NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • Entry List for the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway is posted, 46 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #25-Elliott, #30-TBA, #32-Wise, #33-Kvapil, #62-Sorenson #98-Hill.
    Drivers who need to be in the top-36 in speed and have no provisional available to them (lowest in owners points): #30-TBA (49th in pts), #62-Sorenson (46th), #25-Elliott (45th)
    Drivers who would miss the race if qualifying is canceled (least race attempts): #25-Elliott (4 attempts), #30-TBA (9), #21-Blaney (12)
    See the full entry list on's Darlington Entry List

  • Congrats to Chad Knaus....married: The big day has finally arrived for Chad Knaus and his fiancee, former Miss Sprint Cup Brooke Werner, as the two are tying the knot during the rare off-weekend for the Sprint Cup Series. Knaus, the six-time champion crew chief for Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports, has been in a relationship with Werner since last summer. Werner, a former Miss Vermont USA, stepped down from her role as Miss Sprint Cup in March 2014 during her second year on the job.(Fox Sport)(8-29-2015)

  • Saturday's XFINITY race could be the last for Boris Said: Saturday's race at Road America marks the finale of a five-race NASCAR XFINITY Series schedule for veteran road racer Boris Said this year in Joe Gibbs Racing's #54 Toyota. On Friday, Said hinted that the event could signify another finale on a much broader scale. "Man, this is like the best Christmas present I ever got in my life," Said said after Friday's final practice at the 4.048-mile track. "I've been racing for over 30 years. I'm going to be 53 in a couple weeks. In the last three or four years, I've been racing cars that don't have a prayer to win, underfunded teams. It's still fun, but not fun not being competitive. So, to get an opportunity to drive for Monster and Joe Gibbs and Toyota in equipment like this, it was a dream come true. To finally run in the top five at Watkins Glen, it kind of shows, hey maybe it's not my age, it was just the equipment. It's just been one of the most fun years I've ever had doing these five races with these guys. Now that it's last one, it might be the last NASCAR car race I ever run, I don't know. But it sure is a cool way to go out." If Saturday proves to be Said's swan song, his record will show one XFINITY victory, one Camping World Truck Series win and two Sprint Cup pole positions in a career that dates back to 1995 in NASCAR national series competition.(

  • Stewart responds to wrongful death suit: Tony Stewart claims he did not see Kevin Ward Jr. until just prior to his sprint car striking the 20-year-old driver and that Ward actually tried to make contact with Stewart's car in the accident that resulted in Ward's death. Stewart's local attorney, Brian Gwitt, filed the Stewart response Friday to the wrongful death lawsuit brought by Ward's parents. The response, filed in U.S. District Court in Utica, N.Y., states that Stewart didn't even know who it was on the track at the time, and that Ward was responsible for his own death because he not only walked out on to an active race track but also because he was under the influence of marijuana at the time. The three-time Sprint Cup champion has never talked publicly about what happened that night, other than to say it was "100 percent an accident."
    "Stewart did not see Ward, Jr. or anyone else walking on foot on the track until just prior to contact, and did not know the identity of the person walking on the track until afterwards," the Stewart response states. "Stewart was not aware that Ward, Jr. had crashed because the crash was behind him, and was not aware that anyone was walking on the track. "Stewart did not know Ward, Jr., and had never had a pervious track incident with him. Ward, Jr. approached Stewart's car and attempted to make contact with it. As a result of Ward. Jr.'s actions, Ward, Jr. was killed." Stewart, in his answer to the complaint, denies the allegations that his actions resulted in Ward's death. He claims that the Ward's father, who owned the car, also had a responsibility to make sure his driver did not use drugs prior to the event. Stewart also said that the Wards gave up their right to sue other participants in the race as part of the waiver signed to compete in the event. No trial date has been set. A scheduling conference is set for Oct.

  • Congrats to Matt DiBenedetto: who was married to girlfiend Taylor Carswell on Friday. DiBenedetto tweeted, "Today is the day that I get to marry my best friend Taylor! I'm lucky to get such a beautiful, sweet woman for the rest of my life!". DiBenedetto drives the #83 for BK Racing.(8-29-2015).

  • Drivers to appear at youth autograph session at Talladega: Danica Patrick, Aric Almirola, AJ Allmendinger and Ryan Blaney are scheduled to appear for a Talladega Superspeedway special youth autograph session during the Alabama 500/fred's 250 Powered by Coca-Cola race weekend upcoming Oct. 23-25. On Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10:45am/ct in the track's Hospitality Village, located behind the Birmingham Tower outside the frontstretch, the first 100 kids (12-and-under) to arrive will have the chance to get an autograph from each driver (limit one per child and time permitting). Participants will be allowed to start lining up for the youth autograph session at 10:00am/ct. Talladega Superspeedway has great ticket offers for kids 12 & under for both Saturday and Sunday, which will showcase the final race of the Contender Round in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup in which the list of 12 eligible drivers to the title will be reduced to eight at the checkered flag. Those kids' deals include $50 off the regular price throughout the lower grandstands and towers while they can sit free in the fourth turn Gadsden grandstand while supplies last.(TSS)(8-29-2015)

  • Bayne, Advocare go back to 1998 with Mark Martin Throwback at Darlington: AdvoCare and Roush Fenway Racing driver Trevor Bayne have gone back in time to 1998 for their paint scheme on the #6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion in preparation for the "Southern 500" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Darlington. The scheme, which was featured on the #6 Ford during one of the most successful runs in NASCAR history, harkens back to the 1998 and 1999 seasons when it was driven by former Roush Fenway driver Mark Martin. During that timeframe, Martin recorded nine wins, 41 top-five finishes, 52 top-10 finishes and had an overall average finish of ninth in the combined 77 races run in the two NSCS seasons. During that two-year span Martin led an astonishing 2,430 laps. Bayne and the #6 team will run the scheme as a part of Darlington's "Tradition Returns" program, which will feature several NASCAR throwback schemes from various teams throughout the Labor Day weekend. "It's a huge honor to run this paint scheme in Darlington," said Bayne. "This scheme was so successful in the late 90's with Mark (Martin) driving it and it's really cool to see it back on the track and on #6 Roush Fenway Ford again." The #6 was Roush Fenway's first NASCAR entry and served as the flagship team for the organization during its first 20 years. During that span Martin drove the #6 Ford to 35 wins and forever forced the number's historical significance in NASCAR history.(Roush Fenway), see an image of the car on the #6 team paint schemes page.(8-28-2015)

  • Cassill and Wise racing this Ironman World Championship: A weekend off is just another chance for Landon Cassill and Josh Wise to race. While fellow NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors relax on a beach, some other exotic locale or at home this weekend, Cassill and Wise will compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Austria. There will be little time for sightseeing, even though this is Cassill's first trip to Europe. The race, held Sunday and shown on NBCSN later this year, is half the distance of a full Ironman triathlon with a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run. Cassill attempted to qualify for the world championship in June at Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, but his time of 4 hours, 47 minutes - hindered by cramping during the run - was not good enough to do so. Wise and Cassill's dad each qualified for Austria at that event. That led to Cassill competing in a half Ironman the day of the Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in July. He drove in the Xfinity race the night before, flew to Muncie, Ind., got a couple of hours of sleep, competed in the event and then drove in the Cup race that night, finishing 28th. His time of 4:36.44 at Muncie - a personal best - placed him high enough to qualify for the world championships, which is expected to have about 2,700 athletes from more than 70 countries. Cassill says that if he can finish in 4:30, he believes he could place in the top 75. Another goal is to be in the top 20 after the swim because he says that has been his strong point. He's hoping to run the half marathon in about 90-95 minutes.(NBC Sports)(8-28-2015)

  • Stewart-Haas extends partnership with Atlas Copco North America: Stewart-Haas Racing has extended its partnership with Parsippany, New Jersey-based Atlas Copco North America. Atlas Copco has served as SHR's official compressed air supplier since the team's inception in 2009 and has grown to become a technical partner of the organization. Last season, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, located in Rock Hill, South Carolina, provided new compressed air equipment and installed its SMARTLINK monitoring technology into SHR's new, state-of-the-art race shop expansion located adjacent to the team's existing headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina. SMARTLINK provides 24/7 remote monitoring of the team's compressed air system to ensure continuous uptime and peak performance.(Stewart-Haas Racing)(8-28-2015)

  • NASCAR to Honor Justin Wilson at Road American and CTMP: NASCAR will honor fallen IndyCar driver Justin Wilson at this weekend's events in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the Camping World Truck Series with a moment of silence and decals that drivers can place on their helmets and/or the B-post of their vehicles. Wilson, 37, died late Monday after injuries sustained in Sunday's ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway after he was apparently struck in the head by debris from a late-race crash at the 2.5-mile track. The moment of silence will occur before the invocation and national anthem at both races.(

  • NASCAR Chase Fest returns to Chicago: Chicago will once again host the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with one of the biggest NASCAR themed parties of the season, NASCAR Chase Fest sponsored by Toyota. The free outdoor fan fest will feature all 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Challengers and culminate with a live concert by Grammy-nominated band, 3 Doors Down. NASCAR Chase Fest will take place on Weed Street between Fremont and Kingsbury streets from 2:00-9:00pm/ct on September 17. NASCAR Chase Fest will feature appearances and autograph sessions from all 16 drivers competing in the Challenger Round, as well as a number of recognizable NASCAR personalities. Fans in attendance will be treated to food from renowned Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, beverages from Coors Light (with proper ID), attractions such as the Toyota Ferris Wheel and NASCAR on NBC Sports Bumper Cars, activations from event sponsor Sprint including an appearance by Miss Sprint Cup and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Trophy, and another live musical performance by a Chicago favorite, country cover band the Suburban Cowboys. Additionally on-site, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) personalities Krista Voda, Kyle Petty, Marty Snider and Rutledge Wood will interview all 16 Challengers for the network's live broadcast of NASCAR America.(NASCAR)(8-28-2015)

  • Vince Welch's son joins MRN at Road America: A number of father/son duos have filled the pages of NASCAR history books over the past half-century. While several NASCAR patriarchs have passed down their driving skills to future generations, rarely in the modern era has a son followed his father into NASCAR broadcasting. That changes Saturday, Aug. 28 when the green flag waves for the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Road America. Dillon Welch, son of FOX NASCAR reporter/host Vince Welch, joins the Motor Racing Network team as a turn announcer for the network's live race broadcast. Dillon, 21, has one semester remaining at Ball State University, also Vince's alma mater, and has called more than 50 national sprint, midget and silver crown events per year for United States Auto Club (USAC) during the past 18 months. Dillon, a digital sports broadcasting major who produces regional Emmy-winning programs through his school's sports production unit, was given an audition as a turn announcer in June at Michigan International Speedway. The Indianapolis native, who began racing quarter midgets at seven and even won several championships, first dipped his toes into broadcasting after curtailing his racing schedule during college and due to lack of sponsorship. The most recent sons who followed their father into NASCAR broadcasting on a national network level were Dale and Glenn Jarrett, but both men and their father, Ned, first were drivers before seguing into announcing. Preceding them were Earl Kelley, a member of the Universal Racing Network radio broadcast team, and his son, Winston Kelley, who first joined the MRN broadcast team in 1988.(Fox Sports)(8-28-2015)

  • Throwback schemes at Darlington: Several race teams have announced their throwback paint schemes for the Bojangles' Southern 500 with more to come. Thus far, 22 cars have been unveiled: #2-Brad Keselowski, #3-Austin Dillon, #4-Kevin Harvick, #9-Sam Hornish, Jr., #10-Danica Patrick, #11-Denny Hamlin, #14-Tony Stewart, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #21-Ryan Blaney, #23-Jeb Burton, #25-Chase Elliott, #27-Paul Menard, #31-Ryan Newman, #32-Josh Wise, #40-Landon Cassill, #41-Kurt Busch, #42-Kyle Larson, #43-Aric Almirola, #46-Michael Annett, #48-Jimmie Johnson and #55-David Ragan.(Darlington Raceway), images of the schemes can be seen on's Darlington Throwback paint schemes page.(8-25/28-2015)

  • The biggest meatball in racing on the menu again at Talladega: After its sellout debut in the spring, "The Big One" Meatball will once again be available to race fans who want to try one of the most unique concession items in all of racing during the upcoming Alabama 500/fred's 250 Powered by Coca-Cola race weekend at Talladega Superspeedway Oct. 23-25. "The Big One" Meatball, like Talladega Superspeedway, is the biggest and most unique of its kind, weighing in at over a pound. It has a center of blended Mozzarella and Pepper Jack Cheeses mixed with smoked BBQ Pulled Pork and a little house BBQ sauce for an extra kick. It is then covered by a layer of Ground Beef, rolled in a panko bread crumb and parmesan mix before being deep fried to a golden brown. And, there's more - it is then topped off with a dollop of BBQ sauce and a spaghetti garnish. It is the creation of Americrown, the leader in motorsports catering and concessions. The company's Executive Chef at Talladega, Leilani Contemprato, and Corporate Executive Chef Michael Pappas from Daytona were looking for something that caught the feel of Talladega, and they succeeded in, well, a big way.(Talladega Superspeedway)(8-28-2015)

  • Jeffrey Earnhardt to make Sprint Cup Series debut at Richmond: Go Green Racing (GGR) announced that Jeffrey Earnhardt will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) debut with GGR in the #32 Ford at Richmond International Speedway during the Federated Auto Parts 400. This will mark the return of two Earnhardt's competing in the NSCS for the first time in over a decade. "I'm really excited to get this opportunity and thrilled that CorvetteParts.Net is sponsoring my debut in Sprint Cup," commented Earnhardt. "The Keens have been very good to me and having their company be part of an important day in my career is pretty cool. I appreciate everyone at Go Green Racing for making this happen and look forward to doing my best to make it a good debut." The 26 year-old, Mooresville, NC native has three previous starts in NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) with longtime GGR sponsor CorvetteParts.Net, as they will once again team with Earnhardt and GGR for the event at Richmond. The Federated Auto Parts 400 will mark Earnhardt's return to GGR. In 2012 Earnhardt made one start for Archie St.Hilare in the (NXS) while making 16 starts in 2013. "Tom and I have been waiting for this announcement like expectant parents," said CorvetteParts.Net owner TJ Keen. "We are very excited to have Jeffrey back in the (Keen Parts) uniform and look forward to having him wheel the Go Green Racing #32 Ford Fusion at Richmond. We are extremely honored to be affiliated with Archie St. Hilaire and the entire organization. Every member on this team gives 100% week in and week out and their positive attitude and desire is none to compare."
    "Mason and I are really looking forward to Jeffrey's first start in the sprint cup series with the 32 team," stated team owner Archie St.Hilaire. "Jeffrey drove for us in the Xfinity series a few years back and worked really well with our crew chief Clinton Cram. I think their relationship will help Jeffrey move up into the cup series a smooth transition and hopefully be the start of something great for the future!"(GGR PR)(8-27-2015)

  • Almirola's Darlington scheme a throwback to Petty in 1972 A throwback conversation wouldn't be complete without the iconic #43 STP Ford and neither would the throwback The Tradition Returns weekend at Darlington Raceway. Joining in on the retro paint schemes, Aric Almirola will pilot the 1972 "Petty Blue" and Day-Glo Red #43 STP paint scheme, originally driven by "The King" Richard Petty. STP will also have special guests at the track during its return to Labor Day weekend. Members of the 1972 crew will join STP and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team for the Bojangles Southern 500. 1972 marked the first year for STP and Petty's longstanding relationship and the first year the No. 43 sported Day-Glo Red on the quarter panels. It's only fitting that the company throwback to their first year in NASCAR racing with "The King" during The Tradition Returns weekend. In a storied history, Petty raced with the STP logo on the hood of his #43 race car for 21 years before he retired as a driver and scored 60 of his 200 wins during that time. Along with crew chief Dale Inman, crew members Richie Barsz, fabricator, Tex Powell, mechanic and Jackman, Les Barsz, mechanic and transporter driver, Billy Biscoe, mechanic and gas man, Jimmy "Zoomer" Kovalchik, fabricator and tire carrier, and Barry Dodson, painter, will return to the track where they finished third in the 1972 Southern 500.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(8-27-2015)

  • NASCAR issues warnings to several teams: NASCAR announced Wednesday night that Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth each will be docked 15 minutes of practice time next week at Darlington Raceway for inspection issues at Bristol Motor Speedway. They were among 11 Sprint Cup teams issued warnings. Warnings were given to:
    Busch's team for failing pre-race inspection four times.
    Kenseth's team for failing pre-race inspection two times plus being late to inspection.
    The teams of Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, Alex Bowman, Travis Kvapil and Timmy Hill for failing pre-qualifying inspection twice.
    The teams of Landon Cassill, Matt DiBenedetto, Clint Bowyer and Denny Hamlin for being late to the inspection line.
    NASCAR recently streamlined its warning structure. NASCAR's Rule Book states that for every fourth warning a team receives in a season it will result in the loss of pit selection. Warnings can not be appealed.(NBC Sports)(8-27-2015)

