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NASCAR announces stage lengths for Cup, Xfinity & Truck races

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NASCAR revealed stage lengths Wednesday for its Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck races in 2018.

Cup stage lengths will remain consistent with 2017 lengths, the sanctioning body stated. The race and stage lengths for the road course race at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be announced at a later date.

NASCAR is adjusting the stage lengths in the Xfinity Series for races at ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix Raceway) and Dover International Speedway. At both Phoenix races, the stages will end at Lap 45 and Lap 90. The race ends on Lap 200. For the Dover events, the stages will end on Lap 45 and 90 and the race will end on Lap 200.

In the Truck Series, both Las Vegas races are scheduled for 134 laps. The stages are set to end at Lap 40 and Lap 80.

“Our primary goal every season is providing the best race for our fans, and to that end, we will remain consistent in terms of stage lengths for the majority of our national series events,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, in a statement. “Last year’s debut of the race format was a strong one, and we look forward to building on that foundation in 2018, starting with Speedweeks at Daytona.”

Here are the stage lengths for 2018:

2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 60 120 200
Atlanta Motor Speedway 85 170 325
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 80 160 267
ISM Raceway 75 150 312
Auto Club Speedway 60 120 200
Martinsville Speedway 130 260 500
Texas Motor Speedway 85 170 334
Bristol Motor Speedway 125 250 500
Richmond Raceway 100 200 400
Talladega Superspeedway 55 110 188
Dover International Speedway 120 240 400
Kansas Speedway 80 160 267
Charlotte Motor Speedway Stage 1 – 100, Stage 2 – 200,

Stage 3 – 300, Final Stage – 400

Pocono Raceway 50 100 160
Michigan International Speedway 60 120 200
Sonoma Raceway 25 50 110
Chicagoland Speedway 80 160 267
Daytona International Speedway 2 40 80 160
Kentucky Speedway 80 160 267
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 75 150 301
Pocono Raceway 50 100 160
Watkins Glen International 20 40 90
Michigan International Speedway 2 60 120 200
Bristol Motor Speedway 2 125 250 500
Darlington Raceway 100 200 367
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 50 100 160
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 2 80 160 267
Richmond Raceway 2 100 200 400
Charlotte Motor Speedway 2 TBD TBD TBD
Dover International Speedway 2 120 240 400
Talladega Superspeedway 2 55 110 188
Kansas Speedway 2 80 160 267
Martinsville Speedway 2 130 260 500
Texas Motor Speedway 2 85 170 334
ISM Raceway 2 75 150 312
Homestead-Miami Speedway 80 160 267
2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 30 60 120
Atlanta Motor Speedway 40 80 163
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
ISM Raceway 45 90 200
Auto Club Speedway 35 70 150
Texas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Bristol Motor Speedway 85 170 300
Richmond Raceway 75 150 250
Talladega Superspeedway 25 50 113
Dover International Speedway 45 90 200
Charlotte Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Pocono Raceway 25 50 100
Michigan International Speedway 30 60 125
Iowa Speedway 60 120 250
Chicagoland Speedway 45 90 200
Daytona International Speedway 30 60 100
Kentucky Speedway 45 90 200
New Hampshire Motor Speedway 45 90 200
Iowa Speedway 60 120 250
Watkins Glen International 20 40 82
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 20 40 75
Bristol Motor Speedway 85 170 300
Road America 10 20 45
Darlington Raceway 45 90 147
Indianapolis Motor Speedway 30 60 100
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 2 45 90 200
Richmond International Raceway 75 150 250
Charlotte Motor Speedway TBD TBD TBD
Dover International Speedway 45 90 200
Kansas Speedway 45 90 200
Texas Motor Speedway 45 90 200
ISM Raceway 2 45 90 200
Homestead-Miami Speedway 45 90 200

 

 

 

2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Track Stage 1 Stage 2 Final Stage
(ends on lap) (ends on lap) (ends on lap)
Daytona International Speedway 20 40 100
Atlanta Motor Speedway 40 80 130
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 40 80 134
Martinsville Speedway 70 140 250
Dover International Speedway 45 90 200
Kansas Speedway 40 80 167
Charlotte Motor Speedway 40 80 134
Texas Motor Speedway 40 80 167
Iowa Speedway 60 120 200
Gateway Motorsports Park 35 70 160
Chicagoland Speedway 35 70 150
Kentucky Speedway 35 70 150
Eldora Speedway 40 90 150
Pocono Raceway 15 30 60
Michigan International Speedway 30 60 100
Bristol Motor Speedway 55 110 200
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park 20 40 64
Las Vegas Motor Speedway 2 40 80 134
Talladega Superspeedway 20 40 94
Martinsville Speedway 2 50 100 200
Texas Motor Speedway 2 35 70 147
ISM Raceway 40 80 150
Homestead-Miami Speedway 40 80 134

Podcast: Front Row Motorsports explains how it improves with smaller budget, unique sponsor deals

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Running a Cup Series team is not a cheap endeavor.

One person who knows this is Jerry Freeze, the general manager of Front Row Motorsports.

Owned by Bob Jenkins, the two-car team runs the No. 34 of Michael McDowell and No. 38 of David Ragan and has a technical partnership with Roush Fenway Racing.

Freeze sat down with Nate Ryan on the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss how FRM works with smaller budgets and its unique business-to-business sponsorship deals through Jenkins’ trucking company, MDS Transport, and restaurant business, Charter Foods.

Freeze calls Love’s Travel Shops, which sponsors half the races on McDowell’s car, a “textbook example” of such a deal. Their partnership began in 2013.

“Bob owns a trucking company with about 300 over the road truck on the road,” Freeze said. “They’ve got to get fuel somewhere. That’s kind of how the Love’s Travel Shop deal started for us.”

Freeze describes it as a “slightly smaller scale” version of the relationship between Team Penske and Shell.

Unlike larger teams, Front Row doesn’t yet have an optical scanning station at its shop like the one cars are inspected with at the track.

“We went into it thinking, ‘We’ll never need to have one of those, NASCAR’s got one, we can go over there whenever we want,'” Freeze said.

The team also relies on the scanner located at Roush Fenway Racing. But it’s a challenge to take cars to Roush, with its shop in Concord, North Carolina, about an hour away from Front Row’s in Statesville.

Buying its own scanner is beginning to look like a “necessary evil” for Freeze, who said he’s heard it would cost $300,000.

“I think if you’re really going to try to optimize the car through each step of what you do, that might be the way to go,” Freeze said.

When it comes to becoming more competitive, Freeze and Jenkins have been encouraged to invest more resources and money into the team by moves NASCAR has made to lower costs, including requiring teams to use engines in multiple races, spec radiators and the controversial common pit guns.

“It put it in a place where, yeah, it’s still pretty tough for Front Row to get to, but it’s not as high as it use to be,” Freeze said of the engine rule. “With spec radiators, we were spending $9,000 for radiator in the past. Now a spec radiator is, I don’t know, a third of that.”

Freeze also addressed the future of one of the team’s three charters, which is leased to TriStar Motorsports this season.

“You can’t do that forever with the way the rules are set up,” Freeze said. “We’ll have to make a decision, either we’ve got to operate (it) ourselves or maybe we sell it to TriStar some day, I don’t know. … Even though we weren’t in a position to run three cars and we’re still not today, it’s kind of nice to have in your pocket just in case something came along that was just phenomenal and we needed one.”

Click on the embed above to hear the podcast. It also is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.

August Cup race at Michigan to be called Consumers Energy 400

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The Aug. 12 Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway will be sponsored by Consumers Energy as part of a multi-year deal, the track announced Thursday.

Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest energy provider, providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents.

The company takes over for Pure Michigan, which sponsored the race from 2011-17.

“We are excited to expand our collaborative relationship with Consumers Energy,” said track president Rick Brenner in a press release. “We strive to work with Michigan-based companies like Consumers Energy who continue to give back to the community. We are looking forward to working together to provide our guests an awesome experience each August for many years to come.”

Consumers Energy will also sponsor the inaugural MIS Charity Dinner on June 9 and the track’s 50 Years of Racing Exhibit in the fan plaza for both of the track’s race weekends.

The MIS Charity Dinner, which benefits the Henry Ford Allegiance Health Foundation Patient Immediate Needs Fund and the MIS Cares Fund, will feature a strolling dinner, dessert and drink stations, live and silent auctions, music, a photo booth and more. The event will also feature a question and answer session with Dale Inman, Rusty Wallace and Leonard Wood.

 and on Facebook

Weekend schedule at Richmond for Cup, Xfinity

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NASCAR heads to its third short-track race of the season this weekend at Richmond Raceway.

Kyle Larson won the Cup race at Richmond last fall and Joey Logano won there last April.

Here is this weekend’s schedule at Richmond:

(All times Eastern)

FRIDAY, APRIL 20

7 a.m. — Xfinity garage opens

8 a.m. – 9 p.m. — Cup garage open

8 – 8:45 a.m. — Xfinity practice (No TV)

9:40 – 10:25 a.m. — Final Xfinity practice (Fox Sports 1)

11:05 – 11:55 a.m. — Cup practice (FS1, Motor Racing Network)

12:35 – 1:25 p.m. — Final Cup practice (FS1, MRN)

4:05 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying; multi-vehicle/three rounds (FS1)

5:10 p.m. — Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting

5:30 p.m. — Cup qualifying; multi-vehicle/three rounds (FS1, MRN)

6:30 p.m. — Xfinity driver introductions

7 p.m. — ToyotaCare 250 Xfinity race; 250 laps/187.5 miles (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

SATURDAY, APRIL 21

1 p.m. — Cup garage opens

4:30 p.m. — Driver/crew chief meeting

5:50 p.m. — Driver introductions

6:30 p.m. — Toyota Owners 400 Cup race; 400 laps/300 miles (Fox, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

 and on Facebook

NASCAR America: Short tracks are Clint Bowyer’s favorites

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It was a question that needed to be asked, although the answer was not a surprise to anyone. What is Clint Bowyer’s favorite type of track?

“Short tracks are obviously my favorite,” Bowyer answered. “I think they’re probably everybody’s favorite. That’s what we grew up doing. That’s probably where we feel most comfortable.”

“I love back-to-back short track races because the drivers don’t have time to forget about who they’re mad at,” Steve Letarte interjected.

But Bowyer’s love of short tracks is not limited to Martinsville, where he snapped his long winless streak earlier this year. He is even more excited about coming to Richmond Raceway this week.

“I feel like Richmond is the perfect-sized race track.”

Bowyer went one step further, suggesting there is a way to add more tracks like Richmond to the schedule.

“I feel like, some of these mile-and-a-half tracks, we need to just use as parking lots and build Richmond in the infield,” Bowyer said.

For more of what Bowyer and Dale Earnhardt Jr. had to say about short track racing, watch the video above.