New & Views – Volume 24 – April 30 – May 6, 2012

News & Views – Volume 24
For the week of April 30 – May 6, 2012

“It’s way harder to win as an owner for sure. I’m standing there on the pit wall and I’ve go no control over what’s going on. I’m ready to come on the radio with Kurt (Busch) and tell him what all he needs to be doing. I’m glad Joe (Gibbs) buttons broke.”  – Kyle Busch

The Busch Brothers are back this weekend with both Kurt and Kyle winning NASCAR’s premier races this weekend at Richmond. Kurt brought home the trophy on Friday night with his Nationwide series win, and Kyle Busch Motorsports earned their first Nationwide victory.  Kyle is quoted above, regarding which he finds more difficult, the stress of being a driver or an owner.  


Then Kyle made some Sprint Cup history on Saturday night by earning his fourth consecutive victory at Richmond’s spring race.  This beats his tie with Richard Petty with three-consecutive from 1971-1973.  Not sure if brothers have ever won as driver and owner before, but at least for current driver/owners, it’s an accomplishment and to be celebrated.


Some fans were quite satisfied with the racing action on the track in Richmond, while others continue their mantra of “boring” racing. Hopefully, with Talladega on the schedule for both Nationwide and Cup teams this weekend, the fans looking for more drama on the track will quench their thirst.


Let’s begin with news for today…

Sunday, May 6, 2012
2012 NSCS Aaron’s 499 Race Results

Brad Keselowski celebrates in Victory Lane
at Talladega Superspeedway
Photo – Dave Martin/Associated Press

The 2012 NSCS Aaron’s 499 was suppose to be 188 laps, but it ended 6-laps over with green-white-checkered race to the finish, as Brad Keselowski (being helped by Kyle Busch to take the lead from Matt Kenseth) was able to pull away enough from Kyle Busch, that Busch was unable to keep Keselowski from winning.


This was Keselowski’s second series win of the 2012 season, his sixth series career win and his second series win at Talladega Superspeedway.


Following Keselowski and Busch (who finished 0.0304 seconds behind) to the drop of the checkered flag was Matt Kenseth finishing third, Kasey Kahne fourth and the current series points leader, Greg Biffle (who now leads Matt Kenseth by 7-points) finishing in fifth.


Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Clint Bowyer finishing sixth, David Ragan seventh, Trevor Bayne eighth, Dale Earnhardt Jr ninth and Jeff Burton finishing in the tenth position.


Race Results
Point Standings


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


State Declares May 6-12 Darlington Raceway Week in South Carolina
The week of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 has once again been named “Darlington Raceway Week in South Carolina” after the South Carolina House of Representatives and Senate passed a concurrent Resolution.


Read more from Darlington Raceway-PR


Eric McClure Update
Eric McClure, driver of the No. 14 Hefty Reynolds Wrap Toyota, is stable and alert following a late-race incident yesterday (Saturday) during the NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Talladega Superspeedway.


He is undergoing tests and remains under observation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital.


McClure and his family would like to express their thanks to the NASCAR community for their thoughts, support and concern.


From EricMcClure.com-PR 


AND Eric McClure will remain hospitalized overnight at UAB medical center in Birmingham. Will release additional updates as they occur. 5:35 PM 6 May 12


From Twitter Post @HeftyReynolds14


NASCAR shifts focus into environmental gear
For a sport in which some drivers avoided cars painted green because that was considered unlucky, NASCAR has taken a decidedly green hue these days.


NASCAR, which as recently as five years ago was still using leaded fuel to race stock cars, has launched a Green Initiative that now includes tree planting, solar panels, electronics recycling and more.


For a sport that has long been associated with a conservative political philosophy, taking a deep plunge into environmentalism wasn’t easy or quick.


Read more from al .com


2012 Talladega Superspeedway NASCAR Weather Forecast: Hot with Isolated Storms
It will be hot and sticky at Talladega Superspeedway for the Sprint Cup race on Sunday. Afternoon highs will be in the upper 80’s to near 90. It will feel like the 90’s with the high dew points making it humid and muggy.


With all the moisture in the afternoon, there’s the risk for a few isolated or scattered thunderstorms. The likelihood of any activity hitting the track is low but if one were to form and move over Talladega Superspeedway it probably wouldn’t last more than 30 to 45 minutes. The biggest concern for fans will be the heat and summer-like steam.


From WX-Man


High Water Mark
Talladega Superspeedway always has been a place of big numbers – the most noteworthy being the high speeds that have been recorded at NASCAR’s biggest track over the years.


The biggest number is the biggest speed ever in NASCAR – the sport’s all-time qualifying record of 212.809-miles-per-hour set here in 1987 by Bill Elliott.


But the most important numbers for drivers and crew chiefs participating in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 will be related to temperature – not speed. Specifically, water temperature.


Read more from SPEED


Danica Patrick has contact, words with Sam Hornish Jr after wild finish at Talladega
Danica Patrick and Sam Hornish Jr, two former IndyCar Series stars now racing full time in NASCAR renewed their rivalry with contact coming to the checkered flag and then after the finish of the Nationwide Series race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.


Hornish forced Patrick into the outside wall coming to the finish, and Patrick then tapped Hornish into the Turn 1 wall after the checkered flag.


Read more and see video from Sporting News


Joey Logano Wins Aarons 312
While Joey Logano is accustomed to being involved in close, exciting finishes at Talladega Superspeedway, he is not used to actually winning at the track. Until Saturday, that is, when he made a last-second pass of Kyle Busch to win the Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.


Logano stayed tight on Busch’s bumper throughout the final two laps of a green-white-checkered finish. Then when it became obvious that the trailing combo of Cole Whitt and Ricky Stenhouse Jr was going to be unable to attempt a pass, Logano whipped around Busch on the high side as they came through the tri-oval and nipped Busch at the finish line by 0.034 of a second.


Read more from Talladega Superspeedway

Saturday, May 5, 2012
2012 NNS Aaron’s 312 Race Results

Joey Logano celebrates in Victory Lane
at Talladega Superspeedway
Photo – Tyler Barrick/Getty Images

After a first attempt to a green-white-checkered (flags) finish, a horrific accident that brought out a red flag and a second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, it was Joey Logano holding off Kyle Busch to win the 2012 NNS Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway.


Bringing out the red flag during the first green-white-checkered attempt was the “big one” which involved Eric McClure, taking a hard head-on hit into the inside wall. Safety crews on the scene took no chances with possible injuries McClure may have suffered, deciding to remove the roof to assist him. NASCAR reported, McClure was talking to the safety crew during that time. Once he was assisted to the ambulance, he was then air-lifted to a nearby Birmingham hospital for medical observation. Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with Eric and his entire McClure family, with hopes of seeing him next weekend behind the wheel at Darlington.


Logano, who held off Busch by 0.034 seconds and giving Toyota their 200th series victory, received his second series win of the 2012 season, his 11th series career win and his first series win at Talladega.


Following Logano and Busch to the drop of the checkered flag was the new series points leader and defending series champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr (who now leads Elliott Sadler by 5-points) finishing in third, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cole Whitt fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr, finishing in fifth.


Rounding out the top-ten finishers were last week’s winner, Kurt Busch, finishing in sixth, James Buescher seventh, Justin Allgaier eighth, Kenny Wallace ninth and Elliott Sadler finishing in the tenth position.


Race Results


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NSCS Aaron’s 499 Staring Lineup
For the 20th consecutive NSCS season, Jeff Gordon, with a qualifying lap speed of 191.623-mph, captured the Coors Light Pole Award as he wins the 2012 Aaron’s 499 pole at Talladega Superspeedway.


Gordon, who now ties the “Silver Fox,” David Pearson, for the longest streak all-time in consecutive season series poles, received his first series pole of the 2012 season, his 71st series career pole and his third series pole at Talladega Superspeedway.


Sharing the front row with Gordon and starting second with a qualifying lap speed of 191.111-mph, will be AJ Allmendinger, and they will be followed by Marcos Ambrose (191.039) starting third, Aric Almirola (190.981) fourth and Kasey Kahne (190.772) will start fifth.


