the planning and execution of all media and community relations events at the raceway. Courtney Kiser has been named Director of Marketing and will oversee the planning and execution of all the raceway’s marketing initiatives; she joined the raceway in 2014. Kiser will be supported by Melissa Lamb, who has been promoted to marketing events manager, digital marketing and social media manager Tyler Pistoia and graphic designer Deidre Birkholt.(Sonoma Raceway)(10-10-2016)


    News from November 8, 2016


  • NASCAR defends decision to end Texas race early: The AAA Texas 500 was deemed official by NASCAR 41 laps from its scheduled finish Sunday night due to rain, to the chagrin of some. With berths at stake in the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the question driver have faced was whether Chase races should weather-shortened. In its current elimination-style format, Texas was the second Chase race to be shortened by rain. Last year, the penultimate race at Phoenix International Raceway ran only 219 of the scheduled 312 laps. During his weekly appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive,” Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said the sanctioning body stands by its policy that a race is official once it reaches the halfway point.
    “I think Joey Logano probably said it best – we make every effort to get the race in under its advertised distance,” O’Donnell said. “I think you saw especially the circumstances yesterday with over six hours to try to dry a racetrack, at some point you’ve got to keep the fans certainly in mind, but also the competitors, the amount of time that they’ve had preparing for a race, and when does it get too late. So we’ve always looked at if you get past halfway, that’s considered a complete race, and we do make every effort to get the full race in and we did that yesterday. We were a little short; that’s unfortunate but the policy that’s been in place, we feel like is one that should stand. Never something that we want to have to enact, but, unfortunately, yesterday and really last night you saw that have to come into play.”(NBC Sports)(11-8-2016)
  • NASCAR to examine issues from Texas: NASCAR will investigate two incidents from this weekend’s activities at Texas Motor Speedway – one which sidelined Matt DiBenedetto, a second that sent a crewman to the infield care center. DiBenedetto, 25, suffered a mild concussion while driving the #14 Toyota for Mark Smith in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. DiBenedetto was not cleared to compete for BK Racing in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500. Appearing on SiriusXM Radio on Monday, NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell said while it was unfortunate that DiBenedetto was unable to race on Sunday, safety comes first. “We rely on outside experts to make that call,” O’Donnell said. “In this case, Matt was diagnosed with a concussion. So, the road back for him would be to see a board-certified neurologist. I believe he’s planning on doing that today. If he’s cleared, he’d be back in the car as early as this weekend at Phoenix, which is what we’re all hoping for – to see him out there racing. When it comes to concussion protocol, O’Donnell said there is not one specific process used to diagnose all drivers.
    Mason Jennings, tire specialist for Paul Menard, had ringing in his ears following an inner liner explosion on the #27 Richard Childress Racing Chevy. Menard came in for service after he spun in Turn 4 on Lap 143 and flat-spotted his tires. “We will work with Goodyear,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve got a lot of that we’ll take back to the R&D; Center and continue to look at what, if any, findings can come of that. We will obviously talk to everyone that was involved. Now we really have to take a deeper dive and look further at the tire and see how that gets prevented moving forward…We have our safety experts that will look at this and also look at the competitive aspect to see if there was anything different with this tire. We don’t ever want to see this happen again. If we can put something quickly in place we will do that immediately.”(Motorsport)(11-8-2016)
  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Phoenix:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson …………… 112.0
    #4-Kevin Harvick …………… 111.2
    #24-Chase Elliott …………… 101.0
    #88-Jeff Gordon …………… 100.6
    #19-Carl Edwards …………… 100.5
    #41-Kurt Busch …………… 98.7
    #18-Kyle Busch …………… 98.3
    #11-Denny Hamlin …………… 95.2
    #14-Tony Stewart …………… 92.7
    #2-Brad Keselowski …………… 92.0
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2016 races (23 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)
  • Stenhouse, Jr. in the #60 at Phoenix: After winning back-to-back championships in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2011 and 2012, Roush Fenway Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. returns to the series at Phoenix International Raceway, piloting the #60 SunnyD Ford Mustang in Saturday’s Ticket Galaxy 200. The two-time NXS champion has six career NXS starts at the one-mile track, earning three top-five and six top-10 finishes and completing every lap.(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the car on the #60 team paint schemes page.(11-8-2016)
  • NXS Phoenix Championship 4 Clinch Scenarios:
    #19-Daniel Suarez (0 Wins, 3075 Points) – Would clinch on points with 26 Points (15th and no laps led, 15th and led at least one lap, 16th and led most laps). With a win, would clinch a spot on wins.
    #1-Elliott Sadler (0 Wins, 3074 Points) – Would clinch on points with 26 Points (15th and no laps led, 15th and led at least one lap, 16th and led most laps). With a win, would clinch a next round spot on wins.
    #20-Erik Jones (0 Wins, 3065 Points) – Would clinch on points with 36 Points (5th and no laps led, 6th and led at least one lap, 7th and led most laps). With a win, would clinch a next round spot on wins.
    #11-Blake Koch (0 Wins, 3059 Points) – If there is a winner who has already been eliminated or is currently in a transfer spot, would clinch with a 2nd place finish. With a win, would clinch a spot. Could clinch on points with a new winner and help.
    The following drivers can only guarantee a spot with a win. Each could also clinch on points with help:
    #7-Justin Allgaier (0 Wins, 3058 Points)
    #16-Ryan Reed (0 Wins, 3054 Points)
    #6-Darrell Wallace Jr (0 Wins, 3039 Points)
    #62-Brendan Gaughan (0 Wins, 3036 Points)
    (NASCAR)(11-8-2016)
  • Alex Labb� to make XFINITY debut at Phoenix: Canadian Alex Labb� continues to climb the motorsport ladder, as he will make his debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend in Phoenix, Arizona.During a press conference held Monday in Montreal, it was announced that the 23-year-old driver from Victoriaville, Quebec would be returning as a full-time driver in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series in 2017 as well as making his debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. At his first full-time NASCAR Pinty’s season with Go FAS Racing in 2016, Labb� finished seventh in the championship standing with a first win at the Autodrome Chaudi�re, three pole positions, six top-5 and eight top-10 in 12 starts.Labb� will continue to race for Go FAS Racing in 2017 in the Pinty’s series and will take part in five starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, starting with a ticket to the Ticket Galaxy 200, this Saturday, November 12th, on the Phoenix International Raceway.(Motorsport)(11-8-2016)
  • Jencarlos Canela to sing National Anthem at Homestead: The stage is almost set both on and off the track for 2016 Ford Championship Weekend, as Miami Native Jencarlos Canela will sing the National Anthem prior to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race on November 20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Canela has recorded three studio albums – Un Nuevo Dia, Jen and Buscame, which entered the Latin album charts at #1 and was certified gold within weeks of its release. Canela’s impressive singing career also includes the highly anticipated single “Baby,” which reached platinum in 2016, and his previous diamond single “Bajito” that reached #1 on the radio in Puerto Rico and landed in the top 10 of Billboard’s Latin Pop charts in the United States and Mexico. In addition, Canela recently released his newest hit “Pa’que Me Invitan,” which has more than 15 million views on YouTube. Currently, Canela is working on his English album debut for Universal and Republic Records. The Latin pop singer has also starred in multiple television productions, including leading roles in five Telenovelas, two Feature Films and the lead role of ‘Jesus Christ’ in the two-hour musical event, “The Passion.”(Homestead-Miami Speedway)(11-8-2016)
  • THE OFFSPRING in concert at Phoenix: The first on-track concert at Phoenix Raceway will feature THE OFFSPRING, presented by Can-Am, performing a short set on pit road before the green flag drops for the Can-Am 500 on Sunday, Nov. 13. Fans with an El Sol Pre-Race Pit Pass will have free access to the concert. THE OFFSPRING are Dexter Holland (vocals, guitar), Noodles (guitar), Greg K (bass) and Pete Parada (drums). Among their best-known hits are the rock anthems “Self Esteem,” “Come Out And Play (Keep ‘Em Separated).” “You’re Gonna Go Far Kid,” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright.” The Huntington Beach, California-based band has performed over 1,100 shows across the globe and sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. Their 1994 release Smash remains the highest-selling album of all-time on an independent label.(PIR)(11-8-2016)


    News from November 7, 2016


     

