Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Second Annual Motorsports News Awards

Drivers of The Year

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Carl Edwards

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Despite playing the game at Talladega in October, Carl Edwards had one of the best seasons of any of the options in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Edwards was able to click off some victories and gain an all important victory at Texas that would send him to Homestead to compete for the Championship. Edwards season ended after a racing related incident with Joey Logano. Keeping good sportsmanship, Edwards wished Logano's team luck and took the blame for the racing related incident. Edwards finished 4th in points this season his best finish since he finished 2nd way back in 2011. Edwards is still seeking his first career championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series but surely had an effort in 2016 that showed Edwards was here and that he meant business. 

Other Drivers Receiving Votes: Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch

NASCAR Xfinity Series - Elliott Sadler

Chris Trotman/Getty Images
This was probably the toughest one for us to decide here at The Motorsports News Source because all four of the drivers in the Final Four had great seasons but when it came down to it Sadler had the best with just the Championship victory being absent. Sadler was able to keep his spirits up at one of the scariest moments of his career when OneMain Finnancial announced they wouldn't return. Sadler kept good spirits and was able to pull off a few wins that eventually made OneMain want to remain with Sadler. In 2017, The Virginia Native will look to gain his first Championship in NASCAR. Things are looking up for this team in 2017 and I could see some great things happening to Elliott in the next few seasons. 

Other Drivers Receiving Votes: Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, and Justin Allgaier

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series - William Byron

Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
It isn't with surprise to see William Byron gain this award. He had a historical rookie season and will already be moving to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2017 with Hendrick Motorsports. Byron gained his first victory at Kansas in dramatic fashion passing Johnny Sauter and Ben Rhodes as the two took each other out as the two entered the final corner. Byron went on to prove that wasn't a fluke by winning six more times. Byron though was on the short end of the stick with the new chase format after he blew his engine at Phoenix which ultimately caused him to be eliminated and that moment will be seen a little more on in the awards. Byron failed to make the Final Four unlike the other two Driver of The Year winners.

Other Drivers Receiving Votes: Christopher Bell, Timothy Peters, Johnny Sauter, and Matt Crafton


Rookie Of The Year

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - Chris Buescher 

Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images 
This will be a very unpopular win amongst the fans because of the fact that overall Chase Elliott did do better than Ryan Blaney and Chris Buescher but we looked at the section of stress that the rookie was placed in from Pocono to Richmond having to shoot to make the Top-30 and remain in the Top-30 to make the Chase and the driver from Texas succeeded which for the underfunded Front Row Motorsports was a success story that many of the fans didn't notice. Chris Buescher didn't make it far in the chase but he did make it further than Ryan Blaney who failed to make the Chase. Next season will possibly be a tougher pick because we have a ton of new rookies who will be in very competitive cars but for this season Chris Buescher was the sole driver to gain a victory which is why he is the 2016 Motorsports News Source Rookie of the Year! 

Other Drivers Receiving Votes - Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Brian Scott, Jeffrey Earnhardt

NASCAR Xfinity Series - Erik Jones

Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
"You Beat the Best Baby"
Erik Jones proved at Bristol that he was going to be a real contender at winning the 2016 Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at the Bristol Motor Speedway where he beat the two who have seemed to dominate Bristol the last few years. The two Kyles, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson. Erik Jones continued to show success as the season continued but the chase wasn't good to Erik with the exception of the fact that he made it to the season finale at Homestead competing against Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier, and teammate Daniel Suarez. Jones was able to prove why he's a good fit for the #77 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry for Furniture Row Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017.

Other Drivers Receiving Votes: Brandon Jones, Brennan Poole, Ryan Preece, Ray Black Jr., B.J. McLeod, and Garrett Smithley

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series - William Byron

Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
Without a doubt William Byron goes back-to-back on awards in the Motorsports News Source Awards by winning both Driver of The Year and Rookie Of The Year. Byron excelled as a rookie this season and showed he was fit for a next level ride and with interests in the future William Byron will be driving for Rick Hendrick in 2017 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. William Byron tallied a record amount of victories by a rookie in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and in 2017 he will seek to gain back-to-back Rookie Of The Year's driving for JR Motorsports. William Byron won Rookie of The Year in both the actual series and The Motorsports News Source Awards. Kyle Busch Motorsports has surely shown how it produces talent and it will continue in 2017 with their wide range of drivers.

Other Drivers Receiving Votes: Christopher Bell, Cole Custer, Ben Rhodes, Rico Abreu, and Austin Wayne Self

Race of The Year

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series - 58th Annual Daytona 500

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
By far the race of the season was the first race of the season for multiple reasons but the close finish was the key that locked this race as Race of the Year. The first race of the charter era along with the first Daytona 500 held at the complete Daytona Rising. It was seriously one of the best overall races with racing all throughout the race. Many drivers were giving their all and pushing their cars to the limit including Regan Smith who was overheating coming to the Checkers which shows just what the Daytona 500 means to a driver. Denny Hamlin came out as the victor and with that victory became the sole driver at the time to lock into The Chase for the Sprint Cup. Truex Jr. was on the other end of the photo finish.

Other Races Receiving Votes: Good Sam 500, Geico 500, Coke Zero 400, Bojangles Southern 500, Federated Auto Parts 400, and Ford 400


NASCAR Xfinity Series - Road America 180 Fired Up by Johnsonville

Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images
The feel good race of the season had to be Michael McDowell finally gaining his first NASCAR Victory at Road America driving for Richard Childress Racing. After countless attempts and 5 finishes inside the Top-5, McDowell was finally able to prevail and win at Road America. McDowell battled Justin Marks, Alex Tagliani, Brennan Gaughan, and Erik Jones to gain his first career victory in the top ranks of NASCAR. The race had a threat of rain and with rain tires on standby which made things just a little more edgy. But in the end McDowell was able to overcome adversity and leave Road America with the Trophy and the Track Record in Qualifying that he landed in the first round of qualifying. McDowell is expected to return to Richard Childress Racing in the Xfinity Series in a few races in 2017 along with continuing the affiliation with Richard Childress Racing with Leavine Family Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. 

Other Races Receiving Votes: Power Shares QQQ 300, Heads Up Georgia 250, Sparks Energy 300, Hisense 4K TV 300, American Ethanol 250, US Cellular 250, Food City 300, VFW Sports Clip 200, and Ford 300

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series - Fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola

 Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Throughout his ARCA Career one win had eluded him. He had won at Daytona and even led the field to green in the NextEra Energy 250 earlier in the season but on a cool crisp windy Saturday Afternoon in Talladega Alabama, Grant Enfinger was finally able to gain a victory at his home track. Enfinger dominated behind the wheel of the #24 Plugfones Chevrolet Silverado. The whole race though was filled with drama especially with it being the first elimination race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase. The big one also took out many contenders including Brandon Brown and ultimately eliminated Daniel Hemric from The Chase. The drama was the key to making this the Race of the year for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Other Races Receiving Votes: NextEra Energy 250, Great Clips 200 , Toyota Tundra 200, Speediatrics 200 , Driven For Linemen 200, Aspen Dental Dirt Derby, UNOH 200, Chevrolet Silverado 250, and Ford 200

Shocking Moment of The Year

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sidelined by Concussion

Blaine Ohigashi/Getty Images
This moment shocked many in the sport but in the long run many of us learned more about Concussions and as time goes on we are helping other sports decrease the numbers of concussions including in the sport of Football. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a great start to the year by winning his second straight Can-Am Duel at Daytona but after that it seemed like the season just took a downhill slide with the end coming after Kentucky when Jr. announced he would sit out of the next few races which would then ultimately turn into sitting out the remainder of the season. Dale Earnhardt Jr. will return to competition in 2017 and I feel he will be better than ever. Earnhardt will be married by the time the season starts which will be something new for fans to see. Sorry Ladies, Jr. is off the market now.

Other Moments Receiving Votes: The Closest Finish in Daytona 500 History, Jimmie Johnson Ties Dale Earnhardt Sr. for Wins, Photo Finish at Phoenix, The Geico 500 as a Whole, and Jimmie Johnson ties Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt with 7th Championship Win



Friday, December 30, 2016

Boyd to Rick Ware Racing in 2017

Robert Laberge/Getty Images
A day following the news that Rick Ware Racing will be moving to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2017 with Cody Ware being announced in the first list of announcements released by Rick Ware Racing, Cody will be racing in half of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Schedule. 
Joining Ware in 2017 will be Spencer Boyd, who drove the teams Xfinity Series entry twice in 2016 making his debut at the Iowa Speedway where he finished 29th after starting 40th. Ware made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville last spring with MB Motorsports where he finished 28th. His best finish last season though came driving for Premium Motorsports at Gateway where he finished 19th after starting 28th. Boyd also raced at Homestead with MAKE Motorsports where he finished 30th. 
Spencer and Cody have a past together, being teammates for Farbo Motorsports driving Legends Cars back in 2012. Both are relativity new to the top divisions of NASCAR and can work together as times continues with the ultimate goal having to be racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It has to be simpler to have a teammate who is already a friend but it can also have its disadvantages. 
Rick Ware Racing will field a Chevrolet Silverado in the NCWTS Season opening NextEra Energy 250 at the Daytona International Speedway. The number and sponsorship details will be revealed at a later date. RWR is also continuing to look for funding for the 2017 NCWTS Season. For more news concerning Rick Ware Racing and The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series stay tuned to The Motorsports News Source! (Koelle,2016)  

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Abreu Looks to Step Closer to History at Chili Bowl

Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
NASCAR's smallest driver Rico Abreu will be looking to get closer to a historical mark on January 14th. Abreu, who has won the Chili Bowl for the last two years, will be chasing a record set by Kevin Swindell. Kevin has the most consecutive victories in the Chili Bowl A-Main which is the stat that NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Rico Abreu will be looking to inch closer to. The list of drivers who have won the Chili Bowl A-Main include Rich Vogler, who won the inaugural one in 1987, Dave Blaney, Billy Boat, Tony Stewart. The most recent driver to win the A-Main that wasn't named Rico Abreu was the late Bryan Clauson, who won the event in 2014. With a victory on January 14th, Rico will also come one step closer to Sammy Swindell's record 5 victories in the Bowl.
Abreu will be chasing history on January 14th while a record number of entrants are on the entry list. Sammy Swindell will also be seeking his record setting 6th victory in the Chili Bowl. Drivers who have connections with NASCAR or ARCA who are entered are as listed: J.J. Yeley, Chase Briscoe, Justin Allgaier, Tanner Berryhill, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Nick Drake, A.J. Fike, Kyle Larson, Chad Boat, and Rico Abreu. (Koelle,2016)

Rick Ware Racing Shutting Down Xfinity Team; Fielding Truck in the NCWTS

Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images
Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Rick Ware Racing announced today they will be shutting down their Xfinity Series operations and moving to one full-time truck in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2017 with Cody Ware driving half of the 23 race schedule with another driver to be announced in the near future. Owner points will be coming from the #07 SS Green Light Racing Truck that raced in the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with multiple drivers including Ware at Canada and Talladega. The number and sponsorship details along with other driver announcements coming soon.
Cody Ware is coming off a 2016 Season where he raced 6 races in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and 2 races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. His best finish in the Xfinity Series came at Watkins Glen where he finished 21st while his best finish in the Camping World Truck Series last season came in Canada where he finished 17th. Ware has made 5 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with Canada being his best finish.
Much speculation could go into who will drive in the other half of the season with a heavy mind toward Bryce Napier who raced as a Rick Ware Racing development driver in 2016 driving at Martinsville, Bristol, and Phoenix for Rick Ware Racing. The Rookie from Scotts Valley California had his best finish at Martinsville in the spring where he finished 23rd. Other possibilities who could drive the truck for Rick Ware Racing could be any list of drivers who drove for Rick Ware Racing's Xfinity Series program in 2016 with names like Chris Cockrum, Austin Theriault, Travis Kvapil, or Ryan Ellis. Be sure to stay tuned to The Motorsports News Source for all the latest news concerning Rick Ware Racing's other drivers and The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series! (Koelle,2016)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sargeant Could Make Cunningham Favorite Again in 2017

Jonathan Moore/Getty Images
After a dominating performance in 2016 by Chase Briscoe and Cunningham Motorsports, Cunningham has a new driver behind the wheel of the #77 Ford Fusion in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards. His name his Dalton Sargeant and he's here and he means business.
Jonathan Moore/Getty Images
Sargeant isn't a new face to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards he's just new to the blue oval brand and now with Cunningham Motorsports being a development program for Ford Performance, Sargeant is the newest driver who will look to make his way up the stair steps with the goal being in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Stewart Haas Racing, Team Penske, Roush Fenway Racing, or Richard Petty Motorsports. With drivers like Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, etc. which is a list of seasoned veterans in the Motorsports industry.
With Dalton behind the wheel though it sets up what could be another season of domination by Cunningham Motorsports. Dalton isn't chasing any firsts this season except for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Championship or his first career pole, He gained his first career victory this season at Berlin. In 15 races last season, Dalton gained 10 Top-5 finishes, 12 Top-10 finishes, and he even led 119 laps.
Sargeant will certainly be one of the favorites for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Champion in 2017 but he will have to compete against drivers like Riley Herbst who will be driving for Joe Gibbs Racing's new ARCA Racing Series team in 2017 along with Justin Fontaine, A.J. Fike, and Gus Dean. The 2017 ARCA Racing Series season will certainly one to keep a watch on and be sure to stay tuned to The Motorsports News Source for all of your latest ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards News! (Koelle,2016)

The Rejuvenation of a Career - Move to JR Motorsports Could Save Annett

Jerry Markland/Getty Images
In 2017, JR Motorsports will gain a new driver in a new full-time ride driving the #5 Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet Camaro where he will compete for the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship. Michael Annett joins JR Motorsports following three seasons in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series driving for Tommy Baldwin Racing in one of those three seasons and HScott Motorsports at the remaining seasons. This move could be the one that either jump starts his career or it just stays where it is now.
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
Not many drivers get second chances and Annett isn't one like some drivers who have raced in high caliber rides in the past but then was released due to sponsorship issues or just not giving his quota that was needed to remain in that ride. Annett left Richard Petty Motorsports for Tommy Baldwin Racing following the 2013 Season, which was a move that Annett looked to better himself. After one season at Tommy Baldwin Racing, Annett moved to HScott Motorsports. In his first season at HScott Motorsports, Annett had two DNQ's at Atlanta and Talladega in 2015. Annett failed to gain a Top-5, Top-10, or a Pole. Annett gained a 35th place average start in three seasons while he gained a 31st place average finish. This is something that Annett can certainly make fans forget with a run for the ages in 2017 in the Xfinity Series.
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images 
Annett isn't a new face to the NASCAR Xfinity Series either. Annett has made 163 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driving for teams like Germain Racing, Rusty Wallace Inc., and Richard Petty Motorsports. His best finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series was 3rd and he has done that three times over his career at Daytona, Dover, and New Hampshire. This experience that Annett has will certainly be a help to newcomer William Byron if Byron needs any help.
The move to JR Motorsports could be what saves Michael Annett's career and it could be the start of something new. Annett will also get to return home at Iowa Speedway twice in 2017 which is something that could motivate Annett to make the best of this opportunity. Stay tuned to The Motorsports News Source for more about Michael Annett, JR Motorsports, and The NASCAR Xfinity Series. (Koelle,2016)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas from The Motorsports News Source

The Motorsports News Source would like to wish all of our supporters a very Merry Christmas! We have had an amazing 2016 and as we enter the final week of 2016 we will be pumping out any of the newest news going into 2017 along with a new edition of the Road to Daytona: 2017 and The Second Annual Motorsports News Source Awards! During the first week of 2017 we have a few Q-and-A's planned as we begin to move closer and closer to the 2017 NASCAR Season. We hope each and everyone of you will tighten your seat belts and enjoy the ride we will call the 2017 Season! Thank you again for all of your continued support and we hope you received everything you wanted for Christmas! (Koelle,2016)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Myatt Snider Rounds Out KBM #51 Truck Lineup

Myatt Snider Racing
One last Christmas Gift from Kyle Busch Motorsports as the team announces the final driver who will drive the #51 Toyota Tundra next season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Kyle Busch will race the #51 at Atlanta, Kansas, Charlotte, Pocono, and Michigan. Harrison Burton will begin at Martinsville then Dover, Iowa, Eldora, Bristol, then Martinsville again. Todd Gilliland will pick up at Gateway then race in Canada, New Hampshire, and Phoenix. The final races will be filled by Myatt Snider.
Myatt Snider will begin the season with Kyle Busch Motorsports at the Daytona International Speedway. Snider will then race at Texas, Kentucky, Chicago, Las Vegas, Talladega and then end the season with KBM at Homestead.
Southeastern Mills and it's product The Original Louisiana Hot Sauce will adorn the #51 Toyota Tundra in his Eight Races in the 2017 Season. In 9 starts in the ARCA Racing Series, Myatt Snider has gained a victory at Toledo, 3 Top-5 Finishes and 5 Top-10 Finishes. Snider made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Phoenix where he finished 17th after starting 19th. Snider is the son of NBC Sports Analyst Marty Snider. For all your latest news concerning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series please bookmark The Motorsports News Source! Give it a share too!(Koelle,2016)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Burton to Kyle Busch Motorsports in 6 Races

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
Kyle Busch Motorsports keeps the Christmas presents coming by announcing that Harrison Burton will drive the #51 Toyota Tundra in 6 races in the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Season. Burton made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut last season at Martinsville with KBM behind the wheel of the #18 DEX Imaging Toyota Tundra where he finished 22nd after starting 16th.
Burton, who is the son of former NASCAR Driver Jeff Burton, will make his first start of the 2017 Season at the Martinsville Speedway. Following Martinsville we will see Harrison pilot the #51 Toyota Tundra at the Dover International Speedway. Burton will also pilot the #51 at Iowa in June, Eldora in July, Bristol in August, and he will end his season where it began at the Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville Virginia. Burton joins Todd Gilliland (Four Races) and Kyle Busch (Five Races) as drivers announced to pilot the #51 in 2017. Stay tuned to The Motorsports News Source for all your latest news concerning Kyle Busch Motorsports and The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series! (Koelle,2016)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Joey Gase Racing Partial Schedule with BK Racing

BK Racing announced a multiple race partnership with Best Home Furnishings to sponsor the #23 BK Racing Toyota with driver, Joey Gase. The Best Home Furnishings Toyota will be on track at the Daytona 500 in February, the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway, and additional races throughout the 2017 season. The Daytona 500 will be Gase's first race with BK Racing. "We're thrilled to have Joey and Best Home Furnishings, one of the largest furniture manufacturers, join us for the Daytona 500 in February, said BK Racing team owner Ron Devine. "It is the largest race of our series and a wonderful event for Joey to debut his BK Racing relationship. We've been watching Joey's growth for quite some time and looking forward to seeing what he can do behind the wheel of a BK Race car."" />"I cannot put into words how thankful I am for the opportunity everyone at Best Home Furnishings and BK Racing has given me," said driver Joey Gase. "Racing in the Daytona 500 and the Bristol night race has been a dream of mine since I can remember. It's very exciting to share this experience with everyone at Best Home Furnishings and those who have helped me get to this point in my career."
Best Home Furnishings is becoming one of the largest furniture manufacturers in the world. With five locations throughout the US and over 1,000 employees they have a very simple theme, make the best quality product at the most affordable price. "We are thrilled to be partnering with BK Racing and Joey Gase," said Glenn Lange, CEO of Best Home Furnishings. "Joey is a young, energetic and up-and-coming driver who has shown to be competitive from an early age. His heavy involvement with the non-profit, Donate Life exemplifies our shared values and passion to exude excellence in all facets of our business and personal lives. Our family has been involved with the collection of classic and sports cars for decades. To have our company's name as a primary sponsor on a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car is a dream come true," said Lange. (BK Racing)

Gilliland to Kyle Busch Motorsports Part Time in 2017

Sean Gardner/Getty Images for NASCAR
Kyle Busch Motorsports have announced that the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion Todd Gilliland will join the organization on a part time basis in 2017.
Gilliland will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 17th. He will also drive the #51 Toyota Tundra at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and New Hampshire Motor Speedway in September, then he will end his 2017 NCWTS Campaign at Phoenix International Raceway on November 10th.
The 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion will also return to the K&N Pro Series in 2017 running a full schedule in both series. Gilliland will join Kyle Busch in the #51 in 2017 along with a few other to be determined drivers. Kyle Busch will drive the #51 at Atlanta, Kansas, Charlotte, Pocono, and Michigan in 2017. Daniel Suarez is expected to return to the #51 in a few starts. Cody Coughlin, Gary Klutt, Daniel Suarez, and Kyle Busch all rounded out the season in the #51 Toyota in 2016. (Koelle,2016)

Poole Will Return to CGR in 2017

Bobby Ellis/Getty Images
Brennan Poole will rejoin the organization in 2017 with DC Solar returning. Veteran Xfinity Series Crew Chief Chad Norris will remain on the Pit Pox.
Poole competed full time in 2016 finishing 8th in final NASCAR Xfinity Series points. Homestead was Poole's 50th Start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. His best career finish came at Talladega and Road America where he finished 3rd. At Talladega, Poole crossed the finish line first but that caution had already flown ending the race with Elliott Sadler in the lead. Poole finished runner up to Erik Jones for the 2016 Rookie of the Year. Poole has shown great consistency this season completing 99.2% of the laps and having an average start of 13th and average finish of 12th.
Poole will seek his first career victory in 2017 while also looking to gain Chip Ganassi Racing it's first Xfinity Series Championship, Reed Sorenson finished 4th in points in 2005 which was the best points finish by an Xfinity Series driver. Poole is the first driver to race a full time campaign for CGR since Reed Sorenson last ran in 2006. (Koelle,2016)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Top-5 Free Agents Still on The Market

With the season approaching faster and faster the open rides are starting to be filled and things could get very interesting with the remaining especially with the lack of rides remaining and the amount of drivers left. It's going to come down to the fact that musical chairs will come to an end and a list of drivers left standing. We here at The Motorsports News Source have compiled a list of the best remaining drivers left playing musical chairs and a prediction of where they will land in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Drivers like Matt DiBenedetto, David Ragan, and Landon Cassill are the most recent drivers to secure their spots for 2017 and that left three less rides on the table. Here is our Top-5 Free Agents.

1. Greg Biffle

Geoff Burke/Getty Images 
In my opinion Greg Biffle is the best driver of the remaining free agents. Biffle has 19 career victories, 92 Top-5 Finishes, 175 Top-10 Finishes, and 13 career poles. his best points finish came in 2005 when he finished second to Tony Stewart. Biffle had been with Roush Fenway Racing his whole career but both parties decided it would be best to split paths following a dismal 2016 that had Biffle gaining his worst points finish in his career in the top level. Biffle has really been really promoting the #69 which doesn't make much since being as there isn't a #69 in NASCAR but could one be forming in the future. Biffle said he wanted to go somewhere competitive or he would retire which looking at his options left, Retirement doesn't sound to bad. 

2017 Prediction - Retires or Moves Down to NXS or NCWTS

2. Regan Smith

Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
Regan Smith lost his ride after Tommy Baldwin Racing sold his charter to Leavine Family Racing and well he hasn't been one that's been discussed of going anywhere because the rides in the Cup Series that remain need sponsorship which if Fire Alarm Services follows him would be a very big asset to a team. The question also remains on if JR Motorsports will cease opperations in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series or if they could run him part time in the #88 with Kasey Kahne, Alex Bowman, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Josh Berry, etc. Things could get interesting for Regan Smith who has one career victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Darlington. His future is in question but honestly he has the talent to continue. 

2017 Prediction - Part time in JR Motorsports #88 or JR Motorsports NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Truck

3. Casey Mears

Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Casey Mears is getting the short end of the stick from Germain Racing following the very unpopular move by the team to replace Casey with Ty Dillon. Mears was supposed to drive the #13 again next season but that ended up not being the case and now Mears not only sits ride less but sponsor less for the 2017 Season and that could change but I don't see it being a big shot like many fans want to see. BK Racing and The Motorsports Group are the only two teams who have really haven't revealed who will drive for them in 2017 and I think Casey will end up in one of those two rides and could bring the talent needed to put these cars in the Top-20 every weekend and could compete for the victory at tracks like Talladega, Daytona, Bristol, and Martinsville where the underfunded teams have seemed to be on top of their games. 

2017 Prediction - Part Time in the #23 for BK Racing 

4. Jeffrey Earnhardt 

Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
Jeffrey Earnhardt has really made a name for himself in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series the last two years and I think his breakout season is just around the corner. Maybe not next season but it's soon and I could see an Earnhardt dominating in the Xfinity Series or Truck Series if Earnhardt can't gain a ride in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Earnhardt will not return to Go Fas Racing in 2017 with Matt DiBenedetto piloting that car. Earnhardt made some starts with BK Racing in 2016 and I could see that in 2017 if Starter continues with Jeffrey Earnhardt. It could be interesting by the end of the off season but I don't see him being the one left standing when the music stops.

2017 Prediction - #83 for BK Racing


5. Gray Gaulding

Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
Gray Gaulding is the one who is making it all sorts of interesting and entertaining. Gaulding made his Cup Debut at Martinsville and raced again at Phoenix but Gaulding DNQ'ed at Homestead. Apparently Gaulding will race a full schedule in the Cup Series in 2017 but no one knows officially where he'll land. I personally don't know where Gaulding will land in 2017 and I am really looking forward to seeing where he will race at. With the lack of experience I really hope to see Gaulding back in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series or NASCAR Xfinity Series full time in 2017 but with the lack of rides left available that might be his only option. 

2017 Prediction - Part Time in BK Racing's #23 or Move Down to Xfinity Series or Camping World Truck Series 

Monday, December 19, 2016

NASCAR Unveils New Brand Identity, Premier Series Name and Mark

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2016) –- NASCAR today unveiled a new official brand identity which will replace the bar mark used by the sanctioning body since 1976. The announcement was made in conjunction with the news that Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Serieswill be the new name of the sport’s premier series beginning January 1, 2017.

The new brand mark and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series mark, which prominently features the iconic Monster Energy logo, together represent a new era in NASCAR and were first shared today across NASCAR social and digital media channels.

The NASCAR brand identity has been in development since early 2016 as part of a broader effort to refresh the NASCAR brand. It was designed to pay tribute to the storied history of NASCAR, incorporating elements of all four previous marks since the company’s inaugural season of 1948.

“Our new NASCAR mark is modern, timeless, and embraces the heritage of our sport,” said Jill Gregory, NASCAR senior vice president and chief marketing officer. “It was important for us to recognize our history and implement a piece of each previous mark in the new design. Our goal was to evolve the sport’s visual identity to make it concise, relevant and functional, while respecting and maintaining the unique qualities of the original mark.”

The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points race will be the 59th running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway onFeb. 26 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Tickets are available at NASCAR.com/tickets. (NASCAR)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

First Annual University of Racing Legends Dinner

The University of Racing, producers of high quality vintage racing die cast will be hosting their 1st Annual Legends Dinner on Tuesday night, January 17th. Racing icons Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, Bobby Allison , Charlie Glotzbach, Donnie Allison and Leonard Wood are scheduled to participate, and the race fans can attend. This star studded gala hosted at the Charlotte Motor Speedway includes dinner AND a University of Racing Legends die cast car as part of your reservation. Program highlights includes a chance to hear from some of racing's greatest personalities as they share old school memories, and a meet and greet with each of these legends. It's a night you don't want to miss. This event is sure to sell out so don't delay. Contact Missy or Jori at Charlotte Motor Speedway to make your reservation. 704-455-3216. facebook.com/uofracing & universityofracing.com for more. (The University of Racing Legends)

Team Season in Review - Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing

Leavine Family Racing
2016 was a breakout season for Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing with Michael McDowell and Ty Dillon sharing the #95 Chevrolet SS with McDowell driving the majority of the season. McDowell also piloted the #59 in the season opening Daytona 500 at Daytona and at the season ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami. Here is the team season in review for Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing.
Leavine Family Racing
During the off-season things changed that were way out of the ordinary like the move to Chevrolet and joining forces with Richard Childress Racing. The season started out at Daytona with two entries in the Daytona 500. Michael McDowell would race his way into the Daytona 500 for the second straight season. Also Ty Dillon would drive the #95 Chevrolet SS with support from Cheerios and Kroger. Dillon would have the Charter from Circle Sport which would land both cars in the 58th Annual Daytona 500. McDowell would go on to finish 15th while Ty would finish 25th. It would sit McDowell 15th in points and McDowell would leave Daytona in the Chase. McDowell failed to gain his best finish in the Daytona 500 but it would be the start of something big for McDowell and CSLFR.
Leavine Family Racing
The following weekend, McDowell would head to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first real test for Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing. McDowell would have a moderate showing starting 32nd and finishing 33rd after a stressful day in Atlanta but the finish in Atlanta wouldn't hinder the teams spirit heading on the West Coast Swing.
Leavine Family Racing
McDowell would have moderate showings from Atlanta all the way to Richmond with a best finish of 24th coming at Martinsville. Talladega would come and it was where the team would seek it's first career victory and McDowell and his team would give it all they got and in some cases at the end McDowell would be on the verge of leading at Talladega but a late race crash with Danica Patrick and Matt Kenseth really ended any shot McDowell would have at gaining a victory.
Leavine Family Racing
McDowell would pilot the #95 in races 11,12, and 13 with a best finish of 20th coming at race 12 in Dover. Ty Dillon would step in to race the #95 at Pocono and Michigan gaining a 21st and 24th. Dillon would also lead 3 laps at Pocono. The two bullets in the gun called Sonoma and Daytona would be McDowell's playground with him having an avid road racing background and then how well the team did at Daytona in February. McDowell would start 20th at Sonoma but would have rear gear issues end his day early but the bad finish at Sonoma would be healed by an 10th place finish at Daytona where many were disappointed because a Top-5 finish for McDowell was within reach.
Leavine Family Racing
The second half of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season for Circle Sport Leavine Family Racing would start with Ty Dillon piloting the #95 at Kentucky which would be Dillon's last start until the fall. Ty would finish 25th leading one lap. McDowell's second half of the season would begin at New Hampshire where McDowell would make his first start at New Hampshire since 2013 but his return to the Granite state would be ruined by an electrical issue that would land him finishing 39th.
Leavine Family Racing
That 39th place finish though at New Hampshire would be a rarity and this was the part of the season where things began to look up for McDowell. Two 23rd place finishes in a row at Indianapolis and Pocono and then at Watkins Glen McDowell would gain a 17th place finish, his best finish since he finished 10th at Daytona. McDowell would then finish 19th at Bristol, just one position off of his best finish at the Worlds Fastest Half Mile. Michigan and Darlington weren't extraordinary finishes with Darlington being the best finish of the two tracks where he would finish 27th.
Leavine Family Racing 
Then the postseason would be upon us, Richmond was another great finish for the team as the team survived all of the chaos to gain a 12th place finish, McDowell's best finish at the short track in Virginia. Chicago was looking like a consistent afternoon until McDowell blew a tire late in the race and really made it to where he could rebound. New Hampshire would be Dave Winston's final race as McDowell's crew chief and he would finish 26th after starting 20th. Ty Dillon would step back in the car at Dover for the second to final time of the season with Death Wish Coffee where he would finish 32nd.
Todd Parrott, who had served as Ty Dillon's crew chief whenever he drove the #95, would become the primary crew chief for McDowell and the #95 team and this move would be what the doctor ordered. McDowell gained a 14th place finish at Charlotte and 22nd place finish at Kansas. With not many drivers taking risks at Talladega, McDowell was only able to gain a 16th place finish just one position shy of tying his best finish at Talladega. McDowell would race Talladega and Martinsville sick having to go to the In Field Care Center following the Martinsville race. McDowell would finish 23rd at Texas after the race was shortend by rain and then McDowell would seek a good finish at his home track. But another tire issue at the end would cause McDowell to finish 34th and ultimately cause a different outcome to the end of the race and the chase.
The #59 would return to action at Homestead where McDowell gained the charter from Tommy Baldwin Racing locking the #59 into the Ford 400. Ty Dillon would qualify the #95 in 34th place while McDowell would start 26th. Throughout the race both McDowell and Ty stayed together even during the big wreck involving Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, and a few others. Sadly Ty Dillon was collected and gained a lot of damage causing him to finish 33rd. McDowell on the other hand sat in great position following the wreck and landed his first Top-10 on a non-restrictor plate track gaining McDowell a lot of momentum heading into the 2017 Season. (Koelle,2016)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Herbst Racing Full Time for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017

Riley Herbst Racing Facebook
Joe Gibbs Racing will be launching an ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards program in 2017 with driver Riley Herbst.
Joe Gibbs Racing will seek it's first career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards championship in 2017 with Rookie Riley Herbst. The Las Vegas Nevada native will make his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at Daytona in February. Herbst will drive the #18 Toyota fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing. Herbst made a combined 17 starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series with 14 of those coming in the West. In the West, Riley finished 3rd in three consecutive races while in the East, his best finish came at Dover where he finished 8th. Herbst joins Dalton Sargeant, AJ Fike, Gus Dean, and Justin Fontaine as the confirmed full time drivers in the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
For all your latest ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards news stay tuned to The Motorsports News Source! (Koelle,2016)

Todd Gilliland Driving Full Time in K&N Pro Series West and East

Blaine Ohigashi/Getty Images
The 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Champion and son of NASCAR Driver David Gilliland will be remaining in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series in 2017 racing full time in both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West driving the #16 for Bill McAnally Racing, the same team he drove for in his 2016 Western Championship Campaign. Todd Gilliland began the season winning both season opening races in the East and West. Gilliland was dominant in the 2016 Season winning a total of 6 victories in the west and 1 victory in the east. Gilliland could chase either his second straight K&N Pro Series West Championship or he could seek his first career K&N Pro Series East Championship. Only time will tell, Stay tuned to The Motorsports News Source for all the latest in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East & West! (Koelle,2016)

Front Row Motorsports Announces 2017 Lineup

Jerry Markland/Getty Images
Front Row Motorsports announced today their lineup for the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy Premier Series.
Landon Cassill will return to Front Row Motorsports for the second straight season. Cassill had a very successful Freshman at Front Row Motorsports gaining seven Top-20 finishes. Cassill only had one DNF in 2016 which is an impressive feat.
Joining Landon Cassill and returning to Front Row Motorsports is David Ragan. Ragan spent 2012-2014 driving a full season with Front Row Motorsports and Ragan began the 2015 Season with Front Row Motorsports but Ragan then filled in for Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing and then Ragan ended the 2015 Season with Michael Waltrip Racing. David Ragan then drove for BK Racing in 2016. Ragan gained one of his two victories with Front Row Motorsports at Talladega in the May of 2014.
This is one of the final moves in the NASCAR Silly Season in the premier series but there is still a few more moves that will be made! Be sure to stay tuned to The Motorsports News Source for all your silly season news! (Koelle.2016)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

DiBenedetto Gains Ride for 2017

Ed Zurga/Getty Images
A few days following his release, many were concerned Matt DiBenedetto would be the odd man out when the music stopped in this game of musical chairs. Today that was not the case at Go Fas Racing has announced that Matt DiBenedetto will pilot the #32 Ford Fusion for Go Fas Racing in the Monster Energy Premier Series with sponsorship from Can-Am, Keen Parts, Visone RV, and Really Cheap Floors, along with many other familiar partners.
Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
DiBenedetto joined BK Racing at the beginning of 2015 and raced to a career best 6th place finish earlier this season. Having a sole driver at Go Fas Racing will be a little different as in recent seasons drivers have shared the #32 with names like Jeffrey Earnhardt, Dylan Lupton, Eddie MacDonald, Bobby Labonte, and many others. In 2017, Go Fas Racing will look to have a career best season in search of a Chase spot in 2017.
Go-Fas Racing though has leased it's charter to Wood Brothers Racing for the 2017 Season while the #44 Charter has been leased to the #32 and Go Fas Racing. This locks Ryan Blaney into every race next season. Richard Petty Motorsports will possibly be downsizing to one car in 2017 with the loss of the charter. Stay tuned to The Motorsports News Source for all your latest news in The Monster Energy Premier Series! (Koelle,2016)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Bueschers 2017 Car Number Revealed

Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Chris Buescher will be going a few steps ahead of the number he ran in 2016 Season as the 24 year old from Prosper Texas will pilot the #37 Entry for JTG Daugherty Racing in the Monster Energy Premier Series. Buescher will be teammate to A.J. Allmendinger who currently pilots the #47 Entry for JTG.
It will be the first time the #37 has ran in the NASCAR Monster Energy Premier Series since 2014 where it was shared by Mike Bliss, Dave Blaney, and Bobby Labonte. Tommy Baldwin Racing fielded that car. In the history of the #37 in the Premier Series dating back to 1949, The car has tallied one victory with Bobby Issac, 16 Top-5 finishes, 73 Top-10 finishes, and 196 Top-20 finishes. The car has also tallied 2 poles, one with John Andretti and another with Bobby Issac. John Andretti has drove that car number the most of all drivers with 54 Starts, second is Jeremy Mayfield, Tony Raines, Don Tarr, and Kevin Lepage rounds out the Top-5 with starts in the #37. (Koelle,2016)

Participating Chili's Showing Support for My People Fund

If you haven't made plans for dinner on Wednesday Night Here's something you should check out! If you are in Knoxville, the Tri-Cities (Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City), Nashville, Chattanooga or Northern Georgia, head to your Local Chili's! They are doing a great thing for a great organization and they really need your help!
As Many of you may have learned, Gatlinburg was struck by a forest fire that has affected many people and businesses. Dolly Parton and The Dollywood Foundation has started The My People Fund which will provide $1,000 Each Month for up to Six Months to the Families who lost their homes in the wildfires. If you are around the areas listed above please head to your local Chili's and have dinner or lunch. If you are not in that area you can donate to the My People Fund at www.DollywoodFoundation.org and there is a section where you can donate money to the fund. Anything will help these families. Along with Money Donations you can donate necessities to the foundation. You can also find the number to inquire about donating items on the Dollywood Foundation website.
The Motorsports News Source wants to thank you in advance for helping out our Home State in this time of need! We will be working with a few members of The NASCAR Community who are from Tennessee to form an article about what Gatlinburg means to us. Once that article is posted we will be sure to share it so you can enjoy it! Again Thank You for your help, it truly means a lot! (Koelle,2016)

Shocking Y'all - How Harvicks Move to Ford Could Surprise You

Sean Gardner/Getty Images
When Kevin Harvick moved to Stewart Haas Racing following the 2013 Season, many had doubts about what was happening with him personally and many began to wonder if that was a good move or not. Harvick joined Stewart Haas Racing in 2014 which would be the year Harvick would gain his first career championship in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series making many of those people who doubted him at one time reverse their decision.
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
The Trading Card Database
Now another move is facing Kevin Harvick going into the 2017 Season and that is the fact that Kevin Harvick will be driving the #4 Jimmy Johns Ford Fusion. Throughout his career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Xfinity Series he's drove nothing but a Chevrolet any many doubt his decision to continue with Stewart Haas Racing who will be switching over to Ford in 2017. But in a surprising move he re-signed a multi-year deal with Stewart Haas Racing which made the many rumors disappear and Harvick was able to continue the season without the cloud of rumors hanging over his head and hanging over Kasey Kahnes head (Where he was rumored to go at one point in the 2016 Season.). It made focusing easier and it made that an aspect that they didn't have to worry about. The only thing that really troubled Harvick was the many pit road issues he had over the season and when it exploded at Darlington when he had some things to say about his crew to the Media. In 2017 I predict those issues will appear again.
What many don't recognize about Kevin Harvick and I didn't until I did my research is the fact that Kevin Harvick hasn't been solely with Chevrolet his whole racing career. In 1999, Kevin Harvick ran a full schedule in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series behind the wheel of the #98 Porter-Cable Power Tools Ford for Jim Herrick. That season Harvick didn't gain a victory but he did gain three runner up finishes at Mesa Marin, Memphis, and Nashville Fairgrounds. Harvick has also raced a Pontiac once in his career in 1999 at Mesa Marin in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.
After his success from change he gained at Stewart Haas Racing I see the change this year as a chance for Harvick to shock the fans once again. (Koelle,2016)