NASCAR, Chevrolet launch diversity scholarship contest
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 23, 2016) — NASCAR and Chevrolet today announced the launch of the second annual NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest during a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Through this initiative, NASCAR and Chevrolet continue their longstanding commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) education and promoting opportunities for college students pursuing technology related careers. The contest challenges students to identify a technology or innovation within NASCAR and explain how STEM professionals came to its design in 90-second videos submitted on www.chevy.nascardiversity.com . Four winners will receive a total of $20,000 in scholarships and a VIP experience at Texas Motor Speedway during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race on November 6, 2016. In what has quickly become an important component of NASCAR's diversity and inclusion platform, the scholarship program helps both organizations attract young, diverse talent to the world of motorsports. "STEM professionals are invaluable to our sport," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "We're proud to partner again with Chevrolet in supporting talented students who we hope one day will play an important role in our industry." Video submissions will be judged on technical accuracy, creativity and production quality. Examples of science and technology in NASCAR include, but are not limited to: track banking and construction, race car design, SAFER barrier walls, drafting, gas mileage, tire wear, ethanol fuel, pit road officiating and solar energy. Ken Barrett, chief diversity officer for General Motors, announced the scholarship contest today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "At General Motors, diversity is our strength and we seek unique perspectives to infuse new ideas into all we do - keeping us on the cutting edge of technological innovation," said Barrett. "Attracting and employing the best and brightest STEM talent from around the world places GM and Chevy in the position to win in the marketplace and the race track." Winners will be awarded a scholarship and an exclusive, behind-the-scenes race experience in Texas, including a tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, pace car rides and meet-and-greets with Team Chevy drivers and Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program Manager, Alba Colon. "We're thrilled to once again offer this scholarship opportunity for talented students," said Colon. "NASCAR is such an innovative sport and this is a great way to get students excited about science and technology." To be eligible for the contest, students must be currently enrolled, at least part-time, in an accredited college or university within the United States, be between the ages of 18 and 25 at the time of entry and submit a YouTube link through the scholarship website. The deadline to enter is October 15, 2016. For more information on the NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest, please visit www.chevy.nascardiversity.com .
Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalists named
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. -- Finalists for The NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Presented by Nationwide were announced on Wednesday night on NASCAR America on NBC Sports Network. The award will be showcased on Sept. 27 at the Foundation's inaugural Honors Gala at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The award honors volunteers – who are also NASCAR fans – who dedicate themselves to children's causes in their communities throughout the United States. The award winner will be determined via an on-line vote now underway and running through Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. (ET) at www.NASCAR.com/Award . This year's award presentation will be part of the "10 Years of Giving" celebration for The NASCAR Foundation, which has donated $25 million to more than one million children since its inception in 2006. Betty Jane France, founder and chairwoman emeritus of The NASCAR Foundation, will present the award. 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. "The body of work by this year's four finalists reflects an impressive level of commitment to improving the lives of children," France said. "Their accomplishments likewise reflect The NASCAR Foundation's fundamental ideals and what the Foundation strives to achieve on a daily basis. All four finalists are wonderful representatives of our award process and of the NASCAR community." Following is additional information about the 2016 finalists: Jim Giaccone, Tuesday's Children: Giaccone lost his older brother, Joseph, in the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Giaccone determined quickly that the best way to honor his brother was by assisting others -- especially children -- who also were affected by the tragedy. That led to Giaccone's involvement with Tuesday's Children, an organization founded in 2001 and dedicated to providing long-term support to those directly impacted by the events of 9/11 and other communities impacted by terrorism and traumatic loss. Jim is involved with many aspects of Tuesday’s Children including raising funds, serving on the Mentoring Advisory Board, serving on the Family Advisory Board and his most significant contribution: serving as a mentor. Andy Hoffman, Team Jack Foundation: In 2011, Hoffman's world was turned upside down when his son, Jack, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Hoffman soon learned that procedures to treat pediatric brain cancer -- surgery and chemotherapy -- were more than 30 years old. He also learned that less than four percent of federal funding is dedicated to childhood cancer research each year. One year after the diagnosis, Hoffman made T-shirts as a fundraiser for children's brain cancer research; through his efforts he was able to sell 20,000 shirts and raise more than $300,000. Inspired by that success, Hoffman and his wife formed Team Jack Foundation in January 2013. The foundation raises money to fund pediatric brain cancer research and works to create national awareness for the disease. Logan Houptley, Mikayla's Voice: Houptley met a young lady named Mikayla Resh in his third-grade classroom after moving to a new school district in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Mikayla had profound multiple disabilities that included brain damage, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, along with facing the challenges of being blind and deaf. At only 10 years old, Houptley was incredibly understanding and accepting, treating Mikayla with love, kindness, and inclusion. Ten years after they met, Houptley has continued his friendship with Mikayla, in the process helping create Mikayla's Voice. Founded in 2010, the organization is dedicated to inspiring children and young adults to embrace individuals of all abilities. The organization promotes cultural change by teaching communities about the importance of inclusion and acceptance. Parker White, BackPack Beginnings: White founded BackPack Beginnings in 2010, driven by a compassion for families struggling to provide for their children on a daily basis. With two young children of her own, Parker understood a mother's desire to see her child be happy and successful. But she also knew that not every family has the means to put enough food on the table or provide basic necessities for their children. That led White to establish BackPack Beginnings, which strives to provide children in the Greensboro and High Point, North Carolina areas with nutritious food, clothing, and other basic necessities. BackPack Beginnings works with local schools to open food and clothing pantries, donate backpacks filled with blankets and school supplies, and provide comfort and hygiene items to children in need. To learn more about The NASCAR Foundation's Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide and each of the national finalists, please visit: www.NASCAR.com/Award .
Former NASCAR driver Jim Sauter dies at 71
Father of Johnny Sauter made 76 career starts in premier series Jim Sauter, a racer and father of four drivers including NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter , died on Friday night shortly before the conclusion of the Truck event at Texas Motor Speedway , according to ThorSport Racing. He was 71. Sauter competed in 82 NASCAR national series races from 1980 to 2004, including 76 premier series starts. The native of Necedah, Wisconsin, made his final NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the Milwaukee Mile in 2002, racing against his sons Jay, Johnny and Tim. Jim Jr. followed in his father's footsteps as well. In addition to these four sons, Sauter is survived by his wife, Debbie, eight additional children, 51 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two sisters. A two-time champion in the ARTGO Racing Series in the Midwest, Sauter tested International Race of Champions cars with fellow Wisconsin racers Dave Marcis and Dick Trickle. His son, Johnny, learned of his father's passing following Friday's Winstar World Casino & Resort 350. His lone win of 2014 came at Michigan International Speedway , and he acknowledged it was a special victory in his post-race comments that recalled his dad's recollections of the track. "I'm just going to relish in this win because this has been a tough, tough race track for me throughout my career," Johnny said. "My Dad always said, 'That place is easy.' But, I never felt that way. Until today, I mean when you have a truck like this -- it was just awesome." NASCAR issued the following statement on Jim Sauter's passing: "NASCAR offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jim Sauter. A true racer, Jim passed on his passion and competitive spirit to his children and grandchildren. A driver himself with roots in the Midwest, his reach and impact extend across the entire sport." The racing community expressed condolences on social media with a sample included below from Sauter's former competitor Mark Martin ; fellow Wisconsin racer Roy Kenseth, father of Matt; crew chief and former IROC chassis specialist Ray Evernham and NASCAR Senior Vice President, Racing Operations Jim Cassidy. Sorry to hear Jim Sauter died. He was a really good man and a great racer. — Mark Martin (@markmartin) November 1, 2014 Thoughts and prayers go out to the Jim Sauter family today. pic.twitter.com/ydHNAQcXQT — Roy Kenseth (@roykenseth) November 1, 2014 Really sorry to hear about passing of Jim Sauter. Worked with him for many years at IROC. Crew chiefed for him at Pocono 1990 #RIP — ray evernham (@RayEvernham) November 1, 2014 Thinking about the Sauter family. Jim Sauter's contribution to stock car racing and NASCAR will be felt for many generations. Good man. — Jim Cassidy (@jfcassidy) November 1, 2014 MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
GarageCam highlights Gordon's return at Indy
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner walks through the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to capture the moment Jeff Gordon climbed into the car as a fill-in driver.
Toyota Camry On Track: Daytona
Watch as Kyle Busch gives The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore a ride around Daytona International Speedway.
GarageCam gears up for Kentucky's clean up
GarageCam host Matthew Dillner walks the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage at Kentucky Speedway as drivers get ready for 400 miles under the lights.
21 Questions with Ryan Blaney and Dhani Jones
Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 21 Ford, puts Dhani Jones, host of the new NBC series Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge, on the clock to ask him some entertaining questions.
Jones storms to bonus in new-look Dash 4 Cash
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings BRISTOL, Tenn. -- It's payday for Erik Jones , as the 19-year-old is going home with an extra-large $100,000 check for taking the first NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash bonus at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday. The race-winning Joe Gibbs Racing driver led a total of 62 of the 200 laps in the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 , and his victory essentially locks up a spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase. Should Jones record another Dash 4 Cash bonus in any of the three remaining Dash 4 Cash races, having two Dash 4 Cash bonuses would be the equivalent to a regular-season race win and give him a leg up on seeding when the Chase begins on Sept. 24 at Kentucky Speedway . MORE: What to know about the Dash 4 Cash "We got a really good restart and Kyle (Larson) just left the top open and we went up there and he worked pretty hard to keep us behind him," Jones said post-race. "We just kept digging and it worked out. Just an awesome feeling. I never thought we'd get our first win here at Bristol." As for what he's spending the dough on, Jones is a frugal man. "Well, we're all going to dinner so that's going to be a big bill already I can tell," Jones said. "After that, I don't know, I'll probably put it away. I don't like to buy too many things." RELATED: Jones' discusses emotional Victory Lane call Jones' JGR teammate Daniel Suarez , Richard Childress Racing driver Ty Dillon and JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier all qualified for the Dash 4 Cash competition by being the top two finishers among XFINITY Series regulars in the two heat races that preceded Saturday's main event, which all came down to the final restart on Lap 198. With just three laps remaining, it looked as if Suarez -- who was running the highest of the Dash 4 Cash drivers in third -- was going to be the one to hoist the cardboard check after the checkered flag fell. That was until his JGR teammate Kyle Busch spun his tires, backing up Suarez's No. 19 Toyota. "I feel like we had a top-three car all day long and we were running in the top five, top three all day," Suarez said after the race. "In the end, the outside line was the preferred line and my teammate ( Kyle Busch ) spun his tires right there at the end with old tires and I was just right there stuck in the middle on the inside and there was nothing I can do at that point." Jones came from fourth on the restart to win the race. This was Jones' first Dash 4 Cash event, as he was not eligible for the competition last season being a full-time Camping World Truck Series driver. The next Dash 4 Cash event will be the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 23 (12:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The two heat races will be 35 laps each, with a 140-lap main event. There are a total of four Dash 4 Cash events in the 2016 season.
Final restart hinders front-runners shot at XFINITY win
RELATED: Saturday's race results " Watch the dramatic finish BRISTOL, Tenn. – Kyle Busch said it would happen eventually, and eventually arrived Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway . The defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion likely didn't expect it to happen like this. Busch had won four NASCAR XFINITY Series races this season, and Sprint Cup Series regulars had gone six-for-six entering the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol. But after Busch and fellow Sprint Cup regular Kyle Larson chased one another lap after lap after lap around the high-banked half-mile track, it was series regular Erik Jones who collected the win and a $100,000 bonus from the series sponsor in its Dash 4 Cash program. Busch had said earlier this season after a typically strong performance there was no doubt teammates Jones and Daniel Suarez would eventually make their way into Victory Lane. Jones had two series wins (earned in 2015) before Saturday; Suarez is looking his first series victory. Both finish consistently in the top five. The issue for Busch at Bristol was the late restart, a three-lap dash after Ryan Reed and Mario Gosselin brought out the yellow on Lap 189 of 200. Larson chalked up the loss to the restart as well, but blamed himself. The Reed/Gosselin incident bled nine laps off the board and set up the three-lap dash. Not that more laps under green would have mattered, according to Busch, who led three times for 43 laps. "Both restarts I had today were absolutely horrendous; both times I would go to the throttle and the engine would shut off and those guys were gone," he said. "... I couldn't keep a nose on their left-rear fender or anything. "More laps obviously would have been better ... but being on that inside lane is already a disadvantage." And that doesn't bode well for Sunday's Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race (1 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), he said. "It used to be a race track that you could race around three-wide and pass and work traffic really well and have some fun," Busch said. "Now it's just frustrating and aggravating. "It will be the top lane tomorrow. ... The race will be around the top and it will be the same frustrating single-file show tomorrow." Larson restarted for the final time in the outside lane, Busch on the inside. Jones, fourth on the restart, shot in front of Busch when the No. 18 Toyota stumbled, then raced side-by-side with Larson for the lead as they came to the white flag. "Just did a really poor job the last couple of laps," Larson said, "really disappointed in myself and probably not going to forget about this one for quite a while."
Erik Jones rallies for Bristol win, Dash 4 Cash prize
RELATED: Race results " Updated series standings BRISTOL, Tenn. – Erik Jones ' third NASCAR XFINITY Series victory was a real triple play. In the series' new Dash 4 Cash format featuring two heat races and a main event, Jones took advantage of a restart with three laps left in Saturday’s Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 and 1) won the race, 2) earned the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus and 3) stopped Joe Gibbs Racing teammate and race runner-up Kyle Busch ’s streak of four straight NASCAR national series victories. Jones, the pole winner, restarted fourth on the final restart and charged into second place behind leader Kyle Larson when Busch's No. 18 Toyota hesitated trying to pick up power in the bottom lane. Larson left the preferred top lane open through Turns 3 and 4 and Jones took advantage, taking the lead from Larson with two laps left. Busch followed his teammate into second place, but couldn't keep up with Jones on the final lap, trailing the No. 20 JGR Toyota by .418 seconds at the finish line. The runner-up result ended Busch’s prospects for a record third straight NASCAR weekend sweep. "We had a really good restart, and Kyle (Larson) just left the top open," said an elated Jones, who was battling teammate and eventual sixth-place finisher Daniel Suárez for the Dash 4 Cash bonus, a prize available only to drivers competing for the XFINITY Series championship. Suárez had the misfortune to restart third on the bottom on Lap 198 and got bottled up behind Busch as Jones charged forward in pursuit of Larson. That allowed Austin Dillon to take fourth and Justin Allgaier fifth at the finish. It's doubtful Jones could have scripted a more satisfactory ending if he’d written it himself. "I figured at some point in the year we could get a win when those guys weren't in the field, but it would be a tall task with them in the field," said Jones, who picked up his third victory in the series and his first this year. "Here at Bristol, for those two guys, this is one of their best tracks. I'm just so excited and you can tell – I'm out of breath. I wasn't working that hard. Just so excited about the win and to be here in Victory Lane and beat those guys. This is a really big day for us." Though Jones was the winner, most of the race was a battle for the top spot between Larson, who led 94 laps, and Busch, who led 43. "The two cars that were the class of the field today didn't win – oh, well," Busch said. "It's a great day for Erik Jones . He certainly stole one today. He didn't out-race the two Kyles up front, but he certainly did in the final laps that counted." Larson spent most of his time in the post-race beating himself up for leaving the top lane open for the opportunistic Jones. "I just did a really bad job on that restart – really bad," Larson said. "I knew I gave it away. I'm really disappointed in myself. I just ran half a groove too low through (Turns) 3 and 4." The two 50-lap heat races produced a pair of wire-to-wire winners, Jones and Austin Dillon , and no cautions. But the heats did establish the starting order for the 200-lap main event, as well as identify the four eligible Dash 4 Cash competitors. Jones, Allgaier (fourth in the first heat), Ty Dillon (second to his brother in the second heat) and Suárez (fourth in the second heat) took the green as the only drivers competing for the $100,000 bonus. Any driver who wins two of the four Dash 4 Cash bonuses qualifies for the Chase, but as the first XFINITY regular to win a race this year, Jones won't need the extra help.