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NASCAR: JGR strategy didn't violate 100 percent rule
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell, appearing on "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday, said he did not expect the sanctioning body to take action against Joe Gibbs Racing for its strategy of dropping three cars to the back of the pack during Sunday's Chase elimination race at Talladega Superspeedway . O'Donnell said employing that strategy did not constitute a violation of NASCAR's 100 percent rule. "I would say that they do not fall into that," O'Donnell said when asked about the 100 percent rule. "The spirit of that rule is really to prevent somebody from intentionally allowing another teammate to do something that would not be really within the spirit of the rules of the race. "In this case, we look at the strategy decision that the team made, and they executed it. ... In this case, that wouldn't be something that we look at that violated that rule."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will join broadcasts for Talladega, Martinsville
RELATED: Talladega schedule " Junior injury timeline Dale Earnhardt Jr . will join NBC's broadcast team for parts of the network's coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway and Martinsville Speedway , NBC announced Wednesday on "NASCAR America." Junior, who has not raced since July as he recovers from a concussion, will reunite with his former crew chief Steve Letarte and work alongside race announcer Rick Allen and fellow analyst Jeff Burton . Sunday will mark Earnhardt's first ever NASCAR Sprint Cup broadcasting assignment. "It gives me a chance to see the racing from a different perspective," Earnhardt Jr. told NASCAR.com. "It's an opportunity to learn something about the sport. … It's better than sitting at home. "I don't really get nervous any more," he added with a laugh. "The only thing that made me nervous was driving race cars." NBCSN presents the second elimination race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup from Talladega on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Next weekend, NBCSN presents the first race in the playoff Round of 8 from Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 1 p.m. ET. "With five races left in the Sprint Cup playoffs, we are thrilled to welcome Dale Earnhardt Jr . into our broadcast booth as we present two of the most unpredictable and exciting races in the Chase," said Jeff Behnke, VP of NASCAR Production for the NBC Sports Group. "Dale is incredibly respected and the viewers and fans will be treated to his perspective on two very different race tracks." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Behind the scenes in TV booth with Dale Jr.
TALLADEGA, Ala. -- An NBC assistant in the broadcast booth had an urgent message to deliver, one of huge importance. As 40 drivers barreled around Talladega Superspeedway at 200 mph a few hundred feet below him, he grabbed a marker and started writing on a dry erase board. "17-13," he wrote. "Final 5th straight win." He showed this to Dale Earnhardt Jr ., a guest analyst for NBC's coverage of the race. Upon reading it, Earnhardt Jr. turned around, away from the track, and smiled broadly at Tyler Overstreet, his road manager, and pumped his fist. The handwritten note purported to report the score of the Washington Redskins, of whom Earnhardt Jr. is a big fan. Alas, that news was premature. A few minutes later, the same assistant showed him another dry erase board, this one apologizing for the first and reporting that the Lions had come back to win the game. Junior half smiled, half grimaced and turned his attention back to the race track, where he wished he could be on this sun-kissed fall day. Earnhardt Jr. has missed the last 14 races, and he will miss the rest of the season, with concussion-related symptoms. But talking about the race was the next best thing, and the hour-plus he spent in the booth was vintage Earnhardt -- funny, insightful and candid. Wearing dark-framed glasses, sneakers, jeans and a blue and gray plaid shirt, he sat atop a stool between NBC analysts Steve Letarte, his former crew chief, and Jeff Burton , against whom he raced hundreds of times. They lapsed into a conversation like old friends. His eyes darted from the track to the TV screen in front of him to Letarte to Burton. His body language was almost exuberant. He smiled often and at one point raised his hand excitedly when he wanted to interject a point. He seemed relaxed and at ease with Letarte, Burton, play-by-play announcer Rick Allen and the race's producers. "Has he got in the top 10 yet?" Earnhardt Jr. joked off camera about his replacement, Alex Bowman . "Damn, I told him everything I know." As his appearance wound down, NBC announced Junior would return to the booth at next week's race at Martinsville Speedway . Producer Matt Marvin, who was just outside the track in the production truck, keyed the microphone that allows him to talk with the broadcasters off air and told Junior what a great job he had done. He paused for just a second and said, "Next time, if you're not as good, we'll kick you out early." Junior laughed at that. This was the Earnhardt Jr. that fans have loved for more than a decade -- living and dying with the Redskins, offering transparent insight into his life and breaking down racing like few others. Consider this exchange with Burton at Lap 68, when Earnhardt Jr. discussed his drafting philosophy: "I look at the air coming off of the front of the car as a boat wake. And it's very dense coming off of around the headlights of that car that you're trying to side draft. So you don't want to continue to be beside that guy as you get toward the front, or pretty much dead even, because you run into that dense air coming off of the lead car. So you have to 'jump' that wake, much like if you were water skiing. You also have to get away from him so that he cannot side-draft you, because then you're both sort of bouncing back and forth. That's why it's so much easier to side-draft on the outside, because you can pin the guy on the bottom, side-draft him, drive up the race track and take the lead." Burton: "Now, you know all the drivers are going to play this race back and listen to all of this, right?" Earnhardt Jr.: "From what I've seen, these guys have got it all figured out." After months of his public appearances being focused almost exclusively on his health, it was refreshing to see him confident and comfortable. At least for this hour, the pensiveness that saturated so much of what he has said lately was gone. And on the topic of his health, he sounded upbeat. The simple fact he was able to make the appearance was a sign of improvement. In previous comments he has said large crowds sometimes trigger his symptoms, and it's hard to imagine a larger crowd than Talladega. His doctors have encouraged him to challenge himself, and certainly being on live TV would accomplish that. "I'm feeling great and all of the progress that we've made over the last several months has been really good," he said. "Obviously, I'm able to get out and do things. I'm having so much fun at the race track, and to be able to come up to the booth has been a lot of fun for me." &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
O'Donnell addresses JGR and 100 percent rule
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to discuss whether or not Joe Gibbs Racing drivers complied with NASCAR's 100 percent rule.
O'Donnell comments on parts confiscated from No. 78 team
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell was on "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to discuss taking parts back to the NASCAR R&D Center for further inspection.
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 .
PEAK becomes title sponsor of NASCAR Mexico Series
RELATED: Peak becomes new sponsor for Mexico Series DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 18, 2016) -- During an event with team owners, drivers, local dignitaries and media at the InterContinental Presidente Hotel in Mexico City, NASCAR today announced plans to strengthen its presence in Mexico for years to come with a full slate of races in 2017 and beyond. Also announced was a multi-year agreement with Old World Industries (OWI) to make PEAK® title sponsor of the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series, only the third title sponsor in series history. Additionally, PEAK becomes an Official NASCAR Partner along with other key brands such as BlueDEF®. "The NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series is a place where young drivers are honing their skills and competing for a championship against the toughest competition in Latin America," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "The series drives interest in stock car racing in Mexico, while cultivating talented drivers and pit crew members aspiring to compete at the NASCAR national series level." The NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series will make its return with an exhibition race on Dec. 3-4 in Mexico City. Celebrating its 10th season, the series will officially get underway in 2017, with a full championship schedule that will be announced at a later date. The NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series has helped develop some of NASCAR's best young drivers, including Daniel Suárez, who is the first Mexican-born driver to capture Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors; win a NASCAR national series race; lead a national series in points; and compete in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase for a championship – which he is currently pursuing. Furthermore, the continued development of young Mexican drivers, like reigning NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series Champion Ruben Garcia Jr., exemplifies the wealth of talent competing throughout the series. "I am extremely proud to be a Mexican driver competing against the best young drivers making a name for themselves in the NASCAR XFINITY Series," said Suárez, driver of the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing . "I am lucky to have had the support of NASCAR's developmental programs along the way – including the NASCAR Mexico Series. I am excited to see that other talented Latin American drivers will continue to have similar opportunities for many years to come." "We remain steadfast in our commitment to develop young talent and engage our passionate fan base in Mexico," said Lou Garate, vice president, partnership marketing, NASCAR. "PEAK is a world-class brand, and its three decades of experience in motorsports will help elevate NASCAR-sanctioned racing in Mexico." Old World Industries' PEAK, BlueDEF and HURCULINER brands have a storied history in motorsports. PEAK held race entitlements in NASCAR throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In 2016, PEAK sponsored Clint Bowyer 's No. 15 Chevrolet, including two primary races and a season-long associate sponsorship. PEAK is also the title sponsor of NASCAR's eSports partner, iRacing.com, which has helped produce current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader William Byron. "Old World Industries products have been a recognized part of the racing industry for decades, and we're proud to help bring NASCAR to the passionate fans in Mexico and the U.S. for years to come," said Bryan Emrich, chief marketing officer at Old World Industries. "Whether in the garage or on the track, we'll continue to deliver quality products that auto enthusiasts can count on." As an Official NASCAR Partner, race fans will see the NASCAR bar mark on select products including: PEAK Antifreeze & Coolant (Official Antifreeze/Coolant of NASCAR®), PEAK Windshield Washer Fluid and Wipers (Official Washer Fluid and Wiper Blade of NASCAR®), BlueDEF Diesel Exhaust Fluid and Equipment (Official Diesel Exhaust Fluid of NASCAR® and Official Diesel Exhaust Fluid Equipment of NASCAR®) and Herculiner Truck & Bed Liners (Official Roll-On and Spray-On Bed Liner of NASCAR®). For more information on OWI products and the company's involvement in motorsports, please visit www.PeakAuto.com .
O'Donnell addresses Sprint Cup Series drivers racing in XFINITY Series
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to talk about NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Cain: For breast cancer survivors, Charlotte is 'their race'
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The good vibes were easy to feel as one pink shirt after another crowded around the Charlotte Motor Speedway Victory Lane and pit road, where NASCAR stars mingled with breast cancer survivors and their families. Six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson joined United States soccer legend Mia Hamm greeting people and ultimately delivering encouraging words to the crowd of nearly 500 gathered to kick off October's Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina -- for whom Johnson and Hamm are "ambassadors" -- along with the track brought everyone together to paint the speedway's pit wall pink in a visible reminder of this disease that has affected so many people on some level. "The NASCAR industry has always been so supportive of these kind of causes and teams have adopted the pink color for October for years," the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet driver Johnson explained between posing for photos, painting the pit wall pink and delivering an inspiring message to those attending. "We have pink trim on our hats and it's been on race cars. The support has been there. It's important to be a part of this and raise awareness. "The great thing is if you detect it early there really is something you can do about it. And this event also raises awareness for kids so they grow up knowing it's a priority. As a father (of two young girls), that's definitely something on my radar." Drivers Elliott Sadler , Blake Koch and Jeb Burton were also among the sport's stars there generously offering a friendly smile or gentle hug to survivors and greeting others who came to show support for family members and friends. These drivers are all too familiar with the devastating effects of this disease because their mothers have fought through diagnosis and treatment. Being trackside with so many people who care was a transformative event for so many patients, who for at least one morning could take a deep breath and replace their pain and worry with the feeling of gratitude and hope. And that is the whole reason behind this. Drivers who spend their weekends so tense and focused were at the track last Wednesday able to show how much they genuinely care, just in taking the time to be there, posing for a photo or sharing a paintbrush dripping pink. "This is very personal to me and my family," said XFINITY Series Chase participant Sadler. "To see what our NASCAR community does for breast cancer awareness, for all the pink race cars, the uniforms, the pink trophies, the pink pace car and Charlotte Motor Speedway taking it a step further today. Look at all the breast cancer survivors we have here today. To paint the wall means so much to people affected by it. "This is by far my mom's favorite race of the year, by far all because we get to run a pink car. I have an amazing sponsor, OneMain Financial, that lets me run a pink car for this race giving up their colors. What I've learned from my mom and other breast cancer survivors, this is their race. They've been through so much, this is a celebration of life, a time to forget about the bad and cherish the good. And that is a neat concept and a neat way to look at it." Driver Jeb Burton 's mother Tabitha is another breast cancer patient. She and I were diagnosed at similar times and have been supportive of one another while going through painful treatment and navigating the reality of this disease. "She went through a lot and it's definitely hit home for us," said Burton who will drive the No. 98 Biagi-DenBeste Ford in Friday's XFINITY Series race at Charlotte. "This is a great cause and I'm thankful to be out here and paint the wall pink. Hopefully we can find a cure soon." That is certainly the hope behind the easy smiles and loving hugs we all shared that day. RELATED: Battling cancer, NASCAR.com writer finds strength in numbers In the year since I finished my own harsh chemotherapy and radiation, I have lost a half dozen "chemo" friends to this disease. Some I was still too sick to attend their funerals. The NASCAR community suffered incredibly sad losses to cancer in the last year including 10-year old Elijah Aschbrenner to Epithelioid Sarcoma cancer last November and Scott Zipadelli's 19-year old step-daughter Torie Costa to the disease (Rhabdomyosarcoma) last Christmas Day. Steve Byrnes, a popular broadcaster and my friend, passed away from cancer in April 2015; and another friend, longtime NASCAR journalist Bob Margolis, lost his three-time cancer battle just weeks ago. Sherry Pollex, the longtime girlfriend of Sprint Cup Series points leader Martin Truex Jr ., has battled ovarian cancer for the past two years. Today, one of my dear friends is having breast cancer surgery. The follow-up and treatment of the disease afterward remains unknown at this point. Her children attend middle school with my daughter. And she was one of the people who immediately and lovingly cared for me and for my children when I was too sick to function during my own chemo. She brought dinner and comfort to us even when I was too sick to answer the door. And now her diagnosis feels like a punch in the gut, such a cruel twist. It's my turn to be her source of strength and optimism. So many people cared when I was at my sickest. And now it's an opportunity for me to be there for them. I am aware like I've never been before. This disease has a way of humbling you and simultaneously motivating you to be a better person. It opens your mind to think more broadly, to act more swiftly. To realize you can care more. When I left Charlotte last week after the event at the track I was full of gratitude, it was as if I had received a present for my soul. And judging by the smiles, hugs, even tears shared among the group, it was widespread feeling and greatly appreciated. "These amazing women, their stories and their fight, honoring them and their families and obviously the women that have passed, too," Hamm said of her time at the speedway. "It's important to continue telling their story of hope and determination and really empowering these women that are here to be proactive in their health. That's one of the reasons I feel so strongly to be a Blue Cross Blue Shield ambassador. It's really about empowering them to take care of themselves." "This is one of the wonderful things that all the hard work I did in my career was able to do -- to inspire people. And in the end you pass it off to this incredible (NASCAR) race that millions of people will be watching to help spread the message of continued work and awareness for breast cancer." By the end of the morning, it was truly, truly difficult to tell who was being motivated and who was doing the motivating. And what an incredibly positive feeling to carry on.
O'Donnell comments on additional incentives for regular season wins
NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio to talk about possible incentives for drivers who accumulate regular season wins prior to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.