Visibly shaken, Tony Stewart makes personal statement at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Tony Stewart addresses media at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Photo via FoxSports.

Tony Stewart addresses media at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Photo via FoxSports.

“This is something that will definitely affect my life forever…..”

This has been one of the toughest tragedies I’ve ever had to deal with both professionally and personally. This is something that will definitely affect my life forever. This is a sadness and a pain that I hope no one ever has to experience in their life.

With that being said, I know that the pain and the mourning that Kevin Ward’s family and friends are experiencing is something that I can’t possibly imagine.
I want Kevin’s father, Kevin Sr., and his mother Pam, and his sisters Christi, Kayla, Katelyn, to know that every day I’m thinking about them and praying for them.

The racing community is a large family, as you guys know. Everyone’s saddened with this tragedy.

I want to thank all my friends and family for their support through this tough emotional time, and the support from the NASCAR community, my partners, all of our employees, it’s been overwhelming.

 

I’ve taken the last couple weeks off out of respect for Kevin and his family, and also to cope with the accident in my own way. It’s given me the time to think about life and how easy it is to take it for granted.

I miss my team, my teammates. I miss being back in the racecar. I think being back in the car this week with my racing family will help me get through this difficult time.

I also understand that all of you have many questions and want a lot of answers, however I need to respect the ongoing investigation process and cannot answer and address the questions at this time. Emotionally I’m not sure if I could answer them anyway.

We’re here to race this weekend, and I appreciate your respect. There will be a day when I can sit here and answer the questions.

Thank you.

WATCH VIDEO

Source: AP

It’s Official: Stewart to return to NASCAR at Atlanta

Tony Stewart 8/8/2014 | Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Tony Stewart 8/8/2014 | Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Aug. 28, 2014) – Tony Stewart has decided to return to racing this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. The Aug. 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.54-mile oval will mark Stewart’s first start since Aug. 3 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

Stewart sat out the past three races at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn and Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway following the tragic accident on Aug. 9 involving Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car feature at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.

Stewart will be speaking to the press at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he will be joined by Stewart-Haas Racing executive vice president Brett Frood.

Source: True Speed Communication on behalf of Stewart-Haas Racing

NASCAR 4C(PRT)

Statement from Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President
And Chief Racing Development Officer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 28, 2014) – “Tony Stewart has received all necessary clearances required to return to all racing activities, and therefore is eligible to compete this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR has remained in constant contact with his race team, and we will stay very close to this situation as Stewart returns to competition.”

NASCAR President Mike Helton will participate in a media conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday at 2 p.m. ET.

NASCAR will have no further comment until that time.

Jeff Gordon returns to where it all started: Atlanta Motor Speedway

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Photo via NASCAR

Jeff Gordon heads into his 750th start this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway – the track where he had his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race.

1. First NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at 
Atlanta Motor Speedway came on November 15,
1992 – He finished 21st.

5. Number of career NASCAR Sprint Cup
 Series wins at Atlanta Motor Speedway
.

10. Number of seasons he has competed in the Chase for the
 NASCAR Sprint Cup (2004, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09,
‘10, ‘11, ‘12, ‘13 and ‘14*)
. *Pending attempting to qualify for Atlanta & Richmond

23. Number of years he has competed in the
 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

27. Number of starts before his first 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole
 Award at Charlotte Motor Speedway on
 October 10, 1993.

41. Number of starts before his first 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career win at
 Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29, 1994.

76. Number of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
 Coors Light Pole Awards – He is third on the
 all-time list.

91. Number of wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup 
Series
 100th start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup
 Series at North Wilkesboro Speedway on 
April 14, 1996 – He finished second.

100. Number of career NASCAR Sprint Cup
 Series top-10 finishes 
500th start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup
 Series at New Hampshire Motor
 Speedway on September 14, 2008 – He 
finished 14th.

429. Number of laps led in the NASCAR
 Sprint Cup Series

500. Number of laps completed in the 
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Back

Stats via NASCAR Media

NASCAR releases 2015 National Series Schedules

NASCAR announced today its national series schedules for the 2015 season, featuring date enhancements to races at some of its most storied tracks along with a pair of long-term broadcast partners that will provide the exciting action to the sport’s fans.

From the start of the season at Speedweeks at Daytona culminated by our championship finales at Homestead-Miami, we’re looking forward to the great racing that will be delivered through our outstanding television network broadcast partners FOX, FOX Sports 1, NBC and NBCSN.”

DATE CHANGES

Key date changes featuring Darlington Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway, some of NASCAR’s most tradition-laden tracks, highlight the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. Following the 57th running of the Daytona 500 Feb. 22 on FOX, Atlanta Motor Speedway will host the season’s second race weekend (March 1), while Darlington returns to its traditional Labor Day weekend date (Sept. 6). The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Atlanta for the first time since 2012 as part of a unique doubleheader on Feb. 28 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Additionally, Daytona’s always-anticipated July race weekend takes on a different look as the Sunday, July 5 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race marks the return of broadcast partner NBC.

Racingal.com Comment: Totally do NOT agree with the moving of the July Daytona race to a Sunday. Summertime in Florida is our rainy season. It will rain on Sunday too. If it does rain, are they hoping to make it halfway by the time the storms flare up to call it and be done with it? Most fans would more than likely be able to stay for a Sunday rain-postponed race from a Sat. night race than that of a Monday rain-postponed race if they do not make it Halfway.

A big “west-coast swing” during the schedule’s early stages spotlights markets where NASCAR’s fan base is growing and sponsor opportunities are on the rise. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series run on three consecutive weekends, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7-8, Phoenix International Raceway on March 14-15 and Auto Club Speedway on March 21-22.

Racingal.com Comment: Not sure about the thinking behind this, but then again, nothing new here. I suppose NASCAR had the Stakeholders and possible future sponsors on their radar more than that of fans. With those three races being in close proximity of each other, I hope the turnout is as good and fans can afford to go to all three races within a month. I believe this is the same scenario that has brought down attendance in the Northeast between Pocono, Dover, New Hampshire, Martinsville & Richmond. As from a teams prospective, to save on fuel cost for the haulers from cross-country hauling, haulers carry two cars. Does this really help? Or will drivers hold back and be more cautious during races now in order to save the equipment for all three races?

Bristol’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series spring date moves deeper into the calendar from mid-March to April 19. Dates for the spring races at Phoenix and Texas Motor Speedway (April 11) step back one week from their 2014 schedule slots.

Racingal.com comment:  Didn’t know that a difference of a month in the mountains of Tennessee in March-April would make that much of a difference?

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will feature 36 events including two standout non-points races – the Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 14 at Daytona and the 31st annual NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 16. Soon to have a new entitlement partner, the NASCAR Nationwide Series once again contests 33 races, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series increases to 23 events next season with the addition of the Atlanta date.

Racingal.com Comment: I really wish NASCAR would have a rotating All-Star Race instead of always being at Charlotte. They should move it around and let other tracks bask in the sun for once, as well as race fans that can’t travel to Charlotte. But that’s just me thinking silly.

There are nine companion weekends on the 2015 schedule that feature all three national series along with 18 combination weekends between the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series and seven dual events where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series run together.

NSCS 4C PRT

2015 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES SCHEDULE

Date Site Network
2/14

Daytona International Speedway (Sprint Unlimited)

FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
2/15

Daytona International Speedway (Daytona 500 Qualifying)

FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
2/19

Daytona International Speedway (Duel)

FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
2/22

Daytona 500

FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
3/1

Atlanta Motor Speedway

FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
3/8

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
3/15

Phoenix International Raceway

FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
3/22

Auto Club Speedway

FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
3/29

Martinsville Speedway

FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
4/11

Texas Motor Speedway

FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
4/19 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
4/25

Richmond International Raceway

FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/3

Talladega Superspeedway

FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
5/9 Kansas Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/16

Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race)

FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/24

Charlotte Motor Speedway

FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
5/31 Dover International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/7

Pocono Raceway

FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/14

Michigan International Speedway

FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/28

Sonoma Raceway

FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM
7/5

Daytona International Speedway

NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
7/11 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
7/19

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
7/26

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

NBCSN, IMS, SiriusXM
8/2 Pocono Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/9 Watkins Glen International NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/16 Michigan International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/22 Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
9/6 Darlington Raceway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
9/12 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
9/20 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
9/27 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
10/4 Dover International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
10/10 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBC, PRN, SiriusXM
10/18 Kansas Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
10/25 Talladega Superspeedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
11/1 Martinsville Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
11/8 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, PRN, SiriusXM
11/15 Phoenix International Raceway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
11/22 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM

Print

There are six “stand-alones” on next year’s NASCAR Nationwide Series calendar, starting May 17 at Iowa Speedway. Included among those are two road-course races, at Mid-Ohio on Aug. 15 and Road America on Aug. 29. The later Road America date takes the place of the former Atlanta date.

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

2015 NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES SCHEDULE

Date Site Network
2/21 Daytona International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
2/28 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM
3/7 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM
3/14 Phoenix International Raceway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
3/21 Auto Club Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
4/10 Texas Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM
4/18 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, PRN, SiriusXM
4/24 Richmond International Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/2 Talladega Superspeedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
5/17 Iowa Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/23 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
5/30 Dover International Speedway FOX, MRN, SiriusXM
6/13 Michigan International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/20 Chicagoland Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
7/4 Daytona International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
7/10 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
7/18 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
7/25 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBC, IMS, SiriusXM
8/1 Iowa Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/8 Watkins Glen International NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/15 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
8/21 Bristol Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
8/29 Road America NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
9/5 Darlington Raceway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM
9/11 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
9/19 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
9/26 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
10/3 Dover International Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
10/9 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM
10/17 Kansas Speedway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
11/7 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, PRN, SiriusXM
11/14 Phoenix International Raceway NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM
11/21 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBC, MRN, SiriusXM

NCWTS 4C PRT

There are seven NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stand-alone races and two Wednesday appearances – on the dirt at Eldora Speedway on July 22 and at Bristol on Aug. 19. Iowa hosts the trucks three weeks earlier in 2015, on June 19. And the series again runs internationally on Aug. 30 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

2015 NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES SCHEDULE

Date Site Network
2/20 Daytona International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
2/28 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
3/28 Martinsville Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/8 Kansas Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/15 Charlotte Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
5/29 Dover International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/5 Texas Motor Superspeedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/13 Gateway Motorsports Park FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
6/19 Iowa Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
7/9 Kentucky Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
7/22 Eldora Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
8/1 Pocono Raceway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
8/15 Michigan International Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
8/19 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM
8/30

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams penalized for Rules Violations at Bristol Motor Speedway

NASCAR 4C(PRT) Three teams that compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series – the No. 00, 19, and 30 – have been penalized for post-race infractions committed following the Aug. 21 race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The infraction for all three teams is a P2 level penalty as outlined in Section 12-4.1 of the rule book and violates sections:

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

·         20B-12.8.1 Truck failed to meet post-race height requirements

As a result of this violation, crew chiefs Joel Shear (No. 00); Doug Randolph (No. 19); and Doug George (No. 30) have each been fined $5,000. Each team has also been penalized with the loss of 10 championship driver and 10 championship owner points. This includes drivers Cole Custer (No. 00) and Ron Hornaday Jr. (No. 30) along with owners Gene Haas (No. 00), Brad Keselowski (No. 19), and Steve Turner (No. 30).

Chase Rice never gave up and kept chasing his dreams, lands “Big One”

Graphic via Chase Rice Facebook Page

Graphic via Chase Rice Facebook Page

So what’s the connection between CBS, UNC, Country Music and NASCAR?

It’s twenty-eight year-old Chase Rice.

Born in Florida on September 19, 1986, son of Daniel and Connie Rice, brother to Chad. Chase was raised in Asheville, North Carolina. He attended AC Reynolds High School and attended UNC at Chapel Hill as the #44 linebacker for the Tar Heels football team from 2005-08. Rice selected the No. 44 because he “always liked linebackers with that number.” (Source: Goheels.com)

Rice had torn a tendon in his left ankle in his Junior year of college. He went through rehab and tried to come back hoping to tryout out for the NFL after graduation, but it just wasn’t the same and knew it.

“It was time to move on,” said Rice. That’s when he began to take music more seriously.

Chase Rice La Flor Tribe during the first episode of SURVIVOR. Photo via CBS Survivor

Chase Rice La Flor Tribe during the first episode of SURVIVOR. Photo via CBS Survivor

But then came Survivor: Nicaragua. Rice was selected as a cast member, which premiered on September 15, 2010. At the season finale, the jury chose Jud “Fabio” Birza as the title of Sole Survivor over Rice and Matthew “Sash” Lenahan in a 5–4–0 vote.  (As a side note for a little giggle, on this season of Survivor, there was a contestant named Jimmy Johnson, from Tallahassee, Fla. Unfortunately, Johnson was 3rd to be voted out on Day 8.) [You will understand this note as you continue reading!]

Chase Rice has come to the realization over a weekend visit that “life is extra twangy in Nashville” and that’s where he belongs. Rice moved to Music City in late 2010 to focus on Country music and to make his dream a reality and rented a house with buddies Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley – aka as Florida Georgia Line.

Rice sets that his father was his inspiration for his country career, recalling that his father once told him” anyone can play guitar, but no one is gonna really listen to you until you start singing.”

Back in April 2012, Rice’s Dirt Road Communion was released by his label, Dack Janiels and debuted on the Billboard Country Albums at #48 (go figure!) [You will understand as you continue reading!] chart and was the number six download on iTunes for that week.

And in no way did his appearance on CBS’s Survivor: Nicaragua help to launch his Country music career.

Only after Rice co-wrote “Cruise,” the No. 1 smash hit by Florida Georgia Line with a college room-mate, did his career start taking off. “Cruise,” the first single for Florida Georgia Line, reached #1 on the Country Airplay chart on December 15, 2012.  A remix of “Cruise” featuring Nelly later hit number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song went on to spend 24 weeks at number 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, setting a record for the longest stay at number 1 in the chart’s 70-year history, and was also ranked as the number one country single of 2013 by Billboard. [Source: Bing]

Rice’s newest album IGNITE THE NIGHT was released on October 15, 2013 and the single Ready Set Roll, became an instant hit. On January 29, 2014, the official Ready Set Roll music video premiered exclusively on CMT.

Ok, so by now I bet you are wondering why am I telling you about a Country singer and a college football linebacker?  What’s the catch?

Well, if you know me, you should know that there has to be a tie-in with racing if I am to write about it… at least somewhere, no matter how big or small.

So, here it is for those of you who did not know:

After graduating from UNC with a double degree in Management and Communications, Rice was selected to join the NASCAR Pit Crews for Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson. Rice worked a few years as a rear-ire carrier and was part of the crew for two championships with the Lowe’s team.

“There’s something awesome about being at the track that I just can’t explain,” said Rice. “But I knew that my dream was to be a musician. I worked there for a few years, and then decided to follow yet another dream.”

Wow, so how cool is THAT?

I would also like to do a special shout-out that Chase Rice will be performing at the House of Blues, Orlando, FL (my home town) on Oct. 16th and I will be there!

And who knows, if you don’t see Chase on stage in some city, you may very well see him at a NASCAR track near you!

Stewart out at Bristol; Burton returns as Interim Driver for No. 14 team

Picture 5

KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Aug. 20, 2014) – Tony Stewart has decided not to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event this weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Veteran driver Jeff Burton, a winner of 21 Sprint Cup races, will pilot the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing in place of Stewart for the second straight week. Burton subbed for Stewart last weekend at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. Burton has 40 Sprint Cup starts at Bristol, which includes a victory in the 2008 Food City 500.

This driver change pertains only to Bristol. Stewart’s plans for upcoming Sprint Cup races have yet to be determined.

Source: SHR Press Release

Joe Gibbs Racing announce Carl Edwards, Daniel Suarez to 2015 driver line-up

CARL EDWARDSJoe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today that Carl Edwards will join the organization in 2015 to compete full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

In addition, ARRIS Group, Inc. will sponsor Edwards in the No. 19 Toyota Camry for 17 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with JGR expanding its operations to include a fourth team.

NEW JGR NNS DRIVER: DANIEL SUAREZ
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) also announced today that driver Daniel Suarez will join the

JGR NNS driver Daniel Suarez. Photo via Joe Gibbs Racing

JGR NNS driver Daniel Suarez. Photo via Joe Gibbs Racing

organization in 2015 to compete full time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

In addition, ARRIS Group, Inc. will also support Suarez in a multi-year program, starting with the 2015 NASCAR Nationwide Series, as well as a partial schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Suarez is currently competing full time for Escuderia TELMEX in the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series, where he leads that series, and also competes in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Rev Racing Team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He has four wins and six top-five finishes in 10 starts in the NASCAR Toyota Series and has added two wins, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes this season in 12 K&N Pro Series starts. Suarez made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with JGR earlier this season at Richmond International Raceway with a 19th-place finish.

Greg Biffle’s take on sponsor 3M moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2015

RFR No. 16 3M driver Greg Biffle drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

RFR No. 16 3M driver Greg Biffle drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images.

We all heard, read about it. After  a 10-year sponsorship commitment, 3M announced that it will be leaving RFR’s No. 16 team at the end of the 2014 season and moving over to Hendrick Motorsports for a three-year deal. 3M and it’s brands will be the primary sponsor of the No. 24 Chevy of Jeff Gordon.

Here’s a excerpt of the teleconference with Roush-Fenway Racing’s No. 16 driver, Greg Biffle regarding the move:

Q: Not to continue on kind of a non-positive theme, but obviously with the 3M sponsorship

The No. 16 3M Pit Bulls get ready for a pit stop at the Monster Mile. Photo by Sandi Goodall/Racingal.com

The No. 16 3M Pit Bulls get ready for a pit stop at the Monster Mile. Photo by Sandi Goodall/Racingal.com

this week, were you aware of how that was going to go, and can you give us any update from your end what you guys might be looking at?

GB:  First of all, I have to say, 3M has been a great partner, and I’ve created so many friendships over there besides – I’ve said for a long time, they’re like family.  They’re not like a sponsor.  You know, it’s been a great 10 years we’ve had together.

Management changes, things change.  This sport is a business.  We all know that in business there’s decisions to make, and so I’ve known for a while that they were not coming back to the 16 car, and so that’s obviously a business thing on their end, and we will miss them.

Since then we’ve obviously been working on sponsorship, and I’m really excited that – it’s a bittersweet ending but new, greener pastures, I think, on the other side.  We’ve got a great partnership that we’re going to announce in the next three or four weeks.  Like I tweeted, I’d like to announce it today right now on this call because I’m really excited about it, but in due time.  The silly things like contracts need to be finalized first, which is important.  But we’re excited about the future.  We really are.  We’ve got a few partners moving forward that is going to be a great thing for the 16 car.

On top of that, I appreciate the support from all the fans of the 16 team and all the 3M employees.  They’ve been behind this program forever, and like I said, I made a lot of friendships, and those will remain, without a doubt, moving forward.

Source: NASCAR Media Transcript

NASCAR Formalizes On-Track Incident Procedure For Competitors

NASCAR 4C(PRT)

In its continued efforts to evolve the safety of its sport, NASCAR announced Friday that it will add a rule that addresses on-track incidents as part of its race procedures. The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be an addendum to the NASCAR rule book and will apply to all of its racing series, effective immediately.

Section 9-16 On-Track Incident Procedure
 
During an Event, if a racecar is involved in an on-track incident and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the racecar (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.) the driver should take the following steps:
·         Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
·         Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
·         After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
·         At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
·         At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle
All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in Section 10-4 (Yellow Flag), use extreme care as they approach an incident scene, and follow any directions given by safety personnel or NASCAR/Track Officials. Cars in line behind the safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of the incident.
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development, says the rule is “part of the evolution of NASCAR’s rules and regulations.”
“Throughout the history of our sport, NASCAR has reviewed and analyzed situations and occurrences that take place not just in NASCAR racing but also throughout all motorsports and other sports,” said Pemberton. “When we believe we can do something to make our sport safer and better for the competitors and others involved in the competition environment, we react quickly. Safety always has been priority number one at NASCAR.”
As with other behavioral infractions, NASCAR will handle each instance separately when assessing potential penalties.