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NASCAR enhances business executive team
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 3, 2016) – NASCAR today announced several changes within its leadership structure. Effective immediately, Steve Phelps will assume the role as NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Global Sales and Marketing Officer. The business areas that Phelps will oversee include Global Marketing, Partnership and Series Marketing, Business Development, Integrated Marketing Communications, Licensing & Consumer Products, and NASCAR Digital Media . He will continue to serve as NASCAR ’s top Officer in the Charlotte office. NASCAR has enjoyed tremendous global growth and is now being distributed in 185 countries and territories around the world. Phelps will now lead a strategic global marketing effort, as NASCAR digital and social platforms create the potential to lead further global growth and direct engagement through NASCAR .com and key social platforms. The strategy will be to transition International admirers of the sport into more engaged, passionate fans. Jill Gregory has been named Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. Gregory joined NASCAR in July 2007 after working in executive roles at Bank of America and Sprint. She was among the inaugural group of executives honored as "Game Changers" in 2011 by Sports Business Journal, recognizing the top female executives in the sports world. The business areas that Gregory will oversee include Brand and Consumer Marketing, Brand Platforms, Entertainment Marketing, Driver Marketing, Team Marketing, Social Media and Analytics and Insights. Gregory revised NASCAR's marketing strategy this year so the organization now leads with fan engagement and digital and social media first, which has been reflected in the popular "Ready. Set. Race" marketing campaign. The #Hashtag500 social media program that Gregory spearheaded saw the highest volume of NASCAR -related conversation ever measured on record, while NASCAR also won three Silver CLIO Sports Awards this year for Integrated Campaign, Social Media and Film. Norris Scott has been named Vice President, Analytics and Insights, a new position within NASCAR . Scott, who joined NASCAR in 2005 in Partnership Marketing after working at ESPN and the NFL, now will oversee the growing consumer research functions at NASCAR including Social Analytics ( NASCAR Fan & Media Engagement Center), Digital Research, Sponsorship Valuation, and Media and Market Research. NASCAR's research activities will continue to evolve and expand to serve the industry with best-in-class analytics and insights. Under his leadership, Scott will take this function to the next level. Lou Garate has been promoted to Vice President, Partnership Marketing. Garate has been at NASCAR for nearly 10 years, working closely with official partners such as Chevrolet, Ford, Goodyear, MillerCoors and Toyota. He has developed and strengthened many partner assets including the Coors Light Pole Award, Coors Light Silver Bullet Bash, NASCAR Evening Series and Victory Lap fueled by Sunoco . Garate is an industry veteran with experience on the property side (NFL) and agency side (Millsport). He now will expand his role working with NASCAR's growing stable of sponsors and partners. "We've been bold in our efforts to modernize and diversify our business and executive team, and these changes further reflect that fact,"said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "Today's announcement underlines the importance that NASCAR puts on specific areas of our business, and has been done in sync with structure and personnel changes made last month in the racing area. "I'm delighted to see the growth of a number of our colleagues throughout NASCAR . All changes announced today will pay significant and immediate dividends for the sport."
NASCAR solidifies post-race penalty procedures
NASCAR announced Wednesday that it will solidify its post-race inspection penalty structure for infractions stemming from the laser inspection station (LIS), eliminating the P2 and P3 levels for those violations. The P4 level for LIS infractions remains, and violations at this level will remain encumbered. NASCAR also announced that neither the No. 78 driven by Martin Truex Jr . nor the No. 48 driven by Jimmie Johnson will be penalized for failing post-race LIS following last Sunday's Chicagoland Speedway . "The use of the LIS platform in post-race was really driven by the industry," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said in a teleconference Wednesday evening. "We had everyone collaborating to create the appropriate deterrent penalties if there was a a violation. As we headed toward the Chase, we were asked to further develop an enhanced deterrent for the Chase. ... The important development was the new language surrounding the concept of an encumbered win." Martin Truex Jr . won the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, assuring the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team of a berth in the Round of 12 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Jimmie Johnson finished Sunday's race in 12th place in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Both would have been assessed P2-level penalties for infractions discovered in post-race laser inspection. Those penalties were minor in nature, most people in the inudstry would agree, O'Donnell said. But assessing both teams penalties would be inherently unfair given the Chase structure. So NASCAR decided not to penalize either team and going forward will punish only P4-level post-race inspection infractions, which would be considered egregious. "This was the most fair decision we could get to," said O'Donnell, explaining that a points penalty assessed to a team still trying to get into the next round of the Chase would have dramatically different effects than on a team that is already locked into the Round of 12 with a win at Chicago. "Those penalties will not have the same impact on the competitors, based on the Chase format and the increased emphasis on win bonuses."
NASCAR Foundation to donate $1 million to NYU Langone Medical Center
NEW YORK -- The NASCAR Foundation will donate $1 million to NYU Langone Medical Center, as part of a multi-year partnership to benefit hospitalized children. Through this partnership, The NASCAR Foundation will enhance the Child Life Program at the Hassenfeld Children's Hospital of New York at NYU Langone. The partnership will be commemorated at the first-ever NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala taking place at The Marriott Marquis in New York on Sept. 27. This is The NASCAR Foundation's first multi-year partnership with a New York area hospital and marks its commitment to reach more kids nationally. NASCAR ’s charitable arm has donated $25 million and impacted more than one million children since its inception in 2006. "This is an important partnership for The NASCAR Foundation," said NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton. "The work being done by the NYU Langone Medical Center is changing lives, each and every day . The NASCAR Foundation is proud to have an opportunity to support that important work and expand our commitment to improving the lives of children in need." Through this partnership, the Child Life Program will ease the anxiety of children and their families during their hospital stay, which is essential to recovery. The NASCAR Foundation will support an enhanced child and family experience, fund two Child Life specialists, and provide resources, equipment and supplies to complement the wide-range of supportive and therapeutic activities currently offered at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at no charge to patients. This marks an expansion of The NASCAR Foundation's commitment to supporting children with Child Life programming as part of its signature Speediatrics program, which has provided more than 500,000 children with state-of-the-art medical care. "As leaders in the field of pediatrics, we're proud to partner with The NASCAR Foundation whose generous philanthropic support provides extensive and meaningful programs to help children and their families," said Catherine S. Manno, MD, the Pat and John Rosenwald Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at NYU Langone. "This sponsorship, in concert with our Sala Institute for Child and Family Centered Care, will strengthen our national exemplar model of care for children and their families." The NASCAR Foundation Honors Gala, which was planned to celebrate "10 Years of Giving," has taken on additional significance following the unexpected passing of its Founder and Chairwoman Emeritus Betty Jane France last month. The Gala will be a tribute to Betty Jane France's life and is being hosted by the France family including NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France (son) and his wife Amy France, International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy (daughter) and NASCAR Vice Chairman and International Speedway Corporation Chairman Jim France (brother-in-law). At the Honors Gala, various awards will be bestowed, including: -- Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award presented by Nationwide : One of four finalists will be announced as the winner following a fan vote which has taken place since July 13. The NASCAR Foundation will donate a total of $175,000 to the charities represented by the finalists -- with the winner's charity receiving a $100,000 donation. This year's finalists include Jim Giaccone of Bayville, New York, representing Tuesday's Children; Andy Hoffman of Atkinson, Nebraska, founder of the Team Jack Foundation; Logan Houptley of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a founding member of Mikayla's Voice; and Parker White of Greensboro, North Carolina, founder of BackPack Beginnings. Since the award's inception, nearly $900,000 has been contributed to charities represented by the finalists . -- Children's Champion Award: Dr. Howard B. Ginsburg : The William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Associate Professor of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, and Division Chief, Pediatric Surgery at NYU Langone, will receive the award recognizing his commitment to children. -- Founder's Award: NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus will receive the award recognizing his contributions to philanthropy. The Honors Gala will be headlined by Grammy® and Tony® nominated singer Sara Bareilles . The following NASCAR champions and rising stars will be in attendance: six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson , seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Richard Petty , reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch , NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series Champions Martin Truex Jr . and Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., Danica Patrick , Kyle Larson , Kasey Kahne , Ben Kennedy and Julia Landauer. This event builds on NASCAR's long history in New York. The racing organization opened its first office in Manhattan in 1996 and is based out of the newly renovated New York headquarters at 590 Madison Avenue. This partnership also marks further collaboration between NYU and NASCAR . In March, Brian France participated in NYU's first Social Responsibility of Sports Conference where he pledged NASCAR's support to improve social responsibility in sports. For ticket information or table sponsorships, please visit www.nascarfoundation.org/honors-gala .
