Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Expanded 2015 Sprint Unlimited Field

Expanded 2015 Sprint Unlimited Field to Feature
Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Drivers
Former Daytona 500 Pole Winners Also Added to Season-Opening Showcase at Daytona 
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (December 15, 2014) – Coming off an exciting 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup finale, NASCAR announced today all 16 Chase drivers will be eligible to compete in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The 75-lap, non-points race will once again kick off the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing season Saturday, Feb. 14 (FOX, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and will feature an expanded field of drivers based on new eligibility requirements.

A minimum of 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are eligible to participate in the Sprint Unlimited at DIS.  In addition to the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup participants, the field also will include 2014 Coors Light Pole Award winners, as well as former Sprint Unlimited race winners and Daytona 500 pole winners who competed in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full time in 2014. Any remaining spots will be filled by drivers highest in 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver championship points who are not already eligible.

“The 2015 Sprint Unlimited has potential to be one of the most competitive ever,” said NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O’Donnell. “With more drivers eligible, the intensity level increases for our fans and competitors, making for a compelling start to the 2015 season.”
 
The 2015 eligible participants include:


·         Kyle Busch (2014 pole winner)
·         Austin Dillon (2014 pole winner)
·         Jeff Gordon (2014 pole winner)
·         David Gilliland (2014 pole winner)
·         Denny Hamlin (2014 pole winner)
·         Kevin Harvick (2014 pole winner)
·         Jimmie Johnson (2014 pole winner)
·         Matt Kenseth (2014 pole winner)
·         Brad Keselowski (2014 pole winner)
·         Kyle Larson (2014 pole winner)
·         Joey Logano (2014 pole winner)
·         Jamie McMurray (2014 pole winner)
·         Brian Scott (2014 pole winner)
·         Tony Stewart (2014 pole winner)
·         Brian Vickers* (2014 pole winner)
·         Kurt Busch (former Unlimited winner)
·         Dale Earnhardt Jr. (former Unlimited winner)
·         Carl Edwards (former D500 pole winner)
·         Danica Patrick (former D500 pole winner)
·         Greg Biffle (former D500 pole winner)
·         Martin Truex Jr. (former D500 pole winner)
·         Ryan Newman (2014 Chase driver)
·         AJ Allmendinger (2014 Chase driver)
·         Kasey Kahne (2014 Chase driver)
·         Aric Almirola (2014 Chase driver)


(* – Michael Waltrip Racing today announced that Brian Vickers will not be available to race during the early part of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup season due to health issues.)

Tickets for the Sprint Unlimited are available online at DaytonaInternationalSpeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can follow @NASCAR and @MissSprintCup on Twitter to engage in the #SprintUnlimited conversation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NASCAR Statement : NASCAR and Sprint Partnership

NASCAR Statement from Brett Jewkes, NASCAR Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, on NASCAR and Sprint Partnership
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (December 16, 2014) – “NASCAR and Sprint have enjoyed a long and productive partnership that has returned significant value to both parties. We understand significant changes within Sprint and the highly competitive business environment it is in has led to a decision not to extend its Cup Series entitlement position following the 2016 season. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is a very unique, premium sports marketing platform with strong momentum, so we are very confident of moving forward in 2017 with an outstanding new partner. In the meantime, we look forward to Sprint’s partnership on the best racing series in the world for the next two seasons.”
 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

FOUR DRIVERS SEEK FIRST POINTS PAYING WIN

CONCORD, N.C. (Dec. 10, 2014) – The four drivers participating this week in Goodyear’s tire test at Charlotte Motor Speedway couldn’t be much more different. They drive for different teams and different manufacturers. They have different driving styles and different personalities on and off the track. But one thing Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Sam Hornish and Paul Menard all have in common is a strong desire to get a points race win at the legendary Charlotte Motor Speedway.
With new rules limiting testing opportunities, all four drivers know that every practice lap is a chance to get a leg up on the competition before the 10 Greatest Days in Racing in May.
Edwards, who will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015, said that while it’s hard to get good data for May’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-Cola 600, the test is a good chance for his new team to get some practice under their belts.
“Conditions are really cool. There’s not a lot of rubber on the racetrack. We’re basically in the lower downforce 2016 trim,” Edwards said of the conditions and setup for this week’s test. “The biggest thing this test is helping me out with is to get used to this car, the new seat, (crew chief) Darian (Grubb) and the guys and how they do things here. It’s been very good for me from that perspective.”
Earnhardt said the test is a good chance to establish a winning chemistry with his new crew chief, Greg Ives, but also to keep his driving acumen sharp during the off season.
“We’re definitely going to take advantage of every little bit of track time we can get because the testing rules are a little tighter this year,” Earnhardt said. “It’s good for me and Greg to get to work together – to get a little rapport going – so when we take off and go to Atlanta, Vegas and Phoenix, we’re communicating really well.
“When I go back to the track for the first time after a long layoff, I feel like I have a little rust to kick off. It’s good to get out and exercise your legs a little bit.”
While both Earnhardt (2000) and Edwards (2011) have scored NASCAR Sprint All-Star wins at the historic 1.5-mile superspeedway, neither has visited Winner’s Circle after a points race at Charlotte. In 16 career starts, Menard’s best points finish is eighth, while Hornish has a career-best 13th place finish in seven starts.
Fans will have to wait and see if the work at this week’s test pays off with a win in May.
Catch all of the action when NASCAR returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway during the 10 Greatest Days in Racing with the 10-Day May Mega Pass. Fans who purchase the Mega Pass will enjoy the Sprint Showdown and North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (Camping World Truck Series) on May 15, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race qualifying and the biggest All-Star event in all of sports on May 16, LiftMaster Pole Night on May 21, the XFINITY Series 300 on May 23 and the historic 56th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24, all for as little at $199.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

STATE OF PLAY: FIRST LADIES,

STATE OF PLAY: FIRST LADIES, FROM ACCLAIMED FILMMAKER
PETER BERG, DEBUTS TUESDAY, DEC. 9
 

            HBO Sports and executive producers Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey team up again for the innovative topical series STATE OF PLAY, continuing with FIRST LADIES on TUESDAY, DEC. 9 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

             Presented by Film 44 and HBO Sports, STATE OF PLAY takes on complex, multi-layered themes in sports, exploring their relationship to larger society. Each edition spotlights a topic or person with undeniable impact on the contemporary sports world, opening with a brief overview, followed by a cinéma vérité documentary and an in-depth roundtable discussion featuring filmmakers, subjects and guest experts, hosted by Berg (HBO’s "The Leftovers"; Emmy® nominee for "Friday Night Lights").

            STATE OF PLAY: FIRST LADIES

            Debut: TUESDAY, DEC. 9 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)

            Other HBO playdates: Dec. 10 (6:15 p.m., 11:30 p.m.), 11 (2:30 p.m.), 12 (4:15 p.m.), 13 (1:00 p.m.), 14 (11:30 a.m.) and 15 (12:45 p.m.)

            HBO2 playdates: Dec. 9 (2:30 a.m.) and 10 (10:00 p.m.)

            A deeply personal look at another side of professional sports, this film focuses on the challenges of balancing the pursuit of professional success and family obligations. FIRST LADIES focuses on three couples whose vows shape their decisions on the field and at home. What role has each of these spouses played in her family’s success? Profiled are Mike and Kiya Tomlin, Kevin and DeLana Harvick, and Scott and Megan Lehnhoff. Mike Tomlin is head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kevin Harvick captured his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship last month, and Scott Lehnhoff is head football coach at Steele High School in Cibolo, Tex. After the documentary, Berg hosts a roundtable discussion featuring Kiya Tomlin, DeLana Harvick and Megan Lehnhoff.

            The executive producers of STATE OF PLAY: FIRST LADIES are Peter Berg and Sarah Aubrey; co-executive producer, Matthew Goldberg; supervising producer, Gabe Spitzer; producer, Brandon Carroll; co-producer, Stephen Strout; director, Sandrine Orabona; director of photography, Sean McElwee; edited by Marcella Serrano; editor, Stephen Strout.

STATE OF PLAY: FIRST LADIES will also be available on HBO On Demand® and HBO GO®.