“It was go time and I was pushing the 95 (DiBenedetto) and looked like he was trying to get to the middle, ” Menard told Fox. “So I tried to get to the outside and just barely hooked him. I wrecked a lot of cars. That was my bad. … I feel bad about that.”
“When they started wrecking in (Turns) 3 and 4 I saw it for a split second,” Ragan told Fox. “Before I could even do anything it looks like I’m underneath the 10 car (Almirola) there looking at his rear end housing.”
Just gonna throw this out there and then call it a day. Nobody hates this worse than we do. We were on the receiving end last weekend and it sucked just as bad. Paul races cleaner than anybody and we sure hate to have been all up in this one. Real sorry it ended this way
JTG Daugherty Racing announced a new sponsor strategy Wednesday with Kroger that covers both of its Cup Series entries with rookie Ryan Preece and Chris Buescher.
Preece’s No. 47 Chevrolet will spotlight Kroger’s “Pickup, Delivery, Ship” features.
Kroger’s expanded services allow shoppers to order groceries online for curbside pickup, delivery from a nearby Kroger store to homes, and a ship to home service accessible from anywhere in the country.
Buescher’s No. 37 Chevrolet will feature seven monthly themes throughout the season in an effort to highlight different brands sold at Kroger more consistently.
The themes are:
Flavor Fill Up: the month of March focuses on when sporting events such as the NCAA Basketball tournament encourages a snacking occasion, and when Kroger is highlighting National Frozen Foods Month. Corporate partners include Unilever, Kraft-Heinz, Conagra, General Mills, and Kellogg’s.
Speedup Your Cleanup: the month of April will highlight the spring-cleaning season where shoppers are focused on buying from corporate partners such as such as Clorox, Procter & Gamble and Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
Personal Pit Stop: personal healthcare brands take center stage on the hood in May with corporate partners Procter & Gamble and Unilever.
Thrill of the Grill: June and July highlights everyone’s love for summer grilling with relevant brands from Clorox, Unilever, Kraft-Heinz, General Mills, BUSH’S Beans, and Southeastern Mills.
Fast Start: theme will occur during back-to-school timing when families are stocking up on partner product for their change of schedule and the new school year.
Fast Lane to Flavor: focuses on healthy meal solutions for families on the go with brands from General Mills, BUSH’S Beans, Clorox and Conagra.
Simmer Like a Winner: as the weather turns cooler, fans will enjoy shopping for their crock pot recipes with brands from BUSH’S Beans, Kraft, Conagra and General Mills.
“I’m really excited about it because it actually simplifies it for me from where we have been,” Buescher said at the announcement at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “The last two years we have had a different sponsor from week to week. Our paint scheme has changed completely week to week. It’s been hard for the spotter to keep up. For this to be able to go through stretches and for a month or a month-and-a-half, two months, have the same paint scheme with the same brands and be able to try and focus on getting them better coverage in their key times of the year, I think it’s brilliant.”
JTG Daugherty Racing will also be going mobile with its advertising.
All JTG Daugherty Racing ads during each month throughout the season will encourage shoppers to text a key word that directs the fans to tips, sweepstakes and Kroger savings for the brands highlighted by the shopper themes.
“We are fortunate to work every day with innovators in the retail industry,” Tad Geschickter, JTG Daugherty Racing team owner, said a press release. “I’m excited about the new marketing plan we have developed together. I know that this new approach will deliver great engagement with our NASCAR fans and will create positive sales results for Kroger and our brand partners. I can’t wait to see the whole thing come to life on the racetrack. It’s time to win races and sell cases in 2019.”
The team showed off Buescher’s paint scheme for the Daytona 500 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Roush Fenway Racing won’t field Xfinity Series team in 2019
Roush Fenway Racing will not field a team in the Xfinity Series for the first time in more than a quarter century, RFR President Steve Newmark confirmed Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Roush Fenway Racing first ran in the Xfinity Series in 1993 with Mark Martin, who won seven of 14 starts that season. The organization has won a record 138 Xfinity races. Roush Fenway Racing also has captured five Xfinity driver titles — Greg Biffle in 2002, Carl Edwards in 2007, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2011-12 and Chris Buescher in 2015.
Newmark told Claire B. Lang on SiriusXM’s “Dialed In” that the focus is on strengthening the Cup program with Stenhouse and Ryan Newman, who joins the team to drive the No. 6 car this season.
“We’re going to focus exclusively on both of those Cup teams (in 2019) and realized we needed to allocate all of our resources there,” Newmark told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “We’ve fluctuated on the number of the teams in the Xfinity Series and a lot of that has been based on need. We’ve been four, we’ve been one, and I think (2019) we’ve decided on how we’re positioned we’ll step out of that for a year and see how that goes and just focus all the resources, all the engineering, all the wind tunnel on making sure that we perform to our expectations at the Cup level.”
Asked if sponsorship was a key factor in the decision, Newmark said: “There’s no doubt that sponsorship plays a factor in everything that we do. For better or worse that’s the way NASCAR is structured right now and sponsorship is the lifeblood for the teams. My hope is that at some point in time we continue to evolve to a model that moves a little bit way from that. But that was just a factor. We had a great run with Lilly Diabetes, five full seasons, we handled the Ford driver development program last year and the Xfinity Series is something that Jack (Roush) has always been passionate about.
“But when we look at where we are and what we needed to focus on, we just felt like that all the resources should be dedicated to Cup. We’ve always used Xfinity as a feeder series … for Cup, and when we look at our drivers, we’ve got those guys locked up and we think that they’re going to be with us for a number of years. We look at the engineering talent, we look at our crew chiefs, and we kind of felt like we had all the pieces of the puzzle in place and so really what we need to do is go out and execute at the Cup level and we’ll see where we end up in Xfinity in the future.”
Last season, Roush Fenway Racing fielded two full-time Xfinity teams: Ryan Reed in the No. 16 and Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric and Ty Majeski splitting time in the No. 60 car as Ford development drivers. Reed finished 11th in the points.
The 2019 NASCAR season is now within view as we have entered the month of January.
That means a lot of highly anticipated changes in the sport will be visible on track.
Before we get to what to expect from each team specifically, here’s what Cup teams will be dealing with in 2019.
Inspired by what was used in the 2018 All-Star Race, the new rules package will feature a tapered spacer to control the engines instead of a restrictor plate. Teams will have 550 horsepower at tracks 1.33 miles and larger and 750 horsepower at tracks shorter than 1.33 miles.
Some crew chiefs, including Cole Pearn, have said the new package could result in racing that resembles what is seen in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series.
One team that will not be present this year is Furniture Row Racing, which ceased operations on its No. 78 Toyota after 2018 due to a lack of sponsorship.
Rick Ware Racing will field two cars with two charters. It has not announced drivers for either car.
Spire Sports + Entertainment will field the No. 77 with a charter purchased from Furniture Row Racing. A driver has not been announced.
Obaika Racing will field rookie Tanner Berryhill in the No. 97 in its first full-time season.
(Drivers are listed in order of their car number with where they finished in the points last year)
What’s new: Cassill is slated to compete full-time for StarCom Racing, which bought a charter from Richard Childress Racing. Cassill, with 29 starts, is the only driver with more than seven for the team.
What’s the same: StarCom will again compete with a Chevrolet model in its second full season of competition.
What’s new: Kurt Busch moves from Stewart-Haas Racing to replace Jamie McMurray, who drove the No. 1 for nine years. McMurray will be an analyst for Fox Sports. CGR will be the sixth team Busch has competed for in Cup.
What’s the same: Matt McCall is back to crew chief the No. 1 after four years with McMurray.
What’s the same: Crew chief Paul Wolfe and Keselowski enter their ninth season together. With the separation of Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus, that makes Wolfe and Keselowski the longest-tenured driver/crew chief pairing in the series.
What’s new: Dillon will have Danny Stockman Jr. as his crew chief, replacing Justin Alexander. Stockman is Dillon’s fourth crew chief in six full-time seasons in Cup. Dillon won a Xfinity and Truck Series title Stockman. Dillon will also have a new teammate in Daniel Hemric.
What’s the same: Dillon’s scheme for the Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona will be a tribute to Dale Earnhardt’s scheme in the 1998 All-Star Race.
What’s new: Will enter his sophomore season under the guidance of Chad Knaus, the most successful active crew chief in NASCAR. This will be Byron’s first season in NASCAR without rookie stripes after previously competing in Xfinity and the Truck Series for just one season each.
What’s the same: Jeff Gordon is still the last (and only) driver to win in the No. 24.
What’s the same: Greg Ives returns as Bowman’s crew chief on the No. 88 Chevrolet.
No. 95 Matt DiBenedetto (29th)
What’s new: DiBenedetto replaced Kasey Kahne at Leavine Family Racing after two years at Go Fas Racing. LFR will compete under the Toyota banner after being a Chevrolet team. Mike Wheeler will crew chief the No. 95.
What’s the same: 2019 will be LFR’s fourth full-time season in Cup. The team is winless since it first went Cup racing in 2011.