Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happy Birthday Dale Earnhardt Sr.

Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s 1915 hero card featured his three children Kerry, Kelly, and Ralph Dale Jr.
Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (April 29, 1951 – February 18, 2001) was an American race car driver and team owner, best known for his involvement in stock car racing for NASCAR. Earnhardt began his career in 1975 when he drove in the 1975 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as part of the Winston Cup Series (later the Sprint Cup Series).

Earnhardt won a total of 76 races over the course of his career, including one Daytona 500 victory in 1998. He earned seven NASCAR Winston Cup Championships and his aggressive driving style earned him the nickname "The Intimidator."

He also carried the title of “Dad.”

In 1995, Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s hero card featured his three children Kerry (then 25), Kelly (then 22), and Ralph Dale Jr. (then 20). The Earnhardt children are the third generation of racers and were just beginning their racing career. Like their father, Dale Sr. and their grandfather, Ralph racing was in their blood.

Today would have been Ralph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. sixty-third birthday. Happy Birthday to "The Intimidator."

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Who’s #NASCAR's Next?

The 2014 #NASCAR Next class consists of: Gray Gaulding, Jesse Little, Ryan Gifford, Ryan Preece, Brandon McReynolds, Austin Hill, Erik Jones, Dylan Lupton, Kenzie Ruston, Cole Custer, Ben Rhodes and Ruben Garcia Jr.
The 2014 NASCAR Next class consists of: Back row, from left, Gray Gaulding,
Jesse Little, Ryan Gifford, Ryan Preece, Brandon McReynolds, Austin Hill and Erik Jones;
and front row, from left, Dylan Lupton, Kenzie Ruston, Cole Custer, Ben Rhodes
and Ruben Garcia Jr. (Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The 12 drivers have already won 20 times, and hold the honors as the youngest winners in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well as youngest NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion and highest finishing female in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history. The list also includes the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West Sunoco Rookies of the Year.

The team was selected through an evaluation process that included input from industry executives and veteran racers. Drivers must be between the ages of 15-25, have tangible and expressed goals in eventual competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and possess the potential to realize that goal.

Additionally, each driver in NASCAR Next must be actively competing in a NASCAR touring or weekly series – NASCAR K&N Pro Series East or West, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series or NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitors also are eligible provided they are not slated to run a full season in their respective series.

The NASCAR Next members for 2014-15 are:
  1. Cole Custer (16 years old, Ladera Ranch, Calif., Twitter: @colecuster00) – A two-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2013, he opened the K&N Pro Series West season this year with a victory from the pole in Phoenix.
  2. Rubén García Jr. (18, Naucalpan, Mexico, @rubengarcia4) – The 2012 NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series Rookie of the Year continues to improve and finished fourth in the standings last season. Earlier this season, he made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut.
  3. Gray Gaulding (16, Colonial Heights, Va., @graygaulding) – Holds the mark for youngest pole winner in both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, and recorded his first series win at Phoenix last fall.
  4. Ryan Gifford (25, Winchester, Tenn., @ryangifford2) – The NASCAR Drive For Diversity driver scored the 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win at Richmond and posted an impressive top-10 finish in his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut last August in Iowa.
  5. Austin Hill (20, Winston, Ga., @hillbroracing) – The winner at last year’s K&N East race at Dover, he has two top-five finishes in this season’s four races.
  6. Erik Jones (17, Byron, Mich., @erik_jones) – Made his mark on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last November in Phoenix by becoming the youngest winner in series history.
  7. Jesse Little (17, Sherrills Ford, N.C., @jesselittle97) – The 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He made his first series start just 11 days after turning 15 in 2012.
  8. Dylan Lupton (20, Wilton, Calif., @LuptonDylan) – The 2013 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Sunoco Rookie of the Year picked up his first series victory at Evergreen Speedway in August.
  9. Brandon McReynolds (23, Mooresville, N.C., @Bmcreynolds28) – With starts in four different NASCAR series, he is chasing the championship in the K&N Pro Series West, where he is second in points.
  10. Ryan Preece (23, Berlin, Conn., @RyanPreece16) – He became the youngest champion in the history of the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour last season while balancing a 43-race schedule in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (finished fourth in the national standings) and making his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut.
  11. Ben Rhodes (17, Louisville, Ky., @benrhodes) – The current points leader in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East with three poles in four races, and a win at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway. He scored an impressive top-10 finish in his NASCAR Camping World Truck series debut at Martinsville.
  12. Kenzie Ruston (22, El Reno, Okla., @KenzieRuston) – She finished sixth in last season’s K&N Pro Series East season standings and has top 10 finishes this season at New Smyrna and Daytona. She has the highest finish – both in a race and in the championship standings – for a female driver in K&N Pro Series East history.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Re-Visiting #NASCAR’s Once Upon A Time!

A young Jeff Gordon with an even younger Trevor Bayne.
A young Jeff Gordon with an even younger Trevor Bayne.
(Courtesy of the Bayne family - FOXSports.com)
Bayne (born February 19, 1991), a #NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series race car driver has always looked up to the four-time Sprint Cup champion, Jeff Gordon, who has also won the Daytona 500 three times.

One can only imagine Trevor Bayne’s emotions when he worked the draft with Gordon in his debut series of races at the Daytona International Speedway. Bayne is best known for winning the 2011 Daytona 500, and is the youngest driver to win the race at the age of 20 years and 1 day.

Take time to view this video of that Fairy Tale NASCAR-Feel-Good Ending!

What - Are you kidding me!

Trevor Bayne, making just his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start (first at the Daytona 500), wins the 2011 Daytona 500. It is his first and to date only, NASCAR win.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Young Chase Elliott

#NASCAR Driver Bill Elliott talks with son Chase during the 2002 Pennsylavania 500 at Pocono Raceway.
Bill Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid R/T,
talks with son Chase during the 2002 Pennsylavania 500 at Pocono Raceway.
(Jamie Squire-Getty Images North America)

Young Chase Elliott has been burning up the NASCAR Nationwide Series ranks in the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, which he's put into Victory Lane in each of the last two races.

But in the long history of what we now call the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, it's Chase's dad, Bill Elliott, who has had the most success driving the No. 9.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Ragan Visits Shriners (#nascar)

#NASCAR ‘s David Ragan Visits Shriners Hospitals for Children

David Ragan, third-generation NASCAR driver, stopped by the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Greenville, SC today to visit with the kids on his way to Darlington.

David Ragan joined Front Row Motorsports in January of 2012 after racing with Roush Fenway Racing for 6 years. He raced alongside teammates David Gilliland and Josh Wise for the 2012 and 2013 season. In his first two years for the Ford team based out of Statesville, NC. Ragan collected 2 top 5's, 4 top 10's, and a dramatic win at Talladega Super Speedway in 2013. It was Front Row Motorsports first win in the Sprint Cup Series. Ragan has made back to back All-Star appearances for Front Row Motorsports and looks to carry the momentum into 2014. CSX, Farm Rich, Safercar.gov and Loves Travel Stops are all returning for the 2014 season.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"These kids fighting cancer are some of the greatest champions I will ever know." -- Jeff Gordon


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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kasey Helps Farmers Thank a Million Teachers

Kasey Visits Southwood Elementary in Enumclaw, Washington.

#NASCAR Driver, Kasey Kahne visited his childhood school Southwood Elementary today and honored former Principal Jake Thomas and fourth-grade teacher Jody Emerson with a heartfelt “Thank You” in front of hundreds of excited students.

As part of the Farmers Insurance “Thank A Million Teachers” national initiative, Kasey Kahne visited his childhood school Southwood Elementary today and honored former Principal Jake Thomas and fourth-grade teacher Jody Emerson with a heartfelt “Thank You” in front of hundreds of excited students.

During the visit, Farmers Insurance and Kahne surprised Thomas and Emerson by inviting them to be Kahne’s guests at the Sunday, May 4 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. Thomas and Emerson will get behind-the-scenes access and get an insider’s view of Kahne in his unique and highly-competitive work environment.

Also during Thursday’s visit to Southwood, Farmers Insurance and the Kasey Kahne Foundation announced matching donations to the school to help fulfill the students’ dream of planting a reading garden. As a result of the donations, the garden will be named the Kasey Kahne Reading Garden planted by Farmers Insurance.

“We are thrilled to have Kasey’s support of the 2014 ‘Thank A Million Teachers’ initiative,” said Randy Rice, National Manager of Education Programs for Farmers Insurance. “Farmers believes in smart. We provide award-winning training to agents and employees so they can help consumers make smart insurance decisions. In a similar way, teachers play an integral role in helping children learn, grow smarter, and plan ahead. We are excited to provide America with a platform to share their ‘thanks’ with educators and honor teachers with funding to continue doing what they do best — positively impacting the minds of our future leaders.”

“I had a really nice time visiting my elementary school today and seeing my former principal, Mr. (Jake) Thomas. I really enjoyed interacting with all the students at Southwood, and it was fun being able to visit my hometown of Enumclaw. It definitely brought back a lot of great memories,” Kahne said. “Teachers play such an important role in helping students pursue their dreams so I’m proud to be a part of Farmers’ ‘Thank A Million Teachers’ program. It’s great being able to show our appreciation towards these amazing teachers who have positively influenced our lives.”

“We are grateful to Farmers Insurance and Kasey Kahne for their support of all of the teachers and students at Southwood Elementary,” said Susan Arbury, principal of Southwood Elementary. “Their visit today is an important reminder of how teachers help make students smarter and how they help students plan for their futures. On behalf of our teachers and students, I would like to personally thank Farmers and Kasey for their support of teachers and education programs through the ‘Thank A Million Teachers’ program.”

With nearly 300,000 teachers across the United States already recognized since the “Thank A Million Teachers” campaign was launched just a few short weeks ago, Farmers Insurance is far ahead of its stated goal to Thank a Million Teachers in 2014, the insurer announced last week.

As part of the “Thank A Million Teachers” initiative, Farmers has been urging America to thank teachers, past and present, for the positive impact they have had in communities across the nation. Farmers has invited teachers to submit proposals for $2,500 grants on the www.ThankAMillionTeachers.com website. During March, Farmers is inviting the public to vote on the proposals, with 30 winners to be announced in April. In all, Farmers has committed to donating $1 million to teachers and education programs in 2014.