Pocono Raceway officials announced Tuesday the addition of a NASCAR XFINITY Series event to the track's 2016 racing schedule. The 250-mile race is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, and will be part of a three-race weekend at the 2.5-mile track. The Sprint Cup Series' Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 is slated for Sunday, June 5 while the Pocono 200 ARCA Racing Series event will kick off the weekend's racing activities. It will be the first appearance for the XFINITY Series at Pocono, which has hosted NASCAR-sanctioned events since 1974. Track president and CEO Brandon Igdalsky said race fans "have been asking for this to happen for several years." Comcast, parent company of series sponsor XFINITY , is based in Philadelphia. "From Day 1 we've been focused on enhancing the way fans experience NASCAR and highlighting the competition and youth in the XFINITY Series," Matt Lederer, director of sports brand marketing for Comcast, said. "The addition of an event at Pocono Raceway in our home state ... will help carry the momentum built in the first year of our partnership into 2016." In addition to the June race weekend, the Pennsylvania 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for July 31 at Pocono, along with the Pocono Mountains 150 Camping World Truck Series race and Modspace 125 ARCA event. Camping World Truck Series teams have been competing at Pocono since 2010 while the ARCA Series began competing at the track in 1987. "Pocono is a very unique track," current XFINITY Series points leader Chris Buescher said. "I'm excited that we are adding a new track to the XFINITY Series schedule. I've raced there a considerable amount in the ARCA Series and have always enjoyed it. It will be a good challenge for the XFINITY teams."
Listen to what all the top finishers ahd to say about today's Pocono Mountains 125 .
RELATED: Gordon's teammates plan tribute " Final 24 paint scheme My first meeting with Jeff Gordon came in Atlanta in 1992, two nights before what would be a sport-changing maiden NASCAR Winston Cup Series start for the then 20-year-old. I remember he was dressed casually in jeans and yes, sported "that" mustache. I met him as part of a larger group of friends in a bustling Atlanta hotel lobby. He was without a single "handler" and since he knew a couple people in our group, wondered if he could tag along with us. The plan was to do a group dinner then later stop by a sports bar to watch the big fight between Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe. The young Gordon looked as much like a fan as a driver. You'd never know he competed in NASCAR's Grand National division. Even less apparent was that he would be making his first big Cup start that weekend, except for the occasional, "Hey Jeff," which he acknowledged in a downplayed manner. I still have a large button with a photo of Jeff and a friend of mine after we jokingly convinced the staff at Benihana's that night it was Gordon's birthday. It wasn't, but we got free dessert and the funny button. I had reported on a lot of IMSA sports car racing leading into this assignment for the Tampa Tribune , but this was my first big Cup race, too. Our primary racing beat writer, Herb Branham, was focusing his weekend coverage on "the big story" -- Richard Petty's last start. I was to handle the more routine race story topped by the championship. Looking back at it, I discovered that I never even mentioned Gordon in that story. He crashed and finished 31st. To be perfectly honest, my background was primarily stick-and-ball and I had no idea who Gordon was, especially compared to NASCAR's bigger names like Petty, Davey Allison, Bill Elliott and Alan Kulwicki, who won the title that weekend. Just to have a chance at this first big-time racing opportunity, I had to make myself valuable all around to the newspaper. So I offered to stop in Atlanta earlier in the week for a lengthy and candid interview with the Tampa Bay Lightning's big news, a woman goalie, Manon Rheaume. Manon was great. But NASCAR was better and 22 years later, I'm still here. I remember congratulating Gordon the day after our dinner on his "best of second round qualifying," but honestly had no idea of the fabulous racing legend this modest, fun, personable young man would become. He eventually lost the mustache, but never the mojo. RELATED: Photos of Gordon through the years Gordon is the first major NASCAR champion that I have covered from the very beginning to the very end, which comes with his retirement this weekend after the 2015 season finale in Homestead, Florida -- where he stands an impressive 1-in-4 chance to win a fifth title. And while Gordon has accomplished so much, transformed the sport and truly deserves the opportunity to possibly leave as a champion, it will feel very odd to me -- and to so many -- to say goodbye now. Gordon was the first NASCAR driver I had any lengthy conversation with or wrote any substantial stories about. Considering that now, after his four championships and 93 victories, it is something I will treasure as a reporter. And truly it started with what a down-to-earth person I have always considered Gordon to be. I'm fortunate to say I was there for so many of Gordon's firsts -- the Brickyards, the Daytona 500 s, the championships ... and the fabulous head-to-heads with Dale Earnhardt. RELATED: Gordon's top 24 NASCAR moments I still have the February 1995 edition of "Beckett Racing Monthly" magazine with Gordon's first cover photo and my story on him featured inside. I honestly hadn't read it in more than 10-15 years. The headline is "Flash Gordon" and talks about the amazing statistics he had already posted only two full seasons into what is now surely a Hall of Fame career. He was already truly one of the most popular drivers on the circuit -- later that very year winning his first Cup title -- and I remember his public relations team wanting me to send a letter in advance with a list of potential questions. I didn't. And Gordon was still spectacular. As impressive as his success on track had already been -- the 1993 Rookie of the Year, a win in his first Gatorade Twin 125 , and then in the Coca-Cola 600 and the inaugural 1994 Brickyard 400 -- Gordon was genuinely humbled and amazed at the fan reaction in my story. "When I get a second to sit down, which isn't very often, I think back to when I got a chance to meet Charles Barkley or Chris Webber,'' Gordon said in the article. "That was a big thrill for me and they weren't rude, they were really nice. That made a big impact on me and I try to put myself in that same position. If I have an extra second, I always try to give it to the fans, especially the kids.'' And he always has. This weekend in particular, Gordon will be honored, acknowledged, remembered and cheered for more than two decades of transforming this sport on track and off it. As he said in that 1994 article, "I'm just a race car driver looking to make a living.'' And so he has. So, well done.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (November 8, 2015) — NASCAR® and Chevrolet today announced the scholarship winners in the NASCAR Chevrolet Diversity Scholarship Contest during a special presentation at Texas Motor Speedway . Four undergraduate college students from across the country were awarded a total of $20,000 in scholarships and treated to a VIP experience at today’s AAA Texas 500 , including a tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage, pace car rides and meet-and-greets with Team Chevy drivers and Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Program Manager, Alba Colon. Last month, NASCAR and Chevrolet challenged college students to identify a specific technology within the sport and explain how STEM professionals came to its design in 90-second videos. Student videos were submitted online and judged on technical accuracy, creativity and production value. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student Maria Kaselow Salas earned first place and a $10,000 scholarship by illustrating the physics behind track banking in her video demonstration at a local skateboard park. "I'm so thankful for Chevrolet and NASCAR for this opportunity and for inspiring students like me to continue to pursue their dreams," said Salas, a senior aviation business administration major. "I've really enjoyed my experience at the track, and learning more about the science behind NASCAR." Utah State University sophomore Allan Blad took second place and won a $5,000 scholarship for his video about NASCAR's eco-friendly, track-drying technology, the Air Titan 2.0. Vishnu Rachakonda, a biomedical engineering student at the University of Pennsylvania , and Jonathan Gwinn, who studies mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio, finished in third and fourth place, respectively, earning $2,500 scholarships. "Congratulations to these special winners and to all the students that participated in this unique challenge," said Colon. "It is an honor for Chevrolet to be involved in this important program; not only with NASCAR, but with our future generation in their pursuit of STEM-related careers. They are not only a vital part in the ongoing development of our sport, but also in their contribution to the future of this country." "Supporting talented students who are interested in careers in STEM is essential for the growth of our sport and industry," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "Partnering with Chevrolet to present scholarships gives both companies an opportunity to recognize and applaud these future leaders and innovators." Before taking in the AAA Texas 500 , the scholarship recipients also met with Richard Childress Racing driver Ryan Newman , who graduated from Purdue University with an engineering degree. With this scholarship initiative, NASCAR and Chevrolet continue their longstanding commitment to STEM education and promoting opportunities for students to pursue STEM-related careers. For more information about NASCAR’s diversity initiatives, please visit http://nascardiversity.com .
Clint Bowyer and Johnny Sauter talk about their solid runs in the Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway, a track Sauter describes as one he isn't particularly fond of.
NASCAR RETURNS TO AMS FEB. 26-28; SPEEDWAY INTRODUCES ‘PERFECT RACE WEATHER GUARANTEE’ Buy Tickets for 2016 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 . HAMPTON, Ga. (Oct. 13, 2015) – NASCAR racing will make its thunderous return to Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2016 with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Weekend Feb. 26-28. The Speedway today announced several great new benefits for fans attending the weekend event. The 2016 NASCAR Weekend has become more affordable and fan-friendly than ever. The majority of grandstand seat prices have been reduced, and no ticket to the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is priced at more than $99, with seats starting as low as $39. The new ticket prices represent an overall average reduction of 15 percent from previous levels. Along with reduced ticket prices, Atlanta Motor Speedway has introduced a “Perfect Race Weather Guarantee.” The all-new policy offers fans options in the event that inclement weather prevents them from attending the race. If the daytime high temperature in Hampton, Georgia on Saturday or Sunday of race weekend fails to reach at least 50 degrees as observed by the National Weather Service, or if weather issues postpone the day’s activities to a different day and fans are unable to attend on the rescheduled date, fans who do not enter the admission gates on the day the event is held will receive an account credit for the full price of their tickets. Credits can be applied to any future AMS event or events in 2016 or the 2017 NASCAR Weekend. Also new in 2016, Atlanta Motor Speedway is rolling out the ultra-affordable “Good,” “Better” and “Best” ticket packages that offer unbeatable weekend deals. •The “Good” ticket package, priced at $79, includes upper Petty Grandstand seating for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 , plus general admission seating to Friday’s Sprint Cup Series qualifying day and Saturday’s doubleheader, a savings of $40 off the regular prices. •The “Better” ticket package is priced at $139 and offers seating in the Winners, Earnhardt or Petty Grandstand for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 , general admission seating to Friday’s Sprint Cup Series qualifying day and Saturday’s doubleheader, a weekend FanVision rental and a Sunday pre-race pit pass, for a total savings of $ 125 off regular prices •The “Best” package, which offers the best value of all three deals, is priced at $179 and boasts an ultimate NASCAR weekend combination, including a seat in the Upper Champions Grandstand or the Upper Winners Grandstand chairback seats for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 , general admission seating to Friday’s Sprint Cup Series qualifying day and Saturday’s doubleheader, a weekend FanVision scanner rental, a weekend pre-race pit pass, and $25 off a purchase of $50 or more in the AMS souvenir shop. In total, the “Best” package shaves a whopping $165 off normal pricing. The Good, Better and Best packages are available for purchase now in addition to other traditional, price-friendly ticket packages. Those include the Two-for-$99 deal, the $159 Start/Finish Line Package, which includes both Saturday and Sunday tickets plus a Sunday pre-race pit pass, and the Jimmie Johnson package, which grants access to a pre-race Q&A session with the defending Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 winner for just $48 and half the price for kids. Another fan-favorite experience available now is the Champions Suite, which offers an indoor, climate-controlled atmosphere, a pre-race pit pass, individual reserved seating, TVs, dedicated restrooms, a delicious food and beverage buffet and much more. For the second consecutive year, AMS will host all three NASCAR national series on the same weekend. Saturday, Feb. 27 features a Camping World Truck Series and XFINITY Series same-day doubleheader unique to Atlanta, for a combined 450 miles of racing, while the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race headlines the weekend on Sunday, Feb. 28. Sprint Cup Series qualifying will open the weekend’s events on Friday, Feb. 26. Fans are encouraged to secure their tickets early and take advantage of these 2016 NASCAR Weekend specials, as many are available for a limited time and only while supplies last. For event information and to purchase tickets today , fans are encouraged to contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com . -AMS- Buy Tickets for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Now!
RELATED: Race Results " Standings " Chase Grid KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr . used to own Talladega Superspeedway . After a disappointing run at Kansas Speedway in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 , he'll need to re-ascend to the throne next Sunday if he is to keep his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship hopes intact. Can do, Earnhardt, who finished 21st at Kansas and two laps off the pace at Kansas, said after exiting his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet on pit road. "Don't count us out," he said. "We got confidence and we definitely have the car to do it ... and Talladega is a race we can win." Earnhardt did not have the car to do it at Kansas. Nor did he have the precision in the pits that championship hopefuls need. He started 15th in the second of the three Contender Round events and moved backward from there. He was plagued by vibrations a couple of times in the race and then, on Lap 160, what he believed to be a loose wheel sent him to the pits under green. When he emerged, he had dropped off the lead lap. RELATED: Loose wheel brings Junior to pit road It marked the second time in the Chase that a loose wheel caused him problems. At Dover a couple weeks ago, he was plagued by one. But before he was about to pit, a caution saved him from having to make a green-flag stop and allowed him to advance to the three-race Contender Round. Despite the wheel problems, Earnhardt insisted after the Kansas race that he has big confidence in his crew and crew chief. "I'm fine," he said. "We'll get it figured out. I believe in my guys. I really do." Earnhardt will start the race at Talladega next Sunday 11th in points and 31 points out of the eighth and final berth in the Eliminator Round. A good finish won't be good enough for Earnhardt's championship chances. He will likely need The Finish. His overall history at Talladega says a victory is very possible. Earnhardt won the spring race at Talladega this year -- but his the last victory before that was in 2004. RELATED: Junior wins spring race at Talladega Earnhardt, who said he arrived at Kansas knowing he would likely need to win Talladega in order to advance, said, basically, "so what" to that. "I know that one race, one opportunity, one chance makes the odds feel bad, but we won there this year," he said. "And we went to Daytona (which, like Talladega is a restrictor-plate track) and ran third in the 500 and we won our 125 (qualifying race)." Earnhardt was asked late Sunday afternoon about the frustration of having such a good season boil down to one event. "I'm not frustrated and I'm not emotionally drained or anything like that," he said. "The Chase is going to give you these kind of results. "I've been in this before and it is what it is."
Driver holds off field in green-white-checkered finish
August's Pocono race will mark his 2015 NCWTS debut, joined by Harvick RELATED: Harvick set to race at Pocono Mountains 150 Kyle Busch will make his return to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Aug. 1 for the Pocono Mountains 150 . RELATED: Truck Series entry list for Pocono Busch missed the first three months of NASCAR racing due to severe leg and foot injuries he suffered in the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener. In his comeback, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver has had an impressive few months of racing on both the Sprint Cup and XFINITY sides and is looking to, once again, top the Camping World Truck Series leaderboard. With a total of 42 wins, 79 top fives, 99 top-10 results and 16 poles, Busch is hoping to add to his impressive Camping World Truck Series statistics this August. Busch's last Camping World Truck Series win was in October during the 2014 WinStar World Casino & Resort 350 at Texas, where he led for 80 laps. The Aug. 1 race will only be Busch's second time racing at the Tricky Triangle in the Truck Series. The first time was in 2011 when he started and finished second behind Kevin Harvick . Coincidentally, Harvick will also make his 2015 Camping World Truck Series debut at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania track next month, driving the No. 00 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series comes to Pocono