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Monday, February 29, 2016

Lancaster kicks off 2016 with successful Registration Party

An impressive crowd at Lancaster's Driver Registration Party
credit: Lancaster National SPeedway & Dragway
Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway hosted its 2016 Driver Registration Party at the Variety Club Banquet Hall on Sunday, and was greeted with record turn outs in several categories as teams are eager to get back on track.

Drivers and team owners began lining up 15 minutes before the doors were schedule to open at 2 p.m. 

"I am truly amazed at the number of drivers, teams and crew members that showed up for registration,” said track president Tim Packman. “It got to the point where there was more jockeying for position for pit pads than racing for ones on the track for a checkered flag."

More than 70 drag racers registered for the Friday Night IHRA Drag Racing program, and racers also participated in a Christmas Tree tournament to see who had the best reaction time. 

The Saturday night stock car program saw nearly 50 competitors sign up for the 2016 campaign and around 60 pit pads have been reserved. 

"This all goes back to what we started last year, in the building of excitement and positive vibe the track is experiencing now as we go towards the future," said Packman. "I personally credit the teams for what they've been doing in the off-season in communicating in a professional manner with the track. If registration is any indication of what the season is going to be like, I am very optimistic for Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway in 2016." 

The division creating the most excitement for the Saturday night shows is the Sunoco Sportsman, as 17 drivers have already signed up for the 2016 points program. Lancaster will be the only track in Erie County running the open-wheeled division on a weekly basis in 2016. The Street Stock and 4-Cylinder divisions also had strong turn outs with new drivers signing up in both classes. 

Packman also addressed the crowd to give an update on facility improvements for the upcoming season, including news that Turns 3 and 4 of the stock car oval will likely be repaved. Packman and Lancaster's ownership group are also researching resurfacing the drag strip as well as additional repairs and upgrades to the speedway grounds.

Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway's 2016 season begins the weekend of April 16-17. The IHRA Drag Racing program hits the strip on Saturday, April 16 with test and tune and a Box/No-Box Shootout. The stock car program opens on Sunday, April 17 with the "Queen City Clash 75" for the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour. Get more information at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Holland Motorsports Complex announces Hometown Heroes program

credit: Holland Motorsports Complex
Holland Motorsports Complex has announced its NASCAR Hometown Heroes program in 2016. The brand new initiative will give recognition to drivers’ hometowns, car sponsors, family members, and car owners, as well as put a face, story, and personality to the veteran drivers’ names that fans have grown to know over the years, as well as introduce them to the rookies.

NASCAR Hometown Heroes will honor drivers on May 28, June 4, July 16 and 23, and August 13 and 27. Each of these six Hometown Hero races will highlight various drivers based on their hometown, with drivers receiving free race tickets for family and friends; their car sponsors will also receive free tickets for customers and clients as well.

The first Hometown Hero night on May 28 will recognize drivers from Lackawanna, Gowanda, Hamburg, Irving, and Angola.  Drivers from these towns will be announced prior to their specific division’s race, and will be photographed together following the full event’s conclusion. Additional dates for the other home towns will be listed at www.hollandspeedway.com shortly.

RoC stars appearing at Cavalcade of Cars at Hamburg Fairgrounds

Chuck Hossfeld will be among the drivers appearing at the
Cavalcade of Cars on March 5
credit: paulathompsonfreelance.com
Five Race of Champions drivers will be appearing at the 23rd annual Cavalcade of Cars at the Hamburg Fairgrounds Events Center on Saturday, March 5 from 3 to 4 p.m. The scheduled autograph session is presented by Sunoco Race Fuels and Insinger Performance.

Drivers scheduled to appear are RoC asphalt drivers Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y., Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, N.Y., and Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, N.Y., and RoC dirt drivers Brad Rouse of Saint Catherines, Ontario and Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y. 

Fans get their first chance to see Emerling, Hossfeld and Jankowiak on the track on Sunday, April 17 at Lancaster National Speedway in the Queen City Clash, part of the RoC Asphalt Modified Tour. Rudolph will race at Selinsgrove (PA) Speedway on Saturday, March 19 then head to Canandaigua (NY) Motorsports Park on Saturday, April 16 with the RoC Dirt Modified Series, while Rouse can be seen on Sunday, May 8 in the RoC Crate Sportsman Modified Series at Humberstone Speedway.

The Cavalcade of Cars happens Friday through Sunday, March 4-6 at the Event Center at the Hamburg Fairgrounds. Hot rods, custom and race-prepared vehicles, the “Batmobile” and numerous vendors will be on hand for the weekend. Discount tickets are available at Advance Auto Parts, CarQuest and K&S Automotive. For information call 716-656-9734 or visit www.cavalcadeofcars.com

Friday, February 26, 2016

March 2016 racing: Where to see your favorites

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:
  • March 17-20 – Amalie Motor Oil NHRA GatorNationals at Auto Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida

credit: NASCAR Media
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:

NASCAR Xfinity Series:
  • March 5 – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • March 12 – Phoenix International Raceway
  • March 19 – Auto Club Speedway

Verizon IndyCar Series:

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series:
For more information on any of these races, click the link provided.

Monday, February 22, 2016

National weekend wrap-up: February 18-21, 2016

It was THAT close! Denny Hamlin edges Martin Truex Jr.
Sunday in the Daytona 500
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Chris Trotman
Sprint Cup Series – Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Busch won their respective Can-Am Duel races on Thursday, securing second-row starting positions in the Daytona 500 for both drivers. Earnhardt Jr. beat Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney – who locked himself into the Daytona 500 as well – Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin in Race No. 1 at Daytona International Speedway. Kyle Busch bested Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Ty Dillon in Race No. 2.

In Sunday’s Daytona 500, Hamlin beat Martin Truex Jr. by a matter of inches – literally – at the finish line to claim his first career win in the “Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing.” Kyle Busch finished third, followed by Kevin Harvick – in the only non-Toyota in the top five – and Carl Edwards. Cato, NY’s Regan Smith finished eighth for Tommy Baldwin Racing.

Xfinity Series – Daytona 500 pole sitter didn’t have very good luck on Sunday, but he was the class of the field on Saturday, winning the Powershares QQQ 300 in the JR Motorsports “All-Star Car” No. 88. Joey Logano finished second, followed by Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Austin Dillon.

Camping World Truck Series – Johnny Sauter won Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250 over Ryan Truex and Parker Kligerman. Brandon Brown and Travis Kvapil rounded out the top five.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

NASCAR 2016: Can-Am Duels at Daytona line-ups

credit: NASCAR Media
The Can-Am Duels at Daytona International Speedway air Thursday night, February 18 at 7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

Race No. 1
  • Row 1 – Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Row 2 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Blaney
  • Row 3 – Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin
  • Row 4 – Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne
  • Row 5 – Paul Menard and Brad Keselowski
  • Row 6 – Greg Biffle and Brian Scott
  • Row 7 – Michael McDowell and Regan Smith
  • Row 8 – Chris Buescher and Bobby Labonte
  • Row 9 – Trevor Bayne and Clint Bowyer
  • Row 10 – Cole Whitt and David Ragan
  • Row 11 – Josh Wise and Kevin Harvick
Race No. 2
  • Row 1 – Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch
  • Row 2 – Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards
  • Row 3 – Kurt Busch and Casey Mears
  • Row 4 – Ryan Newman and Ty Dillon
  • Row 5 – Aric Almirola and Jamie McMurray
  • Row 6 – Kyle Larson and Matt DiBenedetto
  • Row 7 – Michael Waltrip and Danica Patrick
  • Row 8 – AJ Allmendinger and Michael Annett
  • Row 9 – Landon Cassill and Robert Richardson Jr.
  • Row 10 – David Gilliland and Reed Sorenson
  • Row 11 – Martin Truex Jr. and Brian Vickers
Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com

Monday, February 15, 2016

National weekend wrap-up: February 11-14, 2016

ARCA Racing Series – John Wes Townley won the season-opening stock car race on the superspeedway in Daytona. William Byron finished second, followed by Kyle Weatherman, Chase Briscoe and frank Kimmel. It was Townley’s second win in the race, his first coming in 2013.

Denny Hamlin celebrates his Sprint Unlimited victory
credit: NASCAR via Getty Images/Sarah Crabill
Sprint Cup Series – Denny Hamlin won Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited non-points race at Daytona International Speedway in NASCAR’s new overtime format. Joey Logano finished second, followed by Paul Menard, Kyle Larson and Casey Mears.

