Wednesday, Aug 17
Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

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Taylor Gray, No. 17 Ford Performance Mustang

  • Taylor Gray enters a doubleheader weekend with the ARCA Menards Series this weekend. He will make his second career appearance at Watkins Glen International on Friday followed by his third appearance at the Springfield Mile on Sunday.
  • At Watkins Glen one year ago, the 17-year-old driver finished seventh in a stout field of cars. He also competed in the Truck Series race last season, but mechanical gremlins plagued the team resulting in a 35th-place finish.
  • On the dirt at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, Gray has finishes of fourth and third in the last two seasons. For this event, the team has prepared a Ford Fusion entry out of its fleet of ARCA cars.
  • Friday's event will serve as the seventh round of the Sioux Chief Showdown. The No. 17 sits second in the standings, 19 points behind leader Sammy Smith.
  • Click here for Gray's career statistics.

DGR PR

NASCAR Cup Series -- Race No. 25 – 90 laps / 221 miles

Watkins Glen International (2.454-mile road course) – Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Fast Facts for August 20-21, 2022

Tire: Goodyear Eagle 18-inch Road Course Radials

Set limits: Cup: 1 set for practice, 1 set for qualifying and 6 sets for the race

     (5 race sets plus 1 set transferred from qualifying)

Tire Codes: Left-Front/Right-Rear: D-5112; Right-Front/Left-Rear: D-5113

Tire Circumference: 2,276 mm (89.61 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front -- 26 psi; Right Front -- 24 psi;

     Left Rear -- 21 psi; Right Rear -- 21 psi

Storyline – Grip enhancement for Cup teams at Watkins Glen: Goodyear held a tire test at Watkins Glen International in late May and confirmed this weekend’s tire set-up, giving teams an enhancement in grip over what has been run at the New York-based track in the past.  Watkins Glen is a high speed road course, but is now aligned with Circuit of The Americas, Road America and Indianapolis Motor Speedway instead of having its own, unique tire set-up.

     As a reminder, like at recent road course races at Road America and Indianapolis, Cup teams will be running the same tire on all four corners of the car, although there will be two Goodyear tire codes – one on left-front and right-rear tire positions and one on the right-front and left-rear.  This allows Goodyear to build each distinct code and decorate the outboard sidewall while having the tread run directionally to handle the different stresses asked of it -- hard braking into the corners and hard acceleration off the corners.

     “With this Next Gen car, with the bigger, wider tire, we’ve been able to go a little ‘softer’ with our tread compounds almost across the board,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing.  “When we had just the two road courses on the Cup schedule – those being Watkins Glen and Sonoma – both tracks were dramatically different and required distinct tires.  Now, with six road courses on the 2022 schedule, Sonoma is still on its own due to it being much more technical, but Watkins Glen falls more into line with some of the other tracks.  The Glen is on the high-speed end of the scale among the road courses, but this 18-inch bead diameter tire – which is about an inch-and-a-half wider than the previous, 15-inch tire – has enabled us to give the teams a good step up in grip this weekend.”

Notes – Cup teams on Road America/Indianapolis tire set-up at Watkins Glen: Having moved to an 18-inch bead diameter tire for 2022, NASCAR Cup teams will run a different tire set-up than those in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Watkins Glen this week . . . these are the same two tire codes Cup teams ran at Road America and Indianapolis last month . . . these teams also ran the D-5112 right-side tire code on all four tire positions at COTA in March . . . Goodyear held a tire test at Watkins Glen on May 24-25 . . . teams (drivers) participating in that test were the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (William Byron), RFK Racing Ford (Chris Buescher) and Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (Martin Truex Jr.) and . . . with this 18-inch tire, and its lower profile sidewall, NASCAR Cup cars will not run inner liners in any of their tires in 2022.

Wet Weather Tires – New size and new tread pattern for Cup in ‘22: Goodyear will bring its completely redesigned wet weather radial tire to the road course at Watkins Glen for the NASCAR Cup cars . . . Cup teams will be allowed 1 set of wets for practice, 1 set for qualifying and up to 6 sets for the race (5 race sets plus 1 set transferred from qualifying) . . . in addition to moving from a 15-inch to an 18-inch bead diameter tire, this wet weather tire has a new tread pattern, based on Goodyear’s Eagle Supercar 3 consumer tire . . . this tire was tested at Goodyear’s facility in San Angelo, Texas in 2021 . . . NASCAR Cup teams last ran a wet weather tire in competition at COTA in May 2021 (15-inch version) . . . in addition to the obvious difference of a tread pattern versus Goodyear’s dry weather “slick” tires, the “Goodyear” and “Eagle” lettering on the sidewalls of the wet weather tires is white, not the standard yellow.

