Thursday, December 20, 2012

Start Times Finalized For Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 Events

2013 Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona Logo
For the fourth straight year, the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24, NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race, is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start time (TV – FOX Sports, Radio – MRN Radio).

Start times for the other remaining events of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 at Daytona International Speedway are as follows:

· The 51st anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race, Jan. 26-27, 3:30 p.m. (SPEED)

· The Lucas Oil 200 ARCA Racing Series, Saturday, Feb. 16, 4:30 p.m. (SPEED)

· The Daytona Shootout non-points event, Saturday, Feb. 16, 8 p.m. (FOX)

· Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, Sunday, Feb. 17, 1 p.m. (FOX)

· Budweiser Duel At Daytona, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m. (SPEED)

· NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Friday, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. (SPEED)

· DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Saturday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski will begin his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title defense in the season-opening 55th annual Daytona 500, which will mark the debut of the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Dubbed “Gen 6,” the new-look sixth generation cars highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers.

Matt Kenseth, who won the 2012 Daytona 500 with Roush Fenway Racing, will attempt to be the first driver since Sterling Marlin (1994-1995) to win “The Great American Race” for a second straight year with his new team Joe Gibbs Racing.

Tickets for NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race – the 55th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 24 – start at $65 and are available at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

For the second straight year, the Speedway is offering special youth pricing for the Daytona 500. Children 12 and under will receive 50 percent off all backstretch grandstand seats for the Daytona 500 while supplies last. In addition, children 12 and under are free in the Sprint FANZONE throughout Budweiser Speedweeks.

Daytona International Speedway, Press Release

Monday, December 17, 2012

NASCAR's Sixth Annual Loopies: Now With Even More Loop

No Championship, No Biggie For Loopie Winners Johnson, Busch

Kyle Busch has frequently called this the worst year of his motor sports career.

Here's news for him: He’s wrong. So, so wrong. His tune will change by the time he reads the next 1,271 or so words. There’s some hardware in his future. And not just any hardware … Loopie hardware. And not just any Loopie hardware … the granddaddy of them all.

So paraphrasing Ralph Wiggum, who once succinctly said “Me fail English? That’s unpossible,” So, “Congratulations Kyle, you’ve won the Stefan Kretschmann Lifetime Achievement Award. Worst year ever? That’s unpossible.”

A quick primer for those just tuning in: For the sixth consecutive season, the NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications team has pored over a season’s worth of Loop Data and filtered out the top statistical performances of the 2012 season. After a painstaking review, a select committee created awards to recognize those drivers who numerically excelled this season. Those awards have evolved into arguably the most coveted prize in all of NASCAR. They are – and this is – The Loopies.

The envelopes please..

Loop Top Dogg: This award yearly goes to the driver who led the mostLoop Data categories. Every week, NASCAR releases a season-to-date Loop Data stats packet that charts 15 different statistical categories. This year’s winner of the “Loop Top Dogg” led an astounding 13 of them.

Congratulations, Jimmie Johnson. Johnson’s ranked first in the most important of all Loop Data stats, Driver Rating, with a gaudy 109.5. That was eight points higher than second-best Kyle Busch.

In all, Johnson led Average Running Position, Driver Rating, Fastest Early in a Run, Fastest Late in a Run, Fastest Laps Run, Fastest on Restarts, Green Flag Speed, Laps in top 15, Laps Led, Miles Led, Percentage of Laps Run on the Lead Lap, Speed by Quarter (by the way, he also led each quarter overall) and Speed in Traffic.

Quantity of Quality Award: This award goes to the driver who led the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in Quality Passes, which are passes of cars in the top 15 while under green flag conditions.

The winner, who will have to clear up even more mantle space, is Brad Keselowski. Keselowski, who led the series by more than 200 quality passes, tallied 2,201 quality passes overall.

This is significant. These are the toughest cars – with the most talented drivers – to pass, and Keselowski did it more often than any other driver.

And considering his average starting position of 16.2, he had to do it often. Did You Know: Keselowski is the first champion to fail to win a pole in his championship season since Matt Kenseth in 2003.

Most Improved Driver: Awards like these are usually given after taking into account a number of different success barometers. But this is the Loopies. And our nominating committee needs only one measure: Driver Rating.

The driver with the biggest improvement in Driver Rating from 2011 to 2012, and winner of the coveted Loopie: Greg Biffle. Biffle, who finished fifth in 2012 after missing the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2011, ballooned his Driver Rating by 13.6 points over last season. Last year, he had an 85.9. This year: 99.5.

In all, six drivers enjoyed a double-digit improvement in Driver Rating from last season: Biffle, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson.

Least Improved Driver: Not all Loopies are coveted. That’s what makes these awards so unique, and dare we say, unrivaled.

Here’s one of them. The driver with the biggest drop in Driver Rating wins this Loopie, and it goes to Carl Edwards – with an asterisk. Edwards actually only had the third-biggest drop – 16.8, from 101.0 in 2011 to 84.2 this season. But it was the biggest drop among drivers who didn’t switch teams, and therefore the committee made an executive decision to allow Edwards to take home this award.

