Charlotte Motor Speedway & Iowa Speedway

2015 May 15 cms_may_15

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race
Charlotte Motor Speedway Distance: 150 miles (100 laps)
Saturday, May 17 8:30 p.m. (ET) TV: FOX Sports 1, 7 p.m. (ET)
Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90

NASCAR Nationwide Series Get To Know Newton 250 presented by Sherwin Williams
Iowa Speedway Distance: 218.75 miles (250 laps)
Sunday, May 18 2 p.m. (ET) TV: ESPN, 1:30 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200
Charlotte Motor Speedway Distance: 201 miles (134 laps)
Friday, May 16 8:30 p.m. (ET) TV: FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway

2014 May 16 allstar_14

The current locked-in field features all race winners, dating back to the 2013 Daytona 500. Two additional berths are awarded to the top-two finishers in the “Sprint Showdown” on Friday night, NASCAR’s version of a “last-chance race” featuring drivers who have not won in 2013 or 2014, or who are not a previous winner of the event in the past 10 seasons. One final berth goes to the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote.

The current locked-in field features all race winners, dating back to the 2013 Daytona 500. Two additional berths are awarded to the top-two finishers in the “Sprint Showdown” on Friday night, NASCAR’s version of a “last-chance race” featuring drivers who have not won in 2013 or 2014, or who are not a previous winner of the event in the past 10 seasons. One final berth goes to the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote.

The 90-lap/135-mile race will conclude with a 10-lap “shootout.” Fans love a good shootout.

And then, there’s that little matter of the $1 million payout to the winner.

There’s an added wrinkle this year – hey, it wouldn’t be an all-star race without one – affecting the Sprint Showdown and Sprint Fan Vote berths. In the past, the showdown was run on the same day as the all-star race with the fan vote winner announced prior to the all-star race. This year, the showdown and the fan vote announcement will take place on Friday night. That will enable those three drivers to be involved in the all-star qualifying session on Saturday night, opening up the possibility that a non-winner could still snag the all-star pole.

Jimmie Johnson Car 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet holds the record for most NASCAR Sprint All-Star victories with four, including the last two years; Johnson has nudged by Jeff Gordon Car 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet) & Dale Earnhardt on that all-time victory list.

Johnson has the record. Gordon has the momentum, coming off a win last week at Kansas Speedway and now looking at two weeks of racing in Charlotte. Twenty years ago at CMS, Gordon got his very first NASCAR Sprint Cup win, in the Coca-Cola 600, which will be run at CMS on May 25.

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: The Format

Sprint Fan Vote

Fans can vote until Friday (May 16) on the NASCAR MOBILE App or online at NASCAR.com/allstar.

Votes cast from the NASCAR MOBILE App count double.

The Sprint Fan Vote winner will be announced after the Sprint Showdown and will be entered into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

If the Sprint Fan Vote leader finishes first or second in the Sprint Showdown, the Sprint Fan Vote spot will go to the driver second
in fan voting.

Sprint Showdown

Sprint Showdown qualifying consists of two consecutive timed laps with the fastest lap determining the starting positions.

Starting field limited to 33 starters who are not entered in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (23 cars are currently entered).

Segment 1/20 laps: 33 fastest qualifiers start the first of two 20-lap segments. … Green flag and yellow flag laps will be counted. … Optional pit stop during break, teams that pit will not retain their position on track.

Segment 2/20 laps: Only green flag laps will be counted. … Top-two finishers transfer to NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Qualifying

Three laps, including a four-tire pit stop, with no pit road speed limit.

Total elapsed time determines the starting lineup of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

For the first time the Sprint Fan Vote Winner and two Sprint Showdown cars can participate in NASCAR Sprint All-Star qualifying, rather than automatically starting at the rear of the all-star field.

Sprint Fan Vote and Sprint Showdown transfer teams may work on their cars prior to the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race

Segments 1, 2 and 3/20 laps each: All laps will be counted. … Optional pit stop during break, teams that pit will not retain their position on track.

Segment 4/20 laps: All laps will be counted. … Running order at the completion of the fourth segment be repositioned based on the average finish of the first four segments. … Running order ties will be broken by the finish of the fourth segment. … Pit road will be open for a mandatory four-tire pit stop. … Order of cars returning to the track will determine starting order of the fifth and final segment.

Segment 5/10 laps: Only green flag laps will be counted.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Etc.

All 19 drivers who are locked into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race have won at least one race in either 2013 or 2014 – meaning, no drivers need to use the past event winner’s provisional. … Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s win in the season-opening Daytona 500 was big, obviously – and it also locked him into the all-star race. If not for that victory, Earnhardt – who went winless in 2013 and hasn’t won the all-star race since 2000 – would’ve had to race his way via the Sprint Showdown or won the Sprint Fan Vote. … Twenty-three drivers are entered in Friday night’s Sprint Showdown, including Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates Austin Dillon, Michael Annett,
Alex Bowman, Cole Whitt, Kyle Larson and Ryan Truex. All will be looking to add their name to an exclusive list. Only two rookies have won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race: Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000) and Ryan Newman (2002). … Danica Patrick, who is entered into the Sprint Showdown, scored her career-best finish (seventh) last weekend at Kansas. The finish was the fourth-best by a female driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, and fell just short of the best all time (fifth by Sara Christian at Heidelberg Raceway in 1949).

2015 May 17 297741

Elliott Going For Double-Duty Of A Different Kind

Before you graduated high school, did you ever lead the points standings and rally off two wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series?

Didn’t think so. But 18 year-old phenom Chase Elliott, has.

Elliott will attempt a unique double-duty this weekend as he graduates from his Georgia high school on Saturday morning before flying back to Iowa to participate in the Get To Know Newton 250 on Sunday.

Elliott’s not your average high school student. The Sunoco Rookie has led the series point standings since April 4 when he posted his first series win at Texas Motor Speedway. He then solidified his ascension to stardom the following week with a win at historic Darlington Raceway.

Accompanying Elliott’s two wins are four top fives and seven top 10s in nine starts. He leads all series championship contenders in season-to-date Driver Rating (109.1), Average Running Position (6.8), Fastest Laps Run (9.8%) and Laps in the Top 15 (94.9%).

Elliott has a one-point lead over second-place Elliott Sadler and is just three points up on third-place Regan Smith. Though Elliott has a NASCAR K&N East win at Iowa, this weekend will be his NNS debut at the track. Sadler has three Coors Light Poles, one win and six top 10s, in six starts at Iowa. Smith has made two starts at Iowa, posting one top 10, but has an average finish of 9.0.

Iowa: Just The Place For Bayne To Bounce Back

Few teams can roll into a speedway like Iowa, and say, ‘they own the place’, but the Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 6 team can do just that. In the eight races at Iowa Speedway they have won half of them. Though two-time series champ Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is credited with three of the wins, 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne led the team to its fourth win last season at the 0.875-mile track and could use another win this season to catch points leader Chase Elliott.

Bayne is fourth in the standings (-31), tied in points with Richard Childress Racing’s Ty Dillon who is fifth. Bayne has posted one top five and seven top 10s in nine starts this season, but hasn’t been able to visit Victory Lane. He has an average finish in the top 10 (9.8) and among series point contenders he has the sixth-best season-to-date Driver Rating (90.2).

In five starts at Iowa, Bayne has posted one win (2013), two top fives, three top 10s and an average finish of 13.4. He holds the record for the youngest pole winner at the speedway as well at 19 years, five months, 12 days (2010).

NASCAR’s Newest Jewel: Iowa Speedway

NASCAR purchased Iowa Speedway in 2013 through a wholly-owned subsidiary named, Iowa Speedway LLC. The state-of-the-art 0.875-mile asphalt paved tri-oval race track and motorsports facility designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace is located 30 miles east of Des Moines, in Newton, Iowa.

Iowa Speedway has produced action-packed, competitive racing in its history of hosting NASCAR Nationwide Series races. In eight series races the speedway has produced five different winners and five Coors Light Pole winners. Each race has averaged 10 lead changes among 6 different leaders, and the average Margin of Victory for the first eight races is less than a second (0.96 second).

2015 May 17 Iowa_XFINITY_3M

Iowa Speedway also has been a great spur for young driver’s to taste victory at the NASCAR level. Six drivers in Sunday’s field have won a NASCAR race at Iowa Speedway: Chase Elliott (K&N Pro Series East), Dylan Kwasniewski (K&N Pro Series East), Ryan Blaney (NCWTS), James Buescher (NCWTS), Trevor Bayne (NNS) and Elliott Sadler (NNS).

NASCAR Nationwide Series Etc.

NASCAR Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next driver Ryan Gifford returns to the series at Iowa Speedway with Biagi-DenBeste Racing. Gifford finished ninth in his national series debut last August at Iowa driving for Richard Childress Racing. … Austin Theriault will be making his series debut this weekend at Iowa in JR Motorsport’s No. 5 car. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 5 team is currently second in the owner standings, 36 points behind Joe Gibbs’ No. 54 car, which will be driven by Sam Hornish Jr. this weekend. … Dylan Kwasniewski will jump behind the wheel of the No. 42 car for Turner Scott Motorsports at five events this season, including this weekend. Current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Chase Pistone will replace Kwasniewski at Iowa Speedway in the No. 31 car.

Deja’ Vu For Crafton After Kansas Race

NC LOTTO 200 2008

Just like his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship season of a year ago, Matt Crafton is sitting right where he was after competing at Kansas Speedway in 2013 (Kansas was the fourth race last season). Crafton used his second-place finish at Kansas to take the points lead, moving ahead of Timothy Peters and Johnny Sauter, both of whom had trouble in the race at Kansas.

Last season Crafton assumed the points lead and never looked back, scoring 11 consecutive top-10 finishes in as many races to pull away and win his first championship. Crafton finished last season with 19 top 10s in 22 races.

Crafton returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend with an eight-point lead over Timothy Peters and Ron Hornaday Jr. Crafton also holds the record for most truck starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway; he’s the only active driver in the field this weekend who has started every NCWTS race that has been held at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Tulare, Calif. native has collected his first career series win at Charlotte in 2008 and has eight top-10 and three top-five finishes in his 11 starts at CMS.

Strong Start Continues For Quiroga

Despite getting collected in an early-race incident at Kansas last Friday, German Quiroga came back to finish seventh and keep an impressive streak alive in 2014. The Mexico City native is one of two drivers to finish in the top 10 in all three series events so far this season (Ron Hornaday Jr. is the other).

Quiroga rebounded at the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway to finish 10th and he scored his best finish at Martinsville Speedway in March, coming home seventh.

As Quiroga, currently fourth in points, enjoys his best start in the series, he enters this weekend’s race at Charlotte just 11 points out of the lead.

Dating back to last year’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Quiroga has collected four consecutive top-10 finishes for the first time in his career.

Busch Enjoys Racing NCWTS At Charlotte

Kyle Busch, who has won each of his last three starts at Charlotte, has five CMS wins overall (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013). Busch’s five wins at CMS are the most at any track on the schedule. In addition to his five wins in eight starts, the Las Vegas native has seven top-10 finishes and two poles.

To say Busch likes driving on 1.5-mile tracks might be an understatement. The Las Vegas native has picked up nearly half (18) of his 37 career truck series wins on tracks of that length. In addition to his truck wins, Busch also has captured eight NASCAR Nationwide Series wins at Charlotte.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Etc.

Brad Keselowski will make his first truck series start of the season Friday night. … Jake Crum will make his first start of the season driving a truck for Empire Motorsports and new crew chief Mike ‘Grumpy’ Cheek. Crum has made 13 career series starts. … Max Gresham also makes his first start of the year driving a truck for GMS Racing. Gresham, who has 38 career truck starts, will compete in five races for the team in 2014 starting at Charlotte where he finished a career-best third in this race last season.

CUSTER LOOKS FOR ANOTHER FIRST

Being first is nothing rare for Cole Custer as he looks for another first in the Casey’s General Stores 150.

The 16-year-old NASCAR Next driver has four NASCAR K&N Pro Series wins to his credit in just 19 starts including one at Iowa Speedway in Newton last August. If Custer can find his way back to Victory Lane on Saturday, May 17, he’ll become the first two-time winner of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East/West showdown event in its 10th edition.

The .875-mile oval has featured its share of star-making moments, from Joey Logano’s victory as a 17-year-old in the inaugural race in 2007 to Chase Elliott’s first NASCAR win in 2012.

Ben Rhodes brings an 18-point lead over fellow NASCAR Next driver Gray Gaulding in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, while Greg Pursley brings a 10-point lead over NASCAR Next driver Brandon McReynolds in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series

Scott Steckly crashed out of last year’s season opener and then rallied from that 34th-place finish to take his third NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship by just two points over DJ Kennington.

The 42-year-old Milverton, Ontario driver would like to avoid spotting his competition a similar lead when the 2014 season opens with the Pinty’s presents the Clarington 200 on Sunday, May 18 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Bowmanville, Ontario.

Kennington, two-time series champion Andrew Ranger, Jason Hathaway and LP Dumoulin – who swept last year’s events on the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course – are among those expected to chase Steckly for the title.

http://velocitymotorsportsnews.com/victoria-day-speedfest-weekend-at-the-canadian-tire-motorsport-park/

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Graphics & Photos Courtesy of NASCAR

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