With influx of pumpkin spice, is NASCAR about to become basic?
"Yeah, I've got a PSL for an 'Osten Dillen' at the pick-up counter." "Right here, thanks ... hey, wait a minute that's not how you sp ... ah, never mind." And that's when he knew. He'd become basic. ------------------------------------------ The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup continues this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , located in the heart of New England -- the undisputed fall foliage champion of the world -- mere days after the calendar turns to the first day of autumn. As we all know, with the crisp air and orange leaves comes ... pumpkin spice everything season. While the interaction to open this post is fictional -- I hope -- it could certainly become a reality as Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon announced that to celebrate the season, he'll be running a Pumpkin Spice Cheerios paint scheme on his No. 3 Chevrolet for the Bad Boy Off Road 300 (Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.) Pumpkin Spice Cheerios is in the Chase https://t.co/xDIge0Pg8x @RCRracing @RCR3ADillon @austindillon3 @CheerThe3 pic.twitter.com/fgBOtdaO6B — General Mills (@GeneralMills) September 14, 2016 It begs the question, though. Is NASCAR about to become too basic? " They basically said, ‘Have fun with it.’ So I took some of those elements from the box and made them fit on a race car," PJ Brassard, a graphic artist at RCR who designed the scheme , told General Mills' website. "Once I saw the box, I had a good idea of how I wanted the car to look … I think it turned out real nice." Just look at the second word of that quote. He's trolling us and he knows it. The track already serves pumpkin spice whoopie pies to keep your belly warm as you brave the frozen tundra of the NHMS Media Center. What's next? Pumpkin-spiced Sunoco E-15 fuel? Pumpkin-spiced lobster? We've somehow shifted the conversation entirely from lug nuts to nutmeg. And I'm basically not OK with it. &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;gt;
Keselowski takes on 'The Big Apple' for Chase media tour
Team Penske 's Brad Keselowski entered the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup 's Chicagoland opener as one of the favorites thanks to his four regular-season wins. He finished a strong fifth at Chicago and enters the New Hampshire weekend with an average finish of 10.7. Ahead of Sunday's Bad Boy Off Road 300, (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) Keselowksi traveled to New York City Thursday for his Chase media day to discuss NASCAR's playoff season. See what was on the 2012 Sprint Cup champion's docket. Getting ready for Live With Kelly. Tune in now! pic.twitter.com/HJo0fErSpl — Team Penske (@Team_Penske) September 22, 2016 Off to a good start to the NYC media day for @keselowski with @LiveKelly pic.twitter.com/jJjBU70lA9 — Team Penske (@Team_Penske) September 22, 2016 . @keselowski dishing on the @Lions on NFL Radio at the @SIRIUSXM studio #TheChase pic.twitter.com/2BRaseDJBT — Team Penske (@Team_Penske) September 22, 2016 . @keselowski live now on the @RoadandTrack Facebook page. Tune in to ask questions — Team Penske (@Team_Penske) September 22, 2016
1-on-1 with NASCAR's youngest champion, Cayden Lapcevich
NASCAR .com's Jonathan Merryman speaks with the 2016 Pinty's Series champion, Cayden Lapcevich, about how his part-time team was able to run for a NASCAR championship.
Mars Chocolate, NASCAR announce sweet partnership renewal
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In the midst of a year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the iconic M&M'S® Brand, NASCAR , and Mars Chocolate North America announced today a renewed agreement that will extend their Official Partnership through 2019. As part of the renewed relationship, Mars Chocolate will continue its designation as the Official Chocolate of NASCAR ®, ensuring its various brands remain a race day staple for millions of fans. Since entering NASCAR as a team sponsor more than 25 years ago, Mars Chocolate has steadily increased its level of participation in the sport. In 2000, the company expanded its sponsorship by becoming the "Official Chocolate of NASCAR ," emphasizing to fans its dedication to the sport. In the spirit of thanking its loyal NASCAR fans, M&M'S will celebrate race fans during Richmond International Raceway 's inaugural Fan Appreciation Weekend. To help honor its 75th Anniversary, the brand will roll out the red carpet and give fans a VIP welcome at the Front Stretch Gate on Saturday. "Our association with NASCAR has proven to be a true win-win partnership and we're excited to continue the relationship for the next several years," explained William Clements, vice president, sponsorships and sports marketing, Mars Chocolate North America. "From helping M&M'S celebrate their 75th anniversary to energizing the thousands of Mars Chocolate Associates coast to coast, NASCAR is the perfect platform to fuel our business." With more than 15 consecutive years of Official Partnership and a historic championship run as the primary sponsor of the No. 18 M&M'S Toyota last season, Mars Chocolate is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable brands in the sport. Mars Chocolate continues to execute a fully integrated strategy that includes advertising, event marketing, social media , business to business, and associate engagement. "Mars Chocolate has delivered creative and engaging activations that our brand loyal fans have embraced throughout the past 15 years," said Steve Phelps, executive vice president and chief global sales and marketing officer, NASCAR . "As the Official Chocolate of NASCAR , Mars Chocolate has made race day more enjoyable for millions of fans and we are proud to continue our successful partnership." As the Official Chocolate of NASCAR , Mars Chocolate encourages fans to "Celebrate Race Day with M." The campaign reminds fans to include irresistible and colorful chocolate in their race day rituals. Many of Mars' most iconic brands belong to the category, including M&M'S®, and SNICKERS®. Additionally, a number of Mars and Petcare iconic brands are also included, such as SKITTLES® and PEDIGREE®. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ season will continue with the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
NASCAR's inaugural Fan Appreciation Weekend kicks off at Richmond
Editor's note: NASCAR .com will celebrate Fan Appreciation Weekend by making all premium features free in the NASCAR Mobile App. Those features include driver audio, in-car cameras and live, real-time telemetry. The driver who finishes first in Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 race won't be the only winner this weekend at Richmond International Raceway . As part of NASCAR's inaugural Fan Appreciation weekend, more than one lucky fan will have the opportunity to go home with prizes like an iPad Mini, or even a fire suit worn by Miss Sprint Cup . "I'm really excited about everything we have this weekend to recognize the fans. They are the heart-and-soul of this sport and the reason we're so passionate about what we do," Richmond International Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier said. "This goes far beyond Richmond International Raceway , as the entire industry has jumped on board to say 'Thank You, Fans'." The prizes have been donated from companies and teams like XFINITY , Monster, Roush Fenway Racing , Sprint, and MARS. The prizes will be awarded to both fans at the track and watching at home through the RIR mobile app, @RIRinsider on social media and www.rir.com . The prize giveaways are in addition to the fan experiences already in place, such as Gridside Live! and premium fan upgrades in the Midway at displays like Chevy, Coca-Cola and Sprint. While the bulk of fan appreciation-related activities will take place on Saturday, kids will be the ones getting the recognition on Friday, before the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. The first 50 kids 12-and-under who stop by the RIR Kids Club Tent on the Midway will have the chance to take part in the Kids' High-Five Tunnel with their favorite NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers during driver introductions for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. In addition, one lucky kid will present the NBC12 pole award to the driver with the fastest time in qualifying. "Providing a fun and entertaining experience for all fans is a priority," Bickmeier said. "Opportunities to put young fans in the center of the sport, like we are doing with some of the kids-related activities during Fan Appreciation Weekend, provides a strong connection to NASCAR in a fun and educational environment." Kids can also visit the Virginia529 Kids Zone, where children and their parents can enjoy games, crafts and science experiments. As in years past, all children 12-and-under are admitted free to the Virginia529 College Savings 250 with a paying adult. For the latest news, weekend schedules, and behind-the-scenes exclusive content, follow @RIRInsider on social media . Searching #ThanksFans is the fastest way to stay up-to-date with latest Fan Appreciation Race news from around the sport including NASCAR , partners, media , and other fans. Tickets for the Who's Your Driver NASCAR race weekend at Richmond International Raceway are still available for purchase. The action starts Friday with US Department of Veteran Affairs Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and continues with the Virgina529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race. On Saturday night, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series takes to the track for the Federated Auto Parts 400 at 7:30 p.m. The race marks the last chance for drivers to clinch a spot in NASCAR ’s Chase for the Sprint Cup . To purchase tickets call 866-455-RACE or visit www.rir.com .
Ready. Set. Chase! NASCAR launches Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup campaign
RELATED: Breaking down the Chase field DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 13, 2016) -- NASCAR is bringing to life the drama and excitement of The Chase ® for fans online and on their mobile devices with Ready. Set. Chase, a new, integrated marketing campaign leading with digital and social media to promote the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ™. This year, to complement a robust, multi-platform social media push, NASCAR will engage and entertain fans with a heart-pounding action film series, starring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ drivers re-enacting the action and intensity of The Chase. The first digital video in the five-part series debuted today and can be viewed on NASCAR .com/TheChase . Inspired by the iconic chase scenes in classic Hollywood action films, the creative features reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Kyle Busch , on foot and being pursued by his Chase competitors. An original television spot, titled "The Chase is On," officially launched Ready. Set. Chase on Saturday during the regular season finale at Richmond International Raceway . "All season long NASCAR fans have been treated to some incredible racing on the track, but even still there’s nothing quite like The Chase," said NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jill Gregory. "Ready. Set. Chase plays off the passion, drama and tension that underscores these next 10 weeks, while creating multiple ways for fans to engage and be part of the fun." For the first time, all three NASCAR OEMs are inviting fans to get in on the action by participating in Chase sweepstakes on NASCAR .com . Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota will each award one grand prize winner a new vehicle and VIP trip for two to NASCAR Champion's Week in Las Vegas in December. Fans can register for a chance to win a Chevrolet SS, Ford Fusion Sport and Toyota Camry XSE by visiting the Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota sweepstake sites, or after making their weekly picks in the Chase Grid Game on NASCAR .com . "We're thrilled to have all three manufacturers activating around Ready. Set. Chase and creating unique content that elevates the overall Chase experience for our loyal and dedicated fans," said Gregory. In the Chase Grid Game, fans that correctly pick drivers to advance to each Chase round will be entered for a chance to win real gear from the drivers and race tracks, including firesuits, helmets and sheet metal from the race cars. NASCAR will promote #TheChase heavily across all platforms during the sport’s most social postseason ever, leveraging Twitter, Vine, Periscope, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to engage fans throughout the 10-week Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . For each round leading up to Championship Weekend, NASCAR will execute unique activations on specific platforms in an effort to highlight its broad and extensive reach across the social media landscape. Beginning with the Round of 16, NASCAR fans will have access to a custom emoji for anytime they use #TheChase on Twitter. In addition, NASCAR will highlight its presence on Twitter, Vine and Periscope via a continued focus on compelling content and behind-the-scenes experiences. The Round of 12 will feature a Snapchat Live Story from the October 8 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway , and as The Chase field gets narrowed down to eight, NASCAR will go all in with social storytelling across all platforms, highlighted by innovations on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, freelance designers and original production will tell the story of the most epic championship battle in sports. The Ready. Set. Chase digital films, developed with Ogilvy & Mather New York, will be shot after each Chase round and recreate the on-track highlights as part of dramatic chases. Last month, Chase drivers began hitting the road for social and traditional media blitzes to promote the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Kyle Busch kicked off Chase Across America in Boston and each week different drivers will crisscross the nation to make special appearances and build excitement for The Chase. NASCAR will crown its 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion at the Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in the fourth and final round of The Chase on Nov. 20 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Tickets for all Chase events in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are available at NASCAR .com/tickets . The 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup kicks off with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2:30 p.m. ET. The race will be broadcast live on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, with additional coverage on NASCAR .com.
NASCAR updates post-race LIS penalty procedures
NASCAR .com's Jonathan Merryman brings you up to speed on NASCAR's newly updated penalty structure regarding post-race laser inspection.