Sunday, December 30, 2012

A reminder of Dale and Daytona

   Now this has to rank as one of the more interesting ways to preserve the memory of one of NASCAR's all-time greats.

    Lionel NASCAR Collectables offers several pieces of the Daytona International Speedway track surface for sale, but this one is unique.

    Fans can pay tribute to the late Dale Earnhardt - who died in a last-lap wreck in the 2001 Daytona 500 - with a piece of the track carved into his car number. The track was recently repaved.

   Interested? Go here.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Are you ready for the 2013 Daytona 500?

Are you ready for the 2013 Daytona 500?
Nice job here on a NASCAR TV commercial promoting the 2013 Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. It features a collection of some of the race's biggest moments.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

What was NASCAR legend Junior Johnson doing on this day in 1957?

   He was getting out of jail!

    While getting his NASCAR career going, Junior Johnson continued to work for his father and on June 2, 1956, he was caught at the still and charged with making non-taxed whiskey. He pled guilty, paid a $5,000 fine and spent 11 months and three days of a two-year sentence in the federal prison in Chillicothe, Ohio. He was released on Dec. 27, 1957.

    However, he continued delivering illegal liquor because the money – $500 a night – was just too good to pass up. And it was not until 1960 when Johnson – who was pardoned by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 – decided to just concentrate on his race-car driving.

    And NASCAR was glad he did.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tony Stewart is going (Chili) Bowling

   Three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart has joined the star-studded field of entrants for the 27th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at the Tulsa (Okla.) Expo Center, which kicks off Jan. 8 and concludes Jan. 12.

   Stewart finished 10th in last year’s finale after not participating in the event for three consecutive seasons (2009-2011). This year, he returns to action in the TSR No. 14 Chevrolet Performance/Spike/Chevrolet in the most prestigious Midget race of the year.

   The annual Chili Bowl, which takes place inside the QuikTrip Center’s Tulsa Expo Raceway, will see Stewart and more than 200 drivers attempt to qualify for one of the coveted spots in Saturday’s 50-lap A-Main finale. 

   Stewart is one of five drivers to win the Chili Bowl more than once, one of 17 different drivers to win it since the inaugural event in 1987. He has a pair of Golden Drillers in his collection after scoring Chili Bowl victories in 2002 and 2007.

   Stewart's participation in the Chili Bowl may limit or prevent him from attending a scheduled Cup series test at Daytona International Speedway Jan. 10-12.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Help "undeck" the NASCAR Hall

   The NASCAR Hall of Fame invites race fans to make a stop after Christmas to help "UnDeck the Hall." Choosing from a display of festive Christmas trees in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Theater Lobby, each guest can take home one NASCAR-themed item until all are gone.

   The HALLiday trees are decorated with NASCAR-themed items including autographed souvenirs, memorabilia, ornaments, die cast cars, secret surprises and more. Among the hundreds of items available, guests can walk away with some big ticket presents including tickets to the April races in Martinsville, posters signed by all 12 Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers, or hats signed by reigning series champion Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and more.

   The event runs on Wednesday, Dec. 26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hall of Fame Theater Lobby, 400 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Charlotte, N.C.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Duke football team visits NASCAR Hall of Fame

   As part of the activities leading up to Thursday night's Belk Bowl in Charlotte, the Duke University football team paid a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

   Check out how their visit went here.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

NASCAR champion's charity awards grant to Operation North State

   The Checkered Flag Foundation,  a charity started by reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, has awarded a $5,000 grant to Operation North State (ONS), a non-profit organization based in Winston-Salem, N.C., that provides numerous military support services to North Carolina’s deployed troops and veterans-in-need.

    The $5,000 grant was one of four awarded by CFF this year.

    Operation North State works on a large scale to ship care packages to deployed troops from North Carolina.

    The Checkered Flag Foundation was incorporated in July 2010. The Foundation strives to support individuals who have sacrificed greatly for America, including military members, veterans, first-responders and their families, among others.

Friday, December 21, 2012

What is the largest wreck ever in NASCAR history?

   What is the largest wreck ever in NASCAR history?
   The answer may surprise you - and that it was caught on video.

