WBKR NASCAR Report: Charlotte Preseason Testing

Time to check in with our buddy Blake Smith for a review of NASCAR.

                Following last week’s three day Daytona test in the warm sunshine, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams have returned to the Charlotte area. Some of these teams have a little more work than others to prepare for next month’s Great American Race.

An early afternoon wreck on Friday sent ten teams home, prematurely. The accident was initiated when Dale Earnhardt, Jr. attempted to bump draft with the #9 Ford of Marcos Ambrose causing the #9 Ford to spin into the #1 Chevrolet of Jamie McMurray. Eight other drivers were involved including Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Aric Almirola, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski. Of the drivers involved, the only team to bring a backup car to the test and be able to continue was the #99 team of Carl Edwards. The other teams got a head start back to North Carolina.

Austin Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress will drive a Sprint Cup Car powered with a Hendrick Motorsports engine on March 10th at Las Vegas. James Finch announced during Friday’s Daytona test session that Dillon will pilot his #51 Tag Heur Eyewear Chevrolet. Finch also advised that Dillon’s past history with Tag Heur helped put the deal together. Kurt Busch will pilot James Finch’s Nationwide Series cars at the 3 restrictor plate tracks.

According to ESPN.com, Danica Patrick has cited an “irretrievably broken” marriage as the case for her filing divorce with Paul Hospenthal. Patrick filed for divorce on January 3rd in Maricopa County, AZ District Court. According to documents obtained by ESPN, Patrick and Hospenthal entered into a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage in 2005 that defined property interest. She stated no alimony will be necessary. Patrick confirmed during last Thursday’s test that she will indeed be in 2 Superbowl Commercials sponsored by Godaddy.com.

A month before the season opening Daytona 500, Landon Cassill has vacated his seat at BK Racing. Cassill issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon, "This is a tough decision but with one month before the Daytona 500 I have no other option but to leave the #83 BK Racing Toyota and pursue other opportunities. We simply could not close out our 2012 agreement and complete an agreement for 2013. I am motivated and driven to find a new opportunity in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I have proven myself as a championship caliber test driver, an exceptional qualifier, and I'd like to continue working towards my goal of becoming a race winner and champion in NASCAR. I would like to thank my BK Racing team and especially Burger King and Dr. Pepper for the opportunity to represent such iconic brands. I'm looking forward to my next opportunity in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."(Spire Sports + Entertainment). David Reutimann is expected to fill Cassill’s vacancy.

Thirty-three teams that arrived at the Charlotte Motorspeedway on Thursday were welcomed by a downpour of rain. Thursday was scheduled to be the first of 2 days of testing at many of the teams’ hometown track. With a change to snow and ice expected overnight on Thursday, it is unknown if teams will be able to take to the track on Friday for testing.