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About NASCAR

Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2023, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series™, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour™), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series™) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series™, NASCAR Mexico Series™, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).

 


 

 


 

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum

The Place: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

The Date: Sunday, February 5

The Time: 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT

The Purse: $2,085,000

TV: FOX, 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 37.5 miles (150 laps), Stage Break: Lap 75

2022 Race Winner: Joey Logano

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

NASCAR commences celebrating 75th Diamond Anniversary in Los Angeles

Under the bright lights in Hollywood fashion, NASCAR is rolling out the red carpet in Los Angeles, California to commence the celebration of the 75th year of the sport, and it all starts when the engines are fired for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Sunday, February 5 at 8 p.m. ET at the purpose-built, quarter-mile, asphalt oval inside the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

 

NASCAR has come a long way in its 75 years. It was on December 14, 1947, when Bill France Sr. gathered 35 people for four days of meetings (Dec. 14 – 17) at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach. The distinguished group represented the most influential names in the racing industry at the time and included drivers, mechanics, promoters, car owners, journalists, businessmen, and a recording secretary. The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) was born from that meeting and though he knew what was needed, not even Bill could envision what the sport would become.

 

“Stock car racing has got distinct possibilities for Sunday shows, and we do not know how big it can be if it’s handled properly… It can go the same way as big car racing (Indianapolis), I believe stock car racing can become a nationally recognized sport by having a National Point Standing.  Stock car racing as we’ve been running it is not, in my opinion, the answer…  We must try to get track owners and promoters interested in building stock car racing up.  We are all interested in one thing — that is improving the present conditions.  The answer lies in our group right here today to do it.” – Bill France Sr. on December 14, 1947, speaking at NASCAR’s organizational meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

 

In the last 75 years, NASCAR has expanded globally, with series in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Brazil and Europe, and this weekend’s Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum is the perfect exhibition-style event to jump start the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season. This year is also packed with some exciting new changes to the schedule with the series competing for the first time on a street course in Chicago, and also throwing it back to its roots with the return of North Wilkesboro hosting the All-Star race.

 

“As we prepare to celebrate our 75th anniversary season, we are committed to delivering a schedule that acknowledges the deep history and tradition of our sport while establishing a bold future that brings the best racing in the world to new markets and new fans,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Development and Strategy.

 

Don’t miss a minute of the action this weekend, as practice for the Busch Light Clash will be on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 6-8 p.m. ET, followed by Busch Light Pole Qualifying at 8:30 p.m. ET – both events will be televised on FS1.

 

Time to Clash in the Hollywood Hills

This weekend’s Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum will be the 45th running of the annual non-points exhibition race that has been hosted by the NASCAR Cup Series since 1979.

 

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum is the third different venue to hold the Busch Light Clash, joining Daytona International Speedway, where it was hosted from 1979 to 2020 and the DAYTONA Road Course which hosted the event in 2021.

 

In total, 24 different drivers have won the Busch Light Clash since the inaugural race back in 1979. NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Clash wins with six victories (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995). 

 

Last season’s inaugural event at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was won by Team Penske’s Joey Logano, his second victory in the season-opening exhibition race (2017, 2022). With Logano’s win, he became the 12th different driver to win the Clash multiple times; joining Dale Earnhardt (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995), Dale Jarrett (1996, 2000, 2004), Kevin Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013), Tony Stewart (2001, 2002, 2007), Denny Hamlin (2006, 2014, 2016), Neil Bonnett (1983-1984), Ken Schrader, (1989-1990), Jeff Gordon (1994, 1997), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003, 2008), Jimmie Johnson (2005, 2019), and Kyle Busch (2012, 2021).

 

The 2022 Busch Light Clash also saw five lead changes among three drivers during the scheduled 150 laps; with Kyle Busch (64 laps led), Tyler Reddick (51) and Joey Logano (35) each spending time out front.

 

There are six former Busch Light Clash winners entered in this weekend’s race, led by Denny Hamlin (three: 2006, 2014, 2016) and Kevin Harvick (three: 2009, 2010, 2013) with three victories each. The other four previous winners are Kyle Busch (2012, 2021), Joey Logano (2017, 2022), Brad Keselowski (2018) and Erik Jones (2020).

 

NASCAR Next Gen is ready to set some more records

After a record-blistering debut last season, the Next Gen car returns for another action-packed 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.

 

Announced in a competition briefing with media during preseason, NASCAR has made some changes to the rear of the Next Gen car to improve safety during impacts. The updates have been implemented by the teams, and the industry is ready for the close, side-by-side racing fans have come to love this weekend in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. ET.

 

Last season, the Next Gen car exceeded expectations on the competition-side. Below are just a few of the accolades the Next Gen car produced in 2022.

 

·       Series-Most Race Winners (19) In A Single Season: The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season produced the series-most different winners (19) in a single season (1949-2022). The 2022 season tied the NASCAR Cup Series record of the most different winners in a single season (19) all-time; joining 1956, 1958, 1961 and 2001 with 19 different winners each. Chase Elliott led the NASCAR Cup Series in wins in 2022 with five victories.

 

·       Most First-Time Winners In A Season (Five): The most first-time NASCAR Cup Series winners in a single season in the Modern Era (1972-2022) is five and it has happened four times: 2001, 2002, 2011 and 2022.

 

·       22 of the 36 Races (61%) Won By Drivers Under The Age Of 30: The youth movement was undeniable in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022, as 12 different drivers under the age of 30 visited Victory Lane in 22 of 36 races (61%). Austin Cindric was the youngest Cup winner of 2022 at the age of 23.  

 

·       Second Closest Average Margin Of Victory Since Advent Of Electronic Scoring (1993): The average Margin of Victory for the 36 races of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season was 1.011-seconds - the second-closest average Margin of Victory since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993 - behind only the 2014 season (0.909 sec.). The closest finish of the 2022 season was the 0.036-second victory Austin Cindric (winner) had in the DAYTONA 500 over Bubba Wallace (second)

 

·       Series-Most Green Flag Passes For The Lead All-Time: The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season produced 1,544 green flag passes for the lead (GFPL), the series-most green flag passes for the lead in a single-season since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2007 (the last 16 seasons). The Talladega Superspeedway NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race on October 2, 2022, produced the most green flag passes for the lead in a single event in 2022 at 190 green flag passes for the lead.

 

·       Nine Races Set Records In Green Flag Passes For The Lead In 2022: A total of nine different NASCAR Cup Series races have set records in green flag passes for the lead this season; including Circuit of The Americas (30 GFPL), Atlanta-1 (141 GFPL), Las Vegas-1 (57 GFPL), Bristol Dirt (20 GFPL) Darlington-1 (28 GFPL), Kansas-1 (41 GFPL), Charlotte (64 GFPL), Nashville (47 GFPL) and Las Vegas-2 (46 GFPL).

 

·       Green Flag Passes Up 6.36% Year-Over-Year: In a year-over-year comparison (2021 to 2022), the 2022 season produced an increase in total green flag passes throughout the field of +6.36%. (Total GFP – 2021 = 115,056 GFP; 2022 = 122,869 GFP). A total of 20 of the 36 races in 2022 have a positive year-over-year percentage in total green flag passes (55.5%).

 

·       Seven Races Set Records In Total Green Flag Passes: Seven different races this season have set records in total green flag passes - Atlanta-1 (6,439), Richmond-1 (3,072), Bristol Dirt (2,703), Nashville (2,470), Road America (2,080), Richmond-2 (3,559) and Watkins Glen (3,141).

 

L.A. Memorial Coliseum is prepared for NASCAR’s return

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum has been a familiar name in sports for nearly 100 years, having been home to two Olympic Games, two NFL Super Bowls, the 1959 World Series and several collegiate and professional teams such as the USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins, the Los Angeles Rams, the Raiders and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

It has also hosted many memorable and historic events that include the first ever Papal Mass by John Paul II in 1987, Nelson Mandela’s return to the United States and sold-out concerts by big names like the Rolling Stones and Metallica.

 

Its size and location, combined with its history, has made it iconic, even earning a State and Federal Historic Landmark title in 1984.

 

Last season, NASCAR added its name to the prestigious list of sports entities that have competed at the historic hallowed grounds in L.A. and this season, looks to return to turn up the excitement even more. Just like last year, the Coliseum has been transformed from its typically gold and USC cardinal-painted football field to a quarter-mile short track where drivers will battle it out in a unique exhibition-style event to open up the 2023 season.

 

“With more than four million viewers, and really breaking through in a pop culture mecca like Los Angeles, the inaugural Clash at the Coliseum did everything it was intended to do and then some,” said Bill Wanger, FOX Sports EVP, Head of Programming and Scheduling. “It energized the sport, delivered new eyeballs and kicked off the season in grand fashion. We can’t wait to do it all again in 2023.”

 

Currently, 36 different drivers are entered to compete for the win this weekend, including last season’s victor Team Penske’s Joey Logano. Logano will look to defend his win this weekend and become just the fifth driver all-time and the first since 2010 to win consecutive Clash races; joining Kevin Harvick (2009-10), Tony Stewart (2000-01), Ken Schrader (1990-91) and Neil Bonnett (1983-84). 

 

This weekend’s Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum will be on Sunday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. 

 

The Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum welcomes a powerhouse list of performers

Last season at the inaugural Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, NASCAR welcomed some of the music industry’s biggest names to help kick off a new era for the sport and this weekend’s exhibition race performances will be no different. As NASCAR looks to ring in its 75th Diamond Anniversary at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Wiz Khalifa, Cypress Hill, Cheat Codes and Dixie D’Amelio will be performing to make sure fans are on their feet around the clock.

 

Latino American hip-hop group Cypress Hill, a group native to California, will be the first to take the stage for the pre-race concert. Their versatile music that has incorporated Spanish and Latin American influences along with classic hip-hop and alternative rock will be sure to get fans revved up for what will be a great day of racing.

 

“NASCAR drivers have the mentality of taking it to the limit on every lap, and we take the same approach with our music,” said Cypress Hill co-founder Sen Dog. “We’re excited to have NASCAR return to our back yard, and we look forward to bringing some South Gate style to all of the NASCAR fans at the LA Coliseum.”

 

Keeping the party going during the race break will be none other than rapper Wiz Khalifa. The multi-platinum selling, Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated artist is excited to be a part of the action this year.

 

“The NASCAR cars will bring the noise, and I’ll bring the party,” Khalifa said. “We’re going to have a great time at the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, and I can’t wait to see everybody there.”

 

Closing out this power-packed lineup will be DJ phenomenon Cheat Codes with a special performance by Dixie D’Amelio. The Los Angeles based trio, Cheat Codes, will be performing during the caution breaks and making sure fans never have a dull moment with their music that goes through genres of electronic, dance, pop and country. D’Amelio, a talent with influences in many realms such as music, social media and television, will be joining the Cheat Codes for a performance of “I’ll Remember.”

 

Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Format for 2023

The NASCAR Cup Series will be back in L.A. to kick off its 75th anniversary at the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM Radio. With a new season, comes a new format to keep everyone on their toes.

 

In 2023, the field was open to 40 entrants to participate in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum and heading into the weekend, 36 drivers are entered (click this link to view the Preliminary Entry List).

 

Although 36 drivers will be making their way to LA to attempt to win at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, only 27 will be making it through to the Main Event, having only three opportunities to do so.

 

·       There will be four heat races consisting of 10 drivers. The top five finishers in each heat will advance to run in the Main Event, filling 20 positions on the final grid.

·       Positions 21 through 26 in the starting lineup of the Main Event will be set by drivers that have raced their way in by finishing in the top-three in either of the two Last Chance Qualifier Races.

·       The 27th and final position in the Main Event is reserved for the driver who finished the highest in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season points standings who did not transfer on finishing position in the Heat Races or Last Chance Qualifier Races.

 

Select this link for the 2023 Busch Clash at the Coliseum Race Format Graphic.

 

Racing for medals is new for NASCAR

A NASCAR first will occur on Sunday, Feb. 5. The sanctioning body announced this year that the top-three finishers in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.

 

The medal ceremony will take place on a podium in Victory Lane, which is located beneath the Olympic cauldron at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president for racing development and strategy, will present the medals to cap this historic event.

 

“These will be tremendous prizes for our drivers who are competing inside a venue that’s hosted two Olympic Games and is preparing for a third,” Kennedy said. “Not only do the medals honor the rich tradition of this stadium, but they also provide a special element unique to NASCAR’s 75th anniversary.”

 

Jostens will produce these exquisite medals, along with the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Trophy that’s presented to the winner of the season-opening exhibition. Each custom-crafted keepsake features the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum logo beautifully embossed on one side. The other side features the Coliseum’s centennial mark and the NASCAR 75th Anniversary logo.

 

Busch Light Clash: By The Numbers

Below are key statistical numbers stemming from the Busch Light Clash events from 1979-2023:

  

.013 – Closest Margin of Victory in seconds by Kyle Busch over Tony Stewart in 2012, the closest margin in the Clash at Daytona history

.058 – Second closest Margin of Victory in seconds by Kurt Busch over Jamie McMurray in 2011, the second-closest margin in the Clash at Daytona history

.080 – Third closest Margin of Victory in seconds by Dale Earnhardt over Sterling Marlin in 1995, the third-closest margin of victory in the Clash at Daytona history

.877 – The 23rd closest Margin of Victory (in seconds) all-time for the Busch Light Clash exhibition race, and the closest at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum by Joey Logano over Kyle Busch in 2022.

1 – Fewest laps led by a winner, one and it has occurred nine times - Rusty Wallace (1998), Neil Bonnett (1983-84), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Dale Jarrett (2000 and 2004), Kevin Harvick (2009) and Erik Jones (2020) - all at Daytona International Speedway – Kyle Busch (2021) at Daytona International Speedway Road Course.

2.75 – Best average finish in the Clash - Dale Earnhardt holds the best average finish of any driver with multiple starts.

3 – Number of different venues the Busch Light Clash event has been held – Daytona International Speedway, Daytona International Speedway Road Course, and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

4 – Number of drivers to win the Busch Light Clash from the pole or first starting position – Darrell Waltrip (1981), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989) and Denny Hamlin (2014).

5 – Drivers who have won the event in their first appearance - Buddy Baker, 1979; Dale Earnhardt, 1980; Jeff Gordon, 1994; Dale Jarrett, 1996; Denny Hamlin, 2006.

6 – Most Busch Light Clash wins all-time - Dale Earnhardt, the series leader (1980, ‘86, ‘88, ‘91, ‘93, ‘95).

7 – All-time fewest starters in the field for the Busch Light Clash (1981)

11 – Most number of starts before winning the event - Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin.

14 – Highest number of different leaders in the Busch Light Clash event (2009, Daytona International Speedway).

22 – Highest number of wins by a manufacturer in the Busch Light Clash – Chevrolet.

22 – Most consecutive starts in the Busch Light Clash by a driver - Jeff Gordon (1994-2015).

