Danica Patrick, SHR And One Cure Partner Up At Bristol

Danica Patrick

As Danica Patrick and the No. 10 Ford Fusion team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) return to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event, they will be racing to bring awareness to a special program: One Cure.

One Cure is a project led by the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. The One Cure program is founded on the principle that cancer affects all creatures and that treatment breakthroughs come through collaboration between scientists and doctors working with people and animals. This approach is known as comparative oncology and it is the guiding concept of One Cure and the Flint Animal Cancer Center at CSU. The center works to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets, and teams with the human medical field to translate research findings that will help people with cancer.

The center sees more than 1,500 new animal cancer patients every year, with approximately 400 patients enrolling in carefully monitored clinical trials specific to their cancer type. The canine and feline patients are helping pioneer cancer research, moving cutting-edge treatments out of the laboratory and into clinical practice, ultimately providing hope to the next generation of animal and human cancer patients.

The One Cure initiative was first featured on Patrick’s No. 10 Ford earlier this year at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. As the proud “mom” of a 3-year-old miniature Siberian Husky named Dallas and a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois named Ella, the One Cure program is a cause near and dear to Patrick.

“It’s great to have One Cure on the car this weekend,” Patrick said. “I love dogs and I’m glad we can bring more awareness to all of the work the team at the Flint Animal Cancer Center is doing. Our pets are members of our families and, when they aren’t well, we want to do everything we can to help.

“Cancer has touched so many of us. Knowing we can use what we learn from keeping our animals healthy to potentially help save human lives is a cause I’m honored to support.”

When Patrick straps into the No. 10 One Cure Ford Saturday night, she will make her 11th NASCAR Cup Series start at Bristol. Her best NASCAR Cup Series finish to date at the .533-mile oval is a ninth-place effort Patrick earned in April 2015. In last year’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol, Patrick started 29th and finished 22nd. In April, an accident relegated the team to a 36th-place finish.

In addition to Patrick’s NASCAR Cup Series experience at Bristol, she’s also competed in three NASCAR Xfinity Series races at the track. In that time, her best result was a ninth-place finish earned in August 2012.

As they return to Bristol looking to improve upon their results at the track, Patrick and the No. 10 One Cure Ford team will be ready to bring attention to the One Cure program.

DANICA PATRICK, Driver of the No. 10 One Cure Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
What are your overall thoughts heading into Bristol?

“I’ve liked Bristol since I went there the first time. I remember when I set foot onto that track, it was the day before, it was load-in day and I looked out there and you’re standing on the straightaway, but it sure seems like a corner. It’s a very cool track and a spectacle for the fans. I feel like that is always the one that everyone says, ‘I want to come see a Bristol race.’ It’s always entertaining there for the fans and, hopefully, we can put on another good show for them this week.”

How aggressive do you have to be?

“Every single one of us is going to go as absolutely hard as possible. There’s never a plan to back off or go easy or anything like that, other than if you are saving fuel out there on a strategy at the end of the race. You always go as fast as you can, all the time.”

How grueling is 500 laps at Bristol?

“It’s fine. I think it is a little daunting to say 500 laps, but there are a lot of times that we do 500 laps, or 500 miles, and this is just one of them. I feel like no matter what happens – whether it’s a 400-mile race or a 500-lap race – you find your rhythm. Time goes by fast sometimes, and then sometimes it’s slow. All I hope is that the car has a good balance because, when it doesn’t, that’s when the laps seem wrong. If we can just get into a rhythm, find ourselves in a good spot and have a consistent car throughout the race, then the time does go pretty quickly, usually.”

Fans come to Bristol and typically expect a lot of beating and banging. Do you like that kind of racing?

“Yes, I enjoy it. I mean, I don’t mind some beating and banging out there. I don’t mind pushing your way around a little bit. It just happens. It’s just the nature of short tracks when you’re running really close to one another. You put 40 cars out on a track the size of Bristol and you’re filling up a lot of the track. The short tracks are conducive to close racing since aerodynamics don’t come into play quite as much.”

One Cure Racing Team Report

Round 24 of 36 – Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race – Bristol

Car No.: 10 – One Cure 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 Larry Lush

Hometown: West Covina, California and Waynesville, North Carolina, respectively


Tire Specialist: Nathan McGuire

Hometown: Palmyra, New York


Shock Specialist: Aaron Kuehn

Hometown: Kensington, Connecticut


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

Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race Notes of Interest: 
  • The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway will mark Danica Patrick’s 178th career start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In 10 previous starts at the .533-mile oval, Patrick’s best NASCAR Cup Series finish is a ninth-place effort she earned in April 2015. In three Xfinity Series starts at the track, her top result was a ninth-place finish scored in August 2012.
  • One Cure: Cancer is cancer. The One Cure program is founded on the principle that cancer affects all creatures and that treatment breakthroughs come through collaboration between scientists and doctors working with people and animals. This approach is known as comparative oncology and it is the guiding concept of One Cure and the Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State University. The center works to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in pets, and teams with the human medical field to translate research findings that will help people with cancer.
  • Homecoming: Bristol Motor Speedway is the home track for Tony Cardamone, the car chief on the No. 10 One Cure Ford Fusion team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Cardamone hails from Bristol, Virginia, which lies just across the state line from Bristol, Tennessee.
  • Dallas Dogs Available: A plush version of Dallas Stenhouse, the 3-year-old miniature Siberian Husky that belongs to Patrick and her boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr., is now available for sale. Race fans can purchase their own Dallas plush dog at the SHR team store in Kannapolis, North Carolina, the SHR online store and at Shop.DanicaPatrick.com. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will benefit animal charities.
  • For the History Books: Since Patrick began competing in NASCAR on a part-time basis in 2010, she has made plenty of history. Here is a recap of how she has altered the record books through the years:
    • Became the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole when she set the fastest time in qualifying for the 2013 Daytona 500.
    • Led laps 90 to 91 of the 2013 Daytona 500, 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 (Daytona 2013). Janet Guthrie led five laps under yellow in 1977 at Ontario (Calif.) Motor Speedway.
    • Finished 2013 Daytona 500 in eighth place, the highest finishing position ever for a woman in the “Great American Race.”
    • Finished 10th in 2012 Xfinity Series points, the highest points finish by a woman in the history of NASCAR’s top three series (Cup, Xfinity, Truck).
    • Competed in every NASCAR Cup Series race in 2013, becoming the first female driver to complete an entire season in the series.
    • Became the first female to compete in the non-points NASCAR All-Star race (2013) and Sprint Unlimited (2014).
    • Have the most starts of any female in NASCAR Cup Series competition.
    • With seven top-10 finishes, holds the record for the most top-10 finishes of any female in NASCAR Cup Series competition.
  • 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.


Kurt Busch Enters His 600th Cup Race At Bristol

Kurt Busch pit stop

It all started on September 24, 2000 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Kurt Busch, who was just 22 years old, drove the No. 97 John Deere Ford Taurus for Roush Fenway Racing in the MBNA.com 400. It was his first career start in NASCAR’s top series.

At Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor (Tenn.) Speedway, Busch will make his 600th NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start. And for the driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), there is no better place for it to happen than at Bristol.

Busch has five wins, nine top-five finishes and 16 top-10s at the .533-mile concrete oval and has led 1,062 laps in 33 career starts there.

He scored his first career NASCAR Cup Series win at Bristol in March 2002. He started 27th and led 89 laps en route to that maiden victory. It was only his third visit to the .533-mile, high-banked oval, making him the only driver to record his first win at Bristol in fewer than four attempts.

His five Bristol wins – March 2002 and 2003, August 2003, March 2004 and 2006 – tie him with his younger brother Kyle Busch as the winningest active NASCAR Cup Series drivers at Bristol.

Busch even completed the Bristol sweep in 2003, winning both the spring and fall NASCAR Cup Series events. He started ninth and led 116 laps in March while starting fifth and leading 121 laps in August. In March 2004, Busch went on to record his third consecutive win at Bristol when he started 13th and led 119 laps on his way to victory lane.

He is one of four drivers to win three or more consecutive Cup Series races at Bristol. Fred Lorenzen won three in a row starting with the fall race in 1963, followed by a sweep of both 1964 events. Cale Yarborough won four in a row with sweeps in 1976 and 1977. Darrell Waltrip won seven in a row, including sweeps in 1981, 1982 and 1983, then a win at the March 1984 race.

Busch has led laps in 15 of his 33 career Cup Series starts at Bristol and he has led more than 100 laps four times, including three consecutive races – 116 in March 2003, 121 in August 2003, and 119 in March 2004.

But on that day at Dover 17 years ago, the young Busch started 10th and finished a solid 18th with Jeff Hammond as his crew chief.

His current team owner Tony Stewart won the race, while Johnny Benson and Ricky Rudd were second and third. Of the 43 drivers in the field, only Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Busch are full-time in the series this season.

Busch’s current crew chief Tony Gibson refers to everyone as “Old Man.” But Busch doesn’t feel like an “Old Man,” and this week at Bristol, he’s hoping he can add to his Bristol – and NASCAR – legacy.

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
You’re making your 600th NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series start at this week’s race at Bristol. Can you talk about that?

“It’s a fun number. You don’t think about it when you’re racing. You don’t have it as a goal when you start out racing. I love that fact that it’s at Bristol. The 600th start happens to be at a milestone track for me because I won my first race there and I’ve won my most races there. It’s been a special place for me over the years. It’ll be nice to celebrate it there. I never thought I’d see 600, you don’t really think about it. It almost feels like 400 to me. I still feel like there is plenty more to do, more races to win. I haven’t won at Darlington or Indianapolis and those are ones I want to check off the list. But it’s a proud moment for myself. And a time to say thanks to my dad and all the different car owners I’ve raced for and raced with. And all the sponsors. It’s been a great ride. But it also feels like there is more left.”

What do you remember about your first career start at Dover?

“I was in way over my head (laughter). It was at Dover for my first-ever start and I think I qualified 10th. And they dropped the green flag and guys like Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett, Dale (Earnhardt) Sr., just went blowing by me. And I’m flat out. And I was like, ‘What’s the rush? I thought this was 400 miles?’ I literally fell back to last place and I remember radioing in and said, ‘Am I last yet?’ and they said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Good.’ And I took a deep breath and just started passing them one at a time and I ended up 18th and two laps down in my first race.”

And who was your crew chief during that first race?

“It was Jeff Hammond, who works for FOX now. And I also had Matt Chambers, who was my Truck Series crew chief. He was coming up to take over the duties. And that was a unique situation, too, coming straight from Trucks straight into Cup. And only 12 months earlier I was running Late Models in Las Vegas.”

How tough was the challenge to go from Late Models to Trucks to Cup in that little time?

“I had the luxury of testing a lot. They don’t have the same testing rules now for rookies. The car side of it seemed OK, until about lap 200, and then I was falling out of the seat (laughter). The Cup races were just really long.”

What does it take to be successful at Bristol?

“I like how you can attack the track in certain situations. And then you have to cruise in other situations. You always have to know your surroundings at Bristol. When someone is on your rear bumper or if you are really trying to pressure somebody hard, is there a reason to be doing such? You have to be one with the track and then just digest where the other cars are around you.”

Monster Energy/Haas Automation Racing Team Report
Round 24 of 36 –  Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race – Bristol


Car No.: 41 – Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion


PR Contact: Joe Crowley, True Speed Communication (704) 875-3388 ext. 808 or Joe.Crowley@TrueSpeedCommunication.com

Primary Team Members:
Driver: Kurt Busch
Hometown: Las Vegas
Crew Chief: Tony Gibson
Hometown: Daytona Beach, Florida
Car Chief: Chad Haney
Hometown: Fairmont, West Virginia

Engine Builder: Roush-Yates Engines
Headquarters: Mooresville, North Carolina


Engine Specialist: Todd Hamm
Hometown: Kutztown, Pennsylvania


Spotter: Tony Raines
Hometown: LaPorte, Indiana

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:
Gas Man: Rick Pigeon
Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont
Front Tire Changer: Shane Pipala
Hometown: Frankfort Square, Illinois

Second Gas Man: Matt Schlytter

Hometown: Ponte Vedra, Florida

Front Tire Carrier: Jon Bernal
Hometown: Holland, Michigan
Windshield: Jay Guarneri (also serves as interior mechanic)
Hometown: Naples, Florida
Rear Tire Changer: Coleman Dollarhide
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
Jackman: Sean Cotten
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina
Rear Tire Carrier: Dwayne Moore
Hometown: Griffin, Georgia
Road Crew Members:
Truck Driver: Todd Cable and Rocky Boggs
Hometowns: Shelby, North Carolina, and Burlington, North Carolina
Tire Specialist: Jeff Zarrella
Hometown: Southington, Connecticut
Shock Specialist: Brian Holshouser
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Engineers: Johnny Klausmeier and Mike Cook
Hometowns: Perry Hall, Maryland, and Annapolis, Maryland

Mechanic: J.D. Frey
Hometown: Ferndale, California


Mechanic: Andy Spenner
Hometown: Hoyleton, Illinois
Chassis No. 933:
Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 933 in Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Built new for 2015, Chassis No. 933 debuted at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May, when Busch finished 10th. It was next raced at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, where Busch again finished 10th. Chassis No. 933 was utilized again at Charlotte in October, when Busch recorded a fifth-place finish. Chassis No. 933 made its first start of the 2016 season at Bristol in April, when Busch scored a third-place finish. It next raced at Dover in May, where Busch finished fifth after a tough day of obstacles. It saw its last laps of the 2016 season at Bristol in August, when Busch had overtaken Joey Logano for the lead before getting loose and setting off an 11-car incident that would see Busch’s historic streak of lead-lap finishes end at 22 races. Since then, the car has received chassis updates and the body was updated for 2017. It was last used in April at Bristol, where Busch started 15th and finished 25th after an accident in the first stage. He was able to continue but was six laps down.
Michigan Notes of Interest:

·   The Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race will mark Busch’s 600th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 34th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Bristol.


·   Busch has career total totals of 29 wins, 21 poles, 127 top-fives, 253 top-10s and 8,867 laps led in 599 starts.


·   His most recent Cup Series win came 23 races ago in the Daytona 500 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (Feb. 26, 2017).


·   His last Cup Series pole came 55 races ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway(March 4, 2016).


·   Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race will mark Busch’s 34th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Bristol. Busch has five wins, nine top-five finishes and 16 top-10s at the .533-mile oval. Additionally, the 39-year-old driver has led 1,062 laps, has an average starting position of 17.4, an average finish of 15.2, and has completed 94.9 percent (15,683 of 16,527) of the laps he’s contested there.


·   Busch scored his first career NASCAR Cup Series win at Bristol in March 2002. He started 27th and led 89 laps en route to his first victory. It was only his third visit to the .533-mile, high-banked oval, making him the only driver to record his first win at Bristol in fewer than four attempts.


·   Busch’s five Bristol wins (March 2002 and 2003, August 2003, March 2004 and 2006) tie him with his younger brother Kyle Busch as the winningest active NASCAR Cup Series drivers at Bristol.


·   Busch completed the Bristol sweep in 2003, winning both the spring and fall NASCAR Cup Series events. He started ninth and led 116 laps in March while starting fifth and leading 121 laps in August. In March 2004, Busch went on to record his third consecutive win at Bristol when he started 13th and led 119 laps on his way to victory lane.


·   Busch is one of four drivers to win three or more consecutive NASCAR Cup Series races at Bristol. Fred Lorenzen won three in a row starting with the fall race in 1963, followed by a sweep of both 1964 events. Cale Yarborough won four in a row with sweeps in 1976 and 1977. Darrell Waltrip won seven in a row, including sweeps in 1981, 1982 and 1983, then a win at the March 1984 race.


·   Busch has led laps in 15 of his 33 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol for a combined total of 1,062 lap. Busch led 278 laps in March 2010 and finished third. He has led more than 100 laps four times, including three consecutive races – March 2003 (116), August 2003 (121) and March 2004 (119).


·   The Las Vegas native has one pole to his credit (August 2006) at Bristol. Busch has 21 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series poles.


·   Thus Far in 2017 – Busch has accumulated one win, two top-five finishes and 10 top-10s in 23 starts.


·   Get to the Points – With his 11th-place finish last Sunday at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Busch enters Bristol 14th in the NASCAR Cup Series championship standings with 554 points and is 379 points behind series leader Martin Truex Jr.


Kyle Busch Is Trying To Off “The Triple Play” At Bristol

Kyle Busch & Kasey Kahne

In baseball, triple plays are rare. In fact, there have been 713 triple plays in the history of Major League Baseball, dating back to the first triple play in 1876. On average, there are 3.5 triple plays turned during the more than 2,400 games played each year, with the most recent coming this past Aug. 3, when the Baltimore Orioles turned one against the Detroit Tigers.

With that in mind, NASCAR’s version of a triple play is much more rare than baseball’s version. Of course, NASCAR’s version of the “Triple” is a driver winning all three races of NASCAR’s top national series – Monster Energy Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck – at the same track on the same weekend.

Only one driver has been able to pull off that feat – Kyle Busch. Back in 2010, Busch brought home all three trophies during a magical August weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Before and since then, the Las Vegas native had come close by winning two of the three races several times. But he only accomplished the coveted triple that one week in August 2010.

So as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol for Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shop Night Race, the 2015 Cup Series champion will again attempt to pull off something only he has ever accomplished – a weekend triple. Busch is entered in Wednesday night’s Camping World Truck Series race in the No. 46 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). He’ll continue Friday night in the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and then finish off the weekend in NASCAR’s top series Saturday night.

The driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry for JGR in the Cup Series has a stellar record at the .533-mile high-banked bullring with five Cup Series wins. In fact, there will only be one other driver in the field Saturday night who has the same number of Bristol wins – his brother Kurt Busch. He would like nothing more than to sit alone atop the list of active drivers with six career Bristol wins.

In addition to his five wins, Busch has notched eight top-fives and 13 top-10s in 24 career starts at Northeast Tennessee’s “Thunder Valley.” Amazingly enough, three of Busch’s wins there came over a four-race span at the .533-mile short track in 2009 and 2010.

While he is a factor any time he travels to Bristol, it’s interesting to note Busch didn’t immediately take to the place. During his rookie year in 2005, he posted finishes of 28th and 33rd, but his record since then has been impressive, to say the least. After bringing home finishes of eighth and second in 2006, Busch captured his first Bristol Cup Series win in March 2007. The track was resurfaced after that race and, from 2008 to 2011, nobody has been better at the concrete oval than Busch. He scored four wins and six top-10s from 2008 until another change to the track surface prior to the August 2012 race weekend. Busch is looking to recapture the magic from his four years of dominance there on the current surface.

So as Busch and the M&M’S Caramel team head to Northeast Tennessee this weekend, they’ll be focused yet again on another possible “Triple Play” in hopes of taking yet another checkered flag at a Bristol track that has treated him quite well over the years.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 
Would you like to break the tie between yourself and your brother for most wins here at Bristol among active drivers?

“I remember watching when I was a kid – I wasn’t here yet – watching Kurt win his first race here at Bristol and then having the epic battle with Jimmy Spencer there. That was a lot of fun to watch and see how Kurt was able to get his first win here and of course the years that I’ve been able to put cars in victory lane or wishing I could go back and get a few more of those wins that I missed out on – I’d have a heck of a lot more than just five. I think nothing comes close to the race that we had here in 2010 in the fall when I won the Truck race, the XFINITY race and the Cup race all in the same weekend. That was awfully special to pull off and with as much things as can happen here and as much carnage that can happen here, it certainly made for an awesome weekend and one for the record books.”

What is your most memorable experience at Bristol?

“The one that stands out the most for me is August 2010 – being able to do the sweep. We won the Truck race on Wednesday night, backed it up in the Xfinity Series race Friday and took home the trophy from the Cup race on Saturday night. We would certainly like to give it a shot again this weekend and get our M&M’S Caramel Camry to victory lane on Saturday to finish it off.”

Do you think anyone will ever win another seven races in a row at Bristol, like Darrell Waltrip did from 1981 to 1984?

“No, I don’t think so. I think the way the sport was then is certainly different than the way the sport is now. When you hit on something back in that day, you might have been able to keep it at that particular racetrack for a lot longer than you can now. The way that tech goes and the way you have to tear down your car here at the racetrack and having people looking at it from not very far away, they can see what you’re doing and, then again, they go to the tech center and they pull apart the shocks and they pull apart the bump stops and they basically give away to everybody else what you’re doing. I don’t think you’ll ever see seven in a row at a particular racetrack again, but I could be wrong. Deep down, I would like to say that I could do it, but I know that, even with the team I have and the crew and the talent and everything we’ve got going on with the M&M’S Caramel car, that’s going to be hard to do. It’s fun to reminisce about those days and about what it’s all about but, sometimes you hear these comments about our sport. And they talk about how great it was in the ’70s or the ’80s, and you look at some of the results and there’s eight cars that finish and the second-place car is three laps down and this guy has now won five in a row at a particular racetrack and it’s, like, ‘How is that the good old days?’ Is that really what would be exciting these days? I don’t think so. Not unless it’s your favorite driver, and there are a lot of fans out there who pull for different drivers.”

How much do the changes to the track impact your capabilities at this track?

“Every time we come here it seems like there’s something changing. With the bottom grip strip let’s call it, it certainly makes for a unique race track – more unique than it was already and when they first re-concreted this race track and did a new layout to it, more of a bowl-type to where you can run all over the race track, I was a huge fan of that – that you could race and race cleanly and not have to knock people out of the way and you could run three wide through the corners or two wide most all the way around the race track. That’s boring apparently so they changed it again and ground the outside groove and that really through me and my team for a loop and we were never really able to find something that we could work with up there and get it to work the way that we needed it to win races here. Now that they have the bottom groove going back again, that seems to open it again for the bottom and the top and you can run two lanes and you can have the lanes be more equal to one another rather than the top just being so much faster and having to run up there.”

What makes Bristol Motor Speedway so unique and a place that fans love?

“Bristol Motor Speedway is one of the best racetracks on the circuit. All the fans love it because of the excitement, the run-ins and the close-quarter action with all the cars being packed on top of one another at a half-mile racetrack with us 40 lunatics running around in a tight circle. With the fans, the atmosphere there always makes for a good time.”

M&M’S Caramel Racing

Race 24 of 36 – Bass Pro Shops Night Race – Bristol

Car No.: 18 – M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry


Teammates:  Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Toyota Camry; Daniel Suarez – No. 19 Toyota Camry; Matt Kenseth – No. 20 Toyota Camry.


At-Track PR Contact: Bill Janitz, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 803 or Bill.Janitz@TrueSpeedCommunication.com).

Primary Team Members:

Driver: Kyle Busch

Hometown: Las Vegas


Crew Chief: Adam Stevens

Hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio


Car Chief: Nate Bellows

Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont


Race Engineer: Ben Beshore

Hometown: Hometown York, Pennsylvania


Engine Specialist: Mike Johnson

Hometown: Bozeman, Montana


Spotter: Tony Hirschman

Hometown: Northampton, Pennsylvania

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Tom Lampe

Hometown: Beatrice, Nebraska


Front Tire Changer: Josh Leslie

Hometown: Mount Clemens, Michigan


Jackman: TJ Ford

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina


Front Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy

Hometown: Orange County, Virginia


Rear Tire Carrier: Kenny Barber

Hometown: Hoosick Falls, New York


Rear Tire Changer: Jake Seminara

Hometown: Steubenville, Ohio


Pit Support: Marcus Bonicelli

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado


Pit Support: Jeff Koons

Hometown: Greenfield, Indiana

Road Crew Members:

