Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tony Stewart to Retire After 2016, Clint Bowyer Named Replacement

Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will retire from driving the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet following the 2016 season. Stewart will be replaced behind the wheel by Clint Bowyer, though he will remain co-owner of the four-car SHR squad and after his retirement will dabble in other forms of motorsports.

Stewart, 44, made the announcement Wednesday at SHR’s shops in Kannapolis, North Carolina, during a press conference with his partner, team co-owner Gene Haas.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lowes Food to Sponsor Sam Hornish at Charlotte in Cup Race

Lowes Foods, a Carolinas-based grocer with locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, will serve as the primary sponsor for Sam Hornish Jr. and the No. 9 Ford team at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in October.

Lowes Foods will make its debut as a primary sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Richard Petty Motorsports at its home track. Charlotte Motor Speedway, located in Concord, N.C., is just an hour away from the company’s headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Founded in 1954, Lowes Foods employs nearly 9,000 people and operates 95 full-service supermarkets in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. Locally owned and operated, Lowes Foods is truly a homegrown company committed to bringing community back to the table by providing exceptional attention to their guests. This commitment to supporting local also comes to life through partnerships with over 250 local farmers, along with offering a deep assortment of the freshest and most innovative local products sourced from local suppliers. Lowes Foods also offers a personal shopping service online, through Lowes Foods-To-Go.

NASCAR Television Ratings Down at Chicagoland

Photo Credit: Getty Images
NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Chicago, the first race in the Chase For the Cup, earned a 1.8 overnight rating on NBCSN Sunday afternoon — down 18% from last year on ESPN (2.2). The 2013 race featured multiple rain delays and moved from ESPN to ESPN2, earning a 1.6 overnight across both networks.

The 1.8 overnight is the third-lowest of the season for NASCAR on any network, ahead of only Richmond the previous week (1.7) and Kansas on Fox Sports 1 in May (1.5). It is also the lowest for a Sunday NASCAR race this season. 300 at Kentucky Speedway Honorary Officials Announced

Kentucky Speedway announced Scott Schult will serve as grand marshal and the honorary starter will be Johanna Hodge for Saturday’s, Sept. 26 NASCAR XFINITY Series 300 at Kentucky Speedway.

Schult, the executive vice president of marketing, has been in destination marketing for 18 years, and has spent the past eight years with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Myrtle Beach. He loves travel, tourism, and is excited about the second year of partnering with Kentucky Speedway to bring together people who are passionate about families, racing, and beach vacations.

Recently, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber was named the 2015 Chamber of the Year by the Association of Chamber Commerce Executives (ACCE).

ARCA Open Test At Kentucky September 22nd

The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, on the heels of Saturday’s race event at Salem Speedway in southern Indiana, will skip over the Ohio River and steer for Kentucky Speedway Tuesday, September 22 for a full day of open testing in preparation for the Crosley Brands 150 raceevent at Kentucky Friday night, September 25.

Several ARCA teams have already pre-entered the open test including NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Ryan Reed (LiraMotorsports) and Daniel Suarez in a Venturini Motorsports Toyota. Venturini Motorsports also expects to be testing Brandon Jones and William Byron. Jones is already a two-time ARCA winner (2014) and Byron finished second in his series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway back in late July.

Lira Motorsports is expected to bring four cars to the open test, one of which will be occupied by Reed, who started the season with a win in the Xfinity Series at Daytona. Reed also won his first ARCA race back in June at Chicagoland Speedway. Other entrants for Lira Motorsports include ARCA’s leading SCOTT Rookie of the Year contender David Levine, Sevierville, Tennessee’s Blake Jones (ARCA winner at Talladega) and Easley, South Carolina’s Kyle Benjamin, a two-time ARCA winner at Madison and Salem.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jeffrey Earnhardt to Compete For Cup Rookie of the Year in 2016

Jeffrey Earnhardt, driver of the #32 Ford, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. (Sept. 10, 2015 - Source: Matt Hazlett/Getty Images North America)
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Jeffrey Earnhardt, the 26-year-old grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Sr. and nephew of current driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., will vie for Sprint Cup rookie honors in 2016.

Jeffrey will drive the No. 32 car prepared by Go Green Racing, which has sponsorship from all-terrain vehicle company Can-Am for 11 events, according to a team announcement.

Ryan Preece To Make Sprint Cup Debut at New Hampshire

Northeast standout Ryan Preece will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut this week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Preece will drive the No. 98 Chevrolet with support from Mohawk Northeast, EastWest Marine, NAPA Auto Parts: Canton Auto Supply, Mizzy Construction, Logan Steel and Dunleavy Truck and TrailerRepair.

Preece’s car was designed to honor his grandfather, legendary car owner Bob Judkins, who sported the familiar red and white 2x Modified. “It’s very special to have a car that looks like my grandfather’s car,” Preece said. “I was lucky enough to drive for him a few times and win with him.”

Preece, who won the championship in NASCAR’s Whelen Modified Tour in 2013, is the current points leader of the series. He has scored four wins this season and has accumulated six top-fives and 12 top-10 finishes in 12 races.

No Penalties for Kevin Harvick After Post-Race Confrontation with Jimmie Johnson

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John's / Budweiser Chevrolet, sits on the track with a damaged car after an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 20, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois. (Sept. 19, 2015 - Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America)
Photo Credit: Getty Images
The incident, which occurred in the driver motor home lot after the race, stemmed from a restart in which Jimmie Johnson made contact with the right side of Kevin Harvick's car, cutting his right rear tire. The tire eventually went down, sending Harvick's No. 4 Chevrolet into the outside wall and resulting in a 42nd-place finish.

