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  • Race Coverage of the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2015.
    Television (TV): FOX at 6:00 pm/et; Pre-Race show at 5:30pm/et; green flag approx. 6:19pm/et
    Radio: Performance Racing Network (PRN) and Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90
    Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, May 25 at 10:00am/et on FS1

  • Charlotte Pre-Race Schedule: (eastern time)
    -- 4:00:00pm: NSCS Driver/Crew Chief Meeting
    -- 4:40:00pm: Military Appreciation
    -- 5:20:00pm: NSCS Drivers Introductions (43 Service members will introduce the drivers from a mic on stage and walk off behind driver.)
    -- 5:43:30pm: "God Bless America" by: Danielle Johnson, Speedway Superstar
    -- 5:50:00pm: Armed Forces Service Medley Performed by: Central Church of God Choir
    -- 6:00:00pm: Presentation of Colors by: 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade Color Guard Ft. Bragg
    -- 6:00:20pm: Invocation by: Douglas Carver, Executive Director of Chaplaincy for the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board
    -- 6:00:45pm: Amazing Grace by: Charlotte Fire Department Pipe Band
    -- 6:02:05pm: "21 Gun Salute": Fort Bragg Firing Party
    -- 6:02:35pm: Taps by: Bugler from Fort Bragg
    -- 6:03:40pm: National Anthem: 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus
    -- 6:05:00pm: Fly-by: 4 F-18's from VFA 103, Naval Air Station Oceana, VA
    -- 6:09:30: Command to start engines by: Dr. JD Crouch II, USO President and GM Dawn Seif, wife of Andrew Seif Silver Star winner and USO Marine of the year in 2013
    -- 6:18:30pm: Start of the Coca-Cola 600
    eastern time (NASCAR.com)


  • Kenseth wins Charlotte pole: #20-Matt Kenseth won the Coors Light pole for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway with speed of 194.252mph for his 2nd pole of 2015, 1st at Charlotte and 15th of his career.
    #22-Logano is on the outside pole followed by #19-Edwards, #16-Biffle, #11-Hamlin, #2-Keselowski, #55-Ragan, #4-Harvick, #42-Larson, #78-Truex Jr., #3-Dillon and #14-Stewart.
    All five Hendrick Motorsports [5,24,25,48,88] entries failed to advance to the final round of knockout qualifying.
    Missing the race were: #26-Burton, #32-Bliss, #39-Kvapil, #30-Green and #62-Gaughan.
    See the starting lineup, qualifying results round-by-round, qualifying order and more on Jayski.com's Charlotte Starting Lineup / Qualifying Page.(5-21-2015)

  • Qualifying Fast Facts - Charlotte:
    #20-Matt Kenseth won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 56th Annual COCA-COLA 600 with a lap of 27.799 seconds, 194.252 mph.
    This is his 15th pole in 556 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.
    This is his second pole and eighth top-10 start in 2015. Kenseth's first pole of the season came at Bristol.
    This is his first pole in 32 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. His previous best start at Charlotte was second in October 2011.
    #22-Joey Logano (second) posted his 10th top-10 start of 2015 and his third in 13 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    #19-Carl Edwards (third) posted his seventh top-10 start at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It is his sixth in 12 races this season.
    (NASCAR Statistics)(5-21-2015)

  • Pit Stall Selections: The selections of pit stalls for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been made.
    Pole sitter #20-Kenseth chose pit stall 1 [as do most pole sitters].
    Outside pole sitter #22-Logano took pit stall 2, right behind Kenseth.
    #19-Edwards, who starts 3rd took the 15th pit stall, the first pit stall with an opening in front of it.
    The 43rd and final pit stall was taken by #2-Keselowski, who starts 6th.
    To see where the drivers/teams pit stall is, see the pit selection chart on Jayski.com's Pit Stall Selection chart.(5-22-2015)

  • Happy Hour practice for the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway is over, after 50 minutes, the top-five, slowest and notes.
    #41-Busch 188.653
    #5-Kahne 187.052
    #27-Menard 186.987
    #16-Biffle 186.942
    #20-Kenseth 186.780
    slowest: #33-Kennedy 178.998 & #23-Yeley 180.475
    most laps run: #1-McMurray with 54
    Best 10 consecutive lap average: #5-Kahne 184.632
    notes: Erik Jones ran a few laps in the #18 for Kyle Busch and will be on call as a relief driver if needed Sunday night.
    See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Happy Hour Practice Speeds page (pdf).(5-23-2015)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Charlotte
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 111.6
    #18-Kyle Busch 106.7
    #5-Kasey Kahne 100.8
    #20-Matt Kenseth 95.5
    #11-Denny Hamlin 92.8
    #24-Jeff Gordon 91.6
    #19-Carl Edwards 89.6
    #16-Greg Biffle 88.7
    #22-Joey Logano 88.4
    #2-Brad Keselowski 86.5
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (19 total) among active drivers at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    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)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Notes & Facts - Sunday - race:
    · There have been 112 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, two races per year since the track opened in 1960. In 1961, there were two 100-mile qualifying points races held the week before the May race. The first six fall races at Charlotte were 400-mile events (1960-65).
    · Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Charlotte in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 18: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Jeff Gordon (five), Darrell Waltrip (two), Ken Schrader (one), Terry Labonte (one), Casey Mears (one) and Kasey Kahne (one).
    · Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Charlotte; led by Chevrolet with 43 victories; followed by Ford with 29. Chevrolet also has the most Coca-Cola 600 wins at 23.
    · There have been three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but only once for the Coca-Cola 600 (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2005 (334/336), fall of 2007 (334/337) and the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 (400/402).
    · Five of the 112 races at Charlotte Motor Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions; the most recent was the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 won by David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip Racing. Four of the five races shortened were the 600-mile events (1968, 1997, 2003 and 2009).
    · Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the May 29, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Bobby Labonte with a MOV of 0.027 second.
    (NASCAR)(5-24-2015)

  • Goodyear Gives Back" program - Support Our Troops: For the sixth straight year, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, exclusive tire supplier of NASCAR's three major national series, is rallying NASCAR fans to support members of the U.S. Armed Forces through its "Goodyear Gives Back" charitable program benefitting the Support Our Troops organization. To kick off the program, Goodyear will once again transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing the "Eagle" sidewall design with "Support Our Troops" messaging on all tires used during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This effort coincides with the launch of Goodyear's charity auction at www.Goodyear.com/GivesBack, which features autographed NASCAR memorabilia, VIP race experiences and rides on the Goodyear Blimp. Proceeds benefit Support Our Troops, a nonprofit nationwide organization that works to bolster the morale and well-being of America's troops and their families. To-date, Goodyear Gives Back has generated nearly $1 million in cash and product donations to support the cause. Fans can get involved by visiting www.Goodyear.com/GivesBack through July 6, 2015 to bid on unique NASCAR autographed items, Support Our Troops tires and VIP experiences, purchase Support Our Troops® merchandise, or make a direct donation.(Goodyear)(5-24-2015)

  • McDowell and Leavine Family Racing to run patriotic scheme at CMS: A patriotic paint scheme will adorn the #95 Thrivent Financial Ford of Michael McDowell this weekend for the Coca-Cola 600. In addition, the team is participating in the "600 Miles of Remembrance" NASCAR program. Leavine Family Racing is proud to honor two of our own who have served in the U.S. military. Car Chief, Kenneth Roettger Jr. served Active U.S.M.C. 1993-97 and Bob Moore, Parts Requisition for LFR, served Active Army 1976-80. Charlotte Hornets Power Forward Cody Zeller will be a guest of Leavine Family Racing at the Coca-Cola 600 this Sunday. Zeller attended his first NASCAR race last fall at Charlotte Motor Speedway on behalf of the #95 team and "live-tweeted" the Daytona 500 cheering on the #95 earlier this season.(LFR), see images of the car on the #95 Team Schemes page.(5-24-2015)

  • Honor and Remember returns to the #33 for Charlotte: Circle Sport's Alex Kennedy will once again represent Honor and Remember in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series when he gets behind the wheel of the #33 Honor and Remember Chevy this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the Memorial Day Weekend's Coca-Cola 600. Proudly displaying the emblem of remembrance on the hood of Kennedy's #33 as part of the overall scheme, the national non-profit organization Honor and Remember, Inc., is using the event to promote the national symbol honoring all fallen service members and their families. This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Circle Sport), see images of the car on the #33 Team Schemes page.(5-24-2015)

  • Fans choose Amp scheme for Michigan: After weeks of voting on Facebook, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s paint scheme for the June 14 race at Michigan International Speedway has been determined. The #88 Chevrolet SS will feature AMP ENERGY Passion Fruit.(HMS)(5-24-2015)