27 – Kevin Harvick’s starting position in 2009, the lowest by a race winner in the event’s history.

28 – Number of lead changes in the 2011 event, highest number since race began in 1979.

47 – Most laps led by the winner of a Busch Light Clash event - Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2008 at Daytona.

64 – Most laps led by a driver that did not win the Busch Light Clash event – Kyle Busch in 2022 at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

197.802 mph – The fastest average speed of the race for the Busch Light Clash - in 1987 at Daytona International Speedway and won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott.  

For additional in-depth stats and figures about the upcoming Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum check out NASCARMedia.com’s Statistical Advance Release.   

 

NASCAR Fan Rewards Launches as Part of 75th Anniversary Season

NASCAR is home to the most loyal and passionate fans in all of sports, and now fans are being rewarded for that loyalty. As part of its 75th Diamond Anniversary season, NASCAR has launched NASCAR Fan Rewards, a free program that rewards fans for simply engaging with the sport they love.

 

“Our fans are the reason we race week in and week out, so we wanted to show our appreciation by creating this free program that rewards them for doing what they’re already doing – connecting with the sport they love,” said Pete Jung, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “The best part is, the more fans engage, the more rewards they will earn towards things such as merchandise, gift cards and even race tickets.”

 

There is no cost to join the rewards program. Fans can visit nascar.com/fanrewards, create an account and start earning points towards rewards immediately. For those fans who already have a NASCAR.com account, they can simply opt-in to NASCAR Fan Rewards via their profile page. Once points are earned, fans can redeem them for items such as race tickets, VIP experiences, autographed merchandise and gift cards, or even donate to the NASCAR Foundation.

 

Some ways to earn points towards rewards include:

 

  • Watching Races from Home: Fans can check in on the NASCAR.com (desktop, mobile app, or mobile web) leaderboard during any CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Xfinity Series, or Cup Series race
  • Attending NASCAR Races: Fans can check in from the NASCAR Track app
  • Playing NASCAR Fantasy Live
  • Participating in Weekly Trivia: Available via the NASCAR Fan Rewards dashboard each week
  • Purchasing Race Tickets and Camping: Points are earned automatically when fans purchase tickets or camping at any NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Xfinity Series, or Cup Series race
  • Visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame
  • Purchasing Merchandise from the NASCAR.com Shop

 

To help launch the program and generate awareness among fans, NASCAR and Spire Motorsports will collaborate to showcase a special NASCAR Fan Rewards paint scheme on the No. 77 Chevrolet driven by Ty Dillon during the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Feb. 5.

 

For further information on the NASCAR Fan Rewards program and a full list of ways to earn points and rewards, visit nascar.com/fanrewards.

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

 

NASCAR announces rule modifications for 2023 season – To stay on par with a new season, NASCAR announced on Tuesday that there will be some changes to the rule book. One of the changes fans can expect to see implemented this season is on road courses – there will no longer be caution flags during Stage breaks in the NASCAR Cup Series. The decision to remove stage cautions came after a review of Fan Council Data and industry discussions. Stage points will still be awarded, but there will no longer be a caution period to slow down the action.

 

The second change tilts its hat towards Ross Chastain’s “Hail Mary” move at Martinsville Speedway last season that locked him into the Championship 4. NASCAR will not be adding new language to the rule book but instead will enforce rule 10.5.2.6.A which states: “Safety is a top priority for NASCAR and NEM (NASCAR Event Management). Therefore, any violations deemed to compromise the safety of an Event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of Competitors, Officials, spectators, or others are treated with the highest degree of seriousness. Safety violations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.” If a driver attempts an unsafe maneuver, officials will issue a time penalty.

 

For more information on rule modifications in 2023, click here.

 

Garage 56 project Le Mans 24 lineup announced – An iconic trio will be behind the wheel of a modified Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the Garage 56 entry for this year’s Le Mans 24 – Jimmie Johnson, Jenson Button and Mike Rockenfeller.

 

The multifaceted group will each bring unique knowledge to the team as Johnson is most familiar with stock car racing, Button has a background in Formula 1 and Rockenfeller has two Le Mans 24 wins under his belt.

 

They will start their 24-hour race at Circuit de la Sarthe on June 10-11 in Le Mans, France.

 

“Since the beginning of the Garage 56 project, it has been our goal to partner with the top racers in the world to represent us in Le Mans,” said Jim France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “The lineup of Jimmie, ‘Rocky’ and Jenson is everything we could have dreamed of – three elite drivers who have won at the highest levels of motorsports worldwide. As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of NASCAR, we are honored to have these world-class champions help bring the sights and sounds of a NASCAR race car to fans in Le Mans, and across the world.”

 

Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams named Honorary Starter - USC quarterback Caleb Williams amassed a highlight reel of amazing plays inside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 2022. His first Coliseum highlight of 2023 will be waving the green flag for NASCAR’s first race of its 75th anniversary season.

The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner has been named the Honorary Starter for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Sunday, Feb. 5.  The season-opening exhibition airs live on FOX, with the Main Event beginning at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

 

In December, Williams became the eighth player in USC’s storied history to win the Heisman Trophy. He led the nation with 42 touchdown passes and threw for 4,537 yards for a team that won 11 games. Moreover, Williams’ elusiveness made him a threat on the run, as he rushed for 442 yards and six TDs, while also creating opportunities for his teammates as he scrambled out of the pocket.

 

Now Williams will create the memory of a lifetime participating in NASCAR’s highly anticipated return to the LA Memorial Coliseum.

 

Rob Lowe named Grand Marshal of NASCAR’s Busch Light Clash - NASCAR has announced that the world-renowned actor, author and podcaster, Rob Lowe, will be the Grand Marshal for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum. He’ll say, “DRIVERS, START YOUR ENGINES!” before the first race of NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season and set the stage for an evening to remember at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

 

The Main Event begins shortly after 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, and all the action will be shown live on FOX, where Lowe currently stars in and produces the highly acclaimed 911: Lone Star. It has been consistently one of the top-rated shows in all of television, and Season 4 premieres this month.

 

“This is shaping up to be another incredible event in the heart of Los Angeles,” said Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president for racing development and strategy. “Rob Lowe’s body of work is nothing short of remarkable, and we can’t wait for him to begin the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season in style.”

 

 

  Xfinity series 

www.nascar.com

Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2023, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series™, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour™), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series™) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series™, NASCAR Mexico Series™, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).


 

 


 

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Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2023, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series™, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour™), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series™) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series™, NASCAR Mexico Series™, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).

 


Statistical Advance: Analyzing the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 30, 2023) – Below is a statistical look at this weekend’s exhibition event the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California on February 5, 2023. This year marks just the second-time in NASCAR Cup Series history the traditional exhibition-style event will tackle the newly built 0.25-mile L.A. Memorial Coliseum track. The event will be broadcast live on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 8 p.m. ET.

 

In 2023, the field was open to 40 entrants to participate in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum. Select this link for the latest Preliminary Entry List.

 

Format Rundown: How to make the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum:

·       The 36 drivers entered will first have to qualify to determine the starting order for the four scheduled Heat races.

·       Of the cars entered, only 27 will earn a spot in the Main Event; the drivers will have three possible ways to do that.

·       The first 26 positions in the starting lineup of the Main event will be set by drivers that have raced their way in through either the four Heat Races or the two Last Chance Qualifier Races.

·       The 27th and final position is reserved for the driver who finished the highest in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season points standings who did not transfer on finishing position in the Heat Races or Last Chance Qualifier Races.

 

 

 

 

 

The Clash - All-Time Winners

No. of Wins

Winners

Seasons

 

 

 

 

 

6

Dale Earnhardt

1980

1986

1988

1991

1993

1995

3

Dale Jarrett

1996

2000

2004

 

 

 

3

Tony Stewart

2001

2002

2007

 

 

 

3

Kevin Harvick

2009

2010

2013

 

 

 

3

Denny Hamlin

2006

2014

2016

 

 

 

2

Neil Bonnett

1983

1984

 

 

 

 

2

Ken Schrader

1989

1990

 

 

 

 

2

Jeff Gordon

1994

1997

 

 

 

 

2

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2003

2008

 

 

 

 

2

Jimmie Johnson

2005

2019

 

 

 

 

2

Kyle Busch

2012

2021

 

 

 

 

2

Joey Logano

2017

2022

 

 

 

 

1

Buddy Baker

1979

 

 

 

 

 

1

Darrell Waltrip

1981

 

 

 

 

 

1

Bobby Allison

1982

 

 

 

 

 

1

Terry Labonte

1985

 

 

 

 

 

1

Bill Elliott

1987

 

 

 

 

 

1

Geoffrey Bodine

1992

 

 

 

 

 

1

Rusty Wallace

1998

 

 

 

 

 

1

Mark Martin

1999

 

 

 

 

 

1

Kurt Busch

2011

 

 

 

 

 

1

Matt Kenseth

2015

 

 

 

 

 

1

Brad Keselowski

2018

 

 

 

 

 

1

Erik Jones

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

** Total Number of Clash winners is 24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Stats & Tidbits

 

HISTORY

·       The first Busch Light Clash was held on February 11, 1979 at Daytona International Speedway, and the event was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Buddy Baker (average speed: 194.384 mph).

·       This weekend’s event will be the 45th running of the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum and this season’s event will be the second held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (2022-2023).

·       The L.A. Memorial Coliseum is the third different venue to host the annual non-points exhibition event joining Daytona International Speedway (1979 – 2020) and the Daytona International Speedway Road Course (2021).   

·       The number of participants in The Clash exhibition event has ranged from as low as seven drivers in 1981 to as high as 28 in 2009.

·       This season 36 drivers are currently entered, but just 27 competitors will compete in the Main event of the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum.

·       The format for the Busch Light Clash has changed 17 times since its inception in the NASCAR Cup Series in 1979.

·       The 2022 season marked the first time the exhibition event had a format that included Heat Races and Last Chance Qualifier Races.

 

STARTS

·       In total, 129 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have competed in the Busch Light Clash; 93 of the 129 drivers (72%) have participated in more than one.

·       NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Busch Light Clash appearances at 24.

·       The top 10 drivers (all-time) with the most Busch Light Clash appearances:

Rank

All-Time Drivers

Busch Light Clash Starts

1

Mark Martin

24

2

Bill Elliott

23

3

Jeff Gordon

22

4

Ken Schrader

19

5

Rusty Wallace

19

6

Jimmie Johnson

18

7

Kurt Busch

18

8

Terry Labonte

18

9

Kevin Harvick

18

10

Ryan Newman

17

 

Denny Hamlin

17

 

·       The top 10 (active) drivers with the most Busch Light Clash appearances:

Rank

Active Drivers

Busch Light Clash Starts

1

Kevin Harvick

18

2

Denny Hamlin

17

3

Kyle Busch

16

4

Joey Logano

14

5

Martin Truex Jr

11

6

Brad Keselowski

9

7

Austin Dillon

8

8

Kyle Larson

7

9

Aric Almirola

6

10

Chase Elliott

6

 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr

6

STARTS

·       NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon has appeared in the most consecutive Busch Light Clash races, competing in 22 consecutive events from 1994-2015.

·       Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in consecutive Busch Light Clash starts with 17 (2006 – 2022).   

 

The Starting Positions for the 2022 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum (Last Season)

Pos

Car

Driver

 

Pos

Car

Driver

1

18

Kyle Busch

 

13

12

Ryan Blaney

2

8

Tyler Reddick

 

14

41

Cole Custer

3

31

Justin Haley

 

15

9

Chase Elliott

4

22

Joey Logano

 

16

43

Erik Jones

5

99

Daniel Suarez

 

17

11

Denny Hamlin

6

14

Chase Briscoe

 

18

15

Ryan Preece

7

24

William Byron

 

19

4

Kevin Harvick

8

5

Kyle Larson

 

20

23

Bubba Wallace

9

47

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 

21

16

AJ Allmendinger(i)

10

3

Austin Dillon

 

22

21

Harrison Burton #

11

20

Christopher Bell

 

23

19

Martin Truex Jr.

12

34

Michael McDowell

 

 

 

 

 

 

WINS

·       A total of 24 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won the Busch Light Clash.

·       NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the NASCAR Cup Series in Busch Light Clash wins with six victories (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995).

·      Denny Hamlin (three: 2006, 2014, 2016) and Kevin Harvick (three: 2009, 2010, 2013) lead all active drivers in the Busch Light Clash wins with three each.

·       There have been 12 drivers with multiple wins in the Busch Light Clash exhibition event:

o   Dale Earnhardt won six events, most all-time (1980, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1993, 1995).

o   Dale Jarrett won in 1996, 2000 and 2004.

o   Kevin Harvick won in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

o   Tony Stewart won in 2001, 2002 and 2007.

o   Denny Hamlin won in 2006, 2014 and 2016.

o   Other multiple winners: Neil Bonnett (1983-1984), Ken Schrader, (1989-1990), Jeff Gordon (1994, 1997), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2003, 2008), Jimmie Johnson (2005, 2019), Kyle Busch (2012, 2021) and Joey Logano (2017, 2022).

·       Four drivers have won consecutive Busch Light Clash races (1979-2021) - Kevin Harvick (2009-10), Tony Stewart (2000-01), Ken Schrader (1990-91), Neil Bonnett (1983-84).

·       No driver has won three consecutive Clash events.

·       Buddy Baker (1979), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Jeff Gordon (1994), Dale Jarrett (1996) and Denny Hamlin (2006) all won in the first Busch Light Clash in which they competed.

·       Only five times has the Busch Light Clash winner gone on to win the Daytona 500 pole: Buddy Baker (1979), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989, 1990), Dale Jarrett (2000).

·       Six times in the 44-year history of the race has the Busch Light Clash winner gone on to win the Daytona 500: Bobby Allison (1982), Bill Elliott (1987), Dale Jarrett (1996 and 2000), Jeff Gordon (1997) and Denny Hamlin (2016).  

·       Two drivers have swept the Busch Light Clash, the Daytona 500 pole, and the Daytona 500 from 1979-2022: Dale Jarrett (2000) and Bill Elliott (1987)

·       One driver has swept the Busch Light Clash, the Daytona 500, and the Coke Zero Sugar 400 (Summer Daytona race) from 1979-2022: Bobby Allison (1982).

·       Five drivers have won the Busch Light Clash (1979-2022) and the NASCAR Cup Series championship in the same season. Dale Earnhardt is the only driver to have accomplished the feat multiple times (four; 1980, 1986, 1991, 1993); Darrell Waltrip (1981); Jeff Gordon (1997); Tony Stewart (2002); Joey Logano (2022).

·       There have been four Busch Light Clash winners from the pole: Darrell Waltrip (1981), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989) and Denny Hamlin (2014).

·       Seven different manufactures have won a Busch Light Clash exhibition race, led by Chevrolet with 22 victories; followed by Ford (10), Toyota (six), Buick (two), Oldsmobile (two), Dodge (one) and Pontiac (one).

·       Ford is the most recent winner in the Busch Light Clash, with Joey Logano winning the event in his Team Penske Ford last season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  

Manufacturers Busch Light Clash Wins (All-Time)

Manufacturer

Victories

Last Victory - Driver

Chevrolet

22

2019 – Jimmie Johnson

Ford

10

2022 – Joey Logano

Toyota

6

2021 – Kyle Busch

Buick

2

1982 – Bobby Allison

Oldsmobile

2

1980 – Dale Earnhardt

Dodge

1

2011 – Kurt Busch

Pontiac

1

2002 – Tony Stewart

           

 

·       Four of the previous 44 Busch Light Clash events (9.09%) have been won from the Pole or first starting position – Darrell Waltrip (1981), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989), Denny Hamlin (2016).

·       The most proficient starting position in the field is the 15th starting position producing the most wins (six) of any of the starting positions on the grid.

·       Over 50% of the winners in the Busch Light Clash have started the event from outside the top-10.    

 

Wins By Busch Clash Starting Position

Starting Pos.

Wins

Win %

Starting Pos

Wins

Win %

1

4

9.09%

11

1

2.27%

2

4

9.09%

12

3

6.82%

3

5

11.36%

13

3

6.82%

4

2

4.55%

14

2

4.55%

5

1

2.27%

15

6

13.64%

7

2

4.55%

16

2

4.55%

8

1

2.27%

17

4

9.09%

9

1

2.27%

19

1

2.27%

10

1

2.27%

27

1

2.27%

Stats

Total

%

Wins From the Pole

4

9.09%

Wins From Front Row

8

18.18%

Wins From Top Five Start

16

36.36%

Wins From Top 10 Start

21

47.73%

Wins From Start Outside Top 10

23

52.27%

 

·       A total of 15 different organizations have won the Busch Light Clash, led by Joe Gibbs Racing with 10 victories.

 

Top Five Organizations in Wins in the Busch Light Clash (All-Time)

Rank

Organization

Busch Light Clash Wins

1

Joe Gibbs Racing

10

2

Richard Childress Racing

8

3

Hendrick Motorsports

7

4

Team Penske

5

5

Yates Racing

3

 

 

ADDITIONAL FINISHING POSITIONS

 

Runner-Up Finishes:

·       In total, 32 different drivers have finished runner-up in the Busch Light Clash exhibition events.

·       NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2002, 2004, 2006) and Darrell Waltrip (1979, 1983, 1985) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in runner-up finishes in the Busch Light Clash with three each.

·       Joey Logano (2016, 2018) and Kyle Busch (2017, 2022) lead all active drivers with two runner-up finishes in the Busch Light Clash each.

 

Top Five Finishes:

·       In total, 69 different drivers have finished inside the top-five in the Busch Light Clash exhibition race.

·       NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the NASCAR Cup Series in top-five finishes in the Busch Light Clash with 11.

·       Joey Logano leads all active drivers with eight top-five finishes in the Busch Light Clash.

 

 

Top 10 Finishes:

·       In total, 97 different drivers have finished inside the top-10 in the Busch Light Clash exhibition race.

·       NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin leads the NASCAR Cup Series in top-10 finishes in the Busch Light Clash with 17.

·       Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano lead all active drivers with 11 top-10 finishes in the Busch Light Clash each.

 

Average Finishing Position:

·       NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position in the Busch Light Clash exhibition races with a 2.75.

·       Ryan Blaney leads all active drivers with average finishing position in the Busch Light Clash with a 5.33.

 

Top 10 in Average Finishing Position in the Busch Clash (All-Time & Active)

Rank

All-Time Drivers

Avg Finish

Races

1

Dale Earnhardt

2.750

12

2

Neil Bonnett

3.000

6

3

Davey Allison

3.400

5

4

Sterling Marlin

4.333

6

5

Cale Yarborough

5.125

8

6

Buddy Baker

5.333

6

7

Darrell Waltrip

5.500

12

8

Kenny Wallace

5.500

2

9

Bobby Allison

5.667

6

10

Tony Stewart

5.688

16

Must have made more than one Busch Light Clash start.

 

Rank

Active Drivers

Avg Finish

Races

1

Alex Bowman

7.500

5

2

Joey Logano

7.500

14

3

Chase Elliott

7.833

6

4

Austin Dillon

8.000

8

5

Erik Jones

8.200

5

6

William Byron

8.333

3

7

Kyle Larson

8.714

7

8

Kyle Busch

8.813

16

9

Ryan Blaney

9.200

5

10

Kevin Harvick

9.667

18

Must have made more than one Busch Light Clash start.

 

 

LAP LEADERS

·       A total of 63 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have led at least one lap in the Busch Light Clash (1979-2022).

·       Denny Hamlin leads the NASCAR Cup Series in laps led in the Busch Light Clash exhibition races with 175 laps led of his 1,114 laps completed (15.7%) in his 17 starts.

 

 

Top 15 in Laps Led in the Busch Light Clash (All-Time)

Rank

All-Time Lap Leaders

Races

Laps Led

Laps Completed

1

Denny Hamlin

17

175

1,114

2

Dale Earnhardt Jr

16

149

1,073

3

Brad Keselowski

10

131

564

4

Kyle Busch

16

131

1,110

5

Tony Stewart

16

120

1,075

6

Jeff Gordon

22

108

1,039

7

Dale Earnhardt

12

98

288

8

Kevin Harvick

18

96

1,224

9

Greg Biffle

10

69

712

10

Ken Schrader

19

63

842

11

Jamie McMurray

13

62

840

12

Paul Menard

5

60

265

13

Joey Logano

14

59

936

14

Carl Edwards

10

55

659

15

Matt Kenseth

11

54

761

 

Lap Leaders From Last Season’s Busch Light Clash (2022 L.A. Memorial Coliseum)

Rank

 Lap Leaders

Races

Laps Led

Laps Completed

1

Kyle Busch

1

64

150

2

Tyler Reddick

1

51

53

3

Joey Logano

1

35

150

 

·       The most laps led in Busch Light Clash by the race winner was 47 of the scheduled 70 laps (67.1%) by Dale Earnhardt Jr. on February 9, 2008 – he started from the seventh position. 

·       The most laps led in the Busch Light Clash by a driver that did not win was 64 of the scheduled 150 laps (42.6%) by Kyle Busch on February 6, 2022 – he started first and finished runner-up.

·       The fewest laps led in the Busch Light Clash by the race winner was one lap led (the final lap) and it has happened nine different times: Kyle Busch (2021), Erik Jones (2020), Kevin Harvick (2009), Dale Jarrett (2004, 2000), Rusty Wallace (1998), Neil Bonnett (1984, 1983), Dale Earnhardt (1980).

·       The largest number of lead changes in a Busch Light Clash event is 28 lead changes from the February 12, 2011 race; the event was won by Kurt Busch.

·       The fewest number of lead changes in a Busch Light Clash event is two lead changes and it has occurred six times: 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990.

·       Last season’s race at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum produced five lead changes among three leaders.

·       The most lap leaders in a Busch Light Clash event are 14 from the February 7, 2009 race; the event was won by Kevin Harvick.

·       The fewest lap leaders in a Busch Light Clash event are two and it has occurred nine times: 1979, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991.

 

By the Numbers: The Busch Light Clash

.013 – Closest Margin of Victory in seconds by Kyle Busch over Tony Stewart in 2012, the closest margin in the Clash at Daytona history

.058 – Second closest Margin of Victory in seconds by Kurt Busch over Jamie McMurray in 2011, the second-closest margin in the Clash at Daytona history

.080 – Third closest Margin of Victory in seconds by Dale Earnhardt over Sterling Marlin in 1995, the third-closest margin of victory in the Clash at Daytona history

.877 – The 23rd closest Margin of Victory (in seconds) all-time for the Busch Light Clash exhibition race, and the closest at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum by Joey Logano over Kyle Busch in 2022.

1 – Fewest laps led by a winner, one and it has occurred nine times - Rusty Wallace (1998), Neil Bonnett (1983-84), Dale Earnhardt (1980), Dale Jarrett (2000 and 2004), Kevin Harvick (2009) and Erik Jones (2020) - all at Daytona International Speedway – Kyle Busch (2021) at Daytona International Speedway Road Course.

2.75 – Best average finish in the Clash - Dale Earnhardt holds the best average finish of any driver with multiple starts.

3 – Number of different venues the Busch Light Clash event has been held – Daytona International Speedway, Daytona International Speedway Road Course, and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

4 – Number of drivers to win the Busch Light Clash from the pole or first starting position – Darrell Waltrip (1981), Bill Elliott (1987), Ken Schrader (1989) and Denny Hamlin (2014).

5 – Drivers who have won the event in their first appearance - Buddy Baker, 1979; Dale Earnhardt, 1980; Jeff Gordon, 1994; Dale Jarrett, 1996; Denny Hamlin, 2006.

6 – Most Busch Light Clash wins all-time - Dale Earnhardt, the series leader (1980, ‘86, ‘88, ‘91, ‘93, ‘95).

7 – All-time fewest starters in the field for the Busch Light Clash (1981)

11 – Most number of starts before winning the event - Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin.

14 – Highest number of different leaders in the Busch Light Clash event (2009, Daytona International Speedway).

22 – Highest number of wins by a manufacturer in the Busch Light Clash – Chevrolet.

22 – Most consecutive starts in the Busch Light Clash by a driver - Jeff Gordon (1994-2015).

27 – Kevin Harvick’s starting position in 2009, the lowest by a race winner in the event’s history.

28 – Number of lead changes in the 2011 event, highest number since race began in 1979.

47 – Most laps led by the winner of a Busch Light Clash event - Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2008 at Daytona.

64 – Most laps led by a driver that did not win the Busch Light Clash event – Kyle Busch in 2022 at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

197.802 mph – The fastest average speed of the race for the Busch Light Clash - in 1987 at Daytona International Speedway and won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott.   

 

 


 

Weekend Preview: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

 

February 2, 2023

 

By Holly Cain

NASCAR Wire Service

 

LOS ANGELES –  NASCAR’s first green flag of 2023 is ready to wave revving up what is surely to be a dramatic 75th Anniversary season for the sport – new venues, old rivalries; fresh expectations and a milestone championship.

 

Teams are arriving now in sunny Los Angeles to prepare for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum in primetime this Sunday night (8 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) the second time the premier NASCAR Cup Series has opened its racing season at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

 

Another enthusiastic crowd is expected for the 150-lap non-points exhibition main event on Sunday, with qualifying and heat races in the afternoon and A-List performers such as Wiz Khalifa, Cypress Hill, Cheat Codes and Dixie D’Amelio entertaining the crowd on site and at home throughout the day.

 

Actor Rob Lowe will serve as Grand Marshal and Heisman Trophy winner, University of Southern California (USC) quarterback Caleb Williams will be the Honorary Starter.

 

Practice starts Saturday at the quarter-mile asphalt oval constructed inside the Coliseum just for this mega-event. And with a race under their belt now for this unique show at this special venue, the NASCAR Cup Series drivers have raised their expectations and their game.

 

Team Penske driver Joey Logano proved last February that the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum could be a huge send-off for the regular season, which officially starts with the Feb. 19 Daytona 500. The 32-year-old Logano won the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum and ultimately capped off the year hoisting his second NASCAR Cup Series championship trophy.

 

There are six former active winners of this 45-year-old race including three-time winners Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick, who will be retiring at the end of the season. Kyle Busch, who will be making his first race start with new team, Richard Childress Racing and Logano each have a pair of Clash victories. Brad Keselowski, owner/driver for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing and Erik Jones, with the rebranded Legacy Motor Club each have a Busch Light Clash trophy as well.

 

A second straight victory for Logano in the No. 22 Team Penske Ford would make him only the fifth driver in NASCAR history to win consecutive Busch Light Clash races and the first since Harvick did it in 2009-10.

 

There will be no shortage of compelling competition with only 27 of the 36 drivers entered this weekend making the race field. There will be four Heat races with the top-five finishers in each advancing to the Main Event - making up 20 starting positions.

 

Six additional starting spots will be determined through “Last Chance” races – the top-three in two Last Chance Qualifier races will advance to the show. And the final place on the grid is reserved for the driver who finished highest in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series standings that didn’t qualify through Heat or Last Chance races.

 

This week NASCAR announced several significant rule changes for the 2023 season among them a more stringent enforcement of the “Hail Mary” move at one of the sport’s smallest venues, the half-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway that propelled Trackhouse Racing driver Ross Chastain into last year’s Championship 4 Round.

 

Chastain drove his No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet hard against the outside wall for the final half lap to gain a huge mph-advantage and to ultimately gain a position among the title-chasing four drivers.

 

Although the risky one-of-a-kind move was allowed then, it won’t be going forward – beginning this week at the quarter-mile Coliseum oval.

 

NASCAR officials strongly reminded teams on Tuesday that it will enforce rule 10.5.2.6.A which, in part, states “any violations deemed to compromise the safety of an Event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of Competitors, Officials, spectators or others are treated with the highest degree of seriousness." If a driver attempts something officials deem unsafe, they will issue a time penalty.

 

Coming off a record-setting season with the debut of the Next Gen car, there are high expectations for 2023. Last year’s tally tied a record for number of different race winners (19) in a single season and the Modern-Day record for most first-time NASCAR Cup Series winners in a season – five. More than 60 percent of the races (22 of 36) were won by drivers under the age of 30, including 23-year-old Austin Cindric’s amazing Daytona 500 win in his first start in the iconic race.

 

The average Margin of Victory for the 36 races was 1.011-seconds – the second closest since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993.  And the 1,544 green flag passes for the lead were the most since Loop Data statistics began in 2007.

 

It all bodes well for this 75th Anniversary season. Drivers are enthusiastic to get back in the cockpit this week and see what 2023 holds for them, beginning with this unique event at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

 

“After practicing and running the race [last year], it was probably the most fun that I had all year because the cars raced so well," said Harvick, who drives the No. 4 SHR Ford. “You could beat and bang and the racetrack was actually pretty race-y. As you look back on it, it was definitely a fun experience."

 

For the first time, the race will feature a fitting nod to previous major events at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. NASCAR will hold a medal ceremony for the first three finishers with a podium in Victory Lane. NASCAR Senior Vice President for Racing Development and Strategy Ben Kennedy and the Boys & Girls Club of Carson's Youth of the Year Winner will present the gold, silver and bronze medals to the top-three drivers.

 

“These will be tremendous prizes for our drivers who are competing inside a venue that’s hosted two Olympic games and preparing for a third," Kennedy said. “Not only do the medals honor the rich tradition of this stadium, but they also provide a special element unique to NASCAR’s 75th anniversary."

 

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Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2023, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series™, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour™), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series™) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series™, NASCAR Mexico Series™, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series™). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).

 


 

nASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards Celebrate Diversity and Inclusion Leaders

Ten Individuals and Organizations Recognized Across the NASCAR Industry

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 2, 2023) – Today NASCAR will host the 15th annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards in celebration of diversity and inclusion advocates and trailblazers throughout the sport. For the first time, the event takes place in Los Angeles, Ca.

 

Ten individuals and organizations whose efforts are making a difference both on and off the racetrack will receive awards. Drivers, pit crew members, partners, industry leaders and NASCAR executives will be in attendance.

 

“We continue to make significant progress in increasing diversity and inclusion across our sport, a collective effort made possible thanks to those receiving awards today,” said NASCAR President, Steve Phelps. “Their contributions are helping drive our sport forward, and these awards celebrate the passion and commitment of leaders who are bolstering our efforts to build a more inclusive NASCAR culture.”

The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards honors deserving awardees who are setting an example by advocating for diversity and inclusion across the NASCAR industry.

 

The 2023 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Award recipients are as follows:

 

Crew Member Award: Chris Justice

Chris Justice is an 18-year veteran of the sport who began his career with the inaugural NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program class as a tire carrier. He now shares his knowledge with the new generation of pit crew recruits while serving as an IT specialist for Stewart-Haas Racing. 

 

Developmental Series Driver Award: Nick Sanchez

Nick Sanchez earned an ARCA Menards Series championship with Rev Racing in 2022.The NASCAR Drive for Diversity alum is advancing to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2023. Sanchez will pilot the No. 2 Gainbridge Chevrolet for Rev Racing with its technical alliance partner, Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). Off-track Sanchez works with the De Moya Foundation to introduce new fans to NASCAR.

 

Sam Belnavis Industry Ambassador Award: Jamie Little

Jamie Little made history in 2021 as the first female broadcaster to serve as lap-by-lap announcer for a national racing series. A veteran motorsports reporter, Little joined FOX NASCAR in 2015 to cover pit road for the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. In 2023, Little embarks on her ninth DAYTONA 500 and also elevates to a part-time play-by-play schedule for the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series for FOX Sports.

 

Institution Award: Sports Biz Camps 

Sports Biz Camps provides high school and college students access to sports careers through education and engagement with industry professionals. Sports Biz Camps has worked with NASCAR since 2019 to provide students fellowship and shadowing opportunities within the motorsports industry. 

 

National Series Driver Award: Daniel Suárez

In 2022, Daniel Suárez made history as the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race. A graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, Suárez continues to be both an ambassador for the sport, the Mexican American and broader Hispanic community. He has carried the Daniel's Amigos campaign with him for several years, winning support of the initiative at each stop.

 

Outstanding Intern Award: Susan Wong

Susan Wong participated in the 2022 NASCAR Diversity Internship Program. The Arizona State University student spent her summer with NASCAR’s content team where she created original social media marketing strategies for Tik Tok, introducing the sport to new fans.

 

Partner Award:  Advance Auto Parts

In 2022, Advance Auto Parts, a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider and the Official Auto Parts Retailer of NASCAR, served as the primary sponsor of the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine, adding key support to programming focused on advancing careers and increasing diverse representation across the industry. The entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series (NAAPWS) and Advance My Track Challenge, Advance has dedicated its resources to developing NASCAR at the grassroots level.

 

Team Award: 23XI Racing

23XI Racing debuted in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2021 with Bubba Wallace behind the wheel of the No. 23 Toyota. The team was established in part with the goal of helping to create a more diverse fan base and workforce that better represents the makeup of the communities in which they live and race. Since then, the team, owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan, has worked with several partners to create initiatives promoting diversity and inclusion. 23XI Racing is also dedicated to fostering the advancement of those interested in motorsports. Through the SPEED Institute, 23XI Racing’s educational and professional development initiative, the team has also worked to help provide tuition support and internship opportunities for college-aged students.  

 

Track Award: Daytona International Speedway

Daytona International Speedway has continued to lead the way in engagement and commitment to community, building relationships that are inclusive of its local market and bringing a major positive impact to the surrounding area. In addition to ongoing partnerships with local schools and businesses in support of diverse communities, the speedway has provided a pace car for the CommUNITY Rainbow Run, a 4.9K benefiting the onePULSE Foundation and National Pulse Memorial & Museum.

 

Young Racer Award: Nathan Lyons

The 13-year-old, originally from Texas, attended his first NASCAR race at age six through the Speeding to Read program at Texas Motor Speedway, which sparked a love for the sport. Nathan Lyons moved to Concord, N.C., to pursue his dream to race in NASCAR and had five top 10 finishes in the 2022 Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Lyons was selected to the 2023 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Team.


NASCAR Fan Rewards Launches as Part of 75th Anniversary Season

Program is First of its Kind Currently Offered by a Major Sports League

 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2023) – NASCAR is home to the most loyal and passionate fans in all of sports, and now fans are being rewarded for that loyalty. As part of its 75th Diamond Anniversary season, NASCAR has launched NASCAR Fan Rewards, a free program that rewards fans for simply engaging with the sport they love.

 

“Our fans are the reason we race week in and week out, so we wanted to show our appreciation by creating this free program that rewards them for doing what they’re already doing – connecting with the sport they love,” said Pete Jung, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “The best part is, the more fans engage, the more rewards they will earn towards things such as merchandise, gift cards and even race tickets.”

 

There is no cost to join the rewards program. Fans can visit nascar.com/fanrewards, create an account and start earning points towards rewards immediately. For those fans who already have a NASCAR.com account, they can simply opt-in to NASCAR Fan Rewards via their profile page. Once points are earned, fans can redeem them for items such as race tickets, VIP experiences, autographed merchandise and gift cards, or even donate to the NASCAR Foundation.

 

Some ways to earn points towards rewards include:

 

  • Watching Races from Home: Fans can check in on the NASCAR.com (desktop, mobile app, or mobile web) leaderboard during any CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Xfinity Series, or Cup Series race
  • Attending NASCAR Races: Fans can check in from the NASCAR Track app
  • Playing NASCAR Fantasy Live
  • Participating in Weekly Trivia: Available via the NASCAR Fan Rewards dashboard each week
  • Purchasing Race Tickets and Camping: Points are earned automatically when fans purchase tickets or camping at any NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Xfinity Series, or Cup Series race
  • Visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame
  • Purchasing Merchandise from the NASCAR.com Shop

 

To help launch the program and generate awareness among fans, NASCAR and Spire Motorsports will collaborate to showcase a special NASCAR Fan Rewards paint scheme on the No. 77 Chevrolet driven by Ty Dillon during the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Feb. 5.

 

For further information on the NASCAR Fan Rewards program and a full list of ways to earn points and rewards, visit nascar.com/fanrewards.

 

The NASCAR Cup Series hits the track for the first time in 2023 at the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum this Sunday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Tickets begin at $65, and kids 12-and-under are $10. Fans can get tickets now by visiting www.nascarclash.com. Then, the regular season gets underway with the 65th running of the DAYTONA 500®, the Great American Race, on Sunday, February 19 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. UNOH Fanzone passes are still available at www.daytona500.com or by calling 1-800-PIT-SHOP.

 

 


NASCAR Fan Rewards Launches as Part of 75th Anniversary Season

Program is First of its Kind Currently Offered by a Major Sports League

 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2023) – NASCAR is home to the most loyal and passionate fans in all of sports, and now fans are being rewarded for that loyalty. As part of its 75th Diamond Anniversary season, NASCAR has launched NASCAR Fan Rewards, a free program that rewards fans for simply engaging with the sport they love.

 

“Our fans are the reason we race week in and week out, so we wanted to show our appreciation by creating this free program that rewards them for doing what they’re already doing – connecting with the sport they love,” said Pete Jung, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “The best part is, the more fans engage, the more rewards they will earn towards things such as merchandise, gift cards and even race tickets.”

 

There is no cost to join the rewards program. Fans can visit nascar.com/fanrewards, create an account and start earning points towards rewards immediately. For those fans who already have a NASCAR.com account, they can simply opt-in to NASCAR Fan Rewards via their profile page. Once points are earned, fans can redeem them for items such as race tickets, VIP experiences, autographed merchandise and gift cards, or even donate to the NASCAR Foundation.

 

Some ways to earn points towards rewards include:

 

  • Watching Races from Home: Fans can check in on the NASCAR.com (desktop, mobile app, or mobile web) leaderboard during any CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Xfinity Series, or Cup Series race
  • Attending NASCAR Races: Fans can check in from the NASCAR Track app
  • Playing NASCAR Fantasy Live
  • Participating in Weekly Trivia: Available via the NASCAR Fan Rewards dashboard each week
  • Purchasing Race Tickets and Camping: Points are earned automatically when fans purchase tickets or camping at any NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Xfinity Series, or Cup Series race
  • Visiting the NASCAR Hall of Fame
  • Purchasing Merchandise from the NASCAR.com Shop

 

To help launch the program and generate awareness among fans, NASCAR and Spire Motorsports will collaborate to showcase a special NASCAR Fan Rewards paint scheme on the No. 77 Chevrolet driven by Ty Dillon during the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Feb. 5.

 

For further information on the NASCAR Fan Rewards program and a full list of ways to earn points and rewards, visit nascar.com/fanrewards.

 

The NASCAR Cup Series hits the track for the first time in 2023 at the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum this Sunday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Tickets begin at $65, and kids 12-and-under are $10. Fans can get tickets now by visiting www.nascarclash.com. Then, the regular season gets underway with the 65th running of the DAYTONA 500®, the Great American Race, on Sunday, February 19 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. UNOH Fanzone passes are still available at www.daytona500.com or by calling 1-800-PIT-SHOP.

 


 

Jimmie Johnson, Mike Rockenfeller and Jenson Button to pilot the Garage 56 entry in this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans

 

January 28, 2023

 

By Holly Cain

NASCAR Wire Service

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, long-time sports car star Mike Rockenfeller and former Formula One champion Jenson Button will comprise the highly-anticipated driver lineup for the NASCAR Garage 56 project at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 

The announcement was made Saturday morning at Daytona International Speedway in the hours before the 61st Annual Rolex 24 at Daytona IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.

 

The Garage 56 project is a joint effort by NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear for the grand endurance race’s 100th anniversary celebration at its June 10-11 running.

 

“Since the beginning of the Garage 56 project, it has been our goal to partner with the top racers in the world to represent us in Le Mans,’’ NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France said. “The lineup of Jimmie, “Rocky” and Jensen is everything we could have dreamed of – three elite drivers who have won at the highest levels of motorsports worldwide.

 

“As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of NASCAR, we are honored to have these world-class champions help bring the sights and sounds of a NASCAR race car to fans in Le Mans and across the world.’’

 

Johnson, 47, is a seven-time champion and 83-time race winner in the NASCAR Cup Series and now co-owner (and part-time driver) of LEGACY MOTOR CLUB in the NASCAR Cup Series. He will be making his Le Mans debut, although he has competed in 16 sports car races over the last two decades in the IMSA ranks with podiums at the Rolex 24 in 2021 and a runner-up showing at Motul Petit Le Mans just last November.

 

“When Rick [Hendrick] called, I couldn’t resist the opportunity,’’ Johnson said. “It’s been a big dream of mine to go to Le Mans and experience what it’s all about and to have the experience I’ve had here. I know how special this event [Rolex 24] is and I’m sad I’m not out there today. To know I’m going to Le Mans with this great group of drivers, this great team, the collaboration between GM and NASCAR, everybody involved, it’s really a special, special opportunity.’’

 

Rockenfeller, 39, is not only the true sports car veteran of the group but the German driver is a former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner both overall (2010) and in the GT Class (2005). He’s also a past Rolex 24 at Daytona winner (2010) and has been the lead test driver for this Garage 56 project.

 

“It’s just an incredible group of partners in this project and to be involved from day one is a great honor and a lot of fun,’’ Rockenfeller said. “I can’t wait to share the car with these two teammates.’’

 

Button, 43, won the 2009 Formula One world championship and has 15 F1 career grand prix victories. After attending a practice session to watch Johnson and Rockenfeller in the car in Sebring, Fla. – purely as a spectator – he said the idea was floated for him to be a third driver only in December, 2022. He had raced previously against Rockenfeller and is a longtime friend of Johnson’s. He competed at Le Mans in 2018 and is not only eager but optimistic about this next opportunity.

 

“I finished my F1 career and I look for new challenges and this is definitely an exciting challenge and to work alongside these two, you can see there’s some good banter already,’’ Button said, as the trio joked with one another on stage at the announcement.

 

“I think it shows that teamwork we will need to go to Le Mans and to perform as we would like. Very excited to work with this all-star team.

 

Jordan Taylor, a four-time champion in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and current Chevrolet Corvette factory driver will serve as a back-up driver and will join Rockenfeller in the program’s test program that will continue next week at Daytona International Speedway.

 

Chad Knaus, Hendrick Motorsports’ Vice President of Competition and Johnson’s former championship crew chief, said there is actually a rather aggressive test schedule upcoming before Garage 56 goes overseas for competition. After the car’s test at Daytona next week, it will run multiple endurance tests, including one at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway in late February. The idea, Knaus assured, is to be competitive.

 

Judging by the smiles and positive reception to the news at Daytona on Saturday morning, there is a lot of interest in Garage 56. A lot of expectation and a lot of hope.

 

“I would suggest if there ever was such a thing as an all-star team in motorsports, this project is the absolute poster of that,’’ IMSA President John Doonan said.

 

“It first started with Jim France’s vision then it started almost a year ago in a conversation with Rick Hendrick. And the organization, it’s just unbelievable to have Chad Knaus and Greg Ives involved in this. And you couple that with what Chad and Jimmie accomplished over 15 seasons, seven championships 83 wins twice here on this stage in 06 and 2013, unbelievable.

 

“And then you go on to Mike Rockenfeller, a Le Mans winner with unbelievable endurance sports car experience and a world champion from Formula One, it’s exactly what the vision was to put NASCAR on a global stage and bring drivers from so many different disciplines.’’

 


Hurley x NASCAR Collaborate to Launch Line of Beach and Surf Apparel

 

Daytona Beach, Fla. (Jan. 26. 2023) – NASCAR and Hurley, the iconic action-sports brand, announced today a collaboration that will deliver a brand-new collection of men’s and women’s beach and surf apparel. Two racing themed product lines will drop during NASCAR’s 75th anniversary season in 2023, with the first available now on Hurley.com, and another dropping prior to the NASCAR Darlington Throwback Weekend in April.

 

“Hurley is one of the most influential brands in the world when it comes to action-sports and beach apparel,” said Megan Malayter, NASCAR managing director of licensing and consumer products. “As two companies who were born on the beach, we’re thrilled to be collaborating with Hurley to bring this exclusive Hurley x NASCAR collection to fans in 2023.”

 

Hurley was founded in Huntington Beach in 1999 on the principle of empowering and fueling the voice of the next generation. Through the lens of inclusion, Hurley has partnered with the world’s best surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders, musicians and artists, and is an iconic global youth culture brand with roots sunk deep in beach lifestyle.

 

“We’re excited to bring the Hurley energy that has solidified its stake in surf, snow and skate to a new audience through the Hurley x NASCAR collection. Racing and surfing take dedication, commitment and drive and have many of the same key attributes. We have fused the two as one in the latest Hurley x NASCAR collection while taking our brand trackside,” said Ralph Gindi, COO and co-founder of Bluestar Alliance, parent company of Hurley.

 

Hurley has developed cutting-edge, fashionable beachwear for both collections including items such as board shorts, swimwear, athleisure, tees, hats and woven tops. The first line of product, which dropped today, will feature designs that reflect an authentic 1990s feel. The second line will appropriately carry a look that represents vintage NASCAR, drawing on the rich history of the sport’s quintessential branding.

 

One of Hurley’s feature athletes is NASCAR’s own Noah Gragson, who will pilot the No. 42 Chevrolet for LEGACY MOTOR CLUB in 2023. Hurley, as well as several of its athletes, will be on site at Daytona International Speedway for the DAYTONA 500, giving fans the opportunity to purchase items from the collection in person. Follow all of the excitement here https://www.instagram.com/hurley/.

 

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season begins with the 65th running of the DAYTONA 500®, the Great American Race, on Sunday, February 19 at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. UNOH Fanzone passes are still available at www.daytona500.com or by calling 1-800-PIT-SHOP.

 

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Cabo Wabo Tequila: The First Official Tequila Sponsor of NASCAR

 

Multiyear agreement cements the brand’s status as Official Tequila of Daytona International Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and

Talladega Superspeedway

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – (Jan. 24, 2023) – Cabo Wabo, an unquestionably Mexican tequila made with an undeniable American attitude, is now officially a NASCAR partner.

 

NASCAR and Campari America announced today that Cabo Wabo Tequila is the first-ever “Official Tequila Sponsor of NASCAR.” As part of a wide-ranging, multiyear agreement, Cabo Wabo Tequila becomes the Official Tequila of Daytona International Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.

 

“Cabo Wabo’s reputation for doing things bigger, bolder and better perfectly aligns with the spirit of our sport,” said NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Sales Officer Jeff Wohlschlaeger. “We welcome Cabo Wabo Tequila to the NASCAR family as we begin the celebration of our 75th Anniversary season.”

 

For Cabo Wabo Tequila, celebration isn’t possible without its unmatched commitment to excellence. A super-premium tequila born in the agave fields of Mexico and praised in bars and backyard barbeques across America, Cabo Wabo is Thick Cut tequila made using 100% Blue Weber Agave. Each sip evokes full-on agave flavor thanks to the purposefully thicker cut distillate of agave used to deliver a more unfiltered, raw agave-forward taste. It’s this unmistakable taste that goes with an unmistakable American attitude – one that cuts no corners and makes no apologies, inspiring all to revel in the good life.

 

NASCAR fans are known for the same brand loyalty as our beloved Cabo Wabo Tequila fans,” said Campari America’s Vice President of Marketing Andrea Sengara. “Like our tequila, NASCAR fans live unapologetically and expect nothing but greatness from their race day, and their race day drinks. With this partnership, we’re delivering on both and giving fans a new way to bring the bold to their favorite sport.”  

Fans will quickly notice Cabo Wabo’s bold attitude at some of NASCAR's biggest events, including the DAYTONA 500. Throughout the season, the brand will activate via branded on-site experiences, presenting sponsorships of concerts, a consumer sweepstakes, racing-themed digital and social media content, and more.

 

Cabo Wabo is all about living, working and playing hard. That’s why the brand is giving fans 21 and older a new way to level up their race watching experience either at the track, or from the comfort of their own home with a Cabo Wabo Smokeshow. The Cabo Wabo Smokeshow combines the bold flavors of Cabo Wabo Blanco Tequila with smokiness of Montelobos Espadin Mezcal and is served over ice with a lime wheel garnish.  

 

The NASCAR season begins Sunday, Feb. 5, with the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, an exhibition featuring the sport’s biggest stars and performances by international superstars Cypress Hill and Wiz Khalifa. Two weeks later, on Feb. 19, the regular season begins with the DAYTONA 500. Both races will air live on FOX. Whether watching a race on T.V., or live at the track, Cabo Wabo reminds you to always drink responsibly. The brand recognizes that sometimes the boldest thing we can do is take our foot off the gas. It is encouraging fans to downshift every once in a while and hydrate in between drinks with a “Make the Pitstop” onsite experience featuring complimentary water and co-branded reusable water bottles.

 

To learn more about Cabo Wabo Tequila, click here.


 

 

 

Matt Kenseth, Kirk Shelmerdine, Hershel McGriff inducted into NASCAR Hall of Fame

 

January 20, 2023

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

CHARLOTTE – On Friday night at the Charlotte Convention Center, the NASCAR Hall of Fame welcomed a formidable champion of the stock car racing’s premier division, one of the NASCAR Cup Series’ most successful modern-era crew chiefs and a driver who competed in NASCAR events during seven different decades as the Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

 

Matt Kenseth, the 2003 NASCAR Cup Series champion; Kirk Shelmerdine, who guided Dale Earnhardt Sr. to four Cup titles; and Hershel McGriff, who won four Cup races in 1954 and competed in NASCAR racing in 2018 at age 90 were inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony in the Crown Ballroom.

 

In addition, NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton, a fixture in the sport for nearly five decades, was honored with the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR.

 

In 18 full-time seasons at NASCAR’s highest level, Kenseth won 39 races, tied with Hall of Famer Tim Flock for 21st all-time. Driving for team owner and Hall of Famer Jack Roush, Kenseth was the last champion of the Winston Cup era.

 

In fact, Kenseth is credited, perhaps facetiously, with prompting NASCAR’s move to a Playoff format in 2004. Kenseth won his title the year before with a single victory and wrapped up the championship in the season’s penultimate race.

 

But his consistency that season was the factor that sustained his title run. Kenseth scored 25 top 10s in 36 races, ran second three times and led the Cup standings after each of the final 33 races of the season.

 

A driver known for his tenacity, Kenseth also won the Daytona 500 twice—in 2009 and 2012—and claimed victory 29 times in 288 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts. 

 

In 2013, Kenseth moved from Roush Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing, won seven Cup races in his first season with his new team and finished second in the final standings for the second time in his career. 

 

Kenseth’s wife Katie Kenseth and his father Roy Kenseth performed the induction honors. 

 

“I always looked at my career as a ladder,” said Kenseth, who led Modern-Era balloting with 69 percent of the vote. “You start at the bottom, and you hope you climb your way to the top. My ladder had hundreds and hundreds of rungs on it, and without any of them—bottom, middle or top, wherever you sit—I wouldn’t be standing here without any of you.

 

“So, really, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all.”

 

Shelmerdine’s star shone brightly during a relatively short tenure as a top-level crew chief. After a three-year stint with driver James Hylton, Shelmerdine moved to Richard Childress Racing. In 1983, at age 25, he got his first Cup victory—and the first-ever victory for Childress—with driver Ricky Rudd on the road course at Riverside, Calif.

 

The following year, Shelmerdine was paired with the driver who would help to define his career. With driver Dale Earnhardt at RCR, Shelmerdine won twice in 1984, four times in 1985 and five times in his first championship season in 1986.

 

Three more championships with Earnhardt would follow—in 1987, 1990 and 1991. All told, Shelmerdine won 46 races as a Cup crew chief, two with Rudd and 44 with Earnhardt. 

 

After the 1992 season, Shelmerdine left RCR to pursue a career as a driver that led to 26 Cup starts and three victories in the ARCA Menards Series. He returned to the crew chief role for one season in 1996, leading David Green’s Xfinity Series campaign. Green won twice and finished second to Randy LaJoie in the final standings.

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. inducted Shelmerdine and credited the crew chief with putting his seven-time champion father “on the path to greatness.”

 

Shelmerdine, who was named on 52 percent of the Modern-Era ballots credited Hylton, Childress and Earnhardt Sr. with the success that earned him a place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

 

“What makes a great crew chief?” Shelmerdine asked rhetorically. “It’s simple—a great driver. We all knew Dale. What else can you say about him? I’m not sure. I think very few people knew how sensitive he really was—I mean all the senses.

 

“When he and I got together, we just kind of clicked intuitively on how to talk about the car and what he needed to do all those things he could do… We all loved old Ironhead, and sometimes even we thought he was magic.”

 

McGriff’s storied NASCAR career began in 1950 when he raced his own car in the Southern 500 at newly built Darlington Raceway. 

 

That was the first of 87 NASCAR Cup Series starts and the first chapter in a stock car racing tenure that wouldn’t end until 2018 (for the time being), when McGriff made the last of his 271 NASCAR ARCA Menards Series West starts at Tucson Speedway—at age 90, as the oldest driver to race in NASCAR-sanctioned competition.

 

McGriff, who turned 95 in December, collected all four of his Cup wins in 1954, driving for car owner Frank Christian, but his greatest success came on the West Coast, where he won 34 times in what is now the ARCA Menards Series West.

 

During his varied career, McGriff also raced twice in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 1976 in his own car and in 1982 in the so-called “Snowplow Camaro” fielded by car owner Billy Hagan, with Dick Brooks as his co-driver. 

 

At Friday night’s induction dinner, team owner Richard Childress revealed that he and McGriff had struck a deal for Childress to prepare a car for McGriff after he turns 100.

 

“We shook on it,” Childress said.

 

McGriff was inducted by longtime friend, 96-year-old Ray Park.

 

“My speech shouldn’t be too long, because most of the people I have to thank are dead,” said McGriff, who received 31 percent of ballots cast in the Pioneer category, edging A.J. Foyt for the honor. “But I truly can't express in words what this means to me.

 

“I grew up loving to drive. I started at seven years old with a cart that was pulled by a goat that I bought from my uncle for $4… at 14, I was just starting eighth grade, and I was the only person in school who had a car—including the teachers and the principal.”

 

For those who wanted to learn more about his life, McGriff suggested that they read his book, “which hasn’t been written yet.”

 

“But it’s on my bucket list,” McGriff added.

 

Helton has earned universal respect as a larger-than-life figure in the NASCAR garage. In a racing career that started with a stint as public relations director at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Helton advanced to the role of NASCAR President in 2000—as the first person outside the France family to hold that position.

 

Helton, who now serves as Vice Chairman of NASCAR, has long been an advocate for enhanced safety measures on the competition side of the sport.

 

“I’ve always been better at celebrating all the other people’s accomplishments and contributions to NASCAR,” Helton said. “So, this is a bit humbling to me. But it’s much appreciated, and it’s overwhelming, and I’m not too sure that I’ve gotten my head wrapped around it completely.

 

“But it’s special. This Hall is special. This evening is an example of how special our history and our heritage and our future is built, and it’s been over the moon for me.”

 

As part of the ceremonies, the late T. Taylor Warren became the first photojournalist honored with the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. 

 

Warren began photographing race cars at the Milwaukee Fairgrounds in 1948, and it was his finish-line photo of the 1959 Daytona 500 that helped decided the winner of the inaugural Great American Race. Warren’s daughter Diana accepted the award on his behalf. 


Elton Sawyer Named NASCAR Sr. Vice President of Competition

  • Miller Named Competition Strategist After More Than 40 Years In Motorsports
  • Probst Promoted to Chief Racing Development Officer
  • Jacuzzi, Patalak, Thomas Promoted to Vice President

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2023) – NASCAR today announced that Elton Sawyer has been named its Senior Vice President of Competition, replacing Scott Miller, who will assume the newly formed role of Competition Strategist within the NASCAR Competition team after a more than 40-year career in motorsports.

 

NASCAR also announced the promotions of several individuals to key positions within its Competition leadership team. John Probst has been promoted to NASCAR Chief Racing Development Officer; Dr. Eric Jacuzzi has been promoted to NASCAR Vice President, Vehicle Performance; Dr. John Patalak has been promoted to NASCAR Vice President, Safety Engineering; and Brandon Thomas has been promoted to NASCAR Vice President, Vehicle Design.

 

“Elton Sawyer has shown incredible versatility throughout his four-plus decades in motorsports,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer. “Following his lengthy driving career, Elton held key leadership positions for several race teams and here at NASCAR for the last eight seasons. He will excel in this role, and we look forward to watching him continue to grow the Competition team during this crucial era in our sport’s history.

 

“We are thrilled that Scott Miller has chosen to remain a key part of the NASCAR Competition team. When he joined NASCAR in 2016, Scott lent immediate credibility to the position. A trusted voice in the garage, Scott used his decades of experience to lead our Competition team to new heights during a time that saw a new race format, a new playoff format and a new race car. The mark he leaves on the organization is significant.

 

“John Probst’s leadership and tireless devotion in the development of the Next Gen car over the last three years has been extraordinary. This project was among the most challenging and important endeavors in NASCAR history, and leaders like Probst, Dr. Eric Jacuzzi, Dr. John Patalak, Brandon Thomas and many others worked incredibly hard to not only put this car on the race track, but to make it a success for our industry and our fans.”

 

Sawyer joined NASCAR in February of 2015 as managing director of the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. Most recently, he held the role of NASCAR vice president, technical inspection and officiating, a role he assumed in 2016. In that capacity, Sawyer oversaw race event management, transportation and NASCAR official training and development.

 

In his new role, Sawyer will oversee all aspects of on-track competition, inspection, rule development and officiating, focusing specifically on NASCAR’s three national series – the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series.

 

“I have been a proud member of this extraordinary team for eight years, and I look forward to continuing to help grow the outstanding competition we’ve seen over the last several seasons,” Sawyer said. “NASCAR racing has been my life for decades. I have a deep passion for the sport, and am honored to be in a position to help shepherd the Competition team during these exciting times.”

 

Sawyer began his racing career competing at Langley Speedway in his home state of Virginia. He debuted on the NASCAR national series scene in 1983, racing in what is now the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Prior to joining NASCAR, Sawyer served as Director of Team Operations for IMSA’s Action Express Racing. He has also previously held competition roles at Red Bull Racing and Evernham Motorsports.

 

Miller has decided to step down from his post after seven seasons leading NASCAR’s at-track competition team, an era that included transformative growth and some of the strongest competition in the sport’s history.

 

“After more than 40 years around race cars week after week, it’s time to step back and look at the next chapter of my life in motorsports,” Miller said. “I’m thankful to the France Family and everyone at NASCAR for the opportunity they gave me seven years ago, and I appreciate the chance to stay in the fold to help however and wherever I can. We have a strong team at NASCAR, and I’m excited to remain a part of it.”

 

Joining NASCAR in December of 2015, Miller will remain with the sanctioning body as its Competition Strategist. In this capacity, Miller’s focus will center on a several ‘big picture’ special projects such as the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway and the Chicago Street Course race, as well as long-lead planning around NASCAR Competition strategy.

