Thursday, January 29, 2015

Statement by IndyCar Series on cancellation of its 2015 season opener in Brazil


   INDIANAPOLIS - Today's announcement by BAND that the March 8 INDYCAR race in Brasília was cancelled was both unexpected and disappointing. INDYCAR had received every indication that the race was already a success: Two-thirds of the seats available for the event had already been sold; a title sponsor for the event (ITAIPAVA) was announced yesterday; hospitality was sold out; and track construction was progressing and scheduled to be complete in time for the event. 
   Although we have not received formal confirmation from our partners in Brazil regarding the cancellation, economically INDYCAR is protected and the paddock is protected from such action.

Chase Elliott to take over Jeff Gordon's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ride beginning in 2016

Team release

   CONCORD - Chase Elliott, who became the youngest national series champion in NASCAR history last season, will join Hendrick Motorsports as a full-time Sprint Cup driver beginning in 2016. Elliott’s No. 24 Chevrolet SS team will be led by crew chief Alan Gustafson, who has earned 19 wins, 18 pole positions, 98 top-five finishes and 165 top-10s at the elite Cup level.

   “Chase brings the kind of intangibles that make him the total package as a driver,” said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, who announced the news this morning during the team’s season kickoff employee event. “Not only is he a special talent inside the race car, but there’s a natural combination of competitiveness, work ethic and smarts that you rarely see. Chase’s personality and demeanor make him popular with fans, teammates and sponsors. He’s a great fit for our organization on many levels, and we feel he and Alan will be a successful combination. There’s a lot to be excited about.”

   In preparation for 2016, Elliott, 19, will make his Sprint Cup debut later this year as part of a five-race schedule with primary sponsorship from NAPA AUTO PARTS. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native will be paired with veteran crew chief Kenny Francis during the limited campaign.

   Driving the No. 25 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet SS fielded by Hendrick Motorsports, Elliott will be entered in 2015 Cup events March 29 at Martinsville Speedway, April 25 at Richmond International Raceway, May 24 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, July 26 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Sept. 6 at Darlington Raceway.

   “Chase has been a fantastic ambassador for NAPA,” said Gaylord Spencer, senior vice president of marketing for NAPA AUTO PARTS, which also is primary sponsor of Elliott’s JR Motorsports team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. “As he embarks on this important next step in his career, we’re proud to support him across both series in 2015 and look forward to an exciting year on and off the track. The NAPA Family is behind Chase 100 percent.”

   At the age of 18 years, 11 months and 18 days, Elliott became the youngest champion in any NASCAR national touring series when he won the 2014 XFINITY Series title. The first racer in NASCAR history to win a championship and rookie of the year honors in the same season, he also was voted by fans as the series’ most popular driver.

   Elliott’s 2014 season included three wins, two pole positions and 26 top-10 finishes in 33 races. His first victory (Texas Motor Speedway) came in his sixth career series start and made him the second-youngest winner in XFINITY Series history (behind Joey Logano). He completed 99.6 percent of the 6,063 total laps run and became the first driver since 2010 to clinch the championship before the season finale.

   Elliott and father Bill are only the fifth father-son duo to win NASCAR national series championships. They are members of an elite group that includes Lee and Richard Petty, Ned and Dale Jarrett, David and Larry Pearson, and Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Bill Elliott, the 1988 Sprint Cup Series champion, will be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame tomorrow evening.

   “So many people have been behind me, and the first thing I want to do is thank them,” said Chase Elliott, who will run the full 2015 XFINITY Series schedule as the defending champion. “My parents especially have believed in me every step of the way, and I know this wouldn’t be possible without all the sacrifices they’ve made to focus on my racing career. This is such a big week for our family.

   “I’m also extremely grateful to Mr. Hendrick and my teammates at both Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports for believing in me. NAPA has been a huge supporter, and I’m honored to represent them on and off the track. Of course the fans have been amazing to me, and I’m so appreciative of that. I know how rare this opportunity is and will work as hard as I can to make everyone proud.”

