SHR tweaks pit crews of No. 10, No. 14 teams
In an effort to improve pit stops, Stewart-Haas Racing has moved around several crew members between its teams. This past weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway saw different faces on different teams. So let's start with the easy stuff: The No. 4 ( Kevin Harvick ) and No. 41 ( Kurt Busch ) looked to be the same as at Daytona. Both teams have been performing at a top level for years, and we didn't see any changes as of Richmond. Now the fun stuff. The No. 10 car of Danica Patrick had a different front carrier, rear changer, and rear carrier. The team moved rear carrier Matt Holzbaur to the front and added rear changer Jonathan Sherman and rear carrier Jeremy Howard. Both Sherman and Howard came from the No. 38 team ( Landon Cassill ), which is pit supported by SHR. The No. 14 of Tony Stewart got a new front changer in Ryan Mulder. Mulder was moved from the rear of the No. 10 to the front of the No. 14. The No. 38 team got a new front changer, front carrier, rear changer and rear carrier. Bryan Jacobsen moved from the No. 14 is now on the front with Jeff Shoaf, who moved from the No. 10 team. Anchoring the rear are now Chris Jackson and Tyler Bullard, who previously had worked up front on the 38. From what we can tell, no new pit crew members were hired or fired, just a restructuring of crewmen. Sometimes it takes a shake up to get the best crews together and it looks like SHR is trying to find the best combinations for its teams. For more pit crew news, visit PitTalks.com .
Dale Jr.'s victory celebration? A banana-mayo sandwich, of course
Photo courtesy of Richmond International Raceway 's Twitter account RELATED: Dale Jr. shows how to make the sandwich " Dale Jr. wins at Richmond Thanks to a tweet heard 'round the NASCAR Nation, we all know about Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s favorite sandwich, bananas and mayo. The driver turned the much-discussed tweet into a charitable endeavor with the funds raised going to Blessings in a Backpack. Kelley Earnhardt Miller, Dale Jr.'s sister and the co-owner/ general manager of JR Motorsports, said after the Richmond win that all told, fans have donated over $55,000, while Hellmann's and Dale Jr. will each donate $50,000. Driving the No. 88 Hellmann's Chevrolet, Earnhardt Jr. won the ToyotaCare 250 to score his first win behind the wheel for the team he co-owns, JR Motorsports. And if you are wondering how he celebrated in Victory Lane, just remember it was a little after lunchtime of a 149-lap race, so the man was hungry. RELATED: JRM extends relationship with longtime partner That led to a banana-mayo sandwich for the victor to enjoy. A and a #DaleJrSandwich in Victory Lane. pic.twitter.com/jg3djblM5R — JR Motorsports (@JRMotorsports) April 23, 2016 A celebratory #DaleJrSandwich , anyone? pic.twitter.com/C3dRIegUJe — Richmond Raceway (@RIRInsider) April 23, 2016
Tony Stewart cuts tire in first Sprint Cup race of 2016
MORE: Full race results " Top moments for Stewart " Recap all his wins Tony Stewart had a tire go down in his first race back behind the wheel of his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet in Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway . On Lap 268 of 400, Stewart and Team Penske driver Joey Logano made contact, cutting the left-rear tire of the No. 14 to bring out the caution. The three-time premier series champion was running 21st and one lap down at the time of the incident. Logano got the free pass as a result of the caution. Earlier in the race, Stewart was battling hard with then-race leader and eventual race winner Carl Edwards to stay on the lead lap. "We got the lap down there," Stewart said after the race. "I got a lap down and almost drove back by and got my lap back. But Carl (Edwards) was strong. I knew I wasn't going to be able to hang on long, but I was going to hold on as long as I could and hope we got a caution." Stewart would get back on the lead lap thanks to earning the free pass on the Lap 325 caution. "Smoke" would go on to finish in 19th place. Of his day back behind the wheel Stewart said, "It was fun. I had a good time and I'm looking forward to running the rest of this year with these guys." RELATED: Whose restart did 'Smoke' describe as 'sexy'?
Edwards flips out...of his car!
NASCAR.com's Chuck Bush looks back at the eventful weekend at Richmond International Raceway in this week's episode of the Rearview Mirror.
Stewart: 'At 44 I can still outrace a lot of these guys'
Tony Stewart reacts to running his first race of the 2016 season and comments on why he will not run a full race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Junior remembers impact of dad on his birthday
On what would have been Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s 65th birthday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks about the impact that his father left on NASCAR.
Dale Jr.: 'Awesome to see' dad appreciated on birthday
RELATED: Full schedule for Talladega TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Dale Earnhardt Sr. would have been 65 years old on Friday. Fittingly, his son, Dale Earnhardt Jr ., spoke about his father on Friday at Talladega Superspeedway , where the paternal duo has a combined 16 Sprint Cup Series victories. "It's crazy to think of what he would have been like at 65 years old," said the Hendrick Motorsports driver. "You kind of had an idea he wouldn't have changed a whole lot had he lived a little bit longer, but at 65 and what would he have been like at 80 and all those things would be hard to imagine." RELATED: Crew, competitors recall Earnhardt's final win " See all of his 76 wins So often in racing -- and in sports in general -- names and figures come and go as they pass through, their careers short or long. One has remained constant -- Earnhardt. "One of the best things about it, and I've said it before, is that it's great that people still talk about him. That the sport, his fans, the media, that everybody still acknowledges who he was and what he meant. That is all I care about … that we don't ever forget just the impact that he had because I felt like he had so much influence, definitely in the top five, top three people that influenced this sport as a whole, as much as Bill (France) Sr. and guys like that. I put him right up there with people that really changed the sport. "It's so awesome to see him get that kind of appreciation and recognition after all these years. Hopefully, that is something that never changes. I see it on his birthday and days like this is when I'm reminded of that appreciation that everybody has for him."
Mobil 1 Driver of the Race
Watch the latest Mobil 1 Driver of the Race videos.
Stewart revved up on eve of return to racing
RACE DAY LINKS: Starting lineup " Full Sunday schedule " Every paint scheme RICHMOND, Va. -- Tony Stewart was smiling, friendly and even a bit chatty talking with crew members as he left his Richmond International Raceway garage stall long after most drivers had called it a day following final practice for Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 (1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The feeling he conveyed Saturday morning was unmistakable. He is happy to be back and there genuinely appears no one more excited to take this weekend's green flag. And it's a good bet he'll receive quite the ovation from the Richmond crowd when he's introduced. Stewart will start his No. 14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet 18th on the 40-car grid -- his first start since the 2015 Sprint Cup Series finale in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway . He has spent the first eight races of the 2016 season healing from a broken back -- an injury sustained in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Jan. 31. In an interview with FOX before the race, Stewart was at ease and smiling, saying the conditions were perfect for his return -- the race is at Richmond, his favorite track, it's in the daytime and the track will get hot, leading to plenty of sliding. "I just expect to go do what I always do," Stewart said. "Just get in and do the best I can." Stewart surprised the racing world this week announcing his return to Cup competition via Twitter on Thursday. Well, the long wait is over. I'll be back in my @Mobil1 Chevy this weekend at Richmond. I can't wait to race again #SmokeWillRise — Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) April 21, 2016 There has been a lot of welcoming for Stewart this weekend at Richmond. Although he is co-owner of the four-car Stewart-Haas Racing team and has been at several races in his ownership role, there was no mistaking his eagerness and energy as he returned to work as a driver. And the feeling was mutual, as NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty showed by embracing the three-time champ in the garage. Stewart didn't have any formal media sessions at Richmond, but addressed his whirlwind weekend in a tweet on Sunday morning. It's been overwhelming this weekend with friends, drivers, crew members, and officials welcoming me back as a driver. Makes me smile — Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) April 24, 2016 After making his first start of 2016 here at the .75-mile track, Stewart will qualify and run opening laps next week at Talladega Superspeedway before having Ty Dillon replace him on the 2.66-mile track's high banks. In between, Stewart is scheduled to participate in a tire test at his "home" track, Indianapolis Motor Speedway , in preparation for his final Brickyard 400 on July 24. NASCAR granted Stewart a waiver, giving him an opportunity to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup if he wins a race and climbs to 30th in the points standings by the end of the Sept. 10 regular-season finale in Richmond. All the drivers within the top 30 in points with a victory automatically earn a Chase bid. If 16 drivers don't have wins, then the Chase positions go in order to those ranked highest in points among the top 30. "We are glad to have him back," Joey Logano said Friday. "The number 14 has been out there every week but Tony hasn't been in it so it is nice to have Tony back out in his final year. "I can imagine he wants to go out on a good note and it is nice to have him back in the car and be in that position where he loves to be and try to end his career on a high note." Richmond has historically been a good venue for Stewart. He has three wins here, 11 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes in 33 starts. His first career Cup victory was in 1999 at Richmond.
Junior takes a victorious bite of his famous sandwich in Victory Lane
Dale Jr. takes a victory bite out of his infamous banana and mayonnaise sandwich, after a thrilling win in the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway.