The Hendrick Organization Play their Cards & Win

Rick Hendrick held his cards close to his vest
throughout the Appeal process

There are a lot of smiles at the Hendrick organization and from the fans of the 48 Team. Hendrick and Knaus have played their cards perfectly within the appeal process and apparently within the NASCAR organization. 


The wild card mentioned in yesterday’s blog , did indeed surprise many on Tuesday, March 20th when National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer, John Middlebrook, reduced the Daytona penalties after presentations from the Hendrick organization and NASCAR. 


Gone are the 25 point penalties to driver, Jimmie Johnson and owner, Jeff Gordon. Johnson who was 17th in the point standings is now 11th, only 36 points away from the points leader Greg Biffle. 


Gone are the six-week suspensions for crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec.  Although both will remain on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.


Equally surprising, however, the $100,000 fine for Chad Knaus remains. 


The fine to Chad Knaus creates many questions following the unexpected decision by Middlebrook.  However, the questions leave no answers because Middlebrook has not yet provided an explanation for his decision. So many are left with piecing together the comments from both sides. 


Yesterday’s blog mentions the Ace up Hendrick’s sleeve being their knowledge of Middlebrook’s record of appeals since taking his position in 2010. In all of the appeals he’s heard, his decisions have reduced the penalties with only one involving a points penalty which he did not reduce. Yesterday’s blog also acknowledges there may be some unknowns that could put a wild card into play on the final day of this particular appeal. 


Rick Hendrick said his company brought with them “about 20 photos” and “10-15 pages” of detailed documentation used in their presentation to the Chief Appellate Officer. Included in their documentation were three affidavits which are key to the Hendrick defense and reveals some contradiction within the officials network of NASCAR.  


Hendrick says one of those affidavits gives permission for them to work within the gray area of the template used by NASCAR in their inspection process. The gray area in this case is the surface of the car that does not touch the template.  


This particular affidavit directly contradicts previous statements from series director John Darby. Last month, Darby said that teams know they can’t mess with the areas outside of the templates. “Since the inception of the new car, the templates are a guide that we use in the field. The difference between this car and the old car, all of the teams have been given (rules for) the entire surface of the car. In the old days, teams used to work in between the templates and that all stopped in 2007 and that’s ultimately where the violation of this one lies.”


The most obvious question with this new information – which official signed that affidavit telling Chad Knaus he had permission to do something that is specifically outside the stated rules provided to every other team within NASCAR? 


That affidavit gives Chad Knaus the golden ticket to work outside of NASCAR’s stated rules. That’s exactly why Hendrick kept his cards so close to his vest and didn’t want to give details of their defense strategy. That affidavit gives Hendrick exactly what NASCAR was trying to prevent – an unfair advantage over every other team in the garage. 


So there you have it – Chad Knaus knowingly out-foxed the officials network within the NASCAR organization and in the process, created the advantage for his team. Fair or unfair…it appears, he meticulously worked within the officials network to weave his web for success.  

The next question on everyone’s mind – How will NASCAR respond?


Yesterday, Kerry Tharp of NASCAR said, “We think the process speaks for itself, and we think it’s a good, fair process. I think there is still evidence that there was a rules infraction. The $100,000 fine is intact, so there was a rules infraction committed.” 


Tharp continued, “I think we take on the responsibility of regulating that garage, and we take that very, very seriously. The ability for us to regulate the sport is paramount. We’ve got to be able to do that, and we will continue to do that, and we think the sport is better off for it.”


Well Mr. Tharp, the sponsors, owners, drivers, crews and fans of all the other teams within NASCAR expect every single official to take that responsibility seriously as well. There is some strong evidence here that more than one official let us and NASCAR as an organization down. 


There’s little doubt, there will be more response from the executives at NASCAR in the days to come. And as said before, time has it’s way of revealing the rest of this on-going story. 

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The 48 Team Appeal: Looking at Both Sides

 Crew chief, Chad Knaus and Car chief, Ron Malec 
are both subject to a NASCAR imposed six-week suspension
Photo – Jamie Squire/Getty Images

“As far as my reputation goes, I’m not too concerned about that.”  

– Chad Knaus 48 Team Crew Chief 

Once again, Rick Hendrick will defend the 48 team on Tuesday, March 20th. This time he will present their “shades of gray” defense to the Chief Appellate Officer, John Middlebrook.  


On the surface, it certainly appears, this may be the 48 team’s best chance at getting their penalty reduced with a two-point defense and perhaps an ace up their sleeve, that may explain Jimmie Johnson’s vote of confidence saying, the appeal will be in their favor when all is said and done on Tuesday. 

Defense one: The 48 team worked within the gray area of the C-post. That area not covered by the template NASCAR uses to measure the car as part of their inspection process. In Daytona, the car was never presented for template measurement.

Defense two: The same 48 car passed the inspection process multiple times in the 2011 season, without incident. 

And one possible ace up their sleeve is in playing their cards on the outcome of Middlebrook’s first appeal case in 2010. 

The 2010 case involved team owner Richard Childress disputing driver Clint Bowyer’s team penalties after the first race of the Chase which include 150 driver/owner points, a $150,000 fine and suspension of crew chief Shane Wilson for six races. Middlebrook did not reduce the points penalty but did reduce fines to $100,000 and the crew chief suspension to four races. So why not take this appeal as far as possible in hopes of at least reducing some portion of the penalty…right?


Moving along to NASCAR’s argument to uphold the penalty, those objectively looking at both sides of this particular situation, will find Hendrick’s “shades of gray” seem to fade when NASCAR’s perspective comes into focus as a “black and white” issue. Their argument centers on a sanctioning body decision to maintain integrity in the bodywork of all cars with a strict standard to address concerns by Team Owners and Sponsors of unfair advantages between smaller and larger funded teams. The intent of their well-publicized decision is to equalize the playing field, leaving a no gray area for teams to alter any part of the strict specifications provided by NASCAR. The strict standard was made clear to all teams not only when the decision was made, but was further clarified specifically to the 48 team in 2007 when they were caught with flared fenders in Sonoma. 


Scene Daily reports the specific NASCAR rule restated for the 48 team in 2007 is simply this,

“Streamlining the contours of the cars, beyond that approved by the Series Director, will not be permitted.” 

Seems to be straight forward and clearly stated. Knowing this rule was clearly articulated for the the 48 team – not once but twice – creates a huge hole in Hendrick’s “defense one.” This particular rule is in place entirely because there is no template covering every inch of the car during inspection. Furthermore, it was revealed in the appeal panel review last Tuesday, the officials in Daytona used gauges to measure the C-Posts after a visual inspection gave cause to do so. Those gauge measurements actually aided the officials’ determination – the C-Posts did not meet the specifications provided by NASCAR for the specific body part. 

Do you teach our children about ethics?
Do you abide by the same ethical standard?

The argument from some is that Knaus is suppose to exploit the boundaries of the rules. Really? When NASCAR is clearly stating their intention to level the playing field in relationship to the contours of the car at the request of team owners and sponsors, the argument is that Chad Knaus and other crew chiefs are simply doing their job by directly ignoring the stated rules to exploit the intention of the sanctioning body? Wow, is this the same ethical standard you teach to your children? 


Sorry, that argument simply does not hold water in this case. While there may be a small window of opportunity in other areas of the car, it’s plainly stated in the rules, the contour of the car is not one of those areas. In 2007, Knaus certainly tested his boundaries of the rules and was given another chance to demonstrate his understanding of the limitations within the stated rule. So what did he do with his reduced penalties provided via the appeals process? Yeah, you’ve got it, Knaus blatantly, ignored those limitations and boundaries…again. Although this offense was discovered in 2012, Hendrick and Knaus admit the car ran on the track in violation of the stated rules multiple times in 2011.  


Hendrick “defense two” loses credibility when you realize the 48 team knew they were modifying a specific body part that was not specifically approved by NASCAR’s Series Director. Surely, they would know if they took these parts to the series director specifically for the purpose of getting an approval. They did not take these steps, because they knew the part was in violation of the rule. In fact, it becomes difficult to believe anyone actually thinks defense two might work.  Hendrick is in essence saying, because no one said anything when we knowingly broke the rules several times in 2011, so the team should not be penalized since we were not caught those multiple times before the Daytona 2012 discovery.  


To fully understand just how absurd this defense truly is, just think about how well this same strategy would work for a traffic offender when a police officer stops the offender for a mere traffic violation.  Let’s try this out to make the point imminently clear. 

You can’t be serious?

“Officer, I can’t believe you are going to give me a ticket when I’ve run through red lights so many times before and no one said anything to me.” 

And to make matters worse, the traffic offender goes on to say, 

“Since no one ever stopped me before, I thought it was OK for me to run through red lights.” 

Sounds like a pretty lame excuse, because it “is a lame” excuse. 


