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HScott Motorsports PR
If you have time on your hands in May and are looking for something to do, the 600 Festival Association™ has got it covered.
From some of the top musical acts in the nation to a family-friendly movie to race cars, drivers and big rigs, the 600 Festival offers up many entertainment opportunities in the Charlotte region during May.
“It is going to be an amazing month of May for everyone in this region,” said Jacqueline Gafrarar, executive director of the 600 Festival. “The 600 Festival has so many events again this year that it’s going to be great for locals and for the thousands of fans who come to town for the races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.”
For more than 31 consecutive years, the 600 Festival has led the area in celebrating the May racing events at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The 600 Festival kicks off May 6 with Movies on the Campus, a family-friendly, free affair in Kannapolis. The event, in conjunction with Jiggy with the Piggy, is featuring Disney’s “Cars 2” on the big screen starting at 8 p.m.
Two weeks later on May 19, it’s Haulers on Union Parade & Fan Fest, the annual parade of NASCAR big rigs through downtown Concord on the way to Charlotte Motor Speedway. And like any parade, there is much more, including live music from beach music icons The Tams and country music artists Acoustic South, celebrity appearances, mascots, games and show cars.
The scene shifts to Mooresville and the GoPro Motorplex on May 24 for the ENEOS Little 600 go-kart extravaganza, featuring topNASCAR drivers going head-to-head in go-karts. The ENEOS Little 600 will have a similar entry list as years prior that included Kyle Larson, Kasey Kahne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Joey Logano, Michael McDowell, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Blaney, Trevor Bayne and many more. There also will be a race between spotters, the eyes-in-the-sky for drivers, as they take the wheel to race peers.
Circle K and Kangaroo Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola opens its three-day run in Uptown Charlotte May 26 as the streets come alive with NASCAR’s top Sprint Cup drivers such as Joey Logano, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch, show cars, interactive displays, kids’ events, food vendors and much more.
Sol Fusion and the Voltage Brothers will offer up the sounds of rhythm and blues, beach music, soul and funk on the Mello Yello stage Thursday, May 26 for a free concert.
Chris Young, who has seven number-one singles and is currently on the charts in a duet with Cassadee Pope, and country icon Montgomery Gentry will be on the Coca-Cola stage Friday, May 27. Twenty-four hours later, sibling group The Band Perry, owner of a Grammy Award and a multitude of gold and platinum records, will be in the spotlight on the Coca-Cola stage along with North Carolina’s own Kellie Pickler. Tickets for the May 27 and 28 shows are $15 for each night.
Bright and early on Saturday, May 28, runners will hit the streets of Uptown Charlotte for the PNC Speed Street 5K, which begins on Tryon Street and ends at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
600 Festival PR
Tom Hessert Earns Pole Award & Finishes 4th in General Tire 200, Sargeant Impresses in Superspeedway DebutWritten by Steven B. Wilson Sunday, 01 May 2016 17:21
For the second consecutive week, Venturini Motorsports (VMS) drivers turned in strong performances in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
Tom Hessert, driver of the No.25 RelaxWraps.com – Cometic Toyota, led the way for VMS’s trio of drivers during Friday’s series event at Talladega Superspeedway by capturing his third career Menards pole award and finishing fourth in the General Tire 200. Hessert’s pole award delivers VMS it’s 44th all-time in series competition.
Dalton Sargeant, making his first career superspeedway race, turned heads with a solid sixth place finish. In two series starts, Sargeant now has back-to-back top-10 finishes to go along with his third place finish in his series debut.
Mark Thompson, in his attempt to become the oldest driver to capture glory at Talladega, qualified and finished 21st driving his Phoenix Air sponsored Toyota.
The series will return to racing action for the annual running of the Menards 200 at Toledo Speedway on Sunday, May 22nd.
Hessert Earns Pole Award; Finishes Fourth in ARCA General Tire 200 at Talladega
Tom Hessert turned in another Talladega gem only to settle for a fourth place finish during Friday’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menard General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Hessert, driver of the No.25 RelaxWraps.com - Cometic Toyota, led a race high 23-laps, but came up short during one of the most exciting ARCA restrictor plate races in recent memory.
“What an awesome race,” said Hessert the Cherry Hill, NJ driver. “It was so racy out there today, kind of crazy! It was definitely the best speedway race we’ve (ARCA) had.”
“Today was frustrating because I had such a dominant car and led a lot of laps so to come away without the win hurts – but that’s racing. In the big picture we had a great points day for the 25 team. We stayed equal with some and gained on a lot of the guys in the standings.”
Hessert, who started the season at Daytona with a disappointing 28th place finish after cutting a tire late in the race, finished 12th at Nashville, but has rallied as of late, putting together back-to-back quality starts the last two series’ events – scoring a sixth place finish at Salem and a fourth place finish at Talladega.
“I’m happy for Pickle (Ryan London, No.25 crew chief) and all my guys on the crew, they’ve worked so hard this year without getting the results we deserve. We’re definitely starting to build momentum.”