  • Teams to test at Homestead UPDATE: NASCAR has scheduled a Sprint Cup Series test for Homestead-Miami Speedway on Wednesday, August 26. One team from each organization will be eligible to take part in the test, which will run from 9:00am-5:00pm. Teams will test at Homestead-Miami Speedway in preparation for the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 on Sunday, November 22, where the Championship 4 drivers will battle for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Testing will be open to the public from 9:00am-5:00pm in the infield Pit Road Cabanas, as well as from the chair-back seats in the Speedway Club on the fourth floor of the tower building. Fans may enter and park in the parking lot on SW 336thStreet and SW 137th Avenue and take a tram into the infield to watch testing. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase in the infield.(Homestead-Miami Speedway)(8-18-2016)
    UPDATE: Four drivers will participate in a Goodyear tire test at the 1.5-mile South Florida track Monday and Tuesday with an open test scheduled for Wednesday -- NASCAR allowing each Sprint Cup Series team to be represented by one car. Trevor Bayne (Roush Fenway Racing), Clint Bowyer ( Michael Waltrip Racing), Ryan Newman (Richard Childress Racing) and Kyle Larson (Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates) are scheduled for the Goodyear test.
    AND One team from each organization in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is slated to test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Wednesday, August 26. Testing will run from 9:00 to 5:00pm/et.
    NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams / drivers scheduled to participate:
    #6-Trevor Bayne, Ford, (Roush Fenway Racing)
    #21-Ryan Blaney, Ford, (Wood Brothers Racing)
    #15-Clint Bowyer, Toyota, (Michael Waltrip Racing)
    #31-Ty Dillon, Chevy, (Richard Childress Racing)
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevy, (Hendrick Motorsports)
    #11-Denny Hamlin, Toyota, (Joe Gibbs Racing)
    #4-Kevin Harvick, Chevy, (Stewart-Haas Racing)
    #42-Kyle Larson, Chevy, (Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates)
    #22-Joey Logano, Ford, (Team Penske)
    #78-Martin Truex Jr., Chevy, (Furniture Row Racing)
    UPDATE 2: Rain interrupted much of Wednesday's testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway. NASCAR extended the test until 10:00pm. Teams ended up with approximately 3 hours of on-track time. Fastest was #11-Hamlin at 176.696mph, then #21-Blaney 176.206 & #4-Harvick 176.062mph.(8-27-2015)

  • Congrats to Kurt Busch and girlfriend Ashley Van Metre on their engagement. Busch tweeted the news Wednesday evening. The couple have dated since last year. Van Metre is one of the top polo players in the United States.(8-27-2015)

  • Bristol TV Ratings UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Bristol (TN) earned a 1.9 overnight rating on NBCSN Saturday night, down 44% from last year (3.4) and down 49% from 2013 (3.7), both on ABC. The 1.9 is the second-lowest for any Sprint Cup race this season, ahead of only a 1.5 for Kansas on Fox Sports 1 in May. Including the Kentucky race on NBCSN last month (2.0), the three Saturday night races on cable this season have been the three lowest rated in the metered markets. Overall, 12 of the 13 Sprint Cup races on cable have had a decline in overnight ratings, with the aforementioned Kentucky race the lone exception.(Sports Media Watch / Show Buzz Daily), see past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(8-24-2015)
    UPDATE: NBCSN won Saturday prime time among total viewers and adults 18-49 with its first-ever telecast of the "NASCAR Sprint Cup: Irwin Tools Night Race" from Bristol. The good news was the cable network more than tripled the Saturday prime time delivery (in total viewers and adults 18-49) compared to its NBC broadcast network counterpart which aired two hours of original dramas on the evening, "Aquarius" and "Hannibal".(TV Media Insights)
    AND NASCAR's Bristol night race fell to its lowest audience in at least 15 years. NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Bristol earned a 2.1 final rating and 3.6 million viewers on NBCSN Saturday night, down 34% in ratings and 29% in viewership from last year (3.2, 5.1M) and down 46% and 43%, respectively, from 2013 (3.9, 6.3M), both of which aired on ABC.(Sports Media Watch), see past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(8-27-2015)

  • Pollex, Truex, Jr. design "Never Give Up" bracelet for ovarian cancer: During a post-race interview following his June 7 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Pocono Raceway, Martin Truex Jr. was asked by a member of the media how he was able to keep going forward after all the adversity that's confronted him over the past two seasons. Without hesitation Truex gave a succinct and heartfelt answer -- "Never Give Up." The "Never Give Up" saying has taken on a meaning of its own, touching Truex's social media followers and race fans throughout the country and the world. Due to the global reaction to the slogan, Truex and his girlfriend Sherry Pollex have designed a NEVER GIVE UP wristband to help raise awareness, advocacy and research funding for ovarian cancer through the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation in cooperation with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA). The cost of the NEVER GIVE UP wristband is $4 and can be ordered online by visiting With September being National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, the OCNA will also be selling the NEVER GIVE UP wristbands at its Teal Appeal display booth during the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series weekend at Darlington Raceway. The black and teal NEVER GIVE UP silicone wristbands carry a personal message from Martin and Sherry along with their signatures separated by a teal ribbon. The wristband will also include a card that lists the symptoms of ovarian cancer. The outside matte black finish of the wristband represents Truex's #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet and the inside teal finish represents the official ribbon color for ovarian cancer awareness.(Martin Truex, Jr. Foundation)(8-27-2015)

