“…It doesn’t get us in the Chase yet, but it definitely helps with a win today and the win in Charlotte. I can’t wait for some of these other tracks coming up.” – Kasey Kahne after winning the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – July 15, 2012
|News & Views – Volume 35
For the week of July 16 – 22, 2012
Kasey Kahne is hitting his stride at a great time leading up to the Chase. With his NHMS win, his second of the season, he’s now placed his team securely into the first wild card spot, giving his team a great chance to contend for the 2012 championship.
Expect the next seven events in the Race to the Chase to be intense with drivers chasing either their first win of the season or another win to advance their position for the first Chase race at Chicagoland in September.
On Fan4Racing, we’ve brought this up before and in Sunday’s race I noticed it again. Have you noticed it too? There’s an intense competition going on between Tony Stewart’s SHR team and Denny Hamlin’s JGR team this season. When either team gets a win, the other team steps up their game for their next win. Currently, the Stewart/Addington team leads with three wins – along with Brad Keselowski – to the Hamlin/Grubb team with two so far.
In the LENOX 301 race, Hamlin was the man on a mission, similar to Tony’s championship run in the 2011 Chase. Even with the mis-communication between crew chief and driver, Hamlin managed to pass several cars – on a “hard to pass” track – to the second place position – his four tires certainly helped his cause. It’s going to be fun to watch these teams in the next seven races as they compete for their best Chase position going into the final ten for the season. Stay tuned.
This week the Nationwide and Camping World Truck series teams are headed to Chicagoland Speedway, while the Sprint Cup teams get a weekend off. The truck teams will race Saturday night under the lights, and we’ll see the Nationwide teams race on Sunday afternoon.
Let’s begin with news for today…
Sunday, July 22, 2012
2012 NNS STP 300 Race Results
|Sadler in VL at Chicagoland
Photo – Nam Y. Huh/AP
The current NNS points leader, Elliott Sadler, was able to hold off the dominating car of pole-sitter, Ricky Stenhouse Jr – who led the most laps – 135 of 200 – by 0.331 seconds to win the STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Sadler, who extends his points lead over Austin Dillon to 11-points and wins a $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus, received his third series win of the 2012 season, his eighth series career win and his first series win at Chicagoland Speedway.
Following Sadler and Stenhouse to the drop of the checkered flag were Justin Allgaier finishing third, Kenny Wallace fourth and Michael Annett finished fifth.
NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon, finished in the sixth position, while Parker Kligerman finished seventh, Sam Hornish Jr eighth, rookie contender Cole Whitt ninth and Ryan Truex rounding out the top-ten finishing positions.
Average Speed – 130.929-mph
Time of Race – 2 hrs, 18 mins, 10 secs
Margin of Victory – 0.331 seconds
Lead Changes – 13 among 8 drivers
Cautions – 5 for 25 laps
Attendance – 25,000
Next Up – The inaugural Indy 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 28th, with an approximate starting time of 4:50pm ET and television coverage provided by ESPN beginning with their 4:00pm ET pre-race show.
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
2012 NNS STP 300 Starting Lineup
After a rare Sunday morning qualifying session for the 2012 NNS STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, it was Ricky Stenhouse Jr with a lap speed of 176.916-mph, capturing the Coors Light Pole Award.
This was Stenhouse’s third series pole of the 2012 season, his seventh series career pole and his first series pole at Chicagoland Speedway.
Starting second on the outside pole with a lap speed of 176.783-mph, will be NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon, followed by Sam Hornish Jr 176.367-mph starting third, Kyle Busch 175.833 fourth and Parker Kligerman 175.804 will start fifth.
Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Brian Scott 175.667-mph starting from sixth, Mike Bliss 175.285 seventh, Cole Whitt 175.222 eighth, Ryan Truex 174.865 ninth and Brendan Gaughan 174.492 will start from the tenth position.
There were only 43 drivers/teams attempting to fill the 43 starting positions; therefore no one failed to make the starting lineup.
Weather permitting – as approaching rains may be upon the track around start time and force a delay – the 12th annual STP 300 is scheduled to get started at approximately 3:20pm ET this afternoon, and ESPN will begin their pre-race coverage at 2:00pm ET.
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
Penske Racing to get Allmendinger’s drug screen results by Thursday
AJ Allmendinger’s test results on his “B Sample” will be known within 24-48 hours after Tuesday’s test, according to Bud Denker, Senior Vice President of Penske Corporation. Denker is in Edmonton for Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series Edmonton Indy and confirmed that the second test for the suspended NASCAR Sprint Cup driver of the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge will be known prior to next Sunday’s first practice session for the Crown Royal at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Read more from Motorsport.com
Saturday, July 21, 2012
2012 NCWTS American Ethanol 225 Race Results
|Buescher in VL at Chicagoland
Photo – Nam Y Huh/AP
With a two-lap dash to the finish, it was James Buescher holding off Brendan Gaughan by 0.247 seconds to win the 2012 NCWTS American Ethanol 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Buescher who came back after being two-laps down for a carburetor change, received his third series win of the 2012 season, his third series career win and his first win at Chicagoland Speedway.
Following Buescher and Gaughan to the drop of the checkered flag were last week’s winner, Timothy Peters – who now leads the point standings with a 23-point lead over Ty Dillon – finishing third, Matt Crafton fourth and pole-sitter Parker Kligerman finished fifth.
NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cale Gale finished in the sixth position, while Ron Hornaday Jr finished seventh, Jason Leffler eighth, Jason White ninth and David Starr rounding out the top-ten finishing positions.
Average Speed – 119.363-mph
Time of Race – 1 hr, 53 mins, 6 secs
Margin of Victory – 0.247-seconds
Lead Changes – 16 among 10 drivers
Cautions – 7 for 31 laps
Attendance – N/A
Next Up – Teams take a weekend off before heading to Pocono Raceway for the 3rd annual Pocono Mountains 125 on Saturday, August 4th, with an approximate starting time of 1:20pm ET and television coverage provided by SPEED beginning at 12:30pm ET.
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
2012 NCWTS American Ethanol 225 Starting Lineup
Justin Lofton, with a qualifying lap speed of 174.154-mph, recorded his first NCWTS career pole with winning the American Ethanol 225 Keystone Light Pole Award at Chicagoland Speedway. Note: Lofton did start from the “pole” for this past June’s Texas Motor Speedway event, but due to rain setting the field.
Sharing the front row and starting second with a qualifying lap speed of 173.997-mph, will be Joey Coulter followed by series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Ty Dillon 173.667 starting third, Timothy Peters 173.566 starting fourth and Jason Leffler 173.477 will start fifth.
Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Brendan Gaughan 173.349-mph who will start sixth, “The Onion,” Todd Bodine 173.310 seventh, rookie contender Cale Gale 173.288 eighth, Matt Crafton 173.094 ninth and Miguel Paludo 172.850 will start from tenth position.
Failing to make the starting lineup were the #74 driven by Mike Harmon and #65 Chris Lafferty.
The 4th annual American Ethanol 225 is set to get underway at approximately 8:20pm ET this evening and television coverage will be provided by SPEED beginning with their pre-race show at 7:30pm ET.
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
2012 NNS STP 300 Final Practice Session Speeds
In the closing minutes of the final NNS STP 300 practice session at Chicagoland Speedway, it was Parker Kligerman with a lap speed of 172.695-mph, posting the fastest lap of the session.
Danica Patrick, with a lap speed of 172.601-mph, was the second fastest and was followed by NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders Austin Dillon 171.799-mp and Cole Whitt 171.641 who were third and fourth fastest respectively, and Kyle Busch 171.510 was the fifth fastest.
Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Brendan Gaughan 171.429-mph who was sixth fastest, Justin Allgaier 171.342 seventh, Michael Annett 171.227 eighth, Ryan Truex 170.568 ninth and Mike Bliss 170.503 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.
The teams will return Sunday morning for their 11:35am ET qualifying session to determine that afternoon’s STP 300 starting lineup. The race is scheduled to get underway around 3:20pm ET and ESPN will provide television coverage beginning with their 2:00pm ET pre-race show.
Final Practice Speeds
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
2012 NNS STP 300 First Practice Session Speeds
Kyle Busch with a lap speed of 171.450-mph, was the quickest during the first NNS STP 300 practice session at Chicagoland Speedway.
The current series points leader, Elliott Sadler with a lap speed of 171.021-mph, was second quickest and was followed by Sam Hornish Jr 170.951-mph who was third quickest, Ricky Stenhouse Jr 170.740 fourth and Parker Kligerman 170.622 was fifth quickest.
NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Cole Whitt 170.159-mph was sixth quickest, while Ryan Truex 170.025 was seventh quickest, rookie contender Austin Dillon 169.651 eighth, Brian Scott 169.634 ninth and James Buescher 169.566 rounds out the top-ten quickest during the session.
The teams will have their “Happy Hour” – final – practice session – weather permitting – this afternoon from 2pm to 3:20pm ET before returning Sunday morning for their 11:35 AM ET qualifying session.
The 12th annual STP 300 is scheduled to get underway around 3:20pm ET Sunday afternoon, and ESPN will provide television coverage beginning with their 2:00pm ET pre-race show.
First Practice Speeds
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
Andretti says Cup in 2013 ‘highly unlikely’
Michael Andretti says time is running out for his Indianapolis-based racing organization to join NASCAR for next season.
The owner of Andretti Autosport said it’s now “highly unlikely” that he’ll be involved with the Sprint Cup Series in 2013.
Read more from USA Today/Indianapolis Star
Friday, July 20, 2012
2012 NCWTS American Ethanol 225 Final Practice Session Speeds
Matt Crafton showed the fastest way around Chicagoland Speedway with a lap speed of 174.014-mph, during the final NCWTS American Ethanol 225 practice session.
Second fastest was Joey Coulter with a lap speed of 173.527-mph, and was followed by Justin Lofton 173.116-mph who was third fastest, Todd Bodine 172.961 fourth and Nelson Piquet Jr 172.938 was fifth fastest.
Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were James Buescher 172.894-mph who was sixth fastest, Parker Kligerman 172.706 eighth, Jason Leffler 172.590 ninth and Ron Hornaday Jr 172.073 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.
The teams will return Saturday afternoon at 3:35pm ET for their scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for the 4th annual American Ethanol 225. The race is set to get underway at approximately 8:20pm ET Saturday evening, and television coverage will be provided by SPEED beginning with their pre-race show at 7:30pm ET.
Final Practice Speeds
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
2012 NCWTS American Ethanol 225 First Practice Session Speeds
Justin Lofton, with a lap speed of 174.132-mph, posted the quickest lap during the first NCWTS American Ethanol 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Second quickest with a lap speed of 173.762-mph, was Joey Coulter, and he was followed by Jason Leffler 173.433-mph who was third quickest, NCWTS Rookie of the Year contender Cale Gale 173.010 fourth quickest and Brendan Gaughan 172.900 was fifth quickest.
Rounding out the top-ten quickest during the session were Matt Crafton 172.491-mph who was sixth quickest, James Buescher 172.315 seventh, Miguel Paludo and Timothy Peters with the identical lap speed 172.068 eighth and ninth quickest respectively, and rookie contender Ty Dillon 172.013 posting the tenth quickest lap speed.
The teams will have their “Happy Hour” – final – practice session later this evening from 9:10 to 10:00pm ET before returning Saturday afternoon at 3:35pm ET for their scheduled qualifying session.
The 4th annual American Ethanol 225 is set to get underway at approximately 8:20pm ET Saturday evening, and SPEED will begin their television coverage with their pre-race show at 7:30pm ET.
First Practice Speeds
From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia
NASCAR Announces Groundbreaking Fan Event: ‘NASCAR Contenders Live’
Fans Have Opportunity to Interact with Top-12 Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers in Chicago, Enter Sweepstakes to Win 2012 Toyota Camry SE
Friday, at a press conference outside the House of Blues in Chicago, NASCAR announced the launch of the inaugural interactive fan event: NASCAR Contenders Live sponsored by Toyota and Sprint. The event will allow fans to interact directly with the 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Contenders at the House of Blues on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at 1:30pm.
Present at the announcement of the launch were Joe Gibbs Racing driver of the No. 18 Toyota Camry Kyle Busch; Toyota National Manager of Motorsports and Engagement Marketing Keith Dahl; NASCAR Senior Director of Partnership Marketing Lou Garate; Chicagoland Speedway President Scott Paddock and 2012 Miss Sprint Cup Jaclyn Roney.
NASCAR Contenders Live sponsored by Toyota and Sprint will signify the start of the most intense and competitive time of the NASCAR season, the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The 12 Chase contenders will interact onstage with NASCAR’s biggest supporters – the fans – and share their strategies and insight on how they plan to win the ultimate prize: the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.
This is an extremely rare opportunity for NASCAR fans as it will be the first time the top-12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will be in one room at the same time answering fan questions.
In conjunction with the event launch, the first NASCAR Contenders Live sponsored by Toyota and Sprint Sweepstakes kicks off Friday by giving fans a chance to win an ultimate package that includes a 2012 Toyota Camry SE, two tickets to the first-ever NASCAR Contenders Live sponsored by Toyota and Sprint fan event, two VIP tickets and two VIP passes to attend the NASCAR Sprint Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, Sept 16, a one-year subscription to SiriusXM Satellite radio and $500 cash.
Fans can visit NASCAR.com/ContendersLive to enter the “Contenders Live” Sweepstakes until Aug. 30th at 3pm ET. Additionally, fans can visit the site to purchase tickets to NASCAR Contenders Live sponsored by Toyota and Sprint beginning on July 27.
“NASCAR has the most passionate fans in all of sports,” said Norris Scott, NASCAR vice president of partnership marketing and business solutions. “What better way to kick-off the Chase than with an event that gives fans exclusive access inside a room with the sports’ top 12 drivers. This also serves as a unique program for Toyota and Sprint who support the sport heavily.”
“Contenders Live on September 12 provides Toyota with an exceptional platform from which to partner with NASCAR, and the visibility to interface with the sport’s enthusiastic fan base,” said Dahl. “Toyota has connected with fans in many different ways since we began competing in NASCAR in 2004, and this event will provide still another opportunity for fans to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes.”
“We always strive to deliver experiences to fans that create memories that will last a lifetime, and this event will do just that,” said Tim Considine, director of sports and entertainment marketing for Sprint. “NASCAR’s most important asset is the fans as they are the most loyal in all of sports. NASCAR Contenders Live will bring fans an incredible opportunity to interact with this season’s top drivers as we kick-off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in Chicago.”
“We are privileged to kick-off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in Chicago this September, and NASCAR Contenders Live will provide our fans with unprecedented access to the sport’s best and brightest as they begin their run towards the championship,” said Paddock. “The addition of Contenders Live to an already exhilarating Chase week lineup only adds to the excitement which culminates on Sunday with the GEICO 400 and the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.”
For tickets to this weekend’s American Ethanol 225 or the STP 300 on July 21-22 at Chicagoland Speedway or for tickets to the September 15-16 race weekend, visit ChicagolandSpeedway.com or call 1-888-629-RACE (7223). Single-day tickets are available, beginning at $25 in July and $40 in September.
Two-Time Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker Ron Howard to Drive ‘400’ Pace Car at IMS
Director of Upcoming Epic Action-Drama ‘Rush’ Visits Track as Guest of Four-Time IMS Winner Jeff Gordon
Two-time Academy Award-winning director Ron howard will drive the Pace Car and lead the field of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series superstars to the green flag at the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com on Sunday, July 29, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it was announced July 20.
Howard has become an entertainment legend as a director, producer and actor. He has directed worldwide blockbusters including “A Beautiful Mind,” “Angels & Demons,” “Apollo 13,” “Backdraft,” “Cinderella Man,” “Cocoon,” “Parenthood,” “Splash,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “Willow” and many more. He received Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture in 2001 for “A Beautiful Mind” and was nominated for Best Director in 2008 for “Frost/Nixon.”
Howard will be making his first visit to the historic speedway as a guest of, and to shadow, four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and his No. 24 Drive to End Hunger team.
Howard’s upcoming epic-action drama, “Rush,” stars Chris Hemsworth (“The Avengers”) as the charismatic Englishman James Hunt and Daniel Bruhl (“Inglorious Basterds”) as the disciplined Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda, whose clashes on the Grand Prix race track epitomized the contrast between these two extraordinary characters, a distinction reflected in their private lives. “Rush” is currently in post-production and will be released in 2013.
“It’s a great honor to welcome a true legend, Ron Howard, to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and chief executive officer. “Ron has become immersed in motorsports’ culture and history through the filming of ‘Rush,’ so he’s an ideal person to pace the field for one of NASCAR’s biggest races at ‘The Greatest Race Course in the World.'”
The Pace Car for the 19th annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at IMS will be announced soon.
“I’ve been a longtime admirer of Jeff’s work both on and off the track,” Howard said. “Not only is he a stellar driver, but his commitment to ending older hunger in America shows his passion for helping others. I’m honored to drive the Pace Car at IMS, and I thank NASCAR for giving me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Howard made his screen acting debut when he was 18 months old in the 1956 movie “Frontier Woman,” which led to a role for Howard at the age of 2 in a stage production of “The Seven-Year Itch.”
He was introduced to America on a much grander scale at age 6 when in 1960 he was cast in the role of Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show,” which led to major motion-picture appearances in the “The Music Man” in 1962 and “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” in 1963.
Following his run with “The Andy Griffith Show” that ended in 1968, Howard starred with Henry Fonda in “The Smith Family” before entering the University of Southern California’s film school in 1972. Howard’s role in the 1973 George Lucas film, “American Graffiti,” led him to the leading role of Richie Cunningham in the hit television sitcom “Happy Days” from 1974-84.
Additional film roles came Howard’s way, including a starring role in John Wayne’s final movie, “The Shootist,” in 1976 that wrapped in time for Howard to direct his first motion picture, “Grand Theft Auto,” in 1977.
Howard met Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer in 1981, and they produced and directed “Night Shift,” a comedy featuring Howard’s “Happy Days” co-star Henry Winkler. Two years later, the duo created the hit film “Splash,” starring Tom Hanks, Darryl Hannah and John Candy. Howard and Grazer created Imagine Films Entertainment, which produced such hit films as “Willow” (1988), “Parenthood” (1989), “Backdraft” (1989), “Apollo 13” (1995) and “Ransom” (1996), all directed by Howard.
IMS will be the epicenter of American stock car racing and North American sports car racing July 26-29, 2012, as the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Grand-Am Road Racing will join the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for four exciting races during the inaugural Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard.
It will be the first time in IMS history that races will take place on the 2.5-mile oval and 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course during the same weekend, and Grand-Am Road Racing and the NASCAR Nationwide Series will make their IMS racing debuts, respectively, Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28. The weekend will culminate Sunday, July 29, with the running of the 19th annual Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver at the Brickyard powered by BigMachineRecords.com.
From Indianapolis Motor Speedway-PR
Revolutionary HANS Adjustable Announced
HANS Performance Products, the inventors of the head and neck restraint, todya announced the HANS Adjustable – a revolutionary new safety device.
The HANS Adjustable, which meets the SFI Foundation’s Spec 38.1 for head and neck restraints, enables all drivers to purchase a HANS with full confidence of a comfortable fit no matter what type of car or racing seat they use. Previously, customers ordered a HANS Device in a fixed angle according to the driver’s physical size and type of seating position in the car – such as an upright seat in stock cars or a reclined seat in open-wheels machines.
“Because it’s adjustable in five-degree increments, this new HANS will improve the fit and comfort for all racers.” said HPP co-founder Jim Downing. “Our goal is to bring the award-winning safety of HANS to all drivers in any type of car, especially the weekend warriors who too often put themselves and their families at risk.”
A study conducted by the Charlotte Observer found that racing deaths in the US actually increased in the decade after Dale Earnhardt Sr’s fatal accident at Daytona in 2001 due to fatalities on weekly short tracks and drag strips.
“We believe the new HANS is going to create another revolution in head and neck restraints, especially for the weekend warrior,” said Downing. “For over a decade, the HANS has demonstrated its ground-breaking safety technology all over the world in all types of crashes, including multiple impacts and oblique impacts. The HANS Adjustable is another huge step forward. There’s no reason why every driver should not be wearing a HANS head and neck restraint.
The HANS Adjustable is eligible for use in most US racing series. NASCAR, which conducts its own evaluations, currently has the HANS Adjustable under consideration for approval. After passing all the required strength tests, the new device is under final consideration by the safety committee of the FIA, the international sanctioning body.
Priced at $795, the HANS Adjustable sustains HPP’s reputation as a leader in motor racing safety technology. The new device is made by an injection molded process using a metal alloy before a fire-resistant nylon coating is applied. Metal fasteners that employ Spiralock technology enable a driver to adjust the legs of the HANS to alter the angle of the collar in five-degree increments. A detailed description of the latest HANS and technical details can be found here.
The new device joins a product line including the HANS Professional, used by pro drivers worldwide, and the HANS Sport II models.
From HANS Performance Products-PR
National Guard urged to prove value of sponsorships
The National Guard Association’s president says the Guard must do a better job of proving the value of its sports sponsorships, including with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in NASCAR, or it should get out of them.
Read more from USA Today
Junior expands brand beyond racing
Nestled in a garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway, a makeshift set provides the backdrop for Dale Earnhardt Jr’s latest commercial shoot for the Nationwide Insurance “Join the Nation” campaign.
Read more from FOX Sports
NASCAR official speaks at White House event
A White House event on sports and sustainability Thursday morning showcased many of NASCAR’s green initiatives over the past several years.
Mike Lynch, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing’s managing director of green innovation, participated in a panel discussion with three other professional sports officials. Lynch is based at NASCAR’s headquarters in Daytona Beach.
Read more from News-Journal Online
German Quiroga: NASCAR Mexico champ to run Trucks with KBM
Three-time NASCAR Mexico Series champion German Guiroga will run four races in the NASCAR Truck Series this season with Kyle Busch Motorsports beginning with the Oct 6 race at Talladega, AL.
Read more from News Observer
Thursday, July 19, 2012
In wake-up call, teams must forget politics, figure out why sponsors are leaving
NASCAR survived a major scare Wednesday thanks to a 216-202 vote in the House of Representatives that will allow the military to continue sponsoring race teams.
To some, it’s a time to celebrate and a time to label the politicians who championed the ban on military sponsorships as jerks.
But his is not a time for a lot of congratulations and pats on the back for surviving another round with Congress, or for name-calling by NASCAR fans that staunchly opposed the amendment that might have forced the National Guard and other military sponsors out of the sport.
Read more from Sporting News
Bodine Makes History Times Three in Saturday’s Truck Series Race at Chicagoland
Youngest member of famed racing family gunning for second win of 2012 live on SPEED.