Truck Drivers: Brendan Greene and Jamie Price

Hometowns: Midland, North Carolina, and Choteau, Montana, respectively


Tire Specialist: Jon Desrocher

Hometown: Plattsburgh, New York


Interior Mechanic: Wesley Lape

Hometown: Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania


Race Engineer: Tyler Allen

Hometown: Seattle, Washington


Ride and Handling Engineer: Chris Chase

Hometown: Nichols, New York


Rear End Mechanic: Chris Jones

Hometown: Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia


Mechanic: Todd Foster

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama


Front End Mechanic: Brandon Griffeth

Hometown: Pittsfield, Illinois

Notes of Interest:
  • The Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway will mark Kyle Busch’s450th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start and his 25th NASCAR Cup Series start at Bristol.
  • Busch has career totals of 39 wins, 24 poles, 155 top-five finishes, 232 top-10s and 13,505 laps led in 449 career Cup Series racesHis most recent Cup Series win came three races ago at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. Busch’s most recent pole, the 25th of his career, came two races ago at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. He now has six poles this season, a career high.
  • Busch has five wins, eight top-five finishes and 13 top-10s and has led a total of 1,960 laps in 24 career Cup Series starts at Bristol. Busch’s average Bristol finish is15.1.
  • 13,000: After leading 100 laps at Pocono in June, Busch bested the 13,000 mark in laps led in NASCAR’s top series. With his current 13,505 Cup Series laps led, Busch is just the 11th driver to best the 13,000 mark.
  • 100th: Busch brought home Toyota’s maiden Cup series victory in March of 2008. Fast forward nine years later and Busch’s recent Pocono win was the 100th for the Toyota Camry brand in NASCAR’s top series. Busch has brought home 35 of those 100 victories for the manufacturer. The win was also Toyota’s 400th victory among NASCAR’s top three series. Among those 400 wins, Busch has 155.
  • Starting Up Front: Busch captured his third consecutive pole two races ago at Watkins Glen, which was the sixth of 2017 for the Las Vegas native. Six poles is the most Busch has captured during any season of his career. In fact, prior to 2017, the most poles Busch had captured in a season was three, which he did on two different occasions during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
  • All-Star Winner: In addition to the Pocono win, Busch brought home a non-points victory in May’s All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, as the M&M’S Caramel brand is now two for three in races so far this year. The win was Busch’s first victory in his 12th start in the All-Star Race, the largest number of starts before an All-Star Race win. The previous high was held by Tony Stewart with 11 All-Star starts before his win in 2009.
  • 39 Career Cup Series Wins: With his Cup Series win at Pocono, the 39th points-paying win of his career, Busch now sits tied for 18th on the all-time Cup Series win list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Tim Flock.
  • Trimming the List: With wins at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City added to the list last season, and now Pocono crossed off the list two weeks ago, Busch has won Cup Series points races at 22 of the 23 tracks at which the series competes. The only track remaining to conquer in the Cup Series is Charlotte. Busch, of course, was the winner of the All-Star non-points race at Charlotte back in May but is still chasing a points-paying Cup Series victory there. During his 2015 Cup Series championship season, Busch checked off Indianapolis and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Five of Busch’s last seven Cup Series wins have been his first at each track in NASCAR’s top series (Indianapolis, Homestead, Martinsville, Kansas, and Pocono). Of the 22 different tracks where Busch has won, he has multiple wins at 11 of them.
  • All-Time JGR Wins Leader: With his Brickyard 400 win last July, Busch passed three-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart for most all-time Cup Series wins for JGR. Busch now has 35 wins for JGR to Stewart’s 33 following last month’s Pocono win.
  • 177 and Counting: Busch enters Bristol with 177 career wins among NASCAR’s top three divisions – Cup (39), Xfinity (90) and Truck (48) following his Xfinity Series victory at Watkins Glen two weekends ago.


Blake Koch And Kaulig Racing Prepares For Bristol

Blake Koch

Blake Koch at Bristol Motor Speedway… Blake Koch has 12 previous starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS). He earned a track-best start of 16th in April of 2016 and tied that earlier this season when the NXS visited BMS in April. He earned a track-best finish of eighth in this race last year (August 2016) after starting 17th. The last time Koch visited BMS in April, he finished ninth, earning his first top-10 of the 2017 season. Koch has recorded a total of two top-10 finishes at BMS.

Sounding Off – Blake Koch… “Statistically, Bristol seems like it’s our best racetrack after finishing eighth and ninth in the last two races there. We have good notes to go off of from  and I really like the PJ1 substance that Bristol put down on the track last race and plan to put down again. I love short tracks and think this weekend is a good opportunity for us to secure some more points and our position in the playoffs.”

2017 Season… Koch is currently tied for ninth in the NXS Championship standings after 21 races. He has recorded one pole position, six top-10 starts, two top-10 finishes and nine top-15 finishes. The Kaulig Racing driver has led 32 laps so far in 2017. Last week at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Koch scored a track-best start of third and finish of 11th after winning Stage 1, finishing 10th in Stage 2 and suffering major damage in the final stage before battling back to capture a top-15 finish. The stage win was his second of the 2017 season, earning him an additional playoff point.

Meet Blake…Koch and crew chief Chris Rice will serve as grand marshals for Thursday night’s Speedway Children’s Charities Night Race 5K presented by Bojangles at BMS. Koch will address the crowd, take photos and meet with fans at 8:15 p.m. ET before joining Chris Rice to give the command for the 8:30 p.m. ET start time. Registration is $25 with all proceeds benefitting local children through Speedway Children’s Charities. 

Koch will visit the NXS XFINITY Zone presented by Comcast at BMS on Friday, August 28th at 2:30 p.m. ET for a Q&A and autographs.

Koch will meet with fans and sign autographs at the LeafFilter Gutter Protection display in the BMS FanZone on Saturday, August 18th at 5:45 p.m. ET.

Blake Koch NXS Career… Koch makes his 202nd NXS start this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. To date, Koch has a career-best NXS starting position of first at Talladega Superspeedway (May 2017), and a career-best NXS finish of eighth at RIR (April 2016), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 2016), Phoenix International Raceway (November 2016) and Iowa Speedway (July 2017).

Tune-In… The 300-lap Food City 300 from BMS will be televised live Friday, August 18th, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and will be broadcasted live on the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.

Keeping up with Kaulig Racing… To receive up-to-date information on the No. 11 NXS team, follow @KauligRacing on Twitter as well as on the Kaulig Racing™ Facebook page, www.facebook.com/kauligracing, and the team’s website, www.kauligracing.com.


Team Penske Names Two Of Their Four Drivers for Their IMSA Team

Juan Pablo Montoya
Team Penske announced today two of the four drivers that will compete full time for the team in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, racing the cars of the recently-announced Acura Daytona Prototype International (DPi) program. Legendary Verizon IndyCar Series driver Juan Pablo Montoya will team up with sports car champion Dane Cameron to pilot one of the team’s two ARX-05 entries.

Team Penske and Acura Motorsports will announce its other two full-time drivers, as well as additional drivers for the endurance races, at a later date.

The official unveiling of the new ARX-05 race car will take place on Friday as part of Monterey Car Week in California, while the full team will make its competition debut with the new Acura prototype sports cars at the 2018 season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona in January.

“We worked together with our partners at Acura Motorsports and Honda Performance Development (HPD) to bring together drivers that we believe will help develop our program and compete for race wins right out of the gate while also serving as great ambassadors for their brands,” said Roger Penske. “Having Juan and Dane join our program brings together two drivers that have extensive sports car racing experience in the prototype class and have already won at the top levels of the sport. This represents a great beginning to our program for 2018.”

Montoya is one of the most accomplished competitors in racing. Few drivers in motorsports history can match the credentials of the fiercely-competitive Colombian. He is the only driver to win an INDYCAR championship, the Indianapolis 500 and the 24 Hours of Daytona, all in his first attempt. He is also a former winner of one of the most prestigious races in the world – Formula 1’s Monaco Grand Prix. Montoya and legendary racers Mario Andretti and Dan Gurney are the only drivers that can boast wins in Formula 1, INDYCAR and NASCAR. In addition, Montoya has won two Indianapolis 500s – including the 2015 race with Team Penske, the 24 Hours of Daytona three times and he earned seven Formula 1 victories in his career. Montoya is currently helping to test and develop the new INDYCAR aero kit that will debut in 2018 and he will also test the new ARX-05 in preparation for next season.

“I have really enjoyed working with Roger and Team Penske over the last four years,” said Montoya. “When Roger asked if I’d like to be part of starting this new sports car operation with Acura, it was an easy decision. I’ve always loved racing sports cars. It’s definitely a challenge and it’s going to be a lot of fun to develop a new car with Acura. I’m excited to start the testing of the ARX-05 next week. Team Penske started its winning tradition in sports cars and it’s going to be cool to be a part of a new chapter with the team.”

Cameron comes from a racing family and brings a winning sports car track record to Team Penske starting next season. The son of longtime winning racing engineer Rick Cameron, Dane is a two-time and reigning IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar series champion. He currently competes in the series prototype class for Action Express Racing and he’s earned one win (at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park) and four podium finishes so far in 2017. Over the course of the last three seasons behind the wheel of the Action Express prototype, Cameron has produced five class victories and he captured the 2016 series title. With 12 career sports car wins across Grand-Am, American Le Mans and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, Cameron also won the 2014 IMSA GTD championship driving for Turner Motorsports.

“Getting a chance to race for Team Penske is like a dream come true for a driver,” said Cameron. “To see all of the effort and resources that Acura Motorsports is putting into this new program to develop and win with the ARX-05, it’s really impressive. I’m so excited for the opportunity to become part of the team and work with a guy who has done all the things Juan has done. It’s going to be an awesome experience to add my name to the list of drivers that have driven for Team Penske. I’m looking forward to a busy off season and coming out of the gates strong at Daytona.”

The Acura ARX-05 [Acura Racing eXperimental, generation 5] is the latest in a line of endurance prototypes to be fielded by the company dating back to 1991, just five years after the 1986 launch of the Acura brand.  Based on the very successful ORECA 07 chassis, the new ARX-05 prototype features Acura-specific bodywork and utilizes the race-proven, production-based Acura AR35TT twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine.

The multi-year program will be administered by Honda Performance Development, the racing arm for both Acura Motorsports and Honda Racing in North America.


Hendrick Motorsports Announces Leadership Promotions



CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 15, 2017) – Hendrick Motorsports has elevated eight senior leaders into new positions designed to strengthen the 12-time and defending NASCAR Cup Series champions and enhance the team’s overall management structure. The eight executives, who will assume their new roles immediately, have more than 150 combined years of service with the organization.

“I believe the best leaders serve their teammates, not the other way around,” said , owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “Servant leadership is an approach that’s been successful for us in both racing and the automobile business, and it’s something our organization has wholeheartedly embraced. These people have grown in our culture and are trusted throughout our company. I’m proud to see them expand their responsibilities as we look toward the future together.”

Vice president and chief financial officer Scott Lampe has been promoted to executive vice president, making him Hendrick Motorsports’ third-ranking officer after owner Hendrick and team president Marshall Carlson. The Appalachian State University graduate will continue as CFO with responsibility for core business functions that include accounting, aviation, human resources, information technology, legal affairs, purchasing, and real estate. The Durham, North Carolina, native has been with the company for 18 years.

Veteran racer Ken Howes, who has 32 years of service with Hendrick Motorsports, has been named vice president and chief of staff to provide leadership, coordination and support across the organization’s senior executive team and all racing operations. The Johannesburg, South Africa, native previously was vice president of competition and is the company’s most experienced team executive with a decorated auto racing career that spans NASCAR, Formula 1 and IMSA.

Director of engine operations Jeff Andrews has been elevated to vice president of competition. With 25 years of experience with Hendrick Motorsports, Andrews is now the organization’s senior competition executive supporting its crew chiefs and four NASCAR Cup Series teams. His responsibilities include oversight of the company’s engine operation and the newly formed competition systems group. The Fresno, California, native will be the organization’s representative on the NASCAR competition committee and serve as its co-chair representing Chevrolet teams.

Nos. 5 and 24 team manager Brian Whitesell has been promoted to the new position of vice president of operations. He will oversee the organization’s vehicle engineering group and direct all vehicle-related production, including chassis, bodies, composites and other unified vehicle production functions. The Stuarts Draft, Virginia, native holds a mechanical engineering degree from Virginia Tech and has 25 years of service with Hendrick Motorsports.

Lampe, Howes, Andrews, Whitesell and longtime vice president of marketing Patrick Perkins will report to Carlson, along with crew chiefs Alan GustafsonGreg IvesChad Knaus and Keith Rodden.

“Without question, our greatest strength is the more than 600 people working at every level inside Hendrick Motorsports,” Carlson said. “We’ve spent a great deal of time listening to team members throughout the organization, front to back, and identified ways to better align management and organize capabilities to take full advantage of our talent. The first priority is our people, and the best way we can serve them is to continue winning races and competing for championships for many years to come. We believe these decisions will help to ensure we meet that goal.”

Other new assignments include:

·  Longtime director of engine engineering Jim Wall has been promoted to director of powertrain. In conjunction with Andrews, Wall will continue managing the development and delivery of championship-caliber engines with the added responsibility of overseeing the gear and transmission unit, which will be integrated with the engine operation. The Concord native holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University. He has more than 30 years of service with Hendrick Motorsports.

·  Vehicle production director Darian Grubb has been promoted to director of competition systems, reporting to Andrews. The Floyd, Virginia, native will work to enhance team capabilities that directly support at-track competition with day-to-day oversight of the new competition systems group, which includes the organization’s simulation programs, analytics platforms, data acquisition and communication technologies, and at-track research and development.

·  Manager of aerodynamics Diane Holl, a former principle engineer at the McLaren Formula 1 team, has been promoted to director of vehicle engineering, reporting to Whitesell. The Guildford, England, native will lead the vehicle engineering group and integrate the design-and-build processes employed in race car development and production.

·  Nos. 48 and 88 team manager Michael Landis has been promoted to director of operational support, reporting to Lampe. The New York City native will provide responsive business services to the competition and operations units with oversight of essential support functions including purchasing, apparel, travel, and logistics and transport.


Andretti Autosport Readies For The ABC Supply 500 At Pocono

Andretti Autosport Sheild
Andretti Autosport
Verizon IndyCar Series

  • Marco Andretti is just three laps shy of leading 1,000 laps during his Verizon IndyCar Series career. This weekend serves as a “home race” for the Nazareth, Pennsylvania-native.
  • The No. 26 car of Takuma Sato will wear Expedite Home Loans branding, a division of Ruoff Home mortgage who dressed his car for the Indianapolis 500 and again at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
  • Alexander Rossi seeks redemption from last year’s race where he led four laps before making contact with Charlie Kimball on pit lane which sent him airborne.
  • The ABC Supply 500 of 2015 was the last time Ryan Hunter-Reay took the top step of the podium, the American finished third at Pocono in 2016.

No. 26 Expedite Home Loans Honda

“Pocono Raceway is truly one of my favorite tracks. The venue is set up in a great natural environment that I always enjoy and the track is very challenging. The characteristic of this ‘Tricky Triangle’ is so much fun that every corner is totally different. The sensation of speed going into high-banked Turn 1 is very impressive and the balance of the car shifts, particularly Turn 3, quite neutral as it will gets much less banking, is very, very challenging. It is followed by a long straight which give us a great overtaking opportunity too, so the race here is always exciting. We have been ultra competitive on the superspeedway and I’m looking forward to have an another super weekend in the Expedite Home Loans car.”

Current Points Standings: 7 (381 pts.)

Pocono IndyCar History

Number of Starts: 4       Best Start: 3 (2016)        Best Finish: 6 (2015)

No. 98 Andretti Autosport / Curb Honda

“Pocono is one of my favorite tracks on the calendar and it is a special one with the whole Andretti family being from the area. We have some unfinished business to take care of this weekend from last year when our day ended prematurely after we felt like we had a car to win. This team always has something special for the superspeedways and since it is our last one of the year, we want to make sure to close this portion of the schedule out with a win for the 98 team.”

Current Points Standings: 8 (358 pts.)

Pocono IndyCar History

Number of Starts: 1       Best Start: 7 (2016)        Best Finish: 20(2016)
No. 28 DHL Honda

“I’ve really been looking forward to getting back to Pocono. There’s no doubt the DHL Honda has been very strong here the past few years. Last year’s unfortunate electrical issue that occurred while leading sent us to the back of the field, yet we were still able to come all the way back through the field to finish third. As a team, we feel like we have a few things to accomplish at Pocono. Certainly, one of our best chances at a victory over the past year slipped away, so we’re looking for redemption.”

Current Points Standings: 12 (297 pts.)

Pocono IndyCar History
Number of Starts: 4        Best Start: 2 (2013)        Best Finish: 1 (2015)

No. 27 United Fiber & Data Honda

“Pocono is an important race to me as it is a home race and I will have a lot of family and friends at the track cheering us on. UFD is also based nearby and it would be great to have a good result for Bill [Hynes], Chad [Taylor] and the whole UFD family. We’ve sat on the pole at Pocono but not on the podium, so I can’t help but feel like I have unfinished business in Long Pond.”

Current Points Standings: 13 (286 pts.)

Pocono IndyCar History

Number of Starts: 4        Best Start: 1 (2013)        Best Finish: 9 (2014)


KBM Enters Kyle Busch In The UNOH 200 At Bristol

Kyle Busch

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview
Event:  UNOH 200 (Round 14 of 23)

Date:  Aug. 16, 2017

Location:  Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway

Layout:  .533-mile oval


Three Things You Need to Know:
● Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 46 BANFIELD® Pet Hospital Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), will make his seventh and final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start of the 2017 season this weekend in the UNOH 200 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. In six starts this year, Busch has scored two wins – May 12 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City and May 19 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Busch has led 285 of the 741 laps (38.4 percent) run during the six races in which he has competed.

● While Wednesday night’s race is Busch’s seventh Truck Series start of the season, it will be his 11th start in the series at Bristol. In 10 previous starts, Busch has four wins (2008 to 2010, and 2013), six top-five finishes, seven top 10s, three poles and has led a total of 435 laps. Additionally, it will be the 140th start of Busch’s Truck Series career, which features 48 wins, 88 top fives and 109 top-10s. He’s scored 17 pole positions and has led a total of 6,131 laps.

