TREND OF CONSISTENCY - Smith’s fifth-place finish last week at Richmond International Raceway marked his fifth consecutive top-10, giving him an average finish of 5.6 in that span. Additionally, the 190 points he earned through those events are 13 points more than his nearest competitor, Sam Hornish Jr.
FOUR CONSECUTIVE FOR KAHNE – Talladega marks the first of four consecutive NNS races for Kahne. Following Talladega, Kahne is scheduled to drive the No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet in upcoming races at Darlington Raceway (May 10), Charlotte Motor Speedway (May 25) and Dover International Speedway (June 1).
SMITH’S RESTRICTOR PLATE RECAP - Smith stole the show for the JR Motorsports teams at Daytona earlier this spring. After battling back from an early spin, he led a race-high 23 laps in the closing stages. Following the green-white-checkered restart, Smith received a push from Brad Keselowski in the No. 22. The two-car tandem then broke free of the pack with half a lap remaining in the race. The pair rumbled off turn four within sight of the checkered flag, and when Smith moved high to protect his position, the resulting contact with the 22 initiated a multi-car accident. The No. 7 team was relegated to a 14th-place finish.
LAP LEADERS - The 23 laps Smith led at Daytona gives him the distinction of leading the most laps in the only restrictor plate race to date in 2013. All totaled, the three JRM team cars of Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Smith combined to lead 29 laps in the event.
MAKING MOVES – Smith (+111) and Kahne (+82) rank first and second in Pass Differential, according to NASCAR’s Loop Data. Kyle Busch ranks third with a +64 through seven races. Pass Differential measures the total number of passes made versus the total number of times passed throughout the season.
WIN DALE JR.’S RIDE IS BACK FOR 2013 – One lucky winner will walk away with the keys to Dale Jr.’s Corvette this year. The Dale Jr. Foundation is giving fans the chance to win one of three prizes with the purchase of a $25 raffle ticket, including a shot at Earnhardt Jr.’s own 2013 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. The contest will run through Oct. 1, 2013, with all proceeds benefitting The Dale Jr. Foundation. For complete details visit www.windalejrsride.com.
LISTENING EXPERIENCE ON THE AXIS OF JUNIOR - From the communications team at JR Motorsports comes a new way for Dale Jr. fans to get their Junior fix. Dirty Mo Radio is the new online hub for Junior-related podcasts, keeping JR Nation informed and entertained each week throughout the season. Dirty Mo Radio is housed at DaleJr.com and is also available free of charge on all popular podcasting outlets. DMR’s start-up show, “The Dale Jr. Download”, debuted as the No. 2 ranked sports podcast and No. 30 overall podcast on iTunes the day after its Feb. 18 launch.
JRM ANNOUNCES 2013 FAN DAY FESTIVITIES - On Friday, May 24, 2013, JR Motorsports is opening its doors to race fans as part of its annual Fan Day. The day will include a pair of autograph sessions, giveaways, partner displays and other activities for fans. Headlining the event is an autograph session with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and JRM drivers Regan Smith and Brad Sweet at 2 p.m. EST. Kelley Earnhardt Miller, Karsyn Elledge, Kerry Earnhardt, Jeffrey Earnhardt and JRM Late Model drivers Josh Berry and Reid Lanpher will sign autographs for fans at 1 p.m. EST. To participate in the autograph session fans must have a wristband. Wristbands permit fans to access both autograph sessions. A wristband will grant fans one autograph per person, regardless of age. For complete information visit www.jrmracing.com.
KASEY KAHNE ON TALLADEGA - “I like to just race, and try to stay up front. It’s hard to sit in the back and just kind of sit back there, relax and wait until 10 laps to go. I’ve done that before, you wait until 10 to go and you get up there and crash as soon as you get in the middle of it. It is tough. You never really know what to do, but I think whatever you do, you just need to stick to it the whole race, and when it’s time to go at the end, hopefully you can stay out of trouble and have a shot at winning.
“I’m in the Great Clips car for the next four races, so I’m looking forward to getting some solid seat time in. I felt after Texas that we had come a long way. The car was pretty fast, and I’ve been anxious to get back in.”
REGAN SMITH ON TALLADEGA - “If we go to Talladega and run as well as we ran at Daytona, this entire TaxSlayer.com team has a lot to look forward to. I know Greg (Ives) and the guys have put a lot of work into this car. It’s actually a brand new chassis for us. So we’re expecting good things.
“With this type of racing, absolutely anything can hap-pen. No matter how much you prepare or how good your car is, it’s Talladega. The best car doesn’t always win the race there. We just want to keep our good finishes going. Yeah, we want to win races. But the big picture is still there and that’s the points battle. We’ve really closed the gap on Sam (Hornish) and we want to keep the pressure on every weekend.”