In actuality, David Ragan suffered the biggest drop in Driver Rating. In 2011, Ragan had a Driver Rating of 78.3 for Roush Fenway Racing. For Front Row Motorsports this season, it dropped to 49.2. Kurt Busch, who went from Penske Racing to Phoenix Racing and Furniture Row Racing, dropped 22.7 points.

Coffee’s For Closers Award: Stealing a line from one of the most famous scenes in cinematic history, this “Glengarry Glen Ross”-themed award goes to the top “Closer” in the series. The “Closer” statistic measures the positions gained or lost in the last 10 percent of races. The top Closer this season: Ryan Newman, who improved 68 total positions in the last 10 percent of races this season.

“He’s Partially Sponsored By An Energy Drink, So Doesn’t Need Coffee, Thankfully” Award: (If by now you haven’t realized that these awards are all in good fun – and, well, ridiculous – hopefully this award’s name has sealed the deal.) This one goes to one of the worst Closers (again, not all of these awards are coveted). And the winner: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt lost 41 spots in the last 10 percent of races this year, among the worst of any driver. But, with a sponsor like AMP Energy, he doesn’t need coffee to keep him caffeinated, anyway. Nor does Kurt and Kyle Busch (Monster Energy) or Clint Bowyer (5-hour Energy), all of whom also were in the red in the Closer category.

Serenity Now Award: A happy driver is a successful driver, and that’s certainly true with the winner of this award, Kurt Busch. When Busch announced his move to Furniture Row Racing during the Chase, he exuded calm and joyfulness. The results were immediate. A tale of the tape breakdown of Busch in his new No. 78 Furniture Row ride compared to his stats in No. 51 Phoenix Racing car:
- In only 6 races, he had more top 10s in the No. 78 (three) than he did in in 29 races in the 51 (two)

- Driver Rating: 86.6 vs. 67.8

- Average start: 17.7 vs. 22.7

- Average finish: 14.3 vs. 25.0

- Average Running Position: 14.6 vs. 22.2

- Pass Differential: +13 vs. 0

- Laps in the top 15 percentage: 47.8% vs. 21.5%

Stefan Kretschmann Lifetime Achievement Award: It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. A brief setup of this one: Stefan Kretschmann works for NASCAR's partners at Stats, LLC in Chicago, and is considered the godfather of Loop Data. His brain created the formula for Driver Rating, and many of the other formulas that make Loop Data so interesting and invaluable. We started this award last season to honor a driver who has been statistically strong throughout the Loop Data Era (2005-Present). Jimmie Johnson took home the inaugural Lifetime Achievement trophy.

This year’s recipient is a man whose talent has landed him an unparalleled 20 perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 throughout NASCAR’s three national series. Congratulations to one of the all-time stat kings: Kyle Busch.

Here’s a back-of-the-baseball-card view of an amazing career that shows little sign of teetering:
- Among drivers with a minimum of 50 races, Kyle ranks third in NASCAR Sprint Cup Driver Rating (97.6); first in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (113.8) and first in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (119.3).

- More perfect driver rating than any other driver.

o 15 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and five in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

- Best career Average Running Position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (6.683)

- Most Fastest Laps Run in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (5,031)

- NASCAR Sprint Cup numbers: 4,328 Fastest Laps Run (third-best); 59,961 Laps in Top 15 (third); Average Running Position of 12.8 (fourth)

- More top fives in this year’s Chase (seven) than any Chase driver.

- Cracked the 100-point Driver Rating threshold in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the third time. That’s second only to Jimmie Johnson, who did it six times.

- NASCAR Statistics Official Release

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chicagoland Speedway 501c3 Foundation R.A.C.E. Donates Over $70,000 in 2012

Chicagoland Speedway’s 501c3 foundation, R.A.C.E., awarded $25,000 in grants to five Chicago-area charities at a luncheon on Thursday, raising its total charitable gifts for 2012 to $70,370.

“When we launched R.A.C.E. seven months ago, we knew it had the ability to benefit those in the community and we are seeing that come to fruition,” said Scott Paddock, president of Chicagoland Speedway and Route 66 Raceway. “What we accomplished in our first year exceeded our expectations, but we are committed to growing our charitable arm to new heights in 2013. This process has given us a wonderful opportunity to see how many remarkable local projects are in need of support and we are ready to step up and assist in filling that void going forward.”

The Bridge Teen Center, Greater Joliet YMCA, George Werden Buck Boys and Girls Club, Nathan C. Splant Foundation and Will County Children’s Advocacy Center were selected and recognized for their notable contributions to the community and were awarded cash donations through the R.A.C.E. grant process.

The Bridge Teen Center received a $5,000 donation for their after school programs.

R.A.C.E. provided Joliet’s Central City YMCA, part of the Greater Joliet Area YMCA, with $5,000 to support Project SOAR and Central City YMCA’s youth basketball and cheerleading leagues.

