The top-five finishers comment on an exciting night filled with strategy and determination.
Sport to honor fallen service members with windshield tribute at Coca-Cola 600 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 18, 2015) — When NASCAR® drivers start their engines for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway , fans will see familiar names like "Harvick," "Kenseth" and "Almirola" replaced on car windshields with "SGT Mracek," "HM3 Layton" and "CPT Argel" -- United States Armed Forces members who have fallen in service to their country. All 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers will participate in "600 Miles of Remembrance" on Memorial Day Weekend to honor military service members and their families, and commemorate the launch of NASCAR: An American Salute ™, the industry's collective expression of reverence, respect and gratitude for those who have served and continue to defend our nation today. Fans can follow stories around the seven-week platform and share their personal expressions of thanks to the military using #NASCARSalutes on social media. "The NASCAR community rallying to honor the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, has long been part of our sport's heritage," said Brent Dewar, Chief Operating Officer, NASCAR. "As part of NASCAR: An American Salute , 600 Miles of Remembrance represents a special moment in time as we pay tribute to service members who have sacrificed dearly for our freedom." Many of the service members whose names will be displayed on the race cars were chosen by the teams, and some have unique connections to the fallen. Private Dean Van Dyke, who was killed in the Vietnam War, was a relative of No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle . Army First Lieutenant Daniel Hyde, killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom, served alongside Chris Clayton, tire changer on the No. 83 BK Racing team. Many of the families of the service members being recognized will be in attendance on Sunday, and will be introduced alongside the drivers during driver introductions. In addition, Charlotte Motor Speedway will host more than 6,000 active military members at the Coca-Cola 600 in honor of Memorial Day. NASCAR: An American Salute will feature various on- and off-track activities from tracks, teams and partners that show appreciation and support for the troops, and will culminate Independence Day Weekend with the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway . This weekend, NASCAR together with Honor and Remember, Inc., will display specially prepared Honor and Remember flags representing those who have died in service to our country from each of the 50 United States throughout the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Charlotte Motor Speedway . Throughout the campaign, NASCAR will host military families at each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race as part of NASCAR Troops to the Track™ Presented by Bank of America. Toyota will also honor the names of fallen service members on its pace cars for the Coca-Cola 600 as part of 600 Miles of Remembrance. Later in the program, both Chevrolet and Ford will feature patriotic branding on the pace cars for races at Pocono and Michigan, respectively. Many NASCAR Official Partners have mobilized to support NASCAR: An American Salute with military-themed activations, including: • For the sixth straight year, Goodyear is rallying NASCAR fans to support members of the U.S. Armed Forces through its "Goodyear Gives Back" charitable program benefiting the Support Our Troops® organization. To kick off the program, Goodyear will once again transform its NASCAR race tires by replacing the "Eagle" sidewall design with "Support Our Troops" messaging on all tires used during Memorial Day weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway . This effort coincides with the May 21 launch of Goodyear's charity auction at www.Goodyear.com/GivesBack , which features autographed NASCAR memorabilia, VIP race experiences and rides on the Goodyear Blimp. • Bank of America is the presenting partner of NASCAR Troops to the Track -- a season-long program that honors members of the military and their families for their services, and treats them to a NASCAR race experience. This program is an extension of Bank of America's long-standing commitment to the military, focused on helping veterans and service members’ transition to civilian life. • NASCAR, Coca-Cola, Mars Chocolate North America, and 3M have collaborated to engage shoppers in over 180 military commissaries. On Tuesday, May 19, there will be all-day activation at Fort Bragg Commissary South featuring an appearance by Coca-Cola Racing Family Member Joey Logano , who will be giving away tickets to the Coca-Cola 600 . From May 18 to July 8, commissary shoppers can enter the 2015 Champion's Week Sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week by texting "NASCARSALUTE" to 313131 or by visiting www.championsweek2015.com . • M&M's will introduce a national letter-writing campaign, in partnership with Operation Gratitude, encouraging fans to send messages of thanks and appreciation to military members. The notes will be included in more than 100,000 Operation Gratitude Care Packages which will be assembled and shipped to Troops deployed in harm’s way and to New Recruits upon their graduation from Boot Camp. • During Daytona International Speedway ’s Coke Zero 400 , all active duty military, veterans and their families can enjoy the Troops Welcome Center Presented by M&M’s. The center, which will be located in the midway, will be fully equipped with food and beverages, allowing service members to take a break and meet NASCAR drivers throughout the weekend. • In honor of the military, Miss Sprint Cup will wear NASCAR: An American Salute fire suits at the Coca-Cola 600 and Coke Zero 400 . This Sunday, NASCAR drivers will discuss 600 Miles of Remembrance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (channel 90) during a special military tribute show airing at 1 p.m. ET. The Dialed In Salute to the Troops special, hosted by Claire B. Lang, will feature interviews with several drivers as well as service men and service women from different branches of the military. During the Coca Cola 600 pre-race broadcast (5:30 p.m. ET, FOX), FOX Sports will recognize all service members who have lost their lives in the past year by displaying their names and branch of service on a graphic scroll. This will be FOX’s fifth year in a row dedicating the pre-race show to service members that have fallen in the line of duty. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ Coca-Cola 600 will be broadcast live from Charlotte Motor Speedway at 6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM Radio. Additional live coverage can be found on NASCAR.com. To learn more about NASCAR: An American Salute , visit www.NASCAR.com/Salute .
Hear from all the top finishers from Saturday's American Ethanol 200 from Iowa Speedway.
No. 48 driver would join NASCAR's elite with a 'Monster Mile' victory DOVER, Del. – With six NASCAR Sprint Cup championships and 73 race victories Jimmie Johnson is the most decorated driver of his era. And yet this Sunday, he still stands to elevate his legacy and join the sport's greats in another milestone. Should Johnson, 39, drive his No. 48 Lowe's Pro Services Chevrolet into Dover International Speedway 's Victory Lane in Sunday's FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks, it would he his 10th win at the famed and feared Monster Mile, putting him in elite "double-digit" company. The last person to win 10 races at a single track was the late seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt at Talladega in 2000. Only three others have accomplished the feat – NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (at Daytona; Richmond; Rockingham, North Carolina; Martinsville, Virginia; and North Wilkesboro, North Carolina), Darrell Waltrip (Bristol, Tennessee; Martinsville; and North Wilkesboro) and David Pearson (Darlington, South Carolina). And if that weren't impressive enough, Johnson is only 24 laps shy of leading 3,000 laps at Dover. Should he break that threshold he would be one of only seven drivers in history to lead 3,000 miles at a single track. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon is the only other active driver to hit that mark (at Martinsville). In winning this race last year, Johnson led a dominant 272 laps. "It's crazy for me to have this reality,'' said Johnson, who will start 14th Sunday. "It's nothing that I thought would happen. I'm certainly enjoying the moment while I’m here." Beyond the status in the history books, Johnson has often expressed how genuinely honored he is to have his name alongside the NASCAR legends. He has always spoken reverently about the drivers who came before him and even after all he's accomplished Johnson still seems to be the one humbled by the company he's keeping. "If I was able to accomplish it, I'd just be honored to be in that same situation that had been done by Dale Earnhardt Sr.,'' Johnson said. "I never had the chance to race against him. It's one big empty void that I have in my career. I feel is that I never had a chance to be crashed by him or have a tire mark put on my car, to pass (laughing) or to be passed. That whole experience, I didn't have that opportunity and I so wish that I did.'' Johnson's success at the notoriously challenging Dover one-mile concrete oval is especially impressive. The track is nicknamed the"Monster Mile" for a reason – tight, high-banked and physically demanding. There is little room for error on track or on pit road. And yet Johnson has been good here since day one. Literally. In his 2002 rookie year, Johnson swept both Cup races. And he has shown a propensity to get on a roll. He's