Race Coverage of the Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is scheduled for Sunday, August 2, 2015.
Television (TV): NBCSN at 1:30 pm/et; Countdown to Green pre-race 1:00pm/et; green flag approx. 1:48pm/et
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, August 3 at 3:00pm/et on NBCSN (NASCAR 120)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Accident Quotes: #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. commented on the accident he was involved in at Pocono Raceway on lap 27 during thew Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race. Stenhouse Jr. finished 41st.
"Everything was happening real fast. I saw the 9 in turn three run up the track and I thought he just got loose and everything was fine but getting into turn one the car in front of me ducked out at the last minute and there was the 9 sitting and I got on the brakes really hard. I think it got on the splitter and couldn't go left or right and just ran right into him. It is not a good day for us. I thought I had a car that could pass some other cars and we did that until that yellow and then we got shuffled back. It is a tough way to end the day that way. We thought we would have a better day than that. I guess the 9 missed a shift or something and I wasn't aware of it until the 35 or one of the other cars pulled out real quick and there was the 9 sitting there. By the time I reacted it was just too late and I ran right back into him."
Q) HOW INCREDIBLY FRUSTRATING HAS THIS WEEKEND BEEN FOR YOU?
Stenhouse Jr.: "Yeah, it has been really bad. We started off really slow and struggling with the handing of our cars. We got it better at the end of final practice and made it up to 27th there during that caution and then we came in and took fuel and were coming back through there and get involved in that wreck. It is a frustrating weekend and a frustrating year but we will continue to work to get our cars better and continue to plug away."(Ford Racing)(8-2-2015)
Harvick comments on early exit at Pocono: #4-Kevin Harvick commented being out of the Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on lap 20 after engine failure:
Q) DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD AN ISSUE?
Harvick: "Yeah, coming around Turn 2 I knew some issues but didn't realize they were going to be that big. But, all in all, I'm just really proud of my team. The car was fast. You'll have days like this."
WERE THEY MAYBE PUSHING THE ENGINE IN LOOKING AHEAD TO THE CHASE?
Harvick: "I have no idea. That would be a great question for the engine shop. But, I don't think that's the case."(Team Chevy)(8-2-2015)
Kasey Kahne comments on accident at Pocono: #5-Kasey Kahne commented on the accident he was involved in at Pocono Raceway on lap 3 during thew Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race when Kahne lost control of the car in Turn 3 and crashed into pit wall on Lap 3, doing damage to the wall that red flagged the race for almost 15 minutes. Kahne finished 43rd/last.
Q) WHAT HAPPENED THERE TO START THE INCIDENT?
Kahne: "I just got loose. It was late exit and a lot later than I would have expected. That's why I ended up so far down pit road and that was crazy because I have never ended up there. Yeah, I just got loose and basically spun and that was it. I tried saving it to try and avoid running into the wall, pit wall then ended up hitting the one on the left and not the one on the right. It's been a rough last month for our Aquafina team. I am not sure why that happened and what happened so quickly there."
Q) WHEN YOU ARE SLIDING LIKE THAT TOWARD PIT WALL DO YOUR THOUGHTS IMMEDIATELY GO TOWARD THOSE BEHIND PIT WALL?
Kahne: "Well, first of all I couldn't believe I was clear over here this late in the corner and then all the way to the left heading towards pit wall. Then I saw the people and I thought to myself that those guys need to take off running and get out of the way. I didn't know. I hadn't done anything like that before so it was kind of crazy the way it all happened. I don't know why were so far up and what the deal was right there."
Q) IS THERE A PARTICULAR REASON YOU CRASHED IN THAT PLACE ON THE TRACK?
Kahne: "I just got loose really late, so far off the corner. A really late exit. I'm not sure why or what happened. It just jumped out. You're so far off the corner, to slow slide and get so far down pit road, it was crazy. I've never ended up over there like that. I don't know why that was. I couldn't believe when the No. 26 (Jeb Burton) did earlier this weekend and then I did, probably further down than what he did."
Q) WERE YOU AFRAID OF HITTING ANYBODY?
Kahne: "I wasn't afraid I hit anyone because it threw me right back off the wall. But I was hoping that everybody saw me coming. I was coming fairly fast.
Q) ARE YOU OKAY?
Kahne: 'Yeah, I'm fine."
Q) WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THIS RACE AND THE POINT SITUATION?
Kahne: "Yeah, that's really bad for points. It's bad for just our team to lose a car that quickly into this race. And the last month has been really bad. And that was worse. So, I don't know what the deal is right there and what happened. I just lost it. Late exit. Got loose. Spun."(Team Chevy)(8-2-2012)
NASCAR has scheduled a competition caution for lap 15 at Pocono for the Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race due to cleaning of the tunnel turn. Teams can pit beforehand, but cannot fuel the cars.(8-2-2015)
Pocono Sunday Pre-Race Schedule:
11:30am: NSCS Driver/Crew Chief Meeting
1pm: NSCS Driver Introductions
1:22pm: Skydivers land on front stretch S/F line
1:30pm: Presentation of Colors: West Point Garrison, MP Company Honor Guard
1:30:20: Invocation by: Billy Mauldin, President and CEO of Motor Racing Outreach
1:31pm: National Anthem by: Alyssa Golden
1:32:45pm: Flyby: 2 CV-22's, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, FL
1:37:45pm: "Driver's, Start Your Engines"
1:46pm: Green Flag - Start of the Windows 10 400
eastern time (NASCAR.com)
Happy Hour practice for the Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is over, after 50 scheduled minutes, the top-five, slowest, notes:
slowest: #62-Hill 164.207 & #33-Kennedy 166.636
no speed: #26-Burton (wrecked), #98-Sorenson, #23-Yeley.
Notes: #26-Burton got loose early in practice, slid & wrecked off turn 3, hit the inside wall of pit road, will go to a backup car.
#18-Busch wacked the wall off turn 2, team made repairs, Busch came back out and ran the fastest lap.
See fastest practice speeds, laps run on the Pocono Happy Hour practice page (pdf)(8-1-2015)
Kyle Busch wins Pocono pole: #18-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light pole for the Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway with speed of 178.416mph for his 1st pole of 2015, 2nd at Pocono and 17th of his career. #18-Busch has won 3 times from the pole.
#4-Harvick is on the outside pole followed by #22-Logano, #3-Dillon, #14-Stewart, #41-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #19-Edwards, #2-Keselowski, #24-Gordon, #11-Hamlin and #48-Johnson.
Missing the race was: none, only 43 cars entered.
See the starting Lineup, qualifying results by round, pole progression and more on Jayski.com's Pocono Qualifying Page.(7-31-2015)
Qualifying Fast Facts - Pocono:
#18-Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 42nd Annual Windows 10 400 with a lap of 50.444 seconds, 178.416 mph.
This is his 17th pole in 375 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
This is his first pole and seventh top-10 start in 2015. His last pole came at Charlotte in October of 2014.
This is his second pole in 22 races at Pocono Raceway. His first Pocono pole came in June of 2010.
#4-Kevin Harvick (second) posted his 13th top-10 start of 2015 and his ninth in 30 races at Pocono Raceway.
#22-Joey Logano (third) posted his sixth top-10 start at Pocono Raceway. It is his 15th in 21 races this season.
Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Windows 10 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway have been made.
Pole sitter #18-Busch chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole winners].
Outside pole sitter #4-Harvick took pit stall 2, right behind the pole winner.
#20-Kenseth, who starts 3rd took the 3rd pit stall.
The 43rd and final pit stall was selected by #3-Dillon, who starts 4th.
To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com's Pit Stall Selection chart.(8-1-2015)
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Pocono:
#11-Denny Hamlin 108.3
#48-Jimmie Johnson 106.9
#41-Kurt Busch 105.9
#24-Jeff Gordon 103.5
#14-Tony Stewart 97.6
#42-Kyle Larson 95.7
#31-Ryan Newman 95.3
#19-Carl Edwards 94.2
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr 92.6
#5-Kasey Kahne 92.1
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2015 races among active drivers at Pocono Raceway.
Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)(7-28-2015)
Pocono Raceway Race Notes & Facts - Sunday:
· There have been 75 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway, one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since.
· Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Pocono in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 17: Jeff Gordon (six), Tim Richmond (three), Jimmie Johnson (three), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two), Kasey Kahne (one), Geoff Bodine (one) and Terry Labonte (one).
· Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Pocono; led by Chevrolet with 31 victories; followed by Ford with 21 and Toyota has three.
· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway was the July 23, 2000 race won by Rusty Wallace over Jeff Burton with a MOV of 0.126 seconds.
· There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Pocono Raceway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): spring of 2005 (200/201); fall of 2005 (200/203); spring of 2010 (200/204).
· Six of the 75 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the event on 8/5/2012.
Kaufmann talks to the press:
A brief statement by Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman raised more questions than it provided answers about the future of MWR. Earlier in the week, a statement released by MWR indicated Kaufmann was buying into Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, fueling speculation that driver Clint Bowyer and sponsor 5-Hour Energy would move to Ganassi. Standing behind the hauler of the #55 MWR Toyota driven by David Ragan, however, Kauffman gave the impression that co-owner Michael Waltrip was somehow involved in the process and that there might be synergy between the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organizations. "First and foremost, the thing that's important to realize is that Michael Waltrip and I co-own Michael Waltrip Racing together," Kauffman said. "We're business partners and great personal friends, so any idea that I'm leaving or taking anything is actually misplaced. What we're actually doing is integrating the businesses, trying to get the most competitive product on track, do the best for all of our partners-that's really our focus. It's a competitive business, as everybody knows. It's competitive on track as well as off track." Kauffman indicated there are many details still to be determined. "In terms of our plans, whether we have three cars, four cars, two roofs, one roof-that's all yet to be determined, and how we do in the 2015 season will help determine whether that happens," Kauffman said. "If we do a great job, that'll be one outcome. If we do a less great job, probably another." Kauffman stepped into the hauler without taking questions from the throng of reporters clustered outside.(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-2-2015)
Man uninjured after being clipped by Johnson's Chevy in garage area: A male was uninjured after he was clipped by Jimmie Johnson's car in the garage area during Saturday morning's first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at Pocono Raceway. A Hendrick Motorsports spokesperson said that Johnson described the incident as a "scary moment.'' The Hendrick spokesperson also said that Johnson was shaken after the incident. The person hit had a hard card credential - given to those who regularly work in the garage area. He got up quickly and told Johnson he was uninjured. NASCAR was made aware of the incident. WWe are always looking at maintaining a safe environment, both on and around the track and in the garage area,'' NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp said. "We've been made aware of this incident. We're certainly glad that everybody is OK. Obviously safety of our drivers, teams, crews and fans is top priority.''(NBC)(8-1-2015)
Truex Jr. Tries For First Sweep Of Season At Pocono: When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Pocono Raceway on Sunday - its second repeat track on the schedule - June Pocono winner #78-Martin Truex Jr. will attempt to become the eighth driver to sweep the "Tricky Triangle." Last season, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. notched one of two track sweeps with his two wins at Pocono. #4-Kevin Harvick recorded the second sweep at Phoenix. The other six drivers to win both Pocono races were Denny Hamlin (2006), Jimmie Johnson (2004), Bobby Labonte (1999), Tim Richmond (1986), Bill Elliott (1985) and Bobby Allison (1982). Bobby Allison (1982 sweep and spring 1983) and Tim Richmond (1986 sweep and spring 1987) are the only drivers to win three consecutive Pocono races.(NASCAR)(8-2-2015)
Pocono Raceway Driver Notes & Facts - Saturday:
· 327 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway; 229 in more than one.
· Ricky Rudd leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in starts at Pocono with 55.
· Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 45 starts (eighth most all-time) at Pocono; followed by Tony Stewart with 33 starts.
· Denny Hamlin (19 starts) leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Pocono with a 6.632.
· 33 different drivers have won at Pocono Raceway, led by Jeff Gordon with six wins.
· Seven active drivers have multiple wins at Pocono: Jeff Gordon (6), Denny Hamlin (4), Jimmie Johnson (3), Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart (each have 2).
· Seven drivers have posted consecutive wins at Pocono Raceway all-time, including three consecutive by Bobby Allison (1982 sweep and spring 1983) and Tim Richmond (1986 sweep and spring 1987).
· Three of the seven drivers to win consecutive races at Pocono are active: Jimmie Johnson (2004 sweep); Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep and 2009 fall and 2010 spring races) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2014 sweep).
· One active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has posted his first career win at Pocono Raceway: Denny Hamlin (06/11/06).
· Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards are the only two active drivers to win at Pocono in their first appearances.
· Matt Kenseth leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono without visiting Victory Lane at 31; followed by Kevin Harvick with 29.
· Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Pocono with seven; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six; followed by Kurt Busch with five.
· Mark Martin leads the series in top-five finishes at Pocono with 20; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19; followed by Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart with 12 each.
· Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Pocono with 34; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 31; followed by Tony Stewart with 22.
· Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Pocono with a 9.630.
· Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Pocono with 1,038 laps led in 45 starts.
· Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps completed at Pocono with 8,237 laps completed in 45 starts.
· Two female drivers have competed at Pocono Raceway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick.
Gordon, no plans to race Sprint Cup after 2015: #24-Jeff Gordon met with media and was asked about racing after 2015:
Q) AFTER LAST WEEK, THE OUTPOURING OF FANS ON TWITTER WAS PRETTY INTENSE. DO YOU EVER SEE A POINT WHERE YOU WOULD GET BACK IN A STOCK CAR FOR A ONE-OFF RACE? OR, ONCE YOU GET OUT OF THE CAR AT HOMESTEAD, IS THAT PRETTY MUCH IT ON THE CUP LEVEL?
Gordon: "Right now, I don't have any plans to. You have to understand it's far more than just what maybe I would desire or want to do. It takes a team to do it. And that's a total disruption to the organization to go do a one-off race. It's not that it can't be done. But, as somebody who is an equity owner in the organization, I recognize the challenges that would come along with that and what it would do to our four teams competing for the wins and championships. So, I probably wouldn't ask them to do that. And if I were going to do it, it would probably be at a short track like Martinsville or something like that. But, I have no plans to do that."(Team Chevy)(8-1-2015)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Laps Led Leaders:
(after 20 of 36 races)
1. #4-Kevin Harvick, 1,359
2. #41-Kurt Busch, 708
3. #22-Joey Logano, 534
4. #78-Martin Truex Jr., 486
5. #48-Jimmie Johnson, 467
6. #2-Brad Keselowski, 377
7. #11-Denny Hamlin, 364
8. #18-Kyle Busch, 302
9. #19-Carl Edwards, 242
10. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., 203
3,549 total laps run.(8-1-2015)
Sport Clips Haircuts Joins Darlington's Tribute to the 1970's: Sport Clips Haircuts unveiled today the #11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry Denny Hamlin will pilot for the September 6 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. As part of Darlington's throwback weekend to celebrate the 1970's, the #11 Sport Clips Camry in the Cup Series will run a retro scheme inspired by Cale Yarborough. This will not be the first time Hamlin has driven a Camry inspired by Yarborough at Darlington. For the 2012 Bojangles' Southern 500, Hamlin donned a retro firesuit and a retro paint scheme to honor Yarborough's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Of all drivers who have won in the #11 car, Yarborough leads the list with 55 total wins (see the full list on the #11 Team News & Links page). In addition to Hamlin piloting the throwback schemes, Sport Clips will continue their partnership with Darlington Raceway to raise awareness and funds for their 'Help A Hero' program (Joe Gibbs Racing), see an image of the car on Jayski.com's #11 Team Schemes page.(8-1-2015)
FW1 Wash & Wax sponsoring Bowman at Pocono: FW1 Wash & Wax joins Tommy Baldwin Racing for the Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway. Owned by longtime NASCAR supporters and racing enthusiasts, Darren Ellsmore and Paul Baukus, FW1 has been expanding their marketing in the NASCAR arena. Sold exclusively online, FW1 Wash & Wax is offering a discount for all NASCAR fans. All purchases on Fastwax.com are eligible to save 25% with the code TBR7 for a limited time.(TBR), see an image of the car on Jayski.com's #7 Team Schemes page.(8-1-2015)
