|News & Views – Volume 22
For the week of April 16 – 22, 2012
“I like job security.” – Greg Biffle
After an off-week of racing, this weekend was full of racing action with three premier events producing three great winners!
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. opened the weekend by defending his championship title with a win in the Nationwide race on Friday night. Greg Biffle made a significant statement about his job security – top-of-the-points standing – with a Big Win at Texas on Saturday night. And on Sunday afternoon, Kasey Kahne returned to The Rock to claim his victory!
For the upcoming weekend, Nationwide drivers will be off. The Camping World Truck and Sprint Cup drivers are heading to Kansas Speedway for racing action on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Between now and then, Fan4Racing will keep you up-to-date with NASCAR news and views.
Let’s begin with news for today…
Sunday, April 22, 2012
JGR close to extension with Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing plans to sign a long-term extension with Toyota within the next month, ending any speculation it could move to Dodge.
“We’re working on that,” JGR president JD Gibbs told ESPN.com on Sunday after Denny Hamlin’s victory at Kansas Speedway. “We’ll be with Toyota for a long time to come.”
Read more from ESPN
2012 NSCS STP 400 Race Results
|Hamlin celebrates in Victory Lane at Kansas
Photo – Orlin Wagner/Associated Press
Martin Truex Jr was looking to be on his way to his second career NSCS victory, as he led 173 laps of the 267 that were run in the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. But, with 31 laps to go it was Denny Hamlin taking the lead from Truex and never looking back for the win.
Hamlin, who crossed the start/finish line 0.700 seconds ahead of Truex, received his 2nd series win of the 2012 season, his 19th series career win and his 1st series win at Kansas Speedway.
Following Hamlin and Truex to the drop of the checkered flag were Jimmie Johnson finishing in third, Matt Kenseth fourth and the current series point leader Greg Biffle (now has a 15-point lead over Martin Truex Jr.) finishing fifth.
Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Kevin Harvick who finished sixth, Dale Earnhardt Jr seventh, Kasey Kahne eighth, Carl Edwards ninth and Kyle Busch finishing in the tenth position.
Next Up – The Richmond 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 28th, with an approximate start of 7:50pm ET and television coverage provided by FOX beginning with their pre-race show at 7pm ET.
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
Montoya Appears on “Nuestra Belleza Latina”
Driver of the No. 42 Target Chevrolet Makes His Reality Show Debut.
NASCAR and Juan Pablo Montoya partnered with Univision – the leading Spanish language network and one of the top five networks in the US regardless of language – for NASCAR’s first Spanish language television integration.
The television show, “Nuestra Belleza Latina,” which is in its sixth season, features 12 young women competing in a series of challenges covering a variety of topics – from diction to physical fitness – to become the next Nuestra Belleza Latina (Our Latin Beauty).
In this week’s challenge, Montoya drives contestants to their limits at Homestead-Miami Speedway as they take the passenger seat at over 180 miles per hour while attempting to recite NASCAR facts from memory. Montoya also contributed in deciding who did the best job in this particular challenge.
Read more from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing-PR
Victory Junction asks camp founder Pattie Petty to take a back seat
If the planned Victory Junction Midwest becomes a reality, it likely will be without the help of Pattie Petty, the driving force who created the original NASCAR-themed camp in North Carolina for children with chronic diseases.
The Victory Junction board of directors has informed Petty, wife of former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and daughter-in-law of Hall of Famer Richard Petty, that she will no longer be part of the day-to-day operations of the camp.
The board has offered her emeritus status, but she is balking at serving in a purely ceremonial role.
Read more from The Kansas City Star
Kasey Kahne to use Kevin Hamlin on Sunday, his third different spotter
Kasey Kahne is still searching for the best spotter for his Hendrick Motorsports program as he will use his third different spotter of the year when he starts the STP 400 on Sunday at Kansas Speedway and plans to work with a fourth sometime next month.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver replaced longtime spotter Kole Kahne (his cousin) with former Jeff Gordon Spotter Shannon McGlammery after the fifth race of the season.
That tryout was designed for two races (Martinsville and Texas) and now Kahne will use Richard Childress Racing spotter Kevin Hamlin the next three weeks.
Read more at Sporting News
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Not Everyone Enjoying 2012
Greg Biffle is red hot and his Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth is doing nearly as well. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is relevant for the first time in years and Michael Waltrip Racing is relevant for the first time ever in the upper echelons of the NASCAR Sprint cup Series. Stewart-Haas Racing is still winning with surprisingly regularity.
So far, the 2012 Sprint cup season has seen plenty of surprises, with six winners in seven races and a whole host of new faces up front on a weekly basis.
But NASCAR racing is very much a zero-sum game: If one driver has improved, it means some other driver has slipped backwards. And when a whole bunch improve, well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that some others are in trouble already.
Read more from SPEED
Safe driving: Why have there been fewer NASCAR wrecks this season?
During the 234-lap green-flag run to the finish last week at Texas Motor Speedway, drivers and fans alike had the same question: When will a caution flag finally come out?
Those agonizing long green-flag runs typically don’t occur in NASCAR Sprint cup racing. Beyond cautions for debris and fluid on the track, drivers often make mistakes or battle hard enough for position that they wind up hitting each other, spinning out or slamming the wall hard enough to bring out the yellow flag.
Read more from Sporting News
Edwards, Bowyer still rivals
Kansas Speedway’s favorite sons – Columbia, MO, native Carl Edwards and Emporia’s Clint Bowyer – have won at the Speedway, but neither have won a NASCAR Sprint Cup race at their home track.
And Edwards warned, with a big smile, that if he and Bowyer are both in position late in the race to win Sunday’s STP 400, it might not be pretty.
Read more from CJ Online
Kansas Speedway latest flashpoint for NASCAR repaving debate
Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren entered his track’s media center Saturday morning carrying an iPhone and the confident look of a prosecutor poised to deliver a closing argument.
Read more from USA Today
Diversity driver says NASCAR program fair, provides good opportunity for minorities
A driver of Syrian descent might not be the first person fans think of when looking for a face for NASCAR’s diversity program, but as he has emerged as one of the program’s most successful drivers, Paulie Harraka said he never felt the validity of his participation in the program was questioned.
NASCAR and Access Communications, which operated the program from 2004-2007, are being sued by Michael Rodriguez, a driver whose grandparents are from Puerto Rico, over allegations that he was not given a chance to try out for the program because he looked “too Caucasian.”
Read more from Sporting News
Martin Truex Jr – MWR talk new deal
Don’t look for Martin Truex Jr. to leave Michael Waltrip Racing after his contract expires in 2012.
Team owner Michael Waltrip said on Saturday at Kansas Speedway the organization is negotiating with Truex and primary sponsor NAPA on an extension.
Read more from ESPN
Are there any secrets in Dale Junior’s family tree?
What secrets lie in the Earnhardt family tree?
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been spending time over the last six months trying to find out. And there may not be secrets, but perhaps just things he and his closest relatives may not have been aware of.
Read more from That’s Racin’/Lucky Dog
2012 NCWTS SFP 250 Race Results
|Buescher celebrates in Victory Lane at Kansas
Photo – Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
In his 76th NACAR Camping World Truck Series race, James Buescher, captured his first career series win Saturday, as he kept the series point leader, Timothy Peters, behind him by 5.310 seconds to win the SFP 250 at Kansas Speedway.
Following Buescher and Peters (who leads Buescher by 4-points in the series’ standings) were Brad Keselowski finishing in third, Nelson Piquet Jr fourth and Todd Bodine finishing in fifth.
Rounding our the top-ten finishing positions were Ron Hornaday Jr finishing in sixth, Justin Lofton seventh, Parker Kligerman eighth, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Ty Dillon ninth and Miguel Paludo finishing in the tenth position.
Next Up – The North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, May 18th, with an approximate starting time of 8:20pm ET and television coverage provided by SPEED beginning with their 7:30pm ET pre-race show.
From Timing and Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
Sergey Mokshantsev Becomes First Russian to Drive NASCAR
Sergey Mokshantsev, an experienced open-wheel racing driver from Moscow with European Formula 3 and Indy Lights experience to his resume, plans to enter NASCAR competition this season becoming the first Russian driver in NASCAR competition.
Mokshantsev has been undergoing an aggressive NASCAR driver development program which started March 13-14 and April 2-3 in North Carolina driving a K&N Pro Series car prepared by NTS Motorsports.
For the 2012 NTS Motorsports continues as a K&N East and West Series team but has boosted it’s program to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with rookie Brennan Newberry (#14) and is preparing to run a second truck by the end of the 2012 season.
From Speedway Group-PR
SRT Motorsports (Dodge) Keys for Success – Kansas – STP 400
Howard Comstock, SRT Motorsports Engineering, provides this week’s Keys for Success
Pound the Pavement – “We know on Monday that the speedway is going to tear the current track surface up and begin the repaving project. That being said, Sunday’s race will be on the roughest, most coarse surface that we will race on here at Kansas for many years. We saw in practice the lap times fall off dramatically as tire wear goes up So there may be some strategy on Sunday – short pitting for fresh tires will trump trying to play the fuel economy game.”
Caution Trends – “There have been some strange races with rain and delayed events that have skewed the number of cautions that we’ve seen so far this year. At this point last year, there have been 61 cautions, there’s only been 40 this year. That’s a dramatic change. The trend has been fewer cautions, which means you’re going to try and run longer on tires and fuel. With the track’s surface being so rough, managing tires will certainly trump fuel management issues.”
Stay Cool – “The ambient temperature will be at least 20 degrees cooler for Sunday’s race as compared to last June’s race. The cooler conditions have made for faster speeds. Faster speeds mean worse fuel economy, so everybody will have to take that into consideration for tomorrow’s race. We have no history here with fuel injection; there are a lot of factors playing into the crew chief’s choice of when we’re going to see pit stops. Pit strategy will certainly be a key.”
From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge)-PR
2012 NSCS STP 400 Starting Lineup
AJ Allmendinger, with a qualifying lap speed of 175.993-mph, captured the NSCS STP 400 Coors Light Pole Award at Kansas Speedway Saturday afternoon.
This was Allmendinger’s first series pole of the 2012 season, his second series career pole and first series pole at Kansas Speedway.
Sharing the front row with the “Dinger” in the second starting position with a qualifying lap speed of 175.747-mph will be Kevin Harvick, followed by Joey Logano (175.724) starting third, Denny Hamlin (175.667) fourth and Mark Martin (175.484) will start fifth.
Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Martin Truex Jr (175.444) starting from sixth, Dale Earnhardt Jr (175.313) seventh, Clint Bowyer (175.302) eighth, Kasey Kahne (175.092) ninth and Sam Hornish Jr (175.086) will start from the tenth position.
Failing to make the starting lineup were the #79 driven by Tim Andrews, #33 driven by Jeff Green and the #74 driven by Tony Raines.
The STP 400 is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, April 22nd, at 1:20pm ET with FOX beginning their pre-race coverage at 12:30pm ET.
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
2012 NCSTS SFP 250 Starting Lineup
Tim George Jr, with a qualifying lap speed of 172.436-mph, captured his first career NCWTS pole Saturday morning by winning the SFP 250 Keystone Light Pole Award at Kansas Speedway.
Starting second and on the outside pole with a qualifying lap speed of 172.331-mph will be Jason Leffler, followed by Justin Lofton (172.320) starting third, Jason White (172.013) fourth and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Ty Dillon (171.630) will start fifth.
Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be James Buescher (171.543) starting sixth, Joey Coulter (171.521) seventh, Nelson Piquet Jr (171.467) eighth, Todd Bodine (171.369) ninth and Timothy Peters (171.276) will start from the tenth position.
Failing to make the starting lineup were the #74 driver by Mike Harmon and the #38 driven by Dennis Setzer.
Today’s SFP 250 is scheduled to get started around 2:20pm ET this afternoon, and SPEED will continue their television coverage beginning with their 1:30pm ET Pre-race show.
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
Farmland Foods Partners with Richard Petty Motorsports
Farmland Foods today announced a partnership with the legendary Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR team. Farmland will appear on the iconic No. 43 Ford Fusion as the primary sponsor in four NASCAR Spring Cup Series events in Chicago, Kansas, Texas and Phoenix.
