Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Denny Hamlin is 6/1 to win 2019 Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington

Denny Hamlin has six straight top-fives coming into Darlington.
Denny Hamlin
#11 FedEx Toyota
Joe Gibbs Racing

Race Info:
Race: Bojangles’ Southern 500
Date/Time: September 1/6:00 p.m. ET
Distance: 367 laps/501.3 miles
Track Length: 1.36 miles
Track Shape: Egged-shaped oval
2018 Winner: Brad Keselowski

Express Notes:

Bristol (Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race) Recap: Denny Hamlin stormed from two laps down to win the Aug. 17 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, passing Matt DiBenedetto with 11 laps remaining to capture his fourth victory of the season. Hamlin lined up ninth for the final restart with 113 laps to go, and methodically picked off positions toward the front. He made it into the top five with less than 75 to go, and then up to second with 40 laps remaining. He worked the high line to catch DiBenedetto and then dove to the bottom to complete the pass. The race was not without incident for the #11 FedEx Team. An early wreck happened right in front of Hamlin while leading, and he was collected in it to sustain right-side damage. Repairs dropped him outside the top 10 for Stage 1 (11th), where he was seemingly mired in traffic. Then in Stage 2, Hamlin felt a loose wheel vibration and made an unscheduled stop on Lap 189, putting him two laps down to the field when the caution flew shortly thereafter. The wave-around got one lap back, and then Hamlin got the free pass with six laps to go in Stage 2 after a host of cautions late in that segment. Hamlin restarted the final segment just inside the top-20 before making his charge to the front. The finish vaulted Hamlin to third in the NASCAR point standings following Bristol, 77 points behind leader Kyle Busch with two races remaining in the regular season.

Darlington “NASCAR Throwback” Preview
: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads next to “The Lady in Black” for 367 laps of action at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 1. With only two regular season races left, Hamlin and team will look to continue their fine form as playoff racing is right around the corner. Additionally, the FedEx #11 will be participating in the NASCAR “throwback” tradition by honoring Darrell Waltrip. Chosen by Denny Hamlin and the Joe Gibbs Racing team, the special design replicates the scheme from Waltrip’s final race win at Darlington in 1992 and pays homage to his legendary racing and broadcasting career in the sport of NASCAR.

Hamlin Darlington Statistics:

Track: Darlington Raceway
Races: 13
Wins: 2 (2010, 2017)
Poles: 1 (2018)
Top-5: 7
Top-10: 11
Laps Led: 562
Avg. Start: 8.8
Avg. Finish 6.2

Hamlin Conversation:

Can you tell us more about your special throwback paint scheme that you are driving at Darlington?

“I’m thrilled to be honoring Darrell Waltrip this year for my throwback paint scheme, paying respect to his legendary career. I helped design two paint schemes that were voted on by JGR employees, and they chose the one that replicates the Western Auto scheme that ‘DW’ drove for his final win at Darlington in 1992.”

Your team is really connecting on all cylinders at the moment. How important is that as you head into the playoffs in just three short weeks?

“This FedEx team is on such a roll right now. We show up fast to the racetrack each and every weekend, and I’m proud of what our entire team has been able to accomplish these past few weeks. We are happy with what we have been doing, but know there is a lot of work ahead of us, especially with the playoffs just around the corner.”

Kevin Harvick is 6/1 to win 2019 Bojangles Southern 500

Busch Big Buck Hunter

Kevin Harvick has best average finish among last six Darlington races.
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Aug. 27, 2019) – The Southern 500 is one of the four “crown jewels” of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. And Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Busch Big Buck Hunter Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), is one of only four drivers to win all four crown jewels.

Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Harvick are the only drivers to see the checkered flag first at the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500.

Harvick is hoping he can score his second Southern 500 victory Sunday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway after leading 238 laps in a dominating win in the 2014 Southern 500.

For this weekend’s Southern 500, Harvick and the No. 4 team will bring a special paint scheme reflecting the team’s race-day partnership with Busch Big Buck Hunter, which offers an exclusive chance for viewers to take home a Big Buck Hunter machine of their own just by tuning in to the race.

To learn more about the partnership between Busch and Big Buck Hunter, visit Busch.com or the Busch social media channels – @BuschBeer.

