Thursday, February 28, 2013

Goodyear Tire Fast Facts - Phoenix

Tire: Goodyear Eagle Intermediate Radials:

Number of Tires:
Sprint Cup: Left-side -- 1,175, Right-side -- 1,175;
Nationwide: Left-side -- 475, Right-side -- 475;

Set limits:
Sprint Cup: 5 sets for practice/qualifying, and 10 sets for the race;
Nationwide: 6 sets for the event

Tire Codes: Left-side -- D-4592; Right-side -- D-4594

Tire Circumference: Left-side -- 87.5 in. (2,222 mm); Right-side -- 88.4 in. (2,246 mm)

Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 26 psi; Left Rear -- 26 psi;
Right Front -- 36 psi; Right Rear -- 36 psi

Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 14 psi; Left Rear -- 14 psi
Right Front -- 34 psi; Right Rear -- 32 psi

Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Phoenix this weekend. This is the first time either of these two tire codes have been raced. This tire set-up came out of a test at Phoenix last October 23-24. Teams and drivers participating in that test were the #1 Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Chevrolet with Jamie McMurray, #2 Penske Racing Ford with Brad Keselowski, #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Denny Hamlin, #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet with Tony Stewart, #27 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with Paul Menard, #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet with Kurt Busch and #99 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford with Carl Edwards. Compared to what was run at Phoenix last year, this set-up features a compound change to both the left- and right-side tires to give the cars more grip. As on most NASCAR ovals one mile or less in length, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Phoenix.

- Goodyear Racing News

NASCAR Driver Statistics - Phoenix

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 -   In McMurray’s NSCS career, he has made 19 starts at Phoenix International Raceway.  In those races, he has scored one top-five, and two top-10 finishes with an average start of 16.3.  He has completed 5611 laps (94.6%) of a possible 6005, leading 29 of them.  McMurray has been running at the finish of 15 of his 19 races.  He has qualified on the front row twice at the one-mile tri-oval on the outside pole-position, April 2008 and November 2008.  He also had a career best finish of third in November 2008. 

#2- Brad Keselowski - Keselowski has seven starts at Phoenix, scoring one top five and two top tens, with a best finish of fifth in 2012, and has led seventeen laps.

#5- Kasey Kahne -  Kahne most recently finished fourth at Phoenix in November 2012 and was one of three drivers to spend the entire extended 319-lap event running inside the top 15. He has one win, three top-five finishes and six top-10s in 17 Cup starts at the desert track. He has qualified inside the top 10 during the last four races at the one-mile Avondale, Ariz., oval.

#7- Dave Blaney - Dave Blaney has two top-tens in 20 starts at PIR, with his best finish of seventh coming in the fall race of 2002. At this time last year, Blaney left PIR with a 23rd place finish.

#9- Marcos Ambrose - Ambrose will make his 10th start at Phoenix in Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500. His best finish is an eighth in the fall of 2011 with the No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports team. He also has four top-15 finishes at the track.

#10-Danica Patrick - The Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway will mark Danica Patrick’s 12th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and her second at Phoenix. She made her first start at Phoenix last November, when she started 37th and finished 17th.

#14-Tony Stewart - Stewart has one win, eight top-fives, 11 top-10s and has led a total of 555 laps in his 22 career Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix. Stewart has only seven finishes outside the top-15. His average start is 13.3, his average finish is 12.1 and he has a lap completion rate of 99.8.

#15- Clint Bowyer - Bowyer will make his 15th career NSCS Daytona start on Feb. 24, 2013. In 14 previous Daytona starts, he has two top-five and six top-10 finishes. He started a career-best third in July 2011. Bowyer has an average starting position of 20th and finish of 16th. 

#16- Greg Biffle -  Biffle has 18 Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix, earning five top-five and seven top-10 finishes.  While also leading for a total of 349 laps. He has an average finishing position of 13.7 from an average starting position of 14.2.

#17- Ricky Stenhouse Jr -  Stenhouse will make his first Sprint Cup career start at Phoenix this weekend. Stenhouse has six Nationwide career starts, earning three top-five and six top-10 finishes.

#18- Kyle Busch - Busch has one win, three top-five finishes and 10 top-10s and has led a total of 509 laps in his 16 career Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix. His average Phoenix finish is 13.3.

#20- Matt Kenseth -   In 21 Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway, Kenseth has completed 6,066 of 6,629 laps (91.5 percent) and led for a total of 212 laps.  He also has an average finish of 17.7 at the one-mile uniquely-shaped track.  Kenseth’s best Sprint Cup Series finish at Phoenix was his win in 2002.

#22- Joey Logano - Logano will make his 9th start at Phoenix on Sunday. He has 1 top 5, 3 top 10's and an average finis of 17th at the track. 

#24- Jeff Gordon - In 28 starts at the one-mile track, Gordon has two wins (2007 and 2011), 10 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s. He also has three pole positions (2005, 2006 and 2007) at the Arizona track.

#27- Paul Menard -  Menard has 12 starts at the one-mile oval. His best start of seventh came in both 2009 and 2012 and his best finish of ninth came in both 2011 and 2012. The Wisconsin native has completed 3,795 of 3,818 laps attempted (99.4 percent) at the Avondale, Ariz., track.

#29- Kevin Harvick - Sunday’s 312-lap event will mark Harvick’s 21st start at the one-mile tri-oval. Since 2001, the RCR veteran driver has collected three victories (both events in 2006 and November 2011), six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. Harvick holds a 19th-place average starting position, coupled with a 12.8 average finishing position and has led 420 laps. 

#31- Jeff Burton -  Burton has 27 starts at PIR with two wins (2000 and 2001), seven top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. He has also led 222 laps at the one-mile facility. 

#36- J J Yeley -  In his previous nine starts at PIR, Yeley has a best finish of 14th, and one DNF.

#39- Ryan Newman - The Subway Fresh Fit 500k will mark Newman’s 406th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start and his 22nd career Sprint Cup start at Phoenix International Raceway. Newman has one win (April 2010), four poles, eight top-five finishes and eight top-10s in 21 career Sprint Cup starts at the mile oval.

#42- Juan Pablo Montoya - Montoya has made 12 starts at Phoenix International Raceway during his NSCS career.  In those races, he has tallied one top-five and two top-10 finishes.  He has an average start of 20.3 and average finish of16.1.   He has completed 99.8% of the laps (3,811 of 3,818) with no DNF’s (did not finish) at Phoenix since his first start, leading 104 of them.  His best start and finish came in the April event of the 2010 season where he started seventh and finished fifth.

#43- Aric Almirola - Almirola will make his fifth Sprint Cup start at the track. He looks to best his career, track-high finish of 12th place, which he posted last spring with the No. 43 Farmland Ford team, in Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500.

#48- Jimmie Johnson - Johnson has 19 starts at Phoenix, earning 1 pole, 4 wins, 12 top 5's, 15 top 10's and no DNF's. He has an average finish of 6.684 and has led 931 laps.

#55- Mark Martin -   In 32 Sprint Cup starts at Phoenix, Martin owns two victories and 12 top-five finishes. He’s led 836 laps and won two poles including last year’s pole at this race.

#88- Dale Earnhardt Jr -  In 21 NASCAR 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 at the one-mile track. He scored 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 17 starts at the one-mile track, Edwards has one win, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. His average start is 11.8 and average finish is 12.5. Edwards has won three pole awards in Phoenix and snagged a first-place finish in 2010.  

- Reported in Team News/Press Releases

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Jeremy Clements Suspended For Code of Conduct Violation

Jeremy Clements, a driver in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s Code of Conduct.

On Feb. 23rd at Daytona International Speedway, Clements was found to have violated Sections 7-5 (NASCAR’s Code of Conduct) and 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing).

“During the course of an interview, Jeremy Clements made an intolerable and insensitive remark,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “NASCAR has a Code of Conduct that’s explicitly spelled out in the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book. We fully expect our entire industry to adhere to that Code.”

- NASCAR Press Release

Note: There is no report, only speculation as to what was actually said by Clements.

Landon Cassill Joins Circle Sport for 2013 Sprint Cup Season

Circle Sport, LLC, today announced that Landon Cassill will drive the No. 33 Circle Sport entry beginning this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.  Cassill, the 23-year-old former development driver for Hendrick Motorsports, will pilot the No. 33 Moon Shine Wildfire Camo Chevrolet SS in Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500.  Cassill enters the weekend event with 84 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts to his credit, in addition to 33 NASCAR Nationwide Series and eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of helping advance Circle Sport to the next level of competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” Cassill said.  “I have been a part of and understand what it takes for an upstart organization to compete in the Cup Series.  They have an established relationship with RCR (Richard Childress Racing) that I believe will help us, and with the right marketing partners – a company that wants to grow their involvement in the sport – I believe we have just the right opportunity for them with the No. 33 Chevrolet.”

