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Monday, February 28, 2011

Subway Fresh Fit 500 TV Ratings Up UPDATE

The streak continues for NASCAR as ratings continue to increase. According to an SBNation article, FOX's ratings were up 6%.

Here is part of the article:

"From FOX Sports VP of communications Dan Bell on Twitter:

'NASCAR on FOX dominates all other sports competition on broadcast or cable tv this weekend with a 5.3 overnight rating, +6% from last year.'"

NASCAR continues to put out great racing and great stories so far regarding the winners of the 2011 season. Yes, the season is only two races in, but it is a major increase from last season. Perhaps the rating increase is because of the extra publicity for NASCAR regarding Trevor Bayne's exciting upset. Only time will tell.

UPDATE: (from Jayski.com)

Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway earned a 5.9 TV rating, making it the most watched race in the track's 23 years as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series venue. The following is a breakdown of PIR television ratings from Sunday, February 27:
The 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 earned a 5.9 fast national rating on FOX, up +5% over the 5.6 final rating for the 2010 California event, the 2nd race on FOX in 2010. An average of 6.9 million households (+6%) and 10.4 million viewers (+13%) tuned in to the Phoenix event on FOX. As an additional comparison, the 2011 Subway Fresh Fit 500 5.9 fast national rating is up +59 percent over the 3.7 final rating for the 2010 Phoenix event, the 7th race of the 2010 season, also on FOX. The 2010 Phoenix race ran on a Saturday night.(PIR)

Nationwide Ratings: (Jayski.com)

Moving from night to day and earlier in the schedule paid off for Phoenix International Raceway with a 50 percent jump in TV ratings for its NASCAR Nationwide Series race. ESPN2's live telecast of the Saturday, Feb. 26, NASCAR Nationwide Series 200-mile race from Phoenix earned a final national household coverage rating of 1.5, a 50 percent increase from the 1.0 rating the past two years when the race was run on a Friday night in late April. Saturday's telecast averaged 2,116,672 viewers, according to the Nielsen Company. On the same weekend last year, the NASCAR Nationwide Series had a 300-mile race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. That race aired on ESPN2 and earned a 1.7 rating.(ESPN)

Thanks to SBNation.com for the originial information.
Thanks to Jayski.com for the updated information.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Unofficial Subway Fresh Fit 500 Results

Jeff Gordon broke a 66 race winless streak at Phoenix after nudging Kyle Busch out of the way with a few laps remaining. There were two major wrecks in the beginning of the race, along with multiple caution flags, but as the race progressed, more green flag racing was seen. There were 29 lead changes among 12 leaders with 8 cautions for 43 laps.

1. Jeff Gordon
2. Kyle Busch
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Kevin Harvick
5. Ryan Newman
6. Kasey Kahne
7. Tony Stewart
8. Kurt Busch
9. AJ Allmendinger
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
11. Denny Hamlin
12. Matt Kenseth
13. Mark Martin
14. Martin Truex Jr.
15. Brad Keselowski
16. Marcos Ambrose
17. Paul Menard
18. Casey Mears
19. Juan Montoya
20. Greg Biffle
21. Bobby Labonte
22. David Gilliland
23. Bill Elliott
24. Mike Skinner
25. Tony Raines
26. Jeff Burton
27. Clint Bowyer
28. Carl Edwards
29. David Reutimann
30. Brian Vickers
31. Andy Lally
32. Robby Gordon
33. Joey Logano
34. Regan Smith
35. Jamie McMurray
36. David Ragan
37. J J Yeley
38. Landon Cassill
39. Travis Kvapil
40. Trevor Bayne
41. Michael McDowell
42. Dave Blaney
43. Joe Nemechek

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Subway Fresh Fit 500 Unofficial Starting Grid and Pit Stall Selections

Carl Edwards broke the track record to achieve the pole for the Subway Fresh Fit 500(Subway is also the sponsor on his car) just as all the other pole sitters for NASCAR's three top series did this weekend. Carl posted a speed of 137.279 MPH and a time of 26.224 seconds. Carl Edwards' team has picked the 1st pit stall, as most pole sitters do.