Let’s take this one step further and analyze what these two statements truly say about the traffic offender.  

One, this person has no respect for traffic laws or the governing body putting those laws into place.

Two, this person apparently also has no regard for others that could be affected by their abuse of the law.  

Three, this person clearly has no regard for themselves, personally as they could also be harmed by this practice, including the damage to their reputation in using such a frivolous defense.  

Chad Knaus is creating his personal reputation
Even though he’s not concerned about that.

Amazing, there’s that word again…”reputation.” Ah, that’s right. Chad Knaus said in regard to the multiple penalties levied against him during his career as a NASCAR crew chief… 

“As far as my reputation goes, I’m not too concerned about that.”  

Apparently, he also has no respect for the governing body, the rules they have put in place and have clearly stated – not once but twice. Nor does he have any respect for others within his team, or the sport affected by his clearly demonstrated lack of respect


With NASCAR’s perspective clarified, it appears there would be only one choice that truly makes sense for John Middlebrook.  Especially taking into consideration that NASCAR understood Mr. Middlebrook’s perspective when their Childress penalties were reduced from $150,000 to $100,000. So, NASCAR levied a $100,000 fine against repeat offender, Chad Knaus. They even made concessions with the point penalties within a new points structure, with only 25-point deductions for the driver and owner and with an entire season remaining to recover those points vs. the 150 points deducted from Clint Bowyer’s championship hopes in 2010 with only nine races remaining in the season. The disparities are evident with the concessions already provided by NASCAR to the 48 Team. 


Where is NASCAR drawing the line in the sand? The six-race suspension of the most penalized crew chief in the garage. And if the suspension holds, he will still be burning up his phone battery communicating with his team while he is away from the track. 


Everyone with an interest in NASCAR will be watching for the outcome of the Hendrick appeal and how they play their cards knowing they have weak defense strategies in place. What is presented here is what has been made public. The weakness in the Hendrick defense is apparent and there’s not a lot of rocket science involved here. However, there may be some unknowns and that could put a wild card in play. 


What folks really want to know, is how John Middlebrook will respond to the Hendrick strategy. Why do we want to know? Because his response will impact the integrity and the way this sport plays out in the future. 


Either the game is played by the strict standards currently in place; Or those choosing to not play by the same rules are further enabled to manipulate the system. The same system put in place to equalize the field as requested by team owners and sponsors. Honestly, if the latter occurs, does that not equate to an epic fail in the process? 


John Middlebrook, will either open pandora’s box for everyone, eroding the sanctioning body’s strict standards; Or once again, the Hendrick 48 team will have the rules clarified and penalties upheld with the intention of ending any doubt of the already twice given rule which is clearly stated and strictly standardized for all teams. 


The next question that comes to mind – where is the line drawn for Chad Knaus, if after this appeal, he once again demonstrates his disregard for the governing body, his team, peers, and the integrity of the sport? How many more penalties will be tolerated from someone who clearly has no respect for his personal reputation and yet incredibly, anticipates to one day be nominated for NASCAR’s Hall of Fame? With the 48 team penalties piling up and violations not yet discovered, doesn’t this idea seem a bit surreal? 


Chad Knaus has openly stated, he could care less about the asterisk next to his name or his drivers’ name detailing numerous penalties throughout his career. But how long will Rick Hendrick and Jimmie Johnson continue to enable the erosion of their personal and team reputations? If they do continue to enable Knaus’ blatant disregard of the rules, they deserve the negative reputation that will certainly follow.  


It seems fairly simple – The “rules don’t apply to me” behavior of the 48 team must change for any sense of credibility to have any chance of being restored for the Hendrick organization and specifically Chad Knaus. Who is expecting this restored credibility? The sponsors, owners, teams, drivers and fans. With the weak defense of the Hendrick 48 team and multiple infractions throughout the past decade, anything less is indeed an epic fail of the process. 


Will Chad Knaus get the message this time?  Either way this might be his last chance to prove he has any sense of integrity and respect for himself and others within NASCAR as well. Winning at the cost of integrity can be a house of cards that one day will most certainly come tumbling down. 


The opinions expressed with this blog are solely those of the writer.  Those with similar and varying perspectives are invited to respectfully post your comments below, providing readers with both supporting and challenging points of view. 


Thanks in advance for your participation in the on-going discussion. 

Brad Keselowski Wins Calm Race at Bristol

Keselowski in Victory Lane at Bristol
Photo – John Harrelson/Getty Images

“It’s Bristol Baby”, the phrase many fans describe the annual races at Bristol didn’t live up to its name today. 


Brad Keselowski has now won the last two Sprint Cup Races at Bristol. Keselowski won the night race last August 2011. 


Only a few events highlighted the race at Bristol today. The first caution of the day on lap 24 was the big one. When Kasey Kahne came off of turn four he was cleared by his spotter but Regan Smith snuck up next to him and got into him which turned Kahne into the wall. Then Kahne came back across the track just barely missing Brad Keselowski. Carl Edwards came spinning into Kahne and as did Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose, and Kevin Harvick. KyBusch, Ambrose, Edwards and Kahne went behind the wall for repairs and all but Edwards eventually came back out on the track to pick up some points. 


Kasey Kahne commented after the wreck “Fastest car every week and something always happens.” Kahne has failed to finish without some sort of incident this season, his first with Hendrick Motorsports. Regan Smith commented on the radio “I was out there he just didn’t give me no damn room!” Smith came up aside Kahne as he came out of Turn four and turned him.

Video from YouTube

On lap #97 Brian Vickers, driving Michael Waltrip Racing’s No.55 car on a six-race deal, took the lead. After Red Bull Racing closed its operations after last season, Vickers was left without a ride. Vickers knew not to take a ride in cup that would not let him be successful and compete. So Vickers was called upon by MWR to driver for six races that Mark Martin or Michael Waltrip would not be competing in this season. Vickers performance Sunday opened a lot of eyes and Vickers showed he still has talent. 


After a very long green flag run, the caution came out on lap 115 when Ken Schrader made contact with the wall. 


Brad Keselowski took the lead on lap 217 and never looked back. 


After a 100 lap green flag run, a caution occurred when the No.30 of David Stremme got into the wall. Keselowski continued to lead the field. 


On lap 360 Jeff Gordon spun making significant damage to his car in turn three. Gordon’s teammate at Hendrick Motorsports Dale Earnhardt Jr. had been racing hard with Gordon and eventually got into Gordon’s tire, cut it down and Gordon wrecked into the wall. 


The final caution of the day came out when the No.14 of Tony Stewart made contact with another car and spun up into the wall.  Stewart continued on with little damage and with 24 laps to go. Also during the caution Dale Earnhardt Jr. was caught for speeding on pit road. 


The final restart of the day setup the defending Bristol winner Brad Keselowski and Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth on the front row. Keselowski soon took the lead and never looked back. Brad Keselowski is now a household name at Bristol after winning for the second time. 


In this writer’s opinion, the “New” Bristol likely caused many empty seats in the grandstands at Bristol. A few years back Bristol was laid down with a new surface and changed the racing there by eliminating only one racing lane and opening up the track. This “New” Bristol features less cautions and bumping which turns some fans off. 


Brad Keselowski will try to defend today’s win in the August Bristol night race which is one of the best of the season.
#2 car driven by Brad Keselowski
crosses the Bristol Finish Line first
Photo – Justin Edmunds/Getty Images

