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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Mark Martin’s career year brings back memories of ‘Handsome Harry’ Gant

   The win list for drivers in Mark Martin’s age bracket is a short one. Only four drivers over the age of 50 have won a NASCAR Sprint Cup race: Martin, Harry Gant, Bobby Allison and Morgan Shepherd.
   This season Martin joined Gant as the only over-50 drivers to win multiple races. Gant won eight after his 50th birthday, including five in 1991 as a 51-year-old.

Read more: Mark Martin’s career year brings back memories of ‘Handsome Harry’ Gant

Tony and Ryan, back home in Indiana

Racing at the Brickyard is a special event for the teams on the Cup circuit. There is no other race track in America that can rival the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for prestige and history. Everybody wants a win at the “Brickyard” on his resume. For Sprint Cup points leader Tony Stewart and his teammate Ryan Newman, Sunday's, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is like coming home.
Stewart and Newman, both born and raised in Indiana, cut their racing teeth in three-quarter midgets before most youngsters began playing Little League baseball. They progressed up through the ranks, racing midgets and sprint cars on the rough and tumble Midwestern circuit before moving to NASCAR. For a kid with the racing bug growing up in Indiana, racing and winning at Indianapolis was the ultimate.
To this day Tony Stewart makes his home in the town he grew up in, Columbus, Ind.  Ryan Newman grew up in nearby South Bend, Ind. When he became co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing during this past off-season, one of Stewart’s first orders of business was to sign his friend and fellow Hoosier Ryan Newman to drive the team’s second car. Their instant success has far surpassed expectations.

Read more: Tony and Ryan, back home in Indiana

Hall of Fame nominees span decades

This past Thursday, NASCAR announced the list of nominees for the inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame induction class in a one-hour special on the Speed Channel hosted by Ken Squires. From that list, five inductees will be chosen via a process that includes a nationwide fan vote on NASCAR.com. The inductees will be announced in October and honored in May at the new Hall of Fame facility in Charlotte, N.C.
The nominees, which include many of the sport’s legendary names, were selected by a 21-person nominating committee consisting of representatives from NASCAR, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and track owners from both major facilities and historic short tracks.
“This first list of potential inductees is impressive, to say the least,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “Now comes the hard part, choosing only five to be inducted. Every single person on this list is worthy to be in the Hall of Fame.”
The Hall of Fame’s first inductees will be determined by the voting panel, which has 50 members, the entire nominating committee, 14 media members, four manufacturer representatives, two recognized industry leaders, and nine retired competitors — consisting of drivers, owners and crew chiefs, three each. In addition, the fan vote will result in the voting panel’s 51st and final ballot.

Read more: Hall of Fame nominees span decades

It's all about winning as race to the Chase heats up

For the 12 drivers currently eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, and those battling for eligibility, the beginning of last Sunday’s race meant one thing: 100 points. That’s the total number of bonus points available to Chase-eligible drivers heading into last weekend’s Lenox Industrial Tools 301. While winning is always the goal, it becomes even more important during the Race to the Chase.

Read more: It's all about winning as race to the Chase heats up

IndyCar series returns to RIR

It’s a weekend of open-wheel racing as the stars of the IndyCar racing circuit make their annual appearance at Richmond Saturday for the SunTrust Indy Challenge.
If you haven’t seen the IndyCar series live, check it out. The series frequently seems caught in the “Danica Mania” syndrome at the expense of overlooking what great racing the series provides. It is hard to imagine lap speeds of over 180 mph on a three-quarter mile track, you just have to see it. You can’t help wondering how the drivers can maintain focus and concentration.
  The weekend begins on Friday night with NBC12 Pole Qualifying for the SunTrust Indy Challenge and the USAC Sprint Series Rotondo Weirich Showdown race “under the lights.” Saturday evening the USAC Silver Crown cars take to the track for the running of the James River Grounds 100, as a preliminary race to the weekend’s main event, The SunTrust Indy Challenge.

Read more: IndyCar series returns to RIR

First shoe drops, GM discontinues support of Nationwide and Truck teams

Ever since the CEOs of Detroit’s big three auto makers hopped in their individual corporate jets and flew, hat in hand, to Washington looking for mega bucks from the government, the big question has been: How will the automobile industry’s dire financial condition affect their support of NASCAR race teams?
Friday we got the first part of the answer everyone in racing has been dreading. Sports Business Journal broke the story that General Motors is discontinuing support of the Nationwide series and Camping Worlds truck teams. “Chevrolet’s and General Motors involvement in racing is a sound business decision that translates directly into the sale of cars and trucks,” an unidentified GM source said in Sports Business Journal. “It is essential, however, that we continue to look at every penny we spend as General Motors takes the necessary steps to become a leaner company with a significantly stronger balance sheet.”

Read more: First shoe drops, GM discontinues support of Nationwide and Truck teams

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