Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Mars Chocolate and NASCAR Announce Partnership Renewal

Mars Chocolate and NASCAR Announce Sweet Partnership Renewal
Long-Standing Relationship to Continue through 2019

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 6, 2016) — In the midst of a year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the iconic M&M’S® Brand, NASCAR, and Mars Chocolate North America announced today a renewed agreement that will extend their Official Partnership through 2019. As part of the renewed relationship, Mars Chocolate will continue its designation as the Official Chocolate of NASCAR®, ensuring its various brands remain a race day staple for millions of fans.

Since entering NASCAR as a team sponsor more than 25 years ago, Mars Chocolate has steadily increased its level of participation in the sport. In 2000, the company expanded its sponsorship by becoming the “Official Chocolate of NASCAR,” emphasizing to fans its dedication to the sport. In the spirit of thanking its loyal NASCAR fans, M&M’S will celebrate race fans during Richmond International Raceway’s inaugural Fan Appreciation Weekend. To help honor its 75th Anniversary, the brand will roll out the red carpet and give fans a VIP welcome at the Front Stretch Gate on Saturday.

“Our association with NASCAR has proven to be a true win-win partnership and we’re excited to continue the relationship for the next several years,” explained William Clements, vice president, sponsorships and sports marketing, Mars Chocolate North America. “From helping M&M’S celebrate their 75th anniversary to energizing the thousands of Mars Chocolate Associates coast to coast, NASCAR is the perfect platform to fuel our business.”

With more than 15 consecutive years of Official Partnership and a historic championship run as the primary sponsor of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota last season, Mars Chocolate is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable brands in the sport. Mars Chocolate continues to execute a fully integrated strategy that includes advertising, event marketing, social media, business to business, and associate engagement.

“Mars Chocolate has delivered creative and engaging activation that our brand loyal fans have embraced throughout the past 15 years,” said Steve Phelps, executive vice president and chief global sales and marketing officer, NASCAR. “As the Official Chocolate of NASCAR, Mars Chocolate has made race day more enjoyable for millions of fans and we are proud to continue our successful partnership.”

As the Official Chocolate of NASCAR, Mars Chocolate encourages fans to “Celebrate Race Day with M.” The campaign reminds fans to include irresistible and colorful chocolate in their race day rituals. Many of Mars’ most iconic brands belong to the category, including M&M’S®, and SNICKERS®. Additionally, Mars/Wrigley and Petcare iconic brands are also included, such as SKITTLES® and PEDIGREE®. 

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Betty Jane France Passes Away 8-29-16

via press release

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 30, 2016) – Betty Jane France, a philanthropist in support of children’s health causes, passed away Monday evening. France is the mother of NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy.

A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the former Betty Jane Zachary was the widow of the late NASCAR Chairman and CEO William C. France, who passed away in 2007. Betty Jane France was executive vice president and assistant treasurer of NASCAR and the chairwoman emeritus of the NASCAR Foundation.

“Last night, the NASCAR family lost a mother, a grandmother, a friend and the light that guided the sport’s charitable arm,” said Brian France. “My mother taught us incredible values, that of love, patience, compassion and joy. She embraced life every day, and nothing fueled her passion more than children. Her unmatched efforts in building The NASCAR Foundation improved the lives of millions of children throughout this country. And because of that, her legacy will live forever.

“My father leaned on my mother throughout his life, relying on her wisdom and calming demeanor to help grow the sport of NASCAR. She was there, every step of the way. When we lost my father, her positive presence remained, as she used her immense skill to grow NASCAR’s heart and soul, The NASCAR Foundation.

“Our family thanks you for all of your thoughts, prayers and well wishes. My mother was a special woman, and an impressive person, and she will be dearly missed.”

France became chairwoman of The NASCAR Foundation upon the foundation’s inception in 2004. Headquartered in Daytona Beach, the foundation is an entity that embodies the compassion of the NASCAR Family and its commitment to serving communities.

The Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide, recognizing outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of NASCAR fans, was created in her honor in 2011.

France was a longtime community leader in Daytona Beach, Florida, and best known as a steadfast champion of health care for children. She assisted in the establishment of “Speediatrics” children’s care unit at Halifax Health in Daytona Beach and at Homestead Hospital in Homestead, Florida.

In 2003, France was presented the Halifax Medical Center Foundation’s Humanitarian Award in recognition of her advocacy, commitment, support and advancement of numerous area community service organizations including the Volusia/Flagler chapter of the American Red Cross.

She was a member of the Junior League of Daytona Beach serving on boards of numerous area community service organizations.

In July 2008, she was named as an honorary co-chairperson for the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, a project headed by longtime NASCAR team owner Richard Childress in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Funeral arrangements will be forthcoming.


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Saturday, August 13, 2016

NASCAR 2017 Start Times

via press release

NASCAR Announces Race Start Times for 2017 Season

Seventeen National Series Events Move Closer to Primetime

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 27, 2016) – NASCAR, along with FOX Sports and NBC Sports, today announced 2017 race start times and network coverage for the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – based on the previously released schedule dates. Through collaborative efforts with its broadcast partners, race teams and tracks, NASCAR was able to finalize full 2017 start times for all three national series almost six months earlier than in recent seasons.

Seventeen national series events will start closer to primetime, helping to bring NASCAR’s photo finishes and close, side-by-side racing to larger audiences. Seventeen NASCAR Cup Series points races will air on broadcast television next year, including the DAYTONA 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on FOX; and the Brickyard 400 and the NASCAR Cup Series championship race, the Ford EcoBoost 400 from Homestead-Miami Speedway, on NBC.

“It’s our responsibility, collectively as an industry, to ensure the sport is healthy, strong and growing by delivering great racing in a way that best meets the needs of our fans,” said Steve Herbst, senior vice president, broadcasting and production at NASCAR. “Earlier insight on start times benefits not only fans, but also our teams and tracks, as it provides more opportunities to plan travel and to purchase race tickets.”


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

NASCAR Announces Nominees for NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017

via press release


Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners, drivers and the most recognizable voice in motorsports. The talents, eras and levels may differ, but all share a common thread. They shaped NASCAR, and on Wednesday, they were recognized as nominees for the highest honor the sport bestows – enshrinement into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees, all legends who made excellence a habit through their various contributions to the sport.

Among them are record-holding four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr.; the man with the most car owner wins in NASCAR national series history with 322, Jack Roush; former all-time consecutive starts leader Ricky Rudd; legendary motorsports broadcasting pioneer Ken Squier; and three-time premier series champion engine builder and three-time Daytona 500-winning crew chief Waddell Wilson. For a full list of nominees, please see below.

The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.

From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2017 class will be Wednesday, May 25.

Added to this year’s list of Landmark Award nominees is Janet Guthrie – the first female driver to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race. The four returning nominees for the Landmark Award are H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Squier (more on each below). Potential Landmark Award recipients 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 remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.

Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

NASCAR Implementing Team Owner Agreement for Cup Series

via press release

During a historic event held today in Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owners to announce a landmark long-term agreement that provides teams with increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to produce best-in-class racing.

In effect as the 2016 NASCAR season prepares to kick off this weekend, the new Charter system addresses three key areas – participation, governance and economics – to promote a more predictable, sustainable and valuable team business model. The agreement grants NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charters to 36 teams, establishes a Team Owner Council that will have formal input into decisions, and provides Charter teams with new revenue opportunities including a greater interest in digital operations.

“Today represents a landmark change to the business model of team ownership in NASCAR,” France said. “The Charter agreements provide nine years of stability for NASCAR and the teams to focus on growth initiatives together with our track partners, auto manufacturers, drivers and sponsors. The Charters also are transferable, which will aid in the development of long-term enterprise value for Charter members.”

The system affords Charter teams that remain in good standing more predictable revenue over the nine years of the agreement. Along with improved financial certainty, the new framework is designed to increase the long-term market value of teams and provide the ability to plan farther ahead with existing, new and prospective partners.

Similar to the five-year sanctioning agreements that NASCAR begins with tracks in 2016, team owner Charter agreements allow for longer planning cycles around competition, innovation, digital marketing, governance and research and development.

“The new Charter program strengthens each of our businesses individually and the team model as a whole, which is good for NASCAR, our fans, drivers, sponsors and the thousands of people who we employ,” said Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing. “This will give us more stability and predictability, and it will allow us to take a more progressive, long-term approach to issues.

“NASCAR and the teams share a desire to preserve, promote and grow the sport and ultimately produce great racing for our fans and partners. These common goals served as the foundation for discussions and helped bring us to this unprecedented agreement. This is a great step forward for the entire sport made possible by Brian France setting a new course for the NASCAR industry and the owners coming together on shared issues. Everyone involved then compromised a bit to be able to come up with something that worked for all.”

Each Charter team owner has a guaranteed entry into the field of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race. To maintain the historical openness of NASCAR racing, the balance of the field will be open for team owners who do not hold Charters. These Open team owners will compete for the remaining starting spots and positions in the race, as each event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ starting lineup shifts in 2016 to a 40-car field.

“The new team owner agreements will offer a more appealing environment for both current and prospective team owners at the NASCAR premier series level,” France said. “I’ve always stressed that if we can do things to improve the business of our stakeholders, we will pursue it. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished today with this agreement.”

NASCAR Charter teams
(Listed by historical inception of race team entity, then numerical)
2015 Car #
2016 Car #
Organization
43
43
Richard Petty Motorsports
9
44
Richard Petty Motorsports
3
3
Richard Childress Racing
27
27
Richard Childress Racing
31
31
Richard Childress Racing
2
2
Team Penske
22
22
Team Penske
5
5
Hendrick Motorsports
24
24
Hendrick Motorsports
48
48
Hendrick Motorsports
88
88
Hendrick Motorsports
6
6
Roush Fenway Racing
16
16
Roush Fenway Racing
17
17
Roush Fenway Racing
1
1
Chip Ganassi Racing
42
42
Chip Ganassi Racing
11
11
Joe Gibbs Racing
18
18
Joe Gibbs Racing
20
20
Joe Gibbs Racing
15
TBD
Michael Waltrip Racing
55
TBD
Michael Waltrip Racing
4
4
Stewart-Haas Racing
10
10
Stewart-Haas Racing
14
14
Stewart-Haas Racing
78
78
Furniture Row Racing
35
34
Front Row Motorsports
38
38
Front Row Motorsports
47
47
JTG Daugherty Racing
7
7
Tommy Baldwin Racing
13
13
Germain Racing
32
32
Go Fas Racing
23
23
BK Racing
83
83
BK Racing
62
62
Premium Motorsports
33
95
Circle Sport Racing
51
15
HScott Motorsports

The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season will kick off with the Sprint Unlimited on Saturday, Feb. 13 and the 58th running of the Daytona 500® on Sunday, Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway®. The Sprint Unlimited and the Great American Race® will be broadcast live on FOX, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with additional coverage on NASCAR.com.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Buddy Baker Diagnosed With Lung Cancer

NASCAR Legend Buddy Baker ill with cancer

In a sad piece of news, one of NASCAR's living legends, Buddy Baker, (Elzie Wylie "Buddy" Baker, Jr. (born January 25, 1941)) announced on the air on his SiriusXM NASCAR Radio show that he has been diagnosed with lung cancer, and subsequently, will be stepping down from his SiriusXM shows to focus on his new fight.

Several months ago he had gone in for rotator cuff surgery and the medical staff discovered that it was not his rotator cuff that was the source of his discomfort, but rather, there was a huge tumor in his lung causing the distress.

In a sad telling of the diagnosis, Buddy asked what his chances are with this thing and he got silence in return for an answer.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Let's Talk About Kyle Busch Qualifying For The Chase


I've been watching various commentary about Kyle Busch getting his win at Sonoma, and because he now has that win under his belt, he COULD qualify for the Chase at the end of the year.

NASCAR made it a point to say that Kyle could qualify for the Chase if he made it into the top-30 in points.

Folks started responding to this announcement, questioning the special circumstances allowed for Kyle.


Monday, July 6, 2015

The Amazing Technology of The Catch Fence




Whether you were watching the Coke Zero 400 or not, you may have already seen the Austin Dillon last lap wreck where he gets caught up and turned into the catch fence. Not only did he get turned, but found himself airborne and his car hurtling straight at the stands where people were gathered in this rain-delayed race.

What you saw, watching live, was a heart wrenching moment as his car got up into the fence and then deflected back onto the track.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Appeal Denied Hendricks

via NASCAR press release

National Motorsports Appeals Panel Statement

(June 9, 2015)

The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered the appeal of a P1 penalty issued on May 27, 2015 to Hendrick Motorsports relative to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series vehicle #48 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The penalty concerns the following section in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:

12.5.3.1 – Warnings and P1 penalty options:

.b: Multiple warnings issued to the same team member or team will result in one or more P1 penalties.

.c: If the same team receives two warnings during the same event, or two warnings during two consecutive events, whether the events are championship or non-championship, then this may result in one or more … P1 penalties at NASCAR’s discretion.


The original penalty assessed was the last choice in the pit selection process for the next event.

Upon hearing the testimony, the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel is:

·         Warnings are not appealable. NASCAR acted correctly in issuing a P1 penalty after the second warning.

·         But, the panel must also decide if there has been a violation of the rules (Section 14.15.1.b).

·         In the hearing, there was a preponderance of evidence presented that the side skirt violation which led to a warning did occur. There was conflicting evidence about the inspection violation which led to the second warning instead of preponderance.

·         Since only one of the two violations were shown by a preponderance of the evidence, the panel rescinds the P1 penalty.

The panel consisted of the following three individuals:

Richard Gore
David Hall
Jay Signore

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

RIP Steve Byrnes

Man, Steve Byrnes gave many a fan a fantastic television experience while watching NASCAR. And it is such a shame that a thing such as cancer took him, along with anyone else we know. As far as I am concerned, cancer is beatable. The only limitation is the attention it gets from the public.

I've always said during breast cancer awareness month, with an estimated two to four million people watching a race, any one day, we can take but a moment to contribute a dollar. A single, measly dollar. It does not seem like much, but to be honest, if we all ganged up on contributing, we could donate millions to the cause in a single night while watching a race. Or even while mourning a beloved television personality.

Instead of being sad, take heart, stand up and donate in Steve's name, whether his name be on the donation or just in your heart.  I was lucky enough to have met him on several occasions while covering events for On Pit Row. He was quite the man, driven to do his job and make sure the television audience was well informed.

Below is a statement from NASCAR:

"Statement from NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian France on the Passing of Steve Byrnes

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 21, 2015) – “NASCAR extends its condolences to the many friends, FOX Sports colleagues and family of Steve Byrnes. Whether you had the privilege of knowing him or if you watched him on television for the last three decades, Steve’s work ethic and authenticity made him a beloved individual inside and outside the garage.

“His level of professionalism was matched only by the warmth he showed everyone he met. He battled cancer with tenacity, and was a true inspiration to everyone in the NASCAR family. Simply stated, we’ll miss Steve dearly. Our thoughts are especially with his wife Karen and son Bryson during this difficult time.”"
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