Wednesday, May 25, 2016

NASCAR Announces Hall Of Fame Class for 2017

Today NASCAR Hall Of Fame and NASCAR Officials announced the NASCAR Hall Of Fame Inductees for 2017. This Class will be the 8th class going into the NASCAR Hall Of Fame. Drivers who were on the ballot for 2016 includes Alan Kulwicki, Richard Childress, Buddy Baker, among many other influential people in NASCAR. Also announced today was the 2017 Landmark Award Winner. Here are you inductees into the 2017 NASCAR Hall Of Fame and the Landmark Award Winner!

Mark Martin

Mark Martin, my original favorite driver is going into the Hall Of Fame. From when I was born to when he retired and in fact he was one of my first words. I finally got to meet him in 2010 at Atlanta. Mark Martin is undoubtedly the greatest drivers to never win a championship. Martin made his NASCAR Premier Series debut in 1981 driving for Bud Reeder in the #02. Martin would make his final start at Homestead filling in for Tony Stewart. Martin would tally a total of 40 wins in the NSCS. As of 2014, he had the second most wins in the Nationwide Series with 49.  Martin also won five IROC Championships, he has more than any other driver. Also, during the 2005 season, Martin took over the all-time record for IROC wins, with 13. Martin is well deserved to be in the NASCAR Hall Of Fame.

Raymond Parks 

The original NASCAR Team Owner is going into the Hall Of Fame with Mark Martin. Raymond Parks was one of the first team owners in NASCAR and was one of the most successful owners in the History of NASCAR! Parks was the team owner of  Red Byron's car which won NASCAR's first Strictly Stock championship in 1949. Most famous for being a moonshine runner who helped to start NASCAR, he is recognized as the first "team" owner in stock car racing. Prior to the founding of NASCAR, Parks was the car owner for moonshine runner and nephews Lloyd Seay and Roy Hall as far back as 1938. In 1948-49, with Red Byron as the driver Parks's cars won the first two NASCAR Championships ever awarded; the Modified class in 1948, and the above mentioned championship in 1949. Parks was one of the last living members of the group who created NASCAR during a meeting at the Streamline Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1947. 

Benny Parsons

I most remember Benny Parsons as the commentator on NBC but the man was more than just one of the greatest color commentators.Benny joined the NASCAR circuit full-time in 1970 with crew chief, John Hill. He had 23 top-10 finishes in 45 races, a pole at Langley Field Speedway, and finished eighth in the final point standings. He raced in the No. 72 L.G. DeWitt/DeWitt Racing car. Parsons won the Championship in 1973. He was also the 1965 ARCA Racing Series Rookie of the Year. Parsons won a total of 21 wins in the NASCAR Premier Series. Parsons also became the only person to win both ARCA and NASCAR championships. Parsons also won the Daytona 500 in 1975.

Richard Childress

Richard Childress who is one of the most monumental NASCAR team owners of the Modern Era. Childress began behind the wheel but became more successful as a team owner. Richard Childress's first win as a team owner came at Riverside with Ricky Rudd. Childress became most famous for his bond and friendship with the great Dale Earnhardt Sr. who won 6 of his 7 championships with the RCR Banner. Earnhardt also won the Daytona 500 driving for Richard Childress in 1998. e is on the Board of Directors to the National Rifle Association.His grandsons Austin Dillon and Ty Dillon are NASCAR competitors. He is a 6 time champion of the Sprint Cup Series, 4 time Xfinity Series champion, 2 time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship and holds one ARCA Racing Series Championship as a car owner. Richard is third on the list of Championships wins as a team owner. 

Rick Hendrick

The Legendary NASCAR Team Owner Rick Hendrick will now be heading to the NASCAR Hall Of Fame as the final inductee of the class of 2017. Rick has 11 total titles as a NASCAR Team owner including 6 Championships from Jimmie Johnson. Rick began as a driver but then went into owning a team and was very successful. Congratulations Rick on going into the Hall Of Fame!

Landmark Award

H. Clay Earles

H. Clay Earles was the founder and chairman of the board of Martinsville Speedway, a NASCAR stock car racing track that Earles built in 1947 in Ridgeway, Virginia that was one of the circuit's first paved oval tracks and stands as one of its shortest. Red Byron was awarded a $500 prize for winning the inaugural race at the track, which had grown to $170,000 by 1999. Earles began a tradition in 1964 of distributing grandfather clocks to race winners, with Richard Petty receiving a track-record of 12, and would have received three more for wins that predated the inception of the practice. The track measures 0.526 miles (0.847 km) around, with a pair of 800-foot (240 m) straightaways and tight turns banked at 12 degrees, described as two dragstrips with tight turns. The track was first paved in 1955. Unlike the superspeedways, Martinsville became a track where the skill and strategy of each individual driver could overcome the big money and horsepower of the larger teams.

First Time Winners in the 600? - Could We See One Sunday?

When it comes to the Coca-Cola 600 there have been five first time winners including Jeff Gordon in 1994. This Sunday with the new rule package we could see that number grow to six with drivers like Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, and many others without a win in their career. This race has produced some surprise endings and sometimes surprise winners like in 2007 where Casey Mears took the victory. Drivers like Landon Cassill, Chris Buescher, Michael McDowell, Josh Wise, among many others have the chance to win the Coca-Cola 600 and it could be the beginning of something big for some teams. (Koelle,2016)

New Kid On The Block Looks to Longest Race of Year For Retribution

After watching the dramatic ending to the Showdown from 3rd last Saturday, Ryan Blaney watched his All-Star Race disappear. After according to NASCAR Ryan jumped the restart during segment 2 Blaney had to start from the rear in the final segment but could only get to third before the checkered flag fell sending Blaney and his team home to watch the All-Star Race on TV.  With that Said the 2015 Coca-Cola 600 was also bad for the 21 team as Ryan Blaney blew an engine sending the team packing early.
2016 Has been an up and down year for Ryan Blaney and his team but for the first full time season in NASCAR what do you expect? Blaney and his team are competitive each and every weekend and I expect nothing less this weekend with the Coca-Cola 600. With a Roush Yates Engine Blaney will look to not only gain his first career win but also Ford's first Coca-Cola 600 win since Mark Martin did it in 2002. Blaney will also look to deliver Wood Brothers first 600 win since 1987 when Kyle Petty won it.
Ryan Blaney's best finish this season is a 5th at Kansas and Blaney is coming off of a 8th place finish at Dover so momentum is on their side and with Roush Yates Power, Blaney could be that first time winner in the 600 and lock the Wood Brothers into the chase in 2016. Blaney will also be racing the Xfinity Race on Saturday driving the #12 Entry for Team Penske. Be sure to keep a lookout for the #21 Sunday in the Coca-Cola 600. (Koelle,2016)

Xfinity Race at Pocono Gains Sponsorship

LONG POND, Pa. (May 25, 2016) – The first NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Pocono Raceway, the Pocono Green 250, will highlight sustainability initiatives at the track and the work of its partners.

Pocono Raceway’s President and CEO Brandon Igdalsky, a board member of the Green Sports Alliance and winner of local, regional and national awards for his sustainability work, made the announcement.

The Pocono Green 250 is set for Saturday, June 4 at 1 p.m. ET on FOX. Tickets are now on available at www.poconoraceway.com or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY.

Pocono Raceway features a three megawatt solar farm that powers not only the facility but the local community as well. Pocono Raceway was the first facility to rely 100 percent on solar power generated onsite with the opening of the 25-acre Solar Farm across the street from the raceway in 2010.

Pocono Raceway recently launched a partnership with Penn State University with an aggressive and ambitious goal to make the raceway a “near zero waste” facility. New food and beverage provider Spectra and Pocono Raceway are working with “Rock & Wrap It Up” on a food donation program to support local charities and food banks. A pilot program will begin this weekend with a local composting facility in an effort to divert even more bio waste from landfills.

Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch have contributed recycling bins to the track in efforts to reduce the amount of recyclable items being thrown in the trash.

Pocono Raceway also works hand-in-hand with NASCAR Green. Partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation, the raceway has planted more than 8,500 trees, 8,000 of those as part of the NASCAR Clean Air Tree Planting Program which has planted enough trees to offset all national series NASCAR racing for the next 40 years.

For the past five years, NASCAR has relied on Sunoco E15 fuel for its three national touring systems, a blend that is a 15 percent ethanol using American-made ethanol from corn grown by American Farmers. Sunoco Green E15 is blended at Sunoco’s fuel facility in Marcus Hook, Pa., and has reduced greenhouse gas emissions in the sport by 20 percent.

Pocono Raceway will host seven national motorsports events during the 2016 racing season, including the Pocono Green 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race on June 4. The Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) race is set for June 5, the Pennsylvania 400 NSCS race on July 31 and the ABC Supply 500 Verizon IndyCar Series race on August 21. The Pocono Mountains 150 NASCAR Camping World Truck race is scheduled for July 30 and two ARCA Series Presented by Menards races with the 200-mile General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 on June 3 and the ModSpace 150 on July 29 offered as well.

Tickets for all races are now on sale at poconoraceway.com or by calling 1-800-RACEWAY. (Pocono Raceway)