NASCAR Purchases Iowa Speedway
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday November 27, 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 27, 2013) – In a strategic move designed to expand its commitment to enhancing event experiences and fan engagement, as well as solidify the future of one of the premier racing and entertainment facilities in the Midwest, NASCAR announced today that it has purchased Iowa Speedway. The agreement, finalized today under a wholly-owned subsidiary, Iowa Speedway, LLC, is effective immediately.
“Iowa Speedway is a great entertainment facility with a very bright future,” said Eric Nyquist, NASCAR vice president, strategic development. “The facility has the support of the region, it’s positioned well in the heart of the Midwest, and year in and year out it provides great short-track racing action for motorsports fans.
“NASCAR ownership will allow us to draw on the entire resources of our company. It also provides us with the opportunity to execute first-hand a number of entertainment ideas and engagement opportunities with fans – much of which we have outlined repeatedly as the core of our Industry Action Plan.”
The facility, located 30 miles east of Des Moines in Newton, features a fast, .875-mile asphalt paved tri-oval designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. The Speedway released its 2014 schedule earlier this month, encompassing three weekends, one each in May, July and August. The schedule will include two NASCAR Nationwide Series races, a combination NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and IndyCar Series weekend, plus two additional NASCAR K&N Pro Series support races. NASCAR has no plans for Iowa Speedway to host a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race next year or in the immediate future.
NASCAR will host a special event in Des Moines on Thursday, Dec. 12, to outline additional details on the purchase and plans for the future. Information on this event will be announced soon.
The 2014 Iowa Speedway season opens May 17-18, with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West Challenge on Saturday night. The stars and cars of the NASCAR Nationwide Series then will battle on Sunday in a 250-lap, high-speed contest. The race marks the only Sunday afternoon event of the season at Iowa Speedway.
The new NASCAR Camping World Truck Series / IndyCar Series race weekend at Iowa Speedway is slated for July 11-12. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will race Friday night and feature short-track racing action that has become synonymous with the series in the American Ethanol 200. The first-ever Iowa Corn Indy 300 will follow on Saturday night.
On Friday, Aug. 1, a second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East versus West challenge race will be held followed by a second NASCAR Nationwide Series 250-lap event on Saturday under the lights.
Season ticket holders may renew their tickets for the 2014 season, and will have an exclusive right to secure their current seats until Dec. 14. All other seats are available for purchase immediately, with season ticket prices starting at $95. All season tickets will include a guaranteed seat location, complimentary Casey’s Fan Walk pass and an opportunity to participate in pre-race ceremonies. Season tickets, parking passes and onsite camping options are available online at www.iowaspeedway.com, or by calling the toll-free ticketing hotline, 866-RUSTY-GO (787-8946).
Iowa Speedway’s ticketing office, located at 3333 Rusty Wallace Drive in Newton, also will be open to assist customers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, holidays excepted.
2014 IOWA SPEEDWAY EVENT SCHEDULE
Saturday, May 17 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Friday, July 11 – American Ethanol 200, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Friday, August 1 – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East vs. West Challenge
Stewart-Haas Racing announces reorganization of their Competition Department
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 19, 2013
Stewart-Haas Racing is expanding to four teams in the Sprint Cup series for 2014. As a result, the organization is realigning some personnel into new roles within their competition department. The new assignments for 2014 include:
1) Greg Zipadelli has been named Vice President of Competition and will oversee all four Sprint Cup teams. The crew chiefs of the teams will report directly to Zipadelli.
2) Matt Borland has been named Vice President of Engineering. The role will involve Borland overseeing the organization’s technical initiatives and a myriad of research and development projects. As Borland moves into his new role he will become a mentor for the crew chief of the No. 41 Haas Automation team of Kurt Busch.
3) Race Engineer Daniel Knost is being promote to the position of Crew Chief for Busch’s No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet. Knost is an engineer with a Master of Science and PHD in Mechanical Engineering from VPI and Virginia Tech. Knost’s previous roles at SHR included running the team’s seven-post shaker rig, at-track race simulation support and race engineer for both the No. 10 and No. 39 teams.
4) Chad Johnston is going to take over the Crew Chief position for Tony Stewart’s No. 14. Johnston has spent the last three years as Martin Truex Jr.‘s Crew Chief at Michael Waltrip Racing. Johnston brings Hoosier roots to the organization like Stewart. He is a graduate of Indiana State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
5) The Crew Chief for Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 ride in 2014 will be Rodney Childers. Childers moved to SHR in October of 2013 from MWR where he was a Crew Chief for the No. 00 David Reutimann and then the No. 55 for multiple drivers. Childers Crew Chief resume extends back to 2005 when he was the head wrench for MB2/MBV Motorsports with Scott Riggs.
6) Tony Gibson will remain on top of the pit box for Danica Patrick in the No. 10 car for 2014.
Steve Addington is leaving SHR for other opportunities. The word is he will be the Crew Chief for the No. 51, working with his good friend Kevin ‘Bono’ Manion.
2011 Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday November 12, 2013
Daytona 500 winner and Roush Fenway Racing (RFR) driver Trevor Bayne has announced today that he has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Bayne – 22 years old – has undergone extensive testing at the Mayo Clinic and has been cleared by doctors and NASCAR to compete behind the wheel.
“I’ve never been more driven to compete,” said Bayne. “My goals are the same as they’ve been since I started racing. I want to compete at the highest level and I want to win races and championships. I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in and I feel good,” added Bayne. “There are currently no symptoms and I’m committed to continuing to take the best care of my body as possible. I will continue to trust in God daily and know that His plan for me is what is best.”
In 2011, Bayne became the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win the famed Daytona 500. He is currently sixth in the NNS standings, having accumulated one win, six top-five and 20 top-10 finishes in 2013. He will compete again full-time for the NNS championship in 2014, driving the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Mustang.
In 117 career Nationwide Series races Bayne has two wins, 18 top 5s and 50 top 10s with six poles. Bayne also has 45 career Sprint Cup series starts. In those starts he has the one win in the 2011 Daytona 500, one top 5 and three top 10s.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system which interrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body. Symptoms range from reduced or lost mobility to numbness and tingling to blindness and, in extreme cases, paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, and each person diagnosed with MS experiences the disease in a unique way.
Penalties Issued Following Sledgehammer Throw
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 31, 2013
Last Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway will likely be best known for Darrell Wallace, Jr.‘s historic victory. However, late in the race, a crash involving Ty Dillon and Kevin Harvick, along with the pit road actions afterward, also made headlines.
Dillon got in the back of Harvick in Turn 2, spinning the Sprint Cup regular out, who then ran into the driver of the No. 3 Chevrolet. Dillon then responded with a number of unsuccessful attempts to spin out Harvick. When both drivers got to pit road, Harvick blocked Dillon’s stall and threw down his window net, prompting a scrum where a sledgehammer was thrown by a member of Dillon’s team at Harvick’s truck.
On Friday morning, NASCAR responded with penalties stemming from the pit road altercation. Marcus Richmond, crew chief of the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, has been fined $10,000 for failing to maintain control of his crew. Meanwhile, crewmember Adam Brown was judged by NASCAR to be the person who three the sledgehammer at Harvick and was suspended indefinitely.
In their press release, NASCAR cited violations of multiple sections of the 2013 Camping World Truck Series Rule Book. The sections cited were 12-1 (Actions Detrimental to Stock Car Racing) and 9-4A (Crew chief resumes responsibility for the actions of his driver, team owner, and team members in addition to himself).
There is no word as of yet from Richard Childress Racing as to whether they plan to appeal the penalties.
Marcos Ambrose to have new sponsor for Dover Cup race in September
posted by Mike Neff
Tuesday October 29, 2013
The current economic environment has seen sponsors cutting back and even leaving the sport. Richard Petty Motorsports announced on Tuesday evening that they will have a new sponsor on the hood for the Dover Cup race and an associate sponsor for half of the season. Stanley and their associated brands Mac and Dewalt will also be back for 2014 on the No. 9 Ford for Marcos Ambrose.
Brian Moffitt, the CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports noted that the company is willing to run an alcohol sponsor on the No. 9 but will never do it on the No. 43. “Richard promised his parents that he’d never run an alcohol or tobacco sponsor on his car and that will hold true as long as we’re an organization.” When he was asked about how this came about he said, “This just kind of happened. There are relationships out there in the marketplace that are always talking with each other. We ended up going to Boston and having a discussion with the company and the next thing you know we are partners.”
Twisted Tea is a division of Boston Beer Company, most famous for the Samuel Adams beer brand. Jon London, the Boston Beer Director of Brand Development was on hand and loves the marriage between Twisted Tea’s customers and NASCAR. “We look at NASCAR and think that they, along with Marcos Ambrose, are just a great fit for the brand. Our drinkers love NASCAR and Marcos is a little bit different, our drinkers are a little different and Marcos is a lot of fun so he’s a great person to represent our brand.”
Moffitt also confirms that, while there are a few openings left on the 2014 calendar for RPM, both Ambrose and Aric Almirola will be back in 2014 and should have all of their races covered by the start of the season.
Darrell Wallace Jr. Scores Significant Victory at Martinsville
posted by Mike Neff
Saturday October 26, 2013
Darrell Wallace, Jr. etched his name in the NASCAR history book under two different columns on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. Wallace took the checkered flag first to become the second African-American driver in the history of NASCAR to win a National touring series race, and the first to win a Truck Series race. He is also the second graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity to win a national touring race, following Kyle Larson’s victory at Rockingham Speedway earlier this season.
Wallace led a race-high 96 laps en route to his win. He led three times including the final 50 laps. Wallace outran Brendan Gaughan, Jeb Burton, Ben Kennedy and Ryan Blaney to secure his win. The average age of the top 5 at Martinsville was 23.8 with four of the five drivers being under 22 years of age. Wallace is the second non-Cup driver to win in a Kyle Busch Motorsports truck following Brian Scott’s win at Phoenix last season.
Hamlin Picks Up a Pair of Poles in Martinsville
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
Denny Hamlin will start on the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway after setting a new track record with a lap time of 19.013 seconds, good for a speed of 99.595 MPH. Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch ran identical second-place times of 190.61 seconds. Johnson will start on the front row after winning the tie-breaker, car owner points, where Johnson currently sits first. Busch will start third, and Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer round out the top 5. Joey Logano, Jamie McMurray, David Ragan, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick complete the top 10.
The pole is Hamlin’s 17th in 288 races. It’s also his fifth of 2013, a career-best for Hamlin, whose season was interrupted by a back injury earlier in the year.
In all, 18 drivers broke the previous track record, set in the spring race this year by Johnson. Bowyer broke the 100 MPH mark in practice, but no driver was able to duplicate that in time trials. The Sprint Cup drivers will have a pair of practice sessions on Saturday before Sunday’s 500-lap event.
Seven Chase drivers qualified inside the top 10, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Carl Edwards clocked in in 12th and 14th, respectively. Other Chase drivers include Ryan Newman (17th), Kasey Kahne (25th), and Greg Biffle (33rd).
Hamlin wasn’t done after his Sprint Cup qualifying effort. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers took their time trials after the Cup teams had their shot, and Hamlin duplicated his earlier effort, snagging the pole for the Kroger 250 in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry. Johnny Sauter, Darrell Wallace, Jr., Ron Hornaday, Jr., and Ty Dillon round out the top 5 for Saturday’s race.
2014 Camping World Truck Series Schedule announced
posted by Amy Henderson
Friday October 25, 2013
NASCAR announced the 2014 Camping World Truck Series schedule today at Martinsville Speedway. The series will run 22 events in 2014 starting at Daytona on February 21st and concluding at Homestead on November 14th. The schedule includes stops at New Hampshire Motorspeedway and Gateway Motorsports Park next year. The series will once again turn right and left at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park along with slinging mud for the second consecutive year at Eldora Speedway.
2014 Camping World Trucks Series Schedule
Feb 21 Daytona
Tweet Lands Another Driver In Trouble
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 24, 2013
NASCAR announced on Wednesday that Corey LaJoie has been placed on probation after posting an inappropriate tweet on Twitter last week. He will have to attend sensitivity training as prescribed by NASCAR.
In their statement, NASCAR stated that LaJoie is being penalized for “an insensitive and intolerable communication” posted on Twitter on October 15. The tweet, which has since been deleted, suggested that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) should conduct a cavity search on a man wearing a turban.
Wednesday afternoon, LaJoie tweeted out a statement.
“I am very sorry for those offended by my recent remark,” LaJoie tweeted. “It was an immature & insensitive comment. I am upset with myself and how this has affected what has been a very positive year in my career.”
This incident marks the second time this season that NASCAR has penalized a driver for comments on social media. Earlier this season, Nelson Piquet, Jr. was forced to attend sensitivity training after using a homophobic slur in the comments section of an Instagram picture that Parker Kligerman posted.
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Teams Wrap Up Texas Test -- Major Tire Wear Reported
posted by Phil Allaway
Thursday October 24, 2013
Last week, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing planned a three-day test at Texas Motor Speedway in order to prepare for the AAA Texas 500, which will be run on November 3rd. However, the entire test was washed out due to rain on both Monday and Tuesday. Richard Childress Racing was already scheduled to hold a two-day test this Tuesday and Wednesday, by themselves, but they were now joined by the other four teams, creating a large-scale test session. For the most part, it was a very good practice for all teams involved.
For championship contender Matt Kenseth? Not so much.
Kenseth’s test at Texas lasted a grand total of nine laps on Tuesday before he blew a tire and crashed hard into the wall. Afterwards, the No. 20 team packed up and returned to North Carolina, leaving the title contender none too pleased.
“We just had a tire problem and crashed, so we’re done for the test,” Kenseth said. “When you run nine laps and one blows apart for no reason, that’s always a cause for concern, for sure.”
Luckily, in Kenseth’s case the car that he crashed was not the car that he planned on racing in Texas. That Toyota was back at the shop, safe and sound.
Kenseth’s issues were the only tire failure issues encountered during the three-day test. However, the test did show that tire wear could be an issue. The tire compound, already set by Goodyear is actually wearing quite a bit on the 1.5 mile quad-oval. Kevin Harvick stated that the tires on his No. 29 would completely wear out after 35-40 laps, which is short of a full fuel run. The tires that will be used in Texas are the same compound that was used in April. There were no tire failures during the race then. However, it’s not all bad. Carl Edwards seemed to like the rubber.
“Next Sunday is going to be a really great race and it’s because of that racetrack,” said Edwards. “It’s because right now, you can drive in the corner, turn that car sideways and either run the very bottom or you can run right up against the fence and the track is taking rubber. Whatever is going on with the Goodyear tire and the way that this asphalt at Texas has aged, it’s letting the rubber stick to the racetrack. As it sticks to the racetrack, that part of the track gets slick so people move up and find different grooves and then, when it all gets slick, it starts over again and everyone goes back to the bottom. This is the type of racing that I like to participate in and I hope the fans enjoy it. That’s rare right now with all the new surfaces out there. This is as good as it gets.”
No speeds were reported during the test. Expect high speeds during qualifying next week, but a significant dropoff during the race.
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Holding A Pretty Wheel · Amy Henderson · Friday January 5, 2007
I could cry. Or barf. Or throw things. Or something. Okay, okay, I know, NASCAR listens to nobody and cares about no one…but this is crazy. Knowing changes to the Chase for the Nextel Cup were coming did nothing to soften the blow of the actual news when it happened late Thursday afternoon.
Although specifics have yet to be released, this much is clear: NASCAR Vice President of Corporate Communications Jim Hunter confirmed that the sanctioning body will award more points for winning a race and that more drivers will be in the Chase, changes that I find clearly unnecessary.
Both are bad ideas, but at least the points I can live with. Apparently, the era where consistency and running near the front every week were the true measure of a champion is over. I don't think that's a great direction to go in, because plenty of drivers can win a few times a year and be inconsistent across the board the rest of the time. Take Kasey Kahne. Kahne won six times this year, more than any other driver. But when push came to shove, he wasn’t able to seal the deal by running up front week in and week out. He finished about where he should have when all was said and done, towards the back half of the Top 10 in points. He had a great year, but he also failed to finish almost as many times as he won (five DNF’s). That's a good year, but not a great year…certainly not a championship-caliber year, either.
And that's where adding more drivers to the Chase makes no sense. As it is, in the three years that the Chase has determined the title, there have been about seven or eight teams each year that, while having excellent years, did not have championship-caliber years. That includes, interestingly enough, 2004 champ Kurt Busch. To his and his team's credit, Busch used the points reset to the ultimate advantage; but, with his inconsistency during the regular season, he never should have had a shot at the title in the first place. Adding more drivers who don't deserve a championship will do nothing to make the sport more exciting – instead doing everything to detract from NASCAR's waning credibility.
Sure, other sports have wild card teams, and yes, those teams sometimes win championships. But the Chase format is almost the opposite of this. Instead of several legitimate contenders and a couple of wild cards who were no worse than second in their respective divisions, the Chase pits a couple of legitimate contenders against seven or eight wild cards who probably had little shot of winning any other way. Adding more of these teams is not a solution – it's an insult to fans and teams to reward mediocrity with a shot at title contention come Homestead.
NASCAR Chairman Brian France said last year that the Chase was about "showcasing the skills" of the top drivers in the sport. It has done that, albeit sometimes artificially, during its three years of existence, when the question of whether artificial was necessary at the time never got a true answer. In the end, NASCAR is going to have to make up its mind on this system – either showcase only the top drivers who battle for the title like they did as recently as 2003, or reset the points among all of the Top 35 teams and let them all race for it in a no-holds-barred playoff. But don't reward in-between mediocrity – even mediocrity mixed with flashes of absolute brilliance (see Tony Stewart, 2006) with a champion's trophy. In the end, all that can possibly do is tarnish that trophy, along with the title that goes with it. And not one of NASCAR's past champions, present fans, or future contenders deserves that.
©2000 - 2008 Amy Henderson and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Amy, I think you are on it there. A couple extra points for winning, ok. But the top ten is enough, the rest will just make it a joke.
More points, significantly more points for a win is a change long overdue. Think of the boredom from the last couple Bristol night races where drivers desperate to keep their position in the Chase dared not take risks because the reward for winning was trivial compared to the risk of losing several positions and thus losing points that would cost.
Sports are about winning and the points should reflect that priority.
But adding more drivers to the Chase is silly. Our entire culture is focused on Top Tens. Top 11 or top 13 is ridiculous.
Will they change the awards banquets to get all the Chasers on stage?
What are they planning on doing with that best of the rest bonus? Award it to the guy in 15th?
I have to agree with M B Voelker. The ultimate goal in any race is to WIN. As such, the drivers should be doing all they can within the rules to WIN. The current points structure actually encourages the drivers to settle for a lesser position. This is because they won’t take the risk to win if there is a bigger risk of losing spots in the process. But, by awarding more points for winning, the drivers will start taking more chances and actually racing for the WIN.
Expanding the field of Chase drivers, however, is a tremendous mistake. For one thing, it will water down the Chase for the Championship. If we had all ten drivers in the previous Chases be in contention through the entire ten races, then I would say yes. But why expand the number when that isn’t true. Second, there will be more drivers out there crying to get the non-Chase drivers out of the way. We have enough of that already.
I think the Cha$e should be expanded to include everyone who makes a start during the season, the way it was before 2004! Another example of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
NA$CAR SUCKS folks, face it!!! 2-3pm start times, The C.O.T., LuckyDog, no more “S%$#” words, too many damn cautions(they’re just for commercials), boring races & the Chase ALL SUCK! I went to my first CUP race in 1977 at Nashville Fairgrounds and was a diehard fan until just a few years ago. I use to go to several races per year, never miss one on TV, buy all the junk they sell and tell everybody I’d talk to about NASCAR. Nowadays; I’ve been to 1 race in 3 years(2 in 5 years), don’t really give a crap if I miss one on TV, never buy anything NASCAR and now I never talk about NA$CAR, because it’s such a JOKE!!! I wonder why TV ratings are down and they have so many empty seats at the track? hmmmm. —- Why didn’t Brainless Brian hit that tree in Daytona head-on, might have knocked some sense into the idiot!!!
Ah, I see, Amy’s been a “fan” since 1997. That explains it. Amy, it wasn’t broke before the “chase”, or the fastest cars in qualifying make the race instead of 35 garaunteed spots, or Toyota, or even 6 or 7 provisionals.
You want people back watching NASCAR? Use qualifying times to line up the races and invert the field.
Gabby-that’s exactly what I meant-the title is a play on words. I HATE the Chase-if you’ve read anything I’ve written on it for three years, you’ll see that I think it was a detriment to the sport and the championship. Adding more drivers to the mix will only cheapen the title for anyone who wins it because of the points reset, as Kurt Busch did in 2004. I’ve also always been an advocate of the fastest 43 cars making the field, period. If a team is good enough to make a race, then they should race. Don’t agree with an invert, though-the team that wins the pole earns that spot through their hard work.
Yeah, that’s right folks,lets step back in time when a race was decided by a leader being laps ahead of the next pack of two on the same lap. Separated by another few laps from the “big pack” of five. Your memories of old were not nearly as exciting as you think! If you long for the old days, I suggest Jr’s Back In The Day videos. (yes, I watched NASCAR when NASCAR wasn’t cool) And I will take it the way it is now, over the “olden” days.
Well I too am fed up with it. So why not just go to the local tracks and see some great racing. See what it is really about, guys who work there ass of all week. Then somehow find time to work on the race car, and then make it to the track each weekend. True passion. Something accualy worth watching.
Recent articles from Amy Henderson:
Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Announces Partnership with Cessna, Textron
Fans To Decide Format of Sprint Unlimited at Daytona
UNOH and Kentucky Speedway Extend Sponsorship Agreement
Earnhardt Out For Charlotte and Kansas After Talldega Concussion
Piquet, Jr. Wins K&N East Opener
Want to know more about Amy or see an archive of all of her articles? Check out her bio page for more information.