Saturday, May 19, 2012

NASCAR, Twitter Form Partnership

Per Mashable, Longtime informal social media buddies Twitter and NASCAR are making things official for next month’s Pocono 400 race. It’s Twitter’s first official partnership with a sports league, and may hint at a larger shift to come for the microblogging platform that has become a hit with sports fans in particular.

The Pocono 400 partnership will revolve around the #NASCAR hashtag, according to a joint press conference Twitter and NASCAR held Friday.

“During the race, we’ll curate accounts from the NASCAR universe and surface the best Tweets and photos from the drivers, their families, commentators, celebrities and other fans when you search #NASCAR on Twitter.com,” reads a post to the official company blog.

Omid Ashtari of Twitter’s business development team called the arrangement “part search algorithm and part editorial,” during Friday’s press conference.

More details about the partnership are expected to be revealed before Pocono happens on June 10.

Why NASCAR? Ashtari said one reason is races draw fans of dozens of drivers at a time, as opposed to just a couple teams, which will give Twitter a chance to experiment and learn rapidly about how to curate tweets and step into a more editorial role.

Outlook on NASCAR Hall of Fame is Looking Better

Per Thats Racin, As the NASCAR Hall of Fame turned two this month, the racing museum had some rare good news: It has recently seen its attendance stabilize compared with the same months a year earlier.

The hall is still losing money and is far short of original attendance projections. But the better turnstile numbers have hall officials believing they are on the right track.

“There is a series of different things that we have learned have worked,” said executive director Winston Kelley, noting that reduced-price tickets for locals in February and March helped boost attendance.

The hall’s first full year was a slog.

Kelley and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority projected 800,000 people would attend but only 272,000 came, including 12,000 for a free week in January 2011. The hall lost $1.4 million.

The hall’s second year began poorly. After projecting higher attendance, attendance was down more than 30 percent in the summer of 2011 compared with the same months of the previous year.

But in late 2011, the NASCAR hall’s attendance began to stabilize.

For instance, the hall attracted 16,270 people in March compared with 15,882 a year earlier. February attendance this year was 12,989 compared with 13,091 in 2011.

Read more here: http://www.thatsracin.com/2012/05/18/87282/nascar-hall-of-fame-attendance.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, May 18, 2012

Andretti to Field a Car in NASCAR?

Multiple sources have told FOXSports.com that one of the latest candidates for Dodge Motorsports could be Michael Andretti, owner of Andretti Autosport.

With Roger Penske’s departure from Dodge at the end of the 2012 season, the door is open for new organizations to enter the fold. In addition to Andretti, Richard Petty Motorsports and Furniture Row Racing are the top contenders to field Dodges in 2013. An announcement regarding Dodge’s lineup, as well as its engine building plans, could come as early as the weekend of the NASCAR races at Michigan, June 15-17.

Andretti currently fields three full-time teams in the IndyCar Series with drivers Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Hinchcliffe. Ana Beatriz is running a limited schedule. Hinchcliffe and Hunter-Reay are currently third and fourth, respectively, in the IndyCar points standings.

Andretti Green expedited Honda’s entry into the Indy Racing League for the 2003 season. In September, Andretti announced the team was switching to Chevrolet. Ilmor Engineering, which currently builds engines for Andretti Autosport, has been mentioned as a possible supplier for the group in NASCAR, although its plate could be full with its current IndyCar responsibilities.

Republican Led Amendment Will Ban Military Sponsorship in NASCAR

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman would need new sponsors if an amendment banning military sponsorship of professional sports becomes law.

The amendment — led by a southern Republican — is attached to the $608 billion defense bill, which the House Appropriations Committee approved Thursday.

The amendment states: "None of the funds made available in this act may be used to sponsor professional or semi-professional motorsports, fishing, wrestling or other sports."

This action comes shortly before Memorial Day weekend, when the military will be prominent in the Coca-Cola 600 and Indianapolis 500.

The cars of Earnhardt (National Guard), Newman (U.S. Army) and Aric Almirola (Air Force) will feature military sponsors in the NASCAR race. J.R. Hildebrand, who nearly won last year's Indy 500, will be back with National Guard in that showcase race of the Izod IndyCar Series.


"You've got to lead by example," Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga told USA TODAY Sports. "I think that if Southern, pro-NASCAR people say, 'You know what, I love NASCAR but this is not a good recruiting tool (and) we've got to make some serious decisions in the name of the (USA).' I think NASCAR fans would appreciate that."




Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Richard Childress Inducted into NMPA Hall of Fame

LEXINGTON, N.C. (MAY 16, 2012)- Legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame last night at a gala event in Concord, N.C.

The 14-time championship-winning team owner was inducted along with former NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd. Rudd took RCR to its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, in 1983 at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway. It was the second hall of fame ceremony in the past two weeks for Childress, who was inducted May 3 into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame on the grounds of Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

“It’s is a great honor for me to carry the banner for all of the talented people who have made RCR what it’s become over the past 40-plus years,” said Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. “To go into the National Motorsports Press Association with Ricky Rudd is very special for me personally because of his important contributions to both RCR and the sport of NASCAR racing as a whole. I had a dream as a kid of winning races and championships but I never thought it would take me to the places it has in my life.”

The National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame is located on the grounds of Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The inaugural class was inducted in 1965 which has become a Who’s Who in the world of NASCAR. Childress and Rudd were the 79th and 80th inductees.

RCR has earned more than 200 victories in NASCAR competition, including 100 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It has earned six championships in the NASCAR Cup Series with the legendary Dale Earnhardt, five in theNationwide Series and two in the Camping World TruckSeries. Its 2012 lineup includes three teams each in the Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series and Camping WorldTruck Series. In 2011, RCR earned championships in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA RacingSeries presented by Menards, with drivers Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon, respectively. The Dillons are the grandsons of Richard and Judy Childress.

Earnhardt Jr to Drive Batman Scheme at Michigan

Earnhardt Jr's Batman Scheme
Per Beckett, One’s a man in black and the other is the son of a man in black.

But, together, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Batman will team up on the track as the son of the seven-time Cup champ will race a Chevy Impala designed with The Dark Knight Rises on its paint scheme. While the film opens on July 20, Earnhardt will drive one of four paint schemes — all of which will have diecast replicas made by Lionel NASCAR Collectibles — on June 17 at Michigan.

Tommy Baldwin Racing to Run Sprint Showdown

Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Sprint Showdown this weekend. Looking for some important track time, TBR will utilize the weekend to continue to build the team’s 1.5-mile program.

Due to commitments to his NASCAR K&N Pro Series team at Iowa Speedway, Dave Blaney will not compete in the event. Tony Raines will get behind the wheel of the No. 36 Chevrolet and help the team get practice time at the 1.5-mile speedway. David Reutimann will also return to the No. 10 Chevrolet for the event.

“As we grow as a team, it is extremely important that we take any time we can to gain information for our program,” said Tommy Baldwin. “Originally, we were going to take the week off to catch up in the shop, but we feel that we are in a position to gain more from running the race.”

Both Reutimann and Raines will get the behind the wheel for practice on Friday and compete in the 40-lap expedition event on Saturday night.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Danica Patrick Will Have New Cup Spotter at Darlington

Per ESPN, Danica Patrick will have a new spotter for Saturday's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway in Tab Boyd, a former spotter for Juan Pablo Montoya and an employee at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.

Boyd will replace Mark Robertson as Patrick makes her second Cup start of the season.

"That was definitely something that I've been thinking a lot about the last couple of months," Patrick said Thursday during a promotion for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "As a driver you just need to have someone on the radio that you click with. Everybody needs something different.

"For me, I need someone ... I'm going to say, almost drive the car. Like, tell me you're turning in too early, tell me be patient with the throttle; OK, pick it up. I need somebody that is familiar with those patterns, because I'm not."Patrick will remain with Truck Series driver Rick Carelli as her Nationwide spotter.

Mayfield's Wife Files Bankruptcy Halting Foreclosure Sale

Per SportingNews, In a move that will allow Jeremy Mayfield to delay the sale of his foreclosed-on property, Mayfield’s wife, Shana Sessions Mayfield, has filed for bankruptcy.

The move was not a surprise as the Mayfields have seen the bills stack up ever since Mayfield was suspended by NASCAR for what NASCAR officials said was a May 2009 positive drug test for methamphetamines. Mayfield contends the test was a false positive for a mix of prescription and over-the-counter medication.

Mayfield’s wife filed the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition Wednesday in U.S Bankruptcy Court in North Carolina.

She lists assets (not including any exempt property) of under $50,000 and liabilities of between $1 million and $10 million.

Danica Patrick to Join Coca-Cola Racing Family

Per ESPN.com, Danica Patrick will be introduced as the first female member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family during a Thursday news conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The 30-year-old full-time Nationwide Series driver and part-time Sprint Cup driver joins current CCRF members Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Denny Hamlin, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart.

"She is going to invigorate what we're doing with the Coca-Cola Racing Family," said Sharon Byers, senior vice president of sports and entertainment for Coca-Cola.

Patrick will be directly branded with Coke Zero. Among her first promotional appearances wil be at the Coca-Cola 600 weekend at CMS to promote the adventure movie "Battleship'' with Brooklyn Decker, one of the movie's stars. Patrick also will compete in the 600 as the third of her 10 Cup races this season. "To be with Coca-Cola is one of those things you only dream about as a driver," Patrick told ESPN.com.

Clint Bowyer Sued By Motorcycle Company

Per Daily Republic, A Mitchell-based motorcycle company is suing NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer. Klock Werks Kustom Cycles is alleging Bowyer, 32, failed to pay $30,788.45 for the customization of a motorcycle conducted by the company in late 2008 and early 2009.

In its complaint, dated Nov. 23, 2011, and filed May 2 with the Davison County clerk of courts, Klock Werks says Bowyer contacted the company on or about Nov. 11, 2008, and hired it to customize a 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. After the work was performed at Klock Werks’ Mitchell facility, it was delivered to Bowyer in Daytona Beach, Fla., on or about Feb. 15, 2009, the date of the 2009 Daytona 500 NASCAR race.

Bowyer test-drove the motorcycle and requested it be delivered back to Mitchell for further alteration, the complaint claims. After the additional work was completed, Klock Werks redelivered the motorcycle on or about April 17, 2009, this time to the Richard Childress Racing facility in Lexington, N.C.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jeremy Mayfield Ordered to Pay Postal Worker After Dog Attack

Per Winston-Salem Journal, Legal troubles continue to mount for former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield. On Wednesday, a Forsyth County judge ordered Mayfield to pay $1 million to a Catawba postal carrier attacked last year by Mayfield's five pitbulls.

Jeremy Mayfield said he didn't file a response to the lawsuit because he couldn't afford to hire another attorney. He said he already has attorneys representing him on his criminal matters.

"If I had a $1 million to give away, I wouldn't be in this situation," he said.

Bolton alleged that the Mayfields were negligent in allowing the dogs, pitbull/Labrador mixes, to run loose on their property in Catawba County. She was delivering mail the morning of April 21, 2011, and had a package too large for the mailbox outside the Mayfields' gate. She drove through the gate, past "No Trespassing" and "Beware of Dogs" signs, to deliver the package and encountered the dogs that attacked her.

Mayfield heard the commotion, shouted at the dogs to scatter them and carried Bolton into the house. He and his wife called 911, and Bolton was taken to Catawba Medical Center for treatment. Animal control confiscated the dogs from Mayfield, but no criminal charges were filed against him. The dogs were later euthanized.