Ben-Hur's Jack Huston to drive pace car at The Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 29, 2016) -- Jack Huston, star of the upcoming epic action adventure "BEN-HUR" from Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, will drive a 2016 Toyota Camry pace car to kick off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cheez-It™ 355 at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 7. This will be Huston’s first time serving as an Official Pace Car drive at a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. He will also be recognized during pre-race ceremonies and will greet each NASCAR driver on stage during driver introductions. "I am excited to join NASCAR and get behind the wheel of today’s modern chariot," said Huston. "BEN-HUR" is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace's timeless novel, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The film also stars Rodrigo Santoro, Nazanin Boniadi, Ayelet Zurer, Pilou Asbaek, Sofia Black D’Elia and Morgan Freeman. Timur Bekmambetov directed the film from a screenplay by Keith Clarke and John Ridley. Sean Daniel, Joni Levin, and Duncan Henderson served as producers, with Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, Keith Clarke, John Ridley, and Jason F. Brown serving as executive producers. "BEN-HUR" will be released in theaters on August 19, 2016. Huston previously starred for four seasons in HBO's hit series, Boardwalk Empire, as the sniper with the horribly disfigured face, 'Richard Harrow.' In 2013, Huston appeared in the critically acclaimed and award-winning film American Hustle, where he played mobster 'Pete Musane.' Additionally, he starred as 'Young Ira' in George Tillman Jr.'s film adaption of the Nicholas Sparks novel, The Longest Ride. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Watkins Glen International August 4-7 for the Cheez-It™ 355 race weekend, which also features the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Bully Hill Vineyards 100, and the NASCAR XFINITY Series Zippo 200 at The Glen. Tickets for all of the action are available by calling 1-866-461-RACE or by logging on to www.theglen.com . Fans can also watch the Cheez-It™ 355 live on USA at 2:30 p.m. ET or listen on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Located within five (5) hours (~300 miles) of 25 percent of the US population, Watkins Glen International is the premier road racing facility in North America, voted "Best NASCAR Track" by readers of USA Today. Keep up with The Glen on Facebook and Twitter. For tickets, call 866-461-RACE or visit www.theglen.com.
Gordon ready to drive No. 88 as long as needed
Jeff Gordon states he will be willing to drive for Hendrick Motorsports in the No. 88 car as long as they need him while speaking with the media at Pocono Raceway.
Berry ready to make most of opportunity at Iowa
NEWTON, Iowa -- In the sport of NASCAR, one race can impact a driver's entire career. One wrong move or one gutsy pass that results in a win can change the path of a racing hopeful. Josh Berry learned that last year. Driving the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, Berry's seventh-place finish at Richmond International Raceway in September shifted the spotlight quickly upon the young racer's shoulders, drawing praise from team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and attention from the media. It wasn't Victory Lane -- but for a young short track racer from Tennessee with three sporadic XFINITY starts to his name, it was pretty close. "That race at Richmond last year, I still can't believe how well it went," Berry recalled on Friday at Iowa Speedway to NASCAR.com. "I can't believe how well the race went, I can't believe how much attention I got, I can't believe how everything went. "… I think all the time how if a couple things would have went a little bit better, how that would have changed the path of my career from right that moment. We had a legitimate shot to win that race. I think if we had won that race, I might be in the series full-time." RELATED: Berry makes strong impression at Richmond Currently a successful Late Model racer for JR Motorsports with two 2016 wins, Berry will be making his first XFINITY Series start of the season this weekend driving the No. 88 JRM Chevrolet at Iowa Speedway in Saturday night's US Cellular 250 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Just like last year at Richmond, the 250-mile race will serve as an audition stage for the 25-year-old racer, who is still looking for a more expansive part-time ride or full-time deal in the XFINITY Series. "My whole career has been kind of race-to-race, you know?" Berry said. "I've never really had a lot of security. So for me, every race is like your last one. For me it's a huge opportunity to get in a very competitive car and show that I can do the job … I know that people are paying attention to how well I run and I don't want to let them down." He certainly won over bossman Dale Jr., who said after Richmond last year that with his talent, Berry was "one sponsorship away from being able to make a living as a race car driver." Many speculated Berry would drive for JR Motorsports full-time in 2016. Junior himself even campaigned for a sponsor for the talented Berry. But in a world where sponsorship calls the shots, talent doesn't always pave the path to your name above the car door every weekend. "It's tough when you see somebody as huge as Dale Jr. is, to stick his neck out there and say, 'hey, this is my guy, let's find something for him,' " Berry said. "And it didn't materialize. Obviously I didn't really get my hopes up, but I really thought that … somebody would sit there and say, 'that means something,' We worked hard -- everyone at JR Motorsports worked hard, I worked hard to try to find something, but we just couldn't get (it). "… It's just tough to get the opportunities -- you never know in this sport. There's so many people that have gotten opportunities come about real quickly," Berry said with a slight chuckle. "So, I don't know. Every time I think I'm getting closer, sometimes you get pushed back down the stairs a little bit. But we just got to keep working at it, keep running well, especially in that Late Model … and then when I get these opportunities, (try) to make the most of them." While his XFINITY career in 2016 hasn't been as extensive as he hoped, Berry is set to make another start in September for JRM at Kentucky Speedway . The time away from the series also gave Berry ample time to prepare for this weekend. "(I've been able to) watch film and really study the track," Berry said. "Went and did pit stop practice -- had time to do that over the past couple weeks, which that's something that I'm still learning. "…But it takes laps, a couple laps to get going, that's the thing. The car brakes differently, it accelerates differently from what I'm used to. So, really it just takes laps to get back in the feel of how the tires feel and obviously going faster at a different track and everything." The audition stage will be tough and pressure-filled for Berry on Saturday night in the Hawkeye State. But Berry is confident behind the wheel -- and will look to impress under the bright lights, no matter who is watching. "To see how that race (at Richmond) went and to see the publicity we got … it makes it possible knowing we could go do that here -- it's no doubt," Berry said. "There's a couple things that I realized I needed to improve on and there were some things that were kind of out of my control … so for me, I just try to take what I knew I did wrong and try to make myself better for these few races this year." "Hopefully if everything else can go the same and I do a better job, we'll be that much closer to getting a win."
Dillon on '17: 'Plan on being in the Sprint Cup Series'
NEWTON, Iowa -- The team is a question mark, the number is uncertain and the logistics are still behind closed doors. But one thing's for certain: If he has his way, Ty Dillon will be in a Sprint Cup Series ride next season. "I fully plan on being in the Sprint Cup Series next year full time," Dillon said Friday at Iowa Speedway. "We've got a lot of options on the table. A lot of chips still left to fall before we kind of get to that point, but hopefully we'll have something really close to getting done in a month or so." Dillon has made eight Sprint Cup starts this season, driving both the No. 95 Circle Sport -- Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet and filling in for then-injured Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing ride. He etched a season-best Cup result of 15th at Phoenix in the No. 14 Chevrolet. He also served as a relief driver for Stewart at Talladega. RELATED: Dillon subs for Stewart With No. 31 driver Ryan Newman's RCR contract up after this season, it looks to be seen whether or not Dillon will take his place as the driver of the team’s third car or if organization will add a fourth car. The possibility of driving for a different team also looms. "Talks have progressed a lot further than they have in past years," Dillon said. "I had talks with other teams in the past couple years and had opportunities, but it's always been my dream to drive for RCR and be teammates with my brother. "But now it seems like the time's more and more important. We've got some things going with RCR but we're still slowly working on other options. So, I have plenty of options and we're going to make sure it's the right decision because I want to be able to compete and win races and I want to be part of a team I know I can do that with." MORE: 'Hero' moment for Dillon as Richard Childress makes NASCAR Hall
Gordon: 'I was asked to drive Tony Stewart's car in Daytona'
Jeff Gordon talks to the media at Indianapolis Motor Speedway about being asked to fill-in for an injured Tony Stewart for the DAYTONA 500.
