Steven B. Wilson
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There’s something to be said about an 18-year veteran in this day and age of NASCAR. Especially one with a Daytona 500 win, Brickyard 400 win, and Rookie of the Year title under his belt. But with anything new comes a learning curve, one Ryan Newman is excited to embrace heading into his first season in the No. 6 Ford Mustang for Roush Fenway Racing.
New faces, new leadership, a new shop and a new ride. For Newman, everything is new heading into the 2019 season. The 2008 Daytona 500 Champion recently caught up with SiriusXM’s Claire B. Lang on ‘Jack’s Garage’ to talk through the transition.
“It’s just like a toolbox,” Newman said. “The shop has to have everything tool wise that it needs to be successful. And that’s not just people, that’s the parts, the way it’s organized, the assembly area, all the things that create flow that make it easier for people to work. That’s what you ultimately want is to have good people that can do an easier job and make that end result better.”
Historically, Newman’s end result has been fairly consistent, finishing in the top-10 in the Cup series points standings on seven occasions. The South Bend, Indiana, native has eight NASCAR Cup playoff berths since its inception in 2004, and finished runner-up in 2014. With 18 career wins, Newman is poised for 2019 and what it has to hold for the No. 6 team.
“I feel like I’m as good if not better than I’ve ever been as far as my abilities behind the wheel,” Newman said. “My experience is more than most – and I’ve got a lot of good experiences and a lot of bad experiences – but all those things together make you a better race car driver. I look forward to being able to use those experiences to take this aero package – and lack of horsepower compared to our past – to be successful.”
Like Newman, crew chief Scott Graves is new to the No. 6 team in 2019, despite spending a large portion of his career with Roush Fenway from 2006-15. Graves most recently won an Xfinity Championship with Daniel Suárez in 2016, and prior to that led Chris Buescher to the 2015 title. Combined, the duo has 34 wins across NASCAR’s three major touring series.
“For me it’s about the opportunity to move to a new team and make myself better,” Newman added. “I started off my career with lots of poles and lots of wins, and I want to finish it with lots of poles and lots of wins. It’s a great opportunity to team back up with Ford where I started. We obviously saw how strong they were last year with (Joey) Logano winning the Championship, so they’ve created a big racing family and I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Newman’s journey under 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Jack Roush begins next month at the World Center of Racing, Daytona International Speedway. While it will be a different look and different feel, it’s one Newman is looking forward to and having fun with.
“There’s going to be some learning curves for myself and other guys on the team,” Newman said. “It’s all about being new, but at the same time, I look forward to that and that’s something that’s fun for me. It should be a lot of fun to get started and hopefully those last 10 races are the most fun I’ve had in a long time.”
A statement from Indianapolis Motor Speedway President J. Douglas Boles about the passing of legendary NASCAR team owner and driver and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Glen Wood, who died Jan. 18 at age 93:
"Everyone at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is saddened by the passing of Glen Wood. The word 'legendary' sometimes is overused, but it absolutely fits Glen and the team that he and his brother, Leonard, founded and built into a powerhouse in NASCAR. Wood Brothers Racing has such a deep, rich connection to IMS through its multiple entries in the Brickyard 400 and by serving as the pit crew for the Lotus/Ford that Jim Clark drove to victory in the 1965 Indianapolis 500. Glen's legacy as a fine driver and motorsports innovator will be matched only by his enduring status as one of racing's true gentlemen and class acts."
NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) winner Ross Chastain will pilot the No. 45 TrüNorth™ Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports during the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway.
Chastain and Reid Wilson will share the No. 45 TrüNorth™ Chevrolet Silverado during the 2019 NGOTS season.
“We are thrilled to have Ross with us again this year, and to have Reid join the team,” said Niece Motorsports General Manager, Cody Efaw. “As a team we really feel like we made a lot of progress in the caliber of our trucks last season, and we are excited to continue that momentum with two drivers who can really showcase their abilities. We’re excited to see what we can accomplish together this season.”
The paint scheme that Chastain will run at Daytona was designed by Paul Teutul, Jr. of Paul Jr. Designs and star of “American Chopper”, in partnership with TrüNorth™. Paul Jr. will be in attendance at the NGOTS event at Daytona International Speedway in February as the TrüNorth™/Paul Jr. Designs No. 45 takes to the track.
TrüNorth™, the leading provider of commercial asset related warranty programs and services for dealers, fleets, owner-operators, and commercial finance companies, partnered with Paul Jr. to build the first TrüNorth™ custom bike, which was unveiled in early November at the UTA Convention in Orlando. That bike build will appear in the second episode of the new season of “American Chopper” on Discovery Channel in February.
“I’ve worked with some great folks to build amazing bikes over the years, but the TrüNorth™ bike is one of my favorites,” said Paul Jr. “I love the ongoing relationship we’ve built with TrüNorth™. Being a part of TrüNorth’s™ NASCAR racing program is a terrific way to engage with our common audiences and share the work we’re doing together.”
Additionally, Paul Jr. will build a second TrüNorth™ custom bike for the launch of a new brand from TrüNorth™. This bike will be unveiled at Daytona in conjunction with the NGOTS race.
“Paul Jr. is not only great at what he does - his creativity goes way beyond expectation, he is also wonderful with people, not just fans, but everyone,” said TrüNorth™ CMO Barry Wilson. “We have a common audience, and these folks love NASCAR, so it’s a perfect match to have Paul as part of our racing program. We believe Cody [Efaw] and the Niece team will put our brand up front.”
Last season, Chastain made three starts with Niece Motorsports, at Bristol Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway, earning a best finish of 12th at Bristol Motor Speedway.
“I really enjoyed working with this Niece Motorsports team last season, and I’m excited to continue that this year,” said Chastain. “I know everyone at the shop has been working hard to prepare for this season, and I’m just fortunate to get to drive these trucks. I feel confident that we can have a successful year together.”
The 2018 season was a busy one for Chastain, who competed in all three of NASCAR’s major series. Chastain made 34 starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, 33 starts in the NXS, and seven starts in the NGOTS last season.
In September, Chastain broke into the Winner’s Circle in the NXS, after putting on a dominating performance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, winning each stage of the race and leading 180 of 200 laps.
Wilson, who will split the No. 45 ride with Chastain, competed in three NGOTS events in 2018; at Martinsville Speedway, Iowa Speedway, and Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Wilson’s best finish of 16th coming at Martinsville Speedway.
“I can’t wait to get this season started,” said Wilson. “We really got our feet wet in the Truck Series last season, and I’m excited to continue that into this season. I can’t thank Al Niece and TrüNorth™ enough for this incredible opportunity.”
Prior to moving into the NGOTS, Wilson competed in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he had a 50 percent top-10 rate. In 2018, he was named No. 46 in MotorsportsAnalytics.com’s ranking of the top 75 NASCAR Cup Series prospects. “Reid hasn’t competed regularly in a NASCAR ladder division, but when he does appear, he’s proven formidable,” stated David Smith, president of Motorsports Analytics.
“I’m so proud of the effort of each and every employee at Niece Motorsports,” said Team Owner Al Niece. “To look at where we’ve come in such a short amount of time – it’s due to the hard work of everyone at our organization. I’m really looking forward to 2019, and having Ross, Reid and TrüNorth™ at our organization are huge pieces of the puzzle. I know that we can put together trucks that are capable of winning, and that’s certainly our goal this season.”
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season will kick off at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 15, 2019.
Niece Motorsports PR
One lucky fan has the chance to attend each NASCAR Cup Series event at Dover International Speedway for the next 50 years as part of the Monster Mile’s “Golden Tickets” promotion, track officials announced today.
The winner of the “Golden Tickets” contest receives four tickets to each Dover International Speedway NASCAR Cup Series race through the year 2069, starting with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, May 5, 2019.
To enter, fans just need to complete a simple online survey. The contest begins today and ends on Monday, April 1, with the winner announced later that week. Fans can access the form at www.doverspeedway.com/goldenticketscontest.
“This is certainly the longest-lasting prize we’ve ever offered in a fan contest,” said Dover International Speedway president and CEO Mike Tatoian. “Fifty years of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series tickets is a reward that generations of family members and friends can enjoy for years to come. We look forward to selecting a winner.”
The Monster Mile’s 50th anniversary racing season begins with a NASCAR tripleheader weekend May 3-5, which includes the “JEGS 200” NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race on Friday, May 3 and the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash race on Saturday, May 4.
The Oct. 4-6 NASCAR tripleheader weekend includes the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race on Friday, Oct. 4, the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race on Saturday, Oct. 5 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race on Sunday, Oct. 6. The Oct. 6, 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff race will be the 100th NASCAR Cup Series race in track history. Dover International Speedway will be the 10th track in the nation to host 100 NASCAR Cup Series races.
Keep up to date on all 50th Anniversary announcements and schedules by calling (800) 441-RACE or visiting DoverSpeedway.com. You can also keep up with all track activities at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile.
Monster Mile PR
Sonoma Raceway has unveiled a new ticketing concept designed to offer fans more access, value and flexibility for its 2019 race season, as the wine country facility celebrates 50 years of racing in the Sonoma Valley.
The Victory Lane Club is Sonoma Raceway’s exclusive new fan club. It allows ticket buyers to customize their race-weekend experience within its tiered pricing structure. Fans can choose one of three tiers, ranging from $59-$199, depending on the desired amenities. All three levels include race-weekend ticket discounts, reserved parking, an official member hard card and lanyard, as well as complimentary tickets to additional events, such as Sonoma Speed Festival, Lucas Oil Division 7 Drag Races and Classic Sports Racing Group’s Charity Challenge.
The Victory Lane Club tiers offer the following benefits:
- PRO ($59): Perfect for the casual fan looking to learn more about the raceway. Includes 10% discount on NASCAR and/or NHRA event tickets, reserved parking and more. Includes up to 2 complimentary tickets for other events.
- CHAMP ($129): Provides convenience and access for NASCAR and NHRA, and is best for fans looking to maximize their race-weekend experience. Includes a 15% discount on tickets, premium parking pass and a Pre-Race Pass for NASCAR and/or a Thunder Alley Pass for NHRA. Includes up to 4 complimentary tickets for other events.
- LEGEND ($199): The top tier offers the best value, 20% discount on NASCAR and NHRA tickets and includes season-long premium parking, exclusive activities, food credit and merchandise discounts, making it the perfect package for the ultimate fan. Includes up to 6 complimentary tickets for other events.
* Discounts do not apply to camping, kids tickets, hospitality or transportation. Restrictions and ticket limits may apply.
The Sonoma Raceway 2019 major event schedule will be highlighted by the 31st return of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for the Toyota/Save Mart 350 (June 21-23) and the 32nd NHRA Sonoma Nationals (July 26-28). The raceway announced earlier this year that NASCAR will return to the circuit’s historic 12-turn, 2.52-mile road-course layout for the 2019 Toyota/Save Mart 350. NASCAR last raced on the full road course in 1997.
The 2019 Sonoma Raceway calendar also features a number of new events, including the Sonoma Speed Festival historic car races (May 31-June 2) and the Blancpain GT World Challenge America Series (June 7-9), as well as a number of fan favorites, including the NHRA Division 7 Drag Races, presented by Korbel (July 17-21), MotoAmerica’s CycleGear Championship of Sonoma (Aug. 10-11) and the CSRG Charity Challenge (Oct. 4-6). Make the Future California Featuring Shell Eco-Marathon Americas (April 3-6) returns for the second consecutive year.
Sonoma Raceway PR
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) announced today, from its 2019 IndyCar Series season unveiling at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo., a significantly deepened partnership with Arrow Electronics, Inc. The Denver-based technology company is now the title partner of the newly branded Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, providing additional technical expertise and resources to the racing team.
The three Dallara-Honda Indy cars of James Hinchcliffe, Robert Wickens and Marcus Ericsson were on display this morning at the home of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Mammoth. The Nos. 5, 6 and 7 displayed the team’s new signature black and gold previously seen on the Honda driven by Hinchcliffe since 2015. Longtime fans of the team will notice the chrome on the cars has changed to a futuristic, sleek matte finish.
While Wickens will not compete in the 2019 IndyCar Series season as he continues his rehabilitation and recovery after an accident during the 2018 season, the No. 6 Arrow Electronics Honda was on display to signify the team is keeping the No. 6 car ready and available for the Canadian whenever he is able to and wants to return to racing.
The Arrow SPM team also continues its technical alliance with Meyer Shank Racing and its No. 60 AutoNation/SiriusXM Honda driven by Jack Harvey although the car was not on display for today’s announcement. Arrow SPM will continue to provide full-time engineering and technician staff to see the car through from the initial build to on-track performance.
The relationship with Arrow began with SPM co-owner Sam Schmidt in 2014 through their collaboration on the semi-autonomous motorcar (SAM car). That was the same year Schmidt, a quadriplegic, drove the SAM car over 90 mph and 100 mph on consecutive days using the Arrow technology embedded in the car. The following year in 2015, the electronics company joined the race team as a primary partner on Hinchcliffe’s No. 5 car; the number a nod to the company’s “Five Years Out” vision that is about “guiding innovation forward to help you create a better tomorrow.”
To watch the entire unveiling from this morning, please visit the Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ Facebook page by clicking HERE.
Mike Long, Chairman, President and CEO, Arrow Electronics
“Our relationship with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has become synonymous with innovation, courage and perseverance. We are very driven to bring our technical expertise and resources to SPM to help them win races and championships for many years to come.”
Sam Schmidt, Co-Owner, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
“For me, this announcement is nothing short of a lifelong dream come true. Mike Long and the entire team at Arrow first had vision to create a system that enabled me to get behind the wheel after 16 years of paralysis which, in and of itself, has changed my life and the lives of millions worldwide. Now, by becoming our team title partner, they have given us the resources to fulfill another lifelong dream to win the Indy 500 and a championship in the IndyCar Series.”
Ric Peterson, Co-Owner, Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
“We couldn’t ask for a better partner for our team than Arrow. They’ve been by our side the last four years through the highs and lows, always pushing us closer to our goal: becoming Champions. We’re very excited for this next chapter of Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.”
Spire Motorsports, through a partnership with Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR), announced today that 2010 Daytona 500 Champion Jamie McMurray will drive the No. 40 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for the 2019 Daytona 500. McMurray will be making his 17th start in the “Great American Race”, when the Daytona 500 kicks-off the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) regular season on Feb. 17.
McMurray’s Daytona 500 race car will carry sponsorship from several companies that have been integral to his NASCAR career. The No. 40 Chevrolet will feature branding from Bass Pro Shops, McDonald’s and Cessna to recognize the long-standing partnerships that the companies have had with McMurray over the years. Bass Pro Shops and McDonald’s have been on McMurray’s cars since 2010, while Cessna has been with him since 2013. Bass Pro Shops was the primary sponsor on McMurray’s car for all three races that he won in 2010 (Daytona, Indianapolis and Charlotte)
NOTES OF INTEREST:
- Daytona Success: McMurray’s Daytona racing career began as a young teenager, first competing at the World Center of Racing in go-karts. Since then, he has experienced winning in nearly every type of event that he has competed in at Daytona including go-karts, Sports Cars and NASCAR. McMurray is one of only four drivers to have ever won the Daytona 500 and Rolex 24 At Daytona, joining a list of racing legends that includes Mario Andretti, AJ Foyt and Jeff Gordon.
- Marquee Man: During his MENCS racing career, McMurray has had a knack for winning some of the biggest events in the sport. Having won in just his second series start at Charlotte Motor Speedway (2002), he has marquee wins in the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and the NASCAR All-Star race. He is also one of only three drivers that have won the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same season (Dale Jarrett , Jimmie Johnson , and McMurray .
- In The Numbers: McMurray began his MENCS career driving the No. 40 for car owner Chip Ganassi in 2002 and quickly made a name for himself when won in just his second series start, setting the record for the fewest starts before a first win. McMurray made six starts in 2002 in the No. 40 car, subbing for the injured Sterling Marlin, before moving to full-time competition in 2003 for CGR. In total, he has made 438 of his 582 career starts racing for CGR, including five of his seven MENCS victories.
- Jamie McMurray, Driver, No. 40 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: “The Daytona 500 is the one race that every NASCAR driver would want to win. For the rest of your life you get to be introduced or recognized as a Daytona 500 Champion. I’m excited to have the opportunity to potentially be a two-time winner of the race and it would mean so much to celebrate one more win with all of the great partners that have been with me for so many years.”
“In every way, Glen Wood was an original. In building the famed Wood Brothers Racing at the very beginnings of our sport, Glen laid a foundation for NASCAR excellence that remains to this day. As both a driver and a team owner, he was, and always will be, the gold standard. But personally, even more significant than his exemplary on-track record, he was a true gentleman and a close confidant to my father, mother and brother. On behalf of the France family and all of NASCAR, I send my condolences to the entire Wood family for the loss of a NASCAR giant.”
