In her new video for sponsor Coca Cola, Danica Patrick talks about her thoughts about social media and internet. Watch as she shares her story and her thoughts on how to #MakeItHappy, the new campaign from Coca Cola.
Following more than a year of extensive collaboration with stakeholders throughout the industry, and with a keen eye towards the future, NASCAR has finalized and delivered to teams the 2015 racing package for all three national series.
“This race package represents a lot of hard work by NASCAR, the race teams, the drivers, our manufacturer partners and Goodyear,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR senior vice president of innovation and racing development. “We’ve remained committed to constantly looking at our racing, and the work that has been done has been aimed at getting a rules package delivered to the race teams as early as possible.”
Highlighted in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series changes for 2015 are nearly 60 enhancements, including adjustments to the power train, aerodynamics and chassis that are designed to work in concert to deliver drivers more flexibility and teams more adjustability. Fans are expected to benefit from closer racing and more opportunities for drivers to pass on the track.
“We have had fantastic racing so far in 2014,” Stefanyshyn said. “We remain committed to constantly looking to improve it. Our fans deserve it and our industry is pushing for it. That will not stop with the 2015 package; the development will continue over many years to come.”
NASCAR will institute a shorter rear spoiler in its 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series package, which also includes a reduction of engine power, lower rear differential gear ratios and an optional driver adjustable track bar.
Based on the success of group qualifying formats, which were introduced in 2014 for all national series, NASCAR also announced that group qualifying will be utilized for the first time for the Daytona 500.
Additional changes for the 2015 rules include the elimination of team-facilitated private testing, with race teams being instead invited to participate in NASCAR / Goodyear tests throughout the season. NASCAR also will work alongside Goodyear to introduce rain tires should conditions warrant during road course events in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2015.
“We’re very pleased with the rules package and what it will do for our racing,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “We’re confident it will continue to generate great racing, along with continuous safety improvements.
“The work alongside our industry has been unprecedented. We’ve had great dialogue with our drivers and teams, our manufacturers and Goodyear, allowing us to build greater efficiencies into the 2015 rules package. We’ve met our goal of delivering rules to teams with time to prepare for next season and we’re seeing the benefits of an updated process for developing our rules paying dividends. It will only continue to improve.”
A week after celebrating its Verizon IndyCar Series driver and entrant championships in Southern California, Team Penske principals marked the organization’s 400th victory in all forms of motorsports in the stock car race at Richmond, Va (win via Brad Keselowski).
“For me it’s a special time,” team owner Roger Penske said. “I think we said that when we moved everybody under one roof (in Mooresville, N.C.), where we could cross-pollenate. We moved people from NASCAR to INDYCAR and vice versa, even over-the-wall guys. That’s been an opportunity.”
Penske entered Indy car competition in 1968, which was preceded by the Trans-Am Series (1967) and the SCCA Can-Am Series and United States Road Racing Championship (1966). It entered NASCAR competition in 1972. The team also competed in Formula One from 1974-76 and the American Le Mans Series from 2005-09.
Team Penske, which earned five Verizon IndyCar Series victories this season (three by series champion Will Power, one each by Helio Castroneves and Juan Pablo Montoya) has the most IndyCar Series wins (55) since the 2004 season. Chip Ganassi Racing has 52. Team Penske is the only team with a victory in each of those seasons.
Ryan Briscoe earned Team Penske’s 300th win in June 2008 at the Milwaukee Mile. Power wrapped up the 13th Indy car championship for Team Penske at Auto Club Speedway on Aug. 30.
Source: IndyCar PR
Photo: IndyCar Media
With his win at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night, Kasey Kahne became the 13th winner of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season – and the 13th member of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Matt Kenseth finished second at Atlanta, and though winless, has accumulated enough points throughout the regular season to guarantee himself a spot in the Chase.
Fourteen Chase spots are now taken, assuming those 14 drivers all attempt to qualify at Richmond.
Two berths remain.
Here are the Chase clinch scenarios for Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway, the regular season finale (7:30 p.m. ET on ABC, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
If there is a repeat winner, three winless drivers would make the Chase – one of which would be Kenseth. If there is a new winner, two winless drivers would make the Chase – one would be Kenseth (if Kenseth is not the new winner).
Any current winless driver who wins at Richmond, and is in the top 30 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver points standings, clinches a spot in the Chase.
Only Ryan Newman controls his own destiny, no matter who wins at Richmond. If there is a repeat 2014 winner (or a Kenseth victory), Newman is guaranteed a spot in the Chase if he finishes 41st or better; or 42nd with at least one lap led; or 43rd and the most laps led. If there is a new winner (that is not Kenseth), Newman is guaranteed a Chase spot with a finish of 18th or better; 19th and at least one lap led; or 20th and the most laps led.
Greg Biffle controls his own destiny if there is a repeat winner. If there is a repeat 2014 winner (or if Kenseth or Newman win), Biffle is guaranteed a spot in the Chase if he finishes 22nd or better; or 23rd with at least one lap led; or 24th and the most laps led. If there is a new winner (that is not Kenseth or Newman), Biffle needs to out-point Newman by 19 points and stay ahead of Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson.
Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson are the only other two drivers who can clinch a spot in the Chase without a victory.
The following drivers can only make the Chase with a win at Richmond (and a top-30 spot in the standings): Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett, David Gilliland, David Ragan and Cole Whitt.
NASCAR’s 10-race postseason kicks off Sept. 14 at Chicagoland Speedway (2 p.m. ET).
Source: NASCAR PR
Just one day after Jeff Gordon grabbed the checkered flag in the Pure Michigan 400, NASCAR and teams were back testing on the two-mile Michigan International Speedway, gathering crucial data for the development of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rules package.
Six different configurations were evaluated throughout the test.
“Our main goal is to harvest data today to help refine the 2015 package,” said Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR vice president of innovation and racing development. “We are listening to our fans, they have said they like a lot of passing, side-by-side racing and lead changes. That is what we are aiming to accomplish with these tests.”
Throughout today’s test, focus was on aerodynamics and power optimization.
“We learned a lot today and were able to test a lot of our ideas,” Stefanyshyn said. “The race teams have shared their goals of having the new rules package in September, so that is one of the reasons we are here during the season at Michigan International Speedway working on our 2015 package.”
Ten teams were onsite throughout the day running through all six configurations.
“We are looking at all the different options today and I am glad we are doing it,” said Kasey Kahne, driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. “It is neat that NASCAR has stepped up and is trying to find ways to improve.
More than 160 laps were turned at Michigan by each team. Data will be taken back to the Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina to be analyzed and modeled as NASCAR finalizes its 2015 rules package for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Photo: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images
Source: NASCAR PR
Mexican driver Carlos Contreras remained close to finish in the top 10 at the Children’s Hospital 200, race No. 22 of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season and final competition on road courses this season, circled 90 laps (326,981 Km / 203.22 miles) on the circuit of 3,633 km / 2,258 miles of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Contreras climbed as high as the fifth position, but a contact on the final restart complicated things, to finish at position 21.
“We arrived at Mid-Ohio, had never raced here. Truth is one, amazing, beautiful track I loved the track! I think all the tracks I’ve driven in my life, was the most beautiful. Actually, from Turn 4 through 9 Curve is a very technical track, much handling, a lot of patience with ups and downs and the fans are very dedicated, really was amazing the environment. ” said Contreras.
“We were rolling pretty good. We made an early stop, we separated from the rest according to the strategy, which is quite noticed and were among the top 15 throughout the race. In fact, we were rolling in fifth with 25 laps to go. The car was fine, with some brake problems, but used a different strategy, “said the first Hispanic driver in NASCAR national series.
“In the last restart, missing 15 laps got us to change tires, was a very good team decision and went with new tires in position 12. Told the team ‘we are all in’. The Top-10 finish / Top-5 was really easy, because they had old tires at the front and we had new ones. Unfortunately on the restart they all stopped and as always, everyone was respected. However, the 40 car (Matt DiBenedetto) almost stopped me, did not even touch the brake. It hit me very hard, I destroyed the back, the whole rear bumper. With this, I hit the (auto) 43 (Dakoda Armstrong) and in the process the entire front of my car and bent the radiator was damaged, ” said Contreras.
“This took us to lose the race, we had to pit because I saw nothing, we had to fix the hood. We went out again with a lap down and the temperature began to climb, the engine began to warm horrible.It was 330 degrees engine temperature and oil temperature! So we had to go again. Spoiled the race with two laps left behind, “said Contreras, upset.
“These are sad races. The effort we left it on the track. The Top-10 finish we left it on the track. We have a Top-10 finish in the heart, but not in the actual result. The truth is that we are angry and sad, but also glad we could demonstrate our performance” concluded Contreras.
