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NASCAR solidifies post-race penalty procedures
NASCAR announced Wednesday that it will solidify its post-race inspection penalty structure for infractions stemming from the laser inspection station (LIS), eliminating the P2 and P3 levels for those violations. The P4 level for LIS infractions remains, and violations at this level will remain encumbered. NASCAR also announced that neither the No. 78 driven by Martin Truex Jr . nor the No. 48 driven by Jimmie Johnson will be penalized for failing post-race LIS following last Sunday's Chicagoland Speedway . "The use of the LIS platform in post-race was really driven by the industry," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said in a teleconference Wednesday evening. "We had everyone collaborating to create the appropriate deterrent penalties if there was a a violation. As we headed toward the Chase, we were asked to further develop an enhanced deterrent for the Chase. ... The important development was the new language surrounding the concept of an encumbered win." Martin Truex Jr . won the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 , assuring the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team of a berth in the Round of 12 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Jimmie Johnson finished Sunday's race in 12th place in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Both would have been assessed P2-level penalties for infractions discovered in post-race laser inspection. Those penalties were minor in nature, most people in the inudstry would agree, O'Donnell said. But assessing both teams penalties would be inherently unfair given the Chase structure. So NASCAR decided not to penalize either team and going forward will punish only P4-level post-race inspection infractions, which would be considered egregious. "This was the most fair decision we could get to," said O'Donnell, explaining that a points penalty assessed to a team still trying to get into the next round of the Chase would have dramatically different effects than on a team that is already locked into the Round of 12 with a win at Chicago. "Those penalties will not have the same impact on the competitors, based on the Chase format and the increased emphasis on win bonuses."
Sprint Cup qualifying canceled at Dover; Keselowski on pole
RELATED: Complete Dover lineup " See the field " Updated Chase Grid Friday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying session at Dover International Speedway was canceled because of rain. The lineup was set according to the NASCAR rule book, putting Brad Keselowski on the pole for Sunday's Citizen Solider 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Martin Truex Jr ., in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota, will start on the front row alongside the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. "We earned it because, obviously, we've been having a great season, maybe not with what we've done on track today, but with what we've done throughout the course of the year in scoring a lot of points and winning races," Keselowski said. "But it's certainly still something to be very proud of, to be this far into the season and be in the points lead. These are the perks you get when you're in that position. We'll take it, and of course, being up front gives us a very advantageous pit road selection for this race, which I think is very critical." The three-round, group qualifying effort at the 1-mile concrete oval was scheduled to begin at 3:40 p.m. ET, but wet weather delayed that schedule. This marks the third straight Sprint Cup event at Dover that qualifying has been washed out by rain. Kevin Harvick , Paul Menard , Michael Annett , AJ Allmendinger and Jeff Gordon will select pit stalls for Sunday's race last as their respective teams received a fourth written warning from NASCAR . Sunday's Citizen Soldier 400 is the final event in the 10-race Chase's opening Round of 16. The results will determine which 12 drivers remain championship-eligible and which four fail to advance in the postseason. Kyle Larson holds the final transfer spot entering the Dover race with a five-point lead over Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates teammate Jamie McMurray and Richard Childress Racing 's Austin Dillon . Larson will start 12th, with McMurray and Dillon directly behind him in 13th and 14th, respectively. The second of two NASCAR XFINITY Series practices was cut short by rain. The practice lasted about nearly half of its scheduled 85 minutes before being put on hold and eventually called due to rain. Contributing: NASCAR Wire Service &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
What it's like to be a NASCAR interior specialist
In the third instalment of the Mobil 1 "Our Normal Drives" video series on NASCAR .com, the Official Motor Oil of NASCAR gives fans a look at a "normal" day for two Stewart-Haas Racing interior specialists. Check out how Kyle Anderson and Justin Peiffer work behind the scenes with drivers. Watch today's video, which is part of NASCAR Inside Track presented by Mobil 1 , then come back throughout the season for more in-depth looks at NASCAR from Mobil 1.
