NASCAR Media Tour Content Recap: All posts, one place

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We’ve had a busy week here on MotorSportsTalk with Nate Ryan and Dustin Long in Charlotte and Jerry Bonkowski, Chris Estrada and myself keeping tabs on all team press conferences from the Charlotte Motor Speedway media tour.

The four days produced a bevy of story lines across most of the teams competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for 2015, and within the entire NASCAR world as well.

In case you missed any posts in our comprehensive coverage, all are linked below:

FEATURED ORIGINALS:
RYAN: Chase Elliott’s Cup promotion perfectly timed for NASCAR (Nate Ryan)
NASCAR considers unveiling ’16 rules package at All-Star Race (Nate Ryan)
LeBron James’ agent involved in Darrell Wallace Jr.’s search for sponsorship (Nate Ryan)
Why Hendrick won’t retire the No. 24 (Dustin Long)
Larson not disappointed he won’t drive the No. 24 (Dustin Long)
Bowyer on Gordon: It’s still ugly (Dustin Long)
Kyle Busch says Toyota teams are “idiots” for not working together (Dustin Long)
Rick Hendrick: No pressure on Gordon, just go win 14 races and the championship (Jerry Bonkowski)
Jimmie Johnson is going for seven titles, but isn’t the story at media tour (Tony DiZinno)
Logano talks about Penske camaraderie… and his lost wedding ring (Chris Estrada)

HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS (Thursday)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. ready for new crew chief Greg Ives to take him to the next level
Kasey Kahne, Keith Rodden gear up for better year in 2015
Why Hendrick won’t retire the No. 24
Jimmie Johnson is going for seven titles, but isn’t the story at media tour
Rick Hendrick: No pressure on Gordon, just go win 14 races and the championship
RYAN: Chase Elliott’s Cup promotion perfectly timed for NASCAR
Elliott confirmed to replace Jeff Gordon in No. 24

RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING (Thursday)
Ryan Newman – and his brass knuckles – are ready to fight for Sprint Cup crown in 2015
RCR seeks wins, momentum carryover into 2015
RCR names two new development drivers, Kate Dallenbach and Ahnna Parkhurst

CHIP GANASSI RACING WITH FELIX SABATES (Thursday)
Ganassi, Sabates praise McMurray as team’s “big game hunter” into 2015
Larson not disappointed he won’t drive the No. 24
One look at his wrist, and Larson says it’s time to win

FURNITURE ROW RACING (Thursday)
Truex’s girlfriend passes milestone in cancer recovery
Truex sees brighter days ahead, both on and off-track, in 2015

TEAM PENSKE (Wednesday)
Keselowski: Hard to believe it’s my sixth season with Team Penske already
Logano talks about Penske camaraderie… and his lost wedding ring

WOOD BROTHERS RACING (Wednesday)
Wood Brothers plan expanded 18-race schedule for Ryan Blaney (VIDEO)

LEAVINE FAMILY RACING (Wednesday)
No “I” in team, but plenty of family for No. 95 squad

RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS (Wednesday)
RPM seeks sponsorship for Hornish for 26 races
Hornish fitting in nicely at RPM
After 2014 Chase berth, Aric Almirola looks for more in 2015

ROUSH FENWAY RACING (Wednesday)
Roush Fenway Racing still seeking sponsorship for Wallace (see additional LeBron post below)
Roush Fenway looks for big rebound in 2015
Stenhouse Jr. channels Marshawn Lynch: “I’m just here so I won’t get fined”

STEWART-HAAS RACING (Wednesday)
Tony Stewart buys All-Star Circuit of Champions sprint car series
Outcry over GoDaddy Super Bowl Danica/puppy ad causes company to pull it
Harvick: “I’m as comfortable as I ever have been”
Gene Haas provides update on F1 team progress
Kurt Busch: “What I said was under oath”
Kurt Busch hasn’t yet discussed an Indy 500 return
Danica enters final year of contract, wants to stay at SHR
Danica wants to build on ’14 successes in ’15
Poll: Which SHR driver will improve most in ’15?

MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING (Tuesday)
MWR responds to Kyle Busch’s comments on working together
Bowyer on Gordon: It’s still ugly
Vickers can’t wait to race again
Moffitt to drive No. 55 car at Atlanta (Waltrip in Daytona 500)

JOE GIBBS RACING (Monday)
Kyle Busch says Toyota teams are “idiots” for not working together
Kyle Busch has a message for those that are confusing him with his brother
JGR prepares for new era as a four-car team (VIDEO)
Poll: Which JGR driver will have best season in 2015?

NASCAR (Monday primarily)
NASCAR and RTA are communicating, but not commenting much
NASCAR 2015 Start Times: Sprint Cup, XFINITY, Camping World Trucks
NASCAR considers unveiling ’16 rules package at All-Star Race
Brian France: State of NASCAR is strong and getting better
France: NASCAR not looking to expand four-car team number
No early exit expected for Sprint
Drive for Diversity class announced; Daytona Rising update comes in
NASCAR outlaws practice of flared fender side skirts

NBC
NASCAR on NBC’s Jeff Burton has an impromptu Twitter Q&A (Wednesday night)
NASCAR on NBC: Nick Offerman tells you to get some NASCAR in your life (VIDEO)
Dale Jarrett to join NBC NASCAR team

OTHER
Hall of Famer David Pearson recovering from mild stroke
LeBron James’ agent involved in Darrell Wallace Jr.’s search for sponsorship
Sponsorship woes sideline Jeb Burton again
Ross Chastain moves up to XFINITY Series with JD Motorsports
JJ Yeley to be BK Racing’s primary driver in 2015
Petty says NASCAR’s next big star could be in XFINITY (VIDEO)
HScott announces second car for Michael Annett
ISC shows strong revenue growth
NASCAR Media Tour begins today, but drivers still idle

IndyCar’s Scott Dixon staying fit with new training regimen during layoff

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During a regular racing schedule, five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon of Chip Ganassi Racing would spend much of his time between races at PitFit in Indianapolis.

The highly advanced workout facility on the northwest side of Indianapolis is run by noted sports trainer Jim Leo. His clientele includes IndyCar Series drivers and other athletes in the area.

In addition to the array of workout machines, Leo’s facility also has advanced equipment to test a driver’s reaction time. These range from a board with lights that rapidly flash, and a driver has to hit the board to turn them off. There are other tests drivers do to keep their skills sharp and reaction time focused.

Times have changed, though.

Indiana is under a statewide lockdown with the exception of essential services only. Instead of going to PitFit, Dixon is working out at his home on the north side of Indianapolis.

RELATED: How is Sabres’ star Jack Eichel staying fit?

His reaction time is being tested by his wife, Emma, throwing a tennis ball at him, changing the direction with each toss.

“I’ve gone back to old school, like tennis balls and Emma can drop them or throw them,” Dixon told NBCSports.com. “As long as you keep up with basic cardio and lift weights and work on the neck muscles, that’s the harder part to get ready for.

“I had already stopped going into Pit Fit last week. We had not been doing that for a while. Haven’t left the house for 13 days, now. We went to the grocery store once. The rest of the stuff has been delivered.

“We’re locked down, man, trying to do our best for everyone else.”


Dixon’s home has an impressive array of workout equipment. That allows the 39-year-old racing legend to stay fit during this extended time off that won’t end until the last week of May at the earliest.

“I have most of the stuff I need at home,” Dixon explained. “Some of the reaction stuff, the D-2s and Synaptic machines plus some of the upper-body machines, are pretty unique machines. Those are the machines that Jim Leo has at PitFit.

“As far as cycling, running, general weights, skiers and rollers, I have that at home.”

It seems like a lifetime ago when the world was normal. That was before the dreaded novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic literally sent society underground and locked in while awaiting a solution to this fatal virus.

Photo by Chris Graythen, Getty Images

Before this unexpected shutdown, Dixon would go into PitFit to work on specialized equipment on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He would do the rest of his physical workout at home.

“I started skipping that when we got home before the lockdown,” Dixon said. “Before the lockdown, Jim could have stayed open because he never has more than 10 people at once.

“Typically, he would have the drivers spaced out where Tony Kanaan and I would go in at 8 in the morning, and Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe would go in at 9:30, and then Zach Veach and Spencer Pigot and Charlie Kimball would go in around 11. There were only about five of us going in at once.”

Two weeks ago, Leo dropped off some equipment at Dixon’s house along with more instructions to focus on his workouts during the layoff.

Sacrifices are being made all throughout the world, including racing.

“You can’t be selfish,” Dixon said. “It sucks for the drivers, but it sucks a lot worse for a lot of other people. Luckily, the school the girls go to has e-learning. It’s school as usual on the computer from 8:30 to 3 and that has been seamless on that front.

“On a personal note, it’s nice to be home with the baby and bonding as well, and that is great. But all of us wish everything was back to normal as soon as possible.”

RELATED: Vikings’ Kyle Rudolph adjusting to ‘new normal’ for training

Dixon is the father of three, including young daughters Poppy (10), Tilly (8) and infant son, Kit.

This is a time to keep his family safe.

“You hear mixed messages about who is more at risk,” Dixon said. “Obviously, older people with underlying conditions. We’re a fairly healthy family, but still it sounds like something can trigger a pretty bad situation. It’s better to be safe than sorry so we are limiting our contact as fast as possible. The quicker everybody locks down, the quicker we will get through the situation. If we stay home, we will see a decline and hopefully get back to normal pretty quickly.

“It’s a new thing for everybody.”


For now, Dixon works out at home, while the girls continue their classes on the computer. Emma spends time with her infant son, Kit, while taking care of the family.

These days of working out at home will be important because once racing is scheduled to return, tentatively set for May 30 at Detroit, it will be flat-out, racing nearly every weekend.

There won’t be time off inbetween races.

“No, but everybody is having plenty of rest right now,” Dixon quipped. “It’s not what anybody wants. We all keep hoping everybody remains safe and healthy. It’s a difficult time for a lot of people and we’ve been very lucky that we don’t know anybody that has had an issue so far. Hopefully, that remains the same.

“Everybody is ready to go. We were ready to go at St. Pete. This will be welcomed greatly.

“Nothing is normal these days. I think what IndyCar and IMS did was probably the best of the situations. You never want to move the dates of the 500, but you always want the people to be relaxed enough they are going to come to the race, too.

“The way they have done the schedule is pretty cool. It gives them enough wiggle room now with Detroit being the kickoff. What is also fun is the July 4 doubleheader weekend at Indianapolis and St. Pete finishing the season.”

Once life returns to normal, depending on what the new normal will look like, race drivers and athletes will once again be in an area they know.

The difficult part of this, however, is nobody knows when the COVID-19 outbreak will end.

“The hard part right now is there are so many unknowns,” Dixon said. “That is what people hate. They could wrap their hands around two weeks, but it could be another six weeks. People will go crazy.

“That is what we are going through right now. The unknown. Nobody knows what the next step is.”

That is why Dixon has a message for all race fans to take these orders seriously.

“Stay safe. Stay away from people. Lock down. Get this period done with,” Dixon said. “Once we do that, hopefully we can crack on like normal, and people can find fixes and therapies. As soon as everybody bunkers down, we will get through this sooner instead of later.

“Let’s get back to normal as quick as possible and get back to racing when we can.”

Follow Bruce Martin on Twitter at @BruceMartin_500