Jersey Joe's Racin' News-n-Views

Atlantic City & Trenton Indoor races
Wall Stadium 2014
Wall Stadium Speedway 2013
Wall Stadium. A New Era Continues !
American Red Cross
Wal Stadium. A New Era Continues II !
Wall Stadium. A New Era Begins
Attention Site Sponsors !!!
NSCS / Nationwide & CWTS Schedules
Sprint Cup Practice Speeds
Sprint Cup Qualifying
Sprint Cup Race Results
Sprint Cup Point Standings
NNS Practice Speeds
NNS Qualifying
NNS Race Results
NNS Point Standings
CWS Practice Speeds
CWS Qualifying
CWS Race Results
CWS Point Standings
End of an Era ? Wall Speedway
Wall Speedway / End of an Era ? Page 2
History of Wall Twp. Speedway
Wall Stadium News
Wall Stadium News Page 2
Wall Stadium News Page 3 !
Wall Stadium / End of an Era II ?
Petition to Save Wall Speedway
NASCAR Raceday Weather
My "Humble" Opinions
ARCA News !
ARCA 2014 Schedule
Drag Racing
IRL/ Champ Car & F-1 news !
New Egypt Speedway News
New Egypt Speedway News Page 2 !!
New Egypt Speedway News Page 3 !
Strictly Outlaws News !
Bridgeport Speedway !
DIRT Racing News
Grass Roots Paved Oval News !!!
TV schedules
NASCAR Fans 2003 message boards & Chat
NASCAR terminollogy
Racing Links (some of my sources)
Contact Me


   Happy EASTER !!!


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Winning formula

Team owner Gene Haas is going Formula One racing, which raises the question: Could any NASCAR drivers switch to F1? Kyle Busch? Carl Edwards? Here's who we see able to make the move. 


 ( ) :

Clint Bowyer gets married in the Bahamas  

Season in review: experts make picks

Courteousy Speedway (

Kwasniewski reflects on NASCAR Next Experience and season to date

Next Friday at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR will introduce their new group of NASCAR Next stars. NASCAR chooses a group of young individuals coming up the racing ranks that the fans should keep an eye on the future.

Marshall’s Madness: Kyle Busch Turning Out Like Mark Martin, Winning But Championship-less

Kyle Busch’s tenure in racing is developing like Mark Martin’s, producing victories but not scoring the ultimate goal: championships.

  News / Results ,and the latest Point Standings from New Egypt Speedway ( are now posted ! (Hint-hint ! WTG again...BILLY PAUCH !!!)

 See my New Egypt Speedway News Page 3:New Egypt Speedway News Page 3 !  ,for all the details !

  Saturday night,April 26,is Opening Night @  Wall Stadium Speedway (  !

 (Thanks Jeff Gravatt !) :




WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. ~ Months of work at the speedway have been completed and hours of fine tuning in area race car shops are nearing an end all in preparation for the first event of the 2014 Saturday night professional stock car racing season at Wall Stadium Speedway this Saturday (4/26) evening. Downs Ford Modified, Sportsman, Limited Late Model, Legend Cars, Factory Stock and 4 Cylinder racers will all be on the agenda Saturday with grandstand seating opening at 5:00 p.m. and the first race set to take the green flag at 6:00 p.m. sharp. Main events are set to start around 7:00 p.m. and fans will enjoy giveaways throughout the evening.


With defending Down Ford Modified champion Chas Okerson of Freehold leading the way, his fellow Modified competitors will have plenty to shoot for in 2014. Strong competition in the quest for opening night glory and the 2014 Modified crown will come from Holmdel’s Andrew Krause, Shaun Carrig of Little Falls, Adam LaCicero of Lavallette, Freehold’s Steven Reed, Howell’s Eric Mauriello, New Egypt’s Jason Hearne and Brick’s Shawna Ingraham. They are just a few of the area’s standout Modified drivers expected to go for the win and the season-long driving title.


The Sportsman division is also earning a lot of interest for the new season with car counts expected to rise. Defending champ Kevin Eyres of Colts Neck is expected to attempt to defend his crown while Kevin Davison of Howell and Kenny Van Wickle of Manasquan will be among those offering plenty of competition.


            In addition to the Downs Ford Modified and Sportsman racers, the Factory Stock, 4 Cylinder, Legend Cars and Limited Late Model racers will all see main event action on Saturday, April 26.


            The current schedule for the April 26 season opener will see the competitor pit area open at 2:00 p.m., with the regular afternoon practice session beginning at 3:00 p.m. and running until 5:00 p.m. Spectator seating will open for the first time this season at 5:00 p.m. Qualifying is set for 6:00 p.m. with main event action to follow around 7:00 p.m.


            Week two of the 2014 season on Saturday May 3 will again feature all divisions as the speedway presents “Fan Appreciation Night.” On this evening fans will be welcome onto the track to meet with drivers from every division as they park their racecars on display on the speedway. On May 3 grandstands will open at 4:00 p.m. with the on track party starting shortly after. Qualifying will start at 6:00 p.m. with main event action starting around 7:00 p.m.


            Pro auto racing action then continues every weekend through the summer months with post-season specials also planned.


Wall Stadium Speedway is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. More information can be obtained by visiting The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400 and email address is

Recent News



Another Elliott brings Dawsonville siren to life

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Spring break: How some of your favorite drivers spend their time off

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Tribute to Past, Present, Future, and Fallen Linemen To Headline NASCAR Camping World Truck Series St. Louis Event

Officials for Gateway Motorsports Park and MAKE Motorsports announced today that the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event will be known as the “Drivin’ for Linemen 200.” NASCAR returns to the St. Louis area on June 14, 2014 – for the first time since 2010 – with a race that will bring a heightened level of awareness to the Linemen of America and the electrical industry. The Linemen were slated to be recognized today by the U.S. Congress for their efforts as first responders during natural disasters. This race will pay tribute to the past, present, future and fallen Linemen. 

Nishikawa and NISCO Will Sponsor Hattori Racing Enterprises’ No. 11 at Richmond

Nishikawa Rubber and NISCO will be joining Hattori Racing Enterprises as sponsors for the No. 11 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East car for the Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway on April 25th existing relationship with Hattori Racing Enterprises as they sponsored the No. 11 for 2013’s North American Power 100 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and DRIVE4COPD 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Two representatives from NISCO will also be joining HRE as guests for the entire weekend of racing at Richmond.


It’s a Party in the RVA: Miller Lite Party Zone Relocates to Richmond International Raceway’s Midway

Like all good things, Richmond International Raceway gets better with age. With the help of fan feedback, we’ve enhanced the old and added some new. So what’s changed in 2014? The Miller Lite Party Zone relocates to the Midway prior to the Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26 NASCAR races.




Calling Dr. Ryan ...

Should Kasey Kahne fans be worried? Is knockout qualifying here to stay? Are Jeff Gordon's days
numbered? Dr. Racy Ryan, the Internet's only NASCAR advice columnist, has answers. Ryan McGee »



Jack Roush discusses possible engine changes  

Courteousy FOX Sports


Winners & Losers: Who is most improved from this time in 2013?

Saturday Night @ New Egypt Speedway !(
Next Event: Easter Egg Hunt: April 19, 2014 - 6:00PM - Modifieds, Sportsman, ARDC Midgets, Street Stocks, HCI/Spike-N-Go Rookies - 6:00PM

Courteousy The


This Weekend's TV Schedule

Friday, April 18

Time                            Telecast                                                           Network

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM      NASCAR RaceHub                                           FOX Sports 1

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM      Countdown to F1                                              NBC Sports Network
7:00 PM - 10:00 PM    AMA Monster Energy Supercross: Seattle         FOX Sports 1*# (from April 12)

Saturday, April 19

Time                              Telecast                                                           Network
2:00 AM - 3:30 AM        Formula One Grand Prix of China Qualifying  NBC Sports Network
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM        Langley Speedway Practice                   ^
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM        Langley Speedway Qualifying               ^
6:55 PM - 9:55 PM        Langley Speedway Feature Races         ^

Sunday, April 20

Time                              Telecast                                                            Network
1:00 AM - 2:30 AM        Formula One Grand Prix of China Qualifying    NBC Sports Network*# (from April 19)
2:30 AM - 3:00 AM         F1 Countdown                                                  NBC Sports Network
3:00 AM - 5:00 AM         Formula One Grand Prix of China                     NBC Sports Network
5:00 AM - 5:30 AM         F1 Extra                                                            NBC Sports Network
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM         F1 Countdown                                                  NBC Sports Network*#
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM         Formula One Grand Prix of China                    NBC Sports Network*#
5:00 PM - 5:30 PM         F1 Extra                                                            NBC Sports Network*#
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM         Pirelli World Challenge Roar at the Shore        NBC Sports Network* (from April 13)

*- Tape Delayed
/- Highlighted Coverage
#- Repeat Coverage
^- Available via free internet streaming


This weekend @ Bridgeport Speedway !( :

Today / Friday :

1/4 mile track :
270 & 600 Micros, TSRS 305 Sprints & 4 Cylinders. Plus Truck Shoot-out! Gates open 5:30, Racing starts 8:00. Adults $15; Kids (9 and under) FREE

 Easter Sunday :

5/8 mile track :
DOUG HOFFMAN MEMORIAL. Poker Series #1 RoC Modifieds (44 laps) plus Crate/Sportsman & Outlaw Stocks (Hand #1 of Poker Series). Easter Bunny, Easter Egg Hunt (Easter egg drop from helicopter), Sermon, Kids Activity Table, Moonbounces, & MORE! Pits open 1:30; Grandstands open 3:00; Racing starts 5:30. Adults $25; Students (13-15) $12; Kids (12 & under) FREE

Courteousy FOX Sports


Call off the Chase: Elliott shouldn't rush to Sprint Cup Series

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Did Matt Kenseth set the bar too high for 2014?

Courteousy Bleacher


Week 9 Sprint Cup Stock Watch

By Joe Menzer

Courteousy The Stock Car Gazette ( http://MotorSportsNews.Net)

(Thanks Heather !): 

           New “Knockout” Qualifying and Chase Format Create New Challenges for Mammoth Track  TALLADEGA, AL -- With all the excitement around NASCAR’s competition changes for Talladega Superspeedway’s Aaron’s Dream Weekend, May ...                                  - See more at:

Google Alerts

The event will feature NASCAR stars racing high performance karts in a 2-hour team relay format. Each four person team will include a professional ...

Wall Street Journal
MOORESVILLE, N.C., April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- NASCAR Technical Institute (NASCAR Tech), one of eleven campuses operating under parent ...

AKRON, Ohio, April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A great fuel strategy can be key to a NASCAR victory. And with the launch of The Goodyear Fuel ...
A full-size replica of a NASCAR race car will be on view from noon to 6 p.m. April 24 at the OneMain Financial branch office at 4500 Plank Road, Suite ...
Yahoo Sports
But here is Kevin Harvick, already with multiple victories and a virtually secure Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berth in his first season with a new ...

Yahoo Sports
The fact that he is a part of the NASCAR equation today carries more weight than what is written or said about Vickers and his No. 55 Michael Waltrip ...
GM Authority (blog)
Chevrolet further proved the environmentally friendly nature of its Volt plug-in EV in the days leading up to the NASCAR race at Darlington Raceway in ...
The Carroll News
The fruits of a $4,000 donation by NASCAR driver Morgan Shepherd will soon be realized by many elementary school students in Carroll County.
NASCAR chairman Brian France's unwavering stance to bring parity to the sport during his 10-year tenure is finally paying dividends. While most of ...
Charlotte Observer
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Q&A with driver Matt Kenseth. By Jim Utter By Jim Utter The Charlotte Observer.

Daily Journal
Darrell Wallace Jr. was the first black driver to win a NASCAR race since the 1960s when he took the checkered flag in a Truck Series race at ...

Winston-Salem Journal
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has little to complain about going into NASCAR's first off weekend of the season. His team could have succumbed to the pressure of ...

The International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 kicks off an eventful Saturday at Talladega, starting at 10 am CT. At 12:10 pm, the NASCAR Sprint Cup ...

N A S C A R * C A N A D I A N * T I R E *
Wetaskiwin Times Advertiser
The Edmonton International Raceway, located just north of Wetaskiwin, announced on April 7 that the popular NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will ...

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Trevor Bayne – Making the Most of Every Opportunity

Trevor Bayne’s career has been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows but throughout it all he has remained constant in his belief that God has a plan for him. His faith gives him a unique perspective that allows him to accept both triumph and adversity with a maturity and grace that belies his young age.

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Opposite directions

NASCAR made several big changes for the 2014 season, and it's led to some intriguing storylines early in the year. Some drivers have adjusted well, others have not. A look at the early-season surprises and disappointments. 

StockCartoon: Cats, dogs, aliens and Jimmie Johnson

Owner vows to clean up 'nefarious activity' at birthplace of NASCAR

Junior, Uncle Si, Larry The Cable Guy keep media in stitches



France, NASCAR earn Cynopsis Sports Awards

Sprint Fan Vote: Making a case for all 30 drivers

Vickers, MWR prove to be resilient in 2014

Top 10 NASCAR television analysts

Guys and Gears: Behind the scenes with Air Titan 2.0



Talladega Fans

The 'Talladega' Story

The Eric Church country anthem "Talladega" isn't about auto racing. It's about good buddies piling into Daddy's old Winnebago and making memories that'll last a lifetime, writes Marty Smith. Door-to-Door »

TJ Patrick

Destined For Racing

The proud parents, grandparents and Aunt Danica all know what's coming for little baby Reese one day
-- perhaps even before she starts kindergarten: some sort of vehicle with a motor. Brant James » 

Bring On Richmond

Elliott Sadler talks about his second-place finish at Darlington in the Nationwide Series, his impressions
of Chase Elliott's surprising 2014 performance, and looks ahead to Richmond. NASCAR Now MinuteVideo 

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Swan Racing re-evaluating NASCAR Sprint Cup future

Read Story 

4 articles,courteousy Amanda Vincent

 (Thanks Amanda !!!!):

Swan Racing faces bleak future
David Ragan host event to raise funds for Down syndrome research
Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown hits South Boston
Chase Elliott vs. Kyle Larson: future Sprint Cup rivals?
Amanda Vincent

Courteousy Bleacher


What's Keeping Kyle Busch from Living Up to His Talent?

Courteousy The Stock Car Gazette ( http://MotorSportsNews.Net)

(Thanks Heather !):

Google Alerts

Daytona Beach News-Journal
DAYTONA BEACH — The Streamline hotel, the 1940s-era beachside hotel that is known as the birthplace of NASCAR, has sold, and the new owners ...

EDSEL B. FORD II - Member, Board of Directors, Ford Motor Company - "My favorite Mustang memory, certainly like many others, is the day I got my ...

Beyond the Flag
The NASCAR Sprint Cup season is eight races old which means that we are almost 1/3 of the way to the chase. Here is a look at where the Season ...

A random drawing among entries will determine the winners of the "NASCAR AT DOVER" contest. Five winners will receive two tickets each to the ...
Kansas City Star
NASCAR Sprint Cup veteran Martin Truex Jr. issued a warning to a Goodyear official during a tire test at Kansas Speedway on Tuesday. | NASCAR ...
Iowa City Press Citizen
NASCAR driver Joey Gase advocates organ donation a...: Organ recipients and family members of those who donated organs share their stories ...

Elmira Star-Gazette
Feb 21, 2014; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. (54) is introduced before the NextEra Energy ...

Beyond the Flag
The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season has been sensational through the first eight races. Weather aside; exciting finishes, intense racing and seven ...
“We're excited to bring our Nathan's Famous qualifying tour to Pocono Raceway, on a NASCAR race weekend,” said Nathan's Famous Vice President ... 

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 16, 2014) – Horsepower and Goodyear Eagle tires were replaced by music, games and all-night laughter in the infield of Martinsville Speedway last Saturday night. The ...                     - See more at:

 P R E S S  *  R E L E A S E S

NEW YORK – Cotton Incorporated announced today that Team Penske is the winner of the denim recycling challenge for NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams, an activity that took place in conjunction with the Blue Jeans Go Green™ 200 presented by Cotton, The Fabric of Our Lives® NASCAR Nationwide Series race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway in early March.
In advance of the race, teams were encouraged to recycle old denim in Blue Jeans Go Green™ bins located in team offices.  Every piece collected added another entry for that organization into a random drawing where one team would win a catered team lunch and a CV Products gift certificate.
Thanks to its denim recycling efforts, Team Penske won the random drawing and earned the top prize.
“The goal with the denim recycling challenge was to raise awareness about the Blue Jeans Go Green™ brand across the NASCAR community and to generate excitement for the Phoenix race weekend,” said Andrea Samber, Co-Director, Strategic Alliances, Cotton Incorporated. “The challenge combined friendly competition with a chance to help the environment and communities in need. We are very appreciative of the efforts of not just Team Penske but of all the teams that participated in our denim recycling challenge.”
The Blue Jeans Go Green™ 200 was supported by an at-track recycling program in which race weekend attendees dropped off any type of denim at one of four collection bin locations set up around the track. Denim collected by NASCAR fans and teams will be recycled into UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation by Bonded Logic, Inc. headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, and a portion of the insulation will be given to Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona.
To date, Blue Jeans Go Green™ has diverted more than 600 tons of waste out of landfills and generated approximately 2 million square feet of UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation to assist with building efforts in communities in need. Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona will be one of the primary beneficiaries of insulation manufactured from denim collected during the Blue Jeans Go Green™ 200 race weekend.
For more information about the program, please visit
NASCAR Executive Marcus Jadotte Leaving Organization
Jadotte to Serve as NASCAR Consultant for Multicultural Development;
Teneo Strategy to Broaden NASCAR Public Affairs Capabilities
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 16, 2014) – NASCAR announced today that Marcus Jadotte, vice president of public affairs and multicultural development, will be leaving the organization. Jadotte will serve as a consultant as NASCAR continues to evolve its diversity and multicultural development initiatives throughout the organization. Additionally, NASCAR will expand its existing relationship with Teneo Strategy, a strategic advisory firm which has worked with NASCAR since 2013, to support its public affairs activities.
“During his nine years at NASCAR, Marcus has made a truly meaningful impact on our business,” said NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France. “Thanks in large part to Marcus’ passion and leadership, we have become a leader in diversity and inclusion among the sports industry, and we will continue to deepen our commitment in the years ahead. We are grateful for his years of dedicated service to NASCAR.”
“The NASCAR ecosystem reaches nearly every facet of the American economy, so it was particularly gratifying to have worked with leading NASCAR stakeholders and to have contributed to the sport’s development over the last nine years,” Jadotte said. “I am especially grateful for the professional support and friendship I have received from Brian France and NASCAR President Mike Helton during my tenure.”
Among his accomplishments since joining NASCAR in March 2005, Jadotte led the development of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) and NASCAR Pit Crew Development programs. These initiatives focus on developing the skills of promising female, Asian, Latino and African-American drivers and crew members in NASCAR. Jadotte has effectively overseen NASCAR’s relationship with Rev Racing, which operates teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series for the NASCAR D4D program, resulting in an increase in minority participation and on-track success.
NASCAR D4D will continue under the leadership of Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president, racing operations (to whom Jadotte reported). The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program and annual NASCAR Diversity Awards also are among a number of diversity and inclusion programs started by Jadotte that will continue at NASCAR.

