|News and Views – Volume 16
For the week of March 5 -11, 2012
Quote from Ernest Hemingway
“Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports… all others are games.”
With the Phoenix race under the belts of drivers, week three now begins for the 2012 NASCAR season.
Last week, it was announced this will be the last season of the partnership between Penske Racing and Dodge Motorsports. This week, with the new 2013 Charger being introduced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, fans wonder, who will be driving the new Dodge Charger in the 2013 season? And is this yet another evolution within the sport of NASCAR, that we should be concerned about, leaving at this point, only Ford, Chevy and Toyota as the only known manufacturers participating next season?
And speaking of questions, we hope to get answers this week to some other questions that are looming. What will happen with Chad Knaus and the #48 team with their appeal coming up? Will Kenny Wallace and RAB Racing find the sponsorship they need to continue racing? Chevy has said they don’t want Elliott Sadler driving the #55 Toyota with Michael Waltrip Racing for five races this season…so who will? Or how about this? Will Danica’s rough start to her full-time NASCAR career finally soften the media-mania that surrounds her? And the question on the minds of many fans – will this be the week that Dale Earnhardt Jr or others with long winless streaks, breakthrough with a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway?
Let’s begin with the news for this week…
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1979 – Cale Yarborough roars to his 60th NASCAR Grand National victory, cruising to a 6-second win at Richmond (VA) Fairgrounds Raceway’s .542-mile track. Bobby Allison runs second as the only other car on the lead lap with Darrell Waltrip third – completing a top three of drivers now enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Only two cautions slow the race, which sets a track record for average speed at 83.608 mph.
From NASCAR .com
2012 NSCS Kobalt Tools 400 Race Results
|Tony Stewart celebrating first win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
photo – LAT Photographic
Tony Stewart, the defending 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion, held off the 2010 series champion, Jimmie Johnson, to win the 2012 Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Stewart, who led the most laps with 127 of the 267 that were run, received his first series win of the 2012 season, his forty-fifth series career win and his first series win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Following Stewart and Johnson to the drop of the checkered flag were the new series points leader, Greg Biffle (who has a ten-point lead over Kevin Harvick) finishing in third, Ryan Newman fourth and Carl Edwards finishing in fifth.
Rounding out the top-ten finishers were: Clint Bower finishing in sixth, Paul Menard seventh, Jamie McMurray eighth, Trevor Bayne ninth and Dlae Earnhardt, Jr, finishing in the tenth position.
Next Up: The Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 18th, with FOX beginning their (pre) race coverage at 12:30pm ET and an approximate start of 1:20pm ET.
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia
Roush leads at Vegas; feast or famine for some
15 – Roush Fenway Racing has the most NASCAR wins at Las Vegas with 15, including all seven of Ford’s track-leading Cup series victories. Roush also has five in the Nationwide series, and three in the Truck series.
Sprint Cup Series
3 – Steve Addington has been the crew chief for three of the past four pole winners at Vegas: Kyle Busch (2008, ’09) and Kurt Busch (2010). Addington and Kyle Busch won the race in 2009, although they dropped to the rear of the field at the start. Tony Steward has won three of the past five races on 1.5-mile tracks, the only repeat winner in the past nine races at such venues.
3 – Matt Kenseth has been passed for the win three times at Las Vegas, including the only last-lap pass in 2006 by Jimmie Johnson. That remains the only race out of 14 where the leader with 10 laps to go did not win.
4 – In the past four races at Las Vegas, Jeff Gordon has two top-six finishes and two DNF’s (crashes). In 14 overall starts, Gordon has seven top-sixes, including a win in 2001, and seven finishes of 15th or worse, including three DNF’s for crashes.
26 – Brad Keselowski has finished 26th or worse in all three of his races at Las Vegas. First-year Penske Racing teammates AJ Allmendinger hasn’t finished better than 19th in three starts at LVMS.
4 – Jimmie Johnson has the most wins at Las Vegas with four, all in the past seven races; however, three of the past four races have resulted in finishes of 29th, 24th, and 16th. Furthermore, Johnson leads all drivers with 16 wins on 1.5-mile tracks but has only one victory in the past 20 races at such venues (Kansas in Oct. 2011).
5 – Denny Hamlin (4th and 1st), Greg Biffle (3rd and 3rd), Kevin Harvick (7th and 2nd), Mark Martin (10th and 9th) and Joey Logano are the only five drivers who have posted top-ten finishes in the first two races of the season.
7 – There have been seven engine DNF’s in the first two races: David Stremme, Jeff Gordon and Robby Gordon at Daytona; Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, David Reutimann and Jamie McMurray at Phoenix. All four manufacturers have at leasst one engine DNF, with Chevrolet the only make with multiple DNF’s (4). In addition, Chevy driver Tony Stewart had problems restarting his engine at Phoenix.
Read more from NASCAR .com
Office Depot wins NASCAR “Driving Business Award”
NASCAR announced Friday that Office Depot, Inc., a leading global provider of office supplies and services that helps customers save time, is the recipient of the 2011 NASCAR Driving Business Award, presented annually to the Official Partner that demonstrates extraordinary leadership and results through their participation of the NASCAR Fuel for Business (NFFB) Council.
The award was bestowed upon NASCAR’s Official Office Supply Partner at a ceremony in Las Vegas during the most recent NFFB Council Meeting. Office Depot is also the co-primary sponsor of reigning Sprint Cup Series champion, Tony Stewart, and the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet.
Read more from NASCAR-PR
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1996 – Dale Earnhardt cruises to victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway to win the Purolator 500, beating runner-up Terry Labonte by 4.28 seconds at the finish. jeff Gordon took third. Earnhardt led 136 of the 328 laps, including the final 29. It was the last win for Earnhardt before a 59-race drought, which ended with his lone Daytona 500 win in 1998.
From NASCAR .com
2012 NNS Sam’s Town 300 Race Results
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr celebrates in Victory Lane at LVMS
photo – NASCAR .com
The defending 2011 NASCAR Nationwide series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr, kept veteran driver Mark Martin 5.904 seconds behind him at the drop of the checkered flag to win the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Stenhouse, who led the most laps – 55 laps of the 200 that were run, received his first series win of the 2012 season, his third series career win and his first series win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Today’s pole-sitter and current series points leader, Elliott Sadler – has a 15-point lead over Austin Dillon – finished in the third position, and was followed by Trevor Bayne finishing fourth and Brendan Gaughan finishing in fifth.
NNS Rookie of the Year contenders, Cole Whitt and Austin Dillon, finished sixth and seventh respectively, while Justin Allgaier finished eighth, Sam Hornish Jr ninth and Kasey Kahne rounding out the top-ten finishers.
Next up: The Ford EcoBoost 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 17th, at approximately 2:20pm ET with television pre-race coverage at 1pm ET provided by ESPN.
Current Point Standings
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia
2012 NNS Sam’s Town 300 Starting Lineup
Elliott Sadler, with a qualifying lap speed of 181.366mph, captured the 2012 NNS Sam’s Town 300 Coors Light Pole Award at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
This was Sadler’s first series pole of the 2012 season, his twelfth series career pole and his first series pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Starting on the outside pole in second and with a qualifying lap speed of 181.044mph, will be Kasey Kahne, followed by NNS Rookie of the Year contender , Austin Dillon (180.977) starting third, Brian Scott (180.905) fourth and Brad Keselowski (180.572) will start fifth.
Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be the defending series champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (180.313) starting sixth, Mark Martin (180.222) seventh, Justin Allgaier (179.677) eighth, Brendan Gaughan (179.593) ninth and Jason Bowles (179.480) will start from tenth.
No on failed to make the starting lineup, as there were only 43 drivers attempting to fill the 43 starting positions.
The Sam’s Town 300 is scheduled to get started approximately at 5:20pm ET this evening, and television coverage will be provided by ESPN2 at 5pm ET.
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia
2012 NSCS Kobalt Tools 400 Second Practice Session Speeds
Dale Earnhardt Jr, with a lap speed of 184.957mph, posted the fastest lap Saturday afternoon during the second NSCS Kobal Tools practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Sunday’s pole-sitter, Kasey Kahne, was second fastest with a lap speed of 184.754mph, while AJ Allmendinger (184.666) was third fastest, Jimmie Johnson (184.489) fourth and Kyle Busch (184.187) was the fifth fastest.
Rounding out the top-ten fastest during practice were: Aric Almirola (184.099) sixth fastest, Greg Biffle (184.049) seventh, Brad Keselowski (184.030) eighth, Jeff Gordon (183.886) ninth and Tony Stewart (183.817) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.
The teams will return to the track later this afternoon for their 3:20-4:20pm ET scheduled “Happy Hour” (final) practice session before Sunday’s race.
Practice 2 Results
Final Practice Session Speeds
It was Joey Logano, with a lap speed of 182.970mph, on top of the speed charts during the final NSCS Kobalt Tools 400 practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Mark Martin and Kevin Harvick with identical lap speed of 182.698mph, were second and third fastest respectively, while Marcos Ambrose and Martin Truex Jr, also had identical speeds (182.618) and were recorded fourth and fifth respectively on the speed charts.
Rounding out the top-ten fastest on the speed charts were: Kurt Busch (182.451) who was sixth fastest, Matt Kenseth (182.328) seventh, pole-sitter Kasey Kahne (182.266) eighth, Clint Bowyer (182.113) ninth and Regan Smith (182.100) posted the tenth fastest lap speed.
Jimmie Johnson will join Kyle Busch and Juan Pablo Montoya at the back of the field on Sunday, as Johnson wrecked during “Happy Hour,” and had to go to a back up car. Montoya will start at the back due to an engine change, and Busch wrecked during (the second) practice held earlier today, and had to go to a back up car.
The Kobalt Tools 400 is scheduled to start around 3:30pm ET on Sunday, March 11th with FOX beginning their pre-race television coverage at 2:30pm ET.
Final Practice Results
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia
Dale Earnhardt Jr adds wrecked Montoya car to collection
A (mangled) piece of racing history has landed in the woods surrounding Dale Earnhardt Jr’s property in Cleveland, NC.
Thanks to a familiar connection, NASCAR’s most popular driver recently acquired the destroyed Juan Pablo Montoya’s No. 42 Chevrolet that famously slammed into a jet dryer under caution during the Feb 27 Daytona 500.
Collecting crashed race cars is a hobby of Earnhardt’s and the latest addition is the only one that’s caused a fiery on-track explosion and a two-hour delay in NASCAR’s biggest race.
Read more from USA Today
Racing Legend Richard Childress Joins Growth Energy
On the opening day of its 2012 Executive Leadership Conference, Growth Energy announced today that Richard Childress, President and Chief Executive Officer of Richard Childress Racing, has agreed to join the organization as a member of its Board of Directors.
Read more from RCR-PR
Pawn Stars to serve as Grand Marshals for HISTORY 300 & More
This weekend, as some of NASCAR’s biggest stars take to the track in Las Vegas, stars from HISTORY’s hit television series Pawn Stars are making plans to travel east to visit the heart of motorsports country for the May 26 HISTORY 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The Las Vegas-based reality show cast of Richard Harrison (aka Old Man), Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison and Chumlee will add to the Coca-Cola 600 weekend excitement by serving as grand marshals of the HISTORY 300. As part of a promotion with Coca-Cola, two lucky fans will be selected to watch the HISTORY 300 with the TV Stars.
Read more from Charlotte Motor Speedway-PR
2012 NSCS Kobalt Tools 400 Pre-Race Q&A with Team Chevy Driver, Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart, No. 14 Mobile1/Office Depot Chevrolet, met with members of the media at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and discussed his changes this week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, dirt racing and other topics.
What is your mindset about being here at Las Vegas?
“I’m excited about it. This was probably in all reality this was the strongest race that we had last year. We had a car that just was dominant. We still let it get away from us, which this is one of two tracks that we haven’t won at yet. It was real disappointing to lose it with a penalty last year. I’m excited to be back, my car feels really good today. I feel like we are off to a great start. We have a shot at a decent qualifying run, hopefully, and really excited about our race package so far.”
What did the engine guys tell you happened last week and of that what can you tell us?
“They told me when i flipped the switch back on it didn’t start, which I already knew. I didn’t ask any more questions. I figured I didn’t need to know. I figured they have addressed it. They told me that they knew what it was, so that was good enough for me. I don’t need to know about electronics too much. If I can’t see it work, I don’t get too interested in it.”
Are you worried at all that people are caught up now? Are you interested to see where you stack up in terms of that? Do you think people have made gains?
“It happens every year like that. You look at how good we were at Homestead. We hadn’t been that good the previous year at Homestead. So we caught up to somebody. It is part of technology. It always leap frogs. Am I worried about it? No. It is a fresh year, people have had time to work on their programs and make them better through the winter and that happens every year. I don’t know that you worry about it as much as you try to make sure that the gains that you make through the winter are better than the gains that everybody else makes.”
Can you talk about qualifying today? How do you think your car will be for qualifying?
” I think it’s going to be good. It was pretty impressive to look at the time time sheet. We were third on the sheet and we were only two thousandths of a second off the quick time. It was a .702 a .703 and a .704 so two thousandths of a second between first and third was pretty impressive. It will be a cool qualifying session to watch.
I just wanted to ask you about the dirt track experience last night. I heard that went ok for you. Just why have you been trying to do more of that it seems like this year?
“Last night was my eighth race of this year. I am having fun running the dirt stuff. Last night was probably the least amount of fun. I look like I haven’t slept for three days and it’s because my eyes are absolutely rubbed raw from trying to get all the garbage out of it from last night. It was a disaster over there. It was definitely a tough night for sure. I do it because I enjoy it. I love running my sprint car. Kenny Wallace and I have probably run more races this year than anybody. I am having fun with it. My guys come over. We had people from Mobile1 and Office Depot at the track last night. They enjoy coming and watching us play. I feel like the more time that I’m in a race car, no matter what type of car it is and I’m having fun doing it, it’s better for me.”
Carl Edwards last year jumped off the stratosphere and won the race. Have you thought of jumping off the stratosphere?
“Carl’s deal has been circus acts from day one. I’m just kind of a straight up old school, I just want to go out and win races type guys. I’m not much for jumping through flaming hoops and flipping around and jumping off stuff. I’ll just drive race cars and all that.”
The next few races will be going back and forth from the east to west coast and then we will be back in Martinsville. You had a win there last year, can you talk about Martinsville and what it takes to be successful there?
“It’s a tough couple of weeks for the teams. It is easy for a lot of us because we got the chance to go from Phoenix straight over here and kind of relax for this week after Daytona was over. It’s really the hardest on the truck drivers and the crews to try to figure out how to get all the equipment back and forth. There are still only seven days in a week and you have a short turnaround time. It does make it a challenge for the teams. As much as you want to put all your effort into getting ready to go to Daytona, you really have to prepare to get through Martinsville and Bristol and all these races because of the short turnaround times back and forth. We are used to kind of coming out to the West Coast early in the year and going back and forth. It is something that you know ahead of time to prepare for. It’s something that you do have to think about. If you start tearing up race cars early in the year, it can get you in a bind in a hurry.”
You finished second at Bristol a couple of years ago; How come it hasn’t been too kind to you the past three or four races?
“If I knew that we wouldn’t have missed on it now would we? I don’t know. For some reason and even the day that we ran second we got a lot of that on track position on a lat pit stop. We just haven’t been able to get a good balance there recently. Hopefully, we will find something different this year when we go.”
Was it the track when they reconfigured it?
“No. I like the track the way it is now. I know there has been a lot of debate on whether it is better or whether it was better the old way. I like it because we at least get to use the whole race track now and we don’t have to just sit there and drive through each other to pass. You actually get to race guys now. I enjoy that side of it. I think it is a lot more fun. Sometimes because it is more fun doesn’t mean that you’re successful at it. That’s what makes it challenging.”
You have shown a willingness and an enjoyment in racing all kinds of cars. SMI (Speedway Motorsports, Inc.) just announced a global rally course championship. If it didn’t conflict, would you like to try that?
“Yeah, as soon as they get 30 hour days and 400 day years, I can run all the stuff that I already want to run let alone the stuff that SMI is adding. Who knows, I’ve wanted to try everything at some point in my career. We have driven just about everything at some point. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings to try something new.”
Carl Edwards said that after this weekend, he will have a feel for how good his team is. Other guys have said we want to get to maybe Easter before we evaluate outselves. At what point do you evaluate how good you are going to be?
“I don’t think you really set a time limit on that to be honest. I think you make that evaluation each week when you are done. I think Monday morning you sit back and look at where you are at and you look at how your previous weekend went. You look at how your season is going up to that point. You evaluate weekly. You can’t just sit there and say ‘ok well two or three races into it we are good.’ You look at Carl’s year last year, he won this race and then he didn’t win a race the rest of the year. You look at how our season was. We weren’t very good for 26 weeks then all of a sudden we got hot for 10 weeks. I don’t know that you can ever just draw a line in the sand and say at this point we can say that this where we are at. It is a constant state of evolution and the technology changes weekly. With that you never can just draw a line in the sand and say this is where we are at. You better constantly be trying to make it better.”
What is the basis of your and Steve Addington’s (crew chief) relationship? How did you become associated? Who is the better bass angler?
