Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Medically Cleared

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Medically Cleared Jr. to Resume #NASCAR Competition #DAYTONA500

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Medically Cleared #NASCAR

Following a test session Wednesday afternoon at Darlington Raceway, Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been medically cleared to resume NASCAR competition after making a full recovery from a concussion. He will return for the beginning of the 2017 season at the Feb. 26 Daytona 500.

Earnhardt, 42, was cleared Wednesday evening by Dr. Micky Collins, medical director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program in Pittsburgh, in consultation with Charlotte neurosurgeon Dr. Jerry Petty. Petty attended the test at the 1.366-mile South Carolina racetrack.

“Dale is one of the hardest-working patients I’ve ever encountered,” Collins said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked, and we believe he is ready to compete at a professional level again and can withstand the normal forces of a race car driver. Dale has been very open with us, and we’ve had plenty of time for his treatment, so we feel very good about his long-term prospects and how this has been managed by everyone involved.”

Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for Hendrick Motorsports, completed 185 laps during a nearly five-hour session at Darlington under the guidance of his crew chief, Greg Ives. In addition to the on-track test, which was observed by NASCAR, the driver has logged more than 15 hours in a racing simulator during his recovery.

“I feel great, and I’m excited to officially be back,” Earnhardt said. “I expected things to go really well yesterday, and that’s exactly what happened. Actually getting in a race car was an important final step, and it gives me a ton of confidence going into 2017. Thanks to the staff at Darlington for hosting our team and to NASCAR for giving us the opportunity to put a car on the track. I’ll do more testing in January to help knock the rust off. When it’s time to go to Daytona, I’ll be ready.”

Alex Bowman (10 races) and four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon (eight races) handled substitute driving duties for the No. 88 team during Earnhardt’s recovery. He missed the final 18 races of the 2016 NASCAR season beginning with the July 17 event at New Hampshire.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Medically Cleared #NASCAR

“Dale deserves so much credit,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “I’m proud of him for listening to his body and standing up to take responsibility for his health. He’s worked extremely hard and set a terrific example for others. It’s great news as we go into the off-season, and we can’t wait to see him back on the racetrack at Daytona.”

Bowman will race the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS in the Feb. 18 season-opening, non-points The Clash at Daytona International Speedway, which will feature pole position winners from the previous year. Bowman won the No. 88 team’s lone 2016 pole at Phoenix in November.

“Alex did such a great job in the car this year, and I felt like he deserved another opportunity,” Earnhardt said. “When I spoke with Rick and the team about him driving The Clash, everyone agreed that he more than earned it, and Nationwide was 100-percent on board. I’m really grateful to him and Jeff for what they did for our team, and I’m glad Alex is getting another run with us.”

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Eckes Prevails in Snowball Derby Thriller

Eckes Prevails in Snowball Derby Thriller Christian Eckes Crowned Snowball Derby 2016 Champion 


Eckes Prevails in Snowball Derby Thriller #snowballderby

A year before reaching its historic milestone, the 49th Snowball Derby was beset with the worst weather in event history. It forced an unprecedented two-day delay with the race, originally scheduled for a Sunday start, to wait until yesterday for the green flag.

However, for winner, sixteen-year-young Christian Eckes, a New York native and JR Motorsports prodigy, the agonizing delay produced elation.

“I can’t even believe I’m standing here right now,” Eckes said in Victory Lane. “I thought our day was over when we had that incident down the backstretch. Man, I just can’t believe this. This is the Snowball Derby and this is just crazy.”

Eckes made an inside move to pass fellow rising star, nineteen-year-old John Hunter Nemechek, exiting Turn four on the second-to-final lap Tuesday. He then won a nose-to-nose duel at the finish line to pull off a stunning victory at Five Flags Speedway.

Eckes Prevails in Snowball Derby Thriller #snowballderby

These two talented drivers switched leads four times the final two whirls around the famed, half-mile oval. Nemecheck won the 2014 Snowball Derby at age of seventeen.

“He made the crossover move pretty much one corner earlier than I did,” Nemechek said. “I should have backed off and held him to the outside and he wouldn’t have got to me. But heck of a race. I can’t thank all the fans enough for coming out on a Tuesday. This is awesome to be able to put on such a close finish for you guys. That’s how you win a race right there. He showed what he could do and rubbin is racing.”

The separation was 0.017 of a second, the closest in Snowball Derby history. The previous blink-of-eye finish was 1998 when five-time Snowball Derby winner Rich Bickle Jr. held off Gary St. Amant. Bickle is the only driver to win it five times.

49th Annual Snowball Derby Official Results

Five Flags Speedway – Pensacola, Florida

Christian Eckes
John Hunter Nemechek
Ty Majeski
Donnie Wilson
Chandler Smith
Casey Roderick
Grant Enfinger
Zane Smith
Noah Gragson
Raphael Lessard
Bubba Pollard
Derek Thorn
Connor Okrzesik
Casey Smith
Spencer Davis
Corey LaJoie
Dalton Armstrong
Dalton Sargeant
Derek Scott, Jr.
Chad Finley
Stephen Nasse
William Byron
Daniel Hemric
Kaz Grala
Derek Kraus
Cole Anderson
Augie Grill
Jerry Artuso
Jeff Choquette
Scotty Ellis
Chris Davidson
Christopher Bell
David Rogers
Harrison Burton
Kyle Plott
Brandon McReynolds


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  1. Snowball Derby Set to Start at 5 PM Today
  2. William Byron Takes Pole for 49th Annual Snowball Derby
  3. Rain Delays the Start of the Snowball Derby
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  5. Short Track Champions and Winners Make Up Deep Snowball Field
  6. 49th Annual Snowball Derby Entry List
  7. 49th Annual Snowball Derby Live

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Snowball Derby Set to Start at 5 PM Today #snowballderby

Snowball Derby Set to Start at 5 PM Today #snowballderby

All Fans who purchased tickets but are unable to attend the event – Watch the Video Below


Five Flags Speedway - Pensacola, Florida #SnowballDerby
Add Five Flags Speedway - Pensacola, Florida #SnowballDerbycaption
Not only did adverse weather cause a two-day rain delay for the 49th running of the Snowball Derby, the track was actually under a Tornado Watch. A watch means conditions are favorable or expected but not occurring or imminent; while during a warning conditions are occurring or imminent.

The Five Flags staff met with all the drivers behind closed doors. After a “hand vote,” the resulting decision became a balancing act between the drivers, team members, fans, track personal and even media considerations.

Today’s agenda calls for the pits to be opened at noon today. The driver’s meeting is scheduled to take place at 3:00 p.m. with the pre-race festivities commencing at 4:00 p.m. The Snowball Derby’s Green Flag will finally, optimistically, drop at 5:00 p.m.

We would have like to have started the race earlier for the teams and at the same time we would have liked to start a little later for the fans in the Gulf Coast area who have to work. It was a little bit of a compromise there. Track Promoter Tim Bryant. ‘s Bob Dillner  and Tim Bryant Track Promoter ‘s Bob Dillner and Tim Bryant Track Promoter

The forecast looks good for today’s race. Click here for AccuWeather

The big topic around the track has been the addition of a “controlled caution” procedure. Not all drivers appreciate the determination. Over the past few years, Super Late Model races in the Southeast have consisted of live pit stop races. The controlled cautions will add strategy back into the race and help lower the costs for the less-funded teams hoping to remain competitive.

The new procedure will consist of controlled pit stops, in which no car may lose a lap under caution while pitting. In addition, no driver will lose positions in regards to other cars that pitted during the controlled caution period. 


All Fans who purchased ticket but are unable to attend the event – Watch the Video Below:

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  5. 49th Annual Snowball Derby Entry List
  6. 49th Annual Snowball Derby Live

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Rain Delays the Start of the Snowball Derby

Rain Delays the Start of the Snow Ball Derby Update 4:20 PST - The Derby will go green at 5 p.m. central time tomorrow afternoon. It will be run as a ‘controlled caution’ race so teams will not have to worry about live pit stops – helping teams who hired over the wall guys and do not wish to pay them for a second day. 

The gates will open at noon. will continue to provide their great coverage on Monday as well. 

Update 3:53 PST - A vote has been taken and today's race has officially been postponed until Monday.

Update 2:40 PST - Jet Dryers are working to make the track the best for tonight's show, and they are almost all the way through with Technical Inspection! The track is shooting for a Green Flag for the 49th Annual Snowball Derby around 5:00PM - 5:30PM .  #SnowballDerby

49th Snowball Derby Red Flagged By Weather.

Rain Delays the Start of the Snowball Derby
Heavy rain showers soaked the track this morning delaying the Snowball Derby. However, Pensicola, Florida is now experiencing the sporadic appearance of blue skies.

The race promoter has borrowed a jet dryer from Darlington Raceway. It will take approximately an hour or so to get the half-mile oval dry enough to race after the rain stops. Having learned from this same ‘rain soaked track’ situation a few years back, Five Flags Speedway has also placed in new drainage in turns one, two, three, and four. They are hopeful of getting the 300 Lap race in today.

Who remembers the 2009 Snowball Derby Flood when we still raced! No worries fans this is Derby! #SnowballDerby
Posted by 5 Flags Speedway on Sunday, 4 December 2016

For detailed updates for the rest of the day, click on for their Trackside Now coverage.

Starting Line-Up

1 9B William Byron
2 91 Ty Majeski
3 29 Spencer Davis
4 26 Bubba Pollard
5 4 Kyle Plott
6 51 Christopher Bell
7 5G Noah Gragson
8 7 Casey Roderick
9 7 Corey LaJoie
10 97 Cole Anderson
11 3 Kaz Grala
12 15 Christian Eckes
13 9C Jeff Choquette
14 14 Chris Davidson
15 67 Clay Jones
16 16 Brandon McReynolds
17 12 Harrison Burton
18 43T Derek Thorn
19 5 Jerry Artuso
20 8 John Hunter Nemechek
21 98 Daniel Hemric
22 42 Chad Finley
23 2W Donnie Wilson
24 83 Scotty Ellis
25 77 Zane Smith
26 26S Chandler Smith
27 99 Casey Smith
28 82 Grant Enfinger
29 112 Augie Grill
30 1 Derek Scott, Jr.
31 51N Stephen Nasse
32 55 Dalton Sargeant
33 99L Raphael Lessard
34 9K Derek Kraus
35 14C Connor Okrzesik
36 11 David Rogers

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

William Byron Takes Pole for 49th Annual Snowball Derby

William Byron Takes Pole for 49th Annual Snowball Derby Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) Driver On Top

William Byron Takes Pole for 49th Annual Snowball Derby

The full-time NASCAR driver, William Byron  successfully headed to his pits as the official polesitter for the 49th annual Snowball Derby on Sunday. Byron, a seven-time winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this year, stood head and shoulders above a group of 56 other cars in short-track racing’s most exciting two laps.

“It’s a good feeling. I was just hoping we could get through ‘tech’ and celebrate,” Byron said with a smile on his face. “This was just a great job done by this team and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”

Byron, a Charlotte, N.C., area driver, posted a fast lap of 16.201 seconds, which was less than a tenth off the track record that was set by Ty Majeski at last year’s Snowball Derby.

The last driver to win the Derby from the pole came in 2005 when local hero Eddie Mercer ended his long quest and finally hoisted the Tom Dawson trophy.

Although engine issues dropped him out of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) chase; Byron started the last race of the 2016 season from the pole for the second-consecutive week. He pulled away from the field for the final 10 laps and crossed the finish line 2.175 seconds ahead of his closest competitor. It will be exciting to see if his hot streak survives this Short Track challenge.

