Wednesday, January 11, 2017

CARL EDWARDS Retires From NASCAR

In a quick and sudden announcement that took everyone by surprise, Carl Edwards has "retired" from NASCAR, stepping out of the car immediately.

In his announcement, Edwards said that,

"I'm stepping away from full-time driving in the Cup Series. ... This is the most scared I've been about anything. The time is right for me to move on to new adventures in life.

This has been a very difficult decision for me but I'm confident that it is the right one. I could not have a better situation in racing than the one I currently have, so stepping away from that certainly took a lot of consideration.

I have a lot of interests in life outside of sports that deserve my attention and I feel strongly that the time to do that is now. I've been racing for more than 20 years. It's amazing the opportunities that racing, and NASCAR in particular, have provided me. The people I've met and the things I've been able to do. I'm very grateful for all of that.

I'm satisfied with my career and my accomplishments. Racing for me has never really been about trophies. Of course I love winning, but there is a thrill to going into a corner at nearly 200 mph competing against the best in the world. I absolutely love that. Obviously there are risks involved in racing that I never take for granted, either, and I'm happy to be able to walk away from the sport fully healthy. I just believe that it's hard to start the next chapter in your life until I close this one. It is an awesome sport, but very demanding with year-round commitments and a lot of time on the road.
"

There's a lot of speculation about what is really happening behind the scenes in his home, as to why he may really be leaving. And maybe it's just that. It's time to move on.

Or maybe his wife had a good example for his stepping down, when you look at things like Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s concussion scenario and how it's impacted his life outside of racing while it sidelined him for months while he recovers from his brain injuries.

Considering his sentence about "I'm happy to be able to walk away from the sport fully healthy." could be the clue.

Who knows, though some folks did point out in his statement about how he loves going into corners at 200 mph and it's never really been about trophies.  (Um, then why was he wrecking everyone in those first few years of his time on the Cup scene?)

Here's NASCAR's statement in Carl Edwards retiring...

“Carl Edwards has made an indelible mark on NASCAR. His hard-charging driving style has led to memorable moments that will live forever in the history of our sport. Carl’s passion and personality will greatly be missed – as will the signature backflips that NASCAR fans have come to expect following his victories. We wish Carl nothing but the best as he enters this next phase in life.”

Now that's a succinct goodbye!

I've never been a fan of his, considering what a raging, angry asshole he seemed to be with his many on-track tiffs with multiple drivers, both on the track and garage and pit road. It's like he had an angry side of him just waiting to get out. And when he toned it down, it seemed like there was still something inside, wanting out, that he had to temper constantly, as he spun his image into something friendlier with the fans.

But I never recovered from his angry days.

OK, so we're taking bets...  when do you think he'll end up in the broadcast booth? (And threatening co-anchors for the camera spot? LOL)

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Monday, December 19, 2016

NASCAR Monster Energy Revamped League Logo

via press release



NASCAR today unveiled a new official brand identity which will replace the bar mark used by the sanctioning body since 1976. The announcement was made in conjunction with the news that Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ will be the new name of the sport’s premier series beginning January 1, 2017.

The new brand mark and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series mark, which prominently features the iconic Monster Energy logo, together represent a new era in NASCAR and were first shared today across NASCAR social and digital media channels.

The NASCAR brand identity has been in development since early 2016 as part of a broader effort to refresh the NASCAR brand. It was designed to pay tribute to the storied history of NASCAR, incorporating elements of all four previous marks since the company’s inaugural season of 1948.

“Our new NASCAR mark is modern, timeless, and embraces the heritage of our sport,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “It was important for us to recognize our history and implement a piece of each previous mark in the new design. Our goal was to evolve the sport’s visual identity to make it concise, relevant and functional, while respecting and maintaining the unique qualities of the original mark.”

The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points race will be the 59th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 26 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

NASCAR Announces NEW Cup Series SPonsor

via press release

NASCAR Announces Multi-Year Partnership with Monster Energy for Premier Series Entitlement
Brand Becomes Official Energy Drink of NASCAR, NASCAR All-Star Race Title Sponsor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (December 1, 2016) — NASCAR and Monster Energy announced today a multi-year agreement for the premier series entitlement as well as the prestigious annual NASCAR All-Star Race. Monster Energy, which will begin its tenure as naming rights partner on Jan. 1, 2017, will become only the third company to serve as the entitlement sponsor in NASCAR premier series history, following RJ Reynolds and Sprint/Nextel.

