News and Views - Volume 11 January 30 - February 5, 2012

Posted by imelda sovzky on Sunday, February 5, 2012


News and Views - Volume 11
For the week of January 30 - February 5, 2012

As part of realigning our News and Views feature blogs, the weekly blog will now be posted on Tuesdays and updated throughout the week with news running from Monday through Sunday each week.  


Readers will want to check back throughout the week as we continually update Today's News and Views and the weekly News and Views blogs.  


Also, time schedules were released this week for all three NASCAR series'. Darlington Raceway has the only change in start time in the Sprint Cup schedule as the race will now begin at 7pm ET vs. 7:30pm as it did in 2011. There are time changes to the schedule in Nationwide and Camping World Truck series schedules as well, so fans will want to check before setting your DVR or going to the track. Fans can check schedules for Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck series' by clicking the SERIES INFO tab, then the schedule link for each series.   


If you have any suggestions to help us improve these features or the website please let us know.  


Let's begin with news so far this week...


MONDAY, JANUARY 30th


Danica to get owner points from Baldwin? Reutimann in the #10?
Danica Patrick will be a guaranteed starter in the 2012 Daytona 500, using owner points from Tommy Baldwin Racing. Multiple sources say a deal is nearly complete to make Patrick a guaranteed starter in Stewart-Haas Racing's #10 Chevy in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season opener, using owner points accrued last season by driver Dave Blaney in TBR's #36 Chevy. Blaney will now be forced to qualify for the "Great American Race" on time. Patrick is scheduled to run approximately ten Sprint Cup races this season, and TBR driver David Reutimann will run many of the events Patrick does not; also in the #10 machine. While Patrick will drive Stewart-Haas cars purchased from Hendrick Motorsports in her ten races, Reutimann will steer Baldwin's cars in his outings. TBR will reportedly receive technical and pit crew support from SHR as part of the deal.


From Sirius Speedway


Kyle Busch wins SpeedFest Late Model race
Kyle Busch had to hold off some of the top short track talent in the country to do it, but Sunday afternoon he scored his career third SpeedFest Super Late Model victory at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, GA. He had to keep a hard charging Bubba Pollard at bay to record the win. Busch previously scored wins in the event in 2009 and 2010, when it was held at Lanier National Speedway in Braselton, GA. 


From Raceweek Illustrated and Kyle Busch Motorsports PR


Also in the top-ten: David Ragan finished third, Chase Elliott finished sixth and Ross Kenseth finished nineteenth.  


NASCAR and Turner restructure and extend digital partnership
NASCAR and Turner Sports announced a restructuring and extension of their long-standing digital partnership. The new agreement takes the relationship through 2016, with NASCAR managing business and editorial operations for its digital platforms beginning in 2013 and Turner Sports continuing to oversee advertising sales and sponsorships across NASCAR-branded digital platforms. Under the new partnership, NASCAR will assume operations and infrastructure of all NASCAR digital platforms. Turner will continue to represent sponsorships and advertising for all NASCAR digital platforms. Turner will continue to represent sponsorships and advertising for all NASCAR digital platforms, with the unique users from comprehensive digital and social media portfolio includes NASCAR .com NASCAR .com, and the sport's other digital and social media platforms, have been managed by Turner Sports since 2001. 


From NASCAR 


Mario Andretti Trophy goes to Tony Stewart
Racing legend Mario Andretti presented his namesake trophy to NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion Tony Stewart on SPEED Center, acknowledging the three-time champion's Chase run as the difference maker among a very impressive field of finalists for the annual SPEED Performer of the Year presented by ACE. 
"This is an awesome moment in my career," Stewart said on the program. "I grew up in Indiana watching this guy a lot. Winning any award is an honor, but winning one with Mario's name on it is very special." 
Five of this year's seven finalists received first-place votes, including Stewart, runner-up Casey Stoner; AMA Supercross/Motocross champion Ryan Villipoto; last year's SPEED Performer of the Year, Sebastian Vettel, and USAC/WoO Phenom Kyle Larson. 
"I get to see the best of the best and Tony, you are in that company," said Andretti, who actually noticed Stewart's calm demeanor during the Chase and texted the driver, "I smell championship." 
The award in its sixth season, is presented annually by SPEED to the racer who puts a premium on winning races, shines on motor sports' biggest stages and does it all with a measure of sportsmanship and class. The 2011 SPEED Performer of the Year was selected by a panel including racing legends Andretti and Dan Gurney, "Wind Tunnel" host Dave Despain, veteran broadcasters Varsha, Ralph Sheheen and Leigh Diffey, SPEED.com writers Robin Miller and Tom Jensen, versatile racers Tommy Kendall and Dorsey Schroeder and a select group of SPEED motor sports producers. The trophy, a true work of art created by bronze sculptor Elie Hazak, stands thirty-eight inches tall and weighs ninety-five pounds. It features eight cars, including six of the most important in Mario's rise to superstardom, as well as an array of artistic symbolism that captures the essence of the trophy's namesake. 


From SPEED


Schrader scheduled to run nine races for FAS Lane
Continuing its long and successful partnership, Federated Auto Parts will once again sponsor NASCAR legend Ken Schrader and his race teams during the 2012 season. 
"Kenny Schrader has become synonymous with Federated Auto Parts and we are honored to continue our long and winning association with this racing legend," said JR Bishop, director of racing and even marketing for Federated. "Kenny is extremely popular with our members, their customers and race fans everywhere. Whenever we host a hospitality event with him, we get rave reviews."
Federated will serve as an associate sponsor for FAS Lane Racing. Schrader will continue in his role as the official Spokesman for Federated and will once again host the annual "Get Dirty with Kenny" promotion at Schrader's own dirt track, the newly named Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, MO. Federated will also serve as the official parts supplier to Ken Schrader Racing.

From Schrader Racing 

ALSO the nine scheduled races are: Las Vegas on March 11; Martinsville on April 1; Michigan on June 17; Kentucky on June 30; New Hampshire on July 15; Bristol on August 25; Richmond on September 8; Texas on November 4 and Homestead on November 18. 


From Schrader Racing Facebook 


Means Hamilton plans change
With Daytona less than eight weeks away, co-owner Jimmy Means says that the newly formed team will try to attempt all 36 races in 2012. 
"Our intentions are to run every (race)," says Means. "But we've got to do (approach) them one at a time and take it from there."
This will be Jimmy Means' second stint as an owner in NASCAR's top division. Once an owner-driver, over half of Means' starts in Sprint Cup came from 1978 to 1993. As any team at any level in NASCAR has experienced, sponsorship is harder to find in a shaky economy. However, Hamilton-Means Racing plans on their #52 Ford Fusion to show up at the track, with or without financial backing. 
"We're not relying on sponsorship to determine where we go or not," says Means. "We're just trying to get all the pieces together and have some different equipment to have a legitimate chance of making the races. Sponsorship is not really an issue at this time, but (we're) looking for it."
The team is also willing to start and park events to keep afloat. "That's probably what we will have to do to start his." With a long list of free agents available this off-season, HMR has narrowed its list of possible drivers for 2012, but no formal announcement has been made. "(We will announce) probably in a few weeks." Means also said his Nationwide team plans on keeping the #52 car running full-time with a driver announcement for that ride coming soon. 


From HMR 


BUT - HMR's Twitter says the car will be a Toyota and at Phoenix, so no word if they will attempt to make the Daytona 500. 1/29/2012


UPDATE - HMR's plan of attempting the Daytona 500 have been put on hold. With a delay in obtaining some essential equipment needed for the effort, the team has decided to push the first start of the season back to Phoenix (March) or Bristol (March). Engines and cars have been purchased, certification process is near completion, and the team plans further announcements later this week. 


From HMR 


Bill Elliott & Walmart team up for Daytona in July
UPDATE - Walmart announced it is expanding its Race time 2012 program to give fans more accessibility to discounted race tickets, driver appearances and fan events at stores, a great selection of authentic NASCAR merchandise and a special sponsorship of Bill Elliott at the Coke Zero 400. Walmart's Race Time  program, launched last year as the largest retail promotion in NASCAR history, gives fans authentic merchandise and fan events at Walmart stores in every NASCAR Sprint Cup series race market. This year, Walmart has more than tripled the number of companies offering displays of authentic merchandise, doubled the number of fan events at stores and increased the race markets where the $99 Walmart Family Track Pack will be offered. For more about Walmart's Race time 2012 program and the races the $99 Walmart Family Track Pack will be available at Walmart.com/NASCAR 


Rick Ware's son wins Legends Race
While Rick Ware was in Daytona for the Rolex 24 on Saturday, his son Carson won in the Bandolero Beginner Bandits race at Charlotte Motor Speedway - NC - on the road course Saturday. 