The win gave KBM its fourth consecutive and fifth all-time NCWTS owner championship. KBM is the first team in NCWTS history to win four-consecutive owner championships and has the most owner titles of any other team.

  Use #SnowballDerby to Follow & Interact About Snowball Derby

49th Annual Snowball Derby

Qualifying Results for the Top 30

  • Friday at Five Flags Speedway
  • Track Record—16.120 (Ty Majeski, Derby 2015)
  1. 9B William Byron, Charlotte, NC, 16.201
  2. 91 Ty Majeski, Seymour, WI, 16.241
  3. 29 Spencer Davis, Dawsonville, GA, 16.247
  4. 26 Bubba Pollard, Senoia, GA, 16.257
  5. 4 Kyle Plott, Marietta, GA, 16.282
  6. 51 Christopher Bell, Norman, OK, 16.308
  7. 5G Noah Gragson, Las Vegas, 16.318
  8. 7 Casey Roderick, Lawrenceville, GA, 16.319
  9. 07 Corey Lajoie, Cornelius, NC, 16.326
  10. 97 Cole Anderson, Northfield, MN, 16.327
  11. 3 Kaz Grala, Westbrough, MA, 16.363
  12. 15 Christian Eckes, Cornelius, NC, 16.366
  13. 9 Jeff Choquette, West Palm Beach, 16.394
  14. 14 Chris Davidson, Pearland, TX, 16.403
  15. 67 Clay Jones, Mooresville, NC, 16.404
  16. 16 Brandon McReynolds, Mooresville, NC, 16.417
  17. 12 Harrison Burton, Huntersville, NC, 16.425
  18. 43T Derek Thorn, Bakersfield, CA, 16.429
  19. 5 Jerry Artuso, Sault Ste Marie, ONT, 16.433
  20. 8 John Hunter Nemechek, Mooresville, NC, 16.442
  21. 98 Daniel Hemric, Mooresville, NC, 16.446
  22. 42 Chad Finley, Dewitt, MI, 16.448
  23. 2W Donnie Wilson, OKC, OK, 16.451
  24. 83 Scotty Ellis, Forsyth, GA, 16.457
  25. 77 Zane Smith, Huntington Beach, CA, 16.460
  26. 26S Chandler Smith, Jasper, GA, 16.468
  27. 99 Casey Smith, Austin, TX, 16.472
  28. 82 Grant Enfinger, Montrose, AL, 16.474
  29. 112 Augie Grill, Hayden, AL, 16.484
  30. 01 Derek Scott, Franklin, TX, 16.496

The fastest thirty times will be locked into the feature. The remaining cars will run in a Qualifying Race, with the top four finishers advancing to the feature.

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  3. Short Track Champions and Winners Make Up Deep Snowball Field
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  5. 49th Annual Snowball Derby Live

Friday, December 2, 2016

Monster Energy To Sponsor NASCAR's Top Series Starting In 2017



Monster Energy To Sponsor #NASCAR's Top Series Starting In 2017 NASCAR reported it has reached an agreement that will see energy drink company Monster Energy became the title sponsor for the NASCAR stock car premiere racing series starting with the 2017 season.

Monster Energy To Sponsor NASCAR's Top Series Starting In 2017

Monster Energy replaces U.S. wireless carrier Sprint who announced in 2014 that it was leaving the sport after the 2016 season. Past sponsors R.J. Reynolds, Nextel and Sprint spent tens of millions of dollars promoting the sport. When Nextel signed its deal in 2003, it was reported its total spending was approximately $70-75 million a year. 


BRIAN FRANCE (NASCAR Chairman): Well, not only is it one of the most important announcements that we get a chance to make every once in a while, it's particularly nice to have our whole industry together because this is a partnership with Monster that is going to affect us all, and they're going to be a partner that can really -- it's a global brand that we took a long time to figure out. It's one of the few sales calls that I actually personally made because of how important it was to align ourselves with a dynamic brand that reaches different places and different audiences, and they made us feel very comfortable over time on a couple things. One was motorsports is their DNA, and when you walk through their lobby in California, you see that. You see the motorcycles and NASCAR memorabilia and all kinds of things, and that's who they are, so they understand motorsports. They understand NASCAR. They understand how to reach across and excite our core audience and help us deliver on a new audience, and that was very exciting for us.

