Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (15087)

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.”



NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Mark Martin will host his 14th Annual Fan Appreciation Days on April 27-28 in his hometown of Batesville, Ark. Special guests Jack Roush and Jimmy Fennig will attend the event on Saturday, with 2018 marking the final time Martin will hold the event. Admission to the event is free and Martin invites his friends, fans and family to share in the weekend.

“We’ve enjoyed celebrating with our fans during this event in my hometown now for 14 years,” said Martin. “We really look forward to this every year. It’s a chance for me to acknowledge how much I’ve appreciated all of their support throughout my career.

“We invite everyone to come join us the last weekend in April for our final spring Fan Days,” added Martin. “After this I will focus my energy on our one big event in the fall – The Race For Hope 74 - during the week of Sept. 25-29. Stay tuned as this event grows and we look forward to seeing all of your there.”

The action begins on Friday with Martin on hand for a free BBQ luncheon at Mark Martin Powersports -- located at 869 Batesville Blvd. In one of the highlights of the weekend, the Hall of Fame hometown racer is inviting everyone to nearby Batesville Motor Speedway on Friday night for the Comp Cams Late Model racing series.

Martin will host all in attendance on Saturday at Mark Martin Ford -- 1601 Batesville Blvd. – with a complimentary lunch for everyone in attendance. Martin will be on hand visiting with fans throughout the day and will be joined by Roush and Fennig at 6 p.m., for autographs and good old-fashioned story telling centered around the trio’s tear through NASCAR in the late ‘90s.

Roush is one of NASCAR's most successful owners and a pioneer in bringing engineering technology into the sport. He boasts a NASCAR record 325 wins and his teams have had 135 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories since he began with Martin in 1989. The duo of Martin and Roush would go on to form one of the most successful partnerships in NASCAR history. Roush was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

Fennig first joined Mark’s team as crew chief in the American Speed Association in ’85. In their two ASA seasons together, the duo had nine wins, 13 pole positions and won the championship in 1986. He rejoined Martin in 1996 and solidified his position aboard the Jack Roush train. 

"Jimmy Fennig is an unsung hero at Roush Racing,” aid Roush. “He's the trooper that's back there doing everything that he can every day.”

Martin and Fennig had four wins together in 1997, 24 Top 10s, and 3 poles to finish third in the points. They finished second in points in 1998 with seven victories and remained together for three more wins until the 2001 NASCAR season. The Sporting News named Fennig crew chief of the year in 2004, after leading Roush Fenway to its second Cup Championship. One of the most successful crew chiefs in NASCAR history, Fennig has worked during his career with racing legends Bobby Allison, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch and Martin among others.

For more information on Martin’s career, the Mark Martin Museum adjoins Mark Martin Ford, and is open at 8 AM on weekdays and 9 AM on Saturdays. Several of Mark’s racecars are on display including a ’55 Chevy that started the driver’s dream come true in the ‘70s when he was just a teenager. Read early news reports of “The Kid” from Arkansas and see a phenomenal display of memorabilia, awards and trophies from throughout his 40-year career. Be sure to commemorate your visit with a personal keepsake from the gift shop.

Admission to Fan Appreciation Days is free. For more information, stay tuned to social media channels.


Kurt Busch’s contract with Stewart-Haas Racing expires at the end of the 2018 season. And the team said Wednesday it “fully expects” Busch to return in 2019.

The team issued the statement — a statement issued just six races into the 36-race season — to the Sports Business Journal on Wednesday evening.

“SHR fully expects to have Kurt Busch back in its No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford in 2019 and has had no other conversations regarding the No. 41 team.”

Busch signed a one-year extension of sorts with the team after the 2017 season. We say “of sorts” because the team said it wouldn’t be picking Busch’s contract option during the season but Busch re-signed with the team in December.

Busch joined Stewart-Haas Racing before the 2014 season when the team expanded to four full-time cars. He’s made the playoffs in each of his four seasons with the team and has won five races, including the 2017 Daytona 500.

But the “industry rumblings” have come at a time where NASCAR teams have turned to younger (and cheaper) drivers. At 39, Busch is one of the older drivers in the series and his 2004 championship is now the least recent title won by an active driver.

Plus Stewart-Haas would have a potential in-house replacement for Busch if it wanted to go in that direction for 2019. Cole Custer is in his second year driving for the team’s Xfinity Series team and won the 2017 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Custer made his Cup Series debut at Las Vegas earlier this season and finished 25th.


Yahoo Finance

Roush Fenway Racing has announced an agreement with Sullair that will see a proven leader in compressed air solutions become an official partner of NASCAR’s winningest race team and Roush Fenway’s exclusive supplier of compressed air.

“We are very pleased to partner with a company with the reputation and standards of Sullair,” said Ian Prince, director of facilities and chief sustainability officer at Roush Fenway Racing. “They build their business around the principles of reliability, durability and performance; three cornerstones that we share in our respective fields. We also share a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability and we look forward to continuing to build this relationship going forward.”

“Sullair is excited our compressed air solutions will be playing a key role in Roush Fenway Racing operations,” said Brian Tylisz, Vice President Commercial & Industrial Sales at Sullair.  “Our customers rely on Sullair compressors to help keep their operations running – we look forward to providing that same level of reliability to the Roush teams.”

“Many of our distributors and our current customers are already NASCAR fans,” said Russell Warner, Vice President Rental & Infrastructure Sales at Sullair.  “Partnering with such a legendary race team will provide additional interest and excitement to our channels, customers and potential customers.”

As part of the partnership, Sullair will be featured on each of Roush Fenway’s racecars, as well as team transporters and pit equipment.


Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Infraction Date Track Team Level Infraction Penalty
3/26/2018 (post-race inspection) Martinsville No. 3 Safety Sections Tires and Wheels
Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed.
Crew chief (Justin Alexander) has been fined $10,000.
3/26/2018 (post-race inspection) Martinsville No. 12 Safety Sections Tires and Wheels
Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed.
Crew chief (Jeremy Bullins) has been fined $10,000.
3/26/2018 (post-race inspection) Martinsville No. 34 Safety Sections Tires and Wheels
Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed.
Crew chief (Derrick Finley) has been fined $10,000.
3/26/2018 (post-race inspection) Martinsville No. 42 Safety Sections Tires and Wheels
Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed.
Crew chief (Chad Johnston) has been fined $10,000.


Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Martinsville Speedway

Infraction Date: 3/26/2018 (post-race inspection)

Team: #3-Austin Dillon

Violation: Sections Tires and Wheels. Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed.

Penalty: Crew chief (Justin Alexander) has been fined $10,000. 


Infraction Date: 3/26/2018 (post-race inspection)

Team: #12-Ryan Blaney

Violation: Sections Tires and Wheels. Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed.

Penalty: Crew chief (Jeremy Bullins) has been fined $10,000.


Infraction Date: 3/26/2018 (post-race inspection)

Team: #34-Michael McDowell

Violation: Sections Tires and Wheels. Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed.

Penalty: Crew chief (Derrick Finley) has been fined $10,000.


Infraction Date: 3/26/2018 (post-race inspection)

Team: #42-Kyle Larson

Violation: Sections Tires and Wheels. Note: Lug nut(s) not properly installed.

Penalty: Crew chief (Chad Johnston) has been fined $10,000. 


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