Wednesday, February 29, 2012

NASCAR Issues Penalties to the #48 Team and Knaus

NASCAR has issued penalties, suspensions and fines to the No. 48 team in the Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rules infractions found on Feb. 17 during opening day inspection for the Daytona 500.

The No. 48 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the rule book or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-2.1E (if in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance will not be permitted -- unapproved car body modifications).

As a result, crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec have been suspended from the next six Sprint Cup Series championship events, suspended from NASCAR until April 18 and placed on NASCAR probation until May 9. Additionally, Knaus has been fined $100,000.

Driver Jimmie Johnson and car owner Jeff Gordon have been penalized with the loss of 25 driver and 25 owner points, respectively.

Hendrick Motorsports will appeal sanctions announced today by NASCAR related to the No. 48 Sprint Cup Series team.

“Our organization respects NASCAR and the way the sanctioning body governs our sport,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “In this case, though, the system broke down, and we will voice our concerns through the appeal process.”

Adjustments to No. 48 team personnel are not planned while the appeal is ongoing.
- NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports PR


NASCAR HOTPASS on DIRECTV is back, and it’s FREE to all DIRECTV customers. Four dedicated driver channels offering viewers multiple camera angles, real-time statistics and audio of the network broadcast augmented by live communication between the drivers and their pit crews are available for all 36 points-paying races during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. 
The NASCAR HOTPASS lineup for Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway is as follows:

DIRECTV Channel 795: Clint Bowyer and the No. 15, 5-Hour Energy Toyota of Michael Waltrip Racing.

DIRECTV Channel 796: Matt Kenseth and the No. 17, Best Buy Ford of Roush Fenway Racing.

DIRECTV Channel 797: Dale Earnhardt Jr., and the No. 88, Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard Chevrolet team of Hendrick Motorsports.

DIRECTV Channel 798: Carl Edwards and the No. 99, Fastenal Ford team of Roush Fenway Racing.

NASCAR HOTPASS is available free to all DIRECTV customers. More information is available at  

TrueSpeed Communications Press Release

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Entry List for SUBWAY Fresh Fit "500" Cup Race - Phoenix

Veh # Driver             Owner            Crew Chief            Veh Mfg           Sponsor
1- 1- Jamie McMurray Teresa Earnhardt Kevin Manion 11 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops
2- 2- Brad Keselowski Roger Penske Paul Wolfe 12 Dodge Miller Lite
3- 5- Kasey Kahne Linda Hendrick Kenny Francis 12 Chevrolet Farmers 
4- 7- Robby Gordon Robby Gordon Samuel Stanley 12 Dodge Speed Energy
5- 9- Marcos Ambrose Richard Petty Todd Parrott 12 Ford Stanley
6- 10- David Reutimann Tommy Baldwin Tommy Baldwin 12 Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing
7- 11- Denny Hamlin J D Gibbs Darian Grubb 12 Toyota FedEx Office
8- 13- Casey Mears Bob Germain Bootie Barker III 12 Ford No. 13 GEICO Ford Fusion
9- 14- Tony Stewart Margaret Haas Steve Addington 12 Chevrolet OFFICE DEPOT / MOBIL 1
10- 15- Clint Bowyer Rob Kauffman Brian Pattie 12 Toyota 5 Hour Energy
11- 16- Greg Biffle Jack Roush Matt Puccia 12 Ford 3M Commer graphics
12- 17- Matt Kenseth John Henry Jimmy Fennig 12 Ford Best Buy
13- 18- Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Dave Rogers 12 Toyota M&M's Brown
14- 20- Joey Logano Joe Gibbs Jason Ratcliff 12 Toyota The Home Depot
15- 22- A J Allmendinger Walter Czarnecki Todd Gordon 12 Dodge Shell Pennzoil
16- 23- Scott Riggs Robert Richardson Sr Greg Conner 12 Chevrolet North Texas Pipe
17- 24- Jeff Gordon Rick Hendrick Alan Gustafson 12 Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger
18- 26- Josh Wise Jerry Freeze Charles Dickey Jr 12 Ford Morristown Driver's Service
19-27- Paul Menard Richard Childress Slugger Labbe 12 Chevrolet MENARDS - TARKETT
20-29- Kevin Harvick Richard Childress Shane Wilson 11 Chevrolet RHEEM
21-30- David Stremme Kevin Buckler Steve Lane 12 Toyota TBA
22- 31- Jeff Burton Richard Childress Drew Blickensderfer 12 Chevrolet WHEATIES
23- 32- Terry Labonte Jack Roush Frank Stoddard Jr 12 Ford TBA
24- 33- Brendan Gaughan Richard Childress Gil Martin 12 Chevrolet SOUTH POINT CASINO
25- 34- David Ragan Bob Jenkins Jay Guy 12 Ford TBA
26- 36- Dave Blaney Allan Heinke Tony Witt 12 Chevrolet Tomm
27- 37- Timmy Hill Larry Gunselman William Henderson 12 Ford
28- 38- David Gilliland Brad Jenkins Patrick Tryson 12 Ford Long John Silver's
29- 39- Ryan Newman Tony Stewart Tony Gibson 12 Chevrolet WIX
30- * -140 TBA Michael Hillman TBA 12 Toyota TBA
31- 42- Juan Pablo Montoya Chip Ganassi Chris Heroy 11 Chevrolet Target
32- 43- Aric Almirola Richard Petty Greg Erwin 12 Ford Medallion Financial
33- 47- Bobby Labonte Tad Geschickter Todd Berrier 12 Toyota Kingsford-Scotts
34- 48- Jimmie Johnson Jeff Gordon Chad Knaus 12 Chevrolet Lowe's / Kobalt Tools
35- 49- J J Yeley Jay Robinson Tony Furr 12 Toyota America Israel Racing
36- 51- Kurt Busch James Finch Nick Harrison 12 Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services, Inc.
37- 55- Mark Martin Bill Jenkins Rodney Childers 12 Toyota Aaron's
38- 56- Martin Truex Jr Michael Waltrip Chad Johnston 12 Toyota NAPA Filters
39- *74- Stacy Compton Vickie Compton Peter Sospenzo 12 Chevrolet Turn One Racing
40- 78- Regan Smith Barney Visser Pete Rondeau 11 Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing
41- 83- Landon Cassill Thomas Ueberall Doug Richert 12 Toyota Burger King
42- 87- Joe Nemechek(i) Andrea Nemechek Steven Gray 11 Toyota AM-Fm Energy Wood & Pellet Stove
43- 88- Dale Earnhardt Jr Rick Hendrick Steve Letarte 12 Chevrolet National Guard 
44- 93- Travis Kvapil Thomas Ueberall Todd Anderson 12 Toyota Burger King
45- 98- Michael McDowell Dusty Whitney Gene Nead 12 Ford TBA
46- 99- Carl Edwards Jack Roush Bob Osborne 12 Ford Subway
* Entries Have Withdrawn

