Saturday, March 30, 2013
As one of the most recognizable names in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Dale Earnhardt Jr. knows the risks of being distracted while driving. Now, throughout the distracted driving month of April, he’s lending his expertise in a new TV ad by Sprint to educate drivers about the Sprint Drive First app which helps drivers avoid the distraction of texting while driving.
The 30-second ad, created by Sprint and its agency, Team Sprint – Digitas and Leo Burnett – features Earnhardt using the Sprint Drive First mobile application, which can block and send automatic replies to text messages while you drive. The overarching message is that driving isn’t the problem, and texting isn’t the problem; "and" is the problem – as in texting "and" driving – and we all can live without the "and." To help remove the temptation to drive and text at the same time, the Sprint Drive First app is offered as a solution.
The ad features Earnhardt Jr. with two members of his crew in the garage at a track. One of them says, "Hey Dale, I got your text that said you couldn’t text." Then the other says, "Wait. What? Why would he text that he couldn’t text?" Earnhardt replies: "I was driving." Which ignites a discussion about how and why a text is sent when the person who sends the text doesn’t actually send it – all of which refers to the Sprint Drive First app and how it sends reply text messages while someone is driving.
An additional video will be shown at the Sprint Unlimited Experience at tracks each weekend throughout the season where they can interact with Earnhardt Jr. by texting his number. The video features Earnhardt Jr. at a Sprint Unlimited Experience race simulator where he talks about how driving in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes laser-like focus. He invites fans to try and distract him with a text as he gets into the simulator and sets his phone down at his side as the simulated race begins.
Throughout April, fans who sign up to receive information from Sprint at the Sprint Unlimited Experience or online at www.Sprint.com/drive will receive a special Earnhardt Jr. poster that includes Sprint Drive First information, and fans who sign the Focus on Driving pledge will receive a bumper magnet.
Sprint Drive First
The Sprint Drive First application locks an Android mobile phone when the phone’s GPS detects motion above 10 miles per hour. Sprint Drive First can direct incoming calls to voice mail and silences distracting alerts. A customizeable auto-response can be sent to all text messages, which are held until the driver comes to a stop.
Sprint Drive First is available on Sprint Android-powered smartphones for $2 per month per phone (excluding surcharges and taxes). Sprint customers can sign up and receive a 15-day free trial by downloading the app from Google Play or visiting sprint.com/drive. Sprint Drive First is also part of Sprint Guardian, a bundle of safety- and security-oriented services for families. Sprint Guardian also includes Sprint Mobile Controls, Sprint Family Locator and Lookout Family Mobile Security.
- NASCAR Media Release
Joe Gibbs Racing announced late Friday that Brian Vickers will take over behind the wheel of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the injured Denny Hamlin starting on April 13 at Texas Motor Speedway.
It was previously released that Mark Martin would handle the duties behind the wheel for the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing team while Denny Hamlin recovered from injury. Martin will drive the car in Martinsville, but Vickers will now take over the duties beginning in Texas.
“Obviously having to find someone to fill in for Denny is not an ideal situation to have to be in and when you start a process like this you obviously begin to look at the drivers that are not only available but also able to drive for your race team and manufacturer. We were a bit premature in determining Mark’s status past Martinsville however,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. “We’re real happy to have the opportunity to get Brian in our Cup cars and with him driving Nationwide for us we think we have some continuity there that is beneficial.
“We really appreciate everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota for working with us through this process,” added Gibbs. “The good thing for us is that we have drivers the caliber of Mark and Brian to help fill in until Denny comes back.”
Vickers is currently driving JGR’s No. 20 Dollar General Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He has recorded two top ten finishes through the first five races of the season.
Vickers has 264 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts over his 11-year career on the sports’ top level. He has two wins, 24 top-five and 63 top-ten finishes. He has one start thus far this season having finished eighth in at Bristol Motor Speedway for MWR. Last season, Vickers made eight starts for MWR with three top-five and five top-ten finishes.
- Joe Gibbs Racing Release
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Joe Gibbs Racing announces today that Mark Martin will drive the No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series while Denny Hamlin recovers from an L1 Compression Fracture suffered during an accident on March 24 at Auto Club Speedway.
“We’ve been real fortunate to have never been in this situation with the need to find someone to fill in for an injured driver,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. “A lot goes into a decision like this but we are really pleased to have someone of the character and caliber of Mark Martin to fill in while Denny is out. Obviously we’re not exactly sure how long that is going to take, but Mark’s career speaks for itself and our team knows it will have the opportunity to compete for a win every week.”
Martin will make his first start for JGR in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, April 7. Martin has made one previous appearance for JGR when he started in the NASCAR Nationwide Series last March at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and finished second.
Martin has one of the most distinguished careers in NASCAR history having made his first Sprint Cup Series start in 1981. Over his 31 years in the sport he has made 858 starts in the Sprint Cup Series and compiled 40 wins, 271 top-five and 449 top-ten finishes. He has earned 56 pole awards as well. He also has 49 career wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
“I’m happy to have this opportunity to help out JGR, FedEx and Denny,” said Martin. “Hopefully I can keep those guys up front and compete for wins while Denny heals up.”
In 48 career starts at Martinsville Speedway Martin has earned two wins, 12 top-five and 25 top-ten finishes along with two poles. He has a career average finish of 13.3 at the famed short track known as the paperclip.
“I just hate not being able to be in the car right now, but I really appreciate Mark being able to fill in for me,” said Hamlin. “Like everyone in NASCAR, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mark and I know he will keep that FedEx Camry up front until I get back behind the wheel.”