NASCAR introduces rules updates for Chase
NASCAR introduced rules updates for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs on Wednesday, giving competition officials the power to issue more stringent rulings on technical infractions involving post-race laser inspections and lug nuts. The developments were announced just days before the series visits Chicagoland Speedway for Sunday's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), the opening event in the 10-race Chase playoffs. Similar clarifications, where applicable, will also be in place for the inaugural Chase events in NASCAR's XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series, which get underway in two weeks, at Kentucky and New Hampshire, respectively. The updates allow NASCAR officials to strip race-winning teams of the benefits associated with a Chase victory, which include the automatic advancement into the next elimination round and any tiebreaker implications, should those teams fail the post-race lug-nut check or the post-race Laser Inspection Station (LIS) platform. Previously, lug-nut infractions have resulted in a one-race suspension and a fine for the crew chief while LIS failures have carried a point deduction in the drivers' and owners' championship points, in addition to the crew chief fine. Going into the Chase, post-race failure of the LIS platform now will be deemed a P4 level penalty if a vehicle's rear toe measurements exceed the allowed measurements on both sides. In the Sprint Cup Series, the first violation would result in an encumbered finishing position, the loss of 35 championship driver and owner points, as well as a three-race suspension and $65,000 fine for the crew chief. In the XFINITY Series, the penalties would be the same, but the crew chief fine would be $20,000. The LIS platform is not a part of the NCWTS inspection process. The penalties will be the same as those for an LIS infraction if a vehicle is found to have 17 or fewer lug nuts in place following the completion of the event (in Sprint Cup , XFINITY or Camping World Truck ). "The changes are made to assure that we have a level playing field and make sure that there's not a carrot out there for the team to have excessive violations when it comes to lug nuts and the LIS post-race measurements," Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, told NASCAR .com. "As we worked with those penalties during the season we realized we probably needed to have a little bit more in place as Chase time rolled around. "The Chase obviously changes a lot of scenarios for both NASCAR and the teams; it's ramped up the intensity and there is a lot of scrutiny, as there is every week on everything (involving) technical infractions. This is really just a matter of us putting something in place so that should something happen, we have a means to effectively deal with it." Miller noted that the "encumbered finish" is already a part of the NASCAR rule book. "This just adds a little bit of definition to how we will use it moving forward," he said. NASCAR officials cracked down on lug nut penalties with new rules this spring, making sure the wheel is securely fastened on all five studs at a pit-road checkpoint after the race. At least five teams have been found in violation during post-race inspection, including those of drivers Kevin Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ) and Kyle Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ). The LIS platform has been used to measure cars' chassis with precision since the start of the 2013 season. The majority of failures this year have centered on rear toe alignment. Six Sprint Cup Series drivers and teams have been penalized this year for failing the LIS portion of the post-race inspection process -- Kasey Kahne , Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet (Dover); Matt Kenseth , Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota (New Hampshire), Brad Keselowski , Team Penske No. 2 Ford (Michigan), Kyle Larson , Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet (Darlington), Ryan Newman , Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet (Darlington) and Martin Truex Jr ., Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota (Richmond). Miller said he expects the rules to remain in place for the 2017 season as well. LIS failures during pre-race inspection result in written warnings, with the potential for lost track time after a team's fourth violation. Should an infraction involving post-race LIS or lug nut inspection occur during the championship race at Homestead for any of the three series, the finish of the team found to be in violation would not count toward the determination of the series champion, or for any other positions that might be determined via tiebreakers. Busch is the defending Sprint Cup Series champion while Harvick was the first to win a title under the current Chase format, which debuted in 2014. These latest changes were made in collaboration with industry partners. "It should be no surprise to anybody where we landed," Miller said. "As we convened with some of the team principals and competition guys, it became pretty obvious that we needed to do something like this."
Ready. Set. Chase! NASCAR launches Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup campaign
RELATED: Breaking down the Chase field DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 13, 2016) -- NASCAR is bringing to life the drama and excitement of The Chase ® for fans online and on their mobile devices with Ready. Set. Chase, a new, integrated marketing campaign leading with digital and social media to promote the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ™. This year, to complement a robust, multi-platform social media push, NASCAR will engage and entertain fans with a heart-pounding action film series, starring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ drivers re-enacting the action and intensity of The Chase. The first digital video in the five-part series debuted today and can be viewed on NASCAR .com/TheChase . Inspired by the iconic chase scenes in classic Hollywood action films, the creative features reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch , on foot and being pursued by his Chase competitors. An original television spot, titled "The Chase is On," officially launched Ready. Set. Chase on Saturday during the regular season finale at Richmond International Raceway . "All season long NASCAR fans have been treated to some incredible racing on the track, but even still there’s nothing quite like The Chase," said NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jill Gregory. "Ready. Set. Chase plays off the passion, drama and tension that underscores these next 10 weeks, while creating multiple ways for fans to engage and be part of the fun." For the first time, all three NASCAR OEMs are inviting fans to get in on the action by participating in Chase sweepstakes on NASCAR .com . Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota will each award one grand prize winner a new vehicle and VIP trip for two to NASCAR Champion's Week in Las Vegas in December. Fans can register for a chance to win a Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion Sport and Toyota Camry XSE by visiting the Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota sweepstake sites, or after making their weekly picks in the Chase Grid Game on NASCAR .com . "We're thrilled to have all three manufacturers activating around Ready. Set. Chase and creating unique content that elevates the overall Chase experience for our loyal and dedicated fans," said Gregory. In the Chase Grid Game, fans that correctly pick drivers to advance to each Chase round will be entered for a chance to win real gear from the drivers and race tracks, including firesuits, helmets and sheet metal from the race cars. NASCAR will promote #TheChase heavily across all platforms during the sport’s most social postseason ever, leveraging Twitter, Vine, Periscope, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to engage fans throughout the 10-week Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . For each round leading up to Championship Weekend, NASCAR will execute unique activations on specific platforms in an effort to highlight its broad and extensive reach across the social media landscape. Beginning with the Round of 16, NASCAR fans will have access to a custom emoji for anytime they use #TheChase on Twitter. In addition, NASCAR will highlight its presence on Twitter, Vine and Periscope via a continued focus on compelling content and behind-the-scenes experiences. The Round of 12 will feature a Snapchat Live Story from the October 8 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway , and as The Chase field gets narrowed down to eight, NASCAR will go all in with social storytelling across all platforms, highlighted by innovations on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, freelance designers and original production will tell the story of the most epic championship battle in sports. The Ready. Set. Chase digital films, developed with Ogilvy & Mather New York, will be shot after each Chase round and recreate the on-track highlights as part of dramatic chases. Last month, Chase drivers began hitting the road for social and traditional media blitzes to promote the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Kyle Busch kicked off Chase Across America in Boston and each week different drivers will crisscross the nation to make special appearances and build excitement for The Chase. NASCAR will crown its 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion at the Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the fourth and final round of The Chase on Nov. 20 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Tickets for all Chase events in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are available at NASCAR .com/tickets . The 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup kicks off with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with additional coverage on NASCAR .com.
NASCAR's inaugural Fan Appreciation Weekend kicks off at Richmond
Editor's note: NASCAR .com will celebrate Fan Appreciation Weekend by making all premium features free in the NASCAR Mobile App. Those features include driver audio, in-car cameras and live, real-time telemetry. The driver who finishes first in Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 race won't be the only winner this weekend at Richmond International Raceway . As part of NASCAR's inaugural Fan Appreciation weekend, more than one lucky fan will have the opportunity to go home with prizes like an iPad Mini, or even a fire suit worn by Miss Sprint Cup . "I'm really excited about everything we have this weekend to recognize the fans. They are the heart-and-soul of this sport and the reason we're so passionate about what we do," Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier said. "This goes far beyond Richmond International Raceway , as the entire industry has jumped on board to say 'Thank You, Fans'." The prizes have been donated from companies and teams like XFINITY , Monster, Roush Fenway Racing , Sprint, and MARS. The prizes will be awarded to both fans at the track and watching at home through the RIR mobile app, @RIRinsider on social media and www.rir.com . The prize giveaways are in addition to the fan experiences already in place, such as Gridside Live! and premium fan upgrades in the Midway at displays like Chevy, Coca-Cola and Sprint. While the bulk of fan appreciation-related activities will take place on Saturday, kids will be the ones getting the recognition on Friday, before the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. The first 50 kids 12-and-under who stop by the RIR Kids Club Tent on the Midway will have the chance to take part in the Kids' High-Five Tunnel with their favorite NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers during driver introductions for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. In addition, one lucky kid will present the NBC12 pole award to the driver with the fastest time in qualifying. "Providing a fun and entertaining experience for all fans is a priority," Bickmeier said. "Opportunities to put young fans in the center of the sport, like we are doing with some of the kids-related activities during Fan Appreciation Weekend, provides a strong connection to NASCAR in a fun and educational environment." Kids can also visit the Virginia529 Kids Zone, where children and their parents can enjoy games, crafts and science experiments. As in years past, all children 12-and-under are admitted free to the Virginia529 College Savings 250 with a paying adult. For the latest news, weekend schedules, and behind-the-scenes exclusive content, follow @RIRInsider on social media. Searching #ThanksFans is the fastest way to stay up-to-date with latest Fan Appreciation Race news from around the sport including NASCAR , partners, media, and other fans. Tickets for the Who's Your Driver NASCAR race weekend at Richmond International Raceway are still available for purchase. The action starts Friday with US Department of Veteran Affairs Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and continues with the Virgina529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. On Saturday night, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes to the track for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at 7:30 p.m. The race marks the last chance for drivers to clinch a spot in NASCAR ’s Chase for the Sprint Cup . To purchase tickets call 866-455-RACE or visit www.rir.com .