Follow us on Twitter: @GoodyearRacing.

 

 

GOODYEAR TIRE NOTES

NASCAR Xfinity Series – Race No. 22 – 82 laps / 201 miles

Watkins Glen International (2.454-mile road course) – Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Fast Facts for August 20, 2022

Tire: Goodyear Eagle 15-inch Road Course Radials

Set limits: Xfinity: 5 sets for the event

Tire Code: D-6122 (same on all four tire positions)

Tire Circumference: 2,240 mm (88.19 in.)

Minimum Recommended Inflation: Left Front -- 26 psi; Right Front -- 24 psi;

     Left Rear -- 21 psi; Right Rear -- 21 psi

Notes – Fifth race on this road course tire for Xfinity teams: Being on 15-inch bead diameter tires, NASCAR Xfinity Series teams will run a different tire set-up than those in the Cup Series at Watkins Glen this week . . . Xfinity will run the same tire on all four positions at Watkins Glen . . . this tire debuted at COTA in March and was subsequently run at Portland, Road America and Indianapolis . . . as on all NASCAR road courses, teams will not run inner liners in their tires at Watkins Glen.

Wet Weather Tires – White-lettered tires on hand: Goodyear will bring its 15-inch wet weather radials to the road course at Watkins Glen for use by Xfinity Series teams, should NASCAR decide that conditions warrant . . . teams will have 5 sets of wets available for the event, with a maximum of 4 sets for the race . . . Xfinity teams last ran in wet conditions at Portland in June . . . in addition to the obvious difference of a tread pattern versus Goodyear’s dry weather “slick” tires, the “Goodyear” and “Eagle” lettering on the sidewalls of the wet weather tires is white, not the standard yellow.

Follow us on Twitter: @GoodyearRacing.

Goodyear Racing PR

For Anthony Flannery and the #25ct Fowler’s Auto Wrecking / Belltown Recycling team, good luck has been hard to find in 2022 when racing Open Modifieds at Stafford Motor Speedway.  With 50 cars on hand for the NAPA Spring Sizzler® in April, Flannery was able to earn a starting position but a wreck not of his own doing ended his run. Flannery is hoping to not only get a top-10 finish this Friday night, August 19, in the Lincoln Tech Open 80, but also make it to the checkered flag.

“I’d be very happy with a top-10 finish and just finishing the race would be big for us since we haven’t had a lot of luck with the open car at Stafford this season,” said Flannery.  “We qualified for the Sizzler out of 50 cars and we only lasted for a lap and a half before we got caught up in someone else’s wreck and we were done for the day.  We missed the next race but came back for the third race.  We were running in the top-10 and made it through the pit cycle but unfortunately only lasted a few more laps before the car blew up on me.  We had a good car up to that point and any time we can get into the top-10 in one of these open races at Stafford, that’s a pretty big deal for a small team like ours.  If we can stop the DNF’s from coming through, we’ll be very happy.  I’m feeling pretty good about the race and hopefully we’ll have a little bit of lady luck on our side and we can finish.”

Prior to the start of the 2022 season, Flannery had less than 20 career starts at Stafford driving SK Modified®, Open Modified, or Modified Racing Series cars.  In order to help himself get a little more acclimated with the Connecticut half-mile layout, Flannery has been racing a Todd Owen prepared SK Modified® car that he has piloted to 4 top-10 finishes in only 5 races. 

“I’ve been running the SK Modified® for Todd and it’s always good to have more laps at a track,” said Flannery.  “The cars drive totally different with the horsepower difference, but laps are laps and getting more laps definitely helps to get more comfortable.  Those extra laps in the SK have given me a confidence boost in knowing how to get around the track a little better.”

Coming into the 2022 season, Flannery had only made 3 career SK Modified® starts without recording a top-10 finish.  Now that he has four top-10 finishes in 5 races, Flannery knows what it takes to run in the top-10 at Stafford as well as learning patience that he can apply during the Lincoln Tech 80.

“I knew Todd had great stuff and he continues to give me a great car every week, the only thing is showing up halfway through the year we have no handicap and we have to start in the back,” said Flannery.  “I go out to get laps and try not to affect anything with guys who are racing for points.  If I make a crazy move, it might look good on FloRacing, but it only takes one or two bad nights for someone to get taken out of the points race so I’m trying to always be smart with my moves and that helps with keeping the car in one piece.  In the open races, you can apply that patience from the SK races even a little further with the extra laps and extra power to work with.”

