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BLANEY GEARS UP FOR FIRST FULL SEASON

When driver Ryan Blaney sees the green flag at Daytona International Speedway Feb. 21, he’ll be beginning his first full season on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit and Wood Brothers Racing will be kicking off its first full season of competition since 2009.

Both driver and team are looking to improve on last year’s finish in the Daytona 500 when Blaney’s Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion suffered engine problems that ended his day early. The Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21, however, had been strong up to that point as evidenced by the young driver battling back into the top 15 after early race contact with Tony Stewart and the wall sent him back in the pack.

“We had fast cars at both Daytona races last year but had our fair share of troubles,” Blaney said. “That just gives us something to look forward to coming back. Our speedway cars have always been fast, and I think we've just gotten better.”

NASCAR INTRODUCES BUSINESS MODEL FOR ITS TEAMS

 
During a historic event held Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France joined with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team owners to announce a landmark long-term agreement that provides teams with increased business certainty and the ability to work more closely with NASCAR to produce best-in-class racing.

 

In effect as the 2016 NASCAR season prepares to kick off this weekend, the new Charter system addresses three key areas – participation, governance and economics – to promote a more predictable, sustainable and valuable team business model. The agreement grants NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charters to 36 teams, establishes a Team Owner Council that will have formal input into decisions, and provides Charter teams with new revenue opportunities including a greater interest in digital operations.

TRUEX LOOKING FOR ANOTHER STRONG SEASON

The 35-year-old New Jersey native finished second in the Unlimited after leading a race high of 28 laps in the 75-lap non-points event at Daytona International Speedway. That was 27 more laps than he led the entire 2014 season, his first year with the single-car team based out of Denver, Colo.

 

“After an uneventful 2014 season, last year’s Sprint Unlimited gave us a big lift,” said Truex. “It told us that we could be competitive, lead laps and race against the best of the best.”

 

TRUCKS PUT IN TEST TIME AT DARLINGTON

As the Georgia 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck series race – the tail end of a NASCAR twinbill at Atlanta Motor Speedway set for Feb. 27 – looms just three weeks away, a handful of rookies got the chance to get their feet wet on the aged, historic 1.54-mile track at AMS in a two-day rookie test that wrapped up this afternoon.

Five drivers – William Byron, Chris Bell and Cody Coughlin from Kyle Busch Motorsports, Grant Enfinger from GMS Racing, and Austin Wayne Self from AM Racing – turned laps, preparing for the rapidly approaching season and the challenge of driving competitively at AMS in the second week of the 2016 schedule. Combined, the five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookies have a total of just 16 truck races under their collective belt. None have raced in NASCAR at Atlanta.

Important seemed to be a theme among the drivers to describe the opportunity to get some seat time on one of the truck series circuit’s toughest tracks.

CP MOTORSPORTS – MONTE DUTTON: NASCAR TO EARTH: HEY, THERE’S A RACE …

Did you know the Sprint Unlimited is Saturday night?

No, not the latest payment plan. The stock car all-star race. Swimming pools. Movie stars. Y'all come back, y'hear?

I went to the grocery store. I attended the jayvee basketball games at the local high school Monday night. I went to the post office. And the hardware store. And, in tribute to contradictions in terms everywhere, a Subway salad.

CP MOTORSPORTS – MONTE DUTTON: A LITTLE DAB’LL DO YOU

I doubt anyone is reading this column from the summit of Mt. Everest, or the Marianas Atoll, or the Sargasso Sea, and assuming this to be the case, I'm going to assume you know the Super Bowl is this Sunday.

With the exception of various and sundry NASCAR drivers, owners, crew chiefs, spotters, PR reps and media members jockeying for position in the pecking order of who loves the Carolina Panthers the most, the racing scene is pretty dead around here this week. Of course, there is one team, Furniture Row Racing, in Denver, so the Broncos have roughly as many adherents as Martin O'Malley in the Iowa Caucus.

CP MOTORSPORTS: TOM HIGGINS: IF ONLY THESE HALLS COULD TALK

 

Through the combination of luck and longevity as a journalist starting in 1957, I was able to cover each of Saturday’s inductees into the NASCAR Hall Of Fame in Charlotte. The five men—promoter/track owner Bruton Smith and drivers Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, Curtis Turner and Jerry Cook—had storied, colorful careers.

FANSCHOICE.TV TO STREAM NEW SMYRNA RACING ACTION

Race fans around the world got to watch last year as 14-year-old Harrison Burton became the youngest Division I winner in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series history and rising dirt racing star Christopher Bell scored his first NASCAR win. That was possible thanks to the coverage from New Smyrna Speedway on FansChoice.tv.

 

This year, fans will once again be able to catch all the action of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing at the 50th World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing (Twitter hashtag: #NewSmyrnaWS) on FansChoice.tv.

 

COMMEMORATIVE TICKET DESIGN RETURNS FOR DARLINGTON RACEWAY’S LABOR DAY WEEKEND EVENTS

 
 

When fans received their Darlington Raceway tickets in the mail last season, the throwback look commemorating its 1974 ticket was enough to bring back nostalgic memories even before they got to the track.

 

Now in the second year of its throwback campaign, Darlington Raceway is excited to announce it will once again commemorate the sport’s rich history with a retro-style ticket that will be issued for its events on September 2-4, 2016.

A CONFIDENT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS HEADS INTO 2016

 

Hendrick Motorsports is looking to sweep the field this 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Owner Rick Hendrick is nothing but grateful for his 2016 team including freshman Chase Elliot, who will be driving the legendary No. 24 car.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in, it’s the kind people,” said Hendrick. “We’re looking out of the windshield, not the rearview. We focus on the championships ahead, not the ones behind us.”

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