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Sting to headline NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards in Las Vegas
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Grammy Award-winning artist Sting will perform at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Friday, Dec. 2, at Wynn Las Vegas. The finale of NASCAR Champion’s Week festivities, the annual awards show brings together some of the greatest names in sports and entertainment to celebrate the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, team owner and 16 Chase drivers. Sting will headline the event, performing both a classic hit and a selection from his new album, 57th & 9th , released November 11 on A&M/Interscope Records. His 12th studio album and first rock/pop project in more than a decade, the 10-song collection represents a wide range of Sting's musical and songwriting styles, including the raucous first single "I Can't Stop Thinking About You," the anthemic, "50,000" and the ferocious, Road Warrior style imagery of, "Petrol Head." The latter is also the aptly named anthem of NASCAR's latest video release designed to build anticipation for the final two races of the season and ultimately the crowning of a new champion. NBCSN presents complete coverage from Wynn Las Vegas beginning at 7 p.m. ET with "NASCAR America," followed by red carpet coverage at 8 p.m. ET and subsequent coverage of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at 9 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 will carry the show live at 8 p.m. ET. Sting released five studio albums as a member of The Police alongside Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers, earning six Grammy Awards, two Brits and induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. As one of the world’s most distinctive solo artists, he has earned an additional 10 Grammy Awards, two Brits, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, three Oscar nominations, a TONY nomination, Billboard Magazine's Century Award, and MusiCares 2004 Person of the Year. Later this month, the American Music Awards will bestow him with their "Award of Merit." Sting joins a star-studded group of musicians who have previously performed at NASCAR's championship celebration, including Andy Grammar, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Sara Bareilles, John Mellencamp, Aloe Blacc, and Kid Rock. Please visit ChampionsWeek.NASCAR.com to view the full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week schedule. Tune in to watch as the Chase drivers vie to make the Championship 4 in the Can-Am 500 at Phoenix International Raceway this Sunday, Nov. 13, at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Leavine Family Racing secures Sprint Cup Series charter
MORE: Buy tickets for Homestead-Miami Championship Weekend NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Tommy Baldwin said Thursday that this weekend's event at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be the last as a full-time organization for his single-car outfit. The former crew chief said in a post on Facebook that "we felt it's time for a new chapter in our lives and we have sold our charter to a great group of people who will continue to guide our vision." According to a release from Leaving Family Racing, which currently runs under the Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing name, LFR has purchased the charter from Tommy Baldwin Racing . No purchase price was announced. Baldwin's team currently fields the No. 7 Chevrolet with driver Regan Smith . The team was formed following the departure of Bill Davis Racing, for whom Baldwin served as crew chief, in 2009. It has just two top-five finishes in nearly 400 starts, the most recent coming at Pocono this year when Smith finished third. "For the past eight years we've shown up at every race, worked hard to compete at the top level and bring value to our sponsors," Baldwin wrote. "I feel confident that we are moving on having accomplished that. There have been many teams like ours that have come and gone. I'm proud that we have been able to sustain ourselves from the very beginning. … "If you're reading this, you already know that NASCAR is the greatest sport in the world. I have been blessed to have a career in motorsports because of how NASCAR has grown over the years." Baldwin went on to say that he isn't sure what the future holds; fielding a part-time team wasn't mentioned but neither was closing the team entirely. Securing the charter means that the LFR team, which currently fields the No. 95 Chevrolet for driver Michael McDowell , will be guaranteed a starting spot in each race next season. " Leavine Family Racing is committed to continued growth on and off the race track," owner Bob Leavine said. "The charter is a meaningful step forward for our team and provides us further stability as we look towards success in 2017 and beyond. We are confident that the purchase of the charter and continued improvement on the track will lead to increased revenue opportunities."
Jay Mohr to host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards in Las Vegas
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2016) -- Grammy-nominated actor, comedian and radio personality Jay Mohr will join NASCAR fans across the nation in honoring the newly crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson , as the host of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 2. In addition to Sting's previously announced headline performance , the show will feature award-winning musical artists American Authors, Skylar Grey and Olivia Holt. Jay Mohr, who will host the event for an unprecedented sixth time, is the host of "Jay Mohr Sports" on FOX Sports Radio, a daily sports talk and entertainment show, syndicated in more than 150 markets, highlighted by Mohr's trademark comedic style. Best-known for his tenure as a "Saturday Night Live" cast member, he has also appeared on numerous shows including CBS' "Ghost Whisperer" and "Gary Unmarried," and was previously nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award as the host and executive producer of "Last Comic Standing." Additionally, Mohr has worked with more than a dozen Academy Award-winning or nominated actors including Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire," Jennifer Aniston in "Picture Perfect," Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt in "Pay it Forward" and Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter." "I am proud to be asked again to host the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards," said Mohr. "Everyone associated with this organization -- the owners, the staff, the racing teams, and the drivers -- are of the highest caliber, and it is truly an honor to perform for all of them again. It is by far my favorite thing to do." The evening's musical lineup will include a performance by American Authors, best-known for hits "Best Day of My Life" from their debut album "Oh, What a Life" and "Go Big or Go Home" from their second album, "What We Live For." This will be American Authors' second performance during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week, as they will headline the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash Presented by Coors Light. Singer, songwriter Skylar Grey will also be featured at NASCAR’s championship celebration. The five-time Grammy Award-nominated artist recently released her sophomore album "Natural Causes" and has co-written hits for the likes of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. Grey has also been featured on tracks alongside Eminem and Kid Cudi, among numerous others, and contributed to official soundtracks for "Suicide Squad," "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "Furious 7." Singer and actress Olivia Holt will join the evening's lineup with a performance from her debut EP "Olivia," released earlier this year. Holt has starred in several Disney originals including the Disney XD series "Kickin' It" and the Disney Channel series "I Didn't Do It." NBCSN, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Channel 90, will present coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards beginning at 8 p.m. ET. For more information on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, please visit ChampionsWeek.NASCAR.com .
Texas Sprint Cup Series action delayed due to rain
RELATED: Live weather updates " Weekend schedule " Chase Grid The start of the second race in the Round of 8 of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup was delayed for nearly six hours following an early bout of rain at Texas Motor Speedway and surrounding areas. The AAA Texas 500 's green flag was scheduled for 2:04:30 p.m. ET (NBC, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), and the skies opened just after the national anthem. The green flag fell just before 8 p.m. ET after a lengthy track-drying process. Once the track dried, Richard Childress Racing 's Austin Dillon led the field to green after scoring his third career Sprint Cup Series pole during Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying. Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series contender Joey Logano lined up alongside Dillon in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford. Going into today's 500-miler, Jimmie Johnson -- the defending race winner -- is the only Chaser with a secured spot in the Championship 4. The Joe Gibbs Racing trio of Denny Hamlin , Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch currently sit above the cutoff line while Logano, Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards are below it. Next Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway marks the cutoff in the Round of 8 in which four drivers will be eliminated from the Chase ahead of the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20. Wet weather impacted the track schedule earlier in the week when two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practices were washed out on Thursday due to rain. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
O'Donnell addresses Sprint Cup Series drivers racing in XFINITY Series
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to talk about NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series .
