NASCAR

Erik Jones makes the move to Sprint Cup this season.

It’s the hours and hours a person spends preparing for the opportunity ahead that creates success.


Furniture Row Racing’s No. 77 5-hour ENERGY team spent Tuesday and Wednesday at Phoenix International Raceway becoming familiar with the new Toyota Camry as well as each other as a new team for the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season. Driver Erik Jones and crew chief Chris Gayle have a brief history together in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with Joe Gibbs Racing though both are entering their rookie seasons in NASCAR’s premier class.


The two-day test was the first opportunity for the new Denver, Colo.-based Furniture Row Racing team to work together as a unit at a race track since the program was announced last August. The 5-hour ENERGY team was one of more than a dozen other NASCAR Cup Series teams to take advantage of the opportunity to test with the new lower downforce package race cars.

 

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Miranda Lambert will appear at the Faster Horses Festival in 2017.

Faster Horses Festival will ride into its fifth anniversary year with a star-studded lineup in tow as Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert and more will descend on Brooklyn, MI for the "Party Of The Summer” on July 21-23

 

From the moment the first year shot out of the gate, a special vibe was created running through the festival and out into the unrivaled, spirited nature of the campsites. Known as a summer calendar staple, with fans continuing to fiercely return in the thousands, passes for the three-day, two-stage camping festival will go on sale on Feb. 27 at 10am ET at fasterhorsesfestival.com.

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NASCAR Announces 2017 Schedule For NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series

The return of the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series will take the green flag in March in Monterrey, and the 2017 champion will be crowned in November at Mexico City, as part of a 12-race calendar announced today.

 

The schedule for the top racing series in Latin America features a challenging mix of six oval and six road-courses events, and includes stops at nine different venues throughout Mexico.

 

The NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series will open the season at Autódromo Monterrey, a 3.4 km (2.1-mile) road course in Apodaca, Nuevo León, on March 26. Daniel Suárez, a Monterrey native and the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion, is a two-time winner on the oval layout at his home track. The championship race for the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series will take place on the 1.63 km (1.013-mile) road-course circuit at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City on Nov. 12. The track has been a staple of the series since its inaugural season under the NASCAR banner in 2007.

 

“As we enter a new era in the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series, the 2017 schedule is a terrific blend of the top venues throughout the country,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president of weekly & touring series. “The fans will be treated with the exciting action that is the trademark of NASCAR racing, whether the drivers are speeding down the straightaways on the ovals or fighting for positions heading into the twists and turns of the road courses.”

 

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Carl Edwards gets emotional during his farewell press conference, after announcing he won't compete full-time in 2017 for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Leaving a job while you’re at the top of your game is not easy. That’s why so few people do it.

But that’s exactly what Carl Edwards did this week.

The man who was one late-race caution away from potentially winning a Cup championship in 2016, and who lost the Cup to Tony Stewart on a tie-breaker in 2011, let the world know that he would not be returning to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017, even though he would have been a title contender once again.

He is off to explore other to-be-determined ventures (charity work, family time, political office perhaps) and Xfinity champion Daniel Suarez will assume his ride.

Edwards didn’t say “retirement”, and I imagine he’s got a few turns left behind a steering wheel in the future on a fill-in basis, but he’s done competing full-time in the sport that has been his life since he became an adult.

As per usual, some folks on the Internet can’t seem to accept the truth on this. I’ve seen far too many comments like “There’s more to this story. He must be sick” or similar speculation.


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Martin Truex Jr. was named the 2016 Eastern Motorsport Press Association National Driver of the Year.

Martin Truex Jr. has been named the 2016 Eastern Motorsport Press Association National Driver of the Year. The award was voted on by members of the EMPA.

Driving the No. 78 Toyota Camry for Denver-based Furniture Row Racing, Truex’s stellar 2016 season in NASCAR’s premier division included four wins, five poles and a series’ leading 1,805 laps led, all career season highs for the native of Mayetta, N.J.

His dominating victory at the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway set a NASCAR record for miles led (588) and an event record for laps led – 392 out of 400.

“Martin had an impressive season, winning two of the triple crown events – the Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500 (Darlington, S.C.),” said Earl Krause, a veteran motorsports journalist, EMPA board member and lead announcer at Pocono Raceway. “He nearly pulled off NASCAR’s version of the triple crown but came up inches short of winning the Daytona 500. He also had exciting Chase victories at Chicago and Dover. I covered Martin since his early racing days at Wall Stadium in New Jersey, and like his father – Martin Truex Sr. -- he has always been a class act both on and off the track.”

This is the second time Truex will be the recipient of the EMPA Al Holbert Memorial National Driver of the Year trophy. He received the prestigious hardware after winning the 2004 XFINITY Series championship.

“My racing roots are in the Northeast and to be recognized by the EMPA takes on a special meaning for the entire Truex family,” noted Truex. “My family has spent many days and nights racing at Northeastern tracks, and that’s why I always feel like I’m going home when the NASCAR series competes at Dover, Pocono and New Hampshire.”

