NASCAR Updates Sprint Cup Series Race Eligibility, Chase Provisional Implemented for Open Teams
NASCAR today announced updated procedures for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race eligibility and new provisional starting guidelines for races during the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Starting with Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway (7:45 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), current year owner points will replace practice speeds for determining race eligibility and starting position in the event adverse conditions prevent Coors Light Pole qualifying from taking place. Starting in 2017, for the second and third events of the season, practice speeds for Open teams will remain the criteria used to determine race eligibility.
Spencer Gallagher Issues Apology Following Incident at Gateway Motorsports Park
"I would like to take time to address my actions at Gateway Motorsports Park this past weekend. First, I would like to apologize to John Wes Townley. Additionally, to his team and fans, I am sorry. The incident earlier in the race was not intentional and certainly was not meant to cause bigger problems later in the event. My crew, who have worked so hard to get me to where I am this season, did not deserve to have their night ended in that way. My teammates and all of the guys back at the shop deserve more respect than was shown Saturday night. I would also like to apologize to my team owner, who wholeheartedly believes in this organization and expects all of us to perform at our best at all times, no matter the situation. And finally, I would like to extend a sincere apology to the NASCAR community - representatives and fans. I love this sport just as much as all of you and I am ashamed that I was part of an incident that has allowed so many to view what we do in a negative light."
SONOMA, Calif. - Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 wasn’t the knock-down, drag-out free-for-all fans have come to expect at Sonoma Raceway in recent years, although it did peg the drama meter with race winner Tony Stewart’s last-lap duel with runner-up Denny Hamlin.
Third-place finisher Joey Logano has an explanation why drivers didn’t rough each other up on Sunday. Quite simply, they’re getting the hang of road course racing.
"In all honesty I think it’s because everyone is getting better," Logano said after the race. "A lot of the crashes in the past have been because the cars are wheel-hopping into the corner and they can’t stop and they hit somebody. Most of the time that’s what it is. There’s still plenty of contact, but everybody has gotten better at this road course racing - not just drivers, but race teams and getting their cars better and their brakes better and the setups better.
2016 Sonoma: NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recap - Dramatic last-lap pass gives Tony Stewart crucial victory
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
SONOMA, Calif. - Is Tony Stewart having fun yet?
In his last year of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing, Stewart came to Sonoma Racing asserting on Friday he wasn’t having much fun driving a Sprint Cup car.
That all changed in Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the 1.99-mile road course, where Stewart bulldozed Denny Hamlin into the outside wall in Turn 11, executing a dramatic last-lap pass for his first victory since June 2, 2013 at Dover.
In the three years since that victory, a succession of injuries and a personal tragedy have limited the three-time champion’s time in a Sprint Cup car and limited Stewart’s effectiveness when he was behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet he co-owns with Gene Haas.
JOEY LOGANO - No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion - PRESS CONFERENCE - HOW DID THE 22 PERFORM TODAY? "We had a hard-fought third-place finish today, which is no easy finish here at Sonoma at any point. I’m really proud of the effort that we have made here in Sonoma over the last - not just this race, we did make progress throughout the race - but in the last three years. I think a couple of years ago we had a fast short-run car and we fell off harder than anybody. Last year, we had a slow short-run car, but a good long-run car. This year, we had a pretty decent car throughout the whole run. It didn’t fall off really hard, so I’m super-proud of the effort that has been put into this race track here in Sonoma.
2016 Sonoma: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Quotes
TONY STEWART, NO. 14 CODE 3 ASSOCIATES/MOBIL 1 CHEVROLET SS - RACE WINNER
IS THE IMPACT OF THIS WIN EVEN MORE MEANINGFUL BECAUSE OF THE TIMING OF IT?
"They're all good; it doesn't matter where you get them. But, we ran close to those guys all day. We just got stuck back in traffic. It's pretty ironic the last one we got was in a Code 3 car and I'm proud to do it again. I'm proud of Mobil 1 and Bass Pro and everybody. It's just an awesome job."
WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR LEGENDARY CAREER AND YOUR EIGHTH ROAD COURSE WIN AND YOUR FINAL YEAR, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO CHALK-UP ANOTHER ONE ON YOUR RACING RESUME?
"Especially at a place you're going to for the last time, it means a bunch. It's special, trust me."
2016 Gateway: NASCAR Truck Race Results - Christopher Bell takes thrilling victory
By Chris Knight, NASCAR Wire Service
MADISON, Ill. - A gutsy decision to use the bottom lane for a restart with two laps to go paid off for Christopher Bell, who earned his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory in Saturday night’s third annual Drivin for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Bell, driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra, survived a chaotic and intense second half to edge Ben Rhodes to the checkered flag, giving KBM its 50th victory in the series, tying Roush Fenway Racing for the all-time series wins lead.
"This one’s for my guys," said Bell in Victory Lane. "My guys, they deserve this one. We’ve been so fast all year long and I just kept making a lot of mistakes. I just can’t say thank you enough to all the guys at Toyota, TRD, JBL, everyone at KBM, all my pit crew guys they did an awesome job. Track position was everything. We got awesome motors underneath the hood of these things and all the guys at JGR, they never give up and keep digging."
Rhodes, who contended for his first career win, had to settle for a career-best second.
2016 Sonoma: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Quotes
California native, AJ Allmendinger, will try to earn his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory from the second starting position for Sunday’s Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. The driver of the No. 47 Ralph’s/Kingsford Chevrolet SS laid down a lap of 95.676 mph/74.878 seconds, just shy of the pole winning time. This is the best start of the season for the man who hails from Los Gatos, California. Allmendinger has one prior NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory on the road course in Watkins Glen, NY, but would love nothing more than to take his Chevy to Winner’s Circle in front of his hometown crowd.
"Being a home race, there’s obviously a lot of pressure when you show up," said Allmendinger after the qualifying session. "But, yesterday was a struggle. We definitely just missed everything we were trying to get right and never really found a happy medium. So, we went to work last night. The guys did a good job and I think we’ve still got some work to do in race trim, but it’s definitely a starting spot to run to the front and this race just plays out in so many different ways. We’ll just go out there and try to be smart all day."
2016 Sonoma: NASCAR Sprint Cup LIVE Streaming, Timing, Weather & TV Schedule
By PaddockTalk.com Staff Writers
The 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup seasons continues today as 28th Annual Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California is set to roll. TV coverage today will start airing at 1:30 PM ET on FS1. With the race coverage to officially begin at 3 PM ET with the green flag flying at 3:19 PM ET.
The pole sitter Carl Edwards and his No. 19 Stanley Toyota will lead the field to the green flag. The Pole sitter has won this event just five times in the 27 events held at the track since 1989. The last Polesitter to claim victory was Jeff Gordon in 2004.
If you'd like more or need alternative coverage you can check out web streaming, live-timing, and radio.
For LIVE timing and scoring be sure to check out nascar.com which has LIVE timing and scoring, and lap by lap updates.
Audio web streaming will be with PRN handling the call of the race at PRN beginning at 2 PM ET.
You can also check out RaceView Premium which is a virtual 3-D Video of race action with in-car audio as well as national radio broadcasts. RaceView Audio is also available and streams all 43 drivers' in-car audio and Officials' channel.
As for the weather, it should be a sunny day and temperatures in the upper-70s. There is no chance of rain.
Stay tuned to paddocktalk.com for all of your racing results, updates and coverage!
2016 Sonoma: NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Recap - Edwards edges Allmendinger for pole
By Reid Spencer, NASCAR Wire Service
SONOMA, Calif. - Carl Edwards ran a lightning-fast lap in the first round of Saturday’s knockout qualifying at Sonoma Raceway—and it worried him.
"After that first lap—I have to be honest—I sat here and thought, ‘Man, I’m really going to screw this up on the second one,’ ‘cause the first one was really good, but it held on for the pole, and so I’m really excited."
Edwards toured the 1.99-mile road course in 1 minute, 14.392 seconds (96.301 mph) in the first round and was the only driver to crack 96 mph either in Friday’s practice or Saturday’s time trials.
But he need not have worried about the second round. In Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 (3 p.m. ET on FS1), Edwards’ No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will lead the field to the green flag.
On the lap that counted, as tires fell off and the track got marginally warmer, Edwards secured his third Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his first at Sonoma and the 19th of his career with a run at 95.777 mph (1:14.799).
AJ Allmendinger was a close second at 95.676 mph (1:14.878). The road course ace put his No. 47 JTG/Daugherty Chevrolet on the front row at Sonoma for the third straight year, having started second in 2014 and from the pole last season.
"It was a struggle yesterday," Allmendinger said of Friday’s practice. "We just never could really find the direction of the car. All my guys did a great job to get to work, to get this car closer to the front.
"When I saw Carl’s first lap, I said, ‘I don’t care what kind of lap I run—if he runs that again I’m not going to get close.’ Then, after I saw it was less than a tenth (of a second), you sort of nit-pick, but it’s definitely a big gain from where we were yesterday."
2016 Sonoma: Chevrolet NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Quotes
AJ ALLMENDINGER, NO. 47 RALPH’S/KINGSFORD CHEVROLET SS - Qualified 2nd
YOU DIDN’T WIN THE POLE, BUT YOU LOOKED IMPRESSIVE:
"Honestly, for where we were yesterday; it was a struggle yesterday. We just never could really find the direction of the car. All my guys did a great job to get to work and get this Kroger/Kingsford Chevy closer to the front. When I saw Carl (Edwards) first lap, I kind of said I don’t care what kind of lap I run. If he runs that again, I’m not going to get close. And then I saw it was less than a tenth. I always nitpick, but it was a big gain from where we were yesterday. We’ve still got to go to work and we’ve still got to figure out what we need for race trim, but a good start at least."
2016 Sonoma: Ford NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying Quotes
JOEY LOGANO - No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford Fusion - "That’s better than where we were last year. We were 17th or 18th last year, so we’ve improved. I thought I had a shot after the first round, but lost some grip the second round and tried harder at the same time and all of that just didn’t work out. It’s unfortunate that we lost a little bit from the first round to the second round, but we’re still in good shape. I still think we have a top-5 car and we proved that today in qualifying. We were really close to that, so now we’ll just work our way through it and see where we end up. At this race you never know what’s gonna happen. It’s about strategy and the fastest car doesn’t always win. A lot of times if you have a top-5 car you can figure out ways to win and I feel like we have that, so it’s just all about executing the race strategy and getting through the race by keeping your cool and doing all of that right."
2016 Sonoma: NASCAR Sprint Cup Saturday - Notebook
IS ANOTHER REBOUND AT SONOMA IN THE CARDS FOR KYLE BUSCH
SONOMA, Calif. - Since when is finishing last a good omen?
It could be for Kyle Busch, who finished 43rd at Michigan last year before scoring the breakthrough victory at Sonoma that propelled him into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and ultimately to the series championship.
A year later, Busch comes to Sonoma fresh from another last-place run at Michigan—40th this time because of the smaller Sprint Cup starting grid under the Charter system instituted this season.
For Kyle Larson, a breakthrough victory at Sonoma is not far-fetched
SONOMA, Calif. - As proficient as Kyle Larson has been on high-banked ovals, you might be tempted to discount his chances of getting his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory on a road course.
Then there’s his lack of experience at venues like Sonoma Raceway and Watkins Glen International. Interestingly, Larson credits his dirt-track background with the ability to get a quick handle on road courses.
"I don’t have hardly any road course experience," Larson acknowledged on Friday at Sonoma. "My first road course race was (at Road America) in 2013 when I ran Xfinity full-time. Then I have done the Rolex 24 now three times and then just the few road course races we get to run in the Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series. I’m getting more experience, but still I probably ran a little over 10 road course races in my life.
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