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Regan Smith didn’t want to sound like an ambulance chaser, and he wanted to make sure reporters understood that any discussion of a possible ride in Tony Stewart’s No. 14 car was purely hypothetical at this point.
But Smith acknowledged that a quality ride like Stewart’s car is an intriguing prospect. After losing his Cup job at Furniture Row Racing to Kurt Busch last year, Smith drove two races in relief of Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was sidelined during the 2012 Chase because of a concussion sustained at Talladega.
"It’s a situation where I think any driver would relish that opportunity," Smith said of the prospect of subbing for Stewart. "It’s just unfortunate under the circumstances. I don’t think any of us--and, unfortunately, I had experience with this last year--none of us ever wish to get an opportunity because our competitors have an issue or get injured.
"First and foremost, we’re thinking about Tony and him getting better as soon as he can and his safety and health. But, outside of that, it’s going to be a great opportunity for somebody to hop into a fast race car and get a chance to showcase themselves. I certainly would be open to the possibilities of that."
Even though his JR Motorsports driver is involved in a heated battle for the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, Dale Earnhardt Jr. offered ringing endorsement for Regan Smith as a substitute driver in the No. 14 Sprint Cup car of injured Tony Stewart.
"I’d be the first to put Regan’s name in the hat for that kind of opportunity," Earnhardt said Friday at Watkins Glen International. "I understand that we are racing for a championship and I think that could actually help Regan."
Stewart broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg in a sprint car accident Monday night in Iowa. Max Papis is driving the No. 14 Chevrolet SS at the Glen, but beyond that, Stewart-Haas Racing hasn’t named a substitute driver or drivers for what is expected to be an extended absence for the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.
Earnhardt thinks additional seat time in the Cup car might work to Smith’s benefit.
"It would be a challenge, but I think it could help him in some ways and be an advantage to him maybe to have that extra track time and just be able to have some other ideas in his head about what can improve his car," Earnhardt said.
"I would be for that, and it would also give him an opportunity to showcase himself and give himself possibly a chance to get some interest on the Cup side as far as ownership goes and get some guys maybe wanting to put him back in the car full time on this (Cup) side of the deal. That would be good for him."
Logistically, the NASCAR schedule makes it difficult for any driver in the Nationwide Series--particularly those in contention for the championship--to fill in for Stewart next weekend at Michigan. The Nationwide Series races at Mid-Ohio, and the schedules between MIS and the Lexington, Ohio track don’t mesh comfortably.
"The problem we are faced with next week is, if you look at the schedules and you lay out the Nationwide schedule at Mid-Ohio and us in Michigan, they don’t match up very well," said Greg Zipadelli, director of competition at Stewart-Haas. "Somebody would do two half-assed jobs or we can try and find somebody that is out of the norm and put them in the car and try to go to Michigan and do the best we can.
"Then hopefully maybe Bristol we could pick up with one person that may be able to do the rest of it, and obviously it would be a Nationwide driver."
Smith, tied for second in the NNS standings and 14 points out of the lead held by Austin Dillon, would be a logical choice. He’s already a Chevrolet driver, and both Stewart-Haas and Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports have affiliations with Hendrick Motorsports.
Popular race car driver Geoff Bodine was inducted into Legends of The Glen on Friday afternoon. Bodine, a native of Chemung, NY, raced at Watkins Glen International from 1986 through 2000 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The third-generation driver’s accomplishments at Watkins Glen International include three Top-5s and his eventual final win in the series, which came in 1996.
Bodine also competed at Watkins Glen International in NASCAR’s Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, as well as the IROC Series, among other touring series during a career that spanned more than four decades.
“Geoff is a big part of our history at The Glen, having run here in several different series – all after a stellar career that commenced at age five in this region,” said Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup. “He’s a spectacular addition to the Legends of the Glen and his induction is one of what should be many highlights during the Cheez-It™ 355 weekend at Watkins Glen International.”
In 2012, the Green Grandstand was renamed the Bodine Grandstand in recognition of contributions to The Glen by Geoff and younger brothers Todd and Brett.
Since 2008, Watkins Glen International has selected drivers from all racing backgrounds to the elite class known as The Legends of The Glen. Last year’s inductees included: Former sports car and Formula 1 great Derek Bell; sportscar legend Scott Pruett; and James Hunt, who was inducted posthumously.