NASCAR Foundation donates $1 million to NYU Langone Medical Center
NEW YORK -- The NASCAR Foundation will donate $1 million to NYU Langone Medical Center, as part of a multi-year partnership to benefit hospitalized children. Through this partnership, The NASCAR Foundation will enhance the Child Life Program at the Hassenfeld Children's Hospital of New York at NYU Langone. The partnership will be commemorated at the first-ever NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala taking place at The Marriott Marquis in New York on Sept. 27. This is The NASCAR Foundation's first multi-year partnership with a New York area hospital and marks its commitment to reach more kids nationally. NASCAR ’s charitable arm has donated $25 million and impacted more than one million children since its inception in 2006. "This is an important partnership for The NASCAR Foundation," said NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton. "The work being done by the NYU Langone Medical Center is changing lives, each and every day. The NASCAR Foundation is proud to have an opportunity to support that important work and expand our commitment to improving the lives of children in need." Through this partnership, the Child Life Program will ease the anxiety of children and their families during their hospital stay, which is essential to recovery. The NASCAR Foundation will support an enhanced child and family experience, fund two Child Life specialists, and provide resources, equipment and supplies to complement the wide-range of supportive and therapeutic activities currently offered at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at no charge to patients. This marks an expansion of The NASCAR Foundation's commitment to supporting children with Child Life programming as part of its signature Speediatrics program, which has provided more than 500,000 children with state-of-the-art medical care. "As leaders in the field of pediatrics, we're proud to partner with The NASCAR Foundation whose generous philanthropic support provides extensive and meaningful programs to help children and their families," said Catherine S. Manno, MD, the Pat and John Rosenwald Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone. "This sponsorship, in concert with our Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care, will strengthen our national exemplar model of care for children and their families." The NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala, which was planned to celebrate "10 Years of Giving," has taken on additional significance following the unexpected passing of its Founder and Chairwoman Emeritus Betty Jane France last month. The Gala will be a tribute to Betty Jane France's life and is being hosted by the France family including NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France (son) and his wife Amy France, International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy (daughter) and NASCAR Vice Chairman and International Speedway Corporation Chairman Jim France (brother-in-law). At the Honors Gala, various awards will be bestowed, including: -- Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide : One of four finalists will be announced as the winner following a fan vote which has taken place since July 13. The NASCAR Foundation will donate a total of $175,000 to the charities represented by the finalists -- with the winner's charity receiving a $100,000 donation. This year's finalists include Jim Giaccone of Bayville, New York, representing Tuesday's Children; Andy Hoffman of Atkinson, Nebraska, founder of the Team Jack Foundation; Logan Houptley of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a founding member of Mikayla's Voice; and Parker White of Greensboro, North Carolina, founder of BackPack Beginnings. Since the award's inception, nearly $900,000 has been contributed to charities represented by the finalists . -- Children's Champion Award: Dr. Howard B. Ginsburg : The William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, and Division Chief, Pediatric Surgery at NYU Langone, will receive the award recognizing his commitment to children. -- Founder's Award: NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus will receive the award recognizing his contributions to philanthropy. The Honors Gala will be headlined by Grammy® and Tony® nominated singer Sara Bareilles . The following NASCAR champions and rising stars will be in attendance: six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson , seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Richard Petty , reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series Champions Martin Truex Jr . and Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., Danica Patrick , Kyle Larson , Kasey Kahne , Ben Kennedy and Julia Landauer. This event builds on NASCAR's long history in New York. The racing organization opened its first office in Manhattan in 1996 and is based out of the newly renovated New York headquarters at 590 Madison Avenue. This partnership also marks further collaboration between NYU and NASCAR . In March, Brian France participated in NYU's first Social Responsibility of Sports Conference where he pledged NASCAR's support to improve social responsibility in sports. For ticket information or table sponsorships, please visit www.nascarfoundation.org/honors-gala .
NASCAR updates post-race LIS penalty procedures
NASCAR .com's Jonathan Merryman brings you up to speed on NASCAR's newly updated penalty structure regarding post-race laser inspection.
1-on-1 with NASCAR's youngest champion, Cayden Lapcevich
NASCAR .com's Jonathan Merryman speaks with the 2016 Pinty's Series champion, Cayden Lapcevich, about how his part-time team was able to run for a NASCAR championship.
NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase explained
Get the 101 on how the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase will work and how a champion will be crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway.