Kasey Kahne signs three-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports

Kasey Kahne. Photo via Hendrick Motorsports

Kasey Kahne. Photo via Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick Motorsports and Kasey Kahne have agreed to a three-year contract extension that will keep the driver with the No. 5 Chevrolet SS team through the end of the 2018 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

“It’s extremely gratifying to work with a driver like Kasey,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “I think the world of him both as a driver with championship-level talent and an overall terrific young man. Our whole organization has a great deal of respect for how hard he works, the professionalism he displays with our partners and the way he carries himself every day. We’re committed to winning races and competing for titles with him for many years to come.”

Kahne, 34, originally signed with Hendrick Motorsports in April 2010 and officially joined the team’s four-car stable for the 2012 season. Over the past three years (2012-14), he ranks among the top-10 drivers in Sprint Cup wins (5), pole positions (4), top-five finishes (26) and laps led (1,177). The Enumclaw, Washington, native has 17 career wins in NASCAR’s top division.

“I’ve found a home at Hendrick Motorsports,” said Kahne, who since 2012 has earned at least one victory each season while securing three consecutive Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berths. “We have incredible people and partners supporting us, and I couldn’t be more excited about the direction we’re headed as a team and a company. It’s the right place for me, and I’m looking forward to being here for a long time.”

Kahne’s contract with Hendrick Motorsports was set to expire following the 2015 NASCAR season.

Source: Hendrick Motorsports PR

No. 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team Penalized

NASCAR 4C(PRT)

The No. 17 team (Driver: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ) that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been penalized for a rules infraction discovered during pre-qualifying inspection Nov. 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

This infraction is a P3 level penalty which is outlined in Section 12-4.3 of the 2014 NASCAR rule book:

Violations resulting in P3 penalties tend to fall between serious and intermediate in nature. While they might include general “categories” of infractions similar to those in P4 (e.g. unauthorized parts; failing to meet specs; etc.), they tend to pertain more to secondary componentry or systems; modifications of lessor significance; go/no-go measurement failures of an intermediate nature.

This infraction violates Sections:

12-1 - Actions detrimental to stock car racing;

20-12 – Suspension: All front end and rear suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension/drive line component beyond normal rotation or suspension/drive line travel.

As a result of these violations, crew chief Mike Kelley has been fined $50,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for six months starting Jan. 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015. Additionally, car chief Patrick Magee has also been placed on NASCAR probation for six months starting Jan. 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015.

NASCAR PR

Stewart-Haas Racing Names Rex Stump Technical Director

Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, has hired Rex Stump as its technical director, effective immediately.

Stump comes to Stewart-Haas Racing after an 18-year career at Hendrick Motorsports. There, he founded the organization’s research and development program and has been instrumental in chassis design and technology.

“Rex brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and innovation to Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, Stewart-Haas Racing. “You can never sit still in this business, and Rex’s record of success will help us stay ahead of the curve.”

“Hendrick Motorsports provided me a lot of opportunities to succeed and I wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for Rick Hendrick, Ray Evernham and all the talented people I’ve worked with the last 18 years,” Stump said. “I’m proud of my time there, but I’m looking forward to my new role at Stewart-Haas. This is a team that’s accomplished a lot in a very short period of time. There’s a championship to defend and races to win. I’m ready to go.”

Stump graduated from Kettering University (formerly the General Motors Institute) in 1989 with bachelor’s degrees in mechanical and automotive engineering. Upon graduation, Stump worked at General Motors and participated in the Sloan Fellowship program, pursuing a master’s degree in structural analysis from Wayne State University in Detroit. While at General Motors, he began working with the Corvette team in developing the active-suspension of the C5, which was slated to debut in the early 1990s.

When the active-suspension program was canceled and the C5 was delayed, Stump delved into motorsports, becoming a race engineer for Team Penske in 1991. Working with a group of engineers dedicated to improving the performance of the No. 2 team of driver Rusty Wallace, Stump helped advance Wallace from a two-win season in 1991 to a massive, 10-win season in 1993.

