No. 4 driver also explains why they can't just put his setup in teammates' cars Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live CHARLOTTE , N.C. -- Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick says his team will approach today's team test at Charlotte Motor Speedway with caution, and avoid trying to read too much into the details as teams prepare for the series' stops here in late May. In Harvick's view, today's test, which is scheduled to run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on the 1.5-mile track, "is just a big-ticket item" for his Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 team. "You've got to really be careful as far as what you think you're learning, for Charlotte in particular," Harvick said Tuesday during an appearance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "By the time we go back ... so many things are going to change and evolve. "You cannot be scared to do something different than what you did there last time just for the fact that this sport evolves on a weekly basis," he said. Teams pay close attention to what others are doing, and none are more closely watched than those that are successful. And few have been as successful as Harvick and his team. Fresh off a victory last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway , Harvick's riding a six-race run dating back to the close of the '14 season that’s seen him post three victories while posting three runnerup finishes. That's an average finishing position of 1.5. Eye-popping stuff. Envious stuff. Folks notice. "The next thing you know," he said, "everybody's doing what you're doing and if you aren’t forward thinking, you're going to get left behind pretty fast." Crew chief Rodney Childers will tinker, but as Harvick said, so much will change before teams return here in two months. Try "to hit on something that improves what we're doing and not really worry about characteristics for Charlotte ," Harvick said, "because it's going to have more grip, it's going to be faster; all those things will be different ... in May." Goodyear conducted a tire test at CMS on Tuesday, with drivers Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ), Aric Almirola ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), Kasey Kahne ( Hendrick Motorsports ) and J.J. Yeley ( BK Racing ) participating. Those four teams are expected to return today, and will be joined by Harvick (SHR), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ), Jamie McMurray ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Ricky Stenhouse Jr . ( Roush Fenway Racing ), Clint Bowyer ( Michael Waltrip Racing ), Denny Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Ryan Blaney ( Wood Brothers Racing ) and Michael McDowell ( Leavine Family Racing ). Although no official announcement has been made, it is expected that this year's Sprint All-Star Race at CMS (Saturday, May 16) will feature the 2016 rules package, which includes even less downforce on the cars than the 2015 package. Harvick says that would be a "great way to understand what needs to be changed; you get to see some real racing environment stuff. "It allows everybody to kind of get their arms around was it good, was it bad, was it better?" he said. Thus far this year, a combination of less downforce and horsepower hasn't slowed the cars down and in some cases they're actually turning faster lap speeds. "As drivers you obviously realize that the corner speeds are way up this year and the only way to get them down is to make a really big change like they're talking about making," Harvick said. "It's taken awhile to get everybody on the same page when you start taking 600, 700, 800 pounds of downforce off the cars, and ... understanding how that's going to affect the teams, the financial commitment, what will they have to change on their cars to get this rules package to where it needs to be?" Less downforce means it's back to the drawing board for tire supplier Goodyear, which ran its Tuesday tests at CMS with the '16 rules package. Several other tests with the setup are scheduled throughout the season. "When you start taking those corner speeds and slowing them down by 15-20 mph, the tires can do a lot of different things than they do right now," Harvick said. "We've been to Atlanta where corner speeds were up 13-14 mph and Vegas they were up 15-18 mph compared to last year. "I know the track (qualifying) record went down at Las Vegas ... that's just a result of the entry speed not being as great as it was and the corner speeds being up; you can just maintain that entry speed all the way through the corner." While Harvick's team has been the class of the SHR organization, owner/driver Tony Stewart has struggled, posting finishes of 42nd, 30th and 33rd this season. He heads to this weekend's stop in Phoenix 34th in points. Because drivers have different preferences for what they want their car to do and how they want it to feel, it’s not as simple as putting Harvick’s setup into Stewart’s No. 14 entry, he said. "As you look at the packages and the way we all drive, they're drastically different in throttle traces and steering traces and fields," said Harvick. "Whether it's myself or (teammate) Danica (Patrick) or Tony, everybody wants something different in their car. "So much to do with it is style, and a lot of that is just communication between you and your engineers and everybody being on the same page. If we just put my stuff in Tony's car, it would be hard to just say that that's going to fix all the problems. "I think right now everybody is just in an analyzing phase of really trying to understand exactly what direction we need to go to help and that’s what we’ll continue to do." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Keselowski: 'Testing is like a lottery ticket' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live CONCORD, N.C. -- More than one dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams spent Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway , validating information gleaned from simulation programs while testing on a track and a tire that they will see approximately two months from now. The open test, part of NASCAR National Series Unified Testing Program for 2015, provides one team from each Sprint Cup organization the opportunity to participate. It is the second open test conducted this season, following NASCAR's elimination of private team testing at the conclusion of 2014. "Just being able to try things and look at the data acquisition and see exactly what it did," Keith Rodden, crew chief for Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne said of the advantages of the test. "Because on a race weekend we don't get to run those sensors so you always have some questions. "When I run tests, I try to make big changes, I don't try to 'Happy Hour' it and try to run fast. I don't really care what (speeds) we're running today … we're trying to make big picture changes, do things to the car to make it act differently. Being able to look at that data that comes right off the car when we come in is really valuable. "The second part of that is being able to correlate your simulation tool to the actual track data. That's the biggest advantage." Sixteen cars were on the track during the day-long session -- including one from each manufacturer running data-gathering wheel force transducers. In addition to Kahne, drivers participating were Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Aric Almirola ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ), Jamie McMurray ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Denny Hamlin ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Brian Scott (RAB Racing), Ryan Blaney ( Wood Brothers Racing ), Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ), Michael McDowell ( Leavine Family Racing ), Clint Bowyer ( Michael Waltrip Racing ) Ricky Stenhouse Jr . ( Roush Fenway Racing ) and JJ Yeley ( BK Racing ). A one-day Goodyear tire test was conducted on Tuesday, and Almirola was one of four drivers taking part in that session as well. "We've just been running through a lot of setup things and a lot of aero stuff and a lot of things that we kind of came up with over the winter and we've had a lot of questions about, whether they were going to be better or not," the RPM driver said. "It's hard when the wind tunnel tells you one thing – sometimes the race track agrees and sometimes it doesn't, so we've just been kind of validating some stuff on the race track that we've seen in the wind tunnel … validating some stuff that we've been seeing in our new simulation software and kind of correlating that to the real world aspect at the race track. "It's been a great test for us as far as those things are concerned." Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR's Vice President for Innovation and Racing Development, said such open team tests were helpful to the sanctioning body, but primarily for the teams' benefit. Three elements, he said, stand out. Unlike previous tests conducted prior to the '15 testing program, teams did not test at tracks where Sprint Cup races were held, and they tested on tires that likely wouldn't be used. That combination limited the amount of knowledge that could be gained. "We've got a lot of cars on the track," Stefanyshyn said, "so we can really get our head around those and make sure those tires are going to work well." Stefanyshyn also said such tests are able to be conducted in a more cost-efficient manner for teams "and we provide them with a higher level of service as they do all this." Brad Keselowski , the 2012 series champion, wasn't testing, but was on hand at CMS Wednesday. "You never know what you might learn or stumble across," the Team Penske driver said. "Testing is like a lottery ticket – you might win a $1 scratch-off, or you might get lucky and win $3-4 million." There have been times, he said, when he departed a test thinking it had been a complete waste of time, but others that proved to be more valuable. "I distinctly remember a test before the Kansas race (in '12)," he said, "and I really feel like what we learned at that test won us the championship." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
• 2014 Season In Review Also Features Year In Photos, Video Highlights Package FORT WORTH, Texas (December 16, 2014) - The year at Texas Motor Speedway opened with pyrotechnics celebrating the unveiling of the world's largest, high-definition LED video board in March and culminated in November with additional fireworks courtesy of the post-race melee involving combatants Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 Eliminator 8 Chase race. There also was plenty of action and excitement in between as Texas Motor Speedway played host to its annual Duck Commander 500 NASCAR doubleheader in April, Firestone 600 INDYCAR/NASCAR twin bill in June and played host to its inaugural Red Bull Air Race World Championship event in September. The Texas Motor Speedway 2014 Season In Review recaps those major event weekends, in addition to the momentous "Big Hoss TV" unveiling, while the accompanying Texas Motor Speedway Year in Photos captures all those key moments in addition to other noteworthy