Rear Tire Changer Chad Avrit Opens the Doors to Swell Board Shop

C O L U M N S / C O M M E N T A R I E S

Gordon remains No. 1 in rankings; Dale Jr. lurking


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Kentucky Speedway Announces New June Nationwide Race Sponsor

On Wednesday afternoon, Kentucky Speedway announced that they have reached a deal with the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety to sponsor the 300-mile June Nationwide race at the 1.5 mile tri-oval.  The race will be known as the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign 300 presented by Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

According to the press release, the HERO Campaign is a national campaign dedicated to the memory of Elliott, a Navy ensign who was killed by a drunk driver in 2000 in a head-on crash in Annapolis, Maryland.  The organization raises awareness of the need for sober designated drivers in order to keep drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.  The Kentucky branch of the HERO Campaign will be the one that sponsors the race, not the national organization. 

Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock is happy that Kentucky Speedway is willing to help out with the cause.

"We appreciate the Kentucky Speedway's continued assistance in promoting our highway safety messages," Hancock said.  "As we gear up for racing season, we're proud to bring attention to this critical highway safety issue and encourage NASCAR fans to use designated drivers."

In Kentucky, the issue of designated drivers is perhaps a little more important than in most other states due to the state's alcohol laws.  They can be best described as confusing, and can differ from county to county, town to town, and even neighborhood to neighborhood (Ex: Louisville, KY is officially wet, but a couple of neighborhoods have voted to go dry to cut down on crime).  Over one-quarter of the state's 120 counties (38 in all) are completely dry, while 50 more are "Moist" (includes wet cities inside of otherwise dry countries, on-premises alcohol by the drink only, alcohol at golf courses, wineries or at an approved historic site).  In some areas of the state, a person may have to drive 40 miles from their home on country roads to legally drink because of the proliferation of dry counties.  Kentucky Speedway is located in Gallatin County, which is a wet county (allows for bars, package sales, etc.).  However, neighboring Grant and Owen counties are mostly dry.  Grant County allows alcohol only by the drink in restaurants that seat at least 100 people and derive at least 70 percent of revenue from food in three cities (Corinth, Dry Ridge and Williamstown), while Owen County only allows alcohol to be purchased at one winery within the county.

Frontstretch Line of the Week

Beyond the Cockpit: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. on Growing Up Racing and Owner Loyalties

"It was a lot of fun. He’d call when we won and didn’t say much when we crashed. He was a fun owner. He’d call to make sure we were ok after a hard crash but he never said ‘stop crashing’. He just threw our cars away at the bottom of his pond and says a lot of fish hang out around them now. He was a very supportive owner." - Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., on racing for Tony Stewart


NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
by Vito Pugliese

Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum
by Kevin Rutherford

Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR's Take-A-Breath Moment

Courteousy Bleacher


Why NASCAR Fans Don't Have Much to Complain About

Courteousy (

Jeremy Clements – Achieving More with Less In NASCAR

Jeremy Clement’s recipe for success is a combination of talent, tenacity and mathematical wizardry. Throw some sponsorship dollars and a little luck into the mix and it would not be surprising to see him standing in victory lane.

Late debris cautions harm NASCAR’s integrity

Let's be completely honest now: the racing in 2014 has been phenomenal, down to the wire at times. It is an impossible feat to keep every single fan 100 percent satisfied with the real race. For the past couple of weeks, it has been crystal clear that there have been late debris cautions that were flagrantly called to stack up the field for an "exhilarating" finish.

Rodney Childers leads Kevin Harvick to win while learning from mistakes

Even though the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet team at Stewart-Haas Racing has had a rough start to the year, they are the first team that can say this confidently - they're locked in the Chase with two victories.



Like many of you, I spent a Friday and Saturday evening in front of a television set watching NASCAR Live On Fox from Darlington International Raceway in South Carolina. After all, any race track with the names "the track too tough to tame" and "the lady in black" was bound to turn up some excitement.

NASCAR May Hold Key For Kids With Limited Mobility To ‘Go Baby Go’

Physical therapist and developmental scientist Cole Galloway has devoted his life’s work to helping young children with limited mobility and other physical challenges explore their world. And he may have just found the solution in the world of NASCAR, developing modified toy race cars to get these babies and toddlers moving in order to understand […]


Guys and Gears: Behind the scenes with Air Titan 2.0

Best Sprint Cup Series paint schemes of 2014

Greg Biffle embodies NASCAR Green initiative

Talladega qualifying moves to FOX

Kevin Harvick may just now be nearing his peak  

Best 2014 Nationwide, Truck Series paint schemes  

Tire test portends higher speeds at Kansas




The transformation of Chase Elliott, son of former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, is unfolding according to plan. At age 18, Chase's journey has been nothing short of ... well, awesome. Ed Hinton » AnalysisVideo 

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Fox will showcase Talladega qualifying on main network

Read Story 

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Pleasant surprise

With crew chief Steve Letarte leaving after this season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn't know what to expect going into 2014. But so far, Earnhardt's strong performance has been a pleasant surprise. 

StockCartoon: Cats, dogs, aliens and Jimmie Johnson

Courteousy The Stock Car Gazette ( http://MotorSportsNews.Net)

(Thanks Heather !): 

      90-second video now showing nationwide, including over 400 screens in Arizona PHOENIX – Cotton Incorporated and Phoenix International Raceway are taking to the silver screen to spread the word .. - See more at:

       HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (April 15, 2014) - 1993 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year and current Fox Sport 1 analyst Hermie Sadler will return to the track . - See more at:

Google Alerts

Marlborough Express
AMERICAN DREAM: Scott McLaughlin would love to race NASCAR in the US one he's achieved all he wants to in V8 Supercars.

Kansas City Star
April 15. By RANDY COVITZ. The Kansas City Star. NASCAR's Kyle Larson is enjoying the advantages of double dipping. Jamie Squire | Getty Images ...

P R E S S  *  R E L E A S E

DAYTONA Rising Creates Opportunities For Local Construction Firms, Welcomes New Families To Daytona Beach Area
Project Provides Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity For Design-Build Team
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – After a successful beginning to the 2014 motorsports event season, Daytona International Speedway is now ramping up construction activities for the $400 million DAYTONA Rising redevelopment project. More than 65 Volusia County-based businesses have been involved in the DAYTONA Rising project since its groundbreaking nearly one year ago, a number that is expected to grow as the project progresses.
The Speedway and its design-builder, Barton Malow, have awarded subcontracts, sub-subcontracts and purchase orders to Volusia County firms for the following areas: demolition, fencing, metal wall panels, asphalt, grading, drywall, plumbing, lumber supply, electrical, roofing, landscaping and masonry. Local firms are excited about the opportunity to be part of DAYTONA Rising:
·         “Barton Malow has created an outstanding team and we’re grateful to be one of the many local partners working on this massive project,” said P&S Paving Vice President Todd Phillips. P&S Paving, an asphalt paving, heavy highway contractor serving Volusia County, is providing paving and dirt services.
·         “Our company has a long history working with the Speedway so we’re thrilled to be part of this important project,” said A. W. Baylor Versapanel-Plastering Vice President Jim Crews. “Barton Malow and DAYTONA Rising are energizing the community by providing local companies with an opportunity to work on a large-scale project for the next several years.” A. W. Baylor Versapanel-Plastering, a commercial construction firm based in Ormond Beach, Fla., is fabricating light gauge metal stud panels, installing all of the interior wall and ceiling framing as well as installing all drywall and plastering.
·         “We’ve worked with the Speedway for more than 20 years so we understand the high expectations for DAYTONA Rising,” said Coleman Goodemote Construction President Charles Coleman. “Barton Malow is an outstanding partner and we look forward to helping them with this important project.” Coleman Goodemote Construction, a full-service commercial construction company based in Daytona Beach, is assisting with race-ready preparation for key Speedway events.
Several members of the Barton Malow team have relocated to the greater Daytona Beach area to establish personal partnerships with the many local firms working on the project. Len Moser, a Barton Malow vice president and DAYTONA Rising's project executive, moved from Gwinnett County in Georgia to Ormond Beach with his wife and two children in June 2013. Moser is impressed with the passion for the project within the community.
“From day one, our local partners have demonstrated their strong commitment to DAYTONA Rising,” said Moser. “Their dedication is helping to transform the Speedway’s vision into reality. This project is an extremely rewarding experience for me personally and professionally.”
Jason McFadden, Barton Malow’s director of project management, moved from Atlanta to Ponce Inlet, Fla. with his wife in October 2012. McFadden embraces the challenges associated with this once-in-a-lifetime project and has also experienced the local enthusiasm for DAYTONA Rising.
“The overwhelming support from the Daytona Beach community continues to inspire us on a daily basis,” said McFadden. “We’re proud of the progress to date and look forward to the road ahead. We have a great team in place and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to make an impact through the DAYTONA Rising project.”
About DAYTONA Rising
DAYTONA Rising is a $400 million reimagining of an American icon – Daytona International Speedway. Five expanded and redesigned entrances, or “injectors,” will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or “neighborhoods,” along the nearly mile-long frontstretch. At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests. DAYTONA Rising: Reimagining an American Icon, expected to create 6,300 jobs, $300 million in labor income and over $80 million in tax revenue, will be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and DAYTONA 500. DAYTONA Rising was recently cited as a key source of expected job growth in Volusia County as part of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.
Toyota recently became the first Founding Partner of DAYTONA Rising, joining the Speedway to help provide the very best experience for fans through over 20,000 square feet of engagement area, branding rights for the Toyota Injector and one of the new neighborhoods.
Barton Malow is serving as the design-builder for the project. In addition to DAYTONA Rising, Barton Malow has renovated the University of Michigan “Big House” and the Rose Bowl.
ROSSETTI, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm for the past 40 years, which headed the design for Ford Field NFL Stadium, University of Notre Dame Compton Family Ice Arena and five Major League Soccer Stadiums, is leading the master planning of the DAYTONA Rising site.
Race fans can follow the progress of the DAYTONA Rising project by visiting and connecting with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  Also, fans can see the construction project up close by taking one of the daily tours available at the Speedway on non-event days throughout the year. Visit or the Speedway Ticket and Tours Building for more information.
For tickets and more information on Daytona International Speedway events, visit or call 1-800-PITSHOP.

C O L U M N S / C O M M E N T A R I E S

Danica not a candidate to drive for Haas F1 team


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Today's Featured Commentary
Facing a Fading Future
by Mark Howell

NASCAR is suffering from an identity crisis. For all the efforts being made to keep stock car racing relevant in American society, there are forces at work that seem to be steering the sport toward even more dismal levels of attendance and acceptance. And the blame sits squarely atop the shoulders of the demographic Brian France so desperately wants to attract.

A 2012 survey of 1039 teens between the ages of 18 and 20, done by the American Automobile Association (AAA), discovered that fewer young people are obtaining their drivers licenses once they reach driving age. Their reasons varied from not being able to afford the privilege (36% said both cars and gasoline were too expensive) to not taking the time needed to get their license (35% said they never got around to it). 

Money seemed to be the primary factor regarding teens getting their licenses (25% of teens from homes earning $20,000 or less annually had their licenses by the age of 18), but there was also evidence of a societal shift when it came to overall acceptance of the automobile.  Of the teenagers surveyed by the AAA, 44% said they could get around easily without having (or driving) a car.

If this is the demographic that is so vital to NASCAR’s future, perhaps we should not be surprised to learn that this population’s disinterest in cars seems to match the on-going decrease in television ratings and spectator attendance for events all along the racing schedule. NASCAR has made great strides in embracing social media and trying to reach young people where they reside in today’s tech-heavy society, but it looks as though the sport is facing apathetic years ahead.  A lack of money will always be a central issue, but without apparent interest, there’s no need to explore the situation any deeper.
One of the conclusions to come from the AAA survey was that teenagers put off getting their drivers’ licenses “due to …lack of opportunity or interest.” As many of my college students concur, young people today simply don’t see an automobile as anything special, necessary, or all-that-attractive. Most students I hear from say they actually consider cars to be a contemporary evil:  the cause of greenhouse gases, global warming, diminishing natural resources, urban crowding, and suburban sprawl. 

To paraphrase one commentator when the AAA survey was released: today’s teens care more about Smartphones than cars. These are strange days, indeed….
Maybe cars today go unnoticed by young people because the vehicles are simply too reliable. The days of having to pay close regular attention to your personal ride are long gone. Today’s automobiles – even low-priced ones – run for many tens of thousands of miles before they need even the slightest tune-up.

And it doesn’t help that contemporary cars are almost impossible to work on at home.  Most modern engine components are of the remove-and-replace / plug-and-play variety. Even if a repair needed to be made, doing s would require scan tools, schematics, and a direct line to the manufacturer.  Unlike the old days, even locating and / or changing the spark plugs on a motor would be a challenge for most teenagers (provided they even knew what spark plugs were in the first place!).
And here’s another problem: Today’s automobiles all tend to look alike. The lack of designs coming off assembly lines has turned identifiable shapes and styles into generic duplicates based on eco-friendly concepts. Sure, a Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry has aerodynamics covered, but neither looks nearly as cool as a Plymouth Superbird or Pontiac GTO….

People my age who were teenagers oh-so-long-ago cannot relate to today’s auto-apathetic generation. Growing up in a rural, car-crazy community, both cars and driving were hard-wired into my DNA. I clearly remember being about four years old and sitting on my father’s lap behind the wheel of our family’s 1964 Ford Galaxie 500.  Dad would let me steer as we drove the often-deserted back roads near our home.

That all changed to full-out driving once I was able to reach the pedals and see over the steering wheel; being a pretty big kid for my age, that occurred when I was around nine or ten years old.  Dad would sit beside me as I drove the dirt roads around our house, and he’d let me take the wheel whenever we visited my uncle’s cabin near Forkston, Pennsylvania. The road to the cabin was a ten-mile journey on a dirt road off the main highway, and I couldn’t wait to make the turn, swap seats with my dad, and mash the throttle.

On the day I turned sixteen, I hauled my dad to the state police barracks and took my drivers’ test. By 10:00 AM, I had my license in hand and my 1974 Ford LTD on the road. We celebrated the occasion by me driving us the sixty miles north to what was then Shangri-La (now Tioga) Speedway for a Saturday night of NASCAR Modified racing.

Now I flash-forward from those memories of my youth to my life today circa 2014. My soon-to-be-18-year old daughter (the one who’s headed off to college this fall) has yet to obtain her license, and her kid brother who’s nearing seven says that he (and his friends at school) find automobile racing “kind of boring” because it’s “just cars going in circles”.
This overall lack of interest and desire has been hurting NASCAR’s ability to snare young viewers and/or fans for years now.  As long as young people struggle to see the relevance of stock car racing and how it connects the vital relationship between sports and American automobile culture, the population of NASCAR Nation will only grow older and grayer.

Granted, the other day my six-year old son asked if he could race a go-kart “like the car at Target.” He meant the IndyCar sponsored by Target that we so often see on signs posted around the store, but at least it was a step in what I see as the “right” and necessary direction. “I might go fast and hit the wall,” he said, “but at least I’ll have a helmet.”

As I heard it:  at least he’ll want to get behind the wheel and drive….

Dr. Mark Howell is a Senior Writer for Feedback can be sent to

Top News
by David Ifeguni

New Freedom Trophy for Sprint Cup Talladega Winners

Without the men and women in the Unites States Army, life in America would not be the same. To honor the brave men and women of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard, Talladega Superspeedway has created a very unique piece of hardware.

Named the Freedom Trophy, it will be given to each winner of a Talladega race in the Sprint Cup series, beginning with the Aaron's 499 next month. The trophy displays all five branches of the military as well as their individual logos and will be presented in victory lane by military personnel from a specific branch after each race.

"Winning a Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega just got extra special," Talladega Chairman Grant Lynch said. "With the Freedom Trophy, we pay tribute to our race winners, as well as our servicemen and women who make so many things possible for us on a daily basis."

Additionally, the speedway is offering deeply discounted tickets for military personnel. The Aaron's 499 will run Sunday, May 4th.

Goodyear Holds Tire Test at Kansas Speedway

Tires have been a topic of conversation throughout the 2014 NASCAR season, and on Tuesday, Goodyear held their second tire test in the last seven days, this time at Kansas Speedway. Less than a month before the inaugural Sprint Cup Series night race at the recently repaved track, Goodyear held what they called a “confirmation” test to ensure that the tire they plan to bring to Kansas will run well in race conditions.

According to a report from, more than a dozen teams participated in the test at the 1.5-mile oval. Rodney Childers, crew chief for Kevin Harvick, one of 15 drivers that converged on the facility on Tuesday, commented on Twitter that "no one needs to wonder if the track record will get broken when we come back."

Last October, Goodyear brought a multi-zone tread tire that several drivers struggled with at first. A different multi-zone tire has been used at Texas and Atlanta, along with plans to use it at Richmond next weekend.

"It seems like they hold up better, which is good," Martin Truex Jr. said of the tires on Tuesday. "They worked good at Atlanta when we ran them, they worked good here last year. It's just all about the teams trying to get everything they can out of the race car, and they use these tires up. So hopefully they'll hold up good enough, and we'll be able to go fast all day long."

The Kansas 400 will be held Saturday, May 10th at 7:00 PM ET.

Sage Fruit Company Signs With JR Motorsports

Sage Fruit Company has announced a new partnership with JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series. According to a report on, the company that grows and ships apples, pears and cherries will serve as an associated sponsor for Chase Elliott's No. 9 car, along with Kasey Kahne's No. 5 at Talladega (May 4th) and Daytona (July 4th).

“Sage Fruit is excited to be a part of such a great organization,” said Chuck Sinks, President of Sales and Marketing at Sage Fruit.  “Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has been voted the most popular driver in NASCAR for the last 11 years running and to be a part of this organization will help us in many ways.  With cross promotions and social media opportunities, this is sure to be a great partnership.”

Sage Fruit has sponsored Kasey Kahne Racing for some time. Rookie Chase Elliott heads into the off weekend with back-to-back Nationwide victories at Texas Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway.

by Tom Bowles
compiled by Mike Mehedin
by Summer Bedgood

Courteousy Amanda Vincent

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Jimmie Johnson's Helmet of Hope program finalists announced
Amanda Vincent

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Jeffrey Earnhardt Continues the Family Tradition

Jeffrey Earnhardt may have a famous last name but he’s determined to make his mark in NASCAR on his own terms. His determination is unmistakable and his desire undeniable as he talks racing.


Alex Tagliani excited about upcoming NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season

In February, big news was announced surrounding the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series when Alex Tagliani announced that he will be running the majority of the 2014 schedule in the No. 18 EpiPen/Pfizer Canada Dodge.

Darrell Waltrip Educates Samford University Students on Talladega Superspeedway’s Incredible $19 College Ticket

Four-time Talladega Superspeedway winner and three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Darrell Waltrip was at Samford University in Birmingham on Tuesday, showcasing his historic No. 88 Gatorade Monte Carlo that won many races in the late 1970s and letting students know that Talladega Superspeedway has the best ticket in any sport for college students – the $19 College Party Pass.

Hermie Sadler to Compete in Denny Hamlin Charity Race

1993 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year and current Fox Sport 1 analyst Hermie Sadler will return to the track as he will compete in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown. The biggest celebrity-laden Late Model Race on asphalt is going back to its roots at South Boston Speedway (South Boston, Va.) on April 24th, as host Denny Hamlin and an all-star cast of drivers return to the race track that helped launch Hamlin's NASCAR career, among other racing stars.


Edsel Ford and Ford Racing NASCAR Drivers Comment on Favorite Mustang Memories

The 50th Anniversary of Mustang is this Thursday, April 17, and with that in mind, Ford Racing asked some of its NASCAR drivers to talk about their favorite Mustang memory. Here are some of their stories, along with another from Edsel B. Ford II, member of the board of directors, Ford Motor Company.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series Drivers Signing Autographs at Richmond International Raceway

Meet the stars of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East on Friday, April 25 at Richmond International Raceway, before they race “under the lights” in the BLUE OX 100. All of the drivers will be available for a special autograph session, open to all April 25 ticketholders, at 4:00 pm in the Amphitheater.

News / Results,and Point Standings from this past weekends racing action @ Bridgeport Speedway ( ),are finally posted ! See my Bridgeport Speedway News page :Bridgeport Speedway !  , for all the details !

(  To the fans of Bridgeport Speedway .

I'm sorry it took so long.  Please accept my apologies.

 Joe )


Power Rankings: Johnson rebounds after Texas flub

Tire test portends higher speeds at Kansas

Jeff Gordon's drive keys strong start, lofty goals

Larson shows he can handle tough track

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NASCAR Nationwide Easter 'Picture This' contest
Where they stand: Nationwide Series points after Darlington
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 NASCAR Drivers Who Needed Weekend off

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All Hendrick — this week

It was a big day for Hendrick at Darlington. Jeff Gordon needs to win, but his consistency keeps him perched atop this week's Power Rankings. Teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson made moves toward the top, too.

Tap on the brakes

Even though high school student Chase Elliott owns two consecutive Nationwide Series victories, Hendrick should take its time transitioning him into Sprint Cup, writes Bob Pockrass.

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12 Questions with Nationwide rookie Chase Elliott

Read Story



Force In Motion

NASCAR driver Dylan Kwasniewski discusses how his father's death has greatly impacted his life, what motivates him at the racetrack, and goals for his rookie Nationwide season. NASCAR Now MinuteVideo 

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today, Goodyear is holding another tire test, this time at Kansas Speedway ahead of Sprint Cup's first-ever night race there on May 10th.  According to MRN's Dustin Long, the teams that will participate will be:

Chevrolet: 3 - Austin Dillon, 4 - Kevin Harvick, 5 - Kasey Kahne, 7 - Michael Annett, 42 - Kyle Larson, 51 - Justin Allgaier, 78 - Martin Truex, Jr.
Ford: 2 - Brad Keselowski, 17 - Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., 43 - Aric Almirola
Toyota: 11 - Denny Hamlin, 23 - Alex Bowman, 55 - Brian Vickers

13- Casey Mears and 87- Joe Nemechek are also listed as "Maybes" for the test.
Today's Featured Commentary
Great Racing in the Nationwide Series? Chase Elliott Saves the Day
Sitting In The Stands: A Fan's View
by S.D. Grady

People are talking.  For the first time in what feels like a decade, I'm not tuning into  the Nationwide race on Saturday in hopes of passing a couple hours while the Cup boys stomp all over the field.  Nope, for three weeks now not only was there damn good racing, but the star of the show wasn't somebody I already owned a t-shirt and die-cast for.  And I'm intrigued.  I am looking forward to the next Saturday show, because I have every hope that the entertainment will continue.

Who is the new kid on the block?  Chase Elliott is his name; a high school senior, who writes his own tardy slips when Dale Jr. wins on Sunday.  He also comes with a NASCAR pedigree, being the son of Awesome Bill from Dawsonville.  But he has also shown us he knows how to win, and will do so by executing passes as only a fearless driver can.  It's thrilling, and intoxicating.  I am a convert.

What's so different about Elliott's story?  We've had other young guns come up through Nationwide recently.  They've won a few races, come with a glittering past and even sport important numbers on their door panels.  What is it about Chase that makes the guys in the booth chatter away like excited monkeys at feeding time?

Honestly, we didn't expect this kind of performance from the kid.  While we've been hearing about Chase since he first sat in a car, it's been more like a casual, "Hey, did you know Bill Elliot's kid is racing?"  Even as he stepped up to compete in the Camping World Series last year, he didn't run a full season.  I know, and you know, that even if you're showing well in the nine races you entered, it's not the kind of experience that will usually translate into a consistent, competitive edge when you start beating sheet metal with the best in the business.  We simply weren't looking for Chase to be hoisting multiple trophies already.  After all, our despondency with the development series known as the Nationwide show has been well ingrained. 

It began with our eventual disappointment with the choreographed love affair with Sliced Bread.  In 2008, NASCAR fans were promised the next Jeff Gordon. He arrived with the blessings of all the best in the sport.  Broadcasters swore up and down that Logano would be the one to watch, and if not this year, maybe next.  Or the next.  Or perhaps the next.  Meanwhile, Joey earned himself an on-air reputation of childish rants when tempers heated up.  It just didn't sit well with the fans of the sport.  So, we turned away and hoped for somebody else to come along.

That's when the Nationwide Series devolved into nothing more than a practice session for Sunday's race.  Years passed with no other competitive drivers rising out of the major "development" series.  And we just stopped looking for something hot and new to happen.   

Things started to improve a couple years ago.  Expectations surrounding the Dillon boys have benefited by a massive media onslaught, multiple years of coverage as they climbed through the lower ranks and yes, by cultivating their on-air branding with cowboy hats, and borrowing the legendary black No. 3.  The fact they've got enough talent to back up the attention just smoothed the already paved path straight to Cup. Our disbelief in new blood started to erode.

Joining the brothers was another recent shooting star, Kyle Larson, the young Californian who is currently looking to snare the Sprint Cup RoTY trophy from Austin Dillon.  He got lots of mentions last year as he figured out how stock cars worked vs. his usual cockpit in a sprint car.  His learning curve has been astounding and exciting, but it's been more like working up to a slow boil.  We're just waiting for the pot to start rolling.  It's coming.  Thus when he stands with the rest of the top guns in the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup, none of us will be sitting down in stunned silence.

But you know, it really felt like between Larson and Dillon our cup for fresh blood is already overflowing.  There couldn't possibly be another starlet worth watching.  Even with the murmurs that Chase Elliott is the driver Hendrick is looking to eventually replace Jeff Gordon with upon the veteran's retirement.  Yeah, sure. It's just not possible.

Well, that's the beauty of racing.  Sometimes the unexpected does happen when you're not looking. Chase Elliott not only rode a rocket to victory in Texas, he stole the win at Darlington with four tires and sheer bravado.  I know now that when we head to Richmond in a couple weeks I won't simply be watching Harvick and Busch school the little boys on how to win.  Nope, there's a new kid in town willing and able to reopen the classroom for those cocky, too successful intruders.

And that's what Friday Night Fights is all about, isn't it?  Fresh faces standing toe to toe with the grizzled veteran and the end result of the round completely unpredictable.  Ring that bell!

2014 Sonya Strictly by the Stats

Top Three Rookies for 2014 Auto Club 400

) No. 42 - Kyle Larson Started 17th, Finished 8th
2) No. 3 - Austin Dillon Started 20th, Finished 11th
3) No. 51 - Justin Allgaier Started 24th, Finished 23rd

Numbers Game: Bojangles' Southern 500
by Tom Bowles

Laps led by Kyle Busch Saturday night, en route to a sixth-place finish. He led a race-high 265 laps in the Southern 500 a year ago.


Lead-lap finish for Phil Parsons Racing in the last three years at an unrestricted track. Josh Wise ran 21st at Darlington, the first time they’ve run with the leaders outside of Daytona and Talladega.

Victories by Harvick this season, a number which “locks him” into the Chase assuming he can stay inside the top 30 in series points.

Straight second-place finishes by Hendrick Motorsports. Jimmie Johnson was runner-up at Martinsville, followed by Gordon’s second place at Texas and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. filling the bridesmaid role at the Lady In Black.

Of the final five cautions at Darlington were for “debris” or “fluid on the track.” Only Kurt Busch’s crash, in the first green-white-checkered finish broke the trend.

Top-15 finishes by rookie Austin Dillon in the first eight races of 2014. He’s finished all but two laps so far, to lead all freshmen and was a respectable 11th in his first Sprint Cup trip to the Lady in Black.

Chevrolets inside the top 10 Saturday night, the most of any manufacturer. Chevy has also won a league-leading four of eight races so far in 2014.

Drivers with at least one top-10 finish in the Cup Series so far this season. Everyone with at least one top 10 is ranked inside the top 26 in Sprint Cup points. Among those drivers not on that list: Martin Truex, Jr., Danica Patrick, and Trevor Bayne (running a limited schedule for the Wood Brothers).

Career laps led by Kevin Harvick, in 17 Darlington starts before Saturday night. In the 2014 Southern 500, he led the field for 238 of 374 laps en route to victory.


Laps led by Kevin Harvick this season, leading all Sprint Cup drivers.

Money Ryan Newman won for finishing tenth.

Money Joey Logano won after a broken left-front hub left him ending the night in the garage (35th).


as told to Toni Montgomery
by Brad Morgan
by Jeff Meyer

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Stock Car Gazette
Win #2 Makes For A Very Happy Harvick
by Chuck Abrams 

New Freedom Trophy Awarded to Talladega Sprint Cup Series Winner; Begins New Military Tradition - See more at:

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TV Ratings Saturday: NASCAR Sprint Cup Races to First Place, 'Dateline Saturday' & 'Nightline Prime' Dip. Categories: 1-Featured,TV Ratings: ..
Rant Sports
In between this past weekend's Bojangles Southern 500 victory and his victory at Phoenix during the second weekend of the 2014 NASCAR season, .
Racin' Today

    P R E S S  *  R E L E A S E S
MAVTV, The Dave Despain Show debuts April 25th at 8pm EST

Renowned American motorsports journalist and broadcaster Dave Despain has made a career out of asking the tough questions. The Dave Despain show is an in depth series where Dave sits down with legends, current superstars, and the rising young guns in the industry. Each thirty minute episode is dedicated to one influential person in motorsports. The one-on-one interview format allows Dave to delve into the background and history of the stars that are sitting in the guest chair. With his vast knowledge of all things motorsports, Dave's approach to interviewing allows the guest to tell stories and memories from their lives and careers. From icons to current superstars...everyone has a story to tell.
After Action-Packed Weekend, NASCAR Takes A Cool Down Lap
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 14, 2014) – Five hundred miles at Darlington Raceway. It’s a challenging, exhausting endeavor – and on Saturday night, the Southern 500 needed overtime. Of course it did.
In a busy storybook weekend of NASCAR and TUDOR United SportsCar Championship racing, that was the necessary outcome.
Seven races were run in three countries and on two continents for a total of 989 laps and 1,169 miles. Victory belonged to 10 different drivers during the weekend, yet there was one clear winner above all: The fans.
They saw a little bit of everything during this memorable weekend…
-       In a green-white-checkered finish that extended the race seven laps past its scheduled distance of 367 laps, Kevin Harvick became the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season’s first two-time winner – not to mention the first to virtually lock-up a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. His two wins guarantee him a place on the 16-driver Chase Grid, provided he finishes in the top 30 after race No. 26 and attempts to qualify for every race.
-       Rising star Chase Elliott won his second consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series race, becoming the youngest winner in Darlington history. The 18-year-old’s navigation of the egg-shaped track reminded many of his championship-winning father, Bill Elliott, who himself won five times at Darlington.
-       Scott Pruett, arguably the greatest sports car driver in North America right now, won his second consecutive Prototype race of this TUDOR United SportsCar Championship debut season. With teammate Memo Rojas, from Mexico City, the pair followed its win at Sebring with a victory in Long Beach, Calif. It was Pruett’s 58th career victory, extending his lead on the all-time North American professional sports car racing win list.
-       In the GT Le Mans class of the TUDOR Championship at Long Beach, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia teamed to capture the first win for the recently unveiled Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.
-       Ander Vilarino, who took home the championship in each of the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ two years of existence, was victorious in the second Elite 1 race of the Valencia NASCAR Fest weekend in Spain. Yann Zimmer, a 23-year-old and last year’s rookie of the year, won Saturday’s Elite 1 season opener in Valencia.
-       George Brunnhoelzl III scored his first victory in this “Drive for Five” season. The four-time NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour champion led a race-high 69 laps Saturday at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.
-       Daniel Suárez continued his two-country success story, scoring his second win of the 2014 NASCAR Toyota Mexico Series season. Suárez, who also has two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victories, won at the Súper Óvalo Chiapas in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
And now, a break – sort of. Engines will silence for much of NASCAR and the TUDOR Championship this weekend, in observance of the Easter holiday.
But, there will be some on-track action for those needing a fix. The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour will race at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, N.C., on Saturday. For live updates throughout race day, log onto
And for continuous coverage of the first portion of this storyline-rich season, visit and

C O L U M N S / C O M M E N T A R I E S

NASCAR recap: Kevin Harvick avoids implosion

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Chase score card: leaving Darlington Raceway
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The Final Word – The Southern 500 featured SHR’s good, their bad, their ugly…and their boss

There is a reason we read the entire book, rather than rely totally on the CliffsNotes version. For example, the shortened description of Saturday night’s Southern 500 action at Darlington would read that Kevin Harvick dominated and went on to win his second of the season.

Team BCR Racing and Justin Allison to Attend Open Talladega Test

In preparation for the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 at Talladega Superspeedway, Justin Allison and Team BCR will attend the open test on April 16 and 17 in the #88 Ford Fusion powered by RoushYates Engines.

Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial Team Focus on Green in April

OneMain Financial and NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler will support the NASCAR Green initiative in a month-long campaign to draw focus on environmental awareness. The campaign will culminate with a green paint scheme for the No.11 OneMain Financial Toyota at Richmond International Raceway (RIR).


Spend Race Day from the Eyes of a NASCAR Pit Crew Member at Richmond International Raceway

The green flag may wave at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 25, but the action at Richmond International Raceway starts well before that. Join us on Pit Road from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm for a pre-race experience where you take in the sights and sounds of race prep – including Knockout Pole Qualifying and practice – from the perspective of a NASCAR crew member.

Darlington Raceway Rewind

There’s nothing like a weekend at Darlington Raceway to remind you why you love racing. The excitement begins to build as you drive through the tunnel. As you step out of your car and gaze out at the grandstands, your mind begins to fill with the memories of all that has gone before and the anticipation of things to come.


After busy weekend, NASCAR takes cool-down lap

NASCAR TV schedule: Week of April 14-18

Old Darlington returns a little more each year \

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Texts From Last Race: What went down after Darlington?

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What rookie blues?

Darlington Raceway is supposed to be the "Track Too Tough To Tame." But young drivers Kyle Larson and Austin Dillon had little trouble in the Southern 500 and continued to shine as rookies.

Don't expect to see Danica Patrick in F1 car

DAVIS: Young phenom Elliott living up to hype with early wins



Oh So Close

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is having an excellent season, but not good enough for his taste. He has a victory, but the ones that have gotten away are weighing on him. Brant James »

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Sprint Cup Race Recap: Harvick Dominates The Lady, Wins At Darlington
by Justin Tucker

For the first time since Phoenix, Kevin Harvick finally had the perfect weekend.  In the last five races leading up to Saturday night's Bojangles' Southern 500, it had been a case of whatever could go wrong did for Harvick and his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet.  Harvick hadn't finished better than seventh in those races and slumped to outside the top 35 in the remaining events.

Saturday night would be a much different outcome, the Lady In Black saving her love for Mr. Harvick. With just 63 career laps led at the egg-shaped oval, entering the night the veteran had a breakthrough, leading a race-high 238 of 374 laps on his way to a decisive first career Cup Series win at Darlington. Harvick not only took advantage of a fast race car, but also pit strategy.  Under the ninth caution, Harvick took four tires while most of his competition took two.  That dropped him to fifth, after a commanding lead but two green-white-checkered restarts then allowed him to work around challengers Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to retake control.

Harvick was happy and somewhat relieved after scoring the victory Saturday night.

"It feels great," he said.  "It's allowed us with the way the points system is to go for wins and not have to worry about the bad weeks too much."

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. would come tantalizingly close to his first Darlington win, but it wasn't meant to be after the final series of cautions set him up for success.  Taking two tires after a yellow for Joey Logano's broken left-front hub, with ten laps left Earnhardt found an opportunity after Harvick's comfortable lead got erased. Stuck behind Johnson initially, settling for second a tenth caution for contact between Denny Hamlin and Travis Kvapil gave Earnhardt an opening to briefly take the lead. But the No. 88, who blew by his teammate on the first green-white-checkered couldn't hold off a fast-charging Harvick during the second after Kurt Busch's crash sent the race into "double overtime."

"It hurts a little bit to come this close," Earnhardt said, as he has yet to duplicate his father's Darlington success.  "Running second's great, but nobody's really going to remember that."

Jimmie Johnson would rebound after a frustrating weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.  Johnson, who started 26th, really struggled through the initial 40 laps of the race.  Chad Knaus, worried about said handling made the call to bring Johnson down pit road several times under the first caution.  It's a move that paid off as Johnson began to work through the field, moving to second before the final series of cautions gifted him the lead through a two-tire stop.  However, Johnson would be shuffled back to third on the second-to-last restart after Harvick gave Earnhardt Jr. a push, leaving the ending squarely between the Nos. 4 and 88.  That left Johnson pleased with the effort, but realizing there is more work to do to get to Victory Lane.

“Things were really going our way when we took the two tires and got the restart under control,’’ Johnson said.  “Then, [another] caution came out.  At that point, I knew that us on two tires were probably in big trouble.  (Harvick) worked his way up there.  We had to gamble to kind of take a shot at getting a win.  Chad played it right. We were in the right position, but just caught two cautions at the end that kept us from going to Victory Lane.’’

Joining Harvick, Earnhardt Jr. and Johnson in the top 5 of Saturday's Bojangles' Southern 500 were 2013 winner Matt Kenseth in fourth and Greg Biffle in fifth.  Kyle Busch finished sixth, while seven-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon wound up seventh.  Kyle Larson was the highest finishing rookie in eighth, while Tony Stewart came back from a lap down to finish ninth.  Ryan Newman rounded out the top 10.
A look at the Bojangles' Southern 500 by the numbers.  There were 22 lead changes among 12 different drivers and 11 cautions for 50 laps slowed the race pace down to 131.211 MPH. It was a tough night for rookies, three of whom caused the race's first four caution flags. Ryan Truex, Michael Annett and Cole Whitt were among those who needed extensive time behind the wall, earning Darlington stripes that were matched by veterans Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne later in the race.

The Sprint Cup Series takes next weekend off for Easter, but returns in two weeks to the "action track" at Richmond International Raceway for the Toyota Owners' 400. The green flag is scheduled for 7:14 PM ET on FOX.

Chasing the Chase: Gordon Maintains Lead Despite Bad Restarts

by Phil Allaway

In Darlington, points leader Jeff Gordon was in position to pick up a top-5 finish.  Unfortunately, restarts have been Gordon's Achilles Heel in recent years and Saturday night was just one more example of that.  As a result, the two GWC's dropped the four-time champ to a seventh-place result, ruining what could have been a much better night.  As Matt Kenseth ended up rising to fourth, a late-race Darlington bounce Gordon's lead was cut to just one point, the slimmest of margins.  Carl Edwards remains in third spot, but fell to 19 points back in the standings. Much like in Texas, the No. 99 Ford found itself a lap down with 100 laps to go and needed a Lucky Dog to get back in the hunt. Edwards wound up 13th after charging forward late.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s recovery from his last-place finish in Texas began in earnest with a second place Saturday night in Darlington.  That was good enough to move Earnhardt up two places to fourth, just seven points behind Edwards.  Just behind Earnhardt is his shopmate, Jimmie Johnson, after a third-place result.  Kyle Busch is one point behind Johnson in sixth.  However, to punctuate how close the points are, Busch finished sixth and still lost a spot to Johnson after Darlington.

Brad Keselowski is up one place to seventh in the standings.  However, that move came after a fairly mediocre 17th-place result.  Joey Logano was the big loser of the week, dropping four places to eighth after breaking a front hub with less than ten laps to go in regulation Saturday.  The breakage plummeted Logano to a 36th-place finish. Behind him, Ryan Newman is up two places to ninth after a solid tenth-place run, while rookie Austin Dillon returns to the top 10 in points after slotting right behind his teammate in 11th.

Officially, the only driver that is absolutely "locked into" the Chase, provided that he stays inside the top 30 in points is Kevin Harvick by virtue of his second win of the year Saturday night.  However, the win only boosted Harvick from 25th to 22nd in points.

Point Standings (1-16): 1) Jeff Gordon 297, 2) Matt Kenseth -1, 3) Carl Edwards -19, 4) Dale Earnhardt, Jr. -26, 5) Jimmie Johnson -27, 6) Kyle Busch -28, 7) Brad Keselowski -51, 8) Joey Logano -52, 9) Ryan Newman -61, 10) Austin Dillon -62, 11) Greg Biffle -70, t-12) Tony Stewart -73, t-12) Brian Vickers -73, t-14) Kyle Larson -74, t-14) Denny Hamlin -74, 16) Clint Bowyer -78.

Outside of the top-16, but in Chase Contention: t-22) Kevin Harvick -111, 26) Kurt Busch -133.

Race Winners: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (Daytona), Kevin Harvick (Phoenix, Darlington), Brad Keselowski (Las Vegas), Carl Edwards (Bristol), Kyle Busch (Fontana), Kurt Busch (Martinsville), Joey Logano (Texas)
Never Fear, The Underdogs Are Here: Darlington Edition
by Amy Henderson

Underdog Selection No. 1: Josh Wise for Phil Parsons Racing; started 29th, finished 21st

Wise wasn't the top finisher among the small teams; AJ Allmendinger (15th) and Casey Mears (18th) posted better results.  But while those drivers are on the rise thanks to technical alliances, with Richard Childress Racing playing a heavy factor this one was previously ridiculed for starting-and-parking on a weekly basis.  Until 2014, anyway.  This year, they've finished all eight races — that's already more than they completed in all of 2013.  What's more, Darlington was the team's first lead-lap finish of the season as well, a big accomplishment. That means the No. 98 bunch gets top honors this week for a great weekend at one of the sport's most difficult tracks.

Underdog Selection No. 2: Landon Cassill for Hillman Racing; started 35th, finished 25th

Again, we're a little out of order here. Justin Allgaier had a better run than Cassill, but his 23rd-place finish is about where that team should expect to wind up. Cassill's team, by comparison is having some impressive runs with equipment that's underfunded, even by some of the other small teams' standards.  At Martinsville, a track where they've run used brakes (!) in the past, Cassill posted a lead-lap finish.  This week, he was two laps down, but he fought to 25th, ten spots better than he started, and had a better result than a lot of big-team drivers, too.  Cassill is an example of talent shining through despite the equipment he's in, and in turn, getting a team that badly needs it a little media notice.

Underdog Selection No. 3: Casey Mears for Germain Racing; started 31st, finished 18th

Mears finally got the kind of finish he should be getting on intermediate tracks, but what was impressive about his 18th-place run is twofold. The team was able to make the right adjustments, at the right times to make the car better throughout the race, something they have struggled with at times this season. Secondly, they gained Mears positions on nearly every pit stop, which will be critical for this team as they grow and try to compete with those running at the next level.  Mears brings to the job a smart, steady presence behind the wheel — he's going to bring the No. 13 home in one piece unless getting caught up in someone else's mess.  Germain Racing has the pieces; now, they need to put them together consistently.

Underdog Pick of the Week - Richmond: AJ Allmendinger for JTG-Daugherty Racing

My pick for Darlington was David Ragan, whose run was foiled by a Darlington Stripe that went a little too far.  He finished 32nd, eighth in the small teams class and several laps behind. Not my best week...

This week, the Cup Series is off for Easter, and they return to action April 26th at the short track in Richmond.  My pick for that race is AJ Allmendinger, whose pair of top 10s and 20.7 average get the nod over David Ragan's three top 5s and 21.1 average. Allmendinger has easily been the most consistent driver in this group in recent weeks, while Ragan hasn't finished better than 20th at the track with his current team.

Sidebar Stories: Darlington
by Phil Allaway

Kurt Busch's Tough Season Continues With Crash

Yes, Kurt Busch has a victory at Martinsville.  However, through eight races, it is one of only two solid runs on paper he has had all season.  Outside of Martinsville and Fontana, Busch has not finished inside the top 20, despite the speed of Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolets. 

Saturday night was shaping up to be decent; not spectacular, but the kind of run that the team needs to be able to get a rhythm going.  Busch restarted in the top 10 on the first green-white-checkered restart, after a lead-lap performance all day but got bogged down in Turn 2.  That allowed Clint Bowyer to get a run on Busch, taking Bowyer right into Busch's rear bumper.  The contact proved impossible for Busch to recover from as he spun and hit the inside wall head-on.

Busch was uninjured in the crash but displayed his displeasure with Bowyer afterwards.  Later, he talked about the incident.

"That was a terrible way to end what could have been a decent night," Busch said.  "We struggled at times to get the balance of the Haas Automation Chevrolet right, but we kind of found our spot just past the halfway point and made slight adjustments the rest of the way. We called for a two-tire stop at the end, hoping to gain some track position, but it seemed like everyone had the same idea. We gained a little, but the guys behind us all had four tires. I tried to hold them off the best I could, but someone moved me out of their way and it ruined our night. I hate it for the team, but we keep learning each week and we will get better."

The crash dropped Busch from a potential top-10 finish to a 31st-place result.  In addition, Busch is down to 26th in points.  While he is still safe inside the top 30 (he's nearly a full race ahead of Reed Sorenson in 31st), the driver is also 71 points out of 10th and needs to get some kind of momentum going after the off week.

Chase Elliott Shocks the Establishment...Again

Some believed the run that 18-year-old Chase Elliott put together at Texas Motor Speedway was some kind of fluke.  However, Friday night's performance likely put an end to any of that talk. Elliott led 52 laps on the evening, but had to fight from fifth on a green-white-checkered restart to regain control of the event. Blowing by Elliott Sadler on the final lap, while weaving through Cup veterans the youngster took his second consecutive win at a track he'd never raced on before.  The win gives Elliott a 13-point lead in the Nationwide standings over teammate Regan Smith.

For more on Elliott's big night and other stories from Friday night's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200, check out Kelly Crandall's Nationwide Breakdown.

Quotes to Remember: Bojangles' Southern 500
compiled by Phil Allaway

"It was just one of those deals where the strategy was going to be hard to overcome without those green-white-checkers there at the end. The cautions all lined up and this Budweiser Chevrolet was unbelievable all night. We were able to hang on there at the end and I knew I had that high line. I hadn’t showed it to them all night on the restarts and I wanted to save it until the very end. I kind of learned that last night as we were in the Nationwide race. It was a good tool in your tool bag to have there at the end." - Kevin Harvick, race winner

"Just didn’t have enough tires, you know. (Kevin) Harvick had the best car and the best tires at the end. It was real hard to hold him off. I should have probably ran the top down there in (Turns) 3 and 4 and made him go around the bottom, but I think he was going to get us anyway and we were going to try. A great run, good job by my team, this isn’t one of my best tracks so my team gave me a great car. I’ve got to give them a lot of credit." - Dale Earnhardt, Jr., finished second

"First and foremost, I’m just thankful that my guys never quit working and never stopped trying. We didn’t qualify well and really the first quarter of the race, the car was really far off. Chad (crew chief, Knaus) took big swings at this car and got this Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevy flying. It was really competitive. The restart at the end, I was talking to the guys on the radio and they said the outside was kind of the place to be. I hadn’t seen the front all night long and I was talking to Junior as I got out of the car and he said that was a bad move. And then certainly the push that the No. 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) got from the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) got him by me. But before that, we had two or three (laps) to go and I had a nice lead and I thought it was going to come our way, but it just didn’t work out." - Jimmie Johnson, finished third

"We went back and forth. We were better than I thought we were going to be -- I was pretty pleased with it really. There were three or four cars, five cars really in the playing field we couldn’t run with. I thought we made great adjustments tonight and had good pit stops. We did a ton of adjustments in the pits and came up with a good finish." - Matt Kenseth, finished fourth

"We worked really hard all night and probably didn’t have a fifth-place car. But we worked really hard on it and we had good pit stops and track position was everything tonight. Those last restarts we were on the outside, the inside and then the outside and we picked up one or two spots there at the end. Everybody worked hard and we will keep working on our car. We have to get better here but we will keep working at it." - Greg Biffle, finished fifth

"I guess we should be happy with sixth considering how we could have finished with our M&M’s Camry. I’m a little disappointed because I really feel like we should have gotten fourth, but we seemed to always be behind one of the cars spinning the tires on the restarts at the end. It’s a top 10 which is good going into the off week." - Kyle Busch, finished sixth

"We had a really strong race car and everything was going really well. Kevin (Harvick) definitely that number one pit stall and he was fast too, but I thought we were a little bit better than him on certain runs. There towards the end, I don’t know... we just kind of started fading. I got into the wall a little bit and got the right side flattened up a little bit and then from there, our night just went downhill. We just made some mistakes and got behind. We were the last car on two tires and then got ate up on those restarts. Actually, that last one wasn’t bad to come home seventh. I thought it was going to be a lot worse than that. Good to be leading the points. I feel like a missed opportunity, but another great race car and I’m happy about that." - Jeff Gordon, finished seventh

"A lot of guys had really loose race cars and this drove so much different than what it did in practice. We had a 20th-place race car and finished 14th with it. It is a good points night and we will keep chipping away. It is a lot of positives for us from the weekend with good qualifying on Friday. We just have to work out how to make these cars run when the tape comes off the nose.  This is the most worn out I have been in my NASCAR career. I think I just wore it out. I am pleased we finished and got back up on the lead lap." - Marcos Ambrose, finished 14th

"It was a long night. We didn’t get the finish we wanted, that is for sure. We ran a lot better than where we finished. We got used up on those last restarts and took some bad lines that didn’t go and what not. That is just part of the deal at this place and we will just have to move on to next week. The track was slick but it is the same for everybody, so that is part of the unique challenge of Darlington that we all love." - Brad Keselowski, finished 17th

"We had a decent car. On one run, we took two tires and the thing drove better than it did when we had four tires and I don’t know why. We were okay out front and I’m sure a lot of it is just the handle. We struggled a little more in traffic than a lot of the guys just kind of up on top of the track. The guys did a really good job making the car better all night. I think we had at least a top-10 car, maybe a top-five and if the cards would have been played right maybe even a win. Obviously, that one time we took two and stayed there. When we got four, we couldn’t stay there. I don’t know why that is, but I think we’re making progress. We weren’t as good tonight as we’ve been, but we were decent. I think we learned a lot... just very frustrating. Everyone on this team did a great job with the car and made the car better all weekend. Billy (Scott, crew chief) called a really good race. The pit guys did a great job in the pits. Really proud of the whole Aaron’s Toyota team -- they did a good job." - Brian Vickers, finished 26th after spinning, heading onto pit road just before his final green-flag stop

"We had an issue with the right front hub which broke. It sucks, because you run the whole race and get nothing to show for it at the end. I feel like we had a top-5 car once the sun went down, and we were able to tune our car into where we needed to and get our track position back up there. It is unfortunate that the right front hub broke and then that messed with the rotor and into the caliper and everything gets hot and breaks after that. Unfortunately, we don’t get to have fun at the end of this thing." - Joey Logano, finished 35th (broken hub)

"I hit the wall like 10 laps before and I guess the right-front tire just went down. Kind of rode the wall in (Turns) 3 and 4 and I guess I was just in denial, I guess I didn’t realize the right-front tire was down." - Paul Menard, finished 41st (Crashed Out)


Thinkin' Out Loud: Darlington Stripes, Cautions, Strategy and a career Grand Slam
by Mike Neff

Pace Laps: A Veteran's Struggles, Taming Darlington Rookie Style and Putting it All on the Line
by the Frontstretch Staff
by Tom Bowles

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Robby Gordon Takes TRAXXAS Race at Long Beach Grand Prix
LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 13, 2014) – As the Citgo truck of Venezuela’s E.J. Viso and the TRAXXAS-sponsored truck of Sheldon Creed slammed each other heading into the final lap of the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS race at Long Beach, Robby Gordon watched the two leaders through his front window and inherited the win as both drivers took themselves out of contention.
The race was the IndyCar veteran Viso’s to win, as he led the most laps in his first-ever SST race.  Creed, 16, always fast and aggressive, challenged Viso rather than be content to finish second, which resulted in the hard contact between the drivers.
Viso finished second followed by Creed in third, St. Petersburg-winner PJ Jones in fourth and 14-year-old Gavin Harlien rounding out the top five.
Gordon’s SPEED Energy/HD Supply truck became the unlikely winner after not being much of a factor throughout.
“I saw what was going on in front of me and it was cool to see two great young drivers going hard and putting on a great show for the fans,” Gordon said.  “That’s what’s great about these trucks – we can beat and bang and keep going which is what the fans want to see.  It was great to have E.J. a part of the series and we know Sheldon is going to a great driver and one to keep an eye on for many years.”
After the dust up between Creed and Viso, Creed fell back to fourth behind Jones, and on the race’s final turn – a 180-degree hairpin – Creed took an aggressive inside line and dove hard inside his TRAXXAS teammate’s truck and slammed Jones, driving him out of the racing lane and coming back to finish third.
“Had to do it,” Creed said.  “Last lap and I saw an opening and had to take it.  That’s what makes these trucks so awesome.”
“Well, I guess he had to take the chance,” Jones said.  “We’ll do this again and I’m sure I have an opportunity to make a pass like that on him somewhere down the road.”
The massive Long Beach-crowd was on its feet and yelling throughout the race.  As truck after truck pounded the road circuits tire barriers and keep on moving, the crowd’s enthusiasm grew.  Jerett Brooks, twice a podium finisher in the season’s first two rounds in St. Petersburg, suffered the hardest hit of the race as he stuffed his Synergy Electric truck into the turn-8 tire wall, then drove off to the delight of the fans surrounding the 1.96-mile 11-turn circuit.
Mexico’s Apdaly Lopez finished sixth, series rookie Bradley Morris finished seventh, Scotty Steele came home eighth followed by another series rookie Nick Vanis in ninth and Brooks in 10th.
The race from Long Beach will be seen on NBCSN on May 2 at 10:30 p.m. PST.  The first two rounds of the Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS will be seen this Thursday at 10 p.m. PST on NBCSN.
The next stop on the 2014 series schedule will be in Indianapolis, Ind. May 23.
Formula Off-Road Presented by TRAXXAS
Fact Sheet
Track:                                     Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix
Circuit Type:                         Downtown temporary street circuit
Race Time:                            Sunday, April 13
TV Schedule:                         NBCSN, Thursday, May 2, 10:30 p.m. PDT
Track Layout:                        1.96-mile, 11 turns
Web Site:                    
Twitter:                                  @SSuperTrucks
Round 3 Long Beach Finishing Order
Truck No.
Robby Gordon
SPEED Energy/HD Supply
Orange, Calif.
E.J. Viso
Caracas, Venezuela
Sheldon Creed
Alpine, Calif.
PJ Jones
Scottsdale, Ariz.
Gavin Harlein
A3, Smith Optics, IronClad
Mesa, Ariz.
Apdaly Lopez
Tecate, B.C., Mexico
Bradley Morris
K&N Filters
Romoland, Calif.
Scotty Steele
Steele Racing
Peoria, Ariz.
Nick Vanis
Los Alamitos, Calif.
Jerett Brooks
Synergy Electric
Alpine, Calif.

#4 car wins Southern 500 with great car and solid pit stops!

#99 pit crew of Carl Edwards gets new front and rear carrier


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Darlington debrief

The Bojangles Southern 500 turned frenetic at the end, with Kevin Harvick edging Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the win in an exciting finish. Check out SN's Winners and Losers from the latest race at "The Track Too Tough To Tame."

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Why We Shouldn’t Rush Chase Elliott

Considering Chase Elliott's run at Texas followed by his win at Darlington the next week, it would be so easy and so tempting to put him in a Sprint Cup car after the conclusion of the 2014 Nationwide season.


This Bud’s For You: Kevin Harvick dominates Bojangles Southern 500

When Kevin Harvick is not running well, he really suffers and has a terrible finish. However, when he is running well and able to dominate, it produces magical results. Tonight was a product of magical results as Kevin Harvick dominated the Bojangles Southern 500 in route to picking up his second victory of the season.

Surprising and Not Surprising: Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington

As the blinding sun faded into darkness, drivers danced with the lady in black at one of the toughest tracks on the circuit. Here is what was surprising and not surprising from the 65th annual Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Surprising:  Perhaps it was the full moon or the sheer intensity of the competition, […]

Darlington Recap – Edwards

Carl Edwards visited Darlington Raceway this week for the 11th time in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starting the day in 21st position. The Roush Fenway Racing driver battled with a car that was loose for most of the day and lacked any front grip as he ran in the middle of the pack for the majority of the 367 lap race. The crew worked diligently on pit road, making multiple adjustments during their 11 pit stops. Their hard work was rewarded with a 13th-place finish and Edwards remains third in the point standings.


Biffle Comes Home 5th to Pace Fords at Darlington

GREG BIFFLE, No. 16 3M/Red Cross Ford Fusion – FINISHED 5th “We worked really hard all night and probably didn’t have a fifth place car but we worked really hard on it and we had good pit stops and track position was everything tonight. Those last restarts we were on the outside, the inside and then the outside and we picked up one or two spots there at the end. Everybody worked hard and we will keep working on our car. We have to get better here but we will keep working at it.”

CHEVY NSCS AT DARLINGTON: Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson Post Race Press Conf. Transcripts

Team Chevy crossed the finish line occupying the top three spots at the conclusion of the Bojangles Southern 500, the eighth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race to open the 2014 season. After the first seven races the series had witnessed seven different faces in Victory Lane. However, after 367-laps around the facility nicknamed the track ‘Too Tough to Tame’ Kevin Harvick drove his No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS to Winner’s Circle for the second time this season.


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Still out front: Gordon leaves Darlington as points leader



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Sticking together

With broken wheel hubs, punctured oil lines and other issues, it's been a trying first season for Kevin Harvick with Stewart-Haas. But he and his team have stuck together through the problems, finding plenty of success in doing so. 

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Kevin Harvick had one victory coming into Darlington, but his 2014 season had been pretty ugly since he ruled Phoenix. His first win at Darlington and second this season has him sitting pretty now. Ed Hinton » 

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Harvick Back on Track with Darlington Win

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Out Front All Night

Kevin Harvick started on the pole, led the most laps Saturday night and despite some late-race cautions, passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win at Darlington Raceway. Ed Hinton » Story » Harvick interviewVideo

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Sweet relief

Kevin Harvick was frustrated after a series of bad breaks and poor finishes the past five weeks. But he took that frustration out on the field at Darlington, and then won a late shootout with Dale Earnhardt Jr. to win the Southern 500. 

Too close for comfort

Dale Earnhardt Jr. doesn’t want to be reminded how close he came to winning the Southern 500 Saturday night at Darlington Raceway. He had the lead late, but knew he would have a hard time holding off Kevin Harvick. 

Johnson settles for third at Darlington, still winless

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Kevin Harvick gets second win of 2014 at Darlington
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Darlington Raceway Celebrates Its Past & Looks Ahead to a Bright Future

Darlington Raceway is an integral part of NASCAR history. Many of those who have conquered the Lady in Black went on to become legends of the sport including Bill Elliott.


Joey Logano feels he’s living up expectations with success this year

When Joey Logano entered the Sprint Cup Series, a lot of people expected 'Sliced Bread' to be a contender for wins, scoring mutiple ones, and contending for championships. That didn't happen as planned as Logano first struggled.

Chase Elliott Tames the “Lady in Black” with a Dramatic Win at Darlington Raceway

Chase Elliott won the VFW Sports Clip Help a Hero 200 in his first start at Darlington, conquering the legendary track in a dramatic finish. This is his second consecutive victory following his win at Texas last week and his sixth top-10 finish in 2014.

Landon Cassill Hitting His Acme; Finishes 12th in Darlington

Landon Cassill silenced critics on Friday after wheeling his No. 01 JD Motorsports Chevrolet to an astounding 12th place finish at Darlington Speedway – his career-best at the track given the moniker ‘Too Tough To Tame’ and ‘The Lady in Black’.


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Kevin Harvick claims pole at Darlington
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MUSCLE CAR BRAND LOYALTY: And Other Failed, Obsolete Ideas
by Stephen Cox
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The 23-year-old Logano was dubbed the greatest thing since sliced bread as an up-and-coming young racer by NASCAR great Mark Martin.

Indianapolis Star
After so much parity to start the year, it's tempting to think there could be a record number of winners in the first 26 races — also known as NASCAR's ...
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Worth mentioning: Fan voting for the 2015 Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame has begun on and concludes at noon May 20. The five ...
Competing at the Daytona 500 is a dream come true for most NASCAR rookies, but for Cole Whitt, it's just part of the big plan. The 2014 NASCAR ...

N A S C A R * C A N A D I A N * T I R E *


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Multi-time Edmonton International Raceway champion and local product Erica Thiering, from Sherwood Park will be making her Canadian Tire Series ...

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Chase Elliott notches win number two at Darlington
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Jeff Gordon tells Larry King: Daughter will race

Dale Jr. reveals his keys to winning at Darlington


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Chase Wins Again!

Nationwide rookie Chase Elliott won last week at Texas. What he did at Darlington on Friday was more amazing, going from sixth to victory in the final two laps. Recap » Results »

Elliott leads standings »

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Complete Southern 500 Breakdown

By Bob Margolis

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Look at him now

Some believed Joey Logano's appearance in the Chase for the Sprint Cup last season was a flash-in-the-pan. Instead, Logano is proving his worth to everyone out there, going into Darlington fourth in the Sprint Cup standings.

 Weather forecast for Darlington !

(One Word... GREAT !!!)

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Rest Of Today...Sunny. Highs in the lower 80s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight...Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s. South winds 5 to 10 mph.

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Rookie Chase Elliott wins second straight at Darlington

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Young Elliott wins 2nd straight Nationwide race

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) -- Chase Elliott passed Elliott Sadler on the final lap night to win his second straight Nationwide Series race, going from fifth to first on the final two laps Friday night.

The Associated Press12 mins ago



Chase Elliott wins Nationwide Series race at Darlington 

 Darlington Sprint Cup pit stall assignments

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Kyle Petty says father Richard Petty adjusting to life alone

Seeking a turnaround

Kevin Harvick has struggled on the Sprint Cup circuit lately, so winning the pole at Darlington for the first time was certainly good news. SN's Bob Pockrass breaks down the entire field for the Bojangles Southern 500.

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Kevin Harvick wins Bojangles Southern 500 Pole; Almirola set track record

It was a great day for qualifying as several drivers broke the existing track record with Kevin Harvick taking home the bragging rights for beating them all as he picked up the Coors Light Pole Award for the Bojangles Southern 500.

CHEVY NSCS AT DARLINGTON: Kyle Larson Press Conf. Transcript

KYLE LARSON, NO. 42 TARGET CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed his progress so far in his rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and many other topics.

Target Chip Ganassi Racing Partners With the Oscar Mayer Brand to Introduce P3 Portable Protein Pack to the Racing Community

Target Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (TCGRFS) has partnered with the Oscar Mayer brand to help introduce P3 Portable Protein Pack to the NASCAR community. The packs of meat, cheese and nuts are designed for active consumers looking for a snack to help keep them going throughout the day. It is a perfect fit with the on-the-go lifestyle of NASCAR drivers and crews.

CHEVY NSCS AT DARLINGTON: Jimmie Johnson Press Conf Transcript

JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE’S/KOBALT TOOLS CHEVROLET SS met with media and discussed the disappointment of having fast cars and yet not winning this season, what he likes about Darlington, qualifying, the toughest days inside the race car in his career, and more.

CHEVY NSCS AT DARLINGTON: Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Press Conf. Transcript

DALE EARNHARDT, JR., NO. 88 NATIONAL GUARD CHEVROLET SS, met with members of the media at Darlington Raceway and discussed last week’s accident at Texas, JR Motorsports victory at Texas with driver Chase Elliott and many other topics.

Joey Logano Gunning for Second Win of the Week

Joey Logano, fresh off his win at Texas Monday afternoon, held a Q&A session at Darlington Raceway Friday to discuss the win, his early season success and much more.

Greg Biffle Looking to Add to Darlington Success

Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion, met with media members Friday morning at Darlington Raceway in advance of Saturday night’s Southern 500. Biffle is no stranger to success at Darlington as a two-time winner and has sat on the pole twice as well and talked about his chances to add to that list.



Harvick wins Coors Light POle Award at Darlington 

 VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 starting lineup

Darlington Nationwide pit stall assignments

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Rick Hendrick auctions off 2015 Camaro for whopping $500,000

Darlington notebook: Dale Jr. ready to climb mountain

All about winning: New format for Chase having positive impact



The Lady Awaits

The "Lady In Black" is ready to show what she's got Saturday night. Who will tame Darlington? Our man Ed Hinton is all over it. News & Notes » Racing Live! Saturday, 6:30 p.m. ET »


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Busch grabs Darlington NNS Coors Light pole

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What Makes Southern 500 So Special?

By Joseph Shelton

 How Gordon Can Take Season to Next Level

 How Kenseth Can Get Back on Winning Road

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In a slump

Jimmie Johnson has been in slumps before. But rarely has he encountered the rash of problems he has endured in the last month. Yet Johnson is still confident because he knows he's got fast racecars. 

 Kyle Larson kisses 'Lady in Black'

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Team Penske has freedom to tweak with winning drivers

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Saturday Night @ New Egypt Speedway !

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Michigan test speeds likely to dip for race

Logano calls Darlington a 'hit or miss' track

Newman, Harvick lead Sprint Cup practices

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This Weekend's TV Schedule

Friday, April 11

Time                               Telecast                                                                              Network
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM        Sprint Cup Series Practice No. 1                                        FOX Sports 1
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM          NASCAR Live                                                                     FOX Sports 1
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM          Sprint Cup Series Happy Hour                                           FOX Sports 1
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM          Nationwide Series Qualifying                                             FOX Sports 2
4:15 PM - ~7:15PM         NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Qualifying                              ESPN 3$
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM          Sprint Cup Series Qualifying                                              FOX Sports 1
7:30 PM - 8:00 PM          NASCAR Countdown                                                         ESPN 2
8:00 PM - 10:30 PM        Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200       ESPN 2

Saturday, April 12
Time                                Telecast                                                                                                                                           Network
2:30 AM - 3:00 PM          The Grid                                                                                                                                          NBC Sports Network
3:30 AM - 5:30 AM          Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200                                                                    ESPN 2*/#
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM          NASCAR RaceDay                                                                                                                          FOX Sports 1
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM          FOX Pre-Race                                                                                                                                 FOX
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM          Verizon IndyCar Series Qualifying                                                                                                   NBC Sports Network
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM          TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase at Long Beach   FOX Sports 1
6:30 PM - 10:30 PM        Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500                                                                                    FOX
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM          motoGP Grand Prix of the Americas Qualifying                                                                              FOX Sports 2*
9:00 PM - 11:00 PM        NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Final Qualifying                                                                                   ESPN 2*
10:30 PM - 1:30 AM        AMA Monster Energy Supercross: Seattle                                                                                      FOX Sports 1

In addition, will bring free streams from Southern National Motorsports Park, Langley Speedway, Evergreen Speedway, and of the Whelen Euro Series opener in Valencia, Spain.

Sunday, April 13

Time                                Telecast                                                                                 Network
2:30 AM - 3:00 AM           NASCAR Victory Lane                                                          FOX Sports 1
12:00 PM - ~5:00 PM       NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Final Eliminations                     ESPN 3$
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM           Moto3: Austin                                                                        FOX Sports 1
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM           Moto2: Austin                                                                        FOX Sports 1
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM           Firestone Indy Lights Long Beach 100                                 NBC Sports Network
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM           motoGP Grand Prix of the Americas                                    FOX Sports 1
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM           Verizon IndyCar Series Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach   NBC Sports Network
8:00 PM - 11:00 PM         NHRA Four-Wide Nationals Final Eliminations                     ESPN 2*

There will also be coverage of the Whelen Euro Series from Valencia, Spain on  The site does not currently have a start time for that coverage, but assume that it will be on Sunday morning with the time difference.

*- Tape Delayed
/- Highlighted Coverage
#- Repeat Coverage
$- Available via password-protected online streaming.  Check with your programming and/or internet service provider for availability.
Gene Haas Granted Formula One License

This morning, the FIA announced that the license application submitted by Stewart-Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas had officially been accepted.  As a result, provided that everything comes together financially and technically, Haas' new Formula One team will have a spot on the grid at the start of the 2015 season.

Upon receiving the news this morning, Haas released the following statement.

"Obviously, we're extremely pleased to have been granted a Formula One license by the FIA," Haas wrote.  "It's an exciting time for me, Haas Automation and anyone who wanted to see an American team return to Formula One."

"Now, the really hard work begins.  It's a challenge we embrace as we work to put cars on the grid.  I want to thank the FIA for this opportunity and the diligence everyone put forth to see our license application come to fruition."

Haas' team would be the 12th team on the Formula One grid for the 2015 season if all the current teams return.  Much like the failed USF1 team, the team would partially be based in North Carolina with an additional European base.

Stewart-Haas Racing is setting up a press conference for Monday to further discuss the move.  Look for more information in the What to Watch section of Monday's Newsletter.

Logano, Chris Buescher Split Nationwide Practice Sessions

On Thursday, the Nationwide Series held their two practice sessions ahead of tonight's VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway.  In the first one hour session, Joey Logano turned in the fastest lap with a time of 29.033 seconds (169.380 mph).  Kyle Busch was second quickest, followed by Kyle Larson.  Chris Buescher was the fastest Nationwide regular in fourth with a lap of 29.207 seconds (168.371 mph).

The No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports was fifth quickest.  Normally, the car is driven by Dakoda Armstrong.  However, Armstrong, who is currently 13th in points, has struggled mightily this season.  His best finish has been 18th at Phoenix, and finished five laps off the pace last weekend in Texas.  In an attempt to help Armstrong out, the team recruited Sprint Cup regular (and teammate) Aric Almirola to drive the car for part of the session and give some thoughts.

In the 90 minute second session, Chris Buescher, driving a special paint scheme to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang, turned in the fastest lap of the session.  The lap of 28.865 seconds (170.365 mph) was nearly three-tenths quicker than Busch in second.  Ty Dillon was third quickest, followed by Trevor Bayne and Texas winner Chase Elliott.

Rookie Dylan Kwasniewski had a rather rude introduction to Darlington.  Kwasniewski's No. 31 Chevrolet hit the wall roughly 20 minutes into the first session.  The team chose to repair the damage.  However, engine problems that cropped up forced Kwasniewski to sit out the second session, despite really needing the seat time at the difficult, egg-shaped oval.  He'll have to qualify somewhat blind this afternoon.

Qualifying is set for 4:00 PM EDT this afternoon.  Coverage will air live on FOX Sports 2.

Frontstretch Folio: Bojangles' Southern 500
by Brad Morgan

The Sprint Cup Series travels to Darlington Raceway for the eighth race of the 2014 season on Sunday, April 10. Television coverage of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 begins at 6 p.m. ET on FOX; your local Motor Racing Network (MRN) affiliate or SiriusXM Radio Channel 90 will handle the radio broadcast. Drivers will compete for at least 367 laps (501 miles) before the checkered flag waves.

Records and Facts

Joe Gibbs Racing was on its game at Darlington in 2013.  Matt Kenseth led the way, while teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch each managed top-six finishes.  Kenseth collected his third win of the season in its 11th race.

For Busch and Hamlin, success with the Lady in Black is nothing new.  The JGR duo and Kasey Kahne ran safely inside the top 15 for more than 94 percent of laps completed there over the last three years, while Busch and Kahne had an average running position better than fifth over that span.

Jeff Gordon will also be a threat this weekend given his extraordinary form to begin the year and his prior record at Darlington.  Gordon leads all active drivers in starts (33) and wins (7) at the circuit.

Kurt Busch holds with track qualifying record – a 181.918 mph lap in preparation for the 2013 race.

No rookie has ever won a Cup race at Darlington, making a win from Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon or another first-timer truly historic.

Track Facts

Track Length: 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval
Pit Road Speed: 45 mph
Degree of Banking: 25 degrees in Turns 1 and 2, 23 degrees in Turns 3 and 4
Frontstretch: 1,229 ft. long, 90 ft. wide, 3 degrees of banking
Backstretch: 1,229 ft. long, 90 ft. wide, 2 degrees of banking
Grandstand Seating: 68,000

Pre-race Schedule

Practice: Friday, April 11, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Happy Hour: Friday, April 11, 2 – 3 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1
Qualifying: Friday, April 11, 6:10 – 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1


Grand Marshal: TBA
Command: TBA
Honorary Starter/Green Flag Wave: TBA
Invocation: TBA
National Anthem: Miss South Carolina, Brooke Mosteller
Flyover: TBA

Race Day Forecast

Saturday: Partly Cloudy
High: 79
Low: 57

They Said It:

“To be able to go to your hometown, where you graduated high school, and actually perform in front of family and friends is huge. I lived seven or eight miles from the track, and my family still lives there. Having my family and friends there to see the race means the most. Our schedule is so busy and so grueling that being able to see everyone and perform in front of them means a lot. It’s important to run well there because I’ll catch a lot of grief if I don’t, but certainly a win at Darlington will be pretty high up on my list.” – Aric Almirola

“There are some moments when you have to step out of the ordinary to do something extraordinary. [Setting the track qualifying record] was one of those times. I just went for it in qualifying and I wasn’t just trying to race the racetrack in qualifying, I wanted to attack it. It worked and we set the track record.” – Kurt Busch

“It is definitely one of those places where you find yourself out of breath when you take the checkered flag. I remember the first time I did a qualifying lap at Darlington as a rookie and I got out of the car and was just shaking. I think my first words were ‘whoa’ when it was all finished. And we qualified fifth that year. You are right on the edge, trying to go as fast as possible, just inches from the wall. It makes you a little jittery. I heard it was even crazier before they repaved it as well, although since they repaved it, the speeds are up. But it feels really good when you finish and you see that you have posted a really good lap time. But it takes all of your focus for that lap that’s for sure.” – Joey Logano

“The reason for so many stripes – Darlington Stripes – on cars there is you are really just driving against the wall. You are carrying a lot of speed through (turn) one and you use the wall all the way out. You are riding it while you’re in and out of throttle up there. It’s not like it’s a straightaway. It’s a corner, so you are still turning. The same thing goes through (turns) three and four. You are also searching for grip so, sometimes, that line is a little bit higher getting in. Sometimes, it’s a little bit lower. You are using the grip all the way up to the wall, which means you are flirting with that wall.” – Danica Patrick

“I’m not sure that I’ve ever gotten the hang of that place. You hear the phrase ‘you have to race the racetrack’ at some places. I think they came up with that phrase after somebody raced Darlington, because that’s just how that place is. You’ve got to forget about racing other guys and concentrate on the racetrack and not tearing the thing up.” – David Reutimann

“If you can say you won a race at Darlington – that’s a feather in your cap. That’s something to be proud of, knowing that you’re in a group of drivers with names like Pearson and Petty – the pioneers of our sport who you hear stories about the races they ran there and the races they won there. Darlington is such a tough track to get a handle on and to be good at all day. You don’t see a lot of guys who have a lot of success there. You see only a handful of guys who religiously run well there. That just shows you how difficult Darlington is to get a handle on. If you can have a good day and win there, it’s a track that’s like winning at Bristol. It’s the same type of feeling – knowing that you conquered something that’s very hard to obtain.” – Tony Stewart

“I absolutely love Darlington Raceway, it’s probably my favorite track on the whole circuit. It’s a fun track — you can attack her, but she can also reach out and bite you whenever she feels like it. Yes, it’s a delicate situation, and you sure don’t want to be on the wrong end of it. You’re living on that edge at Darlington, putting the car against that wall all night long. You have to be aggressive, and at the same time be perfect, within a half-of-an inch from the wall. It does make for a really fun race.” – Martin Truex, Jr.

by Amy Henderson

by Kevin Rutherford

Opening Weekend @ Bridgeport Speedway !

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Bridgeport Speedway Opens Both 1/4 Mile & 5/8 Mile This Weekend

Tonite / Friday

1/4 mile track:
4/11/14 - 8:00 pm
18th Annual Regular Point SEASON OPENER - 270 & 600 Micros & 4 Cylinders. Gates open at 5:30

Tomorrow / Saturday

5/8 mile track:
4/12/14 - 6:00 pm
CHILI COOK OFF. $1 DOG NIGHT. Regular Point Season Opener - Modifieds, Crate/Sportsman, Outlaw Stocks, & Rookies. Pit gates open at 3 pm; Grandstands open at 4:30 pm; Racing starts at 6 pm

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. tries to move on from Texas crash

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Why Earnhardt wasn't his playful self on Twitter this week

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On the cusp: Points leader Gordon knocking on door of victory

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 NASCAR at Darlington 2014: Start Time, Lineup, TV Schedule and More By Mike Chiari

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Statistically speaking: a look at Darlington Raceway

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Biffle, Roush Fenway closing in on contract

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) -- Greg Biffle says he and Roush Fenway Racing are getting closer to a contract extension and could have an announcement soon.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has more than the Sprint Cup series on his mind these days - like trying to win a Nationwide title as an owner of JR Motorsports with drivers Chase Elliott and Regan Smith. Elliott passed Nationwide teammate Kevin Harvick late in the race to win at Texas Motor Speedway last…

Courteousy The Stock Car Gazette (http://MotorSportsNews.Net )

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   DARLINGTON, S.C. (April 10, 2014) - Early this week Roush Fenway Racing driver Chris Buescher left Texas in the Balance Financial Ford Mustang as part of a .. - See more at:
    - Speedway World Souvenir Store Records Best Sales Week Since 2000 - Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Properties Enjoys Highest Event Sales Since 2009 - Merchandise Sales Up 81 Percent Over Last . - See more at:

Google Alerts
The first NASCAR-themed qualifier will be on May 24, the day before the Coca-Cola 600. But instead of taking place at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the
Detroit Free Press
BROOKLYN, MICH. — NASCAR's Clint Bowyer enjoys racing fast and furious, but even he was awed with the speeds at Wednesday's Goodyear tire ...
Guitar Aficionado ⋅ dfanelli
Life Cycles: Former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty has transitioned from four ... talked me and [NASCAR driver] Harry Gant into riding motorcycles from . NASCAR, F1, News, Reviews, Blogs, Events, Photos and Videos ⋅ Editor
For the first time at Kansas Speedway, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will take place under the lights on May 10, 2014. Be sure to book your tickets ...

Dallas Morning News
Joey Logano celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Texas Motor Speedway Monday, April 7, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Herald |
Worth mentioning: Fan voting for the 2015 Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame has begun on and concludes at noon May 20. The five ...

NASCAR News ... name is synonymous with success at Darlington and it's a privilege to have one of NASCAR's rising stars join us this weekend.”

Honorary co-chairs David Ragan, third-generation NASCAR driver, and his wife, Jacquelyn, will helm the event, set for June 16-18, 2014. Teams of .

The NASCAR Sprint Cup practice sessions for the Bojangles' Southern 500 will be be held today at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina ...

Racin' Today

Like It Or Not, NASCAR Is About To Power Down

#99 crew finds Poop in their pit stall after Texas rain delay!

2014 Pit Helmets

C O L U M N S / C O M M E N T A R I E S

Title: Texas-Sized Triumph Redefines Normal for Chase Elliott

Website: Race Chaser Online

Larson, Elliott lead NASCAR youth movement

Great weather for NASCAR at Darlington Raceway


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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington Raceway: entry list

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Darlington Raceway: entry list

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NASCAR Drivers & Exhibits Added to Backstretch at Richmond International Raceway’s Track Takeover

Richmond International Raceway’s Track Takeover isn’t just about the frontstretch entertainment. There’s also plenty of fun on the backstretch, where every ticket gets you up close and personal with the track you love on Saturday, April 26. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Parker Kligerman and Cole Whitt headline the backstretch Q&A sessions, chatting with fans just hours before the green flag waves for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400.

Hot 20 – If baseball has the Mendoza Line, surely NASCAR can have the Danica Line

Mario Mendoza is a member of the Mexican Baseball League’s Hall of Fame, yet his legacy in the Major Leagues is not as illustrious. In fact, when one measures how competent a batsmen has been throughout a season and, indeed, his MLB career, the Mendoza Line is one players strive not to fall below. It began as a club house joke; hit below .200 and one has fallen below the Mendoza Line. Though he hit .215 over parts of nine Big League campaigns, in five of them Mendoza hit under .200.

Wall Stadium Speedway (  news  !

Downs Ford Sponsors Wall Mod's for 2014

(Thanks Jeff Gravatt !) :

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. ~ Downs Ford in Toms River, N.J., a leader in car and truck sales, service as well as being one of the biggest Ford Racing Parts dealers in the nation, has signed on to sponsor the third mile paved oval speedway’s Modified stock car division for the 2014 season, according to track manager Diane Krause. In addition to backing the premier division, downs Ford will also supply pace vehicles and display Ford vehicles in the grandstand midway during the upcoming season.
 “Downs Ford is a well respected dealership and has been serving the area since 1930,” Krause said. “We are very proud to have such a respected organization involved with auto racing at Wall Stadium.”
 Downs Ford Performance Specialist Brian Worth worked hand in hand with Krause to put the deal together.
 “All indications point to a great 2014 season with increased car counts, Worth said. “We are excited to get the season going on opening night, April 26.”
 “I will be at the track as much as possible to meet the drivers, crews and fans,” said Downs Ford partner Frank Delia. “Along with the Modified sponsorship we are also sponsoring Modified driver Eric Mauriello and Sportsman racer Kenny Van Wickle. I am pumped to get the season started.”
 Sponsorship packages for the speedway’s other divisions as well as individual events and signage are also available by contacting the speedway office.
 A 100-lap, $5,000 to win championship race for Downs Ford Modified stock cars on Saturday night, August 2, is just one of the highlights of an aggressive Wall Stadium Speedway regular season schedule which will begin on Saturday evening, April 26. Professional auto racing will then continue every Saturday night; weather permitting, through September 27.
 Among other special Saturday night events for the Downs Ford Modifieds will be Twin 35-lap main events on May 24, the 100-lap “Garden  State Classic” on June 28, a “Cone Race” on August 23 and the double point regular season finale on September 27.
 The racers in the Downs Ford Modified division are not the only ones with special events on the agenda. Competitors in the Sportsman, Limited Late Model, Legend Cars, Factory Stock and 4 Cylinder divisions will all have their share of special events. Late Model, Powder Puff and Demolition Derby events will also be offered during the season.
The complete schedule is available at
 Two pre-season practice dates have been set for April 12 and 19 with tech inspection starting at 8:00 a.m. and on-track testing to begin at 11:00 a.m. both days.
 Plans call for Saturday evening stock car racing events to run until the end of September featuring Downs Ford Modified, Sportsman, Limited Late Model, Factory Stock, Legend Cars and 4 Cylinder divisions. Each of these “regular divisions” will have some Saturday nights off during the regular season. Post-season events, the “Spooky Spectacular” in October and the Thanksgiving weekend “Turkey Derby,” are also being planned.
 More information on Wall Stadium and the 2014 Saturday night schedule can be obtained by visiting the speedway’s website at
 Wall Stadium is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400 and email address is



Winds of change: Childers' eventful path to NASCAR  

Can Sadler deliver at Darlington?

Kenseth eyes repeat of 2013 Darlington success

Logano, C. Buescher pace Nationwide practices

Smith looks to regain points lead at Darlington

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Tough to tame

Matt Kenseth experienced the joy and prestige of winning Darlington's Southern 500 last year. Jeff Gordon has done it six times. Both know it is no easy task. Who will it be this year? Our picks and predictions.  

Earnhardt anxious to put Texas mistake behind him

Earnhardt’s Daytona 500 win has impact on ticket sales

NASCAR fans gobble up Duck Commander 500 souvenirs at Texas

Carl Edwards fast on a baseball field, too  

StockCartoon: NASCAR's new hire has experience with bad weather



Mr. Darlington

Jeff Gordon may not have a win, but consistency counts for something. It has him atop the standings and Ryan McGee's Sprint Cup Power Rankings »  

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Gluck: 16 different Sprint Cup winners? Don't bet on it

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Speeds high at Michigan International Speedway tire test
Jimmy Weller to make Nationwide Series debut at Richmond
Amanda Vincent
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Sherwin-Williams to Sponsor HScott Motorsports at Darlington

On Wednesday, HScott Motorsports announced that Sherwin-Williams will serve as the primary sponsor of Justin Allgaier’s No. 51 Chevrolet this weekend at Darlington Raceway.  The No. 51 will primarily be advertising the automotive finishes division, in addition to the AWX Performance Plus Waterborne Refinish System the company makes.

Allgaier is very happy to have Sherwin-Williams onboard.

“I'm thrilled to have Sherwin-Williams on the car at Darlington,” Allgaier said in the press release.  “They are a big supporter of HScott Motorsports and NASCAR. I can't wait drive the No. 51 with the Sherwin-Williams colors on it at one of my favorite tracks.”

Sherwin-Williams has a fairly extensive history in NASCAR.  They currently serve as the “Official Automotive Paint of NASCAR.”  Prior to that, the company served as a primary sponsor for a number of cars in what is now the Nationwide Series.

As for Allgaier, Saturday will more than likely be his first career Sprint Cup start at the historic oval.  However, in five Nationwide Series starts, Allgaier already has two top-5 and three top-10 finishes.  His average result is an excellent 9.8.

Entry List Update
Note: These entries are accurate as of Wednesday night. However, they are still subject to change.

Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500: 45 cars entered

Drivers Ineligible to Earn Points:
No. 40 -
Landon Cassill for Hillman Racing
No. 44 -
JJ Yeley for Xxxtreme Motorsports
No. 66 -
Joe Nemechek for Michael Waltrip Racing/Identity Ventures Racing

Driver Changes: None

Drivers who must qualify on speed (top 36):
No. 44 -
JJ Yeley for Xxxtreme Motorsports (49th in points, 2 attempts)
No. 77 -
Dave Blaney for Randy Humphrey Racing (47th in points, 5 attempts)

Drivers who have a provisional, but are in a "danger zone" of missing based on circumstances:
No. 23 -
Alex Bowman for BK Racing (36th in points, 7 attempts)
No. 26 -
Cole Whitt for Swan Racing (33rd in points, 7 attempts)
No. 30 -
Parker Kligerman for Swan Racing (43rd in points, 7 attempts)
No. 32 -
Travis Kvapil for Go FAS Racing (37th in points, 7 attempts)
No. 33 -
David Stremme for Circle Sport, LLC (41st in points, 7 attempts)
No. 34 -
David Ragan for Front Row Motorsports (35th in points, 7 attempts)
No. 35 -
David Reutimann for Front Row Motorsports (46th in points, 7 attempts)
No. 40 -
Landon Cassill for Hillman Racing (34th in points, 7 attempts)
No. 66 -
Joe Nemechek for Michael Waltrip Racing/Identity Ventures Racing (40th in points, 7 attempts)
No. 83 -
Ryan Truex for BK Racing (42nd in points, 7 attempts)
No. 98 -
Josh Wise for Phil Parsons Racing (38th in points, 7 attempts)

Not Entered:
No. 21 -
Trevor Bayne for Wood Brothers Racing
No. 95 -
Michael McDowell for Leavine Family Racing

Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200: 40 cars entered

Drivers Ineligible to Earn Points:
No. 5 -
Kevin Harvick for JR Motorsports
No. 20 -
Matt Kenseth for Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 22 -
Joey Logano for Team Penske
No. 33 -
Cale Conley for Richard Childress Racing
No. 40 -
Josh Wise for The Motorsports Group
No. 42 -
Kyle Larson for Turner Scott Motorsports
No. 54 -
Kyle Busch for Joe Gibbs Racing
No. 55 -
Todd Bodine for Viva Motorsports with Frank Cicci/SS-Green Light Racing

Driver Changes:
No. 13 -
Matt Carter returns to the seat, replacing Mike Wallace. This entry, an extra backup off the truck to fill fields is expected to start and park.
No. 22 - Joey Logano returns to the seat, replacing Ryan Blaney. Logano is sharing the top Penske ride with Blaney and Brad Keselowski this season.
No. 23 -
Carlos Contreras returns to the seat, replacing Robert Richardson, Jr. Contreras is running a limited schedule with a team supporting by Rick Ware.
No. 28 - JJ Yeley is in the seat, replacing Derek White. This team is the one owned by White's group expected to go the distance.
No. 55 - Todd Bodine is in the seat, replacing Jamie Dick. Bodine will be making his first start in NASCAR's second-tier division in three years.
No. 87 - Joe Nemechek returns to the seat, replacing Kevin Lepage. Nemechek's team has had a rotating schedule of drivers while he focuses more on his Cup ride with the No. 66.
No. 93 - Mike Wallace is in the seat, replacing JJ Yeley.  Carl Long was originally entered in the car; either way, it's expected to start and park.

Since there are only 40 cars entered, no one will fail to qualify.  However, these teams must still qualify on speed:
No. 10 -
Blake Koch for TriStar Motorsports*
No. 13 -
Matt Carter for JGL Racing*
No. 17 -
Tanner Berryhill for Vision Racing
No. 33 -
Cale Conley for Richard Childress Racing
No. 40 -
Josh Wise for The Motorsports Group
No. 46 -
Matt DiBenedetto for The Motorsports Group*
No. 70 -
Derrike Cope for Creation-Cope Racing
No. 74 -
Mike Harmon for Mike Harmon Racing
No. 76 -
Tommy Joe Martins for Martins Motorsports*
No. 91 -
Jeff Green for TriStar Motorsports*

*- Expected to Start-and-Park

Not Entered:
No. 84 -
Chad Boat for Billy Boat Motorsports

Today's Featured Commentary
Professor Of Speed: Seeing Stars
by Mark Howell

Forgive my somewhat elitist tone, but here are some words of wisdom for Brian France and the ruling class at NASCAR headquarters: beware of celebrities wearing jumpsuits.
The citizens of NASCAR Nation know that one of the perks Brian brought to the head table when he assumed control of the sport was his connection to many movers-and-shakers in the entertainment industry. It was suggested that NASCAR was poised to enter a new era, one where “Fortune 500” executives would rub elbows with movie stars, rock stars, and the media moguls of Hollywood. The end result would be truckloads of cash being tossed at race teams and standing-room only crowds at every stop on the schedule. (Texas, with Duck Dynasty is the latest example of such "connections.")

As exposure increased, or so the theory went NASCAR would merge with pop culture, shifting from sports coverage to a more “mainstream” relationship with fans of all ages. Stock car racing, thought of as "behind" would evolve into a totally hip, 21st Century event destined to entertain all of the people, all of the time. What was once considered “redneck” would go “Red Bull” and NASCAR would reign once more (as it did during the 1990s) over the Sports Business kingdom.

The first few attempts were pretty rough. There was the “star-studded” 50th Anniversary gala back in 1998 when Brian France was NASCAR’s Vice President of Communications and Marketing (I recall Morgan Shepherd roller-skating to the music of The Beach Boys).  In 2002, actor James Woods hosted the Winston Cup awards banquet with musical help from Sheryl Crow, who had already hitched her celebrity wagon to Dale Jr. by that time.  At least the banquet took place in New York City...
Moving the annual Sprint Cup awards ceremony from Manhattan to Las Vegas was a bit of a gamble, as France & Friends tried to present a more “Gen-X” image for their sport. Instead of drivers and crew chiefs looking uncomfortable in tuxedos and shiny shoes at the Waldorf-Astoria, the trip west to Vegas turned NASCAR’s biggest night into a perpetual audition for “The Hangover 4”.
Granted, it’s not like the on-track action surrounding these experiments was very much help; it’s hard to lure customers when the overall product you’re selling is less-than-enticing. Hence, Brian’s creation of “The Chase for the Championship” and its various adjustments over the past decade.

But such efforts, should they fail permanently are not just the fault of one person. It’s not totally Brian France’s fault that selling NASCAR to the masses has been such a tough deal. The relationship between pop culture and stock car racing, whether you're a new or old-time supporter has often been a tenuous link.

Back in the 1960s, an actor/racing fan like James Garner could move smoothly between the two spheres – not many celebrities had what it took to party alongside legends like Curtis Turner and Joe Weatherly. Even the sports car crowd (led by the late Paul Newman) enjoyed a healthy connection to NASCAR.

Then came the major motion picture debacle called “Days of Thunder” and its approach to stock car racing that set the sport back about two decades. And the hits just kept on coming (everyone remember Ricky Bobby?)...

I recall working in the pits during the 2001 Winston Cup season. It was the time when pop star Britney Spears (before she went nuts, walked barefoot through gas station restrooms, and chopped off her hair) was interested in making a movie about stock car racing.  For research, Spears (and an entourage of about twenty – it was the era when she was a superstar to young girls) traveled to Daytona for the 400-miler in July to study NASCAR / make photo opportunities / get publicity.

Spears walked about the garages, pit stalls, and even attended the drivers’ meeting decked out in an Elvis-esque, star-spangled jumpsuits – complete with flared cuffs and massive gold sunglasses. Eager fans of all ages were kept a safe distance from the pop goddess, even the young girls who allowed Spears to have a career in the first place. Our crew chief’s daughter was disappointed at being shut out and ignored by the singer/actress, but such is the nature of celebrity.

So when I heard that "Duck Dynasty's" Uncle Si was strolling around Texas Motor Speedway in a shiny jumpsuit, my mind immediately flashed to the summer of 2001 and how another similarly decked-out celebrity tried using NASCAR to their advantage.

But maybe, just maybe, the opposite was true. Faster than you can say “Vanilla Ice at Pocono,” could it be that NASCAR was getting some much-needed mainstream media mileage out of the Robertson clan? They sure kept fans entertained during a rainy Sunday afternoon in The Lone Star State….

And isn’t that really what this sport is all about? Fans or Fords, celebrities or Chevrolets: it’s all really just a form of show business.

Don’t believe me? Go ask Brian France….

The Critic's Annex: NASCAR Now
by Phil Allaway

Hello, race fans.  Welcome back to another edition of the Critic's Annex, where I take an additional look at motorsports-related programming.  These days, there are plenty of telecasts popping up as series all over the country enter the heart of their seasons.  One interesting event to cover would be the telecast of the Pirelli World Challenge from St. Petersburg, something that I wanted to talk about simply for the mess that was their live streaming of the race on March 30th.  That was a problem, but a good problem to have (substantially higher than expected demand for their stream).  The series has quintupled their server capacity ahead of Round 2 this weekend in Long Beach.

However, I've wanted to talk about NASCAR Now for quite a while here.  It needs some time.  I have no idea what the show does in the ratings, because that stuff is very hard to come by if you're A) getting broadcasted in the overnight hours and B) not getting a million viewers.  And let's face some facts.  There's no way in heck that NASCAR Now is getting a million viewers in DVR Theater, regardless of ESPN2's massive reach.  I would be confident in saying that RaceHub outrates it right now, even with a more limited audience possible on FOX Sports 1.

When I wrote about NASCAR America recently, I expressed concern about the show's penchant for revolving hosts.  Well, that's been a "thing" with NASCAR Now since essentially Day One back in 2007.  Some of the hosts are people who have a lot of experience covering the sport.  This week's host, Shannon Spake, falls into that category.  Others, like Jonathan Coachman, not so much.  He does OK hosting the show from what I've seen in the past (not in this critiquing window), but it's an odd fit at best.  Regardless, everyone that hosts the show is a professional.

I still believe that NASCAR Now needs a permanent host instead of a new face on camera every three-ish shows for the remainder of the season.  No Coachman, no Chris Cotter or Todd Grisham, just someone knowledgeable about NASCAR who could host the show during the week, similar to what John Kernan did on the weekday editions of rpm2nite from 1996 - 2002.  Nothing against Cotter or Coachman, but no NASCAR fan who watches this show would think of those two as NASCAR experts.  Coachman might be a better fit on a show focused on fighting, knowing about his background with the WWE, which went beyond that of a commentator and into actual "work."  That might be a little hard knowing that the UFC is all-in with FOX Sports...

But I digress. Such a regular NASCAR Now host could go to the track every week, or they might not.  Regardless, they would need to be a known quantity to the various drivers and other personalities in the garage.

Spake could be that person.  She does well on the show with interviews, and she's been a mainstay in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide garage areas for the last six-plus years with ESPN and in 2007 with SPEED.  However, she also has other responsibilities (sideline reporting for College Football and College Basketball) with ESPN that effectively make NASCAR a 20-week-a-year gig for her.  She can't really focus on the sport beyond the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol due to her schedule.  It happens.  Those other responsibilities are going to keep her with ESPN beyond the end of NASCAR's time on the network (she signed a contract extension to do just that).  My guess is that a lot of people are going to miss seeing her at the track on a regular basis come 2015.

Nicole Briscoe has served as a host on NASCAR Now on a semi-regular basis and is (based on the schedules that I have received from ESPN via email) the closest thing to a regular host that the show has at the moment (she's hosted 13 of the 24 episodes that have aired in 2014 up to this point).  Briscoe's obtained her clout in the NASCAR garage in a somewhat different fashion than Spake has, but she's at the track nearly every week and is a known quantity to nearly everyone out there.

Mike Massaro is probably the only other person that could host on a full-time basis that's on the current rotation.  I often refer to him as the "Ice Cream Man."  That is not meant to be derogatory in any way.  It is, in fact, a reference to a scene in the 2002 film Mr. Deeds in which Chuck Cedar (played by Peter Gallagher) claimed that he hid in Roseanne's dumpster disguised as a tub of ice cream in order to get the "scoop" on a story about her.  Having to stake out municipal airports for years in order to interview drivers, all because NASCAR wouldn't give ESPN reporters credentials for Cup races during a time period in the early 2000s would qualify as the stock car equivalent of that movie. Despite those scenes being ancient history, Massaro has hosted the show successfully in recent years and I have no reason to believe that he wouldn't be able to keep up the good work.  Also, he's New England-based, while Spake and Briscoe both live in the Charlotte area.

NASCAR Now episodes these days tend to be dependent on interviews.  Again, using Wednesday night/early this morning's episode, you had Spake interview Chase Elliott, Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer.  Biffle and Bowyer were both in Michigan for the Goodyear tire test, which really didn't get all that much discussion, at least not from Bowyer.  Elliott was on to talk about his victory and his start to 2014.  Andy Petree was also featured, talking about Elliott's maturity as a driver and how well-respected he is in the series.  That's all nice.  The Elliott interview was done over the phone, while the others were all via satellite (Petree was in what appeared to be his race shop, as an old No. 33 truck was behind him).

The fact that NASCAR Now originates from Bristol, Connecticut has hurt the show from Day One, a weakness that will continue to hurt it until its likely cancellation at the end of the season.  That's fine if you're only showing highlights, like the weekend rpm2nite's with Kenny Mayne and Rece Davis did, but it just doesn't work for weeknight shows.  I don't understand why ESPN couldn't have at least had a desk in Charlotte for the show, like what NASCAR America has.  They still have a building and employees in Charlotte, and I think that it could have been a good use for it.  I tend to not really like phone interviews because all kinds of stupidity can happen there.  We're talking about a network that has been fooled at least once by Captain Janks.  (You've probably heard of that guy.)  Even with a satellite feed, it's just not the same as being able to go to a shop and interview a driver (like NBC Sports Network's Kelli Stavast did with David Ragan yesterday), or having a driver in-studio like FOX Sports 1 did yesterday with Patrick Staropoli. 

ESPN can get drivers in-studio for NASCAR Now, but the teams aren't dumb. They know that the show airs via tape delay during DVR Theater.  The only people who watch live are insomniacs, west coast viewers watching right before bedtime and people who work overnight shifts, but have access to cable TV in their workplace.  Hence, the only time you'll see a driver live in the studio is when they come up to Bristol to do a "Car Wash."  In that case, doing NASCAR Now would be Stop No. 4 in an eight-stop schedule.

Ultimately, NASCAR Now can still be a good show.  However, while ESPN gave the program a nice time slot at first (roughly what NASCAR America has now on NBC Sports Network), they never seemed willing to do what it took to really establish the show with the industry.  That led fans to gravitate towards NASCAR RaceHub on SPEED (now FOX Sports 1) once it premiered.  NASCAR Now experimented with things like the Monday roundtables hosted by Allen Bestwick.  Those were always fun to watch, but soon dropped by the wayside.  Also, getting an hour for those episodes in the schedule proved to be easier said than done.

Even with good content, the show appears to be just playing out the string until the contract ends in November.  At that point, it'll likely be over as ESPN won't feel much like spending the money and licensing the footage to put on such a show if they don't have rights to air the races.  Also, as NASCAR showed in 2001, there's no guarantee that they would even be allowed to continue production past November if they wanted to.  I plan to give the show one last look before the season ends, in what I anticipate will be a farewell after eight years.
Frontstretch Line of the Week

Beyond the Cockpit: Greg Biffle Talks Everything From Extension To Animals

"It is pretty neat to see that. He won a tremendous amount of races and was a very tough competitor. It was funny how they did the regions back then. He was in my region and we were competing with each other. I was running in Washington State and he was completely across the country. It was a fun time back then." - Greg Biffle, on Larry Phillips, 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Nominee


Voice of Vito: Win And In? Five Drivers Who Can Call Their Shot
by Vito Pugliese

Fantasy Insider: Plan Of Attack For The Lady In Black
by Jeff Wolfe

Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR Report Card Time As Darlington Looms
by Danny Peters

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Stock Car Gazette
If There’s No Rain Delay, Will the NASCAR TV Ratings Still Be Lousy?
by Lou Modestino

Google Alerts

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U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is the honorary pace car driver for the event and will start the race behind the wheel. NASCAR veteran Brett Bodine ...

C O L U M N S / C O M M E N T A R I E S

NASCAR power rankings: Deserving Jeff Gordon No. 1

Speeds hit 220 mph at Michigan Goodyear tire test

Darlington is Too Tough to Tame for Mother Nature


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Brad Keselowski ups his game, tones down the rhetoric

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Meet Darlington Raceway’s Real ‘Lady in Black’

While the ‘Lady in Black’, otherwise known as Darlington Raceway, gets ready to bestow her stripes and tame the best drivers NASCAR has to offer this weekend, the real ‘Lady in Black’ Kaitlyn Bailey is ready to assume her role as the track’s most visible ambassador. Bailey was awarded the ‘Lady in Black’ honor after […]

Does the Lady Have a Mild Crush on Martin Truex Jr.?

It appears the Lady and Martin Truex Jr. have developed a special chemistry. “I’d rather think of it as a mutual feeling of respect,” said Truex about the Lady in Black, the longtime nickname for the formidable Darlington Raceway, site of Saturday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500.

Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes to Sponsor HScott Motorsports and Justin Allgaier at Darlington Raceway

HScott Motorsports announced today that Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes will sponsor the No. 51 Chevrolet SS driven by Justin Allgaier in this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race at Darlington Raceway. Sherwin-Williams is the official provider of automotive paint and transportation finishes for NASCAR and supplies these products to HScott Motorsports as well.

Gilliland Says ‘Lady in Black’ Is a 10

David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 A&W All American Food Ford, comments on racing at Darlington Raceway:

Reutimann Focuses on One Foe at Darlington

David Reutimann, driver of the No. 35 MDS Transport Ford, comments on racing at Darlington Raceway: "My first trip to Darlington was in the Truck Series. And I absolutely outdid myself on getting my 'Darlington stripe.' I got oin practice and might even have gotten one in qualifying. It's one of those places where, if you're not up against the fence and using up the right side of the car, you're not trying hard enough. I definitely think I got credit for trying hard enough my first race there.


Teams push 217-plus mph at Michigan test

Knaus comments on Jimmie's win-less start

Vickers to honor Florida State at Daytona

How long can NASCAR's winner's streak go?

 Dale Jr. on Elliott's win: 'Enjoy this moment'

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Dale Jr.: 'We may have 14-20 different winners'

On Wednesday at a Goodyear Tire test at Michigan International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Jr. said the Brooklyn, Mich., facility would be a good place for him to clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with a second win. Before February's Daytona 500 win made him a virtual lock to make…

Team Penske can look toward Chase after Logano win

  • As he chased Joey Logano around Texas Motor Speedway, more than a few people wondered if Brad Keselowski was letting off the gas just a little bit to help his teammate to a win. As Logano closed in on the white flag that would have wrapped up the win, a late caution sent the field to pit road. …

    The Associated Press
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    NASCAR's leading lady focused on taming the 'Lady in Black'

    On their game: Team Penske boys flying high in 2014



    Donnie's Depth

    Some folks you have to take time to talk to. Whether it's about an eye-opening Indy 500 run, old-school NASCAR or the way things ought to be, Donnie Allison is one of them. Marty Smith » Marty & McGeeListen 

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    Dale Earnhardt Jr. tops 215 mph during Michigan test

    Back to the drawing board

    Darlington Raceway once owned Labor Day weekend. Then, NASCAR powers switched its Sprint Cup race to Mother's Day weekend. Now 'The Lady in Black' starts over. SN's Bob Pockrass sets up Saturday night. 

    Look who's back on top

    Different drivers keep winning and clawing themselves into the 2014 Chase. But one driver is climbing the conventional way — with consistency that has him atop the standings and our Power Rankings.  

     NASCAR tracks to host competitive hot-dog eating contests  

    Some smiling, some not after weird race at Texas

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    4 articles,courteousy Amanda Vincent

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    Michael Waltrip Racing honors Florida State at Daytona
    Where they stand: Nationwide Series points after Texas Motor Speedway
    Chase score card: leaving Texas Motor Speedway
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    Fantasy insider -- Darlington
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    submitted by Amanda Vincent

    Courteousy The


    News ‘N’ Notes

    - Viva Motorsports and SS Green Light Racing announced Tuesday driver Jimmy Weller will make his Nationwide Series debut at Richmond International Raceway this month when the series takes to the 0.75-mile track for the ToyotaCare 250. The two organizations have partnered this season, and will field the No. 55 Chevrolet Camero for Weller, 28, who has driven for SS Green Light Racing in the NCWTS for the past two seasons.

    - Front Row Motorsports announced that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran David Reutimann will again be behind the wheel of the No. 35 MDS Transport Ford Fusion for this weekend’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington. Reutimann finished 38th last week at Texas Motor Speedway in the Duck Commander 500, just his second start this season for FRM in four race attempts.

    Numbers Game: Duck Commander 500
    by Tom Bowles

    Laps led by Kyle Larson this season, on the Cup level, despite Monday’s fifth-place finish at Texas. Larson has three top 10s this season, wound up runner-up at Fontana, but it’s Justin Allgaier (with four) who has the most laps led among NASCAR’s eight freshmen this year.

    Wins by Hendrick Motorsports in 2014 despite nine top-5 finishes, the most of any organization on the circuit. Since Earnhardt’s Daytona victory, they’ve run second four times, most recently with Jeff Gordon Monday at Texas.

    Lead changes in the final six laps at Texas, including one on the last lap, as Joey Logano passed Jeff Gordon for the victory.

    Flat left-rear tires for Kurt Busch on Sunday en route to a 39th-place finish. Busch now has three runs of 35th or worse this season as compared to two top-5 finishes.

    Cars who failed to qualify for Texas: David Stremme (No. 33 – Circle Sport), J.J. Yeley (No. 44 – Xxxtreme Motorsports), Joe Nemechek (No. 66 – JRR/MWR), Ryan Truex (No. 83 – BK Racing).

    Top-10 finishes for Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth, leading all drivers on the Cup circuit. They’re also 1-2 in series points.


    Pole winners in seven races this season. That’s right; while that win thing is getting major pub, we have yet to see a repeat first-place starter under NASCAR’s new qualifying format. In case you’re wondering, Tony Stewart (Texas) joined Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited club this past weekend. 

    Drivers that remain within one race of the points lead after Texas. Brad Keselowski is the last of those, 41 points back after a pit road speeding penalty left him 15th in Monday’s event.

    Laps led by Penske Racing on Monday, the most of any organization.

    Laps run by Dave Blaney in his first Cup start of the season before retiring with steering problems. The No. 77 team had missed the first four races of 2014 before taking time off to regroup.

    Miles run Monday, the longest Sprint Cup race in the history of the Texas track.

    The purse for Sunday’s event, a new record for Texas Motor Speedway.

    Today's Featured Commentary
    Harvick's Struggles: Is He The Crash Test Dummy For SHR?
    Fan's View
    by S.D. Grady

    Urban myths abound in NASCAR. One of my favorites is that there always must be an R&D team in a successful stable. For years beyond count, I was thoroughly convinced the No. 25 car at Hendrick existed for the simple reason it provided a testing ground for the No. 24 & No. 48 teams. It really made sense, if you stopped to think about it. How could you experiment with setups, new engine parts and spring ratios when on-track testing is restricted beyond belief and the sport is so competitive? You don't dare try out samples during an actual race if you want to win a Cup.

    In 2014, much has been discussed regarding the newly expanded Stewart-Haas camp. Would the electric personalities of Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch provide entertainment in the garages? Could their engineering department put four competitive vehicles on the track every week? Were they strong enough to take this game to the next level?

    Now, a quarter of the way into the regular season, we can start to see a pattern... and it's a little intriguing. Perhaps the R&D myth is back in town?

    At Daytona, both the No. 14 and No. 10 cars switched out their engines after early problems during practice. The next week, the No. 41 engine died (uh oh -- sounds of doom for the stable) but Harvick still took home the trophy. Then, something odd happened.  Harvick's luck either bottomed out or his cars stopped working.

    In Vegas, he had a wheel hub assembly fail. Bad part? Bad luck? In Bristol, he wrecked and finished 39th.  Already, that grand points day in Phoenix had begun to disappear. In California, the No. 4 finished two laps down, tires tearing his SHR Chevy to shreds. Yes, in Martinsville he managed a shiny 7th -- but short tracks have a "wild card" aspect to them, at times like the plate tracks. As it was, Harvick battled a faulty rear end chain that enters the "parts we never heard of... until this season" category.

    Then came Texas.  Things were looking good, Harvick battling for the lead until his engine detonated promptly on lap 28.  Not only that, but teammate Kurt Busch couldn't keep tires on his car to save his life. A sample setup? It didn't appear that the tire issue was universal. Other teams ran the entire weekend without a problem.

    Now, we are looking at the current driver standings and something else is noted. The only driver remaining in the Top 16 from SHR is Tony Stewart in 14th.  Funny, considering both Harvick and Busch are virtually "locked into" the Chase with their wins. I seriously doubt SHR ever intended to get Danica Patrick into the Chase -- it just doesn't seem probable she would be that competitive.  However, it would be a major feather in the SHR cap to have three out of four teams in the running for the Sprint Cup come September.   How improbable would it be for the braintrust, then to decide to focus on putting the best known parts and setups into the No. 14, while trying out a few tricks on the Nos. 4 and 41?  They've got time. After all, there's 19 races left to massage the points and wins.  Or... is Hendrick providing SHR the dregs of their engine supply in an attempt to keep the field open for the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

    Ah, this drama is the good stuff. Of course, you'll never get either Mr. Hendrick or Mr. Stewart to admit such shenanigans are happening; thus, the myths and legends abound.

    Next week, we head to the Lady in Gray (er, Black), where not only are the pilots and machines tested by circumstances and competition but the track gets a chance to throw her own wrench into the mix. Will Harvick and Busch continue to struggle, mysteriously shedding parts every lap? Or, now that we've got our eye on that backroom, will life straighten out and fly right for a change?

    I guess there's only one way to find out. Tune in next week for the next episode of the soap opera we call NASCAR.

    2014 Sonya Strictly by the Stats

    Top Three Rookies for 2014 Duck Commander 500
    1) No. 42 - Kyle Larson:
    Started 14th, finished 5th
    2) No. 3 - Austin Dillon:
    Started 20th, finished 21st
    3) No. 51 - Justin Allgaier:
    Started 22nd, finished 24th

    by Tom Bowles
    compiled by Mike Mehedin
    by Summer Bedgood

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    Stock Car Gazette
    Seven Races, Seven Winners! What’s Not To Like?
    by Chuck Abrams

    Is Jimmie Johnson already in the danger zone?

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    Keselowski-Busch tempers cool down… for now

    One week after tempers flared at Martinsville between Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch, tensions eased at Texas, where neither driver showed signs of hunting down the other on-track or elsewhere. A wide gap in car performance between the two drivers during Monday’s race allowed the rolling boil of anger to slow to a simmer, even if only temporarily.

    The Final Word – That was no pass in the grass at Texas

    Sometimes when you mess with the bull, you get the horns. This past weekend, there was one ornery Texas Longhorn who made his displeasure known. First to be gored were those fans who mosied on down to Dallas for a Sunday race.

    A Different Winner Each Week and the Health of the Sport

    We now have seven different winners in seven races. I’m sure no one at the sanctioning body dreamed this would happen, but it did, and I’m sure we will see repeat winners as the season goes along. The trouble is Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Kasey Khane, Clint Bowyer, and a couple of surprises haven’t won.

    Ford Racing Did You Know? … Darlington Edition

    DID YOU KNOW? … Ford Racing driver Joey Logano is the only current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver to advance to the final round of qualifying for every event this season.

    Armstrong is True Rookie at Darlington Raceway

    If you look up the word "Rookie" in the Marriam-Webster Dictionary, you'll find this definition: a first-year participant in a major professional sport. While 22 year-old Dakoda Armstrong has plenty of experience behind the wheel of a racecar, he'll make his first NASCAR start at Darlington Raceway this weekend, making him a rookie at the track in every sense of the word.


    Jimmy Weller will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 25. The Hubbard, Ohio native will pilot the No. 55 Chevrolet Camaro in a partnership effort between Viva Motorsports and SS Green Light Racing in the 250-lap event at the Virginia short track.

    No. 43 Team Gears up to Win at Trent Owens’ Home Track

    The No. 43 team wants to win every week, but this week, they have an additional incentive. Crew Chief Trent Owens grew up just a few miles from Darlington Raceway and says a win at the track "Too Tough To Tame" would rank up with a Daytona 500 win. Aric Almirola will look to continue Owens' success at the track. With consecutive top-10 finishes in the last five seasons as crew chief, Almirola would like to add a Sprint Cup Series top-10 to the list.

    Bass Pro Shops to Continue Heritage with Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program

    The nation's No. 1 outdoor retail leader, Bass Pro Shops, will join Richard Childress Racing in commemorating Austin Dillon's rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with primary sponsorship of the No. 3 Chevrolet SS at Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway.


    The three cars entered by the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team in Friday’s VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 Nationwide Series race at Darlington Raceway will carry a decal honoring former NASCAR driver and team owner Billy Standridge.


    Ruud Brand to Sponsor James Buescher at Darlington Raceway Rheem Manufacturing Company, announced today that their Ruud (pronounced rüde) brand will sponsor the No. 99 Toyota

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    Dale Earnhardt Jr. among drivers tire testing at Michigan

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    NASCAR Fantasy Tips for Bojangles' Southern 500


    No. 3 gets familiar sponsor at Daytona, 'Dega

    Power Rankings: Jeff Gordon rises to No. 1

    Team Penske's enviable position a game changer

    Sprint Cup Series standings  

    Driver standings

    Owner standings

    Manufacturer standings


    Nationwide Series standings

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    With Keselowski, Logano wins, team turns to testing strategy

    Pit-road punishment

    Brad Keselowski said he was pushing the limits on pit road. Denny Hamlin was caught speeding Monday, too. Drivers have to know their calculations when driving on pit road or suffer the costly penalty.

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    12 Questions with NASCAR rookie Alex Bowman

    Read Story

    Danica let down by Texas finish, Miley Cyrus concert

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    P R E S S  *  R E L E A S E

    winning combination: shell, pennzoil, & Joey Logano
    Shell scientists work with Team Penske every week to optimize a special formulation motor oil that Logano
    uses in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion.
    Houston – When Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion, took the checkered flag on Monday with Pennzoil technology under the hood, it is a testament to how innovation can help win races at the track. The rain-delayed win at the Texas Motor Speedway is the first 2014 points race victory for the Shell-Pennzoil team.
    “Technology leadership is what drives us at Shell.  The knowledge we gain at the track is the cornerstone to developing the best products for our customers,” said Paul Bogers, General Manager of Lubricants Technology at Shell Oil. “Throughout the season, Shell engineers work closely with the Penske Racing team to collaborate on ideas and share key insights that supports strong product development for use both on and off the track.”
    The sponsorship of Team Penske goes beyond the logo on the car.  The technical alliance with Penske provides valuable opportunities to use Shell science and technology with the aim of securing a competitive advantage for the drivers at the track. Using the extreme test bed of the track, Shell scientists work closely with Team Penske every week to optimize the special formulation motor oil that Logano uses in the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion. In addition to blending a unique formulation for the Ford engine from week to week, Shell scientists also tailor high performance lubricants for the Team Penske gearbox.
    “In stock cars, racing motor oils are one of the few areas that can be modified and fine-tuned from one race to the next.  By having Shell scientists on Team Penske, we are able to harness their world-class knowledge and technology to help maximize the performance, efficiency, and engine reliability which gives us an edge on race day. And, today, we saw how our work with Shell scientists to develop racing motor oils paid off with a win for Logano at the Duck Commander 500.” said Travis Geisler, Director of Competition at Team Penske.
    When Logano Wins on Sunday, Shell Customers Save on WINsday
    Additionally, every time Joey Logano wins a points race, such as this one, Shell $aver Cardholders receive a savings of 22 cents per gallon* on any grade of Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasoline or Shell Diesel the Wednesday after the race **- also known as WINsday! Shell Saver Cardholders who are also registered Members of the Fuel Rewards Network™ (FRN) program have the opportunity to receive an additional 22 cents per gallon in Fuel Rewards® savings *** from their WINsday fuel purchase that can be redeemed at a future date as part of the FRN program if they use their Shell Saver Card to purchase fuel at Shell on WINsday. This is in addition to their Shell Saver Card savings. The offer is available to both new and existing FRN Members and will be sent via email to Shell Saver Cardholders who purchase fuel using their Shell Saver Card on WINsday. For more information about WINsdays, visit
    There are 29 more points races remaining in the 2014 season, giving existing and new Shell Saver Cardholders 29 more chances to save.
    For more information about the Shell-Pennzoil sponsorship, visit For more information about Pennzoil motor oil formulations, visit For more information about WINsdays, visit For more information about Team Penske, visit
    * Fuel savings are limited to 25 gallons or limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your payment card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower.  At participating stations only.
    ** If a points race ends later than a Monday, the savings is available two days after the win. (For example, if Joey wins a race on a Tuesday, the 22 cents per gallon savings will occur on Thursday).
    ***For Shell Saver consumers purchasing on the WINsday - FRN™ Rewards Codes will be provided to Shell Saver customers within 30 days of a WINsday purchase to obtain 22¢/gal on your FRN™ Account. The additional 22¢ per gallon is redeemable with your Fuel Rewards Network™ Card. Fuel Rewards Network™ Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards Network™ Card at participating Shell stations. Fuel savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your payment card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9 cents per gallon. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards Network™ program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Not valid where prohibited by law. See for complete Fuel Rewards Network™ program details and Terms and Conditions. All trademarks are property of their respective owners. FRN Rewards Codes must be activated by December 31, 2014. Fuel Rewards® savings earned through that FRN Rewards Code expire on the last day of the month, two months after the month in which that FRN Rewards Code is activated. Please click here for additional information.

    C O L U M N S / C O M M E N T A R I E S


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    What to Watch: Tuesday

    - Despite the rescheduled Duck Commander 500 running yesterday at Texas Motor Speedway, Goodyear is beginning a two-day tire test at Michigan International Speedway ahead of the series' June visit.  The drivers listed as participants are Clint Bowyer (Michael Waltrip Racing) with Toyota, Greg Biffle (Roush Fenway Racing) and Trevor Bayne (Wood Brothers Racing) with Ford, and Ryan Newman (Richard Childress Racing) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (Hendrick Motorsports) with Chevrolet. The hope is to find a softer tire compound that produces more wear after a recent repaving resulted in a "hard" compound that upped speeds but produced little need to change tires over the track's 400-mile events.

    - First-time Nationwide Series winner Chase Elliott will meet with the national media via teleconference after his thrilling Friday night victory in Texas. Elliott will be joined by his team co-owner, Kelley Earnhardt Miller who will discuss the development of the JR Motorsports Nationwide program.
    DV-R Theater (Late Tuesday Night / Early Wednesday Morning)
    2:30 AM - 3:00 AM          NASCAR Now               ESPN2

    Sprint Cup Race Recap: Logano's Four Tires Triumph Over Jeff Gordon's Two
    by Justin Tucker

    Joey Logano would overcome Mother Nature and a green-white-checkered restart with four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon to win the rain-delayed Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Logano, with his trip to Victory Lane Monday afternoon also became the seventh different Sprint Cup driver to win in 2014 in as many races.

    Logano, who led a race-high 108 laps on the afternoon, appeared to be on his way to a dominating victory until two laps to go. That's when Kurt Busch blew a left-rear tire on his No. 41 Chevrolet, spraying debris all over the track. 

    "When you got like 40-something laps after the last pit stop, you got a pretty sizable lead, really all you're thinking is, 'Where is the white flag?  Where is the white flag?'" Logano said after the race. "Then, you go into turn one, you see the [No.] 41 up against the wall.  You're like, Please no caution, please no caution.  Boom, it comes out.  You got to be kidding me. You get so mad you can barely control yourself."

    This incident, the third for Busch on the day would set up a decisive yellow-flag pit stop before the final restart.  Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 team then rolled the dice, jumping from sixth to first with only two tires while Logano and his Penske teammate Brad Keselowski would take four.  Keselowski, who was second coming in would then get caught speeding while exiting pit road, eliminating him from contention. The Penske Racing driver, after leading 85 laps in his own right dropped to a disappointing 15th on the afternoon.

    "That last caution was a shame," Keselowski said, who lost a chance to become the series' first two-time winner. "I was just trying to get a little too much on pit road, wanted to get us out front to be able to win the race and tried a little too hard.”

    That left Logano dealing with Gordon and Brian Vickers directly in front on the restart. As the cars accelerated, he wasted no time dispatching Vickers for second and set his sights on the bumper of Gordon's No. 24 Chevrolet. On the white-flag lap, Logano was able to take advantage of his four fresh tires to get underneath Gordon, clearing him by the exit of Turn 1. 

    "I mean, coming in sixth, you're in that position that you can gamble," said Gordon, who did earn a consolation prize -- becoming the Sprint Cup points leader for the first time since the 2009 Coca-Cola 600 (see below). "You're not going to win it with four tires, you're not going to win it with none.  I knew it was going to be hard to hold those guys off."

    After clearing Gordon, Logano was able to cruise to his fourth career Sprint Cup Series win, his second with Penske in a little over a season with the team. The driver's confidence is high, stemming from crew chief Todd Gordon whom the 23-year-old was quick to praise after the race.

    "He (Todd Gordon) made a last-minute decision to put fuel in it, gave me better balance for what I needed and the guys made the 'money stop,'" Logano said of the ending. "I was the first guy out with four tires on."

    Behind Logano and Gordon in the top 5 were Kyle Busch in third, followed by Vickers fourth and rookie sensation Kyle Larson in fifth, the only rookie to run inside the top 20.  Greg Biffle was sixth, Matt Kenseth seventh, while Clint Bowyer earned his second top-10 result in eighth. Paul Menard earned his fourth top 10 in five races, running ninth while pole sitter Tony Stewart rounded out the top 10.

    Monday's race started in bizarre fashion, under a rare, green-yellow flag condition for ten laps to ensure that the 1.5-mile quad-oval was dry and fit for racing.  Jet dryers were still on the track during this period to help the process.  Unfortunately, the air from the dryers managed to get inside the wheel wells and affect the hood and roof flaps of several cars.  Keselowski's Ford actually ended up with a damaged hood hinge, resulting in four pit stops during this period for repairs.  Many additional cars came down pit road to fix the flaps as well.  NASCAR allowed the cars affected to make their stops without penalty, provided that they not add fuel or change tires in the process.

    Then, shortly after going green Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s day ended prematurely after just 14 laps when he misjudged his positioning and clipped the grass in Texas' quad-oval.  The miscue resulted in the car digging in, popping a wheelie and shooting the No. 88 Chevrolet straight into a SAFER-less wall, resulting in a fiery crash.  Not only did that ruin Earnhardt's day, but it also impacted the race of Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson.  Johnson wound up with windshield damage and a bent left-front corner of his No. 48 Chevrolet.  Losing multiple laps for repairs, Johnson ended up 25th on the day while Earnhardt Jr. was scored dead last (43rd).

    "You can't run through there they way they have these cars on the ground," Earnhardt said of the incident. "Just a mistake on my part. I just didn't know I was that close to the grass, and made a mistake."

    Kevin Harvick had another fast race car, one capable of going up and taking the lead away from teammate Stewart on Lap 25.  However, Harvick's run of bad luck continued after blowing an engine just a couple of laps later.  Harvick ended up 42nd, sitting just 31 points inside the top 30 needed to make the Chase after his win at Phoenix.

    A look at the Duck Commander 500 by the numbers.  There were 18 lead changes among nine drivers, while seven cautions for 49 laps slowed the pace to 134.191 MPH.

    Next weekend, the Sprint Cup Series heads to legendary Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles' Southern 500.  The Green flag is scheduled for 6:45 PM ET on Saturday night.

    Chasing the Chase: Jeff Gordon's Gamble Provides Him Points Lead

    by Phil Allaway

    Monday's Duck Commander 500 saw Dale Earnhardt, Jr. give up the points lead just as quickly as he earned it at Martinsville.  A crash on Lap 14, as explained above put Earnhardt Jr. out on the spot with a 43rd-place finish.  That, combined with Jeff Gordon's runner-up result, moves Gordon up to the points lead for the first time since May 2009.  Gordon's advantage is four over Matt Kenseth, whose No. 20 Toyota came up through the pack and had a decent day, running seventh.  Carl Edwards, meanwhile maintained the third spot but was never a factor on Monday.  He needed two Lucky Dog passes in order to finish on the lead lap in 14th.

    By virtue of his victory, Joey Logano moved up four places in the standings to fourth.  He is only 12 points behind third-place Edwards. Kyle Busch is up to fifth after a third-place result, leading laps for the fifth straight race as he proves the No. 18 Toyota is a top-tier contender.  Joe Gibbs Racing is the only team with two drivers inside the top 5 in series points.

    Earnhardt Jr.'s crash made him the big loser of the day, dropping five places into a tie