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
NASCAR's Steve Phelps Meets with the Media, Answers Many Questions
NASCAR is in the entertainment business.
And in the pursuit of entertainment, NASCAR appears to be willing to sacrifice traditional motorsporting integrity while also working to diversify the schedule and limit the costs of participation at the highest level of stock car racing.
That’s the highly-abridged version of a wide-ranging small group roundtable interview with NASCAR president Steve Phelps on Friday in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The 2019 season has been viewed by all accounts as a bridge to the next-generation version of NASCAR, and one that very well could look drastically different than any over the past three decades of professional stock car racing.
That means a new car that could debut in 2021, a new engine in 2022 and a new schedule for those cars to race on over the next decade.
The league’s top executive fielded questions ranging from the polarizing high downforce - low horsepower competition package, schedule change and the upcoming multi-tiered sponsorship model that will replace the entitlement sponsorship model that has been used throughout the Modern Era.
An abridged for clarity version of the one-hour long conversation can be viewed below.
"I think we’ve had an extraordinary year. I think the racing product has been exceptional. The good news is that it’s not just me. The interaction we have with our fans, whether you’re talking about our fan council, radio shows that I listen to frequently—by and large the fans are incredibly excited by what they’re seeing. I would suggest that the data—green-flag passes, green-flag passes for the lead— are up significantly year-over-year. That’s exactly what we were hoping was going to happen. From that perspective, very pleased with what this 2019 racing looks like and I think that has translated to increases in fan engagement and fan consumption.
"I think fans go to ratings pretty quickly. But we go to, in good times and bad, we look at ratings, digital and social consumption. It's important to look at them holistically, so to have numbers up in all three areas is fantastic. The ratings on the FOX app were up plus-three, and our share at plus-six shows that when someone turns on the television, they are watching NASCAR. To me, the share is as important as the ratings because there are less people watching television when our races were on so that share at plus-six shows they were watching more NASCAR than what they were watching at that time. So, I'm excited about that and our digital-social numbers being up.
THE 2019 PACKAGE SEEMS TO HAVE AN EQUAL NUMBER OF CRITICS AS PROPONENTS …
"I would say that's not a true statement. Our research show significantly more fans who love this package than those who do not like it. Are we going to make every fan happy? We are not. I wish we could. People like different things and different styles of racing ... I don't know how the majority of races we've had this year are not passing the eye ball test. They pass it for me. They pass it for the majority of fans we are talking to.
"Are you going to have fans on Twitter attack anything? We're going to have that. As for the drivers, there have been well documented comments from drivers like Kyle Busch. We're not going to muzzle our drivers. We want our drivers to be authentic. I think Kyle Busch is an authentic driver and he speaks from the heart. I would suggest that when drivers say 'it's hard to pass,' the data shows they are passing more than they were and they always say it's hard to pass. Is it hard to pass? In some places it is.
"With that said, I think the racing is better. It's the path we are on and it's the path for us. This 550-horsepower package is one we are going to retain until the time we believe we can have something that produces better racing. I don't see that happening anytime in the near term. We're committed to the way this package is put together for 2019. If there are things we can tweak, such as tires, that's something we will do.
IS FULL THROTTLE RACING BECOMING OF THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF A MOTORSPORT?
"What we are looking for is, 'what is the most entertaining racing that we can put out there?' That is what we are trying to do. And if that means full throttle racing, that's the package we are going to put out there.
"We are going to have full throttle racing this weekend at Daytona and that's going to be compelling. There was some thought that this package would create pack racing on intermediates and that hasn't been the case. It was never intended to create pack racing. It was intended to produce closer cars that can pass each other, feature incredible restarts, opportunities to go three, four and five-wide, which the best racers in the world are doing and I think we saw that last weekend in Chicago and I think we will see that in Kentucky."
NASCAR PRESIDENT SAYS 'MASSIVE WHOLESALE' SCHEDULE CHANGES NOT LIKELY FOR 2021
HOW MUCH CHANGE CAN WE EXPECT ON THE 2021 CUP SCHEDULE AND BEYOND?