The current points leader, Greg Biffle, with a qualifying lap speed of 190.586-mph will start sixth, while his Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards (with the identical speed of 190.586-mph) will start seventh, defending series champion, Tony Stewart (190.476) eighth, Michael Waltrip (190.245) ninth and Matt Kenseth (190.200) rounds out the top-ten starting positions.


Failing to make the starting lineup was the #49 driven by JJ Yeley.


The Aaron’s 499 is scheduled to get underway around 1:20pm ET Sunday afternoon, with FOX providing television coverage beginning with their 12pm ET pre-race show.


Starting Lineup


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


SRT Motorsports (Dodge) Keys for Success – Aaron’s 499
Via Howard Comstock – SRT Motorsports Engineering


Pack vs. Tandem Racing – “It’s going to be a hot day. There’s no reason to burn your stuff up early trying to get away, because you can’t get away.  I think drivers are going to be satisfied to ride along in the pack, make a few moves here and there just to see what they can do and think about how they’re going to get to the front later in the race. Save your car for the last move and find a partner that you think you can work with. Those last two laps are going to be something.”


Selecting a Partner – “A lot of times, we see drivers make deals before the race and say how they’re going to do this or that. The race is a dynamic thing. That’s the great thing about racing. Plans are good, but you can’t make a plan and stick to it. You make a plan early and then you’re making another plan a lap later. It’s good to have a buddy, but if he gets knocked out, where do you go? I think you have to be buddies with a lot of drivers. The last couple of times we’ve come to Talladega, drivers have shown a lot of respect during practice. We used to see big crashes here during practice. We haven’t see that for a while. I think that’s because drivers are showing the proper amount of respect for the track, the cars and each other and understand you have to wait, wait to make it to the end and have a chance at victory.”


Pit Strategy – “Running in the pack is a double-edge sword. There’s safety that you’re not going to lose the draft, but when the pack pits under green, you have to do the same. That puts a lot of cars on pit road at the same time and we’ve seen plenty of trouble in the past as drivers maneuver to get into their pits. We’ve seen crashes, spins, drivers missing their pit. The pit road speed here is 55-mph. Think about going from 55 to a stop in just a few feet. Also, you certainly don’t want to run the car out of fuel, especially with the new fuel injection system. I don’t think there’s any reason to stretch it.”


Two-Tire vs. Four-Tire Stops – “Tires should not be an issue. It’s the same tire we used here last year, the same tire we used at Daytona. Last year, we saw cars that could go 100 laps on the left-side tires. I think you will see more two-tire stops.”


Hot Temperature – “I think the hot temperature will favor the Dodge and Ford brands. Our engines handle the heat more efficiently, so I think Dodges will tolerate the warmer weather better.”


The Right Move – “I think three laps would be too early; two laps may be too early. We’ve seen a lot of races here where the driver leading in the tri-oval didn’t win the race. With the unique start-finish line well past the tri-oval, it builds a lot of drama at this track. This is a great race track.”


From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge)-PR


Good Sam/Camping World to Sponsor Trevor Bayne & Wood Brothers
NASCAR’s longest continuously operating race team and one of the sport’s highest profile sponsors are going racing together in the Sprint Cup Series.


The Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Ford Fusion and their driver Trevor Bayne will carry the colors of Good Same and Camping World for four races this season, beginning with the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 19. The No. 21 Ford Fusion will also represent Good Sam/Camping World in Sprint Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept 2, Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 16 and Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 13.


Read more from Wood Brothers Racing-PR


Smith Announces Plans to Give $40k in Educational Grants
As race fans across North Carolina and around the world set their sights on Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 10 greatest days in racing, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman and CEO Bruton Smith outlined a program Friday that will spur friendly competition in North Carolina cities and further educational programs across the state.


Through the May Race to Education program, mayors and community leaders from Asheville to Wilmington were paired by random drawing with drivers who are currently locked into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, being held May 19 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.


The driver who wins the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race and the Coca-Cola 600 will each win a $20,000 zMAX Race to Education award to be used for educational programs in the community with which he was paired.


Read more from Charlotte Motor Speedway-PR


Friday, May 4, 2012
2012 NSCS Aaron’s 499 Final Practice Session Speeds
Once again it was Aric Almirola, with a lap speed of 196.725-mph, showing the fastest way around Talladega Superspeedway during final NSCS Aaron’s 499 practice session.


Matt Kenseth was second fastest with a lap speed of 196.685-mph, and was followed by fellow Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Greg Biffle (196.105) who was third fastest, Denny Hamlin (195.692) fourth fastest and Regan Smith (195.620) was fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” (final) practice session were David Gilliland (195.281) who was sixth fastest, Joey Logano (195.118) seventh, Marcos Ambrose (195.054) eighth, Kyle Busch (194.745) ninth and Clint Bowyer (194.539) posting the tenth fastest laps speed.


The teams will return to the track Saturday afternoon for their 12:10 pm ET scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for Sunday’s race – which is set to get started around 1:20pm ET with television coverage provided by FOX beginning with their pre-race show at 12pm ET.


Practice 2 Speeds
Qualifying Order


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NSCS Aaron’s 499 First Practice Session Speeds
Aric Almirola, with a lap speed of 199.172-mph, was the quickest during the first NSCS Aaron’s 499 practice session at Talladega Superspeedway.


Second quickest and with a lap speed of 198.343-mph, was Michael Waltrip, followed by Matt Kenseth (197.986) who was third quickest, Jeff Gordon (197.843) fourth and Kevin Harvick (197.725) was fifth quickest.


Rounding out the top-ten quickest during practice were Brad Keselowski, (197.623) who was sixth quickest, Casey Mears (197.447) seventh, Ryan Newman (197.212) eighth, Jeff Burton (197.195) ninth and Paul Menard (197.151) posting the tenth quickest lap speed.


The teams will have their “Happy Hour” (final) practice session from 3:30-4:30pm ET this afternoon.


Practice 1 Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


2012 NNS Aaron’s 312 Final Practice Session Speeds
Kurt and Kyle Busch, with identical lap speed of 190.045-mph, showed the fastest way around Talladega Superspeedway during the final NNS Aaron’s 312 practice session.


Sam Hornish Jr, with a lap speed of 189.703-mph, was third fastest, followed by the defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr (189.530) fourth fastest, and Michael Annett (189.526) was the fifth fastest.


Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” (final) practice session were Brad Keselowski (189.253) sixth fastest, Justin Allgaier and Kenny Wallace (with the identical lap speed 188.370) seventh and eighth fastest respectively, Kevin Harvick (188.182) ninth and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon (188.178) posting the tenth fastest lap.


The teams will return to the track Saturday afternoon for the Aaron’s 312, which is scheduled to get underway approximately at 3:30pm ET with television coverage provided by ESPN on ABC beginning with their pre-race coverage at 3pm ET.


Practice 1 Speeds


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia


NASCAR team owner mixing racing and politics as he runs for office
Most political candidates spend the days leading up to an election doing last-minute campaigning.


For Robby Benton, a candidate for the North Carolina Senate, he left his home state Thursday for three days at Talladega Superspeedway, even though he has just five days left to convince voters to elect him.


Read more from Sporting News


NASCAR Takes Back Seat This Week to Returning Military War Heroes
NASCAR driver Ward Burton will be putting NASCAR on the back burner this weekend as he places his focus on the military heroes that have returned from serving our country in Afghanistan and Iraq. Unfortunately, some of these heroes have lost limbs while serving on the front lines during the ward and the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation along with the Freedom Alliance will be providing a healing environment this Friday, May 4th, 2012 at “The Cove.” The Cove is located in Halifax County, VA, and consists of more than 2000 acres of breathtaking landscape and wildlife habitat.


Read more from Racing West


Penske’s Nationwide cars have their front bumper covers replaced
Penske Racing’s Nationwide teams spent Thursday afternoon replacing the upper front bumper covers of the cars of Brad Keselowski and Sam Hornish Jr at Talladega Superspeedway.


Bumper covers appear to have been a point of emphasis for NASCAR officials at the last two races. Last week at Richmond, NASCAR confiscated the bumper covers of all three Richard Childress cars and all three Turner Motorsports cars.


Read more from Sporting News


2012 Talladega Superspeedway NASCAR Weather Forecast: Mostly Dry…
Thursday at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying has been canceled. Instead of qualifying later today there will be a Nationwide practice. The rest of the forecast looks to be on track for the remainder of the weekend.