  • Linda Vaughn wins first Honorary Jim Chapman Award: Linda Vaughn, who as Miss Hurst Golden Shifter and "The First Lady of Auto Racing" became one of the sport's greatest world-wide ambassadors, was announced as the first recipient of an honorary Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations. The Chapman Award, established in 1991, is considered by many in the industry as the highest honor in racing public relations. It is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary PR executive and innovator, who worked with Babe Ruth, Dan Gurney, Bobby Unser, Mario Andretti, Bill France Sr. and Avis Rent-a-Car founder Warren Avis among many others. Chapman, named Indy Car racing's "most influential man" of the 1980s, died in 1996 at age 80. The announcement was made at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the annual American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association breakfast meeting. Michael Knight, chairman of the selection committee and one of Chapman's closest friends, made the presentation. This first-ever honorary Chapman Award is the result of several suggestions and endorsement of the Chapman family and approval of members of the national media selection committee. Vaughn has earned PR awards from NHRA and SEMA and is in several Halls of Fame. Established in 1991 by media and publicists within the CART series, the Chapman Award originally focused on achievement in CART. After a hiatus of several years, the award was resumed in 2004, with eligibility expanded to anyone working in racing PR.(SpinDoctor500)(5-24-2015)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Notes & Facts - Saturday - drivers:
    · 527 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points paying race at Charlotte Motor Speedway; 378 in more than one. 441 drivers have competed in the Coca-Cola 600; 287 in more than one.
    · NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Charlotte with 64. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 44 starts; followed by Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart with 31. Richard Petty and Bill Elliott have made the most Coca-Cola 600 starts with 31 each; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in 600 starts with 22.
    · 45 different drivers have won at Charlotte Motor Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with seven wins including four Coca-Cola 600 wins - 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2014.
    · 30 different drivers have won the Coca-Cola 600, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip with five; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with four; followed by teammates Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne with three each.
    · Nine drivers have posted consecutive wins at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including three consecutive by NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen (fall 1964 and both 1965) and four straight by Jimmie Johnson (2004 and 2005 sweeps).
    · A season sweep at Charlotte has occurred eight times, including each season from 2004-2007.
    · Seven times from seven different drivers has the winner of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race gone on to win the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).
    · Richard Petty leads the series in runner-up finishes at Charlotte with nine. Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers with three.
    · Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers in runner-up finishes in the Coca-Cola 600 with two.
    · NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison are tied for the series most top-five finishes at Charlotte with 23. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 17. Richard Petty leads the series in top fives in the Coca-Cola 600 with 12; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven.
    · Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Charlotte with 31. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 24. Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and David Pearson lead the series in top 10s in the Coca-Cola 600 with 15 each; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 12.
    · Joey Logano leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Charlotte with a 10.000. Carl Edwards leads all active drivers in average finish in the Coca-Cola 600 with a 9.000.
    · Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Charlotte without visiting Victory Lane at 30; followed by Ryan Newman with 28.
    · Seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series active drivers have made their first career start at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5/30/99), Jimmie Johnson (10/7/01), Brian Vickers (10/11/03), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5/29/11) and Kyle Larson (10/12/13).
    · Four active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted their first career win at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (5/29/94), Matt Kenseth (5/28/00), Jamie McMurray (10/13/02) and Casey Mears (5/27/07).
    · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Charlotte with 1,733 laps led in 27 starts.
    · Two female drivers have competed at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick.
    (NASCAR)(5-23-2015)

  • Biffle to Make 450th Career Sprint Cup Start in Coca-Cola 600: Greg Biffle will make his 450th career Sprint Cup start in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. Biffle made his Sprint Cup debut in 2002 at Auto Club Speedway driving for Jack Roush. Over his 14 years in the series he has earned 19 wins, 88 top-five and 169 top 10 finishes while qualifying for the Chase for the Championship in six of the last seven years. "It's kind of amazing how fast the time goes by," said Biffle. "I remember my 300th start; we did a deal at Martinsville a few years back. It seems like it was last year or the year before, but it was 150 starts ago and that is a long time. It amazes you how fast it goes and I've got a lot of great memories, wins, close races and fun times. Some highlights that standout for me over the years are finishing second in points, winning four races in Michigan and winning Ford's 1,000th win on Father's Day. My 450th start falls on the perfect weekend, Memorial Weekend for the Coca-Cola 600 while honoring my Mom's cousin with his name across the windshield of our Ortho Ford." The 1,000th win for Ford on Father's Day in 2013 was one of Biffle's biggest victories and one of the most memorable since his daughter Emma was able to celebrate with him. Other career highlights for Biffle include a NASCAR XFINITY Championship in 2002 and a Truck Series Championship in 2000. Biffle also claimed rookie of the year honors in XFINITY and Trucks in 1998 and 2001.(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-23-2015)

  • Colorado Freedom featured on the #78 at CMS: the Colorado Freedom Memorial will be featured on the quarter panels of Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Furniture Row Facebook), see an image of the decal on the #78 Team Schemes page.(5-23-2015)

  • Larson could run the Indy 500 one day: Team owner [#1, #42] Chip Ganassi is leaving the door open for rising NASCAR star #42-Kyle Larson to someday compete in the Indianapolis 500. The 22-year-old Larson was signed by Ganassi as a developmental driver in 2012, shot through the Truck Series and Xfinity Series, and began racing full-time in the Sprint Cup Series last year. He has also raced for Ganassi in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Ganassi said Friday that he spoke with Larson "just yesterday" about eventually racing in the Indy 500. Ganassi has won the race four times, and has five cars in Sunday's edition. Asked how the conversations with Larson go, Ganassi replied: "They go good all the time. We haven't said no to him. We haven't said yes, either."(Associated Press)(5-23-2015)

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr., sister Kelley receive key to Mooresville: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, received a ceremonial key to the town of Mooresville on Friday on behalf of JR Motorsports, the racing shop they co-own in Talbert Pointe Business Park. "All these years, I never thought we'd be getting a key to the city," Dale Jr. said after he and his sister received the award from Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins and town commissioners. Earnhardt Jr. brought his 5-month-old Irish setter, Gus, to the ceremony at JR Motorsports. The town presented the key in part for JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliott winning the 2014 Nationwide Series title. At 18, Elliott became the youngest champion ever of a NASCAR national series. The town also recognized JR Motorsports for having grown from just a couple of employees to more than 100.(Charlotte Observer)(5-23-2015)

  • Kasey Kahne Foundation Reaches $1 Million Milestone: The Kasey Kahne Foundation ("KKF"), a 501(c) 3 committed to raising awareness and funds for charities supporting chronically ill children and their families, announced today that the charitable organization surpassed $1 million in donations distributed since being founded. NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne, KKF staff and hundreds of fans celebrated the giving milestone at the annual Fan Day event at Kasey Kahne Racing shop in Mooresville, NC.(KKF)(5-23-2015)

  • NASCAR Race Hub dedicates Charlotte studio to Steve Byrnes: Steve Byrnes always carried a huge presence around the FOX Sports studios in Charlotte, North Carolina. From his tireless preparation, to helping those around the office and offering a word of advice to anyone that asked, Byrnes was integral to success of FOX Sports 1, "NASCAR Race Hub" and everyone around him. While Steve passed away on April 21 after a long battle with cancer, his presence will remain a permanent fixture in the Charlotte office. On Thursday, FOX Sports "NASCAR Race Hub" studio was dedicated to the memory of Steve Byrnes. After comments from FOX Sports executive vice president Steve Craddock, a moving story by FOX Sports digital content producer Branden Williams about Steve's willingness to help a young kid, and more kind words from FOX Sports president Erick Shanks, Steve's son Bryson helped unveil the plaque that will sit in the studio honoring his late father. The plaque includes a picture of Steve, with the following inscription: "This studio is dedicated in memory of and in upmost appreciation for the time Steve Byrnes spent not only within its four walls, but in our lives. A FOX Sports broadcaster whose career spanned three decades, Byrnes consistently led by example both on the air and off. Garnering a rare profound respect and admiration of every competitor he covered and countless colleagues he encountered. Few put more passion into their work, honesty into their friendships or effort into mentoring others than Byrnes. "His legacy of hard work, integrity and professionalism, humility, fairness and faith served as an inspiration to his thousands of friends and extended to the millions of viewers who watched him over the years. Byrnes became a tangible example of strength, courage and fortitude to all who witnessed his cancer battle and his inspiring personal campaign to be present in every moment of his family members' lives. For his FOX Sports family, his family is forever present in this studio and in our hearts." The commemorative plaque ends with the signoff Byrnes would always end his shows with, "Have an awesome night."(FoxSports)(5-23-2015)

  • Penske wants to run Blaney full time in 2016 UPDATE: Roger Penske wants Ryan Blaney to run a full NASCAR Sprint Cup season in 2016 with the Wood Brothers. Blaney, a Team Penske development driver, has been farmed out to the Wood Brothers for about 18 Cup races this year. Blaney has made four starts so far this season and finished a career-best fourth at Talladega three weeks ago. A lack of available seats has made it difficult for Penske to give Blaney many opportunities, and the Wood Brothers alliance has worked well for both sides. "This is a partnership really with Woods' people and ours," Penske said before Saturday night's All-Star race. "We've got the technology and the ability to build the right pieces for them. It's like a brother-in-law." Penske said he's not interested at this time in expanding his Cup program to three cars, but would like Blaney to run the full schedule in the #21 Ford assuming funding is found for the 21-year-old. "I'd hope there can be an extension - we're going to run him in about 18 races, so if we can get sponsorship for him, that gives him a chance to take a look at extending that through a full season next year. That would be our goal," Penske said.(Associated Press)(5-17-2015)
    UPDATE: Officials with Wood Brothers Racing said Thursday that the legendary team could run a full 36-race schedule today in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, something the team hasn't done since 2006. But, said co-owner Len Wood at Charlotte Motor Speedway, "you've got to pay for it. We could go run 'em all (now), but it wouldn't be pretty. And with that being said, I don't think you could keep a sponsor like that either."(NASCAR.com)(5-22-2015)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Notes & Facts - Friday - history:
    · Construction began on Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS) in 1959.
    · The track's first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 19, 1960 - won by Joe Lee Johnson.
    · The track was repaved midseason in 1994.
    · The track name changed from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe's Motor Speedway in 1999.
    · It changed back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2010 season.
    · The track was re-paved again before the 2006 season.
    (NASCAR)(5-22-2015)