Truex added, “I want to thank the EMPA members for this humbling honor. The real heroes are my teammates at Furniture Row Racing for bringing fast race cars to the track on a weekly basis. I also want to thank our team owner Barney Visser, team president Joe Garone and our sponsors – Furniture Row, Denver Mattress, Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, TRACKER Boats, Auto-Owners Insurance and Visser Precision.”

Truex joins an elite list of drivers from different racing disciplines who have garnered the EMPA National Driver of the Year award, including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Rusty Wallace, Tony Stewart and Terry Labonte from NASCAR; Mario Andretti, Michael Andretti and Mark Donohue from IndyCar; and Joe Amato and John Force from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).

-- Press release courtesy of Eastern Motorsport Press Association

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Free NASCAR Hall of Fame admission, driver autographs highlight Fan Appreciation Day

In what has become a much-anticipated season kick-off event, NASCAR will offer FREE admission to the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of NASCAR Fan Appreciation Day. That’s just one of the many exciting offerings during the day-long celebration of NASCAR’s passionate fans, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 21 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

NASCAR stars past and present will participate in autograph and Q&A sessions throughout the day, in addition to free access to the Hall. Fans will be admitted into the Hall on a first-come, first-served basis in lieu of needing a ticket. Doors open at 8 a.m. ET.

However, tickets to the below autograph sessions featuring stars from all three NASCAR national series must be secured in advance. Tickets for these autograph sessions will be available for free on NASCARHall.com.
Each fan can secure up to two tickets for one of the seven autograph sessions (one ticket for an individual or two tickets for an individual and their guest).

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be back behind the wheel of the 88 car in 2017.

DALE EARNHARDT, JR. DRIVER OF THE NO. 88 CHEVROLET SS AND RICK HENDRICK, OWNER OF HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS, spoke with members of the media via teleconference to discuss Dale’s return to the seat of the No. 88 Chevrolet SS for on-track competition in 2017.

Full Transcript:

WELCOME BACK.  YOU TESTED DARLINGTON ON WEDNESDAY, WHICH WAS THE FINAL STEP BEFORE BEING MEDICALLY CLEARED FOR COMPETITION.  HOW DID IT FEEL TO BE BACK BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A RACECAR AND HOW DID THE TEST GO OVERALL FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE?

DALE EARNHARDT, JR.:“Well, the test, I thought, couldn’t have gone any better.  Darlington was a great host and NASCAR was really great to work with to put it together.  I really appreciate them creating opportunities and rules for drivers in this type of situation to be able to get in a car.  It really helps build your confidence to know that everything is working like it’s supposed to work, no matter what your injury it before you go get back into a full race weekend.  It’s nice to be able to kind of get some personal reassurance and confidence.  I was really happy to have the opportunity.  We got to the racetrack, the weather was great and we just ran laps.  We put tires on, run 15 laps at a time; take about a 20 minute break, Dr. (Jerry) Petty was there.  We did a personal evaluation before we got in the car to set a baseline and Dr. Petty was evaluating me after each run to see if everything was good.  A lot of the things that he was checking, visual and balance and so forth, actually strengthened throughout the process.  You sort of get acclimated and up to speed with what it takes to kind of drive a racecar and those systems strengthen through that process.  Rather than see them sort of flat-line and stay the same, which was what I was hoping for, they actually got stronger.  That was great.  I felt like throughout the day I got more and more comfortable in the car and it felt like an old shoe by the end of the day.  I was happy with the speed we had. That wasn’t really the ultimate goal, but we had great speed. The car drove really good and we just continued to put tires on it and go out and run 30 laps at a time.  And come in, get out, think about it, talk about it, get checked out and by the end of the day we felt really confident that health wise I was 100 percent and ready to get back in the car.”

 

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Steve Phelps, Brian France, Mark Hall and Mitch Covington speak during a press conference as NASCAR and Monster Energy announce premier series entitlement partnership at Wynn Las Vegas on December 1, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Monster Energy, which will begin its tenure as naming rights partner on Jan. 1, 2017, will become only the third company to serve as the entitlement sponsor in NASCAR premier series history, following RJ Reynolds and Sprint/Nextel.

NASCAR and Monster Energy have announced a multi-year agreement for the premier series entitlement as well as the prestigious annual NASCAR All-Star Race.Monster Energy, which will begin its tenure as naming rights partner onJan. 1, 2017, will become only the third company to serve as the entitlement sponsor in NASCAR premier series history, following RJ Reynolds and Sprint/Nextel.

As part of the agreement, the brand also becomes the Official Energy Drink of NASCAR.

“Monster Energy is a brand built on excitement and enthusiasm, qualities that align with NASCAR,” said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. “This sponsorship position is the most unique in all of sports and entertainment, and we are thrilled to have a partner that will help us further elevate the series. Today’s announcement is the culmination of a thorough search, one that resulted in the right partner at this important time in our sport’s history.”

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