Darlington Raceway now hosts 'Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR'
RELATED: See all of last year's paint schemes DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA (Jan. 10, 2017) -- It's now official! Darlington Raceway and its Labor Day race weekend are now being recognized as “The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR." The designation ensures that the official historical celebration of the sport will continue to take place at the famed 1.366-mile superspeedway in Darlington, South Carolina. "We have worked closely with NASCAR to ensure that Darlington Raceway now has the exclusive rights to the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR for promotions and advertising of our event," said Kerry Tharp, Darlington Raceway president. "Our return to Labor Day weekend, coupled with the Throwback theme has elevated our event across the entire sport and this move only solidifies that among our fans, race teams, sponsors, broadcast partners and media, among others." The track's award-winning throwback campaign has earned rave reviews throughout the industry since its inception in 2015. The campaign has aligned all key stakeholders in the sport and provided a historical celebration that has earned much praise from fans and corporate partners. It was because of this collaboration over the past two seasons that NASCAR recognized the importance of the track's throwback weekend and in turn will now celebrate The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR at the sport's original paved superspeedway, which opened and began hosting NASCAR events in 1950. The track's 2016 throwback campaign last season featured a celebration of 1975-84 including the following highlights: • Over 35 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race teams competed with throwback paint schemes for the Bojangles' Southern 500 , the most in any single NASCAR event in the sport's history. • Over 18 NASCAR XFINITY Series teams competed with throwback paint schemes. • Use of NASCAR's famed "NASCAR International" logo for the second consecutive year. • For the second straight year, Goodyear put the original white lettering on its race tires specifically for the Bojangles' Southern 500 . • NBC did another throwback broadcast of the race featuring old station logos and graphics. NASCAR legends Ken Squier, Ned Jarrett and Dale Jarrett did a special throwback broadcast during the race for the second straight year. • Honored 14 NASCAR Hall of Fame members at the Bojangles' Legends Breakfast. • 2017 NHOF inductees Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress and Mark Martin served as the Bojangles' Southern 500 grand marshals. • Unique food offerings from the 1975-84 time period, including the pimento cheese sandwich. • Pre-race concert by rock legends KANSAS and national anthem performance by Barry Williams (of Brady Bunch fame). The Tradition Continues on Labor Day weekend as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 ® is set for Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. The NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 will race on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. You can keep up with all of the latest news from Darlington Raceway at DarlingtonRaceway.com , on Facebook at Facebook.com/DarlingtonRaceway and on Twitter at Twitter.com/TooToughToTame . &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Auto-Owners Insurance expands sponsorship pact with Furniture Row Racing
RELATED: New looks for 2017 DENVER, Colo. (Jan. 16, 2017) -- Furniture Row Racing announced that Auto-Owners Insurance has agreed to a multiyear primary sponsorship for Martin Truex Jr .'s No. 78 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Cup Series. The Fortune 500 company, which joined Furniture Row Racing in 2016 as a primary sponsor for three races, will double that amount in both 2017 and 2018. The six races the Auto-Owners Insurance paint scheme will adorn Truex's No. 78 Camry in 2017 will be at Kansas Speedway (May 13), Michigan International Speedway (June 18), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 23), Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 9), Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 7) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 12). Auto-Owners Insurance, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016, provides auto, home, life and business coverage for NASCAR fans and customers through local, independent agents in 26 states. The company is based in Lansing, Michigan. "Teaming up with Furniture Row Racing has been an outstanding fit for Auto-Owners, and we are excited to continue our partnership for the 2017 and 2018 seasons," said Mary Pierce, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Auto-Owners. "Martin and the No. 78 team have pioneered their way to excellence at the highest level of NASCAR. We truly admire their hard work and consistency, and look forward to being a part of their continued success." The Auto-Owners Insurance blue hue shared a competitive experience with Furniture Row Racing in 2016. In the three races that Auto-Owners Insurance was the primary sponsor, Truex won the prestigious Southern 500 in Darlington, South Carolina, finished seventh at the fall race in Martinsville, Virginia, and was eighth at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. "There was indeed something special about the success of the blue Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry last year and we are more than thrilled that the company is expanding its partnership with Furniture Row Racing for the next two seasons," said Furniture Row Racing team president Joe Garone. "Auto-Owners Insurance has been a winning company for a century and we are humbled that they have placed their confidence in our race team." Truex was equally excited to hear about the new sponsorship agreement. "Winning the Southern 500 -- a triple crown race -- with the blue Auto-Owners Insurance paint scheme was without a doubt one of the main highlights of my racing career," said Truex. "We want to give Auto-Owners Insurance more success as we look forward to the 2017 season. I was able to visit the Auto-Owners Insurance headquarters in Lansing and came away feeling proud to be associated with a company that has had 100 years of success."
Dale Jr., Kahne to run two races each for JRM
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 12, 2017) -- Continuing a tradition of running his own JR Motorsports Chevrolets each season, Dale Earnhardt Jr . is scheduled to make a pair of starts in the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro this season in races at Bristol Motor Speedway (Aug. 18) and Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 8). Long-time JRM driver Kasey Kahne will drive the car at Daytona International Speedway (Feb. 25) and Talladega Superspeedway (May 6). Scott Radel, director of engineering at JRM, has been tabbed to crew chief all four races. Radel has been a JRM engineer since 2013, and previously worked for Hendrick Motorsports . He won championships with JRM in 2014 and with two other teams as an engineer. Radel brings 20-plus years of experience in calling races. "I am looking forward to the opportunity to be atop the pit box for these four races, with Dale and Kasey behind the wheel," said Radel, a 44-year-old Ohio native. "JRM has had tremendous success over the past three seasons, and the ability to field a fifth entry is one that will help continue building on that momentum in 2017." Earnhardt Jr., who won for the first time in a JRM Chevrolet last year at Richmond International Raceway , will return to the .75-mile D-shaped oval for one of his two scheduled races, and the other will be in the Bristol night race. Sponsorship for both events will be announced at a later date. Earnhardt Jr. has made 40 starts in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition for JRM, winning at Richmond. In that span, he’s earned 20 top-five and 28 top-10 finishes. He owns four career NXS victories in six starts at Richmond and grabbed his lone win at Bristol in 2004. Kahne, as he did last season, will run in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in Hellmann's colors, and follow that up with Armour backing at Talladega Superspeedway . The No. 88 "All Star car" has been a full-time car the past two seasons, but with JRM's expansion to four full-time teams and the addition of new drivers William Byron and Michael Annett , it will be a fifth JRM entry in the four races named. Kahne has made 24 starts in JRM Chevrolets, with one victory at Daytona in 2014, and added 11 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.
Rain at Pocono Raceway postpones Sprint Cup race
RELATED: Live radar, weather updates Intermittent fits of rain postponed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway to an 11 a.m. ET Monday start. Wet weather moved into the area Saturday evening, and it was raining hard Sunday morning as teams went through pre-race inspection. A fleet of Air Titan 2.0 trucks were on hand to get the track ready as the clouds broke near the scheduled 1:30 p.m. ET start time, but rain began to fall again at approximately 2:30 p.m. ET to halt the track-drying process. The rescheduled 400-mile event will be broadcast on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM. Martin Truex Jr. is the polesitter for the 21st of 36 points-paying races of the Sprint Cup season. Truex, who prevailed in Friday's Coors Light Pole Qualifying, is one of five drivers who can clinch a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup with a victory at Pocono. MORE: Full starting lineup The series' first stop at the 2.5-mile triangular track was delayed until Monday due to rain, and Kurt Busch went on to find Victory Lane. This is the first time in a single year that both Pocono races have been postponed to the next day. Rain also affected on-track activities early Saturday, canceling qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. William Byron went on to win the Pocono Mountains 150 later Saturday. &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
NASCAR postpones on-track activity Friday at Darlington Raceway
RELATED: See the updated radar With inclement weather expected at Darlington Raceway due to the advancing Hurricane Hermine, NASCAR postponed all at-track activity for Friday. The weather forecast for the remainder of the weekend looks very good, according to the National Weather Service, with the temperatures in the 80s and sunny skies. The Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 is scheduled for 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, with TV coverage on NBC. The radio broadcast can be found on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Saturday's schedule will be as follows: * Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series qualifying canceled; Lineups per rulebook -- 9-9:55 a.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice ( Follow live ) -- 11 a.m.-12:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, CNBC, simulcast on NBCSN from 11:30-12:30, NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) -- 1:30-2:50 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) -- 3:30 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200 (147 laps, 200.8 miles), NBC/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
GarageCam is for the birds in Sonoma
Host Matthew Dillner takes you through the NSCS garage at Sonoma Raceway while trying to dodge birds in this edition of GarageCam.
John Wes Townley cleared to compete at Pocono Raceway
Concord, N.C. (July 26, 2016) – John Wes Townley received medical clearance earlier today to resume racing in NASCAR and ARCA. He will compete in this weekend's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA events at Pocono Raceway . Townley had been sidelined for the past four weeks while being treated for mild concussion-like symptoms. "I'd like to thank Parker Kligerman, Cole Custer and Brady Boswell for filling in for me," Townley said. "I feel great and I’m looking forward to racing at Pocono this week."
NASCAR's Tharp named Darlington Raceway president
SHOP: Darlington race tickets Darlington Raceway announced Wednesday that it has named Kerry Tharp as president of the historic 1.366-mile South Carolina track. Tharp, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, transitions from his previous role as Senior Director of Communications for NASCAR. He replaces Chip Wile, who was appointed president of Daytona International Speedway on April 25 after a tenure of nearly three years. Tharp begins work at his new post effective July 18. Tharp has deep ties to the Palmetto State, having lived in South Carolina for more than 31 years and serving as associate athletics director at the University of South Carolina from 1985-2005. After his time with the Gamecocks, Tharp joined NASCAR's communications department, forging important relationships within the industry in both his official role as senior director and his unofficial role as NASCAR's "Commander." "I am deeply humbled and honored to have this opportunity," Tharp said. "I love the state of South Carolina and its people. I know how special Darlington Raceway is to this state and to the sport of NASCAR. The track's rich tradition, history, and popularity resonate with the competitors, partners, media and most importantly the fans. I look forward to working with our team to help keep Darlington as one of our sport's crown jewels." Darlington Raceway plays host to the Bojangles' Southern 500 on Sept. 4, a Labor Day weekend tradition that was restored on the NASCAR scheduled last season. The track instituted a popular NASCAR Throwback initiative last year, kicking off a nostalgia-filled celebration of the speedway's heritage. In acknowledgement, Darlington was honored with the 2015 NMPA Myers Brothers Award for its outstanding contributions to the sport of stock-car racing.
Bear makes appearance outside Pocono Raceway
Pocono Raceway already has a mascot -- Tricky, a fox -- but one hopeful candidate apparently did not get the memo that applications were no longer being accepted. — Mary Lou Hamlin (@11mommalou) June 4, 2016 Sprint Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin 's mom snagged a shot of a bear cub outside the entrance to the site of Sunday's Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 (1 p.m. ET, FS1). The photo almost looks like some Bigfoot-style imagery, lending a sense of ominous foreshadowing to the weekend. Especially when you consider the fact that where Baby Bear strays ... Mama Bear tends to be close behind. Be safe out there, folks.
Rain delays Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway
RELATED: Live radar, weather updates from Pocono LONG POND, Pa. -- Rain has delayed the start of Sunday's Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400 race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Pocono Raceway . Sunday's forecast called for a high percentage of rain, potentially heavy at times with possible thunderstorms. To combat the damp conditions, race officials have a total of 20 NASCAR Air Titan dryers and 10 conventional jet dryers on hand at the triangular 2.5-mile track. But NASCAR officials are also up against periodic fog, which has shrouded the speedway in spurts through the morning and into the afternoon. Two brief, heavy showers drenched the track Sunday morning, but a lingering mist has persisted after each downpour. Brad Keselowski is on the pole for the race after slipping past Team Penske teammate Joey Logano late in qualifying on Friday. It's his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season and the 12th of his Sprint Cup career. Martin Truex Jr ., who won last week's Coca-Cola 600 in dominating fashion at Charlotte, also is the defending winner of this race. Fellow Toyota driver Matt Kenseth won the August race at Pocono in 2015. Rain also abbreviated Saturday's NASCAR XFINITY Series race and shuffled Friday's on-track schedule, causing limited practice time for the Cup series. Truex said he was eager to see how the race played out as conditions change. "I'm interested to see what the tire's going to do just because of what I felt in the tire test and pretty optimistic about it," said Truex, one of four drivers who participated in a Goodyear tire test at Pocono in April, "but until we get everybody out there it's hard to say. I'm good either way. I just hope we get it in sometime Sunday and we'll see what happens.” Sunday's 160-lap, 400-mile race is the 14th of 36 events this season for the Sprint Cup Series.