Up To Speed: JGR, RFR highlight day four of NASCAR Sprint Media Tour
Alan Cavanna highlights the last day of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour with news from JGR and RFR.
Up to Speed: NASCAR, SMI Highlight Day Two of Sprint Media Tour
NASCAR, SMI, MWR, and Furniture Row Racing are stops during day two of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour .
Funniest NASCAR Sprint Media Tour moments
During the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour NASCAR's drivers proved there's always time for a little fun.
Up to Speed: 2013 Sprint Media Tour rolls out in Charlotte
The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Media makes it's annual stop in Charlotte, with an announcment from Sprint and a stop at Stewart-Haas Racing
2012 Media Tour Recap
Chuck Howard takes a quick look back at the Sprint Media Tour from Charlotte, NC.
NASCAR touring champs set for gala celebration
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Anthony Kumpen came the farthest, making the hours-long plane ride from Europe. It was a return trip he has happily accepted. Kumpen and six other champions from the NASCAR touring and regional series have congregated in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area this week for a celebration of their title-clinching seasons. The activities culminate in Saturday's NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards at the Charlotte Convention Center. Kumpen joins Justin Haley (K&N Pro Series East), Todd Gilliland (K&N West), Cayden Lapcevich (Pinty's Series), Doug Coby (Whelen Modified Tour ), Burt Myers (Whelen Southern Modified Tour ) and Matt Bowling (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champ) among those honored at Saturday night's gala. It's the Belgian-born driver's second visit in three years after capping off his second NASCAR Whelen Euro Series crown. "It's great to be back. It's a fantastic event, a fantastic week," Kumpen said. "We're really proud as European drivers that we can be part of the NASCAR family. The championship is growing, we had a sold-out event in the UK at Brands Hatch, so it's becoming big in Europe." Kumpen, 38, has already commemorated a special celebration of the championship in the Euro Series' season finale with a VIP guest. Kumpen has a connection with four-time NASCAR premier series champion Jeff Gordon that goes beyond the No. 24 adorning his Chevrolet: He hails from the same hometown in Belgium as Gordon's wife, Ingrid Vandebosch. Kumpen was already on edge entering the season's final weekend. Then came the e-mail popping into his inbox from Gordon, indicating that he'd be in attendance at the Zolder, Belgium, road course. "So the stress level went a bit up," he said with a laugh. "We asked him to become grand marshal of the race, which he did and which was fantastic for our championship." Kumpen said he was scheduled for a tour of the Hendrick Motorsports shop Friday with Gordon serving as his guide. But before the drivers don their formal wear for Saturday, the touring champions savored a rare opportunity to meet and interact, mixing it up in Thursday's karting challenge at GoPro Motorplex. "It's been super-special so far. Just being in the same place as all these other champions is super cool to meet them," Gilliland said. "I've heard their names and watched their races on TV, but I've never really met some of them. It's been really cool to meet them in an area like this and to be out here at GoPro Motorplex racing with them is awesome." RELATED: Meet Gilliland, complete NASCAR Next class Kumpen led the first half of a Media /Champions race then edged Haley by half a kart-length to prevail in the eighth annual Champions Karting Challenge. For the 17-year-old Haley, his participation in this week's events was a year-long wait after watching William Byron precede him as K&N East champion last season. "It's really, really cool what NASCAR does for us," Haley said. "I sat there last year and saw what William did on social media and how cool it was, so I thought it'd be a cool experience to come and do it myself."
2014 Sprint Cup Series driver, team profiles
Get to know the drivers and their teams for the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season
Up to Speed: Media tour makes stops at HMS and EGR
Alan Cavanna recaps Day 3 of the media tour after stops to Hendrick Motorsports and EGR.
Johnson's #Se7en title quest hashtag carries special meaning
The rise of social media's popularity, particularly Twitter, has played well with Jimmie Johnson 's run of championships. As his charge to the title has played out during the course of recent seasons, Johnson's use of hashtags, a combination of the # symbol followed by keywords or topics, has been very much in evidence. With Johnson's latest endeavor -- a quest for a seventh championship -- looking promising, having already locked up a berth in the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway , let's take a look back at his previous hashtags and his current one on display. There was #5time following his fifth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 2010. That was followed by #6pack, which appeared during his drive to a sixth title in 2013. During the Sprint Media Tour ahead of his championship-defending 2014 season, Johnson explained the origins of the hashtag he's been using since -- #se7en. #SE7EN pic.twitter.com/DWSSLrxVX0 — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) October 30, 2016 "Out of memory of Ricky Hendrick, I went with #se7en," Johnson said at the time. The numeral and the peculiar way it was written "was something that was really important to (Ricky). ... He would spell it out that way and had it in a variety of ways." Hendrick, son of Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick, was one of 10 people killed in a plane crash in October of 2004. He had made 22 starts in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series that season before stepping out of the car and turning his attention to ownership. "When we were at the Hendrick Christmas party in December, his favorite band, O.A.R., was playing and the whole moment kind of came to a head," Johnson said. "(We were) up front at the stage, singing away. Mr. Hendrick, Linda (Hendrick) ... the whole family and everybody's there reliving Ricky moments, just talking about him and watching his favorite band play. "I left there thinking 'This is it, it's got to be #se7en, the way he used it and wrote it.' So that's going to be the hashtag." &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
Follow along with Sprint Media Tour social buzz
Catch up with what your favorite drivers and teams have been buzzing about