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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.
Actor Morris Chestnut on Austin Dillon, how NASCAR , Hollywood relate
Actor and star of FOX's police crime drama "Rosewood" Morris Chestnut noticed that the cast seemed nervous while filming a portion of the Season 2 finale in March. For good reason, too. "There was a huge explosion and the explosion was so big that everyone on the set was nervous because it was on the second level of this parking structure," Chestnut recalled Monday to NASCAR .com via telephone. "And it was such a big explosion that everyone thought the second level was going to drop down to the first." But one guest star -- Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Austin Dillon -- seemed quite unnerved by the exploding car behind him, Chestnut noticed. It seemed his day job lent a hand to dealing with crashes, fires and loud noises on the set of a television show. "He was actually in the scene when this happened," Chestnut said of Dillon. "And to see his reaction -- he was just like a pro, didn't flinch. It was great, he did a great job." In the "Rosewood" season finale, Dillon portrays Wayne Cirito, a character that is associated with a crime gang that the show's protagonist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood (played by Chestnut) is trying to interrogate. As for Dillon's acting skills? Chestnut was impressed by the 27-year-old driver's versatility on-screen. "That's one thing that's great about Austin," Chestnut said. "It was a very tough scene because he goes from this hard, tough-as-nails guy, to relating to (character Captain Ira) Hornstock and talking about things he may not have been comfortable (talking about)." But as Chestnut learned after talking with Dillon off-screen, race car drivers have to be tough in a variety of facets in their own jobs -- as well as focused, sharp and able-bodied. It's a familiar area for the 48-year-old actor, as he just released a health and fitness book this month entitled "The Cut: Lose Up to 10 Pounds in 10 Days and Sculpt Your Best Body." "It was great to talk to him about some of the insight toward NASCAR ," Chestnut said. "I didn't know some of the things that he goes through as (a driver), that they go through in the cars and everything, so it was great to talk to him about that. "…One thing when I was talking to Austin is the endurance factor. Not only do you have to have a healthy body, but you have to have a healthy and sharp mind because a one-second lapse can not only cost you the race, but you can get into some very bad, brutal accidents. So, health and fitness is a huge part of being sharp and being ready when you're on the track. "These guys are athletes, these drivers are athletes," Chestnut continued. "I didn't realize that. They're not just sitting in the car Sunday driving like I do on the freeway. (They're hitting) 200 mph, going around these tracks and turns … you have to be in tip-top shape and (have) a razor-sharp mind." His conversations with Dillon on set gave Chestnut, who has never attended a NASCAR race, a greater appreciation for the sport of racing. "To be honest, I didn't get ( NASCAR )," said Chestnut, who also plans to attend Dillon's 3-on-3 charity basketball tournament this year. "I didn't really get it. But he was breaking everything down to me about the whole entire experience. It's not just about the race -- it's even before the race, everyone coming, meeting the drivers, being right on the track. He was breaking so many little intricate things down to me just about the sport in general to where it really, really piqued my interest. So I'm looking forward to getting out to (a race) … (There were) so many interesting things that he was talking to me about, I was like, 'Man, I have to see one of these.' " The connections between NASCAR and Hollywood have grown deeper in recent years, as more drivers have briefly traded their fire suits and race cars for Hollywood scripts and bright lights for cameo appearances in movies and television shows. Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Carl Edwards notably nabbed cameo roles in the upcoming Steven Soderbergh-directed, racing-themed film "Logan Lucky;" which stars Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig and Riley Keough among others. Likewise, several movie and television stars have flocked to the often-unfamiliar race tracks, particularly the Southern California-based Auto Club Speedway and Wine Country's Sonoma Raceway. RELATED: NASCAR meets Hollywood in 'Logan Lucky' movie While he is just starting to learn more about NASCAR , Chestnut already sees parallels between NASCAR and Hollywood, primarily the storytelling aspect of both. "I think they're both very entertaining," Chestnut said. "Like I said, I didn't understand the sport … but once he told me the intricacies of the storylines that are involved and how intimate the fans can be with the drivers, it's a whole other level of entertainment. Even the story within the story, the story within the races with some of the drivers and what happens before they even come to the race. "There's just so many interesting things, I think it's just a natural relationship the two can have. Hollywood has stories -- we tell stories with our show every week. The more you know about our show, the more interested you may be. The more I know about NASCAR drivers, the more interested I am in the sport. It's very similar. They're both very strong forms of entertainment." Catch Dillon and Chestnut on the season finale of "Rosewood" on Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Junior endears himself to fans by being the real deal
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond RELATED: Reactions " Relive every Dale Jr. win " Top quotes from day How appropriate that after an emotional, heartfelt press conference to formally share his decision to retire at the end of the 2017 NASCAR season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. walked outside into the Hendrick Motorsports parking lot to find a large crowd waiting for him. Some were there to ask him for his autograph, but many more had come to give Earnhardt their support and appreciation as he competes in his final season in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The adoration is something Earnhardt, 42, receives in bulk every time he goes anywhere in public. The fan love and positive feedback have translated to more than 2 million followers on Twitter. Sure, two Daytona 500 trophies, the amazing run of restrictor-plate victories and the racing lineage have helped earn him these loyal fans. But perhaps it's the real triumphs and real struggles of Earnhardt's career -- the high highs and low lows -- that the masses of people relate to and appreciate most. "One thing that's made this career the incredible ride that it's been, is Junior Nation," Earnhardt acknowledged. "The fan support that I received straight out of the gate, was in large part because of my famous last name. "But throughout the ups and downs it occurred to me that the fans that stuck it out and the new ones that joined us, they were there because of the person I was and not who they wanted me to be." While Tuesday's news may have caught some off-guard, the sport's reigning 14-time Most Popular Driver seems genuinely content about the decision. And that should give his fans some peace. MORE: Junior: A kid, a son, a racer and fan favorite Earnhardt openly shared the process behind his decision and then answered questions from the media . Often there were long pauses between question and answer and that's because Earnhardt actually thinks about his responses instead of replying with clichés and soundbites. He is honest and heartfelt -- even in the moments after he's just climbed out of his race car. He is genuine. And that -- not just his ability to win big races or even his racing lineage -- is what fans seem to appreciate most about Earnhardt. His time behind the wheel has evolved -- much as the sport's fan base has as well. There was the "Junior" I first met in the mid-1990s -- young, worry-free and sporting bleach-blond highlights. He was learning about the sport, winning Busch Grand National races and hoisting championship trophies under the watchful eye of his dad, seven-time premier-series champion Dale Earnhardt. It was fun to watch their interaction and see the pride on the elder Earnhardt’s face. I remember vividly the way Earnhardt shut down an interview in the Daytona press box one afternoon during Speedweeks just so he could watch his son run practice laps on the speedway down below. Fans were intrigued by the young Earnhardt then -- those that cheered for his father and those that cheered against him. He was a "typical" 20-something making his way up the ranks, having fun and winning. After his legendary father passed away on the last lap of the 2001 Daytona 500, Junior's world naturally shifted. Almost immediately he received new fans. So many felt for this young man who had suddenly lost his beloved dad. Many others had already taken him in as "their guy." And Junior never disappointed. Whether he won or not. His career highlight reel includes winning the summer Daytona Monster Energy Series race five months after losing his father and a streak of four consecutive Talladega victories from 2001-03. He has collected 26 trophies in all -- huge triumphs at Daytona and Talladega and workmanlike wins at Phoenix and Pocono. He has challenged for season championships -- finishing a career-best third in 2003. TAKE A DEEPER LOOK: Complete Junior stats It's the success he's collected without trophies that will be remembered most -- the way he has shown how to persevere after tragedy, overcome doubt and recover from injury. Perhaps Earnhardt's announcement this week wasn't honestly a total surprise to his fans and friends. He is 42 years old, just got married on New Year's Eve and maybe there's a "Dale III" in the future. MORE: Dale, Amy's wedding album " Dale and Amy through the years As Junior stressed on Tuesday, his decision to retire after an incredible career came of his own free will. It was not dictated by injury or loss of ability, team orders or even a sponsor decision. It is what Junior wants to do. It is best for him. And what more could you ask. He deserves that. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Fifth annual NASCAR Race To Green celebrates industry-wide effort