"We are continuing discussions with our stakeholders for where we are going to race in 2021. Our broadcast partners have a voice. Our teams have a voice. I was in a meeting today about the 2021 schedule. I would suggest that the two largest voices, frankly, outside of the tracks themselves are the fans and our broadcast partners... I wouldn't characterize my comments as saying we're taking a more conservative approach per se. I know what was in my head and what I was trying to say and others took it the wrong way and that's on me. I don't want to give any appearance that we're not going to be aggressive with the 2021 schedule…
WHAT DOES NASCAR BELIEVE THE FANS WANT?
"Not to default to the fans, but the fans are a good place to default to. Our fans have made it clear where they want us to race in many cases and we're trying figure out if that's a doable thing. We think about what would create the best racing and what would create sellouts. Which race markets do we want to go to and which ones do we want to stay in?
"But we have to watch this, right? When I first came into the sport, fans didn't like road course racing and they like it now. Fans haven't liked the intermediates and the racing this year has been extraordinary. Are the fans speaking loudly in their interest to see more short tracks and road courses? I would say they are."
WILL NASCAR GO BACK TO ONE YEAR SANCTIONING AGREEMENTS?
"That's on the table. Whether we go there or not, I'm not sure."
WHAT’S THE LATEST ON FAIRGROUNDS SPEEDWAY NASHVILLE?
"We haven't been involved. Our fans have said they want to go back to the Fairgrounds. Marcus (Smith, Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO) and Jerry (Caldwell, Bristol Motor Speedway track president) have been the ones spearheading those conversations with Nashville. If they decide to move forward, we are going to be involved with Speedway Motorsports to facilitate that. The facility is going to need considerable capital expenditure to get it to where it can gain a Cup date."
WILL THERE BE FEWER RACES IN 2021?
"The current thinking as I see it: We will not reduce the number of races in 2021. Again, I would say it's on the table but much of that has to do with our broadcast partners. They would like to have more NASCAR content, more NASCAR races because it drives television ratings. Do I think we would have a shortening of the number of races? I would say that is unlikely."
WHAT ABOUT SHORTER RACES?
"We have taken down the length of some races. Is it something we are looking at? Yes, it's something we are looking at. We balance the length of the races for fans who want shorter races versus fans who like the length of the races. But yes, it's something we are looking at."
WILL THE GEN-7 CAR MAKE IT EASIER TO HAVE INDIVIDUAL PACKAGES FOR DIFFERENT TRACK TYPES?
"I would suggest that a Gen-7 car would have the opportunity to have different, I wouldn't call it different aero packages, but different versions of the car you would bring to the track. We will continue to work with Goodyear to decide what the best tire is for each track. We had a meeting with drivers and Goodyear to decide what direction to go and we got a lot of feedback.
"This isn't my area of expertise but what I've been told is that we have the opportunity to create changes to the Gen-7 car that will adapt to intermediate tracks and short tracks and road courses."
WHEN WILL THE NEW CHASSIS AND ENGINE DEBUT?
"We are on track for a new chassis and body style in 2021. When that engine follows is a question. There are those in the industry that have proposed waiting and just debut a full new car... We have a lot of stakeholders in this garage that are feeling as good about this car as we are and when we should introduce it. If I had to guess, 2021 would be my guess. When the engine will come will depend upon if our three existing OEMs are interested in doing it in 2022 or 2023. There are just a lot of discussions that are going on. We do have time. The current OEMs and the potential for new OEMs with a new engine are all dependent on finding some type of electrification to that engine. And what that looks like."
WHY ARE SOME TEAMS HESITANT ON A GEN-7 DEBUT IN 2021?
