Monster Energy Cup Series News (15089)
NASCAR's hope of completing the remainder of Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway has came to an end.
Sunday's race was delayed by rain before the start and delayed three different times for the inclement weather. When the third delay came shortly after 5 p.m. ET, NASCAR would make the decision to come back Monday afternoon for the completion.
Kyle Larson was the race leader when the third delay came at lap 204 of 500. Per NASCAR rulebook, in order for a race to be called Stage 1 & Stage 2 must be completed. The end of the second stage at Bristol Motor Speedway is lap 250, meaning we needed 46 more laps for the race to be official.
The first 204 laps have been intense to say the least. Michael McDowell crashed early in Stage 1 and took out Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr. on lap 3. Near the completion of Stage 1, race leader Ryan Blaney got caught up in trouble as he was the bystander of a occurring wreck ahead of the Team Penske driver. This crash would end Blaney's day and give teammate Brad Keselowski the win in Stage 1.
The completion of the Food City 500 can be seen Monday at 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX.
When Daniel Suarez driver of the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing came to race in the states it was a process. Early on when first arriving Suarez speaking to the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce luncheon when asked about learning English that he didn’t have money to hire a teacher.
Further explain he said he would sit and watch movies day after day to learn and the he continues to learn from others as he has risen through the ranks of the NASCAR series.
In 2016 Suarez would become the first foreign born driver to claim a seasonal championship in the Xfinity Series. Noting that he had started gaining popularity through his home country as they watched him ascend and his career begin to take off.
“It wasn’t here at first, it’s not something that happened over night or in just one year. A lot of people now in Mexico are becoming more and more interested in NASCAR. There are race fans in Mexico, but I feel many of them are becoming NASCAR fans and it’s something very good for the sport.” Said Suarez
“The good thing is I start hearing of a lot of fans in Brazil, Argentina and Columbia that I didn’t know we had and that’s something that very cool.” Suarez continues.
Suarez isn’t the only driver making headway into the national series NASCAR racing, Alon Day and others within the NASCAR Euro Series have started making the trek to the state to make started in various series.
Much of this is a learning curve for these drivers, Marcos Ambrose for example raced for several seasons in the highest levels of NASCAR winning on the road courses and a championship winning background in the V8 Supercar in Australia.
“The biggest things are to know on how things work, it’s always difficult to understand how everything works, it’s a process and with us being here now it will start making things easier.” Suarez commenting on other drivers making the transition to NASCAR.
Suarez earlier in the week visited with Virginia Governor Ralph Northam to promote NASCAR racing return to the Commonwealth and touring the new garages that will open at Richmond Raceway next weekend as part of a $30 million dollar renovation of the track.
“It was a fun day visiting Richmond,” said Suárez. “The new Cup garages are going to be incredible. I’m glad I was able to be the first driver up here to get a sneak peek at all the work that has been going on. I can’t wait to come back here next weekend for the Toyota Owners 400.”
NASCAR racing returns to the Capitol of Virginia at Richmond Raceway next weekend, April 20 – 21 for the Xfinity Series Toyota Car 250 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 under the lights of the three-quarter D-Shaped oval.
Paul Menard and the No. 21 Menards/Dutch Boy Ford team qualified a season-best seventh on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
For most of this season, Menard and the No. 21 team have been fast in the first of three rounds of knock-out qualifying but struggled in the second. On Friday at Bristol, they were consistently fast throughout all three rounds.
At Bristol, Menard was fast again in the first round, posting the fourth best speed of 127.563 miles per hour to easily be among the 24 drivers who advanced to the second round.
In Round Two, he was 11thfastest with a lap at 127.360 mph, securing his spot among the 12 who competed for the pole for Sunday’s Food City 500.
In the final round, Menard ran a lap at 127.980 mph to take the seventh starting spot. It is the fifth time in his career that he has started seventh or better at Bristol, the first four coming before he joined the No. 21 team.
Menard told reporters after qualifying that the strong qualifying effort at Bristol is a sign that he and crew chief Greg Erwin are building on the base laid by their immediate predecessors, Ryan Blaney and his crew chief Jeremy Bullins.
“We have a great foundation, for sure with what the 21 guys have done the last couple of years,” Menard said. “They all kind of moved to the 12 car, but they laid a great foundation.
“Greg Erwin has done a hell of a job with all these guys on my car. We qualified seventh, and we’re actually disappointed with that.
“I thought I could have gotten a little bit more that last run and I’ll go back and look at Dartfish to see what I could have done better for next time, but it’s a good start to the weekend.”
Menard also addressed the possibility of scoring the 100thcareer Cup victory for his Wood Brothers team.
“Bristol would be a hell of a place for that,” he said. “I remember watching the race when Elliott (Sadler) won, but they’re sitting at 99, and we definitely want to give them 100.
“We’re not picky. We’ll take it whenever we can, and it starts this weekend.”
There are two practice sessions set for Saturday, then the Food City 500 is scheduled to start just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.
Roush Fenway Racing will host a special ‘Homecoming’ edition of its Fan Appreciation Day on May 24 at Roush’s World Headquarters in Concord, N.C.
Jack Roush, some very special guests and the current Roush Fenway stable of drivers will all be on hand for autograph sessions and other special activities.
SiriusXM NASCAR radio will once again broadcast live from the event, which will also feature an array of partner activity, classic and current show cars, a fan photo booth, food trucks, live music and fun for all.
Roush Fenway will invite fans to take part in a special group ‘Homecoming’ photo at 12 noon around the iconic Roush Fenway Fountain with Jack Roush, his drivers and very special invited guests.
More info coming soon!
NASCAR today announced several leadership promotions across its marketing and media operations. Jill Gregory has been promoted to executive vice president & chief marketing officer. Gregory oversees all NASCAR marketing operations and reports directly into NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Steve Phelps.
“Jill’s strategic leadership has been invaluable in our sport’s efforts to drive deeper engagement with our fans whenever and wherever they may be,” said NASCAR President Brent Dewar. “Her passion for our fans and the sport of NASCAR has played an important role in galvanizing our industry to collaborate and grow our sport smartly together."
Gregory has played a pivotal role in the development of key industry marketing platforms, including the launch of the Industry Action Plan, the development of NASCAR Next, the creation of the Industry Services group, and the refreshing of the NASCAR brand and associated marks and logos. Gregory will be the head of NASCAR’s Charlotte, North Carolina, office.
Pete Jung has been promoted to vice president, brand marketing. Jung is responsible for all brand and consumer marketing efforts, including the implementation of key industry marketing initiatives. Jung joined NASCAR in 2014 after a successful career as a marketing executive at Mastercard, Time Inc. and Publicis. Jung reports into Gregory and will be based in Charlotte.
Brian Herbst has been promoted to vice president, global media strategy and distribution. Herbst is responsible for continuing to develop new media distribution opportunities and digital content partnerships for NASCAR as the media landscape evolves. Herbst joined NASCAR in 2005 and played an important role in the development of the industry’s digital media strategy. Herbst reports into Steve Herbst, NASCAR senior vice president, broadcasting and production, and will be based in Charlotte.
“We look forward to strong thought leadership from Pete and Brian as they shepherd important areas of our business as we market our sport to our core fan and new fan alike,” said Phelps. “Their strategic approach to direct fan engagement will be important to the long-term growth of our sport.”
his weekend Roush Fenway Racing rolls into “Thunder Valley” for what looks to be a wild weekend at the world’s most frenzied half-mile track. Perhaps the most intense track on the circuit, some have gone as far as to describe Bristol as the equivalent of ‘a squadron of jet fighters storming around a football stadium.’
Jack Roush’s teams have totaled 18 wins at the ‘last great colosseum’ leading over 5,367 laps, scoring 76 top-five finishes and 131 top-10s.
All challenges aside, Bristol has been one of the most successful tracks on the circuit for NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Jack Roush and his NASCAR team. But, the 30-year NASCAR owner is quick to point out his history of success at Bristol carries even beyond his three decades in NASCAR.
“I went to Bristol for the first time (with NASCAR) in 1988,” said Roush. “But I had had a great deal of success there and won on the drag strip at Bristol with the Fastbacks years before that.
“Bristol has always been a place that had two complexes,” added Roush, whose NASCAR teams have now made 254 starts at the half-mile oval track. “It had a drag strip up in between the hills and it had an oval track.
“I’ve had the chance to race on both of them and whenever I go to Bristol, it ties my drag racing in with my stock car racing. I have fond memories of the drag racing that preceded the stock car racing and I have fond memories of the stock car racing as well.”
Just as with the drag racing, success on the oval at Bristol would soon follow and Roush and his then startup operation could not wait to hit the pavement.
“Mark (Martin) was so enthused when he had a chance to go to Bristol,” recalled Roush. “It was fast and high-banked and he was able to get in the gas and not worry about a lot of finesse, and it was one of his favorite places. He had a good feel for it and a great enthusiasm, and eventually we realized the kind of success on the oval track that I had on the drag strip before that.”
Roush Fenway finished second in its first NASCAR Cup start at Bristol in the spring of 1988. Martin and Roush won at Bristol from the pole in the fall of 1993, opening the floodgate for the organization’s unparalleled amount of success at the track.
All-in-all Roush Fenway has won at Bristol in all three of NASCAR’s major series for a total of 18 victories (including 11 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series), with the victories spread out over six drivers.
This weekend Roush Fenway will vie for two victories with four combined entries in the XFINITY and Cup races. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has been stellar at Bristol and carries the highest average finish of any driver in the last eight races at BMS, where he has scored two runner-up finishes and four top 10s in his last six starts at Bristol. Hometown favorite Trevor Bayne looks to build momentum from last weekend’s solid top-15 finish.
On the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) front, Ryan Reed will look to build upon his 11th place result in the standings with a win this weekend. Teammate Ty Majeski makes his first of the season in the series this weekend in the No. 60 SunnyD Ford Mustang.
The NXS race is set for 1 p.m., Saturday, April 14 on Fox Sports 1. The green flag waves for Sunday’s MENCS race at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 15 on FOX.
Kevin Harvick is headed to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for this Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 looking to make some noise on track at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile.
The driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has three Cup Series wins early in the 2018 Cup Series campaign, scored in back-to-back-to-back fashion at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway near Phoenix, both over runner-up Kyle Busch, and Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Brad Keselowski was the runner-up.
Harvick nearly added his fourth Cup Series win of the season last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, but finished runner-up to Kyle Busch by .300 of a second. The driver of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford has now finished first or second in four of the first seven races of the 2018 campaign and has a total of five top-five finishes.
The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion proves to be just as fast early in the weekend, where he has qualified in the top-10 for each Cup Series event of the season. He has scored a series-best average starting position of 5.9.
He also leads the Cup Series with 520 laps led, 768.24 miles led, a 115.1 driver rating, three wins and five top-five finishes. In addition he ranks fifth with 1,830 laps in the top-15.
The speed of the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford continues to lead the way throughout the weekend, which is why the team ranks first, in what may be the most important category, so far in this early season – playoff points. The 12 playoff points through the first seven events is five more than the next closest competitors – Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr.
This weekend at Bristol, Harvick has a chance to add to those statistics. The driver of the No. 4 Ford has scored two Cup Series wins at Bristol in April 2005 and August 2016. Harvick’s win in the 2005 Food City 500 at Bristol came in convincing fashion as he led three times for 109 laps and beat Elliott Sadler by 4.652 seconds. His most recent win at Bristol came in August 2016, when the race was postponed due to inclement weather and raced during the day Sunday afternoon. Harvick went on to lead 128 laps and beat runner-up Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to the finish line by 1.933 seconds to score his second NASCAR Cup Series win at the .533-mile oval. The win marked Busch Beer’s first appearance in victory lane as the sponsor of Harvick and the No. 4 team.
Since joining SHR in 2014, Harvick has one win, three top-five finishes and five top-10s at Bristol. He also ranks second with 442 laps led and fourth in points with 247.
Heading into this weekend, the No. 4 team ranks fourth with 257 Cup Series points, trailing leader Kyle Busch by 59 markers. That number is significant considering Harvick and Busch have finished 1-2 in three of the first seven events of the season – with Harvick in the higher position in two of the three.
While Harvick leads the Cup Series with three wins and 12 playoff points through the first seven races, he still would love nothing more than to win the race and both stages to add some space in the playoff point standings over second-ranked Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch.
PlanBSales.com, the leading provider of NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCar and other diecast cars, is teaming with Go FAS Racing, and driver Matt DiBenedetto with sponsorship for the Hollywood Casino 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, October 21.
In a rare opportunity fans can get not only get their name on the race car, but also on the matching 1:24 scale diecast car that will be produced by Lionel.
“We have loved our past sponsorships in NASCAR and the relationships we have with Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.” said Brent Powell, owner of PlanBSales.com. “The interaction our customers and fans have with the sport is amazing to watch and this is another opportunity for fans to have a unique connection to Matt DiBenedetto and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.”
For $100 fans will have their name on the PlanBSales.com Pink Ford Fusion that will be driven by Matt DiBenedetto in Kansas. Other options are also available. Names on cars have been done in the past, with this opportunity those who participate will also receive a 1:24 scale diecast car with their name on it: the souvenir of a lifetime.
“We are so excited to welcome PlanBSales.com to our team,” said Mason St. Hilaire, general manager of Go FAS Racing. “We all know Matt loves to interact with the fans and this is a great chance for not only that interaction but a collectable to commemorate the moment. As a sport we look for ways to connect with our fans and this is a great way.”
Fans wishing to have their name on the car can simply go to www.PlanBSales.com and type “DiBenedetto Kansas” in the search window for the various options.
Plan B Sales is a leading provider of NASCAR, NHRA, IndyCar and other diecast cars as well as apparel and collectables.