● Wednesday night’s Truck Series race is the second of two in which Busch is racing with Banfield on the hood of his Toyota Tundra. Busch finished sixth in the No. 46 Banfield Pet Hospital Toyota Tundra last month while competing at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

Kyle Busch, Driver Q&A
Are you looking forward to coming back and running the Truck Series race at Bristol?

“Yeah we haven’t run the Truck Series race at Bristol in a couple of years, so I’m looking forward to being able to do that again. It’s my last race in the series this year and we’re running all three this weekend. So, it’s the last chance to try to complete the triple this season. I’m always up for the challenge of racing, running all three series and trying to win. I would really like to try to get Banfield its first win. We have them back on the truck this weekend, so it would be a great way to get things started.”

This is your second Truck Series race with Banfield Pet Hospital on the hood. How special would it be to get the win for them this week?

“Yeah, we kind of missed it with some setup problems at Kentucky last month, but we feel like we figured out what went wrong there. It definitely would be great to get a win for Banfield. We have a lot of their guests coming to watch us, so a win would make that extra special. We usually have our dog Lucy with us, so it’s always nice to know that, if an issue comes up, there is likely a Banfield Pet Hospital not too far away from wherever we are. Banfield also is big into preventive care for our pets, which is important. I think everyone knows we’ve been dog lovers our whole lives – my mom, dad, grandparents. Everyone feels like our pets are our children. I know a lot of NASCAR fans feel the same way about their pets.”


Martin Truex, Jr. Is Closing On The Regular Season Championship

Martin Truex, Jr.

After two consecutive drama-filled races that saw Martin Truex Jr. score a win at Watkins Glen International and runner-up at Michigan International Speedway, the Furniture Row Racing driver is now in position to mathematically clinch the regular season championship.

Truex enters Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race with a 129-point lead over second place Kyle Larson. Truex will need to leave Bristol with at least a 121-point margin to clinch the NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship with two races remaining.

Winning the 26-race regular season championship is significant not only for prestige, but more importantly for securing an additional 15 playoff bonus points. Truex currently leads the NASCAR Cup Series with 35 playoff points. The 10-race playoffs start Sept. 17 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.

Truex’s current series lead of 35 playoff points has been the result of winning four races (5 playoff points for each win) and claiming 15 stage victories (1 playoff point for each stage win).

“It might appear that we have a safe margin, but I’ve been around long enough to know that points can dwindle fairy quickly,” said Truex, who will drive the No. 78 Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Toyota at Bristol. “The next three races – Bristol, Darlington and Richmond – are at tracks where the odds are higher of your day ending prematurely.  So that’s why I am not looking ahead or counting points. All the focus right now is getting a good result in Bristol.”

The half-mile Bristol short track hasn’t been one of Truex’s best over the years with two top fives and three top 10s in 23 starts. But his performance at this year’s spring race at Bristol did show that he can be a contender at the high-banked, all-concrete oval. Truex qualified third, won the first stage and finished eighth overall. He led more laps – 116 – than he did in his previous 22 Bristol starts.

“We all know the consequences of Bristol,” noted Truex. “It’s a place where you can go from having a good day to a bad day rather quickly. Staying on the lead lap and not suffering any major damage to your car are key to having any kind of success there. The luck factor also comes into play. We had a good run there in the spring and look forward to the same in our Bass Pro Shops/Ducks Unlimited Toyota.”

Heading into Bristol Truex leads the NASCAR Cup Series in the following categories: race wins (4), top-10 finishes (16), driver points (933), playoff bonus points (35), stage wins (15), stage points (312), laps led (1372), miles led (1970), fastest laps (825), average starting position (7.3), average finishing position (10.7), average running position (7.8) and driver ranking (114.4).


Cody Coughlin On Bristol: “I Love Racing These Kinds Of Tracks”

Cody Coughlin

Team Stats:

Driver Point Standings: 13th

Owner Point Standings: 15th

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Contender

2017 Stage Wins: 0

2017 Stage Bonus Points: 1

2017 Playoff Points: 0

Chatting with Cody Coughlin:

“I’m really looking forward to Bristol. It’s a high-banked, short track, and I love racing those kinds of tracks. I’ve tested at Bristol before, but never raced there. I’m really looking forward to racing under the lights there on Wednesday night.”

News & Notes:

  • Chassis Chatter… The No. 13 ThorSport Racing (TSR) team will unload chassis No. 36 for Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS). This is the same chassis the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender piloted to a 12th-place finish at Iowa Speedway earlier this season.

  • Thunder Valley Stats… Although Cody Coughlin will be making his 26th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start on Wednesday night, the RIDE TV driver will be making his track debut in “Thunder Valley.”

  • Chasing Rookie of the Year… Coughlin, who finished 21st, due to a late-race accident, in the series’ last stop at Michigan International Speedway, is currently seventh in the 2017 Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle, after 13 of 23 races.

  • Truck Series Stats… Coughlin has made 25 NCWTS starts since 2015, with a career-best start of seventh at Talladega (Al.) Superspeedway (2016), and a career-best finish of eighth at Pocono Raceway (2017).

  • Rearview Mirror – Michigan… Starting 15th in the 100-lap event, Coughlin finished 13th in Stage 1, 14th in Stage 2, and 21st in the LTi Printing 200 on Saturday, due to a lap 66 accident, on the frontstretch.

  • Catch Cody at Bristol… Coughlin, along with his ThorSport Racing teammates, will participate in the NCWTS autograph session on Wednesday, Aug. 16 from 1:00-1:45 p.m. ET at BMS.

Bristol Stages:

Stage 1 – 55 laps (concludes at lap 55)

Stage 2 – 55 laps (concludes at lap 110)

Stage 3 – 90 laps (concludes at lap 200)

Broadcast Schedule – Bristol:

Wednesday, Aug. 16

  • 9:00-9:55 a.m. ET – Practice (FS1)

  • 11:00-11:55 a.m. ET – Final Practice (FS1)

  • 4:30 p.m. ET – Qualifying (Starts on FS2, switches to FS1)

  • 8:00 p.m. ET – NCWTS Setup Show (FS1)

  • 8:30 p.m. ET – UNOH 200 (FS1)

Race Information:

Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1

Track: .533-mile oval

Distance: 200 Laps/106.6 miles

Social: @BMSupdates #UNOH200