Archive for February, 2017

NASCAR National Series News & Notes — Daytona


He’s Back. Dale Jr. Set To Return At Daytona

After missing the final 18 races of the 2016 season Dale Earnhardt Jr. returns to his No. 88 Chevrolet for Sunday’s 59th running of the DAYTONA 500 (2 p.m. ET on FOX).

Earnhardt, a two-time DAYTONA 500 winner, qualified second for Sunday’s race, a mere .002 seconds behind Chase Elliott. In 34 total starts at “The Birthplace of Speed,” he has four wins, 13 top fives and 19 top 10s.

Sunday’s race marks the sixth time an Earnhardt will follow a pole-winning Elliott on the starting grid. NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt (Dale Jr.’s father) started second to fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott (Chase’s father) in five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races, the last in 1995 at Phoenix.

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NASCAR Launches NASCAR TrackPass to Expand Reach of Live Racing Content

Digital Subscription Product Facilitates International Fan Development for 2017

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2017) –- NASCAR TrackPass™, the sport’s first digital subscription product developed specifically for the international market, will now offer live racing action to more NASCAR® fans than ever before. Fans around the world can watch all 38 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ and 33 NASCAR XFINITY Series™ events either through NASCAR’s local television partner or by subscribing to NASCAR TrackPass. The product will be available in 120 countries and territories at launch, with plans to continue expanding the NASCAR TrackPass footprint throughout 2017.

NASCAR TrackPass will offer full race replays and features like a live leaderboard and highlights to give fans the complete race experience. International NASCAR fans in most territories outside the U.S. and Canada can go to subscribe to the product or download the application for Android and iOS through the iTunes and Google Play stores. Subscription costs start at $125 per year and $15 per month and vary by individual country and territory.

“Exploring new distribution channels for race content across both broadcast and digital platforms allows NASCAR to continue strengthening its global presence and diversify the sport’s fan base,” said Steve Herbst, senior vice president, broadcasting and production at NASCAR. “Given their experience in the sport and expertise around live streaming, NBC was a natural choice to lead our development of NASCAR TrackPass, providing our international fans more choice than ever before.”

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Bradley McCaskill in Unexpected Position for PASS Return to Southern National

CHARLOTTE, NC (February 22) – In the early 2000s, the ranks of Super Late Model racing in the southeast were shrinking.  The few tracks that featured the division, which included Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, NC, were eliminating them and there was not a series for teams to follow.  By the winter of 2005, Pro All Stars Series (PASS) President Tom Mayberry decided to take a big risk in expanding his sanctioning body that was already finding success in New England.  When the inaugural PASS South Super Late Model season was announced in 2006, the second race that inaugural year was at Southern National and was won by the legendary Freddie Query.  Now, 11 years later, PASS South continues as the oldest and most successful Super Late Model sanction in the region, and fittingly, returns to Southern National for the first time in two years, along with the NASCAR Late Model Stocks, for the Dogwood 300 on Saturday afternoon, March 4.

One of the drivers who came on board to support PASS virtually from the beginning was Knightdale, NC’s Bradley McCaskill.  In 2008 and 2009, McCaskill competed for the championship, with a best point finish of 10th in 2009.  As he settled down to start a family, he stepped back to compete closer to home in the Limited Late Model and Late Model Stock divisions.  But, with his own graphics business that worked closely with many PASS teams, McCaskill was never too far from the series that he got his start.

“I love the series, it has a lot of great people involved and a lot of great teams, and PASS has always had really strong competition,” said McCaskill.

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DIRTcar Nationals Wednesday Program Cancelled Due to Heavy Rain

Event will resume Thursday as regularly scheduled with the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series and the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds

BARBERVILLE, Fla. – February 22, 2017 – Night nine of DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park has been canceled due to a heavy rainstorm that hit the area on Wednesday morning and a forecast of continued rain throughout the day.

DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park will resume on Thursday, Feb. 23, with the pit gates opening at 1:00 pm, grandstands opening at 5:00 pm. Hot laps for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series will kick off on-track activities at 6:00 pm.

Fans that have purchased tickets in advance can use Wednesday night’s tickets as a credit toward one of the final three nights of DIRTcar Nationals. The ticket window at Volusia Speedway Park will be closed on Wednesday and will reopen at 4:30 pm on Thursday.

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DIRTcar Nationals Night Eight Recap

Sheppard Reels in Shirley for a Gator Trophy
BARBERVILLE, FL- February 22, 2017- Brandon Sheppard fought his way to Victory Lane during night eight of the 46th annual DIRTcar Nationals in the 30-lap DIRTcar Racing Late Model Feature. It wasn’t an easy path for Sheppard to get to the front of the pack as Brian Shirley tried to fend him off any way possible.
Sheppard started in the fourth position but found his way to second within the first 10 laps. He passed Shane Clanton, who started the feature third, early on and then had to duel with Tyler Erb. Sheppard then began reeling in Shirley and was at his door knocking by lap 10. They ran side-by-side and the lead position was juggled between the No. 1 and No. 3 machines for several laps. Sheppard finally made the pass on lap 13 but Shirley didn’t surrender as they continued to run side-by-side.
“One of the things I’ve struggled with here a lot is knowing where I need to be on the track,” said Sheppard. “Mark [Richards] talked to me a bunch before we went out for that race and he was giving me pointers on where I need to pick up speed, and where I need to be out of the gas, and how to keep my momentum up… I feel like I learned a lot for later in the week.”

EXIT Realty Announces 2017 Sponsorship of the Modified Touring Series

EXIT Realty has signed on as the premier sponsor of the Modified Touring Series for 2017. Derek Beatrice, owner of EXIT Realty Beatrice Assoc., has been involved in motorsports for a number of years sponsoring billboards at several speedways, as well as assisting several race teams. Some of these ventures with EXIT Realty included sponsorship of drivers Eddie MacDonald in a Sprint Cup Car he ran at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and John McKennedy of the Valenti Modified Tour, both champions in their own right. EXIT Realty will make their presence at each event informing spectators of their services and loyalty to the sport.

Gary and Alichia Knight, founders of the series, would like to welcome EXIT Realty as the Title Sponsor for the new and exciting Modified Touring Series. Gary, former race car driver turned promoter, has been working very hard to promote the series and looks forward to working with EXIT Realty to give them maximum exposure.

The EXIT Realty Modified Touring Series will have a ten race schedule for the 2017 season with regional involvement from the Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, NH, ME, VT, and downstate New York EXIT Realty locations. The format for each one of the 10 scheduled events will include qualifying heat races, consolations (if needed), and a 125 lap green flag feature event. The payoff is structured so that most modified teams will, at a minimum, meet their expenses for the event.
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Devil’s Bowl Speedway to Receive $10,000 Capital Improvement Grant from NASCAR

Projects to be completed with help from sanctioning body

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Vermont’s Devil’s Bowl Speedway already has its first “win” in the 2017 stock car racing season.  An announcement was made on Saturday, February 18, during a conference at The Plaza Hotel in Daytona Beach, Fla., that the Rutland County facility has been awarded a $10,000 grant from NASCAR for capital improvements and facility upgrades.

Devil’s Bowl Speedway enters its 51st season of stock car racing in 2017 and its seventh consecutive year under NASCAR sanction.  Located on Route 22A in pastoral West Haven, Vt., the venue has the unique distinction as the only facility in North America with two weekly short tracks – a 1/2-mile Asphalt Track and a 3/10-mile Dirt Track – competing in the grassroots NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program.

The $10,000 grant has been earmarked to help complete two projects at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.  Once finished, a technical inspection building – the shell of which was erected in 2015 – will provide officials and race teams with a pit area garage to perform pre-race and post-race work.  In addition, a large section of pavement in the pit area that has been damaged by weather and erosion will be excavated and replaced.

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The NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Lorene King Accepts Daytona State College Position

King to Serve as Vice-President of Advancement/ Executive Director of DSC Foundation
Nichole Krieger to Serve as Acting Executive Director for The NASCAR Foundation 

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2017) – Lorene King, who has led The NASCAR Foundation as its executive director since 2012, has accepted a position with Daytona State College to serve as vice president of advancement and executive director of the Daytona State College Foundation.

King’s new position was approved during the college’s monthly Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 16. Her highly successful tenure at NASCAR will end on March 10. Nichole Krieger, The NASCAR Foundation’s senior director, development, and marketing, will immediately become the foundation’s acting executive director.

King came to The NASCAR Foundation from the world-renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. From 2005-2012 she was that facility’s senior director of corporate alliances; prior to that, she was St. Jude’s senior director of legal and estates and trusts from 1996-2005.

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DIRTcar Nationals Night Seven Recap

Chris Madden Grabs A Gator

BARBERVILLE, FL- February 20, 2017- On the seventh day of the 46th annual DIRTcar Nationals, 43 Late Models migrated to Volusia Speedway Park to test their luck at the ‘World’s Fastest Half-Mile’. The season-opening swing through Georgia and Florida continues and drivers are hoping to leave the track with a coveted Gator trophy in the passenger seat. Chris Madden began his collection of gators tonight.

Madden steadily gained ground on pole sitter and race leader Brian Shirley who had made a significant breakaway from the rest of the field early in the race. With the help of a restart, Madden was able to make a pass on the high-side of Brian Shirley on lap 13 to claim the lead.

“We got a good restart and then we were able to get out in the clean air and we had a pretty good car tonight,” said Chris Madden. “It was too tight the first 10 or so laps but overall we had a great race car. I’m going to take this [Gator] home to my little man, Avery.”

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Front-running Goal for Porsche Young Gun

Dylan O’Keeffe Hopes to Build on Promising Carrera Cup Results

Melbourne teenager Dylan O’Keeffe is eager to become a regular front-runner in what will be an ultra-competitive 2017 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia season.

Having moved into Carrera Cup from Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia in 2016, O’Keeffe spent last year building his racing experience in the 911 GT3 Cup as well as gaining valuable track time on Carrera Cup’s unique race calendar.

O’Keeffe’s results were promising: after finishing runner-up in the 2015 GT3 Cup Challenge season, the 19-year-old placed 10th in last season’s Carrera Cup standings, finishing with 12 top-10 results from the final 15 races, along with a season-best result of fourth in Darwin.
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Incident at Volusia Speedway Park

BARBERVILLE, FLA. – Feb. 20, 2017 – On Sunday, February 19 a racecar involved in a multi-car accident became airborne and landed off the racing surface, injuring three participants during the 46th annual DIRTcar Nationals, a World of Outlaws-sanctioned dirt track racing event hosted by Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.

The three individuals were standing in what is commonly referred to as the “pit area” or “pits.” The pit area at a World of Outlaws event is separate from the main grandstand and is where the teams participating in the event stage their race cars and support equipment. The individuals struck by the race car were treated immediately by emergency personnel on hand at the event and transported to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla.

While racing side by side entering Turn 1 at the Speedway several sprint cars touched sparking a chain reaction accident in the middle of the 24-car field. One car was hit by another and subsequently made heavy contact with a steel guardrail betweens Turn 1 and Turn 2. The car’s momentum carried it forward flipping it into the air and towards the catch fence. The car made contact with the upper portion of the catch fence in Turn 2, tumbling over the fence. As it was coming to a stop it struck the individuals referenced above. The driver of the race car was not injured.

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Johnson Joins Porsche as DSA

Steve Johnson Recruited as Porsche Driving Standards Adviser

Australian touring car ace Steven Johnson has been recruited by Porsche to serve as the Driving Standards Adviser across Porsche Carrera Cup Australia and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia in 2017.

The new appointment will see Johnson replace Craig Baird in the role after the latter accepted the same position within the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

The vastly experienced Johnson entered top-level motorsport in 1998 and has since contested 13 consecutive full-time Australian Touring Car/Supercars Championships (2000-2012) and, more recently, raced in the popular Touring Car Masters championship.

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Fifth Annual Turnpike Challenge at I-44 Raceway

Belleville, IL – The POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget League, POWRi Lucas Oil West Midget League, and the POWRi Speedway Motors 600cc Outlaw Micro League will kick off the Fifth Annual Turnpike Challenge at I-44 Speedway in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on Friday, March 24th and Saturday, March 25th. Open practice will take place on Thursday, March 23rd.

Always an event that brings out big names and helps fuel a healthy competition between drivers, the Fifth Annual Turnpike Challenge will showcase incredible talent, as both defending series champions will be on track. 2016 POWRi Lucas Oil National Midget Series champion Zach Daum will be in head-to-head competition with 2016 POWRi Lucas Oil West Midget Series champion, Steven Shebester. Add in the mix that Jason McDougal and Matt Sherrell will be vying to defend their 2016 Turnpike Challenge victories and the West Series’ honor from sweeping the Turnpike Challenge, creates a recipe for top-notch racing. To top it all off, Inaugural and Second Annual Turnpike Challenge winner, Christopher Bell will be returning to his home track of I-44 Speedway in a Keith Kunz Motorsports entry after most recently adding the 2017 Chili Bowl Nationals win to his lengthening resume.

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Langley to Host NASCAR Touring & Weekly Series in 2017

Newly Re-opened Virginia Track Adds NASCAR K&N Pro East and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2017) – Bill Mullis made the big news announcement Friday: He had purchased Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, and the historic track will re-open in 2017 to racing.

Sunday afternoon, Mullis continued the good news for racers and race fans. He announced the .4-mile oval will host the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and newly unified NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour this season. In addition, the track will return to the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series with its weekly racing program.

“It’s been a long process,” said Mullis. “But I grew up racing at Langley and know the value of the track to the community, so it’s been a very worthwhile process. Once we got the paperwork finalized for the sale, we worked very quickly with NASCAR to assure our fans and drivers that we remain committed to bringing NASCAR racing back to Hampton in a big way.”

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New Year, New Number, New Team & New Quest for Coughlin Begins at Daytona

DELAWARE, OHIO – Cody Coughlin’s rookie campaign in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will kick-off in one week when he takes on the legendary high-banks of Daytona International Speedway (FL) on Friday, February 24 in the NextEra Energy Resources 250.  It will be Coughlin’s second trip to 2.5-mile tri-oval in the NCWTS, but the race will be the first for Coughlin in the TV number-13 Toyota Tundra for ThorSport Racing.

The 21-year-old driver said he cannot to wait to head back to Daytona.

“I’m really excited. It’s always exciting to go to Daytona because the energy level is so high among every body in the garage and all of the fans. You can feel the excitement. I like Daytona. It’s a cool place. I had a good run there in an ARCA car (2015) and I felt comfortable there in the Truck race too last year.”

Overall, Coughlin has two prior starts at Daytona.  In 2015, Coughlin started second, led laps and finished fourth in an ARCA Racing Series event.  In 2016, he started ninth, but finished 31st after getting caught up in an early crash.

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Johnny Walker Ready to Defend DARE Stock Championship at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — For Ludlow, MA native Johnny Walker, the 2016 season at Stafford Speedway was the realization of a dream come true as he won the DARE Stock track championship.  Walker had been agonizingly close to winning the championship in 2013 and 2014, finishing second in the standings each season before taking the 2015 season off.  Now that he has a championship under his belt, Walker is ready to go for two in a row in 2017 with his #01 Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair / Garrett’s Carpentry & Drywall Chevrolet.

“It’s been a couple of months, but it’s actually just now setting in that we won the championship,” said Walker.  “We love Stafford and the track has always treated us good.  Racing for the championship and points was really stressful last year and now that we got that monkey off our back with the championship, the goal is to have fun and try to win as many races as we can.  We don’t want to worry about points like we did last year.  If we can go back to back and add our name to the Stafford record books, that’s a pretty small list of drivers who have done that and it would be pretty special to add our name to that list.”

The 2016 season was a class in both domination and consistency for Walker and his #01 team.  Outside of a 12th place finish on July 8th, Walker finished each of the other 16 races on the schedule in the top-5 with 13 podium finishes.  While Walker says the pressure of the championship chase started to wear on him during the season, his results on the track didn’t show that as he finished the final 8 races of the season on the podium.  Walker and his team have been hard at work replacing the body on his #01 Chevrolet during the winter and he will debut a new paint scheme for the 2017 season in the Stafford booth at the Frank Maratta Auto Show on March 10-12.

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Mike Wray Ready to Pick Up Where He Left Off in 2016 in Stafford’s Late Model Division

Stafford Springs, CT —  In only his second season of Late Model competition at Stafford Speedway, Northford native Mike Wray strung together an impressive season.  Wray and the #42 DMW Graphics team posted 2 wins with 14 top-5 finishes in 17 races.  Wray’s worst finish of the entire season was a 7th place finish and his consistency helped move from a 7th place points standings during his rookie season to a 2nd place finish behind Tom Fearn in 2016.  Wray is looking to continue his high level of performance once the 2017 season kicks off.

“We’re feeling good about the 2017 season,” said Wray.  “We won the Fall Final last year so we have some good momentum coming into the new season.  We have a good piece and we learned a lot last year as a team so I don’t see any reason why we can’t be just as good as we were.  We’re definitely excited to get started.”

Wray’s performance during the 2016 season was quite a turnaround from his rookie campaign in 2015.  During that season, Wray notched a win but he was only able to record 2 top-5 finishes.  Wray credits his improvement to a Jay Stuart chassis that his team purchased prior to the start of last year.

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Eric Berndt Ready to Challenge for SK Modified® Championship at Stafford

Stafford Springs, CT — With the 2017 season on the horizon at Stafford Motor Speedway, Cromwell native Eric Berndt is preparing to embark on his 23rd consecutive season of SK Modified® competition at the half-mile facility.  Berndt began his modified career in 1995 at the age of 16 and has been part of the SK Modified® landscape at Stafford ever since. 

Berndt has finished in the top-5 of the points standings 6 times in his career and the top-10 13 times.  He has recorded 6 consecutive top-8 finishes in the points standings and he is looking to build some consistency in order to capture his first career Stafford championship with his #66 Cos Williams owned Cos’ Central Auto / North End Auto Parts machine.

“We had a pretty good 2016 season so we’re hoping we can take some of what we had towards the end of the season with a couple of wins and build on that for a stronger 2017,” said Berndt.  “We’re looking to get out of the gate good because the first race of the season can be a make or break race. Last year we were in the top-4 and we lost an engine about a month and a half before the season ended and that kind of set us back.  We’re close, we just need to have a little more consistency.  You definitely don’t want to have to dig yourself out of a hole at the beginning of the year.  If we can have a good Sizzler and roll into some top-5’s from there, hopefully we can be a contender for the championship.”

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Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Returns as First Place Stafford Speedway Contingency Sponsor in SK Modified® and SK Light Divisions

Stafford Springs, CT — Dunleavy’s Truck and Trailer Repair of Brookfield will once again contribute a bonus to the winner of each SK Modified® and SK Light Modified feature at Stafford Speedway during the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season.  Dunleavy’s will provide a bonus of $150 for each SK Modified® feature winner as well as a $125 bonus for each SK Light feature winner.  With 17 races during the 2016 season, Dunleavy’s contributed $2,550 to SK Modified® feature winners and $2,125 to SK Light feature winners for a total of $4,675.

“I’ve always been a fan of the modifieds and Stafford has two exceptional modified divisions,” said Dunleavy.  “Both the SK Modifieds® and SK Lights are always exciting to watch.  It looks like the SK Lights will have a lot of new drivers moving up and the SK Modifieds® have a great field of cars so it should be another great season of excitement on the track in both divisions.”

The premier SK Modified® division provided a wide variety of recipients of the Dunleavy’s bonus last season with 8 different winners in 17 races.  SK Modified® champion Rowan Pennink led all drivers with 6 wins with Ted Christopher, Woody Pitkat, Eric Berndt, and Todd Owen all recording 2 wins.  Single feature winners were Keith Rocco, Dan Avery, and Glen Reen.  In the SK Light ranks, there were 6 different feature winners with SK Light champion Tony Membrino, Jr., leading the way with 7 wins.  Dan Wesson had 5 wins and Joey Ferrigno won twice with Joe Graf, Jr., David Arute, and Marcello Rufrano all winning a single feature.  Graf, Arute, and Rufrano were each rookie winners.

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DIRTcar Nationals Night Three Recap

Ruhlman Rallies for Second Career Gator Win
BARBERVILLE, FL – February 17, 2017 – Brian Ruhlman devised a perfect plot and forced Ken Schrader from his preferred line as he engineered a pass in the outside groove with two laps to go for his first win of the 46th Annual DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park on Thursday night.
After passing Schrader, the Clarklake, Mich. driver took the checkered flag by over two seconds for his second career Volusia win, extending his point lead in the week long chase for a Big Gator trophy.
Ruhlman started fourth in the 20-lap main event and ran second to the polesitter Schrader until he took advantage of a lap 17 restart. Ruhlman showed the nose of his No.49 to the inside of Schrader’s No.9 several times before the final restart on lap 17, which he revealed was a setup move to make the winning pass.
“Kenny’s a smart racer and he’s one of my heroes,” Ruhlman said in Victory Lane. “He was in the rubber and I had to get him out of the rubber to where I could pass him. I kept showing him the nose on the bottom so he would move down to the bottom, then I could roll the top [lane]. To say I shnookered Kenny Schrader is pretty cool.”

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Coming Up: ASCS Southern Outlaw Sprints Opener at East Bay Raceway’s King of the 360’s

TULSA, Okla. (February 16, 2017) The first nights of competition of the 2017 season for the American Sprint Car Series are just days away as the 154 plus race schedule that makes up the ASCS Nation kicks off at East Bay Raceway Park, located just outside Tampa, Fla., with the King of the 360’s and Ronald Laney Memorial.

The race is sanctioned with the Lucas Oil ASCS Southern Outlaw Sprints, which will see their second season of competition under the ASCS banner in 2017.

Taking place February 23 through February 25, the annual $10,000 to win event is attracting a stout list of competition. Among the entered is Terry McCarl.

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Evergreen’s “March Enduro Madness” Triple Crown Finale is Slated for March 18

St. Johns, PA (2/16/2017) Thanks to the support received from the first two of three “Triple Crown Series” events, it’s been a successful start to the 2017 season at Evergreen Raceway. The final leg of the series is slated for Saturday, March 18 and the first two events have been nothing short of exciting and entertaining.

The “Triple Crown Series” are points paying events. The top five finishers in each 4-Cylinder and 6/8-Cylinder Enduro will receive a payout and trophy, in accordance with Evergreen’s Enduro payout schedule, which is listed on their website.

Drivers will receive one point per position based on where they finish after tech inspection (one point per position. Ex: 20 cars, winner gets 20 pts, 2nd gets 19, etc).

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2016 First-Timers Plan to Continue Momentum into 2017

Mount Joy, Pennsylvania (February 16, 2017) – Three drivers concluded the 2016 Super Cup Stock Car Series with their first ever top 10 points finish. With a few months behind them to reflect on their results, each now have their sights set to learn from and improve toward 2017.

Trent Gossar’s 2016 season saw some career highs as well as some race weekend lows that took him out of contention for the overall championship. Best finishes of third at Columbus Motor Speedway and second at Lonesome Pine Raceway garnered the Markleville, Indiana driver the rookie of the year award.

“I think it was a pretty good season overall,” Gossar recapped. “We ran into a few problems, but I was happy with it.”
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DCRP & Longdale Speedway Working Together to Better Racing in the Region

DODGE CITY, Kan. (February 16, 2017) – In an era in which some racetracks seem to come and go on a frequent basis, the two most well-established tracks in the Northwest Oklahoma-Southwest Kansas region continue to work together to establish the stability and strength of racing in the area.

Dodge City Raceway Park in Dodge City, KS, and Oklahoma’s Longdale Speedway both rank as the premier dirt track racing facilities within their respective states.

Individually, both tracks have worked successfully to build solid regular programs along with special events.
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Utica-Rome Speedway Ready for Ambitious 2017 Schedule

VERNON, NY – After a 2016 season that saw Mother Nature take her toll on the Utica-Rome Speedway, owners Bill and Kim Shea are ready for a fresh start in 2017. The schedule for the speedway is jam packed with some new events as well as old as the track looks to diversify its offerings to reach a wider variety of race fans.

New for 2017 is the Chill Factor 40 for the Gates-Cole Auto Insurance DIRTcar Modifieds scheduled for April 2. This is one of the first events, if not the first, scheduled in New York for the Modified and 602 Sportsman divisions. The 40-lap feature offers a $3,000 to win purse with $300 going to drivers who qualify. Also on the docket that day is the DIRTcar 602 Sportsman. Their 30-lap feature is set to pay $1,000 to win with $100 reserved for any drivers that qualifies. Drivers from other divisions are welcome to attend with several open practice sessions scheduled throughout the day for them regardless of division. The nightcap for the race is the only appearance in 2017 by Kings Smash’em Crash’em Demolition Derby.

After the Chill Factor the speedway goes silent for two weeks before returning for the traditional season opener for the Gates-Cole Auto Insurance DIRTcar Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman and DIRTcar Pro Stocks on April 23. This year these divisions are joined by the Gladiator Twin 20’s for the 360 Sprint Cars. For first time at Utica-Rome, Sprint Car teams have the chance to compete in a pair of $1,500 to win 20-lap features. Rules and qualifying procedures for the event will be announced in the coming weeks. This visit by the 360 Sprint Cars is the first of many as Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints return for their traditional dates on Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day weekends while the 360 Sprint Car open Cole Cup is set for October.
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FOX Sports and NASCAR Productions Commemorate Jeff Gordon’s First Daytona 500 Victory in Original Documentary

Actor Luke Wilson Narrates Tonight’s “Beyond the Wheel” Short Film in One of Three Daytona-Themed Specials

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. and CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb. 16, 2017) –- In advance of the 59th annual Daytona 500, FOX Sports and NASCAR Productions have teamed up to deliver a rare behind-the-scenes look at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s first win in the “Great American Race” with an original film entitled “Refuse to Lose.” On the 20th anniversary of Gordon’s milestone triumph, the documentary takes viewers inside his journey to victory lane using never-before-seen footage of the No. 24 team captured in the 10 days leading up to the event.

Featuring interviews with Gordon and crew chief Ray Evernham, both executive producers on the project, the film premieres on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 10 p.m. ET immediately following FS1’s coverage of the Can-Am Duel at Daytona International Speedway.

“I forgot that Ray had secured a camera crew to document the No. 24 team heading into the 1997 Daytona 500,” Gordon said. “There is footage included in ‘Refuse to Lose’ that even I hadn’t seen before we started this project, and I think it helps paint the picture of why this team led by Ray was so successful – especially from 1995 to 1999.”

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Special Offer On Ernie Saxton’s Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News

Find Out Reasons Companies Get Involved in Sponsorship and it is Not Always Exposure; Special Two for One Offer on Ernie Saxton’s Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News

LANGHORNE, PA February 16, 2017 . . . “Most of the racers that we hear from about sponsorship still think that logos on the race car or media exposure are the main reasons for businesses getting involved in sponsorship,” said sponsorship expert Ernie Saxton. The latest edition of his Motorsports Sponsorship Marketing News newsletter offers an article penned by Kristin Swartzlander of that includes at least ten reasons why companies get involved in sponsorship and it is not always exposure.

Swartzlander includes increased brand loyalty, drive retail traffic and/or sales, entertain clients and a number of other reasons. Media exposure did not make the top ten.

Joe Verdegan offers a great article titled “Dealing With Social Media” and handling social media is becoming more important for racers and event organizers every day.
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Leilani Münter, Lone Female Driver, Bringing Vegan Message to Daytona

Daytona Beach, Florida (February 16, 2017) – A dream that has been five years in the making will become reality this weekend for environmental activist and race car driver Leilani Münter. Münter, in partnership with A Well-Fed World, will drive the first ever vegan-themed race car at Daytona International Speedway during the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season opener.

After spending several years pitching the idea to vegan companies, the break came last summer during Münter’s acceptance speech of the Vegan Athlete of the Year Award at the Animal Rights National Conference in Los Angeles.

“I talked about how I have this dream of bringing vegan food to the race track and exposing it to this whole new demographic of people, especially because I’ve had some success getting my race team to open up to vegan foods,” Münter said of the speech.

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NASCAR Unveils Enhanced Format Stage Lengths for All Three National Series

Fuel Mileage, Tire Wear Among Determining Factors for Lap Counts

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2017) –- NASCAR today announced the 2017 stage lengths for each race in all three of its national series. A number of factors went into determining the lap count for Stage 1, Stage 2 and the Final Stage of each race, with a singular goal in mind – the best racing for NASCAR fans.

“Every track is unique for its characteristics in length, surface, and overall racing conditions,” said Scott Miller, NASCAR senior vice president of competition. “We worked closely with race teams on expected fuel and tire runs over the entirety of an event when considering stage lengths. And in the end, stage lengths were decided based upon what would provide the best race for fans.”

Last week, NASCAR announced the stage lengths for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season-opening DAYTONA 500 (Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). For the Great American Race, the stages are scheduled to end on lap 60, lap 120 and lap 200.

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Red Bull GRC to Open 2017 Season in Memphis

Memphis International Raceway to Host Season Opener April 28-29

Los Angeles, CA — The 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross season will kick off with a brand new event at Memphis International Raceway. Taking place on Friday, April 28 and Saturday, April 29, the new event will represent the first of 12 rounds on this year’s championship schedule.

“We’re looking forward to bringing wheel-to-wheel Red Bull GRC action back to Tennessee with our new partners at Memphis International Raceway,” said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne. “Memphis is a perfect host city for our 2017 kickoff round, as our teams get back to action after an exciting offseason and start the chase for our next title.”

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February 2017
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