George Werden Buck Boys & Girls Club received a donation of $6,500 to assist with their Memorable Male Mentors program with aims to counteract the gang recruitment of young males in the Joliet community.

In addition, the Nathan C. Splant Foundation received a $2,000 for the Halo Project which provides HALO SleepSacks for babies in the NICU of Munster Community Hospital.

The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center received a donation of $6,500 to aid the Forensic Child Interview Program.

In addition to the $25,000 in grants, the Speedway also awarded another $45,000 through scholarships, silent auctions, partnerships and raffles.

As an Advisory Committee member, Joliet Mayor Tom Giarrante was on-site for the presentation.

"Joliet and Will County are home to some of the most incredible charities and programs in the state of Illinois and it is great to see them receiving the support they deserve," said Giarrante. "Chicagoland Speedway is committed to changing our community for the better and as a R.A.C.E. Advisory Committee member I am excited to be a part of that process going forward.”

With a focus on youth, safe driving and the military, R.A.C.E. raised funds over the course of the year through community events, raffles and auctions. The three principles guided the seven-member R.A.C.E. Advisory Committee, which was responsible for evaluating grant applications throughout the year.

- Chicagoland Speedway Official Release

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Husky Tools To Sponsor Kenseth and Joe Gibbs Racing #20

The Home Depot announces it will utilize the home improvement store’s proprietary tool brand, Husky, as the primary sponsor for the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota in each of its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races during the 2013 season.

Through this partnership The Home Depot looks to reward its customers through Husky Days of Giving, a Facebook contest offering the chance to win great Husky products daily as well as a grand prize to be awarded at the end of the promotion.

Husky will be the primary sponsor on JGR’s No. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry in 20 races during the 2013 season and The Home Depot will remain the associate sponsor when Dollar General serves as the car’s primary sponsor.

To go directly to the Husky contest page, fans can click on the following link:
Once there, they click “like” to become a fan of Husky and then click on the big “enter” button at the center of the page to fill out the entry form before hitting the submit button for a chance to win. Fans can enter once daily between now and December 24 for their chance to win.

- JGR Press Release

Monday, December 10, 2012

50 Drivers Will Headline 2013 NASCAR Acceleration Weekend

For NASCAR fans who have been eagerly counting the days to the opening of the 2013 season, their wait is almost over. Almost.

For the second-consecutive year, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, five-time premier series winner Jimmie Johnson and NASCAR’s most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. will help race fans celebrate the past, present and future of NASCAR. The return of NASCAR Acceleration Weekend – a fan-friendly, interactive experience – is scheduled for Feb. 8-10, 2013, at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center and includes the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and NASCAR Preview 2013.

NASCAR Acceleration Weekend tickets are on sale now and available at and the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office. Tickets for Friday night’s Induction Ceremony start at $45. In addition, a $20 ticket will gain fans all-day access into NASCAR Preview 2013 and the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Saturday, February 9.

More than 50 drivers across NASCAR’s three national series – NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – are scheduled to participate in the all-day NASCAR Preview 2013 event. Fans will have the opportunity to interact with drivers and secure autographs, participate in driver Q&A sessions, get a first-look at the new sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race cars and paint schemes and check out various interactive displays, among other activities.
The weekend’s activities begin Friday, February 8, with the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The five inductees are Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood. Legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall will also be honored with the inaugural Squier-Hall Award for Media Excellence for their significant contributions to the success of NASCAR during their distinguished careers as media members covering the sport.

The following day, Saturday, February 9, NASCAR Preview 2013 begins at 7 a.m. in the Charlotte Convention Center. Similar to last year’s event, the all-day fan festival will feature autograph and on-stage Q&A sessions by top drivers from all three national series, the new sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup cars and paint schemes, giveaways and activities for fans of all ages.

Among other marquee names scheduled to participate are four-time series champion Jeff Gordon, three-time series champion Tony Stewart, two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series most popular driver Danica Patrick, and 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher.
Also on Saturday, February 9, the newly inducted NASCAR Hall of Fame members and/or their family representatives will be on hand for the unveiling of their Hall of Honor exhibits commemorating their NASCAR careers. On Sunday, February 10, each inductee’s granite marker will be unveiled in the Ceremonial Plaza as well as other exclusive member-only events.

- NASCAR Press Release

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Swan Racing to compete full 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule

A new NASCAR team, Swan Racing, will take the track at Daytona International Speedway in February 2013. Led by NASCAR's newest team owner, Brandon Davis, Swan Racing will compete fulltime in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, racing the No. 30 Toyota driven by David Stremme.

Davis, CEO of independent oil and gas company Swan Energy Inc., and a dirt-modified driver in the United States Modified Touring Series (USMTS) purchased the assets of Inception Racing earlier this year.

"Swan Racing is here to race competitively every week – the days of starting and parking are over. I am confident that we are putting together the personnel to one day produce a championship contender," said Davis.

"I have spent a lot of time with Brandon this year and I can tell you he is here to win," said Stremme. "I have never been so excited for a new season as I am for 2013. I'm ready to get started now."

Davis has tapped Steve Hmiel to be Swan Racing's director of competition. Hmiel is a veteran of the NASCAR garage area with over 35 years of experience as a crew chief, car chief and competition director.

Hmiel broke into NASCAR with Petty Enterprises, helping Richard Petty win championships in 1975 and 1979. In 1984, he was the crew chief for Terry Labonte's championship. As Mark Martin's crew chief from 1992 – 1996, Hmiel won 13 races for Roush Racing. In 2005, Hmiel was Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s crew chief for a brief period and won that year at Chicagoland Speedway. Most recently Hmiel was competition director at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing.

"Steve is among the best and brightest technical experts in the NASCAR garage area. His experience and expertise will be a crucial part in Swan Racing's success," said Davis.

"This is a great opportunity to build a team from the ground up. Brandon is completely committed to winning; he has a long-term vision. I am excited to be part of it," said Hmiel.

Swan Racing is located in Mooresville, N.C., and will get its horsepower from Triad Racing Technologies, a top engine builder.

Swan Energy will be the primary sponsor on the No. 30 Toyota. Discussions with additional sponsors are underway and further sponsor announcements are expected early in 2013.

- Swan Racing Press Release

Saturday, November 17, 2012

New Look For “Sixth Generation” 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Car

NASCAR today unveiled a new look for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, an integral and exciting step in the rollout process of the sixth generation race car.

“These changes are an extension of the unprecedented collaboration with the auto manufacturers on the 2013 car, great industry feedback and our focus on increasing fan affinity as part of NASCAR’s Industry Action Plan,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations, who introduced the new design at Homestead-Miami Speedway today.

The sixth-generation car look will debut with the opening of the 2013 Speed weeks, highlighted by the 55th running of the Daytona 500 on February 24 at Daytona International Speedway. 

Among the updates:
The driver’s last name featured on the windshield;

Sponsor decals will not be permitted on the headlights and taillights, two key distinguishing characteristics of the auto manufacturers’ brand;

Car numbers will be moved from the lights to the front and rear bumpers;

A single sponsor logo will be permitted on the roof under the number;

Team sponsor decals will be permitted to extend past the front edge of the b-post;

“Step and repeat” / background patterns will be permitted on the sides of the car;

Due to the slightly smaller car, the car number will be reduced by 10% and the contingency decals will be reduced to 26 square inches.

- NASCAR Press Release

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Phoenix Driver Statistics

Not all teams announce their weekly race previews'. Here is a list of those teams that do reveal the information in the teams race preview: 

#1- Jamie McMurray - McMurray has made 18 starts at Phoenix International Raceway. In those 18 starts, the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet has accumulated one top-five, two top-10 finishes. McMurray has completed 5,294 out of a possible 5,686 laps (93%) with a total of 29 laps led. He has an average start and finish position of 16.2 and 21.8, respectively. His best start at the mile oval was second in 2008.

#5- Kasey Kahne -  In 16 Cup starts at Phoenix, Kahne has one win, two top-five finishes and five top-10s. He has qualified inside the top 10 during the last three races at the one-mile Avondale, Ariz., oval.

#9- Marcos Ambrose - Ambrose will make his ninth career start at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. His best start (third) and his best finish (eighth) came in the 2011 fall race. Ambrose sits in 18th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings heading into Sunday’s 312-lap event.

#14-Tony Stewart - Stewart has one win, eight top-fives, 11 top-10s and has led a total of 555 laps in his 21 career Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix. Stewart has only six finishes outside the top-15. His average start is 13.5, his average finish is 11.8 and he has a lap completion rate of 99.8.

#15- Clint Bowyer - Bowyer has made 14 previous starts at Phoenix, scoring 2 top fives and 5 top tens. Bowyers best finish at the track was 2nd in April of 2008.

#16- Greg Biffle - Biffle has an average starting position of 13.9 and an average finish of 14.1 at Phoenix. He has earned % top fives and 6 top tens in 17 previous races at Phoenix.

#17- Matt Kenseth -  Kenseth has an average starting position of 20.6 and an average finishing position of 17.8 at Phoenix. In 20 starts, Kenseth has achieved one win, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes, and one pole at Phoenix in the Sprint Cup series.

#18- Kyle Busch - Busch has two top-five finishes and nine top-10s and has led a total of 272 laps in his 15 career Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix. His average Phoenix finish is 14.0.

#22- Sam Hornish Jr. - Hornish will be competing on both Saturday's Great Clips 200 Nationwide Series race and Sunday's AdvoCare 500 Sprint Cup Series race this weekend at PIR. Entering this weekend, he has made 17 overall Phoenix starts in the three series. In six IndyCar races, Hornish won twice and had three podium finishes. In his four Nationwide races, he has the big win and the sixth-place finish as highlights. In seven Cup starts, a ninth-place finish in the spring race of 2009 is his best result.

