News & Views – Volume26 – May 14 – 20, 2021

News & Views – Volume 26
For the week of May 14 – 20, 2012

The bar is is high for HMS. That’s a good problem to have (smiling). – Jimmie Johnson on 16 races without a win before winning 200th victory at Hendrick Motorsports.

Hendrick Motorsports is finally able to celebrate their 200th victory after Jimmie Johnson holds off the 2011 Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin, who is hungry to make the 2012 season his championship year.

These three drivers can really make the 2012 season quite interesting as they race each other on the track this season and it should be fun for fans to watch them on the track as the season continues with the Coca-Cola 600 in a couple of weeks.  

And with the Sprint All-Star race this weekend, Johnson, Stewart and Hamlin along with all the other drivers – Keselowski also has two wins this season – will have another chance at stretching their racing wings, to test their limits on the race track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As a non-points paying race, the drivers look forward to racing each other this weekend. Will we see some of the same action we saw from the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona in February? Only time will tell…who will be the win the Showdown and ultimately the Sprint All-Star winner in victory lane at the end of the night. 

This week, Fan4Racing will bring you the news and views leading up to an exciting race this weekend. 

Let’s begin with news for today…

Sunday, May 20, 2012
2012 NNS Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 Race Results

Stenhouse Jr Celebrates in Victory Lane at Iowa
Photo – Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images

The current NNS points leader and defending series champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, dominated the Pioneer Hi-Bred 250 as he led 209 laps of the 250 that were run, and “held off” Elliott Sadler by 1.465 seconds to take the victory at Iowa Speedway.

This was Stenhouse’s third series win of the 2012 season, his fifth series career win and his third (consecutive) series win at Iowa Speedway.

Following Stenhouse and pole-sitter Sadler to the drop of the checkered flag were Michael McDowell finishing in third, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon fourth and Kurt  Busch finished fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Justin Allgaier finishing in sixth, rookie contender Cole Whitt seventh, Parker Kligerman eighth, and impressive series debut by Darrell Wallace Jr finishing ninth and Brendan Gaughan finished in the tenth position.

With Stenhouse’s and Sadler’s 1,2 finish, Stenhouse extends his lead in the standings by 5-points, and now leads Sadler by 28-points in the standings.

Next up – The NNS teams join the cup series teams at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the HISTORY 300 on Saturday, May 26th at 2:45pm ET with television coverage provided by ESPN on ABC.

Race Results
Point Standings

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

New rules, new format draw mixed results after all-star race
A big change to the Sprint All-Star Race format and a small tweak to the cars didn’t produce the fireworks fans and NASCAR officials hoped for Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Whether it would have made a difference in the final result is debatable. Jimmie Johnson had won the all-star race before (in 2003 and 2006) and he five-time Cup champion was coming off a big victory a week earlier at Darlington Raceway.

Read more from Sporting News

Fans irritated by sandbagging
It didn’t take teams very long to figure out their best shot at winning the All-Star race would be in the first 20 laps.

What few predicted, though, was that the new format would encourage drivers to take it easy for portions of Saturday night’s $1 million race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Now fans are upset winner Jimmie Johnson essentially sandbagged for 60 or so laps before turning it up for a final charge to his third All-Star race victory.

Read more from ESPN

NASCAR’s Brian France wants better racing
The new 2013 Sprint cup car will present an opportunity for NASCAR to make the racing better. That’s why NASCAR started looking at aerodynamic changes starting this weekend, NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Saturday.

NASCAR has decreased the length of the side skirts, the sheet metal at the bottom of the door body panels, so more air flows underneath the car. The change – an inch on the right side of the car and 1.5 inches on the left – should decrease downforce and the advantage the leader has racing in clean air.

Read more from Sporting News

Elliott Sadler wins Iowa pole
It didn’t take Sadler long to bounce back from a points-killing wreck at Darlington and pick up his second pole in three starts in Iowa.

Read more from ESPN

Saturday, May 19, 2012
2012 NSCS Sprint Showdown & All-Star Results
Jimmie Johnson and the NSCS No. 48 team had a million (dollars) reasons to celebrate about Saturday night, as Johnson won the 2012 NSCS Sprint All-Star non-points race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the third time.

Coming 0.841 seconds behind Johnson (who gave Rick Hendrick his seventh victory as an owner) was Brad Keselowski, and they were followed by Matt Kenseth who finished third, Kyle Busch fourth, and the Sprint Showdown race winner, Dale Earnhardt Jr, finishing in fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Kevin Harvick finishing in sixth, Marcos Ambrose seventh, Kurt Busch eighth, Kasey Kahne ninth and Ryan Newman finishing in the tenth position.

Dale Jr wins the Sprint Showdown
Photo – Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

After starting from third and taking the lead on the first lap, Dale Earnhardt Jr, dominated the 2012 NSCS Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway by leading all 40 laps, and transferred into the NSCS Sprint All-Star race.

Transferring with Earnhardt Jr, was second-place finisher, AJ Allmendinger – who held off Jamie McMurray – and they were followed to the drop of the checkered flag by Martin Truex Jr who finished fourth and Juan Pablo Montoya finishing in fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Joey Logano finishing in sixth, Aric Almirola seventh, Jeff Burton eighth, Landon Cassill ninth and Travis Kvapil finishes in the tenth position.

Receiving the 2012 Sprint Fan Vote was Bobby Labonte, and he became the last driver eligible to transfer over to the NSCS Sprint All-Star race.

Next Up – Back to racing for points, as the teams stay at Charlotte Motor Speedway for next weekend’s Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday, May 27th, with an approximate starting time of 6:20pm ET and television coverage provided by FOX, beginning with their 5:30pm ET pre-race show.

Race Results

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Bowyer Wins Pennzoil Victory Burnout Challenge
After competing four previous Pennzoil Victory Burnout Challenge’s, Clint Bowyer emerged as the victor in Saturday night’s competition, earning $10,000 that will be donated to his charity of choice – Emporia Community Fund.

The Pennzoil Victory Burnout Challenge is known as NASCAR’s verision of a “slam dunk contest,” with the sport’s top talent showing off their post-win celebration abilities in classic NASCAR tire-smoking burnouts. This year’s format showcased five drivers burning rubber in identical cars prepared by the Richard Petty Driving Experience and had 30 seconds to execute and complete their respective runs. Fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway participated in a text-to-vote campaign where they voted by texting in specific codes that were placed on the World’s largest HD Video Board and the top-two drivers advanced to the final voting round. The celebrity judging panel determined Bowyer as the 2012 winner who was awarded $10,000 for his designated charity, bragging rights and a guaranteed spot in the 2012 Pennzoil Victory Burnout Challenge.

In addition to Bowyer, this year’s all-star line-up included, Shell-Pennzoil driver AJ Allmendinger, his Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski, 2010 burnout champion Joey Logano and 2011 event winner Kasey Kahne.

In addition to NASCAR’s biggest names, three celebrities joined the Judges’ Panel for the Pennzoil Victory Burnout Challenge, including the host of History Channel’s TOP SHOT show Colby Donaldson, Survivor’s most recent winner Kim Spradlin and Miss Sprint Cup’s Jaclyn Roney.

The fans selected Bowyer and Kahne as the top-two drivers who performed the best burnouts. Both Spradlin and Donaldson determined that Bowyer executed the best burnout while Miss Sprint Cup chose Kahne as the best performer.

From Charlotte Motor Speedway-PR

Bobby Labonte Wins 2012 Sprint Fan Vote
Sprint announced this evening that Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 47 Kingsford Toyota, has won the 2012 Sprint Fan Vote and is now in the field for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race taking place at Charlotte Motor Speedway tonight.

More than 2.4 million votes were cast during this year’s voting window. Coverage of tonight’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is currently airing on SPEED. Sprint customers can watch the race live on Android-powered devices by downloading NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile for free on Google Play.