Read more from WX-Man


Rocket21, Roush Fenway Racing and Charlotte Motor Speedway invite Kids to…
Rocket21, (the only social networking platform designed to safely connect kids and teens with professionals and experts representing industries, professions, passions and movements that span the globe), joined with Roush Fenway Racing and Charlotte Motor Speedway to announce a collaboration that will harness the popularity of NASCAR to help kids consider the importance of teamwork in their everyday lives – and their futures.


Rocket21 is hosting an essay and video competition which invites kids and teens under 18 to consider what fuels THEIR passions, what teamwork means to them, and what kind of competitor they are – or would like to become. Rocket21 members will engage with Roush Fenway Racing drivers, crew chiefs, and more – to learn about the sport from an insider’s perspective. Later this month, a Rocket21 member and his or her family will attend the HISTORY 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the historic Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.


Read more from Roush Fenway Racing-PR


Day of Wine and Race Cars Scheduled
Richard Childress Racing and Childress Vineyards will co-host a full day of activities for fans May 25 during the ’12 FAN DAY celebration at the award-winning winery and the RCR Museum.


Activities at each venue will begin at 9am Eastern Time with autograph sessions, show car and sponsor partner displays, guided museum and winery tours scheduled throughout the day. The RCR Museum will have a giant tent sale, with specific racing memorabilia sales to benefit the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can participate in drawings, hide-and-tweet contests and Facebook trivia throughout the day for a chance to win prizes.


Read more from Richard Childress Racing-PR


2012 NNS Aaron’s 312 Starting Lineup
Thursday rain at Talladega Superspeedway forced NASCAR officials to cancel both NNS Aaron’s 312 practice sessions; as well as, Friday’s qualifying session. Instead of qualifying on Friday, the teams will have their “Happy Hour” (final) practice session from 12:10 – 1:45pm ET.


The starting lineup will be based upon the 2012 owner points and attempts made according to the NASCAR rulebook, putting Elliott Sadler on the pole, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr, starting second, Kevin Harvick third, Joey Logano fourth and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon starting fifth.


Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be rookie contender, Brad Sweet, starting sixth, James Buescher seventh, Sam Hornish Jr, eighth, Brad Keselowski ninth and Michael Annett will start from the tenth position.


Failing to make the starting lineup was the #75 driven by Blake Koch.


Starting Lineup


From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Thursday, May 3, 2012
Tight Race Fuels 2012 Sprint Fan Vote
The green flag drops on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race in just 16 days, yet six driers currently in the top 20 in points are on the outside looking in. Jeff Burton 20th, Dale Earnhardt Jr 2nd, Joey Logano 15th, Jamie McMurray 18th, Juan Pablo Montoya 16th, and Martin Truex Jr. 5th might need to rely on the Sprint Fan Vote to earn their way into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.


While NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point-leader Greg Biffle punched his card into the race field with his victory at Texas Motor Speedway in April, hundreds of thousands of NASCAR fans are casting votes for their favorite Sprint Fan Vote eligible drivers. And some names on the ballot might surprise even the most die- 
hard NASCAR fan.


The top 10 drivers in the Sprint Fan Vote standings – in alphabetical order – are AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Burton Earnhardt Jr, Bill Elliott, Bobby Labonte, Logano, McMurray, Truex Jr and Kenny Wallace.


Voting will continue until 5pm EDT Saturday, May 19. Fans can vote by visiting Sprint.com/Speed, using the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application on Sprint Android devices or by texting “VOTE to 229466 on any wireless carrier – standard text messaging and data rates apply.  As an added incentive for Sprint customers votes submitted from a Sprint, Nextel Boost or Virgin Mobile device will count double toward an eligible driver’s total.


Voting is also open at NASCAR.com/AllStar or by visiting the Sprint Experience, Sprint’s mobile-marketing display located in the midway at all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.


To be eligible for the Sprint All-Star Fan Vote, drivers must be approved by NASCAR for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition and have met all other eligibility requirements. Those requirements include finishing in the Top 50 of the final 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship point standings or an attempt to qualify for the 2012 Daytona 500.


The driver who accumulates the most votes and finishes the Sprint Showdown qualifying race on the lead lap with a car in ‘raceable’ condition – as determined by NASCAR competition – will earn a spot in the prestigious NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race field.


Drivers eligible for the 2012 Sprint Fan Vote
AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, TJ Bell, Dave Blaney, Geoffrey Bodine, Jeff Burton, Landon Cassill, Chris Cook, Erik Darnell, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Bill Elliott, David Gilliland, Robby Gordon, Brian Keselowski, Bobby Labonte, Terry Labonte, Andy Lally, Stephen Leicht, Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears, Juan Pablo Montoya, Joe Nemechek, Steve Park, Andy Pilgrim, Tony Raines, David Reutimann, Robert Richardson, Boris Said, Ken Schrader, Brian Simo, David Stremme, Martin Truex Jr, Brian Vickers, Kenny Wallace, Mike Wallace, Michael Waltrip and JJ Yeley.


From Sprint Nextel-PR


Denny Hamlin & Salvation Army Welcome Home Tuscaloosa-Area Family
FedEx Corp, The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana & Mississippi and NASCAR Driver Denny Hamlin are working together to bring awareness of ongoing recovery efforts in the Tuscaloosa, Ala, area in the wake of the devastating tornadoes that hit the area in April 2011. Today, the two organizations and Hamlin are welcoming a local family into its newly built home at a special event in Tuscaloosa.


Read more from Market Watch


Fallen Aiken officers honored by NASCAR driver Ragan
There will be a lot of decals on David Ragan’s Ford May 11 for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, but none more important than ones honoring fallen Aiken Public Safety officers Scotty Richardson and Sandy Rogers.


Ragan’s team, Front Row Motorsports will pay tribute to the officers who were gunned down in a span of 39 days, becoming the first two officers killed in the line of duty in Aiken County history.


Read more from Augusta Chronicle


2012 Talladega Superspeedway NASCAR Weather Forecast: Hot with Isolated Storms
With the exception of today, most of this weekend’s NASCAR weather forecast at Talladega Superspeedway is dry but very hot. The NASCAR Nationwide Series is scheduled to practice later this afternoon. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible through the afternoon and could cancel or reschedule these practices.


Friday through the rest of the weekend the general weather forecast is the same. It will be hot as high temperatures get into the upper 80s and even 90s for the weekend. It will also be very muggy with dew points into the upper 60’s and near 70. With plenty of moisture in the atmosphere an isolated shower or storm can’t be ruled out. The likelihood of a storm causing problems for NASCAR this weekend is very low but still needs to be mentioned.


If you are going to Talladega this weekend, be prepared to sweat. Have plenty of water, take lots of breaks to rest and stay cool. 


From WX-Man


Humpy Wheeler: I will not see history be rewritten
The release sent out by Charlotte Motor Speedway suggesting that the lights at the track were Bruton Smith’s idea is not true.


I will not stand by and see history be rewritten.


These are the facts: I went with then sales manager Jim Duncan to Winston Salem in 1991 to visit RJ Reynolds Sports Marketing Dept. The meeting was with RJR director of sports T. Wayne Robertson to make a presentation for the 1992 Winston All Star Race. Our contract was always for one year. We yearly made a presentation to them to get the event back.


I was really worried that year because Richmond and my friend and its promotor Paul Sawyer really wanted the event. So made our presentation and presented them with five promotional ideas. Wayne and his group didn’t like any of them and I though we were going to lose the race.


Right before the meeting ended I said, “Ok, I have another idea…let’s run it on Saturday night.” Wayne looked at me like I was crazy and so did my associate Jim Duncan.


Read more from That’s Racin’ Lucky Dog


Golden Corral Back on Board with Tommy Baldwin Racing at Superspeedways
Golden Corrral will come back on board the Tommy Baldwin Racing  (TBR) No. 36 Chevrolet for the superspeedway races this season. Dave Blaney will drive the No. 36 Golden Corral/Camp Corral Chevrolet this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway as well as at Daytona International Speedway in July and Talladege in October. The Raleigh NC company will once again run the Top-10 Kids Eat Free promotion for all three events.


