Geoff’s Journal: Sponsorship and salary

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NASCAR Winston Cup cars turn laps at Darlington Raceway in 1998. Geoff Bodine breaks down the dynamics behind sponsorship and driver salary.

A lot of drivers today in the Sprint Cup Series have taken pay cuts because of the less sponsorship dollars coming in. They love the sport they race in, and care about 


Edwards remains without a top-ten finish

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Kurt Busch leads the field during Sunday's Auto Club 400.

Leading one lap, Edwards was the highest finishing Toyota driver.

“That was a hard fought race,” Edwards said of his fourth lead lap finish of 2015. 


Menard’s top-five “was a team effort”

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Paul Menard talks in the garage area at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2014. Menard scored his first top-five effort of 2015 Sunday at Auto Club Speedway.

The finish propelled Menard to ninth in driver points, 32 markers ahead of the Chase for the Sprint Cup cutoff. He remains one of four drivers to finish on the lead lap in all five events this season.


Ragan posts best qualifying effort since 2011

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David Ragan stands by the No.18 Toyota Camry at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ragan will start on the outside of row two Sunday.

Ragan, who will return to Front Row Motorsports later this season, described what it’s like to be running with a team with larger resources.


Allgaier scores best finish of 2015

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Justin Allgaier's No. 51 Chevrolet sits on pit road prior to the start of Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500.

Allgaier’s finish puts him and his team 28th in driver’s points, 31 points out of a Chase spot. Allgaier complimented his crew chief and their strategy on working through the field.


Kennedy set for first Sprint Cup race of 2015

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Alex Kennedy pull his car into the garage area at Phoenix International Raceway. Kennedy will start 43rd.

“I haven’t been in a [Cup car] since August, so this is a good place to start our season,” Kennedy said.


Back-to-back top-ten finishes for Gaughan

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Brendan Gaughan walks the stage during driver introductions at Phoenix International Raceway.

“It was a long day,” Gaughan said to The Racing Experts. “I know that [we] passed more racecars than anybody today. We were definitely better than eighth, but to come home eighth, we’ll take it.”


Win during west coast swing goal for Junior
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Daytona International Speedway in February 2015.

I [haven’t] won at California, I’d love to win there,” Junior said to The Racing Experts, adding ...


Phoenix NASCAR's second stop on West Coast Tour 
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Cars race Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Our team will be at Phoenix International Raceway to bring on-site coverage from Avondale.

Where are drivers staying in Vegas? Part 2
Image used with permission.
Pre-race ceremonies at the 2015 Kobalt Tools 400. More NASCAR insiders talk about their Las Vegas weekend experience.

With NASCAR making its annual stop in Las Vegas, we took the garage area once again to find out drivers, owners and industry personnel’s preference on gambling and if they’re staying on The Strip.


Starr remains inside top-ten in points

Photo by Dominic Aragon/TheRacingExperts.com
David Starr's No. 44 Toyota Camry sits in the garage area at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“This car is not one of our newer cars. This is one that we ran last year. We are building new stuff and our new stuff is not ready yet.” 


“More seat time” goal for Moffitt
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2014 stock photo. Moffitt will run his first Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday.

“Our biggest goal with this is to get more seat time in racing conditions,” he said. “Last year, I ran seven races with Jay Robinson Racing, and that was good experience as far as track time goes, but..." 


Where are drivers staying in Vegas?

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Various drivers talk with The Racing Experts about their Las Vegas plans.

Brendan Gaughan No. 62 Premium Motorsports: “Well, it depends what mood you’re in. There’s always a mood for all games.” 


NASCAR returns to Las Vegas

Photo by Robert Laberge / NASCAR via Getty Images

Stay tuned for our on-site coverage of the Kobalt Tools 400 race weekend.

Johnson scores first win of season at Atlanta
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Stepping away from racing

Photo by Robert Reiners/NASCAR via Getty Images
Jeff Gordon leads the field to the green flag at the 2015 Daytona 500.

I look back at some of the things I did in the latter year of my career, and I say, ‘well, I was helping some friends, and that’s okay,” and that’s how I justify it, but it sure didn’t look that good.


Gordon “enjoyed every moment” of final Daytona 500
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Jeff Gordon races in the lead pack in the Daytona 500.

“I enjoyed every moment of it,” he said. “I enjoyed the pre-race and the race; all the way up to that wreck.”


Daytona 500 replacement driver report
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Matt Crafton poses with the No. 18 Toyota Camry pre-race Sunday.

This year’s Daytona 500 featured three interim drivers, including two who filled in for teams that made the 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup. 


Rookie Spotlight: Xfinity Series

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series trophy. Five rookies will be among the field of drivers attempting to become the 2015 champion. 

The 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series will currently have five rookies competing for the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year title. 


Wallace races into the Daytona 500
Photo by Jonathan FerreyNASCAR via Getty Images
A pack of cars race to the finish of Budweiser Duel No. 2. Mike Wallace, who finished eighth, earned a starting spot in Sunday's Daytona 500 Thursday night.

In his ten career starts in the Daytona 500, Wallace has posted one top-five finish and three top-ten finishes. Wallace fared a fourth place finish in 2007, his most recent Daytona 500 start.


Cassill, Dillon comment on Duel No. 1
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Matt Kenseth leads Ty Dillon (33) and a pack of cars in Gatorade Duel No. 1.

“My team works really hard on our superspeedway cars,” he said. “…You've seen our performances at superspeedways. It's really where we put all of our resources... 


Gordon, Johnson to share
Daytona 500 front row

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Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon pose with their teams Sunday after earning the front row for the Daytona 500.

Truex Jr. elated on runner-up finish

Photo by Matt Sullivan / NASCAR via Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr. (78) leads Dale Earnhardt  Jr. and the rest of the field in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited. Truex Jr. led 28 laps en route to a second place effort.


How did the Sprint Unlimited alternates fare?

Photo by Robert Laberge / NASCAR via Getty Images

The drivers competing in the 2015 Sprint Unlimited take the stage during pre-race festivities.

With four drivers eligible for the 2015 Sprint Unlimited electing to skip Saturday night’s exhibition race, the four alternates joined the 25-car field. Below is a breakdown of how each driver did.


How many cars are capable of winning the Daytona 500?

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NASCAR Media Day logo from Daytona Beach, Florida.

Drivers during the NASCAR Media Day in Daytona Beach discussed the question with members of the press, with varying responses.


Rookie Spotlight: Xfinity Series

Don’t write off The Motorsports Group, Hornaday

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Ron Hornaday Jr. at Iowa Speedway in 2013. While he is running with a new Sprint Cup team in 2015, Hornaday and The Motorsports Group should not be overlooked, our Dominic Aragon writes. 

Key is all in. According to the source, with somewhat deep pockets, Key could pour upwards of ...


NEMCO Motorsports questionable
on Daytona 500 entry

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Joe Nemechek practices for the Daytona 500 in his No. 87 Toyota Camry in 2014.

“Everything’s based on funding,” he said. “Right now, the Truck team is definitely priority.”


Greg Biffle discusses off-season,
2015 and beyond

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Greg Biffle speaks with the media during Media Week in Charlotte, North Carolina. Biffle spoke with The Racing Experts about the off-season and his plans past 2016.

While Biffle still has a contract in place to keep him with RFR for at least two more seasons, it might be safe to say the 19-time Sprint Cup winner has more professional racing days behind him than ahead of him. 


A preview of the 2015-16 Silly Season

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Kurt Busch leads a pack of cars at Pocono Raceway. Our Jordan Hyland talks about which drivers may not be with their current team in 2016.

Let’s take a look at all seven drivers, in order of least likely to most likely to be replaced or switch teams.


No retirement plans for Mike Wallace

Photo by Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images
Mike Wallace at Kentucky Speedway in 2011. Although a formal announcement has yet to be made on his 2015 racing plans, the NASCAR veteran acknowledges he isn't ready to hang up his helmet.

Wallace did not reveal when he would consider retiring, but he told The Racing Experts he would not let his age force him to walk away.


Rookies sparse in 2015 Sprint Cup lineup

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images
Trevor Bayne (left) at Iowa Speedway. Bayne will be competing for Rookie of the Year honors in 2015.

2015 may be the first time since 1958, and only the third time in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, a driver will run uncontested for Rookie of the Year honors.


Reflecting on the Daytona 500

Photo by Racing One/Getty Images
Geoff Bodine in victory lane at the 1986 Daytona 500.

The car slid up the track a little bit. It got sideways and started getting more sideways, and I was spinning coming off of turn four.


Reflecting on Jeff Gordon’s illustrious career
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Jeff Gordon at Sonoma Raceway in 1998. Our David Swope takes a look back at Jeff Gordon's career and what's possibly next for the four-time champion.

Questions will arise to the vacancy left by Gordon’s departure. Let me be the first to suggest that the heir-apparent is in the wings, and with Kasey Kahne signing a contract extension, the timing could not be better.


“Emotional day” for Gordon announcing retirement

Photo by Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images
Jeff Gordon and daughter Ella point to Gordon's name on the Chase Grid at Dover International Speedway in September 2014.

“Today is an emotional day,” Gordon said. “I had to tell my daughter this this morning when I was explaining to her that I was going to be telling the team and people this and talking about it, and she saw me get very emotional when I was telling her... 


Source: Hornaday to attempt Daytona 500 for The Motorsports Group
Photo by Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images

Ron Hornaday Jr. climbs into his race truck at Dover International Speedway. Hornaday will attempt the Daytona 500 with The Motorsports Group, The Racing Experts  have learned.

The Motorsports Group will make their first attempt at a Sprint Cup race with at next month’s Daytona 500. 


Preparing for the 2015 NASCAR season

Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images
Norm Benning practices at Daytona International Speedway in February 2014.

 I can finish in the top-five this year if things go right, but everybody knows it’s a superspeedway and being at the wrong place at the wrong time is a problem.


Caldwell: same NASCAR, same problems
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images
Kyle Larson leads a pack of cars at Pocono Raceway in August. Our Brandon Caldwell takes a look at NASCAR and its reception to criticism.

You know the quote that says anything that’s not going forward is going backwards? Well that resonates here pretty well. 


Dave Blaney to focus on
sprint car racing in 2015

Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images
Dave Blaney talks with his son Ryan at Kansas Speedway in May 2014. Blaney is doubtful he will run in any of NASCAR’s top-three touring series in 2015 and beyond. 

“[I] focused more on the sprint car side of things, probably ran 35 times in those, which isn’t a lot of sprint car races, but it was quite a bit for us, kind of a part-time little team,” he said. “We go running mainly in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. [We] won a couple races, had some fun.”


Top-five drivers with
something to prove in 2015

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 Jamie McMurray leads the field to the green flag at Sonoma Raceway in June. Our Brandon Caldwell talks about the five drivers with a chip on their shoulder in 2015.

Even with the 2014 season on his resume, the jury is still out on his ability as a driver. There are plenty of people around this sport still questioning whether or not he has what it takes to be among the elite in this business.


Norm Benning joins The Racing Experts

With the launch of “Benning’s Blog,” look for the driver to sound off in his blog. Benning will be giving his first-hand accounts from behind-the-wheel and behind-the-scenes of his single-truck operation.


Can Allmendinger, Almirola repeat in 2015?

Photos by Patrick Smith and Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images for NASCAR.
 A.J. Allmendinger and Aric Almirola. Both drivers picked up their first career win and Chase berth in 2014.

There’s no doubt competing in the Sprint Cup Series is tough, let alone winning an event within the series. There will be more pressure on the two to win a race in 2015, and more so to defend the races they won.


How much longer will Jeff Gordon race?

Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR
Jeff Gordon (right) stands with team owner Rick Hendrick at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Gordon completed his 22nd full-time season with Hendrick Motorsports in 2014.

Perennial favorites to sub for Vickers

Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images
Brian Vickers (right) stands with Michael Waltrip Racing development driver Brett Moffitt. Could Moffitt be on the short-list to substitute for Brian Vickers next season?

Top-five most disappointing drivers of 2014

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Denny Hamlin leads a pack of cars on the final lap of the 2014 Budweiser Duel No. 2. Our Brandon Caldwell weighs in on the most disappointing drivers of 2014.

Josh Wise to return to Phil Parsons Racing

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Josh Wise turns laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. Wise will again pilot the No. 98 car in 2015.

Crossroads for Ryan Blaney in 2015?

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images for NASCAR
Ryan Blaney at Chicagoland Speedway. Blaney will run races in all three of NASCAR's top-tier series in 2015.

Sprint Unlimited: Leave it to the fans
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images
Tony Stewart (14) is involved in a multi-car crash during the 2014 Sprint Unlimited. With the format set to change for 2015, our Brandon Caldwell says the format should be decided by the fans.

Top-five most surprising drivers in 2014

Photo by Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images
Jeff Gordon leads a pack of cars at Kansas Speedway in October. Our Brandon Caldwell takes a look at the most surprising drivers of 2014 in his latest edition of "Top-five".

Driver Blog:
The athleticism of stock car drivers

Photo by NASCAR via Getty Images


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