Monday, February 27, 2012

NASCAR This Week on ESPN

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Phoenix
The NASCAR Nationwide Series moves to the 1-mile Phoenix International Raceway this weekend for a 200-mile race and ESPN2 will have a live telecast. NASCAR Countdown airs at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 3, with the race’s green flag at 4:45 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; analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree.

Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch.

ESPN Tech Garage: Tim Brewer

NASCAR Countdown: Nicole Briscoe (host); Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty (analysts).

NASCAR Now Schedule
The one-hour weekend edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will air on Sunday, March 4, at 11 a.m. ET with a preview of that day’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. Mike Massaro will host, joined by analyst Andy Petree from Phoenix along with reportersShannon Spake and Marty Smith. Weekday editions of the program air Tuesday and Thursday of this week at 3 p.m.

Date              Time       Show                  Host                 Network
Tues., Feb. 28 3 p.m.   NASCAR Now    Allen Bestwick  ESPN2
Thur., March 1 3 p.m. NASCAR Now    Mike Massaro  ESPN2
Sun., March 4 11 a.m. NASCAR Now    Mike Massaro  ESPN2
Mon., March 5 3 p.m.  NASCAR Now   Mike Massaro  ESPN2

Motorsports on Other ESPN Platforms -- RacingLive! on is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, March 4, RacingLive! Phoenix will coincide with the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway. Fans can join’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at motorsports writer Terry Blount will be on hand at Phoenix.

ESPN Radio -- Each weekend morning, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. ET with host Pat Patterson anchored from the site of that weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay listeners get an hour of news, previews and analysis, as well as profiles and interviews with NASCAR’s biggest names and newsmakers and the involvement of listeners via calls and e-mails.

- ESPN MediaZone PR

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Open letter to NASCAR fans from Brian France

Dear NASCAR fans,
With the Daytona 500 now upon us, I hope you are as excited as I am to see the greatest drivers in the world competing at Daytona International Speedway later Sunday.
NASCAR is in a very good place right now and our entire industry is working very hard for you, the fans, as we continually seek to improve and grow our sport. Indeed, we are listening to you, as several enhancements that have been put in place in recent years were a direct result of your input.
Thank you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm, the way you wholeheartedly embrace NASCAR and how you share your passion for our sport with family, friends and others you encounter each and every day. We certainly were encouraged by the excitement generated by our 2011 season and look forward to enjoying this season together as one NASCAR Nation.
On behalf of the France family, I want to personally express our appreciation for your support, and join you in anticipation of the thrilling ride ahead.
Best Regards,
Brian France


Friday, February 24, 2012

Budweiser to Sponsor Speedweeks and Duel at Daytona Starting in 2013

Budweiser and Daytona International Speedway today announced the beer brand will take on an enhanced role in NASCAR’s season opening festivities.

Beginning with the 2013 season, Budweiser will become the official title sponsor of Speedweeks –the ten-day stretch of stock-car races from the Shootout to the Daytona 500®. Budweiser also will secure entitlement of the Budweiser Duel at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races that determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500. These enhancements to Budweiser’s partnership with DIS will replace the brand’s existing entitlement of the season-opening, non-points Shootout.

“Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway marks the official start of the NASCAR season, and the opportunity to expand our presence throughout the ten-day event puts Budweiser even more in the thick of it all,” said Brad Brown, vice president of sports & entertainment marketing, Anheuser-Busch. “The Shootout has been an important element of our NASCAR program for 34 years, but this opportunity to enhance our partnership makes Budweiser even more relevant to our consumers as well as the fans of the Daytona 500.”

As part of the sponsorship, Budweiser will also receive the presenting sponsorship of the Daytona 500 pre-race broadcast show. The brand will also receive increased access for consumer hospitality events, including naming rights to the 5th Turn hospitality area throughout Speedweeks.

“Budweiser is the longest running active partner with Daytona International Speedway and we are incredibly excited to enter this new chapter with them in 2013,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood. “The opportunities created by this enhanced partnership are compelling and our fans will benefit the most. The intensity and fun atmosphere that Budweiser brought to the Shootout for so many years will be taken up several notches as they assume a much broader role during Speedweeks and ‘The Great American Race.’ ”

Budweiser is removing its name from NASCAR's Shootout exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway beginning next February. Daytona president Joie Chitwood made the announcement at the track Friday morning. The beer brand will become title sponsor of Daytona Speedweeks and the Daytona 500 pre-race show. It also sponsors the No. 29 car driven by Kevin Harvick. Chitwood says the track is shopping for a new title sponsor for the Shootout.

Next season's Shootout field will feature mostly pole position winners from this season. The pole position is sponsored by a rival brewer, Coors Light.

- Daytona International Speedway PR

DIRECTV NASCAR HOTPASS Lineup for the 54th Daytona 500

NASCAR HOTPASS on DIRECTV is back, and it’s FREE to all DIRECTV customers. Four dedicated driver channels offering viewers multiple camera angles, real-time statistics and audio of the network broadcast augmented by live communication between the drivers and their pit crews are available for all 36 points-paying races during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. 
The NASCAR HOTPASS lineup for the 54th Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway is as follows:   

DIRECTV Channel 795: Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team of Richard Childress Racing.

DIRECTV Channel 796: Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet team of Hendrick Motorsports.

DIRECTV Channel 797: Dale Earnhardt Jr., and the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard Chevrolet team of Hendrick Motorsports. 

DIRECTV Channel 798: Carl Edwards and the No. 99 Fastenal Ford team of Roush Fenway Racing.

NASCAR HOTPASS is available free to all DIRECTV customers. More information is available at  

- TrueSpeed Communications Press Release

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Daytona 500 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:

Note: Due to crashes in the Duel races, some teams will use backup cars, those chassis' are listed if teams released information.

#09- Kenny Wallace - Kenny Wallace will pilot RAB Racing Chassis No. 51 in is his bid to make the 54th-annual Daytona 500. Purchased from Red Bull Racing, this chassis saw action last year when Brian Vickers piloted this Toyota Camry to a fifth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway.

#1- Jamie McMurray - Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No.1 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats team will be bringing a brand new chassis, Chassis #1204, to Daytona International Speedway this weekend.

#2- Brad Keselowski - The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will race chassis PRS-643 during Sunday’s 54th running of the Daytona 500. This is a new chassis to the No. 2 fleet.

#5- Kasey Kahne - KaseyKahne will drive Team Hendrick Chassis #5-703 for the Duel and Daytona 500, a new car that has not been raced yet. NOTE: This car was damaged before the Duel and the team will go to a backup car! After the spin in practice, Kasey Kahne will be in chassis #632 for the Duel race. The car raced in all four 2011 plate races.

#6- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. No. 6 Ford Ecoboost Fusion team and Crew Chief Chad Norris will bring Chassis: RK-689 to the Daytona 500, last years Daytona July race winner. RK–720 will serve as backup. It was the 2011 backup chassis for the No. 16 team.

#9- Marcos Ambrose - The No. 9 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 795 for the Daytona 500. This Stanley Ford Fu­sion is brand new this season and was tested in Daytona in January.

#10- Danica Patrick - Chassis No. 333: This is a brand new chassis that will make its debut during Daytona (Fla.) Speedweeks in preparation for the 54th Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.