Cassill, who competed in all 36 Sprint Cup Series races last year for BK Racing, will mark his 2013 Sprint Cup Series debut in a specially outfitted camouflage Chevrolet SS designed by Moon Shine Attitude Attire.  The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native will be led by NASCAR veteran Mike Hillman, Sr., who has won three NASCAR championships with drivers Tommy Ellis and Todd Bodine.  Circle Sport enters its second season of NASCAR competition in 2013 and continues to be owned by Joe Falk, a Virginia businessman who has been a part of the sport since the late 1990s.  Falk previously fielded the No. 91 Sprint Cup entry for drivers Dick Trickle, Greg Sacks, Kevin Lepage, Mike Wallace and Todd Bodine, which included a top-five finish in 1998 season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“I have watched Landon progress as a race car driver, and it was his qualifying efforts in our Cup car in 2010 and 2011 that caught the eye of James Finch and earned him his first big break in NASCAR’s premier series,” Falk said.  “Landon has a tremendous amount of potential and we believe we’re building a program that will allow him to showcase his talents.  He has driven for the likes of Hendrick Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Jr., and we feel that his experience will help our transition to the new Gen-6 race car.  As we continue to build our program, we are still actively seeking marketing partners that want to grow with us and reach NASCAR’s 75 million fans through our various price points and sponsorship options.”

- Circle Sport Press Release

Lowe's extends sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports through 2015

Lowe’s Companies Inc. will continue its successful relationship with Hendrick Motorsports after signing a two-year contract extension that secures the full-season primary sponsorship of the No. 48 NASCAR Sprint Cup team and five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson in 2014 and 2015.

Announced today to more than 1,700 store managers at the Lowe’s national sales meeting, the agreement builds upon a partnership launched in 2001 when Johnson was selected to drive for the new No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team. Now in its 12th full season, the sponsor-driver-team relationship has become one of the most successful in NASCAR history.

“It has been a great ride with Jimmie since he started in the Cup Series 12 years ago,” said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s chief marketing officer. “We are proud to sponsor one of the most elite teams and drivers in racing and have a five-time champion carry the Lowe’s brand each week.”

Since his first full-time Sprint Cup season in 2002, Johnson has earned 61 victories—the most in the series during that span—and never finished lower than sixth in championship points.

On Sunday in his 400th Cup race, Johnson drove the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS to his second career Daytona 500 win. In the process, he became just the second driver (teammate Jeff Gordon is the other) to have the same primary sponsor for each of his first 400 Cup starts.

“Lowe’s believed in me before I had any success,” said Johnson, 37, whose contract with Hendrick Motorsports runs through 2015. “They are all I’ve ever known in my Sprint Cup career, and their support of me and the No. 48 team is second to none in the sport. We’ve been together for this crazy ride, and I’m so happy we’re continuing it together. They truly are family, and I’m proud to represent them.”

Led by crew chief Chad Knaus, the No. 48 Lowe’s team has now scored at least one Sprint Cup win in 12 consecutive seasons (2002-13). Johnson’s five championships trail only first-ballot Hall of Fame drivers Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty, who each posted seven.

“We caught lightning in a bottle with this combination,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Jimmie and Chad have been successful because they always have a plan and do a great job executing. Lowe’s is the same way as a sponsor. The partnership has been incredible, and we’re looking forward to working together for many more years.”

- Hendrick Motorsports Press Release

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Format For 2013 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Elevates Need For Speed

Reinforcing the need for speed and going all out for the win, NASCAR announced on Tuesday the format for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race that will put added emphasis on finishing well in each of the five segments. The sport’s annual classic is set for Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The new wrinkle that should have the fans and the competitors excited: the running order at the completion of the fourth segment (Lap 80) will be repositioned based on the average finish for the first four segments directly behind the caution car prior to the opening of pit road for the mandatory four-tire pit stop. The order of the cars returning to the track will determine the starting order of the fifth segment. Running order ties will be broken by the finish of the fourth segment. This revision puts a premium on making all of the laps count leading up to the final 10-lap shootout with the race winner earning a $1 million pay day from Sprint.

