Tag Archives: Nascar

Chris Windom to Make NASCAR Cup Series Debut with NOS Energy at Bristol Motor Speedway

February 23, 2021 (Mooresville, NC) – Chris Windom is set to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway in the inaugural Food City Dirt Race in late March. Windom will pilot the No. 15 NOS Energy Chevrolet in the premier event.

Windom, an Illinois native, is a veteran in dirt racing. In 2020, Windom became one of only seven drivers to achieve the coveted USAC Triple Crown, winning an overall championship in the three national categories, Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown. 

“I am excited to have Chris make his debut in the NASCAR Cup Series with Rick Ware Racing in the inaugural dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway,” commented team owner, Rick Ware. “Chris is an established dirt racer, whose achievements surpass many. I’m looking forward to seeing him race, and hopefully bring home a good finish.”

“We are thrilled to be part of this new opportunity with Chris Windom and Rick Ware Racing,” says NOS Energy Marketing Director, Lauren Albano. “Coming off a 2020 USAC Championship Season, it’s clear Chris is a wheelman and ready for this next challenge. Bristol Motor Speedway is such an iconic NASCAR track and will be rather special to see a NOS Energy car hit the track with one of our original dirt track drivers.”

Based in Corona, California, NOS is part of the Monster Energy Company. Launched in 2005, NOS Energy Drink fuels performance by providing high performance energy and enhanced mental focus you need to stay ahead of the pack. Whether on the track, tuning a favorite car in the garage, or conquering your day, NOS delivers a kick. Rooted in auto-culture, NOS Energy Drink is a proud partner of Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Chris Forsberg, Chris Windom and more. High Performance Energy. High Performance Athletes. For more information, visit www.drinknos.com or facebook.com/NOSEnergyDrink.

“I’m very excited for this unique opportunity with RWR,” Chris Windom said. “Not only to race in the NASCAR Cup series, but to be a part of the first time they race Bristol on dirt is really cool. Hopefully my previous dirt experience will give me a head start out of the gate. I have to thank Lauren Albano with NOS Energy Drink, Brodie Hayward, and David Byrd for helping make this possible for me.”

The Food City Dirt Race at the Bristol (TN) Motor Speedway is scheduled for Sunday March 28th at 2:30 p.m. ET on FOX.

For more information about RWR, please visit www.WareRacing.com.

Michael McDowell pulls off a stunner with last-lap Daytona 500 victory

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

In a stunning upset at the end of an action-filled, rain-interrupted Daytona 500, Front Row Motorsports driver Michael McDowell claimed his first NASCAR Cup Series victory after charging into the lead during a brutal multicar wreck in Turn 3 on the final lap.

“I can’t believe it,” McDowell said. “I’ve got to thank God. So many years of just grinding it out, hoping for an opportunity like this. I’ve got to thank (team owner) Bob Jenkins for giving me this opportunity. I’m so thankful.

“What a great way to get a first victory—in the Daytona 500!”

In fact, McDowell, who led only the final lap at 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway, is the eighth driver to get is first Cup win in the Great American Race. His victory is the third for Front Row Motorsports—all coming in the No. 34 Ford with three different drivers: David Ragan at Talladega, Chris Buescher at Pocono and McDowell at Daytona.

Reigning series champion Chase Elliott finished second after contact between the Team Penske Fords of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano ignited the final wreck, sending the Toyota of Kyle Busch rocketing into the outside wall. When NASCAR illuminated the caution lights, McDowell was in the lead over Elliott by a car-length.

“I saw the lights come on (for the caution), and I knew it was over right then,” Elliott said. “We had a fast car. We weren’t as good as I thought we were on Thursday (in the Duel 150-mile qualifying race). I thought we did a really good job of executing today, staying out of trouble.

“That’s not something I’ve done a very good job of here in this race, so I’m glad we could at least finish this race and have something to build on for when we come back and try to do better.”

Austin Dillon ran third, followed by Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin, who fell short in his attempt to win a record third straight Daytona 500. Hamlin won the first two stages but lost the lead during the final cycle of green-flag pit stops when the small contingent of Toyotas got separated while exiting pit road.

Hamlin took the lead in the second stage after a cycle of green-flag pit stops and held it through the fifth caution of the race, which waved when Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell cut a left rear tire and spun into the Chevrolet of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

At that point, Hamlin had led 58 laps, bringing his total of laps led in the Daytona 500 to 434, fifth-all-time and one ahead of Bobby Allison. Hamlin had led 34 consecutive laps to win Stage 1 after racing resumed on Sunday night. He finished with a race-high 98 laps led.

On Lap 14, before a long rain delay, off-center contact from Bell’s Toyota to the rear bumper of Aric Almirola’s Ford sent Almirola spinning near the front of the field, triggering a massive 16-car pile-up that inexorably altered the complexion of the race.

We were just getting pushed too hard too early,” Almirola said. “It’s a long, long race. Man, we were in a fine position, just sitting there riding around in the top two, three, and the 20 (Bell) just came with a big run and hit me really hard in a bad spot and it turned me to the right and tore up our race car and ended our Daytona 500 way too early.”

Collected in the wreck were: Ryan Newman, making his first Daytona 500 start since the devastating last-lap wreck that put him in the hospital a year ago; Erik Jones, in his first start in a points race for his new team, Richard Petty Motorsports; Daniel Suarez, in his first run with newly formed Trackhouse Racing, a joint venture between Justin Marks and rapper Pitbull; and pole winner Alex Bowman, whose No. 48 Chevrolet was wiped out when Almirola shot up the track into the side of his car and rammed it into the wall.

“It looks like the No. 10 (Almirola) kind of got turned sideways there, and I was the guy that got ran into,” Bowman said after an obligatory trip to the infield care center. “Bummer – I hate it for (sponsor) Ally. Obviously, we had a really fast Camaro. The Chevrolets were working good together; hopefully, a Chevy still ends up in Victory Lane.

“Hats off to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports; they built some really fast race cars. Hate that superspeedway racing works out that way sometimes, but that’s just part of the game.”

Also heavily damaged in the melee were the cars of William Byron, Kurt Busch, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, David Ragan, Jamie McMurray and Matt DiBenedetto. To add insult to injury, nearby lightning strikes delayed the restart of the race, and heavy rains followed shortly thereafter.

Five hours and 40 minutes later, after the rain abated and the track dried, engines were re-fired at 9:07 p.m., and the race resumed with 24 cars on the lead lap.

Notes: In his first points race for the new 23XI Racing team co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan, Bubba Wallace ran near the front of the pack throughout the race but lost a lap with an unscheduled pit stop for a vibration on Lap 178 of 200. Wallace was caught up in the last-lap wreck and finished 17th…  Kyle Larson ran 10th in his first trip in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet… Austin Cindric’s strong Cup debut ended in the last-lap wreck that claimed three Team Penske cars… Ryan Preece, Ross Chastain, Jamie McMurray and Corey LaJoie claimed the sixth through ninth finishing positions, respectively.

NASCAR Cup Series Race – 63rd Annual DAYTONA 500

Daytona International Speedway

Daytona Beach, Florida

Sunday, February 14, 2021

  1. (17)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 200.
  2. (12)  Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 200.
  3. (4)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 200.
  4. (8)  Kevin Harvick, Ford, 200.
  5. (25)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 200.
  6. (11)  Ryan Preece, Chevrolet, 200.
  7. (34)  Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 200.
  8. (19)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 200.
  9. (16)  Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 200.
  10. (13)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 200.
  11. (27)  Cole Custer, Ford, 200.
  12. (9)  Joey Logano, Ford, Accident, 199.
  13. (24)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, Accident, 199.
  14. (10)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, Accident, 199.
  15. (39)  Austin Cindric(i), Ford, Accident, 199.
  16. (5)  Christopher Bell, Toyota, 199.
  17. (6)  Bubba Wallace, Toyota, Accident, 198.
  18. (21)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 198.
  19. (30)  Chase Briscoe #, Ford, 197.
  20. (28)  Joey Gase, Ford, 196.
  21. (35)  Cody Ware, Chevrolet, 196.
  22. (20)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 195.
  23. (38)  BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 195.
  24. (37)  Josh Bilicki, Ford, 194.
  25. (26)  Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 193.
  26. (2)  William Byron, Chevrolet, 191.
  27. (29)  Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 188.
  28. (40)  Kaz Grala, Chevrolet, DVP, 115.
  29. (33)  Quin Houff, Chevrolet, Accident, 37.
  30. (14)  Ryan Blaney, Ford, Accident, 14.
  31. (22)  Chris Buescher, Ford, DVP, 14.
  32. (36)  Anthony Alfredo #, Ford, DVP, 14.
  33. (23)  Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, DVP, 14.
  34. (3)  Aric Almirola, Ford, Accident, 13.
  35. (1)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, Accident, 13.
  36. (15)  Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, Accident, 13.
  37. (18)  David Ragan, Ford, Accident, 13.
  38. (7)  Ryan Newman, Ford, Accident, 13.
  39. (31)  Erik Jones, Chevrolet, Accident, 13.
  40. (32)  Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, Accident, 3.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  144.416 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 27 Mins, 44 Secs. Margin of Victory:  Under Caution Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 40 laps.

Lead Changes:  22 among 13 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Bowman 1;K. Harvick 2-17;*. Grala 18-27;C. Elliott 28-29;A. Dillon 30;C. Custer 31;D. Hamlin 32-71;*. Cindric(i) 72-73;D. Hamlin 74;C. Bell 75-106;A. Dillon 107-108;C. Elliott 109;K. Larson 110;D. Hamlin 111-117;J. Logano 118;K. Harvick 119;D. Hamlin 120-128;B. Wallace 129;D. Hamlin 130-132;A. Dillon 133-136;D. Hamlin 137-174;J. Logano 175-199;M. McDowell 200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Denny Hamlin 6 times for 98 laps; Christopher Bell 1 time for 32 laps; Joey Logano 2 times for 26 laps; Kevin Harvick 2 times for 17 laps; * Kaz Grala 1 time for 10 laps; Austin Dillon 3 times for 7 laps; Chase Elliott 2 times for 3 laps; * Austin Cindric(i) 1 time for 2 laps; Michael McDowell 1 time for 1 lap; Bubba Wallace 1 time for 1 lap; Cole Custer 1 time for 1 lap; Alex Bowman 1 time for 1 lap; Kyle Larson 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 11,37,3,5,33,20,23,22,42,41

Stage #2 Top Ten: 11,4,23,9,3,22,34,5,18,2

Derrike Cope to Make Final DAYTONA 500 Start with Rick Ware Racing

January 19, 2021 (Mooresville, NC) – Derrike Cope will pilot the No. 15 Rick Ware Racing (RWR) Chevrolet in his final DAYTONA 500 start at Daytona International Speedway. Jacob Companies, a long time sponsor of RWR, will be the primary sponsor on board the No. 15. 

Jacob Companies, a Florida based company, is a multifaceted construction firm with a focus on construction, development and technology services.  Jacob Companies has been a long standing partner in NASCAR, including primary partnership at RWR for the past three years. 

 “I am really looking forward to running this year’s Daytona 500 with Rick Ware Racing,” said Derrike Cope, former 1990 Daytona 500 Champion and StarCom Racing Team Manager. “I have known Rick and his family for a long time and I am excited to have the opportunity to go to Daytona and race for another win! I am excited to have Don Perry with Jacob Company as the primary sponsor as well. I want to thank Mike and Matt Kohler and Bill Woehlemann with StarCom Fiber for making this all possible! I could not be more excited to get back to Daytona!

Derrike Cope has two career NASCAR cup wins, the 1990 Daytona 500 and the 1990 Dover spring race, one XFINITY victory at New Hampshire in 1994, as well as a dozen Winston West victories (now known as the NASCAR K&N Series).  With 722 career starts in NASCAR’s top three series, Cope is eager to get back on the track for one last lick at the Daytona 500.

“We are excited to partner together with Derrike on his final DAYTONA 500 start,” commented team owner Rick Ware. “Derrike is a former DAYTONA 500 Champion, and has had a great career in NASCAR. I look forward to seeing the No. 15 Jacob Companies Chevrolet on track in a couple weeks!”

For more information on Rick Ware Racing, visit www.wareracing.com, or follow along on social media.