NASCAR News & Views – Volume 42 – September 3 – 9, 2012

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

September 3 – 9, 2012

See our feature for the current week

Today’s NASCAR News & Views

“God Bless Juan Pablo (Montoya). It was stupid really. He was – I don’t know how many laps down he was – I know he was at least one and we were running second or third there and he just got into us and knocked my left rear (tire) down. But, Luckily I got Spun out down there, got the caution and didn’t go a lap down and that was the thing that won us the race. You never know. You never give up in this sport.” – Clint Bowyer after winning at Richmond, September 8th, 2012

Check out this coming weekend’s NASCAR race schedule.

Let’s begin with Monday, September 3, 2012 News & Views…

Kevin Harvick learns ‘a life lesson’ with crew chief swap

When Kevin Harvick decided he wanted a new crew chief and team to work with in 2012, many thought he was crazy.

He had just come off back-to-back third-place finishes in the standings, two spots short of his goal but certainly not a bad accomplishment. But Harvick felt something was missing, something keeping him from making a solid, consistent run in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Read more from Sporting News

Denny Hamlin in Chase driver’s seat

This green-white-checkered was shaping up as a finish where it was a shame that somebody had to lose between Martin Truex Jr and Jeff Gordon. But then both of them lost, with mistakes.

And Denny Hamlin beat them squarely at the end of Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500, and clinched at least a tie for the top seed in the Chase with his fourth win this season and his second straight.

Read more from ESPN

Jeff Gordon says he’s getting soft, should have moved Denny Hamlin for win

Jeff Gordon didn’t race just for the win Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He was racing for a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Gordon didn’t quite get there, and his second-place finish behind Denny Hamlin was somewhat of a hollow finish. He still doesn’t control his own destiny entering the final race before the Chase field is set.

Read more from Sporting News

Edwards all but done, all but speechless

If not for his media-savvy personality, Carl Edwards might have been completely speechless.

The smell of a blown engine filled the air as seven crew members pushed his Ford Fusion from the track to the garage at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Read more from

Kahne, Busch Remain Wild

Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch carry wild-card spots into Richmond race…

Drivers chasing wild cards during Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway instead wound up mostly with jokers.

And drivers left the track with the wild-card “holders” the same as when they arrived – Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch.

Read more from SPEED

Joe Gibbs Racing set to welcome Matt Kenseth on Tuesday

Joe Gibbs Racing has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon at its Huntersville, NC headquarters, where it’s expected the team officially will name Matt Kenseth as its new driver.

Kenseth has driven all 13 of his seasons in the Sprint Cup Series for Roush Fenway Racing but said two months ago he had signed a deal with a new team. Contractual obligations had precluded him from announcing the destination. Two weekends ago at Bristol Motor Speedway, Kenseth and JGR President JD Gibbs said separately they would have news within two weeks.

Read more from USA Today

Joey Logano to Penske

Joey Logano has reached a deal to drive for Penske Racing in 2013, a source close to the situation has confirmed to on Monday.

An announcement that Logano will drive the No. 22 Ford or a third car for Penske could come as early as Tuesday.

Read more from ESPN

Dejected Martin Truex Jr says Atlanta win not meant to be

Martin Truex Jr didn’t have a dream weekend at Atlanta, but the Michael Waltrip Racing driver came close.

Two days after announcing a contract extension with MWR and sponsor NAPA, Truex nealy won the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway – in NAPA’s backyard.

Read more at Sporting News

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 

Event Schedule for Richmond International Raceway

SPEED Quotes: Reaction to Kenseth and Logano Moves

McReynolds: “The best thing for Logano is a clean sheet of paper. He needs a fresh start after being yanked all over the place for the past two years.”

Joe Gibbs Racing on Monday made official what has been rumored for months – Matt Kenseth takes over the No. 20 Home Depot Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013. The move has been speculated since the June announcement that Kenseth and Roush Fenway Racing will part ways at the conclusion of the 2012 season. Also affected in this shakeup is Joey Logano, current driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, who soon thereafter was announced as the driver of the No. 22 Penske Racing Ford for next season.

NASCAR Race Hub, hosted by Steve Byrnes, has the latest on these moves tonight at 6pm ET on SPEED. In the meantime, SPEED analysts Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond, as well as Wind Tunnel host Dave Despain, offer their perspective on the day’s big stories:

“Everybody wins. Jack Roush gets to move his rising star Ricky Stenhouse into a championship-caliber ride rather than lose him to another Cup team because there’s no Roush Fenway Racing seat available. Matt Kenseth gets to see how someone other than Roush does business while remaining in a front-line car, and Home Depot gets a driver who far better fits the company profile than Joey Logano. And Logano going to the No. 22 means the image-conscious Roger Penske can finally clean up teh 22 mess while Logano gets another chance to live up to his full potential. Kudos to all.”

-Dave Despain, host of Wind Tunnel

“Since Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte left Joe Gibbs Racing, the organization has had young very aggressive drivers who show their emotions inside and outside the race car. Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, for the most part, have been off the radar as far as out-of-car encounters are concerned this year. Although they’ve improved by leaps and bounds in this department and now don’t seem to need much work, Kenseth’s calm demeanor and personality will rub off on those two in a positive way.

“Joe Gibbs hiring Matt Kenseth was a no-brainer. When you have a sponsor like Home Depot that won as many races, not to mention championships, as they did with Tony Stewart, I’m sure it has been painful for them to watch the on-track success of the other home improvement store has had in the past few years. So, for a lot of reasons, it was an easy decision for Joe Gibbs to hire Kenseth. But on the flip side, it also was a no-brainer for Roger Penske to hire Joey Logano. I’m sure that a lot like Home Depot, Shell-Pennzoil had a huge hand in Penske’s driver selection for the No. 22. Shell-Pennzoil has been beat up pretty badly by Kurt Busch’s off-track antics and then the AJ Allmendinger saga, and they needed a squeaky clean driver. Joey fits that bill.

“Has Logano completely proven himself as a Cup driver? One part of me says ‘yes.’ He has doen something Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr and Kevin Harvick haven’t this year – he has been to Victory Lane. I think Joey and Brad Keselowski, although both young, will be good teammates, and I know for a fact that Brad wanted Joey at Penske. For all parties involved, these two announcements make total sense, and I think both the 20 and the 22 will have much better results in 2013 than they have had recently.

“Furthermore, I think we all know, and probably no one more so than he, that Joey Logano was thrown into the No. 20 car approximately one year too soon. He won a race in his rookie year in 2009, but he barely was 18 years old with little-to-no Nationwide Series experience. And look at what Logano has been through at JGR – from living through last year not knowing where his crew chief, Greg Zipadelli, would be in 2012, to then agonizing over whether Carl Edwards would take his seat or not, and when that finally got resolved the whole Matt Kenseth scenario started playing out. Regardless of what success Logano has had at JGR or what they were offering him as far as a ride was concerned, the best thing for Logano is a clean sheet of paper. He needs a fresh start after being yanked all over the place the past two years.”

– Larry McReynolds, SPEED analyst

“Matt Kenseth can fit in anywhere. He has the very easy going personality, but he knows what he wants in a team and in a car. I view him much like Mark Martin because Kenseth brings experience and a calming effect to a team. He has won some big races and a champioship, which Joe Gibbs Racing hasn’t done with its current stable of drivers. When a team has a veteran player on their squad, especially a championship-winning driver like Kenseth who can give them an idea of what comes next, it’s only a plus. Once a driver has been down that championship path and has that experience, if he or she shares it correctly, it’s invaluable to someone who hasn’t even been there.

“Sometimes owners of very young drivers look for someone who can help lead them and mentor them, but I don’t think Penske Racing needs that. They already have a leader in Brad Keselowski, who is a race through and through. He grew up in a racing family that became successful through determination and hard work – not because they had a lot of money to put into their effort. I think background has made Brad the caliber leader and driver he has evolved into. I think Brad will push and drive Joey Logano a lot harder than Logano is used to. Brad wants a teammate he can help but also benefit from, and I think they’ll make a good complement.”

-Jeff Hammond, SPEED analyst


Joe Gibbs Racing Signs Matt Kenseth

Veteran Driver Will Driver JGR’s No. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota in 2013

Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that 2003 NASCAR Cup Series Champion and two-time Daytona 500 winner, Matt Kenseth, has signed with the team to drive the No. 20 Toyota Camry with sponsorship from Dollar General and The Home Depot starting in 2013.

“We are thrilled to be able to officially announce Matt will join Joe Gibbs Racing starting at the conclusion of this season,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “Everyone knows what he has accomplished in our sport as a champion and a consistent winner. He is well respected in the garage and his experience and knowledge will be extremely beneficial to our entire organization, especially Denny and Kyle.”

Kenseth is currently third in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings with a win, nine top-five and 14 top-ten finishes thus far this season. Over the course of his career he has won a total of 22 Cup races while earning 122 top-five and 223 top-ten finishes.

“I’m excited to announce what the next chapter in my career will be,” said Kenseth. “I remain totally committed to this season and working with my current team toward a championship and having this settled will only help my focus. JGR is an impressive organization with tremendous leadership and strong support from sponsors like Dollar General and The Home Depot. I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to move from one great situation to another starting in 2013.”

A Wisconsin native, Kenseth started his racing career at the age of 16 and was an instant success winning his first feature race in just his third outing. By the age of 19 he was winning races across the state of Wisconsin and in 1994 he would become the youngest driver to win the Slinger Nationals, one of the most prestigious short track races in the country. From there he would successfully move through the ranks of the NASCAR All-Pro Series – 1995, USAR Pro Cup Series – 1996 and American Speed Association – 1997.

He would make his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 1997 and run his first full season in the Series in 1998. He has 248 career Nationwide Series starts with 26 wins, 118 top-five, and 168 top-ten finishes. 1998 would also mark his Cup Series debut, but Kenseth would not run his first full season until 2000 when he would also win his first race on the premier level of the sport and go on to earn Rookie of the Year honors.

Kenseth would win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship in 2003 with an impressive season that included one win, 11 top-five and a career-high 25 top-ten finishes. He took the points lead following the fourth week of the season and held it over the next 33 weeks enroute to the Championship. He won The Daytona 500 in 2009 and repeated the feat again this past February.

Matt and his wife Katie live in the Charlotte area with their two daughters. His son Ross currently attends Clemson University and is racing competitively as well.

From Joe Gibbs Racing-PR

Joey Logano to Join Penske Racing and Drive the No. 22 Beginning 2013

Penske Racing announced today that Joey Logano will join the team in 2013. He will drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Logano, 22, a two-time Sprint Cup Series winner who is currently competing in his fourth full season, will begin a multi-year agreement with Penske Racing.

“I am very excited to join Penske Racing and begin the next phase of my career,” said Logano. “I am looking forward to the opportunity as it will be an honor to drive for Roger Penske and race for wins and championships. I am also proud to represent Shell-Pennzoil as they are a respected global brand that does a great job of activating in the sport on and off the track.”

In addition to his pair of victories, four poles and 16 top-five finishes in his young Cup Series career, Logano has also produced 15 wins and 19 poles in five seasons competing part time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

“Joey Logano is a very talented driver who has already achieved a lot of success at a young age,” said Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing. “Joey is a great fit for our organization and we look forward to building on his success as he takes his place behind the wheel of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford.”

With an impressive track record of winning from an early age, Logano has established himself as one of NASCAR’s fastest rising stars. He started racing quarter midgets at the age of six and won his first championship just one year later. After rising up quickly through the racing ranks, Logano became the youngest winner in Nationwide Series history when he won at Kentucky Speedway at the age of 18 in 2008. Just one year later he won at New Hampshire to become the youngest winner ever in Cup Series competition. Logano went on to be named 2009 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year, setting the stage for a bright future in the sport.

“We welcome Joey Logano to the Shell-Pennzoil team, and we know he will do a great job representing our brands and Penske Racing in 2013 and beyond,” said Lisa Davis, president, Shell Lubricants Americas. “Joey is clearly a special talent on the race track, and we look forward to working with him off the track as well.”

Logano will join Brad Keselowski, a three-time winner and championship contender in 2012, and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team to form a potent combination for Penske Racing in the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Penske Racing is one of the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, cars owned and prepared by Penske Racing have produced 362 major wins – including 15 Indianapolis 500 victories – 423 pole positions and 23 National Championships. For more information about Penske Racing, please visit

From Penske Racing-PR

David Gilliland crewman OK after lift gate accident

A Front Row Motorsports crewman who fell off the lift gate while trying to load the David Gilliland car on the team hauler following the Sprint Cup race Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway was released from the hospital Monday.

Aaron Pierrat, gasman for the team, underwent X-rays for a possible broken back and broken hip, but those X-rays came back negative, according to a team statement.

Read more from Sporting News

Logano, Kenseth bound for new rides

Major pieces of the 2013 Sprint Cup driver lineup are expected to fall into place this week, when a pair of prominent free agents announce their destinations for next season and beyond.

Tuesday afternoon, Joe Gibbs Racing is expected to announce that former series champion Matt Kenseth will join the organization, effective next season. And current Gibbs driver Joey Logano will move to Penske Racing to replace the fired AJ Allmendinger, sources have confirmed to

Read more from

VH1 Planning NASCAR-Themed Reality Show

The VH1 cable network has recruited a number of current and former NASCAR wives to talk about their husbands, lives and careers as part of a new, NASCAR-themed reality TV show.

Originally programmed as an adult contemporary alternative to MTV, VH1 began its run with a heavy emphasis on music videos. In recent years, however, the network has shifted its emphasis to lowbrow reality programming…

Read more from Motorsports Soapbox

Travis Pastrana to run Nationwide at Richmond for Roush

Travis Pastrana will pilot Roush Fenway’s No. 60 entry in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Pastrana, who has eight Nationwide Series starts under his belt, made his NASCAR debut at Richmond earlier this season, finishing 22nd. He scored a career-best 13th-place finish last month at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway and led his first career lap this past weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Read more from Eye on NASCAR

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Richard Childress Racing won’t appeal Paul Menard penalty, crew chief suspension

Richard Childress Racing will not appeal the six-week suspension of crew chief Slugger Labbe nor the 25-point penalty for driver Paul Menard during its NASCAR appeals hearing Monday for an illegal car frame found on Menard’s car last month.

It also will not appeal Labbe’s $100,000 fine after Menard’s car failed inspection following the Aug. 19 race at Michigan International Speedway.

Read more from Sporting News

Penske Racing to keep Sam Hornish Jr, hopes to field third Cup car in 2013

Sam Hornish Jr, who has driven Penske Racing’s No. 22 Sprint Cup car since early July, won’t have that ride again next season, but Penske Racing plans to keep him.

The No. 22 car will be driven next season by Joey Logano, who will take over the ride after spending the last four years at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Read more from Sporting News

RCR appealing suspensions

Richard Childress Racing will appeal the six-week suspension of Craig Smokstad – car chief for Paul Menard’s No. 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car – and Grant Hutchens – crew member for the No. 27 car, the team has informed NASCAR.

Read more from ESPN

Denny Hamlin back at home track, confidence soaring

There was a noticeable change in Denny Hamlin three years ago when he finally broke through for his first career victory at his home track in Richmond.

He was soaring when he left the speedway with the one trophy he had coveted his entire life. Convinced he could not be stopped, he raced that way the rest of the year and flirted with the Sprint Cup championship.

Read more from That’s Racin’

Thursday, September 6, 2012

NASCAR rule change limits Hendrick

NASCAR on Thursday passed a rule that will curb the ability of teams to set their cars up in a way that gives the driver easier rear steer.

The technical bulletin issued by NASCAR goes into effect next week at Chicago, when the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins, and many believe it is aimed directly at powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports.

Read more from ESPN

Also – NASCAR Technical Bulletin limits Rear-end suspension

NASCAR issued a technical bulletin Thursday, Sept 6 that reconfirms the limits NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams can go in setting up their rear end suspensions in their race cars. Effective Sept. 12, the truck trailing arm front mounting bushing assemblies may be built to allow a maximum of 1/4 inch travel will no longer be permitted for use in competition. Approved front truck trailing arm bushing assemblies must not be altered after being approved. Wheelbase, rear axle location (parallel), offset and rear axle housing alignment will be inspected both pre-race and post-race.

“This doesn’t change any rules that we’ve already had,” said John Darby, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director. “It reconfirms how far teams can go with their rear suspension setups. Teams have found that with a car’s rear axle steer more is better as it helps with aero and gets the cars through the corners faster. We are just reminding the teams what the limitations are and that they cannot go past these limitations. We will likely address this further in our 2013 rule book.”


Newman signs 1-year extension with Stewart-Haas

Ryan Newman confirmed Thursday he has signed a contract extension with Stewart-Haas Racing for next season.

Newman is in the final year of the deal he signed in 2009. The extension is a one-year agreement, and he said he took a cut in pay just as nearly every driver has of late.

Read more from That’s Racin’

Petty, Hamlin and Ambrose Headline Gigantic Pit Party for Fans at Bank of America 500

NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard PettyNASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Denny Hamlin and Marcos Ambrose will make appearances at a one-of-a-kind infield Pit Party for fans at the Bank of America 500 on Oct 13.

The first-of-its-kind Pit Party will be a fan-friendly event taking place in the NASCAR Nationwide Series garage from 2-5pm before the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. The party will feature driver appearances, live music, concessions, racing displays and more. Access to Pit Party is included with the purchase of a race ticket and a pit pass.

“Pre-race pit paasses give fans a unique, behind-the-scenes look at race day preparations that you just can’t get at other sporting events,” said Marcus Smith president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We wanted to give our fans even more access to an area that’s usually off limits. The Pit Party is also going to provide plenty of fun before the Bank of America 500 and yet another reason to get to Charlotte Motor Speedway early on race day.”

In addition to fan forums with Petty, Hamlin and Ambrose, the Pit Party will feature displays from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, including showcase cars and a tire-changing station where fans can test their pit crew skills.

WKKT radio’s Paul Schadt will serve as emcee for the Pit Party. Other celebrities scheduled to appear include SPEED TV personalities Jimmy Spencer and Danielle Trotta, as well as nationally syndicated radio personalities John Boy & Billy from The Big Show.

Pit passes are $100 for adults, $50 for children 14-18 and free for kids 13 and under with a paying adult. Driver introduction passes are $150 for adults and $75 for kids 13 and under. Pit passes must be purchased in addition to a race ticket.

During the Bank of America 500, get the best views of pit road and the world’s largest HDTV with two frontstretch tickest for just $99.

To purchase tickets, call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS – 3267 – or visit

From Charlotte Motor Speedway-PR

Friday, September 7, 2012


2012 NNS Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Race Results

Harvick celebrates in victory lane at Richmond
Photo – Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Kevin Harvick, who started third, dominated the 2012 NNS Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Friday night at Richmond International Raceway, as he led the most laps – 141 out of 250 – and holds off pole-sitter Ricky Stenhouse Jr, by 1.944 seconds for the victory.

This was Harvick’s 1st series win of the 2012 season, his 38th series career win and his 6th series win at Richmond International Raceway.

Following Harvick and Stenhouse – who now trails points leader Elliott Sadler, who finished 12th, by 1-point in the standings – to the drop of the checkered flag were Kurt Busch finishing third, Denny Hamlin fourth and Michael Annett finishing in fifth.

Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender and outside pole-sitter, Austin Dillon, finished in sixth while his brother Ty Dillon finished in seventh, Joe Nemechek eighth, Ryan Blaney ninth and Darrell Wallace Jr, rounding out the top-ten finishing positions.

Race Notes

Average Speed – 91.724-mph

Time of Race – 2 hrs, 02 mins, 39 secs

Margin of Victory – 1.944 seconds

Lead Changes – 8 among 6 drivers

Cautions – 7 for 45 laps

Attendance 38,000

Race Results   –   Point Standings

Next Up – The 2nd annual Dollar General 300 powered by Coca-Cola at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday September 15th, with an approximate starting time of 3:50pm ET and television coverage provided by ESPN2 beginning at 3:00pm ET.

2012 NSCS Federated Auto Parts 400 Starting Lineup

Dale Earnhardt Jr, will take the lead – with a qualifying lap speed of 127.023-mph – for an all Hendrick Motorsports front row, as he captured the 2012 NSCS Federated Auto Parts 400 Coors Pole Award ahead of his teammate Jeff Gordon 126.981-mph at Richmond International Raceway.

This was Earnhardt’s first series pole of the 2012 season, his eleventh series career pole and his first series pole at the track known for “racing perfection.”

Following Earnhardt and Gordon to the drop of the green flag will be Regan Smith 126.910-mph starting third, Clint Bowyer 126.808 fourth and Jimmie Johnson 126.790 will start from fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Mark Martin 126.784-mph who will start from sixth, Denny Hamlin 126.671 seventh, Joey Logano 126.600 eighth, Martin Truex Jr 126.553 ninth and Brad Keselowski 126.547 will start from the tenth position.

Failing to make the starting lineup were the #37 driven by JJ Yeley and the #0 driven by Mark Green.

Weather permitting – forecast has increased from 60%, this morning, to a 70% chance of rain for Saturday – the 55th annual Federated Auto Parts 400 is scheduled to get started approximately at 7:50pm ET with ESPN on ABC providing television coverage beginning with their 7:00 pm ET NASCAR Countdown pre-race show.

Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NNS Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Starting Lineup

The defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, with a qualifying lap speed of 122.822-mph, captured the 2012 NNS Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Coors Light Pole Award at Richmond International Raceway.

This was Stenhouse’s fourth series pole of the 2012 season, his eighth series career pole and his first series pole at Richmond International Raceway.

Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon and fellow Richard Childress Racing teammate Kevin Harvick had the identical qualifying lap speed of 122.294-mph, and will start second and third respectively.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Sam Hornish Jr 122.023-mph will start fourth, Travis Pastrana 121.803 fifth, Denny Hamlin 121.797 sixth, Brian Scott 121.649 seventh, rookie contender Johanna Long 121.490 eighth, Mike Bliss 121.463 ninth and Justin Allgaier 121.436 will start from the tenth position.

Failing to make the starting lineup were the #52 driven by Joey Gase; #50 driven by David Starr; #89 driven by Morgan Shepherd and the #74 driven by Mike Harmon.

The 32nd annual Virginia 529 College Savings 250 is set to get underway around 7:50pm ET tonight with television coverage provided by ESPN beginning with their 7:00pm ET pre-race show.

Race Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

RCR considering Kurt Busch

The owner of Richard Childress Racing has discussed putting 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Bush in a fourth car next season if sponsorship can be found.

“I have talked to Kurt about running a full season with a fourth team if we had sponsorship,” Childress told on Friday at Richmond International Raceway. “He’s a very, very talented driver.”

Read more from ESPN

2012 NSCS Federated Auto Parts 400 Final Practice Session Speeds

During the final NSCS Federated Auto Parts 400 practice session at Richmond International Raceway, it was Carl Edwards with a lap speed of 122.321-mph, showing the quickest way around the track.

Jimmie Johnson, with a lap speed of 122.260-mph was the second quickest, and was followed by Jeff Burton 121.869-mph who was third quickest, Jeff Gordon 121.797 fourth and Martin Truex Jr 121.583 was fifth quickest.

Rounding out the top-ten quickest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Kevin Harvick and Stephen Leicht – with the identical lap speed of 121.496-mph were sixth and seventh quickest respectively, Kyle Busch 121.463 eighth, Paul Menard 121.343 ninth and Sam Hornish Jr 121.299 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

The teams will return at 5:35pm ET today for their qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for Saturday night’s 55th annual Federated Auto Parts 40. The race is set to get underway – weather permitting with a 60% chance of rain in the forecast – around 7:50pm ET and ESPN on ABC will provide television coverage beginning with their 7:00pm ET “NASCAR Countdown” pre-race show.

Final Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCAR me

JR Motorsports & Director of Competition Tony Eury Sr Part Ways

JR Motorsports and its competition director of five years, Tony Eury Sr, announced today the decision to amicably part ways, effective today.

Eury is a winner of 55 NASCAR races in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series as a crew chief. He has 28 years in the NASCAR industry, the last five of which were served as competition director and crew chief for JR Motorsports. The company has amassed all nine of its victories under Eury’s watch. JR Motorsports’ last victory came on Sept 4, 2010,with driver Jamie McMurray.

“The conversation Tony Sr and I had was one of the most difficult I’ve ever been a part of,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports. “I believe Tony Sr’s passion for the sport is exceeded only by his yearning to excel in it, and that itself became the issue that both he and I struggled with. At JR Motorsports we do this to win races and compete for championships, and lately we have not met that standard. Being the competitor that Tony Sr is, I know that bothers him more than anyone.”

In an effort to improve performance, a crew chief swap was implemented in April between Eury Sr and Bruce Cook. Cook took over the company’s flagship No. 88 team driven by Cole Whitt, while Eury turned his attention to the partial entry No. 5 team driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr and Ron Fellows while still serving as competition director. Whitt repsonded with two top-fives and eight top-tens in 19 races while the Earnhardt/Fellows duo scored fifth-place finishes in three of its four races.

The No. 5 entry has no more races scheduled in 2012. Eury Sr’s son, Tony Eury Jr, remains crew chief for JR Motorsports’ No. 7 Chevrolet and co-owner of the company with Earnhardt Jr and Earnhardt-Miller.

“I want what’s best for Dale Jr, Kelley, Tony Jr, and all those employees. I really do,” said Eury Sr. “We accomplished a lot in a short amount of time, and nobody is prouder of that than I am. I’m not sure what’s next for me, and I’m not sure I’m in a hurry to find out.

Eury came to JR Motorsports in 2007, compiling seven wins, 48 top-fives and 86 top-tens, as crew chief of the No. 88 team. Prior to that he spent 21 years at Dale Earnhardt Inc, where he won two Nationwide Series championships with Earnhardt Jr. 1998 and 1999.

“I can’t think of anyone who has impacted my career and development as a driver more than Tony Sr,” Earnhardt Jr said. “I know my dad untimely put me in the Nationwide Series car back in the 90’s but Tony Sr was the one who convinced him to do it. He was with em through two Nationwide Series championships and five full seasons as a Cup driver. We won a lot of races together, and as much as he impacted my career as a race car driver, he means more to me on a personal level. He’s done a lot for this organization, and I thank him for it.”

From JR Motorsports-PR

2012 NSCS Federated Auto Parts 400 First Practice Session Speeds

Jeff Burton, with a lap speed of 125.412-mph, was the fastest during the first NSCS Federated Auto Parts 400 practice session at Richmond International Raceway.

Second fastest with a lap speed of 125.313-mph, was Dale Earnhardt Jr, and he was followed by Clint Bowyer 125.232-mph who was third fastest, Sam Hornish Jr 125.110 fourth and Kevin Harvick 125.041 was fifth fastest.

Last week’s race winner, Denny Hamlin 124.948-mph was sixth fastest, while Martin Truex Jr 124.821 was seventh fastest, Greg Biffle and Marcos Ambrose – with the identical lap speed of 124.757-mph – were eighth and ninth fastest respectively, and Jeff Gordon 124.740 rounding out the top-ten fastest during practice.

The teams will have their “Happy Hour” – final – practice session this afternoon from 2:45 to 3:30pm ET before returning at 5:35pm ET for qualifying to determine the starting line up for Saturday night’s race.

The 55th annual Federated Auto Parts 400 is set to get underway – weather permitting with a 60% chance of rain in the forecast – around 7:50pm ET and ESPN on ABC will provide television coveraage beginning with their 7:00pm ET “NASCAR Countdown” pre-race show.

First Practice Speeds

Qualifying Order

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Elliott Sadler leaving RCR

Nationwide Series point leader Elliott Sadler confirmed on Friday he will not return to Richard Childress Racing in 2013 and that he is talking to several organizations about potential Nationwide and Sprint Cup rides.

Sources close to the situation said Sadler is negotiating with Joe Gibbs Racing for a full-time Nationwide and part-time Cup ride. Sources said Sadler also is talking to Michael Waltrip Racing about driving Cup races in the No. 55 when Mark Martin is not in the car and a full-time Nationwide schedule.

Read more from ESPN

2012 NNS Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Final Practice Session Speeds

During the only practice session being held for tonight’s NNS Virgina 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway, it was Travis Pastrana, with a lap speed of 122.846-mph, posting the fastest sped ruing the session.

The series defending champion, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, with a lap speed of 122.789-mph, was the second quickest, and was followed by Denny Hamlin 122.460-mph who was third quickest Kevin Harvick 122.371 fourth and Brian Scott 122.331 was fifth quickest.

Rounding out the top-ten quickest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Kurt Busch 122.294-mph who was sixth quickest, Michael Annett 122.266 seventh, James Buescher 122.216 eighth, Ty Dillon 122.177 ninth and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Brad Sweet 122.133 posting the tenth quickest lap speed.

The teams will return to the track later this afternoon 4:05pm ET scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting line up for this evening’s race.

The 32nd annual Virginia 529 College Savings 250 is set to get underway around 7:50pm ET with television coverage provided by ESPN beginning with their 7:00 pm  pre-race show

Final Practice Session

Qualifying Order

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Eury Jr struggle with release of Eury Sr.

When Tony Eury Jr became a co-owner of JR Motorsports, he never envisioned a time when he might have to fire his own father.

After all, JR Motorsports is a family company. More specifically, an Earnhardt family company.

Read more from Sporting News

Edwards – A Faint Hope

Carl Edwards has one last shot – and a tiny one – at making the Chase…

The numbers look like very difficult and very ugly algebra for Carl Edwards.

Although he hasn;t won a race this season – indeed, he hasn’t won since March of last year – Edwards limps into Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 still holding a chance – albeit a very slim one – of qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup and seeking the title he barely lost last year.

Read more from SPEED

Race Day Weather Forecast for NASCAR at Richmond International Raceway

First half of the day will be partly sunny, very warm and humid with afternoon high temperatures expected to reach near 90. A strong cold front will push across Virginia during the day bringing with it showers and storms. It is expected to arrive in Richmond between 4pm and 8pm, with a line of strong storms and showers. This is obviously a problem because the NASCAR Sprint Cup race is scheduled for around 7:30pm EDT.

Read more from WX-Man

Sunday, September 9, 2012

2012 NSCS Federated Auto Parts 400 Race Results

After rain delays and a Sunday morning finish – around 1:20am ET – Clint Bowyer, with a gamble on fuel, wins the 2012 NSCS Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway and second place finisher, Jeff Gordon, races his way into the “Chase for the Championship.”

Bowyer, who ran out of  gas before getting to victory lane, received his second series win of the 2012 season, his seventh series career win and his second series win at Richmond International Raceway.

Following Bowyer and Gordon to the drop of the checkered flag were Mark Martin finishing in third, defending series champion, Tony Stewart, fourth and Matt Kenseth finished fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Jeff Burton coming in sixth, Brad Keselowski seventh, Ryan Newman eighth, Greg Biffle ninth and Kevin Harvick finishing in the tenth position.

Race Notes

Average Speed  100.019-mph

Time of Race – 2 hrs, 59 mins, 58 secs

Margin of Victory – 1.198 seconds

Lead Changes – 17 among 10 drivers

Cautions – 6 for 41 laps

Attendance – 89,000

Race Results   –   Point Standings

Next Up – The beginning of the final ten races for the “Chase for the Championship,” starting with the 12th annual Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, September 16th, with an approximate starting time of 2:20pm ET. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN beginning with their 1:00pm ET NASCAR Countdown pre-race show.

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

1 thought on “NASCAR News & Views – Volume 42 – September 3 – 9, 2012

  1. Pingback: Today’s NASCAR News & Views | Fan4Racing

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