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Will Kimmel to drive for TriStar Motorsports
Ingersoll Rand will serve as primary sponsor for Kimmel's five NNS starts
Daughter's diagnosis 'galvanizing' moment for Kes
RELATED: Keselowski pens searing blog post about daughter Brad Keselowski said he considers his family fortunate after a recent medical scare with his nearly 3-month-old daughter, Scarlett, saying that the traumatic experience has brought him closer to his longtime girlfriend, Paige White. Keselowski first detailed the harrowing episode in a blog post Aug. 6, revealing a grave diagnosis of severe laryngomalacia, a weakness of the infant's throat muscles. The former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion recalled the experience in a teleconference Tuesday, adding a happier anecdote about how a stock-car racing legend helped the couple meet. "Certainly that is a tough experience to go through, but I guess I kind of count the blessings on it and think of how all those things kind of came together perfectly with off weeks," Keselowski said. "The way things could have unfolded as good as they can for the situation. So certainly those are very galvanizing moments that probably affect you in ways you don't realize until many years down the road. But I feel lucky to have a great family and support structure to get through it, whether it's Paige or guys like Roger (Penske, car owner) who help me get in the hospital and get her taken care of, I felt very, very lucky and fortunate." Shortly after the diagnosis in June, the couple quickly flew to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for emergency surgery, with Penske helping to facilitate the arrangement. The three returned home on Father's Day and celebrated as a group in Victory Lane three weeks later at Kentucky Speedway after a NASCAR XFINITY Series win. "I think it was certainly a very difficult but, like I said, galvanizing time for Paige and I, and in some ways it was an incredible moment for me and the Penske family to kind of galvanize together as well with the help that they gave me through the process," Keselowski said. "It was certainly not the most enjoyable in‑the‑moment situation to go through, but I think it's a moment that we'll certainly take something away from for the rest of our life, and has brought me closer to my personal life and professional life all in one instance. Kind of an incredibly difficult, strange, but inspiring thing to go through." Keselowski also said he owed fellow Midwesterner Frank Kimmel a level of gratitude for his relationship with White, saying that the veteran racer helped introduce the two. Keselowski tagged the 53-year-old Kimmel , closing in on his 500th career start in the ARCA Series, with the nickname "the big kid" growing up, noting his tendency to surprise him with squirt guns during his childhood. Keselowski lauded Kimmel's accomplishments as a 10-time series champion, but also offered thanks for a chance meeting with him at Kentucky Speedway for changing his life. "Actually, I saw him in Kentucky, and I went over to say hello, and Paige was with him as a friend of the family," Keselowski said. "I asked him later, 'Who was that girl? She's really pretty cute.' And that's kind of how it all started."
Former Virginia Tech player Caleb Hurd talks pit stops, Battle at Bristol
One play, one stop. A kick and punt return -- or five lugnuts and four tires. Football, air gun. The differences between NASCAR pit stops and the game of football are striking -- but according to former Virginia Tech place holder and current No. 11 gas man/engineer Caleb Hurd, the mentality is the same. Tough. "You can go out there and block a punt or something and spin the whole game around," Hurd said Aug. 19 at Bristol Motor Speedway , site of Saturday's Battle at Bristol between the Hokies and University of Tennessee. "So that's the way pit stops work. You can blow the race, you can help the race, you can be a non-factor … So the mentality is the same -- you just focus on your next job. Think small, don't think about the big picture because you don't have to. "And you've just got to be mentally tough." Mentally tough has been a mantra of Hurd's for two decades: He began his collegiate athletic career playing football under beloved head coach Frank Beamer at Tech from 1996-99. During that period, the Hokies went 37-11, making appearances at the Orange Bowl in 1996 and the national championship under the leadership of quarterback Michael Vick in the 1999 Sugar Bowl (played in 2000). "My first year it was awesome to go to the Orange Bowl when I was a freshman because growing up, it was like the biggest thing in the world," the Pulaski, Virgina, native said. " We played Nebraska, who was just coming off a national title. So that was like an introduction to the big leagues a little bit. "And of course, the national championship game, just to be a part of it, even though we didn't get to win. We