Speedway Digest Staff
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Tobias Dauenhauer (22) came, saw and conquered. A dream start in the hard-fought NASCAR Whelen Euro Series for the young German from the Odenwald region. In the first race at Vallelunga near Rome in Italy, he achieved something no other driver anywhere in the world had done before. With his 400 hp strong Ford Mustang V8, excellently prepared by Dutch team, Hendriks Motorsport, he posted the fastest time of all 19 drivers in practice, ended up fastest in qualifying, drove the fastest race lap and scored a commanding win in his maiden race . And he delivered exactly the same achievement with fastest time in qualifying, fastest race lap and victory in the second race, too. And the icing on the cake: he became the first German racing driver to win a NASCAR race, never mind two! What a display! “I am simply lost for words, I wouldn't have thought about this even in my wildest dreams,” he tried to express his feelings while remaining humble after this overwhelming success in Italy.
It all started back in November 2019 during Tobias Dauenhauer's first test at the track of Fontenay le Comte in France. In the presence of NASCAR Whelen Euro Series boss Jérôme Galpin and Roy Hendriks, team principal of the 2019 championship-winning team, his extraordinarty skills already became apparent after his first miles at the rain-soaked track. He was one of the best drivers right away!
After two days of testing, Roy Hendriks and his new sponsor RZ-Oil immediately signed Dauenhauer, a car technician by profession, for the 2020 season. Delighted by this praise and support, Dauenhauer started his preparations for the 2020 season.
But then, Covid-19 got in the way. Some races were postponed, others were canceled altogether. As a result, it was only at Vallelunga in September that Dauenhauer was able to compete in his first race - with an outcome he had never expected himself. “During test sessions at Hockenheim and Zolder, I first had to get used to the equipment: no driver aids, no ABS, pure racing! Here, it is the driver rather than the technology that decides about victory or defeat. "
Tobias Dauenhauer's career path is identical to that of famous compatriots like Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, with karting as the first step.
2006, he started in kart slaloms and successfully continued with kart racing: he collected national and international championship wins like other collect autograph cards. He racked up no less than 13 championship titles and scored podium finishes in world championship rounds prior to making the step to touring car racing in 2016.
He successfully raced Porsches, BMWs, a Renault Mégane and was able to get his first experience in GT racing with an Audi GT3 in the legendary 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in 2018. And now a pair of wins in the 2020 Euro NASCAR series at Vallelunga in Italy.
What a successful journey for a racing driver who wants to become a professional. As the leader in the
NASCAR Whelen Euro Series drivers' standings, Tobias Dauenhauer will be heading to Zolder (B) where the next round will take place on 3 and 4 October.
Tobias Dauenhauer PR
The National Motorsports Appeals Panel today heard and considered an appeal of a behavior penalty issued on Sept. 10 to Mike Wallace.
The penalty concerns the following sections in the 2020 NASCAR Rule Book: Sections 12.1.a General Procedures; 12.8.e NASCAR Member Conduct; 12.8.1.e Member Conduct Guidelines.
The original penalty assessed: Wallace was indefinitely suspended from NASCAR and must perform sensitivity training as directed by NASCAR.
Upon hearing the testimony, the decisions of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel are:
- The Appellant violated the Rules set forth in the Penalty Notice.
- The Panel affirms and upholds the original Penalty assessed by NASCAR.
The panel consisted of the following three individuals:
- Mr. Dixon Johnston
- Mr. Bill Lester
- Mr. Kevin Whitaker
The Appellant has the right to appeal the decision of the National Motorsports Appeals Panel to the National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer in accordance with Section 15 of the NASCAR Rule Book.
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 10 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in the NASCAR Cup Series, continued his career-best season last weekend when he secured his sixth top-five finish of 2020 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and advanced in the NASCAR Playoffs to the Round of 12 for the second time in his career.
His six top-five finishes surpass his previous best of four in a season in 2018. In addition, his 288 laps led is a career-high for a season, and his 17 top-10 finishes tied his season-best. While a win in 2020 still has eluded the No. 10 Ford team, the goal for Almirola is to race for a championship – the ultimate high point of any Cup Series driver’s career.
“This year has been like no other,” Almirola said. “The chemistry of this team is unmatched and the results are showing it. To have the best year of my career with a brand new crew chief says a lot. The first time we visited Las Vegas (site of Sunday’s South Point 400) we were still working through our communication. It was the second race of the year with a new crew chief and driver combination and we’re coming back 28 races later with a solid championship-caliber team.”
Almirola is not only optimistic due to the season stats he’s racked up, but applauds NASCAR for giving the drivers and fans a playoff schedule that crowns a champion utilizing all track configurations.
“You can’t just be good at your short-track program or your 1.5-mile program or superspeedway program,” he said. “It all has to be good. I think that is really, when you crown a champion, what you want to identify. You want to crown somebody who has been successful at every different type of racetrack throughout the year. Incorporating that into the playoffs is awesome.”
Almirola has run toward the front of the field this year at every kind of track. At intermediate-style tracks like Las Vegas, Almirola has six top-10s. And when the series races next week at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, it marks a return to Almirola’s first top-three of the season – a third-place drive in June where he crossed the finish line backward upon spinning while vying for the lead. That result tied the record of eight consecutive Talladega top-10s set by Dale Earnhardt Jr., between April 2001 and October 2004. If that front-running consistency can be repeated, it should set Almirola up well for the next cutoff race Oct. 11 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway Roval – where a solid points cushion can mitigate the adversity that seems omnipresent on the Roval’s tight and circuitous layout.
While Almirola and the team continue their journey to reach their career high point, HighPoint.com, a leading customer service and technology solutions company, will sponsor Almirola’s No. 10 car at Las Vegas with a slick blue, black and white paint scheme for the first time this year.
It’s a proper partnership, as Almirola is one of the more tech-savvy drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series. Even before COVID-19 led to remote competition meetings via Microsoft Teams and countless media availabilities by way of Zoom, Almirola managed life via his phone and laptop.
“It’s amazing how much we rely on technology to help manage our lives,” he said. “You kind of take it for granted until you step back and realize the complexity of it all. And when it comes to what we do at Stewart-Haas Racing, the mechanical parts and pieces we use out on the racetrack don’t work as well if the IT isn’t there to support our efforts. Everything we do is engineering-based and measured in thousandths. Tape measures are long gone. It’s all about IT.”
Technology has played an increased role in 2020, with no practice or qualifying in advance of races during this COVID-19 era. Almirola and the No. 10 have embraced this brave new world and thrived, with a win being the next item on their to-do list. Las Vegas loves winners, so Almirola and the No. 10 HighPoint.com team are in the right place.
It may be an Olympic year without an Olympic Games, but Daniel Suárez and his No. 96 Team USA Toyota Camry for Gaunt Brothers Racing (GBR) will be competing with the Olympic spirit during Sunday’s South Point 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
While the COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of Tokyo’s XXXII Olympiad and the 16th Summer Paralympic Games until 2021, Toyota is showcasing its proud partnership of Team USA during this weekend’s Cup Series race. The Olympic-themed paint scheme on Suárez’s Toyota features logos on the deck lid of 17 U.S. national governing bodies and high performance management organizations, whose journeys to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo and beyond have been extended by a year.
As Suárez and his single-car No. 96 Team USA Toyota team return to the scene of their very first points-paying race together last February, they’ll also be paying tribute to the memory of a young cancer victim as part of this year’s Nominate a Cancer Hero program in partnership with the Martin Truex Jr., Foundation and the NASCAR Foundation. The name of 13-year-old Annie Jo Williams of Henderson, Nevada, will replace Suárez’s above the driver-side door of the No. 96 Team USA Toyota. Williams lost her battle with liver cancer on Aug. 21. She will be remembered by family and friends as a brave young girl and a forever hero.
“Daniel Suárez was her favorite driver,” said her father, Derek Brennan. “The last three races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, she had us bring him gifts and cards from her. He was always gracious and happy to receive her presents from us. It made her so happy. We can’t thank him enough for the memories. This is a wonderful way to remember her. She would just love it.”
Suárez hopes to deliver a solid result in this weekend’s 400-mile race on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas oval, where he recorded a 30th-place finish from the 35th starting position in February. It will be the seventh race on a mile-and-a-half track since then, and the team running its first full Cup Series schedule since joining NASCAR’s top ranks as a part-time team in 2017 has shown incremental improvement along the way. Suárez posted finishes of 26th, 23rd and 18th in his last three races on the 1.5-mile ovals at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The latter finish is tied with the 18th-place finish at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in July for the young team’s best of the season.
With the men and women of Team USA riding along in spirit, and the loving memory of a young cancer hero who left an impression on so many people, Suárez and the No. 96 Toyota team for GBR are sure to leave nothing on the table in the Nevada desert in their quest to post their best finish of the season.
The fifth night of the 2020 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series at All American Speedway is this Saturday night, serving as the penultimate round for the 66th season of stock car racing in Roseville, Calif. The Jaws Gear & Axle Limited Modifieds will chase after more than $1,250 in cash awards, joined by NASCAR Late Model twin mains, Super Stocks, F4s, Jr. Late Models, and Mini Cup/Bandoleros.
The seven main event card will be closed to the public due to COVID-19 guidelines, and will stream live at www.AllAmericanSpeedway.TV The SPEARS SRL Southwest Tour will make its second stop in the last five weeks to Roseville as well, with their JM Environmental-backed 127-lap event concluding the night at www.SpearsRacing.TV
Jason Philpot of Sacramento extended his Jaws Gear & Axle Limited Modified points lead when he snared the $500 to win round four on September 12. Philpot will look to add to his perfect season on Saturday night. The 30-lap feature also awards $200 for second, $100 for third, and $50 down to seventh position. Granite Creek Realty will pay $50 for the eighth, ninth, and tenth place finishers as well as a $100 Hard Charger.
Jaws Gear also offers a $50 bonus awarded to any team who travels more than 100 miles to compete.
NASCAR Div. 1 Late Model competition in Roseville sees Granite Bay’s Cole Moore leading Galt’s Matt Wendt by just 17 points. Moore has won four main events this year while Wendt has a single win. Reno’s Randy Hedrick swept the most recent event with fast-time and taking both twin main events. Two-time Madera Pro Late Model champion Matt Erickson is the other race winner in 2020. Aidan Daniels and Angelina Dempsey round out the top-five in the standings.
2019 champion Andrew Peeler has won three consecutive Super Stock races to lead Roseville’s Jill Schmidt by seven points. Roseville drivers Phil Wilkins and Andrew Kemp are next in the standings, ahead of Auburn’s Blake Disomma in fifth. Tim Walters of Dixon used a runner-up finish on September 12 to move to sixth in the points.
Roseville’s Ray Molina has begun to put some distance between himself and Nevada’s Rich Innis in his bid to defend his F4 championship. Jerry Nunes, Vic Theberge, and Rocklin’s John Sproule make up the rest of the top-five in the four-cylinder division.
Perhaps the closest championship battle will be in the Jr. Late Models in 2020, where Aidan Daniels of Fort Bragg enjoys a scant four-point lead over 2019 Bandolero champion Kenna Mitchell of Loomis. Daniels has won three times while Mitchell has a single win in her rookie campaign. Lane Anderson is arguably the laps led leader of the year but is still in search of a victory with Trey Daniels rounding out the standings.
The growing Mini Cup/Bandolero division will have its third race of the year with Bella Thomsen of El Dorado Hills on top of the championship. Auburn’s Colton Nelson, who splits his time with motorcycle racing, earned his first Mini Cup win in the most recent event.
For competitor information including rules, forms, and practice registration, visit www.AllAmericanSpeedway.com/
Friday practice gates open at 2pm with the track hot at 3:30 pm On Saturday, gates open at 10:00 am with practice beginning at 12:30 pm, followed by qualifying, with opening ceremonies at 5 pm. COVID-19 social distancing rules will be in effect for this competitor only event and sound rules will be strictly enforced.
All American Speedway wants to thank @the Grounds for their support along with partners such as Jaws Gear & Axle, JM Environmental, Sinister Diesel, and Riebes Auto Parts for making this season possible. Companies interested in supporting these events can contact All American Speedway at (916) 786-2025. Without competitor support and local community partners, these events would not take place.
2020 All American Speedway NASCAR Weekly Schedule
Subject to Change
Saturday, September 26 – SRL Southwest Tour + NASCAR Racing Late Model Twin, Jaws Gear Limited Modifieds ($500 to win), Super Stocks, F4, Jr Late Models, Bando/Mini Cup
Saturday, October 10 – NASCAR Weekly Late Model Twin, Jaws Gear Limited Modifieds ($500 to win), Super Stocks, F4, Jr Late Models, Bando/Mini Cup
Friday, October 23 – OCTOBER CLASSIC NAPA AUTO PARTS 125 ARCA Menards Series West PLUS Non-points weekly action for Jaws Gear Limited Modifieds ($550 to win), Super Stocks ($300 to win), F4 ($150 to win)
NASCAR Cash Points Fund:
Late Models - $3,500 - $2,000 - $1,200 - $1,000 - $800
Limited Mods - $1,000 - $800 - $500 - $400 - $300
Super Stocks - $700 - $400 - $350 - $300 - $250
F4s - $500 - $325 - $225 - $200
NBC Sports presents 2020 NASCAR Cup and Xfinity series races from Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend on NBCSN
NBC Sports continues its coverage of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs this weekend from Las Vegas Motor Speedway, headlined by Cup Series racing this Sunday night in primetime at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Pre-race coverage begins with the NASCAR America Pre-Race Show at 6 p.m. ET.
Saturday’s Xfinity Series coverage on NBCSN begins at 7 p.m. ET with the NASCAR America Pre-Race Show, followed by Countdown to Green and the wave of the green flag shortly after 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Round of 12 is finalized heading into Las Vegas, with Kevin Harvick continuing to lead the way following his win at Bristol last weekend.
2020 NASCAR CUP SERIES PLAYOFF STANDINGS
|Martin Truex Jr.||3016|
NBC SPORTS SURROUNDS MICHAEL JORDAN’S ENTRY TO NASCAR WITH PRE-RACE ESSAY BY BRAD DAUGHERTY, NASCAR AMERICA SPLASH ‘N GO AND JORDAN INTERVIEW ON NBCSPORTS.COM
Earlier this week, it was announced that NBA superstar Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500-winner Denny Hamlin will form a NASCAR Cup Series race team in 2021 featuring Bubba Wallace as its driver.
Sunday’s pre-race coverage on NBCSN will feature an essay from NBC Sports NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty, who is currently NASCAR’s only black team owner, competed against Jordan during his NBA career and was his teammate at the University of North Carolina. Pre-race coverage will also feature live interviews with Hamlin and Wallace.
NBC Sports NASCAR reporter Dustin Long spoke with Jordan on Wednesday to discuss his entry into NASCAR. Click here to read the entire piece. Following is an excerpt:
“It was one of those things, again, it’s always been on my mind,” Jordan said of NASCAR team ownership. “I go with my gut feeling. When the time is right you know it. When this was presented to me, I felt good about it. When Bubba was involved in the whole conversation I felt good about it… I love the sport. I was looking forward to an entry opportunity. This was the entry opportunity that was presented to me just the last 10 days.”
Earlier this week, Daugherty, Dale Jarrett, Kyle Petty, and Marty Snider spoke about Jordan, Hamlin and Bubba Wallace on the latest episode of NASCAR America Splash ‘N Go. Following are excerpts:
Daugherty on Jordan: “This is tremendous for our sport. To have someone like Michael Jordan – who’s not only a sports icon and a cultural icon – to come in and be an owner and be a part of NASCAR is a huge shot in the arm. It puts a lot of eyeballs on our sport and brings us back into the center of that bullseye… I look forward to trying to kick his butt on a weekly basis.”
Jarrett on Bubba Wallace: “I’ve had conversations with Bubba. He’s a very confident young man in his abilities and you need to have all of that and be all of that…but this is Michael Jordan that he is going to be under the microscope with all the time. A lot of stories are going to be led with not who won the race, but where did Bubba Wallace finish, and how did he perform...he will put himself in position to win some races.”
Petty on potential of team and Hamlin’s role: “It’s going to be interesting to see the longevity of this team…short-term it’s great, but long-term it can be a pinnacle moment in the sport…the last few years that I drove, I spent more time running Petty Enterprises than I did driving a car, and it took away from what I could do on the race track. It’s going to be hard if he has a leadership role, as long as he is in the seat…we don’t know the extent that Denny will be in there on a day-to-day basis.”
NASCAR CUP SERIES RACING FROM LAS VEGAS – SUNDAY AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
NBC Sports’ NASCAR pre-race host Krista Voda, auto racing icon Kyle Petty, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett will host NASCAR AMERICA pre- and post-race shows, as well as Countdown to Green.
