Time Warner Cable SportsChannel to broadcast 32 Crew SC regular-season matches live this season; all Black & Gold regular-season matches to be televised
COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew SC’s regional television home, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, today announced its 2015 programming lineup for the Black & Gold, debuting this week with shoulder programming and a special episode of “Access Crew SC,” on Wednesday, February 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET that will feature behind-the-scenes coverage of preseason training from Bradenton, Fla. The club’s first regular-season game broadcast is scheduled for Saturday, March 7, at Houston, with pre-match coverage beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET.
In 2015, 32 of Crew SC’s 34 regular-season matches will be produced live in high definition on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. “Crew SC Match Day” features a half hour of pre-match coverage and “Crew SC Post-Match” will offer a half hour of highlights and analysis, including the post-match news conference from Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter following home clashes. The two remaining matches on the regular-season schedule will air nationally on July 19 (vs. Chicago on ESPN2) and on September 6 (vs. FC Dallas on FOX Sports 1). The May 22 tilt against Chicago is set to air nationally on both Univision Deportes Network and locally on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.
“The depth of programming planned for this season will provide Crew SC supporters additional inside access to our players and our club, both on and off the pitch, through increased Crew SC programming,” said Crew SC President of Business Operations Andy Loughnane. “Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is committed to extending the Crew SC viewership experience and value proposition.”
The television broadcast team for Columbus Crew SC this year will feature Dwight Burgess and Neil Sika as co-hosts, with Ashleigh Ignelzi serving as a sideline reporter for home matches. Burgess will be returning for his 20th season with the club, bringing more than three decades of soccer-specific broadcast experience. He has called the action for a variety of national and international soccer events, including XM Satellite Radio’s 2006 FIFA World Cup coverage. He spent two years as the radio play-by-play announcer for Ohio State men’s basketball and hockey. He also has ample soccer coaching experience, having started as the Assistant Head Coach at The Ohio State University for two years before progressing to Capital University. Burgess led Capital’s men’s and women’s programs to six conference championships and three NCAA Tournament berths combined.
Burgess is partnering with Sika, who previously served as the play-by-play announcer for the club’s radio coverage over the past eight seasons. He began calling games for the Black & Gold in 2004 and formerly served as the voice of Ohio State hockey (2003-08) and baseball (2004-05). He is also the host and lead announcer for the FBU National Championship. His national credits include work for Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, the Big Ten Network, ESPN3, and Sirius XM’s coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Ignelzi will be entering her seventh year and sixth full season on the sideline. Since 2007, she has covered national and international soccer for FOX Soccer, Sky Sports and FOX Sports Ohio, college football and basketball for the Big Ten Network, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel, the NFL for FOX NFL Sunday and professional golf, football and basketball forESPN the Magazine. She has worked as a sideline reporter for the Guinness International Champions Cup and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team in addition to her Crew SC duties. She previously served as the host and feature reporter for “Game Time with Urban Meyer” and “Inside Ohio State Athletics” on FOX Sports Ohio. In 2013, she served as a College Football Analyst on the Time Warner Cable Sports Channel for the Mid-American Conference. Additionally, Ignelzi works as FOX Sports Ohio’s sideline reporter for its high school football “Game of the Week” and is the digital host for one of the most esteemed stops on the PGA Tour, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance.
In addition, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will feature a healthy lineup of weekly programming to give fans an inside look at the club. “Access Crew SC” will air each Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET, with the exception of the episode on Wednesday, February 25, which is slated to air at 9:00 p.m. ET. The show provides an in-depth look at the team on and off the pitch and will feature player interviews, exclusive features and a preview of the team’s upcoming match.
“Timeless” will feature classic Crew SC games throughout the season. “Crew SC Condensed” will feature a one hour condensed version of the latest match, airing on Mondays after each match. “Black & Gold Originals” are periodic Crew SC specials and documentaries.
Crew SC will also be covered in Center Circle, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel’s weekly national soccer show with an emphasis on the MLS clubs within its service footprint. Center Circle debuts Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET in Ohio.
“Crew SC is a valued partner of Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and we are proud of the breadth and quality of the content we offer our customers,” said Vice President and General Manager for TWC SportsChannel Jason Pheister. “We have a genuine commitment to the club, the League and the sport, and viewers can continue to expect unprecedented – and expanded – depth and access with top-notch production value.”
The Time Warner Cable SportsChannels are 24/7 networks that carry distinct, comprehensive local sports programming on different channels across the nation. In Ohio, Time Warner Cable SportsChannel is led by Columbus Crew SC, the Mid-American Conference and high school games and programming, and can be found in HD on Time Warner Cable channel 1311HD/311 across the state, as well as on channel 510 in the formerly Insight portions of the Columbus area and on channel 511HD/510 in the formerly Insight portions of the Cincinnati metropolitan area in northern Kentucky. For more information, visit www.twcsportschannel.com and follow the network on Twitter via @TWCSportsOH and Time Warner Cable at @TWC_Ohio
Website: ColumbusCrewSC.com | Twitter: @ColumbusCrewSC | Instagram: @ColumbusCrewSC | Hashtag: #CrewSC | Facebook.com/columbuscrewsc | Google+: +columbuscrewsc
ABOUT COLUMBUS CREW SC
Columbus Crew SC (Soccer Club) is the first club in Major League Soccer and 2015 is the organization’s 20th season. Owned and operated by Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008, and has also won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. 2015 is Crew SC’s 17th season at historic Crew Stadium, the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States. The club was purchased by PSV on July 29, 2013 as part of the privately held investment and management firm’s sports and entertainment business enterprise.
ABOUT TIME WARNER CABLE
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is among the largest providers of video, high-speed data and voice services in the United States, connecting 15 million customers to entertainment, information and each other. Time Warner Cable Business Class offers data, video and voice services to businesses of all sizes, cell tower backhaul services to wireless carriers and enterprise-class, cloud-enabled hosting, managed applications and services. Time Warner Cable Media, the advertising arm of Time Warner Cable, offers national, regional and local companies innovative advertising solutions. More information about the services of Time Warner Cable is available at www.twc.com, www.twcbc.com andwww.twcmedia.com.
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF COLUMBUS CREW SC COMMUNICATIONS
TUESDAY’S NFF CHALKTALK – Feb. 24, 2015,
Presented by FootballMatters.org
NFF California Showcase a Huge Success
The Third Annual NFF California Showcase, presented by College Football Hall of Fame coach Terry Donahue (UCLA), was a huge success on Saturday at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.
Recruiters from 47 colleges attended the event, providing 485 high school seniors a unique opportunity to earn academic and participation scholarships at the NCAA Division II, III and the NAIA levels.
Participants, who all have to meet minimum academic standards, competed in a series of athletic drills designed to let divisional college coaches assess each player’s potential, including a 40-yard dash and several agility tests. Participants must meet the requisite criteria to attend. Traditional combines charge student-athletes a fee to participate and colleges a fee to attend, but the organizers at the events in California, as well as the one in Texas two weeks ago, realized that the fees create a barrier for student-athletes of limited means and colleges with tight budgets.
Final Week to Nominate Student-Athletes for 2015 NFF Hampshire Honor Society
Sports information directors have until March 3 to submit nominations for the 2015 NFF Hampshire Honor Society. Celebrating the ninth year of this initiative, The Hampshire Honor Society is a great way to recognize colleges’ best scholar-athletes who have shown passion on the football field and in the classroom.
Qualifications for membership in the Society include:
- Student-athlete will have just completed his final year of playing eligibility or has already graduated and officially declared for the NFL Draft;
- Student-athlete was a starter or significant contributor during the 2014 season;
- Student-athlete will have achieved a minimum 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study through the fall semester of 2014; and
- Student-athlete is meeting all NCAA/NAIA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.
Contact Hillary Jeffries at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to nominate a student-athlete.
Proposed Rules Changes For 2015
Rogers Redding, the national coordinator of College Football Officiating, provides insights about rules changes and the mindset of college football referees. The CFO is the national professional organization for all football officials who work games at the collegiate level.
The NCAA football rules committee met in Indianapolis the second week in February to consider changes to the football playing rules. This was one of the “quietest” years for rules changes in recent memory, as no major issues had emerged during the 2014 season. The committee feels that the targeting rule has been a major success in changing coaches’ and players’ thinking about how to tackle, especially hitting a defenseless opponent. A foul for low hits on quarterbacks was introduced last year, producing good results as measured by the very small number of these fouls.
Technology was an important part of the committee’s discussion, which focused on the rapid advances and how much technology should be used for coaching purposes. We propose no technology-related changes this year, but the NCAA will form a task force to probe more deeply into this important issue.
The rules committee is recommending a number of changes, and these have been sent out to the various stakeholders for an official comment period. Nothing becomes final until the Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP) meets to vote on March 5.
Here in brief are the proposed changes:
- Non-standard/overbuilt facemasks are illegal.
- A player wearing illegal equipment must leave the game for at least one down.
- Teams may have access to the field for pregame warm-ups up to 22 minutes before the opening kickoff.
- The play clock is set to 40 seconds when the helmet comes off a defensive team player.
- An ineligible receiver is not allowed to go more than one yard beyond the neutral zone, rather than the current three yards.
- It is a foul for unsportsmanlike conduct if a player forcibly pulls or pushes an opponent off the pile.
- Sideline management: an official sideline warning is assessed before any foul is called.
- Officiating crews may have up to eight members.
- Instant Replay: may review blocking on an on-side kick, and may review when the officials do not see a signal for team timeout.
When PROP makes its final rulings on these proposals, we shall discuss them in upcoming issues of Chalktalk.COLLEGE FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME HAPPENINGS
LAST WEEK: The Hall of Fame will hosted Tennessee Fan Day on Feb. 21 in conjunction with the University of Tennessee Atlanta Alumni Chapter. Hall of Famers Steve Kiner and Chip Kell signed autographs at the event.
The Hall hosted the L.E.A.D.’s 5th Annual Meet The Ambassadors Event Feb. 22. Visitwww.lead2legacy.org for more information about the Atlanta non-profit, which helps at-risk inner city males pursue higher education and community involvement.
THIS WEEK: In conjunction with Southwest Airlines, individuals with a Southwest Arline ticket can visit the Hall of Fame Box Office and say the phrase “I’m Here with my Southwest Companion” in order to receive one free entry with the purchase of a regular priced ticket through the end of February. You may also purchase a ticket online, bring it to the box office with your companion and say “I’m Here with my Southwest Companion” to receive one free entry.
On Saturday, the Hall will host The Black College Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony.
LOOK AHEAD: Beginning March 1, the College Football Hall of Fame will join the Atlanta CityPASS program, joining the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola, among others.
VISIT THE HALL: The new College Football Hall of Fame opened its doors Aug. 23, 2014, in the heart of Atlanta’s sports, entertainment and tourism district. Adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and Centennial Olympic Park, the new Hall provides visitors with a highly immersive, interactive and engaging experience using a blend of historic college football artifacts and state-of-the-art, interactive multimedia exhibits. To plan your visit and purchase tickets, visit www.cfbhall.com.
NFF Promotes FootballMatters.org
The NFF continues to promote FootballMatters.org, a powerful new addition to the organization’s campaign to highlight the good in the game and the lifelong benefits to those who play it.
Recent headlines on the site include:
The site focuses on the stories that evoke the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal, character building and the drive for academic excellence that exemplifies many of the young men who play football and the families who support them. You can learn more about the site and watch a video featuring NFF Chairman Archie Manning and NFF Board Members Jack Ford, Archie Griffin, Kevin Plank and Rod West by clicking here.
The site is the latest addition to the NFF’s #FootballMatters Campaign, which began last year and provides people from border-to-border and coast-to-coast a voice in highlighting the positive impact that football has had on their lives. The campaign encourages participation via a series of national television spots with high-profile former players who subsequently achieved remarkable success later in life. The TV spots urge people to utilize social media platforms and the hashtag: #ImAFootballPlayer to share their football stories, which become part of the Twitter feed on the NFF website.
NFF Board Member and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive will be presented with the Football Bowl Association’s Champions Award at the FBA’s Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn., on April 14.
College Football Hall of Famer Bo Jackson (Auburn) was named the recipient of the 2014 PwC Doak Walker Legends Award, which honors former running backs who excelled in college and went on to distinguish themselves as leaders in their communities. He will accept his trophy at the Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet on Friday in Dallas.
College Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson (TCU) was inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame today. The hall honors athletes who have excelled athletically in San Diego or who are native San Diegans and have achieved athletic fame elsewhere.
College Football Hall of Famer Art Monk (Syracuse) will be honored as this year’s Bobby Mitchell Champion of the Gridiron at the Washington Football Legends Scholarship Gala on March 28.
The 11th Annual Pat’s Run, honoring 2006 NFF Distinguished American and College Football Hall of Famer Pat Tillman (Arizona State), is scheduled for April 25 in Tempe, Ariz. The event raises scholarship funds for Tillman Scholars who, in Pat’s name, strive to make a significant impact for our country and communities.
2014 Campbell Trophy winner David Helton (Duke) was named as a recipient of a 2015 ACC Postgraduate Scholarship. Also honored were football players Matt Connors (Georgia Tech), Grant Donovan (Louisville), Nantambu-Akil Fentress (Miami [Fla.]), Cameron Lynch (Syracuse) and Sam Rodgers (Syracuse).
2012 NFF Distinguished American and former ESPN Executive Chairman and President George Bodenheimer will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports at the 36th annual Sports Emmy Awards ceremony on May 5.
NFF Program Updates
The NFF Scholar-Athlete of the Day, presented by Fidelity Investments, is a daily segment honoring the 2014 National Scholar-Athlete Award candidates, who also comprise the list of semifinalists for theWilliam V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments. Today’s honoree is Adam Lutz, a punter/kicker at Campbell who maintains a 3.59 GPA in graphic design & studio art.