  • List of Fallen Service Members featured on NASCAR's Windshield Tribute at Coca-Cola 600, images: (click on drivers name for link to see the car or windshield, if/when an image has been made available/found).
    #1-Jamie McMurray: Staff Sergeant Russ Freeland, Air Force
    #2-Brad Keselowski: Corporal Michael J. Anaya, Army
    #3-Austin Dillon: Seal Chief Adam Brown, Navy
    #4-Kevin Harvick: Sergeant Cory R. Mracek, Army
    #5-Kasey Kahne: Sergeant First Class Riley Gene Stephens, Army
    #6-Trevor Bayne: Staff Sergeant Casey Crate, Air Force
    #7-Alex Bowman: First Lieutenant Todd W. Weaver, Army
    #9-Sam Hornish Jr.: Captain Jeremy Fresques, Air Force
    #10-Danica Patrick: Corporal Stephen R. Koch, Army
    #11-Denny Hamlin: First Lieutenant Michael E. Johnson, Marines
    #13-Casey Mears: Sergeant Joshua J. Rimer, Army
    #14-Tony Stewart: Master Sergeant Aaron C. Torian, Marines
    #15-Clint Bowyer: Lieutenant Dale Bowyer, Air Corps
    #16-Greg Biffle: Private First Class Deane S. Van Dyke, Army
    #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Captain Jim Browning, Air Corps
    #18-Kyle Busch: Gunnery Sergeant Aaron M. Kenefick, Marines
    #19-Carl Edwards: Seaman Lynn A. Thrasher, Navy
    #20-Matt Kenseth: Hospital Corpsman Third Class James R. Layton, Navy
    #21-Ryan Blaney: Cpl. Jonathan Bowling, Marines
    #22-Joey Logano: Corporal Travis L. Patriquin, Army
    #23-J.J. Yeley: Lance Corporal Jose A. Hernandez, Marines
    #24-Jeff Gordon: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Stanley L. Harriman, Army
    #25-Chase Elliott: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael Stephen Duskin, Army
    #26-Jeb Burton: Sergeant Nickolas A. Mueller, Army
    #27-Paul Menard: Specialist David T. Proctor, Army
    #30-Jeff Green: Chief Petty Officer, Jason Ray Workman, Navy
    #31-Ryan Newman: Sergeant Mark A. Bradley, Marines
    #32-Mike Bliss: Captain Christopher Cash, Army
    #33-Alex Kennedy: Corporal George A. Lutz II, Army
    #34-Brett Moffitt: Sergeant Renald J. Bouthout, Army
    #35-Cole Whitt: Captain John Bartley, Air Force
    #38-David Gilliland: The Unknown Soldier
    #39-Travis Kvapil: Lance Corporal Nathan Elrod, Marines
    #40-Landon Cassill: Gunnery Sergeant Floyd E. Holley, Marines
    #41-Kurt Busch: Petty Officer First Class David M. Tapper, Navy
    #42-Kyle Larson: Staff Sergeant Mark A. Stets Jr., Army
    #43-Aric Almirola: Captain Derek M. Argel, Air Force
    #46-Michael Annett: Corporal Michael E. Thompson, Army
    #47-AJ Allmendinger: Corporal Darrell L. Smith, Army
    #48-Jimmie Johnson: First Lieutenant Robert L. Henderson II, National Guard
    #51-Justin Allgaier: Technical Sergeant Adam K. Ginnett, Air Force
    #55-David Ragan: Sgt. Bryan Brewster, Army
    #62-Brendan Gaughan: Technical Sergeant John Chapman, Air Force
    #78-Martin Truex Jr.: Sgt. Edwin Penn, Army
    #83-Matt DiBenedetto: First Lieutenant Daniel B. Hyde, Army
    #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller, Army
    #95-Michael McDowell: Corporal Ryan D. Russell, Army
    #98-Josh Wise: First Lieutenant Nainoa K. Noe, Army
    The list from NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)

  • Johnson shocked over warning: #48-Jimmie Johnson, met with members of the media at Charlotte Motor Speedway and was asked about the warning NASCAR gave the team over the flared skirts.
    Q) WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE WARNING YOUR TEAM RECEIVED FOR THE ISSUE WITH THE SIDE SKIRTS IN THE ALL-STAR RACE?
    Johnson: "The warning...we were very shocked to even hear that there was an issue with the side skirts. I think leaving the racetrack NASCAR was upset and thought there was a lot more intent and something going wrong with the side skirt being pulled out. Then as video became available and they looked through it and watched and saw what was done, it calmed down. We were shocked to hear that there was an issue and actually we had crash damage on the right-side of the car. Then it certainly turned out that way."(Team Chevy)(5-22-2015)

  • Documents: Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend used veterans' charity as bank: An ESPN Outside the Lines investigation has found several questionable practices at the Armed Forces Foundation charity under Patricia Driscoll's (CEO) direction in the past decade. Driscoll is the former girlfriend of NASCAR driver #41-Kurt Busch. The couple made headlines last year when Driscoll accused Busch of strangling her and smashing her head into a wall during an argument. Driscoll was recognized as president of the Armed Forces Foundation, a charity aligned with NASCAR and various sports-related entities that aims to help veterans in need. Documents show the Armed Forces Foundation has, in effect, been repeatedly used as a bank to lend money for or pay various personal expenses, including bills for a private company Driscoll owns. The foundation claims it spends 95 cents of every dollar raised on directly supporting service members and their families, but analysis of documents shows the figure is closer to 72 cents. Outside the Lines has learned, on Thursday morning a representative of a former foundation employee contacted the FBI in Washington, alleging that Driscoll broke laws while running the foundation.(see full story at ESPN.com)(5-22-2015)

  • NASCAR racers notice IndyCar's safety team: The quick response of the IndyCar Series safety team in saving James Hinchcliffe from suffering catastrophic blood loss in his accident Monday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway demonstrated the critical role the series-hired safety team plays in driver care. NASCAR doesn't have its own safety team, instead relying on the tracks to hire the doctors and emergency medical technicians who treat the drivers. While NASCAR requires an emergency response plan, holds an annual safety worker summit as well as weekly meetings at the tracks hosting each event and can dictate staffing requirements to the tracks, NASCAR's traveling medical staff consists primarily of nurses who keep driver files and know their medical histories. Drivers talked with NASCAR after Kyle Busch's accident earlier this year about the week-to-week staffing levels and training. Busch suffered a broken right leg and broken left foot in an accident Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway in one of the most crushing wrecks in recent years.
    "NASCAR is adamant that having true ER folks that every single day fight in the ER room to save people's lives are the best people to have in place here on a weekend for us," six-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson said Thursday. "In my heart, I feel like there is maybe a hybrid version where, yes, we have those EMTs here, but we also have people that are very sharp and NASCAR-specific, car-specific, know the drivers, know our cockpits. I know that NASCAR briefs them and works with them on all that." With the tracks primarily owned by two companies, it is not unusual for doctors and first responders to work at multiple tracks.
    "Once [NASCAR] explained the process and how the doctors and things were chosen was definitely kind of eye-opening as to how much money and time were spent to make sure they have the right people at every race track -- and really the longevity of the staff," Kevin Harvick said.(full story at ESPN)(5-22-2015)

  • Jeff Gordon joins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Broadcast booth in 2016: Jeff Gordon joins FOX NASCAR fulltime in 2016 as race analyst for its 16th year of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series coverage, teaming with three-time champion Darrell Waltrip to offer seven championships' worth of expertise. Gordon, currently competing in his 23rd and final fulltime Sprint Cup Series season, served as race analyst for FOX Sports' coverage of three NASCAR XFINITY Series races this year. He has agreed to a multi-year contract that begins this season with in-race reporting from the #24 Chevy during select Cup Series races, and segues to an analyst role that commences with Daytona Speedweeks in February 2016. "NASCAR has provided me so many incredible memories, experiences and opportunities throughout my 23 years as a driver, and I can't wait to start a new chapter in racing with this new relationship with FOX and to be in the booth with Mike (Joy) and Darrell," said Gordon. "I feel so lucky to be a part of a sport that I'm very passionate about, and now I get the opportunity to share that passion to millions of race fans from a whole new perspective."
    Gordon will call all NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, practice and qualifying sessions for FOX Sports alongside play-by-play announcer Mike Joy and NASCAR Hall of Famer and analyst Darrell Waltrip. Chris Myers hosts the network's coverage alongside analysts Larry McReynolds and Michael Waltrip.
    "Jeff is not only a champion but an icon of a racing generation," said Eric Shanks, FOX Sports President, COO & Executive Producer. "We are thrilled he has chosen to become a part of the FOX Sports family and pair his experience with Darrell. Each is credited with helping elevate NASCAR to the popularity it attained in his respective era, and alongside Mike Joy, this duo will treat fans to unmatched insights each and every week."
    FOX Sports, which began its FOX NASCAR coverage in 2001, currently is in the first of a 10-year media rights agreement with NASCAR. In 2013, FOX Sports extended its agreement with NASCAR, ensuring the FOX family of networks' broadcast of the first 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races each season beginning in 2015, as well as the first 14 NASCAR XFINITY Series races of the season and all NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, through 2024.(FOX)(5-21-2015)

  • Charlotte Motor Speedway Notes & Facts - Thursday - poles:
    · Fireball Roberts won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway (World 600) in 1960 with a speed of 133.904 mph.
    · 42 drivers have Coors Light poles at Charlotte, led by David Pearson with 14. Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon lead all active drivers in poles at CMS with nine.
    · David Pearson and Ryan Newman are tied for the series most Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Coors Light poles with six each; followed by Jeff Gordon with five.
    · 12 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Charlotte. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Charlotte with 11; from the fall of 1973 through 1978.
    · Jeff Gordon won five straight Coca-Cola 600 poles at Charlotte between 1994 and 1998.
    · Four active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Jeff Gordon (10/10/93), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (5/28/00), Ryan Newman (5/27/01) and Aric Almirola (5/27/12).
    · 15 of the 112 (13.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from the Coors Light pole; the most recent was Jimmie Johnson in 2014 (Coca-Cola 600).
    · The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (17) than any other starting position at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
    · 32 of the 112 (28.5%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from the front row: 15 from the pole and 17 from second-place.
    · 85 of the 112 (75.8%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Charlotte have been won from a top-10 starting position.
    · Nine of the 112 (8.0%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Charlotte have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
    · The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Charlotte is 37th, by Jimmie Johnson in the Coca-Cola 600 of 2003.
    · Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Charlotte with a 7.630.
    · Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway twice; the fall race of 2002 and the fall race of 2008.
    (NASCAR)(5-21-2015)

  • Special scheme at Charlotte for Bowyer: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series continues its "home" visit in Charlotte this weekend. The sport's longest race of the year is a Memorial Day tradition at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Another tradition is honoring those who serve and have served. Clint Bowyer's #15 Cherry 5-hour ENERGY Toyota will be outfitted in red, white and blue colors with a special decal for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation again this weekend. A portion of sales from a special cherry 5-hour ENERGY bottle now through July 31 goes to the organization that supports the military's special operations forces and their families through college scholarships, family services, and financial stipends. Bowyer's windshield also honors the service of his paternal grandfather, Dale E. Bowyer. The special windshield decal is a part of NASCAR's 600 Miles of Remembrance, honoring military service members and their families. Dale E. Bowyer is Clint Bowyer's paternal grandfather and was a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. He won the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism while fighting the armed enemy in Germany during World War II.(MWR), see images of the scheme on the #15 Team Schemes page.(5-21-2015)

  • Special Military scheme for the #38 at Charlotte: Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores gives a personal look at how "The Unknown Soldier" was chosen for the windshield name decal on David Gilliland's #38 Ford for the Coke 600. Charles "Wahoo" Sampson's main job each week for the Front Row Motorsports team is to get the Love's #38 driven by David Gilliland to its racetrack destination on time. The car he delivers to the Charlotte Motor Speedway days before the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend will be extra special. And it will have his imprint on the windshield. In honor of those killed in service of the United States, NASCAR is displaying the names of fallen soldiers on race cars, the specifics of which were up to the teams, sponsors and drivers. Front Row looked to their 47-year-old team member, a Marine who has served many tours of duty and who lost a number of brothers during that time. Wahoo picked "The Unknown Soldier," dedicated to all soldiers of all ranks and all branches and dates of service who made the ultimate sacrifice for America. Wahoo said he couldn't identify just one person to remember. Wahoo prefers not to go into detail about his time in combat, only noting that he's immensely grateful to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.(Loves Travel Stops), see images of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page.(5-21-2015)

  • Hamlin Tries To Become Eighth Driver To Sweep May Charlotte Races: #11-Denny Hamlin led the final 10 laps of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race after beating the field off pit road for the Segment 5 restart to give Joe Gibbs Racing its first victory in the event since entering the NSCS in 1992. Hamlin's triumph was JGR's first on a 1.5-mile track since he won the 2013 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. If Hamlin can parlay his weekend success into a win in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he will become the eighth driver to sweep the Charlotte May races, joining Darrell Waltrip (1985), Davey Allison (1991), Dale Earnhardt (1993), Jeff Gordon (1997), Jimmie Johnson (2003), Kasey Kahne (2008) and Kurt Busch (2010).(NASCAR)(5-21-2015)

  • Son delivers Byrnes' NASCAR Hall of Fame vote: As the esteemed NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel gathered Wednesday in Charlotte to deliberate on who will be selected for the 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame class, an equally esteemed single ballot arrived to be counted among the votes. Completing that ballot was one of the last things longtime broadcaster Steve Byrnes did before passing away from cancer on April 21. His 12-year-old son Bryson and wife Karen made the surprise special delivery. Then the voting panel, which includes the sport's legends such as NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty, Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett, posed with Bryson in honor of the sixth-grader's father -- a beloved member of the NASCAR family and highly respected member of the media.(NASCAR.com)(5-21-2015)

  • 2016 NASCAR Hall Of Fame Class Announced: NASCAR announced the inductees who will comprise the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2016. The five-person group - the seventh in NASCAR Hall of Fame history - consists of Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, O. Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. In addition, NASCAR announced that Harold Brasington won the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Next year's Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session in Charlotte to debate and vote upon the 20 nominees for the induction class of 2016 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton announced the class and Landmark Award winner, respectively, this evening in the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Great Hall.
    The Class of 2016 was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, including representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, retired competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders, a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com and, for the second year, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion (Kevin Harvick). In all, 57 votes were cast, with two additional Voting Panel members recused from voting as potential nominees for induction (Jerry Cook and Robert Yates). The accounting firm of Ernst & Young presided over the tabulation of the votes.
    Voting was as follows: O. Bruton Smith (68%), Terry Labonte (61%), Curtis Turner (60%), Jerry Cook (47%) and Bobby Isaac (44%).
    The next top vote-getters were Red Byron, Benny Parsons and Rick Hendrick. Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Buddy Baker, Alan Kulwicki, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin and Benny Parsons.
    The five inductees came from a group of 20 nominees that included, in addition to the five inductees chosen: Buddy Baker, Red Byron, Richard Childress, Ray Evernham, Ray Fox, Rick Hendrick, Harry Hyde, Alan Kulwicki, Mark Martin, Hershel McGriff, Raymond Parks, Benny Parsons, Larry Phillips, Mike Stefanik and Robert Yates.
    Nominees for the Landmark Award included Brasington, H.Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier. It is awarded to competitors or those working in the sport who have acted as a NASCAR ambassador through a professional or non-professional role. Anne B. France won the inaugural award last year.
    Class of 2016 Inductees:
    Jerry Cook made his name in modifieds, winning six NASCAR Modified championships, including four consecutively from 1974-77. All the while, he was vying with another driver from his hometown of Rome, New York, nine-time champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans, for supremacy in NASCAR's open-wheel realm. After retiring from racing in 1982, Cook stayed with the sport and helped shape the series known today as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. Cook served as the series' director when it began in 1985 and remains with NASCAR as competition administrator.
    Bobby Isaac's uncanny skill at drawing speed from a race car puts him on a short list of NASCAR legends. His 49 career poles ranks 10th all time. Maybe more impressive: Isaac captured 19 poles in 1969, which still stands as the record for poles in a single season. Isaac began racing in NASCAR's premier series in 1961. He finished runner-up in the series standings in 1968 behind NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson. In 1969, he finished sixth in the standings after posting 17 wins and those 19 poles. In 1970, Isaac won the championship posting 11 victories, 32 top fives and 38 top 10s in 47 starts. Isaac won 37 races in NASCAR's top series, ranking 19th on the all-time list.
    Terry Labonte is a two-nickname NASCAR star. Early in his career he was known as the "Iceman" for his coolness under pressure. But his demeanor belied his determination. Later in his career he became known as the sport's "Iron Man" thanks to 665 consecutive starts in NASCAR's premier series, a record which stood until 2002. Winning two premier series championships, in 1984 and '96, is impressive; the 12-year gap distinguishes Labonte further. No other driver has won his first two championships that far apart and Labonte is one of only six drivers with championships in two decades. Labonte's stellar career is tucked between perfect bookends - his two Southern 500 wins, in 1980 and 2003. His 361 top-10 finishes ranks 10th all time.
    O. Bruton Smith, executive chairman of Speedway Motorsports Inc., promoted his first stock car race in Midland, North Carolina at the age of 18. Smith's early endeavors included operating the National Stock Car Racing Association - seen as an early competitor to NASCAR - and building Charlotte Motor Speedway. CMS became the foundation of Speedway Motorsports Inc., which currently owns eight NASCAR tracks hosting 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and additional high-profile motorsports activities. Smith took SMI public in 1995, the first motorsports company to be traded at the New York Stock Exchange. He was inducted into the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame and National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame, both in 2006; and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.
    Curtis Turner, called by some the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing," was among the fastest and most colorful competitors in the early years of NASCAR premier series racing. Turner competed in NASCAR's first "Strictly Stock" race in 1949 in Charlotte and was the only driver to win a NASCAR premier series race in a Nash. He posted his first of 17 career victories in only his fourth start on Sept. 11, 1949, at Langhorne (Pennsylvania) Speedway. Although many of Turner's victories came on short tracks and dirt ovals - much of his career pre-dated NASCAR's superspeedway era - he won the 1956 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and the first American 500 at Rockingham Speedway in 1965. He remains the only series driver to win two consecutive races from the pole leading every lap. He also won 38 of 79 races in which he competed in the NASCAR Convertible Division.
    Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:
    Harold Brasington, a South Carolina businessman, believed in Bill France's fledgling NASCAR business, created the sanctioning body's first superspeedway - a one-of-a-kind egg-shaped oval, paved on an old cotton and peanut field. Expecting 10,000 fans to show up at Darlington Raceway's first competition on Labor Day of 1950, 25,000 spectators showed up for the inaugural Southern 500 - NASCAR's first 500-mile race. Darlington's success inspired Brasington to extend his reach north -- to North Carolina. He employed his track building and promoting expertise, helping in the creation of Charlotte Motor Speedway and building North Carolina Motor Speedway in Rockingham, NC.(NASCAR)(5-20-2015)

  • Tommy Baldwin Racing Welcomes CULER Aboard: Tommy Baldwin Racing welcomes CULER aboard the #7 Chevrolet at the Coca-Cola 600. CULER space coolers can drop the air temperature as much as 30 degrees. Made in the USA and featuring multi-patented technology, CULER products provide industry-leading effectiveness and efficiency. The home sized space coolers operate on as much energy as a 40-watt lightbulb. This is CULER's first time sponsoring a car in NASCAR, but their products have been involved within the midway at NASCAR events in the past. "It's great to see CULER want to become further involved in NASCAR," said team owner Tommy Baldwin. "Many race fans are familiar with their product from seeing them at the track and now will be able to associate a name with the innovative cooling technology."
    "CULER is very proud and excited to support Tommy Baldwin Racing and driver Alex Bowman for the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte," said Jeff Badovick, Chief Executive Officer of CULER. "Our CULER associates wish Alex and TBR a solid run and great finish."(TBR), see an image of the scheme on the #7 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2015)

  • Twisted Tea Adds Races with Hornish and #9 Team: After serving as the primary sponsor of the #9 Ford Fusion team for select races beginning in 2014, Twisted Tea Brewing Company has once again increased their partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) by adding two additional races to their 2015 schedule. The Twisted Tea colors will return to the #9 Ford beginning this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600 and the following weekend at Dover International Speedway for the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. It was announced earlier this year that the hard iced tea company will serve as the primary sponsor for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July. They also opened the season as the primary sponsor during Hornish's debut with RPM (in the Daytona 500). "We've received a strong response from our drinkers and NASCAR fans regarding our relationship with Richard Petty Motorsports and Sam Hornish Jr.," said Robert Vail, member of the Twisted Tea team. "The Coca-Cola 600 falls on a unique weekend when we take time to honor our nation's military and those that serve. It also happens to be one of the biggest weekends for motorsports and the unofficial kick-off of summer. It will be great to have the Twisted Tea colors back on the No. 9 car this weekend as well as next weekend at Dover."(RPM), see images of the scheme on the #9 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2015)

  • Congrats - Brad Keselowski: #2-Brad Keselowski and his girlfriend, Paige White, welcomed a baby girl into the world on Twitter on Wednesday morning.(NASCAR.com)(5-20-2015)

  • A second team for Furniture Row Racing? #78-Furniture Row Racing is enjoying its most successful start to a season in the 10-year history of the organization. Martin Truex Jr. has piloted the #78 Chevy to 10 top-10 finishes in the first 11 races of the year, and sits second in driver standings. This has come with a single-car operation based in Denver, CO. However, Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone says that may change. "Long-term, we're constantly looking for sponsorships to come on the 78 with Furniture Row and also to start a second team down the road to help support the overall effort," Garone said. A single-car team for the entirety of its existence, Furniture Row Racing has finally started to see success under that setup. However, Garone believes if funding was found, there would be few reservations about expanding to a second car. "Being a single-car for so long and now feeling like we're getting it to work really well, you feel like now is the time to go ahead and look at bringing something else on," Garone said. "You feel like you don't have to go through all the learning processes that you go through building a single-car team; you've kind of gone through that. We look forward to going through that process. Again, it all comes down to raising the money," he said. Another key part of the equation would be finding a driver. Garone said the team is not that far along in the process and needs to focus on finding the funding before searching for drivers. "Generally in that process there are companies that have their eye on a driver and the team has an eye on a driver and you kind of combine that together," he said. "When that bridge is crossed, we'll figure it out then." With Barney Visser owning both the team and the sponsor, the organization has been able to field the #78 without an additional major primary sponsor, but Garone says doing that for a second driver would be a challenge.(FoxSports)(5-20-2015)

  • Charlotte Goodyear Tire Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series will run the same Goodyear tire codes at Charlotte this week . . . all tires will be branded with "Support Our Troops" as part of the Goodyear Gives Back program . . . while these teams have run this left-side tire code at Charlotte since 2012, last weekend at Charlotte was the first time NASCAR teams raced on this right-side code . . . this right-side is a Goodyear multi-zone tread tire, which incorporates two distinct compounds on the same tire -- one for endurance and heat resistance on the inboard two inches of the tread and one for traction on the outboard 10 inches . . . this inboard (Endurance Zone) features the same compound that was run on the same zone at Texas, while this outboard (Traction Zone) features the compound run at Charlotte last year . . . this tire set-up was first tested at Charlotte in December, and was confirmed in a March 10 tire test at the track with drivers #43-Aric Almirola, #5-Kasey Kahne, #78-Martin Truex Jr. and #23-J.J. Yeley . . . as on all NASCAR ovals greater than one mile in length, teams are required to run inner liners in all four tire positions at Charlotte . . . air pressure in those inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire. Goodyear's "Spirit of Innovation" will be in the air over Charlotte Motor Speedway this Saturday and Sunday . . . this airship is based out of Pompano Beach, Fla., and will provide images for Fox Sports' broadcasts of the NASCAR Xfinity and Sprint Cup races.(Goodyear), see tire codes, tire pressures, set limits and more on the Charlotte Race Info page.(5-20-2015)

  • Car owners get access to new NASCAR Media Group data: Sports Business Journal reports that car owners have gained access to some of NASCAR Media Group's data, including an overview of its operations and some top-line financial information. Sports Business Journal, citing multiple sources, said in a story Monday that MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman discussed sharing information related to NASCAR Media Group to a larger group of team principles with Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer, to gain a better understanding of the unit. Kauffman, chairman of the Race Team Alliance, told Sports Business Journal: "There's definitely been an increase in communication. It's in everyone's interest because we're all in the sport together. There's been a better understanding between NASCAR and the teams of, 'Where are the costs? What are the big cost drivers? What are the revenue drivers? Where are there opportunities to save and grow?' And the only way you get that is by having fairly open dialogue. ... We're trying to work together to address an issue."(Sports Business Journal)(5-20-2015)

  • Lt. Governors, Military Families To Honor Veterans at Coca-Cola 600: Two lieutenant governors, the head of the USO and the wife of a military hero will serve as race officials for the 2015 Coca-Cola 600, the nation's largest Memorial Day Weekend celebration. Dawn Seif, wife of fallen Marine SSgt. Andrew Seif, will be Grand Marshal; USO CEO & President J.D. Crouch II will be Co-Grand Marshal; West Virginia Senate President Lt. Gov. Bill Cole will serve as Honorary Starter; and North Carolina's Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will serve as Honorary Race Director for the 56th running of NASCAR's only 600-mile race at the famed Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24.
    As race officials, Cole and Forest will be honored at a pre-race event, attend the official drivers meeting, address the crowd of nearly 100,000 fans, participate in the pre-race spectacular and present the trophy to the winning driver in Victory Lane. As Co-Grand Marshal, Crouch will introduce Seif as the Grand Marshal. Seif will give the race command, while Cole will wave the green flag over the 43-car field to start NASCAR's most challenging race. As Honorary Race Director, Forest will ride in an official pace car.
    Dawn Bredeweg and SSgt. Andrew C. Seif of Holland, Michigan, were married on Sept. 18, 2010. Tragically, SSgt. Seif was one of 11 service members killed in March of this year when their helicopter crashed during a training mission near Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He was a Combat Engineer based out of Camp Pendleton and Twentynine Palms, California from 2006 until 2009. He then joined Marine Special Operations Command (MARSOC) based out of Camp Lejeune. During his career, he served one tour of duty in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. SSgt. Seif was a decorated Marine. In July 2012, he faced enemy fire to save a mortally wounded friend in Afghanistan. For his heroism, SSgt. Seif was a recipient of the USO's 2013 Marine of the Year Award and earned the Silver Star.
    Crouch was elected by the USO Board of Governors to become the 23rd President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Service Organizations (USO) in 2014. Crouch has a long history of public service, including numerous military honors and a service as U.S. Ambassador to Romania.
    Cole is a fifth generation West Virginia businessman. In January 2015, he became the first Republican to lead the West Virginia Senate in more than 80 years. He and his wife, Brownie, live in Bluefield, West Virginia and have four children.
    Forest is the first Republican Lieutenant Governor to be elected in North Carolina in more than 20 years, and only the second since 1897. Dan is an architect. He and his wife, Alice, reside in Raleigh with their four children, ages 8 to 20.
    Continuing its tradition as the biggest Memorial Day Weekend celebration in America, the Coca-Cola 600 pre-race show will pay tribute to veterans and active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces. The captivating performance will showcase ground exercises with troops from Fort Bragg, featuring Humvees, Howitzers, a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and more. Rope teams from Fort Campbell will descend from Black Hawk helicopters. The high-powered pre-race show will also include a 21-gun salute from the Fort Bragg firing squad and vintage war bird air parade and sky-diving members of Team Fastrax descending into the infield. There will also be a musical element to the pre-race show with performances including Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ZZ Top and Lee Greenwood.
    Great seats are still available for the Coca-Cola 600 and all rest of the 10 Days of NASCAR Thunder, with weekend passes starting at just $99. To purchase tickets and camping day upgrades, fans should call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.(CMS)(5-20-2015)

