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2018 NASCAR Silly Season *Rumors and Speculation*

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ShadowKnight508

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Teams Hit The Track For NASCAR's First Organizational Test of 2018 At Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Credit to MRN):
The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series organizational test of the year kicked off Wednesday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. A total of 16 drivers descended on the 1.5-mile track for the test and that list included:

Ty Dillon (Germain Racing), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Roush Fenway Racing), Erik Jones (Joe Gibbs Racing), Paul Menard (Wood Brothers Racing), Ryan Newman (Richard Childress Racing), Cole Custer (Go Fas Racing), Chris Buescher (JTG Daugherty Racing), Kurt Busch (Stewart-Haas Racing), Kasey Kahne (Leavine Family Racing), Kyle Larson (Cup Ganassi Racing), Brad Keselowski (Team Penske), Darrell Wallace Jr. (Richard Petty Motorsports and William Byron (Hendrick Motorsports). Justin Allgaier (Chevrolet), David Ragan (Ford) and Drew Herring (Toyota) are testing for each manufacturer.

Rookie Wallace Jr. was the first driver on track for the test and rookie Byron topped the morning session with a lap of 28.678 seconds, 188.298 mph. Both were driving the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Those in the Ford camp are anxious to get to work on the coming season in hopes of closing the gap the manufacturer had last year chasing Toyota and the perceived Chevrolet advantage this season with the debut of a new Camaro body style. Also the opportunity to test at Vegas, one of several 1.5-mile tracks on the schedule has added to the test’s importance.

"It's been a fun track for us as of late and now we have two races here it seems to justify us coming here and putting a little extra effort into this one... with it close to starting off the season and then having such an important effect on the back half of the season,” Keselowski said. “We are glad to be here."

Las Vegas native Kurt Busch, who was the fastest Ford driver in the morning and afternoon session, stressed the added importance of running well at LVMS since the track now has two Cup dates on its schedule including an event to open the playoffs in September.

"It's going really well,” said the Stewart-Haas Racing driver. “We went through some sequences and the car has speed. It’s really similar on the balance for us with our Ford because we didn’t get a new body upgrade or anything in the off-season. Now it’s just a matter of settling in with my new crew chief Billy Scott and this group on the No. 41 car."

"It's never translated to that home field advantage. I have always struggled here in Vegas. I have qualified well over the years, but I haven’t raced well. I'm looking to turn that around. This is huge for our track here in Vegas to kick off NASCAR's playoffs. It will be warm out in September and it will be a new exciting fell for our sport to kick it off on a stage such as Las Vegas Motor Speedway. I’m really happy for the track and the town to have two dates."

As for the Chevy brigade and the new Camaro, early assessment is favorable. But most drivers understand it will take time to fully understand the nuances of the new body style.

"I feel like we have some pretty good speed and good balance with our new Camaro ZL1,” said Larson, who was the fastest in the afternoon session with a lap of 188.403 mph in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. “It doesn’t seem too much different than the other car. Maybe it will be different once we get in traffic, but in a test you don’t really get to simulate that."

Germain Racing’s Ty Dillon believes the change in body will bring huge benefits to his team in its quest for improved performance in 2018.

"I think all the hard work that was put in by Chevy and their engineers and all the race teams is going to pay off,” Dillon said. “We definitely have some things to learn with this car as the year goes on. Driving it for the first time I got a smile on my face."

NASCAR Organizational Testing At Las Vegas Motor Speedway - Day One Results
2996662-lvms+test+am.png

2996663-lvms+test+pm.png


Day Two
The first organizational test of the season came to a conclusion on Thursday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Kyle Larson was the fastest with a lap of 191.259 mph. Larson, who also topped yesterday's p.m. session, posted the fastest lap of the test this afternoon in the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

“I feel good about it, and it’s been good to get back in a stock car after a couple months,” Larson said. “It felt like we had good speed, especially on that last long run we made. I feel like it was a good test, and it’s nice to know we still have a lot of speed in our cars with all the changes to the new Camaro.”

NASCAR Organizational Testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway - Day Two Results
2996944-lvms+am+testing.png

2996945-lvms+pm+testing.png


SOURCES
Day One:
http://www.mrn.com/Race-Series/NASCAR-Sprint-Cup/News/Articles/2018/01/Teams-Test-at-Las-Vegas.aspx
Day Two: http://www.mrn.com/Race-Series/NASC...02/Kyle-Larson-Fastest-at-Las-Vegas-Test.aspx

Photos
https://www.facebook.com/pg/LVMotorSpeedway/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10155949025055102
95.jpg
 

ShadowKnight508

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Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower Named Title Sponsor For March CWTS Race At Las Vegas (Credit to The Catchfence):
Stratosphere-200-Event-Logo-1080x462.jpg

The Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower has been named title sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Stratosphere 200 will follow Stratosphere Qualifying for the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube on Friday, March 2, and will kick off the track’s first of two NASCAR tripleheaders in 2018. The 134-lap race is set to begin at 6 p.m. Pacific Time and will be televised live by FOX Sports 2. Owned by Golden Entertainment Inc., Stratosphere served as sponsor of qualifying day since 2011.

“Golden Entertainment and Stratosphere have been great partners of ours for many years, and we’re ecstatic about their expansion to title sponsor of our Camping World Truck Series race for 2018 and beyond,” LVMS President Chris Powell said. “The Stratosphere is a Las Vegas icon, and the property and its parent company have been instrumental in Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s success in recent years. We now have three major, high-quality race sponsors for our first tripleheader weekend, and this season is shaping up to be the best in our track’s history.”

LVMS’ spring tripleheader weekend will consist of Stratosphere Qualifying and the Stratosphere 200 NCWTS race on Friday, March 2, the Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday, March 3, and the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube on Sunday, March 4. LVMS will be the first track in history to host two NASCAR tripleheader weekends in the same year.

“We are excited to expand our involvement in Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s tripleheader NASCAR weekend, and I know fans will have a great time at Stratosphere Qualifying and the Stratosphere 200,” Stratosphere Vice President and General Manager Christopher Fiumara said. “Our Stratosphere brand and LVMS have had a great connection through the years, and this announcement deepens an already strong relationship with the speedway. It’s going to be a great weekend of racing, and we can’t be happier about being a part of NASCAR history this year and for many more to come.”

Stratosphere Qualifying on March 2 will consist of NCWTS qualifying at 3:05 p.m. Pacific Time and three rounds Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying beginning at 4:15. Those sessions will set the starting lineups for that evening’s Stratosphere 200 NCWTS race and the March 4 Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube MENCS race.

Race fans can already lock in their tickets to both LVMS tripleheaders and capitalize on discounted prices for buying annual passes for all six NASCAR races. The track’s 2018 six-pack of events will show off a number of enhancements the track has planned for the coming months as well.

Log on to LVMS.com or call 800-644-4444 to order tickets for any LVMS events.
SOURCE: http://www.catchfence.com/268172/st...ld-truck-series-race-las-vegas-motor-speedway
 

AMLNet49

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Seems like there’s some potential there for the 95 and 43 cars I think their performances is probably the biggest question mark going into this season after everything going on at Hendrick. I do think it’s a bigger question mark than Almirola in the 10
 

EarnhardtFan

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Somewhat speaking of McLauglin, has there been anything else on his former team coming back? I haven't seen a peep from them since they announced the comeback
 

burtonbraves

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Somewhat speaking of McLauglin, has there been anything else on his former team coming back? I haven't seen a peep from them since they announced the comeback
Apparently they are still planning to run Daytona in Xfinity with Disdier.
 

AMLNet49

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I see Premium and RWR will be pooling all of the resources they don't have
A backmarker super team! All kidding aside I assume this just means Premium is buying RWR’s spot in the 500, which continues premium’s “quest” of running every MWR number. If you count starcom last year as Premium then they only have #56 left. Edit: and 44

Awesome that the 34 will be at Daytona they had such amazing schemes back in the 90s-2000s

And I wonder if this Mills news means the 15 won’t start and park in most races as it was previously announced to
 
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MrDude68

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A backmarker super team! All kidding aside I assume this just means Premium is buying RWR’s spot in the 500, which continues premium’s “quest” of running every MWR number. If you count starcom last year as Premium then they only have #56 left.
They haven't run a #44 yet either. But that is pretty weird
 

sweetracerdude

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Speedco to Race with Ragan in Daytona 500
Newest Member of Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores Family of Companies Partners with Superspeedway Winner
STATESVILLE, N.C. (February 5, 2018) – Another member of the Love’s Travel Stops family of companies will be racing for a win in this year’s Daytona 500. Speedco, a national network of service locations for the trucking industry, will join David Ragan’s No. 38 team for the 60th running of the Great American Race on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.

The partnership gives Speedco’s parent company, Love’s Travel Stops, two opportunities to get into Victory Lane at the famed superspeedway. Love’s is the principal partner of Ragan’s teammate, Michael McDowell, and is the primary sponsor on McDowell’s No. 34 Ford for the Daytona 500.

Speedco joined the Love’s family of companies in November. Its 52 locations across the country provide oil changes, preventative maintenance, inspection services and tire offerings for commercial truck drivers. The acquisition combined two top brands to give the trucking community more service and product options at more locations.

Ragan is a two-time superspeedway winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and nearly took the No. 38 to Victory Lane in July, the last time the series raced at Daytona International Speedway. He was in the lead when the race went into a green-white-checkered overtime restart, and he crossed the line sixth as the field charged to the finish in a two-lap dash.

“Love’s Travel Stops has been a great partner of Front Row Motorsports for years now, and it’s cool to have a new member of the Love’s family as a primary partner on one of our cars, especially for the Daytona 500, where we know we’re going to have fast cars,” said Ragan. “Michael and I are looking forward to working together on track, and you know we’ll push hard to get a 1-2 finish for Speedco and Love’s.”

The No. 38 Speedco team will be on track for Daytona 500 pole qualifying on Sunday, Feb. 11, airing live on FOX. The team will then compete in the Can-Am Duels, the qualifying races that set the line-up for the Daytona 500, on Thursday, Feb. 15, airing live on FS1. The 60th running of the Daytona 500 is scheduled to run on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2:30 p.m. ET and will air live on FOX.
 

ShadowKnight508

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Big Machine Vodka Becomes New Title Sponsor Of The 2018 Brickyard 400, Race To Be Called Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard (Credit to The Catchfence):
BMV400 Brickyard.jpg

A new era for NASCAR racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will feature even more excitement, as Big Machine Vodka was named the title partner of the annual Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at IMS.

The Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard is scheduled for Sunday, September 9 on the 2.5-mile oval at IMS. The 25th annual NASCAR weekend at the Racing Capital of the World is moving from the heat of late July to cooler temperatures of early September, and the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard also will serve as the thrilling finale to the Cup Series regular season, setting the field for the Playoffs.

This multi-year title rights sponsorship further strengthens the nearly decade-long partnership between Big Machine Records and IMS.

“Our friends at Big Machine Records are the perfect partners for NASCAR racing at IMS, and the addition of Big Machine Vodka as the title sponsor for the Brickyard 400 sets the stage for an awesome weekend of motorsports and entertainment at the track,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “The Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard will be a can’t-miss event on the Indy sports calendar as we crown NASCAR’s regular-season champion and celebrate with a fantastic new sponsor.”

Big Machine Platinum Filtered Premium Vodka is 25X Distilled and 3X Platinum Filtered to make it “The Best Tasting Vodka, Period!” The lifestyle surrounding this superior quality and attractively priced vodka will be shared with fans during the event weekend. This will include VIP concert and racing experiences, and other exclusive sweepstakes, packages and promotions. Stay tuned to IMS.com, and IMS and Big Machine Vodka social channels for more details.

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the greatest motor speedway in the world, and Big Machine is returning with a vengeance, highlighting great music, our great Big Machine Platinum Filtered Vodka and a full-blown festival atmosphere that fans of racing and music are going to love,” Big Machine Label Group President and CEO Scott Borchetta said. “We’re armed with a multi-year agreement and intend to partner with IMS to create an incredible Brickyard weekend.”

Local fans also can enjoy the exceptional taste of Big Machine Vodka well before NASCAR’s biggest stars are on track at IMS. By early spring, the product will be available at retailers, bars and restaurants throughout Central Indiana.

Led by Founder, President and CEO Scott Borchetta, the Big Machine Label Group encompasses Big Machine Records, The Valory Music Co., BMLG Records, Big Machine Records/John Varvatos Records and publishing company Big Machine Music as well as its own digital radio station, Big Machine Radio.

BMLG artists include superstars Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Brantley Gilbert, Ronnie Dunn, Cheap Trick and Sugarland; chart-topping acts Justin Moore, Eli Young Band, Brett Young, Aaron Lewis, Midland, Carly Pearce; “The Voice” winner Danielle Bradbery and 2015 “American Idol” winner Trent Harmon. BMLG artists have received multiple GRAMMY, CMA, ACM, AMA, CMT, Teen Choice, MTV, Billboard, People’s Choice and Brit Awards. Big Machine is the first-ever American label to align with terrestrial radio for performance royalty rights for its artists and is an industry leader in fighting for artist, songwriter, publisher and record company rights.

BMLG’s racing successes include back-to-back Indy 500 wins with the late Dan Wheldon and Dario Franchitti in 2011 & 2012, respectively; the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall victory with Tony Kanaan; the 2014 12 Hours of Sebring victory with Marino Franchitti; and associate sponsorship with John Force Racing for the 2018 NHRA Funny Car Championship with Robert Hight and the Top Fuel Championship with Brittany Force. The company is in its fourth year sponsoring Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 Winner and 2004 IndyCar Champion. Visit BigMachineLabelGroup.com for more information.

Visit IMS.com for more information and for tickets to the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard.
SOURCES
#1: http://www.catchfence.com/268270/bi...ner-brickyard-400-indianapolis-motor-speedway
#2: https://twitter.com/bobpockrass/status/960506697528823810
 
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