Monday, February 29, 2016

Top Three #NASCAR Positive Sprint Cup Surprises After Atlanta

By: Jens Martin

#17 Ford, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing

#17 Ford, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing By: Jens Sennelind
 Ricky Stenhouse Jr, age 28, a double Xfinity Series champion in 2011-2012, is trying hard to find his rhythm in Sprint Cup Series. After two subsequent disappointing seasons in Sprint Cup (2014-2015) with declining stats (two top-five total), his seat in the 17 car must be in doubt. He needs the 2016 season to be a positive one with better results, which means more top-tens and a few more top-fives. Last season, Ricky’s average finish was 24.3 and that is not impressing at all.

At Daytona, Ricky started in position 19 and ended up in P22. That’s acceptable result. At Atlanta, Ricky got his first top 10 finish (P10) after starting from position five. The no.17 car was hanging on pretty good at the Atlanta race and both Austin Dillon (P11) and Joey Logano (P12) were held behind him.

Can this result give Ricky and the team a needed boost at Las Vegas?

#13 Chevrolet, Casey Mears, Germain Racing

#13 Chevrolet, Casey Mears, Germain Racing By: Jens Sennelind
Casey Mears, age 38, is a full-time driver in Sprint Cup since 2003. Prior to 2003, Casey had one full-time season in the Xfinity Series (2002) which he ended up in 21st place. Casey has also a background as an open-wheel driver with full-time Indy Lights Series (1997-2000) campaigns and part-time IndyCar Series involvement in 2001 (1 win, 5 podiums in 12 races).

His best year in Sprint Cup was in 2007 when Casey collected 1 Win, 5 top-five, 10 top-ten and 1 pole. Unfortunately, Casey lost his ride at Hendricks Motorsports in 2008. Since 2010, he has been driving for Germain Racing. The statistics for Casey in 2013-2015 seasons shows us a solid team with an average finish of 24.2 (2013), 22.3 (2014) and 23.1 (2015). Keep in mind that Germain Racing is a one-car team with lesser funds.

At Atlanta, Casey has an average Sprint Cup career finish of 21.8. This season race at Atlanta ended up in position 14. We have to go back to 2008 season for a better result (P12 – Hendrick Motorsports).

Las Vegas is coming up next and that is perhaps not Casey’s favorite track according to the statistics (with German Racing) but perhaps it’s time to turn the statistics around?

#24 Chevrolet, Chase Elliot, Hendrick Motorsports

#24 Chevrolet, Chase Elliot, Hendrick Motorsports By: Jens Sennelind
Chase Elliot, age 20, made his second start in the legendary 24 car this season. Chase, the son of Bill Elliott (2015 Hall of Fame inductee) has big shoes to fill after Jeff Gordon. As Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chase is also an Xfinity Series champion (2014) and runner-up in 2015 season. His statistics from Xfinity Series and lower series are very impressive. Let’s see if Chase can get a good rookie season with Hendrick Motorsports. He really has a world-class team around him to “seal the deal.”

Chase got five “test” races in the 25 car last season with Kenny Francis as Crew Chief (Henrick Motorsports). This races resulted an average start of 24.2 and an average finish of 26.2 with one DNF. Valuable lessons were made under those five races.

This season, Chase has Jeff Gordon’s crew chief of Alan Gustavson at the helm. Starting from pole at Daytona, Chase was involved in an accident and ended up in position 37. At Atlanta, the figures were reversed. Starting from position 24, Chase drove the 24 car all the way up to position 8.

The future is looking bright for young Chase Elliott.

Photo credit: NASCAR via Getty Images

Sunday, February 28, 2016

#NASCAR Lap 13
Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500’

The ‘Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500’ featured a special salute to fallen military service members on Lap 13. That lap was chosen because of the thirteen folds in the American flag given to families of fallen service men and women.

Here is the meaning of each of those folds and what it means:

The first fold of our Flag is a symbol of life.

The second fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.

The third fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.

The fourth fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting, it is to
Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.

The fifth fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."

The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to
the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The seventh fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces
that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they
be found within or without the boundaries of our Republic.

The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor mother, for whom it flies on Mother's Day.