Even though Flannery will be pulling double duty this Friday night at Stafford, he will be able to put the majority of his focus on racing, as his Open Modified teammate and car owner Dave Etheridge (driver of #34 Open Mod) will miss the race, allowing the crew for the #25ct and #34 cars to give their full attention to Flannery’s car.

“It’ll be my first time doing double duty at Stafford,” said Flannery.  “It’s going to be bittersweet that Dave won’t be racing, but that will just mean that I have extra crew guys for my Open car and there will be a lot less things that I have to worry about.  Todd’s guys are all amazing and they take care of the SK for me so I can focus mostly on just driving the car.  Whenever I try to do something on the SK the guys just push me out of the way and tell me that they’ve got it.”

Flannery heads into the Lincoln Tech 80 knowing what he will need in order to be among the contending cars when the race comes down to the final few laps.

“You’ll need to have a car with no damage on it so you have to be smart throughout the race, and you’ll need to have a good pit stop,” said Flannery.  “You see a lot of guys either gain or lose a bunch of spots on pit road and it’s tough to make up spots on the track if you have a bad pit stop.”

The 3rd Annual Lincoln Tech 80 is scheduled for this Friday, August 19th.  Stafford’s SK Modified®, Late Model, SK Light, Limited Late Model, and Street Stock divisions will join the Open Modifieds in feature action.  Tickets for the Lincoln Tech 80 are available now online at StaffordSpeedway.com/tickets and tickets will also be available for purchase at the admission gates.  Tickets for the Lincoln Tech 80 are $30.00 for adults, $10.00 for kids 6-14, and free for kids 5 & under.  Reserved seating is priced at $35.00 for all ages and pit passes are $45.00 with a valid 2022 Stafford Competition License and $50.00 without a Stafford license.  If you are unable to attend the event, tune into the live stream on FloRacing, the official streaming partner of Stafford Speedway.

For more information, visit www.staffordspeedway.com, checkout Stafford Speedway on Facebook or Twitter, or contact the track office at 860-684-2783.

Stafford Speedway PR

Daniel Suárez dreams of “cruising” through the next few regular season races as well as the upcoming 10-race NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs on his way to capturing the championship title in 2022. 

So, it’s appropriate that his Trackhouse Racing team today announced a partnership with Princess Cruises that will see the world’s most iconic cruise brand, just as it does with millions of guests, embark with Suárez on his journey through the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. 

The famous Princess seawitch logo will emblazon Suárez’s No. 99 Chevrolet Camaro at the Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International race on Sunday and at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway on Oct. 23, making it one of the most stunning cars on the track and serving as an innovative and exciting fan engagement platform. 

The partnership will also include Suárez’s teammate Ross Chastain and expand well beyond what race fans will see on track. In the coming weeks Princess Cruises and Trackhouse Racing will unveil details of how NASCAR fans can vacation on Princess ships to the most coveted destinations in the world. 

"Extending the Princess brand into NASCAR with the next generation team that covets the possibilities and passion of fan experiences couldn’t be more exciting," said John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises.

"Team Trackhouse is innovative, exciting and engaging, we appreciate and applaud Daniel and Ross’s impressive success and are proud to ensure NASCAR fans also have the access to the most exceptional Princess vacation offers. We have a lot of innovative plans that NASCAR fans are going to love.” 

One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is the world’s most iconic premium cruise brands operating a fleet of 15 modern cruise ships, carrying millions of guests each year to 330 destinations around the globe. Princess delivers the ultimate in effortless, personalized cruising featuring magnificent balconies, world-class entertainment, casinos, pools, fitness centers, spas and dining, all elevated by the exclusive Princess Medallion.  

Trackhouse Racing is in its second season in the Cup Series. Suárez and Chastain have visited victory lane three times in 2022 and are two of the favorites in the 16-driver playoffs that being Sept. 4 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. 

“There is no doubt what I’ll be doing in the off-season if we win the championship,” said Suárez who became the first driver from Mexico (Monterrey) to win in the Cup Series on June 12, 2022, at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway. “Everyone loves Princess and dreams of incredible vacations with family and friends. I hope we can help a lot of people do that soon.” 

Trackhouse founder and team owner Justin Marks said the new partnership with Princess Cruises is another testament to the team as well as the sport of NASCAR.

“The biggest and most recognizable companies are seeing the value in Trackhouse Racing, our drivers and the sport of NASCAR,” said Marks who brought in entertainer Pitbull as a team partner last year as part of its off-track effort to expand the sport’s fan base beyond its normal demographic. “Princess Cruises is a powerful brand and the goal of this partnership is to expose our fans to the wonders of a Princess cruise vacation and provide NASCAR fans a very cool way to travel the globe.”

More information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel advisor, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.