Fire Alarm Services Continues Partnership with John Hunter Nemechek at GMS Racing in Select 2019 Xfinity Series Races18 Jan 2019
GMS Racing announced today that Fire Alarm Services, Inc., (FAS), a provider in a superior fire, life safety, and security services, will serve as primary sponsor for John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 23 GMS Racing team in 13 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) races in 2019.
Since 2016, FAS has been a supporter of Nemechek. The Colorado-based company served as a primary sponsor in multiple NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) races for Nemechek, as well as 11 NXS races in 2018. FAS has been apart of many of Nemechek’s career-first accomplishments, including his first NGOTS pole award at Iowa Speedway in 2016, his first NXS win at Kansas Speedway and his first NXS pole award at ISM Raceway, both took place in 2018.
“Fire Alarm Services has been a supporter of my career since 2016 in the Truck Series starting at my family-owned team," said Nemechek. "I couldn’t be more excited to continue this relationship with them in 2019. I am super thankful and blessed that Shannon and Connie Smith, owners of Fire Alarm Services, Inc., believe in me and my career. They have been a staple in various first accomplishments for me, and I hope we can add an Xfinity Series Championship on to that list of firsts.”
FAS will sponsor the following races for Nemechek in 2019, Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, ISM Raceway (spring and fall), Auto Club Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway (spring and fall), Darlington Raceway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The No. 23 Fire Alarm Services Inc., Chevrolet Camaro will sport a new red and black paint scheme beginning at the 2019 season-opening race, the Daytona 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16 at 2:30 p.m. ET
GMS Racing PR
Young’s Motorsports has signed Tyler Dippel to its lineup for the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) season. Dippel will pilot the team’s No. 02 Chevrolet Silverado, joining teammates Spencer Boyd and Gus Dean.
With this news, Young’s Motorsports expands its fleet to three full-time Chevrolet Silverados, following the previous season's two team effort. It will be the first full-time season for Dippel in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series. The Wallkill, N.Y.,-native will contend for the 2019 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.
“I am really excited to join Young’s Motorsports,” Dippel said. “It is an organization that keeps growing and building on its foundation. Young’s Motorsports brings fast Chevrolet Silverados to the track each week, and I’m beyond excited to climb behind the wheel for the team.
“I think it is going to be a good year. Our primary goal is to run well - week in and week out. I believe aiming for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs is a realistic goal for our No. 02 Chevrolet Silverado team. That is what we will shoot for first, and we can make it happen because of the great group of guys I have on the team.”
A dirt racer by trade, Dippel made his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut on July 18, 2018 at the Eldora Speedway, the high-banked, half-mile oval located in Rossburg, Ohio. Dippel collected four top-15 finishes across five starts in 2018 – with 782 of 784 laps completed.
Dippel has capitalized on his three NASCAR K&N Pro Series East seasons, where he collected two victories (Mobile International Speedway, Langley Speedway), nine top-five finishes, and 21 top-10 finishes. In addition to his successful NASCAR K&N Pro Series East campaign, Dippel was named to the 2016-2017 NASCAR Next class.
The 18-year-old has eight starts in the ARCA Racing Series with two top-five finishes, and three top-ten finishes.
“I am working with Chad Kendrick, who is a well-known and established crew chief,” Dippel said. “From spending time at the shop, everyone seems to gel well together. Everyone gets along together, and everyone's spirits are high which will result in a good start to the season.”
While this marks crew chief Chad Kendrick's first season with Dippel, it will mark his third season atop the pit box for the organization, returning to the No. 02 team. He has previously manned the helm for drivers Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon, Daniel Hemric, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano. As a NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series crew chief, Kendrick is credited with six victories.
Young’s Motorsports team principal Tyler Young believes Dippel’s ascension to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series is proof of his talent.
“We are really looking forward to having Tyler Dippel this year,” Young said. “He has really done a good job in the past, and has taken care of his equipment with proven consistency on track.
“Tyler has risen through the ranks the right way with his progression. With a racing career starting at seven-years-old, he has been around the sport a long time. His NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series experience will help when we get to Daytona (International Speedway), and, obviously, the following weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. I expect him to fire-off and be really fast right off the bat.”
The partnership kicks off with the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at the Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Friday, February 15. The NextEra Energy Resources 250 will be broadcast live on FS1 on Friday at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Young's Motorsports PR