won back-to-back races three times. He swept the 2009 races at Dover and has won two of the last three here, finishing third to teammate Gordon last fall. "I go all the way back to my first trip here in an ASA ( American Speed Association) car and it was love at first site,'' said Johnson, who won the pole and finished eighth in his very first Dover race in 1999. So why has Johnson been able to master the Monster that has challenged so many others? Interestingly, it's the difficulty that intrigues Johnson, not that the track is necessarily easy for him. "I guess to generalize it, it would be the intensity required to run a lap here,'' Johnson said. "It's hard to say that there is one aspect that I enjoy the most, but just the set of corners from straightaway to straightaway. You kind of work up your bravery, you make it through the corner. "You get it on the next straightaway and you smile like, 'wow that was pretty cool. I'm going to do it again. Here we go.' And you fly though turns three and four and you just end up with that mindset around the track. It's tons of fun.'' Nine trophies no doubt make it more fun. "There are a few tracks where I'm in a really neat position to chase history,'' Johnson said. "Again, it's not a situation I ever thought I'd find myself in, but now that I'm here it's certainly in front me. "It's on my mind and it's something I would love to do." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
The Dover trophy uniquely ties in the track and mascot RELATED: Go behind the scenes to see the making of Miles " Learn more about Dover Trophies are the ultimate prize in sports. They come in all shapes and sizes, symbolizing a significant team or individual accomplishment. In some sports like NASCAR, they are awarded after a race. In other sports like Major League Baseball, the National Football League or the National Basketball Association to name a few, trophies are given out at the end of the season upon completion of each sport's championship round. The trophies themselves can be filled with storied history like the National Hockey League's Stanley Cup trophy. The trophy features every team to win the championship in the NHL, as well as the names of the players on the team and key management personnel. Upon winning the championship, a player gets to spend a day with the Stanley Cup and can pretty much do whatever they want with it. The rich history of trophies extends to the Green Jacket tradition for the winner of The Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. The green sport coat is the official attire of members of the club, and the ceremony is seen as a passing of the torch as the year's previous winner puts the jacket on the current winner. NASCAR has something similar with its blue blazer for the members of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. WATCH: Learn more about the blue blazer NASCAR Hall of Fame members receive The Stanley Cup and Green Jacket are just a handful of countless examples we could mention. In some cases, the trophies do a magnificent job of tying the victory hardware to the event's history and heritage. One such place that does that well is Dover International Speedway , site of this weekend's NASCAR national series tripleheader and the headlining event of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). The Delaware track has hosted NASCAR events since 1969 and carries the nickname "The Monster Mile" for its 1-mile oval layout as well as the track's mascot , "Miles the Monster." Miles is on everything from memorabilia, to tickets, to the trophy given to race winners. There's also the Monster Monument in Victory Plaza. The integration of Miles makes the mascot synonymous with everything at Dover on a NASCAR weekend. It's also why the Dover trophy is among the best in all of sports and one of the most unique in NASCAR. PHOTOS: Unique trophies in NASCAR " Miles the Monster trophy requires plenty of space Last year, before yet another win at Dover, Jimmie Johnson described the Dover trophies as ones that "stand out. They're a big trophy and they certainly draw a lot of attention." The Hendrick Motorsports driver should know, as he has the most career premier series wins at Dover (nine entering this weekend). It may not have as much storied history behind it, like winning a grandfather clock at Martinsville Speedway , nor may it carry the prestige of the Harley J. Earl Trophy for winning the season-opening Great American Race, the Daytona 500 . It certainly doesn't taste as good as a win in wine country at Sonoma Raceway or come with food like the lobster winners get at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . But does any other trophy hold the intimidation factor and menacing look that Miles the Monster invokes? In short, no. The trophy balances the right amount of track history, heritage and tradition, while keeping its hardware fun and interesting for the winners to display.
Would you rather watch under the sun or stars? RELATED: Junior prefers day races over night Last week while speaking at Charlotte Motor Speedway , it came out that Dale Earnhardt Jr . thinks the daytime is the right time for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing. Junior had his reasons, and you can read them at the link above, but it got us at NASCAR.com thinking about which type of races we prefer. Some tracks shine at night, such as Bristol Motor Speedway for the annual night race there in the late summer, and fans look forward to the event months in advance. Meanwhile, other venues sparkle during the daylight. Like, how could we beat the day at Talladega earlier this season? Bright skies and that big American flag in the background. What could be better? Kathy Sheldon and George Winkler have their preferences as to which time they like races and are ready to debate. Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below. Winkler: Alright, Kathy. Boogity, boogity, boogity, let's go debating. I'll start off speaking from the heart. My first live sporting event with my dad was a day baseball game in San Francisco between the Giants and Cardinals. And as a kid I remember just how bright and green that field appeared the first time I laid eyes on it. Had it been a night game, it would have been past my bedtime. So I empathize with parents who are bringing their sons and daughters to their first race. I want them to have the same bright experience I had because that is what will set them on the path to becoming a true sports fan. Sheldon: George, we share an abiding love for baseball, as well as racing. I, too, was a wee lass when my family took me to my first game at Wrigley Field -- a day game. I would argue all day long for more day baseball, but racing is different for me. Baseball fans usually spend less than 3-1/2 hours total at the ballpark. That's including player introductions, the national anthem, and buying souvenirs before or after the game. Out of 12 races so far this season, NASCAR fans have seen five events go past the 3.5-hour mark. Just the racing. The Coca-Cola 600 was 4 hours and 3 minutes -- of baking in the sun. The deeper we go into summer, the hotter those afternoon races get. Plus, remember many NASCAR fans travel to see races. Saturday night races give them a chance to get some shut-eye then make their way home on Sunday and not miss any work vs. driving late into the night Sunday or taking a day off on Monday. Winkler: Kathy, you make a great point about the travel for the fans being more convenient on Sunday after a Saturday night race. Those of us who work in the business certainly appreciate those Sundays off, too. But stepping away from the fan experience for a bit, let's talk about the actual racing. Junior thinks there's better racing during the day because the surface is hotter, the track is slicker and the groove is wider. These are some of the reasons I love watching the race at Auto Club Speedway , for example. With a racing surface that's wide open during the day, it gives drivers the chance to try different grooves and can lead to exciting moments and different strategies. Plus, those California views! Or Phoenix or Las Vegas for that matter. Can't see those at night! Sheldon: Sticking with the fan experience for one more second, what you can see at night is the fireworks on the track. Did you not think it was the coolest thing ever the first time you saw the brake rotors glowing on 43 cars going 150-plus mph? Only at night can you see the sparks flying when the exhaust or suspension pieces hit the pavement during braking in the corners or when cars make contact. As for better racing, I like seeing the strategy of which team can beat the changing conditions. Going from early evening setting sun track temperatures to cooler night temperatures is just one more facet in the battle of man vs. machine. This spring’s Texas race didn't lack excitement, with 29 lead changes among nine drivers. Winkler: OK, you're a tough cookie to crack, Kathy. So I'm pulling out the cranky old man material. I get up early in the morning and need to get on with my day. I don't have time to sit around in a parking lot waiting for these night races. I've got places to go, people to see, yards to mow, important stuff like that. These crazy kids these days getting extra time to get all "juiced up" for these races. I like to hit the ground running in the morning and I'm ready for a good, old-fashioned 1 p.m. ET start. Get 'er done, as they say! Sheldon: George, I'll hand it to you on being a family man. I've worked nights too many years. So I would still rather be hanging out in the parking lot after a race having a sandwich and one last beer (if I'm not driving) while waiting for traffic to thin out at midnight rather than getting up with the sun. Or better yet, camping! I'd say we agree you can't really go wrong when it comes to spending time at the track as a fan, but sign me up for those warm summer nights. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Sgt. Brendan Marrocco is nominated for his service in the United States Army and for being the first American soldier to survive a quadruple amputation.
