Day two of the 2015 Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom began with a visit with Michael Waltrip Racing. While nothing much is new with this Toyota team, one of their two drivers, Brian McVickers, has had yet another round of health problems to work his way out of.
The good news is he is on his way back and should be back in the car by Las Vegas. Some open heart surgery put him on the shelf and that takes some dedicated healing. He joked, “They took my heart out and put in a lion’s heart.” For a guy who has heard the phrase, ‘You’ll never race again,’ he’s fighting back like a lion.
Next up was the combined teams of JTG Daugherty and HScott Motorsports. While definitely not ‘little’ teams, they are moving up the NASCAR Cup food chain. The JTG Daugherty team got its first win with A.J. Allmendinger and even made The Chase. HScott, after working its way from other classes into Sprint Cup, will increase to a two car team for ’15 with Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett.
Tony Stewart and his Stewart Haas Racing brought out the 2014 Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, who joined the team a year ago. Kevin revealed the decision was actually made in 2012. Kevin said it’s, “way more fun to win a Championship than to lose it,” and will join fellow SHR drivers Danica Patrick, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart in pursuit of the ’15 title. Tony, having had another leg surgery in December, said it’s the “best I’ve felt since the accident.”
NBC took the stage and talked about their return to covering NASCAR racing. They will start their coverage with the Daytona Coke Zero 400 in July and take the rest of the season through The Chase. They’re all in on their racing coverage, even tying it in when they can to other sports. Their coverage of the Super Bowl will have some racing, too.
Last up was a trip to the new Ford Technical Center. Less than a year old, this is Ford’s concentration of tech knowledge and equipment for supporting racing. Right now, it’s mostly for NASCAR racing but plans include opening up for more types of racing. The FTC includes a F-1 quality simulator, hard equipment such as a body engineering department, viewing/analyzing room getting a tech feed from NASCAR real time info, a kinetics rig, CG (center of gravity) tilt table and a twist rig that measures torsional stiffness of a chassis. We’ll have more on this techno freak heaven as soon as our spy photos are ransomed.