#14- Tony Stewart  - Chassis No. 14-634: This car debuted during Daytona Speedweeks in 2011. It set the 10th fastest time in Daytona 500 qualifying, which slotted it fifth for the Gatorade Duel. In that race, Stewart drove Chassis No. 14-634 to a 12th-place finish, which gave him a 25th-place starting spot for the Daytona 500. While he never led a lap in the season-opening race, Stewart was a top-10 mainstay – that is until the final lap, when he was shuffled out of the draft en route to a 13th -place finish. It had numerous sessions in the wind tunnel between Daytona And the April 17 race at Talladega Superspeedway, where in its third career start, it finished 17th after starting 30th. It returned to Daytona in July for the Coke Zero 400, where it started 19th and finished 11th. It returned to Talladega in October where it notched its fifth career start and last of the 2011 season with a 12th-place qualifying effort and a seventh-place finish. Chassis No. 14-634 has been refined for 2012 and was tested extensively at Daytona Jan. 12-14.

#16- Greg Biffle - Primary Chassis: RK-794, a brand new chassis; Backup Chassi: RK-689, Last ran Daytona in July – finished 18th.

#17- Matt Kenseth -Primary Chassis: RK-779 (Last run at Talladega, Oct. 2011)

 #18- Kyle Busch - Chassis No. 333: This brand new chassis will make its debut in the 54th Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.  

#20- Joey Logano - The No. 20 Home Depot team will take chassis #293 to Daytona for the 500. The car has run previous restrictor-plate races in the past. Chassis #325 will serve at the team’s backup for Daytona. It’s the same car the team used in the Daytona test back in January.

#22- A J Allmendinger - Allmendinger, and crew are racing their "PRS-642" Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger in this week's action at Daytona. Thursday's qualifying race will mark its first time in racing competition. The "PRS-626" will serve as the team's backup Dodge Charger this week.

#27- Paul Menard - Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 338 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the Daytona 500. This Chevrolet Impala was a new addition to the RCR fleet for the 2011 season and saw superspeedway competition as Menard’s No. 27 in the Daytona 500, at Talladega Superspeedway in April and at Daytona International Speedway in the Coke Zero 400 in July. The car was last seen on track at Talladega in October, entered as the No. 33 Chevy 100 Years Chevrolet where the team started third and went on to claim RCR’s 100th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.

#29- Kevin Harvick - The No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team will utilize Chassis No. 387 from the Richard Childress Racing stable for this weekend’s Daytona 500. This is a brand new race car that saw its first on-track activity at DIS during preseason testing in January.

#31- Jeff Burton - Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 296 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the Daytona 500. This chassis, built in 2010 for RCR’s No. 33 entry, competed in two super speedway events in 2010 including the Talladega Superspeedway race in April (started-14th, finished-seventh) and the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July (started-15th, finished-17th).

#33- Elliott Sadler -Elliott Sadler will pilot Chassis No. 238 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This former No. 31 racer received a new body over the season after competing in the 2010 and 2011 Budweiser Shootouts with driver Jeff Burton, posting 12th and eighth-place finishes, respectively.

#36- Dave Blaney - CHASSIS NO. 331 – The No. 36 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet team will compete with the No. 331 chassis. The chassis is a brand new chassis made by Richard Childress Racing. TBR tested the chassis at Daytona International Speedway in January.

#39- Ryan Newman - Chassis No. 39-664:This chassis has previously been raced at both Daytona International Speedway in July of last season for the Coke Zero 400 and at Talladega  Superspeedway in October for the Good Sam 500. At the Coke Zero 400, Newman had a strong racecar, evidenced by his leading four times for a race-high 25 laps. But for Newman, the race was once again an example of his bad luck streak at restrictor-plate races. Newman was relegated to a 23rd-place finish thanks to being shuffled out of the lead on the race’s final restart and being collected in a last-lap accident. Back in the shop, bodywork was repaired on the car before its next outing in the fall race at Talladega, but Newman didn’t fare any better. Despite leading five laps early, he finished 16 laps down in 38th. Newman suffered damage to his racecar on lap 81 when contact sent him spinning into the infield grass, ripping the splitter from beneath the front bumper. Once again, the car’s bodywork had to be repaired and the team updated the car in accordance with NASCAR’s rules. The car was tested at Daytona in January.

#42- Juan Pablo Montoya - Chris Heroy and the No. 42 Target team will be racing chassis #1117 in the Daytona 500. This is the same chassis that Montoya drove to a 15th place finish during the fall race at Talladega Superspeedway last year.

#43- Aric Almirola - The No. 43 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 722 for the Daytona 500. This is not the same car the team tested at the speedway in January, but it is the same Ford Fusion that the No. 43 team ran in every restrictor plate event last season.

#48- Jimmie Johnson - Jimmie Johnson will pilot chassis No. 628 in the Daytona 500. The car was raced 5 times in 2011, winning the race at Talladega in April.  A new chassis,, No. 698, will serve as backup.

#51- Kurt Busch - Chassis No. 453: Kurt Busch tested this chassis in January at Daytona International Speedway and turned a lap of 206.058 mph. This is the same car that Brad Keselowski drove to victory in April 2009 at Talladega. It was his first career victory and remains the only Sprint Cup Series win for Phoenix Racing.

#55- Mark Martin - Primary Chassis is #687, Backup Chassis is #710 - Both are making first race appearances.

#88- Dale Earnhardt Jr - For the Feb. 26 Daytona 500, SteveLetarte has selected Chassis No. 88-699. This is a new chassis that has not been raced yet.

#99- Carl Edwards - Chassis: RK-712 Last raced at Daytona 500 last year – finished 2nd.

- Reported in Team News/Press Releases

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 Daytona 500 Facts and Stats

Daytona 500 Tidbits
  • The 2012 edition will be the 54th running of the Daytona 500.
  • Although the first Daytona 500 was held in 1959, it has been the season-opener only since 1982.
  • 518 drivers have competed in at least one Daytona 500; 306 in more than one.
  • 35 drivers have won a Daytona 500.
  • Youngest Daytona 500 winner: Trevor Bayne (02/20/2011 - 20 years, 0 months, 1 days)
  • Oldest Daytona 500 winner: Bobby Allison (02/14/1988 - 50 years, 2 months, 11 days)
  • Eight drivers have won more than one Daytona 500, led by Richard Petty with seven victories.
·  The eight drivers who have won the Daytona 500 more than once: Richard Petty (seven), Cale Yarborough (four), Bobby Allison (three), Dale Jarrett (three), Jeff Gordon (three), Bill Elliott (two), Sterling Marlin (two) and Michael Waltrip (two).
  • Dale Earnhardt leads the series in runner-up finishes in the Daytona 500 with five; Kurt Busch leads all active drivers in Daytona 500 second-place finishes with three.
  • Dale Earnhardt finished in the top 10 in 16 of his 23 Daytona 500s.
  • Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty each had 16 top 10s in the Daytona 500, more than any other driver.
  • Dale Earnhardt had 12 top fives in the Daytona 500, more than any other driver.
  • Only 13 drivers have an average finish of 10th or better in the Daytona 500, six of those competed in the Daytona 500 only once.
  • Clint Bowyer has a 12.2 average finish in six appearances, the best of the active drivers who have competed in more than one Daytona 500.
·  Lee Petty, who won the inaugural Daytona 500, and Trevor Bayne, 2011 Daytona 500 champion, are the only two drivers to win the Daytona 500 in their first appearance.
·  28 of the 35 drivers who have won, participated in at least two Daytona 500s before visiting Victory Lane.
·  Dale Earnhardt competed 19 times before winning his only Daytona 500 (1998), the longest span of any of the 35 race winners.
·  Six drivers made 10 or more attempts before their first Daytona 500 victory: Dale Earnhardt (19), Buddy Baker (18), Darrell Waltrip (16), Bobby Allison (14), Michael Waltrip (14) and Sterling Marlin12).
  • The most Daytona 500s all-time without a victory was Dave Marcis (33 races).
·   Mark Martin (27) leads active drivers without a victory.
·   Six drivers posted their career-first victory with a win in the Daytona 500: Tiny Lund (1963), Mario Andretti (1967), Pete Hamilton (1970), Derrike Cope (1990), Sterling Marlin (1994), Michael Waltrip (2001) and Trevor Bayne (2011).
·  Three other drivers posted their career-first victory in (point-paying) qualifying races: Johnny Rutherford (1963), Bobby Isaac (1964) and Earl Balmer (1966).
·  A driver has won back-to-back Daytona 500s three times. Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84) and Sterling Marlin (1994-95)
·  Kevin Harvick’s 0.020-second margin of victory over Mark Martin in the 2007 Daytona 500 is the 12th-closest overall since the advent of electronic timing in 1993, and the closest in a Daytona 500.
  • 26 of the 53 Daytona 500s have been won from a top-five starting position.
  • Matt Kenseth won the Daytona 500 from the 39th starting position in 2009, the deepest a race winner has started.
  • Nine have been won from the pole. The last to do so was Dale Jarrett in 2000.
  • 16 Daytona 500s have been won from the front row.
  • Danica Patrick will become the third female driver to compete in a Daytona 500 joining Janet Guthrie and Shawna Robinson.


3M, USG And Freescale Add Special Awards To 2012 NASCAR Contingency Program

As teams make final preparations to start the 2012 race season, NASCAR announced the lineup of 2012 NASCAR Contingency Program sponsors for all three national series.

The NASCAR Contingency Program is administered by the Charlotte, N.C. ­based NASCAR Automotive Group. The program strives to build strong relationships with high­ quality, performance­ driven brands that are leaders in their respective categories, and award money to NASCAR teams via per ­race and year-end awards. Competitors become eligible for prize money by displaying sponsor decals on the front fender of their race cars and trucks. In some instances, use of a sponsor’s product is also required.

Three new special awards highlight the 2012 contingency program award lineup. This season, longtime NASCAR Official Partner and Roush Fenway Racing primary sponsor 3M will present the 3M Lap Leader Award in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series. The award will go to the eligible driver who leads the most laps in each race throughout the season. USG Corp., the Official Building Product Supplier of NASCAR, will present the USG "Improving the Finish" Award to the eligible NSCS driver who improves the most positions from starting position to finishing position in each NSCS race event.

Freescale, the Official Automotive Semiconductor of NASCAR, is not only helping to usher in electronic fuel injection to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but also will present a new contingency special award to NSCS competitors. The Freescale "Wide Open" Award will be given to the eligible NSCS driver that is the most aggressive during the final 20% of the race, measured by having the throttle “wide open” the greatest amount of time, and finishing in the top five.

“As one of the largest suppliers of electronics for automotive, networking, consumer and industrial products, Freescale is known for high performance products and for pushing technology to the limits,” said Rich Beyer, chairman and CEO of Freescale Semiconductor. “We want to reward that same kind of performance on the track.”

“We are very pleased to have a strong lineup of NASCAR Prize Money & Decal Program sponsors in the national series this year including new special awards from our dedicated partners 3M, USG and Freescale,” said Todd Armstrong, managing director, NASCAR Automotive Group. “NASCAR contingency sponsors and teams display a level of synergy and teamwork that is unparalleled in sports and continues to be one of the major reasons companies choose to partner with NASCAR.”

Below is the 2012 national series sponsor lineup and special awards:

·         3M – NSCS*, NNS*
- Lap Leader Award
·         ARP Fasteners – NNS
·         Auto Meter Gauges – NSCS, NNS, NCWTS
·         Competition Cams – NSCS, NNS, NCWTS
·         Coors Light – NSCS*, NNS*, NCWTS* (Keystone Light)
                - Pole Award
·         DIRECTV – NSCS*
- Crew Chief of the Race/Year
·         Edelbrock Intake Manifolds – NSCS, NNS, NCWTS
·         Featherlite – NNS*, NCWTS*
- Most Improved Driver Award
·         Freescale – NSCS*
- Wide Open Award
·         Goodyear Tires – NSCS*, NNS*, NCWTS*
- Goodyear Tires Award to Series Champions
·         Growth Energy/American Ethanol – NSCS*, NNS*, NCWTS*
- Green Flag Restart Award (NSCS)
- Awarded to Series Champions (NNS, NCWTS)
·         Holley Throttle Bodies/Carburetors – NSCS (throttle bodies), NNS, NCWTS
·         JE Pistons – NNS, NCWTS
·         JEGS – NSCS, NNS
·         K&N Filters – NSCS, NNS, NCWTS
·         Lincoln Electric – NSCS, NCWTS
·         MAHLE Clevite – NSCS*, NNS*, NCWTS*
- Engine Builder of the Race/Year Award
·         Mechanix Wear – NSCS*, NNS, NCWTS
- Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew (Quarterly/Year ­End)
·         Mobil 1 – NSCS*, NNS*, NCWTS*
- Driver of the Race/Year
·         MOOG Steering & Suspension – NSCS*, NNS, NCWTS
- Problem Solver of the Race/Year
·         MSD Ignition – NNS, NCWTS
·         Simpson Firesuits – NNS, NCWTS
·         Sunoco – NSCS*, NNS*, NCWTS*
- Diamond Performance Award to Series Champions
- Rookie of the Year
·         USG – NSCS*
- Improving the Finish Award

*Indicates Special Award sponsor with a year -end bonus.


Monday, February 20, 2012

UFC Champion Jon “Bones” Jones will serve as Honorary Race Official for the Daytona 500

UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones will serve as Honorary Race Official for the 54th annual Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Daytona International Speedway.

As Honorary Race Official, Jones will be introduced at the driver’s meeting, participate in pre-race ceremonies and ride in one of the honorary race official cars ahead of the 43-car field for the 200-lap, 500-mile historic race.

“Jon ‘Bones’ Jones is a huge star in mixed martial arts,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “We are excited to welcome him to the ‘World Center of Racing’ and have him be a part of the pre-race ceremonies for NASCAR’s biggest, richest and most prestigious race.”

“I am thrilled to be able to serve as Honorary Race Official at this year's Daytona 500, NASCAR's premier event,” Jones said. “Like the UFC, NASCAR has a passionate and knowledgeable fan base, and I am honored that I will get to share this experience with them."

Jones’ holds a career record of 15-1, which is comprised of eight knockouts and five submissions. He was named “Most Dangerous Man” at the 2011 Spike Guys’ Choice Awards and “2011 Fighter of the Year” at the World MMA Awards.

In December 2011, the Endicott, N.Y. native capped off what many have hailed as the greatest year in MMA history with a submission against Lyoto Machida.

Earlier in the year, Jones became the youngest champion in UFC history at the age of 23 after he won all four of his fights and earned the Light Heavyweight title. With two more defeats of former champions later in 2011, Jones became the first fighter in UFC history to defeat three former champions in one year.

Jones entered the UFC in August 2008 after only four months of competing in professional fights.

Currently, Jones trains in Alburquerque, N.M. under legendary MMA coach Greg Jackson. On April 21 in Atlanta, Jones will take on his former champion training partner, “Suga” Rashad Evans, in one of the most anticipated UFC fights of the year.

- Daytona International Speedway PR

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Duel #2 Starting Lineup

1- 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 
2- 13 Casey Mears GEICO Ford 
3- 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet 
4- 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 
5- 55 Mark Martin Aaron's Toyota 
6- 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 
7- 17 Matt Kenseth Best Buy Ford 
8- 39 Ryan Newman U.S. ARMY/Quicken Loans Chevrolet 
9- 20 Joey Logano The Home Depot Toyota 
10- 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet 
11- 26 ^ Tony Raines(i) Front Row Motorsports Ford 
12- 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Brown Toyota 
13- 09 ^ Kenny Wallace(i) American Ethanol Toyota 
14- 36 ^ Dave Blaney Ollie's Bargain Outlet Chevrolet 
15- 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 
16- 33 Elliott Sadler(i) General Mills/Kroger Chevrolet 
17- 87 ^ Joe Nemechek(i) AM FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota 
18- 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
19- 47 Bobby Labonte Kroger Toyota 
20- 97 ^ Bill Elliott AM FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota 
21- 93 David Reutimann Burger King Toyota 
22- 23 ^ Robert Richardson Jr.(i) North Texas Pipe Toyota 
23- 49 ^ JJ Yeley America Israel Racing Toyota 
24- 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series
(^) Not in the top 35 in owners points

Duel #1 Starting Lineup

1- 99 Carl Edwards    Fastelane Ford
2- 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevy 
3- 9 Marcos Ambrose  Stanley Ford 
4- 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.(i)  Ford EcoBoost Ford
5- 21 ^ Trevor Bayne(i)  Motorcraft/Quick Lane  
6- 14 Tony Stewart  Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 
7- 43 Aric Almirola  Smithfield Helping Hungry Homes Ford 
8- 27 Paul Menard   Menards/Peak Chevrolet
9- 34 David Ragan   Scorpion Truck Bedliners Ford 
10- 22 AJ Allmendinger   Shell Pennzoil Dodge 
11- 2 Brad Keselowski   Miller Lite Dodge 
12- 29 Kevin Harvick   Budweiser Chevrolet 
13- 31 Jeff Burton   Caterpillar Chevrolet 
14- 42 Juan Pablo Montoya   Target Chevrolet 1
15- 30 ^ David Stremme   Inception Motorsports Toyota 
16- 1 Jamie McMurray   Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet 
17- 10 Danica Patrick(i) Chevrolet 
18- 32 ^ Terry Labonte   C&J Energy Ford 
19- 40 ^ Michael Waltrip   Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 
20- 11 Denny Hamlin   FedEx Express Toyota 
21- 98 ^ Michael McDowell   No.98 KLOVE/Curb Records Ford Ford 
22- 83 Landon Cassill   Burger King Toyota 
23- 38 David Gilliland   MHP/Power Pak Pudding Ford 
24- 37 ^ Mike Wallace(i) Ford 
25- 7 ^ Robby Gordon   MAPEI/Menards/SPEED Energy Dodge

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series
(^) Not in the top 35 in owners points

Shootout Eligibility Returns To Its Roots For 2013

NASCAR today released the eligibility requirements for the 2013 Shootout at Daytona, an announcement that signals a return to the fan-favorite preseason event’s roots.

Next season’s field will consist of 2012 Coors Light Pole winners and past Shootout winners who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season.

Eligibility rules for next season’s annual non-points race mirror those from 1979-2008, and puts greater emphasis on each weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole qualifying session.

“Fans have expressed their desire to see this event return to its original eligibility rules,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “We listened and decided it would be best to return to the eligibility rules of years past adding further meaning to pole qualifying for each NASCAR Sprint Cup race.”

This announcement comes prior to 2012’s first qualifying session, adding intrigue to an already important event. Today’s fastest qualifier, in addition to winning the pole for next Sunday’s 54th Annual Daytona 500 (Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. on FOX), will also earn a spot in next year’s Shootout. Two Daytona 500 starting positions will be locked in after today’s qualifying session. The fastest two cars in qualifying will sit on the front row for The Great American Race.

Last night, Kyle Busch won his first Shootout at Daytona, locking up a spot in next year’s field. Busch passed defending series champion Tony Stewart in the tri-oval, edging the three-time titlist by a margin of victory of .013 seconds – the closest in Shootout history.

Last season, 18 different drivers won a pole. After qualifying today these drivers are already eligible for next season's shootout: Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte and Carl Edward who earned a berth by winning the pole for this year's Daytona 500.