  • Comcast creates Community Champion of the Year Award: As part of its long-term partnership with NASCAR, Comcast announced the creation of the Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award, honoring NASCAR team members for their outstanding charitable endeavors. The annual award will celebrate the philanthropic efforts being made by race teams across all three national series. An individual from each national series will be honored, with one of the three earning the Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award. In recognition of their efforts, a donation of $60,000 will be made in the winner's name to their affiliated charitable organization. A $30,000 contribution will also be made to each of the remaining finalists' charitable organizations. Nominations are to be submitted by NASCAR team members. Eligible recipients include team owners, drivers and all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team employees. Nominees will be narrowed down to three finalists, with a panel of judges comprised of executives from Comcast, The NASCAR Foundation, a former NASCAR driver and a member of the national motorsports media, to determine the recipient of the award. The award will be presented at the NASCAR XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series Banquet at the end of the season in South Florida. Comcast's XFINITY brand is the title sponsor of the NASCAR XFINITY Series and Comcast's NBCUniversal is a NASCAR broadcast partner through the 2024 season.(NASCAR)(8-27-2015)

  • Joe Gibbs Racing Launches Pit Road with Pals Game App: Joe Gibbs Racing announced the launch of their new interactive pit crew competition app: Pit Road with Pals. The new version of the popular pit stop game is now available for download on all Apple and Android devices. Pit Road With Pals App is a free app and provides fans the opportunity to test their skills in all facets of a pit stop. New to this version is the opportunity to play with friends in a best-of-three round competition style similar to many popular word games.(more info and links on JGRs Facebook page)(8-27-2015)

  • Terry Labonte to serve as Grand Marshal at Darlington: Terry Labonte, who will be inducted into the 2016 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, will serve as Grand Marshal for the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 6. Labonte will give the command to start engines accompanied by Bojangles' CEO Clifton Rutledge. Labonte's involvement in the Bojangles' Southern 500 further enhances the track's throwback platform of celebrating the history and heritage of the sport. Labonte is the last NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to win the Bojangles' Southern 500, when it was held on Labor Day weekend, August 31, 2003. It was his final victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ironically, Labonte's first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win also came at Darlington in the 1980 Bojangles' Southern 500. "Darlington is where I won my first race and my last, and I'm honored to serve as Grand Marshal for the first time at the Bojangles' Southern 500," Labonte said. "I love the Labor Day tradition, and Darlington always brings back special memories for me. I look forward to being part of such a historic weekend for NASCAR."(Darlington Raceway)(8-27-2015)

  • NASCAR Hauler Showcase and Parade returns to Dover October 1: Dover International Speedway to announces a special kickoff to the Oct. 2-4, 2015 race weekend with the return of the popular NASCAR Hauler Showcase and Parade. The showcase is set for Thursday, Oct. 1 at the Blue Hen Corporate Center in from 3:00-5:00pm, with a parade through downtown Dover to follow. The Hauler Showcase and Parade is free and open to the public. Fans are invited to the Blue Hen Corporate Center, located at 655 S. Bay Road, just four miles south of Dover International Speedway, to see the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers before they depart at 5:00pm on the parade route through Downtown Dover before heading to parking at the track for race weekend. The inaugural event in 2013 saw close to 10,000 attendees spread out across the entire parade route. The event was rained out last year. After such a great turnout for the inaugural event, Speedway and local officials agreed the event should return for another year. At 5:00pm, haulers will start north on Bay Road, before making a left onto Martin Luther King Blvd. (formerly Court Street). They will then turn right onto Legislative Avenue in Downtown Dover, before turning left onto Loockerman Street, then right on South State Street. From there, the haulers will proceed to the track via Leipsic Road and arrive at approximately 5:45pm.(Dover Speedway)(8-27-2015)

  • Go Green's Darlington scheme a throwback to Ricky Craven: Go Green Racing announces our throwback paint scheme for the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 6th. The last time the #32 went to victory lane in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, was at Darlington Raceway in 2003 with Ricky Craven behind the wheel in one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history. Go Green Racing's owner, Archie St.Hilaire, expressed his excitement in bringing back the 32 scheme for Darlington's running for the Southern 500. "Being a Maine native I alway's pulled for Ricky when he was running in the Cup Series. I couldn't see a more ideal situation to run this throwback scheme." Addittionally, GGR announces a new partner for Darlington. BeerFrost is an environmental friendly product sprinkled on ice causing it to drop in temperature by up to 30 degrees resulting in FROSTY cold beer Long time GGR partner CorvetteParts.Net will also be on the #32 for the Southern 500.(Go Green Racing), see an image of the car on the #32 team paint schemes page.(8-26-2015)

  • Ragan would consider XFINITY or Truck ride for next season: #55-David Ragan said there are no regrets about leaving Front Row (where he won at Talladega Superspeedway in May 2013) because he wasn't guaranteed sponsorship for a full season. "If it had been a full-time deal, then I would have signed up for that at the beginning of the year," he said. "I wouldn't have left. But at the time, I didn't know, and it allowed me to do something different." Ragan would like to remain in the Sprint Cup Series but said he would consider a competitive ride in the Xfinity or Camping World Truck series. "Where I'm at in my career, it's more about being competitive than just making a paycheck or being a Sprint Cup driver," said Ragan, who has two Cup wins and has driven full time in the series since 2007. "I don't want to be in a position where I'm 35th in qualifying, and you finish 30th every week. That's no fun. It's a way to make a living and stay involved, and it's better than the alternative of nothing, but I don't want to be in that position. "So I'll try really hard to try to find something competitive in one of the top three series where I feel like I can go out and win some races and race for a championship."(NBC Sports)(8-26-2015)

