Saturday, April 30, 2016

Carl Edwards Eyes Third Straight Victory

Will Alabama Behemoth Produce Surprise Winner

Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 ARRIS Toyota, speaks to the media during
a press conference prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 29, 2016 in Talladega.

When restrictor-plate racing, anything can happen. This has been true at Talladega where surprise winners sometimes emerge from the field. Most recently, David Ragan visited Victory Lane with Front Row Motorsports (spring 2013) and Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag with Phoenix Racing (spring 2009).

With the advent of the win-and-your-in Chase format, a surprise Talladega winner would get more than just the thrill of winning, he/she would earn a spot in NASCAR’s playoffs.

"That’s fun for us going to a place like that knowing we have a shot at winning and to say that is legitimate," said Matt DiBenedetto, driver of the less-funded No. 83 BK Racing Toyota. "If things fall right you can win. So that’s neat. When we come to all the regular superspeedways, wins for us are if you finish in the top half of the field because we’re a smaller team, and if we finish in the top 20, that’s beating a lot of really good high quality cars. But when you go to the superspeedways, it throws a lot of that out the window."

Fans should look out for Clint Bowyer, who has run poorly this season, but owns two Talladega victories. Also, Wood Brothers Racing’s Ryan Blaney placed a career-best fourth at the Alabama track last season and should prove interesting to watch.

Conversely, do not count out Edwards, who is known around the track as ‘Cousin Carl’ due to the fact that he is a first cousin once removed to fellow NASCAR driver Ken Schrader. Edwards thrillingly bumped teammate Kyle Busch on the final lap of last Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 to pass him for his second win in as many weeks.

Edwards has been dominant the last three races, leading the most laps in each of them. He ranks first on the Chase Grid on the strength of two wins, five top-fives and eight top-tens He will be hunting for his third straight win in Sunday’s GEICO 500 joining Busch as the only other driver to attempt the feat this season.

However, the No. 19 Toyota driver has never won at Talladega. Carl’s best finish at the Alabama track was third in spring of 2013. So if he wins tomorrow – that could be considered a ‘surprise’ both as the continuation of a winning streak and his first win at ‘Dega.’

Fun Fact – Who Owns the Most Consecutive NASCAR Wins?

Richard Petty sits on top of the list in BOTH first and second place: 

Driver No. From To
Richard Petty 10 08/12/1967 10/01/1967
Richard Petty 6 07/14/1971 08/08/1971
Bobby Allison 5 05/30/1971 06/23/1971
Dale Earnhardt 4 03/29/1987 04/26/1987
Bill Elliott 4 03/01/1992 03/29/1992
Harry Gant 4 09/01/1991 09/22/1991
Jeff Gordon 4 07/26/1998 08/16/1998
Jimmie Johnson 4 10/21/2007 11/11/2007
Mark Martin 4 08/08/1993 09/05/1993
David Pearson 4 04/03/1966 04/11/1966
David Pearson 4 05/05/1968 05/18/1968
Billy Wade 4 07/10/1964 07/19/1964
Darrell Waltrip 4 09/27/1981 11/01/1981
Cale Yarborough 4 09/12/1976 10/03/1976
Kyle Busch 3 07/11/2015 07/26/2015
Bobby Allison 3 10/29/1967 11/12/1967
Bobby Allison 3 07/09/1972 07/23/1972
Bobby Allison 3 09/05/1983 09/18/1983
Buck Baker 3 05/13/1956 05/25/1956
Dale Earnhardt 3 08/22/1987 09/13/1987
Jeff Gordon 3 09/15/1996 09/29/1996
Jeff Gordon 3 11/01/1998 02/14/1999
Bobby Isaac 3 04/03/1969 04/08/1969
Jimmie Johnson 3 10/16/2004 10/31/2004
Junior Johnson 3 06/05/1958 06/15/1958
Junior Johnson 3 08/13/1961 08/27/1961
David Pearson 3 08/08/1968 08/18/1968
David Pearson 3 04/15/1973 05/06/1973
David Pearson 3 05/30/1976 06/20/1976
Richard Petty 3 07/28/1974 08/11/1974
Richard Petty 3 03/16/1975 04/06/1975
Richard Petty 3 09/15/1968 09/29/1968
Richard Petty 3 09/13/1970 09/30/1970
Richard Petty 3 03/07/1971 03/21/1971
Richard Petty 3 04/15/1971 04/25/1971
Richard Petty 3 08/15/1962 08/21/1962
Richard Petty 3 04/21/1963 05/02/1963
Richard Petty 3 04/30/1966 05/10/1966
Richard Petty 3 07/13/1967 07/23/1967
Dick Rathmann 3 05/04/1952 05/18/1952
Fireball Roberts 3 04/07/1957 04/19/1957
Herb Thomas 3 09/08/1951 09/23/1951
Herb Thomas 3 06/27/1954 07/04/1954
Rusty Wallace 3 10/09/1988 10/23/1988
Rusty Wallace 3 04/04/1993 04/25/1993
Rusty Wallace 3 06/05/1994 06/19/1994

Support the #KPCharityride
and Grab an Autograph at the same time.

The ‘Kyle Petty Charity Ride across America’ is one of the most successful and popular charity rides in the country. They are into their twenty-second year. This morning, the #kpcharityride staff maneuvered the approximately two hundred participants, including celebrities and support staff, who witnessed the fact that this was not the ride’s first such endeavor, with the precision of a military invasion. You must remember that everyone needs to be fed, breakfast, lunch and dinner; all the luggage must be transported; the motorcycles need to gassed and trip ready. . . .  and so much more.

The 2,150-mile motorcycle trip to raise money for Victory Junction – a camp for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses, left the Riviera Palm Springs parking lot at 9:00 a.m. sharp. At each of their scheduled stops, fans will be able to cheer on the riders. They will also have a chance to meet the stars involved including NASCAR Hall of Famer and Champion; Hershel McGriff, 2016 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee; Harry Gant and Donnie Allison of NASCAR racing fame; Herschel Walker, former NFL great; retired Lt. Col. Allen West; and Rick Allen NBC NASCAR personality.

“What is new for the Victory Junction Camp,” Kyle Petty enthusiastically reported, “is that we are adding more weekends with more kids. When the economy got kind of rough, we had to cut back to about eight to ten weeks. We working on adding a couple of more weeks of summer camp.”

Kyle went on to explain that when they had to shorten the Camp’s season, they were only able to accommodate the sickest kids. It is his wish that the camp be opened up to all the kids who need to come. Petty is hopeful to include six to seven hundred more kids this year!

This #kpcharityride has been a huge success already. There are over twenty-five new riders this year. There is limit of hundred and twenty bikes and the spots went quickly. The charity ride also welcomed Nature’s Bakery as a new sponsor. Nature’s Bakery products include a variety of flavors of stone ground whole wheat fig bars, gluten free fig bars made with a blend of ancient grains, and dairy-free double chocolate brownies made with whole grains and blended with dates.

“Nature’s Bakery, who sponsors Danica Patrick,” Kyle Petty reported, “has given us ten million fig bars and apple fig and strawberry and lemon fig - - - and they are great.”

Please go to to learn more about this wonderful cause. Also if you are near Phoenix, Arizona, be sure to stop by tonight to thank these charitable motorcycle jockeys for all they do, year after year. 

Lastly, if you would like to make a donation - click here 

Lots of riders come back year after year.

This is what it is all about. Two brothers who have benefited from the
Victory Junction Camp. Each camper receives a teddy bear and
homemade afghan to take home with them.

Support staff hard at work to ensure all the rider’s luggage will be transported safely.

Lot of really cool motorcycles to look at.

Riders paying close attention to Kyle Petty as he leads the morning meeting.

Palm Springs Mayor, Robert Moon,
Pronounces April 30 Kyle Petty Charity Ride Day.

Kenny with his father, Donnie Allison.

NRM & Hershel McGriff.

Kyle Petty doing his thing.

Herschel Walker getting ready to roll.

Rick Allen smiles for a selfie.
To order these awesome event gear, please call the Charity Ride
offices at 704-714-4545 or email

You can keep up with the
#KPCharityRide on Social Media




Dale Earnhardt Jr.
#NASCAR Draft Master

Winning may not be all Earnhardt does at Talladega Superspeedway, but the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS does have six wins on the 2.66-mile tri-oval, more than he has at any other track on the Sprint Cup circuit. 

Last season, he won there in the spring race and entered Talladega’s fall race in a win-to-continue Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup scenario, where he finished second, just missing his opportunity to make it into the penultimate round of the Chase. 

With an average of 93.8, Earnhardt has the best driver rating among active drivers at the track. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points.

“We’re going to have ‘Amelia.’ She is fixed and (No. 88 team crew chief) Greg (Ives) says she is going to be the primary. He’s fired up his Twitter account recently … and he let all the fans know on Monday that Amelia is coming back. I’m excited about that – we know how she ran last year. We just have to run Talladega like we have to win it, just like we did the last time we were there. We did a good job. If we run it like that, we’ll be up front at the end.” Dale Earnhardt Jr. on racing at Talladega.

What Is The Draft:

The aerodynamic function of a NASCAR race car or truck can dramatically impact competition on the sport's fastest tracks. It can also make teammates out of unlikely rivals seeking an advantage.

The process of "drafting" has been in practice since the superspeedway boom of the 1960s, when it was discovered that two cars moving in close nose-to-tail formation could cut through the air easier than one car by itself. The mutually beneficial partnership reduces the amount of turbulent ("dirty") air around multiple cars, allowing all cars in the draft to make small but important gains in speed.e.

Even 50 years later, the use of the aerodynamic slipstream is still an important facet of high-speed competition. The increased efficiency of air flow helped lead to the popularity of the tandem draft, which caused a vacuum effect behind the lead car, allowing a closely following car to move with much less resistance in the air, thus more speed. The extra speed of the second car makes drafting also beneficial to the leading car, as multiple cars can travel faster than a single car. The introduction of the Generation-6 car, however, helped minimize the effectiveness of the tandem draft, reviving pack racing.

See the graphic below to see the difference clean air makes during a NASCAR race:

Drafting is most important at NASCAR's restrictor plate tracks, Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway, where the plates mean that much less power is available to push the large bodies through the air. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Happy #NASCAR Birthday
Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Dale Earnhardt (1951-2001) was a race car driver who drove on the NASCAR circuit for 22 seasons, won 7 Winston Cups, had 76 career wins, and made more money driving than any other driver in NASCAR history. 

The Earnhardts are NASCAR royalty. His dad, Ralph Earnhardt, was among the original bootlegger-turned-race drivers in the early days of stock car racing. Three of Dale's children have gone on to careers in the sport, as well; including NASCAR's Most Popular Driver - Dale Jr.

His life was ended with an automobile crash that occurred during the 2001 Daytona 500.

Happy Birthday Dale Sr. 

Fun Fact

NASCAR'S 'Man in Black' began his career in pink.

Earnhardt's first sponsor when he was 19, was DayVault's Tune Ups & Brake Service -- a local garage. When he and his crew mixed the paint batch for the 1956 Ford, they meant for it to come out in purple flake. They mixed it wrong, and the car ended up pink. Money was tight, so they couldn't afford a re-spray, and just went with a pink car.

Kevin Harvick, Trevor Bayne & Regan Smith Join Talladega Superspeedway’s Pre-Race Fan Question & Answer Session Lineup Prior to GEICO 500 May 1

Pit Road Access, Red Carpet & Driver Intros Also Part of Pit Pass Upgrade for Fans 


2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Champion and former Talladega Superspeedway winner Kevin Harvick, along with Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith will join the lineup of NASCAR drivers scheduled to take part in the Pre-Race Fan Question & Answer Session on the Start/Finish Line at NASCAR’s Most Competitive track prior to the start of the GEICO 500 on Sunday, May 1.

The trio will join three-time Talladega winner Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman as part of the festivities. Race fans will get to ask the drivers questions in advance of one of the most anticipated races of the season, in which the winner of the GEICO 500 is all but guaranteed a spot in the season-ending Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Fans that purchase Talladega’s Pit Pass Upgrade can have access to this special session, which is tentatively scheduled from 8:40-9:45 AM (CDT). Not only can fans get an up-close look at some of NASCAR’s finest with the Pit Pass Upgrade, but they can also take in all the exciting activities at the pre-race stage, including Driver Introductions for the GEICO 500.

Harvick’s victory at Talladega came in the 2010 GEICO 500 when he passed Jamie McMurray coming through the tri-oval on the final lap, winning by inches (.011 second). The driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing has six top-five finishes at the 2.66-mile venue, including three runner-up results. He also claimed the pole position for the 2005 GEICO 500.

Bayne, pilot of the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing, has 10 career Talladega starts, with a best result of eighth in the 2012 GEICO 500. The 2011 Daytona 500 winner, who ran as high as third in last year’s GEICO 500, is looking to give Roush Fenway Racing it’s fifth victory at Talladega Superspeedway.

Smith is driving the No. 7 Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing this season after competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series the last three years - in which he claimed the 2013 Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. His best finish in a NSCS event at TSS is fifth in October of 2012.

Keselowski is no stranger to success at the famed 2.66 mile tri-oval. He stunned the racing world by winning his first career NSCS race at Talladega in 2009, driving for an independent team owned by James Finch. He added victories at TSS in 2012 and 2014 in the No. 2 Ford for Team Penske. The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion ranks only behind GEICO 500 defending champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. in finishing average among active drivers (minimum 10 races) at the biggest and baddest track in NASCAR. In 14 starts, he has three triumphs, five top-five and eight top-ten finishes.

Newman, driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing (12 victories at TSS), has five top-five results at the 2.66-mile mammoth Alabama venue with a third-place effort as his best (2009). The 2008 Daytona 500 champion, who finished runner-up in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2014, has an impressive 11 top-ten finishes at Talladega. Over the past three races at TSS, no driver has scored more points than Newman with finishes of fifth, seventh and 12th.

In addition to the Driver Q&A, pre-race festivities at the Driver Introduction stage will include introductions of the starting line-up for the GEICO 500, special guests and VIPs, as well as the Honorary Starter and Grand Marshal of the GEICO 500. The Pit Pass Upgrade is $75, but also includes more opportunities for up-close access on race day.

The Pit Pass Upgrade also allows fans to enjoy a crew member’s perspective on race morning with the ability to stroll down pit road where the cars will be placed and have the opportunity to see the crews set up each pit stall. It also allows access to the Red Carpet Entry into the Drivers Meeting. Drivers, crew chiefs, team owners, celebrities and NASCAR officials will walk the red carpet to the meeting where race procedures and protocol will be explained.

The Pit Pass Upgrade will be in effect on Sunday, May 1, from 8:00 a.m. until the conclusion of Driver Introductions. For more ticket upgrade information, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit Additional ticket upgrades are offered by Talladega Superspeedway including The Sunday VIP Experience with Glenn Jarrett, the Unrestricted VIP Package, Pre-Race Pit Passes, Premium Box Seating and much more. Click the ticket section and go to “Upgrades.”

Fans in the grandstands/towers will experience Talladega’s roomy and comfortable 21- and 22-inch wide chair back seats. The five large Sprint Vision HD video boards, two that are 40-feet x 80-feet, will be back and placed along the frontstretch to provide unbelievable views of action on the track from every seat in the house. The video boards are an initiative that will be implemented at all ISC tracks in the future.

The anticipated weekend kicks off on Friday, April 29, with practice sessions for the Sparks Energy 300 for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and GEICO 500, as well as practice, qualifying and the drop of the green flag for the General Tire 200 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards at 5 p.m. CDT. Saturday’s schedule includes qualifying for the GEICO 500 as well as time trials and the start of the Sparks Energy 300 at 2 p.m. CDT. Later that evening, Big & Rich featuring Cowboy Troy, will headline the traditional Infield Concert. Admission is free with a GEICO 500 ticket. The GEICO 500 race Sunday is set for a 12:00 p.m. (CDT) start.

*Driver availability for the TSS Fan Pre-Race Question & Answer session is subject to change and without notice. Neither NASCAR nor any of its affiliates are responsible for this event* 

Track Release

No Brian France Fan Clubs

Lug-Nut Gate" Needs Positive Closure 

Recent events, sardonic as they be, has confirmed to this writer why you never hear about Brian France fans. If this series of activities were chronicled in a movie, we all would berate the film as being unrealistic and absurd.

First We Have A NASCAR Lug Nut Rule:

NASCAR has been working diligently to make their sport safer for both drivers and fans. We now have safety enhancements made to the car itself, as well as additions such as SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers at the tracks and NRM's favorite, the mandated use of head-and-neck restraint systems.

Of course you do not have to be a mechanic to understand that a tire with just three lug nuts is going to be less secure than a tire with three prescribed five.

Then The Lug Nut Issue Is To Be
Self-Policed By The Drivers / Teams:

Nevertheless, NASCAR stated basically that starting with the 2015 season, it would not penalize or even monitor missed lug nuts or lug nuts that get knocked off during a stop. The new rule...or lack thereof, could offer a huge gain for teams willing to gamble. Everyone knows that it doesn't take all five nuts tight to keep a tire on. The tricky part is how many nuts does it take?

NASCAR Race Mom has always been of the opinion that such a gamble would have great consequences to drivers and the fans in the stand. One only has to remember the horrific 2013 crash in the Xfinity Series when Kyle Larson's car sailed into the fence, sending debris, including a flying tire, into the stands, injuring twenty-eight fans. 

In a series where such a premium placed on the win, the risk to save a few precious seconds looms great.

Three-Time Series Champion, Tony Stewart Disagrees
With The Lug Nut Rule, Deeming It Unsafe.

“I’m beyond mad, I’m P.O.’d at NASCAR about it, to be honest,” Stewart stated during an event to promote sponsor Mobil 1’s green initiatives. “For all the work and everything, all the bulletins and all the new stuff we have to do to superspeedway cars and all these other things they want us to do for safety, we can’t even make sure we put five lug nuts on the wheel.

“It’s not even mandatory anymore. I mean, you don’t have to have but one on there if you don’t want. It’s however many you think you can get away with. So we’re putting the drivers in jeopardy to get track position. It’s not bit anybody yet, but I guarantee you that envelope is going to keep getting pushed until somebody gets hurt. You will not have heard a rant that’s going to be as bad as what’s going to come out of my mouth if a driver gets hurt because of a loose wheel that hurts one of them. With all the crap we’re going through with all the safety stuff, and for them to sit there and sit on their hands on this one … ”

Smoke added, “Last year it started; this year you see the problem getting worse. Well if you see a problem getting worse like that, where’s the bottom of that trend going to happen? It’s going to happen when somebody gets hurt, and that’s going to be one of the largest black eyes I can see NASCAR getting when they’ve worked so hard and done such a good job to make it safe. In this one particular area, they are totally dropping the ball on and I feel like really made a grossly bad decision on.”

NASCAR Fines Tony For Disparaging Remarks

NASCAR quickly fined the Stewart-Haas Racing driver and co-owner $35,000 for violations of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rule Book - Section 12 of the rule book, specifically member conduct guidelines.

According to Section 12.8.1, actions that could result in a $10,000-$50,000 fine include disparaging the sport and/or NASCAR's leadership, or verbal abuse of a NASCAR Official, media members, fans, etc.

France clarified, Stewart is "very aware of how we approach criticism ... of the sport and the product of the racing itself, and safety is paramount of that. Tony is very aware of how we look at that. We allow them to criticize and give their point of view way more than any other sport. ... We're thick-skinned; we get it.

However, NASCAR never really specified what exactly Stewart was fined for. The fine marred his comeback to the series after eight weeks lost due to injury.

Almost Immediately After The Stewart Fine,
The Driver’s Council Rally Around The Punished Driver.

Denny Hamlin explained the NASCAR Drivers Council's quick show of solidarity for fellow driver, by expressing that he hoped the sport's competitors would have better freedom to express themselves in the future.

"When Tony informed us of the fine, we didn't agree with it. No one agreed with it and we thought there's something we should do about it," Hamlin stated at the Richmond International Raceway. "I think it was a way for us to send a message back to NASCAR -- not that we were trying to send any specific message, but that, hey, we just believe we should have the right to speak our opinion."

The Driver’s Council (Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.) backed up that support by offering to pay the $35,000 fine. Always classy, Tony, while appreciating the Council’s backing, felt the responsibility to pay the fine rested with him. 

Therefore, and impressively, the Council
donated their $35,000 to Autism Delaware.

It should be noted that Hamlin insisted the council's actions were less about lug nuts and more about drivers' ability to speak openly. NASCAR Race Mom says, "yeah for the good guys!"

Now, NASCAR Has Reinstated The Rule????

This week, NASCAR re-amended its policy on securing lug nuts during pit stops, issuing a memo to teams that stated all five lug nuts should be properly secured beginning this coming weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

Going forward, if any lug nuts are found to be loose in post-race inspection, the offending crew chief will be fined and suspended for one race. The new policy applies to all three of NASCAR’s national series: Sprint Cup, X-FINITY and Camping World Trucks.

Okay NASCAR Race Mom is confused. If Tony Stewart’s comments regarding the importance of five lug nuts on tires was merely ‘disparaging’ why follow his suggestions. Even for hard-core NASCAR fans, “Lug-Nut Gate” has been very difficult to follow.

My opinion: if you make a mistake – admit it and move on . . . . and NASCAR racing should not be so complicated that you need to re-write the rule-book every weekend.

"We're trying to get it right, and by the way, we will. We have for 60 years and we will always sort out --” especially when it comes to safety. You can mark that down that we will get to the right place as fast as we can. That's job one for us." Brian France commented.

Everyone could go home the Hero!!!

If you cannot publicly admit that you governed in haste or error, here is a solution. NASCAR Race Mom thinks that going into the Talladega weekend, NASCAR should cough up $35,000 of their own and donate it to a favorite charity, like Victory Junction, whose big Charity Ride fundraiser is kicking off on Saturday. 

That simple gesture would put a sweet topping on this very sour lug-nut topic.

photos: Gregg Forwerck

#NASCAR and ARCA Share the Talladega Track

The action starts early today at Talladega Superspeedway when the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards cars take to the 2.66-mile track for its one and only practice session from 8:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. local Central time.

Group qualifying will follow at 2:30 p.m. Central. Cars will be grouped according to practice speeds. Each group will have four minutes to qualify. Currently, 35 cars are unloaded in the ARCA garage in preparation for this afternoon’s 54th running of the General Tire 200 at Talladega, live on FS1 at 5:00 p.m. local Central time.

All on-track activities today will also be featured in live timing and scoring and live chat at

Note: All times listed above here Central.

NASCAR Drivers: John Wes Townley (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) and Dalton Sargeant who ran in the K&N Pro Series last year are on the ARCA Talladega Entry List

NASCAR Weekend Schedule

Series: Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series

Note: Times in EST


  • 11.30 a.m.-12:25 p.m. | NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, FS1
  • 1:30-2:25 p.m. | NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FS1
  • 2.30-3:25 p.m. | NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FS1
  • 4:30-5.25 p.m. | NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice , FS1


  • 10:30 a.m. | NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1
  • 12:30 p.m. | NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX
  • 3:00 p.m. | NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 (113 laps, 300.58 miles), FOX


  • 1 p.m. | NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 (188 laps, 500.08 miles), FOX / VIASAT MOTOR LIVE 18.30

Biffle's Dogged Love of Animals Fuels Foundation, #NASCAR Pets Calendar Project

NASCAR drivers are among the most active athletes in all of sports in their support of worthwhile causes and charities.

Greg Biffle poses above with two of his dogs.
Savannah (left) is a rescue dog. On the right is Gracie, who has since passed away.

From children’s hospitals to education to cancer treatment and research facilities, drivers lend their names -- and much of their free time -- to activities that serve the greater good. Drivers have raised many millions of dollars for charities over the years.

Noting other drivers’ activities with numerous charitable causes, Greg Biffle considered his options years ago and decided to go to the dogs.

Always an animal lover, Biffle started the Greg Biffle Foundation with a goal of supporting animal shelters and educating the public on the importance of spaying and neutering pets. Typically, the foundation activities raise about $200,000 a year, Biffle said.

“I had always had dogs growing up,” he said. “Then I lived in an apartment in Michigan and didn’t really have an area. When I moved to North Carolina (to enhance his NASCAR career), I started looking around for a dog and got Foster (a boxer). He became part of the family quickly. He traveled with me to all the races, went to the shop, everything.”

Starting a foundation geared toward animals was a natural, Biffle said.

“I started hearing about all these animal cruelty cases,” he said. “There was an awful news story about a woman who had Rottweilers and had mistreated them. A lot of the drivers were starting foundations, so we decided to start one tied to animals.”

One of the foundation’s major fundraisers is its annual NASCAR Pets Calendar. The calendar features NASCAR drivers and other NASCAR folks posing with the pets. Since its debut in 2004, the calendar has been a big hit.

In addition to the more traditional dog and cat photos, the calendar also has included goats, horses and donkeys.

For 2017, the calendar project has a new twist.

“Fans have always asked about being included, so this time we’re going to do that,” Biffle said. “We decided it would be great to give back to our loyal supporters by featuring four lucky fans in the 2017 calendar. The NASCAR Pets Calendar is unique in that it shows drivers off the track with some very special family members -- their pets -- and it really resonates with our fans.”

Fans can enter three ways:

Submit a high-quality photo with your pet to before May 20, 2016. Purchase a raffle ticket at the Greg Biffle Foundation website by May 27. One fan will be drawn randomly for inclusion in the calendar. Join the silent auction at  by May 27. The highest bidder will be chosen.

For more information, visit

The foundation’s 2016 calendar featured Clint Bowyer, David Ragan, Casey Mears, Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Austin Dillon, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Biffle and others.

Biffle also is president of his local Friends of the Animals group. The group has been raising money to build an animal adoption and education center near Lake Norman, N.C. He said the group hopes to break ground on the facility soon.

“We’re doing everything we can,” Biffle said. “And 99 percent of the money that comes in goes directly to the cause. There’s a lot to be done, but we’re working on it.”

The driver motorhome lot at every NASCAR race is populated not only by the drivers and their family members but also by their pets. Biffle called Foster and Gracie, two of his dogs who died recently, “stars of the motorhome lot.”

Biffle now has Savannah, a rescue dog, and Killian, a boxer.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R

All-Day Track Car That’s Also Street Legal

NASCAR Race Mom was pretty eager to interview Jim Owens at the 2016 West Palm Beach Barrett Jackson Auction. Owens, a Ford Performance Marketing Manager, heads up the GT350 marketing team. Remarkably, he worked at Shelby American before returning to Ford and knew the legendary Carroll Shelby well. Jim Owen has also been very active with Ford Racing and their NASCAR Program.

Thereby, who better to school me on the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R? For those of you who are unaware, the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R is all about performance and Jim Owens was extremely enthusiastic and passionate about this high precision machine.

“This is a Sear Point / Watkins Glen Road Course car; that is more what Carroll Shelby was known for in the sixties,” Jim narrated. “In the next two or three years, it is our goal to get this car in to the hands of people who want to go out on the track. We designed the Ford Shelby GT350R as the most track capable mustang ever!”

After signing the proper releases and blowing into the breathalyzer, NASCAR Race Mom was treated to an extremely fast lap around the makeshift track housed behind the auction tents. 

I felt as if I were the co-pilot in a dialed in NASCAR Sprint Cup car on a hot lap.

My driver Stan informed me about the 5.2L modular engine, nicknamed Voodoo, which is running a flat plane crankshaft, giving the engine plenty of RPM and an exotic exhaust note*. 

While I am still not sure what all that actually means, I can tell you that the car accelerates and handles astonishingly. 

I believe we were able to top out at approximately eight-five miles per hour on the constricted course.

The Shelby GT350R also boast of a TREMEC Six-Speed Manual. This transmission is much lighter and stouter than the gearboxes that were offered on previous Mustangs. It appears that every aspect of Shelby GT350R is built for track competency.

Lyn St. James test drove the GT350R,” Owens informed, “when she got out of the car, she stated that this was the first car she would actually take straight from the dealership to the track. . . . . that is what we would like this car to be.”

Incredibly, Jim went on to explain that the drive mode system in the 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R incorporates a collection of different features with an end result that the car can be optimized for a road course, a drag strip, spirited street driving, normal street driving and even wet roads – with Normal, Sport, Weather, Track and Drag modes. NASCAR Race Mom was enthralled.

The advantage of this Mustang’s Drive Mode system is to optimize the capabilities and comfort in appropriate situations, while allowing drivers to decide how stiff or how soft they want their high performance American muscle car to be when they hit the road. It is obvious that someone obsessed over getting every detail of design spot-on. 

The original Shelby GT350 was introduced in 1965. This all-new Shelby GT350R Mustang is an amazing world-class performance vehicle, designed to conquer both the street and track. It is attractive in every way and NASCAR Race Mom was impressed with both the car’s aesthetics and thrilling performance. I would love to own one!

I am just fan-ish enough to get a pure sense of joy from this vehicle that Carroll Shelby must have felt as he helped shape the history of racing. 

* The 5.2 L TI-VCT V8 engine with flat plane crank produces 526 horsepower at 7500 rpm and 429 pound-feet of torque at 475. It harbors in its belly a flat-plane crankshaft with throws spaced every 180 degrees, like a four-cylinder—and also like a Ferrari V-8.

#NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting at Riverfront Park in Daytona Beach

22 trees at Riverfront Park in Daytona Beach

Employees from NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Daytona International Speedway gathered Wednesday to celebrate Earth Day by planting trees in a local park. It was the seventh year in a row the group has gathered to participate in NASCAR's Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program.

Riverfront Park in Daytona Beach is the beneficiary this year, gaining 22 live oak trees, as well as 200 dune daisies and 150 marigolds. About 60 employees participated. 

NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Daytona International Speedway employees who participated in the tree and flower planting at Riverfront Park in Daytona Beach as part of the NASCAR Green Clean Air Tree Planting Program.

NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Daytona International Speedway employees planting trees on City Island in Daytona Beach. 

NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation and Daytona International Speedway employees planting dune daisies at Riverfront Park in Daytona Beach.

Photo Credit:

Tony Stewart Shares His Thoughts (#NASCAR)

Driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet SS and Co-Owner of Stewart-Haas Racing

Tony Stewart will start his second race of the season on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, but will give his seat up to Ty Dillon following the first caution.

The maneuver permits Stewart to collect driver points as he hunts for a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, while allowing him to not risk hurting his healing back. If Dillon takes the checkered flag at Talladega, it counts as a win for Stewart.

“We’ll start the Talladega race to get the points but, understanding the style of racing and the higher potential of getting involved in an incident, we thought it best to minimize the amount of time I’m in the car,” Stewart said. “I’ll return full-time at Kansas and enjoy every moment I can my final year of Sprint Cup.”

To qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Stewart must win a race, and finish the regular season in the top 30 in points. He is currently 40th in points (22), trailing 30th-place Matt DiBenedetto by 101. In comparison, Kyle Busch trailed 30th place by 179 points last year when he returned in the 12th race of the season. Stewart missed the first eight contests of 2016.

Stewart finished 22nd in his return at Richmond and completed all 400 laps.

Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy Chevrolet, races
Michael McDowell,  driver of the #95 WRL General Contractors Chevrolet, during
the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International
Raceway  in Richmond, Virginia (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


What were your thoughts about your comeback race at Richmond last weekend?

“It didn’t feel like our first race together, mainly because of the races that we have been through together this year. I mean, I’ve been to seven of the eight races that I’ve missed. Being on the radio with him (Ty Dillon) and being on the pitbox and communicating with him, it really shortened that learning curve up. I don’t think we really missed anything. I feel like we got off to a really good start together. I don’t think there is a communication gap that we have to worry about.”

What has your time out of the car been like this year?

“I watched the Daytona 500 on television at home with my manager Eddie Jarvis. At the end of the race, I told Eddie, ‘That was a pretty good Daytona 500.’ He asked me why and I said, ‘Well, I didn’t get mad at anyone, nobody is mad at me and I didn’t get wrecked. So I didn’t think that was too bad of a last Daytona 500.’

“I’ve been at every race this year except Daytona. This has kind of given me an opportunity to see what the rest of my career is going to look like after this year. To be at the track talking with each of the SHR teams and our drivers and knowing what is going on is still just as exciting and just as intense.”

Assess Ty Dillon’s Performance?

“I really didn’t know what to expect with Ty, but I’ve been very pleasantly surprised. He’s taken to Sprint Cup racing really quickly and has impressed a lot of people at SHR. He listens and is a really quick learner. I think he has a good future ahead of him in the sport.”

Did the injury tempt you to rethink your Sprint Cup retirement plans?

“No, nothing has changed. I was looking forward to running in the Daytona 500, as well as racing at Las Vegas, Fontana and others, so I am disappointed I lost my chance to race at those places. But, I’m comfortable with the retirement plans. We have Clint Bowyer to drive the No. 14 next year and we’ll be fine. We are still going to have a lot of time in the car in 2016 and there’s a lot of racing left.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Who Do YOU Think Should Be In
the SCCA Hall of FAME?

Now is the time for you to have your say!!

The purpose of the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame is to preserve, protect and record the history and accomplishments of the Club for current and future members by recognizing those members who have had a significant impact on the Club and the sport. This may be through service to the national organization, achievements in competition, advancement of the sport, or bringing recognition to the SCCA that inspires enthusiasts to seek out and become members of the SCCA.

Starting in 2005, eleven annual classes have inducted 65 Members into the Hall of Fame. You can see those members here. Seven members will be inducted at the SCCA National Convention in 2017, five from the normal nominating process and two additional Legacy inductees from the first third of the Club's history. The nominating process for that class starts now!!

Any SCCA member can place a name in nomination. You can start by reviewing your home region and home division; you will usually know who has contributed and made an impact to the Club. Another place to look for potential candidates are the Club members that attracted you to SCCA to begin with and those who have been role models for you in your time with SCCA.

The nomination process is easy!
A successful nomination will:
  • Be approximately two pages in length
  • Summarize the individual's background and reasons for consideration
  • Provide more than just a resume. Its goal is to help the Nomination and Selection Committees understand why and how the person was impactful to the Club
  • An online form for your submission is available here.
  • A fillable form you can download and complete offline is available here. It can be sent to or SCCA Hall of Fame, 6620 SE Dwight St; Topeka, KS 66619
  • Be submitted BEFORE June 1st, the cut-off date for all nominations. Note that this is a significant earlier date than previous years! Nominations received after the cut-off date will be placed in consideration for the following year.

Multiple independent nominations will be gladly accepted; however, word-for-word identical nominations are not valuable and will waste both your time and the Committees' time.

This is your chance to leave a permanent mark on the SCCA Club, by being the one responsible for nominating a member of next year's Hall of Fame class.

There’s Nothing Like Talladega’s Traditional Patriotic Pre-Race Lap With Johnny Ray’s
Big Rig and Giant American Flag

The Iconic, Patriotic Drive By, Which Started in 2001, Ready For More Laps This Weekend 

Patriotism is defined as “an emotional attachment to a nation in which an individual recognizes as their homeland.” Few sights in motorsports are more patriotic than that of Johnny Ray and his iconic diesel big-rig, adorned with a giant American flag, making his way down the Talladega Superspeedway frontstretch during the National Anthem prior to the start of NASCAR races.

The iconic drive-by has become a tradition that has left many emotional and full of American pride – perhaps none more so than the man behind the wheel.

This weekend, during pre-race ceremonies for both the Sparks Energy 300 (Saturday, April 30) NASCAR XFINITY Series race and the GEICO 500 (Sunday, May 1) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, Ray will once again delight fans with the unprecedented act of patriotism which has been unique to Talladega since 2001.That year, after the terrorist attacks of 9-11 and the tragic passing of Dale Earnhardt, Sr. in the Daytona 500, Ray, along with Talladega Superspeedway Chairman Grant Lynch, searched for something to boost the morale of a country and a fan base that had gone through tough times. They found the answer in Ray’s passion for 18-wheelers and their mutual love of the country.

“The 9-11 attacks had just happened, and Dale had passed away earlier that year,” said Ray, who lives just down the street from the track in Eastaboga. “I had a crazy idea to run my rig out on the track with an American flag attached to the back. It started off as a tribute to the country and to Dale.”

“Johnny’s flag idea really turned out to be something very unique to Talladega. It has become one of the most iconic National Anthem traditions in sports,” Lynch said of the ritual that began in the fall of 2001. “I’ve seen others try things similar, but here at Talladega we have the biggest flag on the biggest track. It can be copied, but can never be duplicated.”

Ray, who has owned the “John Ray Trucking Company,” since the early 70’s, actually set the World Speed Record for a semi-truck and trailer around the mammoth 2.66-mile track at 92.083 miles per hour in 1975 - in a powerful Kenworth Diesel that hissed and hummed through the tri-oval at a break-neck speed one fall afternoon. Ray has not always been just a trucker, however – he was a racer. He competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) from 1974-1976, starting eight races, four at Talladega, where he earned a career-best 22nd place finish in 1974 before an accident at Daytona in ’76 ended his driving career.

“I was just starting to get my career going when I had a bad wreck at Daytona,” he said. “I was in the hospital for a while and had a long road to recovery. Safe to say that my driving career was over, but that couldn’t stop my love for racing.”

Ray continued on as a car owner in the NSCS on a limited basis. In fact, he gave one of the sport’s legends one of his first opportunities - Earnhardt, Sr., the 10-time Talladega winner.

“I got a call from an old friend that I raced on dirt with, Dale Earnhardt,” Ray said. “He needed a ride for the upcoming Atlanta race. Needless to say, he rolled the car in turn three and completely totaled it. I was still in a neck brace (from my wreck) when I got to the care center and I asked him, ‘are you alright?’ He looked at me and said, ‘yeah, sorry about your car.’ I was just glad he was ok.”

Ray’s story at the Superspeedway continued in the form of volunteering. For nearly 40 years, he has been a member of the White Flag Club, a dedicated service group of local businessmen from surrounding communities that assist the track during race weekends.

For Ray, life has given him some amazing opportunities, and because of that he loves to give back, whether it’s driving the iconic big-rig around the track or helping wherever needed. He will always, like his pace-lap, be unique to Talladega Superspeedway.

In 1975, Johnny Ray (left) set a world record at Talladega Superspeedway on a
closed-course for a semi tractor-trailer at 92.083 mph. Ray (right) now
volunteers at the superspeedway as a member of the White Flag Club and
will take to the track this weekend during pre-race ceremonies as he makes
the iconic drive-by in his diesel big-rig, decked out with a giant American Flag.

Track Press Release

Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America Just A Few Days Away. (#nascar #KPCharityRide)

22nd Anniversary Route Commences in Palm Spring on 04/30

Two hundred riders are getting ready to hit the road on annual cross-country trek from the Palm Desert to the Gulf Coast to raise funds and send deserving kids to Victory Junction

The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, one of the most successful and popular charity rides in the country. The gang is revving up for its 22nd anniversary motorcycle trek, taking place from April 30 to May 6, 2016.

Former NASCAR driver and NBC Sports racing analyst Kyle Petty will lead the diverse pack bikers on a 2,150-mile route, traveling from Palm Springs to Biloxi, to raise funds and awareness for Victory Junction – a camp dedicated to providing life-changing camping experiences for children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses.

“We ride every mile, from the Palm Desert to the Gulf Coast and all the incredible miles in between, first and foremost for the children at Victory Junction,” said Petty. “Each year, the Ride creates lasting memories and gives riders the chance to check items off their travel bucket lists. This year will include the Ride’s first visit to Big Bend National Park.”

Fans are encouraged to come support the cause and greet riders at one of the Ride’s seven overnight stops or daily pit stops. Spectators along the route may also purchase memorabilia or contribute to the Ride’s “Small Change. Big Impact.” program, which accepts donations at each stop.

22nd Anniversary Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America Schedule: (Information about scheduled pit stops can be found on the Ride’s Facebook page.)
  • Day 1, Saturday, April 30 – Palm Springs, California to Phoenix, Arizona
  • Day 2, Sunday, May 1 – Phoenix, Arizona to El Paso, Texas
  • Day 3, Monday, May 2 – El Paso, Texas to Lajitas, Texas
  • Day 4, Tuesday, May 3 – Lajitas, Texas to San Antonio, Texas
  • Day 5, Wednesday, May 4 – San Antonio, Texas
  • Day 6, Thursday, May 5 – San Antonio, Texas to Beaumont, Texas
  • Day 7, Friday, May 6 – Beaumont, Texas to Biloxi, Mississippi

As a result of the Ride, more than 7,880 children have attended Victory Junction at no cost to their families. The camp has served as the Ride’s primary beneficiary since its establishment by Petty and his family in 2004 in honor of his late son, Adam.

This year’s Ride will feature several celebrity riders, including NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven time champion Richard Petty, 2017 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Hershel McGriff, NASCAR legends Harry Gant and Donnie Allison, former NFL great Herschel Walker, retired Lieutenant Colonel Allen West, and NBC Sports NASCAR personalities Rick Allen and Rutledge Wood.

“Cruising the open road with friends who become family is incredible, but helping to create life-changing opportunities for children is what makes the Ride truly one of the most popular motorcycle rides in the country,” said Kyle’s father Richard Petty.

The 2016 Ride is made possible by presenting sponsor Manheim, as well as Coca-Cola, FCA Fleet, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Racing Electronics, FLUIDYNE Racing Products, WinCraft Racing, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Petty Family Foundation, Headbands of Hope, Original Bike Spirits, and the Beef Jerky Outlet.

To keep up with Petty and the riders live, follow along on social media:

About Victory Junction

Victory Junction is a year-round camping environment for children, ages six to 16, with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Co-founded by Kyle Petty and his family in honor of their son Adam, the camp is located in Randleman, North Carolina. Victory Junction exists to provide life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun and empowering, in a safe and medically-sound environment, always free of charge. 

As a not-for-profit organization, the camp operates solely through the support of generous individuals, foundations, organizations and corporations to provide this experience at no charge to children and their families. Since the camp’s inception, more than 23,300 children and families have received not only a circle of support but experiences thought to only be possible by healthy children. Victory Junction is a member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network of Camps founded by Paul Newman, and is accredited by the rigorous guidelines of the American Camping Association. To learn more, please visit

NASCAR Race Mom is looking forward to covering the rides send of in Palm Springs. Below is a little gem from the 2015 ride.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

David Gilliland returns to Restrictor Plate
Racing in Talladega

GEICO 500 Sunday, May 01 / 1:00 PM ET

Gilliland returns to Restrictor Plate Racing in Talladega

David Gilliland will drive a third entry for Front Row Motorsports in the GEICO 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway.

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series has used restrictor plates at Talladega Superspeedway since 1988. The device limits the power output of the motor, hence slowing both the acceleration and the overall top speed obtainable. Restrictor plate racing causes drivers to form very large "packs" of cars that run closely together for the majority of the race. Drivers push each other because it is the fastest way around the track.

David Ragan won the Talladega race thanks to Gilliland,Gilliland, who has been busy overseeing his son Todd’s NASCAR career, has 330 career Sprint Cup starts. His best finish was a second at Sonoma Raceway in June 2008 and at Talladega in May 2013. David Ragan won the Talladega race thanks to Gilliland, who finished second after delivering critical drafting pushes to Ragan in a two-lap overtime finish.

"This is a true David vs. Goliath moment here," Ragan stated at the time after he earned the first victory for Front Row Motorsports (FRM), one of the most underfunded teams in NASCAR's premier series. FRM often has to skimp on tires unlike the powerhouse teams at most of the tracks.

NASCAR Race Mom would love to see David Gilliland collect his first win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – he has earned it. He started the 2015 years from thirty-ninth and finished in position twenty.

Gilliland returns to Restrictor Plate Racing in Talladega - #NASCAR


  • SURFACE: Paved
  • LENGTH: 2.66 MI
  • TURNS: 4
  • BANKING: Turns: 33, Backstretch: 2, Frontstretch: 16.5
  • TRACK RECORD: Bill Elliott, 212.809 mph (44.998 sec.); April 30, 1987

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Photos from David Gilliland's Website