Saturday, July 4, 2015

Byrnes Named Fifth Squier-Hall Award Recipient


Studio Host and Pit Reporter Enjoyed 30-Year NASCAR Broadcasting Career

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 4, 2015) — Popular FOX Sports broadcaster Steve Byrnes has been named the recipient of the 2016 Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. Byrnes most recently served as the play-by-play announcer for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on FOX Sports 1 and was the network’s co-host of NASCAR Race Hub. He passed away in April after a long battle with cancer.

Byrnes will be honored during NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony festivities on Jan. 22, 2016 and featured in an exhibit in the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C.

“For three decades, Steve’s hard work and humanity brought NASCAR fans closer to their favorite drivers,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “His passion for the stories and people he covered was always reflected in his work. Steve was respected for his professionalism and adored for his easy demeanor.”

From 2001-14, Byrnes served as a pit reporter for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on FOX. He also served as a studio show host and appeared on various programs.

Prior to joining FOX, Byrnes hosted a variety of NASCAR programs including Inside Winston Cup Racing with Ned Jarrett and Darrell Waltrip’s Racers on TNN. He also worked as a pit reporter for CBS, TNN and TBS.

His courageous battle with cancer served as an inspiration to the NASCAR industry, fans and his peers. In April, shortly before his passing, Bristol Motor Speedway named its Sprint Cup race the Food City 500 In Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand up to Cancer.

Byrnes was among eight nominees voted upon by a panel comprised of NASCAR and NASCAR Hall of Fame executives, journalists, public relations representatives and former drivers. The Squier-Hall Award was created in 2012 to honor the contributions of media to the success of the sport.  Legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall, for whom the award is named, were its initial recipients. Other recipients of the award include Chris Economaki (2014) and Tom Higgins (2015).

The other seven nominees for the 2016 award were:

Norma “Dusty” Brandel, the first woman to report from inside the NASCAR garage

Russ Catlin, one of the best-known early racing writers and historians, served as editor of Speed Age Magazine

Shav Glick, covered motorsports for the Los Angeles Times for 37 years, bringing NASCAR coverage to the West Coast

Bob Jenkins, served as the lead NASCAR lap-by-lap anchor at ESPN from 1982-2000.

Bob Moore, spent more than 20 years as a NASCAR beat writer including stints with the Daytona Beach News-Journal and The Charlotte Observer

Benny Phillips, spent 48 years covering NASCAR for the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise, 27 years for Stock Car Racing and 12 years on TBS

T. Taylor Warren, best known for his three-wide photo of the 1959 Daytona 500 finish, he covered every Daytona 500 until his death in 2008.

About NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association® (IMSA®) governs the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit http://www.NASCAR.com and http://www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR at www.Facebook.com/NASCAR and Twitter: @NASCAR.

About the NASCAR Hall of Fame
Conveniently located in Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, the 150,000-square-foot NASCAR Hall of Fame is an interactive, entertainment attraction honoring the history and heritage of NASCAR. The high-tech venue, designed to educate and entertain race fans and non-fans alike, opened May 11, 2010, and includes artifacts, hands-on exhibits, a 278-person state-of-the-art theater, Hall of Honor, Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, NASCAR Hall of Fame Gear Shop and NASCAR Productions-operated broadcast studio. The venue is open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week and has an attached parking garage on Brevard Street. The five-acre site also includes a privately developed 19-story office tower and 102,000-square-foot expansion to the Charlotte Convention Center, highlighted by a 40,000-square-foot ballroom. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is owned by the City of Charlotte, licensed by NASCAR and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. nascarhall.com


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rowdy Returns



I'm back. #RowdyReturns
Posted by Kyle Busch on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It’s official, after weeks of speculation, Kyle Busch will be back behind the wheel in the No. 18 Toyota Camry for this weekend’s All-Star Race.  Busch, who has missed the entire Sprint Cup season so far due to injuries sustained in the February 21 Daytona International Speedway Xfinity race, has been testing Late Model cars in order to work his way back up to the Sprint Cup Series level.

We’re all left with one burning question:  will NASCAR give Kyle a waiver in order to be eligible for the Chase if he should win one of the next fifteen races before the Chase starts?  It seems that fans are split down the middle with their opinions on this topic.  Some are against it saying that he shouldn’t have been racing in the Xfinity race, but others state that it is NASCAR’s fault because the wall where Busch hit didn’t have SAFER barriers.  What do you think; should Kyle receive the waiver or not?



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I Stand Up for Steve

This is certainly something I never thought I would have to write.  Sitting here now, writing this, I can’t stop the tears from falling or my heart from aching. 

I’m going to tell you how I met Steve because it’s truly one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  It was July 4, 2011 and I had started my blog about a year earlier, but still wasn’t sure if I would continue, not thinking it was very good.  I remember checking my e-mail at 9:30 at night and saw an e-mail from Steve with the subject line, “Blog”.  Quickly, I opened it and it said,

            Ashley,
            I enjoyed looking at your blog.  I admire your ambition and desire!
            Steve Byrnes

Sixteen-year-old me couldn’t control my excitement and ran downstairs to tell my mom, now knowing I would continue this blog.  One thing led to another and mid-August, I was at the [then] SPEED Studio watching a taping of RaceHub.  Once the taping was over, Steve and I went back to his office and I asked him questions about reporting, interviews, and what seemed like everything under the sun.  Just when I was about to leave, Steve looked at me and said, “Keep writing from the heart.  People will notice that and be able to identify with you.”  Those two sentences will forever remain engrained in my brain.  

Fast forward a year and I was back at the SPEED Studio playing intern for the day.  Steve and I watched the Summer Olympics (I distinctly remember, it was volleyball), I went to the production meeting, I helped find out information for a segment, he taught me how to do a voice over, and I played fashion consultant – picking out quite the nice outfit for him for that night’s episode of RaceHub. 

A year ago almost to the day, I had the privilege of visiting Steve when he started hosting RaceHub again.  I’m not a person who likes hugging, but once I saw Steve after his brave battle, I nearly ran to hug him. 

So, Steve, although I may not get to sit at the RaceHub desk with you, I will always have the memory of four years ago when I did.  I’m not entirely sure what you saw in me at sixteen, but I promise you, I intend on doing everything in my power to make you proud.  I’ll have some big shoes to fill – literally and metaphorically – but I’m up for the challenge.  Your smile is unforgettable, your courage is inspiring, and your humor is extremely contagious.  I will always cherish the times I spent with you.  You were so much more than a mentor to me; you were part of my family.  


“It’s been a long day without you, my friend, and I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.”  I look forward to the day when I get to see you again, sir.  Love you.   

Friday, March 27, 2015

Keep Fighting, Steve


I believe the power of prayer is a very strong force in this world.  If you would, please keep Steve Byrnes and his family in your thoughts and prayers as he continues his brave fight against cancer.  

Steve, we’re all cheering for you! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Let The Fans Be Heard: Sprint Fan Vote Returns

Let The Fans Be Heard: Sprint Fan Vote Returns



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 19, 2015) – A favorite isn’t always the winner – as the Sprint Fan Vote’s history suggests. In the last 10 seasons, fans have voted 10 different drivers into the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race™ at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including names like Danica Patrick, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

You never know who will win. That’s what makes voting so important. Polls are open for the 2015 Sprint Fan Vote – and unpredictability will take center stage until the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 16. Fans can vote their favorite Sprint Fan Vote-eligible driver into the All-Star Race by casting ballots daily. Voting closes at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, May 15, one day before the green flag.  

For the first time in program history, votes shared via Facebook and/or Twitter will count as double towards a driver’s total. Fans can vote daily with a maximum of one vote per day per unique email address by downloading the NASCAR MOBILE application or visiting NASCAR.com/SprintFanVote. Eligible voters can also enter into the Sprint Fan Vote sweepstakes, in which one lucky Sprint Fan Vote participant will win a trip for two to any 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

The winner of the Sprint Fan Vote will be announced in Victory Lane following the conclusion of the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, May 15.

To date, 32 drivers are eligible for the 2015 Sprint Fan Vote. Eligibility for participation is restricted to those drivers who have been approved by NASCAR for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition and have met all other eligibility requirements. Amongst those eligibility requirements, drivers must have attempted to qualify for the 2015 Daytona 500 and race in the Sprint Showdown. Any eligible Sprint Fan Vote candidate who wins a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race during the 2015 season will automatically earn a spot in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the driver’s name will be removed from the Sprint Fan Vote ballot with their existing votes voided.

To engage in the #SprintAllStar Race conversation throughout the #SprintFanVote window, fans are encouraged to follow @MissSprintCup, @CLTMotorSpdwy and @NASCAR on Twitter.

Fans can catch the entire weekend of May 15-16 All-Star action for just $99, including the Sprint Showdown, North Carolina Education Lottery 200, Rayovac presents Little Big Town pre-race concert, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race qualifying and the biggest all-star event in sports, the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. For an additional $20, fans can purchase a special Golden Ticket for early stagefront access to the Little Big Town concert. Tickets can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
 
Tune in to the Sprint Showdown at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, May 15 on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM Radio. Then catch NASCAR’s biggest stars in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 16 with coverage of qualifying starting at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the Sprint All-Star Race live on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM Radio, with additional coverage on NASCAR.com.

The 32 drivers (as of March 19) eligible for the Sprint Fan Vote include:

1.   Justin Allgaier
2.   Michael Annett
3.   Trevor Bayne
4.   Greg Biffle
5.   Ryan Blaney
6.   Alex Bowman
7.   Clint Bowyer
8.   Jeb Burton
9.   Landon Cassill
10.  Austin Dillon
11.  Ty Dillon
12.  David Gilliland
13.  Ron Hornaday Jr.
14.  Sam Hornish Jr.
15.  Bobby Labonte
16.  Kyle Larson
17.  Justin Marks
18.  Michael McDowell
19.  Casey Mears
20.  Paul Menard
21.  Danica Patrick
22.  David Ragan
23.  Johnny Sauter
24.  Brian Scott
25.  Reed Sorenson
26.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
27.  Martin Truex, Jr.
28.  Mike Wallace
29.  Michael Waltrip
30  Cole Whitt
31.  Josh Wise
32.  JJ Yeley

SPRINT FAN VOTE SWEEPSTAKES - ABBREVIATED RULES

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years of age at the time of entry. Sweepstakes/Promotion entry period begins at 12:00:01 a.m., Eastern Time (“ET”), on March 8, 2015 and ends at 7:00:00 p.m., ET, on May 15, 2014. For complete rules, visit http://www.nascar.com/sprintfanvoterules.  Sponsor:  Sprint Communications Company, L.P. NASCAR, Inc. is not a sponsor of the Sweepstakes/Promotion. 

About Sprint
Sprint (NYSE:S) is a communications services company dedicated to delivering the best value in wireless. Sprint served 55 million customers as of September 30, 2014 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America for the last four years. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

About NASCAR
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™, NASCAR XFINITY Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit http://www.NASCAR.com and http://www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR at www.Facebook.com/NASCAR and Twitter: @NASCAR.

About Charlotte Motor Speedway
For more than 50 years, Charlotte Motor Speedway has set the standard for motorsports entertainment for fans of all ages.  Charlotte Motor Speedway is the only race vacation destination where fans can immerse themselves in the heart of NASCAR country.  Visitors can attend one-of-a-kind race spectacles such as the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Coca-Cola 600 and Bank of America 500; take behind-the-scenes speedway and race shop tours; explore the NASCAR Hall of Fame; and drive an 800-horsepower stock car. Through every event and every decade, Charlotte Motor Speedway puts FANS FIRST with a never-ending commitment to enhance the fan experience.  That tradition continues with unmatched value through affordable season tickets, unparalleled pre-race entertainment and more opportunities for fans to see their favorite drivers.