Read more from RPM-PR
2012 Kansas Speedway Weather Forecast: Rain Drops Saturday?
Most of the time this weekend at Kansas Speedway it will be mostly dry but there’s just a very slight chance of a passing sprinkle or shower later today.
Weak disturbance coming out of the northern plains will clip the region as it moves to the southeast during the day. Clouds will increase and could possibly produce a brief passing sprinkle or maybe a shower. Most of the day Saturday should be rain free and I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire time was dry.
The rest of the time will feature sun and clouds with cool spring temperatures. Both today and Sunday highs will be in the upper 60’s to near 70. There will be a slight breeze Sunday with gust near 20 mph.
Raceway & NASCAR Plant 77 Trees at Santa Rosa Elementary School
Roseland Creek Elementary School will be a little more “green,” thanks to both Infineon Raceway and NASCAR.
The North Bay school, which is currently under construction and slated to open for the 2013 school year, received a donation of 77 trees through “NASCAR Green Clean Air” – an initiative that neutralizes all the carbon produced by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events.
A ceremonial planting of three live oak trees was held on Friday at the future site of Roseland Creek Elementary School and attended by Santa Rosa Mayor Ernesto Olivares, Roseland Creek Elementary School Principal, William Nilsen, Superintendent of Roseland Public Schools, Gail Ahlas, representatives from Infineon Raceway and several future elementary school students.
Read more from Infineon Raceway-PR
Friday, April 20, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1961 – Cotton Owens takes the lead with four laps left and heads off NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett to win a 200-lap main event at Columbia (SC) Speedway. Jarrett, who started on the pole, led the other 196 laps but faded to finish one lap down. Emanuel Zervakis took third on the half-mile dirt track.
From NASCAR .com
Best Western announced today that it is rewarding one lucky business traveler with the chance to swap jobs with racing superstar Michael Waltrip, and win a $1,000 travel card for a well-deserved vacation. This year marks the fifth year Best Western has teamed with Waltrip for the “Fan Swap” and the first time the contest will reward a frequent business traveler – or ‘Travel Hero’ – for their long hours on the road.
Now through May 18, racing fans can go to bestwestern.com/fanswap and nominate themselves or someone they know, to be the “Fan Swap” winner. Entrants should tell Best Western why the nominee is truly a ‘Travel Hero,’ sacrificing time at home with friends and family traveling to earn a living. Entries should also explain why the winner deserves to win the Fan Swap grand prize, Waltrip traveling to their hometown and ‘working’ as they would, meeting with their co-workers, family and friends.
“I travel more than 200 days a year, so I understand first-hand what it’s like to be away from family while on the road,” said Waltrip. “This is my fifth time participating in the Best Western Fan Swap and I look forward to sharing some well-deserved fun with another ‘Travel Hero’.”
In addition to meeting with Waltrip, the grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 Best Western Travel Card. The Travel Card can be used like cash at any of the chain’s more than 4,100 hotels worldwide for a much-deserved vacation.
“For this year’s ‘Fan Swap’ we want to remind everyone that business travelers are heroes to the people back home and show the appreciation for all they do,” said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “We’re thrilled to once again have Michael Waltrip, who is truly the ultimate road warrior, helping us to reward our lucky winner.
For more details, including terms and conditions, visit bestwestern.com/fanswap
From Allison + Partners for Best Western and Michael Waltrip Racing-PR
Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes keen interest in White House while tracing his family tree
Dale Earnhardt Jr had been to The White House before, but his visit Tuesday allowed him to view the inside of the historic building with a different perspective.
Earnhardt Jr, revealed Friday that he has spent significant time the last six months researching his family heritage beyond his well-known father, the seven-time Cup champion, and his grandfather, short-track legend Ralph Earnhardt.
Read more from Sporting News
2012 NSCS STP 400 Final Practice Session Speeds
It was Jimmie Johnson, with a lap speed of 174.955-mph, posting the fastest lap during the final NSCS STP 400 practice session at Kansas Speedway.
Mark Martin was second fastest with a lap speed of 174.317-mph and was followed by Martin Truex Jr. (173.801) who was third fastest, Greg Biffle (173.310) fourth and Denny Hamlin (172.889) was fifth fastest.
Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” (final) practice session were Brad Keselowski (172.850) who was sixth fastest, Sam Hornish Jr (172.701) seventh and AJ Allemendinger (172.629) eighth, Matt Kenseth (172.254) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.
The teams will return Saturday afternoon for their 12:10pm ET scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for Sunday’s race – which is set to get underway approximately at 1:20pm ET – FOX will begin their pre-race coverage at 12:30pm ET.
Final Practice Speeds
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
Alzheimer’s Association in Honor of Dan Wheldon and First Descents
Alzheimer’s Association and First Descents are the next two charities selected for the 2012 Jimmie Johnson Foundation Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope, which Johnson will wear in the June 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Infineon Raeway in Sonoma, CA.
Each organization will receive a grant of $10,000 and a special Blue Bunny ice cream party.
ESPN reporter Nicole Briscoe nominated the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of the late Dan Wheldon. Wheldon was an IZOD IndyCar Series driver and a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, but he died in an on-track accident last October during the season-ending race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“Dan Wheldon was working to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s before he was killed. His mother has Alzheimer’s,” wrote Briscoe in her nomination. “Dan’s legacy is as much about his immense talent and accomplishments behind the wheel as it is his family. Featuring this organization would be a tribute to Dan, his family and all who are affected by the disease.”
Fan Melissa Hage from Salem, OR, nominated First Descents. The organization offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors (ages 18-39) a free outdoor adventure experience, designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy cancer and reclaim their lives.
“As a young adult cancer survivor, I didn’t have anyone my age to talk with about what I had gone through until I participated in First Descents,” wrote Hage. “My recovery would not have been complete without them. They gave me back the spark for living and allowed me to prove that cancer didn’t win. Every cancer survivor should be able to attend camp and have that same feeling.”
The Helmet of Hope program, which began in 2008, allows fans, consumers and media members across the country to nominate their favorite charity to receive a $10,000 grant, special recognition on Johnson’s race helmet and a Blue Bunny ice cream party. To date, the program has contributed more than $300,000 to 49 different charities across the United States.
This year’s Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope campaign runs for six consecutive Sprint Cup race weekends, and it began April 1 at Martinsville (VA) Speedway. Johnson will draw one winner from a list of media submissions and one from a list of fan submissions each race weekend through the Mother’s Day weekend Sprint Cup event at Darlington (SC) Raceway.
Alzheimer’s Association, whose national headquarters are located in Chicago, IL, and First Descents, whose national headquarters are located in Denver, CO, join the United Way of Siouxland, Nature Conservancy, Chill Foundation, Fisher House and Scott Lake Elementary-PTO as charities that will be featured on the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope.
Fans and media members may nominate their charity by visiting helmetofhope.org. For more information about the most recently selected charities visit alz.org or @alzassociation, firstdescents.org or @First Descents
From True Sped Communication for the Jimmie Johnson Foundation-PR
Kansas: One of many in Trucks; select few in Cup
11 – There have been 11 different winners in the 11 Truck Series races at Kansas, tying it with New Hampshire and Dover for the second-most different race winners – Homestead has 12. Only three Kansas winners are expected to compete this weekend: Todd Bodine (2005), Ron Hornaday (2008) and Johnny Sauter (2010).
13 – Hendrick Motorsports has been trying to get Cup Series win No. 200 since Jimmie Johnson won at Kansas in October 2011; the 13-race winless streak is the organization’s longest since 2002. Hendrick drivers have led 773 laps this season, more than twice as many as any other team, and finished second three times (twice by Johnson). Hendrick has the most wins (4) and poles (4) at Kansas.
Camping World Truck Series Breakout Number
2 – Two drivers have finished in the top-five in the past two races at Kansas: Todd Bodine and Johnny Sauter. Sauter is the only driver who has finished in the top-ten in the past three races; he has an average finish of 4.0.
1 – Matt Crafton is the only driver who has competed in all 11 races at Kansas. He has one top-five (fifth in 2004); he was driving Kevin Harvick Inc’s No. 6 Chevrolet, his only start there he didn’t drive the No. 88 Chevy of ThorSport Racing. Crafton has three other top-tens in the No. 88, most recently a seventh-place finish in 2009.
3 – Ron Hornaday has won the pole for three of the past four races at Kansas. He is the only driver to win from the pole (2008).
8 – Eight races at Kansas have been won from the first two rows, including five from the front row. No winner has started outside the top 10.
3 – There have been three first-time winners at Kansas: Ricky Hendrick (2001) Jon Wood (2003) and Erik Darnell (2007). Six of the top seven drivers in points have never won in the Truck Series.
4 – Ron Hornaday has won four of the past 10 races on 1.5-mile tracks; he has 13 wins on 1.5-mile tracks, second-most in the series (Kyle Busch with 14). Hornaday had finished in the top six in the four races prior to last year, when he cut a tire, hit the wall and finished 30th.
9 – Ty Dillon won the first of his nine, ARCA races at Kansas in 2010. Dillon has begun his Truck career with five top-tens in six races, including top-tens in each of the three races this season.
Sprint Cup Series Breakout Number
2 – Place of finish in last year’s races at Kansas for Dale Earnhardt Jr (June) and Kasey Kahne (October), for each their first top-five at the track. Kahne has five top-tens in the past six races on 1.5-mile tracks; six of his 12 wins have come on 1.5-mile tracks.
2 – Carl Edwards has been passed for the final lead change in two of the past five races at Kansas, beginning in 2008 when he finished second (his best result in nine starts) to Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle.
4 – Four drivers have combined to win eight of the 12 races at Kansas – two each from Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart. Gordon won the first two races in 2001 and ’02. Brad Keselowski is the only driver not named Biffle, Johnson or Stewart to win in the past seven races.
57 – Brad Keselowski went the final 57 laps on one tank of gas to win at Kansas in June 2011; he was the only driver to finish in the top 29 who only pitted five times. He started 25th, the worst of any Kansas winner; he was running seventh when the leaders began their final stops on Lap 241 of the 267-lap race.
1 – Kyle Busch only has one top-ten finish in nine Kansas starts (seventh in 2006); he has finished worse than 20th five times. He only has two top-tens in the past 14 1.5-mile races; he has finished worse than 20th eight times. Busch finished 12th and 11th in the two Kansas races last year.
5.7 – The average number of cautions per race in the first seven races of 2012 is 5.7, for 33 laps. In the past 10 seasons, the combined average for the first seven races was 9.2 for 51 laps. There haven’t been more than seven cautions in any of the past five races at Kansas, with the most caution laps during that time being 25.
26.3 – Martin Truex Jr has an average finish of 26.3 at Kansas, his worst track; in seven starts his best finish is 11th (October 2006). Truex is off to the best start of his career, with five top-tens in seven starts including a current run of four in a row.
From Racing Resources and Services – Statistics Racing Recall/NASCAR
2012 NCWTS SFP 250 Final Practice Session Speeds
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
Trevor Bayne Stars in New TV Commercial for “Win My Fusion” National Sweepstakes
Trevor Bayne, one of NASCAR’s most popular young drivers and the winner of the 2011 Daytona 500, will star in a new television ad campaign that focuses on the new 2013 Ford Fusion.
2012 NSCS STP 400 First Practice Session Speeds
Kyle Busch, with a lap speed of 173.728-mph was the fastest during the first NSCS STP 400 practice session at Kansas Speedway.
Second fastest was Carl Edwards with a lap speed of 172.900-mph, and was followed by Kasey Kahne (172.546) who was third fastest, Landon Cassill (172.469) fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (172.276) was fifth fastest.
Rounding our the top-ten fastest in practice were Ryan Newman (172.271) who was sixth fastest, the defending series champion, Tony Stewart (172.249) seventh, AJ Allmendinger (172.062) eighth, Travis Kvapil (171.647) ninth and Jeff Gordon (171.439) posting the tenth fastest lap speed.
The teams will return to the track later today for their 4:30-6pm ET scheduled “Happy Hour” (final) practice session.
First Practice Speeds
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
Carl Edwards entertains Ford engineers in outtkes from Taurus commercial
When Ford engineers showed up at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, CA recently for the final test for the 2013 Ford Taurus, they were surprised to learn that they would be in the commercials for the new car.
They were also surprised at who was behind the wheel of the four-door passenger car.