were with Vick, we were leading in the fourth quarter … Just the crowd, the excitement … It was just a lot of fun. A lot of rings out of the deal, so that's cool." Since moving into NASCAR full-time as an engineer and pit crew member in 2001, Hurd's ring collection has grown quite a bit: He started his racing endeavor interning with Hendrick Motorsports ' engineering department as a college student. Upon graduation, he began working double-duty as an engineer and pit performer with Jimmie Johnson 's newly formed crew and then Jeff Gordon 's No. 24 crew before ultimately moving to Joe Gibbs Racing with 2016 Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin ’s No. 11 car. "I was kind of a local guy growing up near Virginia Tech so I just liked racing in general," Hurd said. "So that's why I went to Virginia Tech to get an engineering degree -- I didn't know if I would get in NASCAR, but that was my goal. And playing football, when they had the pit crew tryouts for Jimmie Johnson 's team, it was an opportunity to stay on the sports side of the sport, versus just the engineering. "It's kind of like being a scholar athlete still, I get to do my engineering job during the week and get to come out here on weekends and have a little fun going over the wall." Hurd's entrance into the sport was interesting, as teams around that time were just starting to use pit crew members that were first athletes -- rather than shop mechanics who moonlighted as pit performers. "(My first year) I was on a team with mechanics and stuff and I was the first kind of guy that did an athletic sport first and came in to do this," Hurd said. "Then, (I) was at Hendrick when the transition happened to just start recruiting these guys and train them to do pit stops. "It's not like other sports where you learn it in high school and then college. You don't learn pit stops until you start doing pit stops. You have the athletic ability, but you definitely have to learn the craft to go along with it. If you can do both, you definitely have a big career ahead of you. "But luckily the craft is so important to it, that's why some of us old guys are still around," Hurd said with a smile. Hurd's worlds of NASCAR and college football will merge in a different light when the Battle at Bristol -- a face-off between Hurd's Hokies and the Tennessee Volunteers -- takes place at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept. 10. For someone who went from dressing in maroon and orange uniforms to putting on a fire suit each weekend, Hurd believes the gameday atmosphere will be similar to a NASCAR event at the Last Great Colosseum. "I'm curious how much crowd noise can actually be generated," Hurd said of Bristol's deafening reputation. "I feel like it should be pretty loud, so I'm sure it will be. But when we get racing, we don't hear the crowd anymore -- it's usually blocked out at that point. "… I'll be checking scores and crossing fingers."
Crafton, Menards extend ThorSport partnership
Two-time Camping World Truck champ and sponsor together for 11th consecutive season
GarageCam drops its pants for a cause
James Buescher and Chris Rice help GarageCam drop their jeans as part of the Blue Jeans Go Green 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Jeb Burton to drive ThorSport Truck at Daytona
Sophomore season could continue with team, pending sponsorship
Josh Wise gets new ride for Brickyard 400
Driver to pilot No. 32 Go Green Racing at Indianapolis RELATED: Wise leaves Premium Motorsports Josh Wise will drive the No. 32 Go Green Racing Ford next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, returning to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after leaving the No. 98 Premium Motorsports ride last Monday. Wise announced the news of his new ride on Twitter, just as he had revealed he would be leaving his former team after 17 races in 2015 and 35 races a year ago. In those 52 starts for Phil Parsons Racing and Premium Motorsports, Wise earned a career-best 10th-place finish at Talladega in May. Timmy Hill replaced Wise in the No. 98 ride this week. I am happy to be wheeling this hot rod for @GoGreenRacing at @IMS next week pic.twitter.com/GELmbjNoWe — Josh Wise (@Josh_Wise) July 17, 2015 In 16 starts this season, Go Green Racing's No. 32 has been raced by six drivers with a seventh, Massachusetts native Eddie MacDonald , attempting to make Sunday's 5-hour Energy 301 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Former NASCAR premier series champion Bobby Labonte turned in the team's best result of 2015 with a 24th-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500 . Mike Bliss , Joey Gase , Will Kimmel , Travis Kvapil and Boris Said have also piloted the Ford Fusion this year. At Indianapolis, Wise has three starts, improving each season over the past three years. In 2012, he failed to make the finish with a 40th-place result. In 2013, he finished 38th, and last year, he earned a 29th-place finish.
Harvick pays tribute to military in visit
2014 Sprint Cup Series champion spends time at Nellis Air Force Base LAS VEGAS—In a massive hangar that houses the fighter jets flown by the Thunderbirds, against the backdrop of a gigantic American flag reminiscent of George C. Scott’s monologue in the movie "Patton," Kevin Harvick fielded questions from a group of enthusiastic NASCAR fans. But this was no ordinary fan engagement. Those asking Harvick about everything from the final laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway to the now-notorious shove of Brad Keselowski at Texas Motor Speedway were clad not in the livery of their favorite drivers, but in camouflage. The recently crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion came to Nellis Air Force Base to express his appreciation for those who serve, with his words often interrupted by the near-deafening roar of jets taking off from a nearby runway. "It's really hard to be able to show the appreciation that you have for it as much as you need to, because you really can't ever get to the point of appreciating it enough," Harvick said after he and crew chief Rodney Childers interacted with the crowd. "As you go to different places and you've seen other countries and how things operate, you really appreciate being from the United States and living the life that we live. "We're very fortunate, but it takes a lot of sacrifice from a lot of individuals to make that happen. So any time you can do an event like this and say thanks and just be part of the activities, it's definitely worth the time to do that." Ever since he won the championship by a half-second over Ryan Newman in the season finale at Homestead, Harvick has been the focus of a whirlwind media blitz that has included appearances on such TV staples as "Late Show with David Letterman" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live." What resonated most, however, was an appearance at his hometown high school in Bakersfield, California, on Monday, where Harvick addressed an appreciative crowd of 960 students. "That's still by far the coolest thing I’ve gotten to do so far," Harvick said. "All the TV shows and all that stuff is just—I shouldn't say part of the job, because that's really neat, too, to be a part of that—but to go back and go to your hometown and go to your high school and be able to speak to the kids and hopefully be an influence to them in their life… We've done a lot of work at the high school over the past several years, really trying to have a positive impact on the kids and their situations, whether it be with the sports teams or just talking to them in general. "We've put a lot of effort into the school. So to be able to take that trophy back and show them, 'You can be rich, you can be poor, but if you put your mind to what you're doing and have a goal and follow your dream, you can accomplish it, because I have proof of it.' "I grew up right where they all grew up and accomplished what we've accomplished. It's good to be able to have the ability to have an influence on people's lives." For Harvick, the most difficult thing about the non-stop schedule and constant attention is that he hasn't been able to share the experience with his team members, whom he hasn't seen since Nov. 16 at Homestead. "I got out of the car and did an interview and went up on stage and took all the pictures, and that's the only time I've seen my whole team," Harvick said. "The rest of it has just been part of the process of getting to championship week and the banquet and everything. "But I'm most excited about seeing my guys and talking to 'em and having dinner with 'em and being able to really start to take it all in and just talk about everything that was done." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Joe Gibbs Racing
Manufacturer: Toyota Engine manufacturer : TRD Debut season: 1992 Owner standings Joe Gibbs Racing was launched in 1991 by former NFL head coach Joe Gibbs. As Gibbs looked to move from coaching to a new chapter in his career, his friend Don Meredith was looking for opportunities to race in NASCAR, and the team was born with its first season of premier series competition coming in 1992. In 1993, driver Dale Jarrett won the Daytona 500 for JGR's first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. Bobby Labonte took to the drivers seat, replacing Jarrett, in 1995. Since then, the team has claimed three championships in the series: in 2000 with Bobby Labonte and '02 and '05 with Tony Stewart , who became the team's second driver in 1999. The team expanded to a third full-time car in 2006 with J.J. Yeley behind the wheel. 2012 brought Joe Gibbs Racing its 100th Cup win, when Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . In 2015, JGR expanded to a fourth full-time car with Carl Edwards behind the wheel of the No. 19 Toyota. JGR is based in Huntersville, NC, with over 450 employees in a facility of 250,000 square feet. Visit the team's web site here. Follow Joe Gibbs Racing on Facebook and Twitter . Driver: Denny Hamlin Car Number: #11 Hometown: Chesterfield, VA Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie Year: 2006 Primary team members: Crew Chief: Mike Wheeler " Hometown: Southold, NY Car Chief: Leo Thorsen " Hometown: Stoughton, WI Spotter: Chris Lambert " Hometown: Kannapolis, NC Over-the-wall crew: Gasman: Caleb Hurd " Hometown: Pulaski, VA Front Tire Changer: Dustin Necaise " Hometown: Gulfport, MS Front Tire Carrier: Brandon Pegram " Hometown: Statesville, NC Jackman: Nate Bolling " Hometown: Swanton, OH Rear Tire Changer: Mike Hicks " Hometown: Salisbury, NC Rear Tire Carrier: Heath Cherry " Hometown: Belmont, NC Pit Crew Coordinator: Paul Alepa " Hometown: Vienna, VA JGR Athletic Director: Mike Lepp " Hometown: Charlotte, NC Road crew members: Truck Drivers: Frank Hodel " Hometown: High Bridge, NJ, David Ott " Hometown: St. Mary's, PA Tire Specialist: Kerry Ferris " Hometown: Perry, NY Shock Specialist: Drew Bible " Hometown: Coldwater, MI Engineer: Matt Beckman " Hometown: Glenview, IL Engineer: Sam McAuley " Hometown: Huntersville, NC Mechanic: Troy Welty " Hometown: Manchester, PA Mechanic: John Furino " Hometown: East Meadow, NY Interior Mechanic: Sean Kerlin " Hometown: Marysville, PA Driver: Kyle Busch Car Number: #18 Hometown: Las Vegas, NV Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie Year: 2005 Primary team members: Crew Chief: Adam Stevens " Hometown: Portsmouth, OH Car Chief: Nate Bellows " Hometown: Fairfax, VT Engine Specialist: Mike Johnson " Hometown: Bozeman, MT Spotter: Tony Hirschman " Hometown: Northhampton, PA Over-the-wall crew: Gasman: Tom Lampe " Hometown: Beatrice, NE Pit Support: Marcus Bonicelli " Hometown: Colorado Springs, CO Pit Support: Jeff Koons " Hometown: Greenfield, IN Front Tire Changer: Josh Leslie " Hometown: Mount Clemens, MI Front Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy " Hometown: Orange County, VA Jackman: T.J. Ford " Hometown: Charlotte, NC Rear Tire Changer: Jake Seminara " Hometown: Steubenville, OH Rear Tire Carrier: Kenny Barber " Hometown: Hoosick Falls, NY Road crew members: Truck Drivers: Brendan “Slim” Greene " Hometown: Midland, NC, Jamie “Montana” Price " Hometown: Choteau, MT Tire Specialist: Gregory Katzke " Hometown: Wausau, WI Shock Specialist: Chris Chase " Hometown: Nichols, NY Engineer: Ben Beshore " Hometown: York, PA Engineer: Gene Watchtel " Hometown: Clearwater, FL Front End Mechanic: Brandon Griffeth " Hometown: Pittsfield, IL Rear End Mechanic: Chris Jones " Hometown: Smith Mountain Lake, VA Mechanic: Todd Foster " Hometown: Birmingham, AL Interior Mechanic: Wesley Lape " Hometown: Sinking Spring, PA Driver: Carl Edwards Car Number: #19 Hometown: Columbia, MO Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Primary team members: Crew Chief: Dave Rogers " Hometown: Marshfield, VT Car Chief: Eric Phillips " Hometown: Canton, IL Engine Specialist: James Dudley " Hometown: Porterville, CA Spotter: Jason Hedlesky " Hometown: Clinton, MI Over-the-wall crew: Gasman: Kenneth Purcell " Hometown: Savannah, GA Windshield: Zack Miller " Hometown: Vista, CA Front Tire Changer: Clay Robinson " Hometown: Simi Valley, CA Front Tire Carrier: Kevin Harris " Hometown: Sanford, FL Jackman: Trey Burklin " Hometown: Charlotte, NC Rear Tire Changer: Matt Ver Meer " Hometown: Montezuma, IA Rear Tire Carrier: Kip Wolfmeir " Hometown: Kingdom City, MO Road crew members: Truck Driver: Kyle Bazzell " Hometown: Fairbury, IL Truck Driver: Bob Hannigan " Hometown: High Bridge, NJ Tire Specialist: Jamie Turski " Hometown: Trumbull, CT Shock Specialist: Ron Denton " Hometown: Bristol, VA Engineer: Lee Hallman " Hometown: Claremont, NC Engineer: Kenny Oates " Hometown: Miami, FL Mechanic: Matt Tyrrell " Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, FL Fuel Runner: Ben Surface " Hometown: Pulaski, VA Driver: Matt Kenseth Car Number: #20 Hometown: Cambridge, WI Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie Year: 2000 Primary team members: Crew Chief: Jason Ratcliff " Hometown: Sumter, SC Car Chief: Jeff Meendering " Hometown: Concord, NC Engine Specialist: Gregg Wilson " Hometown: Charlotte, NC Spotter: Chris Osborne " Hometown: High Point, NC Over-the-wall crew: Gasman: John Eicher " Hometown: London, KY Front Tire Changer: John Royer " Hometown: Otis, KS Front Tire Carrier: Joe Crossen " Hometown: Salisbury, NC Jackman: Jason Tate " Hometown: Statesville, NC Rear Tire Changer: Adam Hartman " Hometown: Oxford, NC Rear Tire Carrier: Blake Haugland " Hometown: My. Ayr, IA Road crew members: Truck Driver: Dennis Valverde " Hometown: Albuquerque, NM Truck Driver: Tom McCrimmon " Hometown: Mount Pleasant, NC Tire Specialist: Jerold Shires " Hometown: Waiteville, WV Shock Specialist: Scott Myers " Hometown: Modesto, CA Engineer: Michael Lorusso " Hometown: Asburn, VA Engineer: Levi Porter " Hometown: Wyben, MA Mechanic: Alan Buzze " Hometown: Onondoga, NY Mechanic: Jason Overstreet " Hometown: Clearwater, FL
GarageCam is ready to rumble in 'The Last Great Colosseum'
Host Matthew Dillner strolls through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Bristol Motor Speedway to talk about the challenges of 'The Last Great Colosseum'.