  • Jeb Burton's throwback to honor father Ward at Darlington: When Jeb Burton decided to join the wave of throwback paint schemes for Labor Day weekend at Darlington Raceway, he didn't have far to look for inspiration. Burton's BK Racing entry for the 66th running of the Bojangles' Southern 500 will pay tribute to the career of his father, Ward Burton, a two-time winner at NASCAR's oldest superspeedway. "I saw all the throwback stuff and Estes has the same colors as Dad had, so I just thought about the idea and I got the PR team to come up with a design," Jeb Burton said. "I saw it and I thought it'd be a cool idea so we went on with it." Ward Burton caught his first glimpse of the car's vintage look ahead of last weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The resemblance -- both in colors and its similarly styled numbers -- is uncanny. "It's really cool," the 53-year-old Burton said. "We had a lot of success at Darlington, but more importantly I really appreciate Jeb thinking about me." Ward Burton flew the Caterpillar flag for his most prominent wins in NASCAR's premier series, foremost among them the 2002 Daytona 500. The yellow-and-black look was also front and center for Burton and crew chief Tommy Baldwin Jr. when the Davis-owned team found a sweet spot at Darlington, yielding two victories at the 1.366-mile track, including the 2001 Southern 500.(, see an image of the car on the #23 team paint schemes page.(8-26-2015)

  • Darlington throwback scheme for Hillman Racing: While other sponsors are bringing back their "old school" logos and designs for the Bojangles' Southern 500, Snap Fitness is paying homage to an iconic car: Sterling Marlin's 2001 "God Bless America" paint scheme. Marlin's paint scheme ran for the first time in the 2001 Protection One 400, which took place a few weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The paint scheme for the most part stays true to the original car run by Marlin with two patriotic phrases around the car: "Proud to be an American" on the back quarter panels and "God Bless America" on the back rear. Snap Fitness added to the design with "9/11 Never Forget" on top of the trunk, complete with a skyline showcasing the Twin Towers. This isn't the first time Snap Fitness has showed its patriotism. All summer long, America's Fitness Brand has run a campaign to benefit Folds of Honor, an organization that provides scholarships to families of fallen soldiers.(Hillman Racing), see an image of the car on the #40 team paint schemes page.(8-26-2015)

  • Hornish to drive throwback Winn-Dixie car: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Winn-Dixie will serve as the primary sponsor for Sam Hornish Jr. and the #9 Ford team at the Darlington Raceway The Tradition Returns weekend in September. The Southeastern-based grocery store has a long history in NASCAR, serving as a primary and associate sponsor within the top NASCAR series. At The Tradition Returns weekend, Hornish will sport a retro black, gold and red Winn-Dixie paint scheme, like the car previously driven by former NASCAR driver Mark Martin. Winn-Dixie's NASCAR heritage began in 1980 with their debut in the Sprint Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway with Lake Speed behind the wheel. NASCAR fans mostly recognize Winn-Dixie as Martin's primary sponsor for nine years in the XFINITY Series, in which Martin set the standard. Martin visited Victory Lane 39 times and accumulated 77 Top-Five and 94 Top-10 finishes in 128 races with Winn-Dixie as a sponsor. At Darlington alone, Martin won eight times and picked up 14 Top-Five and 18 Top-10 finishes during the sponsorship. This September, Winn-Dixie takes their involvement one step further by partnering with RPM, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time Champion, Richard Petty.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #9 team paint schemes page.(8-26-2015)

  • Most Mentioned Sprint Cup Series Drivers: According to data compiled by Joyce Julius, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, & Jimmie Johnson have received the most driver mentions during NASCAR telecasts though the Watkins Glen race this year. The rankings:

    Driver Interviews Interview Time Mentions
    #4-Harvick 35 0:29:06 3,558
    #22-Logano 22 0:21:49 2,520
    #48-Johnson 19 0:13:48 2,504
    #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 24 0:19:56 2,281
    #24-Gordon 22 0:22:30 2,074
    #2-Keselowski 18 0:10:18 2,052
    #78-Truex, Jr. 16 0:33:53 2,008
    #11-Hamlin 19 0:34:28 1,894
    #19-Edwards 17 0:13:29 1,880
    #41-Busch 12 0:11:02 1,860
    #20-Kenseth 12 0:09:39 1,674
    #18-Busch 11 0:16:24 1,217
    #5-Kahne 14 0:12:13 1,041
    #15-Bowyer 5 0:06:14 958
    #14-Stewart 2 0:03:37 946

    Statistics reflect all live race telecasts and replays of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season through Watkins Glen (race 22).(Joyce Julius & Associates)(8-26-2015)

  • Atlanta partners with Folds of Honor Foundation for ticket discount: Atlanta Motor Speedway is partnering with the Folds of Honor Foundation to present "Savings with Honor," a promotional opportunity for a savings of up to $36 on a ticket to the 2016 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at AMS with a donation to Folds of Honor. Race fans can show their support for members of the U.S. Military and their families by making a simple donation of $10 or more to the Folds of Honor Foundation. In return, they will be eligible for a discount of up to $36 on seats in rows 13-26 of the Winners Grandstand for next year's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Fans interested in the money-saving opportunity can call the AMS box office at 770-946-4211 or log on to to make their donation to Folds of Honor and reserve their seat for the race at the discounted price. The Savings with Honor offer is available only through Monday, Aug. 31 and while supplies last for seats in rows 13-26 of the Winners Grandstand regularly priced at $95.(AMS)(8-26-2015)

