Monday, Feb 06
Matthew Jackson

Matthew Jackson

CONCORD, N.C. (Feb. 13, 2018) – NAPA AUTO PARTS has grown its relationship with 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports with a new agreement that immediately expands its majority sponsorship of driver Chase Elliott and the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team in 2018 and extends its support for another two years through the 2020 racing season.

The new agreement increases NAPA’s majority sponsorship of Elliott from 24 to 26 races annually beginning in 2018 and throughout the 2019-2020 extension. It guarantees primary sponsorship of the No. 9 team in the prestigious Daytona 500 each year and continues associate-level sponsorship in all non-primary events.

“NAPA is proud to expand our partnership with Hendrick Motorsports and Chase Elliott, which serves as a key component of our marketing efforts,” said Gaylord Spencer, senior vice president, marketing, for NAPA AUTO PARTS. “This relationship began with a storybook season in 2014 and has seen Chase grow into a top contender in the NASCAR Cup Series. The future looks bright, and we are excited to be a part of it for years to come.”

Atlanta-based NAPA AUTO PARTS began its relationship with Elliott as primary sponsor during the driver’s historic 2014 Xfinity Series season when he became NASCAR’s youngest-ever national series champion while earning rookie of the year and most popular driver honors. Its support continued through another full Xfinity season (2015), Elliott’s five-race Cup Series debut (2015) and as majority sponsor of his first two years at the Cup level (2016 and 2017).

“The relationship with NAPA has been a major part of my career starting in 2014,” Elliott said. “Their support has been huge for me, and I’m very thankful for what they’ve done for our whole team at Hendrick Motorsports. They’re a committed partner, and it’s been a pleasure meeting the people involved with their business all over the country. I’m proud to represent all of those folks and look forward to having them part of our No. 9 team for many more years.”

Elliott earned 2016 Cup Series rookie of the year honors and is coming off his second playoff appearance in as many full seasons at NASCAR’s top level. In addition to his 2014 Xfinity Series title, the 22-year-old Dawsonville, Georgia, native has already posted seven wins and 107 top-10 finishes in NASCAR national series competition.

“NAPA made an incredible commitment early on in Chase’s career, and that has only grown over the years,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “They’re passionate about our sport, but the real key is that racing works for their employees, their customers and their overall business. The No. 9 team and all of us at Hendrick Motorsports are dedicated to NAPA’s success, and we look forward to working together and continuing to deliver in every aspect of our program.”

HMS Press Release

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2018) – Brad Keselowski won Sunday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway with a dominating last-to-first run over the course of the 75-lap event.

The Advance Auto Parts Clash (run in segments of 25 and 50 laps), a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series non-points, invitation-only battle, is always a highlight of Speedweeks. The 17-driver field featured 2017 pole winners, former Clash champions, former DAYTONA 500 pole winners who competed full-time in 2017 and drivers who qualified for the 2017 Monster Energy Series playoffs.

Keselowski, in the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford, was followed by his Team Penske teammate and 2015 DAYTONA 500 champion Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford), with last year’s DAYTONA 500 champion Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford) finishing third. The top three escaped from a last-lap, Turn 3 incident that involved several cars.

Keselowski – a former Monster Energy Series champion – led 41 laps in securing only his second victory at Daytona International Speedway and his first during a Speedweeks. His only previous DIS victory came in the 2016 Coca-Cola 400.

Last year, Keselowski started first in the Clash via the annual blind draw format, but finished sixth. “This year we got last [in the draw] so we said this will be the year we win it and sure enough, here we are,” he said. “It’s a great way to start the season.

“I hope I can repeat this in seven days in the DAYTONA 500.”

Sunday marked the return of an old-school Speedweeks scheduling tradition, as DAYTONA 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger and the Advance Auto Parts Clash combined for an afternoon doubleheader. Prior to the Clash, Alex Bowman won the pole for the 60th annual DAYTONA 500 set for Sunday, Feb. 18, with a lap of 195.644 mph in the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro on the famed DIS 2.5-mile tri-oval.

Bowman is in his first fulltime year with Hendrick Motorsports in the car formerly driven by the newly retired Dale Earnhardt Jr. Previously, Bowman drove the No. 88 in 2016 as a substitute for Earnhardt, who was injured that season.

Sunday, Bowman topped the leaderboard after both of the two qualifying rounds; the first round pared 40 drivers down to 12 for the second and final round. Bowman posted his fastest speed in the second round, edging out 2016 DAYTONA 500 champion Denny Hamlin by 0.130 seconds for the pole. Hamlin qualified the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota Camry at 195.092 mph. Two-time DAYTONA 500 champion Jimmie Johnson – he’s also the seven-time Monster Energy Series champion – was third in the No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet Camaro at 194.734.

The qualifying session “locked in” Bowman and Hamlin for the front row of the DAYTONA 500 and also established the grids for Thursday’s Can-Am Duel, a pair of 150-mile races that determine the DAYTONA 500 grid after the front row. Bowman has the pole for the first Duel event, with Hamlin on the pole for the second Duel race.

Bowman gave Hendrick Motorsports its 20th DAYTONA 500 pole – and its fourth consecutive. That allowed team owner Rick Hendrick to tie the record for most consecutive poles also held by Harry Rainer (1979-82, with drivers Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison and Benny Parsons).

“I think this is still a little surreal,” Bowman said. “Driving for Hendrick Motorsports … and to get to drive what I think is the best race car in the business.

“I'm just lucky enough to be able to hold the steering wheel in one of Mr. H's (Rick Hendrick) race cars. Very thankful for that opportunity.”

Bowman extended a recent trend of excellence by the No. 88 team at Daytona International Speedway and 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway, the huge, high-banked tracks where NASCAR mandates restrictor plates. Last year, Earnhardt qualified second for the DAYTONA 500 and had the pole for the Coca-Cola 400 held in July at DIS. Then, in October, Earnhardt took the Talladega pole.

“The car has been fast since we unloaded,” Bowman said. “I’m just really happy for the whole race team, from the engine shop to the aero group to the chassis shop. Everybody worked so hard this winter. I just got to hold the steering wheel.”

Danica Patrick, the 2013 DAYTONA 500 pole winner making her final start in the DAYTONA 500 this year, qualified 28th Sunday, at 191.160 in the No. 7 GoDaddy Chevrolet. She’ll start 14th in the second Can-Am Duel race.

 

−Daytona International Speedway Press Release−

Alex Bowman will lead the field to green in next Sunday's Daytona 500. 

Capturing our eyes when he subbed for the injured Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2016, Bowman proved to us all he is threat to the competition. 

Bowman posted the quickest lap in round 1 of qualifying and edged out Denny Hamlin in the second round.

Denny Hamlin will start on the outside of row. Positions 3-40 will be determined following Thursday's two duel races.

2018 marks the second year the NO. 88 has been on the front row of the Daytona 500. Former NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. started alongside Chase Elliott in 2017.

Below is how the field qualified on Sunday. All odd positions will be in the first duel races, while all even positions will be in the second duel race.

Line Up:

1. Alex Bowman 

2. Denny Hamlin 

3. Jimmie Johnson 

4. Kyle Busch 

5. William Byron 

6. Erik Jones 

7. Daniel Suarez 

8. Kevin Harvick 

9. Ricky Stenhouse Jr 

10. Chase Elliott 

11. Joey Logano 

12. Paul Menard 

13. Aric Almirola 

14. Austin Dillon 

15. Ryan Blaney 

16. Clint Bowyer 

17. Kurt Busch 

18. Kasey Kahne 

19. Brad Keselowski 

20. Trevor Bayne 

21. Ryan Newman 

22. Kyle Larson 

23. Jamie McMurray 

24. Michael McDowell 

25. Darrell Wallace Jr 

26. Martin Truex Jr 

27. Ty Dillon 

28. Danica Patrick 

29. Chris Buescher 

30. AJ Allmendinger 

31. Brendan Gaughan 

32. Justin Marks 

33. Matt DiBenedetto 

34. DJ Kennington 

35. Jeffrey Earnhardt

36. David Gilliland 

37. Mark Thompson 

38. Corey LaJoie 

39. Gray Gaulding 

40. David Ragan 

 

Mooresville, NC (Tuesday, February 6, 2017) - The Premium Motorsports organization grows stronger with the addition of championship winning crew chief, Todd Parrott. Parrott will be joining Jay Robinson, Scott Eggleston, Pat Tryson, Tommy Baldwin and Brian Keselowski to lead Premium Motorsports for the 2018 NASCAR season.

"The addition of Todd Parrott, is the culmination of a plan that started a couple of years ago. We wanted to assemble the most experienced professionals available to our team in an effort to stay relevant and competitive. We are very pleased to have Todd join our staff and are looking forward to this season as we continue to build this team." - Jay Robinson

"I'm excited for my first day here at Premium Motorsports. I've been talking to Jay (Robinson) for about a month or so regarding the possibility of coming here to help him with this program. He has quite a few good people here like Pat Tryson, Scott Eggleston, Brian Keselowski and Tommy Baldwin who I actually worked with before. As I walked around the shop this morning I recognized several other people that I've worked with in the past as well, so I'm really looking forward to this new and different opportunity for me here. I just can't wait to get going and get racing" - Todd Parrott

--- Premium Motorsports ---

75 Laps

Competition Caution: Lap 25

TV: Fox Sports 1 (3:00PM Eastern)

Radio: MRN

 

Entry List

#1 Jamie McMurray

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet

#2 Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

Ford

#3 Austin Dillon

Richard Childress Racing

Chevrolet

#4 Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford

#7 Danica Patrick

Premium Motorsports

Chevrolet

#9 Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

#11 Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

#12 Ryan Blaney

Team Penske

Ford

#17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Roush Fenway Racing

Ford

#18 Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

#20 Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs Racing

Toyota

#22 Joey Logano

Team Penske

Ford

#31 Ryan Newman

Richard Childress Racing

Chevrolet

#41 Kurt Busch

Stewart-Haas Racing

Ford 42 Kyle Larson

Chip Ganassi Racing

Chevrolet

#48 Jimmie Johnson

Hendrick Motorsports

Chevrolet

#78 Martin Truex Jr.

