NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell talks about what went in to the decision to not hold practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.
After earlier trouble, Austin Dillon gets caught up again in an incident, this time with the No. 32 of Steve Arpin .
The Ortho brand of Scotts Miracle-Gro will not return as primary sponsor of Greg Biffle 's No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in 2016, the organization and team confirmed Friday. "We have enjoyed a long-standing and greatly productive working relationship with Ortho and the Scotts' brand," RFR President Steve Newmark said in a statement. "Over the course of the last decade they -- at different times -- have been able to successfully activate various marketing platforms through our partnership. "They had great success activating around Greg and the No. 16 team and I think all of us enjoyed the 'What's Buggin' Biffle' promotion. However, their marketing strategy for '16 will take them in a different direction. We would of course welcome working with them again in the future and look forward to that possibility." Various Ortho schemes -- including Bug-B-Gone, Fire Ant Killer and Home Defense -- covered Biffle's car for 15 races in 2015. Previously, Scotts had sponsored cars for Roush Fenway Racing from 2005-11. Company spokesman Chris Strunk provided the following statement to SportsBusiness Daily : "We evaluate our sponsorship portfolio on an annual basis and have decided not to renew our partnership agreement with Roush Fenway Racing . Roush Fenway and Greg Biffle have been terrific partners, and we wish them the best. We are extremely appreciative of their participation and support of the Ortho brand."
2002 wreck mirrors Austin's Daytona crash, Rusty Wallace involved, too Austin Dillon 's much-talked about Daytona crash paralleled to a wreck from more than a decade ago in Pocono, with both crashes involving Dale Earnhardt Jr . In 2002, Steve Park was lining up with his competition at Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 500, hoping to snag his second top-10 at the track. Park never did see a top-10 finish that day. In fact, he didn't even complete the first lap thanks to a nasty wreck involving Park, Rusty Wallace and Dale Earnhardt Jr . between Turn 1 and 2. The accident was initially sparked by NASCAR Hall of Famer Wallace. Wallace's No. 2 Team Penske Ford hit the wall after the first turn. Park tried to avoid making contact with the spinning Ford and attempted to move sideways. In his quest to dodge out of Wallace's path, he came into contact with teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr . Dale Jr. got under Park's No. 1 Chevrolet causing both cars to spin onto the grass. While on the grass, Park slammed into an interior guardrail, flipping the car over violently, multiple times. Similar to his reaction to Dilllon's crash, Dale Jr. was concerned about Park's well-being as it took safety workers some time to help him out of his upside-down vehicle. RELATED: 88 crew recalls frenzy to check on Dillon When Junior was able to get out of his own car, he sprinted over to check on his teammate. Not only was it difficult getting Park out of his car, but it led to a 65-minute red-flag caution with repairs to the interior barrier having to take place before the field could go back to green. Park, like Austin Dillon , walked away from the crash just fine and headed to the infield care center arm-in-arm with Junior.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame announces Steve Byrnes as the recipient of the 2016 Squier-Hall Award.
RELATED: Kauffman speaks out on MWR decision The landscape in NASCAR shifted last week when Michael Waltrip Racing announced that it would end full-time competition in the Sprint Cup Series following the 2015 season. MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman, the former investment banker who gave MWR an influx of finanical support in 2007, was at the forefront of the decision. On Monday, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell addressed the moves made by Kauffman and MWR that included Clint Bowyer being freed to pursue other deals for 2016 and Kauffman buying into Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in late July. "I think in Rob's case we're pleased that he believes in the sport and is willing to make a continued investment in NASCAR, which is a great time for us," O'Donnell said during his weekly interview with NASCAR.com. "As well as Clint Bowyer who is certainly a talented driver who will find a home with a top team. You never like to see anything happen with a race team like this in this case, but again we'll see some things we believe through the manufacturer's support where some other teams may become stronger through all this as well. "So a lot still to play out. We're working closely with all our race teams right now to do everything we can to put everyone in an even better position as we head into the 2016 season." Michael Waltrip Racing was Toyota's flagship team when the manufacturer entered the Sprint Cup Series in 2007 and has produced seven victories. "Terrific partner for Toyota," O'Donnell said of MWR's involvement with the manufacturer. "When someone comes into the sport, especially the likes of Toyota, you want to partner with race teams who have either had a solid foundation or can build together. And ultimately the goal is to win races and Michael Waltrip was able to do that, which is a great testament to building up the Toyota brand within NASCAR. "You're seeing (Toyota) grow, and look to grow their partnership in the sport as well, as we head into '16, and that's a great sign for the sport." MORE: MWR won't field full-time entries in 2016
NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell talks about the high-drag aero package the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will run in the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell talks about the rules package that will be used for the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup.
NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell talks about the possibility of changes to pit road at Pocono Raceway and how they can keep drivers and crewmen safe in the aftermath of Kasey Kahne's and Jeb Burton's incidents.
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- NASCAR officials offered a firm reminder Sunday morning, instructing drivers to keep Sunday's competition clean in the next-to-last race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, made the remarks in the drivers' and crew chiefs' meeting Sunday morning, hours before the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM) at Phoenix International Raceway . O'Donnell acknowledged the high stakes associated with the 312-mile event, which will trim the field of title-eligible drivers from eight to four heading into next Sunday's championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway . "We've got two races to go. Everybody knows there's a lot on the line tonight," O'Donnell said. "Be professional. Let the race play out as it always would. If it's not your day, let those competing for a win go for it." Track president Bryan Sperber honored Jeff Gordon in the meeting, thanking the four-time premier series champion with a race-day renaming of the 1-mile facility to Jeff Gordon Raceway. Gordon punctuated the 12-minute meeting with a question about restarts, asking whether the second-place car could beat the leading car (or "control car") to the start-finish line if restart is otherwise ruled legal. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director Richard Buck replied in the affirmative.