Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Joey Logano is the second-best in NASCAR history in what???

   It should have been no real surprise that Joey Logano posted another top-five finish Sunday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600. After all, he was second in the Sprint All-Star race a week earlier.

    But this might surprise you: Logano now has an average finish at Charlotte of 9.55. That's better than any other active Sprint Cup Series driver. It's also better than David Pearson, who won 14 poles at CMS, or Richard Petty, Bobby Allison or any of the sport's other legends.

    In fact, Logano's average finish at CMS is second best in NASCAR history, trailing only 1960 series champion Rex White (9.0).

Monday, May 27, 2013

Fox Sports: "Full investigation" underway of camera rope failure

   Everyone at FOX Sports is relieved and thankful to know that the injuries to fans caused when CAMCAT malfunctioned Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway were minor, and those who received hospital treatment were released last night. As stated previously, we regret that the race was affected, and we apologize to the racers whose cars were damaged, to everyone at CMS, NASCAR, and NASCAR fans, especially those who were hurt. At this time, we still do not have a cause for what happened, but a full investigation is underway, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely.

    The rope is made of Dyneema, an ultra-strong synthetic that has the same approximate strength of a steel wire with the same diameter, and is less than a year old. According to the company, it had been factory-tested by the manufacturer and its breaking strength is certified before shipment. It was also inspected by CAMCAT upon receipt last June. The rope was certified to have a breaking strength of over 9,300 pounds. The force exerted during last night's race was less than 900 pounds.

    FOX Sports is reviewing with CAMCAT equipment maintenance records, history and installation information and will share those findings with NASCAR and CMS.

Video of Fox camera cable in CMS grandstands


   As you can see in this video, the crowd tries to notify NASCAR officials about the fallen cable rope during the race and then try to pull it off the track to avoid drivers running into it.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Statement from Fox Sports on failure of its CamCat camera system

   "At this time, we do not have a cause for the failure of the camera drive line that interrupted tonight’s Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and our immediate concern is with the injured fans.

    "The camera system consists of three ropes -- a drive rope which moves the camera back and forth, and two guide ropes on either side. The drive rope failed near the Turn 1 connection and fell to the track. The camera itself did not come down because guide ropes acted as designed. A full investigation is planned, and use of the camera is suspended indefinitely.

    "This camera system had been used successfully at this year’s Daytona 500, last week’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and other major events around the world. We certainly regret that the system failure affected tonight’s event, we apologize to the racers whose cars were damaged, and our immediate concern is for the race fans. We also offer a sincere ‘thank you’ to the staff at CMS for attending to the injuries and keeping us informed on this developing situation."

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Brad Keselowski makes his own Top 25 biggest influences in NASCAR list

   Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski decided to make his own list of the most influential people, places and things to fans in NASCAR, which he posted on Twitter on Saturday.

   Here's what he posted:

   Brad K's Top 25 NASCAR influences
   Note: I didn't include the fans because it seems redundant. This is the top 25 most influential to the fan experience. They come so far before everyone else it seems silly to list them here.

   1). Sponsors- from driver behavior to car paint schemes and even race formats. Nothing else even comes close. 
   2). TV- commercial breaks + often biased personalities and corporate influence dictate how the majority experiences a race.
   3). At Track experience, (hotel prices, traffic, restrooms, concessions and phone service)
   4). Schedule- over and under saturation of a market. Competition against other sports and holidays
   5). Goodyear- unfairly, usually only a negative. When they miss, we all lose.
   6). The Weather- start time delays, lightning strikes and beyond.
   7). Dale jr- unquestionable fan favorite. When he's running well, a large portion of NASCAR's fan base is happy.
   8). Track Inspectors- in a sport where fractions of an inch mean everything, their interpretations rule the land.
   9). France family- majority owners of NASCAR and ISC tracks.
   10). Robin Pemperton/John Darby/David Hoots- these 3 control the majority of both the day to day and long term vision of the competition side of the sport.
   11). Mike Helton- Boss of the 3 above.
   12). Bruton smith- majority owner of Smi tracks and catalyst for many of the sports innovations. 1
   3). Track surfaces- new surfaces produce less side by side racing. Properly maintained older surfaces have become fan favorites.
   14). Car manufactures- they speak, auto racing listens. See the gen-6 & EFI.
   15). Rick Hendrick- richest team, with the strongest relationships in the sport.
   16). Lobbyists- track upgrades, military sponsors and traffic patterns can all be radically effected by these groups.
   17). JGR- owns 3 of the winningest teams in cup, dominant in nationwide.
   18). Danica Patrick- brings a new level of excitement to the fan base as the first well known female in a major male dominated sport.
   19). Tony Stewart- Team owner, multiple NASCAR champion. His resume commands industry respect.
   20). Jeff Gordon- The kid from Indiana now has the Ironman record behind him along with 4 championships.
   21). Print, digital and social media- The only source for a detailed analysis of the sport, hardcore fans call them home.
   22). NASCAR driver services team- commercials, media previews and at track autograph sessions are predominately controlled by this group.
   23). Gen6 car- nothing has brought more buzz to NASCAR in 2013
   24). Kyle Busch- wins races, draws love and hate by fans and sponsors alike.
   25). Me- You're reading this aren't you?

   To read The Charlotte Observer's biggest influences list, go here.

Air Titan has 'cost issue,' but available to every track

   NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Saturday that NASCAR’s new Air Titan track drying system is available to every track but admitted there is a “cost issue” involved that has made it difficult for track owners to incorporate its use.

  France said without the Air Titan system at Talladega, Ala., earlier this month, neither the Nationwide or Cup races would have been completed on their scheduled days.

  My hope is that we will get the cost down, number one, and that every track in risk of having rain will be using the system,” France said. “It just takes the industry a little time to realize that it really works, all of us to get together and implement it.”
   The Air Titan uses compressed air to blow water off the track surface, shortening the time needed to dry the track and return it to raceable conditions.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Paul Menard and sponsor re-up with Richard Childress Racing

  Menards, the third-largest home improvement store in the U.S., has agreed to a multi-year sponsorship renewal of RCR’s No. 27 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series driven by Paul Menard.

   Menards first partnered with RCR, the same year Paul Menard won his first Cup race at the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Menard is in his sixth full season and is currently 10th in the series standings, with four top-10 finishes in the first 11 races.

    "Being part of a family-owned business I can relate to the team’s goals and objectives," Menard said. "We will continue to grow together and build our relationship, achieving even greater accomplishments in the future."

Appeals panel upholds RCR crew member suspensions

   A unanimous three-member panel of the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel on Friday upheld the suspensions of two Richard Childress Racing team members charged with assault last month.

   Thomas Costello and Michael Scearce, who work for RCR’s No. 2 Nationwide Series team, were each suspended four races and fined $15,000 for their involvement in a post-race incident last month at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Both are also on probation until Dec. 31.

   Henrico County (Va.) Police charged Scearce with two counts of misdemeanor assault and Costello with a single count of misdemeanor assault following a physical altercation near the track’s driver/owner motorhome lot.

   The crew members face a June 25 court date in Richmond. They are set to begin their suspensions beginning with next weekend’s race at Dover, Del.
   The crew members can still appeal a final time to Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook, but no decision has been made.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

NHRA's Antron Brown to participate in NASCAR test

   Antron Brown has mastered straightaways.  

   Now, he’s ready to try turns.

   Brown, the 2012 NHRA Top Fuel Dragster champion, will test next week in a NASCAR K&N Series car at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., with Rev Racing.

   Brown, 37, will test at the track alongside Rev Racing drivers Bryan Ortiz, Daniel Suarez, Meckena Bell and Ryan Gifford. All are members of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.

   “I have a passion for NHRA drag racing,” Brown said. “I’m very competitive at anything I do and I always love a new challenge. I’m excited to have this opportunity to turn left.”

   Both Rev Racing and Don Schumacher Racing, Brown’s home in the NHRA, partner with Toyota.

   “Toyota has been a supporter of diversity in the work place, within its organization and specifically with the Rev Racing program for many years,” said Keith Dahl, Toyota’s national manager of motorsports and engagement marketing.

   “Not only are DSR and Rev Racing committed to winning championships, but they are also committed to pioneering diversity efforts in motorsports.”

NASCAR slots invade Las Vegas

  Las Vegas may or may not get another NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, but one thing the city is getting this weekend is an infusion of NASCAR slot machines.

    Bally Technology’s new NASCAR slot machine will make its Las Vegas debut at several Boyd Gaming properties on Friday.

    Boyd’s NASCAR rollout includes the Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, Sam’s Town, Fremont, California and Main Street Station casinos.

   Read more here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame class

-Tim Flock, two-time NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion

-Jack Ingram, two-time NASCAR Busch (now Nationwide) Series champion and three-time Late Model Sportsman champion

-Dale Jarrett, 1999 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner

-Maurice Petty, chief engine builder for Petty Enterprises

-Fireball Roberts, 33 NASCAR premier (now Sprint Cup) series wins, including 1962 Daytona 500

NASCAR drivers appearing at Food Lion Speed Street

Thursday, May 23

Driver/Guest Appearance Time Appearance Location
Ron Hornaday, Jr.
Brennan Newberry
Timothy Peters
German Quiroga
Ross Chastain
Jennifer Jo Cobb
Miguel Paludo
Ross Chastain
1-3 p.m. Creative Loafing display (autographs)
Jeb Burton 2-3 p.m. Creative Loafing display (autographs)
German Quiroga 3:30 p.m. Net 10 Wireless display
Sir Purr 5-6 p.m. Panthers booth
Jeremy Clements
Johanna Long
Hal Martin
Taylor Stricklin
Max Papis
Donnie Allison
7-9 p.m. Creative Loafing display (autographs)

Friday, May 24

Driver/Guest Appearance Time Appearance Location
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 12-2 p.m. Kellogg's display:
Wristbands ONLY*
Alex Bowman
Joey Coulter
Erik Jones
Michael Annett
Kyle Fowler
Gray Gaulding
1-3 p.m. Creative Loafing display
John Wes Townley 2-3 p.m. Creative Loafing display
Richard Petty
Dale Inman
Aric Almirola
1:15 p.m. Food Lion stage (Q&A)
German Quiroga 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Net 10 Wireless display
Elliott Sadler 3 p.m. One Main Financial display:
Wristbands ONLY**
Jason Myers 3-4 p.m. Creative Loafing display
Tim Dugger 4-5 p.m. Creative Loafing display
Regan Smith 4:30-5:15 p.m. Unilever display
Chad Knaus 5-5:45 p.m. Creative Loafing display:
Wristbands ONLY***
Regan Smith 5:15-5:30 p.m. Food Lion stage
Sir Purr 5-6 p.m. Panthers display
Tim Dugger 6-6:30 p.m. Creative Loafing display
Joey Logano
Ryan Newman
7-7:45 p.m. Coca-Cola stage (Q&A)
Mark "Hollywood" Armstrong
Michael Lingerfelt
Dennis Terry
Cory Baldwin
Greg Donlin
Greg Morin
7-9 p.m. Creative Loafing display:
"Tire Change Challenge presented by ENEOS"

Saturday, May 25

Driver/Guest Appearance Time Apperance Location
Ernie Irvan
Jared Irvan
Doug Herbert
11 a.m. - 1p.m. Creative Loafing display
Sir Purr 1-2 p.m. Panthers display
Casey Mears 4-4:30 p.m. Geico display
Top Cats 6-7 p.m. Panthers display
Tony Stewart
Danica Patrick
7-7:45 p.m. Coca-Cola Stage (Q&A)
Charlotte Roller Girls 8-9 p.m. Creative Loafing display