Wednesday, February 29, 2012

NASCAR Deals Out Penalties to Jimmie Johnson's No. 48 Team

6-week Suspensions!  After failing a template inspection during opening day for the Daytona 500, (Feb. 17, 2012), NASCAR has distributed penalties in regards to the infraction.

The Infraction:

The No. 48 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the rule book or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event); and 20-2.1E (if in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR that has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance will not be permitted – unapproved car body modifications).

Bruce's note: This involved a part of the car body back by the C-Post, which did not conform to template measurements.
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The Penalties

Suspensions

Crew chief Chad Knaus and car chief Ron Malec have been suspended from the next six (6) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship events, suspended from NASCAR until April 18 and placed on NASCAR probation until May 9. Additionally, Knaus has been fined $100,000.

Points Loss

Driver Jimmie Johnson and car owner Jeff Gordon have been penalized with the loss of 25 driver and 25 owner points, respectively.

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Jimmie Johnson came out of Daytona with 2 points in the driver standings... as did the car owner!  Hence, a 25-point penalty puts the tally at -23 points!  Jimmie definitely has a hole to climb out of, but he's done it before.  In fact, it seems his team performs best when they are forced to work hard at it.

The penalties come as no surprise but as far as I'm concerned, bodes well for Jimmie Johnson!

The years that he's had to do without Chad Knaus or had a bad time in the Daytona 500 have been very good years for the No. 48 Lowes team.

So look out guys!
-Bruce

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Car Photos from Daytona International Speedway

Hey all, I had a "man" on the inside...  OK, at the track and he snagged some images for me to use here on NASCAR Bits & Pieces!  My "man" is Leon Hammack, the power behind Working On My Redneck and he embodies the cooperative nature of cool, co-peers in the world of blogging.

With that said, check out the cool pics he sent me from Daytona, from the '72 hours of Daytona!' (click to enlarge) -Bruce

 Carl Edwards no. 99 Ford

 Daytona 500 race winner, Matt Kenseth!
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Denny Hamlin's No 11 Joe Gibbs machine
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 Jimmie Johnson
the man who didn't make it past lap 2 and will probably not have crew chief for a few races!
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'Daytona 500': A Quick Recap, SF Victory Tour and D500 TV Ratings

Welcome to the Daytona 500 marathon.  Was this a long, long Speedweeks or what?  After a 6-hour event and all was said and done, Matt Kenseth outlasted, outwitted and out-drove the field of competitors and won the Daytona 500, and that, after all the rain and fire, he survived a George R.R. Martin version of a NASCAR race.

And poor Danica Patrick got the proper welcome to NASCAR, whether she wanted it or not!

Sunday's Daytona 500 festivities started out wet and raining.  For fans pouring (no pun meant) into the facility, for them, their Daytona 500 experience started on Sunday and did not end until early Tuesday morning.

.

But the rains persisted and NASCAR postponed, for the first time in the history of NASCAR, the Daytona 500.  It finally got going Monday evening at 7pm eastern time.    And Fox announced it would carry the D500 on all affiliate stations.  (But then that ticked off the House and Alcatraz fans, not to mention the non-sports fans of the TV viewing world. Rescheduled Show News.)

At least we had a chance to warn our readers!

We weren't past the start/finish line for more than 1 lap when Elliott Sadler tapped Jimmie Johnson into the outside wall, collecting Danica Patrick in the mess and sending her to the garage.  Trevor Bayne, David Ragan and Kurt Busch were also victims of the event.

With the no. 48 wrecking out early, does this mean we might see a negative set of points for the driver after the inspection failure of the C-post?  Because you know that announcement is still waiting to happen!

On lap 81, Jeff Gordon's engine expired in a fiery fashion of a flame out.

But of course the big event was when something broke on Juan Montoya's car during the caution, that sent him spinning into the jet dryer truck, causing a 2-hour red flag

But the fun was not over yet...

Lap 178 saw Ricky Stenhouse Jr. smack Aric Almirola and on lap 197 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (getting lots of camera time for his sponsor) turned Tony Stewart.

With the green-white-checkered finish (there was only 1), Matt Kenseth led the pack to the race finish and showing team solidarity, Greg Biffle got behind him and pushed him to the win, while holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. from Kenseth's bumper.

All in all, the racing was fun to watch though I'm concerned the new aero package with all its cooling restrictions might have caused a failure or two... but that's a guess, not a fact.

In the end the top-5 Daytona 500 finishers were

1.     Matt Kenseth     Ford
2.     Dale Earnhardt Jr.     Chevrolet
3.     Greg Biffle     Ford
4.     Denny Hamlin     Toyota
5.     Jeff Burton     Chevrolet

More Results

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Matt Kenseth To Visit San Francisco
Don't forget, that on March 1st, the Daytona 500 winner, Matt Kenseth, starts a victory rally at Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco and take a victory lap around town.

http://www.infineonraceway.com/media/news/603152.html


Monday, February 27, 2012

Danica Patrick Videos... The Bad One First, The Other One Next!

Danica Patrick is on all our minds.  Usually, it's because she's setting records in NASCAR, chicking the guys and taking the pole position (in the Nationwide Daytona race) or smacking the wall hard in her Gatorade Duel, getting her first official welcome to the NASCAR racing series.  Oh, and her first official rain-delayed race!

But then, there are other ways that other folks are bringing her to the forefront of the media.

This first video is an actual news caster who, doesn't call a name, but pretty much should have just come right out and said it... seriously, and here I thought the professionals are supposed to be neutral about their coverage.


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This next video is from a fanatical, I mean, talented fan who put this tribute together for our newest NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup series driver, Danica Patrick.  To be honest, it's cute, to say the least and I leave it at that.


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Danica Music vid brought to my attention by The Daly Planet on his Twitter Account.

The 'other' video I spotted on Jenna Fryer's Twitter acct

Jenna then posted that the FOX sportscaster apologized later, but, is it me, or does it not feel very genuine or more, like a glib, perfunctory apology?

http://www.fox5sandiego.com/videobeta/?watchId=2b8f974b-e820-4438-830a-d02c5f0bf2a2


-Bruce

'Daytona 500' Set For a 7PM ET Monday Night Start, Weather Permitting


The postponed Daytona 500:  That was the thought on my mind when I woke up this morning.  For the first time in the history of the Daytona 500, it was postponed from its scheduled start day.  Ug!

I snagged my smartphone and started dissecting Twitter to see if the weather forecasts were right or not about it raining all day today in Daytona Beach, FL..  And sure enough, I was seeing tweets like if I had to guess, I'd say a 5 or 6 hour delay.  And others were tweeting about the liquid sunshine getting in the way of the Daytona 500 starting at noon, ET.

I looked over the weather forecast for the region and noted that it predicted weather all day up until around 6pm local time, and then after 6pm, a 20% chance of rain.

Then the media reports started coming in and from The Daly Planet, the consummate media covering outlet is this:

"Confirmed: FOX confirms all local TV station affiliates nationwide will carry Daytona 500 tonight 7PM ET."

This means 4pm for the west coast and 7pm for the east coast.  But what I don't know is what is going to happen to the House Winter Finale on Fox tonight!

-Bruce

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

'Daytona 500' Postponed to Monday, If Weather Permits

Today we encountered nothing but rain when NASCAR's Daytona 500 telecast on Fox was supposed to commence.  After a valiant effort of patience and then, during a lull in the rain, track drying, NASCAR had finally postponed it until Monday, February 27th.

The new start time is Noon, EST.

But...

The Weather Channel says it's going to rain all day on Monday.

Earlier in the day they reported that it would clear by Wednesday, but right now while I'm writing this, it now says the weather will clear up on Tuesday.

I don't want to see the Daytona 500 run on Tuesday, but right now the weather service and mother nature is not looking like they're NASCAR fans.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

James Buescher Wins NNS Daytona Race, He Should Thank Kurt Busch

The NASCAR Nationwide Series Daytona season-opener, the Drive4COPD 300, delivered quite the exciting finish to the end of the day that already had a few news-worthy moments.

The pole-sitter for the day, Danica Patrick, was tapped out by her own JR Motorsports teammate in the No. 88, Cole Whitt.  This took Danica out of the race early, by lap 49.


Throughout the next couple of hours, the race had small events take place.

As the race was winding down, my eye was on the tandem of Tony Stewart and Elliott Sadler up towards the front... but then they started to fade back into the bulk of the racing pack.  It fooled myself and the race announcers because it looked like they were running into issues and fade out.

The pack up front started to jostle about in the closing laps of the Drive4COPD 300Kyle Busch pushed Kurt Busch to the front and for but a moment, it looked like the brothers Busch were going to pull off that coupe fans have talked about.
 

But then Joey Logano and his drafting partner started poking their nose into the fray.  With some dodging and blocking going on, the viewers were looking at a Busch or Logano possibly winning the race.

NASCAR Drivers Are Millionaires!

Did you know that the most searched athlete on Yahoo was Danica Patrick?  Of course you did... she is a lightning rod of media focus, and that's always good for the sport of NASCAR.

But did you also know that her estimated income last year topped out over $12M?  Yep, she's rich boys! (But not available... sorry)  But she isn't the richest of NASCAR drivers.  Not by a long shot.  (So she has a long way to go!)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned an estimated $28M last year, and his contract with Hendrick Motorsports is said to be at about $10M annually.

Jeff Gordon is reportedly bringing in the bucks, at $24M, and Jimmie Johnson pulled in $21M.

And despite Kasey Kahne not having a banner year last year, still earned himself $11M.

Despite some of the sponsor woes we've seen NASCAR experience and sponsors tune how they advertise themselves on the cars and track over the last few years, the good 'ol boys... strike that, the good 'ol drivers are still raking in the bucks.  Which explains how they can afford the Lear jets, helicopters and what not to get from track to track and other cool commodities.

Check out Yahoo's list:

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – $28 million
2. Jeff Gordon – $24 million
3. Tony Stewart – $22 million
4. Jimmie Johnson – $21 million
5. Carl Edwards – $15.5 million
6. Kevin Harvick - $14M
7. Kyle Busch - $14M  (This is probably pre-fines.)
8. Danica Patrick - $12M
9. Matt Kenseth - $11.5M
10. Kasey Kahne - $11M.

I can't find it, but I remember seeing an older article (a few months back) about some of the drivers who I didn't think even rated that well, still making around a million or more a year... I'm talking guys outside the top-35 in Sprint Cup and some of the  Nationwide drivers.

So they aren't suffering perse, in the upper ranks of NASCAR.


[ sports.yahoo.com: Forbes and NASCAR Driver Salaries ]

Danica Patrick Nabs Pole Position for NASCAR Nationwide Event at Daytona

Danica Patrick "chicked" the field of drivers to win the top starting spot in Saturday's NASCAR race at Daytona!  And that's great media for NASCAR!

Despite the naysayers, and her abrupt welcome to NASCAR with that devastating looking hit on the inside wall during the Gatorade Duel last Thursday,


it looks like Danica Patrick has made yet another mark on the history of NASCAR books.

Danica Patrick nabbed the pole for Saturday's (2-25-12) Drive4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Guys, as they say in running, you've been chicked.  (Don't fret, I've been "baby carriaged" and "walkered" and... well, you get the point!)

By Danica winning the pole for today's Nationwide Series race, Danica Patrick becomes only the 2nd woman in NASCAR history to win a pole position... in ANY of the three NASCAR divisions.  Shawna Robinson nabbed the pole at Atlanta back in March of 1994.

After setting her qualifying time late in the session, having gone 35th out of 50 drivers, she then had to wait for the next 15 drivers to step up and knock her down.

She said waiting for the 15 drivers, like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, felt like it was a hundred drivers.

Joining her on the front row of the starting field of the Drive4COPD 300 is Trevor Bayne.

Rookie Wins Truck Series Daytona Race


Friday nights' NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway, was a good race, peppered with only a few incidents... except for that those last 5 laps that lasted for a long time.


But when all was said and done, rookie John King won the Daytona race on only his eigth start in the truck series and his first start on a superspeedway.

But it took a long time to get there.


During the race there were your usual mishaps and occasional fender crushing caution.  One exceptional and scary looking incident involved Miguel Paludo slamming into the inside wall (above image) and his Duroline truck spinning like a Frisbee off the wall, but he got out and is OK.  (Gotta wonder if there were extra stars in the sky for him after that!  Wow.)

