NASCAR on Friday released the last of its national series schedules for the 2014 season – a 22-race schedule for the Trucks Series.
The schedule includes three significant changes from this year.
Rockingham Speedway, which has hosted series races the past two years, was dropped from the schedule as was one event at Iowa Speedway.
Adding races in the 2014 season are Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis and New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Track owner Andy Hillenburg confirmed the loss of the date at his track to The Observer on Thursday.
“We’ve appreciated the great fan support for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events at Rockingham over the last two years, but unfortunately we weren’t able to put something together for next season,” NASCAR spokesman David Higdon said.
“We wouldn’t rule out a return to Rockingham in the future, but we’re currently focused on the great schedule of Trucks racing ahead in 2014.”
In addition, the race at Pocono will be extended from a 125 to 150 miles (from 50 to 60 laps).
Did Jeff Gordon get a secret offer?
In an interview this week with “NASCAR Race Hub” host Danielle Trotta, four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon talked about a big opportunity that existed early in his career that car owner Rick Hendrick may not have known about.
“The one thing that went through my head that I don’t think Hendrick even knew about was that I had a potential Formula One offer at one time. But, it was going to race in lower series – maybe even IndyCar,” Gordon said.
“I was established in Cup; very happy with where I was at, things were going extremely well and that was a whole career change for me, in a racing series I knew very little about from a driving standpoint. That conversation never happened with Hendrick, that was behind the scenes and I made the choice and the decision on my own.”
Little named rookie of year
Jesse Little, the 16-year-old son of Truck Series director Chad Little, won rookie of the year honors this season in the K&N Pro Series East.
Little, a third-generation driver from Sherrills Ford, joins a distinguished list of drivers who have won the award including, Ricky Craven, Joey Logano, Ryan Truex and Kyle Larson.
Patrick moves to backup car
After 35 laps in Friday’s practice session, Danica Patrick and hit the wall. The damage to the rear of the car was extensive enough to require her team to use her backup car.
Patrick finished 12th in the primary car at Martinsville in the spring – her best finish on a non-restrictor-plate track this season.
Homestead test scheduled
At least 15 Cup drivers are expected to test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Testing will run 9 a.m.-7 p.m. each day, and the sessions are open to the public.
The drivers scheduled to participate: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Trevor Bayne, Michael McDowell, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer, Elliott Sadler, Martin Truex Jr., Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya.
National Guard extends sponsorship
The National Guard on Friday announced it had extended its sponsorship of Earnhardt through the 2014 season. National Guard will serve as primary sponsor on his No. 88 Chevrolet in 20 races.