“It’s been too cold to fish anywhere that we live at. My place is like, we don’t call it fishing, and we call it catching because if you can’t catch 30 fish in a day, at my place, you don’t have a lure. I don’t know. The great thing is that Steve and I got to spend some time together this week. We spent a lot of time at Daytona with each other. It was fun to go from Phoenix to here. A lot of the crew guys stayed out. We all got to spend time together as a team. Have a new team leader like that, it’s important for myself and for all the guys to try and spend as much time with each other as we can, for all of us to get to know him a little better and for him to get to know his guys. It was fun to watch this week, we have all been together a short amount of time but it looks like just hanging around all of us the appearance is we have been together a lot longer than we really have. It has been fun to watch.”
From Team Chevy-PR
Friday, March 9, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1986 – Ronnie Silver snares the lead from pole-sitter Jack Ingram with 11 laps remaining to win the Busch series Mountain Dew 400 at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway. Ingram, who led 188 of the 200 laps, finishes second with LD Ottinger third. The victory is the second and final win of Silver’s eight-year career in what is now the Nationwide series.
From NASCAR .com
2012 NSCS Kobalt Tools 400 First Practice Session Speeds
Jimmie Johnson, with a lap speed of 188.140mph, was the quickest during the first NSCS Kobalt Tools 400 practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Second quickest with a lap speed of 188.134mph, was Clint Bowyer, followed by the defending series champion, Tony Stewart (188.127) who was third quickest, Marcos Ambrose (187.813) fourth quickest and Greg Biffle (187.656) was fifth quickest.
Rounding out the top-ten quickest during practice were: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (187.643) sixth quickest, Carl Edwards (187.533) seventh, Kasey Kahne (187.435) eighth, Mark Martin (187.396) ninth and Kevin Harvick (187.292) posting the tenth quickest lap speed.
The teams will return to the track later this evening for their 6:45pm ET scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for Sunday’s race.
First Practice Results
2012 NSCS Kobalt Tools 400 Starting Lineup
Kasey Kahne, with a qualifying lap speed of 190.456mph, captured the 2012 NSCS Kobalt Tools 400 Coors Light Pole Award at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
This was Kahne’s first series pole for the 2012 season, his twenty-third series career pole and his third series pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Starting second and on the outside pole with a lap speed of 190.040mph, will be Kyle Busch, followed by Kevin Harvick (190.014) who will start third, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (189.873) fourth and Clint Bowyer (189.807) will start fifth.
Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Jimmie Johnson (189.773) starting from sixth, Tony Stewart (189.667) seventh, Joey Logano (189.620) eighth, Greg Biffle (189.500) ninth and Martin Truex Jr. (189.421) will start from the tenth position.
Failing to make the starting lineup were the #23 driven by Scott Riggs and the #7 driven by Robby Gordon.
The teams will return tomorrow, Saturday, March 10th, for two more practice sessions 12:30 – 1:25pm ET and “Happy Hour” 3:20 – 4:20pm ET before returning Sunday for the 3:20pm ET approximate start of the Kobalt Tools 400. Television coverage will be provided by FOX, with their pre-race coverage beginning at 2:30pm ET.
From Timing and Scoring provided by NASCARMedia
2012 NNS Sam’s Town 300 First Practice Session Speeds
The current NNS points leader and last week’s winner, Elliott Sadler, with a lap speed of 179.545mph, was the fastest during the first Sam’s Town 300 practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Second fastest was Mark Martin with a lap speed of 178.453mph, and was followed by the defending series champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (178.141) who was third fastest, Rookie of the Year contender, Cole Whitt (178.130) fourth fastest and Brian Scott (177.778) was the fifth fastest.
Rounding out the top-ten fastest in practice were: Mike Bliss (177.766mph) sixth fastest, James Buescher (177.270) seventh, Sam Hornish Jr. (177.212) eighth, Kyle Busch (177.055) ninth and rookie contender, Austin Dillon (177.003) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.
The teams will return to the track for their “Happy Hour” (final practice session later this afternoon, which is set to run from 5-6pm ET.
First Practice Results
2012 NNS Sam’s Town 300 Final Practice Session Speeds
It was the defending NNS champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr with a lap speed of 180.626mph, showing the fastest way around Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the final Sam’s Town 300 practice session.
NNS Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon, was the second fastest with a lpa speed of 180.282mph, and was followed by Elliott Sadler (180.114) who was third fastest, Kasey Kahne (179.982) fourth fastest and Mark Martin (179.533) was the fifth fastest.
Rounding our the top-ten fastest during “Happy Hour” were: Brian Scott (179.503) sixth fastest, Danica Patrick (178.471) seventh, Brendan Gaughan (178.453) eighth, Trevor Bayne (178.106) ninth and Mike Bliss (177.924) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.
The teams will return to the track Saturday afternoon at 1:35 pm ET for qualifying to determine the Sam’s Town 300 – which is scheduled to begin approximately at 5:20pm ET later that day – starting lineup, and television coverage will be provided by ESPN2 at 5pm ET.
Final Practice Results
From Timing and Scoring provided by NASCARMedia
Hendrick Motorsports appeal to be heard Tuesday
Team owner Rick Hendrick and the No. 48 crew chief Chad Knaus will get to explain next Tuesday why they think NASCAR erred in penalizing Hendrick Motorsports for the C-posts on the Daytona 500 car of Jimmie Johnson.
NASCAR confirmed that the appeal will be heard Tuesday morning at its Research & Development Center in Concord, NC. A three-member panel will determin whether NASCAR officials were justified in suspending Knaus and car chief Ron Malec for six weeks as well as penalizing five-time Cup champion Johnson 25 points and fining Knaus $100,000.
Read more from Sporting News
Numbers for Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
0 – Sprint Cup races won from a starting spot outside the top 25
0 – Times Sprint Cup qualifying has been cancelled at LVMS
1 – Wins from the pole in the previous 14 races/ 3-1-09 – Kyle Busch
2 – Fewest number of cautions for a race/ twice, most recently 3-5-00
6 – Jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
7 – Cautions for last year’s race/ seven for 35 laps
10 – Fewest cars on the lead lap/Twice – most recently 3-7-99
13 – Fewest lead changes in the previous 14 races/ 3-5-00
14 – Most cautions for a race at the 1.5-mile track/3-1-09
17 – Cautions in first two Sprint Cup races of 2012; 24 after two races in 2011
21 – Lead changes in last year’s race
28 – Most lead changes in previous 14 races/ 3-11-07
30 – Most cars on the lead lap at the finish/3-12-06
42 – Most cars running at the finish/3-5-00
66 – Most caution laps for a Sprint Cup race at LVMS/3-1-09
120 – Minutes, the amount of time it takes to dry the 1.5-mile track after a significant rainfall.
From Darnell Communications for Dodge Motorsports-PR
Ken Schrader & Federated Auto Parts Debut with FAS Lane Racing
Coming off a second solid race to the beginning of the season, FAS Lane Racing announces the 2012 debut of Ken Schrader with sponsorship from Federated Auto Parts. FAS Lane Racing heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway where Schrader will pilot No. 32 Federated Auto Parts Ford in the running of the Kobalt Tools 400.
Read more from Winning with Integrity-PR
Tennessee Air National Guard to sing National Anthem at Bristol
Members of the Tennessee Air National Guard’s 119th Command and Control Squadron from McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Knoxville, TN will sing the national anthem Sunday, March 18 prior to the start of the Food City 500.
Read more from BMS-PR
Lowe’s, Jimmie Johnson Race to Help Communities Affected by Tornadoes
In response to the deadly outbreak of tornadoes across the central and southern United States, Lowe’s announced yesterday it will expand its relief efforts by teaming with five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson on Sunday at the Kobalt Tools 400 in Las Vegas. As part of Lowe’s Racing for Relief progam, Lowe’s will match the race earnings of Team 48 on Sunday, with a minimum donation of $100,000 to the American Red Cross. Together, Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports also will donate $48,000 toward the cause.
The donation will support American Red Cross Disaster Relief and provide food, shelter, emotional support and other relief to thousands affected by tornadoes that devastated communities in a dozen states.
In the aftermath of the tornadoes, Lowe’s Heroes moved quickly to provide vital assistance to local communities, cleaning up the hardest-hit areas and distributing gloves, tarps, buckets, water, trash bags, and other critically needed supplies.
“Over the past week, the Lowe’s Heroes in Clarksville have been working tirelessly in Henryville and other nearby communities to help local residents who were affected by these devastating storms,” said Chris Beisler, store manager of Lowe’s in Clarksville, IN. “I couldn’t be prouder to be part of the Lowe’s team.”
Lowe’s introduced Racing for Relief in 2000. To date, the program has helped disaster relief efforts for hurricanes, tornadoes and floods by raising more than $340,000. Together with customers, Lowe’s has contributed more than $22 million to the Red Cross since 1999.