 

Probst, who most recently held the title of Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation, oversaw the development and evolution of the Next Gen race car, a groundbreaking innovation that produced several on-track competition superlatives – including a record-tying 19 different race winners during its debut season. Probst joined NASCAR in 2016, providing senior oversight of an engineering group that develops and incorporates new technology into all aspects of NASCAR competition. Prior to NASCAR, Probst spent 10 years as the Technical Director for both Chip Ganassi Racing (2011-16) and Red Bull Racing (2006-11). Probst began his career as an engineer for Ford Motor Company in 1994.

 

Jacuzzi, who manages aerodynamic engineering for NASCAR, joined the sanctioning body after working as a computational aerodynamicist for Corvid Technologies and assigned to Richard Childress Racing. Since joining NASCAR in 2014, Jacuzzi has led the team tasked to design the aerodynamic elements of the race vehicles for all three national series – including the Next Gen car – as well as the Garage 56 car scheduled to run in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 

Patalak, who has worked at the NASCAR R&D Center since 2005, oversees NASCAR’s safety team, researching, developing and approving driver and vehicle safety systems. In this role, Patalak also investigates all crashes and driver protection issues. Prior to NASCAR John worked for an engineering consulting firm specializing in vehicle crashworthiness and occupant protection.

 

Thomas joined NASCAR in 2019 following time as a crew chief and engineer with Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Petty Enterprises, Red Bull Racing and Hall of Fame Racing. Brought to NASCAR to help shepherd the Next Gen project, Thomas led the day-to-day management of the Next Gen car since the beginning of the development cycle in 2019.


 

NASCAR and Rev Racing Reveal 2023 Drive for Diversity Driver Development Class

Eight Drivers will Participate in the Program 

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2023) – NASCAR and Rev Racing announced today the next generation of drivers participating in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program. Following a national and international search, eight talented drivers were selected to the newest class after participating in the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine.

 

Lavar Scott, Andrés Pérez de Lara, Jaiden Reyna and Justin Campbell are returning to Rev Racing for the 2023 season. Paige Rogers, Eloy Sebastián López Falcón, Caleb Johnson and Nathan Lyons will make their debut in 2023. 

 

Nick Sanchez, who participated in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program in 2022 and won the ARCA Menards Series Championship with Rev Racing last year, is advancing to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Sanchez will pilot the No. 2 Gainbridge Chevrolet for Rev Racing with its technical alliance partner, Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM).  

 

Rajah Caruth also graduated from the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program and will be competing full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driving the No. 24 for GMS Racing. Caruth is a prominent iRacer who made his transition to the racetrack in 2019. 

 

“We’re excited to welcome our newest class of drivers and be a part of their growth and development,” said Jordan Leatherman, NASCAR’s Director, Diversity and Inclusion. “We’re proud to see Nick Sanchez and Rajah Caruth graduate from the program and start a new chapter in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Their success reflects their talent and hard work.” 

 

Drivers were selected after participating in the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine held in November of 2022 in Charlotte and South Boston, Va. Participants from the United States and Mexico were evaluated by judges from across the NASCAR industry. Each driver was assessed in different areas from physical fitness and on-track performance to media and marketing skills. 

 

We are extremely energized by the talent we saw this past November at the Combine,” said Max Siegel, Rev Racing Owner. “We look forward to the season ahead and developing this amazing class of incoming drivers. This year’s class represents a talented pipeline of NASCAR’s future stars. Our entire Rev Racing organization is committed to being a championship contending team and one of the premier development programs in NASCAR. We couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments last season and of Nick and Rajah’s growth. We remain especially thankful to Chevrolet and Gainbridge for investing in Rev’s growth into the truck series with Nick Sanchez. This will be a pivotal year for our organization and this next class of drivers.” 

 

The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program was created in 2004 to develop and train ethnically diverse and female drivers both on and off the track. NASCAR Cup Series drivers Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suárez and Kyle Larson are alumni of this program, which is operated by Rev Racing in Concord, N.C. 

 

Suárez made history in 2022 becoming the first Mexican-born driver to win a race in the NASCAR Cup Series. A trailblazer in NASCAR, Suárez also made his mark in the sport when he won the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in 2016. In 2023, Suárez enters his third season driving for Trackhouse Racing, a team owned by Justin Marks and Pitbull. 

 

Wallace is the first Black driver to win multiple Cup Series races. In 2021 he became the first Black driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race in almost 60 years. In 2023, Wallace enters his third season with the 23XI Racing team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin. 

 

Larson is the first graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program to win a NASCAR Cup Series championship. The Northern California native of Japanese descent won the 2012 K&N Pro Series (now ARCA Menards Series) Championship with Rev Racing. Currently, he’s the only Asian-American driver competing regularly in NASCAR Cup Series. 

  

The 2023 class features the following drivers: 

 

Andrés Pérez de Lara - ARCA Menards Series: The Mexico City, Mexico, native, 17, returns to Rev Racing after competing in the NASCAR México Series and NASCAR México Challenge categories. He is 2022’s NASCAR México Challenge champion.  

 

Lavar Scott - ARCA Menards Series East: The 19-year-old from Carney’s Pointe, N.J., returns to Rev Racing after securing 1st place at Hickory Motor Speedway and his first career win in the NASCAR Truck México Series at Autódromo de Querétaro in Mexico in 2021. 

 

Justin Campbell - NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model: The 17-year-old Griffin, Ga., native returns to Rev Racing for his third season after earning two top 5s and two top 10s in the 2022 Cook Out Summer Shootout in the semi-pro division.  

 

Jaiden Reyna - NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model: The Cornelius, N.C., native, 16, returns to Rev Racing after securing two 1st place finishes at Lincoln Speedway in the young lion division. Reyna also finished a career high 2nd place at Florence Motor Speedway in the late model division.    

 

Paige Rogers - NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model: The 19-year-old from Fort Wayne, Ind., will make her debut with Rev Racing in 2023. Rogers is the 2021 runner-up in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Late Model Sportsman division at Corrigan Oil Speedway.  

 

Caleb Johnson - INEX Legend Car Series: The Denver, Co., native finished 5th in the Carolina Pro Late Model Series point standings. The 14-year-old also has an iRacing background.  

 

Nathan Lyons - INEX Legend Car Series: The 13–year-old originally from Texas, moved to Concord, N.C., to pursue his dream to race in NASCAR. Lyons had five top 10 finishes in the 2022 Cook Out Summer Shootout Outlaw Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  

 

Eloy Sebastián López Falcón - INEX Legend Car Series: The Oaxaca, Mexico, native will make his debut with Rev Racing in 2023. The 17-year-old is 2022’s NASCAR Truck México Series champion.  


NASCAR Statement from Steve Phelps ON Kevin Harvick'S RETIREMENT

“With championships across several NASCAR series and a NASCAR Cup Series win total that ranks in the top 10, Kevin Harvick’s legacy as one of the all-time great drivers is secure. Beyond his success inside a race car, Kevin is a leader who truly cares about the health and the future of our sport – a passion that will continue long after his driving days are complete. On behalf of the France Family and all of NASCAR, I congratulate Kevin on a remarkable career and wish him the best of luck in his final season.” – Steve Phelps, NASCAR President


 

Kevin Harvick announces his retirement following the 2023 NASCAR season

 

January 12, 2023

 

By Holly Cain

NASCAR Wire Service

 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Two decades of competition, 60 NASCAR Cup Series wins, the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship trophy and a pair of NASCAR Xfinity Series titles to his name, driver Kevin Harvick announced Thursday that he will retire from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition at the end of the 2023 season, leaving an important and long-lasting impact on the sport that reaches well beyond the driver’s seat.

 

Harvick’s arrival into NASCAR’s big leagues in 2001 represented a huge career opportunity for the young Californian but came with the emotional and daunting responsibility to follow the late legend Dale Earnhardt at Richard Childress Racing. Then 25-year-old answered that big-time challenge winning his first NASCAR Cup Series race in Earnhardt’s car only three weeks after Earnhardt’s passing and Harvick being tabbed to drive the car (the team’s Chevrolet number changed from #3 to #29).

 

The effort and success under intense circumstances was a sign of things to come from the Bakersfield, Calif. native whose emotional and clutch performance that debut season came to characterize Harvick’s moxy throughout a decorated career. The 47-year-old has become known as “The Closer” for being at the right place at the right time – arguably both on-track and off-track as a vocal spokesman for competitors.

 

And now after 23 seasons, the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will close the pages on a remarkable, certain Hall of Fame career.

 

“There is absolutely nothing else in the world that I enjoy doing more than going to the racetrack and I’m genuinely looking forward to this season," Harvick said. “But as I’ve gone through the years, I knew there would come a day where I had to make a decision. When would it be time to step away from the car?

 

“I’ve sought out people and picked their brains. When I asked them, when they knew it was the right time, they said, ‘it’ll just happen, and you’ll realize that’s the right moment. You’ll make a plan and decide when it’s your last year.’

 

“It’s definitely been hard to understand when that right moment is because we’ve been so fortunate to run well. But sometimes there are just other things going on that become more important and for me, that time has come."

 

NASCAR President Steve Phelps said of Harvick’s news Thursday, “With championships across several NASCAR series and a NASCAR Cup Series win total that ranks in the top-10, Kevin Harvick’s legacy as one of the all-time great drivers is secure.

 

“Beyond his success inside a race car, Kevin is a leader who truly cares about the health and the future of our sport – a passion that will continue long after his driving days are complete. On behalf of the France Family and all of NASCAR, I congratulate Kevin on a remarkable career and wish him the best of luck in his final season."’

 

Harvick and his wife DeLana have two young children already aspiring to follow in their father’s footsteps. Son Keelan, 10, races karts internationally and daughter Piper, 5, drives a go-kart as well, seemingly eager to participate in the family’s decorated legacy as well.

 

Stepping away from his own racing schedule will allow Harvick the chance to travel and guide them. He leaves the sport eager to immerse himself in his young family’s priorities.

 

“In the last year, I think I’ve seen Keelan race three times while he’s been in Europe," Harvick said. “I go to the go-kart track with Piper, and she makes twice as many strides in a day while I’m there than she would in a day I’m not there. It takes a lot of time to organize the level of racing they’re doing and to be around that is important to me."

 

Being able to help his children work their way through the ranks is important to Harvick. He grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Bakersfield, Calif. – a town that appreciated the sport of auto racing; although at the time it was a legitimate challenge to make it in the world of big-time stock car competition on the other side of the country.

 

Harvick was a hard-worker, however, with an uncommon focus and so much natural talent that he quickly found his way into the NASCAR rank-and-file 3,000 miles away.

 

After starring in NASCAR’s Southwest Tour and winning the 1998 ARCA Menards Series West championship, he raced in both the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series (then called the Busch Series) before getting the call from Childress to take over Earnhardt’s seat.

 

In a span of three weeks in February-March 2001, Harvick was hired to drive in the NASCAR Cup Series, got married to his longtime love DeLana and then won his first NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in one of the most emotional and memorable moments in all of NASCAR history.

 

“Dale’s passing changed our sport forever and it changed my life forever and the direction it took," Harvick said. “It took me a long time to really get comfortable to really even think about what that happened that day.

 

“The significance and the importance of keeping that car on the racetrack and winning that race early at Atlanta – knowing now what it meant to the sport and just that moment in general of being able to carry on, was so important."

 

Harvick won 23 races with Childress from 2001-2013 and two Xfinity Series title in that span (2001 and 2006) before moving to Stewart-Haas Racing where he made an immediate impact. Harvick earned the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series championship in his first year with the NASCAR Hall of Famer Stewart’s team. He would go on to win multiple races in all but one season, highlighted by a single-season career-high nine victories in 2020.

 

He also has 47 NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and 14 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series victories – one of the few competitors to earn double-digit wins in all three premier NASCAR series.

 

“I competed against Kevin for a long time, and I was so happy to finally have him a part of our race team," Stewart said. “He’s incredibly reliable – consistent and calculated on track with a drive to always be better. That’s what you want in a teammate. He knows what he needs to be successful and his will to win helped elevate our entire company."

 

It's the kind of praise Harvick has heard throughout his career and bountifully so with Thursday’s news.

 

Rodney Childers has been Harvick’s crew chief their entire tenure at Stewart-Haas Racing – the duo earning 37 NASCAR Cup Series wins, 25 pole positions, 366 top 10s, a pair of Brickyard 400 wins, two Southern 500 trophies and an All-Star race victory. And Childers was understandably poignant upon Harvick’s announcement on Thursday.

 

“He gave me a chance of a lifetime," Childers posted of Harvick on social media. “In that chance our relationship has never wavered. It’s been easy, every day. We’ve talked every day for 9 years. Our passion and push to be the best has never changed. And isn’t going to change. We still want to win every single week that we show up. …

 

“But most of all, we became brothers. Best friends. He taught me to be a better person, smarter, more intelligent. And most of all we learned what good people with the same goals can do if they really want it. Our team is our backbone, and they have believed from day one.

 

“…. This year is going to be fun, and we are going to race like hell."

 

Harvick’s former teammate at Richard Childress Racing, Jeff Burton said, “From teammates to friends, Kevin Harvick and I have been through it all together.

 

“He scratched his way into this sport & proved himself as a leader and a champion. I’m looking to watching him in his final season & see where this next chapter takes him. Thank you for everything!”

 

Harvick’s final season begins with the Busch Light Clash at the L.A. Coliseum on Feb. 5 and his team owner Stewart has nothing but high hopes for “The Closer” to close out his championship career.

 

“I want Kevin to savor every lap this season, to compete like hell and to take it all in," Stewart said. “He’s made all of us at Stewart-Haas Racing incredibly proud and we want to make his last season his best season."


NASCAR Announces Partnership With RealResponse

Safe and confidential reporting service for NASCAR

Industry launched this fall

 

Daytona Beach, FL and Charlotte, NC (December 15, 2022) – NASCAR and RealResponse, the award-winning reporting platform for athletic teams and organizations, today announced a partnership that provides NASCAR and national series industry members with a safe and anonymous tool to secure feedback, report concerns and seek assistance from professionals in countless areas of expertise.

 

RealResponse is the industry leader in providing a platform for safe and secure feedback, monitoring and anonymous reporting. The partnership will provide any NASCAR national series team member with the ability to confidentially reach out to express concerns or report issues via a customized communication tool. NASCAR personnel receive the encrypted and anonymous messages directly and designate a subject matter expert to respond immediately to the concern.

 

Concerns can range from competition-based items such as gambling or integrity, safety and security, abuse or harassment, or for seeking mental health support. The identity of the industry member reaching out is protected through the RealResponse reporting program, ensuring anonymity. 

                                                                                                                

“NASCAR wanted to be proactive in providing a tool for industry members such as drivers, crew and other team personnel to safely reach out for help,” said Meghan Miley, Managing Director of Racing Operations for NASCAR. “In partnering with RealResponse, we now have a confidential method for reporting. We don’t have a limit to the types of reports industry members can submit, and we can ensure their privacy as they reach out for anonymous support at any time.”

RealResponse was launched in 2016 by former NCAA Division I student-athlete David Chadwick, who saw a need for athletes to have a safe and confidential way to bring feedback to their athletic administration. Today, numerous sport governing bodies, organizations and teams such MLB, the NFLPA and NFL teams, USA Swimming and other Olympic organizations, the National Women’s Soccer League, and a multitude of colleges and universities work with RealResponse to provide the same service.

 

“We are honored to engage in this historic partnership with NASCAR,” said David Chadwick, Founder and CEO of RealResponse. “NASCAR executives recognize the responsibility to make the sport of racing safer, more inclusive and more valuable in the eyes every stakeholder involved in the sport. Their embrace of RealResponse sends a clear message that the health and safety of its community members away from the track is as important as safety of drivers on race day."

 

The program was introduced to the NASCAR national series teams in October.


 

December 14, 1947 december 14th 2022 nascar celebrates 75 years

On December 14, 1947, Bill France Sr. gathered 35 of the most influential figures in racing at Daytona’s Streamline Hotel to share his vision of a more prosperous future for their beloved sport. 

As ‘Big Bill’ set the foundation of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing into motion that day, he was quoted as telling the group:  

 

“Stock car racing has got distinct possibilities for Sunday shows and we do not know how big it can be if it’s handled properly… It can go the same way as big car racing (Indianapolis), I believe stock car racing can become a nationally recognized sport by having a National Point Standing.  Stock car racing as we’ve been running it is not, in my opinion, the answer…  We must try to get track owners and promoters interested in building stock car racing up.  We are all interested in one thing — that is improving the present conditions.  The answer lies in our group right here today to do it.” 

 

75 years later, NASCAR teammates are gathering across the country to commemorate the sport’s founding moment and celebrate its continued evolution, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t also thank each of you for your dedication to covering this sport.  

 

Without the tireless work of the media past and present, there’s quite literally no way NASCAR would have grown into what it is today.   

 


NASCAR fetes its national champions in Nashville awards ceremony

 

December 1, 2022

 

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that deuces were wild on Thursday night at the Music City Center, where NASCAR honored the champions of its top three national series at the annual NASCAR Awards.

 

Headlining the event was NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano, who drives the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske. The title was Logano’s second, following the championship he won for team owner Roger Penske in 2018.

 

Logano also made a two-time winner of crew chief Paul Wolfe, who earned his first title a decade earlier while on the pit box for Brad Keselowski.

 

Logano won two of the 10 Playoff races—the first Round of 8 race at Las Vegas to guarantee a spot in the Championship 4 as well as the race that decided the title, the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix.

 

The 2022 champion ended the season with four wins—in addition, his victory on the exhibition Clash at the Coliseum, the competitive debut of NASCAR’s new Next Gen Cup race car.

 

“22 in ’22,” Logano said, repeating the motto that had driven his race team throughout the season.

 

Introduced by friend and IndyCar legend Mario Andretti, Logano paid homage to his team owner and his parents.

 

“Mom, Dad… Letting me chase my dreams means so much,” said Logano, 32.

 

He congratulated Penske for winning both the Cup Series and IndyCar championships in the same season.

 

“That’s never happened before, guys,” said Logano, who ended his speech with advice for young drivers. 

 

“Coming from a guy that has made plenty mistakes in front of a lot of people… plenty of them still remind me of my mistakes,” said Logano, the youngest driver to win a Cup race at 19 years, 35 days. “No regrets. 

 

“I challenge you to take risks, make the big moves, stand up for what’s right. Because it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about winning and growing. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.”

 

Penske described Logano as “the leader on the track and off the track. Obviously, we’ve signed him up for five more years.”

 

Wolfe was just as effusive in his praise.

 

“Joey—he’s the guy that motivates us all,” said Wolfe, who contrasted his first championship with Keselowski with the current title.

 

“Ten years ago… that first one was so early in my career I didn’t know any better,” Wolfe said. 

 

In addition to recognizing the accomplishments of each of the 16 Playoff drivers, the NASCAR Awards also honored NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Ty Gibbs and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Zane Smith.

 

Gibbs won the Xfinity Series title at Phoenix, picking up his seventh victory of the season in the process. But hours later, Gibbs’ father, Coy Gibbs died in his sleep at age 49.

 

When Ty Gibbs took the stage at the Music City Center, he was greeted with a standing ovation.

 

“Wow! Thank you. It means a lot,” Gibbs said. “Thank you for all the claps. Thank you for all the support. I really appreciate it.”

 

Team owner Joe Gibbs, Ty’s grandfather, echoed the sentiment.

 

“Thanks so much for the way you’ve reached out in these last few weeks for our family,” Joe Gibbs said.

 

Ben Kennedy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing development and strategy, introduced Zane Smith with high praise.

 

“At such a young age (23), one can’t help but feel like we’re watching a future NASCAR superstar writing the beginning of his story,” Kennedy said. 

 

Smith’s parents were in Phoenix to watch the driver of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford win his fourth race of the season and the accompanying title.

 

“I’m still not sure if my mom was more excited to see me win or get a picture with Jeff Gordon after the race, since she’s always told me that was her dream,” Smith quipped. “So, I’m happy we were both able to accomplish our dreams that night.”

 

Ralph Maccarone was honored as the winner of the prestigious Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award. In 2012, Maccarone founded Who We Play For to inspire and empower schools, sports clubs and communities to provide heart screenings for all student athletes and students.

 

Team owner Justin Marks, who fields cars for Playoff drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez, was honored with the Myers Brothers Award for outstanding contributions to stock car racing. Marks’ Trackhouse Racing enjoyed a breakout season, with Chastain winning twice and Suarez once—and Chastain leaving an indelible mark on the sport with his eye-popping high-speed trip around the Martinsville wall to earn a spot in the Championship 4.

 

For the fifth straight year, Chase Elliott won the NMPA Most Popular Driver Award, the only significant honor in the sport determined sole by vote of the fans. Elliott’s father, Bill Elliott, won the award a record 16 times. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was voted Most Popular Driver for 15 seasons.

 

Noah Gragson was the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Most Popular Driver, and Hailie Deegan earned the honor in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

 

Jes Ferreira from CSM Production was honored as the winner of the Comcast Community Champion of the Year award for her commitment as the single parent of two adopted children.


Advance Auto Parts Named 2022 NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award Recipient

Company continues to expand its presence, dedicating resources to grassroots racing

 

Daytona Beach, FL (December 1, 2022) – Advance Auto Parts, the “Official Auto Parts Retailer of NASCAR”, will be awarded the 2022 Marketing Achievement Award today at the NASCAR Industry Awards Reception during NASCAR Champion’s Week in Nashville.

In their third season as an Official Partner, Advance has demonstrated their commitment to grassroots racing, supporting drivers and tracks in local communities across the United States and Canada. The entitlement partner of the Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series (NAAPWS), Advance most recently partnered with the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Combine, developing new storytelling opportunities and helping to livestream the event for the first time in program history.

“Advance Auto Parts is very honored to receive this award,” said Jason McDonell, executive vice president of merchandising, marketing and e-commerce at Advance. “Since becoming a partner of NASCAR, our team has been focused on supporting grassroots racing through programs like Advance My Track Challenge and the Drive for Diversity Combine. As the Official Auto Parts Retailer of NASCAR, we look forward to our continued partnership, leading programs that advance local racing while serving as the auto parts provider of choice for race fans.”

For a second season, Advance promoted the “Advance My Track Challenge,” focusing on local race tracks and communities to raise awareness of and celebrate grassroots racing. Through a consumer voting program, the organization awarded Jennerstown Speedway a $50,000 prize, distributing 6,000 tickets to local Advance stores for free admission to the speedway’s celebration event. The program generated more than 220 thousand impressions on NASCAR.com and NASCAR social media channels.

“Since becoming an official partner, Advance Auto Parts has been a big supporter of grassroots racing, raising awareness of local racing communities and providing young drivers with the opportunity to showcase their talent,” said Michelle Byron, vice president, partnership marketing at NASCAR. “After the 2022 Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine, we’re thrilled to see what’s next as they continue to find creative ways to grow their presence in the sport.”

After introducing a new brand campaign in June with their No. 1 fan Ed Vance, Advance hosted Ed at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway and captured live content with him throughout the weekend. In a matter of months, Ed quickly began to be recognized at tracks, becoming a staple character among race fans.

Closing out the year, Advance served as the primary sponsor of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Combine, continuing to expand its presence in the sport. Advance was on-site throughout the event, capturing content as drivers prepared for and participated in the combine. Through their sponsorship, the company gave NASCAR the ability to evaluate additional drivers for the combine as the league also selected additional winners compared to previous years.

This is the first time Advance has been awarded the NASCAR Marketing Achievement Award. Previous winners include: Anheuser-Busch, Comcast; Coca-Cola; Fox Sports and NBC Sports; Mars, Incorporated; Mobil 1; and Toyota.

NASCAR’s Champion’s Week in Nashville will air Saturday, December 3 at 8 p.m. ET on Peacock. For more information, please visit nascar.com/championsweek.

 


NASCAR Champion's Week at Nashville Notebook

 

Notebook Items:

  • Joey Logano looking forward to contributing to the Champion's Diary
  • Kyle Busch wants to be the NASCAR version of Tom Brady
  • Ross Chastain still smiling, still taking it in
  • Eleventh-hour dramatics may have hurt Christopher Bell in season finale
  • Ryan Blaney is making a list and checking it twice—with his crew chief 
  • Ty Gibbs emotional Championship Week

 

December 1, 2022

 

By Holly Cain and Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

Joey Logano looking forward to contributing to the Champion's Diary

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Newly-crowned NASCAR Cup Series champion Joey Logano spoke with the media gathered in downtown Nashville Thursday morning for the highly-anticipated NASCAR Awards Ceremony scheduled for later that evening and televised Saturday evening at 8 p.m. ET on PEACOCK.

 

Among the things Logano said he was most looking forward to as champion was the chance to both read and contribute again to the “Champion’s Diary” – a private record of handwritten notes passed on yearly from one NASCAR Cup Series champion to the next. It’s a tightly-guarded tradition and one that Logano – now a two-time series champion - wishes had started decades ago.

 

“I can’t wait to read it again," the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford said with a huge smile.

 

“Some are kind of quick and simple, but it’s very interesting to read it and it’s cool because it’s a real secret. It’s kind of like an unwritten rule, you can’t take pictures of it and post it. It’s a thing that only the championship drivers know and have read and seen and heard the stories. It’s a cool thing.

 

“Every time I get it, I’m so nervous. I’m like, don’t spill anything on this. Don’t lose it. It would suck to be the guy who loses the book. It would really be bad. I get nervous, I put it in the safe right away. I won’t see this for a year, that’s what I do."

 

As of Thursday morning, Logano had not received the book yet from 2021 series champion Kyle Larson, who conceded last week, that he had not crafted his message to Logano quite yet. Kevin Harvick, the 2014 series champion, smiled when asked about the tradition, saying he’s glad the champions have not shared details of the various messages inside the book.

 

The tradition began when 2010 champ Jimmie Johnson, now a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, first left a message for 2011 champion Tony Stewart. Stewart passed along words for 2012 champion Brad Keselowski and so on and so forth ever since.

 

“It’s a congratulatory message from one champion to the next, it’s kind of that passing the torch of ‘great work this year, great job,’ two-time series champion Kyle Busch said, recalling specifically the message he left for 2020 champion Chase Elliott.

 

“I remember him from him being a little kid," Busch said. “Honestly, I remember watching him on TV being a little kid with his dad (NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott), like [Kyle’s son] Brexton is now."

 

“I think Jimmie did a great thing getting it started," Busch said, adding with a grin. “It probably definitely should have started 30 years prior at least. It would have been a lot of good stories, I’m sure. It would have been pretty cool."

 

Kyle Busch wants to be the NASCAR version of Tom Brady 

 

After a year that can be described conservatively as tumultuous, two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch is ready to take the next step in his career. 

 

Busch is leaving Joe Gibbs Racing, where he spent 15 full seasons, to drive a Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing. 

 

“It’s obviously been a challenging… not just this year, but the last little while… so it’s kind of maybe a blessing in disguise,” said Busch, who explored various options for 2023 after his sponsor, M&M’s, declined to return to the No. 18 JGR Toyota after this year. “Honestly, it just might be time for a fresh start—something new and something different. 

 

“I’m kind of looking at it as the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning aspect, where they left great teams, great organizations where they won championships, and they went on to win championships somewhere else.” 

 

Busch arrived at his Champion's Week question-and-answer session at the Music City Center wearing the championship rings he won in 2015 and 2019, one on each hand. 

 

“If you’ve got it, you might as well wear it,” Busch said. “You’re not going to wear it getting into a race car, so you might as well wear it at the functions where you can show people what they’re going after… 

 

“Again, I’m going to go back to the Brady/Manning theory where, yes, I’ve done it before at one place. I want to do it again somewhere else.” 

 

Ross Chastain still smiling, still taking it in

 

Even in the immediate moments after Ross Chastain finished out the 2022 championship finale - finishing runner-up to new NASCAR Cup Series champ Joey Logano in the race – the 29-year-old Floridian insisted he was absolutely thrilled with the season.

 

The driver of the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet earned his first two career NASCAR Cup Series victories (at Circuit of The Americas and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway) and was a legitimate championship threat the entire season from Daytona to Phoenix.

 

And, when he had to do something drastic to earn one of only four championship berths in the Phoenix title race, Chastain performed a move on the last half of the last lap at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway to take that position. Still needing to make up positions on the final lap, he turned his Chevy into the outside wall and floored it – riding the wall and passing five cars to earn the final Playoff transfer position by a single-point over veteran Denny Hamlin and setting a track record in his wake.

 

Although Logano dominated the season finale en route to his second series title, Chastain secured career-highs in wins (2), top-fives (15) and top-10s (21). He led 692 laps in 2022 after leading only 76 laps in his previous five years racing in the series.

 

It all made for quite the “Cinderella story” for a young driver in his first year with a competitive team in NASCAR’s premier series - a racer from tiny Alva, Florida where his family operates a watermelon farm starring on the world stage.

 

Yet, Chastain said with a smile Thursday, his return home to his Florida farm property in the weeks immediately after the season was a lot less glamorous than many would have expected. He acknowledged, however, his work in 2022 raised the interest level of those he grew up with and has absolutely gained a lot of fans thanks to his performance all season and certainly with his "Martinsville Miracle."

 

Chastain was with his younger brother Chad Chastain at a race recently – helping work on the car and then spotting for Chad during the race. He said he appreciated the number of people approaching him for attaboys and handshakes even if he had to remind them, he was working the race. He still hasn’t had a chance to read or even answer all the texts he’s received post-Martinsville.