This is the ninth consecutive NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race that NASCAR fans have voted for their favorite driver. The previous winners were Ken Schrader (2004), Martin Truex Jr (2005), Kyle Petty (2006), Kenny Wallace (2007), Kasey Kahne (2008), Joey Logano (2009), Carl Edwards (2010) and Dale Earnhardt Jr (2011).

From Sprint Nextel-PR

NASCAR joins Beyond Sport to promote Cause-Related Impact across NASCAR community
NASCAR announced today it has accepted an invitation to join Beyond Sport, a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change. NASCAR joins a coalition of leagues that includes Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) as part of Beyond Sport’s wider global network. NASCAR becomes the first motorsports organization to align with Beyond Sport.

Through Beyond Sport, NASCAR joins a movement led by a network of sports leagues that allows the sanctioning body to exchange best practices on community involvement, and to promote the numerous efforts of drivers, race teams, track operators and others within the industry to improve communities and the lives of people. It also provides NASCAR the opportunity to highlight the initiatives of the NASCAR Foundation, NASCAR’s Driver for Diversity and NASCAR Green while networking with leagues and their partners around the world.

As a founding supporter of Beyond Sport United, NASCAR Chairman and CEO, Brian France, will join Commissioners from the other major North American leagues as part of the Commissioners’ Roundtable at Beyond Sport United annual gathering, November 13, 2012, at Yankee Stadium in New York. NASCAR also will have a significant presence in London this July, one week prior to the start of the Summer Olympic Games, as a participant in the annual Beyond Sport summit & Awards, a gathering of global sports, political and business leaders to share ideas and honor the contributions of sport to society.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair serves as chairman of the Beyond Sport ambassadors, who work all over the world to promote the organization’s initiatives. Other ambassadors include: Bishop Desmond Tutu; Lord Sebastian Coe; Senator Bill Bradley; New York Rangers legend Mike Richter; Olympic champions Michael Johnson, July Foudy and Bob Beamon; and many other leaders from the world of sport, business and politics.

Beyond Sport Founder Nick Keller officially extended the invitation to NASCAR prior to the start of today’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NASCAR Unites is an industry platform that brings the passion and power of an entire sport together to make the world we live in a better place. This industry-wide initiative creates an opportunity for NASCAR fans, drivers, teams, tracks, sponsors and more to unite to improve the lives of those in need across the nation through volunteering, raising awareness and utilizing the assets of the sport to make a difference. NASCAR’s green initiatives and Drive For Diversity, along with more than 50 foundations operated by NASCAR drivers, teams and track partners work to benefit numerous causes ranging from the conservation of natural resources to pediatric health.

Since 2006, the NASCAR Foundation has donated more than $13 million to charitable organizations and helped provide medical treatment for more than 24,000 children annually. Additionally, the foundation has fulfilled more than 600 “NASCAR Dreams,” sent more than 1,100 kids to camp, recruited 12,000 fans to become part of a Volunteer Network, and created educational opportunities for school-aged students that help to engage them in science and engineering programs.


Tony Stewart Honored at Special Ceremony
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and avid outdoorsman Tony Stewart was honored this afternoon in a special ceremony held by Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Stewart was presented a magnificent 7-foot tall bronze statue of a wild turkey created by renown artist Stefan Savides to commemorate his driving the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Wild Turkey Federation Chevrolet for Stewart Haas Racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race Tonight.

Bass Pro Shops donated its sponsorship of the car as a salute to the National Wild Turkey Federation for all the organization does for wildlife habitat conservation across America as a thank you for their long-standing partnership with Bass Pro Shops.

The presentation was also held to honor Stewart for being named the honorary chairman of the 2012 National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Congress established National Hunting and Fishing Day to recognize hunters and anglers for their leadership in fish and wildlife conservation. Stewart joins an elite fraternity of other celebrities that have served as honorary chairs, including Travis Tritt, Jeff Foxworthy, Arnold Palmer, and Terry Bradshaw among others. National Hunting and Fishing Day events, classes and workshops will be held Saturday, September 29th at communities and businesses all over America.

From Bass Pro Shops-PR

Roaring Back to NASCAR’s Good Old Days
NASCAR holds its annual All-Star Race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night. Tailor-made for television in 1985, it’s one of the events that brought NASCAR into the mainstream. So it’s timely that NASCAR Hall of Fame, based – like many of the race teams – in this North Carolina city, has opened an exhibit harking back to a simplier era.

Read more from Wall Street Journal

A bold proposal to drastically improve NASCAR’s All-Star Race
They’ve changed the rules for the All-Star Race year after year. They even altered them midway through the race once.

Now, NASCAR and Sprint should make their boldest change – a twist unlike any in sports. They should make the winner choose either the $1 million prize or a spot in the Chase.

Read more from Sports Illustrated

Dale Earnhardt Jr has an offer for bill-backing Republican
Dale Earnhardt Jr was surprised to learn that the Republican Congressman from Georgia sponsoring an amendment to ban military sports spending has not been to a NASCAR race.

Now, NASCAR’s most popular driver – who is sponsored by the National Guard – is inviting him to one.

Read more from USA Today

Give All-Star crew chiefs a free pass
Dale Earnhardt Jr isn’t known for his aggressive driving style. He at times gets criticized for being too polite, too politically correct, for not taking more chances. Many fans want him to be more like the intimidator his father was. 

But in Saturday night’s Sprint All-Star Race, NASCAR’s most popular driver plans to push “as far as you can push it” – assuming he makes the main event – even if that means knocking another driver out of the way on the last lap to capture the million-dollar prize.

Read more from ESPN

Busch explains his stance on Newman
Kurt Busch felt NASCAR’s wrath once again this week – and it wasn’t entirely undeserved.

Certainly, Busch’s “actions” during the heat of the battle – on the track or off – will not likely make him a NASCAR poster boy any time soon despite his Sprint Cup championship status. However, while the post race video of the altercation between the Nos. 39 and 51 on pit road was replayed repeatedly, the footage of Busch “buzzing” Ryan Newman’s crew – revieved on SPEED’s practice coverage on Friday afternoon wasn’t nearly as precarious as the No. 39 team previously portrayed.

Read more from Fox Sports

Will military backing stay on budget?
Could military sponsorships in NASCAR be in danger?

An amendment to eliminate such sponsorships from the defense budget could end the trend. Sponsored by US Reps Jack Kingston -R-GA and Betty McCollum – D-MN, the amendment would eliminate military sponsorships in professional sports. The bill has passed the House Appropriations Committee.

If adopted, that would impact NASCAR, long tied to military sponsorships.

Read more from Fox Sports

NASCAR All-Star Race Weather Forecast: Sunny Day, Pleasant Night
If this trend of a rain-free weekends continues, race fans may start to get spoiled. This is the second weekend when weather is not a problem.

Mostly sunny skies are expected during the day at Charlotte Motor Speedway with comfortable temperatures as the high reaches 78 degrees. Winds will be out of the north-northeast with a light breeze of 5 to 15-mph.

Read more from SB Nation

2012 NASCAR NNS Iowa Speedway Weather Forecast: Mostly Dry Weekend
Forecast has improved from the previous update on Thursday for Iowa Speedway and the NASCAR Nationwide race on Sunday.

Saturday will be warm and windy, mix of sunshine and clouds. Some winds could gust 25 to 30-mph and temperatures will warm into the upper 80s. All of this activity is out ahead of an approaching cold front that arrives Saturday night.

This cold front will bring showers and storms Saturday night and early Sunday morning but most of this rain should move east and break up Sunday morning well before the race.

Read more from WX-Man

Kurt Busch thinks Newman feud is ‘WWE-type’ action
Kurt Busch thought he and Ryan Newman were friends. He’s learned the hard way this week that he was mistaken.

Maybe that’s how it goes between drivers looking to lock down jobs for next year?