#24- Jeff Gordon - Gordon has 27 previous racea at Phoenix and has earned 3 poles, 2 wins, 10 top 5's, 19 top 10s and an average finish of 10.778. Gordon's most recent win came in February of 2011.

#27- Paul Menard - In his 11 previous starts at the one-mile raceway, Menard completed 99.3 percent of his laps (3,476 of 3,499). He owns an average starting position of 19.8 and an average finishing position of 23.7, with his best finish of ninth coming in the November 2011 event. His best start at the Avondale, Ariz. track came in April 2009 when the Eau Claire, Wis., native took the green flag in the seventh position

#29- Kevin Harvick - Harvick will make his429th career Sprint Cup Series start and 20th appearance at the one-mile track. The 36-year-old driver swept both events in 2006 and has accumulated five top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his past performances. Harvick maintains a 19.1 average starting position coupled with a 13.5 average finishing position, has completed 99.6 percent (5,976 of 5,998) of the laps contested and is credited with 405 laps led.

#31- Jeff Burton -  Sunday’s event marks Burton’s 27th start at the “The Desert Jewel” and 654th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. He has amassed two wins, seven top-five and 13 top-10 finishes and led 222 laps at the one-mile oval.

#39- Ryan Newman - Newman has four poles, one win (April 2010), seven top-five finishes and seven top-10s in 20 starts at the one mile oval.  

#42- Juan Pablo Montoya -  Montoya looks to make his 12th start this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. In his previous 11 starts he has led 104 laps and earned one top-five, and two top-10 finishes. Montoya has completed 3,492 out of a possible 3,499 (99%). His best start was fifth previously this year; and he earned his best finish of fifth in 2010. The driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet has an average starting position of 20.3 and an average finishing position of 16.5 at Phoenix International Raceway.

#43- Aric Almirola - Phoenix International Raceway is a good place to continue the run. Almirola earned a 12th-place finish at the Avondale, Ariz., track earlier this season in just his second race in the No. 43 Ford. It’s his best finish among his three Cup Series starts at PIR. He also started from the pole in one of his five Nationwide Series races at the one-mile oval.

#48- Jimmie Johnson - Phoenix Cup Race Notes of Interest: Four wins (November 2007, 2008, 2009 and April 2008). One pole (November 2008). 12 top-five finishes (66.7 percent) and 15 top-10s (83.3 percent) in 18 starts. Has finished every race at Phoenix. Average start of 12.4 and average finish of 5.3. Completed 5,685 of 5,686 laps (99.9 percent) and led 931. Sprint Cup’s best driver rating (118.4 average of a possible 150 points). Sprint Cup’s best in fastest laps run with 506.

#55- Mark Martin -  In 31 Sprint Cup starts Martin owns two victories (1993 & 2009) and 12 top-five finishes. He’s led 834 laps. He won the pole and finished ninth in March.

#88- Dale Earnhardt Jr - In 20 Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Earnhardt has earned two wins, four top-five finishes and eight top-10s. He also has led 460 laps there. He earned his two wins there back-to-back, going to Victory Lane in November 2003 and November 2004 when Phoenix hosted one Cup event a season.

#99- Carl Edwards -  In 16 starts at the one-mile track, Edwards has one win, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. His average start is 11.7 and average finish is 12.6.  Edwards has completed 94.3 percent of laps in Cup competition attempted at Phoenix.

- Reported in Team News/Press Releases

Phoenix Chassis Selections

Not all teams announce their weekly race chassis'. Here is a list of those teams that do reveal the chassis in the teams race preview:

#1- Jamie McMurray - Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Allstate team will bring Chassis #1222 to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. This chassis has raced only once previously, just two weeks ago at Martinsville Speedway, finishing 17th.

#2- Brad Keselowski - The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will race chassis PRS-833 during Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR). This is a brand-new chassis to the No. 2 fleet.

#5- Kasey Kahne - For the Nov. 11 race at Phoenix, crew chief Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-744. This is a brand new race car.

#9- Marcos Ambrose - The No. 9 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 805 for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. This Black & Decker Ford was run previously this season at Phoenix, Richmond, Pocono and Indianapolis.

#14-Tony Stewart -  Chassis No. 14-742 first turned its wheels on a racetrack during a test session Sept. 4-5 at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis., which prepared Chassis No. 14-742 for its debut in the Sept. 23 race at New Hampshire. There, the car qualified third and led 38 laps before finishing seventh. Chassis No. 14-742 returns to another relatively flat, 1-mile oval with this weekend's AdvoCare 500k at Phoenix International Raceway.

#15- Clint Bowyer - Primary chassis No. 718 is the race winning car from Sept. 8 event at Richmond and also finished fourth in the Chase opener at Loudon. Backup chassis No. 712 finished 30th at the first Phoenix race after cutting several tires early in the race. It also raced to a seventh place finish at Richmond in the spring.

#16- Greg Biffle -   Primary: RK-778   Last ran New Hampshire – finished 9th; Backup: RK-777    Last ran Pocono – finished 24th. Chassis RK-778 is the same car that Biffle drove to a third-place finish in the spring at Phoenix.

#17- Matt Kenseth - This weekend at Phoenix, Kenseth will pilot the No. 17 Ford EcoBoost Fusion. Primary chassis RK-808, last ran at Atlanta.

#22- Sam Hornish Jr. - Hornish and the Penske Racing No. 22 Team will be utilizing the "PRS-822" Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger in this weekend's AdvoCare 500 at PIR. This is the chassis that the No. 2 penske team raced in the April 22 race at Kansas Speedway where Brad Keselowski started 11th and finished 11th. The "PRS-807" chassis will serve as the backup. It was the No. 22 team's backup for last month's Martinsville race and has yet to be raced.

#24- Jeff Gordon - Gordon will race HMS chassis #24-750 this week at Phoenix. The car finished third at the fall New Hampshire race in 2012.

#27- Paul Menard -  Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 380 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend’s AdvoCare 500. This Chevrolet was last raced at Richmond International Raceway in September where Menard drove it to a 23rd-place finish. This chassis was also utilized at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July where Menard earned a 14th-place finish after starting from the eighth position.

#29- Kevin Harvick -  Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No.383 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the AdvoCare 500. Harvick raced this chassis at Phoenix International Raceway in March and Dover International Speedway in June, collecting second-place finishes in both events. The Bakersfield, Calif., native also drove this Chevrolet to a 15th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway in August and to a 13th-place result at Dover in September.

#31- Jeff Burton - Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 355 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This No. 31 Chevrolet was utilized three times last season at Darlington Raceway (start-24th, finish-33rd), Kansas Speedway (start-16th, finish-25th) and Chicagoland Speedway

#39- Ryan Newman - – Chassis No. 39-719: This will be only the second start for Chassis No. 39-719. Tha car raced at Richmond in April, finished 15th.  Ryan Newman carries the phrase "Home of the Free Because of the Brave" on the TV panel of his #39 Quicken Loans/U.S. Army Chevy this weekend at Phoenix. The car has a special camouflage paint scheme.

#42- Juan Pablo Montoya - Crew Chief Chris “Shine” Heroy and the No. 42 Target team will bring Chassis #1220 to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. This chassis will make its season debut this weekend in Phoenix.

#43- Aric Almirola - The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 710 for Phoenix. This car has run previously this season at Dover and Bristol.

#48- Jimmie Johnson - Chassis No. 715 serves as the primary for Johnson at Phoenix. Chassis No. 689 serves as the backup. No. 715 raced at Richmond in April, finished 6th and at Loudon finishing 7th in July and 2nd in September.

#55- Mark Martin - PRIMARY CHASSIS - 744– finished eighth at Martinsville with Brian Vickers behind the wheel.

#88- Dale Earnhardt Jr - This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-721. Earnhardt first raced this chassis to a fourth-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.

#99- Carl Edwards - The No. 99 Blue Team will unload RK-811 at Phoenix. This car last raced at Bristol (22nd), but also ran Kentucky (20th) in June and Charlotte (9th) in May.

- Reported in Team News/Press Releases

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

NASCAR Driver Press Conference Schedule - Phoenix

Press Conference Schedule, Phoenix

NASCAR schedules driver press conferences at every race weekend event. These normally include the Top 12 drivers in championship points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, along with other drivers of note. The press conferences will last approximately 15 minutes each and may be viewed at Times listed are local time.

Thursday, November 8:
2:45 p.m. – James Buescher (No. 31 Exide Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) – Media Center

Friday, November 9:

8:30a.m. – Austin Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series) – #3 Nationwide Series hauler

9:15 a.m. – Danica Patrick (No. 10 GoDaddy Racing Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series & No. 7 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series) – Media Center

9:45 a.m. – Ryan Newman (No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet/special Veterans Day paint scheme) – Media Center

11 a.m. – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s/KOBALT Tools Chevrolet), 1st in points (2339)/5 wins – Media Center

11:15 a.m. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet), 12th in points (2188)/1 win - #88 hauler

11:40 a.m. – Brian Vickers (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series/team announcement) – Media Center

11:55 a.m. – Elliott Sadler (No. 2 One Main Financial Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nationwide Series) - Media Center

1:25 p.m. – Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet), 8th in points (2259)/3 wins – #14 hauler

1:30 p.m. – Kyle Larson (No. 4 Ganassi/Earnhardt Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) – Media Center

1:45 p.m. – Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5 Hour Energy Toyota), 3rd in points (2303)/3 wins - #15 hauler

2:30 p.m. – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet), 6th in points (2267/1 win) - #24 hauler

3 p.m. – Brad Keselowski (No. 2Miller Lite Dodge), 2nd in points (2232/5 wins) – Media Center

3:15 p.m. – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 6 Valvoline NextGen Ford in the NASCAR Nationwide Series) – Media Center


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SRT Motorsports Presents THE NUMBERS: AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix

THE NUMBERS for the AdvoCare 500
Phoenix International Raceway (all 32 Sprint Cup races included)
1 – fewest lead changes (11/4/90)

2 – fewest leaders (11/4/90)

2 – fewest caution (11/7/99)

3 – fewest cars on lead lap at finish (10/30/94)

4 – number of wins from the pole (most recent, Carl Edwards, 11/14/10)

4 – fewest laps led by race winner (Ryan Newman, 4/10/10)

4 – most wins (Jimmie Johnson)

4 – most poles (Ryan Newman)

5 – number of jet dryers available for track drying this weekend

7 – number of cautions during the 2012 spring race

10 – fewest caution laps (11/7/99)

15 – most leaders (3/4/12)

20 – different pole winners

23 – different race winners

25 – number of lead changes in spring race

27 – fewest running at finish (11/5/89)

28 – most lead changes (2/27/11)

29 – most on lead lap at finish (11/2/03)

41 – most cars running at finish (three times, most recent 4/21/07)

66 – most caution laps (11/2/03)

90 minutes – amount of time it takes to dry the track after a significant rainfall.

262 – most laps led by race winner (Dale Earnhardt, 11/4/90)

2012 Caution Update

1 – fewest cautions this season (Fontana)

9 – races extended beyond scheduled distance (Daytona, Martinsville, Talladega,
Darlington, Sonoma, Michigan2, Atlanta,Talladega2 and Texas2)

14 – most cautions this season (Kansas2)

205 – number of cautions in the first 34 races of 2012; includes 95 for accidents,
55 for debris and 24 for spins

1,074 of 9,856 – number of laps under caution in 2012

1,466.452 of 13,000.176 – miles under caution in the first 34 races

- Darnell Communications for SRT Motorsports Press Release

Dollar General Expands Partnership With Joe Gibbs Racing

Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that it has signed a new expanded partnership agreement with Dollar General for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The new agreement means Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, will drive Dollar General’s familiar yellow and black No. 20 car in 17 Sprint Cup Races next season beginning with the Daytona 500 in February. Kenseth, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, is the current defending champion of the Great American Race. In addition, Dollar General will return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and will compete with a full championship season sponsorship with Brian Vickers at the wheel.

Vickers will return to the Nationwide Series on a fulltime basis in 2013, 10 years after he won three Nationwide races and became the youngest driver to win the Series Championship at the age of 20. Most recently, Vickers spent the 2012 season driving a partial NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing, where he finished in the top 10 in five starts including three top-five efforts. He has two career wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Since 2003, Vickers has continued to compete in the Nationwide Series, often driving the Dollar General car.

The 2013 season will mark Dollar General’s ninth year of NASCAR sponsorship, which will also continue to include two NASCAR Nationwide Series race sponsorships: The Dollar General 300 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and The Dollar General 300 Powered by Coca-Cola at Chicagoland Speedway.

- Joe Gibbs Racing Press Release

Monday, November 5, 2012

Phoenix International Raceway History and Notes

At Phoenix International Raceway:
· Construction was completed in January 1964. The facility consisted of a one-mile oval and a 2.5-mile road course.

· Alan Kulwicki won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix on Nov. 6, 1988.

· The first spring race was held on April 23, 2005 and also the first night race, which was won by Kurt Busch.

· The track underwent its first repave last year. The construction began in March and concluded in September of 2011.

· The following changes were made during the construction period (March – Sept., 2011):

o Widened the frontstretch from 52 to 62 feet

o Reconfigured pit road with the installation of concrete pit stalls

o Pushed the dog-leg curve between Turn 2 and Turn 3 out 95 feet

o Tightened the turn radius of the dog-leg from 800 to 500 feet

o Implemented variable banking to ensure the immediate use of two racing grooves, including 10-11 degree banking between Turn 1 and Turn 2; 10-11 degree banking in the apex of the dog-leg; and 8-9 degree banking in Turn 4

· There have been 32 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Phoenix International Raceway, one per season from 1988-2004 and two each season since.

· Geoffrey Bodine won the first pole in 1988 at a speed of 123.203 mph (29.220 sec.).

· There have been 19 different pole winners, led by Ryan Newman with four.

· Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards are the only drivers to win consecutive poles. Newman won three straight (2002-04), while Gordon won the fall of 2006 and spring of 2007, and Edwards won the fall of 2010 and spring of 2011.

· There have been 23 different race winners, led by Jimmie Johnson, with four – (’07 fall, ’08 sweep, ’09 fall).

· The race has been won from the pole four times: Jeff Gordon (spring 2007), Jimmie Johnson (fall 2008), Mark Martin (spring 2009) and Carl Edwards (fall 2010).

· The race has been won from a top-10 starting position in 17 of 32 events.

· Denny Hamlin (November, 2005) won his first career pole at Phoenix International Raceway.

· Ricky Rudd won the 1995 race from the 29th-place starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.

· Matt Kenseth won the 2002 race from the 28th-place starting position, the furthest back an active race winner has started.

· Mark Martin has 20 top-10 finishes, more than any other driver. Martin (9.0 average finish) is one of two active drivers who average a top-10 finish. Jimmie Johnson (5.2) is the other.

· Two perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 have been recorded at Phoenix, Kurt Busch in April of 2005 and Kevin Harvick in November of 2006.

· Five drivers have won consecutive races at Phoenix: Davey Allison (1991,1992); Jeff Burton (2000, 2001); Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003, 2004); Kevin Harvick (swept 2006); Jimmie Johnson is the only one of the five to win three consecutive races (fall 2007, swept 2008).

· Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Phoenix with nine, followed by Roush Fenway Racing with six.

· Of the seven drivers with multiple wins at Phoenix International Raceway, Mark Martin is the only driver to win in two different manufacturers: Ford (1993) and Chevrolet (2009).

· Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Texas Motor Speedway winner: Phoenix International Raceway winner: Kyle Busch (11/13/2005 – 20 years, 6 months, 11 days). Oldest NSCS Phoenix International Raceway winner: Mark Martin (4/18/2009 – 50 years, 3 months, 9 days).

· Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Phoenix International Raceway pole winner: Kyle Busch (4/22/2006 – 20 years, 11 months, 20 days). Oldest NSCS Phoenix International Raceway pole winner: Mark Martin (4/18/2009 – 53 years, 1 months, 24 days).

Phoenix International Raceway DataChase Race #: 9 of 10
Season Race #: 35 of 36 (11-11-12)
Track Size: 1-mile
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 10 - 11 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 8 - 9 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 3 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 9 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 1,179 feet
Backstretch Length: 1,551 feet
Race Length: 312 laps / 500 Kilometers

Top 12 Driver Rating at Phoenix
Jimmie Johnson........................ 118.4

Tony Stewart............................. 100.4
Carl Edwards.............................. 99.7
Jeff Gordon................................ 99.5
Kurt Busch.................................. 98.9
Denny Hamlin............................. 98.8
Mark Martin................................. 98.4
Kevin Harvick.............................. 97.5
Kyle Busch................................. 96.9
Greg Biffle.................................. 93.3
Martin Truex Jr............................ 89.1
Ryan Newman............................. 88.6
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (15 total) among active drivers at Phoenix International Raceway

-NASCAR Statistics

NASCAR This Week on ESPN

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series at Phoenix
The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will race at the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway with races on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 10-11 and ESPN will have live telecasts of both races. Coverage of Sunday’s 500-kilometer NASCAR Sprint Cup race, the next-to-last of the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, begins with NASCAR Countdown at 2 p.m. ET and the race’s green flag at 3:15 p.m. Saturday’s 200-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series race coverage begins with NASCAR Countdown at 3:30 p.m. and the green flag at 4:16 p.m.  All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones and tablets with the WatchESPN app and
Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick (Sprint Cup); Marty Reid (Nationwide); analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree.
Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch.
NASCAR Countdown: Nicole Briscoe (host); Rusty Wallace, Ray Evernham, Brad Daugherty (analysts).

ESPN’s Hannah Storm Goes Face-to-Face with NASCAR Stars
With the 2012 NASCAR season nearing the finish line, four of the sport’s biggest stars open their lives to fans in a one-hour, prime time conversation special with ESPN SportsCenter anchor Hannah Storm on Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. on ESPN. NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart will offer an up-close look at their lives on and away from the track through a blend of conversation and access as they near the end of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Johnson and Keselowski are currently locked in a battle for the 2012 series championship. The program repeats on Thursday night, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. Full Release

NASCAR Now Schedule
ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will preview the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway in the one-hour edition airing Sunday, Nov. 11, at 8 a.m. ET. Host Lindsay Czarniak will be joined in the studio by ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven with reporters Marty Smith and Shannon Spake at the track. Czarniak and Craven will review the race Sunday night at 10 p.m. while ESPN analyst Dale Jarrett joins for more review on Monday’s show at 2 p.m. Wednesday’s program includes a salute to NASCAR Hall of Famer, former team owner and WWII vet Bud Moore. The week’s schedule:

Date Time Show Host Network

Mon., Nov. 5 11:30 p.m.  NASCAR Now Mike Massaro        ESPN2
Tue., Nov. 6 3:30 p.m.   NASCAR Now Mike Massaro        ESPN2
Wed., Nov. 7 3 p.m.         NASCAR Now Mike Massaro        ESPN2
Thu., Nov. 8 11:30 p.m.  NASCAR Now Chris Cotter            ESPN2
Sun., Nov. 11 8 a.m.         NASCAR Now Lindsay Czarniak ESPN2
Sun., Nov. 11 10 p.m.       NASCAR Now Lindsay Czarniak ESPN2

- ESPN Media Zone