Wednesday, Feb 01
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Kaulig Racing and Chandler Smith will partner with Quick Tie Products, Inc., (Quick Tie) as Smith attempts to qualify for the 65th running of the Daytona 500 in the No. 13 Camaro ZL1. Quick Tie, a proprietary, patented hold down system for high wind and seismic construction has signed on for five races during the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) season, beginning with the pinnacle event in NASCAR.

Smith, 20 years old, finished third in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (CTS) Playoff Standings in 2022 after three wins, nine top fives and 16 top-10 finishes in 23 races. Smith got his feet wet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) in 2022 as well, making three starts and earned one top-ten finish. In the fall of 2022, Smith announced he will compete full-time in the NXS with Kaulig Racing in the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro.

“This is a dream come true for me,” Smith said. “As a kid, you always have the goal of one day racing in the Cup Series. I’m hoping that comes true in this year’s Daytona 500. I’m thankful for Harvel Crumley and Quick Tie for the opportunity to run in multiple Cup races this year, and I’m beyond appreciative in the belief that Matt Kaulig and Chris Rice have in me.”

Following the NCS season opener, Smith will compete in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway, the NASCAR All-Star Race, the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway and the season finale at Phoenix Raceway in the No. 13 Quick Tie Camaro ZL1.

In addition to their commitment to Smith and the NCS Quick Tie will also serve as a primary sponsor of the No. 16 Chevy Camaro for multiple races during the 2023 NXS season.

“We’re extremely excited about continuing our sponsorship of Chandler,” Quick Tie CEO Harvel Crumley said. “We started sponsoring him when he was eight years old. It has been a great experience over the years seeing him grow and become a very talented driver. Now, we look forward to continuing that experience as he moves up to NASCAR’s Xfinity and Cup Series with Kaulig Racing. All of us here at Quick Tie look forward to being supportive and enthusiastic partners with Chandler, Matt Kaulig, Chris Rice, and the whole Kaulig organization. We consider it a great privilege to be part of this team for the 2023 racing season!”

“Chris and I knew who we had in Chandler when we brought him into our team fold at the end of last year,” Kaulig Racing Owner Matt Kaulig said. “He made such an splash on the Craftsman Truck Series in the last couple years. We have the utmost confidence in his full-time Xfinity Series run this year, and with Quick Tie, we think he will turn some heads in his Cup Series starts.”

The 2023 Daytona 500 will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 19. Smith’s first chance to qualify for the race will be during Busch Light Qualifying on Wednesday, February 15, followed by the Bluegreen Vacation Duels at Daytona on Thursday, Feburary 16.

 

Kaulig Racing PR

REV Fire Group, which includes REV Group Inc. manufacturers of E-ONE®, KME®, Ferrara, Spartan Fire Chassis, Spartan Emergency Response®, Smeal, and Ladder Towerfire apparatus brands, is proud to announce its All-Electric Vector fire truck is one of four REV Fire pumpers that will be part of the firefighting fleet used at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) in 2023. The exclusive partnership is now in its second year.

 

The zero emission and zero greenhouse gas Vector fire apparatus aligns with Daytona International Speedway sustainability initiatives, including a project to plant more than 100 trees within view of the track’s grandstands in April 2022.Similar initiatives championed by NASCAR and its partners include a blended biofuel, in-venue recycling efforts, and the recycling of racing oils and  race-used tires.

 

“We are excited to provide the all-electric Vector for our Florida neighbor, Daytona International Speedway, to protect its employees, NASCAR drivers and the many fans and spectators who attend “The Great American Race” and other events,” said Mike Virnig, Vice President of the REV Fire Group, which is headquartered in Ocala, Fla. “Vector also protects the environment, making this a perfect collaboration with DIS and NASCAR and their many green initiatives designed to reduce the track and sport’s carbon footprint and promote sustainability.”

 

With its 327 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of proven automotive-grade batteries, the Vector delivers the longest electric pumping duration in the fire industry, accomplishing all driving and pumping tasks exclusively on electrically generated power. The design also features low battery cell placement, offering a safer, lower center of gravity for enhanced stability while operating at the Speedway.

 

Vector and the other REV Fire apparatus will be used at the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA, The DAYTONA 500 during Speedweeks Presented By AdventHealth (Feb. 15-19) and The Coke Zero Sugar 400 weekend (Aug. 25-26). 

 

This past December Daytona International Speedway hosted a two-day test session for the Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class, new hybrid-powered race cars set to debut in the Rolex 24 At Daytona which kicks off the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Jan. 28-29. Practice and qualifying gets underway this weekend (Jan. 20-22) with the Roar Before The Rolex 24.

 

Fans are also encouraged to reserve their place in history at The Rolex 24 At DAYTONA by logging onto www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.  New in 2023, garage access will now be included for all 2-day infield and single-day customers, enhancing the experience for guests by providing close access to the incredible cars and teams. Kids 12 and under are admitted FREE to the Rolex 24 At DAYTONA.

 

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway via www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com, on TwitterFacebook and Instagram, as well as the all-new NASCAR Tracks App, for the latest speedway news.

DIS PR

Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato will join Chip Ganassi Racing in 2023 to pilot the No. 11 Honda in oval competition, while Marcus Armstrong will drive the road and street course races. 

Sato brings more than two decades of experience racing at the highest level of the sport to the defending Indianapolis 500 winners who have won 14 INDYCAR SERIES championships, including nine across the past 15 seasons of competition. 

"First of all, I would like to thank Chip and Mike for helping put this all together. I am extremely excited to join Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2023 season," said Sato. "The organization has been at the top of our sport for decades and needless to say, extremely competitive. Focusing on the oval races is a new chapter for me but I'm thrilled to have the ability to race with team members and teammates that have won the championships and Indianapolis 500 in the past, which is a tremendous advantage. I just can't wait to get started.” 

“What a terrific opportunity to have Takuma Sato drive our No. 11 Honda INDYCAR on the ovals in 2023.  He is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner who contributes with the experience of knowing how to win, by matching the strength of his three teammates, which equals four who race as one,” said Managing Director Mike Hull. “Chip Ganassi Racing looks forward to the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500.”

Sato has raced in the INDYCAR SERIES over the past 13 seasons, where he has earned six wins, 14 podiums and 10 pole positions. Sato has made 215 career INDYCAR SERIES starts, the sixth-most among active drivers and the 22nd-most in all-time history.

Sato is the most recent driver to attain multiple wins in the Indianapolis 500, capturing victories in 2020 and 2017. Sato’s first victory in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing came after re-claiming the lead with just six laps to go, etching his mark in the history books as the first Japanese driver to ever win the race. Then in 2020, he won the race for the second time after starting from the front row in P3 position.

Prior to his INDYCAR career, Sato raced in Formula 1 for seven seasons (2002-08). He earned 44 points with one podium appearance across 90 career series starts. Sato registered a top-10 finish in the Formula 1 points standings in 2004, where he achieved his podium finish at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. Sato also won the British Formula 3 championship in 2001, earning 12 wins as well as victories in the Marlboro Masters of F3 at Zandvoort, and the prestigious Macau F3 GP.

CGR PR

A NASCAR first will occur on Sunday, Feb. 5. The sanctioning body announced today that the top-three finishers in the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals.

The medal ceremony will take place on a podium in Victory Lane, which is located beneath the Olympic cauldron at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Ben Kennedy, NASCAR’s senior vice president for racing development and strategy, will present the medals to cap this historic event.

“These will be tremendous prizes for our drivers who are competing inside a venue that’s hosted two Olympic Games and is preparing for a third,” Kennedy said. “Not only do the medals honor the rich tradition of this stadium, but they also provide a special element unique to NASCAR’s 75th anniversary.”

Jostens will produce these exquisite medals, along with the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Trophy that’s presented to the winner of the season-opening exhibition. Each custom-crafted keepsake features the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum logo beautifully embossed on one side. The other side features the Coliseum’s centennial mark and the NASCAR 75th Anniversary logo.

The race winner’s medal weighs 4.7 ounces and is covered in 24-karat plated gold. It will certainly gleam beneath the Coliseum lights and iconic flame that towers above the temporary, quarter-mile asphalt track.

NASCAR announced earlier this month that 27 cars will compete in the 150-lap Clash main event. Up to 40 NASCAR Cup Series drivers will attempt to qualify for that main event via four heat races and two last-chance qualifiers that will determine the final field of 27.

Practice and qualifying for the 2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum will begin at 3 p.m. PT on Saturday, Feb. 4. Heat races will begin at 2 p.m. PT on Sunday, Feb. 5, followed by a performance from hip-hop legends Cypress Hill. And then shortly after 5 p.m. PT, the green flag will drop on the main event, which will feature a special mid-race performance by Wiz Khalifa.  It’s one of the many anticipated events taking place this year as a part of the venue’s centennial anniversary celebration – “Coliseum Forever.”

Tickets for the 2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum begin at $65, and kids 12-and-under are $10. Fans who want to take their race-day experience to the next level can upgrade to the Ally Pre-Race Party, which includes brunch, a drink ticket for Busch & Coca-Cola products, exclusive entertainment, a pre-race track walk and a special appearance from driver Alex Bowman.  Fans are encouraged to get their tickets now while supplies last by visiting www.nascarclash.com.

College students can experience the Busch Light Clash from The Coca-Cola Torch Party Porch for just $40. This standing-room-only general admission section, located on the Coliseum’s peristyle steps, provides college students with up-close access to all of the musical entertainment, driver introductions and racing action. College students can take advantage of this exclusive offer by visiting www.nascarclash.com/student.

NASCAR PR

The biggest Crate Late Model bash of the winter racing season is here. The fourth annual DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals hits Volusia Speedway Park this Wednesday to Saturday, Jan. 18-21, with a jam-packed field of talent expected in the DIRTcar Pro Late Model division.

 

It’s an all-new format for the Pro Late Models this year, racing alongside the World of Outlaws CASE Construction Equipment Late Model Series and the local 602 Late Models. The new format focuses on the accrual of points over a series of Qualifying Features on Thursday and Friday, lined up by Hot Lap/Qualifying times on each night. Those points totals will lock the top-20 drivers into the Championship Feature on Saturday and take an additional number of drivers in from the Last Chance Showdowns.

 

Saturday concludes with a 30-lap, $10,000-to-win Feature and the crowning of a DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals points champion, awarded to the driver with the most Feature points accumulated over the weekend.

 

Tickets are on sale now at WorldofOutlaws.com and will be available at the gate on race day. If you can’t be at the track, stream every lap live on your device with a subscription to DIRTVision.

 

Here are the top storylines going into the fourth annual DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals:

 

WRECKERS TO CHECKERS – It was one year ago this Friday when Mark Whitener pulled off the biggest comeback win in Sunshine Nationals history.

 

Whitener, the veteran Super and Crate Late Model racer from Middleburg, FL, rolled his Super Late Model into the Turn 1 wall during World of Outlaws Late Model competition on Thursday night of last year’s event. Less than 24 hours later, he was driving his DIRTcar Pro Late Model into Sunshine Nationals Victory Lane for the first time in his career, overcoming brake issues in the closing laps of the Feature to hold on for the win and complete the turnaround.

 

He'll be back on both rosters again this weekend as one of the only owner/drivers pulling double duty in his black/orange Baker Farms #5. Armed with years of 604 Chevy Performance Crate engine and open-engine Late Model experience, Whitener currently holds the best chance he’s ever had at the $10,000 grand prize on Saturday night, coming off a 10-win season in 604 Late Model competition.

 

THE CHAMP RETURNS – He’s been away since 2021, but this weekend, inaugural DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals Pro Late Model champion Kyle Bronson is back on the DIRTcar Pro Late Model roster.

 

The 32-year-old Super Late Model veteran from Brandon, FL, will pull double duty in both the Pro Late Model and World of Outlaws Late Model divisions, chasing his second career event points title. Bronson put on a display of dominance in 2020, sweeping all three Pro Late Model Features before coming back in 2021 and winning the $10,000 finale.

 

Bronson’s track record at Volusia is favorable, posting multiple Super Late Model, Crate Late Model and UMP Modified wins at the venue in his many years behind the wheel.

 

ICE BOWLER – Jason Welshan is taking his 2023 Ice Bowl championship with him to the shores of eastern Florida for a shot at Sunshine Nationals glory.

 

A big win on the Crate Racin’ USA Winter Shootout Series at Talladega Short Track two weekends ago brings Welshan, the 43-year-old racer/fabricator from Maryville, TN, into Volusia with a big swing of momentum after topping the 41-car field on Jan. 7.

 

As the owner and founder of his own Late Model chassis brand, Savage Chassis in Rockford, TN, Welshan has refined the technical makeup of his cars and maximized its potential, capturing the 2022 Crate Racin’ USA Dirt Late Model Series championship with four Feature wins over the course of the season.

 

ANOTHER SHOT – Defending CRUSA Winter Challenge Series champion Cory Hedgecock has come to Volusia for every edition of the DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals but has been shut out of Victory Lane each time. This year, he’s come to avenge his past defeats at the hands of his biggest foes.

 

Hedgecock, the two-time CRUSA Dirt Late Model Series champion from Loudon, TN, finished eighth in the Saturday finale in 2020, followed by back-to-back third-place results in 2021 and 2022.

 

Last year, the 30-year-old driver mounted a late-race charge in Thursday’s Feature, reeling-in leaders Mark Whitener and Shan Smith from sixth on the starting grid, but fell just short, settling for yet another podium finish.

 

MACK DADDY – The DIRTcar Sunshine Nationals Pro Late Model champion from two years ago returns to Volusia this weekend to reclaim what was once his throne.

 

Twenty-nine-year-old Mack McCarter, of Gatlinburg, TN, put on a passing clinic in 2021, advancing 35 total spots of position between the two contested Features (19th-to-second on Thursday, 20th-to-second on Saturday) to clinch the overall event points championship by five points over inaugural Sunshine Nationals champion Kyle Bronson.

 

Though McCarter missed the 2022 event, he went on to compete in Super Late Model action throughout the year, recording a Feature win at Boyd’s Speedway in May. Those laps will help his Crate racing efforts and give him a strong shot at another Sunshine Nationals championship this weekend.

 

DIRTcar Series PR

 BRANDT Professional Agriculture and JR Motorsports today announced that Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 Camaro, will commemorate the 70th anniversary of BRANDT with a special platinum paint scheme in the season-opening NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Daytona International Speedway (Feb. 18).

Founded in 1953 in central Illinois, BRANDT is a fast-growing, family-owned company and a leader in global agriculture. Specializing in innovative crop-input products and services to help growers get maximum yield, BRANDT supplies customers in 49 states and more than 80 countries.

“We’re thrilled to commemorate BRANDT’s 70th anniversary in 2023,” said JRM CEO Kelley Earnhardt Miller. “Evelyn, Rick, Sierra and the entire Brandt family should be so proud of reaching this milestone. There are a lot of challenges in running a family business and for BRANDT to have done it so successfully for seven decades is remarkable. BRANDT has been such a strong partner for our organization and we are honored to be able to play a role in such a landmark celebration.”  

In 24 previous NXS starts at “The World Center of Racing,” Allgaier has amassed six top fives, 10 top 10s and a best finish of second (twice). Since joining JRM in 2016 along with BRANDT, Allgaier has scored a combined 16 wins, 99 top fives, 158 top 10s and qualified for the Championship 4 in the NXS Playoffs in five out of seven seasons. 

“It’s an honor to be part of such a special celebration with everyone at BRANDT,” said Allgaier. “Celebrating their 70th anniversary is truly a testament to the dedication everyone at BRANDT has to the agricultural industry. Their longevity and continued growth are remarkable and I’m proud to be just a small part of this amazing group. Plus, I think this platinum scheme looks phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what we can do with it when we get to Daytona next month.”