The NFF Springfield (Ohio) Chapter will host its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Wednesday at Casey’s Restaurant. Former Ohio State quarterback Stanley Jackson will be the guest speaker.
The NFF S.M. McNaughton (La.) Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Thursday at East Ridge Country Club in Shreveport.
Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson will serve as the featured guest speaker for the 34th Annual NFF Miss-Lou Chapter Awards banquet on Thursday.
The NFF Northern California Chapter will host its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Friday at the San Francisco Airport Marriott in Burlingame.
The NFF Lehigh Valley (Pa.) Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on Sunday at the Northampton Community Center. Penn State head coach James Franklin is anticipated to attend.
The NFF Greater Cincinnati Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on March 3 at the Westin Hotel. Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville will be the guest speaker.
The NFF Orange County (Calif.) Chapter will host its 45th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Dinner on March 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The guest speaker will be former Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was honored as a scholar-athlete by the chapter in 2004. The chapter will honor 68 high school and two collegiate scholar-athletes.
The NFF Southern Indiana Chapter will hold its Scholar-Athlete Banquet on April 12, featuring guest speakers 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Mark Murphy (Indiana) and 1981 NFF National Scholar-Athlete and current NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs Oliver Luck (West Virginia).
The NFF New York City Chapter will hold its Third Annual “Elite Eleven” Scholar Athlete Award Dinner April 16 at the New York Athletic Club, distributing 11 college scholarships of $1,000 each.
The American Athletic Conference announced its complete 2015 football schedule… Miami (Fla.)’s 2015 football game at Cincinnati will be held on Thursday night, Oct. 1, and air on ESPN… Baylor’s 2015 season-opener at SMU has been moved to Friday, Sept. 4, to accommodate an ESPN network… Washington’s season-opener at Boise State will be played on Friday, Sept. 4, and will air on ESPN… New Mexico’s 2015 football game with Arizona State, originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, has been moved to Friday, Sept. 18…
Georgia and North Carolina will open the 2016 season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta… California and Mississippi agreed to a home-and-home series in 2017 and 2019… Utah State and BYU have added two additional games with each other, extending the series through 2020… Ball State hascompleted the non-conference portion of its 2015 football schedule with the announcement of a home-and-home series with Georgia State…
Columbia namedAl Bagnoli, the all-time winningest head coach in NCAA FCS history, as its new head coach… North Carolina State signed head football coach Dave Doeren to a two-year contract extension through December of 2019…
The Big 12 announced its new concussion diagnosis and management policy…
Awards and Honors
The Fall 2014 Academic All-Mountain West Team was announced…
The Penn State Nittany Lion Club has introduced the “Bridge to the Future” Fund, which will enable Penn State Athletics to renovate and upgrade athletic facilities… Virginia has announced the “All In For Excellence” fundraising initiative in support of student-athlete benefits… Lafayette is promoting its ‘Live Connected, Lead Change’ capital campaign, which aims to raise $20 million for athletics to provide endowment support over the long term for hiring and retaining the best coaches, and for athletic scholarships, equipment and capital projects…
Duke officially dedicated the Zafirovski Family Study Lounge located in Duke’s K-Center. The K-Center serves as the academic center for Duke’s student-athletes… Kentucky broke ground on its $45 million football practice facility… Georgia’s proposed indoor football practice facility is a little closer to reality…
Former Tennessee wide receiver Clyde Duncan passed away last week. He was 54… Former ESPN broadcaster Rhonda Glenn, who made history as the first fulltime female sportscaster for a national television network, passed away Feb. 12. She was 68… Former Pittsburgh All-American Jim McCuskerpassed away Feb. 13. He was 78… Former Wake Forest football player and longtime high school football coach Bill Eutsler passed away Feb. 14. He was 96… Former Delaware football player and longtime high school football coach John DeGasperis passed away Feb. 16. He was 86… Former Florida All-American John Barrow passed away Feb. 17. He was 79… Former Bethune-Cookman football player and brother of College Football Hall of Famer Woodrow Lowe (Alabama), James Lowe Jr. passed away Feb. 18. He was 67…
The National Football Foundation relies, in part, on the support of individuals to fulfill our mission of “Building Leaders Through Football.” The NFF accepts gifts in a variety of forms. In addition to one-time cash gifts, which can be put to use immediately, pledges also allow donors to make more substantial commitments over a longer period of time in support of our programs. Stock and other property which can be easily liquidated are also options when considering a gift. By making a gift of appreciated stock or property, one may reduce or avoid capital gains. Gifts to the National Football Foundation are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Join us! For more information about how you can support the NFF, call 972-556-1000 or click here.
Each year, the NFF invites universities, colleges, conferences and bowl games from across the country to provide support for the NFF programs through its Institutional Academic Membership Program. The program allows the NFF to greatly enhance the power of football’s collective voice while actively building a stronger national platform for the game with community leaders, educators and the media. The program is open to all football-playing institutions and conferences at every level of college football and all bowl games, and it has reached new levels of support in 2014. Email Ron Dilatush email@example.com to learn about the benefits and how your institution can become a member. Click here for the 2014 Institutional Academic Members.
The NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association provides a powerful vehicle for past honorees to remain in the vanguard of the NFF’s present efforts. Click here to see the members of the 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association. For more information on the program or to enroll for 2014, please email Ron Dilatush at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 24, 2015 – Announcement of the 2015 semifinalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy – Irving, Texas
Oct. 29, 2015 – Announcement of the 2015 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments – Irving, Texas
Dec. 7, 2015 – Presentation of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup to the Ivy League Football Players of the Year at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City
Dec. 8, 2015 – NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City
Dec. 8, 2015 – 58th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City
Dec. 8, 2015 – 26th presentation of the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and hosted by the NYAC, to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City
Dec. 8, 2015 – Induction of the 2015 College Football Hall of Fame Class at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel – New York City
Jan. 8, 2016 – Announcement of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class – Scottsdale, Ariz.
Jan. 11, 2016 –College Football Playoff (CFP) Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Ariz.
The NFF would like to thank NFF correspondent Bo Carter for his contributions to this report.
College Football Hall of Famer Bo Jackson (Auburn) was named the recipient of the 2014 PwC Doak Walker Legends Award, which honors former running backs who excelled in college and went on to distinguish themselves as leaders in their communities. He will accept his trophy at the Doak Walker Award Presentation Banquet on Friday in Dallas.
About the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards presented by Fidelity Investments, the NFF High School Showcases, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF Faculty Salute Initiative presented by Fidelity Investments, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF also collaborates with the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) to release the FWAA-NFF Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll; awards the William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed at its official home inside the New York Athletic Club; and bestows several other major awards at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Sports Business Journal and Under Armour. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org.
The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Building Leaders Through Football & Supporting
• 768 Colleges & Universities • 70,000 College Football Players
• 15,585 High Schools • 1.1 Million High School Football Players
Thank You to the Corporate Partners of the
National Football Foundation
Follow the NFF in Social Media
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Phil Marwill, Alan Cox
Atlanta Motor Speedway overhead (2006 photo by Shark96z via wikipedia commons)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Next Race: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
The Place: Atlanta Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, March 1
The Time: 1 p.m. (ET)
TV: FOX, 12:30 p.m. (ET)
Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90
Distance: 500.5 miles (325 laps)
NASCAR XFINITY Series
Next Race: Hisense 250
The Place: Atlanta Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, Feb. 28
The Time: 2 p.m. (ET)
TV: FOX Sports 1, 1:30 p.m. (ET)
Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90
Distance: 251.02 miles (163 laps)
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: Hyundai Construction 200
The Place: Atlanta Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, Feb. 28
The Time: 5:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: FOX Sports 1, 5 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90
Distance: 200.2 miles (130 laps)
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
Logano Aims For Rare 2-fer
Joey Logano followed up his career-year of 2014 with a stirring win in the Daytona 500, becoming the second youngest driver to win the Great American Race at 24 years old.
Now he looks to accomplish another rare feat: Back-to-back wins in the season’s first two races. It’s only happened five times since the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ inception in 1949, the last by Matt Kenseth in 2009. The five drivers to do it: Marvin Panch (1957), Bob Welborn (1959), David Pearson (1976), Jeff Gordon (1997) and Kenseth.
Logano has a fair chance at joining that group. Though he’s struggled at Atlanta in Sprint Cup competition (one top 10 in eight starts – a second in 2013), he has excelled at 1.5-mile tracks lately. Last year, two of his five wins came on tracks of that length (Texas and Kansas).
On the outside looking into the Chase Grid heading into Atlanta last year, Kasey Kahne desperately needed a win in one of the final two regular season races to qualify for NASCAR’s playoffs – the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
And he got it, coming through with one of the highlights of 2014.
Kahne seized the lead with two laps left in the race and sped to Victory Lane, punching his ticket to the Chase.
With a repeat Atlanta win in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, Kahne can race pressure free until the Chase opener on Sept. 20 at Chicagoland Speedway. He boasts three victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway – his second-most at any track – in addition to two poles, seven top fives and nine top 10s.
Kahne finished ninth in last weekend’s Daytona 500.
The End Of The Beginning
Jeff Gordon goes back to where it all began this weekend for perhaps his final race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Gordon made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the 1992 season finale at AMS, sprouting a storied career highlighted by four championships and 92 wins entering his last full-time campaign. The No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports driver placed 29th in the Hooters 500 that November afternoon, a finish he has rarely replicated since.
Gordon leads all active full-time drivers with five wins in his 41 starts at AMS. He also boasts 16 top fives (39%). 26 top 10s (63.4%) and two poles.
The 43-year-old last won at Atlanta in 2011.
Bounce-back Race For Keselowski?
A rare blown engine ended Brad Keselowski’s Daytona 500 after 160 of 203 laps.
There’s good news and bad news. The good news: Engine issues are incredibly rare for the Roush-Yates Engines that power Team Penske’s No. 2. This was only the second blown engine for Keselowski since joining Penske fulltime in 2010. The bad news: The first one came in 2013 at Atlanta, site of this weekend’s race.
Still, here’s the only news that really matters for Keselowski: A win cures everything under the new format that sets the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field. Atlanta might not be the best bet, however. He’s suffered DNFs in each of the last two races, and in three of his six starts.
Stewart’s Early Wreck? Meh
Clearly, this wasn’t the finish that Tony Stewart wanted.
An early-race wreck relegated Stewart to a 42nd-place finish and extended his winless streak in the Daytona 500 to 17 races. Still, it wasn’t his worst finish ever in the Great American Race (he’s finished last, twice). And, in all likelihood, he’s never going to catch Dave Marcis’ record of 33 Daytona 500 starts without a win. There are bright sides all over the place.
And though he wrecked out of last year’s Atlanta race and finished 41st, that’s just one blip in an otherwise strong career for Stewart at Atlanta. In 27 starts, Stewart has three wins and 15 top 10s.
Gaughan, Moffitt Make First Starts Of 2015
Brendan Gaughan and Brett Moffitt. So many differences, but one similarity as the series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Brett Moffitt is a 22-year-old rising star from Grimes, Iowa – population: 9,335.
Brendan Gaughan is a 39-year-old from Las Vegas, Nevada – population 603,488. Heck, the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas has almost as many rooms (7,117) as Grimes has people.
Moffitt has nine career NASCAR national series starts. Gaughan has 168, including a full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season in 2004.
The similarity: Both will attempt to make their first start of 2015 at Atlanta this weekend. Still, it’s under completely different circumstances.
Moffitt is making a spot start in the No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota before Brian Vickers returns in Las Vegas next week. His best finish was a 22nd at Dover last year, when he started seven races in the No. 66 Toyota.
Gaughan is scheduled to run the remaining 35 races in the No. 62 Chevrolet for Premium Motorsports in 2015. Brian Scott failed to qualify the car for the Daytona 500. Gaughan’s last start came in 2013, a 33rd place finish at Michigan.
Back To the Future: History Meets Present At Atlanta
It’s known as one of the greatest races in NASCAR history, and for good reason.
The 1992 season-ending Hooters 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway was the final race for NASCAR icon and inaugural NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty – and the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race for sure-fire NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon.
Between those two subplots was the six-way championship battle that went down to the final lap. Local hero, and 2015 Hall of Fame inductee, Bill Elliott won the race, but couldn’t gain enough points to win his second championship. Instead, underdog Alan Kulwicki drove his self-owned Ford to a runner-up finish and his only championship. Last Friday, Kulwicki was voted as a new nominee for possible induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
Roush Fenway Racing Off To A Fast Start
Ryan Reed and Chris Buescher’s performance on NASCAR’s biggest stage was incomparable. Their 1-2 finish puts the spotlight squarely on the young Roush Fenway Racing drivers as the series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway.
At 21 years of age, Reed not only has all the attributes of a young superstar, but also the qualities to be an inspiration for young people with health challenges all over the world. Four years ago Reed was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and was told by doctors he would never race again. Through perseverance and a very stringent diet and lifestyle he was able to work his way back to competition and ultimately win at Daytona International Speedway.
Reed has made one start at Atlanta, starting 12th and finishing 18th. He has a pre-race driver rating of 66.9 and an average running position of 20.2 heading into Atlanta.
Chris Buescher led the series in pre-race driver rating heading into Daytona this past weekend and backed it up with a second-place finish. He has made two starts at Atlanta, posting his best finish (13th-place) last season. Buescher has a pre-race driver rating of 82.1 and an average running position of 14.0 at Atlanta.
NASCAR Drive for Diversity Crew Member Shines in Daytona
Ryan Reed wasn’t the only winner on Saturday. Kevin Richardson, front tire carrier on the No. 16 Ford, is a graduate of the NASCAR Drive For Diversity Crew Member Development program. The wins was Richardson’s first in NASCAR national series competition.
He is a former starting running back for the Appalachian State Mountaineers for the 2005-2007 seasons and holds school records for the most career rushing yards (4,804), the most rushing yards in a single season (1,676 in 2006), the highest career all-purpose yardage (6,104), and the most rushing touchdowns in a single season (30 in 2006). Richardson was a key contributor to three seasons of unprecedented success for the Mountaineers. Additionally, he scored multiple touchdowns in all three of the team’s FCS championship victories, and rushed for 88 yards in the Mountaineers’ 34-32 upset victory over the then No. 5 Michigan Wolverines.
Dillon’s Championship Focus Is Unwavering
Twenty-two year old Ty Dillon has entered this season with a chip on his shoulder and the only cure – a NASCAR XFINITY Series title.
Dillon closed out 2014 finishing third in the series standings, after posting one win (Indianapolis), seven top fives, 24 top 10s and an average finish of 9.5.
This season, Dillon knows he will need to win races to reach his championship goal.
Dillon made his first series start at Atlanta last season starting 14th and finishing ninth. He also won a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race from the pole at Atlanta in 2012. His pre-race driver rating is 99.2 and his average running position is 8.0 at Atlanta.
Veteran David Starr’s Daytona Finish Career Best Season Start
Veteran driver David Starr kicked off 2015 in stellar fashion driving the TriStar Motorsports No. 44 to a sixth-place finish at Daytona – a career best for Starr in the NXS season opener.
Starr has made two series starts at Atlanta finishing 27th both times.
Wheelmen Stack Atlanta XFINITY Series Entry List
It’s no surprise the fans love to see the biggest stars in NASCAR and this weekend will be no exception. Six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers – Matt Kenseth, Paul Menard, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Sam Hornish Jr. and the 2015 Daytona 500 champion Joey Logano – are all scheduled to join the NASCAR XFINITY Series this weekend in the Hisense 250 at Atlanta.
The last two NXS races at Atlanta have been won in dominant fashion by 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick. Harvick is tied with Mark Martin for the series’ most wins at Atlanta with three each.
Sunoco Rookie Spotlight: Chastain, Wallace Jr. Out Front Early
Ross Chastain: Fort Myers, Florida native Ross Chastain currently leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by three points over Darrell Wallace Jr. following his impressive performance in the season opener at Daytona.
The savvy 22 year-old, Chastain, drove his No. 4 JD Motorsports Chevrolet from 21st to fourth, and is now fifth in the overall NASCAR XFINITY Series standings, just 12 points behind the standings leader Ryan Reed.
This will be Chastain’s series debut at Atlanta this weekend. However, he is familiar with the track; he made a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start there in 2012, starting 16th and finishing 20th.
Darrell Wallace Jr.: Hot off a four-win season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2014, Darrell Wallace Jr. continues to be a top prospect for not only the Sunoco Rookie of the Year but also a series championship in 2015.
Last weekend, Wallace started 26th and battled his way to the front, ultimately leading 18 laps before finishing 12th. Wallace will be making his NASCAR national series debut at Atlanta this weekend.
XFINITY Lineup Enhances NASCAR Fan Experience
To kick off the 2015 NASCAR season, Comcast has made additions to its X1 Entertainment Operating System that will enhance the viewing experience for NASCAR fans. The company has added new NASCAR content to its XFINITY On Demand platform and expanded its X1 Sports App to include scheduling information for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Available to all X1 customers, the X1 Sports app gives viewers the opportunity to tune directly to network race broadcasts or an option to set a recording for later viewing. NASCAR and Comcast will work together on future enhancements of the app that may include content such as race-specific data including leaderboards, live news feed / ticker and schedules.
XFINITY On Demand now provides highlights of the 10 most exciting Daytona 500 races of all time, and will continue to be updated as the season progresses with race highlights, upcoming race previews, garage cams and more.
For more information, visit http://corporate.comcast.com/xfinityseries.
NASCAR XFINITY Series Etc.:
Hometown Heroes: Four drivers entered in this weekend’s NASCAR XFINITY Series event call Georgia their home state: 2014 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott (Dawsonville), Jon Wes Townley (Watkinsville), Ryan Sieg (Tucker) and Chris Cockrum (Conyers).
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
Guess Who’s Back?
Tell your friends.
After a two-year hiatus, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 28 (5:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). Ty Dillon, the 2013 series runner-up is expected to be the only previous winner returning for the Hyundai Construction 200 and is also the latest driver to capture a victory at the track (8/31/12). The Truck Series has not raced at Atlanta in March since 2010 when Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag from the fourth starting spot. Kyle Busch holds the NCWTS record with four wins at AMS.
Tyler Reddick launched his 2015 season with flair, leading a race-high 46 laps to win the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway for his first NASCAR national series victory. It was just the 18th start for the 19-year-old Californian, who will run a full schedule this season for Brad Keselowski Racing.
Following the race, Reddick received about 150 text messages in a 20-minute span, an occurrence he described as “unreal.”
Reddick will continue to chase his goal of a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship by competing in Saturday’s Hyundai Construction 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Crafton Returns To Truck After Sprint Cup Series Debut
Fresh off his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut – an 18th-place Daytona 500 finish as a sub for Kyle Busch – Matt Crafton will transition back to his No. 88 Toyota Tundra from the No. 18 Toyota Camry.
Crafton began his quest for a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series “three-peat” with a strong eighth-place finish in the Daytona opener before flying back to the “World Center of Racing” from North Carolina to drive for his injured friend/NCWTS counterpart.
“There’s nothing like getting a phone call at 7 o’clock at night, saying you’re going to race in the Daytona 500 tomorrow, are you ready? ‘Oh I’m absolutely ready, I’ve been waiting for this my whole life,’” Crafton said.
Fun fact: Crafton was a groomsman at Busch’s wedding.
Jones Tries To Continue KBM Dominance At 1.5-Mile Tracks
Kyle Busch Motorsports reigned supreme at 1.5-mile tracks in 2014, winning seven of the eight races of that distance on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series slate.
Erik Jones, who took the checkered flag at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas race last fall, will attempt to carry KBM’s 1.5-mile dominance to 2015 in Saturday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 18-year-old No. 4 Toyota Tundra driver is coming off a runner-up finish in the season opener at Daytona in only his second superspeedway start and has his sights set on a championship run.
Also competing for KBM this weekend are Daniel Suarez and Justin Boston. Suarez and Boston finished ninth and 29th, respectively, last Friday at Daytona.
Georgia On My Mind
Red Horse Racing Owner Tom DeLoach, a Peach State native and Georgia Tech graduate, brings his team back to his home for the second race of its 11th season.
The 30-year veteran of Mobil Oil Corporation, who retired in 2000 as its president of global midstream, fell in love with racing while serving as the coordinator of Mobil’s motorsports program. Upon retiring, DeLoach served as a partner and later a consultant with Team Penske’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. Interested in team ownership, he bought into CleanLine Motorsports in 2005 and changed its name to Red Horse Racing.
Behind drivers, such as Timothy Peters, Todd Bodine, David Starr and Parker Kligerman, RHR has compiled 13 wins, 86 top fives, 181 top 10s and 11 poles since DeLoach began the organization. Its highest championship finish was a second-place showing by its Peters-powered No. 11 truck in 2012.
Other NCWTS figures making their Georgia homecoming this weekend include drivers: John Wes Townley (Watkinsville), Korbin Forrister (Cedartown), Ryan Sieg (Tucker), Garrett Smithley (Peachtree City) and Wendell Chavous (Hephzibah).
Robust Rookie Race
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has long been a proving ground for young drivers to test their talents against grizzled veterans. This season is no exception.
Eleven drivers are in contention for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this year.
In only the first race of the season, three of the top five drivers at Daytona were Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates: Erik jones (second), Austin Theriault (fourth) and Ray Black Jr. (fifth).
Fellow rookies Korbin Forrister (12th at Daytona), Spencer Gallagher (21st), Daniel Hemric (26) and Justin Boston (29th) will attempt to catch up to the pack this Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
NASCAR Home Tracks Outlook
NASCAR’s future was on full display at New Smyrna Speedway’s 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing. The nine-night event ran at the .48-mile high-banked NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track in conjunction with the 2015 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway.
Christopher Bell, 20, won his first NASCAR Super Late Model race on Saturday night in the Bruce Gowland Memorial 100 finale. The Norman, Oklahoma, driver won 24 times last year in open-wheel Midget competition and raced three times at the World Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Runner-up Harrison Burton, 14, picked up a pair of wins on the week. They were the first two NASCAR Super Late Model wins for the son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton. Zane Smith, 15, claimed the World Series title for the Super Late Model Division on the strength of one win and an average finish of 5.8 over the seven races. In addition, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver David Garbo Jr., 18, had a win and 17-year-old Natalie Decker, who will run a Late Model for NASCAR Drive for Diversity and Rev Racing this year, had four top 10s.
Dalton Armstrong, 20, won the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division II Pro Late Model title. Armstrong, a former USAC Midget Car driver, is the younger brother of NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Dakoda Armstrong. NASCAR Next driver and 2013 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ryan Preece, 24, won the World Series title for the tour-type Modifieds. Preece had four wins, including the extra-distance finale — the Richie Evans Memorial 100 on Friday.
RACE PREVIEW WRITTEN BY Mike Forde; COURTESY NASCAR COMMUNICATIONS