Read more and see the video at Sporting News
Bowyer’s sponsorship to expand
The recent success of Michael Waltrip Racing is paying immediate dividends.
On Friday, MWR and 5-Hour Energy will announce the additional sponsorship for the 2012 season to include 35 of 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup races for the No. 14 Toyota and driver Clint Bowyer, according to sources. Originally, 5-Hour Energy signed up for 25 races over a three-year deal. The 36th race will be an Aaron’s supported car in conjunction with the Talladega Superspeedway race.
Read more from FOX Sports
Petty not ruling our return to Dodge
Richard Petty Motorsports is trying to negotiate a deal to stay with Ford and retain its relationship with Roush Fenway Racing.
But team namesakes Richard Petty isn’t totally ruling out a return to Dodge, the manufacturer with which he became a racing icon as a driver.
Read more from Associated Press/ESPN
2012 NCWTS SFP 250 First Practice Session Speeds
Joey Coulter, with a lap speed of 170.379-mph, was the quickest during the first NCWTS SFP 250 practice session at Kansas Speedway.
Second quickest with a lap speed of 169.998-mph was Tim George Jr, followed by James Buescher (169.769) who was third quickest, Nelson Piquet Jr, (169.571) fourth and Parker Kligerman (169.375) was fifth quickest.
Rounding out the top-ten quickest during practice were Justin Lofton (168.966) who was sixth quickest, Johnny Sauter (168.602) seventh, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Ty Dillon (168.587) eighth, Brad Keselowski (168.340) ninth and Matt Crafton (168.308) posting the tenth quickest lap speed.
The teams will return to the track again this afternoon for their 3 – 4:20pm ET scheduled “Happy Hour” final practice session.
First Practice Speeds
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
Autism Speaks Day at the Races creates first-ever autism friendly NASCAR race
As part of their ever-growing partnership, Autism Speaks and Dover International Speedway have announced Autism Speaks Day at the Races, a sensory friendly NASCAR event in Dover for the June 3, 2012 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
The all-inclusive event marks the first-ever autism friendly NASCAR race, and gives families an opportunity to experience a NASCAR race in an environment specifically designed for the enjoyment of children with autism. Autism Speaks Day at the Races will be held in Dover’s air-conditioned grandstand, offering a great view of the Monster Mile from the backstretch, and will feature brief presentations by educational speakers in the morning, special appearances by NASCAR personalities, food and drink, and much more.
In addition, the area will offer a dedicated quiet zone, set inside special rooms within the air-conditioned grandstands, where parents can bring their kids to get away from the crowd if necessary. The quiet zone will be sensory friendly, with muted lighting in a calmer environment, while also featuring video screens to keep up with the action on the track.
Autism Speaks Day at the Races is just another addition to the now six-year partnership between Autism Speaks and the Monster Mile. Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization, helping to raise funds and awareness for the cause throughout race weekend.
The program will kick off with doors opening at 9:30am, followed by brief presentations on “Living on the Spectrum,” “Autism Speaks in the Community,” a science briefing, a presentation by Autism Delaware and more at 10am. At 11:30am, a hot lunch buffet and non-alcoholic drinks will be served, followed by the green flag for the “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at 1pm. Additional speakers and NASCAR personalities are being confirmed, and will be announced at DoverSpeedway.com
While parental supervision is required, volunteers from Autism Speaks as well as the Alpha Xi Delta sorority at the University of Delaware will be on hand for assistance.
Tickets for Autism Speaks Day at the Races cost $88 for adults and $20 for children ages 14 and younger. The $88 price point is symbolic, as recent studies have shown that one in 88 children are diagnosed with autism by age eight, according to the CDC. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Autism Speaks.
To purchase tickets to Autism Speaks Day at the Races, call 800-441-RACE or visit MonsterMileOffers.com/AutismSpeaks
From Dover International Speedway-PR
Come Meet Johnny Sauter at The Peanut Roaster
If you are a fan of Johnny Sauter and his new sponsor Hot Honeys from The Peanut Roaster, you will not want to miss out on this event!
Come on over to The Peanut Roaster in Henderson, NC on May 4th from noon – 4pm to meet Johnny Sauter and sample the Honey Roasted Chipotle Peanuts that have swept the ThorSport Racing Nation by storm!
Johnny Sauter will be on hand to sign autographs, along with FREE samples of the Hot Honeys. You can get an up close view of Johnny’s #13 NASCAR Truck Series Toyota Tundra.
Johnny Sauter Hot Honeys hats, t-shirts and limited edition Sauter Hot Honeys 40 oz cans will be available for purchase t the event and online at peanut.com
You will also have a chance to enter to win Pit Passes for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 18th!
And don’t miss out on the free soda and hot dogs from Noon until 1pm.
A Word from Johnny:
“I am excited to come out to The Peanut Roaster to meet all of my fans and hand out samples of the Hot Honeys! The entire ThorSport Organization, myself included, cannot get enough of these peanuts. We are excited that The Peanut Roaster is on board with us for the 2012 season and I look forward to driving to Victory Lane with Hot Honeys on the truck,” said Sauter.
From ThorSport Racing-PR
Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation Announces Program for Wounded Vets
Brad Keselowski’s No. 19 Checkered Flag Foundation RAM will highlight a proactive veterans hiring program during this weekend’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway.
Driving for his own team, Brad Keselowski Racing, Keselowski’s hood will carry the message of Waste Management’s proactive veteran hiring program. In addition to being the nation’s largest environmental services provider, with approximately 44,300 employees, Waste Management is also a leader in recruiting and hiring veterans, which is what attracted Keselowski to the program.
“About 1 in 12 employees at Waste Management are veterans and the organization is consistently recognized to be military friendly,” Keselowski said. “It made sense for me to highlight their hiring program through my foundation, which works to support those who have sacrificed for the rest of us. As more and more men and women leave their respective branch of service proudly after serving long tours away from their families and friends, it’s good to know that there are organizations like Waste Management that proactively seek to hire them upon their return.”
About 3,500 veterans currently work for Waste Management. The organization has been named top Military Friendly employer by “GI Jobs Magazine,” “Military Times,” and the Department of Defense.
A veteran himself, Wes Reel, staffing manager with Waste Management said, “I have always loved being part of a winning team, which is why I loved serving in the military before I joined Waste Management. When I wore the uniform of the United States Navy, I worried that nothing could ever replace the mission and purpose I felt by serving my country. I now take great pride in being a small part of a company that is helping to change the world by making our environment better.”
“We are actively seeking veterans to fill roles at all levels of the organization, from the Operational Front Line to the Corporate Headquarters,” Reel continued. “A partnership with The Checkered Flag Foundation brings us one step closer to its goal of remaining a best place to work for veterans.”
For real Veterans’ testimony from real WM Employees, click here to view the video.
Follow this link to view a list of all WM’s current openings.
Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports those who have sacrificed for us, including military, veterans, first responders and their families, among others. For more information on CFF, you can visit checkeredflagfoundation.org or check out the Checkered Flag Foundation on Facebook at fbook.me/CFF and on Twitter @BKCFF
From Brad Keselowski Checkered Flag Foundation-PR
Greg Biffle feeling like a championship contender again after fast start, early win
Greg Biffle challenged for the Sprint Cup championship in 2005 when he finished second in points, just 35 behind Tony Stewart.
he challenged again in 2008 when he won the first two Chase races and wound up third overall behind Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards.
Now that he’s leading the Cup standings for an extended period for the first time in his career, Biffle has a similar feeling that he had during those title runs.
Now he just hopes that he can keep it.
Read more from Sporting News
NASCAR Superstar Matt Kenseth visits Chicago (with Video)
This season’s Daytona 500 champion and Cambridge, WI native, Matt Kenseth stopped by the W Hotel Lakeshore for a fan event and Q&A hosted by Chicagoland Speedway.
Kenseth, currently second in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, will return to Chicagoland Speedway this September for the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (think Stanley Cup playoffs, but NASCAR, this is the second year in a row Chicagoland has kicked it off) – the Geico 400, September 15-16. Kenseth was last year’s pole winner at Chicagoland Speedway.
The fan event was limited to just 25 spaces and took place in the “Altitude” Lounge on the 33th floor of the hotel. It was rescheduled from February, when the crazy weather delays in Daytona postponed Kenseth’s arrival in Chicago.
Read more and see video from Chicago Now
NASCAR Hall running $600K deficit for year, but hopeful for turnaround
The man who heads Charlotte’s visitors’ authority said the NASCAR Hall of Fame cannot continue running deficits. The latest numbers show the Hall of Fame has lost more than $500,000 already this year.
It’s been nearly two years since the Hall of Fame opened its doors to fanfare. Unlike the fast cars it promotes, the hall’s budget seems stuck in reverse, running up deficits that are twice as high this year as originally projected.
From the start of the fiscal year last July through the end of February, the Hall of Fame projected a deficit of $308,000. However, numbers released this month show the actual deficit is more than $619,000.
Read more from WSOCTV
Spring Fair brings NASCAR activities, rock & roll to Puyallup
Music-making and NASCAR are themes of two new attractions at this weekend’s vernal version of the Puyallup Fair.
Rock U: The Institute of Rock ‘N’ Roll allows would-be-rock stars to try their hand at a variety of instruments: electric guitars, drums and different sounds that are popular in music today. There’s even a foot-operated oversized keyboard. Think Tom Hanks in “Big.”
Read more from Tacoma The News Tribune
2012 Kansas Speedway Weather Forecast: Quiet The Rest of the Weekend
Although a bit cool the weather this weekend at Kansas Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Sprint Cup Series looks very nice.
Friday will feature chilly temperatures and blustery winds. Some gust will be near 20-mph with high temperatures around the upper-50’s. The rest of the weekend is sunny and temperature warm a little getting back into the upper-60’s to near 70. Enjoy the quiet NASCAR weekend.
Away from the NASCAR track, Carl Edwards is solidly in tune
NASCAR’s Carl Edwards sat in a television booth high above Texas Motor Speedway, bright lights shining on his forehead, makeup artists touching up his dimpled cheeks with powder.
The rock band Foreigner, which performed during pre-race festivities and sang the national anthem before last weekend’s Sprint Cup race, was superimposed on a monitor behind Edwards.
Fast cars and loud music are as much part of racing as the roar of engines and smell of burning rubber, and Edwards was in the studio to talk about his passion for hot rods and hot songs for an episode of “Behind the Music Remastered: Foreigner” to be broadcast later this year on VH1 Classic.
Read more from The Republic
Justin Lofton, No. 6 Team Remember College Complete Family in Kansas
Just over three years ago a seemingly healthy Eve Haim, mother of four, including College Complete CEO Dan Haim, was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), also known as pre-leukemia, which is caused by the failure of bone marrow to produce proper white cells. That summer, Eve began chemotherapy treatments to no avail, and by year’s end received a transplant.
Tragically, Eve developed complications from the transplant. She was hospitalized and spent seven months battling the complications. Though free of leukemia, the complications took its toll on her and she passed away in June 2010. She was just 59-years-old.
This Saturday, April 21st, the day of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SFP 250 at Kansas, Eve’s hometown of Sea Cliff, New York will honor her memory by dedicating the village’s Central Park in her name. A plaque will be placed in her honor, as well as a special step in front of the water fountain.
“We are very proud that Evie would be so honored by the people of Sea Cliff. She loved to spend time in the tranquil beauty of Sea Cliff’s Central Park bringing young people to the playground and admiring the setting. She didn’t like being the center of attention but today she is beaming with pride,” said Bob Haim, Eve’s widower.
During her short time, Eve touched many within her community as an active volunteer and mentor. Eve often opened her home to children and students before and after school. Eve was instrumental in the development of a playground at the Central Park, having raised thousands of dollars in donations in order to provide a place for the local children to play. From now on, the park will now be known as “Evie’s Place.”
Her son Dan, CEO of College Complete – collegecomplete.com – will be in New York attending the park dedication, and will miss this weekend’s race. The team will show their support for the Haim family while honoring Eve on the No. 6 College Complete Chevrolet in Kansas. Eve’s name will be displayed on top of the door of the truck, as well as on two orange memorial ribbons on the b-post, which are on the truck every race week.
