Speedway Digest Staff
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It’s a return to road course racing for the NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and ARCA Menards Series as they compete at Watkins Glen International in New York this weekend. The ARCA Menards Series has two events this weekend as they also race on the dirt in Illinois, while the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series competes at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota.
NASCAR National Series – NCS | NXS
Kyle Busch makes milestone Toyota start… Kyle Busch is making his 900th career start aboard a Toyota this weekend. Since joining Toyota in 2008, Busch has won 56 races each in both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Truck Series and has earned a record 91 victories in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Busch won Toyota’s first Cup Series race at Watkins Glen in 2008, and added an NASCAR Xfinity Series triumph in 2017.
Bell nearly added another win… Christopher Bell battled back after a mid-race spin to nearly win at Richmond Raceway on Sunday, coming up less than half-a-second short to race winner Kevin Harvick. It was Bell’s third top-five finish in the last five events as the Oklahoma-native has officially clinched his second Playoff berth in just his third full-time season on Sunday.
Reigning winner… Ty Gibbs continued to show his road course prowess as he drove to a dominating victory at Watkins Glen International last season to earn his third NASCAR Xfinity Series win. Gibbs led 43 laps (of 82). He also won the last time the series ran on a road course as he scored an impressive win in the Xfinity Series race at Road America over reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Larson.
Jones, Smith double-duty at the Glen… Brandon Jones and Sammy Smith are scheduled to compete in both Friday’s ARCA Menards Series event and Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race. On Saturday, they will run as teammates in Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Toyota GR Supras, but on Friday, Smith will continue his run for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the No. 18 Toyota Camry, while Jones will look for his third ARCA win of the season in just his fourth start aboard JGR’s No. 81 Toyota Camry.
Another start for Mosack… After making his debut for JGR at the series’ first race in Portland earlier this summer, Connor Mosack will compete for Sam Hunt Racing at Watkins Glen this weekend as he makes his second series start. Mosack ran strong in Portland – earning a third-place finish in the first stage – before being caught up in an accident late in the event.
NASCAR Regional Series – ARCA
Double for Breidinger, Love… It is a big weekend for the ARCA Menards Series as they compete on the Watkins Glen road course on Friday, before turning to the dirt on Sunday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Two Toyota drivers will compete in both events on the diverse weekend, including Toyota development driver Jesse Love and his teammate, Toni Breidinger. Seventeen-year-old Love has seven starts this season, with a season-best runner-up finish at Elko Speedway in June, while Breidinger sits fifth in the point standings on the strength of four top-10 finishes.
NHRA – Top Fuel | Funny Car
Brown returns to the winner’s circle, top-10… Antron Brown had a triumphant return to the top-10 in the point standings with his first win of the season, and first win for AB Motorsports, in Topeka. Brown went through a tough line-up, as he faced four of the top five in the point standings, to score the victory. Brown last won in Brainerd in 2011.
Ashley continues to impress… Justin Ashley continues to impress in his first season with Team Toyota. Ashley sits third in the standings and has been to the semi-finals or better in five of the last seven events, including a Father’s Day win in Bristol.
Advance discount tickets to the ARCA Menards Series season finale at Toledo Speedway are now available at northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan Menards locations. Tickets to the Shore Lunch 200 presented by CGS Imaging, slated for Saturday, October 8, can be purchased for just $20, a savings of $10 off the race-day ticket price.
The Shore Lunch 200 presented by CGS Imaging will determine the ARCA Menards Series champion, marking the first time since 2011 that the series title has been determined at the series’ home track.
The day’s schedule will feature practice and qualifying for the ARCA Menards Series, an on-track autograph session with each of the drivers entered in the Shore Lunch 200 presented by CGS Images, as well as several former championship-winning drivers and team owners. Toledo Speedway will also crown season champions in the Salenbien Excavating Late Model Sportsman and The Vault Antiques and Treasures Factory Stock divisions, with the 200-lap main event putting an exclamation point on the on-track activities at 4 pm ET.
“It’s a tradition for a lot of tracks to end their season with a big weekend, and the Shore Lunch 200 presented by CGS Imaging will be big for sure,” said ARCA president and Toledo Speedway owner Ron Drager. “We have a great championship battle developing in the ARCA Menards Series between three great up-and-coming talents, Nick Sanchez, Rajah Caruth, and Daniel Dye. Each of those drivers has shown to be outstanding, with a very bright future. We look forward to seeing which of them will end up as the 2022 ARCA Menards Series champion.”
Several former ARCA Menards Series champions have already indicated they will participate in the weekend’s activities, including 1987 and 1991 driver and owner champions Bill and Cathy Venturini, 1982 series champion and current series official Scott Stovall, 1995 champion Andy Hillenburg, and 2019 team owner champion Billy Venturini, with additional former champions expected to confirm their participation in the coming weeks.
Fans can purchase advance discount tickets to the Shore Lunch 200 presented by CGS Imaging by visiting Menards locations in Defiance, Findlay, Holland, Oregon, Sandusky and Toledo in Ohio, and in Ann Arbor, Belleville, Jackson, Livonia, Taylor, Warren, and Wixom in Michigan.
For complete event information, please visit ARCARacing.com.
Team Penske announced today that it has reached a contract extension with Ryan Blaney, a seven-time race winner in the NASCAR Cup Series. The long-term agreement will provide the opportunity for Blaney, the driver of the No. 12 Ford Mustang and the winner of this year’s NASCAR All-Star race, to build on the success he has experienced with the team well into the future.
Blaney joined Team Penske in 2012, initially competing in select NASCAR Xfinity Series races for the team. He produced his first victory for Team Penske in 2013, earning a Xfinity Series win at Kentucky Speedway. The 28-year-old third-generation racer has been winning ever since and he’s established himself as a consistent Cup Series championship contender over the last several seasons, competing in the No. 12 Ford.
“Ryan has become one of the top competitors in the NASCAR Cup Series and we are excited for him to continue his career and build on his success with Team Penske,” said Roger Penske. “He has been a key part of our team for more than a decade and we have seen him grow and develop, both on and off the track. He has become a consistent winner behind the wheel of the No. 12 Ford, and he also does a great job representing our team partners. We look forward to what the future holds with Ryan and Team Penske.”
Since joining Team Penske, Blaney has earned a combined 14 victories and 10 poles for Team Penske across both Cup Series and Xfinity Series competition, including a win in this year’s NASCAR All-Star race at Texas Motor Speedway. He has competed in over 250 Cup Series races in his career, winning at tracks including Daytona, Talladega, Michigan, Pocono, Atlanta and Charlotte.
In 2022, Blaney has ranked among the top championship contenders all-season long and is currently second in points with just two races to go in the regular season, after posting eight top-five finishes, 12 top-10 results and three poles.
“Team Penske has been family to me for 10 years, so I’m incredibly excited to continue with this family for the future,” said Blaney. “Roger Penske is a legend in our sport, and I’ve always said getting to drive for him is something everyone dreams of doing. On top of that, we’ve got a great group of partners with Menards, Advance Auto Parts, BODYARMOR, Wurth, Discount Tire, Dent Wizard, Wabash and Ford that have shown a lot of faith in me. I look forward to continuing to win for Team Penske, Roger and all of our partners, as we work towards our goal of winning a Cup Series championship.”
Along with his success on the track, Blaney has consistently been named as a finalist for NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver award since he became a full-time Cup Series competitor in 2016.
Team Penske PR
As the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International for Sunday’s Go Bowling at The Glen, road-course races have evolved from rare occasions to a vital part of the schedule for NASCAR Cup Series competitors in recent seasons.
That’s because Sunday’s race on the 2.45-mile, seven-turn Watkins Glen circuit will be the fifth of six road-course events on the schedule in 2022. For Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 SNICKERS Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), the Las Vegas native always looked at the two traditional road courses at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway and Watkins Glen as a racing vacation for NASCAR’s top series, providing the chance to turn left and right for a couple of weekends each year. Now, with six of 36 races run on road courses, turning left and right is as important as short-track racing, which occupies six races on the schedule with two apiece at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, and Martinsville (Va.) Speedway each year.
For Busch, the two-time Cup Series champion, Watkins Glen is one of his favorite road courses on the schedule. He’s brought home two victories, seven top-five finishes, and 13 top-10s in 16 starts there.
After his inaugural Cup Series victory at The Glen in 2008, he nearly won for the second time in his 2011 and 2012 visits before finally breaking through again in 2013. A third career victory Sunday in New York’s scenic Finger Lakes Region would continue to solidify Busch and the SNICKERS team as a contender each time the series comes to town.
As far as overall road-course proficiency, Busch is tied with David Pearson and Mark Martin with four Cup Series road-course wins apiece. That’s some pretty good company, already. A fifth road-course win would tie him with Darrell Waltrip, Tim Richmond and Dan Gurney on the road-course wins list. The top three in all-time road-course wins in the Cup Series includes Chase Elliott and Jeff Gordon with seven apiece, while Tony Stewart is the all-time leader with nine wins.
So as Busch heads to Upstate New York for another round of road racing this weekend, he would like nothing more than to bring home a third win there, which would be a timely victory with only two regular-season races remaining before the 2022 Cup Series playoffs begin on Labor Day weekend. And Busch is certainly “hungry” for a win with his SNICKERS Camry as he looks for some momentum with the playoffs looming.
This Saturday night, August 20th, when the USAC/CRA Sprint Car drivers return to Perris Auto Speedway for the first time in eight weeks, they will have a lot of extra reasons to be there. To be precise, more than 10,000 extra reasons as the fans and friends of the sport have chipped in and added nearly $12,000.00 extra on top of the regular purse for the California Racer’s Hall of Fame Night. Spectator gates for the show will open at 5:00 and racing will begin at 6:00.
Defending California Racer's Hall of Fame Night champion Brody Roa. Kenny Lonngren photo.
The California Racer’s Hall of Fame Night is one that keeps the fans on the edges of their seats and the drivers sawing on their steering wheels all night long. It starts in qualifying where the driver who turns the fastest lap will receive the $1000.00 Billy Wilkerson Fast Time Award. If by chance that driver breaks Nic Faas’ existing track record of 15.833, he will receive an extra $400.00 from the Woodland’s Auto Display.
Following qualifying, one of the track’s most popular races of the year will hit the famous Riverside County half-mile clay oval, the Plastic Express Junior Kurtz/Bill Simpson Trophy Dash. This is not your grandpa’s yawner three-lap trophy dash for a plastic trophy. This one is done Speedway Motorcycle style. The four fastest qualifiers will contest four three-lap races. Each driver will begin in each starting position one time. The winner of each three lapper will receive three points. Second place will get two points, third will get a single point and fourth gets a zero. At the end of the final three lapper, the points from all four races will be tabulated and the driver with the highest total will receive $2,000.00! Second highest will receive $1,000.00. The third place finisher will pocket $600.00 and fourth will take home $400.00. In addition, there will be a mystery award of $200.00. That will go to one of the four drivers via a random draw.
“We want to thank all the supporters who generously donated to this Saturday’s race,” promoter Don Kazarian said on Tuesday. “Every year they step up and put extra dollars into the purse. This year they have added more than $12,000.00 on top of the regular prize money for the show. That is amazing. We also must thank Chris Holt for managing all of this. He has been with us since day one in 1996 and when it comes to this race, he oversees all the donations and makes everything work without a hitch.”
“There is extra money available throughout the program for the sprint cars,” Kazarian continued. “Every lap in the main event pays a minimum of $100.00 to the leader. There are several laps that pay more including two laps that pay $400.00 to lead, two that pay $500, and one that pays $700.00. In addition, the driver with the best passing job in the main event will receive a $500.00 bonus. If a driver were to sweep the show, between the regular purse and all the bonuses, he would take home over $12,000.00.”
Going into Saturday’s race, Garden Grove, California’s Brody Roa has won the series' last two races (Perris on June 25 and Santa Maria on August 6th) in a row. In addition, he took the lead with two laps to go and won last year’s California Racer’s Hall of Fame Night. Roa will be challenged by nine-time series champion and archrival Damion Gardner of Concord, Yorba Linda’s Matt Mitchell, Austin Williams of Corona, Eddie Tafoya Jr. of Chino Hills, Norco’s Cody Williams, teammates Logan Williams of Yorba Linda & Matt McCarthy of Riverside, Corona’s Tommy “Thunder” Malcolm, and Arizonian’s Charles Davis Jr., R.J. Johnson, and others.
As well as the USAC/CRA Sprint Cars, the IMCA Modifieds, PAS Senior, and Young Guns Sprint Cars will be racing. 2007 track modified champion Randy Thornell of Apple Valley brings a 15-point lead over Riverside’s Justin Dunn into Saturday’s race. Brandon James of Yucaipa is one point behind Dunn in third. Andy Papp of Guatay is fourth and Matt Hicks of Santee is fifth.
Seligman, Arizona’s Richard McCormick holds a 24-point lead over Palmdale’s Rick Hendrix in the Senior Sprints. Ed Schwarz of Santa Fe Springs is third. Apple Valley’s Stevie Rogers has been the only Young Gun on the track this year and has been running with the Senior Sprints. This week she will receive Young Gun competition when Nuevo’s Cash Culp and Elexa Herrera of New Cuyama make their PAS debuts.
As an added attraction, the beautiful, vintage WRA cars will be on the track for an exhibition.
Advance tickets for all Perris Auto Speedway events, including this Saturday, are on sale now. Fans can order the tickets online at https://www.tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7 or by calling 1-800-595-4849. For fans who do not wish to purchase tickets in advance, there will be plenty of tickets available for everyone at the gate each race night.
Fans can stay up to date on track and driver news on The PAS social media efforts at the links below.
Twitter: Perris Auto Speedway on Twitter.
Perris Auto Speedway wants to thank the following corporate partners. Ahern Equipment Rentals, Anderson Chevrolet, Battery Systems, Chris’ Hauling, City of Perris, Communication Innovations, Daytona Boat & RV Storage, Ed Moore Bullet Proof Driveshaft, Flowdynamics, HD Industries, Heimark/Anheuser Busch, Hoosier Tires, Inland Rigging, Living Water’s Hospice, LKQ Pick Your Part, Luke’s Transmission, Moose Racing, Pepsi-Cola, Performance Online, Pole Position Raceway, PrintItNow.com, Rainbow Bolt & Supply, Rene’s Bar & Grill, Rugged Radios, Shaver Specialties, Square H, Sunoco Race Fuels, Trench Shoring, Upland Rock, Varner Construction and Vista Paint.
DVDs of all the PASSCAR/IMCA racing and Nights of Destruction at The PAS are available from Fourvideos. For more information call (714) 225-9500.
Scott Phillips Eyes Consistency as He Looks to Protect Points Lead in Saturday’s 65TH Anniversary Event at South Boston Speedway
For the first time in his many years of racing at South Boston Speedway Scott Phillips is on top of the track’s Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division point standings.
With only two races left in the points season including the 25-lap Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division race that will be part of the Saturday, August 20 Italian Delight Family Restaurant presents South Boston Speedway’s 65th Anniversary Celebration event the Halifax, Virginia resident faces the challenge of protecting his 10-point lead over Johnny Layne and his 17-point edge over Jimmy Wade.
“The last two races will be challenging,” Phillips pointed out. “I can’t lay back too much and protect myself too much and have somebody catch me or I get caught up in a mess that I shouldn’t be in.
“I expect it’s going to be a battle,” added Phillips. “I’ve got to stay consistent, stay up front, and finish in the top couple of cars or either right behind or right in front of Johnny (Layne) to not lose the 10-point lead I have in these last two races.”
Phillips has been the model of consistency this season. In his 10 starts Phillips has finished second six times and has nine top-five finishes. He has not finished outside of the top 10 in any of this season’s races.
That consistency is what Phillips will be looking to maintain in this weekend’s event and over the course of the season’s final two races.
“I’m just going to try to stay consistent like I have done all season,” Phillips explained. “I will try to qualify as far up front as I can, be careful on the track, and don’t overdo it and take myself out by hitting the wall or getting into a wreck.”
The 2022 season is the most consistent season Phillips has enjoyed in many years. That has come even with a late-season change in cars.
“Being this consistent is real satisfying,” Phillips remarked. “It feels real good. In the past it has been inconsistent, up-and-down. It has been really good to get up there, hang around and run with the fast boys.”
Switching to a new car did not dent Phillips’ consistency. He has competed in his new car in the past two events at South Boston Speedway and has continued to be among the frontrunners.
“The car I started with this year ran really well, but it had been badly wrecked the other year,” Phillips noted. “I built a new car to see if it would be a little more consistent. It’s got the same engine the old car had, and it’s staying right there at the front like the first car.”
The only thing Phillips has not done this season is win a race.
“Winning a race would be huge,” Phillips said. “It’s disappointing not having won a race this season. I feel like I’ve had the car that could have won a couple of races this year, and it just didn’t unfold the way I wanted it to.”
He hopes that will change in the Saturday, August 20 Italian Delight Family Restaurant presents South Boston Speedway’s 65th Anniversary Celebration event.
“The next race is Italian Delight Family Restaurant Night race, and that’s the race that I won last year,” Phillips noted. “I’m hoping I can get a repeat.”
