Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (14598)

Trevor Bayne, driver of the No. 6 Ford EcoBoost Ford, had a right front tire go flat as a result of a melted bead that ultimately sent the Roush Fenway Racing driver hard into the outside retaining wall on Lap 228 in Sunday afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event at Phoenix Raceway. The damage ended Bayne’s day prematurely, ultimately resulting in a 38th-place finish.

“I just lost a right front there off of turn four,” said Bayne after the race. ”The bead just got hot and the tire went down. We had a little damage early on when they checked up and knocked the bead fan off, so that cooling wasn’t getting there. The car got really tight for about three laps and we were in our pit window, we were gonna be coming in a couple laps and it just didn’t hang on. It was a really hard hit. That’s probably one of the harder frontal impacts I’ve had, but I feel fine and ready to go next week and end the season strong in Homestead. Thank you to all of my guys for their hard work this weekend and we will get back after it next week.”

Bayne took the green flag for the scheduled 312-Lap event from the 25th position and immediately reported to crew chief Matt Puccia that the Ford EcoBoost Ford was loose on entry and on exit of the corner while tight rolling through the center. To compound the handling woes further, Bayne sustained damage to the right front fender after making contact with another competitor when the field suddenly slowed going into the corner. Despite the handling issues, Bayne fought for track position throughout the caution free opening stage before taking the green and checkered flag on Lap 75 in the 28th position.

After pitting for four tires and repairs to the right front fender the Knoxville, Tenn. native returned to the track for Stage 2 in 34th. After initially reporting that he was tight from the center to the exit of the corner Bayne started to methodically move forward in a stage that was once again dominated by long green flag runs. The 2011 Daytona 500 champion worked his way back into the top 25 by Lap 125 and up to 23rd by the completion of Stage 2 on Lap 150, improving a total of 11 positions throughout the stage.

Prior to the beginning of the final stage Puccia called Bayne back to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment in the hopes of improving the handling of the Ford EcoBoost Ford further. Taking the ensuing restart in 22nd, Bayne maintained his track position until reporting to Puccia that the handling had shifted toward the tight side once again. Then, just as the window had opened for green flag pit stops, the right front tire went flat in the middle of the third and fourth corner, sending Bayne hard into the outside retaining wall.

With the damage too severe to continue, Bayne was ultimately scored with a 38th-place finish.

Next up for the MENCS is the 2017 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 19.

RFR PR

Ryan Blaney and the No. 21 SKF/Quick Lane wrote another chapter in their storybook 2017 season by winning the pole for Sunday’s Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway.

It was Blaney’s second career pole and the 118th for his Wood Brothers team.

Thanks in large part to their alliance with Team Penske, Blaney and the Wood Brothers team have emerged as one of the sport’s teams to watch. They’ve won a race, at Pocono Raceway, made it to the Round of Eight in the Monster Energy Cup playoffs and now have two poles and three other front-row starts, including one at Phoenix in March.

Blaney’s No. 21 SKF/Quick Lane Fusion was among the fastest cars all day on Friday at Phoenix. He was fifth fastest in practice with a best lap at 136.867 miles per hour.

He was fourth fastest in the first two rounds of qualifying, posting speeds of 137.122 mph in the opening round and bumping his speed up to 137.573 mph in the second.

His pole-winning lap was faster still, at 137.942 mph, and it gives him a head start on collecting the much-needed stage points he’ll need to score if he hopes to advance to the championship round of the Monster Energy Cup playoffs.

 “We got better each round, which is all you can ask for really,” Blaney said. “I thought the last round was our best.  We ran our fastest time and it was enough.  

 “That says something strong about this team. We started second here in the spring and to back that up and better it at a big weekend like this, where we have to perform well, that’s definitely encouraging and it gets our weekend started off on a good foot. 
 
“Hopefully, we can keep this momentum up and keep it going and see what we have for them on Sunday.”
 
Blaney enters the Phoenix weekend sixth in the standings, 22 points away from a berth in the final round of the playoffs, which will be the premier event at next week’s Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
 
He said it’s possible to make the final playoff round on points, but he likely needs a win to be in.
 
 “You never know what can happen,” he said. “If you go and you get a good couple stages in, you and the 11 [Denny Hamlin] or the 2 [Brad Keselowski] don’t have very good stages, you might be right there. 
 
“You never know how it’s going to be. You just kind of assume those two cars are in the positions they are for a reason – because they run up front every single week.  You just kind of realize the situation that you’re in and where they’re running, but it is possible to point our way in, but I’m not really banking on that.  
 
 “That’s going to be really tough to do, along with winning the race.  They’re both going to be tough, but the points thing is not out of the question.”
 
Blaney pointed out that the immediate challenge is working on the SKF/Quick Lane Fusion in Saturday’s practice to prepare it for Sunday’s race.

 “It was really cool outside when we qualified here tonight, and it will be really hot on Sunday,” he said. “We usually see long green-flag runs here and try to keep everything cool – brakes and tires and things like that.  
 
“That’s kind of the opposite of what you want to do in qualifying. You’re trying to get everything in one lap, so we’ll see where our car is.  

 “I thought we were OK today in race trim. I didn’t think we were great, but we’ll have all of tomorrow to try to get that a little bit better. But just trying to keep the car under you on long runs, that’s what we always see here and I felt like that’s kind of been a struggle for us and hopefully we can change that come Sunday.”
  
The Can-Am 500 is set to get the green flag just after 12:30 p.m. (2:30 Eastern) with TV coverage on NBC.

WBR PR

Ryan Blaney will start on the pole at Phoenix Raceway for the Can-Am 500 on Sunday. Blaney, piloting the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing, posted a 26.098, 137.942 mph to score his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series pole.

Blaney enters the weekend in a must-win situation in order to make the Final Four at Homestead-Miami Speedway next week. The young racer sits 17 Playoff points behind Brad Keselowski for that final spot.

Blaney’s earlier pole came in May at Kansas Speedway. The No. 21 Ford led the field for 83 of the 267 circuits and went on to finish fourth. In addition to his win at Pocono Raceway, Blaney holds four top five and 14 top 10 finishes through 34 races in 2017.

Denny Hamlin, another driver looking to get into the Final Four at Homestead-Miami Speedway, will start beside Blaney in the No. 11 FedEx Toyota. Hamlin posted a 26.099, 137.936 mph lap in the final round of knockout qualifying.

The Virginia native enters the weekend sitting 12 Playoff points behind Brad Keselowski.

Hamlin comes into Phoenix with two victories, 15 top five and 21 top 10 finishes.

Kyle Larson will round out the top-three starters on Sunday. Larson, the highest qualifying non-playoff driver, posted a 26.101, 137.926 mph to earn the third-place starting spot.

Playoff drivers Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott will round out the top-five drivers on Sunday.

Playoff drivers further back inside the top 10 include Kevin Harvick in sixth and Kyle Busch in eighth. Jimmie Johnson, who will be starting 12th, and Brad Keselowski, in 16th, are the only two Playoff contenders that will start the Can-Am 500 outside the top 10.

There were no on-track incidents throughout the three rounds of knockout qualifying.

With 40 drivers appearing on the weekend entry list, there were no DNQs.

Ryan Blaney sped to the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup pole position of the season and of his career this evening at Phoenix Raceway.

Blaney’s drove his SKF/Quick Lane Ford Fusion to qualifying laps of 137.122 mph, 137.573 mph and 137.942 mph and will pace the field to the green flag for Sunday’s Can-Am 500.

“We got better each round, which is all you can ask for really,” Blaney said. “I thought the last round was our best. We ran our fastest time and it was enough. That says something strong about this team. I think we started second here in the spring and to back that up and better it at a big weekend like this, where we have to perform well, that’s definitely encouraging and it gets our weekend started off on a good foot. Hopefully, we can keep this momentum up and keep it going and see what we have for them on Sunday.”

This is the fourth time this season that Blaney will start on the front row. It’s his eighth top-five start of the 2017 season.

Blaney still looks at Sunday’s race as a must-win situation.

“Our mindset coming into this weekend was really trying to win the race and sitting on the pole my mindset doesn’t change,” Blaney said. “I still want to go try to win the race, so that’s the mindset we’ve had all week and hopefully we can keep that and I think that’s our goal.”

Asked what it will take to lead the race, Blaney responded, “Honestly, I don’t really know. I’ve never really had the best races here. We’ve had moments of greatness here and then most of the moments we haven’t been fantastic here.”

The challenge, he said, is switching from qualifying trim in cool temperatures to race trim in higher temperatures.

“It’s completely different,” he explained. “One is q-trim and two it was really cool outside when we qualified here tonight and it will be really hot on Sunday. Just trying to make your car be able to last long. We usually see long green flag runs here and try to keep everything cool – brakes and tires and things like that.

“I thought we were okay today in race trim (during practice), he continued. “I didn’t think we were great, but we’ll have all of tomorrow to try to get that a little bit better. But just trying to keep the car under you on long runs, that’s what we always see here and I felt like that’s kind of been a struggle for us and hopefully we can change that come Sunday.”

A key benefit of winning the pole is having the first pit box selection.

“I think it’s really important no matter where you go,” Blaney said. “Here, it’s kind of nice to have this number one pit stall because you’ve got the curved ending to the pit road. That’s kind of nice to have so you don’t have to watch cars coming out of their stall if you’re pitted way back here, and maybe here you can kind of see which cars do two tires and no tires if they’re really far down pit road. Our spotter can relay that to my crew chief before we even get to our stall and they can make an audible call or whatever.  It’s important anywhere.  I don’t really think this place is more important than anywhere else to have the first pit stall.”

In addition to being Blaney’s second career pole, today’s effort gives Wood Brothers Racing its 118th pole. Should he win Sunday’s race, it will be the Wood Brothers’ 100th in addition to putting Blaney in the Championship Four at Homestead.

Ford Performance PR

Eureka, the floorcare brand behind the world's leading home cleaning appliances manufacturer, today announced its official sponsorship of NASCAR Driver #66 David Starr for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. This sponsorship coincides with the official launch of the new Eureka FloorRover vacuum cleaner, making its debut during the Phoenix International Raceway weekend on November 10-12.  And, the partnership with Starr continues for the Series' final race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19. Eureka's NASCAR sponsorship extends into 2018.

Racing fans nationwide can enter for the chance to win two tickets for an exclusive Meet and Greet event with Starr on Sunday, November 12 and get a brand new FloorRover vacuum autographed by Starr and two pit passes for the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway. To enter, fans must follow Eureka on Instagram or Facebook, using #eurekaracing. Entrants must be aged 18 and older and the winner will be selected on November 9 at 8:00 p.m EST. No purchase is necessary to enter.

"We are thrilled to partner with racing legend David Starr in our first NASCAR sponsorship," said Ting Ting Cheng, Vice President at Midea America. "This partnership will give fans an exciting chance to meet David and it is also the perfect opportunity for us to introduce the Eureka FloorRover, our most powerful vacuum that can plow through any surfaces, FAST!."

As a Title Entry sponsor, Starr's #66 Toyota Camry will be covered completely in Eureka branding, featuring the brand's new logo design, and will even include an image of the new FloorRover vacuum. 

"It's truly an honor to partner with and represent an iconic brand like Eureka on the racetrack," said Starr. "I happen to be quite the "clean freak" and the new FloorRover vacuum definitely has my seal of approval with the powerful drive and iconic wheels for great maneuverability."

The FloorRover features breakthrough design and innovative technology that provides consumers a complete cleaning solution. The easy glide wheels are designed for smooth transition when cleaning all floor types—from deep carpets to hardwood floors to tiles. It also has an advanced swivel steering system that maneuvers smoothly to clean around tight spaces and corners. 

In addition, the FloorRover features a multi-cyclonic system that separates large and fine dust for no loss of suction.  It also includes a variety of convenient cleaning tools on board, a Pet Turbo Brush—the ultimate tool for removing pet hair and dander. The vacuum is available in the color rose gold and is equipped with an easy empty dust cup and a HEPA filter, among many other features.

"At Eureka, our mission is to offer consumers products that will help cleaning faster and easier.  Our team of vacuum experts thrive on making products that consumers love," said Cheng.  "We are very passionate about cleaning, and people will see that in our new lineup of Eureka products, starting with the FloorRover."

To learn more about the FloorRover, please visit eurekafloorrover.com. The FloorRover is available at Walmart stores and Walmart.com.

Eureka PR

Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser suffered a heart attack on Saturday Nov. 4 and underwent successful bypass surgery Monday Nov. 6 in Denver, Colo.

Due to the recommended recovery period for the procedure, he will not attend the final two NASCAR Cup Series races — this weekend at Phoenix Raceway and next weekend’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway where his driver Martin Truex Jr. will be one of the Championship 4 finalists vying for the season title.

Visser said he was not feeling well and experiencing numbness before checking into the hospital last Saturday.

“It’s a chance of a lifetime to be in position to win the NASCAR Cup Series championship,” said Visser. “I hope to be in touch with Martin and Cole (Pearn, crew chief) leading up to Homestead and participate without too much excitement.”

Visser is expected to be released from the hospital by the end of the week or early next week.

FRR PR

We will be hosting Gold Star Families this weekend at the NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway. 

The family of Sgt. Sean Cataudella on Saturday and the family of Spc. Raymond Armijo on Sunday.  They will experience a behind the scenes at NASCAR with a driver meet and greet with Jeffrey Earnhardt the driver for the 33 car.

“We are truly humbled by Joe Falk’s willingness to help us in this noble cause,” states George Lutz, founder of Honor and Remember, whose son George Anthony Lutz II was killed by a sniper’s bullet while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2005.  “Joe's commitment to our mission will enable us to tangibly bring additional healing to many grieving families across our nation.”

The Can Am 300 will take place at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 12th at 12:30 p.m. ET.  Fans can keep up with the action on Twitter by following at @JoeFalk33, @CSMTG3330 via the organization’s the web at www.CircleSportMotorRacing.com.

TMG PR

Welder Nation has joined the Circle Sport - TMG stable as an associate sponsor, on board the No. 33 Chevrolet, for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway. 

"We are excited to have Welder Nation join CSTMG this weekend at Phoenix," commented team owner, Joe Falk. "Welder Nation has some of the best product in the industry. We’re glad to have them on board the No. 33 Hulu Chevrolet.”

Welder Nation President Jason Tremblay commented, “We, at Welder Nation, are extremely proud to partner with Jeffrey and his team. We feel as a young, growing brand Jeffrey is the perfect partner and are thrilled to have him represent our company!”

Tune into NBC, Sunday at 2:30pm ET to catch the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix Raceway. For more information on Welder Nation visit their website www.weldernation.com

TMG PR