News & Views – Volume 36 – July 23-29,2012

News & Views – Volume 36
For the week of July 23 – 29, 2012

“That’s just shades of the past. That’s the Herminator.” Kenny Wallace after placing 4th in the Nationwide race at Chicagoland Speedway, July 22, 2012 

This past weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, fans watched James Buescher win the American Ethanol 225 on Saturday night in the Camping World Truck series. And on Sunday Elliott Sadler won the STP 300 Nationwide race.  

This coming weekend, the Nationwide teams will make their debut at historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They will race late Saturday afternoon, July 28th.

The Sprint Cup teams also return to the track at Indianapolis, a track all drivers want to win at least once in their racing careers. Their race will be early Sunday afternoon, July 29th as the Race to the Chase continues it’s next chapter.

Taking a break, the Camping World Truck series teams will return to the track at Pocono on August 4th. 

Let’s begin with news for today…

Sunday, July 29, 2012
Penske will meet with Allmendinger to discuss suspended NASCAR driver’s future
NASCAR team owner Roger Penske will meet with suspended driver AJ Allmendinger this week to discuss his future with the team.

Speaking to reporters at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s Brickyard 400, Penske acknowledged that there were no guarantees Allemendinger would get his ride in the No. 22 car back once he has completed a NASCAR-mandated recovery program – Allmendinger’s only path to return from his indefinite suspension for a violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. 

Read more from Washington Post

NASCAR warns drivers about restarts prior to Brickyard 400
NASCAR lectured drivers in their Brickyard 400 prerace meeting Sunday to tell them it’s their responsibility to restart the races correctly.

The reaction from NASCAR came a day after a Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was full of controversy on restarts, including a controversial penalty to series points leader Elliott Sadler for passing leader Brad Keselowski before the starting line on a restart with 18 laps remaining.

Read more from Sporting News

Matt Kenseth staying quiet on deal
Matt Kenseth will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2013, but according to multiple sources, the Sprint Cup points leader can’t talk about it until mid- to late-August at the earliest due to a stipulation in his current contract with Roush Fenway Racing.

Roush announced last month that the 2003 Sprint Cup champion was leaving after the 2012 season and would be replaced by reigning Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Read more from ESPN

SPEED Analyst Debate Allmendinger’s Return to NASCAR
The NASCAR RaceDay panel on Sunday debated the likelihood that suspended NASCAR Sprint cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger will return to the Cup Series following his completion of NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery” program after failing a random drug test. Following are exerpts from that exchange between SPEED analysts Kyle Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds and Kenny Wallace.

Waltrip – “You can fight the wall, you can fight the law, but you can’t fight City Hall. NASCAR learned a lot about how to administer this – substance abuse – program in the – Jeremy – Mayfield situation. I said this a couple weeks ago – they don’t want to suspend drivers; they don’t want to catch drivers doing something wrong, but when they do, these policies are pretty much foolproof. They are what they are.”

Petty – “We all hope he makes it back. We all like to think ‘forgive and forget,’ but this is NASCAR and this is racing and this is competition and this is somebody else’s money. We’re spending corporate America’s dollars on this and he’s not going to come back. I don’t see how he can come back. I’ll say it. I don’t mind saying it. I don’t think he’s going to come back. A Gibbs isn’t going to pick him up. A Hendrick isn’t going to pick him up. A Roush isn’t going to pick him up. And when you have owners like that that have that many teams and have that many employees and have that many things and so many pots on the fire, they cannot afford to have that. I pray that when it all comes out, it’s nothing major. I’m glad he’s on the “Road to Recovery,” but he might as well be on a weight-loss program when it comes to coming back in NASCAR because I don’t see any way for him to come back to this sport.”

McReynolds – “There probably isn’t a more patient owner in our sport than Roger Penske. He will walk the last part of the last mile with you, but we know AJ only had one year on his contract. I’ve been disappointed in that performance over there. In 17 races before this happened, he only had one top-five and three top-tens. He should have won that Martinsville race, but I think even before this happened that he wasn’t going to be in that No. 22 car at the end of 2012. As far as Sam Hornish, it’s no different than any other driver – it’s going to be all about performance. I think that’s one reason they’re only doing a few races at a time – with Hornish.”

Waltrip – “If you take two drivers and they’re of equal talent and you look at their record and this guy over here has been busted for drugs, the scale is tipped.”

Petty – “NASCR has a policy and you’re either positive or you’re negative. It’s like being pregnant – you’re either pregnant or you’re not.”

Wallace – “There’s only one way he makes it back. That’s if he brings $4 or $6 million of someone else’s money to the Nationwide Series.”


2012 NSCS Curtiss Shaver 400 Race Results

Johnson celebrates in Victory Lane at IMS
Photo – Tyler Barrick/Getty Images

Jimmie Johnson, who started sixth in the 2012 NSCS Curtiss Shaver 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, dominated the race by leading 99 of the 160 laps – 250 miles out of 400 miles – and by keeping Kyle Busch behind him by 4.758 seconds for the victory.

This was Johnson’s third series win of the 2012 season, his 58th series career win and his fourth win at Indy – ties Jeff Gordon for the most series wins at the track.

Following Johnson and Busch to the drop of the checkered flag were Greg Biffle finishing third, the new series points leader, Dale Earnhardt Jr – who now leads – for the first time since New Hampshire in September of 2004 – by 14-points over 35th-place finishing Matt Kenseth fourth and Jeff Gordon finished in fifth.

Event pole-sitter Denny Hamlin finished in the sixth position, while Ryan Newman came in seventh, Martin Truex Jr eighth, Brad Keselowski ninth and Tony Stewart rounding out the top-ten finishing positions.

Race Notes
Average Speed – 137.680-mph
Time of Race – 2 hrs, 54 mins, 19 secs
Margin of Victory – 4.758 seconds
Lead Changes – 17 among 9 drivers
Cautions – 5 for 25 laps
Attendance – 125,000

Race Results
Point Standings

Next Up – The Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, August 5th, with an approximate starting time of 1:25pm ET and television coverage provided by ESPN beginning with their pre-race show at 12:00pm ET.

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

RCR driver Elliott Sadler Finishes 15th after Late-Race Penalty at IMS
Elliott Sadler and the No. 2 OneMain Financial team settled for a 15th-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event after being penalized on the final restart of the event. Starting from the fifth position, Sadler worked his way around the 2.5-mile track, racing in the top-five early in the race.

Sadler visited pit road for routine service while under caution periods on laps 38 and 62, never falling out of the top-ten. Sadler moved into the third position by lap 78 and reported that he was happy with the handling on the OneMain Chevrolet. A caution on lap 78 positioned Sadler in the second spot for the restart, lining up the No. 2 Chevrolet on the outside. As the green flag dropped, Sadler moved into the lead, but was penalized by NASCAR as officials reported he crossed the start-finish line before the leader.

Sadler was forced to serve a pass-through penalty on lap 89, returning the No. 2 Chevrolet to the field in the 24th position. He utilized the final 10 laps of the race to regain as many positions back as possible, ultimately crossing the finish line in the 15th position. Sadler remains atop the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship driver point standings, leading his Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon by one point.

“This is a tough one to swallow,” said Sadler. “We really wanted to win this inaugural race. Today my heart was definitely ripped out of my chest. We will rebound from this and the OneMain Financial team will be even hungrier next week at Iowa Speedway for a win.”

From Richard Childress Racing-PR

NAPA and MWR team up to raise more than $72,000 for Colorado wildfire victims
NASCAR Sprint cup team co-owner Michael Waltrip made a special deliver last night in Colorado.

Through a week-long initiative, he along with his NAPA Racing driver Martin Truex Jr, helped their sponsor raise more than $72,000 through a NAPA KNOWS HOW TO CARE campaign. The proceeds will help victims of the wildfires which swept across Colorado last month.

Waltrip, NAPA management and local store owners delivered the check during ceremonies before Saturday night’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway. An additional check will be presented with the proceeds raised by online, local NAPA store efforts and at-track fundraising. Waltrip drove the No. 55 NAPA KNOWS HOW TO CARE Toyota in the event to raise awareness for the program.

From Michael Waltrip Racing-PR

Saturday, July 28, 2012
Economy and lack of action chip away at NASCAR’s popularity
NASCAR’s popularity seems stuck in neutral, never a flattering description even outside this sport.

Although NASCAR remains among the nation’s most popular sports, attendance at many of the 19 Sprint Cup Series races this season was either flat or dipped from a year earlier. So did NASCAR’s average television ratings.

Read more from LA Times

2012 NNS Indiana 250 Race Results

Keselowski wins inaugural Nationwide
Race at famed Indy track

Brad Keselowski and Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish Jr, finished 1, 2 respectively in the inaugural NNS Indiana 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday evening. And, with Keselowski’s victory, Roger Penske and Penske Racing receive their first stock car win at the famous track; as well as, their 100th NNS victory.

This was Keselowski’s 3rd series win of the 2012 season, his 20th series career win and he is the first series winner at “the Brickyard.”

Following Keselowski and Hornish to the drop of the checkered flag were Ty Dillon finishing in third, Denny Hamlin fourth and NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon, finishing in fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Michael Annett finishing sixth, Joey Logano seventh, Paul Menard eighth, Ricky Stenhouse Jr ninth and Jeremy Clements finished in the tenth position.

The series points standings took a controversial turn when Elliott Sadler was black-flagged for jumping the final restart of the race, but Sadler felt that Keselowski had spun his tires – with help from Hornish pushing him – and that he shouldn’t have been penalized. The black-flag resulted in Sadler relinquishing the lead to come down pit road for his drive-through penalty, and ended up finishing in the 15th position. With his 15th-place finish and Austin Dillon’s 5th-place finish, Sadler now has only one-point lead over Dillon.

Race Notes
Average Speed – 126.050-mph
Time of Race – 1 hr, 59 mins, 00 secs
Margin of Victory – 3.304 seconds
Lead Changes – 9 among 6 drivers
Cautions – 5 for 24 laps
Attendance – 40,000

Race Results
Point Standings

Next Up – The 4th annual US Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, August 4th, with an approximate starting time of 8:20pm ET and television coverage provided by ESPN2 beginning at 7:30pm ET.

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Michael McDowell’s qualifying time is disallowed by NASCAR
The 98 car failed post-qualifying inspection; qualifying time disallowed; nitrogen pressure in rear shock exceeded max limit…*19 car will now make the field. 

*19 car belongs to Mike Bliss

From NASCAR Tweet 1 and Tweet 2

2012 NSCS Curtiss Shaver 400 Starting Lineup
Denny Hamlin, with a qualifying lap speed of 182.763-mph, captured the 2012 NSCS Curtiss Shaver 400 Coors Light Pole Award at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This was Hamlin’s second series pole of the 2012 season, his eleventh series career pole and his first series pole at “the Brickyard.”

Sharing the front row with Hamlin to start second and with a qualifying lap speed of 181.984-mph, will be Carl Edwards, and they will be followed by Joey Logano 181.756-mph who will start third, Aric Almirola 181.679 fourth and Greg Biffle 181.532 starting fifth.

Five time series champion, Jimmie Johnson 181.347-mph will start from sixth, while Kyle Busch 181.046 starts seventh, Paul Menard 181.014 eighth, Jeff Gordon 180.952 ninth and the current series points leader, Matt Kenseth 180.654 rounds out the top-ten starting positions.

Failing to make the starting lineup were the #98 driven by Michael McDowell, the #87 driven by Joe Nemechek and the #91 driven by Reed Sorenson.

The 19th annual Brickyard 400 is scheduled to start around 1:20pm ET Sunday afternoon, and television coverage will be provided by ESPN beginning with their 12:00pm ET pre-race program.

Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

SRT Motorsports – Dodge – Keys For Success: Curtiss Shaver 400
Howard Comstock – SRT Motorsports Engineering
Tires – “It doesn’t look like the tires are going to wear out. It looks like it’s going to be impossible to wear out the tires but the lap times continue to fall off. To me the balancing act is going to be deciding how fast the lap times are falling off your car versus how much track position it would cost you to get four new ones. I still think you’re going to see plenty, plenty, plenty of two-tire stops tomorrow. I think we’ve had unusually good weather, moderate weather today and the forecast for tomorrow is going to be hotter, so it’s going to be more slippery. I think the tires will have more fall-off in the hot weather.

Pit Road – “All of the front stretch area seems narrow. That’s part of the charm of Indy, you race through that canyon or that cave. The pit boxes are not very wide but are fairly long. There’s room enough for the teams to maneuver. If somebody comes out of the pit box at you, you can’t move out of the way because of the wall that’s on the inside of the track and the outside of pit road.”

Handling or Horsepower – “Definitely handling. You’ve got to get through those corners in order to carry speed onto the straightaways. If you can hustle that car through the corner you’ll be that much faster when you exit the corner for that long straightaway. It becomes a momentum thing. Because you’re so fast at the end of the straightaways, it really kills your momentum to want to slow down in the turn. So you’ve got to hustle.”

From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports – Dodge -PR

2012 NNS Indiana 250 Starting Lineup
Kasey Kahne, with a qualifying lap speed of 176.284-mph captured the inaugural NNS Indiana 250 Coors Light Pole Award at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This was Kahne’s first series pole of the 2012 season, his ninth series career pole and is the first series pole winner at “The Brickyrd.”

Starting second on the outside pole with a qualifying lap speed of 176.039-mph, will be Kyle Busch, followed by Ty Dillon 175.695-mph starting third, Denny Hamlin 175.606 fourth and the current series points leader Elliott Sadler 175.579 will start fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Joey Logano 175.200-mph starting sixth, NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon 175.172 seventh, Brad Keselowski 174.876 eighth, Paul Menard 174.866 ninth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr 174.696 will start from the tenth position.

Failing to make the starting lineup were the #74 driven by Mike Harmon and the #89 driven by Morgan Shepherd.

The inaugural Indiana 250 is set to get underway around 4:50pm ET this afternoon, and television coverage of the event will be provided by ESPN beginning with their 4:00pm ET pre-race show.

Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS Curtiss Shaver 400 Final Practice Session Speeds
Final practice for the 19th annual NSCS Curtiss Shaver 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is complete, and it was Greg Biffle, with a lap speed of 181.499-mph, posting the fastest lap of the session.

Biffle’s Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Carl Edwards with a lap speed of 181.232-mph, was the second fastest, followed by Joey Logano 181.189-mph who was third fastest, Kasey Kahne 180.999 fourth and Matt Kenseth 180.988 was fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Jimmie Johnson 180.901 who was sixth fastest, Regan Smith 180.890 seventh, Jeff Gordon 180.770 eighth, Jeff Burton 180.730 ninth and Denny Hamlin 180.643 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

The teams will return to action this afternoon at 2:10pm ET for qualifying to determine the starting lineup for the 19th annual Brickyard 400, which is scheduled to start around 1:20pm ET Sunday afternoon. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN beginning with their 12:00pm ET pre-race program.

Final Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS Curtiss Shaver 400 First Practice Session Speeds
After a weekend off for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, teams were up early Saturday morning at the famous “brickyard” of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for their first Curtiss Shaver 400 practice session.

On top of the speed charts at the end of the session with a lap speed of 185.236-mph, was Kasey Kahne followed by Mark Martin, with a lap speed of 183.520-mph, for the second fastest lap; Jeff Gordon 183.292-mph was third fastest, Jimmie Johnson 183.135 fourth and Brad Keselowski 182.916 was fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the practice session were Paul Menard 182.737-mph who was sixth fastest, Dale Earnhardt Jr 181.995 seventh, Matt Kenseth and Casey Mears with the identical lap speed 181.965 were eighth and ninth fastest respectively, and Ryan Newman 181.939 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

The teams will have their “Happy Hour” – final – practice from 10:30 am to 12:20pm ET this morning/afternoon, before returning at 2:10pm ET for qualifying.

The 19th annual Brickyard 400 is scheduled to start around 1:20pm ET Sunday afternoon, and ESPN will provide television coverage beginning with their 12:00pm ET pre-race program.

First Practice Speeds
Qualifying Order

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NASCAR Weather Forecast IMS Super Weekend – Better Weekend Weather
I am out at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races. Although Indiana is under a drought I am glad the weather for the “Super Weekend” is actually very nice. August in Indianapolis can be brutal. It is more like what we saw for the Indianapolis 500 back in May, hot and humid with highs in the mid to upper 90s.

Read more from WX-Man

Long Odds For Series Regulars
In 18 NASCAR Nationwide Series races so far this season, only seven have been won by series regulars.

Unless NNS points leader Elliott Sadler can pull off a victory, do not expect that to change in Saturday’s inaugural running of the Indy 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The field is heavy with NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars, almost all of who have loads of experience at the historic 2.5-mile oval and therefore a huge competitive advantage.

Read more from SPEED

Race team to honor Aurora shooting victims at Brickyard 400
Joe Garone acknowledge that “it was emotional” after decals honoring the victims of last week’s Aurora, CO, shooting were placed on Regan Smith’s car Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Smith’s Furniture Row Racing team is based in Denver, 7 miles from the theater where the gunman killed 12 and wounded 58. Garone, the team’s general manager, said it was important to honor those killed and affected by the shooting.

Read more from USA Today

Edwards feeling pressure entering Brickyard 400
There are 17 races left on this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, but only the next seven matter to Carl Edwards.

Starting with the Brickyard 400 on Sunday, seven races remain to determine which 12 drivers will compete in NASCAR’s Chase for the Cup championship playoff over the final 10 races of the season, and Edwards is in danger of missing the cut.

Read more from Chicago Tribune

Reigning NASCAR champ Tony Stewart loves loaded schedule
Tony Stewart is having fun at work again, and the source of the enjoyment isn’t necessarily driving as NASCAR’s reigning champion.

It’s about driving an average of once a week in some other form of the sport, usually in a sprint car.

Read more from Florida Today

Friday, July 27, 2012
Penske Racing’s Helio Castroneves Selected to Return to “Dancing with the Stars”
Penske Racing is excited to announce that three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves has been selected to participate in ABC’s upcoming season of “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars.” The new season will begin in September and has been billed as an all-star season to include former season champions and fan favorites.

Castroneves won Season Five of “Dancing with the Stars” in 2007 with professional dance partner Julianne Hough, as the Team Penske driver defeated former Spice Girls member Melanie Brown in the finale. Using a memorable yellow suit and Brazilian flair, Castroneves captured the surprising victory as he wowed the millions of fans of the popular show with both his moves and his infectious personality.

In this 13th year with Team Penske in 2012, Castroneves is enjoying one of his best seasons on the race track as he battles for the IZOD IndyCar Series championship. Through 11 races, Castroneves is ranked second in the point standings after earning a victory at Edmonton last weekend. In addition to his two race wins in 2012, Castroneves took the pole posiiton at Barber Motorsports Park and has finished in the top-ten in nine of 11 races driving the No. 3 Shell-Pennzoil/AAAInsurance/Penske Truck Rental Dallara/Chevrolet. Over his illustrious career, Castroneves has earned 27 victories, 37 pole positions and his 4,729 career laps led leads all active IndyCar drivers.

“I am so excited to return to ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” said Castroneves, who was in Hollywood for Thursday’s announcement of the show’s new fall season. “Winning the Mirror Ball” trophy was an unbelievable experience and I’m very honored that the show has asked me back to compete again this season. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun. I can’t wait to start dancing again!”

Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history or professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced 360 major race wins, 419 pole positions and 23 National Championships. The team has also earned 15 Indianapolis 500 victories. For more information about Penske Racing, please visit

From Team Penske-PR

JR Motorsports Launches “Fellows 5 Challenge” For Fans
JR Motorsports launched Thursday a fun and easy online contest that gives fans a chance to put their racing knowledge and prediction skills to the test. Called the Fellows 5 Challenge, entrants will simply answer five multiple-choice questions pertaining to driver Ron Fellows and his upcoming NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Watkins Glen (NY) International and Circuit Gilles in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Multiple prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of each race with the grand prize being a three-day driving experience package at Ron Fellows Performance Driving School at Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club.

“I wanted to give fans a chance to come to Spring Mountain and experience our Corvette driving school,” said Fellows, a road-racing veteran and winner of six NASCAR-sanctioned races. “JR Motorsports came up with the creative idea to make it an engaging game of predictions. It gives fans a unique way to experience these two races, and rather than give away just one driving school package, now we’re giving away two – one for each race!”

The Fellows 5 Challenge is simple: Fans can log onto or and answer five multiple-choice questions based off the following in-race scenarios:

  1. Fellows’ running position at the halfway point
  2. Lap of Fellow’s final pit stop
  3. Total caution laps in the race
  4. Total laps led by Fellows
  5. Fellows’ finishing position
Fans have until the start of each race to submit their entries. The Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen starts at 2pm ET on Aug 11. The NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve starts at 2pm ET on Aug 18.

Each of the Fellows 5 questions comes with its own respective prize. Anyone who guesses a question correctly becomes eligible for that question’s prize with the winner selected by random draw. Prizes include race-worn gloves, race-worn shoes, and autographed 1:24-scale diecasts of the No. 5 Canadian Tire Chevrolet. The grand prize – a three-day driving experience at Ron Fellows Performance Driving School – will be awarded to the person with the most correct answers. In the case of a tie, the winner will be selected by random draw. For official rules and regulations, log onto

For anyone struggling to determine Fellows’ finishing position – Question 5 – the longtime road racer offered this piece of valuable insight: “I plan to win them both.”

Fellows has driven JR Motorsports’ cars in road-course events since 2008, and he put the Dale Earnhardt Jr-owned company in victory lane at Montreal on Aug 2, 2008. That was one of Fellows’ four career Nationwide Series victories to go along with his two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins. In his 10 career races for JR Motorsports, he has finished in the top-ten a remarkable seven times. Outside of NASCAR his is credited with three class championships in the American Le Mans Series, two class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and 19 overal victories in the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am Series as a member of the Corvette Racing Team.

From JR Motorsports-PR

2002 Daytona 500 Champion Ward Burton Shows Off Daytona to Guests
When a Daytona 500 champion returns to Daytona International Speedway, it’s always a special trip for the driver no matter the time of year.

Ward Burton, the 2002 Daytona 500 champion, was at the “World Center of Racing” on Thursday hosting employees and customers from one of his sponsors – State Water Heaters – for a day with the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

“This race track is so full and represents such good things about this sport and NASCAR,” Burton said. “It’s so rich in history. Just coming in the grounds – it feels like hallowed ground. Today, we’re doing an event for State Water Heaters with 25 customers and we do this around the country. Last time we were here doing this was ’09 so we’re glad to be back and doing it at Daytona again.”

Burton plans four of these events per year with State Water Heaters and Richard Petty Driving Experience tracks around the country. He climbs behind the wheel of a two-seat No. 27 State Water Heaters Chevrolet prepared by Richard Petty Driving Experience and gives rides to guests. Following the rides and more instruction, guests then get their turn to drive on the legendary tri-oval.

In February Burton celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Daytona 500 victory by making a return to NASCAR competition for the first time since 2007. He finished eighth in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

These days, Burton’s focus has now shifted to his 19-year-old son Jeb, who wants to follow the footsteps of his Daytona 500-winning father. Jeb Burton who races Late Models out of his own shop in Virginia, made five starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this year notching one top-ten finish.

Ward Burton says Jeb has “raw talent” and he is doing his best to put together sponsorship so his son can compete in a full season of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series beginning next year during Budweiser Speedweeks 2013.

“Jeb did a phenomenal job beyond my expectations with the resources we had and the limited seat time,” Ward Burton said of his son’s five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts. “Actually I’ve been in Orlando the last two days working on sponsorship opportunities for Jeb. I need to get him back out there. He deserves to be there. He has got the talent to represent somebody really well. I’m working everyday for my son.”

From Daytona International Speedway-PR

Thursday, July 26, 2012
2012 NNS Indy 250 Final Practice Session Speeds
Once again it was Kyle Busch on top of the speed charts, as he ran a lap speed of 175.836-mph, to post the fastest lap during the final NNS Indy 250 practice session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Second fastest with a lap speed of 174.700-mph was Kurt Busch, followed by Kasey Kahne 174.639-mph who was third fastest, Sam Hornish Jr 173.695 fourth and Denny Hamlin 173.444 was fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Paul Menard 173.294-mph who was sixth fastest, Justin Allgaier 173.244 seventh, Brad Keselowski 173.017 eighth, NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon 172.804 ninth and Elliott Sadler 172.566 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

The teams will return Saturday afternoon – no NASCAR on-track activity Friday – for qualifying at 12:35pm ET to determine the starting lineup for the inaugural Indy 250, which is set to get underway around 4:50pm ET that afternoon. Television coverage of the event will be provided by ESPN beginning with their 4:00pm ET pre-race show.

Final Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma Launches PSA Featuring Richard Childress
The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma is airing its first public service announcement to raise awareness about the No. 1 killer of children in America – serious injury. The PSA will run on select cable channels in Charter Communications’ service areas throughout the US July 23-August 19.

“More than 12,000 kids die every year from serious injuries, which is more than all other causes combined,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing and co-founder of the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. “When my wife and I heard these numbers, we knew to make an impact to save the lives of injured children across the United States. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma is grateful to Charter for helping us raise awareness of pediatric trauma as a healthcare crisis.”

Serious injuries can happen anywhere at any time to any child. The Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma wants to help every injured child receive the best care, no matter where or how they get hurt.

View the PSA by visiting the Childress Institute’s YouTube channel at Donate now by texting CHILDREN to 80077 to give $10. When prompted, reply YES to confirm. (See terms below).

For more information about how to save he lives of injured children, find the Childress Institute on Twitter @injuredkids, on Facebook at, or online at

About Donations
$10.00 donation to Wake Forest University Health Sciences benefiting the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Races May Apply. Text STOP to 80077 to STOP. Text HELP to 80077 for HELP. Full Terms: Privacy Policy:

From Richard Childress Racing-PR

2012 NNS Indy 250 First Practice Session Speeds
Kyle Busch, with a lap speed of 173.957-mph, was the quickest during the first NNS Indy 250 practice session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Busch’s NSCS teammate, Denny Hamlin, with a lap speed of 173.671-mph, was second quickest, followed by Ty Dillon 172.961 who was third quickest, Mike Bliss 172.275 fourth and current series points leader Elliott Sadler 172.209 was fifth quickest.

Rounding out the top-ten quickest during the session were Ricky Stenhouse Jr 171.828-mph who was sixth quickest, Paul Menard 171.589 seventh, Kasey Kahne 170.999 eighth, Danica Patrick 170.814 ninth and Brad Keselowski 170.416 posting the tenth quickest lap speed.

The teams will have their 3:30 – 5:00pm ET scheduled “Happy Hour” – final – practice session this afternoon before returning Saturday afternoon for qualifying at 12:35pm ET.

The inaugural Indy 250 is set to get underway around 4:50pm ET Saturday afternoon, and ESPN will provide television coverage beginning with their 4:00pm ET pre-race show.

First Practice Speeds
Qualifying Order

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Roush Fenway Looks to “Kiss the Brick” at Indy
Roush Fenway Racing will look to get over the hump this weekend and finally break into the win column at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Despite four runner-up finishes at the famed Brickyard 400, Roush Fenway has never won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With the onset of the inaugural NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis this weekend the team will have a pair of chances to earn the elusive win, and a win on Sunday would give RFR a rare sweep of the season’s Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400.

“Indy has eluded us, but there have been a number of occasions where our cars were good enough to have won,” said team co-owner and founder, Jack Roush. “Either because of a fuel mileage situation or the way it worked out by taking tires or not taking tires it didn’t work out. The decision you sometimes make late in the race will decide what the race has been in terms of where the strength was, and we had the speed to win on a number of occasions but just didn’t have things work out for us at the end so that we could close the deal.”

The team has been close. Former driver Mark Martin finished second in the 1998 Brickyard and Matt Kenseth has finished runner up twice in the event; in 2003 and 2006. Carl Edwards came in second in 2008, while Kenseth and Biffle finished third in both 2002 and 2010. Last season David Ragan drove to RFR’s first Indy pole and the team could be on the verge of breaking through at the 2.5-mile track known for its long straightaways and fast racing.

And Roush admits that closing the deal at the famed speedway would indeed be a special feat for his team, now celebrating its 25th Winning Year in NASCAR.

“There’s a certain reverence that I’ve got for the track and for the fan base around the track based on the fact that it was something that I didn’t actually aspire to,” added Roush. “It was something that I respected as a youngster just because it was an indication that people were out there doing something in racing that I actually thought was beyond my reach.”

Overall, Roush Fenway has made a total of 76 starts at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, dating back to the inaugural event at the Brickyard in 1994. During that span the organization has posted 15 top-five and 29 top-ten finishes at IMS, while averaging a 16.9 finish and leading 167 laps.

“It’s always cool to come to Indy,” said two time Brickyard runner-up and current Sprint Cup point leader Matt Kenseth. “It’s always one you have circled on your calendar and you’re ready to go when you get there. In the past we’ve had some really good runs and some really good cars and haven’t always had the finishes, but it’s probably circumstances more than anything. I think we have equipment as good as anybody, we’ve just got to figure out how to make that all work for there and for the race and strategy that goes into being successful at Indy.”

“This race track is always good to compete on because there’s a lot of history that surrounds the race track,” added Greg Biffle, who enters the weekend third in the Sprint Cup points. “It’s fun to race at Indy. There’s a lot on the line because everybody wants to win the Brickyard.”

From Roush Fenway Racing-PR

Chevrolet Camaro Will Debut in 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series

2013 Nationwide Chevy Camaro

Chevrolet will have a new entry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013: Camaro, the top-selling sports car in America, will make its series debut next February at Daytona International Speedway.

“Chevrolet is proud to bring the Camaro to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013,” said Jim Campbell, vice president, Chevrolet Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “The Camaro Nationwide race car incorporates many of the distinctive styling elements f the production Camaro, including the unique power-bulge hood and deep recessed grille. In addition, the design incorporates the distinction halo light rings and dual-port grille appearances, and the gold bowtie.”

Camaro, which led its segment in sales in 2010 and 2011 and currently leads in 2012, will continue the proud heritage of Chevrolet performance vehicles in one of America’s most prestigious racing series. Chevrolet has more wins, more manufacturers’ championships and more driver’s championships than any other manufacturer competing in the Nationwide Series.

“Our team of Chevrolet designers and aerodynamic engineers did a fantastic job capturing the great looks and styling cues of the production Camaro, while providing our NASCAR Nationwide teams with a highly competitive aero platform,” said Pat Suhy, manager, Chevrolet Racing Oval Track Group. “For the remainder of 2012, our engineers will be busy working with our Chevy teams on wind tunnel and on-track testing to fine-tune the car in preparation for next year. It will be great to see Camaro compete on the track against its showroom competition starting with the 2013 season opener at Daytona.”

Chevrolet currently leads the NASCAR Nationwide Series in wins, manufacturer standings, and in the driver point standings.

“We have been working on this new Camaro for over a year and I am excited to have it approved by NASCAR for 2013 competition in the Nationwide Series,” said Shane Martin, program manager, Chevrolet NASCAR Nationwide Series. “This car has a bold look that will be reinforced by its performance on the race track.”

From Team Chevy-PR

NASCAR’s possible qualifying changes get an unqualified thumbs up
Here’s further proof that the sport once accused of being a dictatorship that cared little about what fans wanted has done a complete 180.

This not your father’s NASCAR, or even your grandfather’s. It’s definitely not Brian France’s grandfather’s NASCAR.

Read more from

2012 NASCAR Weather Forecast Indianapolis Motor Speedway: Possible Severe Storms
I’m traveling today to Indianapolis so my updates will be limited but the main focus of this update is the potential for severe storms later this afternoon in Indianapolis and even into Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and other parts of the Northeast.

Read more from WX-MAN

Wednesday, July 25, 2012
The NASCAR Foundation Reaches $1 Million Donated to Speediatrics Unit at Halifax Health Medical Center
Cartoon Characters adorn the ceiling above each hospital bed. There’s Curves, and Wally Wingman, and of course, Airgun Annie. Autographs – as if in a clubhouse – pepper the walls, from the likes of NASCAR legends Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson. There’s a play room and photos and fun – ways to pass the time, anything to get a child’s mind away from the stress of illness.

“here at the Speediatrics unit everything is excellent, everyone is nice,” said Daytona Beach resident Aatifa Holder, mother to Dimitri Wills, a current patient at Speediatrics. “We’ve been here due to an asthma attack that Dimitri suffered. I’ve told everybody about all the characters on the walls because I haven’t seen this sort of environment at any other hospital. Dimitri enjoys it here, he feels comfortable.”

Dimitri is one of more than 2,000 children a year who receive care at the NASCAR-themed Speediatrics Unit of the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, FL, a program that reached a major milestone on Wednesday. The NASCAR Foundation presented its annual $150,000 donation to the Speediatrics Unit, raising its total contributions to the unit to more than $1 million since the partnership was established in 2006.

“When the foundation began, we had grand dreams of being able to help Speediatrics and other worthy causes in this manner,” said The NASCAR Foundation Chairwoman and Speediatrics founder Betty Jane France. “Those dreams have been realized – and then some. I am so very proud of what the foundation has been able to accomplish on Speediatrics’ behalf. Halifax’s Speediatrics unit is close to my home… and my heart.”

The mission of The NASCAR Foundation’s Speediatrics program is to create a healing environment where children always come first. Through its support of the unit, the foundation continues to help children suffering from illnesses lead healthier and happier lives through state-of-the-art medical care and a strong recovery process, all in an energetic, colorful environment.

France led the check presentation during a special ceremony at Halifax Health Medical Center’s Speediatrics Unit. Attendees included NASCAR President Mike Helton, NASCAR Vice Chairwoman and Executive Vice President and International Speedway Corporation Chief Executive Officer Lesa France Kennedy, Daytona International Speedway President, Joie Chitwood, The NASCAR Foundation Board of Directors, Halifax Health CEO Jeff Feasel and Daytona Beach Mayor Glenn Ritchey.

The Speediatrics unit is a NASCAR-themed 32-bed pediatric unit, a pediatric emergency department and a five-bed pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) located in Halifax Health Medical Center. Highly experienced physicians and pediatric intensive care specialist supported by a team of skilled nurses care for more than 2,000 children each year, including about 300 of those receiving care in the PICU.

“The NASCAR Foundation’s dedication to the Speediatrics Unit at Halifax Health has been paramount to its growth and development over the last six years,” said Jeff Feasel, President and CEO of Halifax Health. “We are more than grateful to have this longstanding relationship with Betty Jane France, the entire France family and The NASCAR Foundation. Their contributions have assisted Halifax Health in providing a warm and positive environment for all of the patients of the Speediatrics unit.”


WESCO Distribution Enters NASCAR with Sponsorship at Richard Childress Racing
WESCO Distribution Inc, a leading full-line wholesale distributor of electrical, industrial, utility and data communications products and advanced supply chain procurement services, has entered a sponsorship with Richard Childress Racing for the 2012 season.

The Pittsburgh-based company will serve as primary sponsor of the No. 51 Chevrolet driven by Ty Dillon in two NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season. The 20-year-old driver’s first scheduled race in the WESCO Chevrolet is set to take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 28, marking a historical weekend for the Nationwide Series as they make their inaugural visit to the famed 2.5-mile track. Dillon is slated to return to the WESCO Chevrolet this fall under the lights in the Nationwide Series event at Richmond International Raceway on Sept 7.

“I’m really looking forward to running some additional Nationwide Series races and having WESCO and their vendor-partners on board with us,” said Ty Dillon. “I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with them already and can’t wait to share in their excitement when they see the No. 51 WESCO Chevrolet on track at Indianapolis.”

In addition, the WESCO logo will adorn the No. 31 Chevrolet driven by Jeff Burton in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as an associate sponsor beginning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and continuing throughout the remainder of the 2012 season.

“We are extremely excited about working with WESCO,” said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “Their first event with Ty and the No. 51 team will be historic since it will also be the first-ever Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We look forward to hosting WESCO’s vendor-partners and customers at the track and creating a unique experience for them to remember.”

For more information on today’s announcement, and all that’s happening at RCR, please visit

From Richard Childress Racing-PR

Jeremy Mayfield defends suspended driver AJ Allmendinger, blasts NASCAR
Jeremy Mayfield tried to fight his way back into NASCAR after being suspended for violating the sport’s substance abuse policy.

But his legal battle ultimately failed and, three years later, Mayfield remains suspended.

So when Mayfield heard that suspended driver AJ Allmendinger would enter the sport’s Road to Recovery program instead of fighting NASCAR, he understood why.

Read more from Sporting News

NASCAR CEO Brian France committed to improving on-track product
NASCAR chairman Brian France doesn’t buy the argument that if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

France said he is committed to ensuring the series has the best racing possible, even if some believe there’s nothing wrong with the current product.

“We can do better. We can have the packages better, tighter racing,” France told The Associated Press in London, where he spoke Wednesday in the Beyond Sports annual summit. “That’s our stated goal and we have to get there. With the new car coming, we want to get this right. And we know it will be hard to keep it right.”

Read more from Washington Post

Amphetamines caused positive test
Suspended Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger tested positive for amphetamines, his business manager confirmed Wednesday.

Tara Ragan, the vice president of Walldinger Racing Inc, said Allmendinger was told when initially suspended by NASCAR on July 7 that amphetamines were found in his drug testing sample taken a week earlier. She said the term was so broad that she opted to refer to it as a stimulant.

Read more from ESPN

Confirmed: Allmendinger tests turned up amphetamines
Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger has agreed to enter NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program, one day after failing a second drug test.

Tara Ragan, vice president of Walldinger Racing and Allmendinger’s business manager, also confirmed Allmendinger tested positive for amphetamines in both A and B samples of the random drug test that brought about his indefinite suspension by NASCAR.

Read more from That’s Racin’

RAB Racing Statement Regarding NASCAR Penalties Levied Against No. 09 NASCAR NNS Team
NASCAR announced yesterday, July 24, penalties for the No. 09 RAB Racing with Brack Maggard team which competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 22. The penalties are a result of rule infraction found in post-race inspection.

Crew chief Scott Zipadelli has been fined $10,000 and place on NASCAR probation until Sept 5. Car chief Travis Young has been placed on NASCAR probation until Sept 5. Additionally, car owner Robby Benson and driver Kenny Wallace have been penalized with the loss of six driver and six owner points, respectively.

“We accept the penalty and fines levied by NASCAR with respect to failing to meet minimum weight requirements in post-race inspection at Chicagoland Speedway,” said Robby Benton, owner RAB Racing with Brack Maggard. “We experienced a part failure that resulted in a piece of ballast being lost from within its container during the event. It was unintentional, and of no fault to Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) or Travis (Young, car chief), but the crew chief and car chief are held liable for such cases. We will not appeal NASCAR’s decision, and will move on to this weekend’s inaugural Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

From RAB Racing with Brack Maggard-PR

Penske, NASCAR Officials on Tonight’s NASCAR Race Hub to Discuss Allmendinger’s Indefinite Suspension
Wednesday’s NASCAR Race Hub welcomes Penske, NASCAR officials to discuss Allmendinger’s indefinite suspension.

Hammond assesses Allmendinger’s chances at return to No. 22 Dodge in Q&A Below

Wednesday’s NASCAR Race Hub on SPEED – 6pm ET – offers in-depth, continuing coverage of the fallout from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger’s indefinite suspension from NASCAR for violation of the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.

Tonight’s NASCAR Race Hub features extensive interviews and analysis of the next steps for Allmendinger, Penske Racing and all affected by the news.

Scheduled for Wednesday’s show, hosted by Danielle Trotta are:

  • Tim Cindric, president of Penske Racing, will discuss what is next for the No. 22 team
  • Tara Ragan, VP of Walldinger Racing Inc.
  • David Higdon, Managing Director of NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications, will discuss NASCAR’s “Road to Recovery” program
  • SPEED analysts Larry McReynolds, Bob Dillner and Matt Clark break down the news and its implications
Furthermore, SPEED analyst Jeff Hammond offers his perspective below on how Allmendinger’s suspension affects Penske Racing and its sponsors across the board:

Q: How do Allmendinger’s indefinite suspension and Penske Racing’s resulting driver change disrupt the team across the board, from team chemistry to the sponsor?

Hammond: “This is very upsetting to Penske Racing and its sponsors because it’s embarrassing to the team and everyone involved. This group of guys worked all year to build this chemistry and make it work for the No. 22 team, and now it has all come apart at the seams. The good thing about this driver change is that Sam Hornish Jr has been with Penske Racing and understands the company and the team, which gives them a comfort level as they make this difficult transition. It will take a little time for him and Todd Gordon to get on the same page, but at least their philosophies are the same. Hornish has a relationship and rapport with Penske and Pennzoil to fall back on. His history with Pennzoil is a blessing in disguise for everyone since Sam has been a champion of their product in the past. Additionally, Roger Penske has weathered so many storms over the years with Kurt and now AJ, and he will get through this with the grace and respect we all expect from him.”

Q: Since Allmendinger has elected to follow NASCAR’s Road to Recovery program for possible reinstatement, what are his odds of returning to Penske Racing or any other top Cup Series team?

Hammond: “Whether or not AJ regains his seat at Penske or another top team depends on how honest and open he is with everyone involved regarding what he did and what he was caught with. He will have to step forward and make sure we all understand what substance was involved. That must come first and must be addressed by AJ. His honesty and candor, like he displayed when he handled his DUI, will directly impact whether he can get over this hurdle. AJ must be willing to man up and come clean. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes and what he says before I can offer more opinion on his future in the sport because I just don’t know if he can make it back or not. If he keeps all this in the closet, I don’t think he can.”


Pastrana turns to vet Crafton for help in NASCAR
Crafton says his biggest challenge is to break some of the “bad habits” that Pastrana has picked up in other forms of racing. Going through a turn completely sideways might be textbook driving in rally cars, but it doesn’t work in NASCAR

Read more at Fox News

Allmendinger Update: Road to Recovery
Statement from Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc.

“While we await further information from testing to determine the cause, we have notified NASCAR that AJ will participate in the Road to Recovery Program starting immediately. As we have stated earlier, we respect NASCAR’s drug testing policies. They are first and foremost in place to protect drivers and AJ being among those. We fully support the program, and as more details become available, we will share them. We would like to personally thank Mr. Helton and John Bobo for helping work through this in an expeditious manner.”

– Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc.

From Walldinger Racing Inc-PR

Jeff Gordon’s other Drive for Five
For more than a decade, Jeff Gordon has worked on a familiar quest – the Drive for Five. His fourth Cup championship was 11 years ago.

He has a different Drive for Five this weekend. He still wants to become the first driver to win the Brickyard 400 five times.

Read more from ESPN

Alex Tagliani to Driver Turner Motorsports No. 30 in Upcoming NNS race at Montreal
Turner Motorsports will field the No. 30 Chevrolet with driver Alex Tagliani for the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal on August 18, 2012. Tagliani, a hometown favorite in Montreal, will compete on the circuit he knows well after narrowly finishing second in an epic battle to the finish during last year’s event. He hopes to better that result in 2012.

“I’m always proud to come back to Montreal and to be able to race on this fantastic road course named after one of my all-time racing heroes, Gilles Villeneuve,” said Tagliani. “I really wanted to race here again, so when the opportunity presented itself with Turner Motorsports and we were no longer scheduled to be overseas, I was pretty excited. In Formula Atlantic, I won here from the pole and also had a pole in Indy Car. Montreal has been good to me  to date and I’m hoping to better my race history here. Having a competitive car to challenge for the win is all I can wish for.”

“Last year’s race was a great experience and it was amazing to qualify on the front row and finish the race second. This year is really cool because I met Trent Owens – crew chief of the No. 30 entry for Turner Motorsports – in Kershaw and he was really helpful, answering all my questions even though, at that time, he was working with his own team. It’s ironic that we are going to work together a few short years later. He’s an amazing guy, so I’m excited. I’m honored to drive for Turner Motorsports. This is a passionate group of individuals that make up an awesome team. From Steve – Turner – to all the mechanics, I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at the shop.”

Owens is looking forward to the opportunity to work with Tagliani in the upcoming event.

“We are looking forward to working with Tag. Looking at what he is capable of doing in IndyCar with a new team with a one-car operation for the last two street course-qualifying sessions says it all. But last year is what impressed me. He missed the pole by just a little bit, and then ran a mistake-free race. Racing in the open wheel circuits makes him drive with a lot of respect on the track and that’s important.”

Montreal-native Tagliani has raced across the country throughout his career.

“I feel like I’m covering Canada well this season, with two races in IndyCar – Toronto and Edmonton – and the Nationwide race in Montreal now,” added Tagliani. “My sponsors are excited to spend the week in this beautiful city.”

Steve Turner, owner of Turner Motorsports, feels Tagliani’s road course experience will be an added advantage to his entire organization.

“Our team is looking forward to working with Tag. The type of experience he can bring to our organization and road course program is invaluable and will be a big advantage for us. We have one road course win under our belt already this season after Nelson Piquet Jr’s win at Road America, and we fully expect to be able to bring home another with Alex in Montreal.”

Francois Dumontier, President and CEO of Octane Management, the promoter of the event, is thrilled to have Tagliani’s presence at the upcoming event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

“We are glad to confirm with Turner Motorsports the presence of Alex at our upcoming NAPA Auto Parts 200 presented by Dodge. With the excellent finish he recorded in Montreal last year and the very good car he will be driving this year, he must be considered as a serious contender for the win,” said Dumontier. “Alex is a determined man and a driver with a true passion for auto racing. All his efforts on-track and off-track with fans and sponsors have not always been rewarded as they should have. We wish him to encounter a success he largely deserves, during the weekend of August 16, 17, & 18,” added Dumontier.

From Turner Motorsports-PR

Where Does Penske Go From Here?
One of the busiest weeks of the NASCAR season just got a lot busier for team owner Roger Penske.

As teams prepare to converge on Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Crown Royal 400, generally considered the second most important race weekend of the season, Penske, one of the bedrock players at Indy for 40 years, will be dealing with the aftermath of driver AJ Allmendiner’s indefinite suspension for failing a NASCAR drug test.

Read more from Fox News

Danica will ‘struggle big time’ in Sprint Cup – Dale Jarrett & Andy Petree say
While they think Danica Patrick is doing a solid job in the Nationwide Series, two former NASCAR champions are far from sold on how well she will perform in the Sprint Cup Series next year.

In fact, Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree, both color analysts for ESPN, believe Patrick will struggle when she moves to Sprint Cup.

Read more from Sporting News

Stewart optimistic about Indy, three-car future
It’s always been a big deal for Indiana native Tony Stewart to head to his home state for a race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and this weekend figures to be no different.

Speaking on a national teleconference call Tuesday, Stewart touched on his pending return to Indy as a driver and also said he continues to work hard as an owner to find a way to keep Ryan Newman as a fellow driver while expanding Stewart-Haas Racing to a three-car team in 2013.

Read more from

Allmendinger must pay the price for failed drug test – regardless of circumstances
At the very least he faces a long, long road to get another opportunity to race in one of NASCAR’s top series.

And that’s a shame.

Read more from Sporting News

Todd Bodine not happy with changes to BMS layout
Todd Bodine is not happy about the facelift to Bristol Motor Speedway.

According to the veteran NASCAR driver, track owner Bruton Smith went too far in reacting to the complaints of disgruntled fans.

Read more from Tri Cities

SRT Motorsports – Dodge – Presents The Numbers – Curtiss Shaver 400
The Numbers for Indianapolis Motor Speedway – All 18 Sprint Cup Races
1 – fewest cautions – 8/5/95
2 – races won from the pole; three from the front row
3 – most poles – Jeff Gordon
3 – races won from outside a top-20 starting position
4 – most wins – Jeff Gordon
4 – drivers with more than one win – Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jarrett, Tony Stewart
4 – fewest caution laps – 8/5/95
5 – fewest leaders – 8/5/00
6 – number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend
9 – fewest lead changes – three times, most recent 7/26/09
11 – different race winners
11 – fewest laps led by race winner – Dale Jarrett, 8/3/96
13 – most cautions – 8/8/04
14 – fewest cars on lead lap at finish – 8/5/00
15 – different pole winners
26 – most lead changes – 7/27/08
27 – fewest cars running at finish – 8/8/04
36 – most cars on lead lap at finish – 7/27/08
41 – most cars running at finish – 7/27/08
52 – most caution laps – 7/27/08
150 minutes – approximate amount of time it takes to dry the 2.5-mile track
124 – most laps led by race winner – Jeff Gordon 8/8/04

2012 Caution Update
1 – fewest cautions this season – Fontana
5 – races extended beyond scheduled distance – Daytona1, Martinsville, Talladega, Darlington and Sonoma
10 – most cautions this season – Daytona1
103 – cautions in the first 19 races of 2012; includes 43 for accidents, 31 for debris and 12 for spins
541 of 5,488 – laps under caution in 2012
775.871 of 7,374.956 – miles under caution in the first 19 races

From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports – Dodge-PR

Statement from Shell Oil Company Regarding AJ Allmendinger B Sample Test Results
Shell and Pennzoil believe that the process and procedures that NASCAR has in place as part of their substance abuse policy are appropriate and serve to ensure that the sport and its participants are held to the highest standards.

We share Penske Racing’s disappointment with the result of AJ’s – Allmendinger – B sample test and will work closely with them to determine plans moving forward. We hope for the best for AJ during this difficult time.

From Shell Motorsports US Communications-PR

2012 NASCAR Weather Forecast for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Super Weekend
Focus for this forecast is the potential for strong to potentially severe weather Thursday afternoon and very hot temperatures. Highs on Thursday could be in the upper 90s to near 100. This could also be good fuel for potentially strong storms late Thursday as a cold front works across the Midwest and Ohio Valley. The good news about this cold front will be rain and some relief from the current heat.

Read more from WX-MAN

Indianapolis working harder than ever to attract fans for Brickyard 400
For most of its storied 104-year career, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway didn’t have to do much more than open its doors to attract a big crowd.

A soured economy, a lack of compelling races and the tire debacle of 2008 changed all that.

Read more from Brainerd Dispatch

Can No. 39 car survive without US Army sponsorship?
The US Army is pulling its NASCAR sponsorship next year, but Tony Stewart is confident his Sprint Cup team will recruit enough replacement sponsorship to run three teams in 2013.

Stewart-Haas Racing will add a Chevrolet in NASCAR’s premier series as Danica Patrick moves full time into Cup. The sponsorship is expected to follow Patrick on her No. 10 Impala, but that still leaves a hole on the No. 39 Chevy driven by Ryan Newman.

Read more from Detroit Free Press

What’s next for AJ Allmendinger
Now that Sprint Cup Series driver AJ Allmendinger has been indefinitely suspended for failing a random drug test, what happens next?

Well, it’s really up to the driver.

NASCAR spokesman David Higdon explains the next steps:

“Under section 19-11F in our rule book, NASCAR facilitates assistance for anyone testing positive under our substance abuse program. When a license is suspended, NASCAR sends a letter for reinstatement. By agreeing to the terms of the letter, the member is allowed to participate in the Road to Recovery Program,” he said.

“The Program Administrator will work with the suspended member to arrange evaluation by a substance abuse professional. This evaluation helps the PA create a road map leading to a return to competition. This plan may include everything from counseling to in-house treatment and rehabilitation. Additional testing is also required, and the Program Administrator will decide how often the member will be tested, for what and under what conditions.

“Once the member successfully completes the plan, the PA will send a letter to NASCAR recommending reinstatement.”

One caveat. Allmendinger can be reinstated but there is no guarantee he can return to the ride he left, driving the No.22 Dodge for Penske Racing. That would be up to the team.

From That’s Racin’ Lucky Dog

Tuesday, July 24, 2012
BREAKING NEWS – Allmendinger Indefinitely Suspended From NASCAR Competition
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the No. 22 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. 

On July 24, Allmendinger was found to have violated Sections 12-1 – actions detrimental to stock car racing – and 19 – NASCAR’s substance abuse policy – of the 2012 NASCAR rule book.

As outlined in the rule book, NASCAR next will provide Allmendinger a letter outlining a process for reinstatement. By agreeing to the letter, he will be allowed to participate in the Road to Recovery program.


Penske Racing Statement on B Sample
In accordance with NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy, Penske Racing was notified today of AJ Allmendinger’s positive B sample test. We respect NASCAR’s policy and the process they have taken with this matter.

Penske Racing is very disappointed with the result of the B sample test and will evaluate its course of action as it pertains to AJ over the coming week.

Sam Hornish Jr will drive the No. 22 Dodge Charger this weekend at Indianapolis and next weekend at Pocono.

From Penske Racing-PR

Statement from Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc
Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashvillle has delivered the results of the “B” sample test for Penske Racing driver AJ Allmendinger, which confirmed the results of the “A” test.

“This is not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this. To that end, we have secured the services of an independent lab to conduct thorough testing on every product within AJ’s home and motor coach to find what might collaborate with his test, which created results that were within nanograms of accepted standards. We are working closely with NASCAR and Penske Racing to identify the next action steps in this process. We continue to be extremely grateful by the breadth and scope of support for AJ from his fans and partners. We would like to again thank NASCAR, Penske Racing and all our sponsor partners for the open communications, and for helping us every step in the process. We expect to further updates in the upcoming days.”

– Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc.

From Walldinger Racing Inc-PR

NASCAR CEO backs drug program
NASCAR CEO Brian France said Tuesday he is confident in the series’ drug testing program that is under scrutiny again after AJ Allmendinger’s failed test.

“We believe it’s a strong testing system that works,” France told The Associated Press in London, where the NASCAR executive will speak Wednesday at the Beyond Sports Summit. “We’ve got the best guy – David Black – running the program, and it’s a solid system that we believe does the job intended.”

Read more from ESPN

Speedway Officials Release 1,000 Additional Pre-Race Pit Passes for September
A record number of fans took advantage of New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s ultimate pre-race experience at the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 on July 15. In September, “The Magic Mile” will set a new record as speedway officials announce that they have made another 1,000 “Pre-Race Pit Passes” available for the SYLVANIA 300, the second race in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

The speedway increased its pre-race infield pit-pass allowance by 300 percent for the LENOX 301 on July 15 and a similar number was anticipated for the SYLVANIA 300 on Sept 23. But due to popular demand, the speedway ticket office is offering another 1,000 opportunities to get up close and personal with fans’ favorite Sprint Cup drivers.

“I walked down pit road and through the garages prior to the race on Sunday, and the emotion and passion from our fans was intoxicating,” said Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. “This truly is the ultimate fan experience and to be able to offer this to another 1,000 people is fantastic.

The speedway accommodated the record-setting infield attendance on July 15 by adding additional gates on the frontstretch. This provided fans with easier and faster access to the grandstands once it was time to drop the green flag. The speedway also changed the location of where Cup teams prepared for the races, as after nearly two decades of heading to the north end, drivers look center stage in the infield’s center garage, a change that made life easier for fans and teams alike.

The pre-race pit pass allows fans to experience pit road from a crew member’s perspective before the big race and stand in front of the stage for September’s featured concert. Pre-race pit passes are valid until one hour prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

For more details and ticket information on events at New Hampshire Motor speedway or to purchse tickets to the upcoming SYLVANIA 300 NASCAR weekend, Please stop by our Ticket Office, visit the speedway website at or call our Ticket Hotline 603-783-4931

From New Hampshire Motor Speedway – PR

No. 09 NASCAR Nationwide Series Team Penalized For Infractions at Chicagoland
NASCAR has issued penalties to the No. 09 team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, as a result of rules infractions found on July 22 during post-race inspection at Chicagoland Speedway.

Crew chief Scott Zipadelli has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Sept. 5 for violating Sections 12-1 – actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12-4J – any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20A of the rule book or has not be approved by NASCAR prior to the event; 20A-2.3A – improperly attached weight; and 20A-2.4B – car failed to meet minimum weight requirements in post-race inspection. Car chief Travis Young has been place on NASCAR probation until Sept 5 for the same infractions.

Driver Kenny Wallace and owner Robby Benton have been penalized with the loss of six championship driver and six championship owner points for violating Sections 12.1: 12-4J; and 20A-2.4B.


KBM ends year as two-truck team
Kyle Busch Motorsports announced recently that it has hired Germain Quiroga, a three time NASCAR Mexico Series champion, to drive a second truck for the organization in four races at the end of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season.

Read more from Examiner

Expert says AJ Allmendinger’s defense is ‘plausible’
Will “B” day for AJ Allmendinger be remembered as the “D” Day for his NASCAR career?

The question mostly will become moot if the “B” sample of the Penske Racing driver’s positive drug test last month returns negative after being tested today at Aegis Sciences Corp. in Nashville. – The test was scheduled to begin at 9am ET.

Read more from USA Today

‘Bachelorette’ Emily Maynard – NASCAR’s Rick Hendrick ‘like family,’ was supportive
Former NASCAR girl Emily Maynard, the star of the TV reality show The Bachelorette, says the paternal grandparents of her daughter, Ricki, have been supportive as she sought a husband during the program’s latest season.

Maynard’s daughter, Ricki, now 7, is the daughter of former NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick and the granddaughter of Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick.

Read more from Sporting News

NASCAR’s Tony Stewart & Office Depot Foundation team up to donate 6,000 Sackpacks
Office Depot, Inc, a leading global provider of office supplies and services, and the Office Depot Foundation today announced that Tony Stewart driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, will join the Foundation to donate 6,000 new sackpacks to non-profit organizations, schools, agencies in the Indianapolis area.

The Office Depot Foundation will present the sackpacks, which contain essential school supplies, during a special “Back-to-School Celebration” beginning at 3:30pm local time on Wednesday, July 25 at the Office Depot store located at 4200 S. East St. in Indianapolis. In addition to Stewart, special guests scheduled to attend include State Representative Cindy Noe; Jeff Cardwell, Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Councilor for District 23; Daniel Moriarty, Perry Township Trustee; and Ginny Cain, Central Indiana Regional Director fro US Senator Dan Coats; and Mike Brown and Indiana Senator Mike Delph.

Stewart, who grew up and still resides in Columbus, IN, is partnering with the Office Depot Foundation for the fourth consecutive year to support the Foundation’s National Sackpack Program, which is donating 400,000 sackpacks throughout the 2012 back-to-school season – the most sackpacks given out in a single year.

During the past five years, the Office Depot Foundation has donated more than 25,000 backpacks and sackpacks to Indianapolis-area children. By the end of this year, the National Backpack Program will have helped more than 2.9 million kids worldwide since 2001.

From Businesswire-PR

Big Machine Label Group & FRM offer Fans Chance to Win Signed Guitar & Race-Used Firesuit
Big Machine Records and Front Row Motorsports are giving fans of racing and country music alike the chance to win a signed guitar and race-used firesuit through the Racecars and Country Stars Sweepstakes.

Fans can win a David Gilliland race-used firesuit and a guitar signed by Big Machine Label Group recording artists: The Band Perry, Justin Moore, The Mavericks, Greg Bates and Sunny Sweeney. Prior to entering, fans will need to ‘like’ both Big Machine Label Group and Front Row Motorsports on Facebook. Fans can earn additional bonus entries by ‘liking’ the pages of Big Machine recording artists and Front Row Motorsports partners.

Visit to enter and view official rules. David Gilliland will drive the No. 38 Racecars and Country Stars / Big Machine Records Ford in Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Runner-Up prizes include CD’s from Big Machine Label Group recording artists and items autographed by David Gilliland.

The contest will run through August 24th, 2012. A winner will be announced by September 1st.

From Breaking Limits Marketing for Front Row Motorsports-PR

France to discuss NASCAR initiatives at summit
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France will participate in Beyond Sport’s annual summit in London. It begins Tuesday, a few days before the start of the Olympics.

On Wednesday, France will participate in a panel entitled “Mobilizing Millions,” in which he will highlight NASCAR’s efforts in green, diversity and charitable giving. Joining France will be Dr. Robin Peterson, CEO of the South African Football Association; Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef, Emmy Award-winning television personality and health advocate; and Paddy Harverson, spokesperson for Prince Charles.

Moderated by Dr. Michael Lynch, NASCAR’s managing director of green innovation, the panel will discus how sport can be used as a tool to trigger large-scale change. Participants will analyze how sports organizations, personalities and governing bodies can use the power of the sport to improve lives, positively change behavior or empower people on a global scale.

Also on Wednesday, France will present the Sport for the Environment Award to a recipient who has put forth significant efforts to reduce sports’ impact on the environment.

“A key part of Beyond Sport’s mission is to bring together people from different spheres to share their experiences and to learn from each other,” said Nick Keller, founder of Beyond Sport. “Between them, through inspiration and education, these people and their organizations have changed the outlooks, perspectives and even living habits of millions of people around the world, and their insights are invaluable.”

The Beyond Sport summit is convened to celebrate, promote and drive sport-led social change. The event features networking opportunities, panels and action-led working sessions that include those from the worlds of sports, business and government. It will play host to a wide range of global luminaries, including Muhammad Ali, David Beckham and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

In May, NASCAR 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 joined a coalition of leagues that includes Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the NBA and WNBA, the NFL and the NHL as part of Beyond Sport’s wider global network. NASCAR is the first and only motorsports organization aligned with Beyond Sport.

In addition to France, each of the following panelists will share their unique perspective with the global audience:

  • Dr. Robin Peterson, CEO of the South African Football Association. Peterson is one of the most influential figures in African sport, and will talk about the power of the Rainbow Nation’s most popular sport and how it can genuinely help unite and build a nation.
  • Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef, Emmy Award-winning television personality and health advocate. His popular program “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” has earned him wide notoriety as a critic of processed foods in public schools and was recently awarded the Harvard School of Public Health’s Healthy Cup Award.
  • Paddy Harverson, a key player in the media relations world from a number of perspectives, but is best known for his role at the Clarence House as the official spokesperson for Prince Charles, Duke of Cambridge. He spent four years as director of communications for the Manchester United Premier League football club and most recently coordinated communications for the union of Prince William and Kate Middleton. He will discuss the major shift in modern media and its significance in influencing people’s behavior for the better.
From NASCAR Official-PR

Qualifying on time
NASCAR is kicking around the idea of qualifying the top 38 drivers on time and cutting the number of provisionals down to four plus one for former champions. With sponsors at a premium right now, it could be catastrophic to eliminate provisionals altogether, particularly when a driver missing a race could result in a benefactor pulling its support from the team.

Read more topics from FOX Sports – scroll down to see this topic

JTG Daugherty Racing Announces Interim Crew Chief and New General Manager
Approaching the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race weekend, JTG Daugherty Racing announced today significant changes that include a new general manager and crew chief change for the No. 47 single-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operation.

Bobby Hutchens joins the racing organization as general manager.

“Bobby Hutchens is someone I have admired for a long time and the individual I’ve turned to many times for direction over my 18 years as a car owner,” said JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter. “In my opinion, he is the best in the business and we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber step in to help steer our team in the right direction during this important transition.”

David Hyder will assume the role of interim crew chief for this weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We have our eye on the crew chief that we want for the long term, but couldn’t get it all done in time for the next few races,” Geschickter said. “We would rather make the right decision for the long term. We are fortunate to have David Hyder working at JTG Daugherty Racing every day as crew chief for the K&N Pro Series East team that we have been preparing each week for Cale Conley. He has a wealth of Spring Cup experience and we know he will do a great job until we make our decision.”

Todd Berrier, who joined JTG Daugherty Racing at the end of the 2011 season as crew chief and general manager, recently accepted a position with another team that was announced today. Co-owner Brad Daugherty stated that the departure will not deter the team from reaching its goals.

“Todd Berrier did a great job and we wish him the best in his new opportunity,” Daugherty said. “We have great people throughout the organization and with the leadership of a champion like Bobby Hutchens we will stay focused on being the number one single-car team competing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit.”

This season, Labonte’s best finish in 19 starts is 10th at Daytona International Speedway in the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola. Following the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is 23rd in the official driver standings. In the midst of the season, Labonte and his team embrace the changes.

“Like Tad mentioned, Hyder has been in our race shop all year with the K&N Pro Series East team and he knows all the guys and some of them have worked on his cars,” Labonte said. “The fact that he already knows everyone and has experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, makes him a great choice to help us in our transition.

“Bobby Hutchens is very knowledgeable and experienced,” Labonte continued. “He has a want and desire to do this, which will really help our small team become more structured so that we can keep moving forward. This is going to be a great advantage for us.”

Labonte’s team is prepared for the Brickyard this weekend as they display SCOTT Products on the hood of the No. 47 Toyota Camry. In 18 starts at the Brickyard, Labonte has one win – 8/5/2000 – four top-five, five top-ten and has led 30 laps. His best start is 3rd – 2000 – and he holds the race record – 155.912-mph on 8/5/2000.

“I think it’s going to be a little different this time around because it is the first time the NASCAR Nationwide Series cars are on the track,” Labonte said. “Normally, the track usually tightens up throughout the race. This track is fun and challenging. It can be a hard track to pass on. Therefore, track position is going to be the key. I love going there. The year I won there with Joe Gibbs Racing, we were on a roll. We had everything going for us. After it was all said and done, not many guys can say they’ve won there. It’s just an awesome feeling. At the end of the day, reflecting back, we won the Brickyard and the championship in the same year. It’s a neat feather in your cap. I’m looking forward to being back and racing there this weekend.”

From JTG-Daugherty Racing-PR

Todd Berrier Named Crew Chief for the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet
Furniture Row Racing announced today that Todd Berrier has been named crew chief for the team’s No. 78 Chevrolet driven by Regan Smith.

Berrier, who replaces Pete Rondeau, will take over the crew chief duties immediately. His first race on the pit box will be Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

In making the announcement team general manager Joe Garone said, “Todd will be a great fit with our operation. The skill sets he has acquired during a successful crew chief career will be valuable assets as we move forward with a high level of energy and anticipation.”

Berrier worked as a Sprint Cup crew chief for 11 years at Richard Childress Racing (RCR) before joining JTG Daugherty Racing and driver Bobby Labonte at the start of the 2012 season.

During his tenure at RCR, Berrier was crew chief for eight victories, including two of NASCAR’s biggest events, the Daytona 500 – 2007 with Kevin Harvick – and the Brickyard 400 – 2003 also with Harvick.

Berrier directed Harvick’s Chase playoff appearances in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Along with serving as Harvick’s crew chief, Berrier also worked in the same capacity with RCR drivers Jeff Burton, Casey Mears and Jeff Green.

“Furniture Row Racing has a reputation in the Sprint Cup garage for its commitment and potential,” said the 42-year-old Berrier. “I welcome this opportunity and can’t wait to begin my new position at Indianapolis this weekend.

From DMF Communciations for Furniture Row Racing-PR

Monday, July 23, 2012
AJ Allmendinger’s second drug test set for Tuesday; Penske driver’s career in the balance
AJ Allmendinger should know by Thursday at the latest whether he will get to race this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway or whether his future as a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver is in jeopardy.

Read more from Sporting News

Fifth Brickyard Win Could Cause Conflict in Jeff Gordon Clan
Surprisingly, Jeff Gordon wants “Super Weekend” to end with a family argument.

The four-time Brickyard 400 winner grew up in the shadows of historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway – IMS – in nearby Pittsboro, so each trip to the famed speedway is special to Gordon. But if he collects trophy No. 5 on Sunday, it could set off fireworks in the Gordon household.

“I want to bring that trophy (home) and watch [son Leo and daughter Ella] fight over it,” said Gordon in an ESPN interview scheduled to air during Sunday’s pre-race show. “These days, Leo’s been starting some fights, so I’m curious to see who would win.

“And for that trophy to be a fifth Brickyard trophy? That’d be a good day.”

Along with topping the list for most NASCAR Sprint Cup victories at the 2.5-mile track, Gordon also ranks first in: poles – 3, top-fives – 10, four more than any other driver, top-tens – 14 and laps led – 476, 249 more than any other driver in 18 starts at IMS.

“Growing up here and going to the track numerous times as a kid, there is just something special about each trip here,” said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet. “But that special feeling changes quickly when I get out on the track because this place is so challenging.

“The four corners look the same, but each is unique with different transitions and bumps. As a driver, factoring that in with the few little dips, the way the wind is blowing, the radius and everything else can give you an advantage.

“But the car has to be good, as well. We’ve had the best car or one of the best cars in each of the races we’ve won here.”

Gordon arguably had the best car here last year, but he was unable to catch and pass fuel-saving winner Paul Menard.

“We ran well here last year,” said Gordon, who led 36 laps en route to a runner-up finish here in 2011. “A lot has changed since we were here last, but I’m hoping we can take what we’ve learned in that time and be even faster, even better this year.”

Which could net another trophy for Gordon. And set off a family squabble.

From Performance PR Plus-PR

NAPA and MWR team up to raise funds for Colorado wildfire victims
NAPA Auto Parts NASCAR Sprint Cup team co-owner Michael Waltrip will make a special delivery Saturday, July 28 in Colorado.

Waltrip and MWR driver Martin Truex Jr are asking race fans to participate in the NAPA KNOWS HOW TO CARE campaign to benefit victims of the wildfires which swept across Colorado last month.

Fans may participate by making PayPal donations to the American Red Cross at from now until Sunday, July 29.

Waltrip and NAPA management will deliver a check for $25,000 from NAPA AUTO PARTS during ceremonies before Saturday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race at Colorado National Speedway. An additional check will be presented with the proceeds raised by online, local NAPA store efforts and at-track fundraising. Waltrip will be driving the No. 55 NAPA KNOWS HOW TO CARE Toyota in the event to raise awareness for the NAPA KNOWS HOW TO CARE program.

“We are racing in Denver and have this opportunity to show the great people of that region what NASCAR is all about,” said Waltrip. “We will be collecting donations from fans and partners and can deliver a message of support. Those fires cost more than $60 million to fight and burned more than 225,000 acres of land and they need our help.

“I love racing in the K&N West series events and it is a big weekend for NAPA which will be hosting almost 700 guests there. We wanted to do more than race, we wanted to help heal.”

Truex said raising money for the wildlife victims fits with NAPA’s effort to assist people in need.

“NAPA has done some great things helping families with the NAPA KNOWS HOW TO CARE program and I’m really proud to be able to join in helping people of Colorado,” said Truex. “We have race fans all over the country and I know some of our fans lost their homes and personal belongings. They will have to rebuild and this is our small way of helping out.”

Waltrip will sign autographs at a NAPA fundraiser for the disaster relief fund Friday from 5-8pm MST at the NAPA Denver Distribution Center, 2101 Highway 224, Denver, CO. NAPA will provide free hamburgers and hot dogs to the public. All donations can either be made in person at the fundraiser event, Colorado National Speedway, or you can simply text “RED CROSS” to the number 90999 to make a $10.00 donation.

“The wildfires have had a big impact on our state. Many of our friends and customers lives have been changed by this tragedy. This event is NAPA AUTO PARTS way of helping those in need and saying thank you to those who have risked their lives fighting these fires,” said Will Rogers, District Manager of NAPA AUTO PARTS Denver Distribution Center.

“When disaster strikes, it’s hard to determine how to help, so we just hope by hosting this event and utilizing our resources we can help make a difference,” said Scott Carlson, General Manager of NAPA AUTO PARTS Denver Distribution Center.

From Michael Waltrip Racing-PR

Martinsville Speedway president on plane that crashed in Henry County
Clay Campbell was one of seven people on the beachcraft. No injuries were reported.

A plane crashed at the Blue Ridge Regional Airport in Henry County early Sunday morning. On that plane was the president of the Martinsville Speedway, Clay Campbell.

Read more from SDBJ7

Chicagoland Attendance knuckled by bad planning
Sometimes, you just have to shake your head and wonder what NASCAR was thinking.

That surely was the case when attendance for both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Saturday and Sunday’s NASCAR Nationwide event at Chicagoland were announced at 25,000 fans. Those are pretty paltry numbers considering the massive Chicago market and makes you wonder why fans stayed away in droves.

Here’s one theory.

Read more from Close Finishes

NASCAR still finding its niche at Indy
“Twenty years? Are you sure?”

Bobby Labonte said it only half-joking. He was one of the drivers who participated in NASCAR’s first-ever test session at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a shakedown for Goodyear that had drivers racing out of the garage to “lead” the first lap and slowing on the backstretch to take photos with cameras they’d stowed under their seats.

Read more from ESPN

Dillon to run full Nationwide schedule in 2013
Richard Childress is in no rush to push grandson Austin Dillon into full-time Sprint Cup competition.

“I’ve seen too many young guys come along and get moved up too quick,” Childress said Sunday at Chicagoland Speeday, where Dillon finished sixth in the STP 300. “We don’t want to do that.”

Read more from NASCAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr NASCAR’s highest-paid driver at $28 million, SI list shows
Dale Earnhardt Jr is NASCAR’s highest-paid driver and the eighth highest-earning professional American athlete in sports, according to Sports Illustrated.

According to SI, Earnhardt was paid $28,164,690 in 2011 – $4,164,690 in salary and earnings, and $24 million in endorsements. Earnhardt made the Chase and finished seventh in the final Sprint Cup standings in 2011, but did not win a race.

Read more from Sporting News

Kenny Wallace lands Indy Nationwide ride
Nationwide Series veteran Kenny Wallace has put together a deal that will get him into Saturday’s first-ever appearance by the series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Wallace will drive the No. 24 SR2 Motorsports Toyota this weekend at IMS.

Read more from Eye On NASCAR

Feel free to express your views of this week’s news.  As always, Thanks for reading and participating. 


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