Category Archives: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Denny Hamlin wins action-packed Sprint Unlimited at Daytona

Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway ended with a mere handful of cars undamaged—and race winner Denny Hamlin’s Toyota wasn’t one of them.

But Hamlin got his wreck out of the way early in a two-car incident with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s Ford on Lap 13 and won the race in overtime with a large swatch of silver tape on the right side of his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Camry.

Hamlin triumphed in the season-opening non-points event for the second time in three years (and third time overall) and gave JGR its fourth Sprint Unlimited victory in the last five years.

during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Busch Beer Chevrolet, Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Mobil 1 Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Under NASCAR’s new overtime rules, which require the leader to reach an overtime line on the backstretch under green on the restart lap before the race is official, the event ended under caution for a six-car wreck in Turn 1.

The overtime extended the race four laps past its scheduled distance, and, by then, Hamlin had a comfortable lead—if any lead on a superspeedway can be considered comfortable.

Joey Logano came home second, Paul Menard third and Kyle Larson fourth in a race that saw only four of the 25 cars avoid wrecks that collectively produced seven cautions for 25 laps.

Hamlin chose the outside line for the final restart, abandoning help from JGR teammate Matt Kenseth, who restarted fourth in the outside line.

“It was just such a dilemma for me to figure out what lane to start in,” Hamlin said. “I had gotten good pushes from Matt all night long, and I hated leaving him in that top line, but I felt like I’d had success on the bottom all night, and I didn’t want to leave it for that final restart.”

A wild seven-car crash on Lap 23 severely damaged the cars of several pre-race favorites, including the No. 88 Chevrolet of Dale Earnhardt Jr. In his first competitive run as a substitute for injured Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers spun while barreling into Turn 1 after his right rear tire went flat.

Vickers’s spin ignited the wreck that also crippled the cars of Earnhardt, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and also involved the Ford of Greg Biffle and the Chevrolet of AJ

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 13:  Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 13: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Allmendinger.

Vickers’ Chevy took a hard hit against the outside SAFER barrier, but the driver of the No. 14 appeared unhurt in the incident.

“I cut a right rear tire,” Vickers said after exiting the infield care center. “It’s unfortunate. I don’t know how I cut the tire. I had a little contact. Everyone was racing hard. It’s

the Sprint Unlimited, right? That’s what it’s all about. The 18 (Kyle Busch) and I got together early on, going four-wide. Had a little rub but it went away so we thought everything was fine.

“The 2 (Brad Keselowski) and I got together a little bit right there on the front stretch going into (Turn) 1. Maybe that was it. I just don’t know. It was a cut of some kind. It’s just unfortunate.”

Lap 44 marked the end of the race for Jimmie Johnson, who spun on the backstretch after contact with the No. 13 Chevy of Casey Mears and tore the front fascia of his No. 48 Chevrolet while sliding across the bus stop chicane used in the Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race.

But Johnson had run near the front up to that point, and crew chief Chad Knaus was pleased with the effort.

“We learned a little bit tonight,” Knaus said, with a tone of voice that suggested he had actually learned quite a bit. “Thanks, everybody. Good dress rehearsal.”

Starting Line Up by Row Daytona International Speedway

 

Sprint Unlimited

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 13:  Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 13: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Row 1: 1 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s Chevrolet,  2 2 Brad Keselowski SKF Ford

Row 2 :3 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger/Stouffer’s/Lean Cuisine Chevrolet,  4 42 Kyle Larson Target Chevrolet

Row 3:  5 31 Ryan Newman Caterpillar Chevrolet,  6 13 Casey Mears GEICO Chevrolet 7

Row 4 ; 7 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota,  8 15 Clint Bowyer 5-hour Energy Chevrolet

Row 5: 9 18 Kyle Busch M&M’s 75 Toyota, 10 3 Austin Dillon DOW Chevrolet

Row 6: 11 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford ,12 10 Danica Patrick Nature’s Bakery Chevrolet

Row 7: 13 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota , 14 27 Paul Menard Peak Antifreeze/Menard Chevrolet

Row 8: 15 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota , 16 16 Greg Biffle KFC Nashville Hot Ford

Row 9: 17 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford, 18 14 Brian Vickers Mobil 1 Chevrolet

Row 10: 19 19 Carl Edwards ARRIS Toyota , 20 5 Kasey Kahne Great Clips Chevrolet

Row 11: 21 41 Kurt Busch Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet , 22 4 Kevin Harvick Busch Beer Chevrolet

Row 12: 23 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Taxslayer.com Chevrolet 24 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald’s Chevrolet

Row 13: 25 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford

Did Not Qualify: None.

NASCAR Implements Team Owner Charter Agreement for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 9, 2016) – During a historic event held today in Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owners to announce a landmark long-term agreement that provides teams with increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to produce best-in-class racing.

In effect as the 2016 NASCAR season prepares to kick off this weekend, the new Charter system addresses three key areas – participation, governance and economics – to promote a more predictable, sustainable and valuable team business model. The agreement grants NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charters to 36 teams, establishes a Team Owner Council that will have formal input into decisions, and provides Charter teams with new revenue opportunities including a greater interest in digital operations.

“Today represents a landmark change to the business model of team ownership in NASCAR,” France said. “The Charter agreements provide nine years of stability for NASCAR and the teams to focus on growth initiatives together with our track partners, auto manufacturers, drivers and sponsors. The Charters also are transferable, which will aid in the development of long-term enterprise value for Charter members.”

The system affords Charter teams that remain in good standing more predictable revenue over the nine years of the agreement. Along with improved financial certainty, the new framework is designed to increase the long-term market value of teams and provide the ability to plan farther ahead with existing, new and prospective partners.

Similar to the five-year sanctioning agreements that NASCAR begins with tracks in 2016, team owner Charter agreements allow for longer planning cycles around competition, innovation, digital marketing, governance and research and development.

“The new Charter program strengthens each of our businesses individually and the team model as a whole, which is good for NASCAR, our fans, drivers, sponsors and the thousands of people who we employ,” said Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing. “This will give us more stability and predictability, and it will allow us to take a more progressive, long-term approach to issues.

“NASCAR and the teams share a desire to preserve, promote and grow the sport and ultimately produce great racing for our fans and partners. These common goals served as the foundation for discussions and helped bring us to this unprecedented agreement. This is a great step forward for the entire sport made possible by Brian France setting a new course for the NASCAR industry and the owners coming together on shared issues. Everyone involved then compromised a bit to be able to come up with something that worked for all.”

Each Charter team owner has a guaranteed entry into the field of every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points race. To maintain the historical openness of NASCAR racing, the balance of the field will be open for team owners who do not hold Charters. These Open team owners will compete for the remaining starting spots and positions in the race, as each event in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ starting lineup shifts in 2016 to a 40-car field.

“The new team owner agreements will offer a more appealing environment for both current and prospective team owners at the NASCAR premier series level,” France said. “I’ve always stressed that if we can do things to improve the business of our stakeholders, we will pursue it. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished today with this agreement

NASCAR Charter teams

(Listed by historical inception of race team entity, then numerical)

2015 Car #

2016 Car # Organization
43 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
9 44 Richard Petty Motorsports
3 3 Richard Childress Racing
27 27 Richard Childress Racing
31 31 Richard Childress Racing
2 2 Team Penske
22 22 Team Penske
5 5 Hendrick Motorsports
24 24 Hendrick Motorsports
48 48 Hendrick Motorsports
88 88 Hendrick Motorsports
6 6 Roush Fenway Racing
16 16 Roush Fenway Racing
17 17 Roush Fenway Racing
1 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
42 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
11 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
18 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
20 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
15 TBD Michael Waltrip Racing
55 TBD Michael Waltrip Racing
4 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
10 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
14 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
78 78 Furniture Row Racing
35 34 Front Row Motorsports
38 38 Front Row Motorsports
47 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
7 7 Tommy Baldwin Racing
13 13 Germain Racing
32 32 Go Fas Racing
23 23 BK Racing
83 83 BK Racing
62 62 Premium Motorsports
33 95 Circle Sport Racing
51 15 HScott Motorsports