Kyle Larson, Brendan Gaughan, Ryan Newman and Joey Coulter reflect on a The CarCash Mudsummer Classic presented by CNBC Prime's The Profit at Eldora Speedway.
Austin Dillon wins The CarCash Mudsummer Classic presented by CNBC Prime's The Profit at Eldora Speedway.
Following up teammate Kurt Busch's attempt isn't in the cards
After two tough years of not making the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Tony Stewart is prepared to get back on track.
Organization to utilize Team Penske alliance in 2015 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Leavine Family Racing team owner Bob Leavine recalls when he signed his driver Michael McDowell with a fondness that stems from respect on and off the track. "We interviewed four drivers and I had seen Michael in the garage,” Levine said during Charlotte Media Tour on Wednesday. “ The time he took with fans was in line with our family values, the way he treated people. “A good driver, and he wasn't driving the best cars in the world. I knew that we didn't have many, but what we were putting on the track was good. So I just thought that it would be a good fit from what we were trying to accomplish." Fast forward a year and the small family-owned Sprint Cup Series team is headed in a direction that both the driver and team are excited about. McDowell, 29, is expected to run a minimum of 20 Sprint Cup Series races in 2015, trumping last year’s number. Last season, he qualified for all but three Cup events that he attempted, nabbing notable finishes at Daytona (seventh) and Bristol (18th), a victory that McDowell said he would have celebrated by popping champagne at his hauler if any had been available. “ The thing about that (Bristol) race for us is we ran where we finished most of the day,” McDowell said with a smile. “For a small Sprint Cup team to be in the teens and the low 20s, that’s a great day for us. “For us, to run where we’ve run all night and to finish it off was definitely a confidence builder and momentum for us.” The No. 95 driver appears to be sticking with the big boys for now, despite his strong finishes in the few races run with XFINITY Series in 2014. “I love running in the XFINITY Series. I’ve had a lot of great runs in the last few years,” McDowell said. “… I hope that I’ll have a few opportunities again to run some races, but there’s nothing permanent on the schedule right now. But having a part-time schedule in the Sprint Cup Series gives me a little bit of flexibility. “Now with a tighter alliance with Team Penske and a tighter alliance with Ford, it’s eliminated some of the opportunities with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota and those things.” This season marks the second season of the organization’s technical alliance with Team Penske , a partnership that Leavine thinks will aid the 14-person team on improving from last season. “It’s just a different mindset,” Leavine said. “… Roger (Penske) wasn’t willing to accept anything less than perfect. And that’s contagious." The fever seems to have spread to the organization's shop in Concord, North Carolina, as Leavine describes the team’s readiness to improve and be even more competitive next season. And that’s just what McDowell plans to do. “We want to be in the mix and we want to be in the conversation and we feel like at the end of the year last year, we were getting to that point,” McDowell said. “But we’d just like to be able to do that more consistently. And that’s the focus this year. "You can’t always hit home runs, but if we could hit doubles every game and eventually we’re going to get a few home runs in there and that’s really what we’re focused on.” FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Chairman and CEO of Camping World talks sponsorship, CNBC show Marcus Lemonis has managed to create the ultimate fusion between that which is nearest and dearest to his heart -- big business, small business, NASCAR and his reality television show, " The Profit ." As Chairman and CEO of one of NASCAR's national series title sponsors, Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises, a diehard race fan and a burgeoning television star of the CNBC hit show (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT), Lemonis has enviably and smartly positioned himself and his companies to share in one another's success. And there's been plenty of that. The 40-year-old entrepreneur signed a seven-year extension in May for Camping World to remain title sponsor of NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series -- he says a sign of commitment and a signal of his satisfaction with the series that has truly featured some of the most competitive product on track among a group of NASCAR's most highly motivated young and diverse drivers. "In most cases, it's an expensive sport -- expensive to find sponsors, expensive to operate, expensive to make the trips -- and NASCAR has done a nice job of recognizing that these truck team owners are a lot like small businesses. And as you go up the ranks, the Nationwide Series turns into medium business and Cup Series Fortune 500 businesses," Lemonis explained. "I like that they've made it easier, more competitive and for me, (provide) far more opportunity for these younger and more diverse drivers and that's what's exciting. You could literally start a race on any given night and not have even four or five predictable winners. A 16-year-old kid could win, and it doesn't get any better than that for me." That connection between the Camping World Truck Series and small business is viable and strong for Lemonis, whose starring role on " The Profit " includes finding struggling small businesses around the country and helping them gain their footing -- sometimes with a complete makeover. And in turn, he invests his own money to make it happen. From day one on his popular show -- whose third season begins tonight at 10 ET/PT -- Lemonis has promoted a tangible link between some of the small businesses he salvages and the world of NASCAR. One of the first businesses featured on the show, CarCash , became the race title sponsor for one of the Camping World Truck Series' most successful and perennially anticipated events, the 1-800- CARCASH Mudsummer Classic at the famed Tony Stewart -owned Eldora Speedway . "I've used NASCAR from the first episode of season one," Lemonis said. "It is still heavily integrated and actually sponsors the dirt track event at Eldora -- and that was first business ever featured on the show. "Sometimes the episodes fit (naturally with NASCAR) and sometimes they don't, but it's been great for CarCash and every time that race airs or is mentioned, we get an influx of business. "I love the sport of racing, but if I didn't feel like it helped my business, Camping World or other businesses that have invested, I don't think I would do it. At the end of the day, you have to do things that make sense. NASCAR, for me, has had a phenomenal return on my investment. "I think the thing I'm most grateful for and I can't stress this enough is that these fans do not have to support the companies that sponsor their favorite driver, but they do and they do it religiously. And I think there's something to be said for that. "I can't think of any other sport in this country where the fans are as committed to the teams and committed to the sponsors that make it all happen and I think that's why these big and small companies keep coming back. "It's what I call the NASCAR effect, and it really makes a difference." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
1-800- CarCash Mudsummer Classic set for July 23
Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion honored by namesake Richard Petty