Then as the laps wound down, we watched Mike Skinner leading the pack with John King draft/pushing and the rest of the pack licking their chops, waiting for something to happen.

Lap 104 saw King push a little too hard and Johnny Sauter hit the outside wall, collecting some of the field with his wall kiss.

King was pretty upset about the error on his part.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Gatorade Duels Are In The Books; 'The Daytona 500' Lineup

The Gatorade Duels have been run, and the lineup for the Daytona 500 has been set for Sunday.

The first Duel saw some carnage and the second Duel was pretty benign with a last second pass for the win.  And Danica Patrick found the wall, hard, on the last lap of her Duel.  Plus Michael Waltrip having a solo-car spin and having a smack down with the wall.  Doh!

But drivers now in the Daytona 500, after all was said and done,  can relax and now focus on the task at hand, and that's getting set up to run the Great American Race.

Carl Edwards has the pole and Greg Biffle sits next to him on the front row.  We then see Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth in the 2nd row and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Regan Smith in row 3.

Ford leads the pack, with a Chevy on the inside of the 2nd row, while the first Toyota to show up on the starting grid is Joey Logano's, on the outside of row 6.

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Row #
Driver Make
Driver Make
1 - Carl Edwards Ford - Greg Biffle Ford
2 - Tony Stewart Chevrolet - Matt Kenseth Ford
3 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet - Regan Smith Chevrolet
4 - Marcos Ambrose Ford - Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
5 - Jeff Burton Chevrolet - Elliott Sadler Chevrolet
6 - Michael McDowell Ford - Joey Logano Toyota
7 - Kevin Harvick Chevrolet - Kyle Busch Toyota
8 - A.J. Allmendinger Dodge - Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
9 - Robby Gordon Dodge - Ryan Newman Chevrolet
10 - Jamie McMurray Chevrolet - Kasey Kahne Chevrolet
11 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford - Mark Martin Toyota
12 - Brad Keselowski Dodge - Dave Blaney Chevrolet
13 - David Ragan Ford - Martin Truex Jr. Toyota
14 - Aric Almirola Ford - Kurt Busch Chevrolet
15 - Danica Patrick  Chevrolet - Clint Bowyer Toyota
16 - Denny Hamlin Toyota - Bobby Labonte Toyota
17 - David Gilliland Ford - Joe Nemechek Toyota
18 - Juan Montoya Chevrolet - Casey Mears Ford
19 - Paul Menard Chevrolet - David Reutimann Toyota
20 - Landon Cassill Toyota - Trevor Bayne Ford
21 - Tony Raines Ford - David Stremme Toyota
22 - Terry Labonte Ford -



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Danica Patrick finds herself starting on the inside of row 15 for the Daytona 500, but not without some excitement as she found herself wrecked and hitting the inside wall pretty hard.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NASCAR Now Tries Cooling The Cup Cars Down

Remember when NASCAR was trying to limit how long a Sprint Cup Series car can stay in a draft before overheating?  They were trying to eliminate tandem drafting in the restrictor plate races and force drivers to have to pull out from the draft of a single partner so they couldn't keep it up.

Turns out that during the Budweiser Shootout last weekend, teams were encountering overheating problems in the race.  To the point that they were at their red line tolerances for the entirety of the event, and that was a partial field.
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I suspected that this would happen.  And I worried that if a car is trapped in the pack, they will overheat, whether they like it or not.

Now NASCAR is looking to help with the overheating problem now that they have defeated the tandem drafting monster by increasing the pressure relief valve setting to 28 psi, up from the 25 psi they had it set at prior to Wednesday.

The higher temps expected in the forecast, they say this soothes some crew chief nerves.

But let's hope that this is resolved before the big race on Sunday.  I'd be frustrated if a NASCAR mandated change causes teams to lose engines.  Plus it would thin out the competition field and that would take the fun out of it... that is, if the "big one" doesn't do it first.

Daytona 500 Qualifying, Visually Explained!

OK, I've put the words out there that technically explains how the qualifying process for NASCAR's Daytona 500 works.  And the outline makes perfect sense.  That is until cars got out on the track and suddenly we have scenarios about who if and what if!

You can check on my list of D500 qualifying speeds from Sunday.

So I drummed up this chart that lays it out a bit visually and maybe it will help you too, like it did me:

(click for larger version)

In this chart, I point out

A:  The top-35 guaranteed starters

B:  The top-3 cars outside the top-35 (On Speed)

C:  The positions that are outside the first 38 spots and cars looking to fill spots (Outside, Looking In)

D:  Past Champion Provisional.

Here's the kicker:

During Thursday's Gatorade Duels, starting positions will be set for spots 3 through 42.

BUT

If cars that are in category B (On Speed) actually find themselves posting finishing positions that don't require their qualifying speeds from last Sunday, then the next few cars with the next fastest speeds from last Sunday will start filling spots in the starting field.

PLUS,

If Terry Labonte finishes in his Duel in such a position that does not require using his past provisional, then Bill Elliott can step up and take that Past Champion's Provisional Spot!

Of course as these spots shuffle around, that puts the thumbscrews to the few teams on the outside, looking in.

Now, does it make better sense?  Once I drew this on my white board in my office, it looked to make a bit more sense... I think!  LOL.

Of course, there's always Plan B, the plan I used to deploy heavily in my early years of being a fan of NASCAR:  On Thursday afternoon, tune in and find out who's racing on Sunday!!!

But then, where's the fun in that?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Some NASCAR Points To Ponder Heading Into the Daytona 500

Speaking Of:

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:

As everyone who watched the Budweiser Shootout last weekend saw, everyone knows that the restrictor plate pack racing is back.  NASCAR has answered the fans ire about tandem drafting and the pack is back for sure.  Plus, with the tandem sets gone, that also allowed a classic pass for the win when Kyle Busch slingshot around Tony Stewart and won by a bumper.

So! What about that new EFI system?  Did you even forget about it during the race?  I did.

But the questions most prevalent about this upcoming Sunday's Daytona 500?

  • -Can Trevor Bayne repeat?  (I don't think so, IMHO)*
  • -After all the hoopla, can Danica Patrick win?
  • -Will there be a different 1st time winner, for the 7th time?
  • -Will Hendrick Motorsports finally nail its 200th win here? (That would be perfect, wouldn't it?)

*There have only been three repeat winners.  Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84) and Sterling Marlin (1994-95)

I'm not holding my breath on seeing Patrick cross the checkers first.  She may be competitive, but this racing is a new beast.

It's anyone's win, depending on if or how the big one affects the field.  Trevor won last year because of a huge list of attrition.

Hendrick has one or two cars out there on the track on Sunday.  The odds are in their favor to get that 200th win!  It would be a storied win, indeed.


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Speaking of the NASCAR Nationwide Series... 

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Jeremy Mayfield Ordeal Continues

Jeremy Mayfield was indicted today on charges of possession of stolen goods, stemming from a raid on his residence in early November.

There were three felony counts of possessing stolen goods, of which the goods noted were from Fitz Motorsports, Red Bull Racing and office equipment from DEA Ventures.  What wasn't stolen was the 1.5 grams of meth found in his residence during the same search.

Of course, like his embattled set of differences with NASCAR, Jeremy said all the charges were baseless and though I can't say with any reasonable source what's up, I will let this quote say it all:

"We do not know if there is any connection between the NASCAR lawsuit and this investigation, but based upon the evidence disclosed to us already by the district attorney’s office, it appears that the Catawba County authorities have been coordinating with NASCAR officials."




For more details and info on the scenario, you can check out Bob Pockrass's article over on Scene Daily.

Who's Not In The Daytona 500 Yet And How Are They Going to Get There?



As you all know, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle are in the Daytona 500 this upcoming weekend, having secured front row starting spots for the race.  But that's all last Sunday's qualifying did, lock those two in.  Roush-Fenway Racing is represented!

But with the qualifying session over, we still have several spots to fill and more drivers than spots willing to fill them.

The first 35 spots are already filled because of the Owner's Points from last year.  How you get those points, with either racing and earning them last year, of buying them from another team in some fashion, well, doesn't matter.  Those in possession of the much coveted Owner's Points are in the race.

But that leaves several drivers on the outside looking in.  Or maybe, leering at each other, wondering who is going to get what.

There are a few drivers who have to figure out how to get into the Daytona 500 and it's mildly complicated.  You can either wait until after the Gatorade Duels on Thursday and the media will tell everyone who is in or going home.  Or, if you like trying to understand the process, well, here we go...

(I have a simplified explanation, without names of The Qualifying Process for the Daytona 500 here.)

Those drivers that need to nab just a few spots left in the starting grid are:

  1. Defending Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne,
  2. Dave Blaney,
  3. Bill Elliott,
  4. Robby Gordon,
  5. Terry Labonte,
  6. Michael McDowell,
  7. Joe Nemechek,
  8. Tony Raines,
  9. Robert Richardson,
  10. David Stremme,
  11. Kenny Wallace and
  12. JJ Yeley.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Daytona 500 Qualifying: Edwards On the Pole, Patrick 30th Fastest

Today's single-car qualifying efforts for the 2012 Daytona 500 found Carl Edwards sitting on the pole for the Great American Race, and he's joined by teammate Greg Biffle.

The Roush-Fenway Racing duo found themselves on the front row with speeds of 194.738 mpg (Edwards) and 194.087 (Biffle).  Behind them sat Dale Earnhardt Jr., Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears.  But only Edwards and Biffle know where they'll be starting as the Gatorade Duels this upcoming Thursday will be what determines everyone else's starting spots and determine the few remaining spots for the field.

Last years Sprint Cup Champion, Tony Stewart found himself the 10th fastest of the day with 193.607 mph, "6-time" Jimmie Johnson was 12th fastest with 193.449.

The newest media sensation of the sport, Danica Patrick, pulled what would seemingly be a disappointing 30th fastest speed, with a 191.738.  But she's been secured a starting spot in the 2012 Daytona 500, making her the third-ever woman to start the race.

The old Red Bull equipment, now running under the Burger King banner, didn't do as well as some fans had hoped, but they have a very short time to ramp up for this week of events.  Landon Cassill's Toyota was 41st fastest of the day with 190.605 and David Reutimann was 46th fastest, with 189.235.

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Here's how everyone panned out in speeds today:

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POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPEED
1 99 Carl Edwards Ford 194.738
2 16 Greg Biffle Ford 194.087
3 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 194.028
4 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 193.999
5 13 Casey Mears Ford 193.844
6 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 193.803
7 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 193.665
8 6 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 193.665
9 21 Trevor Bayne Ford 193.615
10 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet 193.607
11 55 Mark Martin Toyota 193.503
12 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 193.449
13 43 Aric Almirola Ford 193.382
14 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 193.374
15 34 David Ragan Ford 193.249
16 17 Matt Kenseth Ford 193.245
17 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 193.224
18 22 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge 193.121
19 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge 192.992
20 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 192.914
21 20 Joey Logano Toyota 192.868
22 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 192.843
23 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet 192.777
24 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet 192.6
25 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 192.583
26 26 Tony Raines Ford 192.534
27 30 David Stremme Toyota 191.963
28 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 191.873
29 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 191.84
30 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 191.738
31 109 Kenny Wallace Toyota 191.567
32 32 Terry Labonte Ford 191.522
33 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet 191.506
34 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 191.363
35 33 Elliott Sadler Chevrolet 191.27
36 140 Michael Waltrip Toyota 191.18
37 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota 191.16
38 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 191.127
39 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet 191.062
40 98 Michael McDowell Ford 190.99
41 83 Landon Cassill Toyota 190.605
42 38 David Gilliland Ford 190.046
43 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota 190.022
44 97 Bill Elliott Toyota 189.95
45 37 Mike Wallace Ford 189.853
46 93 David Reutimann Toyota 189.235
47 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Toyota 188.438
48 7 Robby Gordon Dodge 188.229
49 249 J.J. Yeley Toyota 187.954

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NASCAR Responds To Fans And Changes The Shootout Eligibility


In years past the Budweiser Shootout was usually a select, limited field but in 2009 NASCAR opened up the eligibility to get into the exhibition race so they could squeeze more drivers into the race.  I thought that was a good idea, as it gave more teams a shot at feeling how the track and cars can be in the Daytona 500.

Admittedly, we had a pretty good sized field for the 2012 Budweiser Shootout, or The Shootout at Daytona.  And I thought that was exciting.  But according to NASCAR, apparently fans were grumbling about the eligibility rules and how many drivers were in the race.  First tandem drafting, now Shootout rules.

Hence, NASCAR announced new eligibility rules to be able to enter the Budweiser Shootout, and they call it "returning to its roots," as the Shootout field for 2013 will now be populated with winners of the 2012 Coors Light Pole for each race, and past Shootout winners only.

Last season, we had 18 different pole winners.

So now, who ever wins the pole for the 54th Annual Daytona 500 (Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. on FOX), will be entered into the 2013 Budweiser Shootout.

“Fans have expressed their desire to see this event return to its original eligibility rules,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “We listened and decided it would be best to return to the eligibility rules of years past adding further meaning to pole qualifying for each NASCAR Sprint Cup race.”

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NB&P has two light-hearted questions:

Were we really that upset to see that many drivers pack onto the track for the first race of the season?  I wasn't.  But somedays, I'm pretty easy going about some things.

My other (humorous) question is how the sponsors might feel?  So winning the Coors Light pole, will get someone qualified for the Budweiser Shootout?  Just sayin'! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona - A Recap

The first race of the year kicked off the NASCAR season in style.  NASCAR has been working hard to codify the fans who didn't like the tandem restrictor-plate drafting from the last few years.  I initially wasn't a fan of the draft, but it did generate some great, dramatic finishes.

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As the 2012 Budweiser Shootout started it seems that all of NASCAR's tampering has paid off and I haven't seen any of the tandem drafting that we have become accustomed to over the last few seasons.  It's early in the race though.

The first incident 10 laps in collected a few cars, with Ragan getting in to Menard that collected 8 cars of the field.

In the past few seasons the tandem drafting pretty much did a decent job to minimize "the big one" in the race.  But with the tandem drafting possibly eliminated (As I write this early in the race), I have to wonder if we're going to start seeing more wrecks that collect more cars.

With 25 laps in the books, they pit for the intermission where teams get to work on their cars.

Coming back out after the pit stops, we saw our first 4-wide action in the competition.  Yea...  NASCAR got the cars right.

Later, Martin Truex Jr. sent Clint Bowyer sliding through the infield.  They were coming up on Carl Edwards, Bowyer went right, Edwards moved up and blocked and Bowyer tried to slide back down, but instead, spun off of Truex's front bumper.  I wonder if radio communication between drivers, which is now banned, could have possibly prevented that.  Probably not, but I had to wonder.


Then... with 28 laps to go, Kyle Busch got sideways...  and saved it.  That was impressive, but his stunt of using his side window to drive scattered the field a bit.  Kyle did the sideways stunt twice and still pulled it off.  He demonstrated yet again, his talent at the wheel of a car at 200mph!


There's A New Sprint Cup Girl For 2012: Kristen Beat

The Sprint Cup Girl squad has had a few turnovers this last year or so. most importantly, they added a new team member by the name of Kristen Beat.



But first, a bit of history of the Sprint Cup Girl Squad:

In early 2010 Anne-Marie Rhodes left the squad.  Then the new girl, Paige Duke, had a few "images" pop up from her past and she had to step out of the role of Sprint Ambassador in July of 2011.

Paige Duke later landed on the CMT reality TV dating show called Sweet Home Alabama, which started airing in mid-January 2012.

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Kim Coon, an ex-cheerleader, had joined the squad.  She had also had a stint on ABC's The Bachelor, in Brad Womack's season.

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Then sadly, the girl who has held the position the longest, Monica Palumbo, departed from the squad to pursue other ventures.  Palumbo ended up becoming the SPEED Channel's new social media reporter!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Fox's Chris Myers Son Passes Away

It is with the deepest sadness that I am passing on that the ever popular Fox Sports broadcaster Chris Myers lost his son to a car accident Thursday.

His son, Christopher Myers, died in Southern California, where the family lives.

Fox is giving Chris all the time he needs to deal with this family tragedy and has replacements stepping in to cover the events from Daytona International Speedway.

NASCAR Bits & Pieces sends our deepest sympathies to the Myers family and friends.

If you read this note, please, take a moment of silence in prayer or thought for the family.

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Jimmie Johnson Fails Inspection on First Day (That didn’t take long!)

During the opening day of the 2012 NASCAR season, Jimmie Johnson’s car failed inspection.  The No. 48 team’s car had parts confiscated due to the inspection results.

The failure came about from a template violation involving what’s known as the “C-Posts” of the car body.  The C-Posts are part of the car that connects the roof of the car to the deck lid, or trunk region on a regular street car.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director John Darby noted that there was a body modification on the No. 48 Chevy that was outside the inspection tolerances after NASCAR officials noted some oddities to the car body.

The Hendrick Motorsports team has to fix the problem and resubmit the car for additional inspection before being allowed to participate in the first practice session for the Daytona 500, which is this upcoming Saturday.

No one will be evicted from the track for the discovered violations, but penalties could (will?) be forthcoming.  And if NASCAR sticks to it’s previous patterns of how they’ve handled modifications to the body of the new car template, the penalties will be stiff and crew chief Chad Knaus will probably be sitting out for a few races after the D500.  They’ve been very stern in handling the premise of teams trying to modify the body of the car.

And that could be bad news for the rest of the garage, because every time Jimmie Johnson has had to operate without his crew chief, he’s been rather dangerous on the track as far as performance goes.
Case in point:  The No. 48 car failed inspection at the 2006 Daytona Speedweeks and Chad Knaus was evicted from the track.  Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 with Darian Grubb and then Johnson went on the win the Championship.

Yep, bad news for the garage indeed.

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In other developments, Tony Stewart and Kurt (I’m having fun) Busch started a small wreck in practice, taking out the two Penske and other cars in the practice session.  You have to wonder if Kurt isn’t quietly smirking a bit.  (There’s video of the incident on NASCAR.com).  I can’t find an embed option.
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For the IndyCar Fan: Free Test Session at Infineon


I just received a piece of "Sonoma Insider" email in the... well, my email, announcing that there will be an IZOD IndyCar test session on Saturday, February 25th at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma.