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- To commemorate the holistic effort being made to help protect and preserve the environment, NASCAR ® announced its fifth annual NASCAR Race to Green ™ initiative. Beginning today and culminating with Sunday's TOYOTA OWNERS 400 at Richmond International Raceway, the initiative will build awareness around the programs NASCAR , the industry and multiple partners have developed to help reduce its carbon footprint. A key pillar of NASCAR Race to Green is a call-to-action for fans and the industry to donate trees that will be planted across the country as well as in areas recently devastated by natural disasters. Fans can visit NASCAR .com/green to donate trees -- $1 per tree for a 2-3 foot sapling -- to be planted in those areas with the support of the Arbor Day Foundation. Fans are encouraged to share their own efforts around being green by using the hashtag #NASCARGreen. "The Race To Green initiative allows us to highlight the foundational partners that help reduce our impact on the environment all year long," said Brent Dewar, NASCAR Chief Operating Officer. "As an example of the wide range of initiatives taking place across the industry, American Ethanol has helped us eclipse 10 million miles on Sunoco Green E15, Safety-Kleen recycles all oil and lubricants at more than 200 race events a year, and collectively as an industry more than 400,000 trees have been planted to date. We are proud to continue those efforts under the Race to Green umbrella." As part of this year's initiative, NASCAR fans visiting NASCAR .com/green will be treated to a newly designed digital destination, complete with easy-to-access information, news, an interactive carbon calculator and more. NASCAR Green will debut a new TV spot today as well, featuring a newly created NASCAR Green logo. NASCAR Race To Green will highlight the sustainability efforts of its teams, tracks and NASCAR Official Partners, who work closely with NASCAR , year-round. While NASCAR Green initiatives span the entire year, the following additional activities will take place throughout this week-long effort: • In partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, NASCAR Official Partners have committed to donate trees to Tennessee residents affected by the Chimney Tops 2 Fire in November 2016. NASCAR will match the donations made by its Official Partners. • As part of the 16th annual Comcast Cares Day , NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers will join Comcast volunteers for a Habitat for Humanity build in Johnson City, Tenn. NASCAR will donate trees for the newly built homes. • Pocono Raceway will release a Sustainability Report that details the initiatives it has in place to be environmentally responsible, including its recycling program, solar farm and more. • In partnership with Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Elliot Sadler will visit Oak Mountain Elementary School in Birmingham, Ala. to donate 750 tree saplings provided by NASCAR and the Arbor Day Foundation. • Today, Danica Patrick will help Mobil 1 spotlight its Mobil 1TM Annual Protection, allowing drivers to go one full year -- or 20,000 miles -- between oil changes, with a ceremonial pour at Bristol Motor Speedway. NASCAR Green was launched because it was the right thing to do for the country, climate and fans. Since 2008, NASCAR has taken a holistic approach across its wide-ranging effort to reduce our impact on the environment, including: • NASCAR and the industry have planted enough trees to completely offset carbon emissions for all three national series racing for the past six years, plus the next 40 years. • NASCAR eclipsed more than 10 million competition miles on Sunoco Green E15, demonstrating that the ethanol blended biofuel stands up to high performance racing while significantly reducing emissions. • Safety-Kleen delivers its oil recycling and re-refining services to the track each weekend, ensuring all cleaning solvents, oil, fluids and lubricants are recaptured and incorporated into useable products. • NASCAR also features many teams and tracks using solar power as a renewable energy source, including: Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway, Pocono Raceway, Sonoma Raceway, Roush Fenway Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports. For more information about NASCAR Race to Green , visit NASCAR .com/Green . The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season will continue wit h the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX, P RN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Earnhardt: With young talent, 'sky's the limit for NASCAR'
RELATED: Blaney on Dale Jr.'s influence on him CONCORD, N.C. -- High-profile departures have been a recent trend in NASCAR's top division, a development that began with transcendent four-time champion Jeff Gordon's retirement at the end of the 2015 season. Popular three-time champ Tony Stewart followed after 2016, then fellow star Carl Edwards stepped away just before this season. That list will include the most popular of all -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- at the end of 2017, a move he signaled in a Tuesday announcement at the Hendrick Motorsports compound. But instead of sounding an alarm about a possible void, Earnhardt issued a strong vote of confidence for the sport's future with positive remarks about the stock-car racing's recent influx of spellbinding talent, a group of young stars that have the potential to dazzle fans for future generations. RELATED: Larson, Elliott top point standings "We definitely have tons of talent. There is no question, but I love the people they are," Earnhardt said, naming 21-year-old teammate Chase Elliott and current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader Kyle Larson, 24, as two brilliant examples. Being marketable, approachable and having a level of savvy with social media certainly hasn't hurt. "These guys are effortless at it," he added. "So once they start to pick it up and understand the power of what they have at their fingertips, the sky's the limit for NASCAR . I'm super excited about the future." MORE: Dale Jr. announces retirement " Vote: Favorite Junior win Earnhardt has done plenty himself to help cultivate the next crop of stock-car prodigies, fielding JR Motorsports' four-car effort in the NASCAR XFINITY Series as a developmental program for next-gen stars. Among those is 19-year-old William Byron, a product of the NASCAR Next youth initiative and a top prospect for success at the sport's highest level. It's why team owner Rick Hendrick was quick to echo Earnhardt's sentiment. "I've never seen so much young talent," the 67-year-old team owner said. "I can remember when the question was all of our drivers are in their 40s or they're going to be, what are we going to do when they retire? I think we've got the answer. They're here, they're young, they're aggressive, they're fun." RELATED: Hendrick: Dale Jr. is 'like a son' to me The current group of 20-somethings -- or younger -- includes a diverse group of Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates in the Monster Energy Series. Erik Jones, 20, was the first to throw his hat into the rookie race with a full-time jump hitched to a newly expanded Furniture Row Racing operation. Ty Dillon and Daniel Suarez, both 25, followed with their offseason announcements. Their task now: To become better acquainted with fans who have long-running associations of support for Gordon, Stewart, Edwards and Earnhardt. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, said that transition and exposure to a broader stage will come in time. "It's something that evolves," O'Donnell said. "That's you getting to know them more, them being in Victory Lane more. People like winners. … As they win and compete for top fives and are exposed more, we have no doubt that people will see their personalities and then it'll be up to them as well to take those personalities outside the sport also." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: By the numbers
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond RELATED: Dale Jr. announces retirement " Amy's message to Dale A statistical look at the NASCAR career of Dale Earnhardt Jr., with numbers as of April 25, the day he announced his retirement from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the end of the 2017 season. For a deeper statistical dive, visit Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s page at racing-reference.info . 0 -- The number of laps completed in Earnhardt Jr.'s shortest race, the result of a first-lap crash in the 2001 Dura Lube 400 at Rockingham. The event was the first for NASCAR after the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr. in a last-lap crash in the Daytona 500. 1 -- The number of NASCAR All-Star Race victories in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s career. He became the invitational event's first rookie winner in 2000. 2 -- The number of Daytona 500 victories recorded by Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3 -- The car number made famous by his father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt. Also, Earnhardt Jr.'s highest-ranking finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, in 2003. 6 -- The number of wins recorded by Earnhardt Jr. at Talladega Superspeedway, the most among active drivers. Also, the number of victories Earnhardt achieved in his winningest season (2004). RELATED: All of Junior's wins " Dale Jr. through the years 8 -- Earnhardt Jr.'s first car number in NASCAR premier-series competition. Also, his starting spot in his premier series debut in the 1999 Coca-Cola 600. 10 -- The number of seasons that Dale Earnhardt Jr. has driven for Hendrick Motorsports, which fields his No. 88 Chevrolet. 11.3 -- The best average finish in a single full season in Earnhardt Jr.'s career, recorded in his three-win campaign of 2015. 12 -- The number of tracks where Dale Earnhardt Jr. won in his premier-series career -- Talladega (6), Daytona (4), Phoenix (3), Richmond (3), Pocono (2), Michigan (2), and one each at Atlanta, Martinsville, Bristol, Chicagoland, Texas and Dover. RELATED: Best paint schemes " Junior plans to run two XFINITY races in '18 13 -- The number of Coors Light Pole Awards that Earnhardt has collected in his career in NASCAR's top division. 20 -- Over two seasons (2012 and 2016), the number of races that Earnhardt missed due to concussions. 21 -- The age at which Dale Earnhardt Jr. made his debut in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series. He finished 14th on June 22, 1996 at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway. 22 -- The number of top-10 finishes Earnhardt Jr. posted in both of his NASCAR XFINITY Series championship seasons. 24 -- The age at which Dale Earnhardt Jr. made his debut in NASCAR's premier series. 42 -- The age at which Dale Earnhardt Jr. made his decision to retire from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. RELATED: Dale Jr. explains his decision -- best quotes from the No. 88 driver and Rick Hendrick 50 -- The number of NASCAR national series victories for Dale Earnhardt Jr., with 26 in premier-series competition and 24 in what is now known as the XFINITY Series. 88 -- The car number the Dale Earnhardt Jr. has campaigned since moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008. 100 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. reached this milestone number of premier-series starts on Sept. 1, 2002 in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. He finished 16th. 143 -- The number of races in the longest losing skid of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s career, spanning 2008-12. Both wins that bookended the dry spell were recorded at Michigan International Speedway. 149 -- The number of top-five finishes that Earnhardt Jr has registered in his career at NASCAR's top level. 291 -- The number of starts that Earnhardt Jr. made for Dale Earnhardt Inc., the team founded by his father that gave him his start in what is now the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. 312 -- The number of starts -- as of April 25, 2017 -- made by Dale Earnhardt Jr. for Hendrick Motorsports. 426 -- The number of laps led by Earnhardt in his first full season (2000) in NASCAR's top division. 540 -- The number of times that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was scored as running at the finish in his career, an 89.6 percent rate. 595.5 -- The number of miles Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed in his big-league debut May 30, 1999 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Earnhardt placed 16th, three laps down in the Coca-Cola 600. 600 -- The milestone number of premier-series starts Earnhardt achieved in March 2017 at Auto Club Speedway. 1,131 -- The number of laps led in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s most prolific season (2004) in that category. 8,195 -- The number of laps led in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s career to date. </p>
NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash takes center stage in Charlotte
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- For the first time, the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash presented by Coors Light will take center stage in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday, May 18. Celebrating the first half of the NASCAR season, the Silver Bullet Bash will lead off the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race weekend festivities with live music, special guests and unique experiences. As part of this year's event, Maren Morris, who recently won New Female Vocalist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, will rock the crowd with a headline performance at the legendary Fillmore Charlotte. The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter will take the stage for a special performance playing hit songs like "My Church" and "80s Mercedes" along with others from her new album HERO. The NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash Presented by Coors Light has traditionally taken place during Champion's Week in Las Vegas as a private invite-only event. This year's bash marks the first time that NASCAR and Coors Light will open the doors to fans. Beginning today, a limited number of fans 21-and-older can receive passes to this exclusive event by attending participating Charlotte area bars and restaurants that serve Coors Light, the Official Beer of NASCAR . "The NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash was specifically designed for Coors Light to connect and engage with our fans at participating bars and restaurants in the weeks leading up to the event," said Lou Garate, vice president, partnership marketing, NASCAR . "This year's event will build excitement and set the stage for the Monster Energy All-Star weekend festivities taking place in Charlotte." Two of NASCAR's young, up-and-coming drivers, Ryan Blaney and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., will attend the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash and engage with some lucky fans. Both drivers will be actively promoting the event and encouraging fans to visit participating venues for a chance to attend the event. Fans are encouraged to visit the following venues for a chance to claim one of the limited number of passes available to attend the event: • Sports Page Food & Spirits : 8400 Bellhaven Blvd # H, Charlotte, NC 28216 • Bourbon N Burgers : 2200 Park Rd, Charlotte, NC 28203 • Leo’s 49 Sports Bar : 7801 University Center Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28277 • Fitzgerald's Irish Pub : 201 E 5th St, Charlotte, NC 28202 The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season will continue with the Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday, Apr. 30 at 2:00 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Zalenski survives Phoenix melee for first NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series win
RELATED: See the complete iRacing schedule Rookie NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series driver Bobby Zalenski scored his first victory at Phoenix International Raceway Tuesday night, holding off Ray Alfalla and Ryan Luza on two late-race restarts. Zalenski took the lead on a restart with ten laps to go when leader Andrew Fayash missed a shift. Logan Clampitt, who was restarting second, also moved alongside Fayash as the three raced door-to-door into Turn 1. Zalenski had such a sharp angle into the corner he could not keep his car on the bottom which led him to hit Clampitt, spinning the erstwhile series leader out of contention. Zalenski escaped with minimal damage and had the race lead, but he would need to execute on one more restart with the two strongest drivers in 2017 thus far right behind him. The green flew with five laps left but before Alfalla and Luza could challenge for the win, Michael Conti spun Fayash entering Turn One leading to a race-ending caution. Alfalla finished runner-up, right in front of Luza as both rebounded from their problems at Texas. Dylan Duval finished fourth and Zack Novak was fifth, the first time either driver has finished in the top five this season. Matt Bussa started on pole and led the race to the green flag, building a comfortable lead on Luza during the opening laps. Bussa led the entirety of the first run, only relinquishing the lead to pit for tires and fuel on Lap 53. However, Bussa would not return to the front after the stops as several sim racers short-pitted including Michael Conti, who assumed the lead. A caution on Lap 59 brought nearly all the lead lap cars back into the pits for tires with Conti leading the pack off pit road. Conti would restart third but only took one lap to pass Adam Gilliland and Marcus Richardson to retake the lead. Unlike the first run when Luza kept in touch with Bussa, nobody came close to matching Conti's speed on the long run as the No. 5 drove off and left the field. Like Bussa, Conti led until pitting for routine service on Lap 106 and just like the first round of stops, a caution interrupted the pit cycle before it was complete, costing Conti and other frontrunners some track position. The final 40 laps were quite the wreckfest as drivers tried to gain positions after restarts. Chris Overland held the lead briefly but Fayash got by shortly after the restart. Despite not showing speed early in the race, Fayash looked quite strong out front and led until his unfortunate missed shift and subsequent crash one restart later. Luza is back on top of the standings thanks to his third-place effort and Clampitt's troubles. He leads Zalenski by five points while Clampitt slips to third, seven points adrift. Alfalla sits fourth, but is within striking distance as he is only 13 points out of the lead. Darik Bourdeau rounds out the top five, 32 points back. Next up is a date with Richmond International Raceway, the second-consecutive short track on the schedule. Look for many of the same faces to be up front as Luza, Alfalla, Clampitt and Zalenski look to break away from the field. With 2017 looking like one of the most competitive NASCAR PEAK Antifreeze Series seasons ever, can anyone break away and become the favorite for the sim racing title? Find out in two weeks on iRacingLive!
NASCAR enlists 14-year-old to direct new NASCAR Acceleration Nation spot
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In search of a director to oversee filming for its latest NASCAR Acceleration Nation television creative, NASCAR ® turned to a 14-year-old rising star in advertising. Amelia Conway of Temecula, Calif., developed the treatment and directed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ driver Austin Dillon in the new spot promoting the sport’s national youth platform. The 30-second ad, titled "Tutelage," debuted today online and will air beginning this weekend during the Richmond races on FOX and FS1. "As a filmmaker, Amelia is a special talent and we loved her vision for this project," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "She represents the youth audience that is important to our sport, so having that unique perspective guide the creative process for us was invaluable." Born in California and raised in rural Texas, Conway began acting and performing at an early age and in 2014 was signed to Adolescent Content, a youth-focused production agency. She's directed several music videos and short films, and recently shot commercials for Target, Toms Shoes and Beats Music.
Jimmie Johnson moves closer to NASCAR legends
Jimmie Johnson reeled off back-to-back wins with his Bristol conquest on Monday, and now a much larger goal looms in front of him. Mr. Johnson, meet Mr. Yarborough. Mr. Allison and Mr. Waltrip, you're next. The Hendrick Motorsports driver and seven-time premier series champion continued to climb NASCAR's all-time wins list with his "Colosseum" conquest, and he is homing in on passing a triumvirate of legends with every victory. Now with 82 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins, Johnson is one behind Cale Yarborough (83) for sixth place on the all-time wins list. Beyond Yarborough are Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip at 84. That's just two more wins than Johnson currently has. Yes, it is conceivable -- perhaps even probable -- that Johnson will pass all three on the list in the same season and end 2017 fourth on the all-time wins tally. "It's mind-blowing," Johnson said. "I cannot believe that we're sitting here with 82 wins. That is such a big number. Yeah, and to be 7 or 8 years old, whatever I was, traveling around the country racing dirt bikes and walking into my first Hardee's, and I thought it was a race shop for Cale Yarborough and then I realized it was a hamburger stand. ... To be in this position is quite an honor. But I honestly wouldn't be in this position if it wasn't for (crew chief) Chad Knaus and (team owner) Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon, Lowe's, all the consistent things that I've had through my career. This has really been the environment for me to thrive in." Sit back and enjoy it. History is at hand.