NASCAR News & Views – Volume 51 – November 5 – 11, 2012

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 NASCAR News & Views – Vol 51

November 5 – 11, 2012

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Today’s NASCAR News & Views

November 11, 2012

McReynolds, Petty Discuss Controversies in Phoenix Race

On Sunday’s NASCAR Victory Lane, following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix, SPEED analysts Larry McReynolds and Kyle Petty  discussed a variety of controversial topics that transpired during the penultimate race of the 2012 season. Points of conversation included Gordon and Clint Bowyer‘s accident, their crews’ fight in the garage, whether or not Jeff Gordon should be penalized and whether NASCAR should have thrown the caution flag in the closing seconds of the race for Danica Patrick‘s car.

Following are excerpts from the program:

Petty – “I’ve said this a million times. I’m all for ‘boys, have at it.’ But wrecking people is not ‘boys, have at it.’ Racing hard, like you saw Brad – Keselowski – and the No. 48 racing last week, is ‘boys, have at it.'”

McReynolds – “I do not believe in retaliating with race cars. What happened with two drivers – Gordon and Bowyer – affected a multitude of people. I feel badly for Clint Bowyer’s race team. Here’s a team that wasn’t really a race team 11 months ago and they have fought and they have clawed. They’ve won three races. They were third in points still with a shot in this championship  because something happened to Jimmie Johnson today. If we go to Homestead and something happens to – Brad – Keselowski, Bowyer’s a player again. I feel the 15’s pain. I totally support what the 15 group did in the garage area.”

Petty – “I think Robin Pemberton said it all when he said it’s hard to say, which means NASCAR isn’t going to do jack crap about this – penalizing Gordon, Bowyer or their crews. Jeff Gordon said – paraphrasing – ‘I got him back.’ I got him back. That’s the same thing we got into with Kyle Busch and Ron Hornaday at Texas – in 2011 Truck Series race. It was premeditated. I got him back. They parked Kyle Busch for a race. They took him out. What’s NASCAR going to do about this? Because this – Hornaday/Busch – was under caution and only affected these two guys. What happened between Jeff and Clint took out a couple of guys who were having really good runs. I’m going to say this, too, about the wreck and I’m going to make people mad all across the board. Clint Bowyer had no business being on the inside of Jeff Gordon trying to dodge him at that point in time on the race track, so I’m going to give a little bit of that accident to Clint for being down there in that place. But I’m going to put the burden on NASCAR. They should have thrown the caution when the 24 got into the wall and all those pieces came off through three and four and down the frontstretch. If we had had a caution then…they should have thrown the caution then. Jeff would have been forced to come to pit road and cooler heads would have prevailed. They also should have thrown the caution when Danica Patrick was sitting in the middle of the race track. They’re not going to say anything.”

On whether NASCAR should have thrown the caution flag at the end for Danica Patrick’s slowed car:

Petty – “I think we missed two cautions. I really do. I think Jeff Gordon – when he got hit and almost tried to wreck the 15 car and he got up in the wall. There was stuff coming off that car. You physically could see it on TV. We’ve seen cautions thrown for a lot less this year, so there should have been a caution there. Then Danica is sitting dead sideways in the middle of the race track. When you watch it on replay at home, she’s dead sideways … there should have been a caution thrown for Danica. When a car is moving that slow on the race track and has the track blocked at some point in time. I think Ryan Newman said it – yes, I have to question why they didn’t throw it … Always err on the side of safety, and having a car sitting sideways in the middle of the race track, having parts and pieces on the race track, the caution should be out.”

McReynolds – “We’ve seen a lot of inconsistency in this race today in when they threw the caution flag. A lot like Kyle just said, throughout the weekend here, the Truck race, the Nationwide Series race and all year long, we’ve seen that caution flag thrown a lot for a lot less than what we saw out there.”

From SPEED – PR

NASCAR National Series Clinch Scenarios Set for Homestead

Brad Keselowski leads five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson by 20 points going into Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Keselowski clinches his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship with a finish of 15th or better; or 16th and at least one lap led; or 17th and the most laps led, even if Johnson wins and leads the most laps.

All other drivers have been eliminated from championship consideration.

*****

Ricky Stenhouse Jr, who leads by 20 points over second-place Elliott Sadelr, will clinch the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver championship with a finish of 16th or better; or 17th or better with at least one lap led; or 18th or better with most laps led at Homestead.

In the owners championship battle, the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota guarantees a clinch of the title with a finish of 28th or better; or 29th or better with at least one lap led; or 30th or better with the most laps led. The No. 18 currently leads the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford by 33 points.

*****

James Buescher has an 11-point lead over Timothy Peters heading into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale. Buescher guarantees himself his first championship with a finish of 7th or better with no laps led; or 8th or better with one lap led; or 9th or better with the most laps led.

The clinch scenarios for the NCWTS owners championship is the same, with Buescher’s points-leading No. 31 leading Peters’ No. 17 by 11 points.

From NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications – PR

Kevin Harvick Wins in Wild Finish at Phoenix International Raceway

What might have been a dominating victory by Kyle Busch in the AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race, turned into a wild finish when Kevin Harvick races his no. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet to the win in the closing 15 laps on the strength of a fierce restart with eight laps to go and another on a green-white-checkered finish.

The race was thrown into overtime when a caution period occurred a split second before the white flag was to wave. Instead of freezing the field and ending the race with Harvick as the winner in the regulation 312 laps, a red flag was displayed for 14 minutes and 58 seconds to clean a wreck that included four cars. It also extended the event to 319 laps.

Slow-running Jeff Gordon, who was being black-flagged for running less than the required minimum speed, was driving in the race groove in turn four and ended up at the focal point of the controversial crash. Seventh-running Clint Bowyer, the third place championship runner, still clinging to faint title hopes, Joey Logano, and Aric Almirola crashed with Gordon split seconds before new leader Harvick reached the start-finish line. That angered Bowyer’s crew which took after Gordon’s team in a heated skirmish in the garage.

It also threw the sellout Phoenix International Raceway crowd into a frenzy. Emotions grew wilder moments later when multiple cars wrecked as they took the checkered flag that came seven laps after the scheduled 312 circuits.

With the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship in its closing stages, all eyes at the day’s beginning were on upstart Brad Keselowski who started seven points behind five-time champion Jimmie Johnson in the season’s penultimate race. When Johnson cut his right front tire on lap 235, his Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet suffered suspension damage when it hit the turn 1 wall. He finished 32nd, 38 laps down, and fell 20 points behind Keselowski in the championship hunt. One race remains next week, and Keselowski needs only to finish 15th, regardless of Johnson’s performance, to clinch his first title.

Most of the sunny afternoon was spent focusing on the taillights of Busch, who led by far the most laps with 237. “It – his pole-sitting no. 18 M&M’s Toyota – was an awesome piece, and I gave the race away,” he said forlornly. “I guess I didn’t know how to win it.”

Keselowski barely made it past the Gordon-Bowyer wreck on his way to a sixth place finish, saying, “I thought I was going to wreck, so I just hoped I could bounce off the walls and make it back to the start-finish line.” While the new points leader was bitterly angry over what he considered late-race retaliation by some drivers, he joked about the good luck he received when Johnson hit the wall; “I’m sure maybe five years from now, if I end up winning this thing – the title – there will be somebody saying ‘Remember Phoenix, when such-and-such laid down thumbtacks and blew out Jimmie’s tire?”

Race winner Harvick, who claimed his first checkered flag this season and third in 20 races at PIR, also offered a light touch when commenting on the fisticuffs between Bowyer and Gordon teams: “Fights? This sport was made on fights. We ought to have more fights.”

The next exciting race weekend at PIR will take place in the second week of the 2013 NASCAR season when the Subway Fresh 500 headlines the March 1-3 weekend.

From Phoenix International Raceway – PR

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pit Stall Selections

2012 NSCS AdvoCare 500 at PIR Race Results

Kevin Harvick ended a forty-four race winless streak Sunday afternoon as he won the 2012 AdvoCare 500k at Phoenix International Raceway – a race that saw a fruitless domination, retaliation, an all-out pit crew brawl, a red flag resulting in a green-white-checkered finish and a significant change in the point standings.

Harvick, who hasn’t seen victory lane since Sept 10, 2011 at Richmond International Raceway, received his and Richard Childress Racing’s first series win of the 2012 season, his nineteenth series career win and his third series win at Phoenix International Raceway.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Denny Hamlin and pole-sitter Kyle Busch – who dominated the entire weekend and led the most laps – 237 out of 319 – finished second and third respectively, and they were followed by Kasey Kahne finishing fourth and Ryan Newman coming in fifth.

The new series points leader, Brad Keselowski – come into the race 7-points down, now leaves with a 20-point lead over Jimmie Johnson – who received major damage from a blown tire and finish in 32nd-place, 38 laps down – finishing in sixth, while Greg Biffle finished seventh, Kurt Busch eighth, Paul Menard ninth and Mark Martin rounding out the top-ten finishing positions.

What will probably make one of the most shown videos on the media outlet’s “sports reels” this coming week, involves four-time series champion Jeff Gordon, driver Clint Bowyer and their crews. It begins with a bump from Bowyer on Gordon, when then a couple of laps later, results in Gordon retaliating and wrecking them both. The action then picks up towards the garage area, as Bowyer’s team go after Gordon and an all-out brawl ensues with Gordon’s team rushing to intercept Bowyer’s team – if this was baseball, it would be equivalent to emptying the dug-outs. This all occurs just before the white flag is to be shown, bringing out the red flag and setting up a green-white-checkered – flags – race to the finish. Fines, penalties and possible suspensions – will be interesting to see if NASCAR treats the incident between Gordon and Bowyer the same as they did with Kyle Busch and Ron Hornaday Jr, last year in the NCWTS – are sure to follow.

With Brad Keselowski’s points lead and heading into the final race, Keselowski can win the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship by finishing 15th or better, 16th and lead a lap or 17th and lead the most laps.

Race Notes

Average Speed – 111.182-mph

Time of Race – 2 hrs, 52 mins, 09 secs

Margin of Victory – 0.580 seconds

Lead Changes – 11 among 7 drivers

Cautions – 8 for 38 laps

Attendance – 87,000

Race Results – Point Standings

Next Up – The final race of the season, the 14th annual Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov 18th, with an approximate starting time of 3:20pm ET and television coverage provided by ESPN beginning with their 2:00pm ET NASCAR Countdown pre-race show.

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia 

November 10, 2012

2012 NNS Great Clips 200 Race Results

Joey Logano sat on the pole for Saturday’s NNS Great Clips 200, and never really looked back as he dominated the race – by leading 168 laps of the 204 that were run – and kept Brian Vickers behind him after a green-white-checkered finish to win at Phoenix International Raceway.

This was Logano’s ninth series win of the 2012 season, his eighteenth series career win and his first series win at Phoenix International Raceway.

What is probably the biggest story of the race dealt with Elliott Sadler – who came into the race tied for the lead in the points with Ricky Stenhouse Jr – when he was involved in an incident with two laps to go. The incident started when Sadler got into the back of Cole Whitt right before the white flag was to be shown, and resulted in both of them spinning out and making hard contact with the outside wall. To add insult to injury, Sadler was also hit by his Richard Childress Racing teammate, Brendan Gaughan, resulting in Sadler’s front end being torn off and bringing out a red flag to set up a green-white-checkered finish. Sadler’s crew did the best they could but Sadler finished in 22nd, and with a 20-point deficit behind points leader Stenhouse.

The current series points leader, Ricky Stenhouse Jr – who now only needs to finish 16th or better next week at Homestead-Miami to capture his second consecutive NNS championship – finished third, followed by Kyle Busch finishing fourth and Kasey Kahne who finished fifth.

Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender, Austin Dillon, finished in sixth, while Michael Annett came in seventh, Brian Scott eighth, Brad Keselowski ninth and Danica Patrick rounds out the top-ten finishing positions.

Race Notes

Average Speed – 98.077-mph

Time of Race – 2 hrs, 04 mins, 48 secs

Margin of Victory – 0.668 seconds

Lead Changes – 6 among 4 drivers

Cautions – 10 for 40 laps

Attendance – 42,000

Race Results   –   Point Standings

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS AdvoCare 500 at PIR Final Practice Session Speeds

Kyle Busch broke out the broom at Phoenix International Raceway and swept all three NSCS practice sessions – as well as securing the pole – when he ran a lap speed of 135.252-mph, for the quickest lap during the final AdvoCare 500 practice.

Second quickest was Kasey Kahne with a lap speed of 135.166-mph, and he was followed by Joey Logano 135.003-mph who was third quickest, Aric Almirola 134.958 fourth and Jeff Gordon 134.912 was fifth quickest.

Rounding out the top-ten quickest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Martin Truex Jr 134.796 who was sixth quickest, Clint Bowyer 134.791 seventh, Denny Hamlin 134.766 eighth, Brad Keselowski 134.549 ninth and Kurt Busch 134.519 posting the tenth quickest lap speed.

The 25th annual AdvoCare 500k is scheduled to get underway around 3:20pm ET Sunday afternoon, and ESPN will provide television coverage beginning with their 2:00pm ET NASCAR Countdown pre-race show.

Final Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NNS Great Clips 200 Starting Lineup

Joey Logano, with a qualifying lap speed of 132.621-mph, captured the 2012 NNS Great Clips 200 Coors Light Pole Award at Phoenix International Raceway.

This was Logano’s sixth series pole of the 2012 season, his twenty-second series career pole and his second series pole at Phoenix International Raceway.

Starting second with a qualifying lap speed of 132.445-mph, will be Kyle Busch, and he will be followed by series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon 132.261-mph starting third, Sam Hornish Jr 132.047 fourth and Brian Vickers 132.033 will start fifth.

The 2010 series champion Brad Keselowski 131.989 will start from sixth, while Kasey Kahne 131.844 starts seventh, Ricky Stenhouse Jr 131.675 eighth, Jason Leffler 131.593 ninth and last night’s NCWTS event winner, Brian Scott 131.310 rounds out the top-ten starting positions.

Failing to make the starting lineup were the #52 driven by Joey Gase and the #75 driven by Carl Long.

The 14th annual Great Clips 200 which is set to get started at approximately 4:20pm ET this afternoon, and television coverage will be provided by ESPN beginning with their 3:30pm ET NASCAR Countdown pre-race program.

Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS AdvoCare 500 at PIR Second Practice Session Speeds

Sunday’s NSCS AdvoCare 500 pole-sitter, Kyle Busch, with a lap speed of 135.552-mph, was the fastest during the second practice session at Phoenix International Raceway.

Second fastest with a lap speed of 134.983-mph, was Busch’s fellow Joe Gibbs Racing – JGR – teammate, Denny Hamlin, followed by Martin Truex Jr 134.907-mph who was third fastest, Brad Keselowski 134.892 fourth and the third JGR driver Joey Logano 134.887 was fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the practice session were Paul Menard 134.741-mph who was sixth fastest, Aric Almirola 134.715 seventh, Clint Bowyer 134.710 eighth, Kasey Kahne 134.705 ninth and Jeff Gordon 134.353 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

The teams will have their “Happy Hour” – final – practice session from 2:35 to 3:25pm ET this afternoon and then return Sunday for the 25th annual AdvoCare 500k. The race is scheduled to get underway around 3:20pm ET Sunday afternoon, and ESPN will provide television coverage beginning with their 2:00pm ET NASCAR Countdown pre-race show.

Second Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia 

November 9, 2012

2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 150 Race Results

After a green-white-checkered (flags) dash to the finish, it was Brian Scott – who started second on the restart – getting around Kyle Larson, to win the NCWTS Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway at the drop of the checkered flag.

Scott, who became the fifteenth different winner of the season, received his first series win in the 2012 season, his second series career win and his first series win at Phoenix International Raceway.

Coming in the third-place position was Joey Coulter, and he was followed by Timothy Peters – who moves into second in the points and sits 11-points behind James Buescher who finished 17th – finishing fourth and Ryan Blaney finished in fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten finishing positions were Ryan Sieg finishing in sixth, series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cale Gale finishing seventh, pole-sitter Nelson Piquet Jr eighth, Ryan Truex ninth and Justin Lofton finished in the tenth position.

