Posted on: February 12, 2011 11:27 am

NASCAR reacts to high speeds

Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Speeds in excess of 203 mph apparently have not convinced NASCAR officials to go with a smaller restrictor plate for the remainder of "Speedweeks."

Rather than a smaller plate that would choke more horsepower and bring down speeds, NASCAR has tinkered with air cooling hoses in an effort to break up the two car drafts that were the cause of the lightning-fast laps turned in during Friday night's Bud Shootout practice sessions.

By removing some of the hoses, NASCAR believes it will stop a car from drafting behind another for any extended time for fear of overheating as the airflow for the second car is reduced significantly.

"There's a couple of fresh air hoses that a lot of the teams added that are okay, it's not something that they did outside of us knowing about it, and we're just taking them back off," said Sprint Cup Series director John Darby. "If the cars can heat up a little quicker to where we can limit the amount of laps that they push each other for all the reasons we'll probably have a little better race out of the deal."

There are two Sprint Cup practice sessions scheduled for Saturday.



Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 12, 2011 11:12 am

Skinner lands Daytona truck ride

Posted By Pete Pistone
From Team Telease
Denver, N.C. (February 12, 2011)-- Eddie Sharp Racing announced veteran NASCAR driver Mike Skinner will pilot the No. 45 Cushman Toyota Tundra at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event on February 18.
“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to have Mike Skinner drive for us at Daytona,” said team owner Eddie Sharp. “To have someone of his caliber drive for our young truck program is exciting. I have known Mike for many years, and I am thankful for his trust in our program and his relationship with Toyota. I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
The former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion will compete for the eighth time at the 2.5-mile speedway in the NCWTS.
“Eddie Sharp and I have been friends for a long time, and I have watched him win big in the ARCA Racing Series over the past few years,” said Skinner. “He came to me a few years ago and told me about his goal to move into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. I think it is exciting to be able to work together and help him accomplish this dream in his first full season in NASCAR.”
Skinner will continue to drive a Toyota Tundra with Cushman on board as sponsor. Cushman vehicles are used worldwide to transport personnel, materials and equipment at manufacturing facilities, warehouses, resorts, and other commercial and industrial facilities. Cushmanbrand and product lines are owned by Textron, a global multi-industry company based in Providence, R.I. Cushman is a sister brand to such powerful brands as Cessna, Bell Helicopter, E-Z-GO, Greenlee and Jacobsen. 2011 marks the 110<sup>th</sup>anniversary of the company.
“I’m excited to have Cushman on board for Daytona, and I’m ready to get on the track,” said Skinner. “We are currently working on sponsorship for the rest of the season, and I really hope that we can put together something to be able to run the full NCWTS schedule. I have a great relationship with Toyota, and we have really helped each other throughout the years- good and bad. It is a win-win situation for both myself and Toyota, and through our relationship, we are able to work with people like Eddie Sharp.”
Jefferson Hodges will be the crew chief the No. 45 Cushman Toyota. Hodges, who served as crew chief for veteran Steve Park in several NCWTS in 2010, provides years of experience in the NASCAR garages, including experience as crew chief for Kevin Conway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, car chief for Paul Menard in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He also won the NASCAR Weekly Series National championship with Mark McFarland.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with Mike Skinner,” said Hodges. “We’ve prepared a great truck to bring for Skinner, and it’s going to be a great opportunity to work with a driver that has such stature and knowledge. His experience will accelerate our learning curve in our first year in the series, and I really am looking forward to working with him.”
Skinner will join Craig Goess in the ESR lineup at Daytona International Speedway. Goess, a NCWTS rookie, will drive the No. 46 Greenville Toyota of N.C. Tundra in the event.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 11, 2011 9:53 pm

Earnhardt on Shootout pole

Posted By Pete Pistone

Starting line-up for Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout. Drivers drew random numbers to determine starting positions:


#88-Earnhardt Jr., Chevy, chose 14th, starts 1st/POLE

#14-Stewart, Chevy, chose 7th, starts 2nd

#99-Edwards, Ford, chose 4th, starts 3rd

#11-Hamlin, Toyota, chose 2nd, starts 4th

#4-Kahne, Ford, chose 21st, starts 5th

#47-Labonte, Toyota, chose 13th, starts 6th

#33-Bowyer, Chevy, chose 12th, starts 7th

#39-Newman, Chevy, chose 18th, starts 8th

#64-Cope, Toyota, chose 17th, starts 9th

#15-Waltrip, Toyota, chose 16th, starts 10th

#16-Biffle, Ford, chose 6th, starts 11th

#24-Gordon, Chevy, chose 10th, starts 12th

#42-Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevy, chose 22nd, starts 13th

#1-McMurray, Chevy, chose 19th, starts 14th

#31-Burton, Chevy, chose 11th, starts 15th

#97-Conway, Toyota, chose 20th, starts 16th

#22-Busch, Dodge, chose 9th, starts 17th

#29-Harvick, Chevy, chose 3rd, starts 18th

#17-Kenseth, Ford, chose 5th, starts 19th

#5-Martin, Chevy, chose 15th, starts 20th

#18-Busch, Toyota, chose 8th, starts 21st

#20-Logano, Toyota, chose 23rd, starts 22nd
(since Logano is not 21 years old, crew chief Greg Zippidelli chose the bottle)

#48-Johnson, Chevy, chose 1st, starts 23rd

#78-Smith, Chevy, chose 24th, starts 24th/last

Posted on: February 11, 2011 7:41 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 9:14 pm

Speeds over 203 mph in Shootout practice

Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Any questions about how Daytona's new asphalt racing surface would impact racing were answered in Friday night's final practice session for Saturday's Budweiser Shootout.

Ten drivers went over 200 mph during the session, which was interrupted once when a bank of lights went out in the second turn and down the backstretch.

Joey Logano was the fastest of the field with a lap of 203.087 mph. That was the highest Sprint Cup Series speed at Daytona since Bill Elliott's pole-winning run of over 210 mph when he won the pole for the 1987 Daytona 500, the last time restrictor plates were not used at the track.

Kyle Busch , Logano's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, was second on the charts with a lap of 203.085 mph.

Speculation about whether NASCAR would issue a smaller restrictor plate to lower the speeds for next week's Gatorade Duel qualifying races and the Daytona 500 began after the session with no official word from the sanctioning body.

Budweiser Shootout Second Practice

1. Joey Logano 203.087 mph

2. Kyle Busch 203.085 mph

3. Michael Waltrip 202.152 mph

4. Bobby Labonte 201.839 mph

5. Greg Biffle 200.951 mph

6. Denny Hamlin 200.947 mph

7. Jeff Gordon 200.835 mph

8. Kevin Harvick 200.835 mph

9. Carl Edwards 200.209 mph

10. Matt Kenseth 200.000 mph

11. Kasey Kahne 199.641 mph

12. Mark Martin 199.641 mph

13. Regan Smith 199.159 mph

14. Kurt Busch 199.155 mph

15. Jimmie Johnson 195.712 mph

16. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 195.707 mph

17. Kevin Conway 193.220 mph

18. Derrike Cope 180.719 mph

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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 11, 2011 6:13 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 9:15 pm

Earnhardt tops first Shootout practice

Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Dale Earnhardt Jr. paced the 24 drivers who took part in Friday's first practice session for Saturday's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. Earnhardt turned a lap just below 200 mph with a run of 199.862 mph.

Budweiser Shootout Practice One

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 199.862 mph

2. Mark Martin 199.853 mph

3. Jimmie Johnson 199.636 mph

4. Clint Bowyer 199.835 mph

5. Kyle Busch 198.706 mph

6. Jeff Burton 198.702 mph

7. Ryan Newman 198.684 mph

8. Denny Hamlin 198.680 mph

9. Greg Biffle 198.238 mph

10. Joey Logano 198.234 mph

11. Tony Stewart 198.111 mph

12. Jamie McMurray 197.833 mph

13. Juan Pablo Montoya 197.833 mph

14. Kurt Busch 197.589 mph

15. Carl Edwards 197.481 mph

16. Kevin Harvick 197.477 mph

17. Michael Waltrip 197.351 mph

18. Matt Kenseth 197.278 mph

19. Kasey Kahne 197.230 mph

20. Jeff Gordon 196.416 mph

21. Bobby Labonte 196.177 mph

22. Regan Smith 196.031 mph

23. Kevin Conway 186.668 mph

24. Derrike Cope 172.970 mph

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: February 11, 2011 5:01 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 9:17 pm

Annett on probation until year's end

Posted By Pete Pistone
News Release
DAYTONA BEACH , Fla.  (Feb. 11, 2011)  – NASCAR announced today that it has placed Michael Annett , driver of the No. 62 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, on probation until Dec. 31, 2011.

Annett violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2011 NASCAR Rule Book. The violation occurred Feb. 6.

In addition to the steps already underway by Rusty Wallace Racing, Annett will be evaluated by a certified substance abuse professional at NASCAR’s discretion and will be subject to random alcohol and drug testing.

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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 11, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 3:48 pm

2011 Bud Shootout preview

Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The first on-track competition of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is set Saturday night when the Budweiser Shootout takes the green flag.

The annual all-star event has been part of Daytona's "Speedweeks" activities since 1979, when it was known as the Busch Clash and featured the original idea of a preseason non-points race made up of the previous year's pole winners. The race evolved over the years into the Bud Shootout and became a fan favorite because of its unique qualification criteria and the wide-open style of racing.

However when Anheuser-Busch ceased its sponsorship of Sprint Cup pole qualifying NASCAR and Daytona officials were forced to amend the rules to qualify drivers for the race. This year's criteria includes drivers from last year's Chase plus others who have been successful at Daytona over the years including former 500 winners and July Sprint Cup race champions. In all 30 drivers were eligible for this year's edition and a field of 24 will line-up on Saturday night.

Kevin Harvick looks to win his third straight Budweiser Shootout, which would be an opportune accomplishment given he'll fly the brewery's colors and logos on his No. 29 Chevrolet this season.

Here's a closer look at Saturday night's 2011 Budweiser Shootout:

Driver Eligibility

Twelve drivers from 2010 Chase

Past Sprint Cup champions

Past Budweiser Shootout winners

Past Daytona points race winners

Sprint Cup rookie-of-the-year drivers from 2001-2010

Drivers will hold a random draw Friday night to determine starting spots

Race Format

A total of 75 laps broken into an opening 25-lap segment and a closing 50-lap finish

Green and yellow flag laps count

A ten-minute pit stop between segments for teams to add fuel, change tires and make routine adjustments

Race Tidbits

Buddy Baker won the first race then known as the "Busch Clash" in 1979.

A field of 24 cars will start Saturday night's race. A low of seven took the green flag in 1981 while a high of 28 started the 2009 event.

Only five times in the 32-year history of the race has the winner gone on to win the Daytona 500; Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1987), Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000) and Jeff Gordon (1997)

Kevin Harvick would become the first driver in race history to win three straight Budweiser Shootouts if he takes Saturday night's checkered flags after his 2009 and 2010 triumphs. Three other drivers have scored back-to-back wins; Tony Stewart (2000-01), Ken Schrader (1990-91) and Neil Bonnett (1983-84)

By the Numbers

.08 - Margin of victory in seconds by Dale Earnhardt over Sterling Marlin in 1995, the closest in Budweiser Shootout history.

1 - Laps led by Rusty Wallace (1998), Neil Bonnett (1983-1984), Dale Earnhard t (1980), Dale Jarrett (2000 and 2004) and Kevin Harvick (2009) in their Budweiser Shootout victories.

14 - Number of different leaders in the 2009 event the most in race history.

44 - Laps led by Greg Biffle in 2005, the most by a driver who did not win the race.

47 - Laps led by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2008, the most by any driver competing in the Budweiser Shootout.

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: February 11, 2011 2:01 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2011 2:13 pm

NASCAR tours get green-white-checkers

Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - NASCAR's top three divisions won't be the only ones using the multiple attempt at a green-white-checkered flag rule in 2011.

All of NASCAR's regional touring circuits will also employ the policy in 2011 ensuring that no race will end under caution without three attempts at a green flag finish.

NASCAR put the rule into play last year and announced the three tries policy during "Speedweeks" at Daytona.

This season the sanctioning body will incorporate the GWC policy into the K&N Pro East and West late model stock car circuits as well as both its northern and southern open wheel modified divisions.

In the past the regional tours ran an open-ended number of green flag finish attempts and race distances were increased accordingly. The new policy now mirrors what's used across NASCAR's top divisions.

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Category: Auto Racing
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