Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kenny Wallace, Brian Scott have heated discussion via Twitter

Kenny Wallace seemed to unintentionally set off a Twitter war between himself and fellow-NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brian Scott earlier this week. The Tweet from Wallace that set Scott off:

“MY THOUGHTS. . Trevor Bayne is a good driver, He will get a ride Imediately! . . Brian Scotts dad is wealthy he will BUY a ride Imediately. .

Wallace’s tweets were in response to announcements this week that both Bayne and Scott were parting ways with the teams they had driven for this season, up to that point.

Not long afterward, Scott tweeted back with this response:

“Jees @kenny_wallace thanks for all the kind words. . . Not! You should maybe give me a chance or get to know me first. . . Your choice.”

On some level, Wallace may have brought up an interesting—and disturbing to some—trend of some drivers seeming to buy their way into national level competition. But Brian Scott?

Whether or not Scott’s family has money and whether or not that money played a part in helping him reach the level he is currently competing at aside, at least Scott seems to have the talent to make the best of the opportunity the money may or may not have gotten him.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

5 Things to Do and See in Kansas City, Kansas

Home of Kansas Speedway
A lot of NASCAR fans tend to get caught up in raceday excitement and forget that there are other things to do around the tracks. Sometimes, race fans don't always want to just hang around the track. I have not been to or visited all of these places but many of these have been suggested by fans or natives of the towns and states or even by folks in the NASCAR industry themselves! Others have come from websites or the chambers of commerce. So sit back and take an armchair road trip with me across the circuit...
Author’s note: This week I’m focusing on things to do free in Kansas City and the surrounding area! We all know many NASCAR fans in this economy are traveling on a budget and may not be able to afford admission into things they might want to see in the cities they visit. So this week, every one of my five things are free!

The Frontier Army Museum
The museum has collected and preserved artifacts that tell the tale of the Frontier Army from 1804 to 1916 and of Fort Leavenworth. The fort is the oldest active military post west of the Mississippi. Leavenworth has served as a military post since 1827. The museum provides wonderful insights into army life on the frontier during the Civil War. Of the Fort’s 5,634 acres, 214 of them are dedicated to a National Historic Landmark District.

If you want to honor and remember those who’ve died fighting for our country, the Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery is located nearby. Buried here are Medal of Honor recipients, Operation Desert Storm soldiers, and even some Confederate prisoners of war.

If you have a taste for our nation’s history, be sure to check out the museum, fort, and cemetery. Best of all, it’s all free! Visit the Frontier Army Museum’s website or this Fort Leavenworth information site for hours of operation.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Roush Rewind: AAA 400

For the second time this season, the Sprint Cup Series traveled to Dover International Speedway for the running of the AAA 400. The Monster Mile is the second stop in the Chase, and was a place where some of the Chase drivers hoped to rebound from their outing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend. Two drivers dominated the race. A.J. Allmendinger led 143 of the 400 laps, and Jimmie Johnson led 191. After starting from the pole, it was Johnson who took the checkered flag on Sunday.

After a rough weekend at New Hampshire last weekend, the Roush Fenway Racing drivers looked to Dover as a track they could redeem themselves. Roush Fenway has eight Sprint Cup wins at Dover, and their best outing at Dover came in the fall of 2008 when Greg Biffle won, followed by teammates Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards. David Ragan finished 19th that race. This time around, Ragan, Biffle, and Kenseth all struggled, finishing 24th, 19th, and 18th respectively. Edwards led only two laps on Sunday, but finished 5th.

#18 Crew Wins Pit Road Award at AAA 400

Kyle Busch's Crew Captures NASCAR Sprint Cup Pit Road Award At Dover

Kyle Busch's pit crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's AAA 400 Sprint Cup race (Sept. 26) at Dover International Speedway.

It was the third Tissot win of the season for the No. 18 crew, which moved into a three-way tie for second place in the Tissot standings. Jeff Gordon's No. 24 crew continues to lead with four wins.

The weekly-winning crew receives $5,000 from Tissot plus a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.

The Joe Gibbs Racing team finished 1-2-3 in the Tissot pit road competition in Dover with Busch's No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota spending the least amount of time on pit road - 254.478 seconds. Denny Hamlin's No. 11 FedEx Toyota was second (255.463) and coming in third was Joey Logano's No. 20 Home Depot Toyota (257.578).

The No. 18 over-the-wall crew consists of: Nick Odell (front-tire changer), Brad Donaghy (front-tire carrier), Jake Seminara (rear-tire changer), Kenny Barber (rear-tire carrier), Jeff Fender (jackman), Tom Lampe (gasman), Jason Hinson (catch can). The team's pit crew coach is Mike Lepp and the crew chief is Dave Rogers.

"I'm real proud of this Interstate Batteries / M&M's over-the-wall gang," said Rogers. "They've been extremely fast and reliable all year. The Tissot Pit Road Precision Award is a testament to their speed, but their talent goes far beyond that. They are a fun group of guys to work with, they keep their egos in check, and they thrive on pressure. These guys are the real deal and are instrumental in the success of this race team."
Post credited to PaddockTalk NASCAR News

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Infineon Raceway Schedule for 2011

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Highlights
Infineon Raceway 2011 Season Schedule

The Infineon Raceway will feature the most diverse motor-racing schedule in the country during the 2011 Big O Tires Racing Season, highlighted by the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, IZOD IndyCar® Series, motorcycles, historic car racing, and more.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will again headline the schedule with the Toyota/Save Mart 350, which will return to its more traditional date, June 24-26. The race had been held on Father’s Day each of the last two years. The Toyota/Save Mart 350 has boasted six different race winners in six years, with Jimmie Johnson claiming his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road-course win in Sonoma earlier this year. Fans can also look forward to the earlier noon start time on race day.

Drag racing will play a major part in the 2011 season, highlighted by the 24th annual FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals, July 29-31. Funny Car driver Ron Capps ended a one-year winless streak in 2010 with a victory at Infineon Raceway. The NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel will be hosted the weekend prior, July 22-24.

The Indy® Grand Prix of Sonoma marks the IZOD IndyCar Series’ seventh annual visit to the Sonoma Valley, Aug. 26-28, and its only stop in Northern California in 2011. Team Penske’s Will Power claimed his first Infineon Raceway victory earlier this year; becoming the sixth race winner in as many years.

Infineon Raceway will also host the best in AMA Pro Road Racing featuring double headers in both SuperBike and DaytonaSport Bike at the West Coast Moto Jam, May 13-15. The weekend will also feature Supermoto USA, as well as electric motorcycle racing with the return of the TTXGP U.S. Championship. The raceway is working on other two-wheel action to enhance the weekend.

Historic-car racing will take center stage during two unique weekends, including the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival (June 4-5) and the Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge (Oct. 1-2).

Tickets for all 2011 major events go on sale to the public, Nov. 15. For tickets or more information, call 800-870-RACE or visit or

The complete major event schedule for 2011 is as follows:

  • West Coast Moto Jam – May 13-15
  • Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival – June 4-5
  • Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series – June 24-26
  • NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel – July 22-24
  • FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals – July 29-31
  • Indy® Grand Prix of Sonoma – Aug. 26-28
  • Classic Sports Racing Group Charity Challenge – Oct. 1-2
Text the word SONOMA to 41411 to receive mobile alerts from Infineon Raceway

Chase Coverage: Dover Wrap-Up Report


This past weekend the drivers of the Sprint Cup Series set their sights on the Monster Mile. Twelve drivers were fighting it out for top spot in the points but a few of the non-Chasers looked to spoil the fun. Although AJ Allmendinger led a large portion of the laps, it was Jimmie Johnson who led the most and emerged the victor. With two of the 10 races in the books, Denny Hamlin is the points leader. Here’s what our team had to say following the AAA 400.

