Posted on: February 2, 2012 4:39 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 4:43 pm
Posted by Pete Pistone
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:29 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 3:26 pm
Posted by Pete Pistone
David Stremme has a full-time Sprint Cup Series ride with a brand new manufacturer.
Inception Motorsports announced their partnership with Toyota with engine support from Triad Racing Technologies for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series .
“It is a great boost for our team to have the support of Toyota and Triad engines heading into Daytona this season,” said Stremme, who drove for the team last year in a limited schedule. “Our team is excited to have their support, especially with their success in the sport.”
Triad currently supplies horsepower for teams in ARCA and NASCAR’s Camping World Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series, with over 50 race wins since 2009.
“Our team has grown over the off-season,” said Stremme. “We have a great group of talented people in our race family who have been working hard to get us to where we need to be for this season. We are looking for the final pieces to the puzzle and hopefully our track presence will help find that sponsorship piece.”
Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:34 pm
Posted by Pete Pistone
From News Release
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The fifty fourth annual Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 26 (FOX, 1 p.m. ET) – NASCAR’s biggest and most prestigious race – will carry a record purse of more than $19 million as well as a new contingency award that will payout $200,000 to the driver leading at the completion of Lap 100.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 4:25 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 4:28 pm
Posted by Pete Pistone
Who will win this Sunday's Big Game between the New England Patriots and New York Giants in Indianapolis?
Here’s what Toyota NASCAR drivers and crew chiefs have to say:
KYLE BUSCH, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
DAVE ROGERS, crew chief, No. 18 M&M's Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
JOEY LOGANO, No. 20 Home Depot/Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
JASON RATCLIFF, crew chief, No. 20 Home Depot/Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
BRIAN SCOTT, No. 11 Dollar General Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
MICHAEL WALTRIP, team owner - driver, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
RODNEY CHILDERS, crew chief, No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
BRIAN PATTIE, crew chief, No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
CHAD JOHNSTON, crew chief, No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
BOBBY LABONTE, No. 47 Kroger Toyota Camry, JTG-Daugherty Racing
Posted on: February 1, 2012 12:39 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2012 3:36 pm
By Pete Pistone
But without yet even turning one competitive lap in a Sprint Cup car, Patrick has already locked herself into a starting spot for the season-opening Daytona 500.
How is this possible you ask?
Just chalk it up to NASCAR math.
The annual ritual of swapping points, creating alliances and trumping up partnerships to manipulate the rule allowing teams finishing in the Top 35 of the point standings last season a guaranteed start in the first five races of the new campaign has once again reared its ugly head.
Only this time it’s not just a simple transaction between owners swapping points accrued by one to allow another to field a car in the biggest race of the season. The latest maneuvering is a shell game of epic proportions that somehow puts Patrick in car technically owned by Tommy Baldwin Racing while still employed by Stewart-Haas Racing.
A room full of Philadelphia lawyers would take days to figure out the legal machinations that created this “collaborative partnership” between SHR and TBR. But at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter how things ended up but rather the path that allows this ridiculous practice to happen in the first place.
When NASCAR first instituted the Top 35 rule a few years ago the intent was to provide a guarantee for teams and sponsors that support the entire series. Basically if a team stays inside the first thirty five of the standings they are locked into the next race and don’t have to worry about qualifying to make the field.
While NASCAR contends the rule “protects” teams and sponsors as well as fans, who are ensured the “stars” of the sport will compete in every event, it has done so at the expense of competition and credibility.
By trying to serve the business side of the sport, all NASCAR has done is compromised the competitive element and its own integrity.
Qualifying has been reduced to a simple placement of cars into the starting line-up with none of the drama remaining that used to draw sizeable crowds to some tracks in anticipation of the racing weekend.
The popular Gatorade Duel qualifying races at Daytona, once one of the most exciting days of the season and certainly of Speedweeks, is now only a shell of its former self. The inclusion of the Top 35 policy into the equation of who already has made the race and what drivers have their Daytona 500 lives on the line with a bad finish – all part of what made the Thursday before the 500 so special – is now a convoluted mess that requires a slide rule and a calculator to help decipher.
The easy solution is to allow the fastest 36 cars in qualifying into every race and then seed the remaining seven spots with provisionals based on the point standings. That system worked for decades before the dollar signs from potential upset sponsors blurred NASCAR’s vision.
The world would also continue to rotate on its axis if Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson or Dale Earnhardt Jr. missed a race. Other sports have proven they can survive should a star not be up to the necessary level of performance on a particular weekend.
Should Tiger Woods fail to make the cut on a Friday (a scenario that has lately happened plenty of times by the way), oh well the PGA Tour goes on. The legendary John Force has missed qualifying for NHRA events before and drag racing has somehow found a way to survive.
Then to make matters even worse there is the blatant bending of the rules to shift around owner points every January.
To be fair to Stewart and Baldwin, they have not done anything “wrong” or that several other owners haven't executed in the last few years. Richard Petty, Richard Childress and Roger Penske are just a few of the names that massaged the rules to their advantage in order to lock in new entries in their stables.
Just last season both Steven Wallace and even Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne were beneficiaries of their owners working out deals to get them into the biggest race of the year.
However having the lightning rod Patrick involved this time around has certainly taken the practice to a much greater level of awareness.
Quite frankly it doesn’t do much for Patrick in terms of trying to prove herself as a stock car driver when she literally gets handed a coveted spot at Daytona. In many eyes, she’s done nothing to earn the position except to work for a team owner who obviously has a creative business mind.
Last week NASCAR took a major step forward by announcing it was outlawing “secret fines” and making all penalties toward drivers who made derogatory comments about the sport public. It was the right move and one that brings more transparency to a sport that sometimes desperately needs to show skeptical fans all is on the up and up.
Now NASCAR needs to eradicate the Top 35 rule or at the very least enforce teams follow a "use ‘em or lose ‘em" policy the following season. No buying, selling, swapping or other game of smoke and mirrors allowed.
If not just save your money. Perhaps with a large enough checkbook even you can buy your way into starting the 2013 Daytona 500.
As is the case with Patrick, no experience is necessary.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 4:52 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 5:15 pm
Posted by Pete Pistone
Danica Patrick will begin her Sprint Cup career with a guaranteed starting spot in the Daytona 500.
Thanks to a "collaborative partnership" between Stewart-Haas Racing and Tommy Baldwin Racing, Patrick gets a starting berth in next month's Daytona 500.
The No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet will now technically be fielded out of the TBR stable. TBR’s No. 36 car, which finished the 2011 season thirty-third in points, becomes the No. 10 for 2012.
For the 26 races where Patrick is not scheduled to drive, David Reutimann will pilot the No. 10 car.
“Tommy Baldwin Racing has proven to be a very strong organization and it’s a good fit with Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Matt Borland, vice president of competition, SHR. “It’s a Chevrolet team led by a racer who knows every inch of a racecar. That kind of technical expertise, along with a company mindset that is similar to ours, provides the ideal environment for Danica to learn and succeed.”
TBR will field two cars in 2012 with Dave Blaney joining the No. 10 entry this coming season.
“We’re very proud of what we’ve established at Tommy Baldwin Racing, and the opportunity to partner with Stewart-Haas Racing and aid in the development of Danica Patrick is a testament to all the hard work we’ve put in over the years,” Baldwin said. “Danica will have a great teammate in Dave Blaney, who has been instrumental in getting our race team to where it is today. And with David Reutimann driving the No. 10 car in the races where Danica is not, the team will remain in a strong and competitive position throughout the year.”
Greg Zipadelli, who came to SHR this season to serve as the team's Director of Competition, will serve as Patrick's crew chief in her ten race schedule.
“Working with Tommy will be like old times,” Zipadelli said. “We both grew up together and competed against each other in Modifieds and we did the same thing when we got to Sprint Cup. To finally be able to work with each other and help Danica Patrick make a successful transition from Indy cars to stock cars is a challenge we’re both looking forward to.
“Partnering with Tommy and his team provides Danica with the foundation she needs to succeed. With a guaranteed starting spot, we can go into each weekend and simply learn. It’s all about getting her comfortable in the car, and with the variety of tracks she’s running, seat time will be incredibly valuable. A guaranteed spot in the race ensures that she’ll have the opportunity to make as many laps as possible.”
Posted on: January 31, 2012 3:55 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 4:07 pm
By Pete Pistone
A fire was reported at Joe Gibbs Racing Tuesday afternoon with several employees receiving treatment for smoke inhalation.
Ten employees of JGR were treated after a fire at the team’s race shop in Huntersville, NC.
Early reports indicate a piece of machinery at the shop caught fire at around 3 pm ET.
JGR released a statement late Tuesday afternoon:
"A piece of equipment in the machine shop caught fire today at our Joe Gibbs Racing headquarters in Huntersville, NC. The fire department was called and the fire was quickly contained and extinguished. A few of our employees received treatment on site for issues related to smoke inhalation. All employees were able to return to work within the hour to continue preparations for the 2012 NASCAR season"
It is the second fire at the complex in less than a year following a February of 2011 incident that caused significant damage to the team's engine shop.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:30 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 12:37 pm
By Pete Pistone
2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series Start Times
Feb. 25 .... Daytona, 1:15 p.m.
March 3 ... Phoenix, 4:30 p.m.
March 10 . Las Vegas, 5 p.m.
March 17 . Bristol, 2 p.m.
March 24 . Auto Club Speedway), 5:30 p.m.
March 31 . OFF WEEKEND
April 7 ..... OFF WEEKEND
April 13 ... Texas, 8:30 p.m.
April 20 ... OFF WEEKEND
April 27 ... Richmond, 7:30 p.m.
May 5 ...... Talladega, 3:15 p.m.
May 11 .... Darlington, 7:15 p.m.
May 20 .... Iowa, 2 p.m.
May 26 .... Charlotte, 2:45 p.m.
June 2 ...... Dover, 2 p.m.
June 9 ...... OFF WEEKEND
June 16 .... Michigan, 3:45 p.m.
June 23 .... Road America, 3:30 p.m.
June 29 .... Kentucky, 7:30 p.m.
July 6 ....... Daytona, 7:30 p.m.
July 14 ..... New Hampshire, 3:30 p.m.
July 22 ..... Chicago, 3 p.m.
July 28 ..... Indianapolis, 4:30 p.m.
Aug. 4 ..... Iowa, 8 p.m.
Aug. 11 ... Watkins Glen, 2:15 p.m.
Aug. 18 ... Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Montreal), 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 24 ... Bristol, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 1 .... Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 .... Richmond, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 15 .. Chicago, 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 22 .. Kentucky, 4 p.m.
Sept. 29 .. Dover, 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 6 ..... OFF WEEKEND
Oct. 12 ... Charlotte, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 20 ... Kansas, 3:30 p.m.
Oct. 27 ... OFF WEEKEND
Nov. 3 .... Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 10 .. Phoenix, 4 p.m.
Nov. 17 .. Homestead, 4:30 p.m.
All times Eastern