NASCAR to honor 2016 Sprint Cup victor at Champion's week in Las Vegas
RELATED: Live streaming schedule for Champion's Week Editor's note: This story was originally published on Nov. 3, 2016. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- After millions watched as a new champion was crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway , the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy will make its way to Las Vegas for postseason celebrations as NASCAR hosts its annual Champion's Week festivities. Fans across the nation will gather for a week of events honoring the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, the NASCAR Sunoco Rookie of the Year and numerous other season-ending award winners. Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 29 and culminating on Friday, Dec. 2, NASCAR Champion's Week will feature events including the Motorsports Marketing Forum presented by SportsBusiness Journal at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and the annual NASCAR National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon at Wynn Las Vegas. Guests can visit the NASCAR Fan Lounge at Beerhaus Presented by Coors Light at The Park just outside New York-New York Hotel & Casino throughout the week for information on the Champion's Week schedule and details about how to secure access to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards red carpet. On Thursday, Dec. 1, the 16 Chase drivers will get behind the wheel on Las Vegas Boulevard for NASCAR Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco , followed by NASCAR After The Lap Sponsored by Chevrolet, Ford & Toyota . That evening, Coors Light will once again present the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash at XS at Encore Las Vegas to celebrate the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The private event will feature a special live performance by American Authors, best-known for hit songs "Best Day of My Life" and "What We Live For." Festivities will conclude with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, a black-tie event featuring the Champion, 16 Chase drivers, special guests and celebrity performers at Wynn Las Vegas. NBCSN presents this year’s awards Friday, Dec. 2, at 9 p.m. ET, while Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90 will carry the show live at 8 p.m. ET. For more information on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas, please visit ChampionsWeek. NASCAR .com . NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES CHAMPION'S WEEK EVENTS All times are Pacific time unless otherwise noted. Tuesday, Nov. 29 • NASCAR Live : Motor Racing Network will broadcast a special one-hour show featuring interviews with the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion and crew chief to discuss their journey throughout the Chase. Fans can tune-in with host Mike Bagley from 4 – 5 p.m. for an in-depth look at their road to the championship. Wednesday, Nov. 30 – Thursday, Dec. 1 • Motorsports Marketing Forum: The annual event presented by SportsBusiness Journal brings together industry decision-makers again this year for a comprehensive business forum on the state of motorsports. The forum will be held at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Click here to register for required media credentials. • NASCAR Fan Lounge at Beerhaus Presented by Coors Light : Located at The Park just outside New York-New York, fans can enjoy giveaways, special appearances and check out the cars of the 16 Chase drivers at the NASCAR Fan Lounge at Beerhaus. Presented by Coors Light, the fan headquarters will also feature music and photo opportunities with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series trophy. Thursday, Dec. 1 • NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: The annual awards luncheon and industry gathering will take place from 11 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. at Wynn Las Vegas, where several team and individual awards will be presented. Hosted by Mike Joy, the event will be live-streamed on NASCAR .com . -- Watch NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon, 2-4:15 p.m. ET • NASCAR Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco : All 16 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will parade their race cars down Las Vegas Boulevard and perform burnouts beginning at the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino and finishing in front of The Park. Fans can catch pre-race introductions hosted by Jamie Little at 2:45 p.m. followed by green flag at 3:30 p.m. For a list of burnout locations, fans can visit the NASCAR Fan Lounge at Beerhaus or ChampionsWeek. NASCAR .com . The event will be simulcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and NASCAR .com . -- Watch Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco , 5:45-6:30 p.m. ET • NASCAR After The Lap Sponsored by Chevrolet, Ford & Toyota : Beginning at 5 p.m., all 16 Chase Challengers will appear on stage at the Pearl Theater inside the Palms Casino Resort for NASCAR After The Lap sponsored by Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota. Hosted by Rutledge Wood and restauranteur Guy Fieri, fans can watch live by purchasing tickets here or tune-in to NASCAR .com and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for behind-the-scenes insight into the drivers’ lives both on and off the track. -- Watch After The Lap Sponsored by Chevrolet, Ford & Toyota, 8 p.m. ET • NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash Presented by Coors Light : To commemorate and celebrate the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and toast the 2016 Champion, Coors Light will host the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash starting at 10 p.m. in XS at Encore Las Vegas. Recording artists American Authors will give a special performance at the invite-only event. Friday, Dec. 2 • Claire B. Lang’s annual Championship Year in Review on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Channel 90: SiriusXM NASCAR Radio host Claire B. Lang will be joined by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, crew chief, team owner and team members live from 1 – 3 p.m. for a two-hour retrospective on their championship-winning season. • NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards : This exclusive black-tie celebration will be held at Wynn Las Vegas, where the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, team owner and other Chase drivers will be honored. The red carpet will take place at 4 p.m. followed by the awards show at 5 p.m. NBCSN presents complete coverage from Wynn Las Vegas beginning at 7 p.m. ET with “ NASCAR America,” followed by red carpet coverage at 8 p.m. ET and subsequent coverage of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at 9 p.m. ET. Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90 will broadcast the show live at 8 p.m. ET.
NASCAR TV schedule: March 27-April 2
Atlanta repave delayed until after 2018 NASCAR races
RELATED: All the winners at Atlanta " Blaney pleased with Atlanta decision Atlanta Motor Speedway officials have put off a repaving project at the 1.54-mile facility until the track's 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race has been completed. Officials had planned to repave the worn racing surface following this year's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on March 5. Several NASCAR drivers, however, urged track officials and Speedway Motorsports Inc., President Marcus Smith to reconsider the move. The track was last repaved in 1997. The worn, abrasive pavement creates tremendous tire falloff, and the slick surface typically provides some of the most exciting racing on the NASCAR schedule. "We're going to repave, it's just a matter of when we're going to do it," Ed Clark, AMS president and general manager, told NASCAR .com Tuesday. "We know we have to do it sooner rather than later. "We've talked to fans, to people in the NASCAR garage, spent a good bit of time with Rick Campbell of Goodyear, and we came to the conclusion that with a little bit of work, cutting out some spots and patching them, we could go another year. "If they can make it work, we'll go another year and evaluate it after next year's race. We are going to have to cut some patches out and repave them, mostly on the front straightaway." ICYMI --> 1997 was a good year for paving ... by popular demand, we are going to hold off on paving @amsupdates for one more season. https://t.co/CPSVmMdkFU — Marcus Smith (@MarcusSMI) March 28, 2017 Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski, the 2012 series champion and winner of this year's Folds of Honor QuikTrip race, said after his win that the decision to repave puts tracks in a difficult position. "It's tough, and I feel bad for those guys because all it takes is one race where there are weepers or where the track comes apart and you've got red flags and delays and everybody gets mad at them," Keselowski said. "So they're really in a no‑win spot. We pick on them and tell them don't do it and all these other things, but at some point you have to trust them to know their business. "... Drivers hate repaves. We want to see the surfaces last as long as they can. But the reality is nothing lasts forever, and this surface has made it a really, really long time, 20 years I think ... and they should be really proud of that." Speedway Motorsports Inc. owns eight tracks that host 12 points races on the 36-race Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule. One property, Texas Motor Speedway, was recently repaved and reconfigured in preparation for this year's two stops at that 1.5-mile venue. "I think we all appreciate tracks with so much character and to have the bad news that two of the tracks with the most character are going to be repaved this year, I think that shocked and upset a lot of us," seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson said when asked about the Atlanta repave earlier this year. "We get it. We understand, but it's just going to take a long time for the track to get back to this condition." Clark said officials' biggest concern with the racing surface are parts of the track "unraveling" where cracks exist in the asphalt. "It's more of that," he said, "the gradual unraveling and a crack opening up. I'm not concerned necessarily about a big chunk of asphalt coming out or anything like that. We've looked at that pretty closely. "The good news about our place is we've kept this thing sealed up. We've done it every single year since it was paved, sealed every crack in the fall. We just haven't gotten the humps and bumps that some tracks get. From that standpoint, other than it just being absolutely worn out, that's not an issue. I think that's somewhat the comfort level drivers have in saying just leave it alone." NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Timothy Peters said he was "ecstatic" that officials are holding off on the AMS repaving project. "I think other tracks should look at that," he said. "Worn-out pavement is the way to go, in my opinion. "Atlanta ... is multi-groove, from the bottom to the middle to the top. It puts it back in the driver's hands. I guarantee they will get a lot of Christmas cards this year for electing not to repave the place." Atlanta Motor Speedway, located in Hampton, Georgia, has been hosting NASCAR -sanctioned races since 1960. In addition to the quad-oval featuring 24-degree banked turns, the site includes a 2.5-mile road course. Permanent seating capacity for the facility is 71,000. "We're going to let it ride, let them slip and slide in 2018 and figure it out after that I guess," Clark said. - RJ Kraft contributed to this story.
Boxed in by pit strategy, Truex happy to finish fourth
RELATED: Race results " Detailed breakdown " Driver standings FONTANA, Calif. -- When Corey LaJoie's brush with the Turn 2 wall brought out the sixth of seven cautions on Lap 192 of a scheduled 200, Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn gambled. They stayed out on old tires for a restart on Lap 196, but only two other drivers -- Denny Hamlin and Jamie McMurray -- followed suit. That left race winner Kyle Larson in the fourth starting position, and one lap after the resumption of action, he had the lead. Truex considered himself fortunate to hold onto fourth place on old rubber, after the race went to overtime and extended two laps beyond its posted distance. "It was definitely not the situation we wanted to be in, but we thought more guys would stay out there (under the sixth caution)," said Truex, who led 73 laps, second only to Larson's 110. "I think we only ran a few laps. It was definitely a disadvantage at the end and just really tight. "Holding on for fourth was good for points. Overall, it was a good day for everybody. We just had that one pit stop and I slid a little bit -- a foot or so further than I had all day . The guys got the air hose caught on the splitter and we lost six spots or whatever it was (during a stop under caution on Lap 181). All in all, it was a good day , and we ran up front and led laps. The 42 (Larson) and I felt like we were the class of the field -- he just got it done, and we didn't." &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
2015 NASCAR Las Vegas Victory Lap replay
Watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase drivers do burnouts on the Las Vegas Strip in 2015 NASCAR Victory Lap Fueled by Sunoco .
Jones scores first top-10 finish in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
RELATED: Full race results " Updated standings " Detailed breakdown AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Erik Jones’ No. 77 Furniture Row Racing team did everything right in Sunday's Camping World 500 at Phoenix Raceway -- except for predicting how many cars would take two tires versus four on the final pit stop before overtime. Jones was running fifth when a melted bead caused Joey Logano's right front tire to explode and sent the No. 22 Ford of the polesitter into the Turn 1 wall on Lap 307 of a scheduled 312. Jones took four tires under the ensuing caution and restarted 14th. He was able to regain six positions in the two-lap overtime that took the race to Lap 314, but for the third straight week, Jones finished lower than where he had run for much of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. The eighth-place finish nevertheless was the first top-10 of Jones' fledgling Monster Energy Series career. "When you feel like you have a fifth-place car, you want to run fifth, but it just didn't work out at the end," Jones said. "We had a lot of guys take two (tires). A lot more than I thought would. A lot more, obviously, than (crew chief) Chris (Gayle) thought would. "We had a great restart and were able to get back up to eighth. Not too much gain, not too much loss. A solid day for us. Definitely the best day overall for the 5-Hour Energy Camry. Just well put together. We got better all day , had good pit stops, good on pit road, executed well and did everything we needed to do to run in the top 10." Jones was one of two Sunoco rookies to get a maiden top 10 on Sunday. Fellow Toyota driver Daniel Suarez finished seventh, gaining five positions after the final restart. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Kyle Busch, Joey Logano meet with NASCAR officials at Phoenix
BUY TICKETS: See the races in Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Joey Logano and Kyle Busch met with NASCAR officials here Friday morning at Phoenix Raceway, perhaps closing the books on last weekend's post-race altercation. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers met with officials approximately 30 minutes before the start of the day's first practice for Sunday's Camping World 500 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). RELATED: Full weekend schedule NASCAR officials present were Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer; Richard Buck, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Managing Director; and Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition. Busch and Logano were running fourth and fifth, respectively, on the final lap of last week's Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when there was contact between the two after they shot past the slowing entry of Brad Keselowski. Busch's No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota shot up the track in Turn 4, then slid down onto the entrance to pit road, leaving him with a 22nd-place result. Logano, driver of the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske, was able to gather his car up after the contact to score a fourth-place finish. Crewmen stepped in to break it up before NASCAR officials separated the participants and restored order. Three days after the race, NASCAR officials announced neither driver would be penalized for their actions. Busch, the first to exit the NASCAR hauler, was short and consistent when questioned briefly by media . "Everything's great. Looking forward to getting back to the race track and getting into my race car," the Joe Gibbs Racing driver and 2015 series champion said each time he was queried.
Sunoco Fueled : Victory Lap returns to Vegas
RELATED: Champion's Week sweepstakes In just four short weeks, the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will be crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Eight drivers, representing five different teams and all three manufacturers, are competing to etch their name in the NASCAR history books, with the designation as champion. Once the new champion hoists the Sprint Cup trophy over his head, closing yet another exciting Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup , the industry will collectively set its sights on Las Vegas, and the week-long celebration of the season titled Champion's Week. During the first week of December, the NASCAR industry will converge on Las Vegas for the seventh consecutive year. This year, all 16 Chase drivers will be in attendance to celebrate the 2016 Champion, with an array of live fan events, appearances and banquets. Possibly the most iconic moment during Champion’s Week is Victory Lap fueled by Sunoco , when the drivers parade down Las Vegas Boulevard in their race cars. Fans have the opportunity to experience the excitement of NASCAR with two burnout sessions and viewing areas along the route. For the first time, NASCAR Victory Lap will have a title sponsor, a brand familiar to all NASCAR fans due to its crucial role in the sport, Sunoco . "We are very excited to be fueling this year's NASCAR Victory Lap. This tremendous event has been a fan favorite, as well as a favorite of ours. We are proud to be part of bringing the celebration back to the streets of Las Vegas," said Drew Kabakoff, Director Brand Marketing, Sunoco . "After this year's launch of Burnt Rubbèr, the most exclusive fragrance in motorsports, we felt it only made sense to cap the year off with NASCAR's top drivers burning some rubber of their own on Las Vegas Boulevard." Fans have turned this into one of the most anticipated moments of Champion's Week. So to thank them, Sunoco is offering one lucky fan and their guest the opportunity to win a trip to Las Vegas for a VIP experience during NASCAR Victory Lap fueled by Sunoco . The grand prize includes hotel, airfare and an exclusive opportunity to experience the Essence of Racing by joining the field of 16 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Challengers as they drive the Las Vegas Strip. In addition, Sunoco is giving away hundreds of bottles of Burnt Rubbèr to daily winners. Fans can enter at www.essenceofracing.com for a chance to win. "We thought this would be a great way to bring our fans closer to the action and raise the level of excitement around this year's event," said Kabakoff. Just like the field of race cars competing on the track each weekend, NASCAR Victory Lap will be fueled by Sunoco .
NASCAR announces race package for XFINITY Series race at Indianapolis
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Indianapolis Teams competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway later this year will do so with a race package that incorporates three major modifications aimed at one goal -- improved competition at the legendary 2.5-mile speedway. Designed specifically for the 100-lap race scheduled for July 22, the modifications consist of a taller rear spoiler and splitter package; aero ducts on the lower front bumper area; and a 7/8th-inch restrictor plate currently used for superspeedway events at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. The static ride height of the cars will remain at 4 inches, which is unchanged from the current 2017 rules package. The Indy package was crafted after much in-house simulation and development and then field-tested on Oct. 12 at IMS for verification. XFINITY Series teams from Richard Childress Racing, Roush Fenway Racing and Kaulig Racing participated in the test. "We (develop) the analytical package and come to some conclusions," Gene Stefanyshyn, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Innovation and Racing Development, told NASCAR .com. "But then we also need to go on the track and verify this. So this approach has been a two-step approach, analytical creation of the package and then on-track verification. "We race at 29 tracks (across all three national series) and they're all very special," Stefanyshyn added. "Indianapolis has a long history; it's a wonderful track. Our objective is to give our fans the best possible show we can. We are very proud of being able to participate at Indy; we want to put our best foot forward. We believe we have come up with a package that gives us the best opportunity to do that." MORE: IMS announces updated race weekend schedule Stefanyshyn said officials had teams run various packages during the test. While the use of the restrictor plates enabled the cars to run closer together, the ability to pull out and pass remained difficult. "We saw the cars were closer together, but we weren't able to create some passing until we introduced the aero ducts," he said. "That's the main purpose of the ducts, to give the trailing car more of an advantage … we always hear about clean air and how the leader has clean air. Our objective here is to try to give the trail car more benefit." Without the aero ducts, cars running down long straightaways such as those at IMS hit a wall of air, which creates "a significant horsepower deficit" when they get within approximately one car-length of the lead car, Stefanyshyn said. The aero ducts direct air in through the existing brake ducts and out through the wheelhouse on each side. The high speed air flowing out creates a larger hole or "envelope" for the trailing car. Use of the aero ducts should increase the amount of horsepower differential for the trailing car by approximately 25 percent. "We're giving the driver more momentum from four-five car lengths back, gaining coming into within half a car length; when he gets right into that bubble, he's still got to cross through it, but he's carrying momentum and he can break through it," Stefanyshyn said. Stefanyshyn said incorporation of the package isn't "a slam dunk," but studies and testing have thus far validated the changes. "Our belief is that we will create a situation where they can pass on the straightaways," he said. "That's been done analytically, it's been done with three cars. The question is when we turn 40 cars loose on the track can that still manifest itself and that's still what we’re hoping will happen." Speeds likely won't vary greatly with the new package, and the use of restrictor plates isn't expected to generate the big packs of traffic on the track similar to what typically is seen at Daytona and Talladega. Stefanyshyn said it's more likely that there will be several groups of five or six cars each, "and in each of those groupings we're hoping to see passing on the straightaways." The XFINITY Series has competed at IMS since 2012, and the lack of passing on the big, flat track has been a concern for NASCAR and speedway officials. Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing) led more than half the laps in winning the last two XFINITY Series races at Indy and he led 92 of 100 when he won the race in 2013. Dale Earnhardt Jr. addressed the racing package this week during his weekly Dale Jr. Download podcast. Earnhardt Jr. competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports. He is also co-owner of JR Motorsports, which fields four full-time teams in the XFINITY Series. "I'm curious to see (the changes)," he said. "I think NASCAR sees this as an idea on how fix racing in general at Indianapolis." According to NASCAR officials, there currently are no plans in place to utilize the package at any other venue or in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Getting started: Aspen Dental, NASCAR partnership expands
RELATED: Aspen Dental expands role with Patrick " Aspen Dental named 'Official Dentist of NASCAR' Five weeks ago, Aspen Dental expanded its backing of Stewart-Haas Racing and driver Danica Patrick by boosting the number of NASCAR races for its primary sponsorship into double digits. Friday, the company took another step in increasing its exposure through the sport. NASCAR and Aspen Dental announced a multiyear agreement Friday that makes the Syracuse, New York-based network of dental care providers the "Official Dentists of NASCAR ." The partnership dovetails with the advent of Aspen Dental's "Get Started" initiative, a program that promotes oral health awareness with the help of Patrick and NASCAR . Michelle Vaeth, Aspen Dental Management's vice president of communications, recalled sitting at a conference table with NASCAR officials several months ago in the sanctioning body's Charlotte, North Carolina, headquarters. The lively discussion turned to the 150 million Americans who avoided dental visits last year and how the company's next initiative, a program which would eventually become "Get Started," planned to combat that treatment gap.
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