Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bill Romanowski to be minority owner in NASCAR team

   Bill Romanowski, who played 16 seasons in the NFL, has signed on as a minority-owner of Swan Racing, a fulltime competitor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The retired NFL star joins forces with team owner Brandon Davis, who is leading Swan into its first full racing season.

    Romanowski's health supplement company, Nutrition53, also signed on as a team sponsor and will be the primary sponsor for ten races on the No. 30 Toyota driven by David Stremme. Nutrition53 will have an associate sponsor position on the car for the other 26 races.

    Romanowski started in an astounding 243 consecutive games highlighted by 5 Super Bowl appearances as a linebacker and was selected twice to the Pro Bowl. He played for the San Francisco 49ers, 1988-1993; Philadelphia Eagles, 1994-1995; Denver Broncos, 1996-2001; and Oakland Raiders, 2002-2003.

    Romanowski is founder and CEO of Nutrition53, which markets a line of supplemental health drinks and vitamins developed by a team of doctors, scientists and nutritionists to help with weight loss, energy, mental performance and sleep.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sprint car star Kevin Swindell adding to his NASCAR schedule

   Sprint car standout Kevin Swindell will return Biagi-DenBeste Racing this season to compete in 15 races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, with his first race set for March 9 at Las Vegas.

    The recently crowned four-time consecutive Chili Bowl Champion competed in two of the final three Nationwide races for Biagi-DenBeste Racing in 2012, earning a best finish of ninth at Texas Motor Speedway.

    "We are really proud to have an outstanding young talent like Kevin driving for our team," said Biagi-DenBeste Racing co-owner Fred Biagi. "After coming off of his fourth consecutive Chili Bowl win, Kevin enters the 2013 season with a lot of momentum. We plan to run 15 races in 2013 and are actively working with sponsors and already building for 2014."

    Said the 23-year-old Swindell: "I have been waiting for a chance to gain experience and race for a top-notch team for a long time. I really enjoyed the two races I competed in for Biagi-DenBeste Racing at the end of last season, and I look forward to seeing what the team and I can achieve together this year."

Steve Wallace plans limited 2013 NASCAR schedule

Rusty Wallace Racing plans to make a return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, campaigning the No. 66 Ford Mustang in a limited schedule in 2013 with 25-year-old Steve Wallace.

Wallace last compete in the series fulltime in 2011. Charlotte-based mortgage and real estate firm Richard Tocado Companies will serve as the primary sponsor for several races. The team plans its debut this year in May at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

2013 Nationwide Series race start times

2013 Nationwide Series race start times
All times Eastern.
Feb. 23, Daytona, ESPN, 1 p.m.
March 2, Phoenix, ESPN2, 4:30 p.m.
March 9, Las Vegas, ESPN2, 4 p.m.
March 16, Bristol, ESPN2, 2 p.m.
March 23, Auto Club Speedway, ESPN, 5 p.m.
April 12, Texas, ESPN2, 8:30 p.m.
April 26, Richmond, ESPNEWS, 7:30 p.m.
May 4, Talladega, ESPN, 3 p.m.
May 10, Darlington, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
May 25, Charlotte, ABC, 2:30 p.m.
June 1, Dover, ESPN, 2:30 p.m.
June 8, Iowa, ESPN, 8 p.m.
June 15, Michigan, ABC, 2 p.m.
June 22, Road America, ESPN, 5 p.m.
June 28, Kentucky, ESPN, 7:30 p.m.
July 5, Daytona, ESPN, 7:30 p.m.
July 13, New Hampshire, ABC, 3:30 p.m.
July 21, Chicagoland, ESPN, 3 p.m.
July 27, Indianapolis, ESPN, 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 3, Iowa, ESPN2, 8 p.m.
Aug. 10, Watkins Glen, ABC, 2 p.m.
Aug. 17, Mid-Ohio, ESPN, 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 23, Bristol, ESPN, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 31, Atlanta, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 6, Richmond, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16, Chicagoland, ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 21, Kentucky, ESPNews, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 28, Dover, ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 5, Kansas, ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 11, Charlotte, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 2, Texas, ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 9, Phoenix, ESPN2, 4 p.m.
Nov. 16, Homestead, ESPN2, 4:30 p.m.