Furniture Row Racing

Toyota

#95 Kasey Kahne

Leavine Family Racing

Chevrolet

On Tuesday afternoon at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, Jordan Anderson announced that in 2018 he will drive full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with his own team. 

Anderson will drive the NO.3 for Jordan Anderson Racing. Also, he will run a spec engine and receive support from Niece Motorsports.

Anderson will drive a Toyota at restrictor plate tracks and pilot a Chevrolet and Ford at intermediate and short tracks.

“The deal with manufacturers for us just came down to dollars and cents,” Anderson said. “Before this year I wouldn’t have made the moves in acquiring those trucks because it would have made no sense to have one Toyota motor, one Ford motor and a Chevrolet motor. But now with this Ilmor (spec) motor, you can run this motor in the truck you race and it doesn’t have to be manufacturer specific.”

Anderson will have Lucas Oil, Bommarito Automotive Group, LTi Printing, Jacob Companies, and Knight Fires as sponsors throughout the 2018 NCWTS season.

Since 2014, Anderson has competed in 57 NCWTS races with a career best finish of 11th at Gateway Motorsports Park in 2016.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In a 24-hour race of attrition, it was only fitting for the most seasoned sports car teams to control the podium at Daytona International Speedway.

Action Express Racing won its third Rolex 24 at Daytona overall title, and Chip Ganassi Racing celebrated the organization's 200th victory with a win in the GT Le Mans class.

Both two-car teams finished first and second in their respective classes.

The Action Express team of Filipe Albuquerque, Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi drove Cadillac to the overall victory Sunday, and its other car finished second. It was the second consecutive Rolex overall victory for Cadillac, but it came from the team that finished second last year.

Ganassi's two Ford entries dominated the GT Le Mans class and defended last year's victory.

The team of Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon won and defeated their sister car, which was the defending class champion. The car of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais finished second.

Ganassi, the grand marshal of this year's race, has eight wins in 15 Rolex appearances. His teams won six overall titles and now have two class victories. He's the only team owner in history to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Rolex and 12 Hours of Sebring.

"It was one of the most nerve-racking races. It's your race to lose," Ganassi said. "It's one thing not to win the race. It's another thing to lose a race. It was our race to lose, and those are the worst races."

Ganassi didn't want to focus on the 200th victory and instead highlighted the effort his team put forth at Daytona.

"We just focus on trying to do the best we can today," he said. "We'll have plenty of time to talk about the [rest].

" In the GT Daytona class, GRT Grasser Racing Team won in a Lamborghini -- the first for the manufacturer at the Rolex.

The race was clean and fast, except for the traditional attrition of an endurance race. With only four cautions, the event set a record at 808 laps that bettered the mark of 762 laps sent in 1992. The race also set a record with 2,876.48 miles, breaking the mark of 2,760.960 miles in 1982.

Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso made his debut in a major sports car competition but was saddled by myriad mechanical problems with his United Autosports entry. The Spaniard's car finished 13th in class and 38th overall, but he raved about his time in the endurance race and said he was leaning "60/40" toward adding the 24 Hours of Le Mans to this year's schedule.

"I have a positive feeling," said Alonso, who drove four stints -- the length of almost three F1 races. "We had so many issues with the reliability, but nevertheless I am happy. It was very good fun."

Roger Penske's return to sports car competition was impressive until the typical attrition of the twice-round-the-clock race took its toll on his two Acura entries. Although Penske remained atop the team pit stand for almost the entire 24 hours, one of his cars was knocked out of contention for the victory when Helio Castroneves made contact with Felipe Nasr as Nasr fought to stay on the lead lap. An alternator issue put the other car in the garage.

The Penske team of Castroneves, Graham Rahal and Ricky Taylor, who moved to Team Penske this year after winning the Rolex and IMSA championship last year driving for his father's team, finished ninth overall. The entry of Dane Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud finished 10th.

"The race has been amazing," Penske said. "This is my fishing trip and my golf game."

Scott Pruett completed the final race of his 50-year career. A five-time Rolex overall winner, Pruett said he'd retire after this race. He carried his weight with his Lexus team behind the wheel, but the car finished ninth in the GTD class.

"It's been business as usual," Pruett said of his final race before adding his trademark line: "I've got to say 'Hi' to my family at home, even though most of them are here."

Pruett will move into an ambassador role for Lexus, but even at 58 years old, he said he'll be ready to jump in a car if needed this season.

Wayne Taylor Racing had an unusual number of tire problems and retired right after daybreak. Although Continental Tire said teams with issues were being too aggressive and not following parameters set by the manufacturer, a company representative later said only two team issues came from punctured tires. The others have to be addressed, Continental said.

"Based on the issues we had throughout the race and multiple attempts to fix it without a satisfactory result has forced us to withdraw the car from the race for the safety of our drivers," team manager Travis Houge said of the team's inability to defend last year's overall victory.

With the Taylor entry out of the race and the Penske's not in contention for the victory, Action Express just needed to make it to the finish and hold off its sister car for the victory. The team of Nasr, Eric Curran, Mike Conway and Stuart Middleton finished second as the team and Cadillac went 1-2 overall.

For the winners, Barbosa and Fittipaldi now have three Rolex watches for overall victories while Albuquerque earned his first. Albuquerque and Barbosa also have class victories on their racing résumés. Their No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac led almost the final 10 hours of the race. Fittipaldi is being replaced by Albuquerque as the full-time driver and will compete in only the four endurance races on the schedule this year.

"At this stage of my career, this win is very sweet," Fittipaldi said. "I am not sure how many more of these Daytona races I have left, not like Filipe, who probably has 15 more years."

For the Ganassi entries, it was last year's winning car that dominated until the final driver change of the race. The No. 67 car was slightly quicker on pit road, and it put Briscoe out ahead of Hand. Briscoe and Westbrook won the Rolex for the first times in their careers, but it is the third watch for Dixon. It was fitting that Dixon was part of the team's 200th victory -- he's the longest tenured driver in Ganassi history.

"Everybody just wants to win. We come here each weekend to win," said Dixon, winner of 41 races with Ganassi. "There's no thinking about just finishing or finishing second. Everyone thrives on the winning culture of this team."  

 

Associated Press

 

 

Weekend Schedule for the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway.

 

 

Saturday, January 27 2 p.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, FOX

5 p.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, FS2

10 p.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, FOX Sports GO

11 p.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, FS1

 

Sunday, January 28 1 a.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, FOX Sports GO

8 a.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, FS2

10:30 a.m., Rolex 24 at Daytona, FS1

Ken Squier, the name says it all. When you'd turn on the tv during the 80's and 90's, Ken Squier's voice would fill up your room giving you the sense he was talking to you.

Squier played a vital role on getting CBS to televise live coverage of the 1979 Daytona 500. The rest is history. The final lap of the race when Cale Yarbrough and Bobby Allison beat and bang which led to them ultimately wrecking and Richard Petty would go onto to win the race. But it was probably what happened after the race that got everyones attention. Those four famous words, "And there's a fight" would not only cornerstone Squier's career but also reel in audiences from around the world into NASCAR.

Squier spoke with NASCAR.com's Holly Cain on what it meat to finally have CBS in the motorsports world.

“Having them, CBS, take an interest in it. ... we did a group of races before we ever did the Daytona 500 and they did so well. It was like everything the network did in those days. They spent the time, spent the energy, forethought to really put together what it was about.

Squier would go onto announce for CBS and TBS until 1997 before going into Studio Hosts for NASCAR.

Squier continues to enlighten fans around the globe today and next time your'e at any Northern automobile race or NASCAR race and happen to hear a northern voice, it's more than likely Ken Squier.

 

One of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series elite drivers, Ron Hornaday Jr. will have a second residency now at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. 

Given his first opportunity on NASCAR's truck series by no other than the intimidator himself Dale Earnhardt Sr., Hornaday quickly became a force to be reckoned with on the track.

Ron Hornaday Jr. spoke with Holly Cain about how is journey in the truck series was more than just a couple year span.

“They [NASCAR] had a five-year plan for the trucks and I think the first year, we exceeded that five-year plan of what we thought it was going to do," said Hornaday, who also exceeded his own expectations, winning 51 races in a four-championship 17-year career competing in the truck series. Three of his four titles came after the age of 40. He won the 2009 championship at the age of 51.

Hornaday was not only dominate in the truck series but as-well at the Xfinity Series. Hornaday won four times in the Xfinity Series and finished a series high third in the championship standings.

Hornaday's laid back attitude made him a fan favorite around the garage. Hornaday was welcoming to all drivers off the track but when the green flag waved he showed his immortal ways of dominance on the track, often beating drivers double his age.

Hornaday played a vital role in the Camping World Truck Series, drawing in fans to see his combative ways on the track. 

Winning race after race sometimes, Hornaday proved why he belongs in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

 

 

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