NASCAR's new merchandise tent to debut at Pocono UPDATE: The race weekend marks the unveiling of NASCAR's new approach to team merchandising, said Kevin Heaney, spokesman for Pocono. Instead of individual merchandise trailers, the new NASCAR Fanatics Tent will offer a shaded area for race fans to pick up hats, models, T-shirts and other memorabilia. A ribbon-cutting for the tent is scheduled Friday morning. The tent opens 9:30 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. There'll be no more waiting in line for a clerk inside a merchandise hauler to hand over an item for closer look, Heaney said. "It's all touch and feel," he said. "You can do it yourself." The new model levels the playing field for smaller race teams that may be unable to afford a merchandise hauler. "We are the first track to have this," Heaney said. Other attractions include the Pocono Medical Kids Zone, a host of displays including most branches of the military and NASA in the Fan Fair and the Infield Block Party open to the public starting at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission to the block party is a $5 donation per vehicle to the Tunkhannock Township Volunteer Fire Co., and fireworks follow about 9:15 p.m.(The Express-Times)(7-30-2015)
UPDATE: A piece of NASCAR nostalgia will be missing from Pocono Raceway this weekend. NASCAR and merchandising partner Fanatics, Inc. will debut their mega merchandise tent -- a 60,000-square-foot production that would cover one and a half football fields -- this weekend at Pocono. The old merchandise haulers where fans congregated for T-shirts and other merchandise specific to a single driver or race team are now gone, with the exception of Penske teams, which have outstanding contracts at select tracks through this season. But NASCAR and Fanatics are betting that a wider selection of products and a more modern and convenient shopping experience will win over fans who enjoy the haulers as a link to the past. And NASCAR has tried to carry some of the old look and feel of the haulers over into the store by including driver and team section fronts. "There really are these driver and team-branded concepts and stores [in sections]," NASCAR Vice President of Licensing and Consumer Products Blake Davidson said. "There's going to be a lot of product there. I think we will start to ease fans' fears. ... The scale of this is going to blow people away." The new mega tents will have merchandise available for 58 drivers, including areas dedicated to certain drivers. The Dale Earnhardt Jr. section alone will likely be 2,000 square feet . In June at Pocono, there was merchandise available for 33 drivers at 23 haulers. Sixty checkout stations will be available to handle the pre- and post-race rush. There also will be 12 online purchasing stations where fans can buy items and have them shipped home for free. The separate sections for women's merchandise, children's merchandise, die-cast models (1,400 available) and hats (10,000 representing 24 drivers) should give fans more options. By the end of the year, NASCAR and Fanatics hope to have on-site personal printing options where fans can put their names on their purchases. They're also working on adding the capability to print and sell race-winner merchandise to fans after a race, as is the case at other team sport championship events.(in part from ESPN)(8-1-2015)
Kenny Wallace to make his final NASCAR start: Kenny Wallace will make his third NASCAR XFINITY Series start of the 2015 season at Iowa Speedway in the U.S. Cellular 250 on August 1. The veteran driver will go behind the wheel of the #20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing at the short track. Wallace finished 23rd in the May race at Iowa.(NASCAR.com)(7-14-2015)
UPDATE: The August 1st U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway will be Kenny Wallace's third NASCAR Xfinity Series start of 2015. The ever-popular Wallace announced that after what will be a series-record 547 career starts, the Iowa event will also mark the final start of his 26-year NASCAR career. When all is said and done after Iowa, the former Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year and three-time Most Popular Driver will leave behind a remarkable legacy of longevity and perseverance that is nearly unparalleled in the sport. This is shown by what will be--following Iowa--an all-time record 547 career Xfinity Series starts and 904 combined NASCAR national series starts (14th all-time). After making his NASCAR debut in Dale Earnhardt's #8 Xfinity Series ride at Martinsville in 1988, Wallace would go on to finish among the top-10 in the Xfinity Series standings in 10 of his 14 full seasons, including a runner-up finish in 1991. His nine series wins and ten poles rank him among the top-40 all-time in both categories, while his 173 top-ten finishes mark the seventh-best all-time career total. Wallace may have most often competed in the Xfinity Series, but he also enjoyed a fruitful career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well, where he had 344 career starts, including three poles. While he may not have reached victory lane in the Sprint Cup series, Wallace played a vital role in several of its most memorable finishes, including pushing the late Dale Earnhardt to his final NASCAR victory at Talladega in 2000. In recent years, Wallace has been able to capitalize on his charismatic personality and racing experience in becoming a NASCAR analyst for FOX Sports. In that role, he currently appears on Fox Sports 1's NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane shows.(Wallace PR)(8-1-2015)
Austin and Ty Dillon to Wave Green Flag On CMS's Fall Season at Parade of Power: Richard Childress Racing drivers Austin and Ty Dillon and Charlotte Motor Speedway officials will wave the green flag on the legendary speedway's action-packed fall Season of Speed during the seventh annual Parade of Power on Wednesday, Aug. 5. A wide array of vehicles representing those that will compete this fall at Charlotte Motor Speedway, zMAX Dragway and The Dirt Track at Charlotte will parade down Bruton Smith Boulevard, beginning at Concord Mills Mall and ending at the speedway's Avenue of Flags. The free fan event will include a Q&A session, monster truck rides, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Fan Van and more. The first 100 fans to pick up a wristband on event day will be able to take part in an autograph session with several motorsports personalities. In addition, fans who make a qualifying ticket purchase will be able to drive their personal vehicles on the 1.5-mile superspeedway. The Parade of Power is expected to include more than two dozen vehicles, including NASCAR stock cars, a World of Outlaws dirt late model, a monster truck, NHRA dragsters and Pro Modified cars, a Legend Car and Bandolero, speedway Toyota Camry pace cars, the speedway's Rosenbauer fire engine, classic and luxury automobiles, and more. The parade will begin at Concord Mills Mall at 12:00pm/et and travel to the main entrance of Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Q&A session is scheduled to take place along the Avenue of Flags.(CMS)(8-1-2015)
Steven Tyler To Headline Pre-Race Concert at Bristol: Steven Tyler, with Nashville-based band Loving Mary, is bringing his undeniable swagger and sound to Bristol Motor Speedway for the August 22 IRWIN Tools Night Race. "Aerosmith front man, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy-award winner - Steven Tyler is not just an American icon, but a worldwide phenomenon," said Jerry Caldwell, general manager of BMS. "You put him together with the Night Race, one of the top five motorsports events in the world, and the energy in the grandstands will just be amazing." During the pre-race concert, Tyler will perform his new single, the first from his upcoming solo album with Dot Records. Ticket holders will also be treated to some familiar Aerosmith favorites. Voted a Top 5 Motorsports Race in the entire world by the USA Today Reader's Choice Awards-the only NASCAR event that made the list-the IRWIN Tools Night Race will take place August 22 at the World's Fastest Half Mile. IRWIN Tools Night Race tickets, which include the pre-race concert, start at just $74 for single-day tickets, with weekend packages as low as $99. Additionally, a limited number of Steven Tyler SuperPacks are available. These include a pre-race SuperPass (track walk, plus on-track access to the concert and Sprint Cup driver introductions), a Cold Pit Pass (for pre-race access to the Garage area), and select Steven Tyler merchandise. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit BristolTix.com or call (855) 580-5525.(BMS)(8-1-2015)
Clint Bowyer Statement: #15-Clint Bowyer made a statement Friday at Pocono and answered a question about MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman purchasing part of Chip Ganassi Racing:
Bowyer Statement: "This isn't what any of you guys want. You need to bear with us. There's obviously some change on the horizon. I got the same release you guys did. We've got a new sponsor on the car this weekend. It's a big deal for us. We've been working on this a long time. Got a lot of momentum going into this - we're 20 points out of the Chase and we've got to finish this year strong. Like I said, there's a lot of work to be done in the future and we're all working on it and when I have something to tell you guys you all know me and I'll tell you."
Q) Did you find about the news from a statement?
Bowyer: "No, I said you read the statement that I did. There's obviously change on the horizon and we're going to have to work on the future and see what that looks like, but for right now we're focused on 2015, getting Maxwell House in victory lane this weekend and getting in this Chase. We're close and this can happen and these guys got to stay focused, I've got to stay focused and if we do our jobs we can get in this Chase and compete for a championship."(Toyota Racing)(7-31-2015)
Pocono Raceway Pole Notes & Facts - Friday:
· 40 drivers have posted Coors Light poles at Pocono, led by Bill Elliott and Ken Schrader with five each; Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin lead all active drivers with three each.