Continuing a trend as a force to be reckoned with at restrictor plate races, Hessert, who won Talladega in 2014, ran out of fuel leading the race last year on the final lap, only makes the case stronger as a pre-race favorite when the series returns in 2017.
Dalton Sargeant Making the Grade with Strong Talladega Performance; Sixth Place Finish in Superspeedway Debut
After scoring a podium finish in his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut one week ago, Dalton Sargeant turned in another impressive performance, placing sixth in Friday’s General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway.
“Great learning experience for me today with a solid top-10 finish. I’m just thankful to have this opportunity and to have such great equipment underneath me,” said Sargeant after climbing out of his TRD-Windows 10 Toyota.
Sargeant, who qualified 19th, maintained his position during the early stages of the race but kept his composure and worked with his spotter and crew chief, Billy Venturini, to draft his way towards the front.
“I struggled a bit throughout the day - starting with qualifying towards the rear of the field, but I slowing worked my way up, caught a couple of good breaks, and had a chance to race up front near the end of the race. Nothing at all to be ashamed about.”
During the final stages of the race Sargeant competed for the top spot as the lead pack of cars raced down the Alabama Gang Superstretch on the back end of the 2.66 mile superspeedway. Without the help needed to clear the lead car he slipped back ultimately finishing in the sixth position.
“I’ll be a lot more prepared the next time I come to Talladega. I learned a lot, and working with Billy (Venturini) was a huge help in my first attempt at a plate race. He’s got so much racing knowledge and experience at these types of tracks which is really helpful at this stage in my career.”
Austin Cindric had the dream NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut at VIRginia International Raceway.
The 17-year-old muscled his way to victory over a charging Justin Haley to capture the checkered flag at the 2.250-mile road course and his first NASCAR victory.
Cindric, the son of Team Penske President Tim Cindric, started in the top position after winning the 21 Means 21 Pole Award earlier in the day. He battled Haley and Noah Gragson throughout the 55-Lap race for the lead and led a total of 29 laps.
The Mooresville, North Carolina, native also dominated the sole practice session of the day with a time of 87.792 seconds to almost break the track’s qualifying record set by Scott Heckert.
His trip to the winner’s circle marked the second consecutive trip for his team, Martin-McClure Racing. A team owned by NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Eric McClure and Hal Martin.
Haley and Austin Theriault finished second and third consecutively, while Kyle Benjamin and Ronnie Bassett Jr. rounded out the top five.
Hunter Baize, Jairo Avila Jr., Ruben Garcia Jr., Brian Henderson and J.P Morgan completed the top 10.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to action on May 30 at Virginia’s Dominion Raceway.
Kyle Weatherman, driver of the Lira Motorsports No. 58 St. Charles Glass Ford Fusion, avoided several multi-car crashes and survived to a top-15 finish on Friday in the General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
Expected to be a championship contender at the start of the season, Weatherman knew he simply needed to escape Central Alabama with a top-15 and succeeded with a 12th place run.
Running inside the top-10 on the final restart, Weatherman pulled out to the outside line with teammate Sheldon Creed. They received no help on the top line and it cost them several positions, but Weatherman was pleased with the result.
“I had a lot of fun this weekend with my Lira Motorsports team,” Weatherman said. “We had a strong run this weekend. We started 15th and finished 12th. We had some over-heating issues that held us back a bit, but all-in-all, it was a successful day.”
On the final restart, Weatherman followed his teammate Creed to the top line in hopes that they could get some drafting help on the back straightaway to move to the front of the pack.
“Working with Sheldon is a lot of fun. Having a teammate that has your back no matter what and someone you can trust to go with you is vital. I think we could have done a few spots better, but all-in-all, had a good points day and the car is still in one piece,” Weatherman said.
Weatherman credits his crew chief, Sam Schram, with a lot of his successes so far this season.
“Sam and I worked really well together this weekend, and we are ready for Toledo in a few weeks. Every race Sam and I run together, we grow, learning from each other and trusting each other on calls and other strategies. I can’t thank him enough for being such a great crew chief and good mentor. My success wouldn’t be without him.”
Kyle would like to thank St. Charles Glass and Glazing, MOMO Motorsport, Fresh Water, TraqGear, Safecraft, and NexGen Fuels for being a part of his team. He also would like to thank Carlos and Amanda for allowing him to be behind the wheel of the No. 58 machine.
Lira Motorsports PR
Lira Motorsports driver, Sheldon Creed, driver of the No. 38 Safecraft Ford Fusion, secured a hard fought top-15 in his superspeedway debut, finishing in the 14th position on Friday in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards’ General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Creed overcame a pit road penalty on lap 45 and spent much of the day in the top-15 just learning how a stock car operates in the draft.
“The day went by slow because we didn’t have a great pack to work with in practice or qualifying, but once the race came along, I really just tried to stay out of trouble and play around with some air to see how you could run up on people and make a pass happen, so when the later laps of the race came, I could move forward,” Creed said.
After sitting in the top-15 for most of the day, Creed made his first trip down pit road, but was penalized for pitting too soon.
“We came in at the time the yellow came out, so when we went back green, I had to go to the back of the pack. We made quick work back to the front and had a good position on the last restart.”
On the final restart, while sitting in the top-10, Creed decided to take it three-wide along with his teammate Kyle Weatherman, but nobody decided to work with them which caused them to fall back into the pack.
“We tried our hardest to make the top line work, but we ended up falling back and a yellow ended the race early, but we are still happy with where we finished for our first superspeedway race. The guys gave me a really fast car.”
Being his first superspeedway start, Creed’s mindset was “to go out and win, but avoid the ‘Big One’.” He didn’t know what to expect other that what others had told him. Talladega was a huge learning lesson for Creed, and a successful one at that.
Creed would like to thank his sponsors Safecraft, Double D Meat Co., NexGen Fuels, RTL Equipment Rental, Traxxas, MOMO Motorsport, and TraqGear for jumping on board of the No. 38 machine this weekend.
Lira Motorsports PR
General Tire 200
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Shane Lee PR
Gus Dean, driver of the No. 98 GREE Chevrolet for Mason Mitchell Motorsports (MMM) earned his first career ARCA win in the General Tire 200 at the 2.66 mile Talladega Superspeedway.
The Bluffton, South Carolina native selected the outside line for the afternoon’s final restart coming with four to go. Veteran Tommy Hessert gave Dean a big push down the backstretch pulling him even with Josh Williams. A wreck behind the leaders would end the race and send the ARCA officials to the video monitor which declared Dean as the race winner.
“I can’t thank GREE and Mason Mitchell Motorsports enough, they gave me a second chance and we didn’t disappoint,” Dean stated in victory lane.
“We had a top notch car all day long in practice, qualifying and the race. It got pretty wild towards the end, especially on the final restart but we were able to stay out of trouble and end up in victory lane.”
“Mason and the team made an excellent pit call during our only pit stop. We lost a little bit of track position and had to comeback through the field. We worked the draft right and everything aligned for us to go to victory lane”
Dean qualified second for the fourth ARCA race of the 2016 season and positioned himself up front all afternoon long before capturing the win.
The race ended three laps early due to severe weather approaching the track.
In February at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) Dean’s ARCA debut lasted a mere two laps as he was caught in the “big one.”
The win comes in only Dean’s second career ARCA Racing Series event and his first race with new marketing partner GREE. Dean led 21 laps en route to victory. The win also marks the first restrictor plate win for third year team Mason Mitchell Motorsports.
The ARCA Racing Series will have two weekends off before heading to ARCA’s home-track, the Toledo Speedway located in Toledo, Ohio for the Menards 200. The race will be live on the American Sports Network beginning Sunday, May 20th at 2:00 p.m. EST. Arcaracing.com will have live timing and scoring for all on-track activity from the half-mile track.
Follow MMM on Social Media: To keep up-to-date with the latest, news, information and race updates, follow MMM racing’s twitter page @MMM_Race and “like” their facebook page at Mason Mitchell Motorsports. Also, follow Mason on his personal Twitter page @TheMasonRaci
Mason Mitchell Motorsports: Is a championship driver development team fielding multiple entries in the ARCA Racing Series and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series for the 2016 season. The team is based out of Mooresville, North Carolina. http://www.masonmitchellmotorsports.com
Gus Dean scored his first career ARCA Racing Series victory at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday in a very tight finish down the backstretch. Dean made his ARCA debut in the season opener at Daytona and ended his day after being involved in a crash. Today, Dean ended his day in the victory circle.
“The car obviously was a top notch car all day long as it got really hairy there towards the end,” said Dean in victory lane on FOX Sports 1 after the race. “Mason and those guys made an excellent pit strategy as they made an excellent pit call that really played out for us to come back through the field. “
With a caution on lap 56, and weather in the area, ARCA officials decided that if another caution flown before the checkered flag, that the race would be over. That happened as the caution would fly with four laps to go that involved a number of cars, and according to video, Dean was barely ahead of second-place finisher Josh Williams.
Williams nearly became the first repeat winner in the ARCA Racing Series in 2016. Williams, who scored the win earlier in the year at Nashville Fairgrounds, started the day in 14th behind the wheel of his No. 6 Musselman’s Apple Sauce Ford. The 22-year old Florida native holds 10 top five and 39 top 10 finishes through 85 ARCA Racing Series starts.
Williams spoke after the race about using the finish as momentum going into Toledo. “It’s really big for us. We’re a family owned team on a low budget and thankful for everyone helping us on this car,” said Williams on FOX Sports 1. “We’re gonna go win some more. I guarantee it.”
Finishing in third was Chase Briscoe in the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge. Briscoe came into the day looking to score his first career ARCA win in only his sixth career start. He now holds three top five and five top 10 finishes and leads the series points standings.
John Wes Townley had a good start in his No. 05 Chevrolet. However, unfortunately for him, a tire went flat in the opening laps after making contact with another car. He was forced to pit and was unable to rebound from there and went on to finish 29th out of 35 cars.
The next race for the ARCA Racing Series will be at Toledo Speedway on May 22 for the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care. Coverage of that race will air on the American Sports Network. Timing and scoring, along with audio, will be provided on ARCARacing.com.