After debris irritations, Ford adjusts Fusion’s grille for 2014

No. 16 #M Ford Fusion of RFR driver Greg Biffle. Photo credit: Sandi Goodall/Racingal.com

No. 16 #M Ford Fusion of RFR driver Greg Biffle. Photo credit: Sandi Goodall/Racingal.com

According to NASCAR (Ford) program manager Pat DiMarco and Ford Racing aerodynamcist Bernie Marcus there were some concerns during the 2013 season about debris collection on the lower radiator inlet on the Fusion. The grille bars on the car are staying identical to what they were in 2013.  It is only the lower inlet which is the dark black area on the car which will be flushed out. To the average Joe sitting and watching, they won’t even really be able to tell on TV what has changed.

What was done: The radiator screen was moved out to be more flush with the bumper. There is no performance advantage (verified in the wind tunnel). This is purely for debris collection and to eliminate the need to pit in case we have a hot dog wrapper or something on the grille and it makes it easier to get the debris off from behind another car.

The new rules package for 2014 handed down by NASCAR, doesn’t really impact the Fusion and its handling. The new aero rules add some downforce to the car which during the Charlotte testing in December the drivers felt it had given them a little more security in the car compared to 2013. Then there is the no ride-height rule in post-race inspection which will allow the team to make the cars drive a little more comfortably for the driver. It lets the springs be the springs and the shocks be the shocks on the cars, so to say.

Come post-race inspection, the cars will be inspected at a six and eight frame-rail height as they were in 2013 to make sure they meet all the rules. “Post race inspection, now, the car does not have to come back up to those six and eight frame-rail heights,” said DiMarco. Once the car leaves tech inspection, the team can put it down to whatever attitude they want it and it can come off the race track at whatever attitude the car settles in at. Continued DiMarco, “The disconnect came in trying to meet the six and eight ride-height rule for inspection and then meeting it post race. The cars are so aerodynamic, so trying to get the cars in the attitude they wanted to was causing people to use the springs and shocks for other purposes than what they were designed for.”

When asked on whether or not the teams were looking for this change, DiMarco replied, “I would say it was 50-50 in the garage. Some teams felt it was an advantage, some felt it didn’t do anything for the cars. The product on the race track will determine if it was the right move or not.”

From an engine perspective, the change to flush the lower inlet on the Fusion helps the engine builders because when you have a team that has to adjust their strategy based on getting trash on the grille and consistently getting trash on the grille, it makes the engine builder’s job extremely hard.

Source: Ford Racing Press Release/Media Transcript

Two NASCAR Sprint Cup teams emerge under new names for 2014

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

The No. 1 and No. 42 Sprint Cup teams, which were run the last five years under the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates banner, will now return to their former name: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Everything’s been changed – the sign outside the North Carolina shop already has been changed, and stickers on the cars and patches on the driver and crew uniforms.

Ganassi officials confirmed the change Wednesday to Sporting News but had no comment on the financial structure of the current organization, which fields Sprint Cup cars for Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson.

Penske Racing

Beginning in 2014, all Penske Racing teams will compete under the “Team Penske” brand. This includes all teams racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, as well as the IndyCar Series.

The Team’s website – TeamPenske.com – and all of its social media and online properties now reflect this transition.

NASCAR simplifies Manufacturer Points System for 2014

NASCAR 4C(PRT)

NASCAR announced today that it has restructured its manufacturer points system for 2014, simplifying it for fans, competition and the industry, while amplifying the already passionate rivalries between each auto maker.

The new points system – which applies to all three national series – mirrors the owner championship points structure. Points will be awarded to the single highest finisher for each car manufacturer in each championship event according to the finishing position awarded for each race. Specifically, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, points will be awarded as follows (43-1, plus bonus points). Points will be awarded in a similar manner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (43-4, plus bonus points) and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (43-8, plus bonus points).

Three additional bonus points will be awarded to the manufacturer that wins the race. The single highest finisher for each manufacturer will receive one additional bonus point for leading a lap, and one additional bonus point for leading the most laps.

Example: In a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, if a Toyota finishes in each of the top three positions and the winning Toyota leads the most laps, and a Chevrolet finishes in fourth position without leading a lap, Toyota will receive 48 points and Chevrolet will receive 40 points.

At the end of the season, if two or more manufacturers have the same number of points, the manufacturers’ championship will be awarded to the manufacturer with the greatest number of first-place finishes. If there is a tie in victories, the greatest number of second-place finishes, third-place finishes, etc. will break the tie. If a tie still remains, the manufacturer having the earliest win of the current season will prevail.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Vegas schedule released

NSCS CHAMPIONSWEEK13 4C PRTOnce again this year, fans will join drivers, team owners and industry leaders in celebrating the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. Approximately 200 tickets were made available to fans through various promotions, contests and giveaways sponsored by NASCAR Official Partners, race tracks and race teams. Fan tickets will offer fans access to the following NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions Week experiences:
· NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon
· NASCAR After The Lap
· NASCAR Fan Reception and Red Carpet Walk
· NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards

Following is a rundown of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions Week activities; all times are local.

Tuesday, Dec. 3
· NASCAR Live: For the third year in a row, Eli Gold will sit down for an hour with the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion to discuss the 2013 season and what winning the championship means. NASCAR Live will air from inside the Sports Book at Wynn Las Vegas from 4-5 p.m. on Motor Racing Network Radio. This event is free to the public and fans in attendance will have a chance to participate in the live broadcast.

Tuesday – Wednesday, Dec. 3rd – 4th
· 2013 NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum: The 14th annual NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, presented by SportsBusiness Daily/Global/Journal, is the motorsports industry’s most comprehensive business forum. Held at Aria Resort & Casino, the Forum will provide a 360-degree overview of motorsports by featuring insight and perspective from sports and marketing executives both within and outside the motorsports industry. Registration is required at www.MotorsportsMarketingForum.com.

PITSTOPTOUR13 4C PRT

Tuesday  Friday, Dec. 3rd – 6th
· NASCAR Pit Stop Tour: The NASCAR Pit Stop Tour consists of Official Partner show cars featured in iconic locations throughout the Las Vegas Strip from 10 a.m.  6 p.m. each day. Fans can get up close and personal with the cars at the following locations: Tropicana (Chevrolet), The Palazzo (Ford), Harrahs (Ford), the Welcome to Las Vegas sign (2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion show car), the Coca-Cola store and M&MS World.

· M&MS To Make the CHASE FOR THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP BETTER WITH M: Should Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&MS Toyota Camry, capture the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, the brand will celebrate with America by giving away one million free bags of M&MS. The giveaway in Las Vegas will be part of the NASCAR Pit Stop Tour, with sampling teams up and down the Las Vegas Strip.

Wednesday, Dec. 4
· Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway: The fifth annual LVMS Fanfest will again be held at the Fremont Street Experience, and begin at 1:30 p.m. with the arrival of the 13 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. This event is free to the public and will consist of a red carpet walk by the 13 drivers, followed by a special game show format on-stage event featuring the drivers. Race fans will have the chance to win two tickets to the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards to be held two nights later at Wynn Las Vegas.

· Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Reception: This years finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will be honored at a reception at Wynn Las Vegas from 4:30  5:30 p.m. The NASCAR Foundation will announce the award winner during this years NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Friday, Dec. 6. Fans can cast their vote for the 2013 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner by visiting www.NASCAR.com/award before 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 5.

Thursday, Dec. 5
· NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: The annual awards luncheon and industry gathering will be held from 11 a.m.  1:15 p.m. in the Encore Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas, where several team and individual awards will be presented. Among those awards included are the Champion Sponsor, Champion Crew Chief, Sunoco Rookie of the Year and NMPA Most Popular Driver awards. The event will be live-streamed on www.NASCAR.com.

VICTORYLAP13 4C PRT· NASCAR Victory Lap: The green flag on the fan-favorite NASCAR Victory Lap will wave at 3:30 p.m., with pre-lap festivities to begin at 2:45 p.m., when the 13 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers parade down Las Vegas Boulevard in their race cars. NASCAR Victory Lap will start and finish in front of the Miracle Mile Shops on Las Vegas Boulevard and will once again provide fans with a unique experience to feel the excitement of NASCAR, featuring driver introductions, an authentic pit stop in front of the Fountains of Bellagio (performed by members of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program Presented by Sprint) and two burnout sections  with viewing areas along the route. Portions of the event will be broadcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and www.NASCAR.com will live-stream the event.

AFTERTHELAP13 4C PRT· NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola: One of the premier events of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions Week, NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. at The Pearl Palms Concert Theater inside the Palms Casino Hotel. Fans can purchase tickets at www.NASCARAfterTheLap.com for $20 each (all ticket proceeds benefit The NASCAR Foundation) to attend the fan-favorite event featuring all 13 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. Among the many highlights from NASCAR After The Laps humorous history are Jeff Gordon break dancing and Denny Hamlin doing The Dougie. The event will be broadcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 and www.NASCAR.com will live-stream the event.

Friday, Dec. 6
· 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: The postseason black-tie event will begin at 5 p.m. at Wynn Las Vegas, where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion driver and owner will be crowned and the top-10 drivers in the final standings will be honored. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, the culmination of Champions Week, will feature the NASCAR Fan Reception, Red Carpet Walk, celebrity guests, music and entertainment. FOX Sports 2, www.NASCAR.com, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 will provide coverage of the event. (Re-air will be Dec. 8th on FoxSports1 at 12 NOON).

For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions Week in Las Vegas, visit www.NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek.

Source: NASCARMedia

Phoenix International Raceway holds opportunities for some NASCAR series drivers

phoenix international raceway logo

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIESlucas oil 150
Race #21 of 22 for the 2013 season
Friday, Nov. 8th
LUCAS OIL 150
8:30pm/et
FoxSports1

If Matt Crafton retains an average a finish of 18th or better in the remaining two races, Crafton will capture his first NCWTS championship. Crafton leads reigning series champion James Buescher and Ty Dillon by 46 and 47 points, respectively, and can clinch the title by extending his margin over the second-place competitor to 49 markers following Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150.

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIESPIR ServiceMaster Clean 200 Logo 6
Race #32 of 33 for the 2013 season
Saturday, Nov. 9th
SERVICE MASTER 200
4:00pm/et
ESPN2

Where a driver starts counts, especially at Phoenix International Raceway. Eighteen of the 23 race winners at Phoenix have started from the first or second row. The last two victors – Joey Logano and Kyle Busch – won from the pole.

Austin Dillon clings to a slim six-point lead over Sam Hornish Jr.

Hornish won the 200-mile Phoenix race back in 2011. Dillon’s best Phoenix finish is fourth – the first of three consecutive top-10 performances at the track.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIESadvo500_phoenix logo_final
Race #35 of 36 for the 2013 season
Chase for the Sprint Cup race #9 of 10
Sunday, Nov. 10th
ADVOCARE 500
3:00pm/et
ESPN

It’s Jimmie Johnson’s turn again to head the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, now by seven points over Matt Kenseth.

Johnson forfeited an identical margin a year ago – the victim of suspension damage and a 32nd-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway – and lost the title to Brad Keselowski.

Johnson, however, was the two-races-to-go leader from 2006-09 – and went on to capture the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in all four seasons.

Statistically speaking, this weekend’s Phoenix’s AdvoCare 500 hardly looks like a fair fight between Johnson, who has four wins to Kenseth’s one. Johnson’s average finish in the Valley of the Sun is 6.5 vs. Kenseth’s 17.2.

Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle – fourth through eighth and 52 to 73 points behind the leader – all face Chase elimination at Phoenix. Their goal this season is to net a top-five championship finish.

Early race mishap at Texas Motor Speedway diminishes Gordon’s chance for fifth Championship

Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images

Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images

After a winning weekend at Martinsville on Oct. 27th that placed four-time Champion Jeff Gordon up to third in the NASCAR Chase Point Standings, Texas was the one  to disrupt the momentum the driver and team had found.

So what caused the No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet to hit the wall early on in the race on Lap 75?

Here’s Gordon’s take on it – (obtained via Team Chevy post-race interview transcript):

Q) ON WHAT HAPPENED?

Gordon: “I just know that the left front went down as I was going down the front straightaway. I felt it before I got there, and I just couldn’t get it slowed down enough. I don’t know; the wind was so strong that the car was doing funky things down the straightaways. I don’t know if that was a slow leak, or if it just went all of a sudden. Our car just didn’t take off very good, but boy was it strong on the long runs. We just needed to get some better track position; get on the inside on those restarts, and we actually had a really, really good race car. But, unfortunate. This is definitely going to hurt. We just get what we can out of this day and go on to Phoenix.”

A Goodyear Racing spokesman reported that Gordon’s tire “somehow lost air,” as there were no obvious cuts in the tread. In Gordon’s case, the spokesman said the sidewall over-deflected and separated at the belt edge and lost pressure.

Q) DID YOU HAVE ANY WARNING WHATSOEVER?
Gordon: “It is hard to say. I drove around to come in the garage area, and sometimes that will do that. It didn’t give me enough of a warning, that is for sure. I was going down the front straightaway and I felt the car move around a little bit. That was odd. But, the wind was buffeting and blowing so strong, the cars are moving around anyway. Just before I got to turn one, I felt it go down. I did everything I could to slow it down. I even had time to come on the radio and say ‘Ut oh’. Well, I might have not said that, I said something else. I knew I was going to hit the wall. It is so unfortunate. This Drive to End Hunger No. 24 team has done such an amazing job. I am so proud of them to get us where we are. You just can’t have things like this happen if you are going to make a run at a championship or battle with those guys. We had a great race car. We just didn’t take off good on the restarts, but once we got going by eight to 10 laps into it, boy were we really strong.”

Gordon ran a total of 147 laps on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing 38th – 187 laps down.

Starting Lineup of the Camping World RV Sales 500 at ‘Dega

 

Print

 

 


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Talladega SuperSpeedway
Provided by NASCAR Statistics

Rain Saturday morning at Talladega Superspeedway caused qualifying to be canceled for the Camping World RV Sales 500 Sprint Cup Series race. The lineup was set by the rule book (based on practice times from Friday’s first session).

Starting
Position
Car# Driver Sponsor
Manu
First
Practice
Speed(mph)
Owner
Points
Rank
Race
Attempts
1 43 Aric Almirola Charter Ford 202.000 19 31
2 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevy 201.987 21 31
3 9 Marcos Ambrose DeWalt Ford 201.876 20 31
4 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 201.855 16 31
5 99 Carl Edwards Subway Ford 201.604 10 31
6 16 Greg Biffle Scotch Blue Ford 201.341 6 31
7 34 David Ragan Safecar.gov Ford 201.168 28 31
8 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Mountain Dew / XBox One Chevy 201.092 9 31
9 1 Jamie McMurray Cessna Chevy 201.071 15 31
10 13 Casey Mears GEICO Ford 200.911 26 31
11 48 Jimmie Johnson (PC2) Lowe’s Chevy 200.100 2 31
12 20 Matt Kenseth (PC4) Home Depot Let’s Do This Toyota 199.492 1 31
13 2 Brad Keselowski (PC1) Miller Lite Ford 199.475 14 31
14 35 Josh Wise(i) A&W All American Food Ford 199.417 39 31
15 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Freight Toyota 199.342 25 31
16 14 Austin Dillon(i) Bass Pro Shops / Mobil 1 Chevy 199.338 17 31
17 39 Ryan Newman WIX Filters Chevy 199.189 12 31
18 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 199.164 11 31
19 24 Jeff Gordon (PC5) Axalta Chevy 199.085 4 31
20 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Toyota 199.031 8 31
21 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. # Nationwide Insurance Ford 198.850 23 31
22 55 Michael Waltrip Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota 198.784 24 31
23 10 Danica Patrick # GoDaddy Breast Cancer Awareness Chevy 198.512 29 31
24 38 David Gilliland Long John Silver’s Ford 198.331 31 31
25 83 David Reutimann Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota 198.286 35 31
26 21 Trevor Bayne (i) Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 198.220 41 9
27 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s Halloween Toyota 197.733 5 31
28 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevy 197.623 13 31
29 47 Bobby Labonte (PC6) Scott Products Toyota 197.598 27 31
30 78 Kurt Busch (PC3) Furniture Row / Wonder Bread Chevy 197.529 7 31
31 30 Cole Whitt(i) Black Clover Toyota 197.508 33 31
32 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevy 197.216 22 31
33 29 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John’s Chevy 196.879 3 31
34 27 Paul Menard Menards / Duracell Chevy 196.061 18 31
35 51 Justin Allgaier(i) Brandt Chevy 191.092 30 31
36 98 Michael McDowell Phil Parsons Racing Ford 189.133 43 28
37 36 J.J. Yeley Golden Corral Chevy 188.790 36 31
38 93 Travis Kvapil Dr Pepper Toyota 188.489 34 31
39 7 Dave Blaney Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevy 188.089 32 31
40 32 Terry Labonte (PC7) C&J Energy Services Ford 187.412 38 31
41 40 Tony Raines(i) Hillman Racing Chevy 186.947 42 11
42 87 Joe Nemechek (i) NEMCO – JRR Toyota 186.278 40 31
43 33 Landon Cassill(i) ERC Acquired TMone Chevy 184.494 37 31
DNQ 12 Sam Hornish Jr.(i) SKF Ford 199.172 48 1

