Racing News

Racing News (6232)

Racing News from around the World

Of all the race tracks Dalton Sargeant has raced throughout his young, yet expansive career, the 18-year driver puts Pocono Raceway amongst his favorites of all-time.

Looking to parlay one of his favorite tracks into success, Sargeant is confident in his ability heading into this weekend’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards return to Pocono for Friday afternoon’s ModSpace 150.

Sargeant, who earned a fourth-place finish back in June during his first appearance at Pocono, believes the experience gained earlier in the season will provide him with the edge needed to improve this second time around. “I can’t wait to go back. I learned so much my first time and have studied film from the first race to see where I can improve. I’m looking forward to taking my experience back to Pocono and coming out with a better result,” said Sargeant.

“It’s such a unique track. Pocono teaches drivers a little bit of everything. It carries so much speed and you have to learn to take care of your car. It has three different corners so you have to learn three different entry points and three different exit strategies. Every track is challenging but Pocono demands the ultimate concentration. The smallest adjustments one way or another around the track makes all the difference.”

Running all but five ARCA series events on this year’s schedule, Sargeant has already competed in nine of the series 12-events - posting six top-5 and eight top-10 finishes.

Pocono is one of two tracks (along with Salem Speedway) the ARCA Series visits more than once during the course of the 20-race season.

Sargeant will get his chance to improve and hopes to redeem last week’s disappointing finish, his first outside the top-10, when he returns to Pocono this week with his Venturini Motorsports prepared No.55 Toyota Racing Development – Windows 10 Toyota.

This week’s Pocono race also is the fifth leg of the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge. Sargeant and his No.55 team currently lead the tight battle by 15-points over Chase Briscoe and the No.77 Cunningham Motorsports team.

The General Tire Superspeedway Challenge, a championship within the overall season championship, is an accumulation of points from all of ARCA's Superspeedway events each year. This year's Superspeedway championship includes races at Daytona, Talladega, both Poconos, Michigan, Chicagoland, Kentucky and Kansas.

VMS PR

The Summertime Showdown 250 presented by The Grilling Store will be Quin Houff’s fourth career visit to Orange County Speedway with the CARS Super Late Model Tour. The 18-year-old driver from Weyers Cave, Virginia posted an 8th place finish there earlier this year in race #2 on the CARS Tour 2016 schedule. Last year at the track, which is a 3/8-mile oval banked 19° in the turns and 16° in the straightaways, Quin had finishes of 13th in his track debut in April, followed by a 4th place run last August. He qualified in the second and fifth positions, respectively, in last year’s events.

Quin’s fourth place finish at Orange County Speedway last August was the start of a CARS Super Late Model Tour top-ten finish streak for the Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) racer. To date, Quin has recorded nine straight CARS Tour top ten finishes, with five of those being top five finishes. His streak includes one win, at Southern National Motorsports Park in the season-opener this year. His average finishing position during this stretch has been an impressive 5.78.

“The team and I look forward to going back to OCS this weekend,” Quin stated. “It's a good track for us and we are in need of a good finish. Hopefully this go around, with a healthy driver and car, we can put together another win!” [Quin was battling a head cold and flu like symptoms in April during the race weekend at Orange County Speedway.]

This weekend’s race is a 125-lap event. The schedule at the Rougemont, North Carolina track includes three practice sessions on Friday afternoon, then practice sessions from 12:30-1:00pm and 1:40-2:10pm on Saturday. Qualifying is scheduled for 4:45pm Saturday afternoon. The CARS Tour signature ‘in-the-grandstands’ Fan Fest will run from 6:15-6:45, followed by the green flag for the Summertime Showdown 250 at 7:30pm.

Quin Houff PR

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East rookie driver Dominique Van Wieringen has been cleared by a board certified neurologist to return to competition after being involved in a vicious crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 16.  

Van Wieringen was involved in the hardest hit of her racing career 32 laps into the United Site Services 70, a crash that left the Rette Jones Racing (RJR) development driver shaken up.

After being evaluated and released from the infield care center at New Hampshire, and upon advice from NASCAR’s medical team, the Amherstburg, Ontario native sought a follow-up examination from her doctors who have monitored the 21-year-old driver closely since New Hampshire and gave her a clean bill of health on July 26.

Van Wieringen will return to the cockpit of her No. 28 Durobyte / NTI-UTI Ford Fusion in Friday night’s Casey’s General Stores 150 presented by Vatterott College at Iowa Speedway. She will make her debut at the 0.875-mile paved oval in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East / West combination race.

“I’m feeling great,” said Van Wieringen. “I want to thank everyone for all the calls, text messages and emails wishing me well. It really means the world to me. I take my health very seriously and I followed my doctor’s instructions to help me heal and be ready for Friday night’s race.

“We’ve been very fast this season, but we’ve been plagued by incredibly bad luck. I hope that’s over now and we can finish out the season with some great finishes.”

RJR PR

Chase Purdy returns to a track he has previously visited in CARS Late Model Stock Tour competition for the first time in his brief career this weekend during the Summertime Showdown 250 presented by The Grilling Store. In his last visit to Orange County Speedway in April, his second tour start, Purdy captured the first top ten finish of his CARS Tour career. Saturday’s event will be Purdy’s fifth career start in the series where he has already banked one top-five and two top-ten finishes against some of the fiercest competition in the country.

This will be Purdy’s second consecutive CARS Tour event after a career-best outing when the tour visited his weekly home track of Greenville-Pickens Speedway at the end of June. In that event, Purdy ran in the top five for most of the race until a cut tire late in the event forced him to pit and restart at the tail of the field with less than 25 laps remaining. In that short time, he was able to claw his way forward to his first career CARS Tour top-five finish.

"I’m looking forward to getting back to a race at Orange County with my Bama Buggies / Polaris No. 41 team,” Purdy stated. “The level of competition is very high in the CARS Tour, and hopefully we will have speed and a good outcome. We’re looking to build on our strong performance in June at Greenville Pickens."

Purdy’s racing schedule will be busy once again this week as it has been all summer. In addition to racing the CARS Tour event on Saturday, he also participated in the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Tuesday night. The Shootout features a full program of US Legends Cars competition where Purdy currently sits second in Pro division points after seven of ten events.

On Friday afternoon, Purdy climbs into his late model stock car for the first three sessions of practice at Orange County Speedway while his Saturday afternoon on-track time will include two half-hour practice sessions from 1:05-1:35pm and 2:15-2:45pm. CARS Late Model Stock Tour pole qualifying is scheduled for 5:30pm ET with driver introductions at 7pm. Purdy’s race is the second of two events scheduled for the evening and will follow the super late model contest which takes the green flag at 7:30pm ET. CARS Tour TV goes on-air at 7pm ET with flag-to-flag coverage of the event at www.carstour.tv.

To keep up with Chase Purdy’s racing endeavors, follow him on Twitter (@ChasePurdy12) and Instagram (@chase_purdy) for the latest updates. Watch for an announcement on Chase’s new website coming soon.

Chase Purdy PR

Cherry Hill, New Jersey’s Tom Hessert will make the short drive from his home outside Philadelphia to compete in this weekend’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards ModSpace 150 at Pocono Raceway.

The ModSpace 150 this Friday at Pocono marks Hessert’s 17th career start on the Pocono triangle. It’s also the 63rd time ARCA has visited the famed facility since 1983 and the second time this season.

In June during the series’ first season visit, Hessert and his No.25 Venturini Motorsports team gambled on pit strategy but was forced to make a late pit stop for fuel relinquishing their fifth place running position and ultimately settling for a 15th place finishing spot.

This week’s return to Pocono will undoubtedly come down to pit strategy once again as the race around the 2.5-mile ‘Tricky Triangle” is scheduled 20-laps/50 miles shorter than the Spring event.

“The second time around at Pocono is always a strategy race with the shorter mileage,” says Hessert. “Qualifying and track position will be very important this week. It’s a one (pit) stop race so staying up front will be the key to success.”

Hessert, with mixed results at Pocono over the course of his nine year career, has managed four top-5 and seven top-10 finishes with his best finish of third coming in 2014.

VMS PR

It’s become a tradition. Each summer the NASCAR K&N Pro Series teams from both of its East and West converge upon Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, and engage in a head-to-head battle. And though separate points will be handed out at the end of the Casey’s General Store 150 presented by Vatterott College on Friday night, make no mistake: this one’s about bragging rights.

There have been a total of 13 previous combination races at Iowa, with at least one race being held at the track each season since 2007, with the first seven overall winners coming from the East. As the two series converge on the biggest stage of the season for K&N Pro Series teams, Justin Haley holds a commanding 40-point lead over Kyle Benjamin in the East standings, while Ryan Partridge nurses a slim three-point cushion over Todd Gilliland in the West.

Since 2012, when Corey LaJoie won at Iowa to lead a charge of East teams sweeping the top eight positions, the West has rebounded in a big way. West teams have won three of the last six combination events at the .875-mile, D-shaped oval, capped by a dominant 2015. Driving for West series staple Bill McAnally Racing, Brandon McReynolds won both of the races at Iowa last season from front row starting positions.

If that wasn’t enough to show the playing field at Iowa has been leveled, the battles behind McReynolds certainly were. Three of the top six finishers in this race a year ago were West drivers, while the previous visit to the track earlier in the season produced three of the top seven at the checkered flag representative of the West.

NASCAR PR

This race weekend at Pocono Raceway marks the first anniversary of the Fanatics Trackside Superstore – the reimagined and improved at-track shopping experience. The Trackside Superstore offers fans a one-stop-shop every race weekend with the largest selection of in-store NASCAR merchandise in the world – bar none.

Ranking

Driver

1

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

2

Jimmie Johnson

3

Kyle Busch

4

Chase Elliott

5

Kevin Harvick

6

Tony Stewart

7

Danica Patrick

8

Carl Edwards

9

Brad Keselowski

10

Kasey Kahne

11

Joey Logano

12

Denny Hamlin

13

Matt Kenseth

14

Martin Truex Jr.

15

Kurt Busch

16

Kyle Larson

17

Ryan Newman

18

Austin Dillon

19

Ryan Blaney

20

Jamie McMurray

Halfway through 2016, photo finishes, side-by-side racing and record passing as the Chase spots are clinched has driven interest in the telecast and engagement on digital and social as well as in driver merchandise sales. NASCAR fans take pride in flying the colors of their favorite drivers and the first-half merchandise sales results are officially tallied. The top three drivers are no surprise with Dale Earnhardt Jr. leading the rankings, followed by six-time Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and defending champion Kyle Busch.

With rising stars like Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, there are currently five drivers in the top-20 list who are 26 years of age or younger.

With six top-five finishes and two poles this season, Elliott continues to be one of the top three drivers in sales increases each race weekend and ranks fourth overall in full-time driver sales. Elliott’s sales have nearly quadrupled in his rookie year, making him the youngest driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history to rank among the top-five in trackside merchandise sales. Also up from last season is Blaney, who is now a top-20 selling full-time driver and has more demand than ever racing in the iconic No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion.

"I see more fans wearing No. 21 gear than ever before and it’s cool to see them cheering on our team," said Blaney, driver of the No. 21 Ford Fusion. "There is nothing like seeing someone wearing your shirt or your hat and knowing they bought that because they are a fan. And the Trackside Superstore makes it an easy, one-stop shop for everyone to find your gear. It’s been a great addition to our sport."

With its flexible footprint, Fanatics has capitalized on defining moments from Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Tony Stewart – all with positive sales trends in 2016. Kyle Busch also experienced substantial gains of nearly 80 percent in sales since his comeback last summer and subsequent championship run.

The most popular products available at the Trackside Superstore include apparel, headwear and novelty items. Lionel’s 1:64 scale die-casts are up 77 percent year-over-year, one of the largest growth trends across all categories at the Trackside Superstore.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will hit the track this weekend at Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 400 on Sunday, July 31 at 1:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and MRN.

NASCAR PR

Mason Mitchell Motorsports (MMM) rookie driver Gus Dean will make his fourth ARCA start of the 2016 ARCA season Friday evening at the Pocono Raceway in the ModSpace 150. He will pilot the No. 98 GREE Cooling Products Chevrolet.

Dean has exceeded expectations in his limited starts in 2016. In four starts, Deans earned one win (Talladega) and three top-10 finishes. The win at Talladega in May came in only his second career ARCA start with MMM.

“I’ve really enjoyed racing in the ARCA Series in 2016,” Dean stated. “The series has great competition and I feel like I have learned a lot as a driver this season.”

“We had a great test here in June and I learned a lot about the track. Every corner is different and challenging in its own way. I can’t thank GREE enough for their support in 2016. Without them I wouldn’t be here. I know we will give them a great showing Friday evening.”

Last Time Out: Dean made his second short track start of the 2016 season at LOR driving the No. 78. After starting in 15th, Dean worked his way as high as seventh before crossing the stripe in the ninth spot for his third top-10 of 2016.

MMM has seven starts at the “Tricky Triangle” earning one pole (August 2014), three top-five’s and five top-ten finishes. The teams best finish came in June 2014 where Mason Mitchell earned a runner-up finish.

Chassis Information: Dean will be behind the wheel of chassis No. 593 out of the MMM stable. The chassis has nine starts most recently earning a ninth place finish with Dean behind the wheel at the Lucas Oil Raceway. The chassis has one win (Chicago 2014), four top-five’s and seven top-10 finishes.

Practice for the ModSpace 150 is from 9:30 to 10:55 Friday morning July 29, with Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 2:00 p.m. The Friday late afternoon ModSpace 150 is live on FS1 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern. All on-track activity will be featured in live Timing & Scoring and live Chat at arcaracing.com

MMM PR

Fans have come to expect great entertainment on and off the track and that’s exactly what they will get this weekend at “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet!” Attendees will notice several fresh features associated with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) principles, a priority area for the State of Iowa, NASCAR and the Speedway, as well as the return of many fan-favorites, including the Post-Race Party on the frontstretch and the NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series for the 2016 season finale.

Tickets for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Casey’s General Stores 150 presented by Vatterott College and the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 can be purchased at www.IowaSpeedway.com or by calling 866.787.8946. Here’s a list of what fans can expect during Iowa Speedway’s STEM-themed weekend:

ROBOCARS – A One-of-a-Kind Combination
As part of Iowa Speedway’s continuing efforts to promote STEM in fun and engaging ways, ROBOCARS will be on site both Friday and Saturday to entertain fans with their expertly engineered costumes. These unique “convertibles” transform from robots into aerodynamic vehicles and use their impressive motorized wheels to speed around. This popular group has appeared on “Shark Tank,” “American Idol” and “Let’s Make A Deal”.

Lincoln Electric VRTEX 360 Virtual Reality Welding Training
Just as elite NASCAR drivers utilize simulators to refine their skills on the track, welders use them to efficiently improve their touch, as well. This weekend at Iowa Speedway, fans can try their own hands at both as  the Lincoln Electric VRTEX 360, an educational training system that uses virtual reality to train welders, joins the racing simulators above Turn 1 in the concourse. 

Team Neutrino – First Robotics Team
The game has changed and today’s high school students are leading the science, technology and engineering charge. This weekend some of the most innovative high school students from Story County will be at the track showcasing their technical prowess! These “Grade A” 4-H students work alongside mentors to solve robotics problems and learn more about today’s engineering challenges. They’re responsible for everything from marketing and fundraising to the actual construction itself. All of this work is aimed toward building a robot able to compete in “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” (FIRST) Robotics Competition events. Along with other youth and STEM focused activities, Team Neutrino will be stationed above Turn 1 on the concourse.

Post-Race Party on the Frontstretch Featuring Tim Dugger
If the “E” in STEM stood for “entertainment”, Iowa Speedway would be at the forefront of educational innovation. A prime example of the sort of improved experience the Speedway prides itself on is the annual Post-Race Party on the Frontstretch. Now in its third year, the party was the first of its kind and an immediate fan favorite, as it delivers emotion and excitement to close out the season.

Every fan in attendance at the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250 will be able to make their way down to the recently raced, ten degree banked, frontstretch of Iowa Speedway, for driver appearances and music from country artist, Tim Dugger. Party goers will also have an opportunity to win prizes and giveaways, dine on a pork sandwich compliments of Iowa Pork Producers, and grab a drink as they party “under the lights.”

NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series presents Snake Oil
The NAPA Auto Parts Concert Series brings its final act of the 2016 season to town, following racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Casey’s General Stores 150 presented by Vatterott College. Fans can visit the Pork Party Pavilion overlooking Turn 4, to take in the sights and sounds of a rock experience that’s sure to make them feel alive. Fans won’t want to miss the hair rock, melodic rock, metal and classic rock performance by Snake Oil. The band is known for bringing a unique experience to fans, that is always LOUD and in your face like the rock shows of yesteryear!

Fourth Annual Mascot Day at Iowa Speedway
Come spend time face to face with some of the region’s best mascots, including representatives from Iowa State, the University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa and Drake University. They’re excited to meet fans and pose for selfies on Saturday, July 30, before the NASCAR XFINITY Series U.S. Cellular 250. All participating mascots will also partake in an autograph and photograph session on Saturday at the Crash Course Display above Turn 1 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. CT.

“Runnin’ Wide Open” Backyard BBQ Competition
Join Iowa Speedway and the Iowa BBQ Society for the first annual “Runnin’ Wide Open” Backyard BBQ competition taking place near the Pork Party Pavilion, above Turn 4, on Saturday, July 30. The top ten winners in each category will square off for a $500 grand prize and bragging rights around the World! The meat for the competition was generously donated by the Iowa Pork Producers, which means each entrant will be starting off with a great piece of meat!

Signature food
Iowa Speedway, along with concession partner Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, will showcase the Track’s evolving palate with 2016’s signature food one more time this season. These tasty, if not always tasteful, expressions of Iowa Speedway are the latest offerings in a series of signature food options that debuted in 2014. This year’s editions include:

·       The Commitment Cone – A waffle cone filled to the brim with eggs, potatoes and bacon, skewered by a pancake-battered sausage-on-a-stick. This is a meal for those who demand attention and have no problem standing out in a crowd

·       Scoring Pile-On – Layer after layer of food, piled high in a mason jar, modeled to look like a sundae... This “Iowa Speedway-ification” of a hot-beef-sundae includes pulled pork, mashed potatoes and corn, topped with a cherry tomato and cheese

·       Engine Block – A sweet and savory sandwich that features a pork tenderloin and slice of cheddar cheese between two apple fritter “buns.” A marriage made in heaven… aka Iowa

#ThisIsMySpeedway
Continued from previous years, fans will once again be encouraged to use the hashtag #ThisIsMySpeedway on social media to tell their stories of the weekend. As part of Iowa Speedway’s promotion of the multitude of ways fans make race weekend at “The Fastest Short Track on the Planet” their own, the #ThisIsMySpeedway hashtag is a social media rallying point for those who love the Speedway. By using the hashtag in social media posts, fans may check out what else is happening around the track and share their experiences through photos, videos or messages and even get lucky enough to be featured on the IowaSpeedway.com social media wall.

Returning Favorites
Look for all of your favorite attractions from the first two weekends at Iowa Speedway, including racing simulators, laser tag, bags tournament, Crash Course 2.0, beer garden, oversized games and all the other ways the Speedway makes sure fans can enjoy the high life!

Iowa Speedway PR

Finchum and Fontaine Take on Iowa

Written by
Published in Racing News
Tuesday, 26 July 2016 12:37
MMR will be fielding two entries this weekend at Iowa Speedway for the Casey's General Store 150. Located in Newton, IA, Iowa Speedway is .875 mile high-banked oval. This track hosts elite touring series such as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Xfnity Series. This week, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will meet up in the yearly East meets West showdown. This race also marks the first anniversary of the MMR organization and as competitors in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

Chad Finchum will be returning to Iowa Speedway making his second start at the track. Finch will pilot the No. 33 Reynolds Wrap Toyota Camry making his third start in the 2016 race season. Last year, in his first appearance at Iowa Speedway with the MMR team, Finchum was in position for a top-10 finish but a right-front tire issue halfway through the race took him out of top-10 contention. This season, Finchum has competed in two events where he placed in 1st and 14th positions respectively. Finchum will be under direction of veteran Crew Chief, Chris Carrier for this race event. 

Justin Fontaine will be making his third start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East as well as his first start at Iowa Speedway driving the No. 75 Promatic Automation Toyota Camry. Fontaine will compete under the direction of veteran Crew Chief, Bruce Cook. This will be Cook's first race with the MMR organization. To date, Fontaine has competed in two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East events with the MMR organization where he finished in 13th and 18th positions respectively.

MMR PR
Page 1 of 446