Monster Energy Cup Series News (16875)
With $1 million on the line, no championship points to worry about, only 85 laps to negotiate, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ all-stars on the starting grid, Saturday’s Monster Energy All-Star Race (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) has all the elements of being one of the most intense and exciting events of the season.
Motivations to win certainly vary. The race’s all-time winningest driver Jimmie Johnson hasn’t hoisted a trophy since Daytona’s season-opening exhibition, The Clash. The race’s defending winner Kevin Harvick had won five races before All-Star weekend last year but is still looking for his first victory of 2019.
Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman has finished runner-up in the last three consecutive regular season races leading into the Monster Energy Open and would love nothing more than to celebrate for the first time in Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Victory Lane. And a win Saturday would make him the fourth driver to win the All-Star race before earning a regular season trophy. His teammate, fan favorite Chase Elliott has been close in three previous All-Star starts but is looking for his first victory in the race as well.
Chip Ganassi Racing driver Kyle Larson didn’t qualify for the All-Star race because he was winless in 2018 for the first time in three years so he’s eager to press the gas and advance from the Monster Energy Open as is Stewart-Haas Racing’s Daniel Suarez, who like Larson, has a runner-up finish in the All-Star race but no trophy. He won the Monster Energy Open in 2017 and last year finished advanced to All-Star race after winning a stage in the Open; he ultimately finished second to Harvick by a scant 0.325-second in the main event.
Then there’s Kyle Busch, the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race winner, who leads all active drivers in laps led (256) in the race, but has only that one victory. He’s coming off his first sub-10th-place finish – 30th in Kansas last week – and extremely eager to regain form. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. is one of eight drivers in Saturday night’s field that’s never won the All-Star race. He’s only had a pair of top-10 finishes in eight All-Star starts, yet turned in the most dominant Coca-Cola 600 showing in history three years ago leading 392 of the race’s 400 laps.
Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski picked up his third victory of the season last weekend at Kansas Speedway – tying him with Kyle Busch for most wins on the year. But the 2012 Monster Energy Series champion is a surprising 0-for-10 in the All-Star race with six top-10 finishes. Twice he’s finished runner-up (2012, 2016).
The only newcomer already qualified for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race is JGR’s Erik Jones, who earned a position by virtue of his win in the 2018 Daytona summer race.
“I missed it the last two years so it’s nice to actually be in it this year and have a shot to race for it," Jones said. “I’m excited for that. “I’ve been sitting on my couch back home watching it. It’s great.
“I love this month coming up just being at home for a couple weeks and not having to get a on a plane and travel. You get a lot of friends and family that come and stay in town and that’s always fun.
“A million bucks? Who doesn’t want to win that? It’s a great race. You look at the history of it and some of the shows that have been put on at a that race and it’s something that I think we all look forward to as a driver to have an opportunity to go and compete in."
Potentially four additional drivers will join that field of 15, advancing out of Monster Energy Open – held at 6 p.m. just prior to the All-Star event. This 50-lap race will be an opportunity for up to four drivers to qualify for the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race. The three stage winners plus a Fan Vote winner will all move into the All-Star grid.
Ryan Newman is the only driver to ever transfer from the Monster Energy Open and go on to win the All-Star race (2002). Kasey Kahne is the only driver to win the Fan Vote and go on to win the All-Star race (2008).
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES
The Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star weekend kicks off Friday night with the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race under the lights.
And while it’s essentially a “home” race for most of NASCAR’s three major series, it’s actually an away show for the series’ championship leading team, ThorSport Racing, which is based in Ohio. And that’s fine with this group of drivers, who figure that makes a victory this weekend all the more dramatic.
ThorSport Racing has certainly been setting the tone of the season with Grant Enfinger leading the championship standings by 13 points over defending series champion Brett Moffitt. Enfinger’s teammate Johnny Sauter is the defending race winner. Another teammate Matt Crafton is one of only three multi-time Charlotte race winners – 2008 and 2016.
This weekend may well open up the title chase again. Enfinger’s lead over Moffitt is tenuous. Former championship leader Stewart Friesen is only 15 points back and Enfinger’s three teammates – Ben Rhodes (-33 points), Sauter (-35) and Crafton (-42) round out the top six.
And Enfinger, who made it to the Championship Four in 2018, acknowledged with a smile that while everyone else may be “excited” to race at Charlotte, he still feels a bit “snake bit” at the track – a change in luck this weekend will be welcome. He’s still looking for his first victory of the season despite leading the point standings four different times.
“I know everybody else is excited about the race but I’m more excited about just getting through Charlotte and hoping we can just get through this race," Enfinger said smiling.
“It seems like the last couple races myself and [crew chief] Jeff Hensley, I just struggled, just missed it a little bit so I say that jokingly, I feel like we’ve got a really good package, we’re bringing our best mile and a half truck here, number 44. I am really excited about it, but at the same time, in back of my mind, we’ve just run so badly there the last couple of years, so hopefully we can get all that fixed. I’ve got confidence in the guys working on it so hopefully we’re going to be good."
Certainly one driver Enfinger and the rest of the field will need to deal with on Friday night is Kyle Busch, who will be making his fifth and final Gander Trucks start of the season.
Busch has won all four previous truck races he entered this year and is a record seven-time winner of the Charlotte truck race. In 12 starts, he has finished first or second 10 times. His only finish outside the top-10 is. … 11th place (2007).
Clint Bowyer knows exactly what’s on the line Saturday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in the 35th annual NASCAR Monster Energy All-Star Race.
“One million dollars to the winner,” said Bowyer, who’ll drive the No. 14 Toco Warranty Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in the annual race first contested in 1985. “Let that sink in. If you win this thing, you get a million dollars. That’s life-changing money and what I call a heck of an incentive.”
The non-points race has always produced some of the most dramatic moments in the sport’s history, as well as an opportunity to test future rules like night racing, double file restarts, and aerodynamic packages in actual racing conditions. This year’s event includes all 2018 and 2019 Cup Series race winners, former All-Star Race winners competing full-time, and former Monster Energy Cup Series champions competing full-time. Bowyer’s 2018 victories at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in April and Michigan Speedway in Brooklyn in August ensured he gets to bypass Saturday night’s Monster Energy Open. Fifteen drivers, including Bowyer’s SHR teammates Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola, are in the All-Star Race as of now with four more spots to be added – the three stage winners from the Open, and the winner of the NASCAR Fan Vote.
This year’s race will feature a modified rules package NASCAR anticipates including as part of its upcoming seventh-generation racecar set to arrive in 2021. The All-Star Race will again have four stages with a five-lap increase in the final stage over last year’s race. The stages will last 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 15 laps. All green-flag and yellow-flag laps will count in Stages 1 to 3 and only green-flag laps in the final stage. NASCAR overtime rules will be in effect for Stages 1 to 3. In the final stage, if the race is restarted with two or fewer laps remaining, there will be unlimited attempts at a green, white, checkered finish under green-flag conditions.
NASCAR is also adding a single-piece carbon fiber splitter/pan intended to improve ride height sensitivity for cars. The splitter is to provide a more stable aero platform and create a more consistent performance in traffic. A new radiator duct is the second element, which exits through the hood, as opposed to the current design that exits into the engine compartment. This feature is intended to improve aerodynamic parity and reduce engine temperatures.
With that much prize money, experimentation and no points worries, the racing is sure to be as intense as any during the year. Bowyer’s new sponsor Toco Warranty might be the perfect partner Saturday night. The company offers practical and straightforward vehicle service contracts with pay-as-you-go monthly plans.
“We figured there would be no better place for Toco Warranty to make its debut than last month at Talladega, where we were pretty sure there would be a lot of drivers with damaged vehicles. Unfortunately, I was one of them,” said Bowyer, whose car suffered extensive damage in a lap-10 accident and ended the race 25th. “Toco Warranty is on our car again this weekend for the All-Star Race, and I’m pretty sure someone is going to need help with their car after this race with everything that is on the line Saturday night. There could be some bent sheet metal.”
While dealing with bent sheet metal is just part of life for a NASCAR team, an unexpected car repair could really throw a wrench into race fans’ plans. Toco Warranty keeps drivers and their cars on the road with pay-as-you-go plans that are easy, simple and affordable. Customers can visit www.TocoWarranty.com to review their vehicle service contract, manage online monthly payments and access dedicated customer concierge services.
While at the site, race fans should check out the new Toco All-Star Sweepstakes announced this week, where one lucky winner and a guest will attend the season finales of both the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The winner will be hosted by Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) for the World of Outlaws World Finals Nov. 8 to 9 at The Dirt Track near Charlotte, North Carolina, before jetting off to South Florida to see the NASCAR season finale Nov. 16 to 17 in Homestead, Florida with SHR. Toco Warranty will provide VIP access that includes round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, a rental car and event tickets. Tony Stewart, owner of TSR and co-owner of SHR, will be at both events, where the sweepstakes winner will see the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion in action as an owner, facilitating meet-and-greets with 10-time and reigning World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz at Charlotte and 10-time NASCAR Cup Series race winner Bowyer at Homestead.
To register, fans simply need to go to www.TocoWarranty.com. A winner will be drawn by 5 p.m. EDT Sept. 16.
Of course, the All-Star Race is a warmup for the May 26 Coca-Cola 600 – the longest race on the circuit. Bowyer is ninth in points after finishing fifth at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City last Saturday night. He hopes to climb even higher and win one of the sport’s most prestigious races.
“I think it’s helpful having that All-Star Race ahead of that big, long, grueling 600-mile race that’s a points race,” Bowyer said. “The All-Star Race always has those kinds of stages and short runs, so it helps you kind of get ready for next weekend’s race that will have four stages. Plus, having that practice time on the racetrack is definitely going to be key to learning about the track and preparing for the 600.”
In honor of Richard Childress Racing’s 50th anniversary, the organization is bringing back its gold-colored Chevrolets for this weekend’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Austin Dillon, who won the 2018 Daytona 500 to qualify for the NASCAR All-Star Race, will pilot the gold No. 3 Dow Chevrolet, while Daniel Hemric will try to earn a spot in the night’s main event by driving the gold No. 8 Caterpillar/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet.
Both Dillon and Hemric ran gold-colored Chevrolets in the season-opening Daytona 500, kicking off the 50th anniversary season for RCR.
Dillon will be making his third start in the NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the site of his first career Cup Series win in the 2017 Coca-Cola 600.
“The All-Star Race is one of the most special races of the year for both drivers and fans because you get to let everything go and just go for it. We’re all out there putting everything on the line for a million dollars,” said Dillon.
“I remember growing up watching All-Star races at Charlotte Motor Speedway throughout the years and being in awe of some of the more memorable paint schemes that drivers and teams ran. It’s special to be able to commemorate RCR’s 50th Anniversary with gold cars for this year’s All-Star race.”
Hemric will be making his first start in the NASCAR All-Star Open. He will have to win one of the races three stages or earn the Fan Vote to be part of the All-Star Race at the end of the night.
A native of Kannapolis, North Carolina, Hemric made a name for himself at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s quarter-mile track racing Legend Cars and hopes the gold-colored Chevrolet leads to more success this weekend.
“The gold cars generated such a buzz down at Daytona earlier this year and I can’t wait to see them on track again this weekend in Charlotte,” said Hemric.
“You only have one 50th anniversary, and to recognize Richard and Judy Childress and everything they have accomplished by running the gold colors on the No. 8 Caterpillar/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet is an honor,” said Hemric.
“Hopefully, we can honor them by having a strong run and racing our way into the All-Star Race at the end of the night.”
Daniel Suárez and the No. 41 ARRIS Ford team for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) will compete at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in Saturday night’s Monster Energy Open with their eyes focused firmly on advancing to that night’s featured Monster Energy All-Star Race that immediately follows. Suárez will drive the No. 41 ARRIS machine for the second time this season, having previously competed with the scheme in February at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The Open is a non-points-paying exhibition event whose drivers can race their way into the select field of the All-Star Race by winning one of its three segments – 20 laps, 20 laps and 10 laps, respectively – or by winning the NASCAR Fan Vote via NASCAR.com. The 15 drivers already locked into the All-Star Race by virtue of a race win in 2018 or 2019, or by being a former All-Star Race winner or Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion, will be joined by the four who advance from the Open and will be vying for the $1 million grand prize.
Suárez will attempt to race his way into the non-points All-Star Race for the third consecutive year. In 2017, he finished first in the Open to advance, then was eliminated with 10 laps to go in the All-Star Race. Last year, the 27-year-old advanced to the All-Star Race by winning Stage 2 of the Open, then took the runner-up spot in the All-Star Race by a mere .325 of a second to SHR teammate Kevin Harvick, who dominated the event.
“I wasn’t even thinking about the money,” Suárez said in reference to his second-place finish in last year’s All-Star Race. “Money comes and goes, but the trophies don’t. I’m hoping I can get a trophy for Gene (Haas) and Tony (Stewart) this weekend because it means so much to them. These guys and most racers don’t race for the money, they do it for the trophies. The All-Star Race is one of the few times in the season when we don’t have to think about points and different things like that. All we really care about is crossing the start-finish line first.”
ARRIS has been involved with NASCAR since 2014 and is responsible for the most comprehensive Wi-Fi deployment in NASCAR history at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The company recently announced the first CBRS Private LTE network deployment at the newly renovated ISM Raceway near Phoenix. ARRIS also powers the communication between NASCAR drivers and their teams through its SURFboard SB6183® modem and E600® Converged Edge Router (CER) with integration and support from its global services team.
Even though Suárez is two-for-two in racing his way into the All-Star Race, this year presents a new challenge with a different rules package for the Cup Series cars. Like last year, NASCAR has implemented a new rules package specifically for this weekend’s race. One of the rule changes involves a radiator duct configured to exit through the hood as opposed to the current design which exits into the engine compartment.
Suárez’s SHR teammates Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola have secured a position in Saturday night’s main event. Additionally, team co-owner Tony Stewart most recently won the event in May 2009.
Paul Menard says he expects he and the No. 21 Menards/Knauf Insulation team will have a low-pressure but high-intensity Monster Energy All-Star Race weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
He and the Menards/Knauf team will start their weekend by competing in the Monster Energy Open, with hopes of advancing into the All-Star race by winning one of that race’s three Stages. One driver also will make the main event by a fan vote, so Menard’s fans should go to NASCAR.com and vote by noon on Friday. He was in the top 10 in the fan vote late last week.
The No. 21 Mustang that Menard will drive in the Monster Energy Open, like every other car on track for the All-Star weekend, will feature two technical parts that officials hope to feature on the Gen-7 car that is scheduled to hit the track in 2021.
One is a single-piece carbon fiber splitter/pan that is intended to offer more consistent aerodynamic performance in traffic.
The other is a radiator duct that releases air through openings the hood instead of through the engine bay. That change is meant to improve aerodynamic parity among cars regardless of their position on the track and to reduce engine temperatures.
In recent years NASCAR officials have used the All-Star race to test new ideas, many of which have found their way into use in future points-paying races.
“We’ll have a different package than what we’ll run in the Coca-Cola 600,” Menard said. “I’m not sure what to expect.”
What he does know is that he won’t have to worry about losing ground in the points standings if something goes awry during the race.
“It’s a low-pressure weekend,” Menard said. “It’ll give us a chance to try some things we might not try on a regular weekend, and that helps us learn and get better as a race team.
“And we can be more aggressive with our racing.”
He said that while there’s little pressure, there’s plenty of intensity. “It’s a different mindset,” he said. “You can hang it out with little repercussions.”
He said that even with two weekends to figure it out, sometimes the surface at Charlotte can be confounding.
“Charlotte is kind of a weird track,” he said. “Sometimes the fast line is right out by the wall, and there are lots of lane options, and other times it’s single-groove or no grip.”
Qualifying for the Monster Energy Open is set for Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is scheduled to start on Saturday at 6 p.m. with TV coverage on Fox Sport 1.
StarCom Racing is excited to announce its partnership with Elongator Tailgates for the Monster Energy NASCAR Open on Saturday, May 18 at 6PM ET at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The Elongator Tailgate is a multi-function tailgate replacement system with a folding extension that can be set in different positions. The 00 Elongator Tailgates Chevy will hit the track with SCR driver Landon Cassill behind the wheel.
“We are pleased to partner with StarCom Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series” says Steve DeSimone, Elongator Tailgates president. “As StarCom is bringing innovation and competition to the track, so is Elongator Tailgate as we introduce our SEMA Award winning multi-function tailgate to an even wider audience. We look forward to a strong relationship with StarCom as our one of a kind tailgate plays an important behind the scenes role for the team. Here is to success both on and off the track.”
For more information or to purchase Elongator Tailgates, fans can visit www.elongator.com. “As someone who drives a pickup truck, I am pumped about our partnership with Elongator Tailgates and am a huge fan of its product. It is durable, the ramps are adjustable and store inside the tailgate so they are always with you, and it is just something that every truck owner needs,” said Michael Kohler, SCR CEO. “And the best part? It’s an easy one-time installation!”
To learn more about StarCom Racing, follow the team on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat @StarComRacing.
StarCom Racing PR
Saturday night at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, Aric Almirola will make his second appearance in the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race and first with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in hopes of bringing home the bacon in the form of a $1 million check in the typically wild, non-points feature event.
“We have the chance to win a million dollars and it’s such a challenging race because the package is different and everyone is learning together,” Almirola said. “The All-Star Race is such a cool event because we get to try new things and there’s no pressure on your point standings. But a million dollars is definitely incentive enough to race as hard as we can to bring it home.”
This year’s race features a new rules package that NASCAR anticipates including on its upcoming seventh-generation racecar set to arrive in 2021. NASCAR is adding a single-piece carbon fiber splitter/pan intended to improve ride-height sensitivity. The splitter intends to provide a more stable aero platform and create more consistent performance in traffic. A new radiator duct is the second new element, which exits through the hood, as opposed to the current design that exits into the engine compartment. This feature is expected to improve aerodynamic parity and reduce engine temperatures.
The All-Star Race will again be run in four stages, with a five-lap increase in the final stage compared to last year’s race. The stages will be 30 laps, 20 laps, 20 laps and 15 laps. Both green-flag and yellow-flag laps will count in Stages 1 through 3. Only green-flag laps will count in the final stage. NASCAR overtime rules will be in effect for Stages 1 through 3. In the final stage, if the race is restarted with two or fewer laps remaining, there will be unlimited attempts at a green, white, checkered finish under green-flag conditions.
This year’s race includes all 2018 and 2019 Cup Series race winners, former All-Star Race winners competing full-time, and former Cup Series champions competing full-time. Almirola’s 2018 victory at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in October ensured he gets to bypass Saturday night’s Monster Energy Open, which precedes the All-Star Race. Fifteen drivers, including Almirola’s SHR teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer, are locked into the All-Star Race with four more spots added from the Open. The Open’s three stage winners and the winner of the NASCAR Fan Vote will fill the remaining four spots in the All-Star Race.
Almirola has never been much for material objects, so his answer to what he would do with a $1 million was par for the course.
“I would invest it immediately because, in seven to eight years, it will be worth double,” he said with a laugh.
Almirola’s stats this year at 1.5-mile ovals like Charlotte indicate a strong run anticipated for the No. 10 Smithfield Ford team. The No. 10 driver has earned a top-10 at three of the four 1.5-mile tracks he’s visited this season. He has also finished inside the top-10 in five previous appearances in the Open, and 14th in his lone All-Star Race attempt in 2015.
The All-Star Race marks the 11th weekend the iconic black-and-white Smithfield livery has adorned Almirola’s No. 10 Ford Mustang. Smithfield, a brand of Smithfield Foods, is in its eighth season with Almirola and its second with SHR. Founded in 1936, Smithfield is a leading provider of high-quality pork products with a vast product portfolio including smoked meats, hams, bacon, sausage, ribs, and a wide variety of fresh pork cuts.
The No. 10 Ford driver has one pole, a top-five finish, seven top-10s and has led 99 laps this season in his bid for the Cup Series championship. But Saturday night’s low-pressure, non-points event will be a chance to just have a little fun.
Toco Warranty Corp., a new generation of vehicle service contracts (VSC) with pay-as-you-go monthly plans, today launched the Toco All-Star Sweepstakes where one lucky winner and their guest will attend the season finales of both the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The winner will be hosted by Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) for the World of Outlaws World Finals Nov. 8-9 at The Dirt Track near Charlotte, North Carolina, before jetting off to South Florida to see the NASCAR season finale Nov. 16-17 in Homestead with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Toco Warranty will provide VIP access that includes round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, a rental car and event tickets. Tony Stewart, the owner of TSR and the co-owner of SHR, will be at both events, where the winner will see the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion in action as an owner, facilitating meet-and-greets with 10-time and reigning World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion Donny Schatz at Charlotte and 10-time NASCAR Cup Series race winner Clint Bowyer in Homestead.
To register, fans simply need to go to www.TocoWarranty.com. A winner will be drawn by 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 16.
“Toco Warranty has made it possible for one lucky fan to see the best of the best on dirt and asphalt in each series’ season finale,” Stewart said. “A champion will be crowned at the end of each race weekend, and at Charlotte it could very well be Donny Schatz collecting his 11th series title. A week later in Homestead, we’ll have a new NASCAR champion and, hopefully, SHR will have a third NASCAR Cup Series championship.
“Being able to experience both of these events is pretty awesome. I’ll personally make sure the winner gets the VIP treatment. They’ll be in the pits, inside our hauler and with our drivers. You can’t get any closer to a race team than this.”
Toco Warranty partnered with SHR and TSR earlier this year. The provider of pay-as-you-go vehicle repair coverage is a primary partner of Bowyer and the No. 14 team of SHR and the co-primary partner of Schatz and his No. 15 winged sprint car at TSR. Toco Warranty is also an associate sponsor of Stewart, who is slated to compete in more than 90 winged sprint car races this year.
“Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer and Donny Schatz are three of the biggest and best personalities in racing, and now one incredibly lucky fan will get the opportunity to meet and interact with each one of them,” said Nota Berger, CEO, Toco Warranty. “They won’t just feel like an all-star, they’ll be an all-star, immersed in the team and shoulder to shoulder with the crews at two of the biggest racing events of the year.”
“The World Finals is one of our best races of the year and it’s become one of my favorites, namely because we’ve typically ended that weekend with a big trophy in our hands,” Schatz said. “We’d love to be able to enjoy that experience again and share it with our Toco All-Star.”
“You really get the best of both worlds with the Toco All-Star Sweepstakes,” Bowyer added. “I came from dirt racing and it’s some of the greatest racing on the planet. You spend most of your lap sideways and you’re still going fast. And our NASCAR season finale down in Homestead is one of our best races. There’s so much on the line. It’s the last race and everybody has something to prove. You really feel the excitement and tension when you’re there in person. And thanks to Toco, someone gets to experience it. If you’re a race fan, there’s no better way to spend two weekends in November.”
Consumers demand affordable monthly payments and Toco Warranty offers an easy online experience via its website, www.TocoWarranty.com. It is where customers can purchase and review their vehicle service contract, manage online payments and access dedicated customer concierge services.
Kevin Harvick has started 658 point-paying races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and has raced 18 times in the non-points All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. In those 676 races, he’s never driven a car quite like what he will pilot this week.
Last week, Busch Beer officials released the No. 4 Busch Beer Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) that is “Millennial Pink.” Yes, Millennial Pink.
How did this occur?
Well, Busch Beer was so confident in Harvick at last year’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, it tweeted the following on November 15, 2018:
“Old guys will rule again at Homestead. In fact, Busch is so confident that Harvick will win that if he doesn’t, we’ll give millennials the v lit paint scheme they always wanted in a race next year. Don’t @ us.”
Unfortunately, Harvick did not win Homestead or the Cup Series championship and, if that wasn’t bad enough, now he has to drive a Millennial Pink racecar in this Saturday night’s All-Star Race at Charlotte. The car also features things like avocados and toast, emojis, Snapchat filters and stickers reading “Squadgoals,” “Skrrrt Skrrrt,” “Busch is bae” and “AF.”
One can only imagine what the car would look like in victory lane after the All-Star Race, but that thought shouldn’t be brushed off.
In Harvick’s previous All-Star Race appearance, he has two wins, three second-place finishes, five top-fives, 11 top-10s and led 124 laps. He is the defending winner, having led 36 laps en route to victory in 2018.
And, Harvick hasn’t been bad in 35 career points-paying races at the Charlotte oval, either – two poles, three wins, four second-place finishes, eight top-threes, 16 top-10s and 528 laps led His average start there is 16.0, his average finish is 15.5 and he has a lap-completion rate of 94.2 percent, completing 11,863 of the 12,591 laps available.
As usual, this year’s All-Star Race will feature a different format and other significant wrinkles. The cars will feature two new technical elements that NASCAR may incorporate into the series’ Generation-7 stock car that is slated to debut in 2021. The event also will be five laps longer than the previous year’s running, increasing from 80 to 85 total laps split among four stages.
One new technical component is a single-piece carbon fiber splitter/pan that is expected to offer dramatic improvements in ride-height sensitivity for competitors. The splitter also is expected to provide a more stable aero platform and create more consistent performance in traffic.
The other element requires cars to be configured with a radiator exit duct through the hood. This will separate aerodynamic performance and engine temperatures, creating more parity across the field.
Despite the technical and race format changes, the All-Star Race is meant to be a fun event and nothing would be more fun for Harvick and the Busch Beer team than a Millennial Pink car pulling into victory lane.
Kyle Busch will be sporting a new color and, more importantly, the new M&M’S Hazelnut Spread Chocolate Candies scheme for Saturday night’s NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
M&M’S Hazelnut Spread, which comes in a bright teal bag, will hit the track for the first time this weekend on Busch’s bright teal No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). M&M’S Hazelnut Spread Chocolate Candies features a hazelnut spread center covered in delicious milk chocolate, offering a perfect combination of chocolate and hazelnut flavors in every bite-sized piece.
Busch’s latest M&M’S Hazelnut Spread scheme for the All-Star Race will debut in an race that always seems to be tailor-made for the aggressive driving style of the 2015 Cup Series champion. Busch first left his mark in the non-points event in the 2009 edition of the All-Star Race. NASCAR introduced short-track-style, double-file restarts for just the All-Star Race that year. After Busch pulled off several bold moves that helped inject plenty of excitement into the event, it prompted NASCAR to go ahead and institute the double-file restart rule permanently for its top three series shortly after the 2009 All-Star Race. Fittingly, Busch went on to score his first All-Star win in 2017 by using a late restart to sling to the front of the field and bring home his first victory in the event.
The driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Hazelnut Spread Toyota Camry has had well-documented success at Charlotte in NASCAR’s Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series with eight Xfinity and seven Truck Series wins there. Busch’s record in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series isn’t too shabby, either, with 11 top-five finishes and 16 top-10s to his name. However, until his All-Star Race win two years ago, Busch had not gone to victory lane at Charlotte in NASCAR’s top series. And he hadn’t brung home a points-paying win at the 1.5-mile oval until last year’s dominant win in the traditional Memorial Day weekend Coca-Cola 600. He’ll look to add to his two Charlotte Cup Series victories these next two weekends just a stone’s throw from where most every NASCAR team is headquartered.
Busch locked in his spot for Saturday night’s main event – comprised primarily of 2018 and 2019 Cup Series race winners, plus past All-Star Race winners and past series champions – via his eight series wins in 2018 and three thus far in 2019. The Las Vegas native not only has earned the title of all-star, he’s one of the dominant forces in NASCAR’s top series, totaling 204 career wins in its top three divisions and sitting tied for 10th on the all-time Cup Series win list with NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty at 54.
Busch views Saturday’s non-points All-Star Race as his annual opportunity to throw patience out the window at his own discretion, a common theme among all of its competitors which has led to plenty of “nutty” finishes over the years. With an All-Star victory already under his belt, he hopes the new M&M’S Hazelnut Spread colors will bring the No. 18 team good luck once again as it looks to add to its growing list of accomplishments.