Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (12857)

After a race dominated by Toyota and Denny Hamlin — who led 48 of 75 laps— and a last lap pass attempt by Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano wound up with victory in the Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona to kick off the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Season on a high note.

 

This is Logano’s first win in the Clash. Logano joins Kurt Busch and Rusty Wallace in the hall of Clash victories for Team Penske.

 

“It’s cool to win the Clash. We came so close last year and it’s really neat to be in Victory Lane and a good start to our day,” said Logano post race.

 

Logano started the race in the ninth position, but quickly saw his way to the front of the field quickly with Keselowski and Ford teammate, Kevin Harvick. The Ford contingent kept strong to hold off the Toyota contingent of Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, and Daniel Suarez.

 

Logano quickly lost his drafting partner when Keselowski was busted on pit road for driving through too many pit boxes.

 

When the race restarted, Logano held his own while trying to battle with the Joe Gibbs Racing contingent. With one lap remaining in the first segment, Joe Gibbs Racing teammates and Alex Bowman dived onto pit road leaving Logano with the lead as the first segment ended.

 

That move by Toyota gave them the upper hand when it came to the second segment as they lead the top-four positions for majority of the second segment.

 

Logano went quiet for most of the second segment awaiting Keselowski, but when the time was right Keselowski worked his way through the field to Logano. Logano began pushing Keselowski towards the lead, helping to side-draft the Joe Gibbs Racing contingent.

 

When the white flag flew, Logano and Keselowski made their way to the second and third position. Logano was third as Keselowski, made contact with Hamlin spinning him. Logano quickly moved to the outside of the turn to the lead gaining a huge advantage over Ky. Busch.

 

“I had to make the move.  I know all the other drivers are back watching and they know not to make that block on me again,” said Keselowski about the move he had to make.

 

“There’s really not much I can do differently at the end. Perhaps staying in the middle lane there through one and two and trying to side draft. He (Brad Keselowski) had help from the 22 (Joey Logano). I was in a bad spot there. He was just coming so much faster than what I was,” said Hamlin. “There’s not much that I could have done to defend. We lined up so well as Toyota teammates throughout the race that once those guys started breaking that up and leap frogging, he (Keselowski) had commitment from the 22 and the 4 (Kevin Harvick) and when they were able to back up there that really put us at a speed differential.”

 

Hamlin ended up finishing 13th, while Keselowski finished sixth after their collision on the exit of turn two.

 

Logano scored Ford Performance’s first victory in the Clash since 2004 when Dale Jarrett won the race.

 

Ky. Busch finished second, Bowman finished third, Danica Patrick finishes fourth, and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top-five.

The Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona has been postponed to Sunday at 11:35 a.m. EST. The race will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1, Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM.

NASCAR made every effort to dry the track, but those efforts were encumbered due to track conditions and incoming weather that has been in the Daytona Beach area all afternoon.

In the first practice session for the full field in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Ford showed their upperhand quickly.

Ford held seven of the top-10 positions with Joey Logano leading the way at the top of the chart with a speed of 193.116 mph. The highest Chevrolet was Kyle Larson, who was in the fourth position with a speed of 193.034 mph. The highest Toyota driver was Daniel Suarez, who was sixth fastest on the charts with a speed of 192.922 mph.

“Practice is really just practice.  There’s really nothing to it there.  We’ll just have to keep tuning it in to make sure we’re good in the races,” said Logano.

Erik Jones and Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing struggled during the nearly four hour practice session. Jones was the last driver to clear inspection shortly after 2 p.m. EST.

Of the cars who will either qualify or race their way in in the Can-Am Duel, Brendan Gaughan was fastest at a speed of 189.625 mph.

All 42 entries for the Daytona 500 made a lap in the session. No drivers ran 10 consecutive laps as single file runs dominated the practice session for qualifying.

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 will be on Motor Racing Network and FOX beginning at 3:00 p.m. EST on Sunday.

Front Row Motorsports’ partnership base continues to grow with two additional companies joining the team for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Camping World will be the primary sponsor of David Ragan’s No. 38 Ford for nine races, including the season-opening Daytona 500. Jacob Companies, a design and construction firm, will be a primary partner for six races on the No. 38 Ford.
 
Camping World, a national retailer of RVs, RV accessories and RV-related services, as well as the title sponsor of NASCAR’s Truck Series, is partnering with Front Row Motorsports for the first time.
 
“We’ve had a lot of success with our NASCAR marketing program, and we’re excited about getting more involved with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series,” said Marcus Lemonis, Chairman and CEO of Camping World and Good Sam and star of CNBC’s The Profit. “David Ragan is a great driver and a wonderful spokesman for his partners. He’s got a couple superspeedway wins already, so we know we could see our Camping World Ford in Victory Lane next Sunday for everyone’s enjoyment.”
 
Jacob Companies also joins the team with an existing motorsports background, having sponsored events and teams in various racing series in recent years. The full-service general contractor offers design, development, construction, technology and management services, specializing in high-rise structures, universities, hotels, automotive dealerships, athletic facilities and parking structures.
 
The 2017 season will mark the company’s first partnership with Front Row Motorsports. The Jacob Companies scheme will be on the No. 38 Ford for six races, including the March 19 race at Phoenix International Raceway.
 
“Front Row Motorsports offers a great marketing platform for businesses like Jacob Companies,” said the company’s president, Don Perry. “We respect how Bob Jenkins runs his team and how it has grown in success over the years. We also know David Ragan is a great ambassador for his partners and we look forward to having him represent us both on and off the track.”
 
Front Row Motorsports announced last month that Love’s Travel Stops will once again partner with the No. 34 team and driver Landon Cassill for 18 races. The team plans to announce additional multi-race partnerships soon and expects to have more race inventory sold entering the 2017 season than it has in any previous year of competition.
 
Bob Jenkins’ team is coming off a milestone 2016 season, gaining extra attention for the organization and its partners with driver Chris Buescher earning the team’s second win and its first playoff berth. Buescher finished 16th in the championship standings, a high-water mark for the Statesville, N.C.-based team, which has competed full-time in NASCAR’s premier series since 2009.
 
“I’m really proud that companies are seeing the value in working with us,” Jenkins said. “We have some great partners who’ve been with us for four or five years in a row now, who are clearly seeing success with their programs. And we’ve got new companies like Camping World and Jacob Companies coming on board for multiple-race partnerships, too.
 
“We’re still a growing team, but we’ve got a lot of successes to brag about, both on and off the track. I’m glad companies are seeing that and wanting to partner with us.”
 
The team has multiple races for which it still seeks partners.
 
“While we’ve had a really successful off-season with marketing partnerships, we still have races open in good markets,” Jenkins added. “We’d love to start conversations with even more potential partners.”
 
The team will be on track at Daytona International Speedway when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series gets under way with the qualifying Duels on Thursday, Feb. 23, and the season-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26.
 
To learn more about partnership marketing opportunities with Front Row Motorsports, visit teamfrm.com.

FRM PR

Keselowski Draws P1

17 Feb 2017 Written by

The lineup for the Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona is set. Brad Keselowski will start on the pole in the 75-lap exhibition race.  Denny Hamlin will start from the outside pole position.

Jamie McMurray will start third followed by Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Danica Patrick, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Matt Kenseth, Daniel Suarez, and Chris Buescher.

The field was set by a random draw behind the NASCAR hauler shortly after 3:30 p.m. EST.

The Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona kicks off the season. The race will be live on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network beginning at 8:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 18th.

Over the off-seasons NASCAR along with its many partners that include the driver’s council, television and track operators introduced several changes into the sport for 2017 that will take place across the national series.

One of the most prevalent is the stages of the races breaking them into three segments each and the recently announced damaged car policies of allowing teams five minutes to repair a car or if they go to the garage as a result of a crash it in effect ends their day.

While I am fine with the new crash policy as it has in the past has been a system of have’s and the have nots of racing. Teams with unlimited resources spend tons of money on crash carts and personnel and bring crew from teams to work on damaged car when a driver is in a pinch and needs to get back out to gain points. While others park it or maybe make that attempt and run at or below minimum speed without truly repairing the car until NASCAR parks them for the day.

So this will not eliminate costs in the garage of unlimited amounts of money spent on crash carts by teams to a more reasonable cost as NASCAR will define what can and cannot be replaced without going to the garage.

But I don’t think the policy goes far enough. I think it’s also time for NASCAR to rid teams of backup cars nearly half-million dollar machines sitting in wait in case something happens during practice or qualifying. I mean you can’t go to a backup mid race so what other purpose does that car serve. That only exception I can see to this is Speedweeks and the qualifying rules surrounding the Daytona 500 with the Duels. I will agree to one car per team would be allowable.

The second rule I think NASCAR needs to begin looking at is the engine rule and changing engines. In the modern era engines are more stable platforms than ever before. Rarely do they fail and when they do it’s usually under race conditions after qualifying and practice in which yet again you cannot change an engine during the middle of a race.

Organizations and engine builders bringing multiple backups to an event should be limited in comparison to the number of cars the organization has on the ground that weekend.

For example if an organization has four cars either engines in each car then an allowable rate of two backups for those four cars. Again the only exception would be Daytona as the current rules allow an engine change with no penalties and that’s more than sufficient.

For my final cost reduction goes to the stage races that will be implemented.

Looking at an event overall I think NASCAR is looking at changing events and giving them an overhaul and they did so. However simple tweaks would have reduced costs, allowed teams more time at home and given race fans some of what they have been asking for.

First let’s look at reducing some of the racing events down in length. At the beginning of NASCAR races were 150, 200 or so laps in length. Over time those increased and cost increased to owners and teams to build better cars to handle the endurance factor.

Should we go back to races of that length I don’t believe so but what I do think is some of the events today as Pocono has done reducing their races down also need to do the same. This will in turn reduce costs to teams on outside factors such as tires the teams have a required purchase on the weekend.

The second part of this is moving some of these shortened maybe even some night races to one day shows where just like short track events holding practice, qualifying and the race all in one day. There are some tracks such as Bristol, Richmond, Charlotte, Darlington, and now that Martinsville is adding lights might benefit from having all these events in one day will keep race fans at the track engaged.

It will then in turn also cut costs from multiple night hotel stays, meal costs, along with incidentals that come along with traveling from event to event.

While there is sure to be pushback on some of these items, sponsorship dollars to stay viable and continue to compete is ever important and teams sometimes need to make a sacrifice such as they have done with the new crash rules if they wish to continue to thrive at the top levels of NASCAR.

NASCAR today announced updates to its concussion protocol for competitors, adding a consistent screening tool for all venues and increasing available neurological support for race event weekends through its new partnership with AMR.

 "NASCAR has worked very closely with the industry to ensure our concussion protocol reflects emerging best practices in this rapidly developing area of sports medicine," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "We will continue to utilize relationships we’ve had for years with leaders in the neurological research field who helped to shape these updates."

NASCAR’s protocol now includes:

  • - As part of the new rule regarding damaged vehicles, a driver whose car sustains damage from an accident or contact of any kind and goes behind the pit wall or to the garage is required to visit the Infield Care Center to be evaluated.
  • - The medical portion of NASCAR’s Event Standards now require that Infield Care Center physicians incorporate the SCAT-3 diagnostic tool in screening for head injuries.
  • - AMR will provide on-site neurological consultative support at select NASCAR events during the 2017 season and will work directly with NASCAR in the continued development of concussion protocol.

The new protocol goes into effect immediately for all NASCAR national series. 

NASCAR PR

Biffle Has A New Gig

17 Feb 2017 Written by

After his abrupt departure from Roush-Fenway Racing, Greg Biffle has a new gig. The gig is not in a car, but on television.

Biffle will join NASCAR on NBC’s “NASCAR America” beginning on March 1st. Biffle will be a recurring guest on the program.

Biffle made the announcement on social media:

Biffle competed in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for 15 years. He had a career total of 19 wins, 92 top-fives, 175 top-10's, and 13 poles. Biffle only had four "did not finishes" throughout his career. 

The first official “race” of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series begins with the Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona. This is the 39th running of the Clash.

17 drivers are scheduled to compete with new names like Alex Bowman and Daniel Suarez.

Drivers who are eligible to compete in the Clash are 2016 MENCS Pole winners, former winners of the Clash, former Daytona 500 pole winners, and 2016 Playoff drivers.

Suarez was able to participate in the Clash due to the sudden departure of Carl Edwards. NASCAR will allow Suarez to participate because Joe Gibbs Racing has already being in advanced stages of preparing the car and having sponsorship.

Bowman will drive the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet because Dale Earnhardt Jr. determined that Bowman should have the opportunity because he won the pole at Phoenix late last season.

The Advanced Auto Parts Clash will be a 75-lap feature with competition caution at lap-25 to separate the segments.

Bowman, Chris Buescher, and Suarez will be making their “Clash” debuts.

“The biggest thing for me racing in the Clash this weekend is going to be just getting the feel of the car and learning my crew chief,” Buescher said. “This is a big race, not in points, but because it’s the first time the No. 37 team is all going to be on track together. That’s the one learning curve we haven’t been able to test yet, but I’m really looking forward to getting back in the racecar and using The Clash as a learning tool for the Daytona 500,” said Buescher.

“It’s going to be really nice to be able to get back to the grind and have Dale (Earnhardt Jr.) behind the wheel for us again. It’s almost kind of like getting a rookie back, somebody who’s really intense and really wanting to just get back behind the wheel. I know that’s re-energized and rejuvenated a lot of the guys on the team -- especially myself,” said Bowman.

Qualifying for the Clash will be based on a random draw. There will be two practice sessions for the race on February 17th at 5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1.