   Hendrick Motorsports will announce sponsorship for Elliott’s 2016 Sprint Cup season at a later date.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

GoDaddy pulls Super Bowl ad featuring puppies and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick

   After an outcry from animal rescue activists,, a privately held internet domain registrar and web hosting company, decided Tuesday night to pull its planned Super Bowl commercial which features puppies and NASCAR driver Danica Patrick. 

   The company sponsors Patrick's No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series. 

   The ad, which debuted Tuesday on the "Today" show, is entitled "Lost Dog" and shows a puppy that falls out of a truck and then eventually finds its way back home. Upon arrival the puppy discovers its owner used GoDaddy to set up a Web site to sell the dog to a new owner. Patrick drives the van which carries the puppy to its new owner. 

   The company released the following statement on Tuesday night: 

   "This morning we previewed GoDaddy’s Super Bowl spot on a popular talk show, and shortly after a controversy started to swirl about 'Buddy,' our puppy, being sold online. The responses were emotional and direct. Many people urged us not to run the ad.

   "We’ve made a tremendous amount of progress over the past two years, advancing the GoDaddy brand as a company that cares a great deal about small business and is in their corner to help them succeed. People increasingly know who we are, what we do and who we do it for.  At the end of the day, our purpose at GoDaddy is to help small businesses around the world build a successful online presence. We hoped our ad would increase awareness of that cause. However, we underestimated the emotional response. And we heard that loud and clear. 

   "The net result? We are pulling the ad from the Super Bowl. You’ll still see us in the Big Game this year, and we hope it makes you laugh. Finally, rest assured, Buddy came to us from a reputable and loving breeder in California. He’s now part of the GoDaddy family as our Chief Companion Officer and he lives permanently with one of our longtime employees."

   The original ad has since been removed from YouTube.

   A petition started on asking GoDaddy to pull the ad received over 42,000 signatures before the company made its decision Tuesday night.

Start times for all 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule and race start times

Feb. 14 – Sprint Unlimited at Daytona, 8 p.m. ET (Fox)
Feb. 19 – Budweiser Duel at Daytona, 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
Feb. 22 – Daytona 500, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Mar. 1 – QuikTrip Folds of Honor 500, Atlanta, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Mar. 8 – Kobalt 400, Las Vegas, 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
Mar. 15 – 500, Phoenix, 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
Mar. 22 – Auto Club 400, Auto Club Speedway, 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
Mar. 29 – STP 500, Martinsville Speedway, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Apr. 11 – Duck Commander 500, Texas Motor Speedway, 7:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
Apr. 19 – Food City 500, Bristol Motor Speedway, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Apr. 25 – Toyota Owners 400, Richmond, 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
May 3 – Talladega 500, Talladega Superspeedway, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)
May 9 – Kansas Speedway, 7:30 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
May 15 – Sprint Showdown, Charlotte, 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
May 16 – Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte, 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
May 24 – Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte Motor Speedway, 6 p.m. ET (Fox)
May 31 – Dover International Speedway, 1 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
June 7 – Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400, Pocono, 1 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
June 14 – Quicken Loans 400, Michigan, 1 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
June 28 – Toyota/SaveMart 350, Sonomam Calif., 3 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
July 5 – Coke Zero 400, Daytona, 7:45 p.m. ET (NBC)
July 11 – Quaker State 400, Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBC SportsNetwork)
July 19 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 1:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)

July 26 – Brickyard 400, Indianapolis, 3:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Aug. 2 – Pennsylvania 400, Pocono, 1:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Aug. 9 – Cheez-It 355 at the Glen, Watkins Glen, 2 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Aug. 16 – Pure Michigan 400, Michigan, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Aug. 22 – Irwin Tools Night Race, Bristol, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sept. 6 – Bojangles’ Southern 500, Darlington, 7 p.m. ET (NBC)
Sept. 12 – Federated Auto Parts 400, Richmond, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sept. 20 – 400, Chicagoland, 3 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sept. 27 – Sylvania 300, New Hampshire, 2 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Oct. 4 – AAA 400, Dover, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Oct. 10 – Bank of America 500, Charlotte, 7 p.m. ET (NBC)
Oct. 18 – Hollywood Casino 400, Kansas Speedway, 2:15 p.m. ET (NBC)
Oct. 25 – GEICO 500, Talladega, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Nov. 1 – Goody’s 500, Martinsville Speedway, 1:15 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Nov. 8 – AAA Texas 500, Texas Motor Speedway, 2 p.m. ET (NBC)
Nov. 15 – Quicken Loans 500, Phoenix Raceway, 2:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
Nov. 22 – Ford Ecoboost 400, Homestead, 3 p.m. ET (NBC)