  • Texas Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 AAA Texas 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 1:48 PM, stopped for a rain delay at 1:58 PM; restarted recording times at 7:13 PM, and stopped at another rain delay at 11:13 PM (all times are ET). NBCSN was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 136
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 55
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 116
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 52
    Number of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 20
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 20
    Number of times NBCSN utilized ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 1:48 PM
    Stop time for rain delay: 1:58 PM
    Restart time to record race/commercial periods: 7:13 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:13 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 250
    Minutes of race broadcast: 193
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 57
    Minutes of ‘Side-by-Side’ commercials (split-screen): 9
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of ‘mystery cautions’ (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 193 Total comm. brdcst time 57
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at CawsnJaws.com.(11-7-2016)
  • Update on Most Popular Driver voting: The top 10 drivers according to fan voting through the first eight weeks of the Most Popular Driver contest are (in alphabetical order):
    #18-Kyle Busch, #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #19-Carl Edwards, #24-Chase Elliott, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #5-Kasey Kahne, #20-Matt Kenseth, #10-Panica Patrick, #14-Tony Stewart, and #78-Martin Truex, Jr.
    Voting will close at 11:59pm/et on Sunday, Nov. 20(11-7-2016)
  • Entry List for the Can-Am 500(k) Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway is posted, 40 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed, including: #21-Blaney*, #30-Gray Gaulding*, #32-Jeffrey Earnhardt, #55-DJ Kennington*, #95-McDowell, #98-Sorenson*.
    Drivers who are not a Charter team, an Open Team, and must get in via speed: #21-Blaney, #30-Gaulding, #55-Kennington, #98-Sorenson.
    Since only 40 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race, 40 is the maximum.
    * Open Team (no Charter)
    See the full entry list on Jayski.com’s Phoenix Entry List
  • Logano faces fine for unsecured lug nut: #22-Joey Logano’s team faces a fine of $10,000 after they only had 19 of 20 lug nuts secure following the Sprint Cup race Sunday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Penalties are typically announced on Tuesday or Wednesday. Elliott Sadler’s NASCAR XFINITY team also had an unsecured lug nut after Saturday’s race.(11-7-2016)
  • Menard crew member ok after pit incident: Mason Jennings, a tire specialist on the #27 of Paul Menard, was unharmed and had ringing in his ears after a tire appeared to explode during a Menard pit stop in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. But according to a Goodyear tire official, the tire did not explode. The accident was a “fluke,” a result of the tire’s inner liner slipping completely off the wheel. Menard was in the pits after spinning in Turns 3 and 4 on Lap 143. “When a car spins it generally flat spots the tires, which is exactly what happened here,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of race tire sales. “It flat spotted both front (tires). The damage that was done to the left front as he drove around the race track looked like it partially unseated the inner liner. So it was actually the inner liner that let go on pit road. It wasn’t the tire itself. The tire was already down.” Jennings was taken to the infield medical center but released.(NBC Sports)(11-7-2016)
  • Dale Jarrett says he struggles with memory loss: Concussions and how they’re diagnosed were pushed back into the spotlight this weekend with the news that #83-Matt DiBenedetto was put into NASCAR’s concussion protocol and would miss the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The news brought criticism from Brad Keselowski about the nature of concussion diagnosis. During NBC’s rain delay coverage for the Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, analyst and Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett spoke about his experiences due to concussions he suffered during his Hall of Fame career. “In three weeks I will be 60 years old and I do struggle with memory loss, with things in my brain I know probably came from some of those concussions, that’s what I’ve been told,” said Jarrett, who retired from racing in 2008. “Would it have happen anyway without the concussions that I went through? I’m not sure.”(NBC Sports)(11-7-2016)
  • NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Winners Announced: NASCAR and Chevrolet announced the winners of the second annual NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest during a press conference at Texas Motor Speedway. Four undergraduate students from across the country were awarded a total of $20,000 in scholarships and treated to a VIP experience at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the AAA Texas 500. The contest challenged students to identify a technology or innovation within NASCAR, then explain how STEM professionals came to its design in 90-second videos.
    Rachael Frost, a mechanical engineering student at James Madison University, earned first place and a $10,000 scholarship by explaining the physics of drafting in her video submission.
    University of Houston student Nicole Dequina won $5,000 for her video on the innovations of Safer Barrier walls. Florida A&M; University student Michael Sanchez and Brigham Young University student Joy Kaseke took third and fourth place, respectively, earning $2,500 scholarships each.
    Through this initiative, NASCAR and Chevrolet continue their longstanding commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) education and promoting opportunities for college students pursuing technology related careers.(NASCAR)(11-7-2016)
  • XFINITY Entry List: There are 42 cars on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. A few notes:
    Brandon Hightower returns to the #13;
    Cole Whitt is entered in the TriStar #14;
    Austin Theriault remains in the RWR #25;
    Justin Marks will drive the #42;
    Brandon Gdovic is entered in his #46;
    Ricky Stenhouse Jr will drive the #60 for Roush Fenway;
    Alex Labbe is entered in the #90;
    Aric Almirola returns to the #98.
    Not listed yet but expected to be added: Obaika #77 & #97.(11-7-2015)
    See the complete list on the Phoenix entry list page.
  • Discount Tire renews sponsorship of Penske XFINITY team Team Penske and Discount Tire, the world’s largest tire and wheel retailer, announced that the two companies will continue their partnership into the 2017 season. Discount Tire will return as the primary sponsor of Team Penske’s #22 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY Series next season. Discount Tire will also continue as an associate sponsor on both the #2 and #22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford Fusions and – new for next season – the company will join Team Penske’s Verizon IndyCar Series program as an associate sponsor. A long-time supporter of NASCAR, Discount Tire joined the Team Penske family just prior to the start of the 2010 NASCAR XFINITY Series season. Keselowski, Logano and Blaney are all scheduled to race the #22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang in 2017.(Team Penske)(11-7-2016)
  • Truck Series Entry List: There are 32 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway. A few notes:
    Dylan Lupton is in the #05;
    Cody Ware is in the #07;
    Stewart Friesen is in the #16;
    Noah Gragson is in the #18;
    Myatt Snider is in the #22;
    The #63 is TBA;
    Austin Self is in the #66;
    Kevin Donahue is in the #71;
    (11-7-2016)
    See the complete list on the Phoenix entry list page.
  • Lupton in for Townley: As John Wes Townley continues to recover from an injured left ankle, he has opted to sit out Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. Townley will turn to west coast driver Dylan Lupton to pilot his #05 Chevrolet in the desert this weekend. “My ankle is still pretty sore but I’m hoping I’ll be ready to race next week at Homestead,” Townley said. “Dylan competed in some XFINITY Series races for Athenian Motorsports last year and did a solid job. He’s got tons of experience at Phoenix, so I’m very confident he’ll give our Chevrolet a good run there Friday night.” Lupton, whose hometown is Sacramento, Calif., finished 12th in his NCWTS debut last month at Talladega.(Athenian Motorsports)(11-7-2016)
  • KBM’s Gragson to get early start to 2017 UPDATE: Kyle Busch Motorsport’s newest addition to its Camping World Truck Series lineup is going to get an early start to his career the next two weeks. NASCAR Next member Noah Gragson, who will replace William Byron in a full-time KBM Truck in 2017, will run the final two Truck races of the season at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedway, Motorsport.com has learned. Gragson is scheduled to drive the #18 Toyota from KBM but the entry will be fielded by Richie Wauters Motorsports, sources confirmed. KBM still has two drivers – Byron and Christopher Bell – competing for the Truck series championship this season and didn’t want to stretch its resources. Gragson, 18, won four NASCAR races this season – two each in the K&N; Pro Series East and West. At one point, he won three consecutive races he entered, all on road courses. The Las Vegas native finished fifth in the K&N; East series standings this season and third in the West division. In May, Gragson was one of 11 drivers named to the NASCAR Next program, an industry-wide initiative designed to showcase rising young stars in racing.(Motorsport.com)(11-4-2016)
    UPDATE: Noah Gragson will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) in the running of the Lucas Oil 150 Friday, Nov. 11. Gragson will pilot the #18 Speed Vegas/ Alert ID Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Toyota Tundra entry, owned by Richie Wauters at the Avondale, Arizona track. The 18-year-old NASCAR Next driver started in the Bandoleros at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, eventually moving into late models. In 2015, Noah joined the NASCAR K&N; Pro Series West making his series debut at Kern County Raceway Park. He finished third after qualifying eighth. At Tucson Raceway Park, Gragson battled with his teammate for his first career victory. Later in the season at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway, he recorded his first pole position and led 176 laps to win. In his first season of stock car racing, Gragson finished second in the final points standings with two wins, seven top fives, and 11 top 10s, becoming the ninth driver in series history to finish runner-up in points and win Rookie of the Year. 2016 would mark a full-season return to the NASCAR K&N; Pro Series West, as well as competing in 13 of 14 races in the NKNPS East. In 27 races between the two series, Gragson would put up an impressive four wins, 13 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. Gragson has also competed in several Super Late Model events with Wauters Motorsports and is looking for additional experience prior to his 2017 full season in the NCWTS for KBM.(See an image of the truck on the #18 Team Paint Schemes page)(Wauters Motorsports)(11-7-2016)
  • Snider to debut with AM at Phoenix UPDATE: Myatt Snider, son of NBC Sports sportscaster Marty Snider will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in two weeks at Phoenix International Raceway for AM Racing. Snider will drive the #22 AM Racing Toyota Tundra typically driven by Austin Wayne Self in the penultimate Truck Series race of the season. Snider will be guided by crew chief Rick Ren, a two-time NCWTS championship crew chief. Steadily, Snider has worked his way through the ranks of Motorsports, despite a late start. Finding success with strong finishes in the CARS Tour Late Model Series last season, Snider leaped to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards this season competing in nine races for Cunningham Motorsports. In his series debut at Toledo Speedway, Snider started third, led 35 laps en route to his first career victory. Since then, Snider tallied two more top-five finishes at Iowa Speedway and Lucas Oil Raceway before being plagued by mechanical issues and a crash in his final three races at Chicago, Kentucky and Kansas respectively.(Catchfence)(10-29-2016)
    UPDATE: See an image of the truck on the #22 Team Paint Schemes page(11-7-2016)