Two local entrepreneurs who came up with an oxygen-enhanced water that landed a NASCAR sponsorship are in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS is investigating Preston J. Harrison, a former Ohio State University football player, and Thomas E. Jackson Jr., founders of a Westerville business that makes and distributes OXYwater. Its website says that OXYwater is “packed with electrolytes and other natural elements that boost energy levels and endurance.”
An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus says that IRS agents recently seized a 2009 Cadillac, a 2009 BMW and a bank account as part of an investigation into the financial dealings of Imperial Integrated Health Research and Development at 470 Olde Worthington Rd., Suite 200.
Harrison and Jackson are the founders of Imperial Integrated. The allegation is that they funneled investors’ money into their personal bank accounts and into another company.
As of yesterday, no charges had been filed. Possible charges, according to the affidavit, are wire fraud and money laundering.
The affidavit says that Harrison, 41, of 3071 Willow Springs Court, Lewis Center, and Jackson, whose address and age were unavailable, borrowed $5 million from more than 10 people and one company to produce OXYwater beginning in 2011. The investors included several professional basketball players in Europe.
A year later, the court record says, several investors became worried about where their money was going and hired a lawyer. That attorney, who is not named in the affidavit, supposedly learned that the company’s tax returns grossly underestimated the amount investors had paid into the company.
Harrison and Jackson diverted at least $1.2 million in investors’ money into a bank account that Harrison controlled for another company, Forever Now, according to IRS investigators. That money was used to buy the Cadillac, the BMW, a new backyard patio, a swimming pool, expensive jewelry, home furnishings and home improvements, the affidavit says.
Attempts to reach Harrison and Jackson by phone and email were unsuccessful yesterday.
A woman at OXYwater’s distribution center at 8273 N. Green Meadows Dr., Lewis Center, said that Harrison and Jackson could be reached at the company corporate headquarters, but no one answered the phone at that location, and a recording said the memory on the message machine was full.
The IRS probe began before the investors raised questions, he said, but he didn’t know what started it. OXYwater is sold at Walgreens, Meijer and other stores, according to its website.
This month, a three-year sponsorship agreement between NASCAR’s FAS Lane Racing team and OXYwater was announced. FAS Lane’s No. 32 Ford Fusion in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series sports the company’s name. Terry Labonte, Ken Schrader and Timmy Hill alternate as drivers.
- via The Columbus Dispatch
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
Thursday, March 21, 2013
#2- Brad Keselowski - The No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion team will race chassis PRS-843 at Auto Club Speedway, a brand new chassis for 2013. The backup chassis is PRS-847, also a brand new chassis for 2013
#5- Kasey Kahne - Kenny Francis will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-763 for Sunday’s event at Fontana. Kahne last raced this car at the Charlotte Motor Speedway test session in January.
#10- Danica Patrick - Chassis No. 10-781 is a new car that has only seen testing in a wind tunnel.
#15- Clint Bowyer - Primary chassis No. 758 is new. It’s the first new 2013 Gen6 specific chassis to be raced by MWR. The backup chassis (No. 724) raced to top-five finishes at Bristol (fourth) in March and Dover (fifth) in June. It also finished seventh at Bristol in August, tested at Charlotte in January 2013 and served as backup in Las Vegas.
#16- Greg Biffle - Primary Chassis RK-817 was slated to run the season finale at Homestead, but an accident in practice took the winning chassis out of the race. RK-817 made its debut in 2012 at Indy with a third-place finish. After that 817 went on to win Michigan, then a 13th-place finish at Chicago, followed by a fourth-place run at Charlotte. Backup Chassis: RK-809 Last ran Texas – finished 10th.
#17- Ricky Stenhouse Jr - Primary Chassis RK-815 is a chassis that the No. 99 team ran various times in 2012. It is the same chassis that Stenhouse and the No. 17 team tested with in Las Vegas. Backup Chassis: RK-811 - 2012 No. 99 chassis – last ran at Phoenix – finished 11th.
#22- Joey Logano - The No. 22 Auto Club of Southern California Ford Fusion team will race chassis PRS-846 at Auto Club Speedway, a brand new chassis for 2013. The backup chassis is PRS-844, also a brand new chassis for 2013.
#24-- Jeff Gordon - Gordon will race Hendrick Motor Sports chassis No. 24-785 this week at Auto Club Sppedway. This is a brand new chassis for the #24 team.
#27- Paul Menard - Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 414 at Auto Club Speedway. 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. 378 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the Auto Club 400. Harvick last ran this RCR machine to an eighth-place finish during the 2012 season-finale event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
#31- Jeff Burton - Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 416 this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. This is a brand new No. 31 Chevrolet that will see its first on-track action during Friday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session.
#39- Ryan Newman - Newman will pilot Chassis No. 39-748 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. This chassis debuted at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth last November, where Newman was able to overcome his starting position of 36th and a loose right-front wheel that dropped him from the top-10 to 25th with just 110 laps remaining to record a 12th-place finish. Since then, Chassis No. 39-748 has been outfitted with a new front clip and a Chevrolet SS body and will see its first laps of the season this weekend at Fontana.
#43- Aric Almirola - The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 839 for California. The team built the chassis in the off-season and used it at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway test.
#48- Jimmie Johnson - Jimmie Johnson will drive a new chassis, No. 784, at Fontana. Chassis No. 720 serves as the backup. No. 720 raced 6 times in 2012, winning at Texas in November and the All Star race at Charlotte.
#55- Mark Martin - Mark will drive MWR chassis No.759 at Auto Club Speedway and the backup will be chassis No. 720.
#99- Carl Edwards - The 99 crew will roll out primary chassis RK-821 which last ran at Texas Motor Speedway in the Fall and finished 4th. Backup chassis: RK – 831 is a new chassis and was brought to Las Vegas as backup.
- Reported in Team News/Press Releases