Monday, January 26, 2015

NASCAR bans flaring of fenders and side skirts during races

   NASCAR announced Monday teams will no longer be able to bend or manipulate fenders or side skirts during pit stops and if a team is caught doing so, it will be directed back to pit road to correct the issue and lose their track position. Additional penalties could also be imposed.

   Teams repeatedly turned to the practice to help gain an aerodynamic advantage last season.

    Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said NASCAR needed to police the practice because NASCAR had no way to account for the added aerodynamic advantage in testing.

   “We know that when we go to the Goodyear tire test, the cars aren't tested (with changed fenders), so that is not something that is modeled (in our simulations) in any way shape or form,” he said. “To be correct with the entire garage area and our venders and suppliers, and other people that we work with, it is best to regulate that and keep it in the box if we can.”

   NASCAR was aware of the issue last season but did not want to make a rules change while the championship Chase was underway.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Jeff Gordon's NASCAR TV career will begin this season

   Jeff Gordon may not be quite done competing on the track but his career as a NASCAR TV commentator will get a head start this season with Fox Sports.

   As part of the new 10-year NASCAR TV deal, Fox will broadcast the first half of the season of the Xfinity, formerly Nationwide, Series and the network plans to rotate Gordon and a handful of other Sprint Cup Series champions as analysts in the booth during broadcasts.

   Joining Gordon taking turns in the Fox booth will be former champion Brad Keselowski and reigning Cup champion Kevin Harvick. Both Keselowski and Harvick have also won titles in the Xfinity Series.

   Gordon, 43, announced last week the 2015 season would be his last as a fulltime competitor and when asked if working in TV was in his future coyly told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, "I'd entertain it."

   Fox plans to officially unveil its talent lineup for the 2015 season on Monday, the first day of the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour in Charlotte.

   Fox Sports 1 will televise 12 Xfinity races this season while the main Fox network will televise two - Phoenix and Talladega, Ala. Adam Alexander will do play-by-play for the races alongside NASCAR team owner Michael Waltrip and the rotation of Cup champions.

   Mike Joy, Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds will return to the booth for Fox's Cup series broadcasts this season. They will be joined on pit road by reporters Matt Yocum and newcomers, Jamie Little and Chris Neville.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Reaction in NASCAR to Jeff Gordon's announcement 2015 will be his last fulltime season

Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president
of global product development, purchasing and supply chain

   “Jeff Gordon is an incredible competitor, leader and ambassador for Chevrolet and motorsports. He has contributed so much – not only on the track with his 92 wins and four championships, but also away from the track as a businessman, with the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, and more importantly, as a husband and father. He is a champion, and he has been a great friend. We are proud of our relationship with Jeff, and, just like all of his fans, we look forward to watching him compete for one more championship. We wish Jeff and his family – Ingrid, Ella and Leo – all of the best.” 

NASCAR Statement from Brian France, NASCAR Chairman

and Chief Executive Officer, on Jeff Gordon
   DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 22, 2015) – “Jeff Gordon transcends NASCAR and will be celebrated as one of the greatest drivers to ever race. We have all enjoyed watching his legend grow for more than two decades, and will continue to do so during his final full-time season. His prolonged excellence and unmatched class continue to earn him the admiration of fans across the globe. Today’s announcement is a bittersweet one. I’ll miss his competitive fire on a weekly basis, but I am also happy for Jeff and his family as they start a new chapter. On behalf of the entire NASCAR family, I thank Jeff for his years of dedication and genuine love for this sport, and wish him the very best in his final season.”

Darrell Waltrip, NASCAR on FOX analyst
  Four-time NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES champion Jeff Gordon announced today that 2015 will be his final, fulltime season behind the wheel.  Below, NASCAR on FOX analyst and Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds react to the news:

   “Jeff’s accomplishments off the track are impressive, but his numbers on the track are unbelievable.  I call him the ‘GOAT’ – the Greatest of All Time.  I believe he is the greatest NASCAR driver there has ever been. What he has done outside the sport has grown the sport’s popularity immensely.  I give Jeff a tremendous amount of credit for the youth movement in NASCAR.  A lot of people think NASCAR started in 1992, because that’s when he came on the scene and brought in a new, young audience because he appealed to the 18-35-year-old demographic.  We didn’t really have a driver at the time who could do that. 

   “I think Jeff has something left to prove in 2015. I think he’d like to win 100 races, but he knows that might be a stretch. It’s hard to win four in a season, let alone eight.  And of course, he’d like to another championship. A part-time Jeff Gordon behind the wheel isn’t a bad thing, either.  When I was at the end of my career, there were some tracks I still enjoyed competing on – and even would today.  Jeff has stayed with Rick his entire career and has been committed to that organization.  Their relationship has paid huge dividends.  Jeff has driven the same number with the same team for his entire career, a continuity that reminds me a lot of the Petty era.”

 Larry McReynolds, NASCAR on FOX analyst
   “I applaud the fact he is going out as a competitive race car driver.  He won’t be out there just riding around to finish out his career. We all know Jeff Gordon well enough to know he wants to win more races and maybe another Daytona 500 and another Brickyard 400.  As close as he came last year in the championship, you know he wants to be a player in the championship when we get to Homestead this year.

   “Jeff changed the personality and perception of a race car driver in NASCAR.  Before he came along, the perception was more about the good old Southeastern boy wearing blue jeans, big belt buckles and boots.  But he created a new buzz in our sport because he looked like he stepped off the cover of a GQ magazine.  Dale Earnhardt was a huge watershed in our sport because he showed everyone that while NASCAR is what he does on the track, it’s also a big business because people wanted to buy his merchandise. Then Jeff Gordon came along and created a new mark as far as the perception of what a driver is. He has made so many strides outside the race car for this sport, not the least of which is his charitable work over the years.  That part definitely won’t stop when he gets out of the car. Nor will his tremendous legacy.”


   FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 22, 2015) - Statement from Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage on the announcement that 2015 will be Jeff Gordon's last season as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. 

   "I've known Jeff since he was a teenager with a really bad mustache. It has been thrilling to watch him develop from a promising Busch Series driver into perhaps the greatest professional our sport has ever seen. Jeff showed last season that he still has a burning desire to win races and championships. You won't find a finer professional, person or charitable athlete.  We have been fortunate to be associated with him for all of these years. I'm sure all fans, even of the other drivers, will want to show their appreciation to Jeff this year."

Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell
   “I think with the announcement of 2015 being Jeff Gordon’s last full-time year behind the wheel, we all need to stop and say ‘thank you Jeff’. His contributions to this sport are so numerous it would be a blanket ‘thank you’ for everything.

   “Primarily he helped to take NASCAR to another level. He was a young kid from the Midwest with a lot of potential, coming in here in 1993, starting his career when our “King” was winding his up. He arrived on the scene at a perfect time.

   “I looked at his stats here at Martinsville and was truly shocked. I knew he was good here but not until I saw his record did I realize just how good he is here. Forty-four starts, eight wins, 35 top 10s, 28 top 5s, no DNFs and out of the 44 starts he led in 34 of them. That is an amazing record. Jeff Gordon is a class act and I wish him the best this year as well as whatever the future holds for him.”

 Sonoma Raceway President and General Manager Steve Page
   “As promoters we are supposed to be neutral observers, but given his local roots and the tremendous success he’s had at our track, I must admit Jeff Gordon has always been looked upon as the home team around here.  If he were to win our race in June on his way to his fifth Sprint Cup Series championship, it would likely be a huge cause for celebration among our local race fans.  We look forward to helping Jeff celebrate the culmination of a remarkable sports career.”

    "Not only is Jeff one of the greatest drivers to ever race, he's one of the classiest guys in the sport. I will always remember having dinner with him one night in Jackson, just talking about our families and swapping racing stories. Even for me, as a 20 plus year veteran in the sport and a track president, it is a memory I will never forget. He embodies everything that's right in NASCAR and a true champion. I wish him and Ingrid the very best as they plan the next chapter, and look forward to one last season with him before he retires."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Brian Vickers medically cleared to race beginning in early March; granted Chase waiver

Team press release

Doctors have medically cleared Brian Vickers to return to full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup racing in early March, three months after corrective heart surgery.

Vickers will make his season debut in the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8.

MWR co-founder and two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will drive the No. 55 in the 57th annual Daytona 500 on Feb. 22. MWR will name a substitute driver for the March 1 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway later.

“The doctors gave me a clean bill of health and said I will be better than before,” said Vickers, the 31-year-old Thomasville, N.C. native whose health issues interrupted his racing seasons in 2010 and again in 2013.

NASCAR Statement from Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President & Chief Racing Development Officer on Brian Vickers Participation in 2015 Season

   DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 21, 2015) – “With the clearance from his physicians, Brian Vickers has satisfied all necessary NASCAR requirements to resume racing on March 5. Further, NASCAR has reviewed the circumstances surrounding his situation and has determined that he will maintain Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup eligibility despite neither entering nor attempting to qualify in the first two championship events, provided he meets all other necessary eligibility requirements.”

Kevin Harvick will retain Tony Stewart's pit crew permanently

   An official with Stewart-Haas Racing on Wednesday confirmed a late-season pit crew swap made between the teams of eventual 2014 Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick and teammate and co-owner Tony Stewart has been made permanent for the start of the 2015 season.

   The move was first made early last September in time for the 10-race Chase playoff after Harvick's team had several documented struggles during the course of the season. At the time, however, the change was announced as a temporary one. 

   Stewart first mentioned the move being made permanent on Tuesday at a USO visit with troops and military families at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.

   "There really wasn't that much difference in terms of their times on paper, it was within a tenth of a second. We just felt like that chemistry worked really well," Stewart told

   Harvick won three of the Chase playoff races, including the penultimate race at Phoenix, which gave him the opportunity to compete for the championship at the series finale at Homestead, Fla, which he also won.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kenseth, Keselowski thankful for Las Vegas test

   Sprint Cup Series drivers Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch and A.J. Allmendinger took part in a Goodyear tire test Monday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in preparation for the March 8 race this season.

   The test was the first on-track test drivers had of the new changes this season, including a reduction in horsepower and a modified aero package.

   With a new ban on private testing, Kenseth and Keselowski said any chance to test on the track is a welcome one.

   “I think any track time you get is really important with the new testing rules, banning all off-season testing, which I think we all like, but you’ve really got to take advantage of the tests when you get them and try to gather as much information as you can – hopefully useful information that you can use down the road,” Kenseth said.

   “For us, we didn’t run particularly well last year and we’ve got a new nose on the Camry this year and new rules changes and aero package and all that stuff, so we’re just trying to get it sorted out and try to find a baseline and hopefully find something that drives good so we’ve got something decent when we come back here."

     Keselowski, the defending winner of both the Cup and Xfinity series races at Las Vegas, agreed.

    “More so than the changes to the car, the testing ban makes every test you do have that much more critical because you have so much less,” Keselowski said. “In that light, a lot of what testing is isn’t always developing the car, but you’re developing your people, developing your techniques. We added two or three more people to our team so we’re trying to develop them and get them up to speed, so it’s really a great time for us as a team to have a test.”

    Paul Wolfe, Keselowski’s crew chief, said the lone test before the teams head to Daytona was a productive one but didn’t answer all of his questions.

   "It’s still hard to tell (how the changes will impact us). It’ll take some different style tracks and different style tires because that’s one of the big factors for us in how our car handles," Wolfe said. "There are certain tracks and tire combinations that favor us and that we run really well with and there are others where you could say we’re not as strong. It’s hard to say, just based off this one test, if we feel like we’re where we need to be.”

Tragic accident claims life of Dover (DE) International Speedway employee

Track press release

   Dover International Speedway is mourning the loss of a dedicated employee who died yesterday from injuries sustained during a multi-vehicle collision on I-476 in Broomall, Pa.

   Jason Anderson, 33, senior director of ticket sales and operations for Dover International Speedway, died in the accident. Jason was a dedicated husband, father, employee and friend. He will be greatly missed.

   “Jason’s death is a tragic loss for all of us who considered him a close friend as well as a loss for Dover International Speedway,” said President Mike Tatoian. “He was an exemplary employee who always put customers and co-workers first. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family during this very difficult time.”

   Anderson was a member of the Dover Motorsports, Inc. team for six years, and moved to Dover, Del. after operations were ceased at Memphis Motorsports Park. He worked at the New Orleans Saints prior to joining the Dover team. He was a proud Syracuse University graduate and recently received his master’s degree in Sports Management from Ohio University.

   Memorial services will be announced when more information is available.

   You can read a news report of the accident here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day set for Jan. 31 at Hall of Fame

   For the second straight year, the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte will open its doors for free for NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day. 

   On Saturday, Jan. 31, fans will have free access to the Hall for a full day of activities, including autographs and Q&A sessions with current drivers and NASCAR Hall of Famers. Fans will be admitted into the Hall on a first-come, first-served basis in lieu of needing a ticket. 

   However, tickets to the below autograph sessions, highlighted by 12-time Sprint NMPA Most Popular Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and defending Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott, must be secured in advance. Vouchers for these autograph sessions will be available for free on starting at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 17. Each fan can secure up to two autograph session vouchers.

Session One (9:30 a.m.)            Kyle Larson, Brendan Gaughan, Tyler Reddick
Session Two (10:30 a.m.)           Reed Sorenson, Ryan Reed, Ben Kennedy
Session Three (11:30 a.m.)         Michael Annett, Chris Buescher, Timothy Peters
Session Four (12:30 p.m.)          Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brian Scott, Tyler Young
Session Five (2 p.m.)                Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Erik Jones
Session Six (3 p.m.)                  AJ Allmendinger, Regan Smith, Jennifer Jo Cobb
Session Seven (4 p.m.)             Aric Almirola, Chase Elliott, Matt Crafton

   Fans in attendance will be among the first to see a series of new exhibits and facility upgrades. Artifacts from all five Class of 2015 inductees will be on display in the Hall of Honor, an exhibit that opens Friday, Jan. 30.

Monday, January 12, 2015

JR Motorsports is going truckin' with Cole Custer in 2015

Team release

    JR Motorsports will expand into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for 10 races in 2015 with driver Cole Custer, general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller announced today. Custer, who turns 17 this month, became the youngest winner in NASCAR national touring series history last year with a truck series victory in only his seventh start. He and the No. 00 Chevrolet Silverado team will receive primary sponsorship from Haas Automation Inc., the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America.
   “This is a new and exciting venture for us,” said Earnhardt Miller. “We have come a long way since racing street stocks in 2002, and we are constantly evolving. Expanding into the truck series on a part-time basis is furthering our growth.  Bringing in a talent like Cole and a great partner like Haas Automation is a great way to do that. I’m proud of the direction we’re heading.”
   Custer is a native of Ladera Ranch, California  He surged onto the scene in 2014 with a NCWTS win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in only his seventh start, becoming the youngest driver in NASCAR national touring series history to win a race. Earlier in the year he became the youngest to win a pole, as he took the honor at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.
“I’m so excited to get this season started,” said Custer. “With all that JR Motorsports has accomplished over the past few years, we know we have everything needed to go win races and compete. I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity with a better organization. I really want to thank Haas Automation, along with Kelley and Dale Jr. for putting this deal together.”  
   Custer’s trucks will be based out of a JR Motorsports satellite shop in Mooresville, N.C. Joe Shear, Jr. will serve as the team’s crew chief. Shear was Custer’s crew chief in 2014 when they competed in nine truck races with one win, two top-five and six top-10 finishes with two poles.  
   Custer’s 10-race Truck schedule begins March 28 at Martinsville, Va. In addition to Trucks, JR Motorsports will field cars in select NASCAR K&N Pro Series and Automobile Racing Club of America events in 2015 as part of Custer’s development.