What exactly is in a number?
While success in NASCAR relies heavily on numbers and stats, for two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Todd Bodine, the true significance of a number is found when multiplied by three.
The No. 11 Red Horse Racing driver makes history in Saturday’s Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway – live at 8pm ET on SPEED; NCWTS Setup with Krista Voda live at 7:30pm ET – because not only does he mark his 200th Truck Series start, he earns the distinction as the only driver with at least 200 starts in each of NASCAR’s three national series.
Get your calculators out because that’s 200 Truck Series starts, 241 NASCAR Sprint Cup and 325 NASCAR Nationwide Series starts for a grand total of 766, placing Bodine 20th all-time in combined NASCAR national series starts.
“You get into this sport because you love it, want to go in circles, win races and have fun, and her we are 21 years later with all these starts, and a lot of wins, good times and great friends,” Bodine said. “It seems just like yesterday I was running my first race at Stafford Springs.”
Although he fell shy of winning with a fourth-place finish in his Truck Series debut for Jack Roush at Topeka in 1995, Bodine has a bull’s eye on Victory Lane in his 200th start. The stats are in his favor too, as he owns a pair of runner-up finishes in three Truck Series starts at Chicagoland, in addition to one pole each in the Truck, Nationwide and Cup Series. Bodine, who won at Dover this year, says a win this weekend would carry a little more weight than most victories.
“While winning on Saturday is high on his list, Bodine, who owns 22 Truck victories, points to a moment that helped define the entire Bodine racing family as the highlight of his career.
“Winning the first – Truck – championship was pretty special for me and more special for my family being that at the time, it was the only championship we had,” recalled the youngest of NASCAR’s three Bodine brothers. “Then to come back and get another one – championship – really was validation that we didn’t luck into our first one but were good enough to do it again.”
“His championship meant the world to the Bodine family and all the fans who watched Geoff and Brett try so desparately to get one,” SPEED reporter Ray Dunlap said. “Beyond that, everyone loves working with Todd not only because of his great personality but also because of his grasp of racing and his commitment to it. He’s a joy to work with and there are some drivers you wouldn’t say that about.”
Bodine’s truck owner, Tom DeLoach, has been thoroughly pleased with his new hire for the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota.
“Todd’s background lifts the bar,” DeLoach said. “He has a different insight. The organization says, ‘We’ve got to perform a little better because this guy knows what he’s looking for.’ We’ve got a senior driver who knows what the feel ought to be, and frankly, I think it has helped Timothy – Peters, teammate and series points leader – …Instead of Timothy comparing himself against a rookie in the organization, now he gets to compare himself against a two-time champion.”
When asked if there is something he has yet to accomplish that would complete his career, Bodine readily mentions the void in his Cup Series points race win column.
“I won two Winston Opens, but to not have that points-race win is pretty disappointing,” he stated. “I came close two times. We had a lot of great runs but never got it done. That’s the one thing that’s lacking.”
Perhaps a more realistic goal for the 48-year-old driver at this stage in his 26-year NASCAR career would be matching or surpassing Rick Crawford’s record of 334 all-time Truck starts. Does Bodine have another 134 starts in him?
“I’d like to have that,” the New York native said of Crawford’s numbers. “I feel like I’ve got another 10 years left … Three-hundred and thirty-four is doable.”
And when those hypothetical 10 years or so have come and gone and Bodine finally hangs up his helmet, he hopes his biggest legacy has nothing to do with a race car or truck.
“The one thing our parents instilled in us, and to me is very important, is that I was a good guy, a good person, honest, treated everybody fairly and would help anybody with anything I could help them with,” Bodine expressed.
Spoken like a true champ, both on and off the track…
NASCAR Selects Ogilvy & Mather as Advertising Agency of Record
NASCAR today concluded a comprehensive agency review that spanned nearly four months, by selecting Ogilvy & Mather as Agency of Record – AOR – to service the sport’s evolving advertising and marketing needs. The agency will help NASCAR and the industry to execute a Five-Year Industry Action Plan to engage and excite existing fans, while creating new ones.
NASCAR embarked on a review to secure a class-leading, full-service advertising agency in early 2012 in order to expand the sport’s marketing efforts and provide an integrated solution to help NASCAR grow its audience in Youth, Gen Y and Hispanic. As AOR, Ogilvy & Mather’s responsibilities will also target segmentation, brand vision/storytelling, media strategy, promotions and support for the growing NASCAR Digital team.
NASCAR received 110 inquiries and 75 sets of credentials from a host of agencies of all sizes and expertise. The list was carefully analyzed and narrowed to a field of fewer than 10 firms, each of which were visited by a cross-functional team of executives from key business areas across NASCAR. In June, a trio of finalists – Leo Burnett, Ogilvy & Mather and McCann Erickson North America – presented to a group of senior leaders, including NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France.
“Significant changes in our ecosystem impacted how we deliver our message and position our brand to existing fans while increasing the appeal of NASCAR to new audiences,” said Kim Brink, NASCAR managing director of brand consumer and series marketing. “We were thoroughly impressed with the caliber of all three finalists; but Ogilvy’s consistency, creativity and dynamic leadership were the key differentiators. We’re delighted to join the agency’s roster of big consumer brands.”
“We view NASCAR as a lighthouse brand,” said John Seifert, chairman and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather North America. “The sport blends marquee stars, jewel events, and some of the fiercest competition on the planet with an intricate ecosystem comprised of historic tracks and compelling personalities. From the beginning of the agency review process, it was clear to us that NASCAR was looking for a true business partner. We firmly believe that NASCAR is a valuable tool in the marketing mix and a place where big brands get high return on investment. We couldn’t be more proud to add the sport to our portfolio of global brands.”