· Buddy Baker won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Pocono in 1974 with a speed of 144.122 mph.
· Five drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Pocono. Bill Elliott holds the record for most consecutive poles at Pocono with three; fall 1984 and both races in 1985.
· Two active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Pocono: Denny Hamlin (2006 sweep) and Joey Logano (fall 2011 and spring 2012).
· Kyle Larson (8/03/2014) and Casey Mears (8/1/2004) posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Pocono Raceway.
· 13 of the 75 (17.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Joey Logano (June, 2012).
· 15 of the 74 (20%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the first starting position; the most recent was Jimmie Johnson (June, 2013).
· The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Pocono Raceway.
· 24 of the 75 (32%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from the front row: 15 from the first starting position and nine from second-place.
· 53 of the 75 (70.6%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono have been won from a top-10 starting position.
· Five of the 75 (6.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Pocono is 29th, by Carl Edwards in the spring of 2005.
· Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway five times; most recently the spring of 2013.
Edwards Eyes Third Straight Pole: #19-Carl Edwards followed up his first Coors Light Pole Award since 2013 at New Hampshire with another one at Indianapolis last weekend. He will go for his third straight Coors Light Pole Award this weekend for Sunday's Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway. Edwards was followed in Indianapolis qualifying by Joey Logano and David Ragan. The trio also qualified 1-2-3 at New Hampshire. The occurrence marked the first time the same drivers started 1-2-3 in consecutive weeks since 2009 (Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson at New Hampshire and Daytona). Both starting orders were based off points due to rain, not competitive qualifying. Before then, the last time the same drivers started 1-2-3 in consecutive weeks was 1972 (David Pearson, Bobby Allison and Buddy Baker at Martinsville and Dover).(NASCAR)(7-31-2015)
Suave Men featured on the #42: This weekend at Pocono, Larson's familiar #42 Target Chevy will be getting restyled to feature Unilever brand Suave Men, which is America's number-one men's shampoo brand. This will be the third Unilever themed car that Larson has driven in the NSCS. He has previously driven cars featuring AXE Peace and AXE White Label.(CGR), see an image of the car on Jayski.com's #42 Team Schemes page.(7-31-2015)
Roush Performance featured on the #16 at Pocono: Greg Biffle will run a Roush Performance scheme on the #16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford at Pocono. Created in 1995, Roush Performance Products combines race-proven technologies with advanced automotive engineering to continually provide customers the ultimate driving experience - the perfect combination of racecar and road car. Crew chief Matt Puccia on Pocono: "We had a respectable finish at Pocono earlier this year so we have some good notes to look back on. We can also take some of what we learned at Indy this past weekend and apply it to Pocono since the two tracks have similar characteristics. Our Roush Performance Ford for this weekend is the same chassis we raced at the first Pocono so I'm looking forward to getting a good run." On Monday, the Roush Fenway Racing #16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series teams wrapped up the RFR Wellness Challenge, naming Team Biffle the champions. Biffle's team totaled 232 active minutes, 87,176 steps and 19,710 calories burned for the week (RFR), see an image of the car on Jayski.com's #16 Team Schemes page.(7-31-2015)
The U.S. Air Force returns to sponsor the #43 at Pocono: The U.S. Air Force will return to the #43 Ford this weekend at Pocono Raceway for their second of three races this season. Almirola drove the patriotic paint scheme earlier this year at Charlotte for Memorial Day weekend (and will run again at Phoenix in November). "The King" Richard Petty will join Smithfield and their "Helping Hungry Homes" program this weekend to donate protein to Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley & Northeast Pennsylvania in partnership with Weis Markets. The donation will take place at Weis Markets on Route 611, Tannersville Plaza in Tannersville, Penn. Saturday, August 1 at 11am. In addition to the donation, the first 50 fans to arrive prior to the start of the donation will receive a wristband to participate in an on-site autograph session following the donation presentation, during which Petty will sign one item per fan.(RPM), see an image of the car on Jayski.com's #43 Team Schemes page.(7-31-2015)
SunEdison Becomes the Official Solar Energy Partner of NASCAR: NASCAR and SunEdison, the world's largest renewable energy development company, today announced SunEdison as the Official Solar Energy Partner of NASCAR Green. This new partnership builds on the expanded use of solar technology across the sport, particularly at race team shops and race tracks across the country. Over the next three years, SunEdison and NASCAR will embark on an effort to educate millions of NASCAR fans on the financial and environmental benefits of solar power use. SunEdison plans to work with NASCAR partners, tracks and teams on commercial-scale solar solutions. The White House cited this newly forged partnership as a prime example of making renewable energy accessible to all U.S. homeowners.(NASCAR)(7-31-2015)
Pocono Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter and Special Guests: Pocono Raceway and Microsoft announced Jeremy Korst, General Manager of Windows Brand and Product Marketing, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Windows 10 400 at "The Tricky Triangle" on Sunday, August 2. Jason Campbell, Windows Group Product Marketing Manager will serve as the Honorary Starter. Pre-race activities, featuring a concert by Rebel Dawg Records recording artist, Eric Lee Beddingfield, will begin starting at 11 am. Additionally, local up-and-coming musician, Alyssa Golden, will perform the National Anthem.
Pocono Raceway will be hosting several special events through the Windows 10 400 race weekend, including:
· 50/50 Raffle to Benefit the Children's Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Pocono Raceway and the Mattioli Foundation are hosting this June race weekend's 50/50 Raffle to benefit the Children's Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital. In June, the overall weekend jackpot exceeded $45,000, with one fan taking home nearly $23,000. Fans should look out for 50/50 Raffle volunteers, who will be roaming the entire facility, wearing bright yellow shirts all weekend long. One lucky fan will be announced before the end of Sunday's race as the winner of the raffle. Fans will be supporting a great cause with the chance to go home with a big check.
· Infield Block Party and Pocono Raceway Fireworks This Saturday - The public is invited to attend Pocono Raceway's Infield Block Party and Fireworks show this Saturday night. For a $5 cash donation, per vehicle, to our local fire department, fans may enter the Gate 1 Tunnel starting at 5 pm ET on Saturday, June 6. Events include live music, the Barley Creek Brewing Company Wiffle Ball Field, great food, a bar for the adults, slot-car racing for the kids and, rumor has it, PBR is bringing their very own mechanical bull. For more information please visit poconoraceway.com/blockparty14.
· Jimmie Johnson Experience featuring NASA's 'Rockets 2 Racecars' Program - Three-time Pocono winner Jimmie Johnson will visit for a kids-focused question-and-answer session, which also includes activities for kids presented by the NASA 'Rockets 2 Racecars' program, before Sunday's race. Passes are available for $48 for a family four pack and $20 for individual passes. For more information, please visit poconoraceway.com/jj48. Note: Sunday Grandstand Gate Admission ticket also required for entry.
· Halftime Party - The Pocono Raceway Halftime Party is back for the 2015 season. Fans, ages 21 and up, are invited to this event, located inside Chalet Village, with a Halftime Party Pass between laps 60-120 of Sunday's NSCS race. This event will include bar games, big screen televisions to watch the race broadcast, Coors Light and food. The cost to attend the Halftime Party is $19. For more information, please visit poconoraceway.com/halftime. Note: Sunday Grandstand Gate Admission ticket also required for entry.
· New Double-Sided Video Boards Debut - While attending the Windows 10 400 race weekend, be sure to tell us what you think about the brand-new, double-sided video boards located on both ends of pit road. Nearly 60% of the Pocono Raceway infield will now have a sightline to these video boards. Tag us with your comments and/or photos about the video boards on Twitter or Instagram, using @poconoraceway and don't forget to include our official race weekend hashtags, #Windows10_400 or #WhatTurn4, with your posts!
