Sunday, May 28
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest

On May 1, 2013, the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard and considered the appeal of the No. 2 and No. 22 Penske Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams.

The penalties concern Sections 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing; 12-4J: Any determination by NASCAR Officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to the NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20 of the NASCAR rule book, or has not been approved by NASCAR prior to the event; and 20-12: All suspension systems and components must be approved by NASCAR. Prior to being used in competition, all suspension systems and components must be submitted in a completed form/assembly to the office of the NASCAR competition administrator for consideration of approval and approved by NASCAR. Each such part may thereafter be used until NASCAR determines that such part is no longer eligible. All suspension fasteners and mounting hardware must be made of solid magnetic steel. All front end and rear end suspension mounts with mounting hardware assembled must have single round mounting holes that are the correct size for the fastener being used. All front end and rear end suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension component beyond component normal rotation or suspension travel.

The penalties stemmed from a pre-race inspection at Texas Motor Speedway April 13.

The original penalties assessed to the No. 2 team were:

·         Crew chief (Paul Wolfe): $100,000 fine; suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;

·         Car chief Jerry Kelley, team engineer Brian Wilson and team manager Travis Geisler (serves as team manager for both the No. 2 and No. 22 cars): Suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;

·         Car owner Roger Penske: Loss of 25 championship owner points;

·         Driver Brad Keselowski: Loss of 25 championship driver points.


The original penalties assessed to the No. 22 team were:

·         Crew chief (Todd Gordon): $100,000 fine; suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;

·         Car chief Raymond Fox and team engineer Samuel Stanley: Suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events; placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31;

·         Car owner Walt Czarnecki: Loss of 25 championship owner points;

·         Driver Joey Logano: Loss of 25 championship driver points.

The Appellants appealed all penalties listed above. The Appellants also requested and were granted a deferral of the suspensions until such time as the hearing could be convened.

Upon hearing the testimony and carefully reviewing the facts, it was a unanimous decision by the National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel to uphold the original penalties assessed by NASCAR.

The Appellants have the right under Section 15 of the rule book to appeal this decision to the National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer.

Brandon Igdalsky

Paul Brooks

Dale Pinilis

Shawn Rogers – Appellate Administrator and non-voting member


Pocono Raceway announced today the Second Annual Pocono Celebrity Charity Poker Showdown, benefitting The NASCAR Foundation and the Armed Forces Foundation, will be held on Thursday, June 6, at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The event precedes the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series “Party in the Poconos 400 Presented by Walmart” on June 9 at “The Tricky Triangle,” and will feature NASCAR drivers, celebrities and race fans.

 A limited number of playing spots are available. Fans can choose from four donation options: A $250 donation offers a pre-tournament, VIP meet-and-greet with drivers and celebrities on hand as well as entry to participate in the Poker Showdown; a $150 donation offers entry into pre-event VIP reception and attendance at the event as a spectator; a $100 donation reserves a seat in the poker tournament; and, a $50 donation allows for fans to attend the event as spectators. The top-finishing fan will receive a choice between two exciting prizes - a VIP Race Experience at Pocono Raceway or a VIP Stay and Play Experience at Mohegan Sun.

To register for the Pocono Celebrity Poker Showdown, fans can visit

“We had so much fun with the drivers, military personnel, the folks at Mohegan Sun, and, especially, the fans, we had to do this event again,” said Brandon Igdalsky, Pocono Raceway’s President and CEO. “Like last year, race fans will have the chance to play against some of NASCAR’s top drivers and personalities, with all proceeds benefiting the efforts of The NASCAR Foundation and the Armed Forces Foundation. This year, if any fan takes a celebrity out of the poker tournament, they will receive a free $100 chip they can use in the casino. We can’t wait and hope to see ever more fans there this year to benefit these great causes!”

The entire team at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs is proud to support the work of The NASCAR Foundation and the Armed Services Foundation for the second year, said Mike Bean, President of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. “The Pocono Celebrity Charity Poker Showdown is a great event for both poker players and NASCAR fans.”

Pocono Raceway PR

Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced today it has recently hired two new additions to its marketing staff. The company is proud to welcome Rob Keith to serve as Vice President of Business Development and Hannah Moody as a Communications Coordinator. The additions are driven to make the company a leader in sponsor procurement and to be a continued leader in exceptional partner services.


Keith joins RPM with a diverse history of sports marketing, strategic brand business growth and activation. He was the senior partner at Ignition Branding, a national marketing agency whose clients included Ferrari, Bacardi, Joffrey's Coffee & Tea Company, BuzzMe and RevolutionWear. Prior to Ignition Branding, Keith served as the Vice President, Corporate Marketing for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Times Forum overseeing corporate partnerships and activation. Before that, Keith held executive marketing and management positions with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Kings and the Seattle SuperSonics.


