NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • Entry List for the GoBowling.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway is posted, 43 teams/drivers [for 43 spots] are listed, including: #32-Kvapil, #33-Kennedy, #37-Dave Blaney, #66-Nemechek, #93-Sauter.
    Johnny Sauter has replaced Mike Bliss as driver of the #93.
    Since only 43 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race.
    See the full entry list at my Jayski's Pocono Entry List

  • Mark Martin returns to Roush...as a coach: Roush Fenway Racing announces that legendary NASCAR driver Mark Martin is returning to the race team where he excelled behind the wheel for almost 20 years - this time as the team's driver development coach. Martin was the first driver hired by team owner Jack Roush when he founded his NASCAR operation in 1988. The two went on to become one of the most successful duos in sports history, accumulating 83 NASCAR wins, four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship runner-up finishes, and building Roush Fenway into the winningest team in NASCAR history.
    "I'm excited to return to Roush Fenway Racing, as it feels like I'm going home to where I belong," said Martin. "I was fortunate to help build this team from the beginning and it's very humbling to be a part of Jack's team again. When Jack first hired me in 1988 we didn't talk about salary or benefits or perks, we talked about testing, tires and putting the right personnel into place to win on the track. That commitment is what stood out to me then and it's still what stands out to me today."
    Martin piloted Roush Fenway's flagship #6 Ford from 1988 until 2006. During that time he accumulated 35 NSCS victories. At the end of his tenure at Roush Fenway he held a record five prestigious IROC (International Race of Champions) Championships and a then record 47 NASCAR Nationwide Series wins. For his career Martin posted 96 career NASCAR victories.(Roush Fenway Racing)(7-31-2014)

  • Toyota working on new Camry for 2015: Toyota will have a new face for 2015 - and we're not just talking about Carl Edwards. Long before the 2015 production Camry's coming out party at the New York Auto Show in April, Toyota Racing Development was hard at work to development a vehicle for competition in NASCAR's Sprint Cup division. In concert with Calty, Toyota's car design studio, the project has been in progress since fall of 2013. Toyota presented its' "first look" to NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. earlier this month - which was returned for further development.
    "We had a preliminary submission, but we have more work to do," [David Wilson, president and GM of Toyota Racing Development] said. "We've been working with NASCAR on the car. They give you the opportunity to see where you are and of course our objective is to get the most performance out of it as possible. We have to pass their submission criteria, so we're going to have another go at it and hope to have that put to bed in the middle August. Then we'll unveil it to the public and get ready for 2015."
    Changes to the 2015 include a new front fascia, tail and character lines.(Motorsport)(7-31-2014)

  • Four drivers can clinch chase spot at Pocono: Four more drivers cleared the two toughest hurdles for entry into the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, joining #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #2-Brad Keselowski, both of whom locked up a spot on the Chase Grid at New Hampshire. At Indianapolis, #24-Jeff Gordon, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #99-Carl Edwards and #22-Joey Logano all either scored a second win (Gordon) or clinched a top 30 points spot (Johnson, Edwards and Logano). Now, those six drivers need only to attempt to qualify for the remaining six races to "officially" earn a spot in the Chase. As a reminder, any driver with multiple wins guarantees himself a spot in the top 15 winners (or top 16, if the points leader after race No. 26 has a win). Any driver who left Indy with a 289 point lead on 31st place clinched a top 30 points spot. Now, the series heads to Pocono Raceway, where four more drivers have a chance to clinch a spot in the Chase. This weekend, the magic number is 241 - any driver 241 points ahead of 31st place clinches a top 30 spot. If a driver does that, and has multiple wins, he clinches a spot. Those who can do it this weekend: #4-Kevin Harvick, #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-Kyle Busch and #43-Aric Almirola. Harvick's two wins mean he needs only to clinch a top 30 spot - a near certainty, as he needs to score only eight points at Pocono to do so (and that's if 31st place David Gilliland wins and leads the most laps). Busch has clinched a top 30 spot, but needs another win to clinch. Hamlin has yet to clinch a top 30 spot. He would clinch with a win and some help. Almirola would need to win this weekend to clinch, and get a good bit of help to also lock up a top 30 spot.(NASCAR)(7-31-2014)

  • Farm Rich to sponsor Ragan at Atlanta: Farm Rich will go NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing once again, returning to David Ragan's No. 34 Ford in the company's and the driver's home state. The frozen snacks and appetizers brand will be the primary sponsor of David Ragan's Ford Fusion at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Aug. 31 for the Atlanta 500. Kroger is teaming up with Farm Rich for the Atlanta race week, hosting Ragan for autograph appearances and other in-store promotions in the Atlanta area in the weeks leading up to the race. The Kroger logo will appear on the #34's rear quarter panel. Farm Rich is also partnering with Atlanta Motor Speedway for the "Ultimate Fan Giveaway," which will give one lucky fan a four-pack set of VIP tickets to "Club One" at the speedway for the Sunday night race on Labor Day weekend.(Front Row Motorsports)(7-31-2014)

  • Pocono Notes & Facts - Thursday - track history:
    There have been 73 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Pocono Raceway, one race from 1974 through 1981, and two per year since.
    Opened in 1968 as a three-quarter-mile track, Pocono Raceway held the first race on the 2.5-mile track in 1971.
    The 2.5-mile track was repaved during the fall of 2011.
    The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was in 1974 - won by Richard Petty, Dodge, 115.593 mph, 08/04/1974.
    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.
    (NASCAR)(7-31-2014)

  • Chassis selections for this weeks race: see the list of many teams [that report or post them] and what chassis were selected by the team to run in the GoBowling.com 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway on the Pocono Race Info page - Chassis selection are.

  • Pocono Goodyear Tire Notes: This is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series teams have run at Pocono since 2012 . . . the only change is that the recommended air pressure for the left-side tires has been raised by a pound for each series since their last races at the track . . . for 2014, Pocono is the only track on which either of these tire codes are scheduled to be run . . . 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 codes, tire pressures and more on the Pocono Race Info page - Goodyear section.

  • Olympic Gold Medalists to serve as grand marshals at Michigan: The United States ice dancing team of Meryl Davis and Charlie White will serve as the grand marshals for the Pure Michigan 400 on August 17 at Michigan International Speedway. White and Davis, the 2014 Olympic Champion ice dancing team, will give the command of "start your engines" at the Pure Michigan 400. With their win at the 2014 U.S. Championships, Davis and White secured their second Olympic Team berth and set their sights on gold at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. The team again made history, with their short dance and "Scheherazade"-themed free dance garnering a record score of 195.52 points, becoming the first-ever American ice dancing team to win Olympic gold. After the games Davis and White both competed on season 18 of Dancing with the Stars. Davis and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy took home the Mirror Ball Trophy as the champions.Both were born and raised in Michigan (White-Royal Oak and Davis-West Bloomfield) and were recently named the grand marshals for the 88th America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit.(MIS)(7-31-2014)

  • Pocono race officials announced: Country recording artists Eric Lee Beddingfield and Lucy Angel will perform during the GoBowling.com 400 race weekend at Pocono Raceway. NASCAR legend Richard Petty, on behalf of GoBowling.com, will serve as Grand Marshal for the GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on August 3, members of Pocono Raceway's Kids Club will give the honorary command for the Pocono Mountains 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on August 2 and a ModSpace representative will serve as the Grand Marshal for the ModSpace 125 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards race on August 1. Eric Lee Beddingfield will perform the National Anthem at Sunday's 400-mile NASCAR race. Beddingfield was named "Artist to Watch" by Billboard Magazine and "Independent Artist of the Year" in 2012 by Music Row Magazine. His current single "I Just Wanna Play" is available for download on iTunes. Petty will give the command to fire engines prior to the GoBowling.com 400, exactly one day before the 40th anniversary of the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race held at Pocono Raceway, a race won by "The King" on August 4, 1974.(Pocono Raceway)(7-31-2014)

  • Zest renews sponsorship of Stenhouse, Jr.: Roush Fenway Racing announced that it has extended its partnership with Zest and the #17 Ford Fusion driven by two-time NASCAR champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., into the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Zest first joined Roush Fenway in 2012 and has served as a primary partner on the #17 Ford in NSCS competition the past three seasons. The company will again serve as a primary for Stenhouse for multiple races in 2015, as well as a season-long associate for the #17 entry.(Roush Fenway Racing)(7-30-2014)

  • Greg Ives named crew chief for Earnhardt, Jr. in 2015: Crew chief Greg Ives will rejoin Hendrick Motorsports following the 2014 NASCAR season to lead the #88 Sprint Cup Series team of driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ives, 34, was race engineer for Jimmie Johnson's historic run of five consecutive Sprint Cup championships (2006-2010) with the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team. He will work alongside Johnson's crew chief, Chad Knaus, in the shop shared by the #48 and 88 Chevy SS teams.
    "Greg was our number-one choice," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "This is a talented guy who already has a terrific rapport with Dale Jr. and is a fit with the organization. He and Chad had a lot of success together, and all of our crew chiefs think the world of him and what he's accomplished. Greg's proven that he can win races, and he has all the tools to do big things."
    Since his debut as a crew chief for JR Motorsports in 2013, Ives has won five NASCAR Nationwide Series races including three this season with rookie and current points leader Chase Elliott.
    A native of Bark River, Michigan, and graduate of Michigan Technological University, Ives joined Hendrick Motorsports as a mechanic in 2004 before moving into an engineering role on the #48 team in 2006. In seven years working with Knaus, he contributed to 42 wins, 113 top-five finishes and 21 pole positions in the Sprint Cup Series. In November 2012, Ives transitioned to JR Motorsports as crew chief for driver Regan Smith. The duo won two races and finished third in points in 2013 before Ives was named Elliott's crew chief prior to this season. JR Motorsports works closely with Hendrick Motorsports and is owned by Earnhardt in partnership with Rick Hendrick.(HMS)(7-30-2014)

  • McDowell gets Bristol primary sponsor: Leavine Family Racing has announced a multi-race partnership this season with Thrivent Financial for the #95 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team and driver Michael McDowell. Thrivent is a financial services organization that helps Christians be wise with money and live generously. The NASCAR race team sponsorship is a first for Thrivent and will include five races with LFR, starting with a primary paint scheme at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 23, and four associate sponsorships on the #95 Ford Fusion this season. Thrivent is a not-for-profit, Fortune 500 financial services membership organization of Christians, with approximately 2.4 million members and over 100 years of experience. Thrivent Financial, based in Minneapolis (domiciled in Appleton, Wis.), offers a broad range of products and services-including life insurance, annuities and mutual funds-along with guidance from financial representatives nationwide.(Leavine Family Racing), see an image of the car on the #95 team paint schemes page.(7-30-2014)

