Daytona International Speedway

Watkins Glen gives new meaning to a slick racetrack (check out the video)

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There’s been a lot of talk of late about NASCAR potentially adding another road course race to the Cup schedule.

There’s been rumors about a race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, as well as talk Daytona International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Circuit of the Americas all being interested as well.

But we may have stumbled upon the best idea yet.

Sure, you may have to button up a little bit — and this will definitely give new meaning to the term “slick racetrack” — but check out how the folks at Watkins Glen International used the backdrop of winter storm Stella to come up with an alternative form of road course racing.

We’ve heard of rain tires, but how about snow tires on a racetrack?

Check out this great video from the track:

Speaking of snow and racetracks, maybe they should have snowplow races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after it got buried under the white stuff earlier this week.

Check out the time-lapse video from pre- to post-Stella:

#NHMS #snow time-lapse ❄️☃️❄️☃️❄️

A post shared by NH Motor Speedway (@nhms) on

 

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WATCH: Kurt Busch’s Daytona 500 celebration took infield grass where it’s never been before

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His name is Jason and he takes care of grass.

But not just any grass. He takes care of the grass at Daytona International Speedway.

And as of Monday, that grass is also located in the track’s museum.

As Kurt Busch celebrated his first Daytona 500 win on Sunday, his No. 41 Ford sent grass flying as it went through the infield on the frontstretch. Some of that grass landed on Busch’s hood.

As is tradition, the car that wins the Daytona 500 goes into the track’s museum for the next year in the same condition that it was in victory lane.

The track has shared a humorous video on Facebook showing its head groundskeeper going about his day, which now involves taking care of the grass on Busch’s car.

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Goodyear continues examination of Kyle Busch’s Daytona 500 tires

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Goodyear officials have sent the tires that were on Kyle Busch‘s car when it wrecked in Sunday’s Daytona 500 for further testing. Busch lost control, spun and collected several other cars, including Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was leading the race at the time.

On Wednesday morning’s “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Goodyear director of racing Greg Stucker said Busch’s tires arrived Tuesday at company headquarters in Akron, Ohio.

“Our engineers went over them very thoroughly, just to make sure we didn’t miss anything at the racetrack,” Stucker said. “We feel we didn’t.

“We sent them down to our research facility, where we have forensic specialists if you will, that can really do a deep dive into all the different components, all the different parts of the tire and look at them in a lot more detail than you can visually with electron microscopes and a lot of other different tools they have at their exposure.

“It’s very impressive some of the detail they can go into and we’ll find out as much as we can. That takes a little bit of time to do, but that’s in the works.”

Goodyear engineers also looked at video of Busch’s accident for any other clues.

“We want to see if we can see anything,” Stucker said. “We can look at the attitude of the car, did we see anything come out from under the car that might have indicated he ran over anything or any contact.

“We didn’t see anything there again. The other thing is the spin itself. We look at the way the skid marks come from the tires themselves. A tire that’s deflated makes a different skid mark than a tire that is inflated.”

Goodyear officials paid extra attention to the right rear tire on Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, Stucker said.

“It appears as though the right rear tire was still inflated when Kyle spun, and that’s pretty consistent with the way the tire looked itself,” Stucker said. “The tire was flat-spotted, and normally it won’t flat spot through a tire. It’ll just wear through it.

“So that’s pretty consistent. We’ve also stayed in constant communication with the team, if they’ve discovered anything when they got the car back and trying to look through things. We want to make sure they’re very aware of what our analysis is.

“As soon as we know something, then obviously we’ll make sure the team is very well aware of what the findings were.”

Stucker said Goodyear produced between 3,500 and 4,000 tires that it brought to Daytona for all three major NASCAR series teams: Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Trucks.

Busch’s tire issue was one of only a few during Speedweeks, Stucker said.

“We’re very comfortable with overall how Speedweeks went, it kicked the season off and now we’re off to Atlanta this week,” Stucker said.

Goodyear will return to Daytona in April for a tire test. Goodyear will look at a softer tire, which Daytona 500 race winner Kurt Busch has suggested.

“Daytona was one of those we felt like that it’s starting to lose a little bit of its grip from its repave several years ago,” Stucker said. “So we had on our docket to go back there in April and do some testing.

“In conversation with the garage area, the competition group of the teams and with NASCAR, they’d also look at some different aero packages and configurations. We’re going to do that in April, taking some tires back that give a slight increase in grip and is it possible to marry them with some of the aero changes that NASCAR and teams are looking at and see if we can come up with a little bit different package.”

 

Goodyear has tire tests scheduled April 4-5 at Michigan and April 25-26 at Indianapolis.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. gives explanation of eye test after Daytona 500 crash

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After Dale Earnhardt Jr. was involved in the wreck that knocked him out of Sunday’s Daytona 500, he did something unusual – but also something that has and will continue to become more normal for him as time goes on.

In laymen’s terms, Earnhardt gave himself an “eye test” to make sure he did not suffer any type of concussion-like symptoms from the impact.

During his weekly online podcast Monday, titled “Moving on after up ‘n down Speedweeks,” Earnhardt was very illustrative and candid about how he self-tested and self-diagnosed himself to make sure he wasn’t in any type of danger while he awaited rescue workers to get to him.

What Earnhardt said is fascinating in its context and content:

“We got a lot of questions and conversation about doing an eye test inside the car. So after the accident, we were sitting on the front straightaway, we got a red flag, so I decided to do a little self-diagnosing of my head.

“Obviously, going through everything we went through last year, I’m pretty self-aware and I understand there are a few things I can do. I’ve done a lot of training and rehab on my own over the last six months to get this concussion cleared up. So I understand a lot of things I can do to understand where I’m at, how healthy I am and whether I have any issues.

“One of those is a very simple eye test. Basically, you take the point of your finger, the end of your finger, or a dot on a piece of paper and bring it slowly close, kind of in-between your eyes to your nose. That dot or whatever the target is you’re looking at, you need to be able to hold that dot as one.

“What I mean is that as you get closer to your nose, eventually your eyes are going to go bonkers and it’s going to split and you’re going to see two dots. That needs to happen right off the tip of your nose, real close within an inch or so.

“If you have a head injury or any type of concussion, that object will split much further out, six inches or a foot out. That’s when you know you’ve got a little bit of an event going on in your head, however you want to describe it.”

Earnhardt first started using the self-test in December when he tested at Darlington Speedway to get medical clearance to return to driving a race car.

“It’s just a real quick, simple self-test that a doctor can use. When we were at Darlington testing for the clearance in December, (Dr. Jerry Petty) was there. Every time I got in the car, that was the first thing he did, over and over and over. When you go to Dr. Petty and say you think you have a concussion, that’s the first thing he’s going to do.

“I obviously brought a lot of attention to myself unnecessarily and I regret that, but I’m sitting there under the red flag and it’s eating me alive. A lot of the symptoms that I’ve had in concussions in the past, I don’t feel when I’m inside in the car, sitting down. Your heart is thumping, racing.

“That’s the only thing I could do to go okay, this looks normal, this feels normal. I should have waited until I got out of the car and not drawn so much attention to myself, but I couldn’t wait under the red flag and I wanted to know.”

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Scott Lagasse Jr. to drive four Xfinity races for Richard Childress Racing

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Veteran NASCAR driver Scott Lagasse Jr. has been added to the Richard Childress Racing stable, the organization announced Tuesday.

Lagasse will drive RCR’s No. 3 Xfinity Series Chevrolet in four races this season: his team debut on June 25 at Iowa Speedway, along with Road America, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Lagasse, 36, of St. Augustine, Florida, will split driving duties in the car with Ty Dillon as both attempt to earn the 2017 owner’s championship for RCR.

Lagasse finished sixth in last Saturday’s Xfinity season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. It was a career-best finish in 62 starts in the Xfinity Series for Lagasse.

He also has 26 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, with a career-best third-place finish in the 2015 Xfinity season opener at Daytona.

Matt Swiderski, who assumed crew chief duties on the No. 3 late last season, will continue in that role this season with Dillon and Lagasse.

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