Busch is once again in the starring role as NASCAR’s resident villian, this time for a series of incidents involving Newman and his team last week at Darlington Raceway. It’s led to a series of scathing remarks from Newman, who has accused Busch in various interviews of having a “chemical imbalance” and lying about why he ran into the back of Newman’s car after Saturday night’s race.

Read more from That’s Racin

Friday, May 18, 2012
2012 NCWTS NC Education Lottery 200 Race Results

Justin Lofton celebrates his win at Charlotte
Photo – Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

After 55 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Justin Lofton holds off Brad Keselowski to win his first series career race, as he finds himself in victory lane for the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Following Lofton – who takes over the lead in points, 1-point ahead of Timothy Peters – and Keselowski to the drop of the checkered flag were Todd Bodine finishing third, Jason Leffler fourth and Ron Hornaday Jr, finishing in fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Jason White finishing in sixth, Joey Coulter seventh, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Jeb Burton eighth, Timothy Peters ninth and rookie contender Ty Dillon finishing in the tenth position.

Race Results
Point Standings

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS Sprint All-Star Starting lineup
Kyle Busch and the No. M&M’s Toyota team of Joe Gibbs Racing, with a qualfying speed of 136.006-mph, completed the unique 3-laps with a pit stop for 4-tires qualfying procedure the fastest, and captured the pole for the 2012 NSCS Sprint All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Starting on the outside pole in second and with a qualfying speed of 135.202-mph, will be Ryan Newman, followed by Denny Hamlin – 134.811-mph starting third, Greg Biffle – 134.529 fourth and Kevin Harvick – 134.304 will start fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Jimmie Johnson – 133.800-mph starting from sixth, Paul Menard – 133.722 seventh, Jeff Gordon – 133.556 eighth, Tony Stewart – 133.353 ninth and Regan Smith – 133.091 will start from the tenth position.

The NSCS Sprint All-Star race is scheduled to get underway approximately at 7:50pm ET Saturday evening, with television coverage provided by SPEED.

All-Star Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS Sprint Showdown Starting Lineup
AJ Allmendinger with a qualifying lap speed of 192.465-mph, captured the pole for the 28th annual NSCS Sprint Showdown.

Starting on the outside pole with a qualifying lap speed of 191.049-mph will be Martin Truex, Jr, and he will be followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 191.002-mph who will start third, Jeff Burton – 189.693 fourth and Aric Almirola – 188.752 will start from fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Landon Cassill – 188.679-mph starting from sixth, Juan Pablo Montoya – 188.666 seventh, Bobby Labonte – 188.370 eighth, Travis Kvapil – 187.976 ninth and David Stremme – 187.806 will start from the tenth starting position.

Only the top-two finishers and winner of the 2012 Sprint Fan Vote in Saturday night’s Showdown – scheduled to start around 7:50pm ET will transfer over to the Sprint All-Star race that will follow approximately around 9:20pm ET with television coverage provided by SPEED.

Showdown Lineup 

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

NASCAR And Twitter Partner to Bring Fans Closer To The Sport On Race Day
NASCAR and Twitter announced today a unique digital partnership that will create a new way for the sport’s millions of fans to experience what happens inside NASCAR and its teams on race day.

Built to support the live race broadcasts, this new experience will give fans a complementary insider’s view of the action as it unfolds on the track and on Twitter. During a race, when fans click on #NASCAR, search for #NASCAR on or visit, they’ll reach a new Twitter experience where they will see the most relevant tweets from their favorite NASCAR drivers, NASCAR families, teams commentators, celebrities and other racing fans and personalities.

NASCAR is the first organization to team with Twitter to create an enhanced live event experience on the Twitter platform.

“Twitter has been an important piece of our effort the last several years to further engage our fan base and help grow the sport.” said Steve Phelps, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of NASCAR. ” This new, complementary live race experience product is an evolution of that relationship with Twitter, and we’re excited about continuing to provide our millions of fans with greater access to our athletes and further engagement with our drivers, teams, tracks and executives.” will be available starting with the Pocono Raceway race weekend and will be most active on Sunday, June 10 in conjunction with TNT’s first of six television broadcasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season – 2pm ET on TNT. This new product will provide a complementary Twitter experience to TNT viewers looking for in-depth access to the happenings at the track and in the garage of a NASCAR race weekend.

“Twitter amplifies the excitement of live sporting events and gives NASCAR fans insider access to the drivers and teams they love,” said Dick Costolo, chief executive officer of Twitter Inc. “When sports fans around the world see a hashtag displayed on the air during a game or race, that’s a signal to them that there is a bigger conversation happening on Twitter. Between the talented NASCAR personalities on Twitter and the fact that they have some of the most loyal fans in the world of sports, they were a natural choice to partner with as we experiment with ways to create the best experience on Twitter during a big event.” will use a combination of algorithmic and editorial signals to select and feature the best Tweets and photos from NASCAR insiders in an effort to bring the behind-the-scenes story to life during NASCAR race weekends. Twitter’s media team will be curating Tweets to highlight on the page come race weekend from a highly selective list of accounts from the world of NASCAR including drivers, pit crews, families, media, fans and NASCAR representatives.

More details surrounding this new partnership and the June 10 product launch will be available in the days and weeks ahead from Twitter, NASCAR and TNT.


2012 NSCS Sprint All-Star Final Practice Session Speeds
Kyle Busch with a lap speed of 188.337-mph, was the fastest during the final – and only – NSCS Sprint All-Star practice session at Charlotte Motor Speedway Friday afternoon.

Second fastest and with a lap speed of 187.715-mph, was Greg Biffle, followed by Marcos Ambrose – 187.207-mph, who was third fastest, Carl Edwards – 186.948 fourth fastest and Kevin Harvick – 186.664 was the fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Brad Keselowski – 186.612-mph who was sixth fastest, Mark Martin – 186.297 seventh, Matt Kenseth – 186.085 eighth, Paul Menard – 185.886 ninth and Kurt Busch – 185.535 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

The teams will return later this afternoon for their 6pm ET qualifying session and then won’t return again until Saturday nights 9:20pm ET approximate race start. SPEED will be handling the television coverage of this event.

All-Star Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS Sprint Showdown Final Practice Session Speeds
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers that will be vying for the top-two finishing positions in the Sprint Showdown race to transfer into the All-Star race, had their one and only practice session Friday afternoon. And it was Dale Earnhardt Jr, with a lap speed of 188.114-mph, on top of the speed charts at the end of the session at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

AJ Allmendinger was second fastest with a lap speed of 188.062-mph, and was followed by Landon Cassill – 187.931-mph who was third fastest, Bobby Labonte – 187.852 fourth fastest and Martin Truex Jr – 187.826 was fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Jeff Burton – 187.474-mph who was sixth fastest, Casey Mears – 186.200 seventh, Aric Almirola – 186.117 eighth, Travis Kvapil – 185.810 ninth and Juan Pablo Montoya – 185.765 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

Along with the top-two finishers advancing into the Sprint All-Star event, the 2012 Sprint Fan Vote will also allow another driver to transfer over into Saturday night’s All-Star race.

Qualifying to determine the starting lineup for Saturday night’s Sprint Showdown race – which is scheduled to get underway at approximately 7:50pm ET – is set to begin at 5pm ET this evening. Television coverage will be provided by SPEED.

Showdown Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NCWTS NC Education Lottery 200 Final Practice Session Speeds
The NCWTS teams concluded their final NC Education Lottery 200 practice session Friday, and it was James Buescher with a lap speed of 179.922-mph, posting the fastest lap at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Justin Lofton, with a lap speed of 179.892-mph, was second fastest and was followed by Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cale Gale – 179.862-mph who was third fastest, Brendan Gaughan – 179.307 fourth and Brad Keselowski – 179.838 was fifth fastest.

Rookie contender, Ty Dillon – 178.796-mph was sixth fastest on the speed charts, while Matt Crafton – 178.790 was seventh, Johnny Sauter – 178.737 eighth, Parker Kligerman -178.477 ninth and Joey Coulter – 178.430 rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session.

Final Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

All Stars set to shine on busy NASCAR weekend
For Starters
4 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has four career wins in the Nationwide Series; the first two came last year at Iowa Speedway. Stenhouse also posted his first career pole at Iowa, in the 2009 inaugural.
5 – The 2012 All-Star Race marks the first time the event will have five segments, the first four consisting of 20 laps each followed by a 10-lap sprint.
178 – Matt Crafton’s Truck Series win at Charlotte in 2008 came in his 178th career start. It is the longest a driver has gone before scoring their first win.

Camping World Truck Series – Breakout Number
3 – Ron Hornaday has finished in the top five in the past three races at Charlotte, and five of the past six – including wins in 2007 and ’09. Both times he went on to  win the championship, the only driver to do so after winning at Charlotte. He has led in the past five races, for 169 laps.

Track Tidbits
4 – Four of the nine races at Charlotte have ended under green-white-checkered conditions – 2003, ’05, ’07, ’08. Each time the driver leading at the end of regulation won the race.
7 – Seven races at Charlotte have been won from a top-ten starting position, but only one from the pole: Kyle Busch in 2010. Busch also holds the record for worst starting position of any CMS winner – 20th in 2006. Busch, a four-time Charlotte winner, including the past two races, is not entered in this week’s race.
7 – Matt Crafton finished in the top-ten in his first seven races at Charlotte; he has finished 11th and 26th in the past two races.

Recent Trends
2 – There already have been two first-time winners in the first four races of 2012. The record for the most first-time winners in a season is seven – 1995, ’97, ’98. The most since 1998 was six in 2005. One of the six in 2005 came at Charlotte, when Kyle Busch became the youngest winner in series history – 20 years, 18 days – and also set the track record – 124.846-mph. Matt Crafton – 2008 – is the only driver to score their first win at Charlotte.
4 – Points leader Timothy Peters is the only driver who has finished in the top five in all four races this season. Peters doesn’t have a top-five finish at Charlotte. Peters also holds the current mark of consecutive races having finished on the lead lap, with nine, but in six career starts at CMS has finished on the lead lap just once – 10th in 2007, his only top-ten – and has crashed out three times, including last year after starting from the pole.

12 – Todd Bodine has 12 wins on 1.5-mile tracks – third-best of all time – but none at Charlotte. He finished second at CMS in 2010 and has a pair of third-place finishes; he’s also finished 20th or worse four times with two DNFs – crashes.

Sprint All-Star Race / Showdown – Breakout Number
46 – More than $46 million has been awarded to drivers in the 27 previous All-Star events. Jimmie Johnson leads all drivers with $3,220,766 in All-Star winnings; he’s the only driver to top the $3 million mark. Carl Edwards pocketed a single All-Star record $1,203,300 in his win last year.

All-Star Tidbits
1 – Davey Allison is the only driver to win All-Star Races in consecutive years: 1991 and ’92. In 1991, Allison started on the pole led all 70 laps, split into segments of 50 and 20 laps. He is one of only two drivers to win every segment in the same All-Star Race: Jeff Gordon led all three segments in 1995.
2 – Two drivers have won the most All-Star Races, with three each: Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon. Each time, they went on to win the championship that same year; Earnhardt – 1987, 1990, ’93; Gordon – 1995, ’97, 2001.
2 – Two drivers have finished second in the most All-Star Races, with three each: Sterling Marlin and Ken Schrader. Schrader’s three runners-up finishes came in consecutive years – 1989-91. Marlin – 1994-95, Bobby Labonte – 1997-98, and Dale Jarrett – 2000-01 also finished second in consecutive years. Only Labonte, in 1997, won a segment in his runner-up year. Marlin also finished second in 1988, after transferring in with the first of his record four victories in the Open.

Recent Trends
3 – Three drivers in the 2012 Sprint Showdown are former winners of the transfer race: AJ Allmendinger – 2008, Jeff Burton – 2003 and Martin Truex Jr – 2007 and ’10.
12 – There have been 12 different winners in the past 13 All-Star Races. Jimmie Johnson won in 2003 and ’06.
15 – The All-Star winner has won only the final segment in 15 of the 25 races with multiple segments. The first two All-Star Races were not divided into segments.

Nationwide Series – Breakout Number
1 – Only one driver related to Iowa Speedway designer Rusty Wallace is entered in this week’s race: Brother Mike, who has crashed out in two of his three starts at the track. Brother Kenny and son Steve each had success at Iowa, with three and two top-tens, respectively.

Track Tidbits
2 – Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse Jr are the only drivers competing at Iowa who have more than one top-five finish there. Each has two, in the two races last year.
3 – Eleven drivers have competed in the first four races at Iowa; only three have finished on the lead lap every time: Michael Annett, Carl Edwards and Michael McDowell. Edwards, not entered in this week’s race, is the only driver to score a top-ten each time. The worst finish for Annett – who has one top-ten – and McDowell – three – is 13th.
4 – Four drivers entered in this week’s race at Iowa have multiple top-tens, led by Michael McDowell’s three. Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler and Ricky Stenhouse Jr each has two.

Recent Trends
3 – Three of Kurt Busch’s four Nationwide wins came in his first series start at a track. Busch, the only Cup regular entered at Iowa, will be making his first start there.
5 – Michael McDowell made five Nationwide Series starts in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota in 2011, scoring top-ten finishes in four of them, including both races at Iowa, where he will again drive the 18 in his 2012 season debut.
8 – The past eight Nationwide races have been won from a top-ten starting position. The past three Iowa races have been won from a top-ten starting position.

From Racing Resources and Services – Statistics Racing Recall/

Sprint Fan Vote Top Five Alphabetical Standings Revealed
Nearly 2 million votes have been cast in the 2012 Sprint Fan Vote for one driver to gain entry into the prestigious NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race this Saturday, May 19, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Top 20 drivers in points Jeff Burton -17th, Dale Earnhardt Jr – 3rd, Joey Logano – 15th, Jamie McMurray – 20th, Juan Pablo Montoya – 19th, and Martin Truex Jr – 16th need to claim a win or runner-up finish in the Sprint Showdown or rely on the Sprint Fan Vote to capture a spot in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race field.

The five drivers leading the Sprint Fan Vote standings – in alphabetical order – are:  AJ Allmendinger, Earnhardt Jr, Bill Elliott, Bobby Labonte and Joey Logano. Earnhardt Jr – 2011, Logano – 2009 and Truex Jr – 2005 are all former winners of the Sprint Fan Vote.

Voting will continue until 5pm EDT, Saturday, May 19. Fans can vote by visiting, 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 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 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, Michael Waltrip and JJ Yeley.

From Sprint Nextel-PR

Jimmie Johnson’s pit crew wins
Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 pit crew got its revenge.

Johnson’s team won the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge on Thursday night, avenging last year’s loss in the finals to Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 team.

Hamlin’s team was the two-time defending champions coming into the event an cruised into the finals again this year, but lost to Johnson’s team by three-tenths of a second.

Read more from ESPN/Associated Press

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Andretti could join NASCAR
Could there be another IndyCar organization testing the NASCAR waters?

Multiple sources have told that one of the latest candidates for Dodge Motorsports could be Michael Andretti, owner of Andretti Autosport.

Read more from FOX Sports

House committee vote squashes military NASCAR sponsorships
The House Appropriations Committee passed a $608 billion defense bill Thursday that includes an amendment to prohibit Pentagon spending on NASCAR, professional fishing and professional wrestling events.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-MN, proposed the legislations last year but it failed.

This time, she received support from Rep. Jack Kingston, R-GA. The legislation would prohibit military funding of semi-professional and professional sporting events.

Read more from USA Today

Chevrolet to replace Impala with SS

The SS will by Chevrolet’s 2013 Sprint Cup car
Photo – General Motors

The new Chevrolet SS will replace the Impala in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013. 

Chevrolet announced on Thursday the return of the SS that will hit showroom floors as a 2014 model late in 2013.

The other three manufacturers – Ford (Fusion), Dodge (Charger) and Toyota (Camry) – have introduced their 2013 models as NASCAR goes to a new body style for the first time since the 2007 Car of Tomorrow hit the track.

All four cars will debut in the Daytona 500.

Read more from ESPN

Biffle Samples Global Rallycross with Help from Brian Deegan
On the eve of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Greg Biffle stopped by the track to try his hand at Global Rallycross racing, a new – and very different – on-track battle, which will make its Charlotte debut as part of a racing doubleheader on May 26.

Read more from Who Won

NASCAR The Game: Inside Line
Hop in the driver’s seat, buckle up and start your engines because Activision Publishing, Inc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Actionvision Blizzard Inc and leading independent racing game developer Eutechnyx are pleased to announce NASCAR The Game (TM): Inside Line. Bringing the true NASCAR experience to consoles, the game will allow players to race with top NASCAR Sprint Series drivers, teams and cars, as well as feature all 23 officially licensed racetracks. NASCAR The Game: Inside Line is planned to launch Fall of 2012 for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and the Wii(TM) system from Nintendo.

Read more from Market Watch

NASCAR trio dominates at Peoria Speedway
Kenny Schrader, Kenny Wallace and Justin Allgaier started the night side-by-side in the pits at Peoria Speedway and finished it pretty much the same way.

Schrader, Wallace and Allgaier finished one-two-three in a terrific 25-lap Modifieds feature race Wednesday on what was appropriately billed NASCAR Night.

The three NASCAR drivers dueled through the final seven laps – Allgaier worked his way into the hunt after starting on the outside of row 6 – until Schrader squeezed past Derick Doerr and shot past Wallace to take the lead for good.

Read more from The Peoria Journal Star

Smalltime football big in NASCAR
Former college and professional athletes on pit road in NASCAR aren’t a surprise. But five former football players from the same small Carolina’s university?

That’s a little unusual.

Read more from Herald-Online

Darrell Wallace Jr: NASCAR’s ‘breakthrough opportunity
A recent Friday that Darrell Wallace Jr could have reflected on the previous night’s race or done something completely different was instead spent at Richmond International Raceway, soaking up the bustle of the Nationwide Series garage.

He stayed in the background while crew members shuttled between the pits and the hauler of Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 Toyota Camry, but a couple of guys stopped to ask how he likes the crazy scene and if he was ready for this.

Lifting his sunglasses, Wallace smiled.

Read more from Democrat and Chronicle

Central Michigan Wins Spring Edition of NASCAR Kinetics – Marketing in Motion
After competing among 18 talented colleges and universities from across the nation, Central Michigan University has won this semester’s NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion case study competition, earning them a grand prize trip to attend the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Saturday night.

Throughout the semester, teams were required to develop two case studies and host a viewing party for a pre-determined NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The case studies included generating marketing ideas for Fathead and Camping World and the viewing parties featured M&M’s newest spokescandy Ms. Brown. 

After finishing in the top three on the first and second case studies, the CMU NASCAR Kinetics team placed first on the viewing party segment of the competition. They took the event to an entirely new level, staging a classic car show that added to the festive Ms. Brown NASCAR viewing party atmosphere. The result was a well-attended party drawing a crowd of more than 300 guests from CMU and the local community that showcased the NASCAR and M&M’s brands in a fun and exciting way for those in attendance.

While in Charlotte, the CMU NASCAR Kinetics team will meet with industry professionals from NASCAR, Charlotte Motor Speedway and various Official Partners, licensees, teams and agencies. The team will also get a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, in addition to taking tours of NASCAR-related organizations based in the Charlotte-Concord area away from the race track.

The CMU NASCAR Kinetics team is comprised of the following five students: David Connolly – White Lakes, MI, Beau Kingsbury – Manchester, MI, Aaron Lanctot – Sterling, MI, Samantha Reed – East Grand Rapids, MI and Sarah Slachta – Freeland, MI.

NASCAR developed the NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion in 2009 with the mission of exposing college students to and educating them about the NASCAR brand and its industry partners.

This innovative, engaging program gives the teams an opportunity to work through real-world business challenges facing the motorsports industry. Students will leverage techniques and lessons taught in the classroom to compete case studies and projects. Each student chosen for the NASCAR Kinetics program is tasked with fostering brand awareness throughout their college and community. Students who have taken part in the program credit it for giving them a leg up on the competition for internships and jobs in the sports industry. The program hops to expand to 25 schools for the fall 2012 semester. 

For more information about NASCAR Kinetics: Marketing in Motion, visit, follow on or on Twitter: @NASCARKinetics


Richard Childress Inducted into NMPA Hall of Fame – Along with Ricky Rudd
Legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame Tuesday night at a gala event in Concord, NC.

The 14-time championship-winning team owner was inducted along with former NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd. Rudd took TCR to its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, in 1983 at Riverside, (CA) International Raceway. It was the second hall of fame ceremony in the past two weeks for Childress, who was inducted May 3 into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on the grounds of Talladega (Ala) Superspeedway.

Read more from RCR-PR

2012 NASCAR Nationwide Iowa Speedway Forecast – Chance of Storms
Main concern for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Iowa Speedway this weekend is the chance of thunderstorms Sunday afternoon. I don’t think we are looking at a washout but rain could be a factor if we get some of these showers or storms.

Saturday’s weather for practice and qualifying looks great, warm and lots of sunshine. It will be breezy with gusts of 25-mph out of the south. High temperatures on Saturday will be in the mid-80s with upper 70s to near 80 possible on Sunday depending on how much sunshine we see.

Read more from WX-Man

NASCAR All-Star Weather Forecast 2012 – Another Dry and Sunny Weekend
For weeks, it seemed like Mother Nature would not turn off the faucets in the sky, but now we will have two weekends where weather is not a threat or a player.

Skies will be mostly sunny both Friday and Saturday, temperatures comfortable with highs near 80 and evening temperatures for both races in the mid 70s. 

Read more from WX-Man/SB Nation

Wednesday, May 16, 2012
2012 Charlotte Motor Speedway All-Star Weather Forecast
Looks like another nice weekend for racing this week at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Sprint All-Star race Saturday night and the Camping World Truck Series NC Education Lottery 200 Friday night.

Just quiet weather expected for Friday and Saturday. Both days feature mostly sunny skies and high temperatures near 80. Could be a little bit of a breeze on Friday but other than that I don’t see any weather issues in Charlotte. As for the Nationwide Race on Sunday, I will have a forecast for that out sometime later today.

From WX-Man

Jimmy Spencer to Retire, Take Up Gardening and Travel
Sitting in a director’s chair at Greg Biffles’ hauler in the Darlington Raceway garage, Jimmy Spencer looked like a judge ready to hold court.

However, unlike Spencer, a judge wouldn’t be chewing on a big cigar.

Spencer, a former NASCAR driver and current television personality who goes by the nickname “Mr. Excitement,” has never backed down from speaking his mind. And at Darlington, He wasn’t about to change.

Read more from Motorsports Unplugged

You’re Outta Here
I think we can take Kurt Busch’s name out of the rumor mill this week…the “good” rumor mill that is.

Rumors started swirling the past couple of weeks that he was being seriously considered to take either Joey Logano or Jeff Burton’s seats at Joe Gibbs Racing or Richard Childress Racing, respectively. Both are top rides with corporate sponsors that require the drivers to behave better than a three-year-old.

Oops, I guess Kurt Busch is out of the running for those.

Read more from SPEED

Ford Builds 2013 Escape Pace Vehicle for NASCAR Races
Ford Motor Co rolled out a 2013 Escape pace vehicle that will make its debut during the NASCAR race weekend at Kentucky Speedway on June 28 through 30.

Former NASCAR Cup champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth unveiled the specially prepared compact SUV at Ford’s Louisville, KY, assembly plant where the Escape is built. The vehicle is the latest in a series of unusual Ford pace cars. A 2012 Focus Electric paced last month’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond, and the company’s Fusion Hybrid started the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008.

Read more from Wall Street Journal

Tuesday, May 15, 2012
How Jimmy Spencer REALLY feels about Kurt Busch
It’s no secret former Sprint Cup Series driver and now Speed analyst, Jimmy Spencer has his own history with Kurt Busch.  

Spencer, thus is no stranger to controversy and he decided to weigh in on Busch’s actions last weekend at Darlington (SC) Raceway and the penalties he has subsequently received by NASCAR.

Read more from That’s Racing/Lucky Dog

Kentucky Speedway ready for second chance
Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger said there’s no excuse for last year’s traffic blunders at the inaugural Sprint Cup Series race at the track in Sparta.

Read more from The Miami Herald

NASCAR Issues Fines and Probation for Violations at Darlington
NASCAR has fined Kurt Busch, driver of the #51 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series $50,000 and placed him on NASCAR probation until July 25 for his actions during the May 12 race at Darlington Raceway. Kurt Busch violated Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing; reckless driving on pit road during the race; involved in an altercation with another competitor after the competition of the race) of the 2012 NASCAR Rule Book. Additionally, Craig Strickler, a crew member for the #51 team, has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31 for violating Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing; interfering with a member of the broadcast media).

Tony Gibson, crew chief for the #39 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, has been placed on NASCAR probation until June 27 for violating Section 12-1 and Sections 12-4G and 9-4A (Crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members). Andrew Rueger, a crew member for the #39 team, has been fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until June 27 for violating Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing; failure to comply with a directive from a NASCAR official). Both of these violations occurred post-race.


Jeff Gordon facing uphill battle to make Chase in disappointing Sprint Cup season
Doubtless Jeff Gordon was happy for his boss.

In a euphoric victory lane, team owner Rick Hendrick celebrated his long-awaited 200th victory, a win delivered by five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR Sprint Cup racing’s most prolific winner since he entered the series full-time in 2002.

Gordon, however, is a larger part of Hendrick’s milestone than Johnson is. Over a career now in its 20th full season, Gordon has contributed 85 victories to the Hendrick Motorsports ledger. Johnson’s win in Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 was his 56th for the organization. Neither Gordon nor Johnson has won a Cup race for anyone else.

Read more from AutoWeek

Sprint All-Star Race Numbers and Stats

  • There have been 27 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races.
  • The first NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race was in 1985
  • 26 have been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In 1986, the event was held at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and won by Bill Elliott. That season was also the first year for what is now known as the Sprint Showdown
  • 86 drivers have run in at least one all-star race
  • There have been 19 different winners of the all-star race
  • Mark Martin has participated in 22 races, more than any other driver.
  • The race has featured a field that ranged from 10 drivers in 1986 to 27 in 2002.
  • Dale Earnhardt – 1987, 1990 and 1993 – and Jeff Gordon – 1995 – 1997 and 2001 – are the only three-time winners of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
  • There have been eight different winners in the last eight NASCAR Sprint All-Star Races.
  • Davey Allison – 1991 and 1992 – Terry Labonte – 1988 and 1999 – Mark Martin – 1998 and 2005 – and Jimmie Johnson – 2003 and 2006 – are the only other drivers to post multiple victories in the all-star races. Allison is the only driver to ever win consecutive all-star events.
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr – 2000 – and Ryan Newman – 2002 – are the only drivers to win the all-star race in their rookie season.
  • Jeff Gordon is the youngest winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at 23 years, 9 months and 18 days – 1995. Mark Martin is the oldest at 46 years, 4 months and 12 days – 2005.
  • In two starts, Joey Logano leads the series with an average finish of 5.5 in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, followed by Matt Kenseth with a 6.5 average finish in 11 appearances and Tony Stewart with a 7.1 average finish in 13 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race appearances.
  • The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race has been won from the pole position four times; the first three came in consecutive years: Dale Earnhardt – 1990 and Davey Allison – 1991 and 1992. Kurt Busch posted the fourth win from the pole in 2010.
  • The deepest in the field an all-star winner has started was 27th, by Ryan Newman in 2002. 
  • Hendrick Motorsports drivers have won six all-star races: Jeff Gordon – three, Jimmie Johnson – two and Terry Labonte – one.
  • Five drivers have won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the same year: Darrell Waltrip – 1985, Dale Earnhardt – 1987, 1990, 1993, Rusty Wallace – 1989, Jeff Gordon – 1995, 1997, 2001, and Jimmie Johnson – 2006.
  • The record for lead changes in a NASCAR Sprint All-Star race is 10 in 2004. The most different leaders is nine in 2002.
From NASCAR/Jayski’s

Stewart says no problems with Busch, will look into scuffle
Tony Stewart had not talked to his competition director about what happened Saturday night between the crews of Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch, but he said it has been a long time since he had a problem with Busch. 

Stewart, speaking early Tuesday afternoon, following a new conference to promote his Prelude to the Dream charity race that is set for June 6, said he did want to know the details of why his crew members were angry with Busch at Darlington Raceway.

Read more from Sporting News

Waltrip Wants More Pointless Races
Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and current FOX and SPEED television analyst Darrell Waltrip has never been shy about voicing his opinion.

And Tuesday he served up another stunner, saying NASCAR should add multiple non-points races to the Sprint Cup schedule beyond the Daytona Shootout and the Sprint All-Star Race.

Read more from SPEED

NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge Official Entry List Announced

Entering its eighth year of competition, the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge will feature 24 of the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews in a head-to-head competition at 7pm EDT Thursday, May 17 at Time Warner Cable Arena.

The 20 teams eligible for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 19 automatically qualified for the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge. The remaining four positions were assigned to the car owners ranked highest in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owner point standings as of May 14, 2012, who were not otherwise eligible for this event.

The official entry list for the event is outlined below.
No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet
No. 9 Stanley Ford
No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota
No. 14 Office Depot-Mobile 1 Chevrolet
No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota
No. 16 3M Ford
No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
No. 18 M&M’s Toyota
No. 20 Home Depot-Dollar General Toyota
No. 21 Good Sam-Camping World Ford
No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
No. 27 Menard’s Chevrolet
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet
No. 31 CAT Chevrolet
No. 34 MHP-Power Pak Pudding Ford
No. 39 U.S. Army-Quicken Loans Chevrolet
No. 48 My Lowe’s Chevrolet
No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Chevrolet
No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota
No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
No. 88 National Guard-Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet
No. 99 Fastenal Ford

Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased online at or by calling Time Warner Cable Arena box office at 800-745-3000. SPEED’s broadcast of the event begins at 8pm.

From ASPIRE Communications for NASCAR Sprint Crew Challenge

Excited for first All-Star event, Bayne knows he needs to shine
When Trevor Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500, one of the things that excited him the most was that he had guaranteed himself a spot in the Sprint All-Star Race for the next two seasons.

That didn’t mean much by May 2011, when Bayne found himself hospitalized for complications following an insect bite. Treated for Lyme disease but never knowing the exact virus, Bayne suffered from fatigue and blurred vision before getting cleared to race.

Read more from Sporting News

Target to Surprise and Delight Fans at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Longtime race partner of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Target, plans to expand their presence in NASCAR during the Sprint All-Star and Coca Cola 600 race weeks. In addition to being the presenting sponsor of the Blake Shelton pre-race concert, Target will have nine branded race carts providing samples of their grocery items in the campgrounds surrounding Charlotte Motor Speedway, a Target Taste Wagon as well as a Target Shuttle that will provide fans transportation to the Target in Kannapolis, NC.

Read more from Earnhardt Ganassi-PR

The Prelude To The Dream is ‘One Perfect Night’
On Wednesday, June 6, in tiny Rossburg, OH, stars representing NASCAR, NHRA, INDYCAR and the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series align in a big way with the Prelude To The Dream.

Eldora Speedway will once again play host to the all-star dirt Late Model race featuring more than 25 world renown drivers as they battle for dirt supremacy on the half-mile clay oval where HOB Pay-Per-View will present the event LIVE in high-definition to the entire nation. Net proceeds from the telecast will support Feed The Children, a US-based charity that domestically has helped more than 365,000 families since 2009 through its Americans Feeding Americans Caravan.

The eighth annual Prelude To The Dream joins racing luminaries from all disciplines at one track, on one night as they pilot 2,300-pound dirt Late Model stock cars capable of putting out more than 800-horsepower. It is ‘One Perfect Night.’

Tony Kanaan, of the IZOD IndyCar Series 

Bobby Labonte Foundation Memorial Bike Ride Remembers Those Lost
The Archdale Drug “Share the Road” Memorial Bike Ride, a ride hosted and organized by the Bobby Labonte Foundation, will honor those who lost their lives while cycling in both the Piedmont and Charlotte regions. Cyclists David Sherman of Greensboro, Adam Little of Charlotte, Gina Jacobs of High Point and Kathy Schubert of Winston-Salem all have been killed after being struck by motorists since 2009. The “Share the Road” Memorial Bike Ride was created by the Labonte Foundation to raise awareness and give funds to Bikes Belong, a cycling advocacy group.

The ride is part of the newly-created “Heart of Carolinas Triple Crown,” a three-race cycling series in North Carolina that includes Tour de Kale and Operation Red Sleigh, and is planned for Sunday, May 20. Registration will open at 11am with the ride beginning at 1pm. The event will start and finish at Wheatmore High School in Trinity, NC.

The new series will have timing and scoring with a leader jersey awarded at the end of the event to the overall best times in the longest distance events. At the end of the series, cash and prizes will be given to the overall winner in both male and female divisions. Cyclists must compete in all three events to be eligible for the cash and prizes at the end of the series. The three-race series will be administered by a board including Rodney Simpson, Chris Skeen, Kris Hickey and Greg Seabolt.

Cyclists can register now and get more information for the Archdale Drug “Share the Road” Memorial Bike Ride and also the other “Heart of Carolinas Triple Crown” rides at

From Breaking Limits Marketing for the Bobby Labonte Foundation-PR

Monday, May 14, 2012
Is Kurt Busch running out of chances after latest controversy?
We finally have an answer to one of the most asked questions during preseason: How long will it take for Kurt Busch to be involve in another controversy?

The answer is 11 races, 12 if you count the Budweiser Shootout.

Busch, who was released from Penske Racing after last season for a series of controversial incidents, answered that question Saturday at Darlington Raceway.

Read more from Sporting News

Busch, Newman Teams May Face Discipline Tuesday
A post-race scuffle between the pit crews of Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman on Saturday night could result in penalties handed down Tuesday, a NASCAR official said.

“We had a discussion with them, more about what happened post-race than anything during it,” NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp said Sunday. “It’s right after the race. We wanted to have both of them in there to talk about that. As our practice is, we’ll get back to Concord, NC and have our meeting and if there is anything more to come out of it, it will be at that time. And if it doesn’t it won’t.

Read more from WLWT

Venturini Motorsports & Family to be inducted into National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame
Already celebrating their 30th Anniversary of competition in the ARCA Racing series presented by Menards, Venturini Motorsports along with Tony Venturini and  Wendy have been recognized and voted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and will be enshrined into the Hall later this year as part of the Class of 2012.

Read more from Venturini Motorsports-PR

Fan Advisory Council, First Ever at Iowa Speedway
Iowa Speedway officials have announced a brand new fan initiative to continually improve the overall fan experience – the 2012 Fan Advisory Council. The 2012 Fan Advisory Council will be the first of its kind at Iowa Speedway.

Read more from Iowa Speedway-PR

NASCAR’s Hunter honored by homestate
Late NASCAR executive Jim Hunter’s home state honored him Monday, enshrining him into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame on Monday.

Hunter’s son, Scott, with his dad’s beloved yellow NASCAR ball cap, said his father would be honored yet uncomfortable taking the spotlight from others he thought were more deserving.

Read more from WTVM/Associated Press

New Fan Zone, Activities & Contests Highlight Off-Track Fun During 10 Greatest Days in Racing
Charlotte Motor Speedway has proven once again that it’s the most fan-friendly facility in motorsports by offering dozens of displays, special areas and events for families during the track’s May race weeks.

The 10 greatest days in racing begins at Charlotte Motor Speedway are highlighted by NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 19 and the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27.

During the two weeks, fans, families and kids of all ages can enjoy the following:

Fan Zone Gets Makeover for 2012
With 10 acres of family-friendly entertainment, NASCAR merchandise and interactive displays, Charlotte Motor Speedway’s improved Fan Zone, complete with 10,000 tons of freshly-paved asphalt, is a can’t-miss stop for all fans visiting the track during race weeks.

Located outside of Turn 1 near the speedway’s main entrance, the Fan Zone includes merchandise haulers with all the latest gear from NASCAR’s most popular drivers, interactive games and displays like the Sprint Experience and the SPEED TV set, from which crews will broadcast Charlotte’s on-track action to a worldwide audience.

Expanded POWERADE Play Zone Offers Something For All Ages
This year’s expanded POWERADE Play Zone, is complete with race-themed bounce houses, face painters, a Ferris Wheel and several interactive games and activities for kids. With so many options, there will be no shortage of entertainment for even the youngest race fans.

Coca-Cola Celebrates Camping Extravaganza
Coca-Cola will sponsor a bevy of games and activities throughout the Coca-Cola 600 weekend, specifically for infield campers. Activities include a Coke Float Welcome Party, scavenger hunts, tailgate challenge and movie night, among others.

Coca-Cola Family Track Walk & Summer Cookout Returns
The Coca-Cola Family Track Walk & Summer Cookout returns for the fourth year during the Coca-Cola 600 Race Weekend. Partnering with the HISTORY Channel Smoker and Grill, the event will fire up following the Coca-Cola Family Track Walk on Friday, May 25 from 11am to 2pm. On the menu are foods like grilled chicken, hamburgers and turkey dogs with all the trimmings. The event is free to all Coca-Cola 600 ticket holders and takes place on part of the front stretch and pit road near the start/finish line. Coca-Cola Family drivers expected to participate include Denny Hamlin, Jeff Burton, Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle, as well as a special appearance by Ned Jarrett.

Unique Foods to Debut During May Races
Levy Restaurants, the food service provider at Charlotte Motor Speedway will once again introduce a variety of new culinary creations – and bring back some fan favorites – when racing returns this week. While taking in all the fun that surrounds the speedway, fans can enjoy deep-fried cupcakes, sweet potato pie fries or the new bologna BLT club sandwich, or savor some of their past favorites like the funnel bacakonator and deep-fried grilled cheese.

Family Grandstand Ticket Offer Assures Affordable Family Fun
All this family fun is now as affordable as ever, with $10 tickets for children 13 and under. Adult tickets start at $39 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and $49 for the Coca-Cola 600. Visit for ticket information.

From Charlotte Motor Speedway-PR

Stewart, RCR and Bass Pro Shops Pay Tribute to Conservation Work of NWTF

The National Wild Turkey Federation’s flying turkey logo will appear this weekend on Stewart-Haas Racing’s Bass Pro Shops sponsored No. 14 Chevy driven by Tony Stewart in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 Chevy Silverado driven by Ty Dillon in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Stewart will be going for a win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race on Saturday, May 19th at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC.

Dillon will be trying to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ North Carolina Education Lottery 200 race Friday, May 18th also at the speedway.

