Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (14767)

Richard Petty Motorsports and Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr will be featured on various national news and sports outlets Sunday, February 18, prior to the running of the Daytona 500 on FOX.

Wallace Jr and "The King" Richard Petty will start the morning as live guests on Fox and Friends on Fox News Channel between 9:45 - 10:00 a.m. ET.

Wallace Jr, and his rise to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in the famed No. 43, will then be the focus of a SC Featured piece on ESPN SportsCenter. The feature will air at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Finally, Wallace Jr. sits down with Kenny Wallace and NASCAR RaceDay for a fun breakfast and conversation with the Wallace's. The segment is scheduled to air just before 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX.
 
Wallace Jr has dominated news headlines on and off the track leading into the Great American Race.  This week, Facebook Watch, launched the docu-series, Behind the Wall: Bubba Wallace, documenting Wallace and his journey to his first Daytona 500.  Facebook Watch's "Behind the Wall" have released six episodes to date.  Be sure to catch the final two episodes on February 22 at Facebook.com/behindthewallbubbawallace.

Wallace will drive the No. 43 Click n' Close Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in tomorrow's Daytona 500 as he begins his journey as a Sunoco Rookie of The Year contender.
 
RPM PR

FOX Sports’ presentation of season-opening Daytona Speedweeks continues today with live coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race (2:30 PM ET on FS1) and Sunday’s DAYTONA 500 (2:30 PM ET, with live pre-race coverage beginning at 11:00 AM ET on FOX).

Mike Joy calls FOX Sports’ 15th DAYTONA 500 with analysis from Jeff Gordon, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds. Jamie Little, Regan Smith, Vince Welch and Matt Yocum cover pit road, while Chris Myers hosts network coverage alongside Michael Waltrip. Joy, McReynolds, Myers, Darrell Waltrip and Yocum were members of the original FOX NASCAR on-air team that debuted at Daytona in 2001.

Adam Alexander has the call for today’s NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race from Daytona alongside Michael Waltrip and Brad Keselowski with pit reporting by Little, Smith and Yocum. NASCAR RACEDAY - XFINITY, FS1’s XFINITY Series pre-race show, hosted by Shannon Spake and McReynolds, previews the action at 2:00 PM ET.

On Monday, Feb. 19, Kevin Harvick is in-studio on FS1’s NASCAR RACE HUB (6:00 PM ET) with Alexander, Spake and McReynolds.

Below are notes and quotes regarding FOX NASCAR’s coverage of the balance of Daytona Speedweeks:

NASCAR RACEDAY: DAYTONA 500 OFFERS SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW WITH DANICA PATRICK

For Sunday’s NASCAR RACEDAY (11:00 AM ET on FOX), Little sits down with Danica Patrick for an in-depth interview prior to the start of her final NASCAR start.  Kenny Wallace chats with Bubba Wallace over breakfast in a “Breakfast with the Wallaces” feature. Also airing during NASCAR RACEDAY is: a feature on Aric Almirola’s battle back from injury and his new ride at Stewart-Haas Racing; Alan Cavanna’s look back at Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s long-sought victory in the 1998 Daytona 500; a Rachel Bonnetta live hit from a Xfinity Daytona Day watch party in Boston; a “Where’s Wallace” piece; and a War Room feature.

FOX NASCAR SUNDAY: JEFF GORDON SITS DOWN WITH ALL FOUR HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS DRIVERS

Following Sunday’s pre-race coverage on NASCAR RACEDAY, FOX NASCAR SUNDAY picks up the baton at 1:00 PM ET, live on FOX.  In Sunday’s show: Jeff Gordon sits down with all four Hendrick Motorsports drivers (Jimmie Johnson, Alex Bowman, William Byron and Chase Elliott); Regan Smith travels to Denver to catch up with defending champion Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn; Jamie Little chats with Danica Patrick prior to her final NASCAR start; interviews with Peyton Manning and Charlize Theron; a live Rascal Flatts performance during pre-race ceremonies; and Michael Waltrip’s “Grid Walk.”

FOX NASCAR QUOTES

FOX SPORTS: Entering your third season in the FOX NASCAR booth, what is your biggest takeaway?

“I’ve come to realize what a huge race fan I am.  I love driving race cars, but the experience of being in the booth makes you realize what a fan you are of the action. No offense to the NFL, but I’m pretty biased.  I don’t think there’s any experience, whether live or on TV, that’s like racing at 200 miles-per-hour inches away from one another, and we get to go inside the car and hear what’s going on with the action. That’s amazing.”

--Jeff Gordon

FOX SPORTS: Is it difficult to set aside relationships you have with drivers and teams when you step into the broadcast booth?

“There have been plenty of discussions about my feelings toward certain drivers. I can tell you that as many times as I have pulled for Chase Elliott to win a race, I have been equally as excited to see Ryan Blaney win his first race, because I like to see things that get everyone excited, are good for the sport and take it to the next level.”

--Jeff Gordon 

FOX SPORTS: How do you keep the production of a NASCAR race fresh weekly when your on-air team is working with and interviewing the same drivers each week, unlike other sports?

“FOX Sports is there for every practice, qualifying session and lap of every race.  We don’t miss a batting practice, a shoot-around or a Thursday walk-through. We truly get to know the drivers well, but keeping it fresh comes with the sport itself and its different venues.  Each track seems to have a different twist to it, whether it’s a mile-and-a-half superspeedway or a short track.  So, it does stay fresh but it allows us to dig in and get to know the drivers a bit more.  The cool part about this sport is the access and ability to be able to talk to them two minutes after they get out of the car, whether they like it or not in that particular moment.  The access is what’s so engaging and fun to watch in this sport, and you don’t get than in any other sport.”

--Barry Landis, FOX NASCAR race producer

FOX SPORTS: How do you make the daily rotation of Cup Series drivers work on NASCAR RACE HUB?

“It’s key to make the drivers feel comfortable. We give them a lot of feedback.  These drivers are really invested in how they perform on television, and there are numerous conversations about how they are doing.  Adam (Alexander) and Shannon (Spake) play a huge role in making them feel welcome.  That allows us to get information from them and make them comfortable enough to share with their insights and the viewers.”

--Lindsey Mandia, NASCAR RACE HUB coordinating producer

FOX SPORTS: What is the relationship like between you guys and the Race Hub driver analysts?

“The show has a different feel every day because there are different people sitting at the table presenting different ideas.  It is ever-changing, and as a result, has a different dynamic every day when we go on the air at 6:00 PM. It’s building those relationships with the drivers in the hall or the makeup room, away from the track.”

--Shannon Spake

FOX SPORTS: What are the challenges of having a different driver in the NASCAR RACE HUB studio each day?

“By having fresh faces in the Hub studio every day, you get new ideas and new thought processes from every angle.  That scenario creates a new energy for Shannon (Spake) and me.  It’s never stale in here, and it forces us to make sure we are on our A-game.  All of those are factors to the huge success of NASCAR Race Hub. We are getting the true stars of the sport in our studio on a regular basis.  It’s unprecedented not only in NASCAR but across all sports programming.”

--Adam Alexander

FOX Sports PR

Germain Racing is pleased to announce that longtime primary sponsor, GEICO, has signed a sponsorship extension that will find the famed Gecko adorning the hood of the No. 13 Camaro ZL1 through at least the 2020 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
 
The relationship between Germain Racing and GEICO spans over a decade and has evolved from a NASCAR Xfinity Series entry in 2008 to a current day, charter-owning Cup Series organization that competed for wins during the 2017 season with driver, Ty Dillon.
 
GEICO continues to have an expansive presence within NASCAR, including the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, the popular GEICO campgrounds, a large midway display at various racetracks, as well as the GEICO Restart Zone, all of which are complemented by a sizeable multilevel media platform. Race fans can neither attend nor view a Cup Series event without encountering the GEICO name and the ubiquitous Gecko.
 
"We have been honored to represent GEICO for the last decade. That is, in and of itself, a huge accomplishment and we appreciate their belief in our organization. We are excited to continue improving our team's performance, and GEICO's loyalty and support are the keys  to any success we achieve. Carrying the GEICO name and the Gecko on the hood of our race car and on the chest of our uniforms is a source of pride and we are committed to representing them well," said Germain Racing team owner, Bob Germain, Jr.
 
PMI PR

Kasey Kahne and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) finished 13th in the second Can-Am Duel at Daytona International Speedway, resulting in a 26th place starting position for the 60th running of the Daytona 500.

Kahne started ninth in the second Duel, which would set the outside row for Sunday’s Daytona 500. He quickly moved up two spots into the seventh position before the field went entirely into single file.

By lap nine, Kahne was shuffled back toward the end of the lead pack. The first and only caution on lap 12 saw Kahne narrowly avoiding being hit.

While under caution, Crew Chief, Travis Mack, made the call for Kahne to make his only pit stop for four tires and fuel. Kahne reported that his No. 95 Procore Camaro ZL1 was handling well and was much faster than Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash car.

Kahne restarted 10th on lap 15 and ran single file for the majority of the race, making a few moves to the inside lane, but having no luck. He went on to finish 13th, sustaining minor front end damage while avoiding contact with another car.

Although the Can-Am Duel did not provide LFR with the finish they wanted, it did provide a good test for the team as they prepare for Sunday’s 500-mile race.

“The car was pretty fast tonight,” said Kahne. “I expect the track is going to be very tricky and the cars to be out of control a little bit on Sunday from what I saw and felt tonight. Everyone will be working on the cars the next few days to try to get the most grip that you can and not crush your speed. Hopefully we can get a good feel for the car in practice over the next few days.”

The 60th running of the Daytona 500 will take place on Sunday, February 18th at 2:30pm ET. Race fans can tune in to FOX For coverage and follow @LFR95 on Twitter for race updates.

LFR PR

Click n' CloseTM, the "Official Mortgage Provider of NASCAR®" and Richard Petty Motorsports, in partnership with the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN), announced today a joint partnership with Victory Junction, establishing the "Fastest Lap" Award at the completion of each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in 2018 on both radio networks.
For the fastest lap in each race, Click n' Close will make a donation to Victory Junction, a medically-safe camping facility that provides a life-changing experience for children, ages six to 16, with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses, at the conclusion of each race that corresponds with the fastest lap of the race in speed.  MRN and PRN will then match that donation after each race.
 
In addition, to celebrate its partnership with driver Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. and Richard Petty Motorsports, Click n' Close is introducing the "Double Bubba" bonus.  If Wallace and the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team turns the fastest lap during a 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race, Click n' Close, MRN and PRN will double its donation to Victory Junction for that event.
 
"Click n' Close is thrilled and honored to support Victory Junction this season," said Wayne Arute, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Click n' Close.  "Their mission is an impactful one and means a great deal to the NASCAR community, which has welcomed our Click n' Close brand with open arms. We look forward to building our relationship with Victory Junction, starting this weekend."
 
NASCAR fans are also challenged to join Click n' Close to give back to Victory Junction by going to ClicknClose.com/NASCAR and make a donation of $43 or more to the camp.  For every donation of $43 or more, Click n' Close will donate a NASCAR officially-licensed Lionel Racing 1:64 Bubba Wallace Click n' Close Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 die-cast car to the children who attend Victory Junction.
 
"We are thankful to have Click n' Close, the Motor Racing Network and the Performance Racing Network support Victory Junction this race season," said Chad Coltrane, Chief Executive Officer, Victory Junction.  "We've seen Click n' Close get involved with Richard Petty Motorsports, NASCAR, our media partners, and now camp.  They have shown their commitment to the sport, and we couldn't be more thrilled they chose to support Victory Junction during each race season with this special award. We also want to thank MRN and PRN for their commitment to this program, too."
 
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season begins this Sunday with the Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, February 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
 
RPM PR
 

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Omnicraft Ford Fusion came away with a seventh-place finish in the second of Thursday’s two Can-Am Duel qualifying races at Daytona International Speedway. And along the way they showed that they are capable of contending for victory in Sunday’s 60th annual Daytona 500.
 
Menard, who will make his 400th career Cup start on Sunday, drove aggressively and made smart moves, with the assistance from his veteran spotter, former driver Stevie Reeves.

He started the race from the sixth position but had raced his way into second place before 10 of the race’s 60 laps had been completed.

He made a pit stop for fuel only on Lap 14, returned to the track and lined up in third place for the ensuing restart.
 
Menard soon drifted to the rear of the lead pack after an close call with Denny Hamlin but passed his way back into the top five, one car at a time.
 
As the laps wound down, Menard was poised to team up with his fellow Ford drivers Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick and make a run for the checkered flag – or at least a top-three finish - but didn’t get the drafting help he needed and wound up seventh, which means he’ll start the Daytona 500 from the 16th starting position.
 
“Our Omnicraft Ford is really fast,” Menard said. “We can make some moves. We got shuffled back and could drive back through the field.

 “I was riding behind Clint and Kevin trying to make my move, and I might have pulled out too soon on Clint into (Turn) Three and just didn’t have anyone come with me.”
 
Even though he came a little short of his expectations on Thursday night, Menard said he feels good about his chances in the 500.

 “We had a really fast car,” he said. “I thought that we had a shot [at the win] if we could get some cars lined up.
 
“We have a really good car. The Fords worked really well together. Kevin and Clint do a good job just staying in line and biding their time. We just never got all in line.”
 
Menard also said that his veteran crew chief Greg Erwin and the Omnicraft crew have done a great job of tuning his car for Daytona.
 
“The balance is really good,” he said. “It was a little loose, not bad at all.”
 
Team co-owner Len Wood echoed Menard’s comments about the No. 21 Ford and its strong run in the Duel.

  “I was really happy with the performance,” Wood said, adding that he was especially impressed with Menard’s comeback after the incident with Hamlin that led to him dropping back to 14th place. “He drove back to fifth place on his own, without any drafting help. Not many people can do that.”
 
Wood said Menard was hampered at the finish by a fender crumpled a bit from a brush with the wall, but that damage can be easily repaired.

 “A lot of people are going to back-up cars,” he said. “All in all, we’re in good shape.”
 
Wood also said he was happy for Edsel Ford and John Menard, Paul’s father, both of whom got to see Menard’s strong run from atop the Wood Brothers pit box and also visit Victory Circle with Team Penske’s No. 12 Menards team and their driver Ryan Blaney.

 “Congratulations to all of them,” Wood said. “I’m glad they got to go to Victory Circle.”
 
The Daytona 500 is set to start around 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.

WBR PR

After starting Thursday night’s qualifying Duel race in 10th, Trevor Bayne shuffled through the field and gained six positions in the last two laps to finish eighth. The driver of the No. 6 AdvoCare Ford Fusion takes the green flag in Sunday’s 60th Annual Daytona 500 from 18th.

Bayne’s 2018 debut at Daytona International Speedway came in a 60-lap race with only one caution. The yellow flag waved at Lap 11, just after the driver adjusted his track bar with reports of a free car. Bayne and the No. 6 team pitted for fuel only with the caution and restarted sixth. For the duration of the race, he toggled between lanes, ultimately settling on the bottom lane. After dropping as low as 14th and even losing the draft, Bayne was able to catch the field with 34 to go. He ultimately finished the race in eighth, inside the top-10.

“We were trying, but we just couldn’t go anywhere,” Bayne said.  “I tried working the bottom, we just didn’t have the help or the momentum. Early on we kind of got there and after the pit stop we were there, but once we got rooted to the middle we just dropped and it’s hard to get your track position back.”

Bayne looks to add a second Daytona 500 victory to his achievements on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 2:30 p.m. EST.

RFR PR

After multiple attempts to make the inside lane work despite most of the pack riding in a single file line, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. restarted eighth for the final green white checkered finish jockeying his way to take the checkered flag in the fourth position. Stenhouse will roll off in his Fastenal Ford in the ninth position for the 60th running of the Daytona 500; a career best start for the two-time XFINITY champion.

“That was fun,” Stenhouse said. “I felt like I could do anything I wanted with our Fastenal Ford since it was handling so well. Our Ford was really fast. I was working the lines by myself trying to get to the front. It seemed everyone just wanted to run around on the outside. I feel really good about our Ford come Sunday. We can still make it a little bit better. We will go to work and maybe do a little bit of drafting between now and Sunday. After the strength we had in our Clash car and this one, I’m really looking forward to Sunday.”

The Olive Branch, Miss. native started the 60-lap shootout in the fifth position where he maintained until the first caution flag waved for a multi-car accident on lap eight.

Crew chief Brian Pattie called Stenhouse to pit-road for fuel only to keep their track position. The Fastenal Ford gained two positions in the strategy call restarting in the third position.

While the field was in a single file line, the Roush Fenway Racing driver jumped out hoping others would go with him but with no takers Stenhouse dropped to the tail end of the single car draft. 

When the final caution flag waved sending the race into overtime setting up a green white checkered finish, the two-time XFINITY champion restarted in the eighth position. With one to go, Stenhouse jumped to the outside line with a lot of momentum picking up four positions in the final lap to take the checkered flag in the fourth position.

Stenhouse and the No. 17 team will start the Daytona 500 in the ninth position. The 500 will be televised on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. EST on FOX.  The race can also be heard on MRN and SIRIUS radio channel 90.

RFR PR

Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) and D.J. Kennington secured the 30th-place starting spot in Sunday's Daytona 500, marking the second consecutive season in which the Canadian owner, driver and sponsors, Lordco Auto Parts and Castrol (Wakefield Canada), will participate in The Great American Race.

Kennington piloted his Toyota Camry to a 15th-place result in the second of two Can-Am Duel qualifying races Thursday evening at Daytona International Speedway in what proved to be a battle of attrition as most competitors encountered loose handling conditions that ultimately led to accidents.

"The car is in one piece," said GBR owner Marty Gaunt. "After what we saw in the first Duel, where cars got loose and free, we're glad we're going back in the garage in one piece. Now we can work on it and get ready for the 500."

GBR approached the qualifying race with a conservative game plan; Kennington was instructed to avoid the big packs that often trigger accidents on the 2.5-mile oval. That trepidation was shared field-wide in the second qualifier, where 17 percent less laps were completed under caution, compared to its counterpart.

Kennington, who will become the sixth Canadian to make multiple Daytona 500 starts, is ready for more action.

"I'm looking forward to our next practice," said Kennington. "We were really, really tight tonight. We learned what we had to learn, though, and still have a good car to go racing on Sunday."

GBR PR