Tidbits

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12.13.17: After months of speculation with Kurt Busch as a free agent it was announced yesterday that the driver will remain at Stewart-Haas Racing driving No. 41 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, and sponsored by Monster Energy. Busch starts the 2018 season as the defending winner of the Daytona 500.

12.12.17: A judge has ruled that the family of Kevin Ward Jr. can pursue claims against Tony Stewart relating to Ward’s death in August 2014 after he was struck by Stewart’s race car during an event. The judge ruled the waiver which was signed by Ward as unenforceable because the race would be considered recreational under New York law.

Austin Dillon and his bride cut the wedding cake (via Twitter)

12.10.17: NASCAR driver Austin Dillon and his fiance Whitney Ward were married on Saturday at the Childress Vineyards in Lexington, North Carolina (owned by Dillon’s grandfather, Richard Childress).

12.09.17: The National Motorsports Press Association has announced its Hall of Fame inductees for the Class of 2018. NASCAR legends Donnie Allison, Terry Labonte, Jake Elder and Buddy Parrott will be honoured January 21 at ceremonies in Charlotte, North Carolina.

12.09.17: Jack Ingram continues to progress in his recovery from a car accident last weekend. The latest update was posted last night by his family: “We couldn’t be happier to tell you that Jack is defying odds and making leaps and bounds in the recovery zone. He’s been breathing on his own without the ventilator for hours at a time, sitting up, and communicating (as best he can) with family members. He even looked out the window and acknowledged the snow (for those of you not in WNC, we’re getting loads snow right now). His vitals look great, and his will to get to the next level of recovery is pretty amazing. Once is he able to go up to 24 hours without the ventilator for assistance, he can move to an actual room (and out of ICU).” (for more, see original post on this page dated 12.05.17)

12.08.17: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) will switch to Chevrolet next season after forming an alliance with Richard Childress Racing (RCR), a longtime supporter of the Bowtie brand. As part of the RCR deal, RPM will share shop space at RCR. RPM heads into 2018 as a single-car operation with Bubba Wallace set to pilot the iconic No. 43.

12.07.17: Scotia Speedworld management has announced that driver meetings to plan for the 2018 season are set for December 13 and 14 at the Quality Inn Hotel located next to the track. The schedule for Wednesday is Bandolero cars at 6:00 pm, Legend cars at 7:00 pm and Sportsman cars at 8:00 pm. Thursday’s schedule sees Lightning cars at 6:00 pm and Thunder cars at 7:00 pm. All drivers are encouraged to attend.

12.07.17 [update]: Jack Ingram remains in the ICU recovering from his injuries. According to his daughter, the family is “cautiously optimistic”. Ingram is on a breathing apparatus and responsive as sedation has been lifted. 12.05.17: Jack Ingram, NASCAR’s ‘Iron Man’ has been seriously injured in a car accident near his home in Ashville, North Carolina. Ingram and two friends were on their way to breakfast Sunday when his vehicle was struck in the driver’s door area by another vehicle. Ingram, 80, is in the ICU with multiple injuries including a collapsed lung, broken ribs, and a spleen injury which required surgery. A family statement says they are by his side and hopeful. Ingram’s passengers and the driver of the other vehicle all escaped without serious injury. Ingram is the 1982 and 1985 champion of what is now known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2014.

12.04.17: Tony Leonard has joined the Napa Sportsman Series as its head tech official. The series raced exclusively at Riverside International Speedway in 2017; there is no word yet about the 2018 schedule dates.

12.01.17: Bubba Pollard led Snowball Derby practice Thursday at Five Flags Speedway in Florida with a lap of 16.552 in the final of three sessions. Porters Lake’s Cole Butcher was P10 in the first practice (16.941), P8 in the second practice (16.864) and P23 in the final practice (16.965). Cassius Clark, in King Racing’s No. 13, was P32 in the first session (18.308), P21 in the second session (17.033), and P33 in the final session (17.076). Fifty-two cars made laps during which time 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter wrecked hard, bending the clip on his car, and ending his bid at the Snowball Derby. Friday sees two more practice sessions and then qualifying time trials at 6 p.m. ET (7 p.m. AT).

11.30.17: A 4.1 earthquake was reported near Dover International Speedway in Delaware late Thursday afternoon. Management of the facility says there is no visible damage and that a full and thorough evaluation of the property will be conducted Friday.

11.27.17: The Snowball Derby qualifying draw took place at Five Flags Speedway last night with 56 teams participating. Pictou King Racing No. 13 with Maine’s Cassius Clark behind the wheel will roll off 37th and Porter’s Lake’s Cole Butcher 48th. The two-lap session goes Friday evening and will determine the cars that will automatically transfer to Sunday’s main event as well as those that will need to run the Last Chance race on Friday. If you can’t be at the track you can catch all the action online at Speed51 TV, offering PPV coverage all weekend long.

11.27.17: It’s Snowball Derby week in Pensacola, Florida for which the entry list is currently 67 strong and includes Porter’s Lake, NS’s Cole Butcher along with many short track standouts (Augie Grill, Ben Rowe, Christian Eckes, Brand McReynolds, Ty Majeski and more) and a NASCAR stars including Kyle Busch and John Hunter Nemechek. While they are not shown on the entry list, Pictou NS’s King Racing with driver Cassius Clark are also expected to be at the big show that runs from Wednesday to Sunday and for those who won’t be there, will be broadcast online PPV at speedtv.com.

11.24.17: Tony Stewart is engaged. The self-proclaimed bachelor for life has proposed to girlfriend Penelope Jimenez. Stewart posted the news Thursday evening on Twitter >>>

11.23.17: Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving today to all of our readers in the U.S. With the majority of those folks gearing up for and celebrating a four-day weekend racing news is on the back burner this week but it will ramp up early next week with the Moster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion’s Week on deck in Las Vegas.

11.23.17: During my career in motorsports which spans over three decades now I was fortunate to meet Allen Bestwick, at the time a turn reporter for the Motor Racing Network. Since then Allen has moved into television broadcasting and last year was the lead for ABC’s broadcast of the Indianapolis 500. Not only is he the consummate professional but a truly good person so I was pleased to find this article published yesterday which not only tells the story of his career but gives the reader some insight into how much work it takes to be a good sports broadcaster.

11.22.17: CONGRATS to NASCAR driver Ty Dillon and his wife Haley on the birth of their first child Tuesday. Oakley Ray Dillon weighed in at nine pounds eight ounces and is a great-granddaughter of legendary NASCAR team owner Richard Childress.

11.20.17: Carl Edwards resurfaced this past Saturday in St. Louis to accept a sportsmanship award from Maryville University. The appearance came one year after Edwards was in Homestead battling for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title; with 10 laps to go Edwards and Joey Logano got together and Edwards wrecked, losing his championship bid. Nonetheless, he went to Logano’s pit box and apologized to the crew chief – all caught by the TV cameras. It is the handshake that won him the sportsmanship award this past weekend. Other than a few appearances at NASCAR races early this season Edwards has been absent and self-admittedly didn’t miss the track at all – until last week when he started thinking it might be fun to be at Homestead in the heat of the battle and that he is finally at a point when that would be fun. Edwards was asked about the possibility of returning to his roots in dirt track racing, replying he has a “feeling” that might happen.

11.18.17: NASCAR arranged a photo op at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Friday for two veterans who will retire after Sunday’s race…

Matt Kenseth (left) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. pose with their throwback-themed race cars, both reflective of the retiring drviers early careers. (NASCAR via Getty Images)

11.17.17: UPDATE (7 P.M.) – The King Racing hauler carrying No. 13 to Hickory, North Carolina has cleared the border and is en route. According to a FB post by Andrew Hicken ” The 13 is free! Might not get a lap of practice but we will be racing.” >>> ORIGINAL POST >>> There may be a hitch in the giddy-up for King Racing and their entry in Saturday’s PASS South race at Hickory Motor Speedway. According to reports on social media published by driver Cassius Clark, the team hauler has been tied up at the Houlton, Maine border since Tuesday afternoon. According to the report, they have filled out numerous documents in order to meet the requirements of the border officials but have yet to be successful. The lingering issue seems to be regarding EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) compliance and temporarily importing a race car for competition. King Racing has been crossing the border to compete for more than 40 years and an estimated 10 times this year – without issue. With a 20-hour drive ahead after they leave Houlton the team will be hard-pressed to get to Hickory by Saturday’s posted race time. Clark, along with car chief Andrew Hicken and team owner Rollie MacDonald are in Hickory – waiting.

11.14.17: Good luck to three teams with Maritime connections that are on the entry list for this weekends PASS South race at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Cole Butcher, from Porter’s Lake, will enter driving a car out of the NC-based Wilson Racing, Pictou’s King Racing will make the long haul with Maine’s Cassius Clark set to pilot No. 13, and Dartmouth’s Nicholas Naugle has also made the 25-hour haul.

11.11.17: Barney Visser, the team owner of Furniture Row Racing which fields Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 78,  is recovering from a heart attack suffered November 4. Visser underwent bypass surgery earlier this week but – even with his driver a favourite to win the title- will be forced to miss the last two races of the year at Phoenix and Hoemstead due to his recovery.

11.10.17: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night and there was lots of laughing…Video clips follow…

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11.07.17: CONGRATS to Kyle Larson and Katelyn Swett who are expecting their second child next May. They posted a photo with three-year-old Owen on social media to share the news >>>

11.05.17: Matt Kenseth is apparently stepping away from NASCAR at the end of this season. The veteran driver learned earlier this year that he would be replaced by Erik Jones in the No. 20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018. Since then he’s talked to a couple owners but not seriously. He is not calling his decision retirement, just that he’s taking some time off. Kenseth, 45, has been racing in the Cup Series for 18 seasons and is the 2003 series champion. Kenseth says he’s not made any plans other than spending more time at home, particularly in anticipation of the impending birth of his fifth child. Kenseth’s announcement is the latest in a series of veteran drivers leaving NASCAR’s top division over the past couple seasons including Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

11.04.17: Chase Elliott missed qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway yesterday after his car did not make it through NASCAR’s pre-qualifying inspection in time to get on track for the session. Six others, including Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth, also missed qualifying because their cars didn’t make it through inspection in time. Drivers who do not attempt qualifying are relegated to the rear of the field to start the race.

11.02.17: In the just plain cool department…Love this photo of two motorsports legends taken at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas yesterday >>>

10.31.17: As the 2017 Kulwicki Driver Development Program draws to a close on Tuesday, Cole Butcher from Porter’s Lake has posted a note of appreciation as one of the seven finalists…It was an absolute honour to have the opportunity to represent and keep Alan Kulwicki’s legacy alive this season. While tomorrow marks the end of the 2017 Kulwicki Driver Development Program, our work will not end here. KDDP will continue to be a part of my racing for years to come. A big thank you to everyone involved. I look forward to seeing you all to celebrate in December. Until then, we’ll be getting ready to head to Hickory, North Carolina for the Mega Meltdown 300 and Pensacola, Florida for the Snowball Derby with Wilson Motorsports. The final finishing order for the KDDP will be announced at the banquet December 14 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

10.29.17: Denny Hamlin has issued an apology to fans for today’s run-in with Chase Elliott at Martinsville. Hamlin posted the following statement on his Twitter account, a statement that when you do the math – led to much head-scratching…

 

10.26.17: After a 20-year hiatus from Richard Childress Racing (RCR), Andy Petree has returned to the team in an advisory role. Petree has held many roles in NASCAR in his 30-year career including two-time championship crew chief (for Dale Earnhardt with RCR), team owner, driver, and most recently as an analyst for Fox Sports.

10.24.17: The annual rules meeting for Petty International Raceway is set for Sunday, November 19 and will be held at the Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in Petitcodiac, NB. Rules that will govern the 2018 season, including tire rules, will be discussed. Agenda suggestions should be sent in advance to craig@pettyraceway.com.

10.23.17: Matt Kenseth was parked in Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race after one too many crewmembers went over the wall to work on his car, effectively ending Kenseth’s hopes to advance to the Round of Eight, and especially meaningful since the veteran driver is not returning to the 20 car next year. Kenseth spoke about the penalty after exiting the car: “I don’t know what any of the rules are. Seems like we got a lot of stuff that kind of gets, you know, changed so often I honestly can’t keep up with it. My head kind of spins from putting lugnuts out of pit boxes to one too many guys over the wall, you’re not allowed to race anymore. I just don’t get it to be honest with you. I really don’t have a lot good to say right now. I’m more than disappointed.”

10.23.17: The victory at Kansas Speedway on Sunday was an emotional one for Martin Truex, Jr.’s No. 78 team…Jim Watson, a fabricator for the team, died Saturday evening after having a heart attack while go-karting with other members of the crew in Kansas City; he was 55.

10.22.17: Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced earlier this week that he and his wife Amy are expecting their first child, a baby girl. Jr. spoke about the experience during a press junket at Kansas Speedway on Saturday…

10.21.17: Maine’s Austin Theriault clinched the 2017 ARCA title in spite of a 25th-place finish last night at Kansas Speedway. Theriault and the rest of his No. 52 Ken Schrader racing team will be honoured at the series annual awards banquet on December 9. Michael Self won the Kansas race; his first series victory.

10.19.17: Four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams were at Charlotte Motor Speedway Wednesday to test the new ‘roval’ – a combo road course/ oval configuration – that will be used for next year’s Bank of America 500. The test got mixed reactions ranging from “interesting” to “exciting” to “slow”.

10.17.17:  Martin Truex Jr. and long-time girlfriend Sherry Pollex have been voted the third quarter winners of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Pocono Spirit Award. The Spirit Award recognizes character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship, and contributions to motorsports. The couple was nominated for their “Drive for Teal & Gold” campaign to raise awareness and funds for ovarian and childhood cancer. They received 45 percent of the vote. Also receiving votes were the NASCAR Foundation, Joey Logano and nominated as a group was Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne.

10.16.17: Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife Amy are expecting their first child, a baby girl. Jr. made the announcement Monday via social media…

10.12.17: When Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes his final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Martinsville Speedway on October 29, a familiar face will lead him and the rest of the field to the green flag. Earnhardt’s wife, Amy, will serve as the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the First Data 500. “I was very excited when the track approached me about driving the pace car,” she said. “Martinsville is one of Dale’s favorite tracks and seeing how happy he and the team were in Victory Lane in 2014 is something I’ll never forget. I appreciate the track letting me be a small part of Dale’s last race at a place that means so much to him.”

10.11.17: A cool post by Mark Martin on his Twitter account last night; the NASCAR legend was in Nova Scotia this past July for the IWK 250 at Riverside International Speedway…

10.10.17: Brad Keselowski will run a special scheme this weekend in the Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway to honor Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Keselowski drove for Earnhardt, Jr in late 2007 and the full 2008 XFINITY Series season in the #88, sponsored by the U.S. Navy. This Miller Lite scheme resembles that car. Keselowski reflects on the tribute car and his relationship with Dale Jr. in a post on his blog.

10.09.17: NASCAR has explained why Jimmie Johnson was not penalized in Sunday’s race when his team tightened lug nuts on the No. 48 outside the pit box – something which NASCAR has routinely issued penalties for when teams complete work outside their pit box…A NASCAR official says they view it as a safety issue and that the penalty ended up being the spots the team lost by stopping to fix the problem (vs a one-lap penalty that NASCAR could have issued).

10.08.17: Dale Earnhardt Jr. will become the 19th member of the Texas Motorsports Hall of Fame on November 4 when he is honoured with the accolade in a ceremony at The Speedway Club at Texas Motor Speedway. Jr’s first career win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series was at the Texas track in 1998 and in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2000.

10.07.17: The start time for Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway has been moved ahead by one hour in hopes of beating the rain forecast for as the remnants of Hurricane Nate move through the area. The green flag is now set to fly at 1:10 p.m. ET (2:10 p.m. AT).

10.01.17: The Loudon Zoning Board of Adjustment voted unanimously Thursday to grant New Hampshire Motor Speedway the variances it needs to hold a three-day country music festival next summer. The country music festival would be promoted by Live Nation, a global entertainment company headquartered in Beverly Hills, Calif. The speedway estimates it would bring 20,000 visitors in August 2018. New Hampshire Motor Speedway General Manager and Executive President David McGrath said at the Aug. 24 meeting that the performers for the festival would be “A-list” and “top-notch” country music acts. There would be four to six acts per day.

09.30.17: Harrison Burton, the 17-year-old son of retired NASCAR racer Jeff Burton, won the NASCAR K&N Series race at Dover yesterday, and in so doing clinched the series championship.

Harrison Burton (NASCAR via Getty Images)

09.26.17: The NASCAR Pinty’s Series will reach a new audience starting in October when the 2017 series races start airing on MAVTV, based in California and reaching 25 million U.S. households. MAVTV is also available in Canada on select cable networks. The 13-race NASCAR Pinty’s Series consists of 12 shows. Nine of the broadcasts will be 60 minutes in length, while three will be 90 minutes long. The shows were produced by Fuel MediaLab and TSN, with events broadcast throughout the season on TSN and RDS2.

09.25.17: Carolinas HealthCare System has announced a charitable commitment from the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation establishing a $2 million endowed chair in support of academic and research efforts at Levine Children’s Hospital. The funds will be designated to create the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation Endowed Chair in Cancer and Blood Disorders.

09.23.17: Austin Theriault picked up his seventh win of the 2017 ARCA Racing Series Friday night at Kentucky Speedway. It was survival of the fittest in a daring four-wide move that included Theriault on a late-race restart and paid off with a win for the Fort Kent, Maine driver. He held off Sheldon Creed and Zane Smith in a green-white-checker finish. The win padded Theriault’s championship point lead unofficially by 405 points with just the series season finale remaining.

09.22.17: Both Jimmie Johnson and Chase Elliott crashed in Friday practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Both Hendrick Motorsports teams went to backup cars with Johnson getting a couple laps of practice, and Elliott no laps, before qualifying. The crashes were oddly similar with both drivers getting their cars into the outside retaining wall in close to the same spot on the track.

09.21.17: After securing his second NASCAR Xfinity Series victory for the Biagi DenBeste Racing team at Talladega Superspeedway, co-owners Bill and Lori DenBeste asked driver Aric Almirola what his favorite color was. After answering that it was is red, Almirola didn’t think anything of it. Little did he know that he would receive a classic Shelby to celebrate his wins. The DenBestes gifted Almirola a 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra CSX 6086, black with a red stripe.

Aric Almirola and son Alex in the 1965 Shelby 427 Cobra CSX 6086 gifted by Bill and Lori DenBeste

09.20.17: Good luck to Antigonish’s Donald Chisholm who will race at Jukasa Motor Speedway in Ontario this Saturday in both the NASCAR Pinty’s Series season finale and the late model support class race.

09.19.17: Chase Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 team has been hit with an L-1 level penalty from NASCAR following last weekends Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. During the post-race inspection, the car was found to be in violation of “modification of components to affect the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle” section of the rule book. As a result, Elliott’s second-place finish was encumbered, crew chief Alan Gustafson was fined $25,000 and suspended for one race, and the team lost 15 driver points and 15 owner points. Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal the penalties.

09.19.17: Leavine Family Racing (LFR) has announced that Kasey Kahne will pilot the No. 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. Kahne will replace Michael McDowell in the car.

Mum with Terry Labonte and Dale Jarrett (May, 1995)

09.14.17: Miss my mom every day but especially so on special occasions like today, her birthday; she would have been 84.

09.11.17: Management of Daytona International Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway, both in Florida and subjected to Hurricane Irma’s wrath on Sunday, have issued statements saying both facilities sustained damage but that it would not impact schedules.

09.10.17: Maine’s Austin Theriault got his sixth ARCA win of the season Saturday night at Salem Speedway in Indiana., leading 140 of 200 en route to the win. The victory stretches Theriault’s series point lead in his Ken Schrader Racing-owned No. 52 as the ARCA season winds down with three races remaining.

09.07.17: With several parts of Florida being evacuated in advance of a potential landfall by Hurrican Irma, management for both Atlanta Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway have opened campground facilities at their tracks to allow evacuees refuge as they wait out the storm.

09.06.17: Hendrick Motorsports and its drivers have launched a relief fund for Hurricane Harvey victims. The goal is to raise $500,000 in two weeks. $200,000 has been pledged to start the fund by the four drivers (Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Chase Elliott) and Hendrick Motorsports. Another $114,900 has been donated since the initiative was launched on Tuesday.

09.05.17: Fort Kent, Maine’s Austin Theriault put an exclamation point on a picture-perfect day for Ken Schrader Racing Monday afternoon at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile dirt. Right after his boss Ken Schrader wheeled his own No. 9 Federated Auto Parts Modified to Victory Lane Theriault steered Schrader’s No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Toyota to the winner’s circle in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards General Tire GRABBER 100, the 64th edition of the Southern Illinois 100. The win is Theriault’s fifth on the ARCA season and pads his point lead with just four races remaining.

09.04.17: A tough postrace inspection for Dale Earnhardt Jr. after Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Earnhardt’s No. 88 had two loose lugnuts which will likely result in the loss of crew chief Greg Ives at this weekend’s race at Richmond. NASCAR typically announces penalties on Tuesday’s.

09.02.17: A new website has been launched at ElliottRacingHeritage.com paying homage to the Elliott family’s racing history, including lots of great info on Bill Elliott and his brothers Ernie and Dan, and Bill’s son, Chase, driver of the No. 24 for Hendrick Motorsports on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

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