2013 Sprint Cup Series race start times

2013 Sprint Cup Series race start times
All times Eastern.

Feb. 16, Sprint Unlimited, Fox, 8:10 p.m.
Feb. 21, Daytona Duels, Speed, 2 p.m.
Feb. 24, Daytona 500, Fox, 1 p.m.
March 3, Phoenix, Fox, 3 p.m.
March 10, Las Vegas, Fox, 3 p.m.
March 17, Bristol, Fox, 1 p.m.
March 24, Auto Club Speedway, Fox, 3 p.m.
April 7, Martinsville, Fox, 1 p.m.
April 13, Texas, Fox, 7:30 p.m
April 21, Kansas, Fox, 1 p.m.
April 27, Richmond, Fox, 7:30 p.m.
May 5, Talladega, Fox, 1 p.m.
May 11, Darlington, Fox, 6:45 p.m.
May 18, Charlotte All-Star, Speed, 7:30 p.m.
May 26, Charlotte Coke 600, Fox, 6 p.m.
June 2, Dover, Fox, 1 p.m.
June 9, Pocono, TNT, 1 p.m.
June 16, Michigan, TNT, 1 p.m.
June 23, Sonoma, TNT, 3 p.m.
June 29, Kentucky, TNT, 7:30 p.m.
July 6, Daytona, TNT, 7:30 p.m.
July 14, New Hampshire, TNT, 1 p.m.
July 28, Indianapolis, ESPN, 1 p.m.
Aug. 4, Pocono, ESPN, 1 p.m.
Aug. 11, Watkins Glen, ESPN, 1 p.m.
Aug. 18, Michigan, ESPN, 1 p.m.
Aug. 24, Bristol, ABC, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 1, Atlanta, ESPN, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 7, Richmond, ABC, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 15, Chicagoland, ESPN, 2 p.m.
Sept. 22, New Hampshire, ESPN, 2 p.m.
Sept. 29, Dover, ESPN, 2 p.m.
Oct. 6, Kansas, ESPN, 2 p.m.
Oct. 12, Charlotte, ABC, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 20, Talladega, ESPN, 2 p.m.
Oct. 27, Martinsville, ESPN, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 3, Texas, ESPN, 3 p.m.
Nov. 10, Phoenix, ESPN, 3 p.m.
Nov. 17, Homestead, ESPN, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Schedule change could benefit Rockingham NASCAR Truck race

   A change in the schedule of this season's Camping World Truck Series race at Rockingham Speedway could pave the way for more big-name entries in the race.

    Qualifying for the race will be held at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 14. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 2 p.m. the same day for the 200-lap event.

    The change would theoretically allow drivers competing in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races in Texas Friday and Saturday to run in Sunday's Truck race without starting from the rear of the field due to missing qualifying.

    "Qualifying and racing on the same day gives fans more value for their race ticket," said Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg. "It also builds some excitement among the drivers and fans if everyone wakes up on Sunday morning not knowing where the trucks will start come 2 o'clock."

    For this year's event, the trucks will arrive at Rockingham on Friday, April 12 and will practice on Saturday, April 13 before Sunday, April 14's time trials and race. The UARA-STARS Late Model Series and the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals will also hold twin laps races on April 13.

    Tickets, suite packages and camping are now available for the April 12-14 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Carolina 200 presented by Cheerwine weekend at or by calling 910.205.8800. General admission tickets for Saturday are $15 in advance ($20 at the gate) and grandstand tickets for Sunday range from $20 to $35.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Vettel edges Keselowski for Speed Performer of the Year

   Motorsports icon Mario Andretti presented his namesake trophy to 2012 Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel as this year’s Speed Performer of the Year on the Sunday night edition of Speed Center.

