Scary moment for Jamie Dick in Iowa practice
Piece of lead off another car damages No. 55 ride, hits driver in helmet Photo credit: @JasonToy1 NEWTON, Iowa – Talk about a welcome back gift. Jamie Dick , driver/owner of the No. 55 Viva Motorsports Chevrolet, returned to competition at Iowa Speedway on Saturday for the first time since being diagnosed with new onset diabetes in March. It started off with a bang -- literally. While coming back onto the track from pit road, a piece of lead came off of the No. 4 car driven by Ross Chastain , impaling Dick's Camaro in the upper left portion of its windshield. The hit was so hard, it destroyed the laminated windshield and protruded through, hitting and leaving a noticeable dent in Dick's helmet. "It was a rough return (to the track)," Dick joked in between practice sessions for Sunday's NASCAR XFINITY Series 3M 250 (2 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). "I was following another car out and when we pulled off pit road and got on the race track, I saw a piece of something; I thought it was a brake deck hose because it was silver and cylindrical. When we got down into the corner, I saw another piece of that fly out and I kind of dodged it. "Then a split second after that, the lead hit the windshield. I don't know if it was lead or tungsten, but whatever it was, it hit the windshield. I didn't even see it before it hit, I just saw the windshield cave in and I felt it. I didn't even realize it hit me (in the helmet) until we came in. I might've felt it, but everything happened so fast you don't know exactly when you feel it." Dick was checked for concussion symptoms and cleared in the infield care center and he said he felt "fine." His car, on the other hand, not so much. Aftermath of Jamie Dick getting hit with a piece of lead on the race track. Dented his helmet. #NASCAR #3M250 pic.twitter.com/R6hUB2BrxQ — Pat DeCola (@Pat_DeCola) May 16, 2015 The single-car No. 55 team (which also employs Jeffery Earnhardt as a part-time driver) was forced to use a backup car for the second session and planned on replacing the backup car's engine with a separate backup engine after an oil issue cropped up in the replacement. For a driver that's already conquered a mountain of adversity already this season in the form of his new disease just to get back to racing, Saturday's events certainly didn't make things any easier. Dick immediately received plenty of support from his peers, as Ty Dillon and several other drivers came over to his garage stall after practice ended to check on him. Chastain and team owner Johnny Davis did come by to apologize to Dick and make sure he was OK. While it wasn't necessarily his fault, Chastain also tweeted a full apology shortly after the incident. pic.twitter.com/sVx3nnQ2ns — Ross Chastain (@RossChastain) May 16, 2015 NASCAR officials were also quick to the scene. "NASCAR was there right away inspecting and seeing what happened," Dick said. "The laminated windshield did its job, which is the good part, and that's something they implemented a year ago or so. That held up or else it would've been a much worse day." While Dick said it isn't really for him to say whether or not the No. 4 team should be penalized for what happened, he mentioned he "would be very surprised if there wasn't one." NASCAR XFINITY Series director Wayne Auton addressed the situation Saturday afternoon and indicated the issue would be brought up during Tuesday's debrief at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina. "Number one, safety is our biggest concern out of anything that we do in motorsports," Auton said. "It's a sport that there’s 10,000 revolving pieces 24/7 when vehicles are on the race track or they're sitting here in the garage area. "Notoriously, penalties are discussed on Tuesdays and that will definitely be discussing that one Tuesday. Any time that we have found weight coming out of race cars on the race track, we've been pretty harsh about it. We have to be. That's part of it. People are sitting up here in the grandstands and drivers sitting inside these race cars. We'll discuss it Tuesday … pretty confident something will come out of that." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Jamie Dick diagnosed with new onset diabetes
Earnhardt will drive No. 55 Chevrolet at Auto Club Speedway Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Viva Motorsports announced Monday that NASCAR XFINITY Series driver/owner Jamie Dick will sit out this weekend's race at Auto Club Speedway after being diagnosed with new onset diabetes. Dick , 26, visited the infield care center at Phoenix International Raceway , reporting symptoms of fatigue and dizziness after finishing 28th Saturday in the fourth XFINITY Series race of the season. Medical personnel at the track recommended Dick visit nearby West Valley Hospital in Goodyear, Arizona, that evening. According to the team, Dick was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon. The team said he returned to the Charlotte, North Carolina, area for further treatment and evaluation. "I would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time," Dick said in a statement released by the team. "It was quite a surprise to hear the diagnosis from the doctors, but the response from the NASCAR and PIR medical staffs was outstanding. The support from the racing community, my Viva Motorsports team, and the fans has been overwhelming. Now I need to learn about this disease and do whatever it takes to get back behind the wheel as soon as possible." Jeffrey Earnhardt , who drove the Viva No. 55 Chevrolet in the other two XFINITY events this season, will fill in for Dick in Saturday's Drive4Clots.com 300 (4 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) in Fontana, California. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Jamie Dick set to make return at Iowa