The ninth fold is a tribute to womanhood; for it has been through their faith,
their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women
who have made this country great has been molded.

The tenth fold is a tribute to the father, for he, too, has given his sons
and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.

The eleventh fold, in the eyes of a Hebrew citizen represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon, and glorifies in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The twelfth fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of
eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.

When the Flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost
reminding us of our Nation's motto, "In God We Trust."

After the Flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the Sailors and Marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges, and freedoms we enjoy today.

Fans attending today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway were asked to raise and hold replicas of folded American flags on Lap 13 in a show of honor. The event is also a fundraiser for Folds of Honor, a non-profit organization that helps to pay for the education of children and adults whose parents or spouses are killed or injured in military service.

"Pilots are car nuts and watch nuts. When you go fast all the time, you want to go fast even when you're just driving around, it's such a drug," Faulkner-Brown, a family member taking part in the salute recallse with a laugh. "We were definitely racing fans and loved to drive fast cars, too."

"The 10th fold in the flag is for the fathers," Faulkner-Brown explains further about the significance of the name Folds of Honor. Each of the 13 folds in a ceremonial flag has a specific meaning. "The sons and daughters give so much to their country, too. It's not just the service member who gives."

Of the one million-plus dependents adversely affected by deployments, nearly nine out of 10 do not qualify for federal scholarship assistance. Since 2007, the Folds of Honor has carried forth this singular, noble mission. To close the gap, providing educational support to spouses and children of America's fallen and wounded soldiers.

To make a donation to Folds of Honor, visit

The next time you see a Flag ceremony honoring someone that has served our country, either in the Armed Forces or in our civilian services such as the Police Force or Fire Department, keep in mind all the important reasons behind each and every movement. They have paid the ultimate sacrifice for all of us by honoring our Flag and our Country.

Infographic On Georgia Natives Who Competed In The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Chase Elliott has made two NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at AMS. His average finish is fifth place. Elliott’s father Bill, lead Georgia winner with forty-four wins. Young Chase has some big racing shoes to fill!!!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The NASCAR Foundation Welcomes Safety Sam To The Team

The hospital can be a scary place for anyone, but especially for children. To brighten up the day, The NASCAR Foundation brought smiles to the little patients in the Speediatrics® Unit at Halifax Health Medical Center by bringing a few friends along for a visit.

The guest of honor for the event was Safety Sam, The NASCAR Foundation’s new mascot. The children enjoyed playing and taking pictures with Sam, and of course there were lots of high fives!

“I love Safety Sam,” Katie, 7, a little patient at the Speediatrics® Unit said after giving him a big hug. “He’s so much fun!”

NASCAR drivers:
  • Korbin Forrister
  • Grant Enfinger
  • Gray Gaulding
  • Shane Lee
  • Chris Buescher
  • John Hunter Nemechek
  • David Ragan
  • Matt DiBenedetto
  • Ben Kennedy
  • Ray Black Jr
  • Michael McDowell 

The drivers listed above joined Safety Sam’s visit to the Speediatrics® Unit prior to the season opening of the Daytona 500. The children were excited to meet the real-life race car drivers and asked them all kinds of questions about the upcoming Daytona Speedweeks races.

The NASCAR drivers delivered gift bags to the children and nurses in the unit while they also autographed hero cards for the patients.

#NASCAR Atlanta Pole Report

Two Buschs and Crafton 


#NASCAR Atlanta Pole Report

By this morning, almost every fan is aware that big brother Kurt skidded up to a pole start for the ‘Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500’ after NASCAR Sprint Cup pole winner Kyle Busch lost his position due to a technical infraction (rear toe). Jamie McMurray will join Kurt on the front row for the first green flag.

#NASCAR Atlanta Pole Report

Not to be detoured, and in true champion custom, the driver known on pit row as ‘Rowdy’ got out of bed fast and early this morning to win the Coors Light Pole Award for the ‘Heads Up Georgia 250’ NASCAR Xfinity race today. Protégé Erik Jones will start the race off-pole.

