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CP MOTORSPORTS – MONTE DUTTON: TWO UNFORGETTABLE DRIVERS AND FORGETTABLE ME

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The 2011 season was heaven for me. The two Sprint Cup drivers with whom I had the best working relationship dueled it out for 10 weeks in the greatest Chase there ever was and likely will be.

Now, apparently, as these words are written, both are Cup drivers no more. In a minor note, I haven’t been an on-site beat reporter since 2012. I haven’t talked to Tony Stewart, the 2011 champion, since I left. Carl Edwards called me on the phone once.

I was here today, gone tomorrow. The two drivers will be long remembered.

CP MOTORSPORTS - FORD PERFORMANCE ANNOUNCES NASCAR DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

In an effort to develop talent for its NASCAR program long-term, Ford Performance announced today it is formally initiating a multi-tiered NASCAR driver development program.

The first stage of that program will be a formal relationship with Brad Keselowski Racing (BKR) and its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) effort, where Ford has signed Chase Briscoe as one of the drivers for BKR for the 2017 season as part of his development.

CP MOTORSPORTS - DANIEL SUÁREZ'S NASCAR NATIONAL SERIES CAREER BY-THE-NUMBERS

First NASCAR national series start was at Richmond International Raceway on April 25, 2014 driving for car owner Joe Gibbs in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Suárez started the race 12th and finished 19th in his NASCAR national series debut. 

1 – Number of NASCAR XFINITY Series championships (2016) 

1 – Number of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins 

3 – Number of NASCAR XFINITY Series wins – all last season 

6 – Number of NASCAR XFINITY Series career Coors Light poles

CP MOTORSPORTS - HALMAR FRIESEN RACING ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH TOMMY BALDWIN RACING

Chris Larsen and Stewart Friesen have announced the formation of Halmar Friesen Racing (HFR). HFR will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) running a full schedule for 2017 with Friesen as the driver. Halmar International will serve as primary sponsor on the No. 52 Chevrolet Silverado.

Managing the day-to-day operations of HFR will be NASCAR veteran Tommy Baldwin Jr.

CP MOTORSPORTS - TOYOTA UNVEILS 2018 NASCAR CAMRY AT NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

In an unprecedented event, Toyota today unveiled its 2018 NASCAR Toyota Camry race car in unison with the debut of the 2018 production Camry at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Following a dramatic redesign to its show room counterpart, the Camry race car will compete on the race track in 2017 as Toyota defends its NASCAR Premier Series manufacturer’s championship.

"The 2018 Toyota Camry NASCAR race car has been years in the making, and to unveil it simultaneously with our new production Camry is a milestone moment for our organization," said Ed Laukes, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Operations for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. "The collaboration between Calty Design Group and TRD has produced a NASCAR Camry that showcases aggressive styling that is sure to turn heads on the race track and among our fans in Toyota showrooms across the country. Reimagining both the Camry race car and its production counterpart has been a tremendous undertaking and our goal has been to maintain parallel design characteristics so our fans can enjoy driving a Camry that closely resembles the one their favorite NASCAR driver races each weekend."

CP MOTORSPORTS - COUGHLIN GRABS THE HARDWARE FROM A HISTORY MAKING SEASON

History is officially complete. Cody Coughlin has now received all the hardware that comes with being the first driver to win both the ARCA/CRA Super Series and JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour championships in the same season.

Coughlin, his team, family and friends gathered at the Crowne Plaza in Downtown Indianapolis Friday night for the Champion Racing Association banquet to celebrate Coughlin's history-making 2016 season.​

CP MOTORSPORTS - CIRCLE SPORT AND THE MOTORSPORTS GROUP ANNOUNCE MERGER

 Joe Falk of Circle Sport (CS) and Curtis Key, Sr., of The Motorsports Group (TMG) announced today that it will combine resources and participate in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS). The team will be led by Circle Sport owner, Joe Falk, utilizing manufacturer Chevrolet and participate in the full 2017 season under the number thirty-three (#33).

The managing partnership of the two Chesapeake, Virginia business men will combine its resources to increase sponsorship opportunities and boost its competitiveness on the track. Circle Sport retains its NASCAR Charter, giving the #33 guaranteed entries into all 2017 MENCS events. “It’s great to join forces with Curtis Key, I’ve known him for a very long time and know we share the same feelings about racing”, said Falk.

PR SPECIALIST JOINS FURNITURE ROW RACING

David Hart, a respected motorsports communications professional, has joined Furniture Row Racing to manage the public relations program for the team’s No. 77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry that will be driven in 2017 by rookie Erik Jones in NASCAR’s premier series.​

Hart will work closely with David Ferroni, who will continue to handle the public relations for Furniture Row Racing’s No. 78 team and its driver Martin Truex Jr. Ferroni will also oversee Furniture Row Racing’s corporate communications.

CP MOTORSPORTS - STEWART - HAAS RACING UNVEILS 2017 FORD FUSIONS

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Last February, Stewart-Haas Racing announced it would be moving to Ford for the 2017 NASCAR season. Since being formed in its current state in 2009, the organization has won two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup championships and 36 series races. The addition of SHR gives Ford seven full-time teams (Wood Brothers Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Team Penske, Richard Petty Motorsports, Front Row Motorsports and Go FAS Racing).

CP MOTORSPORTS – MONTE DUTTON: TAKE THE BEATLES’ ADVICE AND LET IT BE

I’ve been solving the world’s problems this morning.

Okay, just the college football world’s problems. I watched the New Year’s Day bowl games that are no longer on New Year’s. The Big Four have gotten smaller, thanks to the BCS. That’s Bowl Championship Series, which is an odd name since it has, except for lip service, ended “the bowl system.”

After putting some thought into it, I decided it would be best to eliminate conference championship series, play all the bowls with all the teams, even the ones that had losing seasons, and then select four for the BCS. Same number of games. No 5-7 team could possibly make it. For about a year, all would be sweetness and light, which cannot be maintained for any longer in a world that includes Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and several I am insufficiently hip to master.

So what about NASCAR?

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