NASCAR Releases 2017 Schedules
NASCAR released its 2017 national series schedules in early May – months earlier than their more typical fall arrival. The most significant news is a Chase- time swap between two of the tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.
Although the order and dates of races in NASCAR’s premier series remain mostly intact, a
noteworthy change involves swapping the Chase race order at Talladega Superspeedway
and Kansas Speedway. For 2017, Talladega (Oct. 15) will be the second race in the Round
of 12 with Kansas becoming the third – and elimination – race (Oct. 22) for the Round
of 12. Dover International Speedway’s spring race will be moved back a month to June 4
versus a date in May this year. Michigan International Speedway’s second race returns to
its traditional August timeframe – Aug. 13. Also, Texas Motor Speedway’s spring race will
be run on Sunday afternoon, rather than Saturday night.
Pocono Raceway has partnered with Penn State
University to make
the race track a “near
zero waste” facility. In
order to achieve that
goal, the majority of the
waste produced during
season must be
diverted from landfills.
Pocono Raceway is also
the first motorsports
facility to operate on
solar power thanks to
its massive three-megawatt solar farm.
NASCAR and Lixar, a technology company driven by mobile and data science innovation, have finalized a
multi-year agreement that designates the
company as a preferred technology partner
of NASCAR. Lixar specializes in mobile solutions for enterprise airline, automotive and
travel clients and will work with NASCAR to
enhance the guest experience at national
series events, specifically related to garage
access. NASCAR’s Garage Access Program
is a three-year initiative to enhance guests’
experiences while visiting the garage.
Brandon Igdalsky, president of Pocono Raceway, announced that GEICO will be the Official RV and Recreational Insurance sponsor of “The Tricky Triangle.” The multi-year deal aligns Pocono Raceway with GEICO and adds to the insurance
company’s motorsports footprint. As part of the
agreement, GEICO will have branded naming rights
to the track’s GEICO RV and Camping Registration,
GEICO Motorcycle Parking and GEICO Family Camping.
In addition, GEICO will have a large presence during
NASCAR race weekends at Pocono Raceway.
DAN GU T TENPLAN GE T T Y IMAGES
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s affinity for NASCAR history is well-known. He is an avid collector of NASCAR memorabilia and even goes online to
track down videotapes of races from the 1970s and
early 1980s, his favorite era of the sport.
But even Earnhardt admits he didn’t know all
he could about NASCAR’s roots, forged in the
backwoods of Georgia and the Carolinas where
bootleggers souped-up their cars to outrun federal agents. It was that desire to learn more that
prompted Earnhardt to become executive producer
of “NASCAR: The Rise of American Speed,” a three-part miniseries that aired on CMT.
Each episode focused on a specific NASCAR era,
using a combination of archival footage, re-enact-ments and interviews.
Ray Black Jr.
After competing for the rookie- of-the-year title in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last
year, Ray Black Jr. is taking his career to
the next level in 2016 as he competes in
the NASCAR XFINIT Y Series. The Florida
local, who pilots the No. 07 ScubaLife.com
Chevrolet for SS Green Light Racing,
is combining his two passions – scuba
diving and racing – while taking on a
demanding level of competition.
What is your best racing memory?
“It was probably my first NASCAR
Camping World Truck Series race at
Daytona [in 2015]. That one sticks out
the most. It was in my backyard and the
whole family was there. It was a pretty
amazing day, and we got a top-five finish!”
Other than racing, what are your
“I like to take my boat out at an inlet
in Florida near where I live and hang
out with friends on the beach. Traveling
is one of the things I really like to do. I
travel every week with racing, but even
on my weeks off I am always traveling.”
How did your sponsorship with
“I’ve been diving since I was 11 years
old, so I’ve always had a passion for the
water. A couple of companies I know
came together as ScubaLife, an online
community for both divers and non-divers
to find out how to get involved. With the
sponsorship, we want to bring diving to
race fans who may not have thought
about diving before.” –Joseph Wolkin
■ For more information on Ray Black Jr., follow
him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at
@RayBlack Jr or visit rayblackjr.com.