Blogs > Nascar: Beyond the Track

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chevy unveils 2013 Sprint Cup SS racecar

Chevrolet has unveiled its 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS racecar. its  newest entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, beginning with the 2013 SpeedWeeks in Daytona, Fla.
The new NASCAR race car closely resembles the all-new rear wheel drive V-8 Chevrolet SS performance sedan that will debut early next year.
“As a passionate race fan, the debut of the SS NASCAR race car is a genuinely exciting moment for me,” said GM North America President Mark Reuss. “With the SS, Chevrolet is delivering a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR race car that is very closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale, ensuring that our most loyal enthusiasts will have the opportunity to experience the same thrill every day on the open road that our race car drivers enjoy on the track on race day.

“The Chevrolet SS also demonstrates how we are able to leverage our global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience,” Reuss said. “The specialized development and testing work done for the race car will certainly benefit the entire Chevrolet product lineup.”
The Chevrolet SS is the next in a long line of famed nameplates that Chevrolet has campaigned in NASCAR. It replaces Impala, which scored 152 wins from 1959-64 and 2007-12.
“We are looking forward to another exciting year of NASCAR competition and expect that the new SS race car, with some of the most skilled drivers on the circuit behind the wheel, will distinguish itself on the track,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.

The Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the award-winning global rear-wheel-drive architecture that spawns performance vehicles like Chevrolet Camaro and Holden’s upcoming VF Commodore. The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States.

Chevrolet has long used the SS (Super Sport) designation on high-performance models of some of its most enduring nameplates. The SS designation first appeared in 1957 on a Corvette prototype race car built under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov with the plan to enter it in the Le Mans 24-hour race.
The first production vehicle to be offered with an SS optional package was the 1961 Impala – 453 were built with the performance upgrades, which included a modified chassis and suspension, power brakes, a steering column mounted tachometer and unique wheels and tires.  The SS designation returned to the Chevrolet lineup in 2010 with the debut of the fifth-generation Camaro.

Chevrolet has 702 victories in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, more than any other manufacturer.  Fonty
Flock earned the manufacturer’s first win on March 26, 1955, at Columbia, S.C. Five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson achieved Chevrolet’s 700th victory earlier this month at Texas Motor Speedway.
Chevrolet was America’s best-selling performance car brand in 2011 with Camaro and Corvette accounting for one out of every three sports cars sold in the United States.  The addition of the SS to the lineup is expected to further strengthen Chevrolet’s position as a leading performance brand.
What they’re saying about the Chevrolet SS:
“It’s exciting to finally lift the camouflage off the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet SS. It’ll be great to be racing a Chevy small block V-8, rear-wheel drive car on the race track and selling a Chevy small block V-8, rear-wheel drive Chevrolet SS in the showroom. The SS has a great history – it stands for Super Sport – and I can’t wait to see the Chevrolet SS on the opening lap of the Daytona 500 and for the rest of the 2013 season.”
“It’s going to be exciting to see the new Chevrolet SS on track, continuing our quest for more product relevance. We have bio fuels, fuel injection and now we have a car that is closely tied to its production counterpart. So, it’s going to be exciting to see these cars on track. We think the fans are really going to enjoy seeing the new car, and we think it is going to be great for the racing. The new car is an example of how the manufacturers working hand-in-hand with NASCAR resulted in a product that we are very proud of. It’s going to be not only product relevant, but also very exciting on the track.”
“It was a great opportunity to have my group work on a race car design, and use the same tools and methodologies that we use on production cars. We used math to develop it, built the prototype, tested it in the wind tunnel, got feedback from our leadership on the styling, and got feedback from our teams on the aero performance. We had a really good time working with all of the people from our teams and NASCAR really pushing the envelope much further than we ever thought we could.”
“It’s been a huge effort, and the times that I have driven the 2013 Chevrolet SS race car, I’ve been very impressed. I’m excited for Chevrolet, and really for all the manufacturers to have such a cool looking race car. The cars look sharp; they look good; I think the fans are going to be excited to go to the showrooms and buy these vehicles. We have been able to work on them from an aero balance. I know that my friends at GM are awfully smart, and are going to give me a great car to go race with.”
“I think the car is going to be great.  They just have to figure out the final touches are that they put on it for everybody.  When I tested it at Homestead at the start of the year, and then the Talladega test, both times I was really happy with what we had. When I was in the car I felt like it was really nice and it drove really good.”  
“I think it’s one of the most important moves that NASCAR and the manufacturers have made in a very long time.  Just for the fact that the cars on the race track will be very significant in looking like the cars on the showroom floor.  I think from a manufacturer’s standpoint it’s probably the most important move that has happened in I don’t even know how long, but a really long time.  For the fans to have that relevance from the race track to the showroom is important.”
“The new SS looks awesome. That’s the great thing – it’s back to looking like a production car again. It’s a design that I really like. It’s got the perfect blend of having a race car look, but a street car look at the same time; and that’s hard to do. No matter what you’re a fan of, you’re going to be able to pick out your favorite brand of car and see it from the stands.”
“I’m really excited about the new Chevy SS. It looks great and drives great. There is still some development work to do to fine-tune everything, but I can’t wait to get in that car for next year.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to see the Chevy SS and it’s really an incredibly good-looking race car. It looks like it’s ready to go fast; it looks like it’s going to be competitive, and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun to drive.  It looks like something Chevrolet should be proud of.”
“First of all the car is beautiful.  I think the new design of really making a race car look like a street car is a huge step in the right direction, especially when the street car looks good.  It really is a good-looking race car.  It gets us more to where we need to be from an aesthetics standpoint.  From a competition stand point NASCAR is really working hard to not just make this about aesthetics, but to make 2013 about better racing, closer racing, more fun to watch, more fun to do by the way.  I’m real excited about that.  In the testing that I have done with them we have done things that didn’t work and we’ve done things that did work. They have a lot of information to go on now and really that is what I’m most excited about.  I think our fans want us racing closer.  They want better action.  We have to work really hard at it because we run a lot of 1.5-mile race tracks and it’s hard to have good close racing on 1.5-mile tracks.  The concept of making the car so that we can race better together I’m a big proponent of, and I think that is going to be hugely positive.”
“We’ve done a lot of testing with the 2013 Chevy and it seems to have a lot of speed. It handles really well and I’m looking forward to getting to all the rest of our testing and then getting to Daytona and actually getting to see all the cars painted up for the first time.”
“I think it looks amazing.  From what I’ve seen, I did the photo shoot already with the car, the race car looks amazing.  It looks great.  I think it has a lot of personality.  It looks like a proper Chevy that I think is great.  Knowing that the street car is going to be close to that, I can’t even wait for it.”
"I am excited about the new look of the Chevrolet SS -- the SS name symbolizes sportiness and speed, and to wrap that into a 4-door rear-wheel drive sedan will be exciting to see the final product. Overall, the way the identity of the brand, the Chevrolet and SS, will now be promoted in NASCAR is the look that we've been needing."  
"We are very excited about the new ‘13 Chevy SS race car, and can't wait to get it on-track full-time next year. At Hendrick Motorsports, we have been involved in the development process and have worked closely with the Chevy engineers. There will be some challenges, but I enjoy a good challenge.  I do think it will create good racing on the track.  In typical Chevrolet fashion, it has high-qualify parts and is definitely a great looking car!”
“I think the new race car will be an interesting new challenge.  The rules are quite a bit different than what we have been working with lately.  The aerodynamics are going to be a lot different.  It’s a lot cooler looking car compared to what we have now.  Everybody is excited about that.  It’s going to present a unique opportunity and some challenges for everyone.  We are just looking forward to it.”
“I’m just excited about it because it’s a completely different look than what we have had in the past.  I think it’s going to offer us a lot more opportunities for aerodynamic changes on the car.  I think the fans are going to be able to relate to it because it looks like something they can get in the showroom. The car seems like it’s going to be a lot more stable in race traffic.  The handling characteristics of the car is that it has a lot more grip, so the cars are going to handle a lot better.   I think that is going to promote a lot better racing than what we have had in the past.  I’m looking forward to it and it’s going to be fun.”
“I’ve been part of four of the ‘13 tests.  My first one was at Texas.  To see where they started to where they are today is a huge improvement.  You’ve got to give NASCAR credit for working with the manufacturers and the teams to make it better.  Obviously, if we didn’t do all that testing we might have started the season off not as good as what we had hoped.  It took a lot of effort from a lot of people to get to that point.  They are still tweaking on the rules a little bit, but I think for the most part they feel confident that we have a really good package.  The rules that they are going to make are really small.  I’m really excited about it.  They seem to race better now, more so than what we have today.  With what we have done at the tracks, but we went to Charlotte Motor Speedway two weeks ago and we ran 740 miles.  Jeff Burton was worn out.  He did a lot for us.  We definitely learned a lot.  Again, you just have to compliment NASCAR for really reaching out and saying ‘hey look guys let’s make this the best we can be.’  They really haven’t done that in the past.”
“Obviously the ’13 race car has a lot of style and a lot of things the current race car doesn’t have.  It’s nice to have a car that has some character built in it instead of something that looks the way the current car we have does.  That part of it is really encouraging.  I think the car is appealing to look at compared to what we had before.  That part makes it a lot of fun.  There are a lot of shapes and things that maybe will allow us to work in areas that we have not worked in the past. There are now at least some differences in the brands and difference in things like that, which will maybe cause some disparity across the field that will enable us to pass and have good racing.”