The Windows 10 400 race weekend, taking place July 31-August 2, will include the stars of the NSCS, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards. Friday tickets start at $10 and Saturday tickets are available for $20 for adults. Kids, ages 12 and under, are admitted free to all events on Friday and Saturday, with accompaniment of an adult ticket holder. Tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday start at $45 for adults and $22.50 for children, ages 12 and under. To purchase your tickets today, please visit www.poconoraceway.com or call 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929).(Pocono Raceway)(7-31-2015)
Statements from MWR, CGR, Toyota, Felix Sabates & Michael Waltrip:
Statement from Michael Waltrip Racing: "Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has agreed to buy an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The companies will continue to operate separately and compete against each other for the remainder of the 2015 season. They are also currently evaluating ways to field the most competitive race teams possible to provide an excellent platform for their partners and employees for the 2016 season and beyond. More details will follow in due course".(MWR)
Statement from Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates "We confirm that Rob Kauffman has agreed to acquire an interest in the team. Further discussions regarding the 2016 season and beyond are underway."(CGR)
Felix Sabates Statement to SXM NASCAR "I'm not going anywhere. This is about making our team stronger, a three car team is stronger than a two car. But the rumors that Rob is buying me out are not true, my last race will be five years from September 9th. I will be 75 years old then and will be done."(SXM NASCAR)
Statement from Michael Waltrip: "My focus is on 2015 and fulfilling the commitment we have made to our partners and Toyota which is placing our teams in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. There are a lot of details yet to be sorted regarding 2016. I will work closely with Rob Kauffman and our sponsors to formulate the best way forward."(MWR)(7-30-2015)
Statement from Toyota on Rob Kauffman Announcement: "We've spoken with Rob Kauffman and understand he has agreed to buy an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Rob has not disclosed the plans for Michael Waltrip Racing past the 2015 racing season. Toyota and TRD remain focused on winning races and championships with our team partners this year." ~Ed Laukes, Vice President marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS)(7-31-2015)
Pocono Raceway Track Notes & History:
· Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974 - won by Richard Petty, Dodge, 115.593 mph, 08/04/1974.
· The 2.5-mile track was repaved during the fall of 2011.
· 2012 marked the first season the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Pocono were scheduled for 400 miles. Prior to 2012 all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races were 500 miles at Pocono Raceway.
MWR to Chevy? Ragan to return? What about Vickers? UPDATE 3 denied?: What in the world will Toyota Racing's Sprint Cup program look like next year? One persistent, hot rumor features a manufacturer swap of sorts, with Rob Kauffman, currently the principal owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, taking his racing interests and partnering with a Chevy team. Furniture Row Racing is currently eyeing the Toyota camp with an ardor that has progressed well beyond flirtation.
Two potential partnerships mentioned for Kauffman are Chip Ganassi Racing and Richard Childress Racing. Ganassi absorbed Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Martin Truex Jr. into the fold back in 2009. RCR expressed interest in acquiring a minority partner after Chartwell Investments expressed a desire to sell its stake in the company in 2012. Kauffman did not offer a definitive reply when asked about a possible realignment.
Furniture Row's Barney Visser has been more forthcoming. The Denver, Colorado-based team owner hopes to make a manufacturer decision in the next few weeks to accommodate a possible restructuring with Toyota for next year.
Although FRR currently receives no financial support from Chevrolet, the team's move could open the door for Kauffman to enter into a technical alliance with RCR, with whom the #78 currently shares data. However, sources told Motorsport.com that Ganassi appears to be the frontrunner for Kauffman's capital at this time.
Michael Waltrip Racing's driver lineup likely hinges on Aaron's continued support with the #55 team. Both Kauffman and Clint Bowyer, who is in the first year of a three-year contract, are high on driver David Ragan. Aaron's has been a sponsor of Michael Waltrip's since 2000 but has yet to renew with MWR. A decision on the company's involvement could come in the next six to eight weeks.
Last week Brian Vickers expressed interest in returning to racing. Given the unpredictability of Vickers situation, Kauffman isn't sure whether they could accommodate the driver. "...The most important thing right now is his health. I haven't really had a conversation with him regarding coming back to racing and the like. It's a big medical issue that I haven't been involved with up until now.," Kauffman said. "He loves racing, so I'm sure he does (want to return), but I think it would be a challenge to try and figure something out--but I would never say never."(Motorsport)(7-23-2015)
UPDATE: David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday that the manufacturer has its sights set on more teams making the 2015 Chase while also looking ahead to its 2016 lineup. Michael Waltrip Racing with Clint Bowyer's #15 team and David Ragan's #55 are the manufacturer's two highest-ranked drivers without wins, sitting 15th and 24th respectively in the standings. Based on points, the #15 driver is currently in the provisional Chase Grid, but if Busch makes the top 30, Bowyer will be bounced without a win. As the manufacturer attempts to add those MWR teams to this year's Chase, Wilson wasn't certain about the organization's future with Toyota.
"We are talking to a number of organizations about the future, and certainly in the near-term, we're not sure what Michael Waltrip Racing is going to do," Wilson said. "They've yet to announce their plans. Certainly we have had a rich history in the sport together. We got our butts kicked together in 2007, our first year, and you forge very close and personal relationships when you have those trials together. Whatever they decide to do, we certainly wish nothing but the best for them."
Wilson has acknowledged discussions with #78 Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser about the Denver-based team's potential manufacturer move from Chevrolet to Toyota. But the TRD president suggested that Furniture Row, like Toyota itself, was focused on its 2015 Chase efforts. "Regarding Furniture Row Racing, again they haven't announced their plans for next year certainly," Wilson said. "I imagine they're focusing on getting Martin Truex well-positioned in the Chase as well and competitive."(NASCAR.com)(7-29-2015)
UPDATE 2: Michael Waltrip Racing principal Owner Rob Kauffman is close to purchasing Felix Sabates' stake in Chip Ganassi Racing, according to multiple industry sources, which would cause Kauffman to drop his affiliation with MWR if the sale is completed. Kauffman, who has been with MWR for eight years, would take on Sabates' minority stake in the team, while CGR principal Owner Chip Ganassi would continue to retain majority control, according to sources. It is unclear if Sabates will hold onto a small stake to retain his affiliation with the team or if he will be dropping the affiliation entirely.
Sources said that Kauffman would take one of the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entries at MWR - the #15 Toyota driven by Clint Bowyer - with him to CGR. Because MWR's sponsors, including 5-Hour Energy, Aaron's, Peak, AAA and Maxwell House, have yet to determine their next move, it is unclear whether the operation, which also has the #55 currently driven by David Ragan, would form an alliance or merge with another team, or pursue some other option. CGR execs had no comment; MWR did not respond to e-mails by presstime.
Ganassi Racing currently has two Sprint Cup entries - the #1 McDonald's / Cessna Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray and the #42 Target Chevy driven by Kyle Larson. The combined three-car entity will remain with Chevrolet, which is the current supplier to CGR in the Sprint Cup Series. Kauffman also is chair of the Race Team Alliance, which was founded last year. Whether his role with the RTA will be affected is unclear.(Sports Business Daily)(7-29-2015)
UPDATE 3: Felix Sabates, part owner in Chip Ganassi Racing's NASCAR operation, disputed a published report Wednesday by Sports Business Daily claiming Rob Kauffman was close to purchasing Sabates' stake in the team. "I am not going anywhere," Sabates said. "I am having too much fun. Plus, I have unfinished business. I need to sit at the head table in Las Vegas."(Motorsport)(7-30-2015)
McMurray running a colorful paint scheme at Pocono: The #1 Chevy driven by Jamie McMurray will feature the colorful paint scheme for Lexar products. Lexar is a long-standing partner of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT). Lexar products continue to help CGRT enhance the way drivers and engineers gather and analyze data from the race cars. CGRT uses Lexar products in a variety of different capacities throughout the organization with its Verizion IndyCar, TUDOR United Sports Car Championship and NASCAR XFINITY and Sprint Cup Series teams, utilizing Lexar SD memory cards, CompactFlash memory cards and Lexar USB flash drives.
