News and Views – Volume 15 February 27 – March 4, 2012

News and Views – Volume 15
For the week of February 27 – March 4, 2012

My new favorite quote from 
The King – Richard Petty 

What’s under your hood is merely an engine  

What’s in your heart is the true power!

Without a doubt, this volume of News and Views will have much for fans to read about a historic Daytona 500 and in anticipation of the next NASCAR race in Phoenix.  

Fans can catch up with this week’s news throughout the week so check back whenever time permits.

Race Fans, now can follow updates on twitter, even if you’re not subscribed to the social network site. Click the TWEETS tab to see updates posted throughout each day.  

Let’s begin with the news for this week…

Sunday, March 4, 2012

2012 NSCS Subway Fresh Fit 500k Race Results
The second race of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup series season at Phoenix International Raceway got underway this weekend on time- with no signs of wet weather in sight – and it was Denny Hamlin, at the end taking the Subway Fresh Fit 500k checkered flag for the victory.

Hamlin – who broke a 22-race winless steak and now has a 6-point lead in the series point standings over Greg Biffle – received his first series win of the 2012 season, his eighteenth series career win and his first series win at Phoenix International Raceway.

Coming in second was Kevin Harvick, followed by Greg Biffle finishing in third, Jimmie Johnson finishing fourth and Brad Keselowski finishing in fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were: Kyle Busch finishing in sixth Martin Truex Jr. seventh, Jeff Gordon eighth, Mark Martin ninth and Joey Logano finishing in the tenth position.

Race Results

Point Standings

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia

Phoenix Notes & Nuggets

  • Denny Hamlin earned his 18th career victory in his 225th start.
  • This is Denny Hamlin’s first career victory at Phoenix in his 14th start. He finished third four times before winning.
  • Denny Hamlin is the 23rd different driver to win at Phoenix in 32 races at the track.
  • Joe Gibbs Racing earned its 94th Cup victory and second win at Phoenix. All three JGR cars finished in the top-10.
  • Toyota earned its second win at Phoenix – both coming on the track’s new configuration.
  • Kevin Harvick (second) scored his second top-10 finish in 2012. He finished seventh at Daytona.
  • Greg Biffle (third) earned his second third-lace finish in two races in 2012.
  • Jimmie Johnson (fourth) has finished in the top five in 11 of the past 12 races at Phoenix. He has never finished worse than 15th in 18 races.
  • Brad Keselowski (fifth) earned his best finish and first top-10 in six races at Phoenix.
  • Kyle Busch (sixth) scored his first top-10 finish in his past six Cup starts.
  • Martin Truex Jr (seventh) has finished 12th or better in six of his past seven Cup starts.
  • There were a record 15 different leaders in this race, breaking the old track record of 13.
  • This is the 198th victory for the No. 11, tying the No. 43 for the most in NASCAR history.

Sadler/Waltrip Cup deal in jeopardy
Elliott Sadler’s plans to substitute for Mark Martin behind the wheel of the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series may have been a bit premature.

Sadler, who won the Nationwide series race Saturday for Richard Childress Racing, was hoping to pilot the Aaron’s Toyota for five races that Martin has elected to skip, starting with the race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18.

But multiple sources told the deal blew up Saturday night, shortly after it was announced via a press release.

While talks had been in the works for a couple of months, the manufacturer conflict for Sadler, who drives Chevrolets full time for RCR in the Nationwide series, appears to have squashed the arrangement.

With most rosters set for 2012, don’t be surprised to see former Toyota driver Brian Vickers run the five races in place of Martin.

From Fox Sports

Long skid haunts Junior
He’s 37 now, though Dale Earnhardt Jr doesn’t seem to age much as he starts his 13th full season in NASCAR’s premier series.

But the main question hanging over Earnhardt is getting old: When will he win another race?

The son of the late seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt has gone 3 1/2 years and 130 races without a victory. His last came at Michigan in June 2008.

The younger Earnhardt hopes the ignominious streak finally ends today at Phoenix International Raceway, where he qualified 29th yesterday for the second race of the Sprint Cup season.

Read more from Columbia Daily Tribune

Kellie Pickler to perform Food City 500 Pre-Race Concert at Bristol
Country music sensation Kellie Pickler will perform a pre-race concert at Bristol Motor Speedway prior to the Food City 500 on March 18. Fans purchasing a Track Tours Pass, Pit Road Party Zone ticket or an iBelong Garage Experience pass will receive a pre-race pass for on-track access to the Pickler show.

Pickler who hails from nearby Albermarle, NC is looking forward to sing for fans at the Food City 500.

Read more from BMS-PR

Saturday, March 3, 2012

2012 NNS Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 Race Results

Elliott Sadler celebrates in Victory Lane at PIR
Photo – Carlos Chavez/The Arizona Republic

Elliott Sadler – who hasn’t seen a NNS victory since Oct 31, 1998 at the “Rock” – won the Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, and leads rookie of the year contender, AustinDillon by 10 points in the series points standings.

This was Sadler’s first series win of the 2012 season, his sixth series career win and his first series win at Phoenix International Raceway.

Finishing in second (seconds) behind Harvick was Brad Keselowski and they were followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr, finishing in third, Austin Dillon finishing fourth and Kevin Harvick finishing fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishers were: Sam Hornish Jr, finishing in sixth, Trevor Bayne seventh, Joey Logano eighth, Denny Hamlin ninth and Michael Annett finishing in the tenth position.

Race Results

Point Standings

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia

2012 NSCS Subway Fresh Fit 500k Starting Lineup
Mark Martin with a qualifying lap speed of 136.815mph, captured the NSCS Subway Fresh Fit 500k Coors Light Pole Award at Phoenix International Raceway.

This was Martin’s 1st series pole of the 2012 season, his 52nd series career pole and his 2nd series pole at Phoenix International Raceway.

Starting on the outside pole in second, and with a qualifying lap speed of 136.126mph, will be the series defending champion, Tony Stewart, followed by Regan Smith (135.998) starting from third, Jimmie Johnson (134.483) fourth and Juan Pablo Montoya (135.547) will start fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be: Ryan Newman (135.491) starting sixth, Greg Biffle (135.074) seventh, Kevin Harvick (135.014) eighth, Joey Logano (134.998) ninth and Kasey Kahne (134.771) will start from the tenth position.

Failing to make the starting lineup was the #37 driven by rookie of the year contender, Timmy Hill, while rookie contender, Josh Wise in the #36 qualified for the race in 33rd.

Next up for the teams is the race on Sunday, March 4th, which is scheduled to see the drop of the green flag around 3:20pm ET and FOX will provide television coverage beginning with their pre-race coverage at 2:30pm ET. 


From Time & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia

2012 NNS Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 Starting Lineup
Denny Hamlin, with a qualifying lap speed of 132.979mph, captured the NNS Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 Coors Light Pole Award at Phoenix International Raceway.

This was Hamlin’s first series pole of the 2012 season, his sixteenth series career pole and his third series pole at Phoenix International Raceway.

Sharing the front row and starting second with a qualifying laps speed of 132.910mph, will be the defending series champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, followed by Kenny Wallace (132.885) who will start third, Kasey Kahne 132.768 starting fourth and Trevor Bayne 132.548 will start from fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be: Sam Hornish Jr 132.406 starting sixth, Brad Keselowski (131.994) seventh, Elliott Sadler (131.941) eighth, rookie of the year contender, Austin Dillon (131.921) ninth and Joey Logano (131.863) will start from the tenth position.

Failing to make the starting lineup was the #13 driven by Jennifer Jo Cobb.

The Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 is scheduled to get underway approximate at 4:50pm ET today and television coverage will be provided by ESPN2, beginning with their pre-race coverage at 4pm ET.


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia

Elliott Sadler to Drive No. 55 in Five Races in 2012
Michael Waltrip Racing announced today that Elliott Sadler will drive the team’s No. 55 Toyota in five NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2012 beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18.

Sadler will also drive the No. 55 in the August Bristol event, both Martinsville races and the July 15 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Sadler will compete full time in the Nationwide series for Richard Childress Racing in 2012. The Emporia, VA native finished 27th in the Daytona 500 for RCR.

From Michael Waltrip Racing-PR 

Inaugural Great Clips 200 Scheduled at Phoenix November Race
Winning by a hair will be the name of the game this fall at Phoenix International Raceway after it was announced today that Great Clips will be the titlle sponsor of the track’s November NASCAR Nationwide race. The Great Clips 200 will take place Saturday, November 10 at PIR, during the next to last weekend of the 2012 NASCAR season.

Read more from PIR-PR

Darrell Basham Survives Henryville Tornado; Downtown Race Shop a Complete Loss
Good News finally came from the small southern Indiana town of Henryville. The massive tornado that took direct aim of the downtown area spared the life of longtime ARCA competitor Darrell Basham and his family.

However, much of what Basham didn’t lose in a devastating garage and shop fire in November 2010 was lost today in downtown Henryville.

Read more from ARCA Racing

Brad Keselowski strikes Twitter gold
Brad Keselowski got a message on his cellphone during his interview session Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, the same cellphone that caused a Twitter and NASCAR sensation Monday night.

No word on whether Friday’s message came from one of his 225,000 Twitter followers, 160,000 of came onboard since his controversial tweets during the red flag in the Daytona 500.

In a matter of minutes, Keselowski became a Twitter legend and NASCAR revolutionary.

Read more from ESPN

Montoya broke truck arm before Daytona crash
Can you explain technically what exactly happened to the car? What broke on the car?
CC Chris Heroy: “Yeah, it was the truck arm that failed.”

Was it just one? Can you talk about what that’s hooked-up to an what all that does?
Heroy: “It’s hooked-up to the housing. One failed and then the other, because of the one failing, the other housing came out, basically.”

Did you have any indication? You said you felt a vibration. Could it have been the first one going before the second one went and you lost control of the car?
Montoya: “No, I’ll be honest with you. In my opinion I think it was close to failing and it hadn’t failed yet because the guys went underneath the car and they checked everything and they moved and pulled everything and everything was in place. It was just the loading of the car. It was just too high.”

Did this give you even more faith in the (safety) of the cars?
Montoya: “People, like when the COT came out, people complained about it and it wasn’t this and it wasn’t that and the view and the size and the this.  I’ll guarantee you if we would have been in the older cars, I wouldn’t have been okay. So I’m pretty happy we are in these cars. It’s pretty amazing what NASCAR does.”

Did Fire shoot through the car and through the cockpit?
Montoya: “Yeah, there was a little flames for a second. It wasn’t much. It didn’t even get hot. It’s like I saw the flames everywhere and I’m like, I’d better get out of this fast. That was it.”

Is your foot bruised?
Montoya: “Yeah, its just the top of my feet where it hit; it actually broke the boot (protective heat shield that goes on driver’s shoe) and everything.”

From Friday’s media availability at Phoenix – Chevy-PR

Wendell Scott honor this weekend at Phoenix
As part of an ongoing annual effort to recognize trailblazers in the sport, Wendell Scott, the first African American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup race, will be recognized this weekend, which coincides with his first start – March 4, 1961, in Spartanburg, SC. NASCAR created an original decal, which will be placed as a B-post decal on NASCAR K&N Pro-Series West, NASCAR Nationwide cars and NASCAR Sprint Cup cars throughout the Phoenix race weekend.


FAS Lane Racing Adds Inside Sales Co. TMone to Sponsorship for Phoenix
After another successful run in the annual Daytona 500, FAS Lane Racing announces that TMone will be an Associate Sponsor on the No. 32 Southern Pride Trucking/US Chrome Ford for this week’s running of the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Read more from Integrity Sports Marketing for FAS Lane Racing

Friday, March 2, 2012

2012 NSCS SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500k First Practice Session Speeds
The defending NSCS champion, Tony Stewart, with a lap speed of 138.680mph, was the fastest during the first SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500k practice session at Phoenix International Raceway.

Mark Martin, with a lap speed of 138.611mph, was the second fastest, and was followed by Greg Biffle (138.568) who was third fastest, Ryan Newman (138.493) fourth fastest and Kasey Kahne (138.408) was fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during practice were: Juan Pablo Montoya (138.360mph) sixth fastest, Kyle Busch (138.344) seventh, Joey Logano (138.313) eighth, Jamie McMurray (138.249) ninth and last Monday’s Daytona 500 winner, Matt Kenseth (137.963) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 WIX Filters Chevy was involved in an incident in turns three and four during the ending minutes of practice, and will have to go to a back-up car.

The teams will return later this evening for their 5:30 – 7pm ET scheduled “Happy Hour” practice session.
First Practice Speeds
Qualifying Order

Final Practice Session Speeds
It was Martin Truex Jr, with a lap speed of 139.481mph, on top of the speed charts at the close of the final NSCS SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500k practice session at Phoenix International Raceway.

Clint Bowyer was second fastest with a lap speed of 139.227mph, and was followed by Juan Pablo Montoya (139.002) who was third fastest, Kurt Busch (138.841) fourth fastest and Jeff Gordon (138.244) was fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during “Happy Hour” were: Paul Menard (137.963) sixth fastest, Jimmie Johnson (137.799) seventh, Denny Hamlin (137.783) eighth, Ryan Newman (137.709) ninth and Brad Keselowski (137.694) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

Next up for the teams will be qualifying tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon at 2:35pm ET and the race on Sunday, March 4th, which is set to get underway around 3:20pm ET. And, television coverage of the event will be provided by Fox, beginning with their pre-race coverage at 2:30pm ET.

Practice 2 Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NNS Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 First Practice Session Speeds
Trevor Bayne, with a lap speed of 132.333mph, was the quickest during their first NNS Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 practice session at Phoenix International Raceway.

Second quickest with a lap speed of 132.280mph, was Denny Hamlin, followed by Kasey Kahne (132.231) who was third quickest, defending series champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (132.173) fourth and Elliott Sadler (132.163) who was fifth quickest.

Rounding out the top-ten quickest during practice were Kevin Harvick (132.066) who was sixth quickest, Scott Speed (131.984) seventh, Brian Scott (131.767) eighth, Kenny Wallace (131.272) ninth and Sam Hornish Jr. (131.100) posted the tenth quickest lap speed.

The teams will return to the track later this afternoon for their 4:10-5:20pm ET scheduled “Happy Hour” (final) practice session.

First Practice Speeds

Final Practice Session Speeds
It was Kasey Kahne, with a lap speed of 135.110mph, showing the fastest way around Phoenix International Raceway during the final NNS Bashas’ Supermarkets 200 practice session.

Second fastest with a lap speed of 134.705mph, was Joey Logano, followed by Sam Hornish Jr. (134.670) who was third fastest, Elliott Sadler (134.429) fourth and Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon (134.078) was fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during “Happy Hour” were: Brad Keselowski (133.998) sixth fastest, Kevin Harvick (133.944) seventh, Justin Allgaier (133.814) eighth, rookie contender, Cole Whitt (133.487) ninth and Trevor Bayne (133.477) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

The teams will return to the track Saturday afternoon for their 1:05pm ET scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for that afternoon’s 4:50pm ET approximate start of the race. EsPN2 will start their pre-race television coverage at 4pm ET.

Second Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Barn finds exhibit features Rare Treasures on display at Food Lion AutoFair
To the untrained eye, some of the cars Tom Cotter will have on display at the Food Lion AutoFair this spring may look more like junkers than diamonds in the rough. But that’s the beauty of this “barn finds,” rare vehicles that he salvaged long after they had been sitting unattended, sometimes for decades, in barns, locked in basements or left to weather out the elements.

Read more from CMS-PR

Allez Cuisine to Sponsor No. 43 Ford Fusion During Subway Fresh Fit 500
Chairman of Iron Chef of America, Mark Dacascos, is likely to exclaim, “Allez Cuisine!” when he cheers on the No. 43 Ford Fusion during the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Dacascos, who made the phrase popular in his starring role on the Iron Chef TV series, will serve as Honorary Race Official during the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race on Sunday, March 4.

Read more from PIR-PR

Chad Knaus talks about most recent Penalty
What is your reaction to the penalty?
“Obviously, I’m deeply saddened of course. We didn’t expect this. It’ not the way that we wanted to start off the season. It is good to have the support of everybody at Hendrick Motorsports (HMS). We will go after this thing, hopefully get it resolved and beaten and go back to business. Right now we are focused on getting through Phoenix and trying to win this championship this year.”

When you said you didn’t expect it, did you mean you didn’t expect the suspension or you just didn’t expect to be in this position a few weeks ago?
“Really didn’t expect any of it, to be quite honest with you. We do everything we can to build the best race cars we possibly can to bring to the race track. That is what we do. Unfortunately, they didn’t like something and we have to address that. It definitely was not foreseen.”

Do you think you have a good chance at overturning this appeal?
“You know I don’t know. We are very fortunate to have this ability to go through the appeal process. That is something NASCAR put in place a long time ago. I’m glad that they do. It’s unfortunate that teams have to take advantage of the appeal process from time to time, but it is good that it is there. We have seen something’s changed, reversed, minimized and some maximized at different times. Hopefully we will get it going in our favor.”

Jack Roush said that this was in that Golden area that you do not touch and that he would not have touched that area. Was it in the Golden Protected area?
“We are just going to have to wait and see how this all comes to fruition from the appeal.”

How did NASCAR determine it was illegal?
“it was all visual. The templates were never actually put on the car. It was a visual inspection at that point. We never even got the opportunity to actually present that under templates. It is unfortunate, there is a bit of subjectiveness to it and that is why we are going through the appeal.”

With a penalty this hefty, don’t you think a team and or an individual should have the right for the thing to be measured?
“That will definitely come up during the appeal. We will just have to talk about it at that point. NASCAR does a good job; they have a good set-up structure and a good set of standards that are in black and white, some areas that are not.”

Do you feel like you are under more scrutiny because of past issues?
“I don’t know. That is difficult for me to say. You would have to go ask NASCAR about that.”

What is your back-up plan should the appeal not work? Who will fill in for you? 
“We don’t know yet. We are very fortunate at HMS we have a lot of depth in our organization. We have great people. We have a lot of very intelligent people; some people who probably do this job a hell of a lot better than me there. I’m not really too concerned about that right now.”

How much of a hole are you in points wise at this point?
“I think it is going to make it exciting. That is one thing that we typically try to do here with the No. 48 team. We somehow or another we seem to get through adversity pretty well. I’m not saying we like a challenge like this, but I’m pretty sure we will rise to the occasion.

How often does NASCAR disallow a team to go back through (the inspection process) and have another chance or not?
“You mean to work on something that maybe doesn’t fit or doesn’t look right?

Yes, it seems to me having been around awhile that typically you can go back and work on that piece and come back through and have another chance if it is pre-weekend inspection.
“I think you answered your own question there.”

Do you think this tarnishes your reputation? Does that matter?
“Honestly, I’m here to do the best I can No. 48 team, and that is all that really matters to me. As far as my reputation goes, I’m not too concerned about that. What we want to do is go out there and do the best thing we can for Hendrick Motorsports, the best thing for Lowe’s and try to win races and championships.”

Are you saying that the rule is not clear? That you were working in an area that thought was an area that is ok?
“All that stuff is going to come out in the appeal, and you guys will hear about it then.”

Who’s at fault?
“I can’t answer that either?”

How much of your time will be spent on the appeal?
“We are fortunate. Once again, we have a lot of great people at Hendrick Motorsports. Mr. Hendrick has taken a special interest in this obviously. He’ll be pretty heavily ingrained in it. There will be some resources from the No. 48 team, and from a lot of the people at Hendrick Motorsports. We do a really good job of documenting what it is that we do to these race cars. How they have been changed. What’s been done; and so-on and so-forth. Whether it be from a rules-change standpoint; obviously the teams have to react to those quite often. We all know the rules change quite a bit. We document everything just so we don’t get ourselves in this position. We feel like we’ve got a pretty good jump on what it is we need to adjust.

Did you feel like you were taking a risk with what you were doing?
“Not at all. Not at all.”I cannot wait to get that Kobalt Chevrolet in Victory Lane this weekend.”

From Team Chevy-PR

2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger: Brand Identity is Back

2013 Dodge Charger – Sprint Cup Entry

Yes, NASCAR driver Sam Hornish Jr, might be a bit partial to the 2013 Dodge Charger that debuts in the Sprint Cup series at the Daytona 500 next year.

But when he’s right, he’s right: “The car looks the best out of any of the new cars, that’s for sure – nice, sharp lines – and you can see a lot of the street car in the race car. It brings the Charger’s identity back onto the racetrack.”

Hornish was the first Dodge driver to test the 2013 Charger, at a closed test earlier this year at the Homestead-Miami Speedway that was attended by all four manufacturers. Over the years, NASCAR race cars – in the interest of parity and safety – have strayed farther and farther from the appearance and character of the road-going vehicles they are based on. For a series that originally appealed to manufacturers with a “Race on Sunday, sell on Monday” philosophy, it has been challenging to maintain a level of by-brand enthusiasm when the cars look so similar on the track.

This is especially important to Dodge – while the current rules in NASCAR prevent much sharing between the street car and the race car, Dodge fans remain proud that the Charger street car is the only rear-wheel-drive model in Sprint Cup series competition that is available with a V-8 engine.

Soon the relationship between the Dodge Charger street car and the Dodge Charger NASCAR race car will be unmistakable.

In 2010, NASCAR held a summit with representatives of all four brands. A central issue: Returning brand identity to the cars on the track. The concept was launched full-time for the 2011 racing season in the Nationwide series, where Dodge debuted the Challenger, which looked very much like the road-going counterpart. “The response was phenomenal,” recalls Ralph Gilles, President and CEO of Street & Race Technology (SRT) Brand, which includes motorsports. “The fans were like. ‘Hallelujah, finally, the race cars look a lot like the cars I can buy and drive.”

Key to the stunning looks of the 2013 NASCAR Dodge Charger is the fact that NASCAR eased the ruling on where manufacturers could put “glass,” and where they could put solid body pieces. This freed designers to make the “greenhouse,” the area above the doors, hood and trunk lid, to much more closely resemble production cars. Rules were also eased for the front and rear, and especially the sides, allowing for character lines that come directly from the street car.

It is still important for NASCAR to performance-balance all four models, and that is being done in the wind tunnel, as well as on the track.

The new design has invigorated even people within Chrysler Group’s performance division, like Mark Trostle who heads the design team for motorsports, as well as SRT, and who worked on the Nationwide series Challenger before the Charger.

Trostle said he found his own interest in Sprint Cup series racing on the wane in recent years because the cars “did not look much like the car built by the company I worked for. But when I worked on the Challenger program, all of a sudden I became a huge NASCAR fan. I started watching because I could turn on the TV and say, ‘Hey, there’s the Challenger!’ I knew right away what it was without having to memorize the car numbers. I feel like we’re helping change the feel of the sport and putting design and brand identity back into NASCAR. I think we’ve taken all the ingredients, and we’ve done a pretty awesome job with them.”

The public debut of the NASCAR 2013 Dodge Charger comes March 11 at 10:30 am in the Neon Garage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, just before the green flag falls on the Kobalt Tools 400.

From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge)-PR

PIR Grooms Track’s surface for Subway Fresh Fit 500
Phoenix International Raceway has announced the completion of its pre-event track grooming program in advance of this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500. Similar to the track preparation last fall, the program was designed to burnish rubber into the track to enhance the racing groove.

Read more from PIR-PR

Darlington Raceway launches Mobile Website
With nearly 95 percent of its race fans utilizing a cell phone for personal use, Darlington Raceway has launched its mobile web site, designed to keep fans updated with year-round news and race information for its upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup series Southern 500 race weekend on May 11-12.

The mobile web site can be viewed by visiting from your Sprint Smartphone or other mobile devices including the iPhone and Blackberry.

The new mobile web site gives fans access to the latest Darlington Raceway news and also provides the most recent race weekend information, including schedules, race day traffic and ticket information. Fans who are traveling to Darlington on race day can utilize the directions feature, which will map their route to the track with GPS navigation.

The site also features a history section for fans to learn about the over 60 years of historical significance the track has played in NASCAR and to the state of South Carolina.

Entry lists and starting lineups for the Southern 500 and Nationwide series VFW Sports Clips Help a Hero 200 will also be posted on the mobile web site the week of the race.

Tickets for events at Darlington can be purchased by calling the Darlington Raceway ticket office at 866-459-RACE or online at

From Darlington Raceway-PR

Subway Fresh Fit 500k NASCAR HotPass on DirecTv Lineup
NASCAR HotPass on DirecTv is back, and it’s FREE to all DirecTv customers. Four dedicated driver channels offering viewers multiple camera angles, real-time statistics and audio of the network broadcast augmented by live communication between the drivers and their pit crews are available for all 36-points-paying races during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

The NASCAR HotPass lineup for the Subway Fresh Fit 500k at PIR is as follows:
Channel 795 – Clint Bowyer
Channel 796 – Matt Kenseth
Channel 797 – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Channel 798 – Carl Edwards

Read more from

The Numbers for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500k
All 31 Sprint Cup races included

1 – fewest lead changes 11/4/90
2 – fewest leaders 11/4/90
2 – fewest cautions 11/7/99
3 – fewest cars on lead lap at finish 10/30/94
4 – number of wins from the pole – most recent, Carl Edwards 11/14/10
4 – fewest laps led by race winner – Ryan Newman, 4/10/10
4 – most wins – Jimmie Johnson
4 – most poles – Ryan Newman
5 – number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend at PIR
7 – number of years PIR has hosted two Sprint Cup events
8 – number of cautions during the 2011 spring race 2/17/11
10 – fewest caution laps 11/7/99
12 – number of leaders in 2011 spring race 2/27/11
13 – most leaders – four times, most recent 4/10/10
27 – fewest running t finish 11/5/89
28 – most lead changes 2/27/11
29 – most on lead lap at finish 11/2/03
41 – most cars running at finish – three times, most recent 4/21/07
66 – most caution laps 11/2/03
90 minutes – amount of time it takes to dry the track after a significant rainfall
94 pounds – approximate weight of full fuel can
262 – most laps led by a race winner – Dale Earnhardt, 11/4/90

From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports

Homestead-Miami Speedway among first tracks featured in “Smoke Your Tires” game
Picturesque Homestead-Miami Speedway is one of the first tracks featured in a new downloadable application, Smoke Your Tires. Coinciding with the start of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing season, International Speedway Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: ISCA; OTC Bulletin Board: ISCB) (“ISC”), the leading promoter of motorsports activities in the United States, has lent the marks to its 12 tracks to a new iTunes app, Smoke Your Tires.

Homestead-Miami Speedway is among the first featured in the app, along with the other iconic ISC facilities Daytona International Speedway, and Phoenix International Raceway.

Motorsports fans will enjoy the excitement of performing victory spin-outs and other extreme maneuvers, all set to a South Florida backdrop. This application for the iPhone is available now in the iTunes store with an Android version forthcoming.

Smoke Your Tires was developed by Sportsblast, a production company that creates original works of animation and gaming with an emphasis on sports. The company was founded by producer and noted voice actor Nancy Carwright (the voice of Bart Simpson of television’s The Simpsons) who is a NASCAR-licensed driver and a huge race fan. The company’s previous forays in this realm include the web-based series The Kellys, in partnership with Turner Sports, and the creation of the character Haley, the star of the ‘toon’ series Haley’s SportsScopes, which was seen on SprintVision and via webcast. Sportsblast also co-created “The Lane” series with the National Basketball Association.

The app allows players to customize a stock car to feel as if they are smoking tires on the actual 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway track in never-before-seen-on-apps 360 degree spins, the difficulty of which increases by graduating levels. The first two levels, with backdrops at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, respectively, are free with multi-level tiers added with each new event of the stock car racing season hosted at an ISC track. Each level will be a unique experience with new challenges and varying degrees of difficulty.

To give the app a “test drive” using a simplified version in Flash, go to

From Homestead-Miami Speedway-PR

Sportvisions Technology Expanded to NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Sportvision, Inc. partner of NASCAR since 2000 and the leading innovator of digital sports content broadcast enhancements and tracking data, announced Thursday that it has extended its partnership with Emmy Award-winning NASCAR Media Group as the exclusive tracking partner for NASCAR-sanctioned events through the 2018 racing season.

As part of the extended agreement, Sportvision has broadened its RACEf/x system technology to the NASCAR Camping World Truck series broadcasts on SPEED, and has rolled out a new premium tier to the RaceView 360 subscription product available at

Sportvision’s RACEf/x technology, the most advanced tracking technology ever created for televised sports is now utilized in all three NASCAR national series after expanding to the NASCAR Camping World Truck series in 2012. Like NASCAR Sprint Cup series and NASCAR Nationwide series cars, the truck are equipped with Vector II tracking devices. These devices are the latest generation of Sportvision RACEf/x technology and the first to utilize both Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) and the Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) satellite navigation systems.

The technology debuted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series at the 2001 Daytona 500 and was introduced to NASCAR Nationwide series in 2007. This patented, state-of-the-art technology tracks the cars at speeds reaching 200mph to create a complete “digital record” of a NASCAR race in real-time.

With the addition, SPEED will now highlight a full slate of broadcast graphics during NASCAR Camping World Truck series broadcasts and the technology will continue to be an integral component utilized by other NASCAR broadcast partners through 2018.

In conjunction with NASCAR Media Group and Turner Sports Interactive, Sportvision has rolled out a new premium tier of the Raceview 360 subscription product available at The TrackPass RaceView application – which won the 2011 Adobe Max Award in Entertainment and offers a live rendering of a NASCAR race in 3-D – provides fans with advanced live virtual video and in-car audio, complete race coverage and driver stats, head-to-head action, multiple camera angles, and customized views.

The 2012, TrackPass RaceView has been updated to include every driver’s real-time pit statistics, new advanced driver performance statistics and a breadth of virtual video options, including where a driver hits the gas and brakes, fuel estimates, and more.


Jeremy Mayfield turns self in to NC magistrate
Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield surrendered himself to a magistrate in Caldwell County Thursday afternoon. Mayfield turned himself in to a state magistrate in Lenoir, reports WBTV’s Steve Ohnesorge. Mayfield said he is innocent of the four charges of felony larceny we was indicted on.  He was released on a $100,000 unsecured bond.

Read more from WBTV

Crew member suspended indefinitely by NASCAR
Keith Wolfe, a crew member (#0 crew chief JJCR truck) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR as a result of violations discovered Feb 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Wolfe violated sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 2-11 (failure to notify of felony and/or substance abuse related law violations); and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. 

From NASCAR integrated Marketing Communications PR

Thursday, March 1, 2012

SRT Motorsports (Dodge) Statement from Ralph Gilles – President & CEO
In response to today’s announcement by Penske Racing, Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, offered the following statement:

“Dodge has enjoyed a successful partnership with Penske Racing for 10 years. It’s a partnership that has produced results for both parties on and off the track. Roger (Penske) has made a business decision to accept an offer with another manufacturer. We wish Roger and Penske Racing much success in the future.”

“We are committed to work with Penske Racing to compete at the highest level, win races and contend for championships this season.”

“Our motorsports involvement isn’t limited to NASCAR. We do value our NASCAR program and will be evaluating the opportunities available moving forward. As those opportunities materialize, we’ll reveal our 2013 plans, not only in NASCAR but in other forms of motorsports.”

From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge)-PR

Johnson’s Car Number Buys Special Martinsville Speedway Ticket Package
Fans of Jimmie Johnson will be able to take advantage of the five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion’s famous car number for the upcoming Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Johnson’s car number – 48 – is the special price for the Jimmie Johnson Martinsville Speedway Ticket Package.

For $48 fans will get a seat in the Bill France Tower and the opportunity to sit in on a 15-minute question and answer session by Johnson in the Martinsville Speedway hospitality area prior to the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 on April 1. The cost for children (ages 0-18) is just $10.

It will be an emceed question and answer session. There will be no autographs or individual picture with Johnson.

The Jimmie Johnson Martinsville Speedway Ticket Package may be purchased by calling 877-722-3849 or online at

From Martinsville Speedway-PR

Bombshell: Penske switching from Dodge to Ford in NASCAR in 2013
Penske Racing will in 2013 switch from Dodge to Ford in NASCAR Sprint Cup series competition, automotive-industry sources have informed Autoweek. An official announcement is expected midday Thursday. Penske fields Dodge Chargers for Brad Keselowski and AJ Allmendinger.

Read more from Autoweek

And: Penske Racing to Partner with Ford starting in 2013
Penske Racing has announced that it will join Ford Racing as part of a multi-year agreement that will begin with the 2013 NASCAR season. Penske Racing’s teams will compete with Ford Fusions in the Sprint Cup series and with Ford Mustangs in the Nationwide series, beginning next season.

Read more from Penske Racing-PR

And: Penske Racing Returns to Ford for ’13 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season
After a 10-year hiatus, Penske Racing returns its two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup operation to Ford Racing beginning with the 2013 Daytona 500, and if its latest term is anything like the most recent one, Ford fans will have plenty to cheer about.

Read more from Ford Racing-PR

Phoenix NASCAR Race Information, Links and News

From Jayski’s

Candlebox to Perform at Budweiser ROLL-Bar in Phoenix
Legendary rock band Candlebox will energize the crowd at Phoenix International Raceway with a live concert this Sunday, March 4, to celebrate the Subway Fresh Fit 500 event weekend. The concert begins at 11am Local time at Budweiser ROLL-BAR, PIR’s showcase venue for live music and entertainment.

Read more from PIR-PR

In case you missed it – NASCAR Champ Matt Kenseth with Jay Leno

VIDEO: 2012 Daytona 500 Gets The TMZ Treatment
TMZ has given the Daytona 500 – well, specifically the now-infamous jet dryer explosion – the kind of coverage only TMZ can.

See the Video and read more from SBNation

NASCAR jet dryer operators to wear firesuits, helmets after fire at Daytona
Jet dryer operators will wear firesuits and helmets this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway as part of a safety move following Juan Pablo Montoya’s fiery crash in the Daytona 500.

Read more from Scene Daily

NASCAR Driver Jeff Burton Not the Only “Burton” Racing in Phoenix this weekend
It isn’t unusual that NASCAR driver Jeff Burton will be competing in the Sprint Cup series race this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. Afterall, he has been a constant figure at PIR events since 1994, and has a couple of race-winning trophies on his mantle.

What is different this weekend, however, is that Jeff, who will debut his Wheaties No. 31 RCR Chevrolet, wont’ be the only member of the Burton household racing in the Phoenix area. His 11-year-old son, Harrison, will be a mere 20 miles away from PIR for the 2012 season opener in USAC’s .25 Midget “Generation Next” series at the Valley of the Sun oval, southwest of Phoenix.

Read more from this Jeff Burton FB Post

Johnson responds on Twitter to Team Penalties
Yesterday on Twitter Jimmie Johnson posted this response…

“We appreciate all of the support. Now it’s up to the appeal process.”

From Jimmie Johnson’s Twitter account

Kenseth is who he is: A winner
Maybe it’s his consistent approach on the track, or his low-key demeanor off it. Whatever the reason, Matt Kenseth’s name usually isn’t the first to come up when people talk about current Sprint Cup series drivers who might rank among the sport’s all-time greats. But with Kenseth’s Daytona 500 victory on Monday, his racing resume is hard to ignore. When Kenseth’s career is over, a case can be made that he’ll be worthy of consideration for NASCAR’s Hall of Fame.

Read more from Daytona Beach News Journal

No. 34 Ford Gets ‘Muscle Car’ Look with Barrett-Jackson
The No. 34 Ford won’t be up for auction, but Barrett-Jackson will be all over it at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. The famed automotive auction house will be the primary sponsor of David Ragan’s entry in this weekend’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at the one-mile oval in the desert.

Read more from FRM-PR

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Returns to Tommy Baldwin Racing after Successful Daytona 500
One the coattails of great exposure in the Daytona 500, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet will return to Tommy Baldwin Racing this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway as primary sponsor of Dave Blaney and the No. 36 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Chevrolet in the Subway Fresh Fit 500. Blaney will attempt to qualify for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series’ (NSCS) second event of the 2012 season on Saturday, March 3.

Read more from TBR-PR

Brendan Gaughan returning to Sprint Cup with RCR at Phoenix
The Fresh Fit 500 will mark Gaughan’s 38th career NASCAR Sprint Cup series start and his first since the 2010 Daytona 500. The Las Vegas native raced full-time in NASCAR’s top series during the 2004 season, posting one top-five and four top-ten finishes. Phoenix marks the first of four Sprint cup series starts with RCR for 2012, Gaughan will also race the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Auto Club Speedway events during the month of March.

Read more from RCR-PR

Hunt Brothers Pizza rolls out contests, giveaways for NASCAR season
Hunt Brothers Pizza, the sponsor of two of Richard Childress Racing’s Nationwide series teams and the No. 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup series team with Kevin Harvick, is racing into the 2012 NASCAR season with exciting contests and giveaways for fans.

Today through May 15, fans can enter the Flat Kevin Photo Contest on the Hunt Brothers Pizza Racing Facebook page at for a grand prize of two tickets, two garage passes, Hunt Brothers Pizza Racing gear, and a meet and greet with Kevin Harvick at the June 29 race in Sparta, KY.

To enter, fans must “Like” the Hunt Brothers Pizza Racing Facebook page, download and print the posted Kevin Harvick image, clip it out, photograph it at any NASCAR race, fan event or NASCAR-themed scene, and enter the photo on the contest page. Hunt Brothers Pizza will select the photo finalists and let racing fans vote for the winning photo.

Fans are encouraged to visit the Hunt Brothers Pizza Racing Facebook page to learn about other photo contests planned throughout the season, as well as behind-the-scenes pass giveaways, free racing gear, events and driver appearances.

From GS&F-PR

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

We are the Champions: Kenseth & Defending NBA Champions 
Freshly crowned Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth less than 18 hours removed from taking the checkered flag in NASCAR’s season-opening race and running on just two hours of sleep, made his first public appearance with a visit to Dallas as part of NASCAR’s cross-country tour with the champ. Kenseth stopped by the American Airlines Center on Tuesday evening to pay a visit to another champions, the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, as we sat courside with Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage for the Mavs contest with the New Jersey Nets.

Read more from TMS-Media Relations

NASCAR Suspends Crew Chief Knaus 6 Races
NASCAR issued steep penalties against five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and his team for failing the first inspection for the Daytona 500.

Crew chief Chad Knaus was fined $100,000 and suspended six races Wednesday, car chief Ron Malec also was barred for six races, and Johnson was docked 25 points, sending him into this weekend’s race last in the Sprint Cup series standings.

Read more from ABCnews

The Press Release from NASCAR regarding Team Penalties
NASCAR has issued penalties, suspensions and fines to the No. 48 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, as a result of rules infractions found on Feb. 17 during opening day inspection for the Daytona 500.

The No. 48 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the rule book or has not bee approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-2.1E (if in the judgement of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance will not be permitted – unapproved car body modifications).

As a result, crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec have been suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events, suspended from NASCAR until April 18 and placed on NASCAR probation until May 9. Additionally, Knaus has been fined $100,000.

Driver Jimmie Johnson and car owner Jeff Gordon have been penalized with the loss of 25 driver points and 25 owner points, respectively.


Anchor suspended for comment about Danica Patrick
A San Diego TV sports anchor has been suspended for implying a sexist slur when talking about race car driver Danica Patrick.

Fox 5 San Diego tweeted late Tuesday that Ross Shimabuku has been suspended without pay for a week for his comments about Patrick before her Sprint Cup debut in Daytona 500.

Read more from APNews

Read Danica’s response from ESPN/AP

Photo – NecksGen, Inc.

Introducing the Next-Generation Frontal Head Restraint
Race drivers from all motorsports disciplines around the world have a revolutionary new option in head and neck protection with today’s introduction of the NecksGen frontal head restraint system by the Southern California-based company NecksGen, Inc.

Frontal head restraints are mandated as required safety equipment by sanctioning bodies in most major racing series worldwide as injury from an unrestrained head and helmet is a major factor in neck injuries that often result in paralysis and death.

NecksGen takes safety and quality to a higher level with its lightweight and simple-to-use unit designed to work in conjunction with the multi-point seat-belt harness of any high-speed racing vehicle. Constructed in Southern California from the latest carbon fiver composite material from DuPont, the NecksGen system has achieved superior results in Certification 38.1 testing by the Safety Foundation Institute (SFI), which issues and administers safety standards for speciality and performance products in the automotive and racing industries.

Weighing in at just 1.6 pounds, the NecksGen unit features a one-size-fits-all design that is adjustable to fit a wide range of seat angles from 10 to 40 degrees, allowing the driver to manipulate the back of the unit for comfort and safety while helping to eliminate interference from the seat and helmet. Its ergonomically flexible design helps achieve previously unsurpassed comfort while its size allows it to fit easily over the driver’s head and neck. The unit’s body-forming belts and Kevlar pads ensure there are no hard contact points to pressure the collarbone.

The NecksGen’s adjustable tension-neutralizing helmet tether allows the impact load to be distributed evenly through four load paths for maximum head and neck protection in the event of a collision while maintaining a full range of head motion under normal racing conditions. This adjustable tether compensates for tall or short neck sizes, and the system can be fine-tuned for improved protection with numerous options in the location of helmet mounting holes.

Designed to be used with two- or three-inch seat belts, the NecksGen also features unique belt wings to keep loose belts from falling off under accident conditions, and its belt channels keep the restraint system centered under the seat belts at all times.

Its aesthetically pleasing, low-profile design makes the NecksGen ideal for use in smaller, confined spaces like the cockpit of a dragster or land-speed car.

Quick-release helmet hardware allows the helmet to be released with two fingers under normal conditions.

The NecksGen system is available for a suggested retail price of $599 and includes quick-release and hard-mount hardware options, as well as a kit with standard tools for installation, a “swag kit” with car decals, drivver suit patches and a Flex-Fit cap, and a carrying case to help protect the unit.

For more information about the NecksGen system visit or call 855-NECKSGEN (855-632-5743)

From True Speed Communication for NecksGen System-PR

Raceway Hosts Matt Kenseth Press Conference on Ustream
Race fans and media members are invited to watch Thursday’s live press conference from San Francisco with 2012 Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth on Ustream.

Kenseth (Best Buy Ford) will take part in a San Francisco Victory Tour on Thursday on-board a motorized cable car. It will begin with a ride across the scenic Golden Gate Bridge, followed by stops at world-famous Fisherman’s Wharf, where Kenseth will show-off his crab-cracking skills, and Ghirardelli Square, where Kenseth will build the “Sundae, Sundae, Sundae,” featuring his favorite flavors and toppings.

The sundae, which will be created at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, will be available for race fans.

Race fans and media members can tune into the press conference that follows the Victory Tour at 11:30am PT by logging onto the raceway’s Ustream channel or Facebook

From Infineon Raceway-PR

Nationwide Entry Fee Increase
One story that for some odd reason stayed silent for all of Speedweeks in the Nationwide series garage was an offseason move by NASCAR that increased entry fees for NNS competitors by some 25% over 2011. Over the course of a 33-race schedule, that’s going to translate to almost $10,000 in additional costs for NNS teams even before they take to the track. 

From the Frontstretch (scroll to bottom remarks in The Final Word)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Casino in Loudon promoted
Picture an entertainment venue with the appeal of huge resorts like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, with a luxurious hotel and gaming rooms near the center of New Hampshire, with the summer draw of the Lakes Region on one side and all the benefits of a city like Concord on the other.

There is such a place – minus the hotel and gambling – already.

The New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Route 106 in Loudon is among the largest sports and entertainment venues in New England, drawing 600,000 patrons a year, hosting the only NASCAR Sprint Cup series, NASCAR Nationwide series and NASCAR Camping World Truck series events held in the region, as well as numerous other events.

Read more from Union Leader

Speedway official: Judge overturned jury verdict
A Superior Court judge has overturned a jury verdict that would have forced New Hampshire Motor Speedway to pay nearly $1 million in damages to the Motor Racing Network, Inc., according to the speedway’s general manager.

Read more from Union Leader

Celebrate with Daytona 500 Winner Kenseth in San Francisco, March 1
Race fans are invited to legendary Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco this Thursday, March 1, for a midday rally with Matt Kenseth, the winner of the 2012 Daytona 500.

Kenseth will come to San Francisco to celebrate with race fans and take a San Francisco Victory Tour, courtesy of Infineon Raceway and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Kenseth’s appearance in San Francisco also marks the Official Countdown to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup series weekend at Infineon Raceway, June 22-24.

Read more from Infineon Raceway-PR

Tim Schendel to Drive No. 52 Means Chevrolet in the Nationwide series at Phoenix
Sparta, WI driver, Tim Schendel, will be behind the wheel of the #52 Means Chevrolet in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide series Basha Supermarkets 200 in Avondale, AZ. This will be the second season that Schendel has driven for car owner, Jimmy Means, on a part-time basis.

The car will be sponsored by Mathews, Inc. a manufacturer of a diverse line of archery equipment, bow components and accessories for authorized retailers all over the world. Located in Sparta, WI, Mathews, Inc. was a long-time sponsor of Schendel’s when he raced in various regional and midwest series, and when Schendel claimed his 2006 NASCAR Midwest Elite Series Championship and his 2006 Toyota All-Star Showdown Championship.

From Tim Schendel Racing-PR

MIS Statement: Jet Dryer Driver Duane Barnes
Michigan International Speedway had three jet dryers and two employees at Daytona International Speedway assisting with Monday’s Daytona 500. The jet dryer driven by Duane Barnes, 52 of Addison, MI, was hit from behind by Juan Pablo Montoya during a caution.

Barnes was released from Halifax Medical Center after a precautionary evaluation by doctors late Monday night.

He returned to the racetrack to watch the end of the race.

Barnes has worked in the Maintenance Department at Michigan International Speedway for 24 years. He has frequently assisted other International Speedway Corporation-owned racetracks, driving jet dryers at those events. MIS supports other racetracks by sending staff and equipment to events.

Barnes is surprised at the outpouring of well wishes, and thanks everyone for their concern. “I appreciate everyone for taking the time to write, call and ask how I am. I am OK and I am amazed at how many people have wished me well. I am also glad Juan Pablo Montoya is OK, and thank him for his concern,” Barnes said.


When the Smoke Cleared, 2012 Daytona 500 is Most-Watched in FOX History
It took 36 hours to complete from it’s scheduled start time but fans won’t soon forget the 2012 Daytona 500 and the dramatic events delivered for FOX Sports.

For the first time in the race’s 54-year history, rain postponed Sunday’s 1:00pm ET start until 12:00pm ET Monday with continued showers in the afternoon delaying the green flag until 7:00pm ET.

A total audience of over 36.5 million Americans watched last night’s race, according to fast national ratings issued today by Nielsen Media Research, making 2012 Daytona 500 the most-watched in FOX history. The 36.5 million total viewers, a measure of the audience that saw at least a portion of the race, is +22% higher than last year’s total audience of 30 million and +22% better than 2010’s 29.8 million. Yesterday’s total audience is the second best ever for a Daytona 500 on any network behind 37.0 million viewers in 2006 on NBC.

FOX won the primetime night among Adults 18-49 and total audience figures, a significant achievement going up against original episodes of popular network programs like ABC’s The Bachelor, CBS’s How I Met Your Mother and NBC’s The Voice, which was -10% lower in the Adults 18-49 demographic last night than it did a week ago. The Daytona 500 on FOX posted a 4.6 and averaged 14.1 million viewers from 8:00 – 11:00 pm ET making it FOX’s most-watched Monday night in 16 months, dating back to Game 5 of the 2010 World Series.

The 2012 Great American Race, which included a fiery crash caused when Juan Pablo Montoya hit a safety truck/track-drying engine and red flagged the race for over two hours, earned an 8.0/14 rating/share and averaged 13.7 million viewers. While down slightly from last year’s Sunday afternoon race that occurred without any significant delays, (-8%, 2011 Daytona 500 -8.7/20), Monday night’s race was up +4% when compared to the 2010 event (7.7/16), which saw lengthy delays for pothole repairs to the track.

Ratings for the 2012 Daytona 500 grew gradually though the first two and a half hours, climbing to an 8.2/12 (14.2 million viewers) in the 9:30 half-hour when the Montoya wreck occurred. Ratings grew further at 10:00pm, peaking at an 8.8/13 (15.1 million viewers) When the epic race concluded, Matt Kenseth emerged as the winner, capturing his second Daytona 500 victory in four years.

FOX Sports delivered live coverage of the 54th Daytona 500 for more than 11 hours over the course of the three days. The NASCAR on FOX crew started reporting on Sunday from the rainy Daytona International Speedway, bringing viewers live interviews, updates, predictions and analysis from 12:00 – 5:15pm ET in hopes of a window opening up for the racing. FOX Sports produced nearly the entire five hours live, including interviews with drivers who came to the Hollywood Hotel pre-race set and in their haulers, as well as NASCAR officials in the booth, only briefly going to a replay of the end of the Budweiser Shootout and clips from SPEED’s Top Ten Daytona 500 Moments. The team was back again at 7:00pm ET the next night for the historic Monday primetime running of the Daytona 500. The never-before-seen fiery crash halted action on the track for more than two hours, but sent the NASCAR on FOX crew into overdrive interviewing 21 drivers. When FOX Sports signed off Tuesday morning at 1:00am ET, another six hours of live coverage was in the books. National ratings for Sunday’s programming won’t be available until Thursday, March 1.

Top-rated markets for the Daytona 500 include: Greensboro (18.1/27), Jacksonville (18.1/27), Charlotte (16.7/26), Greenville (16.7/26), Dayton (16.1/25), and Orlando (16.0/26). Markets seeing the biggest growth from last year include: New Orleans (+46%, 7.3 vs. 5.0), Salt Lake City (+33%, 8.1 vs. 6.1), Ft. Myers (+30%, 15.5 vs. 11.9), San Antonio (+17%, 7.5 vs. 6.4) and Tampa (+17%, 12.5 vs. 10.7).

From FOX Sports Media Group-PR

ESPN Breaks Cable Viewership Record with NASCAR (NNS) Telecast from Daytona
With an average of 4.4 million people watching, ESPN’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Feb 25 has broken the previous record as the most-viewed race ever on cable television for the series.

The race telecast earned a household coverage rating of 3.3, averaging 4,433,249 viewers in 3,304,012 households, breaking the record of 4,271,365 viewers in 3,170,109 households set for ESPN’s telecast of the Daytona race in 2010.

Ratings and viewership for the Daytona telecast were up 37 percent from ESPN’s telecast of last year’s race, which earned a 2.4 household coverage rating and averaged 3,246,875 viewers.

All 33 races in the NASCAR Nationwide series season will air on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. The next telecast is from Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, March 3, at 4pm ET on ESPN2.

From ESPN Media Zone-PR Delivers Record-Breaking Single-Day Success for the Daytona 500’s coverage of the first-ever rainout for the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 propelled the site to a new single-day record for the most unique users on Monday, Feb. 27. Driver of the No. 17 Best Buy Ford, Matt Kenseth’s win under the lights helped lead to the highest number of daily uniques ever on a single day (2.3M). In addition, this year’s Daytona 500 also holds the record for the most daily uniques ever for a Daytona 500 race, beating the old record (Daytona 2011) by 38%.

Additional highlights include: Total page views: 11.8M up 5% vs. 2011 Daytona 500 and Video streams: 561,000, up 96% vs. 2011 Daytona 500.

On the mobile front, page views saw an 8% increase and uniques were up 68% versus 2011 Daytona 500. (Source: Omniture, Bango)

From Turner Sports-PR

Matt Kenseth Wasn’t the Only Daytona 500 Winner
Last night, the Daytona 500 was forced to stop for a red flag with 40 laps remaining in the race. The reason: Juan Pablo Montoya’s racecar crashed into a jet dryer on the track during a caution flag causing a massive inferno on the racetrack. For a sport that lives by corporate sponsorships, a few brands will wake up this morning with a sudden realization that they received some unexpected publicity during last night’s race. The race, which after being postponed not once, but twice, was unfairly deemed a failure before it began. Somehow, the common theme of the night ended up being “Never did I in my wildest dreams think I would stay up so late to watch a NASCAR race…” After nearly 36 hours Matt Kenseth finally took the checkered flag, winning the first postponed Daytona 500 in history.

Read more from Forbes

How Twitter Took Over NASCAR
Last night on national television, America’s wonkiest social media platform, Twitter, and its supposedly most backward sport, NASCAR, exploded together into a massive fireball fueled by jet propellant, secret phones, and good/bad timing. Here’s the story of how one driver picked up 100,000 followers in two hours and how the sport of good ol’ boys may be forever changed.

Read more from…Jalopnik

Tweeting in race may cost Keselowski
Brad Keselowski has embraced social media in a huge way. But his celebrated tweeting during Monday night’s rain-delayed Daytona 500 may land him in hot water with NASCAR.

Read more from Eye On Sports/CBS Sports

Update from NASCAR on Twitter
Sharing two tweets from NASCAR regarding the use of social media by drivers:

  • @NASCAR: Nothing we’ve seen from Brad violates any current rules pertaining to the use of social media during races. As such, he won’t be penalized.
  • @NASCAR: We encourage our drivers to use social media to express themselves as long as they do so without risking their safety or that of others.

2012 NSCS Daytona 500 Results

Matt Kenseth in Daytona 500 Victory Lane
photo credit – Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

After a day delay due to rain, the 54th annual NSCS Daytona 500 finally go underway Monday night at Daytona International Speedway. And after serveral cautions – which included a bizarre fiery incident that involved a race car and a jet dryer – the race ended just before 1:00 AM (ET) Tuesday morning under a green-white-checkered (flags) restart.

At the drop of the checkered flag it was Matt Kenseth capturing his 2nd Daytona 500 victory, his 22nd series career win, and gives Roush Fenway Racing their 300th NASCAR national series victory (126 wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series; 124 in the NASCAR Nationwide series; 50 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series).

Following Kenseth in second was Dale Earnhardt, Jr, while Kenseth’s Roush Fenway teammate, Greg Biffle, finished third, Denny Hamlin fourth and Jeff Burton finishing in fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Paul Menard finishing sixth, Kevin Harvick seventh, Carl Edwards eighth Joey Logano ninth and Mark Martin finishing in the tenth position.

Probably the biggest story of the evening came on lap 160 (while under caution) when something broke in the rear of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet driven by Juan Pablo Montoya and the car spun an slid up into a jet dryer, which then was ignited as the fuel poured down the banking and produced a fiery mess. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, and the incident forced a red flag that lasted for more than two-hours for repairs.

Next up: The SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, March 4th, at 3 pm ET with television coverage provided by FOX beginning with their pre-race coverage at 2:30pm ET.

Race Results

Point Standings

From and NASCARMedia

Roush Yates FR9 Claims Second-Consecutive Daytona 500
Matt Kenseth took full advantage of the horsepower in his Roush Yates FR9 engine to take the checkered flag early Tuesday morning in the first ever nightime running of the famed Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Kenseth’s win granted Roush Fenway Racing its 300th all-time victory during the kick-off of the organization’s 25th anniversary of racing.

Read more from Roush Yates-PR

2012 NSCS Daytona 500 Post-Incident Q&A with Driver Juan Pablo Montoya
Juan Pablo Montoya, No. 42 Target Chevrolet – Sidelined in crash with jet dryer truck on lap 160.

You have a little bit of a limp, are you ok?
“I’m ok. My foot hurt, but I’m ok. For as big of a hit that way; I’m pretty good to be honest.”

Tell us what happened?
“Something fell in the rear of the car and the car just spun into the jet dryer. I felt a vibration and came in. They looked at everything and everything wa sok and I still told them, ‘I think there is something broke’ and I was coming  back into the pits and the car just spun by itself.”

Did you talk to the driver of the jet dryer truck?
“He came with me (in the ambulance). He was pretty scared, but he looked ok.”

What the heck happened?
“I told them when I left the pits something wasn’t right and I felt a weird vibration when we were with the pack. Every time I got on the gas it vibrated. So I came back in and they checked all the rear-end and they said it was ok. I was going down the back straightaway, and I was going in fourth gear, but, we weren’t even going that fast. Every time I got on the gas I could feel the rear really squeezing. I got on the brakes to travel up and while I was telling the spotter to have a look on how the rear was moving, the car just turned right.”

We are glad you are all right
“To be honest with you, it is tough. We were running a really smart race. Everyone on the Target Chevy really did a good job today. Just move one to Phoenix.”

Tell us what happened?
“I did the pit stop and when I came out of the pits I felt a vibration in second gear. I told them I think either a transmission broke or something. I went to third gear and when I accelerated the vibration came back. I came back into the pits, they looked at everything tight and ok. I went again and I as in fourth gear. I wasn’t even going that fast and it was moving and traveling a lot. It just felt really strange, as I was talking on the radio the car just turned right.”

Did you hear the explosion?
“Oh yeah, it burned the helmet and everything. It’s not where you want to finish the Daytona 500. Everybody on the Target team, with this great Chevy car, did an amazing job today. We didn’t bump anybody, nobody bumped us, and we only had 40 laps to go. I thought we had a great car. I though we were in the right place. Everything was working well and go through that, it sucks.”

How are you feeling?
“My foot hurts. I was full on the brakes and when I hit, I hit driver’s side and my foot slipped onto the clutch and it scratched the top of my foot.”

This is certainly one of the most bizarre incidents we have seen
“I have hit a lot of things, but a jet dryer? I mean, no.”

What was the track like? Did you get to see the surface of the track?
“No, I was too busy. I really got out of the car fast. I looked up and I saw the guy out of the jet dryer. I saw a little bit of fire, my car was on fire. I saw the ambulance and walked to the ambulance.?

Were you pleased at how quickly you were able to get out of the car?
“I am always really quick to get out of the car. In open-wheel they always check you at the beginning of the year ad you have a certain time you have to get out. You really learn to get out of the car fast.”

The person in the jet dryer is ok correct?
“I am sure he is pretty shaken and is going to be sore, but I think he is ok.”

What was going through your head when you realized you were going to hit the truck?
“I didn’t think about the truck, I thought ‘I’m actually hitting the jet and it’s not going to be fun.’ Before I got there I was thinking ‘this thing is going to be on fire pretty bad’ and it was.”

Could you feel the heat immediately?
“I saw the flames. My helmet go a little burned and everything, but move on.”

From Team Chevy-PR

Cena forced to back out
No one could have been more disappointed with NASCAR’s decision to postpone the start of the Daytona 500 to Monday night than John Cena.

Cena, the former WWE champion, had originally planned to honor his commitment as the honorary starter for Monday’s NASCAR race before hopping on a plane to fly to Portland, OR for his appearance on Monday Night Raw.

However, with the race starting at night, Cena was forced to back out of his commitment but not before stopping by the media center to promise to pay for a charter plane back to Daytona if the race is postponed until Tuesday.

Read more from Orlando Sentinel (scroll down to bottom to see note on Cena)

Monday, February 27, 2012

54th Annual Daytona 500 Postponed to Today

The 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Daytona International Speedway has been postponed due to rain showers and rescheduled for today, Feb 27, at 7pm ET (FOX).

WWE Superstar John Cena will deliver the command “Drivers, start your engines” and will wave the green flag to kick off the new NASCAR Sprint Cup series season.

Read more from DIS-PR

Fox to begin contract negotiations with NASCAR
NASCAR’s current television contract runs through 2014, but Fox Sports chairman David Hill said the network will begin its negotiations on an extension this season.

Fox shares the Sprint Cup series schedule with TNT and ESPN. The network partnered with NASCAR in 2001 on a six-year deal, and extended once, by eight years, through 2014.

Read more from Independent Tribune

Going to Phoenix for the Subway Fresh Fit 500?

Phoenix International Raceway

Texas Motor Speedway’s upcoming media day to be broadcast live online
Texas Motor Speedway’s annual Media Day, set for Tuesday, March 6, again will be broadcast online via for fans to enjoy the unique program featuring NASCAR drivers Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ty Dillon, IZOD IndyCar series driver Graham Rahal, and a special announcement from the band Foreigner’s lead singer Kelly Hansen,

Beginning at 12:30pm CT fans can log on to one of three sites ( or to watch the Texas Motor Speedway Media Day webcast that will feature news and announcements, and a special fan web chat with each of the Media Day guests.

Read more from TMS-PR

Keep checking back for updated news throughout the week. Each day’s news stories will be posted here as a digest of NASCAR news for the entire week.

As always, Thanks for reading and participating.  


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