Golden Corral and Camp Corral will adorn the No. 36 Chevrolet in the Aaron’s 499 this weekend. Golden Corral sponsored the team in 21 events last season. This summer the company will focus on spreading the word about Camp Corral, as well as running the Top-10 Kids Eat Free promotion.


Camp Corral is a free summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military families. It is launching  this summer at nine camps across the country, allowing 1,800 children to attend. Camp Corral provides a fun and developmental experience for kids ages 8 to 15 years old to participate in traditional camp activities, including horseback riding, swimming and fishing, with kids who share similar family situations.


Golden Corral and TBR will run the ‘Racing for America’s Families’ promotion for all three superspeedway races this season. Each time the No. 36 Golden Corral/Camp Corral Chevrolet finishes in the top-10, Golden Corral will offer a one-day “Kids Eat Free’ promotion the immediate Monday following the top-10 event. Details of the offer include:

  • Free kids buffet with an adult buffet purchase at regular price at participating locations.
  • Limit of two (2) free kid’s meals per adult buffet purchased.
Blaney will compete in the Aaron’s 499 Sunday, May 6 at Talladega Superspeedway. The No. 36 Golden Corral/Camp Corral Chevrolet will take the green flag at 1pm EST.

From TBR-PR

Nabors Will Sing ‘Indiana’ Despite Missing 2012 Indianapolis 500
Beloved actor-entertainer Jim Nabors will not attend the 96th Indianapolis 500 due to heart-valve replacement surgery scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, but he will continue his tradition of singing ‘Back Home Again in Indiana’ during pre-race ceremonies.


A film crew will travel to Nabors’ home in Hawaii this month to record him singing “Back Home Again in Indiana’ to be played on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Public Address and video boards Sunday, May 27 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


Read more from IMS-PR


Wednesday, May 2, 2012
With return of pack racing, it’s ‘every man for himself’ at Talladega
Sprint Cup drivers have the same rules package for Sunday’s race at Talladega as they had at the Daytona 500 earlier this year, and they expect a similar style of race.


That means more pack racing with some drivers possibly playing it conservative early, and then two-car tandems likely playing a role in the final laps.


Read more from Sporting News




Natural Gas Vehicle Named Pace Car at NASCAR Race Track
Atmos Energy’s 2012 Honda Civic will be leading a pack of professional racers who are vying to become the next NASCAR “All-Star” this Saturday May 5, at the grand opening of the Revolution Park Racing and Entertainment Complex.


Read more from Market Watch


Bristol Motor Speedway Officials turn focus to Next Fan Initiative
A week after responding to fan request by making major changes to the track surface, Bristol Motor Speedway General Manager Jerry Caldwell today announced the next BMS fan initiative.


Attacking the continuing economic challenges facing guests, Caldwell revealed a bold plan to arrange access to enough area property to expand BMS camping options by 700 spaces.


Read more from BMS-PR


Darrell Wallace Jr. says it’s his time to shine in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series
Darrell Wallace Jr. has four chances this year to make a big impression and he knows he has to make the most of them.


Wallace, an 18-year-old native of Mobile, has four races scheduled this year in the No. 20 Toyota with Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He needs to make a big enough impression to attract enough sponsorship to turn that into a full-time ride for 2013.


Read more from al .com


“Danica Deal” is Perfect Gift for Mother’s Day at Atlanta
This Mother’s Day, Atlanta Motor Speedway has the perfect gift for the female racing fan in your family. Bring Mom out to AMS on Labor Day weekend with the “Danica Deal” to see Danica Patrick make her debut at the famed 1.54-mile speedway during the biggest Labor Day party in the USA, Aug. 31-Sept 2.


Read more from AMS-PR


Kurt Busch tweets about Sponsor Announcement on Friday
Big sponsor announcement Friday for — be on the look out


From Kurt Busch Twitter


Can Johnson Do it Again?
Jimmie Johnson has a tough act to follow this weekend: himself.


Last year at Talladega Superspeedway, site of Sunday’s Aaron’s 499, Johnson took the white flag in seventh place in his familiar No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.


Just 2.66 miles later – the distance of a lap around the high-banked Alabama track – Johnson used a push from teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr to take the checkered flag by just .002 seconds over Clint Bowyer, tying the NASCAR record for narrowest margin of victory. The top eight cars, two pairs from Hendrick and one pair each from Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Childress Racing, crossed the line separated by a mere 0.145 seconds.


Read more from SPEED


Has NASCAR rules enforcement lost its bite?
Perhaps Richard Childress Racing and Turner Motorsports should send a nice fruit basket to John Middlebrook.


From the way NASCAR handled last weekend’s Nationwide Series infractions for each team, it appears the Chief Appellate Officer has impacted the sanctioning body’s level of governing.


Read more from CBS Sports Eye on NASCAR


Biffle’s rise proves impossible can come true
He started too late, not in go-karts as a child like so many of his contemporaries did, but in local hobby stocks when he was in high school. He grew up in a part of the country far removed from events on the sport’s most elite level, and he was ultimately hired on blind faith. He made his leap into NASCAR’s national divisions only to watch his career stagnate and see other, younger drivers zip by on their way up the career ladder.


Greg Biffle never should have made it. The odds were too long, his hometown was too remote, his development process was all wrong. By all accounts he should have been one of those late-in-life bloomers who owned his local short track, the kind of bullring hot-shoe who always left the break. Because breaks are supposed to go to kids who have been wheeling go-karts since they were 3, and were primed for the Spring Cup level by the time they could walk. Not guys like Biffle, who didn’t get his first ride at NASCAR’s national level until he was almost 30.


Read more from NASCAR .com


Talladega ’87 changed sport forever
This weekend is the 25th anniversary of the crash that brought restrictor plates to NASCAR for keeps. I was there. And whenever I think of those moments on the brink of catastrophe that could have destroyed a sport, I’m more tolerant of all the aggravations of plate racing.


“LeMans ’55” was my first thought, during the seconds Bobby Allison’s car sailed backward, flying, it surely seemed, right into the packed main grandstands of Talladega Superspeedway, tearing down catch-fencing like so much tissue paper.


“A thousand people” was my other thought.


Read more and see video at ESPN


American Idol winner Kris Allen to sing National Anthem at Dover
RCA recording artist Kris Allen, the season 8 winner of “American Idol,” will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of the June 3 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway.


Allen’s performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” will precede the June 3 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the premier event during a NASCAR tripleheader weekend at the Monster Mile that also includes the June 2 “5-hour Energy 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race and June 1 “Lucas Oil 200” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.


For tickets or more information, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com You can also keep up with the Monster Mile at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway or on Twitter @MonsterMile


From Dover International Speedway-PR


SRT Motorsports (Dodge) Presents The Numbers – Aaron’s 499
For Aaron’s 499 – Talladega Superspeedway (All 85 Sprint Cup races)
0 – Fewest cautions for a Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway – three times, most recent 10/6/02
1 – Fewest laps led by race winner – twice, most recent 4/26/09 – Brad Keselowski
1 – Fewest cars on the lead lap at finish – twice, most recent 5/6/79
6 – Cautions in last year’s spring race
7 – Races won from starting spot outside top 20
8 – Most poles – Bill Elliott
10 – Most wins – Dale Earnhardt Sr
11 – Jet Dryers available for track drying this weekend
11 – Most cautions – 4/25/04
13 – Wins from the pole, 33 from the front row
14 – Fewest running at finish 7/27/86
23 – Races won from a starting spot outside the top 10
29 – Most leaders 4/25/10
35 – Different pole winners
40 – Most cars running at finish 4/22/01
41 – Different drivers have posted wins at Talladega
62 – Most caution laps 5/7/72
88 – Most lead changes – twice, most recent 4/17/11
153 – Most laps led by a race winner – Pete Hamilton, 8/23/70
120 minutes – Approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.66-mile track after significant rainfall.


2012 Caution Update
1 – Fewest cautions this season – Fontana 3/25/12
2 – Races extended beyond scheduled distance in 2012 – Daytona and Martinsville
10 – Most cautions this season – Daytona 2/27/12
48 – Cautions in the first nine races of 2012
281 of 2,926 – Laps under caution  in 2012
322.323 of 3,214.290 – Miles under caution in the first nine races


Bonus – In addition to Talladega Superspeedway (85 races), six other Alabama tracks hosted 19 Sprint Cup events from 1951 to 1969.