Everyone has their own interests on the timing for certain things. We'll continue to work with teams and OEMs to align when is the right date to do this. We're not just going to plow through with this unless we get everyone on board. The majority of the garage is on board with the 2021 start. Are there some that ’22 might work better for? There might be. We have to figure out how we get full alignment on what that’s going to be, and that’s what we’re working on …
"Everyone has their own modeling on what the (Gen-7) is going to cost and how much it will allow them to save. From our standpoint and modeling we’ve done, the year the invest in the new car, they will have a savings. That will be a net positive for the teams … In my opinion, the importance of this car can’t be overstated. It will allow teams to be profitable. That’s what it comes down to. I think it’s as simple as that. The great news is that the fan will be the beneficiary as well, because I think the car will have better body styling that the fans I think will really enjoy. If we’re going to do this thing the right way—which we are—the racing, which is already fantastic, should get even better. So I think the entire industry wins."
WILL NASCAR MAKE THE CAR CHEAPER THROUGH A SPEC CHASSIS AND SPEC PARTS?
"We're trying to determine 'what are common parts.' I'm not going to call them spec parts. What are common parts and what are not. Those are things we are working with the teams and the OEMs as well. It's a work in progress for sure. But I do feel like we're on time."
HOW FAR IS NASCAR GOING WITH HYBRID AND ELECTRIC ENGINE COMPONENTS?
"I would suggest that most racing series around the world are going to electrification, if they are not there already. It will be an engine that isn't hybrid but will have some electrification to it. It will be an engine that will almost certainly produce 550 horsepower and energy storing electrification, that in some cases, when you're under braking, will provide more horsepower, which will help the short tracks and road courses."
WHAT IS THE LATEST ON NASCAR’S NEW ENTITLEMENT SPONSOR MODEL?
"The 2020 sponsorship model is one that bundles assets: sanctioning body assets, track assets, media assets, team assets into one piece. It doesn't mean there will not be track sponsorships that are not official sponsors, track sponsors that will not be official sponsors because there will be. In fact, most sponsorships will live outside of this sponsorship model. So, there will be 15-18 sponsors that will exist under the first two tiers.
"So, of the thousands of sponsorships we have, most will exist outside of this … The model is meant to do two things: Make it easier for the sponsors who want to buy across the sport. The second component is to get those particular sponsors who have invested to promote it because they are one of the few sponsors that are within these two tiers."
IS THE DISQUALIFICATION SYSTEM WORKING?
"The disqualifications that we've had, I think it is working the way we wanted it to work. It's a deterrence model that seems to be working. It appears to be working on the Cup Series side as well since we haven't had one yet. We don't want to disqualify anyone. It's not the business we want to be in. There are rules in place and we are trying to officiate the sport as fairly as we can. Thus far, it has worked well. Do we always look to tweak if we see something that was outside the intended scope, yes it is something we would look at. We are pleased with it. And if you ask the teams, the drivers and the fans, I think they would say it's working and it fair."
Autoweek - July 6, 2019
Brian France Pleads Guilty to DUI From 2018,
Will Not Return to NASCAR
Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO for nearly 15 years, pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated on Friday.
He was arrested on New York's Long Island on allegations of aggravated driving while intoxicated in August of last year.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, France, 56, is required to do 100 hours of community service and undergo alcohol counseling before his sentencing date, according to a statement from Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini.
"This case is a reminder for both residents and anyone visiting Suffolk County this summer that it is all of our responsibility to keep our roads safe," Sini said. "It is not acceptable for anyone to be driving while drunk or on drugs in our community."If France meets the requirements, he will be able to withdraw his guilty plea, and the charge will be reduced to a traffic violation of driving while ability impaired.
France thanked the court in a statement and said he will follow its recommendations.
"While I made a mistake, this event has also given me the opportunity to reflect on my poor judgment that day, my family and my greater responsibilities to our community," he said. "I have learned valuable lessons and will be a better person because of this process."
Sentencing was scheduled for June 2020.
France was driving a 2017 Lexus on Sag Harbor Village on Long Island at 7:30 p.m. on August 5, 2017, and ran a stop sign, police said. During a traffic stop, it was determined he was operating the vehicle while intoxicated, police said.
After his arrest, he announced he was stepping away from his jobs indefinitely. Jim France, Brian France's uncle, took over as chairman and CEO.
NASCAR, the governing body for US stock car racing, was founded in late 1947 by Bill France Sr., a race car driver and gas station owner, and has stayed in the France family since. Brian France is the grandson of Bill France Sr. and was named NASCAR's chairman of the board and CEO in September 2003.