As part of the agreement, the brand also becomes the Official Energy Drink of NASCAR.

“Monster Energy is a brand built on excitement and enthusiasm, qualities that align with NASCAR,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. “This sponsorship position is the most unique in all of sports and entertainment, and we are thrilled to have a partner that will help us further elevate the series. Today’s announcement is the culmination of a thorough search, one that resulted in the right partner at this important time in our sport’s history.”

NASCAR premier series races long have been a bucket-list destination for sports fans throughout the country, and starting next season, Monster Energy will elevate the event experience to an even higher level.  As part of the agreement, Monster Energy will engage with fans in creative, innovative ways at all race tracks where the premier series will race.

“Monster Energy has an established and versatile history in motorsports, and we’re thrilled to take this historic next step,” said Rodney Sacks, Monster Beverage Chairman and CEO. “We feel strongly that our brand is a perfect fit for this sport and its star athletes. We look forward to interacting with the millions of passionate NASCAR fans week-in, week out.”

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Field Is Set For ‘The Clash’ 2017 At Daytona

via press release

Recently crowned seven-time NASCAR premier series champion Jimmie Johnson will join a star-studded elite field as NASCAR kicks off its 2017 season with The Clash at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017.

The annual season-opening event will be broadcast live on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 8 p.m. ET. The 75-lap race again will be split into two segments with a competition caution at lap 25 separating the segments.

“What better way to kick off the 2017 season than the sport’s brightest stars under the lights at Daytona International Speedway” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “Coming off a thrilling season finale at Homestead-Miami, we’re looking forward to continuing that momentum into Daytona. With bragging rights and no points on the line, the Clash will set the tone for what should be a season full of great racing and tough competition.”

“We’re bringing back The Clash at Daytona,” said Chip Wile, Daytona International Speedway president. “The Clash was a race name that has always been popular among both the competitors and race fans. We’re looking forward to bringing it back and building on the rich history of this thrilling and always unpredictable event that kicks off the NASCAR season.”

Unlike previous years, the starting field for the 2017 Clash at Daytona will not be a predetermined number of cars; rather, the field is limited to drivers who meet more exclusive criteria. Only drivers who were 2016 Coors Light Pole Award winners, former Clash race winners, former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2016, and drivers who qualified for the 2016 Chase are eligible.

Eligible drivers are:


2016 Coors Light Pole Awards winners (14)
·         Greg Biffle, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Carl Edwards, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr.


Former Clash Race Winners (2)
·         Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart


Former DAYTONA 500 Coors Light Pole Award winners (1)
·         Danica Patrick


2016 Chase drivers (3)
·         Chris Buescher, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Jimmie Johnson Is Now A Seven-Time Cup Champion

via press release

Jimmie Johnson Makes History, Wins Record-Tying Seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship Ties Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for Most Premier Series Championships.

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History has been made.

Jimmie Johnson captured his record-tying seventh NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship with a stirring victory Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, tying NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt atop the all-time list.

Sunday’s win was Johnson’s 80th career victory.

To win the 2016 championship, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet outdueled the other Championship 4 drivers Joey Logano (fourth), Kyle Busch (sixth) and Carl Edwards (34th) at Homestead.

It was a year of sevens for Johnson, who took over sole possession of seventh place on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series all-time wins list after his win at Auto Club Speedway earlier this season. His wins at Atlanta and Auto Club catapulted him into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

Johnson breezed through the first round of the Chase, logging his two highest laps led totals of the season to that point at Chicagoland and Dover. When the Round of 12 rolled around, he added his all-time track-record eighth win at Charlotte, leading a race-high 155 laps on the way to a Round of 8 berth. Johnson was the first to lock up a spot in the Championship 4, winning at Martinsville Speedway for the ninth time.

At the age of 41, Johnson becomes the youngest seven-time champion. Petty was 42 when he captured his seventh title in 1979; Earnhardt was 43 in 1994.

All seven of Johnson’s championships were won under team owner Rick Hendrick and with crew chief Chad Knaus.

Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports, captured his record-extending 12th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Along with Johnson’s seven titles, Hendrick has won championships with Jeff Gordon (four) and Terry Labonte (one).

Knaus cemented his legacy as one of the top crew chiefs in NASCAR history with his seventh title, one shy of the all-time record held by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Inman.

Also on Sunday, Chase Elliott was named Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award.

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Daniel Suárez Wins 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship

via press release

Daniel Suárez Wins 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship Becomes First Latin American And Drive For Diversity Graduate To Capture NASCAR National Series Title


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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 19, 2016) – It’s been a rapid rise for Daniel Suárez, who captured the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway by winning the Ford EcoBoost 300 in only his second full-time season of NASCAR national series racing. The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is the first Latin American, as well as the first graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program operated by Rev Racing, to win a NASCAR national series title.

To take home the crown in “The Series Where Names Are Made,” Suárez, 24, outlasted his Championship 4 competitors Elliott Sadler (third), Justin Allgaier (sixth) and Erik Jones (ninth).

It was a year of firsts for Suárez, who burst onto the NASCAR XFINITY Series scene last season by earning its Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award and finishing fifth in the championship standings. In his sophomore campaign, Suárez became the first Mexico-born driver to win a NASCAR national series race (June at Michigan) and to lead the points standings in a NASCAR national series.

The Monterrey, Mexico, native dazzled from the outset of the season, racking up four top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his first 10 contests. Suárez led the points standings following 14 separate races in the regular season and made his way into the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase with his win at Michigan.

Once the Chase started, Suárez upped his performance to another level. He breezed through the Round of 12 with a win at Dover, sandwiched between a runner-up result at Kentucky and a third-place finish at Charlotte. Then, Suárez registered finishes of third (Kansas), fifth (Texas) and fifth (Phoenix) to set up his championship-clinching victory at Homestead.

Suárez is the third member of the NASCAR Next program to win a NASCAR national series championship (Erik Jones, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 2015; Chase Elliott, NASCAR XFINITY Series, 2014).

Also on Saturday, Erik Jones won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, a season after accomplishing the feat in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.



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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

FOX and NASCAR Bring A Second Season of ‘Beyond the Wheel’

via press release:

FOX Sports and NASCAR Productions Collaborate on Second Season of ‘Beyond the Wheel’

FS1 and NASCAR Productions will present the second season of the acclaimed documentary series Beyond the Wheel as part of FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB. Created to depict the sport’s most pivotal moments and compelling narratives, the short films focus on influential characters – both past and present – and the unique stories that have shaped NASCAR as a sport since its inception. The first film premieres on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. ET during NASCAR RACE HUB on FS1.

The second season of the documentary short film series is comprised of the following:

    Bonneville 71 details how NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bobby Isaac set 28 land speed records with a banned Dodge Charger Daytona on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1971, accompanied only by his crew members, a USAC official and a Chrysler engineer. Using the authentic No. 71 K&K Charger and featuring interviews with original crew members Buddy Parrott and Ken Troutt, the documentary pays homage to Isaac’s historical runs by revisiting the Salt Flats to shoot all-new footage down a 10-mile straightaway. A remarkable story of innovation, the short film depicts Isaac’s desire and dedication to always test the limits of speed, no matter the barriers.

    Sueños de NASCAR follows NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Daniel Suárez from his roots in Monterrey, Mexico, to his rise in one of the sport’s top series through the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. As Suárez returns home to visit family and friends, the film explores his place in Mexican racing culture, how the country has embraced stock car racing, and the impact of Mexican drivers on the future of the sport. Illustrating the young driver as a source of inspiration, the documentary also examines Suárez’s success as the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR national series race and his current pursuit of the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.

    Miracle at Daytona – The Tiny Lund Story recounts how DeWayne “Tiny” Lund risked his life to rescue fellow driver, Marvin Panch, from his burning Maserati at Daytona International Speedway before going on to win the 1963 DAYTONA 500 just days later. The true story of a journeyman driver who was one of the most likeable characters of his era, Lund was also awarded the Carnegie Hero’s Medal for his selfless bravery in what became one of the greatest DAYTONA 500 stories of all time. 



The second film in the series featuring Daniel Suárez will premiere on Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. ET, while the original special on Tiny Lund will air in early 2017. Each documentary will also be available on FOX Sports GO and FOXSports.com following its premiere.

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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.”