Results

SPONSOR
STATUS
1
5
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
48/2
500
Running
2
21
17
Ford
Best Buy
43/1
500
Running
3
15
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
41/0
500
Running
4
16
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
40/0
500
Running
5
25
55
Toyota
Aaron’s Dream Machine
40/1
500
Running
6
33
31
Chevrolet
BB&T
38/0
500
Running
7
17
1
Chevrolet
McDonald’s
37/0
500
Running
8
30
42
Chevrolet
Target
36/0
500
Running
9
22
48
Chevrolet
Lowe’s / Kobalt Tools
35/0
500
Running
10
11
27
Chevrolet
Moen / Menards
34/0
500
Running
11
14
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser
33/0
500
Running
12
3
39
Chevrolet
Quicken Loans
32/0
500
Running
13
1
16
Ford
3M / 811
32/1
500
Running
14
23
14
Chevrolet
Office Depot / Mobil 1
30/0
500
Running
15
18
88
Chevrolet
National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew
30/1
500
Running
16
9
20
Toyota
The Home Depot
28/0
498
Running
17
2
22
Dodge
Shell / Pennzoil
28/1
498
Running
18
27
51
Chevrolet
HendrickCars.com
26/0
498
Running
19
7
43
Ford
Charter Comm.
25/0
498
Running
20
20
11
Toyota
FedEx Ground
24/0
498
Running
21
19
10
Chevrolet
Tradebank
23/0
497
Running
22
32
33
Chevrolet
South Point Hotel & Casino
22/0
496
Running
23
31
34
Ford
Front Row Motorsports
21/0
496
Running
24
6
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row / CSX “Play it Safe”
20/0
496
Running
25
24
13
Ford
GEICO
19/0
496
Running
26
26
38
Ford
Taco Bell
18/0
496
Running
27
34
93
Toyota
Burger King / Dr Pepper
17/0
496
Running
28
36
47
Toyota
Clorox / Scott Products
16/0
495
Running
29
29
83
Toyota
Burger King / Dr Pepper
15/0
495
Running
30
40
249
Toyota
JPO Absorbents
14/0
493
Running
31
39
98
Ford
K-Love “Let it start with me”
13/0
492
Running
32
13
18
Toyota
Wrigley
12/0
423
Running
33
42
32
Ford
TMone “We Drive Sales”
11/0
420
Running
34
35
36
Chevrolet
SealWrap / Widow Wax
10/0
417
Running
35
4
24
Chevrolet
Drive to End Hunger
10/1
395
Running
36
12
9
Ford
Mac Tools
8/0
389
Running
37
10
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
7/0
366
Running
38
28
30
Toyota
Food Country USA / Inception Motorsports
6/0
334
Accident
39
8
99
Ford
Cheez-It
5/0
245
Running
40
41
87
Toyota
AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves
0
57
Brakes
41
43
23
Chevrolet
North Texas Pipe
3/0
26
Vibration
42
38
74
Chevrolet
Turn One Racing / Carnegie Hotel
0
17
Vibration
43
37
26
Ford
Morristown Driver’s Service
1/0
16
Spindle
From Timing & Scoring at NASCAR .com

New and Views – Volume 17 March 12 – 18, 2012New

News and Views – Volume 17
For the week of March 12 – 18, 2012

“It’s go time. We need to score points, a lot of points every race.”


Jimmie Johnson – from an earlier year in his NASCAR career – about having a bad start in the Chase for the Championship.


No matter how much things change, there are times, when it seems some things never change.  


And the quote this week from Jimmie Johnson serves notice that whether it’s a bad start to the season, the chase or any particular race for any particular driver, when the green flag drops, “it’s go time” and every driver needs  “to score points, a lot of points every race.” 


It’s that mentality that keeps every driver digging, for every position, throughout the duration of any race and increases the competitiveness especially at the end of the race.  It’s all good for the fans of this sport and it’s one of many reasons NASCAR is our favorite sport.  


This week will be an interesting week as the appeal for the 48 team takes place on Tuesday morning. The team is already behind in points for the season and after the Daytona penalty and a rough first race, they started 2012 in dead last. After just three races and with 61 points to their credit, they now sit 23rd in point standings meaning they’ve accumulated an average of just over 20 points per race, despite finishing 42nd, 4th and 2nd respectively. 


This appeal is extremely important to the 48 team and the points, may be at least, one of the primary reasons Rick Hendrick made a quick decision to go through the appeal process. If they successfully appeal and get back the 25 point penalty, the 48 team gains ten spots in the point standings, placing them in a three-way tie for 13th position for the season. There are fans on both sides of this fence, making this big news that many are anticipating. So even off the track this week, for the 48 team, “it’s go time” for scoring points. The appeal on Tuesday was upheld by the Appeal Panel and now HMS is going to the next level of appeal with the Appellate Appeal Chief, John Middlebrook. This appeal is expected to take place next week. 


And now, we’ve come full circle back to where we started.  Some things never change. Whether the appeal process for the Hendrick team is or is not successful, time always has a way of telling the rest of the story.    



Let’s begin with news for today…

Sunday, March 18, 2012
2012 NSCS Food City 500 Race Results

Keselowski with Bristol Trophy
Photo – Associated Press

Brad Keselowski, with leading the most laps – 232 laps of the 500 that were run, dominated the NSCS Food City 500 Sunday afternoon and held off Matt Kenseth (by 0.714 seconds) for the victory at Bristol Motor Speedway.


This was Keselowski’s first series win of the 2012 season, his fifth series career win in 93 races, and his second series win at Bristol Motor Speedway.


Following Keselowski and the 2012 Daytona 500 winner, Matt Kenseth, to the drop of the checkered flag were all three of Michael Waltrip Racing drivers Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers finishing third, fourth and fifth respectively. 


Rounding out the top-ten finishers were Jeff Burton finishing in sixth, Jamie McMurray seventh, Juan Pablo Montoya eighth, Jimmie Johnson ninth, and Paul Menard in the tenth position.


Greg Biffle, coming into the Food City 500 as the series points leader, finished 13th and remains at the top of the standings with a 9-point lead over Kevin Harvick who finished 11th.


Race Results
Points Standings


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


NASCAR changes pit-road speeding lines at Bristol
Jeff Gordon didn’t have to lobby NASCAR to change the timing lines on pit road at Bristol Motor Speedway after Brad Keselowski sped legally through several pit stalls on his way to the victory last August.


NASCAR officials heard everyone talking about it after the race and had already decided that changes would come in March.


When the Sprint Cup series returned to Bristol, drivers were greeted with additional timing lines that increased the pit-stall zones from two on each side of the track to four on each side of the track.


Read more from Scene Daily


Some not happy about Vegas fan access
Fan access is one of NASCAR’s hallmarks. But the chatter Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway from the drivers was that the interaction may have gone too far last week at Las Vegas when fans were allowed to be part of the drivers’ pre-race meeting with NASCAR officials.


Read more from Bristol Herald Courier


Drivers await fuel injection data
Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle were anxious to see the Electronic Fuel Injection data that made Tony Stewart so fast on restarts following last week’s win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


They will have to wait at least two more weeks – or they may not get that data at all.


Sprint Cup series director John Darby said on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway that officials remain a few weeks from releasing EFI data and determining exactly what data will be released.


Read more from ESPN


Danica Patrick joins charity race
Danica Patrick has committed to drive in team owner Tony Stewart’s Prelude to the Dream Late Model charity race at Eldora Speedway.


Patrick said the June 6 event will be only her second time driving on dirt. The other was in a go-kart on a track outside of Charlotte Motor Speedway when she was about 14 years old.


Read more from ESPN


Business leaders voice excitement about NASCAR’s return
Business and community leaders met at Rockingham Speedway for the monthly Chamber of Commerce “business after hours” event on Thursday.


In anticipation of NASCAR’s return to “The Rock,” the meeting had an air of excitement as folks buzzed about the upcoming NASCAR Camping World Truck series Good Sam Roadside Assistance Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine, on April 15.


Read more from Richmond County Daily Journal


Mario Gosselin declines to talk about details of arrest
A week after his arrest for solicitation of prostitution, former NASCAR Camping World Truck series driver Mario Gosselin was back where he’s most comfortable – the racetrack.


Gosselin owns a car in the K&N Pro Series East and was at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday helping prepare the car to be driven by Roy Coutmanche Jr. for Saturday’s series opener.


Read more from Sporting News


Saturday, March 17, 2012
2012 NNS Ford EcoBoost 300 Race Results

Sadler celebrates in Victory Lane at Bristol
Photo – John Harrelson/Getty Images

The current 2012 NNS points leader, Elliott Sadler, continued to add to his lead Saturday afternoon, as he won the EcoBoost 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, and now leads Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 25-points in the standings.


This was Sadler’s second series win of the 2012 season, his seventh series career win and his second series win at Bristol Motor Speedway.


Finishing 1.159 seconds behind Sadler for second place was Kasey Kahne, and they were followed by Brad Keselowski finishing in third, pole-sitter Joey Logano fourth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finishing in fifth.


The defending series champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished sixth, while Justin Allgaier finished seventh, Trevor Bayne eighth, Kevin Harvick ninth and Ryan Truex rounding out the top-ten finishing positions.


Next up: The Royal Purple 300 at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, March 24th at 5:30pm ET with television coverage provided by ESPN beginning at 5:00pm ET.


Race Results
Point Standings


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NSCS Food City 500 Practice Session Speeds
The NSCS drivers hit the track early Saturday morning for their second Food City 500 practice session, and it was AJ Allmendinger, with a lap speed of 122.638mph, posting the fastest lap during the session at Bristol Motor Speedway.


Kyle Busch, with a lap speed of 122.576mph, was the second fastest while Ryan Newman (122.443), was third, Greg Biffle (122.380) fourth and Martin Truex, Jr. (122.341) was fifth fastest.


Rounding our the top-ten fastest during practice were: Kasey Kahne (122.333) sixth fastest, Aric Almirola (122.310) seventh, Denny Hamlin (122.217) eighth, Matt Kenseth (122.209) ninth and Jeff Burton (122.201) posting the tenth fastest lap.