“I think having a new style car is what we have needed for a while here in NASCAR.  I think it gives a little brand identity back, which is going to be huge for our fans.  So that we can get them back in touch with the race cars; it’s going to be a big deal for us.  I like a lot of things about the car.  I really love the clear shark fin. I think that really helps with the brand identity.  I like the shape of the car, the slope of the front windshield, and the rear glass.  I love how they have put all the character back into the car with the wheel flares, and the body character in the nose and tail.  I really think that those details are the kind of thing that fans are looking for to reconnect with the car."

Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. reflect on 2012 season

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

What does it mean to finish second in your first year with MWR?
"For our first year together -- just everything.  Building a brand new team from scratch and be able to accomplish everything
we have in a short amount of time, we're very proud of that.  I'm just proud of my guys -- Brian Pattie (crew chief) and
everybody on our 5-hour ENERGY Toyota just did a really good job.  Winning races, making the Chase -- that was our
goals.  How we ran in that Chase, you never know.  You never know how you're going to roll into the Chase with what
momentum you're going to have going into that Chase and how long you can hold onto that momentum -- whatever that
momentum is.  It's neat to see how everything came together this year -- very proud of MWR (Michael Waltrip Racing).
Michael Waltrip (team owner) has been in this sport awhile now and weathered the storm.  It's neat to see some good things
finally coming his way."

Do you enjoy having the banquet in Las Vegas?
"Las Vegas -- it's a lot of fun, but you pay the price.  Every time I'm here I enjoy myself and I'm completely miserable for
about a week after you're in Vegas.  It's a very fitting place to have this awards banquet.  Our fans -- to be able to interact
with the fans with all the different things that we do from the 'After the Lap,' being able to drive down the Strip and possibly
do some burnouts -- it doesn't get much better than that.  Very fitting place to have our end of year banquet."

How quickly did your team come together at MWR?
"Really quickly to be honest with you.  The key to all of it was having what I consider a good leader and that guy was Brian
Pattie (crew chief) for me.  I knew I needed somebody to keep me calm and keep me focused and in the game.  It's just been
a great relationship.  Our backgrounds are a lot the same.  The way we go about things is a lot the same.  We both enjoy what
we do and we love racing.  We have a blast doing this.  More importantly, when it's time to get your hands dirty and get to
work, we're both plenty capable of doing that too.  It's just a great fit and I think it's only going to get better.  Just really
proud of how far we came.  We came together quickly because of that 'fit factor.'  I knew from the very first test we had -- I
was very, very nervous.  Didn't know a face I was working with other than the casual conversation, didn't truly know
anybody that was on my race team or in the race shop.  To be able to just see all the unknowns and all the worries go by the
wayside throughout the course of this year has just been a breath of fresh air and a really good thing."

Is it good to have two owners of your race team?
"We need those guys -- this sport needs more owners.  We need more organizations and a lot of the team owners are getting
old.  At the end of the day we need some new faces on the ownership side of this and it's neat to see not only Michael
(Waltrip, team owner), but Rob Kaufmann (team owner) coming into this sport and putting their work in and seeing results."

DENNY HAMLIN, No. 11 FedEx Toyota Camry, Joe Gibbs Racing
How was your season?
"It was a good bounce back year for us.  We didn't get to victory lane much in 2011 and we kind of got back to the winning
ways in 2012.  Ultimately, you want to lift the big trophy but it's very gratifying to get the race wins because it shows that
you have speed.  You have what it takes to be a champion and you've just got to put it all together the last 10 races."

Do you have any plans for the off-season?
"Planning for the baby.  I was able to go away for a couple of months last year, but this time we're just preparing nurseries
and things like that.  It'll be here before I know it.  It's a month and a half away."

What are your impressions of the new body styles for 2013?
"It's unique.  Obviously the body characteristics of our Camry are very similar to what we're going to be racing.  We're
excited to get all of the Toyota owners excited about our Camry that is going to be on the track in 2013 and beyond.  It's
changing the whole game. It's not just the cars.  It's going to be the aerodynamics that are changing.  NASCAR is talking
about changing the weight of the car and things like that.  We're taking big steps and moving our sport in really a direction
that I think is a positive."

What goes into the transition to the new car in 2013?
"A lot of things are going to change.  I know at Joe Gibbs Racing we're going to be changing our whole fleet of cars.  It's
not just the shell on the body that changes next year.  It's in different bars and the ways the cars are built for safety reasons.  I
know that Toyota has really worked hard on making this Camry something that their owners can identify with.  We're
changing everything.  It's not just the shell.  There's a lot more that's going to be changing with our 2013 car than just what
the fans see from the outside."

How big of a challenge will setups be on the 2013 cars?
"It's going to be a challenge.  Having a notebook -- you're going to be able to use some things, primarily on short tracks
you'll be able to use a notebook, but bigger tracks with the cambered rear ends, it's going to be totally different.  Even
Goodyear is having to design new tires for pretty much every race track this year.  It's going to be a big game changer."

Are teams more excited or nervous about the 2013 cars?
"A combination because you want to be the first to get the edge.  You want to be the first guy to hit on whatever makes your
car go a little bit faster than everyone else.  There's a window there and we've really kind of all maxed out the car that we
have now with the aero or what have you, and that's why the competition was so close.  Now, you could have the potential to
see someone ring off eight or nine wins next year if they hit the 2013 car setup early."

What does Matt Kenseth bring to JGR?
"A lot of experience.  I was one that definitely pushed for Matt (Kenseth) to come over to Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) and I
just think that he's really going to mesh well with me and Kyle (Busch).  I know that Kyle does a lot of short track racing
with Matt's son and I know that me and Matt have very similar driving styles on the race track.  I look forward to that
communication and just hearing about how he did things versus how we do things and really that's what makes teams
stronger.  When Kyle came over in 2008, it was that drive that kind of pushed me to that next level, is having someone come
over and push you to be better.  I think it's going to be no different with Matt."

How did Darian Grubb do in his first season with you?
"I think he (Darian Grubb, crew chief) did as good as he could possibly do.  He won me a couple races with strategy.  He
won us races by building us really fast cars.  I think it took a little time for our communication to get going.  Even though we
rung off a couple wins in our first eight races, our communication still wasn't where it is now by any means.  I think next
year having that jump start of already working with a guy for a year, hopefully it translates to success early in the season."

What does your team need to win a championship?
"Our issues that we've had is really what has kind of bit me throughout my career is the reliability side of things.  We've just
struggled at Gibbs (Joe Gibbs Racing) to have a trouble free Chase in the sense of no mechanical, no engine failures and
things of that sort.  I feel like TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and Toyota has made huge strides on the engine side of
things, but it's still up to us to improve the car side of things.  I think we have extremely fast race cars that can win every
single week we hit the race track, but it's about making sure that we don't beat ourselves both in the race shop and at the race
track.  These championships are won -- it's almost the last man standing in the sense of you can't have a bad race or it will
knock you out."

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How would you summarize your season?
"It's been a great season.  Everybody I talk to, I just can't help but think what could've been.  There was so many chances
for us to really make it very, very, very special and we missed out on those.  There's always room for improvement.  We
know the areas we need to work on for next year and we're going to work hard on doing that in the upcoming months."

Have your expectations changed at Michael Waltrip Racing?
"I think that our expectations have definitely taken a huge turn to where we expect to be running up front each and every
week and winning races.  I think that the overall attitude of the guys in the shop and the people at Michael Waltrip Racing
has been great -- phenomenal ever since I've gotten there and that's a credit to Michael (Waltrip, team owner) and the
organization that he's built.  The work ethic that he's instilled into his people there.  It seems like even when we weren't
doing well we were enjoying ourselves and really enjoyed what we were doing.  It was just a matter of putting all of the right
pieces together and getting the right combinations inside the company as far as people on the race track and things like that.
It's been a good change, but certainly everybody has enjoyed working there even when we had our rough days."

What was the one that got away from you this year?
"We had a few, that's for sure.  There was a lot of opportunities this season for it to be a really good season for our race team
-- for the 56 guys.  There was some things we didn't capitalize on.  We made some mistakes along the way, but as a young
team I feel like we learned a lot about ourselves and learned a lot that's going to help us be stronger in 2013.  So, hopefully
we can go out and make our sponsors proud, make our team proud and go out there and finish what we started this year."

What were some of the highlights from the 2012 season?
"Just running so well each and every week and having so much speed in our race car.  Obviously, making the Chase is a big
deal for our team after the last two years that we had together.  Definitely making the Chase and all of the races we've led
and dominated.  All of those days where we had the car to beat.  The bad side of that is we didn't win, so we need to work on
that.  I'm trying to take the next step together as a team.  Chad (Johnston, crew chief) and I have talked a lot about how we
can do that next year and be better.  I'm looking forward to that opportunity."

What do you need to take that next step?
"I hate to even say it.  Just a little better fortune.  It's almost like there was a lot of times where I felt like we did the right
things.  We did everything right, it just didn't work out.  Things happened that we didn't expect.  You make decisions
sometimes and the situation after you make your decisions changes and it affects the outcome in a bad way.  We had a lot of
that it seems like.  I think for us, with the way we ran this year with our consistency, I feel like if we can keep doing that and
we can start to take more chances.  I think if we're solid each and every week we can afford to take more chances, and we just need to be able to do that."

What are your impressions on the new body styles for 2013?
"I think it's great.  The cars look incredible.  They're obviously a lot like their street counterparts, which is huge for the sport.  Bring it back to the roots.  When I grew up you could buy a car that you drive on the street that looked a lot like what they were racing on Sunday's.  Getting back to that, I think, is important.  The cars look great.  Brand identity is huge. Toyota is very proud of their Camry and certainly the fans will be able to tell which one is which.  That is a great thing.  I'm looking forward to it.  I don't know much about the competition part of the race cars yet.  We haven't done a whole lot of that.  I hadn't really drove it much and I don't even think we know what the rules are quite yet.  We'll just have to see how that goes.  The cars look great, I think the fans are going to love them and hopefully it will put on some great races."

How was your family impacted by Hurricane Sandy? 
"My family made out very well for the situation and the area that they are in.  They are a mile from people that lost their homes and had serious flooding and a really bad time with it.  We were very fortunate that all of my close friends and family didn't have any major problems, which is great.  But, at the same time a lot of people in the community are struggling.  Lost houses and things and places where I grew up going to, like the Jersey shore, right there is just in shambles.We're trying to do all we can to help.  My foundation setup a fund and we've raised I think over $150,000 up to this week and we're starting to disperse those funds to families and help people that really need it.  We took a truck load of supplies up there two weeks ago, I think, and we're getting ready to do another one.  Just trying to help as much as we can giving back and trying to get those people on their feet because it was a tough time for them.  No, I haven't been back and I won't be probably until Christmas.  That will be really our first time.  We've been so busy it's been hard to get away."

What is it like having Michael Waltrip as your team owner?
"He (Michael Waltrip, team owner) keeps it interesting, I can tell you that much.  He's a heck of a funny guy and he's a lot of fun to be around.  He does a great job with the team.  Obviously, what he's built -- he's sunk everything he ever had into that race team and it's very cool to be part of that team becoming successful and him being able to realize his dream on what he started seven or eight years ago.  Everybody sees him as big, goofy Michael, which he is a lot of the time, but he's very serious about what he does and passionate about motorsports and racing.  He's been an awesome owner and a great boss for us drivers.  Giving us what we need and always being there for us and helping us to go in the right direction.  He can be crazy, but he's also very good at what he does.  He's a great car owner."

Do you have any interesting plans for the off-season?
"I'm going to do a little hunting.  I'm going to go on vacation at the end of January, right before the season and kind of get prepared for the busyness.  It's going to be pretty low key.  Our team is going to do a lot of testing and nothing too crazy and off the wall."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Motorsport Illustrated News, a new weekly publication, will cover NASCAR, IndyCar, F1 and more

Beginning in January, motorsports fans and industry insiders will have a new go-to publication for exclusive, extensive, and exciting coverage of all things racing.

Motorsport Illustrated News is a new racing magazine set to debut on Wednesday, January 23, 2013.  The weekly magazine will be in a print and online format that includes news and race results, feature stories, stunning graphics, and superb photography.  The magazine is geared towards the passionate race fan.

The new magazine is the brainchild of publisher Rick Bradham, whose previous racing journal focused on NASCAR and regional racing.  Motorsport Illustrated News will include coverage of NASCAR, IndyCar, Formula 1, GRAND-AM, American Le Mans, ARCA, and Rally, along with a variety of support series such as Indy Lights, GP 2, GP 3, NASCAR Whelen and events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  In-depth articles on drivers, teams, and races will highlight each issue.

