Bristol Triple Header Weekend
Entry List Released
NASCAR returns to “Thunder Valley” this week for its series of night races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
All three national series will compete on the half-mile track, including the Gander Outdoors Truck Series in its playoff opener.
Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race.
Cup – Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN)
There are 39 cars on the entry list.
Last year this race was won by Kurt Busch over Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. Kurt and his brother Kyle Busch have combined to win the last four Bristol races.
Xfinity – Food City 300 (7:30 p.m. ET Friday on NBCSN)
There are 42 cars on the entry list. With a full field set at 38 cars, four cars will not make the event.
Kyle Busch is entered in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota for his sixth and of seven Xfinity starts of the season.
Erik Jones is entered in XCI Racing’s No. 81 Toyota. It would be his first Xfinity start since 2017.
Joe Graf Jr is entered in Kaulig Racing’s No. 10 Chevrolet.
Kyle Larson won this race last year over Christopher Bell and Justin Allgaier.
Trucks – UNOH 200 (8:30 p.m. ET Thursday on FS1)
There are 37 trucks entered for the event. A full field is 32 trucks, meaning five won’t make the event.
John Hunter Nemechek is entered in NEMCO Motorsport’s No. 8 Chevrolet. This would be his first start of the season.
Dylan Lupton is entered in DGR-Crosley’s No. 15 Toyota.
Ryan Sieg is entered in Reaume Brothers Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolet for the second time this year.
Angela Ruch is entered in Niece Motorsports’ No. 44 Chevrolet.
Chandler Smith is entered in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Toyota.
NASCAR on NBC analyst Parker Kligerman is entered in Henderson Motorsports’ No. 75 Chevrolet. This would be just the second race of the year for the team (Atlanta).
Timothy Peters is entered in Ricky Benton Racing Enterprises’ No. 92 Ford. This will be Peters’ fourth race of the year.
This race was was last year by Johnny Sauter over Stewart Friesen and Nemechek.
NBC Sports - August 13, 2019
Denny Hamlin Captures Third Win of The Season After Late Charge at Pocono
Denny Hamlin held off Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr. in a three-lap overtime shootout to win Sunday afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series Gander RV 400 at Pocono Raceway.
The Toyota driver seemed headed for an easy runaway victory until two late cautions created an eventful and uncertain ending to an otherwise-routine race.
Hamlin took the lead for good when Erik Jones made his last pit stop with 20 laps remaining. (Kyle Busch had pitted from the lead with 30 to go, then Jones went 10 laps later). Despite running carefully to save fuel, Hamlin was virtually unchallenged until the overtime. Even so, he had no problem holding off the field for the final three laps.
“We felt pretty good about the fuel,” Hamlin said. “I tried to save as much as I could under caution, but if it wasn’t going to be enough, it wasn’t going to be enough. We did everything we could to win, so I was good with whatever happened. In this case it worked out. No, it never sputtered or acted like it was going to run out of gas.”
The rest of the top 10 behind Hamlin, Jones and Truex in the 160-lap race: William Byron, pole-winner Kevin Harvick, Daniel Hemric, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney.
The victory was Hamlin’s 34th in 491 career starts, his third in 21 starts this year and his fifth in 28 career starts at Pocono, breaking a tie for all-time wins with Jeff Gordon at the 2.5-mile, three-sided track in northeastern Pennsylvania. His most recent Cup Series victory was in March, when he won at Texas Motor Speedway. He finished second last weekend in New Hampshire, only his second top-five finish in his last 11 starts before Sunday.
Kyle Busch won the first 50-lap, caution-free stage ahead of Joey Logano, Harvick, Hamlin and Truex. The second 50-lap stage went to Jimmy Johnson (his first stage victory this season and only his second ever, the last coming in 2017) ahead of Harvick, Logano, Truex and Hamlin. Hamlin (the last 32 laps), Kyle Busch (56) and Harvick (62) dominated, leading all but 13 of the 163 laps.
The on-track cautions were at lap 85 for a Chase Elliott incident, at lap 100 for Blaney/Daniel Suárez contact and at lap 123 when David Ragan crashed after contact with Paul Menard. The final two cautions inside the final five laps involved Josh Bilicki in the first incident and Kurt Busch and Michael McDowell in the other. There was a brief caution for rain at lap 93 and competition cautions to close the first and second stages.
Sunday morning’s pre-race inspection process was eventful. All told, nine cars flunked, led by Austin Dillon’s Chevrolet, a two-time loser. The second failure -- the car’s right rear was deemed too low -- led to the ejection of Richard Childress Racing engineer Ryan Sparks.
The Chevys of Hendrick Motorsports teammates Johnson and Byron also flunked, as did the Fords of Blaney, McDowell and Cory LaJoie, and the Chevys of Chris Buescher, Ross Chastain and Reed Sorenson.
The Cup Series tour next goes to Watkins Glen International for a 90-lap, 220-mile road race, where Elliott is the defending champion.
Autoweek - July 29, 2019
Harvick Captures Fourth Pole of 2019 at Pocono
This is Harvick’s fourth pole of the season and the 29th of his career in 667 NASCAR Cup starts.
In addition, this is Harvick’s 38th career Cup start at Pocono but his first pole there. He’s also never won at the 2.5-mile Tricky Triangle.
“It’s been a fun week getting the win off our back and hopefully a pole today,” Harvick said. All Cup cars were immediately impounded after the qualifying session and will go through post-qualifying inspection Sunday morning before the afternoon’s race.
Joey Logano briefly held the pole, but after Harvick’s run, had to settle for second-fastest (173.377 mph), followed by Aric Almirola (173.164 mph), Erik Jones (173.110) and Austin Dillon (172.659).
Sixth through 10th were Jimmie Johnson (172.586), Kyle Busch (172.427),
William Byron (172.371), Kurt Busch (172.015) and Daniel Suarez (171.933) made it three of four Stewart-Haas drivers that qualified in the top-10.
Among those who struggled during qualifying was Kyle Larson, who wrecked his primary car in practice earlier in the day, forcing him to go to his backup ride. Larson qualified 29th at 168.634 mph.
NBC Sports - July 28, 2019
Silly Season for 2020 Looks Bleak, Silly Season for 2021 Could Be Biggest Ever!
As the 2019 season continues, many questions for 2020 silly season continued to be asked. Where will Bell and Custer Race? Will Kurt Busch return to CGR? Who is out at Joe Gibbs Racing or Stewart Hass Racing?
We are still early in the silly season rumor mill ahead of the 2020 season, but many drivers and sponsors have already said they plan to stay right where they current are for 2020.
Could we have a very quite silly season this year, in anticipation for a big 2021 silly season?
Come 2021, NASCAR will have a new gen 7 car on the race track, a much different race schedule, and a possible shorter race season. Would it be a disadvantage to bring up new drivers for 2020, before everything changes for them in 2021?
Most drivers in the Cup Series garage have said they are signed through 2020, and have anticipation to return next season.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - July 27, 2019
GEN X Paint Scheme for Harvick This Weekend
at Pocono Raceway
Prior to visiting victory lane in the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 last Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon to secure his position in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Kevin Harvick was asked about
the current state of NASCAR racing tactics.
His comment was very simple.
“If you drove like this 10 years ago, you’d have a fist in your mouth.”
Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is one of the last remaining Generation X drivers to
experience such history in NASCAR, and he used his vast driving experience when he battled door-to-door and banged fenders with Denny Hamlin in the thrilling final lap at New Hampshire to score his first race win of the season.
It put him in position to race for his second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Generation X is pretty much defined as anyone born between the years 1965 and 1980. Harvick was born in 1975, grew up during the 1980s, and made his NASCAR touring series debut in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 1995 at the age of 19 and now stands as an elder statesman in the Cup Series.
Even his personal “Happy Harvick” logo of a smiley face with flames is a takeoff of the original smiley face logo created in the late 1960s and made popular in the 1970s. It was slightly altered to highlight his rather sunny disposition off the track while being known for his fiery personality behind the wheel.
The folks at Busch Beer, who read some comments Harvick made in 2018 about older guys being better than the heavily hyped younger guys in the Cup Series garage, came up with a pink Millennial Car for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway after millennial driver Joey Logano won the Cup Series championship in 2018.
Busch is at it again, but this time in a way more fitting for its driver’s generation – a No. 4 Busch Beer Gen X #4The Cup Ford Mustang. The car will sport images of things that Gen Xers once embraced, including boom boxes, skateboards, and words like “gnarly” and “fresh.” Generation X also is known for MTV (yes, there were music videos), 8-bit video games (Zelda anyone?), Miami Vice (White Suits rule), and making mix-tapes for their boom boxes or Sony Walkman (Hello, Huey Lewis and the News). While Gen Xers certainly have their gnarly style quirks, they also have a hardened edge to their personality.
Generation X is known for earning it, something Harvick is still looking to do for the first time at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway, where the Cup Series Gander RV 400 takes place Sunday. He has won at every track on the NASCAR circuit save for Pocono and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta. But he’s finished in the top-10 in eight of 11 races at Pocono since joining SHR, including four runner-up finishes.
In his six seasons with crew chief Rodney Childers at SHR, the duo has combined to produce 23 points-paying victories, a victory in the non-points-paying 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte, 22 poles, 100 top-five finishes and 139 top-10s while leading 9,140 laps.
They won the 2014 championship, finished runner-up in the 2015 title chase to champion Kyle Busch, finished eighth in 2016 and third in 2017 and 2018. The team has qualified for the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway four times in the last five years.
Perhaps, if Harvick wins at the 2.5-mile oval this week, he’ll play a little music – on his old Walkman, per chance? – to celebrate, something like “You’re the Best Around” by Joe Esposito from the 1984 movie, The Karate Kid.
Because a participation trophy is not needed – Harvick wants to earn this trophy.
That is what Gen Xers do.
Speedway Digest - July 26, 2019
Menard Longterm Future Uncertain,
Cindric to Replace Menard in 2021?
It was reported last weekend that Paul Menard will return to Wood Brothers Racing in 2020.
However, where will he be in 2021?
According to Adam Stern from the Sports Business Journal, people close to the Ford camp are expecting Menard to retire in the next couple of years.
Austin Cindric is a top prospect for that ride, as Roger Penske has said that he hopes to have Cindric stay with the company for many years to come.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - July 25, 2019
Money Lion to Expand Sponsorship with Penske
Adam Stern from the Sports Business Journal is reporting that Money Lion's CMO, Bill Davaris says its deal with Team Penske is off to a strong start, with the company seeing awareness boosts in NASCAR markets, and striking deals with Penske partners on the B2B side.
MoneyLion is planning to double down on its presence in Cup next year.
No word what additional sponsorship MoneyLion could have in 2020.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - July 25, 2019
Uncontroled Tire Rules Change for Pit Stops
NASCAR no longer will use the standard of an “arm’s length” from a crew member to determine if to penalize teams for an uncontrolled tire on pit road, removing that requirement from the rule book after complaints from competitors.
Tires will be considered uncontrolled if they create a safety issue or interfere/impede another competitor’s pit stop.
Denny Hamlin was critical of NASCAR’s rule for uncontrolled tires after his team was called for its fifth uncontrolled tire penalty this season at Chicagoland Speedway.
“I don’t know what they can change, but I would like to see a change,” Hamlin said the following week at Daytona when asked about his issues with the rule.
“I think rules have to evolve and this is not about us in particular. I made a comment and it has 3,000 likes, 500 retweets, 300 comments, so it touches the fan base. These are people that aren’t Denny fans; they just don’t get it. If they don’t get it at home, then it’s probably not a rule that needs to be in place in the Cup series because you can’t explain it to them.
“It’s hard to explain when a tire is just sitting there that it’s uncontrolled. It’s not moving. It is controlled. I don’t know the answer, and I don’t know how to fix it. They are pretty smart, and I’m sure they can make adjustments to fix it to make it a little more simple. But overall, everyone’s arms are a different length. So, what is an arm’s length? Do they have some kind of technology that says ‘Ok this distance from the tire changer to the tire is more than an arm’s length and they can pull a measuring out and they can measure it?’ I don’t know, but that’s just too much rules. Too many things that can change the ultimate outcome of a race.
“We had earned our spot up front. That’s the crappy part about it. We had earned our position up there. Then, you have to go to the back and in today’s racing, it’s harder than that ever to be able to come back. It’s virtually impossible to be able to come back now, no matter how fast your car is because everyone is running so much wide-open throttle. It changes your race; it changes how you are going to finish. It’s up to us to play by the rules that have been given to us, let’s be clear about that, but we think we are doing that. Sometimes, that judgement call doesn’t go your way and it’s been multiple times this year, that we don’t know what we could have done differently, and we are going to need that explanation so that we don’t do it again.”
In Wednesday’s bulletin to teams, NASCAR also added a rule that states: “When changing all four tires, crew members must change/remove the outside tires first. The penalty for changing/removing the inside tires first will be restarting at the tail end of the field under caution or a pass-through under green.”
That change comes as NASCAR soon heads to road courses. Xfinity and Cup race next week at Watkins Glen International. Cars pit in the opposite direction there as they do on ovals and there have been times when teams changed the inside tires (those closest to the wall) first.
“Additionally, beginning at the Watkins Glen race weekend, we are mandating that outside tires must be changed first during a four-tire stop, to reduce crew members’ exposure to adjacent vehicles departing their pit stalls,” Sawyer said in a statement. “Our commitment to safety remains unchanged, and these rules adjustments will lessen potential danger for crew members.”
NBC Sports - July 24, 2019
Crew Chief Changes at Front Row Motorsports Ahead of Pocono Weekend
Front Row Motorsports has elected to swap crew chiefs for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers David Ragan and Matt Tifft for the remainder of the 2019 season, the team announced Tuesday afternoon.
Beginning this weekend at Pocono Raceway, Ragan will now have Mike Kelley atop the No. 38 team pit box, while Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Tifft will have Seth Barbour call the shots for the No. 36 team.
Ragan currently sits 30th in the points standings, while Tifft is directly behind in 31st.
Barbour has worked with Ragan since the start of the 2018 season. Kelley is in his first year with Front Row Motorsports, having shifted over from Roush Fenway Racing in the offseason.
The Monster Energy Series heads to the 2.5-mile Pocono triangle for Sunday’s Gander RV 400 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
NASCAR.com - July 24, 2019
Entry Lists for Pocono and Iowa Released
Ahead of Full Weekend of Racing
All three NASCAR premier national series will be in action this weekend with the Cup and Truck Series at Pocono Raceway, and the Xfinity Series iat Iowa Speedway.
Cup – Gander RV 400 at Pocono:
There are 38 cars entered in the race but only 35 drivers listed on the preliminary entry list.
Cars still needing drivers are the No. 51 Ford of Petty Ware Racing, the No. 52 Ford of Rick Ware Racing and the No. 53 Chevrolet of Rick Ware Racing.
Kyle Busch won this race last season. Busch also won six weeks ago at Pocono.
Xfinity – U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa:
There are 39 cars entered in this race. There is one unfilled driver slot on the preliminary entry list: the No. 17 Chevrolet of Rick Ware Racing.
Christopher Bell won the June race at Iowa.
Trucks – Gander RV 150 at Pocono:
There are 31 Trucks entered in this race. There is one unfilled driver slot on the preliminary entry list: the No. 0 Chevrolet of Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing.
Brett Moffitt won this race last year.
NBC Sports - July 23, 2019
Harvick Captures First Victory of 2019
at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick used a late bump and run to win last year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Repeating required another bump, but there was little time for a run before Harvick crossed the finish line 0.210 seconds ahead of Denny Hamlin on Sunday.
"It turned into a wild finish," Harvick said after his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season.
Harvick gave Hamlin a late opening when he had trouble navigating a group of cars that were off the lead lap. After nearly catching him on the back stretch, Hamlin made another run through the final two turns but couldn't regain the lead.
"I just told him we were leaving on a tow truck or winning the race today," said Harvick, who hadn't won since Texas in November.
Driving a backup car after wrecking during a practice lap Friday, Hamlin led 113 laps but couldn't catch Harvick after pitting on a caution after Kyle Larson blew a tire on the 265th lap.
"I just could not break that barrier," Hamlin said. "I could not get him to make that one little slip to give me the bottom."
The 43-year-old Harvick led the final 41 laps in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford for his second straight victory at the track. He has four victories at the mile oval to tie the record set by Jeff Burton.
Harvick won at New Hampshire last year after a late bump from behind knocked Kyle Busch off the lead. On Sunday, Harvick had a late bump again, but this time it was nudging Hamlin just enough to the side coming out of the final turn.
"I'm like, 'You're not getting under me again.' And he drove to the outside of me, and I waited until he got near me, and I just put a wheel on him," Harvick said.
Erik Jones was third, and Ryan Blaney fourth.
NASCAR paid tribute to crew chief Nick Harrison, who died overnight after Saturday's Xfinity Series race.
NASCAR announced Harrison's death during the drivers' meeting before the race Sunday and honored him with a moment of silence. No details were given.
ESPN - July 22, 2019
Chastain to #77 Cup Ride With a
Chip Ganassi Technical Alliance?
Could Ross Chastain join Spire Motorsports #77 full time in the Cup Series? Also could Spire Motorsports form a technicle alliance with Chip Ganassi Racing?
Lee Spencer from the Racingboys.com mention on NASCAR Siruis XM Radio and this is a strong possibility if CGR plans to keep Chastain under contract.
Currently Spire Motorsports is housed within the Premium Motorsports race shop, a team that Chastain has made 18 starts with this season.
If Spire Motorsports has a technical alliance with CGR expect the Spire Motorsports team to move in house with them.
Ross has also been rumored to race full time for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series.for 2020.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - July 20, 2019
Keselowski Captures First Pole
Since 2017 at the Magic Mile
Keselowski has three wins already this season but had yet to win a pole. He filled in that blank on Friday using an average lap speed of 136.384 mph to claim the top starting position for Sunday’s Foxwoods Casino 301.
Last week’s race winner, Kurt Busch, was the last car to qualify and appeared to have a chance to topple Keselowski but slotted in third (136.238 mph) when he completed the second of his two laps.
Kyle Busch ended up second (136.311 mph). Erik Jones was fourth and Ryan Blaney completed the top-five.
The pole is the 15th of Keselowski’s career and his fourth at New Hampshire, with the most recent coming in 2014, the same year as his only victory at the track.
“This definitely surprised me. It’s been a while since we’ve had a pole,” Keselowski said. “We’ve had really good cars but haven’t been able to make the most of it with the driver in qualifying, so it’s nice to get one here in Loudon.
“It would feel really good if this race was still in the playoffs in the fall but we’ll take it and be happy with it and see what we have in the race. Nobody really knows what they have in the race because of the way practices are the PJ1 (traction compound) on the track changes every time you go out.”
Asked how big track position will be on Sunday, Keselowski said: “The first pit stall will be huge for sure. This track on pit road has a lot of chaos. I’m not saying you can’t wreck in pit stall No. 1, but it’s a little harder there and it certainly makes life a lot easier for your pit crew.”
Rounding out the top-10 starters are Martin Truex Jr., Matt DiBenedetto, Joey Logano, Aric Almirola and Jimmie Johnson.
Early in the qualifying session, smoke came pouring out of Alex Bowman’s No. 88 Chevrolet during his qualifying warm-up lap and dropped his drive shaft on the track.
“Something broke obviously. There’s oil everywhere, so probably ripped out some oil lines on its way out,” Bowman said. “Just cruising down the straightaway at 150 mph and something exploded next to me. It’s a bummer.”
A transmission engine change will mean Bowman will have to start Sunday’s race from the rear of the field. Ryan Newman and Denny Hamlin are also starting from the rear after each wrecked in practice and had to move to a backup car.
The No. 8 Chevrolet of Daniel Hemric failed pre-qualifying inspection three times and as a result had his car chief ejected from the track for the remainder of the weekend.
Motorsport.com - July 19, 2019
Kyle Larson Confirms He is
Signed for CGR Next Season
During a Chevrolet appearance at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, media members had a chance to ask Kyle Larson about how the racing has been going for the 2019 season, and what 2020 looks like for the 26 year old and if he will return to Chip Ganassi Racing or not.
“I am wrapped up. There has been no contract negotiations. I am still there through next year. I don’t know why all the contract stuff has been coming up. I think because people try to make things up. Yeah, I don’t know. I am there, so not really sure what else to say.”
The Racing Insiders Team Report - July 19, 2019
Glen Wood Honored With Darlington Throwback
The past and present of the Wood Brothers and their Motorcraft/Quick Lane team come together this week as they’re preparing the No. 21 Motorcraft / Quick Lane Ford Mustang that Paul Menard will race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway while also unveiling their Southern 500 car, which is inspired by the 1957 Ford Sunliner raced by the team’s late founder Glenn Wood.
Wood’s son Eddie said he’s looking forward to this weekend’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at Loudon, N.H., a popular stop on the Monster Energy Cup Series circuit.
“We only go to New Hampshire once a year now, so it’s good to get to see that area and the great fan base there,” he said. “And we’re hoping to take some of what we learned at Richmond Raceway, where we ran well, and see how much of that applies at New Hampshire.”
Wood also is proud to help unveil the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team’s contribution to the popular annual throwback-themed weekend at NASCAR’s original superspeedway, Darlington Raceway.
The red-and-black paint scheme is patterned after the 1957 Sunliner that Glenn Wood raced in 1957 in his only Darlington appearance as a driver.
Wood, with relief from Fonty Flock, finished 17th in the Rebel 300 after blowing an engine.
Wood also raced the ’57 at Daytona in 1958 in the Convertible circuit’s final appearance on the beach-road course that preceded Daytona International Speedway. He finished sixth in that race.
Wood, one of the top stars of the Convertible circuit, had his best season in 1957, winning four races and two poles and finishing in the top five in 23 of the 46 races that year.
For his 89-race Convertible career, Wood had five wins, 43 top-five and 62 top-10 finishes and nine poles.
He also raced the ’57 in the series now known as Monster Energy Cup, simply bolting on a top to make it legal for the elite division.
The original car had an interesting history. It started its life doing endurance testing at Ford’s proving grounds in the desert.
“They were going to scrap it once the endurance testing was over, but my Dad found out about it and called John Cowley, who ran Ford’s NASCAR effort back then,” Wood said. “He gave the car to my Dad and they made a race car out of it.”
“They kept the red-and-black paint scheme that was on the car during the endurance tests.”
Wood said he, his family and the entire Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are thankful for the chance to honor his father, who died January 18th of this year.
“You want to honor your dad the best way you can,” Eddie Wood said. “And for racers, the throwback weekend at Darlington provides the perfect opportunity to do that.”
Wood said his family and the race team considered honoring Wood at Darlington last year but chose to recognize former driver Cale Yarborough on the 50th anniversary of his first Southern 500 triumph, which came aboard the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Mercury. It also was the first Southern 500 win for the Woods.
“It would have been nice to do it last year, but it’s nice to do it now,” Wood said. “It’s really a special paint scheme, for sure.”
But first there’s business to be done at New Hampshire, where Cup qualifying is set for Friday at 4:30 p.m., and Sunday’s 301-mile race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on NBCSN.
Wood Brothers Racing PR - July 19, 2019
Dow to Return to RCR and Driver,
Austin Dillon in 2020
There was some questions regarding DOW and the future of sponsorship of Austin Dillon and Richard Childress Racing early in 2019.
Recently DOW was purchased by Dupont in 2017. In April of 2019 DOW Inc. separated into a private company.
Questions regarding potential sponsorship on Austin Dillon's ride was up in the air. Could DOW leave as sponsor, or could Dupont become his new sponsor?
Recently Bob Pockrass from Fox Sports NASCAR posted on twitter saying that Richard Childress Racing has confirmed that DOW Chemical has re-signed for the 2020 season, and the DOW logos will be on the race car.
Dow manufactures plastics, chemicals, and agricultural products. With a presence in about 160 countries, it employs about 54,000 people worldwide.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - July 18, 2019
Kurt Busch Still Unsure About 2020 Plans
Coming off of Kurt Busch's huge win at Kentucky Speedway this weekend over younger brother Kyle Busch, Kurt joined Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Show 'Speedway' with host Dave Moody.
Kurt talked about several topics including what the future might hold for the 40 year old driver.
Kurt mentioned that he is having a lot of fun this year, and is in a great partnership with his team, owners, and sponsors. Kurt said he is not sure of what his plans are yet for 2020 admitting that 2019 could still be his last season.
Kurt went on to mention that Chip Ganassi Racing is working currently with Kyle Larson on a possible contract extension and talks with sponsorship
from Monster Energy with the team are expected to start in the coming weeks about a potential 2020.
Until those talks happen Kurt says he has no idea what 2020 will look like, and the team is focused right now on this years playoffs.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - July 17, 2019
NASCAR Double-Header This
Weekend at the Magic Mile
The NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series will be in action this weekend at the one mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. The Gander Outdoors Truck Series is off until July 27 at Pocono Raceway.
For the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series there are 37 cars entered. Quin Houff will be back in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet. In addition, drivers have not been named as yet for the No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet and the No. 52 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet.
In the NASCAR Xfinity Series there are 41 cars entered, so three cars will miss the race. Cup regular Paul Menard will be driving the No. 12 Team Penske Ford Mustang. Ryan Truex will be making his third Xfinity start of the season in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Tyler Matthews will make his third Xfinity start of 2019 in the No. 15 JD Motorsports Chevrolet. Harrison Burton makes his third start of the season in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Kaz Grala is entered in his fourth race of the year in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet. Canadian driver Alex Labbe makes his third start of 2019 in the No. 90 DGM Racing Chevrolet. CJ McLaughlin will make his Xfinity Series debut, driving the No. 93 RSS Racing Chevrolet.
NBC Sports - July 16, 2019
Kurt Busch Edges Brother in First Victory of the Season at Kentucky Speedway
Denied victory at Daytona by an inopportune pit call last Sunday, Kurt Busch drove like lightning in a two-lap overtime dash to the finish to win Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.
Swapping sheet metal with brother Kyle Busch as the siblings battled for the victory throughout the overtime, Busch collected his first victory of the season in the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. The 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion won for the first time at Kentucky and the 31st time in his career.
Kurt Busch beat his brother to the finish line by .076 seconds, the closest margin of victory at a 1.5-mile intermediate speedway this season. It was also the first Cup triumph for a Chevrolet at Kentucky, which began hosting races in NASCAR’s premier series in 2011. And it was the first victory for Busch’s crew chief, Matt McCall.
“Hell yeah! Hell yeah!” Busch exulted after climbing from his car on the frontstretch. “I’m proud he (Kyle) gave me a little room on the outside. He could have clobbered us against the wall, and he probably would have got it.”
Busch was running fourth, nine seconds behind then-leader Joey Logano, when Bubba Wallace spun in Turn 2 with six laps left in regulation. Logano, third-place Erik Jones, the Busch brothers and Denny Hamlin stayed out on older tires for the overtime, with Kurt Busch having fresher rubber on his left side, thanks to a four-tire pit stop under green on Lap 213 of a scheduled 267.
That caution helped balance the scales of fortune. Last Sunday at Daytona, Busch pitted from the lead when NASCAR gave the one-lap-to-go signal, only to have a lightning bolt within the eight-mile range return the race to caution. After rain hit the track, Justin Haley, who stayed out, got the victory.
The misfortune at Daytona, made Busch relish his Kentucky win all the more.
“What an awesome run,” Busch said. “Whatever last week was, we got the ‘W’ now! That was epic. I was hopeful that we would get a shot, just one more restart. We got that yellow … with my little brother. (He’s) the best guy in the world to go race against.”
RACER - July 13, 2019
Bigger Wheel, Wider Tire Expected For Gen 7 Car
After decades of using 15-inch diameter tires, NASCAR and Goodyear definitely will increase tire size diameter – probably to 18-inches – beginning in 2021 when the new Generation 7 Cup Series racecar is put into use, Kickin’ the Tires has confirmed.
“It is not just a tire change, it is the overall Gen 7 package that everybody is working on for 2021,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s Director of Racing. “Part of the whole idea is to try to update the cars somewhat, make it a little bit more relevant to what you see on the street these days. So, I think there will be probably some more differentiation among manufacturers, the car itself will be totally different from a performance perspective.
And one of the things we are looking at is to go with a larger diameter tire, a larger wheel diameter. We have been running 15-inch (tires) here in NASCAR for a lot of years now. If you look at cars on the street, you don’t see too many 15-inch wheel diameters anymore. So, we are looking at larger wheel diameters and our target is 18-inch.”
Stucker said Goodyear and NASCAR had built and tested tires and wheels with a 17-inch diameter a few years ago but after collaboration with the Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota they landed on the 18-inch diameter as the most logical choice going forward. It’s a change that is being centered around the not so easy task of redesigning the entire car used in the Cup Series and will bring the tire more in line with what is seen on production model vehicles.
“It will present a lot of opportunities from a performance standpoint but also present some challenges from a performances standpoint, also. It will be a challenge,” Stucker said. “The biggest thing is to try and tune it to the chassis itself. If we go to a larger wheel diameter, then typically we’ll go to a shorter profile, so the sidewall of the tire won’t be quite as tall. We will probably, also, add some width to the tire, so we will go with a little bit wider wheel, a little bit wider tire. And, again, try to tune it to the characteristics of the chassis.”
Stucker explained there is a lot still to determine on exactly how it will affect racing on the track but with a wider tire, there will be an increased contact patch between the tire and the track. Currently, the contact patch is about half the size of a sheet of copy paper. Any increase would give drivers more grip but, according to Stucker, it won’t necessarily increase heat build-up in the tire as the tire compound has yet to be finalized and would change from track-to-track like it does now.
A spokesperson for NASCAR stopped short of giving specifics other than to confirm the work being done, “Indeed, there is development work underway on an 18” set-up.”
Stucker said it is good that the entire sport is working together to make the racecar the best it possibly can be.
“You can’t say a wider tire is going to be better than a narrower tire,” Stucker said. “We’ll have to tune construction, we’ll have to tune compounds for a wider tire. All those different things will come into play. So, the goal will be to make sure we hit the sweet spot on every racetrack that we run. It will just be a process to work through and make sure we get everything tuned accordingly.”
And the process isn’t easy. Stucker said there is not a racing series out there that runs an 18-inch wheel diameter on a heavy stock car, like the Cup Series. One of the issues is things in NASCAR have been done the same way for years and the coming changes are going to be completely different.
Stucker said they aren’t sure where the price-point would come in for the new tires but he knows it can’t be a radical change because the overall goal is to save teams money and make the racing even better. Currently, a set of four tires is reported to cost teams $2,200. He again stressed the collaboration efforts.
“It’s a challenge,” he said. “These are still very heavy cars running on oval tracks where the loads are very high and very consistent. Nobody does that. So, it’s a challenge but we have a lot of history and we have a lot of great people in the garage that we work with to work on the package, so it is not just us it is everybody working together to get it right.
“It will be, in a lot of ways, a real shift from a design perspective and it’s going to be a very interesting project. I think it is extremely exciting. You know, from an engineering perspective, it’s exciting. It creates a lot of different opportunities we don’t have today from a performance perspective. And I think the relevance to the cars you see on the street is an important piece.”
There is no immediate plan to change from the current 15-inch diameter tire size in the Camping World Truck Series or the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Stucker said.
Kickin The Tires - July 13, 2019
Saurez Captures Second Career Pole at Kentucky
Daniel Suarez got the second pole of his Cup Series career at Kentucky Speedway on Friday.
Suarez, the last driver to make a qualifying lap, bested Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola for the top spot. All four SHR cars qualified in the top seven.
The organization hasn’t won a race yet in 2019. But that hasn’t been for a lack of speed from 2014 champion Kevin Harvick, a driver who has had one of the best cars at intermediate tracks this season.
The pole is a nice track-position advantage for Suarez after he fell out of the 16-driver playoff field at Daytona thanks to a crash. He’s three points outside the final playoff spot with eight races to go until the 10-race playoffs.
It’s still been the best season of Suarez’s career so far. His average finish of 15.7 is better than it was in his rookie season of 2017 and nearly three spots better than it was a season ago when he finished 21st in the standings for Joe Gibbs Racing. He was the odd man out at JGR after the team signed Martin Truex Jr. when Furniture Row Racing shut down.
Truex is the man who has won the last two races at Kentucky. He starts eighth.
Saturday night’s race is the first night race at an intermediate track since the Coca-Cola 600 in May. The 600 — a crash-filled spectacle that featured a ton of restarts — happened just two weeks after an exciting race at Kansas. That race was also at night.
Will the night magic happen at Kentucky? Maybe. The track has two distinct sets of corners and there’s traction compound laid down in both of them. Temperatures for Saturday night’s race will also be warmer than Kansas and possibly warmer than Charlotte. The prevailing theory is that cooler is better with NASCAR’s 2019 rules.
The starting lineup below is unofficial pending the results of pre-race inspection on Saturday afternoon. Drivers who fail inspection will lose their starting spot.
Yahoo Sports - July 12, 2019
Menard Signed Through 2020 Season
at Wood Brothers Racing
On Friday at Kentucky Speedway, veteran Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Paul Menard told reporters he had a contact for the 2020 season.
Menard, 38, indicated plans to return to the No. 21 Ford of Wood Brothers Racing for a third season.
“I have a good job, for sure,” Menard said after final Monster Energy Series practice at Kentucky Speedway. “I love the Wood Brothers. I love my race team. They are good people. I have a contract for next year. I guess it is getting to be that time of year when people start talking about things. I have a contract and I love my team. We just have to perform better, that is all.”
Menard has a best finish of sixth this season at Bristol. Competing in his 13th full season in the MENCS, Menard is currently 20th in the point standings.
“It is certainly not where we want to be,” said Menard about being on the outside of the playoff picture.
Tireball Sports - July 12, 2019
Smithfield & Alimirola Plans to Return to SHR in 2020, However Not Signed Yet
Adam Stern from the Sports Business Journal posted on twitter that Smithfield Foods has mentioned that they are working with Stewart Hass Racing on continuing as primary sponsor with Aric Almirola come 2020.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - July 11, 2019
Supercars Camp, Scott McLaughlin Hope to
Race NASCAR in Coming Years
The reigning Supercars champion opened up on his US ambitions in the recently-released Road to Redemption book, confirming that his sights are set squarely on a future move to NASCAR.
According to the book, McLaughlin would rather make a future move to The States than stay in Supercars and rack up titles like Whincup has, a position strengthened by his personal ties to America through fiancee Karly Paone, who comes from New York.
"I'm asked a lot about America and my NASCAR ambitions," McLaughlin wrote.
"Obviously with an American fiancee it's something that is a serious factor, and Karly would like to move back to be with her family one day.
"But for now I have to keep kicking goals here. I know if I continue to do a good job the spoils will come.
"I have massive respect for what Jamie Whincup has achieved with his seven championships, but I'm not sure I could keep doing what he's doing, year after year.
"If I was able to tick off a championship and a Bathurst win in the next half-dozen years or so I would consider doing something else. If the opportunity came up to try something Stateside I'd jump at it.
"And NASCAR is the obvious goal.
"NASCAR is a dream of mine and Roger Penske and the team know that."
As Motorsport.com exclusively reported last month, the famous American team owner is well-aware of McLaughlin's NASCAR plans – and says winning last year's Supercars title was a step towards making a US move a reality.
The Kiwi had his first taste of NASCAR hardware on the Gold Coast last year, sampling an ex-Joey Logano Fusion in a series of demo runs.
Road to Redemption, currently on sale, is a tell-all insight into McLaughlin's 2018 season, charting the fall-out of his disastrous weekend in Newcastle in 2017 through to his title-winning triumph at the same circuit 12 months later.
Motorsport.com - July 11, 2019
Kentucky Triple-Header Entry List Released
NASCAR makes its annual trip to Kentucky Speedway this weekend with all three of it national series.
The weekend is capped off by the Cup Series’ Quaker State 400 Saturday night. There are 36 cars entered into the race. Quin Houff is entered in Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Chevrolet a week after Justin Haley earned the team’s first Cup win. There are no drivers listed for Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 and No. 52 cars. Last year Martin Truex Jr. swept both stages and won over Ryan Blaney and Brad Keselowski for his second straight win at Kentucky.
For the NASCAR Xfinity Series there are 38 cars on the entry list.
Ryan Truex is entered in JR Motorsports No. 8 Chevrolet for the second time this year. BJ McLeod is entered in JD Motorsports’ No. 4 Chevrolet. Riley Herbst is entered in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota. There is no driver listed for MBM Motorsports’ No. 13 Toyota. Last year, Christopher Bell won over Daniel Hemric and Kyle Busch.
The Truck Series kicks off the weekend on Thursday night. There are 34 trucks entered. Two trucks will not make the race. Dylan Lupton is entered in his second race in DGR-Crosley’s No. 15 Toyota. Jeb Burton is entered in Niece Motorsports’ No. 44 Chevrolet. Brandon Jones is entered in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 51 Toyota. Last year, Ben Rhodes won over Stewart Friesen and Matt Crafton.
NBC Sports - July 9, 2019
Justin Haley & Spire Motorsports Gets Unimaginable Victory at Daytona
I hope that last weekend was everything you've come to love from Daytona weekend. Rain and lightning delays, watermelon farmers and a winner who was probably most people's 39th or 40th pick to win.
Hopefully some (not all -- I can do without the weather delays) of the Daytona institutions follow this race to its new date in August, starting in 2020. But the unpredictability does mean a great deal to NASCAR statistical bloggers like myself.
Victories by Justin Haley in Sunday's Cup series race and Ross Chastain in Friday's Xfinity Series race were both highly unpredictable, feel-good stories. Sure, it would've been fun to have seen Sunday's Cup race end under a green flag, and maybe on Saturday, the day it was originally scheduled to be run.
But we can't ask for too much. After all, we did get a Truck Series driver winning the Xfinity race and an Xfinity Series driver winning the Cup race. No playoff berths stolen, but a spot for each in the record book.
Here are some of my favorite notes from the weekend that was.
A Hail(y) Mary winnerTo say Haley was an unexpected winner is an exaggeration of unrestricted proportions. But let's count the ways.
Haley was making his third career start in the series, the 20th winner in series history who picked up his first win in three or fewer career starts.
Eight of those came in the first two Cup series seasons, and only four have come since 1965. Kevin Harvick and Haley both did so in their third starts; Jamie McMurray and Trevor Bayne both one-upped them by winning in their second starts. The last driver to win in his first Cup start was Johnny Rutherford in 1963.
Haley was also just 20 years, 70 days old at the time of his first victory. Only Joey Logano (19 years old) and Bayne (20 years, one day) were younger when they became Cup winners. The only other drivers to pick up a Cup win before turning 21 were Kyle Busch and Donald Thomas. Logano and Busch were future Cup series champions, while Bayne and Thomas have one career win apiece.
Before the final lap of Sunday's race, Haley had never led a lap in the Cup series. The last lap of a race is an excellent choice for your first. The only other driver besides Haley to pull off that feat? Brad Keselowski, who also pulled off a mega-upset when he led Phoenix Racing to victory at Talladega in 2009 in one of the wildest finishes in series history. Count on this again in 2029?
Haley's previous best career Cup finish was 32nd in his Cup debut at Talladega. That makes him the eighth driver in series history to pick up a win despite never having a top-30 finish in the series. Six of the previous seven were drivers who were making their first career starts in the series.
The other was household name John Rostek, who won in his second career start at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in 1960. His only other start was a 39th-place finish in his Daytona 500 qualifier, when he wrecked out on the fifth lap. That was next to last in that race, beating only a name I needed to mention in this column, and I swear it isn't made up at all: Johnny Dollar.
Something to In-Spire you:
Backing Haley's efforts was first-year Cup series team Spire Motorsports. Haley is the sixth different driver the team has used this season, and his win improved the team's average finish to 30.8.
If you're keeping track at home (I always am), that's one more victory than Stewart-Haas Racing, Richard Childress Racing and Roush Fenway Racing have this season.
The sport has been dominated by Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske this season, and by Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing going back previous years, as the sport has generally had a handful of organizations leading the way throughout its history.
By my count, 183 different organizations have picked up Cup series victories. Spire Motorsports is the first new team to join the fraternity since JTG Daugherty Racing nearly five years ago in August 2014 at Watkins Glen.
In fact, only four teams have been first-time winners going back to 2010: Spire, JTG Daugherty, Front Row Motorsports and Furniture Row Racing. To show how quickly an organization can grow from newcomer to champion, Sunday's race was exactly 10 years and one month removed from the inaugural victory for Stewart-Haas Racing, by Tony Stewart at Pocono.
Feels like the first time ... again:
In this space, or one very similar to it, I wrote all about first-time winners for Alex Bowman's victory last week at Chicago. First-time winners are fairly rare, except at Daytona, where Haley was the 20th first-time winner. But back-to-back first-time winners are especially rare.
This was the first time there were first-time winners in consecutive races since 2007, when Casey Mears and Martin Truex Jr. got their maiden wins in back-to-back races. In the Modern Era (since 1972), it had only happened two other times, by Jerry Nadeau and Michael Waltrip in 2000-01, and Tony Stewart and Joe Nemechek in 1999.
If you thought that was rare, if the nearly impossible happens and we get a third straight first-time winner next weekend at Kentucky, it'll be the first time that's happened since 1950, the second season in Cup series history.
Those three first-timers were Johnny Mantz, Fonty Flock and Leon Sales.
The record for consecutive first-time winners was five, in the very first five races in Cup series history.
ESPN - July 10, 2019
Jimmie Johnson Could Race Indy Car Race if NASCAR Host Double-Header
Jimmie Johnson mentioned prior to the rained out Daytona race on Saturday, that he hopes NASCAR will race in the same weekend as an Indy car race so that he could race the double. Jimmie Johnson has show interest in other forms of auto racing as of late including a ride swap with Fernando Alonso in F1.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - July 9, 2019
MBM Releases Crew Members,
No Plans to Continue Cup Series Racing
Carl Long, owner of MBM Motorports posted on Facebook Tuesday night about some changes happening for his race team.
In an announcement about his Daytona weekend plans car owner, Carl Long mentioned that he has released Cup Series crew chief, Brian Keselowski. In addition, due to funding, MBM Motorsports has no plans to compete further in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series, the team will still race four cars in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
"He (Brian Keselowski) has done a good job with handling Cup and Xfinity for us. The down fall is we can't hire enough quality people with experience to get the Cup car back to the track. We do not have the money to buy a lot of the pieces Brian insists we need to go faster. So the bookkeeping side cannot afford to feed the racer side of MBM. I wish him well as we continue to get all we can out of the budget we have to work with. Maybe one day we will get some big money" said team owner, Carl Long.
The last races MBM Motorsports has raced in the Cup Series is the Coca-Cola 600 in May of the this season. This weekend MBM Motorsports driver, Joey Gase will race the #53 Chevrolet for Rick Ware Racing.
Former crew cheif, Brian Keselowski posted on his twitter saying, "Wanna thank MBM for the year I’ve been there but it’s time to move on. Really liked working with @ChadFinchum and the kid has a real shot at running well each week." In another tweet later in the day Brian posted "I’ll be in Daytona and Kentucky with an xfinity team that is running well. I’m excited to get there and see what I can do to help."
No word if additional MBM Motorsports staff were released as part of temporarily shutting down the Cup Series team. No word when and if the team will return to the Cup Series.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - July 3, 2019
Forbes Reveals NASCAR's Top Grossing Drivers
NBC kicks off its Nascar Cup season coverage this Sunday with a race from Chicagoland Speedway on NBC Sports Network. It comes on the heels of Fox Sports posting a 2% ratings increase compared to 2018 for its first-half race schedule. The gain was a welcome change for the race series where ratings are off nearly 50% over the past decade.
Nascar has suffered from the retirement in recent years of many of its biggest names, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Danica Patrick. The lost star power has dented viewership but has given team owners a chance to reset the salary structure in the sport.
The days of the $10 million driver salary are just about done (Jimmie Johnson is the last remaining one, according to multiple sources). Salaries for new drivers are typically six figures with only a handful of drivers earning more than $4 million in base salary.
The 10 top-earning drivers made $116 million combined last year from salaries, endorsements and their share of race winnings and licensing revenue. The total is off 36% from a decade ago (46% adjusted for inflation). In addition to lower salaries, the downturn in licensing earnings and endorsements for the new crop of drivers has been steep.
Johnson is Nascar’s highest-paid driver for the second time in three years. He earned $17.5 million in 2018 by Forbes’ count from his Hendrick Motorsports salary and his cut of winnings and licensing. His earnings also include personal endorsements with the likes of Chevrolet, Gatorade and Seiko.
Johnson was Nascar's top earner in 2018, but it was the worst season of his career, as he finished 14th overall and didn't win a race for the first time in his career. Johnson has not been in the winner’s circle since June 2017.
It was the end of an era for Johnson and Nascar when Lowe’s left the sport at the end of the season. The home improvement chain signed on as primary sponsor of the No. 48 car in 2001 before Johnson had won a race. He proceeded to win 83 races and a record-tying seven Cup championships with Lowe’s. The season also marked the end of the 17-year partnership between Johnson and his crew chief Chad Knaus.
Digital financial services company Ally Financial inked a deal last fall to be the primary sponsor for all 38 races on the Nascar schedule for the No. 48 car. The contract covers the 2019 and 2020 season. Johnson is also signed with Hendrick through 2020.
Johnson’s $17.5 million tally last year is half of what Earnhardt earned a decade prior as the highest-paid Nascar driver. Below are the top-earning drivers in 2018.
1. Jimmie Johnson
Total Earnings: $17.5 million
Salary/winnings: $14 million
Endorsements/licensing: $3.5 million
Johnson has a stake in and his name on a Chevy dealership in San Diego. It's a result of Hendrick Motorsport owner Rick Hendrick, who also owns one of the largest auto dealership groups in the U.S.
2. Kyle Busch
Total Earnings: $15.8 million
Salary/winnings: $13.8 million
Endorsements/licensing: $2 million
Busch won eight Cup races last year and leads the standings halfway through the 2019 season. The 2015 Cup champion won his 200th race this year combined across Nascar's top three race series.
3. Denny Hamlin
Total Earnings: $14.2 million
Salary/winnings: $12.7 million
Endorsements/licensing: $1.5 million
After failing to reach Victory Lane in 2018, Hamlin started this year with a bang, capturing his second career Daytona 500 (his first Daytona was in 2016). FedEx has been part of Joe Gibbs Racing since 2005 and is the lone primary sponsor for Hamlin's car. Hamlin has personal endorsement deals with big brand names Coca-Cola and Nike's Jordan Brand.
4. Kevin Harvick
Total Earnings: $13.1 million
Salary/winnings: $11.6 million
Endorsements/licensing: $1.5 million
Harvick's No. 4 car gets hefty sponsorship thanks to his consistent performance over the past decade, which includes top three finishes in the overall Cup standings seven of the past nine years. Merchandise sales for Harvick and the No. 4 car were second highest in Nascar last year.
5. Joey Logano
Total Earnings: $11 million
Salary/winnings: $9.6 million
Endorsements/licensing: $1.4 million
Last year when he won the Nascar Cup title, Logano fulfilled the immense promise he first showed on a big stage when he became the youngest winner ever of a Nationwide Series race in 2008 just after his 18th birthday. Logano is signed with Team Penske through 2023.
6. Brad Keselowski
Total Earnings: $10.4 million
Salary/winnings: $9.2 million
Endorsements/licensing: $1.2 million
The 2012 Cup champion invested more than $10 million to launch an advanced contract manufacturing company, Keselowski Advanced Manufacturing, this year. The goal is to work with aerospace, military, and oil and gas companies.
7. Chase Elliott
Total Earnings: $9.5 million
Salary/winnings: $7.5 million
Endorsements/licensing: $2 million
Elliott ranks among top-earning drivers for the first time thanks to a new four-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports that started in 2018 and pushed his base salary into the mid-seven figures range. His licensed merchandise sales were highest among all drivers in 2018.
8. Kyle Larson
Total Earnings: $9 million
Salary/winnings: $8 million
Endorsements/licensing: $1 million
Larson lost one of his car's sponsors, DC Solar, when the FBI raided its headquarters and the home of the company's founders in December. DC Solar filed for bankruptcy in February.
9. Martin Truex
Total Earnings: $8.2 million
Salary/winnings: $7.3 million
Truex finished second in the 2018 Cup standings but lost his ride when Furniture Row ceased operations. The 2017 Cup champion landed on his feet with a multi-year deal with Joe Gibbs Racing.
10. Clint Bowyer
Earnings: $7.3 million
Salary/winnings: $6.6 million
Bowyer's win at Martinsville last year ended a 190-race winless streak that stretched back to 2012. He backed it up with a June win at the Michigan International Speedway.
Forbes - July 1, 2019
Entry Lists for Daytona Released Ahead
of Double-Header Weekend
Get ready for lots of fireworks this 4th of July weekend – both on and off the race track at Daytona International Speedway.
This race marks the first time the 2.5-mile track hosts a Cup race without restrictor plates since 1988, utilizing instead the tapered spacer – which we’ve already seen used once this year at Talladega Superspeedway.
Both the Cup and Xfinity Series will be in action at Daytona. The Truck Series is off until July 11 at Kentucky Speedway.
There is a full 40-car field of cars and drivers entered for the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series race at Daytona. Quin Houff will drive the No. 15 for Premium Motorsports. Ross Chastain will be in the No. 27 for Premium Motorsports. B.J. McLeod makes his ninth start of the season for Petty Ware Racing in the No. 51 Ford. J.J. Yeley makes his third start of the season for Rick Ware Racing in the No. 52 Ford. Joey Gase makes his first start of the season for Rick Ware Racing in the No. 53 Chevrolet. Brendan Gaughan makes his third start of the season for Beard Racing in the No. 62 Chevrolet. Justin Haley is back in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet. And Parker Kligerman makes his eighth start of the season in the No. 96 Toyota for Gaunt Brothers Racing.
Last year, Erik Jones earned his first career Cup win in this race. Martin Truex Jr. was second and A.J. Allmendinger finished third.
For the NASCAR Xfinity Series, there are 42 cars entered. Four cars will not make the race.
Sheldon Creed makes his third Xfinity start of the season and the first for JR Motorsports in the No. 8 Chevrolet. A.J. Allmendinger makes his first Xfinity start of the season in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet. Joe Nemecheck makes his second Xfinity start of the season in the No. 13 Motorsports Business Management Toyota. Riley Herbst makes his fifth start of 2019 in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Joe Graf Jr. makes his second start of 2019 in the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. Chris Cockrum makes his third start for ACG Motorsports in the No. 25 Chevrolet. Shane Lee makes his third start for H2 Motorsports in the No. 28 Toyota. Austin Hill makes his Xfinity Series debut in the No. 61 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota. Jeffrey Earnhardt is on the entry list with the No. 81 XCI Racing Toyota. Caesar Bacarella makes his third start of 2019 in the No. 90 DGM Racing Chevrolet.
Cody Ware makes his second Xfinity start of the season in the No. 99 B.J. McLeod Motorsports Toyota.
Kyle Larson won this race last year, followed by Elliott Sadler and Christopher Bell.
NBC Sports - July 1, 2019
Bowman the Showman, Captures First Carer Victory at Chicagoland Speedway
Alex Bowman is a winner in NASCAR’s Cup Series.
Bowman re-passed Kyle Larson for the lead with five laps to go to get the first Cup Series win of his career and the first win for the No. 88 car since a guy named Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove it.
Bowman had the lead late but Larson ran him down as Bowman struggled to navigate through lapped traffic. And Larson made the pass for what seemed to be the win. But Bowman didn’t give up and hung with Larson for a couple laps before retaking the lead.
“I’m just tired of running second,” Bowman said after getting out of his car. “I don’t want to do that any more. I feel like this is the last box, aside from going and chasing the championship, that I needed personally for myself to validate my career. I feel like, obviously, there’s a lot more left to accomplish, but this is always what I hear — ‘But you haven’t won a race’ — I think even [longtime Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Chad Knaus] said something about me not winning a race. So Chad Knaus, there, we went and did it. Everybody can stop giving me crap. We finally did it.”
Bowman’s win comes in the weeks after longtime Hendrick Motorsports sponsor Nationwide Insurance said it was leaving the team after the 2019 season. The announcement leaves Bowman’s team with a huge sponsorship hole to fill for the 2020 season. But the best way to find sponsorship — and keep your ride in the face of limited sponsorship — is to go win a race. And Bowman did just that.
His win — which is in his 134th career Cup Series start — comes after a close call with victory lane at Kansas where Brad Keselowski passed him for the lead. Bowman’s struggles with traffic made it seem like he was bound to repeat that Kansas folly in the Chicago evening. But the traffic wasn’t a factor after he found some speed after Larson got past him.
The race was run into the evening at Chicago after a line of severe thunderstorms came through just after the scheduled green flag time of 3 p.m. ET. NASCAR stupidly made the decision to start the race as the thunderstorms approached and raced 11 laps — or about six minutes — before red-flagging the event because of lightning in the area. The red flag for rain and track drying then took over three hours before the race resumed.
Larson finished second while Joey Logano was third. Seven-time Cup Series champion and Bowman’s Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson was fourth while Brad Keselowski finished fifth. All four of the HMS cars finished in the top 11 as William Byron was eighth and Chase Elliott was 11th.
Yahoo Soprts - June 29, 2019
Austin Theriault to Make Cup Series Debut at New Hampshire Speedway
For the first time in 15 years, a driver from Maine will start a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this summer.
Fort Kent native Austin Theriault has reached an agreement to drive for Rick Ware Racing in the Foxwoods 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 21. Theriault will drive the No. 52 Bangor Savings Bank Ford at the Loudon track, where his teammate will be fellow New Englander Andy Seuss of Hempstead, New Hampshire.
Seuss will also be making his series debut that weekend.
“I’ve spent countless years watching the Cup races and all the other races in the grandstands at Loudon, even when I was racing Late Models,” Theriault said via telephone Saturday. “Back then, I was so hyper-focused on my next step that I wasn’t always seeing the big picture.
“Seeing it come 360 degrees to where it all started for me, and now to make my (Cup) debut on that track, it’s a really cool story.”
The last driver from Maine to compete in a NASCAR Cup Series race was Ricky Craven. The Newburgh racer made his final career start at Talladega in 2004.
Theriault, 25, has been out of a full-time ride since winning the ARCA Racing Series title in 2017. Prior to that, he ran full-time in the American-Canadian Tour with a win at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in 2012, before running Pro All Stars Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Truck Series and Xfinity Series races over a four-year span.
He finished fifth at NHMS in a K&N Pro Series East race at NHMS in 2016.
“It takes many years of trying to achieve the goal that you set out to achieve, and that gives you a perspective on how difficult the journey can be,” Theriault said. “People spend years clawing for opportunities (in all types of series), and I’m glad to have this one.”
Nine different drivers have raced for RWR this season at the Cup level, combining for 33 starts. The organization has yet to record a top-10 finish in 2019.
“We are proud to be giving deserving drivers their chance, and RWR has been fortunate to give some outstanding drivers their chance in the Cup Series over the years,” team owner Rick Ware said in a press release. “We are just as excited to see Austin Theriault showcase his talents on this big stage.”
For Theriault, it’s a bit surreal that his dream will come true at NHMS of all places — where he saw NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin win the last of his 40 career Cup victories in 2009.
“I wanted it to be Loudon,” Theriault said. “I put a lot of time and effort into it. Almost a year. I felt like making my debut at Loudon would help in a lot of ways — it’s a story, it’s my home track, it gives something for all of us to talk about, including all of the people who have supported me from the beginning.”
Central Main - June 30, 2019
Chris Buescher Hope-full to Return to
JTG Racing Next Season
Chris Buescher mentioned on NASCAR Sirius XM Radio that he is working with JTG Doughtery Racing that he is working on a contract extension in 2020 and is hopeful to return. He said he has had the best season so far for the team with any other driver, and is not looking at going elsewhere.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - June 28, 2019
Christopher Bell Signs with
Joe Gibbs Racing For 2020
Christopher Bell said Friday at Chicagoland Speedway that he has re-signed with Joe Gibbs Racing through 2020.
As for what series he will be racing in, Bell says it’s too early to announce that decision.
“I’m good for another year,” Bell said. “I don’t know what I’m going to be racing, but I will be somewhere.”
Bell is currently in his second full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He has 12 wins in 55 career starts.
“It’s really good that I have a job,” Bell said. “Driving for Joe Gibbs Racing is where I want to be at. I’m thankful that I get to go for another year.”
JGR currently fields the maximum four cars in the Monster Energy Cup Series with drivers Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr.
Motor Racing Network - June 28, 2019
Austin Dillon Captures Third Pole of Season
Austin Dillon has won the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Dillon recorded a top lap of 176.263 mph in his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet. It's the sixth career pole for the 29-year-old Dillon, who is seeking his first Cup Series win since last year's Daytona 500.
Kevin Harvick qualified second on a hot, humid Saturday, followed by Daniel Hemric, Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch. Harvick is a two-time winner at the bumpy 1.5 mile oval in suburban Chicago.
Joey Logano, who leads the series standings by one point over Kyle Busch, qualified 19th.
The Herald - June 29, 2019
Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
Bristol Motor Speedway
Saturday, August 17th @ 7:50pm EST