Results From the 2012 Budweiser Shootout

Results from the Budweiser Shootout with starting postion, driver, car make, laps completed and earnings:
1. (2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 82, $198,550.
2. (15) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 82, $94,800.
3. (21) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 82, $54,800.
4. (3) Brad Keselowski, Dodge, 82, $45,800.
5. (16) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 82, $44,800.
6. (7) Greg Biffle, Ford, 82, $43,400.
7. (13) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 82, $42,050.
8. (17) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 82, $40,025.
9. (11) Carl Edwards, Ford, 82, $38,025.
10. (25) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 82, $36,525.
11. (12) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 81, $36,025.
12. (9) AJ Allmendinger, Dodge, 80, $35,525.
13. (19) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 79, $35,025.
14. (18) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Accident, 74, $33,525.
15. (14) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, Accident, 73, $33,025.
16. (4) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, Accident, 73, $32,525.
17. (6) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, Accident, 73, $30,025.
18. (10) Joey Logano, Toyota, Accident, 54, $28,025.
19. (1) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, Accident, 54, $25,025.
20. (8) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 54, $23,025.
21. (23) Matt Kenseth, Ford, Accident, 54, $21,025.
22. (22) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, Accident, 54, $20,025.
23. (24) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, Accident, 8, $18,030.
24. (5) David Ragan, Ford, Accident, 8, $16,030.
25. (20) Michael Waltrip, Toyota, Accident, 8, $15,032.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 124.096 mph.
Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 39 Mins, 07 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.013 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 5 for 22 laps.
Lead Changes: 26 among 13 drivers.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

2012 Daytona 500 Entry List

Veh # Driver                            Mfg                   Sponsor
1- 1 Jamie McMurray            Chevrolet        Bass Pro Shops-Tracker Boats
2- 2 Brad Keselowski              Dodge              Miller Lite
3- 5 Kasey Kahne                   Chevrolet         Farmers Insurance
4- 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr(i)     Ford                FORD ECO BOOST
5- 7 Robby Gordon                Dodge               MAPEI/Speed Energy
6- 09 Kenny Wallace(i)         Toyota              American Ethanol
7- 9 Marcos Ambrose             Ford                 Stanley
8- 10 Danica Patrick(i)         Chevrolet 
9- 11 Denny Hamlin              Toyota              FedEx Express
10- 13 Casey Mears               Toyota              GEICO
11- 14 Tony Stewart              Chevrolet         OFFICE DEPOT / MOBIL 1
12- 15 Clint Bowyer               Toyota              5 Hour Energy
13- 16 Greg Biffle                   Ford                 3M
14- 17 Matt Kenseth              Ford                  BEST BUY
15-- 18 Kyle Busch                 Toyota              M&M's Brown
16- 20 Joey Logano               Toyota              The Home Depot
17- 21 Trevor Bayne(i)           Ford                 Motorcraft / Quick Lane 
18- 22 A J Allmendinger        Dodge               Shell Pennzoil
19- 23 Robert Richardson Jr(i) Toyota          TBA
20- 24 Jeff Gordon                Chevrolet          Drive to End Hunger
21- 26 Tony Raines(i)            Ford                  TBA
22- 27 Paul Menard               Chevrolet          MENARDS - PEAK
23- 29 Kevin Harvick             Chevrolet          Budweiser
24- 30 David Stremme           Toyota              TBA
25- 31 Jeff Burton                  Chevrolet          CATERPILLAR
26- 32 Terry Labonte              Ford                 C & J ENERGY SERVICES
27- 33 Elliott Sadler(i)            Chevrolet         GENERAL MILLS/KROGER
28- 34 David Ragan                Ford                 TBA
29- 36 Dave Blaney                Chevrolet         Ollie's Bargain Outlet
30- 37 Mike Wallace(i)           Ford       
31- 38 David Gilliland             Ford                 MHP-Power Pak Pudding
32- 39 Ryan Newman            Chevrolet         US ARMY/QUICKEN LOAN
33- 40 Michael Waltrip           Toyota             Aaron's Dream Machine
34- 42 Juan Pablo Montoya   Chevrolet         Target
35- 43 Aric Almirola                Ford                 Smithfield  Homes
36- 47 Bobby Labonte             Toyota             Kroger
37- 48 Jimmie Johnson          Chevrolet         Lowe's
38- 49 J J Yeley                       Toyota             America Israel Racing
39- 51 Kurt Busch                    Chevrolet
40- 55 Mark Martin                 Toyota            Aaron's
41- 56 Martin Truex Jr            Toyota            NAPA Auto Parts
42- 78 Regan Smith                 Chevrolet        Furniture Row CSX 
43- 83 Landon Cassill              Toyota             Burger King
44- 87 Joe Nemechek(i)          Toyota            AM-Fm Energy 
45- 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr         Chevrolet       Diet Mountain Dew
46- 93 David Reutimann         Toyota            TBA
47- 97 Bill Elliott                       Toyota            TBA
48- 98 Michael McDowell        Ford                K-Love
49- 99 Carl Edwards                Ford                FASTENAL

(i) =Ineligible for driver championship points