"The slogan 'Racing is Drama' is more than just a trademark for us.  It is a statement of what we believe," said Bradham.  "Motorsport Illustrated News offers subscribers dynamic storytelling and compelling insights about the sport they love."

Motorsport Illustrated News will be available to race fans by subscription in a print version mailed each week, and a digital version available online and via most smart phones and tablets.  Print subscribers will automatically receive access to the online version.

"We want race fans to have the enjoyment of holding and turning the pages of a full-color magazine that brings a tangible piece of racing to their doorstep each week," Bradham said.  "We are also embracing digital race fans with an online format that opens in page-turning style, providing a magazine feel on the internet." 

Following the Premier Issue in January 2013, weekly issues will be published from February through November along with a single issue in December for a total of 45 issues per year.  For a limited time, the yearly subscription rates are $74.99 for the print version and $12.00 for the digital version.  The print version is sent via First Class mail.

Subscriptions are now available by visiting, with the first issue being January 23, 2013.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Detroit Grand Prix tickets now on sale for 2013 double-header races

Tickets for the 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix are now on sale and fans can purchase passes for the May 31-June 2 event by visiting or by calling the ticket hotline at 866-464-PRIX (7749).
Even with more racing and entertainment on Belle Isle next summer – highlighted by the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans doubleheader IndyCar races – prices for nearly all tickets remain at the same level as 2012.

Free Prix Day, a Grand Prix tradition in Detroit, will return in 2013 as everyone will be admitted to the Raceway at Belle Isle Park venue free of charge on Friday, May 31. Great ticket plans are also available for all of the Saturday and Sunday Grand Prix activities. Single-day tickets can be purchased for as little as $25 for a general admission seat and two-day general admission tickets are available for just $45. Children 12 and under are admitted free to GA seating with a ticket-holding adult.

Two-day reserved grandstand tickets can be purchased for as little as $70 and premium seating options are also available. Fans can buy the Three-day Super Ticket plan which features premiere seating and paddock passes for all three days of the Grand Prix. Passes for the unique Motor City Casino Hotel Club – now located trackside just a few feet away from all the high-speed action – are also available, which includes reserved grandstand tickets, paddock passes, access to the exclusive Club that features food and beverages all weekend long, souvenirs and much more. Passes to the Fifth Third Bank paddock, the “locker room” of motorsports that includes up-close access to the teams, drivers and race cars, are now also available for purchase.

Tickets to the event not only include a chance to witness world-class racing featuring the IZOD IndyCar Series, the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the Pirelli World Challenge Championship, they also provide access to all the activities in the Meijer Family Fun Zone and the opportunity to watch national and local acts perform throughout the weekend on the MotorCity Casino Hotel entertainment stage (entertainment to be announced soon).

The newly-configured 2.35-mile course will feature a new straightaway for faster speeds and more passing opportunities. Fans should ask about seats in Grandstand 4, which will overlook the new area of the track, when calling to purchase tickets.

“With all of the great entertainment options available for fans, we believe the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix provides one of the best values in all of sports,” said Bud Denker, Event Chairman of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. “Every day really provides something special. We’re proud to once again welcome everyone to Belle Isle for Free Prix Day on Friday, while Saturday really is the best value as fans will see three races – the first World Challenge race of the weekend, the GRAND-AM race and first Dual in Detroit IndyCar race – along with a great concert at night. Sunday continues to be terrific day with the second World Challenge race and the final Dual in Detroit IndyCar race along with another concert and family fun throughout the day.”

Tickets are available for the 2013 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix online at through the ticket hotline at 866-464-PRIX (7749) or fans can purchase in person at the Grand Prix box office located in the GM Renaissance Center, 300 Renaissance Center Drive in downtown Detroit. 

The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix is a 501(c)3 organization and a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Held May 31-June 2, 2013, the event will include the Chevrolet Indy Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans featuring the cars of the IZOD IndyCar Series, the Chevrolet GRAND-AM 200 at Belle Isle presented by the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers with the sports cars of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the Cadillac V-Series Challenge presented by the Metro Detroit Cadillac Dealers featuring the cars of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship Series. 
For more information, visit

Train, Lifehouse among entertainers to appear at the NASCAR awards banquet on Nov. 30

The Wynn Las Vegas will be star-studded on Nov. 30, when Train, Lifehouse, Natasha Bedingfield, Phillip Phillips and performers from The Beatles LOVE take the stage during the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards..

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will be hosted by “America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel and will begin at 8 p.m. ET with live coverage on SPEED, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The awards are the culmination of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week and will honor  2012 champion Brad Keselowski along with the rest of the top 10 drivers in the final Chase standings.

Three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum rock band Train is quite familiar with performing in front of NASCAR audiences. Lead singer Pat Monahan sang the National Anthem for the 54th running of the Daytona 500 this past February, and the entire band performed hits from its new album “California 37” at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in July. In addition to boasting three Grammy Awards, Train has won two Billboard Music Awards for Top Rock Artist and Top Rock Song, as well as the 2011 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Pop Music Award for Song of the Year for “Hey, Soul Sister.”

Rock band Lifehouse and international pop singer and songwriter Natasha Bedingfield, known for her Grammy Award-nominated single “Unwritten” and other chart-topping hits like “These Words” and “Pocket Full Of Sunshine,” are set for a compelling joint performance of their new hit single "Between The Raindrops.” Lifehouse broke through in 2001 with the Billboard Hot 100 Single of the Year Award for its hit “Hanging by a Moment.”  

Since then, Lifehouse has had 15 consecutive singles appear on multiple charts. Lifehouse’s new album, “Almeria,” will be released on Geffen Records on Dec. 11.
Since winning the 11th season of “American Idol” in May, 22-year-old singer and guitarist Phillip Phillips immediately launched his single entitled “Home,” eventually seeing it go double platinum after elevating to No. 1 on the iTunes Pop Chart. Phillips released his first major label album entitled “The World from the Side of the Moon” on Monday, Nov. 19. His live performance at the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards will be one of his first following the release of his debut album.

Additionally, NASCAR fans will be treated to a special performance from the cast of The Beatles LOVE. Combining the magic of Cirque du Soleil with the spirit and passion of The Beatles, LOVE celebrates the musical legacy of the Fab Four through high-energy fusions of urban, freestyle dance, acrobatics and fast-paced athleticism.

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, Brad Keselowski, was crowned on Sunday, Nov. 18 following NASCAR’s premier series finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Keselowski took home his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series title in just his third full season in the series, and it is also the first championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for team owner Roger Penske.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Football vs. NASCAR Tailgating: Behind the Numbers

Football vs. NASCAR Tailgating: Behind the Numbers

An infographic by Quicken Loans and Quicken Loans Racing.

James Buescher, Ricky Stenhouse honored as Truck, Nationwide champs at banquet

Four of NASCAR’s brightest young stars occupied the spotlight Monday night as champions in two national series were crowned.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 25, and James Buescher, 22, officially were proclaimed champions of the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, respectively, on the Americana Ballroom stage at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel.

Stenhouse was honored for becoming just the sixth competitor in series history to win consecutive NASCAR Nationwide titles. Buescher becomes the second-youngest champion in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ 18-year history. Stenhouse won six times during the 2011 season while Buescher’s four victories were most in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota Camry won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners Championship, with Joey Logano winning seven times in the car. The title is JGR’s fourth in the last five seasons matching Richard Childress Racing for most in the series. Its last came in 2010.

Turner Motorsports won its first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Owner Championship. Texan Steve Turner’s No. 31 Chevrolet Silverado, with Buescher behind the wheel, won the title in the organization’s fifth season in the series.

Austin Dillon, 22, won NASCAR Nationwide Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. Dillon is the third competitor to win rookie championships in both NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck series. Ty Dillon, 20, won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award. The Dillon brothers are the first siblings to capture NCWTS freshman titles.

Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon, Sam Hornish Jr. and Michael Annett finished second through fifth in the championship standings and were honored along with Stenhouse in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Timothy Peters, Joey Coulter, Ty Dillon and Parker Kligerman were second through fifth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final points and joined Buescher on stage.

After a fan vote on in which nearly 120,000 combined votes were cast, each series’ Most Popular Driver was revealed. Danica Patrick and Nelson Piquet Jr. were chosen by fans in the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck series, respectively. Each was honored for the first time.

SPEED’S Rick Allen and Krista Voda hosted the event, which will air 8 to 10 p.m. ET Thursday, Nov. 29 on SPEED. Rock band NEEDTOBREATH provided entertain for during the show.

Brad Keselowski, your new Sprint Cup champion, to appear at America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit this Thursday

Rochester Hills native, Penske Racing driver and newly crowned 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski will appear Thursday in America’s Thanksgiving Parade on the streets of downtown Detroit.

The 28-year-old Keselowski, became the first Penske Racing driver to win the title in NASCAR’s premiere series on Sunday in the series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Driving the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger to the championship for team owner Roger Penske, a resident of Birmingham, Keselowski also became the first Michigan-born driver to win the Cup Series crown.

On Thanksgiving Day, Keselowski will celebrate the championship by riding in America’s Thanksgiving Parade down Woodward Avenue, an 86-year-old tradition in Detroit.

“Growing up in Michigan for years it was a tradition in our house to wake up Thanksgiving morning and watch America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit,” said Keselowski, who earned five wins this season en route to the title. “It will be my honor to be a part of the parade this Thanksgiving and represent Penske Racing, my team and our sponsors as the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. This is a great opportunity for me, especially considering my roots in Michigan and all that Detroit means to me and my boss, Roger Penske."

“This is an amazing moment for Detroit and our entire community as we welcome Penske Racing driver and newly-crowned local hero 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski to America’s Thanksgiving Parade,” said Tony Michaels, President & CEO of The Parade Company. “We are incredibly grateful to Roger Penske for his commitment to our city and for sharing this remarkable moment with all of Detroit on Thanksgiving morning.”

America’s Thanksgiving Parade, an 86-year tradition produced by The Parade Company, steps-off at Woodward Avenue and Mack on Thanksgiving at 9:05 a.m. Recently recognized as one of the best Thanksgiving parades in the country by U.S. News & World Report Travel, America’s Thanksgiving Parade marches by some of Detroit’s most notable landmarks including the Fox Theatre, Comerica Park and the M@dison Building.

The two-hour parade will be featured on WDIV-TV Local 4, including a one-hour national broadcast reaching more than 140 major cities across the country. News/Talk 760 WJR will also broadcast live from the event.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Brad Keselowski's ascent to the Sprint Cup title was improbable, inspiring




However you want to word it, this wasn’t supposed to happen by conventional standards.

Brad Keselowski, the upstart young driver from Rochester Hills, Michigan, was not supposed to be a Sprint Cup champion by now.

Not at his young age of 28.
Not in just his third full year in the series.

Not after he left powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports for a less-successful Penske Racing team.

His main competitor this year, Jimmie Johnson, was the veteran, common logic said, and would outlast the kid. He had the experience to fall back on. He would handle the pressure better than Keselowski.

The kid was maybe a future champ, but this year was too soon for him to seal the deal against so many veterans in the Chase, some folks in this sport were saying.

Well, Brad Keselowski proved everybody wrong in 2012.

And while most of us on the outside may be surprised, I can assure you that Brad is not.

If you’ve ever watched him race at any level, it’s obvious that Brad has never known the word quit.

He grew up around NASCAR, with his father Bob and uncle Ron racing whenever they could. Racing was part of his life since he was in diapers. It was in his blood. His father Bob won an ARCA title in 1989 as well as a Truck series race in 1997.

The Keselowski family ran a truck series team on a shoestring budget, betting every dime they had on the possibility on the racing ability of their sons Brad and Brian, who both can handle a racecar very well.

Eventually Brad got a three-race tryout from Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Nationwide team, Jr. Motorsports, and made the most of it, leading to a full-time ride with Jr.’s team.

Before he even got a full-time Cup ride, Brad won infamously at Talladega in the Cup series while driving for the low-budget James Finch team, sending Carl Edwards flying nearly into the stand in the last turn when Edwards drove in front of him and blocked. Between that incident and his many on-track skirmishes with guys like Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, he got some nicknames; “Bad Brad”, “Brad the Brat”, etc.

But behind all the trash being talked about him, it was clear that Brad was a hell of a racer, and destined to be a champion.

Many thought his future would be at Hendrick Motorsports, but there was no room for him full-time in Cup. When he announced he was going to Penske’s team, which had never won a Cup title, there was doubt he could compete as well as he would have with Hendrick.

First he won a Nationwide Series title for Penske, then on the Cup side, after some initial struggles, he quickly showed that his #2 Miller Lite car (which was most famously driven by Rusty Wallace in the past) was ridiculously fast, in part due to the how the car was built, but mostly because of the driver.

Whether it was head-to-head racing or fuel mileage races, Brad has shown throughout his career that he has what it takes to win in this sport -- both races and championships. He has already racked up 9 Cup wins in his short career, not an easy feat in this competitive era.

There have been many competitors along the way who have wanted to dismiss him as a flash in the pan or a bully on the racetrack. Denny Hamlin once famously said that Brad would never make it in this sport driving the way he does. Just last week Tony Stewart said Brad drives like he has a death wish.

But that’s all been tossed away with this championship. He is now the top driver in the top series of NASCAR, and no amount of words can take that away, regardless of who says them.

It’s a pretty inspiring thing to see a guy who started out more than a decade ago in Michigan, driving at tracks around Michigan including the local Waterford HIlls track, ascend to this level of the sport. It goes to show that if you have the talent, you can make it if you catch the right breaks and use that talent to its fullest potential. All those guys at local tracks around the country have probably boosted their goals a little bit tonight after seeing Brad has accomplished.

It’s a great day for Dodge, who gets to leave the sport celebrating a title, which almost nobody thought would happen. Hopefully they can come back one day and compete again.

It’s a great day for Roger Penske, who had won just about everything possible in motorsports except a NASCAR Cup title, despite having great drivers like Rusty in the past. He took a chance on Brad, and it paid off big time. You can’t help but feel good for the guy, who has done so much for motorsports and the city of Detroit as a whole.

It’s a great day for the Keselowski family, which has been in racing for decades and now can celebrate a Cup title. Their tears after the race were about as sincere as they come. They are just as much a part of this as Brad. “I’m so unbelievably proud of my son, I can’t even begin to tell you” Kay said after the title had been decided.

Bob and Kay Keselowski are the perfect example of how much some parents are willing to risk to help their children’s dreams come true, as happens so often in motorsports. Brad Keselowski would not be raising this Cup if his parents hadn’t put their heart, soul and full dedication -- financial and otherwise -- into his career.

And of course It’s a great day for Brad Keselowski.
He is now enshrined among the best drivers in NASCAR’s history. And the best news for him is that’s he’s still very young. At 28, he could race another 15 to 20 years. That’ s plenty of time rack up more titles and continue his ascent in the sport.

Congratulations, Brad. You earned it. You beat the best and proved everyone wrong, and proved that a young man from Oakland County, Michigan, can do whatever he wants to do, no matter how many doubters along the way tried to tell you you couldn’t.

“This guy Keselowski is something special,” Roger Penske said after the race.

I think that about sums it up.

Matt Myftiu’s NASCAR blog, Beyond the Track, can be read at

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ricky Stenhouse speaks about defending his Nationwide title; FULL TRANSCRIPT

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GETTING TO WORK WITH SCOTT GRAVES ON THE CUP SIDE THIS WEEKEND?  “It’s gonna be good working with Scott.  We’ve worked together a couple of times.  I felt like our Dover run was OK.  Charlotte, we weren’t very good.  Our pit stops kind of hurt us at Charlotte for one, but to get some more familiarity with each other, I think, will be good.  We’ve got our team assembled.  We know the guys that are gonna be on it and everybody seems excited, so that’s all you can ask for.  I think the guys around the shop that are gonna be working on our car are talking about how they’re excited to be doing it, and that’s all I want.  I want people that want to be there and work hard, and I think that’s what makes great race teams.  It’s not the guys who have been doing it the longest.  It’s not the guys who know the most.  It’s guys that want to work hard and be there and work with each other, so I think we’ve got a good group assembled for next year and I’m looking forward to getting this weekend over with and looking forward to next year.”

WHAT GOES INTO MAKE THIS YOUR FAVORITE TRACK?  “I feel if you want to build a race track, you’ve got to build it like Homestead.  The progressive banking, identical ends, so your race car is similar at both ends.  The tires wear out.  The older asphalt is coming to life, I guess, so it wears the tires out and you slip and slide.  It reminds me of racing my dirt car because you can run in on the bottom and slide up to the top, put slide jobs on guys.  You can run the bottom.  You can run the middle.  You can run the top.  I know a few times I’ve been here I’ve heard, ‘You’re four or five-wide,’ and that’s a good race track when you can run bottom to top.  It’s kind of got a lane for everybody depending on where your car is running best, so I really enjoy it.  We’ve had great finishes here.  I think we’ve finished fourth and second, so it’s a lot of fun.”

DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE THINGS OUTSIDE THE TRACK?  “No, obviously everybody loves the weather here.  We love going to South Beach or the Keys, but, for me, when I say favorite it’s because of the track.  Now if I say favorite for the fans, I think this is a great one because I know a lot of fans come down here for vacation and it’s a great spot.  I enjoy outside and inside the race track here.  I’ve played a lot of good golf here, so that’s always fun.  All in all, I just love this championship weekend, especially with Ford being the presenting sponsor of the whole weekend.  Obviously for us at Roush Fenway that’s a huge honor and definitely another reason why we want to win the championship and the race here.  That’s what we show up for.”

IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFIC ABOUT THIS TRACK THAT MAKES IT YOUR FAVORITE?  “There are a couple things that factor into this race track that make it my favorite.  You run up near the wall is one.  The tires wear out.  The asphalt wears the tires out and you slide around a lot.  You can run bottom, middle, top and you can run four and five-wide.  It’s got a lane for everyone.  I like the palm trees down the back straightaway.  That’s always cool, but I think it’s just a track I showed up to, I adapted to, and I liked it.  I finished fourth here our rookie year and last year we led some laps and finished second and felt like we had a really, really fast race car.  I feel like we were able to win here a couple times and hopefully this year will be it.”

WHAT IS YOUR ANXIETY LEVEL?  “I always take it easy.  I enjoy my time, whether it’s throwing a football like I did in the motorhome lot last night or hanging out with the guys.  We’re gonna have all the guys over for a cookout tonight when they get here after the garage closes.  I’m really relaxed.  That’s how I approach everything.  I’m almost so relaxed that I almost have to tell sponsors, ‘Hey, I’m really focused on this, but this is how I like to be.’  I like being relaxed.  I like goofing off.  I don’t like being uptight.  I don’t have any pre-race rituals.  I don’t do anything the exact same every week.  I can be walking around the trailer in my boxers listening to music or messing with the guys or I can do whatever.  It doesn’t matter, I could be sleeping and wake up in 15 minutes and go to intos, get in the car and go race, so, for me, there’s no set schedule of what I do.  There’s no, ‘Hey, I need to be really serious this weekend.’  I am who I am and I enjoy it.”

ARE YOU MORE RELAXED THIS YEAR THAN LAST YEAR?  “Heck yeah, I’m more relaxed this year.  We’re running better.  We’re winning more races.  We’re in contention for another championship.  Our future is set.  I know what I’m doing next year and that’s always comforting to know and that makes you more relaxed as well.”

WHAT TRACK WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE INCLUDED IN THE CUP SCHEDULE THAT THE NATIONWIDE SERIES CURRENTLY RACES AT?  “I would say Iowa.  There’s not a ton right around the race track for fans to do, but the one good thing about Iowa is it’s an awesome race track and they’ve got great fans that come out.  We pack that place for a Nationwide race.  I can only imagine how many grandstands that they would have to add for a Cup race.  I feel like the way our Nationwide races go there, they put temporary seating in and they sell it out.  They add some more temporary stands and they sell those out as well, so I can only imagine what would happen if they had a Cup race there.  It’s almost a ‘build it, they will come’ type of thing.  It’s a fun race track.  The people that run that race track are awesome to work with and they work very hard to make that a great race.”

AFTER THE BRISTOL RACE YOU IMMEDIATELY WENT TO SADLER AFTER BUMPING HIM ON THE TRACK.  YOU OBVIOUSLY FELT BAD ABOUT THAT.  WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO DO THAT RIGHT AWAY?  “You never want to get into anybody and move them out of the way.  It is a short track.  Things do happen like that and things happen really quick.  After we talked about it he realized he had to lift, I had a good run, and it just happened so quick.  He knows I didn’t do it on purpose, but you never want to give that impression that they might think that.  Our relationship has been great.  We’ve raced really hard.  I learned a ton for him last year running for the championship with a lot of give-and-take that I’ve used this year, so it’s been great.  They’ve pushed us as a race team.  We feel like we’ve pushed them and I’ve learned a lot from him, the veteran driver that he is, so it’s been a lot of fun learning from him.”

HOW DO YOU BE AGGRESSIVE AND CAUTIOUS AT THE SAME TIME?  “I don’t know cautious and I think that worries my crew chief every weekend and worries Jack as well.  I race really hard every lap.  I’ve tried the cautious approach when I first started and we didn’t finish many races.  I felt like I made more mistakes when I was cautious, I didn’t feel like I was up on the wheel and ready to go, so that’s the way I drive.  I’ve just got to go out and drive the way I know how to and that’s up on the wheel and drive it hard.  I feel like at Dover this year I got relaxed and it got us in trouble.  I crashed and I think that was the most points we gave up in one race, but that was from being too relaxed and too cautious, so I think we’ve got to go out and do what we’ve done all year that’s got us to this point and that’s race hard.”

 DOES IT MATTER WHERE YOU START?  “I don’t think so.  Obviously, I think if we have a decent qualifying lap and no issues we should be in the top 10 somewhere, so I don’t think our starting position is going to be a big issue.  We would like to start on the pole and get that number one pit box, that’s always nice, but that’s doesn’t always happen.  That’s only happened four times for us this year and we’ve never won from the pole, so maybe we don’t need to qualify on the pole.”

DOES HAVING ALREADY WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE AT ALL AS FAR AS WHAT YOU’VE GOT TO DO THIS WEEKEND?  “It doesn’t change how I feel about this championship.  This situation is a little different than last year.  I felt like last year mathematically it was still possible, but it was really out of reach for Elliott.  This year, it’s definitely within reach.  A mistake by us or a tire coming apart like you saw for Jimmie last week could happen – maybe something that you can’t control.  It’s a little different.  I think my guys are really looking at everything on the race car.  They double and triple-checked it this week.  They’ll do the same here this weekend.  I’ll pay really close attention to the engine.  I’ll pay close attention to the transmission.  The guys will look for leaks.  You kind of step up your game as far as preparation goes on the race car because that’s the last thing they want is a part failure or something to happen to the race car that we might have been able to control.  As far as me, it would mean a lot to win.  Just because we won last year doesn’t mean we’re not gonna go for it again this year.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Truck Series fans -- get ready to hit the dirt at Eldora

Reports from the Charlotte Observer indicate that as soon as today, there will be an announcement that the Truck series will race ON DIRT at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.

I'm pretty sure that if this turns out to be true, this will be the coolest announcement NASCAR has made since I started watching the sport, and I can't wait to see it.

The trucks already put on the best show possible, and racing on dirt will make it even better -- a harkening back to the beginning days of the sport.

All the best dirt track racers will show up -- I'd bet my life Ken Schrader takes part, along with a whole lot of other big names -- and I'm pretty pumped up.

No SAFER barrier are in place, and I"m curious how they work around that, but in the end I'm pretty sure this will be the coolest race of 2013 if it comes to be a reality.

All the NASCAR stats and history you need to know heading into this weekend's season finale at Homestead

At Homestead-Miami Speedway:
·         Groundbreaking for Homestead-Miami Dade Motorsports Complex – as the track was originally named – began Aug. 24, 1993. The first race was a NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Nov. 5, 1995.
·         The original configuration was a four-turn, rectangular oval based on Indianapolis Motor Speedway's layout.
·         The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead was held on Nov. 14, 1999.
·         2002 was the first season of the Championship Weekend at Homestead, with all three of NASCAR’s national series holding their season finale at the same track.
·         Since the inception of the position-based points system in 1975, only four drivers have made up a points deficit in the season finale: Richard Petty in 1979 (made up two points on Darrell Waltrip), Alan Kulwicki in 1992 (made up 30 points on Davey Allison), Jimmie Johnson in 2010 (made up 15 points on Denny Hamlin) and last season Tony Stewart (made up three* points on Carl Edwards).
o    * - Stewart’s comeback was under the one-point-per-position format implemented in 2011.
·         There have been 13 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Homestead, one per season since 1999.
·         Four drivers have competed in all 13 races: Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, and Tony Stewart.
·         David Green won the first pole, in 1999 with a speed of 155.759 mph.
·         Tony Stewart won the inaugural race, in 1999 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.
·         There have been nine different pole winners. Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson lead all drivers, with two.
·         There have been eight different race winners, led by Greg Biffle and Tony Stewart, with three each.
·         Jack Roush has won seven races, most among owners. Joe Gibbs has the second most wins with four.
·         The race has been won from the pole twice: Bill Elliott (2001) and Kurt Busch (2002).
·         The race has been won from a top-10 starting position in nine of 13 races.
·         Denny Hamlin won in 2009 from the 38th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
·         Two active drivers have averaged a top-10 finish: Carl Edwards (5.3) and Kevin Harvick (7.9).
·         Kasey Kahne (7.2) is the only driver to average a starting position in the top-10.
·         Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Homestead-Miami Speedway winner: Kurt Busch (11/17/2002 – 24 years, 3 months, 13 days). Oldest NSCS Homestead-Miami Speedway winner: Bill Elliott (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 months, 3 days).
·         Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Homestead-Miami Speedway pole winner: Kurt Busch (11/17/2002 – 24 years, 3 months, 13 days). Oldest NSCS Homestead-Miami Speedway pole winner: Bill Elliott (11/11/2001 – 46 years, 1 months, 3 days).
Homestead-Miami Speedway Data
Chase Race #: 10 of 10
Season Race #: 36 of 36 (11-18-12)
Track Size: 1.5-mile
Banking/Turns: 18 - 20 degrees
Banking/Straights: 4 degrees
Frontstretch Length:  1,760 feet
Backstretch Length:  1,760 feet
Race Length: 267 laps / 400.5 miles
Top 12 Driver Rating at Homestead
Carl Edwards............................ 120.9
Martin Truex Jr.......................... 109.7
Matt Kenseth............................. 107.0
Kevin Harvick............................ 102.5
Jimmie Johnson.......................... 95.2
Tony Stewart............................... 93.1
Jeff Gordon................................ 92.9
Denny Hamlin............................. 92.5
Greg Biffle.................................. 92.2
Kasey Kahne.............................. 90.1
Clint Bowyer............................... 87.8
Jeff Burton................................. 86.5
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (seven total) among active drivers at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Qualifying/Race Data
2011 pole winner: Carl Edwards, Ford, 175.467 mph, 30.775 secs., 11-18-11
2011 race winner: Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 114.976 mph, (3:29:00), 11-20-11
Track qualifying record: Jamie McMurray, Dodge, 181.111 mph, 29.816 sec., 11-16-03
Track race record: Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 140.335 mph, (2:51:14), 11-14-99
NASCAR in Florida
·         There have been 170 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Florida.
Track Name
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach
Homestead-Miami Speedway
Daytona Beach & Road Course
Daytona Beach
Five Flags Speedway
Golden Gate Speedway
Palm Beach Speedway
W. Palm Beach
Speedway Park
Titusville-Cocoa Speedway
·         166 drivers in NASCAR’s three national series have their home state recorded as Florida.
·         There have been 10 race winners from Florida in NASCAR’s three national series:
Fireball Roberts
LeeRoy Yarbrough
Marshall Teague
Joe Nemechek
Bobby Johns
David Reutimann
Shorty Rollins
Rick Wilson
Aric Almirola
Joey Coulter

1 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.0
2012 Rundown
·         Five wins, 13 top fives, 23 top 10s
·         Average finish of 9.9
·         Led 21 races for 735 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         Average finish of 20.3 in four races
·         Average Running Position of 21.3, 21st-best
·         Driver Rating of 68.9, 23rd-best
2 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 110.0
2012 Rundown
·         Five wins, 18 top fives, 24 top 10s; four poles
·         Average finish of 10.5
·         Led 25 races for 1,719 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         Four top fives, seven top 10s; two poles
·         Average finish of 13.5 in 11 races
·         Average Running Position of 14.2, 11th-best
·         Driver Rating of 95.2, fifth-best
·         50 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 162.408 mph, sixth-fastest
·         1,321 Laps in the Top 15 (70.6%), fifth-most
·         291 Quality Passes, seventh-most
3 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.5
2012 Rundown
·         Two wins, 12 top fives, 19 top 10s; four poles
·         Average finish of 12.9
·         Led 11 races for 275 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         One top five, four top 10s; two poles
·         Average finish of 14.8 in eight races
·         Average Running Position of 12.9, fifth-best
·         Driver Rating of 90.1, 10th-best
·         86 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
·         544 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 162.135 mph, 12th-fastest
·         1,079 Laps in the Top 15 (57.7%), 12th-most
·         259 Quality Passes, 12th-most
4 - Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5 Hour Energy Toyota)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.9
2012 Rundown
·         Three wins, nine top fives, 22 top 10s
·         Average finish of 11.2
·         Led 13 races for 388 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         One top five, three top 10s
·         Average finish of 13.8 in six races
·         Average Running Position of 13.1, sixth-best
·         Driver Rating of 87.8, 11th-best
·         526 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 162.075 mph, 13th-fastest
·         1,092 Laps in the Top 15 (68.1%), 11th-most
·         308 Quality Passes, fourth-most
5 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.0
2012 Rundown
·         Five wins, 14 top fives, 17 top 10s; three poles
·         Average finish of 12.5
·         Led 24 races for 1,226 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         One win, three top fives, four top 10s
·         Average finish of 10.9 in seven races
·         Average Running Position of 14.3, 12th-best
·         Driver Rating of 92.5, eighth-best
·         626 Green Flag Passes, second-most
·         1,156 Laps in the Top 15 (61.8%), eighth-most
·         314 Quality Passes, third-most
6 - Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Best Buy Ford)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.9
2012 Rundown
·         Three wins, 13 top fives, 19 top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 10.9
·         Led 22 races for 478 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         One win, three top fives, five top 10s
·         Average finish of 17.6 in 12 races
·         Average Running Position of 9.6, third-best
·         Driver Rating of 107.0, third-best
·         81 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 162.650 mph, third-fastest
·         1,488 Laps in the Top 15 (79.6%), third-most
·         282 Quality Passes, ninth-most
7 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M/SP Richards Ford)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.0
2012 Rundown
·         Two wins, 11 top fives, 20 top 10s; three poles
·         Average finish of 10.3
·         Led 16 races for 721 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         Three wins, three top fives, four top 10s
·         Average finish of 15.3 in 10 races
·         Average Running Position of 14.5, 13th-best
·         Driver Rating of 92.2, ninth-best
·         100 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
·         572 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 162.436 mph, fifth-fastest
·         1,150 Laps in the Top 15 (61.5%), ninth-most
·         253 Quality Passes, 13th-most
8 - Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.2
2012 Rundown
·         One win, five top fives, 13 top 10s
·         Average finish of 12.2
·         Led 9 races for 256 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         Five top fives, nine top 10s
·         Average finish of 7.9 in 11 races
·         Average Running Position of 9.7, fourth-best
·         Driver Rating of 102.5, fourth-best
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 162.598 mph, fourth-fastest
·         1,499 Laps in the Top 15 (80.2%), second-most
·         307 Quality Passes, fifth-most
9 - Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.7
2012 Rundown
·         Three wins, 12 top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 13.5
·         Led 14 races for 420 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         Three wins, four top fives, seven top 10s
·         Average finish of 11.5 in 13 races
·         Average Running Position of 13.7, seventh-best
·         Driver Rating of 93.1, sixth-best
·         99 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
·         533 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 162.313 mph, seventh-fastest
·         1,263 Laps in the Top 15 (67.5%), sixth-most
·         290 Quality Passes, eighth-most
10 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont 20 Years ‘Celebratory’ Chevrolet)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.4
2012 Rundown
·         One win, 10 top fives, 17 top 10s; two poles
·         Average finish of 14.5
·         Led 22 races for 554 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         Six top fives, 10 top 10s
·         Average finish of 11.3 in 13 races
·         Average Running Position of 14.0, ninth-best
·         Driver Rating of 92.9, seventh-best
·         68 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
·         1,234 Laps in the Top 15 (66.0%), seventh-most
·         333 Quality Passes, second-most
11 - Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.9
2012 Rundown
·         Seven top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 12.3
·         Led 11 races for 423 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         Two top fives, five top 10s
·         Average finish of 10.4 in seven races
·         Average Running Position of 8.7, second-best
·         Driver Rating of 109.7, second-best
·         143 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
·         Average Green Flag Speed of 162.860 mph, second-fastest
·         1,334 Laps in the Top 15 (83.2%), fourth-most
·         Series-high 382 Quality Passes
12 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet)
·         Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.4
2012 Rundown
·         One win, 10 top fives, 19 top 10s; one pole
·         Average finish of 10.9
·         Led 13 races for 358 laps
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
·         Average finish of 23.1 in 12 races
·         Average Running Position of 21.5, 23rd-best
·         Driver Rating of 69.6, 22nd-best
·         93 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
·         Series-high 635 Green Flag Passes
Chase Contenders
The Top 12
Following Race 35 of 36
                                                                                Rank        Season
                                                                                Last          Driver
Driver                             Points   Wins      Poles        Week        Rating
1. Brad Keselowski     2,371       5           0              2             99.0
2. Jimmie Johnson    2,351       5           4              1           110.0
3. Kasey Kahne           2,321       2           4              4             96.5
4. Clint Bowyer           2,319       3           0               3             95.9
5. Denny Hamlin         2,309       5           3               7           102.0
6. Matt Kenseth           2,297       3           1               5             99.9
7. Greg Biffle               2,293       2           3             10           100.0
8. Kevin Harvick         2,285       1           0            11             91.2
9. Tony Stewart           2,284       3           1               8             86.7
10. Jeff Gordon            2,281       1           2               6             97.4
11. Martin Truex Jr.      2,260       0           1               9             94.9
12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.  2,211       1           1             12             96.4
13. Kyle Busch                     1,091      36. David Stremme          230
14. Ryan Newman                1,009      37. Michael McDowell      184
15. Carl Edwards                  998         38. J.J. Yeley                  157
16. Paul Menard                   973         39. Josh Wise                 143
17. Joey Logano                   935         40. Ken Schrader             139
18. Marcos Ambrose             918         41. Stephen Leicht           126
19. Jeff Burton                     858         42. Scott Speed               124
20. Jamie McMurray             844         43. Michael Waltrip            94
21. Aric Almirola                   831         44. Terry Labonte             94
22. Juan Pablo Montoya        794         45. Tony Raines               71
23. Bobby Labonte                753         46. Scott Riggs                54
24. Regan Smith                   733         47. Brendan Gaughan         50
25. Kurt Busch                     700         48. Boris Said                   34
26. Mark Martin                    673         49. Bill Elliott                     14
27. Travis Kvapil                   620         50. Hermie Sadler III          13
28. David Ragan                   609         51. Mike Olsen                  11
29. Casey Mears                  597         52. Robby Gordon             11
30. David Gilliland                 594         53. Mike Skinner               10
31. Landon Cassill                581         54. Kelly Bires                    9
32. AJ Allmendinger              453         55. Tomy Drissi                  6
33. Dave Blaney                   405         56. Stacy Compton             5
34. David Reutimann             363         57. David Mayhew              4
35. Brian Vickers                  250         58. Patrick Long                  2
Note: The first 26 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season determine which 12 drivers qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, contested over the final 10 races of the season. After race No. 26, the top 10 earn a berth in the Chase. Spots 11 and 12 – the Wild Cards – will go to those drivers outside the top 10 with the most wins, provided they are in the top 20.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2012 Top 12 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Top Fives
Top 10s
Average Finish
Driver Rating

Brad Keselowski

Jimmie Johnson

Kasey Kahne

Clint Bowyer

Denny Hamlin

Matt Kenseth

Greg Biffle

Kevin Harvick

Tony Stewart

Jeff Gordon

Martin Truex Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

* – Based on last seven races at Homestead-Miami Speedway.