Sprint Cup Series News (8875)
In recognition of Denny Hamlin’s win at Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville, Bosch Automotive Aftermarket NA is contributing $1,000 to the Denny Hamlin Foundation.
Based in Mooresville, NC, the Denny Hamlin Foundation works to raise awareness and funds for children with cystic fibrosis. The foundation partners with organizations that focus on cystic fibrosis research, treatment advances and overall quality-of-life care. The Foundation also helps children with other chronic illnesses. Beneficiaries of the Denny Hamlin Foundation include: Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital, The NASCAR Foundation and Victory Junction Gang Camp.
Sunday’s win marked the fourth of the 2015 NASCAR ® Sprint Cup Series™ by a Bosch-supported team and the fourth donation made by Bosch to team charities.
"It was great to see Denny Hamlin, and Joe Gibbs Racing, back in Victory Lane at Martinsville. Denny Hamlin is as good as it gets when it comes to short track racing, and Bosch is pleased to make this contribution to his foundation," said Tony Pauly, director of advertising and brand management for Bosch Automotive Aftermarket North America. "Bosch also takes tremendous pride knowing that winning racing organizations like Joe Gibbs Racing depend on quality parts from Bosch to get them to Victory Lane."
Bosch Aftermarket has a long-standing partnership with the NASCAR® Sprint Cup SeriesTM. Bosch has been providing quality parts — such as oxygen sensors, spark plugs, injectors, alternators, coils, filters, fuel pumps, starters and pressure regulators — to several NASCAR® top-performing teams for more than a decade.
“Our employees are passionate about NASCAR and we are passionate about empowering them to focus on health and wellness,” said Paula Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of human resources. “Through our initiatives and offerings, we try to make it easier for our employees to make healthy living a habit, whether traveling to races or at home. We are proud to be honored by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly worksite.”
A Platinum-Level honor is the highest tier of recognition awarded by the American Heart Association. NASCAR earned Platinum-Level accolades by demonstrating a strong commitment to providing a healthy workplace for employees. Notable offerings include physical activity opportunities, increasing healthy eating options and promoting a wellness culture.
In addition, NASCAR also received the American Heart Association’s Worksite Innovation Award for its development and implementation of innovative and effective efforts that promote physical activity, specifically in the workplace.
NASCAR’s health initiatives include: annual onsite biometric screenings measuring cholesterol, blood sugar and BMI (garnering over 89 percent employee participation); Rival Fit (an online program allowing a customizable workout plan and daily menu); a monthly fruit promotion; and Neighborhood Wellness (free coaching for weight management and tobacco cessation available at CVS minute clinics). NASCAR also offers tobacco-free incentives for its medical plan, a preventive care incentive, and an Aetna Fitness Reimbursement.
JOPLIN, Mo. - NASCAR announced changes to the qualifying format at the superspeedway tracks. The format changes will take effect during the May weekend at the Talladega Superspeedway and will be used in all three national series.
The format includes:
Two rounds of qualifying, with the top 12 fastest drivers advancing into the second and final round.
NASCAR will allow each driver to post one lap in the first round of qualifying.
The vehicles will be lined up in a predetermined order and will be sent out in a determined interval by NASCAR. The sanctioning body will reserve the right to allow more than one vehicle on the track to qualify.
The qualifying order for the first of two rounds will be determined by a random draw. NASCAR will use the top 12 fastest speeds from the first round to determine the order for the second.
Teams will have a 10-minute break at the conclusion of the first round.
Positions 13 and beyond will be set by their fastest speed of their single lap in round 1.
The final round will set positions 1-12 by their fastest speeds.
The sanctioning body will impound the cars following each qualifying session. NASCAR will allow teams to adjust tape and install the cool-down units during the 10-minute break.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will use the format for the first time when they head to the Talladega Superspeedway in October.Qualifying procedures for the 2016 Daytona 500 have yet to be announced.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), finished 14th in the Martinsville 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Busch started the race from the 26th position but was able to make passes early and often throughout the 500-lap race, despite struggling with handling issues that at times saw his Haas Automation Chevrolet loose entering the corners, tight in the center and loose on exit. He raced his way to the lead on lap 134, and he held the point for 21 laps before fading as his handling woes worsened.
Crew chief Tony Gibson called for wedge, air pressure and shock adjustments throughout the race, which improved the handling characteristics of the car. But Busch continued to struggle as the laps clicked off.
Busch lost a lap to the race leader on lap 332, but he put himself in position to be the first car one lap down and earn the “free pass” back onto the lead lap in the event of a caution. His efforts were rewarded when, on lap 366, a multicar incident brought out the caution period that the No. 41 team needed to return to the lead lap.Over the closing 125 laps of the event, Busch was able to climb from 24th and bring the Haas Automation Chevrolet home in the 14th position.
Biffle started the 500-lap race at the paperclip shaped short-track of Martinsville Speedway from the 25th position. He steadily gained ground throughout the race despite have a Ford that continued to switch from loose handling to tight.
The team tried wedge and air pressure adjustments throughout the course of the race in an effort to improve the handling for Biffle. Just as the team made some gains an incident unfolded in front of Biffle and he had nowhere to go. Biffle pitted multiple times for repairs, all while maintaining his position on the lead lap.Biffle lost valuable track position due to the repairs and went one lap down to the leaders over a green flag run. Biffle was in position to receive the “lucky dog” award a short time later and was able to rebound back for a 19th-place lead-lap finish.
“That’s definitely not the finish we wanted for our Fastenal Ford,” Stenhouse said. “I feel bad for my guys because they work really hard but we will take a weekend off and then head to Texas.”
After a spin by the No. 51 occurred in front of Stenhouse on his qualifying laps in segment two on Friday, the two-time XFINITY champion settled for a 23rd-place starting position.
When the first yellow flag was displayed on lap 10, the Olive Branch, Mississippi native had worked his way inside the top-20 but on lap 20 the Fastenal Ford wheel hopped sending the machine spinning.
After restarting in the 43rd position, Stenhouse patiently maneuvered his Ford up through the field to the 24th position by lap 100 on the half-mile paper-clip shaped track.
While battling an ill-handling machine, the 2013 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year spun in turn three making contact with the outside wall which sent him to the garage for repair.
The hasty work by the Fastenal Blue team allowed Stenhouse to return to the track and to gain two additional positions by the time the checkered flag waved.Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 17 team return to action April 11at Texas Motor Speedway for the Duck Commander 500. Race coverage starts at 7:30 pm EST on FOX.
“I’m proud of everyone’s effort today,” said Bayne after the race. “We were able to not get down after having that flat left-rear tire and spinning out early on and were able to get some of those breaks with the caution throughout the course of the race. I just want to thank (crew chief) Bob (Osborne) and everyone on this AdvoCare Ford team for not giving up today. We raced hard and were able to keep all four wheels clean. We’re excited for the off-weekend coming up but I’m already focusing on Texas.”
Bayne began the 500-lap event from the 36th position, but was able to work his way up to 33rd before contact on Lap 9 flattened the left-rear tire of the AdvoCare Ford, sending it for a spin in Turn 2. Coming to pit road for repairs, Bayne would return to the track in the 43rd position as the field went back to green on Lap 16.
Despite the early setback, the Knoxville, Tenn. native began to maneuver his way back toward the front, working his way up to 29th with the help of some pit strategy following a Lap 21 caution. Bayne would then crack the top-25 for the first time just shy of the 100-lap mark and would maintain that track position until he was able to move into the top 20 following a Lap 171 restart.
Crew chief Bob Osborne would again use pit strategy to help Bayne move forward, keeping him on the track during a Lap 206 caution period, improving the driver of the AdvoCare Ford up to the fifth position for the ensuing restart. Bayne would maintain his position inside the top 10 for a handful of laps before getting shuffled out of the groove by one of the cars with fresher tires.
Although now back outside of the top 20, Bayne never gave up and continued to work with crew chief Osborne to improve the handling of the AdvoCare Ford. In the closing stages, Bayne was able to overcome several near misses and damage to the nose of his Ford to beat Roush Fenway Racing teammate Greg Biffle to the checkered flag, earning an 18th-place finish.
With the result, Bayne ranks 26th in the championship standings and trails 16th-place Danica Patrick by 36 points as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway on April 11.
Qualifying for May’s Talladega Superspeedway races, as well as the July events at Daytona International Speedway, will consist of the following:
· Two rounds of qualifying, with the top-12 posted lap speeds advancing to the second round
· Race vehicles taking one, timed lap in each round of qualifying
· Each race vehicle will be released in a predetermined timed interval as determined by NASCAR, with the sanctioning body reserving the right to have more than one vehicle engaging in qualifying runs at the same time
· Qualifying order for the first round will be determined by a random draw; final round qualifying order is determined by slowest to fastest speeds from the first round
· A 10-minute break will occur between the first qualifying round and the final round
· Upon completion of the first qualifying round, the field will be set with positions 13 and beyond determined from first round qualifying speed
· The 12 fastest vehicles from the first round will have their speeds reset for the final round with starting positions 1-12 determined by the fastest laps in the final round
· NASCAR will impound race vehicles following each qualifying lap; vehicles advancing to the final round will be allowed to adjust tape and utilize a cool-down unit during the 10-minute break only
The NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will be at Talladega Superspeedway May 1-3. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying will air live May 2 on FOX at 1 p.m. ET. The Winn Dixie 300 and GEICO 500 will air live on FOX on May 2 (3 p.m. ET) and May 3 (1 p.m. ET), respectively.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will utilize the format for the first time when the series returns to Talladega Superspeedway with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in October.
Qualifying procedures for the 2016 Daytona 500 will be announced at a later date.
Danica Patrick recovered from being a lap down and made a strong return at the height of tax season to finish seventh in the No. 10 TaxACT Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in Sunday’s Martinsville 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Patrick’s effort marked her first top-10 of the season and the fifth top-10 of her 88-race Sprint Cup career. She is now tied with Janet Guthrie for the most top-10 Sprint Cup finishes by a female driver.
Sunday’s race was not without adversity for the team, however. After starting 16th, Patrick fell back to 26th by lap 50 as she struggled with a car that lacked rear grip and was tight in the center of the corner. Crew chief Daniel Knost called for wedge and air pressure adjustments on the team’s first trip to pit road at lap 56. The team made similar adjustments on the following pit stop at lap 74.
When the caution flag waved at lap 94, Patrick was scored in the 28th position, and Knost made the call not to pit in an effort to gain track position. Patrick restarted second at lap 98 and remained in the top-10 until lap 119. Each time she got stuck in the outside line Patrick lost several positions, falling from 20th at lap 123 to 30th by lap 130. After going a lap down to the leader at lap 150, Patrick radioed to the team that the car was “a little loose in, tight rolling and needed more drive off” the corner.
The team pitted under caution at lap 165 for air pressure and wedge adjustments, fresh tires, fuel and a piece of tape added to the grille. The changes improved the handling of Patrick’s No. 10 TaxACT Chevrolet SS, and she was able to work her way into the “lucky dog” position, then back onto the lead lap when the caution flag waved at lap 207.
Knost continued to direct the team to make air pressure and chassis adjustments to the car over the course of the next few runs, and Patrick was able to race her way into the top-15 at lap 302. At lap 368, Patrick narrowly avoided the No. 27 car as it spun just ahead of her in turn four. Over the course of the following run, Patrick worked her way into the top-10 at lap 395 and remained there throughout the final laps of the race before taking the checkered flag in the seventh position.
“At the start of the race we had those yellows early, so it was deceiving to know how good the car was or how bad it was,” Patrick said. “We really were very tight in the center, which ends up making you lose drive off because you have so much wheel in it and you’re just trying to fight it. We just weren’t very good to start. We got a lap down, we got it back luckily, and we moved forward from there. And we made a couple of good changes in the middle of the race that really made the difference, and I said if we could just do a little bit more and make me just a little bit better, we’re going to be good. And that’s what we did. I’m proud of everyone for not giving up and for keeping their head in the game today.”Patrick’s seventh-place finish in her No. 10 TaxACT Chevrolet SS led the four-car SHR contingent Sunday at Martinsville Speedway.
Casey Mears arrived at Martinsville Speedway looking to continue his run of solid finishes in the young 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. A favorite track of the GEICO driver, the Germain Racing team has always experienced success at the paperclip-shaped half-mile oval.
Mother Nature caused a little ruckus in the way of rain on Friday, which resulted in the delay of Sprint Cup Series practice. Once the cars hit the track, Mears and his No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS looked good as the weekend got underway. They ended up 13th on the speed chart when the opening practice concluded, leaving them excited for the impending qualifying session that would take place later that evening. Mears was fast in qualifying before a broken transmission would relegate him to the rear of Sunday's starting field.
Starting from the rear at Martinsville Speedway can be a harrowing task, but Mears was able to keep the No. 13 GEICO Chevy clean as the STP 500 got started. He soon found himself as high as the 13th position, having hustled his way safely through nearly the entire field. Things seemed to go well until the caution flag on lap 228 involved Mears and his GEICO Chevy. He was seen spinning on television after cars checked up in front of him, resulting in contact from behind. He sustained only minor damage and continued on.
Crew chief Bootie Barker was masterful in his management of the sets of tires allotted by NASCAR, putting Mears in position to have fresh Goodyear's at the end of the race. The Germain Racing pit crew was also strong on pit road all day, which assisted in Mears' ascent through the field. As the race wound down, the GEICO Chevy was riding solidly in the top-15. When the checkered flag closed out 500 laps of racing, Mears had traveled all the way from the rear of the field to cross the finish line in the 15th position and hand Germain Racing their third top-15 finish in the season's first six races. Mears' unheralded journey through the field is a feat not often accomplished successfully, given the dangers of racing on a flat half-mile racetrack.
"We're glad we were able to make it through the field and survive the incidents that we got a piece of and get out of here with a top-15 finish," Mears said after the race. "The GEICO Chevy was strong on the shorter runs today, but we struggled a little bit on longer runs. Bootie (Barker, crew chief) did a nice job of managing the tires, while the pit crew was quick today, which really went a long way in helping us gain track position. We're looking forward to a weekend off to get refreshed and then get back after it in Texas. A lot of our guys were on the road for three straight weeks during our west coast swing, so it will be good for everyone to step back and catch their breath. I can't thank these guys enough for all of their hard work."
The GEICO Racing team will enjoy a much-deserved week off before returning to action in Texas.
Casey Mears and the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS will hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway for the weekend's opening practice session on Friday, April 10th, at 11:30 AM (ET). Qualifying will follow at 6:45 PM (ET).