    “You are going up against the best of the best for this award,” said Andretti, the only driver to ever win the Indianapolis 500, the Daytona 500 and the Formula One World Championship. “We’re considering every major discipline in motor sports. That’s what you are up against … that’s the grandeur of this award.”

    Vettel, who captured his third consecutive Formula One title in dramatic fashion to become the youngest triple champion in series history, came out atop five Speed Performer of the Year finalists, including NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski, versatile youngster Kyle Larson, IndyCar champ Ryan Hunter-Reay and WRC legend Sebastien Loeb. 

   Ten of this year’s 16 nominees earned at least one first-place vote in the balloting.

Friday, January 25, 2013

NBA's Detroit Pistons to honor NASCAR champ Brad Keselowski

   Brad Keselowski will be honored by the NBA's Detroit Pistons during their game with the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, Jan. 29. Keselowski will present the game ball to officials before tip-off.

    The Rochester Hills, Mich., native will also take part in a special halftime program that will include a highlight video tribute to his 2012 Sprint Cup Series title run for Penske Racing and an on-court presentation.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Keselowski: 2012 performance not good enough to repeat

   Brad Keselowski won five Sprint Cup Series races in 2012 and the championship but when asked this week how he planned to repeat as champion in 2013, he was adamant that same performance would likely not be good enough.

   “Stick to what got you where you are at – hard work, dedication to people,” he said. “Ford is special to us because of their people and their commitment; that’s a key piece. What we did last year is not good enough. We have to step up another level. We know our competition is going to do the same," Keselowski said.

    "I’m not happy being a guy that wins one championship and goes away quietly. Look at some of the additions we’ve made. Bringing in Joey Logano, working on the Nationwide program to solidify two programs, having Ryan Blaney be part of that – that shows the commitment we all have to improving.

    "I know that Joey and Ryan bring some youth and fresh ideas to make the team better. They might go out there and beat my butt, but I’m going to surround myself with the most talent because that’s what got us where we are today.”

It's Blaney vs. Blaney at Eldora NASCAR Truck race

   Ryan Blaney will get a chance to race on dirt this season as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series makes its dirt debut at Eldora Speedway in July.

    Ryan's teammate for the race, however, will also be among his toughest competition.

    While Ryan will compete in Brad Keselowski Racing's No. 29 Ford the entire season, at least three different drivers will take turns in BKR's second Truck team.

    And for the Eldora race, the other driver will be Ryan's dad, Dave - current Sprint Cup series driver and dirt racing legend.

    "There was talk about Eldora and my dad said he thought it would be cool if he could run Brad's second truck there. So, I was kind of joking around and told him I would bring it up with Brad," Ryan said.

    "I saw Brad the next week or so and brought up my dad running Eldora for him and he loved the idea. Thinking back on it now, it was probably a bad idea for me because he is going to make me look bad.

    "It will be fun and a great race. I just hope I don't get lapped by the old man."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Check out the NASCAR Ford parade Thursday in Charlotte

   Ford Racing stars from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will participate in a drive with their all-new 2013 NASCAR Fusions through the streets of Uptown Charlotte on Thursday, Jan. 24 starting at 11:15 a.m.

   The route will start from the NASCAR Hall of Fame complex on South Caldwell Street and then turn right onto Stonewall.  From there, the route will turn right onto Tryon Street and then right onto Fifth Street, where it will go past Time Warner Cable Arena.

   The parade will then turn right onto South Caldwell Street and then right onto Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard before ending up at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

   “We’re extremely grateful to our friends at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and city officials in Charlotte who have helped in making this event possible,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing.  “Our 2013 NASCAR Fusion is something we’re extremely proud of because it looks so much like the cars we drive on the street.  Now we’re going to literally be able to see that happen when our NASCAR Fusions take to the streets of Uptown Charlotte.”

Bruton Smith: Just say no to start-and-park teams

   Add Speedway Motorsports Chairman Bruton Smith to those who would like to see an end to the practice in NASCAR of start-and-park racing - a term which refers to teams that run a handful of laps and park just to collect a portion of the race purse.