Johnson refused to take blame for the contact and attempted to discuss the incident with Harvick after the race in the motor home lot, but Harvick was having none of it. Immediately after walking out of the motor home, Harvick gave Johnson a jab in the chest and had to be restrained by business manager Josh Jones. As Harvick jawed away at the six-time champion, Johnson walked away shaking his head.

Despite the physical confrontation after the race, NASCAR officials confirmed to that neither driver would be penalized for the incident.

NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O'Donnell joined SiriusXM NASCAR radio's "The Morning Drive" to discuss the post-race confrontation, saying, "There won't be any penalties." (More at

NASCAR to Enforce Restarts More Tightly

Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John's / Budweiser Chevrolet, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 20, 2015 in Joliet, Illinois. (Sept. 19, 2015 - Source: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images North America)
Photo Credit: Getty Images
NASCAR threatened to enforce restarts more tightly beginning with Sunday's race at Chicagoland Speedway, cautioning drivers in a pre-race meeting to restart the proper way.

"Drivers, it's your responsibility to restart correctly," Sprint Cup Series director Richard Buck said. "This is your warning."

Buck re-read the restart rules aloud – they were also played in an instructional video – and acknowledged drivers' increasing complaints about NASCAR's lack of enforcement. Restarts have been a hot topic for the last month or so because drivers feel they can take advantage of the restart zone and go early without penalty, leading to competitors calling for NASCAR to crack down.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Man Arrested After Allegedly Choking Fiancee in Argument Over NASCAR vs IndyCar

A Franklin man was arrested Sunday evening after choking his fiancée in a dispute over whether NASCAR or IndyCar is better.

Police responded to an incomplete 911 call from an address in the 2500 block of South U.S. 31 in Franklin around 7:45 p.m.

Coca-Cola 600 Overnight Television Rating Hits Low

Overnight ratings for NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 were the lowest since the race moved to FOX.

NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Charlotte earned a 3.6 overnight rating on FOX Sunday evening, down 8% from last year (3.9), down 12% from 2013 (4.1), and the lowest overnight for the race since it began airing on FOX in 2001. Keep in mind that does not include the 2009 race, which was postponed from Sunday to Memorial Day (3.5).

This is the second straight year the race has earned its lowest overnight ever on FOX. It has set or tied a low in four of the past six seasons. (Sports Media Watch)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Ty Dillon To Run Another Full-Time Schedule in XFINITY Series in 2016

Ty Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops/ Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (May 22, 2015 - Source: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images North America)
In preparation for an eventual move to full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing, Ty Dillon will increase his presence in NASCAR’s top series next year, pending sponsorship. Dillon will spend another year running for the XFINITY Series championship in 2016. He currently is second in the series standings behind leader Chris Buescher.

“We’re kind of working on it now,” said Richard Childress, Dillon’s grandfather and team owner. “It sort of depends on the sponsorship and all, but we want to get him set up for the XFINITY Series next year, and if we can get him going in the Cup [Series], that’s kind of our plan.” (NASCAR Wire Services)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

RCR, Ryan Newman Penalties Amended

(April 16, 2015) - The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a P5 penalty issued on March 31, 2015 to Richard Childress (owner), Ryan Newman (driver), Lucas Lambert (crew chief), James Bender (tire technician) and Philip Surgen (race engineer) relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #31 at Auto Club Speedway.

The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:

12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
20.16: Wheels and tires
A. Any device, modification, or procedure to the tire or wheel, including the valve stem hardware, that is used to release pressure, beyond normal pressure adjustments, from the tire and/or inner shield, will not be permitted.
20.16.2: Tires
F. Modifications to the tires, by treatment or any other means, will not be permitted. Minimum P5 Penalty Options (includes all four points below):

A. Loss of 50 championship driver and owner points, regardless of whether the violation occurred during a Championship race or not
B. $75,000-$125,000 fine
C. Suspension for the next six series Championship Races, plus any non-championship races or special events which might occur during that time period, for the crew chief and any other team members as determined by NASCAR
D. Probation through the end of the calendar year for all suspended members, or for a six-month period following the issuance of the penalty notice if that period spans across two consecutive seasons P5 Level infractions detected during post-race inspection:
If the infraction is detected during post-race inspection, then the following penalty elements will be added to those listed previously in this section:
A. Loss of an additional 25 Championship driver and owner points; regardless of whether it was a Championship Race or not
B. Loss of an additional $50,000

The original penalty assessed included a $125,000 ($75,000 plus $50,000) fine, six-race suspension and probation through Dec. 31 to Lambert; six-race suspension and probation through Dec. 31 to both Bender and Surgen; and the loss of 75 (50 plus 25) championship car owner and 75 (50 plus 25) championship driver points to both Childress and Newman.

Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:

1. The Appellants violated the Rule or Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice and it is a P5 level violation.
2. The Panel amends the original Penalty levied by NASCAR because there is no written explanation of what constitutes a post-race inspection. Therefore the Penalty elements added under Section are removed and the Penalty adjusted to:
-Loss of 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Car Owner points for Richard Childress.
-Loss of 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Driver points for Ryan Newman.
-$75,000 fine. Suspended for the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Races, plus any non-Championship Races or Special Events which might occur during that time period. Placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31 for crew chief Lucas Lambert.
– Suspended for the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Races, plus any non-Championship Races or Special Events which might occur during that time period. Placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31for Tire Technician James Bender.
-Suspended for the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Races, plus any non-Championship Races or Special Events which might occur during that time period. Placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31 for Race Engineer Philip Surgen.

The panel consisted of the following three individuals:
Mr. John Capels
Mr. Hunter Nickell
Mr. Dale Pinilis

The Appellants have the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer inaccordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR rule book.

/// NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications