Several teams test Charlotte Roval

Leave a comment

Eighteen drivers are expected to test today on Charlotte’s road course, the first time many will run on the 2.28-mile, 17-turn course that will host a playoff race in September.

Scheduled to test are: Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, Trevor Bayne, Jamie McMurray, Austin Dillon, Chris Buescher, Kasey Kahne, Michael McDowell, Gray Gaulding, Landon Cassill  and BJ McLeod.

The session goes from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to the public.

NASCAR anticipates lap times of around 78 seconds. Lap times are expected to be about 80 seconds in race conditions. The Sept. 30 race will be 400 kilometers. 

Denny Hamlin will be making his first appearance on the course that incorporates most of the track’s oval, along with an infield section.

“It’s kind of quirky,” Hamlin said of the track Charlotte Motor Speedway is calling a roval. “It’s not your normal cup-of-tea road course. I’m going to try to survive first through the test. That will be the object … and then try to get competitive when we come back for the race.”

Brad Keselowski, who also has not been on the course yet, has a simple goal for the test.

“I’m going to try to go there and not wreck,” he said.

There will be a test July 17 for the other teams not at Tuesday’s session. 

 and on Facebook

 

Updated entry lists for NASCAR at Daytona International Speedway

Getty Images
Leave a comment

NASCAR makes its second visit to Daytona International Speedway this weekend with the Cup and Xfinity Series.

Cup teams will hold the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday and the Xfinity Series precedes them Friday night.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for both races.

Cup – Coke Zero Sugar 400 (7 p.m. ET on Saturday on NBC)

There are 41 entries for the race. One car will not make the race.

Timothy Peters is entered in the No. 92 Ford owned by Ricky Benton Racing. It would be his second career Cup start.

Joey Gase is entered in StarCom Racing’s No. 00 Chevrolet. Landon Cassill is in the team’s No. 99 Chevrolet.

Brendan Gaughan is entered in Beard Motorsports’ No. 62 Chevrolet.

Ray Black Jr. is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Ford. It would be Black’s fourth career Cup start and his first this season.

JJ Yeley is listed in the No. 23 for BK Racing. Gray Gaulding had run every race for the team this season.

Last year Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won this race over Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard. In February, Austin Dillon won the Daytona 500 over Bubba Wallace and Denny Hamlin.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 (7:30 p.m. ET on Friday on NBCSN)

There are 41 cars entered for the race, meaning one team will not qualifying.

Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson are the only full-time Cup drivers entered.

Ryan Preece is entered in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota. Preece has not competed since his win at Bristol on April 14.

William Byron won this race last year over Elliott Sadler and Dakoda Armstrong. Tyler Reddick won at Daytona in February over Sadler in the closest finish in national NASCAR history.

Click here for the entry list.

Driver lineup set for Charlotte road course tests in July

Photo: Dustin Long
Leave a comment

Charlotte Motor Speedway announced the driver lineup for the two days of testing that will take place in July on the track’s road course.

NASCAR created two separate test days. Tests will be July 10 and July 17. Both sessions will go from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET with a lunch break from noon to 1 p.m. ET.

The tests are open to the public.

The Cup series races on Charlotte’s road course Sept. 30 in the playoffs.

Scheduled to test on July 10

Martin Truex Jr.

Jimmie Johnson

Chase Elliott

Kevin Harvick

Clint Bowyer

Denny Hamlin

Daniel Suarez

Brad Keselowski

Paul Menard

Trevor Bayne

Jamie McMurray

Austin Dillon

Chris Buescher

Kasey Kahne

Michael McDowell

Gray Gaulding

Landon Cassill

B.J. McLeod

Scheduled to test on July 17

Kyle Busch

Erik Jones

Ryan Blaney

Joey Logano

Kyle Larson

Aric Almirola

Kurt Busch

Alex Bowman

William Byron

Bubba Wallace

Ryan Newman

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

AJ Allmendinger

Ty Dillon

Matt DiBenedetto

Corey LaJoie

David Ragan

Reed Sorenson

 and on Facebook

BK Racing to be sold to satisfy creditors

Getty Images
5 Comments

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — BK Racing will be sold, the court-approved trustee operating the team said after a hearing Tuesday. Discussions are underway.

“We’re selling a race team, we’re not just selling a charter,’’ said Matt Smith, the trustee operating the team while it is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. “So the charter is the largest asset in this case but it’s not the only asset. This is a viable race team and we’re trying to prove that each and every week. We’re meeting obligations of NASCAR by showing up and competing in good faith.

“This isn’t just a liquidation. What brings the best result to all creditors is the sale of a race team not just the sale of an asset.”

Smith would not reveal any potential suitors but said: “We’re looking at buyers that we would think do right by this team, that would be good for NASCAR, good for creditors and good for the employees. We’re looking for the right buyer that has the right offer for this team.”

Smith said that there have been conversations with “parties about their interest and trying to understand what their interest is and how they might be interested in putting an offer together.”

Any sale would have to be approved by the court and the trustee would have to show that he got the best price for the sale. Smith had no timetable for when the sale could be completed but said it would be “as soon as it is practical and works for the buyers and works for the requirement of the bankruptcy court.” Smith said that any buyer would get the team and not the liabilities the team faces.

“I think there needs to be a change in ownership in the team, and I think this process will do that,” Smith said. “I’m working really, really hard to make sure we get the right outcome for this team.”

Ron Devine was among those who started the team. BK Racing made its Cup debut in 2012. Devine had been a part of the ownership since. With mounting bills, including $9.25 million owed to Union Bank & Trust, BK Racing filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 15, three days before the Daytona 500. Devine said he made the filing to keep the bank from taking control of the team’s charter and selling it to reclaim money from loans owned.

Smith was approved by the court on March 28 to take over as trustee and operate the team, relieving Devine of his duties.

Gray Gaulding has driven the team’s No. 23 car all season. Gaulding finished 31st Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. The team is 35th in the car owner standings and ranks ahead of only one other team that has a charter.

 and on Facebook

Are more limits coming for Cup drivers in Xfinity, Truck Series?

Getty Images
1 Comment

NASCAR’s Steve O’Donnell hinted Monday that a decision could be coming soon on if to further limit Cup drivers next year in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

O’Donnell, chief racing development officer for NASCAR, made the comments on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Asked about any discussion on Cup drivers in those series beyond this season, O’Donnell said:

I think it’s trying to find that right balance. Some of the tracks we race on don’t have a Monster Energy race and is that a track that maybe one of those drivers could show up and race at? Perhaps.

“More and more the fans are speaking very loudly that they like the rising talent that we have in this series, we do as well, and the established veterans that are there. That is continuing on and we’ll have to make a decision really, really quickly in terms of what we do for 2019. We took a pretty bold step this year and that’s something we’ve got to evaluate and see if we want to go further.’’

NASCAR announced last August that Cup drivers with more than five years full-time experience would be limited to a maximum seven Xfinity races this season (down from 10 in 2017) and a maximum five Camping World Truck Series races (down from seven in 2017).

Also, any driver who elects to score Cup points, regardless of Cup experience, are prohibited from competing in the regular-season finale, the seven playoff races and the four Dash 4 Cash races. That means such drivers are ineligible to compete in 12 of the 33 Xfinity races this season.

Drivers who score Cup points are barred from competing in the last eight Truck races of the season — regular-season finale and the seven playoff races. That means Cup drivers cannot compete in seven of the 23 Truck races.

O’Donnell said in April on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that series officials were monitoring the reaction of fans and others in the sport about limits on Cup drivers in other national series.

“It’s one thing to say we like this, but fans need to turn out, ratings need to be there and those sorts of things,’’ O’Donnell said at the time. “That’s something that we’ll continue to monitor, but our gut tells us that’s the direction we want to continue to go, even more so in 2019 and beyond.’’

Xfinity races run so far by Cup drivers (limit 7) in 2018:

4 – Kyle Busch

4 – Ty Dillon

3 – Austin Dillon 

3 – Chase Elliott

3 – Joey Logano

3 – Jamie McMurray

2 – Ryan Blaney

2 – Kevin Harvick 

2 – Brad Keselowski

2 – Kyle Larson

1 – Aric Almirola

1 – Gray Gaulding

1 – Paul Menard 

1 – Daniel Suarez

NOTE: Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Austin Dillon, Paul Menard and Alex Bowman are on preliminary entry list for Michigan Xfinity race.

 and on Facebook