   “Start-and-park should not be a part of what we do,” Smith said on Tuesday. “I think it’s derogatory toward our sport. I’m going to try my best – and I hope you’ll join me – to see if NASCAR can do something about this. It certainly isn’t adding anything to our sport, and it certainly takes away.”

   He then asked media in the room to use their influence to put an end to the practice.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

See a Bristol NASCAR race, win a car!

   As if NASCAR fans needed another reason to see racing at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

   During "Bruton’s Big Bristol Giveaway", 10 fans in attendance at the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race in March will drive away with 2013 Ford Mustangs.

    “I don’t know anybody who does not want to win a new car,” said BMS general manager Jerry Caldwell. “It’s one thing to give away a single car but giving away 10 is definitely something different, which is no surprise at all since the boss is the one who came up with the idea.

    “This is something really exciting for our race fans and it just gives them something else to look forward to when they get here. It really can’t get much better than seeing a race at Bristol and winning a car. I think the fans are really going to enjoy this.”

    Any fan who has purchased tickets to the Food City 500 will be entered to win a Mustang. Every ticket purchase makes the buyer eligible to win the car. Fans purchasing multiple tickets can be entered as many as 20 times, depending on the number of tickets they purchase.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Stewart considers Indy 500 offer "open-ended"

   At the NASCAR awards banquet in Las Vegas in November, team owner Roger Penske made what he said was a serious offer to field an entry for Tony Stewart in the 2013 Indianapolis 500 if he would like to give the "double" - running the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day - another try.
   Stewart passed on the offer and on Monday on the Sprint NASCAR Media Tour, talked more in-depth about the offer and where he thinks is stands now.
   “It's a huge opportunity, and a very flattering offer at the same time," Stewart said. "This group up here is why I'm not going to run the 500. There's a lot of commitment with what we're doing here, and like we mentioned, IndyCar racing has progressed and the competition has gotten tighter and tighter there. I really don't feel like ‑ I feel like that's the perfect team to go and do enough with the month of May with. 
   "But I still feel like for me as a driver, I would need to start the year with that team and run through the month of May to really feel like the first day of practice that I was competitive and where I needed to be. It's a very flattering offer. I went back to Roger and actually had dinner with him in Indianapolis after the IMIS trade show reception, and I told him he ‑ not necessarily backed me into a corner but he made me a generous offer and I made him a counteroffer that it's an open‑ended invitation. 
   "Even though we haven't accepted this year, maybe some year down the road we might be able to accept that offer. He never said no, so as far as I'm concerned, we have an open invitation to run it with him."

Kevin Harvick: "Change can't be bad."

   Kevin Harvick remained tight-lipped about where he would be racing in 2014 but insisted he planned to make his final season at Richard Childress Racing a “character-building year.”

    “I want to go out and have fun and hopefully leave this place as good as it was when I got here if not better,” said Harvick, who is expected to join Stewart-Haas Racing next year.

   “You want to do everything to participate in everything you can do to make the cars as fast as you can. I have a lot of friends here and I want to leave here with it that way.”

   Harvick was the only RCR driver to win a Cup race in 2012 and that was late in the season after he had reunited with crew chief Gil Martin. Martin and Harvick will work together again this season.

    Harvick, 36, doesn’t believe he or his No. 29 team have anything to prove to detractor who think they can’t find success in a “lame duck” season.

   “The biggest thing to prove is who you are as people,” he said. “The bottom line is the cars have to run good, whether it’s this year or the years to come. There is a lot of effort being poured into that.”

   Harvick began his career with RCR in 1999, running the fall race at Rockingham in what is now known as the Nationwide Series. He completed 34 laps before engine failure sent him to the garage.

    In 2001, he took over driving duties for the Sprint Cup team of Dale Earnhardt after Earnhardt was killed in a last-lap wreck in the Daytona 500.

   “It’s been a great journey but sometimes you just need a change in pace to keep the enthusiasm where it needs to be. It’s made my enthusiasm high for this year,” Harvick said.

