Jay Mohr to host NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards in Las Vegas
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2016) -- Grammy-nominated actor, comedian and radio personality Jay Mohr will join NASCAR fans across the nation in honoring the newly crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Jimmie Johnson , as the host of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at Wynn Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 2. In addition to Sting's previously announced headline performance , the show will feature award-winning musical artists American Authors, Skylar Grey and Olivia Holt. Jay Mohr, who will host the event for an unprecedented sixth time, is the host of "Jay Mohr Sports" on FOX Sports Radio, a daily sports talk and entertainment show, syndicated in more than 150 markets, highlighted by Mohr's trademark comedic style. Best-known for his tenure as a "Saturday Night Live" cast member, he has also appeared on numerous shows including CBS' "Ghost Whisperer" and "Gary Unmarried," and was previously nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award as the host and executive producer of "Last Comic Standing." Additionally, Mohr has worked with more than a dozen Academy Award-winning or nominated actors including Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire," Jennifer Aniston in "Picture Perfect," Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt in "Pay it Forward" and Matt Damon in Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter." "I am proud to be asked again to host the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards," said Mohr. "Everyone associated with this organization -- the owners, the staff, the racing teams, and the drivers -- are of the highest caliber, and it is truly an honor to perform for all of them again. It is by far my favorite thing to do." The evening's musical lineup will include a performance by American Authors, best-known for hits "Best Day of My Life" from their debut album "Oh, What a Life" and "Go Big or Go Home" from their second album, "What We Live For." This will be American Authors' second performance during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week, as they will headline the NASCAR Silver Bullet Bash Presented by Coors Light. Singer, songwriter Skylar Grey will also be featured at NASCAR’s championship celebration. The five-time Grammy Award-nominated artist recently released her sophomore album "Natural Causes" and has co-written hits for the likes of Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. Grey has also been featured on tracks alongside Eminem and Kid Cudi, among numerous others, and contributed to official soundtracks for "Suicide Squad," "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "Furious 7." Singer and actress Olivia Holt will join the evening's lineup with a performance from her debut EP "Olivia," released earlier this year. Holt has starred in several Disney originals including the Disney XD series "Kickin' It" and the Disney Channel series "I Didn't Do It." NBCSN, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Channel 90, will present coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards beginning at 8 p.m. ET. For more information on NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, please visit ChampionsWeek.NASCAR.com .
Michael Phelps introduces Jimmie Johnson at Sprint Cup Awards
Two of sports' greatest collided Friday evening at the Sprint Cup Awards as Michael Phelps made a surprise appearance to introduce 2016's Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson in his official coronation. "Seven-Time," the man of the hour, received congratulations the entire evening, from Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick to every Chase driver, but it was Phelps that took the driver by surprise. The most-decorated Olympian of all time took the stage to introduce Johnson -- from one champion to the next -- to the Las Vegas crowd. Once Johnson got to the mic for his highly-anticipated champion speech he was indeed shocked. "It's still sinking in," he confessed. "It's mind blowing." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Dale Jr. wins NMPA Sprint Most Popular Driver Award
MORE: Junior through the years " Relive all of Dale Jr.'s win s DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Although he missed one half of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season due to injury, race fans still overwhelmingly selected Dale Earnhardt Jr . as the National Motorsports Press Association Sprint Most Popular Driver. Earnhardt's selection was announced Friday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards program at the Wynn Las Vegas. A $10,000 donation to the charity of his choice will be made on behalf of the NMPA. It is the 14th consecutive season Earnhardt has been voted the series' MPD. The award is the only major NASCAR honor to be determined solely by fan vote. Only one other driver, Bill Elliott , has won the award more often. Elliott was named the series' most popular driver 16 times between 1984 and 2002. Earnhardt, driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports , was sidelined at midseason after suffering concussion-like symptoms following on-track incidents at Michigan International Speedway and Daytona International Speedway . He is expected to return to competition for 2017. RELATED: Junior injury timeline "The Most Popular Driver Award is always very humbling to receive, even more so this year with my injury and time out of the car," Earnhardt Jr. said. "The fans continue to amaze me with their loyalty and the support they've shown throughout my career no matter the circumstance. "I try not to think about winning or losing the Most Popular Driver award; it's a bit of a gift, you know. Whether we win the award or not, we get a lot of great support from our fans all season long. I certainly got some extra support this year through the injury and all that stuff; it's unfortunate to be in that position but the fans were great. That was an incredible motivator for me during my recovery to get healthy. Not a lot of people that go through those types of support groups, but the fans really made a world of difference. "I was pretty open and transparent in sharing the process and they were certainly open and honest replying and wishing us well. It made the bad days better and once I started feeling good about coming back it gave me a lot of motivation, maybe a reminder I guess of why I want to be back in the car. You race to have fun and win races, but it wouldn't even be worth making the trip if the fans didn't show up. They're a huge reason why we want to get back in the car and be back at the track next year." Junior also tweeted a message to his fans after receiving the award. Thank you fans! You guys are such a huge part of our team and help motivate us in so many ways. pic.twitter.com/hvEek8hkux — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) December 3, 2016 Sprint has been the presenting sponsor of the Most Popular Driver Award program since 2014. Forty drivers received one or more votes from fans during this year's 12-week voting period. Aside from Earnhardt Jr., others finishing in the top 10 in vote totals were (in alphabetical order): Kyle Busch , Carl Edwards , Chase Elliott , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Matt Kenseth , Danica Patrick , Tony Stewart and Martin Truex Jr . The Most Popular Driver Award has been presented annually since 1953 and the recipient was originally determined by a poll of competitors. It became a fan-driven program in 1984 under the guidance of the NMPA. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
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.
Leavine Family Racing secures Sprint Cup Series charter
MORE: Buy tickets for Homestead-Miami Championship Weekend NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owner Tommy Baldwin said Thursday that this weekend's event at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be the last as a full-time organization for his single-car outfit. The former crew chief said in a post on Facebook that "we felt it's time for a new chapter in our lives and we have sold our charter to a great group of people who will continue to guide our vision." According to a release from Leaving Family Racing, which currently runs under the Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing name, LFR has purchased the charter from Tommy Baldwin Racing . No purchase price was announced. Baldwin's team currently fields the No. 7 Chevrolet with driver Regan Smith . The team was formed following the departure of Bill Davis Racing, for whom Baldwin served as crew chief, in 2009. It has just two top-five finishes in nearly 400 starts, the most recent coming at Pocono this year when Smith finished third. "For the past eight years we've shown up at every race, worked hard to compete at the top level and bring value to our sponsors," Baldwin wrote. "I feel confident that we are moving on having accomplished that. There have been many teams like ours that have come and gone. I'm proud that we have been able to sustain ourselves from the very beginning. … "If you're reading this, you already know that NASCAR is the greatest sport in the world. I have been blessed to have a career in motorsports because of how NASCAR has grown over the years." Baldwin went on to say that he isn't sure what the future holds; fielding a part-time team wasn't mentioned but neither was closing the team entirely. Securing the charter means that the LFR team, which currently fields the No. 95 Chevrolet for driver Michael McDowell , will be guaranteed a starting spot in each race next season. " Leavine Family Racing is committed to continued growth on and off the race track," owner Bob Leavine said. "The charter is a meaningful step forward for our team and provides us further stability as we look towards success in 2017 and beyond. We are confident that the purchase of the charter and continued improvement on the track will lead to increased revenue opportunities."
