Sights and Sounds: NRA 500
Sights and Sounds from The NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Elliott Sadler, TBR team up for Daytona 500
RELATED: Buy tickets for Daytona HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (January 12, 2017) -- Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) announced today that the team will compete in the 59th running of the Daytona 500 with Elliott Sadler behind the wheel of the No. 7 Golden Corral Chevrolet. Sadler, a 16-year veteran of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series , will be running double-duty during NASCAR's opening weekend competing in both the Cup and XFINITY Series. The Emporia, Virginia native and Baldwin have a relationship dating back to their days at Robert Yates Racing when Baldwin served as crew chief for Sadler. "This is a great opportunity for me and everyone affiliated with Tommy Baldwin Racing ," said Sadler. "I love the Daytona 500 and to have Tommy and Golden Corral offer me this opportunity is awesome. Tommy and I have known each other a long time. We actually won a qualifying race for the Daytona 500 together back in 2006. We're gonna rekindle some of that magic and work our tails off to get our car in the race. I know Tommy is putting a lot of effort into this and we're gonna go out and get the best result we possibly can for him and TBR's partners." Golden Corral returns for their seventh season together and will bring back their popular 'Top 10 Kids Eat Free' promotion. If Elliott Sadler finishes in the top-10 at Daytona, kids 10 and under will eat free at Golden Corral restaurants nationwide on Monday, February 27th. "We are excited to be working with Tommy Baldwin Racing for the seventh season," said Shelley Wolford, Vice President of National Marketing and Media at Golden Corral. "We will be cheering Elliott on to qualify at Daytona and then race for a Top 10 Kids Eat Free finish." "We look forward to having Elliott join TBR and Golden Corral for the upcoming Daytona 500 ," said team owner Tommy Baldwin. "Elliott has always been a strong restrictor plate racer which makes this a great opportunity for everyone involved. We know our fans look forward to the 'Top10 Kids Eat Free' promotion every year so we want to capitalize on that and finish the Daytona 500 strong."
Report: Gaughan to attempt to qualify for Daytona 500
RELATED: Buy tickets for Daytona Brendan Gaughan has not made a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start since 2015, but the veteran racer is attempting to qualify for the 2017 Daytona 500 (Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal . Gaughan told the newspaper that he will be driving the car Michael McDowell (the No. 59 for Leavine Family Racing ) piloted to a 15th-place finish in last year's race with Mark Beard as the car owner. Beard made two starts in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series in the 1980s and has been a car owner in both the XFINITY Series and ARCA Racing Series. "They bought the old Leavine car, they've hired ECR to do motors -- real racing motors -- and they asked if I would be interested," Gaughan said. "So it's got Richard Childress motors, and I'm going to have a Richard Childress pit crew -- my guys -- and so we're going to the Daytona 500 and see if we can qualify." Gaughan will be driving for a team that does not have a charter, meaning he will have to qualify his way into the "Great American Race" via qualifying speeds and/or the Can-Am Duel races. Fellow NASCAR XFINITY Series competitor Elliott Sadler will be driving an open entry for Tommy Baldwin Racing in attempt to make the race as well. RELATED: Sadler teams up with TBR for Daytona 500 attempt Should the 41-year-old Gaughan make the race, it will be his second start in the sport's season-opening event. He finished 19th in the 2004 edition of the race. Gaughan is set to compete full time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2017. The campaign will mark his fourth straight season in the No. 62 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing . Last year, he posted a career-best 16 top 10s in the series.
Race Rewind: NRA 500
Watch as Kyle Busch and Martin Truex battle each other and the field for the victory deep in the heart of Texas.
Post-Race Reactions: NRA 500
Martin Truex Jr. and others comment on a tough race on and off the track in Texas.
Ready for points 'battle' to Richmond, Buescher stepping up aggression
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Chris Buescher has a victory but remains outside the top 30 in points, a situation that the Front Row Motorsports rookie driver hopes to remedy in the coming weeks as he seeks a berth in this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . For the third consecutive season, NASCAR's Chase field will consist of drivers in the top 30 in points who have one or more wins, with any remaining positons in the 16-team field determined via points. Buescher earned his first career Sprint Cup victory at Pocono Raceway , and trails 30th place David Ragan ( BK Racing ) by only three points heading into Saturday night's Bass Pro Shops NRA 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (8 p.m. NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). But it's not just Ragan and the seemingly slim deficit that Buescher said he and his Front Row Motorsports team have their sights set on. "I think anyone will tell you that it's not necessarily just three points," said Buescher. "It's going to be constantly changing. There are four drivers in this window that can basically upset the balance or change it each and every weekend. "For us right now, yeah, it's three points to David Ragan , but after Bristol it could be a completely different story. We could gain points on David, but get passed by the one behind us. It's a balance, but we've got to take it week by week. … We have to capitalize on our weekends as much as possible. That's what is going to be important for us -- to do the best we can and let everything else fall the way it's going to." Regan Smith trails Buescher by 14 points; Brian Scott sits 11 behind Smith. Ten drivers have clinched one of the 16 Chase berths based on wins and their current points positions, including defending series champion Kyle Busch and 2012 champ Brad Keselowski . Tony Stewart has a victory, but has yet to officially clinch a spot since the three-time series champ sits 26th in points and could fall out of the top 30. Eleventh through 16th in points but winless this season are Ryan Newman , Chase Elliott , Austin Dillon , Jamie McMurray , Kyle Larson and Trevor Bayne . Should Stewart remain in the top 30 and Buescher advance, only four positons would be set based on points. Just outside the top 16 are Kasey Kahne and Ryan Blaney . "Right now, we've got to get all we can get and be aggressive with it to gain points and that's more fun racing," Buescher, one of four drivers competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors, said. "We can enjoy these weekends and not be too worried about giving it up, just knowing that we've got to do everything we can do to run as well as possible. "That's not necessarily saying we've got to try and get ourselves in a fuel window and run out of gas and lose a bunch of spots. It's saying we've got to be aggressive on track, take passes whenever we can get them, and make sure that we can drive forward so that we're earning points versus losing them each of these next four weekends." Buescher finished 21st at Bristol in the spring race, and said it's "probably one of our better race tracks this year for speed … and this should be a place where we can gain a lot of those points." But, he added, "the guys that we're racing also run really well here, so it's going be a battle right up to the end of Richmond."
Full schedule for Bristol
RELATED: Find NBCSN in your area " Watch live online at NBCSports.com The NASCAR Sprint Cup , XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series will gather for a tripleheader showing at Bristol Motor Speedway this week. Check out the full schedule below. Note: All times are ET SUNDAY, AUG. 21: ON TRACK -- 1 p.m. : NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race ( 500 laps, 266.5 miles), CNBC ( Results ) (Race originally was scheduled for Saturday night, moved due to weather) PRESS PASS ( Watch live ) -- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series post-race press conference DAILY ROUNDUP -- Harvick wins rain-delayed Bristol race -- Multicar melee snaps Ku. Busch streak, thins Bristol field -- Ky. Busch's dominant day ends in wreck -- See photos from Saturday and Sunday's racing at Bristol WEDNESDAY, AUG. 17: ON TRACK -- 9:30-10:25 a.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 11:30 a.m.-12:25 p.m.:NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS1 ( Results ) -- 4:45 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS2 ( Results ) -- 8:30 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 (200 laps, 106.6 miles), FS1 ( Results ) PRESS PASS ( Watch live ) -- 10 p.m. (approx.): NASCAR Camping World Truck Series post-race press conference DAILY ROUNDUP -- Kennedy earns first career win at Bristol -- Community congratulates Kennedy on first win -- At-track photos: Kennedy's win, more -- See the fresh schemes hitting the track at Bristol -- Larson's on-the-move son shines in Target commercial -- When Jeff met Junior: Gordon recalls first meeting with Dale Jr. -- Bell tops opening practice at Bristol -- Suarez paces final Truck Series practice at Bristol -- Tech Talk: How to improve handling with spring rubbers THURSDAY, AUG. 18: ON TRACK -- 1-2:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series