 

Back at home in rural Southwestern Florida, however, Chastain is afforded the chance to relax and take it all in.

 

“It’s just home so people that I know were just like, great season, let’s go to lunch," Chastain recalled with a smile. “Nothing too crazy. They want to talk about Martinsville and talk a little about the win at COTA and Talladega, but pretty normal. It’s the most normal of any place I go."

 

Eleventh-hour dramatics may have hurt Christopher Bell in season finale 

 

With two victories in must-win situations in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, Christopher Bell stole his share of headlines and earned a spot in the Championship 4. 

 

But his last-minute heroics—particularly in the Round of 8 elimination race at Martinsville Speedway—may have put the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at a disadvantage compared with series champion Joey Logano, who won the first Round of 8 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and had two extra weeks to prepare for the Championship Race at Phoenix. 

 

“That’s very interesting, because I had the exact same circumstances in my two Xfinity years,” said Bell, who competed for the NASCAR Xfinity Series title in 2018 and 2019. “My first year I didn’t make it till the last race at Phoenix, and then in my second year, I won the first race at Texas. 

 

“It definitely changes your mind-set and your preparation for the event. Joey had multiple weeks to prepare for that event (the season finale). The car, I’m assuming, was sitting there getting all the Phoenix tune-up on it, where our car… I don’t know… I definitely did not think it was a disadvantage for him to be able to focus on that for a number of weeks.” 

 

Winning at Martinsville, however, had its own rewards for Bell—not the least of which is the grandfather clock trophy that goes with the victory. 

 

“The house that I live in, we’ve just tried to keep my special trophies there, and the Martinsville clock is one that got to (be there),” Bell said. 

 

Ryan Blaney is making a list and checking it twice—with his crew chief 

 

After two enjoyable weeks in the off-season, Ryan Blaney was eager to return to racing. Because he’s not scheduled for any offseason testing, however, the driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford won’t be back in his car until February. 

 

That doesn’t mean Blaney can’t work on ways to improve from a season where he qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs on points and finished eighth in the final standings. 

 

“I make a list at the end of the year,” Blaney said. “OK, what did we do well? What did we struggle with? And like what are your goals to get better? What do you really want to improve? 

 

“Me and (crew chief) Jonathan (Hassler) sat down last week and went through our list of notes, and like where do we want to get better and improve at, and what did we do well and can still build off of? 

 

“That stuff to me is always really helpful. You look back on the year, and you’re like, ‘Well, we screwed up in this situation. Let’s jot that down and let’s try to figure out a different way. If that comes up again, let’s change it.’” 

 

One race Blaney would like to change is the season-opening Daytona 500, where he had a chance to win on the last lap but finished fourth as rookie teammate Austin Cindric took the checkered flag. 

 

“The one that stings the most is the 500, because we’ve been so close to that that thing for years,” Blaney said. “That one stings the most, but I try to get over that stuff really quick.” 

 

Ty Gibbs emotional Championship Week

 

Wearing his new, sparkling NASCAR Xfinity Series champion’s ring and sporting a pair of stylish sneakers, 20-year-old Ty Gibbs offered smiles and cherished recollections of his 2022 championship season.

 

He calmly asked reporters to focus on the racing topic, saying he did not feel comfortable yet responding to questions about the tragic loss of his father, Joe Gibbs Racing Vice Chairman Coy Gibbs, 49, who passed away in his sleep in Phoenix after Ty’s impressive championship trophy hoist there just hours earlier.

 

“I’ve been doing good, thank you for asking, definitely appreciate you guys," Gibbs said addressing the subject immediately. “Right now I’m not going to touch on that subject at all, just going to stick with the racing questions."

 

Gibbs said he had been absolutely committed to coming to Nashville to celebrate his and the team’s achievement. Only two weeks ago, the JGR team – owner by his grandfather, NASCAR Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs – formally announced that Gibbs will drive the No. 54 Toyota in the NASCAR Cup Series fulltime in 2023.

 

“Definitely going to be fun," said Gibbs, speaking with the media for the first time since his championship press conference on Nov.  5.  He said he’s devoted a lot of time to learning the NASCAR Cup Series car on the SIM and feels the 15 races he got to compete in during 2022 filling in for the injured Kurt Busch in the 23XI Racing Toyota will be a substantial boost to his rookie season next year.

 

“Definitely a huge benefit for sure," Gibbs said. “I’m very thankful to be put in that opportunity. Again, thank you to (team co-owners) Denny (Hamlin) and Michael (Jordan) for the opportunity. It was really cool.

 

Of the unexpected chance to get some seat time in the Cup car in advance of is move up to the series, Gibbs said, “Going back and forth and double-duty and racing for the championship in one series, it was a lot, but I did feel like I got comfortable with it (Cup car). I’m thankful to have had the experience."

 

 


 

THE LEGACY CONTINUES: GOODYEAR AND NASCAR ANNOUNCE THE CONTINUATION OF A HISTORIC RELATIONSHIP

 

Nashville, Tenn. (December 1, 2022) – With one of the longest-running relationships in racing history, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and NASCAR today announced a new multi-year agreement renewing Goodyear’s position as the exclusive tire for NASCAR’s top three national series. 

 

The agreement continues Goodyear’s designation as the “Official Tire of NASCAR,” as well as the title sponsor of the annual Goodyear 400, NASCAR’s Official Throwback Weekend Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway.

 

“From our manufacturing plants to offices around the world, racing is ingrained in our culture, and the importance of our relationship with NASCAR is reflected in the quality, performance and engineering we put into every Goodyear Eagle race tire,” said Richard J. Kramer, chairman, chief executive officer and president at Goodyear. “Our performance on the racetrack plays an active role in the success of the sport and inspires the development of our consumer tires, fueling our commitment to take performance and innovation to the next level.”

 

For nearly 70 years, NASCAR has served as a proving ground for generations of Goodyear Racing tire engineers, innovating, preparing and supplying tires that meet the most grueling and demanding conditions at the track. The unique technology that withstands and performs in race conditions also informs development and differentiates Goodyear’s consumer tires.

 

“Goodyear has been a trusted partner to the NASCAR industry since 1954, playing a critical role in our shared pursuit to deliver the best racing in the world,” said Steve Phelps, president of NASCAR. “For more than 25 years, Goodyear Eagle tires have been the only component that connects the stock car to the racetrack. Our continued partnership will allow us to push boundaries and innovate our racing product for generations to come.” 

 

Goodyear and NASCAR’s nearly 70-year relationship is built on shared values of competition and innovation. As the sport evolved, so have Goodyear Eagle race tires, leading to the introduction of new tire technology like the racing slick in 1972, the radial tire in 1989, the multi-zone tread design in 2013 and the development of the 18-inch Goodyear Racing Eagle tire used on NASCAR’s Next Gen stock car. Fittingly, Darlington Raceway – one of the Cup Series’ oldest active tracks – is also home to the Goodyear 400 and many of Goodyear’s milestones in innovation, including the brand’s first official NASCAR tire test in 1954.

 

Goodyear produces more than 100,000 tires for NASCAR’s top three series every year, and each one is hand-built by Goodyear associates in Akron, Ohio – Goodyear’s global headquarters. To learn more about Goodyear Racing, visit www.Goodyear.com/Racing.


 

NASCAR Champion's Week at Nashville Preview

 

November 30, 2022

 

By Holly Cain

NASCAR Wire Service

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Celebrating a season full of first-time winners, a popular repeat champion and all the makings of a bright future, the NASCAR industry arrives in Nashville, Tenn. this week to officially crown Team Penske’s Joey Logano as the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Champion and highlight a year of big personalities and high achievement on track.

 

The NASCAR Awards and Champion Celebration will be held Thursday night at Nashville’s Music City Center and streamed on NBC’s Peacock Saturday at 8 p.m. ET with country music star Erin Kinsey headlining the evening’s entertainment.

 

The 2018 champion Logano, who now joins Kyle Busch as the only multi-time NASCAR Cup Series champions among active drivers, will be feted along with NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Ty Gibbs and Camping World Truck Series champ Zane Smith.

 

The Most Popular Driver from each series – as selected in a fan vote – will also be revealed in what is always a highly-anticipated evening of celebration. Chase Elliott, the 2020 season champion, is the four-time defending winner of the award in the NASCAR Cup Series.

 

“We are delighted to bring the celebration to Nashville once again, as the city’s energy and passion for motorsports never cease to amaze us," NASCAR’s Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer Pete Jung said in announcing the return of the awards event to Nashville for the third year.

 

From historic venues like the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame to honky-tonks and famous barbeque at every corner – Nashville has quickly proven to be a favorite for both the NASCAR industry and the sport’s loyal fans, so many show up hoping to meet their favorite drivers – all eager to celebrate a remarkable 2022 season.

 

Logano, 32, driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, dominated the Nov. 6 NASCAR Cup Series finale at Phoenix Raceway – leading 187 of the 312 laps - to claim his second series title – besting the Championship 4 of Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell and Hendrick Motorsports' Elliott. It marked the first time either Chastain or Bell had earned a place in the Final 4 – both advancing thanks to clutch performances in the dramatic penultimate race of the schedule at Martinsville, Va.

 

Similarly, Gibbs, the 20-year-old driver of the No. 54 JGR Toyota, led a race best 125 of the 200-laps at Phoenix to definitively claim his first major NASCAR title in just his first fulltime Xfinity Series season. JR Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry rounded out the foursome who advanced to the final round.

 

Smith, 23, who drives the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford, took his first NASCAR championship in the Camping World Truck Series after finishing runner-up for the big trophy in the last two seasons. Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Chandler Smith and ThorSport Racing teammates Ben Rhodes – the 2021 series champion – and Ty Majeski rounded out the series’ title contenders.

 

The championship races in all three national series proved as compelling and exciting as the season they capped providing a lot of eager anticipation for this week’s opportunity to celebrate.

 

The NASCAR Cup Series saw 19 different winners in the debut of the Next Gen car – the most diverse winner’s slate since 2001, tying a modern-day record. It notably included a remarkable five first-time race winners, including Chastain, his Trackhouse Racing teammate Daniel Suarez, Team Penske rookie Austin Cindric, who won the season-opening Daytona 500, Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe.

 

It all bodes well for the competitive future of the sport with so much to celebrate this week in Nashville – a rare repeat champion in Logano and a pair of young, first-timers in Gibbs and Smith. Strike up the band and cue the talent, Music City is ready. And so is NASCAR.


 

 

Rising Music Star Erin Kinsey to Perform at The 2022 NASCAR Awards

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2022) – Rising country music artist Erin Kinsey will take the stage to help NASCAR celebrate a 2022 season highlighted by breakthrough moments from many young stars of its own.

 

The RECORDS Nashville singer-songwriter will perform her debut hit single, “Just Drive,” which has been featured on SiriusXM The Highway “On The Horizon” and amassed more than 40 million streams and views to date, during the NASCAR Awards and Champion Celebration invite-only event this Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville.

 

"Getting the opportunity to perform at the NASCAR Awards is such an honor, especially with it being in Nashville,” says Kinsey. “As a bit of a speed demon myself, I really admire the amazing drivers who have made incredible careers out of driving fast! This is also my first tv performance, so I am just so excited to get to play a small role in such a huge night for NASCAR. Congratulations to all the winners!”

 

While Kinsey’s first-ever televised performance marks an exciting career milestone, it will not be her first time gracing the stage at a NASCAR event. The 22-year-old Texas native also performed the National Anthem prior to the NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway this past May.

 

Fans can tune in to watch the 2022 NASCAR Awards, including Kinsey’s performance, when it airs Saturday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. ET on Peacock. In addition to two-time Cup Series champion Joey Logano, NASCAR will also honor first-time Xfinity Series champion Ty Gibbs and first-time Camping World Truck Series champion Zane Smith as part of the celebration.

 

For more information on Champion’s Week, please visit www.nascar.com/championsweek.

 

 

 


   nascar cup series Xfinity series

2023 NASCAR CUP SERIES SCHEDULE

Date

Race / Track

Sunday, February 5

Clash (L.A. Memorial Coliseum)

Thursday, February 16

Duel at Daytona

Sunday, February 19

DAYTONA 500

Sunday, February 26

Auto Club

Sunday, March 5

Las Vegas

Sunday, March 12

Phoenix

Sunday, March 19

Atlanta

Sunday, March 26

COTA

Sunday, April 2

Richmond

Sunday, April 9

Bristol Dirt

Sunday, April 16

Martinsville

Sunday, April 23

Talladega

Sunday, April 30

Dover

Sunday, May 7

Kansas

Sunday, May 14

Darlington

Sunday, May 21

North Wilkesboro (All-Star Race)

Sunday, May 28

Charlotte

Sunday, June 4

World Wide Technology Raceway

Sunday, June 11

Sonoma

Sunday, June 25

Nashville Superspeedway

Sunday, July 2

Chicago Street Race

Sunday, July 9

Atlanta

Sunday, July 16

New Hampshire

Sunday, July 23

Pocono

Sunday, July 30

Richmond

Sunday, August 6

Michigan

Sunday, August 13

Indianapolis Road Course

Sunday, August 20

Watkins Glen

Saturday, August 26

Daytona

Sunday, September 3

Darlington

Sunday, September 10

Kansas

Saturday, September 16

Bristol

Sunday, September 24

Texas

Sunday, October 1

Talladega

Sunday, October 8

Charlotte Roval

Sunday, October 15

Las Vegas

Sunday, October 22

Homestead-Miami

Sunday, October 29

Martinsville

Sunday, November 5

Phoenix (Championship)

 

2023 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES SCHEDULE

Date

Race / Track

Saturday, February 18

Daytona

Saturday, February 25

Auto Club

Saturday, March 4

Las Vegas

Saturday, March 11

Phoenix

Saturday, March 18

Atlanta

Saturday, March 25

COTA

Saturday, April 1

Richmond

Saturday, April 15

Martinsville

Saturday, April 22

Talladega

Saturday, April 29

Dover

Saturday, May 13

Darlington

Saturday, May 27

Charlotte

Saturday, June 3

Portland

Saturday, June 10

Sonoma

Saturday, June 24

Nashville Superspeedway

Saturday, July 1

Chicago Street Race

Saturday, July 8

Atlanta

Saturday, July 15

New Hampshire

Saturday, July 22

Pocono

Saturday, July 29

Road America

Saturday, August 5

Michigan

Saturday, August 12

Indianapolis Road Course

Saturday, August 19

Watkins Glen

Friday, August 25

Daytona

Saturday, September 2

Darlington

Saturday, September 9

Kansas

Friday, September 15

Bristol

Saturday, September 23

Texas

Saturday, October 7

Charlotte Roval

Saturday, October 14

Las Vegas

Saturday, October 21

Homestead-Miami

Saturday, October 28

Martinsville

Saturday, November 4

Phoenix (Championship)

 
 
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