    News from November 6, 2016


  • Edwards wins at Texas: #19-Carl Edwards won the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 4th win at Texas and 28th career win. Edwards took the lead under pit stops on lap 258 and lead the final 36 laps. The race was called at 11:13pm/et with 293 laps complete after of rain hit the track and NASCAR determined it would at least 2 hours to dry the track.
    #22-Logano finished 2nd, followed by #78-Truex, Jr., #24-Elliott, #18-Busch, #4-Harvick, #20-Kenseth, #5-Kahne, #11-Hamlin, and #31-Newman.
    Pole sitter #3-Dillon ran near the front for much of the race but spun late, then made contact with the outside wall a short time later. He had to go to the garage and finished 37th.
    The start of the race was delayed by nearly 6 hours. It rained just before engines were scheduled to be fired at 2:04pm/et. Cooler temperatures and moisture required an extended amount of time to dry the track. Engines were fired at 7:13pm/et and the race finally started under green/yellow conditions at 7:56pm/et. Six laps were run until the green flag was shown.
    The only Chase drivers that did not finish on the lead lap was #41-Busch. he finished 20th.
    There were 12 lead changes among 8 drivers and 8 cautions for 37 yellow flag laps.
    Average race speed: 134.541mph
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    (11-6-2016)
  • Race Fast Facts – Texas Motor Speedway:
    Carl Edwards won the 12th Annual AAA Texas 500, his 28th victory in 443 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    With the victory, Edwards clinches a spot in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, joining Jimmie Johnson.
    This is his third victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his fourth victory and 13th top-10 finish in 24 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    With the victory, Edwards moves into a tie with Kurt Busch and NASCAR Hall of Famer Rex White for 26th on the all-time series wins list.
    Joey Logano (second) posted his seventh top-10 finish in 17 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 24th top-10 finish in 2016.
    Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his 12th top-10 finish in 23 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Chase Elliott (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Sports Marketing)(11-6-2016)
  • Finishing positions of the 2016 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers at Texas:
    (by Chase standings before the race)
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 11th
    2) #11-Denny Hamlin, 9th
    3) #20-Matt Kenseth, 7th
    4) #18-Kyle Busch, 5th
    5) #22-Joey Logano, 2nd
    6) #4-Kevin Harvick, 6th
    7) #41-Kurt Busch, 20th
    8) #19-Carl Edwards, WON
    (11-6-2016)
  • Sprint Cup Driver Chase Standings – Round of 8:
    [after Texas, race 34 of 36, Chase race 8 of 10]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson*,[4 wins], 4074 (won Martinsville)
    2) #19-Carl Edwards,[3 wins], 4049 (won Texas)
    3) #22-Joey Logano,[2 wins], 4074, +1 ahead of 5th
    4) #18-Kyle Busch,[4 wins], 4074, +1
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth,[2 wins], 4073, -1 behind 4th
    6) #11-Denny Hamlin,[3 wins], 4072, -2
    7) #4-Kevin Harvick,[4 wins] 4056, -18
    8) #41-Kurt Busch,[1 win], 4040, -34
    * will advance to the Championship Round by winning a Round of 8 race
    See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
    Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf)
  • Unofficial Top 25 in 2016 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 (C7), 1083
    2) #2-Brad Keselowski (EC), 1056, -27
    3) #22-Joey Logano (C3), 1051, -32
    4) #18-Kyle Busch (C4), 1030, -53
    5) #11-Denny Hamlin (C6), 1017, -66
    6) #41-Kurt Busch (C8), 991, -92
    7) #78-Martin Truex Jr. (EC), 985, -98
    8) #19-Carl Edwards (C2), 975, -108
    9) #48-Jimmie Johnson (C1), 959, -124
    10) #20-Matt Kenseth (C5), 942, -141
    11) #24-Chase Elliott (EC), 904, -179
    12) #3-Austin Dillon (EC), 871, -212
    13) #5-Kasey Kahne, 866, -217
    14) #42-Kyle Larson (EC), 852, -231
    15) #31-Ryan Newman, 850, -233
    16) #1-Jamie McMurray (EC), 841, -242
    17) #47-AJ Allmendinger, 773, -310
    18) #21-Ryan Blaney, 764, -319
    19) #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 743, -340
    20) #6-Trevor Bayne, 728, -355
    21) #10-Danica Patrick, 655, -428
    22) #16-Greg Biffle, 642, -441
    23) #27-Paul Menard, 620, -463
    24) #43-Aric Almirola, 618, -465
    25) #14-Tony Stewart (EC), 597, -486
    27) #34-Chris Buescher (EC), 515, -568
    (C# = chase driver and current Chase position)
    (EC = chase driver that has been eliminated from the Chase)
    (11-6-2016)
  • Cup title sponsorship search continues UPDATE: As NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs head toward the championship race next month in Homestead, the sanctioning body is in a race of its own – to find a replacement for series title sponsor Sprint. The Sports Business Journal reported Monday that NASCAR chief operating officer Brent Dewar says the sanctioning body is talking with multiple companies, and that those talks are at “an advanced stage.” “We know how to handle complexity and meet deadlines, and this is no different,” Dewar told SBJ. Yet Dewar said there is no rush to fill the void. The 2017 season begins in early February. “It’s much more important we have the right partner than to meet a self-imposed deadline,” Dewar told the paper.(Sporting News)
    AND: Not having a new sponsor named yet has impacted at least one NASCAR partner, Lionel NASCAR Collectibles. Instead of having the new entitlement sponsor emblazoned on 2017 diecasts ready for the Daytona 500, the company will have a NASCAR logo instead, [SBJ’s Adam] Stern noted.(NBC Sports)(11-1-2016)
    UPDATE NASCAR had hoped to have a sponsor for its premier series signed by now, and there are plenty of nervous people in the garage awaiting any news. If NASCAR chief operating officer Brent Dewar is feeling the heat, he isn’t showing it. He said NASCAR has talked to several companies, and negotiations continue as it seeks to replace Sprint after its 13-year run. NASCAR has known since December 2014 that Sprint would leave after this year. “We are in advanced discussions still with a number of companies for the entitlement of our series,” Dewar said Friday. “I’ve got nothing [final] to report today. We’re working hard on it.” Dewar wouldn’t talk about any companies NASCAR has entered that advanced stage of discussions. When asked about a timeline, Dewar said it is important to find the right partner. “Some of the firms we’re talking to can move pretty fast,” Dewar said. “Some maybe not as fast.” Dewar said there is time to get the deal done and begin activating the sponsorship with the Daytona 500 in February. He said companies have various deadlines to make decisions and it is just the nature of the business that negotiations have stretched into November. Another issue that NASCAR must battle when finding a sponsor is the decrease in attendance and television ratings. The public companies say ticket revenue compared to last year has dropped 9.2 percent since the Daytona 500. Eight of the past nine Cup races have seen 10 percent drops in television ratings, and NASCAR has seen an overall seven percent drop for the year.(ESPN.com)(11-6-2016)
  • Who’s Hot and Who’s Not – Texas Edition:
    HOT
    ” Jimmie Johnson: won 3 of last 4 Texas races (won last 2 Chase races); 6 wins at Texas are 3 more than any other driver
    ” Kyle Busch: 2 wins, 6 finishes of 4th or better in last 7 Texas races (won earlier this year)
    ” Kevin Harvick: finished 2nd and 3rd in Texas Chase race in last 2 seasons
    ” Joey Logano: top-5 finishes in 5 of 7 Texas races since joining Team Penske
    ” Brad Keselowski: 6 top 10s in last 8 Texas races (none in first 8 career starts at track)
    NOT
    ” Matt Kenseth: 19.7 Avg finish, 0 top 10s in last 3 Texas races (5.9 Avg finish, 13 top 10s in previous 15 Texas races)
    ” Denny Hamlin: no finish better than 7th, 15.8 Avg finish in his last 10 Texas races
    ” Kurt Busch: has not had top-5 finish at Texas in his last 12 races there (last was in April 2010)
    (ESPN Stats & Info)
  • Texas Race Notes & Facts:
    � There have been 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway, one NSCS event from 1997 – 2004 and two races per year since 2005.
    � Roush Fenway Racing leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Texas Motor Speedway with nine; followed by Hendrick Motorsports with eight and Joe Gibbs Racing has five.
    � Four different manufacturers have won a NSCS race at Texas, led by Ford and Chevrolet (12 each); followed by Toyota (four) and Dodge (three).
    � There have been five NSCS finishes at Texas Motor Speedway that have gone to overtime.
    � Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway is the (4/4/2004) race won by Elliott Sadler with a MOV of 0.028 over second-place Kasey Kahne.
    (NASCAR)


