Thursday, May 21, 2015

Kyle Busch on fatherhood: 'It's a whole new world'

   Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch made his first appearance at the track Thursday since he and his wife, Samantha, welcomed their first child earlier this week. Brexton Busch weighed 7 pounds and 10 ounces and is 21 inches long.

   Kyle was asked if there was a "new" Kyle Busch now that his son had arrived.

   “I don’t know that I’m different, but it’s a whole new world right now for sure. It’s an entirely different feeling. You wonder where the time goes already. I was trying to get ready this morning and Samantha was trying to get ready – she had to take him for an appointment and some other stuff and I’m trying to help out and all of the sudden it’s time for me to leave to come out here to the race track and I’m like, ‘Holy smokes, I have to get ready, I have to hurry up.’ That was different," he said. 

   "It's way different than what it was before he was born. Obviously, Samantha was taking care of him. She had him in her so just taking care of him that way and carrying him around. I didn’t have to worry about anything. I didn’t have to feed him, I didn’t have to change him or nothing like that, but it’s a whole different world now that he’s here with having to take care of him so we both have to spread our time. Obviously, when his favorite thing to do is make stinky diapers, then you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Statement from Bruton Smith about being named to NASCAR Hall of Fame

O. Bruton Smith, Motorsports, Inc. executive chairman

   “When I found out that I was nominated, I realized how much this meant to my family and the 15,000 employees that work for my companies.  Now I realize how much it means to me.  It will truly be an honor to be remembered at the Hall of Fame along with people like Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, Glen Wood, Junior Johnson, Darrell Waltrip and so many others who helped build this sport. That’s what I’ve tried to do my entire life.  I’m a frustrated builder who had a knack for promoting races, and it’s been fun to always try to push the sport to greater heights for the fans. From the first World 600, I’ve always wanted the fans to leave with something spectacular to remember about their experience.  Even if they don’t remember who won the race, I want them to remember the pre-race show and having the time of their lives. I want fans to know we’re always working to build the best facilities for them and that’s who I really owe this recognition to. The millions of fans who’ve attended our race tracks all of these years are the ones who really deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. They’ve built the sport right along with us, and I want to sincerely say thank you to them and the voting committee.”

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Brandon McReynolds earns his first NASCAR victory

  Brandon McReynolds got his first victory in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West on Saturday night with a major win in the East –West combination race at Iowa Speedway.

   McReynolds, making his 20th series start, took the lead eight laps from the finish and held on following a two-lap overtime to take the victory in the Casey’s General Store 150.

   “I knew that whoever could get a good jump on the last restart was probably going to come out with the victory,” said McReynolds, the son of NASCAR Fox TV analyst and former crew chief, Larry McReynolds. "It was pretty much hammer down there at the end."

   Scoring his first career series win in such a big event is a major boost of confidence, according to McReynolds, who will celebrate his 24th birthday on Thursday. 

   The East-West combination race will be televised on NBC Sports Network on May 21.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

NASCAR upgrades safety rules for pit crew members

   In what appears to be in response to a rash of fuel-related fires on pit road during some recent races, NASCAR on Wednesday issued an email to all pit crew members outlining some new safety requirements which will take effect the first week of June.

   In the email, a copy of which was obtained by The Observer, NASCAR notes that some items which have been recommended for pit crew members will soon become mandatory.

   All pit crew members, whether they fuel the car or not, will be required to wear fire retardant protective gloves, underwear (from the neck to the ankles), head socks (which cover the nose and mouth) and socks.

   The underwear, head socks and socks were only recommended for pit crew members who did not actually work with fueling the car. The email noted the rules should go into effect on June 4 and a technical bulletin would likely be issued before then.

   In one of the recent most series incidents, three pit crew members were injured in the April 24 Xfinity Series race at Richmond, Va. A malfunction in the fueling head, which seals the fuel can to the car, caused fuel to spill during a pit stop for driver Brendan Gaughan. Sparks from the car's lug nuts ignited the fuel into a spectacular fire.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Brett Moffitt began 2015 season with one race, now has fulltime Sprint Cup ride

   Brett Moffitt entered the 2015 NASCAR season with one planned race - to drive Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta.

   Now, he has a fulltime ride for the remainder of the season.

   On Wednesday, Front Row Motorsports announced Moffitt would compete with its No. 34 Ford team for the rest of the year. He will remain under contract with MWR for the time being, however. 

   "We're glad to be able to move forward knowing who is going to be in the car on a consistent basis," said team owner Bob Jenkins. "Brett's already got some great experience under his belt, and I think having the same driver-crew chief team working together regularly will bring some stability to our No. 34 team and help Brett with his development as well."

   The team's former driver, David Ragan, has since moved to MWR to fill in for Brian Vickers for the remainder of the season. 

   "The most important thing for me at this point of my career is seat time, going to some of
these tracks that are new to me, and racing around 42 other drivers in race conditions," Moffitt, 22, said. "And the more time I spend in the No. 34 car and with this team, the more competitive we'll get. And I think that consistency will lead to some good finishes."

Monday, May 11, 2015

Who gets paid what in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

 Purse breakdown for 2015 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

   Racing Purse Breakdown (by race finishing position):
   Total $3,150,588 


   NOTE: In the event any of these awards are not paid, remaining money will be distributed evenly among the field of competing eligible drivers for the NASCAR
Sprint All-Star Race awards.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Dale Junior's philosophy on life: 'You want to love what you do.'

   NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., was asked Friday at Kansas Speedway whether he was finding himself getting more involved in all of the business opportunities outside racing that he and companies owned by him represent.

   Earnhardt, who has a propensity to take difficult issues and communicate them in a straight-forward, effective manner, did it again, offering a poignant insight to his approach at getting older and closer to the day his career isn't encompassed by driving a race car.

   Here was his response:

   “Yeah, I think so especially as I get older and get closer to understanding that driving race cars won’t last forever. I mean I knew that, but you get closer and closer to the day when you won’t be in the race car anymore. Not only do I need things to keep me busy or keep me excited and motivated to get out of bed every day. You want to love what you do right? Because I’ve had so much fun driving race cars it is going to be a real challenge to find something that I enjoy as much," he said.

   "That is sort of something I take a little more seriously now as I’m getting older. I think the dealerships in Tallahassee (Florida) will be a fun exciting challenge. That was really my career path if I hadn’t been a race car driver, was as a mechanic and into the service department and maybe eventually if it all worked out a general manager or something like that at a store. It’s funny to think about it now, but that was the reality of the situation when I was younger. I feel comfortable there and feel like I understand that business better than anything else."

   It has become evident the care and concern Earnhardt puts into his outside ventures of late matches that on ensuring he is competitive in the race car each week.

   "I’m taking those things very seriously because that is going to be my source of income one day when driving race cars is no longer an opportunity. Definitely take it more seriously and want to make sure that we are doing things right," he said.

   "The production company does really good there are just so many things that we have so much potential with that are looking really good. Hopefully all that stuff works out. Everybody is looking for the (George) Foreman grill and hopefully I’ve got a couple of them in the works.”