Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (14571)

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

Danica Patrick started 25th and finished 24th.

● The No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion team cracked the top-20 at lap 14. Patrick noted the car was “tight in the center” and lacked grip as she dropped back to the 25th position, so crew chief Billy Scott called for a wedge adjustment when the team pitted at lap 38.

● The adjustments help improve the car’s handling, and Patrick went from 26th to 24th in the final laps of the stage.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

Started 27th and finished 37th.

● Patrick raced her way up to the 18th position as the car’s handling continued to improve after additional adjustments by the team. She made contact with the outside wall with more than 20 laps to go in Stage 2 and noted smoke in the cockpit.

● The team checked for damage, and the following lap the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford made contact with the wall in turn two after cutting down a tire. The car sustained significant damage, which ended the team’s day with a 37th-place finish.

● Patrick was evaluated and released from the infield care center following the accident.

 

Notes:

● This was Patrick’s fifth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Homestead-Miami Speedway and her 190th career NASCAR Cup Series start.

● Patrick finished the season with 511 points, which put her 28th in the driver point standings.

● There were five caution periods for a total of 26 laps.

● Only 12 of the 39 drivers in the Ford EcoBoost 400 finished on the lead lap.

● Martin Truex Jr. won the Ford EcoBoost 400 to score his 15th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his eighth of the season and his first at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .681 of a second.

● With his victory in Sunday’s race, Truex Jr. also won the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series championship, the first of his career, outdueling fellow Championship 4 drivers Busch, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski in the season finale.

 

Next Up:

The 2018 season kicks off Feb. 10-18 with the traditional Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 60th Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the season, is scheduled for Feb. 18 and will be broadcast live on FOX.

 

TSC PR

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-80):

Kurt Busch started eighth and finished seventh to score four stage points.

● Early in the run, Busch said his Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford Fusion was loose on the exit of each turn.

● On lap six, under caution, Busch pitted for four sticker tires and fuel while in ninth position.

● Busch restarted 14th after pitting.

● Busch was up to third with fresher tires and pitted under green on lap 41 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.

● On lap 50, Busch was fourth and reported his car was “a tick loose in.”

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 81-160):

Busch started eighth and finished sixth to score five stage points.

Busch pitted on lap 83 for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.

● On lap 122, Busch was in seventh and pitted for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.

● Busch reported shortly after the pit stop that his car was really tight in the center of the corner.

● On lap 145, while eighth, Busch pitted under caution for four tires, fuel and a tire pressure adjustment.

 

Stage 3 Recap (Laps 161-267):

Busch started eighth and finished 22nd.

● On lap 162, Busch pitted for four tires, fuel and a bit of tape on the grill.

● Busch pitted on lap 198 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. He was in eighth.

● On lap 227, Busch hit some debris and cut a tire, which forced him to pit. He lost two laps and finished a disappointing 22nd.

 

Notes:

● Busch finished the 2017 season with one win (Daytona 500), one pole (Texas II) and 15 top-10 finishes.

●  There were five caution periods for a total of 26 laps.

●  Only 12 of the 39 drivers in the Ford Ecoboost 400 finished on the lead lap.

●  Martin Truex Jr., won the Ford EcoBoost 400 to score his 15th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory. It was his series-best eighth win of the season, but his first at Homestead. His margin of victory over second-place Kyle Busch was .681 of a second.

● In winning the Ford EcoBoost 400, Truex won the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship for the first time in his career, outdueling fellow Championship 4 contenders Kyle Busch, Harvick and Brad Keselowski. Truex is the 32nd different Cup Series champion.

 

Next Up:

The 2018 season kicks off Feb. 10-18 with the traditional Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The 60th Daytona 500, the first points-paying race of the season, is scheduled for Feb. 18 and will be broadcast live on FOX.

 

TSC PR

Despite a disappointing 29th-place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway today, Ryan Blaney – driving his last race for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing team – handed Wood Brothers Racing its best season since 1995. Blaney and the Wood Brothers end up ninth in the overall season points standings.

Blaney’s otherwise stellar 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season included a win, two pole positions, 14 top-10 finishes and a nine-week NASCAR Playoff run.

"It's been a fun year for sure,” Blaney said after the race. “It's a shame it ended not on a high note but it's been fun to run every week at the race track and be competitive.

“To win a race, that was pretty great,” he continued. “It's been a fun year overall and it’s kind of bittersweet to see it come to an end. Still, I'm happy for what's next to come.”

Blaney transitions to a third Team Penske Cup entry in 2018.

A review of Blaney’s 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, only his second as a full-time driver, includes:

  • Two poles (at Kansas in May and last week at Phoenix)
  • One win (at Pocono Raceway in June)
  • Four top-five finishes
  • 14 top-10 finishes
  • 301 laps led
  • The Round of Eight in his first NASCAR postseason
  • Amassed 226 stage points (ninth among drivers) and won four stages
  • Finished ninth overall.

An early race miscommunication and an ill-handling race car contributed to today’s result at Homestead-Miami. That, however, didn’t keep Blaney from reflecting fondly on his three years driving for NASCAR’s oldest and most-historic team.

“I love driving for the Wood Brothers,” he said. “It's been a fun three years and I'll always remember it. They're very humble people and a humble family. All they want to do is race. They're racers and that's how I grew up. I think that's what made our relationship special.”

The next race for the Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21 will be the 2018 Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway with new driver Paul Menard behind the wheel. Menard finished Sunday’s race in 16th place.

Ford Performance PR

Toyota won the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) manufacturer’s championship with a victory by Camry driver Martin Truex Jr. at Homestead-Miami Speedway to claim its second-consecutive Cup manufacturer’s title Sunday.

After winning its first Cup manufacturer’s title in 2016, Toyota won the 2017 championship on the strength of 16 victories this season, punctuated by the performance of Truex, who won the 2017 driver’s championship.

“Toyota is fortunate to have a great group of Camry drivers, and tremendous team partners, that allow us to have success on the race track and win accolades like the Cup manufacturer’s championship two years in a row,” said Keith Dahl, motorsports general manager for Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). “To be able to win the title in the first season racing the new 2018 Toyota Camry is truly remarkable and displays the effort TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and Calty Design put into preparing this championship-winning Camry.”

Four Camry drivers captured 16 victories in 2017 and four Toyotas advanced to the Playoffs, led by Truex with a series and career-best eight victories. Kyle Busch tallied five Cup wins this year, while Denny Hamlin took two trips to victory lane in his Camry and Matt Kenseth won one race.

“We also would like to congratulate Martin Truex Jr. on winning the Cup Series driver’s championship, as well as all of our Camry drivers for helping Toyota win another NASCAR manufacturer’s title,” said Dahl. “Earning our second-consecutive manufacturer’s title speaks to the hard work and consistency of our race teams and drivers who continue to push each other and challenge our great competitors in the NASCAR Cup Series.”

In addition to winning the manufacturer’s and driver’s championships in the Cup Series, Toyota also captured the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver’s and manufacturer’s titles.

Toyota won the 2017 Cup manufacturer’s championship using its new 2018 Toyota Camry that debuted during the 2017 season and before the new production model hit showrooms in the Fall. Prior to the start of the 2017 season, TRD, U.S.A. and Calty Design Research, Inc., Toyota’s U.S. design studio, worked together to develop the new Camry race car to ensure it intimately matched its new, radically redesign production counterpart and was built for success on the race track. The result was a 2018 Camry that won the manufacturer’s and driver’s championship and led a series-best 5,757 laps, the most-ever for Toyota in a single Cup season.

Toyota first entered MENCS competition in 2007, and the 2017 season marks the 10th anniversary of the Camry competing in the Cup and NASCAR XFINITY Series. Since entering the MENCS, Toyota drivers have won 111 races and captured 107 pole positions over 396 races.

Toyota Racing PR

Following a long and winding road, Martin Truex Jr. finally owns the biggest prize in motorsports.

The driver of the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota capped off a dominant season in fitting fashion –by capturing the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship with a stirring victory in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

To take the title, Truex outdueled his Championship 4 competitors Kyle Busch (second), Kevin Harvick (fourth) and Brad Keselowski (seventh).

The Mayetta, New Jersey, native was the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ best driver all year, winning the regular season championship on the strength of four victories.

Once the playoffs began, Truex upped his performance to another level, recording a top-five finish in every postseason race except for Talladega. He won four times, including the playoff-opening race at Chicagoland, twice in the Round of 12 (Charlotte and Kansas) and the season finale at Homestead.

Truex finished the season with career highs in wins (8), top fives (19), top 10s (26) and laps led (2,250). He led the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in all those stat categories.

Truex’s title also marks the first championship for Denver, Colorado-based Furniture Row Racing and owner Barney Visser. 

A two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, Truex joins Busch, Harvick, Keselowski and Bobby Labonte as the fifth driver in history with both an XFINITY and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title.

He is the first champion from New Jersey.

Truex’s teammate Erik Jones captured the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year. Driving the No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota, Jones scored a rookie-high five top fives and 14 tops 10s.

On the strength of 16 victories, Toyota won its second-consecutive Monster Energy Series Manufacturers’ Championship.

NASCAR PR

NASCAR and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today announced a renewed sponsorship agreement that ensures Goodyear is the exclusive tire of NASCAR’s top three national series.

The newly signed agreement continues Goodyear’s designation as the “Official Tire of NASCAR” and extends an uninterrupted relationship that started in 1954. Goodyear and NASCAR’s six decades of partnership is one of the longest-running sponsor programs in any sport. In addition, Goodyear has been the exclusive tire supplier for the sanctioning body’s top three series since 1997.

“We proudly join Goodyear in celebrating our renewed and longstanding partnership,” said Brent Dewar, NASCAR president. “For more than half a century, NASCAR and our teams have trusted Goodyear tires. Our partners’ commitment to innovation and excellence plays a key role in our unyielding pursuit to deliver the best racing product in the world.”

From the introduction of the radial tire to NASCAR in 1989 to multi-zone tread design in 2013, Goodyear and NASCAR have consistently innovated to deliver compelling racing. NASCAR has served as a proving ground for Goodyear, preparing and supplying tires that meet the most grueling and demanding conditions. The technology that goes into a tire to withstand and perform in those conditions helps inform and differentiate Goodyear’s consumer tires. 

“We are tremendously proud of the pivotal role Goodyear plays in the best racing competition in the world and excited that NASCAR drivers will be crossing the finish line on Goodyear tires in the years ahead,” said Rich Kramer, chairman, CEO and president of Goodyear. “With this new agreement in place, we celebrate our enduring relationship with NASCAR and the continuing value of NASCAR to the Goodyear brand"

Each tire Goodyear produces for NASCAR’s top three national series are custom-built by the hands of passionate Goodyear associates in Akron, Ohio – Goodyear’s global headquarters – and donned with the name of the employee who helped produce it. 

The depth of the relationship has been built on competition, shared passion and brand growth for the two organizations. Goodyear’s industry-leading brand has been amplified through the duration of the relationship generating awareness for the tiremaker with NASCAR’s passionate fan base. According to a Turnkey Sports & Entertainment sponsor loyalty survey conducted for SportsBusiness Journal/Daily in 2016, Goodyear has been the most recognized sponsor in NASCAR for the past five consecutive years.

NASCAR PR

For their final race together, Ryan Blaney and the Wood Brothers team will start the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway from a familiar position.

Blaney, crew chief Jeremy Bullins, and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team bounced back from a mediocre practice session to advance through all three rounds of knock-out qualifying and earn the 11th starting spot for Sunday’s finale of Ford Championship Weekend.
 
It was the 26th time in 36 races this season that Blaney and the No. 21 team have qualified among the top 12.
 
“Ryan and the crew made some changes after practice, and obviously they were right ones,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said. “It’s really satisfying to be among the top 12 in our last race together, and I’m glad they were able to find some good speed tonight since they’ve been so good in qualifying all season.”
 
Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team were 20th fastest in Friday’s opening practice, with a best lap at 168.972 miles per hour.
 
After some tuning on the No. 21 Fusion, Blaney was 14th fastest in the opening round of qualifying with a speed of 172.590 mph.
 
He ran a lap at 173.055 mph in Round Two, which was ninth fastest of the 24 drivers and earned him a spot among the elite 12 qualifiers.
 
His final lap, a 171.255 mph, earned him the 11th starting spot for Sunday’s season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400.
 
 “We made improvements from the first round to the second round, but we fell off for the third round,”
 
Blaney said in his post-qualifying comments. “We missed a bit on that last adjustment. It was a good effort.”
 
Blaney also said the increase in his speed in qualifying compared to his speed in practice was due in part to the fact that practice was held during the day and qualifying at night.
 
“We made some adjustments to the car between practice and qualifying, but the biggest difference is the temperature,” he said.

Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 is set to get the green flag just after 2:30 p.m. with TV coverage on NBC.

WBR PR

Danica Patrick has announced today at Homestead-Miami Speedway her retirement from full-time racing. Announces will run the 2018 Daytona 500 and Indy 500 for yet unnamed teams. 

 

Danica Patrick Announces Retirement from Full-Time Racing from Speedway Digest on Vimeo.