- Did you mean:
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 .
NASCAR solidifies post-race penalty procedures
NASCAR announced Wednesday that it will solidify its post-race inspection penalty structure for infractions stemming from the laser inspection station (LIS), eliminating the P2 and P3 levels for those violations. The P4 level for LIS infractions remains, and violations at this level will remain encumbered. NASCAR also announced that neither the No. 78 driven by Martin Truex Jr . nor the No. 48 driven by Jimmie Johnson will be penalized for failing post-race LIS following last Sunday's Chicagoland Speedway . "The use of the LIS platform in post-race was really driven by the industry," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said in a teleconference Wednesday evening. "We had everyone collaborating to create the appropriate deterrent penalties if there was a a violation. As we headed toward the Chase, we were asked to further develop an enhanced deterrent for the Chase. ... The important development was the new language surrounding the concept of an encumbered win." Martin Truex Jr . won the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, assuring the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team of a berth in the Round of 12 in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Jimmie Johnson finished Sunday's race in 12th place in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Both would have been assessed P2-level penalties for infractions discovered in post-race laser inspection. Those penalties were minor in nature, most people in the inudstry would agree, O'Donnell said. But assessing both teams penalties would be inherently unfair given the Chase structure. So NASCAR decided not to penalize either team and going forward will punish only P4-level post-race inspection infractions, which would be considered egregious. "This was the most fair decision we could get to," said O'Donnell, explaining that a points penalty assessed to a team still trying to get into the next round of the Chase would have dramatically different effects than on a team that is already locked into the Round of 12 with a win at Chicago. "Those penalties will not have the same impact on the competitors, based on the Chase format and the increased emphasis on win bonuses."
O'Donnell addresses updated post-race LIS procedures
NASCAR's Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, Steve O'Donnell addresses recent updates to NASCAR's post-race laser inspection penalties.
O'Donnell explains the 48 and 78 post-race inspections
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to explain the post-race laser inspection process at Chicagoland Speedway after Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson both failed.
Drivers talk fallout from chippy Richmond race
RELATED: O'Donnell discusses contact between Newman, Stewart CHICAGO -- Sometimes putting the regular season to rest also means burying the bygone grudges, clearing the decks of any lingering hard feelings as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs becomes the prime focus. For the 16 playoff-eligible drivers, some differences have been aired out -- and some not -- after an especially chippy regular-season finale last weekend at Richmond International Raceway that left both teammates and old rivals at odds with each other. For all concerned, it's back to business this weekend with another brand of intensity in Sunday's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM), the first event of the 10-race Chase for the championship at Chicagoland Speedway . One on-track altercation that bubbled into post-race bitterness in televised interviews will require NASCAR competition officials to mediate the disagreement to make sure it goes no further. NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said Monday that he expects to consult with Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman regarding their late-race run-in last Saturday night. RELATED: Photos of the big wreck at Richmond Stewart said Thursday from the annual Ready. Set. Chase. launch events at Chicago's Bridgeport Art Center that he expected the meeting to be preemptive in nature, to keep any animosity from festering after Newman questioned Stewart's anger management and composure in post-race interviews at Richmond. "I haven't heard anything from him," Stewart said of his former teammate as he enters the final Chase of his Sprint Cup driving career, "but it's like I said, it would be easy to take it personal. But I mean, that was the deciding factor in his season whether he was going to make the Chase or not. So we've been friends a long time, we've been teammates and I respect him a lot. "It's a high-pressure moment, and I've been in those, too, and I've said things. Whether he meant to say it or not or whether he still believes it or not, that's up to him, but that moment is a hard moment for any of us. It's tough in that scenario." Newman, who was the highest-ranking driver to miss the Chase field, also played a role in a small but curious dust-up between Hendrick Motorsports teammates. Newman forced his way into a three-wide battle early on at Richmond, nudging Jeff Gordon -- Dale Earnhardt Jr .'s substitute in the No. 88 Chevrolet -- into rookie Chase Elliott , Gordon's successor in the No. 24 Chevy. WATCH: Elliott finds the wall after contact with Gordon That slight issue, Elliott indicated, appears to be resolved. "He sent me a text after the race. I knew it wasn't his fault," Elliott said. "I wasn't concerned with it at all. It was a racing deal and you hate, of course, it had to be two teammates and it had to be myself and Jeff, but at the end of the day, we both get it and our teams get it. ... He did give me an apology, but it was not necessary whatsoever." One on-again, off-again conflict among Matt Kenseth and Team Penske 's Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano also resurfaced at Richmond. Kenseth and Keselowski have been involved in far bigger rhubarbs than the contact