NASCAR Racing Notes
Brad Keselowski gained international notoriety when he posted pictures and comments to his Twitter account during the red flag delay at the Daytona 500. When he did it again during Sunday’s delay at the Phoenix International Raceway, it earned him a $25,000 fine.
While fans, including NASCAR, were happy to get so much attention at the Daytona International Speedway for the delay the followed Juan Pablo Montoya’s fiery collision with a truck pulling a jet drier, the sanctioning body said Monday it violated rules against having any device inside the car that’s capable of collecting or transmitting data.
Keselowski said he carries his phone in the car to reassure his family after an accident.
He also has used it to keep in touch with his fans during a race. On Sunday he sent messages responding to the accident – and brawl – between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer.
Gordon was fined $100,000 for his role in the crash.
Nationwide Series adds Mid-Ohio to 2013 schedule
The only significant change to next year’s Nationwide Series schedule is the addition of a road course race Mid-Ohio and the loss of Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
NASCAR released the 2013 schedule four days before the season-finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. It opens with the DRIVE4COPD 300 at the Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 23 and ends again in South Florida on Nov. 16.
Race organizers in Montreal weren’t able to negotiate a better sanctioning and track rental fee. To fill the void on Aug. 17, NASCAR added the 2.4-mile, 15-turn road course in Lexington, Ohio.
It also creates back-to-back road course events for Nationwide. The series will be at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 10.
Other key races will be at Talladega, Ala., on May 4, at Road America on June 22, at Daytona on July 5 and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27.
Teams to get a running start on new car
Teams will get three extra test sessions to work on their new 2013 cars in preparation for next season.
NASCAR scheduled a two-day test at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for Dec. 11-12. Then they will have three days, Jan. 10-12, at the Daytona International Speedway, followed by a final session back at Charlotte on Jan. 17-18.
The Sprint Cup Series will move to new cars next year to bring back brand identity for the three remaining manufacturers – Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota. Next year’s cars won’t share common templates like they currently do in an effort to make them look more like street models.
NASCAR has restricted teams to four tests next year, but the three scheduled sessions won’t count against that.
“We’ve put together an aggressive and extensive testing schedule for the new car and we are pleased with how things are progressing,” said NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton. “We have the opportunity to provide teams with a couple more optional test dates at a mile-and-half race track as we look to provide the most exciting and competitive racing that we possibly can. The Daytona Preseason Thunder testing will give teams the chance to prepare their cars for SpeedWeeks and the running of the Daytona 500. The new car has generated a lot of excitement and anticipation and we’re looking forward to seeing it in competition next year.”