From Legends Nation


Mattioli Family statement regarding the large turnout for Dr. Mattioli
"We all knew Doc touched many lives, but we are blown away by the amount of people who have come to pay their respects to the man we all loved so much. I think he would have been overwhelmed, as much as our family has been, on the number of people who have come here. On behalf of our family and the employees of Pocono Raceway, thank you for your support, not only now but over these last few days. It means the world to us all."


From Pocono Raceway


TUESDAY, JANUARY 31st


Danica to get owner points from Baldwin? Reutimann in the #10?
UPDATE - Go ahead and pencil Danica Patrick into the Daytona 500 starting lineup. Stewart-Haas Racing has finalized an alliance with Tommy Baldwin Racing that guarantees Patrick a starting spot in the Sprint Cup opener and keeps her #10 car on the track for the entire Cup schedule, team owner Tommy Baldwin said. Patrick will be locked into the February 26 race with the owner's points accumulated last season by TBR driver Dave Blaney, who was 33rd. The top-35 in owner's points from last season are guaranteed a starting spot in the first five races, meaning Blaney now will have to qualify his way into the 500 field. Since Patrick is scheduled to compete in only ten Cup races while participating full-time in the Nationwide series, TBR driver David Reutimann will drive the remaining twenty-six races in the #10 car. The goal is to keep the #10 locked into the top 35 so Patrick will be guaranteed a starting spot for the first five races of 2013 when she runs her first full Cup schedule. TBR will receive technical and pit crew support as part of the deal. Baldwin said there were no conflicts with NASCAR or Chevrolet in having Patrick use Hendrick Motorsports engines as all the SHR cars do and Reutimann using Earnhardt-Childress Engines as all TBR cars do. Greg Zipadelli will remain the crew chief for Patrick's Cup races. Baldwin said he and Zipadelli will work with Reutimann in the other twenty-six. Reutimann will not drive another TBR car in the non-Patrick races. Baldwin said this is all about getting Patrick "prepared for 2013."


From ESPN .com and explanation from SB Nation


Several treated for smoke inhalation at Joe Gibbs Racing
Several people were treated for smoke inhalation at Joe Gibbs Racing in Huntersville this afternoon, officials said. According to Huntersville police, some machinery at the racing compound caught fire. Firefighters were called in to battle the blaze around 2:45 pm. The fire is under control, fire officials said. Medic officials said units responded to the fire, but had not yet transported anyone.  No one has commented on what caused the fire or how much damage was done as a result of the fire. Almost a year ago, a similar fire happened at the facility that caused two people to be treated for smoke inhalation. According to officials, the 2011 fire started in an engine dyno during a test.


From WSOC


UPDATE - A piece of equipment in the machine shop caught fire today at our Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville, NC. The fire department was called and the fire was quickly contained and extinguished. A few of our employees received treatment on site for issues related to smoke inhalation. All employees were able to return to work within the hour to continue preparations for the 2012 NASCAR season.


From Joe Gibbs Racing
From ESPN


NASCAR and Turner restructure and extend digital partnership
UPDATE - In a phone interview, NASCAR Vice President of Digital Media Marc Jenkins said NASCAR is at the "tail end" of the process of thinking of what it wants to do with its website. He said NASCAR is working toward having several camera angles for fans to watch a race on the website, like what was done during the Chase for the Sprint Cup on the current website. 
"That drives a better fan experience when watching the race," Jenkins said. "in my mind, more important than just a pure stream of the race broadcast is the alternate camera angles, it's the dynamic leaderboard, it's the (car) data, it's all those things that help people enjoy the race more."
Jenkins said they also hope the NASCAR site will help drive traffic to the drivers' websites and could offer a content management system teams and drivers could use in production of their websites.

From Scene Daily

AND - The lack of an iPhone app for the sport has been a glaring, gaping hole in the interactive experience. 
"I can assure you it will be an important thing for us moving forward," NASCAR chief marketing office Steve Phelps said. "Whether we have it for '12 or not, it's probably not something that's going to happen. But digital and social media is going to be a major plank for us as a sport. It's going to be a way for us to engage our fans, candidly, in a way we've never been able to before. We think our sport lends itself (to an app) as well as any sport - maybe better - because of the community nature and social nature of the sport. It clearly is coming." 
But fans may begin to see changes in the app world even earlier than expected. Tim Considine, Sprint's director of sports marketing, told SB Nation in a statement: 
"Sprint is working with its internal partners to develop NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile for the iPhone, with an expected launch in the first half of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup series season."
From SB Nation


ISC profits rise even with fewer seats
International Speedway Corporation saw an increase in profits in 2011 while also cutting seating capacity at nine of its twelve tracks that play host to Sprint Cup races. ISC, a publicly traded company with more the seventy-one percent of its stock owned by the NASCAR-controlling France family, saw its stock remain in the $26 dollar range since the release of its annual financial report that listed a 4.5% increase in profits from core operations. ISC began significantly decreasing the number of seats in 2010, when it cut capacity at several tracks. The most significant drop came at Phoenix, which saw its capacity shrink from 67,000 to 55,000. Daytona remains ISC's biggest track at 147,000 grandstand seats and has not seen a significant seat change in the last two years while the remainder of the Cup facilities have had a combinined decrease of 15%. ISC sold 83-87% of its capacity for Cup events, ISC President John Saunders said in a conference call with investors. Overall ticket sales revenue, through, was down 10% from $160.5 million in 2010 to $144.4 million - and down 43% from $253.7 million four years earlier in 2007. Ticket prices will remain basically the same for 2012, after a drop of about 3% for Cup races for an average ticket price of $82.17. While ISC took in $144.4 million in ticket sales, it took in much more from television rights. Its broadcast revenues from the NASCAR television contract, where it took in $202 million in 2011, will rise 3.5% in 2012. 


From Scene Daily 


Newman's break ground on animal facility
#39-Ryan Newman and wife Krissie began discussing plans for an animal rescue facility in Iredell County a few days ago, and the first step in the process took place a couple of miles from their home in Statesville, NC. The facility is called "Rescue Ranch" and will lay on 87 acres off NC Highway 21 and has been a dream of Krissie's.  The Ranch will have similarities to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, CA where a good friend Mike Arms is the President. The facility will have a number of phases; the first consisting of offices and classrooms. Future phases will consist of a boarding facility, veterinary clinic, horse stalls and pastures, riding trails, educational camps and a small animal and creepy/crawly building. The first phase of the project has been award to Moorseville based RL Smith, Inc. owned by Ronnie Smith. The projected completion date is early fall 2012. 
"My wife Lee and I (parents of Regan Smith) have been supporters of the Ryan Newman Foundation from the beginning," Smith noted. "We are hugh animal lovers and honored to be part of Rescue Ranch and the building of phase one. The facility is something that I believe our county will be proud of and I commend Ryan and Krissie for their efforts."
From Ryan Newman Foundation


Villeneuve to drive for Go Canada? David Ragan with Go Canada at Daytona
The probable association between Jacques Villeneuve and Go Canada Racing, as reported by Le Journal de Montreal in August, has resurfaced. Villeneuve could run a dozen races (and maybe more) this year in the Nationwide series driving a car owned by Toronto businessman Steve Meehan. Meehan declined to elaborate on the issue, while acknowledging that he had discussed with Villeneuve in recent weeks. Andrew Ranger will not drive for the team at Daytona, contrary to earlier reports. His debut will take place two weeks later at Las Vegas and possibly at Phoenix, the second week of the season. David Ragan, who has six years experience in Sprint Cup, will take over the wheel of the Go Canada Ford at Daytona. In addition, the team has acquired a new Dodge Challenger that will be used at Phoenix.


From Montreal Journal (translated using Google translate and edited for clarity...via Jayski's)


Speedco joins JR Motorsports sponsors
Speedco Truck Lube and Tires, a national company that specializes in quick lubes and tire services for the trucking industry, will join the JR Motorsports team as primary sponsor for the company's late model program and associate sponsor on its NASCAR Nationwide series Chevys in 2012. Speedco joins the #88 late model team and 21-year-old driver Josh Berry. In the NASCAR Nationwide series, Speedco receives b-post placement on the #5, 7, and 88 Chevy's. The cars will be piloted by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Danica Patrick and Cole Whitt, respectively. Patrick and Whitt are competing for the series championship while Earnhardt, Jr. will race sporatically throughout the season starting at Daytona International Speedway on February 25. 


From JR Motorsports car image is included at link site.


MAKE Motorsports to run full Nationwide season with TJ Bell
MAKE Motorsports' #50 Chevy will be competing for the Nationwide series championship with driver TJ Bell and crew chief Brad Parrott. The team, owned by Mark Beaver and Tracy Lowe, has been participating in NASCAR Camping World Truck series since 2010 and did a partial NNS season in 2011. Bell has been with the team since 2010 and Parrott since 2011. "We're not going to be a start-and-park deal, but going for the whole season and race as hard as we can," said Beaver. Additional announcements, including the team's 2012 partner lineup, will be released later this week. 


From MAKE Motorsports


Bodine to Red Horse Racing?
UPDATE - Former NASCAR Camping World Truck series champion Todd Bodine has a sponsor for the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway, and said he is optimistic about finding additional funding for the full 2012 campaign.
"I'm with Red Horse Racing," said Bodine on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's Tradin' Paint today. "We're going to race together if we can find sponsorship. (Team owner) Tom DeLoach has made the commitment to me and I've made the commitment to him. That's what we're going to do. As we have been for the last two months, we're seeking sponsorship. We're making some gains, and we have a deal put together for Daytona, so we will be going there to race."
Bodine declined to name his Daytona sponsor, but an official announcement is expected from the team later this week. 

From Sirius-Speedway .com 


Checkered Flag Run at Phoenix March 2-3
Race fans and motorcycle enthusiasts will celebrate diversity during the 2nd Annual Checkered Flag Run to Phoenix International Raceway's NASCAR Weekend on March 2-3. The exciting two-day event will include a ride to PIR and an opportunity to enjoy the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 NASCAR Nationwide series race. The largest multicultural motorcycle gathering at NASCAR, The Checkered Flag Run will launch with a kickoff reception featuring live entertainment on Friday, March 2 from 6-10pm at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, AZ. Saturday, March 3 will begin with a ride to Phoenix International Raceway to enjoy the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 NASCAR Nationwide series race. Riders will start from separate locations, including Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, Radisson Hotel Phoenix Airport and Radisson Hotel Phoenix Chandler and will arrive at the Phoenix International Raceway by 9am. Tickets to the 2012 Checkered Flag Run can be purchased for $25 until March 1 by calling 1-866-498-RACE(7223) or through checkeredflagrun.com.


WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1st


Deepest Sympathies to Matt Kenseth and family
Nicola Sue Kenseth, age 63, beloved daughter, wife, mother and grandmother, died at Oak Park Place in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin on Tuesday morning, January 31, 2012, following a long battle with Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease.  Nicki is survived by her husband, Roy, her children Kelley (Shawn) and Matt (Katie) and five grandchildren Ross, Amber, Evan, Kaylin and Grace. In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established in Nicki's name to the Alzheimer's Association, Agrace Hospice or Willerup Methodist Church.  


See complete obituary at Nitary Funeral Home 


54th Daytona 500 boasts a record purse of more than $19 million
The 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Febuary 26 (FOX, 1pm ET) - NASCAR's biggest and most prestigious race - will carry a record purse of more than $19 million as well as a new contingency award that will payout $200,000 to the driver leading at the completion of Lap 100.


The posted awards for "The Great American Race" are $19,142,601 with the winner collecting a minimum of $1,431,325. The second, third, fourth and fifth-place finishers in the Daytona 500 will receive a minimum of $1,050,075, $759,600, $609,900 and $486,550.


The Daytona 500 Mid-Race Leader Award will reward the driver leading the midway point of the historic 200-lap, 500-mile race with a $200,000 bonus. If the race is under caution at Lap 100, the leader of the race at the completion of the fifth consecutive green flag lap following the caution will receive the award.
"There is plenty of incentive for drivers to run up front the entire race but even more so at the halfway point and the last lap of the Daytona 500," Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. "This year's 'Great American Race' stands to be one of the most exciting and thrilling ever seen, and will serve as a great kick-off to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup series season."
Tickets for the 54th annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 26 as well as other Speedweeks 2012 events can be purchased daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

From DIS


Tony Stewart's First TV Commercial for Office Depot
Considering Tony Stewart has appeared in all sorts of television commercials - for Old Spice, Burger King, etc. - it's hard to believe he's never been in a TV ad for primary sponsor Office Depot. But that will change later this month when Office Depot airs a new Stewart commercial (see SB Nation link below) in select markets prior to the Daytona 500.


Check it out for yourself: 


From SB Nation


Randy Hill Racing form alliance with Go Green Racing
Randy Hill Racing announced they will once again return to the Nationwide series (NNS) with their #08 Randy Hill Racing Ford beginning with the 2012 season-opener, the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona. After separating from Spraker Racing Enterprises in December, RHR led by owner Randy Hill, has methodically been prepping for its second year of competition and will join forces with Go Green Racing under a technical alliance partnership. Randy Hill Racing will run as a separate Nationwide team but work with GGR in a collaborative partnership on race weekends. 


From Catchfence


Morgan Shepherd joins Hyland's as Master Athlete
With forty-five years in stock car racing, Morgan Shepherd has inspired millions of fans to pursue their dreams and to stay active. Now at age 70, Morgan Shepherd has joined Hyland's as a brand ambassador and key spokesperson for the company's Master Athletes Program. The partnership kicks off February 1, 2012 with Shepherd featured on a jumbotron in New York City's Times Square, giving fans an opportunity to win guest passes to the Daytona race February 25th. Once the interactive billboard goes live, fans can text the word 'Morgan' to the number 24587 for entry. The winner, randomly selected on February 10th, will attend the race as Shepherd's exclusive guest. Since 1903, the Los Angeles-based homeopathic medicine company has been a leader in innovations that answer the changing health needs of our modern world. 


From MorganShepherd .com To enter contest go here


An interesting tweet from Filmmaker and Storyteller Ron Howard


From Ron Howard's tweet


And after asking for race fan favorite movies, NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, etc....


Ron Howard's response


Ron Howard is starting work on the film "Rush" this month. The movie is about F1 driver and world champion, Niki Lauda which is expected out during the latter part 2012. Presumably, he is referencing this film with his response to fans.


From Edmund's Inside Line Nov 2011  


2012 cars to be tested at Homestead
UPDATE #5-Kasey Kahne tweeted that he will be participating in the test. No other drivers have been announced.


From Kasey Kahne's tweet


UPDATE #18-Kyle Busch, #17-Matt Kenseth, and Sam Hornish, Jr. are also participating


From PRN Garage Pass


Gordon testing at Pikes Peak
#24-Jeff Gordon tweeted that he was at "Day 1 of 3 Pikes Peak test. Going really good. Team has done a great job over the off season. Can't wait to start racing."


From Jeff Gordon's tweet


NASCAR Tickets are on sale at Michigan International Speedway
The wait is over! On the heels of one of NASCAR's most amazing and exciting seasons, Michigan International Speedway tickets are finally on sale.
"Last year we celebrated an exciting NASCAR season. There's so much buzz about NASCAR right now in the sports world so there's never been a better time to be a part of it all at MIS," track President Roger Curtis said.
The opening NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at MIS is on Father's Day June 17; and Pure Michigan 400 is on August 19. Both feature some of the most affordable ticket prices in the country. In fact, the last time ticket prices at MIS were this low was in 1998 when Jeff Gordon won his third of four NASCAR championships and 13 races. 

MIS offers NASCAR Sprint Cup series tickets for every budget. Tickets start at $25. Kids 12 and under are free in some sections, while junior pricing for 17 and under are half-price in reserved seats.


