NASCAR News & Views – Volume 41 – August 27 thru September 2, 2012

Catch up with last week’s    NASCAR News & Views – Vol 41

August 27 thru September 2, 2012

See our feature for the         current week

Today’s NASCAR News & Views

“THIS IS SUCH A GREAT FEELING. DARIAN (GRUBB, CREW CHIEF) CAME HERE WITH A DIFFERENT SETUP AND IT JUST HAULED THE MAIL RIGHT FROM THE GET-GO. IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I’VE BEEN THIS COMPETITIVE AT BRISTOL. THIS IS JUST A BIG WIN. I DON’T KNOW HOW ELSE TO EXPLAIN IT OTHER THAN IT’S THE NIGHT RACE AT BRISTOL.” – DENNY HAMLIN AFTER WINNING HIS THIRD 2012 RACE AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY

It was another eventful race, but this one was reminiscent of ‘old’ Bristol, with helmets tossed, and cars colliding, and finger wagging highlighting the evening.

Denny Hamlin brings home his third win of the 2012 season securing his place within the top contenders when the Chase begins in September, while Tony Stewart is barely hanging within the top-ten, within just 16-points of 11th-place wild-card Kasey Kahne.

Other winners this past weekend were, Timothy Peters with Red Horse Racing in the Camping World Truck Series and Denny Hamlin’s JGR teammate, Joey Logano in the Nationwide Series.

Check out this coming weekend’s NASCAR race schedule.

Let’s begin with Monday, August 27, 2012 News & Views…

Hamlin can boogie Call it the $10,000 dance.

The signature driver introductions before Saturday’s Night Race had a little extra pizzazz as the 43 competitors vied to be chosen as the top act through a fan vote with legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer MC’ing the festivities.

Read more from TriCities – scroll down the page to find this section

GAC Series The Definitive Showcases Past & Present NASCAR Stars

Fans will get a look at the qualities that delineate the lives and careers of some of NASCAR’s past and present star drivers on The Definitive airing Wednesdays at 10pm ET, beginning August 29, on Great American Country. Host Trace Adkins guides viewers through episodes that will reveal the defining moments of each driver’s career with archival footage, photos and interviews with NASCAR Hall of Famers as well as stories from drivers that traded paint with them along the way.

Read more at GACTV

Body of helicopter pilot found in lake near Bristol Motor Speedway

The body of the Food City pilot killed Friday in a helicopter crash in a lake near Bristol Motor Speedway was recovered Monday.

Read more from Sporting News

Martin Truex Jr agrees to extension

Martin Truex Jr has agreed to an extension to stay in the No.56 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing with NAPA as his primary sponsor, sources told ESPN.com.

MWR has scheduled a press conference for Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway where Truex and NASCAR president Mike Helton will be present to announce 2013 plans and unveil a car.

Read more from ESPN

NASCAR needs Kyle Busch to be himself

Kyle Busch seems awfully unhappy these days.

That’s unfortunate for Busch, and it’s bad for NASCAR.

It’s been a stressful summer for Busch, who finds himself clinging to one of the wild-card spots for the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Not qualifying for NASCAR’s title-deciding series isn’t the end of the world – Busch missed the cut in 2009 and lived to tell about it – but it’s a colossal failure for a driver of his caliber.

Read more from Yardbarker/Associated Press

Chase clinch scenarios heading to Atlanta

Five drivers have at least a mathematical chance to claim a non-Wildcard spot in the Chase this weekend at Atlanta, Martin Truex Jr, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. It is unlikely that all will do so, however, meaning that we’ll likely go to Richmond with at least a handful of Chase spots still undecided.

Read more from Eye On NASCAR

Next Kenseth-Stewart Round?

It should come as a surprise to no one that Atlanta Motor Speedway stepped up to be part of the first wave taking advantage of Saturday night’s Tony Stewart-Matt Kenseth brouhaha at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Stewart and Kenseth crashed while racing for the lead during the Irwin Tools Night Race, and Stewart aggravated the situation by hurling his helmet in near-perfect form at Kenseth’s car.

Read more from SPEED

Denny Hamlin proves he can win races, but can he contend for championship?

Denny Hamlin has proved this year he can still win races, that his one-win season of 2011 was more of a bump in the road than a path to mediocrity.

With three wins in 2012, Hamlin has shown he can not only contend for wins, but also close he deal. But his average finish is 12.88, and he sits eighth in the standings with two races left before the Chase. That’s not championship material.

Read more from Sporting News

Wild Bunch Preps for Atlanta

Several drivers remain in contention for Chase wild-card spots with two races remaining.

Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr are in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Several other drivers will lock themselves in this week at Atlanta.

Read more from SPEED

Tough day for Richard Childress

Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed. Last Wednesday was just one of those days for NASCAR team owner Richard Childress.

After announcing that Gil Martin would replace Shane Wilson as Kevin Harvick’s crew chief on the No. 29 team, Childress probably felt that his tough decisions were through the week. After all, Martin had led Harvick to eight race wins in his previous tenure atop the pit box for the Harvick team.

Read more from WISTV

Danica Patrick’s abrupt ending at Bristol a teaching point

The fourth career Sprint Cup race of Danica Patrick’s career will be remembered for her accusatory index finger. But what she’ll remember from the night might prove more important.

Patrick was 19th and on the lead lap with 65 to go when her education at Bristol Motor Speedway was cut short. Regan Smith’s No. 78 Chevrolet turned Patrick’s No. 10 into the frontstretch wall, ending her night. Patrick walked up the track under caution, wagging her finger at Smith.

Read more from USA Today

2012 Tropical Storm Isaac Expected To Become A Hurricane Eyeing Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Coasts

As of 5pm EDT the National Hurricane Center had tropical storm Isaac with winds sustained at 60-mph and gusts near 70-mph. Hurricane warnings have been issued for the Southeastern coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and western tip of the Florida Panhandle. There are tropical storm warnings in effect for western Florida coast. Satellite image has been showing signs of strengthening and once Isaac clears the Florida keys and enters the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico it will begin to strengthen.

Read more and see radar from WX-Man

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 

5-hour Energy Team Featured on ABC Television Special “Catching Speed” Airs 2pm ET Sunday Catching Speed Shows Behind-The-Scenes Look at the 5-hour Energy Team As It Prepared For The Brickyard 400

The No. 15 5-hour Energy team will be featured in the ABC television special Catching Speed presented by John Deere that airs at 2pm ET Sunday. The show features the Michael Waltrip Racing team as it prepares for The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – one of NASCAR’s most prestigious races.

“The opportunity for Catching Speed program came along and it was just too good to pass up for our team and our sponsors,” said Ty Norris, MWR executive vice president business development. “The No. 15 team is all-new this year – a new driver, crew chief, crew, sponsor – and they along with the NAPA team are combining to make this the best year in Michael Waltrip Racing’s brief history.

“The No. 15 team is a group of great guys that has a ton of characters – they know how to have fun better than most of the teams in the garage, so it should be a very entertaining hour of television.”

The show features the 5-hour Energy team’s race preparation and execution from several different perspectives including the crew chief, driver, crew and marketing team.

“Indianapolis is a stressful weekend for a team,” said Bowyer. “I think that Catching Speed showed just how stressful it can be and how difficult some weekends are when you don’t unload with the speed you like to see. It was a real struggle that weekend. From my perspective it would have been great to have the crew follow us in Sonoma so the show would have ended with us celebrating in victory lane, but a weekend like Indy will probably make for better TV – lots more to overcome.”

Catching Speed even ventured away from the racetrack to follow the No. 15 team as it visited the high school of crew mechanic and Indiana native Travis Strock as the team went to play basketball after the garage closed.

“This was a really fun opportunity for the race fans that watch on television to get a look at some of us guys that work on the car and travel with the team each week,” said Stock.

“I think they captured us in our element. We clown around from time to time and take pride in having fun while we do what we do, but it also shows how stressful it can be when things aren’t going just right. Indy was not one of our best weekends on the track, but we all came together and worked through it and came out with a decent finish.”

An encore presentation of Catching Speed will air Sunday at 2:30pm on ESPN

From Michael Waltrip Racing-PR

NASCAR fame eludes Trevor Bayne after historic Daytona 500 victory in 2011

It wasn’t long ago that the NASCAR Nation was celebrating the rise of a prince on the circuit, a young man who dared to dream of becoming a king after winning the Daytona 500 in 2011. Fittingly, he scored one of the biggest upsets in NASCAR history on the 10-year anniversary marking the death of icon Dale Earnhardt.

Read more from Orlando Sentinel

Bristol event finishes 15th in Nielsen’s TV ratings race

ABC’s coverage of Saturday night’s NASCAR racing at Bristol Motor Speedway ranked 15th among the top-20 TV programs for August 20-26, according to the Nielsen Co. ratings.

The Sprint Cup race coverage attracted 5.91 million viewers, Nielsen reported. The Carolina Panthers-New York Jets NFL exhibition game Sunday night on ABC was the week’s leading sports program, according to Nielsen, with 9.82 million viewers.

Read more from That’s Racin’

Stewart Backs Away From Threat

Although he had an ultimate weapon available Tuesday, Tony Stewart said he isn’t targeting Mart Kenseth…

Although he had the significant advantage of a World War II tank at his disposal, Tony Stewart backed away Tuesday from his treat to run over Matt Kenseth at every opportunity.

Read more from SPEED

Where’s Flyin’ Ryan?

Ryan Newman seeks to end pole drought at Atlanta

Atlanta Motor Speedway is known for its high speeds. Geoffrey Bodine set the track’s qualifying record in 1997 with a scalding run of 197.478 miles per hour. Kasey Kahne won the pole for last year’s Sprint Cup race at the 1.5-mile track with a speed of 186.196.

Qualifying for Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500 at AMS is scheduled at 6pm Friday, and the evening temperatures make it likely the time-trial speeds will hit big numbers again.

Read more from SPEED

Rise of technology has transormed scoring style

Figuring out who finishes first in a NASCAR race has become a high-tech endeavor, requiring in-car transponders, metal scoring loops embedded in the track surface and powerful computers to crunch the data.

Scoring is available almost instantaneously, allowing officials to determine the exact running order at any given time during the race. The added ability to monitor the television broadcast – including calling up replays – has made it nearly and exact science.

Read more from NASCAR.com

NASCAR’s Sadler Takes Flight At Oceana

Even though NASCAR Nationwide driver Elliott Sadler likes to fly around the race track, he has never been enthusiastic about taking to the skies. But last week the Emporia native coped with those aviation trepidations to pay a visit to Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.

Sadler toured the base, hanger and control tower’s observation deck while spending time with sailors from Strike Fight Squadron 81 the Sunliners, who are assigned to the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson.

Read more from Mechanicsville Local

Stenhouse Jr loves the night life

After two straight road-course races, I was more than ready to get back to action on an oval at the much-anticipated night race at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile,” Bristol Motor Speedway.

Because of the new track surface, there was a lot of speculation as we traveled to Bristol. After the spring race, they sanded the top groove in an effort to enhance the racing. As we went back, you learned quickly that if you got out of the main groove, you had no control of your car.

Read more from NASCAR.com

Danica gives fair warning of payback

I like what I saw out of Danica Patrick this past weekend at Bristol. I especially liked seeing the fire in her when she made sure Regan Smith knew he did her wrong by wrecking her out.

I like seeing that from any driver, whether it was it was Tony Stewart pitching his helmet or Matt Kenseth or even Kenny Schrader gesturing to the driver who spun him out early in the race.

Read more from FOX Sports

Tony Stewart won’t be fined for throwing helmet at Matt Kenseth at Bristol

NASCAR will not penalize Tony Stewart for throwing his helmet at Matt Kenseth’s car during the race Sunday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said Monday afternoon.

The sanctioning body, which has been more lenient on driver behavior the past several years, did not penalize Camping World Truck Series driver Todd Bodine for throwing his helmet at another competitor’s vehicle earlier this month at Pocono.

Read more from Sporting News

Following Danica Patrick: Double Duty at Bristol

The spring Bristol Motor Speedway was not the same as the Bristol Motor Speedway the drivers came to the past weekend. After uneventful racing in the Spring, track owner Bruton Smith took bulldozers to the track and ground the top of the track, creating a whole new Bristol. Or the new old Bristol. New new Bristol? It’s still unclear what the drivers are calling it.

But for Danica Patrick, it was the track that kicked off a run of four double duty races in six weeks.

Read more from Boston CBS Local

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dale Earnhardt Jr wrecks during tire test at Kansas  Dale Earnhardt Jr wrecked his Hendrick Motorsports car during a Goodyear tire test Wednesday at Kansas Speedway.

Earnhardt was treated and released from the infield medical center, according to a track spokesman. A Goodyear spokesman siad “Dale Jr just wrecked hard @kansasspeedway tire test,” Brad Keselowski tweeted. “Looks to be ok. Blown rf…”

Read more from Sporting News

Early Reviews are Positive for Kansas Speedway Reconfiguration

Several NASCAR Sprint Cup series teams took to the newly reconfigured Kansas Speedway on Tuesday and the reviews are in – and they have been pretty positive as teams navigate the variable banking for the first time.

“I think they did a really nice job of repaving,” said Matt Kenseth. “Drivers aren’t huge fans of repaves, especially being the first ones on the track, by this afternoon the cars were more comfortable on the track. I think the repave is awesome.”

Regan Smith agreed.

“We’ve seen quite a few of those this year already. They did a pretty good job with this one.”

For Dale Earnhardt Jr, the day was about getting some time on the track.

“It’s nice to get out on the track. It’s nice to see the track. I like this place,” said Earnhardt Jr. “The banking will add speed to the race track and one and two definitely have more banking. This should be a fast little race track.”

Kenseth, who holds the track record of 180.856-mph set back in 2005, expects a new track record this fall. “We’re already running, the last lap was 30.30 or something,” said Kenseth. “You know it’s going to be faster when everybody runs in qualifying runs. I expect it to be in the high 28s in a qualifying run.”

The Good year Tire Test resumes Wednesday at 9am and is open and free to the public. Fans are asked to enter at Michigan Dr. off of Speedway Blvd. Due to another event setting up at Kansas Speedway, fans will only be able to enter at Gate D – closest to Turn 1 – and sit in sections 169 and 171. Parking will be available in lots 5 and 6. Parking lots and gates will open at 8:30am Sprint FanWalk will not be open.

Restroom facilities will be open. Concessions will not be available, however fans are permitted to bring in a 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler with their favorite food and beverages.

Tickets for the Oct 21 Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Oct 20 Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Oct 19 Kansas Lottery 98.9 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race are on sale now by calling 866.460.RACE – 7223 or visiting kansasspeedway.com. Every season ticket comes with a Track Pass that provides you with access to the infield for the pre-race concert, driver introductions and much more.

Parking is always free at Kansas Speedway.

From Kansas Speedway-PR

Biffle Targeting Third Title Trophy

Greg Biffle hopes to close the deal this season on a third NASCAR championship

The trophy spot is waiting.  So is Greg Biffle.

Winner of Nationwide and Camping World Truck series championships, Biffle has been waiting a decade to add the biggest and best trophy – the Sprint cup – to his collection. Biffle thus would become the first driver to win titles in all three of NASCAR’s major series.

Read more from SPEED

Sources: Matt Kenseth to JGR

Joe Gibbs Racing plans to announce next Tuesday that Matt Kenseth will be its newest driver beginning in 2013, ESPN.com has learned.

The 2003 Sprint Cup champion will take over the No. 20 team driven by Joey Logano with Home Depot as his primary sponsor, sources said.

Read more from ESPN

Drivers get first chance on Kansas Speedway repave

Matt Kenseth fully expects his Kansas Speedway lap record to fall in the near future.

Kenseth was among eight drivers to check out the repaved surface of the 1.1/2-mile-tri-oval on Tuesday during tire testing for Goodyear. New variable banking combined with the smoother asphalt surface made for some quick lap times, even during shortened runs in race setups.

Read more at FOX Sports/Yardbarker

Tony Stewart denies crew rumor

Tony Stewart denied on Tuesday a weekend social media report that Greg Zipadelli would become his crew chief in 2013.

“No, that’s not true,” Stewart said during a promotion for sponsor Mobil 1 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “That’s the first I’ve even heard about it. Nobody has thought about that or discussed that. We’re pretty comfortable where we’re at with our lineup right now.”

Read more at ESPN

Thursday, August 30, 2012

World-Famous Tightrope Walker Nik Wallenda Brings Death-Defying Stunt to Bank of America 500 Pre-Race Show  Fans have come to expect plenty of speed, danger and fun on the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but on Oct 13 they’ll be looking up – way up – for an aerial show that’s sure to delight during the Bank of America pre-race show presented by Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

World famous tightrope walker Nik Wallenda, who made headlines earlier this year when he traveled a 1,500-foot span across Niagra Falls on live television, will bring his high-wire thrill show to Charlotte Motor Speedway.

In 1977, Charlotte Motor Speedway became the first race track to host elaborate pre-race shows. Through the years, fans have enjoyed a reenactment of the Battle of Grenada; a three-ring circus; numerous world-record automobile stunts; a 5,000-member marching band; and an assemblage of 5,000 firefighters honoring the heroes of Sept. 11, 2001.

“We always strive to give fans an unforgettable race day experience,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “This year, Nik wowed us all at Niagra Falls, and now fans can see him in action at the greatest place to see the race. Whether it’s on the track or in the air, the Bank of America 500 will be a combination of entertainment and thrills that only Charlotte Motor Speedway can deliver.”

No previous show has risen to the heights that will be achieved during this year’s Bank of America 500, when Wallenda, a six-time Guinness World Record holder for various acrobatic achievements, takes to the high wire. Wallenda will descend from above the front stretch grandstands over a span of more than 750 feet to a crane set up behind Victory Circle, all while balancing on a tiny 5/8-inch cord. At times the cord will hang more than 100 feet – 10 stories – above the ground, and his total walk will equal the length of two-and-a-half football fields.

This year’s performance marks the 26th anniversary of The Flying Wallendas’ high wire act at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1986, when Nik’s predecessors walked from the grandstands down to pit road as part of a circus-themed pre-race show.

“I’m honored to continue the great Wallenda Family tradition performing at Charlotte Motor Speedway,” Wallenda said. “The speedway has always set the bar for pre-race entertainment and excitement, and I’m looking forward to raising the bar to new heights this year.”

Wallenda said he is excited about the opportunity to showcase his talents at one of the world’s premier entertainment venues and to add his name to the growing list of world-renowned performers who have thrilled audiences during pre-race events her over the past 35 years.

“NASCAR drivers are used to driving on the edge, and in my job, it’s really no different,” he said. “It takes an extreme level of focus and commitment to your craft to be successful, and there’s really nothing quite like the thrill of being out there and performing.”

With the Bank of America Weekend Pass, fans won’t miss a minute of the action with a reserved frontstretch seat to the Bank of America 500 – Oct 13 – The Dollar General – Oct 12 – and the Bojangles’ Pole Night & UNOH Southern Slam 150 – Oct 11. Ticket packages start at just $99. Fans can also add a choice of a scanner rental, NASCAR Hall of Fame Ticket or Race Shop Tour upgrade for just $25.

To purchase tickets, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit CharlotteMotorSpeedway.com.

From Charlotte Motor Speedway-PR

Richard Petty’s team to continue on

Richard Petty Motorsports will remain a part of the Sprint Cup Series in 2013 despite a loss of manufacturer money and limited sponsorship, the co-owner told ESPN.com

Petty said he hopes to have a new deal with Ford in the next three weeks, but acknowledged it probably won’t be as good financially since much of the manufacturer’s money that went to RPM is going to Penske Racing. Penske is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013.

Read more from ESPN

Tony Stewart not worried about falling out of top10, more confident than a year ago

Thanks to his accident with Matt Kenseth at Bristol Motor Speedway last Saturday, tony Stewart sits perilously close to falling out of the top 10 in the Sprint Cup standings.

With three victories this season, Stewart is not in danger of missing the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which will be set following races this weekend at Atlanta and Sept. 8 t Richmond.

Read more from Sporting News

Carl Edwards: 22 car not an option

Carl Edwards addressed rumors that he was a candidate to drive the No. 22 Sprint Cup car at Penske Racing in 2013 with a flat-out “no” during a Wednesday conference call.

“I guess there’s a lot of talk about me driving the 22 car next year,” Edwards said before the Q-and-A part of the call. “I just want everybody that’s on the call, the media, to know that’s impossible.”

Read more from ESPN

2012 NASCAR At Atlanta Motor Speedway – Rain Chances But Not A Tropical Wash

The forecast for this weekend’s NASCAR races at Atlanta Motor Speedway is not great but we’ve seen worst this season. It is definitely not like last year where a tropical storm moved through, moving the race to Tuesday.

Read more from WX-Man

Kenseth, Stewart aren’t backing down

Bristol Motor Speedway provided a delightful stage for plenty of drama on Saturday night.

The only thing missing – other than 500 laps of side-by-side aciton – was the post race confrontation between Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.

Does anyone really believe that Stewart released all his anger when he thrust his helmet onto Kenseth’s hood or that either champion calmed down 168 laps after their synchronized spin on the frontstretch?

Read more from FOX Sports

Friday, August 31, 2012

2012 NCWTS Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 Race Results

Ty Dillon celebrates win at Atlanta
Photo – Nigel Kinrade/Associated Press

NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender and the 2012 Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 pole sitter, Ty Dillon, made Atlanta Motor Speedway – he had never raced on before – look like a track that he knew like the back of his hand Friday night, as he held off Kyle Busch for his first career series victory.

Busch, who led the most laps – 75 of 130 – and finished 3.227 seconds behind Dillon, was followed to the drop of the checkered flag by James Buescher – who now trails by 6-points behind series leader Timothy Peters – who finished 13th – for second place in the points – finishing third, Parker Kligerman fourth and Aric Almirola finished fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finish positions were Kyle Larson – with his second career series start – finishing sixth, Joey Coulter seventh, Nelson Piqet Jr eighth, Matt Crafton ninth and Kurt Busch finished in the tenth position.

Race Notes

Average Speed – 136.733-mph

Time of Race – 1 hr, 27 mins, 51 secs.

Margin of Victory – 3.227 seconds

Lead Changes – 20 among 8 drivers

Cautions – 3 for 16 laps

Attendance – 28,300

Race Results

Point Standings

Next Up – The teams don’t return to action until Saturday, September 15th, when they make the inaugural American Ethanol 200 presented by Hy-Vee at Iowa Speedway. Starting time is around 8:50pm ET with SPEED’s pre-race television coverage beginning at 8:00pm ET.

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NCWTS Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 Starting Lineup

NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Ty Dillon, with a qualifying lap speed of 177.357-mph, captured the 2012 Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 Keystone Light Pole Award at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

This was Dillon’s second series pole of the 2012 season, his second series career pole and his first series pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Shaing the front row with Dillon to start with a qualifying lap speed of 177.028-mph, will be Tim George Jr, and they will be followed by James Buescher 176.611mph starting third, Kyle Busch 176.583 fourth and Nelson Piquet Jr 176.353 wills tart fifth.

Rounding out the top ten starting positions will be Johnny Sauter 176.185-mph who will start sixth, Miguel Paludo 175.978 seventh, current series points leader, Timothy Peters 175.749 eighth, Parker Kligerman 175.688 ninth and Matt Craton 175.393 starting from the tenth position.

Failing to make the starting lineup were the #37 driven by Jeff Green; #10 driven by Jennifer Jo Cobb and the #57 driven by Norm Benning.

The 6th annual Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 is scheduled to get underway around 8:20pm ET this evening any SPEED will provide television coverage beginning with their 7:30pm ET pre-race show.

Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS Advo Care Starting Lineup

Tony Stewart, with a qualifying lap sped of 186.121-mph, captured the 2012 NSCS Advo Care 500 Coors Light  Pole Award at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

This was Stewarts 1st series pole of the 2012 season, his 14th series career pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Starting second on the outside pole with a qualifying lap speed of 185.648-mph, will be Greg Biffle, followed by Kyle Busch 185.493-mph who will start third, Matt Kenseth – 185.319 fourth and Jeff Gordon 185.306 starting fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Mark Martin 185.232-mph starting sixth, Denny Hamlin 185.220 seventh, Jimmie Johnson 185.139 eighth, Joey Logano 185.084 ninth and Marcos Ambrose 185.053 will start from the tenth position.

Failing to make the starting lineup were the #98 driven by Michael McDowell; #26 driven by Josh Wise; #33 driven by Stephen Leicht and the #19 driven by Mike Bliss.

The teams will return to the track Saturday for two more practice sessions 2:30 to 3:25pm & “Happy Hour,” 5:30 to 6:20pm ET before Sunday evening’s race.

The 53rd annual AdvoCare 500 is scheduled to start at approximately 7:50pm ET Sunday evening with television coverage provided by ESPN beginning with their 7:00pm ET “NASCAR Countdown” pre-race show.

Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS AdvoCare 500 First Practice Session Speeds

Martin Truex Jr, with a lap speed of 185.220-mph, was the quickest during the first NSCS AdvoCare 500 practice session at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Second quickest was Kyle Busch with a lap speed of 184.831-mph, and was followed by Tony Stewart 184.253-mph who was third quickest, Brad Keselowski 183.631 fourth and Kasey Kahne 183.613 was fifth quickest.

Rounding out the top-ten quickest during the practice session were Clint Bowyer 183.607-mph who was sixth quickest, Matt Kenseth 182.994 seventh, Greg Biffle 182.946 eighth, Carl Edwards 182.639 ninth and Aric Almirola 182.579 posting the top-ten quickest lap speed.

Qualifying is set to get underway at 6:10pm ET this evening, and then the teams return Saturday for two more practice sessions 2:30 to 3:25pm & “Happy Hour:” 5:30 to 6:30pm ET before Sunday evening’s race.

The 53rd annual AdvoCare 500 is scheduled to start at approximately 7:50pm ET Sunday evening with television coverage provided by ESPN beginning with their 7:00pm ET “NASCAR Countdown” pre-race show.

First Practice Speeds

Qualifying Order

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NCWTS Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 Final Practice Session Speeds

Nelson Piquet Jr with a lap speed of 177.869-mph, was the fastest during the final NCWTS Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Second fastest with a lap speed of 176.308-mph was James Buescher, followed by Kyle Larson 175.927-mph who was third fastest, Tim George Jr 175.393 fourth and Joey Coulter 175.349 was fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Jason White 175.022-mph who was sixth fastest, Aric Almirola 174.901 seventh, Kurt Busch 174.719 eighth, Ryan Blaney 174.647 ninth and Todd Bodine 174.526 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

Qualifying will be later today at 4:35pm ET – Live on SPEED – to determine the starting lineup for this evening’s race which is scheduled to get underway around 8:20pm ET and SPEED will provide television coverage beginning with their 7:30pm ET pre-race show.

Final Practice Speeds

Qualifying Order

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NCWTS Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 First Practice Session Speeds

Kyle Busch, with a lap speed of 178.482-mph, was the quickest during the first NCWTS Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Following Busch – who is competing in all three series this weekend – was James Buescher with a lap speed of 177.938-mph, who was second quickest, Johnny Sauter 177.920-mph third quickest, Matt Crafton 177.391 fourth and series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Ty Dillon 177.074 was fifth quickest.

Rounding out the top-ten quickest during the practice session were Tim George Jr 176.752-mph sixth quickest, Parker Kligerman 176.634 seventh, current series points leader, Timothy Peters 176.516 eighth, Justin Lofton 176.443 ninth and Aric Almirola 176.291 posting the tenth quickest lap speed.

The teams’ “Happy Hour” – final – practice session will take place shortly after the completion of the first session, and will run from 11:30am to 1:00pm ET Tape-Delayed on SPEED at 1:00pm and then qualifying will be later in the afternoon at 4:35pm ET – Live on SPEED to determine the starting lineup for this evening’s race. The 6th annual Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chis 200 is scheduled to get underway around 8:20 pm ET and SPEED will provide television coverage beginning with their 7:30pm ET pre-race show.

First Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Greg Biffle OK with Tony Stewart’s helmet toss, says NASCAR too politically correct

Points leader Greg Biffle, for one, was pleased that NASCAR chose not to penalize Tony Stewart for throwing his helmet at Matt Kenseth after the two drivers wrecked Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Even if Kenseth is Biffle’s Roush Fenway Racing teammate.

Biffle believes that NASCAR and society in general have gotten a little too politcally correct in recent years.

Read more from Sporting News

Atlanta’s Ed Clark – Fast starts to photo finishes

There isn’t much Ed Clark hasn’t experienced in his 20 years at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The track’s president, who has also been a part-time race on occasion, began his tenure at one of NASCAR’s fastest tracks just as Richard Petty was ending his driving career in what is now the Sprint Cup Series and just as Jeff Gordon was starting his.

Read more from That’s Racin’

2012 NASCAR At Atlanta Motor Speedway – Hit or Miss Showers and Storms This Weekend

Scattered rain showers and a few thunderstorms are in the weather forecast this weekend for Atlanta Motor Speedway. I don’t expect a race to be washed out, but a shower or storm moving over the track could cancel a practice or a qualifying.

Read more from WX-Man

Willie & Korie Robertson from A&E’s Duck Dynasty to Appear in Talladega Experience

Willie and Korie Robertson from the hit A&E series “Duck Dynasty” will be appearing at the Talladega Experience – the ultimate fan hospitality area at Talladega Superspeedway – on Sunday, Oct 7. The reality TV stars will host a Q&A session prior to the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 and sign autographs for Talladega Experience fans.

“Duck Dynasty” follows the Robertsons; Louisiana’s most dynamic backwoods family. They just happen to have made a fortune on duck calls by turning a backyard business into a multi-million dollar sporting empire. But for Willie Robertson, running a family operation is tough when all your employees would rather be anywhere thant the production warehouse. They may be living the American dream, but they’re just as busy staying true to their rugged outdoorsman lifestyle and southern roots, approach each ordinary family affair with a special Robertson-brand of down home practicality and sharp sense of humor. Life goes on the bayou, but nothing is average in the Robertson household.

Along with their appearance in the Talladega Experience, the Robertsons will join track Chairman Grant Lynch on stage during the pre-race ceremonies before the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 as honorary race officials.

“Our fans won’t want to miss a chance to see Willie and Korie from Duck Dynasty at this year’s Talladega Experience,” said Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch. “Willie is a one-of-a-kind personality who will undoubtedly bring some laughs and outrageous storytelling to the normal lineup of NASCAR’s finest during the ‘Q and A’ sessions.”

Also included with the Talladega Experience package is a pre-race Pit Pass, Suite/Hospitality parking pass, an event souvenir and access to the track for Driver Introductions before the race. Price for the package is $139 per person – plus cost of frontstretch race ticket.

The most competitive racing in NASCAR combined with a mix of southern hospitality returns to Talladega Superspeedway October 5-7, 2012 for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Weekend. For tickets and information visit TalladegaSuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA

From Talladega Superspeedway-PR

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Stenhouse celebrates in victory lane at Atlanta
Photo – Jerry Markland/Getty Images

2012 NNS NRA American Warrior 300 Race Results                   Ricky Stenhouse Jr denied the domination of Kevin Harvick – who led the most laps – 157 out of 195 laps – in Saturday night’s NNS NRA American Warrior 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as he takes the lead on the last lap for the victory.

The 2011 defending series champion notched his fourth series win of the 2012 season, his sixth series career win and his first series win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Brad Keselowski, who stayed behind Stenhouse to get around Harvick, finished 0.157 seconds behind to finish in second, and was followed by Harvick finishing third, series points leader Elliott Sadler – leads Stenhouse by 12-points in the standings – fourth and Justin Allgaier finished in fifth place.

Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon, finished in the sixth position, while pole-sitter Kyle Busch finished seventh, rookie contender Cole Whitt eighth, Sam Hornish Jr, ninth and Michael Annett rounding out the top-ten finishing positions.

Race Notes

Average Speed – 117.880-mph

Time of Race – 2 hrs, 32 mins, 51 secs

Margin of Victory – 0.157 seconds

Lead Changes – 9 among 6 drivers

Cautions – 8 for 43 laps

Attendance – 47,700

Race Results   –   Point Standings

Next Up – Short track racing under the lights at Richmond International Raceway with the 32nd annual Virginia 529 College Savings 250 on Friday, September 7th. The start of the race is scheduled to get underway around 7:50pm ET and ESPN will provide television coverage beginning with their 7:00pm ET pre-race program.

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Childress appeal date and time set

The date and time to hear the Richard Childress Racing appeal of penalties to Paul Menard’s NASCAR Sprint Cup team has been set.

The appeal will be held on Monday, September 10, at 2pm ET.

Read more from FOX Sports

2012 NSCS AdvoCare 500 Final Practice Session Speeds

The final NSCS AdvoCare 500 practice session at Atlanta Motor Speedway resulted in Matt Kenseth – with a lap speed of 180.863-mph – at the top of the speed charts, while Jeff Gordon 180.193-mph posted the second fastest lap.

Following Kenseth and Gordon on the speed charts was Denny Hamlin 179.959-mph with the third fastest lap speed, Kyle Busch 179.837 fourth and Greg Biffle 179.481 fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Brad Keselowski 178.839-mph sixth fastest, pole sitter Tony Stewart 178.758 seventh, Martin Truex Jr 178.649 eighth, Mark Martin 177.795 ninth and Juan Pablo Montoya 177.630 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

The 53rd annual AdvoCare 500 is scheduled to start at approximately 7:50pm ET Sunday evening, and television coverage will be provided by ESPN beginning with their 7:00pm ET “NASCAR Countdown” pre-race show.

Final Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Dale Junior: Why NASCAR fans love raw emotion

Dale Earnhardt Jr was asked on Friday why he thought raw emotion resonates as much as it does with the NASCAR fan base.

NASCAR fans typically get very excited and riled up when drivers express emotion in races, such as following the incident that took place between Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth last week at Bristol, TN, when both wrecked and Stewart tossed his helmet at Kenseth’s car.

Read more from News Observer

Shane Hmiel has emotional night in first return to a NASCAR track since 2005

More than two years ago as Shane Hmiel reflected on his NASCAR career while putting plans in place to possibly compete in the Indianapolis 500, he knew that getting back in the driver’s seat in NASCAR was mostly a dream.

The only driver banned for life under NASCAR’s substance-abuse policy, Hmiel had given up on his hopes of racing in NASCAR again, but he wished he could just hang out in the NASCAR garage and see his friends in their working environment, just as he did until NASCAR officials escorted him out of the Dover garage in May 2005 for a failed drug test.

Read more from Sporting News

2012 NNS NRA American Warrior 300 Starting Lineup

Kyle Busch, with a qualifying lap speed of 176.280-mph, captured the 2012 NNS NRA American Warrior 300 Coors Light Pole Award at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

This was Busch’s 1st series pole of the 2012 season, his 24th series career pole and his 3rd series pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Starting second on the outside pole with a qualifying lap speed of 176.173-mph, will be Ricky Stenhouse Jr, followed by Kevin Harvick 176.000-mph who will start third, Kasey Kahne 175.721 fourth and Denny Hamlin 175.454 will start fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Sam Hornish Jr 175.410 starting sixth, Elliott Sadler 174.956 seventh, Brad Keselowski 174.653 eighth, series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon 174.455 ninth and Mike Bliss 174.219 will start from the tenth starting position.

Failing to make the starting lineup was the #72 driven by John Jackson.

The 21st annual NRA American Warrior 300 is scheduled to get underway at approximately 7:25pm ET this evening, and ESPN2 will provide television coverage beginning with their 6:30pm ET pre-race show.

Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS AdvoCare 500 Second Practice Session Speeds

The current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader, Greg Biffle, with a lap speed of 181.005-mph, was the quickest during the second AdvoCare 500 practice session at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Biffle’s Roush Fenway Racing teammate, Matt Kenseth, was second quickest with a lap speed of 180.733-mph, and was followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr 179.901-mph who was third quickest, Martin Truex Jr 179.592 fourth and Clint Bowyer 178.966 was fifth quickest.

Rounding out the top-ten quickest during the practice session were Jeff Gordon 178.562-mph who was sixth quickest, Denny Hamlin 178.482 seventh, Kyle Busch 178.332 eighth, Jimmie Johnson 178.161 ninth and Brad Keselowski 178.069 posting the tenth quickest lap speed.

The teams will return to the track later today for their “Happy Hour” – final – practice session from 5:30 to 6:20pm ET before returning Sunday evening for the 53rd annual AdvoCare 500. The race is scheduled to start at approximately 7:50pm ET and television coverage will be provided by ESPN beginning with their 7:00pm ET “NASCAR Countdown” pre-race show.

Second Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Jeff Gordon and the Aflac Cancer Center Kick-It for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is an important month in the childhood cancer community. It recognizes the patients, survivors and fighters who fall victim to pediatric cancer. Jeff Gordon, Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation and Kick-It have honored this special month by hosting a kickball game at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

On the front stretch of Turn 4, Gordon alongside team captains Jeff Gluck and Nate Ryan rallied their kickball teams with media personalities and pediatric cancer patients and/or survivors from the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Fans from the grandstands watched as their favorite team launched the kickball into the field and ran the bases for a win.

“I feel honored to have survivors and patients from the Aflac Cancer Center here with me today. We are going to have fun, play kickball and most importantly kick kids cancer,” said Gordon.

This past June, Gordon challenged supporters and fans to hold as many kickball games as possible the month of September with the promise that he would match all funds raised from games played.

“This is a devastating disease for not only the children affected but for the families,” Gordon said. “We need to further research to ultimately find a cure. We hope through our Kick-It program we can raise enough funds to reach that goal.

To learn more about the Childhood Cancer Awareness month and our Kick-It program visit JeffGordonChildrensFoundation.org

From The Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation-PR

2012 NNS NRA American Warrior 300 Final Practice Session Speeds

During the only practice session being held for tonight’s NNS NRA American Warrior 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, it was Brad Keselowski with a lap speed of 179.481-mph, posting the fastest lap of the session.

Keselowski’s Penske Racing teammate, Sam Hornish Jr 178.499-mph posted the second fastest lap, and was followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr 178.344 who was third fastest, Kevin Harvick 177.635 fourth and the current series points leader, Elliott Sadler 176.729 fifth fastest.

Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cole Whitt 176.673-mph was sixth fastest, while Denny Hamlin 176.622 was seventh fastest, Kyle Busch 176.409 eighth, Kasey Kahne 175.799 ninth and Matt Crafton in for Travis Pastrana 175.749 rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice sessio.

Qualifying to determine the starting lineup for this evening’s race is set to get underway at 3:35pm ET – Live on SPEED – and an approximate starting time of the 21st annual NRA American Warrior 300 at 7:25pm ET – Live on ESPN2.

Final Practice Speeds

Qualifying Order

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Atlanta Notes-n-Nuggets

  • Denny Hamlin earned his 21st victory in his 248th start
  • Hamlin’s last win was last week at Bristol
  • His win at Atlanta was Hamlin’s second time winning consecutively in his career
  • Winning at Atlanta, Hamlin has four wins in 2012 – the most of any driver for the season
  • This was Hamlin’s first win in his 13th start at Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • Hamlin’s previous best finish at Atlanta was third in 2008
  • Denny Hamlin garnered his fifth win on a 1.5-mile track, including his second of 2012
  • Hamlin has finished third or better in the last four races on 1.5-mile tracks
  • His Atlanta victory marks Hamlin’s 12th different track he has won.
  • Hamlin led seven times for 106 laps including the final six
  • Joe Gibbs Racing – JGR – earned it’s 99th career win
  • JGR picked up its sixth victory of 2012
  • This is the 10th time, JGR has won at Atlanta and they now have more wins at Atlanta than any other track
  • Toyota garnered its seventh win of 2012
  • This is Toyota’s second victory at Atlanta
  • Jeff Gordon – second – earned his 16th top-five at Atlanta, most of active drivers, and his sixth top-five of the season including four in the last six races
  • Brad Keselowski – third – has finished in the top-four in four of the past five races, this marked his first top-five finish at Atlanta
  • Martin Truex Jr – fourth – picked up his sixth top-five finish of the season and 14th top-ten, matching the most he has ever had in a single season – 2007; first top-five finish at Atlanta
  • Kevin Harvick – fifth – earned his first top-five in the past 12 races, his last was at Dover when he finished second.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr – seventh – garnered his 17th top-ten finish of 2012, the most he has ever had in a single season is 21 – twice.
  • Paul Menard – eighth – captured his seventh top-ten finish of the season including one in each of the last three races
  • Race ended with a green-white-checkered finish, the fourth at Atlanta and seventh of 2012

From Racing Resources and Services – Statistics Racing Recall/Jayski’s

Ailing Logano

Joey Logano made it to the end of the race despite an upset stomach.

After filling in at both practice sessions Saturday, Michael McDowell was in Logano’s pits Sunday night, ready to step in again if Logano couldn’t finish the race.

Despite a malfunctioning cooling system that undoubtedly made his condition more challenging on a humid evening, Logano drove to an 18th-place finish in the AdvoCare 500.

From the Associated Press

2012 NSCS AdvoCare 500 Race Results

Hamlin wins at Atlanta
Photo – John Harrelson/Getty Images

For the second consecutive weekend Denny Hamlin finds himself in victory lane, as he holds off Jeff Gordon – by 0.378 seconds – after a two-lap dash to the finish to win Sunday night’s 2012 NSCS AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Hamlin, who led the most laps – 105 out of 327, received his 4th series win of the 2012 season, his 21st series career win and his 1st series win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Following Hamlin and Gordon to the drop of the checkered flag were Brad Keselowski finishing third, Martin Truex Jr fourth and Kevin Harvick finished fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Kyle Busch finishing sixth, Dale Earnhardt Jr – who moves into second place in the points – 8-points behind Greg Biffle who finished 15th – seventh, Paul Menard eighth, Matt Kenseth ninth and Mark Martin finished in the tenth position.

Race Notes

Average Speed – 142.020-mph

Time of Race – 3 hrs, 32 mins, 45 secs

Margin of Victory – 0.378 seconds

Lead Changes – 18 among 7 drivers

Cautions – 6 for 31 laps

Attendance – 90,300

Race Results   –   Point Standings

Next Up – The 55th annual Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 8th, with an approximate starting time of 7:50pm ET. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN on ABC beginning with their 7:00pm ET “NASCAR Countdown” pre-race program.

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Sadler not yet signed with RCR for 2013

Richard Childress, owner of RCR, tells Claire B. Lang on the SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Pre-Race Show that Elliott Sadler is not re-signed with the company.

The unconfirmed “rumor” is that Sadler may go with Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2013 season.

From SiriusXM Radio

Tony Stewart losing co-sponsor

Office Depot, co-primary sponsor for Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since Stewart took over the team in 2009, will not return in that capacity in 2013, a team spokesman confirmed.

Read more form ESPN

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