    During a Sportsman race at Daytona International Speedway in 1960, NASCAR saw its largest single wreck ever. From a field of 68 cars, 37 were involved in an incident that mangled plenty of sheet metal but resulted in few injuries - shocking considering the lack of safety equipment used at the time.

    Check it out.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How a NASCAR race car gets its colors

   Joe Gibbs Racing gives us a look at Kyle Busch's 2013 No. 18 Toyota Camry as well as how the paint scheme is put on the car.

    Check out JGR's time-lapse wrap video to see how this Gen-6 NASCAR Toyota Camry got its colors.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Auto racing's All-America team

   The American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Ass’n has announced its annual All America Team, which the group has done every year since the conclusion of the 1970 season.

    A unique team of special drivers representing multiple forms of professional motorsports is elected each year by AARWBA. The association’s members vote on drivers within their participating categories of racing and the top two from each discipline are elected to the first team.

The 2012 All-America first team:

Open wheel: Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power

Road Racing: Teams of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas and Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr

Short Track: Bryan Clauson and Donny Schatz

Stock Car: Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson

Drag Racing: Antron Brown and Jack Beckman

Touring Series: James Buescher and team of Emil Assentato and Jeff Segal

At-Large: Johnny O’Connell and Tristan Vautier

Rising Star: Courtney Force

The 2012 All-America second team:

Open Wheel:
Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon/Helio Castroneves (tie)

Road Racing: Chris Dyson/Guy Smith (team) and Ryan Dalziel

Short Track: Bobby East and Darrell Lanigan

Stock Car: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Clint Bowyer

Drag Racing: Tony Schumacher and Ron Capps

Touring Series: Ricky Johnson and Oliver Gavin/Tommy Milner (team)

At-Large: Frank Manzo and Jimmy Owens

Dale Jarrett's son to play baseball with Charlotte 49ers

   Zach Jarrett, the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett, was one of eight baseball players signed by UNC Charlotte during the early commitment period for the 2014 season.

    Jarrett, 17, played third base for the Hickory High (N.C.) Red Tornadoes for coach David Craft, and was a prep teammate of current 49er Tyler Barnette. He also was a participant in the State Games after an All-Northwestern Conference season and a second-round appearance in the state playoffs. He posted 15 RBI in 62 plate appearances with a .355 batting average. He was also rated as a national "high follow" by Perfect Game Crosschecker.

    A two-sport star at Hickory, Jarrett was a member of the varsity basketball team which finished as the state runners-up in the 3A classification

Monday, December 17, 2012

#NASCAR No. 2 sports trend on Twitter in 2012

   In 2012, NASCAR partnered with social media juggernaut Twitter, solidifying an upward trend that has seen Twitter explode across the NASCAR scene over the past two seasons. That partnership has led to the hashtag #NASCAR rating as the number two highest trending sports topics of 2012.

   Read more here:

Some really Loopie NASCAR awards

   For the sixth consecutive season, NASCAR has pored over a season’s worth of Loop Data and filtered out the top statistical performances of the 2012 season. After a painstaking review, a select committee created awards to recognize those drivers who numerically excelled this season. Those awards have evolved into arguably the most coveted prize in all of NASCAR. They are – and this is – The Loopies.

   Loop Top Dogg: This award yearly goes to the driver who led the most Loop Data categories. Winner: Jimmie Johnson (led 13 of 15 categories).

   Quantity of Quality Award: This award goes to the driver who led the Sprint Cup Series in Quality Passes, which are passes of cars in the top 15 while under green flag conditions. Winner: Brad Keselowski.

   Most Improved Driver: The driver with the biggest improvement in Driver Rating from 2011 to 2012. Winner: Greg Biffle (85.9 to 99.5).
   Least Improved Driver: The driver with the biggest drop in Driver Rating wins this Loopie, and it goes to Carl Edwards – with an asterisk. Edwards actually only had the third-biggest drop – 16.8, from 101.0 in 2011 to 84.2 this season. But it was the biggest drop among drivers who didn’t switch teams.

   Coffee’s For Closers Award: The “Closer” statistic measures the positions gained or lost in the last 10 percent of races. The top Closer this season: Ryan Newman, who improved 68 total positions in the last 10 percent of races this season.

