Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dale Earnhardt Jr. shares his concussion story


   NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., recounts his personal story of his own battle with a concussion in a video made for the Sports Medicine Concussion Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. 

   UPMC on Wednesday launched the website ReThinkConcussions.com to detail treatments. Featured on the site are Earnhardt and baseball catcher David Ross, who were both treated at UPMC by Dr. Micky Collins, one of the leading experts in athlete concussions.

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/10/22/5258921/earnhardt-helps-upmc-raise-concussion.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/10/22/5258921/earnhardt-helps-upmc-raise-concussion.html#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch to swap teams at Stewart-Haas Racing

   Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch will swap teams and crew chiefs beginning with the Nov. 2 Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, the Observer and ThatsRacin.com have learned.

   An official announcement of the change could come as early as Wednesday, sources said.

   SHR officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

   On Saturday, Tony Gibson, who has served as the only crew chief Patrick has had as a fulltime Cup series driver, signed a contract extension with SHR but the organization would not specify what his role was to be in the future.

   Beginning at Texas, crew chief Daniel Knost and the members of Busch's current No. 41 team will move over to Patrick's No. 10. Gibson, along with the members of Patrick's current No. 10 team, will move to Busch's No. 41 team.

   Patrick failed to qualify for the Chase and is 27th in series points, one spot better than she was one year ago at this time. The former IndyCar Series driver has three top-10 finishes this season and finished a career-best sixth at Atlanta on Aug. 31.

   Busch was one of 16 drivers to qualify for the Chase this season thanks to his victory in the spring at Martinsville, Va. He was among the first four drivers eliminated from title cotention after Round 1 of the Chase. He is currently 15th in the series standings.

Kurt Busch to compete in 2014 Race of Champions in Barbados

   NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch has accepted an invitation to compete in the 2014 Race of Champions, which will be held Dec. 13-14 at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados, organizers announced on Tuesday.

   Busch, who drives the No. 41 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing, was one of 16 drivers to qualify for the Chase for the Cup this season, but was among the first group of four to be eliminated from title contention.

   In May, Busch became only the fourth driver in motorsports history to race both in NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Indianapolis 500 on the same day. His sixth-place finish in his IndyCar Series debut earned him the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award. 

   Busch will represent Team USA in the ROC Nations Cup along with this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. Busch and Hunter-Reay were teammates in this year’s Indianapolis 500, both piloting cars for Andretti Autosport. Team USA last won the ROC Nations Cup title in 2002 with a NASCAR-heavy team of Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Colin Edwards.
   
   This year's ROC lineup features stars from all over the world: nine-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Tom Kristensen, Formula 1’s Romain Grosjean (the reigning ROC Champion of Champions) and Susie Wolff (Williams development driver), Australian V8 Supercar legend Jamie Whincup and 2014 FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg are already confirmed. 

   The remainder of the ROC 2014 field will be announced soon.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Former NHRA champion and NASCAR team owner Raymond Beadle dies



   Raymond Beadle, a former three-time NHRA Funny Car world champion owner and owner of NASCAR veteran Rusty Wallace's 1989 championship team, died Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. He was 70.

   Beadle ended the four-year championship reign of Don Prudhomme, winning the Funny Car title in 1979, then added crowns in 1980 and 1981 with his vaunted "Blue Max" entries.

   Beadle owned cars for eight seasons in what is now the Sprint Cup Series. The late Tim Richmond drove for Beadle from 1983 to 1985 and Wallace drove for him from 1986 through 1990.

   In his 1989 championship season, Wallace won six races and won the series championship by 12 points over the late Dale Earnhardt Sr.

   Wallace posted the following message on his Twitter account on Monday: "Really saddened by news about Raymond Beadle. Without him, I would have never gotten to where I am today. He will be greatly missed."

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Roger Penske on Brad Keselowski: 'I want him to get mad'

   Team Penske owner Roger Penske was adamant in his defense Sunday of his Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski, who took heat this week from fans and several of his competitors over his actions following last weekend's race at Charlotte.

   Keselowski had post-race run-ins with drivers Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth on the track and in the garage following the race. Keselowski was fined $50,000 by NASCAR and placed on probation for four weeks.

   Following a discussion by Keselowski of how he didn't allow what happened to alter his focus for this week's race, Penske jumped on the chance to defend his driver.

   "Number one, these guys are jealous of the job he's done this year. He's won six races. He's made poles. He's been up front. Nobody likes to see a guy win like that. The fact that he has a little edge on him, he's continually delivering, obviously I think makes a difference," he said.

   "If everybody understood what happened on the race track last week, when you get your rear fender knocked off on a restart, you get your front fender knocked off on a pass‑by, I want him to get mad. I don't want him to take it. 

   "So to me coming back, we talked about it Sunday night, I said, 'Let's just go on, do our test during the week, move on here. Brad, I said, Put it in the rear view mirror.'"

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How NASCAR veteran Terry Labonte learned what not to do

   Two-time NASCAR Cup series champion Terry Labonte is making what he said will be the final start of his career on Sunday. 

   On Saturday, Labonte was asked about his first series start at Darlington, S.C, and he recounted an interesting story on how he learned 'what not to do' at the track to be successful.

   "The good thing about it for me to run my first race there is being from Texas I really wasn’t that familiar with Darlington. If I would have been, I probably wouldn’t have picked that one as my first race. But we went to Darlington and I never will forget doing down there. They had a rookie meeting and they showed a video that they played of all the things not to do. I was sitting there watching that thing and the guy that starred in that video was the guy that drove the car I was driving the year before. So everything he did wrong they pointed out in that video," Labonte said.

   "So I sat there and I thought to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, the car is identical. It’s the same paint scheme, same number, everything.’ So I sat right there and thought, ‘The thing to do is not make next year’s video. Don’t make all the highlights of the things not to do.’ So they had a rookie test and we had to go run around the track and you missed qualifying the first day. You had to qualify the second day, so I qualified and the longest race I think I’d ever run was a 200-lapper around a half-mile track, so I started that race and I just ran and ran and thought, ‘My gosh these guys could wreck down here. Holy smoke.’ They tore up a bunch of cars and it was typical Darlington. It was wild.

   "The race lasted forever.  hat was the longest race I ever ran in my life, so we ran the race and I finally looked up to see how many laps were left. I was trying to figure out how many laps were left and finally the thing ended and I never thought to look at the scoreboard and I finished fourth. I’m going to the garage and Bobby Allison and Donnie Allison came over and congratulated me and I thought that was the coolest thing."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Richard Petty Motorsports needs to find a new home

   Richard Petty Motorsports is in the process of finding a new home for next season after the facility it currently uses in Concord, N.C., has been sold, a team spokesman confirmed.

   RPM, which fields two fulltime Sprint Cup Series teams, is currently housed on Zephyr Place NW near the Concord Regional Airport. The organization moved to its current location from Statesville, N.C., in 2010.

   The organization is in the process of looking at several different facilities, team officials confirmed.