  • Chase drivers can't tire test at Homestead: NASCAR will not allow championship-eligible drivers to participate in a Goodyear tire test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But, to ensure fairness, NASCAR will allow all organizations represented in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship to participate in the Aug. 26 test because Homestead is the site of the title-deciding season finale. Teams will have to send a driver not qualified for the Chase to the tire test. The restrictions create a dilemma for Team Penske, which has both #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano already qualified for the Chase. The two-car team does not have another Sprint Cup driver on its roster. Hendrick Motorsports also has three of its four drivers qualified. Should #5-Kasey Kahne qualify for the Chase, Hendrick would have to look outside its immediate organization for a substitute.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-30-2014)

  • Ragan will promote National Root Beer Float Day: You might not recognize National Root Beer Float Day as a patriotic holiday, but A&W All American Food and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan are teaming up to make sure it is. A&W is giving out free Root Beer Floats on Aug. 6, National Root Beer Float Day, and encouraging customers to make a donation to help American veterans in return. The campaign, which benefits Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), will be promoted on Ragan's #34 Ford for the upcoming Pocono Raceway weekend. The simple message: 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. WWP serves 50,000 injured veterans and nearly 7,000 family members through its unique 20 programs and services. During the 2013 celebration of National Root Beer Float Day, A&W Restaurants donated more than $100,000 to WWP and hopes to increase this level of giving this year and in years to come.(Front Row Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #34 team paint scheme page.(7-30-2014)

  • GoBowling.com sponsoring Almirola: Heading into the 40th anniversary of the weekend "The King" Richard Petty scored a win in the inaugural NASCAR race at Pocono Raceway, Aric Almirola and the #43 GoBowling.com team look to make history once again. Thirty years to the weekend of Petty's 200th win, Almirola and team scored a big win at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year and nearly locked in a spot in The Chase to the Sprint Cup. And this weekend, they hope to keep up that trend. On August 4, 1974, Petty was the first NASCAR driver to take the checkered flag at the Long Pond, Pa., track and started a long history of racing in the Pocono Mountains. The team also eyes a top finish for sponsor GoBowling.com, the title sponsor of the 400-mile event. For the second consecutive year, GoBowling.com will adorn the hood of the iconic #43 "Petty Blue" Ford, promoting bowling across the country.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint scheme page.(7-30-2014)

  • Janssen Pharmaceuticals partners with Chicagoland for Sprint Cup race: Chicagoland Speedway announced Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the official cardiovascular partner of NASCAR, as the title sponsor of this year's first Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The MyAFibStory.com 400 will take place on Sunday, September 14, 2014 in recognition of National AFib Awareness Month, running throughout September. Atrial Fibrillation, or AFib, is a condition caused by an irregular heartbeat that impacts as many as 2.7 million Americans. AFib increases a person's risk for stroke by up to five times and is the most common serious heart rhythm abnormality in people over the age of 65. Patients with AFib should ensure they talk to their doctor about lowering their risk of stroke and appropriate treatment options. Janssen became involved with NASCAR in an official capacity earlier this year, sponsoring both a NASCAR Nationwide Series Race at Auto Club Speedway and Brian Vickers' #55 Toyota, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Cup ride at the Southern California facility.(Chicago Speedway)(7-30-2014)

  • Dierks Bentley headlines Bristol Truck Series Post-Race Concert: Bristol Motor Speedway revs up Wednesday night (Aug. 20), adding a full-length concert by award-winning country music star Dierks Bentley to its already competitive racing doubleheader. The newly announced tripleheader - the Bush's Beans 150 Whelen Modfied race, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP and Dierks Bentley concert - provides an unforgettable race-day experience at an unbeatable price. Bentley, who is currently on the road headlining his 2014 RISER TOUR, is no stranger to motorsports. He performed at the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet, has attended NASCAR races at BMS and recently revamped his number-one single "Sideways" for NASCAR on FOX. This is his first solo concert at the Last Great Colosseum.(BMS)(7-30-2014)

  • NASCAR confiscates parts from #11 Toyota UPDATES: NASCAR discovered "possible issues" with the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Denny Hamlin in post-race inspection. At question were rear firewall block-off plates on Hamlin's car. According to NASCAR the parts were confiscated and taken back to the research and development center in Concord, N.C. for further evaluation. According to one crew chief, If the block-off plates are not sealed off sufficiently, air can flow through the firewall enabling the car to gain anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds of rear downforce. Hamlin qualified 27th. After Hamlin pitted on Lap 55 from the lead, he fell to 13th but quickly made his way back to the front of the back to finish third on Sunday. He led 18 laps.(Motorsport)(7-27-2014)
    UPDATE: The #11 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been penalized for a rules infraction discovered in post-race inspection July 27 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This infraction is a P5 level penalty which is outlined in Section 12-4.5 A (9) of the 2014 NASCAR rule book:
    Approved parts that fail or are improperly installed to fail in their intended use of great importance (e.g.; rear wheel well panels that fail and allow air evacuation in the trunk area; oil box cover that fails and allows air evacuation in the driver compartment; shifter boot cover that fails and allows air evacuation through the floor pan). This infraction violates Sections 12-1, 20-2.1, 20.3.4, 20.3.4.5.
    As a result of these violations, crew chief Darian Grubb has been fined $75,000 plus an additional $50,000 post-race fine for a total of $125,000. Grubb has also been suspended from NASCAR for the next six series championship events, plus any non-championship races or special events that might occur during that time period. Grubb will also be on NASCAR probation for the next six months.
    Car chief Wesley Sherrill has been suspended from NASCAR for the next six series championship events, plus any non-championship races or special events that might occur during that time period and will be on NASCAR probation for the next six months.
    This infraction has also cost the #11 team the loss of 50 championship driver and owner (Denny Hamlin and J.D. Gibbs) points plus an additional 25 post-race points for a total loss of 75 championship driver and 75 championship owner points.(NASCAR), see the complete release on the 2014 NASCAR penalties page.(7-29-2014)
    Gibbs statement:Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is aware of the penalty issued by NASCAR today regarding the #11 team's post-race inspection infraction following Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race in Indianapolis. JGR will plan to appeal the penalty, however, crew chief Darian Grubb and car chief Wesley Sherrill will begin to serve their suspensions starting this weekend in Pocono.(Gibbs PR)(7-29-2014)

  • Indy TV Ratings UPDATE: The Indianapolis market saw a big increase: from 13.8 last year to 15.0 this year. The national number wasn't so kind to IMS and NASCAR. There was a decrease in overnight rating, from 3.4 last year to 3.2 this year. Last year's final national rating was 3.6. That information will be available Tuesday.(Indianapolis Star).(7-29-2014)
    UPDATE: ESPN's live telecast of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 27, earned a 3.4 U.S. rating, averaging 5,196,000 viewers, according to Nielsen Media. The rating and viewership were down from the 2013 race, which earned a 3.6 rating and averaged 5,460,000 viewers, but were up from 2012, when the telecast earned a 3.3 rating and averaged 5,055,000 viewers. Indianapolis led the nation's metered markets with a 15.0 rating, up from a 13.7 rating last year, while Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville was second with a 9.4 rating. North Carolina's Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem market was third nationally with an 8.7 rating while Charlotte and Richmond tied for fourth at 7.7. The rest of the nation's top 10 markets for the race were Louisville, 6.9; Nashville, 6.5; Birmingham and Raleigh-Durham, 6.3; and Tampa/St. Petersburg and Orlando, 5.5. ESPN's live telecast of Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at IMS earned a 1.3 rating, averaging 1,988,000 viewers. Viewership was up over last year's race, which averaged 1,913,000 viewers with a 1.4 rating.(ESPN) See past 2014 race ratings, 5-yr comparison chart and past news on the 2014 TV Ratings page.(7-29-2014)

  • Maaco featured on the #24 at Pocono: On August 3, at Pocono Raceway, Maaco will serve as an associate sponsor of Jeff Gordon's #24 Chevy.(Lionel Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page.(7-29-2014)

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Pocono:
    #11-Denny Hamlin 109.0
    #48-Jimmie Johnson 108.7
    #41-Kurt Busch 105.5
    #24-Jeff Gordon 101.8
    #14-Tony Stewart 98.9
    #99-Carl Edwards 96.0
    #42-Kyle Larson 96.0
    #31-Ryan Newman 95.8
    #2-Brad Keselowski 92.8
    #5-Kasey Kahne 91.5
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (19 total) 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)

  • NASCAR Number's from Indy:
    2,561: The number of laps completed by Tony Stewart in 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Stewart is the only driver to have finished on the lead lap in every Brickyard 400 in which he has raced. That streak was in jeopardy on Sunday, when Stewart fell one lap down, but an opportune caution helped him to a 17th-place, lead-lap finish.
    3: The number of drivers who have won races on the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval in three different decades. On Sunday at the Brickyard, Jeff Gordon joined the exclusive club whose membership previously was confined to Indy 500 winners Bobby Unser and Rick Mears.
    70: The number of laps led by Kasey Kahne in Sunday's Crown Royal presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That's six more laps than Kahne had led in 19 previous races this season.
    12: The number of consecutive victories for Chevrolet in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Indianapolis, an amazing streak for a single manufacturer. The last non-Chevy winner of a Cup race at the Brickyard was Bill Elliott in a Ray Evernham Dodge.
    8: The number of years since a driver has swept both events in a single season at Pocono Raceway. Denny Hamlin last did the honors during his 2006 rookie season, winning both races from the pole. Dale Earnhardt Jr., the June winner at the Tricky Triangle, could make the No. 88 Chevy a three-time winner this year by completing a sweep next Sunday.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-29-2014)

  • Gordon approaching some records: Starting with his Cup debut in the final race of the 1992 season, #24-Jeff Gordon hasn't missed a race in 22 years. At Indianapolis on Sunday, he started his 745th straight event. Assuming Gordon stays in the seat of the #24 Chevrolet in every race through the 2015 season, he will break Ricky Rudd's series-record 788 consecutive starts in the 28th race next year.
    Gordon led 40 laps on Sunday, bringing his career total to 23,949, sixth most all-time. If he drives for two more seasons beyond the current one, he has a realistic shot at leading 25,000 laps, perhaps catching the next driver on the list, Pearson, who racked up 25,159 laps led. Richard Petty led the most with 51,380.(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-29-2014)

