WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 lineup
Justin Lofton will lineup first in Friday's WinStar World Casino and Resort 400
NASCAR to offer free youth tickets for XFINITY Series, Camping World Truck Series
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 22, 2016) -- NASCAR today announced exclusively via Facebook Live that beginning in 2017, kids ages 12 and younger will be admitted free to all NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races. The announcement was made during an all-kids press conference hosted at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The press conference also kicked off Kids Drive NASCAR, a week-long, youth initiative leading up to this weekend’s national series races at Michigan International Speedway and Road America . "There really is no other experience like attending a NASCAR race in person, and that's especially true for kids," said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. "So many children become lifelong NASCAR fans because their parents brought them to their first race, and this new ticket offering makes it even more affordable for families to create memories that will last a lifetime." Many race tracks already have in place a bevy of offerings geared towards youth, including youth autograph sessions, youth garage tours, kids' clubs and designated kids’ zones. Numerous tracks also have employed various ticket platforms focused on youth, but this new program marks the first time where tracks will institute a consistent offer wherever NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races take place. Beginning in 2017, the number of complimentary tickets available for children 12 and younger will vary from venue to venue for every adult ticket purchased. Specific track policies and procedures, including sections in which the tickets are offered, will still apply and may differ for each track as well in an effort to welcome and accommodate as many families as possible. This program is another example of NASCAR-sanctioned tracks improving the at-track experience with the ultimate goal of delivering additional value and an unparalleled live-event experience for NASCAR fans. "NASCAR Hammer Down" host Karsyn Elledge, and NASCAR Next drivers Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton helped announce the program during Monday’s kids-only press conference, the first in a series of industry events and activities that will celebrate Kids Drive NASCAR week. For the latest Kids Drive NASCAR news and content, fans can visit NASCAR.com and follow NASCAR on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram , and Snapchat. Be sure to tune-in when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hits the track this weekend at Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and MRN.
Live chat: Michigan and Road America
Chat with fans this weekend during the NASCAR action at Michigan International Speedway and Road America .
Paint Scheme Preview: Michigan and Road America
See the new looks for Michigan and Road America here.
Full schedule for Michigan and Road America
RELATED: Find NBCSN in your area " Watch live online at NBCSports.com The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series will gather for a doubleheader showing at Michigan International Speedway this weekend while the XFINITY Series makes a stop at Road America . Check out the full schedule below. Note: All times are ET FRIDAY, AUG. 26: ON TRACK: MICHIGAN -- Noon-1:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series first practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) -- 1:30-2:25 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series first practice, FS2 ( Follow live ) -- 4-4:55 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final practice, FS2 ( Follow live ) -- 5:15 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 11:30 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- 1 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ON TRACK: ROAD AMERICA -- 10-10:55 a.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series first practice ( Follow live ) -- Noon-1:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice ( Follow live ) -- 6:35 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) SATURDAY, AUG. 27: ON TRACK: MICHIGAN -- 8:30-9:25 a.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, CNBC ( Follow live ) -- 9:45 a.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 ( Follow live ) -- 11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, CNBC ( Follow live ) -- 1 p.m.: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers for Veterans 200 Presented by Cooper Standard and Brad Keselowski 's Checkered Flag Foundation (100 laps, 200 miles), FS1 ( Follow live ) ON TRACK: ROAD AMERICA -- 3 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville (45 laps, 182.16 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live ) SUNDAY, AUG. 28: ON TRACK: MICHIGAN -- 2 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 (200 laps, 400 miles), NBCSN/NBC Sports App ( Follow live )
Keselowski and Busch wreck, collects Dillon
Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch wreck after a tough battle collecting Ty Dillon in the process.
Tifft has renewed driving passion -- and sense of smell -- after brain surgery
BRISTOL, Tenn. – Matt Tifft remembers waking up in the middle of the night in the Intensive Care Unit following his brain surgery. The television was on and the XFINITY Series race at Daytona was playing. Tifft went right back to sleep that night — but getting back to the track hasn't been far from his mind since then. "It's great to see everyone," Tifft said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway . "I can't tell you how much I've missed being at the race track … I don't know that I've ever stayed away from a race track that long." The 20-year-old developmental XFINITY driver for Joe Gibbs Racing underwent surgery July 1 to remove a low-grade, benign brain tumor, and has been sidelined from the race track since. Poised and in good spirits, Tifft thoroughly explained the difficult recovery he's endured for the past month and a half. "I got this nice scar over here," Tifft said, gesturing to a long scar on his head. "They got as much (of the tumor) as they could out. The way they best describe it is a wet cotton ball in a cup of water, basically. So, they can pull out as much as they can but there's always going to be a couple strands left in. … But they were able to go in and do a fairly aggressive surgery and get the most out as possible. "But one of the most shocking things to me was apparently with a brain tumor, one of the symptoms is a loss of smell. So, I came downstairs the Monday after I had my surgery and my mom, she was washing something with Murphy's Oil (Soap). I guess I couldn't smell things for years and it just hit me and it made me nauseous and all of a sudden I just started smelling everything. I was like, 'My goodness, I can't believe this.' " Scent wasn't the only sense regained following Tifft's recovery. He quickly realized how much the tumor had affected details of every day life on many levels. "The first couple weeks getting back, I could do 30 minutes more of activity without getting too worn out," Tifft recalled. "What I would figure out, though, is every day I had new experiences -- going to the mall, walking around, things that you think are just so normal to everybody – all of a sudden, those things were stressful situations. … It was just fascinating getting to learn about that. And every day I got stronger and better and to the point where I was able to start driving a street car again, get back to normal life, basically. After that, I was able to get back to a normal physical activity level." While the process has been wearisome at times, it also has afforded Tifft the opportunity to connect with others who either have gone through brain surgery, themselves, or have children who have undergone a similar process. "It really puts things in perspective," Tifft said. "I think sometimes we get lost in this world of NASCAR, sometimes we get trapped in a bubble a little bit with that, and you get hit with something like this and it's shocking but then you realize with other people, there's a whole lot more that could be going wrong. It just makes you appreciate things a lot more." With a new outlook — and regained sense of smell -- Tifft finally climbs behind the wheel Sunday with doctor's approval for the first time since his procedure, as he tests a late model at Hickory Speedway. "I think I will be smiling from ear to ear," Tifft said. "I can't tell you how excited I am to strap back in the seat. It will be a really great feeling." But perhaps a better feeling will be eventually getting back into a stock car, the thought that has kept Tifft going since July. "You get that realization that this is not going to be tomorrow that I'm going to be OK, this is going to take some time and in the beginning that took a while to really understand that," Tifft said. "There were definitely some times where you’re bummed out and you just want things to go back to normal. Then you just have to keep telling yourself that you have to do everything necessary to get back to that point. "My goal from the get-go is to get back in the race car. … The reason I was able to stay so positive and so driven was the one goal of getting back in the car."
Weather delays Camping World Truck Series' Bristol event
RELATED: Live weather updates " Views from Wednesday at Bristol The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' UNOH 200 (200 laps, 106.6 miles) is under delay following a burst of rain and thunderstorms that hit Bristol Motor Speedway and surrounding areas Wednesday. The event was scheduled for a 8:30 p.m. ET green flag, but NASCAR was unable to get the event underway on time as Air Titans continue to dry the .533-mile short track. Earlier, Tyler Reddick earned the 21 Means 21 Pole Award after posting the quickest lap during the three-round qualifying session. The No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing wheelman will line up alongside Joe Gibbs Racing 's Daniel Suarez . Cameron Hayley , Ben Rhodes and Christopher Bell complete the starting top five while series points leader -- and five-time 2016 winner -- William Byron will start sixth.
Stenhouse and Larson pay tribute to their friend, Bryan Clauson
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Larson with both run helmets this weekend to honor their friend Bryan Clauson. Stenhouse will also run Clauson's 2008 Fastenal paint scheme this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
1964: The Wood Brothers, a road trip and a surprise driver
Noted road-course racer Dan Gurney won the event and Marvin Panch finished second to give Wood Brothers Racing a 1-2 finish in the Motor Trend 500 at Riverside (Calif.) International Raceway. The name of the fellow who climbed aboard the car in Greenville, South Carolina, however, has been lost in the mists of time. Say what? The year was 1964 and crew chief Leonard Wood, along with brother Ray, was transporting Panch's No. 21 Ford across the country, returning from Riverside to the team's shop in Stuart, Virginia. After a brief stop for dinner in Greenville, the two resumed their journey, planning one more stop in Charlotte, North Carolina. "People were standing around the car, it was 20 degrees," Leonard Wood told NASCAR.com regarding the brief break for a quick meal just across the South Carolina state line. "Normally you'd stop and talk to them a little bit but it was so cold we just jumped in the truck, pulled away and left." The first sign that the two had picked up an uninvited passenger, Wood said, came about halfway between Greenville and Charlotte when their truck "started making this noise and we couldn't figure out what it was." "Ray said 'You can even feel it in the roof. It's vibrating the roof!' " Leonard Wood recalled. Initially, Wood said he thought the loud vibration was the result of a jet aircraft, "so I'm looking around to see if I could see an airport," he said. Neither crewman realized the vibration was coming from the race car, and the engine being revved wide open. But the noise soon stopped so the pair continued on up the road, unaware that a none-too-sober gentleman had climbed inside the race car back in Greenville during the food stop. When they arrived in Charlotte for one final stop, Wood said the noise and vibration had resumed. And this time he realized it wasn't coming from any aircraft. It was coming from the race car on the back of the open truck. "I looked in the side mirror when we got off the highway and I saw steam coming out the exhausts of the race car," he said. "I knew something was wrong and I told Ray to stop this thing. "I saw what looked like a person in the car behind the wheel and I thought, 'Man, one of the crew members is trying to pull a trick on me.' Of course I bypassed that thought immediately because I thought 'There's no one on the crew that's going to be stupid enough to get in that car as cold as it is.' "I look in there and this guy's got Marvin's helmet on. I said 'What do you think you’re doing in here?' and he said 'Let's go!' " In the meantime, Ray Wood had gotten out of the truck, still unaware of the inebriated passenger. With help from Leonard they attempted to pull the unwanted fellow from behind the wheel. "I said 'We'll let you go in a minute,' grabbed ahold of him and jerked him out," Leonard said. "He got his foot hung and was hollering and squalling. We turned him loose and he just settled back in there and got comfortable again. He had a little bit to keep him warm, liquid wise." As fate would have it, a local law enforcement officer happened by and stopped to see what was going on. After explaining the situation, the officer gave the "would-be racer" another ride -- this one in the back of a patrol car. Panch, who would go on to win three times that season for the Wood Brothers, had told Leonard after finishing second at Riverside that the motor had been about to blow near the end of the race. "When I got home," Wood said, "I said, 'Marvin, that thing was good for another 100 miles!' "But the funniest thing is Glen (Wood, team founder) had passed us in the station wagon and didn't see the man in there. "If he had, he would have had a heart attack."