NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell talks about the group qualifying format for the DAYTONA 500.
After earlier trouble, Austin Dillon gets caught up again in an incident, this time with the No. 32 of Steve Arpin .
President of Daytona International Speedway Joie Chitwood III and NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell talk about the incident involving Kyle Busch during the Alert Today Florida 300 and how the track plans to fix the issue.
Track is the latest to announce safety enhancements Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Atlanta Motor Speedway announced Tuesday morning that it will expand its use of impact-absorbing barriers ahead of this weekend's on-track activity. The move comes three days after Kyle Busch was injured in a NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway, his car slamming into a concrete retaining wall without the benefit of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers. "As promised, we expedited a review of potential safety advancements at each of our racing venues," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer. "We're pleased with the additional safety enhancements Atlanta Motor Speedway will be making leading into our events this weekend. As we've stated, NASCAR and its track partners remain steadfastly committed to safety." According to the statement, the Atlanta track -- which has hosted NASCAR's top series since its 1960 opening -- will add 130 linear feet of protective barrier for this weekend, extending coverage of the protective wall at the exit of pit road near Turn 1 and an additional tire barrier along the inside wall of Turn 4. All three NASCAR national series will be racing at the 1.54-mile Georgia track this weekend, culminating with Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX), the second race of the year for the Sprint Cup Series. Officials at the speedway said they would conduct a further review of additional SAFER barriers after Sunday's race. Hours after Busch's injury, Daytona track president Joie Chitwood III said the 2.5-mile track would take every measure to ring its facility with the SAFER technology. Atlanta's decision comes one day after similar announcements by officials at 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway and 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway to expand their coverage with protective walls. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Daytona 500 winner kicks off busy day with champion's breakfast Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live RELATED: Logano wins Daytona 500 " Drivers react to Logano's victory DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- He looked no worse for wear and tear, this year's Daytona 500 winner, as he arrived for the celebratory champion's breakfast at Daytona International Speedway. Joey Logano is no party animal. But he's a racer through and through, as Sunday's victory in the 57th running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season-opener proved. "I didn't sleep much, that's for sure," the 24-year-old Team Penske driver said of his late-night revelry. "We had a good time. "I shut off the TV but my mind just kept thinking about the whole race and how it all played out and I just kept reliving the moment over and over again. It is amazing. It is the Daytona 500." The victory was Logano's ninth overall in the series, and his seventh since joining Team Penske at the beginning of 2013. The breakfast was just the beginning of a busy two days for the champ. Satellite media tour tasks and various call-in duties were to follow Monday morning's fete. Later, appearances on the "Late Show with David Letterman" and Joy Mohr Sports are on the schedule. And that's just Monday's calendar. For team owner Roger Penske, his Sprint Cup Series house is in order. Teammate Brad Keselowski, the 2012 series champion, suffered a rare engine failure 161 laps into Sunday's race, but the expectation is that the No. 2 team will bounce back quickly. RELATED: Blown engine ends Keselowski's day Penske has put some of the series' top drivers in his seats through the years, but rarely has the talent run so deep throughout. There was a time when teams within multi-car organizations operated independently of one another -- and for some that system still exists. It wasn't until Penske merged his Sprint Cup and IndyCar operations that a change in the group's culture began to take place. With it came success. "The sport was about crew chiefs having their own car over in the corner," Penske said, "and we decided to build the cars exactly the same. We have a process. The only time you know what your car is is when they paint it. … "It is a seven-iron, a seven-iron and a seven-iron. The way you hold it might be different … the way Todd (Gordon, Logano's crew chief) or Paul Wolfe (Keselowski's crew chief) will set that car up will make a difference." But at the track, he said, "we see a car that is consistent." Logano and Keselowski split just two wins in '13, their first season as teammates. But last year Keselowski won six times while Logano won five and battled for the title in the series' final event at Homestead Miami Speedway. If similar results are in store for '15, few will be surprised. Logano's certainly off to a strong enough start. MORE: Penske offers up what is the biggest part of Daytona win The one-team approach "has made the difference," Penske said, and low turnover inside the organization is also a contributing factor. His two drivers "respect each other on the race track." "They are different in many ways, but on the other hand they are the same because they want to win and I think they like the cars (set up) pretty much the same," he said. "That gives us an advantage when we go to the track." After Logano's win Sunday, Penske, 78, said he received "about 200 texts and I don't know how many emails" from various people inside and outside the industry. "A lot from people that work for us, obviously sponsors," he said. Steve Wynn, chairman of the board and CEO of Wynn Resorts, "gave me a phone call right after the race. Marvin Odum (of primary sponsor Shell) … it's amazing how many people watch this great race. "And of course that's the reward I get -- when you see those people look up to a team and the accomplishments that you have." And where were Logano's parents, Tom and Debbie, when their son won his first Daytona 500? "Up top," said Tom Logano. "Some people asked me if I was nervous (during the final laps). I said, 'I'm human.' " Debbie Logano was hidden away in the family motorhome in the infield, anxiously watching the race play out. "The door was locked," she said. "Nobody comes in or goes out near the end of the race like that; it's bad luck." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
For Daytona 500, workers are installing tire packs where Kyle Busch hit wall RELATED: Learn about the SAFER barrier " Kyle Busch out for undetermined amount of time DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona International Speedway track president Joie Chitwood III said Saturday evening that the facility had "failed to live up to its responsibility today," hours after NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was transported to nearby Halifax Medical Center for treatment of a leg injury. Busch, competing in Saturday's XFINITY Series season-opening race, was injured when he his No 54 Joe Gibbs Racing entry struck the inside wall nose first on the 112th lap of the 120-lap event. Due to the severity of the injury, NASCAR officials said the 29-year-old Busch would not be able to compete in Sunday's Daytona 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event. RELATED: Drivers wish Kyle Busch well JGR officials announced at approximately 9:19 p.m. ET Saturday that Busch had sustained a compound fracture of the right lower leg as well as a mid-foot fracture of his left foot. The injuries will keep Busch off the track for an indefinite period. Defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Matt Crafton will replace Busch in the team's No. 18 entry for the 500, however no replacement has been named for future races. While much of Daytona's 2.5-mile track features the impact-absorbing SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier, the area struck by Busch's car does not. "We should have had a SAFER barrier there today; we did not," Chitwood said. "We're going to fix that. We're going to fix that right now." Chitwood, who took over the reins of NASCAR's best-known facility in August of 2010, said track officials had dispersed a team of workers Saturday night to "install tire packs along that 850-foot … wall, so we're ready to go racing (Sunday). Once the event is complete, Chitwood said work would begin to "install SAFER barrier on every inch at this property. "This is not going to happen again," he said. "We're going to live up to our responsibility. We're going to fix this and it starts right now." Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the first NASCAR-sanctioned track to put the barriers in place, completing its initial installation in May of 2002. A second generation of the barrier was installed at IMS in '05. Kansas Speedway completed its first SAFER barrier project in August of '04 and other NASCAR-sanctioned facilities have since upgraded their facilities to include the system as well. However, no NASCAR-sanctioned track currently feature the energy-reducing materials on all of its interior and exterior walls. Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for NASCAR, said officials have been told that there were situations in which it would be unwise to install the barriers in certain locations at some tracks. "I think it goes to NASCAR is not the only sanctioning body that races at a specific track," he said. "I can use Eldora for instance, where a SAFER barrier was looked at, but wouldn't have been the safest solution." Eldora Speedway, a one-half mile dirt track located in Rossville, Ohio and owned by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, hosts a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event each year. "One of the challenges is there are a lot of other racing series that race at the racetracks we race at," O'Donnell said, "but I wouldn't say it's a very common occurrence." Busch's injury was just the latest involving NASCAR drivers hitting walls left unprotected by the barriers. In 2013, teammate Denny Hamlin suffered a back injury that sidelined the JGR driver after a hard crash at Auto Club Speedway. The track installed 1,000 additional feet of the barrier in the wake of Hamlin's accident. Jeff Gordon's crash at Las Vegas brought about changes to the inside wall where his No. 24 entry struck in a 2011 incident; crashes by Elliott Sadler at Pocono Raceway and Jeff Fuller at Kentucky in recent years brought about changes at those facilities as well. O'Donnell did not say that NASCAR would require every facility to install the SAFER barrier on all of the walls. But he said talks about increasing the amount of the barrier are on-going and would continue. "We always have those conversations with the race tracks," he said. "What we've said here tonight is we will accelerate those talks with the tracks. We want this sport to be as safe as possible for not only our drivers, but for everyone who participates in the sport and the race fans as well." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell discusses track safety for the upcoming race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell talks about the penalty called on the 48 team in the Daytona 500 yesterday.
New, original documentary premieres Monday, March 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Evernham, Kulwicki, Martin added to ballot; Landmark Award nominees named Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.— Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners and drivers. Their roles and responsibilities may have differed, but they all have one trait in common – each made an everlasting mark on NASCAR history. NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees – legends all – who exceled in various disciplines, at various levels. RELATED: Photo gallery of the Class of 2016 nominees Among them are three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Ray Evernham; 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Harry Hyde; 1992 NASCAR premier series champion Alan Kulwicki; winner of a combined 96 NASCAR national series races, Mark Martin; and 1986 NASCAR west series champion Hershel McGriff. For a full list of nominees, please see below. The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee's votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young. From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. Voting Day for the 2016 class will be Wednesday, May 20. The five nominees for the Landmark Award are Harold Brasington, H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Ken Squier (more on each below). Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement. Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically: Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR's premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500 Red Byron , first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949 Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series Jerry Cook , six-time NASCAR Modified champion Ray Evernham , three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Ray Fox , legendary engine builder and owner of cars driven by Buck Baker, Junior Johnson and others Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR's three national series Harry Hyde , 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief Bobby Isaac , 1970 NASCAR premier series champion Alan Kulwicki , 1992 NASCAR premier series champion Terry Labonte , two-time NASCAR premier series champion Mark Martin , 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion Raymond Parks , NASCAR's first champion car owner Benny Parsons , 1973 NASCAR premier series champion Larry Phillips , only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion O. Bruton Smith , builder of Charlotte Motor Speedway and architect of Speedway Motorsports Inc. Mike Stefanik , winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships Curtis Turner, early personality, called the "Babe Ruth of stock car racing" Robert Yates , won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner The five nominees for the Landmark Award are as follows… Harold Brasington , founder of Darlington Speedway H. Clay Earles , founder of Martinsville Speedway Raymond Parks , NASCAR's first champion car owner Ralph Seagraves , formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Ken Squier , legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner/namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence The 22-person Nominating Committee are as follows... NOMINATION COMMITTEE NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim. NASCAR Officials: Chairman / CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton; Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar; Executive Vice President / Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell; Executive Vice President / Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps; Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton; Competition Administrator Jerry Cook (Note: Due to Jerry Cook's inclusion on the ballot for the NHOF Class of 2015, he was recused from voting for the Class of 2016 nominees.) Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of directors member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Holland Motorsports Complex operator Ron Bennett; Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery; West Coast representative Ken Clapp. Media: Mike Joy, FOX. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today