If you have any news, press releases, or are interested in contributing to this website, please feel free to email us at nascarnewsandnotes@gmail.com

Monday, January 31, 2011

Mike Bliss to Tristar for 2011

Tristar Motorsports has announced their plans to field a NASCAR Nationwide Series car for Mike Bliss in the 2011 season. The team has confirmed that Bliss will run the number 19 Chevy along side with teammate Eric McClure.

Here's what Mike Bliss had to say about the move:

"It feels good to finalize my plans for the 2011 season by joining the TriStar Motorsports team and to be reunited with Mark (Smith) and Dave (Fuge). In 2002 Dave and I won the Truck Championship with Mark's engines under the hood. All of us have high expectations for the upcoming season with TriStar."

Mike Bliss is a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series former champion and has two wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, both at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2004 and 2009.

Source: Integrity Sports Marketing

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lionel Launches NASCAR Website and Social Media Presence

Concord, N.C. (January 28, 2011) – Today Lionel NASCAR® Collectables (LNC), the official die-cast of NASCAR®, announced the re-launch of www.rccamembers.com which can also be reached through www.lionelnascar.com.
The launch is the first phase of a multi-step web rollout that will give die-cast collectors enhanced functionality and the opportunity to interact with Lionel NASCAR® Collectables via the company’s new social media presence.

“It’s definitely a new day at Lionel NASCAR®,” said Howard Hitchcock, Vice President LNC.
“We’re excited that it will now be easy for NASCAR® fans and collectors to pre-order the official die-cast of NASCAR® and to explore the Racing Collectables Club of America.”

Beginning today, customers can visit the newly designed site, browse through existing product, and pre-order 2011 die-cast cars with ease. More products will be added in the coming weeks, with the new site becoming fully integrated by mid-March.

A key part of the site is the Racing Collectables Club of America (RCCA), which offers its members access to the most highly detailed and collectable die-cast in the market. RCCA offerings include premium finishes that are unavailable anywhere else, highly limited production runs and exclusive promotions.

Added functionality will also be built into the site, including a corporate blog and links to the company’s new Facebook and Twitter pages. The site will also feature promotions and special offers, such as The Speedweeks Sweepstakes, which is going on now.

“The past few years NASCAR® fans have really embraced social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. And, because of our partnership with NASCAR® Team Properties, we’re in a position to give fans unique information that they can’t get anywhere else,” Hitchcock said.

To that end, Lionel NASCAR® Collectables recently hired Michelle Fannin as social media manager. Fannin was previously a product development manager for a collectables company, and also the creator, managing editor and writer of www.nascarista.com – a popular NASCAR blog written from a fan’s perspective.

In her newly created role, Fannin will oversee the company’s social media presence across a variety of channels – including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the new corporate blog.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be working for Lionel NASCAR® Collectables,” Fannin said.

“I’m looking forward to interacting with fans and collectors and creating excitement about the best die-cast offerings on the market.”

“Michelle brings a unique skill set to LNC and really expands our reach directly to the collector and end consumer,” Hitchcock said. “Her involvement keeps us focused on thinking about the collector in everything we do. We are excited to have her as part of the team.”

“I feel like we now have all the pieces of the puzzle in place to make LNC a true success and a hit with collectors and NASCAR® fans,” Hitchcock said. “It’s going to be a whole new customer experience.”

For more information, please visit www.rccamembers.com or www.lionelnascar.com. Follow Lionel NASCAR® Collectables on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lionelnascar and Twitter @LionelNASCAR.

About Lionel NASCAR® Collectables
The official die-cast of NASCAR, Lionel NASCAR® Collectables is the leader in the design, promotion, marketing and distribution of licensed die-cast race cars. A joint venture with the NASCAR® Team Properties and Lionel Electric Trains, LNC makes and sells replica die-cast race cars through a variety of channels, including Corporate, National Accounts, trackside, online, a network of specialty dealers and the Racing Collectables Club of America (RCCA). Made up of a group of experienced merchants, artists, sales people and support staff, LNC has its pulse on the racing community and is committed to giving fans the very best in die-cast collectable cars. For more information about Lionel NASCAR® Collectables, please visit the Web site at www.rccamembers.com and www.lionelnascar.com.

Thanks to Howard Hitchcock, Vice President Lionel NASCAR® Collectables for the information.

Travis Pastrana Update

This weekend marks Travis Pastrana's first NASCAR event - The Toyota All Star Showdown in Irwindale California.

In the first practice of the weekend, Pastrana was 17th fastest of 41 cars that hit the track. His time was 18.899 seconds with a speed of 95.087 mph.

In the second practice, Pastrana jumped up to 7th fastest in his Boost Mobile Toyota. His time was 18.710 seconds and with a speed of 96.205 mph.

In qualifying, Pastrana qualified 20th with a time of 18.662 seconds and a speed of 96.453 mph.

Coverage of the race will be Saturday (tonight) at 10 P.M. ET on SPEED TV, after the coverage breaks away from the Rolex 24 hour race.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

NASCAR announces new points system for the top 3 divisions

Brian France has announced changes to NASCAR's point system which has been around since 1975.

The new points system will award 43 points for the win and each position going down to last decreases by one, until last place receives one point. There will be 3 extra points for winning as well, plus 1 point for leading a lap and another for leading the most.

Therefore the most points a driver can receive is 48.

As far as the Chase, the top ten make it in on points and the other two positions get in based on wins. The drivers that get in on wins must have the most wins outside the Chase but inside the top 20.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State Of The Sport Coverage

John Daly of The Daly Planet tweeted that NASCAR.com will stream the state of the sport address by NASCAR CEO Brian France Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

SPEED's coverage of this event will be at 7 p.m., which is the usual time for the NASCAR on SPEED nightly show, "NASCAR Race Hub."

Brian France is expected to make a series of announcements, such as the point system, the qualifying rain out situation, and more.

New procedure for qualifying rain outs could come in 2011 season

ESPN.com has learned that NASCAR is considering changing the procedure for rain outs for qualifying. Instead of starting the field based on points, NASCAR is leaning towards setting the field based upon practice speeds if a rain out does occur.

The only way that the field would start based on points would be if the practices and the qualifying session were to be rained out.

As far as other details, Brian France will make announcements regarding the new rules at the state of the sport address Wednesday.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Conway's plans announced

Kevin Conway, 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year, has announced some plans regarding the 2011 season.

Both Conway and his sponsor, ExtenZe, announced on Sirius Satellite radio that they would compete in both the Budweiser Shootout and the Daytona 500 with NEMCO Motorsports, owned by long time NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek.

He will attempt to make the 500 in the number 97 Toyota.

Regarding plans after NASCAR's Speedweeks, Nemechek stated, "After Daytona we hope to be able to work out some further details to add some additional races with Conway."

Sponsorship announced for Richard Petty Motorsports

Richard Petty Motorsports has announced their 2011 plans for sponsorship for their driver lineup of Marcos Ambrose and AJ Allmendinger.

Stanley, a long time RPM sponsor since 2005, will return again this season. Stanley will be on the car of the number 9 team, driven by Ambrose.

DEWALT will return to the sport as a sponsor, also with Marcos Ambrose in 2011.

Best Buy will will be on Allmendinger's car for 24 races during the season, which was already a known fact. Valvoline, U.S. Air Force, WIX Filters, Reynolds and Paralyzed Veterans of America will complete sponsorship for the 43 team with AJ for the season. Air Force will be on the car for two races according to the team.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

NASCAR Social Media Spotlight: Round 3

Overview: For the year of 2011, NASCAR News And Notes will focus the spotlight on multiple social media pages of a group or person that is connected with NASCAR. Whether it be because of recent news, being in the spotlight, or just because they are connected with social media, many will be posted on this blog to promote their page, add social media stats, or just discuss their on or off track stories.

Last week, NASCAR Sprint Cup teams stopped at Daytona International Speedway for a test session. These tests are usually very rare due to the no-testing policy and are usually never televised.

NASCAR fans have had a lack of online streaming for quite a while, but SPEED.com would soon change that. They offered fans over 20 hours of coverage(including a rain delay and an extended session) on both SPEED channel and mostly on SPEED.com

I would just like to add that the online streaming was commercial free.

Not only did SPEED nail the coverage and impress a plethora of fans, they provided a great deal of social media interaction.

All on air talents on SPEED interacted with fans via their Twitter account(except Jeff Hammond and Larry Mac who do not Tweet). Krista Voda, Darrell Waltrip, Steve Byrnes, John Roberts and Bob Dillner all were active on Twitter throughout the programing and even answered fans questions on the air.

This is a huge step in the right direction for NASCAR, as social media continues to grow more and more. The fans of NASCAR have asked for this for quite some time and they got it.

The question now remains of if this will happen during race telecasts.

Editor's Note: If you may have more information regarding this topic or have future suggestions regarding future topics of this blog series, you can email us at nascarnewsandnotes@gmail.com

Previous Social Media Spotlight blogs:

Round 1: NASCAR The Game 2011
Round 2: Kelley Earnhardt (who got married Saturday)

NASCAR Wants Stripes On Daytona Surface

NASCAR will ask Daytona International Speedway to add broken, white lane stripes between Turns 1 and 2 and Turns 3 and 4 before returning in February. Sprint Cup director John Darby said before NASCAR returns for Speed Weeks, the track will add lane markers in all the 31-degree banked areas. "We've had some conversations with a few drivers and they've told us that would be helpful to them when they are three wide in a draft," Darby said Saturday. "The hash marks will give them some sort of a guide to understand how much room they have above and below them. In talking with the Speedway (Saturday) morning, they said they will probably paint those right before the stock cars start running in February." Darby said the double-yellow lines, which separate the racing surface from the out-of-bounds area for NASCAR races at Daytona, will not be moved from the apron to the track surface.

Thanks to Dayona Beach News Journal

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just A Reminder: Daytona Testing Streaming Schedule

January 20th through the 22nd marks a very important day for NASCAR and online coverage. SPEED.com will stream 23 hours of testing coverage on both SPEED TV and SPEED.com. Here is the schedule:

Thursday, Jan. 20
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. (SPEED.com)
5 p.m. - 7 p.m. (same-day delay) (SPEED TV)

Friday, Jan. 21
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
12 p.m. - Conclusion NASCAR news conference (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. (SPEED TV)
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. (SPEED.com)

Saturday, Jan. 22
9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (SPEED.com)
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. – (SPEED TV)
2 p.m. - 5 p.m. – (SPEED.com)

Since online streaming does not happen often, you can bet NASCAR will be watching fan response closely. Perhaps this move triggered by SPEED will kick off something good for NASCAR fans as far as online streaming goes.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

McDowell to race Iowa for JGR

Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Monday that Michael McDowell is slated to drive the team's No. 18 Nationwide Series car in both races at Iowa Speedway in 2011 -- May 22 and Aug. 6. As of now, those are the only two races McDowell is scheduled to drive for the team, but according to a JGR press release, there is a possibility that more races may be added.

"Any time you have the opportunity to work with someone with the talent and character of Michael, you are excited," JGR President J.D. Gibbs said. "We are blessed with a great group of drivers across all three of our entries in the Nationwide Series next season."

Continue reading on Examiner.com: McDowell to race Iowa for JGR - National NASCAR Nationwide series | Examiner.com

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Lepage to drive for Rensi in 2011

Nationwide Series team Rensi Motorsports announced recently that Kevin Lepage will drive the team's No. 24 entry full-time in 2011. Lepage replaces Eric McClure, who announced his departure from the team following the 2010 race season. McClure left the team to drive for TriStar Motorsports.

With McClure behind the wheel last season, Rensi Motorsports attempted all 35 Nationwide Series races last season, making 30 of them. The team finished out the year 33rd in owner points.

"I've known many of the crew members and personnel at Team Rensi for years with good relationships both on and off the track," Lepage said. "I'm really looking forward to a strong group effort from the start of the season with consistent results."

To read more, visit Nationwide Series News, Notes and Rumors.

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Steve Wallace to make Cup debut at Daytona

NASCAR Nationwide Series regular Steve Wallace is expected to make his Sprint Cup Series debut in this season's season-opening Daytona 500.

Despite never competing at the Sprint Cup level before, Wallace has a guaranteed spot in this year's Daytona 500 starting field. According to Penske Racing owner Roger Penske Wallace will utilize owner points from Penske's No. 77 team that finished in the top-35 in 2010 owner points.

Wallace has quite a bit of restrictor plate racing experience at the Nationwide level. He has a combined total of 12 starts at plate tracks Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, seven of those resulting in DNFs.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media

Stewart questioned in Australia

While in Australia competing in a sprint car event over the weekend, two-time Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart was questioned by police as a result of an altercation at Sydney Speedway.

