Category Archives: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Country Music Rising Superstar Cole Swindell Roars around Charlotte Motor Speedway with NASCAR Star Ryan Blaney

       Platinum-selling country music star Cole Swindell took a high-speed ride around Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday with NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney; Swindell will perform the May 19 Monster Energy All-Star Race pre-race concert presented by Rayovac, Kwikset, George Foreman and National Hardware

·         Swindell’s concert is FREE with purchase of any All-Star Race ticket; A $20 Golden Ticket upgrade grants fans stage-front access to Swindell’s 70-minute performance

·         Fans can buy tickets to the May 19 Monster Energy All-Star Race, which include FREE admission to the Cole Swindell concert, by visiting the speedway’s website or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267)

CONCORD, N.C. (March 7, 2018) – No stranger to the thrill of performing in front of thousands of fans, country music rising superstar Cole Swindell experienced a different kind of adrenaline rush on Wednesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The platinum-selling singer and songwriter rode shotgun with NASCAR star Ryan Blaney in a NASCAR Racing Experience stock car, setting the stage for Swindell’s May 19 Monster Energy All-Star Race Concert presented by Rayovac BatteriesKwiksetGeorge Foreman and National Hardware.

Swindell – a longtime NASCAR fan who attended his first race at Charlotte – has charted seven No. 1 hits in a career that is still on the rise. Nothing, however rose for Swindell like the lump in his throat once Blaney took him for a ride around Charlotte’s 1.5-mile superspeedway.

“It was breathtaking,” Swindell said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been that fast before – especially in a car like that. It was crazy. Ryan told me he’d get me as close to the wall as he could and he definitely did. I was just holding on. It looks so smooth on television, but they’re really grinding when they go through the turns. … You have to see it in person. I can’t wait to see everybody out at the All-Star Race when they’re really going to go after it.”

Blaney didn’t hit 220 miles per hour in his No. 12 Menards car, but his passenger said it felt like it.

“I was about 90 percent there,” Blaney said. “It was fun. It’s the first time I’ve given a ride to a friend of mine. I think that made me I go a little bit harder. … I love the music industry. I’m a big fan of (Swindell’s) and I appreciate how hard those guys work to get to where they are. He’s such a big fan of racing too, so it’s cool to support him and have his support too.”

Hours before Blaney chases a million-dollar victory in the All-Star Race on May 19, Swindell will perform for fans at 2 p.m. at the entrance outside of Turn 1 near Gate 8 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, adjacent to the Fan Zone. The concert is FREE with the purchase of any Monster Energy All-Star Race ticket.


The Cole Swindell All-Star Race Concert presented by Rayovac Batteries, Kwikset, George Foreman and National Hardware will kick off pre-race festivities for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race on a stage located near the Turn 1 entrance. For just $20, fans can upgrade to a special Golden Ticket for early access to a reserved area directly in front of the stage. Golden Tickets are limited and can be purchased by calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at


To purchase tickets, camping and race-day upgrades to the Monster Energy All-Star Race or the Coca-Cola 600, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or shop online at


Fans can connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway by following on Twitter and Instagram or become a Facebook fan. Keep up with all the latest news and information with the Charlotte Motor Speedway mobile app.


In just over four years since he made his debut on Warner Bros. Records, Swindell has racked up an impressive and incomparable record-breaking SEVEN No. 1 singles (the only solo artist in the history of the Country Aircheck/Mediabase to top the charts with first seven singles); 10 No. 1 singles as a songwriter; one 1 billion audience reaching single (“You Should Be Here”), five Platinum singles; one Gold single; a Platinum-certified debut album; a Gold-certified sophomore album (You Should Be Here) as well as numerous SONGWRITING honors and awards including being the reigning NSAI Songwriter/Artist of the Year (2016), winning two CMA Triple Play Awards in both 2015 and 2016 (for penning three No. 1 songs in a 12 month span) and Music Row’s Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year during his debut (2015). the Georgia native just released his current and 9th career single “Break Up in the End,” the first single from his upcoming third album for Warner Bros. Records.

Last year, Swindell performed his 7th career No. 1 single “Flatliner,” which features his mentor/friend and 2017 WHAT THE HELL WORLD TOUR mate Dierks Bentley, on the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards telecast live on CBS and again on the ABC Television “CMA Fest” special. He also realized a career goal with performing “Stay Downtown” on both The Ellen Degeneres Show and the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. Since launching his career in 2014, Swindell has toured with the biggest superstars in country music including Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley and has sold out his first three Down Home Tours and just wrapped his fourth sold out Down Home Tour in January in support of his Down Home Session IV EP. Swindell just launched his first career headlining tour in February – Reason To Drink Tour. Joining him on tour are two of country music’s biggest rising stars Chris Janson and Lauren Alaina.

Kevin Harvick enjoys another dominant victory in Las Vegas

Kevin Harvick enjoys another dominant victory in Las Vegas

 March 4, 2018

 By Reid Spencer

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – If you thought last Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta was an aberration on old asphalt, think again.

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 4 2018: Four F-16s perform the fly-over for the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

 Kevin Harvick was every bit as dominant on the newer asphalt at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, racking up impressive numbers in winning Sunday’s Pennzoil 400, the third event of the season.

 In winning his second straight race and his second at the 1.5-mile track, Harvick finished 2.906 seconds ahead of runner-up and Las Vegas native Kyle Busch. Third-place finisher Kyle Larson was more than 13 seconds back. Paul Menard in ninth-place was the last driver on the lead lap.

 Harvick won for the 39th time in the Monster Energy Series and the 100th time over all three of NASCAR’s national touring series combined. He is tied with Tim Flock and Matt Kenseth for 19th on the all-time Cup victory list and third among active drivers.

 The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford also took the series lead by three points over second-place Joey Logano and four over third-place Ryan Blaney, who started from the pole on Sunday and led one lap—the first.

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 4 2018: Kevin Harvick leads Martin Truex Jr. through the tri-oval during the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

 “As you look at the last two weeks and our 1.5-mile program in general, it has been really good since I started here at SHR,” said Harvick, a Bakersfield, California, native. “They put a lot of effort into everything we do from every standpoint to get these cars going like they are. It’s great to win on the West Coast for me.”

 Harvick led 214 of 267 laps, most ever by a Las Vegas winner. His fastest lap was more than .4 seconds better than the quickest circuit posted by anyone else. Harvick won the first two stages of the race with relative ease, picking up two Playoff points in the process.

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 4 2018: Kyle Larson makes a pitstop during the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

 With all that, the outcome wasn’t a foregone conclusion after Harvick lost three spots on pit road under caution at the end of Stage 2. He restarted fourth on Lap 167, fell back to fifth and didn’t regain fourth-place until he passed Chase Elliott on Lap 172.

 “We had some trouble getting through traffic there,” Harvick said. “That was our worst run, as far as where the car was. I don’t know if it was just the car, tire set, handling, whatever it was. We were just stuck in traffic and needed to come make an adjustment.”

 After two more cautions—the first for Jamie McMurray’s brush with

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 4 2018: Chase Elliott attempts to get his car around the track after being involved in a wreck with Kurt Busch during the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

the backstretch wall on Lap 176, the second for a hard crash off Turn 4 that eliminated Kurt Busch and Elliott on Lap 183—Harvick lined up beside eventual seventh-place finisher Logano for a restart on Lap 195 and rocketed into the lead through the first corner.

 At that point, it was game over. Kyle Busch led laps 225-230 after Harvick made a green-flag pit stop on Lap 225, but that was Busch’s last glimpse of the lead. Harvick reclaimed first place after Busch came to pit road on Lap 230 and stayed there the rest of the way.

LAS VEGAS, NV MARCH 4 2018: Kevin Harvick celebrates in a shower of confetti after winning the Pennzoil 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo by Stephen Furst/

 “There was no catching that 4,” Kyle Busch said. “They were on rails today… Certainly would have liked to have been able to run down the 4 or catch the 4 and put on a race, but they were just so far out there and so far the class of the field all day long, I don’t think anybody was really keeping up with them.” 

 Notes: Cole Custer finished 25th, three laps down in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut… Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender in 21st, also three laps down… Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. started fourth and finished fourth. Blaney completed the top five.

 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race – Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sunday, March 4, 2018


               1. (2) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 267.

               2. (13) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 267.

               3. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 267.

               4. (4) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 267.

               5. (1) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 267.

               6. (8) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 267.

               7. (10) Joey Logano, Ford, 267.

               8. (9) Erik Jones, Toyota, 267.

               9. (12) Paul Menard, Ford, 267.

               10. (29) Aric Almirola, Ford, 266.

               11. (25) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 266.

               12. (14) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 266.

               13. (16) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 266.

               14. (7) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 265.

               15. (28) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 265.

               16. (20) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 265.

               17. (19) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 265.

               18. (11) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 265.

               19. (21) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 264.

               20. (24) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 264.

               21. (26) Darrell Wallace Jr. #, Chevrolet, 264.

               22. (32) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 264.

               23. (23) David Ragan, Ford, 264.

               24. (31) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 264.

               25. (30) Cole Custer(i), Ford, 264.

               26. (18) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 263.

               27. (17) William Byron #, Chevrolet, 263.

               28. (34) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 262.

               29. (33) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 262.

               30. (27) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 262.

               31. (36) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 255.

               32. (37) * Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, 253.

               33. (35) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, Engine, 195.

               34. (6) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, Accident, 183.

               35. (3) Kurt Busch, Ford, Accident, 183.

               36. (22) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, Accident, 176.

               37. (15) Michael McDowell, Ford, Engine, 100.


Average Speed of Race Winner:  141.756 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 49 Mins, 31 Secs. Margin of Victory:  2.906 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  4 for 29 laps.

Lead Changes:  11 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   R. Blaney 1; K. Harvick 2-38; M. McDowell 39-49; K. Harvick 50-121; Kyle Busch 122-125; K. Harvick 126-163; J. Logano 164-176; M. Truex Jr. 177-182; J. Logano 183-194; K. Harvick 195-224; Kyle Busch 225-230; K. Harvick 231-267.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  K. Harvick 5 times for 214 laps; J. Logano 2 times for 25 laps; M. McDowell 1 time for 11 laps; Kyle Busch 2 times for 10 laps; M. Truex Jr. 1 time for 6 laps; R. Blaney 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 4,78,42,12,22,2,41,9,18,21

Stage #2 Top Ten: 4,12,42,22,18,2,78,41,9,21


Kevin Harvick Finds Victory Lane in Atlanta After 17 Years

(Courtesy: NASCAR Media)

HAMPTON, Ga. – On Sunday night, after 17 barren years, Kevin Harvick finally completed the second chapter of his love affair with Atlanta Motor Speedway. 

HAMPTON, GA – FEBRUARY 25: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s Ford, crosses the finish line to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 25, 2018 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

In the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, the second Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season, Harvick delivered a proper thrashing to the rest of the field, leading 181-of-325 laps and beating runner-up Brad Keselowski to the finish line by 2.690 seconds. 

Early in 2001, after Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in a last-lap crash in the Daytona 500, Harvick was thrust prematurely into a replacement role that would have cowed most rookies. Three weeks later, he notched his first Cup victory in a photo finish (.006 seconds) over Jeff Gordon. 

Harvick’s career victory total reached 38 on Sunday with his relentless performance at the 1.54-mile speedway, ending a frustrating drought that featured blinding speed foiled by ill fortune and inopportune mistakes.  

Afterwards, in his victory celebration, Harvick gave a “3” salute to Earnhardt, a tribute he had waited years to perform. 

“I’m just so proud of everybody on our team,” Harvick said. “That was the first win in my career (in 2001), and to be able to do that and pay tribute to Dale was pretty cool. I’ve been waiting a long time to do that… 

“I love racing here, and it’s good to be back in Victory Lane – finally. It took a while.” 

Harvick had led the most laps in the last four Monster Energy events at Atlanta, but victory continued to elude him. Nor was the road to Sunday’s win free of obstacles. 

On Harvick’s second pit stop, after his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford had dominated the race’s first stage, the air hose blew off the coupler of the pit gun wielded by the front tire changer Daniel Smith, and Harvick had to return to pit road to make sure his lug nuts were tight. 

No problem. Harvick restarted 16th on Lap 94 to begin Stage 2. On Lap 126, he passed teammate Kurt Busch for the lead. 

Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano tried divergent strategies, opting for a two-pit-stop strategy, instead of the typical three, over the last stage of the race. After Harvick came off pit road on Lap 289, Hamlin held a 1.819-second second advantage. 

HAMPTON, GA – FEBRUARY 25: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 25, 2018 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Harvick brushed the ploy aside as easily as swatting a fly. On Lap 291 he passed Hamlin for the lead and took off. Ultimately, Hamlin finished fourth and Logano sixth. 

Harvick was out front by more than four seconds when Trevor Bayne’s engine blew in Turn 2 on Lap 297, trailing a thick cloud of smoke that covered the corner and left Daytona 500 runner-up Bubba Wallace driving blind into the back of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s Ford. 

On the subsequent restart on Lap 305, Harvick simply drove away, stretching his lead to nearly four seconds over the final 21 laps before easing up as he approached the finish line. 

“It was great getting into this race car and knowing that everybody knew that they had to beat our car,” Harvick said. “I’m just really, really happy with everything that we’ve done at Stewart-Haas Racing over the last five years, and this is a great start to getting ourselves in the Playoffs and doing everything that we need to do.  

“We overcame a lot of things today. We got a late-race restart that we drove off and won the race with, so there are so many demons that seem to haunt us here for a long time, but the coolest part was being able to try to replicate that first win celebration.” 

SHR teammate Clint Bowyer finished third, putting Fords in all three podium positions. Martin Truex Jr. charged forward from a 35th-place starting position to run fifth. Logano, pole winner Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott completed the top 10. 

Logano took over the series lead by six points over Ryan Blaney, who finished 12th. Daytona 500 winner Austin Dillon was 14th, the first driver one lap down.