Tag:Charlotte Motor Speedway
Posted on: October 14, 2011 7:24 pm

Final Charlotte practice led by Kahne

By Pete Pistone


Kasey Kahne led the way in Friday's last Sprint Cup Series practice of the weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne's lap of 188.153 mph in his Team Red Bull Toyota topped the field as drivers tuned up for Saturday night's Bank of America 500.

Paul Menard, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton were the fastest five of the session.

Clint Bowyer crashed his Richard Childress Racing Chevrole and will start Saturday night's race from the rear of the field in a back-up car.

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Posted on: October 14, 2011 5:51 pm

Brad Keselowski leads second Charlotte practice

By Pete Pistone


Brad Keselowski put the Penske Racing Blue Deuce on top of the speed charts in Friday's practice session at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Keselowski, who will start 26th in Saturday night's Bank of America 500, turned a lap of 187.435 mph in his Dodge Charger.

Kasey Kahne, Ryan Newman, Keselowski's teammate Kurt Busch and pole sitter Tony Stewart tounded out the first five.

Sprint Cup Series drivers will have one more practice later Friday afternoon prior to Saturday's race.

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Posted on: October 14, 2011 11:45 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 5:05 pm

Race preview: Charlotte

By Pete Pistone

Bank of America 500 Preview 

The Chase for the Sprint Cup reaches the halfway mark with Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

But event though there are six full races left in the season, many are already conceding the championship to Jimmie Johnson. 

After his win last Sunday in Kansas moved him to within three points of leader Carl Edwards, there is some sentiment NASCAR should simply do everyone a favor and engrave Johnson’s name on a sixth straight Sprint Cup trophy. 

However Johnson is not buying any of it. 

"We are happy where we are,” said Johnson. “But, I look at those first two races and still think about the points left on the table. I've said that a few times now. You just don't know what that point total is going to be at the end of the year and I hope I don't need the spots from Chicago and New Hampshire. But, where I want to be is on top. I think if somebody can sit on top of the points and lead and continue to lead, there's a small advantage in that. And, I want to be that guy. I want to be leading the points every week that I can." 

Edwards is that guy leading the standings by one over Kevin Harvick heading into the weekend’s return trip to Charlotte. His come back fifth place finish in Kansas a week ago after falling back nearly two laps has given Edwards and the No. 99 team a solid shot of confidence coming into Saturday night’s race at a track where with the exception of last May’s All-Star Race win hasn’t been one of his best in recent years. 

But Edwards plans on changing that this week and continue his quest to stay on top of the standings for as long as he can and not have to play catch up later on in the Chase. 

"I want to have the biggest lead I can get,” Edwards said. “Right now, it's one point, but I'd like to leave here with a bigger lead and then have a little bit of insurance for that bad day that's inevitably gonna happen. You go to Talladega, Martinsville, the new Phoenix surface, I mean, nobody knows what's gonna happen and you need as many points as you can have so that you can absorb that bad day. 

“We led the points for a bunch during the regular season, but we had some bad days that used up a ton of points. I think at one point we had a 40-point lead or something like that and one broken valve was all it took to wipe that away. So I'd much rather be out front." 

So would Harvick, who returns to Charlotte after his win in May’s Coca-Cola 600. 

Although he is only a point out of the lead, Harvick’s Chase hasn’t been easy including a rebound of his own at Kansas just to finish sixth. 

"We’re exciting to come in here,” Harvick said. “Obviously the last race here ended well for us. The last three or four races we’ve run a lot better here than we have over the past several years so we feel like we’ve got a lot better starting spot than we did in the past for setups and things coming to today.

“It feels good. Hopefully we can have a good weekend and look forward to getting it done. The Chase has been a fight for us so far. We haven’t had everything exactly how we would have laid it out but I think the results haven’t been deadly for us I guess you can say too. So it’s been an experience but we’ll keep plugging away week by week."

Charlotte Motor Speedway 

Track Size: 1.5-mile  

Race Length: 500 miles 

Banking/Corners: 5 degrees  

Banking/Frontstretch: 10.4 degrees


Qualifying/Race Data 

2010 pole winner: Jeff Gordon (191.544 mph) 

2010 race winner: Jamie McMurray (140.391 mph, 10-16-10)   

Track qualifying record: Elliott Sadler (193.216 mph, 10-13-2005)   

Race record: Bobby Labonte (151.952 mph, 5-28-95)


Race Facts 

There have been 105 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, two races per year since the track opened in 1960. In 1961, there were two 100-mile qualifying points races held the week before the May race. The first six fall races at Charlotte were 400-mile events (1960-65).      

38 drivers have posted poles, led by David Pearson with 14.     

Fireball Roberts won the pole for the first race, in 1960.       

David Pearson posted 11 straight poles at Charlotte from the fall of 1973 through 1978.      

Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in poles, with nine. Jeff Gordon has eight.      

Jeff Gordon won five straight poles for the spring races between 1994 and 1998.      

44 drivers have won races, led by Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip and Jimmie Johnson, with six each.       

Joe Lee Johnson won the first race, in 1960.      

There have been 13 back-to-back victories, including three consecutive by Fred Lorenzen (fall 1964 and both 1965) and four straight by Jimmie Johnson (both in 2004 and 2005).      

A sweep has occurred eight times, including each season from 2004-2007.       

14 races have been won from the pole, the last by Jimmie Johnson (October, 2009).      

Jimmie Johnson won the 2003 Coca-Cola 600 from the 37th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.     

Joey Logano is the only driver with more than two starts at Charlotte to average a top-10 finish (7.4).      

A number of active drivers earned their first win at CMS: Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray, Casey Mears and David Reutimann. Inactive drivers David Pearson, Buddy Baker and Charlie Glotzbach also got their first series wins at Charlotte.       

Three Chase contenders earned their first career Coors Light poles at Charlotte: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman.


Who’s Hot at Charlotte 

Jimmie Johnson – Has been waiting to flex his muscles and that time appears to have come. His win last week in Kansas carried Johnson to within three points of the Chase lead and given the 48 team momentum as the playoffs reach the midway point. Johnson may not own Charlotte like he did before the track was repaved but he’s still pretty darn good there with a win and a third in his last four starts.  

Carl Edwards – Comes to Charlotte after a great come back performance Sunday in Kansas and with an All-Star win at the track back in May. Edwards has the confidence and swagger back that seemed to disappear late in the regular season and his intermediate track program is hitting on all cylinders. 

Kasey Kahne – Charlotte has always been a Kahne favorite when he was with Ray Evernham’s team as well as Richard Petty Motorsports. He’s a three-time winner at the track and has been very impressive down the stretch in his waning days with Team Red Bull.


Who’s Not 

Juan Pablo Montoya – Will have his hands full trying to find a bright spot in a dismal season Saturday night in Charlotte, a track that has been a challenge for Montoya. A 25.9 average finish in nine career starts includes only a career best eighth place. 

Paul Menard – Menard has hit a stretch of mediocrity after opening the season in impressive fashion. Has not fared particularly well at Charlotte during his Sprint Cup career with a 24.4 average finish and a 29th in May’s Coca-Cola 600. 

A.J. Allmendinger –  His fifth at Charlotte back in May was a highlight in what has been a difficult record for Allmendinger at the track. He has a 23.1 average finish in nine career starts with his Coca-Cola 600 effort the only Top 5 on his record.



Construction began on Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1959.       

The track’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on June 19, 1960.       

The track was repaved midseason in 1994.     

The track name changed from Charlotte Motor Speedway to Lowe’s Motor Speedway in 1999. It changed back to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the 2010 season.       

The track was re-paved again before the 2006 season. 

There have been 513 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in North Carolina.

425 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as North Carolina.

There have been 44 race winners from North Carolina in NASCAR’s three national series; 28 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

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Posted on: October 13, 2011 8:38 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 6:27 am

Tony Stewart rolls to Charlotte pole

By Pete Pistone


Tony Stewart scored his first career Sprint Cup Series pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday night.

Stewart's lap of 191.959 mph earned him the top spot for Saturday night's Bank of America 500.

Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, A.J. Allmendinger and Greg Biffle rounded out the first five qualifiers.

Other Chase drivers in Saturday's field include Ryan Newman (6th), Jimmie Johnson (9th), Kevin Harvick (14th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (15th), Denny Hamlin (17th), Kurt Busch (20th), Jeff Gordon (24th), Kyle Busch (25th) and Brad Keselowski (26th).

Sprint Cup teams will have two practice sessions on Friday.

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Posted on: October 13, 2011 6:16 pm

Carl Edwards believes teamwork has limits

By Pete Pistone

Carl Edwards brings the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series lead into Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway but thinks there is a line between teammates helping each other on the race track or in the title fight:


“I think there are limitations.  If people are bringing out cautions on purpose, stuff like that.  I think NASCAR is very, very aware of that possibility and I think they’re watching it very closely.  I don’t know what they would do, but that possibility is there and it’s real.  We haven’t asked any of our teammates or entered into any of those discussions, but if you can affect the outcome of a race or a championship by doing that, there are gonna be people who try it and people who do it.  I just hope that NASCAR keeps that out of it because once you start going down that road, I think it becomes very difficult to run your race.  I hope that doesn’t become a part of it.”

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Posted on: October 13, 2011 5:51 pm

Kahne leads first Charlotte practice

By Pete Pistone


Kasey Kahne continued his late season surge by leading the way in Thursday's first Sprint Cup Series practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Kahne, who finished second to Jimmie Johnson last Sunday at Kansas Speedway, turned a lap of 191.455 mph in his Team Red Bull Toyota to pace the field.

Paul Menard, Greg Biffle, Mark Martin and Regan Smith were the fast five.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying for Saturday night's Bank of America 500 is slated for 7:10 p.m. ET.

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Posted on: October 13, 2011 11:39 am

Video of the Day: "Better Half Dash" practice

Posted by Pete Pistone

A special charity race will be held at Charlotte Motor Speedway this Saturday night prior to the Bank of America 500. The "Better Half Dash" will feature driver and media personality wives, girlfriends and significant others competing in Bandolero cars around the track's quarter mile oval. Money will be raised for the Motor Racing Outreach charity. Several participants took part in a practice session last weekend:

Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:15 am

Kenseth lands Charlotte sponsor

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 11, 2011) --- Roush Fenway Racing is proud to announce a new primary sponsorship for 2003 Sprint Cup Series Champion, Matt Kenseth, and his No. 17 team on behalf of Fluidmaster®  for this weekend’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  The sponsorship is the first of its kind for Fluidmaster® and is a true testament to the appeal of sponsorship in NASCAR serving as a way to connect companies with customers.

“It’s always exciting to introduce a new partner to the sport,” said Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Fluidmaster® Ford.  “It shows that companies recognize the loyalty in our sport between sponsors and customers, and we’re proud to have Fluidmaster® joining the No. 17 team this weekend at Charlotte.” 

After researching the opportunity to participate in this weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race, Fluidmaster® recognized the strong appeal of motorsports racing among its key professional plumbing customers as well as do-it-yourselfers worldwide.

“It will be thrilling for our loyal customers, employees and other business partners to watch Matt Kenseth and the No. 17 Fluidmaster® Ford race to the finish line Saturday night,” said Robert Anderson Schoepe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fluidmaster, Inc.  “This event symbolizes the global race we are in to maintain our industry leadership position, and we’re in it to win it.”

“This event is also significant for us as it coincides with the introduction of our innovative water saving DUO FLUSH™ line of products,” said Scott McDonald, VP of Marketing for Fluidmaster. 

DUO FLUSH™ converts existing toilet installations into water saving dual flush systems, capable of saving up to 45% of the water normally used to flush liquid waste. Fluidmaster’s new design features easy adjust dials conveniently located on top of the valve which allow the user to set the optimal water usage for their specific toilet.  The user can then simply lift up the handle for a half flush or push down for a full flush.  Additional details, including an online calculator to estimate annual water and dollar savings for specific home conditions can be found via smart phones or computers at www.duoflush.com.

Kenseth has achieved two wins, nine top-five finishes and 17 top-10 finishes this season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series within the first 30 races of the year, and is currently fifth in the Chase driver point standings. 

The premiere of the No. 17 Fluidmaster® Ford Fusion will take place on October 15, 2011 for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the fifth race of the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup.  The Bank of America 500 will be broadcast on ABC Saturday, October 15th with television coverage beginning at 7:30 pm EDT and radio coverage provided by the Performance Racing Network.

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