    News from November 5, 2016


  • DiBenedetto to sit out Texas race UPDATE: Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the #83 Toyota for BK Racing, will not compete in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway after entering concussion protocol. DiBenedetto was not cleared by physicians to race following an incident in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series event. A substitute driver will be announced before tomorrow’s race.(BK Racing)(11-5-2016)
    UPDATE: BK Racing announced Saturday night that Jeffrey Earnhardt will be in the #83 Sunday at Texas.(11-5-2016)
  • Happy Hour (final) practice of the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 50 minutes, the top-five, slowest & notes:
    #2-Keselowski 190.685
    #78-Truex Jr. 189.787
    #18-Busch 189.753
    #22-Logano 189.707
    #24-Elliott 189.447
    slowest: #32-Gase 174.995 & #30-Wise 174.548. No speed: #55-Sorenson
    best 10 consecutive lap ave (of 34 drivers): #78-Truex, Jr. 184.413mph
    See fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap aves on the Texas Final Practice speeds page (pdf).(11-5-2016)
  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway have been made.
    With the field downsized to 40 cars, three pit stalls (23, 26, 43) have been eliminated, are not in play and don’t count towards driving through more than three pit boxes.
    Pole sitter #3-Dillon chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #22-Logano took pit stall 2, the next stall behind Dillon.
    #4-Harvick, who starts 3rd took pit stall 14, with an opening in front of it.
    The final pit stall was taken by #2-Keselowski, who starts 4th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com’s Pit Stall Selection chart.
  • First Saturday practice of the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 55 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest & notes:
    #21-Blaney 188.515
    #47-Allmendinger 188.508
    #17-Stenhouse Jr. 187.846
    #13-Mears 187.826
    #27-Menard 187.572
    slowest: #30-Wise 169.19 & #32-Gase 174.267
    best 10 consecutive lap ave: #19-Edwards, 183.137mph
    TV coverage was on CNBC.
    Happy Hour (final) practice is scheduled for 1:30pm/et TV-NBCSN.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap aves (26 drivers) on the Texas Practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-5-2016)
  • Future of HScott Motorsports uncertain: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Harry Scott says no decisions have been made concerning the future of the HScott Motorsports organization and likely won’t be until after the completion of the 2016 season. HScott currently fields two full-time teams in Sprint Cup, the #46 of driver Michael Annett and the #15 of driver Clint Bowyer. The organization, which runs under the Chevrolet banner, utilizes engines from Hendrick Motorsports. It was announced Friday that Annett would move to JR Motorsports next season to compete full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Pilot Flying J, his current sponsor in Sprint Cup, will make the move to JRM as well. Bowyer’s stay with HScott has been for the ’16 season only as he moves on to Stewart-Haas Racing next year to take over that organization’s #14 for three-time series champion Tony Stewart. Sponsor 5-hour Energy will move to Furniture Row Racing where it will be aligned with driver Erik Jones.
    Scott said, “As for the 2017 season, I am considering a number of options — including an offer to run a different driver — but no final decisions have been made and won’t be announced until after the end of the season.” Scott has a charter, which guarantees a spot in the starting field each week, for both the #15 and #46 entries. However, the charter for the #46 entry was a one-year arrangement between HScott and Premium Motorsports owner Jay Robinson.(NASCAR.com)(11-5-2016)
  • Goodyear looking to renew contract with NASCAR: Goodyear is currently renegotiating its contract with NASCAR which concludes at the end of 2017. The tire manufacturer has enjoyed a relationship with NASCAR since 1954 – and [Greg Stucker, Director of Racing Tire Sales and Marketing for Goodyear] doesn’t expect that to change. “I can tell you there have been several meetings, several conversations about moving forward,” Stucker said. “To my knowledge, there are no major hurdles. There are always little items you need to work out, particularly with the way the landscape is now. You have a new TV contract and new social media landscape. I think those are the biggest things that need to be worked through – where we want to focus our efforts, the exposure. How you want to use our assets. That still needs to be worked out. But as far as the operational side, the performance side, I think we’re good.” While there have been rumblings about other tire manufacturers attempting to get in the game, Stucker isn’t aware of any competition in the category moving forward.(Motorsport)(11-5-2016)
  • Texas Driver Notes & Facts:
    � 151 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas; 120 in more than one.
    � Jeff Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in starts at Texas Motor Speedway with 30. Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart lead all active drivers with 27 Texas starts each.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Texas Motor Speedway with an 8.500.
    � Johnson is the only active driver that has made more than one start at Texas with an average starting position inside the top 10.
    � Six drivers have made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start at Texas Motor Speedway: Adam Petty (2000), Jay Sauter (2002), Brad Keselowski (2008), Trevor Bayne (2010), David Starr (2011) and Parker Kligerman (2013).
    � 18 different drivers have won at Texas Motor Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with six victories; including five of the last eight races.
    � Eight drivers have multiple wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (six), Carl Edwards (three), Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch 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)
    � Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Texas Motor Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (2014 Chase race and 2015 sweep), Carl Edwards (2008 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (2010 sweep).
    � 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.
    � 11 of the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Texas Motor Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won at Texas in his first appearance; Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman won in their second appearance at TMS.
    � Only two of the 12 active winning drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Texas Motor Speedway: 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 27.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads the series in runner-up finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with five; followed by Matt Kenseth with four.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-five finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 14; followed by Matt Kenseth (13) and Kyle Busch with 10.
    � Jimmie Johnson leads the series in top-10 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway with 20; followed by Matt Kenseth (17).
    � Two active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish inside the top 10 at Texas: Jimmie Johnson (8.269) and Matt Kenseth (9.519).
    � Casey Mears has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway without posting a DNF (24).
    � Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Laps Led at Texas Motor Speedway with 1,023 laps led in 26 starts.
    � Two female drivers have made NSCS starts at Texas Motor Speedway: Shawna Robinson and Danica Patrick
    (NASCAR)
  • Martinsville TV Ratings: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Martinsville, the seventh of ten Chase For the Cup races, had a 1.6 final rating and 2.7 million viewers on NBCSN Sunday afternoon – down 20% in ratings and viewership from last year (2.0, 3.4M) and down 36% and 35%, respectively, from 2014 on ESPN (2.5, 4.1M). Jimmie Johnson’s win ranks as the lowest rated and least-watched fall Martinsville race since at least 2000, falling below the previous marks set last year. The past ten Sprint Cup races, and 11 of the past 12, have hit multi-year lows in ratings and viewership.(Sports Media Watch), see race-by-race TV Ratings for 2016 and a comparison chart on the 2016 TV Ratings page.(11-5-2016)
  • Harvick and Gaughan cars too low after XFINITY race: NASCAR announced after Saturday’s Xfinity race that #1-Elliott Sadler’s car had 19 of 20 lug nuts secured and that the cars of #88-Kevin Harvick and #62-Brendan Gaughan were too low in the rear. Sadler’s team faces a P2 penalty of a $5,000 fine since this is a first occurrence. There would be no points penalty. The JR Motorsports team of Harvick and Richard Childress Racing team of Gaughan face a P2 penalty for being too low in the rear. John Hunter Nemechek’s Camping World Truck Series team was docked 10 points after New Hampshire in September for a similar infraction.(NBC Sports)(11-5-2016)
  • Kyle Larson wins XFINITY race at Texas: #42-Kyle Larson won the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 5th XFINITY Series win and 2nd of the year. Pole sitter #2-Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by #88-Kevin Harvick, #20-Erik Jones, #19-Daniel Suarez, #1-Elliott Sadler, #2-Austin Dillon, #48-Brennan Poole, #18-Matt Tifft, and #7-Justin Allgaier.
    There were 5 cautions for 22 laps and 5 lead changes among 4 leaders.
    The average speed was 140.992mph.
    Complete results are on the Texas race results page (pdf).
    (11-5-2016)
  • Texas XFINITY Race Fast Facts:
    Kyle Larson won the 12th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, his fifth victory in 90 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his second victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in seven races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Brad Keselowski (second) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 18 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 11th top-10 finish in 2016.
    Kevin Harvick (third) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 19 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Erik Jones (fourth) was the highest finishing Chase driver and rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-5-2016)
  • XFINITY Driver standings following Texas:
    1) #19-Daniel Suarez [2 wins], 3075, +17 ahead of 4th
    2) #1-Elliott Sadler [3 wins], 3074, +16
    3) #20-Erik Jones [4 wins], 3065, +7
    4) #11-Blake Koch, 3059, +1
    Bottom 4 drivers will be eliminated next week after Phoenix:
    5) #7-Justin Allgaier, 3058, -1 behind 4th
    6) #16-Ryan Reed, 3054, -5
    7) #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr., 3039, -20
    8) #62-Brendan Gaughan, 3036, -23
    See complete owner and driver standings on the driver standings(pdf) and owner standings page (pdf).(11-5-2016)
  • Keselowski on XFINITY pole at Texas: #22-Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light pole for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 186.909mph. #20-Erik Jones ran an identical lap as Keselowski, but lost the tie-breaker based on owner’s points. He will start second. The rest of the top 10: #18-Matt Tifft, #19-Daniel Suarez, #42-Kyle Larson, #7-Justin Allgaier, #2-Austin Dillon, #1-Elliott Sadler, #88-Kevin Harvick, and #48-Brennan Poole.
    Did Not Qualify: none.
    The starting lineup is posted on the Texas Motor Speedway starting lineup page (pdf).(11-5-2016)
  • Texas XFINITY Qualifying Notes:
    Brad Keselowski won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 12th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge with a lap of 28.891 seconds, 186.909 mph.
    This is his 20th pole in 239 NASCAR XFINITY Series races.
    This is his first pole and 11th top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in 18 races at Texas Motor Speedway. Erik Jones (second) posted his 30th top-10 start of 2016 and his fourth in four races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Matt Tifft (third) posted his first top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his fifth in nine races this season.
    Brennan Poole (10th) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-5-2016)
  • Boxer Vinny Paz to serve as Phoenix Grand Marshal: Phoenix Raceway will host a star-studded pre-race ceremony for the semi-final race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as legendary boxer Vinny Paz will greet drivers on stage as the Grand Marshal prior to the Can-Am 500 on Sunday, Nov. 13. Also, local Olympian Brady Ellison will serve in the same role on Saturday for the Ticket Galaxy 200, joined by Harlem Globetrotter and Phoenix native Anthony “Buckets” Blakes as honorary starter. Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza is known as one of boxing’s most charismatic and exciting fighters and will bring the same energy as Grand Marshal for the Can-Am 500. Since his professional debut in 1983, the five-time world champion fighter has earned titles in lightweight, junior middleweight and super middleweight divisions. He has delivered top performances throughout his career, including a victory over Hall of Famer and boxing icon Roberto Duran. Three-time Olympian Brady Ellison, the Grand Marshal of the Ticket Galaxy 200, is a full-time archer coming off an individual bronze and Team USA silver-medal winning performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics.(PIR)(11-5-2016)


    News from November 4, 2016


     