To learn more about how to become a possible bone marrow donor to help those battling MDS, please visit marrow.org
From Justin Lofton Media Relations-PR
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1953 – Lee Petty prevails in the first race in NASCAR’s top series at Richmond (VA) Fairgrounds’ half-mile dirt track. Dick Rathman finishes second in a ’52 Hudson behind Petty’s ’53 Dodge with pole-starter Buck Baker third. Richmond International Raceway, which hosts its next race April 28, is celebrating 60 years of NASCAR racing this season.
From NASCAR .com
Will Hendrick’s 200th win come at Kansas?
Jimmie Johnson gave team owner Rick Hendrick his 199th and most recent victory in NASCAR’s premier series on October 9, 2011 at Kansas Speedway. Six and half months later, the series returns to the 1.5-mile track. And Hendrick is hoping this will be the weekend he gets his long-awaited 200th win in the series.
Read more from Sports Radio 1260
Brad Keselowski Racing helped spur star’s rise in NASCAR
The owner of Brad Keselowski Racing jiggled the handle of an unmarked side door. Nope. He tried the building’s front door. Nothing.
Peering through a window on to a well-lit floor where several gleaming stock cars sat in various stages of preparation Monday, he smiled mischievously.
“Guess everybody’s out to lunch,” Keselowski said. “Maybe I should have a key.”
Read more from USA Today
Driver sues NASCAR, claims he was excluded from diversity program for being ‘too Caucasian’
An aspiring stock-car driver is suing NASCAR, claiming he was denied the opportunity to compete in NASCAR’s diversity program because he looks “too Caucasian.”
NASCAR argues that in trying to change the “face” of the sport, it has the right to select drivers for its diversity program based on skin color, attorneys for the sanctioning body and its former diversity program administrators have told a US District court.
Read more from Sporting News
Daugherty Picks Up Speed, Experience
Brad Daugherty finished his second day of behind-the-wheel training at Martinsville Speedway Thursday with a smile on his face and more speed in his future.
The 7-foot-1 former NBA star and current ESPN racing analyst tested his National Auto Sport Association truck on the difficult Martinsville half-mile Thursday, following up a similar test in November. Daugherty has been racing for more than a decade, but said the two Martinsville visits have stepped up his game.
Read more from Martinsville Speedway-PR
MSNBC Anchor Thinks NASCAR Cars Go 500 MPH
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France was a guest on MSNBC on Thursday to talk about the sport’s green initiatives in advance of Earth Day.
France was asked several questions about NASCAR’s environmental push by anchor Thomas Roberts, who apparently thinks race cars are actually fighter jets.
“The obvious draw for NASCAR is the speed.” Roberts said to France. “Cars going up to about 500 mph, right?”
France quickly replied, “Right,” which I’m guessing was a reflex to the surprising question.
I mean, what was he supposed to say? “Actually, Thomas, our cars are 300 mph slower than that.” I don’t think so. In a national media interview like that, France probably just want to go on, hit his talking points and make a good impression.
Roberts, though, certainly didn’t do his homework.
Read more and watch Video at SB Nation
Oklahoma NASCAR driver to feature Tulsa charity
A NASCAR driver from Oklahoma will represent a Tulsa organization that helps special-needs children.
Russ Dugger announced Wednesday that his No. 12 Chevrolet Silverado will feature The Little Light House logo during his 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck series schedule. Dugger also will participate in three of the organization’s fundraisers, including a golf scramble.
He says he decided to feature The Little Light House after accepting an offer to tour its facility by director of development, Molly Smith.
Dugger competes in the ARCA Racing Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
From Greenwich Time
Boring? It’s a matter of perspective
I have some good news and some bad news. I suppose you’ll want the bad news first.
You know those races you’ve perceived as boring this spring? Bristol? Even Martinsville before its crazy finish? Texas last Saturday night? But wait, there’s more: Another 1.5-mile cookie-cutter track, Kansas, is coming right up, this Sunday.
NASCAR isn’t worried. At least not enough to consider tweaking rules to alleviate what amounts to engineering mastery of some of the tracks. For, say, Hendrick Motorsports at Martinsville and Roush Fenway Racing at Texas, these events have become cakewalks, at least as viewed from the grandstands and living rooms.
This mastery may well yield fewer and fewer wrecks and cautions, and therefore bunching up of fields…and more and more high-speed promenades where, a la Formula One, your enjoyment will depend largely on your appreciation of car preparation and driver skill.
Truth is, the better the cars and drivers, the less the rubbin’ and beatin’ and bangin’. That’s about where we are, and where we’re headed.
Read more from ESPN
NASCAR Green Report Outlines Environmental Sustainability Programs
NASCAR today issued a ‘White Paper’ detailing the various programs that have made NASCAR a leader in green initiatives across all sports. The data in “The Sports Leader in Sustainability”* illustrates the steps NASCAR has taken in educating fans, reducing the sport’s environmental impact, and validating green technologies – both on and off the track.
Read more from SPEED
NASCAR’s Greg Biffle to help celebrate 10th anniversary of Give Kids A Smile
The American Dental Association’s (ADA) Give Kids A Smile program, ADA Foundation, Henry Schein, Inc. and 3M ESPE Dental are teaming up with NASCAR star Greg Biffle again in 2012 to put good oral health on the fast track for young fans of NASCAR.
Across the country, Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will help deliver the message to children about healthy habits like brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist and making smart food choices. Unfortunately, for millions of children in this country, these healthy habits aren’t a routine practice.
Biffle also will take the important oral health message to Richmond International Raceway during the NASCAR weekend April 27-28 for a special Give Kids A Smile dental health screening and education event. A team of sponsors will host a dental health screening event at the Richmond International Raceway Midway on Friday. Volunteer dentists and other dental team members organized through the Virginia Dental Association will provide under served children free dental evaluations, flouride treatments and, if needed, dental sealants at this unique event. On Saturday, young fans and their families can participate in fun activities and education about healthy dental habits.
Read more from Dentistry IQ
NASCAR.com nominated for Webby Award
NASCAR.com has been nominated for the 2012 Webby Awards.
The Webby Awards honor excellence on the Internet including websites, interactive advertising and online film and video. NASCAR.com and another Turner Sports website, PGA.com, are nominated in the sports websites category. PGA Championship LIVE, another Turner product, is a nominee in the events and live webcasts category.
NASCAR.com provides racing enthusiast with fantasy games, video highlights, social elements, in-depth editorial content, schedules an standings. NASCAR.com also offers interactive platforms featuring the award-winning TNT RaceBuddy and TrackPass RaceView.
Fans choose the People’s Voice Award Winner and can vote at pv.webbyawards.com until April 26. Winners will be announced May 1.
From NASCAR .com
Mountain Green 48 Car Unveiled
Jimmie Johnson and Team Lowe’s Racing will feature the first in a series of new color combinations on the No. 48 Chevrolet this season as a tribute to the American muscle car.
“Mountain Green” will run as the primary color in this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway. Mountain Green is one of General Motors’ classic color combinations from 1967. Team Lowe’s Racing chose green for this weekend’s race as a tribute to Earth Day which falls on raceday, Sunday, April 22.
Read more and see photos of 48 car from Lowes Racing-PR
FREE Mobile App Now Available for iPhone and Android Devices
Talladega Superspeedway is proud to announce the release of its new mobile application this week. Fans will find it easier than ever to stay in the loop with up to the minute information on all things ‘DEGA. The app will be especially useful on race weekends, when it will provide guests with all that’s needed to plan their trip, get around the facility and have a good time while they are here.
The Talladega Superspeedway app is free and supported on most iPhone and Android devices.
Read more from Talladega Superspeedway-PR
US Cellular Continues as Race Sponsor for August NASCAR Nationwide Series Event
Officials from US Cellular and Iowa Speedway have come to an agreement on extending the track’s annual late summer NASCAR Nationwide Series event sponsorship, the US Cellular 250. Details of the contract were not disclosed, but both companies confirmed this multi-year deal means the marquee event will continue to provide fans with some of the best racing in all of motorsports, as proof by the spectacular finish in the 2011 event.
The US Cellular 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, scheduled on Saturday, August 4, is expected to draw one of the season’s biggest crowds at Iowa Speedway. Event sponsor since the inaugural event in 2009, US Cellular is excited for another great year and the future of the event.
Read more from Iowa Speedway-PR
In NASCAR good racing starts where the rubber meets the road
The most thankless job in all of auto racing has to be the tire supplier – as in the company responsible for coming up with the right compound for each week’s race.
In NASCAR that onerous task falls to Goodyear. It’s onerous because nearly every track is different. Some are asphalt and some are concrete. Some are chewed up and old, some are freshly paved. Even the asphalt is different from one part of the country to another.
Goodyear spends a lot of time and effort testing at various tracks to try to bring a tire that will produce exciting racing. That generally means a softer tire that will provide fabulous grip when new, but wear out rapidly enough that drivers will struggle with the handling of the car.
But there’s a problem with that – a big problem. It’s a Goldilocks problem, finding a tire that is not too hard and not too soft, but just right.
Read more from al .com
2012 Kansas Speedway Weather Forecast: Poss. Strong Storms Thursday
1am EDT – The only weather concern for Kansas Speedway is Thursday afternoon. Practices for NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series don’t start until Friday but for those around on Thursday evening some storms that form could be strong and potentially severe. The main threat with any storms would be large hail, damaging winds, and even an isolated tornado or two. If severe weather presents itself I will keep you updated.
Read more from WX-Man
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1992 – Tommy Houston starts last in the 30-car field and overcomes a record 26 cautions to win at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway, making his last victory in what is now the Nationwide Series. Houston, who was three laps down at one point in the race, led 41 of the 300 laps to edge Bobby Labonte by three-tenths of a second. Chuck Bown finished third. Houston raced with a heavy heart, winning on Easter a day after his father had died.
From NASCAR .com
Return to Title Form For Stewart-Haas?
With his White House chat with President Obama behind him, three-time and reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart is looking for a strong outing this weekend at Kansas Speedway.
Stewart and the 11 other drivers who were in last year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup visited the White House Tuesday, but now it’s back to business. Stewart-Haas Racing, the team that Stewart co-owns and drives for, has won eight of the last 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races dating back to September 2011.
But last week’s race at Texas Motor Speedway was the team’s worst of the year: Stewart finished 24th, while teammate Ryan Newman was 21st. Both men ended the day two laps down.
Read more from FOX News
NASCAR’s McMurray enjoys the benefits of being close to home
Every time NASCAR rolls into Kansas Speedway, the names Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer dominate the headlines.
And for good reason. Bowyer grew up just down the road in Emporia, KS, and honed his skills on the dirt track at nearby Lakeside Speedway. Edwards is from Columbia, two hours from Kansas Speedway and developed his skills on short tracks in central Missouri.
But what about Jamie McMurray of Joplin, MO? Kansas Speedway doesn’t seem to be associated with McMurray, a former Daytona 500 winner, as his home track as it does with Bowyer and Edwards.
“I guess, I don’t make as big a deal out of it as Carl and Clint do,” McMurray said with a wry smile.
That doesn’t mean McMurray doesn’t want to win Sunday’s STP 400 at Kansas Speedway any less than Bowyer or Edwards.
Read more from The Kansas City Star
Biffle re-energized, on top early in NASCAR season
Greg Biffle roared through the early stages of his NASCAR career.
Biffle gave Jack Roush his first NASCAR season title in 2000 by winning the Truck Series, two years after he was the rookie of the year. Then came the natural progression to the Nationwide Series, where Biffle won another rookie of the year award and followed immediately with the 2002 season championship before moving up again.
A decade later, Biffle is still trying to become the first driver to complete the NASCAR title trio.
This could finally be the year for the re-energized Biffle, who is coming off a victory at Texas that reinforced his standing as the early-season Sprint Cup points leader.
Read more from Associated Press/Times-Standard
New NASCAR Racing Experience taking over speedway
Racing fans, start your engines. The Myrtle Beach Speedway is under new ownership and they’re bringing major changes to the track.
Starting Thursday, people can check out the NASCAR Racing Experience. Bob Lutz, new co-owner of the Myrtle Beach Speedway and owner of the NASCAR Racing Experience, says this attraction lets people get behind the wheel of an actual race car and hit the race track like the pros.
Lutz has launched this attraction at speedways across the country and jumped at the opportunity to bring it to the Grand Strand.