  • Stewart would like to have Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Eldora UPDATE: While he's not planning for it, Tony Stewart would love for the addition of more NASCAR Racing at Eldora Speedway. Stewart, along with track general manager Roger Slack, talked about the possibility during a press conference for the unveiling of the new infield building that will be added for the 2015 season. "I'd love for the Truck Series to not be the only NASCAR that comes here," Stewart said. "If this continues to go as well as we hope it does there's no reason that the other two divisions couldn't come possibly in the future. I think we can make it work. If you can take the trucks and make them work here, the Cup cars and Nationwide cars aren't much of a stretch from that. So it's definitely feasible to do that." The new building, which will begin to be constructed in October, will house the media center that will also double as an infield hospitality suite. The building will also be the site of the infield care center along with a concession stand with double lines. Stewart said the decision to build in the infield building had no bearing on the possibilty of getting a Nationwide of Cup Series race in the future. "This is part of the continued process of us making the commitment of improving the facility to making it bigger and better," he said. "But we are very appreciative and very content if we only run truck races from here on out. We get the privilege to keep hosting Truck races and we are very happy doing that."(Motor Racing Network)(7-24-2014)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell said there have been no discussions about adding another major NASCAR race at Eldora. "We haven't had any discussions with Tony beyond that (truck race)," O'Donnell said. "I wouldn't rule out looking at potential other venues for trucks, but I think for the most part, we want to keep the uniqueness of that event. It has been really successful. They have done a great job for us. They set the bar very high. But we like where we're at right now with it." The Eldora event is a successful weeknight event. Whether that success could translate to a Cup race on a weeknight remains to be seen. Both the track and television partner would have to be prepared for it, and so far NASCAR has not had a track want a weeknight prime-time event that it could then pitch to the networks. The truck race at Eldora was the biggest sports cable event of Wednesday night, giving Fox Sports 1 a rare evening win over ESPN. "One of the challenges with most of the venues, especially on the Cup side, is big camping unlike other sports, so that presents a challenge," O'Donnell said. "It is something we have discussed with promoters. But we just aren't there from a logistics standpoint to be able to pull it off. But it has worked for the trucks. That is something going forward you could see us take a bigger look at with some other venues that have interest."(Sporting News)(7-29-2014)

  • Menard's team not happy with Montoya: A run-in with #12-Juan Pablo Montoya early in the Brickyard 400 on Sunday may have cost #27-Paul Menard a place in the NASCAR championship shootout. It also left his team livid. "It's stupid," crew chief Slugger Labbe said as the team loaded Menard's crinkled and scraped Chevrolet onto its transporter at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "People have no respect.... I just don't get Juan Pablo, what he's doing. It doesn't make sense. You'd think the guy would come over and apologize or something." Menard slapped the third-turn wall after he was hit by Montoya on the 32nd lap. He lost two laps for repairs and finished 34th. "We're running for a spot in the Chase, and some part-time racer left-rears us and puts us in the fence," Labbe said. "Then you're done." Menard was not available for comment. Montoya was making just his second Sprint Cup start of the season. He returned to IndyCar this season after seven years in NASCAR. "Obviously that's why he's not in our sport anymore," Labbe said. "He's never used his head, he's always wrecked people and he got us. It probably knocked us out of the Chase (for the Sprint Cup), but...we've just got to fight back in six more races." Menard's finish dropped him four spots in the standings to 16th.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(7-29-2014)

  • Special Traffic Patterns planned for Pocono race: The Pennsylvania State Police will put special traffic patterns into effect to help motorists attending the GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR race on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014, at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Monroe County. On Sunday, August 3rd, the following traffic patterns will be in effect:
    Prior to the race, Route 115 from Interstate 80 to the raceway will be converted to two lanes and will be one way southbound. This conversion will be put into effect at approximately 8 a.m. and continue until all traffic has entered the track grounds.
    Following the race, Route 115 from the raceway to Interstate 80 will be converted to two lanes and will be one way northbound, until the raceway parking lots are cleared. This conversion will take place with 25 laps remaining in the race.
    Stoney Hollow Road has been designated a no parking and tow away zone from Long Pond Road to the Interstate 80 overpass. It will be properly posted and enforced. Any vehicle in violation will be removed at the owner's expense.
    Following the race, the Interstate 80 eastbound off-ramp at the Blakeslee exit (Exit 284) will be closed to traffic.
    Traffic coming south to the race in the two lanes of Route 115 will be required to enter specific parking areas. Motorists should take note of signs posted along Route 115 and travel in the appropriate traffic lanes for their desired parking area. Likewise, outbound traffic traveling north will face similar signs with lane restrictions for Interstate 80 and Route 115 access. The August 1st weekend will bring with it large amounts of race fans to the Poconos. Motorists should expect higher traffic volume and possible delays not only on Route 115 and Interstate 80, but also on State Routes 209, 940 and 903. Those who normally utilize Route 115 to travel through the area should consider using Interstate 80, Route 33, Route 209, and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike as alternate routes.
    Tickets to the GoBowling.com 400 are available by visiting www.poconoraceway.com or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929).(Pocono Raceway)(7-29-2014)

  • Mobil 1 to sponsor Harvick at Pocono: ExxonMobil is expanding its Mobil 1 partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing, adding a one-time full primary sponsorship of Kevin Harvick's #4 Chevrolet SS for the GoBowling.com 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Aug. 3 at Pocono Raceway. "Kevin Harvick has had a brilliant year and is a strong contender to win the 2014 Sprint Cup Series title," said Artis Brown, global motorsports manager, Mobil 1. "As a member of Stewart-Haas Racing, Kevin has experienced the protection and performance benefits of Mobil 1 lubricants in the #4 racecar firsthand. Now, with the #4 Chevy, we're proud to have Mobil 1 on and under the hood." Supported by Mobil 1 lubricant technology, Harvick has earned two wins, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes since the beginning of the 2014 season. Harvick is currently 12th in the championship standings and virtually assured to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup under the new format, where the top spots in the 16-driver field are awarded to those who have won a race prior to the 10-race Chase.
    "I'm honored to be driving the No. 4 Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS at Pocono," said Harvick. "Mobil 1 is a truly iconic brand in motorsports, both as a major sponsor of racing and as a performance partner for top race teams around the world. I know that Mobil 1 will help me get to the winner's circle as I drive toward the 2014 Sprint Cup championship."
    To build anticipation for the Pocono race, a video showcasing Mobil 1 as Harvick's new full primary hood is now available on the Mobil 1 Facebook page. The video shows Harvick sneaking into the Stewart-Haas Racing shop to capture some of the Mobil 1 mojo that brought Tony Stewart the 2011 Sprint Cup championship. The video then reveals Harvick's special #4 paint scheme for Pocono. See the video at Mobil1's YouTube page. For remainder of the 2014 season - five regular-season races and 10 Chase races - Budweiser and Jimmy John's will remain primary sponsors of Harvick's #4 Chevrolet SS. Bass Pro Shops and Mobil 1 will remain as co-primary sponsors of Tony Stewart's #14 Chevrolet SS. In addition to partnering with Stewart-Haas Racing, the 2014 season marks the 12th consecutive year in which Mobil 1 will serve as the "Official Motor Oil of NASCAR." With a deep history in motorsports, Mobil 1 is used by more than 50% of the teams in NASCAR's top-three series.(Mobil 1 Racing), see an image of the car on the #4 Team Schemes page.(7-28-2014)

  • Gibbs Hints of 4th Team in 2015: Team owner Joe Gibbs side-stepped questions about Carl Edwards' expected move to his race team. "We don't have anything right now to announce," Gibbs said on pit road before Sunday's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Anything that we're going to do will be coming up in the future. I'm not sure exactly what the time line is." Gibbs did allow that his organization is making a more concerted effort this year to field a fourth team in 2015 than has been the case in the past. "We've been (preparing for a fourth team) each and every year," Gibbs said. "But it's so hard to do that, we haven't been able to get it done. But I think we're taking a serious look at it this year." Asked if those efforts involved signing a serious driver, Gibbs replied, "You've got to have a serious sponsor." But he did acknowledge Edwards' star power. "When Carl's name came up during this year ... almost everybody recognizes Carl as being somebody I think is a star," Gibbs said. "Because of that, there are a lot of teams that have tried to entice him."(NASCAR Wire Service)(7-28-2014)

  • Edwards going for 2014 Championship; waiting to make announcement: Sunday morning's news that Carl Edwards is leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of 2014 is almost certain to overshadow much of what the veteran driver does on the track the rest of this year. Edwards wants to make at least one thing clear, however. He insisted he's 100% dedicated to finishing his time at Roush -- the company where he began his Sprint Cup Series career in late 2004 -- on a high note. "I came over here this morning and talked to (crew chief) Jimmy Fennig and all of my guys, and we're all on the same page," Edwards said Sunday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "Right now we need to win this championship ... and that is the mission. I drive for Jack Roush, I drive the #99 Fastenal Ford, and that's what I do right now. So from a housekeeping standpoint Roush has to announce what they're going to be doing next year. I'll soon announce what I'm going to be doing next year, but I just want to be real clear the focus is to win the championship this year." Edwards confirmed Sunday that he knows which organization he'll be driving for in 2015, but was unwilling to elaborate further. He is widely expected to join Joe Gibbs Racing in a fourth JGR Toyota. "I'd like to wait until I announce exactly what I'm doing and maybe get a little farther away from this season, and what I have to do here, before I talk about my hopes and expectations for 2015 and beyond," Edwards said. "I mean, you guys know what I've been through from a competitive standpoint. I've been really close as a driver to some championships and I know what one point and one race and all that stuff can do, so the last thing I'm going to do or Jimmy Fennig's going to do is let next year and beyond affect our ability to win this championship. That's the mission. Part of the reason I'm a race car driver is I like the adventure of it, and I like going and doing new things and learning new things and, sometimes, whether it's a race-car driver -- or anyone -- sometimes you just want to make a change, and opportunities sometimes present themselves. And you say, hey, I don't want to look back and say, 'What was that like to not take that opportunity?'"(FoxSports)(7-28-2014)

  • Bad day for former (and one current) open-wheelers: Five drivers in Sunday's race also have raced in the Indianapolis 500. But that certainly didn't give them an edge in a stock car. #14-Tony Stewart, who has two previous victories in the 400-mile race, was the highest-finishing driver in 17th with an IndyCar background at the Brickyard. #47-A.J. Allmendinger finished 18th, followed by #12-Juan Pablo Montoya in 23rd , #41-Kurt Busch in 28th and #10-Danica Patrick in 42nd . Patrick broke a rear gear while driving away from her pit stall. "We looked at everything and it looks like the launch was fine," she said. "It's just one of those things."(Florida Times Union)(7-28-2014)

  • Race Team Alliance expects to add NASCAR teams: Race Team Alliance chairman Rob Kauffman said Sunday the rest of NASCAR's full-time teams should soon be added to the group that is working on issues facing the sport. The RTA formed this month as an alliance of nine of NASCAR's top teams. Kauffman met with other owners this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and says they are on board. The RTA wants to lower costs for NASCAR teams and create one voice on issues. "The stuff on the RTA side is actually going quite well," Kauffman said. "We're just focused on doing what we said we were going to do. Get organized, get things done and try and be productive. Don't expect a lot of PR and excitement. Just doing what we said we were going to do. We're cautiously optimistic we're going to make some good progress. There's a lot of potential."(Associated Press)(7-28-2014)

  • JGR plane hits parked SHR plane at Concord airport: A Joe Gibbs Racing plane collided with a parked plane from Stewart-Haas Racing at Concord Regional Airport on Sunday night as the NASCAR teams were returning to the Charlotte area after Sunday's Crown Royal 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, according to the Haas team. A spokesman for Stewart-Haas Racing said the team's empty, parked plane was hit by a Joe Gibbs Racing plane as it was parking. The plane's wing clipped the tail of the parked SHR plane. No one was hurt, the spokesman said.(Charlotte Observer)(7-28-2014)

  • Ford Racing Statement on Carl Edwards Departure: Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing - "Carl Edwards has been a part of the Ford family for a decade, and it will certainly be tough to see him leave Ford and Roush Fenway Racing. During Carl's time with Roush, he has represented Ford Motor Company with the utmost class, both on and off the track. We at Ford Racing did everything to facilitate keeping Carl a part of the Ford Racing & Roush Fenway family, but in the end that option did not come to fruition. While we are disappointed in his decision to leave Roush Fenway Racing, we certainly want to extend our appreciation for Carl's contributions winning races and a NASCAR Nationwide Series Championship in a Ford, and especially for his outreach to Ford fans. That said, with this decision out of the way, our plan for 2014 has not changed. We will go forward strongly with our stated goal of securing a NASCAR championship for Ford."(Ford Racing)(7-27-2014)

  • Roush Fenway Racing Announces 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Lineup: Roush Fenway Racing's 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) lineup will consist of three teams anchored by two-time NASCAR champion Greg Biffle. Biffle, driver of the #16 Ford and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #17 Ford and also a two-time NASCAR champion will be joined by Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne in the #6 Ford. The lineup features a veteran perennial 'Chase' contender in Biffle - who is currently competing to become the first driver to win a championship at all three of NACAR's premiere series - as well as two of the sport's most promising up and coming drivers.
    "I have had the privilege of fielding entries for the world's best race car drivers in NASCAR for nearly 30 years, and feel quite fortunate to have an opportunity to do that again next year," said team co-owner Jack Roush. "We have always prided ourselves in developing talent at Roush Fenway, and our 2015 line-up is a testament to the success of our organization in that respect. Greg Biffle is one of the most purely talented racers I've ever seen behind the wheel of a car, and his experience combined with the raw natural abilities, enthusiasm and desire in both Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Trevor Bayne have me very excited for the future. Although we still have a lot to accomplish this year, both John Henry and I are looking forward to going to the track in 2015 with this blend of veteran leadership and youthful potential."
    Biffle, who has 746 NASCAR starts, first joined Roush Fenway in 1998, and earned the organization its first NASCAR championships in the NASCAR Truck Series in 2000 and in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) in 2002. He has qualified for the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup in five of the last six seasons; with a runner-up finish in 2005. Of his 55 NASCAR wins, 19 came in the NSCS, including Ford's 1,000th NASCAR victory last year.
    "I don't have the words for what Jack Roush has meant to my career," said Biffle. "During our 16 years together, we have won multiple championships and numerous races on every level. I am as excited about what the future holds for me here as I am about what we have been able to accomplish in the past. Our goal remains to run up front, win races and become the sports' first triple-crown winner by having a championship in all three series. I know that we have the right ownership, the right team, the right resources and the right manufacturer to get that done here here at Roush Fenway."
    Stenhouse joined Roush Fenway in 2008, going on to win back-to-back NNS championships in 2011 and 2012. In addition, he captured NASCAR rookie honors in NNS and NSCS in 2010 and 2013, respectively. Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 Champion, joined Roush Fenway in 2010 and has competed full-time in the NNS, while also running a limited NSCS schedule with Wood Brothers Racing. He will make the transition to full-time NSCS racing with AdvoCare as his primary partner on Roush Fenway's iconic #6 Ford.
    #99-Carl Edwards will not be with the team for the 2015 season. "I will always be thankful for Carl's contribution and the role he played in many Roush Fenway wins and championships," said Roush. "We wish him well for the future. In the meantime, we are excited about continuing our quest for a championship with Carl and the No. 99 team in 2014."(RFR), rumors have Edwards going to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015, but nothing is expected to be announced until September 2014.(7-27-2014)

  • Fastenal to Serve as Primary Partner for Stenhouse in 2015: Roush Fenway Racing announced that long-time partner Fastenal will team with Ricky Stenhouse Jr., serving as the anchor sponsor on the #17 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) for a multi-year agreement beginning next season. Fastenal first joined with Roush Fenway in 2010 and has served as a primary partner for multiple Roush Fenway teams and drivers in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) and NSCS. "Fastenal is a first class partner and we are extremely pleased to have them team with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 17 team starting next year," said Roush Fenway co-owner Jack Roush. "Ricky has accomplished a great deal in a short time, and continues to improve each week. We have very high expectations for his success in the future and I'm thrilled that Fastenal will be a part of that."
    Stenhouse, who earned NSCS rookie of the year honors in 2013, will move into his third full-season of Sprint Cup competition in 2015. Considered one of the most talented up-and-coming drivers on the circuit, Stenhouse posted back-to-back NNS championships in 2011 and 2012.
    Fastenal is currently in its third season as a primary partner on the #99 NSCS entry driven by Carl Edwards, and was the primary partner on the #60 NNS team that captured the owner's championship in 2011. Fastenal has also served in a limited role as a primary partner for the #16 and #17 NSCS teams the past two seasons.
    "We appreciate everything Carl has done and wish him nothing but the best," said Fastenal President Lee Hein. "That said, we're looking forward to continuing our partnership with Roush Fenway Racing as the anchor sponsor of the #17. We already have a strong relationship with Ricky, and we're 100% confident that he'll do a great job representing our company on and off the track."
    "As a driver, I'm thrilled to have Fastenal on board for next season," said Stenhouse. "I grew up working in a race shop, helping my dad build cars and racing engines. I appreciate the chance to work with a partner like Fastenal that plays such an important role in building our race cars and helping us win on the track. I've had the opportunity to work with them in the past and meet a lot of the men and women that are part of the 'Blue Team.' I look forward to representing them on the racetrack, and to taking them to victory lane."(RFR)(7-27-2014)

  • Fans can design Newman's car for Dover: Quicken Loans has launched a contest for fans to design a paint scheme for the #31 Quicken Loans Chevy to run at Dover on September 28. One lucky winner will win a trip to Dover International Speedway and see their car design in action on the high-banked oval. More info at QLRacing.com. The deadline to submit a paint scheme is August 3rd.(RCR)(7-27-2014)

  • Fans to choose 3M Throwback Logo for #16 in Pocono UPDATE: For the second year in a row, 3M Racing is allowing the fans to decide which 3M throwback logo will be featured on the #16 in Pocono on August 3rd. Adding a new element to the competition, one lucky fan will now get the chance to have their name appear on Greg Biffle's 3M Ford Fusion for the race at the "Tricky Triangle" just by placing a vote. This year, there will be eight different logos setup in a bracket-style competition, narrowing down the field to just two options before the final logo is determined. Voting kicked off June 19th and goes through Thursday, July 17th with the winning design set to be unveiled before the Pocono race weekend. "You can really see the history of 3M through their logos over the years," said Biffle. "I thought the one the fans choose last year was really cool. 3M is a tremendous company and it's great we can honor their history with a car design chosen by the fans." Last year the logo featured on the hood of the #16 was from 1956. To see the logos up for voting this year and to vote, head to facebook.com/3MRacing to vote for the logo you'd like to see featured on the #16 in Pocono and enter for a chance to have your name on Biffle's Ford in August.(3M Racing/RFR)(6-21-2014)
    UPDATE the winning 3M logo vote winner was announced, the 1942 3M logo/scheme was chosen by fans to be featured on the #16 #3MThrowback Ford Fusion at Pocono Raceway next weekend [August 3]. See the winning scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page.(7-25-2014)

  • The King named GoBowling.com 400 Grand Marshal: GoBowling.com announced NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Richard Petty will serve as the Grand Marshal for the GoBowling.com 400. The GoBowling.com 400 will mark the 40th anniversary of Pocono Raceway's inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Purolator 500, won by Petty on August 4, 1974. Additionally, GoBowling.com will host a promotion where one lucky fan could win $43,000 if the #43 GoBowling.com Richard Petty Motorsports entry, driven by Aric Almirola, wins the 400-miler at "The Tricky Triangle" on Sunday, August 3.
    "This race carries special meaning for me as I think back to the thrill of tasting victory at the inaugural race at Pocono back in 1974. I see no better way to celebrate this milestone moment than by celebrating both racing and bowling, another sport that is pure Americana," said Richard Petty in today's GoBowling.com press release. "I am particularly excited to team up again with GoBowling.com and the bowling industry. Bowling isn't only just a lot of fun but it's a great sport that, like racing, brings people together and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and from all walks of life."
    The "Win $43,000 if #43 Wins" promotion will take place during the GoBowling.com 400 race weekend at Pocono Raceway August 1-3. Fans attending the race should look for GoBowling.com branded tents in Fan Fair to register to win. Camping guests will receive information on how to enter this promotion in their RV/Camping Welcome Bags upon their arrival next week. One lucky fan will be chosen, at random, to sit atop the No. 43 pit box during a segment the race. Additionally, if the No. 43 car wins the race, one randomly chosen fan will receive $43,000. Certain terms and restrictions may apply. Tickets to next weekend's events are available by visiting www.poconoraceway.com or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY (1-800-722-3929).(Pocono Raceway)(7-24-2014)

  • Most Popular Driver Voting starts: The voting for the 2014 Sprint NMPA Most Popular Driver Award has started. To vote, visit www.mostpopulardriver.com and follow the online instructions for entering. Voting began at on July 5, 2014 and ends at 8:00pm/et on November 17, 2014. Voting is limited to a) one (1) vote per person per email address per day; b) up to two (2) additional votes per person per email address per day for those who share their votes through social media sites Facebook and/or Twitter. Driver eligibility for the Most Popular Driver award is limited to those candidates that have declared for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship and have entered all points-paying NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events contested between Jan. 1, 2014 and July 5, 2014.(7-5-2014)


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Next Race: GoBowling.com 400

Countdown to Race Time: 8/3/2014 ~1:19pm/et

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