Rookie Chase Elliott became the youngest pole winner for the Daytona 500 on Sunday after a lap of 196.314 mph. Elliott, son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, takes over the No. 24 at Hendrick Motorsports this season. Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth earned the outside pole with a lap of 196.036 mph. Elliott and Kenseth are the only drivers locked into a starting position for Sunday’s Daytona 500. The rest of the 40-car field will be determined on Thursday in the Can-Am Duels.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series – Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) took home Wallys from this weekend’s Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

NASCAR 2016: Chase Elliott on pole for Daytona 500


credit: NASCAR Media
Rookie Chase Elliott, filling the shoes of both a famous father and a future Hall-of-Famer, became the youngest pole winner for the Daytona 500 on Sunday; his father, 1988 Cup Series champ and NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bill Elliott, won the pole four times in his career. It was the first Sprint Cup Series action the younger Elliott saw in the famed No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, filling the seat of future Hall-of-Famer Jeff Gordon.

Kenseth (Dollar General) and Elliott (NAPA) celebrate
their front row qualifying efforts at Daytona
credit: Getty Images/Jared C. Tilton
“It's such a special day, a great way to start 2016 for our team,” said Elliott, who won the pole with a lap of 196.314 mph. “Daytona 500 qualifying day is such an opportunity for the teams to really, I feel like, show what they've done in the off-season, the kind of work ethic they have, the amount of hours, the massaging they put in these racecars to find those extra hundredths and thousandths of a second that are so crucial on qualifying day. That's what it's all about today. I don't feel like it's about me. Nothing special I did to earn it. It's about those guys, the kind of car they brought to the racetrack. That's the biggest thing I look at.”

Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth earned the outside pole with a lap of 196.036 mph. Elliott and Kenseth are the only drivers locked into a starting position for Sunday’s Daytona 500. The rest of the 40-car field will be determined on Thursday in the Can-Am Duels.

“Qualifying here is truly a team effort,” said Kenseth. “From the aero guys to everybody at TRD making the power, Jason and the group for massaging that thing, they did a great job. It's funny the way this works. I was coasting around the apron, knew Chase was ahead of me, figured Junior was going to beat me, because he was faster the first round. Thinking maybe doing all that work and qualifying third, might as well be 20th. I was pleasantly surprised when he dropped in right behind us. Never qualified in front row here before, so that certainly takes off some pressure for later in the week.”

The Can-Am Duels get underway Thursday night, February 18 at 7 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by NASCAR.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

NASCAR 2016 101: Last-minute changes and updates

Information from NASCAR press release – February 11:

credit: NASCAR Media
Maximum field sizes and points system:
  • Sprint Cup Series – Maximum 40-car field (36 Charter team cars, 4 open team cars), race winner awarded 40 points, 40th-place awarded one point.
  • XFINITY Series – Maximum 40-car field, race winner awarded 40 points, 40th-place awarded one point.
  • Camping World Truck Series – Maximum 32-truck field, race winner awarded 32 points, 32nd-place awarded one point.

New points systems apply to driver, owner, and manufacturer championships. Existing 2015 Bonus points remain in place for 2016. 

Sprint Cup Series qualifying:

Daytona 500 specific
  • Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position.
  • Four open teams are eligible for starting positions.
  • The highest finishing open team in each Can-Am Duel race earns a starting position.
  • The final two starting positions are awarded to open teams based on Coors Light Pole Qualifying if not already a top finisher in a Duel race.
  • Qualifying sets the front row for the Daytona 500 and the starting lineup for the Can-Am Duel fields, with the number of Charter team and Open team cars split evenly throughout both races.
  • If qualifying is cancelled due to weather, the top two finishing open teams from each Can-Am Duel race earn starting positions in the Daytona 500.
  • If the second Can-Am Duel race is cancelled due to weather, the highest finishing open team from the first race earns a starting position, with the other three open teams determined by qualifying.
  • If both Can-Am Duel races are cancelled due to weather, qualifying determines all four open teams.
  • If qualifying and both Can-Am Duel races are cancelled due to weather, the combined practice speeds are used to determine the four open teams.
  • If all on-track activity prior to the race is cancelled due to weather, 2015 Owner points will be used to determine the four open teams.

All other events
  • Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position and four open teams are eligible for starting positions.
  • Qualifying results will determine the open team starting positions assuming the event is run as scheduled.
  • If qualifying is cancelled due to weather, the combined practice speeds determine the four open teams.
  • If practice and qualifying are cancelled due to weather, Owner points determine the four open teams (events 1-3 revert to 2015 Owner points).

NASCAR Overtime:
  • For all three NASCAR national series, a race may be concluded with overtime, consisting of a new procedure for a green-white-checkered flag finish featuring an “overtime line.” The location of the overtime line will vary by track. 
  • After taking the green on the overtime restart, if the leader then passes the overtime line on the first lap under green before a caution comes out (a “clean restart”), it will be considered a valid green-white-checkered attempt. However, if a caution comes out before the leader passes the overtime line on the first lap under green, it will not be considered a valid attempt, and a subsequent attempt will be made.  If necessary, multiple subsequent attempts will be made until a valid attempt occurs.
  • Once a valid attempt is achieved (clean restart), it will become the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.  If a caution comes out at any time during the valid green-white-checkered attempt, the field will be frozen and the checkered/yellow or checkered/red displayed to cars at the finish line.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NASCAR 2016: The Sprint Unlimited

credit: NASCAR Media
25 drivers will start Saturday night’s Sprint Unlimited, the unofficial/non-points-bearing kickoff to the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season and prelude to the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 21. They are:

2015 pole sitters
  • Joey Logano
  • Kevin Harvick
  • Kurt Busch
  • Matt Kenseth
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Kasey Kahne
  • AJ Allmendinger
  • Carl Edwards
  • Kyle Busch
  • Brad Keselowski
  • Jimmie Johnson
Past Sprint Unlimited winner
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Former Daytona 500 pole winners
  • Austin Dillon
  • Danica Patrick
  • Martin Truex Jr.
  • David Gilliland*
  • Greg Biffle
2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup drivers
  • Jamie McMurray
  • Ryan Newman
  • Paul Menard
  • Clint Bowyer
2015 drivers points (to get to 25)
  • Aric Almirola
  • Kyle Larson
  • Casey Mears (in as replacement for retired Jeff Gordon)
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (in as replacement for injured Tony Stewart)

*Gilliland does not have a ride for 2016 – if he does not race, the next drivers in line to replace him are Sam Hornish Jr. (no ride) and David Ragan (recently signed with BK Racing); Trevor Bayne is third on the list.

The event will be split into two segments – 25 laps and 50 laps – with a competition caution at Lap 25 to separate the segments. A random drawing by crew chiefs on Friday will determine starting and pit road positions.

Keep up with the action at www.nascar.com

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

NASCAR 2016 101: Driver changes in the Xfinity Series

credit: NASCAR Media
Just like the Camping World Truck and Sprint Cup Series, the Xfinity Series will see a number of comings and goings for the 2016 season – here’s a look at a few of the changes.
  • NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour star Ryan Preece moves to the Xfinity Series with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller. Preece will compete for Rookie of the Year honors. Ross Chastain will also run full-time in the No. 4.
  • Elliott Sadler brings OneMain Financial and the No. 1 to JR Motorsports for the 2016 season, taking over what was the No. 9 of Chase Elliott. Justin Allgaier joins the team in the No. 7, replacing Regan Smith. The No. 88 will remain the JR Motorsports All-Star Car, with Alex Bowman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Elliott among the drivers on the schedule; Elliott and Kasey Kahne also have races scheduled in the No. 5 car.
  • Reigning Truck Series champ Erik Jones (No. 20) and Daniel Suarez (No. 19) will race full-time at Joe Gibbs Racing, while the No. 54 becomes the No. 18 for 2016 with Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and others behind the wheel.
  • Brandon Jones will run full-time in the No. 33 at Richard Childress Racing, competing for Rookie of the Year.


Monday, February 8, 2016

NASCAR 2016 101: Driver changes in the Sprint Cup Series

credit: NASCAR Media
Retirements, closings and promotions have once again changed the landscape of the Sprint Cup Series for the 2016 season – here are a few of the moves from “Silly Season.”
  • Chase Elliott graduates from the Xfinity Series and takes over the No. 24 at Hendrick Motorsports after Jeff Gordon’s retirement. Elliott will compete for Rookie of the Year honors.
  • With Michael Waltrip Racing closing and Tony Stewart not retiring until the end of 2016, Clint Bowyer takes 5-Hour Energy to HScott Motorsports for the 2016 season.
  • Ryan Blaney stays with the Wood Brothers, but the team will compete full-time in 2016 – Blaney will also race for Rookie of the Year honors.
  • Regan Smith moves from the JR Motorsports No. 7 in the Xfinity Series to Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 7 in the Cup Series.
  • David Ragan joins Matt DiBenedetto at BK Racing. Ragan will drive the No. 23, with DiBenedetto in the No. 83.
  • 2015 Xfinity Series champ Chris Buescher moves to the Cup Series with Front Row Motorsports in the No. 34. He’s joined by Landon Cassill in the No. 38.
  • Brian Scott also gets promoted to the Cup Series, bringing Shore Lodge and other sponsors to the No. 44 of Richard Petty Motorsports, where he’ll team with Aric Almirola. Scott will compete for Rookie of the Year honors.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

NASCAR 2016 101: Driver changes in the Truck Series

credit: NASCAR Media
In addition to changes in format for the Camping World Truck Series, there will be plenty of driver changes for the 2016 season – here’s a sample of who’s going where.
  • Kyle Busch Motorsports returns with Christopher Bell in the No. 4 and William Byron in the No. 9 full-time. Cody Coughlin and Daniel Suarez will split duties in the No. 18, but Suarez will be in a fourth truck, the No. 51, at Daytona. Byron will make a run at Rookie of the Year.
  • At NEMCO Racing, John Hunter Nemechek takes over the No. 8 on a full-time basis for the 2016 season.
  • At Brad Keselowski Racing, Daniel Hemric takes over the No. 19, joining returning Tyler Reddick, who moves to the No. 29.
  • Johnny Sauter joins Gallagher Motorsports in the No. 21, with Spencer Gallagher remaining in the No. 23. Grant Enfinger will be in the No. 33 for the team as well.
  • ThorSport will field trucks for Cameron Hayley (No. 13), Ben Rhodes (No. 41), Matt Crafton (No. 88) and Rico Abreu (No. 98). Rhodes and Abreu will both run for Rookie of the Year.
  • Cole Custer will race the No. 00 for JR Motorsports full-time in 2016.


Friday, February 5, 2016

NASCAR 2016 101: Xfinity Series Chase

credit: NASCAR Media
Over the next few days, take a look at the “innovations” announced by NASCAR for the 2016 season. Next: the Xfinity Series Chase format.

Press release from NASCAR – January 19:
The seven-race NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase will begin at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 24, and feature 12 drivers and two elimination rounds, with four drivers competing in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
A win in the first 26 races all but guarantees a driver entry into the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, provided the driver is in the top 30 in points and has attempted to qualify for each race. Drivers who win two Dash 4 Cash bonuses are also all but guaranteed a Chase berth.
The first round, called the Round of 12, consists of the races at Kentucky, Dover and Charlotte. All drivers will start with their points adjusted to 2,000, with three additional bonus points added to their total for each win in the first 26 races. If a driver wins a race in the Round of 12, the driver automatically advances to the next round. The remaining available positions (1-8) that have not been filled by wins will be filled on points.
Each driver who advances to the Round of 8 (Kansas, Texas, Phoenix) then will have their points reset to 3,000. Drivers who win a race in the Round of 8 automatically advance to the Championship 4. The remaining available positions (1-4) that have not been filled by wins will be filled on points.
The four drivers who advance to the Championship 4 at Homestead will have their points reset to 4,000. The highest finishing Championship 4 driver will be crowned the NASCAR XFINITY Series champion.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

NASCAR 2016 101: Camping World Truck Series Chase

credit: NASCAR Media
Over the next few days, take a look at the “innovations” announced by NASCAR for the 2016 season. Next: the Truck Series Chase format.

Press release from NASCAR – January 19:
The seven-race NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase will begin at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 24. It will feature eight drivers and two elimination rounds, with four drivers competing in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A win in the first 16 races all but guarantees a driver entry into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, provided that the driver is in the Top 30 in points and has attempted to qualify for each race.
The first round, called the Round of 8, consists of the races at New Hampshire, Las Vegas, and Talladega. All drivers will have their points adjusted to 2,000, with three additional bonus points added to their total for each win in the first 16 races. If a driver wins a race in the Round of 8, the driver automatically advances to the next round. The remaining available positions (1-6) that have not been filled by wins will be filled on points.
Each driver who advances to the Round of 6 (Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix) then will have their points reset to 3,000. Drivers who win a race in the Round of 6 automatically advance to the Championship 4. The remaining available positions (1-4) that have not been filled by wins will be filled on points.
The four drivers who advance to the Championship 4 at Homestead will have their points reset to 4,000. The highest finishing Championship 4 driver will win the championship.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

NASCAR 2016 101: Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash races

credit: NASCAR Media
Over the next few days, take a look at the “innovations” announced by NASCAR for the 2016 season. Next: the new Dash 4 Cash format for the Xfinity Series.