Race Notes

Average speed – 87.581-mph

Time of Race – 1 Hr, 44 mins, 49 secs

Margin of Victory – 0.666 seconds

Lead Changes – 8 among 7 drivers

Cautions – 9 for 46 laps

Attendance – 29,000

Race Results   –   Point Standings

Next Up – The final race of the season with the 17th annual Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday, Nov. 16th, with an approximate starting time of 8:20pm ET and television coverage provided by SPEED beginning with their 7:30pm ET pre-race show.

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NSCS AdvoCare 500 at PIR Starting Lineup

Kyle Busch, with a new NSCS qualifying track record speed of 138.766-mph – previously held by Carl Edwards with a laps speed of 137.279-mph, in Feb 2011 – captured the 2012 AdvoCare 500k Coors Light Pole Award at Phoenix International Raceway.

This was Busch’s second series pole of the 2012 season, his tenth series career pole and his second series pole at Phoenix International Raceway.

Martin Truex Jr will start from the outside pole with a qualifying lap speed of 138.217-mph, and he will be followed by Denny Hamlin 137.578-mph starting third, Kasey Kahne 137.478 fourth and Aric Almirola 137.211 starts from fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Kurt Busch 137.007 lining up sixth, Paul Menard 136.992 seventh, Regan Smith 136.872 eighth, while Tony Stewart and Mark Martin with the identical lap speed of 136.867 will start from the ninth and tenth positions respectively.

Failing to make the starting lineup was the #37 driven by JJ Yeley.

The teams will return to the track on Saturday for two more practice sessions 11:30am to 12:25pm and “Happy Hour” 2:35 to 3:25pm ET before returning Sunday afternoon for the 25th annual AdvoCare 500k. The race is scheduled to get underway around 3:20pm ET and ESPN will provide television coverage beginning with their 2:00pm ET NASCAR Countdown pre-race show.

Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 150 Starting Lineup

For the second consecutive week, Nelson Piquet Jr, with a new NCWTS qualifying track record speed of 134.439-mph – previously held by Clint Bowyer with a speed of 133.949-mph on Feb. 2011 – captured the pole by winning the 2012 Lucas Oil 150 Keystone Pole Award at Phoenix International Raceway.

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

Sharing the front row with Piquet with a qualifying lap speed of 134.363-mph, will be Ryan Blaney, followed by Brian Scott 134.238-mph starting third, series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Cale Gale 134.218 fourth and Matt Crafton 134.018 will start fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten starting positions will be Kyle Larson 133.929-mph who will start sixth, Parker Kligerman 133.769 seventh, Timothy Peters 133.764 eighth, James Buescher 133.720 ninth and Ron Hornaday Jr 133.467 starting from the tenth position.

Failing to make the starting lineup was the #47 driven by Ben Reynolds and the #10 driven by Jennifer Jo Cobb

The 7th annual Lucas Oil 150 is scheduled to get underway at approximately 8:20pm ET this evening and television coverage will be provided by SPEED beginning with their 7:30pm ET pre-race show.

Starting Lineup

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NNS Great Clips 200 Final Practice Session Speeds

During the final NNS Great Clips 200 practice session, it was Ricky Stenhouse Jr, with a lap speed of 132.807-mph, on top of the speed charts at Phoenix International Raceway.

Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Austin Dillon, was second fastest with a lap speed of 132.392-mph, and was followed by Kasey Kahne 132.280 who was third fastest, Brad Keselowski 132.265 fourth and the current series points leader, Elliott Sadler 132.261 was fifth fastest.

Rookie contender Cole Whitt 132.159-mph posted the sixth fastest lap speed, while Danica Patrick 131.955 was seventh, Joey Logano 131.545 eighth, Brian Scott 131.521 ninth, and Alex Bowman 131.516 rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session.

The teams will return Saturday afternoon at 12:35pm ET for qualifying to determine the starting lineup for the 14th annual Great Clips 200, which is set to get started at approximately 4:20pm ET that day. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN beginning with their 3:30pm ET NASCAR Countdown pre-race program.

Final Practice Speeds

2012 NSCS AdvoCare 500 at PIR First Practice Session Speeds

Kyle Busch, with a lap speed of 137.788-mph, was the quickest during the first NSCS AdvoCare 500k practice session at Phoenix International Raceway.

Busch’s fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Denny Hamlin was second quickest with a lap speed of 137.242-mph, and was followed by Clint Bowyer 137.075-mph who was third quickest Kasey Kahne 137.012 fourth and Martin Truex Jr 136.872 was fifth quickest.

Rounding out the top-ten quickest during the practice session were Ryan Newman 136.830-mph who was sixth quickest, Joey Logano 136.799 seventh, Paul Menard 136.617 eighth, Carl Edwards 136.493 ninth and Jeff Gordon 136.452 posting the tenth quickest lap speed.

The teams will return to the track later today for their 6:10pm ET scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for Sunday afternoon’s race.

On Saturday the teams will have two more practice sessions 11:30am to 12:25pm and “Happy Hour” 2:35 to 3:25pm ET in hopes of getting their race setups finalized to their satisfaction before Sunday’s race.

The 25th annual AdvoCare 500k is scheduled to get underway around 3:20pm ET Sunday afternoon, and ESPN will provide television coverage beginning with their 2:00pm ET NASCAR Countdown pre-race show.

Entry List   –   First Practice Speeds   –   Qualifying Order

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NNS Great Clips 200 First Practice Session Speeds

Kasey Kahne, with a lap speed of 132.851-mph, was the fastest during the first NNS Great Clips practice session at Phoenix International Raceway.

Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders, Austin Dillon 132.636-mph and Cole White 131.984-mph were second and third fastest respectively, while Ricky Stenhouse Jr 131.979 was fourth and Brad Keselowski 131.699 was fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the practice session were Joey Logano 131.512-mph who was sixth fastest, Alex Bowman 131.468 seventh, Jason Leffler 131.396 eighth, Kyle Busch 131.305 ninth and Sam Hornish Jr 131.291 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

The teams will return to the track later this afternoon for their 3:35 to 4:25pm ET scheduled “Happy Hour” – final – practice session, and then return Saturday afternoon at 12:35pm ET for qualifying to determine the starting lineup for that afternoon’s race.

The 14th annual Great Clips 200 is set to get started at approximately 4:20pm ET Saturday afternoon, and ESPN will provide television coverage with their 3:30pm ET NASCAR Countdown pre-race program.

Entry List   –   First Practice Speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

November 8, 2012

2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 150 Final Practice Session Speeds

During the final NCWTS Lucas Oil 150 practice session, it was Nelson Piquet Jr, with a lap speed of 136.096-mph, showing the fastest way around Phoenix International Raceway.

Parker Kligerman, with a lap speed of 134.958-mph, was second fastest and was followed by series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Ty Dillon 134.917-mph who was third fastest, Timothy Peters 134.917-mph fourth and Ryan Blaney 134.831 was fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during the “Happy Hour” – final – practice session were Brian Scott 134.429-mph who was sixth fastest, David Mayhew 134.384 seventh, Ryan Truex 134.358 eighth, Johnny Sauter 134.183 ninth and Joey Coulter 134.043 posting the tenth fastest lap speed.

The teams will return on Friday at 4:35pm ET for qualifying to determine the starting lineup for the 7th annual Lucas Oil 150, which is scheduled to get underway at approximately 8:20pm ET that evening, and television coverage will be provided by SPEED beginning with their 7:30pm ET pre-race show.

Final Practice Speeds   –   Qualifying Order

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

2012 NCWTS Lucas Oil 150 First Practice Session Speeds

Matt Crafton, with a lap speed of 129.315-mph, was the quickest during the first NCWTS Lucas Oil 150 practice session at Phoenix International Raceway.

Second quickest with a lap speed of 129.282-mph, was Todd Bodine, followed by Timothy Peters 129.222-mph who was third quickest, Parker Kligerman 129.180 fourth and Brian Scott 129.102 was fifth quickest.

Rounding out the top-ten quickest during the practice session were Joey Coulter 129.097-mph who was sixth quickest, the current series points leader, James Buescher 129.079 seventh, last week’s race winner, Johnny Sauter 128.829 eighth, Ryan Blaney 128.604 ninth and Nelson Piquet Jr 128.297 posting the tenth quickest lap speed.

The teams will have their “Happy Hour” – final – practice session a little over an hour after this session from 7:35 to 9:30pm ET and then return on Friday at 4:35pm ET for qualifying to determine the starting lineup for that evening’s race.

The 7th annual Lucas Oil 150 is scheduled to get underway at approximately 8:20pm ET with television coverage provided by SPEED beginning with their 7:30pm ET pre-race show.

Entry List   –   First practice speeds

From Timing & Scoring provided by NASCARmedia

NCWTS Crew Chief Suspended Indefinitely Due to Violation of NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy

Charles J. Henry, crew chief for the No. 38 truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.

On Nov. 7, Henry was found to have violated Sections 12-1 – actions detrimental to stock car racing – and 19-4A – violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy – of the 2012 NASCAR rule book.

From NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications – PR

November 7, 2012

RCR Promotes Rick Penn to Vice President of Business Development

Richard Childress Racing has promoted Rick Penn to the newly created position of Vice President of Business Development.

Penn joined RCR in 2009 as Director of Business Development and was promoted to Managing Director of Business Development in 2010. He has overseen the growth of the business development department, from one to four people. His responsibilities include developing long-term partnerships for all of RCR’s teams and growing new revenue channels. Penn has been instrumental in establishing new partnerships with Budweiser, Growth Energy, AdvoCare, WESCO and Husky Liners.

“Rick has done an outstanding job for RCR since he joined us in 2009.” said Ben Schlosser, chief marketing officer for Richard Childress Racing. “He has assembled a terrific team for our business development efforts, implemented solid strategies to attract new partners to RCR and has helped driver B2B activities for many of our current partners. Rick has been instrumental in forging new relationships with companies like AdvoCare, Growth Energy, WESCO, Husky Liners and a few others which we have not yet announced.”

From Richard Childress Racing – PR

2013 Daytona PreSeason Thunder Dates Scheduled for Jan 10-12

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Teams to Shake Down New 2013 Sprint Cup Series Car Prior to 55th Annual Daytona 500

Daytona Preseason Thunder, the annual three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the prestigious season-opening 55th annual Daytona 500, will be held on Jan 10-12.

The test sessions mark the first time the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, which highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers, will turn laps on Daytona International Speedway’s 2.5-mile tri-oval.

The new-look cars will conduct test sessions between 9am and 5pm each day, weather permitting. Each session includes a lunch break from noon until 1pm.

“Daytona Preseason Thunder is an exciting time for both the teams and the fans as NASCAR begins the roll out of the new 2013 car,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “NASCAR fans are looking forward to seeing the production modeled race cars on the track beginning with the sport’s most prestigious race of the year – the 55th annual Daytona 500.”

Race fans can also rev up their new year at Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest – the companion event to the January test sessions. Along with watching Daytona Preseason Thunder track activity from the Sprint FanZone, fans can enjoy Fan Fest on Thursday, Jan 10 from 5:30 to 9:30pm.

The schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be finalized closer to the event. Tickets for the Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, which include autograph session wristbands, will be available for purchase at a later date.

For fans who would like to be contacted regarding Daytona Preseason Thunder Fan Fest ticket information can sign up online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com/thunder

Fans can also watch each day’s testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands.

From Daytona International Speedway – PR

Keselowski sets new Penske Record 

By finishing second at Texas on Sunday, Keselowski recorded his 22nd top-ten finish of 2012. This represents a new record for top-ten finishes in a season by a driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge. Rusty Wallace previously scored 21 top-tens in the “Blue Deuce” during the 1993 and 1998 seasons.

From Penske Racing – PR

November 6, 2012

Kyle Busch Motorsports Elects Joey Coulter As Its Primary Candidate for the 2013 Truck Series Driver Championship

Kyle Busch Motorsports/KBM announced today that the team has signed Joey Coulter to compete for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver’s championship in 2013.

Coulter currently ranks fifth in the 2012 Truck Series driver point standings and is tied for the series lead with three poles. The 22-year-old driver picked up his first career Truck Series win at Pocono – PA – Raceway in August and has collected six top-five and 13 top-ten finishes in 20 starts this season.

Overall in two Truck Series campaigns, the Florida native has recorded one win, three poles, 11 top-five and 26 top-ten finishes across 45 career starts and earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2011. Coulter made his lone NASCAR Nationwide Series start in May, posting a tenth-place finish at Charlotte – NC – Motor Speedway. In 46 ARCA Racing Series starts over the last four seasons – including full-time efforts in 2009 and 2010 – he has recorded one win, three poles, 14 top-five and 25 top-ten results.

“To say that I am excited about the opportunity to drive for KBM would be an understatement,” Coulter expressed. “Kyle Busch is a driver that I have always had a lot of respect for and looked up to because of his raw talent. Since I was 8 years-old, winning races and championships in one of NASCAR’s top three series has been a dream and a goal of mine – I feel that joining KBM gives me a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accomplish those goals. They are a team that has a winning attitude and have proven numerous times that they are capable of getting to victory lane. It is an honor to be given the chance to bring them their first driver championship.”

“With the addition of Joey Coulter to KBM’s Truck Series program for the 2013 season, we have accomplished our goal of having a talented young driver competing full-time for a driver’s championship,” owner Kyle Busch said. “Joey has been running up front, competing for wins this year and we feel like he is ready to have a breakout year. With the personnel we have in place at KBM and the support we receive from Toyota, we’re going to do everything possible to make sure that he is in a position to bring home a championship next season.”

In its three seasons competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, KBM has registered 17 victories, 8 poles, 38 top-five and 56 top-ten finishes across 87 starts. In 2010, the No. 18 team became the first to win the Owner’s championship in its inaugural season since the Truck Series originated in 1995. Coulter will be the first driver to compete for a driver’s championship out of the team’s 77,000-square-foot facility.

Further details regarding sponsorship and truck number will be announced at a later date.

From Kyle Busch Motorsports-PR

FOX Sports Media Group’s SPEED Channel Partners with IPOWOW

To Air First-Of-Its-Kind Interactive Real Time Fan Voting

Live interactive Voting Seen on Screen as Actual Events are Happening on “NASCAR RaceDay” Every Sunday on SPEED

SPEED announced a partnership with iPowow, the Participation TV specialist, in a first-of-it-s kind endorsement of live TV viewer votes in motorsports on the network’s popular pre-race show “NASCAR RaceDay,” utilizing real time interactive voting technology that shows voter results on-screen, as the events are actually happening.

For the first time ever, revved up racing enthusiasts can voice their own NASCAR predictions while watching their favorite high-octane races on television, then see their responses displayed instantly on their television screens during live broadcasts of “NASCAR RaceDay” – SPEED’s pre-race show. Utilizing iPowow’s pioneering technology, viewers can simultaneously witness their shared opinions in real time with other race car fans and even engage with the brand partners they see on “RaceDay.” The exclusive ground-breaking technology is made available to viewers by iPowow via iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, and the Web.

Kevin Annison, SPEED Vice President of Digital & Interactive Media said, “The voting power of iPowow technology brings our SPEED viewers even closer to the ‘RaceDay’ action by allowing them to share their excitement for the sport interactively from the convenience of their own home. The SPEED Live Vote is generating up to 10 times the engagement from our viewers, when compared to other types of interactive and social pieces.”

Adrenaline-filled NASCAR challenges on ‘RaceDay’ also provide hot-topic debates that are perfect for live on-screen fan voting. “As program hosts pose a question,” explains Annison. “iPowow’s voting app allows fans to voice their opinion immediately, and then change their vote in real time during the debate. This uniquely enables motorsports fans to ‘participate’ with the TV presenters and even have a direct influence on the outcome of the live studio debates.”

“Audiences are craving the chance to interact with their favorite TV shows, and we are proud to launch our ‘Participation TV’ platform with SPEED, who recognizes how savvy and connected their viewers are,” states Gavin Douglas, Chief Creative Officer, iPowow. “Consumers want a fun, cool, social experience with ‘NASCAR RaceDay’ while it’s on the air. We have answered the call with SPEED and the engagement numbers have been fantastic. We also deliver an unprecedented direct line of communication and engagement to SPEED and their brand partners, making it a win-win all around. We look forward to continuing to meet the growing demand for second screen experiences by providing viewers with new and exciting ways to engage with their favorite programs.”

iPowow’s latest success with NASCAR on SPEED comes on the back of collaborations with global sports broadcasters including UFC, Top Rank Boxing, as well as the American Music Awards, Dragons Den, Project Runway and NBC/Miss Universe.

