NASCAR enlists 14-year-old to direct new NASCAR Acceleration Nation spot
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In search of a director to oversee filming for its latest NASCAR Acceleration Nation television creative, NASCAR® turned to a 14-year-old rising star in advertising. Amelia Conway of Temecula, Calif., developed the treatment and directed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ driver Austin Dillon in the new spot promoting the sport’s national youth platform. The 30-second ad, titled "Tutelage," debuted today online and will air beginning this weekend during the Richmond races on FOX and FS1. "As a filmmaker, Amelia is a special talent and we loved her vision for this project," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "She represents the youth audience that is important to our sport, so having that unique perspective guide the creative process for us was invaluable." Born in California and raised in rural Texas, Conway began acting and performing at an early age and in 2014 was signed to Adolescent Content, a youth-focused production agency. She's directed several music videos and short films, and recently shot commercials for Target, Toms Shoes and Beats Music.
First look: 'Tutelage' NASCAR Acceleration Nation spot
NASCAR turned to a 14-year-old rising star in advertising, Amelia Conway , to direct its latest Acceleration Nation video. Visit AccelerationNation.com and download the mobile app today!
Watch: Behind the scenes of Austin Dillon's commercial for Acceleration Nation
Go behind the scenes with Austin Dillon, 14-year-old director Amelia Conway and the entire crew of the latest NASCAR Acceleration Nation commercial.
Kenseth, Keselowski win Stages 1, 2 at Richmond
RELATED: FAQ for race format " Updated stage points STAGE 2: Brad Keselowski nabbed his first stage win of the year on Sunday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway, winning Stage 2 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' Toyota Owners 400. The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford led 37 laps in the caution-free stage. Pole-sitter and Stage 1 victor Matt Kenseth, who led all 100 laps of Stage 1, placed second in Stage 2 in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, leading 63 laps. Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick was third in his No. 4 Ford, while Denny Hamlin's No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was fourth. Kyle Larson and his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet completed Stage 2's top-five finishers. Both Keselowski and Kenseth received race points and the race winner will earn 40 points and five playoff points at the race's conclusion. STAGE 1: Pole-sitter Matt Kenseth led all 100 opening laps of Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway, giving his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota the Stage 1 win. This marks Kenseth's first stage win of the season. Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. drag-raced to the start-finish line for the runner-up spot in Stage 1, with Larson's No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet prevailing by .006 seconds. Truex Jr.'s No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota ended up third. Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick and Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five, respectively. The top 10 finishers in both Stage 1 and Stage 2 receive race points. The race winner will receive 40 points and five playoff points at the conclusion of the Final Stage.
Joey Logano wins first race of season at wild Richmond
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Stage results " Detailed breakdown SHOP: Winner gear! RICHMOND, Va. -- It took Joey Logano all afternoon to drive from the back of the field to the front in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Logano started from the rear after a post-qualifying transmission change, but when the checkered flag waved after Lap 400, the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford was at the head of the field, having held off a banzai charge from teammate Brad Keselowski during a 19-lap green-flag run. Logano took the lead for the first time on Lap 384, after restarting behind six cars that had stayed out on old tires under caution for Ryan Blaney’s contact with the Turn 3 wall on Lap 377. On fresh rubber, Logano made short work of the cars in front of him and passed series leader Kyle Larson for the top spot with 16 circuits left. Keselowski had a faster car, having led 110 laps, but he also had more difficulty getting through traffic after the final restart. By the time Logano took the checkered flag, Keselowski had narrowed his teammate's straightaway lead to roughly three car-lengths before running out of time. The 26-year-old from Connecticut won his 18th race in his 300th start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was his first victory of the season and his second at Richmond. Logano and Keselowski had stayed out under the penultimate caution on Lap 367 and appeared vulnerable to the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch until NASCAR called the final yellow five laps after the restart on Lap 377. Of the cars that came to pit road on Lap 378, Logano was first off and lined up behind the six cars that stayed out -- those of Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., David Ragan and Cole Whitt. Busch drew a penalty for a commitment line violation and went to the rear of the field, eliminating one of the contending cars. RELATED: Watch how Logano's pit road games got Kyle Busch "The caution came out," Logano said of the final yellow. "The boys had a great stop which gave us good track position to pass the cars that stayed out. We were able to have a good start, work our way past those cars and tried to take off the best I could. I knew the 2 (Keselowski) was so much faster than everybody, and I had to get out there as quick and as far as I could. "He was on his way to catch me. I think he was catching me a couple tenths a lap. That was all I had inside the car, and I burned them up early trying to go. I’m proud of the effort of the team. We executed under pressure today and brought a car home that was a fifth-to-10th-place car to Victory Lane." For his part, Keselowski was philosophical about the way the race unfolded. "I was just hoping for another restart or the race to get extended for another 10 laps," Keselowski said. "I think we had a ton of long-run speed today. That short run at the end ... half the field came, half the field didn’t. I just got stuck in a lane of cars that didn’t go. "By the time I did, he (Logano) had a whole straightaway on me. I got it down to a couple of car-lengths at the end. All and all, I’m happy for Team Penske with the 1-2 finish. We’ll take it and move on." RELATED: Drivers to win in his 300th start Virginia native Denny Hamlin ran third, but his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota couldn’t match the speed of the Team Penske Fords. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. recovered from a brush with the Turn 3 wall to come home fourth on older tires, holding off fifth-place Kevin Harvick over the final green-flag run. The first major incident of the day happened late when Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson got into each other, causing damage to Junior's No. 88. He finished 30th, while Johnson placed 11th. MORE: Johnson, Earnhardt Jr. come together at Richmond The Monster Energy Series hits the track again next weekend at NASCAR's biggest track for the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, FOX). Keselowski is the defending winner. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Larson, Jones lead final practices at Richmond
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond FINAL PRACTICE: Full results " Top 10-lap times A fast lap of 119.074 mph put Kyle Larson's No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at the top of the leaderboard in Saturday's final practice at Richmond International Raceway. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader turned 84 laps in the 50-minute session, more than any other driver in the field. Furniture Row Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr. (119.016 mph) and Erik Jones (118.702 mph) were second- and fourth-fastest, respectively. Both drivers have recorded top-five speeds in all three practices (Truex's No. 78 Toyota led the opening practice, while Jones' No. 77 Toyota topped the second session). Sandwiched between the Furniture Row wheelmen in third was Hendrick Motorsports' Jimmie Johnson, whose No. 48 Chevrolet clocked in at 118.801 mph. Johnson's teammate Chase Elliott rounded out the top five with a fast lap of 118.452 mph in his No. 24 Chevrolet. After battling a car issue in Saturday's opening session and coming up 31st on the leaderboard, Kurt Busch nabbed the sixth-fastest speed in the field in his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford during final practice. The XFINITY Series is on track at Richmond next for the ToyotaCare 250 race (1 p.m. ET, FS1). PRACTICE 2: Full results " Top 10-lap times Earlier in the day, Erik Jones wheeled his No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota at 120.714 mph, nabbing the top spot on the speed charts during Saturday morning's opening practice at Richmond International Raceway. The Monster Energy Series rookie, who topped the leaderboard early in the 55-minute session, was second-fastest in Friday's lone practice to his teammate Martin Truex Jr. Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick was second on the leaderboard Saturday, his No. 4 Ford clocking a fast lap of 120.048 mph. Richard Childress Racing's Paul Menard was third-fastest (120.005 mph) in his No. 27 Chevrolet, while JTG Daugherty Racing's Chris Buescher ranked fourth in the field (119.973 mph from his No. 37 Chevrolet). Friday's practice leader Truex Jr. completed the top five with a 119.941-mph lap in his No. 78 Toyota. Pole-sitter Matt Kenseth was 11th-fastest in the field in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who announced his retirement from full-time racing after 2017 on Tuesday, was 10th on the leaderboard. In the middle of the 55-minute session, Kurt Busch radioed his team that he thought his No. 41 Ford was "on seven cylinders" and brought the car into the garage for examination. He returned to the track a little over 20 minutes later and told his team that he thought they "fixed it, whatever it was," ending the session 31st on the leaderboard. The following teams were held for the first 15 minutes of Saturday's opening session due to infractions: No. 1 of Jamie McMurray (failing LIS twice), No. 17 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (failing LIS second time through) and No. 21 of Ryan Blaney (failing template twice). &lt;/p&gt;
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. bounces back for fourth-place finish
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Detailed breakdown Just 65 laps into Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. scraped the Turn 3 wall while racing hard with Denny Hamlin. But Stenhouse recovered to finish fourth at the .75-mile short track, matching his best result of the season, thanks in large part to a decision to stay out on older tires for the final restart on Lap 382. Of six drivers whose crew chiefs made that call, Stenhouse fared best, holding off Kevin Harvick during an intense 10-lap battle for position. "Yeah, I made a lot of work for us there, getting in the fence later in that first stage and really we were fighting back all day from there," Stenhouse said. "Had a really good car on the long run, but we bent the splitter bar down. Was on the splitter for five or six laps, so restarts, I was just trying to keep as best track position as I could, and once we got to Lap 6 or 7, my car kind of came back around to me. "It was a no brainer there to stay out that last caution. I was glad it came out, because I thought we missed the opportunity the run before to stay out. It worked out perfect. Our Fifth/Third Ford and the guys never gave up, worked hard, and this track is a lot of fun in the sun. It's hot in the car, hot in the stands, so I appreciate everybody coming out, and it's nice to have I think four Fords in the top five, so it was cool." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Best 10-lap consecutive averages at Richmond
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond PRACTICE 1: RESULTS Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 5 Kasey Kahne 1 10 119.324 2 95 Michael McDowell 2 11 119.207 3 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 3 12 119.082 4 4 Kevin Harvick 1 10 119.074 5 19 Daniel Suarez # 3 12 118.926 6 32 Matt DiBenedetto 2 11 118.229 7 3 Austin Dillon 9 18 117.340 8 24 Chase Elliott 16 25 116.227 PRACTICE 2: RESULTS Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 77 Erik Jones # 1 10 118.876 2 4 Kevin Harvick 1 10 118.670 3 27 Paul Menard 1 10 118.664 4 37 Chris Buescher 2 11 118.621 5 11 Denny Hamlin 2 11 118.596 6 3 Austin Dillon 2 11 118.584 7 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2 11 118.561 8 20 Matt Kenseth 1 10 118.523 9 31 Ryan Newman 2 11 118.455 10 10 Danica Patrick 2 11 118.404 11 22 Joey Logano 1 10 118.374 12 47 AJ Allmendinger 1 10 118.189 13 34 Landon Cassill 3 12 118.010 14 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 4 13 118.000 15 6 Trevor Bayne 2 11 117.973 16 18 Kyle Busch 2 11 117.915 17 38 David Ragan 3 12 117.789 18 14 Clint Bowyer 2 11 117.677 19 1 Jamie McMurray 3 12 117.664 20 32 Matt DiBenedetto 1 10 117.589 21 19 Daniel Suarez # 2 11 117.587 22 48 Jimmie Johnson 17 26 117.531 23 43 Aric Almirola 1 10 117.522 24 23 Gray Gaulding # 2 11 117.358 25 13 Ty Dillon # 1 10 117.356 26 5 Kasey Kahne 2 11 116.793 27 42 Kyle Larson 14 23 116.467 28 95 Michael McDowell 6 15 116.412 29 41 Kurt Busch 24 33 116.228 30 78 Martin Truex Jr. 21 30 115.958 31 24 Chase Elliott 20 29 115.916 32 2 Brad Keselowski 19 28 115.198 33 51 * Timmy Hill(i) 1 10 113.336 FINAL PRACTICE: RESULTS Pos Car Driver From Lap To Lap Avg Speed 1 78 Martin Truex Jr. 1 10 117.521 2 11 Denny Hamlin 2 11 117.384 3 42 Kyle Larson 1 10 117.379 4 20 Matt Kenseth 1 10 117.337 5 24 Chase Elliott 2 11 117.160 6 5 Kasey Kahne 1 10 117.145 7 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1 10 117.038 8 18 Kyle Busch 2 11 116.993 9 14 Clint Bowyer 1 10 116.962 10 1 Jamie McMurray 1 10 116.886 11 48 Jimmie Johnson 1 10 116.856 12 21 Ryan Blaney 1 10 116.847 13 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2 11 116.759 14 77 Erik Jones # 1 10 116.696 15 6 Trevor Bayne 2 11 116.651 16 22 Joey Logano 1 10 116.528 17 2 Brad Keselowski 1 10 116.488 18 3 Austin Dillon 2 11 116.444 19 19 Daniel Suarez # 1 10 116.428 20 43 Aric Almirola 2 11 116.349 21 31 Ryan Newman 2 11 116.263 22 4 Kevin Harvick 1 10 116.206 23 34 Landon Cassill 2 11 116.148 24 47 AJ Allmendinger 2 11 116.140 25 10 Danica Patrick 2 11 116.102 26 95 Michael McDowell 4 13 115.701 27 37 Chris Buescher 1 10 115.700 28 38 David Ragan 3 12 115.398 29 41 Kurt Busch 31 40 114.991 30 13 Ty Dillon # 1 10 114.965 31 32 Matt DiBenedetto 2 11 114.724 32 23 Gray Gaulding # 1 10 114.554 33 27 Paul Menard 28 37 113.997 34 83 * Corey LaJoie # 1 10 113.325 35 15 Reed Sorenson 1 10 113.209 * Car must run 10 consecutive laps on the track to be included in the above chart. *Required to qualify on time, # signifies the driver is a rookie, (i) Ineligible for driver points in this series
Kenseth nabs first pole of season at Richmond
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond RELATED: Full results RICHMOND, Va. – Matt Kenseth won't have to come from the middle of nowhere, as he did Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway, where he started 22nd, charged toward the front in the closing laps and finished fourth. Quite the contrary. In Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 (on FOX at 2 p.m. ET) at Richmond International Raceway, Kenseth will lead the field to the green flag in the ninth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season after winning the pole during Friday's knockout qualifying session. Kenseth posted a lap at 121.076 mph (22.300 seconds) to edge Ryan Blaney (120.854 mph) for the top starting spot by .041 seconds. The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota claimed his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his second at Richmond and the 19th of his career. Kenseth was fast enough to make the cut for the first two rounds despite running a single lap in each, and the tire conservation paid off in the money round. "We had enough speed in our Circle K Toyota Camry that we only had to do one lap each of the first two rounds to get us into the third round, and we improved a little bit the second lap (in the final round). It was a good qualifying effort for us. Feels good to be on the pole. Kenseth is 20th in points after bottom-five finishes at Daytona, Phoenix and Fontana, and qualifying rainouts hurt him at Bristol and Martinsville, where he had to start mid-pack on owner points. "This year has not been a good year for us, obviously, so far," Kenseth said. "We finished strong at Bristol, but we didn't get to qualify because of the rain, and that put us in the middle of the pack – there and Martinsville. "We haven't been getting any stage points. We're buried in the points back there and we finally got a decent finish last week, so hopefully this week we can start up front, stay up front and hopefully collect some of the stage points. But most importantly we're in the mix for a win at the end of the day." Martin Truex Jr. (120.681 mph) will start third, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (120.471 mph) and Joey Logano (120.380 mph). It was the third second-place qualifying effort of the season for Blaney, who also put the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford on the front row at Phoenix and Texas. "We weren't great the first round but kept getting steps better each round, which we've done a really good job of this year," Blaney said. "I thought that's where we struggled a lot last year. We didn't improve last year, we would go backwards. This year we're improving round-to-round. "It's just communication and knowing what we need to change in our car. That's something to be proud of. That's a lot of second starts now. I really want to race the Clash at Daytona (the season-opening exhibition race primarily for pole winners). That's my biggest thing right now. It's upsetting me that we can't get a pole. I think our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion is good—we'll find out in race trim." WATCH: Dillon makes ... interesting ... qualifying lap Both Kenseth and Blaney saved their fastest laps for the final round. The same couldn't be said of Logano, who ran the fastest lap of the afternoon (121.468 mph) in the second round but couldn't sustain his speed in the third. "We just lost a little bit there the last run," said Logano who tied Kevin Harvick for the fastest lap in the opening round at 120.870 mph. "We got loose into (Turns) 3 and 4, missed it the first lap and did the same exact thing the second lap. "It's so frustrating when you win the first two rounds and the one that pays the money, you're not there. That's always frustrating. I guess we have decent speed in our car… it is just frustrating. I don't know what else to say. It just sucks." &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;
Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 NXS car chief passes away
Ryan Shea, car chief for the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, died Wednesday night at his home in Troutman, North Carolina, according to the team. He was 34. "It is a sad day for our team as we mourn the untimely loss of Ryan," team owner Chip Ganassi said in a team release. "Ryan was a dedicated worker and a great friend to those on our team, as well as others in the garage. Our hearts go out to Ryan’s family and friends during this difficult time." Shea had previously worked at Michael Waltrip Racing before joining CGR in 2015. Kyle Larson and Justin Marks have been behind the wheel of the No. 42 this season. My thoughts on the passing of Ryan Shea: pic.twitter.com/XzKUBibck1 — Justin Marks (@JMarksDE) March 31, 2016 "Ryan was a tremendous asset to Chip Ganassi Racing and the No. 42 team and will be sorely missed," said crew chief Mike Shiplett. "My thoughts go out to his wife, children, family and friends in this time of mourning." Chip Ganassi Racing will communicate further details regarding funeral arrangements and memorials as they become available. A GoFundMe page has been established to take donations for Ryan's family -- go here to see it. Also, CGR cars will have a special decal on their Chevrolets this weekend. The NASCAR community collectively offered its condolences to the team and the Shea family on Twitter: Just heard the news of Ryan Shea passing away in his sleep. A great person and great worker in the industry.. Prayers with his wife & kids — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) March 31, 2016 Ryan Shea will be greatly missed by this community. He is a model to follow in this sport. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. — JR Motorsports (@JRMotorsports) March 31, 2016 Wow shocked to hear about the passing of Ryan Shea. He was my car chief in 2006. Thoughts and prayers to Cory and the Shea family. — Kevin Conway (@TheKevinConway) March 31, 2016 Very sad day @CGRnascar as we lost one of our teammates far too soon. Keep Ryan's family in prayers #RIPRyanShea https://t.co/lwHv4UwIUl — Steve Lauletta (@slauletta) March 31, 2016 Thoughts and prayers to Ryan Shea and his family — Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) March 31, 2016 It takes days like today to remember just how fragile life is. Shea was a great teammate and he is already deeply missed. — Ashley Parlett (@Just_AP) March 31, 2016 Thoughts and Prayers for Ryan Shea, his wife and kids! Such sad news. — Chris Osborne (@crazy_spotter) March 31, 2016
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