Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pemberton to Depart #NASCAR Competition Post

Veteran Racing Executive Oversaw Numerous Racing Enhancements 

Robin Pemberton has been with NASCAR since 2004. (Robert Laberge)

NASCAR announced today that Senior Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton will leave the organization at the end of 2015.

With a racing career that has spanned five decades, Pemberton joined the sanctioning body in August of 2004. Since that time, he has overseen all areas of NASCAR competition and been credited as a key component in bridging the gap between the sanctioning body and the racing community.

“Robin has left an indelible mark on the sport while at NASCAR,” said NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton. “He joined us at a critical time and very quickly gave our highly visible competition group the credibility and confidence it needed to be successful with the industry. He traded a successful career as a competitor to help lead the sport for 12 seasons. We’re extremely grateful for his many contributions.”

During Pemberton’s tenure, NASCAR has seen a great number of technical and safety advancements. Against the backdrop of the massive NASCAR Research & Development Center, Pemberton’s Competition teams overhauled the inspection and rules process and procedures for all vehicles racing in the national series. He oversaw the transitions of NASCAR to Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) and to race fuels with blended Sunoco E15.

Among the largest undertakings under his purview was the launch of the acclaimed Generation 6 style car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013. That style just completed its third season of on-track racing.

“I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish during my time at NASCAR,” Pemberton said. “This sport has been my entire professional career and working with all the competitors and the auto manufacturers for the last 12 seasons has been a thrill. I feel good knowing that the work this team has done has had a positive impact on the sport.  I look forward to the next challenge.”

Pemberton will help in the transition to a new competition lead for the balance of the year.

Meet Sam
Victory Junction Camper

Meet Sam Victory Junction Camper

Sam Sawyer loves Victory Junction, the place he says "you can hang out with people without being the different one and make friends without the barriers of everyday life."

Victory Junction found out that Sam also loves playing soccer, something that isn't always easy for someone who uses a wheelchair. Along with Eckrich and Richard Petty Motorsports, a plan was put together to achieve his dream of playing soccer. Sam was surprised with a power chair designed with a detachable front bar to make it easier to kick a soccer ball. His dad Mike says it changed Sam's life.

At camp this summer, we got to see his regained confidence and love of the game for ourselves. Empowering and exhilarating experiences...that's what await children with serious medical conditions, like Sam, at Victory Junction. In our medically-safe environment, they are free to just be kids, have fun and dream big! That's a dream come true for kids like Sam and his parents Mike and Terry.

Today is Giving Tuesday *, the day the world is giving back to others. You can give back and become a Dream Maker for a camper just like Sam!

Click here to Donate
and Become a Dream Maker

Meet Sam Victory Junction Camper

*Giving Tuesday, often stylized as #GivingTuesday for purposes of hashtag activism, refers to the Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States. It is a movement to create an international day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

#nascar Fanfest Highlights

Las Vegas Motor Speedway will put the "fan" in Fanfest when it kicks off NASCAR Champion's Week on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at Fremont Street Experience with a free event featuring all 16 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, including the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.

#nascar Fanfest Highlights Champion's Week

Beginning at 2 p.m., the drivers will walk a red carpet through the crowd en route to the Third Street Stage. The highlight of Fanfest, which is hosted by Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will be a NASCAR Jeopardy-type game show involving all 16 Chase drivers. Fans will be chosen through local media outlets and LVMS social media to join the drivers on stage during the show.

"Each year, Fanfest is one of the highlights of Champion's Week," said LVMS president Chris Powell. "It gives the fans a chance to get close to the top drivers in NASCAR and a chance to see these drivers in a much more relaxed environment than they would during a NASCAR race. And with this year's format, we'll also find out which ones know their sport the best.

#nascar Fanfest Highlights Champion's Week

"This event has grown into one of the best fan events in NASCAR and we're very appreciative of our friends at Boyd Gaming, Sprint and Coca-Cola who make it possible for us to put on this show each year."

Fanfest will mark the first public appearance in Las Vegas by the 16 drivers who qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The week packed full of activities will culminate with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 4, at Wynn Las Vegas.

For additional information, please call LVMS at (702) 644-4444 or visit www.LVMS.com. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

NASCAR Crowned Three 2015 Champions

All Three Champions have a Winning Arca History

 NASCAR Crowned Three 2015 Champions

Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship by winning at Homestead in the final race of 2015 season.

“I don’t know if I quite understand life yet, but there’s something to be said about this year.” — Kyle Busch, on winning his first NASCAR Sprint Cup title just nine months after a broken right leg and left foot in a crash at Daytona nearly ended his season

Chris Buescher clinched the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship at Homestead Saturday.

“I was a little bit nervous, but all things considered, that is exactly what we needed to do. We knew we were capable of doing this.”- Chris Buescher

In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Erik Jones drove to the championship in a Kyle Busch-owned truck Friday.

“I think a lot of it was just being with a great team here in Kyle Busch Motorsports and bringing great Tundras to the race track every week,” said Jones. “I think there were definitely times in the year when I didn’t think we’d be able to do this and looking back and seeing the deficit we were in at some points and just being able to really pull together and make this all happen here at the end of the year, it was just so, so special for everybody here. I couldn’t think of a better way to thank them.”

All three new NASCAR champions have combined to make seventy (70) ARCA Racing Series starts with eight Menards Pole Awards and 14 victories.

ARCA Racing Series releases 2016 schedule

The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will race 20 times in 2016, including eight races on superspeedways, nine on short tracks, two on dirt and one on a road course. The full schedule has been announced over the last few weeks.

The season will mark the third consecutive season with a 20-race schedule. ARCA raced 21 races in 2013 and 19 in 2011 and 2012. 

“We are pleased to announce our full and complete schedule,” ARCA President Ron Drager said. “We feel we have once again put together a schedule that highlights the diversity of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. We are excited for the start of the new season.”

The series will kick off the 2016 campaign – as it has for more than 50 years – by racing at Daytona International Speedway. The race will be right before the NASCAR Sprint Unlimited and will help christen the newly-renovated Daytona Rising project.

The only different track on the schedule from 2015 is the return of the ARCA Racing Series to Madison, Wisconsin for Father’s Day Weekend. There are other changes to the schedule, however. For example, ARCA’s Chicagoland date shifts to Thursday night, September 15 in primetime as part of a huge weekend of racing, which includes the kick-off for the Sprint Cup Chase Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. The weekend also includes the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series.

The road course race at New Jersey will be on Saturday, May 28, instead of the Sunday afternoon race it has been the last few years. And, the race on the mile-dirt at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds is going to be a night race.

In addition, the ARCA Racing Series will celebrate milestone races with the 75th series event at Toledo Speedway and 99th and 100th races at Salem Speedway in southern Indiana. The series will have companion races with all three of NASCAR’s top touring series at one time or another in 2016, starting with the Daytona race in February, plus share Iowa Speedway with the Verizon Indy Car Series in July.

The race at Winchester Speedway will once again coincide with the King of the Wing sprint cars.

The return to Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin is good for the series’ presenting sponsor, Drager said. “It was important for us to schedule a race in the Menards market,” Drager said. “Last year, we did not have a race in either Minnesota or Wisconsin and this year, we decided to go back. We are definitely looking forward to racing again at Madison and the upper Midwest.”

The 2016 season will be part of ARCA’s 64th consecutive season of competition since 1953.

Before moving ahead with the 2016 schedule, series officials will celebrate the 2015 season one final time with the annual banquet in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, Dec. 12. For complete details, visit arcaracing.com

Here are the races that have been announced thus far:

Saturday 13-Feb Daytona
Saturday 9-Apr Nashville
Friday 29-Apr Talladega
Sunday 22-May Toledo
Friday 3-Jun Pocono
Friday 10-Jun Michigan
Sunday 26-Jun Winchester
Saturday 9-Jul Iowa
Friday 29-Jul Pocono
Sunday 21-Aug Springfield
Sunday 4-Sep DuQuoin
Thursday 15-Sep Chicago
Friday 23-Sep Kentucky
Friday 14-Oct Kansas
*More dates to be announced

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Announces Ford GT Driver Line-up for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship

Hand-USA, Westbrook-UK, Briscoe- Australia and Müller- Germany

Drivers Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Dirk Müller and Joey Hand have been selected for full-time rides in the two Ford GTs that will compete in the full IMSA WeatherTech schedule next year.

Hand and Müller will co-drive the No. 66 Ford GT, while Briscoe and Westbrook take the reins of the No. 67 Ford GT. Fans of Ford lore and sports car racing will immediately take note of the historic significance of the car numbers – the original predecessor of the Ford GT, the Ford GT-40, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 and 1967. Ford marks the 50th anniversary of that first significant win with the return of the Ford GT to Le Mans in 2016.

The IMSA lineup for Daytona represents a true global effort, with drivers from the United States (Hand), United Kingdom (Westbrook), Australia (Briscoe) and Germany (Müller).

“We can’t say enough about how proud we are to present this group of drivers,” said Raj Nair, Ford Group Vice President, Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer. “This goes straight to the heart of everything we do at Ford, and selecting the right drivers for the Ford GT racing program is just as important as building the car. We believe we have the best car, and now we have the best drivers to match.”