NBC Sports’ lead NASCAR race announcer Rick Allen, 21-time Cup Series race winner and “The Mayor” of NASCAR Jeff Burton, two-time Daytona 500 Champion and recent NASCAR Hall of Fame selection Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Daytona 500-winning crew chief Steve Letarte will call the race from the broadcast booth at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
Brad Daugherty will serve as an on-site analyst while Marty Snider and Kelli Stavast will report from pit road. Dave Burns will also provide commentary from Charlotte.
XFINITY SERIES RACING FROM LAS VEGAS – SATURDAY AT 7:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
The Xfinity Series Playoffs begin this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway led by Chase Briscoe, who led the series with seven wins in the regular season, including the finale last weekend at Bristol, followed by Austin Cindric (five wins) and Justin Allgaier (three wins).
Allen, Earnhardt Jr., Burton and Letarte will call Saturday’s Xfinity race on NBCSN. Current Navy Reserve Lt. Commander and NASCAR Truck Series Driver Jesse Iwuji will join NBC Sports as driver analyst and reporter during the race alongside Snider and Stavast on pit road.
LARRY MCREYNOLDS FEATURED GUEST ON DALE JR. DOWNLOAD FRIDAY AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
Former NASCAR crew chief and current NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds is this week’s guest on the Dale Jr. Download Friday at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Produced on-site at Dirty Mo Media Studios in Mooresville, N.C., the Dale Jr. Download on NBCSN takes viewers couch-side for the taping of the motorsports icon’s weekly podcast, featuring unparalleled perspective, candid commentary, and insight that fans have come to expect from Dale Jr.
2020 PIT CREW ALL-STARS TO BE RECOGNIZED DURING NASCAR PLAYOFFS
During the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, NBC Sports will salute this year’s Pit Crew All-Stars. This group of unsung heroes - 16 in all, matching the 16 Playoff drivers - comes from the ranks of over-the-wall crew members, engineers, shop employees, hauler drivers, and/or team officials. Throughout the Playoffs, NBC will showcase the All-Stars’ stories, and what makes them and their abilities so special
MOTOGP CATALUNYA GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY AT 4:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
The 2020 MotoGP season continues on Sunday from Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with the Catalunya Grand Prix at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Maverick Vinales ended a seasonlong winless drought in MotoGP, winning the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after Francesco Bagnaia crashed while leading with seven laps to go. Andrea Dovizioso, who finished eighth, leads the championship by a point over Vinales and Fabio Quartararo.
LUCAS OIL PRO MOTOCROSS WW RANCH NATIONAL – SATURDAY NIGHT AT 12 A.M. ET ON NBCSN
NBC Sports continues its coverage of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 2020 campaign with the WW Ranch National this Saturday night at 12 a.m. ET on NBCSN Race announcer Jason Weigandt will call the event alongside analyst and two-time AMA Pro Motocross Champion Grant Langston, with Will Christien reporting from the pits.
In addition to coverage on NBC and NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold’s Pro Motocross Pass will super-serve Motocross fans everywhere with programming that includes live, commercial-free coverage of every Moto 1 and Moto 2 from each round.
IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP AT MID-OHIO – SUNDAY AT 11 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
NBC Sports presents IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship coverage from Mid-Ohio this Sunday night at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN following NASCAR coverage from Las Vegas. Live coverage will stream on TrackPass at 2 p.m. ET.
Leigh Diffey (play-by-play), former IMSA GT driver Calvin Fish (analyst), and motorsports veteran A.J. Allmendinger (analyst) will call the action Saturday. Dillon Welch and Parker Kligerman will provide reports from pit road.
Following is this week’s motorsports programming across NBC Sports:
|Fri., September 25||Dale Jr. Download with Larry McReynolds||8 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Sat., September 26||Xfinity Series – Countdown to Green||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR Xfinity Series Racing – Las Vegas||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Xfinity Series Post-Race||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Sun., September 27||Lucas Oil Pro Motocross – WW Ranch||12 a.m.||NBCSN|
|IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar – Mid-Ohio||2 p.m.||TrackPass|
|MotoGP – Catalunya Grand Prix||4:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR America Pre-Race Show||6 p.m.||NBCSN|
|Cup Series – Countdown to Green||6:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR Cup Series Racing – Las Vegas||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|NASCAR America Post-Race Show||10:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar – Mid-Ohio||11 p.m.||NBCSN|
NBC SPORTS’ NASCAR COVERAGE
NBC Sports is the official home of the 2020 NASCAR Playoffs, covering the race for the NASCAR Cup Series & NASCAR Xfinity Series championships. NBC Sports’ NASCAR programming also includes NBCSN’s daily motorsports show, NASCAR America; races from NASCAR’s regional touring series; annual events such as the NASCAR Cup Series Awards and NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony; and original programming specials.
NBC Sports PR
With seven races left on the 2020 Cup Series schedule, the goals have shifted a bit for Matt DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Menards/Duracell team, but the determination to succeed remains unwavering.
They were among the four teams eliminated from the Cup Series Playoffs at the end of the Round of 16, but there are still significant accomplishments to pursue, among them a race win and a choice spot in the final points standings.
The work begins this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Sunday’s South Point 400. It was at Las Vegas back in February, where DiBenedetto, riding on older tires but having track position due to a strategy call, scored a runner-up finish in his second race in the Wood Brothers Mustang.
“I can’t wait for Vegas, especially after finishing second there earlier this year,” DiBenedetto said, adding that he’s ready to put the disappointment of dropping out of championship contention behind him. “I’m bummed we didn’t make it through the first round of the Playoffs and had a few rough races, but I’m excited to go to a strong track for us and to finish the season strong in this Menards/Duracell Mustang.”
DiBenedetto will have some extra motivation this weekend as the Menards/Duracell Mustang will be honoring a cancer hero, Marnie Howiler, as part of the Nominate a Cancer Hero program spearheaded by the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.
Howiler, from Cornelius, N.C., is the granddaughter of the late NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Isaac. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Wilms Tumor at five years old and underwent eight months of treatment.
Howiler was nominated by Robbie Isaac, daughter of the late NASCAR champion, who said she reconnected with the Wood Brothers at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and now cheers, along with her family, for DiBenedetto and the No. 21 Mustang.
In her nomination, Isaac wrote: “Since there isn’t a No. 71 [her father’s car number], in the field, being with Matt, the Wood Brothers and the No. 21 car is the perfect place for Marnie. They are all survivors and winners.”
Isaac described DiBenedetto as “a person everyone would love to see win.”
She had similar praise for Howiler. “Marnie is my cancer hero because she chooses to be happy every day and enjoy life. She is a wonderful person, and I couldn’t love her more.”
Sunday’s South Point 400 is set to get the green flag just after 7 p.m. Eastern Time with TV coverage on NBCSN.
In some of the biggest news in NASCAR this week, SUNNYD - the iconic beverage brand made solely in the USA - will return to Chris Buescher’s No. 17 Ford Mustang for back-to-back race weekends as the NASCAR Cup Series rolls into Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. The #SUNNYDouble race weekends mark the third time in NASCAR Cup Series history that the No. 17 SUNNYD Ford will hit the track in back-to-back races. Roush Fenway Racing and SUNNYD will partner to give fans exclusive content and opportunities to win SunnyD merchandise across the Roush Fenway and SUNNYD Racing Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platform for two weeks of SUNNYDynamic action.
“I’m really looking forward to having the No. 17 SUNNYD Ford back on track for a couple weekends in a row,” said Buescher. “The SunnyD Ford is one of the coolest schemes in our sport and it’s always great to have it on the racetrack. With our top-10 finish at Bristol last weekend, we have some positive momentum going into Vegas and Talladega, and we are looking to give the SUNNYD fans something to watch.”
During #SUNNYDouble race week, fans will have the opportunity to win a variety of personized items, including, virtual signed hero cards, a virtual photo with Buescher and their very own virtual customized SUNNYD bottle. Fans will also have the chance to win spectacular SUNNYD giveaways like lanyards, t-shirts, hats, laptop stickers and more.
Along with the bright, bold, unique orange and yellow colors, the Ford will sport a pink No. 17 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 4th in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Buescher will make his eighth start at Las Vegas on Sunday, a track where he has an average finish of 18.4. Next Sunday marks Buescher’s eleventh start at Talladega, where he has one top-10. With his eighth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway last weekend, the driver secured his seventh top-10 finish of the season.
Coverage for Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is set for 7 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network. Race coverage can also be heard on PRN and SiriusXM Channel 90. Next weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway begins at 2 p.m. EST on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90.