 
 

Watkins Glen This Weekend

Watkins Glen should be an exciting weekend for Trackhouse Racing.

Only two races remain in the 2022 regular season and the race marks the fifth road course race of the season.

Trackhouse drivers Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain have already won twice on road courses this season and raced in the top five in every other.

They will also have a new teammate as Trackhouse Racing’s PROJECT91 makes its debut Sunday with 2007 Formula One World Champion Kimi Räikkönen driving the No. 91 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 

Räikkönen becomes the first driver to join the team’s PROJECT91 program announced in May by Trackhouse Founder and Owner Justin Marks. PROJECT91’s goal is to expand the organization’s international reach by fielding a NASCAR Cup Series entry for renowned international racing drivers.

USA Network will broadcast Sunday's race at 3 p.m. EDT.

trackhouse Racing PR

ADVANCE NOTES

Weekend Format

  • The traditional weekend format is on tap this weekend with practice split into two groups Saturday afternoon, immediately followed by group qualifying.

Keselowski at Watkins Glen

  • Despite not having a win to his credit at Watkins Glen, the New York track stands as Keselowski’s best road course statistically with a 13.4 average finish in 11 starts.
  • He has six top-10 finishes, including four inside the top five, with three career runner-up results. He first finished second back in 2011, and followed that with two more P2 results in 2012 and 2013. He also has a third-place finish in 2016, and most recently ran ninth in 2019.
  • Keselowski also carries an average starting position of 11.3 with six starts inside the top-10, including a P1 start last season when qualifying metrics during COVID determined starting lineups.
  • Keselowski also has 10 starts in Xfinity at WGI with one win (2013) and nine top-10s.

Matt McCall at Watkins Glen

  • McCall will be atop the box for his seventh Cup race at The Glen where he has three top-10s and an average finish of 15.3.
  • He’s finished 14th or better in all but one race, and has a career-best P7 finish in 2018. Most recently he finished 13th (2021) and 10th (2019) with Kurt Busch.

QUOTE WORTHY
Keselowski on racing at Watkins Glen:
“Watkins Glen is a place I’ve felt really good at over the years, but have just missed out on a win there a handful of times. Our road course program has seen significant improvements and we’re again excited to show that off this weekend, and also have a great notebook from a test Chris did earlier this year. We know what we’re up against, just have to go execute this weekend.”

Last Time Out

Keselowski finished 15th in Richmond last Sunday after finishing fourth in stage one.

On the Car

Violet Defense returns to Keselowski’s No. 6 this weekend for its fifth appearance with the No. 6 team in 2022.

RFK PR

ADVANCE NOTES

Weekend Format

  • The traditional weekend format is on tap this weekend with practice split into two groups Saturday afternoon, immediately followed by group qualifying.

Buescher at Watkins Glen

  • Buescher lines up for his seventh Cup start from The Glen this weekend where he has a best finish of 11th (2017). Last season he finished 17th.
  • He has a best qualifying effort of 16th which came in 2019, and overall has a 22.3 average starting position.
  • Buescher also made two Xfinity Series starts there in 2014-15, earning a third-place finish in 2015 after starting fifth for Jack Roush.

Scott Graves at Watkins Glen

  • Graves has two career top five finishes in Cup at The Glen with a third-place finish in 2017, and a fourth-place finish in 2018 – both of which came with Daniel Suarez. He most recently finished 25th with Ryan Newman the last two seasons.
  • In his first-ever NASCAR National series race at The Glen back in 2012, Graves led Carl Edwards to a win, and followed that with a third-place run with Buescher in 2015, and a fourth-place finish in 2016.

QUOTE WORTHY
Buescher on racing at Watkins Glen:
“I’m excited. I’m ready for the win.”

Last Time Out
Buescher had one of the best drives of his career Sunday at Richmond, finishing third after a strong showing in the Fastenal Ford.

On the Car

Fastenal, in its 12th season with RFK in 2022, makes its 14th appearance with the No. 17 this weekend. In its early days with RFK, Fastenal originally was a partner with the No. 99 team before moving over to the No. 17 team since. They were also the primary partner on the No. 60 Xfinity Series entry that captured the owner’s championship in 2011.

Fastenal will feature top suppliers Georgia Pacific, DeWalt, Klever Innovation and ACS Motorola on Buescher’s Mustang as he competes this weekend. For more information on these suppliers, visit Fastenal.com, and stay up-do-date on social @FastenalCompany.

RFK PR

Darlington Raceway and the United States Auto Club (USAC) .25 Series announce the Cook Out .25 Midget Series will compete at the Darlington Raceway facility during the Shriners Children’s presents Darlington Labor Day Race Week on Sept. 1-4. This will be the first time since 2019 that the Cook Out .25 Midget Series will compete over Darlington’s traditional Labor Day race weekend.

“We are proud to welcome back the action-packed Cook Out .25 Midget Series to Darlington Raceway,” said Kerry Tharp, Darlington Raceway President. “As a family-friendly series, the Cook Out .25 Midget Series has been the start for many future NASCAR Cup Series stars’ careers. We look forward to hosting the competitive action of the next generation of racing superstars at Darlington Raceway.”

While Cook Out .25 Midget Series was formed in 2009, quarter midget racing has been around since before World War II. It is a family-oriented motorsport that involves children ages 5-16 racing in specially-prepared cars. A quarter midget is a scaled down version of an actual midget racer, approximately 1/4th scale. The cars, rules and safety procedures are designed specifically for kids. The racing environment is all about the children and family as kids learn valuable lessons and sportsmanship while making lifelong friends from all over the country.

Many former and current NASCAR drivers began their racing careers in the Cook Out .25 Midget Series including NASCAR Hall of Famers Jeff Gordon and Bobby Labonte, and current NASCAR Cup Series stars Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, and Harrison Burton.

The Cook Out .25 Midget Series will compete to the east of Darlington Raceway outside Turns 1-2 across the street from Race Track Road. The Cook Out .25 Midget Series schedule includes practice on Thursday, Sept. 1 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and racing competition on Friday, Sept. 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is free for fans to watch some of the future stars of the sport compete. Fans can enter via Race Track Road or Odom Street.

For more information about the Cook Out .25 Midget Series, visit www.usac25.com.

Darlington Raceway PR

FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: WATKINS GLEN

Kevin Harvick will be going for his third straight NASCAR Cup Series win when the circuit stops at Watkins Glen International for Sunday’s Go Bowling at The Glen.  That race will be preceded by the NASCAR Xfinity event on Saturday. 

 

This Week’s Schedule:

Saturday, August 20 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 3 p.m. (USA)

Sunday, August 21 – NASCAR Cup Series, 3 p.m. (USA)

 

FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT WATKINS GLEN

  • Ford has 8 all-time series wins at Watkins Glen.
  • Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick have series victories at Watkins Glen.
  • Mark Martin and Marcos Ambrose are the only Ford drivers to win this race more than once.

 

FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT WATKINS GLEN

  • Ford has 9 series victories at Watkins Glen.
  • Ford has won 7 of the last 9 series races held at Watkins Glen.
  • Team Penske won this event 4 of the last 6 years it fielded an entry.

 

FORD DRIVERS CURRENTLY IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT

Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick have clinched spots in the 16-driver playoff field for the NASCAR Cup Series thanks to a pair of victories each, but Ford’s three other drivers currently in the field will have to wait before officially celebrating.  Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric have one win apiece while Ryan Blaney sits on the bubble as the top driver currently in on points.  Should one of the 15 drivers who have already won a race this season take the checkered flag first on Sunday, that will lock in Cindric and Briscoe.

 

BLANEY ON THE BUBBLE

As noted above, Ryan Blaney is firmly on the bubble as the highest positioned driver in the point standings without a win this season.  Blaney currently holds a 26-point advantage over Martin Truex Jr., but the only thing that would guarantee him a spot in the postseason with two races to go would be a victory.  Blaney goes into Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen with a pair of top 10 finishes in five career starts with his best effort being a fifth-place run in 2019.

 

HARVICK NOW 10TH ON ALL-TIME FORD CUP WIN LIST

Kevin Harvick’s second straight NASCAR Cup Series win enabled him to break a tie with Matt Kenseth for 10th on the all-time Ford win list with 25.  Harvick, who has won more Cup races in Mustang (15) than any other driver, is now only one victory away from tying Brad Keselowski, Junior Johnson and Fred Lorenzen.  Here is a look at Ford’s all-time winningest drivers.

 

  1. Ned Jarrett................. 43
  2. Bill Elliott................... 40
  3. Mark Martin............... 35
  4. Dale Jarrett................ 30
  5. David Pearson............ 29
  6. Joey Logano............... 27
  7. Fred Lorenzen............ 26

        Junior Johnson........... 26

        Brad Keselowski......... 26

  1. Kevin Harvick............. 25

 

GURNEY IS FORD’S ALL-TIME ROAD COURSE WINNER

NASCAR has competed on 16 different road courses during its history and Ford has had 21 drivers win 33 times overall.  Dan Gurney leads the way with five, which included four straight wins at Riverside International Raceway from 1963-66 while driving for the Wood Brothers.  Mark Martin, on the strength of three straight triumphs at Watkins Glen International from 1993-95, is second.

