Message from Larry

September 12, 2014

So it all begins anew Sunday.

The 2014 NASCAR Chase for the Championship begins here in Chicago. Up until this point it was all about winning. As you have heard us say since February — “win and you are in.” Now with this new format change for 2014, you might think the strategy would change to a really good finish or points day because of surviving these new elimination rounds.

That’s what you might think, but I personally believe you are going to see these teams attack Chicagoland Speedway and the other nine Chase races like they have the first 26 races of this season. The reason I say that is because we know if you win a race in all four rounds of this new Chase format, you will be the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion. If you want simple math, well there it is.

The mentality in the garage area seems to be pretty consistent. When they look at the first round, they are going to target getting three solid finishes. The feeling is that among those 16 drivers in the Chase, at least four of them are going to have one bad race. If you can get your car in the top 10 or maybe even the top 12 in the races in this first round, that probably will be good enough to advance.

Now, when we get to the Contender Round and the Eliminator Round, the thought process is going to get more aggressive as they are really going to push to win a race in both rounds. Just like any other form of professional sports, the deeper you get into the playoffs, the tougher it becomes. That’s just the nature of competition as that mountain you are trying to climb becomes more vertical.

When we get to the Championship Round, which obviously is one race, four drivers, winner-take-all, then it’s you versus three other drivers. Now sure, there is still you and 42 other cars on the track, but the reality is it is you against three other drivers for all the 2014 marbles.

I’m living proof of when you change your game plan that sometimes you go in the wrong direction. It happened to Davey Allison and me in 1992 in Atlanta, and unfortunately the championship slipped through our fingers.

You have to start this NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Sunday at Chicago just like you started the season. You want to get off on a positive note. As it starts to unfold however and if you are fortunate to win a race in one round, then your focus will evolve as you begin to focus on the next round knowing you are safely in that next round.

September 10, 2014

This season we have seen Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske go at each other like two heavyweight champions. Both have come out punching and counter-punching at each other. I mean, collectively, I think they have won 17 of 26 races so far between the two organizations. So as we start the Chase this week, the biggest question I keep getting asked is, “Is there a favorite within those two organizations?”

With this being the first year of the new Chase format, we now have in our sport a bracket-style playoff, if you will, for the 10-race Chase. I think it’s pretty cool for our sport because for the first time, in a lot of places you are going to see these brackets hanging on a wall as folks try and determine who will move on in the Chase to the next round.

Honestly, I like both cars of Team Penske. I just like what I see over there from both drivers and teams right now. Sure, Hendrick Motorsports has won 10 races to Team Penske’s seven, but the No. 2 and the No. 22 are my pick for the championship. Both cars are fast in practice, qualifying and in the race. They have just been solid since the drop of the green flag back in February in Daytona.

Both drivers do the best to complement each other. Actually, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano may be the best set of teammates we have in the sport right now. I just see both drivers and both crew chiefs on the same page week in and week out. I really look at them as one team building two cars, and I honestly think that’s the way they look at it.

My bracket is filled out and I have the No. 2 car winning the championship. With that said, let me add that in talking to other drivers and crew chiefs in the NASCAR garage area, there are a lot of folks pointing to Joey and the No. 22 camp as the ones to watch to win the championship.

September 8, 2014

I really can’t say what I saw the entire weekend at Richmond International Raceway was a complete surprise. We see this a lot when we go back to a track for a second time where there is no rule change, but there is a tire change. It just seems like there is a driver and team or two that hits on the perfect setup and they make life miserable for everyone else in the field.

We saw it happen Friday night in the Nationwide race where Kyle Busch started from the pole and led all 250 laps until he took the checkered flag. Then Saturday night in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race Brad Keselowski led 383 of 400 laps, also from the pole on his way to his fourth win of the season. It was the greatest percentage of laps led in one race since Jeff Burton at Loudon clear back in 2000.

So that wasn’t too big of a surprise going in knowing that there was a tire change since the last time we raced there. We also knew going in that 14 of the 16 Chase spots were locked in. Outside of Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle, the rest of the field had only one thing on their mind that being winning.

We all felt that Ryan was pretty safe to make it on points. He just needed a good solid run and got it. For Greg, it was a different story. Had Greg run well Saturday night there wouldn’t have been anywhere nearly the drama. At one point, Greg’s hold onto the 16th spot had dropped to only four or five points over Clint Bowyer, so that made for an interesting storyline obviously.

What we saw at Richmond Saturday night might be somewhat of an indicator of what we will see at Loudon or Phoenix in a few weeks as the Chase progresses. Do you remember who won Loudon? Yup, it was the same guy who one Saturday night — Brad Keselowski.

So the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins this weekend and remember, we are under a new format this year. Come Homestead in the middle of November, the field of 16 Chase drivers will be whittled down to only four when the green flag waves for that final race of the year!

Larry Mac 


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21 NASCAR Winston Cup Pole Positions as Crew Chief


Generally regarded as one of the greatest Crew Chiefs in NASCAR history, Larry McReynolds’ career spans the last 39 years, during which time he has guided a number of the sport’s top drivers to the pinnacle of racing, as well as having served as a world-wide ambassador to motorsports through his work as a television commentator, motivational speaker and philanthropist. Since his first win at Watkins Glenn in 1988 with Ricky Rudd, Larry’s ability to develop, motivate and lead teams to success at the sport’s highest level has set him apart. Over the course of his 17 year career as a Crew Chief, Larry had the opportunity to work with NASCAR greats Ernie Irvan, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and Davey Allison, whose now famous #28 Texaco Ford captured 11 wins and 3 poles in a single season under Larry’s watchful eye.


Perhaps, however, the greatest and most well documented accomplishment of Larry’s career as Crew Chief came in 1998, when Larry guided Dale Earnhardt Sr. to his first and only Daytona 500 victory. All-in-all, Larry and his teams finished in the Top-10 in an incredible 47% of the races in which they competed, amassing 23 victories (including two Daytona 500 victories and back-to-back Winston All Star race wins), and 21 poles. Today, Larry McReynolds serves the sport of NASCAR as lead analyst for the Sprint Cup Series on Fox, Fox Sports 1, and TNT, as well as team owner of Larry McReynolds Racing, a recently developed team that seeks to build sponsorships and opportunities for some of the sports most promising young drivers, including Larry’s son Brandon McReynolds.




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NASCAR Crew Chief Highlights:

  • 23 NASCAR Winston Cup Victories
  • 21 NASCAR Winston Cup Pole Positions
  • 2 Daytona 500 Wins (1992 & 1998)
  • 2 Consecutive NASCAR All-Star Race Wins (1991 & 1992)
  • 122 Top-5 NASCAR Winston Cup Finishes
  • 209 Top-10 NASCAR Winston Cup Finishes

Crew Chief Awards:

  • 5-Time Consecutive Copenhagen/Skoal All Pro Crew Chief Award Recipient (1991 – 1995)
  • UAW GM Teamwork Award of Excellence Recipient (1998)

Hall of Fame Inductions:

  • 2008 Inductee to the Oceanside Rotary Club Hall of Fame in Daytona Beach Florida
  • 2013 Inductee to the Alabama Auto Racing Pioneers Hall of Fame



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partnershiplogosAs one of the sport’s most visible and respected television commentators, as well as a NASCAR team owner, Larry McReynolds is uniquely positioned to deliver partners with the media assets and deliverables necessary to achieve a variety of corporate goals and objectives. Whether it be increased brand awareness, enhanced consumer loyalty, customer hospitality and appreciation, or employee incentives, Larry McReynolds’ popularity amongst motorsports fans worldwide, may be leveraged to reinforce and build upon a partners’ existing marketing efforts to provide an aggressive return-on-investment. From traditional marketing efforts to experiential on-track opportunities, numerous partnership opportunities are available to fit any budget, including:

  • Television and Radio Commercials
  • Social Media Promotions
  • On-Track Corporate Sponsorship and Brand Development
  • Corporate Appearances and Trade Show Events
  • Motivational Speaking
  • At-Race Hospitality

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