Stewart to retire from Sprint Cup Series after 2016
RELATED: Photos of Stewart through the years " Bowyer tabbed as replacement Three-time premier series champion Tony Stewart smiled and conceded it was a "formality at this point" in announcing Wednesday afternoon that he would step away from full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition following the 2016 season. "It was a choice that is 100 percent mine, no pressure from anybody," Stewart said of his decision not to compete full-time anymore. "If anything, it's been the opposite, more people trying to talk me out of it. "Everyone in their career makes a decision when it's time for a change. I think deep down you know when it's time to do something different and make a change like this." Appearing jovial and without a hint of second-thought about his career decision, Stewart joked he was bringing Harry Gant out of retirement to drive the the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 14 Chevy in 2017, then confirmed that actually Clint Bowyer would be taking over his seat. The news confirmed months of speculation and rumor about Stewart's future and solidified Bowyer's career path as well with Bowyer's Michael Waltrip Racing team closing operations at the end of 2015. "It's all about people, all about culture for me, and I don't think the fit factor could be any better," said Bowyer, acknowledging the SHR ride was "one of the biggest powerhouses in the sport" and said an announcement is coming later this week about his 2016 plans. Wednesday was clearly more about "the people's champion" as Stewart is often referred. One of the most popular and accomplished champions to ever compete in NASCAR's marquee series , Stewart, 44, has won three premier series titles as a driver (2002, 2005, 2011) and two as an owner (2011, 2014), accumulated 48 victories and won over countless hearts as a kind of extreme throw-back talent garnering comparisons to racing's all-time greats such as A.J. Foyt and Dale Earnhardt. Quite simply, Stewart won in every car he drove. And NASCAR fans always appreciated that about the driver known by his nickname, "Smoke." RELATED: Drivers react to Stewart's announcement Stewart won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 15 straight seasons from his 1999 rookie year through 2013, and he has 11 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins in 94 starts -- roughly winning once every 10 times he tried. He won twice in six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts and had five top-10 finishes. "When I think of Tony Stewart , unmatched passion and a pure love of the sport come to mind," NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said in a release. "He has won championships and millions of fans. But he has given back so much more, and that's what I admire most. Today's news was bittersweet for all, but we know Tony will continue to be a big part of our sport in his roles as a team and track owner. On behalf of the entire NASCAR family, I thank Tony for his many years of excellence and competitiveness, and wish him nothing but the best in his final season as a driver in the Sprint Cup Series ." The 1997 IndyCar champion -- and 1996 Indy 500 Rookie of the Race -- proved his mettle against motorsports' best drivers, winning four times in IROC competition, earning the 2006 IROC championship and finishing runner-up in 2001. In 1999 he completed racing's Memorial Day "Double," finishing ninth in the Indianapolis 500 and fourth in NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 later that same day in North Carolina. Stewart was the first driver in history to win all three major United States Auto Club national championships -- Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown -- in a single season. So after essentially four decades behind the wheel fulltime, Stewart said he contemplated this decision for a while and said this week, he is completely at peace. "I've learned a lot about myself," Stewart said. You run through the range of emotions. There's days you're like, I can't wait, and then there's days that are like, man, do I ‑‑ you battle back and forth. "I'm not leaving the sport I love. I'm not walking away from something I'm passionate about, I'm just changing roles, which it's like just moving to a different position in a company. "I'm not really retiring, I'm just changing positions." RELATED: Best quotes from Stewart's press conference It's been an admittedly uphill climb for the champ after the last three seasons of horrible injury and extreme heartbreak. He missed the last 15 races in the 2013 season after suffering a compound leg fracture while competing in a sprint car race. Then last year, while still mending from that injury, Stewart was involved in another sprint car accident. This time, another competitor, Kevin Ward Jr., was killed when, after approaching Stewart's car on track during a caution period, the car struck Ward. Stewart sat out three Sprint Cup races immediately after. No criminal charges were found to be justified against Stewart; the Ward family filed a civil lawsuit against him a year later. On Wednesday Stewart stressed that his decision to stop driving in the Cup series full-time had "zero percent to with (the Ward situation)" and that physically, "my leg feels fine, there's nothing wrong with my leg." He said he may even compete in Sprint cars again. He listed the Rolex 24 at Daytona as a possibility and mentioned racing modifieds and making sporadic starts in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series -- all things he plans to do without the stress and full schedule of racing full-time in the Sprint Cup ranks. RELATED: Tony talks toll on leg, life In the past two seasons, Stewart has struggled to post the kind of top-shelf results both he and his fans had grown accustomed to seeing. But he has consistently insisted that was more to do with the current rules package than his off-track distractions. He said earlier this year that NASCAR's new high downforce, low horsepower car does not suit his style and is actually "the opposite of everything I've ever driven. "It's like I'm in the middle of a calculus equation and I didn't take pre-calculus,'' Stewart told NASCAR.com this May. He is currently 25th in the Sprint Cup Series driver standings with a sub-standard two top-10 finishes in his No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet this year. But he was adamant that he would not be coasting in his final season and that this decision was not "performance based." Stepping away from his NASCAR driving duties, Stewart's focus shifts to running his beloved Eldora Speedway in Ohio and to being a team owner. His resume out of the car is already as impressive as his work behind the steering wheel. "It's just time to do what we're doing," Stewart said. "I still fully anticipate we're going to get things turned around. If I didn't feel that way, I wouldn't waste my time next year for anybody. I'm not a guy that's going to get in a car and ride. We're full steam ahead. "We're going to keep working and try to win as many races as we can next year, and that goal is going to be ‑‑ when you guys get to February, go ahead and write this down, what our goals are for the year, we're going to try to win races, try to win the Daytona 500 , then the Brickyard 400, the Southern 500, and try to win a championship." Ultimately, stepping away from his NASCAR driving duties, Stewart's focus shifts to running his beloved Eldora Speedway in Ohio and to being a team owner. His effort out of the car is already as impressive as his work behind the steering wheel. His namesake Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 team is the reigning Sprint Cup owner champion thanks to Kevin Harvick 's 2014 championship run, and two of his team's four drivers -- Harvick and Kurt Busch -- are in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . This summer Stewart collected his 10th Knoxville Nationals trophy in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series fielding a car for driver Donny Schatz, who has also delivered five World of Outlaw championships for Stewart. He has 23 national titles as a team owner. "I've won more car championships as an owner than a driver," Stewart said "I'm definitely as competitive as an owner as I am a driver. …That fire's still there and that's what makes this transition easier." While his success driving and fielding cars is partly responsible for Stewart's incredible popularity over the years, he is also one of the sport's most robust personalities. RELATED: 'Smoke' still the people's champion He's not afraid to express his displeasure at his competitors' blunders, and the other drivers have come to expect either face time or bumper time with him after on track run-ins. And Stewart's "no-fools" tolerance policy extends to the media covering his career. There are highlight reels devoted to showcasing him sparring with reporters in press conferences and on pit road -- his wit and sarcasm legendary with the media corps. He grinned broadly and warned the room of reporters on Wednesday that he will not follow the guide of four-time champ Jeff Gordon who has met with the press nearly every week during this -- his last -- year of NASCAR competition. "Let's establish this right now: I will not be coming to the media center every week to talk about it,'" Stewart said smiling and shaking his head. "You can save your gifts. I've got enough rocking chairs at home as it is. I bought those when I wanted to go sit on my own rocking chair. You don't have to give me one. "I'm content to go race and be around the racing community and the racing family and be around our fans," he continued. "They can just send me a note from the track president and say, hey, thank you, and that'll be sufficient for me. "I think it's been very fitting for Jeff [Gordon]. I don't think I'm worthy of that kind of admiration because I think Jeff has really done so much for the sport that nobody will ever be able to do again. I think that kind of celebration is reserved for somebody like Jeff." One thing Stewart has across the board is respect -- from his competitors, to the fans and to the media who will be watching closely to see how this next chapter in his career and life plays out. He gave a couple hints on Wednesday afternoon. When it's time to drop the green flag for the 2017 Daytona 500 – the first one run without Tony Stewart on the grid since 1999 – the champ says he hasn't figured out quite yet where he'll be, but spoke about one possibility. "I'll probably be on some fan's motor home on the back stretch promoting our sponsors," Stewart said laughing. "I have no idea where I'm supposed to be yet. I've got a whole year to figure that out."
