Sprint Cup Series News

Sprint Cup Series News (12460)

 First Data Corporation (NYSE: FDC), a global leader in commerce-enabling technology, today announced that it will partner with Credit One Bank and be featured on the No. 1 Credit One Bank Chevrolet SS driven by Jamie McMurray at this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race, the Goody’s Fast Relief 500, at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

McMurray, a seven-time NSCS race winner, will be behind the wheel of the car from Chip Ganassi Racing, which, for the first time, will feature First Data’s logo alongside Credit One Bank, one of the largest and fastest growing issuers of credit cards in the United States.

Leading up to Veteran’s Day on November 11, First Data will host a veteran business owner at Martinsville Speedway to take part in one of America’s most popular spectator sports. First Data is deeply committed to veterans and their families through First Data Salutes, the company-wide military engagement strategy aimed at providing the military community with career opportunities, educational resources, and business solutions for veteran-owned businesses.

“Given that so many of our millions of small business owners are avid NASCAR fans, First Data is pleased to partner with Credit One Bank and have our name on proud display on Jamie’s car as he competes at Martinsville,” said Frank Bisignano, First Data Chairman and CEO. “As a provider of cutting edge payments solutions, First Data’s presence in sports venues is on the rise, and this is a great opportunity to engage with partners, clients, and prospects as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup approaches its dramatic finish.”

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with a company that shares our commitment to both veterans and NASCAR,” said Laura Faulkner, vice president of marketing communications, Credit One Bank. “First Data’s involvement with NASCAR is a great way for us to wrap up a successful inaugural season with NASCAR, Jamie McMurray and the Chip Ganassi Racing team.”

On race day, First Data will recognize Phil Lennon, a former member of the Marine Corps and a graduate of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, of which First Data is a major sponsor. In May 2015, First Data and the IVMF launched the Coalition of Veteran Owned Business (CVOB) to support the success of businesses owned by veterans, service members, and military spouses.

First Data has made strides in the sports and entertainment industry, recently announcing a deal to bring cutting-edge technology to Seattle Seahawks fans at CenturyLink Field. This baseball season, First Data also partnered with the New York Mets and sponsored the “Veteran of the Game,” which honored a veteran’s achievements at each Mets home game.


Fresh off a top-12 finish in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut this past weekend at Talladega Superspeedway for Young’s Motorsports, NASCAR Next alumnus Dylan Lupton (@LuptonDylan) confirmed today that he will make his third career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start in Sunday afternoon’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway driving for BK Racing.

In June, Lupton successfully made his Cup Series debut at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in a third BK Racing entry. Last month, the Californian returned to the tour for his Richmond International Raceway debut where he earned a career-best 25th place run.

“I’m looking forward to getting back into a Sprint Cup car this weekend at Martinsville,” said Lupton, driver of the No. 83 E.J. Wade Construction Toyota Camry. “Short track racing is what I grew up doing – so I’m hoping I can utilize that experience and showcase my skills when it counts most. I’m focused on doing a good job delivering a solid finish to both my team and sponsor Sunday afternoon.”

The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 marks the seventh three-car effort this season for BK Racing joining teammates Matt DiBenedetto and David Ragan. Like Lupton, DiBenedetto will also be backed by E.J. Wade Construction.

E.J. Wade Construction is a Class A Contractor and a VDOT Prequalified Contractor that has highly trained professionals who have their tradesman licenses in electrical, plumbing, HVAC and gas fitting tradesman licenses.

E.J. Wade Construction is a company that believes in quality, reliability, friendliness, and putting the concerns of the client first.

"We are excited to expand our relationship with Ron Devine, Doug Fritz and everyone at BK Racing by adding another E.J. Wade sponsored race to the schedule," said Jeff Wade President of E.J. Wade Construction. "All of us here at E.J. Wade Construction can't wait to watch Matt and Dylan race at Martinsville."

Although Lupton doesn’t have any prior experience at the tight 0.526-mile paperclip oval, the 22-year-old driver will be able to lean on veteran crew chief Mike Ford who returns to BK Racing to lead the No. 83 team in Sunday afternoon’s race. Ford has over 20 starts at Martinsville which includes three wins with Chase contender Denny Hamlin.

“I don’t have any experience at Martinsville, but Mike does – so I’ll be leaning on him a lot,” added Lupton. “It will be important for me to take advantage of practice on Friday to make sure that we can get a good baseline for qualifying and then use the practice sessions on Saturday to focus on race setup.

“I plan to do a lot of watching and talking this weekend at Martinsville – bouncing ideas off Mike, my teammates and others hoping it will pay off for 500 laps on Sunday. It will be the longest race of my racing career, but I feel like I’ve taken the right steps to be healthy and focused behind the wheel. I can’t thank Ron (Devine, team owner) enough again for this opportunity.”

After finishing second in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship in 2014, Lupton advanced to the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015 in a partial schedule with Athenian Motorsports. Additionally, Lupton has been elected twice to the NASCAR Next program. An evolution of the Next9 initiative that began in 2011, the NASCAR Next program (2014-2015 and 2015-2016) is an all-embracing industry initiative to help spotlight the sport’s rising stars – and boost fan recognition around talent that will grow into NASCAR Sprint Cup Series mainstays.

In particular, Lupton has been an advocate for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) project where he has spent time informing students about the fundamentals of NASCAR and how each subject applies.

Lupton graduated this past May with a bachelor’s degree in Business Finance from UNC Charlotte.

For more on Dylan Lupton follow him on Twitter @LuptonDylan or visit his Facebook page.

The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 is set for Sunday, Oct. 30 live on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN), the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio Channel 90 beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Dylan Lupton PR

Goody's® Powder and spokesperson Dale Earnhardt Jr. launched the "Dale Jr. Photo Finish," a limited edition trading card set featuring Dale Earnhardt Jr. The collectable trading series celebrates great racing moments and Dale Jr.'s family racing legacy and are available for a limited time on select Goody's® Powder packages.  Fans that collect all four cards will be eligible to complete their set by earning a fifth and final exclusive collector's edition Dale Jr. trading card. The "Dale Jr. Photo Finish" cards will be unveiled at the Goody's® Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 30.

"The trading card set showcases some great moments from our partnership with Goody's, whether it be when I've raced their paint scheme the past few years or when we won the Goody's 500 at Martinsville back in 2014," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Goody's has been an incredible partner for both me and the sport for a long time, and I really enjoy seeing the exciting programs they come up with each year to drum up excitement for the fans."

The Goody's Dale Jr. Photo Finish collectable trading cards are available on specially marked Goody's Powder packages, including: Goody's® Extra Strength Headache Powder, Goody's® Cool Orange Headache Powder, Goody's® Mixed Fruit Blast Headache Powder and Goody's® PM for Pain with Sleeplessness.  Fans that collect the entire four card mini-set can complete their set and receive a fifth special edition Dale Jr. card by visiting www.picfly.me/goodys and submitting an image of all four cards via their smartphone through May 31, 2017. 

"Goody's is excited to bring our fans an exclusive collectable trading card set that features Dale Jr.," said Joseph Juliano, vice president of marketing, Goody's. "On and off the track, Dale is and continues to be an icon for the sport of racing and the Goody's brand.  We're excited to continue to team with him to offer his fans a collectable trading card series and show support for the Goody's brand and products, which offer fast pain relief when his fans need it most."

In addition to launching the Dale Earnhardt Jr. trading cards, Goody's® will be on-site at the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Raceway on October 29-30 hosting the Goody's Fast Relief Zone.   The Goody's Fast Relief Zone area will feature a replica of the Goody's #88 car driven by Dale Jr., and feature a virtual driving experience that lets fans get behind the wheel. Fans will also receive free product samples.

Goody's® Powder became the first non-automotive sponsor in NASCAR in 1977 when it signed the legendary Richard Petty as a spokesperson. Petty's partnership with Goody's® thus started one of the longest-running relationships in sports promotion history, which will continue when Petty serves as the grand marshal for the Goody's® Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Earnhardt Jr. is a third-generation NASCAR driver and two-time Daytona 500 winner. He has won the National Motorsports Press Association Most Popular Driver Award for 12 years in a row.

For more information about Goody's fast pain relief products, visit www.goodyspowder.com.

Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc. PR

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Infraction Date Track Team Level Infraction Penalty/Warning
10/22/2016 (pre-race inspection) Talladega No. 5 (0; penalty served in Talladega), No. 78 (0; penalty served in Talladega) Warning Failed LIS twice, pre-race Written Warning
10/22/2016 (pre-race inspection) Talladega No. 32 (0; penalty served in Talladega), No. 47 (1) Warning Failed template inspection twice, pre-race Written Warning
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Infraction Date Track Team Level Infraction Penalty/Warning
10/21/2016 (pre-race inspection) Talladega No. 44 (1) Warning Failed heights & weights measurements inspection three times, pre-race Written Warning and loss of 15 minutes practice time
10/21/2016 (pre-race inspection) Talladega No. 02 (2), No. 19 (1), No. 29 (1) Warning Failed heights & weights measurements inspection twice, pre-race Written Warning
() -- Total current warnings.        

NASCAR driver Michael McDowell will return to Martinsville Speedway, the place he made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) start more than eight years ago. 

McDowell is looking forward to returning to Martinsville after earning his eighth Top-20 finish this season during last weekend's Hellmann’s 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. McDowell and Circle Sport - Leavine Family Racing (CSLFR) have recorded career best finishes at fourteen different tracks this season and are hoping to add another to that list this weekend.

McDowell’s first NSCS start at Martinsville on March 30, 2008 ended in a 26th place finish, twelve positions better than his starting position. His current career-best NSCS finish at the short track is 24th.

“Martinsville is another great short track,” McDowell stated. “Our short track program has been really good this season and we will look to build off what we learned at New Hampshire and Richmond at this race. I think we will go to Martinsville and have another solid run. It’s one of my favorite racetracks – I love Martinsville.”

McDowell will pilot the No. 95 Malwarebytes Chevrolet SS in the Goody’s 500 at Martinsville this weekend.

Malwarebytes partnered with CSLFR earlier this year after head engineer Dave Winston’s computer was infected by TelsaCrypt Ransomware and important data was held at ransom. The team was able to pay the ransom in bitcoins and retrieve the files. Shortly after the incident, Malwarebytes was installed on all team computers to prevent anything like this from happening again.

“Malwarebytes will be on the car as the primary sponsor this weekend,” said McDowell. “I'm looking forward to a fun weekend with them and coming home with another great finish for them.  They’ve been a great partner for our team and we’re glad to be able to introduce them to NASCAR.”

The Goody’s 500 will take place on Sunday, October 30 where McDowell and CSLFR plan to expand on their list of solid short track finishes. Race fans can tune-in to NBCSN for live coverage and follow @CSLFR on Twitter.


Kevin Harvick Madness At Martinsville

Written by
Published in Sprint Cup Series News
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 15:21

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Light Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is going to have to earn it if he wants to reach victory lane Sunday afternoon in the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. 

The .526-mile paperclip-shaped racetrack is the shortest on the Sprint Cup circuit while its low banking and tight corners provide some of the closest and toughest competition on the schedule.

Due to the tight quarters, a racecar rarely finishes a race at Martinsville without a tire mark on the door or a few dents in the sheet metal.   

What makes it even more maddening for competitors is that they can race to the front of the field and stay there throughout the majority of the event, only to get shuffled back on a late-race restart if they wind up in the outside lane. 

Harvick and the No. 4 team suffered that very fate at Martinsville in April, when he started 19th, raced to the front and led 72 laps before being stuck in the outside lane on consecutive late-race restarts, ultimately finishing 17th. 

But the madness of Martinsville can work to a driver’s benefit, as well. Harvick found that out in April 2011, when he started ninth, led just six of 500 laps and beat runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the finish line by .727 of a second.


Martinsville is one of only three Sprint Cup venues where Harvick has yet to score a top-five finish since joining SHR in 2014 – Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and Kentucky Speedway in Sparta are the other two. He may be looking for his first top-five at Martinsville since joining SHR, but he has shown speed and consistency at the Virginia short track with three top-10 finishes and 265 laps led in his five Martinsville starts since the start of 2014. 

The No. 4 team has used a winning strategy to advance to this point in the Chase. The team advanced to the Round of 12 with a victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon before locking into the Round of 8 with a win at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City.

The Round of 8 should prove to be a challenge for Harvick and the No. 4 team. It features Martinsville this weekend, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth next weekend – one of four tracks on the circuit where he has yet to record a Sprint Cup win – and perhaps the saving grace of the round for the No. 4 team at Phoenix International Raceway, where Harvick has won six of his last eight Sprint Cup starts and has finished no worse than second in his last six starts at the mile oval.  

The Bakersfield, California native continues his streak as the only driver since the inception of the elimination-style format in 2014 to avoid an early exit in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
He’ll look to keep that streak alive and well with a fresh start to this year’s Round of 8 on Sunday at Martinsville.


Brian Scott and the No. 44 Ford team are partnering with the American Red Cross this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, raising awareness for the victims of Hurricane Matthew, which struck the East Coast of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia two weeks ago. Scott and the No. 44 Red Cross team are looking to build on the momentum from last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and use that platform to support giving back to those affected by Hurricane Matthew.
In six starts in the Camping World Truck Series at Martinsville, Scott has two Top-10 finishes and four Top-15 finishes. Scott's only start in the Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway came in April, finishing 26th. Scott earned his best Cup Series career finish of second at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend, and with just four races left in the season, the team is working hard to end on a high note.
More than two weeks after Hurricane Matthew struck Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and parts of Virginia, the American Red Cross has served more than 1.3 million meals and snacks, and provided 99,000 overnight shelter stays to people in need, prompting the charity to issue a call for the public's help.
The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Fans can help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting http://www.redcross.org/rpm-pub, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999, which will be featured on the No. 44 Ford Fusion this weekend, to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
Fans can also meet Brian Scott at the Ford Display on Race Day at Martinsville Speedway.
Brian Scott Ford Display Q&A @ Martinsville Speedway
Where: Ford Display, Martinsville Speedway Display Area
When: Sunday, October 30 from 9:50 - 10:10 a.m.
"I like Martinsville Speedway. I had mixed success in the Camping World Truck Series, but all in all had some good runs there. The first Cup race there this spring didn't go great, but we were also a new team then. My Crew Chief Chris Heroy and I were still getting to know each other, but I think we're a better team now. We've got a new partner on the No. 44 Ford this weekend with the American Red Cross, which is exciting for everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports and we're ready to go tackle 'The Paperclip' this weekend."

The final 10 races of the season feature four short tracks, one mile or less. With two of those races complete, Aric Almirola scored a 17th-place finish in New Hampshire and a 16th-place finish in Dover. This weekend's race in Martinsville will be the third short-track race, and Almirola is looking forward to continuing his strong finishes. During the previous trip to Martinsville this season, the team suffered a rare engine failure and was unable to finish the race. The No. 43 Smithfield Ford is prepared to make the trip back to the southern Virginia track and showcase the strong short-track program.

This weekend will be Almirola's 16th Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. His best finish of 12th place came in the 2012 season for Richard Petty Motorsports.
Almirola will meet with fans at the Fanatics tent in the Fan Midway on race day morning. Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports merchandise can be purchased at Fanatics prior to the autograph session.

When: Sunday, October 30, 10:00 - 10:15 AM
Where: Fanatics Tent, Martinsville Speedway

Fans will have the opportunity to see Almirola when he judges the Whole Hog Challenge at the Smithfield Display in Martinsville Speedway's Fan Midway. Pre-selected contestants will compete against one another to eat two pounds of Smithfield bacon the fastest. The winner, crowned by Almirola, will move on to participate in the final Whole Hog Challenge Championship in Miami at the end of the season.

When: Sunday, October 30, 10:15 - 10:45 AM
Where: Smithfield Display, Martinsville Speedway
"Between the tire that Goodyear is bringing to Martinsville and the new aerodynamics package, the cars seem to be driving quite a bit differently than in the past. We struggled a bit adapting to those changes at the last Martinsville and didn't run how we normally do there. We've been running in the Top 15 for the last four years, but we didn't run that well last time, and then we ended up having an engine issue. But, I think that we've gotten a better handle on the package here recently, and we've been showing improvement these past few weeks, especially at short tracks. We'll definitely have some work to do once we get to the track, but this team has worked hard all year and will this weekend. We'll get our No. 43 Smithfield Ford running how we need it and, hopefully, bring home another Top 20 finish." 

As the 2016 season heads into the homestretch, Martin Truex Jr. has only two thoughts in mind with four Sprint Cup Series races remaining.

“I want to go fast and I want to win,” said the Furniture Row Racing driver. “It doesn’t matter what’s at stake. It’s as simple as that. Having a car that has top speed and having the potential to win is what it’s all about.”

Though Truex got bumped from his Chase playoff run after his engine expired early in Sunday’s race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, the confidence level remains just as high as when he started the Chase, winning two of the three first-round races.

The 36-year-old Truex is looking to close out the season with successful runs starting with Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at the historic Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

And for the third time this season Truex’s primary paint scheme on his No. 78 Toyota Camry will be the blue hue of Auto-Owners Insurance.

“The last time I drove our Toyota with the Auto-Owners Insurance primary paint scheme, we went to Victory Lane, winning the Southern Nationals at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway,” noted Truex.

Truex is currently tied for most season wins at four, ranks second with most poles (4) and has led the most laps (1596).

“The sting of what happened in Talladega is behind us, we’re ready for the Martinsville short track,” said Truex. “I continue to feel that we’re a championship caliber team and want nothing more than to visit Victory Lane a few more times.”

When Truex talks about winning it’s not about being politically correct or being over confident. He sincerely feels the race cars he has driven this year have had the power to win week in and week out.

“When we don’t have gremlins, miscues and other weird things halting our momentum, we’re right up there contending for a win,” said Truex. “No question, it’s been a season of a number of twists and turns, but it’s also been one of the most enjoyable seasons in my Cup career.”

The good news for Truex about Martinsville is that he’s starting to feel more comfortable at the .526-mile short track.

“Early in my career Martinsville was nothing but a puzzle for me,” said Truex. “It was one of my least favorite racetracks. But over time, especially the most recent races there, things have started to change. I’ve been getting better there and our cars are better.”

Last year, Truex took home a pair of sixth-place finishes at Martinsville. And in this year’s spring race he was headed to a top-6 or better finish, but a late-race loose wheel coupled with a speeding penalty sent him back to an 18th-place finish.

In 21 career starts at Martinsville, Truex has claimed two top fives, six top 10s, 51 laps led, 16.5 starting average and a 21.2 finishing average.


In an announcement that will put an even brighter spotlight on the next generation of stars and bolster the identity of all three of its national series, NASCAR announced on Wednesday driver participation guidelines for the 2017 season. The new guidelines limit the number of events a premier series driver can race in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Starting next season, premier series drivers with more than five years of full-time experience will be eligible to compete in a maximum of 10 races in the XFINITY Series and seven races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Additionally, drivers with more than five years of full-time premier series experience will be ineligible to compete in the final eight races in each series, as well as the Dash 4 Cash races in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The final eight races are comprised of the regular season finale and the entirety of the Chase in each series.

Drivers earning premier series points in 2017 also are not eligible to compete in the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“The updated guidelines will elevate the stature of our future stars, while also providing them the opportunity to compete against the best in professional motorsports,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “These updated guidelines are the result of a collaborative effort involving the entire industry, and will ultimately better showcase the emerging stars of NASCAR.”

Drivers with more than five years of full-time experience in the premier series still can run for an XFINITY Series or Camping World Truck Series championship, provided they have declared for championship points in the respective series.

Wednesday’s announcement signals the next step in NASCAR’s driver participation guideline evolution. Prior to the 2016 season, NASCAR announced that members of the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field would be ineligible to compete in the 2016 Championship Race in both the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In 2011, NASCAR implemented a rule requiring drivers to select one of the three national series in which to collect championship points.


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