Prices on other events such as the NASCAR Nationwide series Alliance Truck Parts 250 on June 16 and NASCAR Camping World Truck series VFW 200 on August 18 have also remained low for 2012 at $25 and $20, respectively.


Prices are subject to increase, so Curtis encourages everyone who wants to see some of the best stock car racing in the country to give MIS a try.


Additionally, MIS has been repaved, so fans will see sparks from the NASCAR drivers - including Danica Patrick in the Alliance Truck Parts 250 on June 16 - as they try to figure out the best way around the 2-mile oval.


Additionally, MIS' continuous commitment to its fans in the form of improved fan amenities, like larger seats, paved tram routes and exclusive MISCamping.com APEX, the speedway's new campground, are more of the improvements the speedway has on tap for 2012.


Parking is always free at MIS, and guests can bring approved coolers. Check here for size details.


From MIS pr


Jepson promoted to Communications Manager at Phoenix
Phoenix International Raceway announced the promotion of Jennifer Jepson to Communications Manager. In her new role, Jepson will manage daily operations in all areas for the company's communications department. Jepson joins recently hired Director of Communications Dave Lockett, who joined Phoenix International Raceway earlier this year. Jepson originally joined the company in 2011 as Client Relations Coordinator in the sales & marketing department where she helped manage the activation of all corporate sponsorships. Raised in Phoenix, AZ., Jepson graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication.


From PIR

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd


Quaker State Goes the Extra Mile with AARP Foundation for Drive to End Hunger
Motor Oil Industry Leader Kicks Off Two-Month Long Promotion to Help Americans in Need


Leading motor oil brand Quaker State has joined forces with AARP Foundation to raise funds for Drive to End Hunger, one of the largest initiatives of its kind to help fight hunger among the nearly 9 million older Americans at risk of hunger each day.


Quaker State will donate a portion of proceeds from products sold at Walmart from February 1 to March 31, 2012 to AARP Foundation for Drive to End Hunger, a collaborative effort between AARP and AARP Foundation. A donation of 25 cents per bottle sold of five-quart specially marked bottles of Quaker State motor oil, such as Quaker State Ultimate Durability or Quaker State Higher Mileage, will be contributed to the effort, up to a maximum contribution of $50,000.
"We are proud to initiate this cause-related effort to support AARP Foundation in its quest to help those in need through Drive to End Hunger," said Chris Hayek, Quaker State Global Brand Manager. "By partnering with Walmart, the promotion is elevated onto the national stage, highlighting the ongoing issue and providing funds to help the fight against hunger."
As a longtime partner with Hendrick Motorsports and an associate sponsor of Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Quaker State will also reinforce its relationship with NASCAR fans and resonate with the Walmart consumer as a point of differentiation in the marketplace. The program also coincides with the start of the 2012 Sprint Cup series season, the Daytona 500.
"AARP Foundation is excited to team up with a leader in the automotive market to help benefit the 9 million older Americans who face the threat of hunger," said Jo Ann Jenkins, President, AARP Foundation. "This effort by Quaker State provides people with the opportunity to give back to people in their communities while taking care of their cars."
For more information about the full line of Quaker State products, visit quakerstate.com

From AARP Foundation PR


NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick joins elite group
NASCAR Sprint Cup series star Kevin Harvick returned Wednesday to where his racing career began - his hometown of Bakersfield, CA - to be inducted into the Bob Elias Kern Country Sports Hall of Fame. A sold-out gathering greeted their hometown hero, who went from racing go-karts around Bakersfield area as a 5-year-old to winning the Daytona 500 in 2007. 
"It's been an honor to be selected," Harvick told the audience at his induction. "My friends and family and everybody in this town have been very supportive. From my go-kart days or my wrestling days at North High, no matter what it was, the town has been supportive. And you guys support our foundation events when we come back. It's truly an honor to see the support."
 "This town has been very much a part of everything I've been able to do in my career...we had a lot of help from a lot of people around here."
Harvick recalled his grandfather taking him to the racetrack as a kid and growing up around racing. 
"It really helped shape my life and give me something as a kid that I could really latch onto and really be a part of and really look forward to every week." he said.
Harvick recalled his racing days at Mesa Marin Raceway, where he competed as a 16-year-old.
"Mesa Marin Raceway is a place where I learned a lot of hard lessons and I had a lot of success," he said. "The Collins family was always very supportive of everything that we did. Mesa Marin was a huge part. It really launched my career into what it is today."
Harvick also thanked his family for their contribution to his career.
"My family has made a lot of sacrifices through the years to give me the opportunity to drive my car and do the things that I get to do today," he said. "It's fun to come back to the town they still live in and see the support that everybody gives. We all appreciate it and I really appreciate everything they have done for me through my career." 
Harvick, 36, was one of four enshrined during Wednesday's ceremony. Also included were Olympic swimmer Gabe Woodward; Pat Skrable, an outstanding baseball and football player at Bakersfield High School; and Arnold Kirschenmann, a golfing standout from Bakersfield. Harvick joins just three other drivers in the Hall - four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears, off-road champion Roger Mears and Indy 500 competitor George Snider. The Hall is named for Bakersfield sports broadcaster Bob Elias, who before his passing in 1965, led the effort to establish a way to honor outstanding performances by athletes and officials from Bakersfield and Kern County. Harvick grew up racing go-karts and then competed as a teenager in late model stock cars at Mesa Marin Raceway in eastern Bakersfield. He won a championship at the high-banked, half-mile track in 1993. He graduated to the former NASCAR Southwest Tour, where he won Rookie of the Year honors in 1995, and then to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, where he won a championship in 1998. Harvick's success continued as he moved to NASCAR's national level, competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series and winning the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR Nationwide series in 2000. He won the NASCAR Nationwide series championship in 2001 and a second title in 2006. He also won the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in 2001. His NASCAR Sprint Cup series accomplishments include 18 victories, highlighted by his win in the Daytona 500. Harvick finished third in the standings in each of the past two seasons. 


From Fox Sports


Cassill will drive for Front Row at Daytona
Landon Cassill, the Iowa youngster who formerly was a Hendrick Motorsports development driver and made a bunch more fans in 2011 through his near-full season of work in James Finch's Phoenix Racing Chevrolet, has an opportunity for the Daytona 500 in a Ford. To kick-off his own 2012, Cassill will drive a third Front Row Motorsports Ford later this month at Speedweeks. Cassill's #26 Fusion will have backing from Morristown Driver's Service, an over-the-road trucking company based in Tennessee. Owner Bob Jenkins' third car last year wore #55, but Michael Waltrip Racing took that number in conjunction with its sponsor, Aaron's 55th anniversary, for the 2012 season. 


From NASCAR .com information is further down as 'Cassill gets 500 shot'


UPDATE - Story was updated today: Thursday morning, (Cassill) let Front Row general manager Jerry Freeze know he couldn't do it. "We gave (Cassill) an out if he got a full-time racing deal," Freeze said. "And it sounds like he has one. No idea on who we'll get for now."


UPDATE - Changes are afoot for up-and-coming driver Landon Cassill. Mere days before being tabbed to drive for the Front Row Motorsports No.26 Ford in the Daytona 500 last week, Cassill resigned Thursday, citing an offer of a full-time ride with another organization. Cassill, 22, raced for Phoenix Racing last season. His best finish was 12th at Michigan Speedway in June. If NASCAR tea leaves are true, Cassill may race for the new ownership group that purchased the assets from Red Bull Racing and has set up shop in the old Randy Moss/Morgan Dollar Motorsports building in Statesville, NC. FRM GM Jerry Friese said on Thursday there were "no hard feelings" towards Cassill and added, "We're certainly not going to stand in his way for an opportunity that was more than we could offer him at this time." Friese said FRM intends to run three cars in the Daytona 500 and expects to name a driver that will join David Gilliland and David Ragan next week. The short list likely includes Travis Kvapil and Tony Raines. Both drivers have raced for the organization before. Cassill, a former Hendrick Motorsports development driver, has 48 career Sprint Cup series starts in two seasons.


From Fox Sports


Racing Electronics Honored
The Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce (NC) has presented Racing Electronics with its Small Business of the Year award at a recent luncheon held at Embassy Suites in Concord, NC. The Chamber's Small Business of the Year Awards recognize the entrepreneurial achievements of Cabarrus County's small for-profit companies who display strong financial performance, achievement in management, workplace excellence, product innovation, and community and social responsibility. Racing Electronics is the worldwide leader in providing radio communications products to the motorsports industry and was grown from a home-based business. Bruce Silver, Owner and Chief Executive Officer, began the business in 1988 out of a need to enhance the race fan experience. Through innovation and diversity, Racing Electronics has developed high quality scanners and headphones for race fans; thy have advanced technologies for radio wiring and two-way radio equipment. In 2005, the company relocated its world headquarters to Concord and has created over seventy jobs. 


From Speed51


Inception Motorsports moves to Toyota for 2012
Inception Motorsports announced today their partnership with Toyota and the engine support of Triad Racing Technologies for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup series (NSCS).
"It is a great boost for our team to have the support of Toyota and Triad engines heading into Daytona and this season," said David Stremme, driver of the No. 30 Toyota. "Our team is excited to have their support especially with their success in the sport."
Triad currently supplies horsepower for teams in ARCA, NASCAR's Truck, Nationwide and Cup series and have over fifty race wins since 2009. This is the first full season for the newly formed Inception Motorsports. The team continues to look for sponsorship support for Stremme's Toyota for 2012. 
"Our team has grown over the off-season," continued Stremme. "We have a great group of talented people in our race family who have been working hard to get us to where we need to be for this season. We are looking for the final pieces to the puzzle and hopefully our track presence will help find the sponsorship piece." 
From Inception Motorsports

Former Ganassi crewmen get probation
Telling a North Carolina judge they have learned their lesson, two former Earnhardt Ganassi Racing crewmen avoided jail and were sentenced to eighteen months probation for possession of marijuana. Trevor Lysne and Jerome Frey appeared in North Carolina Superior Court on charges stemming from their arrest August 9, 2011, after authorities seized 10.62 pounds of marijuana from an apartment that belonged to Lysne. Lysne, a former EGR tire changer for Juan Pablo Montoya, and Frey, a mechanic, were charged with trafficking marijuana and possession with intent to sell and distribute marijuana. Lysne also faced an additional charge of maintaining a dwelling to sell a controlled substance. Those charges were reduced as part of a plea agreement. Frey 28, and Lysne, 41, pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession of marijuana. The judge could have sentenced each of them to up to fifteen months in jail. Lysne and Frey could return to NASCAR by completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery program, where they must complete a prescribed rehabilitation program following an evaluation by a substance abuse professional. 


From Scene Daily


Stenhouse signing autographs at Tampa Bay Lightning game tonight
Apparently, fans can meet Ricky Stenhouse Jr. tonight. According to a tweet by Tampa Bay Lightning, Ricky will be signing autographs on West patio during the first intermission. He makes his first start in the Daytona 500, February 26th.


From Tampa Bay Lightning tweet


Henderson Motorsports plans limited schedule in 2012
The Abingdon, VA based Henderson Motorsports team plans to compete in a select number of NASCAR's Camping World Truck series events with Caleb Holman behind the wheel and Food Country USA as a primary sponsor in 2012. Holman and Henderson Motorsports have competed in the CARS Pro Cup series full-time since 2007. Holman, who is also an Abingdon native, has been with the Henderson's since 2002 starting out as a rear tire changer with driver Jay Sauter behind the wheel. Throughout the winter months the Henderson's and Holman have worked close with Mike Hillman Racing, purchasing their trucks from them for this coming season. Henderson Motorsports plans to make their Camping World Truck series debut with Holman at Martinsville Speedway in March.


From The Hot Lap


SS Green Light Racing Keeps Growing
SS Green Light Racing is pleased to announce that Bryan Berry has joined the team as the crew chief for the No. 08 Toyota Tundra driven by Rookie of the Year candidate Ross Chastain for the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck series season. The longtime crew chief for Brendan Gaughan in both the NCWTS and the NASCAR Nationwide series joins the SS Green Light Racing team that has 270 consecutive starts in the truck series. Also joining the team, as truck chief is Joel Martino, who has worked together with Berry for the last two seasons. Berry is a native of Homestead, FL and started his racing career on the short tracks in south Florida.
"It's funny because when Ross and I talked for the first time we found out that he started racing at the same track (Charlotte County Speedway in Punta Gorda) that I raced at when they first opened the place," Berry said. "It's ironic because right where their farm is I have family living all around that part of Florida. It's kind of bizarre how this works out."
"I was talking with Mark Smith, our motor builder the other day and he is excited about our deal," Berry continued. "He said it was cool because he watched Ross last year and he's very happy to see more young guys come up and get involved. He's excited about what we are putting together here."
"I'm excited to have Joe come with us too, he's a real racer you know," Berry said. "We've had those days that we show up at the shop at 3:00 in the morning together. We do what we need to do to get to the race." 
Berry also loves the enthusiasm of his new driver. 
"I am excited to see Ross' interest in working on the trucks, you just don't see that all the time anymore. He's got that fire in him wanting to do this, it's really cool," the veteran crew chief added. 
Team co-owner Dotter is pleased to have Berry on top of the pit box for the 2012 season;
"I've known Bryan for a long time and we've been close to getting together in the past. I feel he will be great with Ross; the two have really hit it off well in the shop. Bryan has worked a lot with Toyota in the past and that is a real positive for the team. Ken (Smith) and I feel fortunate to have both Bryan and Joel come on board." 
Sponsorship for Ross Chastain and the SS Green Light Racing No. 08 team will be released in the coming weeks before the season-opener at Daytona. There are opportunities available at selected races for additional marketing partners for the NCWTS Rookie of the Year candidate. The SS Green Light team also has seat's available for funded drivers in it's No. 07 truck for the 2012 NCWTS season. The No. 07 team is guaranteed starting spots for the first four NCWTS races including the season-opener at the Daytona International Speedway on February 24th. Since 2001, SS Green Light Racing also has a long-standing reputation of developing talented young drivers and allowing them to show their ability with a professional racing organization. Contact Bobby Dotter at 704-664-0808 if you are interested in the SS Green Light Racing team.


From SS Green Light Racing PR 


Lofton back to desert "buggy" racing again this weekend
NASCAR Camping World Truck series drive Justin Lofton will climb back into the driver's seat of his #1577 unlimited buggy this weekend in Parker, AZ for the Best in the Desert Racing Association's 41st running of the BlueWater Parker 425. The last time he raced his Class 1500 entry in December, he dominated the field after scoring the top qualifying spot and the Trans West Ford Henderson 250 event win. Lofton crossed the finish line with over a thirteen-minute lead over the rest of the competition. The BlueWater Parker 425 is the first of six BITD off-road events Lofton has scheduled through the 2012 season in addition to the full NCWTS schedule. Following this weekend's run, Lofton will shift his focus to his #6 College Complete Chevrolet Silverado for the season-opening NCWTS race at Daytona International Speedway on February 24th.


From Justin Lofton Racing PR


NASCAR Hall of Fame to offer local rate
Hall of Fame is introducing a special local rate throughout the months of February and March. Available for a limited-time only, the special rate offers North and South Carolina residents visiting the interactive, entertainment attraction a discounted admission price of $15.95 for adults, $14.95 for seniors and $9.95 for children. Guests with a valid photo ID and proof of residency, such as a North Carolina or South Carolina driver's license, can receive the special price when purchasing at the NASCAR Hall of Fame box office during regular operating hours. Tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame can be purchased by calling 877-231-2010 or at NASCARHall.com

From NASCAR Hall of Fame


Kentucky tickets on sale February 8 - Fans can now carry in coolers
Kentucky Speedway will place single race tickets for its five NASCAR races including the June 30 Sprint Cup series "Quaker State 400" on sale February 8 at 9am and allow customers to carry coolers in to all events for the first time in speedway history. Single race ticket prices for five NASCAR events scheduled June 28-30 and September 21-22 will not increase. NASCAR Sprint Cup series "Quaker State 400" tickets range from $75 to $110 and NASCAR Nationwide series race tickets range from $45 to $75 based on seat location. All NASCAR Camping World Truck series race tickets are $30 or $40 for reserved seats.  Customers can purchase tickets at kentuckyspeedway.com 
888-652-7223 and through speedway offices at 1 Speedway Drive in Sparta, KY 41086, just off interstate 71 Exit 57 and KY State Highway 35. Coolers will be limited in size to 14 inches by 14 inches by 14 inches. Customers will be able to carry in snacks, unopened soft drinks and water to enjoy during events. Kentucky law prohibits alcoholic beverages of any kind to be carried through the speedway gates.


