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Tech Talk: Rain tires, procedures ready at Watkins Glen
RELATED: Junior wants to race in the rain The extended weather forecast for Watkins Glen shows only a slight chance of rain for this weekend’s Cheez-It 355 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). But NASCAR officials are prepared to conduct Sunday’s race should inclement weather become an issue. The same holds true for Saturday's Zippo 200 XFINITY Series race (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), also slated for Watkins Glen. Steve O’Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for NASCAR, told NASCAR.com Monday that should there be rain on Sunday, "the same rules will apply that we've had in the XFINITY Series." In other words, yes, they're prepared to run the Sprint Cup race in the rain. Three XFINITY Series races have been contested in wet conditions – in 2008 and '09 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve (Montreal) and last year at Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin). Goodyear will have an ample supply of rain tires on hand this weekend and teams will be required to install a functional windshield wiper motor, defogger and rear window flashing light for this weekend’s races. The light must be activated during all wet weather conditions, and must be located in the upper left corner inside the rear window. "We've also got Air Titans that we can deploy if there is ... excess water in certain areas," O’Donnell said. Per the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rulebook, under "wet" conditions, cars will line up on the starting grid under a normal "dry" equipment configuration. After a single pace lap, cars will return to pit road to their assigned pit stalls where crewmembers will install rain tires and a front windshield wiper or wipers. The rear flashing light must also be activated at this time. No further adjustments or refueling of the car will be allowed during the stop. Cars will return to the track in their original starting positions behind the pace car to complete the pace laps. Teams can't change to "dry" weather tires until taking the green flag following the start of the event. RACE CENTER EXTRA: How Watkins Glen's unique pit road impacts teams For "damp" conditions: If there is moisture only in certain areas of the track, the start of the race would be similar to those for "wet" conditions, however when pitting after the first pace lap, teams will have the option to install the rain tires, defogger and windshield wiper or wipers. Activation of the rear flashing light is mandatory under both "wet" and "damp" conditions prior to the race start. Once again, the cars will re-enter the track in their original starting position to complete the remaining pace laps. Should a team or teams opt not to change tires during the designated "damp” conditions pit stop, but pit during one of the remaining pace laps, the team or teams will start at the rear of the field in the order in which they return to the track. Sprint Cup Series managing director director Richard Buck will make the determination of track conditions (wet, damp or dry). Finally, if one or more laps are completed under normal dry conditions then rain arrives, NASCAR will display the yellow flag, putting the race under caution. Once pit road has been opened, teams may pit and change tires, install "wet" weather equipment and perform any additional services permitted. They also have the option of remaining on the track, should they so choose. Tire Build for the Glen Unchanged Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series teams will run the same Goodyear tire code at Watkins Glen. It is same build that teams have run there since 2013. XFINITY Series teams also ran the tire at Road America last year. The "wet" weather tire, should it be needed, for both series is the same build as that which was also run at Road America in '14. After the Fact Two of the 32 penalties issued Sunday at Pocono Raceway were assessed after the completion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Joey Logano ( Team Penske ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ) both incurred pit road speeding penalties after each driver ran out of gas in the closing laps of the Windows 10 400 . Both Truex (19th) and Logano (20th) finished on the lead lap.
Hayley returns home for Chevrolet Silverado 250
No one would blame Cameron Hayley for getting homesick. The 19-year-old NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver resides in Sandusky, Ohio where his ThorSport Racing team is based -- 1,891.3 miles away from his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Most of the tracks he races at are even farther away. Distance has not stopped Hayley from chasing his NASCAR dream. Although it's located on the opposite side of Canada, Hayley will have a homecoming of sorts when he performs in front of his fellow countrymen in Sunday's Chevrolet Silverado 250 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (1:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1) -- the NCWTS' only road course race of the season. "Not only is this a track I've been to before, it's also in my home country," said Hayley, who ranks sixth in the NCWTS standings on the strength of three top-five and seven top-10 finishes in 14 starts this season. "I just hope that I will have a good run for all of my Canadian fans." An alumnus of the NASCAR Next initiative highlighting the sport's top up-and-coming drivers, Hayley is still searching for his first NASCAR national series win. If he takes the checkered flag on Sunday, he would be the first Canadian to win a NASCAR national series race since Ron Fellows visited Victory Lane in Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2008. Racing in his first full-time NCWTS season, Hayley has gained momentum lately, logging six top-10 finishes in his last eight starts, including a career-best fourth-place showing at Pocono. He made his series debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last season, finishing 11th and believes his prior experience there will help him on Sunday. "We've done really well at tracks that I've been to in the past this year, already," Hayley said. "I've been to Sonoma a couple times and that place was really difficult. You look at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and think, 'it can’t be as difficult as Sonoma ,' but it's a very fast race track, and fast race tracks are not forgiving. It takes a lot of finesse and a lot of guts to go out there and get it done. We are bringing a really good truck, so I think this will be another good race for us to go out and get a solid top five, if not a win."
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ThorSport Racing signs Cody Coughlin to race in 2017
ThorSport Racing announced Monday the addition of Cody Coughlin to its 2017 driver lineup in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series . Coughlin, 21, will drive ThorSport's No. 13 Toyota in his first full season in the series. Michael Shelton will serve as crew chief, and primary sponsorship will come from JEGS and Ride TV. Coughlin, who rose through the Late Model and ARCA ranks, has 12 career starts in the Camping World Truck Series over the last two years. He'll compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2017 after claiming two Late Model titles under the Champion Racing Associations (CRA) banner last season. "ThorSport Racing is a great team, one I've always admired at the race track," Coughlin said in a news release provided by the team. "Their professionalism, the speed they display, and their record, speaks for itself. Considering the team and I are both based in Ohio, it makes for a great fit, and I'm proud to be part of this championship-caliber organization." Coughlin said he became close friends with ThorSport driver and new teammate Matt Crafton on the circuit last season. Crafton will return to the ThorSport No. 88 this season in search of his third series title. Veteran crew chief Shelton teamed with driver James Buescher to claim the series championship in 2012. He most recently worked with John Wes Townley last season, helping him to one victory and one pole position during their time together. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
TriStar Motorsports returns to premier series with Whitt
RELATED: See Whitt's ride for Daytona STATESVILLE, N.C. -- TriStar Motorsports announces it will return to competition in NASCAR's premier series fielding one full-time entry in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series for the 2017 season. Cole Whitt has secured the seat of the No. 72 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series . Whitt brings with him Florida Lottery to serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 72 for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway . Additionally, Whitt will continue partnerships with RTIC Coolers, Rinnai and Carolina Skiff throughout the 2017 season. Frank Kerr has been named Crew Chief for Whitt and will oversee competitive efforts for the No. 72. Whitt's NASCAR career includes six years on the circuit and races in which he has competed in NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series , NASCAR XFINITY Series and the Monster Energy Cup Series. "I'm looking forward to being back in the seat at TriStar Motorsports for the Monster Energy Cup Series for 2017," said Whitt. "We are glad to have Florida Lottery back with us for the season opener at Daytona and are fortunate to continue and expand our relationship with Rinnai, RTIC Coolers and Carolina Skiff throughout the year." TriStar Motorsports first competed in the NASCAR Cup Series in 1989 for the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and lastly in 2013 at Watkins Glen International Raceway; completing a total of 197 races. "We are taking a different approach and expanding our competitive platform for 2017," said Mark Smith, owner of TriStar Motorsports. "It is an opportunity we feel is the best direction for this season and we are pleased to have Cole and his partners involved in those efforts." &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;
NASCAR Next's Alon Day eager for new chapter
RELATED: Meet the 2016-17 NASCAR Next class There are several traditional routes to stock-car racing's big leagues. Several stars have emerged from asphalt Late Model circles, others from the sprint cars ranks, either on pavement or dirt. Alon Day has made a path where just five years ago, he says, none existed in his homeland of Israel. "I grew up without any motorsports -- nothing," says Day, who fantasized about NASCAR and Formula One as a youth. "When I started racing, which was in 2012, actually motorsport was illegal in Israel." Day's presence in NASCAR's pipeline reaffirms the notion that there are no uniform directions to the national stage. The NASCAR Next driver's roundabout journey has taken him from his home in Tel Aviv, to racing single-seaters and other vehicles in Europe, and stock-car sojourns to the United States more than once. It's a journey, he says, that's not nearly complete. "That's my main priority, for sure, being here in NASCAR, in Trucks or XFINITY or doesn't matter -- but be here, in the United States and not in Europe," says Day, who has spent the last two years in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series. "For me, going back to Europe is probably going to be a step down because I feel ready enough to race here, but that's life. It can be tough sometimes." The eagerness led to opportunities for the 25-year-old Day in two national series last year: Two road course events on the XFINITY tour with Carl Long 's team, and a pair of Camping World Truck Series races on ovals for owner Carlos Contreras . The road races played to Day's wheelhouse and he capitalized on his expertise with a 13th-place finish in his XFINITY debut at Mid-Ohio. But his truck time -- at New Hampshire and in the Homestead-Miami finale -- provided a valuable training experience. "It's still a different kind of racing for me," Day says. "I'm still learning as much as I can in ovals. I try to absorb as much information and more knowledge about oval racing, which is not easy. So definitely the two races I did in trucks were probably the most valuable races I've done." Besides his forays into racing in the USA, Day's success in NASCAR's European circuit -- stacking up six victories in his first two seasons -- has resonated back in his homeland. Early in January, he was recognized as Israel's Athlete of the Year in a newly announced category for motorsports. While he's still working on making his dreams of racing in the states a reality, he's also changing popular conceptions of what NASCAR means in his home country. "In Israel, if I would be very honest, people always -- until now -- think that NASCAR is just people who turn left and that's it. Sitting in the car and just turning left," Day says. "And now when I actually get more success in NASCAR and especially winning the Athlete of the Year, people get more and more interest now. The NASCAR races are broadcast in Israel and I'm really glad. "People really have the opportunity to understand it and realize that NASCAR is one of the toughest races in the world."