Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ryan Newman: 'We've made a really good living on being ourselves'

   Ryan Newman loves the fact as he enters the second round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup on an even playing field with every other remaining Chase driver even though he has no wins this season and some of his competitors have four or five.

   But if it were up to him, he wouldn't have it that way.

   On Wednesday, Newman said drivers who have already won races should be able to transfer bonus points for those wins into the next round.

   "I don't think it's fair for them for a guy like me who hasn't won a race this year to come in and be equal to them in the next three-race bracket," he said.

   When a reporter pointed out to Newman that other sports' playoff series follow a similar scenario, Newman said, "We're not other sports. We can't lose that fact. We're still not other sports. This isn't stick-and-ball. It's nothing to do with anything like that.

   "I struggle to compare ourselves to other sports. We've made a really good living on being ourselves and we can't lose that fact."

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

RPM development driver Corey LaJoie to run four of final Nationwide races

   Team press release

   Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Biagi-DenBenste Racing announced today they will partner to enter Corey LaJoie in four of the final five NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season.  LaJoie will pilot the No. 98 Medallion Financial Ford owned by Biagi-DenBenste Racing in the events at Kansas Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

   LaJoie, who is a development driver for RPM, is a proven talent behind the wheel.  He has one win in the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Series, five wins in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and three wins in the ARCA Racing Series.  The son of NASCAR champion Randy LaJoie, Corey has five starts in NASCAR's three national series with a Top-10 finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series earlier this year at Bristol.  The four events this year in the Nationwide Series will give him his most starts in the Nationwide Series. 

   "I have to thank both RPM and Biagi-DenBenste Racing for giving me the opportunity to put four races together in the Nationwide Series," said LaJoie.  "This is a very good car with good people supporting it.  They are a proven team that is capable of finishing in the Top-Five.  These races will be another great opportunity to advance my learning curve on the bigger tracks and with cars with more horsepower."

   Biagi-DenBeste Racing has made 11 starts with a best finish of fourth scored by David Ragan.  RPM driver Aric Amirola has most recently raced the car at Chicagoland and Dover. LaJoie has one start with the team this season and finished 15th at the Kentucky Speedway in only his second Nationwide Series start.

   "Corey has shown that he learns very quickly on the track," said Fred Biagi Co-Owner of Biagi-DenBeste Racing. "Our first race together we finished 15th in only his second Nationwide Series start.  We feel that we can compete in the Top-10 and Top-Five in these four races with Corey and that's our goal."

   LaJoie's first race will be this Saturday in the Kansas Lottery 300 at the Kansas Speedway.  The race will be televised live on ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Denny Hamlin says Sunday's race is the 'most significant' of his career

   The 2014 Sprint Cup Series season has been full of ups and downs for driver Denny Hamlin, beginning early in the year when he missed the race at Fontana, Calif., with an eye infection.

   Hamlin earned a win at Talladega, Ala., to become eligible for the Chase and appeared to get his performance back up to par in time to begin the Chase and a chance to win his first series championship. Unfortunately, a fuel-intake problem and subsequent accident last weekend at New Hampshire leaves in a precarious position as one of the four drivers who could be eliminated from title contention after Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover.

   After being asked about whether he will be paying attention to other drivers in the Chase during Sunday's race, Hamlin explained how important this race is to him:

   "Short of just winning the race, it matters what other guys do. For us, we don't control our own destiny unless we win.  I really don't want to know. Honestly, this will be the hardest race I'll definitely ever drive for 400 miles. I'm just going to be as aggressive as I can, not put myself in a bad position," he said.

   "This is the most important race of my career because it's the most significant of my career at this point. We got to get the job done and I'm going to do my part to try to make sure we're successful."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ross Kenseth to run next week's ARCA race at Kansas

   Ross Kenseth, the son of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran Matt Kenseth, will attempt to make his first start of the season in the Automobile Racing Club of America series in the Oct. 3 season finale at Kansas Speedway.

   Ross, 21, will drive the No. 3 Chevrolet for RACE 101 and it will be his first career start on a track 1-mile or more in distance. Kenseth has made one previous ARCA start, winning the pole and finishing sixth last year at Madison, Wisc.

   "I think Kansas presents a lot of challenges for us with this being our first race together. We’re all going in with realistic expectations, but I’m certainly going to do whatever I can to make the most of this opportunity and get this team the best finish possible," Ross said.

   Ross Kenseth has won over 30 late model races throughout the country over the past six years, including the prestigious Winchester 400 and All-American 400 in 2012. He’s currently second in the ARCA/CRA Super Series championship standings with two races remaining in that series' season.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Joey Logano signs multi-year contract extension with Team Penske

   As if his season couldn't get any better, Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano agreed to a multi-year contract extension with Team Penske on Thursday, the organization announced. 

   Logano has four wins this season - one more than his previous career total entering the season - and has already advanced to the second round of the Chase, which determines the series season champion.

   “Joey Logano has been everything we hoped he would be, both as a driver and as a representative of our organization and for our partners,” said team owner Roger Penske. “He continues to put points on the board for us and the continuity and chemistry he has developed within the team has been terrific. We believe he can be a leader and championship-level driver for Team Penske for years to come.”
    Since joining Team Penske at the start of the 2013 NASCAR season, Logano has enjoyed the best two-year stretch of his young career, earning five Cup wins and three Nationwide Series victories.
   “I am fortunate and excited to be a part of Team Penske for the foreseeable future,” said Logano, currently ranked second in the Chase standings after his victory last weekend at New Hampshire. “Mr. Penske gives us everything we need to keep our eye on the prize and compete for wins and championships. I think that is clear by the number of wins we have across the board this year."

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NASCAR statement on grand jury's decision regarding Tony Stewart

   "There are no winners in tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the Kevin Ward Jr. family and Tony Stewart as they all cope with this tragic incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. This has been a difficult time for everyone involved and we have respected the local authorities responsible for reviewing this case.”

Tony Stewart statement on grand jury's decision

   The following is a statement from Tony Stewart regarding the grand jury’s decision.

   “This has been the toughest and most emotional experience of my life, and it will stay with me forever. I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received and continue to receive. 

   “I respect everything the District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office did to thoroughly investigate this tragic accident. While the process was long and emotionally difficult, it allowed for all the facts of the accident to be identified and known.  

   “While much of the attention has been on me, it’s important to remember a young man lost his life. Kevin Ward Jr.’s family and friends will always be in my thoughts and prayers.”