  • Austin Dillon wins Texas pole: #3-Austin Dillon won the Coors Light pole for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway with speed of 192.301mph for his 2nd pole of 2016, 1st at Texas and 3rd of his career.
    #22-Logano will start 2nd, followed by #4-Harvick, #2-Keselowski, #42-Larson, #27-Menard, #20-Kenseth, #21-Blaney, #19-Edwards, #41-Busch, #24-Elliott, and #78-Treux, Jr.
    #4-Harvick was fastest in the 2nd round with a speed of 194.063mph and will start 3rd.
    #22-Logano was fastest in the first round at 194.266mph. He starts 2nd.
    Did not qualify: None. 40 teams were entered.
    See round-by-round qualifying results on the Texas qualifying results page (pdf) and the complete starting lineup on the Texas Starting Lineup page (pdf).(11-4-2016)
  • Where the 2016 Sprint Cup Chase Drivers will start at Texas:
    [listed by driver points position]
    1) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 19th
    2) #11-Denny Hamlin, 17th
    3) #20-Matt Kenseth, 7th
    4) #18-Kyle Busch, 24th
    5) #22-Joey Logano, 2nd
    6) #4-Kevin Harvick, 3rd
    7) #41-Kurt Busch, 10th
    8) #19-Carl Edwards, 9th
    (11-4-2016)
  • Texas Motor Speedway – Qualifying Fast Facts:
    Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 12th Annual AAA Texas 500 with a lap of 28.081 seconds, 192.301 mph.
    This is his third pole in 119 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and 10th top-10 start in 2016. His first of the season came at Auto Club Speedway.
    This is his first pole in eight races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Joey Logano (second) posted his 25th top-10 start of 2016 and his ninth in 17 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Kevin Harvick (third) posted his seventh top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 18th in 34 races this season.
    Ryan Blaney (eighth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-4-2016)
  • Second Round of Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 10 scheduled minutes.
    #4-Harvick 194.063
    #19-Edwards 193.938
    #3-Dillon 193.002
    #22-Logano 192.981
    #27-Menard 192.719
    the rest of the top 12: 24 78 41 21 20 2 42;
    out of the top 12 and not advancing to round 3: 13 47 1 88 11 31 48 17 43 10 14 18
    (11-4-2016)
  • First Round of Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over, after 20 scheduled minutes.
    #22-Logano 194.266
    #18-Busch 194.056
    #4-Harvick 193.861
    #24-Elliott 193.805
    #78-Truex, Jr. 193.264
    the rest of the top 24: 42 11 3 19 41 27 31 21 47 20 48 14 2 13 42 88 10 1 17;
    out of the top 24 and not advancing to round 2: 16 6 15 95 44 34 5 7 83 38 93 23 46 55 32 30.
    Drivers who will miss the race: None, only 40 teams entered.
    (11-4-2016)
  • Friday practice for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is over after 85 minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes:
    #4-Harvick 196.685
    #19-Edwards 196.278
    #20-Kenseth 195.929
    #22-Logano 195.574
    #21-Blaney 195.397
    Best 10 consecutive lap ave (of 2 drivers): #24-Elliott 181.325.
    slowest: #55-Sorenson 181.592 & #30-Wise 176.292. 37 drivers have been on track.
    most laps run: #24-Elliott 30 laps.
    Notes: #18-Busch hit the wall on his first lap out on track. The team will have to go to a backup car.
    Qualifying is scheduled for 6:45pm/et. There will be no live TV coverage. NBC will stream it online and on the NBC Sports app. There will be tape delayed coverage on NCBSN at 10:30pm/et.
    See fastest speeds, laps run and best 10 consecutive lap avg on the Texas Practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-4-2016)
  • Qualifying Order for the AAA Texas 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is posted. 40 cars/drivers are listed.
    The first driver to be lined up on pit road will be #4-Harvick.
    The final driver lined up on pit road will be #46-Annett.
    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 Order Page (pdf).
  • Michael Annett to run full XFINITY season for JR Motorsports: JR Motorsports will expand its NASCAR Xfinity Series program to four full-time teams in 2017, as the Dale Earnhardt Jr.-owned company has signed a multi-year agreement with driver Michael Annett and Pilot Flying J, the largest operator of travel centers and travel plazas in North America. Annett will compete full-time for an NXS championship with JRM’s #5 Pilot Flying J entry next year. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Annett will join a 2017 JRM roster that already includes full-season drivers Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier, and rookie William Byron. JR Motorsports will run a fifth car, the #88 entry, in select races with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne. Additional details surrounding crew duties on the #5 Pilot Flying J team will be announced at a later date. (JR Motorsports)(11-4-2016)
  • DiBenedetto to “Back the Blue” at Texas: Dallas-based ZAK Products recently unveiled its “Back the Blue” #83 Toyota Camry that honors the Dallas Police Department and all fallen officers since the foundation of the department in 1881, including those from the July 7 tragedy. This car, which will be driven by BK Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto at the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, November 6, is the first of its kind supporting a police department. ZAK revealed the car’s design at an event at Toyota of Dallas that commemorated the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women in uniform who serve the city of Dallas each day. The event helped raise money for families of the fallen officers through the Assist the Officer Foundation. Emblazoned in black, blue and white, the design was inspired by current DPD cruisers and incorporates the “Back the Blue” badge on the hood and doors. The design also includes the names and badge numbers of the five fallen DPD and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) officers who lost their lives on July 7. Eighty four names were also inscribed on the hood, naming all of the fallen DPD officers since 1881. DiBenedetto’s firesuit also takes design cues from Dallas Police Officer uniforms.(ZAK Products), see an image of the car on the #83 team paint schemes page.(11-4-2016)
  • NASCAR Honors 2016 Sprint Cup Series Victor at Champion’s Week in Las Vegas: After millions watch as a new champion is crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy will make its way to Las Vegas for postseason celebrations as NASCAR hosts its annual Champion’s Week festivities. Fans across the nation will gather for a week of events honoring the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, the NASCAR Sunoco Rookie of the Year and numerous other season-ending award winners.
    Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 29 and culminating on Friday, Dec. 2, NASCAR Champion’s Week will feature events including the Motorsports Marketing Forum presented by SportsBusiness Journal at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and the annual NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon at Wynn Las Vegas. Guests can visit the NASCAR Fan Lounge at Beerhaus Presented by Coors Light at The Park just outside New York-New York Hotel & Casino throughout the week for information on the Champion’s Week schedule and details about how to secure access to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards red carpet.
    On Thursday, Dec. 1, the 16 Chase drivers will get behind the wheel on Las Vegas Boulevard for NASCAR Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco, followed by NASCAR After The Lap Sponsored by Chevrolet, Ford & Toyota. That evening, Coors Light will once again present the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash at XS at Encore Las Vegas to celebrate the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The private event will feature a special live performance by American Authors, best-known for hit songs “Best Day of My Life” and “What We Live For.”
    Festivities will conclude with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, a black-tie event featuring the Champion, 16 Chase drivers, special guests and celebrity performers at Wynn Las Vegas. NBCSN presents this year’s awards Friday, Dec. 2, at 9:00pm/et, while Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90 will carry the show live at 8:00pm/et.
    For more information on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, visit ChampionsWeek.NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)(11-4-2016)
  • Texas Pole Notes & Facts:
    � Jeremy Mayfield was the first Coors Light pole winner (1998) at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 185.906 mph. The inaugural Coors Light pole at Texas Motor Speedway in 1997 was cancelled due to weather conditions.
    � 22 drivers have Coors Light poles at Texas, led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte, Carl Edwards 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).
    � 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.
    � Three of the 31 (9.6%) 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).
    � Six of the 31 (19.3%) 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.
    � 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).
    � 24 of the 31 (77.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    � Four of the 31 (12.9%) 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)
  • Dakoda Armstrong paces final XFINITY practice: #28-Dakoda Armstrong was quickest in final practice at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 184.244mph. #42-Kyle Larson was second, followed by: #33-Brandon Jones, #18-Matt Tifft, #19-Daniel Suarez, #48-Brennan Poole, #22-Brad Keselowski, #2-Austin Dillon, #62-Brendan Gaughan, and #3-Ty Dillon. 36 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Texas practice 2 speeds page (pdf).(11-4-2016)
  • Kyle Larson fastest in first XFINITY practice: #42-Kyle Larson was fastest during opening practice at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 185.599mph. The rest of the top 10: #19-Daniel Suarez, #18-Matt Tifft, #20-Erik Jones, #88-Kevin Harvick, #48-Brennan Poole, #39-Ryan Sieg, #2-Austin Dillon, #3-Ty Dillon, and #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr. 37 drivers practiced during the session.
    See complete results on the Texas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-4-2016)
  • Matt Tifft full-time for JGR in 2017: Joe Gibbs Racing announces Ohio-native Matt Tifft will pilot a Toyota Camry full-time in 2017, across all 33 races of the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The 20-year old rookie, a part-time driver currently in the Joe Gibbs Racing stable, who accomplished his first top-five result and first pole-qualifying run in only nine races in 2016, has now earned a larger opportunity to compete in NASCAR’s XFINIY series, appropriately themed “Names are Made Here.” Tifft has run a limited schedule in both the XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series over the last three seasons, making a combined 31-career starts. In these early stages of his career Tifft has recorded one top-five and eight top-10 finishing spots in the Camping World Tuck Series and one top-five, five top-10 finishes and a pole-qualifying position in the XFINITY Series. Tifft has also recorded time in NASCAR’s K&N; Pro West, K&N; Pro East and ARCA Series and the X-1R Pro Cup Series. Tifft made his first career XFNITY Series start and first entry with JGR at Kentucky Speedway in 2015 earning an impressive 10th-place finish in his debut. In addition, JGR announces that Matt Beckman will serve as crew chief for Tifft and team in 2017. Beckman currently serves as the race engineer under crew chief Mike Wheeler with the #11 Sprint Cup Series Toyota team. Primary sponsorship across the 33 designated races with Tifft and the assigned car number will be further developed and announced at a later date.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(11-4-2016)
  • Sauter wins Truck Series race at Texas: #21-Johnny Sauter won the Striping Technology 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night after passing #88-Matt Crafton with two laps remaining to tally his second straight win. Crafton held on to second followed by #19-Daniel Hemric, #29-Tyler Reddick, #51-Daniel Suarez, #9-William Byron, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #71-Austin Dillon, #00-Cole Custer, and #13-Cameron Hayley.
    #23-Gallagher started from the pole and led a race high 88 laps but lost the lead following a pitstop with just over 20 laps to go.
    There were 3 cautions for 12 laps, all were brought on by the Caution Clock, and 7 lead changes among 4 leaders.
    The average speed was 148.291mph.
    Complete results are on the Texas race results page (pdf).(11-4-2016)
  • Texas Race Fast Facts:
    Johnny Sauter (C) won the 18th Annual Striping Technology 350, his 13th victory in 196 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his third victory and 17th top-10 finish in 2016.
    This is his third victory and 13th top-10 finish in 17 races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Matt Crafton (C) (second) posted his 21st top-10 finish in 32 races at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 14th top-10 finish in 2016.
    Daniel Hemric (third) posted his third top-10 finish in four races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Cole Custer (ninth) was the highest finishing rookie.
    Johnny Sauter (C) leads the point standings by 20 points over William Byron # (C).
    (NASCAR Statistics)(11-4-2016)
  • Driver standings following Texas:
    1)#21-Johnny Sauter [3 wins], 3072
    2) #9-William Byron# [6 wins], 3052, -20
    3) #4-Christopher Bell# [1 win], 3051 -21
    4) #88-Matt Crafton [2 wins], 3048, -24
    Bottom 2 drivers will be eliminated after Phoenix:
    5) #17-Timothy Peters, 3047, -25
    6) #33-Ben Kennedy [1 win], 3035, -37
    See complete standings on the driver standings page (pdf).(11-4-2016)
  • Owner Standings following Texas: are posted (pdf).(11-4-2016)
  • Gallagher on pole at Texas: #23-Spencer Gallagher won the pole for the Striping Technology 350 at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 180.307mph. #19-Daniel Hemric will start second, followed by #9-William Byron, #11-Matt Tifft, #29-Tyler Reddick, #17-Timothy Peters, #88-Matt Crafton, #41-Ben Rhodes, #4-Christopher Bell and #51-Daniel Suarez.
    Did Not Qualify: #78-Tommy Regan, #74-Mike Harmon, and #10-Ryan Ellis.
    See complete lineup on the Starting lineup (pdf) page.(11-4-2016)
  • Texas Qualifying Notes:
    Spencer Gallagher won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 18th Annual Striping Technology 350 with a lap of 29.949 seconds, 180.307 mph.
    This is his second pole in 56 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races.
    This is his second pole and eighth top-10 start in 2016.
    This is his first pole in five races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    Daniel Hemric (second) posted his 10th top-10 start of 2016 and his fourth in four races at Texas Motor Speedway.
    William Byron (C) (third) posted his second top-10 start at Texas Motor Speedway. It is his 18th in 21 races this season.
    Matt Tifft (fourth) was the fastest qualifying rookie.
    (NASCAR Integrated Marketing)(11-4-2016)
  • Bell fastest in Truck practice: #4-Christopher Bell was fastest during the one and only truck practice at Texas Motor Speedway with a speed of 182.556mph. #29-Tyler Reddick, #11-Matt Tifft, #88-Matt Crafton, #9-William Byron, #23-Spencer Gallagher, #41-Ben Rhodes, #51-Daniel Suarez, #97-Jesse Little, #19-Daniel Hemric were the remainder of the top-10. 35 drivers practiced during the session. See complete results on the Texas practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(11-4-2016)
  • KBM’s Gragson to get early start to 2017: Kyle Busch Motorsport’s newest addition to its Camping World Truck Series lineup is going to get an early start to his career the next two weeks. NASCAR Next member Noah Gragson, who will replace William Byron in a full-time KBM Truck in 2017, will run the final two Truck races of the season at Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedway, Motorsport.com has learned. Gragson is scheduled to drive the #18 Toyota from KBM but the entry will be fielded by Richie Wauters Motorsports, sources confirmed. KBM still has two drivers – Byron and Christopher Bell – competing for the Truck series championship this season and didn’t want to stretch its resources. Gragson, 18, won four NASCAR races this season – two each in the K&N; Pro Series East and West. At one point, he won three consecutive races he entered, all on road courses. The Las Vegas native finished fifth in the K&N; East series standings this season and third in the West division. In May, Gragson was one of 11 drivers named to the NASCAR Next program, an industry-wide initiative designed to showcase rising young stars in racing.(Motorsport.com)(11-4-2016)


    News from November 3, 2016


  • Busch Beer renews sponsorship of Harvick: Stewart-Haas Racing announced in a Facebook video, that Busch Beer has signed a three year extension to sponsor #4-Kevin Harvick.
    AND Busch Beer has increased its number of races with Kevin Harvick for next season as it goes from 12 races to 16 races as part of a three-year extension with Stewart-Haas Racing. Harvick will have sponsorship from Mobil 1 and Jimmie John’s for the remainder of the races.(ESPN.com)(11-3-2016)
  • Hamlin could set a record for speeding penalties: #11-Denny Hamlin is one pit road speeding penalty away from tying the mark for the most in a season in the past 10 years. Hamlin, who is among the drivers still eligible for the championship, has been penalized 10 times for speeding on pit road this year. Over the last 10 years, only Ryan Newman and David Gilliland have had more penalties for speeding on pit road in a season, according to Racing Insights Inc. Newman had 11 in 2008; Gilliland had 11 in 2012. Hamlin could tie – or top the mark – this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. He was caught speeding on pit road in this race a year ago. Six drivers – #16-Biffle, #42-Larson, #27-Menard, #31-Newman, #23-Ragan, and #17-Stenhouse, Jr. – have each been caught 7 times this season.(NBC Sports)(11-3-2016)
  • Trump-Pence on the #55 at Texas: Premium Motorsports [#55 & #98] posted images to their Facebook page of the #55 being prepared for this weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway, wrapped in support of the Trump-Pence Presidential campaign. Reed Sorenson will drive the car. There was no mention of the #98 team, which was withdrawn from the field last weekend at Martinsville. See images of the car on the #55 team paint schemes page.(11-3-2016)
  • Truck practice delayed due to rain: Two practice sessions were scheduled for the Trucks at Texas Motor Speedway on Thursday, but rain moved in prior to the start. After a prolonged attempt to dry the track, NASCAR was unsuccessful. There will now be a lone practice session on Friday, from 9:30 to 10:30 AM e/t.(11-3-2016)
  • Cindric to run Phoenix: Brad Keselowski Racing announced that Austin Cindric will drive a third entry for the organization in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race on November 11 at Phoenix (Avondale, Ariz.) International Raceway. PIRTEK, the industry leader in fluid transfer solution sales and service in the United States, will serve as primary sponsor of the #2 Ford F-150 driven by Cindric at Phoenix. Cindric, 18, will be attempting his sixth career NCWTS start and fourth of the 2016 season. He will be making his second start at Phoenix, the first time Cindric has competed at the same track more than once. In 2015, Cindric scored a respectable 14th-place finish at the one-mile desert oval. In 2016, Cindric has competed in NCWTS races at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada) and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. His best finish came at Bristol (18th-place) and he qualified a career-best second at the Canadian road course. Cindric made his NCWTS debut in 2015 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway with BKR last October where he qualified 14th and ran well before a late-race incident relegated him to a 25th-place finish.(Brad Keselowski Racing)(11-3-2016)
  • Texas sponsor for Tifft: Waste Connections, Inc will be the primary sponsor on the #11 Toyota Tundra at Texas Motor Speedway. Waste Connections, Inc. is an integrated solid waste services company that provides waste collection, transfer, disposal and recycling services in mostly exclusive and secondary markets in the U.S. and Canada..(See an image of the truck on the #11 Team Paint Schemes page)(Red Horse Racing)(11-3-2016)
  • Phoenix names official whiskey: Phoenix Raceway announced that Beach Whiskey is the official whiskey of PIR and will be a part of the Can-Am 500 race weekend on Nov. 11-13. Beach Whiskey co-founders include country artist Jake Owen, whose highly-anticipated fifth studio album, American Love, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and at No. 4 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. Fans can enjoy Beach Whiskey, as well as signature cocktails, during the Can-Am 500 weekend at Phoenix Raceway by visiting designated bars and beverage locations on the Fan Midway. A reimagined take on the traditionally dark spirit, Beach Whiskey is a versatile, clear American whiskey that can be sipped straight up, on the rocks, as a shooter or in mixed drinks and cocktails. Beach Whiskey embodies the laidback seaside lifestyle with day-drinkable flavor profiles and sea glass-inspired packaging, invoking a new sentiment for American whiskey.(PIR)(11-3-2016)


    News from November 2, 2016


  • Martinsville warnings announced: NASCAR has announced penalties and warnings following the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway on October 30, 2016.
    #93-DiBenedetto (1), Failed LIS three times in pre-qualifying inspection. Given a written warning and loss of 15 minutes practice time.
    #6-Bayne (3), Failed LIS twice in pre-race inspection and was given a written warning.
    #11-Hamlin (3), Failed template inspection twice in pre-qualifying inspection and was given a written warning.
    () — total current warnings.
    See the Matinsville Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(11-2-2016)
  • Advocare renews sponsorship of Bayne: Roush Fenway Racing has signed a multiyear renewal that will see AdvoCare continue to serve as the anchor partner on Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne’s #6 Sprint Cup Ford Fusion for the next three seasons. AdvoCare has partnered with Roush Fenway and Bayne since 2014, when the relationship began in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. “AdvoCare is extremely proud to call Roush Fenway Racing and Trevor Bayne partners, and we look forward to continuing our great relationship on and off the track. We are also excited about Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway,” says Allison Levy, AdvoCare’s Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer. “The #6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion will feature a paint scheme honoring the SEAL Legacy Foundation, a worthwhile organization helping the families of wounded and fallen U.S. Navy Seals – a cause we are honored to support as a team.” The SEAL Legacy Foundation is dedicated to providing support, including financial assistance and educational assistance to families of wounded and fallen United States Navy SEALs, and other charitable causes benefiting the SEAL community.(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the car on the #6 team paint schemes page.(11-2-2016)
  • Matt Borland getting back to NASCAR as crew chief UPDATE: Matt Borland is getting back in the NASCAR game. Sources told Motorsport.com that Borland will join Richard Childress Racing. Borland, 45, worked as a crew chief for 10 seasons in NASCAR before he was promoted to Vice President of Competition for Stewart Haas Racing. Borland rose up the ranks with rookie Ryan Newman for one race in 2000 through the A-B-C development program established at Penske. After a brief stint with Michael Waltrip Racing and Dale Jarrett to start the 2007 season, Borland joined Haas CNC Racing as director of competition and remained through the transition to SHR in 2012. Newman moved to RCR for the 2014 season and signed a contract extension last month. After his friend’s departure, Borland had delved into the engineering end of SHR and shifted his concentration to Haas’ Formula 1 project. (Motorsport)(11-1-2016)
    UPDATE: Richard Childress Racing has named Matt Borland as crew chief for its #27 Menards NASCAR Sprint Cup Series program. Borland will begin his duties as crew chief at the conclusion of the 2016 season, replacing interim crew chief Danny Stockman. Stockman will return to RCR’s NASCAR XFINITY Series program, where he has won seven races and the 2013 Series championship. Borland, a seasoned NASCAR engineer and crew chief, brings to RCR more than 20 years of motorsports experience. Most recently, he served as vice president of technology for Stewart-Haas Racing where he oversaw the team’s NASCAR and Formula 1 operations, while managing its engineering staff of 30.(Richard Childress Racing)(11-2-2016)
  • Donate Life Texas partners with Go Fas Racing; Gase in the #32: Donate Life Texas will join driver Joey Gase and Go Fas Racing as the primary sponsor of the #32 Ford Fusion for this weekend’s AAA Texas 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway. The Donate Life Texas Registry gives hope to thousands of people awaiting the transplant they need to survive. By registering to become an organ, eye and tissue donor your decision and generosity can save as many as eight lives through organ donation, and bring sight to others with cornea donations and improve yet another 50 lives or more through tissue donation. It takes only moments, yet means a second chance of a lifetime.(Go Fas Racing)(11-2-2016)
  • BorgWarner on the #21 at Texas: The Wood Brothers and their iconic #21 Ford Fusion will carry the colors of automotive supplier BorgWarner Inc. in this weekend’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The pairing of the Woods and BorgWarner is an appropriate one, given the long histories of the two companies. The Woods have been racing in NASCAR continuously since 1953, longer than any other team. BorgWarner, which is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Mich., was formed in 1928 and has become a global product leader in clean and efficient technology solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles. BorgWarner’s history in auto racing is symbolized by the Borg-Warner Trophy, which has been presented to every winner of the Indianapolis 500 since 1936. Both companies have long histories with Ford Motor Company, as the Woods have raced only Ford products throughout their history and BorgWarner has been a supplier of Ford components for decades.(Wood Brothers Racing), see an image of the car on the #21 team paint schemes page.(11-2-2016)
  • Biffle ready for a change? UPDATES: After re-signing with RFR in 2014, Biffle hasn’t sniffed the Chase for the Sprint Cup in the last two seasons. He thought 2016 might be the year. With a new crew chief in Brian Pattie, a lower-downforce aero package from the sanctioning body and a renewed effort at Roush, things appeared to line up for NASCAR’s elder statesman. And now, he’s 24th in the standings with just one top-five finish, at Loudon. So when Biffle said his most recent contract might be his last, it’s understandable. “Well, if I talk to you Sunday after the race in here, maybe that will be some inspiration,” Biffle said in the media center where the winner is interviewed following the race. “I want to be competitive in races and run in the top 10. That’s my goal and my focus. If I’m not doing that, then I am probably going to do something different.” Biffle has been rumored to be leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. Although he owns the building that headquarters HScott Motorsports in North Carolina, Biffle said he has not discussed racing for Harry Scott after Clint Bowyer leaves in November. Biffle has heard the rumors that he’ll end up and Front Row Motorsports – a technical partner – but given his loyalty to Roush over his career, that’s unlikely to be something he’d consider. Still, it would take something more promising – and competitive – to pique his interest in continuing down the current path.(Motorsport)(10-15-2016)
    UPDATE: hearing Biffle will leave Roush Fenway Racing and go to a second team fielded by JTG Daugherty Racing. No word if the team would secure a charter.(10-22-2016)
    UPDATE 2: When motorsport.com reached out to JTGD team owner Tad Geschickter via text on Monday, he replied, “We are weighing the pros and cons of starting a second team as we speak.” Geschickter expects to stay the course with RCR after their contract expires at the end of the year. Although the Wood Brothers have shared a shop with JTGD since the end of the 2005 season, the #21 team is transitioning to a new home in Mooresville. The additional space would provide ample room for JTGD to expand to a second car.(Motorsport)(10-25-2016)
    UPDATE 3: Tad Geschickter, co-owner of JTG Daugherty racing, says it is “certainly a possibility’ his team may expand to two cars in 2017, adding “the economics” of charter acquisition will play into a decision, which they may “have that done next week.” Geschickter made the comments on SiriusXM Speedway on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “That’s a big decision,” Geschickter said. “Certainly we’re weighing out all the options right now. It’s no secret that we have to figure out are there are charters available and their cost, are there drivers available, what do they cost and certainly we ultimately have to report back to the sponsors and pull the trigger. But it’s Nov. 1, (eventually) we’ve got to make the call, but it’s a huge decision for a company of our size,” said Geschickter.(NBC Sports)(11-2-2016)Texas Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in all three NASCAR series will run the same tire set-up at Texas this week . . . teams in all of these series have also run this same tire set-up at Chicagoland earlier this season, and will run it again at Homestead in two weeks . . . in both Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck, this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires they ran at Texas earlier this season . . . this right-side tire code (D-4686) employs Goodyear’s multi-zone tread technology, which combines two distinct tread compounds on the same tire — the outboard 10 inches of the tread (Traction Zone) features a compound that is designed for grip, while the inboard two inches of the tread (Endurance Zone) 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 full notes, tire codes, pressures, set limits and more on the Texas Race Info page
  • Montoya will run only the Indy 500 for Penske: Juan Pablo Montoya has accepted an offer to race the Indianapolis 500 for Team Penske and will not drive full-time in IndyCar next season. Montoya told The Associated Press on Tuesday the Penske offer was the “best choice” for the Colombian. He’s a two-time Indy 500 winner, including the 2015 crown driving for Penske. Penske last month hired Josef Newgarden to replace Montoya full-time in the series, insisting the decision was because the young American was available and the organization wanted him in their lineup. At the time, they revealed the Indy offer for Montoya. Montoya told AP he’ll spend time next year helping his son, Sebastian, race in Europe and doing television work for Canal F1 Latin America.(Associated Press)(11-2-2016)
  • DiBenedetto gets Phoenix sponsor: BK Racing announced that JAS Expedited Trucking will serve as the primary sponsor on Matt DiBenedetto’s #83 JAS Expedited Trucking Toyota Camry in the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. The race on November 13, 2016 will be JAS Expedited Trucking’s first race with BK Racing. JAS Expedited Trucking LLC. is a small family-owned expedited trucking company, located in Imlay City, Michigan. After 13 years of driving for other small fleet owners, Tony Freeland, owner of JAS, decided to purchase his first truck. With experience as both a driver and as an owner/operator, he thought he could provide a better environment for other drivers, so he started JAS Expedited Trucking and their second truck was purchased one year later. The company has since continued to grow.(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #83 team paint schemes page.(11-2-2016)
  • Sad News – Mel Larson: Mel Larson, a co-founder of Las Vegas Motor Speedway and one of the pioneers of Las Vegas’s rise to international acclaim, died Tuesday. He was 87. Larson assisted the late Ralph Engelstad and Bill Bennett, along with Richie Clyne, to spearhead the construction of LVMS in the mid-1990s, and it was his guidance that paved the way for the new speedway to land its first NASCAR premier series event in 1998. Larson’s friendship with Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith helped pave the way for SMI’s purchase of LVMS in late 1998. Services are pending.(LVMS)(11-2-2016)
  • ETC Custom Truck Accessories sponsoring Smithley: This is a big week for ETC Custom Truck Accessories and its founder and president, Elise Turner. The Mansfield, Texas-based company, which features a full line of custom-built truck accessories, is proud to welcome driver Garrett Smithley and his JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team to the Lone Star State for Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. Smithley’s #0 Chevrolet will carry ETC Custom Truck Accessories sponsorship in the race. ETC Custom Truck Accessories also carries parts for ATVs, UTVS, Mudders, Rock Crawlers, golf carts and buggies. Also featured are hand-built custom barbecue grills and fire pits personalized with your company name, favorite sports team, ranch name, farm name or favorite bar and grill’s name.(JD Motorsports)(11-2-2016)
  • Dexter Stacey driving for Cope at Texas: Derrike Cope Racing with JP Motorsports has made some new and exciting changes over the past two off weeks. From Canada, DCR announces Dexter Stacey to be wheeling the #70 this weekend. Young talent, Stacey has driven in the ARCA, Canadian Tire, Camping World Truck, and the Xfinity Series. KH Motorsports, owned by Stacey in 2013 ran their own car in the Nationwide/Xfinity Series. Along with a new driver, Team 70 also has a new Co-Primary sponsor on board with Abdito Vodka. This family owned distillery out of Stacey’s stomping grounds in Quebec Canada has newly announced this finely crafted Vodka.(Derrike Cope Racing)(11-2-2016)
  • Coughlin to fill in for Townley: Due to a non-racing-related injury to his left ankle, John Wes Townley will sit out Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway and turn the driving chores of the #05 Zaxby’s Chevrolet over to Cody Coughlin. Coughlin has nine starts this year in NASCAR’s Truck Series, including a season-best 12th-place finish at Texas in June.(Athenian Motorsports)(11-2-2016)


    News from November 1, 2016


  • Matt Borland getting back to NASCAR as crew chief: Matt Borland is getting back in the NASCAR game. Sources told Motorsport.com that Borland will join Richard Childress Racing. Borland, 45, worked as a crew chief for 10 seasons in NASCAR before he was promoted to Vice President of Competition for Stewart Haas Racing. Borland rose up the ranks with rookie Ryan Newman for one race in 2000 through the A-B-C development program established at Penske. After a brief stint with Michael Waltrip Racing and Dale Jarrett to start the 2007 season, Borland joined Haas CNC Racing as director of competition and remained through the transition to SHR in 2012. Newman moved to RCR for the 2014 season and signed a contract extension last month. After his friend’s departure, Borland had delved into the engineering end of SHR and shifted his concentration to Haas’ Formula 1 project. (Motorsport)(11-1-2016)
  • GearWrench to sponsor McMurray in 2017: GearWrench, an innovative hand tool brand known for tools that deliver speed, strength, and access to industrial and automotive technicians, and Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR) announced, at the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, they have agreed to a multi-year partnership. GearWrench will be a partner on the #1 Chevrolet SS piloted by former Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray and serve as the primary sponsor on the #1 Chevy for multiple races during the 2017 NASCAR season. GearWrench is a premier hand tool brand from Apex Tool Group, one of the largest hand tool manufacturers in the world. Since the launch of the original patented five-degree ratcheting wrench, the GearWrench brand has continuously led the industry with breakthroughs in pass-thru ratchets, sockets, screw/nut drivers, pliers and specialty tools. Millions of GearWrench products have been “Professionally Tested” throughout the world.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team 2017 paint schemes page.(11-1-2016)
  • Update on title sponsorship search: As NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup playoffs head toward the championship race next month in Homestead, the sanctioning body is in a race of its own – to find a replacement for series title sponsor Sprint. The Sports Business Journal reported Monday that NASCAR chief operating officer Brent Dewar says the sanctioning body is talking with multiple companies, and that those talks are at “an advanced stage.” “We know how to handle complexity and meet deadlines, and this is no different,” Dewar told SBJ. Yet Dewar said there is no rush to fill the void. The 2017 season begins in early February. “It’s much more important we have the right partner than to meet a self-imposed deadline,” Dewar told the paper.(Sporting News)
    AND: Not having a new sponsor named yet has impacted at least one NASCAR partner, Lionel NASCAR Collectibles. Instead of having the new entitlement sponsor emblazoned on 2017 diecasts ready for the Daytona 500, the company will have a NASCAR logo instead, [SBJ’s Adam] Stern noted.(NBC Sports)(11-1-2016)
  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Texas:
    #48-Jimmie Johnson…………… 107.8
    #20-Matt Kenseth…………… 104.9
    #18-Kyle Busch…………… 102.9
    #19-Carl Edwards…………… 97.6
    #16-Greg Biffle…………… 96.4
    #24-Chase Elliott…………… 94.9
    #14-Tony Stewart…………… 94.3
    #88-Jeff Gordon…………… 93.5
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr…………… 93.2
    #78-Martin Truex Jr …………… 91.7
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2016 races (23 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)
  • DiBenedetto in the #14 at Texas: After a two week break from competition, the NASCAR XFINITY Series will return to action this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Coming off of an 11th place finish in Kansas, Matt DiBenedetto is fueled by momentum heading to the Lone Star state. This weekend will mark his 4th NXS start at TMS, where in his three previous runs, he completed a total of 359 laps at the 1.5-mile oval. Debuting sponsorship in Kansas, the #14 Toyota will again sport the red and black paint scheme of Superior Essex for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge. DiBenedetto and the #14 team head to Texas with an optimistic mindset in hopes of securing another solid finish.(TriStar Motorsports)(11-1-2016)
  • Sieg names Texas sponsor: RSS Racing welcomes back Aries Well Service as a primary sponsor for Ryan Sieg in the XFINITY race at Texas Motor Speedway this Saturday. Aries Well Service is an established well servicing company based in Hobbs, NM. The company was the primary sponsor for the #39 in the spring race at Texas where Sieg finished in the top 10. Sieg and his RSS Racing team head to Texas in the 12th position in the standings with just three races remaining in the year.(RSS Racing), see an image of the car on the #39 team paint schemes page.(11-1-2016)
  • Reed to recognize diabetes month: November 1st officially kicks off American Diabetes Month and the American Diabetes Association’s 2016 campaign, This Is Diabetes. Observed each year, American Diabetes Month is an important element in the American Diabetes Association’s efforts to focus the nation’s attention on the disease and the tens of millions of people affected by it. This year’s campaign captures the authenticity of people who understand diabetes best, by inviting them to share a glimpse of their lives on social media using #ThisIsDiabetes. These real-life stories, illustrating the day-to-day triumphs and challenges of the disease, will be featured on the American Diabetes Association’s website and social media channels. Roush Fenway Racing and #16-Ryan Reed will support the cause in a variety of ways. Reed and all Roush Fenway Fords will carry a special C-Post decal all month long, highlighting that November is American Diabetes Month. In addition, Reed’s #16 Lilly Diabetes/American Diabetes Association Ford Mustang will sport a special design this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway and at Homestead-Miami Speedway in three weeks. The deck lid will carry, “This is the fast lane. #ThisIsDiabetes,” bringing the campaign theme to life through Reed’s personal perspective.(Roush Fenway Racing), see an image of the car on the #16 team paint schemes page.(11-1-2016)
  • Sponsors, crew chief set for Little at Texas: Jesse Little heads to Texas Motor Speedway aiming for a strong run in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Longhorn 350. Little, a native of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, returns to the series behind the wheel of the #97 Carolina Nut Toyota Tundra and welcomes Front Sight Firearms and Shadow Warriors to the team as associate sponsors. JJL Motorsports Competition Director, Matt Noyce, will lead Little’s Toyota team this weekend in the crew chief’s role. Noyce has guided Little in previous starts this season on both the K&N; Pro Series and the Truck Series.(JJL Motorsports )(11-1-2016)
  • New start time for Phoenix Truck race: Phoenix Raceway announced today that the Lucas Oil 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series semi-final race on Friday, Nov. 11 will begin at 8 p.m. MT, with gates now set to open at 9:30 a.m. MT. NASCAR veteran Matt Crafton and 2015 Lucas Oil 150 winner Timothy Peters will take on series wins- leader William Byron and the rest of the Chase contenders to compete for the final four spots in the championship race. Kicking off the weekend at PIR, the race will take place under the lights and will be the first semi-final race for the series championship, as NASCAR recently expanded the Chase format to the Camping World Truck Series for the 2016 season. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 will air on FS1 at 8 p.m. MT (10 p.m. ET).(Phoenix Raceway )(11-1-2016)
  • Pedestrians struck after Martinsville race UPDATES: Multiple pedestrians were struck by a vehicle in a Martinsville Speedway parking lot after Sunday’s race, a track official confirmed. A track spokesperson told NBC Sports that it didn’t appear that there were any life-threatening injuries. The spokesperson stated that some pedestrians were evaluated and treated on scene and others were taken to Memorial Hospital in Martinsville, Virginia. A track spokesperson also stated that one person was taken into custody after the incident. At least four ambulances and eight police cars were spotted at the scene.(NBC Sports)(10-30-2016)
    UPDATE: More than 20 people were injured when a vehicle hit them in a parking lot after Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. According to the Virginia State Police, 22 people were injured, with the majority treated at the scene for minor injuries. There were no fatalities among those injured, whose ages ranged from 13 to 65. Of the 22 injured, 13 patients were treated at the scene for minor injuries; another nine patients were transported to nearby hospitals for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. Seven individuals were transported to Memorial Hospital of Martinsville, Virginia, with two taken to Morehead Memorial Hospital in Eden, North Carolina. The accident occurred about an hour after the race, when a 2005 Chevrolet SSR convertible attempted to pass a Jeep Patriot. The Chevrolet struck the Jeep and then struck several nearby pedestrians. Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor in the crash, according to the state police.(ESPN.com)(10-31-2016)
    UPDATE2: Virginia State Police say they’ve charged a man with reckless driving after a crash injured 22 people in a Martinsville Speedway parking lot after a NASCAR race. Police said in a statement Monday that 65-year-old Gary T. Edem of Fairfax, Virginia, was released after a magistrate placed him on unsecured bond. Troopers say Edem was driving a Chevrolet when he tried to pass a Jeep in the disabled parking area Sunday evening. Investigators say Edem struck the Jeep and the pedestrians. The incident remains under investigation. (Associated Press)(11-1-2016)
  • Rangers’ manager named honorary pace car driver at Texas: Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister, known for leading his team into the postseason, will lead a different playoff group during Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Banister will lead a pack of 40 drivers, including the Round of 8 championship contenders, to the green flag as part of his role as the honorary pace car driver for the AAA Texas 500. Banister, who skippered Texas to its second consecutive American League West Division championship this season, will become the latest Rangers representative to serve as honorary pace car driver. Left-handed pitcher C.J. Wilson, a member of the organization’s first team to advance to the World Series, was awarded the role in 2010. Most recently, fan favorite and fellow pitcher Derek Holland served as the honorary pace car driver for the 2014 AAA Texas 500.(TMS)(11-1-2016)