The Sprint Unlimited race at Daytona International Speedway is scheduled for February 15. NASCAR RaceDay on FoxSports1 starts at 6:30 p.m. The race is also on FS1 at 8 p.m. with the green flag set to fly at 8:29 p.m. If a TV isn’t handy, tune into Motor Racing Network (MRN) or Sirius XM Satellite NASCAR Radio 90.
Late last week, NASCAR competition officials held a Q&A session at the R&D Center in Concord, N.C. They cleared up a few questions on some of the new rules for 2014.
The plan is to reset the points four times in 2014. After race 26, 16 guys will have their points reset to 2,000 plus three bonus points for each win. After the third playoff race, the four guys lowest in points with no wins in those three races, will be eliminated. The 12 remaining drivers will have their points reset to 3,000.
• From this point forward there will be zero bonus points added for wins. And I thought this was the year of “emphasis on winning races”.
• After the sixth playoff race, the field will drop to eight drivers and their points will be reset to 4,000. After another three races, the field will be cut to the final four and their points will be reset to 5,000.
• When the new qualifying rules were first announced, a bunch of crew chiefs didn’t like the idea of being able to work on the cars between segments. But after some talks it was decided to allow teams to work on the cars but not allow them to jack them up or lift the hood. In the event of a flat tire, teams can change it with one that has been scuffed but they can’t change two to create a matched set.
• A writer asked about explaining to the fans what happens when a driver sets a track record in the first segment but later someone wins the pole? NASCAR replied and I quote, “It’s the media’s job to explain that.” I kid you not – that was the answer.
Ray Evernham has left ESPN. He has served as a consultant for Hendrick’s since 2011. He said, “Now not doing the ESPN thing will allow me to be involved in some of the management and some of the things that they’re doing at Hendrick. The best way to avoid a conflict of interest is to choose one or the other. I’m excited about being able to go and be involved in the management team on the motorsports side.
Evernham told the radio SiriusXM Speedway he is not looking to be a crew chief. “I’ve met with crew chiefs. I think I’ve got a good perspective as they face different challenges. I will be going to meetings and be involved in competition things that I’ve not been involved with in the past three years or so. He plans to attend about 15 races.
This could get interesting. Is there a chance he ends up back on top of the No. 24 pit box or does he fill the void when Steve Letarte leaves Dale Jr. after this season?
Brian Hoar/Rick Paya 2014
For the second year in a row, the Hoar/Paya duo will not be chasing points. Brandon Paul, the Northeast Editor at Speed51.com, reports Hoar, the eight-time American-Canadian Tour champion, will race in four of the most prestigious Super Late Model events in the country.
Paya says he is currently building a new Super Late Model that the team will compete with in the Winchester 400, the World Crown 300, the All American 400 and the Snowball Derby.
• The 31st Annual World Crown 300 is scheduled for August 9 at the Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, GA. This is a half-mile but is only banked 12 degrees, with 6-degree straights.
• The Winchester 400 is a 400-lap race run at the Winchester (IN) Speedway in October. Billed as the “World’s Fastest 1/2-mile”, Winchester is a half-mile track with 37 degrees of banking.
• The All American 400 the weekend of Oct. 31/Nov. 1 will be contested at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, TN.
The speedway is 0.596-mile with 18 degrees of banking. The corners were cut down from 35 degrees to their present 18 degrees in 1972. The track was repaved before the 1996 season.
• The Snowball Derby will be held at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. This 1/2-mile speedway has 15 degree banking in the corners and 9 degrees on the straights. This event will be run November 22.
“We’ve been planning on this for quite a while,” Paya said. “It’s our own design and we had RB Performance (Ricky Rolfe and Mark Brackett) out of Andover, ME construct the chassis. We want to hit some of the big races with the CRA (Champion Racing Association) and Southern Super Series. We have been puttering on it for awhile.”
“I’m super excited,” said Hoar. “I’ve been racing a long, long time. I’ve raced these (ACT-type) Late Models with the small engines for a long time and obviously had a lot of success with that. I’ve raced some bigger horsepower stuff with the Busch North Series, but I’ve never really raced a Super Late Model. I’m super pumped. I’m really, really excited to do this.”
In addition to racing these four Super Late Model events, the team plans to run part-time on the American-Canadian Tour in 2014. The eight-time series champion plans to attend the first four races on the ACT schedule, as well as the ACT Invitational at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, International 500 at Airborne Park Speedway (NY), People’s United Bank Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Speedbowl (VT) and Fall Foliage 200 at Airborne.
ACT VT State Late Model Championship
The four-race Vermont State Championship Series, which has a $11,000 point fund, will see changes in 2014. The series will again have four events split between Vermont’s only two paved speedways, Thunder Road and Devil’s Bowl. This season the Labor Day Classic at Thunder Road will replace the Vermont Governor’s Cup.
The Series was created in 2012. Once again the series will kick off with the Memorial Day Classic 100 at The Road, May 25. The Labor Day Classic runs on August 31. The Labor Day event will also be the final Thunder Road Late Model point-counting event of 2014.
The Devil’s Bowl 1/2-mile will host a 100-lap events on May 30 and September 14. Past VT State Champions are Dave Pembroke in 2012 and Nick Sweet last season.
Until Next Week
Every day find someone or something that makes you laugh.