   Worst Closer Award: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Earnhardt lost 41 spots in the last 10 percent of races this year, among the worst of any driver.

   Stefan Kretschmann Lifetime Achievement Award: Stefan Kretschmann works for Stats, LLC in Chicago, and is considered the godfather of Loop Data. We started this award last season to honor a driver who has been statistically strong throughout the Loop Data Era (2005-present). Jimmie Johnson took home the inaugural Lifetime Achievement trophy. The 2012 winner is Kyle Busch, who has landed an unparalleled 20 perfect Driver Ratings of 150.0 throughout NASCAR’s three national series.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tony Stewart smokes competition again

   Tony Stewart returned to his short-track roots Saturday, winning the feature in the third annual Battle at the Center on the one-sixth mile indoor Mini Magic Mile at the Southern Illinois Center.
   The 41-year-old from Columbus, Ind., led all 40 laps in the non-points event organized and sanctioned by the POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series. It had 67 entries and brought together many of the best drivers in Midget racing and several more major short-track series

   Andrew Felker of Carl Junction, Mo., this season’s POWRi National Midget champion, finished second and POWRi veteran Tim Siner of Dupo, Ill., was third.

   Stewart won USAC Midget championships in 1994 and 1995 and was USAC’s Triple Crown (also taking the national Sprint Car and Silver Crown) champion in 1995 before moving on to win titles in the IndyCar Series title in 1997 and NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2002, 2005 and 2011.

   “It was a lot of fun,” Stewart said. “I was happy with it. We heard this was a good event last year and decided to run it to get ready for the Chili Bowl (run in Tulsa, Okla., Jan. 8-12). We didn’t run very good in the Chili Bowl last year."

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Martinsville Speedway president getting on-track taste of Daytona

   Clay Campbell is not just the president of a race track, he's a client as well.

   Campbell, president of the prestigious Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, took his first laps around Daytona International Speedway’s legendary 2.5-mile tri-oval during Automobile Racing Club of America series testing on Friday.

   Campbell is testing a Spraker Racing Ford with a Roush Yates engine and plans to enter ARCA's Lucas Oil Slick Mist 200 season opener in February at Daytona.

   “I’ve been doing various types of racing for 20 years and if you had the opportunity to do something bigger, I think anybody would jump at the chance,” Campbell, 52, said.

   “Anybody that would have the opportunity to run Daytona, you would be crazy not to. The history, the tradition, this is the ultimate as far as motorsports goes."

   Campbell has raced go-karts, Late Models and ran a majority of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races in 2011.

Video: Christmas Joye Abbott trains to make NASCAR pit crew

Christmas Joye Abbott is training to make history as the first woman to be a tire change or a NASCAR pit crew. (Dec. 10, 2012 video by Corey Lowenstein,

Is NASCAR ready for Christmas? from The News & Observer on Vimeo.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, NASCAR!

   Dec. 14, 1947 - On this day, a group of businessmen led by Bill France Sr. met in the rooftop bar of the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., to write out the rules for the then-chaotic group of dirt track races born from the days of running moonshine in Prohibition. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing would emerge a few months later.

   Enjoy the video testament to the "go
od 'ol days"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What Joey Logano thinks of his new NASCAR teammate

   Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano have wasted no time in breaking in their new teammate relationship at Penske Racing. The two participated in this week's test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

    On Wednesday, Logano was asked how he and Keselowski can help each other this season. Here was his answer:

    "It’s really cool to have a teammate that’s a student of the sport, that really studies it and will push me to do things differently. I think the coolest thing that Brad is able to do is he’s able to think outside of the box – like way outside the box. I think that’s interesting to me, to see the way his mind works," Logano said.

    "I’ve learned a lot the last couple days and the ways he thinks through a race car is a little bit different than normal, and I think that’s cool. I think it’s good to have a little bit of both on a team, so I can learn a lot on the way he leads a team and drives a race car and the way he sets up his car. I seem to be a little bit different, the things he looks for. There are a lot of different things. The way he drives his car is a little bit different than me, too. Taking some of his techniques, I’ve tried them out there and there are pros and cons to everything, but it gives me a few more tools to work with when I’m out there.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How NASCAR can teach leadership lessons

   Leadership lessons don't always have to come from traditional places like the military and football. New perspectives for bosses also flow from jazz and rock climbing. The chiefs can use the different angles to ease their pressure.

   A University of Michigan study reveals a CEO's average tenure is down to 3.5 years vs. 9.5 years just a decade ago. That's courtesy of Bob Parsanko and Paul Heagen, authors of "The Leader's Climb." They also see Nascar and golf as leadership incubation centers.

   Read more at Investor's Business Daily here

Count Dale Earnhardt Jr. in as fan of 2013 Sprint Cup cars

   One morning practice session of less than three hours and Dale Earnhardt Jr. is already sold on the 2013 version of the car which will be used in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series.

   Tuesday's test at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the first time Earnhardt had been behind the wheel of one of the cars, which will feature much more manufacturer identity.
   "I think the car has really awesome potential and I like it already leaps and bounds beyond the COT," Earnhardt said. "This car really gives me a lot of sensations that are similar to the old car that we ran 10 years ago.

   "Just personally, I didn't really like the car for what it was. The (new) cars that you see in the garage, you'll stand there and you'll see Fords and Toyotas and Chevrolets driving by and it's great because everything looks different and everything is recognizable.

   "That's a great feeling for me. I can appreciate the cars for that fact."

   Earnhardt also believes the cars drive better, at least from his brief experience behind the wheel.

   "They feel like they have a ton more downforce.That could change in different weather conditions, but it's a promising start," he said. "Today is feeling good and driving good and I think that there is good potential."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tony Eury Jr. returns to the Sprint Cup Series

   Tony Eury Jr. is back in the Sprint Cup Series.
   Eury will be the crew chief for Swan Racing's No. 30 Toyota in 2013 driven by David Stremme. The move comes just days after the new team, owned by Brandon Davis, was formally announced.
   "We have a long-term vision for Swan Racing and the addition of Tony Jr. is another step in that process. Tony brings a world of experience to Swan Racing and will be part of our long-term success," said Davis.
   Eury began his NASCAR career in 1991 when he was hired to work for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. He has been a part of 19 Cup series victories with Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. including wins in the Budweiser Shootout in 2003 and 2008. In 2006, Earnhardt qualified for the Chase for the Cup and finished fifth in points with Eury making the calls on race day. Most recently, Eury was was co-owner of JR Motorsports and served as Danica Patrick's crew chief in the Nationwide Series until he left that organization late in the 2012 season.
   "I am really impressed with the team Swan Racing is building and I am proud to be part of it," said Eury. "I am looking forward to working with David Stremme behind the wheel and with competition director Steve Hmiel."

Sunday, December 9, 2012

There's nothing like NASCAR Gangnam style

   This isn't new but I came across it again today looking back at some stuff from NASCAR Championship Week in Las Vegas. It's still funny.

   And Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage never looked better!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Eligible drivers for the 2013 Daytona Shootout



   Eligible drivers for the 2013 Daytona Shootout

   Next season’s Daytona Shootout field consists of 2012 pole winners and past Shootout winners who attempted to qualify for at least one race during the past season. The race is Feb. 16, 2013, at Daytona International Speedway.

2012 Pole Winners:
1) Mark Martin (4)
2) Kasey Kahne (4)
3) Jimmie Johnson (4)
4) Greg Biffle (3)
5) Denny Hamlin (3)
6) Joey Logano (2)
7) Aric Almirola (2)
8) Juan Pablo Montoya (2)
9) Jeff Gordon (2)
10) Kyle Busch (2)
11) Carl Edwards (1)
12) Martin Truex Jr. (1)
13) A.J. Allmendinger (1)
14) Marcos Ambrose (1)
15) Matt Kenseth (1)
16) Tony Stewart (1)
17) Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1)

Past Shootout champions:
18) Kurt Busch
19) Kevin Harvick
20) Bill Elliott
21) Terry Labonte
22) Ken Schrader

Friday, December 7, 2012

Check out Danica Patrick's 2013 NASCAR ride

   Danica Patrick moves fulltime to the Sprint Cup Series in 2013 and this is how the paint scheme on her No. 10 Chevrolet will look.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Three NASCAR legends to join NMPA Hall of Fame

   Three men who spent their careers making outstanding contributions to the sport of auto racing will be inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association’s Hall of Fame in January.

    Longtime NASCAR executive and former track president Jim Hunter and Pocono Raceway founder and patriarch Dr. Joseph Mattioli will be inducted posthumously and will be joined by pioneer sportscaster Ken Squier as the class entering the Hall during a ceremony on Jan. 19 in Charlotte, N.C.

    Hunter started his career as a journalist in South Carolina, then moved into the public relations field, eventually rising to the role of track president at Darlington Raceway. Hunter, one of the most trusted friends of longtime president Bill France Jr., then took on corporate roles with NASCAR and International Speedway Corp. and remained with NASCAR for the rest of his life.

    Mattioli founded Pocono Raceway in the early 1960s, a unique 2.5-mile facility that has hosted NASCAR events since 1974. Mattioli was a hands-on track operator, embracing drivers, crews and media members as part of his track family each time the race came to town. Keeping fans in mind, he worked to stay on top of enhancements and led NASCAR into a new era by building a solar energy system on 25 acres of the track’s property to make it a leader in environmental fields.

    Squier, a native of Vermont, began his racing career as a track announcer at the age of 14. One of the original founders of Motor Racing Network, he later became a fixture in the broadcast booth for CBS. Squier continues to be a part of racing through his radio station in Vermont and the Thunder Road track he built in his home state.

Brian Scott joins Richard Childress Racing

   Richard Childress Racing announced Thursday that driver Brain Scott had signed a multi-year contract with the organization and will drive the No. 2 Chevrolet in the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Season.

   Scott most recently drove for Joe Gibbs Racing. Last season, he finished with two top-five and 11 top-10 finishes and finished ninth in points.

   Phil Gould, car chief for the No. 2 team in 2012 at RCR and previously a car chief in the Sprint Cup series, has been promoted to crew chief for the team.

   "RCR has proven over the past 13 years that it can build and prepare winning cars in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and has for a variety of drivers," Scott said. "I just want to be the next name on that list.

   "RCR has a rich tradition of winning races and championships at the highest level of our sport and I am excited about being a part of an organization, like theirs, that is committed to winning.”

   Scott replaces Elliott Sadler in the No. 2, who has moved to JGR for the 2013 season.

Brad Keselowski named Driver of the Year

   Brad Keselowski was voted both the 2012 Driver of the Year and Fourth Quarter winner, respectively, by an elite panel of broadcasters and journalists.

    Keselowski was almost a unanimous choice in the annual award, earning 18 of the 19 votes cast by journalists and broadcasters. Ryan Hunter Reay, the 2012 IndyCar champion, received the remaining vote.

    Keselowski, 28, won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship and the first for Penske Racing.

    "To be honored with the 2012 Driver of the Year is a great way to cap off our championship season,” said Keselowski. “The (drivers’) list is definitely a 'Who's Who' in the history of racing. It gives me great pride to see my name there with the likes of Mark Donohue and Mario Andretti, drivers who have transcended one particular discipline or series, and are considered some of the best to ever sit in a race car."

   In the quarterly voting, Keselowski beat the NHRA’s Antron Brown and five time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson.

   In its’ 46th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique because it is the original award of its' type that encompasses all of the racing series and all of the drivers in the United States. A panel of 19 journalists and broadcasters from across the U.S. are eligible to vote.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Who made the most money in the Sprint Cup Series?

   Yearly money totals for drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series come from three primary sources - race winnings, special awards and money from the NASCAR/Sprint points fund.

    Here are the top 15 money earners for the 2012 season (not including any driver's individual salary):

    1. Brad Keselowski, $12,106.255.10
    2. Jimmie Johnson, $10,469,436.13
    3. Matt Kenseth, $8,802,778.50
    4. Denny Hamlin, $8,330,409.89
    5. Clint Bowyer, $7,993,802.38
    6. Tony Stewart, $7,932,181.54
    7. Greg Biffle, $7,416,099.27
    8. Kyle Busch, $7,202,891.00
    9. Jeff Gordon, $7,195,279.06
    10. Kevin Harvick, $6,926,597.02
    11. Kasey Kahne, $6,332,313.36
    12. Martin Truex Jr., $6,169,590.33
    13. Ryan Newman, $6,054,711.00
    14. Carl Edwards, $5,923,325.00
    15. Dale Earnhardt Jr., $5,816,567.42

Check out Jeff Gordon's 2013 NASCAR ride

Here's your chance to star in a NASCAR commercial

   Two lucky race fans will win a chance to appear in the new Charlotte Motor Speedway commercial for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 18, 2013.

    The commercial, featuring a wild west “Throwdown at Charlotte” theme, will star Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Denny Hamlin, NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and other NASCAR celebrities.

    Fans that purchase 2013 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race tickets before Dec. 31, 2012, will be automatically entered in the “Join the All-Stars” sweepstakes. Weekend ticket packages start at just $99.

    Fans can visit
www.charlottemotorspee... for details on the sweepstakes, official rules, clips from the 2012 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race commercial, as well as opportunities to purchase tickets. No purchase of tickets is necessary and fans may enter online or via written entry per the rules. Fans that have already purchased their 2013 All-Star Race tickets are automatically entered to win. Registration ends on Dec. 31, 2012, and winners will be announced on or before Jan. 23, 2013.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Former speedway exec Humpy Wheeler to be honored

   The North Carolina Motorsports Association will honor legendary racing promoter H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler with its Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award at the seventh annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank. The ceremony will take place Jan. 28 at the Embassy Suites Concord.

   The NCMA Motorsports Industry Awards Ceremony presented by Fifth Third Bank pays tribute to North Carolina's $6 billion motorsports industry. Each year, the Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award recognizes a person whose contributions to racing have made an immeasurable impact on motorsports in North Carolina. Previous recipients were Benny Parsons, Richard Petty, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson and O. Bruton Smith. In addition, NCMA presents industry awards to various North Carolina entities that have positively affected the motorsports community within the state.

   Often referred to as the P.T. Barnum of motorsports, Wheeler is best known for serving as president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway for 33 years, ending in 2008. During his tenure at CMS, his extravagant pre-race ceremonies and dedication to the fan experience were second to none.

   Under his leadership, the speedway became the first modern superspeedway to host night racing with the NASCAR All-Star race while making the Coca-Cola 600 one of NASCAR's premier events. He also served as president of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., the parent company of CMS. SMI became the first publicly traded motorsports company when it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1995.

Jimmie Johnson Foundation awards grants to four Charlotte area schools

   Nearly $600,000 in grants - including four grants to schools in the Charlotte area - were awarded on Tuesday as part of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation's Champions Grant program. The foundation awards the grants to schools in Chandra and Jimmie Johnson’s respective hometowns of Muskogee, Okla., and El Cajon, Calif., and where they currently reside in Charlotte. This brings the contributions of the Champions Grant program to more than $2.6 million.   

   “Chandra and I are excited by the opportunity to impact thousands of children each year through the Champions Grant program,” said Jimmie Johnson, co-founder of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. “It was amazing to see how the schools had such different needs, and they were all compelling. We are very proud to partner with our friends at Lowe’s to play a part in assisting K-12 public education through this program.” 

   Funded projects ranged from a digital fabrication lab to fitness labs to a complete performing arts stage restoration. Several schools also received technology grants to purchase new computers.

    The 2012 Champions Grants were awarded to the following schools:


    -Construction Tech Academy (San Diego, Calif.)
    -Flying Hills Elementary School (El Cajon, Calif.)
    -Santana High School (Santee, Calif.)

    North Carolina
    -A.T. Allen Elementary School (Concord)
    -Billingsville Elementary School (Charlotte)
    -KIPP: Charlotte (Charlotte)
    -Piedmont I.B. Middle School (Charlotte)

    -Alice Robertson Junior High (Muskogee, Okla.)
    -Creek Elementary School (Muskogee, Okla.)
    -Irving Elementary School and Pershing Elementary School (Muskogee, Okla.)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Nothing is gained by Tony Stewart doing the double

   Tony Stewart has unsuccessfully attempted the Coca-Cola 600-Indy 500 double twice and has run the 500 five times total in his career. His last venture into a competitive IndyCar race was 2001.

    Yet Roger Penske's sort of serious offer to field an entry for him in 2013 has sparked much interest. Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials would love to see Stewart in the race and even an ESPN executive has suggested the network would be willing to alter the race's planned start time to help.

    What, really, though is there for Stewart to gain? There is no physically possible way he can put in everything necessary - time and preparation - to run the 500 like the rest of IndyCar's regular competitors. The Indy 500 is the crown jewel of open-wheel racing and as such participants spend weeks at the track leading up to the race. The Coke 600 is one of 36 points-paying races in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series, meaning there are other races prior and immediately after that also require the same attention.

    Would Stewart have a shot at the one trophy that has eluded him? Perhaps. But at what cost? And what does his participation do for either IndyCar or NASCAR? He's already attempted this feat twice previously - so the newness factor is muted.

    For those who believe the attempt would help IndyCar, attention on the Indy 500 is not the series' biggest problem. It's getting eyes on the rest of the year that needs help. Stewart running the 500 does not add a single viewer for the season finale in Fontana, Calif.

    Nice offer from Penske. But when it comes to doing the double, Stewart should simply say, "Been there, done that."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Check out Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 2013 NASCAR ride

Here's a look at the main paint scheme for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in 2013.

Erik Jones bests Kyle Busch to win Snowball Derby

   Erik Jones, a 16-year-old who spent the last two Snowball Derbys watching from the grandstands, won the prestigious late model race in part by besting NASCAR star Kyle Busch at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.

   Earlier in the race, Busch wrecked leader T.J. Reaid and was penalized and sent to the rear of the field. He battled back to do battle with Jones before fading to third at the finish.

   Race Results
1.Erik Jones
2.Jeff Choquette
3.Kyle Busch
4.Jeff Fultz
5.Chase Elliott
6.Grant Enfinger
7.Kyle Benjamin
8.David Ragan
9.Chris Davidson
10.John Hunter Nemechek
11.Ross Kenseth
12.Dwayne Buggay
13.D.J. Vanderley
14.Johanna Long
15.Donnie Wilson
16.Hunter Robbins
17.Chuck Barnes Jr
18.Clay Alexander
19.Kyle Jones
20.Austin Theriault
21.Casey Smith
22.Steven Wallace
23.David Rogers
24.Ben Kennedy
25.Brad Rogers
26.T.J. Reaid
27.Bubba Pollard
28.Nelson Piquet Jr
29.Daniel Hemric
30.Logan Boyett
31.Mike Garvey
32.Stephen Nasse
33.Jeremy Pate
34.Brian Campbell
35.Paul Kelley
36.Augie Grill
37.Steve Dorer

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Check out Brad Keselowski's 2013 NASCAR ride

With Penske Racing's move to Ford next season, the ride of 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski will have a different look.

S.C. woman wins Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award

   During Friday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at the Wynn Las Vegas, Lorri Shealy Unumb, creator of “Ryan’s Law”, was named the recipient of the second annual Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.

    As a mother of three, Unumb was deeply impacted when her oldest son, Ryan, was diagnosed with severe autism at a young age; she then learned that insurance would not cover the cost of treatment for children with autism. As a result, the 44-year-old drafted a bill – now known as “Ryan’s Law” that has been enacted in 31 other states – to require insurance companies to cover treatments for autism. Unumb also founded the Autism Academy of South Carolina, a non-profit organization that protects the interests of children with the disability and helps families affected by autism.

   The NASCAR Foundation’s donation of $100,000 will be used to create a scholarship fund to assist children who would otherwise not be able to attend the Autism Academy.

    Unumb, a 44-year-old native of Lexington, S.C., and former Miss Southern 500 Pageant winner, was chosen from a group of four finalists by a national fan vote on Through this award, The NASCAR Foundation honors passionate NASCAR fans making an impact with children in their local communities and reflecting the commitment Betty Jane France has demonstrated with her charitable works and community efforts.