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Roush Fenway Racing to field driver development team in XFINITY Series in 2018
 
CONCORD, N.C. (Nov. 20, 2017) - Roush Fenway Racing will field a driver development team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) in 2018, with Ty Majeski, Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe, each a driver in the Ford family of NASCAR race teams, sharing the iconic No. 60 Ford Mustang. The project is intended to continue the progression and development of the three drivers and will be run by Roush Fenway with collaboration from Ford Performance and Team Penske. Roush Fenway veteran Mike Kelley, who helped guide Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to a pair of NXS championships, will serve as crew chief on the car.

"Driver development has always been part of our DNA at Roush Fenway and Jack Roush has always taken pride in providing opportunities for up and coming drivers," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "All three of these drivers have exhibited a great deal of potential on and off the track and it's going to be a lot of fun to watch as they hone their skills together and grow into the next generation of champions in our sport."

Majeski, who finished 10th in his third NXS start last weekend at Homestead, recently captured his fourth-consecutive ARCA Midwest Tour championship, winning six of the 12 races. In 32 Late Model races this year, the Wisconsin phenom has scored an impressive 20 wins and 29 top-three finishes. He is coming off a dominating performance in the Governor's Cup at New Smyrna, where he won the event for the third consecutive year. Majeski is also the No. 1 ranked iRacer in the world, with over 830 wins in 1,112 starts.

At the age of 19, Cindric has a very diverse racing background. He has won races in rallycross, IMSA, ARCA, the NASCAR K&N Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). In only his rookie season, Cindric advanced to the championship round in the NCWTS playoffs at Homestead. In 2017, Cindric scored eight top fives and 16 top-10 NCWS finishes; including a win this season at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

Briscoe, whose family has a rich history driving and owning sprint cars, scored 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes and finished sixth in the points standings in his NCWTS rookie season, including a dominating victory in the season finale at Homestead. He won the 2016 ARCA championship in dramatic fashion, tallying six victories, leading almost 1000 laps and distancing himself from the second-place finisher by over 500 points.

The trio will look to build on the rich history of Roush Fenway's No. 60 that includes a NASCAR record 93 wins and almost 16,000 laps led. Mark Martin was a dominating fixture in the car in the 90s and Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Chris Buescher each drove the car to NXS championships.

The No. 60 is set to run all of the NXS races in 2018, while competing for the NXS Owner's Championship. Further details will be made available - and a media availability for all three drivers will be conducted - after the Thanksgiving Holiday.

--- Roush Fenway Racing ---

2
NASCAR Talk! / NASCAR standardizing at track pit crew rosters
« on: November 22, 2017, 01:36:29 PM »

NASCAR standardizing at track pit crew rosters
-------------------
NASCAR announced Wednesday morning that it will standardize at-track team rosters across all three national series in 2018, providing a structure for the number of personnel working on each vehicle during the course of a race weekend.
The biggest competition impact from the rules update is the the number of crew members who go over the wall for pit stops moving from six to five.
At-track rosters for all three series will fall under three headings: Organizational, Road Crew and Pit Crew. Job descriptions and roster maximums for each category:
• Organizational: Examples include competition director, team managers, technical director, IT specialists. In the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, teams will be allotted three organizational roster spots for one- and two-car operations, and four spots for three- and four-car outfits. XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series teams will be allowed one organizational roster spot each.
• Road Crew: Examples include crew chief, car chief, mechanics, engine tuners, engineers, specialists (for areas such as tires, aerodynamics and shocks) and spotters. The limits for these personnel by series: Monster Energy Series, 12; XFINITY, 7; Camping World Trucks, 6.
• Pit Crew: This designation refers solely to team members who perform over-the-wall service during pit stops. The maximum is five for all three series.
The exceptions to these numbers are slight. Monster Energy Series teams are allowed one extra road crew position at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the three road courses (Sonoma, Watkins Glen, Charlotte), where teams often use multiple spotters. Also, an additional road crew roster spot will be allowed for XFINITY teams at 10 races and Truck Series teams at five.
It will be left to the teams' discretion on how to best assemble their team - including the over-the-wall crew - within the roster limits. All rosters will be made public - for fans and media - before each race weekend.
For routine four-tire stops starting next season, teams could forgo one tire carrier and devise a new framework for servicing their vehicles.
The responsibilities of the fueler will also be narrowed, with other over-the-wall duties such as wrenching out chassis adjustments prohibited in 2018.
In another effort to bring further recognition to team members, rostered crew will be assigned letters or numbers worn on their uniforms and on armbands to identify their duties.

