NASCAR Sprint Cup Series News and Stats

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  • Entry List for the Pure Michigan 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway is posted, 40 teams/drivers [for 40 spots] are listed, including: #21-Blaney*, #30-Wise*, #32-Earnhardt, #55-Sorenson*, #88-TBA, #95-McDowell, #98-Whitt*.
    Drivers who are not a Charter team, an Open Team, and must get in via speed: #21-Blaney, #30-Wise, #55-Sorenson, #98-Whitt
    Since only 40 cars are entered, all drivers will make the race, 40 is the maximum.
    * Open Team (no Charter)
    See the full entry list on's Michigan Entry List

  • Top 10 Driver Ratings at Michigan:
    Chase Elliott............................. 123.8
    Matt Kenseth............................ 102.7
    Carl Edwards............................ 101.3
    Greg Biffle................................ 100.6
    Jimmie Johnson.......................... 99.2
    Joey Logano............................... 96.7
    Tony Stewart.............................. 93.8
    Kevin Harvick.............................. 92.7
    Brad Keselowski......................... 92.4
    Kurt Busch.................................. 90.5
    Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2016 races (23 total) among active drivers at Michigan International Speedway.
    Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.
    See an explanation how the Driver Rating is calculated at

  • Kahne, Labonte unveil LiftMaster Throwback scheme: Wednesday afternoon, #5-Kasey Kahne and Terry Labonte joined LiftMaster at the NASCAR Hall of Fame to unveil the throwback paint scheme that Kahne will pilot next weekend at Darlington Raceway. The scheme reflects Labonte's 1982 JD Stacy Buick paint scheme and also corresponds with LiftMaster's founding year. "This paint scheme brings back a lot of really great memories for me, and I'm honored that LiftMaster put together this program with Kasey and the #5 team for Darlington," Labonte. "To experience the unveiling through virtual reality is something I would have never thought was possible in 1982, so to see just how far technology has come and how LiftMaster integrates it into its products was really neat." The scheme was unveiled through an interactive virtual reality experience, allowing guests in attendance to virtually go back to 1982 and see the car as Labonte drove it, while also seeing Kahne's tribute version. "Darlington's throwback weekend is one of the coolest programs any track does all year," Kahne said. "I'm glad that LiftMaster is participating in the program to celebrate their start of the garage door opener business. I appreciate the opportunity to honor Terry Labonte with our throwback paint scheme at one of my favorite tracks."(HMS), see images of the scheme on the #5 Team Schemes page (8-24-2016)

  • Buescher to run Love's throwback scheme at Darlington: Chris Buescher and Love's Travel Stops will turn the clock back to 1981 - the year Love's opened its first travel stop - for the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Front Row Motorsports and Love's unveiled the #34 team's paint scheme for the Sept. 4 Sprint Cup Series race Wednesday on social media. The stripes replicate the look that was on the fuel canopies and the building's façade at the company's first travel stop, which opened in 1981 in Amarillo, Texas. Today Love's has more than 390 locations in 40 states and employs more than 15,000 people. "The Darlington throwback weekend has become a pretty big deal, and it's cool to have Love's Travel Stops bring some of their history into the race weekend with their old colors," said Buescher. "Darlington is my favorite track, and I can't wait to get there and turn some laps in this special Love's Ford Fusion."(Front Row Motorsports), see images of the scheme on the #34 Team Schemes page (8-24-2016)

  • Testing at Chicago August 23rd UPDATE: Chicagoland Speedway will host a NASCAR organizational test with several of the sport's top teams on Tuesday, August 23, and fans are invited to take part in this preview to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Chicagoland Speedway September 15-18. The drivers who are tentatively scheduled to participate in the organizational test are as follows: #4-Kevin Harvick, #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #18-Kyle Busch, #21-Ryan Blaney, #22-Joey Logano, #23-David Ragan, #31-Ryan Newman, #34-Chris Buescher, #44-Bryan Scott, #48-Jimmie Johnson, #78-Martin Truex Jr. and #95-Michael McDowell (All drivers scheduled to attend are subject to change at the discretion of NASCAR and its teams).
    With proof of their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 ticket purchase, fans can watch their favorite drivers participate in the organizational test free of charge from between 1 and 4 pm. Fans are required to bring their printed tickets as proof of purchase. Those who plan on attending the test can enter the facility through Gate 1 off West Schweitzer Road. Once inside the facility, fans will be directed to park along the Midway directly in front of the main box office. The box office will be open to accommodate fans looking to purchase tickets prior to the start of the organizational test. Attendees will then use the elevators to access the third floor where they will now be able to walk outside and sit within a reserved section of grandstand seats. This exclusive opportunity will be open for those wishing to take in all the sights and sounds of stock car racing. In accordance with usual rules and regulation, fans are welcome to bring soft coolers containing refreshments and snacks for the event.
    Lastly, a Chicagoland Speedway staff member will be available to escort a small group of fans every 10 minutes down near the front of the grandstands for a photo opportunity. The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, Sept. 15-18, will begin on Thursday, Sept. 15 with the ARCA Racing Series followed by American Ethanol E15 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series under the lights on Friday night. On Saturday, Sept. 17, the NASCAR XFINITY Series will hit the track as the precursor to Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series showdown, the first race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.(Chicagoland Speedway)(8-17-2016)
    UPDATE NASCAR Sprint Cup teams spent Tuesday testing at Chicagoland Speedway, which will host the first race in the post-season Chase on Sept. 18. The test was originally slated to run two days but was cut down to one full day due to rain in the forecast for Wednesday. Throughout 12 hours of on-track testing, 14 drivers combined to complete 2,046 laps around the 1.5-mile oval with #4-Kevin Harvick running the most, 222. Harvick, who won the first two races at Chicagoland in 2001 and 2002, was the fastest with a lap of 185.268 mph coming on his third lap. #18-Kyle Busch was second-quick (184.628 mph) after running 214 laps with #21-Ryan Blaney (183.524 mph), #31-Ryan Newman (182.859 mph) and #7-Regan Smith (182.809 mph) rounding out the top five. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was on hand for the test, but Roush Fenway Racing teammate Trevor Bayne drove his #17 Ford. On Wednesday, Stenhouse will travel to Indiana to attend the Celebration of Bryan Clauson's Life at Kokomo Speedway. "This was supposed to be a two-day test and they were going to let me test one day, and then Trevor Wednesday," Stenhouse said. "I was already in Chicago, so I just came to hang out with the guys."(Motor Racing Network)(8-24-2046)

  • Bristol penalties/warnings announced: NASCAR has announced penalties and warnings following the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21st.
    #11-Hamlin(1 total current warning), #18-Busch(4), #31-Newman(2) and #78-Truex Jr.(3) teams received written warnings for failing pre-race laser inspection(LSI) twice. The #18 team will lose their pit stall selection at Michigan due to having a 4th current warning.
    #22-Logano's (2) team received a written warning for failing pre-qualifying laser inspection(LIS) twice
    See the Bristol Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(8-24-2016)

  • Target throwback scheme revealed: Chip Ganassi Racing and Kyle Larson will honor Target's start in auto racing at this year's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The team revealed Tuesday on social media the #42 Chevy to be used. The slick scheme honors Target's first car in motorsports, in IndyCar in 1990. The bull's-eye on the roof is a nod to both Chip Ganassi Racing's relationship with Target, and also CGR's roots in IndyCar racing. The Southern 500 will also mark Larson's 100th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.(, see images of the scheme on the #42 Team Schemes page (8-24-2016)

  • Mountain Dew scheme returns for Elliott: After the first trip of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career to Dover, earlier this season, #24-Chase Elliott walked away with a third-place finish. When the series returns to the First State in October, Elliott will be looking to do even better. In the October race, Elliott will have an extra kick in his step since he will be "fueled" by Mountain Dew. The citrus soda will serve as the primary sponsor on his #24 Chevy (Lionel Racing), see images of the scheme on the #24 Team Schemes page (8-24-2016)

