Category Archives: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Sewanee University, the University of the South, to Sponsor DiBenedetto at Atlanta Motor Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 16: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Matt DiBenedetto poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt DiBenedetto. (Photo by Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (February 24, 2016) – Heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, BK Racing welcomes Sewanee University aboard the No. 83 Toyota.

Known familiarly as “Sewanee” by its students, faculty, staff and friends, The University of the South offers an unmatched educational experience. The university remains purposefully small and dedicated to building a sense of community.
Vic Keller, Founder of ZAK Products, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, and his wife Alesha provided this sponsorship as a unique way to support the school their son proudly attends.
“Sewanee University is an extraordinary school and is very special to our family,” said Vic Keller. “We look forward to watching for the No. 83 adorned in Sewanee purple at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend along with The University of the South student and Alumni community!”

NASCAR Announces Nominees For NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2017, Landmark Award

Hornaday, Roush, Rudd, Squier, Wilson Added To Ballot;
Guthrie Joins Landmark List

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 24, 2016) — Legendary engine builders, crew chiefs, owners, drivers and the most recognizable voice in motorsports. The talents, eras and levels may differ, but all share a common thread. They shaped NASCAR, and on Wednesday, they were recognized as nominees for the highest honor the sport bestows – enshrinement into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

NASCAR today announced the 20 nominees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, as well as the five nominees for the Landmark Award for Outstanding Contributions to NASCAR. Included among the list are five first-time nominees, all legends who made excellence a habit through their various contributions to the sport.

Among them are record-holding four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday Jr.; the man with the most car owner wins in NASCAR national series history with 322, Jack Roush; former all-time consecutive starts leader Ricky Rudd; legendary motorsports broadcasting pioneer Ken Squier; and three-time premier series champion engine builder and three-time Daytona 500-winning crew chief Waddell Wilson. For a full list of nominees, please see below.

The nominees were selected by a nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks and the media. The committee’s votes were tabulated by accounting firm Ernst & Young.

From the list of 20 NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees, five inductees will be elected by the NASCAR Hall of Fame Voting Panel, which includes a nationwide fan vote on Voting Day for the 2017 class will be Wednesday, May 25.

Added to this year’s list of Landmark Award nominees is Janet Guthrie – the first female driver to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race. The four returning nominees for the Landmark Award are H. Clay Earles, Raymond Parks, Ralph Seagraves and Squier (more on each below). Potential Landmark Award recipients include competitors or those working in the sport as a member of a racing organization, track facility, race team, sponsor, media partner or being a general ambassador for the sport through a professional or non-professional role. Award winners remain eligible for NHOF enshrinement.

Following are the 20 nominees for induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, listed alphabetically:

Buddy Baker, won 19 times in NASCAR’s premier (now Sprint Cup) series, including the Daytona 500 and Southern 500

Red Byron, first NASCAR premier series champion, in 1949

Richard Childress, 11-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Ray Evernham, three-time NASCAR premier series championship crew chief

Ray Fox, legendary engine builder, crew chief and car owner

Rick Hendrick, 14-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Ron Hornaday, four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion

Harry Hyde, 1970 NASCAR premier series championship crew chief

Alan Kulwicki, 1992 NASCAR premier series champion

Mark Martin, 96-time race winner in NASCAR national series competition

Hershel McGriff, 1986 NASCAR west series champion

Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner

Benny Parsons, 1973 NASCAR premier series champion

Larry Phillips, only five-time NASCAR weekly series national champion

Jack Roush, five-time car owner champion in NASCAR’s three national series

Ricky Rudd, won 23 times in NASCAR’s premier series, including the 1997 Brickyard 400

Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner/namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence

Mike Stefanik, winner of record-tying nine NASCAR championships

Waddell Wilson, won three NASCAR premier series championships as an engine builder

Robert Yates, won NASCAR premier series championship as both an engine builder and owner

The five nominees for the Landmark Award, listed alphabetically, are as follows…

H. Clay Earles, founder of Martinsville Speedway

Janet Guthrie, the first female to compete in a NASCAR premier series superspeedway race

Raymond Parks, NASCAR’s first champion car owner

Ralph Seagraves, formed groundbreaking Winston-NASCAR partnership as executive with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

Ken Squier, legendary radio and television broadcaster; inaugural winner / namesake of Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence

NASCAR Hall of Fame Nomination Eligibility

– Drivers who have competed in NASCAR for at least 10 years and been retired for two years are eligible for nomination to the NHOF. Previously, eligible drivers must have been retired for three years.

– In addition, drivers who have competed for a minimum of 10 years and reached their 55th birthday on or before Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year are immediately eligible for the NHOF.

– Any driver who has competed for 30 or more years in NASCAR competition by Dec. 31 of the year prior to the nominating year is automatically eligible, regardless of age.

– Drivers may continue to compete after reaching any of the aforementioned milestones without compromising eligibility for nomination or induction.

– For non-drivers, individuals must have worked at least 10 years in the NASCAR industry.

– Individuals may also be considered who made significant achievements in the sport, but left the sport early due to a variety of circumstances.

The 22-person Nominating Committee follows…

NASCAR Hall of Fame: Executive Director Winston Kelley; Historian Buz McKim.

NASCAR Officials: Chairman / CEO Brian France; Vice Chairman Jim France; Vice Chairman of NASCAR Mike Helton; Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar; Executive Vice President / Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell; Executive Vice President / Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps; Senior Vice President, Competition Scott Miller; Senior Vice President, Marketing & Driver Services Jill Gregory.
Track Owners/Operators: International Speedway Corporation CEO Lesa France Kennedy; Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell; Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage; Atlanta Motor Speedway President Ed Clark; former Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George; Dover Motorsports CEO Denis McGlynn; Pocono Raceway board of directors member Looie McNally; Bowman Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis; Holland Motorsports Complex operator Ron Bennett; Rockford Speedway operator Jody Deery; West Coast representative Ken Clapp.

Media: Mike Joy, FOX.

Tommy Baldwin Racing Kicks off 2016 with Strong Top-10

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (February 23, 2016) –  In his debut race with Tommy Baldwin Racing, Regan Smith scored an 8th place finish for Baldwin, the team’s first top-10 finish since 2013 and only the third in team history.
“What a great way to start the season,” said Smith. “Tommy (Baldwin) has put together a really good program and we proved that today.”
“We’re not the only ones who get to celebrate. Our top-10 finish allows kids to eat free at Golden Corral tomorrow and that’s really cool.”
In the opening 20-laps of the 200-lap race, Smith avoided an accident in front of him with Chase Elliott but spun out as he hit the brakes. After pitting twice, fresh tires were the only repairs needed to the No. 7 Golden Corral / Nikko RC Chevrolet to keep in contention for the remainder of the race.
With less than 30 laps remaining, caution flew for an accident involving Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Baldwin made the call to bring Smith to pit road for four tires and fuel, a move that would give him fresher tires in the closing laps of the race.
When the final caution flag waved setting up a 12-lap shootout, Smith restarted just outside the top-10 and under caution he and Baldwin discussed how hungry they were for a “Top 10 Kids Eat Free” Monday at Golden Corral and that was added motivation.
“Going into the season I said that this was the most exciting I’ve seen our team in many years,” said team owner Tommy Baldwin. “Today, we’ve proven why. I feel like we were very prepared and everyone was on their game. We had no doubt that Regan was going to be a perfect fit for our organization on many levels and that too was evident by a top ten finish at Daytona. We’re taking this momentum, going to Atlanta and continue to build our program to a point where we feel we deserve to be. I’m grateful for everyone’s hard work and dedication.”
Golden Corral has been a longtime sponsor and Nikko RC joined us at the end of last year. I’m glad we were able to give them a strong debut.”
Smith and the No. 7 team travel to Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500. The race will be Sunday, February 28 with coverage beginning at 1:00 p.m. (EST) on FOX.