  • Work begins on safety initiatives at Daytona: As construction continues on the Daytona Rising project, which is designed to provide a different race-day experience for fans, work began Monday to provide a safer race-day experience for the drivers. Daytona International Speedway officials announced work has started on safety initiatives that include additional "soft wall" coverage as well as asphalt in one area formerly covered with grass. The addition of new Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) Barrier became a hot topic in the aftermath of Kyle Busch's Feb. 21 wreck, in an XFINITY Series race the day before the Daytona 500, that left him with a broken leg and foot. Daytona's next event is on Fourth of July weekend, the XFINITY Series' Subway Firecracker 250 on July 4 and the Sprint Cup Series' Coke Zero 400 on July 5. The current work is expected to be completed before then. Other than acknowledging the start of the new efforts, the Speedway declined to offer any information beyond what it addressed in a March 11 news release.
    The specifics of the work: The inside retaining wall, inside Turn 1 and beginning with the exit from the infield road course, will be realigned and fitted with the SAFER Barrier. 20,000 square feet of asphalt will be put down to replace the grass in that area of the track - the lack of traction on grass adds to the inability to slow or possibly control a wrecking car. During his deconstruction of his February wreck, Busch spoke of the inability to get tire grip and possibly save his car from its eventual hit into the wall. Installation of SAFER Barrier on the retaining wall at the exit to pit road. Installation of SAFER Barrier between the exit of Turn 4 and the pit entrance, on the section of the inside retaining wall presently uncovered. Additional coverage of the outside wall of the backstretch with SAFER Barrier. After the July 5 Coke Zero 400, the Speedway will continue covering SAFER coverage of existing concrete walls.(Daytona Beach News-Journal)(5-20-2015)

  • #48 team may face penalty for all-star race violation UPDATE: NASCAR officials are investigating #48-Jimmie Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports team for a possible rules violation during the Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday night. A NASCAR official said after the race that a Johnson crewman was being investigated for modifying the side skirt on Johnson's car during the race. NASCAR implemented new rules prior to this season preventing teams from modifying the side skirts during a race. NASCAR also has new video cameras monitoring pit road, making such rules violations easier to detect. Any possible penalties would be announced next week.(Sporting News)(5-17-2015)
    UPDATE: NASCAR will issue a warning but won't penalize the Hendrick Motorsports team of Jimmie Johnson for pulling out a side skirt body panel Saturday night during the Sprint All-Star Race. At the start of the year, NASCAR announced it wouldn't allow the flaring out of fenders and body panels near the wheel wells, something that occurred with regularity over the last half of the 2014 season. The penalty is that a team must come in under green to fix it or, if the repair is done while under caution, then the driver must do a pass-through penalty (driving down pit road at pit-road speed) under green. Anyone found involved in such modifications, on first offense, gets a warning.(ESPN.com)(5-19-2015)

  • Congrats - Kyle Busch: from Kyle Busch's Facebook: "Samantha Busch and I are happy to announce the birth of our son Brexton Locke Busch. Born 5/18 at 9:45pm weighing 7lbs 10oz and 21 inches long. Mom and baby are doing great!"(5-19-2015)

  • NMPA honors Steve Byrnes with First Quarter Spirit Award: The National Motorsports Press Association has awarded Steve Byrnes the NMPA Spirit Award for the first quarter of 2015. The award, voted on by members of the NMPA, is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Byrnes covered motorsports for 32 years, working for CBS, TNN, WTBS and Fox networks. March's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway was named the "Food City 500 In Support of Steve Bynres & Stand Up To Cancer" to honor Byrnes' battle with head and neck cancer. He passed away two days after the race. Byrnes is survived by his wife Karen and son Bryson. The Spirit Award is given quarterly and then an overall winner is announced after the end of the year. Lynda Petty, wife of seven-time champion Richard Petty, was the 2014 Spirit Award winner. Quarterly winners last year were Lynda Petty, Martin Truex Jr., Junie Donlavey and brothers Darrell and Michael Waltrip.(NBC Sports)(5-19-2015)

  • Bayne to run Pocono ARCA race: #6-Trevor Bayne, is set to make his first laps around the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway for Cunningham Motorsports in the #22 AdvoCare Ford in the ARCA Racing Series Pocono 200 on June 6. Bayne has made 69 career NSCS starts since 2010. In addition, Bayne has 151 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts with two wins and 24 top-five finishes; however, he has yet to make a start at Pocono. As a Roush Fenway ARCA Racing Series driver development team, Cunningham Motorsports is an ideal fit for Bayne to gain valuable experience at the triangular track. Bayne will pilot the Paul Andrews-led Ford in his first career ARCA start. Andrews has a strong racing resume, as he was the NSCS championship winning crew chief for Alan Kulwicki in 1992. During the 2015 season, Bayne is concentrating all of his efforts on the NSCS. With limited tests available to the NSCS drivers, the Roush Fenway driver will gain valuable seat time running the ARCA race on Saturday, prior to his NSCS Pocono debut on Sunday. The Pocono ARCA 200 will be televised live on Fox Sports 2.(Cunningham Motorsports)(5-19-2015)

  • Cassill to run Snap Fitness "Snap Serves" scheme at Charlotte: As America's Fitness Brand, Snap Fitness will pay homage to Memorial Day in a special way: by featuring thousands of club owners, personal trainers, and members as the backdrop on Landon Cassill's #40 Hillman Racing entry as it kicks off a company-wide charitable initiative this weekend. Cassill will pilot the #40 Snap Fitness "Snap Serves" Chevy in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, the longest and most grueling race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. "For the first time ever, thousands of people will be riding with Landon as he speeds around the race track," Steele Smiley, Chief Officer responsible for brand strategy, said. "Snap Nation will be supporting him on all sides."
    Snap Fitness is also giving back in a big way this summer. Memorial Day marks the beginning of its "Snap Serves" summer campaign, which honors those who have served in the military and encourages people around the country to start their fitness journey. All summer long, Snap Fitness is offering 30-day trial passes for $8.95, giving individuals 24/7 access to 1,500 locations across the United States. For every 30-day trial pass purchased between Memorial Day and Labor Day, America's Fitness Brand will donate $1 to Folds of Honor, a foundation that provides scholarships to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in active duty. "Giving back is an integral part of our brand at every level. Our summer campaign recognizes an incredible group of men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country," Smiley said. "That, coupled with helping people start their fitness journey, makes for an exciting summer for America's Fitness Brand."(Mike Hillman Racing), see image of the scheme on the #40 Team Schemes page.(5-19-2015)

  • Steve Byrnes' son totes $1 million prize around Charlotte track: NASCAR lost one of its favorite sons when FOX analyst Steve Byrnes died last month. So at Saturday's All-Star Race, it was only right to share it with another favorite son. Byrnes' 12-year-old son, Bryson, was invited to partake in some prerace festivities, and he got the sweetest assignment of the night: toting the $1 million prize money around the Charlotte Motor Speedway track with Michael Waltrip. It was a lot of money to entrust to a boy, but Bryson showed remarkable financial restraint as he teased the drivers who wanted to grab the cash.(vidoe at FoxSports)(5-19-2015)

  • All-Star Race TV Ratings: The NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race drew a 2.1 overnight rating on Fox Sports 1 Saturday night, up 24% from last year (1.7) and up a tick from 2013 on Speed Channel (2.0). Overnights prior to 2013 were not available. The 2.1 also marks a 40% increase over rain-delayed racing from Kansas on FS1 the previous week (1.5). (Sports Media Watch / ShowBuzz Daily), see past races, 5-year chart, links and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.
    UPDATE: According to Nielsen Media Research, Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race scored 3,840,000 viewers, making it the most-watched All-Star Race since 2011.(FOX)(5-19-2015)

  • Haas center opens in Danville VA: One of NASCAR's biggest names and the state's Chief Executive were in town Friday to cut the ribbon on a local educational venture. The Gene Haas Center for Integrated Machining on the campus of the Institute in Danville will be a progressive precision machining training model to meet industry needs for a highly skilled 21st century workforce. Governor Terry McAuliffe says this is exactly the type of partnership we need in Virginia. The Center will provide a third-year of high-end instruction for students who have completed the two-year Machining program at Danville Community College. They'll be able to earn national credentials while working on state-of-the-art equipment. Gene Haas says their million-dollar gift will be money well-spent...for the community and his company. Many of those who train on those machines learn to operate equipment that Haas manufactures. The Center got over $1 million in commitments from leading global technology companies and will partner with the Precision Machine Training Program at Danville Community College, offering graduates a third year of study on state-of-the-art equipment.(wakg.com)(5-19-2015)

