Sunday, December 25, 2011

10 Things You Didn’t Know
About NASCAR Pit Crews

Pit crews are instrumental parts of the NASCAR team. Functioning in the pit and behind the scenes, each member plays an important part in ensuring the car reaches the finish line. A well-oiled machine can consistently push a driver to the front of the race, but poor teamwork can break him when he's running neck and neck with his opponents. The following interesting facts are both fun and surprising for those who've never really paid close attention to the stuff that happens off the track.

  1. Pit crew routines are not regulated by NASCAR

    Although each crew essentially does the same routine, making a few minor changes of their own, they're not required by NASCAR to conduct the same sequence of actions. Because they don't have time to perform major work, strategy revolves around fueling and tire changes — the latter involves determining whether all four tires should be changed, or just the outside tires, which bear the most weight and pressure.

  2. Crew members use liberal amounts of duct tape

    The pros are always looking for a quick fix. During a race, a pit crew will use the strong, versatile tape to adjust body panels, hold parts together, fix hoses and hanging wires, and merely to mark where the jack post, left-front tire, and sign board will be located after the car hits the pit. It's such an important tool for the crew that it has earned its own nickname — "200 mph tape."

  3. Crew members pound their cars with baseball bats and hammers

    Another seemingly primitive way pit crews adjust their cars during races is to make use of baseball bats and hammers, pounding their uber-expensive machines when the situation calls for it. A misshapen body can affect how a car performs, causing it to fail to generate a sufficient amount of down force. With little time to spare, the strongest, quickest-swinging crew members take their best shots at the problem areas, impersonating their favorite baseball sluggers.

  4. Crew members love piano bars

    A heavily damaged car that's difficult to lift needs more than just the jack man. Instead, piano bars — long, sturdy bars; not the bar you visited during your last hotel stay — provide leverage for the crew to get the car off the ground so the members can do their work. Like duct tape and baseball bats, it's a simple tool with plenty of might.

  5. Crew members exhibit higher heart rates on asphalt tracks than concrete tracks

    Given the demands that come with being a member of a pit crew, it shouldn't come as a surprise that dealing with stress is a part of the job. But, as with any job, levels of stress can vary depending on the setting and the problems it presents. According to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, members exhibit higher heart rates on asphalt tracks than concrete tracks. This may have to do with the heat of the tracks caused by the blacktop surface.

  6. Crew members can earn close to six-figure salaries

    Of course, pay varies by position and responsibility. For example, Jason Myers, the car chief for Carl Edwards until his termination in 2009, earned $140,000 in 2008 not including bonuses and other compensation. He was second-in-command to the crew chief, who boasted a salary of $500,000. Guys in lower positions but with lots of responsibility — such as those who work in the shop, travel to the races, and work on Sundays — can earn in the neighborhood of $75,000.

  7. Crew members may frequently change teams

    A pit crew change for the second consecutive season enabled Kevin Harvick to take the lead in this year's Chase. Out of the running, Clint Boyer, a Richard Childress Racing teammate, lent his crew to give Harvick a boost for the stretch run. An efficient crew can make all the difference in the world, which is why of the best crew members in the biz are highly recruited by opposing teams. Essentially, they can play the field, seeking the best possible offer.

  8. It's a year-round job

    Like modern athletes, pit crew members train year-round, sparing just a couple of weeks for rest in December. Beginning in January, they practice pit stops before the start of the season, and then take it up a notch during the season, practicing two times per week and working out rigorously. It's a constant battle to improve their efficiency so they can reduce pit stop times.

  9. Many pit crew members are former athletes

    In recent years, NASCAR pit crews have emphasized athleticism to meet the physical demands of pit stops. As every aspect of the sport has become more competitive, shorter pit times have become essential for crews, so meticulously crafted routines have become the norm. Tony Stewart, for example, employs Mike Casto, a former wide receiver from Glenville State College. Mark Martin employs Aaron Walker, who spent five seasons in the NFL. It's a great way for ex-athletes to stay in a competitive field and utilize their physical strengths.

  10. Pit crews have their own all-star event

    Held annually in Charlotte's Time Warner Cable Arena, the NASCAR Pit Crew Challenge is a competition featuring seven pit crew members from each team. When given a signal, each team lifts the car, changes the tires, unloads 18 gallons of water substituting as fuel into a fuel tank, and upon approval from NASCAR, pushes the car 40 yards to finish the sequence. If "fuel" is spilled, too much "fuel" is left in the dump can, a jack isn't raised high enough, or lug nuts are improperly tightened, then penalties are given. Through the years, the notable pit crews of Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, and Dale Earnhardt have won multiple times.