Considering how bad of a track Dover is for Denny Hamlin, it is pretty amazing to see him still in the lead for points this week. Denny started fourth for the AAA 400 and finished ninth, adding another top 10 to his races at Dover.

Denny heated things up between himself and RCR this week when he told the media his thoughts on Bowyerpalooza. To sum things up, he said that this had been going on in the garage for awhile and everyone knew and that he didn't blame them for pushing the limits. Due to this, there was a little bit of on-track action between the 11 team and Kevin Harvick's 29 team during practice on Saturday. Hamlin and Harvick spoke with one another in the garage, wasting precious practice time. It was a warning to Denny that he should not mess with Richard Childress Racing. Before getting out of the car on Sunday after the race, he was told to calm down and think about what he was going to say. He had been reprimanded for speaking his mind to the media.

All in all, it was a good weekend for Denny and the FedEx team. Ninth is one of his best finishes at Dover. Keep watching that FedEx team! They are truly working for this championship and holding the 48 team off!

A look at NASCAR's appeals process

The turn of events following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway a couple of weekends ago that led to Clint Bowyer being docked 150 driver points, Richard Childress Racing losing 150 owner points and crew chief Shane Wilson being fined $150,000 and placed on probation for six races have sort of brought NASCAR’s appeals process into the spotlight.

As is often the case when penalties are handed down by NASCAR, especially penalties of this magnitude, Richard Childress Racing is appealing NASCAR’s decision to the National Stock Car Racing Commission. The appeal is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday.

The Stock Car Racing Commission, or NSCRC, is an independent board that hears appeals to NASCAR penalties. It’s made up of 32 volunteer members from various motorsports backgrounds, including track presidents, former drivers, former car owners, and even a few people from racing series other than NASCAR.

The Commission has a formal outline for how appeals are brought to the NSCRC and heard, which is described in section 14 of the NASCAR rule book. Anyone slapped on the wrist with a NASCAR penalty who wants to appeal it has 10 days of being notified of the penalty to do so. The penalized party seeking appeal is required to hand deliver the request for appeal, along with a $200 hearing fee, to the Commission Chairman.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Charlotte area hotels reduce rates for Bank of America weekend

BAC_500 Charlotte Motor Speedway will partner with regional tourism bureaus and area hotel operators to secure lower room rates for fans attending races during Bank of America 500 Week, Oct. 13 - 16.
More than 50 hotels within approximately one hour of the 1.5-mile superspeedway have agreed to reduce their race week room rates by 15 percent and waive the minimum stay requirements.

“We strive to make the fan experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway second to none,” said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. “We understand that lodging can be a significant expense and we are very thankful to these area hotels who have taken the initiative to help fans alleviate some of those costs.”

A full list of participating hotels is available here or fans can call the speedway’s ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). In order to obtain the discounted rate, those interested must call the hotels directly and request the Speedway Special when making reservations.

Brian Scott Released from Braun Racing

2010 NNS Brian Scott Waist Up MOORESVILLE, NC (September 27, 2010) – Braun Racing announced today the release of driver Brian Scott for the remainder of the 2010 season. The parting of ways was mutual after Scott scored three top-5’s and five top-10’s in the No. 11 Braun Racing Toyota. Scott currently leads NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year standings.

“Brian has done a great job this year for AccuDoc Solutions and,” said No. 11 car owner Harry Scott, Jr. “We are very proud of our Rookie of the Year efforts together and we wish him well in the future.”

About Braun Racing: Braun Racing is a leading team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series that was handpicked four years ago by Toyota to help lead their entrance into the series.  The team is proud to have claimed Toyota’s first Nationwide Series pole on February 24, 2007 at California Speedway and their first win at O’Reilly Raceway Park on July 28, 2007.  Founded by team owner Todd Braun in 2002, the team is in its eighth season of competition in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and is expanding into a four-car operation in 2010 with an all-star driver line-up that includes Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers, Jason Leffler, Reed Sorenson, David Reutimann, Jacques Villeneuve and Tayler Malsam.  Braun Racing’s marketing partners includes Great Clips, Dollar General, Beringer Vineyards, AccuDoc Solutions, Fraternal Order of Eagles, ABF, Iron Horse Jeans,, Northeastern Supply, SEM and Safety-Kleen. For more information on Braun Racing, visit

Sunday, September 26, 2010

WIN Series Presents Women of ESPN - Jamie Little

Fearless and Confident

Jamie Little

I had the pleasure of speaking to Jamie Little via Skype, and I have to say that I was extremely impressed by her.

Born and raised by a hardworking single mother, Jamie was raised with a sense of strength and self-confidence. Jamie is definitely her mother’s daughter.

Her mother began as a seamstress and did very well for Jamie and herself. Over a period of time, and by breaking down walls, she became a lead dancer in a show. From her mother, Jamie learned that limitations are things we put on ourselves and that she could do anything she put her mind to. She learned these important life lessons very early.

Jamie remembers watching intently from above Harrah’s showroom as her mother, who was the star, would dance. Jamie would watch her mother in amazement, as she performed. The audience was full, applauding after each number, for her mother. When she speaks of her mother, you can hear the respect and admiration she feels for her. In Jamie’s eyes, her mother was and still is her hero.

Over a 20-minute period, I spoke with Jamie about her life, her passions and her career. After you read this interview, I know you too will be impressed by her. She is beautiful, intelligent and extreme in all that she does.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Where's the Respect Denny?

You don’t see me posting very often on Skirts and Scuffs, mainly because it takes a lot to get me involved in a story. It appears that Denny Hamlin is one issue worth breaking my silence for.

The Denny Hamlin/Clint Bowyer feud appears to have come out of nowhere. Better writers have covered the story, including right here, so I don’t need to delve into details. Had Denny made only one comment here or there, I wouldn’t even feel the need to comment, but it was thing he said in particular that got this writer up in flames.

On one side you have a driver, who many picked to win the NASCAR Cup title this year. On the other, you have a driver who actually won the first race of the Chase, backed by a team with decades of experience in NASCAR. The team and the teammates are what brought about the latest issue.

Maybe the problem is that Hamlin doesn’t understand how teammates actually work. When Harvick and Joey Lagano exchanged words earlier in the season, neither he nor Kyle Busch got involved. When Kyle had problems with a number of drivers in previous years, Hamlin stood idly by, twiddling his thumbs and waiting for the conversation to cycle back around to him. When he made his comments this week, perhaps he didn’t realize that Bowyer’s teammates and car owner would get involved.

That’s exactly what happened when Harvick gave him a minor bump both on Pit Road and on the track, during a practice session. Hamlin later said he knew something was coming because crew members wished him luck and made comments about the track. He then told reporters, “It's unnecessary that the team guys have to get involved in it…”

Kyle Busch: One Down and One 2 Go!

Another Double at Dover?

On Saturday afternoon the #18 NOS Toyota Camry not only gave Toyota their 14th win for 2010, it broke the record for most wins in a season, giving Kyle his 11th win for the season. Having led 192 laps out of 200, Kyle made history, and broke the record previously set in 2008. In his career at the Dover Oval, Busch has taken the checkered flag 11 times out of a total of 23 races, a stat that he hopes to increase one more time this weekend. Kyle is also tied with Todd Bodine 'Onionhead' for most wins at Dover by a NNS driver with three.

Sunday's Sprint Cup AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway is Kyle’s chance to prove it wasn’t a fluke when he doubled at Dover last May. It was more than just luck when he beat out #48 Lowes Chevy. He is a definite contender in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

In an interview on Tuesday, the driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries for JGR said, "Our game plan (for Dover) is to try to repeat what we can from the Spring race. Obviously we had a good race going, qualified well. We raced well all through the event. Towards the end of the race, it came down to the final pit stop and we were able to get out of there smoothly and cleanly.

Kyle went on to say,"We'll just go back there with our Interstate Batteries Camry and try to make the most of the event and the weekend and get a good, strong finish and keep our momentum rolling here; Trying to get through the final 10 races strong in order to get the championship come Homestead."

With the #48 Lowes Chevy sitting on Pole for the 2nd Race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, this could be a chance for the #18 Interstate Battery Camry to strengthen its position in its pursuit and prove that JGR is among the top competitors in the series.

Sitting at 3rd in the point standings, Kyle had a qualifying run of 154.619 mph and will be starting 11th, 0.167 behind the 4x champion, and new Daddy, Jimmie Johnson.

Turner Motorsports Acquires Braun Racing

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (September 24, 2010) – Turner Motorsports, currently a two-team operation in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), announced today that they are acquiring select assets of Braun Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) team and will immediately take over operation of the organization.

Braun Racing fields four entries in the NASCAR Nationwide Series – the No. 32, No. 38, No. 10 and No. 11 cars with a driver line-up that includes Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Reed Sorenson, Jason Leffler, David Reutimann, Brian Scott, Tayler Malsam and Jacques Villeneuve. These four teams will join forces with the existing Turner Motorsports’ NCWTS entries – the No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Ricky Carmichael, and the No. 31 Wolf Pack Rentals Chevrolet Silverado, driven by James Buescher.

Pole Report: Joey Logano Leads Field at Dover 200

Joey Logano the driver of the No. 20 Game Stop Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing takes the pole at Dover International Speedway with a lap of 23.330 (154.308 mph.) to tame Miles the Monster.  His fellow JGR teammate Kyle Busch is right behind him with a lap of 23.355 (154.143 mph.) in the NOS Energy Drink Toyota. 

The thing to be watching today is definitely Danica Patrick who is driving the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports who will be racing the rest of the season once the IZOD Indy Car season is over, giving her more seat time in the car.  What kind of challenges will the track be bringing her today? 

For all the racing action you can catch it all on ESPN 2 at 3 p.m. EST. 

  1. Joey Logano
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Carl Edwards
  4. Brad Keselowski
  5. Paul Menard
  6. Reed Sorensen
  7. Justin Allgaier
  8. Trevor Bayne
  9. Steve Wallace
  10. Kevin Harvick
  11. Michael Annett
  12. Jason Leffler
  13. Ryan Newman
  14. David Gilliland
  15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  16. Elliott Sadler
  17. Dennis Setzer
  18. Mike Bliss
  19. Eric McClure
  20. Brendan Gaughn
  21. Drew Herring
  22. Danny O’Quinn Jr.
  23. Brian Scott
  24. Tim Andrews
  25. Mike Wallace
  26. Willie Allen
  27. Kelly Bires
  28. Jeff Green
  29. Josh Wise
  30. Marc Davis
  31. Johnny Chapman
  32. Joe Nemechek
  33. Jason Keller
  34. Mark Green
  35. Derrike Cope
  36. Erik Darnell
  37. Morgan Shepard
  38. Jeremy Clements
  39. Brian Keselowski
  40. Tony Raines
  41. Kenny Wallace
  42. Danica Patrick
  43. Michael McDowell

Denny Hamlin on "Bowyerpalooza"

On Friday, Denny Hamlin had his own opinions about Clint Bowyer and what Jeff Gluck appropriately calls "Bowyerpalooza."

After last Sunday's race at Loudon, New Hampshire, in which Clint Bowyer held Denny Hamlin off for the win, Bowyer's 33 car was taken in for further inspection. It was found that his car was illegal and NASCAR took action, since the 33 Hamburger Helper/ Cheerios team had been warned the week before that their cars was borderline legal. NASCAR fined both Bowyer's crew chief, and his car chief $150,000 each, deducted 150 points from both Bowyer's Chase points and Richard Childress' owner points, and suspended Shane Wilson, his crew chief for six weeks.

Denny Hamlin a bit to say about that by starting with "I'm not too discouraged with what we ended up with [at New Hampshire], but I know we were the fastest legal car."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chase Coverage: Dover Pre-Race

This week the series moves into Dover, Del., to the track nicknamed "The Monster Mile." The concrete track is brutal and this week will not be any different.

Today our team brings you the pre-race report for the 12 Chase drivers. We hope you enjoy and come back Tuesday for the post-race wrap-up report.


Denny Hamlin remains in the first spot in points as we work our way into the second week of the Chase. The FedEx team obviously knows what they're doing due to the fact of their success in the Sprint Cup series this year. They have won six races together, with one pole, 11 top 5s and 12 top 10s. Hamlin has led a total of 918 laps this season, not a career high (he led 1,380 last year), but still impressive.

Denny's knee surgery obviously hasn't gotten in the way because of his success this year. In fact, he has won more races after his surgery than he has in two years total. You could say that the knee is lucky!

Hamlin has nine starts at Dover, including three top 10s and two top 5. His average start is 15.7 and his average finish is 22.8. The finish is so low because he has two DNFs that were figured into the average. He hasn't won yet, but I'm sure his fans, as well as I am, are looking to see him add Dover International to his win list.

Pole Report: Jimmie Johnson Leads Field for AAA 400

Four time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Impala Chevrolet tames the Monster Mile of Dover International Speedway with a lap of 23.116 (155.736 mph.).  But the real drama had to be the real surprise from the qualifying rounds today has to be Mark Martin's right-rear shock had a problem in qualifying...failed post-qualifying inspection. Dropped from 3rd to 42nd, which moves everyone up on the grid for Sunday’s afternoon race.

The second race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship from Dover International Speedway airs live on ESPN 1 p.m. EST/ 12 CST with the NASCAR Now Pre-Race show at Noon.  So what will people be looking at during the race this week?  The answer is simple, they will be looking to see what will happen with the different cars in the Chase, once the race is over.  Will anymore teams be getting penalties from NASCAR like the No. 33 Cheerios Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing? 

Enjoy the race and remember for the most up to date NASCAR coverage, keep your mouse here at Skirts and Scuffs.
  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. A,J, Allmendinger
  3. Martin Truex, Jr.
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Juan Pablo Montoya
  6. Greg Biffle
  7. Jamie McMurray
  8. Kurt Busch
  9. Paul Menard
  10. Carl Edwards
  11. Kyle Busch
  12. Reed Sorensen
  13. Ryan Newman
  14. Matt Kenseth
  15. Jeff Gordon
  16. Kasey Kahne
  17. David Reutimann
  18. Regan Smith
  19. Joey Logano
  20. Scott Speed
  21. Sam Hornish Jr.
  22. Elliott Sadler
  23. Marcos Ambrose
  24. Clint Bowyer
  25. Tony Stewart
  26. Casey Mears
  27. Jeff Burton
  28. Joe Nemechek
  29. David Ragan
  30. Travis Kvapil
  31. Brad Keselowski
  32. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
  33. Kevin Harvick
  34. Bobby Labonte
  35. David Gilliland
  36. J.J. Yeley
  37. Dave Blaney
  38. Mike Bliss
  39. Landon Cassill
  40. Kevin Conway
  41. Tony Raines
  42. Mark Martin
  43. Michael McDowell

No. 33 car opens the flood gates of discussion

When teams bend the rules to make their cars better, is it a matter of creative engineering or just flat out cheating? And, also, what should NASCAR do about it? The No. 33 Sprint Cup Series car of Richard Childress Racing driven by Clint Bowyer has opened up this can of worms and seems to have gotten more people talking about the subject than other rules violators in recent memory.

According to NASCAR, team owner Richard Childress was warned that his No. 33 car just barely skirted through the inspection process a couple of weeks ago at Richmond International Raceway, but that the car was legal. It just wasn’t comfortably well within NASCAR’s allowable tolerances.

The car the team showed up with at New Hampshire Motor Speedway a week later apparently wasn’t legal. Although it made its way through the pre-race inspection process, it was later discovered by NASCAR officials that the placement of the car’s body on the chassis wasn’t exactly in harmony with the specifications NASCAR had in place.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Photo of Clint Bowyer by Amanda Vincent

Thursday, September 23, 2010

WIN Series Update-Carbon Free Girl Lelani Munter

Leilani is returning to the racetrack! She will be driving the #59 Operation Free/Sturman Industries "Race to Energy Independence" Dodge Charger in the ARCA Series at Kansas Speedway on Sept 30. She has the only race car in the world with images of windturbines and solar panels on it, check out how great it looks on the track: New Partnership Brings Together Racing, Veterans For Clean Energy

The race will air live on SPEED at 4pm EST on Thursday, Sept 30.

Operation Free and Sturman Industries Teams With Leilani Munter for Sponsorship,
“Race to Energy Independence”
Partnership Debuts at Kansas Lottery 150 at Kansas Speedway on Sept. 30

Operation Free, a group of U.S. military veterans advocating for clean energy and climate change reform, today announced their sponsorship of race car driver Leilani Munter, who is also a clean energy advocate, environmental activist and was recently named the #1 eco athlete by Discovery's Planet Green.

From Second to the Bottom

Clint Bowyer, left, and crew chief Shane Wilson hug after Bowyer's
victory at New Hampshire on Sunday. (Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Just a couple of days ago we were calling Clint Bowyer the comeback kid, but today he’s the guy everyone wants answers from. Conspiracy theorists are calling this NASCAR’s way of helping Jimmie Johnson to a fifth consecutive championship while members of the media are left wondering what’s really going on. Regardless of what happened and how it’s being perceived one thing is for sure. Clint Bowyer just went from second to 12th in the points in a matter of minutes.

It was revealed on Wednesday that Bowyer’s car, which he won with this past weekend at New Hampshire, failed post-race inspection. If you remember last week, Bowyer and his team were warned about their car from Richmond being very close to the edge of what is allowed. While no penalties were given out after the close call, the team wasn’t as lucky this week.

Below is the release issued by NASCAR regarding the fines, suspensions and points deductions for the #33 RCR team.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 22, 2010) – NASCAR has issued penalties, suspensions and fines to two teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, as a result of rules infractions discovered this week during post-race inspection at the NASCAR Research and Development Center following last Sunday’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. 

Sprint Cup drivers to introduce themselves before AAA 400 at Dover

DOVER, Del. – Dover International Speedway will spruce up its pre-race driver introductions on Sunday, Sept. 26, by inviting all 43 starting NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers to introduce themselves on stage before the start of the race.

Pre-race ceremonies on the frontstretch stage begin at 11:30 a.m. ET with driver introductions scheduled for 12:30 p.m. The “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race will take the green flag at 1 p.m.

Each driver will introduce themselves and announce what car they’ll be driving, commencing with the driver starting in the 43rd position. The top-10 starters will introduce themselves and a military veteran who has recently returned home from overseas. The USO Delaware is helping to choose the 10 members of the military.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee spotlight: David Pearson

David Pearson, who over time has become known among the NASCAR community as "The Silver Fox," may not have ever competed full-time in NASCAR, as he never ran all the races in a single season, but he didn't have to. He even managed to win three Cup titles without showing up at the race track every week, doing so in 1966, 1968 and 1969.

Despite never running the entire Cup schedule, Pearson posted numbers that place him second to only Richard Petty on the all-time win list with 105 victories. He scored those 105 wins in only 574 starts, giving him a winning percentage of 18.29 percent. Among those 105 wins are six victories at Daytona International Speedway, including the 1976 Daytona 500.

Pearson claimed his final Cup win during a 1980 season in which he competed in nine events. He went on to race at NASCAR's top level sporadically for a few more years. He last competed in 1986, running two races that season.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo of David Pearson courtesy of ISC Archives/Getty Images.

What to do with only one rookie who’s not setting the world on fire

With the 2010 NASCAR season winding down, it looks as if it’s pretty much certain that Kevin Conway is going to be the 2010 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year. After all, he’s the only rookie left competing in the series on a regular basis. Terry Cook started off the season as another contender for the rookie honor, but has since fallen by the wayside, leaving Conway the lone candidate for the award. So, by default, Conway looks to be on his way to being crowned this season’s best newcomer.

Isn’t that kind of a hollow victory, though? Sure drivers admit to taking wins and trophies however they can get them—hence, the old saying, “I’d wreck my mom to win a race.” But when you’re the only person competing for an award, should you automatically get it pretty much by default? Should there be some kind of minimum standard that should be met to achieve the honor?

By asking that question, I don’t mean to demean Conway or his racing ability. But when you compare him to recent rookies of the year, does he stack up? After all, Joey Logano won during his rookie season of 2009. Sure, it was a rain-shortened race win. But he was in position to take the victory when the race was called for wet weather. Some of the most recent top rookies prior to Logano are Regan Smith (2008), Juan Pablo Montoya (2007), Denny Hamlin (2006), Kyle Busch (2005) and Kasey Kahne (2004). Are Conway’s stats this year comparable to the stats most of these drivers put up during their rookie campaigns? Not really and compared to some of them—not by a long shot.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Photo of Kevin Conway courtesy of NASCAR Media

NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee spotlight: Benny Parsons

Benny Parsons was a native of North Carolina -- the home state of NASCAR, of sorts -- but he moved to Detroit early on in his life, and it could be said that he honed his driving skills there, working as a cab driver. He would eventually return to North Carolina to do some driving of a different kind -- stock car racing at NASCAR's top level.

Parsons entered NASCAR's Cup series somewhat gradually, competing in only one race in 1964 and entering four races five years later in 1969. He then went on to claim the Cup title in 1973. Parsons visited victory lane 21 times in his 526-career starts, including a Daytona 500 win in 1975.

He made history with his qualifying run at Talladega Speedway in 1982. During qualifying at Talladega he became the first stock car driver to turn in a qualifying lap at more than 200 mph.

To read more, visit Cup Series News and Notes.

Photo of Benny Parsons courtesy of ISC Archives/Getty Images.

Roush Rewind: Sylvania 300

With what is referred to as the regular season races complete, the Chase for the 2010Cup championship has begun. The top twelve drivers came into what would be the second stop at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the first race of the Chase. Each of the top twelve drivers were looking to either win or get a great finish to keep their championship hopes alive. For a few of the Chase drivers, the Sylvania 300 would prove to be a bigger challenge than they expected. For Clint Bowyer, it would be the opportunity for him to break his winless streak by taking the checkered flag on Sunday after leading an impressive 177 laps.

After three of the four Roush Fenway Racing driver secured their spots in the Chase, the organization came to New Hampshire hoping to get off to a strong start in the Chase. New Hampshire Motor Speedway is almost considered a home track by Roush Fenway Racing due to their association with Fenway Sports Group in Boston. Roush Fenway has two wins at New Hampshire during the Chase—Kurt Busch in 2004 and Greg Biffle in 2008—but has seven Cup wins overall at the track. Unfortunately, the Roush Fenway drivers were not really big factors in Sunday’s race. Handling issues and a late-race incident, Matt Kenseth had to settle for a 23rd place finish. Despite qualifying well, David Ragan had to fight hard to finish 22nd. A four tire stop cost Biffle valuable positions in the last part of the race, but he was able to finish 17th while Carl Edwards led the RFR drivers with an 11th place finish.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

5 Questions After ... Sylvania 300

The Chase for the Sprint Cup started off with a bang as fuel mileage had fans holding their breaths in the final few laps of the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Running low on fuel, Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer ran first and second, respectively, with just a few laps remaining. Coming to the white flag, Stewart ran out of gas and Bowyer had just enough to cross the start finish line first with points leader Denny Hamlin right on his back bumper. As expected, there was a major shake-up in points and we can only wonder if we’re getting a glimpse of what the championship will look like at the end of the season.

Here are some questions on my mind following the Sylvania 300…

How much do we really know about the championship? … You’ve probably already heard (or maybe said yourself) that once race doesn’t mean anything for the championship. However, the statistics don’t lie. Since the implementation of the Chase in 2004, only once has any driver lower than second after the Chase-opening race at Loudon gone on to win the championship. Back in 2006, Jimmie Johnson was 9th in points and 139 points out of the lead after Loudon. However, an astounding run with five finishes in the top two in the remaining nine races gave Johnson the championship that year. Aside from that season, if history repeats itself we may very well be seeing Denny Hamlin holding the trophy come Homestead.

Chase Coverage: New Hampshire Wrap-Up Report

New Hampshire Motor Speedway gets a new start/finish line. (Courtesy of Josh Jones)
Twelve drivers are fighting it out to be the next "to be with" the Sprint Cup Series trophy and on Sunday they headed to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the first race of the 2010 Chase.

Hard racing, Chase drivers spinning, and an unexpected winner were just a few of the things that made the Sylvania 300 exciting. Today the ladies of Skirts and Scuffs bring you the post race report. We hope you enjoy our coverage and come back Friday morning to read our advance for Dover.

After a spin late in the race Hamlin fought back to finish second
Your reigning points leader is Denny Hamlin.

The Chesterfield, Va., native finished second this week after Tony Stewart ran out of fuel with two laps to go. He started 22nd and raced his way into the top 10.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

WIN Series presents The Women of ESPN - Shannon Spake

I recently had the opportunity to speak with The Women of ESPN. These three ladies are regulars on ESPN’s coverage of The NASCAR Sprint and Nationwide racing series. It was a great experience interviewing them via SKYPE and I want to share with you their passions, opinions and goals for the future. I hope you enjoy getting to know them as I have.

First I want to apologize for the delay in getting these interviews to you. I won’t bore you with all the grueling details. Lets just say that I ran into several ‘technical issues' that seemed to happen one at a time. I do want to thank my tech guru for his diligence in extracting the audio portions of the interviews. He worked on this process for quite some time and its only from this that I am able to bring these interviews to you.

The Women of ESPN

Jamie Little, Nicole Briscoe, Shannon Spake

Let’s begin with Shannon Spake;

The only person that can stop me, is ME

Shannon Spake was born July 23rd, 1976. She grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida after moving there with her family when she was 3 years old. Her father, Southwest Captain Don Speacht, was a pilot for Air Florida. Shannon and her father were close, sharing a common interest in sports. Growing up in Florida where football was sport of choice, Shannon and her father often attended high school games cheering on such players as the three-time Super Bowl Champ Michael Irvin. Irvin went on to play for such teams as Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Shannon graduated from Piper High School and went on to Florida Atlantic University in Boca where she received her BA in Communications. Shannon worked for the Neil Rogers Show on WQAM in South Florida while in college. After graduating, she literally packed up a U-Haul and moved on to New York City.

While working in New York her family relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. Her time with NASCAR revved up with a year at the SPEED Channel. She worked as a reporter for a NASCAR Nation’s first version and then co-hosted during the second. Shannon also spent time co-hosting with online columnist Marty Smith on Back Seat Drivers, a motorsports talk show.

From 2000-01 she covered everything from the presidential election to the 9/11 tragedy. Worked as an assistant coordinator for the Kids Television Network, Nickelodeon and MTV. She also spent 2 years at CBS as an associate producer of The Early Show with Bryant Gumbel. Her broadcast career took a big jump during this time when Shannon was given the opportunity to work with HBO. For 6 months, Shannon worked on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

After her HBO commitment ended, Shannon packed her bags and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to be closer to her family. She began work with a local FOX affiliate and worked her way up to covering the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats. From there she moved to SPEED and then was picked up by ESPN.

Blog: A NHMS Memoir

Growing up with New Hampshire Motor Speedway in her backyard, new Skirts and Scuffs contributor Genevieve Cadorette wasn't a fan of racing. Today she shares with us how she went from someone who barely knew about the sport to someone who follows it religiously. What follows is her journey to the fan she is today.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway is the only track I've ever visited for a NASCAR race. I grew up 20 minutes away but never actually attended an event until recently. I went to a race there at the age of 14, nearly 20 years ago but I can't tell you much about it other than to say it was lots of fun. I wish I could tell you more, but I do have a lot of other stories though.

I wasn’t much of a race follower in high school. I didn’t pay much attention to any kind of pop culture during those years. One summer, I worked at a hotel in Concord, NH as part of the cleaning crew. Race weekend came along and management warned us that we had to be on our best behaviors around the drivers and teams. I didn’t mind cleaning their rooms, though had I known who’s room I was cleaning it may have made the experience more fun. But being professional, we turned a blind eye on who slept were.

Later that year, I switched hotels to start my first waitress job. Race weekend came along and my manager approached me and said, “I just sat a party of three for you but we have to talk. He’s a really rich and famous driver so I need you to be a professional about it.”

I had no idea who he and the other two were so it was easy to do my job. All I can remember is the older men had mustaches’ and the younger guy was a cocky looking kid with a baseball hat and light brown hair. He didn’t make much of an impression on me. This past summer, I picked my brain over and over again to try to remember who they were and nothing pops into mind. I wish I could say that it was Dale Earnhardt, Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt Junior, but I don’t believe it was; it happened in 1995.

Kyle Busch Wins Pole then takes the Checkered Flag

kyle truck

Congrats! goes to #18 Toyota, Kyle Busch’s own truck, for taking the checkered flag in Saturday's 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This was Kyle’s 18th victory in the three NASCAR Series: NNS 10, SC 3 and CWTS 5. This is the fourth victory this year that Kyle won from pole. He lead eight times with a total of 156 laps. During the 166th lap while Busch and Harvick battled for the lead, both were overcome by James Beuscher.

Lap 169 brought on the eighth caution of the race when the turn 4 wall was hit by Hornaday after contact with Timothy Peters. During the restart on lap 174, Kyle made his move. Although Beuscher felt he was driving dirty, Kyle was able to bring the #18 Toyota in for the win with a visit to Victory Lane.

victory lane

During the 2010 season Kyle started a total of 11 times, winning 5 of those races. Not only that, it gives him a career high of 80 wins in the three NASCAR series.

Kyle will be starting fourth in NASCAR’s first race of the 2010 Chase on Sunday at this same track in the Sylvania 300. A few weeks prior Busch swept all three of the NASCAR Series races at Bristol. Going into Sunday's race with so much momentum will make for a very exciting race.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Things looking up for Keselowski's first Cup season

This has been an up-and-down sort of year for one Brad Keselowski. Toward the end of his first full season in Cup with new team Penske, some had to wonder if he was ready?

Jason Smith/Getty Images
In the Nationwide Series, Keselowski is the points leader and is sure to win the championship. But for some reason, Keselowski just isn’t making any ground in Cup.

Keselowski has won one Cup race in 2009, but he wasn’t with Penske then; he was with James Finch and Phoenix Racing, powered by engines from Hendrick Motorsports.

Keselowski’s first Cup season hasn’t really been all that great. Troubles with wrecking out and such have resulted in the young driver not doing well. But that never caused Keselowski to quit; he just kept racing every Sunday, even when it seemed he wasn’t going anywhere but the wrong way.

It would seem Keselowski's season is turning around. The latest race at Richmond, which was Sept. 11, Keselowski finished 15th, a real improvement from where he usually finishes around the 20s or 30s. It’s the little improvements that show Keselowski is slowly making it.

Kyle Busch on Pole for 175

Kyle Busch, the driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports, won the pole for the Camping World Truck Series Race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The driver and owner had a 29.292 lap (130.029 mph). Right behind him is the other driver/owner in the other front row position, Kevin Harvick in the No. 2 Chevrolet for Kevin Harvick Inc., with a lap of 29.328 (129.869 mph), only -0.036 seconds behind Busch.

Who do you think will be in Victory Lane after the 19th race of the 25-race season? To catch all the racing action, you can watch the race on SPEED with the SetUp at 2:30 p.m. EST. 

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Ron Hornaday
  4. Austin Dillon
  5. James Buescher
  6. Aric Almirola
  7. Johnny Sauter
  8. Timothy Peters
  9. Todd Bodine
  10. Justin Lofton
  11. Matt Crafton
  12. David Starr
  13. Ricky Carmichael
  14. Stacy Compton
  15. Mario Gosselin
  16. Mike Skinner
  17. Bobby Hamilton Jr.
  18. Donny Lia
  19. Jason White
  20. Dennis Setzer
  21. Ryan Sieg
  22. Eddie McDonald
  23. John King
  24. Peyton Sellers
  25. Mike Harmon
  26. Mike Garvey
  27. Brent Raymer
  28. Tim Bainey Jr.
  29. Carl Long
  30. J C Stout
  31. Jennifer Jo Cobb
  32. Butch Miller
  33. Norm Benning
  34. Chris Laferty
  35. Donnie Neuenberger
  36. Brian Weber

Friday, September 17, 2010

Top 5 MPD Votes Revealed for Nationwide and Truck Series

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2010) – Online voting has been underway since July 6 for the 2010 Most Popular Driver of the Year Awards in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Now, for the first time in the three-year history of the poll, the top five vote-getters in each series will be unveiled before voting closes in November.

The early reveal gives fans the opportunity to perhaps increase their favorite driver’s lead, or help build the numbers to move their favorite higher in either poll.

To date, nearly 30,000 fans have voted in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, while over 25,000 fans have cast votes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Keselowski Takes Pole for Sylvania 300

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 12 Penske/AAA Dodge, won the pole for Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. This is the first pole position for the Rochester Hills, Mich., native with a 28.515-second lap (133.572 mph).

Being a non-Chaser, will he be one of the drivers to keep the Chasers on their toes, or will someone else who is not in the race for the Cup? Behind Keselowski with a lap of 28.538 (133.464 mph) is Clint Bowyer, the driver of the No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
With this being the first race in the Chase for the Cup of 2010, what kind of surprises will we get from the racers, the track and the different teams?

The Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire will be broadcast Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN. Green flag is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. ET.

The following is the starting lineup for the Sylvania 300:

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

TV Schedule Sept. 17-19

The June NSCS race at New Hampshire goes green.
(Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series head to New England, where the Chase kicks off at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The 1-mile oval has opened the 10-race playoffs since its inception in 2004. But starting next year, the track will be pushed back to the second race in the Chase as Chicagoland Speedway will host the opener.

The Sprint Cup Series points were reset after Richmond, and many of the Chasers are favorites for the win at the SYLVANIA 300 at Loudon. Five of the 12 drivers have yet to claim a victory this season. Odds are a Chase driver will add to the "w" column at Sunday's race, but it's always possible a driver outside the top 12 could be the one standing in Victory Lane. Reigning champion Jimmie Johnson won the spring race. Defending fall race winner is Mark Martin.

Skirts and Scuffs begins its Chase coverage this weekend, with 12 of our contributors providing pre-race analysis for the New Hampshire race.

Chase for the Cup Coverage: New Hampshire Motor Speedway – Race 1 (Pre-race) – Sylvania 300

chase Welcome to Skirts and Scuffs coverage of the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Over the course of the next 10 weeks, you will see pre-race and post-race analysis from 12 of our outstanding contributors. Each of these contributors has been tasked to cover one driver throughout the entirety of the Chase. On Fridays prior to the race, we will share our pre-race analysis of each driver, and on Tuesday following the event (Monday if it’s a Saturday race) we will share with you how that driver did over the course of the weekend. It’s our hope to bring you some of the most comprehensive coverage of the Chase you can find online.

Week 1 of the 2010 Chase takes us to New Hampshire Motor Speedway (also referred to as Loudon) for the Sylvania 300. Since the inception of the Chase in 2004, Loudon has played host to the Chase opener; however, in 2011 the opener will move to Chicagoland Speedway.

The 1.058-mile track was completed in 1990 and has hosted 31 Sprint Cup Series events since joining the schedule in 1993. Drivers Jeff Burton and Jeff Gordon are the only two Chase contenders to have competed in all 31 events. In addition, the 12 chase contenders have combined for a total of 218 starts, 20 victories and 4,781 laps led at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Only one driver (Kurt Busch) has won the Chase opener and gone on to take home the series title (2004).


Follow-up on Samantha Sarcinella - Riding Shotgun with Kyle Busch on ESPN

Riding Shotgun

ESPN is airing "Riding Shotgun: Kyle Busch," a reality show leading up to the first race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. If you're a fan of Kyle's, you probably already knew. If not, you're sure to become a fan after watching this five-part series. Although some might say that his fiancee Samantha was actually in the driver's seat, the show really brings forth the strong bond between Kyle and Samantha. Samantha was interviewed earlier this year by Skirts and Scuffs columnist Lindi Bess. You can find that interview by clicking here.

"Hey there hot stuff, you look great!" says Sam in response to seeing Kyle in his bright pink firesuit. This is a scene you will find in the first episode, as well as the "in fun" banter with other NASCAR drivers in the garage when Kyle reveals himself for the first time. This firesuit is the center of the Sponsafier campaign initiated by Toyota this year that allows the fans to interact with the driver in a way never done before.

"Riding Shotgun" follows Kyle and Samantha around during the hussle and bussle of championship week. Airing Sept. 13-17, the show follows the couple as they deal with their upcoming wedding in December as well as documenting the #18 team as they prepare for the championship. This will be Kyle's fourth appearance in the Chase. Should Kyle become the champion, it'll be a first for Toyota. Kyle was the first Sprint Cup driver to bring a foreign car into Victory Lane during his first year with JGR in 2008.

Check Skirts and Scuffs for all your up-to-date Chase information,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

With Chase system, does points leader after 26 races deserve recognition?

Should Kevin Harvick receive some kind of recognition, in the form of perhaps a special trophy, for being the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season champion? Of course, he still has a shot at the big Sprint Cup trophy awarded at season’s end, but should he fall short of nabbing that one, should he receive some sort of consolation prize for being a regular season champion of sorts?

When NASCAR first implemented its Chase system, it insisted that it wasn’t a playoff. After all, drivers and teams aren’t eliminated each week during the Chase for the Sprint Cup. But it still seems like a post season, with the first 26 points races on the schedule being the series’ regular season and the final 10 being a 10-event playoff.

With the Chase format, the biggest concern throughout the first 26 races isn’t so much the points lead, it’s merely being in the top-12. And once safely in the top-12, the focus shifts to winning races to obtain bonus points to head into the Chase with—not claiming the top spot in points.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Photo of Kevin and DeLana Harvick by Amanda Vincent

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NASCAR After The Lap Provides Fans With Unprecedented Access To Top-12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers

213688 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 15, 2010) – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing Inc. (NASCAR) announced today one of the sport’s most popular fan events -- the return of NASCAR After The Lap to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s WeekTM line up of activities. Sponsored by Ford Motor Company and Coca-Cola, NASCAR After The Lap is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. PT on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, and is the only fan-focused, free event providing NASCAR® fans with unprecedented access to the 2010 top-12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who competed in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint CupTM.