Press release from NASCAR – January 19:

The NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash will be comprised of Two Heats and a Main at four tracks: Bristol Motor Speedway (April 16), Richmond International Raceway (April 23), Dover International Speedway (May 14) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 23).
Qualifying for each Dash 4 Cash event will set the 40-car field and the starting positions for the Two Heats with the fastest qualifier awarded the Coors Light Pole Award. Odd-numbered qualifiers (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) will start in the first Heat in respective order, while even-numbered qualifiers (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.) will start the second Heat in respective order.
The Two Heats will set the starting positions for the Main with the top two NASCAR XFINITY Series regulars in each Heat becoming eligible for the Dash 4 Cash bonus. The highest finishing driver among the four Dash 4 Cash eligible drivers will be awarded a $100,000 bonus. If any driver wins two of the four Dash 4 Cash bonuses available, he/she is all but guaranteed a spot in the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase. In short, two Dash 4 Cash bonuses are equivalent to one race win in the new NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase format. 
Drivers must have declared to earn NASCAR XFINITY Series points in order to be eligible for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash bonus.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Ed Carpenter Racing returns to IndyCar in 2016

credit: Ed Carpenter Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing (ECR) will return to Verizon IndyCar Series competition in 2016 as the reorganization of CFH Racing takes place. The team remains headquartered in its current location at 1255 Main Street in Speedway, Indiana. Ed Carpenter, Tony George and Stuart Reed are the owners of ECR.

"After competing for a year as CFH Racing, we will be returning to ECR for 2016 and beyond," said Carpenter. "While we had a great year as CFH Racing, we have had some partnership changes within the organization and it makes the most sense to return to ECR. I am proud of what we have accomplished as a team since we started in 2012 and look forward to building upon that success for another exciting Verizon IndyCar Series season."

ECR and Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing (SFHR) combined their single-car teams in August of 2014 to create CFH Racing. During their 2015 campaign, CFH won two races with Josef Newgarden, collected an additional three podium finishes and earned a pole.

SFHR's Wink Hartman will focus to his company Hartman Oil, based in Wichita, Kansas. Sarah Fisher and her husband Andy O'Gara will focus on her new business venture, Speedway Indoor Karting, with the new 60,000-square-foot facility, also located on Main St., set to open on April 1. Fisher will also continue to assist ECR with sponsorship development and work with existing team partners.

"It's important for IndyCar to have strong entries on grid and this team needs to be two of them, so I will do what I can to help them with business developments and continue with solutions for our current partners," said Fisher. "I am lucky to have been an owner in this series for eight years, having incredible memories along the way. Lastly, I am extremely thankful to Wink and Libba Hartman for everything they've done to help us get to where we are today."

Newgarden will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet in 2016, with a special Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka paint scheme for the first four events. Carpenter will drive the No. 20 Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet at the five oval events while continuing to work toward filling the seat of the No. 20 for the road and street course events.

"ECR is in a great position as we head into 2016 and have support from great partners like Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka and Direct Supply,” said Carpenter. “We have been a Chevrolet team from the beginning, so we're excited to continue that relationship and help them win another championship. We have had a very productive off-season and our plans are well underway for a successful year."

"I may never have had the chance to race an Indy car if it was not for Wink Hartman, Libba Hartman, Sarah Fisher and Andy O'Gara,” said Newgarden, who joined SFHR in 2012. “They really were a huge turning point in my career and helped me break into the professional level. Their support was everything and more that a young driver could ask for. Moving forward, I'm extremely excited about 2016 with Ed Carpenter Racing. I enjoy working with Ed Carpenter so much, as both a teammate and a team owner. I look forward to putting 100 percent into the season and trying to achieve greater and bigger results. With the entire ECR team and the Chevy partnership we have, I feel there is absolutely nothing that can stand in our way from topping our very promising season in 2015." 

The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season goes green Sunday, March 13 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Keep up with the action at www.indycar.com.

Quotes and information in this piece provided by Ed Carpenter Racing.

NASCAR 2016 101: The Caution Clock

credit: NASCAR Media
Over the next few days, take a look at the “innovations” announced by NASCAR for the 2016 season. First up: the Caution Clock for the Camping World Truck Series.

Press release from NASCAR – January 19:
A Caution Clock will be utilized in each NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event (except for Eldora Speedway). The clock will be set to 20 minutes and triggered at the start of each green-flag run during race events. When the clock counts down to zero, a caution flag then will be displayed and no beneficiary will be awarded. A caution occurring before time expires resets the clock when the subsequent green flag is displayed and the first truck a lap down will be the beneficiary.
The caution clock will be turned off with 20 laps to go at all events in the series, with the exception of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Pocono Raceway, where the clock will be turned off with 10 laps remaining.