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Bobby Isaac joins NASCAR Hall of Fame Class 2016
RELATED: Learn more about the NASCAR Hall of Fame In a different era, in which stock cars driven to and past their limits didn't break with frequency, there's no telling how many races or championships Bobby Isaac might have won. Isaac, the 1970 NASCAR premier series champion, won 37 of his 309 starts. But he was a DNF -- did not finish -- 129 times. His 49 poles rank 10th all-time, with 19 -- a still-standing, single-season mark -- coming in 1969. Only 38 drivers have won 19 or more poles in a career. Nobody ever had to tell Isaac to "stand on it." "Bobby was a never-give-up kind of guy," said Buddy Parrott, a member of Isaac's No. 71 K&K Insurance Dodge crew and a 49-time winner as a premier series crew chief for NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty, Rusty Wallace and Darrell Waltrip among others. "Bobby had no fear." Isaac's accomplishments are such that he'll join the NASCAR Hall of Fame's Class of 2016 along with Jerry Cook, Terry Labonte , O. Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. Their induction will take place Jan. 22 in Charlotte, N.C. The ceremonies will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET by NBCSN. Isaac, born on a farm near Catawba, North Carolina in 1932, saw his first stock car race at nearby Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway and at age 17 bought a 1937 Ford and put roll bars in it. He flipped the car on the race's second lap but that didn’t dampen his desire. Working at a variety of low-paying jobs, Isaac began racing the NASCAR late model sportsman circuit. He survived but sometimes just barely. "One time I drove 200 miles to drive a fellow's modified car with $4 in my pocket," he once said. "I figured that I'd have enough to buy gas and get down there and eat a hot dog before the race. The gas was $3 but I had to put two quarts of oil in my car so I was broke when I left town. When the feature started my stomach was not only growling but I didn’t have enough gas to get back home. "I drove that car as hard as I could and won. I had to win." Isaac, described by some as "mercurial," went sportsman racing fulltime in 1958, driving for Ralph Earnhardt. He won 28 feature events, competing against the likes of NASCAR Hall of Famers Ned Jarrett and David Pearson. Isaac, at age 28, competed in his first premier series event in 1961. Driving a Dodge for Ray Nichels, he won his first race in 1964 -- a 50-lap Daytona 500 qualifier in which he edged Jimmy Pardue in a photo finish after Richard Petty ran out of fuel. With factory-supported teams jumping in and out of the sport in the mid-1960s, Isaac went from top ride to no seat at all. His fortunes changed in 1968 when he was hired by Indiana insurance magnate Nord Krauskopf and paired with legendary crew chief Harry Hyde, whose larger than life persona was captured as Harry Hogg in the film "Days of Thunder." Over the course of five seasons, 1968 to 1972, the trio's "Poppy Red" Dodges won 36 times -- 17 alone in 1969 when Isaac won 17 times in 50 starts. Bedeviled by 19 failures to finish, Isaac wound up sixth in the championship standings. Isaac "only" won 11 times in his championship season, but the DNFs were reduced to just nine. The K&K team is remembered best for its winged Dodge Charger Daytona, the needle-nosed, high rear-wing version of the standard Charger. Remarkably, Isaac visited Victory Lane only once in that model, at Texas World Speedway in 1969, his 20th career win and first on a superspeedway. "We won a lot of short-races, but we couldn't pull it all together on the big tracks until the last race of the season," said Isaac in Greg Fielden's book " NASCAR : The Complete History." "Winning the championship gave me personal satisfaction, but I'd rank it second to the Texas win. "The way I look at it, it took me seven years to win a superspeedway race and only three years to win the championship." In September 1971 the team took its winged car to the Bonneville Salt Flats in western Utah where Isaac set 28 speed records, including a 217.368 mph "flying kilometer" mark. "That car weighed 3,900 pounds and it had 650 horses in the motor," Hyde told Car and Driver's Bob Zeller in May 2002. "And when Bobby set it sideways, it looked like a hydroplane on water. He came by at 200 mph broadside with a big rooster tail of salt comin' out the back." Driving part-time schedules for a number of owners, Isaac ran his last premier series race in 1976. He returned to Hickory Motor Speedway the following year where, on Aug. 14, he pulled out of a sportsman race feeling ill and was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to heart failure at age 45. Isaac was inducted into the National Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1979 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1996. In 1998, NASCAR honored him as one of its 50 Greatest Drivers of all time. Tickets are available for the NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony (limited quantities available). Individual ticket and ticket packages are available at ticketmaster.com, the NASCAR Hall of Fame Box Office or by calling 800.745.3000.
Modified great Jerry Cook to go in NASCAR Hall of Fame
RELATED: Learn more about the NASCAR Hall of Fame Jerry Cook never intended to support his family driving a modified stock car. It kind of snuck up on the young resident of Rome, New York. Cook, who built his first modified at the age of 13, took the wheel by happenstance, when his hired driver wrecked two of the race cars he owned. That was in 1963, well before Cook won his first of six NASCAR modified championships. But Cook soon discovered he had a knack for winning races – and finishing well enough to cash a decent check when he didn't. "Every time I reached into my pocket, it had money in it," Cook would say later. "So I kept racing." And indeed Cook did – all the way into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, into which he’ll be inducted Jan. 22 as part of the Class of 2016 that also includes Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte , O. Bruton Smith and Curtis Turner. Induction ceremonies will be live on NBCSN, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Cook won modified championships in 1971-72 and 1974-77. Before retiring at the conclusion of the 1982 season, Cook also posted six championship points finishes of second and two of third. He won 342 NASCAR modified races in 1,474 career starts – and countless other non-sanctioned events. Cook finished among the top 10 an amazing 85% of the time. Cook joins fellow Roman and career-long modified racing rival Richie Evans in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The late Evans, a nine-time NASCAR modified champion, was inducted in 2012 as the first Hall member whose career wasn't connected to NASCAR's premier series. Cook is the second. "We've now finished off the battle of Rome," said Cook. "For me and Ritchie to both be in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, it kind of tops it off." Cook and Evans made upstate New York the epicenter of NASCAR modified racing in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. Each driver had his legion of fans – vociferous on behalf of the merits of their favorite charioteer. Cook and Evans were respectful of each other and friends off the track, yet as different as night and day. Evans was the flamboyant one, famous for living life to its fullest with rock and roll music as the race shop's background noise. A writer calling Cook’s home, however, would find the telephone answered by the driver’s wife, Sue, who would refer him to the backyard garage where preparing or repairing Cook's red cars was quietly taking place. Ray Evernham, a former modified driver, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship crew chief and television analyst had this to say about Cook: "Jerry was not a guy who raced on the edge. Jerry won his share no doubt. But if he didn't win, he was still going to be in the top five." In some years, Cook's team would run nearly 100 races, at up to 19 tracks of all sizes, shapes and surfaces from New England to Virginia. Some of Cook's signature wins took place outside New York and New England. Cook’s first major victory was the 1969 Dogwood 500 at Martinsville Speedway . He won a trio of 200-lap races at the tough, Bowman-Gray Stadium (in North Carolina) quarter mile between 1977 and 1980. The closest Cook came to the NASCAR premier series was a Daytona 500 qualifying race in 1973. His car's engine blew seven laps from the end. Cook, with a wife and two children, took a look at what non-factory-supported drivers were winning and decided to stay in the modifieds. "So that's why I stuck with what I did best," he said. Cook retired after winning the Spencer Speedway championship in 1982. For more than 30 years he was a key member of NASCAR's competition department and was instrumental in the formation of the current NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Cook, 72, was named one of NASCAR ’s 50 greatest drivers in 1998. He is a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame and New York Stock Car Hall of Fame.
Brent Dewar sums up successful NASCAR season
The 2015 NASCAR season wasn't just about hitting important metrics, though the sport did precisely that. As NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar noted on Wednesday at the SportsBusiness Journal's Daytona Rising/ NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, the 2015 season has been one of change, both in terms of business models and the sanctioning body's quest for a new entitlement sponsor for its foremost series. Dewar said he talks almost daily with Race Team Alliance leader Rob Kauffman, and those discussions have far-ranging implications for the ownership model in the sport, including a possible charter system for team ownership. "Like Rob, I'm cautiously optimistic that we can get something that really helps provide a foundation for the future," Dewar said, stressing the importance of building stability in the sport. In that same vein, Dewar expressed pride in the recently completed and unprecedented five-year sanctioning agreements with race tracks that host NASCAR events. Asserting that NASCAR racing is more popular today than ever before, Dewar noted that the sanctioning body is in an excellent position to broaden its base of potential replacements for Sprint, which will leave its role as title sponsor for the Sprint Cup Series after 2016. Fundamental changes in the sport, such as an elimination-based Chase format, give NASCAR executives the opportunity to re-introduce the sport to a wider audience. "If you haven't been around NASCAR in the last two or three years, you really haven't been around NASCAR ," Dewar said. "It's really allowing us an opportunity to talk to a wide group, whether it's blue-chip domestic companies, to internationals, to regional companies -- and we have a great story to tell. "It's casting a wide net. We're in a nice place, and we've been to some really cool companies, talking about our sport. We hope to find a partner that will deliver equally the strength that we've gotten from Sprint." Dewar said there's no specific timetable for finding a new partner but added that, "I'm as excited today as I've ever been in the sport."
NASCAR may get 'the Boot' at Watkins Glen
RELATED: Learn more about Watkins Glen " Course breakdown by turn WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Now that Watkins Glen has started repaving its racing surface, running "the Boot" may be back on the table for NASCAR races. The current configuration of the Glen for NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races eliminates the Boot, which contains Turns 6 through 9, and shortens the course from 3.40 miles to 2.45 miles. But with repaving already having taken place in the Boot, smoothing the bumps in that portion of the track, NASCAR is considering running the full Grand Prix Course, which currently is used for the Tudor United Sports Car Championship. "We could," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell told the NASCAR Wire Service before Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at the Glen. "We're discussing it with the track. It's something we're looking at down the road." Even with the addition of the Boot, Watkins Glen wouldn't be the longest road course on the NASCAR rotation. Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, which hosts the XFINITY Series, measures 4.048 miles.
NASCAR implements team owner Charter agreement for Sprint Cup Series
RELATED: NASCAR announces landmark new ownership stucture " NASCAR's 36 Charter teams " Fast facts about Charter system DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 9, 2016) -- During a historic event held today in Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owners to announce a landmark long-term agreement that provides teams with increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to produce best-in-class racing. In effect as the 2016 NASCAR season prepares to kick off this weekend, the new Charter system addresses three key areas -- participation, governance and economics -- to promote a more predictable, sustainable and valuable team business model. The agreement grants NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charters to 36 teams, establishes a Team Owner Council that will have formal input into decisions, and provides Charter teams with new revenue opportunities including a greater interest in digital operations. "Today represents a landmark change to the business model of team ownership in NASCAR ," France said. "The Charter agreements provide nine years of stability for NASCAR and the teams to focus on growth initiatives together with our track partners, auto manufacturers, drivers and sponsors. The Charters also are transferable, which will aid in the development of long-term enterprise value for Charter members." The system affords Charter teams that remain in good standing more predictable revenue over the nine years of the agreement. Along with improved financial certainty, the new framework is designed to increase the long-term market value of teams and provide the ability to plan farther ahead with existing, new and prospective partners. Similar to the five-year sanctioning agreements that NASCAR begins with tracks in 2016, team owner Charter agreements allow for longer planning cycles around competition, innovation, digital marketing, governance and research and development. "The new Charter program strengthens each of our businesses individually and the team model as a whole, which is good for NASCAR , our fans, drivers, sponsors and the thousands of people who we employ," said Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing . "This will give us more stability and predictability, and it will allow us to take a more progressive, long-term approach to issues. " NASCAR and the teams share a desire to preserve, promote and grow the sport and ultimately produce great racing for our fans and partners. These common goals served as the foundation for discussions and helped bring us to this unprecedented agreement. This is a great step forward for the entire sport made possible by Brian France setting a new course for the NASCAR industry and the owners coming together on shared issues. Everyone involved then compromised a bit to be able to come up with something that worked for all." Each Charter team owner has a guaranteed entry into the field of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race. To maintain the historical openness of NASCAR racing, the balance of the field will be open for team owners who do not hold Charters. These Open team owners will compete for the remaining starting spots and positions in the race, as each event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' starting lineup shifts in 2016 to a 40-car field. "The new team owner agreements will offer a more appealing environment for both current and prospective team owners at the NASCAR premier series level," France said. "I've always stressed that if we can do things to improve the business of our stakeholders, we will pursue it. I'm very proud of what we've accomplished today with this agreement." NASCAR Charter teams (Listed by historical inception of race team entity, then numerical) 2015 Car # 2016 Car # Organization 43 43 Richard Petty Motorsports 9 44 Richard Petty Motorsports 3 3 Richard Childress Racing 27 27 Richard Childress Racing 31 31 Richard Childress Racing 2 2 Team Penske 22 22 Team Penske 5 5 Hendrick Motorsports 24 24 Hendrick Motorsports 48 48 Hendrick Motorsports 88 88 Hendrick Motorsports 6 6 Roush Fenway Racing 16 16 Roush Fenway Racing 17 17 Roush Fenway Racing 1 1 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 42 Chip Ganassi Racing 11 11 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 18 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 20 Joe Gibbs Racing 15 TBD Michael Waltrip Racing 55 TBD Michael Waltrip Racing 4 4 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 10 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 14 Stewart-Haas Racing 78 78 Furniture Row Racing 35 34 Front Row Motorsports 38 38 Front Row Motorsports 47 47 JTG Daugherty Racing 7 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing 13 13 Germain Racing 32 32 Go Fas Racing 23 23 BK Racing 83 83 BK Racing 62 62 Premium Motorsports 33 95 Circle Sport Racing 51 15 HScott Motorsports
NASCAR's 36 Charter teams
NASCAR revealed on Tuesday who owns the 36 Charters. Each Charter team owner has a guaranteed entry into the field of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race. Listed by historical inception of race team entity, then numerical
NASCAR Drive for 2016 racing season
NASCAR Drive is new for the 2016 racing season and offers fans free, live-streamed video for both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and select XFINITY Series on-track action. Drive enhances the experience previously enjoyed in RaceBuddy by letting fans choose their own video layout and providing other live features in a single location. The in-car cameras include several HD feeds for fans to choose from so they can ride along with their favorite drivers. Viewers can also customize the overall experience by building their own mosaic or picture-in-picture views, which allows for fans to drive along with multiple drivers all at once. Some of the other features the 2016 package includes are: - Scanner access for the full field of in-car audio channels as well as NASCAR officials and radio broadcasts. - Fantasy Live team owners can monitor their teams' progress throughout the race. - Drive Hub gives up-to-the-minute driver stats and a social feed. - Lap-by-Lap chronicles all of the on-track action. - Leaderboard data for all drivers. - Live Chat to connect with other fans during the race. NASCAR Drive will begin its race-day coverage with the Sprint Unlimited on Feb. 13 and be available during all Cup races -- and companion NXS events. Fans can access Drive for free on their computer -- the in-car camera feeds and audio are available via a NASCAR Mobile App subscription. The driver selection is determined on a weekly basis by NASCAR's broadcast partners, thus it will vary race-to-race.
Fast facts about NASCAR's team owner Charter system
RELATED: NASCAR announces landmark new ownership structure NASCAR Chairman & CEO Brian France joined with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owners on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, to announce a landmark long-term agreement on an owner Charter system. The agreement provides teams with an increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to continue to produce best-in-class racing. Below are fast facts about the comprehensive agreement. • This long-term agreement is for nine years. • There are 36 Charter teams, currently from among 19 organizations. The number 36 was not pre-determined -- NASCAR analyzed which teams showed a long-term commitment to the sport by attempting to qualify every week for the past three years. That criteria yielded 36 Charters. • Because of the above criteria, the following teams do not have Charters: the No. 19 of Joe Gibbs Racing , the No. 21 of Wood Brothers Racing , the No. 41 of Stewart-Haas Racing and the No. 46 of HScott Motorsports . • A Charter guarantees entry into the field of every Sprint Cup Series points race. Qualifying speeds still determine the lineup. • Sprint Cup Series fields will shift from 43 cars to 40 cars. That means 36 Charter teams are guaranteed to make every points race, and four non-Charter (or "open") teams will complete the rest of the field. • Charter owners may transfer their Charter to another team, for one full season, once over the first five years of the agreement. • Charter teams are held to a minimum performance standard. If a Charter team finishes in the bottom three of the owner standings among all 36 Charter teams for three consecutive years, NASCAR has a right to remove the charter. • Teams may sell their Charters on the open market. • Organizations now have a hard cap of four cars; there will be no fifth car for rookie drivers.
NASCAR announces 2016 competition changes
RELATED: Complete schedule for Daytona Speedweeks Changes to the points structure and the qualifying process for the Daytona 500 , plus the addition of an "overtime line" will greet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams when the 2016 season kicks off this weekend at Daytona International Speedway . The changes were announced by the sanctioning body Thursday and two -- the points structure revision and qualifying format -- were adopted as a result of NASCAR's Charter system that was announced earlier this week. Because Sprint Cup race fields going forward will consist of a maximum of 40 cars (36 Charter team cars and four Open team cars), the race winner will be awarded 40 points instead of the 43 that had been previously awarded. Second place will receive 39 points, third 38, etc., with 40th place receiving one point. The total does not include bonus points awarded to the winner, or those awarded for leading the most laps or leading a single lap. Likewise, the race points structure in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck series have also been re-configured based on a 40-car field for the XFINITY Series and a 32-truck field for the NCWTS. Last season, drivers in all three series earned 43 points, excluding bonus points, for finishing in first place regardless of the size of the field. For the Daytona 500 , which is scheduled for Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. ET, the 36 Charter teams will be assigned a starting position based on either their qualifying effort or their result in one of the two Can-Am Duel races. The remaining four positions will be awarded to Open teams attempting to qualify for the event. RELATED: Fast facts for changes " 'Overtime line' tweaked for G-W-C procedure The highest-finishing Open team in each Can-Am race will earn a starting spot in the 500. The two remaining Open positions will be determined based on Coors light Pole qualifying, if a team is not already a top finisher in one of the Duels. As in the past, only the top two starting spots for the Daytona 500 are determined via qualifying. The starting lineup for the Can-Am Duel races will be based on qualifying results with the number of Charter and Open teams divided equally among the two fields. If qualifying is canceled due to weather, the top two finishing Open teams in each Can-Am Duel will be awarded starting spots in the Daytona 500 . If both Duels are canceled due to weather, officials will use qualifying results to determine the four Open teams that would advance. Should only the second Can-Am Duel be canceled due to weather, the highest finishing Open team from the first Duel would earn a starting berth, with the remaining three positions determined based on qualifying results. Also, if no qualifying or Can-Am events are held, combined practice speeds will determine the lineup and the four Open teams; if there is no on-track activity whatsoever, 2015 owner points will be used to determine the Open teams making the 40-car field. The final procedural change, which impacts NASCAR's green-white-checkered rule, dictates that a race may go beyond its scheduled distance only once if the race leader has advanced beyond an "overtime line." In that instance, it will be considered a clean restart and any caution coming after that point would effectively conclude the event. Cars would proceed to the start/finish line under caution and be scored accordingly. The location of the line will vary by track, according to officials. After taking the green flag, if a caution flag appears before the leader has reached the overtime line, the restart will be waved off and another attempt will be made. If necessary, multiple attempts will be made until a clean restart is achieved. The overtime line will be in effect for all three national series.
Fast facts for NASCAR's 2016 procedural changes
RELATED: NASCAR announces 2016 competition changes " 'Overtime line' part of tweaked G-W-C procedure Here is a breakdown of the procedural changes made on Thursday, as provided by NASCAR : 1. Field sizes and corresponding new points systems Sprint Cup Series: Maximum 40-car field (36 Charter team cars, 4 Open team cars), race winner awarded 40 points, 40th place awarded one point. XFINITY Series: Maximum 40-car field, race winner awarded 40 points, 40th place awarded one point. Camping World Truck Series: Maximum 32-truck field, race winner awarded 32 points, 32nd place awarded one point. New points systems apply to driver, owner and manufacturer championships. Existing 2015 Bonus points remain in place for 2016. 2. Qualifying: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 specific: - Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position. - Four Open teams are eligible for starting positions: --- The highest finishing Open team in each Can-Am Duel race earns a starting position. --- The final two starting positions are awarded to Open teams based on Coors Light Pole Qualifying if not already a top finisher in a Can-Am Duel race. - Qualifying sets the front row for the Daytona 500 and the starting lineup for the Can-Am Duel fields, with the number of Charter team and Open team cars split evenly throughout both races. - If qualifying is canceled due to weather, the top two finishing Open teams from each Can-Am Duel race earn starting positions in the Daytona 500 . - If the second Can-Am Duel race is cancelled due to weather, the highest finishing Open team from the first race earns a starting position, with the other three Open teams determined by qualifying. - If both Can-Am Duel races are canceled due to weather, qualifying determines all four Open teams. - If qualifying and both Can-Am Duel races are canceled due to weather, the combined practice speeds are used to determine the four Open teams. - If all on-track activity prior to the race is canceled due to weather, 2015 Owner points will be used to determine the four Open teams. All Other Championship Race events: - Thirty-six Charter teams will be assigned a starting position and four Open teams are eligible for starting positions. - Qualifying results will determine the Open team starting positions assuming the event is run as scheduled - If qualifying is canceled due to weather, the combined practice speeds determine the four Open teams - If practice and qualifying are canceled due to weather, Owner points determine the four Open teams (events 1-3 revert to 2015 Owner points) 3. NASCAR Overtime: For all national series For all three NASCAR national series, a race may be concluded with overtime, consisting of a new procedure for a green-white-checkered flag finish featuring an "overtime line." The location of the overtime line will vary by track. After taking the green on the overtime restart, if the leader then passes the overtime line on the first lap under green before a caution comes out (a "clean restart"), it will be considered a valid green-white-checkered attempt. However, if a caution comes out before the leader passes the overtime line on the first lap under green, it will not be considered a valid attempt, and a subsequent attempt will be made. If necessary, multiple subsequent attempts will be made until a valid attempt occurs. Once a valid attempt is achieved (clean restart), it will become the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish. If a caution comes out at any time during the valid green-white-checkered attempt, the field will be frozen and the checkered/yellow or checkered/red displayed to cars at the finish line.