From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports (Dodge)-PR


Junior Is (Almost) Back…But Is It For Real This Time?
Junior is back!  Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It has become a recurring statement in four of the last five seasons, ever since NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr, teamed up with racing mogul Rick Hendrick in 2008. With Earnhardt driving in the best equipment, fans and media alike have high expectations going into every year for the driver, only to end it on a sour note.


So, is this the year that really marks the return of Earnhardt?


Read more from Frontstretch


NASCAR’s Clint Bowyer to honor Crimson Tide with car, helmet
Looking to honor the University of Alabama’s 2011 BCS National Championship victory, Michael Waltrip Racing will feature one of its cars with a Crimson Tide paint scheme for Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.


Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 Toyota will feature the traditional red and white colors of Alabama as well as dates of all the 14 years that Alabama has won the national championship.


Bowyer himself will be wearing a helmet that pays homage to former Alabama coaching great Bear Bryant. 


Read more and see the paint scheme and helmet at Orlando Sentinel



Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1994 – Dale Earnhardt fends off Ernie Irvan’s late-race charge to win the Winston Select 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Irvan, who started on the pole and led 78 laps to Earnhardt’s 64, was just .06 seconds behind at the finish. Michael Waltrip came home third.


From NASCAR .com


Six NASCAR Nationwide Series Crew Chief Fined; Crew Chiefs, Car Chiefs Place on Probation
NASCAR announced today that six NASCAR Nationwide Series crew chiefs had been fined and placed on probation for violations during this past weekend’s event at Richmond International Raceway. In addition, the teams’ respective car chiefs have also been placed on probation for the remainder of the year.


Crew chiefs Luke Lambert (No. 2 team), Danny Stockman (No. 3 team), Trent Owens (No. 30 team), Jimmy Elledge (No. 31 team), Ernie Cope (No. 33 team), and Mike Shiplett (No. 38 team) have each been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Additionally, the teams’ respective car chiefs – Phil Gould (No. 2), Robert Strmiska (No. 3), Shannon Rursh (No. 30), Ronald Hornaday III (No. 31), Paul Balmer (No. 33), and Christopher Meyers (No. 38) – have likewise been place on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.


The rules violations referred to Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-A fo the rule book); 20A-2. 1E (streamlining of the contours of the car, beyond what is approved by the series director will not be permitted. Installation of air directional devices, underpans, baffles, shields or the like beneath the car or the car’s hood and fender area, front firewall, floor, rear firewall area, rear deck and quarter panel will not be permitted. If, in the judgement of the NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted All cars must remain standard in appearance); 20A-3. 10A (front upper bumper cover must be from the respective OEM manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. The front lower bumper cover and rear bumper cover must be from an approved manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. Once approved, the front lower bumper covers may be used on all approved models. NASCAR officials may use bumper covers provided by the respective manufacturer as a guide in determining whether a competitor’s bumper cover conforms to the specifications of the NASCAR rule book. Unless otherwise authorized by the series director, cutting and reshaping of bumper covers will not be permitted.


The infractions were discovered during opening day inspection on April 26.


From NASCAR-PR


Truex worried hot weather could complicate ‘Dega
A triumphant trip to Talladega will not only be determined by temperatures, but by timing as well. 


That’s the opinion shared by Martin Truex Jr. as he keeps one eye on the weather forecast and the other on any possible technical bulletins handed down by NASCAR before this weekend’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.


NASCAR required major changes to the cooling system for the Daytona 500 – including smaller capacity radiators and a reduction in system pressure – in an effort to police tandem drafting. Even then, some teams had overheating issues.


And with Sunday’s forecast topping out at 90 degrees, that’s a major concern for nearly everyone in the Sprint Cup garage.


Read more from NASCAR .com


In NASCAR, eavesdropping is all part of the game
As allegations of the New Orleans Saints owner eavesdropping on NFL opponents rocked the sports world last week, there was no reason for NASCAR to take notice. At stock-car racing’s highest level, listening to rivals’ conversations is not only accepted – it’s part of the game.


“Everybody scans everybody,” said Mike Calinoff, spotter for driver Matt Kenseth.


The equivalent of listening to the other team’s quarterback give in-huddle instructions is one of the aspects that makes NASCAR unique in pro sports.


Read more from USA Today


NASCAR: Carl Edwards’ crew wrong
NASCAR’s vice president of competition says there is a radio communication supporting that Carl Edwards was second behind Tony Stewart when Saturday night’s Sprint Cup race was restarted with 81 laps remaining.


Edwards argued his spotter was told by a NASCAR official that he was the leader just before the restart when explaining why he was black-flagged for jumping the restart.


The pass-through penalty ended any chances Edwards, who led a race-high 206 laps, had of winning the race eventually won by Kyle Busch.


“The confusion was on their part,” NASCAR’s Robin Pemberton said on Tuesday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “That’s something they have to work on in their communication. We work with the crew chiefs, and if the crew chief thought there was something, the crew chief would have radioed us.


“But multiple times during the last lap it was repeated 14-99 (Stewart-Edwards) from more than one source.”


Read more from ESPN


NASCAR Media Group Wins Fourth Sports Emmy in Last Six Years 
NASCAR Media Group, the full-service video and digital production company of NASCAR, last night received a Sports Emmy Award for “Inside the Headsets,” a television program which aired on SPEED the night after the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race last May. The win was the second in three years for “Inside the Headsets” and the fourth win overall in the last six years in the “Outstanding Live Event Turnaround” category.


NASCAR Media Group was presented the award at the 33rd Annual Sports Emmy Awards at Frederick P. Rose Hall in Lincoln Center in New York.


“Inside the Headsets,” which aired on SPEED on May 22, 2011, captured a wide array of all the action that was the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race, including exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, in-car communication, crew chief sound, exclusive interviews and even a rare glimpse inside NASCAR Race Control with cameras embedded at the competition nerve center. The program aired less than 24 hours following the conclusion of the race.


“We are extremely honored to be recognized for the hard work done by our team at NASCAR Media Group and our partners at SPEED,” said Jay Abraham, COO of NASCAR Media Group. “Winning this award for the fourth time in six years reflects that hard work and showcases the highly compelling content of a show like ‘Inside the Headsets’ despite the turnaround time.”


This was NASCAR Media Group’s seventh straight nomination. The other three award-winning shows are as follows:


2006 – Beyond the Wheel, SPEED
2007 – Quest for the Cup, Voom HD
2009 – Inside the Headsets, SPEED


From NASCAR-PR


2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Marks 20th Anniversary of Historic ‘One Hot Night’ Race
Twenty years after Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith floated the idea of installing a first-of-its-kind lighting system at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the seemingly impossible notion of racing at night has become the norm with some of NASCAR’s biggest events, including the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, now running in prime time.


While some scoffed at the idea, Smith revolutionized the sport when he partnered with MUSCO to build the 1,200-fixture, $1.7 million lighting system. It was different from any installed at other tracks in that it used a system of adjustable mirrors to moderate the light aimed at the drivers. At issue was determining the amount of light needed for the television cameras while at the same time guaranteeing it didn’t adversely affect the drivers’ vision. The spectators’ comfort also was taken into consideration.


“We got really lucky because one of the gentlemen from MUSCO had driven race cars,” Smith recalled. “So when I talked with him, he understood what I was talking about.”


After two nights of testing before the 1992 Sprint All-Star Race, then call The Winston, Kyle Petty predicted Smith’s upgrades would change the sport forever.


“This could be the future of racing,” Petty said then. “You can make more of a package out of night racing and it will sell better to TV.”


With all the hype leading up to the race, no one could have scripted a more exciting finish under the lights.


“You felt like you were at a Rolling Stones concert,” reflected Robin Pemberton, NASCAR’s, vice president of competition and racing development, who was Kyle Petty’s crew chief that night. “The crowd was huge. It was May, the weather was good. It was just electric. You looked up at the place lit up and it was so unbelievably cool.”


With four laps remaining in the final 10-lap segment of the race, NASCAR legends Dale Earnhardt, Kyle Petty and Davey Allison battled for the lead.


On the final lap, the three raced down the backstretch. Petty was trailing Earnhardt heading into Turn 3 when the Goodwrench No. 3 got loose and spun toward the outside wall. Petty took the lead with Allison chasing close behind.


Coming out of Turn 4, Petty and Allison raced side-by-side, beating and banging toward the finish line. As they crossed the stripe, Allison’s car spun in front of Petty’s and into the outside wall. It wasn’t until later when team owner Robert Yates and crew chief Larry McReynolds visited him in the infield medical center, that Allison knew he’d won.


“I wish I would have won the race, but I ain’t going to kick and scream about it,” Earnhardt told reporters that night. “Kyle was trying to win and I was too. I’m not going to be mad about it.


“He went into the corner and tried to take what was his That’s all there was to it – good hard racing. Kyle and I were just racing for it. He just took a little more than I wanted to give.”


Track officials billed that All-Star Race as “One Hot Night,” a name that still reverberates with race fans and motorsports buffs two decades later.


The next chapter in NASCAR Sprint All-Star history will be written May 19 under the lights at Charlotte Motor Speedway. NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend ticket packages start at just $99, and include reserved seats for the All-Star Race and the North Carolina Education Lottery 200, and the choice of a race shop tour, or visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame or tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pit Crew Challenge.


Tickets are available by calling the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 8-800-455-FANS (3267) or visiting CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com. Keep up with everything going on at the Mecca of motorsports on Facebook at facebook.com/charlottemotorspeedway or Twitter at @cltmotorspdwy


From Charlotte Motor Speedway-PR


Darlington Raceway to Host Autograph Session with NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers
Darlington Raceway is offering its fans an opportunity to participate in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series autograph session with drivers Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin, Paul Menard and defending Bojangles’ Southern 500 champion Regan Smith.


The autograph session will take place on Friday, May 11 from 10-10:30 am in the Darlington Raceway Fan 101 Tent, located in the fan display area behind the frontstretch grandstands.


The autograph session is open to fans that present a ticket to either the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sports Clips Help a Hero 200 or Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500. An infield camping admission may also be used to attend the autograph session. Each driver will sign one item for each guest and photographs will not be permitted due to limited timing.


Read more from Darlington Raceway-PR


Martinsville Speedway Adopts New Twitter Handle: @MartinsvilleSwy
In an attempt to help streamline its presence on Twitter, Martinsville Speedway has adopted a new handle for the social media platform. Beginning immediately Martinsville Speedway’s Twitter handle is @MartinsvilleSwy, moving away from @ms1947.


The name change does not affect anyone already following Martinsville Speedway on Twitter as the new handle is automatically swapped out for the old.


The change was made to help highlight the track’s name, and to make the handle more discernable in timelines and easier for users to type.


Racing returns to Martinsville Speedway on October 21 with the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 300 NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race.


The TUMS Fast Relief 500 weekend is scheduled for October 26-28, with the TUMS Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race on October 28, the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on October 27 and NASCAR Cup and Truck Practice on October 26.


Tickets are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at MartinsvilleSpeedway.com


From Martinsville Speedway-PR


Jeffrey Earnhardt To Drive for Rick Ware Racing
Jeffrey Earnhardt will be making his NASCAR Nationwide Series Talladega debut this Saturday, May 5th in the Aaron’s 312. He’ll be driving the #15 FASTWAX.com – POYNT Mustang for Rick Ware Racing in his 3rd trip to a super speedway synonymous with the Earnhardt name.


“We ran trucks here the past two years and while we got caught by some wrecks, I feel comfortable on this track. It’s my first Nationwide race here and we’re expecting a great run,” said Jeffrey.


Rick Ware sees the youngest Earnhardt driver coming into his own and is looking forward to this weekend’s race. “I’ve had the opportunity to watch Jeffrey develop over the past two years and you can see it’s only a matter of time before he’s winning races. His instincts are great and his confidence is supporting his ability,” said team owner Ware.


While news of Jeffrey’s MMA debut has been the buzz, all of his focus is on Talladega. I’ve been getting a lot of interest on my MMA fight (5/22 streaming live on jeimma.com) and that’s pretty cool, but racing comes first and Talladega is special. We have a lot of friends in this area and I want to go out and give them something to cheer about,” commented Earnhardt.


The race will be televised live on ABC at 3pm ET.


From Jeffrey Earnhardt Inc-PR


Harvick Leads Group As Burton Hits Snag
I think it would be safe to say that so far, 2012 has been a very frustrating year for Richard Childress Racing.


The organization made a bunch of changes during the offseason. Team owner Richard Childress was trying to upgrade the teams of Jeff Burton and Paul Menard and trying to upgrade from what had happened in 2011. The organization also felt that with Clint Bowyer’s team going away entering this season, that reducing back down to only three teams would prove beneficial in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this year.


Read more from SPEED


Talladega Walmart Stores offer NASCAR Driver Appearances and more
As the Talladega area prepares for the upcoming Aaron’s 499, select Walmart stores will offer authentic NASCAR merchandise and host exclusive fan events starting May 3. Customers are invited to attend these events with a special appearance by Bill Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr and enjoy show car and simulator displays – perfect to safely get behind the wheel and feel the power of NASCAR – on May 3 – 5 from 10am to 7:30pm, depending on the store location.


Read more and get store details from Market Watch


NASCAR Penalties Could Reshape Nationwide Series Points Race
Two major Nationwide Series race teams whose drivers include points leader Elliott Sadler and third-place Austin Dillon, are expected to receive penalties from NASCAR today that could change the face of this season’s championship battle.


Sadler currently leads 2011 Nationwide Series champ Ricky Stenhouse Jr by two points in a tight race, with Dillon 23 points back in third.


But if NASCAR issues severe penalties later today – which is possible after officials ruled the front upper bumper covers for all three Richard Childress Racing cars and all three Turner Motorsports cars were illegally modified at Richmond – then the battle for the points lead would turn dramatically.


Read more from SB Nation


Danica Patrick faces big challenge at Talladega as she prepares for Darlington
As she prepares for her second Sprint Cup race May 12 at Darlington Raceway, Danica Patrick faces another big challenge this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.


The Nationwide Series race Saturday at Talladega is expected to be a wild, restrictor-plate race where anything can happen, but it also is an event in which Patrick could shine and rebound from a disappointing start.


With only one top-ten finish this season, Patrick is 12th in the Nationwide standings, but she likely will have more confidence in Talladega.


She put her JR Motorsports car on the pole for the season-opening race at Daytona and appears most comfortable at restrictor-plate tracks. She was involved in a wreck after contact with teammate Cole Whitt at Daytona in February, but she ran well at Daytona last July before a crash on the last lap.


Patrick has never raced at Talladega – she is one of 15 drivers entered in the race who have never wheeled a Nationwide car around the 2.66-mile track.


Read more from Sporting News


Restaurant.com affliliates to aid in helping JD Motorsports after hauler fire
HalfOffDeals.com, a co-Sponsor of the JD Motorsports No. 01 Restaurant.com Chevrolet driven by Mike Wallace, NeoFills’ discount deals program, would like to help the team rebuild following the total loss of the team’s hauler in a fire on Sunday evening at their race shop.


“Restaurant.com and HalfOffDeals.com are already partnering to provide an incredible value for consumers,” said Jim Varga, CEO and Founding Partner of NeoFill. “Now, we want to make it even better and help to take care of our JD Motorsports and NASCAR families at the same time by donating 10% of sales to the JD Motorsports team.”


Visit HalfOffDeals.com/donate to purchase a $200 eGift Card to Restaurant.com for only $35 with 10 percent from all related sales going back to the team throughout the month of May. All in all, Restaurant.com offers diners the opportunity to choose from nearly 50,000 dining deals at more than 18,000 neighborhood restaurants nationwide.


“We really appreciate our sponsors support and willingness to go above and beyond in this difficult time,” Wallace said. “I’d like to extend a huge thank you to both HalfOffDeals.com and Restaurant.com for their dedication to keeping us racing. This is when you find out who your real friends are when something like this occurs.”


The JD Motorsports No. 01 Restaurant.com Chevrolet will compete in the following races: Talladega Superspeedway on May 5; Darlington Raceway on May 11; Iowa Speedway on May 20; Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26.


From JD Motorsports-PR


McMurray, Newman and Bass Pro Shops Salute America’s Outdoorsmen

NASCAR fans may think they’re seeing double during the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.


The paint scheme that has adorned the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet all season will be shared with the Stewart-Hass Racing’s Bass Pro Shops sponsored No. 39 Chevrolet driven by Ryan Newman for the Talladega race as a salute to the men and women across America who enjoy the outdoor traditions of hunting, shooting sports, fishing, boating, camping and hiking.


It’s also Bass Pro Shops way of encouraging others to discover all the great outdoors has to offer and to get out and enjoy it with friends and family. In addition, Bass Pro Shops wants to emphasize the outdoors is a great way to get away from our hectic fast-paced world and escape to the sights and sounds of nature.


From Bass Pro Shops-PR


Kasey Kahne featured in New Public Service Advertisements
Sixty percent of young adult drivers (16-24) said they have texted while driving, according to a national survey released by the Ad Council. To educate young adult drivers about the dangers of texting while driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the State Attorneys General and Consumer Protection Agencies, and the Ad Council today revealed new public service advertisements (PSAs) featuring NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne. The new PSAs are being unveiled today to coincide with the first nationwide Stop the Texts Day, and the start of National Youth Traffic Safety Month.

NHTSA reports that distracted driving is the number one killer of American teens. In 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed and an additional 416,000 were injured due to distracted driving, which includes texting while driving.

Read more and see the video from Multivu


Monday, April 30, 2012
Today in NASCAR History
1972 – Richard Petty trounces the field at Martinsville Speedway, taking the lead when David Pearson’s transmission fails with 30 laps left in the Virginia 500. Petty, who started third and led 102 laps, won by seven laps over pole-sitter Bobby Allison. Dave Marcis took third, 13 laps off Petty’s pace. Bobby Isaac, who led 268 laps, retired with engine failure while leading after 407 laps.


From NASCAR .com


NASCAR DM names Smith managing director
With the launch of the new NASCAR.com digital experience scheduled for Jan. 1, 2013, NASCAR Digital Media announced Monday a key hire with the addition of Colin Smith. Formerly Raycom Sports’ vice president, new media and distribution, Smith was named managing director, digital platform for the sanctioning body’s digital properties.


Read more from NASCAR .com


Labbe calls out crew member for actions
Paul salvaged a solid 13th-place finish Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway despite starting 31st in a backup car and a bit of drama in the No. 27 Richard Childress Racing pits.


Erik Pringle was reprimanded by crew chief Slugger Labbe after the front tire carrier pushed a member from the No. 48 team of Jimmie Johnson over the wall after that crewman’s mistake disrupted Menard’s pit stop in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.


Read more from Fox Sports


Kasey Kahne Joins Driver Ticket Lineup at Pocono Raceway
Pocono Raceway today added Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, to its list of driver ticket packages being offered for the the Pocono 400 race weekend occurring June 8-10. This is the third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver added to the Raceway’s lineup, joining the “Jeff Gordon 24 Experience” and the Jimmie Johnson 48 Family Package.”


The “Kasey Kahne 5 Experience” will give race fans access to Kahne’s exclusive, 15-minute question and answer session on Sunday, June 10, a Terrace Vista Grandstand ticket for the Pocono 400, a Commemorative Pocono Raceway Genuine Track Medallion, automatic entry to win an autographed piece of Pocono Raceway’s former track surface signed by Kahne and access to the Pocono Raceway’s Tricky Triangle Club. The Tricky Triangle Club includes a Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Pass, four beer tickets (for those 21 years of age or older), food and beverage, an Official Pocono 400 Souvenir Program and Welcome Bag and access to additional 15-minute question and answer sessions with NASCAR drivers and personalities.


To order this and other driver ticket packages, visit poconoraceway.com and click on the “Driver Ticket Package” banner or call 1-800-RACEWAY (722-3929) today!


From Pocono Raceway-PR


Daytona 500 winner ready for more at Talladega
Matt Kenseth’s 2012 Daytona 500 winning car is sitting in the Daytona 500 Experience fan attraction in Daytona Beach, FL, so it will be of no use to him and his Roush Fenway Racing team this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.


But Kenseth’s experience at Daytona last February, which included winning his Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying race and then easily capturing his second edition of the “Great American Race,” has him feeling pretty special as he travels later this week – particularly since he’s fourth in the Sprint Cup standings coming into the 10th race of the season.


Read more from NASCAR .com


Plenty of time for Edwards, other winless drivers to bounce back
A day before his strong but ill-fated run at Richmond, Carl Edwards said not to count him out for the championship.


At that point, eight races into the season, Edwards had led one lap and was the only driver at Roush Fenway Racing without a Sprint Cup victory.


He remains winless after Saturday night’s race – a penalty on a restart doomed him to a 10th-place finish. With the series a quarter of the way through its 36-race season, Edwards is one of a number of drivers looking to improve before the Chase field is set in September.


Joining Edwards among those without a victory this season are Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.


Read more from Sports Illustrated


NASCAR Ford Championship Weekend Tickets On Sale Tuesday
Tickets for NASCAR’s Ford Championship Weekend go on sale to the general public, Tuesday (May 1) at 9:00am EST. This fall will mark the 11th consecutive year champions will be crowned in South Florida for NASCAR’s top three national series – the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series – the weekend of November 16-18.


Tickets are available online at homesteadmiamispeedway.com and by calling 866.409.RACE. Prices start at $55 for the NASCAR Sprint Cup season-ending race. Fan amenities continuing this year include:

  • Exclusive benefit for Three-day package – Fans purchasing a three-day package will have on-track access for post-race celebrations for all three championship races.
  • Kids Pricing – Kids 12 and under are free in general admission sections to both Friday’s Camping World Truck Series Championship and Saturday’s Nationwide Series Championship. Youngsters 12 and under will be admitted for half-price in reserved grandstands to Sunday’s Sprint Cup Championship.
“We have something for everyone with our various ticket offers,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “This includes great discounts for families, and everyone can take advantage of free parking as well as our ‘bring your own food and beverage’ policies. We encourage fans to get their tickets now while these great prices and best seat locations are available.”

A packed house watched last year’s Sprint Cup Series finale, the Ford 400, where Tony Stewart claimed his third NASCAR Sprint Cup title by becoming the first driver since 1975 to come from behind to win the title by winning the final race. Stewart and Carl Edwards finished in a points tie, with Stewart winning the title by virtue of his number of wins in the Chase.

“It’s already shaping up to be another heated battle for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and you won’t want to miss the finale in Miami,” said Becherer.

Joe Gibbs Racing re-establishes itself as top Toyota team
Before the Capital City 400, there was talk in the Sprint Cup garage that perhaps Michael Waltrip Racing either had replaced or was on its way to replacing Joe Gibbs Racing as the top team in the Toyota camp.


While that might have seemed a little silly considering Gibbs had won two races with Denny Hamlin, MWR still owned second, 11th and 12th in the team/owner standings while JGR was fifth, 13th and 14th.


Read more from Sporting News


Leaving Richmond Behind?
So, where does Carl Edwards go from here?


He seemingly had put a season of relative malaise behind him Saturday night at Richmond, leading laps – finally – and positioning himself to score his first Sprint Cup win in over a year.


He not only escaped the web of not running at the front but also did it in style. He led 206 of the race’s 400 laps, almost twice as many as any other driver.


Yet a mistake – or maybe more accurately, several mistakes by various parties – resulted in Edwards limping home to a 10th-place finish and seeing his winless string stretch to 42 races. He hasn’t won since March 2011 at Las Vegas.


Edwards’ failure to win Saturday night was not as bad as the way in which it happened.


Read more from SPEED


Responsible NASCAR Fans Rewarded at Richmond International Raceway
Responsible NASCAR fans earned valuable rewards at Saturday night’s Capital City 400 Presented by Virginia is for Lovers, at Richmond Intenational Raceway. Miller Lite, Drive Smart Virginia and Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition partnered to promote responsible drinking and traffic safety at Richmond International Raceway.


More than 500 fans made the pledge to be designated driver for their group. All of them had the opportunity to receive a free souvenir photo, instant prizes and a chance to be selected as the Designated Driver of the Race. One randomly selected, responsible fan will win the Responsibility Has Its Rewards sweepstakes. The grand prize includes a Miller Lite outdoor lounge set along with two tickets and two hot passes to the September Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway.


