Jamie Dick and Kevin Lepage wreck early at Richmond International Raceway causing serious damage to their cars.
Kevin Lepage takes a hard hit early in ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway.
New at-track shopping experience begins at Pocono RELATED: See photos of the new merchandise experience LONG POND, Pa. -- A new era in NASCAR shopping has officially launched with the new "Trackside Superstore." A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday at Pocono Raceway officially ushered in the new retail model as the sport moves away from merchandise haulers and into an at-track shopping experience that is faster and features more selections for fans. Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick , Pocono June race winner Martin Truex Jr ., Ross Tannenbaum, president of Fanatics Authentic, Brandon Igdalsky, president of Pocono Raceway, and Blake Davidson, vice president of Licensing and Consumer Products for NASCAR, spoke before fans rushed in to experience the store. Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton also checked out the "Trackside Superstore." The "Trackside Superstore," which is run by Fanatics, totals 60,000 square feet, has specific sections for most drivers and carries $2.5 million in retail inventory, while also carrying a 50 percent increase in product assortment for most of the drivers. There also are dedicated specialty shops for ladies, kids, collectibles and tailgate. There are still some select haulers, most notably for Team Penske and Brad Keselowski merchandise. "This NASCAR superstore is like nothing I've ever seen," Igdalsky told the crowd. "I'm so excited that we were able to launch this year at Pocono. NASCAR has done a great job of enhancing the fan experience, and this is just the next level." The ease of the shopper experience at the "Trackside Superstore" was something that immediately struck Truex. "I'm super excited about this," Truex said. "I can't tell you how many questions I've had this year on Twitter just about, 'Hey, where do I get that hat? Where do I get that shirt?' This makes it easy. Everybody goes in there, finds their favorite driver, finds what they're looking for very easily." He later jokingly added that, "I feel like it's welcome to 2015 everybody." Harvick echoed Truex's thoughts, while also adding his own perspective from when Kevin Harvick Incorporated handled his merchandise. "You come in and walk through your section and you realize how simple the process is to go about finding your driver and checkout," Harvick said. "The thing I noticed the most was just how easily you can see everything and how there might have been a whole bunch of products before that you didn't know where on the trailers. It's definitely like Martin said, it's welcome to 2015. ... It's a huge step for everybody. "Having the experience that we had running our own merchandise stuff for several years at KHI and now seeing this, it's really something that's really neat. You understand the undertaking it takes to get to this point." Davidson indicated this has been a year-long project, from seeking proposals to revealing Fanatics as the selection to running the business in January to today's opening. "We've been working on this a long time," Davidson said. "And we walked in and saw what they put together. Fanatics has done a tremendous job. It's really blown us away, the breadth of product. The ability of the fans to touch and feel the product, which we knew they would be able to do. There's so much here, there's so much new product here that we've never had a track before. I think people are really going to be excited when they get here." Cayce and Mark Votek have been coming to Pocono for the past 10 years. Cayce, a fan of Denny Hamlin , liked that even with the new setup there was still a feel of familiarity. "I was a little skeptical at first," Cayce said. "I do like that I can touch the stuff first. That's actually really cool, probably dangerous for me because now I just grab it all. I know all of the people from Denny's hauler because I go there all the time and I actually ran into one, so I like that they're still here. There's still some familiarity. So far, so good." In addition to being able to touch and feel the products, Tannenbaum touted the reduced wait times fans will have to buy merchandise. The Fanatics executive estimated that in peak times the wait at a hauler was between 45 minutes and an hour. However, he acknowledged that this new model wasn't without his challenges when compared to running merchandise at other events like the NHL Winter Classic or the SEC Championship Game. "From a process, this is absolutely the most challenging one we've had and I think will ever have," Tannenbaum said. "When you think about it, go set up the Super Bowl and then break it down 38 times and set up again the next week. That's what makes it the most challenging. At Fanatics, it was an exciting challenge. It was 'go for a solution to this and make this work.' And what we presented to NASCAR and where we ended up today is very different because we learned so much." Tannenbaum added that Fanatics has three different tent structures, two different sets of fixtures to hold merchandise and one set of inventory for the trackside superstore. Next weekend's race at Watkins Glen will have a slightly different setup and a team is already up there to set it up. A team from Pocono will drive to Watkins Glen when the Tricky Triangle race weekend ends to build the setup out with the inventory. "What you are seeing here is going to be the standard superstore for all tracks," Tannenbaum said. "What is going to happen is there will be more locations and satellite locations at tracks that do either more revenue or less revenue, wider tracks. I use Richmond as the example. This store at Richmond, everybody walks into that front, it's pretty straightforward. At Daytona or the really big tracks, you are going to have to have multiple locations to meet the consumers' demand. We are going to look at what revenues are at the track, what the flow of traffic is and make sure that we can manage all of that. But this will be the central point for all of the stores." And while the new setup may take some time for fans to get used to, Truex said this was a good change for the long run. "I know a lot of NASCAR fans are worried about things changing, but I assure them this is a change for the better and I think it looks great." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle works to keep up momentum to join brother, more in Chase RELATED: Chase Grid Only six races remain before the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field is set. Here's what we know: Kyle Busch 's third consecutvie win continues his incredible comeback and brings him even closer to the Chase. He heads into Sunday's Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway only 23 points behind Justin Allgaier for 30th in the standings -- the position that would make him eligible for the Chase. In order to do this before the Chase starts, Busch will need to average 19.6 points in the final six races of the regular season. This means "Rowdy" must finish 24th or better each race. Kyle's older brother, Kurt, left Indianapolis in good standings after locking up a top 30 spot. Kurt Busch joins Kevin Harvick , Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Jimmie Johnson as they have all guaranteed their spots in the Chase. Drivers with a win who are still looking to lock up a top 30 spot are Joey Logano , Martin Truex Jr ., Brad Keselowski , Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards . A win at Pocono would secure any of these drivers a spot in the Chase. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Crew chief suspended for a race; team owner docked 15 points RELATED: NASCAR's official release NASCAR handed down a P3-level penalty Wednesday to the Premium Motorsports No. 98 Ford team for failure to properly attach weight during last weekend's Sprint Cup Series event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The No. 98 car, driven by Timmy Hill for the second straight week in last Sunday's Crown Royal Presents the Jeff Kyle 400, lost a piece of tungsten during Friday practice near the pit-road exit on the 2.5-mile track. The dropped weight was a violation of three sections of the 2015 NASCAR Rule Book (Sections 12:1; 126.96.36.199.1; 20.3.5). NASCAR officials suspended crew chief Scott Eggleston for one Sprint Cup Series race and fined him $25,000. NASCAR also suspended car chief Kevin Eagle for one race. Both were placed on probation through Dec. 31. Mike Curb, the listed team owner for the Premium No. 98, was also docked 15 championship points in the car owner standings. The No. 98 began the year under the Phil Parsons Racing umbrella before Premium Motorsports took ownership in the spring. Josh Wise failed to qualify the car for the season-opening Daytona 500 , but competed in the next 17 races before announcing that he had parted ways with the team. Hill has driven for the team the last two weekends. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Follow Coors Light Pole Qualifying at 4:45 p.m. ET (NBCSN/Live Extra) RELATED: Practice 1 results Brad Keselowski led Friday's Sprint Cup Series opening practice session at Pocono Raceway in preparation for Sunday's Windows 10 400 (1:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra, MRN, SiriusXM). The Team Penske driver put up his best time on Lap 7 out of nine total with a speed of 176.606 mph. Keselowski has one win at the Pennsylvania track that came in 2011. His best finish since then was second in 2014’s June event. Coming up short to Keselowski was Matt Kenseth at 176.339 mph. Denny Hamlin (176.267 mph), Austin Dillon (176.170 mph) and Kevin Harvick (175.987 mph) completed the top five on the leaderboard. Martin Truex Jr ., the winner of June's Pocono race, put up a speed of 175.298 mph and came in as 12th-fastest. Defending race-winner Dale Earnhardt Jr . completed his quickest lap at 175.196 mph, making the Hendrick Motorsports driver 14th-fastest in Friday's practice. The Sprint Cup Series returns to the track for Coors Light Pole Qualifying at 4:45 p.m. ET with coverage on NBCSN/Live Extra. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
KBM trucks close behind in P2, P3 RELATED: Full practice results Defending race winner Austin Dillon snuck up the leaderboard late Friday afternoon to top Pocono Raceway's sole Camping World Truck Series practice ahaead of Saturday's Pocono Mountains 150 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Dillon's best speed was a blistering 166.482 mph. Rookie Erik Jones was off Dillon's pace at 165.612 mph, followed closely by his boss and mentor, Kyle Busch , at 165.023 mph. Saturday's race will be Busch's first Truck Series start of the season, after a crash in the XFINITY Series opener at Daytona left him with injuries that sidelined him for several months. Timothy Peters (164.087 mph) was next on the leaderboard, followed by Johnny Sauter (164.045 mph) to round out the top five. Reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick failed to enter the top 10, placing 12th on the charts at 163.245 mph. The practice was halted and the red flag displayed with a little more than 30 minutes left in the 2-hour, 25-minute session when Jennifer Jo Cobb 's No. 10 truck lost an engine and started billowing smoke. The green flag for Keystone Light Pole Qualifying drops at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday on FOX Sports 1. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Crew chief Scott Eggleston fined, suspended RELATED: NASCAR issues P3 penalty to No. 98 team The No. 98 team has been assessed a P3 level penalty for having an unattached weight leave the car during practice on July 24 (Sections 12:1; 188.8.131.52.1; 20.3.5). Crew chief Scott Eggleston has been fined $25,000; suspended from the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship points race; and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. Car chief Kevin Eagle has been suspended from the next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship points race and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. Car owner Mike Curb will lose 15 championship car owner points.
Bruce: Never count 'Smoke' out, but he needs a win RELATED: Chase-clinching scenarios for Pocono It's been three years since Tony Stewart qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . And it's beginning to look as if the three-time series champion might miss this year's field of 16 as well. Stewart, 44, is 26th in points heading into this weekend's Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway. With only six races remaining before the field is set, it's unlikely that the co-owner/driver at Stewart-Haas Racing will qualify for one of the 16 positions based on points. To earn a chance to compete for this year's championship, Stewart needs nothing less than a victory in the coming weeks. Defending series champion Kevin Harvick , six-time champion Jimmie Johnson , '04 champ Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr . have officially clinched Chase berths. Joey Logano , Martin Truex Jr ., Brad Keselowski , Matt Kenseth , Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards are 2015 race winners and are currently 16th or higher in the points standings. Kyle Busch , riding a white-hot streak that has seen the Joe Gibbs Racing driver win three consecutive Sprint Cup events, and four of the last five, is on the doorstep of the top 30 in points (another Chase eligibility requirement). Non-winners, but those somewhat safely inside the top 16 in points include Jamie McMurray and Jeff Gordon . On less stable ground are Ryan Newman , Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne , currently 12th through 14th, respectively, in points. Unless he can advance his points position, Clint Bowyer , who sits 15th, would fall outside the Chase as soon as Kyle Busch cracks the top 30. Stewart is trying to climb into contention. Those on the periphery are likewise trying to advance -- or hold on -- to what they've earned thus far. A win in the coming weeks by anyone else, AJ Allmendinger (23rd) at Watkins Glen for example, would trump the points position of a non-winner inside the top 16. It's unlikely that someone such as Kahne, Menard or Bowyer is resting too comfortably these days. Kahne has made three consecutive appearances in the Chase, but isn't taking anything for granted; Menard's still chasing that first playoff opportunity; Bowyer, meanwhile, is attempting to return after missing the field a year ago. Aric Almirola (17th) and Greg Biffle (18th) made last year's Chase. Austin Dillon (19th) and Kyle Larson (20th) are still looking for that first career win and first Chase appearance. Would it be unwise to look past any of those drivers given the uncertain nature of racing? Rules package changes and a variety of tracks -- large, small and a road course to boot -- only serve to muddy the racing waters. Stewart's Chase absence has been well documented. A broken leg in 2013 sidelined the No. 14 driver for the season's final 15 races. A year ago, he missed three races prior to the start of the Chase, and while he was given a NASCAR exemption, Stewart failed to produce the necessary win or points position to qualify. Perhaps it would be just as unwise to look past Stewart, given what he has been able to accomplish in previous years. But the road ahead won't be an easy one for him or any of those looking to go from Chase hopeful to Chase qualifier. The calendar is starting to take an ugly turn. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
An in-depth profile of the most dynamic and diverse team in NASCAR. Featuring interviews with the drivers of Stewart-Haas Racing; Tony Stewart, Danica Patrick, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick. Check it out on August 1st at 2:30 pm ET on Fox Sports 1.