Is William Byron Kasey Kahne’s Replacement?

William Byron

For the casual NASCAR fan the name William Byron may not  strike a chord or breed familiarity.  But, sports fans, this is a name that you should pay attention to this year!  Byron does not come from a racing background.  He has no famous racing relatives to help “grease the skids”, open the doors, help land big sponsorship deals, or guide him into some great helping hands.

Here is a little background information on how Byron has navigated his rather short racing career to now be under contract with one of NASCAR’s powerhouse in the sport, Hendrick Motorsports.

Byron is just 19 years old and became interested in racing when he was six years old, after seeing a stock car race on television and later attending a race at Martinsville Speedway in 2006. He began racing on the iRacing simulator as a teenager, with over 100 wins and 298 top fives in online competition. In 2012, he and his father explored how Byron could start racing offline – in real cars. He started racing Legends that year at the age of 15, relatively late for modern drivers. That year he won 33 races and became the Legend Car Young Lions Division champion.

For 2014, Byron signed with Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s JR Motorsports late model program, in addition to continuing Legends competition. Byron competed in the No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina for JRM.  Byron scored a single victory and 11 top-five finishes, finishing second in points to teammate Josh Berry at Hickory.

Byron was signed to drive in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for 2015 by HScott Motorsports with Justin Marks, with sponsorship from Liberty University.  Byron also continued racing late models for JR Motorsports.  In his debut K&N East in February at New Smyrna Speedway, Byron finished 7th.  Byron won the second race of the season at Greenville-Pickens Speedway after starting second and leading all 152 laps (two laps past the scheduled distance).  Byron made his ARCA Racing Series debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in July, driving the No. 55 Liberty University Toyota Camry for Venturini Motorsports. Byron finished second after leading 120 laps. He scored four K&N East wins en route to winning the series championship.

On October 29, 2015, Kyle Busch Motorsports announced that Byron would run a full-time schedule in the team’s No. 9 Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck Series during the 2016 season.  To prepare him for the run, KBM fielded the No. 9 for him in the 2015 Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway.  Byron started the 2016 season on a low note crashing on the final lap at Daytona to finish 13th, and finishing 32nd at Atlanta after blowing an engine. Later, Byron would get his first top 3, 5, and 10 in the Truck Series after finishing a strong 3rd at Martinsville. Byron won his first Truck Series race at Kansas in May, after avoiding Ben Rhodes and Johnny Sauter’s crash on the last lap of the race, and took his second race win in Texas in June. He won the next race at Iowa, finished 17th at Gateway due to a crash, and won yet again at Kentucky, propelling him to first in points. He followed that up with his fifth win of the season at Pocono Raceway, breaking the Camping World Truck Series record for most wins by a rookie. The previous mark was held by Kurt Busch during the 2000 season with four wins.  He won the first race of the Round of 8 at New Hampshire, but suffered an engine failure at the last race of the Round of 6 at Phoenix, which cost him the chance to join the Championship 4. With a win at the final race at Homestead, he placed fifth in the overall standings, with a total seven wins and eleven top 5s, and 16 top 10s in 23 races. William also won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. Despite not being in contention for the driver’s championship, William’s team Kyle Busch Motorsports still collected the owner’s title for team No. 9.

Because of Byron’s meteoric success in the CWTS in 2016,  Rick Hendrick pulled a sneaky surprise on all of the other super teams in NASCAR.  Out of the clear blue sky on August 18, 2016, Byron and Hendrick Motorsports announced they have signed a multi-year driver agreement, with Byron running full-time in the Xfinity Series driving the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports in 2017.

It appears that Byron has grown, matured, and had success at every level of racing so far in his extremely short racing career. This year will pose its own particular challenges for Byron, stepping up from the Camping World Truck Series to the Xfinity Series will test his capabilities.  The NXS includes a high level of competition, longer races, a few more road courses and a longer race schedule.

However, there is no indication that Byron will be over his head.  To the contrary, there is every indication that Byron will be one of the drivers that will be in the hunt for the championship when the cars roll into Homestead in November!  Having made that statement, it would also appear that Hendrick is grooming the young Byron to step into the HMS No. 5 Chevy.  the present driver, Kasey Kahne, is under contract with HMS through the end of 2018.  That could give Byron two seasons in the NXS to gather more experience, hone his racing skills, and be ready to assume that ride in “the big show”!

WOMR strongly suggests that you keep your eyes on this incredibly talented 19 year young man.  This year Hendrick has put Byron into a JR Motorsports Xfinity ride where he may be one of the drivers that could be standing in Victory Lane at Homestead hoisting the championship trophy over his head!

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Brett Moffitt Joins Red Horse Racing

Image result for brett moffitt

After picking up one win and three top-five finishes in six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts for Red Horse Racing in 2016, Brett Moffitt will pilot the No. 7 Toyota Tundra at Daytona International Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway, joining series veteran Timothy Peters at Red Horse Racing. Both teams are continuing to look for sponsorship to fill out the year.

The 24-year-old from Grimes, Iowa was the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year in 2015 and has earned nine wins in the K&N Pro Series East.

Peters returns to the No. 17 Toyota Tundra after making a run for the title in the inaugural NCWTS Chase for the Championship, finishing fourth in the points standings after earning eight top-five and 16-top 10 finishes along the way. It will be Peters’ ninth full time season in the NCWTS and in 230 series starts, he has earned 10 wins, 56 top-fives, 118 top-tens and eight poles.

“I think we have put together a championship caliber team,” said team owner Tom DeLoach. “Our goal this year is to be in contention for wins and in the mix for the playoffs and the championship at the end of the year.” The No. 17 team will be led by crew chief Chad Kendrick, who returns to Red Horse Racing. Kendrick first arrived at Red Horse Racing with Peters in 2009 when the driver made his debut with the team. Prior to that, the duo campaigned together in 2008 and early 2009 at Premier Racing. Kendrick led the Danville, Va. native to his first win with Red Horse Racing at Martinsville Speedway in 2009 and in their time together, they picked up a total of five top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. Since then, Kendrick has earned five additional NCWTS wins, including victories with John King and Parker Kligerman at Red Horse Racing in 2012. Kendrick has also worked with drivers such as Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and most recently Daniel Hemric in the NCWTS.

Industry veteran Butch Hylton will lead the No. 7 team. Hylton, who began his career as a national series crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2002, has worked with a plethora of drivers across all three national series, earning a total of eight NXS and eight NCWTS wins with various drivers including Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Ron Hornaday Jr. and Peters.

The 2017 season will kick off at Daytona International Speedway on February 24, with the Next Era Energy Resources 250.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Kurt Busch Is Being Sued By Former Agent For More Than $1 Million

Kurt Busch
Troy-based Sports Management Network alleges NASCAR driver Kurt Busch owes more than $1 million in contractual obligations after he abruptly ended his contract.

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court this month claims Busch, a former NASCAR champion, agreed in or around July 2012 to compensate 10 percent of all revenue paid from personal services agreements to the network under a representation agreement beginning in January 2013.

The move took place after “it became apparent that the money Defendants would receive in 2012 from KB’s professional driving activities would be a fraction of what they previously receive,” reads the lawsuit.

SMN offered to modify Busch’s payment obligation from $250,000 to $125,000 in 2012, which was accepted by the driver and Kurt Busch Inc. with the 10 percent stipulation through 2018, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims payments were made under the new terms through the first quarter of 2016 without any issues until Busch terminated his relationship with SMN and “ceased paying SMN altogether from that point forward.”

A list of payments included in the lawsuit claims SMN is due $930,450 dating back to March 2016 that has gone unpaid. It also claims SMN is entitled to an additional $540,000 that has not yet been invoiced for the 2018 race season.

Alan Miller, a Birmingham, Michigan-based attorney representing Busch said they will fight against the lawsuit, which includes nine counts such as breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation..

“We believe the lawsuit is without merit, and we plan to vigorously defend the lawsuit,” he said. He declined any further comment at this time.

They have not yet filed a response to the lawsuit.

Busch, 38, drives for Stewart-Haas Racing, has 28 career NASCAR wins dating back to 2000. He won the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series championship and had been represented by SMN dating back to 2005 before parting ways.

SMN was founded in 1989 as “an additional service branch of the thriving sports and entertainment legal practice of Frasco and Caponigro, PC,” according to the network’s website.

