TC Daily Pit Stop: Elliott Returning at Martinsville; Zane Smith Tapped to Drive No. 51; Michael Hayden September Arrest Uncovered
TC Daily Pit Stop: Thursday, April 12th, 2023
Chase Elliott Set For Return to Racing This Weekend at Martinsville
Photo Credit: Craig White, TobyChristie.com
Chase Elliott, 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion, is set to return to competition in the NASCAR Cup Series this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, after sitting out the last six weeks due to a broken left tibia.
Elliott sustained the injury while in a snowboarding accident in Colorado. The sport’s most popular driver will receive a waiver to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, should he win a race, or point his way into the 16-driver post-season.
“We’re looking forward to having Chase back in his race car to pick up where he left off,” said Hendrick. “Since the injury, he’s worked extremely hard and focused all his time and energy on returning to the No. 9 team. Throughout the last six weeks, he’s stayed fully engaged with everything we’re doing, and we know he’s chomping at the bit to get on the racetrack and compete for wins.”
Zane Smith to Pilot the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Entry at Martinsville
PHOTO CREDIT: Craig White | TobyChristie.com
Rick Ware Racing has tapped Zane Smith, defending champion of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, to compete in Sunday’s NOCO 400 behind the wheel of the No. 51 Ford Mustang, his fourth career start at NASCAR’s top-level.
The move comes after Cody Ware, the usual driver of the No. 51, was arrested on Monday on charges of felony assault by strangulation and misdemeanor assault on a female.
No driver for the No. 51 beyond Martinsville Speedway was announced.
Pit Crew Member Michael Hayden Suspended by NASCAR After September 2022 Arrest for 4th Degree Domestic Assault Revealed
On Tuesday, NASCAR officials announced that Michael Hayden, a NASCAR Xfinity Series crew member, has been indefinitely suspended by the sanctioning body, for violating Section 2.14.A & 4.4.D of the NASCAR Rule Book.
According to the NASCAR Rule Book, Section 2.14.A, the first of two violations listed on NASCAR’s penalty report, reads as follows: “Any NASCAR Member charged with any violation of the law (misdemeanor and/or felony) shall notify NASCAR […] prior to the next scheduled Event or within 72 hours of being so charged, whichever is earlier.”
A representative from NASCAR has confirmed to TobyChristie.com that Hayden’s violations and subsequent suspension stem from the pit crew member not disclosing a September 2022 arrest in Platte County, Missouri to NASCAR.
Black’s Tire to Serve as Primary Sponsor for AJ Allmendinger at Darlington
PHOTO CREDIT: Jonathan McCoy | TobyChristie.com
Black’s Tire, a longtime sponsor within the world of NASCAR, will join Kaulig Racing and AJ Allmendinger, the driver of the team’s No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, as a primary sponsor in the upcoming Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway.
The No. 16 car will feature a blue, white, and yellow wrap in the event on May 14th.
While Black’s Tire has been a fixture in the NASCAR space for years, this will mark the first time that the company has been plastered on a Kaulig Racing car. For Kaulig Racing, it’s always exciting adding new partners.
AeroVanti Teams With Spire Motorsports, Corey LaJoie for Coca-Cola 600
Corey LaJoie and the No. 7 Spire Motorsports team will be sporting a new look on its No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the May 28th Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. AeroVanti, a private luxury aviation company, will bring its white, red, gray, and gold colors to the racing machine.
The paint scheme will feature AeroVanti’s “Golden Goose” logo on the hood.
In addition to the sponsorship partnership, LaJoie’s No.7 car will feature the name of U.S. Navy Captain Brian Bourgeois, who was the Commanding Officer of SEAL Team 8, on the windshield of the car all weekend long. Bourgeois died in a training incident in December 2021.
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