NASCAR Pre-Season Update

Credit: 347510Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
A detail of the ‘ Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ logo during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Advance Auto Parts Clash on February 17, 2017 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida

Before the season started on January 11 Carl Edwards made a surprise announcement of leaving NASCAR. Edwards cited family, health as reasons for stepping away from NASCAR. Carl Edwards will be replaced with Daniel Suarez in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Joe Gibbs Racing car 19.

Stewart-Haas Racing Aspen Dental Danica Patrick Statement:

CHARLOTTE, NC – JANUARY 24: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Danica Patrick poses for a photo during the 2017 Media Tour at the Charlotte Convention Center on January 24, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Credit: 324024 Danica Patrick


February 14th, 2017
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Aspen Dental, one of the largest and fastest-growing brands in the United States, has expanded its partnership with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) to become the lead sponsor of Danica Patrick and the No. 10 team during the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. The No. 10 Aspen Dental Ford Fusion will debut in the season-opening Daytona 500 Feb. 26 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.

Aspen Dental has been a partner of SHR since 2012 and aligned with Patrick since 2014. As the brand enters its sixth year with SHR and fourth with Patrick, it will serve as the primary sponsor of Patrick’s No. 10 Ford Fusion for a double-digit slate of races in 2017.

“Our commitment to Danica Patrick goes back almost four years and our relationship with SHR even further,” said Bob Fontana, chairman and CEO of Aspen Dental Management, Inc. “She is a strong advocate for the Aspen Dental brand and a wonderful ambassador for programs like the Healthy Mouth Movement. Danica and Stewart-Haas Racing have encouraged fans to get started on the road to better oral health care while showcasing how Aspen Dental practices make it easy for them. We look forward to our enhanced partnership.”

Patrick has shined a spotlight on oral health across a multitude of channels. As part of the promotion of the Healthy Mouth Movement – a community-giving initiative which has delivered more than $7.5 million in donated dentistry for veterans since its inception – Patrick’s No. 10 car displayed a special paint scheme during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway in September 2015 that featured the names of 2,200 veterans who had been honored by their friends and family. Patrick also appeared in “A Taste of the Future” – a hidden-camera video campaign designed to raise awareness about the long-term consequences of delaying dental care.

“From the first time I visited Aspen Dental’s headquarters in 2013, I was struck by their commitment to helping people and changing lives,” Patrick said. “I love working with organizations that care about people, and teaming up with a group that has such an important mission – breaking down barriers and helping patients get the dental care they need – is very rewarding.

“In the years since I first partnered with Aspen Dental, it’s been fun to work on some unique projects with their team. From the ‘Taste of the Future’ video to launching the MouthMobile and then having the ‘Turbocharged Tooth Fairy Squad’ at Talladega last spring, we’ve worked together on some pretty impactful programs. It’s incredible to see firsthand how many people they’ve helped. I’m looking forward to delivering the company’s message at even more races this year.”

There are nearly 600 Aspen Dental practices across 35 states and each practice offers patients a safe, welcoming and judgment-free environment to address their dental challenges. Every Aspen Dental practice offers a full range of dental and denture services – including comprehensive exams, cleanings, extractions, fillings, periodontal treatment, whitening, oral surgery, crown and bridge work – allowing patients to have the peace of mind that they are taken care of and protected, so they can focus on getting the healthy mouth they deserve. In 2016, Aspen Dental practices recorded more than 4.1 million patient visits and welcomed nearly 900,000 new patients.

“Aspen Dental has been a great partner for Stewart-Haas Racing for many years,” said Tony Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas. “We’ve both grown with this sponsorship and we know we can achieve even more thanks to their increased role with Danica and our No. 10 team.”

About Aspen Dental Offices:
Aspen Dental practices are independently owned and operated by licensed dentists. The dentists and staff at Aspen Dental practices are all about making sure patients have easy access to quality, affordable oral health care. With nearly 600 offices in 35 states, Aspen Dental-branded practices offer patients a safe, welcoming and judgment-free environment to get the full range of dental care they need along with the convenience and speed of onsite denture labs. That’s why the Aspen Dental network of independent dental care providers is one of the largest and fastest growing in the U.S. and saw more than 4.1 million patients in 2016. To find out more about how Aspen Dental practices make it simply easier for each of their patients to get the healthy mouth they deserve, go to

About Aspen Dental Management Inc.
Aspen Dental Management Inc. (ADMI) is a dental support organization that provides non-clinical business support services to independently owned and operated dental practices in 35 states. This can include services and recommendations related to finding the right location, leasing, equipment, accounting and marketing. This model leaves independent, licensed practitioners free to concentrate on patient care. For more information about the relationship between Aspen Dental Management, Inc. and the branded dental practices please visit To learn more about careers at ADMI and Aspen Dental practices, visit

About Stewart-Haas Racing:

Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR team co-owned by three-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The organization fields four entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – the No. 4 Ford Fusion for Kevin Harvick, the No. 10 Ford Fusion for Danica Patrick, the No. 14 Ford Fusion for Clint Bowyer and the No. 41 Ford Fusion for Kurt Busch. The team also competes in the NASCAR XFINITY Series by fielding a full time entry – the No. 00 Ford Mustang for Cole Custer – and one part-time entry – the No. 41 Ford Mustang. Based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 200,000-square-foot facility with more than 300 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at, on Facebook at, on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng and on Instagram @StewartHaasRacing.

NASCAR Enhances On-Track Product with New Stage-Based Race Format

Playoff Points, Regular Season Champion Incentives Highlight Updates

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 23, 2017) – NASCAR, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, announced today an enhanced competition format that will be implemented in all three of its national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Increasing the sense of urgency and emphasizing aggressive racing and strategy, the race format will deliver more dramatic moments over the course of an entire race and season, with playoff point incentives on the line throughout.

The enhanced format consists of the following:

Races will now consist of three stages, with championship implications in each stage.

The top-10 finishers of the first two stages will be awarded additional championship points.

The winner of the first two stages of each race will receive one playoff point, and the race winner will receive five playoff points. Each playoff point will be added to his or her reset total following race No. 26, if that competitor makes the playoffs.

All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the playoffs (Round of 8), with the Championship 4 racing straight-up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the title.

Championship points following the first two stages will be awarded on a descending scale, with the stage winner receiving 10 points, second receiving 9 points, and so on.

The race winner following the final stage will now receive 40 points, second-place will receive 35, third-place 34, fourth-place 33, and so on.

“Simply put, this will make our great racing even better,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “I’m proud of the unprecedented collaboration from our industry stakeholders, each of whom had a common goal – strengthening the sport for our fans. This is an enhancement fully rooted in teamwork, and the result will be an even better product every single week.”

NASCAR also announced a playoff bonus structure that will see the regular season points leader honored as the regular season champion, earning 15 playoff points that will be added to the driver’s playoff reset of 2,000. In addition, the top-10 drivers in points leading into the playoffs will receive playoff points, with second place receiving 10 playoff points, third place will earn 8 points, fourth place will receive 7 points, and so on. All playoff points will carry through to the end of the Round of 8.

“These are enhancements that the NASCAR fan has long sought, and the entire industry has worked hard to develop a better racing format for our fans,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “This format puts a premium on every victory and every in-race position over the course of the season. Each point can eventually result in winning or losing a championship.”

NASCAR Unveils Enhanced Format Stage Lengths for All Three National Series

Fuel Mileage, Tire Wear Among Determining Factors for Lap Counts

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2017) – NASCAR today announced the 2017 stage lengths for each race in all three of its national series. A number of factors went into determining the lap count for Stage 1, Stage 2 and the Final Stage of each race, with a singular goal in mind – the best racing for NASCAR fans.

“Every track is unique for its characteristics in length, surface and overall racing conditions,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition. “We worked closely with race teams on expected fuel and tire runs over the entirety of an event when considering stage lengths. And in the end, stage lengths were decided based upon what would provide the best race for fans.”

Last week, NASCAR announced the stage lengths for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season-opening DAYTONA 500 (Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.

2017 Feb 17 NASCAR Format

Amber Balcaen joins Martin-McClure Racing: Will Drive No.39 Entry at New Smyrna Speedway

Abingdon, VA – February 1, 2017

Martin-McClure Racing, owned by former NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Hal Martin and Eric McClure, announced today that Amber Balcaen has joined the organization for select events in the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season beginning with the Jet Tools 150 at New Smyrna Speedway on February 19, 2017. Balcaen will pilot the No. 39 Shead Racing, Winners Circle, and Glen McLeod & Son Transportation Toyota Camry in the season-opening event.

Balcaen, who hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, is a third-generation driver who began her racing career at the age of 10 in dirt oval karting. Among Balcaen’s accolades include the 2014 NOSA Sprint Car Rookie of the Year Award, as well as distinction as the only Canadian driver to compete in the 2014 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine and the 2015 Bill McAnally Racing Drivers Expo. Balcaen most recently competed in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series where she was awarded the Motor Mile Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 after securing her first NASCAR-sanctioned win at the same track. Balcaen now has aspirations of being the first woman to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event.

Eric McClure:

“As a father of six (soon to be seven) daughters, having a female driver in our car strikes a personal chord with me. I want my girls to grow up knowing that if they dream big and work hard they can achieve anything. Having Amber living this before our eyes proves this is true to my daughters as well as thousands of other young female race fans. Beyond being a female driver, Amber is a talented athlete and will continue to do impressive things behind the wheel as she moves forward in her career and as a competitor in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.”

Hal Martin:

“Amber has proven herself to be a fierce competitor in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. She also exhibited extreme car control during her days as a sprint car driver. We welcome her and her diverse skills set to the MMR organization and are excited to be able to field a strong female competitor on the track. I look forward to working with her as she continues to hone her craft and work her way up the NASCAR ranks.”

Amber Balcaen:

“What an amazing opportunity Martin-McClure Racing has given me in the season opening race at New Smyrna in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. This will be the pinnacle point in launching my NASCAR career. I am putting a ton of pressure on myself as I want to do well and prove that a Canadian woman driver belongs here.

I am so thankful for Shead Racing, Glen McLeod & Son Transportation, and Winner’s Circle joining the MMR team later this month. I’m focused on a successful race, and looking forward to having additional partners join us for the rest of the race season.”

About Martin-McClure Racing:

Martin-McClure Racing is a NASCAR K&N Pro Series team that was created with the objective of providing a competitive, professional NASCAR team for up-and-coming drivers to showcase their talents under the guidance of former NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Eric McClure and Hal Martin. The race-winning organization is based in Abingdon, VA and housed in the former Morgan-McClure Motorsports complex.

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