The salute to the NWTF is part of the Conservation Fund’s “Racing for America’s Wildlife” program. The program is designed to engage the NASCAR community in conserving America’s hunting and fishing heritage through habitat protection, restoration, education and outreach.

The NWTF is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. A nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage, the NWTF, its volunteers and partners have raised and spent more than $331 million to conserve nearly 16 million acres of habitat. Wild turkeys and hundreds of other species of upland wildlife, including quail, deer, grouse, pheasant and songbirds, benefit from this improved habitat.

Bass Pro Shops is a dedicated supporter of NWTF’s Women of the Outdoors, JAKES, and Wheelin’ Sportsmen outreach programs.

From Bass Pro Shops-PR

Emily Maynard returns to spotlight as star of ‘The Bachelorette’
The former fiancee of NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick created quite a stir among NASCAR fans last year with her turn on The Bachelor.

Now Emily Maynard is back, taking her NASCAR connections into a new arena as the star of the new season of The Bachelorette, which premieres tonight on ABC.

Read more from Sporting News

Stop hating on Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick raced 513 laps around Darlington Raceway last weekend. What did you do?

Chances are, if you’re an ardent NASCAR fan, you might have snickered at the very mention of her name. You probably grumbled about the attention she received all weekend, and your level of anger likely grew every time her bright GoDaddy green car was shown on TV.

Read more from Associated Press

Bill Elliott shrine, Dawsonville Pool Room, seized for back taxes
The popular Dawsonville Pool Room made famous by NASCAR legend Bill Elliott has been seized by the Georgia Department of Revenue for unpaid taxes and fees, according to

Dawsonville, GA, is the hometown of Elliott, the 1988 NASCAR Cup champion and winner of 44 Cup races. Elliott who was voted the sport’s most popular driver a record 16 times, was known as “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville” during his heyday in the 1980s.

Read more from Sporting News

Tony Stewart takes over for Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson in NASCAR’s double-standard
First, it was Jeff Gordon. Then Jimmie Johnson comes along. If you ask NASCAR fans who the golden boys have been the last 15 or so years in stock car racing, these two drivers win the vote. By a landslide.

Gordon and Johnson are easy targets. The perception is big time owner Rick Hendrick, plenty of wins and nine championships in the pocket and hundreds of thousands of dollars in apparel sales leads to influence with the governing body and on track favortism.

True? Maybe. But one thing is for certain: Tony Stewart is the new golden goose wearing the “protected” label.

Read more from Penn Live

Roush adds sponsor Kenseth, turns to re-signing him
Roush Fenway Racing has its sponsorship virtually sewed up for the 2012 Sprint Cup season, so the next objective is keeping its “cornerstone” driver in the fold.

Matt Kenseth, who has been driving for the NASCAR team for 15 years, is in a contract year, and team owner Jack Roush intends to keep the 2003 champion around for a while.

Read more from USA Today

Fifth Third Bank to Partner with Roush Fenway Racing and Matt Kenseth
Fifth Third Bancorp today announced a multi-year marketing partnership with Roush Fenway Racing, beginning this season with four races as the primary sponsor of Matt Kenseth’s No. 17 Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. A similar number of races for the following years will be announced at a later date.

Fifth Third will be the primary sponsor of Kenseth’s at four Sprint Cup Sries races in 2012 including: Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte, NC on May 19, Quaker State 400 in Sparta, KY on June 30, Crown Royal’s “Your Hero’s Name Here” race in Indianapolis, IN on July 29, and Pure Michigan 400 in Brooklyn, MI on August 19.

The partnership between Fifth Third Bank and Roush Fenway Racing was announced today at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte where the paint scheme for the Fifth Third Ford Fusion was also unveiled.

Read more from 4 Traders See the paint scheme from Jayski’s

Darlington Raceway Considering The Addition of a Boxing Ring Behind Pit Road
Following a second-straight year of post-race altercations on pit road between NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and their teams, Darlington Raceway President Chris Browning is considering the idea of constructing a permanent boxing ring behind pit road so drivers have the ability to work out their differences before they leave the track Too Tough To Tame.

The idea developed after Saturday night’s confrontation with crew members from competing teams following the conclusion of the Bojangles’ Southern 500, which was won by Jimmie Johnson.

Read more from Darlington Raceway-PR

Stewart falls short of Darlington goal
As Jimmie Johnson worked to save fuel and hang onto first place in the final laps of the Bojangles Southern 500 on Saturday night at Darlington Raceway, Tony Stewart lurked behind, waiting to take advantage if Johnson ran out of gas.

Given the black cloud that seemed to hover over Hendrick Motorsports this season as it struggled to earn its 200th victory, and the extra lap that was tacked on at the end of the race to ensure a green-white-checkered finish, Stewart figured Johnson was vulnerable.

Read more from NASCAR .com

From humble beginnings, Hendrick built empire
The town of Bennettsville, SC, is a place known for its soil. It was so fertile, legend once held, that it was sold not be the acre, but by the pound. Victorian and Greek revival homes still stand as testament to the era when the place got rich off king cotton, and gins gave rise to millionaires. That time has long passed now, but soybean, corn and cotton are still cultivated in and around the town roughly 30 miles from Darlington Raceway, and Bennettsville still makes much of its living from the earth.

So perhaps there is no better place for an empire to take root. The former manager of an import division at a dealership in Raleigh, NC, Rick Hendrick was all of 27 when he moved to Bennettsville to take over his first store, a failing General Motors franchise housed in a tiny facility that would occasionally get buzzed by crop dusters working an adjacent cotton field. In less than two years he went from selling just six cars a month to over 100, and from one of GM’s smallest outlets he was promoted to one of its largest – City Chevrolet in Charlotte, which also supplied parts to manufacturer-affiliated NASCAR teams.

Read more from Yahoo Sports

Scrum on pit road overshadows race
Those Busch brothers can’t seem to avoid the spotlight at Darlington Raceway.

A year after Kyle Busch tangled with Kevin Harvick in the pits following Regan Smith’s first Sprint Cup win, the crew for Kurt Busch scrummed with Ryan Newman’s group while Jimmie Johnson celebrated car owner Rick Hendrick’s 200th career victory at the Southern 500 on Saturday night.

Read more from The Columbus Dispatch

NASCAR stars to play softball in Camden
NASCAR stars Carl Edwards and Jeff Burton will captain opposing teams in a celebrity softball game at Campbell’s Field in Camden on Tuesday.

The game, pitting squads representing Pocono Raceway and Dover International Speedway, is scheduled to begin at 4:30pm ET.

Read more from Philly Sports

Given tough track, Hamlin happy with second at Darlington
Yeah, it was a great effort for our Sports Clip team. Our finish is because of the crew chief making good calls and the pit crew making good pit stops. That kept us in the ballgame, kept our track position up front.

We were planning on taking two that last stop, but I slid through the box, so Darian had to take four tires. Took the lead away from us, second away from us, and at that point we were fifth or sixth, then we just had to battle back.

Read more from CBS Sports/Eye On NASCAR

Newman-Busch feud just what NASCAR needs to stir popularity
In a year when frustrated fans have begged for more cautions to tighten the field and add drama to races, Saturday night’s race at Darlington Raceway saved NASCAR’s season. The track once dismissed as past its prime delivered a tension-filled finish and a pit-road confrontation that had Ryan Newman questioning Kurt Busch’s “chemical imbalance.”

Read more from Sports Illustrated

The Dark Knight Rises Teams up with NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Your vote will determine which Batman or Bane themed paint scheme will be on Dale Earnhardt Jr’s No. 88 race car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 17.

Read more and vote from Comic Book Movie

ESPN’s ‘NASCAR Now’ tackles racing from every angle
With the speed of a pit crew changing tires, the staff of ESPN2’s “NASCAR Now” can put together a high-quality program that the sport’s rabid fans can rely on for their daily NASCAR fix.

Read more from Mass Live

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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