  • Quarterly National Motorsports Press Association's Pocono Spirit Award winner named: Autoweek's Al Pearce wins quarterly National Motorsports Press Association's Pocono Spirit Award. Pearce raised more than $13,000 through the sale of a helmet bearing the signatures of the 20 living Formula 1 champions as well as those of Phil Hill and Sir Jack Brabham, which he collected prior their passing. The project took nearly four years to complete and the helmet was sold at auction earlier this year. Proceeds went to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, the Kyle Petty Charity Ride, the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation. Pearce has covered NASCAR for Autoweek since 1972, and in 2012 was elected to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. He is currently embarking on another autographed helmet project -- the 18 NHRA Top Fuel champions.(AutoWeek)(8-24-2016)

  • NASCAR Launches Youth Mobile App: Kids everywhere are going back to school, but not before celebrating the end of summer with NASCAR. All this week, Kids Drive NASCAR is engaging the sport's young fans with news, events and social content geared toward kids leading up to the NASCAR national series races at Michigan International Speedway and Road America. As part of the festivities, NASCAR today announced the launch of the Acceleration Nation app, the first digital experience created just for kids featuring racing-themed games, activities and fun ways to learn more about NASCAR. Parents can download the new app for their children at the App Store and Google Play. NASCAR's social media channels will share Kids Drive NASCAR content throughout the week, including videos and Snapchat takeovers featuring young drivers sharing their off-track experiences, and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers with their kids. Fans are also invited to get in on the fun by sharing pictures of their children and families enjoying NASCAR races using #KidsDriveNASCAR. The 6,400-square-foot NASCAR Acceleration Nation live experience will be on display at Michigan International Speedway and will host interactive activities and driver autograph signings for kids throughout the weekend. For more information about at NASCAR Acceleration Nation.(NASCAR)(8-24-2016)

  • Biffle to run Hooters scheme at Darlington; promote National First Responders Day: Greg Biffle will honor the late Alan Kulwicki by running a Hooters throwback scheme in the famed Southern 500 at Darlington Speedway on Sunday, September 4th. In addition to honoring the 1992 Winston Cup Champion, Biffle and Hooters have teamed up to help petition congress to recognize our local and national heroes who risk their lives on a daily basis by creating a National First Responders Day. "I was a huge Alan Kulwicki fan, so this is a really special opportunity to get to honor him in this way," said Biffle. "I'm also a fan of Hooters and really excited to support the campaign to create a National First Responders Day. There are so many men and women who risk their lives each and every day to keep the rest of us safe, they are the real heroes and definitely deserve a day of recognition."
    Andrew Collier, brother of slain MIT police officer Sean Collier who gave his life protecting his community during the Boston marathon bombing tragedy, has been lobbying Congress since 2013 to formally recognize the contribution and sacrifice of First Responders but so far has been unable to secure enough support in Washington to succeed. Inspired by Andrew's determined efforts and on behalf of First Responders across America, Hooters has partnered with the National Association of Police Organizations, the National Black Police Association and to launch A website where Americans can express gratitude for First Responders and sign a petition formally requesting Congress to pass legislation creating a National First Responders Day. Fans are encouraged to sign the petition by visiting
    In addition to signing the petition, Americans can show their support for First Responders by posting a picture on social media using the hashtag #OneWordOneDay and holding a sign with one word that they believe best represents First Responders. "We are excited to partner with NASCAR driver Greg Biffle and Roush Fenway Racing as part of our campaign to help America come together in support of our First Responders," said Carl Sweat, CMO of Hooters. "Our First Responders risk a great deal to protect and serve us every day and we are all safer because of their sacrifices. Hooters is proud to recognize First Responders and join Andrew Collier in creating a National First Responders Day to honor them all."
    Hooters is expressing its thanks to our Nation's First Responders by treating them to a free entrée. On Tuesday September 20, all First Responders can select an item from a special menu when they present a valid organization ID at any Hooters location across the nation. Biffle is no stranger to finding victory lane at Darlington Raceway. Biffle has two Sprint Cup wins at the track, two poles, has earned three top-five and six top-10 finishes over his 15 starts at the 1.366-mile track. Biffle has led 718 laps at Darlington, the most laps he led at any track on the Sprint Cup circuit.(RFR), see images of the scheme on the #16 Team Schemes page (8-23-2016)

  • Cassill Pays Tribute to J.D. McDuffie with Darlington Throwback: Landon Cassill will enter Darlington Raceway's Southern 500 in a car that will honor the memory of J.D. McDuffie, the scrappy but respected independent racer who competed for 28 years in the Sprint Cup Series before losing his life in a crash at Watkins Glen International. Cassill unveiled the throwback paint scheme of the #38 Ford during a Facebook Live broadcast on NASCAR's Facebook page. The blue and gold scheme replicates a design McDuffie drove in the 1970s and 80s. McDuffie sponsors Rumple Furniture and Bailey Excavating will be featured on the car as part of the tribute during the Sept. 4 race. Despite being an independent owner/driver without the resources of a larger team, McDuffie competed in 653 Cup races, collecting 106 top-10 finishes and a pole position, and finished in the top 20 in points 14 times in his career. Even though he holds the record for making the most starts without ever reaching Victory Lane, he won the respect of fans and fellow competitors in the sport. A 52-year-old McDuffie was on Lap 5 of the 1991 race at Watkins Glen when a mechanical failure resulting from contact with another car sent him into the Turn 5 tire barrier without brakes. He died instantly. Cassill and Front Row Motorsports are proud to pay tribute to a competitor who was known for his blue-collar ethic.
    "J.D. was a guy who just kept scrapping, week after week, and earned a lot of good finishes as a result," Cassill said. "Bob Jenkins likes to say that Front Row Motorsports is the team that does more with less. You can definitely say that J.D. McDuffie did the same thing, and we're proud to honor his memory at Darlington." The Darlington Raceway event will celebrate the decade spanning 1975 to 1984 at this year's race with throwback paint schemes on all 40 entries.(Front Row Motorsports), see images of the scheme on the #38 Team Schemes page (8-23-2016)

  • Hornish to fill in for McDowell in #95 for practice & qualifying at MIS: Circle Sport - Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR) announced that Sam Hornish Jr. will fill in for Michael McDowell on Friday and Saturday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Michigan International Speedway. McDowell is scheduled to race in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Road America for Richard Childress Racing on Friday and Saturday. He will then travel to Michigan International Speedway and drive the #95 Thrivent Financial Chevy on Sunday in the Pure Michigan 400 for Circle Sport.(Leavine Family Racing)(8-23-2016)

  • Otter Pops to sponsor Jeffrey Earnhardt at Darlington: After a twenty-year hiatus, Otter Pops, the delicious and fun freezer pops "like no otter," re-enter the world of auto racing at the Bojangles' Southern 500 race at the Darlington Raceway. Rookie Jeffrey Earnhardt will be driving the Otter Pops-sponsored car at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. The Bojangles' race is a "throwback race" and Earnhardt's Otter Pops car will be decked out in a blue and yellow color scheme matching his grandfather Dale Earnhardt Sr's, iconic racecar sponsored by Wrangler. "I'm really excited to have Otter Pops joining us at Darlington. I've been eating them since I can remember and you can't help but smile when you're eating an Otter Pop!" said Jeffrey Earnhardt. "It's hot this summer so I'm happy to have them being part of our team and look forward to eating a bunch of them at Darlington.(BusinessWire), see and image of the scheme on the #32 Team Schemes page (8-23-2016)

  • Aspen Dental returns to sponsor Patrick at Michigan: As the Sprint Cup Series visits Michigan this weekend, Aspen Dental returns as the primary sponsor of Danica Patrick's #10 Chevy. Sunday's race marks the third of four events (also Charlotte in Oct) where Aspen Dental will serve as the primary sponsor on Patrick's racecar this season. In addition, Aspen Dental is an associate sponsor on the #10 Chevrolet for all non-primary races. While Patrick's #10 Chevy will be blue and silver this weekend in Michigan, her car will also feature the names of more than 500 U.S. veterans. Aspen Dental dentists and teams from Maine to Washington - and hundreds of dental practices in between - volunteered their time and talents to give back to veterans in their communities during one, big "Day of Service" on Saturday, June 25. As part of the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community-giving initiative which provides dental care for veterans, it marked the third annual "Day of Service," during which nearly 400 participating Aspen Dental offices donated more than $2.1 million dollars in dentistry in a single day, empowering more than 4,000 veterans with a healthy smile. Aspen Dental will also host five veterans and their guests as VIPs for Sunday's race at the 2-mile Michigan track. In addition to the festivities in Michigan, Aspen Dental Management, Inc., recently announced it will be giving 1,000 veterans and guests the opportunity to be honored with a special VIP experience at the upcoming Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500 Oct. 8 in Charlotte in a celebration of service and support of access to dental care. Beginning Aug. 29, veterans can visit and sign up to attend the race and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience as Aspen Dental will honor their selfless service to our country and bring attention to the fact that many unfortunately do not receive the dental care they desperately need and deserve.(SHR), see images of the car/scheme on the #10 Team Schemes page (8-24-2016)

