Tag Archives: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

NASCAR Racing Begins with ARCA Racing in More Ways Than One

The seemingly long off season for Stock Car racing is almost over. The season actually begins with the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards opening at Daytona International Speedway. The  Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with open with their exhibition race The Clash at Daytona several hours later. But in some ways NASCAR Cup racing begins with ARCA racing.

In years past many future Monster Energy NASCAR Cup stars got their start in the ARCA Racing Series. Ryan Newman won this race in 2001, Kyle Busch in 2004 and James Buescher in 2009 but many others got important experience by racing this race and in this series.

In 2014, Cup driver Chase Elliott started fifth and finished ninth in this race. Daniel Suarez was also in this race started third and finished fifth. Suarez was also in the race in 2015 starting sixth and finishing second.

Last year we had some future NASCAR stars in this race; NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Cole Custer (10th) and William Byron (2nd), also NASCAR Camping World Truck driver Chase Briscoe (4th). Camping World Truck driver Grant Enfinger won this race in 2014 and 2015.

This year we have Xfinity Driver Matt Tifft in this race.  20 year old Tifft was a NASCAR Next driver in 2016.  17 year old Riley Herbst driving full time in the ARCA series for Joe Gibbs Racing will also be a rising star to watch.

John Wes Townley won this race last year and retired from all racing at the end of the season.

As always though these big money NASCAR teams will have to contend with the ARCA regulars like eight time winner of this race Bobby Gerhart in his legendary No. 5 Lucas Oil Machine.

If you cannot get to Daytona International Speedway for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards; Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 Driven by General Tire it will be shown on Fox Sports 1 on February 18th at 4 PM ET.

Feature Photo Credit ARCA Racing

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

In NASCAR it is all about Rules, Embrace them!

As we enter the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series there are a lot of rules changes. Many will think that this series is totally different than it was in 2016. The biggest change is how points are awarded and carried into the Chase for the Cup. The other change is the running of races in segments and awarding points for leading those segments. Gone are points for leading a lap. If you are not up to speed with these changes read these from Dustin Long at NBC.

If you have watched NASCAR for a while you know that Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus are the gold standard to using the NASCAR rule book to their advantage. They have embraced the Chase format and taken advantage of it like no other team.

In football there is a reason there are 4 downs, a two minute warning, half time and each team has a limited amount of time outs. It is all about controlling TV time and the commercials that pay for it and keeping the fans attention. Whether you like it or not, Brian France has made these changes to balance the whole viewing experience.

People for years have argued that too many green flag laps were lost during commercials. Many have also criticized the sometimes monotonous green flag laps of single file racing that occurs at the larger tracks. Another criticism is that since some races are very long it appears that many drivers are just biding their time waiting for “Go Time” to actually race. Whether that is true or not only they know but some people think that.

Last year’s big change was the addition of a Caution Clock in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Yes it impacted racing but did it kill it. I think because it was apparent they were on the clock it made the racing better and didn’t detract from it. All in all it made the experience better.

Two years ago I was at Daytona for the 500. Approximately 1/3 of the way in I had to use the facilities and couldn’t wait for a caution flag. While I was behind the stands in the relative quiet I talked with some people and had a cocktail for ten minutes. If you know Daytona I missed perhaps 10 laps. It was refreshing to take a break, take the head phones off and chill. Why I never did that in 16 years of going to races I don’t know.

I’m looking at these segments as just that. A time to reflect on what’s happened, perhaps chat with friends you are with about it; charge back up and enjoy the race. Embrace the Change, you may just like it!

Feature Photo Credit: 305378 Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Loves Travel Stops Continues Sponsoring the No. 34 with Landon Cassill

Landon Cassill was spotted getting his new 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford Fusion serviced at a Loves in Salisbury North Carolina today.

Front Row Motorsports announced in December that Landon Cassill would be back driving for them this coming season but would switch from their number 38 Ford to the number 34. Cassill, in his first season driving for Front Row had seven top-20 finishes but more importantly finished 98% of the total laps.

Cassill posted an emotional farewell on his Facebook page saying his goodbye to the No. 38 and hello to change. Set to Toto’s song Africa he held up flash cards talking about this change.

It was my choice. A choice for my family, my team, my sponsors and my car owner. The original FRM legacy. The number that signifies a small team going to the big leagues. The number that has seen victory lane. Twice. It’s ok to cry. But remember were here to evolve and inspire. I can’t wait for 2017, and I know we will find a fun, new campaign even better than the 2016.” Landon Cassill via flash cards.

Front Row Motorsports is continuing their relationship with Roush Fenway and Roush Yates Engines. They are bringing David Ragan, who got their first win in the No. 34, back to drive the No. 38.

Loves Travel Stops sponsored the number 34 last year for 18 races with Chris Buescher. It appears from the picture that they are continuing their sponsorship for 2017. We will know how many races sometime in the coming weeks.

Feature Photo Credit: John Vass

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

2017 is the inaugural season Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Monster Energy will be ushering a new era of NASCAR now that Tony Stewart has joined Jeff Gordon in retirement. Monster is expected to bring even more Energy to the sport as the current stars of NASCAR move over so the new ones can make their mark.

They’re a fun brand that’s going to interact with our core fans in kind of a cool, neat way actually, and we’ve seen some of the plans, and they’ll get bigger and more robust as we go along.” Brian France

Changes will come with the addition of a new sponsor. One change will be the sponsor will be on the top of the windshield of every car instead of the driver’s name. The drivers name will be on the rear window instead. Current drivers like Kurt Busch that were sponsored by Monster Energy will still have that sponsorship.

Like every season, this one will begin with much hope and promise. Brian France said, “We’re — this is where people come to have fun, right?  Our speedways and watch us on television, what better brand to have associated with us than the people who understand that.

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule

Date Location Network Race Start Radio
2/18 The Unlimited at

Daytona International Speedway



8 p.m.


MRN / SiriusXM
2/19 DAYTONA 500 Qualifying at

Daytona International Speedway



3 p.m.


MRN / SiriusXM
2/23 Can-Am Duel at

Daytona International Speedway

FS1 7 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
2/26 DAYTONA 500 at

Daytona International Speedway

FOX 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
3/5 Atlanta Motor Speedway FOX 2:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
3/12 Las Vegas Motor Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
3/19 Phoenix International Raceway FOX 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
3/26 Auto Club Speedway FOX 3:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
4/2 Martinsville Speedway FS1 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
4/9 Texas Motor Speedway FOX 1:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
4/23 Bristol Motor Speedway FOX 2 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
4/30 Richmond International Raceway FOX 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/7 Talladega Superspeedway FOX 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/13 Kansas Speedway FS1 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/20 NASCAR All-Star Race at

Charlotte Motor Speedway

FS1 6 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
5/28 Coca-Cola 600 at

Charlotte Motor Speedway

FOX 6 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
6/4 Dover International Speedway FS1 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/11 Pocono Raceway FS1 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/18 Michigan International Speedway FS1 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
6/25 Sonoma Raceway FS1 3 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
7/1 Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway NBC 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
7/8 Kentucky Speedway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
7/16 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
7/23 Indianapolis Motor Speedway NBC 3 p.m. IMS / SiriusXM
7/30 Pocono Raceway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/6 Watkins Glen International NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/13 Michigan International Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
8/19 Bristol Motor Speedway NBC 7:30 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
9/3 Darlington Raceway NBCSN 6 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/9 Richmond International Raceway NBCSN 7:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/17 Chicagoland Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
9/24 New Hampshire Motor Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
10/1 Dover International Speedway NBCSN 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
10/7 Charlotte Motor Speedway NBCSN 7 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
10/15 Talladega Superspeedway NBC 2 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
10/22 Kansas Speedway NBCSN 3 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
10/29 Martinsville Speedway NBCSN 1 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/5 Texas Motor Speedway NBC 2 p.m. PRN / SiriusXM
11/12 Phoenix International Raceway NBC 2:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM
11/19 Homestead-Miami Speedway NBC 2:30 p.m. MRN / SiriusXM

Check out the schedule and make your travel plans to attend a race or two. Don’t forget to check out to see if there is a companion event for the XFINITY or Camping World Truck Series. Hope to see you there.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary.

Feature Photo Credit: 322808 Chris Trotman/Getty Images