Changes to NASCAR in 2017

As a result of ongoing feedback from NASCAR’s fans, there will be changes to the format of all races in the top three NASCAR divisions. The goal of the changes is to make racing better from start to finish and also add more memorable moments along the way.

Changes in short:

  • Races will be divided into 3 stages
    • Stages 1 and 2 each approximately 25-30 percent of the race distance
      • Each stage will have a winner flagged at a designated lap.  The race will then go to caution between stages followed by a mandatory pit stop for each team
    • The Final Stage will consist of the remaining distance – normal race finish rules (i.e., green, white, checkers)
  • Stages 1 & 2 will award points
    • The top ten finishers of stage 1 & 2 will receive championship points (from 10 points to 1 point)
    • Stage winners will receive one (1)  “segment winner point bonus” for NASCAR Postseason/Playoff seeding, but will NOT receive a playoff berth for a stage win
  • Final Stage
    • Race (aka the Final Stage) winners of each points event still earn a berth into the playoffs
    • Pays points 1st thru last place finisher
  • Format will begin for NASCAR Camping World Trucks, NASCAR Xfinity, & Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with the first race of the 2017 season
    • The Can-Am Duel will be treated segments, paying points to the top-10 finishers.  Duel winners will NOT earn bonus points or a berth for the post-season.  The Daytona 500 will be the first MENCS race with three (3) full segments.
  • Who came up with this?
    • A panel of drivers, teams, track officials, and NASCAR helped develop the changes
      • Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, & Joey Logano represented the current drivers
      • Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing represented the current teams
      • Former drivers Jeff Gordon & Jeff Burton also participated
Community Events

UW-Manitowoc Doing Tony & Tina’s Wedding

tonytina.jpgThe University Theatre at the UW Manitowoc is staging Tony & Tina’s Wedding, Friday, February 3, at the University Theatre at 705 Viebahn in Manitowoc. Tickets are $30 and available at our website. http://manitowoc.uwc.edu/arts/theatre.  Reservations required. Your Wedding Pass includes the wedding, reception and dinner. Everyone will party with Tony and Tina as we dance the night away.


Tony and Tina’s Wedding is an improvisational participatory theatrical event staging the nuptial celebration of Tony Nunzio and Valentina Vitale in all its tacky and hilarious glory. The performance includes a wedding service followed by a reception where the wedding party and their bickering family entertains their guests along with a pasta dinner, wedding cake and dancing.


This special production is a collaboration between the UW Manitowoc Foundation and the Theatre and Continuing Education programs. A benefit performance of the show is also scheduled for February 4 (sold out).


For more information about University Theatre at UW Manitowoc, visit our website at http://manitowoc.uwc.edu/arts/theatre.  Auditions for plays and opportunities to participate in design or technical crew are open to the community.


Photo attached.


Caption: “The Vitale’s struggle to gather for their pre-nuptial photograph.”

Country News

Luke Bryan to Sing at Superbowl

Luke Bryan will be singing the national anthem at the Feb. 5 event in Houston and despite the demanding nature of the tune, he’s excited & has no second thoughts about accepting the job.

The performance is also one way to show his patriotism. “I never served in the military — that’s something I wish I had had the opportunity to do,” he says according to People magazine, “but I feel like this is my way of honoring my country. It’s a little chance to serve.”

Bryan is a huge Atlanta Falcons fan (he comes from Leesburg, Georgia) but states that he’ll be focused on the anthem.  But once he’s done singing, he’ll just enjoy the game.

Country News

New Dierks Bentley Tour

Last night (January 19th), Dierks Bentley kicked off his What the Hell Tour with his opening acts Cole Swindell & Jon Pardi.  In addition to the previously announced tour dates, Dierks revealed that the tour will extend well into the summer with 31 new dates, inducing stops in Atlanta, Chicago, San Diego and Denver….and yes, there’s a stop in Wisconsin!

Check out a clip of Dierks, Cole and Jon from last night’s show.

What the Hell Tour

Month Date Location Venue
Jan 20 KFC Yum! Center Louisville, KY
21 Bridgestone Arena Nashville, TN
25 FirstOntario Centre Hamilton, Canada
27 General Motors Centre Oshawa, Canada
28 Richcraft Live at Canadian Tire Centre Ottawa, Canada
29 Budwesier Gardens London, Canada
Feb 1 MTS Centre Winnipeg, Canada
02 SaskTel Centre Saskatoon, Canada
03 Scotiabank Saddledome Calgary, Canada
04 EnCana Events Centre Dawson Creek, Canada
06 Northlands Coliseum Edmonton, Canada
07 South Okanagan Events Centre Penticton, Canada
09 Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena Vancouver, Canada
18 U.S. Cellular Center Cedar Rapids, IA
19 Denny Sanford PREMIER Center Sioux Falls, SD
21 San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo San Antonio, TX
23 Columbus Civic Center Columbus, GA
24 BancorpSouth Arena Tupelo, MS
25 Thompson Boling Arena Knoxville, TN
Mar 3 The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
04 The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
24 Houston Rodeo Houston, TX
Apr 7 Country Thunder USA Florence, AZ
21 ENMAX Centre Lethbridge, Canada
22 Rimrock Auto Arena Billings, MT
23 Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Rapid City, SD
28 Stagecoach Indio, CA
29 Save Mart Center Fresno, CA
30 Reno Events Center Reno, NV
May 5 Intrust Bank Arena Wichita, KS
07 Off The Rails Fest Frisco, TX
Jun 4 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ
09 Jiffy Lube Live Bristow, VA
15 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Telluride, CO
17 Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre West Palm Beach, FL
23 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater Wantagh, NY
24 KeyBank Pavilion Burgettstown, PA
25 PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte, NC
Jul 14 Walnut Creek Amphitheatre Raleigh, NC
15 Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach Virginia Beach, VA
20 Country Jam USA Eau Claire, WI
27 Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Aug 5 BB&T Pavilion Camden, PA
18 The Willamette Country Music Festival Brownsville, OR
19 Toyota Amphitheatre Sacramento, CA
20 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA
Country News

Carrie & Keith to Perform at Grammy’s

Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban are the first country performers announced to appear on the 59th annual Grammy Awards.

Both singers are are each nominated for best country solo performance – Carrie for “Church Bells” and Keith for “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” Ketih’s Ripcord is nominated for best country album.


Additional Grammy performers will be announced throughout the coming weeks. James Corden will host the Grammys live from Los Angeles on Feb. 12.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Rustic Log Furniture Could Harbor Pests

The popular rustic log furniture could harbor exotic insect pests, state officials warn, so they’re asking consumers to be on the lookout, both for their own protection and that of Wisconsin’s forests.

“We had two incidents in 2016 of imported ‘rustic’ furniture being infested with insects. In both cases, the furniture was imported from China, and the insects were wood-boring beetles native to China. If these insects were to escape into the environment, they could pose a real threat to our forests, crops and wood products industries,” said Brian Kuhn, director of the Plant Industry Bureau in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

“In one of these cases, the brown fir longhorned beetle was found in rustic pine log furniture, and in the other case, the velvet longhorned beetle was discovered in rustic hickory log furniture that still had bark on it. In both cases, the furniture was imported into the U.S. and sold in many states, including Minnesota and Wisconsin. We worked with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to gather as much of the furniture as we could, and stop any ongoing sales.”

Buyers generally found and reported the infestations when they noticed sawdust around the furniture.

Some of the furniture from those two cases could still be in consumers’ homes, Kuhn noted, and the insects could survive in it for two years or longer. DATCP is working with the USDA to tighten efforts to exclude these products before they enter the United States, he said.

Like the non-native emerald ash borer that many Wisconsin residents may know, the immature worm-like larval life stage of these beetles feeds under the bark and causes damage, and emerges as adults to lay eggs on the bark. The eggs hatch, and the new larvae burrow under the bark to complete their life cycle.

If you are shopping for this imported rustic furniture or have bought any of it in the past two years, Kuhn encourages you to look for these signs of infestation:

  • Sawdust around the furniture, which suggests that insects are gnawing at the wood
  • Exit holes, or small tunnels that insects make as they burrow out from under the bark
  • Wood damage, such as loose bark or visible trails on the wood made by feeding larvae.

If you suspect that rustic furniture in your home is infested, contact DATCP by emailing shahla.werner@wi.gov or calling (608)224-4573.

Do not move it outdoors where the insects could spread, or spray it with insect spray that could harm your family and will not kill the insects under the bark.