Proven to be a leader in business growth, Keith helped lead both the Lightning and the Sonics to record sponsorship revenues. He also held senior-level positions with Turner Broadcasting and Action Sports Media, a Paul Allen media company dedicated to Division One collegiate sports, and helped secure naming rights for a major college bowl game.


Moody comes to RPM most recently from Earnhardt Ganassi Racing where she served as a marketing associate for the team. Moody worked with world-class drivers and motorsports sponsors including Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Scott Dixon, Jamie McMurray and Target, Bass Pro Shops, McDonalds and more.


Moody will serve as a partnership and media relations contact for Richard Petty Motorsports and specifically the No. 43 Pilot/Flying J Nationwide Series team and driver Michael Annett. The addition of both Keith and Moody continue to strengthen partner services and business growth for the organization.


"We strive to ensure that Richard Petty Motorsports provides our partners with the assets and staff to be successful in their motorsports program, said Mike Hargrave, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Richard Petty Motorsports. "The addition of Rob and Hannah ensure that not only will RPM continue to look for optimal marketing opportunities for new and current partners, but also provide best in class service with a talented group of business professionals."


Keith and Moody are currently working in their new roles at RPM.



You’ll have to be lucky and good to win Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. has been good of late recording back-to-back top-five finishes at Texas and Kansas and nearly repeating that feat at Richmond last week before contact with another car battling for second ruined those chances.

After a week of the “Get Lucky with Martin Truex” contest, Truex has an arsenal of “lucky” items sent in by fans. Truex chose a seashell found on the beach of Spring Lake, N.J., to help him get to victory lane at Talladega. Bill Truex, coincidence yes but he’s not related, sent in the seashell he found on the beach after Hurricane Sandy just 45 minutes from the driver’s hometown of Mayetta, N.J. If the No. 56 wins Sunday, Truex, the fan, will receive an exclusive VIP experience to a race of his choice and meet Truex the driver.

“What are the odds of selecting the lucky item from a guy named Truex from Jersey,” said the Mayetta, N.J. native. “He’s not a relative of mine. But if I win, he wins so he’ll just be one of many Truexes rooting for me on Sunday.”

Racing at Talladega: “Talladega is a tough track to finish. Our plan of attack is to go there and race hard all day long. I will not be dropping to the back and riding around for the first half of the race. I have tried that and have been wrecked. I’ve pretty much been wrecked at every position possible. We are going to run hard and lead as many laps as possible just like we did at Daytona this year. All we can do is hope for the best. Our NAPA Toyota was fast at Daytona so there is no reason why we cannot do the same at Talladega. I need to be at the end of the race when it counts.”


Danica Patrick May Days

Wednesday, May 01

The stars may be aligning for Danica Patrick as she enters the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday (May 5) at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), always seems run well in the month of May, and she loves restrictor-plate racing, the kind of which takes place at Talladega.

Her memorable “May Days” have mostly been in the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Indianapolis 500. She burst onto the scene in May 2005, when she stunned the world by leading 19 laps and finishing fourth in her first Indianapolis 500 – becoming the first woman to lead laps and score a top-five finish in the historic race.

Patrick set numerous records during her Indianapolis 500 debut and set the tone early when she posted the fastest lap on the opening day of practice. She went on to set the fastest practice lap five times that month – more than any other driver – including Pole Day and Carb Day.

Patrick’s practice lap of 229.880 mph on Pole Day was the fastest of any driver during the month and the fastest turned by any woman in the history of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. During her qualification attempt, Patrick made an impressive save as her car bobbled in turn one on her first lap, earning rave reviews for her car control by longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway observers. She ended up qualifying fourth, the best starting position ever by a woman in the legendary event.

On race day, 11 laps before the end of the 200-lap race, Patrick blew past leader Dan Wheldon and held the point until lap 194, when she was forced to back off the pace to conserve enough fuel to make it to the finish. Patrick ended up fourth – the best finish ever for a woman at Indianapolis at that time – and earned Rookie of the Year honors for her efforts, which included leading the race three times for 19 laps.

In seven Indianapolis 500 starts (all in the month of May, of course) Patrick qualified in the top-10 five times and finished in the top-10 six times – including a third-place result in 2009. It remains the best finish by a woman in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

When she turned her attention to NASCAR full-time, Patrick continued to find promising May results in 2012. She finished 13th or better in three of the four NASCAR Nationwide Series races (Talladega, Darlington, Charlotte) conducted during the month.

And while the month of May has always been good to Patrick, so have restrictor-plate tracks, and that was again true in February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Like she did at Indianapolis, she made headlines around the world with her record-setting performance in the 55th Daytona 500. She became the first woman to win a Sprint Cup pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500, and then finished in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”

She led laps 90 to 91 under caution, becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race, and then held the top spot under green from laps 127 to 129 to become the first woman to lead a NASCAR race under green. The only other woman to lead laps in a Sprint Cup race is Janet Guthrie, who led five laps under yellow in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.

By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 13 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish the feat are A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Bobby Allison, Jim Hurtubise, Johnny Rutherford, Tim Richmond, John Andretti, Robby Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart.

Of those 13 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya and Stewart have led at least five laps in each race.

Patrick’s eighth-place finish in the Daytona 500, coupled with her six top-10 finishes in the Indianapolis 500, make her one of only 15 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Stewart, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.

She won’t be in Indianapolis this May, but she’ll look to make even more history in the Sprint Cup ranks during a month that has been very good to her throughout her career. And a victory at Talladega this weekend would certainly add another chapter to her already impressive story.


As the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) takes a break in action, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender, Brennan Newberry takes the opportunity to gain drafting experience by competing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday, May 3, 2013.

·         Newberry will make his first ever start at the famed Talladega Superspeedway in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250.

·         Ryan McKinney returns to the top of the box, to call the shots for Newberry, just as he did at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year.   (Ryan McKinney is the NCWTS Truck Chief for NTS veteran Ron Hornaday, Jr.)

·         NTS Rookie, Newberry, is looking for another top 10 in his fourth ARCA start.  In his previous three ARCA races, he finished 4th at Michigan International Speedway, 5th at Kansas Speedway last fall and 6th at Daytona International Speedway earlier this year.

·         NTS Motorsports will have crew members from both NCWTS truck teams in Talladega this weekend, as well as Ron Hornaday, Jr. on the ground to coach Brennan and Rick Carelli up on the Spotter’s stand.

·         SPEED will broadcast the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race live Friday, May 3rd, 5 p.m. ET.

Newberry’s Knowledge:

“I can’t wait to get on the track at Talladega to gain seat time and drafting experience for when the trucks return to this track later this year.   It made a big difference in how I raced the truck race in Daytona after racing in the ARCA race, and I am hoping running this race will do the same thing.  Being a rookie, I always want to learn as much as I can to make myself better.”

NTS Motorsports PR

Homestead-Miami Speedway today announced that tickets for 2013 Ford Championship Weekend are now available for purchase by the general public. It’s the first opportunity for fans to secure the best seats for each of the three season ending championship races in NASCAR’s top three national series. The races are scheduled for Nov. 15-17.

Tickets, which are expected to sell briskly, are available:

§, via smartphones -- utilizing a redesigned interface, the Homestead-Miami Speedwaymobile app, and the easier-to-use Facebook Store tab.

§By phoneat 305.230.5255.

§In personat the Homestead-Miami Speedway box office (1 Speedway Boulevard, Homestead, FL 33035)

Day and time(All times EST) NASCAR Championship Race Broadcast*

Fri, Nov. 15, 8:00 p.m. Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 Fox Sports SPEED-TV, MRN

Sat, Nov. 16, 4:30 p.m. Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 ESPN2, MRN

Sun, Nov. 17, 3:00 p.m. Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 ESPN, MRN


*All races broadcast on SiriusXM NASCAR Channel

Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time champion and last year’s race winner Jeff Gordon, three-time champion Tony Stewart, and Miami’s own Juan Pablo Montoya are among the top drivers scheduled to compete. They will race door-to-door around the 1.5-mile variable banked Homestead-Miami Speedway oval in theFord EcoBoost 400 on Nov. 17.

“It was great to see Brad Keselowski win the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship for legendary team owner Roger Penske last year,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matthew Becherer. “South Florida will witness another dramatic conclusion to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Sprint Cup, as well as the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series seasons. When you add in the big-event atmosphere and the fact that it’s three-straight series-crowning championship finales on one of the most ‘racy’ tracks, it’s a ‘can’t miss’ weekend.”

Homestead-Miami Speedway annually produces one of the most thrilling races given the track’s multiple lines of racing on its 1.5-mile banked oval. Last year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship saw 19 lead changes an average race speed of more than 142 mph. In 2011, the 400-mile contest had a race record 26 lead changes.

Various pricing options are available for 2013 Ford Championship Weekend starting at $55. Children 12 and younger are free in general admission sections Friday and Saturday, and half price in reserved sections for Saturday and Sunday’s championship races.

Homestead-Miami Speedway offers Three-day Champion ticket packages that include: Savings over single-day purchases; parking passes; exclusive entrance gates; and hard cards and lanyards that grant access to post-race championship celebrations.