And admission is FREE to attend on this test day.

In attendance will be four IZOD teams, testing and tweaking from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on February 25th.

Your free admission will grant you access to the main grandstand, the paddock and if there's room, you will also be able to attend a driver press conference that will be held at noon.

The Raceway Cafe will also be open from 8 to 2.

Teams and drivers scheduled to attend:

  • Rubens Barrichello (KV Racing Technology),
  • EJ Viso (KV Racing Technology),
  • JR Hildebrand (Panther Racing),
  • Ryan Hunter-Reay (Andretti Autosport),
  • Will Power (Team Penske) and
  • Ryan Briscoe (Team Penske).

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There's more at   infineonraceway.com  if you're interested.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Michael Waltrip Gets Owners Points To Git Into the Daytona 500

I'm wondering how confused the casual NASCAR fans are getting with all this "owners points" swapping taking place, going into the Daytona 500.

Michael Waltrip Racing snagged themselves a deal that nets them owners points from FasLane Racing for Michaels No. 55 Toyota team, which will be driven by Mark Martin.

Thus. now Mark Martin has a guaranteed spot in the Daytona 500 this year while Faslane will be using a Past Champion Provisional for their driver, Terry Labonte.

But... check out the musical points game

After the D500, FasLane will get the No. 6 points from Roush Fenway Racing.

David Reutimann To Be Landon Cassil's Teammate

The venerable Dave Moody reported today that David Reutimann will be the 2nd driver and teammate to Landon Cassil for the upcoming Daytona 500 this year, as he's been tapped to drive the 2nd Toyota Camry for this yet unnamed team.





"Reutimann confirmed to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's SiriusXM Speedway with Dave Moody that he has been selected to fill the seat."

The new owners of the old Red Bull Racing equipment are a group of investors who are very invested in this new NASCAR Sprint Cup venture.

Reutimann believes his car No. will be the 93, but isn't positive.

TV Reminder: NASCAR's Saturday Night Shootout at Daytona





This is a reminder that this upcoming Saturday night, we have the Shootout at Daytona (Budweiser Shootout) taking place.  This is the annual preseason, NASCAR race from Daytona International Speedway.   The Shootout is a non-points event that is a 75-lap dash broken into 2 segments.  The first is 25 laps, then the 50 laps.  It's primarily populated with drivers who:


  • Were in the top-25 in points last year;
  • Previous winners of the Shootout;
  • Previous winners of any Daytona points race;

This year, 33 different drivers are able to compete in the race, but only  25 are slated to run this exhibition event!  For example, Trevor Bayne qualifies, considering he won last year's Daytona 500, but they don't have the resources to compete in this race in addition to preparing for the D500... so they're focusing on the critical issues.

But those who are competing are...

AJ Allmendinger                                                          
Greg Biffle                                                              
Clint Bowyer                                                             
Jeff Burton                                                              
Kurt Busch                                                               
Kyle Busch                                                               
Dale Earnhardt Jr.                                                       
Carl Edwards                                                             
Jeff Gordon                                                              
Denny Hamlin                                                             
Kevin Harvick                                                            
Jimmie Johnson                                                           
Kasey Kahne                                                              
Matt Kenseth                                                             
Joey Logano                                                              
Jamie McMurray
Paul Menard
Juan Pablo Montoya
Ryan Newman                                                              
David Ragan                                                              
Tony Stewart
Martin Truex Jr.
Michael Waltrip  


Monday, February 13, 2012

Irwindale Cancels Season and Shuts Down


In a sad state of affairs, the news on the street is that Toyota Speedway, aka, Irwindale Speedway, has canceled its 2012 season and shut down. They have even taken down their own website.  Reports are that last Saturday workers were dismantling the stands and offices being emptied.

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Irwindale shutting down is a surprise to me.  This was the track where I first saw a track with different degrees of banking... long before Homestead every changed their configuration.  When they installed the variable banking, it allowed 1 and 2 line racing to become 3-wide... at a short track.  This 3-wide racing was seen during a Toyota All-Star Showdown event.

Speaking of which, this is the track that the NASCAR All-Star Showdown would be televised from each year.  This is the track that Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano and the likes would come to.

It's also the track where I got my hands on a Legends car in a "school session" and finally learned how it felt to be a racer as that little pocket rocket would squiggle through corners as the front end would grab and skid alternately through the entire turn.  It doesn't seem like much, doing that at 60 or 70 mph, but if you saw the size of the car, the small Legends track inside of the main Irwindale track, you'd get it.

It was here I got yelled at for not sticking to the course inside the school cones.  (But damn it, I get faster lap times up against the wall people!!!)

It was here that I had to sneak out of work one day (cough, cough, I'm not feeling good!) because I had a chance to take a Custom Jack Roush Ford Mustang through its paces on the track.  (Wow!)  It's not often you stomp on the gas and go "umfph" verbally from behind the wheel.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Press Teleconference Call with NASCAR Kasey Kahne

Last week NASCAR held a press teleconference with Kasey Kahne and the press.  In the teleconference, Kasey chatted about his upcoming time in the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet with Hendrick Motorsports, working with Kenny Francis, the idea of points swapping, and a few other tidbits.  Check it out...

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On Coming Into the Fold of Hendrick Motorsports:

 

The last year Kasey spent driving for Red Bull, was a year of anticipation of where he was headed.  Finally sitting in the No. 5 car at the Daytona testing it started to feel real.

Kasey Kahne thinks that being in the same garage as the 24 team is "really good."  (He's such an understater!)  He calls it fun to chat with Jeff Gordon and seeing how they sometimes look at the same thing in different ways is enlightening.  He feels that working with Gordon is a great opportunity.

Kasey is pretty excited about coming to Daytona with a team that has a great record at the track and is excited about qualifying.  Kasey Kahne's first impressions of Hendrick Motorsports was "very very impressed," with a lot going on.

With his contract with HMS, he has a short-term form of stability and it's something he hasn't had to date.  Up to this point in time, he's learned a lot and now is the time to take advantage of what he's learned and the situation he's in now.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kasey Kahne Recovering From Knee Surgery

-Kasey Kahne had impromptu knee surgery yesterday, Friday, February 10th, 2012, after having seen a doctor for swelling of the knee the day before.  The surgery was to fix a torn cartilage in his left knee.

My first thought while reading the news was, how perfect... brand new driving gig in the Hendrick No.5  and you have to have knee surgery just before you hope in the car?  Wow.   But never fear gang.

Hendrick Motorsports says they're not getting a backup driver for Kasey Kahne and that he'll be ready for Daytona in the upcoming week.

If you recall, he's had knee surgery before.  In 2011 he was back at racing within the week of cartilage surgery.

These drivers are pretty tough cookies with having their surgeries and getting back in the game pretty fast.  Or broken ankles or what not.

This should be interesting.

[Fox News:  Kasey Kahne Knee Surgery ]

News About David Ragan, & Go Canada's New Team Name

Check Out This NASCAR News About David Ragan, & Go Canada's New Team Name.  Which, by the way, is great news to see David getting seat time!

Via Press Release
Go Canada Racing to become GC Motorsports International

Toronto, ON, Effective Feb15th, 2012 Go Canada Racing will become GC Motorsports International (GCMI).

"The name change is a result of numerous developments in the off-season and more clearly represents our company, our partners, drivers and sponsors going forward." said team owner Steve Meehan.  In 2012 the team will continue to compete in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with drivers from both Canada and the United States.

2012 will begin with David Ragan, last season's winner of the Coke Zero 400 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, behind the wheel at Daytona.

"I am really excited to be kicking off the 2012 Nationwide season for GCMI. I have known many of the team members for quite some time; it will be great to work with them again. This group has put together many winning efforts in the past and I plan on being part of their winning efforts in the future, hopefully starting with Daytona." Says David Ragan.

The team will also launch an effort in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series for 2012. GC Motorsports International will team up with Dave Jacombs Racing to form GC Motorsports Canada. The team plans on fielding a two car effort anchored by two time series champion Andrew Ranger.

Andrew Ranger will also return to the Nationwide team this year. Andrew will compete in a number of Nationwide Races Including the series only Canadian race, the Napa Auto Parts 200 in Montreal.

The team is extremely excited about the program going into 2012, and expects to make more announcements about drivers and sponsors in the coming weeks.

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Friday, February 10, 2012

Speed Channel's Daytona Coverage

For the 2012 Daytona 500 month, Fox's Speed channel has quite a bit of NASCAR coverage planned, including a piece on remembering Dale Earnhardt.  Overall, it's reportedly about 100 hours of television programming.

Speed's coverage will include 16 events from the track and 44 different shows from various studios.

First up, starting Feb 13th, is NASCAR Race Hub.  There will also be 8 Sprint Cup practice sessions, 2 qualifying races plus coverage of the Budweiser Shootout practices...

There will also be the ARCA race, the Camping World Truck Series events.

There's even a Dale Earnhardt special airing late, on February 17th.

Check out the TV coverage from Daytona from Speed Channel:





Thursday, February 9, 2012

Red Bull Assets In Play, Landon Cassill Driving

Jennar Fryer is Treaking (Twitter & Breaking) some news that Landon Cassill will be driving the No. 83, with Doug Richert as his crew chief.  The No. 83 will come into the sport with the points that Red Bull racing accrued last year for the No. 83 efforts.

Also,

That there will be a second car.

At the time of Jenna's tweets, but she was hearing that Travis Kvapil could be the driver the second car.  There's no team name yet, but she reports that the team is owned by former TRG investors.

It's good to see that the team is getting back out there.  That means Cassill's got a job, probably Kvapil if the NASCAR news is accurate and some other folks will be keeping their jobs and a few others will be getting new ones.


Daytona 500 Qualifying Explained - I Think!

Some non fans ask why NASCAR has it's "Super Bowl" (the Daytona 500) at the front of the season instead of wrapping it up.  The only thing I can come up with is that it makes the anticipation for the new season so much more exciting than just starting the NASCAR season at just any track, but at the track that started it all!

(UPDATE Feb 2013: The format of qualifying below is from the 2012 season.  I've added the process for qualifying for the 2013 season over on my parent site.  The qualifying process is slightly different this year!  Check out Qualifying for the 2013 Daytona 500 at this site's parent website, Brusimm.com.)

It seems right.


Daytona starts the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with the 'Shootout at Daytona,' (on Feb 18, 2012).  That's just a fun event for fans.  After that race, we then have pole qualifying, followed by the 2 Gatorade Duels (Feb 23, 2012) to set the field for the Daytona 500, which takes place on Feb. 26, 2012 on FOX, at 1 p.m. ET.

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Qualifying Format for the Daytona 500

Unlike most races where everyone usually takes one day to compete in timed lap trials, teams have to fight for their starting position within the Daytona 500.

On Daytona 500 Qualifying Day, each team runs two laps, using the fastest lap as their qualifying time.  The two teams that set the fastest two times, become the front row starters for the Daytona 500.

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Gatorade Duels
After qualifying, are the Gatorade Duels, which are two 150-mile qualifying races. 

The top-35 in owners points from last year are placed in the field*, where teams with odd-numbered owner points are assigned to the first race, even numbered points, the other qualifying race.

The fields are further filled out with teams outside last year's top-35 in owners points, based on their qualifying day performance.

*Pole position for these races are given to the two cars that snagged the front row in qualifying.  Then the fields are allocated in their respective starting grid via the competitors qualifying speeds.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

THE THREE STOOGES to Fly The Daytona 500 Green Flag

If you're a comedy fan and like The Three Stooges, did you know that Twentieth Century Fox is remaking the franchise?  Yep... I've seen the trailer,  but it didn't really have the vibe I thought it would have.  BUT if the idea of the franchise appeals to you...

Check out the press snippet:

Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, and Will Sasso -- starring as Larry, Moe & Curly – in the all new The Three Stooges movie from Twentieth Century Fox, will start the action by delivering the green flag at the Daytona 500, NASCAR's most prestigious race, on Sunday, February 26th (FOX, 1 p.m. ET).

See the stooges deliver the Green Flag while co-stars and Daytona 500 Marshalls Jane Lynch and Kate Upton will deliver the four most famous words in motorsports – "Drivers, start your engines." 

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Visit www.threestooges.com and Facebook (www.facebook.com/thethreestooges) for all the latest Three Stooges movie news.
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Will The New NASCAR Points System Pay Out Again in 2012?

The 2011 Sprint Cup Series season had an incredible points finish.  But in all the hoopla, did anyone notice the other 10 or 11 top-10 spots in the points in all the different NASCAR National race series?

= = =

Last year had some of the best racing in NASCAR that I've seen in a long time.  The race-starts were fun, the many restarts, though begrudged by many, were also fun.  And there were quite a few exciting finishes last year.  The only dark mark on the television viewing experience is what TV fans call the snoozer middle section of most races, yet overall it was a fun 2011 season.

One of the fun factors for the season was that NASCAR went to a new points system last year.  And I presume, the new system did the job it was intended to do and that's give fans a very exciting season ending fight, with what appeared to be tighter appearing point spreads.

And yes, the Sprint Cup Series season ended needing a tie-breaker.  Admittedly, the sleeping giant called Stewart-Haas Racing woke up and pile-drove to the front of the charts and that's what made it incredibly exciting.  They were the true star of this action-adventure points race.

But aside from that awesome media frenzy of fun, there was something that nagged at the back of my mind to the point of worry.

In the Nationwide Series, there was a 45-point difference between 1st and 2nd.  Then 117 point spread between the points leader and third place.

In the Camping World Truck Series, there was a 6-point difference between 1st and 2nd...  and 29 points between 1st and third.  (OK, that wasn't so bad.)


Kyle Busch Motorsports Retains Flexco

For the Kyle Busch fan out there, I'm sure you'll be interested to know that his Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) has retained Flexco as an associate sponsor on their No. 18 Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team.

For fans, it's good to see that folks are seeing past last year's debacle with Kyle Busch and Ron Hornaday Jr..

But then again, KBM has Jason Leffler being the primary driver for the truck in 2012.  Leffler is a spitfire in his own way, so we'll see how the team fares!

Check out the press release below:

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MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 8, 2012) - Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) announces today that Flexco, the worldwide leader in the manufacturing of belt conveyer products, will return as a corporate partner for the 2012 season. The Illinois-based company will continue as a season-long associate sponsor on KBM's No. 18 Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, which will be driven primarily by veteran wheelman Jason Leffler.

Since becoming a KBM corporate partner in 2010, Flexco has achieved stronger customer partnerships by teaming with one of the most successful teams in all of NASCAR. In addition to logo placement on the No. 18 Tundra, the company's sales representatives have strengthened relationships with customers by providing behind-the-scenes access to Truck Series races. The global company also invited KBM team owner-driver Kyle Busch to personally meet with customers at one of the largest mining shows in North America, CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2011.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ryan Permberton Lands At Tommy Baldwin Racing

Good news for one more ex-Red Bull Racing crew member:  Ryan Pemberton has joined Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) and will be serving as crew chief for Dave Blaney for the Sprint Cup 2012 season.

His first task will be trying to get Dave Blaney into the Daytona 500 through the rigorous, multi-layered qualifying process, as they do not have a guaranteed spot in the Great American Race.

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Ryan has two wins, 21 top-5', 92 top-10s and 15 poles in his career so far.  It's good to see him landing on his feet after Red Bull closed shop!

NB&P

[Scene Daily: Pemberton Lands at TBR]
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EFI Will Be a Game Changer in NASCAR; At Least In The Early Weeks

As all fans know, NASCAR has converted the Sprint Cup Series cars to an electronic fuel injection (EFI) system for the 2012 season.  The concerns are many, the subjects are varied.  (I'm am going out on a limb and assuming you all know this.  Right?  Bueller?  Bueller?)  And this EFI change, for now, is only in the Cup Series.

The big questions fans seem to have that I'm hearing are what will this do to the fuel mileage races?  The word on the street is that chancing fuel mileage will have a more severe penalty for any team that runs out of gas, seeing as how you won't be able to spray a starter fluid down a carburetor throat any more.

But with EFI, for the short term, I've heard tell that the fuel mileage in the cars will go up.  That is until the crew chiefs figure out how to get more HP out of this system that is more fuel efficient.

Some fans are worried about what happens to teams when or if the EFI system breaks on cars.  But from what I've been told, these systems are used in other racing circuits (Formula One and IndyCar), and if I heard right, they don't break. 

(I'll believe that when I see it.  To be honest, and not dissing the system, everything breaks at one time or another!)

But what's interesting about the inclusion of the EFI system, which some single-car teams have said has cost them upwards to $3 million to switch over to, is that the electronics involved and all the new information.

To help everyone across the board, NASCAR will be taking the EFI telemetry and sharing it with all teams after each event.  This is an effort to help all involved get up to speed faster.  (And I hope that won't be a constant!)


NASCAR Charity Poker Tournament (Win A Contest to Get In!)

On February 22,  there's going to be a charity poker tournament called the "High Speed Hold'em on the Halifax" that will take place at the luxury hotel, the MG on the Halifax, which is located dear Daytona International Speedway.

It will be hosted by the NASCAR Foundation is will raise money for Speediatrics, which is the pediatric unit at the Halifax Health Medical Center.

In attendance will be NASCAR drivers, celebs, poker pros and NASCAR fans.  Rusty Wallace will be co-hosting the event alongside Betty Jane France.

There are going to be 22 tables and each table is slated to have one celebrity, and either one NASCAR driver or professional poker player.

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I did mention a contest to get into the event for free, instead of ponying up the $500 per table fee, right?

"One player will be able to get into the tournament for free through a special drawing being held by the MG on the Halifax. By going online and registering at www.eventsatmgonthehalifax.com, one person and a guest will attend the tournament and the winner of the drawing will be able to play in the event."


NB&P!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ryan Newman Gets WIX Sponsor For Four Races

In this era, when sponsors can be hard to nab, some NASCAR teams are doing OK.  In this case, Ryan Newman's No. 39 Chevy will have WIX Filters as a primary sponsor for four races in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

We'll see them debut on Ryan's hood in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona, then at Phoenix, Darlington and Michigan.

WIX has been with Stewart-Haas Racing since it became an entity in 2009.  Hence, they're coming back and supporing the team again, in 2012.