The teams will have their “Happy Hour” (final) practice session this afternoon from 12:00 – 1:00pm ET (weather permitting). 


Second Practice Speeds

2012 NSCS Food City 500 Final Practice Session Speeds
It was “The Rocket,” Ryan Newman, with a lap speed of 121.883mph, showing the fastest way around Bristol Motor Speedway during the final NSCS Food City 500 practice session.


Kyle Busch was second fastest with a lap speed of 121.836mph, followed by David Reutimann and Brad Keselowski with the identical lap speed of 121.682mph, being recorded third and fourth fastest respectively, and Kasey Kahne (121.628) was the fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during “Happy Hour” were: Marcos Ambrose (121.566) sixth fastest, Clint Bowyer (121.405) seventh, Martin Truex, Jr. (121.328) eighth, Jeff Gordon (121.297) ninth and Jimmie Johnson (121.274) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.


The Food City 500 is scheduled to get underway Sunday afternoon at approximately around 1:20pm EST and television coverage will be provided by FOX beginning with their pre-race coverage at 12:30pm ET.


Final Practice Speeds


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NNS Ford EcoBoost 300 Starting Lineup
Joey Logano, with a qualifying lap speed of 124.210mph, captured the 2012 NNS Ford EcoBoost 300 Coors Light Pole Award at Bristol Motor Speedway.


This was Logano’s first series pole of the 2012 season, his seventeenth series career pole and his first series pole at Bristol Motor Speedway.


Starting on the outside pole in second and with a qualifying lap speed of 123.158mph, will be Trevor Bayne, followed by the defending series champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (123.103) starting third, current series points leader Elliott Sadler (123.024) fourth and Brian Scott (122.850) will start fifth.


Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be: Kevin Harvick (122.827mph) starting sixth, Brad Keselowski (122.764) seventh, Kyle Busch (122.670) eighth, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon (122.654) ninth and Justin Allgaier (122.552) will start from the tenth starting position.


Failing to make the starting lineup were the #74 driven by David Reutiman; #89 driven by Morgan Shepherd and the #73 driven by Derrike Cope.


The Ford EcoBoost 300 is scheduled to get underway later this afternoon at approximately 2:20pm ET and television coverage will be provided by ESPN with their pre-race coverage beginning at 1:00pm ET.


Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia


Curb Records, K-Love Radio partner to inspire during 2012 Sprint Cup Season
Curb Records, one of the world’s leading independent music companies, has entered into a unique partnership with Christian radio network leader K-LOVE to bring an inspirational message to the fast track world of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in 2012.


The partnership utilizes its full-season sponsorship of the No. 98 K-LOVE Ford Fusion for Phil Parsons/Curb-Agajanian Racing piloted by fifth-year Sprint Cup driver Michael McDowell and focuses on the message, “Let it Start With Me,” which was originally targeted by the recent Dove Award-nominated song of the same name by Curb Records’ Christian band No Other Name. It’s a campaign dedicated to bringing the inspirational theme of the Gospel to NASCAR with a message designed to encourage Christians to live out the reality of Jesus Christ in their own lives, as well as impacting their families and communities.


A devout Christian, the 28-year-old McDowell is well known within the racing world for being a competitive young driver and for his open declaration of faith with an inspirational trackside program.  “Finish a Winner.” K-LOVE is marking its third season of partnership with McDowell.


Mike Curb, owner of Curb Records, has a long and highly successful history of race team ownership in NASCAR and the open-wheel ranks, and he became a partner with Phil Parsons Racing this season. As the visionary founder of the Curb label that bears his name, Curb oversees a successful Christian label roster that, in addition to No Other Name, includes such award-winning artists as multi-Grammy and Dove winner Natalie Grant, Selah, MIKESCHAIR and Marie Miller.


Headquartered in Rocklin, CA, K-LOVE’s Christian music is heard throughout the US on more than 440 FM signals in more than 45 states, including major media markets New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Kansas City and Phoenix. Combined with its online audience at KLOVE.com, the network is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week.


In an effort to expand on the new racing sponsorship of the No. 98 K-LOVE Ford and McDowell, the “Let it Start With Me” campaign strategy will include a series of faith-based trackside initiatives, including featured Curb artists participating in race-day events, prayer services and concerts.


From True Speed Communication for Phil Parsons/Curb-Agajanian Racing/Curb Records-PR


Friday, March 16, 2012 

2012 NSCS Food City 500 Starting Lineup
The current 2012 NSCS points leader, Greg Biffle, with a qualifying lap speed of 125.215mph, captured the Food City 500 Coors Light Pole Award at Bristol Motor Speedway.


This was Biffle’s first series pole of the 2012 season, his series career pole and his series pole at Bristol Motor Speedway.


Sharing the front row with Biffle in second and with a qualifying lap speed of 125.207mph, will be AJ Allmendinger, and they will be followed by Ryan Newman (125.158) who will start third, Jeff Gordon (125.085) fourth and Brad Keselowski (124.865) will start fifth.


Regan Smith will start sixth with his 124.816mph, qualifying speed, while Aric Almirola (124.719) will start seventh, Carl Edwards (124.686) eighth, Joey Logano (124.662) ninth and Kasey Kahne (124.355) will start from the tenth position.


Failing to make the starting lineup was the #37 driven by Timmy Hill


The teams will return to the track (weather permitting) on Saturday for two more practice sessions (9:30-10:25am ET and “Happy Hour.” 12:00 -1:00pm ET) and then return Sunday afternoon for the Food City 500 – which is set to get underway approximately at 1:20pm ET with FOX beginning their pre-race television coverage at 12:30pm ET.


Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia


2012 NSCS Food City 500 Practice Session Speeds
Carl Edwards, with a lap speed of 123.921mph, posted the fastest lap during the first NSCS Food City 500 practice session at Bristol Motor Speedway.


Second fastest and with a lap speed of 123.881mph, was AJ Allmendinger, followed by Marcos Ambrose (123.865) who was third fastest, Joey Logano (123.826) fourth fastest and Ryan Newman (123.730) was the fifth fastest.


Jeff Gordon (123.730) was recorded as the sixth fastest on the speed charts, while Regan Smith and Kevin Harvick with the identical lap speed of 123.658, were recorded seventh and eighth fastest respectively, Martin Truex Jr (123.650) ninth and Kyle Busch (123.594) rounding out the top-ten fastest during practice.


The teams will return to the track (weather permitting) later this afternoon for their 3:30pm ET Scheduled qualifying session, and then return again on Saturday for two more practice sessions (9:30 – 10:25am ET and “Happy Hour.” 12 – 1pm ET).


First Practice Speeds

Qualifying Order


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia


2012 NNS Ford EcoBoost 300 Practice Session Speeds
Dale Earnhardt Jr, with a lap speed of 120.900mph, was the quickest Friday morning during the first NNS Ford EcoBoost 300 practice session at Bristol Motor Speedway.


The current series point leader, Elliott Sadler, with a lap speed of 120.656mph, was second quickest, and was followed by Brian Scott (120.611) who was third quickest, Joey Logano (120.496) fourth and Trevor Bayne (120.429) was fifth quickest.


Rounding our the top-ten quickest during practice were: Brad Keselowski (120.361) sixth quickest, Kevin Harvick (120.316) seventh, Kyle Busch (120.286) eighth, Kasey Kahne (120.038) ninth and Kenny Wallace (120.015) posting the tenth quickest lap speed.


The teams will return to the track later this afternoon for their 2:00 – 3:30pm ET scheduled (final) practice session.


First Practice Speeds

NNS Final Practice Session Speeds
It was the 2011 NNS defending champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, with a lap speed of 121.782mph, showing the fastest way around Bristol Motor Speedway during the final Ford EcoBoost 300 practice session.


Kevin Harvick with a a lap speed of 121.634mph, was second fastest and was followed by Trevor Bayne (121.620) who was third fastest, Brad Keselowski (121.520) fourth fastest and Kyle Busch (121.435) was the fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during “Happy Hour” were: Sam Hornish Jr (212.397) sixth fastest, Joey Logano (121.297) seventh, Kasey Kahne (121.159) eighth and Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon (121.121) ninth and Ryan Truex (121.045) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.


The teams will return Saturday morning for their 10:35am ET scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for that afternoon’s race – which is scheduled to get underway around 2:20pm ET with ESPN providing their pre-race television coverage at 1:00pm ET.


Final Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring NASCARMedia


Fans Around the World can now listen to PRN NASCAR Qualifying & Race Broadcasts
It’s qualifying, and you’re still at work. Or it’s race day, and you’re miles from a TV or your local affiliate radio station. Relax, there is now a solution to bring you all the great action from Bristol, Texas, Charlotte, New Hampshire, Infineon, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Kentucky.


That’s right race fans! Just log into GoPRN.com and click on the “listen here” live streaming icon. Soon you’ll be racing with the stars of NASCAR. Fans can also listen to the race on the PRN affiliate websites.


All of the Performance Racing Network’s NASCAR racing action from Bristol Motor Speedway will be available online for the March 17 Ford EcoBoost 300 NASCAR Nationwide Race and the March 18 Food City 500 on GoPRN.com at no cost. The PRN Bristol broadcasts also can be heard on more than 415 PRN affiliates around the world. A complete list of PRN stations with their links can be found on GoPRN.com.


PRN also offers exclusive live radio coverage of Sprint Cup qualifying throughout the season. Fans can listen on GoPRN.com to hear qualifying each time PRN is at the track. Fans can hear live qualifying this Friday from Bristol starting at 3:30 EDST.


From Performance Racing Network-PR


Latin Grammy nominated La Santa Cecilia to Perform at Auto Club 400
Latin band, La Santa Cecilia will perform on the DiscoverIE FanZone Entertainment Stage prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Auto Club 400 race on Sunday, March 25 from 8:30 – 9:15am.


Read more from Auto Club Speedway-PR


Silent Auction Shold be Race Fan’s Delight
Race fans will be able to pick up some pretty impressive racing memorabilia while helping build a home for an American hero on March 31 at Martinsville High School.


Actor Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band will play a concert at Martinsville High School on March 31 as part of a fund-raiser for the construction of a specially-equipped smart house for Cpl. JB Kerns, who lost both legs and an arm in an explosion in Afghanistan a year ago.


Read more from Martinsville Speedway-PR


Award Winning Sensation JoJo to Sing National Anthem at Auto Club 400
JoJo, the youngest artist to ever reach #1 at the Top 40 Radio Format and the youngest solo artist to have a #1 song on Billboard Charts (both at age 13), will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 25 at noon PT.


The now 21-year-old’s newest album, her third, Jumping Trains, is scheduled for release this year.


Read more from Auto Club Speedway-PR


Bristol Lucky Day Sweepstakes Affords Fans Chance to Win Ford SHO Pace Car
The Bristol Motor Speedway pace car always is the center of attention whether on the track leading the field under caution or off the track with fans often snapping photos of themselves posing with it.


Now they have the opportunity to take home much more than just a photo.


Beginning March 16 at Ford Fan Friday at BMS, Ford gives fans the chance to win the official pace car, a 2013 Ford Taurus SHO pace car that will be used to pace the field for the Ford EcoBoost 300 and Food City 500 races. Fans can register for the big giveaway at bristolluckyday.com, Guest Services tents around the BMS property this weekend or at Fan Relations located in the O. Bruton Smith Building.


The 2013 Ford Taurus SHO, valued at more than $39,000, features a 3.5 L V6 Eco Boost engine with 365 Hp and a number of upgrades, including adaptive speed control, adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, SYNC with MyFord Touch, voice-activated Navigation System and climate controlled leather seats and steering wheel. In a nod to St. Patrick’s Day and the Lucky Day Sweepstakes, the Taurus sports a gorgeous SHO exclusive Green Gem color.


Three fans ultimately will be selected as finalists for the chance to win the car. All active 2012 Bristol Motor Speedway ticket account holders with a valid email address on file automatically will be entered. The three finalists will be at BMS for the August 24-25 night races, and will receive suite passes for the weekends, pit passes and parking passes.


The three finalists will attend the pre-race show for the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Each will receive a key and the fan with the key that starts the Official BMS pace car, which will have led the field for all NASCAR events at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile in 2012, wins the special edition vehicle to drive home.


The Bristol Lucky Day Sweepstakes promotion ends August 25th. For official rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit bristolluckyday.com


From BMS-PR


Sauter, Hornaday Headline Autograph Session
More than a dozen NASCAR Camping World Truck series drivers will be on hand Friday, March 30 for an autograph session at Martinsville Speedway.


Four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck series champion Ron Hornaday and defending Kroger 250 winner Johnny Sauter will headline the autograph session.


Other NASCAR Camping World Truck series drivers already committed to the event include: Parker Kligerman, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Paulie Harraka, Ward Burton, Jeb Burton, JR Fitzpatrick, John King, Timothy Peters, Bryan Silas and Nelson Piquet Jr.


Read more from Martinsville Speedway-PR

Thursday, March 15, 2012
NASCAR star Tony Stewart shows a different side of personality
The public image of Tony Stewart is that of a take-no-prisoners speed demon – on and off the track.


The three-time NASCAR champion displayed a different side of his personality Tuesday afternoon.


Shortly after attending a high-stakes competition meeting at Stewart-Haas Racing headquarters near the NASCAR epicenter in North Carolina, Stewart decompressed for over two hours at the Small Miracles Therapeutic Riding Center in the rolling hills of Northeast Tennessee.


Stewart not only chatted with a group of wide-eyed special needs children, he helped lead their horses around the barn. He also posed for family photos, signed autographs and shared personal stories.


Read more from Bristol Herald Courier


NCWTS Drivers Meeting to be Open to Fans at Rockingham
In addition to 200 laps of great racing, your ticket to the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine will also get you up close and personal with your favorite NASCAR Camping World Truck series (NCWTS) drivers. NASCAR and Rockingham Speedway are opening up the NCWTS drivers meeting for fans to come watch. The meeting is scheduled for 10:30am April 15 in the garage at the speedway.


Fans are asked to enter the infield through the tunnel in turn four if they wish to take part in the drivers meeting. A ticket to the race serves as admission.


Additionally, drivers will be signing autographs at their trucks on race day from 11am until noon. The gates on the front stretch (under the flag stand and in turn one) will be open for fans to cross.


For more information on the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine, or to purchase tickets for any of the speedway’s events, contact Rockingham Speedway at 910-205-8800 or visit online at rockinghamspeedway.com

Bristol signals start of spring short-track season
Spring’s short-track season opens this week at Bristol Motor Speedway, an up-close-and-personal type of hard-nosed racing that’s been the foundation of NASCAR competition since the 1940’s


Bristol’s Food City 500 is followed by the April 1 Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway and concludes April 28 with Richmond International Raceway’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series 400.


Short-track racing is a fan favorite for a variety of reasons – not the least of which is the grandstand seats are as close as possible to the action on the track.


Read more from NASCAR .com


Bristol Motor Speedway Mobile App Debuts this weekend
Race fans visiting Bristol Motor Speedway for this weekend’s racing activities have a new informational tool to help them keep track of all the excitement at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile.”


The Bristol Motor Speedway app provides fans access to race and event schedules, GPS-enabled property maps and several other features to help them get even more from their experience at BMS.


Read more from BMS-PR


SRT Motorsports (Dodge) Presents The Numbers: Food City 500 at Bristol
0 – Fewest cautions for a race at Bristol Motor Speedway – 7/11/71
0 – Fewest lead changes for a race  – 3/25/73
1 – Fewest laps led by race winner – 7/26/64 – Fred Lorenzen
1 – Fewest on lead lap at finish – 22 times, most recent 8/22/81
4 – Jet dryers available for track drying during race weekend
4 – Races won from outside a top-25 starting spot
7 – Consecutive wins by Darrell Waltrip at BMS – 1981-1984
7 – Fewest cars running at finish – 3/20/66
10- Cautions in spring race last year
16 – Most wins by a car owner – Junior Johnson
16 – Most leaders – 4/9/89
20 – Most cautions for a race at BMS – three times, most recent 8/23/03
34 – Races won from the front row – 22 from the pole
39 – Different winners at BMS in 102 Sprint Cup races
40 – Most lead changes – 4/14/91
42 – Cars that started the first race at Bristol in 1961
42 – Most cars running at finish – 3/16/08
60 – Minutes, the minimum amount of time it takes to dry the .533-mile track after a significant rainfall.
500 – Most laps led by race winner – Cale Yarborough – 3/25/73
157,574 – Number of fans that established the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest audience wave at BMS – August 23, 2008.


2012 Caution Update
1 – Races extended beyond scheduled distance – Daytona
7 – Fewest cautions this season – Phoenix
10 – Most cautions this season – Daytona
25 – Cautions in the first three races of 2012; includes 11 for accidents, seven for spins and four for debris.
112 of 781 – Laps under caution in 2012
191,500 of 1,217,500 – Miles under caution in the first three races


From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge)-PR


Bojangles to Sponsor Southern 500 at Darlington
Get ready for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.


Officials for the NASCAR track and the fast-food restaurant chain announced the five-year deal Thursday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, NC.


The agreement means Bojangles will be offered at concession stands at the Darlington Raceway. Bojangles’ menu is also available at four other tracks owned by International Speedway Corp. – Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Motor Speedway, Martinsville Raceway and Richmond International Raceway.


Read more from wltx


National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver Voting now available


Read more details and Register to Vote at mostpopulardriver.com


AMS offering New Suite options to “Elevate Your Experience” in 2012
Atlanta Motor Speedway is offering several new individual seat suite-level options for fans looking to elevate their race day experience during the track’s 2012 Labor Day night racing weekend.


For those simply looking to enjoy a climate-controlled racing experience, the new Elliott Suite offers a view from high above turn three and the Elliott Grandstand. The suite seats will sell for $149 each and will feature individual theater-style seating, closed-circuit video and a 50 percent discount on scanner rentals. Fans may bring food and beverage into the suite. The Elliott Suite seats will be available for the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup series race on Sunday, Sept 2. A limited number of parking spaces near the Elliott Grandstand will be available for purchase at $75.


Read about more suite options at AMS-PR


RCR to Honor Team Member Frankie Allen
Richard Childress Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series teams will carry a special decal this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway in honor of Frankie Allen, a valued employee and three-year veteran of the RCR team, who passed away earlier this week.


Allen worked as the shock specialist on the No. 2 Camping World Truck series entry with drivers Kevin Harvick, Brendan Gaughan and Tim George Jr. The Rock Hill SC native served as the car chief for George Jr’s No. 31 ARCA Racing series
team for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. In addition to running memorial decals on RCR’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide series cars this weekend, the three RCR Truck series teams will carry the decal honoring Allen for the Kroeger 250 race at Martinsville Speedway on March 31.


Read more from RCR-PR


Newman talks Animals and Racing at Martinsville
Ryan Newman is in the spotlight after a strong fourth-place showing in this past weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series race, but Wednesday he found himself upstaged by a lumbering, lovable Great Dane named Bodhi.


Newman was in town visiting the Martinsville Henry County SPCA as part of a media promotion for the upcoming Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. He was greeted in the parking lot on arrival by the 20-month old, 165-pound Bodhi, who seldom left his side for the next 90 minutes and even visited with Newman at the track later in the day.


Read more from Martinsville Speedway-PR


Ride Shotgun with NASCAR Driver Martin Truex Jr for Charity
NAPA Auto Parts driver Martin Truex Jr announced he is giving two lucky race fans a thrilling ride around Charlotte Motor Speedway in his No. 56 Toyota Camry. The once-in-a-lifetime experience happens on Thursday, March 29 and will benefit the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.


“I’m giving two fans the chance to experience what it is like to be me,” said Truex, who currently sits tied for eighth place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series championship standings. “I can’t wait to take them for a spin in my NAPA Auto Parts Toyota. They’ll be riding shotgun and I plan to have the throttle wide open so they get the full experience. I also want them to walk away knowing how much I appreciate their support by helping me raise money for my foundation. Their support will go a long way in helping kids in need.”


Each winner will receive:

  • Three full speed laps around Charlotte Motor Speedway with Martin Truex Jr.
  • An autograph and picture with Martin
  • Exclusive VIP tour of the race shop at Michael Waltrip Racing
  • Martin Truex Jr. gift pack with apparel and merchandise
  • Winner will be allowed to bring a guest to the event (however guest will not participate in Ride-along)
Right now through Sunday, March 25, fans can bid on two separate ride-along experiences by visiting the Martin Truex Jr Foundation at martintruexjrfoundation.org

All proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and its mission of helping children in need.


From The Martin Truex Jr Foundation-PR


MacTools Partners with Richard Petty Motorsports and Marcos Ambrose
Mac Tools announces an expanded partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR Sprint Cup series driver Marcos Ambrose to run four races in a Mac Tools-branded No. 9 Ford Fusion. The Mac Tools No. 9 will race in Bristol on March 18, Kentucky on June 30, Richmond on Sept. 8 and Dallas on Nov. 4.


Read more from RPM-PR


Tommy Baldwin Racing, SealWrap & Widow Wax ink deal for eight races
Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) signed a deal with SealWrap and Widow Wax for eight NASCAR Sprint Cup series races in the 2012 season. Blaney will debut the No. 36 SealWrap/Widow Wax Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend.


Read more from TBR-PR


ALSO: Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) entered into a partnership with privately held, international trade exchange company Tradebank.  As a part of the partnership, Tradebank will be the primary sponsor on the No. 10 Tradebank Chevrolet and David Reutimann in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.


Read more from TBR-PR


Natalie Sather Joins MAKE Motorsports
Natalie, 27, experienced sprint car driver and up-and-coming stock car racer, will be joining MAKE Motorsports as a development driver for the 2012 season.


Sather, a Fargo, ND, native will be piloting the #50 MAKE Motorsports entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series (NCWTS) for two scheduled events – the Kroeger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 31 and the Good Sam Roadside Assistance Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine at Rockingham Speedway on April 15.


Read more from Make Motorsports-PR


Racer arrested in Florida Sex Sting
Former NASCAR Camping World Truck series driver Mario Gosselin was arrested Saturday as part of an online prostitution sting in Polk County, FL.


Gosselin, a native of St. Marie, Que, who now makes his home in Lake Wales, FL was arrested by Polk County Sheriff’s deputies and charged with soliciting prostitution, after responding to an online advertisement for sex. Married with two young daughters, the 40-year old Gosselin reportedly met with an undercover detective posing as a prostitute before being arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail. He is currently free on $250 bail.


Read more from Godfather Motorsports

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Chevy: New car with new name coming this year
Chevrolet is developing a new car with a new name for its 2013 NASCAR entry, replacing the Impala used by Team Chevy, and plans to eventually market and sell the new model to consumers.


The dealership and racing versions of the car will be unveiled this year, after the New York auto show in April, spokesman Monte Doran said. The new car will use a nameplate not currently in Chevy’s lineup. Neither the car nor its name will be a derivative of another model in Chevy showrooms, such as the new Malibu or the upcoming redesigned Impala, Doran said. General Motors wouldn’t reveal details.


Read more from Detroit Free Press


And: GM Australia engineered the current Zeta platform to underpin the current Holden Caprice (basis for the Canadian-built PPV) and Commodore. Holden-built Chevy Caprices are sold in parts of the Middle East and as the Buick Park Avenue in China. The North American Caprice PPV is available to cop shops with the 6.0-liter small block V-8 and the 3.6-liter V-6. If it were to be based on the Caprice PPV, it would likely have to be updated over the present-gen cop car in the styling department at the very least.


What about the name? Caprice doesn’t sound very sporting, and the version of that car fondly remembered post-1980 is known as the Impala Super Sport. Our money is on this name: Chevrolet Super Sport.


Read more from Motor Trend


DIY “Man Caves” Reveals Ultimate Race Suite at Bristol Motor Speedway
DIY Network, the go-to destination for home improvement television, and Bristol Motor Speedway, the home of the world’s fastest half-mile race track, are teaming up for a special episode of the popular series, Man Caves. Hosts licensed contractor Jason Cameron and former NFL great Tony “The Goose” Siragusa are revealing one of their most exciting Man Caves projects to date, a custom suite at Bristol Motor Speedway, just in time for the NASCAR race weekend.


During “race week,” March 12-18, they’ll be onsite in Bristol, TN, to create a race-ready man cave featuring every NASCAR fan’s dream: stadium seating made from race car driver seats, pub tables fashioned from Goodyear tires, and a racing simulator with seat vibration connected to sound from the track. DIY Network’s camera crews will document every facet of the three-day renovation and share it all during a special episode of Man Caves premiering on Friday, Aug. 17 at 9pm ET.


Once the man cave is complete, Cameron will spend some time on Friday afternoon with 2011 NASCAR Nationwide series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Beginning at 3:45pm ET Cameron will meet with Stenhouse Jr for a lesson in NASCAR, followed by a full tour of the No. 6 hauler and pit road to learn more about what  team does to prepare for a race weekend.


Man Caves airs every Friday night at 9pm ET on DIY Network. For more information on DIY Network’s Man Caves, Cameron and Siragusa, please visit DIYNetwork.com/ManCaves.


Tune in to the NASCAR Nationwide series Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday, March 17 at 2pm ET on ESPN and the NASCAR Sprint Cup series Food City 500 on Sunday, March 18 at 1pm ET on FOX.


From BMS-PR


Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1983 – Richard Petty scores his 196th career win, leading the final 29 laps at North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, NC. Petty prevailed by half a car-length to deny Bill Elliott his first win in NASCAR’s premier series. Darrell Waltrip was third as the only other car on the lead lap.


From NASCAR .com


National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel Upholds Penalties Assessed to the No. 48 Team
On March 13, 2012, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup series team.


The penalties concern Section 12-1 of the NASCAR Rule Book “Actions detrimental to stock car racing;” Section 12-4(J); “Any determination by NASCAR Officials that the Race Equipment used in the Event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book, or has not been approved by NASCAR Officials, any part or component of 2.1(E): “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.”


This stemmed from an opening day inspection for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012.


The original penalties assessed prior to the deferral were:
– Car Owner (Jeffrey M. Gordon) – Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup series championship car owner points;
– Car Driver (Jimmie K. Johnson) – Loss of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup series championship driver points;
– Crew Chief (Chad A. Knaus) – $100,000 fine. Suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup series championship events. Suspended from NASCAR until April 18, 2012. Placed on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.
– Car Chief (Ron P. Malec) – Suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup series championship events. Suspended from NASCAR until April 18, 2012. Placed on NASCAR probation until May 9, 2012.

Upon hearing the testimony, carefully reviewing the facts and historically comparative penalties, the unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel was to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.



The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the Rule Book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.


From NASCAR-Press Release


Hendrick Motorsports response


Hendrick Motorsports will request a hearing before the National Stock Car Racing chief appellate officer to continue its appeal of NASCAR sanctions related to the No. 48 Sprint Cup team.


“The panel was generous with its time today, and we appreciated the opportunity to talk through our concerns,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “We feel strongly about this issue and will continue to pursue it at the next level.”


Adjustments to the No. 48 personnel are not planned while the appeal is ongoing.


From HMS-PR


SPEED to provide full coverage of today’s No. 48 appeal
The No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup series team, driven by five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson, and led by crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec, are appealing their fines and suspensions today at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, NC.


Throughout the day, SPEED and NASCAR Insider Wendy Venturini are on-site to capture the latest information with the appeal, breaking into regularly scheduled programming throughout the day starting at 10am ET. Then at 6pm ET tonight, full coverage from today’s proceedings can be seen on NASCAR Race Hub Special Report.


Knaus and Malec were each suspended for six Sprint Cup series races, suspended from NASCAR until April 18 and placed on probation until May 9 after NASCAR discovered unapproved C-Posts on Feb 17 during opening day of Daytona 500 inspection. Knaus was fined $100,000, while driver Jimmie Johnson and car owner Jeff Gordon both lost 25 championship points respectively.


From SPEED-PR


Nothing that appealing about hearing
The scene outside of NASCAR’s Research and Development Center on Tuesday will be much like you’d see outside of a courthouse during a big trial.


It will be a media circus – or a stakeout, as some call it – but on a much smaller scale than you’d see with Casey Anthony or OJ Simpson.


CNN and CNBC won’t be here.


There will be a hearing going on inside, but there will be no judge in the pure legal sense, or attorneys cross examining witnesses. And there’s no pretense that those under the spotlight are innocent until proven guilty.


Here you are guilty, without question, going in.


Read more from ESPN


Carl Edwards to serve as honorary starter for Ford 300 at Bristol
Carl Edwards is used to seeing the green flag fly from behind the wheel of his Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion or Mustang, but this weekend he’ll get a truly different perspective as he serves as Honorary Starter for Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.


As part of its multi-year sponsorship agreement with BMS that runs through 2014, the Region Area Ford Dealers have continually looked for ways to activate and improve the race weekend experience for fans. Ford Fan Friday, where race fans can attend Q&A sessions and get autographs from their favorite drivers, has become a highly-anticipated event. The inclusion of Edwards in this special role continues that philosophy.


Read more from BMS-PR


Darrell Waltrip Joins Andretti Panel for SPEED Performer of the Year
Three-time NASCAR Cup series champion Darrell Waltrip, recently inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, has agreed to become a voting member of the SPEED Performer of the Year panel, giving the distinguished group six Hall of Fame racers, including Mario Andretti, Dan Gurney, Sir Stirling Moss, Don Prudhomme and Scott Russell.


The winner of the annual award is presented the Mario Andretti Trophy on a special episode of SPEED Center in February.


Read more from SPEED-PR


Purchase a Ticket to Darlington Raceway & Support Help a Hero Campaign
Darlington Raceway, Sports Clips Haircuts and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are asking for race fans to help support the Help a Hero campaign by purchasing a ticket for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup series Southern 500 race weekend on May 11-12.


For every adult ticket sold through the week of March 12 – 18 (Monday thru Sunday) to either the Sprint Cup series Southern 500 or Nationwide series, VF@ Sports Clips Help a Hero 200, Darlington Raceway will make a $2 donation per ticket to support the VFW.


Read more from Darlington Raceway-PR


Kevin Harvick to Chat Online with Consumers Tuesday Night
Race fans of all ages who have questions for NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick can participate in Federal-Mogul’s (NASDAQ: FDML) next #ChampionChat session this Tuesday, March 13, at 7pm ET via Twitter and TweetChat.com


Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Budweiser/Rheem/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet, is the official spokesperson for Federal-Mogul’s iconic Champion brand of spark plugs, filters wipers and performance chemical additives. One night each month, he answers questions live for 30 minutes through the innovative #ChampionChat social media campaign. To ask a question, participants simply need to visit TweetChat.com and use the #ChampionChat hashtag at the end of each message. Questions and answers also will appear on the Champion brand’s @ChampionParts Twitter feed.


Harvick will also record video answers to #ChampionChat questions received through the VYou.com conversational video site following the live chat on Twitter.


“We’ve had excellent questions in each of our first two #ChampionChat sessions, and Kevin really enjoys being able to provide an insider’s view of Sprint Cup racing,” said Jessica Wynn, manager of brand strategy, North America, Federal-Mogul. “This program also offers the Champion team an opportunity to connect with millions of consumers who use our spark plugs and other performance-driven products in their cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and lawn-and-garden equipment.”


For more information about Champion products and programs, please visit AlwaysaChampion.com


From Federal-Mogul Corportation-PR



Monday, March 12, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1961 – Fireball Roberts laps the field twice to win the final NASCAR Grand National race at Marchbanks Speedway in Hanford, CA. Roberts driving the only Pontiac in the 36-car field, leads all 178 laps on the 1.4-mile asphalt track. Eddie Gray finishes two laps down in second place with Danny Letner three laps back in third.


From NASCAR .com


NASCAR’s Paul Brooks to leave company in May

Paul Brooks
Photo – NASCAR .com

NASCAR announced today that Paul Brooks, senior vice president of NASCAR and president of NASCAR Media Group, is leaving the company on May 4, 2012, to focus on a variety of personal and outside business interests. Brooks, who has been with NASCAR for 19 years, will continue as a senior advisor to the company in key areas, including broadcasting, media strategy and innovation.


“Paul’s accomplishments at NASCAR are beyond measure and have contributed significantly to the success of our entire industry over the last two decades and prepared us in many areas for future growth,” said NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France. “We are grateful for his years of dedicated service, support his decision to pursue other interests and wish the very best to Paul and his family. He will be greatly missed.”


Among his most important contributions at NASCAR, Brooks was on the initial team that developed NASCAR’s long-term consolidated television and new media agreements with FOX, FX, NBC, Turner and NASCAR TV on SPEED, and later, agreements with ABC/ESPN. Brooks also is credited with leading NASCAR’s efforts to become the first professional sports league to launch a 24-hour satellite radio channel with NASCAR Radio on XM Satellite and later transitioning to Sirius Satellite Radio. In one of the largest sponsor partnerships in sports, Brooks was a key member of the negotiating team that brought Sprint-Nextel into the sport as title sponsor to what was then the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.


As SVP for NASCAR and president of NASCAR Media Group, Brooks assumed day-to-day responsibilities for NASCAR’s Charlotte, NC offices in Sept. 2007, with all broadcasting, new media, licensing and consumer products, publishing, automotive aftermarket, and international business departments reporting to him. Since that time, NASCAR Plaza, NASCAR Media Group, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the NASCAR Teams Licensing Trust all were developed and launched.


As VP of broadcasting for NASCAR and VP of NASCAR Digital Entertainment, Brooks established NASCAR’s Los Angeles office in 2000, while overseeing all broadcasting, entertainment and new media ventures. He served as executive producer of NASCAR: Drivers 360 on FX and executive producer for the Emmy Award-winning NASCAR IN CAR on iN DEMAND, television’s first enhanced multi-channel digital sports package. Under his management, the Los Angeles office quickly became a focal point for NASCAR’s marketing, licensing, sales and communications functions on the West Coast. One of his first projects in Los Angeles was to create “NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience” that debuted in March 2004 and became one of the most successful film documentaries in IMAX history.


After joining NASCAR in 1993, Brooks held several key positions with the sanctioning body including VP, Office of the President, reporting directly to Bill France, Jr, then chairman and CEO of NASCAR. In this capacity, Brooks was responsible for leading long-term and operational planning for NASCAR, directing special projects and publishing, developing and launching NASCAR Online, and leading international business initiatives, including NASCAR exhibition events in Japan. Prior to joining NASCAR, his experience in the sport began in 1989 and included key positions with NASCAR drivers, teams and media outlets.