  • NASCAR to Honor Fallen Service Members with Windshield Tribute at Coca-Cola 600: When NASCAR drivers start their engines for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, fans will see familiar names like "Harvick," "Kenseth" and "Almirola" replaced on car windshields with "SGT Mracek," "HM3 Layton" and "CPT Argel" - United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service to their country. All 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will participate in "600 Miles of Remembrance" on Memorial Day Weekend to honor military service members and their families, and commemorate the launch of NASCAR: An American Salute, the industry's collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who have served and continue to defend our nation today. Fans can follow stories around the seven-week platform and share their personal expressions of thanks to the military using #NASCARSalutes on social media.
    "The NASCAR community rallying to honor the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, has long been part of our sport's heritage," said Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer. "As part of NASCAR: An American Salute, 600 Miles of Remembrance represents a special moment in time as we pay tribute to service members who have sacrificed dearly for our freedom."
    Many of the service members whose names will be displayed on the race cars were chosen by the teams, and some have unique connections to the fallen. Private Dean Van Dyke, who was killed in the Vietnam War, was a relative of #16 Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle. Army First Lieutenant Daniel Hyde, killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, served alongside Chris Clayton, tire changer on the #83 BK Racing team. Many of the families of the service members being recognized will be in attendance on Sunday, and will be introduced alongside the drivers during driver introductions. In addition, Charlotte Motor Speedway will host more than 6,000 active military members at the Coca-Cola 600 in honor of Memorial Day.
    NASCAR: An American Salute will feature various on- and off-track activities from tracks, teams and partners that show appreciation and support for the troops, and will culminate Independence Day Weekend with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Throughout the campaign, NASCAR will host military families at each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race as part of NASCAR Troops to the Track" Presented by Bank of America.
    Toyota will also honor the names of fallen service members on its pace cars for the Coca-Cola 600 as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance. Later in the program, both Chevrolet and Ford will feature patriotic branding on the pace cars for races at Pocono and Michigan, respectively.
    Many NASCAR Official Partners have mobilized to support NASCAR: An American Salute with military-themed activations, including:
    · For the sixth straight year, Goodyear is rallying NASCAR fans to support members of the U.S. Armed Forces through its "Goodyear Gives Back" charitable program benefitting the Support Our Troops organization. To kick off the program, Goodyear will once again transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing the "Eagle" sidewall design with "Support Our Troops" messaging on all tires used during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. This effort coincides with the May 21 launch of Goodyear's charity auction at www.Goodyear.com/GivesBack, which features autographed NASCAR memorabilia, VIP race experiences and rides on the Goodyear Blimp.
    · Bank of America is the presenting partner of NASCAR Troops to the Track - a season-long program that honors members of the military and their families for their services, and treats them to a NASCAR race experience. This program is an extension of Bank of America's long-standing commitment to the military, focused on helping veterans and service members' transition to civilian life.
    · NASCAR, Coca-Cola, Mars Chocolate North America and 3M have collaborated to engage shoppers in over 180 military commissaries. On Tuesday, May 19, there will be all-day activation at Fort Bragg Commissary South featuring an appearance by Coca-Cola Racing Family Member Joey Logano, who will be giving away tickets to the Coca-Cola 600. From May 18 to July 8, commissary shoppers can enter the 2015 Champion's Week Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week by texting "NASCARSALUTE" to 313131 or by visiting www.championsweek2015.com.
    · M&M's will introduce a national letter-writing campaign, in partnership with Operation Gratitude, encouraging fans to send messages of thanks and appreciation to military members. The notes will be included in more than 100,000 Operation Gratitude Care Packages which will be assembled and shipped to Troops deployed in harm's way and to New Recruits upon their graduation from Boot Camp.
    · During Daytona International Speedway's Coke Zero 400, all active duty military, veterans and their families can enjoy the Troops Welcome Center Presented by M&M's. The center, which will be located in the midway, will be fully equipped with food and beverages, allowing service members to take a break and meet NASCAR drivers throughout the weekend.
    · In honor of the military, Miss Sprint Cup will wear NASCAR: An American Salute fire suits at the Coca-Cola 600 and Coke Zero 400.
    This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1:00pm/et. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service men and service women from different branches of the military.
    During the Coca Cola 600 pre-race broadcast (5:30 pm/et, FOX), FOX Sports will recognize all service members who have lost their lives in the past year by displaying their names and branch of service on a graphic scroll. This will be FOX's fifth year in a row dedicating the pre-race show to service members that have fallen in the line of duty. To learn more about NASCAR: An American Salute, visit www.NASCAR.com/Salute.
    See images of the United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service to their country at NASCAR.com.(NASCAR)(5-18-2015)

  • All-Star Race an earlier start next year?: Could the Sprint All-Star Race have a different starting time next season? Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Monday on SiruisXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive" that series officials will consider that matter for next year. Saturday's All-Star race didn't begin until 9:42pm/et. The second segment took the green flag at 10:02 p.m. The third segment began at 10:23 p.m. The fourth segment started at 10:43 p.m., and the mandatory pit stop before the start of the final pit stop took place at 11:03 p.m. The event featured no cautions other than the breaks between each segment. Thus, if there had been debris cautions or accidents or such, the start of each segment could have been pushed back significantly. Here's what O'Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about the start time for the All-Star race: "I think it is something we want to look at. ... I've got kids who like watching sports earlier, and I hear the same thing. I think that is something we'll sit down and address and look at and see if we can't get it off a little earlier.''(NBC Sports)(5-18-2015)

  • PRN's Doug Rice Set to Make History with Double Broadcast: Memorial Day weekend has long been synonymous with motorsports tradition. Two crown-jewel races in their respective series, the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, have enticed many to attempt the 1,100 mile marathon known as the double. John Andretti, Tony Stewart, Robby Gordon and Kurt Busch have all done it, but not like this. Doug Rice, president of the Performance Racing Network, is set to become the first broadcaster to complete the double, covering the Indy 500 from pit road at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the IMS Radio Network and co-anchoring the Coca-Cola 600 for the Performance Racing Network from Charlotte Motor Speedway that same evening. With logistical support from Shell Oil Company, Rice will be able to attempt what no other broadcaster in the history of the two major events has done. "We are very happy to help Doug and our friends at PRN make this happen," said Heidi Massey-Bong, Sr. Business Advisor - NASCAR Sponsorship, Shell Oil Company. "This effort with Doug along with other activities taking place over the Memorial Day race weekend are going to help us showcase some exciting news for Shell." Though this will not present the same challenges Andretti and other drivers have faced, Rice knows doing anything for 1,100 miles is going to be a challenge, whether it's wheeling a race car or calling the action. "I've always been in awe of the drivers who were able to survive the impact of the double," said Rice. "And even though this will be different kind of double, it will still be a challenge. I'm betting on energy and adrenaline to keep me going through the day in Indy and during the night for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte."(PRN)(5-18-2015)

  • Sprint All-Star Race and Commercial Breakdown: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's race. Began recording the times at 7:00 PM, and stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 11:15 PM (all times are EST). FS1 was the broadcast team for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 130
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 61
    Number of times FS1 utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 0
    Total amount of time these brief promos take during broadcast: app. 2 min. 25 sec.
    Start time to record race/commercial periods: 7:00 PM
    End time to record race/commercial periods: 11:15 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 255
    Minutes of race broadcast: 193
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 62
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 193 Total comm. brdcst time 62
    See past races, links and more at CawsnJaws.com.(5-17-2015)

  • Ty Dillon could move to Cup in 2016: When Austin Dillon wrapped up his 2013 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship run, he'd run two full-time Camping World Truck seasons (winning a title in his second) another two at the XFINITY level and had a ride with the sport's most famous number - 3 - waiting for him in the Sprint Cup Series. Austin's brother, Ty, is well on his way to his own XFINITY Series championship - in his second campaign after two full-time seasons in the Truck Series, no less - as the points leader after the season's first nine races. Only difference is, with Richard Childress Racing's three-car stable occupied by Austin, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard, there's no clear option for Ty to advance to. That doesn't mean Ty and his grandfather and RCR team owner, Richard Childress, aren't coming up with a plan. "We've definitely talked about (my Cup plans for 2016) and I think it's our goal," Ty said Saturday at Iowa Speedway. "It's my goal and my grandfather and I have talked about it a lot, (running) in Cup next year. Still working on things, but that's next year. I think if we win the championship this year, it'll make plans easier to come by."(NASCAR.com)(5-17-2015)

  • Hendrick enshrined in North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame: Friday night [May 15] in Raleigh, North Carolina, Rick Hendrick was honored as a Hall of Famer. Along with nine other inductees, the owner of Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group was enshrined in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. "It's such an honor for me to be here tonight," Hendrick said on stage after being introduced by fellow North Carolina Sports Hall of Famer Woody Durham. Joining Hendrick in the Class of 2015 were Jeff Bostic, Joe Bostic, John Clougherty, Freddie Combs, Gene Littles, Jerry McGee, Lenox Rawlings, Charlotte Smith and Andrea Stinson. "Congratulations to all the inductees here tonight," Hendrick said. "I feel kind of humbled, because most of you folks have earned your status on your own. You are great ball players, great referees, and with me, I take a team. I have to rely on a lot of people." He then asked his "teammates" from both Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Motorsports to stand and be recognized. Under his leadership, Hendrick Motorsports has grown from five employees to more than 600, while Hendrick Automotive Group has expanded from nine employees to 10,000.(HMS)(5-17-2015)