FORD’S ALL-TIME CUP ROAD COURSE WINNERS

5 – Dan Gurney

4 – Mark Martin

2 – Fireball Roberts, Marvin Panch, Parnelli Jones, Ricky Rudd, Marcos Ambrose

1 – Chuck Stevenson, Eddie Gray, Richard Petty, A.J. Foyt, Bobby Allison, Bill Elliott, Davey Allison, Geoffrey Bodine, Ernie Irvan, Rusty Wallace, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney.

FORD’S ACTIVE WINNERS

There are three current drivers who have won a NASCAR Cup Series race on a road course with Ford.  The most recent winner was Ryan Blaney, who captured the inaugural event at the Charlotte Roval in 2018.  Kevin Harvick, who goes into this weekend with 25 career Ford victories in just over five years, got his first with the Blue Oval in 2017 when he won at Sonoma.  Joey Logano scored his Cup victory at Watkins Glen International in 2015, which completed a weekend sweep after he won the NASCAR XFINITY Series race one day earlier.

OTHER FORD WINNERS

Besides the drivers mentioned above, Ford has five other competitors who have won on a road course in either the NASCAR Cup or NASCAR XFINITY Series.  Brad Keselowski (Watkins Glen NXS with Ford, 2013); Chris Buescher (Mid-Ohio NXS with Ford, 2014); Michael McDowell (Road America NXS, 2016); Chase Briscoe (Charlotte Roval, 2018 and Indianapolis, 2020); and Austin Cindric (Road America NXS, 2020).

66-FOR-66

The first time Ford won a NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International was when Marvin Panch drove the Wood Brothers to victory on July 18, 1965.  There were only 19 cars in the field that day and it proved to be a Ford show as all 66 laps were led by three drivers sporting the Blue Oval.  Ned Jarrett, who finished second, led the first lap before Junior Johnson passed him on lap 2.  Johnson led the pack for 12 circuits until his engine blew, which enabled Panch to inherit a lead he never gave up, going the final 53 laps and making it first to the checkered flag.  The win was Panch’s fourth of the season and next-to-last in his career, which ended with 17 victories.

THREE STRAIGHT

Mark Martin became the first driver to win three straight NASCAR Cup Series races at Watkins Glen International, and he capped that streak on Aug. 13, 1995 after passing Wally Dallenbach, Jr. on lap 84 of the 90-lap event.  Martin, who led a race-high 61 circuits overall, held off the road racing specialist to win by one second.  That victory completed a three-year run that saw him not only sit on the pole every time but lead 183-of-270 laps (68%).

FINAL VICTORY

When Chemung, NY, native Geoffrey Bodine took the checkered flag in the No. 7 QVC Ford Thunderbird on Aug. 11, 1996 he established a strategy that hadn’t been used to that point.  He, along with crew chief Paul Andrews, employed an “only stop when you have to” strategy and that resulted in making only two stops in the 90-lap event, compared to three for everyone else.  Bodine passed Ken Schrader with eight laps to go and then held off Terry Labonte over the final laps to win.  That marked the 18th and final victory of his NASCAR Cup Series career, and it came in front of his hometown fans.

CLASSIC FINISH

One of the all-time classic finishes at Watkins Glen International came when Marcos Ambrose went slip sliding away on the final lap, but still resulted in him winning the NASCAR Cup Series race for the second straight time on August 12, 2012.  In a race that had more twists and turns over the final three laps than many can remember in recent years, Ambrose was the one who survived a massive streak of oil that had been laid down on the track, allowing him to pass Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski for Ford’s third win of the season.  Busch appeared to be headed toward victory, but as he came into turn one on the final lap, he slipped in some oil and got loose.  Keselowski came up from behind and hit Busch, sending him spinning off the track.  A battle between Ambrose and Keselowski ensued from that point with both drivers trying to avoid the slickness that had covered the course.  Ambrose followed Keselowski through the grass at one point, but was able to get by in the treacherous carousel when Keselowski slid one final time.

HISTORIC SWEEP

Joey Logano became the first driver to sweep a NASCAR XFINITY/Cup weekend at Watkins Glen International when he did it in 2015.  Fuel mileage ended up deciding the Cup race as leader Kevin Harvick ran out on the last turn, which allowed Logano to pass him and make it to the finish line first.  The win was Logano’s first on a road course and also marked the first series triumph for car owner Roger Penske at the historic track.

Ford Performance PR

Taking a much-welcomed off-week to reset, ARCA Menards Series rookie Amber Balcaen and Rette Jones Racing trek into an ARCA doubleheader weekend with an optimistic approach beginning with Friday night’s General Tire Delivers 100 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

Watkins Glen marks the second and final road course race of the season. Two days later, Balcaen and her Mark Rette-led team thunder to the Illinois State Fairgrounds (Springfield) for the first of two ARCA Menards Series races on the one-mile dirt in the Atlas 100 on Sunday, August 21.

While Balcaen will have zero laps turned at both race tracks, she is still approaching the unknown with a positive attitude in hopes that her mental approach will finally be the key to ending a frustrating summer for the driver of the No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion.

“I’m happy to get another shot at a road course and hope Watkins Glen will be a good race for our Rette Jones Racing team,” said Balcaen.

“I think Watkins Glen will fit my driving style a lot better than Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course did and hopefully I’ll be able to showcase that from practice to the checkered flag on Friday night.

“Hoping the rain stays away so we can get a fair crack at getting a top-10 finish with our No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion.”

Soaring past the halfway point of the ARCA Menards Series season, Balcaen and her Mooresville, N.C.-based team hope to stop a challenging six-race stretch that has resulted in an average finish of 17.1 for the freshman ARCA driver.

While Balcaen has continuously been able to showcase speed with her No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion at tracks like Berlin (Mich.) Raceway, Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Michigan International Speedway and Pocono (Pa.) Raceway to name a few – getting to the end of the race has proven to be tough as issues have prevented Balcaen from delivering her fourth top-10 finish of the year.

The popular ARCA driver and team know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and with a recent reboot approach to the season – Balcaen is remaining confident as she knows there have been plenty of positives hidden behind the negative.

“We just have to continue to focus on the positives,” explained Balcaen. “There has been a lot of bad luck and a lot that has happened outside of our control. But we showed speed at Pocono, and we showed up with speed again in the most recent race at Michigan International Speedway.

“So, we know we are capable of running consistently in the top-10, it’s just a matter of our luck turning around and hopefully the races at Watkins Glen and Springfield provide the opportunities for us to get back on track.”

While the former Late Model driver has experience on a road course last month, Sunday’s 100-laps on the dirt will be a different task even with her background and success racing on the dirt in her previous racing endeavors.

“I think this weekend will be a lot of fun,” sounded Balcaen. “My background is dirt track racing so I am excited to be on the dirt on Sunday. It will be a busy weekend but as long as everything flows smoothly it should be a really fun one as well.”

Hopeful for two additional top-10 scores on Friday night and Sunday respectively, Balcaen is focused on getting a solid pace that would put her No. 30 Rette Jones Racing team in a positive spotlight with just six races remaining after Sunday.

“Dirt racing is my background so I feel confident about the dirt race, and as far as the road course race, I know I am a lot more capable than what I showed at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course,” spoke Balcaen.

“I am just looking for big improvement turning left and right and letting our car slide perfectly on Sunday afternoon. From there, we can look ahead to The Milwaukee Mile next weekend.”

For crew chief and co-team owner Mark Rette, he is confident that his rookie driver’s positive outlook will soon pay dividends.

“Amber is not going to give up and when our luck turns for the better, she is going to deliver the finishes I know we are capable of,” offered Rette. “Everything that has happened over the last several races has been a learning experience and will help the program for the long term.

“We’ll take our battle wounds and press on. She did a great job at Michigan and we experienced a parts failure. Hopefully, a double dose of racing gives us the shot in the arm that we need to turn our season around and focus ahead on the upcoming stretch drive.”

ICON Direct will continue to adorn the primary positions on Balcaen’s race car in their 13th and 14th of 20 races this season.

ICON Direct is a manufacturer of high-quality plastic component parts for the RV industry, located in Manitoba, Canada. ICON aftermarket replacement parts are available through RV Dealers and Distributors across North America and directly through their website IconDirect.com.

The Winnipeger’s new endeavor at Rette Jones Racing will also be supported by Glenn McLeod and Sons – cementing a full Canadian roster of partners for her ARCA Menards Series rookie season.

Longtime RJR partners Ford Performance, Goodridge Fluid Transfer Systems, Jones Group Demolition and Abatement and JRi Shocks will continue their relationship with the team in 2022 and serve as associate partners on Balcaen’s No. 30 ICON Direct Ford Fusion.

RJR is co-owned by Canadian entrepreneur and former race car driver Terry Jones.

Entering Watkins Glen, Balcaen sits sixth in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, 36 points out of fourth and 120 markers in the arrears to championship leader Nick Sanchez.

For more on Amber Balcaen, please visit amberbalcaenracing.com, like her on Facebook (AmberBalcaenRacing) and follow her on Instagram (@amberbalcaen10) and Twitter (@amberbalcaen10).

For more on Rette Jones Racing, please visit RetteJonesRacing.com, like them on Facebook (Rette Jones Racing) or follow them on Instagram (@RetteJones30) and Twitter (@RetteJones30).

The General Tire Delivers 100 (41 laps | 100.45 miles) is the 13th of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins on Friday, August 19, 2022, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. General Tire pole qualifying kicks off at 4:25 p.m. The event will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 and the Motor Racing Network beginning at 6:00 p.m. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (ET).

The Atlas 100 (100 laps | 100 miles) is the 14th of 20 races on the 2022 ARCA Menards Series schedule. Practice begins on Sunday, August 21, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. General Tire pole qualifying kicks off at 11:15 a.m. The event will be televised live on MAVTV and FloRacing beginning at 1:00 p.m. ARCARacing.com will also stream live timing and scoring throughout the entire weekend festivities. All times are local (CT).

RJR PR

With the NASCAR Cup Series’ regular season finale Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway less than two weeks away, seven – yes seven - former DAYTONA Champions are in a “must-win” situation if they want to have a chance to make the 2022 NASCAR Playoffs.

After this weekend’s upcoming Go Bowling at The Glen, the Coke Zero Sugar 400 will serve as the last-chance race for drivers to make the 16-playoff grid for the third consecutive year. For every driver who enters the Coke Zero Sugar 400 outside of the top 16, going to Ruoff Mortgage Victory Lane will be their only option in order to make the championship battle.

There have been 15 drivers to win thus far in 2022, which leaves just one spot available in the drive for the title. On the outside looking in are the ’lucky seven,’ former winners at the iconic “World Center of Racing.” They include:

  • Brad Keselowski (No. 6 Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing Ford), the 2016 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Champion. His resume is stellar at DIS with three top-five efforts and six top-10s in 26 starts.

 

  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr., (No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet), the 2017 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Champion. In addition, he has a pair of top-five results. His other career triumph came at Talladega Superspeedway.

 

  • Erik Jones (No. 43 Petty GMS Motorsports Chevrolet), the 2018 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Champion and 2021 Busch Clash at Daytona Champion. He has another top-five result, along with three top 10s. Jones also captured the 2021 Busch Clash at Daytona.

  • Aric Almirola (No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), the 2014 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Champion. In 21 races, he also has three top-five and four top-10 efforts.

 

  • Justin Haley (No. 31 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet), the 2019 Coke Zero Sugar 400 Champion. In just four races, he has a pair of top-10 results.

 

  • Austin Dillon (No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet), the 2018 DAYTONA 500 Champion. In 18 races at DIS, he has one win and three top-five finishes.

 

  • Michael McDowell (No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford), the 2021 DAYTONA 500 Champion. He has three top-five efforts at Daytona, as well as eight top-10 results.

And let’s not forget the two drivers who are second and fourth in the standings – Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex, Jr. respectively – who have yet to win, as well as the Bubba Wallace, who has been one of the hottest drivers over the last five races.

  • Blaney, the defending Coke Zero Sugar 400 Champion, currently is the 16th seed, and if a ’22 non-winning driver wins one of the next two races, he will be eliminated from playoff contention. A victory erases any doubt of making the playoffs.

 

  • Truex, who has a pair of runnerup finishes at Daytona in the DAYTONA 500 and Coke Zero Sugar 400, is the first driver on the outside looking in, and needs a triumph to advance.

 

  • Wallace also has second-place finishes in both the DAYTONA 500 and Coke Zero Sugar 400. While searching for his first victory of 2022, he has results of third, eighth, fifth, second and 13th over the last handful of premier series events.

Fans can catch this exciting conclusion to the regular season by purchasing tickets starting at $49 for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. Fans who purchase tickets to the race can also purchase access to the UNOH Fanzone for $60 (plus grandstand ticket). Here, fans can participate in events before the race that includes the Coke Zero Sugar 400 Pre-Race Concert featuring Better Than Ezra, pre-race ceremonies, driver introductions, access to the large grass ballfield, and signing the start/finish line through the middle of the 18-degree, banked trioval. Also scheduled is LIVE entertainment on the main UNOH Fanzone Stage, including NASCAR Personalities Fan Q&A.

Tickets to the Xfinity Series Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola are also available, starting at $35 for adults and FREE for kids 12 and under. The Wawa 250 takes place the day before the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Friday, Aug. 26, and access to the UNOH Fanzone will be available before this race as well! A Two-Day Pass is available which includes access to the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, and the Wawa 250 on Friday.

Tickets for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 and the Wawa 250 Powered by Coca-Cola can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

 

Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as the all-new NASCAR Tracks App, for the latest speedway news.

DIS PR

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