NASCAR executive to Kyle Busch: ‘Keep being yourself’ (video)

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Kyle Busch wrecked in the Xfinity race, spun early in the Cup race, later made contact with Martin Truex Jr. that sent Truex crashing and Busch apologizing, provided an image that turned into an instant GIF classic, was confronted by a fan after the race at Bristol Motor Speedway and then took issue with some fan tweets while also thanking others for their support in about a 48-hour period.

Kyle Busch is not boring. For that, NASCAR President Brent Dewar applauded Busch on Twitter on Monday morning.

Busch went to Twitter on Sunday to thank his supporters and fire back at the haters.

Martinsville president on Cup night race: ‘Earliest it would happen is in 2020’

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According to Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell, “There’s nobody that wants a night race here more than I do.”

But in a video posted on the track’s Twitter page in response to a fan question, Campbell said, “The earliest it would happen is in 2020.”

The .526-mile track, the oldest active facility on the NASCAR circuit, finished installing 19 LED lights in Feb. 2017. The project was a result of needing an “insurance policy” after the fall 2015 Cup race ended nearly after sunset.

The track hosted a full NASCAR Late Model race at night last September and will do so again this year.

While last year’s fall Cup race ended under the lights, Campbell said in the video finding the proper date on the schedule for a full night race is an issue, especially with the 2019 schedule already set.

“I think everybody in the business would love to see a night race here,” Campbell said. “I think NASCAR is interested in it; International Speedway Corp., our parent company, is interested. Everybody. … I guess where we’re going with that is it’s not as easy as pick a date, flip the lights on and let’s do it. There’s lot of moving pieces to it. We don’t control the pieces. So that’s the problem. The second part of that is a better date to get out of the problems we had in the spring when we got snowed on.”

The April Cup race was delayed to Monday due to snow. The Camping World Truck Series race finished Monday morning and was followed by the full Cup race.

“We would love to swap dates with somebody, but the question is who wants to give up a date and give it to us?” Campbell said. “Because most of the dates are taken. It would take something that makes sense for the other track and makes sense for us and it’s complicated.”

Campbell said the track talks to NASCAR on “a regular basis” about the possibility of a night race.

NASCAR President Brent Dewar addressed what goes into deciding when a race should be run at night in February when asked about a Martinsville night race.

“What we look at, candidly, it’s not night racing for night racing or day racing, it has to be a combination of the ambient temperatures where we’re at, the type of the track we have and the ability to have a great race,” Dewar said. “Some of the tracks will lend themselves to incredible night racing.’’

The Cup Series returns to Martinsville on Oct. 28 with the playoff race starting at 2:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN).

The track’s 2019 Cup races are scheduled for March 24 and Oct. 27.

Report: NASCAR memo: France family ‘dedicated to the long term growth’ of sport

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NASCAR President Brent Dewar told employees that the France family “remains dedicated to the long term growth of our sport” in an internal memo obtained by the Associated Press on Tuesday.

The memo was issued a day after a report by Reuters, citing unnamed sources, that the France family was in the exploratory stages of possibly selling their majority stake in the sanctioning body.

Dewar said in the memo that NASCAR does not comment on “industry rumors,” but did not mention a potential sale by the France family, which owns the sanctioning body founded by Bill France Sr. in 1948.

Bill France Jr. replaced his father as NASCAR President in 1972, a position he held until 2000. He was NASCAR’s Chairman and CEO until 2003 when Brian France took over from his father and has held the position since.

A NASCAR spokesperson told NBC Sports on Monday that “we do not have a comment on this.’’

In a February 2017 story, The Wall Street Journal reported the Brian France had sold his stake to other family members more than a decade earlier.

The WSJ story said Jim France, Brian’s uncle, and Lesa France Kennedy, Brian’s sister, still hold stakes in the privately held company, and that they must approve any “major changes” in NASCAR.

Jim France also is chairman of the board of publicly traded International Speedway Corp., which has Lesa France Kennedy as its CEO. ISC owns 12 tracks which play host to races on NASCAR’s premier circuit.

Long: NASCAR-related tweets did not reflect positively on sport after Texas race

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As if DeLana Harvick had enough to do. The wife to Kevin Harvick and mother of two children, including a daughter born in December, had to be the voice of reason Sunday night for a sport filled with snipes, swipes and other barbs toward one another after the Texas race.

The back-and-forth carried over to social media and included everyone from a senior NASCAR executive to a team co-owner, crew chiefs and more.

Just as a mother does when she tells a child to stop misbehaving, DeLana Harvick put her foot down on social media with a tweet at 10:38 p.m. ET. It was not addressed to anybody in particular but to anyone watching Twitter after the race — which proved to be as drama-filled as the 500-mile event — it was a good reminder for many on social media.

Until that point, Twitter had been quite interesting for a NASCAR fan if you knew where to look.

NASCAR President Brent Dewar engaged with fans as he often does, but his tone was a bit more aggressive than the other times he’s conversed with fans.

Admittedly, some fans were upset that NASCAR didn’t penalize Harvick’s team for an uncontrolled tire late in the race. NASCAR admitted after the race it made a mistake. Then Monday morning, Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition, called the non-call a “close call.’’

Dewar engaged with a fan who was upset about the non-call Sunday night.

Obviously, race control is a secure area and where NASCAR’s officials call the race. To suggest a fan could visit race control seems over the top. While Dewar sought to maintain a sense of levity in the response with the emojis, some could view his comments more harshly than intended.

But it wasn’t just Dewar on social media that stirred debate and discussion on matters. Pit guns were another key point after Sunday’s race, triggered by Harvick’s comments after the race. He expressed his frustration after pit gun issues potentially cost him a chance to win Saturday’s Xfinity and Sunday’s Cup races at Texas.

Harvick said the pit guns “have been absolutely horrible all year, and our guys do a great job on pit road, and the pathetic part about it is the fact you get handed something that doesn’t work correctly, and those guys are just doing everything that they can to try to make it right.”

He isn’t the only one to be upset about the pit guns this year. Cole Pearn, crew chief for Martin Truex Jr., expressed his displeasure with the pit guns at Atlanta. Pearn let his voice be heard again Sunday after the race, commenting on an article that noted Harvick’s frustration with the pit guns.

Pearn referenced the Race Team Alliance, which features most of the Cup teams. Pearn’s team, Furniture Row Racing, is not a member. Pearn’s tweet earned a response from Rob Kauffman, chairman of the Race Team Alliance and a co-owner of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Car owner Joe Gibbs said after Kyle Busch‘s win that he’s not a fan of the NASCAR-mandated pit guns.

“I don’t like things not in our hands,” Gibbs said. “So, you know, be quite truthful, I’ve taken a stand on that. That’s something that I hope we continue to really evaluate, continue to evaluate that.”

There was more Sunday.

Harvick’s crew chief, Rodney Childers responded to a tweet from Ty Gibbs that has since been deleted. Gibbs, the 15-year-old grandson of Joe Gibbs and a part of the JGR driver development program, referenced Ford in his tweet after Kyle Busch’s JGR Toyota car won at Texas.

Regardless of whom DeLana Harvick targeted in her tweet Sunday night, NASCAR Twitterverse calmed down. How long remains to be seen.

The stretch of short tracks continues this weekend with Bristol and next weekend with Richmond.

One can only imagine what will be on social media after those races.

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NASCAR President critical of series official’s action in Kevin Harvick’s pit

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NASCAR President Brent Dewar was critical on Twitter of a series official for fist-bumping a member of Kevin Harvick‘s team after NASCAR decided not to penalize Harvick for an uncontrolled tire in Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Fox Sports 1 showed Harvick’s car chief Robert Smith fist bump with an official and Harvick’s business manager, Josh Jones, tap the official on the back.

Dewar, who often converses with fans throughout the week on social media, was on Twitter after the race. He engaged with a fan who was critical of NASCAR for not calling a penalty on Harvick (NASCAR admitted after the race it made a mistake in not doing so). During the back-and-forth, Dewar told the fan to “Come visit race control some time. You would change your tune.”

Denny Hamlin later joined the conversation.

On the official fist-bumping members of Harvick’s team, here’s how Dewar responded to a fan:

Dewar had a discussion with a fan about NASCAR later admitting its mistake in not penalizing Harvick.

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