3M 250 will mark first start for driver since diabetes diagnosis RELATED: Entry list for Iowa Jamie Dick is scheduled to make his return to the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend at Iowa Speedway , entering his first race since a diagnosis of new-onset diabetes. Dick was noted on the entry list for Sunday's 3M 250 (2 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio, Sirius XM), the first of the series' two races this season at Iowa Speedway . Dick , 26, was diagnosed with the disease shortly after the series' event at Phoenix International Raceway on March 14, when he reported to the infield care center after the race, complaining of fatigue and dizziness. After an overnight stay in an Arizona hospital, he was released for further examination and treatment in North Carolina. Dick , the owner and part-time driver for Viva Motorsports, has two starts this season in the team's No. 55 Chevrolet. Jeffrey Earnhardt (five races) and Brandon Gdovic (two) have split time in the team's other events this season. Dick has made 57 starts in the NASCAR XFINITY Series since his series debut in 2011. He's also a veteran of 14 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
XFINITY Series driver Jamie Dick hospitalized
Team: Reasons are unrelated to racing AVONDALE, Ariz. -- NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Jamie Dick was admitted to a local hospital Saturday night following the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 at Phoenix International Raceway . According to a team release, Dick , driver and owner of the No. 55 Viva Motorsports Chevrolet, was admitted for medical reasons unrelated to racing. Dick , 26, has 57 career starts in the XFINITY Series. Saturday's start was his second of the 2015 season. He finished 28th. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Jamie Dick and Kevin Lepage make contact early
Jamie Dick and Kevin Lepage wreck early at Richmond International Raceway causing serious damage to their cars.
Jamie Dick , Josh Richards in fiery wreck
Jamie Dick gets a big run on Josh Richards and the two collide. They hit the wall wall hard before fire under the hood and a runaway racecar ensue.
Piquet Jr out after wreck with Dick
Nelson Piquet Jr's day comes to an end after an early wreck with Jamie Dick .
Hard tires, reworked curbing present challenges at repaved Watkins Glen
RELATED: Before and after: Watkins Glen repave WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams wrapped up a two-day organizational test Wednesday at newly repaved Watkins Glen International, emerging with better ideas of the challenges they'll face when the series returns for the Aug. 4-7 race weekend. Among those challenges: reworked curbing, a fast circuit and a harder-compound tire that has made grip elusive. A total of 16 Sprint Cup teams -- one permitted from each organization -- tried to unlock the novelty of the $12 million resurfacing project, using a Goodyear tire that emphasizes durability at the expense of traction and wear. The rubber compound chosen is similar to that used July 9 at Kentucky Speedway, site of the Sprint Cup Series' most recent race on a repaved track. At Kentucky, the tire selection made for treacherous conditions in certain spots and made passing a delicate process. Though road courses don't lend themselves to the multi-groove racing seen at several well-aged oval tracks, Watkins Glen might still be a tricky place to maneuver when the series reconvenes for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen. "The main thing we've learned so far is how hard the tire is," said Jamie McMurray, driver of the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 1 Chevrolet. "It just seems to be no wear at all or lap time fall-off right now. This place didn't ever wear tires like Sonoma, but it seems like the tire is pretty hard." Sonoma, the other road course where the Sprint Cup Series races, is a much more intricate circuit with qualifying speeds roughly 30 mph slower than at Watkins Glen's open, free-wheeling layout. The Goodyear tire compound designated for both the Watkins Glen test and the race weekend is the same used for right-side tires in XFINITY Series competition at Iowa Speedway. Those Iowa right-sides will be used at all four corners for the Sprint Cup event at the 2.45-mile road course. Racing with a softer tire with more adhesion would potentially introduce the threat of excessive wear or blistering. It's a trade-off that Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Elliott says he's willing to accept. "I think a lot of it is just having a fresh surface like this, you've got to have a tire that's pretty hard," said Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports' driver representative for the two-day test. "It's fast, and to ask a tire to hold up, you've got to bring something that's durable. It puts Goodyear in a tough spot, but I think they do a good job of trying to make the most of tough situations. There's been a lot of repaves here lately and I know they're working hard." David Groseclose, NASCAR's lead tire engineer, said Wednesday that the benefits of competing with a more rigid rubber compound outweighed the potential drawbacks. "As with all repaves -- same thing as Kentucky -- if you don't have a hard tire, you're going to blister them up," Groseclose said. "The way that works is if you've got a soft compound and you use it, the soft compounds tend to retain heat. It's just the nature of a soft compound. But on a repave, it's not going to wear so that heat's not going to be dissipated out of the tire. It has nowhere to go, so it stays in the tire, so that's why it blisters up. That's what we saw at Kentucky with the XFINITY and Truck Series." In addition to the surface itself, the track features new concrete for the rumble strips that border the circuit's turns and run-off areas. Some drivers found the differences barely noticeable, but Kurt Busch discovered a distinction the hard way with an early Tuesday spin as he bounded over the apex points in the backstretch chicane on one of his initial laps. "It's a lot different," said Tony Gibson, Busch's crew chief on the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 41 Chevrolet. "Kurt's like, 'I've got to learn all the curbs again.' The curbs over in the bus stop (chicane) are probably the biggest change. They're way more aggressive, and they've tightened up, so it's a lot tighter lane through there." Said Elliott, who will race here in Sprint Cup for the first time next weekend: "Some of the curbs may be a little different here or there, some a little rougher, a little smoother just depending on how they laid the asphalt in or however it worked. It's as close as you could make a track from an old surface to a repave, for sure." Five Sprint Cup teams participated in a Goodyear tire test May 10-11, and another 16 were present for this week's organizational test. For the remaining half of the field, the work toward finding the proper handle begins with opening practice on Friday, Aug. 5. "If you get your balance right, it'll be a no-drama," Gibson said. "Man, I told Kurt earlier, 'I'd hate to know I had to come here next Friday and hit the track for the first time and try to figure out these curbs and how much the race track has changed.' It'll be a handful in the short amount of time we get to practice. "It'll be interesting to see when we come back who has issues and who doesn't. But it's definitely going to be a plus to come and learn the race track, even if your car is not right or whatever, just getting here and getting behind the wheel and getting time on the race track is going to mean more." Pit notes: -- The full roster (in alphabetical order) of drivers and teams participating in the test: AJ Allmendinger (JTG Daugherty Racing), Ryan Blaney (Wood Brothers Racing), Clint Bowyer (HScott Motorsports), Chris Buescher (Front Row Motorsports), Kurt Busch (Stewart-Haas Racing), Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing), Austin Dillon (Richard Childress Racing), Chase Elliott (Hendrick Motorsports), Brad Keselowski (Team Penske), Michael McDowell (Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing), Jamie McMurray (Chip Ganassi Racing), Casey Mears (Germain Racing), Brian Scott (Richard Petty Motorsports), Regan Smith (Tommy Baldwin Racing), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing), Martin Truex Jr. (Furniture Row Racing). -- Casey Mears turned the fastest lap in the two-day test, which was divided into four sessions of four hours apiece. Mears pushed the Germain Racing No. 13 Chevrolet in the closing session to a best lap of 126.7 mph, a good bit slower than the track qualifying record of 129.491 mph set by Marcos Ambrose in August 2014. -- Brad Keselowski returned to the track Wednesday, one day after his severe, nearly head-on crash in Turn 1. He turned 74 laps over both sessions in a reserve Team Penske No. 2 Ford. -- Two teams -- Furniture Row Racing (driver Martin Truex Jr.) and Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing (driver Michael McDowell) -- were absent from testing's opening day, arriving in the Watkins Glen garage Wednesday in time for the two closing sessions. -- Wednesday's final session was extended 30 minutes to a 5:30 p.m. ET close because of a nearly hour-long clean-up for fluid on the track. After Chase Elliott's No. 24 Chevrolet suffered a broken axle, Clint Bowyer's No. 15 Chevy ran over the part, damaging the car's transmission. -- NASCAR XFINITY Series teams are scheduled to turn their first laps on the new Watkins Glen surface next Thursday. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will stage a support race the following day on the 2.45-mile course.
NASCAR increases penalty for unsecured ballast
Unsecured ballast (lead weight) that becomes detached from a race car as well as the loss of a wheel or wheels due to improper installation will now result in a mandatory minimum four-race suspension for specific team personnel, according to a bulletin issued Wednesday by the sanctioning body. The infractions are P3 level penalties under the 2015 NASCAR Deterrence Policy. Previously the length of suspension was not specified, but listed as "for one or more races." According to the bulletin, the loss of a wheel or wheels due to improper installation would result in a minimum four-race suspension for the crew chief, tire changer and tire carrier of the lost wheel or wheels. For the loss or separation of ballast weight, the crew chief, car chief and head engineer would receive four-race suspensions. Disciplinary action for P3 penalties may also include: • Loss of 15 championship owner and driver points and/or • A monetary fine (varies depending on series) and/ro • Probation until the end of the calendar year for the crew chief and/or any other team members (as determined by NASCAR) or six months if the period following the notice of the penalty spans across two seasons. Because of the danger created by the loss of ballast or a wheel, NASCAR considers the violation a safety issue. The four-race mandatory suspension is for a first offense. At least two incidents of unsecured ballast have occurred this season, most notably at Iowa Speedway in May when XFINITY Series driver Jamie Dick was struck in the helmet by a weight that fell off the entry being driven by Ross Chastain . Dick was not injured. The No. 97 entry with XFINITY Series driver Peyton Sellers was also penalized this year for an improperly attached weight that fell out of Seller’s car at Dover International Speedway in May.
Viva Motorsports ceases operations
Team release says that assets have been purchased Photo courtesy of Viva Motorsports Viva Motorsports, which fields the No. 55 entry in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, announced on Monday that the team is ceasing operations effective this week, according to a release issued by the organization. The team was on track at Michigan International Speedway last weekend, where Jeffrey Earnhardt was behind the wheel of the No. 55 Chevrolet and finished in 34th place. The organization made its NASCAR debut in 2009 and competed in both the XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. "It takes a tremendous level of commitment to compete at this level of auto racing, especially when striving to get better on limited resources, week in and week out," team owner Jamie Dick said in a release provided by the team. "It has come to a point where my family and I cannot continue to make the personal and financial commitments that this sport requires. I have always been proud of the quality of race team we brought to the track. Instead of lessening that quality, we decided to take a step back from the sport." "I want to thank the whole NASCAR community for allowing me to be part of the family. I want to thank our sponsors and our fans for all the support through the years. But most of all, I want to thank the employees of Viva Motorsports, both past and present, for making this team the best it could be." All the team assets have been purchased and the No. 55 car will appear in a handful of races in the 2015 season, according to the release. This season, Earnhardt (six races), Dick (five races) and Brandon Gdovic (two races) split driving duties in the No. 55 car. Dick missed some time after being diagnosed with new onset diabetes after the Phoenix race in March. The team's best result in 13 races this season was a 12th-place showing by Earnhardt at Talladega in May. A few weeks ago, Dick sat down with NASCAR.com's Pat DeCola at the team's shop in China Grove, North Carolina, to discuss the challenges of running a single-car team. "I do (have a single-car team, "us against the world" mentality). I don’t try to make it a point to spread that opinion throughout our employees and everyone else, but I certainly have that opinion," Dick said. "Because of that mentality, I'm glad we do our own single-car team. Not that we want to be a single-car team, I just mean that we’re independent and we own it and we do it." Dick also reflected on where his own driving career was heading. The 26-year-old has made 60 XFINITY Series starts and 14 Camping World Truck Series starts in his career. "The trajectory and the path of the mountain of my driving career and Viva Motorsports have already started to split and have more and more over the past year or two. I think they'll continue to split more. I don't think that my driving career will blossom into something greater than it is right now. I still like driving and I want to be the best race car driver I can be, but I don’t foresee any opportunities coming along to advance my driving career beyond what it is now, which I'm perfectly OK with. I'm happy with where I am and where I've made it." The Albuquerque, New Mexico native had big hopes for the organization, telling NASCAR.com in May that he would love to work his way into the Sprint Cup Series one day. "The potential for Viva Motorsports to grow with other drivers and other partners and other sponsors, the sky is the limit," Dick said last month. "I'd still love to venture into the Cup Series if the right opportunity presented itself, but I realize how difficult it is and I don't want to go in there with a half-hearted effort. I want the right opportunity to do it right way. That probably will never mean the 'right way' compared to Joe Gibbs or Rick Hendrick, but at least the right way as something that we can be proud of." And those hopes extended to the team's XFINITY efforts. "I hope in three to five years we're no longer a single-car team. I hope we're a two or three car XFINITY car team competing for better finishes, top-10 finishes, and continue to present ourselves professionally like we do now." ---NASCAR.com's Pat DeCola contributed to this report. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule