News and Views – Volume 6

For the week of January 2, 2012 – Volume 6

Welcome to 2012 and thanks for your patience during our absence in the holiday season. 


At Fan4Racing we are very thankful to each and every reader and contributor as we began our venture in November 2011 with a clear vision to be a site for fans of NASCAR. We appreciate each and every person, because we know that without you, our vision would not be complete.


Our goal for 2012 is to continue encouraging more contributors to write articles with views of current NASCAR news. We’ll continue seeking out creative ways to encourage more of you to post your views to our articles in the comments section. Your voice is important in continuing to develop our purpose as fan views are the very reason, Fan4Racing blogging site was created and we need YOU to participate to make that dream a reality. So thanks in advance for supporting our vision for 2012 and beyond.


Now, let’s catch up on NASCAR news as this has been the silliest silly season ever! With several questions answered since the season ended in Homestead, there are still more questions to be answered and other news mixed in too!


Here’s what we know going into 2012
Car#          Driver            2011 CC          2012 CC             For 2012
5                KKahne         LMcGrew           KFrancis            RBR closed
6                DRagan         Blickensderfer                           #6 closed
11              DHamlin        MFord               DGrubb              Ford looking
14              TStewart        DGrubb            SAddington
15              CBowyer        SWilson            BPattie
20              JLogano         GZipadelli         JRatcliff            GZ new post SHR
22              Allmendinger  SAddington        TGordon
29              KHarvick        GMartin             SWilson            GM new post RCR
31              JBurton          LLambert          Blickensderfer    LL TBA @RCR
42              JPMontoya      JPohlman          CHeroy             JP TBA @EGR
47              BLabonte        FKerr               TBerrier             FK ShopForeman
51              KBusch           NHarrison         NHarrison          LCassill looking
55              Martin/Waltrip                        RChilders


Which of these new matchups do you think will be most successful in 2012?
Which driver do you predict will come up with the first win of 2012?


2011 drivers not yet announced for a NASCAR ride in 2012
Car#     2011Driver                        2011 Team
00         David Reutimann          Michael Waltrip Racing
6           David Ragan                Roush Fenway Racing
32         Multiple Drivers            FAS Lane Racing
34         David Gilliland              Front Row Motorsports
36         Dave Blaney/others       Tommy Baldwin Racing
38/55    Travis Kvapil/JJ Yeley     Front Row Motorsports
43         Allmendinger (to#22)    Richard Petty Motorsports
46         EDarnell/SSpeed (#95)  Dusty Whitney-owner
51         Landon Cassill              Phoenix Racing
66         Michael McDowell          HP Racing
71         Andy Lally                   TRG Motorsports
83         Brian Vickers                Red Bull Racing
87         Joe Nemechek              Joe Nemechek – owner


Teams expected back in 2012 with current drivers include #32, 34, 36, 38 and 87, but without an announcement remain questionable.


Which of these drivers will be successful in finding a Cup seat for 2012?
Will any of these drivers end up in a Nationwide or Truck series seat for 2012? If so, which driver, for which series?


The famed #43 car is without a driver and sponsor for 2012?
With AJ Allmendinger, and sponsor, Best Buy leaving Richard Petty Motorsports in the past month, the team is scrambling late in the game to keep the famed #43 car on track for 2012. While speculations have been rampant, the latest rumors indicate Aric Almirola will be the next RPM driver with Air Force and Smithfield Foods as anticipated sponsors. Although Almirola has another year remaining in his contract with JR Motorsports, it is reported JRM is already looking for his replacement with David Ragan, Reed Sorenson and Cole Whitt as leading candidates. However, with previous silly season rumors proving inaccurate, these questions still remain open until an RPM announcement.


What are your predictions for the #43 car in the 2012 season?


Scott Speed settles lawsuit with Red Bull Racing
Scott Speed will drive the #95 car for Leavine Family Racing in fifteen races for the 2012 season, and has settled his law suit with Red Bull Racing. After being let go from Red Bull Racing, Speed filed a lawsuit, December 2010 asking RBR to pay $6.5 million in salary he would have received from 2011-2013 and an additional $500,000 reduction of his 2010 salary he accepted January 2010. Based on court documents, both sides met November 30th and came to an undisclosed agreement on all issues. Scott Speed filed dismissal documents on December 19th.


With a Scott Speeds’ new ride in 2012 and the lawsuit behind him, will next season bring better results and a potential full-time ride in his future?


Kahne steps into a grocery store and his tweets fire-up some fans
Kasey Kahne has apologized for comments he tweeted to his 100k fans about public breastfeeding he witnessed while at the grocery store. Apparently, he saw a mother breastfeeding a child at the store, calling it “nasty” and tweeting he didn’t “feel like shopping or eating” afterward. Kahne received a several replies from fans and in the heat of the moment, gave a profane response he later regretted. Kahne deleted some of his tweets and apologized to fans on facebook and twitter saying it wasn’t his intention “to offend any mother who chooses to breastfeed her child, or for that matter, anyone who supports breastfeeding children. I want to make that clear.” Kahne further said he understands his comments were “offensive to some people.” Apparently, the story made news throughout the media including People magazine.


What are your views of what transpired with Kasey Kahne on twitter?


Kurt Busch with Phoenix Racing for the 2012 season
The 2004 Sprint Cup champion will be in the #51 car at Phoenix Racing for the 2012 season in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series. Kurt Busch ended his 2011 season with his share of embarrassing moments, including heated interactions with the media, his team and owner, leading to his departure from Penske Racing. Busch’s new owner James Finch has indicated he will not tolerate the same behaviors from Busch going forward saying, “…Hopefully we can get him controlled. He’s got a long way to come. He’s got to show people he’s going to be a driver. And show NASCAR that he’s a driver and he’s going to do what’s expected as a driver.” Kurt Busch has indicated he’s working with a sports psychologist to address his issues and looking forward to his future.


Do you think Busch will successfully address his apparent anger management issues in 2012?
Will Busch be successful by contending in the Chase for the championship in 2012?


Front Row Motorsports working on their 2012 lineup
Team owner, Bob Jenkins and general manager Jerry Freeze put together their 2011 team with #34 David Gilliland, #38 Travis Kvapil and #55 JJ Yeley, delivering a solid season. However, none of the three drivers are under contract for the 2012, with Freeze saying, the team intends to have all three back because they are the type of drivers the team needs at this stage of its development. “All three drivers have been really good for Front Row Motorsports. They all fit the same profile. They are drivers with five or six years of Cup experience. They were all champions in another form of racing but haven’t made their mark yet in Sprint Cup racing. They are all really hungry to make their mark. We aren’t quite set to announce our formal driver lineup yet…but our plan is to run the #34 and the #38 car along with a third car (#55 is now with MWR in 2012) that will make some appearances for us.” Freeze also indicated, there are several high-profile drivers without a ride and FRM is exploring the free-agent market. “We’ve talked to Ragan and Reutimann. Ragan has been in the Ford family and we talked to him after the season was over out of respect for Ford because they really liked him and wanted to see if there was a fit there. We’ve talked to David Reutimann, too. If there is a place where he might fit along with a sponsor, we could be an option there. But it’s been more casual conversations with those guys and our focus has been on David, JJ and Travis and on packages that we have discussed with them.


With no announcements yet, how do you see the FRM lineup developing for 2012?


IN OTHER NEWS…


Harvick Foundation Lends a Helping Hand in Toy Drive
The Kevin Harvick Foundation donated 125 toys to Martinsville Speedway Toy Drive before Christmas. The toys were distributed to needy youngsters by Christmas Cheer of Martinsville and Henry County (VA). The Harvicks’ refer to Martinsville Speedway as their ‘home track’ as they live about 35 miles away and have partnered with track charity events previously.


Nashville Superspeedway available for 2012 team testing
Dover Motorsports, Inc announces Nashville Superspeedway, in Lebannon, TN is available for team testing beginning January 2012. President and CEO, Denis McGlynn says the superspeedway “…is within driving distance of most race teams’ headquartered in Charlotte, NC. We anticipate strong interest in the facility as a test venue.”


Roush Yates team up with Impact by MasterCraft Safety
Roush Yates Performance Products have an agreement with Impact by MasterCraft Safety to create a 1500 square foot safety center at their retail center in Moorseville, NC. CEO Doug Yates says, “This new partnership certainly broadens our reach and product offerings as a whole, which should further underscore the fact that Roush Yates Performance Products is truly a complete solution center for any racer of any caliber or series.” MasterCraft Safety president Robbie Pierce says, “We couldn’t be happier. While our product lines are different, both Roush Yates and Impact offer premium racing products with absolutely no compromises.”


Ramsey Poston opens communications firm
Having led communications efforts for NASCAR since 2004, Ramsey Poston announced the opening of a strategic communications firm, Tuckhoe Strategies. Poston will manage a select number of clients including NASCAR, providing strategic counsel to positively move brands forward while supporting their marketing and overall communications efforts. Poston will draw from his experience at NASCAR where he established the strategic vision for day-to-day efforts, which include the sport’s marketing initiatives and those of its key sponsors.


Greg Biffle chosen as Fourth Quarter Spirit Winner
National Motorsports Press Association/NMPA members chose NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Greg Biffle as the fourth quarter Spirit Award winner. The award is intended to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Biffle worked with several partners in the ‘Give Kids A Smile’ program to give more than 200 children in the Charlotte-area free dental care during the October race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Other drivers receiving votes include, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kevin Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ryan Newman.


Tony Stewart Wins Again
With an already incredible year, Tony Stewart took the checkered flag on New Year’s Eve completing a weekend sweep of the 14th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne indoor midget races. Stewart said, “This is the first time I’ve ever raced on New Year’s Eve. It’s been a dream year. I’ve won my first World of Outlaws race and the (Sprint Cup) championship. Then I won at Conseco (an all-star kart race in Indianapolis) and won here two times. What a great way to finish the year. It’s going to be hard to keep this up, but it’s going to be a lot of fun trying.”


Argentinean Dakar driver Jorge Boero death
January 1, 2012, Dakar driver Jorge Boero, fell to his death at km 55 of the first stage Dakar race between Mar del Plata and Santa Rosa. The rider suffered a cardiac arrest following his fall and was attended after the accident by medical staff reaching the location by helicopter. The 38-year-old Jorge Boero died while being taken to the hospital, despite the best efforts of attending doctors.


Robby Gordon racing in Dakar Rally
Follow Robby Gordon’s team journey to compete in the Dakar Rally at any of these sites: speedenergy.com, toyotires.com, robbygordon.com, planetrobby.com and dakar.com


Allmendinger and McMurray in Kart race at Daytona
Jamie McMurray adds another Daytona victory as winning the TAG 2 Final Race during WKA Daytona Kartweek events. AJ Allmendinger also competed, but ran into some bad luck in the TaG Parilla Leopard class with contact shuffling him to a 16th place finish. Allmendinger also placed fourth in both the TaG 1 and TaG 2 classes.


New Audiences becomes target of NASCAR
NASCAR is continuing their effort on a five-year plan with five key goals: Build the star power of individual drivers, increase engagement among children and college-age consumers, attract a multicultural fan base, craft more cohesive digital and social media strategies and improve the racetrack experience for fans. NASCAR CMO Steve Phelps is overseeing the execution of these initiatives. While some efforts were initiated in 2010, work over the next 18 months on the digital media and multicultural marketing fronts will be crucial.


Dale Jr. flipping the coin at Bowl game
Look for Dale Jr. to perform the opening coin toss at the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl January 2, 2012 at 1 pm ET on ESPN2 when the Florida Gators face off with Ohio State Buckeyes.


Countdown to Daytona Testing continues
NASCAR and teams are targeting Daytona sessions as they work together to temper tandem drafting before the Daytona 500 in February.  Only ten more days for fans to wait for NASCAR testing in Daytona as SPEED will cover the afternoon sessions January 12-14, 2012.


Thanks for reading. Please share your views of this weeks’ news…

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