AJ Allmendinger got the 2012 racing season off to a winning start by capturing the Rolex 24 at Daytona over the weekend. Allmendinger took over the driver’s seat in the Michael Shank Racing Ford for the final three hours of the 24-hour race and celebrated in victory lane with fellow drivers Justin Wilson, Oswaldo Negri and John Pew. The quartet piled up 761 laps on the 3.56 mile road course at Daytona International Speedway.
New to NASCAR in 2012, the league will be fining and publically calling out drivers, owners and any of its participants who make comments that belittle the integrity of the sport. During the state of the sport address last Thursday in Charlotte, NASCAR CEO Brian France issued this warning. "If you challenge the integrity of the sport, we're going to deal with that," France said. "What's really interesting is I can't tell you how many owners or drivers come up to me and say, 'Thanks for doing that because some of these comments were irresponsible and unhelpful to growing the sport.' France said. "Now, having said that, you can be critical of things you don't think we're doing well, in particular a race call. You can say, 'I don't think I was speeding; I disagree with that.' We understand that. It's when you go after the integrity of the sport is where we will step in, and they will be public."
The NASCAR Hall of Fame has added five new members as its class of 2012. Darrell Waltrip and Cale Yarborough, each three-time champions, headline the inductees. Also honored, Crew Chief Dale Inman who won eight championships, Richie Evans who won nine championships as a modified driver and legendary car owner and driver Glen Wood. Wood’s team has won 98 times in the last seven decades including last year’s Daytona 500.
Dr. Joseph Mattioli, 86, founder and chairman of the board for Pocono Raceway, died last Thursday after a lengthy illness. “Doc,” as his friends called him, built the track in the early 1960’s and was its driving force for nearly 50 years.
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