From FOX Sports Media Group/SPEED-PR

SRT Motorsports Presents The Numbers – AdvoCare 500 at PIR

1 – fewest lead changes – 11/4/90

2 – fewest leaders – 11/4/90

2 – fewest cautions – 11/7/99

3 – fewest cars on lead lap at finish – 10/30/94

4 – number of wins from the pole – most recent, Carl Edwards 11/14/10

4 – fewest laps led by race winner – Ryan Newman 4/10/10

4 – most wins – Jimmie Johnson

4 – most poles – Ryan Newman

5 – number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend

7 – number of cautions during the 2012 spring race

10 – fewest caution laps – 11/7/99

15 – most leaders – 3/4/12

20 – different pole winners

23 – different race winners

25 – number of lead changes in spring race

27 – fewest running at finish – 11/5/89

28 – most lead changes – 2/27/11

29 – most on lead lap at finish – 11/2/03

41 – most cars running at finish – three times, most recent 4/21/07

66 – most caution laps – 11/2/03

90 minutes – amount of time it takes to dry the track after a significant rainfall

262 – most laps led by race winner – Dale Earnhardt 11/4/90

2012 Caution Update

1 – fewest cautions this season – Fontana

9 – races extended beyond scheduled distance – Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega, Darlington, Sonoma, Michigan2, Atlanta, Talladega2 and Texas2

14 – most cautions this season – Kansas2

205 – number of cautions in the first 34 races of 2012; includes 95 for accidents, 55 for debris and 24 for spins

1,074 of 9,856 – number of laps under caution in 2012

1,466.452 of 13,000.176 – miles under caution in the first 34 races

From Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports – Dodge-PR

Chevrolet Wins Manufacturers’ Championships in Three NASCAR National Touring Series

For the fourth time in history Chevrolet has captured the Manufacturers’ Championship Award in all three NASCAR National Touring Series. Chevrolet has accomplished the feat of winning the three titles in 1996, 1998, 2005 and now in 2012.

“Chevrolet is proud to win all three NASCAR national series Manufacturers’ Championships,” said Jim Campbell, US Vice President Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “These three titles are a tribute to the passion and commitment of all of our team owners, crew chiefs, drivers and technical partners.”

Jimmie Johnson’s victory in the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway clinched the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Manufacturers’ Championship for Chevrolet. It is the tenth consecutive year, and the 36th time overall that the Bowtie Brand has captured the prestigious title in NASCAR’s top series. To date, Team Chevy drivers have won 13 races in the 34 races completed on the 36-race schedule, including Johnson’s win in the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway to claim Chevrolet’s 700th victory in Sprint Cup Series competition.

With Austin Dillon’s second place finish in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway, Chevrolet clinched the Manufacturers’ Championshp in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The 2012 achievement marks the 15th time the Bowtie Brand has captured the prestigious Bill France Performance Cup. With two races remaining in the 33-race season, Chevrolet drivers have gone to Victory Lane 12 times.

Chevrolet clinched the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Manufacturers’ Championship with Nelson Piquet Jr’s third place finish in the WinStar World Casino 350 at Texas Motor Speedway. Chevrolet captured the presitgious title for the eighth time since the 1995 inception of the Series. Chevrolet Silverado drivers have won 11 of the 20 races run to-date in the 22 race schedule.

“Congratulations and thank you to all of our teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series who worked tirelessly to capture these prestigious championships for Chevrolet,” said Mark Kent, Director Chevrolet Racing. “These championships were made possible by an extraordinary level of cooperation among all of our teams, technical partners and Chevrolet engineers. We are now focused on a strong finish to the 2012 NASCAR season in NASCAR.”

In addition to the three NASCAR titles, Chevrolet’s on-track success in 2012 extended to winning the American Le Mans Series GT Manufacturers’ Championship; Corvette Racing winning the Team Championship and Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner won the GT drivers’ championship in the No. 4 Corvette C6.R.

In the IZOD IndyCar Series, Chevrolet captured the Manufacturers’ Championship. Team Chevy driver Ryan Hunter-Reay won the Overall Championship and the Oval Championship and Will Power won the Road Course Championship in his Chevrolet V6 powered IndyCar.

Chevrolet also captured the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Engine Manufacturers’ Championship.

With two races remaining on the NASCAR schedules, Chevrolet drivers are in strong contention for each of three driver’s championships as the 2012 season builds to an exciting, and dramatic finish.

From Team Chevy-PR

Dollar General Expands Partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing

Retailer to Sponsor Matt Kenseth in No. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota for 17 races in 2013; Will run for NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship with driver Brian Vickers

Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that it has signed a new expanded partnership agreement with Dollar General for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The new agreement means Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will drive Dollar General’s familiar yellow and black No. 20 car in 17 Sprint Cup Races next season beginning with the Daytona 500 in February. Kenseth, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, is the current defending champion of the Great American Race. In addition, Dollar General will return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and will compete with a full championship season sponsorship with Brian Vickers at the wheel.

“We are very excited about growing our partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Rick Dreiling, Dollar General’s chairman and CEO. “NASCAR effectively reaches our customers, and our racing program has proven to be successful in helping us build our brand. “We’re thrilled to have Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers driving Dollar General branded race cars next season.”

Vickers will return to the Nationwide Series on a full-time basis in 2013, ten years after he won three Nationwide races and became the youngest driver to win the Series Championship at the age of 20. Most recently, Vickers spent the 2012 season driving a partial NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing, where he finished in the top-ten in five starts including three top-five efforts. He has two career wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Since 2003, Vickers has continued to compete in the Nationwide Series, often driving the Dollar General car.

“I am fortunate to have raced with Dollar General before, and I am so excited to be reunited with Rick – Dreiling – and everyone involved with their program,” said Vickers. “Dollar General is a tremendous company, and its support and enthusiasm for racing is outstanding. I’m very happy to stay in the Toyota family, and when you look at the Nationwide Series over the past several years, no team has dominated like Joe Gibbs Racing. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get Dollar General, Toyota and JGR a Nationwide Series Championship next season.”

“We look forward to our expanded partnership with Dollar General in both our Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series’ programs for next season,” said Joe Gibbs, owner and founder of JGR. “With Matt – Kenseth – and Brian – Vickers – we feel well positioned to deliver great visibility and winning results for the Dollar General brand. Matt is obviously a great talent, and his experience will be invaluable to our race team. Brian has proven to be successful in everything he has raced.”

The 2013 season will mark Dollar General’s ninth year of NASCAR sponsorship, which will also continue to include two NASCAR Nationwide Series race sponsorships: The Dollar General 300 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and The Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola at Chicagoland Speedway.

“Dollar General is a fantastic partner for us at Joe Gibbs Racing, and it’s exciting to see how well the company uses its program to support its branding and marketing efforts,” said JD Gibbs, president of JGR. “They have a tremendous enthusiasm for our sport, and I know Matt – Kenseth – and Brian – Vickers – are looking forward to representing Dollar General and having a lot of success on the track.”

From Joe Gibbs Racing-PR

Howie Mandel Set to Host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards

‘America’s Got Talent’ Judge to honor 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Nov. 30 at Wynn Las Vegas

When the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards get underway later this month in Las Vegas, superstar comedian, actor, producer, author and judge Howie Mandel will take the stage in another role he is extremely familiar with; show host.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, which begin at 8pm ET on Nov 30 with live coverage on SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, are the culmination of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week and will honor the 2012 champion along with the rest of the top-ten drivers in the final Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.

Mandel, widely known for his role as a judge on the NBC hit reality show, “America’s Got Talent,” is as versatile as they come in show business. For more than 30 years, Mandel has succeeded in a wide range of roles across a diverse landscape of entertainment genres. Accomplishments on his illustrious resume include:

  • Host of the upcoming TV game show “Take It All” premiering Dec 10 on NBC
  • Executive producer and host of the FOX hidden camera series “Mobbed”
  • Emmy Award-nominated host of the TV game show “Deal Or No Deal”
  • Actor on the Emmy Award-winning TV series “St. Elsewhere”
  • New York Times best-selling author of “Here’s The Deal: Don’t Touch Me”
  • Creator and executive producer of the Emmy Award-nominated children’s series “Bobby’s World”
  • Internationally known stand-up comic, continues to perform as many as 200 concerts a year throughout the US and Canada

“I’ve spent many years in my career evaluating and analyzing talent, and there is no doubt in my mind that these NASCAR drivers are the best drivers in the world,” said Mandel. “I’m really looking forward to hosting this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards to help honor the top-ten drivers and officially crown the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.”

Each year, the awards have grown in stature and prestige, and this year’s edition will be no different. The event is always packed with appearances by big-name celebrities, popular recording artists and world-renown entertainment acts, evidenced by names such as Reba McIntyre, Kid Rock, and Rascal Flatts taking the stage in years past.

“Year after year, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards combines the excitement of NASCAR and the entertainment of Hollywood into a spectacular event,” said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR managing director, entertainment marketing business development. “With Howie’s work on ‘America’s Got Talent’ and ‘Deal Or No Deal,’ he’s become one of the most recognizable and popular personalities in America and we feel he makes this year’s show one of the most anticipated in recent memory.”

Other entertainment-related announcements regarding the awards show will be announced in the coming weeks.

A champion in NASCAR’s premier series will be crowned in a little more than two weeks when the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup culminates at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov 18. Tune in to the AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway this Sunday, Nov 11 – ESPN, 3pm ET – to see which drivers will be one step closer to claiming the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup title.

From NASCAR Integrated Marketing Group-PR

November 5, 2012

Phoenix International Raceway Event Schedule

Phoenix International Raceway Grooms Track’s Surface for AdvoCare 500

Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber announced today the completion of a pre-event track grooming program in advance of the November 11 AdvoCare 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race, the semi-final race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“Last year we made a commitment to NASCAR and the drivers to groom the race surface for three races using the tire rotator machine,” said Sperber. “This weekend we completed the last installment of the process and look forward to presenting a championship surface for the AdvoCare 500.”

PIR hired Colorado-based Bandimere Speedway to have a tire rotator machine burnish additional rubber into PIR’s surface, enhancing the racing groove. The process is a continuation of the track’s reconditioning effort that also took place prior to the Subway Fresh Fit 500 event weekend at PIR last March.

“We have received great feedback from the drivers who have said our process has helped improve the qualify of racing at PIR,” said Larry Crispe, executive vice president of operations for Bandimere Speedway. “We are proud to again be a part of the preparations for what will be another great race in Phoenix.”

Last fall, with pre-race input from NASCAR and many of the Series’ top drivers, PIR groomed the race surface using a different tire dragging device. That effort was augmented by six professional drivers running more than 3,000 laps on the new surface prior to the November race weekend. The PIR grooming program was widely lauded by the drivers during the 2011 November NASCAR weekend.

From Phoenix International Raceway-PR

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