   “I think my first race with Richard was in October 1999 and we’ve won Nationwide championships, 19 Cup races, 30 to 40 Nationwide races, Truck races. We’ve been through a lot of different situations.

   “Change can’t be bad.”

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Say hello to the 2013 Miss Sprint Cup lineup in NASCAR

   Sprint on Saturday unveiled the complete 2013 Miss Sprint Cup lineup. Newcomer Brooke Werner (Granville, Vt.) will join returning members Kim Coon (Orlando, Fla.) and Jaclyn Roney (Ann Arbor, Mich.) this season.

    Miss Sprint Cup represents the Sprint brand around the track and in Victory Lane wherever the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competes. The three representatives also serve as the fans’ “friend on the inside,” delivering behind-the-scenes updates, pictures and videos via Facebook and Twitter, while highlighting Sprint products and offers.

    When she isn’t at the racetrack, Werner enjoys snow skiing, antiquing and watching old movies. After receiving her degree in public relations from Champlain College, Werner worked at a nationally recognized youth-marketing agency, where she served on the community committee, helping to coordinate donations to regional non-profit organizations.

    Coon returns for her third season as Miss Sprint Cup, which makes the former marketing and public relations professional the veteran member of this year’s lineup.

    Rounding out the 2013 lineup is Roney, who is entering her third season as Miss Sprint Cup. The Eastern Michigan University grad joined the program in July 2011 and is looking forward to another thrilling season of racing.

Who wants to rock the mic with NASCAR's Brad Keselowski?

   On Friday, Jan. 25, Keselowski will slide into the deejay chair at WEND 106.5 FM The End, an alternative rock station in Charlotte, N.C, to fulfill a lifelong fantasy of becoming one of the voices he often hears on the local radio station. DZL, the afternoon drive host for the station, will turn over his seat to the 28-year-old from “Detroit Rock City.”
   Want to join him? Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation is auctioning off a chance to join him for his radio DJ debut.
   You can find the auction here.

Rick Hendrick gives CBS News a sneak peek of new Corvette

   CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan gets a sneak peek at of Chevrolet’s totally redesigned 2014 Corvette Stingray and talks with NASCAR team owner and Corvette collector Rick Hendrick about the prized vehicles this weekend on "CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood."

    “The Corvette was just the ultimate car,” Hendrick tells Cowan. “I mean, it was – you had the styling, the power, all the girls liked them.”

    Timed to the car’s 60th birthday, Chevrolet has redesigned the vehicle for 2014 and brought back the legendary Stingray name. Hendrick owns one of the largest private Corvette collections in the world, with nearly 150 in his stable. He said he met his wife, Linda, while driving a Stingray.

    “She rode with me in that first Corvette on our first date and it broke down,” Hendrick recalls. “She wasn’t very impressed.”

    The show airs at 9 a.m. Eastern Jan. 20 on CBS.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Check out beach racing - NASCAR style!

  This film demonstrates how far NASCAR has come in automotive safety and racing. This is from the former Speedvision TV network's series "Victory Circle" and contains coverage of the 1952 NASCAR Daytona Beach Race.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Should NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth make the jump to the NBA?

   Check out this video of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth sinking a half-court shot before the start of the Atlanta Hawks vs. Brooklyn Nets NBA game. Kenseth was making an appearance to promote the upcoming 55th annual Daytona 500.

   Video authenticity verified by Cory McCartney, digital content manager for Fox Sports South. You have to check these days!

Wendell Scott to be honored with VA historical marker

   The first African American to win a race in what is now known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will receive a state historical marker in Danville, VA.

    The Virginia Department of Historic Resources approved six new markers recently. One will honor NASCAR driver Wendell O. Scott Sr. He became the first African-American to win a NASCAR Grand National race, which took place in 1963.

    The marker will read: “Persevering over prejudice and discrimination, Scott broke racial barriers in NASCAR, with a 13-year career that included 20 top five and 147 top ten finishes.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

NASCAR announces 2013 Drive for Diversity class

   Four drivers selected from the NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine will join three returning drivers to compete for Rev Racing in 2013.

    Bryan Ortiz, from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and Ryan Gifford, of Winchester, Tenn., will return to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Ortiz finished second to teammate Kyle Larson in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors last season and fifth in the standings.

    They will be joined by Daniel Suarez of Monterrey, Mexico, and Mackena Bell of Carson City, Nev. Suarez is coming off a third-place finish in Mexico’s NASCAR Toyota Series, while Bell drove in Rev Racing’s Late Model program last year.

    Annabeth Barnes from Hiddenite, N.C., and Jack Madrid from San Clemente, Calif., will pilot the Late Models for Rev Racing. While Devon Amos, from Rio Rancho, N.M., will compete for the team’s Legends program.

    Seventeen hopefuls went through a three-day driver evaluation of on-track performances and physical fitness assessments to be considered for a spot in the 2013 D4D class. For the second-consecutive year, the combine was held at Langley Speedway, a .4-mile asphalt oval.

2013 Daytona Speedweeks schedule

2013 Daytona Speedweeks schedule
Thursday, Feb. 14
1-5 p.m. ARCA practice

Friday, Feb. 15
2 p.m. ARCA qualifying
5-5:45 p.m. Sprint Unlimited practice
6:30-7:30 Final Unlimited practice

Saturday, Feb. 16
10-10:45 a.m. Final ARCA practice
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sprint Cup practice
2-3:45 p.m. Cup practice
4:30 p.m. ARCA race
8:10 p.m. Sprint Unlimited (non-points)

Sunday, Feb. 17
1:05 p.m. Cup qualifying for Daytona 500

Monday, Feb. 18
UNOH Battle At The Beach

Tuesday, Feb. 19 UNOH Battle At The Beach

Wednesday, Feb. 20
Noon-1:30 p.m. Cup practice
2:30-4 p.m. Cup practice

Thursday, Feb. 21
9-9:50 a.m. Nationwide practice
10:15-11:50 a.m. Final Nationwide practice
12:10-1 p.m. Truck practice
2 p.m. Gatorade Duel qualifying races
6-7:20 p.m. Final Truck practice

Friday, Feb. 22
11 a.m.-noon Cup practice
12:30-1:30 p.m. Cup practice
1:40 p.m. Truck qualifying
3:35 p.m. Nationwide qualifying
7:30 p.m. Truck series race (100 laps)

Saturday, Feb. 23
10:30 a.m.-noon Final Cup practice
1:15 p.m. Nationwide Series race (120 laps)

Sunday, Feb. 24
1 p.m. Daytona 500 (200 laps)

Brad Keselowski Racing to field two NASCAR Trucks in 2013

   Brad Keselowski Racing will field two fulltime entries in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this season, including a fulltime season by Ryan Blaney, who became the series' youngest winner in 2012 with his victory at Iowa.

    Michigan-based Cooper Standard will sponsor Blaney's No. 29 Ford for the entire season.  Doug Randolph will again serve as crew chief.

    Cequent Consumer Products and Cequent Performance Products (Cequent Group) will sponsor 15 races on the No. 19 Ford, which will be driven by several drivers including team owner Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Dave Blaney and Ross Chastain. Dave Blaney will drive in the July 24 race at Eldora Speedway, the series' first race on dirt.

    Chastain will drive in 15 races in the No. 19, including the season opener at Daytona.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Former NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham offers muscle car for auction

   NASCAR legend and ESPN racing analyst Ray Evernham, known as an avid classic and race car collector, can now add “car designer” to his resume. Evernham unveiled a street-legal 1964 Plymouth Belvedere that combines old school American style with modern NASCAR racing technology at 2012 SEMA that marked Evernham’s debut as a car designer and builder.

    On Saturday, Jan. 19, Evernham will present the ForPly as a featured vehicle at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction. The ForPly is listed in lot number 1394 and is offered with no reserve. The auction will be featured live on Speed Channel.

    “We set out to design the ultimate street machine that takes a vintage American muscle car with great motorsports heritage and brings it into the modern age,” said Evernham. “There is not another one like it in the world. We hope it draws the attention of racing and non-racing enthusiasts, as well as the collector who is looking for that one-of-a-kind vehicle.”

    Net proceeds from the sale will go to Evernham Family Racing for a Reason, a foundation that is funding IGNITE, a new program and facility in Davidson, N.C., operated by the Autism Society of North Carolina. IGNITE enables adults with High-Functioning Autism or Asperger Syndrome to enjoy a better quality of life as valued members of the community in which they live and work.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

How bad do NASCAR drivers want to win the Daytona 500?

   NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton offered up an entertaining answer on Saturday when asked if teams might still employ "bump drafting" in the final lap of the Daytona 500 in an attempt to win.

   “When it comes down to the trophy, the check and the trophy queen, all bets are off,” he said.

   “I expect them to run hard at the end (of the race) and make sure they are around for the end of the race and make sure they are positioned where they can get (to the checkered flag). There is no telling what you’ll see.”

   That may end up ranking up there with "Boys, have at it" as one of NASCAR's most quotable statements. 

New windshield improves safety in Cup cars

   One of the less-publicized changes to the 2013 model cars is the adaption of a new windshield.

   The windshields continue to be made of Lexan – a transparent plastic of high impact strength – but it will be slightly thicker overall since it consists of two thinner pieces laminated together.  

   “I liked to see the windshield. I am really happy about that. That has always been a concern of mine, something coming through the front of the car,” said driver Greg Biffle.

   “It’s similar to a passenger car windshield that has the protective stuff in the middle of it. Typically when you layer something it becomes stronger than a single piece anyway.”

Friday, January 11, 2013

Check out the big wreck at Daytona NASCAR testing

   NASCAR Sprint Cup teams tried their hand at pack racing for the first time during Friday's test at Daytona International Speedway. It didn't go well for many teams.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose to drive in Rolex 24

   NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose will join Michael Shank Racing for the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona to drive the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley.

    Ambrose, who impressed in testing with the team during the "Roar Before the 24" over the weekend, will supplement the driving line up of A.J. Allmendinger, Justin Wilson, John Pew, and Ozz Negri as Negri continues to heal from an off-season testing injury. The team led five of eight practice sessions during the weekend between the two team Daytona Prototype entries.

"We couldn't have been happier with how quickly Marcos gelled with everyone on this team," offered Mike Shank. "Obviously (Ambrose) was very fast in the car, but he was also great out of it. That's hugely important for a race like this - you need to have everyone pulling in the same direction. He fits that perfectly."

Michael Waltrip to run Daytona 500 for Swan Racing

   Michael Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 champion, will pilot Swan Racing's No. 30 in the Feb. 24 Daytona 500, reuniting him with former crew chief Tony Eury Jr. The race marks Swan Racing's Sprint Cup Series debut since announcing its new ownership last month.

    "I am thrilled to drive the No. 30 Toyota for Swan Racing and the chance to win a third Daytona 500," said Waltrip about the one-race deal. "Reuniting with Tony Jr. and Steve Hmiel brings back a lot of good memories and is going to create new ones."

    Waltrip will step in for the team's regular driver, David Stremme.

    "Michael is a familiar face for a lot of us here at Swan Racing," said Eury. "We know each other's habits, wants and needs on the track. We're going to Daytona to compete and hopefully we'll make a mark for Swan Racing."

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Welcome to NASCAR, Travis Pastrana

  X Games star Travis Pastrana is used to scary stunts but even he may not have been prepared for his unofficial indoctrination into Roush Fenway Racing. Pastrana, who will drive fulltime in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season for RFR, took a plane ride with team co-owner Jack Roush.

   RFR put together a video of the ride. Check it out.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The race formerly known as the Budweiser Shootout

   Sprint has partnered with Daytona International Speedway to sponsor The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona, the fan-favorite non-points event formerly known as the Budweiser Shootout that traditionally kicks off the stock car portion of Speedweeks 2013 and the NASCAR season.

    The race will once again be held under the lights on Saturday night, Feb. 16 (FOX 8 p.m. ET) but will feature several new elements that will make this event even more of a fan favorite. Fans in attendance will be eligible to receive special upgraded race experiences from Sprint including roles as Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter, and trophy presenter. Fans can also help deliver the trophy to Gatorade Victory Lane or participate in driver introductions during pre-race ceremonies.

    “Sprint is entering its 10th season as title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” said Steve Gaffney, vice president of marketing for Sprint. “From the outset, we promised unprecedented access for race fans, and each year we challenge ourselves to honor that commitment in innovative ways. Thanks to the strength of our partnership with NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway, we have designed The Sprint Unlimited so that fans play a major role in all aspects of the event. It is the ideal way to start this milestone season, and we look forward to sharing all of the details later this month.”

    As announced earlier last year, the format for selecting the field of drivers in the invitation-only event will return to its roots for 2013. The eligible field of drivers will consist of pole winners from the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and past winners of race who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season.

Friday, January 4, 2013

You think Jeff Gordon gets this a lot?


   Do you think Jeff Gordon gets this a lot?

   Check out this video clip from a TV show called "I Get That A Lot," in which four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon is attempting to sell customers Quaker Oil - customers who don't believe they are talking to the real Gordon.

    The show airs at 8 p.m. Eastern on Jan. 9 on CBS.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Michael Waltrip, Clint Bowyer heading to Rolex 24

Photobucket    Michael Waltrip Racing co-owners Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman, MWR NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer and road racing veteran Rui Aguas are entering the Jan. 26-27 Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

   The AF Waltrip entry is a joint project of the Italian championship sports car team AF Corse and MWR. AF Waltrip has fielded Ferraris for Waltrip and Kauffman at sports car races since 2010.

    Bowyer is the newest member of the AF Waltrip driver lineup that has included Travis Pastrana and Brian Vickers in previous races.

    “I’m not really sure what I got myself into,” said Bowyer who won three races and finished second in the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. “Rob asked me to race and I said I would do it. Everyone has told me how much fun this race is. So, I’m ready. Running 24 hours is a long time, but we will give it our best shot.”

X Games star Travis Pastrana to run NASCAR fulltime

   Action sports legend Travis Pastrana will make the move to fulltime NASCAR racing in 2013, driving Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 Ford in the Nationwide Series.

    “I am extremely excited about making the move into fulltime NASCAR competition in 2013 and equally thrilled to have the opportunity to make that move with Jack Roush and the team at Roush Fenway Racing,” said Pastrana, a four-time rally champion, motocross champion and multiple X Games gold medal winner.

    “I am very serious about making this move, running competitively and ultimately winning races in NASCAR,” added Pastrana.

    Pastrana has made nine career Nationwide starts, including one for RFR last September at Richmond, where he qualified a career-high fifth and ran top-10 for much of the race en route to a 17th-place finish.

    Pastrana will team up with veteran NASCAR crew chief Chad Norris and will be partnered with a variety of sponsors during the season.

    “Travis is a champion,” said RFR co-owner Jack Roush. “It takes a great deal of drive and determination to reach that level of greatness in any field. He is serious about this move to NASCAR and we are committed to doing everything we can to see his career develop in NASCAR."

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kasey Kahne to join JR Motorsports' Nationwide program

   Kasey Kahne will run a number of races in NASCAR's Nationwide Series this season with JR Motorsports, multiple sources confirmed to the Observer and

   An official announcement of Kahne's addition to JRM's Nationwide program could come as early as Wednesday, sources said.

   Kahne is expected to run up to 15 races with JRM in 2013, splitting time with Brad Sweet in the. It was unclear which car number the duo would use. The two drivers split a season in 2012 in the No. 38 Chevrolet at Turner Motorsports.

   Great Clips, which sponsored Kahne and Sweet at Turner in 2012, is expected to move with the drivers to JRM. Great Clips has sponsored Kahne since 2003 and already announced plans to sponsor him in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013 at Hendrick Motorsports.