  • Cassill Hits the Road to the NASCAR Hall of Fame: #40-Landon Cassill announced that he will run 14 miles to the NASCAR Hall of Fame immediately after competing in the Coca-Cola 600 May 24 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway to inspire fans to get active with Snap Fitness and help support a worthy cause. Between his run and NASCAR race during Memorial Day weekend, Cassill will log over 600 miles by car and foot that day with America's Fitness Brand supporting him every step of the way. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to combine my passion for running with encouraging others to embrace a healthy lifestyle while recognizing those who have dedicated their lives to protecting our country," Cassill said. "My goal with this post-race run is to motivate the sport's fan base to get up and make fitness a priority this summer." Cassill's run to the NASCAR Hall of Fame will kick off Snap Fitness's "Snap Serves" summer campaign, which honors those who have served in the military and encourages people around the country to start their fitness journey. All summer long, Snap Fitness is offering 30-day trial passes for $8.95, giving individuals 24/7 access to 1,500 locations across the United States. For every 30-day trial pass purchased between Memorial Day and Labor Day, America's Fitness Brand will donate $1 to Folds of Honor, a foundation that provides scholarships to the families of soldiers killed or disabled in active duty. Cassill, who regularly competes in triathlons, credits the guidance he's received from his neighborhood Snap Fitness club in helping transform his lifestyle - something everyone can achieve with America's Fitness Brand.(Snap Fitness)(5-17-2015)

  • AMS files request for new NASCAR race date: After losing its Labor Day race date and being moved to the second race of the season, Ed Clark, president of Atlanta Motor Speedway, confirmed he has filed a formal request as part of NASCAR's schedule realignment process to move its race date to a different spot on the schedule. "Ideally, I'd like to be later and we've talked about that," Clark told Kickin' the Tires. "But I am not somebody who advocates somebody who has a good date giving up their date just to help me. It needs to be good for whatever you do. In an ideal world, I would love to see them go to the West Coast and come back to us. The way it works, they (NASCAR) send all the tracks a letter saying, 'if you desire to change your date, we need to have a formal request back" so, I did that. I didn't ask for a specific date. I just asked NASCAR to look at it. Marcus (Smith, general manager) and Bruton (Smith, CEO) pretty much handle all of that but they knew I was doing it." Clark said from a selfish standpoint he wants his track's race in a better place on the schedule. Once that happens, he said he hopes they can stick with that date to build momentum but there is no way he would want any track operator to lose a date they like. "I've always said that if I could handpick my dates, I would run the last week of April and the last week of September," Clark said. "They are beautiful weather conditions there. But we are roughly 120 miles from Talladega and you can't get those two events close together. If it was all done in a vacuum, I would never in a million years advocate taking somebody's date that they are happy with just to help us. If there was a win-win situation then, yeah, it would make sense." In the days following the Atlanta race weekend [March 1st], there was speculation and jokes the track was in a downward spiral. Speculation by some was it might lose its lone Sprint Cup Series date because of poor attendance - that caused Clark to bristle. He said Atlanta coming off the schedule has not been discussed. "Anything is a possibility but there has been no talk of it," Clark said. "And I can't see NASCAR pulling out of a traditional market, you know, that was one of the markets that built NASCAR and has so many sponsors headquartered there. There's a bunch."(Kickin' the Tires)(5-17-2015)

  • Panthers Davis to be honorary pacecar driver for Coca-Cola 600: Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis' whirlwind year will take another turn - several left turns, actually - next weekend when the NFL's reigning Man of the Year drives the pace car at NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It's the latest experience in an offseason that's played out like a fantasy camp for Davis, who won the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in January for his years of charitable work with children. Davis confirmed Wednesday he'll be behind the wheel of the pace car during Charlotte's Sprint race May 24. "I'm going to go as fast as they allow me to go," Davis said in a phone interview. Nationwide, the presenting sponsor of the Man of the Year Award, was scheduled to make the announcement Thursday morning. Davis will be certified Tuesday at the 1.5-mile oval. The process will include a short class, followed by a couple of laps around the track with a NASCAR official. Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose primary sponsor is Nationwide, will take Davis for a ride in Earnhardt's #88 Chevrolet. Davis can get some tips from Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, who drove the pace car last year for NASCAR's Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte. "Luke is my brother. We bounce everything off of each other," Davis said. "He was extremely excited to be pace car driver last year and I'm equally excited to be the one doing it this year."(Charlotte Observer)(5-14-2015)

  • Patriotic scheme for Johnson at Charlotte: Lowe's, in conjunction with NASCAR.com and NASCAR Illustrated, digitally unveiled the #48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevy scheme Jimmie Johnson will pilot in the next two races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, starting with Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race. Lowe's has a long history of supporting the military. Currently, Lowe's has more than 14,000 veterans, active military and Guard/Reserve employees. Those range from store employees to managers and customer support center employees in the North Carolina offices.(HMS), see images of the scheme on the #48 Team Schemes page.(5-14-2015)


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Next Race: Coca-Cola 600

Countdown to Race Time: 5/24/2015 ~6:19pm/et

Charlotte Motor Speedway
Concord, NC

FOX, 6:00pm/et
Performance Racing Network
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Qualifying:
Thursday, May 21, 2015, 7:15pm/et
TV: FoxSports1 (FS1) 7:00pm/et
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Saturday, May 23, 2015, 1:00 pm/et
TV: FoxSports1 (FS1) 1:00pm/et



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Article / Column / Blog Links

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NOTE: the 20-25 links that seemed the most interesting to me are posted in the basic order they are shown on the Article / Column / Blog Links page with approx 10 days worth of links

Born on Dates / Birthday's

Born in MAY

24 Joey Logano, Ricky Craven, Chip Ganassi, Lesa France Kennedy, Amy Rice, Brent Sherman, Colt Hammond, Tommy Chong, Jack Smith

25 Bud Moore, Paul Andrews, A.J. Foyt IV, Spenny Clendenen, Ross Kenseth, Kevin Hulstein, Smokey Yunick

26 Stacy Compton, Adam Gravitt, Kenny Trout

27 April Horner, Jeremy Mayfield, Dick Berggren, Van Colley, John Bickford, Carol Einarsson

28 Ray Fox, Butch Stevens, Marvin Panch, Dan E. Donnely, Ron Lemasters Jr., David Joy, Michael Klein

29 Joe Weatherly, Ken Schrader, Bobby Hamilton, Al Unser, Jimmy Means, Todd Berrier, John F. Kennedy, Germán Quiroga, Steve Allen, Kaye Jenkins, Jessica Taylor

30 Clint Bowyer, Erik Jones, Reagan Page, Gale Wilson

31 Jerry 'Dad' Adamczyk, Jack Baldwin, Gayle Barnwell, Pat Calkins, Charlie Lewis, Krista Voda, Faith Anne Yeley

Born in JUNE

1 Ryan Pemberton, Jim Sauter, Lance Hooper, Anita Witzke, Brennan Pattie, Darel Dieringer

2 Kyle Petty, Sandy Jones, Scott Brewer

3 Jamie McMurray, Troy Selberg, Barney Oldfield, Mark Smith, Dave Collins, Mark Graves

4 Terry and Jerry Windell, Michael Dokken, Barry Dodson, Brienne Davis, Carl Kiekhaefer

5 Bobby Hillin, Butch Miller, Gary Nelson, Bob Osborne, Ronnie Hoover, Raymond Parks, Jason White

6 Max Jones, Justin Allgaier, Scott Radel, Steve Wilson

7 Tim Richmond, Robbie Loomis, Rodney Childers, Joe Ewert, Brian Sockwell, Jason Small, Tom Czerwinski

8 Frank Mundy, Kristen Labonte, Tabitha Burton, Tom Schacht, Carlos Contreras, Lloyd Moore, Joey Coulter

9 David Hobbs, Billy Bigley, Mackena Bell

10 Chad Walter, Avery Manion

11 Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Tyler Parrott, Layne Riggs, Taylor Elizabeth Schaffer, Patti Wheeler

12 Sue Raines, Joe Pittman, Sandy Kahne, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Brandon Benesch

13 Mark Marco, Harry Melling, R.D. Smith, Bryan Silas, Cory DeMarco

14 U.S. Army [1775], Richard 'Slugger' Labbe, Doug Richert, Angela Styers, Dustin Stanley, Brett Thompson

15 Bobby Leslie, Willie Allen, Cami Parsons, Stefan Parsons, Bryan Clauson, Tabitha Stricklin

16 Pete Pistone, Ernie Cope, Shannon Myers, Kathyrn Huber

17 Kevin Hamlin, Rick Allen, Mike Jarrett

18 Jody Eastridge, Mimi Sabates

19 1st NASCAR race, David Stremme, Joe Lewis, Charlie Glotzbach, Steve Post, Kyle Pearce

20 Ron Hornaday Jr, Jerry Cook, Ritchie Petty, Cecil Gordon, Terry Ford, Paul Dallanbach, Mike Geato, Ella Sofia Gordon, Joe Cline

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