And then when we got to know the team, we understood that they understand how to execute, too, and you're going to see that at the tracks, every track, all over the place, and they are going to do things that are going to be fun. They're going to be impactful. They're going to be exciting for our drivers and our teams. They're going to do things for our related sponsor agreements from a business to business standpoint, and then we're going to do some things for them, too, because we're going to give them a platform that they've never had before, and they're very excited about that.

Needless to say, this is a partnership that we want to build on over time. It's a very difficult agreement to come to because of the complexities of it, the track component, very important, media component is very important, all had to be sorted out, but nonetheless, we have reached a great spot, and I couldn't be more pleased to share this important day with all of you.

MITCH COVINGTON (Vice President Of Sports Marketing At Monster Beverage Company) when asked how he sees the activation spreading beyond NASCAR itself to the wider industry.

Well, you know, my grandmother told me that it's a sad rooster that won't crow, and we've got some unbelievable athletes that we're going to expose to NASCAR and bring over, worldwide and globally, and we want to make all of our athletes a part of our NASCAR effort and our activation.

We also want to bring some good shows and entertainment for NASCAR fans so they can interact with our brand and understand what our culture is all about, so when they leave the racetrack on Sunday they've had an experience. Of course they will have met the fabulous Monster Energy girls. We're going to have a lot of fun at NASCAR, both in the parking lot and inside the oval.

I too need to thank some people that's done an unbelievable job for our team. Many of you have seen them around, but Cari Cellini has kind of headed up our NASCAR activation ever since the last five years. Probably wouldn't be here if she hadn't done such a good job.

And Kurt Busch is here today, and I'm going to say it right now, Kurt Busch is absolutely one of the top athletes of any kind that we've worked with ever, and we want Kurt to be around for a long time. I want to thank Kurt. He's done an unbelievable job as a brand ambassador, and he's a pretty good wheel man, as well.

Again, we're really thankful to have the opportunity. We can't wait to hit the red button and see what happens and go hard.

STEVE PHELPS (Head of Sales/Marketing of National Association at Stock Car Auto Racing Inc. -NASCAR) as to how they came to Monster Energy as Series Sponsor

You know, we had the opportunity to go out and talk to hundreds of brands, actually, and the great thing about having this opportunity which we haven't had in thirteen years after our wonderful partners from Sprint and Nextel before them, we got to go out in the marketplace and talk about NASCAR and tell our story, tell the successful things that are happening with our sport, and our sport has changed a lot in that thirteen years, and so it gave us an opportunity to speak to great companies. Many of those companies are going to be new to NASCAR, and they're going to bring their dollars to NASCAR, their activation to NASCAR, their brands to NASCAR, to tracks, to teams, to drivers, to our media partners. So that's been a really important thing for us.

I know that the industry was starting to get a little bit nervous about the timing of this. I think the timing is actually perfect. We didn't step on our championship, and what happened, crowning a seven-time champion. We didn't step on our existing partner, and we were very, very patient to find the right partner, and that right partner is Monster Energy. We couldn't be any happier to have them as part of our team, extend the relationship they have with Stewart-Haas and Joe Gibbs Racing, so welcome, gentlemen.

Brian France (#NASCAR Chairman) and Mark Hall (Monster Beverage Co. Chief Marketing Officer)
Brian France (#NASCAR Chairman) and Mark Hall
(Monster Beverage Co. Chief Marketing Officer)

MARK HALL (Monster Beverage Co. Chief Marketing Officer): First off, I'd just like to thank everyone on the NASCAR team. Whenever you get involved in this process, in the negotiations, they can be trying on both sides, and I just have nothing but respect for Brian and the entire NASCAR team for their perseverance and their flexibility in working with what can only be described as a non-traditional marketing company. They did a great job of meeting some of the requests that we made, and couldn't be happier that we got the deal done.

On behalf of all the employees of Monster Energy Company, I again want to thank you guys. We're really looking forward to a great future together.

I want to assure all of our current fans, our current athletes, the other people that we endorse and have worked with for all these many years, that this doesn't change anything. We're still going to be the same company we've always been. We're not going to look to cut or get rid of people. Kurt, you're still going to drive.

We view this as a rare opportunity that doesn't come along every day. It's not -- it's two sponsors in 30-plus years that have been in this position, and if you would have asked me five years ago if I've ever contemplated something like this, the answer would be never in a million years, but it's a rare and unique opportunity to be associated with a premier professional sport, to be closely partnered with that sport, and to work together to build both of our brands, and that's what we -- that's our intent, and we're going to work very hard to do that.

Monster Energy 

Most companies spend their money on ad agencies, TV commercials, radio spots, and billboards to tell you how good their products are. At Monster we choose none of the above. Instead, we support the scene, our bands, our athletes and our fans. We back athletes so they can make a career out of their passion. We promote concert tours, so our favorite bands can visit your home town. We celebrate with our fans and riders by throwing parties and making the coolest events we can think of a reality.

At Monster we are all about the things you care about. What kid dreams about landing a 9 to 5 job? WE all dreamed about being pro athletes, musicians and living the life. We know it takes encouragement and support to make that dream a reality, so we created the Monster Army to back the next generation pros, the future Ricky Carmichael, Jeremy McGrath, Danny Kass and Jamie Bestwicks.

Some companies won’t let you have any gear unless you’re on the payroll. We’re all about our fans rockin’ the Monster logo the way they want – on hats, shirts, mx bikes, trucks, gear, or even on themselves. Our idea of a promotion isn’t giving away a TV you already got. Our promos offer exclusive VIP access, insane trips hanging with top musicians and athletes, and real gear like dirt bikes, snowboards and helmets.

In short, at Monster all our guys walk the walk in action sports, punk rock music, partying, hangin’ with the girls, and living life on the edge. Monster is way more than an energy drink. Led by our athletes, musicians, employees, distributors and fans, Monster is… A LIFESTYLE IN A CAN!

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Wins Mechanix Wear’s Most Valuable Pit Crew Award

No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Wins Mechanix Wear’s Most Valuable Pit Crew Award
No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Wins Mechanix Wear’s Most Valuable Pit Crew Award

The No. 48 Hendrick pit crew wins the Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew award, the longest running and most prestigious pit crew award in racing. The No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports pit crew prevailed in the face of adversity, despite losing a veteran tire changer just one month before the start of The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Wins Mechanix Wear’s Most Valuable Pit Crew Award
In its 15th year, the Most Valuable Pit Crew award will reside at Hendrick Motorsports after a two-year reign at Stewart-Haas Racing. In addition to the prestigious MVPC trophy, the team has been awarded a check for $100,000 for its outstanding performance on pit road in 2016.

The No.48 pit crew led by Crew Chief Chad Knaus and over-the-wall pit coach Chris Burkey saved their best performance on pit road for the last act, cementing themselves in NASCAR history.

The MVPC award serves as a testament to consistent performance on pit road. Each quarter of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season, NASCAR crew chiefs vote for the pit crew contributing the most to the success of their team on race day. Each quarter of the season a semi-finalist is awarded a check for $5,000 and an opportunity to win Mechanix Wear's Most Valuable Pit Crew award at the end of the season. Learn more about the history and past winners of Mechanix Wear’s Most Valuable Pit Crew award here.

About Mechanix Wear®

Since the debut of our first high performance work glove at the 1991 Daytona 500, Mechanix Wear has built a reputation as the leader in high performance hand protection. Our mission is to look beyond conventional ideas and continually innovate the most advanced gloves for working hands. Mechanix Wear® The Tool That Fits Like a Glove®

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