  • Lap Leaders after 23 races:
    Driver, Laps Led
    1) #18-Kyle Busch, 1,242
    2) #78-Martin Truex Jr, 990
    3) #4-Kevin Harvick, 957
    4) #19-Carl Edwards, 741
    5) #20-Matt Kenseth, 469
    6) #2-Brad Keselowski, 373
    7) #22-Joey Logano, 327
    8) #41-Kurt Busch, 234
    9) #48-Jimmie Johnson, 229
    10) #11-Denny Hamlin, 202
    34 drivers have led at least one lap
    Through August 21

  • NASCAR National Series Tracks to Offer Free Youth Ticketing for XFINITY & Truck Series Races in 2017: NASCAR announced exclusively via Facebook Live that beginning in 2017, kids ages 12 and younger will be admitted free to all NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. The announcement was made during an all-kids press conference hosted at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The press conference also kicked off Kids Drive NASCAR, a week-long, youth initiative leading up to this weekend's national series races at Michigan International Speedway and Road America. Many race tracks already have in place a bevy of offerings geared towards youth, including youth autograph sessions, youth garage tours, kids' clubs and designated kids' zones. Numerous tracks also have employed various ticket platforms focused on youth, but this new program marks the first time where tracks will institute a consistent offer wherever NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races take place.
    Beginning in 2017, the number of complimentary tickets available for children 12 and younger will vary from venue to venue for every adult ticket purchased. Specific track policies and procedures, including sections in which the tickets are offered, will still apply and may differ for each track as well in an effort to welcome and accommodate as many families as possible. This program is another example of NASCAR-sanctioned tracks improving the at-track experience with the ultimate goal of delivering additional value and an unparalleled live-event experience for fans.(NASCAR)(8-23-2016)

  • Track 'treatments' to continue: Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, said Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that what Bristol did is "certainly not the last you've seen of that.'' Bristol treated its lower groove with a substance similar to what is used on the starting area in drag racing to help tires gain grip. NASCAR said resin was then put on the track after Wednesday's Camping World Truck Series race and Friday's Xfinity Series race. Previously, running the lower groove at Bristol proved slower than the top groove. With the additional grip, more cars could run at the bottom and be competitive. The result was two-wide racing. The 20 lead changes in the Sprint Cup race ranked second among most lead changes at Bristol in the last eight races there. NASCAR stated that total green-flag passes in the Cup race totaled 2,454, ranking fourth at the track since the statistic was first kept in 2005. "We'll go out and do the due diligence and test it and work with Goodyear certainly,'' O'Donnell said. "Certainly, we'll look at this year, but more importantly for 2017.''(NBC Sports)(8-23-2016)

  • Rick Hendrick is pleased with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s progress UPDATE: Team owner Rick Hendrick made two things abundantly clear during a press conference at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon to discuss the signing of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series leader William Byron. First, Hendrick had no specific update as to the status of Dale Earnhardt Jr., other than to say that Earnhardt is progressing in his recovery from concussion-like symptoms and wants to return to the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet as soon as possible. "Dale looks great," Hendrick said. "I had lunch...he and the road crew went to lunch on Wednesday - and I think you've seen the (video) of him playing basketball. We are taking extra effort with the doctors, making sure he's going to be 100%. He's got a doctor's appointment next week. He's doing great, and he wants to get back in the car. Beyond that, I don't know anything to tell you about him."
    Second, Hendrick stressed that the signing of Byron to drive for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR XFINITY Series next year was not a reaction to the uncertainty of Earnhardt's timetable for a return to racing. "William has nothing to do with Dale at all," Hendrick said. "William has all to do with our future, down the road. What's going to happen three to five years from now, nobody knows." Hendrick confirmed that, if Earnhardt is unable to compete next weekend at Michigan, Jeff Gordon will not be in the #88 Chevy because of a prior commitment. If Earnhardt is not cleared to drive, Alex Bowman will fill seat for a second time, having driven in Earnhardt's stead at New Hampshire in July.(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-21-2016)
    UPDATE - No announcement about a driver for MIS before Wednesday: Hendrick 88 Team tweeted this: "We don't expect to make an announcement regarding @MISpeedway before Wednesday afternoon."(Hendrick 88 Team Twitter)(8-22-2016)

  • Kurt Busch's record lead lap streak is over: #41-Kurt Busch, lined up second for a lap-372 restart in Sunday's rain-delayed Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol. Coming off turn two, he passed #22-Joey Logano for the lead. However, Busch got loose in front of Logano, and contact between the two set off an 11-car incident that would see the 2004 Sprint Cup champion's historic streak of lead-lap finishes end at 22 races. "I think I just missed the bottom groove by a few inches, got loose, and the wreck was on," Busch said. "The way that our Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet was restarting it felt comfortable, it felt good. That inside with the rosin and the VHT, if you don't hit it exactly right you lose a lot of time. I tried to make up for it and got loose. I feel really bad for the Monster Energy/Haas Automation guys. We had a win in our sights, and I just drove the car at 101 percent instead of 99." The damage to the #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevy was deemed too severe to repair, leaving Busch with a 38th-place result and his first did not finish (DNF) since Kansas Speedway in Kansas City on Oct. 5, 2014.(SHR)(8-22-2016)

  • Stenhouse Jr. ties career best finish: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. drove his #17-Bryan Clauson Fastenal tribute Ford to a second-place finish after overcoming a two-lap deficit and a speeding penalty on pit road. The second-place finish tied his career best finish of second at Bristol in 2014. "It wasn't from a lack of hard work and being lucky a few times," Stenhouse said. "We really wanted to get this Bryan Clauson tribute car in victory lane. It just wasn't meant to be today. We made our car a lot faster throughout the race and came from two laps down to get back on the lead lap. We missed some wrecks and gave it all we had. I thought we were matching the No. 4 car there lap for lap, but he got away from us and we had to restart sixth there on that last restart, but it was an honor to drive this car. This place was pretty packed last night so thanks to all the fans and thanks to all the fans that were able to stay around. I thought the track was really good. You could run the bottom. You could run the top. We just wanted one more spot."(RFR)(8-22-2016)

  • Bristol Race and Commercial Breakdown of the 2016 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race: For those of you NASCAR fans that like stats and love to hate commercials, here is the breakdown for Saturday's and Sunday's race (postpone and delays due to weather). Began recording the times at the Invocation of the race at 7:55 PM on Saturday, then stopped at 8:09 PM due to rain. I restarted at 8:55 PM, then stopped at 9:17 PM; restarted again at 10:42 PM, then stopped completely on Saturday at 10:52 PM. On Sunday, I began recording times at 4:30 PM, then stopped at 7:16 PM for more rain; then restarted again at 7:24 PM. Stopped at the waving of the checkered flag at 7:38 PM (all times are EDT). NBCSN and CNBC were the broadcast teams for this event.
    Total number of commercials: 101
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 45
    Number of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 80
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 42
    Number of 'Side-by-Side' commercials during race broadcast (split-screen): 21
    Total number of companies or entities advertised: 18
    Number of times NBCSN/CNBC utilized 'Side-by-Side' commercials during this broadcast: 4
    Start time on Saturday to record race/commercial periods: 7:55 PM
    Stop time for rain delay: 8:09 PM
    Restart time: 8:55 PM
    Stop time for rain delay: 9:17 PM
    Restart time: 10:42 PM
    Stop time for rain delay: 10:52 PM
    Start time on Sunday to record race/commercial periods: 4:30 PM
    Stop time for rain delay: 7:16 PM
    Restart time: 7:24 PM
    Race end: 7:38 PM
    Total minutes of complete race broadcast: 226
    Minutes of race broadcast: 188
    Minutes of traditional commercials (not split-screen): 38
    Minutes of 'Side-by-Side' commercials (split-screen): 9
    Number of missed restarts: 0
    Number of 'mystery cautions' (debris not shown): 0
    Total race brdcst time 188 Total comm. brdcst time 38
    See past races, more info on the commercials with links at

  • Kyle Busch wrecks, not happy with #46 team: #18-Kyle Busch was involved in a multi-car wreck when a part broke on his car while running 2nd at Bristol Motor Speedway on lap 357. Busch led a race high 256 laps. His comments:
    Q) What broke to end your race?
    Kyle Busch: "I don't know. It's a shame. The last few times we've been here, we've had really fast M&M's Toyota Camrys and we haven't been able to finish. We've been having parts failures here, so something we've got to address and fix. I'm really tired of losing races here with parts falling apart, so they'll hear about it on Tuesday. But the person that's really the biggest moron out there is the spotter of the 46 and the driver of the 46 (Michael Annett). I've been wrecking for half a lap and they just come on through and clean us out. That's stupid, so I don't know - frustrating day. Let's go home."
    Q) Did a part eventually break?
    Busch: "It finally did break and it was breaking, but it finally did break and I couldn't hold onto it there and it spun out and then spun out the wrong way and it's frustrating. We've had really, really fast race cars here. The guys do a great job setting them up, but, man, we've got parts failures, you know? You can't have parts failures in this business. That's stupid. My Camrys have been fast. We've just got to stop making stupid mistakes that take us out of races and beyond that the 46 (Michael Annett) spotter needs fired and the damn driver too. He's an idiot. I've been wrecking for half a lap and they come through and clean us out. I mean, there's plenty of room to miss me. Everybody else seemed to be able to do a good job of it."(Toyota Racing)
    Allgaier's comments on the wreck: Justin Allgaier, who subbed for an ill Michael Annett in the #46 Pilot Flying J / Battle of Bristol Chevy comments on what happened in the wreck:
    Allgaier: "Well from my point of view we got done in the corner. I was trying to let the leaders go as best I could. We were a couple laps down right there and let them go. The #22 (Joey Logano) ducked in front of me getting into (Turn) 1 and I had to jam on the brakes pretty hard. I got really loose and I was just trying to catch it. That is when the spotter was telling me that the #18 (Kyle Busch) was spinning and he kept rolling down the hill so at first I committed to go below him because I was already on the bottom and then he was still coming down the hill so I tried to go out around the outside of him and unfortunately I just didn't make it. The #22 was right there and just really a shame. I hate it for these guys. This Pilot Flying J #46 team they did a good job all day. We weren't up there battling for the lead, but we had a good solid day going. I just cost us a decent finish. Thanks to them for letting me drive the car today. Sorry to Kyle (Busch) that is the worst possibly scenario when the leader spins out and you hit them. Just really frustrating." (Team Chevy)(8-22-2016)

  • Vector Security to sponsor DiBenedetto at Michigan: BK Racing announced that Vector Security will be the primary sponsor of Matt DiBenedetto's #83 Vector Security Toyota at Michigan in August. Vector Security is a leader in the security industry, providing intelligent security and home automation solutions to more than 300,000 homes and businesses in North America. Vector Security is ranked as one of the top home security system providers in the United States. "We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Matt DiBenedetto and the BK Racing team, as they share in our passion of exceptional performance," said Michael Grady, Executive Vice President of Vector Security. "NASCAR is best known for its passionate fan base and for creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences for their fans. We look forward to seeing the #83 circle the track in red, white and blue."(BK Racing)
    AND BK Racing has announced that Weaver Media will be an associate sponsor on Matt DiBenedetto's #83 Toyota at Michigan. Weaver Media sponsored BK Racing's other NSCS entry, the #23 Toyota of David Ragan, at Michigan in June. Weaver Media is a full-service experiential marketing company specializing in creating attention-grabbing display advertising and new media opportunities. Weaver Media accomplishes this with unique applications of banners, adhesives and sign materials to catch consumers' eyes and their attention. They pride themselves on utilizing a facility's existing structure as the canvas for custom designs.(BK Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #83 Team Schemes page (8-22-2016)

  • Harvick wins Bristol: #4-Kevin Harvick won the rain delayed Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 2nd win of the season, 2nd win at Bristol and 33rd career win. Harvick came from the 24th starting spot to win, the deepest in the field a Bristol winner has started since Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag from 30th in the 2004 Night Race. The race was was suspended because of rain after 48 laps on Saturday night and resumed on Sunday after showers blew through the area by late afternoon.
    Harvick had his team owner, #14-Tony Stewart, join him in doing donuts and celebrating the victory on the frontstretch.
    #17-Stenhouse Jr. (ties his career best finish) finished 2nd followed by #11-Hamlin, #3-Dillon, #34-Buescher, #19-Edwards, #48-Johnson, #1-McMurray, #47-Allmendinger and #22-Logano.
    #18-Busch led the most laps, 256 of 500, before crashing out on lap 357 finishing 39th.
    #34-Buescher's 5th place finish moves him into the top 30 of drivers points and eligible for the Chase.
    There were 20 lead changes among 8 drivers and 9 cautions for 106 yellow flag laps and 3 red flags for rain.
    The average speed was 77.968 mph.
    See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
    Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
    Lap Summary Report (pdf)
    Penalty Report (pdf)
    Pit Stop Times (pdf)
    See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Bristol Race & Points Report (pdf).(8-21-2016)

  • United States Army Chorus Quartet to sing national anthem at MIS: The United States Army Chorus Quartet will sing the national anthem prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The chorus will also sing the national anthem prior to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 race on Saturday. The U.S. Army Chorus Quartet's rendition of the national anthem will follow pre-race and driver introductions both days. Fans will want to be sure to be in their seats for "The Star-Spangled Banner." The U.S. Army Chorus Quartet has performed across the country and at some of the most prestigious locations. The rendition is sure to be an unforgettable performance. The U.S. Army Chorus Quartet is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2016. The group is celebrating with concerts that include a reunion of past members, many of whom have had successful careers in music education and as soloists on Broadway and opera stages around the world. The U.S. Army Chorus Quartet was established in 1956 and maintained a reputation of excellence in the performance of male choral literature. Currently, the U.S. Army Chorus Quartet is one of the only professional male choruses. Beyond the traditional military music and patriotic standards, the U.S. Army Chorus Quartet covers a broad spectrum which includes pop, Broadway, folk and classical music. The Army Chorus performs frequently at the White House, the Vice President's Residence, the U.S. Capitol and the State Department.
    Michigan International Speedway's own Lisa Bascom will perform the Canadian National Anthem prior to both the Pure Michigan 400 and Career for Veterans 200. She will keep with the track's tradition in recognizing its Canadian guests.
    In addition, two F-16s from the 180th Fighter Wing, Ohio Air National Guard will perform a flyover at the conclusion of the National Anthem before the Pure Michigan 400.(MIS)(8-22-2016)

  • Michigan track surface receiving extra prep work before race: Michigan International Speedway is doing some extra preparation to its track surface before the return of NASCAR action next weekend. The speedway has been utilizing a "tire dragger" - which is dragged along the surface to help apply extra rubber - since the beginning of the week and plans to continue to use it through Tuesday of next week. The tire machine is being run every day for eight hours a day, officials said. It's the same device used by Kentucky Speedway after its repave and Bristol after it "polished" the lower racing groove. "We elected to do it because we work closely with and listen to NASCAR and the experts who drive the track - the drivers, who say the racing will get that much better when the top groove gets rubbered in and widens out," said Sammie Lukaskiewicz, the speedway's vice president of marketing and communications. "It's fast here, as you know. So having a wider groove will allow cars to pass each other and allow three-, four- and five-wide passing."(Motorsport)(8-22-2016)

  • Bristol, fans honor Tony Stewart with tribute on Lap 14: #14-Tony Stewart was honored by fans at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night. Fans at the track were given signs of the #14 by the speedway and asked to hold them up and honor the driver of the car of that number on the 14th lap. Stewart, who is retiring from NASCAR racing after this season, is making his final Sprint Cup start at Bristol. The signs were held up but with so much going on at the track, Stewart said that he didn't really see the tribute. But that doesn't mean he didn't appreciate it.(Sporting News)(8-21-2016)

  • Allgaier to sub for Annett in the #46 at Bristol: Due to flu-like symptoms, Michael Annett will not compete in thes Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol. Justin Allgaier will start and race the #46 Pilot Flying J Chevy in his place. Allgaier will have to start at the rear of the field due to the driver change.(HSM's Facebook)(8-19-2016)

  • Stenhouse Jr. and Larson to honor Clauson at Bristol: The outpouring of support for Bryan Clauson continued at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday, with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and #42-Kyle Larson honoring the memory of their close friend with special helmets and paint schemes. Clauson died at age 27 from injuries suffered during an Aug. 6 accident in the Belleville (Kansas) Midget Nationals. Clauson got his start in NASCAR racing as a development driver for Chip Ganassi Racing, but after 26 starts in the XFINITY series, with a best finish of fifth at Kentucky, he returned to open wheels and established himself as one of the all-time best in USAC competition.
    In Saturday night's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, both Stenhouse and Larson will wear helmets sporting the initials "BC" in honor of their friend. With the blessing of sponsor Fastenal, Stenhouse's car will feature a paint scheme reminiscent of the one Clauson ran seven years ago.
    "Bryan was a great friend of Kyle's and mine," Stenhouse, 28, said on Friday at Bristol. "I moved to North Carolina, and he was already there. Even though he was younger, I kind of always looked at him as an older brother, because he kind of did everything before I did. He let me move in with him, and we had a lot of fun in North Carolina. He showed me the ropes of stock car racing, and then, obviously, he was the best there was at running sprint cars, so to be able to run his paint scheme. His family is super excited, and we are, too, at our team." On Aug. 11 at the Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals, Stenhouse led the field on a parade lap in the winged sprint car Clauson was to have driven in the competition. Larson and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Rico Abreu were on hand as competitors during the off week. Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon were there to support charitable efforts, which included an auction on behalf of the Clauson family on Aug. 12. Gordon flew the Clausons back to Indiana on his plane that afternoon. On Saturday night, Stewart's sprint car driver, Donny Schatz, was five feet short of his 10th Knoxville Nationals title, finishing second to race-winner Jason Johnson.(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-20-2016)

  • NASCAR to enhance Bristol Sprint Cup race surface: NASCAR announced late Friday night that it will add 18 inches of resin to the lower groove in each of the four corners to enhance Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. The substance is intended to give the lower line additional grip to make that groove as competitive as the top groove. "It was a collaboration between the track, (NASCAR) and the industry," said NASCAR spokesman Kurt Culbert of the decision. "(The resin) seemed to work really well." While the lower groove was used throughout Friday night's Xfinity race, the preferred groove was the high line. Still, drivers could run on the lower groove and not lose as much time as previously. The track's lower groove in the corners was treated before this week. Resin was added after Wednesday night's Camping World Truck Series race.(NBC)(8-20-2016)

  • Gordon will not race at Michigan: NBC Sports Dustin Long tweeted that Jeff Gordon says he will NOT race the #88 car next week at Michigan because of a prior commitment.
    UPDATE: Jeff Gordon says he will not drive the #88 Chevy for Dale Earnhardt Jr. next weekend at Michigan because of a prior commitment. "I didn't know I was going to be doing all of this," Gordon said. Gordon would not say what the commitment was but said he would only be at Michigan on race day. Hendrick Motorsports confirmed that Alex Bowman will drive the #88 at Michigan if Earnhardt is unable to race. Bowman drove for Earnhardt last month at New Hampshire and finished 26th. Earnhardt has not said what his status for Michigan is. Thursday, Earnhardt posted a series of pictures and videos on his Instagram account showing some of the physical and mental exercises he is doing to aid his recovery. Gordon said it's simple why he's not driving at Michigan. "I can't be there all weekend," he said. Gordon said he would be available to run in the Southern 500 at Darlington if Earnhardt was still unable to be back in the car by the Sept. 4 race.(NBC Sports)(8-19-2016)

  • Ty Dillon Says He's Ready To Move to Cup: For Ty Dillon, Friday's Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway marks a milestone in the third-generation driver's NASCAR Xfinity Series career - his 100th start - but it also solidifies his belief he's ready for a full-time Sprint Cup ride. "I'm ready to make that step (into the Sprint Cup Series)," Dillon said. "I feel confident as a driver that I can go and compete inside the top 10, top 15 in the Sprint Cup Series if I get a full-time gig." Dillon has driven a limited schedule in the Sprint Cup Series with #95-Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing (subbing for Stewart in the #14). "I've had really good talks and there are a lot of positive things coming," Dillon said. "I feel really comfortable with where my future is going as far as my goal of being in the Sprint Cup Series; also, being a part of the Xfinity Series, which is important to me, too. I want to continue to run races in the Xfinity Series no matter where I go or what I do."(RacinToday)(8-19-2016)

  • Earnhardt Jr. shares detail on concussion treatment: #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss his fifth consecutive race this week as he recovers from a concussion, and he gave his Instagram followers a peek into his rehab Thursday. Earnhardt posted a series of videos that he said are to help with his balance and gaze stability -- the ability to focus on an object in the distance while moving his head. One of the videos shows him doing steps as well as having someone throw a ball at a wall behind him, and then he turns and catches the ball on the rebound. In the post showing some of the physical exercises, Earnhardt wrote: "Simple stuff but it's really helping." Other posts included eye charts he is supposed to read while shaking his head -- "Bout got them memorized," he wrote in a post -- and in another, he talks about a computerized three-dimensional program, which crosses his eyes and trains his eyes to work together. The results are sent to his doctors online. Earnhardt is expected to see doctors next week, which could determine when he returns to racing. See full article at

  • Lure of fishing draws Truex to Milliken State Park and Harbor: As an avid fisherman, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry, enjoys anytime he can put a fishing line in the water. On Wednesday (Aug 17th), the fisherman side of Truex was able to appreciate the day along the Detroit River. He was in downtown Detroit at Milliken State Park and Harbor to promote fishing in the state of Michigan and the upcoming Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 28. "I love fishing here," Truex said. "I am actually going to spend the whole week next week in Michigan just fishing for vacation. I love to fish. I love to fish in Michigan as well." Truex was immediately impressed by the scenic view along the Detroit River and could not wait to start fishing. But first he had to put his fishing pole down and talk to the media. Then it was finally time to fish and start the fun. He cast his line with Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley to see who could catch the biggest fish. Soon fans started to arrive to enjoy a beautiful day along the Detroit River fishing. Truex spent the afternoon talking lures, tackle and fishing experiences with the fans. He even took the fish off the hook when fans caught one. Truex is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys spending his free time with a fishing pole in hand. In fact, he often spends extended time in Michigan for both NASCAR Sprint Cup races at MIS to fish in any of the lakes in the state. But don't ask him about his favorite fishing locale. He keeps those private so he can get the biggest catch. Michigan is home to world-class freshwater fishing with 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes, and tens of thousands of miles and rivers and streams. With low licensing fees and a large variety of species to choose from, the fish are always biting in Pure Michigan. Visit to learn more. Pure Michigan 400 tickets are on sale at and 800-354-1010.(MIS)(8-19-2016)

  • Earnhardt Jr. still recovering, Gordon in the #88 at Bristol: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports, will miss his fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event as he continues to recover from a concussion. He was not cleared by physicians to compete in this weekend's event at Bristol Motor Speedway. Another update will be provided by Hendrick Motorsports next week. Jeff Gordon will continue to drive the #88 Chevy for the fourth race in a row. Gordon has earned five victories at the 0.533-mile short track, placing him in a three-way tie for first among active drivers with #41-Kurt Busch and #18-Kyle Busch.(HMS)(8-18-2016)

  • Top College Athletes Join NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Program: NASCAR and Rev Racing announced nine former college student-athletes selected to participate in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Crew Member Development Program. The new class of participants received invitations to train with Rev Racing following standout performances at the first national D4D pit crew combine in May. Multicultural athletes starring in football, basketball and softball at the college level will receive expert training as tire changers, carriers and jackmen, with the goal of gaining fulltime employment with NASCAR national series race teams. This year NASCAR and Rev Racing revamped the crew member scouting process, hosting tryouts at six universities across the country. Eighteen men and women from 12 states and one U.S. territory were selected to compete in the national combine in Concord, N.C. Half earned invitations to join the D4D pit crew program. The NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, under the leadership of Rev Racing, supports both crew member and driver development opportunities. Driver graduates include NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson, and NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Daniel Suarez and Darrell Wallace Jr.(NASCAR), more info and a full list on the Driver Development News page (8-18-2016)

  • Chase Elliott featured in magazine: Chase Elliott's photo has hit newsstands in Georgia this summer as he graces the cover of Georgia Magazine's August issue. Earlier this year, Elliott talked with his home state magazine on growing up in Georgia, his parents' role in his success thus far and racing for Hendrick Motorsports. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native is accompanied in the issue by fellow Georgian athletes Reese Hoffa, Jenny Arthur and two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock - all of whom are competing in the Rio Olympics.(HMS)(8-18-2016)

  • Sad News - Josephine Bonnett: Josephine Bonnett, 99, from Hueytown, AL, had been a resident of Self Health and Rehab since 2011. Mrs. Bonnett worked at the Deli at Hills Grocery and later at Winn Dixie until she retired around 1985. She then, with her husband, traveled to many NASCAR races. They were their son, Neil's greatest fans as he raced on the NASCAR circuit until his death in 1994. She is preceded in death by her husband of 68 years; Lawrence Bonnett. Son; NASCAR driver Neil Bonnett and 13- brother and sisters. Full obituary, guest book and service info at at (8-18-2016)

  • Sad News - John Cooper: John R. Cooper, a longtime motorsports executive, passed away August 17. Cooper became President of the Daytona International Speedway in December 1987, serving in that capacity until July 1990. Simultaneously, he served as Vice President of Corporate Development for ISC until July 1994. Cooper was a member of ISC's Board of Directors from 1987 until April 2003, and then was elected Director Emeritus.(ISC)
    See an article about Cooper at the Daytona Beach News Journal (8-18-2016)

  • BRP renews Can-Am NASCAR #32 Go Fas Racing sponsorship: BRP's Can-Am brand will be present on the NASCAR circuit for the next two years through its collaboration with the GoFAS #32 NASCAR Sprint Cup series racing team, in association with the Kappa and Cyclops Gear brands. The sponsorship was renewed for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. The agreement provides BRP's Can-Am brand with the opportunity to sponsor 36 races, 13 as primary sponsor. "BRP's successful experience to date on the NASCAR circuit in 2016 has been an important asset in our North American growth plan for the Can-Am brand," said Anne Bélec, SVP Global Brand, Communications and PAC at BRP. "It has helped the brand gain greater visibility through NASCAR's millions of North American spectators annually, and get closer to our consumers and their riding communities." The sponsorship includes four title races - the Can-Am Duel at Daytona and the Can-Am 500 in Phoenix for the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in the U.S., and the Can-Am 200 in Toronto and Les 50 tours Can-Am in Trois-Rivières on the NASCAR Pinty's circuit in Canada.(BRP PR), Jeffrey Earnhardt has driven the #32 Ford in 10 races in 2016, six of the races with Can-Am as the primary sponsor. No word if Earnhardt will return in 2017. Patrick Carpentier drove the car at Sonoma and Indy with Can-Am as the sponsor. Other drivers who have driven the #32, with different sponsors this season: Bobby Labonte(3) Boris Said(1), Eddie MacDonald(1), Joey Gase(3) and Jeb Burton(2).(8-17-2016)

  • New tire changer for Johnson: Kevin Novak, a native of Veseli, Minnesota, and graduate of the NASCAR Technical Institute, will replace longtime #48 HMS front-tire changer Cam Waugh. Waugh is moving back to his home state of Colorado. Novak is no stranger to the #48 over-the-wall crew as he filled in for an injured Waugh on May 15 at Dover, May 21 at the Charlotte all-star event and June 6 at Pocono.(HMS / Pit Talks)(8-17-2016)

  • Sherry Pollex announces she's a two-year cancer survivor: Sherry Pollex announced Monday evening that she's reached the two-year mark in her recovery from ovarian cancer. Pollex and longtime boyfriend #78-Martin Truex Jr. were the focus of one of the best moments of the 2016 in May, when the duo shared an emotional Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway after the Sprint Cup Series driver walloped the Coca-Cola 600 field, leading 392 of 400 laps for the win.(

  • Kenseth: no talks with JGR about his future, Hamlin in talks: #20-Matt Kenseth has no insight into the news that Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser isn't expecting Erik Jones, who currently drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series, to return to his team after his rookie season in Sprint Cup. Furniture Row Racing is expanding to a field a #77 Toyota for Jones, teaming with Martin Truex Jr.'s #78. Multiple sources have told NBC Sports that Jones could return to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 or 2019, and that several scenarios are being considered depending on the future status of drivers and sponsors. Gibbs has #11-Denny Hamlin, Kenseth, #19-Carl Edwards and #18-Kyle Busch under contract in Sprint Cup through next season, and the team also has Daniel Suarez running for a second consecutive full season in the Xfinity Series.
    Kenseth, 44, said he hasn't discussed "the master plan for 2020" with team owner Joe Gibbs, though he was made aware of Jones' move to Furniture Row in 2017. "I've been involved in a lot of those talks, so I knew that was happening, but I can't say we've ever sat and had the conversation as to what exactly is 2018 going to look like and 2019," he said. "I don't think anybody probably knows 100% sure." Kenseth is sure he isn't considering retirement. "There's been times where I've been asked about (retirement) a lot," he said Tuesday. "Maybe you're not running as good and then you start thinking about it, 'Well, maybe is it time?' I don't really feel like I'm that close where I really can put a date on it to be honest. I feel great. More times than not, I'm having fun. I feel like we're really competitive more times than not. And we're capable of winning races, and I think we're capable of winning championships. That's just way on the bottom of my list of things to think about or worry about at the moment."
    Joe Gibbs said it's "probably unclear some right now" what will happen with Jones after 2017, but the team owner said Jones would remain in Sprint Cup and wouldn't return to the Xfinity Series with JGR. Could Jones return to Joe Gibbs Racing in a Cup car? "I think Furniture Row wanted to make this step to go to two cars, so their future is going to be two cars," Gibbs said. "And whatever their future is past that, it's up to them. I think it's kind of what Erik does. Does he stay there longer than that? That's the question." Gibbs noted that Jones' 2017 sponsor, 5 Hour Energy, also has a one-year deal. "It's whatever Furniture Row wants to do," he said. "They came up with the sponsor and are going to be footing the bill for everything. They're going to be ramping up out there. I'm sure that 5 Hour is going to have their option of what they want to do. I think Furniture Row is going to try to put together their future. They've done a real good job of putting this thing together." Gibbs said his team is in negotiations on a contract extension with Hamlin, who is signed through next season. "It's still in the works," Gibbs said. "We're talking now."(NBC Sports)(8-17-2016)

  • Thad Moffitt, Grandson of Richard Petty, Wins First Stock Car Race: Thad Moffitt, the 15-year-old grandson of "The King" Richard Petty, won his first stock car event Saturday night at the Anderson Motor Speedway (Williamston, SC). Moffitt took the pole and then the checkered during Saturday night's Southeast Limited Late Model Daytona 1 Challenger Series race. In partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM), Empire Racing Group (ERG) is entering Moffitt in the Southeast Limited Late Model Challenger Series in 2016. It is the first year of the partnership and Moffitt is now leading the series championship after Saturday night's win. Moffitt is the son of Brian and Rebecca Petty-Moffitt. He has previous experience racing quarter midgets and in karting at Ace Speedway. Moffitt won the race in the famous family color, Petty Blue. Moffitt races the #46 to continue the Petty family tradition started by his great grandfather Lee racing the #42. The team is supported by Jacob Construction, Design, and Technology, Transportation Impact and Hostetler Ranch.(RPM)(8-17-2016)

  • Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill named grand marshal for the Pure Michigan 400: Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashill will serve as the grand marshal for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 on August 28 at Michigan International Speedway. Blashill will give the command of "Start your engines!" when the Pure Michigan 400 gets underway. Blashill is entering his second season as head coach for the Red Wings after being named to the position on June 9, 2015 and leading the Red Wings to their 25th consecutive playoff berth in 2015-16. The 42-year-old is the 27th coach in franchise history, the first American to lead the Red Wings and just the third Michigan native to coach any major Detroit sports team, joining Steve Mariucci (Detroit Lions, 2003-05) and Dave DeBusschere (Detroit Pistons, 1964-67).(MIS)(8-17-2016)

  • Tide returns to NASCAR, sponsoring Kenseth in Southern 500: Tide and Joe Gibbs Racing announced they will bring back one of the most iconic brands in the history of NASCAR for the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, September 4. Tide's unforgettable orange and yellow paint scheme has been reborn as a more powerful Tide PODS Toyota Camry, and will be driven by Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth. This potent combination of the new Tide PODS entry and Kenseth will pay homage to the rich history of Tide while exemplifying the strength and evolution of the brand.
    For 20 years, an entire generation of racing fans cheered for the iconic "Tide Ride." Driven by some of the sport's legendary figures, including Darrell Waltrip, Ricky Rudd and Ricky Craven, the car amassed 20 total wins from 1987 to 2006. Each driver contributed a fabled chapter to the Tide Ride story-Waltrip's famous victory lane dance following his Daytona 500 win in 1989; Rudd gutting out a win at the 1997 Brickyard 400; and Craven capturing the closest win in the sport's history (.002 seconds) at Darlington in 2003.
    "With Tide celebrating its 70th anniversary as a brand, there's no better time to return to our roots in NASCAR for the Southern 500, and introduce a new generation of fans to the powerful new Tide PODS car," said Amy Krehbiel, Brand Manager for Tide. "Matt Kenseth's track record has proven him to be the type of commanding talent that we're proud to align with the Tide PODS brand."
    As the newest driver to compete for Tide, Matt Kenseth brings nearly 20 years of experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, including 38 wins and the 2003 series championship. "Tide has such a rich history in this sport," said Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Toyota Camry. "I can't think of a better race to make their return to NASCAR than for the Southern 500. I'm looking forward to being a part of the second annual throwback weekend, and am proud to represent such an iconic brand. There have been many great moments associated with Tide and its former talented drivers; I'm honored to continue the legacy with Tide PODS at Darlington."
    Tide will also serve as an associate sponsor on the remaining three Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of #11-Denny Hamlin, #18-Kyle Busch and #19-Carl Edwards for the Labor Day weekend event. Additionally, the #18, #19 and #20 entries will carry Tide as an associate for the following two events at Chicago and Richmond. Both Tide and Joe Gibbs Racing are also celebrating substantial company anniversaries this year, further strengthening the significance of the partnership and return of the iconic brand to NASCAR for these select events.
    "This is a thrill for us," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "Not only is this a throwback paint scheme that we know the fans will be excited for, but it is with a sponsor that has a tremendous history in our sport. This is our 25th Anniversary season at Joe Gibbs Racing and I know it is the 70th Anniversary of Tide. They really are a historic brand in our country and their new partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing for Darlington is a real honor."(Joe Gibbs Racing), see images of the scheme on the #20 Team Schemes page (8-16-2016)

  • #78 to showcase retro look at Darlington to honor Auto-Owners Insurance 100th Anniversary: The timing of being the primary sponsor on Martin Truex's #78 Toyota for the Bojangles' Southern 500 throwback weekend Sept. 2-4 at Darlington Raceway offered a unique opportunity for Auto-Owners Insurance, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. In the spirit of the throwback concept, Auto-Owners Insurance has opted for a retro look on Truex's race car that will pay tribute to the company's centennial milestone. The Lansing-Mich.-based company, which has been a staple in local communities since it was founded in 1916, is one of the nation's largest insurers. "We love the retro theme of the Darlington race and how it celebrates NASCAR's history," said Mary Pierce, Auto-Owners senior vice president of marketing and sales. "Auto-Owners really wanted to be part of this race as we celebrate our 100th year in business." Truex will also wear a special firesuit at the Darlington race, honoring independent insurance agents and the typical agent attire from back in 1916. "Darlington has just become an even more exciting race for our Furniture Row Racing team by having the retro Auto-Owners Insurance paint scheme on our Toyota Camry and also my fire suit," said Truex, who has already clinched a 2016 Chase playoff berth. "Auto-Owners has put a lot of creative thought in activating its primary sponsorship and we would like nothing more than to reward the 100-year-old company with a victory at one of NASCAR's most celebrated tracks." The Auto-Owners paint scheme and firesuit for the Darlington Raceway weekend is part of a larger company promotion called Fast, Friendly, Local. "Fast, Friendly, Local exemplifies the way Auto-Owners and our independent agents serve our customers," said Pierce. "In 1916 you had to walk into an insurance agency to buy insurance. Now, you can use modern technology to contact your independent Auto-Owners agent, but at the end of the day you are still buying insurance from an expert who lives in your community. That experience is part of the outstanding service Auto-Owners wants to deliver to our customers."(Furniture Row Racing PR), see image of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page (8-16-2016)

  • Men arrested in beating of Mike Wallace to face additional charges: The three men arrested in the June beating of former driver Mike Wallace and his family face additional misdemeanor charges. Documents filed Friday by prosecutors in North Carolina court show Paul Lucas, who was charged with assault on a female, now faces misdemeanor charges for assault inflicting serious injury (two counts), assault/battery and assault on a female. Nathan Lucas and Randolph Mangum, originally charged with simple assault, now face misdemeanor charges for assault inflicting serious injury and assault/battery. Their next court date is October 25. Wallace suffered a bruised face, lacerations and tooth damage; his adult daughter suffered a fractured wrist and black eye, according to the documents.(

  • McMurray's Darlington scheme a throwback to Bill Elliott: Chip Ganassi Racing announced that the #1 McDonald's Chevy will sport an iconic look for the Labor Day Weekend race at the famed Darlington Raceway. Jamie McMurray will drive the #1 Chevrolet SS featuring a popular look from the past. Originally run by NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bill Elliott in 1997, McMurray's throwback ride will feature a Mac Tonight paint scheme for the 2016 Southern 500. Mac Tonight was a sunglasses-wearing, piano-playing crooner with a crescent moon for a head, who sang the popular jingle "Mac Tonight". The midnight blue car, covered with stars and the Mac Tonight crescent moon will brighten the night at the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The Mac Tonight campaign was originally created for California McDonald's franchisees, intended to increase the after 4pm dinner business for the restaurant chain.(Chip Ganassi Racing), see an image of the car on the #1 team paint schemes page.(8-15-2016)

  • Bayne, Cassill complete Ironman: #6-Trevor Bayne and #38-Landon Cassill spent their off weekend in Dublin, Ireland competing in an Ironman 70.3. It was Bayne's first Ironman and Cassill's 5th. The Ironman 70.3 consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run.
    Bayne finished in 5 hours, 25 minutes and 10 seconds, 479th overall. He swam in 35:15, biked in 2:44:37 and ran in 1:57.28.
    Cassill finished in 5 hours, 2 minutes, and 38 seconds, 216th overall. He swam in 30:56, biked in 2:35:51, and ran in 1:46:52.

  • Living Legends of Auto Racing announce 2017 honorees: Daytona-based Living Legends of Auto Racing (LLOAR) announced its slate of honorees for their 25th Annual Awards Banquet. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at The Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach Shores. Since 1993, the LLOAR annual awards night has been one of the highlights of the stock car racing mecca's "Speedweeks" festivities. The Living Legends of Auto Racing, Inc., was founded in 1993 with an objective of recognizing those that have contributed to building the sport of organized stock car racing, from the days of beach racing in the 1940s and 1950s to today's great American pastime. The list of 2017 honorees includes these motorsports personalities:
    Pioneer of Racing Award - Brownie King, NASCAR Grand National Series (now called the Sprint Cup Series) and NASCAR Convertible Series veteran.
    Distinguished Driver Award - Sterling Marlin, NASCAR Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series competitor.
    Dedicated Service Award - Allan E. Brown, noted racing historian and former producer/editor of National Spedways Directory.
    Russ Moyer Media Award - Dave Moody, veteran Motor Racing Network (MRN) and Sirius XM NASCAR radio personality and Sirius XM voting representative on the 48-person panel that selects the annual class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
    Allison Family Award - Chip Ganassi, well-respected team owner and former race car driver, with a resume that includes five appearances in the Indianapolis 500 in a career span of six years (1981 - 1986).
    Tribute to the Early Days - Will Cagle, legendary Florida short track driver with over 900 wins in a 30-year career behind the wheel.
    Saturday Night Hero Award - Bobby Brack, South Florida racing legend. Known as "The Chief", his trademark #57 race car was a fixture on the Southern circuit for over three decades.
    The Ray Fox Award - Mike Curb, a 40+ year veteran car owner who fielded cars for some of the sport's biggest names, including Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jarrett, Johnny Sauter, and Kyle Larson, to name a few.

  • Four Races Until The Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Only four races remain until the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, beginning with the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Eleven drivers have captured berths by winning a race and they will likely be joined by Pocono victor Chris Buescher, who sits just three points outside of the 30th position he needs to seize to make NASCAR's playoffs.
    Here's how the Chase Grid looks today: #2-Brad Keselowski (4 wins), #18-Kyle Busch (4), #19-Carl Edwards (2), #11-Denny Hamlin (2), #20-Matt Kenseth (2), #48-Jimmie Johnson (2), #4-Kevin Harvick (1), #41-Kurt Busch (1), #22-Joey Logano (1), #78-Martin Truex Jr (1), #14-Tony Stewart (1), #31-Ryan Newman (50 points ahead of Trevor Bayne on the cutoff line), #24-Chase Elliott (+49), #3-Austin Dillon (+47), #1-Jamie McMurray (+38), #42-Kyle Larson (+8).
    The first four out are #6-Bayne (-8), #5-Kasey Kahne (-11), #21-Ryan Blaney (-18) and #47-AJ Allmendinger (-34).
    Buescher entering the top 30 would hurt the non-winners on the Chase Grid's chances at making the playoffs, specifically Kyle Larson. In that scenario, four drivers would get in on points as of now: Newman (42 points ahead of Larson), Elliott (+41), Austin Dillon (+39) and McMurray (+30).
    The first four out would be Larson (-30), Bayne (-38), Kahne (-41) and Blaney (-48).
    Remember, a win automatically gets a driver into the Chase as long as he/she has attempted to start every event and is in the top 30 in points following Richmond.
    The winless drivers with previous victories at the remaining tracks:
    Bristol: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne
    Michigan: Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne
    Darlington: Greg Biffle, Regan Smith
    Richmond: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman

  • New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame names class of 2016: Former NASCAR champion and Maine native Ricky Craven will be inducted into the New England Auto Racers (NEAR) Hall of Fame as part of its eight-member Class of 2016. Craven, originally from Newburgh, joins drivers Ken Bouchard, Jerry Marquis, Randy Lajoie, Dwight Jarvis, Nokie Fornoro Jr., George Hewitt and announcer Jack Arute in this year's class. Craven and his classmates will be inducted at a ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 13, in South Windsor, Connecticut. Craven's career took off after an amazing 1991 season, during which he won 10 races and the NASCAR Busch North Series championship. "This is a very special honor," Craven said via telephone from North Carolina. "To be recognized in the place where I started means so much to me. My years of racing in New England were very special, and I was fortunate to have the level of success I enjoyed in 1991. I had great teams and some strong support behind me throughout my driving career that made it all possible. There are some pretty big names in this year's class, including drivers I've respected for many years."(Sun Journal)(8-14-2016)

  • No additional Cup races lined up for Burton: Second-generation NASCAR driver Jeb Burton, son of 2002 Daytona 500 champion Ward Burton, is not set to make additional Sprint Cup Series starts on 2016 at this time. However, the Halifax, Virginia native has at least one more start in the second-tier XFINITY Series this season. "I don't have any more Cup stuff planned," Burton said. "I'm going to do some XFINITY stuff with Biagi-DenBeste Racing at Richmond with Estes." Burton has competed in two Sprint Cup races this year with a best finish of 29th. He made both starts at Pocono Raceway driving the #32 Ford Fusion for Archie St. Hilaire's Go Fas Racing. Mason St. Hilaire, general manager for the team, discussed the likelihood of bringing Burton back to drive the car this season. "We have only a couple more races open this year," St. Hilaire said. "...We've got three races still open with driver and sponsor, and we'll try to figure that out, but it's not, you know, not a possibility. It could happen."(Racing Experts)(8-13-2016)

  • Gordon wins go-kart race at Knoxville: Jeff Gordon returned to Knoxville, Iowa, and won Thursday's Weld Racing Go-Kart Spectacular, an event that raised money for pediatric cancer research. Gordon was joined by Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Larson, who each have ties to sprint car racing, to compete against fans at Slideways Karting Center just one mile north of Knoxville Raceway, where this week's 56th annual 5-hour Energy Knoxville Nationals is being held. All proceeds from the fourth annual event, which saw race fans donate to compete against the Cup drivers, went to Kick-It, a partner of the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation. Driving a kart painted to look like the first sprint car he raced in 1985, Gordon became the first two-time winner of the event after battling Stewart in the final laps. "That was amazing," Gordon said. "If you don't think we take this seriously, what you just saw was as competitive as it can get. That was so much fun. I think I got a blister, but it was all worth it."(Motor Racing Network)(8-13-2016)

  • Buescher unlikely to move to Roush next season: #34-Chris Buescher's improbable and highly unusual first Sprint Cup victory at Pocono Raceway two weeks ago had little impact on how Roush Fenway Racing executives evaluate their prospect and 2015 Xfinity Series champion. The team already believed the 23-year-old was capable of winning at NASCAR's highest level, president Steve Newmark told USA TODAY Sports, so winning in his work-study program at Front Row Motorsports on a fuel strategy gambit in a race halted prematurely because of rain and fog provided no new evidence. But even though Buescher now has more wins that the entirety of Roush Fenway's three-car Sprint Cup contingent and a simpler route to Chase for the Sprint Cup qualification than Trevor Bayne, Greg Biffle or Ricky Stenhouse Jr., he is currently unlikely to be brought back aboard his parent team next season.
    "I don't think that particular win monumentally changes the direction that we want to go with him," Newmark said. "Our hope is to be in a position at some point to bring Chris back into Roush Fenway equipment at the Cup level. Right now we've got a great partnership with Front Row. I think they were excited that that possibility was available because we felt Chris was ready to get to the Cup level after his Xfinity championship last year and thought that would be really good experience. And it's proven to be that."
    It is unlikely, Newmark said, that Roush Fenway will expand to four cars for 2017 because of multiple factors. Sponsorship is always involved, and, he added, "we need to keep getting better on the race track."(USA Today)(8-12-2016)

  • Jones not expected to remain at Furniture Row after 2017: Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser said that he is "fairly certain" Erik Jones, who has a one-year contract to drive for the team next year, will leave after the 2017 season but is confident in attracting a talented driver to the team's second car for 2018. Visser made the comments Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "Dailed In" show. Visser's comments mirror what NBC Sports' Nate Ryan reported last weekend - that Jones could return to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 or '19. Visser said last weekend that "we hope to make (Jones' contract) many more" years beyond 2017. On SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Visser talked more about Jones and looking beyond next season with the organization's second team. "If we don't have him, we will have somebody else," Visser told host Claire B. Lang. "With how we're running, we will get a very, very good driver after he leaves, if he leaves, and I'm fairly certain he will. We will attract one of the best drivers in the garage for that second slot I am confident. The cars are just going to be running too well. The first car is running too well. It all builds on itself. It all kind of snowballs in the right direction." Lang then asked Visser if he really felt Jones would leave the team. "I think probably so," Visser said. "I think that's most likely. We're working on that. What I am saying is the team will go on no matter what and people need to understand that when they come looking for jobs."(NBC Sports)(8-12-2016)

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Countdown to Race Time: 8/28/2016 ~2:18pm/et

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added a 2nd PACKET of new article links
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24 David Bonnett, Joe Hines, Lee McCall, Roger McCluskey

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26, Ray Evernham, James Hylton, Landon Rudd, Greg Engle, Ken Duan, Adam Gravitt, Daniel Rankin

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9 Felix Sabates, Jerry Nadeau, Jeff Hammond, Wayne Hamby, Phil Barkdoll, Joseph Fenning, Kyle Grissom, Kirk George

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12 Myrna 'Mom' Adamczyk, Ricky Rudd, Jason Statham, Ken Ragan, Ron Keselowski, Ford Martin, Todd Cable, John Sacco

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