3
Darrell Wallace Jr. to drive iconic Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43
By Kenny Bruce NASCAR.com 
October 25, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., who made four starts this year for Richard Petty Motorsports as a relief driver, will compete full-time for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series organization in 2018.

RPM officials announced the move Wednesday.

Wallace will replace Aric Almirola, who is leaving at the end of the 2017 season after a six-year stint driving the team’s iconic No. 43.

It was an injury to Almirola earlier this year that briefly put Wallace in the seat of the No. 43. He finished inside the top 20 in three of his four starts, including a best of 11th at Kentucky.

The four-race effort was an eye-opening experience, Wallace told NASCAR.com

“I didn’t know what the Cup Series was about,” he said. “I knew it was taking the next step. I didn’t know how big that step was. …

“Look at XFINITY and Trucks stats, I’m one of the most aggressive drivers out there on restarts. I take pride in that. I thought what I was going to bring to the table was somewhat enough. It barely put a dent in what you need to bring to the Cup series.

“That’s to run 20th and I’m like ‘Holy cow!’ ”

Wallace is a six-time winner in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series with 45 starts. He made 85 starts in the XFINITY Series, including a dozen this year for Roush Fenway Racing before officials there shut the team down due to a lack of funding. Wallace was fourth in points at the time.

A graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, Wallace is the fourth African-American to compete in the Monster Energy Series and the second to win in one of NASCAR’s three national series. NASCAR Hall of Fame member Wendell Scott scored one victory in NASCAR’s top series on Dec. 1, 1963.

Wallace will be the 10th driver to pilot the No. 43 full-time since Petty, a seven-time champion and winner of a NASCAR record 200 races, stepped out of the car in November of 1992. Petty was one of the five inaugural members inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

“I think that’s pretty bad-ass, actually,” Wallace said of competing for such a legendary figure and family. “It’s so unique and I think there is a lot of history to unfold behind that between myself and him. The combination there is really just, I think, a dream come true and just a marketing dream for sure.”

Almirola won once while with RPM; he is only 33 but Petty says Wallace brings a bit of youth to the group.

“And he’s had pretty much success about everywhere he’s been,” Petty said. “We feel like he’s got enough experience to come into Cup racing and after running 3-4 races with us, we said ‘This (is) liable to be a good combination.’ ”

Success has been hard to come by for the organization in recent years, with only four wins coming since Petty’s retirement. Bobby Hamilton won twice for the group while John Andretti and Almirola each won once.

Almirola’s victory at Daytona in July of ’14 earned him a berth in the NASCAR Playoffs. But he finished 17th in points the following year and 26th last season. He is currently 29th after missing seven races due to a back injury suffered in May at Kansas Speedway.

Previously a two-car organization, RPM cut back to a single entry beginning in 2017.

“We are not a winning team right now,” Petty said. “We can’t put somebody in it and expect them to win the race. So we put Bubba in the car and say ‘OK we have to get consistent.’ We’ll work on getting in the top 15. We get that settled and we’ll go to 10 and just work your way up. And we feel like Bubba can do that.”

The Petty family has been involved in NASCAR since the very beginning — Richard’s father Lee, also a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, competed in the very first Strictly Stock race held in 1949 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“I don’t know that it’s that important for (NASCAR) to have the (Petty) name,” Petty said. “We’ve been here 68 years I guess, since 1949. Always been involved.”

The 2018 changes will likely keep him showing up at the track, something he’s done nearly every weekend since those early days working for his father.

“I think with the coming deal, I sat down and said ‘you’re 80 years old. If you’re ever going to do anything, you better get involved,’ ” he said. “I think I’ll get more involved this coming year than what I’ve been in the past.”

While Wallace earned high marks for his brief time in the car earlier this season, he knows next year will be a different situation with different expectations.

“I think things went so well for me in these four races because I just kind of relaxed and let everything come to me,” Wallace said. “… All the stars need to be in line to win races and run well. You can’t make those stars be aligned. Sometimes it’s your day, sometimes it’s not. Coming to accept that was the biggest thing I think out of those four races that I learned.

“I’ll go into Daytona with fingers crossed and eyes open wide.”

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NASCAR Camping / Fall DEGA 2017!!!!!
« on: October 04, 2017, 07:03:07 PM »
I'm Dega bound next Friday!!!!
Anyone in the group going?????

5
NASCAR Talk! / Chicago CUP post-race penalties
« on: September 20, 2017, 01:48:15 PM »
NASCAR released the Post-Event Penalty Report for Chicagoland Speedway:

Infraction Date: 9/17/2017 (post-race inspection)
Team: #24-Elliott
Violation: L1 Section 20.20 Assembled Vehicle Overall Rules a. Notes: Modification of components to affect the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle. Race finish is encumbered per Section 12.10 Encumbered Race Finishes.
Penalty: Crew chief (Alan Gustafson) has been fined $25,000 and suspended from the next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Points Events. Car chief (Joshua Kirk) has been suspended from the next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Points event. Team has been assessed with the loss of 15 owner points and 15 driver points.

Infraction Date: 9/17/2017 (post-race inspection)
Team: #20-Kenseth
Violation: Safety Sections 10.9.10.4: Tires and Wheels. Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed.
Penalty: Crew chief (Jason Ratcliff) has been fined $10,000.

UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal the penalty announced today by NASCAR stemming from a post-race infraction at Chicagoland Speedway.

Kenny Francis, 47, has been named interim crew chief of the No. 24 NASCAR Cup Series team with driver Chase Elliott for this weekend's event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Jacksonville, Florida, native, who was Elliott's crew chief for five points races in 2015, currently serves as Hendrick Motorsports' vehicle technical director and has 17 wins, 75 top-five finishes and 149 top-10s as a Cup Series crew chief.

Willmar, Minnesota, native Kevin Hulstein will serve as the team's car chief at New Hampshire. The 38-year-old veteran mechanic joined Hendrick Motorsports in January 2002 and previously was a member of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports team under crew chief Francis.

--- Hendrick Motorsports ---

6
NASCAR Talk! / Kahne to drive for Leavine Family Racing in 2018
« on: September 20, 2017, 01:40:39 PM »
Kahne to drive for Leavine Family Racing in 2018

CONCORD, N.C. (September 19, 2017) - Leavine Family Racing (LFR) has announced that Kasey Kahne will pilot the #95 Chevrolet Camaro for the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season.

Kahne, who has driven for Hendrick Motorsports since 2012, has signed on to be LFR's primary driver for the 2018 season.

LFR has recorded impressive finishes as a single-car team during the 2017 MENCS season and feels that Kahne, winner of the Brickyard 400 in 2017, would not only be a top driver for the team in the MENCS series in 2018, but also be instrumental in assisting the team to attract new sponsorship in the future.

"I want to thank Leavine Family Racing for this opportunity and will work as hard as possible to help them continue improving," said Kahne. "I am ready for this challenge and look forward to making a fresh start. Bob and everyone at Leavine Family Racing put a lot into their program and I'm excited to become a part of it."

"We look at this as an opportunity to go to the next level," said LFR team owner, Bob Leavine. "This deals partially with performance, because obviously, Kasey is a playoff-caliber driver. He has a wealth of information being with a larger organization like Hendrick Motorsports, and we think that will help us. We also look at this as an opportunity for marketing to be able to sell sponsorship.

Overall, we think Kasey is a good fit and felt we needed a change. There is absolutely nothing that Michael (McDowell) did, it was just a matter of us having to make some changes to help us move up the ladder and be a factor in the playoffs. I know Kasey will bring things that will help us, and I believe our environment will be conducive to his confidence level, which will in turn raise our confidence level. It just seemed like the right time and the right fit for our team."

--- Leavine Family Racing ---

7
NASCAR Talk! / Pit Crew Swap for Kyle Busch
« on: September 13, 2017, 08:06:29 PM »
Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch will get the over-the-wall pit crew from teammate Daniel Suarez for the playoffs, a JGR spokesman confirmed. Busch's pit crew will move to the rookie Suarez, who failed to make the 16-driver championship gird, for the remainder of 2017. Motorsport.com first reported news of the swap.

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NASCAR Talk! / Smithfield moves to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018
« on: September 13, 2017, 08:03:24 PM »
Smithfield moves to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018

Smithfield Foods Statement Regarding Richard Petty Motorsports:

"We are extremely disappointed that Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) has chosen to disparage Smithfield - its lead sponsor - after five years and tens of millions of dollars of unwavering financial support, despite years of subpar performance on the track. RPM's claims of a 'handshake deal' to extend our sponsorship are unequivocally and patently false.

Smithfield's numerous discussions with RPM over the past several months focused exclusively around one issue: RPM's inability to deliver on the track and the organization's repeated failure to present a plan to address its lack of competitiveness.

Statement by Richard Petty Regarding Loss of Sponsor

Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) was recently notified that its current partner, Smithfield Foods, will not return to the team next season. Aric Almirola will also not return to the #43.

A statement from Richard Petty:

"We have had numerous discussions with Smithfield Foods regarding the extension of our relationship dating as far back as February. Over the past few months, Smithfield had continually told me they wanted to be with us, and I recently shook hands on a deal to extend our relationship. I come from a time when we did major deals with sponsors like STP on a handshake. I'm sad to see this is where we are now. This decision is very unexpected, and we are extremely disappointed in this late and abrupt change of direction.