From Best Online Colleges

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Win a Crown Royal Purple and Black
NASCAR Matt Kenseth #17 Hat

I haven’t held a giveaway in a while. Therefore NASCAR Race Mom is going to give away a beautiful Crown Royal Purple and Black - NASCAR Matt Kenseth #17 Hat (ARV $19.95)

Matt Kenseth, #17's number is embroidered at the end of the brim with the Crown Royal pillow logo embroidered on the front. On the back of the hat, it reads “Roush Fenway Racing” and “Please Drink Responsibly” The hat is a one-size fits all and has a Velcro Adjustable Strap.

It is a beautiful hat and NRM is keeping this contest very simple!

Giveaway Guidelines:

Giveaway ends Saturday, January 7, 2012.

There will be one (1) winner:
  • The prize consists of a beautiful Crown Royal Purple and Black - NASCAR Matt Kenseth #17 Hat (ARV $19.95)
Important: You must publicly follow the NASCAR Race Mom blog (with Google Friend Connect on right side bar) before entering this contest.

One - Time Entry: – Just leave a comment below about something NASCAR.

Yup it is that easy. That one comment will put you in the running for the #17 Cap.

Enjoy yourselves with this contest, and please share with your friends, family, co-workers. You can tweet and/or facebook this contest once daily for an extra chance to win; just remember to come back and leave a comment containing the URL of your tweet and/or Facebook post. (tweet and/or FB post must include link to this page.)

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*** Important - ***Off topic – generic comments (such as “hope I win”) will be disqualified from the competition.

  1. Make sure there is a way for NRM to contact you - if your email address is not on your profile or you are not a blogger, you may leave it in your comment. NRM hates to disqualify a potential winner because there is not a way to contact that winner – I will need your email address to contact you, should you be the winner.

  2. The winner will be chosen by

  3. The winner will be announced on this post and be notified by email; if the winner does not respond WITHIN 7 DAYS, another winner might be chosen.

  4. NASCAR Race Mom not responsible for missing or incorrect contact information.

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Friday, December 23, 2011

2012 K&N Pro Series West Schedule Released

3 inaugural events on slate
of 15 races at 13 venues in 10 states

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West schedule, a slate of 15 races featuring three inaugural events and a return to an historic track in California’s Central Valley, was announced today by NASCAR.

The schedule stretches from March to November and includes visits to 13 venues in 10 states as the West’s oldest stock car racing circuit celebrates its 59th season.

“The 2012 schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series reflects the continued growth of the series, with the addition of some first-time events,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “This slate of races will allow the drivers and teams to showcase their talent and provide exposure for their sponsors in key major markets across the country.”

The schedule for NASCAR’s top developmental series features the first series visit to the state of New Mexico, with an event at Sandia Motor Speedway in Albuquerque on Saturday, Sept. 29. The series will also make its first visit to Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., on Saturday, April 14.

An inaugural race at Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway on Saturday, May 26, will mark one of four road course events on tap for 2012. In addition to the Minnesota race, the schedule includes visits to Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah on Saturday, April 28; Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., on Saturday, June 23; and Portland (Ore.) International Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 26.

The 2012 season will feature a return on Saturday, May 5, to Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway, which the series last visited in 2006.

A key addition to the schedule is a second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. The first combination race is set for Saturday, May 19, with a return engagement on the .875-mile track east of Des Moines on Friday, Aug. 3. Both events are in conjunction with NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Iowa Speedway.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West begins its 2012 campaign at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, March 3, and concludes the season back at the one-mile track on Saturday, Nov. 10. The Phoenix races are two of three series events in conjunction with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

Other 2012 highlights include:
• Four other popular short-track events on the 2012 schedule include The Bullring at Las Vegas Motors Speedway on Saturday, June 2; Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash., on Saturday, July 14; Colorado National Speedway in Dacono, Colo., on Saturday, July 28; and All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., on Saturday, Oct. 13.

By Kevin W. Green, NASCAR

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trevor Bayne - 2011 NASCAR
Night of Champions Touring Series Awards Gala

Before they were superstars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Burton, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were like so many hundreds of thousands of drivers that make up the foundation of NASCAR - tinkering with their hot rods all week so they could spend their weekends racing at their local home track.