speedway -related events throughout the year. The Texas Motor Speedway Year in Photos features 90 images - primarily from the speedway's official photo agency Getty Images - that were chosen for their significance and/or artistic value and are presented in chronological order. A three-minute video recap of the top on-track moments, including the AAA Texas 500 post-race skirmish, also is available in HD by clicking here. All photos and video are free for media outlets to utilize, especially for their year-end, wrap-ups and can be previewed by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com or downloaded by visiting www.image.net/tmsinreview2014 . Let's take a look back: "Big Hoss TV" Unveiling / Wednesday, March 19 The Skinny: The world's largest, high-definition LED video board is unveiled amid fanfare and will be one of the most impactful fan enhancements in the history of Texas Motor Speedway and the world of motorsports. The Recap: Texas Motor Speedway unveiled the world's largest, high-definition LED video board in grand fashion as the evening featured fireworks, motorsports stars, reality television celebrities, dignitaries and the showing of an episode from A&E's hit reality show "Duck Dynasty" for more than 8,000 fans situated in the infield of the world-class sports facility. The official debut of the Panasonic-built "Big Hoss TV" was part of a star-studded evening that included appearances by Duck Commander CEO and "Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson and his wife, Korie, along with the heralded racing duo of NASCAR's Kyle Busch and INDYCAR's Helio Castroneves. Also in attendance were dignitaries such as NASCAR President Mike Helton, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America Vice President Richard Ballard, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. Chairman Bruton Smith, SMI President and COO Marcus Smith and Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. Positioned in the middle of the backstretch and stretching 218 feet wide by 94.6 feet tall, "Big Hoss TV" features 20,633.64 square feet of HD LED imagery that contains 281 trillion colors. The video board, constructed in just four months, surpassed fellow Speedway Motorsports, Inc. facility Charlotte Motor Speedway (16,000 square feet) as the Guinness World Record holder for the world's largest HD LED video board. The size of "Big Hoss TV" is staggering as it is 79 percent larger than the video board at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, which is 11,520 square feet. "It is the ultimate fan amenity," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "To have the biggest one in the world, that's just one of those 'Everything is Bigger in Texas' stories that we are really proud to be a part of." NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 / Monday, April 7 The Skinny: Rain forces a Monday matinee for only the third time in speedway history and Joey Logano wins the Duck Commander 500 for an automatic berth in the reformatted Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . The Recap: With Duck Commander on board as the title sponsor and the "Duck Dynasty" stars on hand en masse, the weather was more conducive for duck hunting that NASCAR racing. The Duck Commander 500 , moved from its Saturday night slot to Sunday afternoon to avoid a conflict with the NCAA Final Four men's college basketball tourney being in Arlington, was washed out due to continual rain showers and rescheduled for a Monday matinee. It was just the third time in Texas Motor Speedway 's 18-year history that a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was run on Monday due to inclement weather, the most recent coming in 2010 when both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races were run on the same day. Penske Racing's Joey Logano punched his ticket for a berth in the restructured Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format after surviving a green/white-checkered finish to win the Duck Commander 500 . Logano was cruising to victory with a two-second lead over teammate Brad Keselowski with just over one lap remaining in the scheduled 334-lap event, but a caution for debris forced a two-lap overtime shootout. Logano restarted third after pitting for four tires while Jeff Gordon and Brian Vickers opted for two tires and restarted first and second, respectively. Gordon held off Logano on the first lap, but Logano got a strong run inside on the frontstretch and was able to overtake him in Turn 1 and pull away to a 0.476 of a second margin of victory in the race that was extended to 340 laps. The victory was Logano's first since August of 2013 at Michigan and the fourth of his career. It also was his first Sprint Cup win at Texas Motor Speedway , which was highlighted by him becoming the youngest Cup winner in TMS history at 23 years, 10 months and 14 days. NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 / Friday, April 4 The Skinny: Rookie Chase Elliott , the 18-year-old son of NASCAR great Bill Elliott , lands his first career Nationwide Series victory in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 to become the second-youngest winner in series history. The Recap: Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 provided a historic milestone for a second-generation NASCAR driver and a glimpse into the talent that would flourish and lead to a series championship. Rookie Chase Elliott , the 18-year-old high school senior and son of NASCAR great Bill Elliott , needed just six starts in the Nationwide Series for his first career win that came in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 . Elliott made a bold move on the high side of Kevin Harvick in the elbow of the frontstretch to take the lead on Lap 185 and then held on for a 2.251-second victory over Kyle Busch in the 200-lap event. Elliott became the second-youngest winner in series history at 18 years, 4 months and 8 days. Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 / Saturday, June 7 The Skinny: Will Power's late pit lane penalty opens the door for Ed Carpenter to capture the Firestone 600 and become the first American winner at TMS since Sam Hornish Jr . in 2007. The Recap: The annual INDYCAR/NASCAR summer doubleheader yielded two first-time Texas Motor Speedway winners as Matt Crafton won the Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 350 and Ed Carpenter was victorious in the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600. Carpenter took advantage of a strong second-half race performance and a critical late pit lane penalty by Will Power to record his first series victory since 2012 in the Firestone 600. The victory was the third of Carpenter's career and his first since winning the 2012 season finale at Fontana. In his previous 12 starts at Texas Motor Speedway , he had just one top-five finish and led one lap (2009) before breaking through to become the first American to win at Texas since Sam Hornish Jr . in 2007. Carpenter led 66 of the final 67 laps of the 248-lap event and avoided a potential shootout for the win with Power, who was running second when he was caught speeding in pit lane on his final green-flag pit stop. With 36 to go, Carpenter and Power pitted together and came out 1-2, but Power received a drive-thru penalty for speeding and fell a lap down. Carpenter suddenly had a nine-plus second cushion over second-place Tony Kanaan and was coasting to victory with an 18.5-second lead before a final caution came out with seven laps remaining. The race became a two-lap shootout and Carpenter was able to stave off Juan Pablo Montoya and the hard-charging Power, who moved from sixth to second and finished 0.52 of a second behind Carpenter. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 / Friday, June 6 The Skinny: Defending Camping World Truck Series champ Matt Crafton snaps a 26-race winless streak at TMS with a dominant victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400. The Recap: Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton had it easy compared to Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ed Carpenter in earning his first career win at Texas Motor Speedway . He led a career-best 118 laps en route to the victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 that snapped a 26-race winless streak at the speedway . Crafton led 118 of the 167 laps - the most he led in a single race in his 14-year career - and cruised to a 13.302-second victory over runner-up Justin Lofton . It was the fifth win of Crafton's career and second of the season, marking the first time in his career that he had recorded multiple wins in a season. His dominant performance established a track record for largest margin of victory in that series, eclipsing the previous mark of 11.817 seconds set by Dennis Setzer in this event in 2004. Red Bull Air Race World Championship / Saturday, Sept. 6, & Sunday, Sept. 7 The Skinny: Texas Motor Speedway plays host to the first race in the United States since 2010 for the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, which returned to competition after a three-year hiatus. The Recap: The Red Bull Air Race World Championship made its return to the United States for the first time since 2010 as Texas Motor Speedway played host to the sixth stage of the eight-event international plane racing series. Before a crowd of more than 20,000 for the first of two U.S. stops, Frenchman Nicolas Ivanoff captured his first victory of the season in the elite Master Class on the challenging, seven air gate, 3.7-mile course that was built in the infield of the motorsports venue. Ivanoff posted an individual two-lap run of 54.118 seconds to defeat Great Britain's Nigel Lamb, Canada's Pete McLeod and Germany's Matthias Dolderer in the Final 4 showdown on Sunday. Ivanoff gave his country a sweep of the weekend competition as fellow Frenchman Mikael Brageot won the Challenger Cup race the day prior. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA Texas 500 / Sunday, Nov. 2 The Skinny: A post-race confrontation between Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski and ensuing melee steals national headlines from six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson winning the AAA Texas 500 for a third year in a row. The Recap : With the remaining eight Chase for NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers looking to win the AAA Texas 500 and automatically advance to the championship round, six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson played the role of spoiler as he won the Eliminator 8 race in a dramatic second green/white-checkered overtime finish. Johnson, eliminated from championship contention in the previous round, won the AAA Texas 500 for a record third consecutive year, but it was the post-race scuffle that made national headlines the following day. While Johnson was celebrating his track-record fourth Cup win with burnouts on the frontstretch, chaos ensued on pit lane after an angry Jeff Gordon confronted Brad Keselowski and a fray quickly developed between the Chase contenders. Fellow Chase competitor Kevin Harvick pushed Keselowski while Gordon was jawing with him and the situation quickly escalated as the crews