Verizon signs multi-year deal as title sponsor for INDYCAR Series.
posted by Mike Neff
Friday March 14, 2014
It was announced today that Verizon has inked a contract for multiple years to be the entitlement sponsor for the INDYCAR Series. The company will be utilizing their technical expertise to activate multiple programs that will benefit the series, the race teams, race tracks, business partners and especially the fans. In addition to the series sponsorship the company will also continue their involvement with the Verizon P1 award for series pole winners and their relationship with Penske Motorsports.
“Verizon is delighted to become the title sponsor of the Verizon IndyCar Series and to bring even more of our innovative technology to the fans, to the teams and to the entire motorsports community,” said Dan Mead, president and CEO of Verizon Wireless. “The intersection of racing and technology has never been more relevant, and our expanded partnership with INDYCAR provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate that synergy, integrate new services like LTE Multicast and help propel the sport forward.”
“Verizon is the perfect partner for us to showcase the high level of innovation and technology that is inherent in our sport,” said Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “INDYCAR will provide a large audience of tech-savvy consumers who are eager for the latest technology to further enhance their experience.”
Among the initiatives that will be undertaken as part of this agreement will be a significant network coverage upgrade at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There will also be enhancements to INDYCAR race control, the addition of pit road monitors and enhanced connectivity for fans at all of the race venues. Verizon is also going to roll out its LTE Multicast solution in the future. The technology will deliver multi-faceted multi-media content to multiple devices simultaneously instead of streaming it separately to each end user.
Verizon’s sponsorship with Penske Motorsports will be increased to at least an eight race primary sponsorship of Juan Pablo Montoya.
The INDYCAR season will include 18 races with 12 of them being contested on street and road courses and the remaining six taking place on ovals. Over the last eight seasons the championship of the series has not been decided until the final race of the season.
NASCAR, IMSA and AMA Pro announce Fanschoice.TV
posted by Mike Neff
Wednesday March 12, 2014
Free live streaming of events will allow fans to view previously unavailable live events online
AMA Pro, NASCAR and IMSA announced the launch of Fanschoice.tv today. The free service will stream motorcycle races, sports car races and regional touring and local short track events. The first event will be the AMA Pro flat track 200 from the 1/4 mile dirt track at Daytona International Speedway.
Fans will have access to multiple camera angles, live timing and scoring and a feed from the track’s PA system. In addition to the touring events from IMSA, AMA and NASCAR, three NASCAR Home Tracks have already signed on to be part of the release. Langley Speedway in Hampton, VA., Lake County Speedway in Painesville, OH., and Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. will have all of their races available for viewing on the new service.
NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series, Whelen Modified Tour and Whelen Southern Modified Tour will all be shown on Fanschoice.tv. The awards banquets for both the Whelen All-American Series and the Touring Series will also be streamed.
IMSA coverage will include streaming of its developmental and single-make series, as well as selected practice and qualifying sessions for the two IMSA national sports car series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge that are part of the recently-announced five-year agreement with Fox Sports.
NASCAR Changes Qualifying Format
posted by Summer Bedgood
Tuesday March 11, 2014
Following safety concerns regarding NASCAR’s new qualifying format, the sanctioning body is introducing some changes in preparation for this weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway. According to the Associated Press, NASCAR is banning teams from cool-down laps after their qualifying attempts, but will instead be allowed to hook up cool-down units to the engine through hood flaps.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a release from NASCAR fully detailed the changes. Teams will be allowed a single cool down unit to be connected through the right or left side hood flap, however the hood must remain closed. Additionally, two crew members will be allowed over the wall while cooling down.
“The qualifying is new to all of us and as we have said over the past several weeks, we are looking at it from all aspects,” said Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development. “Following discussions, both internally and with others in the garage area, we moved quickly to make a few revisions that will be effective starting with our two national series events at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. We believe this will only enhance and improve what has demonstrated to be an exciting form of qualifying for our fans, competitors and others involved with the sport. Moving forward we will continue to look at it and address anything else that we may need to as the season unfolds.”
The move comes after three weeks of NASCAR’s new knockout qualifying system, where multiple cars are allowed to make qualifying attempts at the same time instead of the traditional one-car-at-a-time procedure. Drivers and teams had complained that the new rules didn’t allow them to cool their engines down on pit road, and the cool-down laps caused a dangerous situation with slower cars staying on the track at the same time that other cars were running by them at much higher speeds.
The rule will begin this weekend in Bristol, a track that has a much narrower racing surface than Daytona, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.
Kurt Busch to Attempt The Indianapolis-Charlotte Double
posted by Phil Allaway
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Andretti Autosport announced this morning that Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series, will attempt the Indianapolis 500 in a fifth entry for the IndyCar Series team. Once the Indianapolis 500 is completed, Busch will fly from Indianapolis to Charlotte, jump in his No. 41 Chevrolet and compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Busch considers the opportunity to do the double as an old-school throwback moment.
“This is really to challenge myself within motorsports,” Busch said in Andretti Autosport’s press release. “Perhaps I am a bit of an old-school racer; a throwback, I guess. I enjoyed the era of drivers racing different cars and testing themselves in other series. It is tough to do now for a variety of factors, but when the opportunity is there, I want to do it. While NASCAR is my home, I have been fortunate to compete in Pro Stock on the NHRA circuit a number of years ago and test a V8 Supercar. This opportunity was a talk with Michael [Andretti] over dinner one night, a “What if,” and now it’s becoming a reality for me to drive in the Indy 500 with Andretti Autosport. It’s literally a dream come true. To go to the famous Brickyard with the iconic Andretti name, it doesn’t get much cooler or better than that.”
Busch will be doing the Indianapolis-Charlotte double as a Memorial Day mission to men and women serving in the U.S. Military via the Armed Forces Foundation. Fans can contribute to the cause by texting AFF to 50555 to donate $10.
Busch, who has never raced an IndyCar, passed Rookie Orientation at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last year during a test session. At the time, Busch was more or less testing the Dallara DW12 for fun.
Busch will be the fourth driver to attempt the Indianapolis-Charlotte double. John Andretti was the first driver to attempt it in 1994. After finishing four laps down in tenth in Indianapolis, Andretti crashed and had engine problems in the 600. Robby Gordon has attempted the double five times, most recently in 2004. However, Gordon failed to make it to Charlotte on time and did not start the 600 in 2000 (P.J. Jones started Gordon’s No. 13 Ford in that instance). Finally, Tony Stewart has attempted the double twice (most recently in 2001) and is the only driver to ever complete all 1100 miles. Neither of the three drivers has won either leg of the double. The best finishes are Stewart and Gordon’s sixth-place finishes at the Indianapolis 500 (although Gordon’s came in 2000, the year he didn’t make it to Charlotte in time to start the Coca-Cola 600), and Stewart’s fourth-place finish in the 2001 Coca-Cola 600.
Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier Talk About Phoenix Incident
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
A disappointing start to the year for Danica Patrick won’t include continued conflict. Patrick met with rookie Justin Allgaier Sunday, shortly after the Phoenix Cup race after a wreck ruined both drivers’ days. Patrick, who was critical of the No. 51 car on the radio, claiming Allgaier was “driving all over the track” appeared receptive to a conversation that quickly settled differences over what will be a long season.
“She was just upset because she got involved in the crash that we had,’’ said Allgaier to the Motor Racing Network. “She says she’s been through this and that she felt like I needed to settle down at that point. I explained my position on why everything happened. I think she understood where I was coming from. It doesn’t fix either one of our racecars. It doesn’t fix either one of our days. Unfortunately, we were both having pretty decent days.’’
Allgaier wound up 30th due to the incident while Patrick was 36th. The incident, which was caused by Allgaier’s spin also involved the No. 32 team and Travis Kvapil, which wound up 38th after sustaining heavy damage.
Camping World Close to Extending Title Sponsorship of NCWTS
posted by Frontstretch Staff
Tuesday March 4, 2014
Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, Grand Marshal of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway, and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” made the announcement over the weekend that the retailer is very close to announcing a deal that would continue its title sponsorship of NASCAR’s Truck Series. The original agreement with NASCAR is scheduled to conclude after the 2015 season.
According to the sanctioning body, no formal contract has been signed, but “the agreement between the two parties has proven to be a beneficial one.”
“In about a month, we’ll be announcing a significant extension to that contract. It’s been great for us,” said Camping World’s Lemonis in a statement. “The NASCAR relationship has worked well for Camping World. When we started, we had 35 stores. Now, we’re up to 120 stores. As we travel the country and we meet new customers in stores, they always are very appreciative of our relationship with NASCAR. It’s been good.”
Gaining a long-term commitment from Camping World to sponsor the Truck Series would be a relief for NASCAR, which is set to lose Nationwide Insurance as title sponsor for the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the end of the 2014 season. The sponsorship of the Cup Series by Sprint runs through 2016.
The NCWTS is back in action on March 29th at 2:30 PM (ET) when the trucks visit Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 250, which can be seen on Fox Sports 1. Ratings for the season opener were up 11 percent.
Harvick Takes Win At Phoenix In Second Race With New Team
posted by Justin Tucker
Monday March 3, 2014
Phoenix International Raceway has become Kevin Harvick’s home away from home. Sunday Afternoon was no exception as Harvick charged to the front early and would dominate for much of the day, leading 224 of the scheduled 312 laps to record his record fifth win on the one mile oval and his third win in the last four races at Phoenix.
Harvick, coming off of a disappointing Speedweeks which was capped by a last lap crash in the Daytona 500 in his debut with Stewart-Haas Racing, set the tone on Saturday by winning both practices while having the best 5 and 10-lap averages in the first practice of the day on Saturday. On Sunday, Harvick and his No. 4 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet was nothing short of flawless as he was able to hold Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by .489 seconds after a late race restart to claim his 24th career Sprint Cup Series victory.
“Man, this is awesome,” Harvick said after his dominant victory on Sunday. “Man, this just solidifies so many things and so many decisions. It’s been so much work with all the time and effort that these guys (the crew) have put in—but what a race car.”
Stewart Haas Racing co-owner Gene Haas shared in Harvick’s excitement after the race.
“It took long enough,” Haas joked. “This is phenomenal. I think there was a lot of skepticism last year about what myself and Tony (Stewart) what we were up to, was there a lot of madness to this. Quite frankly, it’s a great team, there’s a lot of synergy at the shop, people working together. I don’t know what we did, but I think we put together a great organization.”
Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. continued his hot start to the 2014 season. Earnhardt Jr. would finish second on Sunday, marking his seventh consecutive top 10 finish since the end of the 2013 season. Earnhardt Jr. was pleased with the effort after a coast-to-coast whirlwind week after winning his second Daytona 500 and also gave great praise to the efforts of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
“I’ve got to congratulate Kevin. Those guys were two-tenths faster than everyone all weekend in practice. They were just phenomenal,” Earnhardt said. “To be able to run with them all day was a big confidence builder for us.”
Joining Harvick and Earnhardt in the top 5 of The Profit on CNBC 500K were Brad Keselowski with his second consecutive top 3 run of 2014 in third. Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Joey Logano would finish fourth, and Jeff Gordon would come home fifth in his No. 24 Pepsi Max Chevrolet.
Jimmie Johnson finished in sixth, followed by Ryan Newman with a nice rebound after Daytona in seventh. Carl Edwards would carry the banner for Roush Fenway Racing by finishing eighth, Kyle Busch was ninth, and Jamie McMurray would finish tenth.
A look at the Profit on CNBC 500K by the numbers. There were 14 lead changes among eight different drivers, there were eight cautions for 39 laps which slowed the race pace to 109.229 MPH.
Next Sunday, the Sprint Cup Series heads to Sin City and the Las Vegas Motor
Starting Lineup: The Profit On CNBC 500K
posted by Thomas Bowles
Saturday March 1, 2014
Drivers in RED (i) are those ineligible to collect Sprint Cup points
Check in with Matt and Jay on their site at CareyandCoffey.com.
Mike Neff · Sunday March 5, 2006
With the Cup series being off this week, we’ll take a closer look at the folks from 30th through 48th with two events completed. After Las Vegas, there will only be two more races until the 2006 owner points are utilized for locking in positions. The teams on this list have got to step it up over the next couple of races, or just making it into the show will become a stressful proposition.
CAR # DRIVER OWNER PTS RACES MADE
The only teams on the list who can really feel comfortable are Hall of Fame racing with Terry Labonte and Roush Racing with Greg Biffle. Labonte has the past champion’s provisional to rely on for the next three weeks. As long as they can get a couple of solid runs under their belt, they’ll have a cushion when Tony Raines takes over the seat. Biffle has simply had some bad luck over the first couple of races. He was obviously the dominant car in California. With Vegas and Atlanta up next, he should easily move up out of this dog fight.
The teams that currently have to be stressing out are Kevin Lepage, Scott Riggs, Travis Kvapil, and Kenny Wallace. All four of those teams are planning on running the full schedule, but do not have Top 35 points from last year. They have to qualify into the show on time, and then race well enough to move up in the standings. It is imperative for their hopes for the year that they get it together over the next three weeks.
The two organizations that have to be feeling the heat are MB2 Motorsports and Petty Enterprises. Both of those groups had high hopes coming into this year, but neither of them have started off as they hoped. Petty thought things were going to be much improved this year with the addition of so many quality people over the offseason. There is no doubt that everyone thinks they will improve, but it takes time for new personalities to mesh and turn around an organization that has been behind for a while. If they can’t do it quickly, they are going to have to start worrying about making races on speed. MB2, meanwhile, has simply been bitten by the same bad luck bug that has plagued Biffle. Joe Nemechek has run over debris early in both races so far this year, and Sterling Marlin was involved in a Daytona accident that ruined a likely Top 10 finish. If their racing luck can pick up, both teams will hopefully be able to claw their way up back into the Top 25 and get away from the hornet’s nest around the 35th position.
The other team to remember as we move ahead through the next few events is Robby Gordon’s. Although the No. 7 team has done well in the first two races, they are still on the outside looking in on the Top 35 from last year. That means that they still have to qualify on speed for the next three races…but the switch to DEI motors has done wonders for the team. Since making the switch before Phoenix last fall, Gordon’s average finish has been 15th. Provided Gordon can make the races over the next three weeks, he should have quite a bit of breathing room once the 2006 points are used to start setting the fields.
Some of these teams towards the bottom of the pack may have welcomed the week off, but odds are most of them wanted to get right back to the track and work on making things better. Here’s hoping they won’t have to get lucky in Vegas, and they can just get up back into the Top 35 the old-fashioned way"¦by earning it.
©2000 - 2008 Mike Neff and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Mikey, me boy! Remember, it is OWNERâ€™S points that decide the top 35..NOT DRIVERâ€™s. Scott Riggs #10 team is currently 34th in Ownerâ€™s points, with 35-40 stacking up like this
#32 (-16 from 35th)
As long as Riggs makes the next 3 races, he will be top 35. Thus, thatâ€™s Robby Gordon (he could miss one of the next 3 and probably still be top 35), Terry Labonte/Tony Raines, and Scott Riggs taking guaranteed spots away from 3 established teams from last year. And if LePage and Kvapil make the next 3 races..they very well could be top 35, too. That would make FIVE teams from last year that would need to race their way in. Obviously, the #49 car and #66 car are on the hot seat, but those other 3 teams cold be from large multi car teams that Nascar NEVER envisioned missing races when they implemented this horrible rule. You think they just may make changes when Kyle Petty and Sterling Marlin are missing races?? lol
The chase is the big story every year, but the fight for Top 35 is going to be VERY entertaining all year long!
I apologize Mike. Apparently I copied the wrong table off of the owner’s point screen when I was pulling the points for this week. Needless to say, you are correct. Thanks for paying attention. I appreciate it.
Oh no apologies needed. But this top 35 thing is EVEN closer than a lot of people realize. It is going to be a HUGE source of contention when big teams potentially stare in the face of missing races. As a Robby fan, when no one batted an eyelash last year when he suffered upon the new implementation of this rule (after he finished 23rd in Driver points in ‘04), I have no sympathy whatsoever for anyone who falls under this axe. Actually, I am going to quietly enjoy it…
That said, our guy has had his fair share of bad luck, disappointment and struggles in the past. I’m not going to wish that on anyone else just because I’m sure it’ll find a way to come back and bite Robby on his butt! ;-)
It will be interesting to see what happens, though, if someone like Biffle misses the cut. Wonder how fast NASCAR would change the rules for him!
You’ve got that right CD. It is going to be very interesting if Riggs or Marlin misses a few races. But if someone from Roush or Hendrick were to miss a race, I think the uproar would be tremendous.
Well Bobby Labonte shouldn’t be to worried right now being the recent past champion, but Bobby and Kyle better pick it up
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