"Police from Rosehill central command were alerted to an altercation involving two men at a race car track about 7:30 last night," New South Wales state police spokesperson Joanne Elliott said Sunday morning. "A 39-year-old man was arrested at the scene after a 46-year-old man was allegedly hit in the face by a racing helmet."

Although Stewart was a arrested, he has not been charged, but police are still investigating the incident. Since he wasn't charged, Stewart was able to leave Australia on Sunday.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media.

Penske fields Nationwide car for Hornish

Questions arose surrounding Sam Hornish Jr.'s NASCAR future last season when a sponsorship announcement was made naming Shell/Pennzoil as sponsor of Penske Racing Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch. The partnership with Shell/Pennzoil resulted in the departure from the team of Mobil1, a competing petroleum company that had backed Hornish Jr.'s Cup efforts with the team.

A sponsor wasn't found to replace Mobil1, and as a result, Hornish Jr. won't compete at the Sprint Cup level, at least not with Penske Racing, this year. According to a report from FOX Sports, though, Hornish Jr. will compete in NASCAR for the Penske organization on a part-time basis in 2011.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Penske fields Nationwide car for Hornish - National NASCAR Nationwide series | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/nascar-nationwide-series-in-national/penske-fields-nationwide-car-for-hornish#ixzz1BOot0Crv

Photo of Sam Hornish Jr. courtesy of NASCAR Media

Friday, January 14, 2011

NASCAR Social Media Spotlight: Round 2

Overview: For the year of 2011, NASCAR News And Notes will focus the spotlight on multiple social media pages of a group or person that is connected with NASCAR. Whether it be because of recent news, being in the spotlight, or just because they are connected with social media, many will be posted on this blog to promote their page, add social media stats, or just discuss their on or off track stories.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. does not keep a Twitter account or a Facebook account updated for his fans. Dale Jr explained why last season.
"I had Facebook and MySpace and all that way back in the day, and I just get burned out feeling that responsibility to keep it updated. You know, what for? You gotta get out of the house every once in awhile."

Just because Dale Jr. does not give his fans some entertainment on the social media networks, doesn't mean there isn't anything out there for Jr. Nation.

In fact, they have the next best thing.

Dale Jr's sister, Kelley Earnhardt.

With Kelley Earnhardt so involved in Dale Jr's personal life and career, why not "like" her on Facebook? Over 41,000 people "like" her as of January 14th 2011. That is pretty impressive for an athlete's sister.

She's more than just a sister however, she is the co-owner of JR Motorsports, the person who paired Eanrhardt Jr. with Hendrick Motorsports, and the the main person behind landing Danica Patrick in NASCAR. So she's definetely important and the fans know this too.

Not only does she provide detail about public relations on her Facebook page, she also provides some interesting details about her and her family. She keeps her fans updated on things about her children, her grandmother, certain birthdays in the family, and even more. Not to mention one of the biggest details of her life: her famous brother.

So if you're a fan of Dale Jr, the Earnhardt's, or just Kelley, it might just be a good idea to "like" her on Facebook. After all, she is one of the most powerful women in NASCAR.

Editor's Note: If you may have more information regarding this topic or have future suggestions regarding future topics of this blog series, you can email us at nascarnewsandnotes@gmail.com

Previous Social Media Spotlight blogs:

Round 1: NASCAR The Game 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Martin's 2011 Nationwide and Truck schedule revealed

Word has been spreading since the close of the 2010 race season that Mark Martin would climb behind the wheel of a Turner Motorsports entry for select Nationwide Series races in 2011. The team officially announced on Wednesday that Martin would be behind the wheel of Turner's No. 32 Nationwide car for four races and in a Turner-owned truck for two Camping World Truck Series events.

"The races we picked for both series are personal favorites of mine," Martin said. "I'd love to win another truck race, and I've got to get back to victory lane in the Dollar General car so I can keep Kyle (Busch) from breaking my Nationwide Series record."

Martin will drive the Nationwide car in races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Kentucky Speedway. Veteran crew chief Trent Owens will be atop the pit box.

Continue reading on Examiner.com: Martin's 2011 Nationwide and Truck schedule revealed.

