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Jimmy White has been named the 2021 winner of the Ken Patterson Helping Others Award from the National Motorsports Press Association.
White spent the last four years as the media relations representative for Brad Keselowski at Team Penske. An industry veteran with experience working for teams, manufacturers, and contingency programs, White is a friendly face in the garage and worked hard to accommodate any request.
The 2021 season was a unique one for White as he helped Keselowski navigate his final year driving for legendary team owner Roger Penske. Just part of his responsibilities included coordinating Keselowski’s schedule and media obligations, working closely with the team’s partners, and gathering content.
The Ken Patterson Helping Others Award is presented annually and voted on by NMPA membership. It recognizes a public relations representative in the motorsports industry “who has exhibited the kind, generous qualities that Patterson always demonstrated.”
It is the second time White has received the award. White was named the recipient in 2006 for his work with the Raybestos Rookie of the Year program.
White has also served in a media relations capacity for Brad Keselowski Racing, Darnell Communications, and Roush Fenway Racing. White has worked with companies including USAir, Jasper Engines, and Shell Oil.
In addition to the award, Talladega Superspeedway will donate $1,000 in the winner’s name to the Kenneth Patterson Education Trust Fund.
The late Robin Miller, who passed away in August at the age of 71, is the winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Pocono Spirit Award for the third quarter of 2021, NMPA president Kelly Crandall announced Sunday at the NMPA awards luncheon at the Hendrick Motorsports Team Center.
Miller’s long-time friend and fellow IndyCar reporter Bruce Martin accepted the award on his behalf.
Miller rose to prominence as an IndyCar journalist during his lengthy career with the Indianapolis Star, where he worked from 1968 to 2001. Among writers covering the IndyCar Series, Miller was acknowledged as the foremost authority, given his knowledge of the garage and the depth of his contacts.
From a journalistic standpoint, Miller pulled no punches and earned well-deserved acclaim—and no small amount of controversy—for his no-holds-barred approach to reporting.
Born in 1949 in Anderson, Indiana, Miller also worked for ESPN, Speed, Autoweek, Car and Driver and Racer magazine, to name a few. At the time of his death, he was reporting for Racer and for NBCSN.
Miller announced in July 2021 that he had been diagnosed with terminal leukemia. He passed away on August 25. In October, Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted an invitation-only celebration of his life that was limited to 400 of his friends. Attendees included speedway owner Roger Penske and IndyCar legends A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti.
Miller was selected for the third-quarter NMPA Pocono Spirit Award by vote of the NMPA membership, thus earning eligibility for the overall 2021 award.
Other quarterly winners were Camping World chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis, Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation and Martin Truex Jr./Sherry Pollex.
Established in 1992 and supported by Pocono Raceway, The NMPA Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports.
Bristol Motor Speedway is the 2021 recipient of the Joe Littlejohn Award for service to the National Motorsports Press Association, outgoing NMPA president Reid Spencer announced on Sunday.
The legendary short track in Tennessee is a long-time supporter of the NMPA through recurring sponsorship of the NMPA Hall of Fame reception. This year, Bristol has joined with Speedway Motorsports Inc. and Charlotte Motor Speedway to continue that sponsorship role.
“One of the most pleasurable aspects of the NMPA presidency is the task of choosing the Joe Littlejohn recipient,” Spencer said. “The recognition of Bristol Motor Speedway as a faithful friend of the NMPA is long overdue.
“In addition to its sponsorship, Bristol is one of the most media-friendly race tracks on the NASCAR schedule. Whenever we arrive to cover a race, we feel welcome. And the view from the press box there is one of the best in the world.”
Bristol Motor Speedway bills itself as “The Last Great Coliseum,” a moniker it richly deserves after Speedway Motorsports founder Bruton Smith transformed the Tennessee short track into an opulent facility that can seat more than 150,000 fans.
The Joe Littlejohn Award is presented each year to a person or persons, or an organization, in recognition for or outstanding service to the NMPA.
The award is named for the former track owner from Spartanburg, S.C., who also was a competitor in the sport. Littlejohn is credited with two career NASCAR starts, but raced extensively before the formation of NASCAR.
Harry Hyde has been named the 2021 recipient of the Wood Brothers Award of Excellence by the National Motorsports Press Association.
Hyde is the third recipient of the award, which is voted on by a special committee that includes members of the famed Wood family. The award was created to honor crew members, crew chiefs, engine builders, and race engineers for their outstanding contributions to NASCAR.
Hyde was the crew chief who guided some of NASCAR’s biggest stars to their first career wins during a career that spanned nearly three decades. Dave Marcis, Neil Bonnett, and Geoff Bodine included.
But the pairing of Hyde and Bobby Isaac will go down in the history books. Hyde and Isaac won 17 times in 1969 to go along with a record 19 poles. A year later, Hyde led Isaac to the NASCAR premier series title on the strength of 11 wins. In three consecutive seasons (1969-1971), Hyde and Isaac won 32 races.
Although Hyde never won another championship, he continued to win with a magnitude of drivers. Buddy Baker and Ken Schrader won with Hyde, as did the immensely talented Tim Richmond.
Hyde worked with Richmond in 1986 and won seven races. Among those wins was a sweep of Pocono Raceway
A NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee, Hyde’s resume is impressive. A winner of 56 races and 88 poles in 659 starts, he was also the inspiration for Robert Duvall’s character Harry Hogge in the hit movie Days of Thunder.
Previous winners of the Wood Brothers Award of Excellence are Dale Inman (2019) and Leonard Wood (2020).
Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series, has been named the recipient of the Richard Petty Driver of the Year Award for 2021 by the National Motorsports Press Association.
The accomplishments that made Larson the overwhelming choice of the NMPA membership are many and varied. In the Cup Series, he won a career-best 10 races on the way to his first championship, which he sealed with a victory in the season finale at Phoenix Raceway. In addition to his accomplishments on pavement, Larson won three of the crown jewels of dirt racing—the Chili Bowl Nationals for midget racers (his second straight) and the Knoxville Nationals and Kings Royal for winged sprint cars.
“It’s an honor to receive the NMPA Richard Petty Driver of the Year Award,” Larson said. “2021 was a great year in all the different cars I got to race…
“I hope I can repeat this success year after year, but I know it’ll be tough. I also want to say thank you to the press and all the media members for covering the sport we all love—and look forward to a new year.”
The award was announced Sunday, Jan. 23 as part of the NMPA’s annual convention and awards ceremony held at the Hendrick Motorsports Team Center in Concord, N.C.
The Richard Petty Driver of the Year award has been presented annually since 1969 to recognize the season’s most outstanding driver. It is named in honor of the seven-time NASCAR premier series champion.
NASCAR's Emerling-Gase Motorsports announces partnership with Kitty Kat Coin Cryptocurrency & Ecosystem (Kats Coin)
NASCAR Drivers Joey Gase & Shane Lee announced that Emerling-Gase Motorsports have entered into a sponsorship agreement with the new and exciting Sports Based Cryptocurrency Kitty Kat Coin ($KATS or Kats Coin) for select races in 2022 season starting with DAYTONA on both the 35 driven by Shane Lee and the 53 driven by Joey Gase.
Kitty Kat Coin (https://kittykatcoin.io/) is a unique & innovative cryptocurrency and also has created a decentralized ecosystem for cryptocurrency projects focused on Racing, Sports, Gaming & FinTech Solutions. This partnership takes Emerling-Gase Motorsports to a new level in this competitive world where technology, the metaverse, finance and racing go hand in hand. The two cars will have a very distinct graphic design in gold, black and white which will have them standing out from the pack and have Shane Lee's Car #35 being tagged as Team Panther and Joey Gase’s car #53 tagged as Team Leopard.
Kitty Kat Coin will be on the Cardano Network, Binance Smart Chain as well as others and will be hosting the Kitty Kat Cup™ Racing Series, Kitty Kat Starter, Kitty Kat Swap, and the Kitty Kat Ecosystem. Kitty Kat Coin is also engaging in strategic relationships with both decentralized and centralized exchanges as well as establishing a venture capital platform for new blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency applications. Kitty Kat Coin is also incorporating additional alliances for an expansive revenue stream which include the creation of NFTs and NFT auctions. The Kitty Kat Cup will occur in February’s NASCAR’s Daytona 500 weekend.
To stay up to date with the team make sure to give them a follow at Emerling-Gase Motorsports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Team Penske and Würth jointly announced today that the two companies will continue their long-standing partnership, focused on the No. 12 Ford Mustang and driver Ryan Blaney for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. Würth’s first race as a primary sponsor on the No. 12 Ford will come in the second event of the year at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on February 27. In addition to the race at Auto Club Speedway, Würth will be featured as the primary sponsor on the No. 12 Ford Mustang in Cup Series races at Talladega and Watkins Glen in 2022.
“We are very excited to enter our 11th year as a proud partner of Team Penske and we are thrilled to welcome Ryan into our Würth family,” stated Thomas O’Neill, Executive Vice President/CEO of Würth Line Craft North America. “Ryan’s preparation, positive attitude, and drive to win are qualities that mirror our Würth culture and what we also look for in our employees. We look forward to success on the track this season in the No. 12 at Fontana, Talladega, and Watkins Glen.”
The partnership between Team Penske and Würth began in 2012, with the company serving as a multi-race primary sponsor on the No. 2 Ford team. Würth has visited Victory Lane three times as a primary sponsor – twice with Brad Keselowski in the NASCAR Cup Series and once with Sam Hornish Jr. in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
“Team Penske has enjoyed a great relationship with the Wurth USA group for over 10 years,” said Roger Penske. “Their dedication to excellence and high-quality products aligns perfectly with our business and our focus on performance. The partnership with Wurth benefits our teams at the track and at our race shop, as well as our automotive dealerships and truck leasing facilities across the United States and around the world. We look forward to building on our partnership as Wurth teams up with Ryan (Blaney) and the No. 12 Ford team in the NASCAR Cup Series this season.”
Blaney enters his seventh full-time season in NASCAR’s premier division in 2022. On the strength of three wins and strong performances throughout the 2021 season, Blaney narrowly missed qualifying for the Championship 4 in the NASCAR Playoffs. Posting his most career victories in a single season, Blaney advanced to the Playoffs Round of 8 for the second time in his career. Blaney has seven wins, 49 top-five and 96 top-10 finishes in 234 NASCAR Cup Series starts entering this season.
"I’m really excited to start the next chapter with Würth in their relationship with Team Penske,” said Blaney. “Obviously they’ve been to Victory Lane a few times and I’m hoping to take them back there at Auto Club Speedway in the second race of the season. I’m really excited about the opportunity to represent them on and off the track with the No. 12 Würth Ford Mustang. It’s especially exciting having the opportunity to be part of a large community of over 82,000 employees and millions of customers around the world.”
Würth Representatives show up for their customers across the Automotive, Industrial and Woodworking Industries providing quality products, unparalleled service, and customized solutions to make their jobs easier. Würth prides itself on having the very best cleaners, fasteners, adhesives, as well as industry leading vending machine inventory management systems. These systems and quality Würth products are used by Team Penske, both in its race shop and at the track.
Team Penske PR
Ambetter, America’s number one Marketplace Health Insurer, has extended its partnership with New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) to become the entitlement sponsor for New England’s only NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) race. The Ambetter 301 will take place at 3 p.m. on July 17 as part of the speedway’s traditional mid-summer NASCAR weekend. The healthcare provider will also receive premium signage displays and hospitality opportunities, feature activation in the Fan Zone and the opportunity to select VIP dignitaries.
“We’re delighted to expand our partnership with New Hampshire Motor Speedway and be back at ‘The Magic Mile’ as the sponsor of the Ambetter 301,” said Suzanne DePrizio, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Centene, Ambetter’s parent company. “Ambetter is on a mission to ensure all Americans have access to the high-quality healthcare they deserve. This partnership is a fantastic way for us to connect with racing fans about their health and our mission.”
“We developed a great relationship with Ambetter last year as sponsor of our NASCAR Xfinity Series race, and we’re proud to expand our partnership to the Cup Series level,” said New Hampshire Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager David McGrath. “Ambetter is about keeping people healthy, and we’re about people having a good time. It’s a natural fit for us to work together toward good health and good times for fans at the Ambetter 301 this summer.”
In addition to the Cup Series race entitlement at NHMS, Ambetter will also become the Official Health Insurance Partner at NHMS and five additional Speedway Motorsports properties: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sonoma Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway. Ambetter will receive signage, activation, hospitality and marketing opportunities at those premiere entertainment venues on NCS race weekends.
Ambetter will donate 100 tickets to military members and first responders to attend the NCS races at each of these facilities, and The Centene Charitable Foundation will donate $100,000 to Speedway Children’s Charities, the official charity of Speedway Motorsports.
“We are thrilled to not only be growing Ambetter’s relationship with New Hampshire Motor Speedway this year, but also to include other Speedway Motorsports facilities,” said Speedway Motorsports Chief Sales Officer Kevin Camper. “Ambetter will expand their footprint at ‘The Magic Mile’ through the Ambetter 301 entitlement, and we will also provide unique opportunities for them to showcase their products and unique healthcare offerings to potential customers in markets from coast-to-coast.”
Ambetter, born out of the Affordable Care Act, is on a mission to help everyone get the care they deserve, especially those underinsured or uninsured. Ambetter offers a variety of healthcare services to its members, including preventative and wellness services, mental health and substance abuse services, prescription drug coverage, My Health Pays® Rewards Program and telehealth services. With over two million members nationwide and coverage available in 26 states, Ambetter helps simplify healthcare for people across the country. Members have access to a national network of care providers serviced through local health plans, delivering the affordable, quality care in the communities where they live and work.
Ambetter’s relationship with Speedway Motorsports began in 2021 when they put their name on NHMS’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race, the Ambetter Get Vaccinated 200, and administered COVID-19 vaccines throughout the weekend in the Fan Zone.
“Ambetter is committed to developing partnerships that make a positive impact in our communities and help our members achieve their whole health goals through affordable health insurance solutions,” said Ambetter President Kevin Counihan. “We look forward to this enhanced relationship with Speedway Motorsports to serve NASCAR fans across the country.”
New England’s race weekend gets underway on Friday, July 15 with Friday Night Dirt Duels at The Flat Track, continues with Doubleheader Saturday, July 16 featuring the NXS and NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and is headlined by the Ambetter 301 NCS race on Sunday, July 17.
Be sure to check NHMS.com/Events/NASCAR-Cup-
Log on to NHMS.com for tickets and more information on the weekend’s lineup of action-packed racing. Doubleheader Saturday tickets start at just $35 while kids 12 and under are free. Sunday’s Ambetter 301 tickets start at just $49 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under.
Keep track of all of New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s events by following on Facebook (@NHMotorSpeedway), Twitter (@NHMS) and Instagram (@NHMS). Keep up with all the latest information on the speedway website (NHMS.com) and mobile app.
Alpha Prime Racing announced that Kaz Grala will join the organization’s NASCAR Xfinity Series driver lineup for select starts in 2022 as the team competes with two full-time entries.
Grala, 23, began his NASCAR career in 2016 and made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2018. Throughout the course of his career, he has competed in all 3 series – making history along the way.
The Boston, MA native has an extensive list of accolades including a NASCAR Truck Series win at the famed Daytona International Speedway – making him the youngest driver in NASCAR history to earn a win. Additionally, Grala has scored several top-5 and top-10 finishes across all 3 national series making him an asset to the team.
“I’ve been friends with Tommy Joe for years now and have always thought of him as one of the best guys in the garage. Towards the end of last year, he and I talked about what they’re building at Alpha Prime Racing and what their long-term vision is for the team,” said Grala. “I wanted to be involved any way I could, so I’m really thrilled and grateful to be a part of the program this year as they grow.”
“We’ve circled some of my favorite tracks on the schedule, as well as my home race to work together this year, with the opportunity to even add races here or there. I feel like we’re going to turn some heads this year, and we’re definitely going to have fun doing it.”
Grala is slated to make his Alpha Prime Racing debut at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, February 26th.
“Kaz is one of the best young drivers in NASCAR,” said Tommy Joe Martins, Co-owner of Alpha Prime Racing. “When Caesar & I talked about available free agents, Kaz was an easy choice. We’re extremely excited to have him on our roster for the first year of Alpha Prime Racing & we hope we can for years to come.”
Tommy Joe Martins will join Grala in his debut with Alpha Prime Racing at Auto Club Speedway next month.