Read more from Market Watch


NASCAR edges Orlando Magic in Saturday ratings
The Orlando Magic’s thrilling playoff victory over the Indiana Pacers did well in the ratings Saturday in Orlando.


The Magic, however, didn’t do as well as NASCAR, according to preliminary ratings.


The Capital City 400 at Richmond, VA, on Fox drew 108,300 viewers. The Magic attracted nearly 102,800 viewers via ESPN and Fox Sports Florida. ESPN had 90,700 viewers, and Fox Sports Florida had 12,100.


Read more from Orlando Sentinel


Cubs fan Kurt Busch lives NASCAR, breathes baseball
When Kurt Busch emerged victorious in a fender-scraping, door-slamming, last-lap duel with Denny Hamlin in Saturday night’s Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway, he brought home the first victory for brother Kyle Busch’s first-year race team.


But even taking a checkered flag in his first season with his new Sprint Cup team, Phoenix Racing, might pale to Busch’s ultimate sports fantasy – one that would play out at Wrigley Field, not Daytona or Talladega.


“My dream is to be in Chicago when the Cubs win the World Series for the celebration that will not end,” says Busch, who enjoys gripping the seams of a baseball as much as a steering wheel.


Read more from USA Today


Worth Noting at the Frontstretch

  • Kyle Busch’s victory snapped a 21-race drought that dated back to Michigan last August. The win was his fourth Cup victory at Richmond, all of them scored consecutively in the Cup Series’ last four visits to Henrico County in the spring.
  • For those keeping count, Stewart-Haas Racing has three victories, two with Stewart and one with Ryan Newman. Joe Gibbs Racing now has three victories, two with Denny Hamlin and one with Kyle Busch. Roush Fenway Racing has two wins, one with Matt Kenseth and one with Biffle. Penske Racing has one win with Brad Keselowski. That’s your totals, overall in just nine events. Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are still posting goose eggs in the win column in 2012.
  • Kyle Busch’s win Saturday was the 24th Cup victory of his career, moving him into a tie with brother Kurt in that category.
  • The top-10 finishers at Richmond piloted four Chevy’s, four Toyota’s, a Ford and a Dodge.
  • Earnhardt and Johnson now lead all drivers with seven top-10 finishes in this season’s nine races. Kenseth and Biffle lead the pack with five top-5 results in those nine events.
  • Earnhardt’s four top-5 finish of the season matches his total number of top 5’s scored in all of 2011. The last time he managed more such results in a year was in 2008. 
  • Stewart led a lap (118 of them, actually) for the first time since Fontana.
  • Kasey Kahne’s fifth-place finish was his best of the season.
  • Edwards now has five consecutive finishes of 11th or better.
  • Juan Pablo Montoya finished 12th for the second straight week. In both instances, his team used a carefully orchestrated strategy of not having JPM run into a jet dryer.
  • Biffle’s 18th-place result was his worst of the season.
  • Harvick’s 19th-place run matches his worst of the season. He also finished 19that Martinsville.
  • Clint Bowyer’s seventh-place finish was his best since Bristol.

Energy Transfer Partners to acquire Sunoco in $5.3 Billion Transaction
Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. (NYSE:ETP) and Sunoco, Inc. (NYSE:SUN) today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby ETP will acquire Sunoco in a unit and cash transaction valued at $50.13 per share, or a total consideration of approximately $5.3 billion, based on ETP’s closing price on April 27, 2012. This combination will create one of the largest and most diversified energy partnerships in the country by expanding ETP’s geographical footprint and strengthening its presence in the transportation, terminalling and logistics of crude oil, NGL’s and refined products.


Read more from Sunoco-PR


Jeremy Mayfield giving up lawsuit against NASCAR, won’t appeal to Supreme Court
Jeremy Mayfield said Monday he likely will not pursue any additional appeals in his lawsuit against NASCAR over a May 2009 drug test the sanctioning body said was positive for methamphetamines.


Mayfield has until June 25 to file an appeal to the US Supreme Court, but he said Monday he likely will move on from the case that has lasted nearly three years.


Read more from Sporting News


AND: Jeremy Mayfield’s property goes for $1.7million at foreclosure auction
Jeremy Mayfield didn’t bother to go see how much his property was auctioned for Monday afternoon.


The former NASCAR driver, who was suspended in 2009 after the sanctioning body determined he tested positive for methamphetamines and was unsuccessful in a lawsuit against NASCAR, didn’t need to know who would buy the property that has been foreclosed on.


Carolina Farm Credit, the original lender, submitted the only bid at $1.725 million during the auction Monday on the steps of the Catawba County (NC) Courthouse. The bank can’t close on the property until 10 days elapse with no other bids. Mayfield also can pay the balance – $2.38 million in principal, plus $401,000 in interest and fees – and keep the property before the sale closes.


Read more from Sporting News


Hauler catches fire at JD Motorsports, Total Loss
JD Motorsports, the No. 01 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, suffered a total loss to their hauler on Sunday evening when it caught fire at their race shop.


There were no injuries and the tractor was detached and pulled away before suffering any damages. However, their hauler loaded with equipment, some uniforms, back-up parts, engines, shocks and springs for their operation was a total loss.


Read more from The Final Lap


NASCAR’s Robin Pemberton explains controversial Richmond call
NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton explained NASCAR’s ruling on the controversial black flag of Carl Edwards in Saturday night’s Capital City 400.


Pemberton was a guest on SIRIUS/XM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive” and said Edwards and his team mistakingly thought they were the leaders of the race to compound the restart situation.


Here is a portion of a transcript from Pemberton’s appearance courtesy of reporter Dustin Long (@dustinlong)


Pemberton: “No we knew who was leading. I believe that Bob Osborne knew who was leading until the doubt was cast by maybe the spotter stand or the scoring pylon or something like that. With one (lap) to go (before the restart), everybody knew who was leading and who was second and then it got confused after that.”


How does the scoring pylon work with timing and scoring?
Pemberton: “It’s the (scoring) loops that are embedded in the race track and each car has two transponders, a main and a backup. When they cross that line, it posts the one to 43 on the scoring pylon. In this particular case, what I think confused the spotter on the 99 (Edwards’ team) was the fact that when we gave one (lap) to go and the 99 and 14 all the cars were scrubbing tires and tying to get the brakes warm and up to temperature…the 99 beat the 14 to the finish line on the one to go. It changed the scoring pylon, so (Edwards) was never the leader. It just changed the scoring pylon because he crossed it first coming to one to go. That was a mistake on their part right off the bat,… Nobody ever thought anything about it and then I guess in the middle of (turn) three, the spotter was talking about “We’re the leader.” Now, where he got that information from, there’s a lot of finger pointing that goes on. The fact of the matter is, it is David Hoots runs the races, John Darby is the series director and we work directly with the crew chiefs. We have an official that’s in the crew chief box and all of that stuff is communicated through them. We don’t work through spotters. At that time, (crew chief) Bob Osborne never asked the question and we didn’t think anything else about until that middle of (turns) three and four when, apparently, all heck was breaking loose because they thought they were the leader and they were not.” 


So, there is not a NASCAR official on the spotter’s stand communicating with spotters?
Pemberton: “There is, but he doesn’t communicate timing and scoring. He’s up there for other issues. He’s not a timing and scoring official. He’s not a race director of any kind. He’s there for messages or to work with the spotters if there is some sort of other issue. To put him in charge of a lineup when he doesn’t have any more equipment than a spotter does. It’s strictly a crew chief’s responsibility and our’s in the tower to make sure that it’s done correctly. Not the spotters. They’re there for safety and they’re there for other things. Now what maybe what could have happened or should have happened to help them, he should have said, “Bob, make sure the lineup’s correct,” and then Bob would have communicated to the official and we would have made sure that was correct.”


From CBS Sports Listen to the Audio of Robin Pemberton


RPM Makes Crew Chief Change – Mike Ford Returns to NASCAR
Richard Petty Motorsports asserted its commitment to winning with the hiring of Chase-proven Mike Ford as crew chief for the No. 43 team and driver Aric Almirola. The veteran crew chief joins the team after leading Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 team to six straight post-season appearances in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ford will join the team immediately and will be atop the pit box in Talladega.


Read more from RPM-PR


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


As always, Thanks for reading and participating.  

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