Photo of Mark Martin by Amanda Vincent

Plates get smaller for 2011 Daytona 500

When NASCAR returns to competition at Daytona International Speedway in February to start the 2011 season, race teams will compete with a smaller restrictor plate. Instead of utilizing the 30/32-inch plate most recently used at the track, teams will be given 29/32-inch plates for this year's Daytona 500 and the preliminary events leading up to it.

"I think the decision was made to slow down the speeds because the speeds were too high at the first test," Michael Waltrip Racing crew chief Pat Tryson said. "It's a good move on the side of safety, because no one wants to see a car go airborne at the potential speeds that could be generated with the plate they had last month. It will be better for the driver and better for the fans in the stands. Safety always comes first."

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Drivers told to declare one title run in 2011

With Sprint Cup Series regulars claiming the Nationwide Series championship in recent years, NASCAR announced prior to the end of the 2010 season it would consider measures to either prohibit or make it harder for Sprint Cup Series drivers to claim the Nationwide title. It’s now official that all drivers will have to claim one series to compete for a championship in.

Sprint Cup regulars still will be able to compete in Nationwide Series competition, though. They just can’t compete for the series championship. While no longer able to make a run for a Nationwide title, at least a couple of drivers a committed to running both the full Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series schedules -- Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski. Both of those drivers said prior to the official announcement that they planned to race the full Nationwide schedule, regardless of NASCAR’s call on whether or not they could make a run at the series championship. For Keselowski, as the reigning Nationwide Series champion, the move by NASCAR means that he won’t be able to defend his title -- that is assuming that he declares the Sprint Cup Series as the circuit he plans to make himself eligible for a championship in, which he is expected to do.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo of Justin Allgaier (left) and Brad Keselowski (right) by Amanda Vincent

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Jimmy Elledge to Be Allgaier's 2011 crew chief

Sirius Satellite Radio has learned and reported that Justin Allgaier will have Jimmy Elledge, former crew chief at Red Bull Racing, as his crew chief for the 2011 season. Supposedly Justin confirmed this on Sirius' NASCAR channel. Justin will drive the number 31 Chevy for Turner Motorports this season in the Nationwide Series, after leaving Penske racing because of lack of sponsorship.

At this time, no further information is present.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

NASCAR Social Media Spotlight: Round 1

Overview: For the year of 2011, NASCAR News And Notes will focus the spotlight on multiple social media pages of a group or person that is connected with NASCAR. Whether it be because of recent news, being in the spotlight, or just because they are connected with social media, many will be posted on this blog to promote their page, add social media stats, or just discuss their on or off track stories.

For week one of this social media spotlight, NASCAR News And Notes will focus on the new NASCAR video game, which is scheduled to be released on February 15 2011, 5 days before the Daytona 500.

The new game, developed and sold by Eutechnyx and Activision, has connected fairly well with fans via social media. The official Facebook page for the new video game has over 6,100 likes as of January 2nd, 2011. As well as Facebook, they also have a few Twitter pages, where those involved in the game answer many questions that fans may have. Developer Dave Thompson as well as Gregg Baker, community manager for Eutechnyx, seem to be the most present figures representing NASCAR The Game: 2011. The official Twitter page for the game has almost 1,000 followers as of January 2nd. This is more than Dave Thompson and Gregg Baker.

The numbers continue to grow for these social media pages and are expected to even more so as the game gets closer to being released.

Editor's Note: If you may have more information regarding this topic or have future suggestions regarding future topics of this blog series, you can email us at nascarnewsandnotes@gmail.com

A different look at history

Most of us, especially the people of Jr. Nation, remember the summer of 2010, where Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the wheel of the number 3 Wrangler Jeans Chevy, in the first Nationwide Series next generation race car event. Dale Jr. gave both his fans and his dad's fans something to cheer about that day, taking the win at Daytona.

Watching on TV, it was not hard to hear the fans going crazy in their seats, cheering for the driver who most of them love.

History, and a great story line, was made that day.

Why not take a different look at this event?

Whether you're a Dale Jr. fan or not, it is interesting to see the view from the grandstands that night, along with experiencing the excitement the fans showed in the closing laps.

On YouTube, one fan recorded and uploaded the final 2 laps of the event. Take note of how the fans reacted with the call of the race. It is spectacular to see. The link is posted below

So as we go into the 2011 season and reflect upon the previous year, why not look at the past in a different way? That night will be a night not too many will forget.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nc6Mh3qlIEI&feature=related