  • Stewart moves wrongful death lawsuit to federal court: The wrongful death lawsuit filed against Tony Stewart by the parents of Kevin Ward Jr. was assigned to U.S. District Judge David Hurd on Monday after the Sprint Cup driver asked Friday for the case to be adjudicated in federal court rather than New York state court. There was no immediate response from Ward's legal team on whether it will challenge the federal court's jurisdiction and request to have it moved back into state court. The Ward family seeks unspecified damages related to their son's suffering, death and their own loss of economic support and services from their son. Stewart is scheduled to file his response to the lawsuit by Friday and an initial scheduling conference is set for Oct. 8.(

  • Yeley-Burton switch rides at BK Racing? UPDATE: YES: hearing that JJ Yeley will now be the driver of the #26 Toyota for BK Racing and rookie Jeb Burton will move to BK Racing's #23 Toyota. The #26 is 44th in owners points, the #23 is 39th. The hope supposedly is that Yeley will be able to better qualify the #26 in on speed and give the rookie Burton a fall back on owners points. Hearing the change will take place for Darlington and stay thru the end of the season. No word if this includes crew chiefs changing. Joe Williams is the crew chief of the #23 and Patrick Donahue is the #26 crew chief.(8-24-2015)
    UPDATE: Effective Darlington Raceway weekend, Jeb Burton will be piloting the #23 Toyota with Joe Williams as Crew Chief and JJ Yeley the #26 Toyota with Patrick Donahue as Crew Chief for the remainder of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season. Owner Ron Devine commented, "We are trying something different to improve performance for BK Racing. We are confident and proud of our drivers and employees, but we are looking to try some different combinations to improve our results."(BK Racing)(8-25-2015)

  • Drivers want stricter policing of restarts UPDATE: It's no secret how NASCAR feels about restarts. The double-file dashes into Turn 1 are the most exciting parts of many races, and NASCAR wants drivers to control the exact moment when the race goes back to green. But how serious NASCAR is about punishing those who don't play by the rules on restarts is unclear. Though there were no problems Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, drivers believe there could be some questionable circumstances as the Sprint Cup Series heads towards its final 12 races. "All the drivers really want is for NASCAR to police that stuff with a stern hand," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said after the race. "... You see a guy breaking the rule and you just want to see NASCAR come down on people. You just want NASCAR to run the show like you read in the rulebook." There seems to be uncertainty among drivers because NASCAR often says one thing about restarts while doing another. Officials threaten to penalize drivers for not following the proper procedure, but rarely call a penalty in those situations. "They say it's a judgement call, but you want them to really rule on the side of the penalty," Earnhardt said. "Keep people honest. ... If you give us a little room out there, as drivers we are going to try to take it. We don't want the sport ran so loosely. We really want it to be structured very tight." In NASCAR, all restarts except the start of the race are supposed to be controlled by the leader. When the leader arrives in a zone painted on the wall, he or she has the discretion to go at any time. The second-place driver isn't allowed to take off first, but can beat the leader to the start line - the result of a rule change after more restart controversy in Sept. 2013.(full article at the USA Today)(8-24-2015)
    UPDATE Despite a push from some competitors that restarts need to be better policed, NASCAR does not plan to change how it officiates those. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, addressed the topic Monday on "The Morning Drive.'' O'Donnell said officials want the responsibility for a good restart to remain on the drivers. "We've told the drivers that we'd like to leave it in their hands,'' O'Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "The rule is clear. We've got a restart zone. We've got a bunch of technology and spotters we can use to look at and make calls. We would like to leave it and continue to leave it in the drivers' hands but that's something we'll continue to look at. We're confident in the calls we've made. The leader restarts the race. It's something we've always got to look at. It's a hot topic when you see things in one or two races in a row that becomes a theme. Hopefully, we get into Darlington and that settles down a bit and we get back to racing.''(in part from NBC Sports)(8-25-2015)

    The 'throwback' look for the Goodyear tire at Darlington in September.
    Image from Goodyear Racing's Twitter

  • Bowyer to run Buddy Baker scheme at Darlington: #15-Clint Bowyer will run a tribute paint scheme for Buddy Baker in the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington race. The paint scheme is an "old school" style paint scheme and Bowyer wanted to keep it authentic. Watch it get hand painted in just over 60 seconds at Michael Waltrip Racing's Facebook page.(8-25-2015)

  • Shell Saver Cardholders Can Save When #22 Ford Wins: This past weekend Joey Logano took the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford to victory lane at Bristol Motor Speedway, and now it's current Shell $aver Card customers' time to win! Shell Saver Cardholders can save 22 cents per gallon on all three grades of Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines, and Shell Diesel. Savings apply up to 25 gallons at participating stations and are good for purchases made this upcoming Wednesday, or as we like to call it WINsday, August 26. The season-long WINsday promotion will be applicable after every points race in which Joey Logano takes the checkered flag.(Shell)(8-25-2015)

  • Southern 500 Tickets still available: The Tradition Returns to Labor Day weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 is set for Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015 at Darlington Raceway. The NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 5. Tickets are still available by calling 866-459-7223, visiting, or through the mobile app.(Darlington Raceway)(8-25-2015)

  • Stewart loans plane to Wilson family UPDATE Sad News: Tony Stewart loaned his plane and pilots to Stefan Wilson, brother of injured IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson, so Wilson could get from Indianapolis to his brother's side at a Pennsylvania hospital Sunday night. Justin Wilson was hit in the helmet by the flying nosepiece of Sage Karam's car during the race Sunday at Pocono Raceway and was airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, PA. Wilson suffered a severe head injury and is in a coma in critical condition, according to the IndyCar Series. It is not unusual for Stewart to lend his plane to people in the racing industry amid a health crisis. Most of those acts go unpublicized at Stewart's request. He did not publicize his loaning of the plane and pilots Sunday night, but several in the IndyCar community sent out tweets thanking him.(
    UPDATE Sad News - Justin Wilson: INDYCAR announced that driver Justin Wilson, who enjoyed success in multiple motorsports series during a two-decade professional career, died today from a head injury sustained in the Verizon IndyCar Series race Aug. 23 at Pocono Raceway. He was 37. Wilson was struck by debris from a single-car crash on Lap 180 of the 200-lap race on the 2.5-mile triangular oval. Wilson was attended to by the Holmatro Safety Team and airlifted to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest in Allentown, Pa. Wilson is survived by his wife, Julia, and two daughters. His younger brother Stefan is an accomplished race car driver who has competed in the Verizon IndyCar Series and Indy Lights. Funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, a fund has been set up for Wilson children. Donations may be sent to: Wilson Children's Fund, c/o INDYCAR, 4551 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, IN 46222.(INDYCAR)(8-24-2015

  • Busch Beer to replace Budweiser on the #4: Anheuser-Busch's Busch brand will be the primary sponsor of a NASCAR car next year instead of Budweiser. A-B InBev, which has its U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, said Monday that Busch will be the new primary sponsor of Stewart-Haas Racing's #4 NASCAR car driven by Kevin Harvick for the 2016 NASCAR season. Budweiser has sponsored Harvick for several years. "The Busch brand is well positioned for this partnership given the brand's storied history with the sport," Lucas Herscovici, A-B's Vice President of Consumer Connections said in an email.(St Louis Post Dispatch)(8-24-2015)

  • Earnhardt Jr. to run Valvoline throwback scheme at Darlington: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. may be driving the Valvoline car on Sept. 6, 2015, at Darlington Raceway, but thanks to a "throwback" paint scheme, his fans will likely feel as if they're watching a race more in line with his father's early career and track opponents. #88 Valvoline Chevy Earnhardt and Valvoline's presence on the Darlington track at the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event will pay homage to the brand's storied history in motor sports with an early-1980s look inspired by Valvoline cars driven by some of the era's racing icons, including Cale Yarborough, Ron Bouchard, Neil Bonnett and Buddy Baker. "I love the history of the sport and really enjoy paint schemes from the past," said Earnhardt, NASCAR's 12-time most popular driver. "To be able to run a car inspired by many of my racing idols is pretty special. Valvoline has been involved in NASCAR for a long time, and it's awesome they wanted to do a program like this at Darlington."
    The one-race sponsorship of Earnhardt's #88 Chevy marks an elevated partnership between Hendrick Motorsports and Valvoline, which in September 2013 announced a four-year agreement that kicked off last season. The new sponsorship at Darlington represents Valvoline's first primary paint scheme since that time. "As Valvoline approaches its 150th anniversary, we are proud to support Hendrick Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at the upcoming 'throwback' Southern 500 by paying tribute to the legendary drivers who have contributed to the legacy of Valvoline racing," said Sam Mitchell, Valvoline president. "We look forward to being part of yet another exciting competition at Darlington for the history books."
    "I remember our first Southern 500 win back in 1986," said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, whose teams have earned a record 14 Sprint Cup victories at Darlington. "It was an incredible era that featured some amazingly talented drivers, and it's exciting to see Valvoline recognize them with this paint scheme. We're extremely proud of our partnership and delighted to see it grow with this program."
    In addition to the 1980s-inspired red and blue paint scheme, Earnhardt's fire suit will pay homage to this specific era of racing history. The two-time Daytona 500 winner helped design Valvoline's "throwback" look after reviewing the various styles of legacy cars and drivers. He also worked alongside performance and protective footwear and apparel designer Alpinestars to develop a suit that would take NASCAR fans back 30-plus years. The Darlington paint scheme also sets the tone for Valvoline: LEGACY, a program ahead of the brand's 150th anniversary celebration in 2016 designed specifically to tell the story of its motor sports history, commitment to excellence and dedication to developing cutting-edge motor oil. As part of Valvoline: LEGACY, NASCAR fans will soon have access to a special video series, which will be available via the Valvoline YouTube channel, in advance of the Sunday, Sept. 6 race. These LEGACY videos will feature Earnhardt, as well as Yarborough (1982 Darlington winner, NASCAR Hall of Famer and past Valvoline driver) and Ray Evernham (three-time Sprint Cup Series champion crew chief, television broadcaster and NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee). Additionally, a limited-edition die cast replica of Earnhardt's No. 88 Valvoline Chevrolet SS will be available in participating Wal-Mart stores across the United States beginning on Aug. 31.(Hendrick Motorsports / Valvoline PR), see images of the car on's #88 Team Schemes page.(8-24-2015)

  • NASCAR's Steve O'Donnell addresses MWR situation: The landscape in NASCAR shifted last week when Michael Waltrip Racing announced that it would end full-time competition in the Sprint Cup Series following the 2015 season. MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman, the former investment banker who gave MWR an influx of finanical support in 2007, was at the forefront of the decision. On Monday, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell addressed the moves made by Kauffman and MWR that included Clint Bowyer being freed to pursue other deals for 2016 and Kauffman buying into Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in late July. "I think in Rob's case we're pleased that he believes in the sport and is willing to make a continued investment in NASCAR, which is a great time for us," O'Donnell said during his weekly interview with "As well as Clint Bowyer who is certainly a talented driver who will find a home with a top team. You never like to see anything happen with a race team like this in this case, but again we'll see some things we believe through the manufacturer's support where some other teams may become stronger through all this as well. So a lot still to play out. We're working closely with all our race teams right now to do everything we can to put everyone in an even better position as we head into the 2016 season."(

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