“What I look for in a driver first of all is heart,” said Chip Ganassi, owner of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing. “At this level, all drivers are fast. We want drivers that can work well with others. Drivers that have endurance car experience. Drivers that have been to Le Mans. All these things add up. It’s a team of drivers that act like they’ve been together for quite a while already.”

While Ford's history with sports car racing stretches back to the 1960s, today's factory effort plays an important role in developing Ford Motor Company's EcoBoost technology. Ford's twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 raced to three wins with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, including a victory in the prestigious 12 Hours of Sebring, seven podiums and more than 15,000 endurance racing miles in its first season of IMSA competition in 2014. In 2015, the team and engine won the Rolex 24 At Daytona and added another win at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in the Lone Star Le Mans.

The all-new Ford GT supercar is the culmination of years of Ford innovations in lightweighting, aerodynamics and ultra-efficient Ford EcoBoost engines. Ford announced it would return to GT racing with the Ford GT last June at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ganassi’s team has captured seven IMSA championship titles, 46 wins and has six overall victories at the Rolex 24 At Daytona.


Joey Hand Returns to Ford Chip Ganassi Racing: Hand, widely considered one of the best road racers in the world, returns for his second full-time season with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing after helping the team finish fourth in the 2015 IMSA Prototype points standings. Hand co-drove to the win at the Lone Star Le Mans at COTA and recorded five podium finishes, including a second-place in-class finish at the season finale at Road Atlanta. Prior to that, he won the 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona in his first of three appearances with the team (2011-13 Rolex 24 At Daytonas). Hand led the most laps in the 2011 event, pacing 116 of the No. 01 car’s race-leading 231 laps. He led the race six times overall en route to the team’s fourth of six wins in the sports car classic. He previously competed in the DTM series from 2012-14 and had been in the American Le Mans Series from 2004-11, where he won two 12 Hours of Sebring titles and the 2011 GT Driver Championship.

Ryan Briscoe Back at Ganassi: Twelve-time IMSA and eight-time Verizon IndyCar Series race winner Ryan Briscoe rejoins the Ganassi team after most recently running the No. 8 NTT DATA car in the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series for the team. Briscoe began his IndyCar racing career in 2005 driving the No. 33 for Target Chip Ganassi Racing (TCGR) when it was a three-car team with Scott Dixon and Darren Manning, and was also a driver of the team’s 2005 Rolex 24 At Daytona entry. Over the past 10 years, Briscoe has driven for multiple IMSA teams, recording 12 wins over 36 races, and most recently won the 2015 Rolex 24 A t Daytona and the 2015 12 Hours of Sebring in the GTLM class.

Dirk Müller Brings Experience to Ford Program: Sports car veteran Dirk Müller began his IMSA career 17 years ago and has competed in 111 races in the series. Müller has recorded 18 wins and 30 poles during his tenure and most recently competed in a full-season IMSA entry for BMW Team RLL in the GTLM class in 2014.

About Richard Westbrook: Following a promising karting and single-seater career, Westbrook switched to GT racing and later moved on to sign a factory contract deal with Porsche. In 2009, Westbrook won the FIA GT2 Championship. In 2011, he signed with Chevrolet as a factory driver and spent the next five years driving for the manufacturer as part of both their GT and prototype programs. Westbrook has recorded eight wins, including the 2013 12 Hours of Sebring, the 2014 and 2015 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, and eight poles over his nine-year sports car career.

Can Martin Truex Jr. Take the Underdog
#NASCAR Championship Win

Martin Truex Jr. Is Homestead’s Hidden Heavyweight

Martin Truex Jr. might be the Holly Holm to Kevin Harvick’s Ronda Rousey in Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Considered the Cinderella of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season due to his struggles last year and the fact he’s the only driver for Furniture Row Racing, based far from NASCAR’s North Carolina hotbed in Denver, Colorado, Truex might actually be the driver to beat at Homestead.

In 10 starts at the Miami oval, the No. 78 Chevrolet driver has no wins, three top fives (30%), seven top 10s (70%) and a 10.0 average finish (second among active drivers). What sets him apart from the rest of the Championship 4 at Homestead is his loop data success. He tops the Championship 4 drivers in Homestead average running position (9.0, second among active drivers), driver rating (106.6, third) and average Green Flag speed (162.357 mph, first).

A Truex championship would make him the first title-winner from New Jersey and just the second from the Northeast (Bill Rexford, New York).

Additionally, Truex would be the first driver from a one-car team to win an NSCS championship since Alan Kulwicki achieved the feat in 1992.

Truex would also join Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the fourth driver to earn a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.