Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (15077)

Ragan on Texas

"Texas is usually the first race where everyone’s kind of hit ‘reset’ on their race cars. We got to learn a lot at Atlanta and Las Vegas, and even California and somewhat Phoenix, on where your strengths are and where your weaknesses are. And a lot of teams will have a new build or new body version or some updates they take to Texas. After the off weekend, you have a little bit more time to prepare that race car.

"We’ve identified some areas that we’ve been doing a really good job at, and we’ve identified some areas where we need to improve our race cars some. So, Texas is a new benchmark for us. We’ll bring a new version of the best car that we can build to Texas. Our Ford is going to have our Texas-based partner,, on it once again, and we’re looking to have a good run for them on their home turf.

“Texas Motor Speedway is a very fast race track, and it’s a very cool track since they’ve taken the banking out of Turns 1 and 2 and kind of mixed things up a little bit. I think it will make for really good racing in the years to come as the track ages."

Ragan Texas Stats
22 starts, 2 top-10s, 7 top-15s, 8 top-20s, 1 pole
Best finish: 7th


Click n' Close, the Official Mortgage Provider of NASCAR® and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM), returns as the primary sponsor of Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr and the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 this weekend during the O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

The race weekend is a homecoming for Click n' Close, whose company headquarters are located in Addison, Texas. Wallace Jr will visit the offices on Thursday before preparing for the weekend's event. Click n' Close and RPM announced their partnership last November at the Texas Motor Speedway and Click n' Close gained national headlines after the famed No. 43 and Wallace Jr finished second in this year's Daytona 500. Click n' Close has seen many fans of the sport support Wallace Jr. in his rookie campaign.
"The fan reaction and support of our sponsorship of Richard Petty Motorsports and Bubba Wallace has been awesome," said Wayne Arute, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Click n' Close. "We have a lot of people asking about our fast and secure home mortgage process, visiting our site and just really becoming fans of Click n' Close. We have two great ambassadors in 'The King' Richard Petty and with Bubba. We can't wait to see them again in our home state."

Thanks to its fully digital application process, Click n' Close delivers the fastest mortgage application and approval process on the market today.  The application process takes just eight minutes, and applicants receive their approval within one business day.  On average, home buyers approved through Click n' Close reach the closing table in less than half the time of a traditional mortgage process, and the actual closing takes just 15 minutes to complete. With Click n' Close, home buyers can apply for a mortgage anywhere, anytime, using any device.

"It's been a great story with Click n' Close thus far," said Wallace Jr. "We made this sponsorship announcement at the Texas Motor Speedway in November and then came into the Daytona 500 and had a great story. We'd really love to have a great race this Sunday in front of all their employees and continue what we've built."

The O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 race weekend begins this Friday with practice and qualifying. The race will air Sunday at 2:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1, PRN and SIRIUS/XM NASCAR Radio.

In commemoration of this year’s 70th anniversary of NASCAR, FOX Sports ranked the top-50 NASCAR drivers of all time this week on a special edition of FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB.  For Monday and Tuesday’s “NASCAR RACE HUB Top-50 Drivers” specials, 21 FOX NASCAR broadcasters and driver/crew chief analysts submitted their choices for the top-50 drivers, ranked in order from 1-50. The vote was inspired by the “50 Greatest Drivers” list NASCAR released in 1998, although that list did not rank the drivers in order of votes received.

Votes were tabulated in a manner similar to an Associated Press Top 25 or USA Today Coaches Poll, with each No. 1 pick receiving 50 points, second-place receiving 49 points and so forth. First place went to the driver with the most points, with the 50th-place driver receiving the least points among the top-50 drivers.

NASCAR RACE HUB revealed spots 26-50 on Monday, with the top 25 unveiled on Tuesday.

Below are NASCAR RACE HUB Top-50 Drivers, as well as the FOX NASCAR voters.





Petty, Richard


Johnson, Jimmie


Pearson, David


Gordon, Jeff


Earnhardt, Dale


Waltrip, Darrell


Yarborough, Cale


Allison, Bobby


Stewart, Tony


Petty, Lee


Jarrett, Ned


Busch, Kyle


Thomas, Herb


Wallace, Rusty


Johnson, Junior


Baker, Buck


Elliott, Bill


Harvick, Kevin


Martin, Mark


Flock, Tim


Kenseth, Matt


Isaac, Bobby


Roberts, Fireball


Jarrett, Dale


Weatherly, Joe


Labonte, Terry


White, Rex


Busch, Kurt


Keselowski, Brad


Lorenzen, Fred


Parsons, Benny


Allison, Davey


Labonte, Bobby


Edwards, Carl


Hamlin, Denny


Truex Jr., Martin


Earnhardt Jr., Dale


Baker, Buddy


Rudd, Ricky


Gant, Harry


Kulwicki, Alan


Turner, Curtis


Bonnett, Neil


Ard, Sam


Evans, Richie


Richmond, Tim


Burton, Jeff


Panch, Marvin


Biffle, Greg


Logano, Joey

FOX Sports PR

Richard Childress Racing announced today that AstraZeneca, a global science-based biopharmaceutical company, has partnered with Richard Childress Racing and the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for select races during the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. AstraZeneca's SYMBICORT® (budesonide/formoterol fumarate dihydrate) brand will be featured as primary sponsor on Austin Dillon's No. 3 Chevrolet beginning at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8. SYMBICORT will also be featured as an associate partner for the remainder of the 2018 season.  
"This partnership with SYMBICORT is special to me and my family," Dillon said. "We're looking forward to having its colors on my No. 3 race car for some upcoming races this season. I hope to drive awareness of"
AstraZeneca focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicine. More information about SYMBICORT can be found at
Austin Dillon is a two-time NASCAR Champion, 2017 Coca-Cola 600 winner and 2018 Daytona 500 champion. He is in his fifth full-time season in the Cup Series driving the legendary No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

While everyone throughout the NASCAR world knows that Kyle Busch hails from Las Vegas, his No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will be enjoying a homecoming of its own this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.


Based approximately 35 miles down the road from the 1.5-mile Texas oval is Dallas-based Interstate Batteries, the official battery and founding sponsor of JGR.


Back in 1991, then-Washington Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs found himself in those very same Dallas headquarters, visiting with Interstate Batteries Chairman Norm Miller.

Gibbs was there to make his pitch to have Miller’s company sponsor the three-time Super Bowl-winning head coach’s first foray into what is now called the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The only problem was that Gibbs had no race shop, no employees, not even a driver to drive his cars. What he was selling to Miller that day was nothing more than a dream.


During his entire business career, Miller was never shy about taking chances. And while Interstate Batteries had sponsored a few races with a little-known team with Stanley Smith as the driver, Miller and Interstate Batteries agreed to sponsor Gibbs’ team following that meeting, and JGR was formed. Fast forward to 2018 and the JGR organization that started from humble beginnings before the commitment of Interstate Batteries is widely recognized as one of the premiere teams in all of NASCAR.


Busch, the 2015 Cup Series champion, first drove the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for JGR to victory lane at Texas in April 2013, giving the brand its first win at its home track. The win ended a streak of 19 Cup Series races in which Interstate had competed at Texas without a coveted victory. Busch followed it up with a win in the April 2016 Cup Series race at Texas, and will aim for a third Texas win during Sunday’s 500-mile race.


On top of his two Cup Series wins there, Busch is no stranger to victory lane at Texas in other NASCAR series. He reeled off an incredible string of five consecutive Xfinity Series wins there from April 2008 to April 2010, then scored three more wins in April 2013, November 2014, and April 2016. Add his three Camping World Truck Series wins in November 2009, 2010, and 2014 and Busch enters the upcoming Texas race weekend with a total of 13 NASCAR national series wins at the 1.5-mile oval.


As for 2018, Busch has come agonizingly close to a Cup Series win during the first six races of the Cup Series season on numerous occasions, already. He has notched four top-five finishes and five top-10s thus far, which includes three runner-up finishes. The strong start to the season has vaulted him into the points lead heading to Texas.


So as the Cup Series comes off its first off weekend of the season, it’s safe to say that Busch and the Interstate Batteries team are recharged and aiming to bring home their first win of the season, but also hoping to bring home a third win for hometown sponsor Interstate Batteries in the Lone Star State.



Tom Sneva was the fastest qualifier for the 1977 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.


He set a one-lap record of 200.535 mph and a record four-lap average of 198.884 mph during his May 1977 run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where a qualifying run is made up of four laps.


What did he do when he came back to Indianapolis in 1978?


Set new one- and four-lap records.


In May 1978, Sneva upped his one-lap record to 203.620 mph and his record four-lap average to 202.156 mph.


Kurt Busch, who finished sixth in the 2014 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, is looking to repeat Sneva’s accomplishments this week at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.


While Sneva set records in an Indy car, Busch is hoping his No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion stock car fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), will set another record at the 1.5-mile Texas oval.


In November 2017, Busch posted a lap of 200.915 mph, the fastest ever in a stock car on a 1.5-mile oval, to win his 22nd career pole.


Busch is hoping he can up his game in this week’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Texas and get his 23rd career pole and his 30th career win in NASCAR’s top series.


Busch has two poles, one win, three top-five finishes and 17 top-10s at the 1.5-mile oval.


Additionally, the 39-year-old driver has led 295 laps, has an average starting position of 14.2, an average finish of 15.1, and has completed 98.4 percent – 9,845 of 10,003 – of the laps he’s contested there.


Texas native Pat Green once sang that he had “Texas On My Mind.”


Busch just has speed on his mind.



NASCAR today announced that Steve Phelps has been promoted to the role of chief operating officer. Phelps will oversee all NASCAR commercial and media operations. This role was previously held by Brent Dewar prior to his promotion to president last year.  Phelps will be based out of NASCAR’s headquarters in Daytona Beach, Florida.

“Steve has worked passionately over the years to lead the sport and it’s clear his impact is felt in all corners of the industry,” said NASCAR President Brent Dewar. “We could not be more thrilled for him to step into the pivotal role of COO and we look forward to welcoming him back to Daytona Beach, where he’ll continue to work closely with myself and the other members of the executive leadership team, including the Board of Directors.”

As COO, Phelps will have broad influence on the sport. His direct reports will be Executive Vice President, Chief Sales & Partnership Officer Daryl Wolfe, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Jill Gregory, Senior Vice President, Broadcasting & Production Steve Herbst, Senior Vice President & Chief Communications Officer Eric Nyquist, and Vice President, Digital Tim Clark.

Phelps joined NASCAR in 2005 after nearly two decades of sports business experience as a senior executive with the National Football League and Wasserman Media Group. 


Will it be “Truex Time” in Texas?

Martin Truex Jr. has had powerful race cars in recent years at Texas Motor Speedway, but victory has eluded the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion at the 1.5-mile oval located in Fort Worth.

Truex’s next opportunity to settle a personal score with the Texas track will be Sunday in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.

Before the season started Texas was one of the tracks that Truex’s Furniture Row Racing team circled. Another was Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., where Truex won for the first time a few weeks ago.

“We’ve settled one score in California and it’s time to settle another in Texas,” Truex said. “We’ve definitely had the cars to win at Texas, but haven’t been able to close the deal. We’ve led a bunch of laps there and came close last fall. Hopefully we’ll have the same result in Texas this weekend as we did in California.”

Truex, who will drive the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota in Texas, enters the race with five straight top-five finishes. His finishing average of 6.2 in the first six races of the season leads the NASCAR Cup Series. He is second in driver points, eight markers behind leader Kyle Busch.

Since Cole Pearn took over the Furniture Row Racing crew chief duties in 2015, Truex has claimed two top fives and six top 10s in six starts at Texas. Truex twice led the most laps during this period – the 2016 spring race (141) and the 2017 fall race (107).

“It sure would be nice to get that Texas monkey off our back,” Pearn said. “The competition is fierce, and in order to have a chance to win, you have to have maximum performance in all aspects of the race team.”

In the most recent race at Texas (November), Truex finished runner-up after losing the lead with 10 laps remaining to Kevin Harvick.

“It seems that something has always come up to bite us late in the race at Texas,” Truex noted. “There’s not much you can do but just keep plugging away and hope that the chips will fall in our favor this weekend.”

Nine of Truex’s 16 career victories have come at 1.5-mile ovals. Last year, seven of his eight wins were at a mile-and-a-half track.  Of the eight 1.5-mile tracks on the NASCAR Cups Series circuit, Texas and Atlanta are the only two where Truex has not scored a victory.

“The mile-and-a-half tracks have been good to us and that’s why we go into a race like Texas with plenty of confidence,” Truex said. “But at the same time, you can’t depend on what you had or did in the past at these tracks. Rules and track conditions continue to change and you have to be ready to make the right adjustments to offset the changes.”

Truex’s career Cup record at Texas includes: 25 starts, four top fives, 14 top 10s, two poles and 595 laps led. His average start at Texas is 14.8 and average finish is 13.1.


Iconic brand and thirst quenching favorite SunnyD will make its 2018 debut this weekend as the primary partner on Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s No. 17 Ford Fusion for the NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. SunnyD will be featured on Stenhouse’s Ford the following week at Bristol Motor Speedway, and will also serve as the primary partner on Roush Fenway’s famed No. 60 NASCAR Xfinity Series Ford when racing phenom Ty Majeksi makes his Bristol debut.

“We can’t wait to see those SunnyD colors back on the car at Texas and Bristol,” said Stenhouse. “It’s always the best looking car on the race track and we have so much fun teaming up with those guys. Texas and Bristol have been great tracks for us and hopefully we will be cooling off in victory lane with a cold SunnyD during the next couple of weeks.”

Roush Fenway and SunnyD will team up over the next two weeks to provide fans with unique behind the scenes looks, giveaways and other original content as SunnyD takes over the weekend at Bristol.

In addition to on-track success, Roush Fenway and SunnyD have teamed together in several unique social programs and promotions. Last season’s ‘Race with Ricky Sweepstakes’, which offered fans a once in a lifetime opportunity to race against Stenhouse, received over a half a million entries and was recognized with a prestigious MarCom Gold Award as one of the most successful integrated marketing campaigns of the year. The partnerships platform launch in 2016 was a massive success, garnering industry recognition as a finalist for a PR News’ Platinum Award.

Roush Fenway Racing is the winningest team in NASCAR history, fielding multiple teams in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series competition. Moving into its 31st season, Roush Fenway is a leader in driver development, having launched the careers for many of the top drivers in the sport. Off-track, Roush Fenway is a leader in NASCAR marketing solutions, pioneering motorsport’s first team-focused TV show and producing multiple award-winning Social Media, digital content and experiential marketing campaigns. Roush Fenway is co-owned by Jack Roush, the winningest team owner in NASCAR history and Fenway Sports Group, parent company of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox and English Premier League’s Liverpool F.C. Visit, circle on Google+, become a fan on Facebook and Instagram and follow on Twitter at @roushfenway.


U.S. First Responders Association, StarCom Racing and Driver Landon Cassill are honored to announce the winners of its Hometown Hero Contest, Officer Evan Clark of the Rowlett Police Department, Asst. Fire Chief Burney Baskett of Rowlett Fire Department and Specialist Matthew Fitzgerald of the U.S. Army.

The contest was launched for First Responders, active duty or retired personnel, in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area that have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Our winners and their guest will receive complimentary NASCAR VIP Hot Passes for the O’Reily Auto Parts 500 race in Texas on April 8. The Hometown Hero winners and their guests will enjoy a hospitality package, which includes food and drinks, pit tours, driver and crew meet and greets, and all access to the pit area and garage area up close and personal with the USFRA #00 race car driver Landon Cassill.

“It has been a privilege for the U.S. First Responders Association to work with StarCom Racing and #00 Landon Cassill to honor our nation’s first responders at Martinsville Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway,” said Traycee Biancamano, CEO of USFRA. “We cannot thank Team SCR enough for expanding their VIP Experience to include a Hometown Hero from each branch of public safety –Fire/EMS, Law Enforcement and Military – to represent the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.”

The objective of StarCom Racing’s Hometown Hero initiative was to bring awareness to the efforts of our nation’s first responders and to recognize one responder that has gone above and beyond the call of duty. The contest submissions included a brief description of the act(s) that made that First Responder a “Hometown Hero.”

Starcom Racing PR

Gene Haas and Tony Stewart’s Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) organization is still considered the new kid on the block compared to the other Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams it competes against each weekend. So, it might be surprising to learn SHR is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018 and will mark its 1,000th Cup Series start when all four drivers fire-up their Roush-Yates powered Fords for the April 8 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.


“That makes me feel really, really old,” SHR competition director Greg Zipadelli said with a laugh. “Seriously, a thousand starts is a sign of longevity and that’s an accomplishment. It helps in keeping good people and recruiting good people.”


Since its first season in 2009, the SHR driver lineup has at one time included Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman and Danica Patrick on a full-time basis while drivers like Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Brian Vickers, Regan Smith, Ty Dillon, Austin Dillon and Max Papis have served as substitute drivers.


Harvick and Stewart won championships at SHR in 2014 and 2011, respectively, while five drivers have divvied up SHR victories: 17 for Harvick, 16 for Stewart, five for Busch, four for Newman, and Clint Bowyer added his name to the list Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, notching his ninth career victory and first for SHR.


“That’s pretty good company,” said Bowyer, who has also finished second three times since joining SHR in 2017. “Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and all their partners and employees have shown a lot of faith in me. It was so great to be able to celebrate with them in victory lane Monday night.”


The 1,000 starts might seem like a lot, but Hendrick Motorsports and Roush-Fenway Racing own more than 3,000 starts each while Joe Gibbs Racing has more than doubled SHR’s total.


SHR’s winning ways began in May 2009, when Stewart won his only NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Since then, SHR has gone on to accumulate 43 points-paying victories, three non-points victories,  199 top-fives, 378 top-10s, 35 poles and two championships in 996 starts. SHR owns victories at every current track except Kentucky Speedway in Sparta and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.


SHR isn’t done. In fact, it might be at its best right now. In 2018, SHR Fords have led 723 of a possible 1,811 laps and won four of the first six races. All four SHR drivers are in the top-11 in the driver standings.


“Make no mistake, all four Stewart-Haas cars have been good all year long,” Bowyer said. “Kevin led that charge when he won three races in a row, but we’ve been ‘Steady Eddie’ with our 14 car and the things that I’ve always been accustomed to. Consistency and things like that I’m starting to see, knowing our strengths, knowing our weaknesses from last year, focusing on those weaknesses and then, all of a sudden, it starts to click in and putting things together, and you have those conversations. You feel confidence.”


Bowyer will drive the No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford at the 1.5-mile Texas oval. Like SHR, both Mobil 1 and Rush Truck Centers cite longevity as keys to their business success. Mobil 1 Annual Protection ultimate full synthetic motor oils feature advanced lubricant technology that provides proven protection for 20,000 miles or one full year between oil changes. Rush Truck Centers has transported SHR’s racecars to the track since 2009 and serviced its customers for more than 50 years.


Bowyer hopes to take both Mobil 1 and Rush Truck Centers to victory lane at the 1.5-mile Texas oval, where he has posted three top-five finishes and 10 top-10s in 24 races. In 2006, Bowyer won a Camping World Truck Series race at Texas. In 2017 Cup Series competition for SHR, Bowyer started third at Texas in April and raced as high as fourth in the final stage before finishing 11th. In October he spent 30 laps behind the wall, ruining what was shaping up to be a top-10 finish.


“Texas is one of those big, fast, high-banked tracks – you just have to go,” Bowyer said. “You better be good rolling off the truck. Normally, you can tell in the first few minutes of practice who will be good in the race.”