got involved and transformed into a melee. The disagreement stemmed from the first GWC finish, where Gordon took the restart with the lead and Johnson beside him on the front row. Johnson grabbed the lead when a bold move by Keselowski resulted in contact with Gordon, which ultimately led to a flat tire, contact with the wall and a 29th-place finish that would derail his title aspirations. The caution flew for Gordon that set up the second GWC finish, where Keselowski found himself lining up front against the leader Johnson on the restart. Johnson, on the inside, maintained the lead on the restart while Keselowski found himself also trying to fend off a charging Harvick. Harvick got past Keselowski on that lap but didn't have enough time to chase down Johnson, who won by 0.513 of a second for his fourth victory of the season and 70th of his career. Johnson led nine times for 191 laps, but a record 13 cautions continually bunched the field as well as changed race strategies to give a number of drivers a shot at the victory.Johnson, Harvick and Keselowski took the top three positions, respectively, while Kyle Busch , who was looking to sweep all three NASCAR races after truck and Nationwide wins earlier, finished fourth. NASCAR Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge / Saturday, Nov. 1 The Skinny: Kyle Busch gives Joe Gibbs Racing its 100th career Nationwide Series win and sets his sights on rare NASCAR tripleheader weekend sweep after winning the O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge . The Recap: Kyle Busch added to the weekend drama and intrigue when he secured the second leg of a rare NASCAR tripleheader weekend sweep with a win in the Nationwide Series O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge . Busch completed the Nationwide Series/ Camping World Truck Series sweep for the second time in his career at Texas Motor Speedway , with the first coming in the fall of 2009. That only left Sunday's AAA Texas 500 as the missing prize for the triple, which had only been accomplished by Busch (Bristol 2010) in the history of NASCAR. Busch extended his record for career Nationwide Series victories at Texas Motor Speedway by adding his seventh with a 1.562-second win over Joey Logano . Busch, who led six times for a race-high 116 laps, and Logano, who led five times for 59 laps, exchanged the lead six times over the final 85 laps in the 200-lap event before Busch took control late. It also was his seventh NNS victory of the season, 70th in his career and a milestone 100th for Joe Gibbs Racing . NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 / Friday, Oct. 31 The Skinny: Kyle Busch wins the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 as Kyle Busch Motorsports ties the Camping World Truck Series record for most victories in a season. The Recap: Kyle Busch , competing in all three NASCAR races during the weekend and chasing a rare sweep, endured a green/white-checkered overtime finish to secure the first leg with a victory in the WinStar World Casino & Resort 350. Busch, who led a race-high 80 of 152 laps, was cruising to victory when two late cautions put a scare into his bid to secure his seventh win in just nine NCWTS starts this season. Following the final caution that led to the two-lap shootout, Busch got a strong restart on the outside of leader German Quiroga and took command of the lead coming out of Turn 2. He was pulling away with one lap to go when Quiroga hit the wall in Turn 2 to force the conclusion of the final lap to finish under caution. Busch's series-leading seventh win was his third truck victory at Texas Motor Speedway that pushed his career total in the series to 42. It also was the 12th victory overall for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 20 starts this season, tying the series record for season victories set by Ultra Motorsports in 2001. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Get all the latest news from NASCAR.com Nearly 250 journalists have gathered to take part in the 33rd annual Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom from Jan. 26-29. You're invited to watch team presentations live on NASCAR.com. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France's state of the sport sets the tone. In addition, key executives will provide updates on the 2015 racing season, Daytona International Speedway 's Daytona Rising initiative and the 2015 NASCAR Drive for Diversity class will be introduced. Get the full schedule below and stay tuned to NASCAR.com for stories, video and more. Monday, Jan. 26 1:30 p.m. ET: State of the Sport with NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France NEWS: -- France talks Chase, Gordon in State of Sport address -- France: No changes to Chase format for 2015 -- NASCAR to police flared skirts in 2015 -- Rolex 24 provides trial for new pit technology -- Drive for Diversity Class of 2015 revealed " Official NASCAR release -- Best quotes from Day 1 of Charlotte Media Tour 4 p.m. ET: Joe Gibbs Racing NEWS: -- Hamlin revisits feud with Keselowski -- JGR enters four-car fray with optimism -- Edwards eager to keep latest trend going -- Ky. Busch comments on brother Kurt's situation Tuesday, Jan. 27 9 a.m. ET: Michael Waltrip Racing NEWS: -- Moffitt to sub for Vickers at Atlanta -- Vickers back from health scare 'to win a championship' -- Bowyer on Gordon: 'It's kind of like a divorce' -- MWR reacts to Ky. Busch's 'idiots' statement 11 a.m. ET: JTG Daugherty Racing and HScott Motorsports NEWS: -- Annett joins HScott Motorsports -- Best quotes from Day 2 1 p.m. ET: Stewart-Haas Racing NEWS: -- For reigning champion Harvick, pressure is off -- After two tough years, Stewart ready to win again -- Gordon news catches Stewart off-guard -- Danica doubts she'll ever do the double -- Busch faces press at Charlotte Media Tour 3:15 p.m. ET: NBC Sports NEWS: -- NBC Sports 'thrilled' to be part of NASCAR coverage -- Burton, Letarte weigh in on Gordon's final season -- Toyota's NASCAR stars team up with NFL legends Wednesday, Jan. 28 9 a.m. ET: Roush Fenway Racing NEWS: -- Staying put, Biffle aims to lead Roush reversal -- Stenhouse has own version of 'beast mode' -- New team ready to roll for Roush Fenway -- Bubba Wallace takes hobby to new heights 11 a.m. ET: Richard Petty Motorsports NEWS: -- Hornish looks to build at growing RPM -- RPM lands sponsor for No. 9 at Daytona -- Almirola predicts 2015 to be a breakout season for RPM -- Air Force returns to sponsor No. 43 1:30 p.m. ET: Wood Brothers Racing and Leavine Family Racing NEWS: -- Wood Brothers expands to 18 races -- Leavine team extends with Thrivent -- McDowell, Leavine on the rise 3:15 p.m. ET: Team Penske NEWS: -- Best quotes from media tour -- Keselowski unapologetic for aggressive style -- Logano already on second wedding ring -- Logano stands by pit crew after Homestead miscue Thursday, Jan. 29 9 a.m. ET: Furniture Row Racing NEWS: -- Furniture Row adds associate sponsor -- Pearn prepared to be Truex Jr's crew chief -- Truex: 'Wild ride' with Pollex nears normalcy 10:30 a.m. ET: Richard Childress Racing NEWS: -- WIX re-ups with RCR, Grainger joins up with Newman -- Newman eager to build off late season gains -- Dillon looks to apply rookie season lessons -- With brother Ty married, will Austin be next? 1 p.m. ET: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates NEWS: -- Sabates guarantees Chase for CGR fleet -- McMurray, Larson talk Rolex 24 -- Best quotes from media tour 3 p.m. ET: Hendrick Motorsports NEWS: -- Elliott to drive No. 24 car in 2016 -- Gordon: 'Elliott is the 'total package' -- Bruce: Hendrick shows no hesitation -- Junior, Kahne discuss crew chief changes -- Gordon, Hendrick reflect on decision -- Gordon open to Stewart's Eldora offer -- Gordon says No. 24 team in good hands FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Wrapping up the week that was and look forward to the week ahead Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Hendrick Motorsports will have five teams vying for starting positions in Sunday's STP 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway , but HMS officials aren't skirting the rules. Since 2006, NASCAR has limited Sprint Cup organizations to no more than four full-time teams. However, officials allow a fifth entry for a maximum of seven starts "for the purpose of enabling a rookie driver … to become familiar with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition." In addition to full-time teams for drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr ., Jeff Gordon , Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne , HMS will field a fifth entry for defending XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott at Martinsville. It will be Elliott's first attempt in the Sprint Cup Series, one of five scheduled for the 19-year-old this season. Elliott will also be entered in Sprint Cup races at Richmond (April 25), Charlotte (May 24), Indianapolis (July 26) and Darlington (Sept. 6). The No. 25 Chevrolet will carry sponsorship from NAPA and will be led by crew chief Kenny Francis. Elliott is slated to replace Gordon in the team's No. 24 Chevrolet beginning in 2016. It will be the first time an organization has fielded five Sprint Cup teams in one race since 2009 provided Elliott qualifies for the 43-car field. HMS fielded a fifth team on a part-time basis that season for driver Brad Keselowski -- his final start with HMS came at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October. Roush Fenway Racing was allowed to field five full-time teams through the end of '09 due to sponsorship agreements that were in place when the cap was announced three years earlier. MORE INSPECTION TIME ADDED • NASCAR will continue to incorporate additional time into the pre-qualifying inspection process as the Sprint Cup Series returns from a three-week West Coast swing and heads to Martinsville. Schedule adjustments at Las Vegas, Phoenix and Auto Club Speedway resulted in an additional 15 minutes of off-track time at each venue to allow teams to prepare and present their cars for pre-qualifying inspection and for officials to complete the inspection process. The move came in the wake of inspection delays at the season's second event, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway . Thirteen cars were unable to complete the pre-qualifying inspection process in time to post an official first-round qualifying lap at Atlanta. Friday's schedule at Martinsville indicates changes from '14 that will provide an additional 10 minutes of time between the end of opening practice and the start of qualifying. Compared to last year's Martinsville spring race schedule, opening practice is now five minutes shorter (12-1:25 p.m. ET) and qualifying will being later (4:45 p.m. instead of 4:40 p.m.). In addition, in a NASCAR bulletin distributed to teams, the first round of Sprint Cup Series qualifying will now be 20 minutes at short tracks and intermediate tracks. This takes affect at Martinsville this weekend. NO PRACTICE PENALTIES • No teams required more than three attempts to pass pre-qualifying inspection at Auto Club Speedway , meaning none will be docked 15 minutes at the beginning of practice Friday at