The website provides a link to a client list that includes NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski, motorsports legends Mario Andretti and Al Unser Sr. and former Detroit Pistons star Joe Dumars.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

NASCAR Replaces The “Warning” System

Ryan Reed
In new rules released Thursday, NASCAR said it will replace its “warning” system with a new series of penalties. Failing inspections repeatedly and other mechanical violations found during the weekend before the race could result in penalties in the new system, such as lost practice time, lost pit selection, starting at the rear for a race or a stop-and-go on the first lap of a race.

The series director will determine those penalties, basing them on severity, timing and recurrence of infractions. Unlike in the past, when a team needed to accumulate four warnings during the year before it lost pit-stall selection, the new system gives the series director more leeway in issuing punishment during the race weekend in which the violation occurred. It also eliminates speculation of what could happen if NASCAR were to confiscate a piece during inspections over the weekend.

NASCAR also will only inspect fuel systems, engines and safety components before the first practice, meaning teams would have limited time to fix issues if their cars aren’t in compliance in the pre-qualifying inspection. In addition, NASCAR will require any car that fails an inspection station to pass all inspection stations again instead of just the one that it failed.

Any prerace violations NASCAR finds that it deems significant could still fall into NASCAR’s new penalty structure, which now has two levels.

Level 1 infractions — which include missing three or more lug nuts in postrace inspection; failing weight, heights or NASCAR’s laser platform; as well as violations of chassis, fuel storage and gear ratio rules — will result in a penalty of 10-40 points, a crew-chief suspension of up to three races and a $25,000-$75,000 fine. Drivers whose race-winning cars violate these rules would not be able to use the victory to qualify or advance in the playoffs, nor would they be able to use the “playoff points” associated with the win.

The same “encumbered win” rule applies to the more serious Level 2 infractions, which include using traction control, unapproved electronics or manipulating the engine or tires. Level 2 penalties could result in a 75-point deduction, a six-race crew-chief suspension and a $100,000-$200,000 fine.

The new system replaces the P1-through-P6 penalty classification which had been in effect since the start of the 2014 season. The new structure grades significant penalties into Levels 1 and 2, both of which involve points deductions and crew chief or team member suspensions that increase with a given violation’s severity.

Elton Sawyer, NASCAR Vice President of Officiating and Technical Inspection, said that in the event that less severe infractions are found before a race, teams or crew members would be disciplined from a menu of penalty options available to NASCAR’s three series directors. Those range from the loss of practice time to loss of lap(s) at the start of a race.

“Our goal was to be able to, more like football or basketball or any sporting event to where we could officiate and police within the event,” Sawyer told NASCAR.com. “I think the real message is that we want to get these infractions, the smaller infractions, we want to get them corrected at the race track.

“It’s very similar to a 15-yard penalty. If you can get three 15-yard penalties and you can still win the game or drive down and score a touchdown, then good for you. If we can issue these penalties and you lose pit selection or you start at the back or a drive-through (penalty), and you can still come back and win the race, well then we feel like what that infraction was, the penalty fits the crime.”

A chief reasoning behind the updated policy is to mete out potential penalties more closely to the time – and at the event – in which they occur.

“The Tuesday penalties, they wouldn’t necessarily go away,” Sawyer told NASCAR.com. “We’re hoping that we don’t have to write those penalties. That’s not what we look forward to. We want all the positive storylines to be around the excitement of the race, and as the stewards of the sport — or the umpires, if you will — we want to kind of be in the background. But we have a role and responsibility in this as well to make sure it’s a level playing field for all.”

The updates also detail the schematics of a new pre-race inspection protocol, which requires that vehicles must proceed through all four inspection stations, regardless of whether issues are found in any stage in the process. Fixes must now be made in each team’s garage stall, rather than off to the side of any given station, and then vehicles must proceed through all four inspection sites again.

Sawyer said that the additional time it takes to make a full inspection pass serves as a deterrent for teams, which could miss portions of practice or qualifying in the event of an issue. Eliminating repairs made off to the side of inspection stations also tightens up any gray areas on the fringes of the garage.

“I think it’s fair to say that if we make them go back to the garage, then that’s a central location for all cars to be fixed,” Sawyer told NASCAR.com. “They know they have to come back through every station again, so it does put the deterrent back on the teams and puts the responsibility back on the teams to present their vehicles in compliance with the rule book.”

Among the other highlights from Thursday’s updates to the rule book:

The penalty structure for violations that rise to the L1 or L2 level were unveiled, subject to enforcement at the following event(s):

L1 penalties concern areas of minimum heights and weights, the Laser Inspection Station (LIS), gear ratios, and flagrant lug nut violations where 17 or fewer are properly secured. L2 penalties involve more egregious infractions concerning tampering with the three “no man’s land” technical areas of tires, engine and fuel. Major safety violations, the use of telemetry or traction control, plus breaches of the testing policy also fall under the L2 designation.

Penalty options for all three NASCAR national series call for the deduction of 10 to 40 points for L1 violations and 75 points for L2 infractions. In the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, L1 penalties call for crew chief or team member suspensions for 1 to 3 races, plus a $25,000 to $75,000 fine. L2 penalties in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series come with a six-race suspension and fines ranging from $100,000 to $200,000.

The disciplinary action is scaled back in the other two national series. In the NASCAR XFINITY Series, L1 penalties will result in the same one- to three-race suspension range, but with fines from $10,000-$40,000. L2 violations in XFINITY events also come with a six-race suspension guideline, but a $50,000-$100,000 range for fines.

In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, L1 penalties carry a one- or two-race suspension with fines from $5,000 to $20,000. L2 infractions will result in a four-race suspension with monetary penalties of $25,000 to $50,000.
 
Specific penalties were outlined for lug-nut and LIS violations in the Monster Energy Series.

LIS infractions discovered after Coors Light Pole Qualifying will result in a team’s time being disallowed. Post-race, the violation falls under an L1 heading with a three-race crew chief suspension, a $65,000 fine and the loss of 35 championship points.

Teams with one improperly attached or missing lug nut post-race are subject to a $10,000 fine. That fine doubles and includes a one-race suspension for the crew chief if two lug nuts are improperly attached or missing. If three or more lug nuts are in violation of the rules, the penalty rises to the L1 level with three-race suspension for the crew chief, a $65,000 fine and the deduction of 35 championship points.

“Encumbered” finishes — a rules concept introduced before the Monster Energy Series’ playoffs last year — will remain in effect this season for post-race L1 and L2 violations. The rules allow a victory to stand in the event of an infraction, but a winning team will be stripped of the benefits associated with the win.

The list of pre-race penalties within a race weekend at the series directors’ disposal, in order of increasing severity: Loss of annual “hard card” credential, loss of practice time, loss of pit selection position, tail of the field penalty, a green-flag pass-through on pit road after the initial start, a green-flag stop-and-go in the pits after the start, and lap(s) penalty.

Sawyer said that NASCAR competition officials will continue the practice of taking select cars back to the R&D center for further inspection after a race weekend.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Danica And Aspen Dental Prepare For Daytona

Danica Patrick

As the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season gets underway with the 59th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion team fielded by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) return to Daytona with a smile, refreshed and ready to kick off a new year.

Before festivities get underway for the Daytona 500, the No. 10 team will first focus on Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash. With the 2017 tax filing season underway, TaxAct, long known for being the best deal during tax season, will serve as primary sponsor of Patrick’s No. 10 Ford Fusion inSaturday night’s non-points race. The event marks the first of four events in which TaxAct, the official tax preparation software partner of SHR and Patrick, will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 10 Ford Fusion this year.

Once the Clash is complete, focus will shift to the “Great American Race,” with qualifying for the Daytona 500 on Sunday, Feb. 19. Four years ago, Patrick made history on qualifying day by becoming the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500.

She followed up that effort with a history-making run in the 55th running of the Daytona 500, when she led five laps to become the first woman to lead a NASCAR race under green. Patrick finished the race in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the iconic event.

All told in Cup Series competition at Daytona, Patrick has led seven laps and earned two top-10 finishes and three top-20s. In the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona, she’s led 34 laps and scored one top-10 and three top-20s. And in her lone ARCA Racing Series start at Daytona, Patrick netted a sixth-place finish.

As Patrick returns to Daytona for her sixth start in the Daytona 500, her No. 10 Ford Fusion will feature the blue-and-white branding of Aspen Dental. It was announced earlier this week that the company, one of the largest and fastest-growing brands in the United States, has expanded its partnership with SHR to become the lead sponsor of Patrick and the No. 10 team during the 2017 season.