Who's in the No. 48? Flub gives 'Six-Time' extra drive
Jimmy Jimmie Johnson found some extra motivation for the Crown Royal Presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, IMS, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio) Sunday morning. The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion saw something amiss during a morning check of his pit stall. Morning motivation @rpatton22 pic.twitter.com/4TDoLM1bRf — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) July 24, 2016 Oops. A little credit, though. The fact that Indianapolis puts driver names on the pit road wall and above the garage stalls is immeasurably cool. And it looks like everything is fast at Indy, including the speed of folks in charge of the signage. Boo pic.twitter.com/yuOWY07Wzq — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) July 24, 2016
Wallace Jr. shows off 'Shredder' scheme for Chicagoland
NEW YORK -- Nickelodeon today announced that it is has teamed up with NASCAR XFINITY Series star "Bubba" Wallace to drive a special No. 6 Shredder Ford Mustang in the XFINITY 300 on Saturday, September 17. Nickelodeon is the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, Sept. 18, dubbed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. The track will feature a weekend of action, activities and fun for the entire family with the iconic Heroes in a Half Shell. Wallace is in his second full-time season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for Roush Fenway Racing. His unique race car at Chicagoland will feature Shredder in his iconic helmet on the hood, rear bumper and left rear quarter-panel. The Foot Clan is right there with him, standing watch on the right rear quarter-panel, ready to do battle. Shredder is the commander of an evil ninja army called the Foot Clan, and is one of the deadliest martial artists in the world. He is cold, cunning, ruthless, and obsessed with destroying Splinter, whom he blames for the death of his true love. Shredder’s thirst for revenge has drained him of all compassion, warmth and connection to humanity. Wallace will join a number of other drivers with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles paint schemes for the Sept. 17-18 race weekend. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Danica Patrick has already been announced to drive the No. 10 April O'Neil/Nature's Bakery Chevrolet SS in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 . Additional drivers will be announced this summer. "I grew up watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Shredder was always a cool character," said Wallace. "It's an honor to partner with Nickelodeon on this program. Hopefully Shredder and the Foot Clan will lead the way to Victory Lane." This Sept. 15-18 marks the sixth consecutive year that Chicagoland Speedway will kick off the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Nickelodeon partnership will include sponsorship of the 2017 kick off race, as well. "We are excited to partner with Bubba Wallace and Roush Fenway Racing to showcase Shredder and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the NASCAR XFINITY race," said Anthony DiCosmo, Senior Vice President, Sports Marketing and Development, Nickelodeon. "Just as we did with last season's SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 will continue to expand our relationship with NASCAR, while working with another best-in-class ISC track to give fans a unique and engaging race experience that the whole family can enjoy." Nickelodeon has a long-standing relationship with NASCAR, teaming up with the motorsports giant on several programming and racing events. On the track, the network has sponsored the SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway in 2015; brought the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2014; participated in the Bank of America 500 week in 2012; and the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC in 2004. NASCAR has also contributed talent and content to Nickelodeon programming such as the Kids’ Choice Awards ( Danica Patrick , 2012 and 2013), Kids’ Choice Sports Awards ( Danica Patrick , 2014, Ben Kennedy , 2015), Team Umizoomi ( Jeff Gordon , 2012), Hammer Down (2014), which aired on Nicktoon’s NickSports block, and an upcoming Bubble Guppies episode ( Jimmie Johnson , 2015). Currently in its fourth season, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is seen in over 170 countries and territories and translated in 50+ languages. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles follows four mutant turtles -- Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo -- trained in the art of ninjutsu by their mutant rat sensei, Master Splinter, who teaches the turtles to battle evil from the New York City sewers. Executive produced by Ciro Nieli and Brandon Auman, the series is created at Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif.
Dale Jr. gives post-Indy health update
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he still is working to eliminate concussion-like symptoms that have sidelined him for the last two weeks in an update provided in the latest edition of the Dale Jr. Download podcast on Tuesday. "You can race with some ailments," Earnhardt said. "You can race with a bad wrist -- or we've seen Denny (Hamlin) and guys race with bad knees. But one of the things you cannot race through is concussion-like symptoms. You know, the balance-deal is a critical part of being able to drive a race car. "This process is going to take a little bit longer -- I think that's what I was trying to convey when I was telling you guys how I was going to take this slow and listen to the advice of my doctors. I'm not going to go against that advice, no matter what. I can't play around at this age and with my history. I definitely don't need to get cute." This marks the second time in Earnhardt's Sprint Cup Series career that he has dealt with concussion-like symptoms, having been sidelined for two races in 2012 after a crash during a test at Kansas Speedway. Jeff Gordon , who drove the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is scheduled to fill in for Earnhardt again this weekend at Pocono Raceway. A date has not been announced for Earnhardt's return, but Junior, who says he has been doing physical and mental exercises for two-and-a-half hours each day, promised an update next Monday following his doctor's visit. "I'm going for another evaluation here soon to see what kind of gains we've made, get in front of my doctors, let them get a good look at me and let them tell me where they think I'm at," Earnhardt said. "And that will help us make the decision on what we're going to do for Watkins Glen." The full podcast can be found here . </p>
Five to Watch: Potential XFINITY drivers for Stewart-Haas Racing
Who might Stewart-Haas Racing turn to drive its XFINITY Series car in 2017? NASCAR.com has a few ideas.
Stewart and Gordon take a lap while Busch sweeps
NASCAR.com's Chuck Bush recaps the all excitement from a triple-header weekend that saw Kyle Larson put on a show on the dirt, Kyle Busch's historical sweep at 'The Brickyard' and two NASCAR legends drive off into the sunset.