Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (14596)

Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion, finished in the 28th position in Sunday afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway as a result of an unscheduled pit stop due to damage sustained following a Lap 245 restart.

“We were starting to make some headway before we got that damage on the restart,” said Bayne after the race. “(Crew chief) Matt (Puccia) had our AdvoCare Ford heading in the right direction but we lost all of our track position unfortunately because we had to pit under green to fix the damage. We will recover from this and be sure that we end the last two weeks of this season on a strong note.”

Bayne took the green flag for the 334-Lap event from the 37th position after not being able to make an attempt in qualifying on Friday due to issues in the tech line. Once the race was underway, Bayne reported to crew chief Matt Puccia that the AdvoCare Ford was loose on entry and tight on exit of the distinct Texas corners. Despite not handling to his liking, Bayne steadily worked his way forward, improving 13 positions throughout the course of the opening stage to take the green and checkered flag on Lap 85 in 24th.

After pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment in between stages the Knoxville, Tenn. native returned to the track in 26th and immediately reported he was battling a tight-handling condition on the exit of the corner. Although continuing to fight the handling Bayne pressed forward, moving up to 23rd before pitting during a round of green flag pit stops on Lap 154. As a result of staying out toward the end of the pit window, Bayne cycled out following the stop in 28th just before the end of Stage 2.

The final stage began with the AdvoCare Ford shifting from tight to loose through the corners as a long green flag run controlled the early portion of the stage. Then, following a flurry of cautions, Bayne moved back up to the 24th position as the handling continued to improve. However, damage sustained to the left rear fender of the AdvoCare Ford following a Lap 245 restart forced the 2011 Daytona 500 Champion to make an unscheduled pit stop under green on Lap 247 for repairs.

Bayne returned to the track following repairs in 28th and maintained his track position for the remainder of the event.

Next up for the MENCS is Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, Nov. 12


Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team scored their 14th top-10 finish of the season this afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway, finishing sixth with a last-lap pass of Joey Logano to claim the position.

Even though Blaney scored 11 stage points with an eighth-place finish in Stage 1 and a third-place finish in Stage 2, and even though he is still in sixth place in the NASCAR Playoffs standings, the Wood Brothers wheelman now is 22 points behind the cutoff for the run for the championship at Homestead.

Kevin Harvick’s Texas win, in addition to putting a Ford teammate into the Championship Four at Ford Championship Weekend, creates a must-win situation for Blaney and company at Phoenix.

“It’s a shame we’re not in victory lane but now we have to win at Phoenix and we’ll see if we can make that happen,” Blaney said following the race. “Hopefully we can rise to the occasion.”

Blaney was a threat to win the AAA Texas 500 most of the day, starting eighth on the grid and moving into sixth at the drop of the green flag. After starting the second segment where he finished, eighth, he assumed third place on lap 126 of the scheduled 334.

“We weren’t great at the beginning of the race but we got it better for the second stage and we ran third,” Blaney said. “I was really happy with our car then then we kind of got shuffled back. We were sitting fourth and I thought the car was okay and then I got really, really loose between (turns) three and four. Then I had to protect and probably over protected and lost like five spots and that really hurt us. It was hard to make those up. We just had that one run toward the end that wasn’t very good and that’s all it takes.”

Despite that slip, which dropped him from fourth to ninth during lap 257, Blaney recovered and was in eighth place when Kyle Larson hit the wall in lap 283 bringing out the red flag. He moved into seventh on the re-start and maintained that position until passing Logano on the white-flag lap to grab sixth.

The NASCAR Playoffs continue next Sunday, Nov. 12, with the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway when four more drivers will be excluded from championship contention.

“You pretty much have to go and win the race,” Blaney explained. “That’s all we can do. It’s gonna be hard to point your way in because everyone is running pretty good. We’ll just try to win Phoenix and do the best we can. Obviously, we need to be really aggressive.”

The green flag drops at 2:30 p.m. in Phoenix and will be televised on NBCSN. SKF will be the primary sponsor of the No. 21 Ford Fusion next week.

Ford Performance PR

Team Penske announced today that the Würth Group will continue as a key partner of the team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) for 2018 and beyond. Under the terms of the multi-year extension, Würth will once again adorn the No. 2 Ford Fusion driven by Brad Keselowski as a primary sponsor for three MENCS races – at Auto Club Speedway in March, Dover International Speedway in October and Texas Motor Speedway in early November.

Würth will also continue to serve as a full-season associate sponsor for Team Penske’s No. 2 Ford.

A leading supplier of high-quality automotive parts, cabinet supplies and industrial fasteners servicing over 200,000 customers across the nation, Würth’s partnership with Penske extends beyond motorsports. Würth products are also featured in Penske Automotive Group dealerships and Penske Truck Rental facilities nationwide.

“Our relationship with the Würth Group has been successful and mutually beneficial on many levels and we look forward to continuing our growth together into the future,” said Roger Penske. “They have been able to leverage their partnership in many ways, including customer and employee programs at the track. Würth is a terrific partner, not only for our race teams but also across all our businesses. We are excited about continuing to win with Würth both on and off the track.”

Team Penske and the Würth Group first joined forces in 2012 when the company came on board as an associate sponsor with the team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The following season, Würth enhanced its partnership as sponsor with the No. 2 team and Keselowski in the Cup Series and the relationship has continued to blossom each season.

While the Würth Group first became involved in NASCAR racing through its partnership with Team Penske, the company has had a presence in motorsports since 1982, serving as a partner in both the DTM and Formula One racing series.

“The Würth Group is excited about our continued alliance with Team Penske,” said Executive Vice President of the Würth Group, Thomas O’Neill. “Team Penske is a premier partnership of which the Würth Group is proud to be a part of. This relationship is an overall benefit to our customers, companies, and the Würth brand in the United States. We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead.”

The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series regular season begins with the 60th anniversary running of the Great American Race, the Daytona 500, on February 18.  Würth’s first primary race will be the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 18.

Team Penske PR

Team Penske announced today that Auto Club of Southern California and AAA will continue its partnership with the team as sponsor of the No. 22 Ford Fusion driven by Joey Logano in the NASCAR Cup Series. The multi-year extension with Team Penske follows an announcement earlier this year that Logano will remain a driver for the team through the 2022 season and beyond.

Through the partnership with Team Penske, AAA will continue its primary sponsorship of the No. 22 Ford Fusion driven by Logano for three races over the next several seasons, including the events at Auto Club Speedway in March, Kansas Speedway in May and Texas Motor Speedway’s playoff event in November.

In addition, AAA will continue as a full-season associate sponsor for Logano and the No. 22 Ford team.

“Our relationship with AAA and The Auto Club has been an important one that dates back to our years when we owned California Speedway,” said Roger Penske. “We are excited that we are able to continue on with the successful partnership that we have established with such a great group of people and the thousands of members they represent. They have been terrific partners and cornerstones in our success across the board. We look forward to many more winning seasons together into the future.”

AAA utilizes its platform with Team Penske and racetracks across the United States to activate in a variety of ways geared towards increasing membership and informing the public about the dangers involved with distracted or impaired driving. In addition, AAA works to promote “move over laws” nationwide, where motorists are required to move over and change lanes to give safe clearance to law enforcement officers, firefighters, ambulances and other emergency response vehicles to save lives.

“AAA has been a great partner for Team Penske over the years and it’s been an honor to represent them since I joined Team Penske,” said Logano. “Being passionate about cars, I don’t just carry the AAA colors on Sunday afternoon - I’m a proud, card-carrying member of the AAA and I’ve used their award-winning road side assistance on more than one occasion. It’s great that they’ll continue to be such a big part of our program going forward.”

The extended agreement with Team Penske allows the Auto Club of Southern California and its affiliated clubs to not only better serve its members, but will also provide an effective, highly-visible way to promote its insurance options. The Auto Club's partnership with the team also includes member and employee benefits, discounts and community outreach initiatives.

”The Auto Club and Penske have been long-time partners, not just on the race team but in many other aspects of our businesses that brings value to our members. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Team Penske for many more years to come,” said John Boyle, President and CEO of the Automobile Club of Southern California.  “Our organization’s mission is to deliver legendary service and valuable products to our members, a philosophy shared by the Penske organization.  Motorsports has proved to be an effective place for us to promote our Insurance products, and Team Penske’s high level of performance is a perfect fit.”

The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series regular season begins with the 60th anniversary running of the Great American Race, the Daytona 500, on February 18.  Auto Club of Southern California’s first primary race will be the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, March 18.

Team Penske PR

This weekend, Chevrolet is taking the opportunity to pay homage to Dale Earnhardt Jr., a key member of the Team Chevy family and a NASCAR fan favorite who is retiring at the end of this race season. The brand will debut a new TV spot celebrating the major milestones in Earnhardt Jr.’s professional racing career during the broadcast of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The 30-second spot, called “What a Ride,” features a collage of memories from Earnhardt Jr.’s career, including never-before-seen photos, and footage from defining moments like his two Daytona 500 victories and his 26 Cup Series race wins.

“We have been so fortunate to have Dale Earnhardt Jr. as part of the Chevrolet family,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “His ‘Never Give Up’ attitude and true passion for performance are the same qualities that drove Louis Chevrolet to race more than a hundred years ago, and still drive us today to innovate and win.”

Earlier this year, during his retirement speech, Earnhardt Jr. affirmed his loyalty to the brand: “It’s an honor to carry the Chevrolet bowtie on my cars. And I don’t just mean that on the race track — I’m Chevrolet for life.”

The new TV spot will air for the first time this weekend on the NBCSN broadcast during this weekend’s 334-lap event at Texas Motor Speedway and continue to be shown through the year-end championship banquet celebration in Las Vegas.

Team Chevy PR

Click n' Close™, a division of Mid America Mortgage, Inc., has entered into official partnership agreements with the sanctioning body, NASCAR, and one of the most iconic race teams in the sport, Richard Petty Motorsports. The collaborations designate Click n' Close as the "Official Mortgage Provider of NASCAR®" in addition to becoming a partner of Richard Petty Motorsports.

Click n' Close is Mid America Mortgage's new digital mortgage approval and closing platform that provides home buyers with a fast, simple and secure experience by automating many of the steps of a traditional mortgage process. With Click n' Close, home buyers are able to complete their application within eight minutes and receive an 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 are able to complete their closing and receive their keys within 15 minutes. To safeguard sensitive information, Click n' Close employs bank-level security, including advanced data encryption, allowing home buyers to safely apply for a mortgage anywhere, anytime, using any device.

"Speed is a familiar concept to NASCAR's powerful community of sponsors and fans, which is why we chose to launch Click n' Close nationally by partnering with NASCAR and Richard Petty Motorsports," said Jeff Bode, owner and CEO of Mid America Mortgage. "Click n' Close is revolutionizing the way we service home buyers and homeowners, and we're confident that the NASCAR community will appreciate how quickly and easily they can now secure a mortgage through Click n' Close."

As part of the agreement with Richard Petty Motorsports, the Click n' Close brand will be featured as a primary sponsor of the No. 43 car driven by Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. for at least three races, making its debut at the 2018 Daytona 500. The No. 43 Click n' Close car will also make appearances at Phoenix Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.

"We have recently had a lot of positive discussions about our race program in 2018, and having a new partner such as Click n' Close is proof of that," said Richard Petty, co-owner, Richard Petty Motorsports. "Click n' Close is a perfect tool for people who want a faster, more secure way to apply for a mortgage. We feel that Bubba and our team are a perfect fit to help spread their message to NASCAR fans across the country."

Click n' Close was introduced today at the NASCAR Fuel for Business Council meetings taking place in Texas, near Mid America's headquarters. The new Official Partner engaged an exclusive group of nearly 55 Official NASCAR Partners who gather to buy and sell products and services from one another. The business-to-business environment offers unique opportunities for many FORTUNE 500 companies to bypass the time and layers of corporate coordination to construct customized deals that help address specific business needs.

"Click n' Close's multi-faceted sponsorship will be an effective way to introduce its platform to a national audience," said Steve Phelps, executive vice president and chief global sales and marketing officer, NASCAR. "Our fans are the most brand loyal in sports and continue to differentiate NASCAR from other sports and entertainment properties."

In addition to engaging with fellow sponsors, teams and drivers, Click n' Close, will also host key customers and prospects at-track with strategic hospitality events at NASCAR races throughout the year.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs will continue with the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, Sunday, November 5 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.


Team Penske and Miller Lite announced today that the original light beer will continue its relationship with the No. 2 Ford Fusion team and driver Brad Keselowski in 2018 and beyond. The renewal continues a partnership that began on the No. 2 Team Penske Ford in 1991 with driver Rusty Wallace.

The familiar white and blue Miller Lite paint scheme will adorn Keselowski’s car in 11 NASCAR Cup Series races in 2018. Miller Lite will continue to be an associate sponsor for the car and Keselowski throughout the balance of the NASCAR Cup Series season.

“Miller Lite has been a terrific partner with Team Penske for 27 years and we welcome their continued support of the No. 2 Ford team,” said Roger Penske. “There is no question that they have been a tremendous part of our NASCAR success, including winning the 2012 NASCAR Cup Series title together. We look forward to having Miller Lite back with the team as we head into the future.”

One of the most successful partnerships in NASCAR history, Team Penske and the Miller Brewing Company have combined for 65 Cup wins, 20 of which have come with Keselowski behind the wheel. Keselowski also provided the biggest highlight of the Team Penske and Miller Lite partnership when he and the No. 2 team captured the 2012 Cup title in just his third full season of competition.

“The Team Penske partnership is one of the longest in MillerCoors’ history and it continues to be one that gives us a lot of pride,” said Adam Dettman, Director of Sports and Entertainment at Miller Coors. “We are pleased to be able to continue this long-standing relationship and look forward to cheering on Brad in the No. 2.”

Keselowski took over the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion in 2011 – his second full Cup season – and he won his first series race for Team Penske in just his 13th start behind the wheel.

“Many of the biggest moments of my career have involved Miller Lite,” said Keselowski. “We have had a lot of success together and I am very proud to represent them within our sport. Many of the fans who cheer for the No. 2 on a weekly basis do it because of the Miller Lite brand. It’s an iconic look for NASCAR and a mainstay with Team Penske.”

The first primary race for the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion will be the season-opening, non-points Clash at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 11

Team Penske PR

Team Penske and Discount Tire announced today that beginning in 2018, the world’s largest independent tire and wheel retailer will build on its established and successful partnership with the motorsports team and become a primary sponsor of the No. 2 Ford Fusion driven by 2012 champion Brad Keselowski in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS).

Under the new multiyear agreement, Discount Tire will provide primary partnership bookends to the 2018 MENCS season, beginning with the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in February and concluding with Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. Discount Tire will be featured as the primary sponsor of the No. 2 Ford for 10 races while continuing to serve as a prominent associate sponsor for the remainder of the schedule. Discount Tire will also continue as a primary sponsor of the No. 22 Ford Mustang in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) for multiple races in 2018 and beyond.

“Team Penske has enjoyed tremendous success with Discount Tire over the past eight seasons in the NASCAR XFINITY Series,” said Roger Penske. “We won our first NASCAR championship together with the 2010 XFINITY Series title and the company will always have a special place in our history. We are excited for a new challenge with Discount Tire as we look to build on that success with Brad and the No. 2 Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Cup Series.”

The partnership between Discount Tire and Team Penske began in 2010 with the No. 22 NXS team that won six races and established a series record with 26 top-five finishes on its way to the championship won by Keselowski. The relationship continued to produce titles as the No. 22 Discount Tire team earned three-consecutive NXS Owners’ Championships from 2013-2015. In total during their partnership, five Team Penske drivers have won 33 NXS races in a Discount Tire-sponsored entry, with Keselowski leading the way, posting 23 victories. The No. 22 team is also currently leading the NXS Owners’ Point Standings with three races remaining in the season.

“Our partnership with Team Penske has been incredibly successful during an exciting time for our company,” said Discount Tire Chairman Bruce T. Halle. “Roger and his team have been wonderful to work with, and of course, all of the wins and championships are fantastic. As we continue to expand Discount Tire across the country, we look forward to celebrating more successes with Brad and all of Team Penske as together we pursue the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship.”

Since 2010, Discount Tire has expanded into 13 new states and added 175 new neighborhood retail tire stores. Team Penske drivers regularly visit Discount Tire stores to interact with customers and staff, and participate in tire safety campaigns promoted by Discount Tire.

“Discount Tire has been an important part of my racing life for a long time now,” said Keselowski. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish together and of the relationships I have built over the years. It will be like coming full circle next year, as many of the current guys on the No. 2 Cup team were also with me during our 2010 XFINITY Championship run. It’s great to see this partnership continuing into the Cup Series while still maintaining an important place in the XFINITY Series.”

The 2018 NASCAR Cup Series regular season begins with the 60th anniversary running of the Great American Race, the Daytona 500, on Sunday, February 18.

Team Penske PR

Circle Sport-TMG welcomes NICERIDE Apparel as an associate sponsor on board the No. 33 Hulu Chevrolet, driven by Jeffrey Earnhardt, for this weekends AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. 

NICERIDE Apparel is a brand that provides quality apparel and products. NICERIDE has set out to promote a lifestyle that emphasizes the three most important aspects of our lives - Family, Friends, and most importantly Fun! 

"We are excited to welcome NICERIDE Apparel on board the No. 33 Hulu Chevrolet," commented team owner, Joe Falk. "NICERIDE Apparel is top of line and I'm glad that we were able to create a partnership within the premier series of NASCAR this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.”

“NICERIDE Apparel is extremely excited to be teaming up with Circle Sport for the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. We are eagerly looking forward to watching Jeffery Earnhardt have a "NICERIDE" while driving the No. 33 car this weekend. We at NICERIDE Apparel are also very honored and humbled to show support for the great people of Texas, especially after all they have had to endure this year.”

Tune into NBCSN, Sunday at 2:00pm ET to catch the action at the “Wild Circus,” Texas Motor Speedway. For more information on NICERIDE Apparel visit their website