From Kentucky Speedway


Auto Club Speedway offers a Honey of a Deal for Valentine's Day
It's a Valentine's Day gift that both of you will love, spending time together at the NASCAR Sprint Club series Auto Club 400 race at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 25. Whether you and your loved one are sitting side by side watching forty-three of the world's best drivers battle for a trip to Gatorade Victory Lane; taking a stroll down pit road where race teams are getting ready for the big race; positioned front and center of the pre-race stage for driver introductions or listening to your favorite drivers talk with their crew chiefs on the scanner...It will be a memorable experience that you'll have together. The Valentine's Day ticket package is an incredible deal for just $99 (a $225 value) and includes pair of tickets to the Auto Club 400 (rows 1-14) on Sunday, March 25; pair of pre-race pit passes; scanner rental with a pair of headphones. In addition to the Valentine's Day ticket package, Auto Club Speedway offers free parking and allows fans to bring their own food, making race weekend an incredible value full of fun and entertainment.  The Valentine's Day ticket package is available now through February 14, while supplies last. So don't let this package get away. For more information or to purchase tickets call 800-944-RACE(7223), log on to autoclubspeedway.com or visit the Auto Club Speedway Ticket Office.


From Auto Club Speedway PR


And in other news...


Punxsutawney Phil expects six more weeks of winter
Famed groundhog prognosticator Puxsutawney Phil has weighed in with his yearly forecast from central Pennsylvania - Six more weeks of winter.


From USA Today



FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd
Chevy's apocalyptic Super Bowl ad for the Silverado disses Ford hard
Looks as though the Super Bowl rivalry will include Chevy vs. Ford


Check out info and commercial spot posted at Motoramic 


Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway





From Kansas Speedway


AND - The ownership of Kansas Speedway is gambling on a new casino overlooking Turn 1 to generate interest, drive ticket sales and increase revenue during a sluggish time for motorsports. 


The Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway officially opened, Friday.


Long lines of cars snaked out of the parking lots and along the roads running parallel to the backstretch of the track. The $411 million casino is a partnership between Penn National Gaming and International Speedway Corp., which owns and operates the speedway.


The casino has about 1,000 full-time employees, 95,000 square feet of gaming, and is expected to attract 4 million guests annually with an estimated economic impact of $200 million per year.


It also should boost interest in the two race weekends at Kansas Speedway, the first in April and the second in October. 


There are also more changes in the works at the track.


Officials received the final layout from their design team this week for a proposed road course through the infield, and construction is scheduled to begin after the April race.


Track president Pat Warren also said Friday that he hopes one of the two Sprint Cup races at Kansas Speedway will be run at night in 2013. The track installed lights last year and drew about 25,000 fans last fall for an ARCA race run under the lights.


The infield road course will be built in conjunction with a reconfiguration and repaving of the original 11/2-mile tri-oval. The work will be finished before the October race weekend.


The track will host its first Grand-Am race on the road course next year.


Information from The Associated Press was used in this report...


From ESPN


Carl Edwards to Appear at the Canadian Motorsports Expo
NASCAR star Carl Edwards is coming to the Canadian Motorsports Expo on Saturday, February 11. Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Fastenal Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup car, will be signing autographs and meeting with Canadian racing fans just one week prior to taking the track at Daytona International Speedway to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500. The Sixth Annual Canadian Motorsports Expo Powered by Inside Track Motorsports News takes place February 10, 11 and 12 at the International Centre, adjacent to Toronto's Pearson Airport.
"I'm looking forward to coming to Toronto on Saturday, February 11 to meet Canadian racing fans at the Canadian Motorsports Expo," said Edwards, who won the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide series race at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. "I was in kind of a rush the last time I was in Canada, last August. We were doing double-duty that weekend, shuttling back and forth between the Michigan Cup race and the Nationwide race in Montreal. This time, it'll be nice to chat with the fans in a more relaxed setting."
"We're very pleased to announce that Carl Edwards will be out headline celebrity at this year's Canadian Motorsports Expo," said the CME's David Weber. "Heading into this year's show, virtually all of our exhibitor space has been sold and we've gotten a lot of great support from some of the country's top companies, racing series, tracks, manufacturers and retailers. This year's CME is going to be the best ever, and we're extremely excited that Carl Edwards is going to be a part of it."
Carl Edwards is scheduled to appear at the CME from noon until 2pm on Saturday, February 11. During his visit, he will appear on-stage for a moderated Q&A with the audience before taking part in a one-hour autograph session. Watch the CME's website (CanadianMotorsportsExpo.com) for details on Carl Edwards' appearance, including confirmed times and the autograph session.

From Roush Fenway Racing Press Release


Restless Mears eager for Daytona
Casey Mears is coming off a season that saw him put the Germain Racing team and the GEICO car comfortably in the top-35 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series owner point standings. While this feat indicates exponential improvement for a virtual upstart Sprint Cup team, it also serves as a ticket to the 2012 Daytona 500. Mears has experienced considerable success in the past at Daytona International Speedway, including a July 2011 race that found him as the leader on two different occasions, but it has been since 2009 that he has started a Daytona 500. 


This year, Mears enters the season as the undisputed driver of Germain Racing's Sprint Cup series entry, and also rolls into Daytona with a new paint scheme, a new manufacturer in Ford and a sponsorship extension that will see GEICO adorning the hood of the #13 Ford Fusion through 2014. Two engine failures in two days sent Mears and his Germain Racing team parking in 2011, but they are guaranteed a starting position for this year's 500-mile race. 


The stars are aligned and Mears is eager to hit the track on February 18th for the opening practice session.


He has attempted to escape the madness and seek refuge everywhere from Phoenix to Aspen to the country of Mexico. But, it is to no avail. He cannot clear his mind of what he felt at the Daytona test in January; the horsepower that rumbled beneath him during his first days in the new #13 GEICO Ford Fusion. Just a week ago, Mears' sponsor GEICO held a television commercial production at the Germain Racing shop in Moorseville, NC, and the energy was evident. The team and its driver frequently commented on their desire to move quickly through the month of February and get to Daytona.
"I am tired of twiddling of my thumbs, I can only do it for so long," Mears said. "We're very excited about our new relationship with Ford and having Roush-Yates power, and it gave us a boost in confidence when GEICO announced their extension. It's a totally different atmosphere around her and the new blue and green paint scheme has freshened everything up and gave us the chance to relaunch our program. It's hard to hide my excitement and I'm sure Trisha (wife) and other people close to me are starting to get tired of hearing me talk about it. We're going to be fast and I'm counting the days until first practice."
To learn more about the GEICO Racing program, please visit geicogarage.com

From Player Management International Media Release


Major sponsor deals indicate economy is turning
At last there's a large patch of blue to break up the doom and gloom that has clouded the NASCAR economy for the past three seasons. To major corporations, there still is a strong perceived value in association with NASCAR teams and with the sport itself, but the focus of the commitments has changed, along with the numbers of dollars sponsors are willing to allocated to motorsports marketing. During the late-January Sprint Media Tour in Concord, NC, Penske Racing announced the extension of its agreement will MillerCoors whose Miller lite brand is the primary sponsor of the No. 2 Dodge driven by Brad Keselowski. Penske also has a multi-year deal in place with Shelll/Pennzoil, another major long-term player in NASCAR racing and the sponsor of AJ Allmendinger's No. 22. Team owner Roger Penske did allow, however, that the annual price of a Sprint Cup sponsorship is more likely to fall in the $12-15 million range, rather than the $25-30 million figures bandied about during the rise of the sport's popularity in the previous decade.


Read about other teams and their sponsorship picture for the 2012 season... 


From NASCAR Wire Service


Danica Patrick will watch Super Bowl for more than just her commericials
Danica Patrick likes to watch the Super Bowl - and more than just the commericals. That might seem natural considering she stars in the popular Go Daddy commercials that are prominent during the Super Bowls telecast. But Patrick typically watches so she can see what the final product looks like on television, as well as the company's internet only ads. 
"Oddly enough, every year I've watched it during the game," said Patrick, the former IndyCar start who will run NASCAR full-time this season. "They tend to keep it pretty tight to their computers back at the Go Daddy offices. But this year I did see them. I am not going to tell you anything - nothing, not that they're not leaking through the press."
Go Daddy already has released its ads that will appear during the Super Bowl broadcast. A 30-second ad costs $3.5 million for the game, which last year drew 111 million viewers - more than any television program ever.


To see two of Go Daddy's ads for the Super Bowl broadcast and read more...


From Scene Daily


National Speed Sport News to return
With an all-new monthly print publication launching in March and an aggressive plan for the future, Turn 3 Media, LLC, is bringing back the National Speed Sport News brand, identified for its namesake weekly newspaper that was widely recognized as the "Bible" of American auto racing news. Turn 3 Media, LLC, a North Carolina company founded by publishing veteran Curt Moon, former SPEED executive Joe Tripp, and motorsports television personality Ralph Sheheen, has acquired the exclusive rights to National Speed Sports News from The Kay Publishing Company. Founded in 1934 and edited by "The Dean of American Motorsports Journalism" Chris Economaki beginning in 1950, National Speed Sport News ceased publication of its venerable weekly newspaper following the March 23, 2011 issue. As Publisher, Sheheen will manage the editorial direction of the new SPEED SPORT Magazine and will help drive reach and brand awareness through his extensive television exposure. He will also lead efforts to expand the brand into video and television media. SPEED SPORT Magazine will debut with a March Season Preview issue, exactly one year after the original National Speed Sport News ceased publication.


From NSSN


Ganassi and TSOVET Watches announce partnership
Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. and TSOVET TIMING GAUGES, announced they are launching a new TSOVET "Limited Edition" Chronograph watch that commemorates the team's 14 championships and 145 wins. TSOVET has been a team partner since 2011 with logo placement on 2008 Indianapolis 500 Winner Scott Dixon's #9 Target Honda and firesuit in the IZOD IndyCar series and 2010 Daytona 500 Winner #1-Jamie McMurray's firesuit in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. 


From Chip Ganassi Racing


Go Canada Racing becomes GC Motorsports International - Ragan driving at Daytona
Effective February 15th, 2012 Go Canada Racing will become GC Motorsports International. 
"The name change is a result of numerous developments in the offseason and more clearly represents our company, our partners, drivers and sponsors going forward." said team owner Steve Meehan. 
In 2012 the team will continue to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide series with drivers from both Canada and the United States. 
"During the offseason we met with several drivers that we felt could help us build our program and while we are not quite ready to field a two car Nationwide effort we felt that expanding our format offers tremendous benefit to our team and marketing partners" said Meehan. 
2012 will begin with David Ragan, last season's winner of the Coke Zero 400 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, behind the wheel at Daytona. Andrew Ranger will also return to the Nationwide team this year. Andrew will compete in a number of Nationwide races including the series only Canadian race, the Napa Auto Parts 200 in Montreal.


From GCMI


AM FM-Energy .com on board with JDM for 2012
Joe Denette Motorsports has announced that AM FM-Energy.com, the best in alternative energy solutions, will continue its support of the sophomore team as an active player in their 2012 sponsorship line-up. The Virginia-based company will be an associate sponsor for Ron Hornaday on the #9 Chevrolet and Max Gresham on the #24 Chevrolet.
"AM FM-Energy.com is proud to partner with Joe Denette Motorsports again for the 2012 NASCAR Camping World Truck series season," said Andy Mays, president of AM FM-Energy.com. "With a veteran like Ron Hornaday and an up and coming rookie like Max Gresham, we know the duo will be powerful spokesmen for our brand. As a small company in Virginia that sells pellet and wood stoves on our website, we know the power of a NASCAR partnership. We look for both drivers to 'heat things up' in 2012."
AM FM-Energy.com based in Amherst, VA, is celebrating its seventh year in business as a leader in alternative energy solutions. The company specializes in multi-fuel stoves, wood stoves and pellet stoves. They are also a notable distributor of the high quality Timber Ridge line of wood and pellet stoves from England Stove Works.


Read more about AM FM-Energy.com's partnership in NASCAR...


From Joe Denette Motorsports PR


Bodine at Red Horse Racing - Daytona sponsor announced
UPDATE - Todd Bodine announced today on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and also via twitter that Good Sam RV Club will sponsor the #11 Red Horse Racing Toyota at Daytona. Good Sam is a sister company to Camping World that provides roadside assistance to recreational vehicles, automobiles, SUV's and motorcycles.


From Todd Bodine/SiriusXM NASCAR and Red Horse Racing PR


Matt Carter teams up with Lone Survivor Foundtation
Officials from Matt Carter Racing (MCR) announced today that NASCAR Nationwide series veteran Matt Carter has teamed up with the Texas-based Lone Survivor Foundation, which will be his charity of choice for the 2012 season. The upcoming season commences with the season opener on Saturday, February 25 at Daytona International Speedway. 


The Lone Survivor Foundation was organized in 2010 by Petty First Class United States Navy Seal (ret.) Marcus Luttrell and is headquartered in 
Houston, TX. The Foundation's mission is to... 
"restore, empower and renew hope for our wounded warriors and their families using therapeutic support, health and wellness, inspiration, and nature while emphasizing camaraderie, understanding, respect, and pride."
The Foundation currently provides therapeutic ranch retreats to the men, women, and families that suffer from serious combat injury. The retreats, which are currently held on donated ranches, are focused on stabilizing the family structure, and use methods not readily available in typical government institutions. The Foundation's methods provide understanding and tools for the problems caused by visible and invisible combat injuries. A part of the Foundation's overall vision is to develop a holistically focused, therapeutic ranch facility in Texas. Once funds are raised to build the Lone Survivor Ranch, it will become the base of operations for supporting American service members through partnerships and various therapeutic programs in Texas and across the nation.

Luttrell and The Lone Survivor Foundation have partnered with numerous organizations and individuals to show tangible appreciation of America's active duty military, raise awareness of the challenges they face upon return, and support the transition home. These partners and individuals have been crucial to expanding the programs in place and helping to work toward the ranch vision.
"I cannot tell you how proud I am to be involved with such an organization like the Lone Survivor Foundation," said Carter, who is a former ARCA Racing series presented by Menards winner and Rookie of the Year.
Carter, a Denver, NC native, became familiar with Luttrell's mission by chance last summer and has since been in touch with organization officials to become a viable spokesperson through his presence in the Nationwide series. 
"The more I found out about the foundation and its purpose, the more I wanted to become involved," Carter added. "I'm truly honored to be working with such a stout organization, and I know with the tactics we've set forth between the two of us - we'll get more supporters on-board from all angles of the NASCAR community."
Additional information on the Lone Survivor Foundation can be found online at lonesurvivorfoundation.org

From Matt Carter Racing PR



SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4th


More on Danica's appearance in two Super Bowl ads
On Sunday, NASCAR will benefit from Patrick's popularity when she appears in two GoDaddy.com Super Bowl commercials, giving her the unofficial distinction of being in more Super Bowl ads (10) than any other celebrity. 


You won't see Patrick in a stock car, but the sport will benefit because she's associated with driving in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series as much as she is with those edgy, sexy commercials.
"Any time our sport is presented to new audiences on a broad scale, it is great for NASCAR," said Steve Phelps, NASCAR's chief marketing officer.
The Super Bowl commercials give Patrick and the sport a bigger audience than it will have all season. The Nielsen Co. said 111 million people watched last year's game at any given time.


That Patrick likely will be the only NASCAR driver featured during the three-hour-plus telecast speaks volumes.

The commercials are certain to draw attention, which means Patrick draws attention, which means NASCAR draws attention. Because the NASCAR audience is much larger than what Patrick experienced in the IndyCar series, it's a win-win for everybody.

How much larger? According to Go Daddy, the potential draw for a NASCAR televised event is 71 million, compared to 19 million for IndyCar.
 "Whether she loses or is middle of the pack, she draws attention to her cars because she's a female in a male-dominated sport," Rechterman (senior vp and cmo of Go Daddy) said. " So yeah, it's broader for us, and we are excited to have her."
So is NASCAR. Patrick has a polarizing effect on fans similar to that of Earnhardt. It's more about what she represents than what she does on the track.


More content and photos are found...


From ESPN

Red Bull Owners Points changing hands?
Been told that Thomas Ueberall (Red Bulll's race director) is now listed as the owner of the #83 and now #93 (was #4) team owner points. Sinica Motorsports attempted to run Homestead running the #93, but their website now shows no car number and facebook and twitter pages no longer work. Ueberall may be listed as the owner when the new owners take place, due to the points. Supposedly part owners of TRG Motorsports are rumored to be buying the assets from Red Bull Racing.


From Jayski's


ALSO - On Twitter from Bob Pockrass Tweet#1 and Tweet#2


Crawford set to run Daytona
During a local radio broadcase on Mobile's 95KSJ, Rick Crawford announced that he is set to run the NASCAR Camping World Truck series season opener at Daytona Interntional Speedway. Crawford in his role as promoter for Mobile International Speedway, has been immersed in planning and organizing the upcoming ARCA Mobile 200 (March 10th at MIS), will also don his helmet for the upcoming NextEra Energy Resources 250 scheduled for Friday, February 24, 2012 at Daytona International Speedway. (Hearing that Crawford will be driving the #73 Chevrolet for Tagsby Racing.via Nancy/Jayski)


From Jayski's


6th Annual Legends Helping Legends event
This event on Saturday February 4, 2012 will be in honor of the Flock Family. The Racing Flock family consisted of brothers Tim, Bob, Fonty and sister Ethel. All the Flocks were great drivers and to this day hold many distinguished racing records. All the Flocks contributed much to the sport of Racing. Tim was the youngest brother but was considered the leader in wins and accomplishments. Tim was married to Frances who has also been a true asset to the sport of racing. Frances Flock will be the honored guest at this event.
A portion of the proceeds will go to the medical fund of Old Timer's Racing Club which helps early racing veterans in need. This group is under the leadership of Mike Sykes who devotes much of his time to supporting the people who were the true back bone of racing. The Statesville Shrine Club will be providing food and refreshments and will have a raffle car on site with proceeds going to the Shriners Children's Hospitals.


The 6th Annual Legends Helping Legends will be held Saturday, February 4, 2012 from 10 am - 2 pm at Memory Lane Museum 769 River Hwy, Mooresville, NC - Home of the Racers Reunion Hall of Fame.


Expected to be in attendance are many drivers and personalities including, Rex White, Tiger Tom Pistone, Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Geoff Bodine, Tim Brewer, Lee Holman, Ned Jarrett, Dave Moody, Jerry Nadeau, Buddy Parrott, Steve Waid, Dick Trickle, Waddell Wilson, Harry Gant, and many more. 


See the complete list of anticipated drivers and personalities expected to attend... 


From Memory Lane Auto Museum


Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Announces 3rd Annual Catwalk for a Cause
The 3rd Annual Catwalk for a Cause, presented by Lavendar, Avalilly's and Fresh Boutiques, will feature an amazing evening filled with fashion, entertainment, gourmet food, a silent auction and raffle prizes, all to benefit a great cause! The event is Wednesday, May 16, 2012 6 - 9 pm at Martin Truex Jr. Motorsports in Mooresville, NC. 


This special night will include a spring runway show featuring the lastest designer apparel from our supporting boutiques. For many, the highlight of the evening is watching the children that directly benefit from the MTJF Special Needs Fund, walk the Catwalk to raise money for their own cause! This year's silent auction will feature some amazing items, including pottery that has been hand-painted by children at Levine's Children Hospital! As a parting gift, each guest will receive a swag bag filled with product samples and gifts from our sponsors and clothing designers.


Proceeds raised from this event will benefit the "Martin Truex Jr. Special Needs Fund" at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, NC. The fund provides financial assistance for patients and families of children being treated at the hospital. 

From The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Press Release


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5th
Smith shows eagerness to go extra mile
Regan Smith has taken to life in the Colorado high country like a mountain goat. Last summer he and his wife moved into a new home deep enough in the wilderness that wild animals occasionally wander onto their back porch.  He took part in a Warren Miller ski film in which his No. 78 Chevrolet, outfitted with studded snow tires and a ski rack on its roof, skidded along the snowy mountain passes near Tulluride, with US freestyle skier Jess McMillan in the passenger seat. He even go caught up in the Denver Broncos' playoff run, no small feat for a driver typically interested only in auto racing and ice hockey.


But hey, thin air can make people do strange things. So can driving for the only Sprint Cup organization based out of Denver, which led Smith to leave the NASCAR hub around Charlotte, NC and relocate to the front range of the Rockies in a move his Furniture Row Racing team considers much more than just a geographic shift.
"Personally, I can't even put a value on it, because it's really special," said Joe Garone, the team's general manager. "He's saying, just as he does with his driving, 'I'm 100 percent in. I'm all in. I want to be with my guys, I want to be close to the team.' Now, making that move, I don't think it was that tough for him, because he loves to ski...But he loves the mountain life up there, and I think it's a big deal. I think it's a big statement from him."
 More to read...
From NASCAR .com


JTG Daugherty ready to move ahead
The team purchased some old cars from MWR to get started this season and will get its engines from Toyota Racing Development, but eventually plans to build its own cars at the Harrisburg shop. Daugherty gave a strong endorsement to Labonte, the 2000 Cup champion who last won a race in 2003 when he still drove for Joe Gibbs Racing.
"Bobby Labonte hasn't forgotten how to drive," Daugherty said. "That's why we hired Todd Berrier. I've known Todd a long time, and with his wisdom and knowledge of these race cars - along with Laerte Zatta, who has come over from Toyota and is just a huge asset - I think we can get Bobby to Victory Lane."
Daugherty said a plan already is in place to add a second car to the fold for next season, adding that "it's a distinct possibility" JTG could field a second car in a handful of races later this season.
"We're already working on it," Daugherty said. "That's something that's going to happen sooner rather than later, because we need that. That's as big as we want to be, though. The cost comes down and the information goes way up. So we're really working on that."
 More information to read ...


From NASCAR .com

Foyt released from Houston hospital
AJ Foyt has been released from a hospital in Houston, where he was being treated for complications from knee surgery. The 77-year-old Foyt had knee surgery two weeks ago, and an infection sent him to the hospital Wednesday. The spokeswoman for the four-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Foyt was released Friday and is still taking antibiotics for the infection. Foyt is the only driver to win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500, the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 


From YahooSports/Associated Press


Brantley disputes number of Kentucky Speedway parkers
The company hired to direct parking at Kentucky Speedway's inaugural NASCAR Sprint Cup series race last summer disputes track owner Bruton Smith's recent assertion that hundreds of attendants failed to show up for work on race day.


The head of Brantley Security Services' event management division claims the company had more attendants on the speedway grounds July 9 than it was obligated to provide.


Smith and Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger gave a presentation during last week's NASCAR media tour in North Carolina detailing steps taken to expand parking and improve infrastructure around the Sparta, KY track before this year's Quaker State 400.


The effort aims to avoid a repeat of July 9. Gridlock on I-71 and other roads leading to Kentucky Speedway, compounded by parking problems at the track, kept many fans from seeing the race.
"The company that Mark had dealt with as far as the number of parkers, we contracted for 300. Eighty-four showed up," Smith said during his opening remarks Jan 25.
A Nashville lawyer whose firm represents Brantley security challenged those figures in a letter sent to The Enquirer.


Jeremy Curran, president of Brantley Security event management division, supported attorney David L. Johnson's claim that Brantley contracted with the speedway to provide 96 attendants for the Quaker State 400 and, in fact, had 112 show up on race day.
"The biggest thing for an event management company's reputation is making sure that they fill their calls," Curran said. "To me, that was (a) complete lie that I think was made up the three seconds before (Smith) went on stage.
"And I just don't understand the purpose of it, other than...to deflect blame of the situation that they caused partially. So all we want is that corrected."
A copy of a signed contract between Brantley Services and Kentucky Speedway does not specify the number of attendants Brantley was requested to provide on July 9. Curran provided a spreadsheet detailing Brantley's parking plan for the day that shows 10 supervisors, 30 directors and 56 parkers.

More information is provided....

From Cincinnati Enquirer



As always, Thanks for reading and participating.  

{ 0 comments... read them below or add one }

Post a Comment