that flared up last weekend, but a certain testy tinge laced Kenseth's post-race interview. Each shared common ground in Thursday's pre-Chase media rounds, focusing on securing their second premier-series championship and minimizing any potential bad blood between the two. "I don't want to play the conversation game," Keselowski said. "I don't think I need to have a whole media discussion about any time there's a small bump on the race track, whether it's me or somebody else. It's just how racing's going to be. When it's egregious and there's things that happen, that's one thing. (Expletive) just happens, (expletive) just happens and we don't have to play drama queen for everything. That's kind of how I feel about it." WATCH: Kenseth frustrated with Keselowski at Richmond Kenseth offered a flat "no" when asked if Team Penske 's two-driver stable was successfully playing mind games with him. "We didn't really talk about it and I didn't really re-watch any of that, so I don't know," Kenseth said in response to Keselowski's post-race remarks. "We didn't really talk about it." RELATED: Meet all 16 Chase drivers Two more teammates -- Richard Childress Racing 's Austin Dillon and Paul Menard -- had a chance to settle their squabble by sharing a ride back to North Carolina on the team plane. Dillon, who had on-track clashes for running room with Menard in successive weeks, found an empty seat on the plane beside his teammate and took it. "Well, I'm learning a lot about relationships -- I'm engaged," said Dillon, who is prepping for his first Chase this season. "And communication is everything, and communicating with him was a good start to it. I've always had a good relationship with Paul. We both love a lot of the same things -- we love the outdoors, we love racing. "I just wanted to tell him, 'Hey, I'm not doing this on purpose or any certain way. I'm just racing hard,' and he said the same thing." The hard racing -- and potentially the tensions that accompany it -- are expected to continue over the next 10 weeks, starting this weekend in Chicagoland. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Mars Chocolate, NASCAR announce sweet partnership renewal
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- In the midst of a year-long celebration of the 75th anniversary of the iconic M&M'S® Brand, NASCAR, and Mars Chocolate North America announced today a renewed agreement that will extend their Official Partnership through 2019. As part of the renewed relationship, Mars Chocolate will continue its designation as the Official Chocolate of NASCAR®, ensuring its various brands remain a race day staple for millions of fans. Since entering NASCAR as a team sponsor more than 25 years ago, Mars Chocolate has steadily increased its level of participation in the sport. In 2000, the company expanded its sponsorship by becoming the "Official Chocolate of NASCAR," emphasizing to fans its dedication to the sport. In the spirit of thanking its loyal NASCAR fans, M&M'S will celebrate race fans during Richmond International Raceway 's inaugural Fan Appreciation Weekend. To help honor its 75th Anniversary, the brand will roll out the red carpet and give fans a VIP welcome at the Front Stretch Gate on Saturday. "Our association with NASCAR has proven to be a true win-win partnership and we're excited to continue the relationship for the next several years," explained William Clements, vice president, sponsorships and sports marketing, Mars Chocolate North America. "From helping M&M'S celebrate their 75th anniversary to energizing the thousands of Mars Chocolate Associates coast to coast, NASCAR is the perfect platform to fuel our business." With more than 15 consecutive years of Official Partnership and a historic championship run as the primary sponsor of the No. 18 M&M'S Toyota last season, Mars Chocolate is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable brands in the sport. Mars Chocolate continues to execute a fully integrated strategy that includes advertising, event marketing, social media, business to business, and associate engagement. "Mars Chocolate has delivered creative and engaging activations that our brand loyal fans have embraced throughout the past 15 years," said Steve Phelps, executive vice president and chief global sales and marketing officer, NASCAR. "As the Official Chocolate of NASCAR, Mars Chocolate has made race day more enjoyable for millions of fans and we are proud to continue our successful partnership." As the Official Chocolate of NASCAR, Mars Chocolate encourages fans to "Celebrate Race Day with M." The campaign reminds fans to include irresistible and colorful chocolate in their race day rituals. Many of Mars' most iconic brands belong to the category, including M&M'S®, and SNICKERS®. Additionally, a number of Mars and Petcare iconic brands are also included, such as SKITTLES® and PEDIGREE®. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ season will continue with the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
O'Donnell talks Newman, Stewart after Richmond
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to talk about Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart's on track collision and post-race interviews at Richmond International Raceway.
A Year Later: Kenseth Honors Steve Byrnes' Family
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Matt Kenseth honors the family of Steve Byrnes one year after his win in the 2015 Food City 500 In Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up To Cancer at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Sprint Cup Series GarageCam takes over NHMS
GarageCam host, Matthew Dillner, takes you on an exclusive and interactive tour of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage before teams hit the track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
O'Donnell comments on risk vs. reward with penalties
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to explain his views on failed post-race inspections and how teams could exploit the risk vs. reward.