“Very few companies reach 70 years,” said Rick Brandt, President and CEO of BRANDT. “But we’re just getting started. My daughter, Sierra-Shae, is now an owner and we’re building a company for the long term. We’re ready to go cause a platinum party when we get to Daytona.”

BRANDT and JRM additionally announced that BRANDT do Brasil driver Miguel Paludo will return to the organization to compete in three NXS road course events in 2023 for the third consecutive season. Paludo, a seven-time champion in the Porsche Carrera Cup series, will pilot the No. 88 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet in the NXS races at Circuit of the Americas (March 25), the inaugural NXS event at the street course in Chicago (July 1) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course (Aug. 12).

“To get Miguel (Paludo) back in the No. 88 BRANDT Chevrolet for JRM is really special as we celebrate our platinum anniversary,” added Brandt. “I’m extremely proud of our expansion into Brazil, and Miguel continues to be a key component in helping our organization grow. I can’t wait see him and Justin (Allgaier) out there for three events again this year. With the unveiling of Justin’s platinum scheme for Daytona and the return of Miguel, this is the start of what’s going to be a great year.”

The 2023 NXS season gets underway from Daytona on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. EST on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

JRM PR

Thomas Nepveu was back on track for the first time this year. He partnered up with Kart Republic, BN Engine and KartSport North America to compete in the X30 Senior class at the AMR Homestead-Miami kart track, which hosted the first round of the SKUSA Winter Series.

It was an adjustment for the Oka native, who doesn't get as much track time as others in this class. However, the weekend went very well as the Kart Republic team prepared a great machine.

"We were very fast in Saturday's warm-up session," said Thomas. "We thought that would translate into a good result in the qualifying session, but I couldn't get a good lap because of traffic. So I qualified at the back of the pack."

However, Thomas made grounds in the Pre-Final and moved ten spots, "I went from 27th to 17th, so I'm happy with the progress, but it wasn't as much as I'd hoped."

He finished Saturday's final in 10th place, but a penalty dropped him to 15th. "I lacked speed in the Final, but the kart was almost perfect. It was hard to make my way up as the field was impressive. Everyone was fast and competitive."

Sunday started the same way, with a very satisfying warm-up, but it wasn't taken into account due to a transponder issue. "The qualifying session wasn't bad, but not great either. I don't think I could show my true speed, so I set the 19th time."

He states, "Pre-Final was a total disaster; I was very fast, moving up the field, but we were battling and swapping positions. I didn't have any good opportunities and went in the grass. I finished in 16th place."

However, the weekend ended on a positive note as Thomas moved up from 16th to 4th place, missing the podium by a tenth of a second. "I am thrilled; we had a perfect race. We made some changes to the kart, and it was perfect."

"I am very grateful for the help from Kart Republic. We will be back on track at the next round next February," concluded Thomas.

Thomas Nepveu PR

Before the aggressive and distinctively Cadillac V-LMDh rounds into view, the unmistakable throaty sound is its calling card. Authentic American V8.

 

Cadillac, the only LMDh manufacturer with a naturally aspirated engine, will seek to build on its legacy of success in the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona -- the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season and introduction of the hybrid race cars in the Grand Touring Prototype class.

 

Resources: Cadillac Racing media info for Roar and Rolex 24 At Daytona | Livery reveal video

 

Three Cadillac V-LMDh race cars will make their debut this week at the Roar Before the Rolex 24. Cadillac will seek its fifth overall victory in the race 2017.

The twice-around-the-clock race is Jan. 28-29 at Daytona International Speedway. The prelude Roar commences with the first of five on-track practice sessions at 11 a.m. ET Jan. 20.

 

The starting grid will be determined by the qualifying format used at other IMSA races – a 20-minute session -- on the 3.56-mile, 12-turn road course. Peacock will provide streaming coverage of qualifying starting at 1:20 p.m. Jan. 22.

Everyone wishes they had an extra month or two and it’s just the way of the new formula. I guess the best way to do it is to rip the band aid off and get racing.

-- Earl Bamber, co-driver of the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh

“Two years of planning, preparation and perseverance have brought Cadillac Racing to this place and time – the start of a new and exciting era for the brand, IMSA and the WEC,” GM sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser said. “We’re thankful for the cooperation and consideration of dozens of GM personnel, our teams, partners, suppliers, the sanctioning bodies and the other OEMs to get to this point.