" Wes Brewer, vice president and general manager, Lexar: "We look forward to watching Jamie take on Pocono Raceway behind the wheel of the #1 Lexar Chevy. With its unique twists and turns, the Pocono track always adds an element of excitement to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we can't wait to see Jamie accomplish his goals sporting the Lexar brand."(CGR), see images of the car/scheme on Jayski.com's #1 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2015)
Red-and-white throwback on the #3 at Darlington: In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Richard Childress circled NASCAR's tracks in a classic #3 red-and-white Chevy. More than 30 years later, the Chevy his grandson, Austin Dillon, drives will honor the historic paint scheme during the 2015 Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. For this race, the #3 American Ethanol Chevy will shed its usual green-and-black design for the red-and-white colors.(Lionel / RCR Facebook), see an image of the car on Jayski.com's #3 Team Schemes page.(7-30-2015)
Buescher back in the #34 at Watkins Glen: Chris Buescher will return to the #34 Ford next week to go road-course racing at Watkins Glen International. It will be the Xfinity Series points leader's sixth Sprint Cup race with Front Row Motorsports.(FRM Facebook)(7-30-2015)
Chevrolet On The Verge Of Its 750th Win: With one more visit to Victory Lane, Chevrolet would notch its 750th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win. Here are some numbers detailing Chevrolet's NSCS history:
76 different drivers have piloted a Chevrolet to Victory Lane
30 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships
38 Manufacturers' championships - including the last 12
70 different tracks where Chevrolet drivers have won a race
23 Daytona 500 wins
Jeff Gordon boasts the most wins in a Chevrolet (92), followed by Jimmie Johnson (74), Dale Earnhardt (73), Darrell Waltrip (60) and Cale Yarborough (48). Last week, Chevrolet's 12-race win streak at Indianapolis - the longest active streak by a manufacturer at any track - was snapped. Chevrolet has won the last six races at Pocono, the new longest active streak at any track.(NASCAR), see Jayski.com's Manufacturers Championship / Points page for current standings, all-time manufacturers win list and more.(7-30-2015)
Written warnings after Indianapolis: NASCAR issued written warnings to two teams this week for multiple inspection failures last weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The #31 Chevy of Ryan Newman was warned for failing prerace inspection twice. The #13 Chevy of Casey Mears was warned for failing prequalifying inspection twice. The Sprint Cup Rule Book states in section 18.104.22.168.c that if the same team receives two warnings during two consecutive events - whether a points event or not - then the team faces a P1 penalty that could include one or more of the following: Deduction of practice time, deduction of qualifying time, last choice in selecting pits, delay in order of inspection and/or other penalties. NASCAR has emphasized teams getting through inspection without needing too many attempts. Teams were warned in April about formalized penalties for failing to pass inspection. There were four teams (#27-Menard, #15-Bowyer, #11-Hamlin and #21-Blaney) that received warnings after the previous race at New Hampshire but avoided a warning in consecutive events.(NBC Sports)(7-30-2015)
Ragan unsure of future at MWR: David Ragan, 10 starts into his role as driver of the Michael Waltrip Racing #55 Aaron's Toyota, said he's yet to speak with MWR officials, or anyone else, about his future role with the organization. "I haven't talked about next year with anybody for anything," Ragan said before the start of an open test on Wednesday at Bristol Motor Speedway. "In regards to some of the rumors that are out there, I've read just like everybody else has online, but all I can do is the best I can do week in and week out and hopefully everything will take care of themselves." Aaron's, a long-time MWR sponsor and currently the primary sponsor for the #55 entry, has yet to announce its plans beyond the 2015 season. Ragan said he would like to remain at MWR going forward if that is an option. "I like everyone at MWR and the Aaron's folks have been great to work with," he said. "We've got a good thing going ... hopefully we can keep it going. That'd be fun."(NASCAR.com)(7-30-2015)
NASCAR will proceed with Michigan downforce package: NASCAR officials confirmed Wednesday they will proceed as planned with a test of their high-drag aerodynamic package on Sprint Cup Series cars next month at Michigan. Cup teams and their representatives took part in a previously-scheduled meeting on Wednesday with NASCAR competition executives and expressed concerns over the package's performance last weekend at Indianapolis. NASCAR, however, plans to give the package another try at Michigan with little, if any changes. The package was desired to help spur more passing and "pack racing" but came far short of expectations in Sunday's Brickyard 400.(Motorsports)(7-30-2015)
Smooth Tunnel Turn set to greet NASCAR drivers at Pocono: Those bumps that jostled drivers and rattled cars in the Tunnel Turn [2nd of three turns] at Pocono Raceway are gone. Track officials smoothed the racing surface in the turn and drivers should have a more comfortable ride this weekend when NASCAR returns to Pocono Raceway. A section of the track about 170 feet by 28 feet was milled, leveled and repaved about a week after the June race there. Also, a section of the apron about 170 feet by 12 feet was leveled and repaved. That will create a much different setting from June when the bumps surprised drivers and caused some challenges.(NBC Sports)(7-30-2015)
Martinsville Speedway Offers Fans a Jeff Gordon Ticket Package: For more than 20 years fans at Martinsville Speedway have grown accustom to seeing Jeff Gordon dominate. After all, he has eight wins, 28 top-five finishes and more than 3700 laps led. However, the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 on Nov. 1 marks the final start for Gordon at the famous half-mile speedway as a full-time driver. In an effort to give fans the opportunity to see the famous 24, with Gordon behind the wheel one last time, Martinsville Speedway is offering a $124 Jeff Gordon Ticket Package that includes a special commemorative T-shirt celebrating his historic run at the track, a ticket to see Gordon in a moderated question-and-answer session in the Green Flag Experience on race morning and a frontstretch ticket in the Blue Ridge Tower for the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500. The race may mark Gordon's last shot to tie or break some historic Martinsville Speedway records. Should Gordon qualify on the pole on Virginia Lottery Pole Day, it would move him into a tie with Darrell Waltrip for the most Martinsville poles all-time. If Gordon finishes 10th or better he will tie Richard Petty for the most all-time top-10s and if he leads 41 laps, he will pass Cale Yarborough for the most laps led all-time at Martinsville. While many drivers struggle with learning how to navigate the unique half-mile track, it came second-nature to Gordon. In 1993 he made his first Cup start at Martinsville. He qualified third, finished eighth and never looked back. In his 45 career Martinsville starts he has only finished outside of the top-10 nine times and has completed 99.5% of the laps. The Jeff Gordon Ticket Package is on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(7-30-2015)
#98 team loses tungsten from car UPDATE penalized: The #98 Ford driven by Timmy Hill had a multitude of issues in Friday's Sprint Cup practice. In the second session, a 35-pound tungsten weight fell off the car. NASCAR typically takes a dim view of ballast that is not secured properly. The sanctioning body confiscated the jettisoned weight and will address the matter in next week's competition meeting. In Happy Hour, Hill's Ford spun off Turn 4 and slammed nose-first into the inside wall, forcing his team to go to a backup car. As a tow truck was removing Hill's car from the track, the back of the car scraped the track, knocking off the rear extension. Hill didn't participate in the opening practice session.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-25-2015)
UPDATE: The #98 team has been assessed a P3 level penalty for having an unattached weight leave the car during practice on July 24 (Sections 12:1; 22.214.171.124.1; 20.3.5). Crew chief Scott Eggleston has been fined $25,000; suspended from the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship points race; and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. Car chief Kevin Eagle has been suspended from the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship points race and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. Car owner Mike Curb will lose 15 championship car owner points (NASCAR), the team was 39th in Owners points with 178 and was 18 points ahead of #23-BK Racing, which has 160 and is 40th. #98 Premium Motorsports now has 163 owners points.(7-29-2015)
Johnson working on contract extension UPDATE: Just weeks before NASCAR's "silly season" of accelerated contract negotiation and frenzied driver movement speculation, six-time Sprint Cup champion #48-Jimmie Johnson remains without an extension to remain at Hendrick Motorsports. But that sounds like just a formality. Before the 5-hour Energy 301 on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Johnson told USA TODAY Sports that while there was "nothing new" in completing negotiations, he doesn't foresee a move from the team with which he has raced his entire 15-year Sprint Cup career. "(Team owner) Rick (Hendrick) likes to get things signed up and done well in advance, so there definitely have been conversations," Johnson said. "We're kind of going down the road to get that all buttoned up and put together. But I'm home. I'm not going anywhere."(USA Today)(7-20-2015)
UPDATE: Johnson met with members of the media at Indianapolis and discussed his contract extension, the transcript in part:
Q) WHAT IS THE LATEST ON YOUR CONTRACT EXTENSION AND WHETHER OR NOT YOU EXPECT CHAD (KNAUS, CREW CHIEF) TO BE BACK NEXT YEAR?