In addition to his 2014 Southern 500 victory at Darlington, Harvick has three poles, seven top-five finishes, 11 top-10s and has led a total of 581 laps in his 22 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval. His average start there is 14.5, his average finish is 14.8 and he has a lap-completion rate of 95.9 percent – 7,475 of the 7,792 laps available.

While they’re modest personal statistics, the combination of Harvick competing at Darlington in SHR equipment is impressive. In his last five NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington – all of which have come with SHR – he has finished inside of the top-10 in each of the five events, including four top-fives. He has an average finish of 4.2 during that span. And of the 581 laps Harvick has led at Darlington dating back to his rookie year in 2001, a total of 518, or more than 89 percent, have come with SHR despite only four, or 22 percent, of his 22 Darlington starts being with SHR.

Harvick has competed in 16 NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Darlington with three top-fives and nine top-10 finishes with one pole position in August 2003. He has driven in two NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series events there with a best finish of fourth in March 2002.

Harvick has 47 career NASCAR Cup Series victories, which puts him 16th on the all-time list. He’s hoping he can score a win this weekend to put him in a tie with Herb Thomas for 15th place all time.
KEVIN HARVICK, Driver of the No. 4 Busch Big Buck Hunter Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing: 
How important is it in this current playoff format to be peaking at the right time?

“Any good momentum, especially from winning, is huge momentum. I think, for us, you look at last year and probably the best year I’ve ever had in my career in not winning the championship, there were probably a few things that go into not winning a championship. But I think you look at the 22 car and the momentum they had going into the last 10 races and that was more important at that particular time of the year than what we had done early in the year, so it’s definitely different. There are two parts to the season and obviously, to win the championship, you want to be hot at the right time, but winning races also makes the year more tolerable as you go through the first 26, so you’d love to put it all together. Unfortunately, it never seems like it all comes together. Even the year we won the championship in this format, it didn’t really all come together until the end of the year, just because we had so many parts failures and things go wrong, and building a team at the beginning of the year, but we had fast cars and were able to put it all together at the end of the year. We’ve been on both sides of it and you never know what each year is going to bring, especially in a year like this when you have a lot of rule changes and a lot of things that are different. For me, I didn’t really enjoy the change in rules and the change in things and it took me a few months to get over that and realize I drive cars for a living and I just need to make mine go faster than everybody else’s. And I think, once we started getting things settled down and getting our cars back to where we needed to be and in the right frame of mine, we’ve got things going in the right direction, so it’s been a good few months, really. We’ve had a chance to win some races that we didn’t win, as well, so it’s been OK.”

With our current format, is it easier to win a championship or more difficult?

“It’s different, and that’s really the only way you can explain it because it’s more fun to watch from a fan’s perspective, and I think everybody understands that. It’s no different than any other sport. You have to evolve and, in the end, we are in the entertainment business and we have to have people watching in order to put sponsors on the car and butts in the seats and those are the number-one priority. So in order to keep up with the times, you had to keep up with what people think is exciting and I think the format is exciting. I think it’s obviously from a competitor’s standpoint very intense and it’s hard to get to the final four, and so for us it’s really, once you get in the playoffs, it’s more of a survive-and-advance mentality. I think however you do that, whether it looks good on paper or not, you just have to get to the next round and that’s much different than collect as many points as you can and try to get to the end of the year as it was previously.”

Have you ever thought it would be neat to drive some of the throwback cars we’ve seen through the years?

“I think it’s intriguing to look back and watch and obviously that’s a cool part of our history, and I think Darlington has done a great job in bringing that story, that conversation back in, and it’s been a great weekend to kind of have those throwback conversations and styles. For me, I’m so in the moment of the things that we’re doing now and, looking back, I try to understand as much of it as I can, but it’s kind of like driving an Indy car – I never really had any interest to go back and do something different because I think it’s kind of, for me, I’m fortunate to be able to do what I do and the things that I do are in the now. But watching those old videos and watching those old cars go around the racetrack and realizing how much different the cars were then is very fun to watch and hearing the stories. I’d rather listen to the stories of the guys who drove the cars and worked on the cars and that, to me, is very interesting. We had Roger Penske on the radio show and you forget the knowledge of cars that he has, the knowledge of racing and the things that the guys who’ve been around for 50 years, 60 years in different forms of racing is very interesting for me to listen to. I could have talked to him all day and we always have good conversation. For whatever reason, he’s always liked me and I always liked having conversations with him, but whether it’s Roger Penske, or Dale Jarrett who doesn’t go as far back, but you listen to the old stories of those guys– and Kyle Petty – and the conversations are fun to have. But I never really imagined myself being in those cars because it was never really a reality or a possibility.”

When you hear those stories, does any driver stand out?

“I don’t remember who I had this conversation with, it might have been Kyle Petty, but one guy who is just an interesting topic of conversation that comes up is David Pearson, and the sole reason is the amount of success that he had not racing all the time. I think a lot of people don’t realize how good and how much better David Pearson’s stats would have looked if he would have been in the car as much as everybody else. It’s pretty intriguing to look at those stats and just kind of that guy who just raced and didn’t get all the real flashy headlines and things but, in the end, he won 105 races. That’s pretty good, and not racing all the time. So that, to me, is just one of the many interesting conversations of our past.”

Thoughts the Busch Big Buck Hunter paint scheme this week?

“I take pride in knowing that Busch Beer uses my car as a platform for much more than a billboard that happens to take the checkered flag at 200 mph. To know that this great-looking Big Buck Hunter Ford helps raise awareness around wildlife conservation motivates me even more to succeed on race day.”

Ryan Newman is 200/1 to win 2019 Bojangles Southern 500

Ryan Newman has a 12th-place average finish at Darlington.
Team: No. 6 Oscar Mayer / Velveeta Ford Mustang
Crew Chief: Scott Graves
Twitter: @Roush6Team, @RoushFenway and @RyanJNewman

Bojangles’ Southern 500 – Sunday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM Channel 90


Newman at Darlington Raceway

· Newman will make his 21st Cup start at Darlington on Sunday. In 20 prior events, Newman has an average finish of 12.1 – his best of any track on the circuit – with 13 top-10s and seven top fives.

· Newman has converted on top-10 finishes or better in 65 percent of his outings at the 1.366-mile track, including a runner-up finish in his first ever Southern 500 back in 2002. Dating back six events, Newman has only one finish outside the top-13 with an average finish of 11th since 2013.

· Newman has one career pole at ‘The Lady in Black,’ which came back in the 2003 Southern 500. Overall he has an average starting position of 9.9 with 13 top-10 starts, eight of which were inside the top five.

· Newman also made five starts at Darlington in the Xfinity Series, earning the pole in each of the first two events in 2001. He went on to finish fourth in the 2001 fall race – his best career Xfinity result – with an overall finish of 13.6 in the series at the famed track.

Scott Graves at Darlington Raceway

· Graves will call his fourth MENCS race atop the pit box on Sunday. In three prior events at Darlington, Graves has an average finish of 28.3 (two starts with Daniel Suarez, one with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.).

· In Xfinity Series action, Graves led Suarez to a third-place finish in 2016 after starting fifth. A year prior he and Chris Buescher paired up for a fifth-place result.


Newman on racing at Darlington:

“Darlington is no doubt my favorite track on the circuit and a weekend I have circled every year. Winning a Southern 500 has always been a goal of mine and it would rank near the top of everything I’ve accomplished in my career thus far. Everyone in the industry has done such a great job in embracing the throwback theme over the last few years, which really helps us all appreciate even more the history of our sport and its heritage. We’ve got a cool throwback scheme to Mark Martin in Oscar Mayer colors and we’re ready for the weekend to get here.”

Tracking the Playoff Hunt

· With just two races to go in the regular season and hunt for the playoffs, Newman maintains his 15th-place standing entering Darlington.

· Newman has a 12-point advantage over Daniel Suarez in 16th, while just a two-point gap separates him from Clint Bowyer in 17th.

On the Car
As part of a season-long rollout celebrating Oscar Mayer’s quality meat offerings, plus combined with the Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR, Newman’s scheme will feature both the Oscar Mayer and Velveeta brands in a scheme that pays tribute to NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin.

Newman’s scheme pays homage to Martin’s 1993 scheme that scored Jack Roush’s first Southern 500 win.
Martin led 178 laps en route to his 1993 victory, and also drove the scheme to a second-place finish in the spring event at Darlington that same season. Overall Martin led 301 laps during the 1993 season at ‘The Lady in Black.’
Oscar Mayer, who first appeared on the No. 6 back in 2003, was also featured on the car during last year’s #NASCARThrowback weekend with Matt Kenseth.

About The Kraft Heinz Company

The Kraft Heinz Company (NASDAQ: KHC) is one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world. A globally trusted producer of delicious foods, The Kraft Heinz Company provides high quality, great taste and nutrition for all eating occasions, whether at home, in restaurants or on the go. The Company’s iconic brands include Kraft, Heinz, ABC, Capri Sun, Classico, Jell-O, Kool-Aid, Lunchables, Maxwell House, Ore-Ida, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Planters, Plasmon, Quero, Smart Ones and Velveeta. The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to the sustainable health of our people, our planet and our Company. For more information, visit www.kraftheinzcompany.com.

Recapping Bristol
Ryan Newman picked up valuable stage points with a third-place finish in stage two and went on to finish 11th at Bristol two weeks ago.

Kyle Busch is 6/1 to win 2019 Bojangles Southern 500

Throwing it Back to Where it all Began

HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (Aug. 27, 2019) –Mars Wrigley Confectionary’s involvement with NASCAR teams began in 1990 when the SNICKERS logo appeared on Bobby Hillin Jr.’s No. 8 Stavola Brothers entry. The SNICKERS paint scheme returned to the Stavola’s team in 1991 with Rick Wilson as its driver. A redesigned SNICKERS paint scheme debuted in 1992 when Dick Trickle took over driving duties.

Fast forward almost 30 years to this weekend, NASCAR is once again preparing to celebrate its history with the annual “Throwback Weekend” at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. With its humble beginnings in mind, Mars Wrigley and it’s SNICKERS brand are proud to bring back one of its most memorable schemes from their first years in the sport – that of Hillin’s 1990 SNICKERS racecar. It will adorn Kyle Busch’s No. 18 SNICKERS Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) retro scheme during Sunday night’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington. Bringing back the original SNICKERS scheme from when Mars Wrigley and many of the company’s iconic brands entered the sport further shows the company’s longtime commitment as a supporter of NASCAR racing, its teams and, most importantly, its great fans.

Many of those fans from the early 1990s will recognize the memorable white SNICKERS scheme when Busch takes to the “The Lady in Black” this weekend almost 30 years later. Mars Wrigley and its associated brands are having yet another exceptional year, as Busch and his No. 18 SNICKERS Toyota team have driven to four wins en route to his 39-point lead atop the driver standings with just two races remaining in the Cup Series regular season.

The SNICKERS driver has conquered Darlington before, having brought home the Cup Series win at “The Track Too Tough To Tame” in May 2008. It earned him the distinction of being the youngest Cup Series winner – at 23 years of age – in the track’s storied history. Busch also has two Xfinity Series wins at Darlington, coming in May 2011 and 2013.

From 1950 through 2003, the traditional Southern 500 at Darlington was held every Labor Day weekend. In 2004, the race was moved to the penultimate race of the season during the first year of NASCAR’s playoffs before it was moved to the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend from 2005 through 2014. In 2015, the race returned to its rightful and traditional spot on the calendar, and Sunday night’s race will mark the 59th time NASCAR’s top series will race in Darlington on Labor Day weekend.

So, as Busch returns to “The Lady in Black” for Sunday night’s 500-mile marathon, he and the SNICKERS team look to bring home their second win in what many consider to be one of NASCAR’s crown jewel races. They’ll also take a trip down memory lane on their way to victory lane with a throwback scheme that honors Mars Wrigley’s longtime and loyal support of NASCAR racing and its fans. 

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 SNICKERS  1990 Throwback Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 
How did your throwback scheme for Darlington come about?

“We just talked with our partners at M&Ms and Snickers and tried to decide who wanted to take the Darlington race knowing that it’s always the throwback scheme. We knew as soon as we could get SNICKERS on board, we knew which one – it was pretty simple which one to go back to since it’s a scheme a lot of people who followed racing in the early ’90s remember well. We’ve had some really cool schemes the last couple of years with the throwback theme, but I’m hoping we get this SNICKERS throwback to victory lane at Darlington.”

What makes Joe Gibbs Racing so strong at Darlington?

“I like going to Darlington – it’s a fun place although it’s bit me a lot of times. I should have won probably twice as many races as I’ve won there, which is frustrating. I was glad to win there in 2008 and get my Southern 500 win – that was pretty cool. Why we’re good there? I don’t know, but it’s a place that a lot of the driver comes into play and I feel like all the JGR drivers, obviously, are really, really good. Of course, our equipment is good, too, and we can run fast there – run well there – and, if you can keep air in the tires, you might win.”

Have you put any more emphasis on winning the regular-season championship?

“Yeah, the last couple of weeks, certainly. We’re trying to make sure that we can close the regular season with that championship and get those bonus points. That’s what’s most meaningful is those bonus points to carry you on through each round of the playoffs. You get those for every segment, so that’s going to be important. As far as what we can do to make sure that we still achieve that is just run strong. Points are going to take care of themselves if you’re running up front and doing all the right things. Certainly Joey (Logano) has been running well this year and we’ll try to keep the lead we have for the next couple of weeks before we reset for the playoffs. If you have a bad week here in the next couple of weeks and erase that deficit, it’s going to be a close battle all the way to the finish of the regular season.”

What do drivers mean when they say you have to “race the track” at Darlington?

“It’s tough to pass there, for sure. It’s so difficult. So you run your laps until you get to a pit stop and try to get your guys to have a good stop for you so you can jump a couple of guys. Pit stops become really important there, as is track position and trying to stay up front.”

What makes Darlington a track that is too tough to tame?

“It’s a very narrow and challenging racetrack, especially for the speeds that we carry around there, now. We’re looking forward to the challenge with our SNICKERS Camry this weekend. You’ve really got to be able to get as close as you can to the wall in order to carry your momentum through the corners because you’ve got to make the straightaways as long as you can. The track is very narrow on entries and exits, so you’re always trying to round the place as much as you can. It’s very one-groovish. You can’t really run side-by-side there. Any time you get alongside somebody, you basically have to let them go. It’s a very big give-and-take type of track. It’s a lot harder to pass now, with the fresh asphalt, than it used to be. It’s really aero-sensitive now, to where it used to be more about mechanical grip and getting your car to handle well and handle over the bumps well and keep the tires on it. Now you’re restricted off the car in front of you and are trying to find some air, basically.”

Can you describe the “Darlington Stripe” and what it’s like to get one?

“A Darlington Stripe is pretty easy to receive. Running at Darlington is so tough and we are carrying so much speed there nowadays that you have to run right up there against the wall in order to get your car pointed correctly for the next corner, the next apex you have to make. So, running next to the wall in (turn) one and (turn) two and turning down coming off of two and carrying big momentum and big speed down the backstretch in order to set yourself up for turn three is important. Running high in three and four all the way through the corner, trying to keep the momentum going, because it’s such a tighter corner that the radius difference between each end of the track, you try to spread that radius as wide as you can and that’s right up against the wall. So, at any moment that car can slip and, during a run when the tires fall off, you have to be aware of one to two seconds of tire fall-off and your car is slowing down and at any moment you might slip a little bit and tag that wall. It can be very easy to do.”

Clint Bowyer is 40/1 to win 2019 Southern 500 at Darlington

Bowyer’s Darlington Paint Scheme Honors Stewart, No. 14 Legacy

KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Aug. 27, 2019) – Few NASCAR drivers must live up to a number and heritage like Clint Bowyer.

Nothing will exemplify that better than Sunday night’s running of the 70th Southern 500 at historic Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, when Bowyer’s No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford will carry a nearly identical paint scheme to his car owner and 2020 Hall of Fame selection Tony Stewart’s 2011 championship-winning car at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR).

The scheme is in keeping with “The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR,” during which the industry honors the sport’s history. Nearly all the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams will sport throwback paint schemes in the Southern 500.

“This is such a cool deal, honoring Tony and his victory in what was probably the most exciting championship in NASCAR history,” Bowyer said, referring to the 2011 Stewart vs. Carl Edwards championship battle that ended in a points deadlock and was determined via tiebreaker. “Who can ever forget what Tony and Carl did in the playoffs that year? I hope this brings back good memories for Tony, the fans and everyone in the sport.”

In 2017, Bowyer inherited the steering wheel of the No. 14 from three-time-champion Stewart, who retired from NASCAR racing at the end of the 2016 season after a 49-win Cup Series career and hundreds of victories in many other forms of racing. Since starting SHR with co-owner Gene Haas in 2009, Stewart piloted a car carrying the No. 14 to victory lane 16 times – the most of any driver in the Cup Series.

The No. 14 had its own legacy in motorsports before Stewart.   

His boyhood hero A.J. Foyt made the number legendary in open-wheel racing. Foyt’s driving career included four Indianapolis 500 wins among his hundreds of open-wheel victories, plus checkered flags in NASCAR’s Daytona 500 and sportscar racing’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. For the record, Foyt also drove the No. 14 in 42 NASCAR races, but with that number he was winless with just a single top-five finish.

Stewart lived up to his hero’s standards when he took over the No. 14. Now it’s Bowyer’s turn. In his 96 races in the No. 14 so far, Bowyer has posted two victories, 20 top-five finishes and 39 top-10s.

“Between Tony and A.J., those are about the biggest shoes anyone will ever have to fill,” Bowyer said. “We are doing our best to make Tony proud as both the car owner as well as the driver of the No. 14.”

Bowyer’s SHR teammates Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez will also honor Stewart’s 2002 and 2005 championship titles with special paint schemes on their cars this weekend.

The No. 14 has appeared in 1,224 Cup Series races and notched 44 wins. In addition to Stewart’s 16 victories, Fonty Flock won 14 races in the No. 14, including the first for the number at Occoneechee Speedway in Hillsborough, North Carolina in April 1951. Four other drivers have scored wins in the No. 14: Jim Paschal with seven, Herschel McGriff with four, Bowyer’s two, and Bobby Allison with one.

Bowyer relishes his turn with the famous number and wants to climb higher on that list. He arrives at Darlington after enjoying the final off weekend of the 2019 season when he and his family of four enjoyed a weekend at their farm in Mocksville, North Carolina.

At the last Cup Series race two weekends ago, Bowyer finished seventh at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. He needs a good run at Darlington to earn a playoff position. Bowyer is 17th in the standings, just two points behind Suarez, who holds the 16th and final playoff spot. Only Darlington and the Sept. 8 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway remain on the schedule before the playoffs begin Sept. 15 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We know how important these next two races are,” Bowyer said. “Everyone in the sport knows and everyone will be watching. We know if we run like we are capable of running, we will be fine. Now, we just have to go out and do it this weekend at Darlington and next weekend at Indy.”

Bowyer’s No. 14 will carry the decals of Rush Truck Centers and Mobil 1 this weekend in Darlington.

Rush Truck Centers has been the primary partner on the No. 14 team since Bowyer arrived at SHR in 2017, and has been with the organization since 2010. The Texas-based company has used Bowyer and the team to appeal to NASCAR fans as one way to recruit the technicians it needs to operate the largest network of commercial truck and bus dealerships in the country, with locations in 22 states.

According to Rush Truck Centers, the trucking industry is expected to need 200,000 diesel technicians over the next 10 years to keep up with maintenance demands. Rush Truck Centers wants to make NASCAR fans aware of these opportunities and knows that, with Bowyer’s background, he is the right guy to help get the message out.

In its 17th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series. It also provides primary sponsorships on Bowyer’s and Kevin Harvick’s Mustangs at SHR during various Cup Series weekends throughout the year. The Mobil 1 brand also serves as an associate sponsor for all four SHR drivers at all other races. Since 2011, ExxonMobil has been providing lubricant technology support to the SHR team, which helped drivers Stewart and Harvick earn series championships for SHR in 2011 and 2014.

“Both of those companies supported our plans to honor Tony this weekend and we’re extremely grateful to both Rush Truck Centers and Mobil 1,” Bowyer said. “I hope, by the end of the night at Darlington, we give them and all of our fans of the No. 14 something to cheer about.”

Clint Bowyer, Driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

What do you think of Darlington?
“Darlington is not good to me. I don’t know what I do wrong there. I’ve always run well there, been up front and everything is going fine, (but) it’s one of those tracks where you get down to the end and I can’t finish the damn thing. We’ve got to be able to figure that out because I really do enjoy the challenge of Darlington. That is an extremely difficult track to get around. It’s an animal. Trying to stay out of the wall, that’s obviously first and foremost, but being able to navigate traffic because you’re always in it. Even if you’re the leader, you’re in traffic. It’s a bear, but a lot of fun.”

Is Darlington fun for drivers and fans?
“I always look forward to going there. I love that old-school aspect of the fans – as big as the racetrack is, the infield seems extremely tight. We take the dog out at night to watch people take in our racing, and that’s one of my favorite things to do is cruise around and see how people take our sport and enjoy our sport in different ways. It’s all aspects. Some people enjoy family. Some people, they’re college buddies. They’ve got a new college crowd down there in (turns) one and two that’s super-killer for all those guys throwing a big party for them, and having a large time as their school is getting back going. But it’s always been a special race and a challenging race and a lot of fun to go down there, as well.”

What do you think of the older cars racing at Darlington?
“I always thought it would be neat, if you could, to be able to put those cars back on the track and have us be able to race them – or even today’s technology, just make the rules mandate those old cars and see. The crazy thing is, you can’t unlearn the evolution of racing and everything that we’ve learned over the years. These engineers and guys, they could make those guys so much faster than they were back then, but it’s not fair. It’s not fair to the guys back then. They didn’t have the tools and simulation and all the things they have today, so I can tell you because of those cars that racing is where it is. Those guys taught these kids and these guys who are building chassis and making these cars go fast today learned from those guys, and they learn pretty fast. But it would be cool to be able to go back and put those old jalopies back on the track and see what would happen. The only thing I never figured out about them is how hot those guys looked and everything else, and every time we take the windows out of our cars, it’s like putting air conditioning in them. I can’t tell you how much cooler my car was in Watkins Glen than any other racetrack. Simply taking out the right-side window makes a huge difference, so those cars even had wing windows in them, for crying out loud. I need a wing window.”

No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 Team Report
Round 25 of 36 – Bojangles’ Southern 500– Darlington

Monday, August 26, 2019

Odds to win 2019 Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington

Denny Hamlin won at Darlington in 2017.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 - 3:15 PM PT 

Kyle LARSON 5/1
Denny HAMLIN 6/1
Kevin HARVICK 6/1
Kyle BUSCH 6/1
Joey LOGANO 6/1
Martin TRUEX JR 6/1
Chase ELLIOTT 14/1
Erik JONES 16/1
Kurt BUSCH 20/1
Ryan BLANEY 30/1
Clint BOWYER 40/1
Alex BOWMAN 40/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 40/1
Aric ALMIROLA 60/1
William BYRON 60/1
Daniel SUAREZ 60/1
Ryan NEWMAN 100/1
Austin DILLON 100/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 200/1
Chris BUESCHER 200/1
Paul MENARD 500/1
Daniel HEMRIC 500/1
Ryan PREECE 1000/1
Ty DILLON 1000/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 1000/1
Michael McDOWELL 2000/1
David RAGAN 2000/1
Matt TIFFT 5000/1
Corey LAJOIE 5000/1
Landon CASSILL 5000/1
Reed SORENSON 5000/1
FIELD (all others) 500/1

Monday, August 19, 2019

Updated odds to win 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Championship

Westgate Las Vegas SuperbookODDSODDS
Kevin HARVICK9/25/1
Kyle BUSCH9/27/2
Martin TRUEX JR6/15/1
Chase ELLIOTT7/112/1
Kyle LARSON7/116/1
Brad KESELOWSKI10/18/1
Ryan BLANEY10/130/1
Joey LOGANO10/18/1
Clint BOWYER15/180/1
Erik JONES15/125/1
Aric ALMIROLA25/150/1
Denny HAMLIN25/18/1
Kurt BUSCH25/120/1
Jimmie JOHNSON30/180/1
Daniel SUAREZ40/180/1
Alex BOWMAN50/125/1
Austin DILLON60/11000/1
William BYRON60/160/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR100/11000/1
Paul MENARD100/11000/1
Daniel HEMRIC300/12000/1
Ryan NEWMAN300/1300/1
Ryan PREECE1000/12000/1
Darrell WALLACE JR2000/12000/1
Chris BUESCHER2000/12000/1
Matt DIBENEDETTO2000/12000/1