Drew Carey to host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards
RELATED: Learn more about Champion's Week DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 24, 2015) – The celebration will continue after the trophy is lifted at Homestead-Miami Speedway as NASCAR ® presents the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards™ hosted by actor and comedian Drew Carey. Live from Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 4, fans can tune-in to coverage of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards™ beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. NBCSN will also begin coverage at 8 p.m. ET from the red carpet, followed by the awards broadcast at 9 p.m. ET. This year's show will also feature a lineup of performances from award-winning musical artists Andy Grammer, Sam Hunt, Rachel Platten, and Sabrina Carpenter. As the current host of The Price is Right and former host of Who's Line is it Anyway? , Drew Carey will bring a seasoned air of entertainment and comedy to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards stage. Best known for his self-portrayal on The Drew Carey Show , which garnered seven Emmy nominations, Carey has received numerous accolades throughout his career, including three People’s Choice Awards, an Editor’s Choice TV Guide Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. "This has been a tremendous year for NASCAR, and I'm honored to host this headlining event as fans all across the country tune-in to pay homage to the accomplishments of the 2015 champion," said Carey. "I look forward to rounding out the 2015 NASCAR ® racing season with a night of epic proportions alongside some of the greatest names in sports and entertainment." Triple-platinum selling recording artist Andy Grammer will perform at the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards. The pop singer best known for hits such as “Keep Your Head Up” and “Back Home” took America by storm in 2015 with his smash single, "Honey, I'm Good" turning it into one of the year’s catchiest songs. A deluxe edition of his sophomore album, Magazines Or Novels was released on Nov. 20 featuring Andy's brand new single, "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah.)" The evening's musical lineup will also feature country star Sam Hunt, who took home the honor of New Artist of the Year at Sunday night's American Music Awards. His critically-acclaimed debut album Montevallo has so far produced three consecutive No. 1 platinum-selling singles with "Leave the Night On," "House Party" and the double-platinum "Take Your Time," plus his current platinum-selling Top 15, "Break Up In A Small Town." Rachel Platten, one of this year's breakout artists with her double platinum No. 1 hit single, "Fight Song", will also grace the awards stage. Her current chart-climbing single, "Stand By You" will be released on her highly-anticipated forthcoming album, Wildfire. Rounding out the night's performances will be multi-talented singer / songwriter Sabrina Carpenter, who currently stars on the Disney Channel original series Girl Meets World . Carpenter released her debut album, Eyes Wide Open earlier this year, which features "We'll be the Stars" and its namesake single, "Eyes Wide Open." "The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards marks the pinnacle of our season as we have the opportunity to commend the drivers and teams for all of their hard work and dedication throughout the year," said Zane Stoddard, NASCAR vice president of entertainment marketing and content development. "With Drew Carey at the wheel and a lineup of performances from some of the most celebrated entertainers in the music industry, it will certainly be a finale to remember for everyone joining us in Las Vegas and the NASCAR fans watching at home." This year's artists will join a star-studded group of actors and musicians who have previously performed at NASCAR’s championship celebration, including Lady Antebellum, Sara Bareilles, Dierks Bentley, and Kid Rock. Part of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week™ in Las Vegas, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards is the headlining experience in a series of events that also includes the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Fanfest, NASCAR After The Lap™ and NASCAR Victory Lap™, where fans get a front row seat as the 16 Challengers™ roar down Las Vegas Boulevard. Visit www.NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek to view the full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week schedule.
Bing predicts the Sprint Cup Series champion
LEARN MORE: About Bing PLAY NOW: Play The Chase Grid Battle Game Powered by Bing Four Chase drivers will fight for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in the season finale Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Bing returns for the season-ending event with Championship 4 predictions, determining who has the best chance at Victory Lane of Chase contenders Kevin Harvick , Jeff Gordon , Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr . Harvick remains Bing Predicts' favorite to win the title, having been their predicted winner since the beginning of the Chase. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver's 2015 consistency and recent finishes at Homestead -- he won at the Florida track last season to clinch the title -- bode well for the reigning series champion. Joe Gibbs Racing 's Busch retains his spot as Bing Predicts' No. 2 pick. While Busch's average finish of 23.1 at Homestead hurts his chances, his winning record at similar tracks (13 wins at tracks 1-to-2 miles in length) and improved performances since the opening round of the Chase keep him at Bing's No. 2. Bing acknowledges Gordon's strong final season and Truex's impressive performance as the dark horse, but calculates that Harvick's and Busch's recent finishes ultimately play in their favor for the title. The finale will take place on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 3 p.m. ET (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) at Homestead-Miami Speedway . In addition to helping you win the NASCAR Chase Grid Battle game, Bing also wants to send you on a trip of a lifetime to celebrate the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup champion. Now you can enter a sweepstakes through Bing Rewards for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week.
Rain delays Sprint Cup Series race at Miami
RELATED: Live weather updates from Homestead-Miami HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 , the championship-determining race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , was delayed by inclement weather at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The 267-lap event (400 miles) was scheduled to get underway at 3:15 p.m. ET (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM). Driver introductions began at 3:30 but other pre-race events were on hold. The green flag finally waved at 4:51. Reigning Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ), Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ), Kyle Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ) survived the first three rounds of this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup to qualify for today's Championship 4 Round and a shot at the title. It marked the final start for Gordon, a four-time series champion, as a full-time driver in the series . He will join the FOX Sports team next season as an analyst for its coverage of NASCAR. Busch was the highest qualifying driver among the four Chase contenders, and rolled off third in the 43-car field. Gordon started fifth, Truex started 11th and Harvick started 13th. Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole Award on Friday and Team Penske 's Joey Logano joined him on the front row. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France noted earlier this weekend that the sanctioning body had "a record number" of Air Titans and other equipment on hand to speed up the track drying process on the 1.5-mile layout in case of rain. "We're looking at everything," France said during a state of the sport address on Friday. "Our view now is that like a lot of things that aren't necessarily perfect ... that's part of the game. That's part of racing that it's part of the strategy." Weather issues have impacted several races this season. Two, the June race at Michigan and last week at Phoenix, were declared official before reaching their scheduled distance. Two other events, at Richmond in April and Charlotte in October, had to be pushed to the following day due to rain.
Cole Whitt to drive No. 98 in Sprint Cup Series for 2016
RELATED: See which drivers are on the move for 2016 Sprint Cup driver Cole Whitt will pilot the No. 98 Premium Motorsports car for 2016, the team announced Tuesday. Premium Motorsports is excited to announce the official signing @ColeWhitt to drive the #98 Sprint Cup car in 2016. https://t.co/t8NLpOSmF0 — Premium Motorsports (@PremiumMSNASCAR) February 2, 2016 This marks Whitt's third full-time season in the Cup Series , his first with Premium Motorsports. The 24-year-old driver wheeled cars for Swan Racing, BK Racing and, most recently, Front Row Motorsports. "We believe Cole is an accomplished young driver who drives aggressively, yet smart," team owner Jay Robinson said in a release. "He's a great fit for our team as we look to improve our competitiveness in the Sprint Cup Series ." Whitt wasn't the only change made at Premium Motorsports this year; During the offseason, the team hired Mike Hillman as competition director and Mark Hillman as crew chief. Several of Whitt's previous partners are also expected to re-sign with the new team, according to a team release. "Jay and the crew at Premium Motorsports impressed me with their vision for the future and commitment to making the No. 98 car competitive week in and week out," Whitt said. "I look forward to being a big part of the family atmosphere at Premium and having a successful start at the Daytona 500 in a few weeks." Whitt recorded a career-best 13th place result at Talladega Superspeedway last spring in the No. 35 ride, ultimately finishing 31st in the driver standings at season's end.