The list of unofficial starting positions and pit stall selections(unofficial as well) are posted below:

1) Carl Edwards, pit stall 1
2) Kurt Busch, stall 13
3) Kasey Kahne, stall 34
4) Kyle Busch, stall 21
5) Regan Smith, stall 2
6) Joey Logano, 12
7) Martin Truex Jr., 20
8) Jamie McMurray, 33
9) Brad Keselowski, 15
10) Greg Biffle, 4
11) David Ragan, 24
12) Denny Hamlin, 6
13) Paul Menard, 43
14) Ryan Newman, 16
15) AJ Allmendinger, 26
16) Clint Bowyer, 31
17) Kevin Harvick, 40
18) Tony Stewart, 8
19) Brian Vickers, 38
20) Jeff Gordon, 18
21) Bobby Labonte, 22
22) Juan Pablo Montoya, 36
23) Mark Martin, 10
24) Matt Kenseth, 41
25) Jeff Burton, 29
26) David Reutimann, 27
27) Casey Mears, 25
28) Jimmie Johnson, 23
29) Marcos Ambrose, 32
30) David Gilliland, 42
31) Robby Gordon, 35
32) Joe Nemechek, 37
33) Trevor Bayne, 19
34) Michael McDowell, 28
35) Dale Earnhardt Jr., 3
36) Mike Skinner, 5
37) Landon Cassil, 39
38) J J Yeley, 30
39) Bill Elliott, 11
40) Travis Kvapil, 14
41) Andy Lally, 17
42) Tony Raines, 9
43) Dave Blaney, 7

Did not qualify: Brad Keselowski. The team worked very hard on repairing the car(was the car he wrecked in the Daytona 500) and barely got it out to the track in time for practice and qualifying.

Thanks to Jayski.com for the pit stall selection details.

Unofficial Results of Nationwide Bashas Supermarkets 200 and The Top 10 In Points

Kyle Busch led every lap of the Bashas Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway, finishing just ahead of Carl Edwards after a close final 25 lap battle between the two drivers. Kyle seemed untouchable all day long, but an adjustment on the number 60 Mustang of Carl Edwards made the race close. Side by side racing was seen between first and second, however Kyle Busch was able to keep the lead each time by the start/finish line. The last driver to lead all the laps in a Nationwide Series event was Dale Earnhardt Jr., leading every lap at Daytona in the 2003 Daytona July race.

As a result of the new points system, the top four drivers were ineligible to score points. Reed Sorenson has the current points lead. Here's a look at the top 10 in points following Phoenix:

Position...Driver...points...points back from leader
1)Reed Sorenson 78
2)Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 73, -5
3)Jason Leffler 71, -7
4)Danica Patrick 58, -20
5)Joe Nemechek 58, -20
6)Aric Almirola 56, -22
7)Mike Bliss 55, -23
8)Justin Allgaier 53, -25
9)Kenny Wallace 50, -28
10)Jeremy Clements 50, -28

Here are the unofficial results of the event:

1. Kyle Busch
2. Carl Edwards
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Ryan Newman
5. Reed Sorenson
6. Joey Logano
7. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
8. Justing Allgaier
9. Brian Scott
10. Kenny Wallace
11. Jason Leffler
12. Elliott Sadler
13. Arica Almirola
14. Ryan Truex
15. Joe Nemechek
16. Scott Wimmer
17. Danica Patrick
18. Josh Wise
19. Michael Annett
20. Mike Bliss
21. Charles Lewandoski
22. Jeremy Clements
23. Derrike Cope
24. Robert Richardson Jr.
25. Eric McClure
26. Mike Wallace
27. Blake Koch
28. Shelby Howard
29. Timmy Hill
30. Steve Wallace
31. Trevor Bayne
32. Jennifer Jo Cobb
33. Morgan Shepherd
34. Brad Keselowski
35. Daryl Harr
36. Carl Long
37. Kevin Lepage
38. Kelly Bires
39. Mike Rowe
40. Justin Marks

Friday, February 25, 2011

Trevor Bayne Crashes In Phoenix Opening Practice

After what appeared to be a problem with the left front break in the number 21 Wood Brothers car, Trevor Bayne smacked the turn 3 wall on his first lap of opening Sprint Cup Series practice.

"On pit road, I told them the brakes felt like they weren't working right," he said. "I paced myself getting into the corner and the brakes just never worked. Even down the backstretch, I was playing with them, trying to get them dialed in, but I got off into the corner and they just never worked, never slowed down.

"When I went into the corner, as soon as I let off the gas I knew it was crashing, because I just wasn't going to slow down."

The team will go to a backup car.

Thanks to Jeff Gluck for the quotes.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Daytona 500 Ratings Spike UPDATE Nationwide Ratings

The overnight ratings for the 2011 Daytona 500 were an 8.2, up 17 percent from last year, and up around 3% from 2008. This is great news for NASCAR, as their ratings have been done the past few years. We will update this blog with the Nationwide ratings along with the final numbers for the Daytona 500 later this week.

UPDATE: Over 30 million people watched at least part of the race.

A post from Jayski.com for final ratings:
The 2011 Daytona 500 earned an 8.2/18 in the metered markets, a +17% boost over last year's 7.0/14 when the race was interrupted twice by track repair delays. Fast national ratings have already been issued for the Daytona 500, with the race posting an 8.7/20 (15.6 million viewers) . Sunday's 8.7/20 is a +13% gain over last year's 7.7/16 and the average viewership of 15.6 million is +17% better than last year's 13.3 million.


Nationwide Ratings:
Last year's telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on ESPN2, which featured the NASCAR debut of Danica Patrick, set a record as the most-viewed Nationwide Series race ever on cable and ended the year as the highest-rated program of any kind on ESPN2. As expected, ESPN2's live telecast of Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona did not draw as many viewers or rate as highly, but did see an increase in the key Male 18-34 demographic and rated on par with the 2009 race. The telecast earned a final national household coverage rating of 2.4, even with the 2009 telecast but down from the 3.2 rating for last year's record-setting event. The telecast averaged 3,246,875 viewers and saw an increase of eight percent in the Male 18-34 demographic over last year, with a jump of 43 percent from 2009. The telecast averaged 2,437,211 household impressions, third-largest ever on cable for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The viewership number was the fifth-largest ever on cable for the series.(ESPN)

Quick Blog: Trevor Bayne Is Just A Normal Kid

Who would of thought that by the end of the day, Trevor Bayne would be the homepage of CNN.com, mentioned in ABC's World News, and on every homepage of every major sports website?

You may have, but I guarantee you, Trevor didn't.

In fact, he wasn't even prepared for it. Not even for his media tour he gets to go on this week after winning NASCAR's biggest event.

"I got two T-shirts," He said. "I thought it was a big joke. But here we are. I guess I better call somebody that can make up a suit and get some clothes down here for me."

To add onto that, he needs someone to drive his F-150 home because he drove it to Daytona, unlike other drivers who have private jets.

"I drove down (to Florida) in my F-150," he said. "I was planning on driving it back. They told me somebody else is going to have to drive it back for me."

His parents who watched him race weren't even in the infield, they were in the grandstands. Imagine sitting next to them during the final laps.

Oh by the way, this Daytona 500 champion doesn't even have his own website. If you go to it, it says it is coming soon.

Some of us may have known Trevor Bayne in the recent years, but to many, he was just an unknown kid out there. Now, after winning the Daytona 500 at age 20, he will always be remembered.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Daytona 500 Unofficial Standings

Trevor Bayne may be the Daytona 500 champion, but does not walk away with the points lead due to his ineligibility of scoring points in the Sprint Cup Series because of NASCAR's new rules regarding points. He may only score points in the Nationwide Series. So, Carl Edwards walks away with a one point lead, which equates to a one positions advantage going into Phoenix, the second race of the season. Here are the unofficial standings following the Great American Race.

Note: There are some tied positions between drivers due to drivers getting bonus points.

1.Carl Edwards-42 points
2.David Gilliland-41
2.Bobby Labonte-41
3.Kurt Busch-40
4.Juan Montoya-39
5.Tony Stewart-37
5.Regan Smith-37
6.Kyle Busch-36
7.Paul Menard-35
8.A.J. Allmendinger-34
9.David Ragan-32
9.Mark Martin-32
10.Robby Gordon-31
11.Bill Elliot-29
12.Clint Bowyer-28
13.Jamie McMurray-27
14.Martin Truex Jr.-25
15.Denny Hamlin-24
16.Ryan Newman-24
16.Dale Earnhardt Jr.-21
16.Joey Logano-21
17.Dave Blaney-20
18.Kasey Kahne-18
19.Jeff Gordon-17
19.Jimmie Johnson-17
20.Brad Keselowski-16
21.David Reutimann-14
22.Brian Vickers-13
23.Andy Lally-11
24.Matt Kenseth-10
25.Greg Biffle-9
25.Jeff Burton-9
26.Marcos Ambrose-7
27.Michael Waltrip-4
28.Brian Keselowski-3
28.Kevin Harvick-3
29.J.J. Yeley-1

Daytona 500 Results: 20 Year Old Bayne Wins

After an unusual speedweeks 2011 and an uncertainty of how the racing would turn out for the Great American Race as a result of the different drafting styles, Trevor Bayne, a young kid who no one expected would win the race, became the youngest Daytona 500 winner in the history of NASCAR.

The racing was exciting, the drafting was incredible, speeds were high and thrilling wrecks were present making the 500 one of the best in history.

Here are the unofficial results of the finish of NASCAR's biggest event:

1.Trevor Bayne
2.Carl Edwards
3.David Gilliland
4.Bobby Labonte
5.Kurt Busch
6.Juan Pablo Montoya
7.Regan Smith
8.Kyle Busch
9.Paul Menard
10.Mark Martin
11.AJ Allmendinger
12.Bill Elliott
13.Tony Stewart
14.David Ragan
15.Terry Labonte
16.Robby Gordon
17.Clint Bowyer
18.Jamie McMurray
19.Martin Truex Jr.
20.Steve Wallace
21.Denny Hamlin
22.Ryan Newman
23.Joey Logano
24.Dale Earnhardt Jr.
25.Kasey Kahne
26.Dave Blaney
27.Jimmie Johnson
28.Jeff Gordon
29.Brad Keselowski
30.David Reutimann
31.Brian Vickers
32.Travis Kvapil
33.Andy Lally
34.Matt Kenseth
35.Greg Biffle
36.Jeff Burton
37.Marcos Ambrose
38.Robert Richardson Jr.
39.Joe Nemechek
40.Michael Waltrip
41.Brian Keselowski
42.Kevin Harvick
43.JJ Yeley

2012 Daytona 500 Pushed Back A Week

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Daytona 500 will take place one week later in 2012, on the final Sunday in February, NASCAR has announced.

The race weekend is being pushed one week back from the traditional President's Day weekend to the final weekend in February. The date for the Daytona 500 is Feb. 26, 2012. To maintain the end of season schedule, the off Sprint Cup weekend typically scheduled in March will now be eliminated.

"When we look at the schedule in general, we've historically had an off week in that fourth week, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that hurts our momentum throughout the season. By being able to move the date back a week, we close up that off week, [and] NASCAR's able to keep the momentum throughout the season, which is great," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations.

The decision to kick off the NASCAR racing season one week later was made in close partnership with the sanctioning body, its broadcast partners including Fox, community partners and others within the industry. The rationale is three-pronged: 1. It shortens the racing season by one week; 2. It maintains momentum in the early part of racing season (TV viewership, media coverage, fan interest, etc.); 3. It's a better opportunity for fans as it moves the race further away from the "Daytona 500" of football held in early February.

O'Donnell added the move was made partly in advance of a potentially expanded NFL schedule.

"We're not going to deny the fact that part of this also is in dealing with the NFL. Who knows where they'll go with an 18-game schedule, but we want to get ahead of that. Either way, we think it's the right thing to do for our season," O'Donnell said. The Super Bowl is certainly a big event, but so is the Daytona 500, and to give fans an opportunity to go to both of those is certainly the right move."

Since fans like to plan their Daytona 500 trip well in advance, NASCAR is announcing the 2012 date much earlier in the season to minimize any inconveniences in planning their visit. Other schedule announcements for Daytona International Speedway and other race facilities will be determined and announced at a later date.

Copied from NASCAR.com's official release on the story.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Waltrip Wins Daytona Truck Race, But With Controversy

As SBNation.com editor Jeff Gluck stated, a common theme for Michael Waltrip when winning races is that something derails the victory.

Ten years ago, February 18th, 2001, Michael Waltrip won the biggest race in NASCAR, the Daytona 500, breaking an enormous winless streak driving for his friend, Dale Earnhardt. In just a matter of minutes, it went from being the best day of his life, to the worst. The world had lost Dale Earnhardt.

Ten years later, to the exact day, Michael Waltrip got behind the wheel of a Camping World Truck Series vehicle, driving the number 15, the same number that Michael Waltrip won in on NASCAR's darkest day. He then took a similar approach to the race in 2001, where he would slowly increase his position throughout the event, until the final few laps, where he would take the win in a last lap pass. He would even have his brother, Darrell Waltrip in the booth calling the race, and cheering him to victory just like he had that day ten years ago. It all seemed well for Waltrip.

Just like Daytona in 2001, something would take that away from him. A spoiler.

After Waltrip crossed the finish line to take the win, the SPEED Channel commentators noticed that the spoiler on the number 15 truck had come down. The exact time the spoiler came down has not been officially determined. While only half of it had come down, it is still to be considered to have given Michael Waltrip an advantage in the final lap.

NASCAR made the right call with allowing Michael Waltrip the win. Yes, the spoiler obviously wouldn't pass post race inspection, but it had to have had to pass pre race inspection. It isn't like there was a button that dropped the spoiler at the end of the race. Michael Waltrip's wins was ruined when Dale Eanrhardt died, he deserves to win on the ten year anniversary of his boss' death.

I believe there will be a penalty, which is deserved, but the win needs to stand.

It's just too good of a story to ruin.

Morgan Shepherd Runs Special Salvation Army Paint Scheme At Daytona

With the Daytona Nationwide Series race taking place on February 19, sixty-nine-year-old NASCAR veteran Morgan Shepherd will be driving the first-ever Salvation Army car in the race. Shepherd has partnered with The Salvation Army and donated the hood of his number 89 Nationwide Series race car to assist the organization on a national level during difficult economic times.

Thanks to:
Robert BradyAssociate

Xenophon Strategies, Inc.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NASCAR Slows Down Nationwide Cars

After speeds that were very similar to the Sprint Cup Series in the Nationwide Series practice session at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR has decided to decrease the size of the tapered spacers on the cars.

NASCAR will decrease the spacer size to 15/16ths of an inch. On the new generation engines the spacers will change to 59/64ths. The horsepower will decrease by about 30hoursepower.

“We didn’t have a test like the Cup teams had so we’re allowing the teams to make changes during today’s practices,” said Nationwide Series director Joe Balash. "(The 200.303 mph) was not really the number we’re looking for.”

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Speedweeks 2011: Day Three

Day three of Speedweeks 2011 was a calm one, with just qualifying taking place for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Only the top two qualifiers along with the three top go or go homers are lcoked into the Daytona 500. Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the pole, while his teammate Jeff Gordon took the outside front row. Bill Elliott, Travis Kvapil, and Joe Nemechek were the 3 go or go homers that locked themsleves into the race. All other teams must race through the Gaterade Duels to find out their starting position for the Great American race.

Also, in an effort to minimize the two car drafting, NASCAR sent out a bulletin to the teams for what needs to be changed by the next practice session Wednsesday. Here is part of the release that ESPN.com had on their website.

NASCAR officials announced two technical changes Sunday evening aimed at preventing the sustained two-car drafts that dominated Saturday night's Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition, said the body issued a bulletin to race teams with the following specifications:
" The maximum size for the air inlet for the cooling system will be 2½ inches tall by 20 inches wide.
" The pressure release valve on the water system will be set at 33 pounds per square inch.
The intent is to set up the cars so they can't push each other in two-car tandems for extended runs without overheating. Teams try to line up drafting partners at Daytona and Talladega so they can overcome the limitations of the restrictor plates used to keep speeds down at those two tracks. "That will bring down the temperatures so the teams can't run at 290 or 300 degrees [without overheating] on the extended push of 30 or 40 laps," Pemberton said. "This will put [the water temperature in the engines] back in the 250-degree range." Several drivers, crew chiefs and team executives expected NASCAR to control the pressure relief valve. Jamie McMurray, who finished second to Kurt Busch in the Shootout, said many cars had valves that allowed the temperature up to 300 degrees before boiling over. That allowed the second car in the two-car draft to push longer without overheating -- some for more than a dozen laps -- under Saturday's cooler outdoor temperatures. The weather is expected to be warmer for Thursday's qualifying races and the Daytona 500.

Other than those two headlines, there was not many major headlines throughout the day.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Speedweeks 2011: Day 2

Day two of Daytona Speedweeks saw two different races on the new Daytona surface, the ARCA race and the Budweiser Shootout. The ARCA race was won by Bobby Gerhart. This was his 7th win at Daytona.

The Budweiser Shootout was a very different race to say the least. The two car break aways made the race ridiculous(whether for the good or the bad). After a close 3 wide finish, Kurt Busch was deemed the winner of the race after Denny Hamlin was black flagged for passing below the double yellow line. Hamlin said he went below the line so he wouldn't flip Ryan Newman. There were a record number of lead changes in the race.

The two Daytona 500 practice sessions were won by Mark Martin, however speeds were not very high compared to Budweiser Shootout practice. This was a result of just single car runs for qualifying practice.

Other news included an announcement that Jay Guy will be the crew chief for the 71 team and that NASCAR will not make a restrictor plate change as of now, but did make cooling packages for cars different to try and minimize the two car drafting. After the Shootout, it is uncertain what NASCAR will do.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Speedweeks Day 1 News And Notes

February 11th, 2011: The cars hit the track for the first real practice session of 2011 today, showing off new paint schemes and new team combinations. The 1st practice of the Budweiser Shootout belonged to one of those new crew chief and driver combinations - Steve Letarte and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The team posted a speed of 199.862 mph. The second practice was led by Joey Logano at a blistering pace, 203.087 mph. No word yet on any restrictor plate size changes, although Dale Earnhardt Jr. believes that if the plates are to be made bigger, then the two car draft would not be as easy to form.

For the Budweiser Shootout selection show, Dale Earnhardt Jr. drew the number 1 spot. Stewart, Edwards, Hamlin, and Kahne round out the top 5.

There were also many news stories that broke out throughout the first day of on track activities. Here is a short run down:

- NASCAR will go to fuel injection at the beginning of the 2012 season, however it will just be in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. NASCAR has partnership with Freescale Semiconductor and McLaren Electronic Systems to develop and integrate the fuel injection systems. NASCAR says that they are currently working on a new engine package for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series.

- Jeff Burton's contract with RCR is up after the season, however Burton made it clear that a deal is almost done that would keep him with the team for 3 more years. Caterpillar is expected to return with Burton.

- NASCAR announced that it has placed Michael Annett, driver of the #62 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, on probation until Dec. 31, 2011. Annett violated Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) of the 2011 NASCAR Rule Book. The violation occurred Feb. 6. In addition to the steps already underway by Rusty Wallace Racing, Annett will be evaluated by a certified substance abuse professional at NASCAR's discretion and will be subject to random alcohol and drug testing.(NASCAR PR)

Stay tuned each day of the 2011 Speedweeks for more news updates.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Biffle's contract is coming to an end, says an extension is coming

Greg Biffle said on NASCAR Media Day that while his contract is up soon, he hopes to have a contract extension in the near future, hopefully in the first part of the year.

“I honestly feel like our contract will be done in the first quarter of this year," Biffle said about the topic. "I suspect it’ll be done maybe as soon as the break – four races in or something like that. I think we’re close. I feel like we’re close, and I think it’s gonna surprise a lot of people.”

He also said something very interesting; that "it will set a pretty decent mark in our sport for what’s going on.”

Biffle said that sponsor 3M seems happy with the team and that they have a "great relationship." He also stated that he is confident that they will renew through his entire term of his next contract.

Biffle is a champion in the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series and has 16 wins in the Sprint Cup Series.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bobby Allison To Make Appearance at RCCA Event

CONCORD, N.C. (February 8, 2011) – Bobby Allison, a NASCAR® Legend and 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, will join selected members of the Racing Collectables Club of America (RCCA) for dinner at Our Deck Down Under in Port Orange, Fla. on Thursday, Feb. 17.

The dinner will be hosted by the staff of Lionel NASCAR® Collectables (LNC); which operates the RCCA. As part of the event, LNC will facilitate a question-and-answer segment, plus autograph and photo sessions with Allison, a three-time winner of the Daytona 500.

“Our club members are the lifeblood of our company,” said Thomas DeBoyace, RCCA manager. “Without them, we couldn’t do what we do.

“Giving them time with a bona fide legend like Bobby Allison is our way of showing our members how much they’re appreciated by all of us at LNC.”

Allison is the 1983 NASCAR® Sprint Cup Series champion and has inspired many collectible die-casts through the years.

“This is a pretty neat deal to get to spend time with the RCCA members,” Allison said. “So many times I just get a die-cast tossed in front of me in an autograph line. This will be a chance to talk with them and share some stories of their die-cast collections. Who knows, maybe we’ll even talk about some racing.”

In addition to the dinner with Allison, RCCA is hosting other events before the Daytona 500, including a private garage tour and driver meet-and-greet with Sprint Cup Series drivers Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer, as well as a go-kart race at Daytona Speedpark for selected club members.

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

Thanks to Michelle Fannin - Marketing Manager of Social Media for Lionel NASCAR Collectables

Monday, February 7, 2011

This season's Budweiser Shootout is shaping up to be one to remember

As a result of the new pavement at the world center of racing, Daytona International Speedway, we have heard hundreds of media members, drivers and NASCAR fans say that the 2011 Daytona 500 will be wild, crazy and the best yet. Those folks are absolutely correct.

But wait, there might even be something better than that.

There is a race that might just top even that prediction.

The race? The Budweiser Shootout.

Despite the recent negativity regarding the Budweiser Shootout in the recent months as a result of the expanding field with less talent in it, the shootout has always proven itself to be something to watch.

It's technically the real beginning of the season, especially for the fans. All those hardcore NASCAR lovers who wait in boredom for two months, finally get their NASCAR fix with this event. It pumps them up for the big season to come.

The majority of the teams can say that this is their beginning as well. There is new combinations of team members, new sponsors, new cars, new noses and renewed hope. After months of preparation, the teams can finally put it to the test. Not to mention the event is points free. There's the emphasis on winning for you.

The race is always very short compared to usual events, less than 100 laps with multiple segments, plus the excitment increases since it's under the lights.

So on Saturday, when the sun goes down and FOX's TV coverage goes up, tune in. The weather will be cool, the surface will be smooth, the speed will be up and the racing will be one for the record books. On Saturday, it truly will be checkers or wreckers.

Michael Annett charged with DWI - UPDATE

According to a report, Michael Annett rear ended another vehicle in Mooresville North Carolina Sunday morning. The officer supposedly noticed Annett shoving breath mints into his month at the scene of the incident.

His blood alcohol concentration was .32.

There is no word on what NASCAR or Rusty Wallace Racing, which Annett drives for in the Nationwide Series, will do about the situation. Very little is known about the enitre incident at this point in time.

UPDATE: “I am deeply remorseful for my actions and my extreme lack of judgment,” Annett said in a statement. “I let down my team, my sponsors, my fans and my family; I sincerely apologize to everyone that I hurt.

“This was truly a life-changing moment for me. Despite all of the negativity that will undoubtedly arise from it, I’m going to strive to use this incident as the impetus to make a lot of positive changes in my life.”

And Rusty Wallace Racing will impose “internal sanctions” on Annett, according to a statement from the team.

There was an estimated $6,000 damage to the Toyota Tundra that Annett was driving, while $3,000 to the car he hit, according to the report. Annett’s vehicle was not drivable after the accident.

Thanks to scenedaily.com's Bob Pockrass for the updated information.

Michigan moves June weekend qualifying to Saturday, adds to the list of tracks making the switch

Michigan's qualifying session for the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 event has been moved to Saturday, June 18. This move follows many other tracks in making the switch from Friday qualifying events to Saturday events. The move is an attempt to get more fans in the stands for qaulifying, as many fans do not show up to the track until Saturday anyway.

Other events that have made the switch are both Phoenix events, both Martinsville events, both Tallladega races, both Dovers, both Poconos along with California, the June Kansas event, Indianapolis, Watkins Glen, Atlanta, Chicago and Homestead.

Michigan's switch only includes the June event.

Hunt Brothers Pizza Teams up with Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler

Hunt Brothers Pizza, which has been teamed with Elliott Sadler in the past in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will continue its relationship with Elliott Sadler in the 2011 season.

Hunt Brothers will sponsor both the number 2 car and the number 4 car in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, with Kevin Harvick and Sadler as drivers. The company will also be a primary sponsor of the number 2 truck in the Camping World Truck Series as well as an associate sponsor for Kevin Harvick in the Sprint Cup series.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NASCAR Social Media Spotlight: Round 4

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.

The recent years of NASCAR has seen more focus being put on the way NASCAR is viewed on Television than ever before. With TV ratings down and track excitement up, many people point to the TV as the main reason for NASCAR's decline.

One man who has revolutionized how we view NASCAR TV is John Daly. Daly, who started The Daly Planet not too many years ago, has been able to create a following of fans through his venture of analyzing NASCAR on Television.

Daly worked for ESPN for quite some time early in his career, but now focuses on the TV business in a different way: as a fan who is not afraid to point out problems with how NASCAR is portrayed each day.

John Daly has been pushing for a plethora of changes with NASCAR TV contracts and agreements such as online streaming, side by side commercial breaks, Sirius Satellite NASCAR streaming, simple techniques that can enhance race coverage, and more. Some of his ideas have been transferred over into TV, some obviously have not. However, he is not afraid to keep pushing.

One of the biggest revolutions that Daly has pushed for is with social media. He continues to argue that social media has been lacking in NASCAR and needs to become more relevant very quickly. He has never been afraid to push on air TV talent to get social media pages, and has even kept asking for more social media interaction between them and fans during telecasts. As a result of his pro social media views, it is right to include him in this social media spotlight blog series.

The Daly Planet has both a Twitter and a Facebook account. Daly's Twitter account has over 4,700 followers as of February 2nd, and the Facebook account has over 1,200 likes as well. This is quite an impressive following.

NASCAR's social media presence is improving, but as John Daly points out, it is far from where it needs to be. As NASCAR's TV contract runs down in the next few years, it is certain that Daly will be watching and no doubt giving his feedback to represent the fans.

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
Round 3: NASCAR On SPEED team