NASCAR Announces Modifications To NASCAR Hall Of Fame Eligibility And Selection Process
posted by Mike Neff
Thursday December 5, 2013
The Sanctioning Body Also Creates New Award For Outstanding Contributions
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2013) – NASCAR today announced a number of changes to the selection process for the NASCAR Hall of Fame (NHOF), including a modification to driver eligibility parameters and the creation of a new award to honor significant contributions to the growth and success of the sport.
In all, six changes and updates will be made starting with the selection of the Class of 2015 – all designed to improve upon an already strong process that has led to the selection of 25 deserving inductees.
“We’re very proud of how the NASCAR Hall of Fame has evolved and believe the first five classes reflect the strength of the nominating and voting procedures, with voices from every corner of our industry included in the selection process,” said Brett Jewkes, NASCAR vice president and chief communications officer. “Based on feedback from voters, industry leaders, media who cover our sport and the fans, we believe the changes announced today are a strong recognition of the uniqueness of our sport and will make the overall selection process even stronger in how we honor those who have driven NASCAR to great success on and off the track.”
Following is a summary of changes:
Currently, drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for three years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. That will not change.
Moving forward, however, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF. Also, any competitor who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age.
Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.
Nominating Committee Will Select Five Fewer Nominees for Enshrinement
Throughout its history, the NHOF Nominating Committee has selected 25 nominees each year to be discussed and voted on for NHOF enshrinement. That number will be reduced to 20 starting with the selection process for the 2015 class.
Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR
Beginning with the 2015 class, a new award – Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR – will be initiated to honor significant contributions to the growth and esteem of NASCAR.
Potential Landmark Award recipients could include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners will remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.
Five nominees will be selected by the NHOF Nominating Committee and then be voted on by the Voting Panel. To win the award, an individual must appear on at least 60 percent of the ballots and no more than one award will be presented annually. Voting for this award will occur immediately following the voting for the NHOF class and be monitored by the same independent accounting firm that oversees NHOF voting.
Nominating Committee to Meet, Vote on 20 NHOF Nominees / Five Landmark Award Nominees
For the first time, the Nominating Committee will meet in person to discuss, debate and vote to create two ballots – the NHOF ballot and the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR ballot. Previously, the committee submitted nominees via mail to an independent accounting firm that tallies the nominations in order to create the final NHOF ballot.
The Nominating Committee will meet during Speedweeks at Daytona on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, and the nominees for both ballots will be announced later that day.
Nominees To Be Recused From the Nominating / Voting Process
Any member of the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel who appeared on the previous year’s ballot or current year’s ballot will now be recused from participating in the nominating and / or voting process for as long as he / she appears on the ballot. If an individual who is currently on the Nominating Committee or Voting Panel is inducted, or is no longer included on a final ballot, he or she is immediately reinstated to active participation on the panel(s).
Reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Added To Voting Panel
As was already announced on Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the annual NASCAR Championship Contenders Press Conference, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be added to the following year’s voting panel.
That means Jimmie Johnson, who captured his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, will be included in the selection meeting and can cast a vote for the NHOF Class of 2015 on Voting Day, Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
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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Thomas Bowles · Wednesday May 15, 2013
Did You Notice?… How NASCAR has lost its luster with night races? This year, the three lowest-rated Cup events by a longshot are at Texas, Richmond, and Darlington, with all of them sharing the same timeslot: 6:45 PM Eastern start or later on Saturdays. The Darlington disaster, a 3.5 rating was especially troublesome, considering it’s spent time on and off NASCAR’s guillotine for years. A newer surface, combined with better technology, has lessened the Survivor aspect of the Lady In Black, making it your typical generic prescription instead of the more desirable name brand.
So what’s the problem? Some of it runs through how the product gets marketed. The 2012 Daytona 500, while rain-delayed and jet-fueled to its bizarre conclusion had a special aura around it running on a Monday night in prime time. It was made to feel different, a special surrounding the new idea of NASCAR’s Super Bowl decided under the lights on a weekday. You don’t get that type of buzz, now, from these other night races on the schedule; instead, they’re just another notch on that regular season belt. The money’s the same, the points are the same and the storylines aren’t compelling enough to block the “double trouble” main obstacles you face on a weekend.
One: Other, special sporting events that draw from the audience, like the NBA/NHL Playoffs. Two: Other forms of entertainment, from a concert to simply going to a bar and hanging out where the race takes a back seat. Also, fans have gotten smarter to the fact the action, all too often doesn’t intensify until the last 100 laps of an event. While it’s easy to plan that out on a Sunday, tuning in at say 4:30 ET to get what you’re looking for out of a NASCAR race 10:00 PM ET on a Saturday is a little more tricky. You’re not going to get the same type of ratings boost, especially when too much of your core audience is falling outside that crucial 18-to-49 age group (and the ones that are get busy doing something else by that time).
How can NASCAR spice things up? For me, it does all come back to money. Think about how Darlington was the epicenter of a media firestorm on Labor Day Weekend for much of the 1980s and ‘90s as part of the Winston Million program. As the fourth “crown jewel” race, drivers would often come in having to win the event in order to secure the million-dollar bonus (only two did: Bill Elliott in 1985 and Jeff Gordon in 1997). Still, the attention over pursuing such a large amount of extra cash always made the track stand out on the schedule that much more. So how about some sort of “Saturday Night Lights” bonus for doing the best at these events? There’s a nice variety of tracks on the evening schedule: the shorter ovals of Bristol and Richmond, cookie-cutters like Charlotte and Texas while even a superspeedway (Daytona) gets a spot. Having a little million-dollar bonus, perhaps for someone who would be able to win a certain amount of trophies could at least draw more attention and effort.
That, to me, is the biggest problem facing the meat of the sport’s regular season
©2000 - 2008 Thomas Bowles and Frontstetch.com. Thanks for visiting the Frontstretch!
Night race ratings are just another indication of how badly this ridiculous ‘chase’ format has hurt racing. I know Nascar just spent a lot of $$ hiring PR people…and they come up with a way to make the rest of the ‘regular season’ even less appealing? Hmmm. Another of those decisions from the top that make me scratch my head.
Can Nascar survive the Brian France years?
The COT, the top 35, the Chase, debris cautions, the once exciting truck series barely alive, unfair and unbalanced penalties….
The results speak for themselves.
There needs to be a way so that the champion is determined by who wins the most races, while still giving some kind of reward for consistency.
Nascar is in desperate need of new leadership that is progressive and willing to make drastic changes to attract today’s audience while still balancing some of the traditions.
The product is extremely stale. Same drivers and teams year after year, same schedule and tracks year after year. Hardly any rookies because they aren’t getting a chance to shine in NW because of the barrage of cup drivers dominating things. Same could be said for the teams – even the top NW only teams, like JR motorsports and turner scott, have cup drivers or former cup drivers in their cars. How are upcoming teams and drivers supposed to grow a fan base and build a winning operation? I love watching the NW and truck races on tracks that cup doesn’t run – it’s just different, and I crave that. TV coverage is just awful – I hate having things shoved down my throat (Danica/Gen 6 car) or not explained (debris cautions).
Nascar’s less than brilliant idea of a playoff series has made any race in the first 26 into “just a race”. Before the chase, each race was a standalone fun event. Now, there are a lot of races that don’t get people’s attention. Although since I was at the race, I will say the grandstands were pretty full and that was nice to see.
Another thing that continually hurts NASCAR’s product is the poor TV coverage. As you say, fans have figured out there’s no real reason to watch until the last 20 laps (you were charitable in saying the last 100). Too many commercials and really poor camera work and bad broadcasting from the booth makes it easy to skip watching the race on TV.
I agree with Dane as well. The product IS stale. Cookie cutter tracks and a spec car. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I probably won’t watch a whole race on TV until the fall.
This article should have included a link to the interview that USA Today did with Brad K.
Look it up….
Who’s going to put up the money and the car for the Nationwide and Truck series champions to make the field?
They need to have Darlington and Atlanta switch dates. Put the Southern 500 back in its traditional Labor Day weekend with a Sunday night race. They should also revive the Winston Million in some form. Have it be a 3 of 5 thing now with the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Southern 500, Coke 600 and the Bristol Night Race. It would spice up the regular season more, and help make the big races special again. Maybe have a Chase tie in, if you win 3 of 5 and are top-20 in points you get a Chase spot no matter what. Just a thought.
How about sprinklers that come on and wet that track at some random point in the race?
Here’s the Brad Keselowski USA Today link that JP suggested on 1:00 at 5/15 that we all read. (You’ll have to copy and paste it into the address line) — http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2013/02/22/brad-keselowski-meeting-brian-france-lesa-france-kennedy-usa-today-story/1940601
Recent articles from Tom Bowles:
Did You Notice? ... A "Race" Driver's Impact, NASCAR Silly Season Updates And Punching Back
Did You Notice? ... Predicting NASCAR's Short-Term Future
Did You Notice? ... Safe Or Stale?, NASCAR's Challenge And A Hefty Price To Pay
Did You Notice? ... Ford Flounders And Quick Hits
Did You Notice? ... The Ultimate Multi-Car Sacrifice
If you want to know more about Tom Bowles or to view all of his articles here at the Frontstretch, check out his archive and bio page.
Want even more Tom Bowles? Check out Tom's archive at SI.com.