 

“This has been an intense process, but an extremely rewarding one. Our development process has been like running the Rolex 24 at least five times in a row. It felt like almost every test we were running a 24-hour race with the hours we were at the track and how hard everyone was working. We’re now looking forward to seeing the Cadillac V-LMDh cars on the racetrack in competition and, of course, in the winner’s circle.”

 

Since its shakedown in early July 2022, the Cadillac V-LMDh has completed more than 12,000 miles of on-track development in addition to numerous hours of development of the 5.5-liter DOHC V8 on dynamometers at the GM Performance and Racing propulsion facility in Pontiac, Michigan.

 

“Everyone wishes they had an extra month or two and it’s just the way of the new formula. I guess the best way to do it is to rip the band aid off and get racing,” said Earl Bamber, co-driver of the No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh.

 

Since 2017, Cadillac has been competing at the forefront of American sports car racing in the IMSA prototype class. In the 2017-2022 DPi era, Cadillac Racing achieved 27 wins (most of any manufacturer), 84 podium finishes, plus:

* Winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship three times: 2021, 2018 and 2017

* Winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona four times in a row: 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017

* Winning the Michelin North American Endurance Cup four times: 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2017

* Winning three Team and Driver Championships

 

Prior to competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Cadillac competed in the World Challenge Championship, earning five Manufacturer Championships (2014, 2013, 2012, 2007, 2005) and five Driver Championships (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2005).

What Cadillac Racing drivers are saying

No. 01 Cadillac V-LMDh

 

Resource: Driver bios

 

Sebastien Bourdais: “For us, it’s still early days. Everything is new and yet the race is just around the corner. Usually, you spend a lot more time trying to refine the set-ups and everything going into a race, especially being the biggest race of the year. But we’ll have a couple of days during the Roar and then we’ll go racing. We want to see Cadillac win it and we’d love to be the car to win it. I fully expect the one who wins will be the one with the fewest amount of problems, so we’ll keep it clean, go fast and make sure we don’t run into troubles.”

 

Renger van der Zande: “The test days at Daytona were a time to get reliable you’re your car and get that bit of speed out of the car by working on set-ups. We’ll continue that during the practice days at the Roar. The mental aspect is to focus on your job and trust the others to do well. The only thing you can focus on is that little piece that you’re contributing to the whole team. You’re relying on your teammates, you’re relying on the strategy, you’re relying on the mechanical side of your car. To get everything right is not easy. I’m with an amazing group of drivers and amazing group of people I work with who are to be trusted.”

 

Scott Dixon: “I’m looking forward to the Roar. Being part of the program a good amount in the off-season, I’ve seen a lot of great development with the car. It’s going to be good to have two cars running at the same time. I’m ready to kick off he season strong. On the Cadillac front I think all the driver lineups are fantastic, the car has been fast, they look like winning cars. All the manufacturers coming in have brought a new intensity to IMSA, which is great for the race itself and the long term.”

No. 02 Cadillac V-LMDh

 

Resource: Driver bios

 

Alex Lynn: “As a crew, we’re ready to perform. It’s the biggest race on the American calendar, so from that side all three of us have experience and we know what it takes to get it done. We need to stay calm with a brand-new car and make sure we arrive on race day with the best possible chance of winning.”

 

Earl Bamber: “I think having a regular qualifying session instead of a race this year is good for all the GTP class cars. Everyone wishes they had an extra month or two and it’s just the way of the new formula. I guess the best way to do it is to rip the band aid off and get racing. This first Daytona race is going to be a real endurance race of who car finish the race cleanly without any mechanical failures. The guys at GM, Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing have put a huge amount of work and effort into where we are and I think everyone is excited to get the car on track and see what we’ve produced in the last year and a half.”

 

Richard Westbook: “It’s been a race against time with the development of the Cadillac V-LMDh. It’s a whole new class, whole new formula and everyone was wishing they had more time. But it is the way the American season works in sports car racing; the first round is a 24-hour race and that’s brutal. We have to be ready and I think round one is going to all be about reliability. We had a very successful 24-hour test and a good test at Daytona in December, so that puts us in good stead.”

No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac V-LMDh

 

Resource: Driver bios

 

Pipo Derani: “I think there’s always a big excitement coming into a new season, especially with the first event so big. After you do this for a few years, you learn how to control your emotions. Everything just falls into place. You just do what you have to do. Once you focus on that and know you have that support from the team, then you’re also more relaxed. There’s really nothing different to do than what you’ve already done and those things have worked because we’ve won races and championships. That also helps you calm down and focus on the important things. Come race day and come Sunday afternoon, you hope everything fell into place and you have the shot at victory in this event.”  

 

Alexander Sims: “A lot of preparation has gone into the car and it’s getting down to crunch time. It’s a huge challenge ahead of us firstly just to complete the race with a brand-new car, brand-new set of technology in the car that everybody is learning about and haven’t been raced in anger up and down the paddock by anyone before and then to try to be fast and competitive at the same time. We’re fully up for it. It seems like we’re in a good spot. I remain cautiously optimistic.”

 

Jack Aitken: “I’m super excited. I’m comfortable in the car. For everyone, it’s a massive challenge and seeing the way everybody has been fighting to get ready for the race is pretty cool. I think we’re in a good spot. It’s just ironing out those little niggles you get with a new car. I don’t think we’ll get that feeling that we’re 100 percent ready, but I don’t think anybody really is. If we can get there 99 percent ready, I’d say we’ve done a good job.”

Cadillac Racing PR

Building off one of the most successful seasons in NASCAR Pinty’s Series history, NASCAR today announced the 2023 schedule, featuring a record 14 races across Canada.

 

With the success of last year’s dirt debut race at Ohsweken Speedway, the track will return to the schedule as a double-header event on Monday, Aug. 14 and Tuesday, Aug. 15.

 

In addition, teams will make the journey back to Newfoundland and Labrador for another thrilling event at Eastbound International Speedway. 

 

Altogether, the series will visit 11 different tracks in five provinces. 

 

“The NASCAR Pinty’s Series has delivered great racing and exciting events across Canada for 16 years and next season will be our best one yet,” said Tony Spiteri, General Manager, NASCAR Canada. “Last year was an overwhelming success for everybody associated with the Pinty’s Series with increased interest from fans, competitors and potential partners. The 2023 schedule will continue to deliver the thrilling side-by-side racing that defines NASCAR and the Pinty’s Series.”

 

The season opens at Sunset Speedway (May 13) for the fourth consecutive year and concludes at Delaware Speedway (Sept. 24) where Marc-Antoine Camirand capped off a memorable season with his first NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship last September. 

 

The series will once again boast the most diverse schedule in NASCAR with seven short track oval races, five road course / street races and two dirt track races.

 

In 2023, the series will also celebrate its 200th race at Ohsweken Speedway with the start of the Tuesday race date.

 

Other highlights of the 2023 schedule include:

 

  • Fan-favorite street course events in Toronto and the 53rd annual Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R). Kevin Lacroix won in Toronto this year, his second of three road course wins last season.  Alex Guenette followed his GP3R win with a multi-year deal at Ed Hakonson Racing.

 

  • Two races at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), including the traditional Victoria Day weekend race on Sunday, May 21. The second visit will be the season’s penultimate race on Sunday, Sept 3. 

 

  • The mid-season Western Swing will bring three races to Alberta and Saskatchewan – one at Edmonton International Raceway and twin features at Sutherland Automotive Speedway (Saskatoon).

The 2022 season hit many milestones including a record-tying eight different winners, three first-time winners (aged 18, 26 and 29 at the time of their first win), and an average field size of 23.6 cars, the series’ highest count since 2013.

 

All 2023 races will air on TSN and RDS. Start times and complete broadcast and streaming schedules will be released at a later date.

 

2023 NASCAR Pinty’s Series Schedule

 

DATE

TRACK

CITY

Saturday, May 13

Sunset Speedway

Innisfil, Ont.

Sunday, May 21

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Bowmanville, Ont.

Saturday, June 10

Autodrome Chaudière

Vallée-Jonction, Que.

Saturday, June 24

Eastbound International Speedway

Avondale, N.L.

Friday, July 14

Grand Prix of Toronto

Toronto, Ont.

Saturday, July 22

Edmonton International Raceway

Wetaskiwin, Alb.

Wednesday, July 26

Sutherland Automotive Speedway*

Saskatoon, Sask.

Wednesday, July 26

Sutherland Automotive Speedway*

Saskatoon, Sask.

Sunday, Aug. 6

Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières

Trois-Rivières, Que.

Monday, Aug. 14

Ohsweken Speedway

Ohsweken, Ont.

Tuesday, Aug. 15

Saturday, Aug. 26

Ohsweken Speedway

Circuit ICAR

Ohsweken, Ont.

Mirabel, Que.

Sunday, Sept. 3

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Bowmanville, Ont. 

Sunday, Sept. 24

Delaware Speedway

Delaware, Ont.

 

 

 

 

*125-lap twin features

 

SCHEDULE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

 

NASCAR Pinty's Series PR

It was fast cars and Hollywood stars in the annual ARCA Menards Series pre-season pre-race practice at Daytona International Speedway which concluded on Saturday. The two days of on-track activity saw 61 drivers and 37 different cars on the racetrack. 


The Venturini Motorsports team led the way, sweeping the top four positions on the leaderboard with female drivers Toni Breidinger and Amber Balcaen the fastest, with their teammates Jesse Love and Gus Dean in third and fourth respectively. Venturini Motorsports has won six consecutive races at Daytona, five on the 2.5-mile tri-oval and one on the road course with drivers Michael Self, Harrison Burton, and Corey Heim. It’s the third time VMS has led the pre-race practice results with a female driver; the team previously showed the way with drivers Natalie Decker and Leilani Munter, but it’s the first time in history the top two positions were held by women. 


Breidinger’s fastest lap was 49.119 seconds/183.228 miles per hour, just 0.007 seconds quicker than Balcaen.  


Love, a two-time ARCA Menards Series West champion, led the full-time drivers in third place, timing in at 49.129 seconds/183.191 miles per hour. Love, who turned 18 on Friday, announced his intention to compete for the series championship in 2023 driving the No. 20 Toyota.  


Emmy nominated actor Frankie Muniz announced earlier in the week his intention to compete in the full 2023 ARCA Menards Series and backed up that announcement with a solid performance on the track over the course of the two days. Driving the No. 30 Ford for Rette Jones Racing, Muniz quickly acclimated to the draft, turning in the tenth-fastest lap of the weekend at 49.403 seconds/182.175 miles per hour.  


Rev Racing’s new lineup of drivers – Lavar Scott and Mexico's Andres Perez de Lara – was supplemented by defending series champion Nick Sanchez, who helped guide the two young drivers as they made their first laps at Daytona. Perez de Lara, who timed in 18th fastest at 49.891 seconds/180.393 miles per hour – will be competing for the series championship in 2023, while Scott will be competing in a limited ARCA Menards Series schedule while he competes for the championship in the ARCA Menards Series East. 


Joe Gibbs Racing’s lineup, Connor Mosack and William Sawalich, were both fast over the course of the two days. Sawalich, who will run 20 races on short tracks and road courses spread across the ARCA Menards Series platform, was fifth overall while Mosack, who will run a limited schedule on superspeedways, was 14th overall. 


Other drivers who have announced their plans to compete for the ARCA Menards Series championship at the pre-race practice included Greg Van Alst, who was 15th overall, and Christian Rose, who has made the move to AM Racing, who was 30th overall. 

The ARCA Menards Series season starts Saturday, February 18 with the 60th running of the Daytona ARCA 200, which will be televised live on FS1 starting at 1:30 pm ET. For complete series information, please visit ARCARacing.com and for up-to-the-minute updates follow @ARCA_Racing on Twitter. 

ARCA Racing PR

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