“The stories of strength, heroism and unity coming out of these storms are a reminder to all of us that people are the foundation of evry community,” said Joan Higginbotham, Director of Community Relations at Lowe’s. “Through Racing for Relief, our hope is that these funds will be a building block for these communities to recover and rebuild the places they call home.
To join Lowe’s in its disaster relief efforts, make a donation to the American Red Cross at Lowes.com.RedCross.org, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767)
From True Speed Communication for Team Lowe’s Racing-PR
Brian Vickers to drive the No. 55 in Six Races in 2012
Michael Waltrip Racing announced yesterday that Brian Vickers will drive the teams No. 55 Toyota Camry in six NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2012 beginning t Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18.
Vickers will also race the No. 55 at the August Bristol event as well as each of the two races at Martinsville Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway this season.
Read more from MWR-PR
The All-American Rejects to perform live at Auto Club Speedway
Auto Club Speedway announced Thursday that rock sensation The All-American Rejects will perform on the DiscoverIE FanZone Entertainment Stage prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500 race on Sunday, March 25 at 10:15am. Tickets to the Auto Club 400, which include The All-Americna Rejects live pre-race performance, start as low as $35.
Read more from Auto Club Speedway-PR
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1969 – Neil “Soapy” Castles uses a last-lap pass on teammate Dub Simpson to win a qualifying race for the Carolina 500 at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, NC. Simpson holds on for second place with pole-starter Bill Seifert third. The next day, Castles finishes 31st in the main event, won by David Pearson.
From NASCAR .com
1-800LoanMart to Run Five Races with Front Row Motorsports
1-800LoanMart will join Front Row Motorsports for five races this season as primary sponsor of the No. 26 Ford driven by NASCAR Sprint Cup series Rookie of the Year contender Josh Wise. The lender will make its first appearance on Wise’s Ford Fusion this weekend for the Kobalt Tools 400 on the fast oval of Las Vegas, NV Motor Speedway.
Read more from FRM-PR
A Special Reward for the RFR Crew Members from Ford’s Jamie Allison
When the NHL team wins the Stanley Cup each player gets a chance to take the coveted trophy home for pictures with their family and friends. When Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship Ford’s Jamie Allison had a similar idea. The difference being his trophy can be driven.
Allison, director of Ford North American Motorsports, said he was going to do something special for the crew at Roush Fenway Racing to celebrate the Ford/RFR championship. He decided to loan out his personal, special-edition Boss 302 Mustang to the entire shop as a thank you for all the hard work they put in last season.
The car was delivered February 1 and any full-time employee can sign up to drive the car for a night or weekend, and then document their travels. The photos and videos are being posted on Twitter @roushfenway #wherestheboss, on the Roush Fenway Racing Facebook page and on RFR’s Google+ page. Follow along for the ride!
Roush Fenway Racing is the winningest team in NASCAR history, fielding multiple teams in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series with championship drivers Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Trevor Bayne. Celebrating 25 winning years in 2012, Roush Fenway is the leader in NASCAR marketing solutions, pioneering its exclusive Roush Fenway OnTrack sponsorship measurement services, motorsport’s first team-focused TV show and its award-winning social marketing channel RickyvsTrevor.com.
From Roush Fenway Racing-PR
Gordon & Newman to Headline Martinsville Fan Zone
Gordon and three-time Martinsville Speedway pole-winner Ryan Newman will headline the Martinsville Speedway Fan Zone presented by Pepsi Max on April 1.
Gordon and Newman will appear separately in the Martinsville Speedway Fan Zone presented by Pepsi Max. Both will take questions from fans in emceed question and answer sessions.
Read more from Martinsville Speedway-PR
Legendary Team Owner Roger Penske to be Honored May 26 at IMS
Iconic Indianapolis 500 team owner Roger Penske will be saluted Saturday, May 26 during “Legends Day Honoring Roger Penske” at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The 96th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 27 will mark the 40th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500 victory for Penske. Mark Donohue drove Penske’s Sunoco McLaren to victory in the 56th Indianapolis 500 on May 27, 1972.
Read more from IMS-PR
Dodge Revealing their 2013 Car in Las Vegas this weekend
Read more from FOX Sports
Third Time’s a Charm for Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Tommy Baldwin Racing
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet will extend their partnership with Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) to support the NASCAR Sprint Cup series (NSCS) team at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). Dave Blaney will pilot the No. 36 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Chevrolet as he attempts to clinch a spot in the Kobalt Tools 400.
Read more from TBR-PR
Some teams with unknown/questionable futures in 2012
Sinica Motorsports attempted the Homestead-Miami Speedway’s Cup race in November, missing the show with Grant Enfinger in the No. 93. At the time, the team said it planned to run the full 2012 schedule, but has not made any attempts so far. Enfinger parted ways with the team and SM ceded its No. 93 to the even-newer BK Racing team. The team still has not announced when it will debut and there is no Sprint Cup information on its site, though their website does list that they own the No. 84 Sprint Cup Chevy. the is running in the ARCA series with driver Brian Keselowski, the elder brother to Brad, who has raced off and on in recent years for his own race team.
Hamilton Means Racing announced its formation just after the end of the 2011 season, but skipped Daytona and Phoenix and is not entered at Las Vegas. Despite multiple questions by fans of its Facebook page, the team still has not announced a start to the season or a driver. The team is still active, however, as its website is still up and running and the team even published a possible new logo. Jimmy Means Racing still runs the No. 52 in the Nationwide series, but its Daytona driver, Peachtree City’s Reed Sorenson, told News/Talk WSB that he is not considering running the HMR Cup car. HMR did not respond to an inquiry made about its schedule by WSB in time for this article.
Turn One Racing with Bristol Debut? As often occurs in NASCAR’s yearly Silly Season, the shutdown of race teams makes quality equipment available for a fraction of the cost. And with this comes the inception of new race teams. Turn One Racing has been around for several years in the Camping World Truck series, but announced ambitious plans to attempt the full 2012 Sprint Cup schedule. In early-February, the team pushed its debut back from the highly competitive Daytona 500 to Phoenix. The Turn One team was absent at Phoenix and is not listed for the Kobalt Tools 400 this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Turn One Racing operations manager, Jamie Buzze tells News/Talk WSB that the team missed Phoenix and will skip Las Vegas, because they had issues getting motors together. She says the team will attempt its season-debut at Bristol next week.
Turn One, partially owned by former NASCAR driver Stacey Compton, ran two full-time trucks in the NCWTS last season and is running one full-time effort this season, with driver JR Fitzpatrick.
Read more from WSBRadio
Infineon Not Renewing Naming-Rights Deal for Sonoma Speedway
California-based technology company Infineon will not renew its naming-rights deal for the speedway in Sonoma, CA, after its deal expires in May. The news was revealed yesterday as part of Speedway Motorsports Inc’s annual financial report. The track was known as Sears Point Raceway until June 2002, then Infineon Raceway until this week. The 10-year deal was reportedly worth $34.4 million to SMI.
VP for marketing and communications John Cardinale told the Sports Business Daily that the speedway has several companies interested in assuming the naming rights. “There are three to four companies we’re talking to,” he said. “I wouldn’t say they’re ready to sign, but they’re certainly interested.”
After the 2009 NASCAR season, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse Inc. chose not to renew its naming rights at what was then known before – as it is now – as Charlotte Motor Speedway. The track had been called Lowe’s Motor Speedway since the 1998 season.
With Lowe’s and Infineon pulling their naming rights, the only NASCAR track that still has a commercial sponsor is Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.
Read more from AutoWeek
|Antron Brown & Martin Truex Jr. shaking hands
after taking each other for a ride
photo – Harold Hinson/HHP
Anton Brown & Martin Truex Jr. Take Turns in Fast Rides
NASCAR’s Martin Truex Jr, driver of the No 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing and NHRA’s Anton Brown, driver of the Matco Tools Top Fuel dragster for Don Schumacher Racing, met today at zMax Dragway and Charlotte Motor Speedway to experience a little of each other’s motorsport.
The two New Jersey natives started at zMAX Dragway, the only four-lane all-concrete drag strip in the country and the host of the upcoming NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 13-15. Brown, the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader, took the wheel and Truex strapped in behind him in a two-seat dragster provided by Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School.
“The first time, I wasn’t really ready for it. It all happened kind of fast, so I didn’t get to look around or see anything,” Truex said of his ride with Brown. “The second time I made sure I kept my head around and it was a lot cooler. You really feel that pressure and you’re really accelerating, but at the same time it almost feels like it takes a long time to get down there. It’s almost like your mind puts it in slow motion because your’e scared…It’s crazy.”
After assaulting the Bellagio of drag strips, the duo moved across the street to try out Charlotte Motor Speedway. Truex took the wheel of a two-seat stock car provided by the Richard Petty Driving Experience and the two logged some laps on the famous 1.5-mile superspeedway.
“That is incredible. Incredible,” Brown said of riding shotgun with Truex. “When that whole ride started, I was like, ‘alright, we’re going to go out on the track and we’re going to break it in, easy.’ He was mat-to-the-floor right to the first turn…I’m like, ‘we ain’t slowing down for this corner.’ It was one of those rides of all rides. It was incredible…Side-by-side, trading paint, I tell you what, I’ve always had respect, but I have a whole new meaning for NASCAR.”
In addition to individual event tickets, camping, season ticket packages and other special ticket promotions are also available. For more information visit charlottemotorspeedway.com or call the ticket office at 800-455-FANS (3267).
Smith, Menard escape injuries in Colorado road accident
NASCAR drivers Regan Smith and Paul Menard, along with Smith’s wife Megan and a friend of the Smiths, escaped injuries in a Colorado road accident Wednesday, approximately 8:45am MT. The foursome were on the way to a nearby ski slope.
Smith lost control of his Silverado truck after hitting a patch of ice near is mountain home in Evergreen outside of Denver. The truck slid off the road and crashed into a collection of trees.
Smith and Menard will compete in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Smith drives the No. 78 Chevrolet for Furniture Row Racing while Menard drives the No. 27 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.
From DMF Communications for Furniture Row Racing-PR
ALSO: Regan Smith tweeted Wednesday evening, “Thank you to everybody for the well wishes, everybody is doing fine, shaken up but healthy. Had somebody looking out for us this morning.”
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1976 – Dave Marcis takes the lead from Richard Petty with 11 laps left to win the Richmond 400 at Richmond, VA Fairgrounds Raceway. Petty finishes three car-lengths back in second place as the only other car on the lead lap as Bobby Allison takes third, a lap off the pace. The victory was the second of five in NASCAR’s top series for Marcis, who retired after the 2002 Daytona 500.
From NASCAR .com
Join a NASCAR Race Team Sweepstakes
Ever wonder how a team prepares for race – the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in particular? Well here’s your chance. Enter the “Join a NASCAR Race Team Sweepstakes” and if you win, you in essence become a team member of Michael Waltrip Racing for a day!
One lucky fan and a guest will win the Join a NASCAR Race Team Grand Prize including:
- Trip to Charlotte, NC (Flight & Accommodations) on Tuesday, March 20
- On Wednesday, March 21, VIP Tour of Michael Waltrip Racing including a peek into the Fabrication Shop, Assembly, Gear, Shock and Machine Rooms.
- After a little training, get down and dirty with a hands-on experience preparing for a race just like a real MWR team member by participating the the team Pit Crew Practice.
- Lunch with the MWR staff (unfortunately the owner has prior obligations but he said he’d pick up the lunch tab).
- 2 complimentary Official MWR Team Gear Bags to include team hat, team issued gear and autographed 2:24th scale die cast car.
- VIP Tour of the NASCAR Hall of Fame while in Charlotte
- VIP Experience at the Auto Club 400 weekend at Auto Club Speedway (March 23-25) including suite tickets.
Drivers plot strategies for Rockingham as Camping World Truck series race date nears.
To hear NASCAR racers Timothy Peters, James Buescher and Jason Leffler tell it, a regimen of “brain food” could be the recipe needed to win the Good Sam Club 200.
The Camping World Truck series competitors took their first 2012 laps at Rockingham Speedway on Tuesday morning, providing feedback to Goodyear engineers about tire choices for the April 15 event. It’s the first NASCAR-sanctioned race at the mile oval since a Sprint Cup/Nationwide doubleheader more than eight years ago.
Read more from FayObserver
And: NASCAR tests The Rock
Rockingham It’s just a test.
But for NASCAR and the Sandhills region of North Carolina it signifies much more.
For the first time since 2004, drivers from one of NASCAR’s three national series made laps around Rockingham Speedway in preparation for an upcoming race.
Read more from Charlotte Observer
Robby Benton running for NC State Senate seat
NASCAR team owner Robby Benton has decided to throw his hat into the political arena.
The 32-year-old Benton, who fields the No. 09 Toyotas in the NASCAR Nationwide and Camping World Truck series, is one of five Republican candidates vying for the District 41 state Senate seat in North Carolina.
Read more from Racin Today
Tim Schendel back in the No. 52 Means Chevrolet for Nationwide series
NASCAR Nationwide series car owner, Jimmy Means, has once again tapped the talent of Sparta, WI super late model driver Tim Schendel. Schendel will be piloting the #52 Means Chevrolet in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide series – Sam’s Town 300 – in Las Vegas, NV at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Coming off a 30th place finish in last weekend’s Nationwide series race in Phoenix driving the same car, it will be the first time Schendel has raced on the 1.5-mile track. He will be one of forty-three drivers gambling for a spot in the 300 mile, 200-lap race.
The car will be sponsored by All Sports Tailgating, a hospitality company out of Fishers, IN. All Sports Tailgating prides itself in providing the best fan experience for the top sporting events around the country. with a top notch team of professionals with over 13 years of experience in the hospitality industry, their goal is to provide each guest with the ultimate VIP experience t every event.
From Iron Eagle Racing-PR
Truex Jr. to trade rides today
Today at noon, two of the hottest drivers in two of America’s most popular forms for motorsports will give each other a ride to remember at Charlotte Motor Speedway. First up, NHRA’s most recent winner, Top Fuel driver Antron Brown will give NASCAR’s #56-Martin Truex Jr a ride down zMAX Dragway in a two-seat dragster provided by Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School. After Truex rides shotgun down the Bellagio of drag strips, he’ll return the favor to Brown by taking him for some hot laps around the legendary 1.5-mile superspeedway in a two seat stock car provided by the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
From Charlotte Motor Speedway
Stewart to race in Grand-Am at Indy?
Sprint cup champion Tony Stewart might try to add another racing series to his already full calendar this summer.
Stewart, who was at Texas Motor Speedway Tuesday as part of the track’s media days, said he didn’t think he would run in the Nationwide series at Indianapolis this July. the Sprint Cup weekend at Indy also features a July 27 race in the Grand-Am Road Racing series.
That is something that might suit Stewart.
Read more from Fox Sports-SW
Las Vegas Motor Speedway Notes
- The first NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race won by Ken Schrader on Nov 2, 1996.
- The first NASCAR Sprint Cup series race was held on March 1, 1998, won by Mark Martin.
- In 2006, the track was reconfigured to include progressive banking.
- There have been 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup series races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
- Four drivers have participated in all 14 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin.
- Dale Jarrett won the inaugural pole.
- Ten drivers have poles at LVMS, led by Dale Jarrett, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch and Bobby Labonte (two each).
- Eight different drivers have won, led by Jimmie Johnson (four). Three other drivers have multiple wins at Las Vegas: Jeff Burton, Carl Edwards and 2012 Daytona 500 champion Matt Kenseth (two each).
- Only six of the 14 races have been won from a top-ten starting position.
- Las Vegas-native Kyle Busch became the first driver to win from the pole, in 2009.
- Four of the 14 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
- The deepest in the field that a race-winner has started was 25th, by Matt Kenseth in 2004.
- There has been one green-white-checkered finish at Las Vegas: 2006 (270/267)
- Kyle Busch made his first start and Kasey Kahne won his first pole at Las Vegas, in the same event (2004). Aric Almirola also made his first NASCAR Sprint cup career start at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
- Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup series Las Vegas Motor Speedway winner: Kyle Busch (3/01/2009) – 23 years, 9 months, 27 days)
- Oldest NASCAR Sprint Cup series Las Vegas Motor Speedway winner: Sterling Martin (03/03/2002 – 44 years, 7 months, 32 days)
At Las Vegas, Team DuPont Celebrates Nearly Two Decades
|Jeff Gordon with his DuPont Chevrolet at NASCAR Preview
Photo – John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
It may have been risky to take a chance on a 21-year-old-kid in 1992, but the gamble was worth it.
This year marks the 20th season Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports and DuPont have partnered on the now iconic No. 24 Chevrolet, and this Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will be the debut of the DuPont “20 Years” paint scheme designed by Sam Bass. Will it lead the way in its debut?
The success of the partnership has been visible on the track. Gordon will attempt to drive the No. 24 car into Victory Lane for the 86th time on Sunday, and crew chief Alan Gustafson will be an integral part of that if it occurs. He witnessed Tony Stewart’s dominating performance here last year as well as Stewart’s championship run that included wins at Texas and Miami.
“The setup (used by Tony at Las Vegas) was almost the exact setup he used at Texas and Homestead,” said Gustafson. “We tried it and it was unsuccessful for us.”
“But I thought we were very competitive at Texas, especially on the long runs. And we were maybe just a tic slower than (winner) Tony and (second-place finisher) Carl (Edwards) at Homestead in the finale.”
“We were close at those two tracks, so we’ll unload at Vegas similar to that. And I hope we are able to incorporate into those setups the things that have made the 14 car so successful on the intermediates recently. Tony and Jeff have different driving styles, but I’m not giving up on it. I still think we can make it work or make a variation of it work.
If it works, then a 20-year celebration could kick off with a Victory Lane celebration.
From Performance PR Plus for DuPont Motorsports-PR
Richmond International Raceway Partner – Blue Ox, Recognized by White House
Richmond International Raceway partner, Blue Ox, was recently recognized by the White House’s US Department of Agriculture for successfully establishing and growing their manufacturing company in a rural region.
Blue Ox owner, Jay Hesse participated in the event along with representatives from the First National Bank of Omaha and the USDA Rural Development. the First National Bank of Omaha and the USDA Rural Development worked together on a loan that helped Blue Ox restructure their financial plan. This restructuring led to the retention of 110 jobs in Pender, NE, where Blue Ox’s manufacturing facility is located.
At the event, Jay Hesse said, “It’s an honor to receive this recognition and on behalf of the employees, supplies and professional partners of Blue Ox, we are proud to be an integral part of keeping our small town of Pender a viable community.
Blue Ox has been an official partner of Richmond International Raceway since 2008 as the sponsor of two reserved RV parking areas. Blue Ox also sponsors the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race each April at Richmond.
Foreigner to perform acoustic concert at Texas Motor Speedway
Foreigner lead singer Kelly Hansen announced Tuesday at Texas Motor Speedway’s annual Media Day that the band will perform a special acoustic concert Monday, April 9, to benefit Speedway Children’s Charities-Texas and officially kick off the Samsung Mobile 500 NASCAR race week.
The Foreigner Acoustique – Classics Unplugged private benefit concert, featuring Hansen and Foreigner veterans Tom Gimbel and Jeff Pilson, will be held at the new Flying Saucer venue – formerly 8.0
s – in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square beginning at 7pm CT. The trio will perform the unique acoustic versions of several of Foreigner’s greatest hits at the outdoor venue including, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” “Double Vision,” “Hot Blooded,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” and “Feels Like The First Time,” among others.
Read more from TMS-PR
Robby Gordon hoping for more Dodge support
Robby Gordon obviously could use more sponsorship in any form, so if the Penske Racing move from Dodge to Ford in 2013 helps him, he’s all for the additional support.
As a driver and team owner, Gordon has run Dodges the last four years in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series. He gets his motors from Joey Arrington’s Race Engines Plus.
Read more from Scene Daily
Earnhardt-Ganassi Teams Paying Tribute to Dan Wheldon
EGR – Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing will pay tribute to former Target Racing member Dan Wheldon this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The No. 1 McDonald’s and No. 42 Clorox Chevrolets will display a decal in memory of the two-time Indianapolis 500 Winner and 2005 IZOD IndyCar series Campion. In a joint venture between NASCAR and its teams, the decal was created to pay tribute to Wheldon. The logo depicts Richard the Lionheart, a 12th centrury of King England – Wheldon’s home country. He once wrote, “When I first started racing, a lot of the guys said that I raced with a lot of heart, occasionally not my head, but always with a lot of heart, like the way that Richard the Lionheart fought in battle.” He wore a small mural of the 12th-century warrior king on his racing helmet. Wheldon drove for Target Chip Ganassi Racing in the IZOD IndyCar series for three seasons (2006-2008) and won six races.
From EGR-PR for McMurray – Montoya
Accell Construction Returns to Tommy Baldwin Racing
Accell Construction will return to the No. 10 Accell Construction at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). David Reutimann will pilot the Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) entry in the Kobalt Tools 400 Sunday, March 11th.
Read more from TBR-PR
ESPN Earns Best Phoenix Rating, Viewership for Nationwide series
ESPN2’s live telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide series race at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, March 3, earned a 1.7 household coverage rating, averaging 2,438,101 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. The rating and viewership are the largest for any Nationwide series race at Phoenix since ESPN returned to live NASCAR race coverage in 2007. The 2012 rating is up 13 percent from last year’s race, which earned a 1.5 and tied the previous mark for the highest. Of the 10 previous Nationwide series races, to air on ESPN networks since 2007, the 1.5 rating had been reached twice, the other coming for the fall race in 2008.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1955 – Lee Petty surges to the lead in the 65th lap and leads the rest of the 200-lap main event in the last NASCAR Grand National race at Oglethorpe Speedway in Pooler, GA. Don White places second and pole-sitter Dick Rathman, who led the first 64 laps, takes third. The half-mile dirt track, which opened just outside of Savannah in 1951, still hosts weekly racing events.
From NASCAR .com
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound Return to Atlanta to perform National Anthem
For the third consecutive year, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound will return to Atlanta Motor Speedway to perform the National Anthem prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series AdvoCare 500 night race on Sunday, September 2.
Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (EHSS) is a Grammy-nominated and award-winning gospel quartet that combines modern musical concepts with the timeless quality of vocal groups to break the traditional mold of gospel quartets. The quartet was formed by Ernie Haase, the tenor singer of the famed Cathedral Quartet.
Read more from Atlanta Motor Speedway-PR
The Ryan Newman Foundation Assisting with Relief Efforts for Displaced Animals
The Ryan Newman Foundation is reaching out to all animal lovers for help in getting much needed supplies to our four-legged friends in need.
The devastating tornadoes that ripped through Indiana and Kentucky last week have torn apart communities. They left many animals displaced from their owners and left others in need of supplies and medical attention.
As a result, the Ryan Newman Foundation will be taking donations to help those areas hit the hardest.
In light of this recent tragedy, the Ryan Newman Foundation is dedicated to working closely with area representatives of the Humane Society of the United States in order to get exactly what is needed to local organizations.
Your support will allow us to transport much needed care to pets affected from/by this tragedy:
Items requested are: Dog Food – small bags, and moist cases needed most; Cat Food – small bags, and moist cases need most; Crates of all sizes; Water; Dog beds & bowls; Towels; Treats; Cat Litter; Bleach, paper towels & other cleaning supplies; Office Supplies – copy paper and sharpie markers; Latex gloves; Gauze; Hand soap & dish soap; Kleenex; Pet Shampoo, regular formula (NOT flea formula); Yellow professional mop buckets.
Three designated drop off locations have been established in North Carolina
Ryan Newman Motorsports
165 Jennings Road
Statesville, NC 28625
Hours for drop off: 9am – 4:30pm Mon-Fri
(Someone will be on site to assist with donations)
Donations accepted beginning Wednesday, March 7th
Humane Society of Iredell County
110 Robinson Road
Moorseville, NC 28115
Hours to drop off: 10am – 4pm Mon-Fri
(Someone will be on site to assist with donations)
Donations accepted beginning Wednesday, March 7th
Humane Society of Charlotte
2700 Toomey Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28023
Hours for drop off: 11am – 5pm Mon-Sun
Donations accepted beginning Wednesday, March 7th
If you would like to make a monetary donation to the relief efforts, please visit ryannewmanfoundation.org
From The Ryan Newman Foundation-PR
Online Voting Now Open for $50,000 Grand-Prize Champion
Five grassroots racing teams have each already won $10,000 (USD) Champion racing sponsorships in Federal-Mogul’s (NASDAQ:FDML) “Search for a Champion video contest. But the grand-prize $50,000 sponsorship remains, and consumers can help determine the winner by voting for their favorite video entries at AlwaysAChampion.com
The final phase of the online voting is open now through March 25, with the $50,000 sponsorship recipient being announced April 2 by NASCAR Sprint Cup driver and Champion spokesperson Kevin Harvick. Consumers who register and vote at AlwaysAChampion.com also will earn chances to win a free Champion t-shirt and an autographed Kevin Harvick poster.
The $50,000 grand prize sponsorship can be won by any of the five finalists – Jim Cebulski, Channahon, IL; Chad Crawford, Warrenton, MO; the Michalek Brothers, Louisville, OH; Erik Miller, Cumberland, MD; or Kyle Sacket, Gilmanton Iron Works, NH – based on online votes as well as input from Champion and Harvick. The finalists were selected from more than 330 entrants who produced exciting videos demonstrating their racing drive and commitment, and describing how they would use a Champion sponsorship to dominate the action in any of five engine-driven racing categories.
For additional information about the contest and “Performance Driven Champion products, visit AlwaysAChampion.com
From Federated-Mogul Corporation-PR
Penske Racing Renews Partnership with Kimberly-Clark Professional in 2012
Kimberly-Clark Professional will once again partner with the Penske Racing teams competing in NASCAR and the IZOD IndyCar series in 2012. The partnership, which began in 2011, will assist in the promotion and marketing of some of the top products within Kimberly-Clark Professional including Wypall Wipers as well as a host of personal protective equipment (PPE) under the Jackson Safety and Kleenguard brands.
Kimberly-Clark Professional, which includes such global brands as Wypall, Kleenex, Scott, Jackson Safety and Kimtech, is an associate sponsor of Penske Racing’s NASCAR and IndyCar teams. Penske Racing crew chiefs in teh Sprint Cup series (Todd Gordon for the No. 22 team and driver AJ Allmendinger; Paul Wolfe for the No. 2 team and driver Brad Keselowski) and the Nationwide series (Jeremy Bullins for the No. 22 team with drivers Keselowski and Parker Kligerman and Chad Walter for the No. 12 team and Sam Hornish Jr behind the wheel) will wear the Wypall logo on their uniforms in 2012. The chiefs will not only promote Wypall Wipers, one of the toughest and most absorbant disposable wipers in the marketplace, but they will also promote a range of products aimed at helping manufacturing workers create exceptional workplaces.
As part of the relationship, Kimberly-Clark will utilize the Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chiefs as the voting panel for the prestigious Kimberly-Clark Professional Crew Chief Challenge, the yearly competition searching for the most valuable Crew Chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Garage. Joining the Penske NASCAR Sprint Cup Crew chiefs on the voting panel for 2012 will be NASCAR on Fox analyst Jeff Hammond and Claire B. Lang with SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The agreement with Kimberly-Clark Professional will also see the crew chiefs help market Kimberly-Clark Professional and its brands targeting safety and industrial – Wypall, Jackson Safety, Kleenguard and Kimtech to consumers. The partnership will also extend to the IZOD IndyCar series with Penske Racing President and Team Penske race strategist Tim Cindric during 2012 IndyCar race weekends.
From Penske Racing-PR
Hendrick Motorsports lands Chinese solar panel co. as Kasey Kahne sponsor
Hendrick Motorsports is close to finalizing a nine-race primary sponsorship with Trina Solar, a Chinese solar panel manufacturer, for it’s No. 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup entry.
The deal will see Trina appear alongside Farmers Insurance on Kasey Kahne’s car at nine races this season.
Read more from Sporting News
Sinise Named Grand Marshal, Kerns Honorary Starter
With only 27 days until the headache-inducing, short-track Goody’s Fast Relief 500 race at Martinsville Speedway, Goody’s announced today that award-winning actor Gary Sinise will serve as the grand marshal; while local hero and wounded veteran Marine Cpl. Josh “J.B.” Kerns will wave the green flag to start the 500-lap event on April 1. Get your tickets at
The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 will be Sinise’s first time reciting the most famous words in racing – “Gentlemen Start Your Engines.”
The Gary Sinise Foundation is committed to Building for America’s Bravest program to build smart homes for severely wounded Veterans. For more information go to: GarySiniseFoundation.org
Read more from Martinsville Speedway-PR
On SiriusXM-NASCAR Radio with Robin Today
Robin Pemberton, VP of Competition for NASCAR, talks about appeal process for Jimmie Johnson’s team with Mike & Pete on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR
Listen to Robin Pemberton comments in the link provided below.
An Apple-branded NASCAR rig?
Not likely. But that isn’t stopping the famously blue-collar racing league from going after major technology sponsorships.
NASCAR is hoping for more than just “better luck next time.” Last week’s Daytona 500, the most prestigious race on the sport’s calendar, was plagued by setbacks. First, it was postponed due to a rain out, its first ever. Then, a large fuel fire erupted during the race. But these are mere hazards of the trade, and CEO Brian France has his sights set higher for 2013.
France, 49, wants to begin attracting blue chip technology companies to complement the usual stable of beer and automotive sponsors. That may be easier said than done in a competitive advertising environment and for a sport which is notoriously blue-collar. But France, the league’s chief executive since 2003, is convinced. “Eventually, we’re going to pull in big tech companies like HP (HPQ), Cisco (CSCO) and Apple (AAPL), which for one reason or another have eluded us always,” he says.
Read more from Tech Fortune/CNN Money
Stewart’s stalled engine could be first of many in EFI era
Crew chief Steve Addington said it was incumbent on his team to find the cause of Sunday’s fuel-injection malfuntion that fouled Tony Stewart’s bid for a top-ten finish at Phoenix International Raceway.
And with NASCAR teams getting accustomed to an electronic fuel-injection system after 63 years of using carburetors, the problems aren’t likely to be exclusive to the three-time Sprint Cup champion.
Also frustrated: Jeff Burton entered Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 with the most races (25) without a DNF (did not finish) at Phoenix. That streak came to an end when Burton, running in the top-ten for much of the race retired with an engine problem after 291 laps.
Read more from USA Today
MacDonald Motorsports switching from Dodge to Toyota engines?
Rookie Nationwide series driver Jason Bowles and the No. 81 MacDonald Motorsports team are switching from Dodge to Toyota engines, Sports-at-Work has learned from an individual connected with the race team.
Read more from Sports-at-Work
|Jeffrey Earnhardt begins 4th generation of family racing
photo – JeffreyEarnhardt.com
Jeffrey Earnhardt to Drive for Rick Ware Racing at Bristol
Bristol Motor Speedway has been the site of many firsts, but for 4th generation NASCAR driver Jeffrey Earnhardt, March 17th, 2012 will be significant. Earnhardt will be making his Bristol debut in the Sam’s Club #15 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing at the location of his grandfathers first Cup victory back in 1979. It will also be the first time an Earnhardt drives a Ford since 1983 when Dale Earnhardt drove the #15 Ford for Bud Moore.
Read more from Jeffrey Earnhardt Inc-PR
Rockingham holding Goodyear tire tests today and tomorrow
Drivers scheduled to participate in the tire tests in Rockingham today and tomorrow include: James Buescher (Turner Motorsports), Jason Leffler (Kyle Busch Motorsports), and Timothy Peters (Red Horse Racing).
From NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications
Monday, March 5, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1967 – NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty scores his 50th Grand National win in the Fireball 300 at Asheville-Weaverville, NC Speedway, topping runner-up Darel Dieringer by two laps on the half-mile asphalt track. Dieringer holds on for second, one lap ahead of third-place Bobby Allison. The win was the second of what would be Petty’s most successful season – his year-end victory total was 27.
From NASCAR .com
Little Texas to hold concert at Rockingham Speedway on April 14
Little Texas best known for their hits “God Blessed Texas,” “What Might Have Been” and “Kick A Little,” will be rocking The Rock on Saturday, April 14, 2012 in advance of the Good Sam Club Roadside Assistance Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine NASCAR Camping World Truck series (NCWTS) race on April 15.
Little Texas will be performing a concert for race fans at Rockingham Speedway on April 14. The band will also be performing the National Anthem before the April 15 running of the NASCAR Camping World Truck series Good Sam Club Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine.
The Chris Lane Band will be opening for Little Texas and takes the stage outside of the speedway’s turn two at 6:30pm April 14. Little Texas will perform at approximately 8pm A ticket for either Saturday’s Frank Kimmel Street Nationals and UARA Late Model series Twin 75’s and NCWTS qualifying or Sunday’s Good Sam Club Roadside Assistance Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine NCWTS race grants admission to the concert.
For ticket information go to rockinghamspeedway.com
From Rockingham Speedway-PR
Second person charged in Jeremy Mayfield theft ring
A second person has been formally charged in a theft ring involving former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield.
The Hudson Police Department served an indictment on Rusty Alex Canipe of Catawba County on four counts of felony larceny, according to a news release from the Hudson Police Department.
Read more from wbtv
Sadler Won’t drive for MWR
On Saturday, Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) announced that Elliott Sadler would drive the no. 55 MWR NASCAR Sprint Cup car for five races this season. But Monday afternoon, Sadler told SPEED.com that the deal was off.
Sadler was scheduled to fill in for MWR’s regular driver Mark Martin at both Bristol races, both Martinsville races and the July New Hampshire race. Martin is driving just 25 races this year.
Read more from SPEED
AND: Sadler says Chevy didn’t stop deal to drive #55
Sadler said on Monday he met with Nationwide series owner Richard Childress and other Richard Childress Racing executives after Saturday’s win at Phoenix and decided it was “in our best interest for me to focus on Nationwide.”
Sadler said nothing in the meeting was discussed about RCR being a Chevrolet team and MWR being a Toyota team.
Read more from ESPN
|Trigger decompresses at Long Island shelter
photo – Mona Rivera/1010 WINS
Ryan Newman Foundation Helps Reunite Soldier with Dog from Afghanistan
The Ryan Newman Foundation is helping fly a dog home to be with his Soldier owner who lives 3,000 miles away. The assistance was prompted by an email regarding a dog saved by US soldiers in Afghanistan and the request for help with his transport home. The Ryan Newman Foundation immediately agreed to assist other animal groups and get the lonely boy from New York to his owner in Washington State.
Trigger, a 70 pound stray saved by US soldiers in Afghanistan, began his new life as an all-American dog in February after arriving at JFK Airport. Trigger’s new leash on life came courtesy of Guardians of Rescue, the group which provided the funds to bring him from Kabul to their rescue based in Port Jefferson, Long Island in New York.
The story begins while two soldiers were on deployment and rescued two dogs, Savannah and Trigger, from the streets and brought them back to camp where they were provided food, water, shelter and love. Five months after finding the pups, when the troops were out on patrol, local Taliban militia slaughtered Savannah and hung her from a rope. This was a warning to the Americans that they would be next.
Trigger was inconsolable and so were the men just days from the end of their deployment. He survived but was in danger since the soldiers’ unit was being sent back to the US. The soldiers were devastated to leave Trigger behind. Every day he heard mortars go off, had to deal with windstorms and sandstorms and endure the drastic changes in climate.
Many back home stepped up and were able to get Trigger to a safe house in Kabul where he stayed for 30 days before he was flown to New York. The group was determined to save Trigger and with the help of Nowzad, an organization focused on rescuing stray and abandoned animals from Afghanistan and Hammer Out Animal Cruelty, Trigger has made it to the states.
Upon arrival, Trigger needed to spend time in animal rehabilitation where he was house-trained, learned to walk with a leash and how to sit and stay. He is said to be doing great adapting to life in the United States. He’s a playful pup, super friendly, busy making friends, and getting used to a leash and sidewalks.
Trigger’s final homecoming is scheduled for March 9th. He will fly on a commercial jet, sitting in the cabin’s first class section waiting to see his dad again.
For more info on Trigger and his journey, visit the following links:
YouTubeVideo – New York CBS Local – Pets For Patriots
From Ryan Newman Foundation-PR
Fans can now see NASCAR Race Hub three-times daily
NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED has a new time slot at 11pm ET. Monday through Thursday as a re-air of the first run of the show at 6pm ET. An additional re-air runs at 7am ET the following day, Tuesday through Friday.
Read more from SPEEDtv
Tony Stewart to Chair National Hunting and Fishing Day Celebration
Leading NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver/owner Tony Stewart knows a thing or two about winning championships. As the driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil1 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, Stewart has won 12 driving championships, including three Sprint Cup series titles, in a career spanning more than three decades.
Stewart is a champion off the racetrack as much as he is on, and has been recognized for his philanthropic efforts via his Tony Stewart Foundation, which raises funds for distribution to three specific groups – chronically ill children, drivers injured in motorsports activities and organizations dedicated to the protection of various animal species. This year, Stewart is a champion for another cause as he has been named honorary chairman of National Hunting and Fishing Day 2012.
Congress established National Hunting and Fishing Day to recognize hunters and anglers for their leadership in fish and wildlife conservation. Since launching in 1971, the day has been formally proclaimed by every US President, countless governors and mayors. Stewart joins an elite fraternity of entertainment and sports figures that have served as honorary chairs, including Hank Williams Jr, Travis Tritt, Tracy Byrd, Jeff Foxworthy, Jay Novacek, Robert Urich, Wade Boggs, Ward Burton, Arnold Palmer, Terry Bradshaw, the USA Olympic Shooting Team and many others. The annual celebration is set for Saturday, September 22, 2012.
For more information, visit nhfday.org
From Bass Pro Shops-PR
SPEED Adds Legends Prudhomme, Russell to SPEED Performer of the Year Panel
Drag racing legend Don “the Snake” Prudhomme and Motorcycle Hall of Fame racer Scott Russell join the voting panel for the annual SPEED Performer of the Year, an award moving into its seventh year on the network. The winner receives the Mario Andretti Trophy.
Russell, inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2005, is a former World Superbike and AMA Superbike champion. Affectionately referred to as “Mr. Daytona” after winning the Daytona 200 a record five times, Russell now is part of the SPEED on-air team as an analyst, lending his expertise to race calls on the network.
In addition to Prudhomme and Russell, SPEED Center host Adam Alexander also joins the voting panel for 2012, bringing the number of SPEED Performer of Year voters to 21.
The SPEED Performer of the Year award, now in its seventh season, is presented annually to the racer who puts a premium on winning races, shines on motor sports’ biggest stages and does it all with a measure of sportsmanship and class.
The SPEED Performer of the Year panel includes racing legends named above , as well as “Wind Tunnel” host Dave Despain, veteran broadcasters Varsha, Ralph Sheheen and Leigh Diffey, SPEED.com writers Robin Miller and Tom Jensen, versatile racers Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder and a select group of SPEED motor sports producers.
The trophy, a true work of art created by bronze sculptor Elie Hazak, stands 38 inches tall and weighs 95 pounds. It features eight cars, including six of the most important in Mario’s rise to superstardom, as well as an array of artistic symbolism that captures the essence of the trophy’s namesake.
Mario Andretti Trophy winners and runners-up:
2006 – Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR; Nicky Hayden, MotoGP
2007 – Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR; Donny Schatz, WoO
2008 – Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR; Tony Schumacher, NHRA
2009 – Tony Schumacher, NHRA; Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR
2010 – Sebastian Vettel, F1; Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR
2011 – Tony Stewart, NASCAR; Casey Stoner, MotoGP
Blues Guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd Performing Pre-Race Concert at Kansas
Described as genre defining blues-infused rock and roll, The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band will perform a pre-race concert at Kansas Speedway prior to the April 22 STP 400.
Guitar World gives high praise to the five-time Grammy-nominated Shepherd, ranking him third on their list of top blues guitarists behind the legendary BB King and Eric Clapton. One of Shepherd’s biggest hits “Blue on Black,” was #1 on the rock charts for 17 consecutive weeks. He has had six albums reach the #1 spot on Billboard’s Blues chart, including 2011’s “How I Go.”
Read more from Kansas Speedway-PR
ESPN Starts Opening Doors with Developer Center, First API Program
Geeks and sports together? It’s a beautiful thing. Well, at least that’s what ESPN is hoping with the announcement of its brand, spanking new Developer Center, which marks the first time that it will open its doors to third-party developers and provide access to its enormous array of editorial content, stats and other data.
Read more from TechCrunch
Redemption: Hamlin Wins Phoenix
Joe Gibbs Racing proved hot in the warmth of the Phoenix desert, with all three NASCAR Sprint Cup series teams eaning a top-ten finish, led by Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota, who won the Subway Fresh Fit 500k.
The victory was the 198th for the No. 11 car in NASCAR history, which ties No. 43 for all-time wins by car number in the Sprint Cup series.
Read more from Joe Gibbs Racing-PR
Chris Myers back in the booth after son’s death
Pre-race host Chris Myers returned to Fox’s NASCAR coverage this weekend in Phoenix.
Myers, who missed the network’s Daytona 500 coverage because of the death of his son, told viewers: “It’s good to be back. Thanks to NASCAR, the Fox Family and all the fans who sent support. My family is deeply indebted.”
Myers’ son Christopher, 19, was killed Feb 16 in a car crash in Southern California where the family resides.
Speed studio host John Roberts replaced Myers at Daytona International Speedway.
The network said at the time of the announcement that Myers would be given as much time off as he needed.
From USA Today
Tide looks to clean up on free Daytona exposure
Here’s the new Tide TV commercial that was shown during commercial breaks of the race in Phoenix…
Read more from USA Today
Extra pace car behind jet-dryer trucks
NASCAR officials announced a change to have an extra pace car with flashing lights behind the last jet-dryer truck on the track in all races in all three series – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.
The change, which was explained to the Sprint Cup teams during the drivers’ meeting Sunday morning at Phoenix International Raceway, comes after Juan Pablo Montoya’s car spun into a jet-dryer truck during a caution period in the Daytona 500 Monday night.
The collision caused an enormous fireball explosion on the backstretch from the kerosene fuel tank on the jet dryer. Both vehicles were severely damaged by the fire, but both drivers escaped without serious injuries.
The drivers of the jet-dryer trucks also will wear helmets and firesuits during each race, but that is a change agreed upon by officials at race tracks that play host to NASCAR events, not a rule instituted by NASCAR.
Josh Wise and Timmy Hill register for Cup rookie program
Josh Wise and Timmy Hill are not sure exactly how many races they’ll compete in during the 2012 Sprint Cup season, but they plan to be racing each other for Sprint Cup’s top rookie honors.
Both Wise and Hill have registered for the rookie program and took their first Cup laps of the season this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.
Read more from Scene Daily
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.