NASCAR Race Mom has to give an honorable mention to the #11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet of Blake Koch whose team has displayed improving speed with their thirteenth position qualifying performance.

For the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Matt Crafton posted the fastest lap in the No. 88 to earn the Keystone Light Pole award. 

John Wes Townley will join him on the front row for the start of the ‘Great Clips 200.’ 

Click Here For The Complete NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Starting Line-UP

Click Here For The Complete NASCAR Xfinity Starting Line-UP

Click Here For The Complete NASCAR Sprint Cup Starting Line-UP

Friday, February 26, 2016

#NASCAR Says Rear Toe Off on Kyle Busch's #18

Brother Knocks Brother Off of Pole

The reigning series champion, Kyle Busch's pole-winning car failed post-qualifying technical inspection Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, putting his big brother Kurt Busch on the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

NASCAR Stated that the  rear toe* was off on Kyle Busch car, however there will be no further penalties.

"The parts move, everything moves, so you expect it to be a little bit different," Kyle Busch crew chief Adam Stevens stated. "This is the first opportunity we've had to gather post information, was right now, and it's game time and it was too much. ... Just the amount of load on the track moves everything a little bit, and that little bit was a little bit too much."

By virtue of "Rowdy's" disqualification, the elder Busch, Kurt, will slide over to the pole position with the next best speed of 191.582 mph. Kurt will be joined on the front row by Jamie McMurray, who scored a best speed of 190.130 mph.

The field for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (FOX, 12:30 p.m. ET) will the the middle of a Busch Brother Sandwich as Kyle is relegated to the last place spot on the starting grid.

* Toe is the way the wheel points (the front or rear of the wheel pointing inwardly or outwardly). These two factors are vitally important to the way a car handles because they determine how well a tire makes contact with the track!

A NASCAR Driver, Toys And Lots Of Smiles

A #NASCAR Driver, Toys And Lots Of Smiles
The patients at the Speediatrics® Unit at Halifax Health Medical Center, Daytona Beach, were in for a big surprise on February 19, 2016, when The NASCAR Foundation brought NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Regan Smith along for a visit.
A #NASCAR Driver, Toys And Lots Of Smiles
Smith, who finished 15th in the first Can Am Duel on Thursday night to qualify for the DAYTONA 500, took some time out of his busy racing schedule to surprise the children at the Speediatrics® Unit with remote control cars from his sponsor Toy State. It didn’t take long until the toy cars were racing through the halls of the unit.

John, 14, was excited to meet the Tommy Baldwin Racing driver, who gave him a NIKKO Viper RC car. “I’m a speed person too,” John said to Smith with his voice full of joy.

The NASCAR Foundation’s mission is to help children who need it the most while putting smiles on their faces.

Smith asked Caitlyn, 13, how she was feeling. “I’m better now,” she said with a big smile on her face.

#NASCAR Race Week Arrives In Atlanta

On-Track Schedule


02/27/2016 at 10:00 a.m. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Qualifying
02/27/2016 at   4:30 p.m.NASCAR Camping World Trucks Great Clips 200

02/27/2016 at 8:30 a.m. NASCAR XFINITY Series Qualifying
02/27/2016 at 1:30 p.m. NASCAR XFINITY Series Heads Up Georgia 250

02.26/2016 at 5:45 p.m. Active Pest Control Qualifying Night
02/28/2016 at 1:00 p.m. Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500


*Schedule is tentative is subject to change 

Feb. 25

10 a.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series haulers enter main infield tunnel 

NASCAR XFINITY Series haulers enter main infield tunnel 

12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series registration open

1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series garage open

2 p.m.

Main infield tunnel opens for infield campers

5 p.m. 
Speed Lane induction of Jeff Gordon & Bruton Smith, in downtown Hampton

5:30 p.m.
Hauler parade begins from downtown Hampton to main infield tunnel 

Feb. 26

7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
NASCAR XFINITY Series registration open

7 a.m. - 8 p.m. 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series registration open

7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series registration open 

8 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage open 

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series garage open

9 a.m.
Grandstand gate 13 open 

9 a.m. - 9:55 a.m.
NASCAR XFINITY Series practice 

9:30 a.m. 

Fanatics Trackside Superstore open 

10 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice 

11 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice 

12:30 p.m. - 1:25 p.m.
NASCAR XFINITY Series practice 

1 p.m.
All grandstand gates open. Suites open. 

1:30 p.m. - 2:25 p.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice 

2:30 p.m. - 3:55 p.m.
NASCAR XFINITY Series practice 

4 p.m. - 5:25 p.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice 

5:45 p.m.
Active Pest Control Qualifying Night (Sprint Cup Series)

7 p.m.
Speedway Children's Charities Magical Masquerade, in Club One 

Feb. 27

7 a.m. - 2 p.m.
NASCAR XFINITY Series registration open 

7 a.m.
NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series garages open

7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series registration open

8 a.m.
Fanatics Trackside Superstore open 

8:30 a.m.
All grandstand gates open. Suites and Club One open. 

8:35 a.m. 
NASCAR XFINITY Series qualifying 

9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage open 

10 a.m. 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying 

11:30 a.m. - 12:50 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice 

1 p.m.
NASCAR XFINITY Series driver introductions 

1:30 p.m.
NASCAR XFINITY Series Heads Up Georgia 250

4 p.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver introductions 

4:30 p.m.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Great Clips 200

8 p.m. 

AMS Fest at AMS Fest tent near unreserved campgrounds

Feb. 28

7 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series registration open 

7 a.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage opens 

7 a.m. 

Fanatics Trackside Superstore opens

9 a.m.
All grandstand gates open. Suites and Club One open. 

11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Pre-race Concert. Stagefront admission included with pre-race pit pass 

12:30 p.m.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver introductions 

1 p.m. 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

#NASCAR Sprint Cup at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Who is Good at “Hotlanta Speedway”

Since its last repave in 1997, there have been 32 Sprint Cup Series races, 18 Xfinity Series races and 14 Camping World Truck Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, for a total of 64 races from all three NASCAR national touring series. In those 64 races, a total of 581,438 laps have been driven by drivers on the now 19-year-old racing surface, a total of 895,414.52 collective miles driven.

How “Hot” is your favorite driver at the quad-oval?

Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia going into the Fold Of Honor QuikTrip 500 on February 28 (1 p.m. ET on FOX).

Greg Biffle (No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford)
  • Three top fives, ten top 10s; one pole
  • Average finish of 16.059, eighth-best
  • Average Running Position of 14.399, 11th-best
  • Driver Rating of 89.0, 10th-best
  • 237 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.088, 12th-fastest
  • 3469 Laps in the Top 15 (62.4), ninth-most
  • 539 Quality Passes, seventh-most

Kurt Busch (No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)
  • Three wins, five top fives, ten top 10s
  • Average finish of 14.688, fifth-best
  • Average Running Position of 14.427, 12th-best
  • Driver Rating of 94.3, fifth-best
  • 268 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.325, 10th-fastest
  • 567 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)
  • Two wins, four top fives, five top 10s
  • Average finish of 14.250, fourth-best
  • Average Running Position of 13.686, ninth-best
  • Driver Rating of 92.8, seventh-best
  • 229 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.395, ninth-fastest
  • 3164 Laps in the Top 15 (60.4), 10th-most
  • 514 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Dale Earnhardt Jr (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)
  • One win, nine top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles
  • Average finish of 11.765, third-best
  • Average Running Position of 12.487, seventh-best
  • Driver Rating of 94.3, sixth-best
  • 253 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.540, seventh-fastest
  • 3707 Laps in the Top 15 (66.6), eighth-most
  • 585 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Carl Edwards (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)
  • Three wins, nine top fives, 11 top 10s
  • Average finish of 15.176, sixth-best
  • Average Running Position of 12.135, fourth-best
  • Driver Rating of 100.4, second-best
  • 388 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.781, second-fastest
  • 4343 Laps in the Top 15 (78.1), second-most
  • 601 Quality Passes, third-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)
  • One win, three top fives, six top 10s; one pole
  • Average finish of 18.125, 10th-best
  • Average Running Position of 12.009, third-best
  • Driver Rating of 97.2, fourth-best
  • 279 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.732, third-fastest
  • 3563 Laps in the Top 15 (68.0), sixth-most
  • 458 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet)
  • One win, six top fives, ten top 10s; one pole
  • Average finish of 15.471, seventh-best
  • Average Running Position of 13.910, 10th-best
  • Driver Rating of 92.8, eighth-best
  • 339 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.582, sixth-fastest
  • 3350 Laps in the Top 15 (60.2), 11th-most
  • 524 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)
  • Four wins, 13 top fives, 15 top 10s
  • Average finish of 10.118, second-best
  • Average Running Position of 8.971, series-best
  • Driver Rating of 106.2, series-best
  • 340 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.845, series-fastest
  • 4675 Laps in the Top 15 (84.1), series-most
  • 650 Quality Passes, second-most

Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)
  • Three wins, seven top fives, nine top 10s; two poles
  • Average finish of 20.000, 12th-best
  • Average Running Position of 16.924, 13th-best
  • Driver Rating of 87.9, 11th-best
  • 262 Fastest Laps Run, second-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.219, 11th-fastest
  • 3201 Laps in the Top 15 (57.6), 13th-most
  • 449 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)
  • Ten top fives, 16 top 10s
  • Average finish of 8.588, series-best
  • Average Running Position of 12.139, fifth-best
  • Driver Rating of 97.9, third-best
  • 212 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.603, fourth-fastest
  • 3969 Laps in the Top 15 (71.4), fourth-most
  • 583 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford)
  • One top five, three top 10s
  • Average finish of 21.857, 13th-best
  • Average Running Position of 12.437, sixth-best
  • Driver Rating of 87.3, 12th-best
  • 64 Fastest Laps Run, series-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.466, eighth-fastest
  • 1628 Laps in the Top 15 (70.7), fifth-most 297 Quality Passes, 12th-most

Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet)
  • One top 10
  • Average finish of 17.000, ninth-best
  • Average Running Position of 13.019, eighth-best
  • Driver Rating of 83.7, 13th-best
  • 2 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.086, 13th-fastest
  • 443 Laps in the Top 15 (67.1), seventh-most
  • 102 Quality Passes, 13th-most

Martin Truex Jr (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota)
  • Two top fives, five top 10s; one pole
  • Average finish of 18.500, 11th-best
  • Average Running Position of 11.799, second-best
  • Driver Rating of 90.9, ninth-best
  • 149 Fastest Laps Run, third-best
  • Average Green Flag Speed of 171.589, fifth-fastest
  • 3991 Laps in the Top 15 (76.2), third-most
  • 663 Quality Passes, series-most

Thursday, February 25, 2016

All Three of #NASCAR's National Touring Series Descend on Atlanta Motor Speedway

With all three of NASCAR's national touring series set to descend on Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend, drivers looking ahead to the races have described AMS in many different ways. Fast, abrasive, slick, aged, fun, wild and even mean are just a handful of the adjectives that have been uttered by drivers about historic 1.54-mile race track. In a yearbook of race tracks, AMS might sweep the superlatives page for most character, most dramatic and certainly, most popular. 

All Three of #NASCAR's National Touring Series Descend on Atlanta Motor Speedway

In their own words, here's what a few drivers have had to say about NASCAR racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

"I'm hoping Atlanta is just like it was in 2005 - the first time I really went here and felt really competitive. Atlanta is just the perfect race track. The pavement's aged, now we're taking a little downforce away, and it might be up on the top again and that'd be cool. The problem is we just don't have as many race tracks with that good asphalt anymore. If you could take Atlanta and put that asphalt everywhere, that'd be spectacular. It's so much fun to race on that, but everybody knows how I feel about Atlanta - it's as good as it gets. If we could go there once a month I'd be happy." - Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing

"I think it's going to be an incredible race with lower downforce on the race cars. I think the cars are going to be a real handful, and it's going to be exciting. I'm looking forward to just kicking off that part of the season, getting to work, seeing how our cars are, where we stack up. The anticipation is high. Going to Atlanta with a little bit of momentum is always a good feeling." - Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the No. 78 Toyota for Furniture Row Motorsports

"Atlanta is a fun place, because of tire wear, because of low-downforce. It's going to be a crazy race. There's going to be cars sliding all over the place. It's a unique race track by itself without a low-downforce package, but it's going to be even more so this year with the way the aero rules are. I'm looking forward to Atlanta. I missed that race last year but was able to catch it on TV. Restarts are hectic, groove changes are crazy, and having less aero on the race car - I think - is going to lead to more driver-crew-chief-type relationships, the better ones to showcase their talents." - Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing

"You go to Atlanta, and it's 'hang on.' Super-fast, super-slick. The track wears the tires out very, very fast. The cars have to handle well. You're lifting a lot. You're sideways. Just a completely different feel as a driver. The cars are going to drive much different with the new rules, and that's to be expected. As a driver, you're going to have to change your inputs, your techniques. Without giving anything proprietary away, it's going to be a challenge." - Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske

"I always liked racing at Atlanta. As long as they don't repave it, it's still going to be one of the greatest tracks on the circuit. It is a driver's race track. You aren't going to win a race by just having a great car. You have to figure out what to do with it at Atlanta to be successful." - Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing

NASCAR racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, featuring the Heads Up Georgia 250 XFINITY Series and Great Clips 200 Camping World Truck Series doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 27 and the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 28.

Photo: HHP Images

Incredible #NASCAR Endings

Atlanta Motor Speedway Boast of Three

Incredible #NASCAR Endings

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams Partner with Granta Design to Maximize Car Design Efficiency

Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (CGRT) announced today that they will partner with materials information technology leader Granta Design.

Granta Design  has created a PC software application which, along with the team’s existing software, enhances and simplifies the search process for information on materials that are fundamental to the car design process, and then applies this information to make smart decisions on the use of those materials. CES Selector™ will help the engineering team compare and choose alternate materials to develop stronger, lighter, and more durable race-winning cars.

The software application will be used by the engineering departments across all of CGRT’s racing disciplines. Founded in 1994 as a spin-off from the University of Cambridge, UK, Granta enables engineering enterprises to manage information on the materials (metals, plastics, composites, and more) that are essential to their businesses. Granta products help them to develop and apply material intelligence, make better materials decisions, save time and money, and reduce risk as they optimize their products. The company also provides support resources to thousands of university educators worldwide as they teach the next generation of engineers, scientists, and industrial designers about materials, processes, and sustainability.

John Twerdok, Director of Sales, Granta Design: “We’re excited to partner with a proven innovator in the racing industry like Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. Granta tools will enable them to explore ground-breaking designs and select the very best materials to support them. Ultimately, it is about winning by staying ahead of the competition, and we look forward to helping the Chip Ganassi Racing Teams as they develop lighter, faster, and higher-performing race cars.”


  • About CES Selector: CES Selector™ is a powerful PC software application that offers extensive materials property data, advanced graphical analysis, and specialist tools to solve real-world engineering problems. Engineers can make better decisions in early-stage design, explore alternate material choices to improve design performance, and compare and contrast material properties when seeking viable alternatives. The tool enables companies to build confidence in their choice of materials, reduce overall cost, and optimize product performance.

John Probst, Technical Director, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams: “Chip Ganassi Racing is looking forward to utilizing the CES Selector software to make more intelligent material selection decisions. The extensive database offered by the software allows us to compare and select suitable materials and manufacturing processes for all applications of the vehicle. As a racing team our main goal is to win races and with a product like CES Selector we’re putting ourselves in the best possible position to make that goal a reality.”

NASCAR Announces Nominees For NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017, Landmark Award

Five more names on list of 2017 Hall of Fame nominees:
Hornaday, Roush, Rudd, Squier, Wilson Added To Ballot;
Guthrie Joins Landmark List 

Hershel McGriff (nominee for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame)
and NASCAR Race Mom hanging out at Sonoma Raceway.
Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners, drivers and the most recognizable voice in motorsports. The talents, eras and levels may differ, but all share a common thread. They shaped NASCAR, and on Wednesday, they were recognized as nominees for the highest honor the sport bestows – enshrinement into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees, all legends who made excellence a habit through their various contributions to the sport.

Among them are record-holding four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr.; the man with the most car owner wins in NASCAR national series history with 322, Jack Roush; former all-time consecutive starts leader Ricky Rudd; legendary motorsports broadcasting pioneer Ken Squier; and three-time premier series champion engine builder and three-time Daytona 500-winning crew chief Waddell Wilson. For a full list of nominees, please see below.

The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.

From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on Voting Day for the 2017 class will be Wednesday, May 25.

Added to this year’s list of Landmark Award nominees is Janet Guthrie – the first female driver to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race. The four returning nominees for the Landmark Award are H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Squier (more on each below). Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.

Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:

  • Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500
  • Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949
  • Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
  • Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
  • Ray Fox, legendary engine builder, crew chief and car owner
  • Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
  • Ron Hornaday, four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion
  • Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief
  • Alan Kulwicki, 1992 NASCAR premier series champion
  • Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition
  • Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion
  • Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
  • Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion
  • Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion
  • Jack Roush, five-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series
  • Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR’s premier series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400
  • Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner/namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence
  • Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships
  • Waddell Wilson, won three NASCAR premier series championships as an engine builder
  • Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner

The five nominees for the Landmark Award, listed alphabetically, are as follows…

  • H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway
  • Janet Guthrie, the first female to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race
  • Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner
  • Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
  • Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence

NASCAR Hall of Fame Nomination Eligibility

  • Drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for two years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. Previously, eligible drivers must have been retired for three years.
  • In addition, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF.
  • Any driver who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age.
  • Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.
  • For non-drivers, individuals must have worked at least 10 years in the NASCAR industry.
  • Individuals may also be considered who made significant achievements in the sport, but left the sport early due to a variety of circumstances. 

The 22-person Nominating Committee follows...

NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.

NASCAR Officials: Chairman / CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton; Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar; Executive Vice President / Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell; Executive Vice President / Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps; Senior Vice President, Competition Scott Miller; Senior Vice President, Marketing & Driver Services Jill Gregory.

Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of directors member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Holland Motorsports Complex operator Ron Bennett; Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery; West Coast representative Ken Clapp.

Media: Mike Joy, FOX.


Stewart-Haas Racing to switch to Ford in 2017

Stewart-Haas Racing to switch to Ford in 2017
From the left: SHR's Kevin Harvick, Danica Patrick, Kurt Busch,
co-owner/driver Tony Stewart and co-owner Gene Haas. (Bob Leverone)
Ford is joining forces with Stewart-Haas Racing starting in the 2017 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season after the team signed a multiyear deal to switch manufacturers and engines (Roush Yates Engines).

The team currently consists of Tony Stewart, a three-time champion, 2014 champion Kevin Harvick, 2004 champion Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick and drives Chevrolets.

"I am proud of our association with Chevrolet as they helped build our organization into the team it is today," said SHR co-owner Stewart in a team statement. "This new partnership with Ford allows us to strengthen our position in the sport and ensure the long-term stability and success for everyone who is a part of Stewart-Haas Racing."

NASCAR released the following statement after the news broke:

"Stewart-Haas Racing has been a top-tier team in our sport for many years, and we wish them well in their future endeavor with Ford Performance. Our sport is rooted in healthy competition and NASCAR is fortunate to have three strong auto manufacturer partners all committed to the common goals of winning and growing the sport. We know that SHR and Chevrolet will work together as hard as ever this season to win races and pursue their third Sprint Cup Championship together."

Ford also made a statement about the change:

"We are thrilled to be able to add a championship-level team like Stewart-Haas Racing to our Ford NASCAR program," said Raj Nair, executive vice president and Chief Technical Officer, Ford Motor Company. "Tony Stewart and Gene Haas have the same passion for winning that we do, and bring a strong stable of drivers and personnel that fit into what we’re trying to do in the sport."

SHR was founded in 2003 by Gene Haas as Haas CNC Racing.  Stewart became a co-owner of the team in 2009. Stewart said 2016 will be his last as a full-time driver. Clint Bowyer, currently driving for HScott Motorsports, will replace Stewart in the No. 14 in 2017.