NASCAR to offer free youth tickets for XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 22, 2016) -- NASCAR today announced exclusively via Facebook Live that beginning in 2017, kids ages 12 and younger will be admitted free to all NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. The announcement was made during an all-kids press conference hosted at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The press conference also kicked off Kids Drive NASCAR , a week-long, youth initiative leading up to this weekend’s national series races at Michigan International Speedway and Road America . "There really is no other experience like attending a NASCAR race in person, and that's especially true for kids," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "So many children become lifelong NASCAR fans because their parents brought them to their first race, and this new ticket offering makes it even more affordable for families to create memories that will last a lifetime." Many race tracks already have in place a bevy of offerings geared towards youth, including youth autograph sessions, youth garage tours, kids' clubs and designated kids’ zones. Numerous tracks also have employed various ticket platforms focused on youth, but this new program marks the first time where tracks will institute a consistent offer wherever NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races take place. Beginning in 2017, the number of complimentary tickets available for children 12 and younger will vary from venue to venue for every adult ticket purchased. Specific track policies and procedures, including sections in which the tickets are offered, will still apply and may differ for each track as well in an effort to welcome and accommodate as many families as possible. This program is another example of NASCAR -sanctioned tracks improving the at-track experience with the ultimate goal of delivering additional value and an unparalleled live-event experience for NASCAR fans. " NASCAR Hammer Down" host Karsyn Elledge, and NASCAR Next drivers Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton helped announce the program during Monday’s kids-only press conference, the first in a series of industry events and activities that will celebrate Kids Drive NASCAR week. For the latest Kids Drive NASCAR news and content, fans can visit NASCAR .com and follow NASCAR on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and Snapchat. Be sure to tune-in when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hits the track this weekend at Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and MRN.
Dale Jr. sidelined for next two Sprint Cup races
RELATED: Latest updates, timeline on Dale Jr.'s recovery Dale Earnhardt Jr . will not be behind the wheel of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for the next two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, including this weekend's event at Michigan International Speedway , according to a Wednesday news release from Hendrick Motorsports . Earnhardt did not receive medical clearance to return to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, according to the team. He will be replaced this weekend in the No. 88 driver's seat by Alex Bowman , who drives part time for the Earnhardt-owned JR Motorsports team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, and next weekend at Darlington Raceway by four-time series champ Jeff Gordon . "We know how hard Dale is working to get back," team owner Rick Hendrick said in a press release. "He's following what the doctors are saying, to the letter, and doing exactly what he needs to do. Everyone wants to see him in a race car, but his health is first and foremost. We're behind him." Earnhardt has been sidelined by concussion-related symptoms for the last five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. The two-time Daytona 500 winner has been keeping fans updated on his progress in recent weeks via social media and "The Dale Jr. Download" on Dirty Mo Radio. The Sprint Cup Series makes its second visit of the season to Michigan International Speedway this weekend, which culminates with Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Earnhardt said that the effects of a crash June 12 in the most recent Michigan race played a factor in his current concussion-related ailment. Gordon, interim driver of the No. 88 for the last four races, indicated last weekend that should an Earnhardt replacement be needed this weekend, a previous engagement would keep him out of the driver's seat. Bowman, 23, subbed in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month for the first race of Earnhardt's absence, finishing 26th after a late-race crash knocked him from the fringes of the top 10. Gordon is a seven-time winner at Darlington and will pilot the retro No. 88 Chevrolet, which honors the "Gray Ghost" paint scheme of Buddy Baker. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
NASCAR Next's Alon Day has strong showing at Mid-Ohio
RELATED: Mid-Ohio results LEXINGTON, Ohio -- For Alon Day, sitting next to race runner-up Sam Hornish Jr . in a post-race press conference was a thrill. Day received congratulations from one of his "childhood heroes" after a 13th-place finish in his NASCAR national series debut in the XFINITY Series' Mid-Ohio Challenge Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course . The NASCAR Next driver was the first Israeli driver to make a NASCAR national series start as well. The 24-year-old turned plenty of heads with a lengthy amount of time in the top 10 during a wet race at Mid-Ohio. The No. 40 MBM Motorsports Dodge had a best finish of 30th this year at Talladega coming into Mid-Ohio, something that was not lost on Day. "When the deal came, they told me you were going to drive the No. 40 car," Day said. " ... My expectation wasn't that high to be honest. I said if I would finish like 25th, I'd be super happy with that and to find myself fighting for the lead, that's not bad." In road racing, it's been said that rain is the great equalizer. Day, for one, was excited by that prospect -- so much so that it came in conversation with Hornish earlier in the week. "He said the other day, 'I want it to rain,' " Hornish shared. "I said, " 'Be careful what you wish for.' " The wet weather, though, proved beneficial for Day, who started 22nd. A caution for weather came out quickly, leading teams to pit for rain tires on Lap 3. "The moment the rain hit, I realized we were going to change to rain tires," Day said. "I knew I had the speed to attack as soon as possible. Just on the first restart, I began attacking immediately. "I knew some guys would be a bit slow on the rain. I have some experience in the rain in Europe, we're used to driving in the rain all the time. I'm really happy. (You) can't imagine how excited I am sitting here." Day has honed his skills in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, scoring a second-place overall in the championship run for the 2015 season. He has raised his game in 2016 in that series with two wins and four top-fives, en route to becoming the first driver outside of North America to be selected to NASCAR Next . Day is set to drive for MBM again at another road course, Road America , on Aug. 27 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and hopes to do more beyond that. "We expect to do five more races but it all depends on sponsorship and finding the budget," Day said.
Diversity graduate Kyle Larson scores first Sprint Cup win
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 28, 2016) – Kyle Larson won Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway to become the first graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity and the NASCAR Next programs to win at the sanctioning body’s top level. Larson, the 24-year-old Elk Grove, California, native of Japanese-American heritage, has already won in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His first win came in 2013 at Rockingham Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He has since won another NASCAR Camping World Truck race, as well as four NASCAR XFINITY Series races. The win at Michigan was the latest in a long line of 'firsts' accomplished by Larson in his young career. Among the highlights: In 2014, Larson became the first NASCAR D4D and NASCAR Next product to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole ( Pocono Raceway ), as well as the first to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year. In 2013, he became the first NASCAR D4D graduate to win the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Larson previously became the first NASCAR D4D competitor to win a NASCAR Touring Series championship. Driving for Rev Racing, Larson won the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title and the Sunoco Rookie of the Year. On Sunday, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver won the Pure Michigan 400 , driving the No. 42 Chevrolet, leading a race-high 41 laps in his 99th career start. With the win, Larson clinches a spot in NASCAR ’s playoffs – the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . NASCAR Next is an industry-wide initiative designed to spotlight to best and brightest rising young stars in racing. NASCAR Drive for Diversity, operated by Rev Racing, is an academy-style development program for female and multicultural drivers and crew members who have the potential and determination to succeed at the highest levels of NASCAR . Larson raced under both banners in 2012. About NASCAR The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. ( NASCAR ) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit http://www. NASCAR .com and http://www.IMSA.com , and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (’ NASCAR ’).
Alex Tagliani wins XFINITY pole at Road America
RELATED: Starting lineup Alex Tagliani won the Coors Light Pole Award at Road America on Friday in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Tagliani wheeled his No. 22 Team Penske Ford around the 4.05-mile road course at a top speed of 109.866 mph. That was better than Michael McDowell l, who finished second in his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at 109.561 mph. For Tagliani, it was his fourth pole win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and his second at Road America . Justin Marks (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet), Owen Kelly (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) and Daniel Suarez (No. 19 JGR Toyota) rounded out the top five qualifiers. Alon Day, who hails from Israel, is a NASCAR Next driver and is driving the MBM Motorsports No. 13 Dodge, found trouble in Round 1 of qualifying when he went into the sand trap off Turn 12 (of 14) with just over 16 minutes remaining in the opening session. The incident brought out a red flag. Another red flag came out during Round 1 when Josh Bilicki, who was driving the No. 77 Obaika Racing Chevrolet, spun coming off Turn 1, slid through the sand trap and impacted the tire barrier. The Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville gets underway at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and marks the third road-course race in four events for the series.
Logano leaps to Coors Light Pole Award at Michigan
RELATED: Qualifying results " See every car, team rosters BROOKLYN, Mich. – If Joey Logano was looking for a good omen for Sunday, he found it on Friday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway . Touring the two-mile track in 35.697 seconds (201.698 mph) during the final round of knockout qualifying for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN), Logano edged Jimmie Johnson (201.523 mph) for the top starting spot by .031 seconds. The Coors Light Pole Award was Logano's third at MIS. On the previous two occasions the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford started first on the grid—in August 2013 and June 2016—he won the subsequent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Should Logano win form the pole on Sunday, he would be the third driver to win three or more Michigan races from the top starting spot, joining NASCAR Hall of Famers David Pearson and Bill Elliott . "Any time you put your name with a Hall of Famer of any sort, it would be really special for me," said Logano, who has collected three poles this season and 16 in his career. "That's crazy—that's a really, really neat stat. "We've got to do it though. But, obviously, starting up front here is an advantage, for sure. We talk about track position. We talk about safety on restart, being how crazy it is with the low-downforce package. And the first pit stall—probably the most important thing of all is keeping the track position through the race." And, of course, when Logano is fast in qualifying trim at MIS, he usually races well, too. "I'm excited about it," he said. "I thought our car was really fast in race trim earlier (in practice). ... I didn't think we were going to make it happen today (in qualifying), but (crew chief) Todd (Gordon) made some good adjustments, and he gave me a little pep talk, and I was ready to go. I was going to drive the heck out of that thing." Denny Hamlin (201.406 mph) qualified third, followed by Kevin Harvick (201.382 mph) and Chase Elliott (201.303 mph). Johnson's second-place start led a resurgence by Hendrick Motorsports , which placed all four cars in the top 12 during qualifying for only the second time this season, the first coming in May at Talladega, a restrictor-plate track. "It was just an awesome day for this Lowe's race car and this Lowe's race team," Johnson said. "We keep stacking pennies and making this car better and better. "My hat's off to everyone at Hendrick Motorsports and all the hard work they're putting into things. Great practice and great qualifying. We need some more practice sessions (Saturday) and roll them into a good race." Johnson participated in a NASCAR organization test (one car per team) on Tuesday at Chicagoland Speedway and found the session helpful in finding speed. Indeed, the Hendrick cars more than held their own against the four entries from Joe Gibbs Racing , which have been the dominant force in Cup qualifying this season. Hamlin and Carl Edwards (ninth), were the only two JGR drivers to make the top 12, with Matt Kenseth qualifying 13th and Kyle Busch 16th. &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
NBC Sports, NASCAR Productions present Darlington historical
RELATED: Full Darlington coverage DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 31, 2016) -- Leading up to this weekend's live NASCAR action from Darlington Raceway , NBC Sports presents a new one-hour documentary created to take fans inside the storied history of "The Track Too Tough To Tame." Produced in partnership with NASCAR Productions, "Southern Speed: The Legend of Darlington" premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Multi-platinum recording artist Darius Rucker narrates the special in tribute to his South Carolina roots. Current NASCAR drivers Carl Edwards , Jimmie Johnson and Kurt Busch are joined by Ken Squier and racing legends Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty and Jeff Burton , who reflect on how the Southern 500 became a stock car racing tradition. Premiering during a week dedicated to honoring the rich history of NASCAR , the original program will also be available via live stream on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. A preview of tonight's special is available here . Below are excerpts from "Southern Speed: The Legend of Darlington." Kyle Petty, former driver and NASCAR on NBC analyst: "Bill France was there and Raymond Parks was there. So many Hall of Famers were there for that first race and that speaks volumes to what Darlington was, even in the beginning." Buz McKim, NASCAR Hall of Fame Historian: "Darlington never has been a normal track and it never will be. There is too much folklore, there is too much history and there are too many great spots and low spots. It is totally the track of the unexpected." Dale Jarrett, Hall of Fame driver and NASCAR on NBC analyst: "The idea to go back to Labor Day and run the Southern 500 is something that our sport really needed." Harold Brasington III, grandson of Darlington Raceway founder: "I have to admit I felt pretty special knowing that my granddad built this place. I can remember the first time he drove me up into the infield through that tunnel it was like a portal into another world. I saw these structures coming out of the beds of pickup trucks. The crowd was overwhelming." Tune in to watch the Bojangles' Southern 500 this Sunday, Sept. 4, at 6 p.m. ET on NBC, or listen live on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Fans can also purchase tickets to catch all the on-track action in person by visiting www. nascar .com/tickets .
RECAP: Larson hits the mark for first NSCS win
NASCAR .com’s Chuck Bush recaps the Pure Michigan 400 as Kyle Larson beats out Chase Elliott on the final restart to earn his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory.
College athletes join NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Program
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 17, 2016) – NASCAR and Rev Racing today announced nine former college student-athletes selected to participate in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Crew Member Development Program. The new class of participants received invitations to train with Rev Racing following standout performances at the first national D4D pit crew combine in May. Multicultural athletes starring in football, basketball and softball at the college level will receive expert training as tire changers, carriers and jackmen, with the goal of gaining fulltime employment with NASCAR national series race teams. "We've assembled a very talented group of athletes who we believe has what it takes to excel on pit road in NASCAR ," said Jim Cassidy, senior vice president of racing operations. "Each D4D participant will benefit from Rev Racing's best-in-class training program, and we look forward to watching them grow and develop over the next 12 months." This year NASCAR and Rev Racing revamped the crew member scouting process, hosting tryouts at six universities across the country. Eighteen men and women from 12 states and one U.S. territory were selected to compete in the national combine in Concord, N.C. Half earned invitations to join the D4D pit crew program. "We are very excited for the arrival of the new 2016 Drive for Diversity pit crew recruits," said Max Siegel, owner and CEO of Rev Racing. "With the national combine and recruitment effort this past year, we were able to select the top level of athletic talent. We look forward to training these individuals and placing them along pit road in the national series. Our academy-style approach to training continues to show success year after year; this class will not fall short." Among the new D4D participants are three former football players from the University of Kansas, one of the schools to host tryouts. Appalachian State's Jeremy Kimbrough, who spent time with the Washington Redskins, and Joshua Tate, an All-American at Clark Atlanta University, are also looking to transition from the gridiron to NASCAR . A pair of female athletes in former Norfolk State, basketball player Brehanna Daniels and former Alcorn State University softball player Breanna O'Leary, will train as tire changers under the tutelage of Phil Horton, Rev Racing's director of human performance. There are 35 graduates of the D4D Crew Member Development Program currently working in NASCAR . Three alums – Raphael Diaz, Kevin Richardson and Richie Williams – celebrated in Victory Lane as members of Chris Buescher 's pit crew after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver won his first premier series race at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 1. Last November, Diaz and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Mike Russell became the first D4D graduates to win a national series championship when Buescher clinched the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship. The new members of the D4D Crew Member Development Program include: First Last Hometown University Primary Sport Brehanna Daniels Norfolk, Va. Norfolk State University Basketball Kapil Fletcher Fort Lauderdale, Fla. University of Kansas Football Tedarian Johnson Jackson, Miss. University of Kansas Football Jeremy Kimbrough Decatur, Ga. Appalachian State University Football Corey King Boca Raton, Fla. University of Kansas Football Lamar Neal Virginia Beach, Va. Norfolk State University Football Breanna O'Leary Amarillo, Texas Alcorn State University Softball Jorden Paige Buffalo, N.Y. Clark Atlanta University Football Joshua Tate Memphis, Tenn. Clark Atlanta University Football The NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, under the leadership of Rev Racing , supports both crew member and driver development opportunities. Driver graduates include NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Larson , and NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Daniel Suarez and Darrell Wallace Jr . For more information on NASCAR Drive for Diversity, visit www.NASCARDiversity.com .
SMI to offer select $10 kids tickets for Sprint Cup races
CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2016) – In conjunction with a NASCAR industry-wide effort to offer free NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series tickets for children 12 and under next season, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: TRK) announced a company-wide Fans First initiative Monday to price select children's tickets at just $10 each to Cup Series events at its eight premier speedways beginning in 2017. "Coming to the races should be about fun, not finances," said Speedway Motorsports' President and Chief Executive Officer Marcus Smith. "Now a parent can get his or her child through the gates for an entire weekend of NASCAR events -- including pole night, a Camping World Truck or XFINITY Series race and a Sprint Cup Series race -- for just $10. This is one of the best, if not THE best, family values in all professional sports. " NASCAR fans have passed down their passion for motorsports from generation to generation for decades, and through this new Fans First initiative, we'll continue that legacy by introducing young fans to the sport and engaging them for years to come." With an adult ticket purchase, fans can buy up to two $10 tickets for children ages 12 and under to that same event in select seating sections. This offer is available at all of the 13 Sprint Cup Series events shown below next season. Tickets for many of Speedway Motorsports' 2017 events are already on sale. A complete schedule of the company's Sprint Cup Series races is below: March 5 : Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 , Atlanta Motor Speedway March 12: Kobalt 400, Las Vegas Motor Speedway April 9: O'Reilly Auto Parts 500, Texas Motor Speedway April 23 : Food City 500, Bristol Motor Speedway May 20 : NASCAR All-Star Race, Charlotte Motor Speedway May 28: Coca-Cola 600 , Charlotte Motor Speedway June 25 : Toyota/Save Mart 350, Sonoma Raceway July 8 : Quaker State 400, Kentucky Speedway July 16 : New Hampshire 301, New Hampshire Motor Speedway Aug. 19 : Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, Bristol Motor Speedway Sept. 24 : New England 300, New Hampshire Motor Speedway Oct. 7 : Bank of America 500 , Charlotte Motor Speedway Nov. 5: AAA Texas 500 , Texas Motor Speedway Fans can obtain tickets to any Speedway Motorsports event by visiting www.ticketmaster.com or the individual Speedway Motorsports subsidiary facility websites.