NASCAR After The Lap will launch the "SEND ME 2 VEGAS" sweepstakes on Sept. 15 with one fan eligible to win a 2011 Ford Taurus SHO valued at up to $40,000 and a VIP trip for two to NASCAR After The Lap.

Taking place at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas, NASCAR After The Lap will feature an unfiltered fan question-and-answer session with the top-12 Chase drivers. General admission seats are free and based on a first-come, first-serve basis. Seats may be reserved at until Dec. 1, 2010. From noon to 4 p.m. PT and located in front of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Coca-Cola will present the fan-interactive Coca-Cola Fan Zone complete with The Sprint Experience, Ford vehicles, games, concessions, entertainment and more.

5 Things to Do and See in Loudon, New Hampshire

Home of New Hampshire Motor Speedway

A lot of NASCAR fans tend to get caught up in raceday excitement and forget that there are other things to do around the tracks. Sometimes, race fans don't always want to just hang around the track. I have not been to or visited all of these places but many of these have been suggested by fans or natives of the towns and states or even by folks in the NASCAR industry themselves! Others have come from websites or the chambers of commerce. So sit back and take an armchair road trip with me across the circuit...

The McAuliffe-Shepherd Discovery Center
From Loudon to Concord, it is about a fifteen minute drive. If you’re in the area, try visiting the McAuliffe-Shepherd Discovery Center. There’s plenty of fun for all ages, especially if you love learning about space and science.

If you’re visiting in the afternoon, be sure to check out the observatory. With it’s 14 inch telescope, you’re sure to see things beyond your imagination! The dome observatory even houses a 100mm solar telescope for viewing the sun- without harming your eyes. While you’re there, check out some of the center’s planetarium shows. Everyone is sure to find something to excite their interest.

The center is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Visit their website for more information and directions.
The Richard Petty Driving Experience
Imagine driving around New Hampshire Motor Speedway in a stock car modeled after a real NASCAR race car. Picture yourself in the driver’s seat, seeing the track from the driver’s point of view. You can do it, for a price. The Richard Petty Driving experience offers three different driving experiences at 23 different race tracks!

If driving isn’t for you, then be sure to ask about their ride-alongs which are available at many of the different tracks. Just remember this is definitely not a race weekend activity! For more information on driving experiences or ride-alongs, visit their website.
Historical Journeys
Are you a history buff? Just want to learn a little more about the history of the country? You may want to consider taking a trip through America’s history in New Hampshire. There’s a wealth of historical places to visit in New Hampshire. Trace the Footsteps of Lincoln around the state or take the Franco-American Heritage tour through Manchester.

There are plenty of historical museums scattered throughout the state. Some of them are complete with actors in early American costume and others simply lead you on a journey through our nation’s past. A great place to start would be Their website contains some great tips and pre-planned itineraries if you don’t have much time to plan.
White Mountain National Forest
If you’re more the outdoors or camping type, you will definitely want to visit the White Mountains of New Hampshire. There are plenty of attractions, games, and even amusement parks for everyone! They’re located close enough to each other that you can visit a few in a day or spread it out, if you aren’t in a hurry, over a few days.

The actual forest itself is located about a two and a half hour drive from Loudon. While you’re there, you can also visit Mount Washington, the highest point in the state, standing at 6,288 feet above sea level. There’s something for everyone- hiking and walking trails, shopping, parks, golf, and even some performing arts. Visit their website for more information on planning your trip.
Bizarre: Roadside Attractions
Every state and many towns have them. You’ve seen them. You probably wondered “what the #*%^@?” while driving past them. yeah, I’m talking about roadside attractions.

If you didn’t know, Concord just so happens to be home to a real rocket. Ok, so a replica. But you have always wanted to see a 92 foot rocket replica right? Ok, so maybe not. Maybe the world’s longest candy counter is more your thing?

You may have to really look to find it, but somewhere along US Highway 4 is a Trojan Horse, no pun intended. However, if you’ve been following these long enough, then you know that these are usually off the beaten path. If you’re up for a little treasure hunting, then roadside attractions might be for you. Check out for a list of all reported roadside attractions throughout New Hampshire.

TV schedule of Chase driver appearances this week

The TV schedule of appearances for the 12 drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup has been announced, per

There will be no pie throwing this year, as the drivers are not scheduled to appear on "Regis and Kelly" as in previous years, and no late-night talk show appearances ("The Late Show with David Letterman," a past stomping ground, is dark this week.)

Here's where you can catch the Chase drivers on TV this week (schedule is subject to change):

Wednesday, Sept. 15:
  • Kevin Harvick - On ESPN throughout the day on "Mike and Mike," "SportsCenter," "First Take" and "NASCAR Now" 
  • Greg Biffle and Kurt Busch  - FOX Business Channel, 7 p.m. ET, "America’s Scoreboard"
  • Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle - Versus, 11 p.m. ET, "The Daily Line"

NASCAR stars to have day in court in third annual Jail and Bail charity event

Country music icon The Charlie Daniels Band to headline Oct. 12 event; proceeds to benefit the Brienne Davis Scholarship Fund

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 15, 2010) – The third official Jail & Bail charity event supported by Best Buy and Insignia is set for Tuesday, Oct. 12, at Brickhouse Tavern in Davidson, N.C. Money raised throughout the night will go to the Brienne Davis Scholarship Fund, which to date has raised enough money to fund 20 scholarships to the Universal Technical Institute to help female students pursue a career in the automotive industry.

Grammy Award winning artist The Charlie Daniels Band will headline the entertainment for the event, which will be open to the public. Daniels, a native of North Carolina, was inducted into the Musician’s Hall of Fame in Nashville in 2009 and has performed at numerous NASCAR events over the years. Recording artist and hit songwriter Bridgette Tatum will also perform starting at 5:30 p.m. ET

NASCAR celebrities will have their day in court when they get “locked up” and they will have to raise their bail in an effort to raise funds for the scholarship program. Fans from all over the country will convene at the Brickhouse Tavern for a chance to rub elbows with some of the sport’s top names and raise money for one of the industry’s most popular charities.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Roush Rewind: Air Guard 400

Once again, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series made a stop at Richmond International Raceway. The Air Guard 400 was the final race before the Chase. For those on the bubble, they needed great finishes to keep their championship hopes alive. For those locked in, it was a chance to win and earn those crucial 10 bonus points that could help them get ahead once the top 12 in the field were reset. Denny Hamlin proved he is well on his way to possibly becoming the 2010 Cup champion as he took the checkered flag at Richmond, therefore making him the points leader when they head to
New Hampshire this coming Sunday.

Roush Fenway Racing came to Richmond with Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth locked into the Chase. Greg Biffle only had to finish the race ahead of the 42nd position to earn his spot as a championship contender. For David Ragan, however, his hopes of making the Chase had been crushed months ago, but Ragan isn’t ready to give it up just yet since he is still working toward getting his first career Cup win. On Saturday night, Biffle and Ragan struggled while Edwards and Kenseth were both able to have strong runs and get good finishes.

No clear cut favorites for this year's Sprint Cup

Hit the reset button on the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, because the Chase for the Sprint Cup is about to begin. The slate has been wiped somewhat clean for the top-12 drivers who will battle for the Cup. While the points have been reset to a base 5000 points for each of the 12 drivers, they do get to carry their wins earned in the first 26 races of the season with them into the Chase in the form of 10 bonus points for each trip to victory lane.

With bonus points awarded, the drivers making up this year’s Chase were shuffled around in the points standings, so much so that Denny Hamlin, who was 10th in points, jumped to the points lead on the strength of six wins—the most of any driver so far this season. Meanwhile, former points leader Kevin Harvick dropped from the top spot to a tie with Kyle Busch for third—each driver having three wins so far in 2010.

With 10 races to go to determine this year’s champion who’s a favorite? Are there even any favorites? The last few years Jimmie Johnson seemed to be one of—if not the—favorite heading into the Chase stretch. And year after year (four to be exact) Johnson made good on his favorite status by claiming the champion’s trophy at season’s end.

To read more, visit Auto Racing Daily.

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media.

5 Questions After ... Air Guard 400

Chase field: Set. Points: Reset. Bonus points: Distributed accordingly. The Chase field has been set, with Richmond being one final race for teams to get those oh-so-important bonus points and for bubble drivers to lock up their Chase berths. Richmond was tamer than most expected, but there were still several drivers in contention for the win and some good racing throughout.

Here are some questions on my mind following the race…

Why was the race so tame? … I felt like the racing was good but there wasn’t near as much drama and fender bending as many expected. So many drivers had nothing to lose and everything to gain by going for the victory on Saturday night, and several drivers did make a run at the win. However, the race was only slowed by three caution flags, including a lengthy yellow for rain, and no one really left the racetrack angry with each other. Denny Hamlin won, the Chase field was set, and everyone smiled, took their pictures, and went home. Definitely not what most were expecting. Speaking of Hamlin…

Are the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Jimmie Johnson’s biggest threat for the championship? … I know one race won’t determine what happens in the Chase, but JGR drivers Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have been strong through the whole season and have recently picked up the pace. With the exception of one or two others, I can’t think of anyone more prepared to make a run at the title than the JGR duo.

What did we learn about Kyle Busch on Saturday night? … Nothing we didn’t already know, but Busch coming on the scanner with a few laps remaining saying he used up his tires made me think. While it’s not unusual for a driver going for the win at the end of the race to use up his stuff, I’ve always wondered if that was Busch’s biggest problem. I remember Hamlin said after a win earlier this season that sometime last year he “learned how to win.” Basically, he learned how to race at what point in the race, how aggressive to be and when, and how to pace himself. Busch wants to lead every lap of every race. While I would love to say we need more drivers like that, that’s not always the best way to win the race or a championship. I personally love that about Busch, but I feel like he could have won that race on Saturday night had he done it right. I’m not a driver and I won’t pretend to be, but I’ve heard several drivers say the same thing. I just wonder if there’s some way for there to be a happy medium. While on the subject of JGR…

What did Saturday night mean for Joey Logano? … There’s no denying the 20-year-old phenom has talent, experiencing instant success in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. However, I’d recently developed some second thoughts on how successful he’d ever be in Cup, expecting him to have performed much better than he has at this time in the season. Then, on Saturday night in the final stretch of the race Logano was running times similar to and sometimes faster than the leaders. He ended up finishing fourth, putting all three JGR cars in the top five. So, is Logano for real or not?

Is Jimmie Johnson really in a slump? … Johnson finished third at Richmond, and that means what? It means nothing. He’s Jimmie Johnson, four time and defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. Of course he finished third. He finished third the week before at Atlanta. He probably would have finished in the top three at Bristol had Juan Pablo Montoya not gotten a little overzealous. Yes, he certainly did go through a slump a few weeks prior but there are plenty of drivers who would love to have a Jimmie Johnson slump. But that slump is now clearly over.

Bonus questions: Who cut Jimmie Johnson’s “cape”? … Is Marcos Ambrose kicking himself after that slip-up on Saturday night? … Who all is in favor of having Busch wear the “kittens, bunnies, and little baby seals” firesuit every single weekend?

Photo courtesy of NASCAR Media. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Chase drivers embark on media tour

It's a busy week ahead for the 12 drivers in the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup. With the Chase field now set, the drivers will be making the rounds on the talk show circuit in New York City.

They've been known to pop up on "Regis and Kelly" (remember the multiple pie-throwing attempts to set a new Guiness World Record?), help David Letterman with his famous "Top 10 List" and play games with Jimmy Fallon.

A media day has been set for Manhattan's London Hotel on Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. During the event, pre-Chase interviews will be conducted with top seed Denny Hamlin, reigning Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edward, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer.

To make sure you don't miss your favorite driver, check back with Skirts and Scuffs. We will compile the TV appearances for the 12 Chase drivers once they have been announced.

Finalists for Most Popular Driver Announced

logo Minneapolis, Minn. (September 13, 2010) - Just like drivers trying to get into the chase for the championship, racing fans took it down to the wire to get their favorites in as finalists for the NASCAR® National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hamburger Helper® Most Popular Driver Award. Voting for the full field of drivers is now over and the top 10 vote-getters move on to the "playoff" round of voting.

The 10 finalists are, in alphabetical order: Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart.

In conjunction with the top-10 announcement, the campaign also announces the "Hamburger Helper Most Passionate Fan Contest." The winner will receive a trip for two to Las Vegas and the opportunity to help present the NMPA Hamburger Helper Most Popular Driver Award to the winning driver at the end of the season in December.

To enter, fans must submit a 15- to 30-second video by October 20 on, demonstrating why they are Helpers' number-one fan. The top five submissions will be posted on the website on October 25, where fans will vote to choose the winner. Submissions will be judged on passion for the Hamburger Helper brand, originality and creativity, and clarity.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mark Martin: 784 and Counting

As of the end of this season, Mark Martin will have had 794 career Cup starts. Through the first 26 races of the 2010 season, Martin has had 40 race wins, 259 top five finishes, and 420 top tens. Mark has finished in the top ten for Season Cup Points in more than 60% of his years in NASCAR Cup Racing, including 12 consecutive seasons from 1989 through the 2000 season. The 2011 season will be Mark Martin's 29th season in Cup Series Racing.

Mark says he will compete in NASCAR at least through the 2012 season. With his contract at Hendrick Motorsports expiring after the 2011 season it is unclear what team Martin will race for in 2012. Martin refuses to talk about retirement; he tried it on a part-time basis in 2007 and 2008, didn't like it, then returned in 2009 to full-time racing for his fifth runner-up season finish. Martin has brought up the idea of driving in a situation similar to Tony Stewart driving for a team for which he holds 50% team ownership. It would not be the first time Martin drove a car he owned; he drove his own car for the five races he particpated in for the 1981 season, and as partial owner in six races over the 1982 and 1983 seasons.

Racing in the upper level series since 1981 Martin has seen racing change through four decades. He has raced against the best of the best - Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, Dale Earhnhardt, Cale Yarborough and many, many others. He has seen safety develop from minimal safety requirements to today when the cars are safer than they have ever been. With everything that Martin has seen change, one thing remains the same; Mark has finished in the runner-up spot in the Championship five times but has never brought home the top spot.

What does Mark Martin have to do to bring home a Championship? After his second place finish in the 2009 season it was expected that Martin would have a strong showing this year and be a strong contender for the Championship. After the Chase cutoff at Richmond, Mark finds himself outside the Chase looking in. Next year will be Martin's last year with Hendrick Motorsports. With all that Mark feels Rick Hendrick has given him over the past two seasons it is surely important to Mark that he finish strong in his third and final year with Hendrick Motorsports.

Since 1988 Martin has only finished outside the top 12 four other times. In the next year after each of those times Mark came back to finish in the top five for the season, including two of his runner-up finishes. Based on past performance, next year should be a good year for Martin's team. It could even be the year that Mark finally brings home the Championship. If not 2011, he still has 2012 to try again. If not 2012, I don't think anyone would be surprised to see Martin stay through a couple more seasons. Determination is not a trait that Mark lacks.

Amy McHargue
*The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and may not reflect those of this site or its other contributors