Stewart preps for relief driver switch at Talladega
RELATED: Weekend schedule " Dillon ready for action TALLADEGA, Ala. -- A week after returning to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, Tony Stewart becomes a start-and-park driver. In a manner of speaking. Start-and-watch might be more appropriate. The three-time premier series champion missed the season's first eight points races after suffering a back injury during the offseason. RELATED: Full timeline of Stewart's injury, comeback Stewart is scheduled to start his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in Sunday's GEICO 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Talladega Superspeedway before turning over the wheel to XFINITY Series driver Ty Dillon . It's an infrequent turn of events, but something that does happen from time to time in NASCAR. Last season, Erik Jones stepped in for Denny Hamlin at Bristol Motor Speedway after the Joe Gibbs Racing driver developed a neck spasm during a rain delay. Jones finished 26th. Hamlin was also involved in a driver swap at Talladega in 2013. Injured in an accident at Auto Club Speedway , Hamlin started the Aaron's 499 but eventually gave up the seat to Brian Vickers . J.J. Yeley replaced Bill Elliott during a race here in 2011; he also replaced Stewart in '08 during the summer race at Daytona. Stewart, speaking to the media Friday at Talladega, said he expects to do "what I always do around here at the beginning of the race … just ride around in the back until we get to the first caution." It won't be "glamorous," he said, but it meets his doctors' request. Well, almost. According to Stewart, his doctors didn't want him competing at all this weekend. "We need the points and so we talked them into letting us to at least start the race," said Stewart, who sits 101 points out of 30th. MORE: Standings pre-Talladega "I told them it normally doesn't go more than two or three laps at the beginning of the race before a caution. It might go 82 or 83 laps, who knows? But, we'll run until it gets there." Unofficially, the last time a relief driver won a NASCAR premier series race was 1977, and it occurred at Talladega as well. Donnie Allison started what was then a July race but eventually turned the driving over to Darrell Waltrip due to illness. Waltrip replaced Allison with 23 laps remaining and took the lead with six to go when race leader Skip Manning's car suffered mechanical problems. According to NASCAR rules, points earned by an entry are awarded to the driver starting the race, meaning Stewart will be credited with those earned Sunday by Dillon.
High 5: The Sheriff, girl power & The Alabama Gang
Editor's note: High 5 analyzes what's trending in NASCAR and beyond every week. QUOTE OF THE WEEK "You would have been as hated as me, maybe more!" -- Joey Logano jokes with Ryan Blaney , after Blaney said he was worried about hitting Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s No. 88 at Las Vegas. WATCH: Logano, Blaney joke after near-wreck with Junior BEYOND LEFT TURNS The story It seemed as though the entire United States was tuned in to Peyton Manning's press conference on Monday, as the 18-year veteran quarterback announced his retirement from the NFL. Manning won his final Super Bowl in February, leading his Denver Broncos to victory over the Carolina Panthers. He said it "I've fought a good fight, I've finished my football race," an emotional Manning said in Monday's press conference. "And after 18 years, it's time. God bless all of you and God bless football." The reaction Social media flooded with remarks and tributes to the quarterback Monday. Jeff Gordon , who was in a similar position to Manning in January 2015 when he announced his own retirement from his legendary career, was among those who responded. Huge congrats on an amazing 18 year career Peyton Manning! What a way to go out. On top! — Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) March 7, 2016 RELATED: Manning makes cameo in 'Casm's version of Keselowski's post-Vegas Facebook page EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT ... Dust storms. Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway seemed more like Kansas in "The Wizard of Oz," as wacky weather in the form of rain, intense wind and even dust storms impacted the race. Related: 'Wild West' race at Vegas NCAA tournament. Forget sunny weather and springtime -- the real star of March is March Madness. With the Kansas Jayhawks still atop the rankings, conference championships unfold this week in preparation for the beginning of the NCAA tournament next week. Get your brackets ready! International Women's Day. Tuesday's International Women's Day took the Internet by a storm, as millions shared the empowering ladies in their lives and celebrated the strides women have made over the years. March also is Women's Appreciation Month. Tune in March 21-25, as NASCAR.com celebrates important women in racing. Harry Potter. The chair that author J.K. Rowling sat in to write the first two books of the wildly popular Harry Potter series is up for sale. Opening bid? A cool $45,000. COMING UP IN TURN 2 The West Coast Swing continues this weekend, as the Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series head to Phoenix International Raceway . Will Phoenix pro Kevin Harvick be able to defend his reigning race winner title? Tune in Sunday to find out. RELATED: Complete schedule for Phoenix HOT OFF THE PRESS 'The Alabama Gang' -- comprised of Alabama natives Bobby Allison , Donnie Allison and Red Farmer -- have always been revered and celebrated in the sport of stock car racing. "When 'The Alabama Gang' came in town back in the day, it made an entrance," Duane Rankin wrote in a recent "Montgomery Advertiser" article. Read more about how this famed group came to be.