Veteran driver set for pair of road events in No. 42 Chevrolet Justin Marks is giving up his Lamborghini to return to the wheel of a stock car, heading to the road courses of Mid-Ohio and Road America later this year to compete for HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi in the two NASCAR XFINITY Series races. Marks, 34, will be behind the wheel of the team’s No. 42 Chevrolet, the same entry that’s been split between Sprint Cup driver Kyle Larson and rookie Brennan Poole this season and is headed up by crew chief Mike Shiplett. While he has at least one official start in all three NASCAR national series, Marks' background is endurance sports cars, "so the road courses were always something that was circled on my calendar," he told NASCAR.com. "I've always felt like they were my best chances at winning." Marks ran the same two events last year for the team when it was branded Turner Scott Motorsports, finishing sixth at Mid-Ohio in the No. 31 Chevrolet and running in the top five late at Road America before running out of fuel. After co-owners Harry Scott and Steve Turner severed their ties at the end of the year, Scott and Sprint Cup Series team owner Chip Ganassi teamed up to continue fielding the XFINITY Series operation. "I tried to put my name in the hat as early as possible … for those road courses," Marks said. "I knew Kyle was going to be doing fewer races this year … and that Brennan was going to be coming on with his program. The gaps in the schedule just worked out perfectly." The Mid-Ohio race is scheduled for Aug. 15, when Larson, who has made four XFINITY Series starts this year, will be at Michigan International Speedway for the Sprint Cup race. The Road America race falls on an off-weekend for the Sprint Cup series. "Last year was the first time I'd been in a stock car on a road course in a little while," said Marks. "It was really the first time racing at that level since I quit racing full-time in NASCAR. So there was a little bit of an unknown going into those races. But we were a top-five car at Road America and I think we were the fastest car once it started raining. "At Mid-Ohio, we were just a solid car, fastest in final practice and in the top five or six all race long. So when I look at how we did, knowing I'm familiar with the team, going back to the exact same tracks and knowing my expectations, now having the added asset of Chip Ganassi Racing , all of their engineering and knowledge and expertise behind it will just make the cars that much better. "I think for both of those races, legitimately, we're going there to win. And I really think we can do it, if I do a good job and we make smart decisions, have a good strategy and nothing crazy happens like running out of fuel or get off (pit) sequence for some reason." As for the Lamborghini, it isn't his grocery getter -- Marks is competing full-time in the Blancpain Super Trofeo Series this season, a 12-race series for Lamborghini GT3 entries that is part of the Tudor United SportsCar program. Stops on the schedule include Laguna Seca (completed), Watkins Glen, Virginia International Raceway, Circuit of the Americas, Road Atlanta and Sebring. He and Scott co-own a five-car K&N Pro Series East organization that fields entries for William Byron, Scott Heckert, Dalton Sargeant, Rico Abreu and J.J. Haley. Ownership of the GoPro Motorsports karting complex in Mooresville, North Carolina, and an import/distribution company that supplies high-performance karting equipment also keep Marks on the go. "The K&N team was something that I sort of started talking to Harry about … if there was ever an opportunity for me to (be involved) that I was interested in it," he said. "Because it's a great series and I love trying to help the young guys, these young up-and-comers, and being involved in their careers." In his only NASCAR efforts thus far this season, Marks attempted to qualify for all three season-opening races at Daytona International Speedway with sponsorship from American Born Moonshine. He made the starting fields for the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series races, but was one of six that failed to earn a starting berth in the Daytona 500 Sprint Cup Series race. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Busch will lead off the start of the UNOH 225
Chicagoland Truck Series race will be run at 7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2 JOLIET, Ill. -- Friday night's Lucas Oil 225 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race was postponed by rain. The race, stop No. 15 of 22 for the series, was moved to Saturday evening at 7 p.m. ET, broadcast on FOX Sports 2. Showers which hit the Joliet area earlier in the day washed out Truck Series qualifying, as well as qualifying for Sprint Cup teams and practice for the Nationwide Series. Sprint Cup teams were able to complete their one scheduled practice without interruption. Truck Series teams completed two practices sessions Thursday, allowing NASCAR officials to determine Saturday night's starting lineup based on combined speeds. Points leader Johnny Sauter will start on the pole, with Brennan Newberry in the No. 2 spot. Jeb Burton, former series champion Austin Dillon and Ryan Blaney round out the top five. Earlier this year, two Truck Series events (at Martinsville, Va., and Bristol, Tenn.) were run a day later than originally scheduled due to inclement weather. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule