|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Milestones|
|Clint Bowyer||399||1||400th MENCS start; Ties Denny Hamlin for 58th on all-time MENCS starts list|
|Jimmie Johnson||80||3||Tie Cale Yarborough for sixth on MENCS all-time wins list|
|Kyle Busch||38||1||Tie Tim Flock for 18th on all-time MENCS wins list|
|Matt Kenseth||38||1||Tie Tim Flock for 18th on all-time MENCS wins list|
|Kevin Harvick||35||2||Tie Bobby Isaac for 21st on MENCS all-time wins list|
|Kurt Busch||29||3||Tie Dale Jarrett for 24th on all-time MENCS wins list|
|Denny Hamlin||29||3||Tie Dale Jarrett for 24th on all-time MENCS wins list|
|Ryan Newman||51||3||To tie Bill Elliott for eighth on the all-time MENCS poles list|
|Jimmie Johnson||35||1||Tie Rusty Wallace and Rex White for 17th on all-time MENCS poles list|
|Kasey Kahne||27||1||Break the tie with Terry Labonte to become solely 25th on all-time MENCS poles list|
|Denny Hamlin||24||1||Break the tie with Alan Kulwicki to become solely 28th on all-time MENCS poles list|
|Kevin Harvick||48||1||Break the tie with Lee Petty and become solely 10th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list|
|Jimmie Johnson||46||2||Tie Lee Petty and Kevin Harvick for 10th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list|
|Kyle Busch||36||1||Tie Bobby Isaac and Ned Jarrett for 17th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list|
|Matt Kenseth||29||1||Tie Ricky Rudd for 25th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list|
|Matt Kenseth||172||3||Tie Bill Elliott for 19th on all-time MENCS top-five finishes list|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr||148||2||To become the 23rd driver to post 150th MENCS top-five finishes|
|Jimmie Johnson||330||2||Tie Lee Petty for 12th on the MENCS all-time top-10 finishes list|
|Matt Kenseth||310||1||Tie Buddy Baker for 16th on the MENCS all-time top-10 finishes list|
|Kurt Busch||8,862||138||To become 20th MENCS driver all-time to lead 9,000 or more laps|
|Brad Keselowski||4,855||145||To become 39th MENCS driver all-time to lead 5,000 or more laps|
|Ryan Newman||4,705||295||To become 39th MENCS driver all-time to lead 5,000 or more laps|
|Track Specific Milestones|
|Matt Kenseth||3||1||Tie Jimmie Johnson for the series-most wins at LVMS|
|Brad Keselowski||2||1||Tie Matt Kenseth for the second-most wins at LVMS in the series|
|Kurt Busch||2||1||Tie Kasey Kahne for the series-most poles at LVMS|
|Kyle Busch||2||1||Tie Kasey Kahne for the series-most poles at LVMS|
|Jimmie Johnson||576||24||To become first driver to lead over 600 laps at LVMS in their MENCS career|
|Matt Kenseth||526||74||To become first driver to lead over 600 laps at LVMS in their MENCS career|
The-Numbers – 2,500th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race
1 – The very first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was held at Charlotte Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday, June 19, 1949 – the race was won by Jim Roper (Lincoln).
3 – Number of different entitlement sponsors NASCAR’s premier series has had over the years: Winston, Sprint/Nextel and Monster Energy.
7 – Number of the most Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships won by a single driver – Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson each have seven titles.
14 – Number of years since the inception of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs (2004).
23 – Number of different active tracks the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series currently competes on.
31 – Number of different drivers to win at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
100 – The 100th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was held at North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina on Sunday, October 26, 1952 – the race was won by Herb Thomas (Hudson).
123 – Number of the most poles by a single Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver – Richard Petty’s 123 poles.
140 – Number of highest Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races a single track has hosted – Daytona International Speedway (140 MENCS races)
156 – Number of different tracks the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has competed on.
186 – Number of different drivers to win at least one race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
200 – Number of the most wins by a single Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver – Richard Petty’s 200 wins.
234 – Number of different Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers to win at least one Coors Light pole
500 – The 500th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was held at Starkey Speedway, in Roanoke, Virginia on Saturday, June 24, 1961 – the race was won by Junior Johnson (Pontiac).
1,000 – The 1,000th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was held at Ontario Motor Speedway, in Ontario, California on Sunday, February 28, 1971 – the race was won by A.J. Foyt (Mercury).
1,182 – Number of the most starts by a single Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver – Richard Petty’s 1,182 starts.
2,000 – The 2,000th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was held at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas on Sunday, March 30, 2003 – the race was won by Ryan Newman (Dodge).
2,499 – The 2,499th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race was held at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on Sunday, February 26, 2017 – the race was won by Kurt Busch (Ford).
2,500 – The 2,500th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race will be held this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway as the Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500 on Sunday, March 5, 2017.
2,536 – Number of different drivers to make at least one start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
|2017 Playoff Grid Outlook|
|Outside Looking In|
|17||Martin Truex Jr.||24||0||0|
|27||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||13||0||0|
|Green = Locked into the Playoffs, provided they attempt to qualify for the remaining regular season races and are in the top 30 in points|
|1 = Have a win, inside the current Playoff Grid’s top 16 – Currently in the Playoffs, not locked in|
|2-16 = No wins, Inside the current Playoff Grid’s top 16 – Currently in the Playoffs, not locked in|
|12-30 = Inside the current top 30 in points, outside of the Playoff cutoff|
NASCAR Competition Seminar Notebook
– New partnership with AMR will enhance NASCAR’s medical services
– NASCAR unveils damaged vehicle policy
– Significant changes in NASCAR XFINITY Series
– Stages announced for Daytona races
February 8, 2017
By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service
NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH AMR WILL ENHANCE NASCAR’S MEDICAL SERVICE
CONCORD, N.C. – Starting with the 2017 season, the chase truck that serves as first responder to on-track accident scenes will feature a couple of new faces, thanks to a new partnership, announced on Wednesday, between NASCAR and American Medical Response (AMR), a recognized leader in emergency medical services.
AMR will provide a trauma physician and a paramedic to the on-track safety team for each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend.
“Collaboration with drivers helped us move toward this,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, adding that the doctors provided by AMR will represent “a recognized person that drivers trust.”
The partnership will enhance existing medical services already in place at every track. Local emergency room physicians will continue to staff the Infield Care Centers, thereby maintaining strong relationships with local medical facilities.
“This partnership further strengthens NASCAR’s medical response capability, making our well-established medical response system even better,” said O’Donnell during a comprehensive briefing for reporters at NASCAR’s research-and-development center.
“AMR is a leader in the emergency services sector, and its doctors and paramedics add another layer of expertise to the immediate response team.”
AMR, a subsidiary of Envision Healthcare, will also participate in the ongoing wellness of drivers and in the screening and evaluation of drivers for such things as possible concussions. AMR currently provides EMS support at tracks on NASCAR’s West Coast Swing (Las Vegas, Phoenix and Fontana).
In addition, AMR becomes the Official Emergency Medical Services Partner of NASCAR as well as the presenting partner of the annual NASCAR (Track Services) Summit.
NASCAR UNVEILS DAMAGED VEHICLE POLICY
During Wednesday’s competition seminar, NASCAR unveiled a new damaged vehicle policy which will eliminate the practice of wrecked race cars limping around the track after lengthy repairs in the garage.
Based on a rule change this year, race cars and trucks damaged during accidents on the track must be repaired on pit road and able to make minimum speed within five minutes. The clock starts when the car crosses the yellow line at the entrance to pit road. The timer stops when the car crosses the yellow line on exit.
Cars that can’t be repaired on pit road within the allotted time will not be allowed to continue in the race. If a driver incurs a commitment-line violation or speeds on pit road while trying to beat the five-minute clock, 15 seconds will be added to his or her time. If the penalty puts the car over the five-minute limit, that car is retired from the race.
Additionally, teams will not be allowed to use sheet metal other than that already on the car to effect repairs. NASCAR is developing a list of required parts that may be brought to pit road—a rear bumper cover, for example.
But, said NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller, “You can replace a bumper cover, but if there’s no quarter panel to attach it to, you’re out.”
The new rule applies specifically to wrecked vehicles. Repairs for mechanical failures, such as a transmission or rear gear, may still be made in the garage.
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
For 2017, NASCAR has taken away downforce from XFINITY Series race cars while adding spice to the Dash 4 Cash program.
Following a trend established in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR has made significant changes to the XFINITY cars that should produce a net downforce reduction to roughly 2,000 pounds, down from 2,800.
The spoiler height has been reduced from six inches to 3.5 inches. The outboard region of the splitter has been reduced by four inches, with the splitter leading edge reduced to .25 inches.
The optional side pieces, or “ears,” on the spoiler have been eliminated, and the ride height has been reduced from five to four inches. With lower downforce the cars should be more difficult to handle, thus putting more control in the drivers’ hands.
On Wednesday, NASCAR named the four Dash 4 Cash races for 2017. The early-season races at Phoenix, Bristol, Richmond and Dover will make up the program.
Those events will dovetail with NASCAR’s new three-stage race structures. The top two series regulars in Stage 1 will join the top two regulars in Stage 2 to compete for the Dash 4 cash bonus, with the top finisher among the four at the end of the race claiming the prize.
Heat races are eliminated in favor of the stages, and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup drivers with more than five years’ experience in the higher series are ineligible to compete in Dash 4 Cash races.
STAGES ANNOUNCED FOR DAYTONA RACES
This year’s Daytona 500 (Feb. 26) will feature two 60-lap stages followed by a final 80-lap stage, with points available in all stages.
Under NASCAR’s 2017 race structure, the top 10 drivers in the first two stages will earn points, with the stage winners also earning one playoff point. The race winner gets 40 points, as well as five playoff points which can be carried forward until the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The PowerShares QQQ 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race will consistent of two 30-lap stages followed by a 60-lap final stage.
The NextEra Energy 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race (Feb. 24) will feature two stages of 20 laps each followed by a final stage of 60 laps.
A race will be considered official after the first two stages are complete. The season-opening Daytona 500, for example, will be official after 120 of 200 laps, not after the halfway point as in the past.
NASCAR Enhances On-Track Product with New Stage-Based Race Format
Playoff Points, Regular Season Champion Incentives Highlight Updates
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 23, 2017) – NASCAR, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, announced today an enhanced competition format that will be implemented in all three of its national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Increasing the sense of urgency and emphasizing aggressive racing and strategy, the race format will deliver more dramatic moments over the course of an entire race and season, with playoff point incentives on the line throughout.
The enhanced format consists of the following:
Races will now consist of three stages, with championship implications in each stage.
The top-10 finishers of the first two stages will be awarded additional championship points.
The winner of the first two stages of each race will receive one playoff point, and the race winner will receive five playoff points. Each playoff point will be added to his or her reset total following race No. 26, if that competitor makes the playoffs.
All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the playoffs (Round of 8), with the Championship 4 racing straight-up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the title.
Championship points following the first two stages will be awarded on a descending scale, with the stage winner receiving 10 points, second receiving 9 points, and so on.
The race winner following the final stage will now receive 40 points, second-place will receive 35, third-place 34, fourth-place 33, and so on.
“Simply put, this will make our great racing even better,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “I’m proud of the unprecedented collaboration from our industry stakeholders, each of whom had a common goal – strengthening the sport for our fans. This is an enhancement fully rooted in teamwork, and the result will be an even better product every single week.”
NASCAR also announced a playoff bonus structure that will see the regular season points leader honored as the regular season champion, earning 15 playoff points that will be added to the driver’s playoff reset of 2,000. In addition, the top-10 drivers in points leading into the playoffs will receive playoff points, with second place receiving 10 playoff points, third place will earn 8 points, fourth place will receive 7 points, and so on. All playoff points will carry through to the end of the Round of 8.
“These are enhancements that the NASCAR fan has long sought, and the entire industry has worked hard to develop a better racing format for our fans,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “This format puts a premium on every victory and every in-race position over the course of the season. Each point can eventually result in winning or losing a championship.”