GREEN = is a Chase driver.

PC1 = is the first past champ eligible, PC2 is the 2nd…and so on if more

# Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate

(i) = driver not running for 2013 Sprint Cup Series Championship Drivers Points

‘Dega Cup cars to be impounded after qualifying, as usual

Following qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event today – where there is no practice between qualifying and the race – the cars will be impounded. This move involves the cars to be escorted to their respective garage stalls by a NASCAR Official (with the exception of the top five cars, which will be placed in a designated area for post-qualifying inspection).

Birds eye view of Talladega Superspeedway. Photo Credit: Auburn Pilot

Birds eye view of Talladega Superspeedway. Photo Credit: Auburn Pilot

An impound weekend typically featured Friday practice, Saturday qualifying and a Sunday race only at the superspeedways (2+ mile tracks) – Talladega and Daytona. Following qualifying, cars were impounded and could not be altered until the race without penalty. Teams that opted to work on their cars before the race were forced to start at the back of the field. At non-impound races, cars could be worked on after qualifying and before the race. Impounding was implemented as a cost-cutting move.

Once the car is pushed to the garage stall, only two crew members will be allowed to remain in the garage.

The following work list will be allowed:

1. Shut off electrical switches and master power switch;
2. Remove radio;
3. Check air pressure in tires;
4. Cover the car; and,
5. Crew members exit garage and garage doors close.

Pit road selection will be immediately after the last car has qualified.

PROCEDURES FOR RACE DAY FOR ALL NASCAR SPRINT CUP TEAMS

Garage Stall
Maximum of two (2) crew members per car, accompanied by a NASCAR Official, will be allowed in the garage stall. Below are the procedures that will be completed in the garage stall:

Teams May:


1. Plug in oil heater (if teams use a generator, it must remain outside the garage);
2. Open hood;
3. Prime oil system;
4. Back car out of garage to start;
5. Turn master switch on;
6. Open oil cooler bypass valve (optional)’
7. Start engine;
8. Close hood;
9. Set tire pressure;
10. Torque wheels;
11. Install radio and water bottle;
12. Remove or repair tape on front of car (i.e. grille, valance, brake ducts.); and
13. If applicable, BST or Pi Research may replace equipment batteries under NASCAR supervision.

Teams May NOT:


1. Enter the garage without a NASCAR Official present;
2. Jack up any part of the car;
3. Add water or pressurize the cooling system;
4. Climb inside the car;
5. Adjust wedge bolts, shocks or sway bars;
6. Add fuel, oil or brake fluid;
7. Remove air box; or
8. Adjust fenders, spoiler or any body components.

Fuel Pumps:
A maximum of three (3) crew members per car at anytime, escorted by NASCAR Officials, may go to the fuel pumps. For Tracks 1 mile and under, a maximum of two gallons of fuel will be added. For Tracks 1 ½ miles, a maximum of three gallons of fuel will be added. For Tracks above 1 ½ miles, a maximum of four gallons of fuel will be added.

Height Platform

A maximum of three (3) crew members per car at anytime, accompanied by NASCAR Officials, may escort the respective car to the height platform.

Teams May:


1. Adjust front and rear wedge bolts: A maximum of one (1) turn for front bolts. A maximum of 1 ½ turn for rear bolts.
2. Adjust track bar at frame end adjuster. No maximum on track bar adjustment.
3. Adjust external shock bleeds.

Teams May NOT:


1. Change any components.
2. Add spring inserts.

Scales
A maximum of three (3) crew members per car at anytime, accompanied by NASCAR Officials, may escort the respective car to the scales. Any car that does not meet required weight specifications may be subject to penalty. After completion, the generator will be reconnected to the car and pushed to pit road.

Back in 2008, Sprint Cup impound races included Talladega, Richmond (May 3 & Sept. 6) and Daytona.

Five NASCAR Chase races down, five to go with five-way battle at ‘Dega

PrintWith the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup at the mid-point now at five races down, five races to go, it’s still a five-way battle for the top spot with 37 points separating leader Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 at Talladega Superspeedway has the potential to scramble the standings and bring additional drivers into the championship picture. The winner of the Talladega Superspeedway Chase race has never gone on to win the championship.

After 25 times of trying, Matt Kenseth finally became the defending winner of the Camping World RV Sales 500. Kenseth also won the 2012 Daytona 500 and added third-place finishes in last season’s other to restrictor-plate races for an average finish of 2.0. Moving to the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in 2013, Kenseth finished eighth in Talladega’s spring race.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion has yet to win Talladega’s fall race during the nine-season Chase era. Their best championship season finish is second – Jimmie Johnson in 2007 and Tony Stewart in 2011.

CHASE13 4C PRTJimmie Johnson is far from being titled the master of restrictor-plate racing with two victories at Daytona and a fifth-place finish in Talladega’s spring race. Rivals Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch each have at least one plate-race DNF this year.

The most active NASCAR Sprint Cup driver at Talladega is Jeff Gordon with six victories – the most recent in 2007 when he recorded a season sweep – and as leading most laps led with 839 laps in 40 starts. Teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. can match Gordon’s total by winning Sunday’s race.

Chase qualifiers Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth also have won at the 2.66-mile superspeedway with Boyer leading the series with the most Chase race wins at Talladega with two (2010 and 2011).  Chase Contenders have won five of the nine Chase races at Talladega Superspeedway. The four drivers that were not Chase Contenders that won the Chase race at Talladega were NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett (2005), Brian Vickers (2006), Jamie McMurray (2009) and Clint Bowyer (2011).

Front Row Motorsports’ David Ragan and David Gilliland ran one-two in Talladega’s spring race as further confirmation every driver in the 43-car field has a shot a victory at the super speedway, where anything can happen. Ragan tops a “spoiler” list that includes Charlotte Bank of America 500 winner Brad Keselowski, who captured his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega in 2009 and repeated last spring. Non-Chase drivers have won ‘Dega’s fall race four times – the most at any track in NASCAR’s postseason.

Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 from Talladega Superspeedway will air on ESPN at 2:00pm/et.

Chase Contenders
The Top 13 following race 31 of 36 / Chase Race #5
1. Matt Kenseth 2,225 7 2 1 110.7
2. Jimmie Johnson 2,221 5 2 2 107.9
3. Kevin Harvick 2,196 3 1 3 94.2
4. Jeff Gordon 2,189 0 2 4 92.2
5. Kyle Busch 2,188 4 3 5 102.5
6. Greg Biffle 2,167 1 0 6 83.1
7. Kurt Busch 2,166 0 1 7 94.4
8. Clint Bowyer 2,162 0 0 9 93.1
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2,159 0 2 8 96.1
10. Carl Edwards 2,158 2 1 11 93.6
11. Joey Logano 2,150 1 2 10 90.6
12. Ryan Newman 2,147 1 2 12 82.4
13. Kasey Kahne 2,144 2 0 13 98.4

Michael Waltrip announces 2014 reorganization plan

michael_waltripMichael Waltrip Racing announced today its reorganization for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, highlighted by two full-time championship contending teams, a third entry which will run a limited schedule and a strengthened research and development group.

MWR will field the No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota and the No. 15 5-hour ENERGY/PEAK Toyota in its pursuit of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. To enhance performance for its two full-time teams, MWR has bolstered its R&D effort and will run a third car in select races, including Michael Waltrip in the 2014 Daytona 500.

Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota and his crew chief, Chad Johnston, each have been notified they are free to negotiate with other teams. Scott Miller, the team’s executive vice president of competition, will continue his role as crew chief of the No. 55 team into the 2014 season.

The reorganization enabled MWR to retain more than 85 percent of its current workforce. Those whose positions were affected by the moves were notified Monday morning.

“Today was about doing what we had to do not what we wanted to do,” Kauffman added. “It was important to let those whose jobs were affected know as early as possible, and a majority of those will remain with MWR through the end of the season.”