first practice, NBC Sports App, CSN Mid Atlantic, CSN Plus-Chicago, CSN Bay Area, CSN Northwest ( Results ) -- 3:30-4:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBC Sports App, CSN Mid Atlantic, CSN Plus-Chicago, CSN Bay Area, CSN Northwest CANCELED PRESS PASS ( Watch live ) -- 3 p.m.: Ty Dillon DAILY ROUNDUP -- Suarez tops opening XFINITY practice at Bristol -- Everything you need for Bristol -- Fantasy advice for Saturday at Bristol FRIDAY, AUG. 19: ON TRACK -- 10-11:25 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series first practice, NBC Sports App, CSN New England, CSN Mid Atlantic, CSN Plus-Chicago, CSN Bay Area, CSN Northwest ( Results ) -- 12:30-1:55 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBC Sports App, USA at 1 p.m. ET ( Results ) -- 3:15 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBC Sports App, CSN Mid Atlantic, CSN Bay Area, CSN Northwest ( Results ) -- 5:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, USA ( Results ) -- 7:30 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 (300 laps, 159.9 miles), USA ( Results ) PRESS PASS ( Watch live ) -- 8:30 a.m.: Chris Buescher -- 8:45 a.m.: Trevor Bayne -- 9 a.m.: Jimmie Johnson -- 9:15 a.m.: Austin Dillon -- 9:30 a.m.: Matt Tifft -- 11:35 a.m.: Carl Edwards -- 11:50 a.m.: Ricky Stenhouse Jr . and Kyle Larson -- 4:15 p.m.: Charlotte Motor Speedway with Chase Elliott -- 6:45 p.m. (approx.): NASCAR Sprint Cup Series post-qualifying press conference -- 9:45 p.m. (approx.): NASCAR XFINITY Series post-race press conference GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- noon: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAILY ROUNDUP -- Edwards nabs Coors Light Pole at Bristol -- See every car in Saturday's field -- Gordon won't drive No. 88 Chevrolet at Michigan -- Key story lines to watch at Bristol -- A. Dillon wins wild Bristol NXS race in overtime finish -- Keselowski, Ky. Busch, T. Dillon in late NXS race wreck -- Ky. Busch tops both practices for Sprint Cup -- Stenhouse, Larson honor Clauson -- Top 10 consecutive lap averages at Bristol -- Buescher ready for points 'battle' to Richmond -- See the best images from Bristol on Friday -- 'Six-Time' remembers new teammate as trick-or-treater -- Tifft has renewed driving passion after surgery -- Byron's new reality at Hendrick sinking in -- E. Jones takes pole position for XFINITY race &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;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;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Determination, focus drive Martin to Hall of Fame
RELATED: Learn more about the Class of 2017 " Martin's top moments Mark Martin is respected and revered for a 31-year NASCAR racing career that includes 40 Cup victories, 49 XFINITY wins and five heralded IROC championships. He is considered one of the most talented, highly focused and broadly successful competitors in NASCAR history. And later this week, Martin will formally acquire a designation that makes him most proud of all: NASCAR Hall of Famer. "When I'm introduced at a function, now people can call me something, I'll have a title," Martin, 58, said this week with a laugh. "Prior to that, you kind of had to search for a title, although I had done a lot of cool and amazing things in my career." His long list of "cool and amazing things" is what earned Martin this highest of honors. He joins Benny Parsons, Richard Childress, Rick Hendrick and Raymond Parks in this year’s Hall of Fame class and will be formally inducted Friday in Charlotte (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN). RELATED: Parks set early standard " Prolonged excellence Childress' hallmark For Martin, it is a story of supreme determination and talent. In addition to his 40 wins and five championship runner-up finishes in NASCAR's highest level, Martin proved to be one of the series’ most diverse competitors -- ever. He won four GT class championships competing in the Rolex 24 during the 1990s. And his five IROC titles -- and four more runner-up IROC championship finishes -- showed Martin’s great ability bettering the best drivers across all forms of racing from NASCAR to IndyCar to sports cars to sprint cars. It is certainly something that separates and elevates him to the highest of standards through four decades of the best competition in multiple genres. So understandably, Martin had to really think about what in his vast career makes him most proud. "I don't know if there's a single thing," Martin said. "One thing, I would have to say the fact that I made it to NASCAR at such a young age (22). At the time it was an amazingly young age, then I fell on my face and had to go home and start my career again. "So I would say perseverance, if you want to sum it up in one word. Having to start my career all over again and building my way back. Having a second chance is probably the biggest thing." "And the second thing is what I did in the IROC Series." Martin has acknowledged that he was as focused and intense as they came. He was the first driver to seriously incorporate fitness training into his race preparation -- something that may have eased his ability to compete at such a high level even into his 50s. That determination to find an edge was apparent in the garage, even from an early age. He was among the rare drivers to frequently be seen looking into the hood of his car and working alongside the crew. It was the way he was raised by his father Julian, who took great care in guiding his son's passion. There are photos of Martin’s earliest racing days clearly showing how Julian Martin had gone so far to alter his son's first race cars out of love and safety -- mounting the steering wheel in the middle of the car instead of having it on the far left. Dad and son travelled from their native Arkansas throughout the Midwest following the racing dream and they were very close -- now the hard work rewarded with Martin’s long list of achievements and this highest of NASCAR's high honors. Heartbreakingly, Julian was killed when the plane he was piloting crashed in the Nevada mountains in August of 1998, also taking the life of Martin’s stepmother and 11-year old stepsister. Martin remembers immersing himself in competition as best he could to deal with the tragedy. Martin won the night race at Bristol two weeks after losing his father. Immediately after climbing out of his car in Victory Lane, he emotionally thanked the race fans for "their sympathy, love and support" saying their "love for our family has meant everything." "I felt it was my obligation and responsibility to go racing and that's what my dad would have wanted," Martin acknowledged last week. "It was tough, but it would have been tough sitting on a couch in a daze, too. "To me, racing was sort of a responsibility that I had. I felt responsibility toward the 50 or 100 people that supported the (then-Roush Racing) 6-car and a responsibility to race. I just didn't feel like missing a race because I was grieving. … To me, at the time, it just didn't seem like the right thing to do. "It did help me cope with the horrendous loss I was experiencing because I did have to pick up and go racing." And for Martin, the success he would later experience in the second half of his career is as impressive and inspiring as anything he accomplished. He came as close as he ever had to winning the Daytona 500 in 2007, losing the race to Kevin Harvick by a mere 0.02-seconds -- a hood-length -- in a photo finish that marked Martin’s best ever showing in the Great American Race. RELATED: Closest finishes in the history of the Great American Race Two years later, at the age of 50, Martin challenged Jimmie Johnson for what is now known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship, winning five races and claiming seven pole positions. Martin led the standings after each of the opening three Chase races, only to finish runner-up to Johnson, a seven-time winner on the year. It marked the fifth and final time Martin was a championship runner-up in an amazing 20-year span of his career. It is a remarkable accomplishment and something he says he is at last comfortable enjoying, free of any near-miss regret. "I never scored enough points to win one, and that's that," Martin said, when asked about it last week. "I would have won one if I had scored more points than anyone else. … and I let that take an enormous amount of joy (from me). "It's something I let go of and I refuse to allow that to rob me of joy. I have a lot to be thankful of, be grateful for. I accomplished a lot in my career and I’m not sour about the things I didn't accomplish." The attitude accompanies good reason -- because by all standards Martin accomplished so much and is admired by so many. Later this week, he will be fittingly celebrated in all the glory he deserves for a career that showed everyone what hard work and mental focus could produce. Forever more, Mark Martin shall be known and introduced as a NASCAR Hall of Famer. "It means more than anything I achieved while I was racing because I was so busy racing, anything I achieved I never paid attention to," Martin said. "I was just storming ahead worried about how I would win the next race. "Now that I've had some time to soak it in, it's the last big deal, the big win, the crown jewel of my career. "Don't forget the people in the Hall of Fame are my heroes, the founders of the sport, the real men that did it with their bare hands. I'm a little bit uncomfortable going in there with them, to be honest with you, because I don't feel like I belong in that kind of company." Perhaps once he stands on stage -- properly celebrated and duly honored -- Martin will accept that he is absolutely a part of that good company. The best. &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;
Auto-Owners Insurance expands sponsorship pact with Furniture Row Racing
RELATED: New looks for 2017 DENVER, Colo. (Jan. 16, 2017) -- Furniture Row Racing announced that Auto-Owners Insurance has agreed to a multiyear primary sponsorship for Martin Truex Jr .'s No. 78 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Cup Series. The Fortune 500 company, which joined Furniture Row Racing in 2016 as a primary sponsor for three races, will double that amount in both 2017 and 2018. The six races the Auto-Owners Insurance paint scheme will adorn Truex's No. 78 Camry in 2017 will be at Kansas Speedway (May 13), Michigan International Speedway (June 18), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 23), Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 9), Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 7) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 12). Auto-Owners Insurance, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016, provides auto, home, life and business coverage for NASCAR fans and customers through local, independent agents in 26 states. The company is based in Lansing, Michigan. "Teaming up with Furniture Row Racing has been an outstanding fit for Auto-Owners, and we are excited to continue our partnership for the 2017 and 2018 seasons," said Mary Pierce, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Auto-Owners. "Martin and the No. 78 team have pioneered their way to excellence at the highest level of NASCAR. We truly admire their hard work and consistency, and look forward to being a part of their continued success." The Auto-Owners Insurance blue hue shared a competitive experience with Furniture Row Racing in 2016. In the three races that Auto-Owners Insurance was the primary sponsor, Truex won the prestigious Southern 500 in Darlington, South Carolina, finished seventh at the fall race in Martinsville, Virginia, and was eighth at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. "There was indeed something special about the success of the blue Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry last year and we are more than thrilled that the company is expanding its partnership with Furniture Row Racing for the next two seasons," said Furniture Row Racing team president Joe Garone. "Auto-Owners Insurance has been a winning company for a century and we are humbled that they have placed their confidence in our race team." Truex was equally excited to hear about the new sponsorship agreement. "Winning the Southern 500 -- a triple crown race -- with the blue Auto-Owners Insurance paint scheme was without a doubt one of the main highlights of my racing career," said Truex. "We want to give Auto-Owners Insurance more success as we look forward to the 2017 season. I was able to visit the Auto-Owners Insurance headquarters in Lansing and came away feeling proud to be associated with a company that has had 100 years of success."
Tire limits, plate-race tweaks among 2017 rules updates
RELATED: Driver Tracker " Photo gallery: Who's on the move for 2017 NASCAR competition officials issued memos detailing rule book changes for the 2017 season in its three national series, including limits on tire allocation, restrictor-plate and spoiler size, and an allowance for drivers to use biometric devices. The 80 total pages of revisions released Friday afternoon pertain to Sections 20 (Vehicle and Driver Safety specifications) and 21 (Pit Equipment and Crew Safety specifications) across the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series , NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series . Among the highlights in the rules updates: • NASCAR set its regulations on tire allocation for all three series in 2017. In the Monster Energy Cup Series, the number of tire sets available to teams per event dropped for 28 of the 36 points-paying races. Tracks with two or three fewer set of tires allowed next season: Homestead (three fewer sets), Daytona ( 500 only, two fewer sets), Phoenix (two fewer sets for both races), Martinsville (two fewer sets for both races), Bristol (two fewer sets for both races), Kansas (two fewer sets for both races), Auto Club (two fewer sets), Kentucky (two fewer sets) and Chicagoland (two fewer sets). Tracks with one fewer set of tires allowed next season: Michigan (both races), Atlanta, Las Vegas, Texas (both races), Dover (both races), Charlotte (both races), Indianapolis, Pocono (both races) and Richmond (both races). • In 2017, Monster Energy Cup teams will be required to start the race on the tires they used in Coors Light Pole Qualifying. This change does not apply to the XFINITY or Camping World Truck Series. • Drivers in all three series may use biometrics devices in their vehicles in 2017. The wrist-worn health tracking devices may not transmit data, may not connect to the vehicle in any way and must operate on an internal battery. Devices eligible for use are certain models made by Garmin, Misfit, Polar, Samsung, Tom Tom and Jawbone. • The 2017 aerodynamic package for non-restrictor plate tracks in the Monster Energy Cup Series will feature a shortened rear spoiler, measuring 2.35 inches tall. The standard rear-spoiler height for premier series teams last season was 3.5 inches, with a 2.5-inch tall spoiler used at Kentucky and both Michigan races as auditions for this season. • For superspeedway events at Daytona and Talladega, the restrictor plate opening will be smaller by 1/64 of an inch -- reduced from 57/64 to 7/8. The change affects only the Monster Energy Cup and XFINITY series for those two tracks. • Additional safety guidelines were issued for restrictor-plate events for Monster Energy Cup and XFINITY teams. Among them, the previously optional roof hatch is now mandatory as an alternate escape route. Competition officials have also required the use of energy-absorbing materials to strengthen the area occupied by the drivers' feet in the cockpit. • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will be required to carry a roof-mounted camera assembly at all times, whether in use by broadcast partner networks or not.