There are nearly 600 Aspen Dental practices across 35 states and each practice offers patients a safe, welcoming and judgment-free environment to address their dental challenges. Every Aspen Dental practice offers a full range of dental and denture services – including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work – allowing patients to have the peace of mind that they are taken care of and protected, so they can focus on getting the healthy mouth they deserve. In 2016, Aspen Dental practices recorded more than 4.1 million patient visits and welcomed nearly 900,000 new patients.

Patrick has shined a spotlight on oral health across a multitude of channels with Aspen Dental since 2014 and will continue to do so throughout the 2017 season, starting with the biggest race of the year – the Daytona 500.

One year ago, Patrick kicked off the year with new crew chief Billy Scott. This week, Patrick and Scott return to Daytona set to build and improve on the relationship they forged throughout the 2016 season, and there would be no better way to start off the year than by the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion team leaving Daytona with a smile.

DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
When I say Daytona 500, what comes to mind?

“At the beginning of the season, there’s always so much talk about how you do those first five races of the season and, you know, it’s like if you get an F on your paper at the start of the year, you spend all year just trying to get back to an A or a B, and I feel like that’s obviously how it works in our series, too. If you start the year off not so great and at a place like Daytona, where it’s speedway racing and there’s a lot of wrecks, I mean, it’s very possible to finish 40th that day, or 30-something, and that’s obviously a bad start to the season. But, you know, just those first handful of races are so important and so it’s really nice when you can start off with one of the more challenging ones to get that great finish. And, on top of that, for it to also be Daytona, it’s a cool way to kick off the season for us, as a sport, to have our biggest race of the season be first, and it draws a lot of eyes and I hope that we put on a good show.”

What are your goals and expectations for 2017?

“The goal is to do better all the time and hopefully some of the things that have changed within in our team, the big one being the changeover to Ford, will open up some opportunities and possibilities and just some pure potential for the team and we can improve. Hopefully, there is more room to improve now, so that’s kind of exciting to me. I’m optimistic and hopefully it will be something that makes a difference. I think if you’re in the top-15 every weekend, then you do a little bit better and then you’re in the top-10 and then, once you’re in the top-10 with good pit stops, good strategy and all the things that play into it – some of the new formats for the races can play into segment wins – so I think it’s important to be realistic. So, to tell you to go out and win races and segments is not something I necessarily think is going to happen right away, but we’ll assess. We’ll assess how strong we are as a team. A few years back, we were really strong and I felt like that’s where I was running by the end of the year, was up in the top-15 and getting into the top-10, so hopefully we can get back to that and work from there.”

Do you think the new race format NASCAR has implemented will be beneficial?

“I think that the new structure for the races is cool. I think that winning is something that, for a fan, it’s easy to understand and, for a really casual fan, it’s even easier to understand. I think that having a lot more winners every week and throughout the year is a cool thing, but what I have said is I feel like this is definitely going to be a big chore for the crew chiefs. If I were them, I would already be nervous or trying to think of scenarios. I’d probably be going to bed and waking up thinking, ‘If this happened and then we were running here, but we were fast…’ You’re running through all these scenarios in your head with ‘what would you do?’ I feel like it’s going to be challenging because, as far as a driver goes, I do try and drive the fastest laps I can every single lap. I’m doing my best unless there’s a reason to slow down, like fuel or tires are going off or something like that, or you want to maintain your tire life – something like that. So, I think it’s going be exciting as long as the information of the format can be translated to the fan or average fan in a simple, understandable way. I think it will be cool.”

What is it about Daytona International Speedway that you like?

“I think I’ve always had the good fortune of driving for good teams that have good cars. I also think that my IndyCar background is very similar to the style of racing that the superspeedways bring to NASCAR. That was full-speed, flat-out, don’t-lift-if-you-don’t-have-to racing where you have to keep your momentum up and lots of big-pack racing. For me, that was a big comfort zone when I came over to NASCAR, that it was a lot like the IndyCar days of driving on mile-and-a-half speedways. It’s all about having an awareness of what’s around you, making good decisions and trying to stay out of trouble until the end.”

Describe the intensity of restrictor-plate racing.

“It’s super easy to drive around the track flat-out by yourself. It’s not hard at all. When you put all of the other cars around you, it’s not necessarily about how the car feels on the track, although that can be an issue, for sure, at times. It’s more about what everyone else is doing around you. You’re constantly looking at what’s happening in front of you. You’re also looking at what’s behind you. Probably more important than what’s happening in front of you is what’s happening behind you – who’s coming, who’s following you, who’s helping you move forward. There have been plenty of times that I’ve gone to the bottom and complained, ‘Where’s my help?’ It seems like I’ll slot in on the bottom line and then everyone behind me disappears. You really have to have people behind you, pushing you. The race is constantly evolving and you and your spotter have to be on it. It’s a big race for spotters, so having a really good one that you trust is very important.”

Aspen Dental Racing Team Report

Round 1 of 36 – 59th Daytona 500 – Daytona Speedweeks

Car No.: 10 – Aspen Dental Ford Fusion

 

At-Track PR Contact: Annette Randall, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 805, Annette.Randall@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)

Primary Team Members:

Driver: Danica Patrick

Hometown: Roscoe, Illinois

 

Crew Chief: Billy Scott

Hometown: Land O’ Lakes, Florida

 

Car Chief: Tony Cardamone

Hometown: Bristol, Virginia

 

Engine Builder: Roush Yates Engines

Headquarters: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Engine Specialist: Evan Cupples

Hometown: Hudson, Illinois

 

Spotter: Brandon Benesch

Hometown: Cumberland, Wisconsin

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Justin Wilson

Hometown: St. Paul, Minnesota

 

Front Tire Changer: Ryan Mulder

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa

 

Second Gas Man: Nate Spoor

Hometown: Penn Yan, New York

 

Front Tire Carrier: Tyler Bullard

Hometown: King, North Carolina

 

Windshield: Kyle Anderson (also serves as interior mechanic)

Hometown: Jewell, Iowa

 

Rear Tire Changer: Jonathan Sherman

Hometown: Monroe, Louisiana

 

Jackman: Nate House

Hometown: Gastonia, North Carolina

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Jeremy Howard

Hometown: Dalhart, Texas

Road Crew Members:

Truck Drivers: Wayne Anderson and Chris Burton

Hometown: West Covina, California and Bethel, Ohio, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Nathan McGuire

Hometown: Palmyra, New York

 

Shock Specialist: Jimmy Rowlands

Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania

 

Engineers: Scott Bingham and William Lee

Hometowns: Lawrenceville, Georgia and Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, respectively

 

Underneath Mechanic: Nick McIntosh

Hometown: Havre, Montana

 

Front End Mechanic: Joe Zanolini

Hometown: Sybertsville, Pennsylvania

Advance Auto Parts Clash Notes of Interest: 
  • How She Got In: The field of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers for Saturdaynight’s Advance Auto Parts Clash non-points race is comprised of 2016 pole award winners, former Clash race winners, former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2016 and drivers who qualified for the 2016 playoffs. Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 TaxAct Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), scored her spot in the field as a previous Daytona 500 pole winner, a mark she earned in 2013 when she became the first woman to earn a NASCAR Cup Series pole in the 55th running of the “Great American Race.”
  • How it Works: The 75-lap Advance Auto Parts Clash will be split into two segments this year. A competition caution at lap 25 will separate the segments in the exhibition race.
  • Looking Back: Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash will mark Patrick’s fourth start in the non-points exhibition event. Last year, she started 12th, ran as high as fifth and finished 11th. Patrick’s top result in the event was earned in 2015 when she took the checkered flag 10th.
  • Local Ties: As NASCAR teams kick off the 2017 season in Daytona, it will be a homecoming of sorts for Billy Scott, crew chief of the No. 10 TaxAct Ford Fusion team. The Land O’Lakes, Florida native’s passion for motorsports began when he started racing at age 5. As a kid, Scott raced anything he could, from three-wheelers to motorcycles and go-karts. As his racing career progressed through the ranks at paved short tracks across Florida, Scott competed in a variety of race vehicles including Mini Stocks, Street Stocks, open-wheel Modifieds and Late Model stock cars. He joined SHR at the end of 2015.
  • Get Ready for Tax Season with TaxAct: With the 2017 tax filing season underway, TaxAct, long known for being the best deal during tax season, will serve as primary sponsor of Patrick’s No. 10 Ford Fusion in Saturday’s Advance Auto Parts Clash. The race marks the first of four events in which TaxAct, the official tax preparation software partner of SHR and Patrick, will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 10 Ford Fusion this year.

 

Daytona International Speedway Notes of Interest: 
  • Media Availability: Patrick will be available to members of the media Wednesday, Feb. 22, during NASCAR’s annual media day at Daytona.
  • Aspen Dental Kicks off 2017 Season in Daytona: As announced earlier this week, Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing brandsin the United States, has expanded its partnership with SHR to become the lead sponsor of Patrick and the No. 10 team during the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season. The No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion will debut in the season-opening Daytona 500 Feb. 26 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Aspen Dental has been a partner of SHR since 2012 and aligned with Patrick since 2014. As the brand enters its sixth year with SHR and fourth with Patrick, it will serve as the primary sponsor of Patrick’s No. 10 Ford Fusion for a double-digit slate of races in 2017.
  • About Aspen Dental: There are nearly 600 Aspen Dental practices across 35 states and each practice offers patients a safe, welcoming and judgment-free environment to address their dental challenges. Every Aspen Dental practice offers a full range of dental and denture services – including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work – allowing patients to have the peace of mind that they are taken care of and protected, so they can focus on getting the healthy mouth they deserve. In 2016, Aspen Dental practices recorded more than 4.1 million patient visits and welcomed nearly 900,000 new patients.
  • Meet Patrick: Fans can meet Patrick at the Daytona Beach Walmart, located at 1101 Beville Road, at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22. The store will distribute a limited number of wristbands in advance of the appearance.
  • For the History Books: Patrick kicked off the 2013 NASCAR Cup Series season with a history-making run in the 55th Daytona 500. Here’s a recap of how she altered the record books:
    • Became the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the Daytona 500.
    • Led laps 90 to 91, becoming the first female to lead NASCAR’s most prestigious race. She also led laps 127 to 129.
    • Became the first woman to lead a NASCAR race under green. Janet Guthrie led five laps under yellow in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.
    • Finished the race in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”
  • By leading laps in the Daytona 500, Patrick joined an elite club of only 14 drivers to have led both the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. The other drivers to accomplish this 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, A.J. Allmendinger and Tony Stewart. Of those 14 drivers, only Patrick, Foyt, Andretti, Gordon, Montoya, Allmendinger 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 17 drivers to have top-10 results in each race. The other drivers are Foyt, Montoya, Gordon, Rutherford, Allmendinger, Stewart, Busch, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Johns, Cale Yarborough, Dan Gurney, Donnie Allison, Jerry Grant, Paul Goldsmith and Tom Sneva.
  • Patrick in the Xfinity Series at Daytona: Patrick has started seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Daytona and scored her best finish of 10th in July 2011. She won the pole for the February 2012 event.
  • Patrick in the ARCA Series at Daytona: In her first stock car start of any kind, Patrick started 12th and finished a respectable sixth in the February 2010 ARCA race at Daytona.
  • Patrick in the Rolex 24 At Daytona: Twice in her career, Patrick has competed in the Rolex 24 At Daytona on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn speedway road course. In 2009, she finished eighth driving a Crawford Pontiac for Childress-Howard Motorsports with co-drivers Casey Mears, Andy Wallace and Rob Finlay. She made her first Rolex 24 start in 2006 driving a Porsche Crawford with Rusty Wallace, Allan McNish and Jan Lammers for Howard-Boss Motorsports. The team finished 24th after a mechanical failure just past the nine-hour mark.
  • History Maker in IndyCar: Patrick became the first woman to win a major-league open-wheel race in a North American series in April 2008 by winning the IndyCar Series Japan Indy 300 at the Twin Ring Motegi oval in Japan.
  • Big Stage: In seven Indianapolis 500 starts, Patrick finished in the top-10 six times, including a third-place result in 2009, the best finish ever for a woman in the historic race.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

NASCAR Announces The Stage Lengths For All 2017 Races

Ryan Reed
NASCAR today announced the 2017 stage lengths for each race in all three of its national series. A number of factors went into determining the lap count for Stage 1, Stage 2 and the Final Stage of each race, with a singular goal in mind – the best racing for NASCAR fans.

“Every track is unique for its characteristics in length, surface and overall racing conditions,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition. “We worked closely with race teams on expected fuel and tire runs over the entirety of an event when considering stage lengths. And in the end, stage lengths were decided based upon what would provide the best race for fans.”

Last week, NASCAR announced the stage lengths for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season-opening DAYTONA 500 (Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). For the Great American Race, the stages are scheduled to end on lap 60, lap 120 and lap 200.

For the full list of stages for the remainder of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, as well as the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series seasons, see below.

 

 

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 60 120 200
Atlanta Motor Speedway 85 170 325
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 80 160 267
Phoenix International Raceway 75 150 312
Auto Club Speedway 60 120 200
Martinsville Speedway 130 260 500
Texas Motor Speedway 85 170 334
Bristol Motor Speedway 125 250 500
Richmond International Raceway 100 200 400
Talladega Superspeedway 55 110 188
Kansas Speedway 80 160 267
Charlotte Motor Speedway 115 230 400
Dover International Speedway 120 240 400
Pocono Raceway 50 100 160
Michigan International Raceway 60 120 200
Sonoma Raceway 25 50 110
Daytona International Speedway 40 80 160
Kentucky Speedway 80 160 267
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 75 150 301
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 50 100 160
Pocono Raceway 50 100 160
Watkins Glen International 20 40 90
Michigan International Raceway 60 120 200
Bristol Motor Speedway 125 250 500
Darlington Raceway 100 200 367
Richmond International Raceway 100 200 400
Chicagoland Speedway 80 160 267
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 75 150 300
Dover International Speedway 120 240 400
Charlotte Motor Speedway 90 180 334
Talladega Superspeedway 55 110 188
Kansas Speedway 80 160 267
Martinsville Speedway 130 260 500
Texas Motor Speedway 85 170 334
Phoenix International Raceway 75 150 312
Homestead-Miami Speedway 80 160 267
Please note the Final Stage may be extended as outlined in Section 10.11 Official Completion.

 

 

NASCAR XFINITY Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 30 60 120
Atlanta Motor Speedway 40 80 163
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Phoenix International Raceway 60 120 200
Auto Club Speedway 35 70 150
Texas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Bristol Motor Speedway 85 170 300
Richmond International Raceway 75 150 250
Talladega Superspeedway 25 50 113
Charlotte Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Dover International Speedway 60 120 200
Pocono Raceway 25 50 100
Michigan International Speedway 30 60 125
Iowa Speedway 60 120 250
Daytona International Speedway 30 60 100
Kentucky Speedway 45 90 200
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 25 50 100
Iowa Speedway 60 120 250
Watkins Glen International 20 40 82
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 20 40 75
Bristol Motor Speedway 85 170 300
Road America 10 20 45
Darlington Raceway 45 90 147
Richmond International Raceway 75 150 250
Chicagoland Speedway 45 90 200
Kentucky Speedway 45 90 200
Dover International Speedway 60 120 200
Charlotte Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Kansas Speedway 45 90 200
Texas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Phoenix International Raceway 60 120 200
Homestead-Miami Speedway 45 90 200
Please note the Final Stage may be extended as outlined in Section 10.11 Official Completion.

 

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 20 40 100
Atlanta Motor Speedway 40 80 130
Martinsville Speedway 70 140 250
Kansas Speedway 40 80 167
Charlotte Motor Speedway 40 80 134
Dover International Speedway 45 90 200
Texas Motor Speedway 40 80 167
Gateway Motorsports Park 35 70 160
Iowa Speedway 60 120 200
Kentucky Speedway 35 70 150
Eldora Speedway 40 90 150
Pocono Raceway 15 30 60
Michigan International Speedway 30 60 100
Bristol Motor Speedway 55 110 200
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 20 40 64
Chicagoland Speedway 35 70 150
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 55 110 175
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 35 70 146
Talladega Superspeedway 20 40 94
Martinsville Speedway 50 100 200
Texas Motor Speedway 35 70 147
Phoenix International Raceway 40 80 150
Homestead-Miami Speedway 40 80 134
Please note the Final Stage may be extended as outlined in Section 10.11 Official Completion.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing Looking To Set The Tone For 2017

Michael McDowell

Michael McDowell and Leavine Family Racing (LFR) are thrilled to kick-off the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) season at the 59th running of the Daytona 500.

Entering their first full season together, McDowell and LFR are looking to build off last year’s momentum and pick up where they left off after earning ten Top-20 finishes, including a 10th place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway at the 2016 season finale.