NASCAR, Monster Energy announce premier series entitlement partnership
RELATED: Official NASCAR release " NASCAR Nation reacts to news LAS VEGAS – NASCAR announced on Thursday at Wynn Las Vegas a multi-year deal that will make Monster Energy only the third entitlement sponsor in premier series history. The length and terms of the deal were not disclosed, but both parties hailed the partnership as the perfect fit for both brands. "Monster Energy is a brand built on excitement and enthusiasm, qualities that align with NASCAR," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. "This sponsorship position is the most unique in all of sports and entertainment, and we are thrilled to have a partner that will help us further elevate the series . Today's announcement is the culmination of a thorough search, one that resulted in the right partner at this important time in our sport’s history." Monster Energy has existing sponsorships with a number of motorsports sanctioning bodies, athletes and teams, but the NASCAR deal signals the biggest sponsorship step in the company's history. "Monster has built its brand on racing and motorsports, and NASCAR is the pinnacle of motorsports in America," said Mitch Covington, vice president of sports marketing at Monster Beverage Company. "It's American racing; we're an American brand that's a global company, and NASCAR is, too. When the opportunity came along to further associate yourself with a sport like NASCAR, it was the perfect fit for us. … NASCAR is just a hard-hitting, close-racing, fun property to be associated with." Along with naming rights to NASCAR's top series , Monster Energy will also hold race sponsorship to the NASCAR All-Star Race and become the Official Energy Drink of NASCAR. Monster Energy also said it will continue to sponsor Stewart-Haas Racing 's No. 41 car. Thursday's announcement is the culmination of a lengthy and thorough search by NASCAR to find the successor to Sprint , whose entitlement sponsorship will end on December 31, 2016. Steve Phelps, NASCAR executive vice president and chief global sales and marketing officer, said that the sanctioning body spoke with numerous companies throughout the process, ultimately choosing Monster Energy for a number of reasons, not the least of which was its lifestyle culture. "We have the good fortune of finding a brand that we believe works for our sport," Phelps said. "They're going to bring their lifestyle to their activation. … They're going to bring their brand, their excitement, their energy to this partnership, and the fans are going to be the winners. It's all about engaging the fans and having the fans have unique, fun experiences whether at the race track or through different mediums, through social, digital, content." Phelps said a number of ancillary details will be announced in the coming weeks. Among those still under discussion is the name of the series , the series mark and the championship trophy. Under the agreement, energy drink sponsors already involved in NASCAR may remain in place. Potential sponsors from the energy drink category will not be eligible for future sponsorship if not already involved in the sport.
NASCAR reveals multi-year partnership with Monster Energy for Premier Series Entitlement
RELATED: NASCAR, Monster Energy announce deal " NASCAR Nation reacts DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR and Monster Energy announced today a multi-year agreement for the premier series entitlement as well as the prestigious annual NASCAR All-Star Race. Monster Energy, which will begin its tenure as naming rights partner on Jan. 1, 2017, will become only the third company to serve as the entitlement sponsor in NASCAR premier series history, following RJ Reynolds and Sprint /Nextel. As part of the agreement, the brand also becomes the Official Energy Drink of NASCAR. "Monster Energy is a brand built on excitement and enthusiasm, qualities that align with NASCAR," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. "This sponsorship position is the most unique in all of sports and entertainment, and we are thrilled to have a partner that will help us further elevate the series . Today's announcement is the culmination of a thorough search, one that resulted in the right partner at this important time in our sport’s history." NASCAR premier series races long have been a bucket-list destination for sports fans throughout the country, and starting next season, Monster Energy will elevate the event experience to an even higher level. As part of the agreement, Monster Energy will engage with fans in creative, innovative ways at all race tracks where the premier series will race. " Monster Energy has an established and versatile history in motorsports, and we’re thrilled to take this historic next step," said Rodney Sacks, Monster Beverage Chairman and CEO. "We feel strongly that our brand is a perfect fit for this sport and its star athletes. We look forward to interacting with the millions of passionate NASCAR fans week-in, week out."
Phoenix penalties: Sprint Cup crew chief fined; XFINITY crew chief suspended
MORE: Buy tickets for Homestead-Miami Championship Weekend Sprint Cup Series crew chief Adam Stevens and XFINITY Series crew chief Kevin Meendering were fined $10,000 each because of improperly installed lug nuts at Phoenix International Raceway , NASCAR officials announced Wednesday. Meendering, crew chief for the No. 1 Chevrolet, also is suspended as driver Elliott Sadler competes for the XFINITY Series title in the Championship 4 this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway . The penalty levied against the No. 1 team following the Ticket Gallaxy 200 at Phoenix was a P3-level penalty. Stevens and the No. 18 team for Kyle Busch 's Toyota were assessed a P2-level penalty after Sunday's Can-Am 500 at Phoenix. In addition, several teams were given warnings Wednesday after post-race inspections were completed at the NASCAR R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina. The No. 2 team of Brad Keselowski was given a written warning and will lose 15 minutes of practice time after the Team Penske Ford failed pre-race laser inspection (LIS) three times. The No. 2 also failed pre-race template inspection twice. Other Sprint Cup Series warnings issued were: Nos. 22 (driver Joey Logano ), 24 ( Chase Elliott ) and 98 ( Reed Sorenson ) for failing pre-race LIS twice; No. 10 ( Danica Patrick ) for failing template inspection twice before qualifying; and Nos. 78 ( Martin Truex Jr .) and 95 ( Michael McDowell ) for failing pre-qualifying LIS twice. In the XFINITY Series , six teams failed pre-race LIS twice and received warnings: Nos. 3 (driver Ty Dillon ); 15 (D.J. Kennington); 18 ( Kyle Busch ); 20 ( Erik Jones ); 33 ( Brandon Jones ) and 60 ( Ricky Stenhouse Jr .).
Why Jimmie Johnson will win the 2016 Sprint Cup title
RELATED: Buy tickets for Homestead-Miami Championship Weekend ALL TITLE STORIES: Logano " Edwards " Busch Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of four stories examining why each driver could win the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Coming Tuesday: Why Joey Logano will win the 2016 championship Jimmie Johnson will win the title because … It's time. The greatest driver of his generation, and perhaps of all time -- he certainly belongs in the conversation -- sits on the doorstep of history. A title Sunday at Miami would give him seven, tying the all-time mark with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. RELATED: How Johnson won his six titles Most didn't think Jimmie would be here. He won twice early in the season, but his seemingly annual summer slump turned into a full-blown regular-season slump. His speed was off. Something was missing. Months of work in the wind tunnel paid off in time for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . The No. 48 has resumed its pace as a car at the front of the field. Winning at Charlotte Motor Speedway to open the Round of 12 ensured, for the first time in three years, that Johnson would be in the Round of 8. Winning at Martinsville in the Round of 8 opener then ensured the team an extra two full weeks to think through its Homestead car, setup and strategy. Think about that. Crew chief Chad Knaus, one of the most shrewd men in the garage, has had more time than any of the other championship drivers to strategize. Can you really bet against them? &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;gt;
Why Joey Logano will win the 2016 Sprint Cup title
ALL TITLE STORIES: Johnson " Edwards " Busch Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of four stories examining why each driver could win the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. Coming Wednesday: Why Carl Edwards will win the 2016 championship Joey Logano will win the title because … He has proven to be the best driver in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format that debuted in 2014 and has a knack for performing when it's all on the line -- plus he's got all the momentum in the world after a thrilling victory at Phoenix to clinch his berth. Over the past three seasons, Logano's seven wins in 29 Chase races tops all drivers. "I know we can do it," Logano said after his victory in the desert. "I don't feel like it's a long shot like it was last time. It was my first time there, (and I was thinking) 'I'm racing for a championship, oh, my God, what's going to happen?' This time I feel like we've been here before." A quick glance at Logano's Homestead numbers (17.7 average finish) will lead you to believe he might not be the favorite, but a closer look shows that he has a 9.3 average finish since he joined Team Penske in 2013. That figure is just slightly off Jimmie Johnson 's average finish of 9.0 for best among the remaining Chase drivers during that same period. And if seven wins in 29 Chase races becomes 8-for-30? That'd result in title No. 1. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;