Genny Light recently became a primary sponsor for Swan Racing's No. 30 Toyota driven by David Stremme. Genny Light will sponsor the team for two races, the first of which is this weekend at Watkins Glen International. The second Genny Light sponsored race will take place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September.
The 74th annual Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., tees off with Monday's fourth annual Kevin Harvick Foundation Pro-Am Presented by Technology Concepts & Design, Inc.
The Aug. 12 Kevin Harvick Foundation Pro-Am once again opens the legendary golf tournament, North Carolina's oldest professional golf event, in an effort to raise funds to benefit underprivileged children. The Wyndham Championship runs Aug. 12-18 at Sedgefield Country Club.
Several of the biggest names on the PGA TOUR, including Chris DiMarco and Jerry Kelly,will join Harvick, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and Kevin Harvick Foundation co-founder, and other amateur golfers on four-person teams for the 9 a.m. Pro-Am tee time. Each member of the winning team receives a trophy and full-size replica Budweiser driver helmets autographed by Harvick. Budweiser sponsors Harvick's No. 29 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
"Once again, Mark Brazil, his wonderful team at the Wyndham Championship and Bill Johnson of Technology Concepts & Design have gone above and beyond to lend a helping hand for so many children in need," Harvick said. "I have gotten to know several members of the golf community fairly well in recent years, and have been amazed by their generosity and overwhelming support. The Kevin Harvick Foundation couldn't do the work we do without the generosity of groups such as this."
The mission of the Kevin Harvick Foundation, founded in 2010 by Harvick and his wife, DeLana, is to positively enrich the lives of children throughout the United States. The Kevin Harvick Foundation Pro-Am is one of several Foundation events scheduled throughout the year to raise money to support children in need. Remaining on the 2013 Kevin Harvick Foundation calendar is the Nov. 6 Happy's Golf Classic at Bakersfield Country Club in Harvick's hometown of Bakersfield, Calif.
FOX Sports and IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) announced today a five-year multi-media rights deal that solidifies United SportsCar Racing’s home on television through the 2018 season.
Today’s announcement, which comes on the heels of last week’s news that FOX Sports will broadcast NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races through 2024, bolsters FOX’s expansive motorsports coverage. The agreement also includes coverage of IMSA’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge for five years. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
For motorsports fans accustomed to FOX Sports’ broadcast presentation of various forms of racing, including NASCAR since 2001, today’s announcement signals another exciting development for sports car racing in America. In September of 2012, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón announced the two entities were merging in one of the most significant developments in the history of sports car racing in North America. Later named United SportsCar Racing, sanctioned by IMSA, the premier new sports car racing series begins its next chapter with the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January of 2014.
“It’s hard to argue that there’s a global media company more equipped and better resourced to cover and broadcast sports car racing than FOX Sports,” said Ed Bennett, CEO of IMSA. “By partnering with FOX Sports for the next five years, United SportsCar Racing, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and their teams, tracks, drivers and sponsors are positioned for strong exposure while our existing fans can expect top-notch presentation, promotion and marketing.”
With the 2014 schedule still being finalized, exact distribution plans currently are being determined, but fans can expect to see a mix of races available on both FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2. Under the new arrangement, FOX Sports also has the right to stream all IMSA races as part of its FOX Sports GO product. IMSA retains additional digital rights including alternate camera angles and full race replays.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to partner with IMSA and newly formed United SportsCar Racing,” said Billy Wanger, FOX Sports EVP of Programming & Research. “Our commitment to motorsports remains very strong across the FOX family of networks, and this relationship with what is now a unified sports car community delivers a strong package of racing content for its passionate fans.”
FOX Sports began broadcasting live NASCAR races in 2001 and will launch its new all-sports network, FOX Sports 1, on Aug. 17 with a broadcast of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from Michigan International Speedway as the network’s first-ever live event. On the same day, FOX Sports 2 will broadcast the Rolex Series SFP Grand Prix from Kansas Speedway, with a re-air Sunday on FOX Sports 1.
“FOX Sports has shown a thirst for live sports programming, and in particular live motorsports programming,” said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. “We’re thrilled to have partnered with FOX Sports on this deal, rounding out their motorsports coverage with this content and giving sports car racing fans a place to call home for the next five years. United SportsCar Racing and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge will be surrounded by some of the best sports programming in the world and will benefit from great awareness and promotion.”
Summary of FOX Sports’ Exclusive Rights
· 2014-2018: Entire United SportsCar Racing and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge seasons
· 2015-2024: First 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points races of each season, including the Daytona 500
o Nine on FOX Sports and seven on FOX Sports 1
· 2015-2024: First 14 NASCAR Nationwide Series points races of each season
o Fourteen races on FOX Sports 1
· 2015-2024: NASCAR Sprint Unlimited, The Duel at Daytona and NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
· 2015-2024: All NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races
After hosting its most successful American Red Cross Blood Drive in 2012, Darlington Raceway is once again excited to host the annual event for the 8th consecutive year on Sept. 11, 2013.
The Darlington Raceway Blood Drive has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years with more fans taking time out of their day to donate and give back to the local Pee Dee chapter of the American Red Cross.
“This is an event we’re really proud to host every year,” Darlington Raceway president Chris Browning said. “It only takes the generosity of a few people each giving one unit of blood to potentially save hundreds maybe thousands of lives in our area. It truly is a positive way to honor the tragedies of 9-11 in our local community.”
For each donation, fans will get a behind-the-scenes look at the Lady in Black, which includes an opportunity to take their vehicle for laps around the Darlington oval, as well as an American Red Cross gift bag. Any donation in the month of September, including at the Darlington Raceway Blood Drive, will receive a free haircut coupon courtesy of Sport Clips.
The event, which will take place from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Sept. 11, is now accepting appointments. To reserve your donation time, go to www.redcrossblood.org, click on the Make an Appointment link and enter the sponsor code: darlingtonraceway or call 1-800-REDCROSS. Appointments are encouraged in advance to ensure participation in the blooddrive.
It’s important to remember that one unit of donated blood can be transfused up to three people. The 2012 event collected 218 units of blood, thus potentially saving the lives of 654 people.
Darlington Raceway was recognized by the American Red Cross earlier this year for its blood collection efforts during the 2012 calendar year. The track helped collect 314 total units of blood in 2012, a vast majority of them gathered during the Sept. 11 blood drive and Bojangles’ Southern 500 race weekend in May. It was the most units collected by any one private business in the Pee Dee area in 2012.
“We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to partner with Darlington Raceway for eight consecutive years for the annual 9/11 memorialblood drive,” said Ryan Corcoran, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region. “Donating blood is a meaningful way to honor those whose lives were lost Sept. 11, 2001 while also helping those whose lives depend on blood transfusions today.”
The American Red Cross S.C. Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to 54 hospitals and must have 500 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given safely every two weeks, up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people age 17 and older, 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.
Darlington Raceway PR
Award-winning Southern rock/country band Blackberry Smoke will headline the Turn 5 Concert Series near Martinsville Speedway during the Goody’s™ Headache Relief Shot™ 500 Powered by Kroger weekend.
Blackberry Smoke will play on Saturday night, October 26, at the outdoor Turn 5 concert venue, which is adjacent to the Martinsville Speedway campground. Popular Virginia rock band The Worx will headline on Friday, Oct. 25th. In all, six bands will take the stage over the course of this two-night charity fundraiser, which is organized and produced by Rooster Walk Inc.
“Anytime there is an event of this magnitude close to the speedway on one of our event weekends it’s a plus for our fans,” said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. “We thank everyone involved with Rooster Walk for choosing our fall event weekend to put on this show. It’s going to be a great addition for our fans.”
Blackberry Smoke’s most recent album, “The Whippoorwill,” earned immediate commercial and critical acclaim, reaching No. 1 on the iTunes country album charts, No. 8 on the Billboard country charts and No. 12 on the Billboard rock charts. The band routinely plays up to 250 shows per year, and has been featured on television’s Speed Channel, CBS Sports and Palladia, among others. Two weeks ago the band appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Friday’s headlining band, The Worx, was recently named one of the state’s top acts by readers of Virginia Living Magazine. They have also been named “the best local band” by a variety of publications for the cities of Harrisonburg, Roanoke and Lynchburg.
The remaining four bands performing at Turn 5 will be announced in the coming weeks.
A two-night pass for all six bands will cost just $20 if purchased in advance. Single-day tickets will cost $10 for Friday and $15 for Saturday. Ticket sales will begin Friday morning, Aug. 9, at www.roosterwalk.com or www.brownpapertickets.com. Physical tickets will also be available in local stores in the next two weeks.
The Turn 5 concert venue is located at 340 Clover Road in Ridgeway, about 100 yards away from the entrance to the Martinsville Speedway campground.
Martinsville Speedway PR