Ogilvy & Mather will complete a comprehensive on-boarding process in 2012, as the agency prepares to help NASCAR launch a new brand platform at the 55th running of the Daytona 500 in February 2013.
Military to continue sports spending
NASCAR and bass fishing can count on the military to keep the sponsorship money coming.
The house voted Wednesday night to continue spending millions for the military to back sports to attract recruits for the all-volunteer force. On a vote of 216 – 202, the House rejected an amendment by Reps. Jack Kingston, R-GA and Betty McCollum, D-MN, that would have trimmed $72.3 million for sports sponsorships from a $608 billion defense bill for fiscal 2013.
Read more from ESPN/Associated Press
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
JJ Yeley moving to Tommy Baldwin Racing
Wednesday morning at 7:09am, JJ Yeley tweeted, “Making some positive changes for the remainder of 2012. Moving over to TBR.”
Jimmie Johnson Wins Third Quarterly Driver of the Year Award
Jimmie Johnson on Wednesday was named the Driver of the Year Award winner for the second-quarter of 2012 racing season.
The award, which was voted upon by an elite panel of 18 broadcasters and journalists, covered racing in American-based series during the period running from April 22nd to July 1st.
Read more from Racin’ Today
Fans Get Chance to Ride Shotgun with Dale Earnhardt Jr
Ask a group of NASCAR fans whom they’d most like to ‘ride shotgun’ with at a race track and chances are, most of them will say Dale Earnhardt Jr – NASCAR’s nine-time most popular driver.
On October 15, 2012, thanks to Lionel NASCAR Collectables – LNC – and the Racing Collectables Club of American – RCCA – one lucky fan will get to do just that.
The ‘Dale Jr Ride of Your Life!’ sweepstakes kicks off Wednesday, July 18th. Fans can enter to win by logging on to LionelNASCAR.com/ridewithdalejr and answering a NASCAR-themed trivia question. The jam-packed grand prize includes:
- Three laps around the track with Dale Earnhardt Jr at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 15
- Dale Jr autographed exclusive skeleton gloves
- Two tickets to the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on October 12 with VIP area tour prior to race
- Two tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on October 13
- Question and Answer session with Dale Jr, followed by autograph and photograph opportunity
- Food and beverage at the Ride Along event
- One room, three-night stay at Hampton Inn and Suites
- DVD of this once-in-a-lifetime experience
- VIP Swag Bag
Ryan Blaney to Race in Penske Racing No. 22 NNS Dodge this Season
Penske Racing announced Tuesday that third-generation race car driver Ryan Blaney has joined the organization and he will compete in the No. 22 Dodge in selected NASCAR Nationwide Series events over the balance of the 2012 season.
Blaney, the 18-year-old son of current Sprint Cup Series driver Dave Blaney, will make his Penske Racing debut in the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge Challenger in the Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, August 4th. Blaney will also drive for the team in at least two other races this season. He will race the No. 22 Snap-on Dodge at Richmond International Raceway and he’ll drive the No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge at Kentucky Speedway.
“Ryan is a driver with a great pedigree and we believe he has a very bright future in NASCAR,” said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. “We’ve been keeping an eye on Ryan’s development and we feel he’ll be a great addition to the No. 22 Nationwide Series team.”
With a winning junior development track record established in Quarter Midgets, Bandolero and Legends cars, Blaney has also raced successfully in Super Late Models and the ARCA Series as well as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. Continuing his development in 2012, Blaney has made three Nationwide Series starts this season for Tommy Baldwin Racing and he was impressive in a seventh-place finish at Richmond earlier this year.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to drive for Penske Racing for the rest of this season,” said Blaney. “With the team’s strong tradition of success and the winning program they’ve established in the Nationwide Series, I believe I can learn a lot and hopefully we can produce some strong finishes in the No. 22 car.”
Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced 359 major race wins, 419 pole positions and 23 National Championships.
From Penske Racing-PR
Cabarrus YMCS camp lets youngsters suit up and take the wheel at CMS
A group of seven local kids suited up, got strapped in and drove Bandolero cars around one of the tracks at Charlotte Motor Speedway as they participated in a different kind of camp this week.
The camp was the second of four sessions this summer that have been put on through a partnership between Cannon Memorial YMCA and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Read more from Independent Tribune
One In Five Fortune 500 Companies Invest in NASCAR
More Fortune 500 companies are involved in NASCAR than in 2008, according to recent review of brands currently using the sport to drive business.
The analysis looked at companies that either sponsor NASCAR teams, tracks, the sanctioning body, or are media partners. The number of current Fortune 500 companies invested in NASCAR – 114 – remains higher than any other sport.
In 2012 alone, more than 24 brands entered the sport, including a handful of Fortune 500 companies.
“Some of the world’s most profitable and successful corporations choose NASCAR to help drive their businesses,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO
“These companies bring a great amount of rigor to where they make investments. This is especially true when it comes to marketing – and the sponsorship channel in particular – where they are looking for strong return on investment.”
Although being a Fortune 500 company is the gold standard of success for publicly-traded companies in the United States, there are several global corporations currently involved in NASCAR that were not included in the review because they do not meet Fortune’s domestic criteria.
“There are more opportunities for companies to become involved as sponsors in NASCAR now than there were four years ago, when there was a different dynamic in both the economy and chief marketing officer for NASCAR.
To be eligible for the Fortune 500, a company must be based in the US and be publicly traded. The companies in consideration actively utilize NASCAR as a marketing vehicle through a team, track or NASCAR official sponsorship, licensing agreement and/or a media partnership.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
NASCAR releases timeline of Allmendinger events
NASCAR has been informed by the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy program administrator – Dr. David Black of Aegis Sciences Corportation – that the test of AJ Allmending’s B sample will take place on Tuesday, July 24. The test will be conducted in Nashville, TN, at Aegis headquarters, per the NASCAR rule book.
Review of timeline
– On June 29, Allmendinger, driver of the No. 22 car in the Sprint Cup Series, was randomly tested by Aegis at the NASCAR event in Kentucky, per Section 19-6C.
– On July 4, the program administrator – PA – sent a positive “A” sample test result to the program’s medical review officer – MRO – Dr. Douglas Aukerman, MD, and on July 5, Aegis sent final paperwork to the MRO, per Section 19-11, which allows him to begin his review.
– On July 6, the MRO and competitor exchanged phone messages.
– On July 7, the MRO connected by phone with Allmendinger and informed him of the positive “A” test. The MRO also informed him he could choose to have the “B” sample tested, per Section 19-11A, B.
– Later that day, July 7, the MRO notified NASCAR of the positive “A” test, and NASCAR temporarily suspended the NASCAR member, as stated in Section 19-11B(6,7).
– Allmendinger officially notified the MRO on July 9 of his request to have his “B” sample tested, which was within the allotted 72-hour window from the time he was informed that his “A” sample was positive, per Section 19-11B.
– Once a member requests to have the “B” sample tested, NASCAR’s substance abuse policy provides its members up to 30 business days to have the “B” sample test conducted and results finalized, per Sec. 19-11B(5). These 30 days are designed to provide the member with reasonable time to prepare to attend the “B” sample test or be represented by a qualified toxicologist, per Sec. 19-11B(2).
– On July 17, the PA informed NASCAR that Allmendinger made the decision to select July 24 for the “B” test and has designated an independent toxicologist to be present on his behalf.
By Official Release/NASCAR.com
Allmendingers ‘B’ sample test set for July 24
AJ Allmendinger will send his own expert toxicologist to the July 24 test of the ‘B’ urine sample collected June 29 under NASCAR’s substance abuse policy, Allmendinger’s business manager, Tara Ragan, confirmed Tuesday.
Read more from NASCAR Wire Service/NASCAR.com
B Sample Test Set for Allmendinger
Statement from Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc.
“We now have a confirmed date for the testing of AJ’s “B” – split specimen – Sample. The test will take place on Tuesday, July 24 at 8am CDT and be conducted at the Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashville. Pursuant to the 2012 NASCAR Rulebook and in line with the procedures, we have elected to have a designated independent toxicologist present on AJ’s behalf. Along with everyone else, we are looking forward to hearing the results as quickly as possible. AJ and all of us at Walldinger Racing have truly appreciated the outpouring of support from our fans, partners, and colleagues. It has meant a lot to us during this difficult time. We are also grateful to Mr. Penske and his management team for their patience and respect of the process we are going through.” – Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc.
From Walldinger Racing Inc-PR
Chad Norris Named Crew Chief of No. 99 Fastenal Sprint Cup Team
Bob Osborne is transitioning away from his role as crew chief of the No. 99 Fastenal Sprint Cup team at Roush Fenway Racing, team owner Jack Roush announced Tuesday. Roush Fenway veteran Chad Norris will be the crew chief for the No. 99 effective immediately. Osborne will remain with the organization as a senior member of the organization’s management team and steering committee.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Carl Edwards for the past nine years and, during that time, my focus has been building a championship-caliber program,” Osborne said. “I’m proud of the 18 wins we’ve had together in Sprint Cup Series competition and our two second-place points finishes.”
“At this time in my life, however, concerns with my health have necessitated that I change my role within the organization,” Osborne added. “This transition is not an easy one, but I’m thankful to have the full support of Jack, Carl and the entire organization. I also have every confidence in Chad Norris, and I look forward to working with him as we continue to pursue a championship in 2012. I also appreciate the privacy and respect that the community will give me and my family during this difficult time.”
Osborne was Edwards’s first crew chief for his Sprint Cup debut in 2004, and the two have combined for 18 wins and two runner-up finishes in season-ending Sprint Cup Series point standings.
“I cannot say enough good things about Bob Osborne,” added driver Carl Edwards. “I’m so thankful for what he’s done for me as a driver, and he is without a doubt one of the smartest guys in the sport. I’m also appreciative of the fact that he’ll continue to be a resource for me and our team as we focus on these final races. We’re very fortunate to have Chad Norris as part of our organization to take over for the No. 99. I’ve known Chad for a long time and he is a fierce competitor. We’ve got our work cut out for us over the next seven races, and I’ve got every confidence Chad can lead our team to where we need to be.”
Norris has been with Roush Fenway Racing since 2005, and since 2011 has led Roush Fenway’s research and development test program that has seen him serve as crew chief for Ricky Stenhouse Jr, in his limited Sprint Cup Series schedule and Trevor Bayne in his limited Nationwide Series schedule.
Norris’ first role as crew chief at Roush Fenway came in 2005 with the No. 17 Nationwide Series team. In his eight years with Roush Fenway, Norris has led multiple teams to victory lane, including Bayne’s inaugural Nationwide Series win at Texas Motor Speedway in November of 2011.
“Our commitment to winning a championship with the No. 99 in 2012 has not waivered,” said team owner Jack Roush. “I’m committed to providing the resources to Carl and to his team to do that, and this restructuring of Bob’s role and the introduction of Chad Norris as the crew chief for the No. 99 will put us in the best possible position for these final seven races before the Chase begins.”
From Roush Fenway Racing-PR
NASCAR, leagues ask Speaker to intervene on bill
NASCAR has joined with other major sports leagues in sending an open letter to the Speaker of the House in an attempt to table an amendment that would restrict branches of the military from using sports sponsorships as a recruitment tool.
Read more from NASCAR.com
Monday, July 16, 2012
Congratulations to the Newmans’
At 12:20pm Monday, Ryan Newman announced via twitter… “Krissie and I welcomed Ashlyn Olivia today at 12:20pm. Mom and baby are doing well.”
Is Amber Cope, Kevin Harvick Battle a Boon to NASCAR?
Rookie NASCAR driver Amber Cope is the object of criticism from racing star Kevin Harvick and many of his fans who say she got in Harvick’s way during NASCAR’s Nationwide Series race on Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and cost him a win.
Read more from Wall Street Journal
Jeff Gordon to help open cancer center in Rwanda during off week
Jeff Gordon will spend part of his off week at the opening of a cancer wing at a hospital.
It won’t be the first time he’s done that through the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation. It will be the first time he does it, though, in Rwanda.
Read more from Sporting News
Richard Childress Racing Minority Partner Considering Selling Equity Position
Richard Childress Racing has advised its employees, drivers and key sponsors that Chartwell Investments is considering exiting its minority equity position at RCR.
“Since 2003, I have had a minority partner at RCR in Chartwell Investments,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “Like any private equity business, Chartwell has a duty to its investors to return capital and maximize profits in a reasonable timeframe. With my support, they have determined that now is an appropriate time to exit their investment in RCR. Chartwell has been a great partner and I will always be appreciative of our partnership. We will remain good friends.
“We have informed the key people and sponsors of RCR about Chartwell’s decision and assured them this will have no impact on the current affairs at RCR or our continued vision for strong performance on and off the track. We have advised them that if a new investor comes on board as RCR’s new partner they will be strategically chosen to help RCR continue to grow. Our family of corporate partners has all been very appreciative of our letting them know and remain committed to moving forward. I love what I do and plan to be involved in NASCAR and in running RCR for many years to come.”
“RCR is one of the elite NASCAR organizations and we are honored to be a part of the RCR family and partners with racing icon Richard Childress for close to ten years,” said Michael Shein, Managing Partner of Chartwell Investments. “During this period, RCR has continued to prosper, more than doubling the size of its business. We are equally optimistic about RCR’s future performance both on and off the track, remaining confident in NASCAR’s long-term potential. We have engaged The Raine Group to explore the potential sale of our interest in RCR in order to monetize our investment.”
The Raine Group is a global merchant bank focused exclusively on the digital, media & entertainment and sports & lifestyle sectors.
From Richard Childress Racing-PR
Bonus NASCAR! More than 20 teams expected for July 30 tire test
Michigan International Speedway will be the center of NASCAR on Monday, July 30 when Goodyear holds a one-day tire test for all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams.
The best drivers will once again descend on the Irish Hills to continue their preparations for the Pure Michigan 400. It is expected that more than 20 teams will take advantage of the extra time.
“This test will help Goodyear select a tire that is more compatible with the fast Michigan racing surface, and improve an already competitive race weekend from start to finish,” NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said, “Goodyear invited a majority of teams to Michigan, and we’ll work together on all elements to put on the best show possible for our fans.”
The track will open the Turn 1 Grandstands from 9am to 5pm on July 30 for fans to watch the test free of charge.
“This is a unique opportunity for fans to see the drivers again test the repaved racing surface,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “We expect to see numerous drivers and teams continue to prepare for the upcoming Pure Michigan 400. The test falls at a perfect time for our fans as they get a chance to see cars on track between our two races.”
Testing times, track schedule and drivers are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances.
Fans are asked to park in Lot 10 off US 12 and enter the grandstands through Gate 17, just behind the water tower. The restroom facilities will be open and concession stands will be available. Fans are also allowed to bring in coolers that meet the MIS grandstand gate policies for any race weekend.
From Michigan International Speedway-PR
That’s a First! Kahne Wins 20th annual LENOX Industrial Tools 301
Denny Hamlin’s car was good. Real good. But in the end it still wasn’t good enough to catch Kasey Kahne, who picked up his first-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win a “The Magic Mile” on Sunday in the 20th annual LENOX Industrial Tools 301.
With his second victory of the season, Kahne now moves into the top Wild-Card spot for one of the final two spots in the Chase for the championship.
“The luck changed today – I will take them any way I can,” said Kahne, who won at Charlotte Motor Speedway back in May. “It feels good to finish one off today.”
Kahne celebrated in Victory Lane with “Loudon the Lobster,” an 18-pound crustacean that was caught 150 miles off the coast of Maine. “Loudon” was presented to Kahne by 12-year-old Ella Lange of Bedford, NH.
Kahne’s previous best New Hampshire finish was fourth in 2004.
Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brad Keselowski round out the top-five.
Hamlin – second – posted his ninth top-ten finish in 13 races at NHMS. It’s his 10th top-ten finish of 2012. A second-career win a NHMS looked very realistic for much of the race, as Hamlin led a race-high 150 laps. But a mis-communication between Hamlin and Crew Chief Darian Grubb during a late caution led to a four-tire change rather than a two, and the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota was forced to play catch-up for the final 50 laps.
“We had a little mis-communication, and that one little mistake cost us the race today,” said Hamlin. “We didn’t get the trophy and we missed out on three points, but that was it. When we come back again in September we will be pretty strong.”
Bowyer knows all about strong Septembers. Bowyer has two wins in September at NHMS, and his third-place finish on Sunday gives him four top-fives in 14 starts at “The Magic Mile.”
“It’s a humbling sport, you go from a win to getting knocked out of the next couple of races,” said Bowyer, who followed his win at Sonoma with a 16th at Kentucky and a 29th last week at Daytona. “It feels good to reach the podium.”
While Hendrick failed to have another driver other than Kahne reach the podium, it was a strong overall day for Hendrick, with, with Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon – sixth and Jimmie Johnson – seventh all finishing inside the top-ten.
“We run better at this track for whatever reason the second time in the season,” said Earnhardt, who now sits 16 points behind Matt Kenseth for the points lead. “I like coming here and I love running here.”
The Cup Series will return to New Hampshire on September 23 for the SYLVANIA 300, the second race in the Chase for the championship.
From New Hampshire Motor Speedway
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