NASCAR Home Tracks is the foundation of everything NASCAR: loyal fans, dedicated racers, and a family of track promoters who host the best of short-track racing. . . . . . . and of course NASCAR Race Mom.

Its about bringing NASCAR racing to the neighborhood, cultivating future superstars, celebrating local legends, and fueling the passion of race fans across North America.

For more information, go to

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last minute Christmas Gift
Crown Royal XR – Extra Rare

Have you heard the story behind a bottle of Crown Royal XR? Don’t feel bad if you have never heard of it. I only learned about Crown Royal XR in April of 2011.

Crown Royal XR (Extra Rare) is a limited-edition blend is made from the last remaining batch of whisky distilled at the Waterloo distillery. The loss of the Waterloo distillery, in part to a devastating fire, has long been lamented by Canadian whisky enthusiasts. Therefore, the front label on those bottles of Crown Royal XR destined for the USA makes it very clear that this is definitely the last of the Waterloo whisky.

I heard that the last barrels of Waterloo whisky were filled in November 1992, making the whisky about 14 years old at the time the first bottling of XR was made. Additional batches have since been blended to meet demand.

The man responsible for developing the exceptional taste of Crown Royal XR is Master Blender, Andrew MacKay. Working with the rarest whiskies from the legendary Waterloo distillery, he set out with passion and perseverance to create nothing short of the finest whisky ever made. With rare, extra-aged ryes and bourbons, it offers a full-bodied bouquet with a creamy, rounded finish.

(Friends, Barb & Clet enjoying the last of the Crown Royal XR)

However, only a few barrels of Waterloo whisky still remain and the stocks are dwindling. I fell in love with Crown Royal XR. After hunting high and low in my hometown of Escondido, I found a bottle at the Holiday Wine Cellar. When I brought it home, I was eager to share my whiskey treasure with my friends. At my savoring party, everyone was impressed! Words like smooth and distinguished were bounced back and forth around the tasters.

For now, Crown Royal XR is still available from a limited number of retailers. However, be warned – it is not inexpensive (I paid $160.00 for my bottle) However, more than just history in a bottle, it represents one of the finest expressions of the blenders’ art and would make an excellent last minute Christmas Gift for that someone who is just as extra rare!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Full Week Of NASCAR Home Track Activities

It was a full week of activities for NASCAR Home tracks as the 2011 season concluded.

The Champions Race at Victory Lane Karting, a Champions Dinner at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and two banquets featuring the stars of the Whelen All-American Series and all of the NASCAR Regional Touring series provided a great backdrop to an unbelievable season for NASCAR Hometracks.

Video uploaded by NASCAR Hometracks
Video by my buddy Rob Harris

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What is not to like about Crown Royal!

Back in April, NASCAR Race Mom was lucky enough to be selected to participate in the Crown Royal “Your Name Here 500,” a NASCAR race held at the Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. The winner of the scavenger hunt for charity was to be rewarded with a trip to Las Vegas to participate in the “Race Matt” competition.

Our team did not win that scavenger hunt, however, Crown Royal announced that all nine “influencers” would be invited to Las Vegas! What is not to like about Crown Royal!

Since I was already scheduled to cover the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Award Ceremony for Insider Racing News, I had to miss the first activity – The Wranglers National Finals Rodeo.

The National Finals Rodeo, organized by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, is the premier championship rodeo event in the United States. Wrangler Jeans is the title sponsor for the 10-day event, commonly called the National Finals or NFR

The National Finals Rodeo was held at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in Paradise, Nevada. My fellow bloggers reported that they made their way to their seats just as the competition began.

The 6 events of the Rodeo were: Bareback Riding; Steer Wrestling; Team Roping; Saddle Back Riding; Tie-Down Roping; and Bull Riding.

I missed a truly exciting event and heard that the crowd cheered most for the entertainment value and strong performances, and not necessarily individual Cowboys. The riders can win more than $173,000 for winning their category and the competition was truly stiff!

Another . . . . What’s not to like about Crown Royal ---- Each time one of the Crown Royal Riders scored 90 points or more (rodeo scoring is based on a scale of 100), Crown Royal made a charitable donation of $2,000 to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. The Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund benefits cowboys and their families in the event of catastrophic injuries resulting from professional rodeo activities.

The Rodeo literally took over the MGM Grand as the 2011 NFR Headquarters. The Crown Royal Golden Buckle Zone featured live music, dancing, shows, shopping, guest appearances, drink specials, and drawings. I was truly surprised at how big the MGM was and wandered aimlessly lost on more than one occasion.

The next day was dedicated to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to race against Matt Kenseth at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Matthew Roy Kenseth (born March 10, 1972) is a NASCAR driver. He finished fourth in the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship. I had enjoyed his speech just the night before at the Awards Ceremony.

All the bloggers boarded the bus to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday morning. The Las Vegas Motor Speedway, located approximately 15 miles from “The Strip” in Las Vegas, is a 1.5 mile tri-oval. It hosts a number of racing series including the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. Kenseth captured the Sprint Cup Pole here in March of 2011.

Next, we amateurs signed a mountain of paperwork and releases, before the Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPE) would put us in a NASCAR race car for an adrenaline pumping thrill of a lifetime that gets you as close to being in the race as you will ever get! These programs are offered year-round with twenty tracks nationwide.

Our classroom instructor, Tony, gave us bloggers a quick crash course regarding the ins and outs of driving a NASCAR at over 100 MPH. The training included both lecture and videos. Then attired in our RPE firesuits, we nervously walked out to the track.

To report that NASCAR Race Mom was anxious would be an understatement. I was downright scared. However, I was the oldest blogger of the group and wanted to represent my generation well! (You and me Mark Martin!)

The RPE rules were simple: Obey the lights. We were coached to follow the race car ahead of us and keep up with him the best we could. If he flashed a green light – you are going too slow; if he flashed the yellow light you were going to fast; if there were no flashing lights your speed was perfect.

The Richard Petty Staff informed us that our #17 Matt Kenseth Crown Royal racecars were capable of driving about 170 miles per hour. However, we would be limited to the 130-135 range. The blogger with the fastest time would receive a $2,500 check to give to a charity: either Operation Patriot or Honoring Heroes . Really - what’s not to like about Crown Royal!

Blogger Mike Arone, who ran about 130 mph, won the challenge. However, the man to beat was Matt Kenseth. Matt put down the high speed of 168 mph, and of course out ran us all! I was not the fastest on the track, but I was not the slowest either. The experience really supplied me with an altered and more cognizant perspective as to what a real racer faces in each race. I would recommend the Richard Petty Driving experience to all NASCAR fans! It would be a great off-season activity that I would love to tackle again.

After my electrifying ten laps on the banked Las Vegas Speedway, Matt Kenseth was available for interviews. We chatted about his son, Ross. The eighteen-year-old had issues while attempting to qualify for the Snowball Derby. However, the younger Kenseth would race his way into the main event and managed a podium finish for the prestigious main event.

It did NASCAR Race Mom’s heart good to hear Matt detail how Ross had to keep his behavior in check and grades high in order to be allowed the privilege of racing. I added that we followed a similar dogma with my son Moses Smith who races in the K&N Pro Series West.

A last, what is not to like about Crown Royal; there were no losers in our group. We all had fun and additionally learned a lot about rodeos, NASCAR racing, and the good works of Crown Royal.

Other Bloggers participating in the Las Vegas event:
• Mike Arone (The Rugged and Mike Arone Fitness )
• Tracy Pendergast (The Smoking Jacket and The Man. The Legend)
• Kaitlyn Vincie (Hot for NASCAR)
• Justin Korkidis (Complex)
• Josiah Schlatter (Bleacher Report)
• Brett Singer (Daddy Tips)
• Jonathan Washburn (Midwest Sports Fans)
• Philip Van der Vossen (Gunaxin)

Full disclosure: expenses for this trip are provided by Diageo, the parent company of Crown Royal. NASCAR Race Mom gives a huge "Thank You" to all the Crown Royal gang for two wonderful experiences this year.

More photos can be found on my Facebook page .

Related NASCAR Race Mom Post

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Champions Honored In Awards Gala

Year-End Ceremony Spotlights Touring Series Title Winners

2011 Most Popular Drivers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Past, present and future were celebrated Saturday night at the NASCAR Hall of Fame as the six champions from NASCAR’s developmental series were honored in the Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala.

The festivities featured the champions and top drivers from all of NASCAR’s North American regional touring series, who gathered for the special year-end celebration.

The 2011 champions included Max Gresham (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), Greg Pursley (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), Scott Steckly (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series), Germán Quiroga (NASCAR Mexico Series), Ron Silk (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and George Brunnhoelzl III (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour).

"These six series represent the future of our sport," said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. "There is some remarkable talent on hand tonight that provided close, exciting competition all season long."

• Gresham, of Griffin, Ga., earned the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship in just his second full season of competition.
• Pursley of Newhall, Calif., captured his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series West title in dominating fashion with six victories in the season’s first eight races.
• Steckly of Milverton, Ontario, Canada, picked up his second NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship after winning his first in 2008.
• Quiroga of Mexico City, Mexico, picked up his third consecutive NASCAR Mexico Series championship and is the only driver in series history with multiple titles.
• Silk of Norwalk, Conn., won his first NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour title in a thrilling points battle that went down to the closing laps of the season.
• Brunnhoelzl of West Babylon, N.Y., collected his second NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship following up his 2009 title.

Enrique Contreras III (NASCAR Mexico Series) and Louis-Philippe Dumoulin (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series collected Rookie of the Year honors while Sunoco Rookie of the Year Awards were presented to Austin Pack (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour), Patrick Emerling (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), Alex Bowman (NASCAR K&N Pro Series East) and Dylan Kwasniewski (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West).

Additionally, the Most Popular Driver Awards for each series were also presented during the ceremony. The six drivers honored with the prestigious award – voted on by fans online at – were Justin Bonsignore in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Jason Myers of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Jorge Arteaga in the NASCAR Mexico Series, Jason White in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, Moses Smith of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and Chase Elliott from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

The top 10 drivers and car owners from each of NASCAR’s developmental series also were recognized during the gala event – which featured Mike Joy and Dr. Dick Berggren of NASCAR on FOX and SPEED as co-hosts. The awards banquet was streamed live online in three languages – English French and Spanish – at, the official online home of NASCAR’s developmental series.

Special award and year-end contingency award winners were honored Saturday morning at the Grand Champions Breakfast.

The awards celebration capped a week of festivities in the Charlotte area aimed at providing the top drivers and track operators in NASCAR’s weekly and touring series an up close and personal look at the hub of stock-car racing. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet on Friday honored champions from across North America in the series that is NASCAR’s grassroots foundation.

By Shon Sbarra, NASCAR

Photos from Touring Series Awards Gala at the NASCAR Hall of Fame

Warning - These photos from Touring Series Awards Gala at the NASCAR Hall of Fame were taken by my cell phone. Will post more and hopefully better photos soon.

Banquet is about to begin

Third Place East Pro Series Driver
Brett Moffitt and family seated with us.

2011 Most Popular Drivers: Jason Myers, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour; Justin Bonsignore, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour; Jorge Arteaga, NASCAR Mexico Series; Jason White, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series; Moses Smith, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West; andChase Elliott, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

2011 Most Popular Driver Trophy

Moses Smith - 3rd Place K&N Pro Series West

The Champions: Ron Silk, George Brunnhoelzl, German Quiroga, Scott Steckly, Max Gresham and Greg Pursley.

Friday, December 9, 2011

NASCAR Hall of Fame

We just got back from the NASCAR Hall of Fame. It was nice. All the fans appeared to be really blissful and in awe! For us, people who are at the track and in the “pits” approximately fifteen weekends per year, the exhibits were nice but not awe inspiring. However, this is a museum well worth the visit, very hands on, and entertaining.

From their website:

Experience the Hall

If you’re looking for some pedal-to-the-metal fun, look no further than the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Hall is fueled with more than 50 interactive experiences like tire-changing stations, realistic race simulators, a broadcast booth and even a Kids Zone where children can be wide open. We guarantee to get your adrenaline racing. And after you work up an appetite, grab a bite to eat at the Pit Stop Café or a souvenir to help remember it all at the NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop. You’ll find it all at the Hall.


  1. The Hall Of Fame photo package; it was kind of pricey.
  2. Having to pay $5.00 extra to participate in the iRacing Simulation (Gives NASCAR Hall of Fame Guests Authentic Driving Experience)
  3. No winner in the M&M Most Colorful Fan Display – I missed that contest this year.
  4. No “Most Popular Driver” exhibit (I might be a tad bias here)

Really Cool:

  1. It was really cool seeing the # 26 Gene Price Motorsports Ford - - - prominently displayed at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
  2. It was really cool finding two bricks, which were bought by a fan of my son Moses Smith, in the walkway leading up to the NASCAR Hall of Fame front door.
  3. The banking exhibit – very interactive and informative.
  4. Very knowledgeable and friendly staff
When you visit Charlotte – be sure to spend some time at the NASCAR Hall of Fame – There is lots of things to see and enjoy.


Great Hall
Our most temporary display area, we will change the content out twice a year. The exhibits will feature cars and artifacts. Also features our NASCAR Hall of Fame Showdown where guests compete against each other by testing their NASCAR knowledge in a trivia race to the finish line.

Glory Road
Features the evolution of the Stock Car, from 1947-today. Is a great way to see how much technology has changed in 60 years. Also discusses the various tracks, past and present, that the cars raced on, including their banking. Students walk up onto parts of the banking at 14 and 33 degrees.

Race Week
Thousands of decisions are made every week when developing, testing, and racing a car. Here guests can see how teams determine if parts are reusable, learn about how lessons from previous races play a critical role in setting up the car for the next race. Get a hands on feel for what NASCAR tests and to keep the competition fair and safe. Get a chance to test your descriptive oral skills by being a broadcaster. Guests can race for free in our Qualifying area, or get a more immersive experience in the simulators (see group sales manager for costs and details).

Heritage Speedway
See NASCAR artifacts and learn about how the competition, technology, and safety have changed. Explore computer based interactives to learn about how stats are kept, and how lessons learned from crashes lead to safer cars and tracks. Change a car’s shape to learn about aerodynamic advantage.

Whiskey River
Take two ounces of ROCK AND ROLL

The photo is kind of grainy – but it is of my sweetheart Paul and I enjoying liquid refreshment at Whiskey River in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Per their website, :

Take two ounces of ROCK AND ROLL, an ounce of COUNTRY, add a splash of SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY, mix and serve...

At Whisky River, our unique blend of unpretentious charm, feel-good music and spontaneous atmosphere has made us the South's favorite spot to unwind. Owned by NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Whisky River has cemented itself as nightlife royalty in a short period of time. From students to professionals, fun-seekers of all ages can find a reason to enjoy Whisky River. Located at EpiCentre in uptown Charlotte, Whisky River delivers the best live performances by today's chart-topping artists, plus world-class DJs spinning your favorite rock, country and all around fun music seven nights a week! And with celebrity guests dropping in from time-to-time, you never know who you will run into at Whisky River.

Don't forget - Whisky River is the perfect spot to host your next gathering with friends, private party or celebration.

All I can say is that Paul and I had a blast. Everyone was very friendly, the prices were great ($5.50 for a glass of Merlot and a Virgin Sunrise) and the service was great! A special shout out to bartender Mark. We discovered that we were both in Las Vegas for NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship week. We are turning him into quite the NASCAR Fan!

Welcoming North Carolina Sunset

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hectic But Fun December

NASCAR Race Mom (NRM) has had a hectic December. I just returned from Las Vegas after covering the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony! Tomorrow we are flying to Charlotte, NC for the 2011 NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala, to be held on December 10th in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Crown Ballroom in Charlotte, N.C.

NRM has gathered a plethora of information to post on this blog; however time has run out. Therefore, allow me to post a couple of photos as a trailer to the stories that are to come.

The photo on the left is of me (thanks to Sprint) – Getting ready to enter the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony!

I was a guest of Crown Royal in Las Vegas and on Saturday, we were allowed exclusive access to the “Race Matt” promotion. I was both scared and excited as I participated as a driver in the the Richard Petty Driving Experience.

Gresham Grabs Karting Crown

Weekly and Touring Series
Champions battle on track.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Max Gresham added another trophy to his mantle on Wednesday after winning the Fourth Annual NASCAR Touring & Weekly Series Champions/Media Karting Challenge as Champions Week got into full swing.

Gresham, the reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion, started dead last in the 14-kart field and took the lead with just under two minutes remaining in the 15-minute contest at Charlotte’s Victory Lane Indoor Karting that pitted the seven NASCAR champions in town for the week against members of the local media.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Gresham, the 18-year-old out of Griffin, Ga. “It was cool to race against the champions from the other series and it was even more cool to beat them.”

George Brunnhoelzl III, champion of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, finished second and was the race leader at a competition caution with five minutes remaining in the race.

“If we didn’t have that competition caution, then I might have been able to hold Gresham off because I had a bit of a lead,” said Brunnhoelzl. “After that, he was just too fast.”

The NASCAR Mexico Series presented by Toyota champion Germán Quiroga finished third after a spirited battle with Brunnhoelzl down the stretch.

After a one-hour practice session to get used to the karts and track, everyone got lined up for the main event. The championship race was a timed event. The seven fastest media members started up front, followed by the NASCAR champions, inverted from slowest to fastest based on their best times during practice.

The event is part of a weeklong series of special activities in the Charlotte area for drivers and track representatives leading up to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet on Friday, Dec. 9, and the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala on Saturday, Dec. 10. Both ceremonies along with a Red Carpet pre-show will be streamed live on in English, French and Spanish. Coverage will get underway at 5 p.m. ET each evening.

Among the champions Philip Morris, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion finished fourth followed by Greg Pursley (NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), Ron Silk (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and Scott Steckly (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series). Jeff Wackerlin of the Motor Racing Network finished fourth overall and was the top-finishing media member.

“Getting to the front wasn’t too bad,” Gresham said. “I was really concerned with getting around (Quiroga). He was hitting every line that he needed to, but I eventually got by.”

Gresham joins Brian Loftin (2009), Ryan Truex (2010) and Bobby Santos (2011) as winners of the Karting Challenge.

Later Wednesday evening, the series champions will be honored at a special dinner affair in The Great Hall within the NASCAR Hall of Fame complex.

By Shon Sbarra, NASCAR
December 7, 2011 - 5:41pm

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

NASCAR Champions Gather In Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The NASCAR Touring and Weekly Series champions from the 2011 season are convening in the epicenter of the sport – Charlotte, N.C. – to celebrate their accomplishments from the just completed season as part of Champions Week.

Max Gresham (Twitter: @MaxGresham / NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), Greg Pursley (@GregPursley / NASCAR K&N Pro Series West), Scott Steckly (@ScottSteckly22 / NASCAR Canadian Tire Series), Germán Quiroga (@GerSpeed1 / NASCAR Mexico Series presented by Toyota), Ron Silk (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), George Brunnhoelzl III (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour) and Philip Morris (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series) earned the right to represent themselves along with their sponsors, teams and series by being the best over the course of their respective seasons.

Fans can follow all week on Twitter @NASCARHomeTrack and hashtag #NASCARChampions.

The week of festivities culminates in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet on Friday, Dec. 9 and the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards Gala on Saturday, Dec. 10.

The events will be held in the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Additionally, both ceremonies along with a Red Carpet pre-show will be streamed live on in English, French and Spanish. Coverage will get underway at 5 p.m. ET each evening.

  • Matt Kentfield (@MattKentfield) of and SPEED TV’s Bob Dillner (@BobDillner) will anchor the English broadcast. Kentfield and Dillner served as the lead announcers for Speed51 Productions’ live audio broadcasts of NASCAR touring series events in 2011.

  • ESPN Specialist Alex Pombo will host the Spanish-language broadcast. Pombo serves as an analyst for motorsports on ESPN Deportes, providing coverage of NASCAR and IndyCar Series. In addition, Pombo is co-host of RPM Weekly, program chain dedicated to the world of motorsports.

  • Dominic Fugere (@@sportengueule) will announce the French-language coverage of the NASCAR Touring Series Awards Gala. Fugere is the host and analyst for NASCAR coverage on ESPN’ French-Canadian affiliate RDS.

The first order of business will be to determine bragging rights on the track in the Fourth Annual NASCAR Champions/Media Karting Challenge on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at Victory Lane Indoor Karting in Charlotte. The seven regional touring series champions and the Whelen All-American Series national champion will battle each other along with several media members. Past winners of the event are Brian Loftin (2009), Ryan Truex (2010) and Bobby Santos (2011).

Many special functions are scheduled throughout the week including the prestigious NASCAR Whelen All-American Series State/Province Champions Dinner to be held on Thursday, Dec. 8 at Hendrick Motorsports. Winning drivers from across the United States and Canada will be honored at the exclusive event. The Touring Series champions will be honored the evening before on Wednesday in the The Great Hall within the NASCAR Hall of Fame complex.