Having the average finish through the race’s first four segments determine how the cars come down pit road for the last mandatory four-tire pit stop takes the competition to an even higher level,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition. “The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is truly a showcase event for our sport and this format should bring out the best in our drivers and our teams.”

The race will continue to be run in four, 20-lap segments and one 10-lap final segment. All laps will count in segments one through four. In the fifth and final segment, only Green Flag laps will be counted. There will be optional pit stops during the break following each of the first three segments, with the field set by the pit stop/stay out positioning during the five caution laps.

“The NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race is the highlight of our season,” said Tim Considine, director of sponsorship marketing for Sprint. “These added elements help continue the tradition of this being one of the most unique and compelling races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup calendar.”

The eligibility criteria for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race remain the same:
· Drivers who have won NASCAR Sprint Cup races in the current and preceding year. If a driver leaves a team with which he has won a race, he or she remains eligible (through the last race before the all-star race), however, the team does not.

· Drivers who are past NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winners in the past 10 years
· Drivers who are past NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions in the last 10 years
· The top two finishers in the Sprint Showdown, the 40-lap race that precedes the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

· The top Sprint Fan Vote driver who finishes on the lead lap of the Showdown and whose car is in “raceable” condition as determined by the series director. 


NASCAR Chassis Selections - Phoenix

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:

#2- Brad Keselowski - Primary Chassis PRS-841. Backup Chassis: PRS-834. Both cars are new chassis'.

#5- Kasey Kahne - Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-769 for Sunday’s event at Phoenix. Kahne has not tested nor raced this car.

#9- Marcos Ambrose - The No. 9 team has prepared chassis No. 838 for Phoenix.  This is a new chassis that the team built in the off-season.

#10- Danica Patrick - Chassis No. 10-776 is a brand new chassis for the No. 10 Chevrolet team.

#14-Tony Stewart - Chassis No. 14-742:This car first turned its wheels on a racetrack in 2012 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 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. There, the car qualified third and led 38 laps before finishing seventh. Chassis No. 14-742 returned to another relatively flat, 1-mile oval when it made its second career start in the penultimate race ofthe 2012 season at Phoenix International Raceway. After qualifying ninth, a pitroad miscue and a lap-282 spin conspired for a 19th-place finish. With a 2013 Chevrolet SS body honed in the wind tunnel, Chassis No. 14-742 returns to Phoenix for its third career start

#15- Clint Bowyer -  Primary chassis No. 733 raced at both Pocono races in 2013—finishing sixth in June and eighth in August. It also started second and finished ninth at Dover in the fall. The backup chassis (No. 727) raced last season at Fontana, Darlington and both Michigan races. 

#16- Greg Biffle -   Chassis RK-844 will make its debut this weekend at Phoenix.  The backup Chassis RK-807 first hit the track in 2012 at Martinsville, earning a 13th-place finish.  Following that was an 11th-place run at Dover before finishing out 2012 with a 19th-place finish at Bristol.

#17- Ricky Stenhouse Jr - Chassis RK-832 is a brand new chassis for the Rookie of the Year contender. The backup Chassis RK-801 raced various times in 2012 by the No. 99 team.

#22- Joey Logano - Primary Chassis: PRS-839 Backup Chassis: PRS-836. Both cars are new chassis'. 

#24- Jeff Gordon - The #24 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports chassis No. 24-770 for Gordon at Phoenix. This is a brand new chassis for Jeff.

#27- Paul Menard -  Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 341 at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) this weekend. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS previously ran last season during the fall race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, bringing home a 12th-place finish.

#29- Kevin Harvick -  Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 383 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the Phoenix 500. This is the same Chevrolet the Bakersfield, Calif., native drove to Victory Lane at Phoenix International Raceway last November.

#31- Jeff Burton - Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 392 this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. This No. 31 Chevrolet was utilized three times during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Kentucky Speedway in June and both Dover International Speedway races in June and September. 

#39- Ryan Newman - Newman will pilot Chassis No. 39-691, which debuted at Richmond  International Speedway last September. There, Newman drove from his 14th-place starting spot to take the lead on lap 300, where he would stay for 13 laps before recording an eighth-place finish. The No. 39 team turned the chassis around and brought it to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in October, where Newman rallied from being two laps down and, in the final 120 laps, moved from 28th to finish 11th. With a new Chevrolet SS body for 2013, Chassis No. 39-691 visited the wind tunnel in preparation for its third career start Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

#43- Aric Almirola - The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 837 for Phoenix. This is a new chassis the team built in the off-season.

#48- Jimmie Johnson - Johnson pilots a new chassis, No. 778, at Phoenix.Chassis No. 689 serves as the backup. No. 689 last raced at Richmond in September 2012, started 5th and finished 13th.

#55- Mark Martin - Primary Chassis 714. Backup Chassis 732.

#88- Dale Earnhardt Jr - This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte and the No. 88 crew will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-721 at Phoenix International Raceway. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a 21st-place finish at Phoenix in November. 

#99- Carl Edwards - The No. 99 Subway team will roll out chassis RK – 802 for this weekend’s 500. The chassis was last ran in Phoenix with Matt Kenseth on 17 team. They will use RK- 790, an all-around backup car for the team that was last seen on track in the 2012 spring race in Martinsville. 

- Reported in Team News/Press Releases

Monday, February 25, 2013


NASCAR Nationwide Series at Phoenix on ESPN2
The NASCAR Nationwide Series moves to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend for a 200-mile race and ESPN2 will have a live telecast on Saturday, March 2. NASCAR Countdownbegins at 4 p.m. ET with the green flag at 4:45 p.m. The race telecast is presented by Kawasaki. All NASCAR programming on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick; analysts Dale JarrettAndy Petree.
Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch.
NASCAR Countdown: Nicole Briscoe (host); Rusty Wallace, Ricky Craven, Brad Daugherty(analysts).
 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, March 3, at 11 a.m. ET. Studio host Mike Massaro will be joined from the track by ESPN NASCAR analyst Andy Petree and  reporters Marty Smith and Shannon Spake at the track. The week’s schedule:
Date  Time                        Show                  Host            Network
Tue.,  Feb. 26  12:30 a.m.   NASCAR Now   Nicole Briscoe  ESPN2
Wed., Feb. 27  1 a.m.          NASCAR Now    Nicole Briscoe  ESPN2

Thu., Feb. 28   2 a.m.         NASCAR Now    Nicole Briscoe  ESPN2
Fri.,   March 1  1:30 a.m.   NASCAR Now    Mike Massaro  ESPN2
Sun., March 3  11 a.m.       NASCAR Now    Mike Massaro  ESPN2

- ESPN MediaZone Release

Phoenix Raceway History and Notes


· 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 in 2011. The construction began in March and concluded in September of that year.

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

· 184 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix; 134 in more than one.

· 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.

· Youngest Phoenix pole winner: Kyle Busch (4/22/06 – 20 years, 11 months, 20 days).

· Oldest Phoenix pole winner: Mark Martin (03/04/12 – 53 years, 1 months, 24 days).

· 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 at Phoenix, seven of which have won more than once, led by Jimmie Johnson, with four – (’07 fall, ’08 sweep, ’09 fall).

· The seven drivers who have won more than once at Phoenix: Jimmie Johnson (four), Kevin Harvick (three), Davey Allison (two), Jeff Burton (two), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (two), Jeff Gordon (two) and Mark Martin (two).

· 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).

· 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 33 events.

· Denny Hamlin (November, 2005) and AJ Allmendinger (April, 2010) won their 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 21 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 (6.6) 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.

· 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 (04/18/2009 – 50 years, 3 months, 9 days).

· Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Phoenix with five; followed by Tony Stewart with three.

· Mark Martin and Jimmie Johnson lead the series in top-five finishes at Phoenix with 12 each.

· Alan Kulwicki (11/6/1988) and Bobby Hamilton (10/27/1996) are the only two drivers to post their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career win at Phoenix International Raceway.

· 21 of the 23 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Phoenix participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Alan Kulwicki (11/6/1988) and Tony Stewart (11/7/1999) are the only two drivers to win at Phoenix in their first appearance.

· Jeff Gordon competed at Phoenix International Raceway 16 times before winning (4/21/2007); the longest span of any the 23 winners.

· Six drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Phoenix: Jeff Gordon (16), Ryan Newman (15), Kasey Kahne (14), Denny Hamlin (13), Carl Edwards (12) and Rusty Wallace (11).

· Bobby Labonte leads the series (active drivers) with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix without visiting Victory Lane with 28.

· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup at Phoenix was the (4/10/2010) race won by Ryan Newman with a MOV of 0.13 seconds.

· Seven of the 33 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Phoenix have been won from the front row.

· Five drivers have won the first two races of the season in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; the first two times did not include the Daytona 500: Lee Petty (Daytona Beach Course, Tri-City Speedway; 1954), Marvin Panch (Willow Springs Speedway, Concord Speedway; 1956), David Pearson (Riverside, Daytona; 1976), Jeff Gordon (Daytona, Rockingham; 1997) and Matt Kenseth (Daytona, Auto Club).

· Three reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champions have gone on to win at Phoenix the following season; Jimmie Johnson is the only one to do it multiple times: Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008 sweep and 2009); Kurt Busch (2005) and Bill Elliott (1989).

· Two drivers have won at Phoenix and the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in the same season: Jimmie Johnson (2007, 2008 sweep and 2009); Dale Earnhardt (1990).

· Danica Patrick is the only female driver to have made a NASCAR Sprint Cup start at Phoenix International Raceway. She did so last season (11/11/12) starting 37th and finishing 17th.

- NASCAR Statistics

Friday, February 22, 2013

Five Time Champ Jimmie Johnson Reaches 400 Starts At Daytona

Few athletes have ascended to the top of their sport like Jimmie Johnson, who will be making his 400th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start in the 55th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 24 (FOX, FOX Deportes, MRN Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio). 

In 399 starts the 37-year-old Hendrick Motorsports driver has tallied 60 wins to go along with five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships. Only NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt have more championships (seven).

Johnson’s prolific career rivals – and in some cases, surpasses – those of some of the most prominent talents in NASCAR history.

Eight drivers have won 60 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Johnson was the sixth fastest to reach the milestone when he notched victory No. 60 on Nov. 4, 2012 at Texas Motor Speedway in his 397th start. The five drivers that reached the milestone in fewer starts: Jeff Gordon (318), Darrell Waltrip (321), David Pearson (356), Richard Petty (358) and Cale Yarborough (380). Dale Earnhardt (454 starts) and Bobby Allison (493) also have reached 60 wins in their careers. 

Johnson has produced at least two NASCAR Sprint Cup wins per season for the last 11 consecutive seasons, and all of them with the same sponsor – Lowe’s. Only Johnson and Jeff Gordon (DuPont) have had the same sponsor for each of their first 400 starts.

And championships? This is where Johnson has inserted his name in the “Greatest of All Time” discussion. At 400 starts, Richard Petty had two championships and Dale Earnhardt had five. Richard Petty? He had two at 400 starts.

Below is a timeline of Johnson’s career highlights on his way to 400 starts:

1 – On October 7, 2001, Johnson made his first series start at Charlotte Motor Speedway, finishing 39th. Johnson made three starts in 2001, scoring a best finish of 25th at Homestead-Miami.

4 – In his fourth start and first Daytona 500, Johnson sat on the pole, Feb. 17, 2002, he finished 15th.

14 – On April 28, 2002 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Johnson, a California native, posted his first victory in just his 14th start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. 

100 – On September 5, 2004, at Auto Club Speedway, Johnson made milestone start No. 100. He finished 14th.

148 – On Feb. 19, 2006, Johnson wins NASCAR’s biggest race – the Daytona 500. Johnson started ninth in the event – the same starting position he’ll have in Sunday’s race.

183 – On November 19, 2006, at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Johnson locked up his first of five consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup championships.

200 – On July 1, 2007, at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Johnson made milestone start No. 200. He finished fifth.

219 – Johnson won back-to-back titles on November 18, 2007 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

254 – On November 9, 2008, at Phoenix International Raceway, Johnson moved into 15th on the all-time wins list after posting his 40th NASCAR Sprint Cup win.

296 – On March 21, 2010, at Bristol Motor Speedway, Johnson became the 12th driver to post 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup wins.

300 – On April 25, 2010, at Talladega Superspeedway, Johnson made milestone start No. 300. He finished 31st.

327 – Johnson became the only driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history to win five consecutive series championships on November 21, 2010 at Homestead-Miami.

374 – In a victory at Darlington Raceway in the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on May 12, 2012, Johnson delivered Hendrick Motorsports’ 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.

397 – On November 4, 2012, at Texas Motor Speedway in the AAA Texas 500, Johnson became the eighth driver in series history to post 60 or more wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.


American Ethanol Enhances Sponsorship of Austin Dillon in 2013

American Ethanol announced its plans to enhance its partnership with Richard Childress Racing and driver Austin Dillon for the 2013 NASCAR® season. Dillon will race the No. 33 American Ethanol Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ at Michigan International Speedway on June 16 and will drive a RCR-fielded entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ at Eldora Speedway on July 24 with an American Ethanol paint scheme.
"American Ethanol is extremely pleased to once again partner with Austin Dillon, Richard Childress and the entire RCR team to help promote a sustainable homegrown American fuel that is better for our environment, reduces our dependence on foreign oil and creates jobs right here in the U.S., while revitalizing rural economies across America," said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

American Ethanol, launched by Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association along with the support of other partners, is a breakthrough brand that seeks to expand consumer awareness of the benefits of ethanol and E15.  Since the program launch for the 2011 season, NASCAR drivers have run more than 3 million miles on renewable Sunoco Green E15.

“We want to show the people coast-to-coast there is a great alternative to imported oil and our association with NASCAR and RCR is doing that extremely well," said Jon Holzfaster, a Paxton, NE farmer and chairman of the National Corn Growers Association's NASCAR Advisory Committee. "Ethanol is also responsible for bringing a rural renaissance from Main Street to the family farm.”

With help from American Ethanol, Dillon is scheduled to make his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ start since clinching the 2011 Driver’s Championship by entering the Series’ inaugural race at Eldora Speedway on July 24. 

American Ethanol will also serve as an associate sponsor for Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet for the full 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series™ season and as an associate sponsor for Dillon’s limited 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ schedule.

“It feels good to be able to help spread the news about American Ethanol and encourage every American to run the fuel of the future, American Ethanol, in their personal vehicles,” said Dillon. “If American Ethanol can withstand the rigors of NASCAR, it can withstand everyday driving. Homegrown biofuels like American Ethanol have stepped up to help our nation’s economy, and are proving to be a better fuel. I am proud to wear the American Ethanol colors in NASCAR and I hope I can bring them to Victory Lane in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ in 2013.”

Dillon is an official spokesperson for American Ethanol, the most commercially-viable alternative that America currently has to offset the economic impact of foreign petroleum. Corn ethanol reduces emissions by 59 percent. And by strengthening America’s energy independence, ethanol helps create American jobs – studies have shown that for every $1 sent overseas for oil, $1.55 leaves the U.S. economy.

- Richard Childress Racing Press Release

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Budweiser Duel at Daytona To Move Under the Lights in 2014

The Budweiser Duel, the 150-mile qualifying races that determine the starting lineup for the Daytona 500, will move under the lights in 2014, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced.

The Budweiser Duel At Daytona, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 20, will start under the lights and will be televised by FOX Sports Media Group.

“To earn a coveted starting spot in the Daytona 500, the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will have to perform under the lights and in front of a primetime audience in the Budweiser Duel,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Moving the Budweiser Duel under the lights will add another dimension to Budweiser Speedweeks.”

The Budweiser Duel joins The Sprint Unlimited and the NextEra Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race as the three nighttime races held during Budweiser Speedweeks.

- Daytona Speedway Press Release

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:

#2- Brad Keselowski - The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion, Primary Chassis: 654, Brand new chassis for 2013. Backup Chassis: 652, Brand new chassis for 2013

#5- Kasey Kahne - Kahne will pilot new Chassis No. 5-768 for the first time in the Feb. 24 Daytona 500. 

#10- Danica Patrick - – Chassis No. 10-758 is a brand new chassis for the No. 10 Chevrolet team.

#14-Tony Stewart - – Chassis No. 14-762: This is a brand-new race car that has never turned a wheel on the racetrack, but it has been wind-tunnel tested numerous times. 

#16- Greg Biffle -  Primary Chassis: RK-781. Last ran Daytona in July, finished 21st. Backup Chassis: RK-798. Last ran Talladega – finished sixth

#17- Ricky Stenhouse Jr - Primary Chassis: RK- 830 - new chassis. Backup Chassis: RK-792 - Last ran during Daytona test

#22- Joey Logano - The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion,Primary Chassis: 653. Backup Chassis: 648.  Brand new chassis' for 2013.

#24- Jeff Gordon - Gordon will race Hendrick Motorsports chassis No.24-772 at Daytona, it's a brand new car.

#27- Paul Menard -  Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 409 for both the Budweiser Duel and Daytona 500. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS is a new addition to the Richard Childress Racing stable this season.

#29- Kevin Harvick -  Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No.407 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in both the Budweiser Duel and Daytona 500. New to the fleet, this Chevrolet SS will run its first competitive laps at the 2.5-mile superspeedway during Budweiser Speedweeks

#31- Jeff Burton - Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 296 in the second Budweiser Duel and Daytona 500. This chassis was utilized last season in the Daytona 500 by Burton and saw action at multiple restrictor-plate events during the 2010 and 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons with driver Clint Bowyer.

#33- Austin Dillon -  Austin Dillon will pilot Chassis No. 334 in the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. This is a new addition to the RCR fleet that is being utilized for the first time this week.

#39- Ryan Newman - Newman will pilot Chassis No. 39-664, which has two previous starts in restrictor-plate races, both coming during the 2011 season. Its first start came at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in July 2011. Newman had a strong racecar, evidenced by his leading four times for a race-high 25 laps. But, in the end, he 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. After extensive body work, the chassis returned to action at Talladega Superspeedway in October. Once again, his racecar was strong, but he was the victim of the two-car draft just before the race’s halfway point. Newman was spun, which caused major front-end damage. The severe spin in the grass tore off Newman’s front-bumper assembly and left him with a heavily damaged racecar and a 38th-place finish. Last season, Chassis No. 39-664 served as a backup car at Daytona and Talladega. Since then, the car’s body has been updated for 2013, and it was wind-tunnel tested in January in preparation for the Daytona 500.

#48- Jimmie Johnson - Chassis No. 771 serves as primary and No. 618 as backup. No. 771 is a brand new race car. No. 618 last ran the Bud Shootout in 2012, finished 14th.

#55- Mark Martin - Martin will race chassis 753 in the Daytona 500.

#88- Dale Earnhardt Jr - For the Feb. 24 Daytona 500, Steve Letarte has selected Chassis No. 88-773. This is a new chassis that has not been raced and will feature the blue National Guard scheme.

#99- Carl Edwards - The No. 99 team will be using RK-835 for the 500. The car debuted this year as the primary for last weekend’s Sprint Unlimited, when a wreck in practice forced the team to roll out a backup car and send 835 back to RFR for repairs. 

- Reported in Team News/Press Releases

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

NASCAR Driver Press Conference Schedule - Daytona

Press Conference Schedule, Daytona

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.

Wednesday, February 20:

11 a.m. – Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota), defending Daytona 500 winner – Media Center/Deadline Room

11:15 a.m. – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet) – Media Center/Deadline Room

1:50 p.m. – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota) – Media Center/Deadline Room
Thursday, February 21:

10:30 a.m. – Martinsville announement – Media Center/Deadline Room11:15 a.m. – Daytona International Speedway announement – Media Center/Deadline Room

3:15 p.m. (Approx) – Duel 1 post-race press conference  – Media Center/Deadline Room

5:00 p.m. (Approx) – Duel 2 post-race press conference – Media Center/Deadline Room
Friday, February 22:

2:15 p.m. – Danica Patrick (No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet) – Media Center/Deadline Room

2:45 p.m. – Tony Stewart (No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Racing Chevrolet) – Media Center/Deadline Room

4:15 p.m. – Ryan Newman (No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet) with crew chief Matt Borland – Media Center/Deadline Room

10 p.m. 
 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series post-race press conference  – Media Center/Deadline Room

Saturday, February 23:
 9 a.m.  – AARP  – Media Center/Deadline room

9:30 a.m.  – Microsoft & TRD  – Media Center/TBD
12:10 p.m. – Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42Target Chevrolet) - #42 hauler

4 p.m.  NASCAR Nationwide Series post-race press conference  – Media Center/Deadline Room
Sunday, February 24:

TBD – USAF Thunderbirds  – Media Center/Deadline Room10:40 a.m. – Zac Brown Band  – Media Center/Deadline Room
4 p.m.  NASCAR Nationwide Series post-race press conference  – Media Center/Deadline Room