A full program of NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series racing action, special guest appearances and a colorful fireworks display following the final race of the night will all be part of the celebration Saturday night, August 20 as South Boston Speedway celebrates its 65th anniversary with the Italian Delight Family Restaurant presents South Boston Speedway’s 65th Anniversary Celebration event.
Twin 65-lap races for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division competitors headline the night’s seven-race card. A 50-lap race for the Budweiser Limited Sportsman Division, a 25-lap race for the Southside Disposal Pure Stock Division and a 20-lap race for the Virginia State Police HEAT Hornets Division are also included in the NASCAR racing action.
A pair of vintage races will give fans a glimpse back in time. Member competitors of the Southern Ground Pounders Vintage Racing Club will compete in a 25-lap race in their vintage Modified and Late Model Sportsman cars. In addition, members of the East Coast Flathead Ford Racing Association will compete in a 25-lap race that will feature vintage Modified and Sportsman Division cars.
A colorful fireworks display to celebrate the speedway’s 65th anniversary will follow the night’s final race.
Saturday’s race-day schedule has practice starting at 3:30 p.m. Grandstand gates will open at 5:30 p.m., qualifying begins at 6 p.m. and the first race of the night will get the green flag at 7 p.m.
Advance adult general admission tickets for the Italian Delight Family Restaurant presents South Boston Speedway’s 65th Anniversary Celebration event are priced at $10 each and may be purchased online on South Boston Speedway’s website, www.southbostonspeedway.com, through Friday night, August 19. Advance tickets may also be purchased by calling the speedway office at 434-572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.
Tickets at the gate on race night will be $15 each. Seniors ages 65 and older, military, healthcare workers, and students (with ID) can purchase tickets for $10 each at the gate on race night.
Speedway officials note that tickets and pit passes from the rained-out August 6 event will be honored at Saturday night’s event. Individuals who purchased tickets for the rained-out August 6 event must bring their original August 6 ticket with them to Saturday night’s event.
The latest updates and news for both fans and competitors can be found on the speedway’s website, southbostonspeedway.com, and through the track’s social media channels. Information may also be obtained by phoning the speedway at 434-572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours.
Between racing and a host of other activities it’s going to be a very energetic night taking place this Saturday, August 20 at Mahoning Valley Speedway.
Action on the track will see the Modifieds, Street Stocks, Hobby Stocks, Futures and the touring American Three Quarter Midgets.
There’s going to be plenty of doings off track as well starting with Pipes-4-Paws, a charity motorcycle ride to help abused animals. Pipes-4-Paws have saved hundreds of dogs lives and the total amount raised and donated from events to local shelters is over $90,000.
Pipes-4-Paws will be seeking from fans to donate dog or cat-food that will be given to a local shelter and you will be one of four lucky winners to receive an autographed photo from Sons of Anarchy star, Rusty Coones, who is a huge supporter of the ride.
It’s also ¼-Midget Night at the speedway. Any and all Quarter Midget racers are invited to bring out their race cars and during intermission will get the opportunity to take laps around the track. Racers and their handler will be admitted free. There will be a sign-in sheet for drivers upon arriving.
Quarter Midget Night has become an annual event that the ‘Next’ generation of Mahoning racers always looks forward to.
But wait there’s more! The speedway will be hosting their yearly Back to School Night. Backpacks and such will be made available (while supplies last) to all school aged kids coming out to the races this Saturday.
We’re not done yet. Ever want to take out your frustration on one of our track officials or maybe a driver? Sure you do and now’s your chance. We’re going to have a Dunk Tank for fans to take shots at those folks. There no charge, just step up and take you best shot. There will be a collection if desired with the proceeds going to purchase Kids Big Wheels.
And let’s not forget about the actual racing taking place. With this being the final week before taking the next two scheduled weeks off it will be a big night for the point chasers as all classes are very tight and after Saturday there will be only two race dates remaining to the 2022 titles.
The ATQMRA will be in the house too. The winged ¾-Midget warriors come to Mahoning with the distinction of being the fastest cars to turn laps around the circular paved oval and their brand of racing is always thrilling and exciting.
With so much activity taking place and the expected number off plungers for the Dunk Tank, grandstand gates will be opening at 3:00 pm.
Pit gates open at 11:00 am. Early paid practice will take place from noon to 3:00 pm. Warm-ups begin at 4:00 pm. Adult grandstand admission is $14. Pits are $40. Driver sign-ins are from 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm. Racing begins at 6:00 pm.
Please log onto the official Mahoning Valley Speedway website at www.mahoningvalley-speedway.