Read more and see video from WMBF News
Kentucky Speedway GM confident that traffic problems solved
If there’s a lasting image from last year’s inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway, it doesn’t involve the streams of headlights inching toward the racetrack long after the event had started.
It doesn’t involve the streams of red brake lights inching away from the track after the race’s midpoint, when the state police and speedway officials had no choice but to reverse the traffic pattern and turn away fans who had spent hours in traffic but had fallen short of their destination.
The indelible memory from last year’s Cup date was octogenarian track owner Bruton Smith, chairman of parent company Speedway Motorsports, Inc., standing in the middle of a clogged intersection, directing traffic at the bottleneck leading to the infield tunnel.
Thankfully, Smith’s services won’t be required when the Cup series returns to the Bluegrass state for its June 30 race. An overpass for tram traffic has eliminated the funnel at the tunnel. Within 45 days after last year’s race, Smith had acquired a 143-acre farm across Highway 35 from the speedway, all to be used for additional parking.
Read more from Sporting News
Darlington Raceway Set to Host ‘A Taste of Darlington’ Tomorrow night
A Taste of Darlington will return to Darlington Raceway on Thursday evening, April 19 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage area.
The annual culinary event benefits the Darlington Downton Revitalization (DDRA) and features some of the best cooks in the Darlington area. The event is usually attended by 500-700 local community members that enjoy great food and beverage at the annual festivities.
“This event offers some of Darlington county’s best cooks for a celebration of delicious food choices and desserts, said DDRA Manager, David Vaughn. “Again this year, the event will be held in the Sprint Cup Garage area, which provides an excellent opportunity for attendees to walk around and enjoy a time of fellowship and a variety of dining choices.”
For more than 20 years A Taste of Darlington has been a marquee event on the social calendar in the community. This year’s event will feature 15 grillers preparing main courses and over 15 stations featuring hors d’oeuvres and desserts.
Following last weekend’s successful American Cancer Society Relay for Life, A Taste of Darlington is another chance for the community to participate in an exciting and fun event with Darlington Raceway serving as the historic backdrop.
“A Taste of Darlington is a true community event that brings everyone in the Darlington area together,” said Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning. “We are very excited to continue hosting this great event at Darlington Raceway. Having the community utilize our historic facility for their events is something we are happy to do.”
Walk-up tickets are available the day of the event for $30 each. The event is only open for guests 21 years of age or older.
You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/DarlingtonRaceway and on Twitter at Twitter.com/TooToughToTame.
Read more from Darlington Raceway-PR
Rockingham topped Texas in battle for fan interest
There was a tale of two races told in NASCAR over the weekend. Or to be more accurate a tale of two racetracks.
In reality Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway and Sunday’s Camping World Truck Series event at Rockingham Speedway were pretty similar in nature.
Both featured dominating performances, limited passing for the lead and minimal number of cautions. But ask most fans which of the two was the better race and by far the overwhelming answer would be Rockingham.
There’s a simple reason for that view and quite frankly it’s that racing at Rockingham is unique while an event at Texas is much more typical of today’s Sprint Cup Series.
Read more from Eye On NASCAR
Pre-Race Pit Passes Now Available for all ‘DEGA Fans
Getting a chance to breathe in the sheer size of Talladega Superspeedway from the pit area is one of the most memorable experiences any NASCAR fan can have. And starting today, race fans have the ability to add a pre-race pit pass to their ticket orders for just $50.
“Watching the racing on display at Talladega Superspeedway from the stands or the infield is an incredible experience, but walking the pits is a whole different ball game,” said Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway. “With the pre-race pit pass fans have the opportunity to feel the excitement and energy that builds before the green flag waves. It’s the experience of a lifetime.”
The most competitive racing in NASCAR combined with a mix of southern hospitality returns to Talladega Superspeedway May 4-6, 2012 for the Aaron’s Dream Weekend. For tickets and information visit talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA
From Talladega Superspeedway-PR
SRT Motorsports (Dodge) Presents The Numbers – STP 400
1 – Drivers winning both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series race at Kansas Speedway in the same weekend – Joe Nemechek, 2004
2 – Wins from the pole – Joe Nemechek, 2004 – Jimmie Johnson, 2008
2 – Most wins by driver – Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson & Tony Stewart
3 – Most poles – Jimmie Johnson
5 – Fewest cautions – twice, most recently 6/5/11
5 – Fewest laps led by race winner – Tony Stewart, 10/1/06
6 – Jet Dryers available for track drying this weekend
7 – Races won from top-ten starting position
8 – Different race winners
8 – Most top-five finishes – Jeff Gordon
9 – Different pole winners
9 – Fewest cars on lead lap at finish – 9/29/02
9 – Fewest leaders – twice, most recently 10/9/11
10 – Drivers that have competed in all 12 races
13 – Fewest lead changes – 9/29/02
13 – Most cautions – 9/30/01
14 – Most leaders – 10/4/09
22 – Fewest caution laps – 6/5/11
26 – Most lead changes – 10/4/09
27 – Most cars on lead lap at finish – 9/30/07
42 – Most running at finish – 9/38/08
70 – most caution laps – 9/30/01
120 minutes – Approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 1.5-mile track
137.077 mph – Track race record
180.856 mph – Track qualifying record
197 – Most laps led by race winner – Jimmie Johnson, 10/9/11
2012 Caution Update
1 – Fewest cautions this season – Fontana 3/25/12
2 – Races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2012 – Daytona & Martinsville; just one in first seven races in 2011 – Daytona
10 – Most cautions this season – Daytona, 2/27/12
40 – Cautions in the first seven races of 2012; 61 in first seven races in 2011
232 of 2,259 – Laps under caution in 2012
272.073 of 2,513.890 – Miles under caution in first seven races
From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge)-PR
Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch sputtering
Here’s what we can deduce from Kurt Busch’s and Kyle Busch’s seasons so far: You need a good car no matter how good you are.
Kurt ran a respectable 13th in the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevy Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway, but he is not Houdini. He is one of the best drivers in NASCAR, but without a solid team and top-flight equipment, great driving isn’t enough.
Read more from ESPN
Thomas Praytor chases a racing dream at Talladega Superspeedway
Thomas Praytor IV doesn’t look like moose. He doesn’t look much like an offensive lineman either. What he does look like is a race car driver. And that’s what the late model driver and real estate agent from Mobile is hoping to do at the next level next month at Talladega Superspeedway.
The 22-year-old former high school football player from St. Paul’s was at Talladega on Tuesday to test a Ford for Andy Belmont’s ARCA team during the first day of a two-day open test session for the series that will race at Talladega on May 4.
Read more from al .com
Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton to captain teams in celebrity softball game at Dover
Dover International Speedway and Pocono Raceway are pleased to announce the tracks are teaming up for a celebrity softball game featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Carl Edwards and Jeff Burton on Tuesday, May 15 at Campbell’s Field, home of the Camden Riversharks in Camden, NJ.
The game, billed as Team Dover vs. Team Pocono, marks the first time two NASCAR tracks have joined forces to promote their respective races. Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Fastenal Ford, will lead the Monster Mile squad, while Burton, who pilots the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet will captain “The Tricky Triangle” team.
The teams rosters will be filled out with drivers from the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well Philadelphia-area athletes and celebrities, and members of the local media. As they are announced, updated rosters will be posted at DoverSpeedway.com and PoconoRaceway.com, as well as Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway and Facebook.com/PoconoRaceway, and on Twitter at @MonsterMile and @PoconoRaceway
Access to the Team Dover vs. Team Pocono celebrity softball game is free with a ticket to that night’s baseball game.
Read more from Dover Speedway-PR
Jeremy Mayfield indicted by Iredell Co. grand jury
Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was indicted by a grand jury in Iredell County on Wednesday for several larcenies dating back to 2010.
Mayfield is charged with five counts of felonious breaking and entering of tractor-trailers and one count of felony larceny. He is also charged with two counts of felony breaking and entering and felony larceny from a building.
Read more from That’s Racin’
NASCAR drivers with most points over the last ten Sprint Cup races
Points in the Last 10 Races
1. Tony Stewart – 372
2. Martin Truex Jr. – 355
3. Greg Biffle – 354
4. Matt Kenseth -347
5. Carl Edwards -345
No. 36 Driver Martin Truex Jr, credits the entire Michael Waltrip Racing organization for his impressive start to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. He’s especially appreciative of the chance to work with teammate Mark Martin again. The veteran driver’s feedback may be an asset to Truex this weekend as he tackles one of his toughest tracks, the Kansas Speedway.
Read more from MWR-PR
Victory Junction Camper Ambassadors Named Grand Marshals for STP 400
As part of their 40th anniversary celebration with Richard Petty, STP has named Victory Junction Campers, Keyley Bolding, Isaac Roberson, Sarah Roberson and Zac Roberson as Grand Marshals for Sunday’s STP 400.
“Victory Junction is synonymous with the Petty Family, as is STP, so it is great that STP has chosen to name these campers as grand marshals for the STP 400,” said Kansas Speedway President Patrick Warren. “We take great pride in our partnership with STP and look forward to a wonderful weekend of racing.”
In addition to naming these campers as Grand Marshals, STP is donating $43,000 to Victory Junction to help make campers dreams come true. As part of STP’s anniversary with Richard Petty, a 1972 iconic STP car will be on display all weekend long for race fans to connect with the history of NASCAR and STP’s long-standing involvement with the sport.
Tickets for Kansas Speedway’s 2012 race events, including the STP 400 and the Hollywood Casino 400 (Oct 21) are on sale now by calling 866.460.RACE (7223) or visiting kansasspeedway.com Every season ticket comes with a Track Pass that provides you with access to the infield for the pre-race concert, driver introductions and much more!
Parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring in one 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and beverages.
From Kansas Speedway-PR
Lord I Apologize Sauces to Raise Money for Git-R-Done Foundation & Sponsorship
A newly launched line of sauces bearing the brand “Lord I Apologize Barbeque Sauces” will donate a percentage of proceeds to Larry the Cable Guy’s Git-R-Done Foundation. The brand launch includes sponsorship with Stacy Compton’s Turn One Racing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series #60 and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series #74. Both will debut at Kansas Speedway this weekend.
“I’ll tell ya what, we got us a proverbial trifecta right here,” said Larry the Cable Guy. “NASCAR, grillin’ with my new Lord I Apologize barbeque sauce and helpin’ the little children through my Git-R-Done Foundation. It don’t get no better than that!”
The Lord I Apologize brand will initially launch two sauces; Heartland Gizzard Tickler, a Kansas City style sauce, and Hotter-N-Hell made with ghost chili peppers. Three additional varieties will be revealed throughout the year and their flavors will be just as tantalizing as the first two!
Kansas City area locations carrying Lord I Apologize sauces include: McGonigle’s Market, Nut-N-Bolts Hardware (4 locations) and Colonial Nursery. Sauces can also be purchased at cableguystuff.com. The company plans to offer Lord I Apologize sauce at retailers throughout the U.S.
From Passantino Marketing-PR
Pastrana wants to stop talking and start driving
Travis Pastrana has had the NASCAR spotlight on him for quite some time, even though he has yet to make his first start in the national touring series race.
Pastrana, a worldwide action sports icon, is expected to make his Nationwide Series debut on April 27 at Richmond International Raceway. The 28-year-old driver will be behind the wheel of the No. 99 Toyota for RAB Racing. Michael Waltrip Racing and RAB Racing have formed an alliance in the series, which will give Pastrana a guaranteed starting position for Richmond since the team is in the top-30 in owner points.
Read more from The Miami Herald
NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin gives $150,000 to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU
NASCAR driver and Chesterfield native Denny Hamlin announced Wednesday his foundation, the Denny Hamlin Foundation, would give $150,000 to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
The money will pay for cystic fibrosis research and clinical trials in Richmond.
Read more from WTVR
Win, not numbers, the only thing that concerns Johnson lately
Jimmie Johnson doesn’t need to look at the racing schedule to know he hasn’t won lately. For now, it’s just a bunch of numbers.
“Man, what’s messing with me head is the stats,” he said.
The only driver to win five consecutive Sprint Cup Series championships is tired of coming close lately. He was second last Saturday at the Texas Motor Speedway after leading the most laps. While that’s a good night for most, Johnson is more accustomed to completing the deal.
“Second (stinks),” he said.
Read more from Brainerd Dispatch
Greg Biffle – A Really Interesting Guy
Greg Biffle has been around for quite a while. The Biff, as we call him, is a Washington-state native came from short tracks of the Northwest.
Benny Parsons is given credit for discovering Biffle during the 1995-96 Winter Heat Series. Parsons called car owner Jack Roush and told him he better take a look at this kid.
Read more from SPEED
Country Duo Montgomery Gentry to Headline AMS Pre-Race Concert
Grammy-nominated and Grand Ole Opry members Montgomery Gentry will headline the Fast Cars & Guitars pre-race concert prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 night-race on Sunday, Sept. 2 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The former Vocal Duo of the Year winners will perform a full-length concert on the frontstretch as part of the pre-race festivities, Fast Cars & Guitars featuring Montgomery Gentry. The group boasts fourteen top-ten singles, including five No. 1s.
Read more from Atlanta Motor Speedway-PR
NASCAR Drivers Swap Fire Suits for Formal Attire for Honorary Trip to the White House
|Champion Tony Stewart chatting with President Obama
on the South Lawn of the Nations’ White House
Photo – Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and his fellow 2011 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series contenders changed their attire – from standard fire suits to business suits – for their annual visit to the White House on Tuesday.
President Barack Obama honored Stewart for capturing his third Sprint Cup Series title and celebrating the other 11 drivers who qualified for NASCAR’s post season last year. Speaking from the South Lawn, the President addressed the 12 drivers, honored guests and dignitaries in attendance in an approximate 4-minute speech. He thanks NASCAR CEO Brian France and NASCAR President Mike Helton for thier leadership, NASCAR’s commitment and support of the military, singled out driver Jimmie Johnson’s unparalleled achievement of claiming five consecutive championships and 2011 Sprint Cup runner-up Carl Edward’s sportsmanship in the aftermath of falling just short of winning the title in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway last November, which was attended by First Lady Michelle Obama.
But, The President saved his best material in addressing Stewart, paying tribute to the 2011 champion’s heart, attitude and determination as last season’s regular season was coming to a close and Stewart on the post season bubble. “Nobody saw it coming,” said President Obama. “We’ve all heard about athletes who say they’re going to do what it takes to win it all, but back in August with the season winding down, Tony predicted he wouldn’t be able to pull it off. In fact, he said if he did end up winning the championship, and this is a quote. ‘I’ll declare I’m a total bumbling idiot.’ But I think Tony’s hero, the great AJ Foyt, put it best when he said the reason Tony won is because ‘he drove the best race of his life, period.'”
Stewart’s day started early with a behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue residence and a meet-and-greet with the President. The champion roamed the famous halls and stepped foot in room frequented by the first family, including the East Room, the Library and more before heading to the South Lawn, where he was joined by fellow drivers Johnson, Edwards, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch. The day ended with “Smoke” engaging in small talk with Obama by his No. 14 Chevrolet, which was prominently positioned off to the side of the podium.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1966 – Jim Paschal completes a dominant performance at North Wilkesboro (NC) Speedway, winning the Gwyn Staley 400 by six laps over runner-up GC Spencer. Paschal, the pole-sitter, led 308 of the 400 laps to land the 19th of his 25 victories in the course of his 23-year career. David Pearson finished third, a staggering 18 laps off Paschal’s pace.
From NASCAR .com
Greg Biffle’s decision to ditch braces not a vanity play
Greg Biffle grinned from ear to ear after winning the race Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway.
But something was missing from that grin than in his previous victory lane celebration at Kansas in October 2010. No Braces.
Biffle speaking after an appearance for the American Dental Association’s “Give Kids a Smile” program supporting the Biffle sponsor 3M, shucked the braces a year ago for a permanent retainer wired into the back of his teeth.
Read more from Sporting News
NASCAR’s Richard Childress/Ethanol is the choice for conservationists
Some may question how the owner of a NASCAR racing team can promote air quality with a straight face. After all, for years, my business has been burning rubber and racing fuel in front of massive crowds that leave a lot of litter behind.
But times are changing. And the sport of NASCAR, including my team, Richard Childress Racing, has changed with them. Today, we’re deeply involved in efforts to make our sport more environmentally friendly – from recycling motor fluids, to reducing carbon emissions from our racing fuel, to using alternative power sources – all under the NASCAR Green umbrella.
Read more from Kansas City Star
‘Top Gear’ to air NASCAR-themed show April 30
Top Gear, the world’s biggest car show, sent host Richard Hammond to Texas Motor Speedway, fully immersing the native-Brit in the world of NASCAR.
During his visit to Texas, Hammond explored the history of NASCAR and discovered how the sport evolved into the spectacle that it is today. He also discussed American motorsport culture and learned what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a machine running 800-850 horsepower from those who know best – Sprint Cup Series stars Jimmine Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Juan Montoya. Hammond even got a driving lesson from Kyle Petty, former driver and son of Hall of Famer Richard Petty.
NASCAR fans and petrol-heads alike can catch all the action from the race weekend when this episode of Top Gear premiers on BBC American at 8:30pm ET Monday, April 30.
“I’m not alone in believing in the supremacy of NASCAR,” Hammond said. “It’s currently the most popular spectator sport in America and there are many reasons why it hits the spot with the fans.”
From NASCAR .com
Poll Position: Should NASCAR return Cup Series to The Rock?
Should NASCAR add Rockingham back to the Sprint Cup Series schedule?
It was wonderful to see a top level NASCAR race at The Rock again over the weekend. Track president Andy Hillenburg and his staff deserve a tremendous amount of credit and gratitude for bringing back to the life one of the sport’s most historic and quite frankly most loved tracks. I can’t remember the last time there was as much anticipation for a NASCAR race as what had been building to the truck series making its debut at Rockingham. Quite frankly you’d probably have to go back to when the very first Brickyard 400 was announced for the 1994 season to find a race that had as much buzz as Sunday’s return to The Rock.
But now that the euphoria has settled down and the reality of the situation can be examined, the Sprint Cup Series shouldn’t be heading back to Rockingham.
Read more from Eye On NASCAR
POTUS praises Tony Steward for title
President Barack Obama is praising NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart for “one of the most dramatic finishes that we have ever seen.”
Obama welcomed Stewart and other top NASCAR drivers to the White House to celebrate Stewart’s come-from-behind championship, his third title. The president noted Stewart nearly wrote off the season during the summer but charged back to win five races in the postseason and edge Carl Edwards.
Stewart and Edwards tied in the final Sprint Cup Series standings, but Stewart won the title based on his five victories. Obama credited Edwards for handling “disappointment with grace and class.”
Obama got to admire red and black versions of Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet Impala. The President said, “Every year I try to take a lap. Nobody lets me do it.”
From Associated Press/ESPN
Kasey Kahne Added to Talladega Experience Lineup
The stellar lineup of guest appearances for the Talladega Experience just got even better. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kasey Kahne joins Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jamie McMurray and Brad Keselowski in the finest hospitality area on the NASCAR circuit. All four names are among the biggest stars in racing are are scheduled to be on hand prior to the Aaron’s 499 on May 6th
Read more from Talladega Superspeedway-PR
NASCAR Nationwide Crew Chief fined for infractions at Texas Motor Speedway
NASCAR announced today that Wayne Grubb, crew chief of the No. 27 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been fined for violations during this past weekend’s event at Texas Motor Speedway.
Grubb was fined $2,500 for violation of Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-12 (use of hollow bolts in truck trailing arms and panhard bar) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. The infractions were discovered during opening day inspection on April 12.
No. 16 3M Ford Fusion Debuts Sustainable Fire Suppression Fluid on Earth Day
When you are behind the wheel traveling at 200-miles-per-hour, safety is critical. It is the one thing, beyond winning, that NASCAR driver Greg Biffle considers when he climbs into his No. 16 3M Ford Fusion. Protection from fires is an ongoing concern among drivers. For this Earth Day weekend at the Kansas Speedway, Biffle’s car has been upgraded with the environmentally sustainable, 3M Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid. Novec 1230 fluid balances performance requirements with favorable environmental and safety properties, giving Biffle added reassurance and peace of mind.
“I’m proud to drive the first racecar that incorporates a sustainable fire suppression fluid. It seems fitting to go the first round on Earth Day,” said Biffle. “I’m lucky to be working with Roush Fenway Racing who jumped on board early to get the new fluid into the car to not only protect me, but also the environment. The sustainability aspect of Novec is huge. I expect a fire suppression fluid to keep me safe, but the fact that it also is safe for the environment is important to me.”
Biffle went on to say that he is not surprised that a technologically driven brand like NASCAR has approved a fire suppression fluid from 3M, a company known for innovation. Metalcraft, Inc., an international leader in fire suppression, equipped both the cockpit and fuel cell area of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion with its new Fire-Trak branded fire suppression system using Novec 1230 fluid. The Fire-Trak system and 3M’s Novec 1230 fluid received NASCAR approval earlier this year. 3M researchers developed Novec brand products to be a safe, sustainable chemistry used to replace ozone-depleting substances being phased out under the Montreal Protocol or those chemistries that high global warming potentials and undesirable toxicity. Novec 1230 fluid has an exceptional environmental profile with zero ozone depletion potential and a global warming potential of one. It stays in the atmosphere only five days, compared to HFC-236fa that lingers for 240 years.
For more information regarding 3M Novec 1230 fluid or other Novec branded products visit 3M.com/Novec. Also visit us on Facebook at facebook.com/#!/3MNovec1230fluid. For more information about 3M’s sustainability initiatives visit 3M.com/sustainability
From 3M Public Relations and Corporate Communications-PR
RAB Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing create NASCAR Nationwide Series Alliance
Michael Waltrip Racing and RAB Racing announced today they have formed an alliance to field entries in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2012.
As part of the agreement, RAB Racing will acquire additional cars and receive technical and marketing support from MWR. Also, RAB Racing will change its current No. 09 number to No. 99 starting at Richmond on April 27.
RAB Racing will field the No. 99 Boost Mobile/KMC Wheels Toyota Camry for 11-time, X-Games gold medalist and action sports star Travis Pastrana in seven 2012 NASCAR Nationwide races. RAB Racing will also field Nationwide Series entries for MWR in additional races.
“We love the Nationwide Series because it is what started Michael Waltrip Racing behind my house years ago,” said MWR co-owner Michael Waltrip. “As our organization has grown into three full time Sprint Cup teams, it has taken a lot of our focus and resources. We have been so impressed with what the Bentons and Brack Maggard have been able to do with RAB Racing that we believe this is the perfect relationship for both organizations. We can help RAB Racing in certain areas and they can continue to elevate themselves into one of the top Nationwide Series teams.”
“This is the next step for our team, having an alliance with a top Sprint Cup organization,” said RAB Racing co-owner Robby Benton. “We have a great core of people who believe in one another and this will help us grow in the future.”
Waltrip said the alliance isn’t limited to fielding cars for Pastrana.
“Whenever we have an opportunity to go Nationwide racing with any of our drivers, it will be in the No. 99 at RAB Racing,” Waltrip said. “We’ll add to the schedule here pretty soon with another announcement.”
From Michael Waltrip Racing/RAB Racing-PR
Pavers, Start Your Engines
An Abrams tank and an Armored Combat Earthmover will join 43 Sprint Cup race cars at Kansas Speedway Sunday afternoon.
It’s not for competition purposes (although a combat earthmover could be a formidable drafting partner, in the right context). The unusual vehicles will participate in a groundbreaking ceremony following the STP 400 as track officials launch work on a major repaving/reconfiguration project for the 1.5-mile speedway.
Sunday’s race, the eighth Sprint Cup event of the season, will mark the final competition on the current track surface.
Read more from SPEED
AARP Foundation Presents “The Drive to End Hunger Charlotte 1 Million”
AARP Foundation announced that it is hosting the Drive to End Hunger Charlotte 1 Million, a series of events from May 22-25 that will package and donate 1 million meals to struggling families in North Carolina. Four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, tennis legend Martina Navratilova and award-winning sports broadcaster James Brown are among the stars and celebrities participating in the event, which culminates at a two-day packaging event at the Charlotte Convention Center on May 24-25 during the Food Lion Speed festival.
“The Drive to End Hunger Charlotte 1 Million will help raise awareness and support for nearly 9 million older Americans facing the threat of hunger, while directly providing meals for people throughout North Carolina who struggle to put food on the table,” said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. “We need your help, so come join us at the Charlotte Convention Center.”
As many as 3,500 volunteers are needed to participate at the Charlotte Convention Center to package meals that will be distributed to food banks across North Carolina. The event will feature on-site entertainment for volunteers, including music, comedy and trivia contests.
Volunteers will also be able to work alongside NASCAR stars and celebrities, including Jeff Gordon (Thursday, May 24), AARP Fitness Ambassador Martina Navratilova (Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25), and AARP Community Ambassador James Brown (Friday, May 25). Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information on the participation of additional celebrities.
For more information about volunteering, please visit drivetoendhunger.org/meals
From AARP Foundation-PR
On-track struggles make it difficult for Jeff Burton to still be heard
Jeff Burton’s ability to speak authoritatively about issues in NASCAR often make him a go-to-guy for media seeking keep perspective on the sport.
But when he’s not running well, Burton loses a bit of his platform and his voice is not heard nearly as much.
Burton, who is known as “the mayor” in the garage because of his influence, doesn’t race for a pulpit or a voice in the sport. But he candidly admits that he likes having his input in the latest debate and likes being involved in the discussion.
Read more from Sporting News
Obama to honor Stewart at White House
President Barack Obama will welcome the winner of NASCAR’s 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup Series to the White House on Tuesday.
Joining Obama and Cup Series champion Tony Stewart in the afternoon will be other drivers from the 2011 field and top NASCAR executives.
Obama will honor Stewart’s win, the first for a driver/owner since 1992, and also recognize efforts by Stewart and NASCAR to give back to the community.
From AP News Wire/The Sacramento Bee
Update: Kurt Busch team needs a sponsor, team owner James Finch says
Phoenix Racing owner James Finch said Monday that his team still plans to run all the Sprint Cup races in 2012, but emphasized that he desperately needs a sponsor.
In trying to clarify the situation Monday, Finch said that while he needs sponsorship, he does not have a deadline for securing a sponsor to keep his No. 51 team and driver Kurt Busch from missing a race.
Read more from Sporting News
Zest back with Kenseth for another race in Darlington
This was posted on the fan page for Zest on facebook, “Zest would like to thank all fans for their continued support of our products and our Zestfully Clean driver, Matt Kenseth – MKFC. Due to this enthusiasm, we are happy to announce we will be sponsoring Matt in another race on May 12th in Darlington, SC. Go Zest #17, Go!
From Fan Page for Zest on Facebook
Facts & Notes about Kansas Speedway
- Groundbreaking was held on May 25, 1999
- The official opening of Kansas Speedway was in 2001, with the first events being an ARCA race and a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race on the same day June 2.
- The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was Sept. 30, 2001
- There have been 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Kansas since the track opened in 2001
- All of the races have been scheduled for 267 laps
- 10 drivers have competed in all 12 races at Kansas
- Jeff Gordon won the first two NASCAR Sprint Cup races
- Jason Leffler won the first pole in Sept 2001
- Nine different drivers have won poles, led by Jimmie Johnson with three
- Eight different drivers have posted victories, led by Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart (each with two)
- Seven of the 12 races have been won from a top-ten starting position
- Two drivers have won from the pole: Joe Nemechek in 2004 and Jimmie Johnson in 2008
- The furthest back in the field that race winner started was 25th, by Brad Keselowski last season.
- Two active drivers with more than one start have averaged a top-ten finish: Greg Biffle (8.2) and Jimmie Johnson (8.3)
- Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in top-fives (eight) and top-tens (nine). Gordon’s three non-top-tens were a 39th in 2006, a 13th in 2004 and 34 in last season’s fall event.
- Eight of the 12 races that ended under green had a margin of victory under one second. The 2007 race ended under caution.
NASCAR camping – it’s about more than the race
Race fans came from far and wide to set up camp at the Rockingham Speedway to celebrate the return of NASCAR to The Rock. Some camped for days, waiting with growing anticipation for the trucks to burn up the pavement, while others made it to town just in time for the concert Saturday night.
All were in good spirits, and many roamed around the campgrounds making new friends and joining in games and cornhole while sharing drinks and stories about past races at the speedway. Tantalizing smells of fried fish, grilled burgers, hot dogs and steaks filled the air, as neighbors invited neighbors over for a taste of special recipes.
Read more from Your Daily Journal
Riunite Develops Wine Fans at NASCAR
While NASCAR fans are a hugely fertile and hugely loyal marketing target for innumerable products, including beer, one wouldn’t necessarily associate them with being big wine lovers. But for Banfi’s Riunite, that spelled an opportunity.
In 2009, the wine brand began sponsorships with NASCAR tracks around the country (it’s not an official NASCAR sponsor) centered on offering sampling events and it’s been expanding the initiative each year.
Read more from Media Post NEWS
Monday, April 16, 2012
Today in NASCAR’s History
1918 – Stock-car racing pioneer Bob Flock is born. The oldest of the racing Flock brothers – with Fonty and Tim – started on the pole position in the very first NASCAR Strictly Stock (now Sprint Cup) race and won twice in NASCAR’s first season of 1949. Bob Flock won twice more in his 36-race career in NASCAR’s top series, but is credited with many more wins that pre-date the sanctioning body’s formation.
From NASCAR .com
Carl Edwards earns high praise for handling of Amanda Beard accusations
After falling to the rear of the field because of a loose lug nut on an early pit stop, Carl Edwards rallied from 30th to finish eighth Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. And he did it without benefit of a caution flag.
But that was not the most impressive performance of the weekend for Edwards. That came Friday afternoon when he had to face questions about the tell-all book written by ex-girlfriend Amanda Beard.
The memoir by the former Olympic swimmer outlines details and secrets about her 2005-06 relationship with Edwards, and her comments about the NASCAR star were not flattering.
Read more from Sporting News
Mark Martin showing he’s no ‘old man’ at Michael Waltrip Racing
“Yeah, you’ve got to holler at me because I’ve been racing these cars 35 years. I aint’ got much more hearing,” Martin said Saturday night when he couldn’t hear a question in the media center at Texas Motor Speedway.
It’s when the veteran driver is on the racetrack that he doesn’t look or act his age.
Martin showed once again he can still drive and race with the best of them, finishing third in the Samsung Mobile 500. It was his best finish since joining Michael Waltrip Racing in the offseason.
Read more from Sporting News
Eddie Gossage has monumental challenge ahead
Dear Eddie, Just a note to issue the biggest challenge of your career. Let’s see you promote your way out of this one.
Not that you can’t. I’m just saying that if you do, it’ll be your masterpiece.
When flags whipping in 40-mph wind gusts was the most action at your place Saturday evening, TMS comes out looking like less than the nuclear proving ground you crack it up to be. May you should have handed out six-shooters to the drivers before this race.
Read more from ESPN
NASCAR Presents Foreigner’s Mick Jones with Three Platinum Singles & Gold Award
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart surprised Foreigner’s leader and founder Mick Jones when he presented him with three platinum and one gold award for sales of Foreigner’s hit singles “I Want To Know What Love Is,” “Waiting For a Girl Like You,” “Hot Blooded” and “Juke Box Hero” during Thursday night’s Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame gala at Texas Motor Speedway. A new millennium testament to the current value of these classic hits is that more than half of the sales that contributed to the awards were digital downloads registered since 2004.
Read more from Blabbermouth .net
Walmart Stores Bring NASCAR Fan Events and Unique Experiences
As Kansas and Missouri prepare for the upcoming STP 400 select Walmart stores will offer authentic NASCAR merchandise and host exclusive fan events starting April 18. Customers are invited to attend these special events and enjoy real show car displays, along with driver appearances by Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Bobby Labonte and Greg Biffle, and racing simulators – perfect to safely get behind the wheel and feel the power of NASCAR – on April 18 – 21.
Read more from PR Newswire/The Sacramento Bee
Personnel changes have brought parity to Victory Lane in NASCAR
Kyle Busch last won a NASCAR Sprint Cup race in August 2011. Carl Edwards hasn’t won in more than a year. Dale Earnhardt Jr’s winless drought dates to 2008.
Yet there is hope for them and others as the series heads to Kansas Speedway this weekend. Six different winners in this season’s first seven races (Tony Stewart is the only repeat victor) provides that optimism and follows a season that had 18 different winners in 36 races.
So what’s going on?
A power shift has taken place in the sport. Balance has replace dominance. With the competition so close, one move can lead to Victory Lane or drop a team to the back of the pack.
Read more from Sports Illustrated
Tommy Baldwin Racing Locks Both Teams in Top-35 at Texas
Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) locked both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) teams into the top-35 for next weekend’s race at Kansas Speedway. David Reutimann battled the handling of the No. 10 Accell Construction Chevrolet to finish in the 26th position in the Samsung Mobile 500 and moved back into the top-35 in points. An engine problem ended Dave Blaney’s day early. The No. 36 Jimmie Johnson’s Anything with an Engine Chevrolet finished in 37th place Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.
Read more from TBR-PR
Johanna Long to Attend Charlotte Auto Fair
Johanna Long will be making an appearance at the Spring Charlotte Auto Fair. Long will be at the Keen Parts Trailer from 10am to 1pm on Friday, April 20th, 2012. She will be available to sign autographs and to get your picture taken with her. The Keen Parts Trailer will be located at Lot EEB28, which is inside the track in the Blue Field. For more details on the Spring Charlotte Auto Fair, please visit charlotte-autofair.com
“I’m really excited to have Keen Parts on board for four races this year! A lot of teams are having a tough time finding sponsors, so when you find one that has the same goals and objectives as you do, it’s always a great thing. I’m thankful to be partnering with Keen Parts, and I can’t wait to represent them at Indy, Kentucky and Richmond” says Long. “This will be my first time at the Charlotte Auto Fair, so I’m really looking forward to attending. I know it will be a good time meeting fans while hanging out at the Keen Parts tent. Everyone should come out and enjoy the event. It’s going to be a lot of fun!”
If you’re in the Charlotte area, stop by the Charlotte Auto Fair and take a look at just some of the items Keen Parts has to offer and meet Johanna. The Charlotte Auto Fair runs from April 19th through April 22nd and is located at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Charlotte Auto Fair is the largest collector vehicle event in the Southeast and hosts over 10,000 vendors as well as hundreds of collector vehicles for sale.
From ML Motorsports-PR
Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame First Induction Ceremony
Many of the people in attendance commented that this should have happened a long time ago. Saturday evening, April 14, saw the first induction ceremony take place for the Illinois Stock Car Hall of Fame at the Forest Hills Lodge, which sits adjacent to the Rockford Speedway.
Drivers among the inaugural class of inductees include Fred Lorenzen, Gene Marmor, Joe Shear, Arnie Gardner, Dick Nelson, Don Waldvogel, Bill Van Allen, Tom Pistone, Sal Tovella, Les Snow, Ronnie Weedon and Don Bohlander. Andy Granatelli was inducted as a track promoter and Wayne Adams as the announcer inductee. Bob Boyce was honored as a hall of fame car builder.
Before his days of fame with STP and the Indianapolis 500, Granatelli headed up the promotion of Chicago’s Soldier Field with hot rods, and later stock cars, competing there in the late 1940’s and early 50’s before tens of thousands of fans each race night. Granatelli had planned to attend the event, but health issues prevented him at the last minute from flying in from California.
Pistone, one of Granatelli’s “boys,” had also planned to attend, coming up from his Charlotte, NC home, but his wife became ill, causing his absence. Pistone won three consecutive stock car championships at Soldier Field during Granatelli’s promotional reign before moving on to NASCAR racing.
Perhaps the most touching part of the evening was when former Chicago area stock car champion Gene Marmor, in a wheel chair, was escorted to the stage by his sons, Don and Darrell, who spoke on behalf of their dad. Fred Lorenzen’s daughter, Amanda and son Chris, accepted their dad’s award as the former Chicago area and NASCAR great could not attend because of health reasons.
Inductee Sal Tovella told all kinds of stories, one of which involved his first stock car feature victory at Soldier Field in 1952. Tovella had driven his “battered” ’49 Ford to victory at Chicago’s huge lakefront arena, only to be informed by Granatelli that he had been protested by his racing partner, Tom Pistone.
“We (Pistone and I) were partners in those days,” Tovella said. “We pretty much would do anything to go racing.”
The stories and memories flowed Saturday evening and will for years and years to come…
Read more from National Speed Sport News
Chip Ganassi honored as History Maker
At the 20th Annual History Makers Award Dinner sponsored by Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Chip Ganassi was honored as a History Maker.
Floyd “Chip” Ganassi Jr received the history maker in sports award. “A fixture in the auto racing industry for more than 25 years, he has won worldwide renown as one of the sport’s most successful and innovative owners. A fierce competitor with a passion for winning, he is also known as a sharp businessman and industry leader.”
Read more from North Hills Patch
New Husqvarna Fast Tractor(TM) Leaves Competitors in the Dust
Gentlemen, start your tractors! Husqvarna the world’s largest producer of outdoor power products, has teamed up with the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Lowes and five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion, Jimmie Johnson, to launch a new riding mower – the Husqvarna Fast Tractor – that speeds through yard work, leaving consumers with more time to spend doing the things they love. It’s the fastest tractor in its class, reaching speeds of 7-8 mph.
The Fast Tractor is so fast it now has a role in a popular racing-themed video game. Working with Autumn Games and their hit racing franchise, Jimmie Johnson’s Anything With An Engine, Husqvarna developed “Husky Hank,” a downloadable character who can be raced in the game against other in-game personalities.
Husqvarna officially launched the Fast Tractor during a special event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame viewing party for the Texas Sprint Cup Series race; there, attendees were able to play Anything with an Engine and see the Fast Tractor first hand.
Husqvarna is offering consumers the chance to win a free Fast Tractor with the Husqvarna Mowing Mix Facebook promotion, where participants are asked to share the top five songs that get them amped up for yard work. The contest is currently open at facebook.com/HusqvarnaUSA. The contest winner will be announced May 26.
Turner Motorsports Announces Trent Owens as Crew Chief for Bill Elliott
Turner Motorsports announced today that Trent Owens will serve as crew chief of the No. 50 Walmart Chevrolet with driver Bill Elliott in the team’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) debut at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) in July. Owens currently calls the shots for Turner Motorsports No. 30 NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) entry and recently led the team to victory in the 2012 season-opener at DIS.
A former driver himself, Owens is a long-time fixture in the NASCAR garage. The Darlington, SC native served as crew chief for six years for Braun Racing and remained with the organization through its acquisition by Turner Motorsports two years ago.
Turner Motorsports’ NSCS debut is in conjunction with Walmart’s Race Time program, launched last year as the largest retail promotion in NASCAR history. Race Time 2012 gives customers more accessibility to discounted race tickets, driver appearances and fan events at Walmart stores. It also offers a greater selection of authentic NASCAR merchandise available at Walmart stores and Walmart.com/NASCAR
The goal for Elliott, who was voted NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver 16 times and is one of NASCAR’s Top 50 Drivers of all time, is to qualify and compete at the Coke Zero 400. He will also visit Walmart stores with his show car before select races.
Walmart’s sponsorship of the No. 50 entry at DIS was announced in January as part of its 50th anniversary celebration.
“It’s exciting to be part of Turner Motorsports’ first Cup race with Bill Elliott and support from Walmart,” said Owens, who has four NNS wins as a crew chief. “We’ve come a long way in just the last two years, so to take this step is really going to be a milestone for everyone who works so hard for this team every day.”
Over the years, Owens has been successful working with a variety of drivers with different levels of experience. Prior to his win in the Feb 25 NNS event at DIS with rookie James Buescher, Owens last season led veterans Mark Martin (Las Vegas Motor Speedway) and Reed Sorenson (Road America) to victory lane. In 2007, he served as crew chief for Dave Blaney in his win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Fans will also get to participate in Elliott’s return to the 2.5-mile superspeedway by voting on what driver’s suit and helmet he will wear for the race. Three different driver’s suit and helmet combinations have been specifically designed for Elliott and fans can vote by visiting Walmart.com/NASCAR between March 28 and May 14.
Elliot, the 1988 Cup champion, has 44 career wins in the series, including four at DIS. He most recently finished 12th there in the 2011 Daytona 500.
“Having the chance to work with Bill is icing on the cake,” Owens said. “Obviously, he’s had an amazing career and I have a lot of respect for his talent and what he has accomplished over the years. Not only is this a great opportunity for Turner Motorsports but it’s a big deal for me personally.”
From Turner Motorsports-PR
Is it possible Kurt Busch may not run full Cup season?
In an interview Sunday night on “Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain,” Sprint Cup Series team owner James Finch said “there’s a question” whether he will be able to run the full Cup season with driver Kurt Busch.
Asked by Despain if there was a question whether his team could do all the races, Finch answered: “Well, we’re trying. There’s a question. We’re off and running and trying. We’re talking to some people and going from there. We’re headed to Kansas this weekend and hopefully get in the top-ten there and then come back to Talladega and have a really good run. We’re optimistic about it. Kurt has put a lot of effort in it. It’s kind of like a small team getting a big-time quarterback,” Finch said.
Read more from That’s Racin’ Lucky Dog
Ford makes NASCAR History as All-New Focus Electric Becomes First All-Electric Pace Car
Ford’s innovative marketing campaign for the 2012 Focus Electric continues as NASCAR selected the car to be the first-ever all-electric pace car, leading the field for the Sprint Cup Richmond 400 on April 28. Ford was also first to use a hybrid to start a NASCAR event when the Fusion Hybrid served as pace car for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008.
Read more from PRN-Market Watch
Jeb Burton Continues to Earn “Garage Respect”
In just his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Race, rookie Jeb Burton wheeled his No. 27 State Water Heaters Chevrolet home in the 11th position at the return of the famed Rockingham Speedway. After some challenging practice sessions for the rookie driver, along with a 27th place qualifying effort – his race was one of hard-fought positions, quick reflexes and instinct, and a “racer’s intuition” that seemingly runs in the family with dad Ward.
Starting in the back of the pack, Burton showed his patience and determination by pushing through six lap positions in just two laps before the race’s first caution flag. Quiet on the radio as the green fell on lap nine, Jeb went back to business – hammering through top-five speeds as he powered to the 13th position by lap 28; and 11th position by lap 43. Told to manage his tires and baby the throttle by crew chief Trip Bruce, Burton became a quick study – executing a conservatory tire management strategy that many veterans have yet to learn.
Quiet and strong on the radio, Jeb’s only major communication was that he was free. On lap 62 under the race’s second yellow flag condition, the team elected to pit for four tires and two cans of fuel – while Burton also received the Lucky Dog award to regain the lead lap. A blessing and a curse at a short track, the driver was placed at the back of the longest line – in this case, the entire field of active trucks, but remaining in the 11th position. Unphased, Burton went on to run lap times as fast as the leader for the remainder of the race, plus power back to the lead 10 trucks in the field. After holding the 10th spot for almost 30 laps, he eventually took the No. 27 State Water Heaters Chevrolet past the checkers in 11th postion.
“I really wanted a top-ten, but I know I’m not suppose to say that,” said Burton. “I’m always trying to be my best, and this was definitely a challenging track for me during practice and qualifying. I’m the hardest on myself. I’m really proud of all my guys who worked hard on this truck, and Trip and my dad for being great guides here. Sometimes I have to remind myself that this is only my second time out here. It’s still a learning process. I’m looking forward to taking his momentum to Kansas – I need to focus now on the bigger, fast tracks and it’s good to have a few good finishes under my belt on the short tracks going in.”
From Your Garage Connection-PR
NASCAR’s Return to Rockingham a Success for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
After years of work by Andy Hillenburg and his staff, NASCAR’s return to Rockingham officially is in the books.
By all accounts, the NASCAR Camping World Truck series’ debut at The Rock was a ringing success that featured racing reminiscent of the days of old at Rockingham. Kasey Kahne picked up where he nearly left off in February 2004, scoring the win Sunday after finishing second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series’ last Rockingham stop eight years ago.
Below, SPEED on-air personalities discuss the sport’s return to Rockingham, the race and the weekend as a whole:
Q: What do you take away from this weekend and NASCAR’s return to The Rock?
“The facility was put away for dead a few years ago. They’d made a decision that they couldn’t get enough people there to facilitate a Cup race, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be racing or really good racing there. Andy Hillenburg and his group had a dream that the place still could host a really good event, and they accomplished that.” -Ray Dunlap, SPEED reporter
Q: Would you classify Sunday’s Truck Series race and the entire weekend as a success?
“The entire weekend was a smashing success. When I arrived in Rockingham on Thursday, fans already were camping out and enjoying the race atmosphere. The renovations and work that Andy Hillenburg and his crew did made for a spectacular racing environment from the beginning of the weekend to the checkered flag and even beyond. Andy built a new Victory Lane that’s visible to the fans in the grandstands, and they were able to enjoy Kasey Kahne’s celebration, which really was a celebration not only for him but for the track and the sport as a whole.” -Rick Allen, SPEED play-by-play announcer
“It was a homerun when you consider what the original expectations were. The speedway sits in an area that has been economically depressed for four or five years, and to get that kind of turnout and get the community involved to that degree is great. So many groups of people were involved in selling tickets and getting people there. The ‘Send a Soldier to The Rock’ program was fantastic.” – Ray Dunlap, SPEED reporter
“Rockingham was a ringing success beyond a shadow of a doubt. The turnout among the fans was incredible. We certainly give most of the credit to Andy Hillenburg for taking that leap of faith to buy the race track. But we also give a lot of credit to the city of Rockingham, Richmond County and the state of North Carolina. This was a collaborative effort by everyone. Andy would be the first to admit that he had a lot of help from the residents, the county and the state.” –Phil Parsons, SPEED analyst
Q: How would you assess the on-track action?
“There were comers and goers during the day, which you have with a tire that wears out like ours did. I was quite surprised we had long green-flag runs with 60-lap segments today. I think the drivers did a fantastic job of controlling their vehicles, and didn’t have any big crashes like I’d expected with the tight confines at Rockingham and especially with the new SAFER barriers. All in all, the promoter hit a homerun, the drivers did a great job and we had a lot of drama at the end. Everyone thought Kasey Kahne was the favorite, but for a considerable segment of the race, it didn’t look like he was going to win. I’d say they did really well.” -Ray Dunlap, SPEED reporter
Q: Did The Rock make an effective case for hosting another NASCAR event?
“Without question, the track deserves another Truck race and potentially more events beyond that. They did everything they possibly could to make it a fan-friendly event and by doing that, they definitely have proven they not only can host a Truck event, but any event NASCAR might want to return to The Rock.” -Rick Allen, SPEED play-by-play announcer
“Absolutely, The Rock made a compelling case to play host to another NASCAR event. I can’t see any reason why the Trucks wouldn’t return there. It’s a borderline deal to be able to make a Nationwide Series race there work based on the number of seats and what they’d have to charge for tickets. It’s all economics of whether you can or can’t afford to have any race of any kind. Trucks certainly were a success and if they could build that tradition back up a bit and have it on a set date, I think they’d get to the point where they could sell every seat on the property.” -Ray Dunlap, SPEED reporter
“Rockingham definitely deserves another race – period. I’m not involved in that process, but I say they certainly could effectively host additional races and I think everyone probably agrees with me on this one.” –Phil Parsons, SPEED analyst
Q: What did you think of the crowd and the support for the race, both among the industry and the fans?
“I was lucky enough to be in the drivers’ meeting, and the crowd support in that meeting was incredible. When Andy Hillenburg was introduced as the president and owner of the track, it was almost an emotional moment because every single driver and crew chief stood up and gave him a standing ovation. Andy politely asked the crowd to remain quiet throughout the meeting but to voice their opinion of having the drivers return to The Rock. The crowd erupted into applause and cheers. It was obvious the area wants NASCAR back in Richmond County and at The Rock.” – Rick Allen, SPEED play-by-play announcer
We had a terrific crowd at Rockingham today. Thousands of people came out to support the race – everyone from the local fans to those who work in the industry. I saw a slew of people that flew back from the Cup race at Texas on very little sleep to come to Rockingham. They just wanted to be a part of it. We even had NASCAR executives at the track such as Mike Helton and Steve O’Donnell. We all truly appreciate everyone who came out today and during the weekend to support the Trucks at Rockhingham.” –Phil Parsons, SPEED analyst
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.