“I’m definitely excited to get this season started, especially at Daytona where we know we can run well,” said McDowell. “We’ve run in the Top-10 at Daytona, so hopefully we can do that this time and get ourselves in a position at the end of the race to sneak in and win. With the format now, a win gets you in the playoffs. That could be really big for a small team like ours.”

During the team’s last trip to Daytona International Speedway, McDowell earned his third Top-10 at the 2.5-mile tri-oval.

Also beginning his first full season with LFR is Todd Parrott, who will be returning to the roll of crew chief he began full-time with the team back in October of 2016.

“There has been a lot of hard work that has gone into the off-season by the whole team,” said Parrott. “We have been rebuilding everything and making sure it is ready to go when we unload in Daytona. There are definitely a few challenges that come with Daytona. The duels play a big part this season since they pay points for the playoffs, so we definitely have to race hard and stay out of trouble. Michael does extremely well at restrictor plate tracks, so we just need to work on strategy during our pit stops. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what we’ve got as a team.”

McDowell and LFR are also excited to announce the return of K-LOVE Radio as a primary sponsor for select races during the 2017 MENCS season. K-LOVE has had a long-standing presence with both McDowell and LFR for a number of years and will continue the partnership, as McDowell will pilot the No. 95 K-LOVE Chevrolet SS in the 59th running of the Daytona 500.

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 will take place on Sunday, February 19, followed by the Can-Am Duel on Thursday, February 23 beginning at 7PM ET. Race fans can follow @LFR95 on Twitter and Leavine Family Racing on Facebook for Speedweeks and Daytona 500 updates. 

About Leavine Family Racing

Leavine Family Racing is an organization competing in the NASCAR Premier Series focused on growing competitively and providing results-driven partnerships for its sponsors. The single-car team was founded in 2012 by Bob and Sharon Leavine, two individuals who are passionate about NASCAR and started the team to make a positive impact on the sport and community. Michael McDowell, a nine-year veteran of NASCAR and winner of the Road America 180 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, pilots the No. 95 Chevrolet SS for the team. In 2016 alone, McDowell and LFR earned two Top-10 finishes and nine Top-20 finishes together. In alliance with Richard Childress Racing, the team operates out of their Concord, N.C.-based race shop with a veteran group of racing personnel and is driven by several key principals including intensity, attention to detail, focus and a sense of urgency.  For more information, please visit www.LFR95.com.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

You Remember Clint Bowyer, Right?

Clint Bowyer

Let us re-introduce you to Clint Bowyer.

You might remember him. He finished second in the 2012 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship and third in the 2007 title chase. He has eight NASCAR Cup Series victories and won the 2008 NASCAR Xfinity Series title after leaving his hometown of Emporia, Kansas for racing glory in 2004.

He’s NASCAR’s everyman, whose collar is as blue as his Kansas City Royals hat and his smile as wide as a wheat field.

He’s been quiet the last two seasons, but that only proves how much of a team sport NASCAR is these days. Midway through 2015, his two-car Michael Waltrip Racing team announced it was going out of business at the end of the season. In 2016, Bowyer, needing a temporary home before joining Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2017, drove for an HScott Motorsports team that was still early in its development.

Out of sight usually means out of mind in NASCAR, but Bowyer will be front and center in 2017. He’ll climb into a car worthy of his skill as he replaces the retired and future Hall of Famer Tony Stewart in SHR’s No. 14 Ford Fusion under the leadership of second-year crew chief Mike “Buga” Bugarewicz. After engineering a playoff appearance with Stewart in 2016, expectations of pairing Bowyer with “Buga” – the only rookie crew chief in the 2016 playoffs – are sky high in 2017.

Bowyer will make his SHR debut Feb. 26 driving the No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion in NASCAR’s most prestigious event – the 59th running of the Daytona 500.

“This is the best opportunity I’ve ever had,” Bowyer said. “Everybody knows that. Getting in the No. 14 Ford isn’t easy. It’s going to be a challenge. The first thing you think about is Tony’s fan base. There are a whole lot of people I don’t want to let down. I want to make all those people proud of the No. 14 this year, proud of me being in that No. 14, and proud of Tony’s decision to put me in it this year. The pressure is probably there but, to be honest with you, from where I’ve come to looking forward to this opportunity for more than a year, there’s more excitement than pressure.”

Bowyer won’t be the only new addition to SHR in 2017. Since its inception in 2009, SHR has posted 36 victories and two championships with Stewart and Kevin Harvick, so it came as a bit of a shock to the motorsports world when it was announced in February 2016 that SHR would welcome Ford Performance as the four-car team’s manufacturer beginning in 2017. The move should provide a boost under the hood and in aerodynamics, as well as in the SHR engineering meetings with the global motorsports company bringing its expertise to its Kannapolis, North Carolina, operation. As the sport grows, the long-term alliance of SHR and Ford Performance could lead to the next wave of dominance that Bowyer expects to surf for the next several years.

If the SHR-Ford-Bowyer combination bears the fruit many expect, then Bowyer’s return to prominence will be a boon to NASCAR. The former dirt racer can boast success on every type of track the series visits. Four of his eight career NASCAR Cup Series victories have come on short tracks, two on restrictor-plate tracks, one on an ultra-fast 1.5-mile track and one on a road course. He’s won everywhere and he’s won in everything. Three times he’s finished in the top-five in the standings and earned eight victories in the Xfinity Series and three in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Chasing checkered flags is what has driven Bowyer since racing dirt bikes in Kansas. He proved proficient at collecting trophies as he transitioned from two wheels to four, from dirt to asphalt, from Xfinity to Cup. Another trophy and another checkered flag is what drives Bowyer, and from the cockpit of his No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion, he’s in the best position to secure those highly-sought items.

CLINT BOWYER , Driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford Fusion  for Stewart-Haas Racing:
What does the Daytona 500 mean to you?

“This is the biggest race of the year. It’s the race everyone wants to win. You know we have spent a lot of time talking about the stages and new format this offseason but, for this race, throw all that out the window. I’m here to win this Daytona 500. I can’t wait. I have a new opportunity with a new race team. It’s a new everything for me so I’m going down there to work hard in every practice session and get myself prepared to win this baby. I’m hungry and I want to go out there and get established right off the bat as a frontrunner with our team. And I think, ‘Hey, I think I can win the Daytona 500.’ I’ve come close many times.”

 

How predictable is the Daytona 500?

“It’s one of those things where you can be leading coming to the white flag and finish 15th to 20th. I’ve done that. I’ve also been way back in the pack, then somehow picked my way through it on the last lap and got a good, solid finish. It’s a rollercoaster, just like it has been with everybody. I mean, that’s what the Daytona 500 is. You go from thinking, ‘I got ’em!’ to ‘Oh, no! How have we done so wrong?’ I mean, it’s just one of those emotional rollercoaster races where you just never know what’s going to happen. I had the thing won in 2010, and they literally used the Bondo out of the haulers to fix the track. I didn’t win that year but, before that happened, I just knew I had it won. Whether it’s a track surface, somebody hitting a jet dryer and blowing up, or coming down to a green-and-white checkered at the end, you just never know the recipe and what it’s going to take to win that ultra-special race.”

 

What are your thoughts on SHR?

“These are the best teammates I’ve ever had, the best equipment I’ve ever had, the best ownership and a fantastic lineup of sponsors. Everything is here. That’s what will breed all of the success. When Tony Stewart and Gene Haas hire you and put you in a car that Tony drove to a championship, that gives you a great deal of confidence. It was a huge confidence booster and it’s what I needed.”

 

Why do you say you feel more excitement than pressure in 2017?

“You know, you walk into SHR and you see everyone busting their rear ends to make this transition to Ford. Doug Yates (President and CEO of Roush Yates Engines) was at the shop the other day and I laughed because I’ve had my butt whupped by his horsepower for a lot of years, especially on restrictor-plate tracks. I always took notes on how well those Roush Yates engines ran. I’m really looking forward to getting that horsepower under the hood. You see how much success (Ford drivers) Brad (Keselowski) and Joey (Logano) have had with these aero packages. You go back to having teammates – particularly teammates like the ones I now have at SHR. Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick, who each bring a lot to the table. I think they will help me be a better racecar driver and ultimately more successful. That’s all exciting.”

 

Is joining SHR the year it moves to Ford good timing?

“If you are going to change, you might as well change everything. If there was ever a culture that was a great fit for me, it’s SHR. It seems like everybody at SHR is someone I’ve either worked with before or I’m already friends with. It’s just a perfect fit. The culture is me. They take care of business and have a lot of fun doing it. That’s what I love that about SHR. I think I’ll fit in well. With the transition to Ford, the thing I’ve noticed right off the bat is you are talking to the head honchos. Raj Nair (Executive Vice President of Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer) is the guy who brought Ford Performance to what it is today. Whether it’s a meeting at the shop or going over to Ford Performance, he and his counterparts are the ones you talk with, making sure you have what you need to be successful at the racetrack. That means a lot to a racecar driver.”

 

Mobil 1 Ford Team Report
Round 1 of 36 – NASCAR Monster Cup Series – Daytona 500
Car No. 14:     Mobil 1 Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing
 
At Track PR Contact: Drew Brown with True Speed Communication (704-498-7596 or Drew.Brown@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)
Primary Team:

 

Driver: Clint Bowyer

Residence: Emporia, Kansas

 

Crew Chief: Mike Bugarewicz

Hometown: Lehighton, Pennsylvania

 

Car Chief: Jerry Cook

Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

 

Engine Specialist: Matt Moeller

Hometown: Monroe, New York

 

Engine Builder: Roush Yates Engines: Mooresville, North Carolina

 

Spotter: Brett Griffin

Hometown: Pageland, S.C.

Over-The-Wall Crew:

 

Front Tire Changer: Ira Jo Hussey

Hometown: Manchester, New Hampshire

 

Front Tire Carrier: Brett Morrell

Hometown: Windham, Maine

 

Rear Tire Changer: Chris McMullen

Hometown: Canton, Michigan

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Josh Sobecki

Hometown: New Kensington, Pennsylvania

 

Gas Man: James “Ace” Keener

Hometown: Fortuna, California

 

Jackman: Getty Cavitt

Hometown: Owensboro, Kentucky

 

Windshield: Justin Peiffer

Hometown: Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Road Crew:

 

Truck Drivers: William “Stump” Lewis and Rob Fink

Hometown: Linkwood, Maryland and Baltimore, Maryland, respectively.

 

Engineers: Lee Deese, Chris Chidgey and Kenny Oates

Hometown: Rockingham, North Carolina, Gainesville, Florida and Huntersville, North Carolina, respectively.

 

Mechanics: Tony Silvestri and Rich Letendre

Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio and Lowell, Massachusetts, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Russell Simpson

Hometown: Medford, New York

 

Shock Specialist: Wayne Smith

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Chassis Information
Primary Chassis No. 14-836:  This car made its debut during preseason testing in 2014 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and its only race that year came with Tony Stewart behind the wheel in May at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, where it started 12th and finished 43rd after suffering damage in a multicar accident on lap 137. After countless hours in the wind tunnel in preparation for its second career start in the 2015 Daytona 500, it started seventh and finished 42nd due to a lap-42 accident.

 

Backup Chassis No. 14-947: This car made its debut in July 2015 with Stewart at the wheel for the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. It qualified 31st but rallied its way up to sixth in time for the green-white-checkered finish that decided the race in spectacular fashion. But, rather than being able to leverage his track position, Stewart was shuffled back to 14th place, where he was running when the frontrunners collided as the field came to the checkered flag. The incident triggered a dramatic accident that caused Austin Dillon’s No. 3 Chevy to take flight, smashing into the protective fencing and connecting with several cars before coming to rest directly in front of pit road. Chassis No. 14-947 suffered a good bit of damage but was still able to finish the race. Rebuilt in the months afterward, the car made its second start at Talladega in October. Stewart qualified 12th but started at the back of the field after a suspension change before the race. He laid back for most of the race before making a charge to the front in the closing laps. His bid for victory ended when the No. 14 suffered damage as the field came to green for overtime racing. Stewart finished the race 25th. Brian Vickers substituted for the injured Stewart in the 2016 Daytona 500, driving Chassis 14-947. The team’s decision to take two tires during a caution with 44 laps remaining vaulted Vickers from midpack to fourth. He stayed at the very front of the field, running side by side with the leaders and racing in the top-10 with 10 laps remaining before drifting to midpack in the closing laps. At Talladega last May, under his doctor’s orders, Stewart drove the first 52 laps before turning the car over to Ty Dillon, who survived wild racing in the final laps to finish sixth. In his swan song at Daytona in July, the three-time champion Stewart finished 26th after looking like he might win his second consecutive race of the season. Stewart avoided early trouble, and then battled in the top-five as the race wound down. But, with 10 laps to go, the No. 14 slammed into the wall, ending his chances for victory. Stewart’s final career restrictor-plate race in October 2016 netted a 32nd-place finish at Talladega.

 

Notes of Interest:
  • The Daytona 500 will mark Clint Bowyer’ 398th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and 12th career Cup Series start in the Daytona 500. He owns four top-seven finishes in the sport’s most important race and has led 73 laps.
  • Bowyer owns career totals of eight wins, two poles, 58 top-five finishes, 167 top-10s and 2,338 laps led in 397 NASCAR Cup Series races. He also owns eight Xfinity Series victories.
    • His most recent Cup Series victory came at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (Oct. 13, 2012).
    • His most recent Cup Series pole came at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007).
  • Bowyer has three top-five finishes, 11 top-10s and has led a total of 153 laps in his 22 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Daytona. His average start is 18.9, his average finish is 15.7 and he has a lap-completion rate of 97.7 percent.
  • Mobil 1, in its 15th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR”  will provide full primary sponsorships for each SHR NASCAR driver at various races throughout the 2017 season  Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of the teams in NASCAR’s top-three series
  • Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz is in his second season after overseeing Tony Stewart’s final campaign in 2016. Bugarewicz’s pit strategy played a key role in Stewart’s victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June 2016. The Lehighton, Pennsylvania native served as the lead engineer on Stewart-Haas Racing’s (SHR) No. 4 entry in 2014 and 2015. The Penn State graduate was the only rookie crew chief to be part of last year’s Cup Series playoffs.
  • Tony Stewart and Gene Haas co-own SHR, which has recorded 36 victories and 30 poles since its inception in 2009. Stewart won the 2011 NASCAR Cup Series title and Kevin Harvick gave SHR its second title in 2014.
  • SHR at Daytona: In 46 overall starts at Daytona, SHR-prepared cars have earned one pole (Danica Patrick, February 2013), two wins (Tony Stewart, July 2009 and July 2012), 10 top-five finishes and 15 top-10s; have been atop the leaderboard for 262 laps; and have completed 92.1 percent (7,443 of 8,083) of the laps contested.
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Victories:
    • Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (Oct. 13, 2012)
    • Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (Sept. 8, 2012)
    • Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway (June 24, 2012)
    • Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 23, 2011)
    • Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (Oct. 31, 2010)
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 19, 2010)
    • Richmond International Raceway (May 3, 2008)
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 16, 2007)
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Poles:
    • New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon (Sept. 14,2007)
    • Darlington (S.C.) Raceway (May 11, 2007)
  • Bowyer Career Cup Series Points Finishes:
    • 2016   27th
    • 2015   16th
    • 2014   19th
    • 2013     7th
    • 2012    2nd
    • 2011 13th
    • 2010   10th
    • 2009   15th
    • 2008     5th ​
    • 2007   3rd
    • 2006   17th
  • Bowyer Cup Series Career Stops:
    • 2017  Stewart-Haas Racing
    • ​2016  HScott Motorsports
    • 2012-2015  Michael Waltrip Racing
    • 2006-2011 Richard Childress Racing
  • Bowyer Xfinity Series Career Victories:
    • Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Sept. 26,2009)
    • Daytona (Fla) International Speedway (July 3, 2009)
    • Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (March 15, 2008)
    • Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (May 4,2007)
    • Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in Avondale (April 20, 2007)
    • Dover (Del.) International Speedway (Sept. 23, 2006)
    • Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park  (Oct. 22, 2005)
    • Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway (June 12, 2005)
  • Bowyer Camping World Truck Series Victories:
    • Kansas (Kan.) Speedway in Kansas City (June 4, 2011)
    • Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway in Avondale (Nov.12, 2010)
    • Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth (Nov 3, 2006)

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Codie Rohrbaugh Anxiously Awaits His ARCA Debut At Daytona

Image result for codie rohrbaugh nascar

Even though he hasn’t competed in an ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at Daytona International Speedway, Codie Rohrbaugh has turned enough laps around the “World Center of Racing” to make him feel like a veteran.

Rohrbaugh, the avid Late Model racer tested the 2.5-mile superspeedway in January 2016 for Win-Tron Racing. Last month, his Grant County Mulch Racing (GCMR) team spent two days testing preparing their young driver for his superspeedway ARCA debut in Saturday afternoon’s Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire.

His family-owned team led by industry veteran Mark Huff acquired a car from Allgaier Motorsports and will pilot that No. 7 Grant County Mulch Dodge inRohrbaugh’s third career ARCA start.

“Can’t wait to get to Daytona,” said Rohrbaugh. “It’s a bucket list item for our team. Though, it’s more than just going down there and getting into the field. We’d like to have a good shot at a good finish and I think we have an opportunity to do that.”

Last month Rohrbaugh turned over 50 laps around the Motorsports stadium putting his car inside the top-20 in overall speeds when the session concluded on Saturday afternoon. Huff and his rookie driver worked hard on single-car runs, then sent their 23-year-old protégé into the draft allowing the Petersburg, West Virginia native to experience the fundamentals of superspeedway racing.

“We really took advantage of the test,” added Rohrbaugh. “While this car has experience on the track in ARCA competition, it was still new to us. I wanted to get comfortable with the car. We made adjustments throughout the day that the car really responded too. In the draft, the car was pretty good. It’s all about having the right drafting partner. I need to remember that for practice and the race this week.”

Following Daytona, the team’s ARCA plans are still flux, but Rohrbaugh says the team does plan to compete in several events this season.

“The more we’re able to run good, the more I think you’ll see us around,” sounded Rohrbaugh. “We know we have Daytona on the docket, then I’m sure we’ll pick a couple short tracks. If we come out of Daytona unscathed, we’ll probably go to Talladega. Don’t count out us for some of the bigger track races too. We’re working hard on nailing down a more firmer schedule, but we plan to be around a good bit this season.”

Before turning most of their competition towards ARCA, Rohrbaugh and his Mooresville, N.C.-based team maintained a healthy presence in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Rohrbaugh, the former Pro Cup Series competitor said they’ll still compete in NASCAR’s touring series this year, but choose select races.

“As far as K&N, we’ve got a few picked out,” he said. “I think our first race is Bristol – then more later in the year, but it’s very hit and miss. We want to grow our program and we feel like we have a good opportunity to do that in ARCA this season.”

In 13 previous NKNPSE starts, the 22-year-old has a best finish of ninth at Stafford (CT.) Motor Speedway in August 2015. A ninth-place qualifying effort at Bristol Motor Speedway in April 2015 is his best time trials effort to date.

Marketing partnership opportunities are available for the No. 7 Grant County Mulch Dodge for the 2017 ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East seasons and beyond. Interested inquiries are encouraged to contact kyle@gcmulch.com.

The Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 driven by General Tire (80 laps / 200 miles) is the first of 20 races on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule. Practice begins Thurs., Feb. 16 with a two-hour session from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. A final practice session has been etched in on Fri., Feb. 17 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Group qualifying is set for later in the day at 3:30 p.m. The preamble for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ “Clash” is set to take the green flag on Sat., Feb. 18 shortly after 4:00 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), while ARCARacing.com will stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

Jimmy John’s Is Freaky Fast And Back With Harvick

Kevin Harvick

In a new season that will feature a new race format, points system and manufacturer for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick and the No. 4 team at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), there is comfort in the consistency displayed by the colors adorning their new Ford Fusion for Speedweeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
While the make and model of the No. 4 may have changed as SHR collaborated with Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Company starting in 2017, the familiar black-and-red livery of Jimmy John’s will return for its second season as the primary sponsor for the Daytona 500. Jimmy John’s, based in Champaign, Illinois and famous for its freaky fast delivery, made its Daytona 500 debut in 2016, when Harvick and the No. 4 team started ninth and finished fourth to start the season in “The Great American Race.”
While Jimmy John’s is on the hood for the Daytona 500, for the second consecutive year Busch Beer returns to Harvick’s No. 4 Ford Fusion for the Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona – the 75-lap, bonus-points-paying race that kicks off the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season Feb. 18. Busch is back on the hood, but the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford is updated with a fresh new look, giving a nod to new packaging the brand will debut in April.
Busch debuted its new packaging and advertising campaign featuring the return of the “BUSCHHHHH” can-crack sound with its first-ever Super Bowl commercial that aired during the FOX broadcast of the game Feb. 5.
Busch’s rich racing history began in 1978 when the brand sponsored the award presented to the pole winners of what was known then as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Busch went on to be the “Official Beer of NASCAR” from 1988 through 1997 and was the title sponsor of the stepping-stone division to the NASCAR Cup Series – currently known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series – from 1984 through 2007. The last Busch-sponsored driver prior to the company’s return in 2016 was Cale Yarborough and his iconic No. 11 car during the 1980 season.
Both Jimmy John’s and Busch have reason to be optimistic as Harvick and the No. 4 team head to Daytona.
As Harvick enters his 17th NASCAR Cup Series season and his fourth at SHR with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm, he is looking to score his second win in the Daytona 500. He won the famed Harley J. Earl trophy in 2007, when he beat Mark Martin to the Daytona 500 finish line by .020 of a second on the final green-white-checkered restart. It was the closest Daytona 500 finish since the start of computer scoring in 2003.
Harvick also has three wins in the Clash at Daytona – 2009, 2010 and 2013 – tying him for second-most with his team owner Tony Stewart and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett.
In the 2009 Clash at Daytona, Harvick survived an incident-filled race that saw a record eight caution periods and less than half the starting field make it to the checkered flag.
The following year, he joined Neil Bonnett, Ken Schrader and Stewart as the fourth driver in event history to win consecutive races, and he did so driving a backup car he was never able to practice, passing Greg Biffle with two laps remaining in a green-white-checkered finish. NASCAR declared Harvick the winner when a multicar incident ended the race under caution.
In his 2013 win, Harvick led 40 of 75 laps, dominating the second and third segments en route to his third Clash at Daytona victory in five years.
If Harvick can add his name for a second time to the Harley J. Earl trophy Feb. 26 in the season-opening Daytona 500 at “The World Center of Racing,” he would be the 11th driver in NASCAR history to win the iconic event more than once. It would also put the No. 4 team in prime position to secure a berth in the 2017 playoffs as it attempts to win a second NASCAR Cup Series championship in four years
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
What does it mean to have a Harley J. Earl Trophy?
“The Daytona 500 is the biggest race that we run every year – it’s the biggest one-week prize you can grab. It is probably the most prestigious list you can probably put your name on for any one trophy. You always hear about people who say winning the Daytona 500 isn’t like winning any other race – and it’s not – it’s the Daytona 500. After you win it and you see all the things that come with it and the things you have to do, you learn very quickly that the Daytona 500 is special. It means a lot to this sport and it’s an honor to have won it and put my name on that trophy with the greats who are on it. I hope we can put it on there again before the end of my career.
Explain the new points system in simple terms to a race fan. What do you tell them?
“I would tell them to just watch the race. I think as you look at the points system and things, that doesn’t really necessarily matter until the end of the day. You tally it all up and show it on the television screen. As long as we are having good races, it’s exciting to watch and the competitors are going as hard as they can every lap to gain or hold every position. You’ll see strategy on TV from the crew chiefs knowing that a segment is coming up. There are a lot of carrots out there. The segment bonus points going toward the playoffs twice in one race. Then you have the race win at the end of the race, so there are many things to think about. There are a lot of things to watch and keep your interest. That’s really what we all needed because, in the end, as competitors we needed to be enthused about having something to go out there and grab. When you see those points up on the table – sure the point total will be higher – but it still won’t be as high as it used to be with the old points system. But I would worry less about how the points work and more about just watching the race, and you’ll naturally just get it.”
From the driver’s seat, how does the new points system change your approach to a race?
“For us, that’s the good thing. For us, Rodney (Childers, crew chief) has always been pretty pressing on going out there and trying to get everything you can out of the car in practice, qualifying and at the beginning of the race to try and position yourself for the end as early in the race as possible. That opens up a lot of windows. You know where your car is and we’ve tried to race that way for the last three years. When you go back and look at the history, the regular-season points, the segment wins and those types of things have been very good for us and hopefully that trend continues as we move forward.”
What will the new format mean for the pit crews with the new stages?
“I don’t think it will change anything. No more than what it used to be because it’s basically a live pit stop when you come down pit road at the end of a segment. You’ll change tires and try to get out first, so in the end the goal is still to be first in everything that we do, whether it’s practice, qualifying, pit stops or the race – whatever it is that’s still the No. 4 team’s goal.”
What will it mean to get points for the Duels at Daytona this year?
“There’s points in everything we do, so you need to go and try and get the most points that are possible because, basically, what you’re doing is racing every moment and every race leading up to Homestead to gather as many points as you can to start to try to build yourself a cushion for when those days happen. You hope those moments don’t happen in the playoffs. For us, they happened in the Chase last year and, luckily, our performance was good enough to be able to win. We had a phenomenal first 26 races and, if we would have had that points cushion, we would have had the ability to have some hiccups and still be able to move on. It rewards performance throughout the year where you won’t have a William Byron-type situation that we had in the Truck Series, where the kid goes out, wins seven or eight races, leads a bunch of laps, has one engine failure in the Chase, and gets eliminated from winning the championship. I like the fact that it rewards running well, running consistently, so it has the mix between traditional and new world NASCAR.”
In the past, you might have laid back at the beginning to better position yourself for the end of the race. Are those days over now with the new format?
“I think there is still balance. You still have to try to go after all the bonus points in the segments that you can in order to pile up as many points as you can if your car is capable of it. However, you still have to balance trying to put yourself in a position to win the race, finish the race and gain the big prize at the end of the day. You still want to get all the points that you can, but you still have to be smart about it as you go through the day.”
Jimmy John’s Racing Team Report

