Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (15087)

Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal the penalty announced today by NASCAR stemming from an unintentional support bracket failure at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kenny Francis, 48, has been named interim crew chief of the No. 9 NASCAR Cup Series team with driver Chase Elliott for the April 15 event at Bristol Motor Speedway and the April 21 event at Richmond Raceway. The Jacksonville, Florida, native, who was Elliott’s crew chief for five points races in 2015 and one in 2017, currently serves as Hendrick Motorsports’ vehicle technical director and has 17 wins, 75 top-five finishes and 149 top-10s as a Cup Series crew chief.

Hendrick Motorsports PR

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Infaction Date Track Team Level Infraction Penalty
4/8/2018 (Post-race inspection) Texas No. 9 L1 Section 20.4.8.1 Rear Window Support and Structure
Note: Rear Window Support Braces must keep the rear window glass rigid in all
direction at all times.
Crew Chief (Alan Gustafson) has been suspended for the next two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Points Events and fined $50,000. Team has been assessed with the loss of 20 owner points and 20 driver points.
NASCAR Penalty
Infaction Date Track Team / Member Level Infraction Penalty
4/5/2018 N/A Mason M. Mitchell Behavioral
(SAP)
Section 19 Indefinite suspension from NASCAR
4/6/2018 N/A Charles E. Moles Behavioral
(SAP)
Section 19 Indefinite suspension from NASCAR
4/5/2018 N/A Jeremy L. Murphy Behavioral
(SAP)
Section 19 Indefinite suspension from NASCAR

 

NASCAR announced penalties following its weekend of racing at Texas Motor Speedway on Wednesday morning. The penalties included a number of indefinite suspensions and one violation discovered during post-race Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series inspection.

NASCAR members Mason Mitchell, not ARCA Racing Series driver and owner, Charles Moles and Jeremy Murphy, have all been suspended indefinitely for violating NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy.

The penalty in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage was for the No. 9 Chevrolet of Chase Elliott. Crew chief Alan Gustafson will be suspended for the next two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races and fined $50,000. Team will also lose 20 driver and owner points as a result for violating section 20.4.8.1 (Rear Window Support and Structure Note: Rear Window Support Braces must keep the rear window glass rigid in all direction at all times.)

Hendrick Motorsports later issued the following statement:

“Hendrick Motorsports will not appeal the penalty announced today by NASCAR stemming from an unintentional support bracket failure at Texas Motor Speedway.

Kenny Francis, 48, has been named interim crew chief of the No. 9 NASCAR Cup Series team with driver Chase Elliott for the April 15 event at Bristol Motor Speedway and the April 21 event at Richmond Raceway. The Jacksonville, Florida, native, who was Elliott’s crew chief for five points races in 2015 and one in 2017, currently serves as Hendrick Motorsports’ vehicle technical director and has 17 wins, 75 top-five finishes and 149 top-10s as a Cup Series crew chief.”

There were no penalties found in the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage.

According to a report from NBC Sports, NASCAR is "expected" to have teams run restrictor plates in the May 19th Monster Energy Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Restrictor Plates which is most commonly used at tracks such as Talladega and Daytona are used to help the cars create a pack or group form of racing. If all goes well, this will create more side-by-side racing throughout the All-Star Race. 

The All-Star Race has had its issues over the past few years with new rule changes to the event. For example, Matt Kenseth's pit strategy sent the All-Star race into a mode of panic because of a late caution during the first segments in 2016 and the 2017 race's tire rules would confuse many of the competitors. 

A Goodyear executive said the softer tire compound used in 2017 will not return in 2018.  

NBC Sports learned through industry sources that a decision is expected to be made on Wednesday by 6 P.M. Eastern if restrictor plates will be used in this years All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

SunnyD will look to make its presence known this weekend as NASCAR rolls into the winding hills of eastern Tennessee and Bristol Motor Speedway. Not only will the iconic brand be featured on the No. 17 Ford Fusion of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., but the trendy orange and blue scheme will also be featured on Ty Majeski’s No. 60 Ford Mustang, as the highly regarded up-and-comer makes his Bristol racing debut.

“Bristol is one of my favorite tracks,” Stenhouse said. “I can’t wait to get this weekend started especially with SunnyD on our No. 17 Ford. We’ve been so close at Bristol so hopefully we can get this fan favorite scheme into victory lane and celebrate with some refreshing SunnyD.”

Stenhouse is coming off a strong performance at Texas, where he wheeled the SunnyD Ford all the way through the field and into first position, before a late mechanical issue cost him what looked to be a sure top-five finish.

Majeski will make his 2018 debut after scoring a top-10 finish in the season finale last season at Homestead.

“I’m very excited about running my first race at Bristol and about having SunnyD on the car this weekend,” said Majeski. “Bristol is one of those tracks that you circle on the schedule and you grow up dreaming of running there. We had a blast testing there a couple of weeks ago and I can’t wait to get back there and hit the track with that SunnyD Ford Mustang.”

Stenhouse’s No. 17 SunnyD Ford is widely regarded as one of the best-looking race cars on the circuit and the duo of SunnyD Fords on the track this weekend at Bristol will certainly shed light on an already bright and action-packed weekend at the World’s Fastest Half Mile.

Fans are invited to join in the SunnyD takeover throughout the weekend, as Roush Fenway’s award-winning social team continues to provide fans with unique behind the scenes looks, fan giveaways and other original content. Fans should check out the Roush Fenway Instagram stories for exclusive behind-the-scenes action, as well as promotions for the team’s store.

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.

RFR PR

StarCom Racing heads to the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway this Sunday, April 15 continuing its partnership with Landon Cassill as the driver of the 00 Chevy Camaro.

“I’m very grateful to continue this journey with StarCom Racing. They’re a new group of team owners with a lot of ambition to succeed in this sport, said Landon Cassill. “I think they’re going to bring a lot to NASCAR, and I’m honored to be involved with them from the start.”

Coming off its P21 finish at the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, SCR and TW Cable, LLC, a major technology supply house, has partnered together to conquer Thunder Valley.

“I’m extremely excited to partner with StarCom Racing and Landon Cassill for the Food City 500. I love NASCAR and love speed and am hoping to work together with them for more races in the future,” said Craig Goodstein, owner of TW Cable, LLC.

In addition to TW Cable, LLC as the 00 primary sponsor, SCR has also partnered with co-primary sponsor Superior Essex, which specializes in communications cable and magnet wire manufacturing and distribution.

“Superior Essex is proud to partner with StarCom Racing, StarCom Fiber, TW Cable, LLC and Landon Cassill at Bristol this weekend,” said David Ducharme, Global Account Manager at Superior Essex.

To learn more about TW Cable, LLC and Superior Essex please visit www.twcablellc.net and www.spsx.com

StarCom Racing PR

Ragan on Bristol

"The atmosphere is a lot different between the day race and the night race at Bristol. It would be fun to have two night races, but you never know what kind of weather you’re going to have in April. But the racing is always very similar between the two races. The bottom groove gets some rubber in it, the top groove comes in during the race. I’ve really liked the track over the last few years. The top groove is a unique, fast place to race. But the guys who have good-handling cars can still make moves and pass on the bottom. That’s what you want as a driver and as a race fan. You want drivers to have options. You want to be able to pass. And I think you have that at Bristol.

"I’ve been a little back and forth on the grip strip at the bottom. I think the intent on paper makes a little bit of sense. But it’s very sensitive to temperature, to sunlight, to the amount of track rubber. So, it’s changing a lot and difficult to keep up with. And I don’t think it makes the racing any better, so I wish that they would leave the track alone and let things occur naturally throughout the weekend as rubber is laid down. Until they get that scienced out a little bit, I think the potential is there, but I’m not a big fan of it today."

Ragan Bristol Stats
22 starts, 1 top-10, 3 top-15s, 6 top-20s
Best finish: 10th

FRM PR

McDowell on Bristol

"I think Bristol and Indy are the two most physical races. Bristol just because of the high loads and no rest, Indy because it’s a billion degrees outside. Bristol is another track that we circle. Front Row’s had some great runs there, David Ragan’s very good there. Roush cars in general have been good. So, with our technical alliance with Roush Fenway, we look forward to Bristol knowing they had top-10 cars both races there last time, so we can piggyback off that with our Love's Travel Stops Ford. We look forward to the short tracks, no doubt.

"I’m hoping we get an opportunity to not lay the grip strip down Sunday morning. Some drivers love it, some hate it. But it’s made for good racing. The options are nice. But I also feel like those tracks that are really challenging, that are one groove and you’ve got to be precise, they make for good racing in their own ways. So, the old Bristol when we were side by side, nobody liked it. Then we all got single file and nobody liked it. Now we’re side by side and you can’t pass, and nobody likes it. So, I don’t know what to do. You can’t please everybody, but the racing regardless has been there every time."

McDowell Bristol Stats
15 starts, 3 top-20s
Best finish: 18th 

FRM PR

With four top-five finishes and five top-10s in the first six races of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Kyle Busch led the points heading into last weekend’s race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth – no doubt a very strong start to the season.

 

But for Busch, driver of the No. 18 Skittles Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), three runner-up finishes and a third-place finish in the races just prior to Texas proved highly frustrating as he had come so agonizingly close to his first win of the year four weekends in a row.

 

However, as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Food City 500, Busch will be returning to the .533-mile high-banked oval as the most recent winner in NASCAR’s top series as he finally broke through last weekend at Texas with his third career win there.

 

This weekend, Busch and his team head to Bristol, another place where he has multiple wins, looking to start a win streak. And they have every reason to feel confident since the Bristol bullring and next weekend’s race stop at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway are among his strongest tracks on the circuit.

 

Last August, Busch not only brought home his sixth series win at Bristol, breaking a tie with brother Kurt Busch for the most wins there among active drivers, he also swept all three races (Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck) for the second time in his career.

 

In addition to his six career Cup Series wins, Busch has notched nine top-fives and 14 top-10s in 25 career starts at Northeast Tennessee’s “Thunder Valley.” Three of Busch’s Cup wins there came over a four-race span in 2009 and 2010.


While he is one of the favorites to win any time he travels to Bristol, it’s interesting to note Busch didn’t immediately take to the place. During his rookie year in 2005, he posted finishes of 28th and 33rd. But his record since then has been impressive, to say the least. After bringing home finishes of eighth and second in 2006, Busch captured his first Bristol Cup Series win in March 2007. The track was resurfaced after that race and, from 2008 to 2011, nobody has been better at the concrete short track than Busch. He scored four wins and six top-10s from 2008 until another change to the track surface prior to the August 2012 race weekend. Busch seems to have recaptured the magic from his four years of dominance there into a new era of strong runs there.

 

So as Busch and the Skittles team head to the Bristol Bullring this weekend, they’ll hope last weekend’s Texas win is just the start of something big. Another checkered flag at a Bristol track that has treated him quite well over the years is certainly possible.

 

TSC PR

NASCAR® and Monster Energy have signed an agreement that will extend the entitlement sponsorship of NASCAR’s premier series. The extension keeps NASCAR and Monster Energy partners through 2019. As part of the agreement, the brand also continues as the Official Energy Drink of NASCAR.  

“NASCAR and Monster Energy enjoyed a productive first year and both parties have benefited significantly from the partnership,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer. “Monster Energy successfully utilized our sport as a platform to elevate its brand and drive business, while introducing NASCAR to new audiences. With this renewal, we look forward to building upon our early success.”

“Over the past year, NASCAR’s passionate and brand loyal fan base embraced Monster Energy and we are excited to be able to continue to build on and strengthen that momentum through 2019,” said Rodney Sacks, Monster Beverage Chairman and CEO. “Racing is in our DNA and extending this partnership further establishes Monster Energy’s prominence in motorsports.” 

NASCAR PR

 

It's back! The famed No. 43 will again carry the STP colors this weekend during Sunday's Food City 500 at the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. The Bubba Wallace-designed scheme will make its return to the track after a disappointing finish in the STP 500 at the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway earlier this year.

Wallace Jr. is looking for redemption, and STP was more than happy to again support Wallace Jr. in his rookie campaign in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The STP scheme has been one of the most popular this year. Fans raved over the nostalgic colors mixed with Wallace Jr.'s modern touches. The return of STP this weekend has Wallace Jr. excited.
 
"Martinsville was so disappointing for us," said Wallace Jr. "It's my favorite track and things just didn't go the way we hoped. But, hey, we put that behind us, and now STP is coming back to give us another chance to show what we can do. So, that's awesome and really shows what great partners they are. I love this scheme, the fans love it, and I'm going to do my best to put it up front."
 
"STP has been a long-time, proud supporter of the '43' and everyone at STP is looking forward to supporting Bubba this weekend at Bristol," said Katina Wall, Marketing Director for STP. "Although there were some challenges during the STP 500, we have faith in Bubba and everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports. We love short track racing and the iconic STP paint scheme on the banks of Bristol, where we've won twice with Richard, will be exciting for everyone."

The Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled for this Sunday, April 15. The race will be televised live on FOX at 2:00 p.m. ET and broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and SIRIUS/XM NASCAR radio.

RPM PR