Martinsville. NASCAR notified teams earlier this year that any vehicle that fails qualifying inspection more than twice will be subject to a 15-minute practice penalty that will be applied during the opening practice of the next scheduled event. TIRES IMPOUNDED • NASCAR impounded the tires from four teams following Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway . Tires from the teams of Kevin Harvick and teammate Kurt Busch ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), as well as teammates Ryan Newman and Paul Menard ( Richard Childress Racing ) went back to the NASCAR R&D Center for evaluation. Harvick and Busch finished second and third, respectively, while Menard finished fourth and Newman fifth. It marked the second time this season that NASCAR had impounded tires following a Sprint Cup Series event. The sanctioning body took tires from the teams of race winner Harvick and eighth-place finisher Joey Logano after this month’s Phoenix race. No issues with the Phoenix tires were found, according to NASCAR officials. Sunday's race was the first for teams with the new left-side tire code at Auto Club. There was no change in the right-side tires. • According to Goodyear, Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series teams will run the same Goodyear tire codes this weekend at Martinsville used when the two series visited the half-mile track last October. This particular tire is not used for any other events by the two series. PIT ROAD PENALTIES • Officials in NASCAR's Pit Road Officiating (PRO) trailer called 12 of the 22 penalties issued during Sunday’s Auto Club 400 , the second fewest through this year’s first five races. Six of the 12 were for tire violations -- failure to control an outside tire. Only Phoenix saw fewer total violations (19) and those made by officials in the PRO trailer (nine). There have been 158 penalties thus far this season, including 60 that were called by the PRO group. Officials in the tower continue to call infractions for speeding when entering/exiting pit road, pitting before pit road is open and various safety-related violations. Officials in the PRO trailer use video to respond to potential infractions such as too many crewmen in contact with the pit service area, crewmen over the wall too soon and pit box tire violations. PENALTIES FOR FONTANA INFRACTIONS • On Wednesday, NASCAR issued penalities for infractions during race weekend at Auto Club Speedway . Click here for penalties on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series No. 33 team, and click here for penalties on the NASCAR XFINITY Series No. 8 team. POST-RACE INSPECTIONS • Because of the schedule that saw teams competing at Las Vegas, Phoenix and Auto Club Speedway in consecutive weeks, final post-race inspection for entries from both Phoenix and Auto Club will be conducted Wednesday at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina. Both Stewart-Haas Racing entries of driver Kevin Harvick , which finished first and second at Phoenix and Auto Club, respectively, were sent back to the R&D Center as well as the cars of Auto Club winner Brad Keselowski ( Team Penske ) and Phoenix runner-up Jamie McMurray ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates). 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Check out all the garage action before the All-Star race from Charlotte Motor Speedway .
Take a virtual lap around Charlotte Motor Speedway .
SHR driver discusses upcoming season CHARLOTTE , N.C. – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch says he's had no problem focusing on preparations for the upcoming racing season in spite of an on-going case involving domestic assault that continues to hang over the 2004 premier series champion. "I feel great," Busch, 36, said Tuesday during the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway media tour. "It's easy to be here and stand on truth and have all the people and support from behind the scenes this offseason." Ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll submitted a request for a no-contact order late last year, accusing Busch of physical harm during a race weekend in Dover, Del., last September. No decision has been made concerning the protective order request and the Delaware state attorney general's office has yet to rule on the alleged altercation. Until action is taken on those two issues, Busch will continue to prepare for the upcoming season, his second with Stewart-Haas Racing . "I'm a racer. I love to go race … that's the easy part and that's where the focus stays," Busch said. "When you have things going on in the offseason, that's the best time for different things to happen in your life and to make those changes. It's good to start moving forward and get a resolution to that." A recent Goodyear tire test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway , he said, was a good way to not only get the new season started, but to turn the attention away from the on-going controversy. "To put the helmet on, belt in and go out there and go 200 mph, that's the best feeling in the world,' he said. "It seems quieter out there (on the track); it's an amazing feeling. When you put the helmet on it all seems quiet and you're the only one out there." Team co-owner Gene Haas has continued to stand behind his driver, but admitted he has considered the possibility of an unfavorable ruling against Busch. "I've run that around in my mind a million times," Haas said, "and I don't know. I think we have to wait and see. "The authorities are going to have an opinion about what they're going to do, and I have a feeling it's going to be something that no one expects, you know what I'm saying? … We have to kind of see what they come back with before we can respond." To do otherwise, he said, would be a waste of time. "We just don't want to speculate and add more fuel to the ol' fire," he said. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
FORT WORTH, Texas (Feb. 14, 2014) ? Frigid temperatures, snow and ice in North Texas has not slowed construction workers from continued progress on the world's largest HD video board created by Panasonic at Texas Motor Speedway . On Friday, Dallas/Fort Worth media members were led by Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage on a sneak preview of "Big Hoss TV," which is scheduled to be completed by March 1 and officially dedicated during pre-race ceremonies for the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, April 6. Towering 12 stories high over the backstretch is the completed steel framework that will serve as the foundation for "Big Hoss TV." Workers have installed 28 of the 40 LED modules ? each measuring 54.5 feet by 9.5 feet ? that will be placed in 10 rows of four that will serve as record HD display area that measures 218 feet (width) by 94.6 feet (height). Once completed, "Big Hoss TV" will provide fans with 20,633.34 square feet of HD imagery and will be 79 percent larger than the video board at AT&T Stadium (11,520 sf), home of the Dallas Cowboys. It also will surpass current record-holder Charlotte Motor Speedway (16,000 square feet), the Speedway Motorsports, Inc. sister track of Texas Motor Speedway , for the world's largest HD video board at a sporting venue. "This is the largest fan amenity we have ever undertaken in the history of Texas Motor Speedway and it truly should be a game changer in the industry," Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. "Panasonic has done a tremendous job in keeping the project on schedule and have their crews working around the clock seven days a week on this enormous undertaking. Given the target completion date of March 1, we're working on a "Big Hoss TV" sneak preview event with a dynamic entertainment element that will be open to the public in mid-March that will be announced soon." "Big Hoss TV" also requires a state-of-the-art control room that is being built and housed adjacent to the timing and scoring booth atop the start/finish line on suite level. The control room houses five servers and two switchers that control the video feed to "Big Hoss TV." The control room operator will have the luxury of choosing from 19 different cameras, 16 of which are operated by two production trucks. Ultimately, the video is broken up into 16 different sections on the video board. The equipment will be manned by a minimum of five individuals which will include producer, director and technical directors. Construction on "Big Hoss TV" began after November's AAA Texas 500 as workers began digging 16 anchor holes 42 feet deep and four feet in diameter for the massive 108-ton structure. "Big Hoss TV" is anchored with 42 feet of steel rebar reinforced in the ground by 20 yards of concrete filled in each of the holes. The strength of the foundation allows for "Big Hoss TV" to sustain winds of 140 miles per hour. Initial construction plans also required workers to install 4,200 feet of 96-strand fiber optic cable that runs from the location of "Big Hoss TV" on the backstretch to the control room in the frontstretch suites. Workers have moved to a seven-day work week the past month to put the finishing touches on the project by the end of the month. The final phase of the project includes completion of the electrical infrastructure inside of the video board, where workers will install electricity and fiber optic connections to each of the 40 LED modules. Workers also will install the final wiring in the control room before they begin to test the lower section of the LED modules early next week. Tickets for the Duck Commander 500 NASCAR doubleheader weekend and the official christening of "Big Hoss TV" are available by calling the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500 or by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com . FULL SERIES COVERAGE View all articles View all videos View all photos
CMS, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina team up RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today The Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway this month now has a name: the Drive for the Cure 300 Presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the speedway announced Wednesday in conjuction with BCBS. The agreement includes a three-year sponsorship of the race. The announcement was made during a press event at the speedway where officials were joined by up to 100 breast cancer survivors to kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by painting the pit road wall pink. The partnership is aimed at raising awareness of breast cancer prevention, detection and treatment. "We are proud to partner with the official health insurance company of Charlotte Motor Speedway , Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, " Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway said in a statement. "At the core of both of our companies is a commitment to providing an unparalleled customer experience. We are eager to get to work raising awareness about breast cancer and creating an unforgettable race day experience for fans." The Drive for the Cure 300 is the 30th Nationwide Series race of the season and will air on ESPN2 on Friday, October 10. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule