Four-time champion asked for meeting on safety measures after Atlanta wreck Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live LAS VEGAS -- Four-time premier series champion Jeff Gordon will meet with NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell next week to discuss the sanctioning body's safety measures, including the potential expanded use of SAFER barriers. Gordon, in his final season of full-time competition, dropped that bit of information Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway less than a week after he smacked a concrete wall at Atlanta Motor Speedway and two weeks after Kyle Busch broke his right leg in a wreck at Daytona International Speedway . "I reached out to them," Gordon said of the meeting. "It's a meeting to discuss some things, that being one of them. "I think it's important to note, the tracks and NASCAR are doing a lot to put as much effort into (taking additional safety measures) right away. There is only so much that can be done in a short period of time. … I'm looking forward to getting together with them to hear a little more detail about that progress." Gordon, who has raced in every premier series event since the season finale in 1992, can remember a time when there were no SAFER barriers. And he remembers what it felt like to hit those rough walls consistently. When he finds a SAFER barrier-less concrete wall on occasion -- like at Atlanta -- it's a rude, often painful reminder of just how effective the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction safety system is. "If you race long enough, you're going to hit stuff and you're going to hit hard," Gordon said. "I've hit a lot of walls with (SAFER barriers), and I've hit a lot of them without. When I hit one without, it's always, 'Wow, what did I just hit? What was that?' I'm always caught off-guard by the impact and how severe it is. "With a SAFER barrier -- this happened to me at Texas, I blew a right front tire going into Turn 1. I thought, 'Oh, God, this is going to hurt … oh that wasn't so bad.' It's a huge difference." Gordon joined the chorus of NASCAR drivers calling for an increased SAFER barrier presence following both Busch's wreck, and then his own. Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway , site of next week's race, both made safety modifications in advance of their respective events. "We said that there's no greater priority for NASCAR in working with the tracks to have SAFER everywhere," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Office Steve O'Donnell told NASCAR .com earlier this week. "In terms of where it makes sense, obviously there's some challenges with different gates where you've got to look at some other technologies, but for us, the process is in place for short-term plans where we've worked with Atlanta and the upcoming West Coast tracks, and longer-term, implementing the SAFER barriers as quickly as we can." When next week's meeting concludes, the 43-year-old Gordon said he would share his gleanings with other drivers in the garage. As for the answers he hopes to get, one stands out -- What was the SAFER barrier plan before Busch got injured? "The one thing I would question is, when did SAFER barriers start being put at race tracks and what was the plan for them to be complete?" Gordon said. "I was under the impression when they started going in that it was going to be a three- or four-year plan to implement the SAFER barrier on every wall that needed to have one. "I think everybody knows it's a priority, but it seems to be kind of pushed further long since Kyle's accident. Where were we prior to Kyle's accident on that plan? We need to know what that timeframe is." 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
Junior: 'It's only a 50-lap race so it would be over and done before I even do it' Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live As an owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr . ran his first Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway with Cole Custer finishing 16th. When will he make his debut as a driver in the series? He may have given a hint during the FOX Sports 1 "Setup" pre-race show when feature reporter Ray Dunlap mentioned that Pocono Raceway hosts the series on August 1 (1 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). "That would be an opportunity for me to get in there and get my feet wet," Earnhardt said. "It's only a 50-lap race so it would be over and done before I even do it. "I do have interest in driving a truck. I've always had interest in driving a truck, just never really found that opportunity or was focused more on the Cup side at that point in time. But this does open the door a little wide for me. If we don't do it this year, we're going to continue to keep the truck around and work with this program and continue to try to grow it." Serving as an analyst, two-time Camping World Truck Series champion Todd Bodine said Pocono "absolutely" would be a good place for Earnhardt to get behind the wheel. "He's not going to own a race car or race truck that he doesn't get to drive, and you heard him say that he's wanted to drive a truck so it's a perfect opportunity if you own it," Bodine said. Earnhardt recalled his father's Dale Earnhardt Inc. Truck Series team that won two of the first four championships in series history with Ron Hornaday Jr . "I have a lot of great memories of that team," Earnhardt said. "We actually worked in the same shop together, and it had two bays in the back. They were in one bay, and I was across from them in another bay building my Late Model cars that I'd run at Myrtle Beach. I was in there every day, watching them and sort of mimicking them as they built their first truck. I did everything they were doing to my Late Model that they would do to that truck. "I formed a great relationship and friendship with Ron Hornaday so that was pretty cool to be able to forge that relationship early with him." As Earnhardt builds his own Truck team for 17-year-old Custer, he's helping the NASCAR Next driver and sponsor Haas Automation achieve their objectives while JRM is meeting its own milestones. "Their goals are to get Cole into the XFINITY Series at some point so this was an opportunity to begin a relationship with us," Earnhardt said. "It made sense to get into the Truck Series. "For me, it's actually exciting because it's a 10-race deal. You're just kind of getting your feet wet. It's a great way to ease into it so we had the room. We had the interest. They had the program already together, the relationship with Chevrolet. We made it work." 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
22-year-old scored eighth-place result at Atlanta subbing for Vickers Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Brett Moffitt 's first start of the 2015 season left quite the impression, as the 22-year-old scored an eighth-place finish in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway . Unfortunately for the Grimes, Iowa, native, start No. 2 has yet to be determined. Moffitt, a development driver with Michael Waltrip Racing , filled in for Brian Vickers in the organization’s No. 55 Toyota at AMS. It was his eighth career start in the series. Owner/driver Michael Waltrip finished 26th in a fill-in role for Vickers in the season-opening Daytona 500 . Vickers, sidelined for the first two races due to health issues, returns to the seat this weekend when the series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Kobalt 400 on March 8 (FOX, 3:30 p.m. ET) "I wish I was in it for the next 30-some weeks," Moffitt said following his top-10 finish at AMS, "but I'm sure something will come about; an opportunity will open up, so we'll see." In a statement Monday, MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman said MWR officials are "enthusiastic about (Moffitt's) potential." "Brett is under a multi-year agreement with Michael Waltrip Racing ," Kauffman said. "MWR would love to get back to a three-car team and grow with him into the future. Before this past weekend we stated that we felt his name should be mentioned among the impressive crop of young drivers coming into the sport, and the Atlanta result validated that claim." Moffitt, a member of the original NASCAR Next class in 2011, competed regularly in NASCAR ’s K&N Pro Series East from 2009 through '13, scoring nine wins and finishing inside the top five in more than half his starts (33 in 61 races). He has a handful of starts in ARCA, NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series. Earlier this year, Moffitt said he was pleased with his association with MWR and thankful for the opportunities the organization had afforded him thus far. "But at the same time, I need to be in a race car more often and they've been willing to work with me on that, and they said 'Hey, if you find an opportunity, we're not going to hold you back from it,' " he said. A lack of sponsorship forced MWR to contract from three Sprint Cup teams to two after the 2013 season. Should expansion be on the horizon, Moffitt could find himself on the short list of potential driver candidates. Another option, more likely given the time frame, would be to secure a ride for Moffitt through another Toyota-affiliated organization. "While we work toward a fully supported in-house program, it is MWR's desire that Brett get more quality opportunities in either of NASCAR's top divisions and we will work diligently to make that happen," Kauffman said. Dave Wilson, president and general manager, Toyota Racing Development, USA, said that Moffitt is "in our … driver development program and we have been working with him in a development capacity over the past couple of years. "Given the right opportunity we would love to see him in a Toyota down the road." Moffitt's Atlanta effort reinforced the group's belief in the talented youngster. It also reinforced his belief in himself. Although nearly two laps down to the leader at one point, a timely caution in the latter stages of Sunday's race allowed Moffitt and the No. 55 team to pit under yellow and gain track position. The team then opted to stay out under a subsequent yellow, and Moffitt found himself restarting third. And while he spun his tires on the restart, losing several spots, he was able to hold off Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman in the closing laps and hold on to eighth place. "I was tearing up out there; this is the biggest accomplishment I could have ever done," an emotional Moffitt said afterward. "… These guys kept fighting. … I spun the tires there, luckily we were able to get 'em back on the last restart." 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
Dewar: 'Globalization is a key initiative for NASCAR' Daytona Beach, Fla. (March 16, 2015) – NASCAR announced today it has signed a seven-year media broadcast extension with FOX Sports Latin America, ensuring that sports fans in Latin America can continue to enjoy NASCAR events and news on FOX Sports through 2021. Through this extension, FOX Sports Latin America will continue to be the home of live races for all three of NASCAR ' s national series – the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™ and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ – across Latin America, including Brazil. Additional NASCAR programming on FOX Sports Latin America includes the NASCAR K&N Pro Series™. "Globalization is a key initiative for NASCAR , and there is no question that partnering with FOX Sports Latin America has been integral to the sport's growth in this region over the past several years," said Brent Dewar, NASCAR chief operating officer. "In addition to ensuring the presence of NASCAR racing content for existing fans for the next seven years, this extension will allow NASCAR and FOX to build upon the work that’s already been done in cultivating NASCAR fans in Latin America." All NASCAR content will air exclusively on FOX Sports 3 in Spanish speaking countries in Latin America and on FOX Sports 2 in Brazil. In addition, FOX Sports' original production "Central FOX Nitro," – a daily motorsports news show – will feature NASCAR news and highlights. "We are thrilled to continue to offer NASCAR fans in Latin America the best quality of NASCAR race content across different FOX Sports portfolio of media services," said Carlos Martinez, president of FOX International Channels Latin America. "This long term deal with NASCAR represents our commitment to an exceptional partner and we know that it will yield great value to all of our Latin American viewers." FOX Sports is the leading sports cable television network in Latin America and has been broadcasting NASCAR races since 2002. The network, which reaches more than 60 million homes in 19 countries in Latin America, is focused on sports-related programming including events, sports news, sports talk shows and other original content.
New structure to feature two rounds to determine pole winner
Six drivers will compete in diverse driver development program DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D), the leading developmental platform for female and multicultural drivers and pit crew members, announced its 2015 class today. The program welcomes four talented program newcomers to the roster of six drivers striving to transition into the sport’s national series spotlight. Rev Racing, the program’s competition arm, has played a key role in the development of 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Darrell Wallace Jr . and Daniel Suarez. "Taking steps to find and develop young female and multicultural athletes who could represent the future of NASCAR is at the core of our organization’s mission," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "We were impressed by the talent displayed at the Combine [in October of 2014], and are eager to help this group develop their strengths on and off the track." Rev Racing will field four teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and two in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The 2015 class is led by returning K&N Pro Series East driver Jay Beasley and Devon Amos, who after an impressive 2014 performance in the Whelen All-American Series earned a spot in the K&N Pro Series East. The 2015 NASCAR D4D roster includes: Devon Amos : Returning to the team, the 23-year-old Rio Rancho, New Mexico, native will make the jump to the K&N Pro Series East after two full seasons in the Whelen All-American Series. Jay Beasley: Finishing 13th overall and sixth in a loaded Sunoco Rookie of the Year field in the K&N Pro Series East last season, the 23-year-old from Las Vegas, Nevada will return for a second season, aiming to best his rookie campaign. Collin Cabre: After an impressive NASCAR D4D Combine performance, the 21-year-old Thonotosassa, Florida, native will compete in the K&N Pro Series East in his first year with Rev Racing. Cabre has spent the past five years racing asphalt and dirt sprint cars. Natalie Decker: A 17-year-old newcomer to the Rev Racing roster from Eagle River, Wisconsin, Decker collected feature wins in a limited late model and super late model, as well as earning Rookie and Sportsman of the Year honors in ARCA SCAG Midwest Truck Tour. She will compete in the Whelen All-American Series in 2015. Kenzie Ruston: Entering her third season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and first with Rev Racing, the 22-year-old El Reno, Oklahoma, native is also a member of NASCAR Next , an industry initiative to identify tomorrow’s stars. Ruston broke her own record in 2014 as the highest finishing female driver in the K&N Pro Series East with a runner-up finish at Iowa Speedway on her way to finishing ninth in points. Dylan Smith: The 22-year-old from Randolph, Vermont earned a spot with Rev Racing in the Whelen All-American Series after competing in his own Late Model last year. The Stewart-Haas Racing employee ran 15 races and finished 38th in the Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings. Under Rev Racing owner and CEO Max Siegel’s leadership, the development program aligns drivers with a team of executives, athletic directors, crew chiefs and mentors tasked with helping NASCAR D4D drivers achieve career successes; thus, improving their goal of reaching one of NASCAR's three national series. " NASCAR Drive for Diversity goes much deeper than putting drivers behind the wheel of race cars," said Siegel. "The program is all encompassing, providing competition, athletic training and professional development opportunities for drivers who have the determination and talent to reach NASCAR's top levels. We've seen this with Larson, Suarez and Wallace Jr. and are excited about the potential of this talented group of drivers." Growth of the program extends to pit crew members under the NASCAR D4D Crew Member Development Program, also managed by Siegel. In 2014, over 30 multicultural athletes pitted fulltime for teams across all three national series.
K&N East champ to share seat with Earnhardt Jr., Harvick and Kahne Ben Rhodes, the reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion and a NASCAR Next driver, will drive 10 NASCAR XFINITY Series races in 2015 for JR Motorsports in the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro, the team announced Friday. In addition to winning the K&N East title, the Louisville, Kentucky, native also took Sunoco Rookie of the Year and most popular driver honors in the NASCAR touring series, running for Turner Scott Motorsports. He had five wins, 11 top-five finishes and 13 top-10s in 14 races this season for crew chief Mark McFarland, a former JR Motorsports driver. "Ben is one of the rising talents in NASCAR ," JR Motorsports general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said. "As a company, JRM takes pride in cultivating young drivers, and together with Alpha Energy Solutions, we're thrilled to give Ben a platform to further develop his skills at the next level. I'm excited to see what this coming year will bring for him and the 88 team." The 17-year-old, who turns 18 on Feb. 21, ran four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in 2014 at tracks a mile in length or shorter. He earned three top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway , Bristol Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway . Earlier this week, it was announced that former Hendrick Motorsports engineer, Dave Elenz, will serve as the team's new crew chief. Rhodes won his K&N East title with sponsor Alpha Energy Solutions, and the Louisville-based commercial and industrial mechanical service provider will join him at JR Motorsports. "I'm thrilled to be joining one of the top teams in NASCAR for the 2015 season," Rhodes said. "It's been my goal to compete in NASCAR's top tiers, and this is a tremendous opportunity with JR Motorsports and Alpha Energy Solutions to race in the XFINITY Series. "I couldn't think of a better group of people to surround myself with to continue my growth in the sport. I am looking forward to working with crew chief Dave Elenz, driving the No. 88 Chevrolet with Dale Jr., Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne , as well as sharing the track with my teammates Chase Elliott and Regan Smith ." The No. 88 team will compete in the full 33-race XFINITY Series schedule in 2015. Rhodes' complete schedule in the No. 88 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet includes races at Iowa Speedway (May 17), Chicagoland Speedway (June 20), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July 18), a second event at Iowa Speedway (Aug. 1), Watkins Glen International (Aug. 8), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Aug. 15), Road America (Aug. 29), Kentucky Speedway (Sept. 26), Dover International Speedway (Oct. 3) and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Nov. 21). MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
NASCAR .com's Chuck Bush recaps the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Highlights include Chase Elliott's Sprint Cup Series debut, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s shifter issues and Denny Hamlin taking home another Martinsville clock.
17-year-old made nine Truck Series starts with NTS Motorsports in 2014 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Full entry list for Martinsville Red Horse Racing officials said Monday that NASCAR Next driver Gray Gaulding will drive the team's No. 7 Toyota in Saturday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at Martinsville Speedway . Representatives with the Tom DeLoach-owned Red Horse team confirmed the one-race deal for Gaulding on Monday morning, shortly after NTS Motorsports announced that the 17-year-old driver had left its organization. Krispy Kreme, a sponsor of Gaulding since his days racing in the developmental NASCAR K&N Pro Series, will back his Red Horse No. 7 Toyota Tundra entry in Saturday's Kroger 250 (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Gaulding and Red Horse Racing are working on adding additional races for him in the Truck Series. "This is a awesome opportunity for myself and Krispy Kreme," Gaulding said in a team release provided by Red Horse Racing. "We have had a relationship with Toyota and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) for several years and when the opportunity came to partner with (team owner Tom) DeLoach and Red Horse Racing it was a dream come true. Walking into that facility just three days ago and seeing the teamwork, professionalism, and how everyone was working together I knew instantly this is where I needed to be to compete in the Camping World Truck Series. Red Horse Racing, Toyota, and Triad Engines really stepped up to make this happen so quickly for me." Butch Hylton will be the crew chief for the No. 7 entry. The veteran wrench has eight wins atop the pit box in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with two of those victories coming at Martinsville. He also has eight wins atop the pit box in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. "This all came about very quickly, but a lot of hard work by everyone here at Red Horse Racing and the support from Toyota and Triad Engines made it happen," DeLoach said in a release. "I've known Gray (Gaulding) for a long time and expect him to be strong at Martinsville (Speedway)." In addition, Gaulding will partner will Precision Performance Motorsports for the remaining NASCAR K&N Pro Series East slate. He is currently third in the point standings in that series. NTS, which will field entries at Martinsville for former series champ James Buescher and Daniel Hemric , first joined forces with Gaulding in 2014. Gaulding, the youngest winner in K&N Pro Series history, drove NTS trucks in nine Camping World Truck Series races last season scoring a fourth-place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for his first top-five in a NASCAR national series. "I am very appreciative of Gray and everything that Gray Gaulding Racing did to help NTS Motorsports during their time with us," team owner Bob Newberry said in a release provided by the team. "I wish them nothing but good luck in the future." Red Horse will also field Toyotas for former Martinsville winner Timothy Peters and 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Ben Kennedy this weekend. 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
Free admission, autograph sessions return to NASCAR Hall of Fame