By the end of 1993, Corvette had reactivated the C5. Stump returned to General Motors to assist with the project and stayed until the end of 1995, joining Hendrick Motorsports in 1996.

One of Stump’s most memorable achievements at Hendrick Motorsports was the design of Jeff Gordon’s race-winning car for the 1997 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Dubbed “T-Rex” for its Jurassic Park paint scheme that featured a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the car dominated, crossing the stripe with a 1.02-second margin of victory. While the car conformed to NASCAR’s rulebook, the design was so advanced that NASCAR requested the team never bring it to the racetrack again. The sanctioning body amended its rulebook shortly thereafter. Stump continued to build race-winning cars nonetheless, as Gordon captured Sprint Cup championships in 1997, 1998 and 2001.

Another of Stump’s notable accomplishments was the development of Hendrick Motorports’ Car of Tomorrow (CoT) program in 2006. The new car was a vast departure from the previous generation racecar, and thanks to Stump’s meticulous work, Hendrick Motorsports was the class of the field when the car debuted at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in March 2007. A Hendrick Motorsports’ CoT car won at Bristol and the next four events where the CoT raced.

Through the development of the CoT in 2006 and well after its debut in 2007, Hendrick Motorsports won five straight Sprint Cup championships (2006-2010). And the 2011 Sprint Cup championship Stewart-Haas Racing won with driver/owner Tony Stewart came with CoT chassis built by Hendrick Motorsports.

PR - True Speed Communication

Jamie McMurray and the NO. 1 Chevrolet get new Crew Chief

securedownload Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced that Matt McCall has been named crew chief for Jamie McMurray and the No. 1 team. McCall will assume the role effective immediately to prepare for the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) season.

McCall joins CGRFS from Richard Childress Racing where he most recently has been the race engineer for the No. 31 Chevrolet that made it to the Championship round of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ultimately finishing the season second in the championship point standings.

McCall is also a former driver who has competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Racing Series. In fact, racing has been in his blood from an early age as he began racing go-karts at age nine and eventually joined the World Karting Association Dirt Series where he would ultimately win the honor of Grand National Champion. He would also go on to race in Super Sport events as well.

The Denver, NC native graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a major in mechanical engineering. The 33-year-old McCall is also passionate about fitness and holds a third-degree black belt in karate.

McMurray will begin his 13th full-time season in the NSCS in 2015. The 2010 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 Winner added another big win to his resume this year with a victory in the 2014 Sprint All-Star race. In nearly 450 career NSCS starts he has accumulated seven wins, 11 poles, 121 top-10 and 52 top-five finishes.

    • CGR Media Release

Hendrick Motorsports first to Reach Century Mark …TWICE (200 Poles)

Graphic via NASCAR Media.

Graphic via NASCAR Media.

1    Hendrick recorded its first series pole with Geoff Bodine at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 25, 1985

16   The number of different Hendrick Motorsports drivers that have posted at least one pole:

Geoff Bodibe
Tim Richmond
Ken Schrader
Darrell Waltrip
Ricky Rudd
Greg Sacks
Jeff Gordon
Terry Labonte
Ricky Craven
Jimmie Johnson
Brian Vickers
Kyle Busch
Casey Mears
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Mark Martin
Kasey Kahne

426  The number of different tracks at which Hendrick posted a pole

40   The number of wins from the pole (qualifying was canceled for two of the wins)

206.558  The MPH of the fastest pole winning speed for a Hendrick driver – Jeff Gordon at Michigan on Aug. 17, 2014

Source: NASCAR Media

Homestead-Miami Speedway to have 50-Year Limited Edition 2015 Ford Mustang Pace NASCAR races

15 MUSTANG

Photos via Ford Racing

In a fitting tribute to the continuing golden anniversary celebration of the iconic pony car, a 50-Year Limited Edition 2015 Ford Mustang will pace the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nov. 14-16.

The Wimbledon White pace car, one of just 1,964 50-Year Limited Edition Mustangs built, will lead the field to the green flag for the Ford EcoBoost® 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Nov. 16 and the Ford EcoBoost® 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race Nov. 15.

Mark Fields, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company, will drive the pace car equipped with 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine, leading the Sprint Cup field to green for the final time this season. John Felice, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service will pace the starting field for the Nationwide race.

A Race Red 2015 Mustang GT fastback will serve as the splitter pace car for the two races.

Built in Flat Rock, Mich., Mustang is all-new from the ground up. This sixth-generation, rear-wheel-drive car has the long hood and short rear deck lid proportions of its most iconic predecessors, as well as that low, wide stance, but its design is very much 21st century, with state-of-the-art engineering and technology.

Among the many new features on the 2015 Mustang GT is an independent rear suspension engineered specifically for this new platform and car. It also features an all-new state-of-the-art front suspension.

Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine generates 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Two other engines — a 3.7-liter V6 and 2.3-liter EcoBoost® – will also be available when the car hits showrooms later this year, part of the Mustang stable of engines which all boast over 300 horsepower.

A pair of all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup trucks will pace the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost® 200 at Homestead-Miami Nov. 15.

Source: Ford Racing PR

SHR Driver Kurt Busch accused of Domestic Violence by Ex-Girlfriend

Photo via TMZ/Getty Images

Photo via TMZ/Getty Images

According to TMZ Sports, Kurt Busch is adamant he did not lay a single finger on his ex-girlfriend during an argument back in September … claiming she’s making the whole thing up in a shameless cash grab.

The NASCAR driver is being invested for an alleged domestic assault on his ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll at Dover International Speedway on the weekend of Sept. 26th.

Sources close to Busch told TMZ … “The couple had broken up about a week before the incident — and Busch was surprised when she showed up to his motorhome. Busch had acknowledged they got into an argument — but claims it never got physical.”

Other sources claim Driscoll has told authorities Busch choked her inside the motorhome.

TMZ Sports spoke with Busch’s attorney Rusty Hardin who told them, “This allegation is a complete fabrication by a woman who has refused to accept the end of a relationship and Mr. Busch vehemently denies her allegations in every respect. The Dover Police Department has been informed that Mr. Busch will fully cooperate with their investigation and he expects to be vindicated when the entire truth of the situation comes to light.”

And there’s this — TMZ was informed days after the incident, Busch’s lawyer was contacted by a person claiming to represent Driscoll looking to negotiate a monetary settlement.

We’re told that attorney resigned from representing Driscoll just days later.

TMZ spoke with police who stated Driscoll didn’t report the alleged assault until Nov. 5th — six weeks after the incident.

Attempts to contact Driscoll by TMZ have been unsuccessful.

STATEMENT FROM NASCAR

NASCAR Penalizes Crew Members and Crew Chiefs from Texas Brawl

NASCAR 4C(PRT)NASCAR has assessed penalties to crew members from the No. 5 and No. 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams for their involvement in post-race incidents on Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway. In addition, the crew chiefs from those two teams also have been penalized.

Jeremy Fuller, a crew member with the No. 5 team, along with Dwayne Doucette and Jason Ingle, crew members with the No. 24 team, each have been fined $25,000 and suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points races. All three were found to be in violation of:

·         Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing

·         Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty – involved in a post-race physical altercation with a driver on pit road.

Dean Mozingo, a crew member with the No. 24 team, has been fined $10,000 and suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points races. He was found to be in violation of:

·         Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing

·         Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty – involved in a post-race physical altercation with another crew member on pit road

Kenny Francis, crew chief of the No. 5 team, and Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 24 team, have each been fined $50,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points races. They were found to be in violation of:

·         Section 9-4A: Crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members

·         Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing

·         Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty

“While the intensity and emotions are high as we continue through the final rounds of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the actions that we saw from several crew members Sunday following the race at Texas are unacceptable,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR senior vice president, competition and racing development. “We reviewed the content that was available to us of the post-race incident along pit road, and identified several crew members who crossed the line with their actions, specifically punching others.”

“We therefore have penalized four crew members as well as their crew chiefs, as they ultimately are responsible for members of their team per the NASCAR rule book,” Pemberton continued. “A NASCAR championship is at stake, but we can’t allow behavior that crosses the line to go unchecked, particularly when it puts others in harm’s way.”

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS STATEMENT

Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal penalties announced today by NASCAR related to a post-race incident Sunday evening at Texas Motor Speedway.

“With NASCAR’s new Chase format, we’re seeing an unprecedented level of intensity every single week,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Emotions run high when you’re racing for a championship, and that’s exciting for our fans and everyone involved with the sport. But there’s a line the competitors need to be cognizant of, and we understand that.

“Jeff (Gordon) was rightfully fired up Sunday night, and it just reiterated to me how passionate he is and how much he wants to win. The No. 24 team is a group that works together and is loyal to one another. They have our full support as we go into these final two races.”

Team members involved in the incident will not be additionally sanctioned by Hendrick Motorsports.

Newman’s RCR Chevy fails post-race inspection at Talladega

Keselowski Newman 101914 Talladega Superspeedway  10/19/2014 | Photo credit: Brian Lawdermilk via Getty Images

Keselowski – Newman / Talladega Superspeedway
10/19/2014 | Photo credit: Brian Lawdermilk via Getty Images

Late word from ‘Dega last evening was that Newman’s #31 Richard Childress Racing Chevy failed post-race inspection after being found to be too low on both sides according to NASCAR. The sanctioning body will take the car back to its Research and Development Center in North Carolina, along with those of race winner Brad Keselowski, runner-up Matt Kenseth, and Kasey Kahne.

Obviously, the question is whether Newman will be penalized championship points for the infraction on his car – and if so, how many?

Newman was among those involved in the crash on Lap 102 of 188, so that could play into how NASCAR decides this matter, too.

According to the NASCAR Rule Book (USA Today) Newman’s car will be examined by NASCAR. Per the 2014 rulebook, it seems it could be a P3 penalty, which would be a 15-point deduction. Newman picked up a fifth-place finish in the Contender Round elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday to make the Eliminator Round of the Chase with a 27-point cushion over the ninth-place cutoff.

Source: NASCAR Media

Changes to National Series Qualifying at Talladega

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NASCAR revised its national series qualifying format for Talladega Superspeedway which, in turn, should elevate the on-track competition for fans at the high speed 2.66-mile track.

National series qualifying at Talladega will now consist of the following:
· Three rounds with the first round divided into two groups amongst the competitors. The first qualifying round is five minutes in length for each group.

· Competitors will be assigned to a first qualifying round group based on the random draw held earlier in the event.

· The 24 eligible competitors that post the fastest single lap speed from either of the first qualifying round groups will advance to the second round. The remaining competitors will be sorted based on their speed posted in the first round of qualifying in descending order.

· There will be a 10-minute break after the completion of the first qualifying round and the 24 remaining competitors that advance to the second round will have their times reset.

· The second qualifying round is five minutes in length and the 12 eligible competitors that post the fastest single lap speed will advance to the third and final round.

· The fastest remaining competitors will earn positions 13-24 based on their fastest single lap speed posted in qualifying in descending order.

· Following a five minute break, the 12 eligible competitors that advance to the final round will have their posted speeds reset.

· The final qualifying round is five minutes in length and the fastest single lap speed will determine positions 1-12 in descending order.

“This revision in national series qualifying at Talladega should be more exciting for our fans,” said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR senior vice president of competition and racing development. “It will feature a more accelerated pace, provide greater opportunity for team strategy to come into play and it should more closely resemble actual racing conditions.

Keystone Light Pole Qualifying for the Fred’s 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race is scheduled for this evening, Friday, Oct. 17 at 5:30pm/et on FOX Sports 1. Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 18 at 4:30pm/et and will air live on ESPNEWS, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.