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The Sprint Cup Heats Up

The Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship has heated up in early November, tensions were flying as those still in the Chase jockeyed for position in points. A spoiler emerged from the field of cars to take the checkered flag from these contenders on November 2, 2014. Jimmie Johnson, already out of the Chase for the Cup, led 191 laps of 334 at Texas Motor Speedway on his way to earning his 4th win of the year and 70th in his career.John Jellinek

Jimmie Johnson has won the Sprint cup six times but this year will not mark his seventh. Johnson lost his Chase eligibility in the second round, followed a 40th place finish at Kansas and a 17th place finish at Charlotte.  His elimination although, has not deterred his competitive nature. Johnson cites his yearning to win from his wanting to end the racing year on a high, fun note. Frustration with the results from this year could be felt prior to elimination, as neither Johnson or crew chief, Chad Knaus were satisfied with the way the races were playing out fueling the need for a win to lighten the bitter taste in the team’s mouth.

The current point standings in the Chase are as follows: Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin share the lead, tied, Ryan Newman is in third place while Jeff Gordon is in fourth. Pending a Cup contender does not win at Phoenix next weekend, the top four in points will advance to the Championship. The bottom four in contention is made up by Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, and Kevin Harvick. As it has been throughout the eliminations, if one of the remaining eight contenders wins this coming weekend they will automatically advance to the Championship.

To read the original article that John Jellinek cited from, click here.

Elimination At Dover

Jeff Gordon cruised through the pressure of a Chase elimination race on his way to a victory at Dover last Thursday. This season NASCAR will be using a 10-race format to eliminate drivers from every third race in the Chase. This year, Dover was marked as an elimination race.John Jellinek

With the next round looming, three separate winners were automatically qualified by taking checkered flags. Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano all earned berths in the next round with their wins. While Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger, Greg Biffle, and Aric Almirola were eliminated from contention for the championship.

Gordon posted his fourth win of the season at Dover while collecting his 92nd checkered flag overall in his career. Along with Gordon from Hendrick Motorsports, Kasey Kahne also qualified for the next round by grabbing the 12th and final spot in the elimination cutoff. Kahne was forced to battle the entire race in order to finish 20th overall and lock in his position in the next round of the Chase.

The Chase for the Cup Rankings, are below:

1. Brad Keselowski

2. Joey Logano

3. Kevin Harvick

4. Jimmie Johnson

5. Jeff Gordon

6. Kyle Busch

7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.

8. Matt Kenseth

9. Ryan Newman

10. Carl Edwards

11. Denny Hamlin

12. Kasey Kahne

The next three-race elimination round begins on October 19th at Kansas Speedway. This round will be hosted by Kansas, Charlotte, and Talladega. Nerves are at ease for the time being until the next round begins, and with a quarter of the drivers in the current field set to be eliminated, competition will be ramped up the next time the engines are started.

For the original article click here.

Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kasey Kahne

According to a recent article: Kasey Kahne was able to pull out a dramatic win at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday night on the way to his first checkered flag of the year, 17th of his career. Kahne is no stranger to being under pressure late in the year when the chance for the playoff chase is hanging in the balance. He made the most of his opportunity though on Sunday edging out Matt Kenseth who was also winless on the year.

In a night full of wrecks and cautions there was much excitement building up to the dramatic finish. With Kahne’s victory he rounds out the Hendricks Racing team to be qualified for the Chase, all four are now in the running.John Jellinek

The Chase consists of 16 possible spots available to be able to dance for the Cup. With the results on Sunday, Kahne fills the 13th spot, and Kenseth, with his second place finish, grabs the 14th spot on points.

Harvick led almost 200 of the 335 laps during the race, losing the lead during each of his pitts. With the pitts not serving him well, it seems to be a rolling trend for him this year as his car has been fast, but pitts been slow.

Restarts were what served Kahne well that night as he took advantage of race stoppage to make up lost ground and recompose himself.Apart from the drama in the ending of the race, another type of excitement found its way onto the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A squirrel scurried onto the track during the first half of the race causing the then leader Harvick to almost flatten him around Turn 3 and 4.

In the bigger picture of the point rankings, Jeff Gordon leads all drivers, 21 points ahead of second place Dale Jr. Gordon blew a tire out on lap 78 and was forced to rally to finish 17th overall.

Retired NASCAR Driver to Start Concussion Fund

Everyone knows that football players have concussion issues because they are usually knocking heads with each other every play throughout a game. NASCAR drivers are less known for having concussion issues because the spectator cannot see what goes on inside the cab during a crash. Violent is the best word to describe it. While motor sport safety has improved tremendously over the years, since the famous Dale Earnhardt crash at the Daytona Raceway in 2001, the risk of prolonged issues from frequent concussions has Geoff Bodine concerned.images

Bodine raced NASCAR for around 30 years, he is a Daytona 500 winner (1986), and is concerned for the safety of those still racing. After retiring at the age of 63, he told The New York Times he couldn’t remember how many times he was knocked out during a crash.  He recalls hitting the outside wall, getting knocked out, hitting the inside wall and getting woken back up form the second impact.

Most recently in NASCAR news Dale Earnhardt Jr. was sidelined from a concussion for two races in 2012. Being one of the sports most well known drivers it shows the severity of the injury and the health concerns that Dale Jr. had.

There is no union in racing so drivers are generally alone when it comes to medical care from injuries. With this being an occupational hazard that Bodine is familiar with first hand, he has been approaching sponsors, teams, anyone concerned with the drivers health, for help. Bodine is adamant that this will be for the betterment of everyone in the sport.

While the much-publicized NFL lawsuit was a hot button issue two years ago in 2012, Bodine is not looking for something of that severity. He merely wants to raise money to help those in need. After seeing so many competitors suffer from head injuries he is feeling morally obligated to do something to help those who are in a position to be helped.

See the original article here.

Motor Racing Welcomes Electric Cars

John Jellinek The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) announced in 2012 that it was considering developing a racing series for single seat, electrically powered cars. When the idea was first introduced, environmentalists were concerned that one of the gains they had made within the automotive industry had been exploited for recreational purposes. On the other hand however, racing enthusiasts were hesitant when they hear the news, understandably skeptical about a motorsport series without any of the sounds commonly associated with motor racing. Even the CEO of Formula E Holdings, Alejandro Agag, termed the new car “the silent revolution in motor racing” when the car was introduced during the 2014 Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

However, when former Formula 1 racer Jarno Trulli was entrusted with testing the Spark-Renault SRT_01E racing car, he was impressed with the sound of the motor behind the cockpit. Although the car was not on par with the sound of a the turbo V6 engines used in traditional Formula 1 racing, it was decidedly louder than an average passenger car.

FIA, hopes that the Formula E Championship, the electronically powered racing series Formula 1 equivalent, will create the peak of electric car development and competition, incorporating 10 two-driver teams that will compete in 10 races over the fall and winter racing seasons. Races are currently planned for in Beijing, Putrajaya (Malaysia), Rio de Janeiro, Punta del Este (Uruguay), Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Miami, Monte Carlo, Berlin and London.

Each race will have a duration of 60 minutes on various city circuits ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 kilometers in length. In order to keep the cost of cars down, builders are required to make the cars available to at least two other teams with a capped cost of 480,000 U.S. dollars. Each team must enter four cars in a race and be prepared to engage in pit stops that will require each team’s two drivers to switch from a car with a depleted energy level to a fully charged one.

For more information about the new electric car racing please visit

Danica Patrick is Looking for Luck in Las Vegas

Nascar, Motorsports, RacingAfter experiencing two tough weeks on the track, NASCAR driver Danica Patrick is hoping that the upcoming race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway will turn her 2014 season around. Her first two weeks of racing ended with damaged racecars. The first wreck in Daytona was not so surprising, because collisions are not uncommon for NASCAR drivers, but when she was involved in a wreck that stunted her performance for a second consecutive week while racing in Phoenix, Patrick became understandably frustrated.

In her first race of the season, Patrick finished 40th. At her second race, she placed 38th. Still, Patrick is optimistic going into her third race of the season in Las Vegas. In 2011, Patrick attained a fourth-place finish in the Nationwide Series race in the same location. That fourth-place finish was the highest finish for a female in any NASCAR national series race.

Patrick is hoping Las Vegas will be a good luck charm for her, and with good reason. Patrick is 41st in owner standings and, starting next week at Bristol, 2014 owner points will determine which drivers make provisional. The top 36 cars in the first qualifying session each get the chance to race, followed by seven other spots which will be filled by drivers in the 2014 owner standings. To put things into perspective for Patrick, the first driver to go home last year was ranked 42nd in the 2013 owner standings.

Last year in 2013, Patrick started in the top 20 twice and in the top 30 sixteen times. At Phoenix, she started at 33rd. Patrick and her crew chief, Tony Gibson, are looking ahead and excited about the car that will be racing in Las Vegas. Between Patrick’s enthusiasm and the power and speed packed into her new car, the two are confident that Patrick can turn things around in Las Vegas.

For more information about Danica Patrick’s 2014 season and the upcoming race in Las Vegas please visit

Sponsors Invest in Nascar Stars

NascarIn recent years, Nascar drivers have experienced decreasing salaries because of sponsors committing less financially.  However, for stars in the sport, salaries are bigger than ever.  The ten highest-paid drivers had a cumulative income of $170 million last year, including salaries, endorsements, winnings and licensing.  Teams are searching for high profile drivers that consistently end up in the winner’s circle, hoping to attract sponsors.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been the highest-paid driver for the last six years, earning $25.6 million in 2013.  His licensing income is down, as he made $30 million five years ago, but he still holds the sport’s biggest licensing and endorsement income.  The Army National Guard spent $30 million in 2013 to sponsor Earnhardt’s No. 88 car in 20 races, meaning that his car carries the most expensive real estate in the sport-

As for the theory of advertisers being drawn to someone in “the winner’s circle,” Earnhardt has made the Chase three years in a row, finishing fifth in the year-end standing last year.  In October, Earnhardt became the 34th driver to make the 500 career Sprint Cup Starts.  He was also voted Nascar’s most popular driver by fans for the 11th year in a row.

Jimmie Johnson, Earnhardt’s teammate, was the second highest-paid driver last year, earning $24.8 million.  Johnson was America’s most influential athlete in 2011 and 2012 based on data from Nielsen and E-poll.  The total amount of prize money Johnson received last, $14.7 million, was twice as much as what Earnhardt received, but his endorsement and licensing income are still considerably lower than Earnhardt’s.

Even the ninth highest-paid driver, Danica Patrick, earned $13.5 million last year.  While she may not be the sport’s top driver, she is still one of Nascar’s biggest draws, holding more than ten personal endorsement partners, including Coca-Cola.  She has also appeared in a record 13 Super Bowl commercials and her merchandise is Nascar’s sixth bestseller for officially licensed sports merchandise.

For more information about Nascar’s highest paid drivers please visit

Swan Racing Gains 50 Cent as an Associate Sponsor

Since his music career launched in 2003, Curtis Jackson, better known as rapper 50 cent, has expanded his interests well outside of the music industry.  In the years since his debut, Jackson has invested in multiple ventures, including clothing lines, film production, audio equipment companies, and other consumer products like Vitamin Water—an investment in a small company at the time that ended up making him millions when the product got off the ground.

Jackson is currently continuing to expand his business ventures to NASCAR.  Later this year SMS Audio, a line of headphones and accessories founded by Jackson in 2011, will appear as an associate sponsor for the season on the cars of Parker Kligerman and Cole Whitt, two Swan Racing drivers who are entered to compete in the NASCAR Spring Cup Series.  The owner of Swan Racing, Brandon Davis, says the deal is for multiple years, implying that SMS Audio could become a primary sponsor of Swan Racing.

Swan Racing was founded in late 2012 and competed last season as a one-car team with primary driver David Stemme.  In the season, the team achieved five top-twenty finishes.  Swan Racing expanded to two full-time entries for 2014 and looks forward to continuing to grow.

While Davis and Jackson seem to come from completely different ends of the spectrum when it comes to interests and lifestyle, both men agree that from an entrepreneurial and marketing standpoint, the match could not be more perfect.  When talking about the recent partnership, Davis pointed out that NASCAR itself had a lot to do with the pair coming together.  He said, “NASCAR’s structure, it really allows for and opens the door for entrepreneurs to come in and use this platform for different kinds of marketing opportunities, and this is one of them.”

Nascar unleashes new video game

John JellinekAccording to an article, Nascar will be unleashing its newest video game on February 18th for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Steam.

By fan choice, Tony Stewart will be the face of the cover. Compared to Nascar 2013, Nascar 2014 will feature a variety of different game modes, including Nascar Highlights and Career Mode. Nascar Highlights is very unique in that the game recreates past races, including cars, tracks and even weather conditions. Career mode is exactly how it sounds. Over the course of a season, users get to build a custom car, obtain sponsors, and complete R&D.

It seems like video games are getting even more realistic. Sports games are including more of a story mode to the game where players pass through the whole lineage of a sports career. More games are also feature online play. Players have the ability to connect with friends over the internet to compete with one another.

As new video games come out during the year, it’ll be interesting to see how they differentiate themselves. With so many options to choose from, how do you choose one sports game over another? I guess it comes down to ratings and user reviews. If you see that others are enjoying the game then you are most likely going to pick that game over others.

Like most sports, Nascar has a game that coincides with its league. 2014 sounds like it is going to be a big year for the organization. With a new Chief Operating Officer and a big video game just released, the league will surely see more favorability by fans.


NASCAR appoints Brent Dewar as Chief Operating Officer

According to an article at USA Today, NASCAR has named Brent Dewar as the new COO.

Before NASCAR, Dewar worked at General Motors for more than 30 years. He retired from GM in 2010 when he was Vice President of Chevrolet. Over the last year, he has been working with Nascar as a consultant on “transforming its competition with new approaches on rules, penalties, officiating and inspection.”

According to Nascar chairman Brian France, “In Brent Dewar, we will add a seasoned leader with deep experience in the automotive sector, plus intimate knowledge of and passion for NASCAR as well as various other forms of motorsports. Brent brings creativity, drive, intelligence, operational acumen and a clear understanding of our assets and challenges to NASCAR. He’s a leader who’s naturally collaborative, an essential trait as we work more closely with the (manufacturers), teams, tracks, broadcast partners and others to grow the sport over the next decade.”

While at GM, one of Brent’s responsibilities was to oversee the companies motor sports program. He also was instrumental in launching the volt electric car as well as adapting initiatives in digital and social media. These areas will be key for NASCAR as they will look to Brent Dewar’s guidance in an effort to rebuild its fan base.

Since 2006, NASCAR has functioned without a COO. The last person to fill the role was George Pyne.

Brent Dewar will begin his new role on January 6th in Florida. His goal in the first few months is to solicit as much information from the industry as possible.