Tony Stewart to honor Bobby Allison at Darlington
Tony Stewart unveils his throwback paint scheme honoring NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison . Stewart will run the Coca-Cola No. 14 at Darlington Raceway Labor Day weekend.
NCWTS GarageCam, a New Hampshire treat
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner takes you through the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Garage at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, as drivers get ready to race in the first ever NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase.
'Smoke' wins Darlington paint scheme fan vote
Tony Stewart is the winner of the best throwback paint scheme vote in a result announced Sunday during driver introductions. 'Smoke' has a classic Coca-Cola paint job on his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, a look intended to honor Bobby Allison . His crew got into the spirit was well, wearing throwback pants and outfits this weekend. NASCAR.com and Darlington Raceway teamed up over the past month to allow fans to vote on their favorite throwback schemes. Voting ended Sept. 1, and the top five vote-getters were eligible for the overall win. In order of fan vote, those five schemes were: the No. 14 of Tony Stewart , the No. 4 of Kevin Harvick , the No. 16 of Greg Biffle , the No. 48 of Jimmie Johnson and the No. 20 of Matt Kenseth . Those five schemes were presented to a panel of NASCAR Hall of Famers, who then picked the winner from those five. This is the second consecutive throwback weekend, and also the second consecutive fan vote. Kyle Larson won last year's inaugural contest with his No. 42 Mello Yello Chevrolet. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Voting for 2016 NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award Opens Sept. 4
RELATED: Cast your vote DARLINGTON, S.C. (Sept. 3, 2016) -- Voting for the National Motorsports Press Association Sprint Most Popular Driver Award will officially open Sunday, Sept. 4. The award, sponsored by Sprint and administered by the NMPA, is the only major NASCAR award determined solely by fan vote. It has been presented annually since 1953. The 2016 voting period will open at 12 a.m. ET Sunday and close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, Nov. 20. To vote for this year's award, fans can visit www.mostpopulardriver.com through either desktop or the NASCAR MOBILE app. Voting is limited to one vote per person per email address per day. Fans are encouraged to share their votes through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Eligible drivers for this year's award are those who have declared for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. NASCAR Hall of Fame member and 1988 series champion Bill Elliott holds the record for most MPD awards with 16; Hendrick Motorsports driver Dale Earnhardt Jr . has won the award for the past 13 seasons. Nineteen drivers have earned MPD honors on one or more occasions since its inception. "The launch of the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award is one of the most anticipated events of the season for many fans," Kenny Bruce, president of the NMPA, said. "NASCAR fans are the most passionate you'll find in any sport and the NMPA considers it an honor to allow them to determine the sport's most popular driver. "We are pleased to present this year's program once again with series sponsor Sprint, whose help and guidance have been invaluable in bringing the Most Popular Driver program to fans." Sprint has been the presenting sponsor of the MPD Award since 2014. The winner of this year's award will be announced during the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards program on Friday, Dec. 2 in Las Vegas. NBCSN will air the post-season program beginning at 9 p.m. ET. MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR will carry the awards show live. A $10,000 donation will be made to the NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver's charity of choice on behalf of the NMPA. NMPA MOST POPULAR DRIVER AWARD Year – Recipient 2015 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2014 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2013 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2012 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2011 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2010 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2009 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2008 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2007 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2006 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2005 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2004 – Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2003 - Dale Earnhardt Jr . 2002 - Bill Elliott 2001 - Dale Earnhardt 2000 - Bill Elliott 1999 - Bill Elliott 1998 - Bill Elliott 1997 - Bill Elliott 1996 - Bill Elliott 1995 - Bill Elliott 1994 - Bill Elliott 1993 - Bill Elliott 1992 - Bill Elliott 1991 - Bill Elliott 1990 - Darrell Waltrip 1989 - Darrell Waltrip 1988 - Bill Elliott 1987 - Bill Elliott 1986 - Bill Elliott 1985 - Bill Elliott 1984 - Bill Elliott 1983 - Bobby Allison 1982 - Bobby Allison 1981 - Bobby Allison 1980 - David Pearson 1979 - David Pearson 1978 - Richard Petty 1977 - Richard Petty 1976 - Richard Petty 1975 - Richard Petty 1974 - Richard Petty 1973 - Bobby Allison 1972 - Bobby Allison 1971 - Bobby Allison 1970 - Richard Petty 1969 - Bobby Isaac 1968 - Richard Petty 1967 - Cale Yarborough 1966 - Darel Dieringer 1965 - Fred Lorenzen 1964 - Richard Petty 1963 - Fred Lorenzen 1962 - Richard Petty 1961 - Joe Weatherly 1960 - Rex White 1959 - Jack Smith 1958 - Glen Wood 1957 - Fireball Roberts 1956 - Curtis Turner 1955 - Tim Flock 1954 - Lee Petty 1953 - Lee Petty
First NHMS Cup race was Davey Allison's last
McReynolds remembers driver on anniversary of his passing RELATED: High 5: Remembering Davey Allison As New Hampshire Motor Speedway celebrates its 25th anniversary, FOX NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds, a guest on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, remembered another Magic Mile milestone: the first premier series race at the track, which was the last event for Davey Allison before a helicopter accident claimed his life. After falling 63 points shy of the 1992 NASCAR championship, Allison's No. 28 Robert Yates Racing Ford got off to a slow start, according to McReynolds, who served as its crew chief. "I think we kind of got lazy between the '92 and the '93 season because we ran so well in 1992," McReynolds said. "We didn't work to make ourselves better, and we were struggling when '93 started." The Slick 50 300 at a new New England venue offered an opportunity for the team to turn the corner, and it gave the team reason to be optimistic for the inaugural premier series race. "We finally built a brand new car and went to Loudon, and we were leading that race with 30 laps to go and we had a car that was good on the long run," McReynolds said. "A caution comes out for debris with 30 laps to go. We were in a bit of a box. We had to pit so we pitted, and we ended up finishing third to Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin ." It was the team's first top-five finish in a month and sixth in the first 16 races of the season. An upbeat Allison did something on the way home that surprised his crew chief and fellow Alabama native as the No. 28 team headed to Charlotte and then on to Allison's home in Hueytown, Alabama. "Davey did something that night that I had never seen him do," McReynolds said. "He always flew his own plane. I think it's how he kind of took out his anxiety of the day, but he told his pilot and his dad, Bobby, 'You guys fly the airplane. I'm going to sit in the back with the guys.' "…we sat back there and he was so excited and happy because I think like he felt like we finally had hit on something that we had been missing most of 1993. He told me when we landed in Charlotte, 'You won't be able to get in touch with me tomorrow. I think I'm going to fly up to Talladega to watch David Bonnett, Neil Bonnett's son, test a car.' "I said, 'No problem. I'll call you on Tuesday.' "Well, unfortunately, I never got to make that call because the next day was when he was killed in a helicopter crash at Talladega." Later that season, Ernie Irvan took over the No. 28 ride, driving the car through the first 20 races of the 1994 season before a crash at Michigan International Speedway sidelined him for for more than a year. When Irvan returned to the No. 28 car in 1996, McReynolds was his crew chief, and that July, Irvan and McReynolds went to Victory Lane at Loudon, New Hampshire, for an emotional celebration in honor of the driver's comeback and to commemorate the three-year anniversary of Allison's passing. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
#TBT: Bobby Allison avoids six-car wreck to win at Michigan
It was 1981 when the Gabriel 400 at Michigan International Speedway saw a total of 47 lead changes, ending with Bobby Allison winning -- but there's much more to the story. On Lap 196 out of 200, Allison jumped from seventh to first, stealing the lead from Darrell Waltrip. But this isn't where the race's craziness ended, it's where it began. Behind Allison on Lap 197, a six-car pileup occurred in Turns 1-2, involving Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Buddy Baker, Mike Potter, Cale Yarborough and Lake Speed. Waltrip had led a total of 54 laps, the race's longest leader. Earnhardt had led a total of 37 laps. Since the wreck occurred with just three laps remaining and green-flag-checkered finishes didn't exist in 1981, the event ended under caution, deeming Allison the winner. The Hall of Famer would go on to win at Michigan one more time in his Sprint Cup Series career in 1982, ending with a total of four wins at the 2-mile track. The 1982 victory was a thriller in which Allison outdueled Richard Petty to the stripe.
Daytona 499: The last-lap pass to win the 500
Nine times in the Daytona 500's 57-year history a last-lap pass has altered the names on the Harley J. Earl Daytona 500 trophy, and left some of NASCAR's biggest names off the illustrious list of winners.
Throwback Thursday: Allison's last win
In the 1993 Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway, driver Davey Allison earned his 19th and final career win before his sudden death.