CNN - June 8, 2019
ISC Strikes Deal to be Purchased by NASCAR for About $2 Billion
NASCAR agreed to a sweetened, $2-billion deal to buy a company that runs 13 major racetracks and take it private as part of NASCAR’s effort to reverse years of decline in stock-car racing’s popularity.
The tracks — including the two-mile, 68,000-seat Auto Club Speedway in Fontana — are owned by International Speedway Corp., which is controlled by the France family that also founded and controls NASCAR, the sport’s sanctioning body.
NASCAR last November initially offered $42 a share for the roughly 25% of ISC held by the public. The new deal accepted by ISC and announced Wednesday is for $45 a share in cash.
ISC’s other tracks include Daytona International Speedway in Florida, Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama and ISM Raceway outside of Phoenix. ISC’s revenue in its latest fiscal year totaled $675 million.
The merger’s goal is to give NASCAR more flexibility in making major changes that it hopes will lead to a rebound in the sport’s drooping attendance, television ratings and corporate sponsorships that finance its racing teams.
“In recent years, attendance at NASCAR events has faced stiff headwinds,” ISC said in its latest annual report.
There is speculation the changes could include shifting locations in the 36-race schedule in NASCAR’s premier Monster Energy Cup Series, altering the length of certain races or shortening the series’ long schedule, which runs from February to November.
As a private company, NASCAR also would be able to make changes without worrying about the reaction of public investors and its stock price, because NASCAR no longer would have to publicly report attendance figures and financial statements for the tracks.
Jim France, NASCAR’s chief executive and chairman of ISC, said in November that in “a highly competitive sports and entertainment landscape, a more unified strategic approach is important to our future growth.”
The sport “requires structural changes” and the NASCAR-ISC merger “a positive step forward in that direction,” he said.
Even if the deal is completed later this year as expected, NASCAR still would have to negotiate some changes with another outside party, Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns eight racetracks that host major NASCAR races, including Sonoma Raceway in California, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.
“We are pleased with the progress that the negotiation and execution of the merger agreement between NASCAR and ISC represents,” NASCAR said in a statement Wednesday. “With a strong vision for the future, the France family’s commitment to NASCAR and the larger motorsports industry has never been greater.”
Los Angeles Times - May 22, 2019
5 Legends Selected For The Next NASCAR
Hall of Fame Class
NASCAR announced today the inductees who will comprise the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2020. The five-person group – the 11th since the inception of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010 – consists of Buddy Baker, Joe Gibbs, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Waddell Wilson. In addition, NASCAR announced that Edsel Ford II earned the 2020 Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. The distinguished group will be honored during the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Jan. 31, 2020.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel met today in a closed session at the Charlotte Convention Center to debate and vote upon the 20 nominees for the induction class of 2020 and the five nominees for the Landmark Award.
The Class of 2020 was determined by votes cast by the Voting Panel, including representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from major facilities and historic short tracks, media members, manufacturer representatives, competitors (drivers, owners, crew chiefs), recognized industry leaders, a nationwide fan vote conducted through NASCAR.com and, for the sixth year, the reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion (Joey Logano). In all, 57 votes were cast, with two additional Voting Panel members recused from voting as potential nominees for induction (Ricky Rudd and Waddell Wilson). The accounting firm of EY presided over the tabulation of the votes.
Voting was as follows: Tony Stewart (88%), Joe Gibbs (72%), Waddell Wilson (72%), Buddy Baker (70%) and Bobby Labonte (67%).
The next top vote-getters were Mike Stefanik, Ray Fox and Hershel McGriff.
Results for the NASCAR.com Fan Vote, in alphabetical order, were Buddy Baker, Neil Bonnett, Harry Gant, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart.
The five inductees came from a group of 20 nominees that included, in addition to the five inductees chosen: Sam Ard, Neil Bonnett, Red Farmer, Ray Fox, Harry Gant, John Holman, Harry Hyde, Hershel McGriff, Ralph Moody, Marvin Panch, Jim Paschal, Larry Phillips, Ricky Rudd, Mike Stefanik and Red Vogt.
Nominees for the Landmark Award included Edsel Ford II, Alvin Hawkins, Mike Helton, Dr. Joseph Mattioli and Ralph Seagraves.
The Class of 2020 Induction Weekend is set for Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, through Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The official Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The Class of 2020 marks the 11th class and a total of 55 legends inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Tickets to Induction Ceremony events begin at $75 per person (plus tax and applicable service fees). Tickets go on sale on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at 10 a.m. ET. Special pre-sales will be available to NASCAR Hall of Fame members Tuesday, June 25 through Friday, July 5. For additional details about the Class of 2020 Induction Weekend events and to learn about becoming a NASCAR Hall of Fame member, visit nascarhall.com.
Class of 2020 Inductees:
At six feet, six inches tall, Buddy Baker was often called the “Gentle Giant,” a nod to her personable nature during a 33-year career. In 1980, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native won the Daytona 500 with an average race speed of 177.602 mph – a track record that still stands. That same year, Baker became the first driver to eclipse the 200-mph mark on a closed course while testing at Talladega Superspeedway. He won 19 races in the Cup series, including a victory in the 1970 Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway where he lapped the rest of the field. He also won back-to-back Coca-Cola 600s at Charlotte in 1972-73. After retiring in 1992, Baker made a successful transition to the television booth as a commentator for The Nashville Network and CBS, and later as a radio co-host on Late Shift and Tradin’ Paint for SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Joe Gibbs has won throughout his entire life. The three-time Super Bowl champion football coach started Joe Gibbs Racing in 1992 and has led the organization to four Cup Series championships and five Xfinity Series titles. Known as a master motivator, Gibbs’ 164 Cup Series owner wins (through May 22, 2019) rank third all-time. They include three Daytona 500 victories and five Brickyard 400 wins. His Cup Series titles have come with three different drivers: Bobby Labonte (2000), Tony Stewart (2002, ’05) and Kyle Busch (2015). Referred to in NASCAR circles has simply “Coach,” Gibbs was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1996.
The ultimate grinder, Bobby Labonte raced any car he could get behind the wheel of before he got his first break as a full-time Cup Series driver at 28 years old in 1993. His persistence paid off with a career highlighted by 21 trips to Victory Lane and the 2000 Cup Series title. A success in all three of NASCAR’s national series, Labonte was the first of four drivers to win both a Cup and Xfinity Series championship. He is also one of 27 drivers to win a race in all three national series. The Texan showed up on the biggest stages throughout his 2000 Cup championship season, earning two of his four wins in the Brickyard 400 and Southern 500.
Known as “The People’s Champion” for his blue-collar, hard-nosed style of competition, Stewart immediately showed that he would be a force to be reckoned with in NASCAR – earning three victories in his Rookie of the Year season. The titles soon followed. Stewart won his first Cup championship in 2002 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing and answered that quickly in 2005. His versatility was on display throughout his 17-year NASCAR career. He tallied 49 wins in the Cup Series – winning on every style of track. He won the prestigious Brickyard 400 at his beloved, home-state Indianapolis Motor Speedway twice. In 2009, Stewart became a team owner, partnering with Gene Haas. He won 16 times as a driver/owner including one of the most memorable championship pursuits in history. In 2011, he won five of the 10 Playoff races – including the season finale – to claim his third title by virtue of a tiebreaker over Carl Edwards.
A dual threat as an engine builder and crew chief, Waddell Wilson powered and guided cars to some of the biggest victories in NASCAR history. As an engine builder, he supplied the power that helped David Pearson (1968, ’69) and Benny Parsons (1973) to Cup Series titles. Overall, Wilson’s engines helped some of the greatest drivers to ever wheel a car – including NASCAR Hall of Famers Pearson, Fireball Roberts, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip – to 109 wins and 123 poles. He originally gained acclaim for building the engine Roberts used to win the 1963 Southern 500. Wilson guided three cars to Victory Lane in the Daytona 500 as a crew chief, winning The Great American Race with Buddy Baker (1980) and Cale Yarborough (1983-84). The famed “Grey Ghost” he assembled for Buddy Baker still holds the Daytona 500 record with an average speed of 177.602 MPH.
Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR:
Edsel Ford II
There are few names as iconic in the sport of auto racing as Edsel Ford II. A member of the Ford Motor Company Board of Directors and longtime executive of the company founded by his great-grandfather Henry Ford, Edsel’s is a familiar face in the racing garage. Ford’s support of NASCAR has been both behind the scenes with the Ford Motor Company but also out in front where he is greeted warmly by the sport’s competitors, executives, team owners and fans at any race track he visits. His leadership at Ford includes time as President and Chief Operating Officer (May, 1991-1998) and a Director of International Speedway Corporation (November, 2007-October, 2015).
NASCAR Hall of Fame PR - May 22, 2019
NASCAR Moves To Single Car Qualifying At All Oval Tracks In All Three Series
NASCAR has dropped its fight to add excitement value to qualifying and will return to single-car laps after the current format became a laughingstock.
All three NASCAR national series will return to single-car qualifying at all oval tracks starting this weekend at Dover. NASCAR for more than five years has used a group qualifying format, but a new rules package this season created an unintended consequence: drivers could game the system.
Most waited until the very last moment to pull off pit lane for their qualifying run; all 12 drivers in the final round at California in March missed the cutoff point to even register a lap. NASCAR was adamant it was trying to keep qualifying entertaining for fans because single-car runs are tedious, but teams continued to find loopholes that made the format a farce.
In Wednesday's rule change, elimination-style rounds were also cut.
Fox News - May 1, 2019
NASCAR Cup Teams Hold Owners Council Meeting with NASCAR on Tuesday
It was reported by Adam Sterns, Sports Business Journal that today NASCAR held their quarterly meeting with car owners, know as the owner council.
Some of their topics included qualifying procedure, and first discussion on what the Gen 7 car could look like once it debuts in 2021.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - April 17 2019
Monster Energy Asks to Return as Series Sponsor in 2020, NASCAR Says No
NASCAR turned down Monster Energy’s offer to sponsor the Cup Series through the 2020 season, signaling a commitment to their new sponsorship model.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is no more after the 2019 season. NASCAR rejected Monster Energy’s offer to remain as the title sponsor for one more year, showing that they are ready to move forward with a three-tier model set to bundle races, tracks and other aspects in the sport into packages for different companies to sponsor.
The new name of NASCAR‘s premier national series is expected to simply become the NASCAR Cup Series. There is no word yet on if the Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series will adopt this model. They are locked into their current deals for a few more years.
The upcoming model is similar to what other sports leagues around the world either have had in place for a while or have recently adopted. The major American sports leagues have never had title sponsors, and the English Premier League elected to drop the title sponsor model in 2016.
Rather than a title sponsor working out a deal with NASCAR, the tracks and television broadcasters, all three will be bundled together. That much is certain. Branding of a race on TV would be “the NASCAR Cup Series presented by [insert different sponsor each week here].”
At race tracks, it’s a little more difficult to predict since every race aside of the Daytona 500 already has a title sponsor. With sponsorships being bundled, it is still unclear if title sponsors for each track not owned by International Speedway Corporation will be included, but NASCAR probably has some plan to include them. We’ll have to wait for more details on how that level of sponsorship will mesh with the current system of race sponsorship.
Beyond the Flag - April 9, 2019
Major Changes Coming for 2020 Season Schedule
NASCAR unveiled a retooled 2020 NASCAR Premier Series schedule on Tuesday, releasing a 36-race slate that includes a reimagined Playoffs and new locations for both the Championship Race and the regular-season finale among several other changes.
For the first time since 2002, the premier series finale will have a new host track – the 1-mile ISM Raceway at Phoenix, which recently completed a $178 million renovation project designed to improve the fan experience, and one which included a reconfiguration for the track.
The Playoffs will open Sept. 6 at historic Darlington Raceway, whose throwback weekend has become a staple of late summer. The opening round ends at Bristol Motor Speedway under the lights, with one of the most anticipated races of the year moving from its traditional August date to Sept. 19.
The Charlotte road course remains an elimination race after its thrilling debut last year, but in the Round of 12 instead of the Round of 16. With ISM Raceway moving to the championship race, the vacancy for the Round of 8 finale slides to Martinsville Speedway. The shortest and oldest track on the NASCAR circuit has a history of producing plenty of drama in its previous high-stakes Playoffs races, something sure to amp up even more with drivers having just one final chance to clinch a spot in the Championship 4.
Before the postseason, the Playoffs field will be fully set and finalized in the new-look regular-season finale at historic Daytona International Speedway, a race sure to throw a dash of unpredictability into the postseason picture.
A summer stretch includes a doubleheader weekend at Pocono Raceway that will see back-to-back NASCAR Premier Series races on the same weekend. The first such instance in the NASCAR modern era, this doubleheader on Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28, also ensures the season ends one week earlier on Nov. 8.
Additional summer changes include a Cup Series race on Father’s Day, which recently has been an off weekend for the premier series. Chicagoland Speedway hosts the event, the first in the NBC portion of the schedule. With the Daytona summer race moving to the end of the regular season, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will serve as host of the July 4th weekend. It hosts the NASCAR Premier Series race on Sunday, July 5.
Hosting the Round of 8 finale isn’t the only change for Martinsville Speedway. The .526-mile track will host its first NASCAR national series race under the facility’s newly installed lights on Mother’s Day weekend, May 9, 2020.
Previously the host of the finale, Homestead-Miami Speedway’s race is slated for March 22, 2020, in the early portion of the regular season. The 1.5-mile track with variable banking produces some of the best racing all year.
NASCAR goes West earlier this year, with the three-race West Coast swing starting immediately after the season-opening Daytona 500, with Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosting the second race of the season, followed by Auto Club Speedway and ISM Raceway.
The four final races of the regular season are designed to test the mettle of NASCAR’s top drivers on a variety of courses. That four-race slate includes a wide 2-mile oval (Michigan), a road course (Watkins Glen), a fast, 1-mile concrete track (Dover) and a 2.5-mile Superspeedway (Daytona).
NASCAR.com - March 26, 2019
GEICO becomes NASCAR
Official Insurance Provider
NASCAR and Geico have announced a multi-year deal that will see the company become the official insurance partner of North America’s preeminent stock car racing organization.
The partnership will see NASCAR provide Geico with exclusive status and promotional rights in the insurance category, whilst Geico will exhibit through at-track activations throughout the year.
The partnership further cements Geico’s relationship with NASCAR. The company already has a team relationship with Germain Racing and visibility through the Geico Restart Zone, which is present at many NASCAR tracks.
“Our partnership with Geico deepens their presence in the sport and provides them even more opportunities to engage our brand loyal fans to maximize their marketing objectives,” said Jon Truck, vice president and chief revenue officer at NASCAR.
Through Geico’s partnership with NASCAR, the insurance firm will now join the NASCAR Fuel for Business Council, allowing the company to network and access an exclusive group of fellow NASCAR sponsors to develop business opportunities and relationships.
“Our affiliation with NASCAR has been successful over the past decade, and expanding our partnership to include rights with the sanctioning body was the next logical step,” added Bill Brower, assistant vice president of marketing for Geico. “Our expanded presence will allow us to further engage the most brand loyal fans in sports and bolster our effective marketing platform.”
Sports Pro - March 25, 2019
No NASCAR Driver Council in 2019
Bob Pockrass from Fox Sports mentioned in a tweet that there is no driver council in 2019. The council disbanded after the teams thought a driver council is no longer necessary. There sill is a race team alliance made up of different race teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The Racing Insiders Team Report - March 22, 2019
NASCAR is an American auto racing sanctioning and operating company that is best known for stock-car racing ]Its three largest or National series are the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the Xfinity Series, and the Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Regional series include the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, the Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Pinty's Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series. NASCAR sanctions over 1,500 races at over 100 tracks in 48 US states as well as in Canada, Mexico, and Europe.