Brooks was a three-time honoree in the Sports Business Journal “Forty Under 40” and entered the Sports Business Journal “Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame” in 2005.


“Paul’s influence on NASCAR has been tremendous and will be felt for years to come,” said NASCAR President Mike Helton. “He led some of the company’s most important initiatives that have driven growth and prepared us to better serve the fans and the industry. Along the way, he earned respect and confidence throughout NASCAR and, in particular, from Bill France Jr and Brian France in their capacity as CEO’s of the company. I have great respect for Paul and look forward to continuing our professional relationship, but more importantly our friendship.”


Brooks, 47, and his wife Kelly, have a daughter, Olivia, and a son, Kasey, and they will continue to live in Charlotte, NC.


From NASCAR-PR


FedEx & Autism Speaks team up for June 3rd Sprint Cup race at Dover
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), Autism Speaks and Dover International Speedway are pleased to announce that FedEx will return as the title sponsor for the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Dover International Speedway, the June 3, 2012 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.”


This is the second straight year FedEx has been the title sponsor for the spring NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Dover International Speedway. It’s also the sixth straight year that the Monster Mile will partner with Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, helping to raise funds and awareness for the cause throughout race weekend.


Read more from Dover International Speedway-PR


Fuel injection issues plague Penske duo at LVMS
Secret or not, Brad Keselowski and the rest of his team have learned their lesson from last year’s comments about the electronic fuel injection system and want no more fines from NASCAR. So the outspoken driver bit his proverbial tongue on Twitter Sunday afternoon after leaving Las Vegas Motor Speedway very disappointed with his 32nd-place finish.


For the second consecutive week, Keselowski had some fuel pickup issues, and this time it hurt him much worse than it did in a fifth-place run at Phoenix. After Landon Cassill blew his engine on Lap 246, Keselowski couldn’t get going on the restart and was well off the pace as cars passed him on both sides. After the race, Keselowski said there was still fuel in the gas tank, meaning it was an issue with the fuel system.


Read more from NASCAR .com


Kyle Petty Criticizes the NASCAR Appeals Process
Kyle Petty on the NASCAR Appeals Process
Petty: “This appeals process is a crapshoot…these people shouldn’t be judging Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus…they don’t even understand the sport…”


Former driver and SPEED analyst Kyle Petty sounded off on the NASCAR appeals process, through which Hendrick Motorsports and crew chief Chad Knaus will navigate on Tuesday, during Sunday’s NASCAR RaceDay broadcast from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Following is a transcrip of Petty’s assessment of the appeals process:


Petty: ” You want to talk about a crapshoot. This appeals process is a crapshoot. There are 45 members on this board. If you got the NASCAR rule book, you’ll see these people’s names. Some of them may have passed away since their names were put in here. That’s how old these people are. These people shouldn’t be judging Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus and some of this stuff. I challenge anybody out there to find me more than eight or 10 out of this 45 who have been to the race track in the last 12 to 24 months. These people don’t go to the race track, they don’t understand the process. They don’t understand sometimes where this sport is. They’re great business people. They’re past drivers, champions, past sports car racers, past engine builders. Doesn’t make any difference. I think they should be judged by their peers. In this environment, in this environment we race today, if you commit a crime or you do something, you should be judged by people who understand the sport and what is going on. And I don’t think the appeals process is a good process, but at the same time, I don’t think the fine or what they’ve done to Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus is anywhere near legit. It’s total BS. They never should have fined them because the car never made it onto the race track.


‘How can they (appeals panel) override it (the penalty)? They don’t even understand the sport – look at the names on this list. The ‘Room of Doom,” they way these templates fit and everything that goes on (inspection) – it’s a complicated process. I’m not even sure I could judge Chad on it because I don’t go down there and watch them put those templates on that car. I don’t know what the sport is sometimes and how it changes. I think (Mike) Helton is a better judge of it. I think (John) Darby is a better judge of it. I think Robin (Pemberton) is a better judge of it because they’re right in there, but to take it (appeals hearing) out of this context and take it somewhere else, I don’t appreciate that. I don’t like it.”


From SPEED-PR


Dodge Charger Race Car for 2013 Sprint Cup Series Unveiled at LVMS

2013 Dodge Charger Unveil at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Photo – Chris Williams Icon Sports Media

Fans asked for it. NASCAR agreed. SRT Motorsports and Dodge delivered. SRT Motorsports unveiled the 2013 Dodge Charger that will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in front of the people that asked for the change – the fans. Just as they did with the Dodge Challenger when it was introduced in the NASCAR Nationwide series two years ago, SRT Motorsports designers and engineers created a race car fans will have no problem identifying on the track. The defining features of the street Charger have been expertly incorporated into the racing  version.


NASCAR eased rules on where manufacturers could put glass and solid body pieces. That freed designers and engineers to make the “greenhouse,” the area above the doors, hood and truck lid, more closely resemble production cars. Rules were also eased for the front and rear, and especially the sides, allowing the character lines that come directly from the street car.


The relationship between the Dodge Charger street car and the Dodge race car is unmistakable.


From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge)-PR


ALSO: Dodge Motorsports president Ralph Gilles said Dodge is moving forward and hopes to remain in NASCAR despite losing Penske Racing as its signature team.


Gilles spoke Sunday morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after the unveiling of the 2013 Dodge Charger Sprint Cup car. Two weeks ago, Roger Penske announced his two-car Dodge team (Dodge’s only major team) was switching to Ford in 2013.


Read more from ESPN

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.  


Tony Stewart Wins First Race at Las Vegas

Tony Stewart celebrates first win at Las Vegas
Photo – NASCAR.com

In a rather uneventful race at Las Vegas, the defending 2011 champion Tony Stewart held off five-time champion, Jimmie Johnson for the victory. This was Stewart’s first career win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 


Early in the race, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick battle with strong cars and led most of the first quarter of the race. 


On lap 45 Rookie of the Year contender Timmy Hill, who missed the first two races at Daytona and Phoenix, hit the wall and ended his day. 


The second caution of the day came out when the #10 car of David Reutimann made contact with the wall. The next caution occurred when the former Red Bull Team – now called BK (Burger King) Racing – with one of their two drivers, Travis Kvapil blow an engine. As soon as the caution came out Kyle Busch who was behind Kvapil when he blew the motor got into some oil and slightly tapped the wall but was able to continue. 


After a few debris cautions, the most excitement of the race is set to begin. On lap 244 Landon Cassill blew his engine; Cassill is Kvapil’s teammate who blew an engine earlier in the race. 


As soon as the green flag flew after that last caution, Brad Keselowski who restarted second, had a fuel pump issue causing his car to not produce fuel for the car and Brad’s car slowed immediately as he dropped to the rear of the field, then to the garage ending his day.  


With 12 laps to go, Kurt Busch in the No.51 ran over a piece of debris, cutting down one of his tires and causing Busch to spin down the backstretch, then making significant contact with the inside wall and ending his day. 


The final caution of the day occurred when Kyle Busch cut down a rear left tire and spun into the infield grass on the front-stretch. 


Now the race comes down to a battle between the drivers who have won the last seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships. On the restart Stewart took the lead over Johnson who closed in quickly but was never able to clear Stewart again before the checkered flag. 


Also on that restart, Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne made contact with the wall and Kenseth had enough damage to end his hopes of a top ten finish. Kenseth ended up finishing 22nd, with Kasey Kahne finishing 19th 


After the race Stewart was stoked about winning for the first time at Las Vegas. 


In a race that failed to live up to the spectacular shows drivers likely witnessed throughout the week on the Vegas strip, the race did offer some great racing and great saves by drivers. 


Next week in one of the most exciting races of the season, we go to the Bristol Motor Speedway for a race full of beating and banging.



News and Views – Volume 16 March 6 – 11, 2012

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.


Race Results


Point Standings


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARMedia


Roush leads at Vegas; feast or famine for some
For Starters
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
Breakout Number
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.


Track Tidbits
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.


Recent Trends
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.


Race Results
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.


Race Lineup

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. 


Race Lineup

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).


From CMS-PR


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.
How to Enter: For your chance to win the Join a NASCAR Race Team Sweepstakes, visit the Auto Club Speedway Facebook page at facebook.com/AutoClubSpeedway and click on the “Race Team Sweepstakes” link. Visit the Sweepstakes Page for official rules. The Join a Race Team Sweepstakes is open to residents of the United States who are at least 18 years old.

From Auto Club Speedway-PR

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)
From NASCAR-PR

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.


From RIR-PR


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. 


From ESPN-PR

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
Phone: 704-876-4776
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
Phone: 704-663-3330
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
Phone: 704-377-0534
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.


From SiriusXM-NASCAR


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


From SPEED-PR


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.


From ESPN


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.