In its continued efforts to evolve the safety of its sport, NASCAR announced Friday that it will add a rule that addresses on-track incidents as part of its race procedures. The rule, listed as Section 9-16, will be an addendum to the NASCAR rule book and will apply to all of its racing series, effective immediately.
Section 9-16 On-Track Incident Procedure
During an Event, if a racecar is involved in an on-track incident and/or is stopped on or near the racing surface and unable to continue to make forward progress, unless extenuating emergency conditions exist with the racecar (i.e. fire, smoke in cockpit, etc.) the driver should take the following steps:
· Shut off electrical power and, if driver is uninjured, lower window net
· Do not loosen, disconnect or remove any driver personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
· After being directed to exit the racecar, the driver should proceed to either the ambulance, other vehicle, or as otherwise directed by safety personnel or a NASCAR/Track Official
· At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach any portion of the racing surface or apron
· At no time should a driver or crew member(s) approach another moving vehicle
All vehicles not involved in the incident or that are able to continue afterwards should slow down to a cautious speed as outlined in Section 10-4 (Yellow Flag), use extreme care as they approach an incident scene, and follow any directions given by safety personnel or NASCAR/Track Officials. Cars in line behind the safety car should not weave or otherwise stray from the line in the vicinity of the incident.
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition and racing development, says the rule is “part of the evolution of NASCAR’s rules and regulations.”
“Throughout the history of our sport, NASCAR has reviewed and analyzed situations and occurrences that take place not just in NASCAR racing but also throughout all motorsports and other sports,” said Pemberton. “When we believe we can do something to make our sport safer and better for the competitors and others involved in the competition environment, we react quickly. Safety always has been priority number one at NASCAR.”
As with other behavioral infractions, NASCAR will handle each instance separately when assessing potential penalties
Photo: Getty Images via NASCAR
Mexican driver Carlos Contreras wants to recover from a disappointing performance at Watkins Glen, where he had to retire due to mechanical problems. For Contreras it will be his third NASCAR Nationwide Series start of the year, now at Mid-Ohio. It will be his 97th start in a NASCAR sanctioned race. Contreras aims for a Top 10 finish in a race that will only count with Nationwide regulars, as Cup drivers who usually race in the series are at Michigan for the Cup race.
“Well, no, we have never been to Mid-Ohio (to compete). It is the first time I am going to run on that track. Once I accompanied my brother Enrique there, when he ran in Indy Lights, but I don’t know the course. I know that NASCAR began last year with the first race of the Nationwide Series there so many drivers already know the track. It looks to be a fun track, a track not as fast as Watkins Glen, a driver over car track. So I have faith that we will get a good result and I really want to make it longer weekend to be there and get us rolling the thorn that is hurting us after Watkins Glen,” said the driver of the No. 44 Camry 38 Special / Ingersoll Rand / Voli / Global Aircraft Solutions.
In a battle between two drivers with everything on the line, AJ Allmendinger held off Marcos Ambrose in breathtaking fashion to win Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at the Glen and claim an almost certain spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
In the closing laps, Allmendinger and Ambrose bumped each other, leaned on each other, raced each other side-by-side through the esses without wrecking—astoundingly—and swapped the lead before Allmendinger secured his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory with a pass in Turn 6 with just over one lap left.
The 2.45-mile road course at Watkins Glen International gave both drivers their best chance to qualify for the Chase, and it was Allmendinger who prevailed in a two-lap battle that that was a long-time coming, thanks to three red-flag periods needed to repair safety barriers at the track.
Kurt Busch ran third, hoping during the final two laps that Ambrose and Allmendinger would take their aggression over the line and give him a chance to win. Rookie Kyle Larson kept his Chase hopes alive with a fourth-place run, and Carl Edwards came home fifth.
Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Matt Kenseth and Brian Vickers completed the top 10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 11th and took the series lead from pole winner Jeff Gordon, who ran 34th after losing four laps while his team diagnosed and repaired an electrical-system failure.
On the next-to-last lap, Allmendinger controlled the restart and held the lead through Turn 1, but Ambrose applied pressure up through the esses, gained ground when Allmendinger ran wide in the bus stop chicane and got past the No. 47 JTG/Daugherty Chevrolet after setting up a pass with a tap at the exit from the bus stop.
But Allmendinger stayed to Ambrose’s outside through Turn 5 and leaned on the No. 9 Ford through Turn 6, gapping Ambrose down the front straight and pulling away for the win.
“Yeah, I mean I knew our car was slick on restarts on the tires, and I knew Marcos was going to try to move me out of the way if he had the opportunity,” Allmendinger said. “To his credit, he didn’t wreck me. He just moved me like he should have. I went down into the next corner and leaned on him a little bit to see if I could get a gap and get them racing behind me.
“I knew if I could just get a three- or four-car-length gap, they weren’t going to get back to me. That was just a fun race. Thanks to the fans for enduring the red flags, the track workers for putting the track back together a couple of times. Everybody at home, if you didn’t love that you are not a fan of racing.”
Despite the exchange of the lead on the 89th of 90 laps, Ambrose felt the race may have been decided on the previous restart on Lap 86, when Ambrose took the lead after a side-by-side race through the esses only to lose it when Allmendinger out braked him into Turn 1 before two separate incidents involving Denny Hamlin and Alex Kennedy caused the sixth caution of the afternoon.
“I slid coming off Turn 11 after I got the lead (on Lap 86), and he was able to get it back before the caution dropped,” Ambrose said. “That was probably the difference between winning and losing the race right there.
“If I could have held the lead when the caution came out, I would have probably had the advantage on the restart and been able to fend him off. But that’s just racing. It’s what it is, what it’s all about. You try to land him on a restart, take a couple of chances. I’m pleased we got through the S’s side by side without wrecking the whole field, because it could have easily happened out there.”
The final few laps were worth the wait, but the wait was longer than anyone might have anticipated.
A violent crash on Lap 56 near the exit from the Carousel (Turn 5) halted the action for an extended period, as track workers made repairs to severely damaged Armco barriers between Turns 5 and 6.
Destroyed in the wreck were the No. 31 Chevrolet of Ryan Newman, which turned sideways and smashed into the guard rail to the right of the racing surface, and the No. 95 Ford of Michael McDowell, which plowed into Newman’s car as it rebounded from the barrier and backed hard into the guard rail on the left side of the course.
Newman was running behind Biffle right before the crash.
“From my standpoint, Biffle jumped the curb and hit the splitter or something up on the curb and got out and got across the grass,” Newman said. “And I probably could have given him a little bit more (room), but I tried to time it so I could shoot past, but he slowed down when he got back on the race track.”
Newman shot across the track into the barrier as he was trying to avoid Biffle. McDowell, on the other hand, hand no chance to avoid Newman’s Chevy.
“I’m not sure what happened,” McDowell said. “I saw the 16 (Biffle) get wide and the 31 (Newman) come back across the track. I didn’t have time to adjust or move. I tried not to hit Ryan in the door there. That was pretty much it. I was just along for the ride.”
The stoppage lasted more than 81 minutes, and after pit stops under caution when the race resumed, Allmendinger passed Edwards for the top spot on Lap 61. He stayed out front, maintaining a lead of more than 1.5 seconds over Ambrose, who moved into second place on Lap 66.
And then came the win.
“This is what I live for—this is all I talk about,” Allmendinger said. “I don’t want to hear that AJ might be the next first-time winner—I’m tired of hearing that.”
On Sunday, Allmendinger made sure he won’t ever hear those words again.
Source: NASCAR PR
Photo: JERRY MARKLAND/GETTY IMAGES
Kenzie Ruston comes into the Bully Hill Vineyards 125 with an additional spring in her step. Last week, Ruston raised one of her own NASCAR records, finishing second at Iowa Speedway, with that finish Ruston remains the highest finishing female in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event. “It was a great run in Iowa,” said Ruston. “Second place is always a tough pill to swallow, but as the week goes on you realize it was a great run, good for the team, especially when we started sixteenth. This week is another opportunity to go out and have a strong run and hopefully end up in Victory Lane on Friday.”
“I’m very excited about having Bully Hill Vineyards as our sponsor this weekend,” added Ruston. “Bully Hill has been involved in NASCAR for a long time, and it was a tremendous honor when I got the phone call a few months ago that they were interested in partnering for this race.”
“Watkins Glen will be a unique challenge for everyone. We’ve never been here before with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, so most everyone will be seeing the track for the first time. We only have two hours and forty minutes of practice, so everyone has to figure it out pretty quick.” finished Kenzie.
Ruston will be driving a new chassis to the Ben Kennedy Racing team, a purpose built road course car, which Crew Chief Mike Fritts hopes will take the team to their first victory of 2014.
Source: Ben Kennedy Racing PR
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