Round 1 of 36 – Speedweeks at Daytona – Daytona, Florida

At-Track PR Contact: Ryan Barry, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 812, Ryan.Barry@TrueSpeedCommunication.com)
Primary Team:
Driver: Kevin Harvick
Hometown: Bakersfield, California
Crew Chief: Rodney Childers
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Car Chief: Robert Smith
Hometown: Whitewater, Wisconsin
Engine Builder: Roush-Yates Engines
Headquarters: Mooresville, North Carolina
Engine Specialist: Robert Brandt
Hometown: Mobile, Alabama
Spotter: Tim Fedewa
Hometown: Holt, Michigan
Over-The-Wall Crew:
Gas Man: Justin White
Hometown: Lynnville, Tennessee
Front Tire Changer: Eric Maycroft
Hometown: Algonquin, Illinois
Second Gas Man: Robert Smith
Hometown: Whitewater, Wisconsin
Front Tire Carrier: Matt Holzbaur
Hometown: New Egypt, New Jersey
Windshield: Aaron Kuehn
Hometown: Kensington, Connecticut
Rear Tire Changer: Daniel Smith
Hometown: Concord, North Carolina
Jackman: Stan Doolittle
Hometown: Ninety-Six, South Carolina
Rear Tire Carrier: Mike “Shrek” Morneau
Hometown: Oxford, Maine
Road Crew:
Truck Drivers: Rick Hodges and Stephen Mitchell
Hometowns: Raleigh, North Carolina, and Woodville, Ohio, respectively
Tire Specialist: Dustin Keath
Hometown: Reading, Pennsylvania
Shock Specialist: Michael McCarville
Hometown: Kensington, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Engineers: Dax Gerringer and Billy Keubler
Hometowns: Gibsonville, North Carolina, and Saline, Michigan, respectively
Mechanics: Richie Bean and Allen Mincey
Hometown: Bradford, Vermont, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, respectively
Fuel Runner: Evan Kureczka
Hometown: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The Clash at Daytona Car – Chassis No. 1011:
Kevin Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 4-1011 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in Saturday night’s The Clash at Daytona. Built in 2016, Chassis No. 4-1011 started 22nd and finished seventh in its debut at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in October. ​

 

The Clash at Daytona Notes of Interest:
 

#Buschhhhh Is Back at Daytona: Busch Beer returns to The Clash at Daytona for the second straight season. The iconic Busch Beer logo will appears on Harvick’s No. 4 Ford Fusion during The Clash – the 75-lap, non-points race that kicks off the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season Feb. 18 at Daytona. Busch’s rich racing history began in 1978 when it sponsored the award presented to the pole winners of what was then known as the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Busch went on to be the “Official Beer of NASCAR” from 1988 through 1997, and was the title sponsor of the stepping-stone division to the NASCAR Cup Series – currently known as the NASCAR Xfinity Series – from 1984 through 2007. The last driver Busch sponsored prior to Harvick was NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough and his iconic No. 11 car during the 1980 season.

 

Harvick in The Clash: In 12 starts in The Clash at Daytona, Harvick has three wins (2009, 2010, 2013), tying him for second on the all-time list with his team owner Tony Stewart and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett. Additionally, the Bakersfield, California native has six top-five finishes and eight top-10s in 12 career starts.

 

Invitation Only: The field of 19 NASCAR Cup Series drivers in The Clash will include 2016 pole award winners, former Clash race winners, former Daytona 500 pole winners who competed full time in 2016, and all 16 Cup Series playoff drivers from 2016. Harvick qualified for the race as a 2016 Cup Series playoff contender, for his two poles in 2016 and as a three-time Clash race winner.

 

Daytona 500 Car: Chassis No. 4-1026
Harvick will pilot the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion built on Chassis No. 1026 at Daytona in the Can-Am Duels at Daytona and the season-opening Daytona 500. Built new in 2017, Chassis No. 4-1026 will make its Cup Series debut at Daytona.

 

Daytona International Speedway Notes of Interest:
 

Entering 2016: Harvick enters his 17th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and his fourth at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) with crew chief Rodney Childers at the helm. In their first three seasons together, Harvick and Childers combined to produce 12 victories, 11 poles, 54 top-five finishes and 75 top-10s; led 5,815 laps; won the 2014 Cup Series title; finished runner-up in 2015 to champion Kyle Busch and eighth in 2016.
2007 Daytona 500 Champion: Harvick won the 2007 Daytona 500 when he beat NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin to the finish line by .020 of a second on the final green-white-checkered restart. It was the closest Daytona 500 finish since the start of computer scoring in 2003.
Wins at Daytona: In addition to his three wins in The Clash at Daytona, Harvick has four other victories at the famed 2.5-mile racetrack – two NASCAR Cup Series points-paying races (February 2007, July 2010), a non-points event (2013 Can-Am Duel) and a win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (February 2007).
Harvick in the NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona: The 59th Daytona 500 will mark Harvick’s 32nd career Cup Series start at Daytona. Harvick has two wins, nine top-five finishes and 14 top-10s at the famed 2.5-mile racetrack. The 2014 NASCAR Cup Series champion has led 179 laps, has an average starting position of 16.7 and average finish of 16.1, and has completed 89.9 percent (4,875 of 5,423) of the laps he’s contested there.
Career Totals: Harvick has 35 wins, 154 top-five finishes, 284 top-10s and 17 poles in 574 career NASCAR Cup Series starts heading into the 59th Daytona 500.
Harvick the Broadcaster: Harvick will be in the FOX broadcast booth to call the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona Saturday, Feb. 25. This will mark Harvick’s 2016 broadcast debut and his first of eight scheduled broadcasts. He will be in the booth for five Xfinity races and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events.
Harvick in the Xfinity Series at Daytona: Harvick has 19 career starts in the Xfinity Series at Daytona. Harvick has one win, three poles, 12 top-five finishes and 14 top-10s. He has led 230 laps, has an average starting position of 8.8 and average finish of 7.6, and has completed 99.2 percent (2,102 of 2,119) of the laps he’s contested there.
Harvick in the Rolex 24 at Daytona: Harvick drove the No. 90 Flis Motorsports car in the American GT class of the 2002 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The four-man team consisted of Harvick, Dave Liniger, Rick Carelli and John Metcalf. The team finished eighth in class; a mechanical issue forced the car’s retirement after completing 123 of 716 laps.
Harvick in the IROC Series at Daytona: Harvick, the 2002 IROC champion, made three starts at Daytona in the series with a best finish of seventh in 2003 and 2004.
SHR at Daytona: In 46 overall starts at Daytona, SHR-prepared cars have earned one pole (Danica Patrick, February 2013), two wins (Tony Stewart, July 2009 and July 2012), 10 top-five finishes and 15 top-10s; have been atop the leaderboard for 262 laps; and have completed 92.1 percent (7,443 of 8,083) of the laps contested.
Preseason Testing: Harvick and the No. 4 team made the on-track debut of the No. 4 Ford Fusion as part of a NASCAR test at Phoenix International Raceway on Tuesday, January 31 and Wednesday, February 1.
Jimmy John’s at Daytona: Jimmy John’s will be the primary sponsor of the No. 4 Ford for 16 Cup Series races in 2017, highlighted by making its second appearance in the “Great American Race” – the Daytona 500 – on Feb. 26. Jimmy John’s will serve as a major associate sponsor of the No. 4 Ford in the remaining 22 races.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!