Thursday, May 31, 2012

Autograph Session for Select Fans with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers

Including Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

HAMPTON, Ga. (May 31, 2012) – As part of the AdvoCare 500 weekend, Atlanta Motor Speedway is providing fans the opportunity to gain access to an autograph session with four premier NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 1.

Fans purchasing tickets to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 by July 8 will be entered to be selected to attend the autograph session with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard. The autograph session will be held at the speedway on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 11:00 a.m.

By random draw, 100 accounts will be selected during the week of July 9. Those selected will be allowed to bring one guest to the autograph session. Those that have already purchased AdvoCare 500 tickets are automatically eligible for selection.

NASCAR night racing returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2012. Reserve your AdvoCare 500 ticket now. For more information, call the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211 or visit

FedEx, Denny Hamlin to have strong presence at Dover International Speedway for June 1-3, 2012 race weekend

No. 11 FedEx Toyota will feature special paint scheme in support of Autism Speaks

DOVER, Del. – For the second straight year, Dover International Speedway, FedEx Corp. and Autism Speaks have teamed up for the spring race weekend at the Monster Mile to bring fans the June 3 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Denny Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 FedEx Toyota, will also show his support throughout the weekend.

When Hamlin takes to the track for Sunday’s big race, fans will be treated to a specially designed paint scheme just for the Monster Mile that shows support for Autism Speaks. This will be the second straight year Hamlin has run a special paint scheme for Autism Speaks at Dover, and just another component in the now six-year partnership between Autism Speaks and the track.

Also, the first 11,000 fans through the gate at the FedEx 400 will receive a mini-diecast No. 11 car that also serves as a FedEx Office coupon.

Hamlin will be on hand representing FedEx and Autism Speaks the night before his race during the pep rally for the NASCAR Unites Track Walk and Sunoco Free Fuel 5K Run, set to take place immediately after the Saturday, June 2 “5-hour ENERGY 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race. The driver will help rally the walk from the SPEED stage in the FanZone before the event begins.

Outside of the track during race weekend, fans will notice a new addition to the Monster Monument in Victory Plaza, presented by AAA. For race weekend, the Monster will be holding a giant FedEx delivery box under his left arm, adding a unique new photo opportunity for fans on-site.

Tickets are still on sale for the June 3 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the June 2 “5-hour ENERGY 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the June 1 “Lucas Oil 200” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 800-441-RACE or visit You can also keep up with the Monster Mile at or on Twitter at @MonsterMile.

Vanilla Ice to pace field at Pocono Raceway

Long Pond, PA (May 31, 2012) ― Vanilla Ice will be the Honorary Pace Car Driver for the June 10, 2012 Pocono 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Vanilla Ice, whose 1991 hit "Ice Ice Baby" was the first rap single to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, will soon be seen in the upcoming Sony Pictures release, "That’s My Boy," in theaters June 15.

Before assuming his driving duties in the 2012 Camaro SS "Official Pace Car," Vanilla Ice will make an appearance at The Tricky Triangle Club, tour the team haulers and attend the driver’s meeting prior to the race.

He will also do a pre-race parade lap in his Mustang 5.0 (that he drove in the movie) with race fans, who can bid on the ride now through Thursday, June 7 as part of the online auction component of the inaugural Pocono Celebrity Charity Poker Showdown. The poker tournament, which takes place at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Thursday, June 7, benefits The NASCAR Foundation and The Armed Forces Foundation and will feature race fans playing alongside NASCAR drivers and celebrities.  For more information on the poker tournament or to bid on the ride with Vanilla Ice, please visit NASCAR.COM/Unites.

"That’s My Boy," starring Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg, is scheduled for a June 15th release. While still in his teens, Donny (Sandler) fathered a son, Todd (Samberg), and raised him as a single parent up until Todd’s 18th birthday. Now, after not seeing each other for years, Todd’s world comes crashing down on the eve of his wedding when an uninvited Donny suddenly shows up. Trying desperately to reconnect with his son, Donny is now forced to deal with the repercussions of his bad parenting skills. That’s My Boy is directed by Sean Anders, produced by Adam Sandler, Jack Giarraputo, Heather Parry and Allen Covert, and written by David Caspe.. For additional movie information, please visit

The Pocono 400 begins at 1 p.m. ET on June 10 with pre-race activities beginning at 11 a.m. Tickets are still available for the Pocono 400 online at or by phone at 1-800-RACEWAY. If you can’t make it to the race, be sure to tune in to all the action at the Tricky Triangle beginning at 1 p.m. ET on TNT.

- Release courtesy of Pocono Raceway

Dick Berggren says farewell at Dover

(2008) Steve Dykes/NASCAR
"It's over at Dover."

Those words always echo in my head to remember when the last race for NASCAR on FOX is and the channel surfing begins. This year the saying means so much more as we bid farewell to a beloved member of the NASCAR family.

After a 12-year career with FOX and 31 years in NASCAR, Dr. Dick Berggren is retiring from his job as a pit reporter at the spry young age of 70.

“After the FOX portion of the year ends, I’ve always traveled to local tracks where I still enjoy sitting in the stands with a hot dog in one hand and a beer in the other, watching the local heroes,” Berggren said. “I can’t get enough of local-level racing so I’ll do more of that now.”

Berggren will continue to contribute columns and stories to Speedway Illustrated, the racing magazine he founded. Besides the magazine, Berggren has a much larger task at hand: creating an auto racing museum at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to honor racing in the Northeast.

“There is no museum of Northeast auto racing open to the public in general and which displays the area’s racing history,” Berggren said. “The Northeast has a rich racing history that deserves to be saved and displayed. We’re fund raising and accumulating things to display. Getting the museum up and running is a big job and it’ll take a lot of my time.”
Credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs

Looking back

Berggren himself was a racer, launching his own racing career in 1967. He raced everything ranging from
SuperModifieds to Modifieds and even stock cars and sprint cars. Berggren hung up his helmet after a frightening accident at Boone Speedway when his car climbed the dirt bank, causing over 200 people to scatter to avoid being hit.

“In one of my heats, I got turned at the end of the backstretch — the highest-speed part of the track,” Berggren explained. “So many people were in the pits, they had overflowed to an area that wasn’t separated from the racing surface by anything other than a dirt bank. When I got turned, that’s where the car headed. I tried to head hard left, kept my leg in it hoping the car would straighten out and go back down the track. It didn't.

“I hit that dirt bank and saw hundreds of people scatter as I headed for them,” he continued. “I’m not a religious person, but in the car that night, I said a prayer as the car hit the dirt bank. ‘God, if you get me through this without hurting anyone, I won’t do this anymore.’ I closed my eyes, hit the bank, flew through the air and crashed into the pits. As soon as the car stopped, a guy stuck his head in the window and asked if I was OK. With my eyes still closed, I asked how many people were under the car. ‘You didn’t hit anyone,’ he said. I climbed out and that was it. You don’t go back on a promise like that. It’s hard because I’ve been offered rides in cars I dearly would like to race. But I won’t.”

His television career began back in 1981 working as an analyst and pit reporter for ESPN. From 1994-2001 Berggren called CBS Sports his home.

Berggren during his final race on FOX.
Credit: Beth Bence Reinle/Skirts and Scuffs
Joining FOX in their inaugural season, Berggren has been an integral member to the FOX Sports family. Whether it was his interviews or the joking from his colleagues, "Dick Berggren is so old ..." Berggren has always been in the midst of the action.

“Life will be different without FOX,” Berggren stated. “I’m very proud of having been part of the NASCAR on FOX broadcasts from the beginning. I’m dreading the 2013 Daytona 500 because I won’t be there on pit road as part of that team. That will be hard, but nothing is forever and I understand that. I’m looking forward to walking into the museum on the day it opens. That’s a whole new challenge and one I fully expect to conquer. But it’s time to move on. I’m ready. However, it would be nice to pick up a few TV things here and there. I’d really like that.

As FOX bids farewell this week, it is not just a goodbye until next year, but a more permanent goodbye to Dr. Dick. On behalf of the Skirts and Scuffs team, we wish you well in your retirement, Dr. Berggren. 

Turner Motorsports' Brazilian Drivers Nelson Piquet Jr. and Miguel Paludo to run Nationwide Series Race at Road America

Paludo to make NNS Debut in Fourth Turner Entry in First Road Course Race of 2012
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 31, 2012) - Turner Motorsports announced today it will field four NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) entries in the upcoming race at Road America. Brazilian drivers Nelson Piquet Jr. and Miguel Paludo will join full-time NNS championship competitor Justin Allgaier (No. 31) and No. 38 driver Brad Sweet in the June 23rd race at the 4.048-mile road course in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

Paludo, who is slated to drive the No. 32 Chevrolet Impala, will be making his first career NNS start. A two-time champion in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Brasil, Paludo has extensive road racing experience, but has only made one start on a NASCAR road course circuit (Lime Rock Park in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he started and finished ninth). Paludo has made 34 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), with three top-fives, 10 top-10's and a best finish of third (Michigan International Speedway, August 2011). Paludo also made history earlier this season at Daytona International Speedway by becoming the first Brazilian driver to win a pole in one of NASCAR's top-three series.

"I'm very excited to be making my first NASCAR Nationwide Series start, especially at Road America," said Paludo. "It'ssuch a unique track with so many elevation changes and a very long, fast frontstretch. Our team tested at Virginia International Raceway this week and it was my very first time in a Nationwide Series car. We have such a solid team that I know we'll be going into the race really prepared. Last year, the No. 32 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet went to victory lane in that race, and I'm hoping that we can make it two years in a row."

Piquet Jr., scheduled to pilot the No. 30 Chevrolet Impala, has two previous career NNS starts. Hailing from the road course circuits of Formula 1, Piquet Jr. made his NNS debut at Watkins Glen International in 2010, earning a seventh-place finish, his best NNS finish to date. Piquet Jr.'s 35 NCWTS starts have resulted in one pole, seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. The 26-year-old Brazilian earned his first NASCAR victory earlier this season when he took the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

"I'm really looking forward to making my first Nationwide Series start of the season," Piquet Jr. stated. "I earned a top-10 in my very first Nationwide Series start, my first start on a road course in NASCAR, and I've grown a lot as a driver in the two years since then. The two tracks are quite different, but I spent a lot of my career on road courses before coming to NASCAR. The Turner Motorsports cars have been performing extremely well in the Nationwide Series this year, getting a win already in Daytona, so my expectation is that we can bring home a victory."

The Sargento 200 is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 23rd and will air live on ESPN at 3:00 PM ET. Piquet Jr. is guaranteed a starting spot in the field by virtue of the No. 30's full-time NNS status, while Paludo will have to qualify the No. 32 into the race on time because it has not accrued any owner points in 2012.

- Courtesy of Turner Motorsports

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: The Monster Mile

Track Classification: Short Track
Similar Tracks: Bristol Raceway •  Martinsville Speedway 
Phoenix International Raceway •  Richmond International Raceway
Distance: 1 Mile

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 5 - Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards
Greg Biffle - 4
All with 3 - Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jr., Jimmie Johnson, and Mark Martin

By Track
All with 7 - Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, and Carl Edwards
Kyle Busch - 5
All with 4 - Jeff Burton, Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick

Recent Pole Winners:  
2011 Rained out
2010 Martin Truex, Jr.

The Likely Suspects: Just as is the case for restrictor-plate racing there are drivers who simply excel at short tracks, and then there is a pedigree that is simply awesome at Dover International Speedway.  These elite drivers include: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Mark Martin and Kyle Busch. I'd also look for Jeff Burton and Ryan Newman to run well this week as well.

My 2 Cents: It is important to note that Hendrick Motorsports has 13 Sprint Cup wins at Dover. So my no-brainer pick this week is Jimmie Johnson. I'll pair him up with Matt Kenseth. Carl Edwards is also a good pick, but Matt's record is just a tad better, so Matt gets the nod.

My next four drivers have definitely mastered the Monster Mile. They are: Greg Biffle, Jeff Burton, Mark Martin and Martin Truex Jr. Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer were very tempting, but I thought Martin and Truex had a stronger record overall. I topped off my team with Casey Mears and David Ragan. Since Dover is my home track maybe I'll see you there. Enjoy the race!

Post your comments here or email me at

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dale Earnhardt's daughter, Taylor, marries

Credit: Christian Oth Studios
Congratulations to Taylor Earnhardt, the daughter and youngest child of seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt. Her mother, Theresa, is the co-owner of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Taylor is the only child of Dale and Theresa Earnhardt. She was married on Saturday night at the family estate in Mooresville, North Carolina to Brandon Samuel Putnam.

Earnhardt, 23, is the only one of her famous siblings to not be involved in the family business of racing. Her half-brother Dale Jr. is a driver and owner, half-sister Kelley is president and co-owner of JR Motorsports and half-brother Kerry is a former driver as well as active in the career of son Jeffrey.

Taylor instead has sought a career as a professional rodeo competitor. Per the wedding announcement, she also "devotes herself to supporting the Dale Earnhardt Foundation, a charitable organization that is dedicated to children, education and wildlife preservation. She is also the Director of Equestrian Development for Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. She is currently studying in equine business, reproduction and training to use in her future endeavors."

Putnam, 25, is the owner of Hi Tech Inc., a grading and trucking company in Charlotte. He also competes on rodeo competitions and is an avid hunter. In the wedding announcement it states, "He is the son of Sam and Julie Putnam of Charlotte, North Carolina. His father Sam is a retired landscape and grading company owner and CEO, and his mother Julie is an accountant and financial manager for several grading and land care companies in Charlotte, North Carolina."

Taylor arrived at the ceremony in a horse drawn carriage, the horse a childhood gift from her father. Memories of Dale Sr. filled the air as the couple rode from the wedding ceremony to their reception, they rode in style in a 1946 cherry red pickup truck that was from Dale Earnhardt's Classic Car Collection.
Congratulations to the happy couple! 

Read more here:

5 Questions before Dover

I’m thrilled to bring you live coverage from the Monster Mile this weekend. There’s something about Dover International Speedway that stirs my imagination. Maybe it’s the massive stone monument of Miles staring down at passing fans with his fierce red eyes. Or perhaps it’s the Monster Bridge® reaching across the track, giving lucky fans a bird’s eye view of the race. Either way, gearing up for race weekend brings up lots of questions.

With a storm moving up the east coast, will we see showers at the concrete oval this weekend?
In 2011, both Sprint Cup races at Dover had iffy weather with at least one caution for rain. It was only a few laps each time – one caution for six laps in the spring race and two cautions for a total of ten laps in the fall race. But just the uncertainty of the possible precipitation plays tricks on a driver’s mind, almost like wondering if there’s a monster under the bed.

Is Dover becoming another “house of Jimmie?”
Jimmie Johnson won three of the last six races at DIS. For two of those wins, he started on the pole. Those wins were fairly dominant runs where he led the most laps, too - 298, 271 and 191 laps. Coming off his recent All-Star victory and 200th win for Hendrick Motorsports, Johnson may have the momentum to master the monster again.

Will either Carl Edwards or Jeff Burton hit a home run?
Edwards and Burton faced off as the team captains of the Dover vs. Pocono Celebrity Softball Game earlier this month. Edwards and team Dover started strong, with a 6-0 lead in the first few innings. But team Pocono reportedly resorted to tricky tactics, bringing in players from the local baseball team to pinch hit for them. In the end, team Pocono won the softball game by a score of 9-8. After his team’s loss, will Edwards want to settle the score with Burton? To date, each driver has one Cup win at the Monster Mile.

Will Miles the Monster take a bite out of any competitors this year?
For over 40 years, Dover International Speedway has hosted stock car races. The concrete surface with big time banking has a reputation for being brutal on equipment such as brakes and tires, making single car spins and wall contact commonplace. It’s not Talladega, but sometimes there are big wrecks, like in the fall 2009 race where six wrecks damaged 15 cars. One thing is for sure: there will be fast, close racing and unfortunately, someone will probably suffer a scratchy monster bite.

Will tire strategy play a role in who makes it to Victory Lane?
In last year’s spring race at Dover, Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards looked strong until a late caution changed everyone’s mindset. Some teams pitted for four tires, some for two and others just took a splash of fuel. Strangely enough, although Johnson and Edwards took four, Matt Kenseth gambled on a two-tire stop and ended up winning the race. Why didn’t the guys with four fresh tires pilot to the front and pass those with only two? Hard to say. Miles probably knows, but he isn’t talking.

Coming to Dover this weekend? Check out these cool videos called the Monster Mile Crash Course. They explain everything you need to know to prepare for your race experience. 

John King sidelined after Daytona victory

Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
John King became the face of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2012 after winning the season-opening race at Daytona. Now the rookie's team at Red Horse Racing has suspended its operations.

"Due to lack of sponsorship funding, the No. 7 will be cutting back its program until further notice," a team release said Tuesday. Red Horse Racing will continue to operate the No. 17 team for Timothy Peters, who sits second in points, and the No. 11 of Todd Bodine, ninth in the points. At the time of the suspension of operations, King was 13th in the points.

How can a team shut down operations after winning the Daytona race and the ensuing media attention?

Money, or lack thereof, is the first answer, but the other is consistent performance on track. Since the win at Daytona, King has finished 9th (Martinsville), 33rd (Rockingham), 13th (Kansas) and again 33rd at Charlotte. In five races he has an average start of 23rd and an average finish of 17th, as well as two DNFs.

After winning Daytona, King became the newest media sensation for winning the NextEra Energy 250 in his debut with Red Horse Racing. As he told me just days after that win, "I am focused and just the support we have from TRD and Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing engines, it's a fairy tale deal. Got a great crew chief (Chad Kendrick) and I cannot wait to see what transpires over this year."

Competing for the Rookie of the Year title, King remains hopeful for a return but that all hinges upon sponsorship. Coincidentally it was teammate Todd Bodine who earlier in the year had an agreement to run with Red Horse but needed sponsorship to continue; now the shoe is on the other foot.

Does this mean King's NASCAR career is over? Not at all. Many drivers have had this happen to them in the beginning of their careers. Only the strong and determined will succeed in such a tough business - John King will be back.

Ty Dillon to Make NASCAR Nationwide Series Debut at Dover International Speedway

South Point Hotel & Casino to Sponsor No. 33 Chevrolet

WELCOME, N.C. (May 29, 2012) - Ty Dillon, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular and 2011 ARCA Racing Series champion, will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut with Richard Childress Racing in the No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet in the June 2 Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway.

"Ty has shown a lot of progress so far this season in the Camping World Truck Series and he's definitely earned the opportunity to make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut. He'll be in very good hands with Ernie Cope (crew chief) and the No. 33 Chevrolet team," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "South Point Hotel & Casino has quickly become a great partner with RCR and we appreciate their decision to expand their overall program with backing Ty in this once-in-a-career opportunity."

Dillon, 20, is currently in his first full season of Camping World Truck Series competition for RCR. Contending for the honor of 2012 Sunoco Rookie of the Year title, Dillon has earned one top-five, five top-10 finishes and one pole award in five Truck Series starts this season. Prior to joining in Camping World Truck Series, Dillon was crowned the 2011 ARCA Racing Series champion, the first rookie and youngest driver to do so in the series' 59-year history. En route to the championship, Dillon acquired seven wins, seven pole awards, 13 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.

"I'm very excited to get my first start in the Nationwide Series at Dover in the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet," said Ty Dillon. "It's going to be a lot of fun running with my brother Austin (Dillon) and Elliott (Sadler). The RCR Nationwide Series teams have done a great job so far this season, and I know I'll learn a lot from them. The No. 33 team and Ernie Cope(crew chief) have built a great team, and I'm honored to be able to work with them this weekend."

Located in the heart of the premiere southwest Las Vegas valley, minutes away from the famous Las Vegas Strip, South Point Hotel & Casino amenities include a 16-screen century theatre movie complex, 64-lane bowling center and a handful of restaurants that cater to all appetites and tastes. The distinctive hotel features spacious rooms and suites with 42-inch LED televisions, Point Plush mattresses and wireless internet access throughout. A unique feature to this property is its Equestrian Center, which is the finest horse facility in the country. South Point also has a fabulous 400-seat showroom that features headliner entertainment and dancing to live bands on weekends.

South Point Hotel & Casino announced their partnership with RCR at the end of the 2011 season. The resort serves as the primary sponsor of the No. 2 Camping World Truck Series entry driven by Brendan Gaughan and shares a primary sponsorship role on the No. 33 Nationwide Series entry with drivers Gaughan, Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard and Max Papis.

For more information on today's announcement, and all that is happening at RCR, please visit

- Courtesy of Richard Childress Racing

New Fan-Friendly Events Added to Pocono 400 Schedule

Driver autograph session, driver Q&A’s and more

LONG POND, PA (May 30, 2012) – Pocono Raceway today announced new, fan-driven additions to the June 8-10 Pocono 400 race weekend schedule. These events include a NASCAR Driver Autograph Session with Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Regan Smith and Kurt Busch, and Question and Answer Sessions with drivers Carl Edwards and Martin Truex, Jr.

The NASCAR Driver Autograph Session is open to the first 200 fans, due to time constraints, and will take place inside Pocono Raceway’s Club Pocono (a.k.a. $100 Club), located in the Paddock Area on Saturday, June 9, from 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to get their hand stamped to attend this event featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Ku. Busch, Hamlin, Newman and Smith. Entry into the Pit/Paddock area requires a Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Pass, available for purchase for $50, and valid for the entire weekend with accompanying Grandstand ticket for each respective day fans intend to use the pass. (Note: Times and lineup subject to change without notice.)

The NASCAR Driver Question and Answers Sessions with Edwards and Truex Jr., which also require a Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Pass, will take place on the Thunderstage, located between Club Pocono (a.k.a. $100 Club) and the Cafeteria in our Paddock area. Edwards’ Q & A Session will be led by Miss Sprint Cup and will take place on Saturday, June 9, at 10:00 a.m. Truex, Jr.’s Q & A Session will be led by our President/CEO, Brandon Igdalsky, on Sunday, June 10, at 10:15 a.m. Additionally, live bands will play during pre-race times on Saturday and Sunday at our Thunderstage. (Note: Times and lineup subject to change without notice.)

Infield patrons will have access to the SPEED Stage, the truTV Lizard Lick Towing Concert Series Stage, and our newly-created Barley Creek Wiffle Ball Field. The SPEED stage will broadcast live, all weekend long, including their Trackside Live and RaceDay programs. Fans holding a Pre-Race Pit/Paddock pass can access the SPEED Stage on Sunday morning. The truTV Lizard Lick Towing Concert Series will host back-to-back bands on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 6:30 pm each night. The Barley Creek Wiffle Ball field will be open daily at 11 a.m., starting on Thursday, June 7, for fans to enjoy playing wiffle ball and select craft beers (for those 21 years of age or older) from the Tannersville, PA-based brewery.

Pocono Raceway’s Fan Fair area, located behind the Grandstands, is free for fans and will open daily at 8 a.m. Events include Kids’ Day on Saturday, June 9 (in our Chalet Village), the brand-new Kid’s Zone (located adjacent to the driver souvenir haulers) and our second-annual Fan Fare Scavenger Hunt. The Scavenger Hunt will be held on Sunday, June 10, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Flag Pole, located outside Fan Fair. It will be open to the first 50 teams of two individuals (100 people total), and will be solely-based on Twitter, meaning all participants much have access to a mobile device synced to their respective Twitter accounts the day of the TweetHunt. Displays attending the Pocono 400 race weekend include: Sprint, Chevrolet, Pepsi, New Holland, National Guard, Farmers Insurance, Banana Boat, truTV’s Lizard Lick Towing, UAW, Johnsonville with Budweiser, Fan Vision, StockCar Racing Experience, Popular Mechanics, the NASCAR Foundation, select driver souvenir haulers and much more!

Pocono Raceway also recently announced the first-ever Skate Race at Pocono Raceway Presented by Sector 9. This money-paying event will take place on Saturday, June 9, at approximately 4 p.m. and will include SPEED & TNT’s Ralph Sheheen, Miss Sprint Cup, a Sector 9 Team Rider and fans. For more information, visit

Fans can also see some of the favorite drivers by purchasing a Tricky Triangle Club pass on Sunday, June 10, which will give access to 15-minute Q & A Sessions featuring Jeff Burton, Kasey Kahne, Miss Sprint Cup, Newman and a celebrity (TBA), a Pre-Race Pit/Paddock Pass, lunch, pre-race food and beverages and more. Additionally, new driver-specific ticket packages for fans of Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Kahne are now available for purchase. Tricky Triangle Club passes, which must be accompanied by a Sunday Grandstand ticket, and driver-specific ticket packages can be purchased by or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY (722-3929).

- Courtesy of Pocono Raceway

Wendell Scott – Deserving of a NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction simply based on talent and tenacity

Wendell Scott & Sons/Photo Credit: Motor Sports Images and Archives (NASCAR Media)
“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” – Jesse Owens

Determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort are definitely four words that would describe this one man – NASCAR Driver & Trailblazer Wendell Oliver Scott.   

The NASCAR Hall of Fame 2013 Class was officially voted on and announced to the public on May 23, 2012. First and foremost, I would like to congratulate Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood for their upcoming inductions on February 8, 2013.

Since the announcement about the individuals who made into the NASCAR Hall of Fame class, there has been a lot of debate on whether Wendell Scott should have made the cutoff this time. Although the committee didn’t vote to place him into the Hall of Fame this time around, the NASCAR fans voted for just the opposite, making him their third choice to be voted in preceded by Benny Parsons and Fireball Roberts.

Here is my opinion on this subject:

Wendell Scott more than deserves to be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame soon. It’s not solely about his ethnic background, as some would allude to, but what he gave on the track during the era in which he competed. Despite the racial tensions and lack of top-of-the-line equipment, Scott put his entire heart and soul into being a racer. 

From 1961 through 1973, here is some statistical highlights about Scott’s accomplishments in 495 races – one win, one pole, 20 top 5s and 147 top 10s with total winnings of $182,381.  Prior to his Grand National (now Sprint Cup) career, Scott ran in the Dixie Circuit – won 128 times in the amateur/modified sportsman divisions.  Also, in his car affectionately known as “Old Rusty” he grabbed 22 wins along with winning both the VA State Sportsman and Southside Speedway Championships in 1959.

Wendell Scott/Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Other Achievements/Acknowledgements include:
  • 1963 – First and only African American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup event  
  • 1977 – Richard Pryor starred in “Greased Lightning” – moved based on Scott’s life
  • 1999 – Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame
  • 2000 – Inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame
  • 2009 – Inducted into the Racer’s Reunion Memory Hall of Fame
In the 4-disc DVD package entitled: “American Stock: The Golden Era of NASCAR, 1936-1971,” Wendell Scott was featured on disc No. 4 along with Curtis Turner. Some of NASCAR's greats admired his tenacity and had awesome things to say about this history-making driver.  Seven-time Cup champion Richard “The King” Petty had this to say: “Timing was against him but he came in and did something that nobody else had ever done.  Two-time Cup champion “Gentleman Ned Jarrett” said this: “He probably did more with less than any driver that I’ve ever seen in the sport.”

NMPA Hall of Famer Tom Higgins, former columnist for The Charlotte Observer (1964-97), talked about witnessing Scott having a problem with his left front suspension during a race, how he went to pit road to assess the problem, got out of the car, made repairs for approximately an hour and then headed back into the remainder of the race to finish. “I was covering the pits that day, I was back there watching this and it was touching.  It was tremendous drama playing out and no one was watching it.”

With all of the obstacles that Scott had to face, outside of dealing with the prejudices during that era, such as less than stellar equipment and lack of sponsorships – he is more than well deserving of being placed in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. 

In closing, I will leave you with this quote from Wendell Scott: “Would we rather have had a yellow-brick road? ... It would have been nice not to struggle so hard. But we probably appreciate it more than if we had come up without obstacles. You can't lean toward the negative. We don't overlook it, but we just like to draw from the positive.” (Richmond-Times Dispatch)

*The writer solely expresses all opinions.

Unique Hiram is an Associate Editor/Contributing Writer/Media Rep for Skirts and Scuffs. Additionally, she is also the author of "Fast Lane Poetry" which was published April 2011. Unique can be contacted via email or through Twitter.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dale Jr. is leading at Hendrick, but where's the win?

In the four years Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been driving at Hendrick Motorsports, he's won one points race. That was four years ago on Father's Day in Michigan. It was 15 weeks after the start of his first season at HMS.

His other wins for the powerhouse team are a Gatorade Duel, a Bud Shootout and then the Showdown last week. He needed that Showdown win to get him in to the All-Star Race without the help of the fan vote, of which he was virtually assured. After making the All-Star Race, he won a segment.

He's also won the Most Popular Driver award for nine consecutive seasons. It's obvious Junior Nation will stand by their man, win or lose.

Let's give credit where credit is due: he's the strongest at HMS right now. Earnhardt Jr. boasts nine top 10s in the first 12 races of the season. He's never fallen out of the top 5 in points, reaching as high as second and currently sitting in fourth, 18 points behind leader Greg Biffle.

This has been Earnhardt Jr.'s best season to date as a Hendrick driver. He is leading the team in points, but the question is, how long will that last?

We should all know by now, making it to the top is hard. But holding on to the top is even harder. Earnhardt Jr. is about to face some difficult tracks in the upcoming summer stretch of races, such as the road courses. The Sprint Cup Series prepares to head to Dover and Pocono, tracks not among Earnhardt's best. In 2008, his first year with Hendrick, he had very similar stats; in fact, he had one more top five by this point in that season, yet he wound up 12th in points.

Sure, the remaining Hendrick drivers have had a rough start to the season. Jeff Gordon's luck hasn't been this bad since the start of his career 20 years ago. Jimmie Johnson was under the microscope the first few weeks of the season because of the C-posts conflict in Daytona, and Kasey Kahne struggled with poor finishes at the start of his first season with Hendrick.

Kahne finally won a race: in his 300th start, he won his third Coca-Cola 600. It took 12 starts with Hendrick to get that win, but he also made major improvements in a short amount of time. In six weeks, he went from 32nd in points to 15th. In his meek start to the season, he's won two poles. He's progressed while being under the spotlight, facing an immense amount of pressure from media and his naysayers.

Last Tuesday, Kahne and his boss, Rick Hendrick, attended the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony.Hendrick joked with Kahne and asked him if he was going to win the Coca-Cola 600. Kahne said he hoped so. But that wasn't good enough. Hendrick wanted him to come right out and say it.

Kasey Kahne with his PR representative before
winning Sunday's Coca-Cola 600.
Photo credit: Genevieve 
So, Kahne stepped outside of his usual soft-spoken ways and he said the words, "I will win the Coke 600."

It's not Kahne's style to talk the talk. "Yeah, I don't say too much. I'd rather just try to perform when it's time."

Sure, they were joking around. Merely saying something like you will win does not guarantee the win. But it sure is fun to be a little superstitious.

All sports fans are superstitious, so, the question really is, should we have Dale Earnhardt Jr. come right out and say, in "Jerry McGuire" style, "I am going to win (Dover)!"

Would prodding a guarantee work on Dale Jr.? Should Hendrick put the driver of the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet under the same pressure he put Kahne? Or would doing so be a bad idea?

What did Hendrick have to say about that tactic? "When I was kidding with Kasey at the grand opening, I mean, I've never demanded anybody to win a race because it doesn't work that way."

True, it doesn't work that way, but Hendrick also stated, "I'm a big Churchill fan. His comments were, 'Sometimes your best isn't good enough, you have to do what's required.'"

Earnhardt Jr. is doing his best; he always does. He doesn't lose because he wants to, and he knows his fans are still supportive of him and are all waiting for the win. But unfortunately, his best hasn't been enough to win a race.

Hendrick also said, "I had a coach pull that on Chad [Knaus] one day. Chad got up and said he was going to try to win the championship. The coach said, from Appalachian, 'Sometimes your best isn't good enough.'"

They'll joke around with that statement loosely. "We kind of kid around with that. We were having a good time at the grand opening. I did have a gut feeling about how I've seen him win over here, late at night in the All-Star Race, finding that groove, and listening to Kenny tonight make the adjustments. He wasn't afraid when he's running first to make another adjustment, kept getting the car better and better and better." said Hendrick.

Hendrick then looked at Kahne and said, with laughter, "Now you got to win Dover."

Kahne replied, "OK."

How about telling Earnhardt Jr. he has to win Dover? We all praise Earnhardt Jr. for trying hard, and we're all patient with waiting for him to win. What does Hendrick say about putting Earnhardt Jr. under the same pressure he put Kahne under?

"Dale is doing a great job. He's running in the top 10 every week. He might have a couple times he slips out. But he's in position to take advantage of an adjustment here or there, a break here or there, he's going to win a race. He's up in the top of the points. Been a huge improvement, he and Stevie, just getting better. I think the win will come," Hendrick said.

"But it's hard. You got a lot of great guys out there that haven't won races this year that are champions. Dale is just under more of a microscope. But I'd say, look at the way he's finishing, the way he's running, and compare it to what we've been doing. You have to get to the place we are now before you win races. So I think he's right there."

It's great to start the season off strong, but it's even better to finish the season strong. Will Dale Jr. do it in the end?

On a personal note:

As you just read, the story idea was to discuss having Dale Jr. say out loud "I will win the next race," just like Kahne said. In the victory press conference I posed the question to Rick Hendrick with the intent of getting his input on how well that tactic would work. The question didn't come out exactly the way I meant it. I never intended to offend anyone.

For the record I believe Junior has the potential to win more than one race a season. I also believe he has the talent to win a championship. I just seriously question when that's going to happen and what it's going to take to get him there.

Genevieve is a writer with a day job in childcare. She has a degree in  paralegal studies and she minored in mass communications. When not writing about NASCAR, she explores other writing projects. Gen's hobbies include exercising, swimming and spending time with friends near her home in Charlotte, North Carolina.

You can follow her on Twitter at @C_Genevieve.

Fast Facts: Chip Ganassi Racing and Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing

Jamie McMurray, Chip Ganassi and Dario Franchitti following
the 2010 Indy 500.
Credit: IndyCar Media/Dana Garrett
In baseball, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are the “super teams;” in football, it’s the New England Patriots. In auto racing, there are a number of “super teams” – teams like Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Andretti Autosport – but only a few cross the lines into multiple series. One such team owner who has had great success in NASCAR, IndyCar and sports car racing is Chip Ganassi, the owner of the team that won the 2012 Indianapolis 500 with Dario Franchitti on Sunday, May 27. Here are a few fast facts about his auto racing “super teams.”
  • Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is the official name of the IndyCar and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series team owned in part by Ganassi. In the IZOD IndyCar Series, the team owns the cars of Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target), Dario Franchitti (No. 50 Target), Graham Rahal (No. 38 Service Central) and Charlie Kimball (No. 83 Novo Nordisk). In the GRAND-AM Rolex Series, the team owns the No. 01 of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas.
  • In NASCAR, Ganassi is part owner of Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, fielding Chevrolets for Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/McDonalds/Belkin/Banana Boat/Liftmaster/Allstate) and Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target).
  • In 2010, Ganassi became the first team owner to win the Daytona 500, Indy 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year, as McMurray won both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 and Franchitti won the Indy 500. With his team’s win at the 24 Hours of Daytona in February 2011, Ganassi became the first team owner to win all four races in a 12-month time frame.
  • As an owner, Ganassi began in the CART/Champ Car Series in 1990. His teams won four Champ Car titles from 1996 to 1999, and IndyCar titles in 2003 and from 2008 to 2011. He has been the Indy 500-winning team owner four times: in 2000 with Montoya, in 2008 with Dixon and in 2010 and 2012 with Franchitti. Ganassi qualified for the Indy 500 five times as a driver (1982 to 1986), with a best finish of eighth in 1983.
  • For more information on Ganassi’s teams, visit – the arrows at the top of the webpage allow fans to visit all the team sites in IndyCar, NASCAR and the GRAND-AM Rolex Series.

Two NASCAR Nationwide Series Teams Penalized For Infractions At Charlotte Motor Speedway

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 29, 2012) – NASCAR has penalized two NASCAR Nationwide Series teams for rules infractions that were committed last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The No. 41 car was found to be in violation of Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-12.8.1(B) (body height requirements – car failed to meet the minimum front car heights) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book.

As a result, crew chief George Church has been fined $10,000 while owner Rick Ware and driver Timmy Hill have been penalized with the loss of six championship owner and six championship driver points, respectively. The violation was discovered during post-race inspection May 26.

Philippe Lopez, crew chief for the No. 43 car, and Michael Wright, car chief for the No. 43 car, have been penalized for rules infractions discovered during opening day inspection May 24. Lopez has been fined $10,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Wright has also been placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31

The No. 43 car rules violations referred to Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules detailed in Section 20-A of the rule book); 20A-2.1E (streamlining of the contours of the car, beyond what is approved by the series director will not be permitted. Installation of air directional devices, underpans, baffles, shields or the like beneath the car or the car’s hood and fender area, front firewall, floor, rear firewall area, rear deck and quarter panel will not be permitted. If, in the judgment of NASCAR officials, any part or component of the car not previously approved by NASCAR has been installed or modified to enhance aerodynamic performance, will not be permitted. All cars must remain standard in appearance); 20A-3.10A (front upper bumper cover must be from the respective OEM manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. The front lower bumper cover and rear bumper cover must be from an approved manufacturer and must be approved by NASCAR. Once approved, the front lower bumper covers may be used on all approved models. NASCAR officials may use bumper covers provided by the respective manufacturer as a guide in determining whether a competitor’s bumper cover conforms to the specifications of the NASCAR rule book. Unless otherwise authorized by the series director, cutting and reshaping of bumper covers will not be permitted.)

Lack of Funding Forces Red Horse Racing to Suspend Operations on No. 7 Team

Rookie of the Year Contender Hopeful for Return

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 29, 2012) - Red Horse Racing announced today, the team will suspend operations of the No. 7 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team driven by rookie of the year contender, John King, effective immediately.

Due to lack of sponsorship funding, the No. 7 will be cutting back its program until further notice. The organization will continue to operate the No. 17 entry driven by Timothy Peters and the No. 11 entry driven by Todd Bodine.

- Courtesy of Red Horse Racing

Monday, May 28, 2012

In The Hunt with RCR: Charlotte

Two words sum up the RCR group's night at Charlotte Motor Speedway: Handling issues.

Continuing the theme song from weeks past, Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, and Jeff Burton fought loose conditions, tight conditions, and loose and tight conditions for much of the Coca-Cola 600. The trend of few cautions and green-flag pit stops poses challenges for the crew chiefs as they attempt to adjust the cars and not lose places on pit road. The same could be said of most teams, but for some reason the RCR cars seem to be plagued with handling issues from start to finish these days.

Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Budweiser Folds of Honor
Start - 14                    
Finish - 8                
Laps Led - 1            
Points Start -  8
Points Finish - 7

Harvick started in 14th but improved to 8th by Lap 120 and with a great pit stop by the No. 29 Budweiser Folds of Honor crew came out of the second caution in fifth place on Lap 138. Unfortunately that's the best Harvick could manage and while he stayed within sniffing distance of the lead the rest of the night, only led one lap under caution. Despite having a fast car, Harvick settled for an eighth-place finish and moved up one spot in the points.

"We had a solid night. We snuck up there in the top-five and got our bonus point for leading a lap. The pit crew was awesome and we were able to adjust our car. This isn't our strongest race track, but I feel like we have a solid package to build on," declared Harvick.

Paul Menard, No. 27 Serta/Menards
Start -  9           
Finish -  15         
Laps Led -  0       
Points Start -  14
Points Finish - 14

With a top 10 start, Paul Menard hoped to get the No. 27 Serta/Menards Chevy in the vicinity of Victory Lane but had just as many handling issues but not nearly as much luck. Good work in the pits kept Menard from losing multiple laps from major adjustments. Falling as low as 32nd at some points, by the end of the race Menard and crew clawed back to fifteenth. Tied with Ryan Newman for 13th in points, Menard shows as 14th since Newman has better finishes overall. 

"We definitely hit on the setup for the night race. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of ground getting there and with the long-green flag runs, never could get our lap back," Menard said. "The No. 27 Serta/Menards team never quit tonight. They threw everything they had into making adjustments on the car and the pit stops were on the mark. To say this was a hard-fought finish is an understatement, and I want to thank them for all of their hard work."
Harvick and Burton converse in the garage on Thursday.
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR

Jeff Burton, No. 31 Wheaties
Start -  22           
Finish -  19         
Laps Led - 0       
Points Start -  17 
Points Finish - 17

Jeff Burton's season hasn't been much to write home about but he and the No. 31 team keep digging, as they say. This week wearing the Wheaties sponsorship, Burton certainly could have used a Wheaties boost. The cars simply don't run well in race trim and crew chief Drew Blickensderfer spends an enormous amount of time trying to get the handling to Burton's liking. Sunday night a tire issue forced and unscheduled pit stop and the momentum that Burton worked so hard to create stalled. Had he not had the tire issue, perhaps he'd have gotten into the top 10, but  Burton settled for a gain of three positions on the night and no change in points. 

"I know the finish doesn't show it, but we made huge strides with our 1.5-mile program tonight. We had a top-15, maybe even top-10 race car at the end, but that tire issue pinned us down a couple laps, " Burton said. "While I am disappointed about the random issue, I am very proud of the No. 31 Wheaties crew. We are working hard and slowly getting where we need to be week-in and week-out."

Gibbs Garage: Hamlin and Busch bring home second and third in the Coca-Cola 600

Hamlin finishes second in NASCAR’s longest race
Credit: Christ Graythen/Getty Images
If NASCAR awarded ribbons instead of trophies at Charlotte, the JGR drivers would have a red one and a white one, two-thirds of our nation’s colors. The elusive blue ribbon went to sentimental favorite Kasey Kahne. Even Kahne’s competitors were pleased to see him get his first win for Hendrick Motorsports. Kyle Busch said in a post-race interview, “It's cool that Kasey was able to do a nice job for him (Rick Hendrick.) I wish Denny or I could have gotten the win. If there's anybody else to beat us, Kasey deserves it.”

After starting 8th, Denny Hamlin drove his socks off to bring home a runner-up finish for the second night in a row at Charlotte. Except for one drop to 16th, Hamlin stayed in the top ten all night and led twice for 13 laps.

During the fifth caution, Hamlin stayed out while the most of the leaders hit pit road. On the restart with about 75 to go, the top five were Hamlin, Earnhardt Jr. (who also stayed out), Biffle, Kyle Busch and Johnson. Hamlin held off the No. 88, but Kahne passed the No. 11 for the lead. After cycling through green flag stops, Hamlin gave it all he and his car had, but the No. 5 lengthened his lead bit by bit as the laps wound down. Hamlin described his run on Kahne: “Just used all my tires up trying to get to him -- I was driving with my eyes out and my hair on fire for 20 laps on that restart trying to catch him. He just had a superior car tonight.”

"Proud day for our FedEx team," Hamlin said. "Everything was executed great today, the pit calls, getting on and off pit road, the pit crew themselves. We had a very, very solid day."

Kyle Busch started midpack, hoping for his first win at Charlotte. He was happy with his M&Ms Red, White and Blue Toyota early on and moved up to 10th spot in the first 40 laps. The No. 18 pit crew executed fast green flag pit stops, gaining 6 spots on the first one and 3 spots on the second. track position from 12th to 6th and 6th to 3rd. “First three runs of the race, we kept picking it off on the racetrack and pit road,” Busch said. “We got all the way up to fourth with no help after starting 21st. Pretty good. Pretty good car and pit stops during the day. That was really a good effort for us.”

Other than a short drop to 6th late in the race, Busch ran strong in the top five the rest of the event, leading 55 laps. After getting the car a little too tight on one pit stop, it fell back from the leaders a little, but improved after the final stop.

“That last pit stop, the guys were on it. They put out a really good stop, got us all the way up to fourth, then I passed Biffle for third,” Busch said. “Overall, strong night, continues our running of good, strong finishes.”

Joey Logano rolled off 19th for the Coca-Cola 600, but fought a tight racecar from the get-go, dropping to 26th in the first 35 laps. The No. 20 crew made adjustments in attempts to keep up with track conditions, but Logano went a lap down and was never able to get it back.

“Early in the race, we just couldn’t get the handling right,” Logano said. “The car was too tight both center and exit and when that happens, you just lose a lot of time to all of the cars that can get the throttle down faster.”

Around the halfway mark, the car showed improvements and was better on long runs, but it wasn’t enough. After staying out in hopes of a late caution, Logano had to pit for tires and fuel, and finished 23rd.

Logano reflected on the night: “Once again, I felt like we had the car better and we got a better handle on it after the sun went down, but with these long green flag runs and going a couple of laps down early, you just don’t have the chance to get back on the lead lap. It was really a frustrating night because I love Charlotte and I’ve always run well here in the past.”

Points standings for the JGR drivers after Charlotte:
Denny Hamlin – 3rd (+1)
Kyle Busch – 8th (+1)
Joey Logano – 16th (-1)

Beth Bence Reinke writes "Gibbs Garage," Joe Gibbs Racing Sprint Cup team recaps, for the 2012 season. Her Skirts and Scuffs column, “Faith on the Frontstretch,” explores the role of faith in motorsports. Beth is the author of Race Fans’ Devotions to Go, a devotional book geared toward female NASCAR fans. Follow Beth on Twitter at @bbreinke or reach her at

NASCAR teams in all three series join together to support Autism Speaks for June 1-3, 2012 race weekend

David Gilliland to feature special Autism Speaks paint scheme on his No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford

DOVER, Del. – In what has become tradition at Dover International Speedway in the six years the track has partnered with Autism Speaks, drivers will again help create autism awareness during the June 1-3, 2012 race weekend by showing their support with a decal on their respective cars.

Drivers across all three series have stepped up to raise awareness for the cause during the Dover race weekend by featuring a decal of the Autism Speaks puzzle piece logo on their cars in all three of the June 1 “Lucas Oil 200” NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the June 2 “5-hour ENERGY 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the June 3 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

In addition, David Gilliland, driver of the No. 38 Ford for Front Row Motorsports, will feature a special Autism Speaks paint scheme on his car to show his support for the cause during Sunday’s race.

Altogether, 15 drivers from the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, 16 from the NASCAR Nationwide Series and 13 from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series are participating. They include:

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Brad Keselowski           No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
Marcos Ambrose           No. 9 Dewalt Ford
Tony Stewart                  No. 14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet
Greg Biffle                      No. 16 3M Ford
A.J. Allmendinger          No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge
Paul Menard                  No. 27 Paints/Menards Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick                 No. 29 Jimmy John’s Chevrolet
Jeff Burton                     No. 31 BB&T Chevrolet
David Ragan                No. 34 8-Hour Alert/MHP Ford Ford
David Gilliland              No. 28 Autism Speaks/Front Row Motorsports Ford
Ryan Newman             No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet
Aric Almirola                 No. 43 Jani-King/Smithfield Ford
Martin Truex Jr.             No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota
Regan Smith                No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet
Carl Edwards               No. 99 Subway Ford

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Elliott Sadler                       No. 2 OneMain Financial Chevrolet
Austin Dillon                       No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet
Danica Patrick                    No. 7 Chevrolet
Jeff Green                            No. 10 TriStar Motorsports Toyota
Eric McClure                       No. 14 Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Toyota
Tayler Malsam                   No. 19 G-oil Toyota
Parker Kligerman             No. 22 Discount Tire Dodge
Josh Wise                          No. 26 Morristown Drivers Service Chevy
James Buescher              No. 30 AccuDoc Solutions Chevrolet
Justin Allgaier                    No. 31 Brandt Chevy
Brendan Gaughan            No. 33 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet
Brad Sweet                         No. 38 Great Clips Chevy
Mike Bliss                            No. 44 TriStar Motorsports Toyota
Jeremy Clements             No. 51 Clements Race Engine Chevy
Jason Bowles                     No. 81 MacDonald Motorsports Toyota
Cole Whitt                           No. 88 Clean Coal Chevrolet

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Kevin Harvick                     No. 2 Kroger/Tide Chevrolet
Ty Dillon                              No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet
Paulie Harraka                  No. 5 Wauters Motorsports Ford
Ross Chastain                  No. 08 SS Green Light Racing Toyota
Ron Hornaday                   No. 9 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet
Joey Coulter                       No. 22 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Max Gresham                    No. 24 Made In USA Brand Chevrolet
Jeb Burton                          No. 27 Hillman Racing Chevrolet
Parker Kligerman             No. 29 Cooper Standard Dodge
Nelson Piquet Jr.              No. 30 QualComm Autotrack Chevrolet
James Buescher              No. 31 Chevrolet
Miguel Paludo                   No. 32 Duroline Brakes and Components Chevrolet
Cale Gale                           No. 33 Rheem Chevrolet

NASCAR returns to the Monster Mile on June 1-3, 2012. For more information or to purchase tickets, call             800-441-RACE       or visit You can also keep up with the Monster Mile at or on Twitter at @MonsterMile.