Johnson: "We still have, is it next year on our contract? I don't even know. We are obviously not concerned. We have been getting things buttoned up with Lowe's, with Hendrick, with Chad and myself, all of that. Like I said, I think last week, I'm home it's just a formality at this point to get everything kind of finished up and done."(Team Chevy)(7-29-2015)
New Hampshire Motor Speedway devalued by $100M since purchase: When Speedway Motorsports Inc. bought New Hampshire Motor Speedway in January 2008 for $340 million in cash, it was an indication of what a track that hosted NASCAR races was worth then. A little less than eight years later, despite increased television revenues, the track-operating company founded by Bruton Smith devalued the 1.058-mile racetrack by approximately $100 million as part of its 2015 second quarter financial report that was released Wednesday. "If we had to do it again, obviously we wouldn't pay quite so much," SMI chief financial officer Bill Brooks said in a conference call Wednesday with financial analysts. With the facility having two Sprint Cup dates and an avid fan base, SMI agreed to the deal in September 2007 just prior to the financial downturn. For comparison, it bought Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile facility with no Sprint Cup dates at the time, for $78.3 million in December 2008. Brooks said of the $340 million purchase price for the New Hampshire track, approximately $300 million was for the two Sprint Cup race weekends the facility had at the time. He said the approximate $100 million devaluation of the facility relates to the worth of the events to the track.
The seating capacity at New Hampshire was recently reduced from 95,000 to 88,000. SMI reported Wednesday that the track has had ongoing lower-than-anticipated revenues for its major racing events, and its chance to recoup those revenues were limited "similar to challenges faced by many major sports" of increased entertainment options and more people preferring to watch the events at home. SMI recorded a non-cash charge of $98.9 million on its latest financial statement for the devaluation of New Hampshire and change in goodwill resulting from NASCAR's transition to selling merchandise from a centrally located tent and not primarily through haulers and kiosks at the track. SMI will get an income tax benefit of $38.4 million as a result of the write-down.
The operator of eight tracks that have Sprint Cup races (Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Kentucky, Las Vegas, New Hampshire, Sonoma and Texas), SMI reported that ticket revenue was down 3.2% through June but that includes a weather-plagued Atlanta weekend in February -- its 2014 event was in August -- and does not include Kentucky, which last year had its race in June but this year was in July. Brooks said many of the 2015 race weekends are showing increased revenues over 2014.(ESPN) and see the full report at Speedway Motorsports Inc. - 2015 second quarter financial report.(7-29-2015)
Bristol to hold fan day during test session July 29 TODAY: Up to 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are expected to test at Bristol Motor Speedway Wednesday, July 29, an event that the Speedway is making free to the public as part of the "It's MY Bristol Baby!" campaign to express the Speedway's appreciation to local fans and supporters. Bristol Motor Speedway Fan Day activities run 9:00am-5:00pm/et. Beginning at Noon, the Speedway will offer interactive displays and kids' activities including show cars, mascot appearances, photo sharing, inflatables and face painting. Participating Sprint Cup drivers will be announced the week of July 27. Guests can enter the Speedway through the North or South entrances off Volunteer Parkway, and the stands via Gate 7.(BMS)(7-11-2015)
UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will be looking to get a jump on the competition for next month's annual night race at Bristol Motor Speedway as several teams are scheduled to take part in an open test this Wednesday at the 0.533-mile track. Team Penske driver #22-Joey Logano, the defending winner of the Irwin Tools Night Race, heads up a list that includes #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing), #1-Jamie McMurray (Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), #55-David Ragan (Michael Waltrip Racing), #27-Paul Menard (Richard Childress Racing), #19-Carl Edwards (Joe Gibbs Racing), #10-Danica Patrick (Stewart-Haas Racing), #21-Ryan Blaney (Wood Brothers Racing), #5-Kasey Kahne (Hendrick Motorsports) and #43-Aric Almirola (Richard Petty Motorsports). A two-day Goodyear tire test previously scheduled for Monday and Tuesday has been canceled.(NASCAR.com)(7-28-2015)
Pocono Goodyear Tire Facts & Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Pocono this week . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams have run at Pocono since 2012 . . . Pocono is the only track on which either of these tire codes are scheduled to be run this season . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners on all four tire positions at Pocono . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire (Goodyear), see full notes, tire limits, tire codes and more on the Pocono Race Info page.(7-29-2015)
#34 Promotes National Root Beer Float Day: Brett Moffitt and the #34 Ford team will make sure NASCAR fans don't forget an important holiday as they watch Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono. Moffitt's Ford will promote National Root Beer Float day, celebrated on August 6, when A&W All American Food restaurants will give out free Root Beer Floats and encourage customers to make a donation to help American veterans in return. The campaign, which benefits Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), will be promoted in a special orange-and-brown paint scheme on Moffitt's #34 Ford at Pocono. Visit any participating A&W restaurant on Aug. 6 between 2:00pm and closing time and receive one small Root Beer Float free of charge upon request. In return, guests will be encouraged to make a donation to WWP. Donors will be able to give directly at participating restaurants or online at www.rootbeerfloatday.com.(FRM), see an image of the scheme on Jayski.com's #34 Team Schemes page.(7-29-2015)
Kyle Busch going for 4th consecutive win: #18-Kyle Busch took the checkered flag at Indianapolis on Sunday for his third straight victory as well as his fourth in the last five races. In the Chase Era, Jimmie Johnson is the only other driver to log three or more consecutive wins. Johnson strung together four straight victories in the 2007 Chase on his way to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and won three consecutive races in the 2004 Chase. Busch is the first driver in the Chase Era to win three consecutive races during the regular season. Jeff Gordon is the only other active driver to win three consecutive races. He has achieved the feat on three occasions. Gordon captured four straight victories in 1998, in addition to three straight in 1996 and from 1998-99. Busch has 33 NSCS wins since his career began in 2004, the second most in the Chase Era behind Johnson's 68.(NASCAR), see the full list of drivers who have won three or more consecutive races on Jayski.com's All-Time Wins page.(7-29-2015)
Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis Race for Good Dental Health with the #24 3M Team: More than 500 students at LeGore Boys & Girls Club and Keenan-Stahl Boys & Girls Club in Indianapolis participated in a special high-speed oral health education event Thursday that left them with big smiles and new tips for improving their dental health. It was all thanks to NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevy, NASCAR celebrities, 3M ESPE Dental, the ADA Foundation's Give Kids A Smile program, CareCredit, Henry Schein Cares and Church & Dwight. The ADA Foundation's Give Kids A Smile program rolled into the Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis as part of the race week at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(3M ESPE Dental)(7-29-2015)
Danica Patrick close to new deal with Stewart-Haas UPDATE: For those who have speculated the GoDaddy Girl may be going somewhere else, think again. Stewart-Haas Racing team owner Gene Haas told Motorsport.com on Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that he'd like to get Danica Patrick's deal signed "as soon as possible" -- and he expects to do just that. "We expect her to stay with Stewart-Haas Racing," Haas told Motorsport.com. "We have some very good sponsors that are in the process of signing up. But we knew that. We knew going in that there's just a lot of demand for her. Let's face it, she's the only woman on the whole grid so she's going to get a lot of press, and that's what sponsors want to see. We told her we wanted her to come back. She's been very flexible about everything. It all has to happen at the same time. You can't really sign a driver until you have a sponsor. You have to know how much money you're going to get from the sponsor and that kind of translates into the deal you make with the driver. I think it's all going good." With Patrick attracting a variety of sponsors, Haas says the hold-up in an announcement is simply dotting i's and crossing t's. There has been speculation that categories from the mortgage and restaurant industry could be among the liveries gracing the hood of the #10 Chevy next year. "Personally, I think that's all just a balance between - we're probably going to have more than one sponsor and we're going to have to get them all aligned. We have to work GoDaddy. It's just a balancing act. Obviously, we'd like to get it done as quickly as possible. I'm sure that, when all the contracts are signed, it will happen within a few weeks."(Motorsport)(7-27-2015)
UPDATE: On Tuesday, SHR spokesman Mike Arning said in an email to FOXSports.com that the organization is moving toward re-signing Patrick and securing a new primary sponsor for her car in the 2016 season. "Re-signing Danica Patrick remains a priority for Stewart-Haas Racing, and we're confident an agreement will be formalized soon," Arning wrote. "Discussions regarding sponsorship for Danica and the No. 10 team are progressing nicely. Our timetable to have her contract and sponsorship in place by the end of the summer is certainly attainable."(FoxSports)(7-28-2015)
Buddy Baker facing death with predictable courage: Buddy Baker is facing the end of his life with the same courage he demonstrated during a long NASCAR career, when he sometimes drove at more than 200 mph. "I'm right with The Man Upstairs," Baker said Saturday when I [Tom Higgins] visited him along with Humpy Wheeler and Waddell Wilson at the Baker home on the western shore of Lake Norman near Terrell. "If I feared death I never would have driven a race car." Baker, 74, is stricken with inoperable lung cancer, discovered in December.(full article at Charlotte Observer)(7-28-2015)
Kyle Bush talked to Stewart about injury: #18-Kyle Busch talked to the media Saturday morning at Indy, the transcript in part:
Q) What was your mindset after the accident and did you speak with Tony Stewart about his injury?
Busch: "Tony (Stewart) was actually the first one to the hospital -- as soon as the Daytona 500 was over he was there. He actually told everybody that was on his plane that they were going to wait. He was there for about four hours. We had a good talk, we had a good discussion about just what it was like and the process that he had to go through and how long it was probably going to be or what it was going to be. In all reality, our injuries were the same but entirely different. His was much more severe than mine. Just being able to talk with him, my mindset was okay. At first I was like, 'I'm never going to race again and I don't know what I'm going to do,' all those things go through your mind. You just continue to power through and listen to your doctors and those that are around you and of course my wife and the support system that I had. I wouldn't call it painless, there was certainly a lot of pain, but it went really, really well as far as you could say any injury healing goes. I was pretty pleased with everything."(Toyota Racing)(7-28-2015)
Where is Rick Mast? At age 15, Rick Mast sold a 4-H project steer for $575 to get money for his first race car. He rebuilt the wrecked '57 Chevy with the blown engine and began winning dirt-track races at Natural Bridge Speedway in western Virginia. That $575 deal led to a solid 15-year NASCAR career that left Mast, now 58, comfortable and content. Mast's career highlight was winning the pole and leading the first two laps of the inaugural Brickyard 400 at Indy in the #1 Skoal Ford of Richard and Leo Jackson. At 45, chronic carbon-monoxide poisoning ended Mast's career. He began suffering early in 2002, lacking energy and enduring headaches, fatigue and nausea. "It's like the worst hangover in your life," he said at the time. "You want to throw up but can't; your head is pounding; you feel awful." After struggling through 50 laps at Charlotte in May of that year, he stepped away from the No. 90 Ford of owner Junie Donlavey. "Those 50 laps wore me down," Mast says, "so I knew I was done. I'd tried to gut it out since March because racers never want to show weakness. Nobody knew what it was for a long time. I just knew that racing wasn't important on the days I couldn't get out of bed. I wasn't worried about racing, I was worried about dying." Mast retired early in 2003. He talked with NASCAR brass about the dangers of carbon-monoxide exposure, which led to the organization moving headers to the right side of its cars and improving cockpit ventilation. He and his wife, Sharon, live in western Virginia, where he owns a hazmat cleanup company. His son works for Major League Baseball, and his twin daughters attend James Madison University and the University of Virginia, respectively.(Autoweek)(7-28-2015)
Congrats to Ray & Erin Evernham on the birth of their daughter, Cate Susan Evernham, Saturday morning.(7-25-2015)
Aquafina sponsoring Kahne at Pocono: Next week at Pocono Raceway, Kasey Kahne's ride will have a "refreshing" new look. The #5 Aquafina Chevy SS will make its debut at "The Tricky Triangle."(Hendrick Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #5 team paint schemes page.(7-24-2015)
Pocono race to be the Windows 10 400: Pocono Raceway and Microsoft announced the renaming of the annual August NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at "The Tricky Triangle" as the Windows 10 400. The Windows 10 400 race weekend will take place from July 31st to August 2nd, just two days after the launch of Windows 10. For the first time ever, Microsoft's popular operating system will be offered as a free upgrade* to customers with qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8 devices. Microsoft, an Official Technology Partner of NASCAR, will have device displays and interactive experiences in the Fan Fair and Paddock areas at Pocono Raceway during the Windows 10 400 race weekend. Race fans and members of the NASCAR industry will be able to relax and enjoy Windows 10 devices at these locations. Additionally, everyone is invited to interact on their social media channels using the official race hashtag, #Windows10_400. Additionally, Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., the defending winner of the August NSCS race at Pocono Raceway, will drive the #88 Microsoft Chevy SS during the Windows 10 400 race weekend.(Pocono Raceway)(7-21-2015)
Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen, NY
Happy Hour Practice:
Friday, August 7, 2015, 4:40 pm/et
TV: NBCSN 4:30pm/et
Born in AUGUST
2 Brian France
3 Tracy Adamczyk-Dowd (sister), Brad Baker, Terri Parsons
4 Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Bob Calkins, Amy Hair, Bob Hubner, Allen Styers
5 Josh Browne, Alan Gustafson, Kenny Irwin Jr., Chad Knaus, Paul Lamach, Pattie Petty, Rich Woodland
6 Jeb Burton, Gail Connor, Tom Hubert, Kendall McReynolds, Rick Ware, "Amish" John Stewart
7 Pete White, Steve Loyd, Kyle Drum
8 Gail Norton, Parker Kligerman, Tommy Ellis, Jack Sprague, Don Leo
9 Tom Higgins, Cindy Shepherd, Lloyd Dane, Leo Gordon
10 Doug Hewitt, Donnie Neuenberger, Murray Timm, Chris Heroy, Ryan Moore
11 Lennie Pond, H. Clay Earles, Glenn Jarrett, Lonnie Rush Jr., Frankie Schneider, John Dodson, Zachary Gay
12 Dick Bown, Richard Everett Craven, Michelle Durkin, Tony Furr Jr., Scott Gaylord, Jordan Irvan, Parnelli Jones, George Lubejko, Ryan Reed, Carolyn Rudd Wax
13 John Feeney, John Baden, Patrick Carpentier, Hideo Fukuyama, Jim Roper, Bill Wilsey
14 Rusty Wallace, Lee Spencer
15 Andy Petree, Carl Edwards, Newt Moore, Robin Pemberton, Mark Kennerly
16 Ronald Allison, Donald Allison, Diane Hawkins, Lenny Batycki
17 Rex White, Jerry Horton, Danny Marshburn, Matt Fernandez, Cathy Simmons
18 Drew Markle, Matt McLaughlin, Steve Wallace, Rachel Wood, Steve Lowery, Andrea Sospenzo, Andy Pilgrim
19 Dale Inman, David Hyder, Alex and Dillon Makar, Ray Elder
20 Bobby Auten, Kenny Martin, Jerry Punch, Dennis Punch, Ronald Puryear
21 Patti Bisciotti, William Vance, Winston Kelley, Paul Menard, Mark McCarter, Burney Lamar, Doug Shaak, Keven Wood
22 Collin Houston, Tommy Mullis, Elmo Langley
23 Steve Park, Kenny Wallace, Scott Miller, Ashlie Garone, Robert Larkins, Ralph Sheheen, Shane Sieg, Mike Janssen
24 David Bonnett, Lee McCall
25 Casey Atwood, David Smith, Shane Hall, Kelly Bires, Sarah Catlin Waltrip, T.J. Bell
26 Jayski.com, Ray Evernham, James Hylton, Landon Rudd, Greg Engle, Ken Duan, Adam Gravitt, Daniel Rankin
27 Chris Brook, T. Wayne Robertson, Gloria Broadwater, Richard Broome, Billy Hodges, Chuck Rider, Mike Hillman, Claire B. Lang
28 Patty Eversole, Kelley Earnhardt, Randy LaJoie, Thomas Hatcher, Brandon Miller, Hoss Berry,
29 Wendell Scott, Jim Brady, Geneva Key, Tim Peters, Ken Stout, Paul Vanderlaan
30 Mike Helton, Sue Fiala, Mark Allen, Gordon Gibbs, John Erickson
31 Sara Eolin, Patti Jarrett Makar, Mike Nelson, Jerry Baxter Jr., Erin Beam, Wayne Orme, Mike Morneau, Angus Adamczyk