Other highlights of Ford Championship Weekend include:

§Free daily on-site parking

§Live music, concerts and entertainment

§Interactive displays

§Spectacular pre-race ceremonies, including celebrities, fireworks and a signature musical performance

§Bring own food and beverage inside the gates

§Unlimited re-entry (leave, refill and come back)

No. 23 Allegiant Air Chevrolet Impala SS – Spencer Gallagher heads to the high-banked 2.66-mile tri-oval of Talladega Superspeedway for this weekends ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards International Motorsports Hall of Fame 250. Friday’s race is the fourth of 21 scheduled events on the 2013 schedule. Gallagher Motorsports has prepared chassis No. 005, a RHE (Ronnie Hopkins Enterprises) Chevrolet Impala SS, which was last raced at Daytona International Speedway in February to a third-place finish by Coulter Motorsports.


Special Guest at the Team Chevy Stage – Race fans at Talladega Superspeedway can stop by the main midway to see Gallagher at the Team Chevy Stage on Friday, May 3, from 11:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. Central Time. Gallagher will be participating in a fan question-and-answer session along with an autograph session with fellow Chevrolet driver Ricky Ehrgott.


Talladega 2012 – Gallagher has made one start at the Talladega, Ala., facility during the 2012 ARCA Racing Series. The Las Vegas, Nev., native started the event 13th, but lost drafting help in the final laps, relegating him to a 19th-place finish.


Meet the Driver and Crew – ARCA Racing Series officials will open up the garage area from 12 – 1 p.m. Central Time Friday, May 3. Fans are encouraged to take a walk through the typically restricted area to discover some of the inner workings of a race weekend. Gallagher, along with his Gallagher Motorsports crew, will be available to meet with the fans behind the No. 23 Allegiant Air semi transporter.


Riding the Momentum: Salem Speedway – Gallagher and the No. 23 Allegiant Air Chevrolet finished second in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 at Salem Speedway Sunday afternoon. After spending most of the race battling the leader, Gallagher took over first place on lap 193. Gallagher took the white flag in the lead, but Tom Hessert with four fresh tires was able to squeeze by coming to the checkered. Gallagher led a total of 10 laps (193-202) and earned a career high second-place finish.


Gallagher Motorsports PR

No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver Michael Waltrip returns to the driver’s seat at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday in the Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race. The two-time Daytona 500 champion’s No. 55 will carry a special paint scheme honoring the 2012 University of Alabama’s BCS National Championship football team. Waltrip will sport an Alabama firesuit and a specially painted helmet similar to the school’s football helmet. Waltrip, winner of the Talladega fall race in 2003, nearly won the October race before a last lap wreck.

WALTRIP ON RACING AT TALLADEGA:“Every time I go to Talladega I just have a lot of confidence because of all the success I have had there before. I have been able to win there and I came pretty close to winning there last year. It’s awesome going to a track that you know you have a chance to win. For me, this weekend, it’s all about putting that No. 55 Aaron’s/Alabama National Championship Toyota into victory lane.”

ON RACING THE ALABAMA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TOYOTA:“It’s going to be really fun to race the Alabama National Championship car this weekend. There are a lot of passionate fan in that part of the world that love Alabama football and NASCAR. It’s a special opportunity to mix the two together. I really look forward to representing all the Alabama fans this weekend in Talladega.”


Josh Wise describes restrictor-plate racing in the famous words of movie character Forrest Gump: "You never know what you're going to get." Nonetheless, he says that unpredictability is what makes racing at places like Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway so exciting.


Wise will climb into the No. 35 MDS Transport Ford for Sunday's 499 for his second restrictor-plate race of the 2013 season. He had a fast car at Daytona International Speedway in February and expects his Front Row Motorsports team to bring a similarly fast Ford Fusion to this weekend's event. He also hopes for a better finish than the February result, when he was knocked out of the race in an accordion-style wreck that also took out teammates David Ragan and David Gilliland.


Sunday's race will be Wise's third Sprint Cup start at the 2.66-mile tri-oval.


Comments from MDS Transport team driver Josh Wise heading to Talladega:


"Daytona didn't end as we had hoped it would, obviously. But I feel like there were a lot of positives about Daytona. I feel like we brought really great race cars that had good speed. And all three of us (Front Row Motorsports drivers) were running in the top 25 and were very competitive for that race. So I'm excited for this week. I think we'll have cars with good speed at Talladega.


"I learned a lot at Daytona, although Talladega is going to be a little different. But speedway racing is always going to be exciting because you never know what you're going to get. You try to position yourself and do the best you can, but a lot of it is just how the cards fall around you.


"At least we're not depending on another driver like it had been before, when everybody paired off with a partner. They made some rules changes to get away from that last year, and now this year with the new cars it really has gotten pretty obsolete because these cars just don't suck up together like the old cars did. So even though there's still a lot of stuff that's out of your control, you're at least driving your own race and not dependent on another car."




No right click

Please link the article.