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O'Donnell: 'I like the new Bristol'
Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's Executive Vice President joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to discuss the racing at Bristol after adding rosin to the track to create more passing.
Bristol adds rosin to track before Sprint Cup night race
RELATED: Key story lines for Bristol night race BRISTOL, Tenn. -- NASCAR officials applied 18 more inches of rosin to each of the four corners on the bottom groove after Friday night's XFINITY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway . A sticky substance that allows drivers to stick and run both the top and bottom grooves, rosin was applied to the track in the same manner on Thursday night prior to Friday's XFINITY Series race. Track re-applied rosin-first 18” above the apron in turns 1-2 and turns 3-4 overnight-Identical to what we did prior to @NASCAR_XFINITY — Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) August 20, 2016 Officials originally hadn't planned to add any more rosin before Saturday's Sprint Cup race. Drivers such as Friday night's XFINITY winner Austin Dillon supported the addition of more rosin. "It's interesting to have another lane down there on the bottom," said Dillon, who will also be running Saturday night's Sprint Cup race. "Hopefully they can add a little more (rosin) to the bottom and get that bottom lane just to stay a little bit longer." What @BMSupdates looks like this AM after lower groove was treated with more rosin. Can't wait for green! @PRNlive pic.twitter.com/xMN2nBT4WN — Brad Gillie (@BradGillie) August 20, 2016 Saturday's Sprint Cup Series' Bass Pro Shops NRA night race was set to begin at 8 p.m. ET, but weather forced a rescheduling to 1 p.m. ET on Sunday (CNBC, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Hook, line and sinker
After earlier trouble, Austin Dillon gets caught up again in an incident, this time with the No. 32 of Steve Arpin .
O'Donnell talks road course resurgence
Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's Executive Vice President joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to discuss the recent road course success at Watkins Glen and the possibility of more road course racing in NASCAR's future.
O'Donnell: Six cars to R&D Center for midseason evaluation
RELATED: Pocono results " Standings " Updated Chase Grid LONG POND, Pa. -- NASCAR officials impounded six Sprint Cup Series cars following Monday's Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway and will transport the vehicles back to its Research & Development Center for additional analysis. Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for NASCAR, said two cars from each manufacturer -- Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota -- were taken for study in the wind tunnel and to gauge engine performance. Those impounded were the cars of Brad Keselowski (Team Penske No. 2 Ford) and Greg Biffle (Roush Fenway Racing No. 16 Ford), Kevin Harvick (Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet) and Kasey Kahne (Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet), Denny Hamlin (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota) and Kyle Busch (Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota). "It's really a mid-season evaluation for us," O’Donnell said. "If you look at where the midseason falls, typically you're at Daytona, a superspeedway race, then we were at Kentucky with the new rules package. So Pocono presented the best opportunity to us to really evaluate where we are from both an aero and engine standpoint." Keselowski, Harvick, Hamlin and Busch finished in the top 10 in Monday's weather-shortened event. It's not the first time NASCAR has impounded cars from each manufacturer for evaluation. "We did this at the (Sprint) All-Star Race (in May) but (that’s) obviously a shorter race," O’Donnell said. "This was our first chance to really take a look mid-season, get the cars exactly as they were on the race track, take them from here and then perform the analysis." NASCAR officials do an at-track inspection of the top-five cars following each race, but only the first-and second-place entries, as well as a random selection, are transported to the R&D Center to complete the post-race inspection process.
O'Donnell: Excessive victory burnouts a concern
NASCAR may soon require drivers to curtail their celebratory burnouts to avoid excess damage to the winning vehicles before the post-race inspection process. Steve O'Donnell, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer for the sanctioning body, told SiriusXM NASCAR on Tuesday that officials were examining incidents such as Denny Hamlin 's post-race winning celebration following Sunday's victory in the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International . Hamlin's lengthy post-race burnout along the frontstretch and subsequent spins left him unable to drive his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota into Victory Lane. "It's something that's been out there that we are trying to avoid yet balance the celebration," O'Donnell said. "I think (we will see something) in the very near future, and this isn't putting it all on the 11 car, this is something we've talked about, it's a trend we don't like to see." Last October, NASCAR officials said there was no plan to regulate such post-race celebrations, saying such instances gave drivers an "opportunity to express their enthusiasm for their win and give fans an exclamation point to the victory." While such incidents have raised concerns that teams were intentionally damaging their entries in an effort to keep officials from uncovering possible rules violations during post-race inspections, no recent inspections have uncovered any wrongdoing. After Kevin Harvick 's dominating victory in last fall's Chase race at Dover, Del., the Stewart-Haas Racing driver appeared to make contact with the wall during his post-race celebration. However, the No. 4 Chevrolet passed inspection at the track as well as two days later when the car went through a more thorough inspection at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, N.C. Asked about Harvick's burnout the following week, Hamlin noted that "what he did was really, really impressive. "But obviously, as all the other competitors, whoever doesn't win each week wants to make sure they're on a level playing field with whoever did win," Hamlin said. Team Penske driver Brad Keselowski , the 2012 Sprint Cup Series champion, said at the time that he had "definitely blown tires out. "I think every driver has done something to do some kind of damage to their car," Keselowski said. O'Donnell said officials want to continue to allow winning drivers and teams, as well as the fans, to enjoy the accomplishment, but, he added, without creating unnecessary damage to the winning vehicle. "We want to see a celebration and we think that drivers can celebrate without doing that," he said. "You'll probably see us sooner than later put something in place that covers us for that as you head into the last quarter of the season. "Again, not there yet, we're talking to a lot of the teams about it but I think everybody is on board with the direction we want to go in." According to the 2016 NASCAR rulebook for its Sprint Cup Series, winning vehicles are allowed to "engage in appropriate celebratory activity … prior to reporting to victory circle." Those activities include a victory lap, burnout(s) or donuts. Once the drivers have taken the checkered flag (or the race is declared complete), all vehicles competing in a NASCAR-sanctioned race are "considered under impound" and "must not be altered or adjusted in any manner during the cool-down lap or on pit road prior to reporting to the inspection area(s)."
NASCAR enhances business executive team
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (August 3, 2016) – NASCAR today announced several changes within its leadership structure. Effective immediately, Steve Phelps will assume the role as NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Global Sales and Marketing Officer. The business areas that Phelps will oversee include Global Marketing, Partnership and Series Marketing, Business Development, Integrated Marketing Communications, Licensing & Consumer Products, and NASCAR Digital Media. He will continue to serve as NASCAR’s top Officer in the Charlotte office. NASCAR has enjoyed tremendous global growth and is now being distributed in 185 countries and territories around the world. Phelps will now lead a strategic global marketing effort, as NASCAR digital and social platforms create the potential to lead further global growth and direct engagement through NASCAR.com and key social platforms. The strategy will be to transition International admirers of the sport into more engaged, passionate fans. Jill Gregory has been named Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. Gregory joined NASCAR in July 2007 after working in executive roles at Bank of America and Sprint. She was among the inaugural group of executives honored as "Game Changers" in 2011 by Sports Business Journal, recognizing the top female executives in the sports world. The business areas that Gregory will oversee include Brand and Consumer Marketing, Brand Platforms, Entertainment Marketing, Driver Marketing, Team Marketing, Social Media and Analytics and Insights. Gregory revised NASCAR's marketing strategy this year so the organization now leads with fan engagement and digital and social media first, which has been reflected in the popular "Ready. Set. Race" marketing campaign. The #Hashtag500 social media program that Gregory spearheaded saw the highest volume of NASCAR-related conversation ever measured on record, while NASCAR also won three Silver CLIO Sports Awards this year for Integrated Campaign, Social Media and Film. Norris Scott has been named Vice President, Analytics and Insights, a new position within NASCAR. Scott, who joined NASCAR in 2005 in Partnership Marketing after working at ESPN and the NFL, now will oversee the growing consumer research functions at NASCAR including Social Analytics (NASCAR Fan & Media Engagement Center), Digital Research, Sponsorship Valuation, and Media and Market Research. NASCAR's research activities will continue to evolve and expand to serve the industry with best-in-class analytics and insights. Under his leadership, Scott will take this function to the next level. Lou Garate has been promoted to Vice President, Partnership Marketing. Garate has been at NASCAR for nearly 10 years, working closely with official partners such as Chevrolet, Ford, Goodyear, MillerCoors and Toyota. He has developed and strengthened many partner assets including the Coors Light Pole Award, Coors Light Silver Bullet Bash, NASCAR Evening Series and Victory Lap fueled by Sunoco. Garate is an industry veteran with experience on the property side (NFL) and agency side (Millsport). He now will expand his role working with NASCAR's growing stable of sponsors and partners. "We've been bold in our efforts to modernize and diversify our business and executive team, and these changes further reflect that fact,"said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "Today's announcement underlines the importance that NASCAR puts on specific areas of our business, and has been done in sync with structure and personnel changes made last month in the racing area. "I'm delighted to see the growth of a number of our colleagues throughout NASCAR. All changes announced today will pay significant and immediate dividends for the sport."
Plenty of tests passed already for The Glen's new look
RELATED: See before and after photos of the Watkins Glen repave WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- The true test will come this weekend, but in some ways, the new pavement at Watkins Glen International has already had its share of trial runs -- both for the racing surface itself and the safety systems off it. A tire test in May, an organizational test last week, and now Friday's practice before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series holds its final road course event of the season, Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at the Glen (2:30 p.m. ET, USA, MRN, SiriusXM). But another true test came with getting the stamp of approval from the man in charge. "They knocked it out of the park," said Michael Printup, Watkins Glen International track president, lauding the collaborative effort to freshen the 2.45-mile circuit's layout, curbing and drainage. Besides all those laps logged, it's also had its safety measures put to the test with Brad Keselowski 's severe crash in Turn 1 during last Tuesday's opening test day. His Team Penske No. 2 Ford was totaled, and Keselowski escaped without injury. But the Sprint Cup champion was also critical in remarks last weekend at Pocono Raceway , saying that the inherent danger of the Glen's opening corner -- a sharp, 90-degree right-hander at the bottom of a hill -- was an accepted but steep risk with potentially dire consequences. Those comments struck a sour tone with Printup, who cited similar nose-first accidents in the same corner -- by Jimmie Johnson in 2000 and Denny Hamlin in 2011 -- where the safety system in place did its job. The track uses a combination of the SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barrier system and tire-pack barriers in front of the Armco steel guardrails. "We're glad Brad walked away. We're not happy with the comments, to be blunt," Printup said this week. "I think we all believe he was out of line because if that was anything but Armco and tire barrier, it might've been -- as he put it -- the one out of 1,000. That is by far the best (barrier). … "At 90 degrees, the worst thing you can hit is SAFER, but it's only tube steel for 10 inches and then an 18-inch gap and then it's cement wall. That cement wall would've never have moved for Jimmie or Denny. Who knows what it could've been. But by far, I think Brad just doesn't understand the engineering part of it, and the engineers will tell you that at 90 degrees, tire barrier and Armco is by far the safest." Safety mechanisms were just part of the assessments made in the $12 million offseason project, which Printup said had been debated for at least five years before proceeding. The effect of New York's harsh winters and pounding from competition had yielded nearly annual patching projects. When engineers noticed an advanced degradation in the layers of the asphalt, Printup said the time had come. What ensued was a group effort between NASCAR, paving experts at Lane Construction, International Speedway Corporation and Watkins Glen's team. The result was an ultra-smooth surface that will host stock-car racing for the first time this weekend. "About a year ago, NASCAR really started to get into the foray of understanding the asphalt, said Jerry Kaproth, NASCAR's manager of race track infrastructure. "Otherwise, it's always been left to the experts to do their own thing independently. This is the first year we've really started to track some of that. The cooperation between the organizations has never been better and part of that is we have enough insight from our consultants to know a little bit and to ask the right questions." The early reviews -- muddled somewhat by the necessary use of a harder-compound Goodyear tire for durability's sake -- have been largely positive. Printup said that drivers participating in the tire test in May found no dramatic changes aside from the curbing layout in the bus-stop chicane on the backstretch. The curbs, he said, were rebuilt to the same specifications, but extended length-wise at the corner's entry. "You'll recall some of the exciting racing that's gone on in the bus stop where they're cutting the corners -- they're hitting dirt and grass, and it was getting dangerous because they were basically digging a hole, which then can upset the car or slice a tire," Printup said, adding that track crews were tasked with patching and refilling the gaps multiple times through a race weekend in the past. "It all adds up to the right thing to do." The recent repaving covered not just the 2.45-mile portion of the track used by NASCAR series, but also the 3.4-mile configuration that includes "The Boot" layout of turns used in IMSA and IndyCar events. Tony Stewart , readying for his final Watkins Glen start, raced the longer circuit during a ride-swap here with Formula One star Lewis Hamilton in 2011. After the experience, Printup said Stewart grabbed him by the shirt, saying, "Dude, we gotta race the boot." Printup said he's had informal discussions with NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell about making that happen. He said that one of the only drawbacks would potentially be a reduction in lap count to achieve the same distance, meaning drivers would make fewer appearances at the track's different vantage points, but said that as a self-professed "road course guy," he'd love to see the longer configuration get its own test. "I would love to take a hard look at that and see, can we do the K&N race, can we do XFINITY down there," Printup said. "I don't think it would be right to just jump to the (Sprint) Cup cars, in my opinion, but man, I would like to see sometime in my tenure, I would love to see NASCAR in one of those three or four series run the boot. I think it'd be great."
NASCAR to take six cars back to R&D center
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, Steve O'Donnell, says NASCAR will bring six cars back to the Research and Development center for further inspection.
NASCAR Nation offers condolences on Clauson's passing
Editor's note: Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Turford/The Drivers Project Drivers, crew chiefs and others from NASCAR Nation joined fans from around the racing world in offering condolences to the family of Bryan Clauson, a 27-year-old racer who died Sunday night following a Saturday night wreck in a sprint-car event. Very sad. Thoughts and prayers with Bryan's family and friends. #RIPBryanClauson https://t.co/bzNjfnpW6J — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) August 8, 2016 Tough to hear the news this morning. Thoughts and prayers go out to the @BryanClauson family during this tough time.. #wheelman #RIP — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) August 8, 2016 Thinking of @BryanClauson family today. Very sad day in the Motorsports community. — Erik Jones (@erik_jones) August 8, 2016 pic.twitter.com/dQuRARCGyo — Rico Abreu (@Rico_Abreu) August 8, 2016 Absolutely heart broken for the Clauson family! Rest in peace @BryanClauson — Tony Gibson (@TonyOldman41) August 8, 2016 My thoughts and prayers are with all of Bryan Clauson's family and friends. — Regan Smith (@ReganSmith) August 8, 2016 Heartbreaking to learn that Bryan Clauson has passed away. Praying for peace and comfort for his family and friends. #racingfamily — DeLana Harvick (@DeLanaHarvick) August 8, 2016 Card night was on Mondays at my GMA's house back in the day. Grandma always complimented his manners. His parents should be proud. #RIPBryan — landon cassill (@landoncassill) August 8, 2016 Awesome driver and great guy... RIP https://t.co/g8aXGJB89G — Casey Mears (@CJMearsGang) August 8, 2016 I'm really at a loss for words this morning. Im just sick hearing the news about @BryanClauson . Thoughts and prayers to his family #ripchamp — Justin Allgaier (@J_Allgaier) August 8, 2016 Very sad news today regarding @BryanClauson RIP to an incredibly talented race car driver — Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) August 8, 2016 Unbelievable. RIP to Bryan Clauson. Lots of prayers to his family right now. — Ryan Reed (@driverRyanReed) August 8, 2016 Horrible, Bryan was an incredible and TRUE racer. My heart and prayers go out to his family. https://t.co/z5PEpnp4QF — Parker Kligerman (@pkligerman) August 8, 2016 Very sad news. Thoughts and prayers to Bryan's family. https://t.co/9PJeDxcDAa — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) August 8, 2016 My thoughts are with Bryan's fiancé Lauren and their family and friends. #bc — Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) August 8, 2016 pic.twitter.com/2F9try4u9L — Katelyn Sweet (@Katelyn_Sweet) August 8, 2016 https://t.co/mNG3Zx4L1u — Brian Scott (@bscottracing) August 8, 2016 So saddened to hear the news of Bryan Clauson my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. #RIPBryanClauson — Ty Dillon (@tydillon) August 8, 2016 There aren't enough competitors in our sport like @BryanClauson and now there's one less. RIP my friend. — Justin Marks (@JustinMarksDG) August 8, 2016 Awful news to hear about the passing of a true racer @BryanClauson God speed my friend. — Cole Whitt (@ColeWhitt) August 8, 2016 It's surreal to think Bryan Clauson is gone. He was one of the good ones. He was kind, funny, and a damn good driver. Heavy heart today. — Danica Patrick (@DanicaPatrick) August 8, 2016 Bryan Clauson was as good as they get behind the wheel and one of the nicest, happiest guys around. Always smiling and enjoying life... #bc — Kasey Kahne (@kaseykahne) August 8, 2016 Sad to see the news of @BryanClauson the racing community just lost another great one. #RIPBC — AJ Allmendinger (@AJDinger) August 8, 2016 Thoughts and prayers with the Clauson family. I always admired @BryanClauson love for racing. His determination will never be forgotten. — Austin Dillon (@austindillon3) August 8, 2016 Very sad news this morning on Bryan Clauson my condolences and prayers go out to his family — Daniel Suárez (@Daniel_SuarezG) August 8, 2016 RIP. Godspeed BC. Please send prayers to his family and friends. #PrayersForBC https://t.co/eyf332eO3F — Brian Scott (@bscottracing) August 8, 2016 Our hearts are heavy with the news of @BryanClauson 's passing. Godspeed to him, and our thoughts & prayers are with his family. — Stewart-Haas Racing (@StewartHaasRcng) August 8, 2016 My thoughts and prayers are with all of Bryan Clauson's family and friends. — Regan Smith (@ReganSmith) August 8, 2016 Very sad to hear about #BryanClauson . He was a wheel man for sure. Thoughts and prayers to his family during this terrible time. — Jeremy Clements (@JClements51) August 8, 2016 https://t.co/Jz07KHXYgT — Michael Waltrip (@MW55) August 8, 2016 A true racer who will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers to his family and friends. https://t.co/FlSSbjTbnB — Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) August 8, 2016 while @BryanClauson was fighting hard for his life, @steviewaltrip and I were praying hard for his recovery, God had other plans, RIP — Darrell Waltrip (@AllWaltrip) August 8, 2016 Our greatest comfort in sorrow is to know that God is in control. — Darrell Waltrip (@AllWaltrip) August 8, 2016 Very well put DW. Such a sad day to hear the passing of a great man and driver. Rest in peace @BryanClauson https://t.co/8nynbxGIPm — Matthew DiBenedetto (@mattdracing) August 8, 2016 Absolutely unbelievable. Words cant be put into place when you lose family. Were all family in the racing world. Rest in peace BC. — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) August 8, 2016 The racing family lost an amazing young man. Deepest condolences to the family and friends of @BryanClauson . Rest in Peace. — Kurt Busch (@KurtBusch) August 8, 2016 Man it seems like just yesterday @BryanClauson and I were playing Nintendo 64 and racing quarter midgets. I just can't believe it. Praying. — Brennan Poole (@brennanpoole) August 8, 2016 Bryan and I were teammates back at Ganassi. He always had a smile on his face. Hell of a driver and even more he was a hell of a person. — Kevin Hamlin (@KevinHamlin) August 8, 2016 Godspeed Bryan https://t.co/rSBursglmZ — Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) August 8, 2016 Sending thoughts and prayers to the Clauson Family. — Kyle Busch (@KyleBusch) August 8, 2016 My thoughts and prayers are with the Clauson family, absolutely terrible hearing about this. — Chase Elliott (@chaseelliott) August 8, 2016 Love that https://t.co/GVbDcAjY2G — Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (@StenhouseJr) August 8, 2016 Please, today, just take a few mins out of your day to look up @BryanClauson 's accomplishments and a few of his best races online — landon cassill (@landoncassill) August 8, 2016 pic.twitter.com/gSRkQKeEYQ — Josh Wise (@Josh_Wise) August 8, 2016 So many Memories we made that I will never forget. We had plans of making so many more together. #ripBC pic.twitter.com/im3OEvMOmJ — Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (@StenhouseJr) August 8, 2016 So sad to hear of @BryanClauson 's passing. An incredible man & driver. Thoughts & prayers for his family & friends. https://t.co/dZMp8o4O4s — Jeff Gordon (@JeffGordonWeb) August 8, 2016