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Ford Performance - NCS COTA Qualifying Quotes
FORD QUALIFYING RESULTS
3rd - Austin Cindric
15th - Joey Logano
16th - Harrison Burton
19th - Chase Briscoe
20th - Michael McDowell
24th - Jenson Button
26th - Ryan Preece
29th - Kevin Harvick
30th - Brad Keselowski
32nd - Chris Buescher
36th - Todd Gilliland
37th - Cody Ware
38th - Ryan Blaney
39th - Aric Almirola
Austin Cindric posted his third top-10 start at Circuit of The Americas with Saturday’s third-place qualifying result. It is his fourth in six races this season.
AUSTIN CINDRIC, No. 2 Discount Tire Ford Mustang – HOW DID YOU THINK YOUR QUALIFYING WENT? “Yeah, good execution by everyone in our Discount Ford Mustang in qualifying. I feel like this weekend, more than others, qualifying will certainly have an impact on your ability to have a good finish – without the stage cautions. So, solid place to start, it gives us great pit selection. But, we’re still lacking a bit of overall pace to try and challenge. I really thought I nailed my lap in the second round – just not enough. We’re definitely focused on trying to have a good car for tomorrow, and I’m hoping this pays off.”
HOW HAS THE CAR AND PACKAGE BEEN HERE AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS SO FAR? “The adjusted aero package certainly did the same things that we experienced at Phoenix. Just a lot less grip, a lot smaller window with the car. Being able to stay on-top of those things could be really important as the track and race evolves.”
DOES YOUR ROAD COURSE BACKGROUND HELP IN CUP? “In some ways it’s apples and oranges. I don’t think there’s any car I drove GT racing that had this little downforce. So, I’d say a go-kart might be closer to some of the GT cars I’ve driven."
Jenson Button posted the fastest Ford time in Qualifying Round 1A.
JENSON BUTTON, No. 15 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang – TELL US ABOUT YOUR RUN. “The car was moving around a lot. My first lap I definitely didn’t get everything out of it. When you go out on old tires, you don’t really get the best out of it. I already lost the rear. I mean, it was OK. We’ll see. I’m in front of one of my heroes from NASCAR, Kevin Harvick, so it’s not so bad. It’s a pretty good day."
HAS ANYTHING FROM GARAGE 56 HELPED YOU BRIDGE THE LEARNING CURVE? “I think in terms of the weight, yes. In terms of everything else, I think it’s probably hindered me more than anything else. You brake at the three-marker everywhere here and then in Cup car, you brake before the four-marker. So, certain things are very different – we have traction control in that as well. Some things have hurt me, some things have helped me.”
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE SECTOR AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS? “The first sector is really tough. In an F1 car through the esses, it’s pretty awesome and very fast-flowing – pretty easy in an F1 car. In this car, it is not easy. You’re bouncing over the curbs, there’s a lot of movement – front, rear roll. So that’s the trickiest section but if you get it right, it’s very rewarding. The best section for me is Turn 12 and the slow corners there. Just because I think that’s my most competitive sector. That’s why I like it. If I was slow there, I wouldn’t like it. That, for me, is the best sector. I struggle in the carousel, the long right-hander – a little bit understeer and oversteer. It’s getting used to the car bouncing, hitting bumps… just not used to that yet.”
HOW ARE YOU ACCLIMATING? “It’s been all good. The team has been fantastic to be fair, and it has really helped me get into a groove. The people I’m working with at Stewart-Haas Racing and Rick Ware Racing have been fantastic. Really, really good. I think in terms of the pace, we’re still quite a bit off over one lap, but that’s me just getting used to coming out of the pits, pushing it hard for one lap. It takes a little bit of time when you’re not 100 percent confident in a car."
Ford Performance PR
Grant Sexton’s 2023 Perris Auto Speedway Debut
Southern California teenage racing star Grant Sexton raced his new Triple X Chassis/Shaver 410 racing engine for the first time at Perris Auto Speedway last Saturday night. For the 2021 POWRi Southwest Lightning Sprint Car Series champion, it was his first of eight races on the west coast’s premiere dirt track in 2023.
For Sexton and the other 24 drivers on hand, it was the first series race since the end of January at Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway. A two-night show at the Central Arizona Raceway in mid-February was canceled due to rain. Sexton began the night by recording a lap of 17.321 in qualifying. That was the 22nd fastest in the field. The qualifying time put the 18-year-old racer, who is running for “Rookie of the Year,” in the second eight-lap heat race of the night. When the 10 lapper concluded, he crossed the line in eighth place.
For the main event, the outgoing teenager began the 25-car, 30-lap race in the 22nd spot. He advanced forward three positions to finish 19th.
After three series races in 2023, Sexton is ranked 14th in the championship standings and currently leads the “Rookie of the Year” chase.
The 18-year-old driver, who lives in Lakeside, California, was part of a strong contingent of young drivers not only in the USAC/CRA Series, but also in the track’s Young Gun Sprint Car Class. The influx of youth bodes well for the future of sprint car racing on the west coast.
This weekend, Sexton and the other USAC/CRA drivers were slated to race on Friday at Kings Speedway in Hanford and the Thunder Bowl Raceway in Tulare on Saturday. Unfortunately, the persistent rains that have hammered California throughout the first three months of the year added those two tracks to their victim list and both races were canceled. They were the third and fourth rainouts in the first seven series races in 2023.
After getting this weekend off, Sexton and the SGR #22 will return to the track when the USAC/CRA Series visits Arizona’s Mojave Valley Raceway on Saturday, April 1st.
Sexton Gatlin Racing would like to thank the following companies for making the 2022 season possible. Keys Brothers, East County Electric Works, Maxima Oil, Automated Interiors, Sexton Fire Protection, BK Wings, Troy Dirt, Victory Graphix, and Swift Powdercoat.
WHAT DOES RACING AT COTA MEAN TO YOU IN TERMS OF YOUR EXPERIENCE IN F1 AND NOW IN NASCAR?
Kimi Räikkönen: “First of all, I’m happy to be back with the team, PROJECT91, and at the track that I know. Obviously, a lot different to how it feels. It’s the same track but it feels a lot different in an F1 car to a NASCAR car. A lot of the corners are more kind of straights in F1 because of the downforce. It gets a bit trickier in a NASCAR car. It’s nice to be back and it’s a lovely place to be here in Texas. Let’s hope we can do well. We will try to improve from yesterday and today and see what we do in the race.”
COMPARED TO F1, HOW HAS THIS EXPERIENCE BEEN LIKE FOR YOU TO WORK WITH YOUR TEAMMATES ROSS (CHASTAIN) AND DANIEL (SUAREZ) IN TERMS OF GETTING THEIR INSIGHTS?
Kimi Räikkönen: “It’s different. In F1, it’s a lot of meetings and a lot of other stuff. Here, it’s a bit more relaxed. You kind of have the meetings, but it’s a different way. I don’t have the experience with the cars and all the details, so we had a meeting yesterday as a group, as a whole team, and it’s nice to listen and assess what they thought about the car and what they should do with the car. I think it sounds like everybody has similar difficulties with the cars here. The rear seems to be the tricky part in the highest bit but it’s good to have teammates and to hear what they’re saying and get some advice from them.”
HOW MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE DO YOU FEEL NOW THAN YOU DID AT (WATKINS) GLEN?
Kimi Räikkönen: “Obviously, a little bit. It was just a different track again, and I haven’t driven any racecars since last year, so it takes a while to get used to it again even though I know the car. The car has lost some downforce, so it makes it a bit more tail-happy. At least I know that most of the things how it goes. Is it going to get any better results? We’ll find out. But I know the track so that helps, but as I said before it’s a lot different track with a NASCAR car than an F1 car. I feel more ready for sure on that side now that I know how the race goes and how everything else goes.”
CAN YOU GIVE AN UPDATE ON PROJECT91 AND WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE FOR THIS YEAR?
Justin Marks: “I’m really happy with where PROJECT91 is right now. It’s resonating with people. We’ve got some great sponsors on the car this weekend. We’re going to definitely race this car multiple times this year. We’re not ready to make any of those announcements yet but people are taking notice. We’ve got some great sponsorships coming our way. It’ll be an exciting program we’ll be able to announce pretty soon.”
WHAT’S BEEN THE GREATER TRANSITION RACING IN NASCAR – KNOWING THE CARS OR KNOWING WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE MIDDLE OF A RACE?
Kimi Räikkönen: “I think it’s everything. Obviously, I have some experience on different cars and different categories. I did Rally, which is completely different to what I was used to doing in F1. NASCAR, again, it’s easy to think that they’re all kind of similar because you have a steering wheel and four tires, but it changes a lot. The racing is slightly different because in F1 with open wheels, if you touch somebody you usually lose a car or lose the wheel. You cannot really take that risk in F1 that much because you lose tiny parts of the car, and your car is suddenly a second slower than it should be. In NASCAR, you can have a bit more closer racing. Obviously, the rules are different. They’re more open here. I think it’s more of if you kind of behave, well they’ll behave a similar way against you the way I’ve understood. It makes it more exciting at the end of the races when people can be quite aggressive. Everything is different. How they run practices, how they run qualifying, it’s all kind of a learning curve. The car is obviously a lot more different to drive than any other car that I’ve driven before. I like it. It’s quite relaxed. It’s very warming kind of atmosphere. It’s good.”
“I had a good experience in the last one last year. It didn’t end up like we had wished, but when you have 40 other cars, things can go wrong.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL MEMORIES FROM YOUR LAST VICTORY HERE (AT CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS)?
Kimi Räikkönen: “Yeah, for sure. That was my last win and obviously, here, great memories. It was a long time coming and it was a nice race. It wasn’t an easy race, but we managed to win it. I have, for sure, good memories of that.”
COMING BACK TO AUSTIN AS A FIRST WIN AS A TEAM, HOW DOES IT FEEL COMING BACK TO YOUR FIRST CAREER WIN AS AN OWNER?
Justin Marks: “It definitely feels a little bit different than all of the race tracks we go to just because it was such a bit day for our company. You can’t help but drive in here and have a lot of memories from that great day. In that respect, Circuit of the Americas will always be something very special to our company. This weekend, it’s about trying to defend it. Everybody knows these cars a lot better now than they did this time last year, and the competition is tougher this time than it was last year. We’ve got three great drivers and great opportunities to have a good result on Sunday, so that’s what we’re focused on. But I would say Circuit of the Americas is always going to be a place that holds special meaning for our company, obviously.”
WE’VE KIND OF SEEN A REVIVAL OF RINGERS COMING BACK, YOU KIND OF STARTING IT WITH PROJECT91. TODAY’S FIELD IS A DIVERSE TALENT POOL. FROM AN OWNER’S STANDPOINT, DO YOU SEE A POTENTIAL OF A RINGER POSSIBLY COMPETING FOR A WIN AGAIN LIKE WE SAW IN THE 90’S, EARLY 2000’S?
Justin Marks: “Yeah, I certainly think it’s possible. I think because this type of racing is so unique, the car is so different - just the competition, the way the races are, pit road, and strategy. All that stuff is very unique that it’s probably going to be difficult for anybody to come in and do it their first try. But I think that if a program is built around a driver where they get multiple opportunities and they can learn that, like Kimi will be a lot stronger in this race than he was in Watkins Glen just because he’s done it once before and he knows what to expect and he will be better. I think if you get this talent in here and they can learn how to manage these races, and these races are really hard to win for someone who does this every single week for years, so I would say the talent is there. Once the experience matches up with it, I certainly think that’s a potential.”
YOU’VE BEEN AT THIS TRACK A NUMBER OF TIMES, WON HERE IN 2018. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT THIS TRACK, AND WHAT’S THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE THAT MAYBE YOU DIDN’T SEE IN F1 BUT THAT YOU SEE IT IN STOCK CAR?
Kimi Räikkönen: “I think generally the track is nice because at least in F1, and I’m sure in NASCAR, it creates good racing. There are places you can overtake, and especially in F1, you don’t get a lot of circuits you can have a good race. People can actually overtake without the DRS, and it feels more like a normal older-style F1 racing. So that’s how the track layout works for F1 quite well. As I said before, in F1, it’s not flat. Some of the first parts are almost flat, (turns) 17 and 18, those are pretty easy and flat for those cars. A lot of the corners that are tricky. Probably the most tricky corners for NASCAR, they’re not really for F1 cars because of the downforce. It makes a huge difference in the track. All of the bumps the track has in F1 you get away with a lot because, again, the downforce helps and you don’t really feel it but in a NASCAR car, the effect is quite big. It makes it a much more tricky track to drive and to get the car somewhat working as you wish. It’s a completely different track in many ways. It sounds stupid because it’s the same track, but the car makes it a lot different.”
SINCE TRACKHOUSE’S INCEPTION IN 2021, IS YOUR VISION GOING ACCORDING TO PLAN, AND WHAT’S LEFT ON THE TABLE?
Justin Marks: “It’s been tremendous. It’s been incredible. I’ve said it a number of times the plan was always to work really hard and try to build an organization to compete for wins and ultimately compete for a championship. We’ve proven that’s possible for us. We had such an incredible year in 2022 that the challenge shifts a little bit to really focusing on the things we have to focus on to make sure that that’s repeatable, and that we can do that every year, and that we’re continuing to learn these cars at the rate that all these other teams are learning and adapt to any kind of changes in the sport that are coming. That’s really what we need to focus on. But there’s a lot of people over here on this side of the room that’s really had a big role in Trackhouse being a thing and being a contender on the race track. We’ve got a lot of great partners. Our support from Chevrolet has really allowed us access to tools and knowledge that we need to be successful. We’ve got racecar drivers and great pit crews and people at Trackhouse. We’re doing exactly what we thought was possible. It’s been just a lot of fun. It’s been awesome. We’re always working on fun stuff.”
DID YOU EXPECT YOU’D COME BACK TO A NASCAR RACE IN TEXAS TO RACE AGAINST JENSON BUTTON AGAIN? CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW COOL IT IS, THE FIELD, THIS WEEKEND?
Kimi Räikkönen: “No, no. I didn’t. I’m not probably expected if I came back or not. It depends on so many things. I’m grateful for the team that we can have another go again, but then a lot of things. The family likes to come here, they really enjoyed last year. It’s a nice trip for all of us, but then there’s a lot of different moving parts that needs to fit – that the timing goes right, and this seems to be the right one. A lot of good drivers. The guys that do it all the time, they’re really fast not just on ovals but also on road courses, they’re good. They’re professional guys and they know how to drive these cars. It doesn’t matter if it’s a road course or an oval, they will always be fast. It’s hard to challenge them, but we will try again with our best and see what we get.”
CHEVROLET NCS AT COTA: Daniel Suarez Press Conference Transcript
THIS IS KIND OF A HOME RACE FOR YOU. HOW MUCH OF A HOMEFIELD ADVANTAGE IS COTA FOR YOU?
“It feels like quite a bit. My mom actually arrived last night. She drove from my hometown along with a close friend of mine and my sister. So yeah, it definitely feels like home. I’m very happy to be here in Austin. COTA is an amazing racetrack. I have my family here. Today is Justin Marks’ birthday so we have a Birthday Boss this weekend. We have fast cars, too, so everything is looking great. We have a lot of reasons to be happy and grateful. We’re looking forward to get rolling here shortly for qualifying.”
HOW SPECIAL WOULD IT BE TO DELIVER YOUR BIRTHDAY BOSS A WIN?
“Winning is always great. We can always find reasons why winning is so amazing. This weekend obviously we have Justin’s birthday, mom is here – I haven’t seen her in several months – and my sister is here – I haven’t seen her in almost a year. So yeah, it’s a good time to be here. And it’s a good time to be fast. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do. So far we have had a pretty acceptable weekend so far.”
HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO GAUGE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE ROAD COURSE/SHORT TRACK PACKAGE LAST YEAR AND WHAT YOU SAW YESTERDAY IN PRACTICE?
“A lot of things changed from last year to this year, and not just on the aero package. Also the racetrack is more bumpy, in my opinion. I don’t think that’s because of the downforce package. We have a different tire, and last year here at COTA was the first road course race for the Next-Gen car. We have learned so much since then. Yeah, we’re in a different spot but I don’t think that we are exactly comparing apples to apples because a lot of things have changed. All in all, it feels good. The fall-off at the end of the day, that was the main thing NASCAR was looking for, is bigger so that’s a positive. I feel like that is going to open the doors to different strategies now that we don’t have to stop for stage breaks. It should be fun. I’m really looking forward to the race.”
MORE ON DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LAST YEAR’S CAR AND THIS YEAR.
“Last year, I truly feel like I had the best car. This time around, I feel like we have a fast car. Right now, I don’t feel like we have the best car but I feel like we can have one of the best cars. And that’s all I can ask for. I don’t feel like I need to have the fastest car to be able to win the race. I feel that if I can have something similar to the fast guys then we can make it happen as a team. Above it all, I personally think that we are going to see a very fun race just because of the fall-off and the stage breaks is going to open the door for different strategies, and I’m very excited for that. We have made a couple of adjustments overnight. Hopefully those are the things I’m looking for. We’ll see what we can do today. I’m happy where we’re at.”
YOU (AND ROSS CHASTAIN) WERE BOTH VERY FAST LAST YEAR AND NOW YOU HAVE KIMI (RAIKKONEN). WHAT ADVICE HAVE YOU GIVEN HIM AND VICE VERSA?
“We’ve been talking a lot about balance, about feelings. We spent a little bit of time a couple days ago at the simulator. Kimi is very natural. He mentioned it a few minutes ago. The only thing he is lacking is time. He’s very natural. If he had a full season in NASCAR, he would be right there with us. The reason we are very fast is that we are in a rhythm. We are driving these cars every single weekend. It doesn’t matter if it’s an oval or a road course. We know the cars in and out. We know the limits, we know what’s good, what’s bad, everything. It’s not easy. You can bring the best of the best in the world. It’s not easy just to jump like that into a series this competitive and be there. It’s not easy. But I think he is going to do very well. He’s getting up to speed more and more. I think today we are going to see another step in the right direction and for sure tomorrow we are going to see another huge step in the right direction for the 91.”
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN FOCUS AND COGNITIVE FOCUS DURING A RACE? IS THERE A PARTICULAR STRATEGY YOU USE?
“No, I wish I had some. I try to just stay calm and try to remind myself why I’m here. I’m here because I love racing. I’m here because I love to compete and I like to win. Everything else comes as a consequence. I feel grateful to be here. When you’re in a rhythm, like I was talking about not long ago, it’s easy to take it for granted what we do every single weekend. We are very lucky individuals that we get to do every single weekend what we love to do – drive racecars and compete. Every single driver here is very, very competitive. It’s something we just love. Just because of that we are very fortunate to be in this position. I try to remind myself all these things – to know that I’m in a very good position and go out there and have fun… prepare myself as good as possible mentally and physically and go out there and compete at the highest level that I could possibly do.”
HOW WILL THE WEATHER IMPACT THE RACE TOMORROW AND BEING IN AUSTIN.
“I think I have to change my weather app because I didn’t think it was going to rain (during the track walk). I think today is going to be a little less grip than yesterday just because it’s going to be hotter. I think we will continue to be fast but the fall-off is going to be bigger. Overall, it’s going to be the same for everyone so we have to adapt and try to adapt as good as possible and see how it goes. I think our car is going to do well. We are making some good adjustments, I believe, for today and I think that we’re going to be on the good side of it when it comes to the new day. We’ll see what we can do. I’m happy where we are.”
DIFFERENT STRATEGIES WITH NO STAGE BREAKS.
“You guys know this, in the past we were coming into a road-course race with two mentalities – either you’re going to fight for the win or you’re going to fight for points. You couldn’t do both. It was impossible to do both. I was in both situations last year. It was fun but when you were going for points, it was almost like you already knew you weren’t going to win the race or it was going to be a longshot to win the race. If you were going for the race (win) and something was happening, you gave up a lot of points. It was almost like we put ourselves in a box every time. Now I feel like it’s going to open the options a lot and the strategies and lot of things for the teams. I was talking to my team last night about all the different options – the fall-off that we have, the different strategy options and all that kind of stuff. It’s going to be dependent on a little bit of luck. When the caution depends on where you are in your pit cycle. I’m excited for that. I’m excited to bring back the smarter engineers and put them back to work!”
Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Overview- Circuit of the Americas
Parker Retzlaff – No. 31 FUNKAWAY
Chevrolet Camaro SS Preview- Circuit of the Americas
Social Media; Facebook, Twitter, Inst
News and Notes:
- Practice; After the completion of the 20-minute practice session on Friday afternoon, Parker Retzlaff would record a fastest lap of 139.659 at 87.900 mph on Lap-5 of his 7-lap session putting him 35th fastest of the 42 cars entered for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of the Americas.
– Starting Position; Directly after the 20-minute practice session teams would move into qualifying to determine the starting order for Saturday’s Pit Boss 250. In 2023, road course qualifying would consist of two rounds of group qualifying with the first round consisting of 15-minutes of two groups with the fastest five cars in each group moving onto the second round for a 10-minute session to determine the pole sitter. Retzlaff would lay down a fast lap of 138.436 at 88.676 mph in Group A putting the No. 31 FUNKAWAY Chevrolet Camaro SS 17th in the group at the end of the 15 minutes failing to transfer on to the fast-10. At the conclusion of qualifying Retzlaff would rely on an owner’s points provisional to start Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 outside Row 17 in the 34th position.
– Circuit of the Americas Stats; Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 will mark Retzlaff’s first career start at COTA and first career Road Course race.
- FUNKAWAY; Headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, FunkAway is a line of odor elimination products that removes the horrible effects of bad smells. Guaranteed to work on clothing, shoes, gear, pet products, car interiors and more, FunkAway allows customers to renew and refresh, rather than throw away.
To learn more about FunkAway, visit Funkaway.com and connect on Instagram and Facebook.
Jeb Burton– No. 27 State Water Heaters / HeartBeat Heart Sauce Co.
Chevrolet Camaro SS Preview- Circuit of the Americas
Social Media; Facebook, Twitter, Inst
News and Notes:
- Practice; After the completion of the 20-minute practice session on Friday afternoon, Jeb Burton would record a fastest lap of 137.344 at 89.381 mph on Lap-1 of his 5-lap session putting him 18th fastest of the 42 cars entered for the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of the Americas.
– Starting Position; Directly after the 20-minute practice session teams would move into qualifying to determine the starting order for Saturday’s Pit Boss 250. In 2023, road course qualifying would consist of two rounds of group qualifying with the first round consisting of 15-minutes of two groups with the fastest five cars in each group moving onto the second round for a 10-minute session to determine the pole sitter. Burton would run a fast lap of 135.646 at 90.500 mph in Group B putting the No. 27 State Water Heaters / HeartBeat Hot Sauce Co. Chevrolet Camaro SS 11th fastest in the group at the end of the 15 minutes failing to transfer on to the fast-10. At the conclusion of qualifying Burton will start Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 inside Row 11 in the 21st position.
– Circuit of the Americas Stats; Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 will mark Burton’s third career start at COTA in NXS competition. In two previous starts Burton holds an average finish of 16.5 with a career best of 10th coming in May of 2021.
- State Water Heaters; State Water Heaters is a leading manufacturer of commercial and residential water heaters. For more than 60 years, State Water Heaters has built dependable, long-lasting water heaters for commercial and residential applications. State remains fixed on manufacturing durable products that last longer. For more information, visit StateWaterHeaters.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Insta
- HeartBeat Hot Sauce Co.; Founded in 2015. A hobby of making hot sauce for ourselves at home quickly ignited into a full-fledged production company after word of mouth spread throughout our home town of Thunder Bay and beyond. All of our sauces are made with maximum flavor and balance in mind. Each sauce is bright, bold, healthy, and deliciously unique. We ferment our peppers using traditional methods before we cook them with a few simple, high-quality ingredients. We add no water, thickening agents or chemical preservatives of any kind making our sauce as natural as it gets. All of our recipes are proudly developed, cooked, bottled, packaged, and distributed from our dedicated facility in the South Core of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. Our goal is to get Heartbeat Hot Sauce in to as many hands as possible, while maintaining our small batch process. See all of our HeatBeat Hot Sauce products online at HeartBeatHotSauce.com
All French driver line-up for RDV Competition
French powerhouse RDV Competition will once again feature an all-French driver line-up for the 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season. RDV Competition veteran Frederic Gabillon will return to EuroNASCAR PRO to compete for victories in Europe's premier NASCAR championship. New to the team is youngster Paul Jouffreau, who will race for the EuroNASCAR 2 title after making his competitive auto racing debut in the 2022 NWES season. Both French drivers will be looking to leave their mark on the championship and bring the blue-white-red flag back to the podium on the #3 car.
Frederic Gabillon has been competing in the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series since 2013 and knows every detail of the championship like the back of his hand. Having finished second in the championship thrice in his career – in 2013, 2016 and 2018 – the Frenchman hopes to bounce back and be a title contender this season. Having considered retiring from racing on several occasions, Gabillon cannot stay away from the adrenaline and pure racing of EuroNASCAR and his goal is clear: to return to Victory Lane and add a 13th victory to his resume.
"I want to be back at the front and fight for podiums," said Gabillon, who will turn 47 on March 30. The native of Trappes, who lives in Uzes, continued: "I love the old school car with no electronic aids because it's so much fun to drive and we have amazing battles on track in the championship. I'm really looking forward to getting back on the track and trying to take the #3 car back to the front where it belongs.”
Racing since the mid-90s, Gabillon, who produces his own olive oil in his spare time, has raced in many different series from Touring to GT cars. His daily job is to teach aspiring drivers how to drive GT cars, so he will surely be a great role model for one of the promising talents on the grid: Paul Jouffreau. The 19-year-old made his EuroNASCAR 2 debut in the 2022 NWES season and stormed into the top-5 twice in his first year, including Vallelunga where he scored his maiden podium finish.
The Blaye native said: "Every racer wants to win and that's my goal. I'm preparing myself physically and mentally to be 100 percent. The team is already working very hard on the car to make it as competitive as possible. My expectations are high. I love everything about EuroNASCAR: the powerful V8 engine, the amazing sound and the high cornering speeds. The atmosphere during a race weekend is just incredible and the battles on the track are amazing.”
Jouffreau, who started karting in 2016, took his first steps in auto racing through EuroNASCAR's Club Challenge in 2021 before moving on to EuroNASCAR 2 for his competitive auto racing debut in 2022. The French student will work hard to improve his skills and speed. Consistency, staying focused and preparing every move during races are his main strengths, said the 19-year-old video game enthusiast and piano player. Coming from a racing family – his grandfather competed in rallying in the 70s and 80s – Jouffreau was infected with the racing virus during his childhood. Now he is trying to follow in the footsteps of his idols Ayrton Senna and Lewis Hamilton and build a professional racing career.
“I am delighted that RDV Competition will be back in the NWES in 2023. It's not for nothing that we have been competing in this championship for over twelve years now. It was in 2010 and at home in Le Mans that we tested this incredible car for the first time,” said team principal Franck Violas. “This season, we will do everything we can to stay at the top of both championships. To do this, we are committing Frederic to EuroNASCAR PRO. He is an extremely talented driver with incredible experience. Experience that will benefit our newcomer Paul, who will share the #3 car with Frederic. Paul is a very young and promising driver who already has a solid level of performance and I'm sure he will quickly exploit all the potential and experience of our team.”
The 2023 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series season will traditionally kick off on May 6-7 at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain. All qualifying and race sessions will be streamed live on EuroNASCAR's YouTube channel, Motorsport.tv and various TV services around the world. RDV Competition will return to the series and put the Tricolour back on the podium at six of the best tracks in Europe.
Rain Postpones Grandview Speedway Practice to Thursday, March 30 - VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial Opener on Schedule for April 1
With significant rain moving into the region during the late morning and early afternoon hours, and rain predicted to continue on and off throughout most of the day, Grandview Speedway track officials have been forced to postpone the scheduled Free-to-the-Public open practice session scheduled for Saturday, March 25.
Knowing that most race teams that compete at the one-third-of-a-mile high-banked race track like to test their race cars for the new season prior to the first official race of the year, speedway management has rescheduled the open practice session to Thursday evening, March 30.
On March 30, pit gates will open at 3 pm, and the open practice session will run from 6 until 10 pm. Admission to the pit area will be $35 and no license is required.
Grandstand admission is totally free for spectators to check out the drivers' new and updated race cars for the brand-new season. As always, some track concessions will be open for Practice Night.
The practice session is open to all divisions of race cars wishing to test their equipment for the upcoming 2023 racing campaign. Last season many drivers were on hand to test and tune from various divisions including Modifieds, Sportsman, Vintage cars, winged and non-wing Sprint cars, Enduro cars, Xcel 600 Modifieds and SpeedSTR’s.
Fans who purchased season passes will be able to select their seats for the new season on two different occasions. Track officials will be available to mark seats on Sunday, March 26 starting at 1 pm, and again on Practice Night Thursday, March 30 starting at 6 pm. Season passes can still be purchased at the track on Sunday or Practice Day.
The Thursday evening date will give race teams track time, and they will still have time to prepare their equipment for the 61st anniversary Season Opener two nights later Saturday night April 1, featuring the 6th annual VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker.
VP Racing Fuels is the sponsor of the Season Opener and will have a VP fuel truck on hand at the track for this event, fully stocked. The VP Fuel truck will be on hand selling fuel as well as VP lubricants and apparel.
VP Fuels is advising all race teams that for the Opening Night program they can do pre-orders with distributor Road Runner Fuels by contacting them at 717.587.1693. There will be free shipping charges for this day.
The VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial is open to both Big and Small Block Modified competitors. The main event will be run over the distance of 50-laps and pay a cool $7500 to win and $1000 just to qualify and take the green flag in the main event.
The T.P. Truck Equipment Sportsman will also be on the Opening Night program in a full show with qualifying events leading up to the 25-lap main event.
Race time on Opening Night is 6 pm, which will be the starting time for all Saturday night programs for the month of April. Pit gates open at 1 pm, grandstand gates open at 4 pm, followed by the drivers meeting and position draw at 4 pm, then warm-ups at 5 pm.
Grandstand admission for adults is $30, students ages 12-16 with ID pay $20, and children ages 11 and under are admitted free. Pit admission is $40 with a NASCAR license and $45 without a license, and again no license is required.
Since the 1960’s, Grandview Speedway has been presenting exciting wheel to wheel NASCAR stock car racing every Saturday Night starting in April and running through September, plus special events. Grandview Speedway is located at 43 Passmore Road, Bechtelsville, Pa. 19505, just off Route 100, ten miles north of Pottstown, Pa.
Information is always available at www.grandviewspeedway.com or on Facebook, or by telephone at 610.754.7688.
Thursday, March 30 – Free-to-the-Public Open Practice, All Divisions– 6 pm.
Saturday, April 1 – 61st Anniversary Season Opener – 6th Annual VP Racing Fuels Bruce Rogers Memorial Money Maker T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds 50 laps, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman – 6 pm.
Saturday, April 8 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman – 6 pm.
Saturday, April 15 – T.P. Trailer NASCAR Modifieds, T.P. Truck Equipment NASCAR Sportsman – 6 pm.
Sunday, April 16 – Outlaw Racing Series Enduro and Outlaw Racing Series Vintage – 1 pm.
Grandview Speedway PR
Allmen-Ringer: Defending Pit Boss 250 Winner Continues COTA Dominance with Xfinity Series Pole
A.J. Allmendinger’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) dominance at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) continued during FEVO Friday action, as the 2022 winner of the Pit Boss 250 presented by USA TODAY drove his way to the pole for Saturday’s main event, capturing the pole by 0.502 seconds over Sammy Smith.
“It feels great,” the 41-year-old Kaulig Racing driver said. “Winning the race last year was kind of a good baseline to come back to, but I felt like we needed a good amount of work. With the results that the organization has had this year, they’ve shown more speed everywhere. Qualifying is tough around here, especially in the esses. You can make up a lot of time if you push the edges and get through there.
“To me, it’s one of the most unique road courses in North America. If you look at the road courses we have, they’re a lot of the same thing. This is a racetrack that’s a combination. You’ve got long straightaways and tight sections. I enjoy it. In general, I have a lot of fun here.”
When the green flag falls, Allmendinger will be joined on the front row by the rookie, Smith, who matched his career-best NXS qualifying position. Ty Gibbs, Sheldon Creed and Parker Kligerman rounded out the top five.
In the final round of group qualifying, NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) veteran William Byron ran a 2:12-second lap that would have earned him a top starting position, but it was negated after NASCAR officials deemed that he exceeded track limits on the lap. By not registering a lap in the final qualifying round, he will start 10th.
Chastain Earns XPEL 225 Pole
Ross Chastain, who took the checkered flag for last year’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix the last time he strapped in at COTA, picked up right where he left off on FEVO Friday by capturing the pole for the XPEL 225 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) race with a 2:13.613-second lap on COTA’s 20-turn, 3.41-mile circuit.
After besting the field by more than half a second in qualifying, the watermelon man will start Saturday’s race alongside fellow NCS regular Kyle Busch. Ty Majeski and rookie Nick Sanchez will make up the second row. NCTS points leader Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, Tanner Gray and Kaz Grala rounded out the top 10 in qualifying.
With 39 cars making a qualifying attempt, Alex Bowman, driving for Spire Motorsports, failed to make the field after a flat tire cut his qualifying effort short.
The tripleheader weekend fun continues Saturday with a full slate on on-track action, including the XPEL 225 NCTS race, Pit Boss 250 presented by USA TODAY NXS race and NCS qualifying for Sunday’s third running of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix.
Tickets for the March 24-26 NASCAR at COTA tripleheader weekend are on sale now at NASCARatCOTA.com. Three-day weekend packages for adults including the Darius Rucker pre-race concert start at just $99 and just $10 for kids 12 and under. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.
Keep track of all things NASCAR at COTA by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@NASCARatCOTA). Keep up with all the latest information on the NASCAR at COTA website and mobile app.