"Losing a sponsor of this magnitude in September is a significant set-back to Richard Petty Motorsports, but Andy (Murstein) and I are committed to moving forward with the #43 team. We have a lot of great partners who have expressed their continued support, and our fans will rally around the #43. We've been around since 1949, and we'll be around a lot longer."

--- Richard Petty Motorsports ---

AND Smithfield Foods Inc., a global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer, announced earlier today it will join Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) as a primary team sponsor beginning in 2018. Details of the agreement, including the driver who will be added to SHR's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series lineup in 2018, will be provided at a later date.
 
"We're very proud to have Smithfield Foods join the Stewart-Haas Racing family," said Brett Frood, president, SHR. "Smithfield has activated heavily and successfully within the sport, and we're honored to be a part of the brand's forward initiatives and strategy. Although we're not ready to announce the full details of the program, we look forward to this new endeavor while remaining focused on the upcoming playoffs and putting forth the best effort possible to win more races and contend for another championship."

Stewart-Haas Racing currently fields four entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - the #4 Ford Fusion for Kevin Harvick, the #10 Ford Fusion for Danica Patrick, the #14 Ford Fusion for Clint Bowyer and the #41 Ford Fusion for Kurt Busch. The team also competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series by fielding a full time entry - the #00 Ford Mustang for Cole Custer - and one part-time entry - the #41 Ford Mustang.

--- Stewart-Haas Racing / True Speed Communication ---

 

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NASCAR Talk! / Danica Patrick will not return to SHR in 2018
« on: September 13, 2017, 07:57:16 PM »
Danica Patrick will not return to SHR in 2018

As many of you are aware, Stewart-Haas Racing announced this morning they will have a new sponsor/driver for the 2018 season. Below is a statement from Danica regarding the announcement.

"It has been my honor to drive for Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for the past six seasons. Together we earned a Daytona 500 pole, seven top-10 finishes and we also had some exciting racing along the way. My time driving for them, however, has come to an end due to a new sponsorship arrangement in 2018."

"Sponsorship plays a vital role in our sport, and I have been very fortunate over the course of my career, but this year threw us for a curve. Our amazing partners, such as Aspen Dental and Code 3, stepped up in a big way on short notice this year and I am incredibly grateful."

"I wish SHR the best of luck with their new sponsorship and driver. Thanks for the memories. Right now, my focus is on the remainder of the 2017 season and finishing the year strong. I have the utmost faith in myself and those around me, and feel confident about my future."

10
NASCAR Talk! / Atlanta opens camping facilities for hurricane evacuees
« on: September 06, 2017, 06:43:21 PM »
Atlanta opens camping facilities for hurricane evacuees

Atlanta Motor Speedway will open its camping facilities free of charge to evacuees seeking temporary refuge from the approaching Hurricane Irma. The Speedway, which is equipped to handle thousands of campers during its annual NASCAR weekend, will open both RV and tent campgrounds to any interested evacuees beginning tomorrow, Sept. 7.

Located adjacent to its unreserved campground, AMS will also open The Rinnai Shower Station camper bath house, allowing evacuees free access to hot showers and restroom facilities.

Those interested in RV or tent camping at Atlanta Motor Speedway should enter the facility at Entrance "E" off GA Highway 19/41. The Unreserved Campgrounds will be on the left. From I-75 and GA Highway 20, campers should see signs to AMS and follow Lower Woolsey road to Entrance "H" and the Speedway Credential Building. Make a right into Speedway property and then another immediate right onto Richard Petty Boulevard. Follow Richard Petty Boulevard and turn left into Entrance "G". The campgrounds will be on the right. Click here for a detailed map.

For on-site assistance or directions, visit the ticket office/gift store building. Atlanta Motor Speedway is located approximately 25 miles south of Atlanta on GA Highway 19/41 and approximately eight miles west of I-75 off of GA Highway 20.

For more information, contact Atlanta Motor Speedway at (770) 946-4211 or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.

--- AMS ---

11
NASCAR released the Post-Event Penalty Report for Darlington Raceway:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Infraction Date: 9/3/2017 (post-race inspection)
Team: #11-Hamlin
Violation: L1 Section 20.14.2 Rear Suspension I-4 f Truck Trailing Arm Spacers/Pinion Angle Shims. Spacers/pinion angle shims must conform to the following drawing: A-008-01016d-16 REV. A. Notes: 6 The Truck trailing arm spacer / pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times.
Race finish is encumbered per Section 12.10 Encumbered Race Finishes.
Penalty: Crew chief (Mike Wheeler) has been fined $50,000 and suspended from two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Points Events. Team has been assessed with the loss of 25 owner points and 25 driver points.

Infraction Date: 9/3/2017 (post-race inspection)
Team: #88-Earnhardt, Jr.
Violation: Safety Sections 10.9.10.4: Tires and Wheels Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed.
Penalty:Crew chief (Greg Ives) has been fined $20,000 and suspended from the next Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship points event.

NASCAR XFINITY Series

Infraction Date: 9/2/2017 (post-race inspection)
Team: #18 Joe Gibbs Racing
Violation: L1 Sections 20.14.2 Rear Suspension I-4 Truck Trailing Arm Spacers/Pinion Angle Shims;
h. Spacers/pinion angle shims must have single planar mating surfaces. Notes: All mating surfaces between the truck; trailing arm and the U-bolt saddle must be in complete contact with each other.
Race finish is encumbered per Section 12.10 Encumbered Race Finishes.
Penalty: Crew chief (Eric Phillips) has been fined $25,000 and suspended from two NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship Points Events. Team has been assessed with the loss of 25 owner points.

Infraction Date: 9/2/2017 (post-race inspection)
Team: #22 Team Penske
Violation: L1 Sections 20.14.2 Rear Suspension I-4 Truck Trailing Arm Spacers/Pinion Angle Shims;
h. Spacers/pinion angle shims must have single planar mating surfaces. Notes: All mating surfaces between the truck; trailing arm and the U-bolt saddle must be in complete contact with each other.
Race finish is encumbered per Section 12.10 Encumbered Race Finishes.
Penalty: Crew chief (Greg Irwin) has been fined $25,000 and suspended from two NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship Points Events. Team has been assessed with the loss of 25 owner points.

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Brad Keselowski Racing will end Truck operations, leaves door open for top series
By Zack Albert NASCAR.com   

Brad Keselowski Racing announced Thursday that it will cease operations after the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, prepping for a potential move to NASCAR’s top division at a much later date.

The announcement came from namesake team owner Brad Keselowski, the 2012 champion of NASCAR’s premier series. Keselowski’s organization currently fields Fords F-150s for Chase Briscoe, 22, and 18-year-old Austin Cindric, both in their first full season of truck competition.

“The Truck Series is truly special to me given my family’s ties to the history of the sport, and this decision comes with much contemplation,” Keselowski said in the team release, mentioning his father, Bob, who was a pioneering truck competitor dating back to the series’ first season. “But, for a number of reasons, and as I plan for the long-term future, I’ve decided not to field a team in 2018.”

Keselowski has fielded entries in the Camping World Truck Series since 2008, helping further the careers of many young drivers, including Ryan Blaney, Daniel Hemric and Tyler Reddick. The BKR organization scored its first win in 2012 with Blaney at the wheel, adding eight more victories to its tally in the years that followed.

Brad Keselowski Racing moved into a gleaming, 78,000-square-foot shop in Statesville, North Carolina, ahead of the 2016 season. Keselowski indicated that he hoped to use that headquarters as a base of operations for potential entry into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at a much later stage of his career.

“I’ve never made it a secret that I would eventually like to be an owner at the top level of the sport,” said Keselowski, who further explained the reasons behind his difficult decision in his personal blog. “And, while this is many years down the line, I want to start to prepare for that possibility now. Part of that preparation is seeking to develop an advanced engineering and manufacturing company that would be housed out of our 78,000-square-foot facility in Statesville and ultimately help to support this vision.”

The team said in the release that it remained committed to finishing strong in the 2017 Camping World Truck Series campaign. Briscoe sits fourth in the series standings with two pole positions in the 14 races thus far. Cindric ranks 10th, riding a string of six straight top-10 finishes in the series.

13
NASCAR Talk! / William Byron to drive #5 cup car in 2018 for Hendrick
« on: August 09, 2017, 01:41:17 PM »
William Byron to drive #5 cup car in 2018 for Hendrick

CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 9, 2017) - Record-breaking teenager William Byron will drive for 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports beginning next season. He will debut at stock car racing's highest level in the 2018 Daytona 500 and compete for rookie of the year honors.

Byron's No. 5 Chevrolet team will feature sponsorship from Axalta Coating Systems and Liberty University, which currently support the 19-year-old driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Beginning in 2018, the two primary sponsors will cover the majority of Byron's Cup races annually. Additional details of the multi-year partnerships will be announced at a later date.

14
 


Kasey Kahne will not return to Hendrick Motorsports in 2018
By Holly Cain   NASCAR.com   August 7, 2017    at 10:09 am   

Hendrick Motorsports announced Monday that it will not retain driver Kasey Kahne to compete in the team’s No. 5 Chevrolet for the 2018 season. A future driver for the car was not revealed, but the team said it would announce its four-car lineup at a later date.

Kahne, 37, won the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis in July and has 18 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins in 14 seasons. He was the 2004 Rookie of the Year.

“I’d like to thank Rick (Hendrick) and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for their hard work and dedication, along with providing me a great opportunity and success over the last six years,” Kahne said in a team release. “We won six races together and I’m coming off of one of the biggest wins of my career at the Brickyard, which has given the (No.) 5 team a lot of momentum heading into the playoffs. We still have a lot of racing left in 2017 and finishing strong is our top priority. I look forward to what the next chapter in my career holds.”

Kahne started his Monster Energy Series career with Ray Evernham’s Dodge team in 2004, winning a season-best six races in 2006. He also drove for Richard Petty Motorsports and the Red Bull Racing teams before landing at Hendrick in 2012, where he has earned six victories.

In his first year with the championship organization Kahne won two races and tied a career-best mark of 19 top-10 finishes. He also finished a career-high fourth place in the standings that season.

His win at Indy broke a victory drought that stretched back to 2014.

“Kasey has worked extremely hard,” Hendrick said. “He’s a tremendous teammate and person, and he has been totally dedicated to our program since day one. I’ve always believed that he’s a special talent, and I know he will thrive in the right situation. We will do everything we can to finish the season as strong as we can.”

Hendrick will have a decidedly youthful look next season. The team already announced that 24-year-old Alex Bowman will replace retiring veteran Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 car. And 21-year old Chase Elliott is in his second Cup season driving the No. 24 Chevrolet formerly steered by retired four-time champion Jeff Gordon.

At 41, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson remains the elder statesman on the team.

There is no word where Kahne may work next season. He joins a list of highly respected veterans without firm 2018 plans, including former Cup champions Matt Kenseth, who will not be retained by Joe Gibbs Racing, and 2004 champion Kurt Busch, whose option was not picked up by his Stewart-Haas Racing team this past week.

15
NASCAR Talk! / Kurt Busch not returning to Stewart-Haas?
« on: August 01, 2017, 02:55:35 PM »
Kurt Busch not returning to Stewart-Haas?
12:50 PM ET / Jayski.com staff

Six months after winning NASCAR's biggest race, Kurt Busch is now a victim of the wildest Silly Season in recent memory.

Stewart-Haas Racing has informed Busch the organization will not pick up the option on the 2017 Daytona 500 winner and 2004 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion for next season.

Stewart-Haas has until midnight on Tuesday (when the company's option expires) to reverse its decision, but the expectation is that Busch will not drive the No. 41 Ford for SHR in 2018.

16
NASCAR Talk! / Blaney to Cup in 2018, Menard to wood brothers team
« on: July 26, 2017, 11:10:28 AM »
Just announced , Ryan Blaney to drive #12 for third team at Penske next year.

Paul menard is replacing Blaney at Wood Bros team #21
------------------

Ryan Blaney will move to a third Team Penske entry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018, with Paul Menard shifting to the Wood Brothers Racing team next season.

Both organizations made the joint announcement Wednesday, firming up two more partnerships in the annual “Silly Season” shuffle of driver-team pairings. Team Penske and the Wood Brothers share technical information through an alliance.

Blaney, 23, is in his third season driving the Wood Brothers’ famed No. 21 Ford. He scored his first Monster Energy Series victory earlier this year at Pocono Raceway. He will drive the No. 12 Ford Fusion next year and has blossomed into one of the sport’s young stars. He hosts a weekly podcast called “Glass Case of Emotion” on NASCAR.com, which you can watch here.

17
Return to dirt roots, qualifying format make Eldora race special
BY KENNY BRUCE NASCAR.COM JULY 19, 2017 AT 9:11 AM

Christopher Bell isn’t the defending race winner but the 22-year-old makes a fine substitute.
Kyle Larson is elsewhere, leaving Wednesday night’s Eldora Dirt Derby (9:30 p.m. ET, Fox Business Network, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at historic Eldora Speedway without its defending champion. The loss is his, though. Few races in this series get drivers and fans more excited than this week’s stop for the Camping World Truck Series.
Bell’s more than a suitable stand-in, having won the race in ’15. It was his first victory in the series and he’s gone on to win four times since – including three trips to Victory Lane this year in his No. 4 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
If Darlington Raceway hosts the official throwback weekend for NASCAR’s Monster Energy Cup Series, then the little half-mile of Eldora hosts the unofficial midweek throwback race.
Darlington has throwback paint schemes. Eldora has the throwback surface.
Dirt. Just like the old days.
It won’t be necessary to spray VHT or PJ1 or any other adhesive substance in the turns at Eldora. Just add water and race.
It took NASCAR more than two decades to wean itself from its dirt beginnings and four more until it returned.
Now it’s year five of the annual pilgrimage to the land of milk and Tony.
Tony Stewart, three-time NASCAR champ, purchased the track in 2004; it took him nearly a decade to convince officials a Truck race would be a boon to the track and to the sanctioning body.
He was correct on both counts and the fans have turned out each year in support of the unusual event.
That it is run on dirt is the biggest difference between this race and the other 22 on the schedule, of course, but the race strays off the beaten path for the series in other ways as well.
A qualifying format similar to those seen in your weekly local shows determines the lineup - there is single-vehicle qualifying but that merely sets the table for the five 10-lap qualifying races that follow. It’s stage racing with a different cast of characters each time out.
And for those still on the outside looking in following the qualifiers, there’s a 15-lap last chance race that more often than not is worth the price of admission alone.
Capping it off is the 150-lap feature that’s yet to be won more than once by any one driver. Besides Bell and Larson, previous Derby wins have gone to Darrell Wallace (’14) and Austin Dillon (’13).
Car control is crucial, but no more so than damage control. In last year’s race, Bell battled the wall nearly as hard as he battled Larson in the closing laps; in ’15 runner-up Bobby Pierce waged a furious fight with Bell but did so nearly minus a trunk lid; and in ’14 it was Larson knocking down the wall lap after lap as he tried unsuccessfully to reel in Wallace.
The Eldora Dirt Derby is different and that’s a small part of its charm as well as a large part of what keeps fans coming back year after year.

18
NASCAR Talk! / Eldora race format
« on: July 19, 2017, 01:54:42 PM »
Eldora race format
By Staff Report NASCAR.com July 17, 2017 at 2:37 pm

A Wednesday night NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on dirt represents a big change from the normal schedule, but it's nothing to worry about. This "Eldora Explained" article will get you up to speed on the technical aspects of the competition, so you can sit back and enjoy the Eldora Dirt Derby, scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET on Fox Business Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

There are two practices on the half-mile dirt track Tuesday. All of the events below take place Wednesday.

Qualifying: Two laps, single truck. Keystone Light Pole qualifying is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET on FS1. A random draw will determine the qualifying order. The fastest qualifier will be awarded the Keystone Light Pole Award, but won't necessarily start first.

The results of qualifying will determine all starting positions for the five qualifying races; the qualifying races themselves set the lineup for the race.

Qualifying Races: Five races, 10 laps each, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS2, and only green-flag laps will be counted. Lineup for the qualifying races will be based on speeds from Keystone Light Pole qualifying. The top five trucks from each qualifying race will automatically transfer to the race. Upon completion of the qualifying races, 25 of the 32 trucks in the field will be set for the race.

Last Chance Qualifying Race: This race will be 15 laps, and the lineup for it will be set based on finishing position in the qualifying races. Only green flag laps will be counted, and the top two finishers of this race will fill lineup positions 26 and 27 for the race.

Lineup spots 28-31 will go to the highest-ranking eligible trucks in owner points that haven't already earned a starting position through qualifying. The 32nd lineup spot will go to the most recent eligible past series champion. If the 32nd position is not filled by an eligible champion, it will be assigned based on owner points.

Race: Divided into three stages (40, 50 and 60 laps) with competition cautions at the breaks on Laps 40 and 90. Caution laps will not count during competition cautions and positions can't be improved on pit road. Teams are not required to pit during competition cautions. Those that remain on the track will restart in front of those that pit.

HOW ELDORA RACE LINEUP IS DETERMINED

STARTING 
SPOT            HOW DETERMINED
1              Top finisher in Qualifying Race #1
2              Top finisher in Qualifying Race #2
3              Top finisher in Qualifying Race #3
4              Top finisher in Qualifying Race #4
5              Top finisher in Qualifying Race #5
6              Second finisher in Qualifying Race #1
7              Second finisher in Qualifying Race #2
8              Second finisher in Qualifying Race #3
9              Second finisher in Qualifying Race #4
10           Second finisher in Qualifying Race #5
11           Third finisher in Qualifying Race #1
12           Third finisher in Qualifying Race #2
13           Third finisher in Qualifying Race #3
14           Third finisher in Qualifying Race #4
15           Third finisher in Qualifying Race #5
16           Fourth finisher in Qualifying Race #1
17           Fourth finisher in Qualifying Race #2
18           Fourth finisher in Qualifying Race #3
19           Fourth finisher in Qualifying Race #4
20           Fourth finisher in Qualifying Race #5
21           Fifth finisher in Qualifying Race #1
22           Fifth finisher in Qualifying Race #2
23           Fifth finisher in Qualifying Race #3
24           Fifth finisher in Qualifying Race #4
25           Fifth finisher in Qualifying Race #5
26           Top finisher in Last Chance
27           Second finisher in Last Chance
28           Owner points
29           Owner points
30           Owner points
31           Owner points
32           Past series champ/owner points



 

19
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Indianapolis

Jimmie Johnson...................... 105.7
 Kyle Busch.............................. 105.5
 Kyle Larson............................. 104.8
 Matt Kenseth............................ 98.3
 Kevin Harvick............................ 97.1
 Kasey Kahne............................ 95.0
 Denny Hamlin............................ 92.4
 Joey Logano............................. 90.1
 Brad Keselowski........................ 88.3
 Clint Bowyer.............................. 82.4
 Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2016 races (12 total) among active drivers at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 History

· Indianapolis Motor Speedway has existed since 1909, and is the original "Speedway," the first racing facility to incorporate the word into its name.
 · With a permanent seating capacity for more than 250,000-plus people and infield seating that raises capacity to an approximate 400,000, it is the largest and highest-capacity sporting facility in history.
 · The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was August 6, 1994 - won by Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet).
 · There have been 23 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway; one per year from 1994 through 2016.

 

20
NASCAR Talk! / Report: Dodge Won't Return to NASCAR
« on: July 17, 2017, 06:47:31 PM »
Report: Dodge Won't Return to NASCAR
Jul 15, 2017, Jayski.com staff

It was ostensibly a press conference for Ferrari's 2016 Finali Mondiali at Daytona International Speedway last December 4, but perhaps the biggest revelation to come out of that presser concerned NASCAR, with Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, saying he was interested in getting Chrysler, most likely Dodge, back into NASCAR.
This came as a surprise to Dodge employees at the highest level. But given Marchionne's revelation, the company did its due diligence, researching what a return to NASCAR would involve. Company executives met with NASCAR officials more than once, including a meeting at this year's North American International Auto Show.

After all, it was Marchionne who in 2012 made the decision to pull the plug on NASCAR, leaving the Sprint Cup series with just three manufacturers: Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota. He said during that press conference that, at the time, he was trying to balance the books at Chrysler and NASCAR was an expense he could not justify. That said, Dodge had only a two-car team with Roger Penske, and won the season championship with Brad Keselowski.

Dodge had a deal with Andretti Autosport to take over Dodge in 2013, but that stalled with Marchionne's final decision.

Marchionne said at the Ferrari press conference that the books are balanced, and it may be time to come back.

"I had dinner with Jim France last night," Marchionne said, referring to the executive vice president of NASCAR, "and we discussed the possibility."

Unfortunately for Dodge loyalists, the analysis regarding a return to the sport showed that it would be too complex and, more importantly, too expensive. Part of the problem would be finding a team with top-tier engine-building capability-and there just aren't many choices now that the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series has consolidated engine-building among a handful of teams (Or in Toyota's case, the company itself.) Dodge would prefer to supply the engine specifications and have the engines built by the team, like they were at Penske. But there are minimal options.

Also, re-creating the infrastructure to race at NASCAR's highest level-which Dodge did gradually starting with the NASCAR Camping World truck series before entering the Cup series in 2001 with the help of then-flush Dodge dealers-would be prohibitively expensive. The bottom line: perhaps the company could afford to return to NASCAR, as Marchionne suggested, but that doesn't mean it would make financial sense.

Dodge left NASCAR on top, as they did when they dropped the Dodge Viper program from the American Le Mans Series immediately after winning a season championship. The company has now reallocated its motorsports support to the National Hot Rod Association, where Dodge- and Mopar-backed teams are doing well in Funny Car and Top Fuel.

Like he did in 2012, Marchionne could conceivably overrule the recommendation that Dodge not return to NASCAR, but that seems unlikely. Nor is Volkswagen, which came very close to fielding a Cup car based on the Passat, likely to reconsider its decision to not join the series. And for those holding out hope that Honda/Acura might race in NASCAR-always a very abstract possibility-that became more of a long shot this week when Roger Penske and Acura announced they would race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series, the NASCAR-affiliated sports car - sanctioning body.
So unless a manufacturer comes out of left field with the money and dedication to make a NASCAR program work, it appears that NASCAR will have to make do with Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota. As one Dodge employee suggested: "We don't want to come back and embarrass ourselves."
--- full article at TheDrive by Steve Cole Smith ---

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